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Hillary Clinton email scandal bulletin, 2017

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[Dec 30, 2017] Classified Huma Abedin Emails Found On Anthony Weiner s Laptop Discussing Hamas, Israel And Palestinian Authority

How Strzok could miss those? They were available to him since 2016.
Notable quotes:
"... As you may recall, the discovery of these emails on Weiner's computer is what prompted Comey to re-open the Hillary Clinton email investigation roughly 1 week prior to the election, a decision which the Hillary camp insists is the reason why they lost the White House. ..."
"... Large portions of the 2,800 page release were redacted prior to release by the State Department. ..."
"... In at least two instances, Abedin directly forwarded Anthony Weiner official conversations - one of which included Hillary Clinton and senior advisor Jake Sullivan with subject "Lavrov" - referring to Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov. The email discusses an official response by a "quartet" of envoys (The US, EU, UN, and Russia) over Israel's announced changes to its Gaza policy, ending a contentious blockade. ..."
"... In a statement issued Friday, Judicial watch called the release a "major victory," adding "After years of hard work in federal court, Judicial Watch has forced the State Department to finally allow Americans to see these public documents. It will be in keeping with our past experience that Abedin's emails on Weiner's laptop will include classified and other sensitive materials. That these government docs were on Anthony Weiner's laptop dramatically illustrates the need for the Justice Department to finally do a serious investigation of Hillary Clinton's and Huma Abedin's obvious violations of law." ..."
"... Really, is anyone surprised that there were classified emails on Huma Abedin or Anthony Weiner's laptop? ..."
"... The surprise is that it was confiscated back in October 2016 and it took 14 months to reveal that at least 5 emails were classified as confidential. Apparently there were 2800 such emails, an average of 7 per day every day, or 10 per day using 5 day workweeks. Although these 2800 were released, this evidently is a subset of "tens of thousands" of email reported last year to be on that laptop. ..."
"... "Fitton also commented that it's 'outrageous' that Clinton and Abedin 'walked out of the State Department with classified documents and the Obama FBI and DOJ didn't do a thing about it.' " And so far, neither has Jeff Sessions. Get after him, Donald!!!! ..."
"... The lunacy of all of this is that it is taking private groups and citizen journalists to pull out the information that one would think the DOJ would have been interested in months ago. And it means that organizations like Judicial Watch and citizen journalists like George Webb and others are limited to using civil courts because they are not federal prosecutors. ..."
"... Hillary, Huma, et al exchanging classified emails on unsecured servers and computers was a big nothing burger according to Andy and friends at the FBI. ..."
Dec 30, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

As you may recall, the discovery of these emails on Weiner's computer is what prompted Comey to re-open the Hillary Clinton email investigation roughly 1 week prior to the election, a decision which the Hillary camp insists is the reason why they lost the White House.

Of course, while the Hillary campaign attempted to dismiss the emails as just another 'nothing burger', the Daily Mail reports that an initial review of the 2,800 documents dumped by the State Department reveal at least 5 emails classified at the 'confidential level,' the third most sensitive level the U.S. government uses.

The classified emails date from 2010-2012, and concern discussions with Middle East leaders, including those from the United Arab Emirates, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas - which was declared a terrorist organization by the European Court of Justice in July. Large portions of the 2,800 page release were redacted prior to release by the State Department.

According to the Daily Mail , three of the emails were sent either to or from an address called "BBB Backup," which one email identifies as a backup of a Blackberry Bold 9700 - presumably belonging to Abedin.

As a civilian, Weiner - though once a congressman, was unlikely to have possessed the proper clearance to view or store the classified documents on his laptop .

A sample of the documents can be seen below, first, a "Call Sheet" prepared for Hillary's discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

And another update regarding "Hamas-PLO Talks":

In at least two instances, Abedin directly forwarded Anthony Weiner official conversations - one of which included Hillary Clinton and senior advisor Jake Sullivan with subject "Lavrov" - referring to Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov. The email discusses an official response by a "quartet" of envoys (The US, EU, UN, and Russia) over Israel's announced changes to its Gaza policy, ending a contentious blockade.

One wonders why Anthony Weiner would need to know about this?

Abedin also forwarded Weiner an email discussion from July 22, 2012 which had previously been released by WikiLeaks - which included the Ambassador to Senegal, Mushingi Tulinabo. While the contents of the email are redacted, Senegal had elected a new President earlier that month . Of note, the Clinton Foundation has supported or been involved in several projects in the country.

In a statement issued Friday, Judicial watch called the release a "major victory," adding "After years of hard work in federal court, Judicial Watch has forced the State Department to finally allow Americans to see these public documents. It will be in keeping with our past experience that Abedin's emails on Weiner's laptop will include classified and other sensitive materials. That these government docs were on Anthony Weiner's laptop dramatically illustrates the need for the Justice Department to finally do a serious investigation of Hillary Clinton's and Huma Abedin's obvious violations of law."

Fitton also commented that it's 'outrageous' that Clinton and Abedin 'walked out of the State Department with classified documents and the Obama FBI and DOJ didn't do a thing about it.'

Not surprisingly, Abedin was spotted heading into the Hillary Clinton offices in midtown Manhattan earlier today just a few hours before the release of the 2,800 emails. Seems you're never too old to be called into the Principal's office...

We're confident this will all be promptly dismissed by Hillary as just another effort to "criminalize behavior that is normal "because what government employee hasn't shared classified materials with their convicted pedophile husband? Certainly, just another boring day in Washington... Tags Politics

up! 1 Vote down! 0

Mark777 Dec 29, 2017 9:10 PM

Really, is anyone surprised that there were classified emails on Huma Abedin or Anthony Weiner's laptop?

The surprise is that it was confiscated back in October 2016 and it took 14 months to reveal that at least 5 emails were classified as confidential. Apparently there were 2800 such emails, an average of 7 per day every day, or 10 per day using 5 day workweeks. Although these 2800 were released, this evidently is a subset of "tens of thousands" of email reported last year to be on that laptop.

topspinslicer Dec 29, 2017 4:47 PM

It's a small club of idiots and I ain't in it

shitshitshit -> topspinslicer Dec 29, 2017 4:52 PM

this shows how Hilary is being more and more isolated and rejected because she can no longer silence the truth.

Go to jail bitch. Now.

chubbar -> shitshitshit Dec 29, 2017 6:35 PM

It's been reported on an other site that the Awan trial, which had been postponed until Jan 8th, is now erased from all federal court dockets. No one knows the significance of this, whether it means the "fix" is in or they are turning state's evidence on Hillary, etc? I hope it's the latter but knowing Sessions and the rest of the fucking corrupt pieces of shit in the DOJ and FBI, I fear these assholes are being let off the hook.

greenskeeper carl -> chubbar Dec 29, 2017 8:25 PM

This fix is in. Nothing is going to happen to any of them. Bet on it.

IH8OBAMA -> IH8OBAMA Dec 29, 2017 4:59 PM

"Fitton also commented that it's 'outrageous' that Clinton and Abedin 'walked out of the State Department with classified documents and the Obama FBI and DOJ didn't do a thing about it.' " And so far, neither has Jeff Sessions. Get after him, Donald!!!!

FoggyWorld -> IH8OBAMA Dec 29, 2017 6:31 PM

The lunacy of all of this is that it is taking private groups and citizen journalists to pull out the information that one would think the DOJ would have been interested in months ago. And it means that organizations like Judicial Watch and citizen journalists like George Webb and others are limited to using civil courts because they are not federal prosecutors. The question is why are those who are being paid with our tax dollars to enforce the law in criminal courts expending so much effort to avoid doing that job.

Ultimately, President Trump has to answer that question because this is now coming out on his watch.

greenskeeper carl -> FoggyWorld Dec 29, 2017 8:27 PM

Ya, its pretty infuriating. Trumps been in office for a year. Sessions, at least on paper, is in charge of the DOJ. The FBI works for him too. Why isn't anything being done about this?

techpriest -> IH8OBAMA Dec 29, 2017 5:25 PM

I wonder, will Abedin be the fall girl for the Clintons? "It was all her fault! She took the emails without me knowing it!" Her being "called into the principal's office" is also telling. Instructions on what to say.

francis_the_wo -> Consuelo Dec 29, 2017 5:04 PM

I am curious as to what assurances we have that there weren't actually another 100 emails that didn't just magically disappear? We've given these alphabet agencies years to "redact" sensitive material, how do we know that the "smoking gun" emails weren't redacted entirely?

insanelysane Dec 29, 2017 7:55 PM

DNC doing actual opposition research by paying actual Russians for information is perfectly acceptable. Trump team allegedly doing opposition research by speaking with Russians is a criminal offence. That seems reasonable.

Hillary, Huma, et al exchanging classified emails on unsecured servers and computers was a big nothing burger according to Andy and friends at the FBI.

thebigunit Dec 29, 2017 8:04 PM

Huma Abedin

Associate Editor, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs

1996-2008

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huma_Abedin

Hmmmmmm.

hanekhw Dec 29, 2017 5:13 PM

I was searching for a word to describe our media and Federal law enforcement who are both impervious to truth and justice. It led me to wondering if the Devil permits truth to penetrate in Hell and decided that the condemned there hear more of it that Americans do today. You'd have to go back to NAZI Germany or Stalinist Russia for a comparison of how little we're told was true.

Don't believe me? We're mushrooms, kept in a dark cave and fed a steady diet of bullshit. We're GOOD mushrooms. A bumper crop this year.

Miss Expectations Dec 29, 2017 5:23 PM

The emails were discovered on Anthony's laptop by NYPD when they were investigating the pervert's connection to the child in North Carolina. The laptop was turned over to the FBI. If you want to say the FBI discovered the emails, that takes the credit away from the NYPD. Comey reopened the Hillary investigation because NYPD kept copies.

MusicIsYou Dec 29, 2017 6:49 PM

Most shit classified "classified" shouldn't be anyway.

Koba the Dread Dec 29, 2017 6:50 PM

" [A]n initial review of the 2,800 documents dumped by the State Department reveal at least 5 emails classified at the 'confidential level,' the third most sensitive level the U.S. government uses. "

While I'm for anything and everything that harms the Clinton family and its cohort, let me point out that the 'confidential level' security classification, in addition to being the third most sensitive level of security classification is also also the very lowest level of security classification.

One would hope (in vain I've recently concluded) that ZH would make some small attempt to not slant its 'news' coverage with such erroneous and inflammatory 'reporting'. I thought we had decided to leave fear mongering and lying to the mainstream media. I suppose I was wrong.

Fidelios Automata Dec 29, 2017 7:47 PM

The classified emails were a smokescreen to distract investigators from the porn.

[Dec 27, 2017] Mueller investigation can be viewed as an attempt to avoid going after Clinton and hide the fact that a corrupted intelligence service worked to derail Sanders

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... 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 | 55

It'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] Mueller investigation as about attempt to avoid going after Clinton, which shows that a corrupted intelligence service working for political ends to save Clinton wing dominance in the Democratic Party, which needs to be replaced by Sanders wing and would be replaced if not this level of interference

Dec 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

55

Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 8:24:09 PM | 55

It'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] Did the FBI Conspire to Stop Trump, by Pat Buchanan

Essentially FBI has pushed Sunders under the bus and as such rigged the elections. In no way Hillary can become candidate if she woouls have benn charged with "gross negligence". In this sense they are criminals.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... JFK 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 ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... Rather obvious Steele made it all up. ..."
Dec 26, 2017 | The Unz Review
List 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 GMT

JFK 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.

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.

Rich , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 1:34 am GMT
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.

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?

MEexpert , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 6:52 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.

exiled off mainstreet , Next New Comment December 27, 2017 at 8:05 am GMT
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.

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.

LondonBob , December 27, 2017 at 11:40 am GMT
@anonymous

Rather obvious Steele made it all up.

[Dec 25, 2017] Trump-Russia inquiry- Why attacks on Robert Mueller are mounting by Anthony Zurcher

The interests and sympathies of British government are clear form this peace:they are definitely afraid about reopening Clinton investigation. If British government was behind Steele dossier that was a very dirty job.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
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.

Media caption President Trump renews attack on 'disgraceful' FBI

"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".

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.

Marital woes

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 25, 2017] Let him do his job : Forty former government officials and attorneys pen letters telling President Trump that firing Robert Mueller would lead to severe repercussions

Notable quotes:
"... 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 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 25, 2017] Was The Steele Dossier The FBI's Insurance Policy

Notable quotes:
"... Even though the FISA warrant targeting Page is classified and the FBI and DOJ have resisted informing Congress about it, some of its contents were illegally and selectively leaked to the Washington Post in April 2017 by sources described as "law enforcement and other U.S. officials." According to the Post: ..."
"... Among other things, the application cited contacts that he had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, officials said. Those contacts had earlier surfaced in a federal espionage case brought by the Justice Department against the intelligence operative and two other Russian agents. In addition, the application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed, officials said. ..."
"... I've emphasized that last portion because it strongly implies that the FISA application included information from the Steele dossier. ..."
"... Do not be confused by the fact that, by the time of this Post report, the Steele-dossier allegations had already been disclosed to the public by BuzzFeed (in January 2017). The Post story is talking about what the DOJ and FBI put in the FISA application back in September 2016. At that time, the meetings alleged in the dossier had not been publicly disclosed. ..."
"... given that Page has not been accused of a crime, and that the DOJ and FBI would have to have alleged some potential criminal activity to justify a FISA warrant targeting the former U.S. naval intelligence officer, it certainly seems likely that the Steele dossier was the source of this allegation. ..."
"... In conclusion, while there is a dearth of evidence to date that the Trump campaign colluded in Russia's cyber -spionage attack on the 2016 election, there is abundant evidence that the Obama administration colluded with the Clinton campaign to use the Steele dossier as a vehicle for court-authorized monitoring of the Trump campaign -- and to fuel a pre-election media narrative that U.S. intelligence agencies believed Trump was scheming with Russia to lift sanctions if he were elected president. Congress should continue pressing for answers, and President Trump should order the Justice Department and FBI to cooperate rather than -- what's the word? -- resist. ..."
"... The "insurance policy" is either an assassination plot, coup d'etat or other forcible method of removing Trump from office (25th Amendment). Period. ..."
"... Clinton was supposed to win and all the corruption was to remain hidden. They are scambling to hide all this crap because shit is about to hit the fan. ..."
"... Think there is much more than just this one piece but yes, she and they were so arrogant they didn't bother to even try to win. They were entitled. And maybe this New Year will illustrate just how dangerously close they brought us to the edge. ..."
"... These fucks destroyed the rule of law when they decided to selectively enforce it when politically convenient. And when they conspired to take advantage of legal processes to overthrow the elected government. ..."
"... They really can't answer the question WHAT besides the Dossier could be the reason for this witch hunt. Crooked obviously knew of Dossier because in the debates she called my man " Putin's Puppet"....This is incompetency and politics that calls into question everything these people did..It's embarrasing and criminal. ..."
Dec 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

According to the now-infamous text message sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok to his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, it was in McCabe's office that top FBI counterintelligence officials discussed what they saw as the frightening possibility of a Trump presidency.

That was during the stretch run of the 2016 campaign, no more than a couple of weeks after they started receiving the Steele dossier -- the Clinton campaign's opposition-research reports, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, about Trump's purportedly conspiratorial relationship with Vladimir Putin's regime in Russia.

Was it the Steele dossier that so frightened the FBI? I think so.

There is a great deal of information to follow. But let's cut to the chase: The Obama-era FBI and Justice Department had great faith in Steele because he had previously collaborated with the bureau on a big case. Plus, Steele was working on the Trump-Russia project with the wife of a top Obama Justice Department official, who was personally briefed by Steele. The upper ranks of the FBI and DOJ strongly preferred Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, to the point of overlooking significant evidence of her felony misconduct, even as they turned up the heat on Trump. In sum, the FBI and DOJ were predisposed to believe the allegations in Steele's dossier. Because of their confidence in Steele, because they were predisposed to believe his scandalous claims about Donald Trump, they made grossly inadequate efforts to verify his claims. Contrary to what I hoped would be the case, I've come to believe Steele's claims were used to obtain FISA surveillance authority for an investigation of Trump.

There were layers of insulation between the Clinton campaign and Steele -- the campaign and the Democratic party retained a law firm, which contracted with Fusion GPS, which in turn hired the former spy. At some point, though, perhaps early on, the FBI and DOJ learned that the dossier was actually a partisan opposition-research product. By then, they were dug in. No one, after all, would be any the wiser: Hillary would coast to victory, so Democrats would continue running the government; FISA materials are highly classified, so they'd be kept under wraps. Just as it had been with the Obama-era's Fast and Furious and IRS scandals, any malfeasance would remain hidden.

The best laid schemes . . . gang aft agley.

Why It Matters

Strzok's text about the meeting in McCabe's office is dated August 16, 2016. As we'll see, the date is important. According to Agent Strzok, with Election Day less than three months away, Page, the bureau lawyer, weighed in on Trump's bid: "There's no way he gets elected." Strzok, however, believed that even if a Trump victory was the longest of long shots, the FBI "can't take that risk." He insisted that the bureau had no choice but to proceed with a plan to undermine Trump's candidacy: "It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that, "according to people familiar with his account," Strzok meant that it was imperative that the FBI "aggressively investigate allegations of collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia." In laughable strawman fashion, the "people familiar with his account" assure the Journal that Strzok "didn't intend to suggest a secret plan to harm the candidate." Of course, no sensible person suspects that the FBI was plotting Trump's assassination; the suspicion is that, motivated by partisanship and spurred by shoddy information that it failed to verify, the FBI exploited its counterintelligence powers in hopes of derailing Trump's presidential run.

But what were these "allegations of collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia" that the FBI decided to "aggressively investigate"? The Journal doesn't say. Were they the allegations in the Steele dossier? That is a question I asked in last weekend's column. It is a question that was pressed by Chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) and Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee at Tuesday's sealed hearing. As I explained in the column, the question is critical for three reasons:

(1) The Steele dossier was a Clinton campaign product. If it was used by the FBI and the Obama Justice Department to obtain a FISA warrant, that would mean law-enforcement agencies controlled by a Democratic president fed the FISA court political campaign material produced by the Democratic candidate whom the president had endorsed to succeed him. Partisan claims of egregious scheming with an adversarial foreign power would have been presented to the court with the FBI's imprimatur, as if they were drawn from refined U.S. intelligence reporting. The objective would have been to spy on the opposition Republican campaign.

(2) In June of this year, former FBI director James Comey testified that the dossier was "salacious and unverified." While still director, Comey had described the dossier the same way when he briefed President-elect Trump on it in January 2017. If the dossier was still unverified as late as mid 2017, its allegations could not possibly have been verified months earlier, in the late summer or early autumn of 2016, when it appears that the FBI and DOJ used them in an application to the FISA court.

(3) The dossier appears to contain misinformation. Knowing he was a spy-for-hire trusted by Americans, Steele's Russian-regime sources had reason to believe that misinformation could be passed into the stream of U.S. intelligence and that it would be acted on -- and leaked -- as if it were true, to America's detriment. This would sow discord in our political system. If the FBI and DOJ relied on the dossier, it likely means they were played by the Putin regime.

How Could Something Like This Happen?

We do not have public confirmation that the dossier was, in fact, used by the bureau and the Justice Department to obtain the FISA warrant. Publicly, FBI and DOJ officials have thwarted the Congress with twaddle about protecting both intelligence sources and an internal inspector-general probe. Of course, Congress, which established and funds the DOJ and FBI, has the necessary security clearances to review classified information, has jurisdiction over the secret FISA court, and has independent constitutional authority to examine the activities of legislatively created executive agencies.

In any event, important reporting by Fox News' James Rosen regarding Tuesday's hearing indicates that the FBI did, in fact, credit the contents of the dossier. It appears, however, that the bureau corroborated few of Steele's claims, and at an absurdly high level of generality -- along the lines of: You tell me person A went to place X and committed a crime; I corroborate only that A went to X and blithely assume that because you were right about the travel, you must be right about the crime.

Here, the FBI was able to verify Steele's claim that Carter Page, a very loosely connected Trump-campaign adviser, had gone to Russia. This was not exactly meticulous gumshoe corroboration: Page told many people he was going to Russia, saw many people while there, and gave a speech at a prominent Moscow venue. Having verified only the travel information, the FBI appears to have credited the claims of Steele's anonymous Russian sources that Page carried out nigh-treasonous activities while in Russia.

How could something like this happen? Well, the FBI and DOJ liked and trusted Steele, for what seem to be good reasons. As the Washington Post has reported, the former MI-6 agent's private intelligence firm, Orbis, was retained by England's main soccer federation to investigate corruption at FIFA, the international soccer organization that had snubbed British bids to host the World Cup. In 2010, Steele delivered key information to the FBI's organized-crime liaison in Europe. This helped the bureau build the Obama Justice Department's most celebrated racketeering prosecution: the indictment of numerous FIFA officials and other corporate executives. Announcing the first wave of charges in May 2015, Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a point of thanking the investigators' "international partners" for their "outstanding assistance."

At the time, Bruce Ohr was the Obama Justice Department's point man for "Transnational Organized Crime and International Affairs," having been DOJ's long-serving chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. He also wore a second, top-echelon DOJ hat: associate deputy attorney general. That made him a key adviser to the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates (who later, as acting attorney general, was fired for insubordinately refusing to enforce President Trump's so-called travel ban). In the chain of command, the FBI reports to the DAG's office.

To do the Trump-Russia research, Steele had been retained by the research firm Fusion GPS (which, to repeat, had been hired by lawyers for the Clinton campaign and the DNC). Fusion GPS was run by its founder, former Wall Street Journal investigative journalist Glenn Simpson. Bruce Ohr's wife, Nellie, a Russia scholar, worked for Simpson at Fusion. The Ohrs and Simpson appear to be longtime acquaintances, dating back to when Simpson was a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. In 2010, all three participated in a two-day conference on international organized crime, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (see conference schedule and participant list, pp. 27 -- 30). In connection with the Clinton campaign's Trump-Russia project, Fusion's Nellie Ohr collaborated with Steele and Simpson, and DOJ's Bruce Ohr met personally with Steele and Simpson.

Manifestly, the DOJ and FBI were favorably disposed toward Steele and Fusion GPS. I suspect that these good, productive prior relationships with the dossier's source led the investigators to be less exacting about corroborating the dossier's claims.

But that is just the beginning of the bias story.

At a high level, the DOJ and FBI were in the tank for Hillary Clinton. In July 2016, shortly before Steele's reports started floating in, the FBI and DOJ announced that no charges would be brought against Mrs. Clinton despite damning evidence that she mishandled classified information, destroyed government files, obstructed congressional investigations, and lied to investigators. The irregularities in the Clinton-emails investigation are legion: President Obama making it clear in public statements that he did not want Clinton charged; the FBI, shortly afterwards, drafting an exoneration of Clinton months before the investigation ended and central witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed; investigators failing to use the grand jury to compel the production of key evidence; the DOJ restricting FBI agents in their lines of inquiry and examination of evidence; the granting of immunity to suspects who in any other case would be pressured to plead guilty and cooperate against more-culpable suspects; the distorting of criminal statutes to avoid applying them to Clinton; the sulfurous tarmac meeting between Attorney General Lynch and former President Clinton shortly before Mrs. Clinton was given a peremptory interview -- right before then -- FBI director Comey announced that she would not be charged.

The blatant preference for Clinton over Trump smacked of politics and self-interest. Deputy FBI director McCabe's wife had run for the Virginia state legislature as a Democrat, and her (unsuccessful) campaign was lavishly funded by groups tied to Clinton insider Terry McAuliffe. Agent Strzok told FBI lawyer Page that Trump was an "idiot" and that "Hillary should win 100 million to 0." Page agreed that Trump was "a loathsome human." A Clinton win would likely mean Lynch -- originally raised to prominence when President Bill Clinton appointed her to a coveted U.S. attorney slot -- would remain attorney general. Yates would be waiting in the wings.

The prior relationships of trust with the source; the investment in Clinton; the certitude that Clinton would win and deserved to win, signified by the mulish determination that she not be charged in the emails investigation; the sheer contempt for Trump. This concatenation led the FBI and DOJ to believe Steele -- to want to believe his melodramatic account of Trump-Russia corruption. For the faithful, it was a story too good to check.

The DOJ and FBI, having dropped a criminal investigation that undeniably established Hillary Clinton's national-security recklessness, managed simultaneously to convince themselves that Donald Trump was too much of a national-security risk to be president.

The Timeline

As I noted in last weekend's column, reports are that the FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant targeting Carter Page (no relation to Lisa Page). For a time, Page was tangentially tied to the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser -- he barely knew Trump. The warrant was reportedly obtained after the Trump campaign and Page had largely severed ties in early August 2016. We do not know exactly when the FISA warrant was granted, but the New York Times and the Washington Post have reported, citing U.S. government sources, that this occurred in September 2016 (see here, here, and here). Further, the DOJ and FBI reportedly persuaded the FISA court to extend the surveillance after the first warrant's 90-day period lapsed -- meaning the spying continued into Trump's presidency.

The FBI and DOJ would have submitted the FISA application to the court shortly before the warrant was issued. In the days-to-weeks prior to petitioning the court, the FISA application would have been subjected to internal review at the FBI -- raising the possibility that FBI lawyer Page was in the loop reviewing the investigative work of Agent Strzok, with whom she was having an extramarital affair. There would also have been review at the Justice Department -- federal law requires that the attorney general approve every application to the FISA court.

Presumably, these internal reviews would have occurred in mid-to-late August -- around the time of the meeting in McCabe's office referred to in Strzok's text. Thus, we need to understand the relevant events before and after mid-to-late August. Here is a timeline.

June 2016

In June 2016, Steele began to generate the reports that collectively are known as the "dossier."

In the initial report, dated June 20, 2016, Steele alleged that Putin's regime had been "cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years." (Steele's reports conform to the FBI and intelligence-agency reporting practice of rendering names of interest in capital letters.) The Kremlin was said to have significant blackmail material that could be used against Trump.

In mid-to-late June 2016, according to Politico, Carter Page asked J. D. Gordon, his supervisor on the Trump campaign's National Security Advisory Committee, for permission to go on a trip to Russia in early July. Gordon advised against it. Page then sent an email to Corey Lewandowski, who was Trump's campaign manager until June 20, and Hope Hicks, the Trump campaign spokeswoman, seeking permission to go on the trip. Word came back to Page by email that he could go, but only in his private capacity, not as a representative of the Trump campaign. Lewandowski says he has never met Carter Page.

July 2016

Page, a top-of-the-class graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with various other academic distinctions, traveled to Moscow for a three-day trip, the centerpiece of which was a July 7 commencement address at the New Economic School (the same institution at which President Obama gave a commencement address on July 7, 2009). The New York Times has reported, based on leaks from "current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials," that Page's July trip to Moscow "was a catalyst for the F.B.I. investigation into connections between Russia and President Trump's campaign." The Times does not say what information the FBI had received that made the Moscow trip such a "catalyst."

Was it the Steele dossier?

Well, on July 19, Steele reported that, while in Moscow, Page had held secret meetings with two top Putin confederates, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin. Steele claimed to have been informed by "a Russian source close to" Sechin, the president of Russia's energy conglomerate Rosneft, that Sechin had floated to Page the possibility of "US-Russia energy co-operation" in exchange for the "lifting of western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine." Page was said to have reacted "positively" but in a manner that was "non-committal."

Another source, apparently Russian, told Steele that "an official close to" Putin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov had confided to "a compatriot" that Igor Diveykin (of the "Internal Political Department" of Putin's Presidential Administration) had also met with Page in Moscow. (Note the dizzying multiple-hearsay basis of this information.) Diveykin is said to have told Page that the regime had "a dossier of 'kompromat'" -- compromising information -- on Hillary Clinton that it would consider releasing to Trump's "campaign team." Diveykin further "hinted (or indicated more strongly) that the Russian leadership also had 'kompromat' on TRUMP which the latter should bear in mind in his dealings with them."

The hacked DNC emails were first released on July 22, shortly before the Democratic National Convention, which ran from July 25 through 28.

In "late July 2016," Steele claimed to have been told by an "ethnic Russian close associate of . . . TRUMP" that there was a "well-developed conspiracy of co-operation" between "them" (apparently meaning Trump's inner circle) and "the Russian leadership." The conspiracy was said to be "managed on the TRUMP side by the Republican candidate's campaign manager, Paul MANAFORT, who was using foreign policy adviser, Carter PAGE, and others as intermediaries."

The same source claimed that the Russian regime had been behind the leak of DNC emails "to the WikiLeaks platform," an operation the source maintained "had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team." As a quid pro quo, "the TRUMP team" was said to have agreed (a) "to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue," and (b) to raise the failure of NATO nations to meet their defense commitments as a distraction from Russian aggression in Ukraine, "a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject."

Late July to Early August 2016

The Washington Post has reported that Steele's reports were first transmitted "by an intermediary" to the FBI and other U.S. intelligence officials after the Democratic National Convention (which, to repeat, ended on July 28). The intermediary is not identified. We do not know if it was Fusion, though that seems likely given that Fusion shared its work with government and non-government entities. Steele himself is also said to have contacted "a friend in the FBI" about his research after the Democratic convention. As we've seen, Steele made bureau friends during the FIFA investigation.

August 2016

On August 11, as recounted in the aforementioned Wall Street Journal report, FBI agent Strzok texted the following message to FBI lawyer Page: "OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE WE ARE SERIOUSLY LOOKING AT THESE ALLEGATIONS AND THE PERVASIVE CONNECTIONS." The Journal does not elaborate on what "allegations" Strzok was referring to, or the source of those allegations.

On August 15, Strzok texted Page about the meeting in deputy FBI director McCabe's office at which it was discussed that the bureau "can't take that risk" of a Trump presidency and needed something akin to an "insurance policy" even though Trump's election was thought highly unlikely.

September 2016

Reporting indicates that sometime in September 2016, the DOJ and FBI applied to the FISA court for a warrant to surveil Carter Page, and that the warrant was granted.

Interestingly, on September 23, 2016, Yahoo's Michael Isikoff reported on leaks he had received that the U.S. government was conducting an intelligence investigation to determine whether Carter Page, as a Trump adviser, had opened up a private communications channel with such "senior Russian officials" as Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin to discuss lifting economic sanctions if Trump became president.

It is now known that Isikoff's main source for the story was Fusion's Glenn Simpson. Isikoff's report is rife with allegations found in the dossier, although the dossier is not referred to as such; it is described as "intelligence reports" that "U.S. officials" were actively investigating -- i.e., Steele's reports were described in a way that would lead readers to assume they were official U.S. intelligence reports. But there clearly was official American government involvement: Isikoff's story asserts that U.S. officials were briefing members of Congress about these allegations that Page was meeting with Kremlin officials on Trump's behalf. The story elaborated that "questions about Page come amid mounting concerns within the U.S. intelligence community about Russian cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee." Those would be the cyberattacks alleged -- in the dossier on which Congress was being briefed -- to be the result of a Trump-Russia conspiracy in which Page was complicit.

Isikoff obviously checked with his government sources to verify what Simpson had told him about the ongoing investigation that was based on these "intelligence reports." His story recounts that "a senior U.S. law enforcement official" confirmed that Page's alleged contacts with Russian officials were "on our radar screen. . . . It's being looked at."

Final Points to Consider

After his naval career, Page worked in investing, including several years at Merrill Lynch in Moscow. As my column last weekend detailed, he has been an apologist for the Russian regime, championing appeasement for the sake of better U.S. -- Russia relations. Page has acknowledged that, during his brief trip to Moscow in July 2016, he ran into some Russian government officials, among many old Russian friends and acquaintances. Yet he vehemently denies meeting with Sechin and Diveykin. (While Sechin's name is well known to investors in the Russian energy sector, Page says that he has never met him and that he had never even heard Diveykin's name until the Steele dossier was publicized in early 2017.)

Furthermore, Page denies even knowing Paul Manafort, much less being used by Manafort as an intermediary between the Trump campaign and Russia. Page has filed a federal defamation lawsuit against the press outlets that published the dossier, has denied the dossier allegations in FBI interviews, and has reportedly testified before the grand jury in Robert Mueller's special-counsel investigation.

Even though the FISA warrant targeting Page is classified and the FBI and DOJ have resisted informing Congress about it, some of its contents were illegally and selectively leaked to the Washington Post in April 2017 by sources described as "law enforcement and other U.S. officials." According to the Post:

The government's application for the surveillance order targeting Page included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators' basis for believing that Page was an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow, officials said.

Among other things, the application cited contacts that he had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, officials said. Those contacts had earlier surfaced in a federal espionage case brought by the Justice Department against the intelligence operative and two other Russian agents. In addition, the application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed, officials said.

I've emphasized that last portion because it strongly implies that the FISA application included information from the Steele dossier. That is, when the Post speaks of Page's purported "other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed," this is very likely a reference to the meetings with Sechin and Diveykin that Page denies having had -- the meetings described in the dossier. Do not be confused by the fact that, by the time of this Post report, the Steele-dossier allegations had already been disclosed to the public by BuzzFeed (in January 2017). The Post story is talking about what the DOJ and FBI put in the FISA application back in September 2016. At that time, the meetings alleged in the dossier had not been publicly disclosed.

Two final points.

Under federal surveillance law (sec. 1801 of Title 50, U.S. Code), the probable-cause showing the government must make to prove that a person is an agent of a foreign power is different for Americans than for aliens. If the alleged agent is an alien, section 1801(b)(1) applies, and this means that no crime need be established; the government need only show that the target is acting on behalf of a foreign power in the sense of abetting its clandestine anti-American activities.

By contrast, if the alleged agent is an American citizen, such as Page, section 1801(b)(2) applies: The government must show not only that the person is engaged in clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign power but also that these activities

All of these involve evidence of a crime.

The only known suspicions about Page that have potential criminal implications are the allegations in the dossier, which potentially include hacking, bribery, fraud, and racketeering -- if Russia were formally considered an enemy of the United States, they would include treason. The FBI always has information we do not know about. But given that Page has not been accused of a crime, and that the DOJ and FBI would have to have alleged some potential criminal activity to justify a FISA warrant targeting the former U.S. naval intelligence officer, it certainly seems likely that the Steele dossier was the source of this allegation.

In conclusion, while there is a dearth of evidence to date that the Trump campaign colluded in Russia's cyber -spionage attack on the 2016 election, there is abundant evidence that the Obama administration colluded with the Clinton campaign to use the Steele dossier as a vehicle for court-authorized monitoring of the Trump campaign -- and to fuel a pre-election media narrative that U.S. intelligence agencies believed Trump was scheming with Russia to lift sanctions if he were elected president. Congress should continue pressing for answers, and President Trump should order the Justice Department and FBI to cooperate rather than -- what's the word? -- resist.

NoDebt -> xrxs , Dec 24, 2017 11:40 PM

No way the "insurance policy" was this .... dossier. It had made the rounds for almost a year by then. It was a TOOL for then present-day activities (campaign propaganda and obtaining FISA warrants). Everyone knew it was floating around by then.

An insurance policy is something that activates based on a completely unexpected contingency- premature death. Does it seem to you that a bogus report that had been rattling around doing it's intended work for almost six months is that thing? Sure as shit doesn't sound like that to me.

The "insurance policy" is either an assassination plot, coup d'etat or other forcible method of removing Trump from office (25th Amendment). Period.

two hoots -> TeamDepends , Dec 24, 2017 11:06 PM

Could the FBI be that broke, that persuasive, that wreckless? I suspect it is mainly at the top politically appointed positions that take us down that road? Trouble is they take the full agency along with them. Congress has implicit responsibility here also.

This will take some serious unwinding to officially expose the truth that many know exist. Attaching names to these truths is the hard part. As painful as it may be a Watergate style investigation is in order. Justice must be served to demonstrate unacceptable, illegal, nation harming activity is not tolerated at any level. Without it we have reached moral nihilism.

Other

They must have thought Trump had a chance or why would they bother? Maybe not so sure of Hillary after all? Something don't add up with the surity of a Clinton presidency?

"On August 15, Strzok texted Page about the meeting in deputy FBI director McCabe's office at which it was discussed that the bureau "can't take that risk" of a Trump presidency ......."

At look at the late July/Aug polls: https://www.statista.com/chart/5502/trump-vs-clinton_-a-year-at-the-polls/

DeaconPews , Dec 24, 2017 10:02 PM

"At some point, though, perhaps early on, the FBI and DOJ learned that the dossier was actually a partisan opposition-research product. By then, they were dug in. No one, after all, would be any the wiser: Hillary would coast to victory, so Democrats would continue running the government; FISA materials are highly classified, so they'd be kept under wraps. Just as it had been with the Obama-era's Fast and Furious and IRS scandals, any malfeasance would remain hidden."

This is the entirety of the scandal. I've been saying it all along. ...Clinton was supposed to win and all the corruption was to remain hidden. They are scambling to hide all this crap because shit is about to hit the fan.

FoggyWorld -> DeaconPews , Dec 24, 2017 10:24 PM

Think there is much more than just this one piece but yes, she and they were so arrogant they didn't bother to even try to win. They were entitled. And maybe this New Year will illustrate just how dangerously close they brought us to the edge.

We do have things to be grateful for this evening though and just ZH itself has provided us with a space to vent, to cry, to laugh and now maybe to hope.

Merry Christmas to each and every one here - unseen but cared for friends.

otschelnik -> DeaconPews , Dec 24, 2017 11:22 PM

But here's the good news: Rosenstein, Wray and reportedly McCabe have all declined to answer if the golden shower dossier was used in the FISA warrant for surveillance of Carter Page, and/or Manafort. If the dossier WAS the reason and is now discredited oppo-research, then in all likelihood we're looking at huge FBI violation of due process, and a 'fruit of the poisoned tree' instance. That means that any evidence which could be used against Trump which originated from this surveillance would be thrown out of court. The FBI must know this.

Old556 , Dec 24, 2017 10:05 PM

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.

– Charles Louis de Secondat 1748

navy62802 -> Old556 , Dec 24, 2017 10:07 PM

These fucks destroyed the rule of law when they decided to selectively enforce it when politically convenient. And when they conspired to take advantage of legal processes to overthrow the elected government.

MuffDiver69 , Dec 24, 2017 10:42 PM

Reasoned article and McCarthy is a former Federal Prosecutor using what is recognized as standard operating procedures in these cases to figure this out. I've come to the same conclusion months back. He obviously has a reputation and can't just sling it... They really can't answer the question WHAT besides the Dossier could be the reason for this witch hunt. Crooked obviously knew of Dossier because in the debates she called my man " Putin's Puppet"....This is incompetency and politics that calls into question everything these people did..It's embarrasing and criminal.

enough of this , Dec 24, 2017 10:44 PM

The Federal Bureau of Indiscretion

http://investmentwatchblog.com/peter-strzok-the-fbis-forrest-gump/

[Dec 25, 2017] The Federal Bureau of Indiscretion

The question is when does Opposition Research cross the line and become criminal conduct.
Notable quotes:
"... By now, most Americans paying attention have heard about Peter Strzok, one of the FBI's lead investigators on the Hillary Clinton email case and the Trump – Russia collusion probe. Strzok was second-in-command of counterintelligence at the FBI. He, single-handedly, put a dark cloud over the integrity of the two investigations when it was recently disclosed that he had exchanged thousands of politically-charged text messages with his mistress, Lisa Page, a senior FBI attorney. The couple used FBI-supplied cell phones to transmit and receive the text messages ..."
Dec 25, 2017 | investmentwatchblog.com

By now, most Americans paying attention have heard about Peter Strzok, one of the FBI's lead investigators on the Hillary Clinton email case and the Trump – Russia collusion probe. Strzok was second-in-command of counterintelligence at the FBI. He, single-handedly, put a dark cloud over the integrity of the two investigations when it was recently disclosed that he had exchanged thousands of politically-charged text messages with his mistress, Lisa Page, a senior FBI attorney. The couple used FBI-supplied cell phones to transmit and receive the text messages . The House Judiciary Committee requested copies of all the text messages from the Department of Justice but only received a small fraction of them.

Numerous text messages show, in explicit detail, that Strzok and Page were big fans of Hillary Clinton during the time she was being investigated for violations of the Espionage Act and while she was campaigning to be president of the U.S. The messages also show the utter contempt they had for Clinton's opponent, Donald Trump.

When Robert Mueller, special prosecutor in the Trump – Russia collusion investigation, learned about the existence of these text messages last July, he removed Peter Strzok from his team of investigators. Strzok was re-assigned to the FBI's human resources department and is still on the payroll.

After the name of FBI agent Peter Strzok catapulted above the fold, we learned more about his wide-ranging assignments at the FBI.

Two months prior to then FBI Director, James Comey's formal exoneration of Hillary Clinton, Strzok edited Comey's draft exoneration letter and suggested key changes that watered down the allegations against her.

Strzok was present at the FBI's interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016. Clinton wasn't put under oath prior to her questioning nor was the proceeding recorded, making the softball interrogation a farce.

Strzok also interviewed Clinton associates, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Miller, the previous month. These interrogations have been roundly criticized by legal authorities as nothing more than a charade because it is unheard of to have two potential witnesses present at the same interview.

Strzok was selected to be a key investigator on Mueller's team looking into potential collusion between President Trump and Russia. He participated in the interview of Michael Flynn, President Trump's short-lived National Security Advisor, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with the Mueller probe.

Strzok is suspected of being responsible for using an unverified dossier to obtain a FISA warrant in order to spy on President Trump's campaign.
In one particularly disturbing text message Strzok refers to an insurance policy of some kind if Trump should be elected, which could be the genesis of the current Trump – Russia collusion probe, which is yet to yield any hard evidence of collusion.

Apparently, super-agent Peter Strzok was a very busy man at the Bureau and the go-to guy on high-profile cases involving political figures.

A senior investigator, who expresses extreme opinions about politicians while he is investigating them, degrades his ability to be objective. One would have to be in deep denial to believe that Strzok's political sentiments didn't influence his handling of the Clinton case. Strzok's kid glove treatment of Clinton and her aides during their interviews and his edits of Comey's draft exoneration document are completely consistent with his favorable political view of Clinton.

It boggles the mind to think that senior FBI officials, like Strzok and Page, would be foolish enough to leave an electronic trail of their political proclivities. It is a gross understatement to say that they should have known better. Apparently, they and others in the Department of Justice never thought such conflicts of interest would ever be exposed because they were thoroughly convinced Hillary Clinton would be the next president and their next boss. They committed the mortal sin of presumption and are suffering the consequences. Presumption coupled with a monumental lack of discretion increases the chances that a scandal will ensue and that's exactly what happened in this case.

Although Peter Strzok was highly regarded within the Bureau, no one ever heard of him until he became an overnight media sensation along with his paramour, Lisa Page. As damning as the flurry of text messages is to the probity of high-profile criminal investigations, it may only be the beginning salvo in a barrage of shattering revelations because there are thousands of his text messages that haven't been released yet. The small fraction that have been submitted to congress were partially redacted. Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, is also seeking Strzok's text messages under the Freedom of Information Act. And the House Judiciary Committee intends to subpoena Strzok to testify under oath.

The DOJ and the FBI have studiously resisted requests for information by claiming the matter is still under investigation or would compromise intelligence methods and sources, if the records were released. They say Justice Department Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, is reviewing the FBI's handling of investigations relating to the presidential election. Therefore, DOJ officials say congress will have to wait until the IG's review is finished, giving the IG precedence over congressional oversight. The extreme reluctance of the DOJ and the FBI to be forthcoming seems to be motivated by a sense of self-preservation more than anything else given the can of worms Strzok's text messages has opened. This thing could easily metastasize into a mega-scandal that undermines our justice system at its core.

At the center of this escalating controversy is Mr. Strzok, who is a veritable one-man band. As the FBI's lead investigator, the guy was all over the place. When James Comey sought input on the draft Clinton exoneration letter, he solicited and accepted Strzok's recommendations. Strzok responded with a now-infamous turn-of-phrase. He suggested that Comey change "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless" when describing Clinton's handling of classified information. Strzok also watered down Comey's statement that it's "reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email account." Strzok thought it would be less harmful to say "possible" than "reasonably likely" when characterizing our enemies' potential access to hacked classified information.

See http://investmentwatchblog.com/extremely-careless-or-grossly-negligent-an-fbi-conspiracy-to-obstruct-justice/

Despite being indiscrete with his political views, Peter Strzok appears to be a very bright individual whose counsel was avidly sought and valued by the top echelon of the FBI. In this respect, he was a lot like Mark Fuhrman, who was the most alert detective on the OJ Simpson case, seemingly everywhere at the crime scenes. Ultimately, Fuhrman was accused of being prejudiced against blacks and decided to take the Fifth during the Simpson trial. Strzok may face a similar fate, except his biases run toward politics.

Like Forrest Gump, the slow-witted protagonist in the eponymous Academy Award winning film, Strzok was everywhere at defining points in the high-profile FBI investigations of a sitting president and a would-be president. Unlike Forrest Gump, however, Strzok is anything but slow-witted. Unfortunately, he let his political predilections affect his law enforcement duties, which is anathema to the bedrock principle of equal justice under the law.

If the bulk of Strzok's text messages, when released, show that the FBI associates with whom he communicated had a similar rabid disdain or excessive adoration for those they were investigating, then the cases they were involved with would be tainted and compromised. And the premier investigatory body in the world will be derided as the Federal Bureau of Indiscretion.

Honest rank-and-file FBI agents deserve better. They shouldn't have to report to corrupt leaders who play politics and sully the Bureau's reputation. If FBI agents see something, they should say something. The evidence and only the evidence should dictate how the law is applied. To do otherwise is a travesty of justice.

[Dec 24, 2017] GOP Rep Gaetz We Have Email Evidence From Andrew McCabe Indicating That Hillary Clinton Was Going to Get a HQ Special

Notable quotes:
"... we have email evidence from Andrew McCabe indicating that Hillary Clinton was going to get an 'HQ Special,' a headquarters special. ..."
"... he had a very small group of people that had a pro-Hillary Clinton bias who had a direct role in changing that investigation from one that likely should have been criminal to one where she was able to walk. And so I think that we've gotta ensure that that never happens again, that the same processes that would apply to any American would also apply to people who were running for president of the United States ..."
"... Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor ..."
Dec 24, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

Friday on FNC's "America's Newsroom," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said a congressional committee had evidence FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe indicated Hillary Clinton was going to get an "HQ special" regarding the investigation of her unauthorized email server and ties to the Clinton Foundation during her tenure as secretary of state.

Gaetz, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, described the circumstances at the FBI regarding the investigation as "extreme pro-Hillary Clinton bias."

"The Judiciary Committee is engaged in an investigation, particularly as it relates to the handling of the Hillary Clinton email scandal and any potential investigations of the Clinton Foundation and the handling of bribes or other types of improper payments," Gaetz said. "I can certainly say that my impression after these interviews is that there was extreme pro-Hillary Clinton bias that benefitted her in this investigation and that she received special treatment as a consequence of her candidacy for president. That shouldn't happen. The law should apply equally to all Americans whether they're political candidates or not. And so, we need to institute reforms through the Judiciary Committee for more oversight, for more transparency so that this never happens again."

He went on explain that it was the committee's intention to find out if there was a departure from standard "procedures."

"[O]ur view is we need to find out if whether or not the procedures were departed from," he added. "And we have email evidence from Andrew McCabe indicating that Hillary Clinton was going to get an 'HQ Special,' a headquarters special. That meant that the normal processes of the Washington field office weren't followed and he had a special. And he had a very small group of people that had a pro-Hillary Clinton bias who had a direct role in changing that investigation from one that likely should have been criminal to one where she was able to walk. And so I think that we've gotta ensure that that never happens again, that the same processes that would apply to any American would also apply to people who were running for president of the United States."

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

[Dec 23, 2017] A Break Down Of The Top FBI And DOJ Players. Possible Deep State!

Some people think that it now time to look closely into Mueller team.
Dec 23, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Some nice graphics, almost useless interview.

[Dec 23, 2017] Mueller himself who far from being a stand-up fellow with a spotless record, and an unshakable commitment to the rule of law

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 GMT

Please, 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.
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.
Anon , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 8:17 pm GMT
@Corvinus

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.

Anon , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm GMT
@Realist

"It should have never been started. Trump and his administration screwed themselves."
– Disagree.
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.

fnn , December 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm GMT
Relic Adlai Stevenson-type liberal law prof Jonathan Turley:

https://jonathanturley.org/2017/12/20/muellers-muscle-play-why-the-gsa-email-seizure-was-both-unprecedented-and-unnecessary/

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.

Anonymous , Disclaimer December 23, 2017 at 11:50 pm GMT
"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] FBI Reassigned Suspected Leaker And Comey Ally James Baker

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.

James Baker

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 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...

Ditto Mueller

Ditto McCabe

Ditto Baker

Ditto Rosenstein

Ditto Ohrr

And so many more...

Joe Davola -> ne-tiger , Dec 22, 2017 10:11 AM

And the DOJ attorney who was in the meetings with Ohr needs to be looked at also. From my post a week ago:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/fashion/weddings/trisha-anderson-charl...

who's husband was on the NSC

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:C0rbx2ui4ZcJ:https...

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

https://www.mofo.com/people/john-carlin.html

Wondering if Newmann's name would be found on some unmasking requests or he's gotten some texts from Strok/Page.

Abaco -> wmbz , Dec 22, 2017 2:02 PM

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.

[Dec 19, 2017] Former FBI agent spreads deliberate disinformation about Russia actions during Presidential elections

Yet another "national security parasite". Watt intentionally lied about wiretapping
Notable quotes:
"... "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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
Apr 03, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , April 03, 2017 at 04:50 PM

Putin 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

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2017/04/03/522503844/how-russian-twitter-bots-pumped-out-fake-news-during-the-2016-election

"How Russian Twitter Bots Pumped Out Fake News During The 2016 Election"

Listen 4:17

'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 18, 2017] Kellyanne Conway Says Fix Was In Against Trump In Fox News Interview That Alleged FBI Texts Evidence Of Coup

Notable quotes:
"... Watters' World, ..."
Dec 18, 2017 | www.yahoo.com

Conway appeared on Jesse Watters program, Watters' World, to talk about the newly revealed content of text messages sent between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

When asked what she thought they meant when they said "they need to protect America from Trump and need to have an insurance policy against his presidency," Conway tore into the investigation's credibility.

Trending: Trump and Putin Keep Calling Each Other for Praise, Discuss North Korea and Terrorism

"The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning, and they were pro-Hillary. We understand that people have political views but they are expressing theirs with such animus and such venom towards the now president of the United States they can't possibly be seen as objective or transparent or even-handed or fair," she said.

As she spoke, the banner below Conway and Watters screamed "A COUP IN AMERICA?"

Watters proceeded to ask "how dangerous" Conway thought it was that people were "plotting what appears to be some sort of subversion campaign" against Trump.

"It's toxic, it's lethal, and it may be fatal to the continuation of people arguing that that matter is since behind us, he won he's the president, and the Mueller investigation is something separate," she answered.

Conway then slammed critics for defending the integrity of the probe by alleging that Trump is against the FBI, repeating the claim that he isn't under investigation, "we're told."

Released on Tuesday, Strzok and Page's messages referred to Trump as an "idiot" and "douche. At one point, Strzok told Page he was considering "an insurance policy" if Trump were elected. Page had also told Strzok that maybe he was meant to "protect the country from that menace," according to records reviewed by Politico.

Watters assessed the texts as evidence of a coup, or sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from the government, in America.

"The investigation into Donald Trump's campaign has been crooked from the jump. But the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that's true, we have a coup on our hands in America," he said.

[Dec 17, 2017] Trump team claims Russia investigator unlawfully got emails

Notable quotes:
"... 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 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] Congressman Tells Rod Rosenstein That James Comey BROKE THE LAW then Rosenstein Agrees!

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] FBI Edits To Clinton Exoneration Go Far Beyond What Was Previously Known; Comey, McCabe, Strzok Implicated Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... 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." ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 ) ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... They have had a year to destroy the evidence. Why should the CIA controlled MSM report the truth? ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. Please identify which FBI employee edited the draft statement to remove the reference to the Intelligence Community . On what basis was this change made?
  5. 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?
  6. 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 AM

What did Obozo know and when did he know it

E.F. Mutton -> youarelost , Dec 15, 2017 9:04 AM

False Flag time - distraction needed ASAP

Bigly -> E.F. Mutton , Dec 15, 2017 9:14 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.

shitshitshit -> Bigly , Dec 15, 2017 9:16 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.

cheka -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 9:45 AM

applied neo-bolshevism

macholatte -> cheka , Dec 15, 2017 10:23 AM

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:

@realDonaldTrump
@PressSec
@KellyannePolls
@WhiteHouse


Does anybody know how to start an online petition?
Let's make some NOISE!!

Bay of Pigs -> macholatte , Dec 15, 2017 12:02 PM

Sadly, I don't see this story being reported anywhere this morning. Only the biggest scandal in American history. WTF?

11b40 -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 1:22 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.

grizfish -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 1:53 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.

ThePhantom -> grizfish , Dec 15, 2017 3:35 PM

The Media is "in on it" and just as culpabale.... everyone's fighting for their lives.

grizfish -> Bay of Pigs , Dec 15, 2017 4:29 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.

Lanka -> macholatte , Dec 15, 2017 2:27 PM

Tillerson is extremely incompetent in housecleaning. He needs to be replaced by Fred Kruger, Esq.

TerminalDebt -> cheka , Dec 15, 2017 12:43 PM

I guess we know now who the leaker was at the FBI and on the Mule's team

Joe Davola -> TerminalDebt , Dec 15, 2017 1:27 PM

I'm guessing the number of leakers is bigger than 1

eclectic syncretist -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 10:01 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?

Overfed -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 10:58 AM

I'm sure that Chaffets and Gowdy will hand down some very stern reprimands.

Mr. Universe -> Overfed , Dec 15, 2017 11:24 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.

Duane Norman -> Mr. Universe , Dec 15, 2017 11:31 AM

http://fmshooter.com/claiming-fbis-reputation-integrity-not-tatters-comp...

Yeah, but it won't make a difference.

Gardentoolnumber5 -> Overfed , Dec 15, 2017 3:12 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. imo

ThePhantom -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 3:38 PM

did you notice the story yesterday about "Russian hacker admits putin ordered him to steal dnc emials" ? someones worried about it....

grizfish -> ThePhantom , Dec 15, 2017 4:38 PM

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.

Bush Baby -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 11:37 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.

eclectic syncretist -> Bush Baby , Dec 15, 2017 11:57 AM

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.

rccalhoun -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 12:43 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 eradicated

Lanka -> rccalhoun , Dec 15, 2017 2:31 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.

shankster -> eclectic syncretist , Dec 15, 2017 4:11 PM

Does the US public have a consciousness?

lew1024 -> Bush Baby , Dec 15, 2017 2:54 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.

checkessential -> BennyBoy , Dec 15, 2017 1:00 PM

And they say President Trump obstructed justice for simply asking Comey if he could drop the Michael Flynn matter. Wow.

TommyD88 -> checkessential , Dec 15, 2017 1:09 PM

Alinsky 101: Accuse your opponent of that which you yourself are doing.

Overfed -> redmudhooch , Dec 15, 2017 2:47 PM

Getting rid of the FBI (and all other FLEAs) would be a good thing for all of us.

A Sentinel -> TommyD88 , Dec 15, 2017 2:13 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.

lurker since 2012 -> checkessential , Dec 15, 2017 4:09 PM

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.

Ramesees -> BaBaBouy , Dec 15, 2017 9:31 AM

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.

A Sentinel -> Ramesees , Dec 15, 2017 2:14 PM

Someone probably got fired for that.

ThePhantom -> Ramesees , Dec 15, 2017 3:41 PM

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 14, 2017] Trump Should Go F Himself - Texts Leak From FBI Agents On Russia Probe, Hillary Emails Investigation

Dec 14, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Fox reporter Shannon Brem tweeted that Fox News producer Jake Gibson has obtained 10k texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, one of which says "Trump should go f himself," and "F TRUMP."

... ... ...

In another tweet posted by Bream, Peter Strzok says "I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer ," and "I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!"

Page responds "I don't know, But we'll get it back. ..."

... ... ...

In another tweet posted by Bream, Peter Strzok says "I am riled up. Trump is a f*cking idiot, is unable to provide a coherrent answer ," and "I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAY THE F*CK HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY (redacted)??!?!"

Page responds "I don't know, But we'll get it back. ..."

... ... ...

The messages between Strzok and Page make it abundantly clear that the agents investigating both candidates for President were extremely biased against then-candidate Trump, while going extremely easy on Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information.

... ... ...

The messages sent between Strzok and Page, as well as Strzok's conduct in the Clinton investigation and several prior cases are now under review for political bias by the Justice Department . Furthermore, the fact that the reason behind Strzok's firing was kept a secret for months is of keen interest to House investigators. According to Fox News two weeks ago :

"While Strzok's removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators."

"Responding to the revelations about Strzok's texts on Saturday, Nunes said he has now directed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and the new FBI director, Christopher Wray." -Fox News

Strzok also relied on the Trump-Russia dossier created by opposition research firm Fusion GPS. In August, 2016 - nine months before Robert Mueller's Special Counsel was launched, the New York Times reported that Strzok was hand picked by FBI brass to supervise an investigation into allegations of Trump-Russia collusion . The FBI investigation grew legs after they received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and decided to act on its salacious and largely unproven claims, According to Fox News

House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. - Fox News

Weeks before the 2016 election, Peter Strzok's FBI team agreed to pay former MI6 agent and Fusion GPS operative Christopher Steele $50,000 if he could verify the claims contained within the dossier - which relied on the cooperation of two senior Kremlin officials.

... ... ...

When Steele was unable to verify the claims in the dossier, the FBI wouldn't pay him according to the New York Times .

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing "fallout" over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving "conflicting advice" on what to do.

The agent said that, if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT

Did you catch that? Despite the fact that Steele was not paid by the FBI for the dossier, Peter Strzok used it to launch a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's team . Steele was ultimately paid $168,000 by Fusion GPS to assemble the dossier.

There's more - according to journalist Sara Carter there are more anti-Trump messages exchanged between other members of Mueller's team

Sean Hannity: I'm hearing rumors all over the place Sara Carter that there are other anti-Trump text-emails out there. And we know about them.

Sara Carter: I think you're hearing correctly Sean and I think a lot more is going to come out. In fact, I know a lot more is going to come out based on the sources I've spoken to.

... ... ...

The text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are highly compromising , and prove that both FBI investigations into Clinton and Trump were headed by a man, aided by his mistress, who did not want to see Trump win the White House. Furthermnore, if anti-Trump text messages were exchanged between other members of Robert Mueller's special counsel, which are apparently on deck for later this month or January, it's hard to imagine anyone taking anything concluded by this dog-and-pony show seriously.

Mr. Universe -> Slack Jack , Dec 13, 2017 11:46 AM

So let's see here, I'm looking for the parts about the FBI?/special investigation, or even anything relevant to the subject matter in your post Jack. Nope nothing there except a speculation about something that has long since passed and with no real way to determine actual facts. But hey thanks for taking up all the unused space here on the forum.

Back to revelant speculation...

Melissa Hodgman is the wife of the FBI scum. Guess what she does? She is head of the SEC enforcement division. I guess that's where 'ol Pete learned how to turn "grossly negligent" into "extremely careless". I guess that's good enough for the SEC so it should be good enough for the Effing Bee Eye.

silverserfer -> Joe Davola , Dec 13, 2017 12:20 PM

funny how two libtards who are cheating on their partners, can have the audacity to believe theyre the intelligent ones. Lost, hollow, carcases of human beings they are.

Sherpa Bill -> Pandelis , Dec 13, 2017 9:24 AM

You can not be serious. A FBI investigator can't let any bias influence their investigations regardless of their personal feelings one way or the other. This Agent saying that he was in a position to protect the country from Trump puts his bias on full display. I expect FBI agents to be all Joe Friday all of the time.

Ex-Oligarch -> Theosebes Goodfellow , Dec 13, 2017 1:21 PM

Smoking gun:

"protect the country" = sabotage the election and transition processes to preserve establishment dominance

thepigman -> overbet , Dec 13, 2017 8:59 AM

Strzok smoking-gun text:

" I can protect our country at many levels ."

RumpleShitzkin -> thepigman , Dec 13, 2017 9:34 AM

Close 2nd place...
Page responds "I don't know, But we'll get it back. ..."

100% proof of Conspiracy to commit treason
And naked Sedition
Prosecute. Slam dunk.

Watch a million assholes across DC pucker.

eclectic syncretist -> RumpleShitzkin , Dec 13, 2017 11:31 AM

Yes......the personal explanation of those comments should provide a great popcorn moment in this sideshow of what was once a great country.

Thought Processor -> jcaz , Dec 13, 2017 8:30 AM

Who killed Seth Rich? ...

NumberNone -> Thought Processor , Dec 13, 2017 10:11 AM

When law enforcement is taking pro-active actions to protect Hillary and insure her presidency...should anyone be shocked that a 'rat' inside her campaign gets murdered and no one cares?

... ... ...

Thought Processor -> NumberNone , Dec 13, 2017 12:34 PM

Sexual Blackmail rings have been around forever. Every 1st world clandestine intel agency has long since perfected these types of traps. Starts with basic Honey Traps and goes to kids and much worse crimes than sexual misconduct (think the Godfather when the Senator was set up at the Brothel and you get a good idea).

Before someone becomes a dependable tool you need to have them by the balls. It has been estimated that 1 in 3 politicians in D.C. are comprimised this way at some point during their career. This is how the CIA controls politicians outside the US. It gets quid pro quo from other intel agencies for internal control (Mossad, MI6, or other). It's an old game. Epstein is Mossad. The island is a trap outside of U.S. Why would alan dershowitz go there? Simple he was lured and trapped. Think about it, if you are in this dirty business, how do get a good Lawyer? Good lawyers who are 'committed' to your cause always come in handy.

This is how real power is and has been aquired. With power comes control.

putaipan -> Thought Processor , Dec 13, 2017 1:29 PM

donald rumsfeld- "The only things that are lasting are conflict, blackmail, and killing."

number of blackmail cases revealed, ever? none. if you wanna clear the swamp, it sounds like a good place to start.

awakeRewe -> jcaz , Dec 13, 2017 9:01 AM

"Two more Walmart greeters......"

You must be missing the point - these are some of the most intelligent investigators the world has to offer /s

Even a deplorable like me knew more that 15 years ago to never use work emails for anything personal. These people are arrogant clowns.

Kayman -> awakeRewe , Dec 13, 2017 9:22 AM

Of course, at the FBI, 2 agents having a covert affair, wouldn't rise to a real issue like providing fodder for blackmail by a foreign government.

The head of the FBI snake needs to be chopped off.

Criminal and disgusting.

how_this_stuff_works -> bobdog54 , Dec 13, 2017 9:49 AM

"Somebody, anybody PLEASE tell me how someone who can earn a JD, AND an attorney for the FBI, such as Lisa Page, can be a Clinton supporter?"

Oh, easy. People like Strzok and Page feel they are "above" the law, like the Clintons. And as lawyers, it is THEY who interpret the law.

Problem is, we just don't know--nor appreciate--the good they do on our behalf. /s

Son of Loki -> lester1 , Dec 13, 2017 8:39 AM

Fuck "demoted."

Fire them and promptly arrest them!

Chupacabra-322 -> lester1 , Dec 13, 2017 8:42 AM

@ Lester,

They cannot. The Criminal Deep State & their Presstitute Criminal appendages will pull out the "Dictators" Scripted False Narrative / PsyOp.

They're eating their own. Trump is giving these Criminals just enough rope to hang themselves with under their own Hubris.

This is Death by one thousand paper cuts.

unplugged -> Chupacabra-322 , Dec 13, 2017 8:51 AM

dead-on bro

they are backing themselves into a corner for which there is no escape except confession and a lighter sentence

Trump is the chess master

the swamp truely is fucked

lovin' it !

Chupacabra-322 -> unplugged , Dec 13, 2017 9:29 AM

@ unplugged,

They're "going all in." Doesn't matter what Hand the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the Deep State & their cohorts have been dealt.

Win, stolen or lost. They were going & are going "all in" with the PsyOp, Scripted False Narrative of Russia hacking the Elections / Russia / Putin / Trump Propaganda gone full retard via the Deep States Opeatives in the Presstitute Media.

The misconception is that individuals believe we are dealing with normal, sane human beings. We're not. Far from it. What we are dealing with are sick, twisted, Pure Evil Criminal, Psychopathic, Satanic / Lucerferian elements from the CIA / Pentagram Temple of Set Scum literally making Hell on Earth.

What's at Stake is the Deep State Global network of MultiNational Central Banking, Espionage, Murder, War, Torture, Destabilization Campaigns, BlackMail, Extortion, Child / Human Trafficking, Drug / Gun Running, Money Laundering, Corruption, NSA spying, Media control & control of the 17 Intelligence Agencies.

Most importantly, The Deep State controls all the distribution lines of the aforementioned. Especially the Coaxial Cable Communication lines of Espionage spying & Surveillance State Apparatus / Infrastructure.
Agencies all built on the British Model of Intelligence. Purely Evil & Highly Compartmentalized Levels which function as a Step Pyramid Model of Authority / Monarch Reign Pyramid Model of Authority.

That's what's at Stake. How this plays out is anyone's guess. The Pure Evil Criminal Psychopath Rogue elements of the Deep State will not go quietly. If not dealt with now, they'll disappear only to resurface at a later date with one objective:

Total Complete Full Spectrum World Domination they seek through Power & Control.

It's those Select Highly Compartmentalized Criminal Pure Evil Rogue Elements at the Deep State Top that have had control since the JFK Execution that have entrenched themselves for decades & refuse to relinquish Control.

This impure evil has been running the world since the time of the Pharoahs, it's ancient Babylonian mysticism/paganism and it is nothing more than the worship of Lucifer; it has never died out, it just re-emerges as something far more wicked, vile and sinister. They are all the sons and daughters of satan and do what he does - kill, steal and destroy.

It would be Nieve to think that hundreds of thousands of years of control over mankind be simply turned over by the Criminal Pure Evil Psychopathic Elite.
The Deep State will always exist.

However, the Pure Evil Criminal Psychopathic Highly Compartmentalized Rogue Levels of it are being delt with. Which is what the World is witnessing.

Trogdor -> lester1 , Dec 13, 2017 1:17 PM

"President Trump needs to do mass firings at the corrupt FBI/DOJ"

Firings? Firings are for Starbucks employees who dip into the cash register. When people afforded this level of "trust" and responsibility show how deeply corrupt they are - in that they openly aid and abet horrific criminals (HRC et al) they need to go to JAIL. FOREVER. And their supervisors - who goddamn well knew what the fuck they were doing - need to be their cellmates.

The FBI and DOJ have lost ALL integrity, honor, and moral authority. At this point, if I saw an FBI agent on fire, I wouldn't piss on him to put him out.

Disgusting.

[Dec 13, 2017] FBI agent removed from Russia investigation called Trump an 'idiot' by Associated Press

Associated Press tried to hide the fact that Peter Strzok was involved with Steele dossier
Dec 13, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
Two FBI officials who would later be assigned to the special counsel's investigation into Donald Trump's presidential campaign described him as an "idiot" and "loathsome human" in a series of text messages last year, according to copies released on Tuesday.

One said in an election night text that the prospect of a Trump victory was "terrifying".

Peter Strzok, an FBI counterintelligence agent, was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team earlier this year following the discovery of text messages exchanged with Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer.

[Dec 12, 2017] Thoughts on Neoconservatism and Neoliberalism by Hugh

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I got to thinking today about how neocon and neoliberal are becoming interchangeable terms. ..."
"... As neoconservatism developed, that is with Iraq and Afghanistan, the neocons even came to embrace nation building which had always been anathema to traditional conservatism. Neocons sold this primarily by casting nation building in military terms, the creation and training of police and security forces in the target country. ..."
"... 9/11 too was critical. It vastly increased the scope of the neocon project in spawning the Global War on Terror. It increased the stage of neocon operations to the entire planet. ..."
"... Politically, neoconservatism has become the bipartisan foreign policy consensus. Democrats are every bit as neocon in their views as Republicans. Only a few libertarians on the right and progressives on the left reject it. ..."
"... The roots of neoliberalism are the roots of kleptocracy. Both begin under Carter. Neoliberalism also known at various times and places as the Washington Consensus (under Clinton) and the Chicago School is the political expression for public consumption of the kleptocratic economic philosophy, just as libertarian and neoclassical economics (both fresh and salt water varieties) are its academic and governmental face. The central tenets of neoliberalism are deregulation, free markets, and free trade. If neoliberalism had a prophet or a patron saint, it was Milton Friedman. ..."
"... Again just as neoconservatism and kleptocracy or bipartisan so too is neoliberalism. There really is no daylight between Reaganism/supply side economics/trickledown on the Republican side and Clinton's Washington Consensus or Team Obama on the other. ..."
"... The distinctions between neoconservatism and neoliberalism are being increasingly lost, perhaps because most of our political classes are practitioners of both. ..."
"... At the same time, neoliberalism went from domestic to global, and here I am not just thinking about neoliberal experiments, like Pinochet's Chile or post-Soviet Russia, but the financialization of the world economy and the adoption of kleptocracy as the world economic model. ..."
"... I'm now under the opinion that you can't talk about any of the "neo-isms" without talking about the corporate state. ..."
"... With neocons, it manifests itself through the military-industrial complex (Boeing, Raytheon, etc.), and with neolibs it manifests itself through finance and industrial policy. ..."
"... But each leg has two components, a statist component and a corporate component. ..."
"... It also explains why economic/financial interests (neolib) are now considered national security interests (neocon). The viability of the state is now tied to the viability of the corporation. ..."
"... Corporate/statist (not sure "corporate" captures the looting/rentier aspect though). We see it everywhere, for example in the revolving door. ..."
"... I think you could also make the argument that Obama is perhaps the most ideal combination of neolib & neocon. ..."
"... A reading of the classical liberal economists puts some breaks on the markets, corporations, etc. Neoliberalism goes to the illogical extremes of market theory and iirc, has some influence from the Austrian school ... which gives up on any pretense of scientific exposition of economics or rationality at the micro level, assuming that irrationality will magically become rational behavior in aggregate. ..."
"... Therefore, US conservatives post Eisenhower but especially post Reagan are almost certainly economic neoliberals. Since Clinton, liberals/Democrats have been too (at least the elected ones). You nailed neoconservative and both parties are in foreign policy since at least Clinton ... though here lets not forget to go back as far as JFK and his extreme anti-Communism that led to all sorts of covert operations, The Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Remember, the Soviets put the missiles in Cuba because we put missiles in Turkey and they backed down from Cuba because we agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey; Nikita was nice enough not to talk about that so that Kennedy didn't lose face. ..."
"... Perhaps it should be pointed out that the Clintons became fabulously wealthy just after Bill left office, mostly on the strength of his speaking engagements for the financial sector that he'd just deregulated. ..."
"... The unfortunate fact of the matter is that at that level of politics, the levers of money and power work equally well on both party's nomenklatura. They flock to it like moths to porch light. ..."
"... "Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ..."
Aug 19, 2012 | Corrente

I got to thinking today about how neocon and neoliberal are becoming interchangeable terms. They did not start out that way. My understanding is they are ways of rationalizing breaks with traditional conservatism and liberalism. Standard conservatism was fairly isolationist. Conservatism's embrace of the Cold War put it at odds with this tendency. This was partially resolved by accepting the Cold War as a military necessity despite its international commitments but limiting civilian programs like foreign aid outside this context and rejecting the concept of nation building altogether.

With the end of the Cold War conservative internationalism needed a new rationale, and this was supplied by the neoconservatives. They advocated the adoption of conservatism's Cold War military centered internationalism as the model for America's post-Cold War international relations. After all, why drop a winning strategy? America had won the Cold War against a much more formidable opponent than any left on the planet. What could go wrong?

America's ability not simply to project but its willingness to use military power was equated with its power more generally. If America did not do this, it was weak and in decline. However, the frequent use of military power showed that America was great and remained the world's hegemon. In particular, the neocons focused on the Middle East. This sales pitch gained them the backing of both supporters of Israel (because neoconservatism was unabashedly pro-Israel) and the oil companies. The military industrial complex was also on board because the neocon agenda effectively countered calls to reduce military spending. But neoconservatism was not just confined to these groups. It appealed to both believers in American exceptionalism and backers of humanitarian interventions (of which I once was one).

As neoconservatism developed, that is with Iraq and Afghanistan, the neocons even came to embrace nation building which had always been anathema to traditional conservatism. Neocons sold this primarily by casting nation building in military terms, the creation and training of police and security forces in the target country.

9/11 too was critical. It vastly increased the scope of the neocon project in spawning the Global War on Terror. It increased the stage of neocon operations to the entire planet. It effectively erased the distinction between the use of military force against countries and individuals. Individuals more than countries became targets for military, not police, action. And unlike traditional wars or the Cold War itself, this one would never be over. Neoconservatism now had a permanent raison d'être.

Politically, neoconservatism has become the bipartisan foreign policy consensus. Democrats are every bit as neocon in their views as Republicans. Only a few libertarians on the right and progressives on the left reject it.

Neoliberalism, for its part, came about to address the concern of liberals, especially Democrats, that they were too anti-business and too pro-union, and that this was hurting them at the polls. It was sold to the rubiat as pragmatism.

The roots of neoliberalism are the roots of kleptocracy. Both begin under Carter. Neoliberalism also known at various times and places as the Washington Consensus (under Clinton) and the Chicago School is the political expression for public consumption of the kleptocratic economic philosophy, just as libertarian and neoclassical economics (both fresh and salt water varieties) are its academic and governmental face. The central tenets of neoliberalism are deregulation, free markets, and free trade. If neoliberalism had a prophet or a patron saint, it was Milton Friedman.

Again just as neoconservatism and kleptocracy or bipartisan so too is neoliberalism. There really is no daylight between Reaganism/supply side economics/trickledown on the Republican side and Clinton's Washington Consensus or Team Obama on the other.

And just as we saw with neoconservatism, neoliberalism expanded from its core premises and effortlessly transitioned into globalization, which can also be understood as global kleptocracy.

The distinctions between neoconservatism and neoliberalism are being increasingly lost, perhaps because most of our political classes are practitioners of both. But initially at least neoconservatism was focused on foreign policy and neoliberalism on domestic economic policy. As the War on Terror expanded, however, neoconservatism came back home with the creation and expansion of the surveillance state.

At the same time, neoliberalism went from domestic to global, and here I am not just thinking about neoliberal experiments, like Pinochet's Chile or post-Soviet Russia, but the financialization of the world economy and the adoption of kleptocracy as the world economic model.

jest on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 5:55am

I'm now under the opinion that you can't talk about any of the "neo-isms" without talking about the corporate state.

That's really the tie that binds the two things you are speaking of.

With neocons, it manifests itself through the military-industrial complex (Boeing, Raytheon, etc.), and with neolibs it manifests itself through finance and industrial policy.

For example, you need the US gov't to bomb Iraq (Raytheon) in order to secure oil (Halliburton), which is priced & financed in US dollars (Goldman Sachs). It's like a 3-legged stool; if you remove one of these legs, the whole thing comes down. But each leg has two components, a statist component and a corporate component.

The entity that enables all of this is the corporate state.

It also explains why economic/financial interests (neolib) are now considered national security interests (neocon). The viability of the state is now tied to the viability of the corporation.

lambert on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 9:18am

Corporate/statist (not sure "corporate" captures the looting/rentier aspect though). We see it everywhere, for example in the revolving door.

I think the stool has more legs and is also more dynamic; more like Ikea furniture. For example, the press is surely critical in organizing the war.

But the yin/yang of neo-lib/neo-con is nice: It's as if the neo-cons handle the kinetic aspects (guns, torture) and the neo-libs handle the mental aspects (money, mindfuckery) but both merge (like Negronponte being on the board of Americans Select) over time as margins fall and decorative aspects like democratic institutions and academic freedom get stripped away. The state and the corporation have always been tied to each other but now the ties are open and visible (for example, fines are just a cost of doing business, a rent on open corruption.)

And then there's the concept of "human resource," that abstracts all aspects of humanity away except those that are exploitable.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

jest on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:37pm

I like the term much better than Fascist, as it is 1) more accurate, 2) avoids the Godwin's law issue, and 3) makes them sound totalitarianist.

Yes, I would agree that additional legs make sense. The media aspect is essential, as it neutralizes the freedom of the press, without changing the constitution. It dovetails pretty well with the notion of Inverted Totalitarianism.

I think you could also make the argument that Obama is perhaps the most ideal combination of neolib & neocon. The two sides of him flow together so seamlessly, no one seems to notice. But that's in part because he is so corporate.

Lex on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 8:28am

Actually, neoliberalism is an economic term. An economic liberal in the UK and EU is for open markets, capitalism, etc. You're right that neoliberalism comes heavily from the University of Chicago, but it has little to do with American political liberalism.

A reading of the classical liberal economists puts some breaks on the markets, corporations, etc. Neoliberalism goes to the illogical extremes of market theory and iirc, has some influence from the Austrian school ... which gives up on any pretense of scientific exposition of economics or rationality at the micro level, assuming that irrationality will magically become rational behavior in aggregate.

Therefore, US conservatives post Eisenhower but especially post Reagan are almost certainly economic neoliberals. Since Clinton, liberals/Democrats have been too (at least the elected ones). You nailed neoconservative and both parties are in foreign policy since at least Clinton ... though here lets not forget to go back as far as JFK and his extreme anti-Communism that led to all sorts of covert operations, The Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Remember, the Soviets put the missiles in Cuba because we put missiles in Turkey and they backed down from Cuba because we agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey; Nikita was nice enough not to talk about that so that Kennedy didn't lose face.

"Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Hugh on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:57pm

I agree that neoconservatism and neoliberalism are two facets of corporatism/kleptocracy. I like the kinetic vs. white collar distinction.

The roots of neoliberalism go back to the 1940s and the Austrians, but in the US it really only comes into currency with Clinton as a deliberate shift of the Democratic/liberal platform away from labor and ordinary Americans to make it more accommodating to big business and big money. I had never heard of neoliberalism before Bill Clinton but it is easy to see how those tendencies were at work under Carter, but not under Johnson.

This was a rough and ready sketch. I guess I should also have mentioned PNAC or the Project to Find a New Mission for the MIC.

Hugh on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:44pm

I have never understood this love of Clinton that some Democrats have just as I have never understood the attraction of Reagan for Republicans. There is no Clinton faction. There is no Obama faction. Hillary Clinton is Obama's frigging Secretary of State. Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, both of whom served as Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary, were Obama's top financial and economic advisors. Timothy Geithner was their protégé. Leon Panetta Obama's Director of the CIA and current Secretary of Defense was Clinton's Director of OMB and then Chief of Staff.

The Democrats as a party are neoconservative and neoliberal as are Obama and the Clintons. As are Republicans.

What does corporations need regulation mean? It is rather like saying that the best way to deal with cancer is to find a cure for it. Sounds nice but there is no content to it. Worse in the real world, the rich own the corporations, the politicians, and the regulators. So even if you come up with good ideas for regulation they aren't going to happen.

What you are suggesting looks a whole lot another iteration of lesser evilism meets Einstein's definition of insanity. How is it any different from any other instance of Democratic tribalism?

Lex on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:49pm

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the Clintons became fabulously wealthy just after Bill left office, mostly on the strength of his speaking engagements for the financial sector that he'd just deregulated. Both he and Hillary hew to a pretty damned neoconservative foreign policy ... with that dash of "humanitarian interventionism" that makes war palatable to liberals.

But your deeper point is that there isn't enough of a difference between Obama and Bill Clinton to really draw a distinction, not in terms of ideology. What a theoretical Hillary Clinton presidency would have looked like is irrelevant, because both Bill and Obama talked a lot different than they walked. Any projection of a Hillary Clinton administration is just that and requires arguing that it would have been different than Bill's administration and policies.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that at that level of politics, the levers of money and power work equally well on both party's nomenklatura. They flock to it like moths to porch light.

That the money chose Obama over Clinton doesn't say all that much, because there's no evidence suggesting that the money didn't like Clinton or that it would have chosen McCain over Clinton. It's not as if Clinton's campaign was driven into the ground by lack of funds.

Regardless, that to be a Democrat i would kind of have to chose between two factions that are utterly distasteful to me just proves that i have no business being a Democrat. And since i wouldn't vote for either of those names, i guess i'll just stick to third parties and exit the political tribalism loop for good.

"Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

[Dec 11, 2017] WATCH LIVE FBI Director Wray VS. TREY GOWDY testifies before House Judiciary Committee on Russia

Some interesting notes from Gowdy on Strzok
Dec 11, 2017 | www.youtube.com

sharon shoop , 3 days ago

all talk and smoking guns. never one question answered. If we were on that stand we would have to answer not mumble and use legal jargon. sick of the whole mess.

[Dec 10, 2017] Strzok is the fellow who altered Comey's draft to read "extremely careless" instead of "grossly negligent", he interviewed HRC, Mills, Abedin (and gave the latter two immunity); he pushed for the continued payment of Steele in the amount of $50,000 for further Dossier research in the face of some resistance (cf James Rosen); he also interviewed Flynn

Dec 05, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

WJ , 05 December 2017 at 08:16 PM

Sir,

What is your take on this fellow Peter P. Strzok II? His back history is purportedly Georgetown, Army Intelligence (his father PP Strzok I is Army Corp of Engineers), and was until recently deputy director of counterintelligence at FBI with focus on Russia and China. He is the fellow who altered Comey's draft to read "extremely careless" instead of "grossly negligent", he interviewed HRC, Mills, Abedin (and gave the latter two immunity); he pushed for the continued payment of Steele in the amount of $50,000 for further Dossier research in the face of some resistance (cf James Rosen); he also interviewed Flynn, and for most of the first half of 2017 and for all of 2016 appears to have been the most important and influential agent working on the HRC-Trump-Russia nexus. James Rosen suggests he has CIA connections as well. The dude has also no internet presence. There is not much information out there on a person who seems to be pretty influential in DC / FBI / Foreign Intel circles. He screwed up, and a lawyer, sent texts, and now is gone. Does he strike you as fishy at all, or is this kind of stuff pretty common for people in his field and position.

[Dec 10, 2017] Peter Strzok Lisa Page 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Dec 10, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Just one day after Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I.in the Russia investigation, reports have surfaced accusing a veteran investigator in the special probe of sending disparaging text messages regarding President Donald Trump. The investigator was removed from the probe a few month .....
#5FastFacts #News #BreakingNews

[Dec 10, 2017] Bret Baier and Trey Gowdy speak about Strzok - YouTube

Dec 10, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Patricia Barkley , 1 day ago

That damn Comey is the biggest liar and most corrupt person in the Hillary email investigation. Actually there was no investigation, because he had already determined how she had done nothing wrong. Pathetic. Also Mueller has set up his group of lawyers, who have all been connected to contributing to Hillary Clinton's campaign. The damn democrats will do anything to try to find something corrupt about President Trump. All they need to do is look in the mirror, if they are looking for corrupt.

Thesaurus , 1 day ago (edited)

Obviously Rosenstein didn't think the DoJ could do the job since he scrambled to appoint a special counsel at the first opportunity after Comey leaked the memo. Trey Gowdy is one of the most honest Congressmen in the HoR but he's seemingly a little naive at times. He wants to believe the best about his colleagues and friends. The facts have to be in his face before he sees the truth. He's only now beginning to see the light about Mueller, I think.

[Dec 10, 2017] JUST IN Bob Mueller deliberately hired Hillary Clinton linked agents and lawyers for Russia probe

Notable quotes:
"... Purple ties = Globalists! Christopher Wray, your true colors are showing! ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Dawn Masters , 1 hour ago

Purple ties = Globalists! Christopher Wray, your true colors are showing!

M.D. , 21 minutes ago

the f.b.i. just like the i.r.s. the e.p.a. , homeland security and many more govt. organisations that at one time worked for the very citizens that pay them but now they are all politicized , even weaponized to be used as a tool against one's political rivals , thanks Obummer !! who did not start or do this all on his own but did carry the ball down the road further than any other before him

Eat em n Smile , 51 minutes ago

FBI your garbage thanks to the Clinton's. I hope to live for 30 more years and your shit to me. Now I understand why we need rights to guns . To fight you criminals in my government. I hate liberals but I know some conservatives are just as nasty . McCain is my top choice for Hillary bent .

fking deplorable , 1 hour ago

Mueller is discredited. He was Comey's mentor!!!! "WAKE UP IDIOTS"

Niki Ballou , 1 hour ago

I don't think there is an impartial person in the entire world... And I mean that literally... Everyone from England to Australia to Japan to South Africa is as passionate about this Trump issue as anyone here in the US.

Godavego gogo , 1 hour ago

If Casey and Muller are an example of NO FINER INSTITUTION AND NO FINER PEOPLE THAN THE FBI..." REALLY? so why are all the PROBER'S HILLARY DONATORS? -----> Wray is a deep state criminal just like Comey and Mueller

[Dec 10, 2017] TREASON! FIRED FBI AGENT COULD BE IN BIG TROUBLE...WATCH THIS

Dec 10, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Published on Dec 5, 2017

The FBI agent fired by Mueller for sending Anti-Trump text messages was IN charge of the Russia probe and even asked Micheal Flynn questions. So could it be that this was all a set up against Trump? More secrets keep unravelling in the Mueller probe, and we'll keep updating you on this story.

Thanks for watching, please subscribe here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFmY...

[Dec 10, 2017] FBI Agent Peter Strzok, Spun A Strange Web!

Dec 10, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Please open, and read the article attached in the link below. http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/04/politic...

[Dec 10, 2017] TowerGate - Day 272 - Peter Strzok Exposed and Dumb-ass Of The Week

Dec 05, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Peter Strzok has been identified as one of the deep state rats that has been involved in great mischief at the FBI. Also, our dumb-ass of the week.

Mahat Mah jeebs , 4 days ago

Seeker, Mr. Strzok needs to have a prolonged interrogation done on him , until the lasi little tidbit of his machinations are wrung out of him until it is a sure bet that he has nothing left to give up. Stzrok has good friends who invented sure fire techniques that have guaranteed results. A Thousand Cuts comes to mind ! ! ! Of course that can not happen so let Hillary in on the scuttlebut that Stzrok is going to rat out everbody in order to save His behind. In no time flat Mr Stzrok will throw a JIMMY HOFFA ! ! ! ! ! That Hairy , Bull Dagger , Pussy Hat Wearin , P U S S Y P O S S E of Hillary's is Ruthless ! ! ! ! ! Thank You Seeker jeebs out

Oregon Outback , 5 days ago

Enjoyed you explanation of neocons. I realized, some years back, we need to change the Department of Defense to the Department of Offense. I suppose we could rename Homeland Security to Dept. of Defense, but they are actuating an offensive war on us and our freedoms. Maybe stop poking our noses in other peoples business and we could eliminate both departments. So ... what do we call a conservative that is hawkish on Peace? A normal, well balanced, human being? Haven't seen one of those hanging out around our capitol in a while.

[Dec 10, 2017] BREAKING Fox Exclusive - FBI official's role in Clinton email investigation under review - AR15.COM

Notable quotes:
"... The task will be exceedingly complex, given Strzok's consequential portfolio. He participated in the FBI's fateful interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016 – just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was declining to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in connection with her use, as secretary of state, of a private email server. ..."
"... As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan. ..."
"... The Justice Department maintained that the decision to clear Strzok for House interrogation had occurred a few hours prior to the appearance of the Times and Post stories. ..."
"... In addition, Rosenstein is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 13. ..."
"... A top House investigator asked: "If Mueller knew about the texts, what did he know about the dossier?" ..."
"... Carr declined to comment on the extent to which Mueller has examined the dossier and its relationship, if any, to the counterintelligence investigation that Strzok launched during the height of the campaign season. ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | www.ar15.com

EXCLUSIVE – Two senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to Fox News that the department's Office of Inspector General is reviewing the role played in the Hillary Clinton email investigation by Peter Stzrok, a former deputy director for counterintelligence at the FBI who was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III earlier this year, after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague.

A source close to the matter said the OIG probe, which will examine Strzok's roles in a number of other politically sensitive cases, should be completed by "very early next year."

The task will be exceedingly complex, given Strzok's consequential portfolio. He participated in the FBI's fateful interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016 – just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was declining to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in connection with her use, as secretary of state, of a private email server.

As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.

House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Stzrok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, D-Calif., has sought documents and witnesses from the Department of Justice and FBI to determine what role, if any, the dossier played in the move to place a Trump campaign associate under foreign surveillance.

Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was "documentary evidence" that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.

In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning, sources said.

While Strzok's removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators. The denial of access to Strzok was instead predicated, sources said, on broad "personnel" grounds.

When a month had elapsed, House investigators – having issued three subpoenas for various witnesses and documents – formally recommended to Nunes that DOJ and FBI be held in contempt of Congress. Nunes continued pressing DOJ, including a conversation with Rosenstein as recently as last Wednesday.

That turned out to be 12 days after DOJ and FBI had made Strzok available to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own parallel investigation into the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Contempt citations?

Responding to the revelations about Strzok's texts on Saturday, Nunes said he has now directed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and the new FBI director, Christopher Wray. Unless DOJ and FBI comply with all os his outstanding requests for documents and witnesses by the close of business on Monday, Nunes said, he would seek a resolution on the contempt citations before year's end.

"We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe available to the Committee for an interview," Nunes said in a statement.

Early Saturday afternoon, after Strzok's texts were cited in published reports by the New York Times and the Washington Post – and Fox News had followed up with inquiries about the department's refusal to make Strzok available to House investigators – the Justice Department contacted the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan to establish a date for Strzok's appearance before House Intelligence Committee staff, along with two other witnesses long sought by the Nunes team.

Those witnesses are FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the FBI officer said to have handled Christopher Steele, the British spy who used Russian sources to compile the dossier for Fusion GPS. The official said to be Steele's FBI handler has also appeared already before the Senate panel.

The Justice Department maintained that the decision to clear Strzok for House interrogation had occurred a few hours prior to the appearance of the Times and Post stories.

In addition, Rosenstein is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 13.

The Justice Department maintains that it has been very responsive to the House intel panel's demands, including private briefings for panel staff by senior DOJ and FBI personnel and the production of several hundred pages of classified materials available in a secure reading room at DOJ headquarters on Oct. 31.

Sources said Speaker Ryan has worked quietly behind the scenes to try to resolve the clash over dossier-related evidence and witnesses between the House intel panel on the one hand and DOJ and FBI on the other. In October, however, the speaker took the unusual step of saying publicly that the two agencies were "stonewalling" Congress.

All parties agree that some records being sought by the Nunes team belong to categories of documents that have historically never been shared with the committees that conduct oversight of the intelligence community.

Federal officials told Fox News the requested records include "highly sensitive raw intelligence," so sensitive that officials from foreign governments have emphasized to the U.S. the "potential danger and chilling effect" it could place on foreign intelligence sources.

Justice Department officials noted that Nunes did not appear for a document-review session that his committee's ranking Democrat, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., attended, and once rejected a briefing by an FBI official if the panel's Democratic members were permitted to attend.

Sources close to the various investigations agreed the discovery of Strzok's texts raised important questions about his work on the Clinton email case, the Trump-Russia probe, and the dossier matter.

"That's why the IG is looking into all of those things," a Justice Department official told Fox News on Saturday.

A top House investigator asked: "If Mueller knew about the texts, what did he know about the dossier?"

Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel, said: "Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel's Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation."

Carr declined to comment on the extent to which Mueller has examined the dossier and its relationship, if any, to the counterintelligence investigation that Strzok launched during the height of the campaign season.

[Dec 10, 2017] Trey Gowdy tears Mueller investigation a new one 'Really hard to defend' probe's integrity by Luis Miguel

Dec 10, 2017 | www.bizpacreview.com

The "Bull Dog" of the House has a grave warning for Robert Mueller.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), known for his tough "prosecutor" persona, sits on the House Intelligence Committee. The Committee on Saturday threatened to hold the FBI and Department of Justice in contempt of Congress for withholding information related to the removal of FBI agent Peter Strzok from Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

Rep. Gowdy told Fox News that the Special Counsel faces "integrity" problems after the revelation that Strzok's removal was due to exchanging anti-Trump text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page–with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair.

"We met with the department of justice and they have to go through the texts," Gowdy said.

He then explained the Intelligence Committee's interest in the Strzok text messages.

"We are not entitled to them, nor do we have an interest in purely personal texts. We are very interested in both anti-Trump and/or pro-Clinton texts . Because, as he made reference to, he was a very important agent in her investigation, also in the ongoing Russian related investigation, perhaps the decision for Comey to change the wording in a statement."

Gowdy's remark about "wording in a statement" referred to reports that Strzok encouraged former FBI director James Comey to describe Hillary Clinton's private email server actions as "extremely careless" rather than "grossly negligent." The latter term carries legal weight with potential criminal penalties while the former does not.

Gowdy continued: "He is super important and people have a right to know whether agents are biased one way or another. The department is going to go through the texts been going to make them available to us as soon as they can." Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum then asked Gowdy if he still has confidence in the Mueller probe, to which the South Carolina lawmaker replied.

"I do, but I got to confess to you, and I understand people who think I'm wrong. I got an email last night from a friend back home saying, 'Look, Gowdy, let go of the prosecutor stuff.' I still think that Mueller can produce a product that we all have confidence in, but things like this, make it really difficult -- the perception is, is every bit as important as the reality, and if the perception is, you're employing people who are biased, it makes us really difficult for those of us that would like to defend the integrity of former prosecutors."

Gowdy's comments echo the sentiments of many Americans, who question the integrity of agents that have investigated two presidential campaigns, but apparently favor one over the other.

[Dec 10, 2017] FBI Agent Fired From Mueller Probe is Key Figure in Fusion GPS Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, removed a top F.B.I. agent from his investigation into Russian election meddling after the Justice Department's inspector general began examining whether the agent had sent text messages that expressed anti-Trump political views, according to three people briefed on the matter. The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators. He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump's campaign and Russia. ..."
"... Two senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to Fox News that the department's Office of Inspector General is reviewing the role played in the Hillary Clinton email investigation by Peter Stzrok, a former deputy director for counterintelligence at the FBI who was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III earlier this year, after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague. ..."
"... House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate. ..."
"... The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. [ ] ..."
"... Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was "documentary evidence" that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier. ..."
"... Fox News' James Rosen also reveals Strzok played a key role in agreeing to pay ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele $50,000 to find evidence to further support the dossier's explosive claims. FBI officials were uncomfortable with the validity of Steele's findings, yet they moved forward with FISA surveillance anyways. ..."
Dec 05, 2017 | www.shiftfrequency.com

Strzok Worked Zealously To Undermine Trump

Joshua Caplan – In yet another blow to Mueller's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the special counsel was forced to fire a top FBI agent after possible anti-Trump text messages were discovered.

New York Times reports:

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, removed a top F.B.I. agent from his investigation into Russian election meddling after the Justice Department's inspector general began examining whether the agent had sent text messages that expressed anti-Trump political views, according to three people briefed on the matter. The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators. He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump's campaign and Russia.

In August, ABC News reported that Strzok quit Team Mueller for unknown reasons. "It's unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller's team of nearly two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staff. Strzok, who has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases and has been unanimously praised by government officials who spoke with ABC News, is now working for the FBI's human resources division," reported Mike Levine.

Late Saturday night, we learn the Department of Justice has launched a review of Peter Stzrok's role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Fox News reports:

Two senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to Fox News that the department's Office of Inspector General is reviewing the role played in the Hillary Clinton email investigation by Peter Stzrok, a former deputy director for counterintelligence at the FBI who was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III earlier this year, after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague.

Reacting to Strzok's 'anti-Trump,' texts, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said , "We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe available to the Committee for an interview."

Strzok played a key role in analyzing the infamous 'Trump dossier,' supplied by shady research firm Fusion GPS. The now disgraced FBI agent used disproven elements of the dossier to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

Fox News report:

House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. [ ]
Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was "documentary evidence" that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.

Fox News' James Rosen also reveals Strzok played a key role in agreeing to pay ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele $50,000 to find evidence to further support the dossier's explosive claims. FBI officials were uncomfortable with the validity of Steele's findings, yet they moved forward with FISA surveillance anyways.

SF Source The Gateway Pundit Dec 2017

[Dec 10, 2017] Flightcrew on Twitter @mitchellvii Peter Strzok Carried On An Affair With Andrew McCabe's Lawyer, Lisa Paget

Dec 10, 2017 | twitter.com

Peter Strzok Carried On An Affair With Andrew McCabe's Lawyer, Lisa Page, While Plotting The Downfall Of President Donald Trump (Lisa Page Seen Walking Behind McCabe.) Andrew McCabe Is The Acting FBI Director Who Said "First We F*ck Flynn, Then We F*ck Trump."

[Dec 10, 2017] DOJ Launches Review of 'Anti-Trump' FBI Official's Role in Clinton Email Investigation

Dec 02, 2017 | thegatewaypundit.com

New York Times reports:

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, removed a top F.B.I. agent from his investigation into Russian election meddling after the Justice Department's inspector general began examining whether the agent had sent text messages that expressed anti-Trump political views, according to three people briefed on the matter. The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators. He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump's campaign and Russia. But Mr. Strzok was reassigned this summer from Mr. Mueller's investigation to the F.B.I.'s human resources department, where he has been stationed since. The people briefed on the case said the transfer followed the discovery of text messages in which Mr. Strzok and a colleague reacted to news events, like presidential debates, in ways that could appear critical of Mr. Trump.

In a statement to the New York Times, Strzok lawyer said"we are aware of the allegation and are taking any and all appropriate steps."

In August, ABC News reported that Strzok quit Team Mueller for unknown reasons. "It's unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller's team of nearly two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staff. Strzok, who has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases and has been unanimously praised by government officials who spoke with ABC News, is now working for the FBI's human resources division," reported Mike Levine.

Now this

After new details emerged about Strzok's firing, the Washington Post revealed the Justice Department launched an investigation into "communications between certain individuals." Details of the mystery probe will be revealed "promptly upon completion of the review of them,' said the Justice Department. Late Saturday night, we learn the Department of Justice has launched a review of Peter Stzrok's role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Fox News reports:

Two senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to Fox News that the department's Office of Inspector General is reviewing the role played in the Hillary Clinton email investigation by Peter Stzrok, a former deputy director for counterintelligence at the FBI who was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III earlier this year, after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague.

A source close to the matter said the OIG probe, which will examine Strzok's roles in a number of other politically sensitive cases, should be completed by "very early next year." [ ] He participated in the FBI's fateful interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016 – just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was declining to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in connection with her use, as secretary of state, of a private email server.

Reacting to Strzok's 'anti-Trump,' texts, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said , "We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe available to the Committee for an interview."

Jim Smith , December 3, 2017 12:05 AM

This is huge. Read the thread below for the complete context. Peter Strzok was knee deep in the entire mess!
Hillary investigation, Hillary interview. Cheryl Mills interview and immunity deal. Weiner's laptop. Trump Dossier, and Russian collusion. All of these investigations are totally compromised.
https://www.citizenfreepres...

Texas Ranger Jim Smith , December 3, 2017 2:57 AM

All they did was their best to destroy evidence, bury evidence and deflect any kind of real investigation of Hilabeast and team....and everybody knows it on the Hill.
So what are you waiting for asleep at the wheel Sessionns.... ? and any other decent politician.....well....yeah, obviously those don't exist.....

Sim Jim Smith , December 3, 2017 8:19 AM

This is crazy how much more corrupt can this get WTF is Session & Wray doing. Then Mueller puts this guy on his team, as the Lead FBI , as if he didn't know he was a compromised dirtbag.

Like how Mueller hide it from everyone for 3 months why he was demoted, and they want to pretend they the honest brokers just looking for the truth and facts/s

Dirty cop Mueller and his team sycophants trying take down the President United States on some trumped up bull, turn this country into joke and do irreparable damage.

While he did nothing scratch his old balls while Hil & Obama sold out to the Russians.

RatkoUSA , December 3, 2017 12:17 AM

"'Review of' FBI Official's Role in Clinton Email Investigation"
Huh? The the entire thing "investigation" is and has been, from Day 1, nothing more than a no holds barred attack on not only the legally elected POTUS DJT, but equally against his supporters.

[Dec 10, 2017] Mueller, Comey, McCabe Peter Stroke ALL used abused female FBI agents for their own sexual gratification

Notable quotes:
"... Actually the CIA is well known among DC insiders to have a reputation for only hiring young, attractive interns. ..."
Dec 10, 2017 | www.reddit.com

royallypede 4 days ago (1 child)

If you recall the reason they went after Gen. Flynn in the first place was because he took the side of a woman who filed a complaint against McCabe.
Holmgeir 4 days ago (0 children)
https://www.circa.com/story/2017/06/27/nation/did-the-fbi-retaliate-against-michael-flynn-by-launching-russia-probe

Yup, great article by Circa. I'm not going to hold my breath for this True Pundit article though.

Sodors_Finest_Poster 4 days ago (1 child)
Cill Blinton here, how can I apply to the FBI?
Funqueybusiness 4 days ago (3 children)
Actually the CIA is well known among DC insiders to have a reputation for only hiring young, attractive interns.

Wouldn't be surprised if the FBI did it too.

Source : me. Used to work in Langley.

[Dec 09, 2017] The Mueller Investigation Is in Mortal Danger by Jonathan Chait

His alleged crime is a series of text messages criticizing Trump. Mueller removed Strzok from his team , but that is not enough for Trump's supporters, who are seizing on Strzok's role as a pretext to discredit and remove Mueller, too.
Notable quotes:
"... The newest pseudo-scandal fixates on the role of Peter Strzok, an FBI official who helped tweak the language Comey employed in his statement condemning Clinton's email carelessness and has also worked for Mueller. ..."
"... His alleged crime is a series of text messages criticizing Trump. Mueller removed Strzok from his team , but that is not enough for Trump's supporters, who are seizing on Strzok's role as a pretext to discredit and remove Mueller, too. ..."
"... When Mueller was appointed, legal scholars debated whether Trump had the technical authority to fire him, but even the majority who believed he did assumed such a power existed only in theory. Republicans in Congress, everyone believed, would never sit still for such a blatant cover-up ..."
"... In fact, the risk has swelled. Trump has publicly declared any investigation into his finances would constitute a red line, and that he reserves the option to fire Mueller if he investigates them. Earlier this month, it was reported that Mueller has subpoenaed records at Deutsche Bank , an institution favored both by Trump and the Russian spy network. ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | nymag.com

The newest pseudo-scandal fixates on the role of Peter Strzok, an FBI official who helped tweak the language Comey employed in his statement condemning Clinton's email carelessness and has also worked for Mueller.

His alleged crime is a series of text messages criticizing Trump. Mueller removed Strzok from his team , but that is not enough for Trump's supporters, who are seizing on Strzok's role as a pretext to discredit and remove Mueller, too.

The notion that a law-enforcement official should be disqualified for privately expressing partisan views is a novel one, and certainly did not trouble Republicans last year, when Rudy Giuliani was boasting on television about his network of friendly agents. Yet in the conservative media, Mueller and Comey have assumed fiendish personae of almost Clintonian proportions.

When Mueller was appointed, legal scholars debated whether Trump had the technical authority to fire him, but even the majority who believed he did assumed such a power existed only in theory. Republicans in Congress, everyone believed, would never sit still for such a blatant cover-up .

Josh Blackman, a conservative lawyer, argued that Trump could remove the special counsel, but "make no mistake: Mueller's firing would likely accelerate the end of the Trump administration." Texas representative Mike McCaul declared in July, "If he fired Bob Mueller, I think you'd see a tremendous backlash, response from both Democrats but also House Republicans." Such a rash move "could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency," Senator Lindsey Graham proclaimed.

In August, members of both parties began drawing up legislation to prevent Trump from sacking Mueller. "The Mueller situation really gave rise to our thinking about how we can address the current situation," explained Republican senator Thom Tillis, a sponsor of one of the bills. By early autumn, the momentum behind the effort had slowed; by Thanksgiving, Republican interest had melted away. "I don't see any heightened kind of urgency, if you're talking about some of the reports around Flynn and others," Tillis said recently. "I don't see any great risk."

In fact, the risk has swelled. Trump has publicly declared any investigation into his finances would constitute a red line, and that he reserves the option to fire Mueller if he investigates them. Earlier this month, it was reported that Mueller has subpoenaed records at Deutsche Bank , an institution favored both by Trump and the Russian spy network.

John Dowd, a lawyer for Trump, recently floated the wildly expansive defense that a "president cannot obstruct justice, because he is the chief law-enforcement officer." Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett called the investigation "illegitimate and corrupt" and declared that "the FBI has become America's secret police." Graham is now calling for a special counsel to investigate "Clinton email scandal, Uranium One, role of Fusion GPS, and FBI and DOJ bias during 2016 campaign" -- i.e., every anti-Mueller conspiracy theory. And perhaps as ominously, Trump's allies have been surfacing fallback defenses. Yes, "some conspiratorial quid pro quo between somebody in the Trump campaign and somebody representing Vladimir Putin" is "possible," allowed Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins, but "we would be stupid not to understand that other countries have a stake in the outcome of our elections and, by omission or commission, try to advance their interests. This is reality." The notion of a criminal conspiracy by a hostile nation to intervene in the election in return for pliant foreign policy has gone from unthinkable to blasé, an offense only to naïve bourgeois morality.

It is almost a maxim of the Trump era that the bounds of the unthinkable continuously shrink. The capitulation to Moore was a dry run for the coming assault on the rule of law.

[Dec 08, 2017] Did the FBI, CIA and NSA conspired to destroy Donald Trump?

Notable quotes:
"... You 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. ..."
"... This 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. ..."
Dec 08, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Publius Tacitus -> sbjonez... , 06 December 2017 at 10:35 AM

You 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 PM

This 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.

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.

blue peacock , 07 December 2017 at 12:18 AM
Publius Tacitus
The 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.

[Dec 06, 2017] Chuck Grassley Demands FBI Produce All Strzok Text Messages As Part Of Trump Anti-Bias Probe

Notable quotes:
"... an angry Senator Senator Grassley - who was previously stonewalled by the FBI and DOJ from getting requested information about Strzok's unexpected removal - has issued a letter demanding FBI documents in advance of an upcoming Senatorial interview with the anti-Trump FBI agent. ..."
"... The Committee has previously written to Mr. Strzok requesting an interview to discuss his knowledge of improper political influence or bias in Justice Department or FBI activities during either the previous or current administration, the removal of James Comey from his position as Director of the FBI, the DOJ's and FBI's activities related to Hillary Clinton, the DOJ's and FBI's activities related to Donald J. Trump and his associates, and the DOJ's and FBI's activities related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. To date, the Committee has received no letter in reply to that request. ..."
"... All communications sent to, received by, or copying Mr. Strzok regarding the decision to close the Clinton investigation without recommending any charges; ..."
"... I doubt that Strzok worked alone. ..."
"... This is one of the best re-caps of this whole sordid FBI obstruction/coverup situation: Strzok and Laufman had also interviewed Hillary. No recordings were made of the session. But Comey testified that it's a "crime to lie to us". Not for the Clintons and their associates. ..."
"... Hillary had told her interviewers that she hadn't received training on handling classified information, but she signed a document testifying that she had. Hillary claimed that she hadn't carried a second phone, but an aide, Justin Cooper, who made the server possible, testified that indeed she did . ..."
Dec 06, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Following this weekend's shocking disclosure that Peter Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia-Trump election (having previously handled the Clinton email server probe and interviewing Michael Flynn) after allegedly having exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with his mistress (who was an FBI lawyer working for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe), an angry Senator Senator Grassley - who was previously stonewalled by the FBI and DOJ from getting requested information about Strzok's unexpected removal - has issued a letter demanding FBI documents in advance of an upcoming Senatorial interview with the anti-Trump FBI agent.

In his letter to FBI director Christopher Wray, Grassley writes:

The Committee has previously written to Mr. Strzok requesting an interview to discuss his knowledge of improper political influence or bias in Justice Department or FBI activities during either the previous or current administration, the removal of James Comey from his position as Director of the FBI, the DOJ's and FBI's activities related to Hillary Clinton, the DOJ's and FBI's activities related to Donald J. Trump and his associates, and the DOJ's and FBI's activities related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. To date, the Committee has received no letter in reply to that request.

In advance of Mr. Strzok's interview, please provide the following communications, in the form of text messages or otherwise, to the Committee no later than December 11, 2017:

  1. All communications sent to, received by, or copying Mr. Strzok related to then Director Comey's draft or final statement closing the Clinton investigation, including all records related to the change in the portion of the draft language describing Secretary Clinton's and her associates' conduct regarding classified information from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless";
  2. All communications sent to, received by, or copying Mr. Strzok regarding the decision to close the Clinton investigation without recommending any charges;
  3. All communications sent to, received by, or copying Mr. Strzok related to opening the investigation into potential collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russian government, including any FBI electronic communication (EC) authored or authorized by Mr. Strzok and all records forming the basis for that EC;
  4. All communications sent to, received by, or copying Mr. Strzok related to the FBI's interactions with Christopher Steele relating to the investigation into potential collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russian government, including any communications regarding potential or realized financial arrangements with Mr. Steele;
  5. All communications sent to, received by, or copying Mr. Strzok related to any instance of the FBI relying on, or referring to, information in Mr. Steele's memoranda in the course of seeking any FISA warrants, other search warrants, or any other judicial process;
  6. All FD-302s of FBI interviews of Lt. Gen. Flynn at which Mr. Strzok was present, as well as all related 1A documents (including any contemporaneous handwritten notes); and
  7. All communications sent to, received by, or copying Mr. Strzok containing unfavorable statements about Donald J. Trump or favorable statements about Hillary Clinton.

Since this will be the first - and so far only - glimpse inside the ideological motivations inside Mueller's prosecutorial team the public will be greatly interested in finding what they reveal, especially those which show any direct communication between Strzok and Comey.

Grassley's full letter below ( Link )

Whoa Dammit -> yaright , Dec 6, 2017 12:27 PM

Is it true that there is a statue of Saint Hillary Our Lady of the Van Toss in the foyer of the FBI's DC headquarters?

Chupacabra-322 -> Yes We Can. But Lets Not. , Dec 6, 2017 12:51 PM

@ yes,

"Whoa, and there's more on Peter Strzok. He exchanged anti-Trump texts with Lisa Page, another Mueller team member with whom he was having an affair. She's deputy to Andrew McCabe."

"Surprise – it was Hillary Clinton supporter Peter Strzok told Comey that there was no proof of "intent" – BEFORE he had interviewed HRC."

And of course, he was involved with the sketchy interview of Cheryl Mills

And Heather Samuelson

And voila, they were given immunity

He allowed Mills and Samuelson to attend the interview with Hillary

So Strzok exonerated Hillary, led the probe into Weiner's laptop that cleared Hillary, allowed major conflicts in the Clinton investigation, and then took control of the Steele dossier probe into Trump, all while being a rabid anti-Trump, pro-Clinton partisan in his personal life.

And when Mueller learned of this behavior he reassigned him instead of firing him, in order to prevent word getting out to the public.

https://www.citizenfreepress.com/breaking/breaking-boom-anti-trump-fbi-a...

Shitonya Serfs -> Whoa Dammit , Dec 6, 2017 12:35 PM

Grassy's demands won't be met, and nothing will happen to FUBI for not providing those communications.

chubbar -> Ghost of Porky , Dec 6, 2017 1:41 PM

Sessions is culpable in the obstruction of justice UNLESS there is something big going on behind the scenes. The FBI will not provide requested documentation. The choice is going to come down to reorganizing the FBI from outside that institution. I wouldn't have a clue about legality or process of doing that, but that is what it will come down to. You can't expect these criminals to do it on their own or to voluntarily place their heads in a noose with documentation.

buzzsaw99 , Dec 6, 2017 12:26 PM

it's ... sedition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seditious_conspiracy

Badsamm , Dec 6, 2017 12:25 PM

Seriously, how retarded are the people at the FBI? Do any of them have real life experience? So bush league

Bastiat -> Badsamm , Dec 6, 2017 12:32 PM

They hire agents directly out of law school (at least it used to be that way). The idea was they NOT have any life experience (or independent judgment). It's no accident.

Chupacabra-322 , Dec 6, 2017 12:48 PM

They're "going all in." Doesn't matter what Hand the Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopaths at the Deep State & their cohorts have been dealt.

Win, stolen or lost. They were going & are going "all in" with the PsyOp, Scripted False Narrative of Russia hacking the Elections / Russia / Putin / Trump Propaganda gone full retard via the Deep States Opeatives in the Presstitute Media.

The misconception is that individuals believe we are dealing with normal, sane human beings. We're not. Far from it. What we are dealing with are sick, twisted, Pure Evil Criminal, Psychopathic, Satanic / Lucerferian elements from the CIA / Pentagram Temple of Set Scum literally making Hell on Earth.

What's at Stake is the Deep State Global network of MultiNational Central Banking, Espionage, Murder, War, Torture, Destabilization Campaigns, BlackMail, Extortion, Child / Human Trafficking, Drug / Gun Running, Money Laundering, Corruption, NSA spying, Media control & control of the 17 Intelligence Agencies.

Most importantly, The Deep State controls all the distribution lines of the aforementioned. Especially the Coaxial Cable Communication lines of Espionage spying & Surveillance State Apparatus / Infrastructure. Agencies all built on the British Model of Intelligence. Purely Evil & Highly Compartmentalized Levels which function as a Step Pyramid Model of Authority / Monarch Reign Pyramid Model of Authority.

That's what's at Stake. How this plays out is anyone's guess. The Pure Evil Criminal Psychopath Rogue elements of the Deep State will not go quietly. If not dealt with now, they'll disappear only to resurface at a later date with one objective:

Total Complete Full Spectrum World Domination they seek through Power & Control.

It's those Select Highly Compartmentalized Criminal Pure Evil Rogue Elements at the Deep State Top that have had control since the JFK Execution that have entrenched themselves for decades & refuse to relinquish Control.

This impure evil has been running the world since the time of the Pharoahs, it's ancient Babylonian mysticism/paganism and it is nothing more than the worship of Lucifer; it has never died out, it just re-emerges as something far more wicked, vile and sinister. They are all the sons and daughters of satan and do what he does - kill, steal and destroy.

It would be Nieve to think that hundreds of thousands of years of control over mankind be simply turned over by the Criminal Pure Evil Psychopathic Elite. The Deep State will always exist. However, the Pure Evil Criminal Psychopathic Highly Compartmentalized Rogue Levels of it are being delt with. Which is what the World is witnessing.

Yes We Can. But... , Dec 6, 2017 12:49 PM

I'd bet there is more to the Pete Strzok story. I don't think Mueller canned him, and tried to keep that on the down-low, based solely on Strzok's overt, naked partisanship. I'd bet that the content of Strzok's text messages, rather than the (partisan) tone , will be revealing. Things are heating up...

Consuelo -> NickPeeMe , Dec 6, 2017 1:09 PM

Ok, I'll bite...

How about a paragraph or 3 of detail, juxtaposing all of Trump's high crimes & misdemeanors against the Klinton machine? Keep in mind however, you must go back 30+ years, because there are documented incidents (not rumors, innuendo or hype) of criminality from the Klinton crime syndicate. Hopefully you have likewise documentation for Trump...

Freedom Lover -> NickPeeMe , Dec 6, 2017 1:50 PM

" Trumps Guilty" Guilty of what exactly? Mueller and the boys have been at it for almost a year now and coming up with a big nothing burger. The charges Flynn peaded guilty to have nothing to do with colusion with the Russians simply ommiting details of conversations with the Russian ambassador. Alan Dershowicz a prominate progressive and constitutional scholar and no friend of Trump has stated in an interview he sees no basis for an obstruction of justice charge.

Yes We Can. But... , Dec 6, 2017 1:05 PM

So satisfying to finally see the faces of a few goons attached to the notion of 'deep state'.

http://bit.ly/2AxQ6Q6

Sphincters tightening, and social media accounts being scrubbed, all across the DC metro region...

Miss Expectations , Dec 6, 2017 12:59 PM

I doubt that Strzok worked alone. He apparently headed up the Hillary Protection Team (HPT) at the FBI. How did he keep Hillary updated? Via Loretta Lynch?

This info request is limited...what about the Huma/Weiner computer?

johnwburns , Dec 6, 2017 1:12 PM

Why the "letter demanding" softball? Subpoena the wesals if you're serious.

gcjohns1971 , Dec 6, 2017 1:34 PM

The Senate smells blood in the water, but doesn't sense who will win, hence the cautious demand letter.

Pretty clear that FBI and much of DOJ have gone rogue, and no longer respond to the rest of the government.

This scandal will be so significant that it makes Watergate look like jaywalking.

You will know when the tide has turned when Democrat Senators go for DOJ blood (in order to distance themselves).

All of this will eventually be shown as something far more sinister than mere partisan agents. And those details will reveal a whole new pattern of illegal, immoral, and traitorous conduct.

Miss Expectations , Dec 6, 2017 1:44 PM

This is one of the best re-caps of this whole sordid FBI obstruction/coverup situation: Strzok and Laufman had also interviewed Hillary. No recordings were made of the session. But Comey testified that it's a "crime to lie to us". Not for the Clintons and their associates.

Hillary had told her interviewers that she hadn't received training on handling classified information, but she signed a document testifying that she had. Hillary claimed that she hadn't carried a second phone, but an aide, Justin Cooper, who made the server possible, testified that indeed she did .

Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills told the same lie. These are the kinds of misstep that Team Mueller would have used to hang a Trump associate. But Comey testified that Hillary Clinton did not lie. And that meant he was lying. Not only did Clinton's people lie to the FBI. But the head of the FBI had lied for them.

The fix had been in all along.

OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE WAS COMING FROM INSIDE THE FBI

http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/268631/obstruction-justice-was-coming-in...

Miss Expectations , Dec 6, 2017 2:27 PM

please provide the following communications, in the form of text messages or otherwise, to the Committee no later than December 11, 2017....

First few questions for Mr. Strzok:

If you wanted to have private, secure communication regarding your obstruction of justice activities, would you avoid using your office computer or cell phone?

Justapleb , Dec 6, 2017 2:30 PM

I remain skeptical. After 46% of Americans are informed of some wrongdoing, Trump discovers it too.

Silly me, thinking that Trump, as president and having every law enforcement/spy agency at his command, should be finding out long before me and I should be reading about what he DID, not what he is TWEETING.

Why isn't he personally confronting the principals? Remember "Your Fired"? I didn't and still don't watch TV, but I thought he was famous for calling the person directly accountable before him, not tweeting or writing a letter to the editor or a prayer request.

Trump didn't have this guy removed. His own people did, long ago. This is like the Mafia seeing a made man is so out of hand that the Mafia itself turns him in.

We should be keen on watching results, not the evidence of what abject morons we are as Americans to have a government so nakedly corrupt. I think the main problem is Americans, despite great genetics and being born into such wealthy conditions, are operating with effective IQ's below sub-saharan Africa. If you take in television news as information, that's all a critically thinking person needs to know about you. You're a three year old in terms of logic and reason.

I'm just too worn out with victory being right around the corner since at least as far back as Whitewater.

[Dec 04, 2017] Anti-Trump FBI Agent Changed Language Of Hillary Email Scandal From Grossly Negligent To Extremely Careless

Notable quotes:
"... the news of Strzok's direct role in the statement that ultimately cleared the former Democratic presidential candidate of criminal wrongdoing, now combined with the fact that he was dismissed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team after exchanging private messages with an FBI lawyer that could be seen as favoring Clinton politically, may give ammunition to those seeking ways to discredit Mueller's Russia investigation. ..."
Dec 04, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Over the weekend we noted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's top FBI investigator into 'Russian meddling', agent Peter Strzok, was removed from the probe due to the discovery of anti-Trump text messages exchanged with a colleague (a colleague whom he also happened to be having an extra-marital affair with).

Not surprisingly, the discovery prompted a visceral response from Trump via Twitter:

Tainted (no, very dishonest?) FBI "agent's role in Clinton probe under review." Led Clinton Email probe. @foxandfriends Clinton money going to wife of another FBI agent in charge.

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017

Report: "ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE" Now it all starts to make sense!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017

Alas, as it turns out, Strzok, who was blatantly exposed as a political hack by his own wreckless text messages, also had a leading role in the Hillary email investigation. And wouldn't you know it, as CNN has apparently just discovered, Strzok not only held a leading role in that investigation but potentially single-handedly saved Hillary from prosecution by making the now-infamous change in Comey's final statement to describe her email abuses as "extremely careless" rather than the original language of "grossly negligent."

A former top counterintelligence expert at the FBI, now at the center of a political uproar for exchanging private messages that appeared to mock President Donald Trump, changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey's description of how former secretary of state Hillary Clinton handled classified information, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the source said. The drafting process was a team effort, CNN is told, with a handful of people reviewing the language as edits were made, according to another US official familiar with the matter.

But the news of Strzok's direct role in the statement that ultimately cleared the former Democratic presidential candidate of criminal wrongdoing, now combined with the fact that he was dismissed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team after exchanging private messages with an FBI lawyer that could be seen as favoring Clinton politically, may give ammunition to those seeking ways to discredit Mueller's Russia investigation.

The FBI and the Justice Department declined to comment.

Of course, as we noted a month ago (see: First Comey Memo Concluded Hillary Was "Grossly Negligent," Punishable By Jail ), the change in language was 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.

In fact, 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."

And just like that, the farce that has heretofore been referred to as the "Russian meddling probe" has been exposed for what it really is...an extremely compromised political "witch hunt".

As the phony Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2017

Budnacho , Dec 4, 2017 5:32 PM

*sits down, makes popcorn*

junction -> Budnacho , Dec 4, 2017 5:34 PM

And from "extremely careless" to "good enough for government work."

The Alarmist -> junction , Dec 4, 2017 5:37 PM

Simple negligence on the part of the FBI agent ... nothing to see here.

Now, about that collusion with the Russians ....

shitshitshit -> The Alarmist , Dec 4, 2017 5:42 PM

dude looks like illegitimate offspring from alan greespan.

Is this the result of consanguinity at work?

chunga -> The Alarmist , Dec 4, 2017 5:41 PM

I think Lych wanted to call this a "matter", Comey said there was no intent, and the Phoenix tarmac talker needed to be "stemmed".

Russian fingerprints everywhere.

south40_dreams , Dec 4, 2017 5:44 PM

This is the Mueller-Comey FBI crime family at its finest. James Comey was an highly paid executive at Lockheed Martin just prior to being named FBI director, replacing his close buddy Mueller who was FBI director. LM was also a high contributor to the Clinton Foundation in its glory days, with suspicious ties to Comey's lawyer brother. Dickie Mueller seems to be the brains of the whole cabal.

Roots and tentacles in the swamp lead EVERYWHERE

Wilcox1 , Dec 4, 2017 5:47 PM

Where are the emails between this stork and the fbi page named kelly that he was having an interoffice affair with? Its been proved she hated OUR PRESIDENT TRUMP of US(A). This stork guy won't be getting the attention from this fbi page that he is in an interoffice relationship with unless he acts the way she wants. Seems like these emails should be easy to get by the lamestream wapo, failing nytimes, fakest of fake news cnn, etc.

enough of this , Dec 4, 2017 5:47 PM

When Strzok made the change, he provided incontrovertible proof of the FBI's obstruction of justice in the Clinton case, as this article clearly explains:

http://investmentwatchblog.com/extremely-careless-or-grossly-negligent-a...

MuffDiver69 , Dec 4, 2017 5:49 PM

Zero of this happens if the President hadn't been hammering in a public way for intelligence leaks to be plugged and calling out the FBI and Comey relentlessly.....I think it's a pretty good bet that one of the twenty seven leak investigations going on caught this idiot..No way an Inspector General just happened upon Storks texts...that takes some "wiretapping" or other counter measures..Now the dam has burst...Anyone defending the FBI and it's integrity at this point needs to be hung...

[Nov 28, 2017] Obama-Appointed Federal Inspector Threatened By Clinton Campaign Over Email Investigation

Looks like people stating that Bill and Hillary were really Bonnie and Clyde of Washington political scene were right...
Notable quotes:
"... An Obama appointed government watchdog central to the Hillary Clinton email investigation says that he, his family and his office faced an 'intense backlash' from Clinton allies, who threatened him over findings that Clinton mishandled classified information. ..."
"... Former Inspector General Charles McCullough III told Fox News Chief Intel correspondent Catherine Herridge that he was under intense pressure from senior officials on the left – with one Clinton campaign official threatening that he and another government investigator would be immediately fired under a Hillary Clinton presidency: ..."
"... "It was told in no uncertain terms, by a source directly from the campaign, that we would be the first two to be fired - with [Clinton's] administration. That that was definitely going to happen. " –Charles McCullough III ..."
"... McCullough was recommended to Obama by then-Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who told McCullough that Clinton's conduct was "extremely reckless," adding "the campaign will have heartburn about that." ..."
"... After the Clapper meeting, McCullough said his team was marginalized. "I was told by senior officials to keep [Clapper] out of it," he said, while acknowledging he tried to keep his boss in the loop. ..."
"... Instead of informing the American public that radical Islam was responsible for the attack, the Obama administration fabricated a story – peddling the lie that anger over an anti-Islamic YouTube video resulted in the attack, which led to the arrest and imprisonment of an innocent man . ..."
"... What's interesting about that, is an anonymous 4chan poster known as "FBI Anon" - whose breadcrumbs of information have been largely correct, posted on July 2, 2016 that Clinton had "SAP level programs on her server, which if made public, would literally cause an uprising and possibly foreign declarations of war." ..."
"... Then, on October 16, 2016 - three weeks before former FBI Director Comey cleared Clinton, "FBI Anon" elaborated on SAP programs and made an unverified claim about Clinton: ..."
"... Special Access Program is an intelligence program classified above top-secret. They are held on closed servers at secret locations. The only way to get one is if you are specifically read on to a program, have a need to know, then you must physically go to a location and pass through several layers of security to even look at the program. A good example in non-classified terms would be the locations and operations of our intelligence operatives around the glove, or our missile silo locations. SAP is granted on a need to know basis, and Hillary did not have any need to know any of the programs on her server. All I can tell you about the SAPs is that Hillary had them, and she did not have proper authority to have any of them. They were leaked to her by someone, and she did sell them to overseas donors. Possessing them alone makes her guilty of treason." - FBI Anon ..."
"... As the Clinton campaign geared up for the 2016 election, WikiLeaks documents reveal that Hillary's inner circle was already starting to spin the investigation – writing in an August 2015 email that "Clinton only used her account for unclassified email. When information is reviewed for public release, it is common for information previously unclassified to be upgraded to classified." ..."
"... This is getting juicy. Wonder what big event(s) is happening to bring this about today?? ..."
"... The whole government is sleazy. They all use secondary and tertiary communications to handle the shit they don't ever want brought before a committee (ie the people). ..."
"... Threatening retaliation against a Federal Inspector General isn't even a crime any more, I don't think. ..."
"... Looks like "obstruction of justice". Where's the MSM? ..."
"... "Hillary has been distressed,biting her nails lately" I don't think so. The woman is a pure psychopath. Noone (even his most ardent supporters) can truthfully deny that Trump is a narcissictic asshole. That's ok, and even admirable by some. But this bitch is pure evil with no conscience and a lust for power and money unequalled in our lifetime. ..."
Nov 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Nov 28, 2017 10:46 AM 0 SHARES Content originally published at iBankCoin.com,

An Obama appointed government watchdog central to the Hillary Clinton email investigation says that he, his family and his office faced an 'intense backlash' from Clinton allies, who threatened him over findings that Clinton mishandled classified information.

Former Inspector General Charles McCullough III told Fox News Chief Intel correspondent Catherine Herridge that he was under intense pressure from senior officials on the left – with one Clinton campaign official threatening that he and another government investigator would be immediately fired under a Hillary Clinton presidency:

"It was told in no uncertain terms, by a source directly from the campaign, that we would be the first two to be fired - with [Clinton's] administration. That that was definitely going to happen. " –Charles McCullough III

As a refresher, over 2,100 classified emails were sent over Clinton's personal server, which was used exclusively for government business. Despite this, former FBI Director James Comey – who had drafted Clinton's exoneration letter months before reviewing evidence in the case – recommended that the DOJ not prosecute the case.

McCullough was recommended to Obama by then-Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who told McCullough that Clinton's conduct was "extremely reckless," adding "the campaign will have heartburn about that."

Via Fox News:

He [McCullough] said Clapper's Clinton email comments came during an in-person meeting about a year before the presidential election – in late December 2015 or early 2016. "[Clapper] was as off-put as the rest of us were."

After the Clapper meeting, McCullough said his team was marginalized. "I was told by senior officials to keep [Clapper] out of it," he said, while acknowledging he tried to keep his boss in the loop.

Egregious violations

In January 2016, McCullough told Republicans on the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees that emails classified above "Top Secret" had been passed through the former secretary of state's private, unsecure server – such as an email about Benghazi she sent to daughter Chelsea Clinton (using pseudonym Diane Reynolds ) on the night of September 11th, 2012 from '@clintonemail.com' which not only divulged highly classified military intel over a non-government server vulnerable to foreign surveillance – it also revealed that the Obama administration knew that an "Al Queda-like group" was responsible for the attack.

One wonders what Chelsea's security clearance was at the time?

Instead of informing the American public that radical Islam was responsible for the attack, the Obama administration fabricated a story – peddling the lie that anger over an anti-Islamic YouTube video resulted in the attack, which led to the arrest and imprisonment of an innocent man .

Hillary knew it was an "Al Qeda-like group" hours after it happened when she told Chelsea ("Diane Reynolds") top secret information. pic.twitter.com/LiOJj3jck1

-- ZeroPointNow (@ZeroPointNow) July 15, 2017

What's interesting about that, is an anonymous 4chan poster known as "FBI Anon" - whose breadcrumbs of information have been largely correct, posted on July 2, 2016 that Clinton had "SAP level programs on her server, which if made public, would literally cause an uprising and possibly foreign declarations of war."

Then, on October 16, 2016 - three weeks before former FBI Director Comey cleared Clinton, "FBI Anon" elaborated on SAP programs and made an unverified claim about Clinton:

A Special Access Program is an intelligence program classified above top-secret. They are held on closed servers at secret locations. The only way to get one is if you are specifically read on to a program, have a need to know, then you must physically go to a location and pass through several layers of security to even look at the program. A good example in non-classified terms would be the locations and operations of our intelligence operatives around the glove, or our missile silo locations. SAP is granted on a need to know basis, and Hillary did not have any need to know any of the programs on her server. All I can tell you about the SAPs is that Hillary had them, and she did not have proper authority to have any of them. They were leaked to her by someone, and she did sell them to overseas donors. Possessing them alone makes her guilty of treason." - FBI Anon

Turncoat?

In response to McCullough's findings, Democrats turned their backs on the Obama-appointed Inspector General for doing his job."All of a sudden I became a shill of the right," McCullough said, adding "And I was told by members of Congress, 'Be careful. You're losing your credibility. You need to be careful. There are people out to get you.'"

McCullough told Fox of "an effort certainly on the part of the campaign to mislead people into thinking that there was nothing to see here."

Damage Control

As the Clinton campaign geared up for the 2016 election, WikiLeaks documents reveal that Hillary's inner circle was already starting to spin the investigation – writing in an August 2015 email that "Clinton only used her account for unclassified email. When information is reviewed for public release, it is common for information previously unclassified to be upgraded to classified."

McCullough was critical of this response, telling Fox "There was an effort certainly on the part of the campaign to mislead people into thinking that there was nothing to see here."

In response to the Inspector General's pushback, seven senior Democrats sent a letter to McCullough and his counterpart at the State Department, raising concerns over the impartiality of the Clinton email investigation. McCullough, however, was not arriving at any conclusions himself – he was simply passing along the findings of individual government agencies on appropriate classifications assigned to the emails.

Fox News reports:

McCullough described one confrontation with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office just six weeks before the election, amid pressure to respond to the letter – which Feinstein had co-signed.

"I thought that any response to that letter would just hyper-politicize the situation," McCullough said. "I recall even offering to resign, to the staff director. I said, 'Tell [Feinstein] I'll resign tonight. I'd be happy to go. I'm not going to respond to that letter. It's just that simple."

As Election Day approached, McCullough said the threats went further, singling out him and another senior government investigator on the email case.

Inquiries sent by Fox to both Feinstein and Clapper were not returned at the time of publication.

Watch:

Herridge: "Was there an effort to deliberately mislead the public about [ @HillaryClinton ] classified emails?" McCullough: "Absolutely." pic.twitter.com/UOwC5BoJ41

-- Fox News (@FoxNews) November 28, 2017

enough of this , Nov 28, 2017 8:20 AM

Lock Her Up!

Rainman -> enough of this , Nov 28, 2017 8:27 AM

..." Not even a smidgen of corruption " ... Obozo

Shitonya Serfs -> Rainman , Nov 28, 2017 8:31 AM

This is getting juicy. Wonder what big event(s) is happening to bring this about today??

overbet -> Shitonya Serfs , Nov 28, 2017 8:39 AM

and yet she still walks free and is protected by secret service on our dime

Shitonya Serfs -> overbet , Nov 28, 2017 8:46 AM

Walking is a bit of a stretch

tmosley -> Shitonya Serfs , Nov 28, 2017 8:59 AM

>FBI Anon posts on ZH

Best timeline.

xavi1951 -> tmosley , Nov 28, 2017 9:17 AM

The trial should be in Texas, where they still have executions.

pods -> xavi1951 , Nov 28, 2017 9:21 AM

Trial? She will never be brought to trial. At WORST she gets a slap on the cankle that Trump pardons her for right afterwords.

The whole government is sleazy. They all use secondary and tertiary communications to handle the shit they don't ever want brought before a committee (ie the people).

pods

NoDebt -> pods , Nov 28, 2017 9:23 AM

Threatening retaliation against a Federal Inspector General isn't even a crime any more, I don't think.

Troll Magnet -> NoDebt , Nov 28, 2017 9:56 AM

Everyday citizens should have the right to threaten all federal employees, not the other way around.

My crotch itches -> NoDebt , Nov 28, 2017 9:58 AM

Apparently neither is perjury or mishandling classified information.

BetterRalph -> My crotch itches , Nov 28, 2017 10:28 AM

This pisses me off the most out of the entire thread. How this is possible is both amazing and unsustainable. People should be rolled up and in supermax with red eyes from being questioned 24/7

green sheen -> NoDebt , Nov 28, 2017 11:00 AM

incredible

Consuelo -> NoDebt , Nov 28, 2017 11:27 AM

Cool. Should serfs like us then give it a whirl - just for giggles...?

Rex Andrus -> NoDebt , Nov 28, 2017 12:34 PM

Racketeering https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-96

Extortion https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/927

By government goons https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/872

and Threats https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-41

tmosley -> pods , Nov 28, 2017 9:29 AM

Everyone seems to have missed the process that is going on here. There are numerous steps required to "lock her up", and they must be taken in the correct order. These include things like "overthrowing the Saudi government and replacing it with a more friendly leader", "destroying the credibility of the MSM", "exposing the crimes of the intelligence community", "exposing sexual (and other) abuse among the neoliberal donor class", etc.

This is a massive and complicated system that is being unwound. It was never going to happen overnight. Prosecutions will come, but only after they have lost their ability to evade the consequences of their actions. I suspect we are getting very close now. I think it will happen before the midterms.

two hoots -> tmosley , Nov 28, 2017 9:49 AM

There is some reason this won't die? Strange these people keep coming out of the woodwork?

Trump could save a lot of face if he could get, at a minimum, public acceptance of Hillary and the Clinton group exposed and verified as corrupt and dishonest. Could we see a trial, not sure but think a special counsel that drags out the truth would be most helpful.

Hillary has been distressed, biting her nails lately but then she just did a glory days speech in China where she hit at Trump and Tillerson for poor performance? She may be attempting to collect herself knowing she faces some critical headwinds shortly, one can hope?

???ö? -> two hoots , Nov 28, 2017 9:53 AM

Well fuck me. Looks like "obstruction of justice". Where's the MSM?

Troll Magnet -> ???ö? , Nov 28, 2017 9:59 AM

Getting ready to cover another false flag event perhaps? They're gonna need to bring down more high-risers to sweep this under the rug. What's Mossad up to these days?

My crotch itches -> two hoots , Nov 28, 2017 10:06 AM

"Hillary has been distressed,biting her nails lately" I don't think so. The woman is a pure psychopath. Noone (even his most ardent supporters) can truthfully deny that Trump is a narcissictic asshole. That's ok, and even admirable by some. But this bitch is pure evil with no conscience and a lust for power and money unequalled in our lifetime.

Chupacabra-322 -> My crotch itches , Nov 28, 2017 10:26 AM

@ My,

It's why I refer to her in conversation as: Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath Hillary Clinton.Describes her perfectly.

BetterRalph -> two hoots , Nov 28, 2017 11:03 AM

why do they use the SARS law against me when I want to bank with money over $10,000 or at 10 (hell I don't even know what the details of this BS law is exactly but I know it BITES "normal people" if you screw up) so why not use that against the Clinton Foundation, or Soros. Then they can be in supermax awaiting trial. And we can start getting a new narrative that holds truth and therefore light at the end of this dark hell. If SOROS, and CLINTON and Lynch and Holder and on and can't be arrested then there's no LAW ANYMORE

they are the ones actually funding domestic terrorists vs me or grandma ripping off our savings and saying we're scum

you think the chains that keep the dogs from biting will hold much longer? You better be right.

nunyabidnez -> two hoots , Nov 28, 2017 11:31 AM

I doubt anything will happen to her, that's why mueller was appointed, so he can destroy any damaging evidence, and he has a boatload of clintonista backup.

shitshitshit -> tmosley , Nov 28, 2017 10:50 AM

getting a gun for hire do the dirty job would be quite a shortcut, wouldn't it?

343 Guilty Spark -> pods , Nov 28, 2017 11:55 AM

Actually Trump pardoning her would not necessarily be a bad thing. According to the Supreme Court a pardon is an admission of guilt and therefore claiming the 5th amendment is no longer a viable alternative. So if Trump were to pardon Hillary, she would be forced to provide testimony on EVERYTHING. Sure she wouldn't go to jail (unless she lies under oath) but her and Bill's corruption scheme would be completely destroyed and she would be done forever.

I am not saying this is preferable but it is an alternative.

krispkritter -> Shitonya Serfs , Nov 28, 2017 10:56 AM

Is there such as thing as a 'perp drag'?

AsinineBovineFeces -> krispkritter , Nov 28, 2017 11:56 AM

I'm sure a citizens arrest would involve that. Could also be useful during questioning, trial and sentencing.

AsinineBovineFeces -> Shitonya Serfs , Nov 28, 2017 11:53 AM

>Can't handle stairs

>Spotted hiking in the woods

GUS100CORRINA -> Shitonya Serfs , Nov 28, 2017 11:54 AM

Obama-Appointed Federal Inspector Threatened By Clinton Campaign Over Email Investigation

My response: I will bet there were a lot of people who wanted to come forward, but were afraid for their lives and well being if they did come forward.

Under Obama, this is called tyranny.

343 Guilty Spark -> GUS100CORRINA , Nov 28, 2017 12:00 PM

I completely agree. It is astounding on how much illegal and unconstitutional Obama's actions were and yet he is boasted as being such an amazing president. It is also incredibly odd that the MSM forgets how Obama literally used the intelligence apparatus to spy on journalists and had raids done on them for publishing leaks.

Kidbuck -> GUS100CORRINA , Nov 28, 2017 12:24 PM

kidbuck has worked at a half dozen government agencies both federal and state. Saw felonious behavior at every site. The whistle blower ALWAYS fared worse than the felons. It has to do with the fact that so many people observed the illegal behavior and said and did nothing that they were effectively condoning it and thus guilty themselves.

Ajax-1 -> overbet , Nov 28, 2017 9:11 AM

I have no doubt that the Secret Service would love to drop her worthless ass off at prison and be done with the old hag. However, this brings up an interesting point. If she were sentenced to prison, would she be required to forfeit her Secret Service protective detail?

Han Cholo -> Ajax-1 , Nov 28, 2017 9:30 AM

She would be a felon, not entitled to it I would believe.

BarkingCat -> Ajax-1 , Nov 28, 2017 10:06 AM

I was just thinking the same thing.

If she goes to jail does the Secret Service go with her?

BetterRalph -> BarkingCat , Nov 28, 2017 11:11 AM

Nullify the detail, strip em away, they are needed elsewhere. She'll have supermax guards instead.

Shitonya Serfs -> BetterRalph , Nov 28, 2017 11:29 AM

Wouldn't need guards if she's in gitmo or solitary or drop her off in Libia

BetterRalph -> Ajax-1 , Nov 28, 2017 11:06 AM

JUST DO IT!

oldmanofthesee -> overbet , Nov 28, 2017 9:49 AM

Sorry to be so repetitive, but my wife reminds me "they never put each other in jail".

Chupacabra-322 -> oldmanofthesee , Nov 28, 2017 10:43 AM

It's the mechanism of how Crime Syndicate's function specifically the Criminal Globalist Administions that have been able to Tyrannically Govern with Impunity decade after decade.

Present Administration's never Investigate previous ones out of fear that future Administrations may investigate the current one.

Thus, making them Criminal Accessories to previous Administrations War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity & Crimes Against The American People.

War Criminal Obama's "moving forward" on War Criminal Bush Administration Torture, Lying The American People into War, the beginning of mass Surveillance of The American room 641A at Criminal AT&T are but just some examples of the Tyrannical Lawlessness we see before us.

There are absolutely No stature of limitations on War Crimes.

JRobby -> Shitonya Serfs , Nov 28, 2017 10:08 AM

This is standard cartel operating procedures. Same as the Mob, DDB. The Mob takes their orders from the elites.

takeaction -> Rainman , Nov 28, 2017 10:18 AM

SETH

chubbar -> enough of this , Nov 28, 2017 8:27 AM

She had SAP documents that she was not authorized to have in her possession, she sold them to overseas donors and yet Sessions is doing NOTHING about this? Trump needs to fire that asshole along with every FBI motherfucker that has obstructed or otherwise delayed/obfuscated this fact. Also, a full investigation on who leaked this information to Hillary. There are only a handful of people read in on any specific program. It shouldn't be hard to polygraph each one of those read in to the specific program they found on her server. This is a fucking outrage and the fact that idiot Sessions is doing nothing is just as great an outrage as Hillary. They are both fucking traitors!

Jack McGriff -> chubbar , Nov 28, 2017 8:38 AM

Sessions is too busy going after States that legalized cannabis and ramping up civil asset forfeiture. Sessions will never go after Clinton because he is deathly afraid of prosecuting politicians and believes "only banana republics go after political opponents." So there you have it, straight from the AG's mouth. Criminals can be successful and immune from prosecution if they are in the club of "politics." As a politician, anything goes. Rules for thee and not for me as the saying goes. Thanks, Jeff! Fucking coward!

JRobby -> Jack McGriff , Nov 28, 2017 10:14 AM

Sessions (and big pharma) needs to face the reality that legal weed is here to stay. If they let the industry access the banking system ( instead of risking money laundering and wire fraud charges) it would grow even faster.

Let's face it, GOVT hates small entrepreneurship business so that means they hate us, hate job growth, hate widespread prosperity.

AsinineBovineFeces -> Jack McGriff , Nov 28, 2017 11:49 AM

Sessions' most current statements do not reflect that. CAF is becoming a problem in terms of crooked cops and ordinary people exploited by them however, these laws may help crush groups such as MS13 as well as some swamp creatures so it may be a necessary evil for a time. We just need to stay vigilant and apply great pressure when abuse occurs.

/semper vigilans

847328_3527 -> chubbar , Nov 28, 2017 8:38 AM

She sold out America to foreign enemies. In former days when we had a Rule of Law, Hillary would be indicted and found guilty of espionage (at the least) and executed.

JRobby -> 847328_3527 , Nov 28, 2017 10:17 AM

But no corpse abuse after execution. We aren't barbarians!

[Nov 28, 2017] The Cover-Up Begins To End Judicial Watch Hints At Explosive New Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Docs

Notable quotes:
"... "The FBI is out of control. It is stunning that the FBI 'found' these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit," stated Judicial Watch Tom Fitton. "Judicial Watch will continue to press for answers about the FBI's document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately." ..."
"... This case has also forced the FBI to release to the public the FBI's Clinton investigative file, although more than half of the records remain withheld. The FBI has also told Judicial Watch that it anticipates completing the processing of these materials by July 2018. ..."
"... There is significant controversy about whether the FBI and Obama Justice Department investigation gave Clinton and other witnesses and potential targets preferential treatment. ..."
"... So what say you? Will Judicial Watch finally manage to release documents that expose collusion between a former U.S. President, the FBI and the sitting Attorney General to cover-up a massive Clinton scandal or will they simply release more heavily redacted documents that tell us precisely nothing. We'll let you know on Thursday ..."
"... Get rid of all alphabet agencies. Judicial watch can replace the eff bee eye ..."
"... They certainly don't give off the dashing, danger seeking, savior-faire, panache vibe that the Alinsky press so luuuv's to talk about, like with "former British spies" delivering the fake goods but ...when it comes right down to it... ..."
"... I highly recommend making charitable contributions to Judicial Watch. Freedom isn't free, and JW is helping, a whole lot more than the MSM which isn't doing its job very well. But Kudos to the reporter who spotted Clinton and Lynch on the tarmac in Phoenix! ..."
"... I think it's foolish for JW to claim victory before seeing the documents. How would it have hurt to just wait a couple of days before coming out with this story? If this turns out to be a nothing burger it just strengthens Clinton and makes JW look stupid. ..."
Nov 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

After originally being told by the FBI there were no documents to produce in response to their July 2016 FOIA request, Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton was subsequently told in October 2017 that the FBI had simply overlooked 30 pages worth of relevant docs... 30 pages which Fitton now says will mark the "beginning of the end" of the DOJ's "cover-up" when they're released this Thursday.

FBI Hid Clinton/Lynch Tarmac Meeting Records. But the cover-up begins to end -- thanks to @JudicialWatch -- the day after tomorrow. @RealDonaldTrump needs to clean house at FBI/DOJ.

FBI Hid Clinton/Lynch Tarmac Meeting Records. But the cover-up begins to end -- thanks to @JudicialWatch -- the day after tomorrow. @RealDonaldTrump needs to clean house at FBI/DOJ. https://t.co/tytBp28sYL

-- Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) November 28, 2017

Of course, Fitton expressed his frustration with the botched FOIA response back in October after describing the FBI as "out of control" and saying it's " stunning that the FBI 'found' these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit." Per Judicial Watch :

"The FBI is out of control. It is stunning that the FBI 'found' these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit," stated Judicial Watch Tom Fitton. "Judicial Watch will continue to press for answers about the FBI's document games in court. In the meantime, the FBI should stop the stonewall and release these new records immediately."

This case has also forced the FBI to release to the public the FBI's Clinton investigative file, although more than half of the records remain withheld. The FBI has also told Judicial Watch that it anticipates completing the processing of these materials by July 2018.

There is significant controversy about whether the FBI and Obama Justice Department investigation gave Clinton and other witnesses and potential targets preferential treatment.

So what say you? Will Judicial Watch finally manage to release documents that expose collusion between a former U.S. President, the FBI and the sitting Attorney General to cover-up a massive Clinton scandal or will they simply release more heavily redacted documents that tell us precisely nothing. We'll let you know on Thursday.

Bigly -> True Blue , Nov 28, 2017 7:21 PM

Get rid of all alphabet agencies. Judicial watch can replace the eff bee eye

bigkahuna -> True Blue , Nov 28, 2017 7:22 PM

yeah......and, ok - yeah

nmewn -> chunga , Nov 28, 2017 6:59 PM

Indeed.

They certainly don't give off the dashing, danger seeking, savior-faire, panache vibe that the Alinsky press so luuuv's to talk about, like with "former British spies" delivering the fake goods but ...when it comes right down to it...

"Do you want 10yrs of ass pounding prison with a guy named Daisy we know or do you want to give up the goods we can prove you have?"

...even Grand Inquisitor Mueller will buckle and sob like a pussyhat wearing feminist on inauguration day 2017.

Loyalty only goes as far as the last check with them and the money's running out ;-)

MoreFreedom -> chunga , Nov 28, 2017 7:21 PM

I highly recommend making charitable contributions to Judicial Watch. Freedom isn't free, and JW is helping, a whole lot more than the MSM which isn't doing its job very well. But Kudos to the reporter who spotted Clinton and Lynch on the tarmac in Phoenix!

One wonders how the Clinton's found out about Lynch being there, as it certainly wasn't a coincidence.

Kayman , Nov 28, 2017 6:34 PM

Washington is the Mob. Expecting Truth and Justice from these Criminals? Only a rope will solve the problem.

buzzsaw99 , Nov 28, 2017 6:35 PM

loretta is a skanky ho imo.

chubbar -> Tebow , Nov 28, 2017 6:49 PM

I think it's foolish for JW to claim victory before seeing the documents. How would it have hurt to just wait a couple of days before coming out with this story? If this turns out to be a nothing burger it just strengthens Clinton and makes JW look stupid.

[Nov 06, 2017] Early Comey Memo Accused Hillary Of Gross Negligence, Punishable By Jail

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... "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. ..."
"... 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." ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... ...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? ..."
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 PM

That memo was obviously written before Bill talked with Lynch on the Phoenix tarmac (about 115 degress) to discuss golf and their grandchildren...

NoVa

CuttingEdge -> GUS100CORRINA , Nov 6, 2017 4:12 PM

Ships deserting a sinking rat

Bastiat -> CuttingEdge , Nov 6, 2017 4:19 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.

pods -> GUS100CORRINA , Nov 6, 2017 4:16 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.

pods

2ndamendment , Nov 6, 2017 3:52 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.

moneybots , Nov 6, 2017 4:20 PM

" ...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.

[Nov 05, 2017] FBI Turns Over Hundreds Of Pages Of New Clinton Probe Documents Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... The pressure this time emanated from a federal lawsuit that brought the documents to light. Specifically, the lawsuit was filed by Judicial Watch to determine exactly when FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe recused himself from the Clinton email investigation, which was codenamed "Mid Year." McCabe was forced to step aside due to questions about a possible conflict of interest involving hundreds of thousands of dollars of money that flowed to his wife's political campaign from a Clinton ally. ..."
"... The newly disclosed documents, presented in their entirety below, reveal that McCabe did not recuse himself from the long-running investigation until Nov. 1, 2016, just six days before the probe was officially ended and eight days before Trump defeated Clinton in one of the greatest upset victories in modern presidential politics. ..."
"... 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 a joint investigation into how the Justice Department handled last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. The Senate Judiciary Committee had announced its own investigation weeks earlier. ..."
"... The bureau's decision to release the documents is a sign that new FBI Director Chris Wray, is attempting to build his own relationship with Congress amid multiple oversight investigations. ..."
Nov 05, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

In September, Comey, - much like Hillary's former IT consultant Paul Combetta who admitted to deleting Hillary's emails despite the existence of a Congressional subpoena - had his very own "oh shit" moment when a witness confirmed during Congressional testimony that Comey started drafting his letter excusing Clinton months before the investigation was finished. Since then, the bureau has decided to begin turning over all documents requested by Congress, including memos pertaining to the infamous 'Trump dossier' after initially resisting a subpoena from the House Intel committee.

... ... ...

The pressure this time emanated from a federal lawsuit that brought the documents to light. Specifically, the lawsuit was filed by Judicial Watch to determine exactly when FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe recused himself from the Clinton email investigation, which was codenamed "Mid Year." McCabe was forced to step aside due to questions about a possible conflict of interest involving hundreds of thousands of dollars of money that flowed to his wife's political campaign from a Clinton ally.

On Friday, Bloomberg reported that in their quest to discover the the FBI Deputy Director may know, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee threatened to subpoena McCabe next week unless he agrees to appear before their panel.

They intend on pressing McCabe on topics including his role in the FBI's investigation into former White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, said the official, who asked not to be identified discussing the members' plans. Interest in McCabe goes beyond Flynn, however, the official said.

McCabe's role in the Clinton probe is especially conflicted: last October, the WSJ reported that the political organization of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, an influential Democrat with longstanding ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton, gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of McCabe's wife, shortly before he helped oversee the FBI "investigation" into Clinton's email use.

Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe's political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

The Virginia Democratic Party, over which Mr. McAuliffe exerts considerable control, donated an additional $207,788 worth of support to Dr. McCabe's campaign in the form of mailers, according to the records. That adds up to slightly more than $675,000 to her candidacy from entities either directly under Mr. McAuliffe's control or strongly influenced by him. The figure represents more than a third of all the campaign funds Dr. McCabe raised in the effort.

The newly disclosed documents, presented in their entirety below, reveal that McCabe did not recuse himself from the long-running investigation until Nov. 1, 2016, just six days before the probe was officially ended and eight days before Trump defeated Clinton in one of the greatest upset victories in modern presidential politics.

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 a joint investigation into how the Justice Department handled last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server. The Senate Judiciary Committee had announced its own investigation weeks earlier.

The bureau's decision to release the documents is a sign that new FBI Director Chris Wray, is attempting to build his own relationship with Congress amid multiple oversight investigations.

svayambhu108 -> KimAsa , Nov 4, 2017 1:54 PM

Clinton is untouchable all those elite POSs are untouchable, eat you heart out sheeple

toady -> svayambhu108 , Nov 4, 2017 1:58 PM

I like how it's a "Clinton Probe" and a "Trump INVESTIGATION"

bamawatson -> toady , Nov 4, 2017 1:59 PM

disgusting

strannick -> bamawatson , Nov 4, 2017 2:02 PM

FBI limited hangout

macholatte -> IH8OBAMA , Nov 4, 2017 2:33 PM

SESSIONS MUST GO. There is no choice.

Hoping to clarify Sessions' vague response, Hewitt asked whether the attorney general was recused from any investigations into the Clinton Foundation.

"Um yes," Sessions replied.

https://thinkprogress.org/sessions-recuse-uranium-one-b4d1208b5e2e/

CheapBastard -> macholatte , Nov 4, 2017 2:40 PM

Send both Comey and Sessons to Gitmo for "enhanced interrogation."

CuttingEdge -> CheapBastard , Nov 4, 2017 4:58 PM

Let's see...

If Sessions appoints a special prosecutor for Uranium-1, on the basis that all that lovely yellow cake has left the country for parts unknown, contravening guarantees made to Congress (the FBI informant hopefully this week is key), obviously there is no link to Hillary that could affect Sessions recusal - because the MSM have been telling us ad infinitum there is nothing to see there...

Sessions and his recusal are then out of the frame, and the SP can go down every fucking rabbit hole he chooses (same as Mueller is doing). If, perchance, they lead him to the doors of the Clinton Foundation, or God forbid, the scroat herself, that is fuck all to do with the AG.

In order to have zero influence in the control of the evidence from hereon in, McCabe and Rosenstein (and likely many of their Obama placeholder deputies in the FBI and DoJ) need to be removed immediately.

beemasters -> CuttingEdge , Nov 4, 2017 5:31 PM

"Clinton Probe"

Huma has all the evidence. Probe her too.

BidnessMan -> beemasters , Nov 4, 2017 5:55 PM

The evidence is all on the Weiner laptop, and on all the Awan laptops and desktops. But they do have to actually look at them.... Looks like Sessions is being skunked and humiliated by the DoJ permanent staff who always adored Hillary and Obama, and still do.

The DoJ Swamp is winning.

LedMizer -> CheapBastard , Nov 4, 2017 5:23 PM

Every time I read Hillary and probe in the same sentence I throw up a little in my mouth.

El Oregonian -> CheapBastard , Nov 4, 2017 9:34 PM

FBI officials declined to comment. "We don't have any information for you," spokeswoman Carol Cratty told The Hill.

That is not acceptable spokeswoman Carol Cratty. You are a servant to the people and answer to us! Now get your ass in gear and bring out the information or you will also be charged with obstruction of justice.

Citxmech -> macholatte , Nov 4, 2017 2:41 PM

HRC could admit to bathing in babys' blood and eating kittens and the MSM would be silent.

valjoux7750 -> macholatte , Nov 4, 2017 3:06 PM

Sessions is a spinless douche bag. He recused himself from Clinton fountion because he said something negative about the candidate and it might hurt his objectivity? What a coward this guy is, he wants nothing to do with prosecuting Clinton. Fire this pussy already Trump!!

chunga -> strannick , Nov 4, 2017 2:28 PM

My guess is TPTB are seeing their stories are becoming so fantastic and hard to believe they're straining their last tiny threads of credulity so they're trying to placate with these batches of files.. The lovely and charming mrs. chunga likes to watch the weather report in the morning. She normally has the discipline to not get too fired up about fake news because she's convinced it's all fake but this AM she was livid.

The little fake news pinhead said Trump was fleeing the country because he was in grave danger of Mueller and the Russian collusion business was closing in on him. He said the Uranium One thing had been "thouroughly debunked". No mention of Brazile. No mention of Warren.

Then some tribe guy legal expert came on and said Sessions was again in Trump's dog house and any attempt to push him around was a desperate diversion tactic and the "Murikan people want Mueller to continue without interference. LoL!

My theory is Comey re-opened the investigation when the Weiner laptop popped up. Then it was closed 8 days later after it had positively been secured and everyone who'd seen it was sufficiently threatened and/or killed by federal black hats.

Dilly Dilly!

GUS100CORRINA -> chunga , Nov 4, 2017 2:38 PM

FBI Turns Over Hundreds Of Pages Of New Clinton Probe Documents

My response: IT IS ABOUT TIME!!!! What an absolute screwed up mess this whole CLINTON episode has become.

IF YOU WANT IT REALLY SCREWED UP, JUST LET THE MARXIST PROGRESS LIBERAL LAWYERS AND JUDGES GET INVOLVED.

AG Jeff Sessions really needs to step up to the bar here or GET THE HELL OUT!!!!

By the way, AG Sessions better make RICE, LOIS LERNER (IRS), HOLDER, LYNCH and OBAMA a key focus in the weeks ahead. These people are corrupt to the core.

SWRichmond -> Chupacabra-322 , Nov 4, 2017 4:42 PM

McCabe for prison.

Yes I mean both of them. McAuliffe too. McAuliffe is the one who stood down the Virginia police and is responsible for all the mayhem in Charlottesville.

Go to jail Terry you corrupt son of a b****. Terry was on the board of the Clinton Foundation.

And while we're at it there's Tim Kaine former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, which apparently was bankrupt enough for Hillary Clinton to take over with some of her ill-gotten gains to guarantee herself the Democratic nomination and steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. And we can see how corrupt the DNC is can't we?

So we can dump Kaine because he had to know about uranium one. He had to know about the Perkins Coie pissgate "dossier". He is thick in this too.

gdiamond22 -> KimAsa , Nov 4, 2017 7:21 PM

Smashed hard drives, deleted emails, pleading the 5th, immunity deals. This is politics at the highest level. No one goes to jail that is or was in a position of power and spotlight. It's a failure of government and a failure of justice. All it does is what the left wants - divide and conquer.

Lady Liberty weaps.....

Yes We Can. But... , Nov 4, 2017 2:00 PM

She hid her emails for a reason ((pay-to-play, foundation, laundering)).

She destroyed them for a reason ((avoid prosecution, Comey plays dumb)).

She needs to pay ((equal application rule of law)).

Chupacabra-322 -> Yes We Can. But Lets Not. , Nov 4, 2017 2:15 PM

As a reminder, all the data to date suggests that Hillary broke the following 11 US CODES. I provided the links for your convenience. HRC needs to immediately be apprehended, Arrested, Indicted, Enprisoned, Tried, Convicted & Executed.

CEO aka "President" TRUMP was indeed correct when he said: "FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!"

The Preponderance of Evidence suggests that she broke these Laws, Knowingly, Willfully and Repeatedly. This pattern indicates a habitual/career Criminal, who belongs in Federal Prison awaiting Trail for Treason, Sedition, Crimes Against Humanity & Crimes Against The American People.

**Side Note**

Mueller, Comey, Obama, Lynch, Jarrett, Clapper, Brennan, Wasserman-Shultz are not immune from the above charges.

[Oct 27, 2017] Deep State Gone Wild Comey Asserts Unprecedented FBI Supremacy

Comey is actually a politician. And he definitely wanted to keep Russiagate hot, and probably was instrumental in creating it ... As this situation suits him political desire for higher autonomy from Justice Department
Notable quotes:
"... James Comey asserted in his extraordinary testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is authorized to override Justice Department oversight procedures, a questionable claim which if true would raise serious questions about long-standing rules aimed at preventing abuses by federal law enforcement officials. ..."
"... The former head of the FBI told the Senate panel that he believed he had received a direction from the president in February that the FBI end its investigation of Michael Flynn's alleged involvement with Russia -- a direction with which he and his kitchen-cabinet of "FBI senior leadership" unilaterally decided not to comply. The Comey cabinet then decided that it would not report the receipt of this direction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other Justice Department superior. ..."
"... Rosenstein criticized Comey's decision to act without consultation from the Department of Justice as usurping the Attorney General's authority and an attempt to "supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. Comey had violated a "well-established process" for how to deal with situations where to Attorney General faces a conflict of interest, according to Rosenstein. ..."
"... "The Director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General's authority on July 5, 2016," Rosenstein wrote. "The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department . ..."
"... Comey's assertion that the FBI can override standard protocols could endanger that independence, according to a former high-ranking federal law enforcement official. ..."
"... "Mr. Comey is describing an FBI director who essentially answers to no one. But the police powers of the government are awesome and often abused, and the only way to prevent or correct abuses is to report to elected officials who are accountable to voters. A director must resist intervention to obstruct an investigation, but he and the agency must be politically accountable or risk becoming the FBI of J. Edgar Hoover," the Wall Street Journal wrote . ..."
"... A 2005 report from the FBI's Office of Inspector General on the Department of Justice's guidelines for FBI investigations stated, "Attorneys General and FBI leadership have uniformly agreed that the Attorney General Guidelines are necessary and desirable, and they have referred to the FBI's adherence to the Attorney General Guidelines as the reason why the FBI should not be subjected to a general legislative charter or to statutory control over the exercise of some of its most intrusive authorities. " ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

James Comey asserted in his extraordinary testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is authorized to override Justice Department oversight procedures, a questionable claim which if true would raise serious questions about long-standing rules aimed at preventing abuses by federal law enforcement officials.

The former head of the FBI told the Senate panel that he believed he had received a direction from the president in February that the FBI end its investigation of Michael Flynn's alleged involvement with Russia -- a direction with which he and his kitchen-cabinet of "FBI senior leadership" unilaterally decided not to comply. The Comey cabinet then decided that it would not report the receipt of this direction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions or any other Justice Department superior.

The group decided that it could override standard FBI protocol and possibly legal obligations to report the incident because of its expectations that Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia matter, although that recusal would not come until weeks later. The Comey cabinet also decided that it wasn't obligated to approach the acting Deputy Attorney General because he would likely be replaced soon.

"We concluded it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations. (He did so two weeks later.) The Deputy Attorney General's role was then filled in an acting capacity by a United States Attorney, who would also not be long in the role," Comey said. "After discussing the matter, we decided to keep it very closely held, resolving to figure out what to do with it down the road as our investigation progressed."

According to three different former federal law enforcement officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, there is no precedent for the director of the FBI to refuse to inform a Deputy Attorney General of a matter because of his or her "acting" status nor to use the expectation of a recusal as a basis for withholding information.

"This is an extraordinary usurpation of power. Not something you'd expect from the supposedly by-the-books guys at the top of the FBI," one of those officials told Breitbart News.

The closest precedent to the Comey cabinet's decision to conceal information from Justice Department superiors is likely Comey's widely criticized earlier decision to go public about the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails. That decision received a sharp rebuke in the May 9 memo by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that formed the basis for Comey's firing by Trump.

Rosenstein criticized Comey's decision to act without consultation from the Department of Justice as usurping the Attorney General's authority and an attempt to "supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. Comey had violated a "well-established process" for how to deal with situations where to Attorney General faces a conflict of interest, according to Rosenstein.

"The Director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General's authority on July 5, 2016," Rosenstein wrote. "The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department . There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation's most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders."

Comey's testimony on Thursday seemed to double-down on this defense, which amounts to a claim that the FBI's top agents can act outside of the ordinary processes intended to establish oversight and accountability at the nation's top law enforcement agency.

The FBI's adherence to Department of Justice guidelines and instructions from Attorneys General has been a centerpiece of its ongoing independence, often cited by officials as a reason why the FBI does not need a general legislative charter that would restrict or control by statute its authority. Comey's assertion that the FBI can override standard protocols could endanger that independence, according to a former high-ranking federal law enforcement official.

"He's not only put the credibility of the bureau in doubt, he's now putting the entire basis for our independence in jeopardy," the official said.

The official pointed to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal as explaining the dangers of an FBI that decides not to inform the Department of Justice of its activities.

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

A 2005 report from the FBI's Office of Inspector General on the Department of Justice's guidelines for FBI investigations stated, "Attorneys General and FBI leadership have uniformly agreed that the Attorney General Guidelines are necessary and desirable, and they have referred to the FBI's adherence to the Attorney General Guidelines as the reason why the FBI should not be subjected to a general legislative charter or to statutory control over the exercise of some of its most intrusive authorities. "

[Oct 25, 2017] Why the FBI wiretap on former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is a big deal by Randall D. Eliason

Neocons still dream of Trump impeachment. Neutering him is not enough... the number of potentially illegal wiretaps of Trump associates suggests that threr was a plan to derail plan in three letter agencies headquarters (with blessing of Obama). Plan of interfere with the US election to be exact.
Notable quotes:
"... Reports that the FBI wiretapped former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort are a further sign of the seriousness of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation. But there's still a great deal we don't know about the implications, if any, for the broader inquiry into possible Russian ties to the Trump campaign. ..."
"... The other import of this news involves the possible implications if Manafort is charged. The New York Times reported Monday that when Manafort's home was searched in July, investigators told him he should expect to be indicted. ..."
"... A typical white-collar investigation often proceeds by building cases against lower-level participants in a scheme -- the little fish -- and then persuading them to cooperate in the investigation of the bigger fish. Trump and his associates therefore may have reason to be concerned about what Manafort could tell investigators, if he were indicted and chose to cooperate. ..."
"... Again, much of this is speculation. Due to grand jury secrecy and the secrecy surrounding the FISA process, we don't know many of the details. And given the typical pace of these investigations, whatever happens likely will not happen quickly. ..."
Sep 19, 2017 | washingtonpost.com

Then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort at the Republican National Convention. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

Reports that the FBI wiretapped former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort are a further sign of the seriousness of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation. But there's still a great deal we don't know about the implications, if any, for the broader inquiry into possible Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

CNN reported Monday night that the FBI obtained a warrant to listen in on Manafort's phone calls back in 2014. The warrant was part of an investigation into U.S. firms that may have performed undisclosed work for the Ukrainian government. The surveillance reportedly lapsed for a time but was begun again last year when the FBI learned about possible ties between Russian operatives and Trump associates.

This news is a big deal primarily because of what it takes to obtain such a wiretap order. The warrant reportedly was issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. A FISA warrant requires investigators to demonstrate to the FISA court that there is probable cause to believe the target may be acting as an unlawful foreign agent.

When news broke last month that Mueller was using a grand jury to conduct his investigation, many reported it with unnecessary breathlessness. Although a grand jury investigation is certainly significant, a prosecutor does not need court approval or a finding of probable cause to issue a grand jury subpoena, and Mueller's use of a grand jury was not unexpected .

A FISA warrant is another matter. It means investigators have demonstrated probable cause to an independent judicial authority. Obtaining a warrant actually says much more about the strength of the underlying allegations than issuing a grand jury subpoena.

That's also why the search warrant executed at Manafort's home in July was such a significant step in the investigation. Unlike a grand jury subpoena, the search warrant required Mueller's team to demonstrate to a judge that a crime probably had been committed.

But it's important not to get too far in front of the story. The FBI surveillance of Manafort reportedly began in 2014, long before he was working as Trump's campaign manager. So the initial allegations, at least, appear to have involved potential crimes having nothing to do with the Trump campaign. And most or all of the surveillance apparently took place before Mueller was even appointed and was not at his direction.

Mueller's involvement now does suggest that the current focus relates to Manafort's role in the Trump campaign. But we don't know exactly how, if at all, any alleged crimes by Manafort relate to his work in that role. And we don't know whether any other individuals involved in the campaign are potentially implicated.

We also don't know what evidence was obtained as a result of the surveillance. The fact that warrants were issued does not mean any evidence of criminal conduct was actually found.

The other import of this news involves the possible implications if Manafort is charged. The New York Times reported Monday that when Manafort's home was searched in July, investigators told him he should expect to be indicted. Even if Mueller were to indict Manafort for crimes not directly related to the Trump campaign, it would be a significant development. A typical white-collar investigation often proceeds by building cases against lower-level participants in a scheme -- the little fish -- and then persuading them to cooperate in the investigation of the bigger fish. Trump and his associates therefore may have reason to be concerned about what Manafort could tell investigators, if he were indicted and chose to cooperate.

Again, much of this is speculation. Due to grand jury secrecy and the secrecy surrounding the FISA process, we don't know many of the details. And given the typical pace of these investigations, whatever happens likely will not happen quickly.

But news of the FISA surveillance is the latest evidence that Mueller's investigation is serious, aggressive and will be with us for some time.

Randall D. Eliason teaches white-collar criminal law at George Washington University Law School.

[Oct 24, 2017] House Launches Probe Into Comeys Handling Of Clinton Email Investigation

The neoliberal "the new class" to which Clintons belong like nomenklatura in the USSR are above the law.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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). ..."
"... You're probably right, but there's a chance this whole thing could go sidewise on Hillary in a hurry, Weinstein-style. ..."
"... We already know Honest Hill'rey's other IT guy (Bryan Pagliano) ignored subpoenas from congress...twice. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... Potemkin Justice. Not a damn thing will come of it unless they find that one of Hillary's aides parked in a handicapped spot. ..."
"... The TV showed me Trump saying, "She's been through enough" and "They're good people" when referring to Hillary and Bill Clinton. ..."
"... Stopped reading at "they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status." ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Hillary'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:

???? #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 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.

Ghost of PartysOver -> AlaricBalth , Oct 24, 2017 1:10 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.

nope-1004 -> Ghost of PartysOver , Oct 24, 2017 1:12 PM

LAMP POST!

Live stream for all to witness.

macholatte -> nope-1004 , Oct 24, 2017 1:17 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!

Thought Processor -> Chupacabra-322 , Oct 24, 2017 2:11 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.

Ikiru -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Oct 24, 2017 2:02 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.

jimmy c korn -> Richard Chesler , Oct 24, 2017 1:28 PM

a blind-folded woman with a hand in their pockets.

chunga -> Max Cynical , Oct 24, 2017 1:00 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.

shovelhead -> DirtySanchez , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 PM

First we need to get a US Attorney. Our last one seems to have gone AWOL.

DirtySanchez -> shovelhead , Oct 24, 2017 1:05 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.

waterwitch -> DirtySanchez , Oct 24, 2017 1:18 PM

Bigger than the Awan Spy ring in Congress?

IronForge , Oct 24, 2017 12:36 PM

About Fracking Time. Toss that Evidence Eraser into Black Sites hot during the Summer and Cold during the Winter Months.

To Hell In A Ha... , Oct 24, 2017 12:40 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.

E.F. Mutton , Oct 24, 2017 12:37 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.

ToSoft4Truth , Oct 24, 2017 12:38 PM

The TV said Comey will be running for president in 2020.

Akzed -> ToSoft4Truth , Oct 24, 2017 12:39 PM

Well then it must be true.

ToSoft4Truth -> Akzed , Oct 24, 2017 12:51 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?

E.F. Mutton -> Gerry Fletcher , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 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 is

mc888 -> BigWillyStyle887 , Oct 24, 2017 1:24 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.

Dead Indiana Sky , Oct 24, 2017 12:43 PM

Stopped reading at "they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status."

[Oct 24, 2017] Republican-led House committees to investigate Clintons emails again by Associated Press

Why they decided to resume investigation now ? What new facts were uncovered? What hidden storm hit "deep state" so the for stability they need to sacrifice Hillary Clinton
How this correlates with the discovery that DNC paid for Steele dossier? Judging from John Sipher a is a former member of the CIA's Senior Intelligence Service attempt to defend Steele dossier in his Slate article (Sept, 2017), just a month before current revelations. As retied CIA agents usually avoid public spotlight it might well be that he was "adviced" to write his evaluation and, if this is the case, then CIA and may be personally Brennan were also involved in "Steele dossier" fiasco.
Notable quotes:
"... The ousted FBI director James Comey and the former attorney general Loretta Lynch spoke at length to Congress about that investigation last year, and it is the subject of a continuing review by the justice department's inspector general. ..."
"... Nunes has separately signed off on subpoenas that sought the banking records of Fusion GPS, the political research company behind a dossier of allegations about Trump's connections to Russia. A lawyer for the company said in a statement Tuesday the subpoena was "overly broad" and without any legitimate purposes ..."
Oct 24, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The Republican leaders of the House judiciary and oversight panels said in a statement they were opening investigations into the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation and the decision not to prosecute her – the subject of hours-long congressional hearings last year.

The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, Devin Nunes, also announced a separate investigation into a uranium deal brokered during Barack Obama's tenure as president.

The House judiciary committee chairman, Robert Goodlatte of Virginia, and the oversight committee chairman, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, said the inquiry would be aimed at the FBI and its decisions in the Clinton investigation . The ousted FBI director James Comey and the former attorney general Loretta Lynch spoke at length to Congress about that investigation last year, and it is the subject of a continuing review by the justice department's inspector general.

The two panels have declined to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 elections, leaving those inquiries to Senate committees and the House intelligence committee.

Nunes has separately signed off on subpoenas that sought the banking records of Fusion GPS, the political research company behind a dossier of allegations about Trump's connections to Russia. A lawyer for the company said in a statement Tuesday the subpoena was "overly broad" and without any legitimate purposes.

[Oct 24, 2017] The Blind Justice Lady is real

Oct 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

AlaricBalth -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Oct 24, 2017 1:03 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.

E.F. Mutton -> Gerry Fletcher , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 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 is

[Sep 24, 2017] Weiner faces sentencing in latest chapter of sexting drama

Sep 24, 2017 | www.msn.com

NEW YORK ! It seemed as if Anthony Weiner had hit rock bottom when he resigned from Congress in 2011.

"Bye-bye, pervert!" one heckler shouted as the Democrat quit amid revelations that he had sent graphic pictures of himself to women on social media. Time has shown his self-destructive drama had only just begun.

Weiner, 53, is set to be sentenced Monday for sending obscene material to a 15-year-old girl in a case that may have also have played a role in costing Hillary Clinton ! former boss of Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin ! the presidential election.

Federal prosecutors have asked for a sentence of slightly more than two years behind bars because of the seriousness of the crime, in which Weiner sent adult porn to the girl and got her to take her clothes off for him on Skype.

"The defendant did far more than exchange typed words on a lifeless cellphone screen with a faceless stranger," prosecutors wrote to the judge. "Transmitting obscenity to a minor to induce her to engage in sexually explicit conduct by video chat and photo ! is far from mere 'sexting.'"

[Sep 21, 2017] After 2.5 Years, A Lawsuit To Unseal Draft Whitewater Indictments Against Hillary Gets Its Day In Court

Sep 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

McClatchy points out, since March 2015 Judicial Watch has been engaged in a back and forth battle with the National Archives which argues that "the documents should be kept secret [to preserve] grand jury secrecy and Clinton's personal privacy."

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that files Freedom of Information Act requests, wants copies of the documents that the National Archives and Records Administration has declined to release. It filed a FOIA request for the documents in March 2015 and in October 2015 the group sued for the 238 pages of responsive records.

According to Judicial Watch: " The National Archives argues that the documents should be kept secret, citing grand jury secrecy and Clinton's personal privacy."

But Judicial Watch says that because so much about the Whitewater case has already been made public, "there is no secrecy or privacy left to protect."

The documents in question are alleged drafts of indictments written by Hickman Ewing, the chief deputy of Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton's alleged involvement in fraudulent real estate dealings dating back to the 70's.

Ewing told investigators he drafted the indictments in April 1995. According to Judicial Watch, the documents pertain to allegations that Hillary Clinton provided false information and withheld information from those investigating the Whitewater scandal.

Meanwhile, for those who haven't been alive long enough to remember some of the original Clinton scandals dating back to the 1970's, the Whitewater scandal revolved around a series of shady real estate deals in the Ozarks, not to mention a couple of illegal, federally-insured loans, back when Bill was Governor of Arkansas.

Of course, like with all Clinton scandals, while several other people ended up in jail as a result of the FBI's Whitewater investigation, Bill and Hillary emerged unscathed. Wikipedia offers more details:

The Whitewater controversy, Whitewater scandal (or simply Whitewater), was an American political episode of the 1990s that began with an investigation into the real estate investments of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates, Jim McDougal and Susan McDougal, in the Whitewater Development Corporation, a failed business venture in the 1970s and 1980s.

A March 1992 New York Times article published during the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign reported that the Clintons, then governor and first lady of Arkansas, had invested and lost money in the Whitewater Development Corporation. The article stimulated the interest of L. Jean Lewis, a Resolution Trust Corporation investigator who was looking into the failure of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, also owned by Jim and Susan McDougal.

Lewis looked for connections between the savings and loan company and the Clintons, and on September 2, 1992, she submitted a criminal referral to the FBI naming Bill and Hillary Clinton as witnesses in the Madison Guaranty case. Little Rock U.S. Attorney Charles A. Banks and the FBI determined that the referral lacked merit, but Lewis continued to pursue the case. From 1992 to 1994, Lewis issued several additional referrals against the Clintons and repeatedly called the U.S. Attorney's Office in Little Rock and the Justice Department regarding the case. Her referrals eventually became public knowledge, and she testified before the Senate Whitewater Committee in 1995.

David Hale, the source of criminal allegations against the Clintons, claimed in November 1993 that Bill Clinton had pressured him into providing an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the Clintons' partner in the Whitewater land deal. The allegations were regarded as questionable because Hale had not mentioned Clinton in reference to this loan during the original FBI investigation of Madison Guaranty in 1989; only after coming under indictment himself in 1993, did Hale make allegations against the Clintons. A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation resulted in convictions against the McDougals for their role in the Whitewater project. Jim Guy Tucker, Bill Clinton's successor as governor, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to four years of probation for his role in the matter. Susan McDougal served 18 months in prison for contempt of court for refusing to answer questions relating to Whitewater.

Neither Bill Clinton nor Hillary were ever prosecuted, after three separate inquiries found insufficient evidence linking them with the criminal conduct of others related to the land deal.

Just more attempts to "criminalize behavior that is normal"...

jamesmmu , Sep 21, 2017 6:36 PM

Understanding The Battle Between The Deep State – And "One Nation Under God" – The Holy War Within The United States Of America.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/understanding-the-battle-between-the-deep...

knukles -> jamesmmu , Sep 21, 2017 7:00 PM

"National Security" Will Prevail Again. Hillary's health and mental condition are at risk.

Hillary/Diezapam 2020

Holy war? FFS people, this shit's straight out of the End of Days stories or numerous religious, spiritual and philosophical belief systems. Yes, the war between good and evil is real and evil has the upper hand at the moment. Greatly has the upper hand.

Edit and More Importantly, Andre Ward's announced his retirement from boxing Man was a thing of beauty in the ring....

Four chan -> knukles , Sep 21, 2017 7:27 PM

the first work the clintons did for the cia

booboo -> Four chan , Sep 21, 2017 8:22 PM

Didn't Sandy Berger get caught stealing Clinton related documents from the National Archives?

Wonder what else he make off in his socks?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16706-2005Mar31.html

Lumberjack -> Lumberjack , Sep 21, 2017 6:48 PM

Was Hillary Clinton Fired from the Nixon Impeachment Inquiry?

https://www.cato.org/blog/was-hillary-clinton-fired-nixon-impeachment-in...

In 1999, nine years before the Calabrese interview, Zeifman told the Scripps-Howard news agency: "If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her." In a 2008 interview on "The Neal Boortz Show," Zeifman was asked directly whether he fired her. His answer: "Well, let me put it this way. I terminated her, along with some other staff members who were ! we no longer needed, and advised her that I would not ! could not recommend her for any further positions."

Blankenstein -> YourAverageJoe , Sep 21, 2017 8:29 PM

They owned the property of what was most likely a drug smuggling operation in Paron, Arkansas.

That property has ties with the Rose law firm in Little Rock , in which Hillary Rodham Clinton was formerly a partner. While some observers believe the property was intended as an additional presidential residence - the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, for example, reported it was rumored to be a "White House West"; and contractors who worked on it whimsically tagged it "Camp Chelsea" - there are strong indications something quite different might be taking place in Paron

Simultaneous with this, residents said there was an increase in low-flying airplanes over the property. Unlike the military aircraft that occasionally fly over the area, these were "small Cessna-like" aircraft, according to Hill. He said the planes typically fly through a pass in the Cockspur Mountains on Southeast's property, several miles from the main road.

"After the planes leave, 20 to 30 minutes will go by, and small trucks and Jeeps leave the property at two different entrances," said Hill. He added that neighbors, during a flurry of aircraft activity, had logged the details, which they then passed on to federal authorities

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/993980/posts

Blankenstein -> insanelysane , Sep 21, 2017 8:23 PM

The ones with Vince Foster's fingerprints on them?

" After nearly two years of searches and subpoenas, the White House said this evening that it had unexpectedly discovered copies of missing documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton's law firm that describe her work for a failing savings and loan association in the 1980's.

http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/06/us/elusive-papers-of-law-firm-are-foun...

"The mysterious appearance of the billing records, which had been the specific subject of various nvestigative subpoenas for two year s, sparked intense interest about how they surfaced and where they had been"

"But Whitewater investigators believe that the billing records show significant representation. They argue that the records prove that Ms. Clinton was not only directly involved in the representation of Madison, but more specifically, in providing legal work on the fraudulent Castle Grande land deal."

"Investigators believe this suggests that, at some point, this copy was passed from Vince Foster to Hillary Clinton for her review.

In addition, investigators had the FBI conduct fingerprint analysis of the billing records. Of significance, the prints of Vince Foster and Hillary Clinton were found."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/arkansas/docs/recs.html

Rebelrebel7 , Sep 21, 2017 7:22 PM

It is extremely unfortunate that criminal behavior is now considered normal! The Clintons are responsible for that.

The Clintons were extremely guilty of Whitewater for profiteering on a failed real estate deal at Arkansas' residents expense, in addition to dozens of other crimes! I often wonder how life could be much better if the Clintons were never elected! The invasive and rampant corruption in virtually every sector of our society, has made this country 100% dysfunctional!

There had been criminal activity at the local level in government in some regions, but Clinton nationalized it, and legitimized it. Nixon was impeached, and resigned, giving people belief that nobody was above the law.

Now, Trump has not committed a single impeachable offense, and all that they ever talk about is impeachment!

I recall reading that Starr had DNC loyalties. My guess is that Republicans were more concerned with a President Gore, than a President Clinton.

Chippewa Partners , Sep 21, 2017 7:49 PM

The Rose Law Firm billings records? They were found sitting on her night stand next to her bed FFS...........

This is a great article on her prowess in cattle trading ......all of you wanna-be traders should try to emulate her ability!!!

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/436066/hillary-clintons-cattle-fut...

Anunnaki , Sep 21, 2017 8:17 PM

The real scandal is how Hellary turned 1000$ into 100k in cattle futures. They said it would be like winning the lottery two days in a row

[Sep 21, 2017] Emails Hillary Clinton Sought Russian Officials For Pay-To-Play Scheme

Sep 21, 2017 | www.mintpressnews.com

Although Hillary Clinton has blamed numerous factors and people for her loss to Donald Trump in last year's election, no one has received as much blame as the Russian government. In an effort to avoid blaming the candidate herself by turning the election results into a national scandal, accusations of Kremlin-directed meddling soon surfaced. While such accusations have largely been discredited by both computer analysts and award-winning journalists like Seymour Hersh, they continue to be repeated as the investigation into Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Russian government picks up steam.

However, newly released Clinton emails suggest that that the former secretary of state's disdain for the Russian government is a relatively new development. The emails, obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, show that the Russian government was included in invitations to exclusive Clinton Foundation galas that began less than two months after Clinton became the top official at the U.S. State Department.

In March of 2009, Amitabh Desai, then-Clinton Foundation director of foreign policy, sent invitations to numerous world leaders, which included Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. Desai's emails were cc'd to Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro and later forwarded to top Clinton aide Jake Sullivan.

The Clinton Foundation's activities during Hillary's tenure as secretary of state have been central to the accusations that the Clinton family used their "charitable" foundation as a means of enriching themselves via a massive "Pay to Play" scheme. Emails leaked by Wikileaks, particularly the Podesta emails , offered ample evidence connecting foreign donations to the Clintons and their foundation with preferential treatment by the U.S. State Department.

[Sep 11, 2017] Around 1970 corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests with capital owners and realigned themselves, abandoning working class and a large part of lower middle class (small business owners)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests. ..."
"... This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution. ..."
"... They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. ..."
"... the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game." ..."
"... So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out. ..."
"... Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it. ..."
"... A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris. ..."
"... I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

William Meyer 11.13.16 at 9:40 pm 4

Obviously Mr. Deerin is, on its face, utilizing a very disputable definition of "liberal."

However, I think a stronger case could be made for something like Mr. Deerin's argument, although it doesn't necessarily get to the same conclusion.

My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests.

Vive la meritocracy. This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution.

I think the 90% or so of the community who are not included in this class are confused and bewildered and of course rather angry about it. They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. Watching the bailouts and lack of prosecutions during the GFC made them dimly realize that the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game."

So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying Donald Trump is leading an insurgency against the New Class – but I think he tapped into something like one and is riding it for all he can, while not really having the slightest idea what he's doing.

Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it.

Neville Morley 11.14.16 at 7:11 am ( 31 )

A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/14/are-you-a-sinister-filthy-elite-take-this-quiz-and-find-out-now?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Chris S 11.14.16 at 7:31 am

@29,

I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest.

[Sep 11, 2017] Around 1970 corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests with capital owners and realigned themselves, abandoning working class and a large part of lower middle class (small business owners)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests. ..."
"... This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution. ..."
"... They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. ..."
"... the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game." ..."
"... So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out. ..."
"... Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it. ..."
"... A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris. ..."
"... I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest. ..."
Nov 14, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

William Meyer 11.13.16 at 9:40 pm 4

Obviously Mr. Deerin is, on its face, utilizing a very disputable definition of "liberal."

However, I think a stronger case could be made for something like Mr. Deerin's argument, although it doesn't necessarily get to the same conclusion.

My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests.

Vive la meritocracy. This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution.

I think the 90% or so of the community who are not included in this class are confused and bewildered and of course rather angry about it. They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. Watching the bailouts and lack of prosecutions during the GFC made them dimly realize that the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game."

So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out.

Let me be clear, I'm not saying Donald Trump is leading an insurgency against the New Class – but I think he tapped into something like one and is riding it for all he can, while not really having the slightest idea what he's doing.

Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it.

Neville Morley 11.14.16 at 7:11 am ( 31 )

A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/14/are-you-a-sinister-filthy-elite-take-this-quiz-and-find-out-now?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Chris S 11.14.16 at 7:31 am

@29,

I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest.

[Aug 11, 2017] John R. Schindler

Notable quotes:
"... However, one senior NSA official, now retired, recalled the kerfuffle with Team Clinton in early 2009 about Blackberrys. "It was the usual Clinton prima donna stuff," he explained, "the whole 'rules are for other people' act that I remembered from the '90s." Why Ms. Clinton would not simply check her personal email on an office computer, like every other government employee less senior than the president, seems a germane question, given what a major scandal email-gate turned out to be. "What did she not want put on a government system, where security people might see it?" the former NSA official asked, adding, "I wonder now, and I sure wish I'd asked about it back in 2009." ..."
"... one of the most controversial of Ms. Clinton's emails released by the State Department under judicial order was one sent on June 8, 2011, to the Secretary of State by Sidney Blumenthal, Ms. Clinton's unsavory friend and confidant who was running a private intelligence service for Ms. Clinton. This email contains an amazingly detailed assessment of events in Sudan, specifically a coup being plotted by top generals in that war-torn country. Mr. Blumenthal's information came from a top-ranking source with direct access to Sudan's top military and intelligence officials, and recounted a high-level meeting that had taken place only 24 hours before. ..."
"... Mr. Blumenthal, a private citizen who had enjoyed no access to U.S. intelligence for over a decade when he sent that email, somehow got hold of SIGINT about the Sudanese leadership and managed to send it, via open, unclassified email, to his friend Ms. Clinton only one day later. ..."
"... Specifically, this information was illegally lifted from four different NSA reports, all of them classified "Top Secret / Special Intelligence." Worse, at least one of those reports was issued under the GAMMA compartment, which is an NSA handling caveat that is applied to extraordinarily sensitive information (for instance, decrypted conversations between top foreign leadership, as this was). GAMMA is properly viewed as a SIGINT Special Access Program, or SAP, several of which from the CIA Ms. Clinton compromised in another series of her "unclassified" emails. ..."
"... Suspicion naturally falls on Tyler Drumheller, the former CIA senior official who was Mr. Blumenthal's intelligence fixer, his supplier of juicy spy gossip, who conveniently died last August before email-gate became front-page news. However, he, too, had left federal service years before and should not have had any access to current NSA reports. ..."
"... How did nobody on Secretary Clinton's staff notice that this highly detailed reporting looked exactly like SIGINT from the NSA? Last, why did the State Department see fit to release this email, unredacted, to the public? ..."
Mar 18, 2016

The documents , though redacted, detail a bureaucratic showdown between Ms. Clinton and NSA at the outset of her tenure at Foggy Bottom. The new secretary of state, who had gotten "hooked" on her Blackberry during her failed 2008 presidential bid, according to a top State Department security official, wanted to use that Blackberry anywhere she went.

That, however, was impossible, since Secretary Clinton's main office space at Foggy Bottom was actually a Secure Compartment Information Facility, called a SCIF (pronounced "skiff") by insiders. A SCIF is required for handling any Top Secret-plus information. In most Washington, D.C., offices with a SCIF, which has to be certified as fully secure from human or technical penetration, that's where you check Top-Secret email, read intelligence reports and conduct classified meetings that must be held inside such protected spaces.

But personal electronic devices!your cellphone, your Blackberry!can never be brought into a SCIF. They represent a serious technical threat that is actually employed by many intelligence agencies worldwide. Though few Americans realize it, taking remote control over a handheld device, then using it to record conversations, is surprisingly easy for any competent spy service. Your smartphone is a sophisticated surveillance device!on you, the user!that also happens to provide phone service and Internet access.

As a result, your phone and your Blackberry always need to be locked up before you enter any SCIF. Taking such items into one represents a serious security violation. And Ms. Clinton and her staff really hated that. Not even one month into the new administration in early 2009, Ms. Clinton and her inner circle were chafing under these rules. They were accustomed to having their personal Blackberrys with them at all times, checking and sending emails nonstop, and that was simply impossible in a SCIF like their new office.

This resulted in a February 2009 request by Secretary Clinton to the NSA, whose Information Assurance Directorate (IAD for short: see here for an explanation of Agency organization) secures the sensitive communications of many U.S. government entities, from Top-Secret computer networks, to White House communications, to the classified codes that control our nuclear weapons.

The contents of Sid Blumenthal's June 8, 2011, email to Hillary Clinton!to her personal, unclassified account!were based on highly sensitive NSA information.

IAD had recently created a special, custom-made secure Blackberry for Barack Obama, another technology addict. Now Ms. Clinton wanted one for herself. However, making the new president's personal Blackberry had been a time-consuming and expensive exercise. The NSA was not inclined to provide Secretary Clinton with one of her own simply for her convenience: there had to be clearly demonstrated need.

And that seemed dubious to IAD since there was no problem with Ms. Clinton checking her personal email inside her office SCIF. Hers, like most, had open (i.e. unclassified) computer terminals connected to the Internet, and the secretary of state could log into her own email anytime she wanted to right from her desk.

But she did not want to. Ms. Clinton only checked her personal email on her Blackberry: she did not want to sit down at a computer terminal. As a result, the NSA informed Secretary Clinton in early 2009 that they could not help her. When Team Clinton kept pressing the point, "We were politely told to shut up and color" by IAD, explained the state security official.

The State Department has not released the full document trail here, so the complete story remains unknown to the public. However, one senior NSA official, now retired, recalled the kerfuffle with Team Clinton in early 2009 about Blackberrys. "It was the usual Clinton prima donna stuff," he explained, "the whole 'rules are for other people' act that I remembered from the '90s." Why Ms. Clinton would not simply check her personal email on an office computer, like every other government employee less senior than the president, seems a germane question, given what a major scandal email-gate turned out to be. "What did she not want put on a government system, where security people might see it?" the former NSA official asked, adding, "I wonder now, and I sure wish I'd asked about it back in 2009."

He's not the only NSA affiliate with pointed questions about what Hillary Clinton and her staff at Foggy Bottom were really up to!and why they went to such trouble to circumvent federal laws about the use of IT systems and the handling of classified information. This has come to a head thanks to Team Clinton's gross mishandling of highly classified NSA intelligence.

As I explained in this column in January, one of the most controversial of Ms. Clinton's emails released by the State Department under judicial order was one sent on June 8, 2011, to the Secretary of State by Sidney Blumenthal, Ms. Clinton's unsavory friend and confidant who was running a private intelligence service for Ms. Clinton. This email contains an amazingly detailed assessment of events in Sudan, specifically a coup being plotted by top generals in that war-torn country. Mr. Blumenthal's information came from a top-ranking source with direct access to Sudan's top military and intelligence officials, and recounted a high-level meeting that had taken place only 24 hours before.

To anybody familiar with intelligence reporting, this unmistakably signals intelligence, termed SIGINT in the trade. In other words, Mr. Blumenthal, a private citizen who had enjoyed no access to U.S. intelligence for over a decade when he sent that email, somehow got hold of SIGINT about the Sudanese leadership and managed to send it, via open, unclassified email, to his friend Ms. Clinton only one day later.

NSA officials were appalled by the State Department's release of this email, since it bore all the hallmarks of Agency reporting. Back in early January when I reported this , I was confident that Mr. Blumenthal's information came from highly classified NSA sources, based on my years of reading and writing such reports myself, and one veteran agency official told me it was NSA information with "at least 90 percent confidence."

Now, over two months later, I can confirm that the contents of Sid Blumenthal's June 8, 2011, email to Hillary Clinton, sent to her personal, unclassified account, were indeed based on highly sensitive NSA information. The agency investigated this compromise and determined that Mr. Blumenthal's highly detailed account of Sudanese goings-on, including the retelling of high-level conversations in that country, was indeed derived from NSA intelligence.

Specifically, this information was illegally lifted from four different NSA reports, all of them classified "Top Secret / Special Intelligence." Worse, at least one of those reports was issued under the GAMMA compartment, which is an NSA handling caveat that is applied to extraordinarily sensitive information (for instance, decrypted conversations between top foreign leadership, as this was). GAMMA is properly viewed as a SIGINT Special Access Program, or SAP, several of which from the CIA Ms. Clinton compromised in another series of her "unclassified" emails.

Currently serving NSA officials have told me they have no doubt that Mr. Blumenthal's information came from their reports. "It's word-for-word, verbatim copying," one of them explained. "In one case, an entire paragraph was lifted from an NSA report" that was classified Top Secret / Special Intelligence.

How Mr. Blumenthal got his hands on this information is the key question, and there's no firm answer yet. The fact that he was able to take four separate highly classified NSA reports!none of which he was supposed to have any access to!and pass the details of them to Hillary Clinton via email only hours after NSA released them in Top Secret / Special Intelligence channels indicates something highly unusual, as well as illegal, was going on.

Suspicion naturally falls on Tyler Drumheller, the former CIA senior official who was Mr. Blumenthal's intelligence fixer, his supplier of juicy spy gossip, who conveniently died last August before email-gate became front-page news. However, he, too, had left federal service years before and should not have had any access to current NSA reports.

There are many questions here about what Hillary Clinton and her staff at Foggy Bottom were up to, including Sidney Blumenthal, an integral member of the Clinton organization, despite his lack of any government position. How Mr. Blumenthal got hold of this Top Secret-plus reporting is only the first question. Why he chose to email it to Ms. Clinton in open channels is another question. So is: How did nobody on Secretary Clinton's staff notice that this highly detailed reporting looked exactly like SIGINT from the NSA? Last, why did the State Department see fit to release this email, unredacted, to the public?

These are the questions being asked by officials at the NSA and the FBI right now. All of them merit serious examination. Their answers may determine the political fate of Hillary Clinton!and who gets elected our next president in November.

[Aug 08, 2017] According to a source familiar with the matter, McMaster is trying to dismiss anyone involved with a controversial memo arguing that the so-called deep state is engaged in a Maoist-style insurgency against the Trump administration

Notable quotes:
"... "According to a source familiar with the matter, McMaster is trying to dismiss anyone involved with a controversial memo arguing that the so-called "deep state" is engaged in a Maoist-style insurgency against the Trump administration. The author of that memo, NSC staffer Rich Higgins, has already been fired, and at least two other anti-globalist NSC staffers have also been forced out." ..."
Aug 08, 2017 | foreignpolicy.com

Anyone else seen this little beauty from Foreign Policy?

"According to a source familiar with the matter, McMaster is trying to dismiss anyone involved with a controversial memo arguing that the so-called "deep state" is engaged in a Maoist-style insurgency against the Trump administration. The author of that memo, NSC staffer Rich Higgins, has already been fired, and at least two other anti-globalist NSC staffers have also been forced out."

Heh heh heh the trumpeters Vs the corporatists - every oppressive theocracy should be made to play this game; of course the audience is susceptible to table-tennis watchers neck from swivelling to follow the dried dog turd bouncing back n forth, but the popcorn is pretty good.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 6, 2017 10:27:47 PM | 68

[Jul 14, 2017] Peter W. Smith, GOP operative who sought Clinton's emails from Russian hackers, committed suicide, records show by Katherine Skiba, David Heinzmann, Todd Lighty

Notable quotes:
"... Days earlier, the financier from suburban Lake Forest gave an interview to the Journal about his quest, and it published stories about his efforts beginning in late June. The Journal also reported it had seen emails written by Smith showing his team considered retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then a top adviser to Republican Donald Trump's campaign, as an ally. Flynn briefly was President Trump's national security adviser and resigned after it was determined he had failed to disclose contacts with Russia. ..."
"... The Journal stories said it was on Labor Day weekend in 2016 that Smith had assembled a team to acquire emails the team theorized might have been stolen from the private server Clinton had used while secretary of state. Smith's focus was the more than 30,000 emails Clinton said she deleted because they related to personal matters. A huge cache of other Clinton emails were made public. ..."
"... Smith told the Journal he believed the missing emails might have had been obtained by Russian hackers. He also said he thought the correspondence related to Clinton's official duties. He told the Journal he worked independently and was not part of the Trump campaign. He also told the Journal he and his team found five groups of hackers - two of them Russian groups - who claimed to have Clinton's missing emails. ..."
"... Investigations into any possible links between the Russian government and people associated with Trump's presidential campaign now are underway in Congress and by former FBI chief Robert Mueller. He is acting as a special counsel for the Department of Justice. Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the Journal's stories on Smith or his death. Washington attorney Robert Kelner, who represents Flynn, had no comment on Thursday. ..."
"... Smith's death occurred at the Aspen Suites in Rochester, records show. They list the cause of death as "asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in confined space with helium." ..."
"... The employee, who spoke on the condition he not be identified because of the sensitive nature of Smith's death, described the tank as being similar in size to a propane tank on a gas grill. He did not recall seeing a bag that Smith would have placed over his head. He said the coroner and police were there and that he "didn't do a lot of looking around." ..."
"... Peter Smith wrote two blog posts dated the day before he was found dead. One challenged U.S. intelligence agency findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Another post predicted: "As attention turns to international affairs, as it will shortly, the Russian interference story will die of its own weight." ..."
Jul 13, 2017 | www.msn.com
A Republican donor and operative from Chicago's North Shore who said he had tried to obtain Hillary Clinton's missing emails from Russian hackers killed himself in a Minnesota hotel room days after talking to The Wall Street Journal about his efforts, public records show.

In a room at a Rochester hotel used almost exclusively by Mayo Clinic patients and relatives, Peter W. Smith, 81, left a carefully prepared file of documents, which includes a statement police called a suicide note in which he said he was in ill health and a life insurance policy was expiring.

Days earlier, the financier from suburban Lake Forest gave an interview to the Journal about his quest, and it published stories about his efforts beginning in late June. The Journal also reported it had seen emails written by Smith showing his team considered retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, then a top adviser to Republican Donald Trump's campaign, as an ally. Flynn briefly was President Trump's national security adviser and resigned after it was determined he had failed to disclose contacts with Russia.

At the time, the newspaper reported Smith's May 14 death came about 10 days after he granted the interview. Mystery shrouded how and where he had died, but the lead reporter on the stories said on a podcast he had no reason to believe the death was the result of foul play and that Smith likely had died of natural causes.

However, the Chicago Tribune obtained a Minnesota state death record filed in Olmsted County that says Smith committed suicide in a hotel near the Mayo Clinic at 1:17 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. He was found with a bag over his head with a source of helium attached. A medical examiner's report gives the same account, without specifying the time, and a report from Rochester police further details his suicide.

In the note recovered by police, Smith apologized to authorities and said that "NO FOUL PLAY WHATSOEVER" was involved in his death. He wrote that he was taking his own life because of a "RECENT BAD TURN IN HEALTH SINCE JANUARY, 2017" and timing related "TO LIFE INSURANCE OF $5 MILLION EXPIRING."

One of Smith's former employees told the Tribune he thought the elderly man had gone to the famed clinic to be treated for a heart condition. Mayo spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo said Thursday she could not confirm Smith had been a patient, citing medical privacy laws.

The Journal stories said it was on Labor Day weekend in 2016 that Smith had assembled a team to acquire emails the team theorized might have been stolen from the private server Clinton had used while secretary of state. Smith's focus was the more than 30,000 emails Clinton said she deleted because they related to personal matters. A huge cache of other Clinton emails were made public.

Smith told the Journal he believed the missing emails might have had been obtained by Russian hackers. He also said he thought the correspondence related to Clinton's official duties. He told the Journal he worked independently and was not part of the Trump campaign. He also told the Journal he and his team found five groups of hackers - two of them Russian groups - who claimed to have Clinton's missing emails.

Smith had a history of doing opposition research, the formal term for unflattering information that political operatives dig up about rival candidates.

For years, Democratic President Bill Clinton was Smith's target. The wealthy businessman had a hand in exposing the "Troopergate" allegations about Bill Clinton's sex life. And he discussed financing a probe of a 1969 trip Bill Clinton had taken while in college to the Soviet Union, according to Salon magazine.

Investigations into any possible links between the Russian government and people associated with Trump's presidential campaign now are underway in Congress and by former FBI chief Robert Mueller. He is acting as a special counsel for the Department of Justice. Mueller spokesman Peter Carr declined to comment on the Journal's stories on Smith or his death. Washington attorney Robert Kelner, who represents Flynn, had no comment on Thursday.

Smith's death occurred at the Aspen Suites in Rochester, records show. They list the cause of death as "asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in confined space with helium."

Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson on Wednesday called his manner of death "unusual," but a funeral home worker said he'd seen it before.

An employee with Rochester Cremation Services, the funeral home that responded to the hotel, said he helped remove Smith's body from his room and recalled seeing a tank.

The employee, who spoke on the condition he not be identified because of the sensitive nature of Smith's death, described the tank as being similar in size to a propane tank on a gas grill. He did not recall seeing a bag that Smith would have placed over his head. He said the coroner and police were there and that he "didn't do a lot of looking around."

"When I got there and saw the tank, I thought, 'I've seen this before,' and was able to put two and two together," the employee said.

An autopsy was conducted, according to the death record. The Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's Office declined a Tribune request for the autopsy report and released limited information about Smith's death.

The Final Exit Network, a Florida-based nonprofit, provides information and support to people who suffer from a terminal illness and want to kill themselves.

Fran Schindler, a volunteer with the group, noted that the best-selling book Final Exit, written by Derek Humphry in 1991 and revised several times since, explains in detail the helium gas method.

"Many people obtain that information from his book," Schindler said. "It's a method that has been around for many years and is well known."

Smith's remains were cremated in Minnesota, the records said. He was married to Janet L. Smith and had three children and three grandchildren, according to his obituary. Tribune calls to family members were not returned.

His obituary said Smith was involved in public affairs for more than 60 years and it heralded him as a "quietly generous champion of efforts to ensure a more economically and politically secure world." Smith led private equity firms in corporate acquisitions and venture investments for more than 40 years. Earlier, he worked with DigaComm, LLC, from 1997 to 2014 and as the president of Peter W. Smith & Company, Inc. from 1975 to 1997. Prior to that, he was a senior officer of Field Enterprises, Inc., a firm that owned the Chicago Sun-Times then and was held by the Marshall Field family, his obituary said.

A private family memorial was planned, the obituary said. Friends posted online tributes to Smith after his death. One was from his former employee, Jonathan Safron, 26, who lives in Chicago's Loop and worked for Smith for about two years.

Safron, in an interview, said he was working for a tutoring firm when Smith became his client. His job entailed teaching Smith how to use a MacBook, Safron said. At the time Smith was living in a condominium atop the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Safron said Smith later employed him at Corporate Venture Alliances, a private investment firm that Smith ran, first out of the same condo and later from an office in the Hancock Building.

Safron, who said he had a low-level job with the Illinois Republican Party in 2014, said he had no knowledge of Smith's bid to find hackers who could locate emails missing from Clinton's service as secretary of state. In his online tribute to his former employer, he called Smith the "best boss I could ever ask for ... a mentor, friend and model human being."

Safron said he worked part-time for Smith, putting in about 15 hours a week. But the two grew close, often having lunch together at a favorite Smith spot: the Oak Tree Restaurant & Bakery Chicago on North Michigan Ave. He called Smith a serious man who was "upbeat," "cosmopolitan" and "larger than life." He was aware Smith was in declining health, saying the older man sometimes had difficulty breathing and told work colleagues he had heart problems. Weeks before he took his life, he had become fatigued walking down about four or five flights of stairs during a Hancock Building fire drill and later emailed Safron saying he was "dizzy," he said.

Smith's last will and testament, signed last Feb. 21, is seven pages long and on file in Probate Court in Lake County. The will gives his wife his interest in their residential property and his tangible personal property and says remaining assets should be placed into two trusts.

He was born Feb. 23, 1936, in Portland, Maine, according to the death record.

His late father, Waldo Sterling Smith, was a manufacturer's representative for women's apparel firms, representing them in department stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, according to the father's 2002 obituary. The elder Smith died at age 92 in St. Augustine, Fla., and his obit noted that he had been active in St. Johns County, Fla. Republican affairs and with a local Methodist church

Peter Smith wrote two blog posts dated the day before he was found dead. One challenged U.S. intelligence agency findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 election. Another post predicted: "As attention turns to international affairs, as it will shortly, the Russian interference story will die of its own weight."

Skiba reported from Washington, Heinzmann reported from Rochester and Lighty from Chicago. Lauren Rosenblatt of the Tribune Washington Bureau and Dan Moran of the Lake County News-Sun contributed to this story.

[Jul 13, 2017] Progressive Democrats Resist and Submit, Retreat and Surrender by James Petras

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" ..."
"... Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: " Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'. ..."
"... Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints. ..."
"... Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more! ..."
"... Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen! ..."
"... Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party. ..."
"... This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary. ..."
"... Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.) ..."
"... Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches. ..."
"... They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. ..."
"... Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act ..."
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.

To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

Progressives by Name and Posture

Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.

Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.

Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.

Progressives in Historical Perspective

In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.

They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.

Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.

Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.

Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.

Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.

Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.

Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.

In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.

The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.

The Retreat of the Progressives

By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).

The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.

Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.

Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.

Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.

The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade

Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.

Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.

Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.

Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.

The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.

Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.

Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.

Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender

While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.

Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.

Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.

When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.

Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.

Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.

Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).

The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.

With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.

Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.

Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.

Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.

Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.

Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.

The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!

Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!

In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.

Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!

Conclusion

Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.

Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.

Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

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WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMT

But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.

Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.

This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.

exiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT

This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.

alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT

EXCELLENT.

Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT

at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far right

CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"

Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Carlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT

The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:

Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!

Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)

Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.

Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.

jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT

Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?

Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT

They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.

Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.

Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.

Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.

You left out the other Roosevelt.

Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act

Hilarious!

Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!

This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0d

Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT

The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.

See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.html

annamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrel

Anonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-deportations-20140402-story.html

so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.

Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.

I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?

Agent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild

June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?

A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44864.htm

"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissenger

Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.

yeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT

Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".

The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.

So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.

Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."

TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT

Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.

Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.

"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.

As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.

Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?

In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?

I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.

RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT

@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?

Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:

On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched

We the People – Unity for Integrity.

The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.

Death to the Deep State.

https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/

Ben Banned > , July 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT

Petras, for some reason, low balls the number of people ejected from assets when the mafia came to seize real estate in the name of the ruling class and their expensive wars, morality, the Constitution or whatever shit they could make up to fuck huge numbers of people over. Undoubtedly just like 9/11, the whole thing was planned in advance. Political whores are clearly useless when the system is at such extremes.

Banks like Capital One specialize in getting a signature and "giving" a car loan to someone they know won't be able to pay, but is simply being used, shaken down and repossessed for corporate gain. " No one held a gun to their head! " Get ready, the police state will in fact put a gun to your head.

Depending on the time period in question, which might be the case here, more than 20 million people were put out of homes and/or bankrupted with more to come. Clearly a bipartisan effort featuring widespread criminal conduct across the country – an attack on the population to sustain militarism.

peterAUS > , July 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@yeah Nice.

If I may add:
"and you also have to dearly pay for you being white male heterosexual for oppressing all colored, all the women and all the sexually different through the history".

"And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time. If we see that you still don't get with the program we will reeducate you. Should you resist that in any way we'll incarcerate you. And, no, normal legal procedure does not work with racists/bigots/haters/whatever we don't like".

Reg Cæsar > , July 14, 2017 at 1:19 am GMT

@CCZ

"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"
Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee

which itself was a progressive invention. There was no "right wing" anywhere in sight when it was estsblished in 1938.

[Jun 27, 2017] Loretta Lynch, the ex-Justice Minister, appearing to be becoming a target based on her defence of the Harpy from criminal liability for the email server during the 2016 campaign.

Notable quotes:
"... The fact that the Hersh piece was published in one of Germany's ueber-establishment organs, Die Welt, is significant. It means that Germany is no longer on board, and I don't see Macron, though he is an empty suit, doing a 180 like some fear, since he takes many of his orders from Merkel. ..."
www.unz.com

exiled off mainstreet | Jun 27, 2017 10:33:18 AM | 25

I go along with comments 14 and 15 and see it actually as a response intended to defend against the inference from the Hersh piece that Trump revealed himself to be a moron for succumbing despite the evidence to media propaganda.

I think that the problem is that Trump is less than fully in control of elements of his government, possibly even Spicer, as evidenced by the failure to inform the state dept, military and others of the statement, which may not have been fully vetted. I wouldn't be surprised if Spicer's time as press secretary is limited.

The fact that the Hersh piece was published in one of Germany's ueber-establishment organs, Die Welt, is significant. It means that Germany is no longer on board, and I don't see Macron, though he is an empty suit, doing a 180 like some fear, since he takes many of his orders from Merkel.

It is seriously disconcerting that the neocons still seem to be able to rule the roost. If any "chemical" attack occurs within a few days or longer away, it will be extremely suspect. Meanwhile, the Russia conspiracy stories in the US seem to be in the early stages of blowing up, with a CNN official being exposed as admitting it was all propaganda, and Loretta Lynch, the ex-Justice Minister, appearing to be becoming a target based on her defence of the Harpy from criminal liability for the email server during the 2016 campaign.

In light of these facts, I think the whole thing more likely shows weakness and disarray, not a serious conspiratorial threat of armageddon, though it could end up blowing up in that direction.

[Jun 26, 2017] After the collapse of the USSR neoliberal vultures instantly circled the corpse and have had a feast. Geopolitical goals of the USA played important role in amplifying the scope of plunder of Russia

Notable quotes:
"... The reasoning was simple and is not hard to understand: Carthago delenda est. ..."
"... In a way McCain can be viewed now as a caricature of the Roman senator Cato the Elder, who is said to have used it as the conclusion to all his speeches. ..."
Jun 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , June 25, 2017 at 04:31 PM

1994

China's experience does not show that gradual reform is superior to the shock therapy undertaken in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union....

-- Jeffrey Sachs and Wing Thye Woo

[ Of course, China's experience had already showed and continues all these years after just the opposite. This is very, very important. ]

libezkova -> anne... , June 26, 2017 at 08:09 AM
Your discussion just again had shown that there is no economics, only a political economy.

And all those neoliberal perversions, which are sold as an economic science is just an apologetics for the financial oligarchy.

Apologetics of plunder in this particular case.

In a way the USSR with its discredited communist ideology, degenerated Bolshevik leadership (just look at who was at the Politburo of CPSU at the time; people much lower in abilities then Trump :-) and inept and politically naïve Mikhail Gorbachev at the helm had chosen the most inopportune time to collapse :-)

And neoliberal vultures instantly circled the corpse and have had a feast. Geopolitical goals of the USA also played important role in amplifying the scope of plunder.

No comparison of performance of Russia vs. China makes any sense if it ignores this fact.

Paine -> anne... , June 25, 2017 at 06:30 PM
Lesson for the week

Deng ?
yes

Sachs ?
Nyet

anne -> Paine ... , June 25, 2017 at 07:11 PM
While I would argue with the economic advice given the Russian government after 1988, I am simply trying to understand the reasoning behind the advice, no more than that.
libezkova -> anne... , June 26, 2017 at 08:15 AM
The reasoning was simple and is not hard to understand: Carthago delenda est.

In a way McCain can be viewed now as a caricature of the Roman senator Cato the Elder, who is said to have used it as the conclusion to all his speeches.

History repeats "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."

[Jun 26, 2017] After 1991 Eastern Europe and FSU were mercilessly looted. That was tremendous one time transfer of capital (and scientists and engineers) to Western Europe and the USA. Which helped to secure Clinton prosperity period

Notable quotes:
"... If America were a free and democratic country, with a free press and independent publishing houses (and assuming, of course, that Americans were a literate people), Williamson's book would topple the Clinton regime, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the rest of the criminal cabal that inhabits the world of modern corporate statism faster than you could say "Jonathan Hay." ..."
"... Hay, for those who need an introduction to the international financial buccaneers who control our lives, was the general director of the Harvard Institute of International Development (HIID) in Moscow (1992-1997), who facilitated the crippling of the Russian economy and the plundering of its industrial and manufacturing infrastructure with a strategy concocted by Larry Summers, Andre Schliefer (HIID's Cambridge-based manager), Jeffrey Sachs and his Swedish sidekick Anders Aslund, and a host of private players from banks and investment houses in Boston and New York - a plan approved and assisted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. ..."
"... These third-generation Bolsheviks - led by former Pravda hack Yegor Gaidar, grandson of a Bolshevik who achieved prominence as the teenage mass murderer of White Army officers, now heads the Moscow-based Institute for Economies in Transition - became instant millionaires (or billionaires) and left the Russian workers virtual slaves of them and their new foreign investors. ..."
"... Ironically, when Harvard's Sachs and Hay started identifying Russians they could work with, they ignored - or shunned - the most capable talent at hand: those numerous Russian economists who for 20 years had been studying the Swiss economist Wilhelm von Roepke and his disciple, Ludwig Erhard, father of Germany's "economic miracle" in anticipation of the day when Communism would collapse. Somewhat sardonically, Williamson notes that one, probably unintended, benefit of Gorbachev's perestroika was the recruitment of these Russian economists by top U.S. universities. ..."
"... On another level, Contagion is about the workings of international finance, the consolidation of capital into fewer and fewer hands, and the ruthless, death-dealing policies it inflicts on its target countries through currency manipulation, inflation, depression, taxation and war - with emphasis on Russia but with attention also given to Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, the Balkans, and other countries, and how it uses its control over money to produce social chaos. ..."
"... Those who read Williamson's book will find particularly interesting her treatment of the Federal Reserve, and how this "bank" was designed to plunder the wealth of America through war, debt, and taxation, in order to maintain what is nothing more nor less than a giant pyramid scheme that depends on domination of the earth and its resources. ..."
"... The policies inflicted on Russia by the banks were cruel to the Nth degree; but the policy implementers - Williamson employs the derogatory Russian word m yakigolovy ("soft-headed ones") applied to the Americans - were a foppish lot, streaming into Russia by the thousands (the IMF, alone, with 150 staffers) with their outrageous salaries and per diem allowances, renting out the finest dachas, bringing in their exotic consumer goods, driving up prices for goods and rents, spurring a boom in the drug and prostitution businesses, and then watching, cold-heartedly, the declining fortunes of their hosts as they lost everything - including the artistic heritage of the country. ..."
"... Gore, who was raised to be President, has impeccable Russian connections. His father, of course, was Lenin financier Armand Hammer's pocket senator, and it was Hammer who paid for Al Jr.'s expensive St. Alban's Prep schooling; and, as Williamson reports, Al Jr.'s daughter married Andrew Schiff, grandson of Jacob, who, as a member of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., underwrote anti-czarist political agitation for two decades before Lenin's coup, and congratulated Lenin upon his successful revolution. ..."
"... By March 1999, Russia was now a financial basket case, and billions, if not tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer-backed loans had vanished into the secret bank accounts of both Russian and American gangster capitalists, and the news was starting to make little vibrations on Capitol Hill. "The U.S. administration's response to the debacle was repulsively similar to a typical Bill Clinton bimbo-eruption operation: Having ruined Russia by cosseting her in debt, meddling ignorantly in her internal affairs, and funding a drunken usurper, his agents denied all error and slandered ('slimed') her," writes Williamson. ..."
"... The cost to the American taxpayers of Clinton regime bailouts in a three-and-a-half-year period, Williamson notes, is more than $180 billion! The "new financial architecture" Clinton has erected, she writes, "isn't new at all, but rather something the international public lenders have been wanting for decades, i.e., an automatic bailout for their own bad practices." ..."
"... As the extent of the corruption of the Clinton-Yeltsin "reform" plan for Russia unfolded last year, with the attendant Bank of New York scandal, the mysterious death of super banker Edmond Safra in his Monte Carlo penthouse, the collapse of the Russian stock market, and the whiplash effect in Southeast Asia, Congress was pressed to hold hearings. ..."
"... What resulted, as Williamson accurately narrates it, was just a smoke screen, show hearings that barely rose above the seriousness of a Gilbert and Sullivan farce - though they did result in proposed new domestic banking laws that, if passed, will effectively make banks another federal police force responsible for reporting to the U.S. government the most minute financial transactions of U.S. citizens. ..."
"... In this regard, it is instructive to quote Williamson at length: "If the FBI, [Manhattan District Attorney] Robert Morgenthau, or Congress were serious about getting to the bottom of the plundering of Russia's assets and U.S. taxpayers' resources, they would show far more professional interest in exactly what was said and agreed in the private meetings [U.S. Treasury secretary] Larry Summers, Strobe Talbott, and [former Treasury Secretary] Robert Rubin conducted with Anatoly Chubais [former Russian finance minister, who oversaw the distribution and sale of Russian industries], and Sergie Vasiliev [Yeltsin's principal legal adviser, and a member of the Chubais clan], and later Chubais again in June and July of 1998. ..."
"... And why did Michel Camdessus [who left the presidency of the IMF earlier this year] announce his sudden retirement so soon after Moscow newspapers reported that a $200,000 payment was made to him from a secret Kremlin bank account? . . . ..."
"... You see, as this book explains, the Clinton's Russia policy did not just plunder Russians, leaving them destitute while creating a new and ruthless class of international capitalist gangsters at U.S. taxpayer expense; it had the double consequence of bringing all Americans deeper into the bankers' New World Order by increasing their debt load, decreasing their privacy, and restricting their civil rights. If only Americans cared. ..."
Jun 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

libezkova -> anne..., June 25, 2017 at 06:47 PM

After 1991 Eastern Europe and FSU were mercilessly looted. That was tremendous one time transfer of capital (and scientists and engineers) to Western Europe and the USA. Which helped to secure "Clinton prosperity period"

China were not plundered by the West. Russia and Eastern Europe were. That's the key difference.

For Russia this period was called by Anne Williamson in her testimony before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the United States House of Representatives "The economic rape of Russia"

http://thebirdman.org/Index/Others/Others-Doc-Economics&Finance/+Doc-Economics&Finance-GovernmentInfluence&Meddling/BankstersInRussiaAndGlobalEconomy.htm

Paul Likoudis has an interesting analysis of this event: https://paullikoudis.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/the-plunder-of-russia-in-the-1990s/

Sorry long quote

How Clinton & Company & The Bankers Plundered Russia by Paul Likoudis

May 4, 2000

The other day I was surprised to learn that Jeffrey Sachs, the creator of "shock therapy" capitalism, who participated in the looting of Russia in the 1990s, is now NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top adviser for health care. So we in NY will get shock therapy, much as the Russians did two decades ago. Here is a story I wrote for The Wanderer in 2000:

===

How Clinton & Company & The Bankers Plundered Russia

by Paul Likoudis

In an ordinary election year, Anne Williamson's Contagion would be political dynamite, a bombshell, a block-buster, a regime breaker.

If America were a free and democratic country, with a free press and independent publishing houses (and assuming, of course, that Americans were a literate people), Williamson's book would topple the Clinton regime, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the rest of the criminal cabal that inhabits the world of modern corporate statism faster than you could say "Jonathan Hay."

Hay, for those who need an introduction to the international financial buccaneers who control our lives, was the general director of the Harvard Institute of International Development (HIID) in Moscow (1992-1997), who facilitated the crippling of the Russian economy and the plundering of its industrial and manufacturing infrastructure with a strategy concocted by Larry Summers, Andre Schliefer (HIID's Cambridge-based manager), Jeffrey Sachs and his Swedish sidekick Anders Aslund, and a host of private players from banks and investment houses in Boston and New York - a plan approved and assisted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Contagion can be read on many different levels.

At its simplest, it is a breezy, slightly cynical, highly entertaining narrative of Russian history from the last months of Gorbachev's rule to April 2000 - a period which saw Russia transformed from a decaying socialist economy (which despite its shortcomings, provided a modest standard of living to its citizens) to a "managed economy" where home-grown gangsters and socialist theoreticians from the West, like Hay and his fellow Harvardian Jeffrey Sachs, delivered 2,500% inflation and indescribable poverty, and transferred the ownership of Russian industry to Western financiers.

Williamson was an eyewitness who lived on and off in Russia for more than ten years, where she reported on all things Russian for The New York Times, Th e Wall Street Journal, and a host of other equally reputable publications. She knew and interviewed just about everybody involved in this gargantuan plundering scheme: Russian politicians and businessmen, the new "gangster" capitalists and their American sponsors from the IMF, the World Bank, USAID, Credit Suisse First Boston, the CIA, the KGB - all in all, hundreds of sources who spoke candidly, often ruthlessly, of their parts in this terrible human drama.

Her account is filled with quotations from interviews with top aides of Yeltsin and Clinton, all down through the ranks of the two hierarchical societies to the proliferating mass of Russian destitute, pornographers, pimps, drug dealers, and prostitutes. Some of the principal characters, of course, refused to talk to Williamson, such as Bill Clinton's longtime friend from Oxford, Strobe Talbott, now a deputy secretary of state and, Williamson suspects, a onetime KGB operative whose claim to fame is a deceitful translation of the Khrushchev Memoirs. (A KGB colonel refused to confirm or deny to Williamson that Clinton and Talbott visited North Vietnam together in 1971 - though he did confirm their contacts with the KGB for their protests against the U.S. war in Vietnam in Moscow. See especially footnote 1, page 210.)

The 546-page book (the best part of which is the footnotes) gives a nearly day-by-day report on what happened to Russia; left unstated, but implied on every page, is the assumption that those in the United States who think what happened in Russia "can't happen here" better realize it can happen here.

Once the Clinton regime and its lapdogs in the media defined Russian thug Boris Yeltsin as a "democrat," the wholesale looting of Russia began. According to the socialist theoreticians at Harvard, Russia needed to be brought into the New World Order in a hurry; and what better way to do it than Sachs' "shock therapy" - a plan that empowered the degenerate, third-generation descendants of the original Bolsheviks by assigning them the deeds of Russia's mightiest state-owned industries - including the giant gas, oil, electrical, and telecommunications industries, the world's largest paper, iron, and steel factories, the world's richest gold, silver, diamond, and platinum mines, automobile and airplane factories, etc. - who, in turn, sold some of their shares of the properties to Westerners for a song, and pocketed the cash, while retaining control of the companies.

These third-generation Bolsheviks - led by former Pravda hack Yegor Gaidar, grandson of a Bolshevik who achieved prominence as the teenage mass murderer of White Army officers, now heads the Moscow-based Institute for Economies in Transition - became instant millionaires (or billionaires) and left the Russian workers virtual slaves of them and their new foreign investors.

When Russian members of the Supreme Soviet openly criticized the looting of the national patrimony by these new gangsters early in the U.S.-driven "reform" program, in 1993, before all Soviet institutions were destroyed, Yeltsin bombed Parliament.

Ironically, when Harvard's Sachs and Hay started identifying Russians they could work with, they ignored - or shunned - the most capable talent at hand: those numerous Russian economists who for 20 years had been studying the Swiss economist Wilhelm von Roepke and his disciple, Ludwig Erhard, father of Germany's "economic miracle" in anticipation of the day when Communism would collapse. Somewhat sardonically, Williamson notes that one, probably unintended, benefit of Gorbachev's perestroika was the recruitment of these Russian economists by top U.S. universities.

In the new, emerging global economy, it's clear that Russia is the designated center for heavy manufacturing - just as Asia is for clothing and computers - with its nearly unlimited supply of hydroelectric power, iron and steel, timber, gold and other precious metals.

This helps explain why America's political elites don't give a fig about the closing down of American industries and mines. As Williamson observes, Russia is viewed as some kind of "closet."

What is important for Western readers to understand - as Williamson reports - is that when Western banks and corporations bought these companies at bargain basement prices, they bought more than just industrial equipment. In the Soviet model, every unit of industrial production included workers' housing, churches, opera houses, schools, hospitals, supermarkets, etc., and the whole kit-and-caboodle was included in the selling price. By buying large shares of these companies, Western corporations became, ipso facto, town managers.

Another Level

On another level, Contagion is about the workings of international finance, the consolidation of capital into fewer and fewer hands, and the ruthless, death-dealing policies it inflicts on its target countries through currency manipulation, inflation, depression, taxation and war - with emphasis on Russia but with attention also given to Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, the Balkans, and other countries, and how it uses its control over money to produce social chaos.

Those who read Williamson's book will find particularly interesting her treatment of the Federal Reserve, and how this "bank" was designed to plunder the wealth of America through war, debt, and taxation, in order to maintain what is nothing more nor less than a giant pyramid scheme that depends on domination of the earth and its resources.

Williamson is of that small but noble school of economics writers who believe that the academic field of economics is not some esoteric science that can only be comprehended by those with IQs in four digits, and she - drawing on such writers as Hayek and von Mises, Roepke and the late American Murray Rothbard - explains in layman's vocabulary the nuts and bolts of sound economic principles and the real-world effects of the Fed's policies on hapless Americans.

Contagion also serves up a severe indictment of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the other international "lending" agencies spawned by the Council on Foreign Relations and similar "councils" and "commissions" which are fronts for the big banks run by the Houses of Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg, et al.

The policies inflicted on Russia by the banks were cruel to the Nth degree; but the policy implementers - Williamson employs the derogatory Russian word m yakigolovy ("soft-headed ones") applied to the Americans - were a foppish lot, streaming into Russia by the thousands (the IMF, alone, with 150 staffers) with their outrageous salaries and per diem allowances, renting out the finest dachas, bringing in their exotic consumer goods, driving up prices for goods and rents, spurring a boom in the drug and prostitution businesses, and then watching, cold-heartedly, the declining fortunes of their hosts as they lost everything - including the artistic heritage of the country.

Williamson describes brilliantly that heady atmosphere in Moscow in the early days of the IMF/USAID loan-scamming: a 24-hour party. There were bars like the Canadian-operated Hungry Duck, which lured Russian teenage girls into its bar with a male striptease and free drinks, "who, once thoroughly intoxicated, were then exposed to crowds of anxious young men the club admitted only late in the evening."

The Third Level

At a third and more intriguing level, Contagion is about America's criminal politics in the Clinton regime, and, inevitably, the reader will put Williamson's book down with the sense that Al Gore will be the next occupier of the White House.

Gore, who was raised to be President, has impeccable Russian connections. His father, of course, was Lenin financier Armand Hammer's pocket senator, and it was Hammer who paid for Al Jr.'s expensive St. Alban's Prep schooling; and, as Williamson reports, Al Jr.'s daughter married Andrew Schiff, grandson of Jacob, who, as a member of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., underwrote anti-czarist political agitation for two decades before Lenin's coup, and congratulated Lenin upon his successful revolution.

Williamson also documents Gore's intimate involvement with powerful Wall Street financial houses, and his New York breakfast meeting with multibillionaire George Soros (a key Russian player) just as the Russian collapse was underway.

Williamson tells an interesting story of Gore's response to the IMF/World Bank/USAID plunder of U.S. taxpayers for the purpose of hobbling Russia.

By March 1999, Russia was now a financial basket case, and billions, if not tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer-backed loans had vanished into the secret bank accounts of both Russian and American gangster capitalists, and the news was starting to make little vibrations on Capitol Hill. "The U.S. administration's response to the debacle was repulsively similar to a typical Bill Clinton bimbo-eruption operation: Having ruined Russia by cosseting her in debt, meddling ignorantly in her internal affairs, and funding a drunken usurper, his agents denied all error and slandered ('slimed') her," writes Williamson.

"Pundits and academics joined government officials in bemoaning Mother Russia's thieving ways, her bottomless corruption and constant chaos, all the while wringing their soft hands with a schoolmarm's exasperation. Russia's self-appointed democracy coach Strobe Talbott ('Pro-Consul Strobe' to the Russians) would get it right. An equally sanctimonious Albert Gore - the same Al Gore who'd been so quick to return the CIA's 1995 report detailing Viktor Chernomyrdin's and Anatoly Chubais' personal corruption with the single word 'Bullshit' scrawled across it - took the low road and sniffed that the Russians would just have to get their own economic house in order and cut their own deal with the IMF. . . ."

The cost to the American taxpayers of Clinton regime bailouts in a three-and-a-half-year period, Williamson notes, is more than $180 billion! The "new financial architecture" Clinton has erected, she writes, "isn't new at all, but rather something the international public lenders have been wanting for decades, i.e., an automatic bailout for their own bad practices."

As the extent of the corruption of the Clinton-Yeltsin "reform" plan for Russia unfolded last year, with the attendant Bank of New York scandal, the mysterious death of super banker Edmond Safra in his Monte Carlo penthouse, the collapse of the Russian stock market, and the whiplash effect in Southeast Asia, Congress was pressed to hold hearings.

What resulted, as Williamson accurately narrates it, was just a smoke screen, show hearings that barely rose above the seriousness of a Gilbert and Sullivan farce - though they did result in proposed new domestic banking laws that, if passed, will effectively make banks another federal police force responsible for reporting to the U.S. government the most minute financial transactions of U.S. citizens.

Double Effect

In this regard, it is instructive to quote Williamson at length: "If the FBI, [Manhattan District Attorney] Robert Morgenthau, or Congress were serious about getting to the bottom of the plundering of Russia's assets and U.S. taxpayers' resources, they would show far more professional interest in exactly what was said and agreed in the private meetings [U.S. Treasury secretary] Larry Summers, Strobe Talbott, and [former Treasury Secretary] Robert Rubin conducted with Anatoly Chubais [former Russian finance minister, who oversaw the distribution and sale of Russian industries], and Sergie Vasiliev [Yeltsin's principal legal adviser, and a member of the Chubais clan], and later Chubais again in June and July of 1998.

"Instead of allowing Larry Summers to ramble casually in response to questions at a banking committee hearing, the Treasury secretary should be asked exactly who suckered him - his Russian friends, his own boss [former Harvard associate Robert Rubin, his boss at Treasury who was once cochairman at Goldman Sachs], or private sector counterparts of the Working Committee on Financial Markets [a White House group whose membership is drawn from the country's main financial and market institutions: the Fed, Treasury, SEC, and the Commodities & Trading Commission]. . . . Or did he just bungle the entire matter on account of wishful thinking? Or was it gross incompetence?

"The FBI and Congress ought to be very interested in establishing for taxpayers the truth of any alleged 'national security' issues that justified allowing the Harvard Institute of International Development to privatize U.S. bilateral assistance. It too should be their brief to discover the relationship between the [Swedish wheeler-dealer and crony of Sachs, Anders] Aslund/Carnegie crowd and Treasury and exactly what influence that relationship may have had on the awarding of additional grants to Harvard without competition. On what basis did Team Clinton direct their financial donor, American International Group's (AIG) Maurice Greenberg (a man nearly as ubiquitous as any Russian oligarch in sweetheart public-funding deals), to Brunswick Brokerage when sniffing out a $300 million OPIC guarantee for a Russian investment fund. . . .

And why did Michel Camdessus [who left the presidency of the IMF earlier this year] announce his sudden retirement so soon after Moscow newspapers reported that a $200,000 payment was made to him from a secret Kremlin bank account? . . .

"American and Russian citizens can never be allowed to learn what really happened to the billions lent to Yeltsin's government; it would expose the unsavory and self-interested side of our political, financial, and media elites. . . . Instead, the [House] Banking Committee hearings will use the smoke screen of policing foreign assistance flows to pass legislation that will effectively end U.S. citizens' financial privacy while making them prisoners of their citizenship. . . . The Banking Committee will use the opportunity the Russian dirty money scandal presents to reanimate the domestic 'Know Your Customer' program, which charges domestic banks with monitoring and reporting on the financial transactions in which middle-class Americans engage. This data is collected and used by various government agencies, including the IRS; meaning that if a citizen sells the family's beat-up station wagon or their 'starter' home, the taxman is alerted immediately that the citizen's filing should reflect the greater tax obligation in that year of the sale. . . . Other data on citizens for which the government has long thirsted will also be collected by government's newest police force, the banks. . . ."

You see, as this book explains, the Clinton's Russia policy did not just plunder Russians, leaving them destitute while creating a new and ruthless class of international capitalist gangsters at U.S. taxpayer expense; it had the double consequence of bringing all Americans deeper into the bankers' New World Order by increasing their debt load, decreasing their privacy, and restricting their civil rights. If only Americans cared.

[Jun 15, 2017] Was Comeys second thought announcement after Hillary email investigation a naked political gambit?

Notable quotes:
"... And what about his very strange announcement about Wiener computer containing Hillary classified emails? ..."
Jun 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Libezkova, June 11, 2017 at 06:07 PM

"When you have a former head of the FBI, a deeply respected person"

That's funny. Can you spell 9/11. He served as President George W. Bush's deputy attorney general (D.A.G.), in the aftermath of 9/11. So he is the the one who got Saudi officials off the hook.

Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, who in 2002 chaired the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, maintains the FBI is covering up a Saudi support cell in Sarasota for the hijackers. He says the al-Hijjis' "urgent" pre-9/11 exit suggests "someone may have tipped them off" about the coming attacks.

Graham has been working with a 14-member group in Congress to urge President Obama to declassify 28 pages of the final report of his inquiry which were originally redacted, wholesale, by President George W. Bush.

"The 28 pages primarily relate to who financed 9/11, and they point a very strong finger at Saudi Arabia as being the principal financier," he said, adding, "I am speaking of the kingdom," or government, of Saudi Arabia, not just wealthy individual Saudi donors.

Sources who have read the censored Saudi section say it cites CIA and FBI case files that directly implicate officials of the Saudi Embassy in Washington and its consulate in Los Angeles in the attacks - which, if true, would make 9/11 not just an act of terrorism, but an act of war by a foreign government.

– From the New York Post article: How the FBI is Whitewashing the Saudi Connection to 9/11

Was Comey's "second thought" announcement after Hillary email investigation a naked political gambit?

And what about his very strange announcement about Wiener computer containing Hillary classified emails?

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/03/politics/james-comey-hearing-huma-abedin-forwarding-classified-information/index.html

[Jun 09, 2017] Social Media Reacts to Loretta Lynch Being IMPLICATED

Notable quotes:
"... Ousted FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that he suspected former Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in cahoots with the Hillary Clinton campaign last summer. ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | truthfeed.com
A key takeaway of today's Comey hearing is the bombshell revelation that former DOJ head Loretta Lynch tried to encourage James Comey to minimize the investigation into Hillary Clinton.

From NYPost

Ousted FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that he suspected former Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in cahoots with the Hillary Clinton campaign last summer.

Lynch, he said, told him not to refer to the probe into Clinton's private email server as an "investigation."

"She said just call it a matter. That concerned me because that language tracked how the campaign was talking about the FBI's work," he said.

Former President Bill Clinton's surprise meeting with Lynch at an Arizona airport also prompted him to go public with results of the FBI probe into the email server .

"That was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department," Comey said.

Comey announced last July that criminal charges were not warranted, angering Republicans.

[Jun 09, 2017] Emailgate had shown staggering incompetence and arrogance of Hillary and her close circle

Notable quotes:
"... It had shown staggering incompetence and arrogance of Hillary and her close circle. You can argue about the level of criminality, but it is impossible to argue about staggering level of incompetence and arrogance. "Bathroom server" was essentially "shadow IT" installed by Hillary for her nefarious purpose to hide transactions benefitting Clinton foundation and generally to remain out of control, while in government. ..."
"... All-in-all vividly demonstrated that Obama administration as whole was a dysfunctional mess with corruption and clique infighting inside major departments (Meeting of Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch; Comey granting immunity to everybody, suppressing the investigation and then having the second thoughts; Obama greed after he left the office). ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova, June 09, 2017 at 11:20 AM
"The email scandal was a big nothing."

I disagree. It had shown staggering incompetence and arrogance of Hillary and her close circle. You can argue about the level of criminality, but it is impossible to argue about staggering level of incompetence and arrogance. "Bathroom server" was essentially "shadow IT" installed by Hillary for her nefarious purpose to hide transactions benefitting Clinton foundation and generally to remain out of control, while in government.

Attempts to suppress investigation now also can be proved. Much better then Trump collision with Russians.

All-in-all vividly demonstrated that Obama administration as whole was a dysfunctional mess with corruption and clique infighting inside major departments (Meeting of Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch; Comey granting immunity to everybody, suppressing the investigation and then having the second thoughts; Obama greed after he left the office).

If this was a big nothing, then dementia is not a problem :-)

mulp, June 09, 2017 at 11:39 AM
"I disagree. It had shown staggering incompetence and arrogance of Hillary and her close circle. yo can argue about the level of criminality, but it is impossible to argue about staggering level of incompetence and arrogance."

OK, Clinton was not 1000% perfect.

So, that justifies giving the job to Trump because 5% competency from a man is better than a 98% competent woman?

Only men are allowed to be both arrogant and incompetent!

[Jun 09, 2017] Whether the Russians did it or not, the USA has the dismal failure by the leading political party to secure their digital communications

The USA opened this can of works with Flame and Stixnet. Now it needs to face consequences of its reckless actions.
Both Hillary staff and DNC staff behaves like complete idiots, taking into account the level of mayhem the USA caused in other countries, including Russia. Blowback eventually came and bite their ass. In addition Hillary "private" staff was definitely incompetent.
Notable quotes:
"... The validity of outrage anyway vis-a-vis the Russians, is, to some extent, misplaced ( ..everyone's doin' it aren't they? For starters, recall the Time cover of' '96: ..."
Apr 28, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

This is all really becoming exasperating!

Incessantly reporting 24/7 on whether the Russians did it or not doesn't take into account the critical failure by a leading political party of the "free world" – a nation supposedly at the forefront of technology – to appropriately secure their digital communications along with those of a potential POTUS.

This is a question of how US government, or a potential one, works, and how it should work in the future.

The validity of outrage anyway vis-a-vis the Russians, is, to some extent, misplaced ( ..everyone's doin' it aren't they? For starters, recall the Time cover of' '96:

http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19960715,00.html )

[Jun 08, 2017] The Six Most Important Revelations from the Comey Hearing

Notable quotes:
"... Comey admitted to orchestrating leaks from the investigation to the media using a network of friends. Reponse was swift on social media: ..."
"... Senator Risch questioned Comey about the Times, asking "So the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true, is that a fair statement?" "It was not true," Comey said. "Again, all of you know this, maybe the American people don't. The challenge - I'm not picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information [the challenge is] that people talking about it often don't really now what's going on and those of us who actually know what's going on are not talking about it." ..."
"... Comey discussed the involvement of President Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, in the investigation of Hillary Clinton. He stated that Lynch made an odd request for how the FBI investigation should be described. "At one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which concerned and confused me," Comey said. ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
One thing is for sure, Comey's testimony was anything but boring. 1) Trump was not under investigation by the FBI

When questioned by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Comey answered that President Donald Trump was not under investigation by the FBI. It was also revealed that congressional leaders had previously been briefed on this fact.

This morning Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton joined Breitbart News Daily and predicted this fact. Fitton called allegations against Trump "gossip" and "a nothing burger."

2) James Comey leaked documents to the media

Comey admitted to orchestrating leaks from the investigation to the media using a network of friends. Reponse was swift on social media:

Senators should ask Comey the name of the Columbia professor and then subpoena the memos from him.

- Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) June 8, 2017

So the collusion involves former FBI director, mainstream media, and the left-wing academy to bring down the elected president #ComeyHearing https://t.co/sVWKpajWw9 June 8, 2017

Columbia Law Prof Daniel Richman confirms to @ZCohenCNN that he is the friend that provided excerpts of the Comey memo to reporters.

- Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) June 8, 2017

Senator Rubio pointed out the interesting fact that one of the few things not to leak out was the fact that Trump was not under investigation himself.

Because if it was leaked that @realDonaldTrump was personally not under investigation- it would have crushed the entire narrative. pic.twitter.com/drFcCxin5M

- Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) June 8, 2017

President Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, issued a blistering statement after the hearing on the subject of Comey's leaks.

3) The obstruction of justice case against Trump just went up in smoke

Senator James Risch (R-ID) questioned Comey early in the hearing about the possibility of obstruction of justice regarding the investigation of General Michael Flynn. Risch repeatedly questioned Comey about the exact wording used by President Trump to him in private, which Comey recorded in his much-discussed memo .

The exchange leaves Democrat's hopes of impeachment for obstruction of justice considerably dimmed:

Comey : I mean, it's the President of the United States with me alone, saying, "I hope this." I took it as this is what he wants me to do. I didn't obey that, but that's the way I took it.

Risch : You may have taken it as a direction, but that's not what he said.

Risch : He said, "I hope."

Comey : Those are exact words, correct.

Risch : You don't know of anyone that's been charged for hoping something?

Comey : I don't, as I sit here.

Risch : Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

4) Comey says the New York Times published fake news

James Comey had a few things to say about the reporting of the New York Times which reported on collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Senator Risch questioned Comey about the Times, asking "So the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true, is that a fair statement?" "It was not true," Comey said. "Again, all of you know this, maybe the American people don't. The challenge - I'm not picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information [the challenge is] that people talking about it often don't really now what's going on and those of us who actually know what's going on are not talking about it."

5) Loretta Lynch meddled in the Clinton investigation

Comey discussed the involvement of President Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, in the investigation of Hillary Clinton. He stated that Lynch made an odd request for how the FBI investigation should be described. "At one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which concerned and confused me," Comey said.

Comey added that Lynch's infamous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton during the campaign was the reason he decided to make a statement when the decision was made not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

"In a ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department," Comey said.

6) James Comey sounds like every disgruntled former employee ever

Comey had quite a bit to say about his firing, which leaves him looking like a disgruntled former employee . Comey accused President Trump and his administration of lying about him, and "defaming him and more importantly the FBI."

Comey also explained that his discomfort with the President and the belief that Trump would lie about him led to the creation of his memo on the meeting. "I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document," Comey said. "I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened not only to defend myself but to protect the FBI."

... ... ...

Colin Madine is a contributor and editor at Breitbart News and can be reached at cmadine@breitbart.com

[Jun 08, 2017] Comey apparently admit leaking stuff to New York Times

Notable quotes:
"... Except for the fact that Comey admitted he is a leaker, has a network through which he has leaked information designed to harm President Trump. ..."
"... Oh, and that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other Obama administration officials may have engaged in serious misconduct worthy of further investigation–which Comey testified about today. ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

UPDATE 12:50 P.M. As the public part of the hearing adjourned, and Comey has completely vindicated Trump ahead of a later closed session hearing where he and senators are likely to discuss classified information he could not bring up during the televised hearing, the whole thing turned out exactly like Breitbart News Network told you it would: A giant nothing-burger.

Except for the fact that Comey admitted he is a leaker, has a network through which he has leaked information designed to harm President Trump.

Oh, and that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other Obama administration officials may have engaged in serious misconduct worthy of further investigation–which Comey testified about today.

UPDATE 12:37 P.M. Their hopes and dreams dashed by Comey completely vindicating Trump in this open hearing, and instead implicating ex-Obama administration officials like Loretta Lynch–and implicating himself as an anti-Trump leaker with a network through which he has leaked damaging information against the president–the left and media are pinning everything on a last ditch line of questioning from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

This line of questioning from @SenKamalaHarris regarding the Attorney General is extraordinarily important – not to be overlooked

- Matt House (@mattwhouse) June 8, 2017

Here's video of her comparing Trump to an armed robber though, so take whatever she says with a grain of salt:

Sen. Kamala Harris seems to compare Trump to an armed robber saying "I hope you will give me your wallet" #ComeyTestimony pic.twitter.com/2yjfV3UyIM

- Mike Ciandella ن (@MikeCiandella) June 8, 2017

Meanwhile, anti-Trump Never Trumper Max Boot is in an alternate reality, saying Comey was fantastic as a witness.

Bottom line for #ComeyDay : Comey a highly credible witness. Trump isn't. Comey makes damning accusations. Trump denials unconvincing.

- Max Boot (@MaxBoot) June 8, 2017

Flashback, though, to when Comey was fired and Boot with some bold predictions back on May 9:

Congress needs to ask Comey to testify & he needs to tell all he knows about Kremlingate. If he does Trump may regret firing him.

- Max Boot (@MaxBoot) May 10, 2017

Don't tell Max Boot about the black helicopters coming for him. Seriously. "KREMLINGATE"? What is wrong with these people? Anyway, another wonderfully fantastic flashback of this Never Trumper from when Comey was fired in May:

Prediction: If Democrats take control of Congress in 2018, the firing of Comey will form one of the articles of impeachment.

- Max Boot (@MaxBoot)

Senators should ask Comey the name of the Columbia professor and then subpoena the memos from him.

- Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 12:21 P.M. Loretta Lynch is in serious trouble right now. Looks like the Democrats' efforts may have backfired.

Loretta Lynch is having a surprisingly bad day in the Comey testimony

- Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) June 8, 2017

If it wasn't for Trump becoming president, the corruption with Obama's Department of Justice would be a major story.

- Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) June 8, 2017

Comey also just testified that he did not believe that Lynch could "credibly deny" the Hillary Clinton email scandal investigation, and that she had a serious conflict of interest. He also testified in exchange with Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate Majority Whip, that it is possible a special prosecutor was needed for the email scandal. He said he considered calling for appointing a special counsel in the scandal, but decided against it.

UPDATE 12:08 P.M. Oh my. Now confirmed leaker James Comey's leak network has been outed, or at least part of it has:

Only in Washington: Someone nursing a pint of beer shouts out to a crowded bar: "Daniel Richman of Columbia" https://t.co/hNXVbfBe8r

- Alexander Panetta (@Alex_Panetta) June 8, 2017

So the collusion involves former FBI director, mainstream media, and the left-wing academy to bring down the elected president #ComeyHearing https://t.co/sVWKpajWw9

- Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) June 8, 2017

And now Comey's anti-Trump leak network is confirming to the media that Comey is a leaker:

Columbia Law Prof Daniel Richman confirms to @ZCohenCNN that he is the friend that provided excerpts of the Comey memo to reporters.

- Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 12:05 P.M. There are now serious questions being raised as to whether Loretta Lynch, the former Attorney General from the Obama administration, will be subpoenaed to testify after this hearing where Comey has implicated her.

Legit question: is Loretta Lynch going to be subpoenaed as a result of this testimony?

- Mike Shields (@mshields007) June 8, 2017

Meanwhile, Comey's admission he is a leaker serious hurts him. Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School makes the case Comey may be in serious trouble:

Comey admits that he leaked the internal memo through a Columbia law professor in order to force Special Counsel. Yet, that raises questions

- Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) June 8, 2017

Comey is doing well but leaking info runs against Comey's image, particularly in light of the leak controversy hoiunding the Administration

- Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) June 8, 2017

The memos could be viewed as gov't material and potential evidence . Leaking to a friend for disclosure can raise serious questions.

- Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 12:02 P.M. Donald Trump, Jr., highlights an excellent question from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to Comey. Comey did not have a great answer.

Sen Blunt: If you told Sessions you didn't want to be alone with Trump again, why did you continue to take his calls?

- Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 12:01 P.M. From our RNC friends, here's video of Sen. Rubio crushing another leftist media narrative during his questioning of Comey.

Basically, Comey was so concerned about President Trump's conversations with him that he alerted exactly nobody who could do anything about it. In other words, this whole thing is a giant nothing-burger. Except for Comey implicating himself as a leaker.

UPDATE 11:58 A.M. Comey is in big trouble after this hearing. He admitted he's a leaker, and has an actual network through which he leaks information to the press. In addition, he withheld from leaking information that would have vindicated President Trump weeks ago. White House social media director Dan Scavino captures it clearly and concisely on Twitter:

Because if it was leaked that @realDonaldTrump was personally not under investigation- it would have crushed the entire narrative. pic.twitter.com/drFcCxin5M

- Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) June 8, 2017

President Trump still has yet to Tweet, so no free drinks yet here at Union Pub. Looks like the owners here made a smart decision since this place is standing room only right now.

UPDATE 11:54 A.M. Oh, man, this keeps getting better and better. Comey just shredded the Democrats AND now the fake news media.

Oh Boy. Comey says there have been many many stories based on classified information about Russia that are just "dead wrong"

- Maeve Reston (@MaeveReston) June 8, 2017

I wonder if any of the media outlets that have printed repeated stories on these matters will check their reporting again or correct it if they're wrong. Not holding my breath.

UPDATE 11:50 A.M. Comey has emerged throughout this hearing before the American people looking very much like a drama queen. One of the more memorable lines is when he says when Trump called him to ask him if he was free for dinner, he had to break a date with his wife.

Comey says Trump called him at his desk. "Free for dinner tonight?"
"I said yessir I had to call my wife and break a date with her."

- Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) June 8, 2017

That's not the only drama-filled Comey testimony:

COMEY JUST QUOTES HENRY 11 on what he thought Trump meant: 'Will no one rid me of this toublesome priest"

- Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) June 8, 2017

Meanwhile, even CNN's Jim Acosta–a vehemently anti-Trump media figure in the heart of the opposition party's mothership CNN–is joining in on the anti-Comey fun.

Giving info to media "like feeding seagulls at the beach?" Fact check: True.

- Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 11:48 A.M. The leaky Capitol Hill GOP swamp aides are attacking Trump, despite the fact Comey has vindicated the president and implicated himself in potentially illegal leaks.

Senate R aide: Holding nose and defending Trump is taking a lot out of these GOP senators - and they will demand some kind of repayment

- Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) June 8, 2017

The fact that Swamp Creatures on the "Republican" side on Capitol Hill are throwing shade on their own president, and party, as the GOP and Trump likely emerge from today's masquerade mostly out of the woods is simply incredible but unsurprising. Swamp Things are going to Swamp.

UPDATE 11:45 A.M. Comey's open admission he orchestrated a potentially illegal leak puts him in serious potential trouble, the New York Times people note. That's the story folks. He vindicated Trump, and implicated himself. Wow, what a day.

Can't remember the last time someone in DC openly acknowledged orchestrating a leak - and without any senator having even asked.

- Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 11:39 A.M. CNN's Dan Merica says that President Trump's personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz will make a statement at the end of Comey's public testimony.

Marc Kasowitz, Trump's lawyer outside the White House, will make a statement at the end of James Comey's Senate testimony

- Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 11:35 A.M. As Comey continues vindicating Trump and throwing Democrats like Lynch, Obama, and Clinton under the bus–presumably accidentally–the Washington, D.C., daydrinking party scene is in full swing:

Spotted at Duffy's Irish Pub in North DC:
"Comey is my homey." pic.twitter.com/kvGuaqEqsd

- Sharon Nunn (@sharonmnunn) June 8, 2017

Her "homey" James Comey, meanwhile, has actually admitted he is a leaker.

Flag: Comey says he had a friend of his leak the content of his memo to a reporter to hopefully prompt the appointment of a special counsel. pic.twitter.com/qICnQhI2te

- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 8, 2017

Comey admits to @SenatorCollins that he asked a friend to leak the contents of his memo to NYT to prompt the appointment of Special Counsel.

- Joel B. Pollak (@joelpollak) June 8, 2017

Here's video of Comey admitting he has been leaking information to the media:

Here's how I leaked my Trump memo after Trump's "tapes" tweet

by: James Comey pic.twitter.com/9Z1QPPdcKD

- Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 11:32 A.M. While obstruction is now off the table for Trump, as Breitbart's Joel Pollak detailed, Breitbart's John Hayward notes that obstruction is back on the table for several leading officials from now former President Barack Obama's administration. Hayward says Congress needs to investigate Loretta Lynch, the former Attorney General, as well as Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton–the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee–for obstruction of justice.

Big takeaway from the Comey hearing: urgent need to investigate Loretta Lynch, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton for obstruction

- John Hayward (@Doc_0) June 8, 2017

UPDATE 11:29 A.M. Our very own Joel Pollak is out with another bombshell piece detailing how this hearing has shattered the media's and the Democrats' efforts to taint President Trump with "obstruction of justice."

"Democrats have hinged their hopes for impeachment - and reversing the 2016 elections - on the idea that Trump committed obstruction of justice. That case has now been smashed beyond repair," Pollak writes, pointing to a Comey exchange with Sen. Jim Risch (R-ID).

Read his whole story here .

[Jun 08, 2017] Loretta Lynch meddled in the Clinton investigation

Comey deflated under Loretta Lynch pressure and wrapped the investigation of favorable to Hillary terms. He assigned close to Hillary Person to lead the investigation, which suggest cover up from the very beginning of the investigation. Then he has the second thought and issued his famous statement, in which he usurped the role of justice Department official.
marknesop.wordpress.com

Comey discussed the involvement of President Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, in the investigation of Hillary Clinton. He stated that Lynch made an odd request for how the FBI investigation should be described.

"At one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which concerned and confused me," Comey said.

Comey added that Lynch's infamous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton during the campaign was the reason he decided to make a statement when the decision was made not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

"In a ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department," Comey said.

[Jun 08, 2017] Pot. Kettle. Black. Hilarious.

Jun 08, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al , June 8, 2017 at 4:10 am
So, "While Trump had done nothing illegal in requesting Comey to drop the investigation, there is still the question of 'political interference' and the optics.".

29 June 2016

CNN: Bill Clinton meeting causes headaches for Hillary
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/29/politics/bill-clinton-loretta-lynch/index.html

#####

Pot. Kettle. Black. Hilarious.

[Jun 07, 2017] Hillary was so corrupt and her judgment and actions so bad, that there was a never-ending stram of bad news about her. In no way they were fake news

Notable quotes:
"... I posted 99% anti-Hillary material. It consisted mostly of newspaper articles about many issues, ranging from her support for a right wing coup in Honduras that resulted in an escalation of violence, to her massive pay to play at the State Dept, to her disastrous regime change attempts in Libya and Syria (not to mention her support for the coup in Ukraine and the installation of a Neo Nazi regime). There were also many articles about her numerous campaign promise betrayals, such as her support for bad trade deals with Colombia, South Korea, and Singapore, despite her promises to oppose these (her change of position re: Colombia was after getting a $10 million donation). These articles were all from mainstream sources, including The Nation, The Hill, even the NYT. ..."
"... The thing is, Hillary was so corrupt and her judgment and actions so bad, that there was a seemingly never-ending wealth of bad things to post about her. It wasn't fake news, it was the actual historical record of her dastardly deeds. It wasn't just I who did this. This is what folks on FB and other social media sites did throughout. She probably would refer to what we all posted as "fake news" because she psychopathically denies the truth on a continual basis. ..."
"... Keep in mind that I had not mentioned where I'd gotten my information; I simply said I had done broad research of St. Hillary's history and found it bore little to no resemblance to what the media said about her. ..."
"... When I patiently explained this (and added my journalist's credentials), the attack-cultist then switched to their second favorite: I support Trump, and am guilty of his election. I don't know how long she kept on posting her foam-mouthed mantras, because I departed using my standard response: I no longer engage in battles of facts with unarmed opponents. ..."
Jun 07, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Anonymous , June 5, 2017 at 9:30 pm

Lots of people, including myself, created FB accounts solely to post material related to the 2016 Democratic Primary and the election. I have just under 5,000 friends on FB, all of whom are "friends in Bernie."

I posted 99% anti-Hillary material. It consisted mostly of newspaper articles about many issues, ranging from her support for a right wing coup in Honduras that resulted in an escalation of violence, to her massive pay to play at the State Dept, to her disastrous regime change attempts in Libya and Syria (not to mention her support for the coup in Ukraine and the installation of a Neo Nazi regime). There were also many articles about her numerous campaign promise betrayals, such as her support for bad trade deals with Colombia, South Korea, and Singapore, despite her promises to oppose these (her change of position re: Colombia was after getting a $10 million donation). These articles were all from mainstream sources, including The Nation, The Hill, even the NYT.

The thing is, Hillary was so corrupt and her judgment and actions so bad, that there was a seemingly never-ending wealth of bad things to post about her. It wasn't fake news, it was the actual historical record of her dastardly deeds. It wasn't just I who did this. This is what folks on FB and other social media sites did throughout. She probably would refer to what we all posted as "fake news" because she psychopathically denies the truth on a continual basis.

kimsarah , June 5, 2017 at 11:18 pm

So please tell us your Russian connections.

Elizabeth Burton , June 6, 2017 at 3:24 pm

It consisted mostly of newspaper articles about many issues, ranging from her support for a right wing coup in Honduras that resulted in an escalation of violence, to her massive pay to play at the State Dept, to her disastrous regime change attempts in Libya and Syria (not to mention her support for the coup in Ukraine and the installation of a Neo Nazi regime).

Funny you should mention. I responded to yet another episode of Russian hysteria yesterday and was immediately attacked by a Clinton cultist. Understand, this woman had no idea who I am and clearly didn't bother to find out. I said something against St. Hillary, and was therefore the enemy. Of course, the basis of her attack was that my sources of information were all "fake news."

Keep in mind that I had not mentioned where I'd gotten my information; I simply said I had done broad research of St. Hillary's history and found it bore little to no resemblance to what the media said about her.

When I patiently explained this (and added my journalist's credentials), the attack-cultist then switched to their second favorite: I support Trump, and am guilty of his election. I don't know how long she kept on posting her foam-mouthed mantras, because I departed using my standard response: I no longer engage in battles of facts with unarmed opponents.

[May 23, 2017] Trumped-up claims against Trump by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A few days before his firing, Mr. Comey reportedly had asked for still more resources to hunt the Russian bear. Pundit piranhas swarmed to charge Mr. Trump with trying to thwart the investigation into how the Russians supposedly "interfered" to help him win the election. ..."
"... Truth is, President Trump had ample reason to be fed up with Mr. Comey, in part for his lack of enthusiasm to investigate actual, provable crimes related to "Russia-gate" -- like leaking information from highly sensitive intercepted communications to precipitate the demise of Trump aide Michael Flynn ..."
"... we suspect Mr. Comey already knows who was responsible.) ..."
"... In contrast, Mr. Comey evinced strong determination to chase after ties between Russia and the Trump campaign until the cows came home. In the meantime, the investigation (already underway for 10 months) would itself cast doubt on the legitimacy of Mr. Trump's presidency and put the kibosh on plans to forge a more workable relationship with Russia -- a win-win for the establishment and the FBI/CIA/NSA "Deep State"; a lose-lose for the president. ..."
"... So far, it has been all smoke and mirrors with no chargeable offenses and not a scintilla of convincing evidence of Russian "meddling" in the election. The oft-cited, but evidence-free, CIA/FBI/NSA report of Jan. 6, crafted by "hand-picked" analysts, according to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , is of a piece with the "high-confidence," but fraudulent, National Intelligence Estimate 15 years ago about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. ..."
"... On March 31, 2017, WikiLeaks released original CIA documents - ignored by mainstream media - showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs like Cyrillic markings, ..."
"... It is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Mr. Clapper - the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free memorandum of Jan. 6. ..."
"... Mr. Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the those done by DNC contractor Crowdstrike. Could this be explained by Mr. Comey's fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted? Did this play a role in Mr. Trump's firing of Mr. Comey? ..."
"... President Trump has entered into a high-stakes gamble in confronting the Deep State and its media allies over the evidence-free accusations of his colluding with Russia. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, publicly warned him of the risk earlier this year. "You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," ..."
May 17, 2017 | www.baltimoresun.com
Donald Trump said he had fired FBI Director James Comey over "this Russia thing, with Trump and Russia." The president labeled it a "made-up story" and, by all appearances, he is mostly correct.

A few days before his firing, Mr. Comey reportedly had asked for still more resources to hunt the Russian bear. Pundit piranhas swarmed to charge Mr. Trump with trying to thwart the investigation into how the Russians supposedly "interfered" to help him win the election.

But can that commentary bear close scrutiny, or is it the " phony narrative " Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas claims it to be? Mr. Cornyn has quipped that, if impeding the investigation was Mr. Trump's aim, "This strikes me as a lousy way to do it. All it does is heighten the attention given to the issue."

Truth is, President Trump had ample reason to be fed up with Mr. Comey, in part for his lack of enthusiasm to investigate actual, provable crimes related to "Russia-gate" -- like leaking information from highly sensitive intercepted communications to precipitate the demise of Trump aide Michael Flynn . Mr. Flynn was caught "red-handed," so to speak, talking with Russia's ambassador last December. (In our experience, finding the culprit for that leak should not be very difficult; we suspect Mr. Comey already knows who was responsible.)

In contrast, Mr. Comey evinced strong determination to chase after ties between Russia and the Trump campaign until the cows came home. In the meantime, the investigation (already underway for 10 months) would itself cast doubt on the legitimacy of Mr. Trump's presidency and put the kibosh on plans to forge a more workable relationship with Russia -- a win-win for the establishment and the FBI/CIA/NSA "Deep State"; a lose-lose for the president.

So far, it has been all smoke and mirrors with no chargeable offenses and not a scintilla of convincing evidence of Russian "meddling" in the election. The oft-cited, but evidence-free, CIA/FBI/NSA report of Jan. 6, crafted by "hand-picked" analysts, according to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , is of a piece with the "high-confidence," but fraudulent, National Intelligence Estimate 15 years ago about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But what about "Russia hacking," the centerpiece of accusations of Kremlin "interference" to help Mr.Trump?

On March 31, 2017, WikiLeaks released original CIA documents - ignored by mainstream media - showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs like Cyrillic markings, for example. The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the "Vault 7" trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for "proving" the Russians hacked.

It is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Mr. Clapper - the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free memorandum of Jan. 6.

Mr. Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the those done by DNC contractor Crowdstrike. Could this be explained by Mr. Comey's fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted? Did this play a role in Mr. Trump's firing of Mr. Comey?

President Trump has entered into a high-stakes gamble in confronting the Deep State and its media allies over the evidence-free accusations of his colluding with Russia. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, publicly warned him of the risk earlier this year. "You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," Mr. Schumer told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Jan. 3.

If Mr. Trump continues to "take on" the Deep State, he will be fighting uphill, whether he's in the right or not. It is far from certain he will prevail.

Ray McGovern (rrmcgovern@gmail.com) was a CIA analyst for 27 years; he briefed the president's daily brief one-on-one to President Reagan's most senior national security officials from 1981-85. William Binney (williambinney0802@comcast.net) worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.

truth_will_set_you_free Newcomer 4day(s)ago
The public owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to both Mr. McGovern and Mr. Binney, who are substantial individuals with sterling reputations, for putting themselves forward and informing the public of the crimes that are taking place in DC behind closed doors.

The fact that paid shills and trolls would make the effort to post content free criticisms of this article only serves to underline the article's importance to a thoughtful reader. The people who sponsor these posters obviously have complete contempt for the public. However, each day, thanks to articles like this and the idiotic attempts to criticize them, more and more people are becoming aware of the fraud that is DC.

[May 23, 2017] Are they really out to get Trump by Philip Girald

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Ray suggests that Brennan and also Comey may been at the center of a "Deep State" combined CIA-NSA-FBI cabal working to discredit the Trump candidacy and delegitimize his presidency. Brennan in particular was uniquely well placed to fabricate the Russian hacker narrative that has been fully embraced by Congress and the media even though no actual evidence supporting that claim has yet been produced. As WikiLeaks has now revealed that the CIA had the technical ability to hack into sites surreptitiously while leaving behind footprints that would attribute the hack to someone else, including the Russians, it does not take much imagination to consider that the alleged trail to Moscow might have been fabricated. If that is so, this false intelligence has in turn proven to be of immense value to those seeking to present "proof" that the Russian government handed the presidency to Donald Trump. ..."
"... Robert Parry asked in an article on May 10 th whether we are seeing is "Watergate redux or 'Deep State' coup?" and then followed up with a second Piece "The 'Soft Coup' of Russia-gate" on the 13 th . In other words, is this all a cover-up of wrongdoing by the White House akin to President Richard Nixon's firing of Watergate independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of both the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General or is it something quite different, an undermining of an elected president who has not actually committed any "high crimes and misdemeanors" to force his removal from office. ..."
"... Parry sees the three key players in the scheme as John Brennan of CIA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and James Comey of the FBI. Comey's role in the "coup" was key as it consisted of using his office to undercut both Hillary Clinton and Trump, neither of whom was seen as a truly suitable candidate by the Deep State. He speculates that a broken election might well have resulted in a vote in the House of Representatives to elect the new president, a process that might have produced a Colin Powell presidency as Powell actually received three votes in the Electoral College and therefore was an acceptable candidate under the rules governing the electoral process. ..."
"... Yes, the scheme is bizarre, but Parry carefully documents how Russiagate has developed and how the national security and intelligence organs have been key players as it moved along, often working by leaking classified information. ..."
"... anyone even vaguely connected with Trump who also had contact with Russia or Russians has been regarded as a potential traitor. Carter Page, for example, who was investigated under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was under suspicion because he made a speech in Moscow which was mildly critical of the west's interaction with Russia after the fall of communism. ..."
"... Parry's point is that there is a growing Washington consensus that consists of traditional liberals and progressives as well as Democratic globalist interventionists and neoconservatives who believe that Donald Trump must be removed from office no matter what it takes. ..."
"... The interventionists and neocons in particular already control most of the foreign policy mechanisms but they continue to see Trump as a possible impediment to their plans for aggressive action against a host of enemies, most particularly Russia. ..."
"... Ray has been strongly critical of the current foreign policy, most particularly of the expansion of various wars, claims of Damascus's use of chemical weapons, and the cruise missile attack on Syria. Robert in his latest article describes Trump as narcissistic and politically incompetent. But their legitimate concerns are that we are moving in a direction that is far more dangerous than Trump. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do. ..."
"... Brennan is a particularly unsavory character. There has been some baying-at-the-moon speculation that he is a Moslem convert! ..."
"... The coup, if successful, would probably mean the end of what would traditionally be considered to be a republican form of government in the US and its replacement by a deep state dictatorship. ..."
"... The USA is not different from other western countries, such as GB, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, Netherlands. In each of these countries the battle is going on between the establishment, and those who want to rid themselves of this establishment. ..."
"... The battle is between trying to dominate the world, neoliberalism, destruction of nation states, power of money, on the one hand, and nationalism, more or less certain jobs, rejection of wars, power of governments, on the other hand. ..."
"... What is amazing is that Mr Giraldi still believes the USA is a democracy. Maybe if one compares it with China. Anyway, "a soft coup" has already happened in you history -- Kennedy's assassination by the deep state- and life just went on in the "greatest democracy" in the earth. ..."
"... Perhaps this is the indication of where Trump and DOJ are going: Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox's Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks. ..."
"... Despite the TV image, it is rare for a CEO to outright sack one of his top executives. The story of dinners where Comey made his pitch to stay rings true to what I have seen in real life. Trump probably asked Comey if he wouldn't be happier returning to private business where he made a boatload more money, and Comey, drunk on the power of high public office just wouldn't pull the trigger for him. ..."
"... Having just noticed the latest by-line in Antiwar.com, I am forced to raise the question we should all be asking ourselves "Was it Russia or was it .. Seth Rich ? " ..."
"... If there was indeed a "soft coup" in our country, did it not occur at the DNC convention when our back room oligarchs decided to "putsch" Bernie Sanders out of the race, and gift the nomination to Hillary ? ..."
"... Was it not Bernie Sanders who was igniting the young progressive liberal base by the tens of millions ? Was it not Bernie who was gaining enormous momentum as the race for the nomination went on ? Was it not Bernie's "message" that began to ring true for so many voters across the country ? ..."
"... The homicide detective hired by the family , also pointed out, after doing some rudimentary due diligence, that word had come down through the DC mayor's office to stymie its own detectives in the murder investigation of Mr. Rich. Strange thing, especially when we are dealing with a homicide .No, Mr Giraldi ? If the Seth Rich murder was a "botched robbery" as is claimed, why won't the DC police release Seth's laptop computer to his family ? ..."
"... I would be very interested in your take on the latest impeachable "scandal", that Trump revealed unrevealable top secrets to Lavrov and Kislyak during their recent White House meeting. Among other things, how would the Washington Post know the specifics of the Trump-Lavrov conversation? Is the White House bugged? And if an intelligence source was somehow really compromised, is advertising that fact in the Washington Post (presumably on the front page) really the wisest course? ..."
"... "A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do." Until further notice, that is absolutely correct. It needs to be recalled – ad nauseam – that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians. The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME. ..."
"... Trump was right in firing Comey. An open ended investigation that hasn't yielded a scintilla of evidence of collusion with Russia after one year is not acceptable. Such an investigation would not have been tolerated if the target was a Marxist mulatto by the name of Barack Hussein Obama. Blacks would have rioted in response while the media cheered them on. ..."
"... If there's a Constitutional crisis then it's that the deep state apparatus in the form of the various alphabet soup intelligence agencies have the power to plot a coup against a duly elected president. They need to be stripped of much of their power and reformed but it's probably already too late for that. ..."
"... I thought since Trump went from advocating a humble, non-interventionist foreign policy to loud and proud neo-conservative (in less than 100 days) that that would buy him protection from deep state machinations and endear him to the corrupt Washington, D.C. establishment. ..."
"... The only thing I can think of is that even though Trump's picking up where Dubya and Obama left off on foreign policy, the deep state knows that Trump can be totally unpredictable and change on a dime. So he could go off the establishment reservation at a moment's notice which makes them apoplectic. Hence, their attempts to get him out of the way and install someone more pliant and predictable like Tom Pence. ..."
"... Deepstate has been sustaining and expanding its conspiracies for 100 years. (There is always a 'deep state' of some kind, but the current well-organized structure was created by Wilson.) A conspiracy AGAINST Deepstate is hard to sustain because Deepstate owns and monitors all public communications. ..."
"... While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades. ..."
"... The money-laundering angle is already all over the Web (ex. google: Bayrock Trump) and, one must assume, in the hands of various intelligence agencies. .This may be the basis for Trump's increasingly frantic attempts to shut down the "Russian thing" investigation.(Comey firing??) ..."
"... I don't think, however, the notion of the "establishment" is a problem in itself. Our country has always had powerful elites, so have many other countries. The problem which presents itself today is our elites seem determined to perpetuate endless wars that cost obscene amounts of money, and do not seem to produce positive results in any of the places the wars are being fought. ..."
"... The short answer is yes! March 31, 2017 The Surveillance State Behind Russia-Gate. Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump. ..."
"... The people pushing the big lie about Trump and Russia are legion. And they are not stupid. They are evil. They are the same people who are preparing a preemptive nuclear attack against Russia and China. They are the globalists who would institute a universal Feudalism from which there would be no escape. I have no further use for Trump. But his enemies remain enemies of the people. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.unz.com
And what if there really is a conspiracy against Donald Trump being orchestrated within the various national security agencies that are part of the United States government? The president has been complaining for months about damaging leaks emanating from the intelligence community and the failure of Congress to pay any attention to the illegal dissemination of classified information. It is quite possible that Trump has become aware that there is actually something going on and that something just might be a conspiracy to delegitimize and somehow remove him from office.

President Trump has also been insisting that the "Russian thing" is a made-up story, a view that I happen to agree with. I recently produced my own analysis of the possibility that there is in progress a soft, or stealth or silent coup, call it what you will, underway directed against the president and that, if it exists, it is being directed by former senior officials from the Obama White House. Indeed, it is quite plausible to suggest that it was orchestrated within the Obama White House itself before the government changed hands at the inauguration on January 20 th . In line with that thinking, some observers are now suggesting that Comey might well have been party to the conspiracy and his dismissal would have been perfectly justified based on his demonstrated interference in both the electoral process and in his broadening of the acceptable role of his own Bureau, which Trump has described as "showboating."

Two well-informed observers of the situation have recently joined in the discussion, Robert Parry of Consortiumnews and former CIA senior analyst Ray McGovern of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. McGovern has noted, as have I, that there is one individual who has been curiously absent from the list of former officials who have been called in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. That is ex-CIA Director John Brennan, who many have long considered an extreme Obama/Hillary Clinton loyalist long rumored to be at the center of the information damaging to Team Trump sent to Washington by friendly intelligence services, including the British.

Like Parry, I am reluctant to embrace conspiracy theories, in my case largely because I believe a conspiracy is awfully hard to sustain. The federal government leaks like a sieve and if more than two conspirators ever meet in the CIA basement it would seem to me their discussion would become public knowledge within forty-eight hours, but perhaps what we are seeing here is less a formal arrangement than a group of individuals who are loosely connected while driven by a common objective.

Parry sees the three key players in the scheme as John Brennan of CIA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and James Comey of the FBI. Comey's role in the "coup" was key as it consisted of using his office to undercut both Hillary Clinton and Trump, neither of whom was seen as a truly suitable candidate by the Deep State. He speculates that a broken election might well have resulted in a vote in the House of Representatives to elect the new president, a process that might have produced a Colin Powell presidency as Powell actually received three votes in the Electoral College and therefore was an acceptable candidate under the rules governing the electoral process.

Yes, the scheme is bizarre, but Parry carefully documents how Russiagate has developed and how the national security and intelligence organs have been key players as it moved along, often working by leaking classified information. And President Barack Obama was likely the initiator, notably so when he de facto authorized the wide distribution of raw intelligence on Trump and the Russians through executive order. Parry notes, as would I, that to date no actual evidence has been presented to support allegations that Russia sought to influence the U.S. election and/or that Trump associates were somehow coopted by Moscow's intelligence services as part of the process. Nevertheless, anyone even vaguely connected with Trump who also had contact with Russia or Russians has been regarded as a potential traitor. Carter Page, for example, who was investigated under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was under suspicion because he made a speech in Moscow which was mildly critical of the west's interaction with Russia after the fall of communism.

Parry's point is that there is a growing Washington consensus that consists of traditional liberals and progressives as well as Democratic globalist interventionists and neoconservatives who believe that Donald Trump must be removed from office no matter what it takes.

The interventionists and neocons in particular already control most of the foreign policy mechanisms but they continue to see Trump as a possible impediment to their plans for aggressive action against a host of enemies, most particularly Russia. As they are desirous of bringing down Trump "legally" through either impeachment or Article 25 of the Constitution which permits removal for incapacity, it might be termed a constitutional coup, though the other labels cited above also fit.

The rationale Trump haters have fabricated is simple: the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if true, would provide grounds for impeachment. The driving force, in terms of the argument being made, is that removing Trump must be done "for the good of the country" and to "correct a mistake made by the American voters."

The mainstream media is completely on board of the process, including the outlets that flatter themselves by describing their national stature, most notably the New York Times and Washington Post.

So what is to be done? For starters, until Donald Trump has unambiguously broken a law the critics should take a valium and relax. He is an elected president and his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama certainly did plenty of things that in retrospect do not bear much scrutiny. Folks like Ray McGovern and Robert Parry should be listened to even when they are being provocative in their views. They are not, to be sure, friends of the White House in any conventional way and are not apologists for those in power, quite the contrary. Ray has been strongly critical of the current foreign policy, most particularly of the expansion of various wars, claims of Damascus's use of chemical weapons, and the cruise missile attack on Syria. Robert in his latest article describes Trump as narcissistic and politically incompetent. But their legitimate concerns are that we are moving in a direction that is far more dangerous than Trump. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do. Are They Really Out to Get Trump? Sometimes paranoia is justified

Philip Giraldi May 16, 2017 1,600 Words

Dan Hayes , May 16, 2017 at 4:18 am GMT

Brennan is a particularly unsavory character. There has been some baying-at-the-moon speculation that he is a Moslem convert!

exiled off mainstreet , May 16, 2017 at 5:26 am GMT

The coup, if successful, would probably mean the end of what would traditionally be considered to be a republican form of government in the US and its replacement by a deep state dictatorship.

In light of what is being used, a phony claim of Russian interference with the US political system, the danger that nuclear war might be the outcome of this coup is real.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 5:36 am GMT

I don't know who Robert Parry is but to me this Colin Powell stuff is pure nonsense. At the same time my answer to the question "Are They Really Out to Get Trump?" is affirmative. Republicans and Democrats want Trump out and Pence in. The operation with Flynn who allegedly deceived Pence was part of this plan. That Trump fired Flynn was his greatest mistake in this game. It was not fatal yet. This was Their plan since the election or even earlier since Republican convention: have Trump step down and have Pence take over. After April 4th it seemed that They got Trump where They wanted him to be. Trump even became presidential. The escalation of rhetoric against North Korea over following weekend and week reinforced this perception until it turned out that it was all fake. There was no fleet steaming to Korea. Media realized they were played by Trump. During this time Trump and Tillerson in particular got some breathing space. The pre-April 4 policy of agreeing with Russia on Syria continued. Apparently Russia understood that the missile attack on Syria was just part of the game. It was not personal. More recently the US agreed to safe zones plan by Russia, Syria, Iran and Turkey. One should expect a false flag of gas attack or accidental bombing by US air force of Syrian forces to happen soon – broadcasted all night before the start of the US media news cycle by BBC, so US media, all talking heads memorize all talking points.

While it is possible that Trump behaves erratically w/o well thought out plans we must give him a benefit of doubt and assume that there is a deep reason for firing Comey. Trump is fighting for his life. While he would prefer to be presidential and enjoy easy going times and provide peace and safety for his family by know he knows that nothing will satisfy Them. They want him out! Erratic Trump and confused and chaotic WH is a meme which They and Their media want to plant and reinforce. That's why we hear about it all the time. But how to explain the firing of Comey? I would look for the answer at DOJ. Initially their hands were tied up but slowly they showed that there is new leadership at DOJ that was working for Trump for a change. Their independence of the Deep State was demonstrated by forcing Israel police to arrest Mossad operative/patsy for the wave of world wide anti-semitic hoaxes that were meant to undermine and compromise Trump. This is the proof that DOJ and part of FBI finally is strong enough and working for Trump. What next do they want to do? If they want to squash this "collusion with Russia" false narrative that is paralyzing the administration and in fact all belt way they must hit at those who originated this narrative, meaning Hillary Clinton and Obama. To do it they need to have a full control of FBI. Comey is gone. McCabe must go next. Will DOJ and new FBI go after Susan Rice, Sally Yates and Loretta Lynch? If they do this will lead to Obama. Will they go after Hillary Clinton and her emails? Will they secure Anthony Weiner computer? Does it still exist? Who will be nominated to replace Comey? What Trump will have to promise GOP to have him approved?

The bottom line is that Trump is fighting for his life.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT

Of course they are. The USA is not different from other western countries, such as GB, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, Netherlands. In each of these countries the battle is going on between the establishment, and those who want to rid themselves of this establishment.

GB is the first country where maybe this succeeded, but, as in the USA, the GB establishment and the EU establishment do anything to prevent that things really change.

The battle is between trying to dominate the world, neoliberalism, destruction of nation states, power of money, on the one hand, and nationalism, more or less certain jobs, rejection of wars, power of governments, on the other hand.

In France one sees that once again the establishment won, 60% of the French still support the establishment, 40% rejects it.

In other countries more or less the same.

The opposing views make governing increasingly difficult, two months after the Dutch elections the efforts to contrue a government are a failure. Belgium was more than a year without a government. In Spain one government after another. The establishment now fears that Austria will turn around. Until now Brussels, by threats and cajoling, prevented a rebellion against Brussels in Poland and Hungary. The Greek rebellion failed completely.

Anon , May 16, 2017 at 6:05 am GMT

White House Leaks and the "Muh Russia" Seesaw

utu , May 16, 2017 at 6:08 am GMT

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during last week's visit.

John Brown , May 16, 2017 at 6:09 am GMT

"A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do" concludes the writer.

What is amazing is that Mr Giraldi still believes the USA is a democracy. Maybe if one compares it with China. Anyway, "a soft coup" has already happened in you history -- Kennedy's assassination by the deep state- and life just went on in the "greatest democracy" in the earth.

A "soft coup" against Donald Trump will be in fact an improvement. The "narcissist" president won't be killed. It will be a soft clean coup. Progress.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT

Perhaps this is the indication of where Trump and DOJ are going: Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox's Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks.

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/05/15/report-investigator-says-evidence-showing-deceased-dnc-staffer-seth-rich-emailing-wikileaks/

But the Deep State respond with: Deep State Leaks Highly Classified Info to Washington Post to Smear President Trump

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/15/deep-state-leaks-highly-classified-info-to-washington-post-to-smear-president-trump/

The Alarmist , May 16, 2017 at 8:23 am GMT

Despite the TV image, it is rare for a CEO to outright sack one of his top executives. The story of dinners where Comey made his pitch to stay rings true to what I have seen in real life. Trump probably asked Comey if he wouldn't be happier returning to private business where he made a boatload more money, and Comey, drunk on the power of high public office just wouldn't pull the trigger for him.

Comey was a goner in November he just wouldn't go quietly and on his own accord, no doubt for the reasons suggested in this piece a so-called higher calling and his own inflated sense of service to his country.

alexander , May 16, 2017 at 8:52 am GMT

Dear Mr. Giraldi,

Thanks for another fine article.

Certainly writers like Robert Parry and Ray Mcgovern, as well as yourself, have earned the highest of marks from internet readers around the globe, anxious for some integrity of analysis , as they seek to understand our nation's policy decisions. As long as gentlemen like you, as well as others, keep writing , you will find your readership growing at an exponential rate.

Having just noticed the latest by-line in Antiwar.com, I am forced to raise the question we should all be asking ourselves "Was it Russia or was it .. Seth Rich ? "

If there was indeed a "soft coup" in our country, did it not occur at the DNC convention when our back room oligarchs decided to "putsch" Bernie Sanders out of the race, and gift the nomination to Hillary ?

Was it not Bernie Sanders who was igniting the young progressive liberal base by the tens of millions ? Was it not Bernie who was gaining enormous momentum as the race for the nomination went on ? Was it not Bernie's "message" that began to ring true for so many voters across the country ?

Was it not Bernie Sanders who may well have swept the DNC nomination, were it not for the "dirty pool" being played out in the back room ?.

According to the retired homicide detective, hired by the family of Seth Rich to investigate their son's bizarre murder, it was Seth Rich who WAS in contact with Wikileaks.

(For all those who don't know who Seth Rich was , he was the 27 year old "voter data director" at the DNC, shot to death on july 10, 2016, in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington D.C.)

In an interview three days after Seth Rich was found dead, Julian Assange intimated, too, that Seth Rich HAD contacted Wikileaks .NOT Russia.

The homicide detective hired by the family , also pointed out, after doing some rudimentary due diligence, that word had come down through the DC mayor's office to stymie its own detectives in the murder investigation of Mr. Rich. Strange thing, especially when we are dealing with a homicide .No, Mr Giraldi ? If the Seth Rich murder was a "botched robbery" as is claimed, why won't the DC police release Seth's laptop computer to his family ?

We are all aware there were "shenanigans" going on in the DNC that put the kibosh on the Bernie nomination.(we all know this)

This makes sense too, given the fact that the DNC party bosses and their oligarchs, wanted Bernie running in the general election against the Donald like they wanted a "hole in the head". What we "cannot" see ..is how decisive Bernie's margin of victory might have been, Nor can we see what "crimes" were committed to ensure Hillary's run at the W. H. It is not much of a stretch to assume Seth Rich had hard evidence, perhaps of multiple counts of treasonous fraud and other sorted felonies that would have brought down "the back room" of the DNC.

Not good for the party..not good for its oligarchs .and not good for their Hillary anointment.

"Russia-gate" may prove to be the most concerted effort, by the powers that be, to DEFLECT from an investigation into their OWN "real"criminality .

How savvy and how clever they are to manipulate the public's perceptions, through Big Media, by grafting the allegations of the very crimes they may well have committed .onto Russia, the Donald, and Vladimir Putin.

Clever, clever, clever.

Can any of us imagine, how cold a day in hell it will be before Rachel Maddow(or any MSM "journalist") asks some basic questions about the Seth Rich laptop .or what was on it ?

Sub zero.

for-the-record , May 16, 2017 at 8:53 am GMT

Mr. Giralidi,

I would be very interested in your take on the latest impeachable "scandal", that Trump revealed unrevealable top secrets to Lavrov and Kislyak during their recent White House meeting. Among other things, how would the Washington Post know the specifics of the Trump-Lavrov conversation? Is the White House bugged? And if an intelligence source was somehow really compromised, is advertising that fact in the Washington Post (presumably on the front page) really the wisest course?

mp , May 16, 2017 at 9:29 am GMT

Trump has turned out to be very weak. Maybe he just doesn't believe in anything, so it doesn't matter to him. Or maybe he has some ideas, but has no clue about implementation. He's going to see the Tribe next week. That will tell us a lot, I'm thinking. But it's a lot that we probably already know or at least can guess.

animalogic , May 16, 2017 at 10:10 am GMT

"A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do."
Until further notice, that is absolutely correct. It needs to be recalled – ad nauseam – that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians. The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME.

geokat62 , May 16, 2017 at 11:08 am GMT

A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do.

For more dangerous to American democracy has been the ZOG engineered by the "Friends of Zion," but, unfortunately, there is little chance there will ever be a Zion-gate investigation.

KenH , May 16, 2017 at 11:10 am GMT

Trump was right in firing Comey. An open ended investigation that hasn't yielded a scintilla of evidence of collusion with Russia after one year is not acceptable. Such an investigation would not have been tolerated if the target was a Marxist mulatto by the name of Barack Hussein Obama. Blacks would have rioted in response while the media cheered them on.

If there's a Constitutional crisis then it's that the deep state apparatus in the form of the various alphabet soup intelligence agencies have the power to plot a coup against a duly elected president. They need to be stripped of much of their power and reformed but it's probably already too late for that.

I thought since Trump went from advocating a humble, non-interventionist foreign policy to loud and proud neo-conservative (in less than 100 days) that that would buy him protection from deep state machinations and endear him to the corrupt Washington, D.C. establishment. For a time he was even making "never Trumper" little (((William Kristol))) coo with delight which is no small feat. Moreover, he's a lickspittle of Israel which seems a prerequisite for a presidential candidate.

The only thing I can think of is that even though Trump's picking up where Dubya and Obama left off on foreign policy, the deep state knows that Trump can be totally unpredictable and change on a dime. So he could go off the establishment reservation at a moment's notice which makes them apoplectic. Hence, their attempts to get him out of the way and install someone more pliant and predictable like Tom Pence.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

@animalogic "A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do."

Until further notice, that is absolutely correct.

It needs to be recalled - ad nauseam - that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians.

The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME.

polistra , May 16, 2017 at 11:56 am GMT

Conspiracies are NOT hard to sustain. That's an absurd statement. Deepstate has been sustaining and expanding its conspiracies for 100 years. (There is always a 'deep state' of some kind, but the current well-organized structure was created by Wilson.) A conspiracy AGAINST Deepstate is hard to sustain because Deepstate owns and monitors all public communications.

Hobo , May 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades.

Some of the investigations have expanded their scope to include careful scrutiny of Trump's business dealings in relation to Russia. Recently FinCEN, which specializes in fighting money laundering, agreed to turn over records to the Senate Intelligence Committee in this regard. Even Sen. Linsey Graham recently stated he wanted to know more about Trump's business dealings with Russia. The possibility that this may result in a criminal investigation cannot be ruled out. The money-laundering angle is already all over the Web (ex. google: Bayrock Trump) and, one must assume, in the hands of various intelligence agencies. .This may be the basis for Trump's increasingly frantic attempts to shut down the "Russian thing" investigation.(Comey firing??)

Dutch Public Broadcasting has recently broadcast a two part series exploring some of the connections involving Trump's business dealings with Russia.

THE DUBIOUS FRIENDS OF DONALD TRUMP: THE RUSSIANS

More detail and background is provided in this informative article by James S. Henry, a reputable investigative journalist:

The Curious World of Donald Trump's Private Russian Connections

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/12/19/the-curious-world-of-donald-trumps-private-russian-connections/

p.s.: Regarding the term Russo-jewish mafia, should you watch the videos and read the article you will find the players involved are almost exclusively of a certain 'tribal' persuasion. (A number have direct links to the infamous Mogilevich crime syndicate (top 10 FBI's most wanted list) and one of the principals of Bayrock was named as a major Israeli organized crime figure by the Turkish media following his arrest there.)

Chris Bridges , May 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm GMT

Phil,

As you know, Brennan is an extreme liberal Democrat, a creature of both Clinton and Obama. He is an utterly unprincipled old fool. He failed as a CIA operations officer and went back to Langley with his tail between his legs to become analyst. Nothing wrong with that but he nursed bitter resentment at the Clandestine Service during his whole career. He was finally allowed to go out as chief in, of all places, Riyadh. He promptly destroyed the station with his incompetence, though he earned the praise of the ambassador, as such toadies usually do. Brennan is perfectly capable of the things you describe. Washington is awash in these kinds of traitors. If Trump does not have a plan to arrest them all some dark night then he is a fool himself.

MEexpert , May 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

And President Barack Obama was likely the initiator, notably so when he de facto authorized the wide distribution of raw intelligence on Trump and the Russians through executive order.

I repeat, why hasn't Trump issued an executive order cancelling Obama's executive order? He needs to stop this information sharing if he expects to remain President.

Phil, is there any one who has Trump's ear? The mainstream media are hell bent in destroying anyone close to Trump. First, Flynn, then Steve Bannon and now Kellyanne Conway. Trump must stop these leaks from the White House. He should fire all Obama holdovers.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm GMT

@Hobo While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades.

... ... ... ...

p.s.: Regarding the term Russo-jewish mafia, should you watch the videos and read the article you will find the players involved are almost exclusively of a certain 'tribal' persuasion. (A number have direct links to the infamous Mogilevich crime syndicate (top 10 FBI's most wanted list) and one of the principals of Bayrock was named as a major Israeli organized crime figure by the Turkish media following his arrest there.)

Sam Shama , May 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT

I recently produced my own analysis of the possibility that there is in progress a soft, or stealth or silent coup, call it what you will, underway directed against the president and that, if it exists, it is being directed by former senior officials from the Obama White House. Indeed, it is quite plausible to suggest that it was orchestrated within the Obama White House itself before the government changed hands at the inauguration on January 20th. In line with that thinking, some observers are now suggesting that Comey might well have been party to the conspiracy and his dismissal would have been perfectly justified based on his demonstrated interference in both the electoral process and in his broadening of the acceptable role of his own Bureau , which Trump has described as "showboating."

It's quite difficult to accept this line of thought when Comey practically scuppered Hillary's bid, something strongly endorsed by Obama. Going with this narrative requires Obama to have engineered Hillary's departure followed by a concerted plan to unseat Trump as well, both objectives utilizing Comey! To what end? Paint chaos on the American political canvas?

RadicalCenter , May 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT

@Colleen Pater This " theory " isnt a theory its not debatable and its clear both parties and every power node in the world are signalling they will do whatever they can to help. Its really a good thing they are not fooling anyone but some maroon prog snowflakes. Trump was the howard beale last option before civil war candidate, he won fair and square , actually despite massive cheating by the other side and now they are overthrowing him in full view of the american people.Its good as long as idiots on the right still believed in democracy, that getting their candidate in would change war was averted. after thirty years of steady leftism no matter who was in power they voted trump now trumps being overthrown. They will see we dont live in a democracy we live in the matrix democracy is diversionary tactic to prevent us from killing them all. And kill them all is what we must do.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@alexander Some fine points here, Mr, Dykstra,

I don't think, however, the notion of the "establishment" is a problem in itself. Our country has always had powerful elites, so have many other countries. The problem which presents itself today is our elites seem determined to perpetuate endless wars that cost obscene amounts of money, and do not seem to produce positive results in any of the places the wars are being fought.

The "establishment" does not seem to care. It is now wholly unthinkable for our "establishment" to consider "making peace"and ending our wars. There is an addiction to "war spending" and "war profiteering" which has consumed the Deep State Apparatus, especially since 9-11, and operates almost completely independently of any administration in office.

Its an insatiable appetite...that grows larger every year. Any President, elected by the people today,to end our wars will simply not be tolerated by the establishment class and the deep state it lords over. The problem is not that we have an "establishment", the problem is our establishment is addicted to war.

Only "war" will do for them, full time, all the time..... end of story. Today, any President is given two choices once in office....make WAR..... or be impeached.

anonymous , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

@Anon Trump Heads to Saudi Arabia - Target Iran and Iraq?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIYy10NJcMI

Agent76 , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

The short answer is yes! March 31, 2017 The Surveillance State Behind Russia-Gate. Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-surveillance-state-behind-russia-gate/5582211

Mar 9, 2017 BADA BING! NSA Whistleblower Confirms Trump Was Tapped!

They're wire tapping President Trump, and Kim Kardashian, and Hulk Hogan, and you and EVERYBODY!

https://youtu.be/tWOCLMJRQ7I

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

It is now wholly unthinkable for our "establishment" to consider "making peace"and ending our wars. There is an addiction to "war spending" and "war profiteering" which has consumed the Deep State Apparatus, especially since 9-11, and operates almost completely independently of any administration in office.

Precisely. Frankly, I suspect 90% of the daily brouhaha of conspiracies and collusion theories is a product solely of tawdry greed. The rich will do anything for money . anything.

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm GMT

Reopening the investigation in a dramatic public manner (I guess we do tell who is under investigation) and then coming back to announce, "We were correct the first time; there is no case" might convince a few thousand staggling doubters. It was very close.

Quite so. Comey's election-eve announcement was a calculated risk, with the intention of making the "investigation" of Clinton look legitimate and professional, not just lip service to troublesome legalities. It was intended to produce a public reaction like "Oh, they double-checked like good investigators, and sure enough, Hillary's email operation was completely legit."

Done clumsily, and it backfired.

Aaron Burr , May 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT

At what point does political infighting cross the line into treason?

There's a line somewhere between the two, obviously. Perhaps its when you break the law? Perhaps its when you leak classified documents? Or details of a key diplomatic meeting?

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@utu There will be no open coup. Trump will resign for health reason or in the worst case scenario will be declared unfit for health reasons. And Pence will give a speech how great Trump was and how great his ideas were and that now he as president will continue his vision. And many people will believe it.

Sam Shama , May 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@iffen It's quite difficult to accept this line of thought when Comey practically scuppered Hillary's bid

There is reason to believe that Clinton's email troubles were having a major impact. Many were unconvinced by Comey's first pronouncement that there was no case there. (I thought this was the prosecutor's job anyway. People would have been skeptical of a compromised Lynch saying that there was no case, but might be persuaded by Comey.)

Reopening the investigation in a dramatic public manner (I guess we do tell who is under investigation) and then coming back to announce, "We were correct the first time; there is no case" might convince a few thousand staggling doubters. It was very close.

Philip Giraldi , May 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm GMT

@Sam Shama I need to understand why Phil Giraldi thinks she was considered a flawed candidate from the Deep State's perspective .

In the minds of non-mainstream writers who constantly viewed her as the embodiment of the Establishment, one wouldn't have wagered "their" perfect candidate to be marked for removal.

Joe Hide , May 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT

It looks to me as though the "deep state" is getting progressive dementia. While inhabited by many high I.Q. players, their moves are increasingly insane. They had assumed their "Surveillance State" would become all intrusive, giving them ever greater control over us peasants. The reverse has happened, where most of the 7 billion of us have cell phones that record and display all their nefarious deeds. We have a million times more high I.Q. people than them, that increasingly are waking up and exposing those psychopaths for the pieces of garbage that they are.

iffen , May 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm GMT

@Sam Shama I need to understand why Phil Giraldi thinks she was considered a flawed candidate from the Deep State's perspective .

In the minds of non-mainstream writers who constantly viewed her as the embodiment of the Establishment, one wouldn't have wagered "their" perfect candidate to be marked for removal.

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm GMT

@utu

Comey's election-eve announcement was a calculated risk, with the intention of making the "investigation" of Clinton look legitimate and professional, not just lip service to troublesome legalities.
No. They knew then that election could not be stolen (for whatever reasons) for Clinton. The 28th October announcement by Comey was the signal to press to change the fake narrative of huge advantage in polls by Hillary and prepare the eventual excuse for Hillary why she lost.
Boris M Garsky , May 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT

Comey was abruptly and unceremoniously fired after he stated that Clinton had forwarded thousands of e-mails containing classified information on an unsecured server to wiener and friends. Hardly covering Clintons back. The FBI investigates -- it does not prosecute -- that is the function of the attorney generals office. The AG solely has the power to convene a grand jury, not the FBI. The deputy attorney general Rosenstein writes a scathing report and recommendation to fire Comey. Trump, probably on Kushner's urging fires Comey. Comey redacts his prior statement.

My guess is that the FBI were very close to the neocons hidden secret -- Clinton and its foundation are foreign assets and not of Russia, hence, we have the Russia-gate diversion. Unfortunately, Comey;s replacement will be toothless, merely a shelf ornament. And what happened? We hear no more of Kushners? omitting his relationship to the Rothchilds enterprises. Flynn was fired for far less. Is/ are Kushner? and/ or Rosenstein the leak(s)?

WorkingClass , May 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm GMT

The people pushing the big lie about Trump and Russia are legion. And they are not stupid. They are evil. They are the same people who are preparing a preemptive nuclear attack against Russia and China. They are the globalists who would institute a universal Feudalism from which there would be no escape. I have no further use for Trump. But his enemies remain enemies of the people.

[May 19, 2017] Global Cyberattack Are Private Interests Using States: The global cyberattack, the NSA and Washingtons war propaganda against Russia by Bill Van Auken

Notable quotes:
"... Thus, amid the hysterical propaganda campaign over Russian hacking, Washington has been developing an array of cyber-weapons that have the capability of crippling entire countries. Through the carelessness of the NSA, some of these weapons have now been placed in the hands of criminals. US authorities did nothing to warn the public, much less prepare it to protect itself against the inevitable unleashing of the cyber weapons it itself had crafted. ..."
"... There was no question then of an investigation taking months to uncover the culprit, much less any mystery going unsolved. Putin and Russia were declared guilty based upon unsubstantiated allegations and innuendo. Ever since, the Times ..."
"... Since Trump's inauguration, the Democratic Party has only intensified the anti-Russian propaganda. It serves both as a means of pressuring the Trump administration to abandon any turn toward a less aggressive policy toward Moscow, and of smothering the popular opposition to the right-wing and anti-working class policies of the administration under a reactionary and neo-McCarthyite campaign painting Trump as an agent of the Kremlin. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The cyberattack that hit some 200,000 computers around the world last Friday, apparently using malicious software developed by the US National Security Agency, is only expected to escalate and spread with the start of the new workweek.

The cyber weapon employed in the attack, known as "WannaCrypt," has proven to be one of the most destructive and far-reaching ever. Among the targets whose computer systems were hijacked in the attack was Britain's National Health Service, which was unable to access patient records and forced to cancel appointments, treatments and surgeries.

Major corporations hit include the Spanish telecom Telefonica, the French automaker Renault, the US-based delivery service Fedex and Germany's federal railway system. Among the worst affected countries were reportedly Russia, Ukraine and Japan.

The weaponized software employed in the attacks locks up files in an infected computer by encrypting them, while demanding $300 in Bitcoin (digital currency) to decrypt them and restore access.

Clearly, this kind of attack has the potential for massive social disruption and, through its attack on institutions like Britain's NHS, exacting a toll in human life.

This event, among the worst global cyberattacks in history, also sheds considerable light on issues that have dominated the political life of the United States for the past 10 months, since WikiLeaks began its release of documents obtained from the hacked accounts of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

The content of these leaked documents exposed, on the one hand, the DNC's machinations to sabotage the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, and, on the other, the subservience of his rival, Hillary Clinton, to Wall Street through her own previously secret and lavishly paid speeches to financial institutions like Goldman Sachs.

Read also: Obama Warned to Defuse Tensions with Russia

This information, which served to discredit Clinton, the favored candidate of the US military and intelligence apparatus, was drowned out by a massive campaign by the US government and the corporate media to blame Russia for the hacking and for direct interference in the US election, i.e., by allegedly making information available to the American people that was supposed to be kept secret from them.

Ever since then, US intelligence agencies, Democratic Party leaders and the corporate media, led by the New York Times , have endlessly repeated the charge of Russian hacking, involving the personal direction of Vladimir Putin. To this day, none of these agencies or media outlets have provided any probative evidence of Russian responsibility for "hacking the US election."

Among the claims made to support the allegations against Moscow was that the hacking of the Democrats was so sophisticated that it could have been carried out only by a state actor. In a campaign to demonize Russia, Moscow's alleged hacking was cast as a threat to the entire planet.

Western security agencies have acknowledged that the present global cyberattack-among the worst ever of its kind-is the work not of any state agency, but rather of a criminal organization. Moreover, the roots of the attack lie not in Moscow, but in Washington. The "WannaCrypt" malware employed in the attack is based on weaponized software developed by the NSA, code-named Eternal Blue, part of a bundle of documents and computer code stolen from the NSA's server and then leaked by a hacking group known as "Shadow Brokers."

Read also: The End of Freedom? Secret Services developing like a Cancer

Thus, amid the hysterical propaganda campaign over Russian hacking, Washington has been developing an array of cyber-weapons that have the capability of crippling entire countries. Through the carelessness of the NSA, some of these weapons have now been placed in the hands of criminals. US authorities did nothing to warn the public, much less prepare it to protect itself against the inevitable unleashing of the cyber weapons it itself had crafted.

In its report on the global cyberattacks on Saturday, the New York Times stated: "It could take months to find out who was behind the attacks-a mystery that may go unsolved."

The co-author of these lines was the New York Times chief Washington correspondent David E. Sanger, who, in addition to writing for the "newspaper of record," finds time to lecture at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, a state-connected finishing school for top political and military officials. He also holds membership in both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Aspen Strategy Group, think tanks that bring together capitalist politicians, military and intelligence officials and corporate heads to discuss US imperialist strategy.

All of this makes Sanger one of the favorite media conduits for "leaks" and propaganda that the CIA and the Pentagon want put into the public domain.

It is worth contrasting his treatment of the "WannaCrypt" ransomware attack with the way he and the Times dealt with the allegations of Russian hacking in the run-up to and aftermath of the 2016 US presidential election.

There was no question then of an investigation taking months to uncover the culprit, much less any mystery going unsolved. Putin and Russia were declared guilty based upon unsubstantiated allegations and innuendo. Ever since, the Times, serving as the propaganda outlet of the US intelligence services, has given the lead to the rest of the media by endlessly repeating the allegation of Russian state direction of the hacking of the Democratic Party, without bothering to provide any evidence to back up the charge.

Read also: Political Coverup of Iraq Atrocities

With the entire world now under attack from a weapon forged by Washington's cyberwarfare experts, the hysterical allegations of Russian hacking are placed in perspective.

From the beginning, they have been utilized as war propaganda, a means of attempting to promote popular support for US imperialism's steady escalation of military threats and aggression against Russia, the world's second-largest nuclear power.

Since Trump's inauguration, the Democratic Party has only intensified the anti-Russian propaganda. It serves both as a means of pressuring the Trump administration to abandon any turn toward a less aggressive policy toward Moscow, and of smothering the popular opposition to the right-wing and anti-working class policies of the administration under a reactionary and neo-McCarthyite campaign painting Trump as an agent of the Kremlin.

SOURCE www.wsws.org

[May 16, 2017] The Real Meaning of Sensitive Intelligence by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... what astonished me was how quickly the media interpreted its use in the hearings to mean that the conversations and emails that apparently were recorded or intercepted involving Trump associates and assorted Russians as "sensitive contacts" meant that they were necessarily inappropriate, dangerous, or even illegal. ..."
"... The Post is unfortunately also providing ISIS with more information than it "needs to know" to make its story more dramatic, further compromising the source. ..."
"... McMaster described the report as "false" and informed the Post that "The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly." Tillerson commented that "the nature of specific threats were (sic) discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations." ..."
"... The media will no doubt be seeking to magnify the potential damage done while the White House goes into damage control mode. ..."
"... In this case, the intelligence shared with Lavrov appears to be related to specific ISIS threats, which may include planned operations against civilian aircraft, judging from Trump's characteristically after-hours tweets defending his behavior, as well as other reporting. ..."
"... The New York Times , in its own reporting of the story, initially stated that the information on ISIS did not come from an NSA or CIA operation, and later reported that the source was Israel. ..."
"... And President Trump has one more thing to think about. No matter what damage comes out of the Lavrov discussion, he has a bigger problem. There are apparently multiple leakers on his National Security Council. ..."
"... You have McMaster himself who categorically denies any exposure of sources and methods – he was there in person and witness to the talks – and a cloud of unknown witnesses not present speculating, without reference to McMaster or Tillerson's testimony, about what might have happened. This is the American Media in a nutshell, the Infinite Circle Jerk. ..."
"... I am more disturbed how this story got into the press. While, not an ally, I think we should in cooperation with other states. Because the Pres is not familiar with the protocols and language and I doubt any executive has been upon entering office, I have no doubt he may be reacting or overreacting to the overreaction of others. ..."
"... Here's a word. We have no business engaging n the overthrow of another government that is no threat to the US or her allies, and that includes Israel. Syria is not. And we should cease and desist getting further entangled in the messes of the previous executive, his Sec of State and those organizations who seem to e playing with the life blood of the US by engaging if unnecessary risks. ..."
"... And if I understand the crumbs given the data provided by the Post, the Times and this article, if one had ill will for the source of said information, they have pretty good idea where to start. ..."
"... In general I agree with you, but the media was NEVER concerned about the treatment of sensitive material from HRC! ..."
"... I think he needs to cut back on intelligence sharing with Israel. They do just what the hell they want to do with anything. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Intelligence agencies and senior government officials tend to use a lot of jargon. Laced with acronyms, this language sometimes does not translate very well into journalese when it hits the media.

For example, I experienced a sense of disorientation two weeks ago over the word "sensitive" as used by several senators, Sally Yates, and James Clapper during committee testimony into Russiagate. "Sensitive" has, of course, a number of meanings. But what astonished me was how quickly the media interpreted its use in the hearings to mean that the conversations and emails that apparently were recorded or intercepted involving Trump associates and assorted Russians as "sensitive contacts" meant that they were necessarily inappropriate, dangerous, or even illegal.

When Yates and Clapper were using "sensitive" thirteen times in the 86 page transcript of the Senate hearings, they were referring to the medium rather than the message. They were both acknowledging that the sources of the information were intelligence related, sometimes referred to as "sensitive" by intelligence professionals and government insiders as a shorthand way to describe that they are "need to know" material derived from either classified "methods" or foreign-liaison partners. That does not mean that the information contained is either good or bad or even true or false, but merely a way of expressing that the information must be protected because of where it came from or how it was developed, hence the "sensitivity."

The word also popped up this week in a Washington Post exclusive report alleging that the president had, in his recent meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, gone too far while also suggesting that the source of a highly classified government program might be inferred from the context of what was actually revealed. The Post describes how

The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump's decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.

The Post is unfortunately also providing ISIS with more information than it "needs to know" to make its story more dramatic, further compromising the source. Furthermore, it should be understood that the paper is extremely hostile to Trump, the story is as always based on anonymous sources, and the revelation comes on top of another unverifiable Post article claiming that the Russians might have sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during the visit.

No one is denying that the president discussed ISIS in some detail with Lavrov, but National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, both of whom were present at the meeting, have denied that any sources or methods were revealed while reviewing with the Russians available intelligence. McMaster described the report as "false" and informed the Post that "The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly." Tillerson commented that "the nature of specific threats were (sic) discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations."

So the question becomes to what extent can an intelligence mechanism be identified from the information that it produces. That is, to a certain extent, a judgment call. The president is able on his own authority to declassify anything, so the legality of his sharing information with Russia cannot be challenged. What is at question is the decision-making by an inexperienced president who may have been showing off to an important foreign visitor by revealing details of intelligence that should have remained secret. The media will no doubt be seeking to magnify the potential damage done while the White House goes into damage control mode.

The media is claiming that the specific discussion with Lavrov that is causing particular concern is related to a so-called Special Access Program , or SAP, sometimes referred to as "code word information." An SAP is an operation that generates intelligence that requires special protection because of where or how it is produced. In this case, the intelligence shared with Lavrov appears to be related to specific ISIS threats, which may include planned operations against civilian aircraft, judging from Trump's characteristically after-hours tweets defending his behavior, as well as other reporting.

There have also been reports that the White House followed up on its Lavrov meeting with a routine review of what had taken place. Several National Security Council members observed that some of the information shared with the Russians was far too sensitive to disseminate within the U.S. intelligence community. This led to the placing of urgent calls to NSA and CIA to brief them on what had been said.

Based on the recipients of the calls alone, one might surmise that the source of the information would appear to be either a foreign-intelligence service or a technical collection operation, or even both combined. The Post claims that the originator of the intelligence did not clear its sharing with the Russians and raises the possibility that no more information of that type will be provided at all in light of the White House's apparent carelessness in its use. The New York Times , in its own reporting of the story, initially stated that the information on ISIS did not come from an NSA or CIA operation, and later reported that the source was Israel.

The Times is also reporting that Trump provided to Lavrov "granular" information on the city in Syria where the information was collected that will possibly enable the Russians or ISIS to identify the actual source, with devastating consequences. That projection may be overreach, but the fact is that the latest gaffe from the White House could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East while reinforcing the widely held impression that Washington does not know how to keep a secret. It will also create the impression that Donald Trump, out of ignorance or hubris, exhibits a certain recklessness in his dealing with classified information, a failing that he once attributed to his presidential opponent Hillary Clinton.

And President Trump has one more thing to think about. No matter what damage comes out of the Lavrov discussion, he has a bigger problem. There are apparently multiple leakers on his National Security Council.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

This article has been updated to reflect news developments.

Thymoleontas, says: May 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

" The latest gaffe from the White House could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East "

On the other hand, it also represents closer collaboration with Russia–even if unintended–which is an improvement on the status quo ante and, not to mention, key to ending the conflict in Syria.

Dies Irae , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm
You have McMaster himself who categorically denies any exposure of sources and methods – he was there in person and witness to the talks – and a cloud of unknown witnesses not present speculating, without reference to McMaster or Tillerson's testimony, about what might have happened. This is the American Media in a nutshell, the Infinite Circle Jerk.
MM , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm
Out of my depth, but was Trump working within the framework, maybe a bit outside if the story is true, of the Joint Implementation Group the Obama administration created last year with Russia?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2016/07/13/Editorial-Opinion/Graphics/terms_of_reference_for_the_Joint_Implementation_Group.pdf?tid=a_inl

Also, I recall reading that the prior administration promised Russia ISIS intel. Not sure if that ever happened, but I doubt they'd have made it public or leak anything to the press.

Brian W , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Apr 21, 2017 Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy

Author David A. Nichols reveals how President Dwight D. Eisenhower masterminded the downfall of the anti-Communist demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy.

https://youtu.be/FAY_9aQMVbQ

EliteCommInc , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Avoiding the minutia.

I think it should go without saying that intelligence is a sensitive business and protecting those who operate in its murky waters is important to having an effective agency.

Of course the Pres of the US has a duty to do so.

I have not yet read the post article. But I am doubtful that the executive had any intention of putting anyone in harms way. I am equally doubtful that this incident will. If the executive made an error in judgement, I am sure it will be dealt wit in an appropriate manner.

I do wish he'd stop tweeting, though I get why its useful to him.

I am more disturbed how this story got into the press. While, not an ally, I think we should in cooperation with other states. Because the Pres is not familiar with the protocols and language and I doubt any executive has been upon entering office, I have no doubt he may be reacting or overreacting to the overreaction of others.

Here's a word. We have no business engaging n the overthrow of another government that is no threat to the US or her allies, and that includes Israel. Syria is not. And we should cease and desist getting further entangled in the messes of the previous executive, his Sec of State and those organizations who seem to e playing with the life blood of the US by engaging if unnecessary risks.

Just another brier brushfire of a single tumble weed to add to the others in the hope that setting fires in trashcans will make the current exec go away or at least engage in a mea culpa and sign more checks in the mess that is the middle east policy objective that remains a dead end.

__________

And if I understand the crumbs given the data provided by the Post, the Times and this article, if one had ill will for the source of said information, they have pretty good idea where to start.

Cachip , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:12 pm
How do you know it wasn't intended as pure misdirection?
Brian W , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm
January 10, 2014 *500* Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent

No matter which government conducts mass surveillance, they also do it to crush dissent, and then give a false rationale for why they're doing it.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/500-years-of-history-shows-that-mass-spying-is-always-aimed-at-crushing-dissent/5364462

Johann , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm
Politics is now directly endangering innocent civilians. Because of the leaks and its publication, ISIS for sure now knows that there is an information leak out of their organization. They will now re-compartmentalize and may be successful in breaking that information leak. Innocent airline passenger civilians, American, Russian, or whoever may die as a result. Russia and the US are both fighting ISIS. We are de facto allies in that fight whether some people like it or not. Time to get over it.
EliteCommInc. , says: May 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm
Having read the article, uhhh, excuse me, but unlike personal secrets. The purpose of intel is to use to or keep on hand for some-other date. But of that information is related to the security of our interests and certainly a cooperative relationship with Russia is in our interest. Because in the convoluted fight with ISIS/ISIL, Russia is an ally.

What this belies is the mess of the intelligence community. If in fact, the Russians intend to take a source who provided information that was helpful to them, it would be a peculiar twist of strategic action. The response does tell us that we are in some manner in league with ISIS/ISIL or their supporters so deep that there is a need to protect them, from what is anybody's guess. Because if the information is accurate, I doubt the Russians are going to about killing the source, but rather improving their airline security.

But if we are in fact attempting to remove Pres Assad, and are in league with ISIS/ISIL in doing so - I get why the advocates of such nonsense might be in a huff. So ISIS/ISISL our one time foe and now our sometimes friend . . .

Good greif . . .

Pres Trump is the least of muy concerns when it coes to security.

Some relevant material on intel:

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/327413-how-the-intel-community-was-turned-into-a-political

http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/intelligence-failures-more-profound-than-president-admits/

But if I were Pres Trump, I might steer clear of Russia for a while to stop feeding the beast.

Kurt Gayle , says: May 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm
Philip, back on July 23, 2014, you explained in "How ISIS Evades the CIA" "the inability of the United States government to anticipate the ISIS offensive that has succeeded in taking control of a large part of Iraq." You explained why the CIA had to date had no success in infiltrating ISIS.

You continued: "Given U.S. intelligence's probable limited physical access to any actual terrorist groups operating in Syria or Iraq any direct attempt to penetrate the organization through placing a source inside would be difficult in the extreme. Such efforts would most likely be dependent on the assistance of friendly intelligence services in Turkey or Jordan. Both Turkey and Jordan have reported that terrorists have entered their countries by concealing themselves in the large numbers of refugees that the conflict in Syria has produced, and both are concerned as they understand full well that groups like ISIS will be targeting them next. Some of the infiltrating adherents to radical groups have certainly been identified and detained by the respective intelligence services of those two countries, and undoubtedly efforts have been made to 'turn' some of those in custody to send them back into Syria (and more recently Iraq) to report on what is taking place. Depending on what arrangements might have been made to coordinate the operations, the 'take' might well be shared with the United States and other friendly governments."

You then describe the difficulties faced by a Turkish or Jordanian agent trying to infiltrate ISIS: "But seeding is very much hit or miss, as someone who has been out of the loop of his organization might have difficulty working his way back in. He will almost certainly be regarded with some suspicion by his peers and would be searched and watched after his return, meaning that he could not take back with him any sophisticated communications devices no matter how cleverly they are concealed. This would make communicating any information obtained back to one's case officers in Jordan or Turkey difficult or even impossible."

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-isis-evades-the-cia/

Notwithstanding how "difficult or even impossible" such an operation would be - and using the New York Times as your only source for a lot of otherwise completely unsubstantiated information – and admitting that "this is sheer speculation on my part" – you say that "it is logical to assume that the countries that have provided numerous recruits for ISIS [Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia] would have used that fact as cover to carry out a seeding operation to introduce some of their own agents into the ISIS organization."

Back to the New York Times as your only source, you say that "the Times is also reporting that Trump provided to Lavrov 'granular' information on the city in Syria where the information was collected that will possibly enable the Russians or ISIS to identify the actual source, with devastating consequences."

But having ventured into the far reaches of that line of speculation, you do admit that "that projection may be overreach." Indeed!

You go on to characterize the events of the White House meeting with the Russians as "the latest gaffe from the White House" – even though there is absolutely no evidence (outside of the unsubstantiated reports of the Washington Post and the New York Times) that anything to do with the meeting was a "gaffe" – and you further speculate that "it could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East."

That is, again, pure speculation on your part.

One valuable lesson that you've taught TAC readers over the years, Philip: That we need to carefully examine the sources of information – and the sources of dis-information.

KennethF , says: May 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm
Yet again from Giraldi: the problem isn't that the POTUS is ignorant and incompetent; we should all be more concerned that the Deep State is leaking the proof.
collin , says: May 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm
In general I agree with you, but the media was NEVER concerned about the treatment of sensitive material from HRC!
charley , says: May 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm
I think he needs to cut back on intelligence sharing with Israel. They do just what the hell they want to do with anything.
Brad Kain , says: May 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Trump has now essentially confirmed the story from the Post and contradicted the denials from McMaster – he shared specific intelligence to demonstrate his willingness to work with the Russians. Moreover, it seems that Israel was the ally that provided this intelligence. The author and others will defend this, but I can only see this as a reckless and impulsive decision that only causes Russia and our allies to trust the US less.

[May 16, 2017] FBI Agents Say Comey Stood In The Way Of Clinton Email Investigation

May 16, 2017 | www.eutimes.net
FBI 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."

Source

[May 16, 2017] Trump facing shark tank feeding frenzy from military industrial media

Notable quotes:
"... o start with, again, this is from the Washington Post and an unnamed source. So you do have to doubt the accuracy of the information knowing the vendetta the Washington Post and other mainstream media have against the Trump administration and against President Trump personally and how much they want to disrupt any kind of cooperation with Russia against the terrorist threat. ..."
"... There is a whole structure of what people call the 'Deep State' establishment, the oligarchy – whatever you want to call it. Of course, the mainstream media is part of this. It includes all the Democrats, who were very easy on the Soviet Union when it was Communist. But now that it is not Communist under Russia, they have a deep, very deep hatred of Russia, and they don't want any kind of rapprochement with Russia. ..."
"... Let's not play the game of dividing the so-called mainstream media from its owners. The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex. If you want to call it anything, you can call it the 'military media.' The military makes money by making war; they buy the media to promote war. They use the media to promote propaganda in favor of war. And that is where we get into the mess we're in today. Because we have a president who is a businessman and would prefer to make money, and would prefer to put people to work in any industry other than war. The military industrial media in the United States is depending on being able to speak to a captive audience of uninformed viewers The military controls the media because they own them. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.rt.com
There are elements of the 'Deep State' here who are very opposed to the things Donald Trump said during the campaign. They don't want to cooperate with Russia, Jim Jatras, former US diplomat, told RT.

Political analyst John Bosnitch joins the discussion. US President Trump said his White House meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ranged from airline safety to terrorism. A Washington Post story, however, has accused the American leader of revealing classified information to Russian officials.

RT: What's your take on it? Is the media on to something big here?

Jim Jatras: To start with, again, this is from the Washington Post and an unnamed source. So you do have to doubt the accuracy of the information knowing the vendetta the Washington Post and other mainstream media have against the Trump administration and against President Trump personally and how much they want to disrupt any kind of cooperation with Russia against the terrorist threat. I would say that was the first thing.

'I was in the room. It didn't happen' - National Security Advisor H.R. #McMaster https://t.co/gVIHigqXaT

- RT America (@RT_America) 15 мая 2017 г.

Second, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Deputy of National Security Adviser Dina Powell, who were both in the meeting, have stated since the Washington Post article appeared – there was nothing discussed with Mr. [Sergey] Lavrov and Mr. [Sergey] Kislyak that compromised what they call "sources and methods" that would lead to any kind of intelligence vulnerability on the part of the US. But rather this was all part of a discussion of common action against ISIS. Those are the first things to be noted

Let's remember that there are elements of what we call the 'Deep State' here who are very opposed to the things Donald Trump said during the campaign. They don't want to cooperate with the Russians; they don't want improved relations with Moscow. And let's be honest, they have a very strong investment in the various jihadist groups that we have supported for the past six years trying to overthrow the legitimate government in Damascus. I am sure there are people – maybe in the National Security Council, maybe in the Staff, maybe in the State Department – who are finding some way to try and discredit the Trump administration. The question is where is the investigation into these leaks? Who is going to hold these people accountable?

RT: The mainstream media is going on little more than 'anonymous sources.' Could it have a hidden agenda here?

JJ: Of course. In fact, I would even go further. I wouldn't be at all surprised if President Trump timed his firing with the FBI Director James Comey – what some people even pointed out – he himself in one of his tweets says "drain the swamp." One of the first elements was getting rid of the principals of the Deep State who have been trying to hijack his policy; that he did this precisely because he was meeting with Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kislyak the next day. He's shoving it in their face, saying: "I am moving forward with my program." And I think that's the reason we're getting this hysteria building around the Russians, the Russians, the Russians when what we need is to move forward on an America First national security policy.

'US policy today: Aircraft, where co-pilots try to override pilots' (Op-Edge) https://t.co/x153yPtqVS

- RT (@RT_com) 16 мая 2017 г.

RT: Do you think mainstream media is a part of something big and controlled all over from the top?

JJ: Absolutely. There is a whole structure of what people call the 'Deep State' establishment, the oligarchy – whatever you want to call it. Of course, the mainstream media is part of this. It includes all the Democrats, who were very easy on the Soviet Union when it was Communist. But now that it is not Communist under Russia, they have a deep, very deep hatred of Russia, and they don't want any kind of rapprochement with Russia.

And unfortunately, there are Republicans who sympathize with this agenda, as well. I think we can say at this point that Mr. Trump is only partially in control of the apparatus of government. He does not yet have complete control and that there is a frantic effort by these elements to make sure he is not able to get control of the American government and carry out the policies he talked about.

#Trump says he had 'absolute right' to share data on flight safety & terrorism with Russia https://t.co/U6h9FW2ZKy pic.twitter.com/eFBIRhVaI3

- RT (@RT_com) 16 мая 2017 г.
The 'military industrial media'

The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex. If you want to call it anything, you can call it the 'military media,' John Bosnitch , political analyst, told RT.

RT: The media has run with this. Are they on to something big here?

John Bosnitch: I wouldn't say so. I've worked in this field for three decades. I don't see a scrap of evidence here. But I do see like a shark tank of media feeding – no evidence.

RT: Trump attacked Hillary Clinton as being unreliable with state secrets. Can the same now be said of him?

JB: Trump is the chief executive officer of the United States of America. As the chief executive officer of the country, he has full legal and constitutional authority to use state secrets in the conduct of diplomacy. He's also the chief diplomat of the country. So there is a big difference between the chief executive officer deciding what information he can share in conducting of state policy, and Hillary Clinton deciding as a cabinet minister which laws she chooses to obey, and which ones she doesn't.

'You cannot reset:' No way for US & Russia to start over 'with clean slate' – #Tillerson https://t.co/vC71YbLpQL

- RT (@RT_com) 15 мая 2017 г.

RT: The mainstream media is going on little more than 'anonymous sources'... could it have a hidden agenda here?

JB: I don't see any other possibility, whatsoever. Let's not play the game of dividing the so-called mainstream media from its owners. The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex. If you want to call it anything, you can call it the 'military media.' The military makes money by making war; they buy the media to promote war. They use the media to promote propaganda in favor of war. And that is where we get into the mess we're in today. Because we have a president who is a businessman and would prefer to make money, and would prefer to put people to work in any industry other than war. The military industrial media in the United States is depending on being able to speak to a captive audience of uninformed viewers The military controls the media because they own them.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[May 16, 2017] The Real Meaning of Sensitive Intelligence by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... what astonished me was how quickly the media interpreted its use in the hearings to mean that the conversations and emails that apparently were recorded or intercepted involving Trump associates and assorted Russians as "sensitive contacts" meant that they were necessarily inappropriate, dangerous, or even illegal. ..."
"... The Post is unfortunately also providing ISIS with more information than it "needs to know" to make its story more dramatic, further compromising the source. ..."
"... McMaster described the report as "false" and informed the Post that "The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly." Tillerson commented that "the nature of specific threats were (sic) discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations." ..."
"... The media will no doubt be seeking to magnify the potential damage done while the White House goes into damage control mode. ..."
"... In this case, the intelligence shared with Lavrov appears to be related to specific ISIS threats, which may include planned operations against civilian aircraft, judging from Trump's characteristically after-hours tweets defending his behavior, as well as other reporting. ..."
"... The New York Times , in its own reporting of the story, initially stated that the information on ISIS did not come from an NSA or CIA operation, and later reported that the source was Israel. ..."
"... And President Trump has one more thing to think about. No matter what damage comes out of the Lavrov discussion, he has a bigger problem. There are apparently multiple leakers on his National Security Council. ..."
"... You have McMaster himself who categorically denies any exposure of sources and methods – he was there in person and witness to the talks – and a cloud of unknown witnesses not present speculating, without reference to McMaster or Tillerson's testimony, about what might have happened. This is the American Media in a nutshell, the Infinite Circle Jerk. ..."
"... I am more disturbed how this story got into the press. While, not an ally, I think we should in cooperation with other states. Because the Pres is not familiar with the protocols and language and I doubt any executive has been upon entering office, I have no doubt he may be reacting or overreacting to the overreaction of others. ..."
"... Here's a word. We have no business engaging n the overthrow of another government that is no threat to the US or her allies, and that includes Israel. Syria is not. And we should cease and desist getting further entangled in the messes of the previous executive, his Sec of State and those organizations who seem to e playing with the life blood of the US by engaging if unnecessary risks. ..."
"... And if I understand the crumbs given the data provided by the Post, the Times and this article, if one had ill will for the source of said information, they have pretty good idea where to start. ..."
"... In general I agree with you, but the media was NEVER concerned about the treatment of sensitive material from HRC! ..."
"... I think he needs to cut back on intelligence sharing with Israel. They do just what the hell they want to do with anything. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Intelligence agencies and senior government officials tend to use a lot of jargon. Laced with acronyms, this language sometimes does not translate very well into journalese when it hits the media.

For example, I experienced a sense of disorientation two weeks ago over the word "sensitive" as used by several senators, Sally Yates, and James Clapper during committee testimony into Russiagate. "Sensitive" has, of course, a number of meanings. But what astonished me was how quickly the media interpreted its use in the hearings to mean that the conversations and emails that apparently were recorded or intercepted involving Trump associates and assorted Russians as "sensitive contacts" meant that they were necessarily inappropriate, dangerous, or even illegal.

When Yates and Clapper were using "sensitive" thirteen times in the 86 page transcript of the Senate hearings, they were referring to the medium rather than the message. They were both acknowledging that the sources of the information were intelligence related, sometimes referred to as "sensitive" by intelligence professionals and government insiders as a shorthand way to describe that they are "need to know" material derived from either classified "methods" or foreign-liaison partners. That does not mean that the information contained is either good or bad or even true or false, but merely a way of expressing that the information must be protected because of where it came from or how it was developed, hence the "sensitivity."

The word also popped up this week in a Washington Post exclusive report alleging that the president had, in his recent meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, gone too far while also suggesting that the source of a highly classified government program might be inferred from the context of what was actually revealed. The Post describes how

The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump's decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.

The Post is unfortunately also providing ISIS with more information than it "needs to know" to make its story more dramatic, further compromising the source. Furthermore, it should be understood that the paper is extremely hostile to Trump, the story is as always based on anonymous sources, and the revelation comes on top of another unverifiable Post article claiming that the Russians might have sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during the visit.

No one is denying that the president discussed ISIS in some detail with Lavrov, but National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, both of whom were present at the meeting, have denied that any sources or methods were revealed while reviewing with the Russians available intelligence. McMaster described the report as "false" and informed the Post that "The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation. At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly." Tillerson commented that "the nature of specific threats were (sic) discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods, or military operations."

So the question becomes to what extent can an intelligence mechanism be identified from the information that it produces. That is, to a certain extent, a judgment call. The president is able on his own authority to declassify anything, so the legality of his sharing information with Russia cannot be challenged. What is at question is the decision-making by an inexperienced president who may have been showing off to an important foreign visitor by revealing details of intelligence that should have remained secret. The media will no doubt be seeking to magnify the potential damage done while the White House goes into damage control mode.

The media is claiming that the specific discussion with Lavrov that is causing particular concern is related to a so-called Special Access Program , or SAP, sometimes referred to as "code word information." An SAP is an operation that generates intelligence that requires special protection because of where or how it is produced. In this case, the intelligence shared with Lavrov appears to be related to specific ISIS threats, which may include planned operations against civilian aircraft, judging from Trump's characteristically after-hours tweets defending his behavior, as well as other reporting.

There have also been reports that the White House followed up on its Lavrov meeting with a routine review of what had taken place. Several National Security Council members observed that some of the information shared with the Russians was far too sensitive to disseminate within the U.S. intelligence community. This led to the placing of urgent calls to NSA and CIA to brief them on what had been said.

Based on the recipients of the calls alone, one might surmise that the source of the information would appear to be either a foreign-intelligence service or a technical collection operation, or even both combined. The Post claims that the originator of the intelligence did not clear its sharing with the Russians and raises the possibility that no more information of that type will be provided at all in light of the White House's apparent carelessness in its use. The New York Times , in its own reporting of the story, initially stated that the information on ISIS did not come from an NSA or CIA operation, and later reported that the source was Israel.

The Times is also reporting that Trump provided to Lavrov "granular" information on the city in Syria where the information was collected that will possibly enable the Russians or ISIS to identify the actual source, with devastating consequences. That projection may be overreach, but the fact is that the latest gaffe from the White House could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East while reinforcing the widely held impression that Washington does not know how to keep a secret. It will also create the impression that Donald Trump, out of ignorance or hubris, exhibits a certain recklessness in his dealing with classified information, a failing that he once attributed to his presidential opponent Hillary Clinton.

And President Trump has one more thing to think about. No matter what damage comes out of the Lavrov discussion, he has a bigger problem. There are apparently multiple leakers on his National Security Council.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

This article has been updated to reflect news developments.

Thymoleontas, says: May 16, 2017 at 12:33 pm

" The latest gaffe from the White House could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East "

On the other hand, it also represents closer collaboration with Russia–even if unintended–which is an improvement on the status quo ante and, not to mention, key to ending the conflict in Syria.

Dies Irae , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm
You have McMaster himself who categorically denies any exposure of sources and methods – he was there in person and witness to the talks – and a cloud of unknown witnesses not present speculating, without reference to McMaster or Tillerson's testimony, about what might have happened. This is the American Media in a nutshell, the Infinite Circle Jerk.
MM , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm
Out of my depth, but was Trump working within the framework, maybe a bit outside if the story is true, of the Joint Implementation Group the Obama administration created last year with Russia?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2016/07/13/Editorial-Opinion/Graphics/terms_of_reference_for_the_Joint_Implementation_Group.pdf?tid=a_inl

Also, I recall reading that the prior administration promised Russia ISIS intel. Not sure if that ever happened, but I doubt they'd have made it public or leak anything to the press.

Brian W , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Apr 21, 2017 Ike and McCarthy: Dwight Eisenhower's Secret Campaign against Joseph McCarthy

Author David A. Nichols reveals how President Dwight D. Eisenhower masterminded the downfall of the anti-Communist demagogue Senator Joseph McCarthy.

https://youtu.be/FAY_9aQMVbQ

EliteCommInc , says: May 16, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Avoiding the minutia.

I think it should go without saying that intelligence is a sensitive business and protecting those who operate in its murky waters is important to having an effective agency.

Of course the Pres of the US has a duty to do so.

I have not yet read the post article. But I am doubtful that the executive had any intention of putting anyone in harms way. I am equally doubtful that this incident will. If the executive made an error in judgement, I am sure it will be dealt wit in an appropriate manner.

I do wish he'd stop tweeting, though I get why its useful to him.

I am more disturbed how this story got into the press. While, not an ally, I think we should in cooperation with other states. Because the Pres is not familiar with the protocols and language and I doubt any executive has been upon entering office, I have no doubt he may be reacting or overreacting to the overreaction of others.

Here's a word. We have no business engaging n the overthrow of another government that is no threat to the US or her allies, and that includes Israel. Syria is not. And we should cease and desist getting further entangled in the messes of the previous executive, his Sec of State and those organizations who seem to e playing with the life blood of the US by engaging if unnecessary risks.

Just another brier brushfire of a single tumble weed to add to the others in the hope that setting fires in trashcans will make the current exec go away or at least engage in a mea culpa and sign more checks in the mess that is the middle east policy objective that remains a dead end.

__________

And if I understand the crumbs given the data provided by the Post, the Times and this article, if one had ill will for the source of said information, they have pretty good idea where to start.

Cachip , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:12 pm
How do you know it wasn't intended as pure misdirection?
Brian W , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm
January 10, 2014 *500* Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent

No matter which government conducts mass surveillance, they also do it to crush dissent, and then give a false rationale for why they're doing it.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/500-years-of-history-shows-that-mass-spying-is-always-aimed-at-crushing-dissent/5364462

Johann , says: May 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm
Politics is now directly endangering innocent civilians. Because of the leaks and its publication, ISIS for sure now knows that there is an information leak out of their organization. They will now re-compartmentalize and may be successful in breaking that information leak. Innocent airline passenger civilians, American, Russian, or whoever may die as a result. Russia and the US are both fighting ISIS. We are de facto allies in that fight whether some people like it or not. Time to get over it.
EliteCommInc. , says: May 16, 2017 at 2:44 pm
Having read the article, uhhh, excuse me, but unlike personal secrets. The purpose of intel is to use to or keep on hand for some-other date. But of that information is related to the security of our interests and certainly a cooperative relationship with Russia is in our interest. Because in the convoluted fight with ISIS/ISIL, Russia is an ally.

What this belies is the mess of the intelligence community. If in fact, the Russians intend to take a source who provided information that was helpful to them, it would be a peculiar twist of strategic action. The response does tell us that we are in some manner in league with ISIS/ISIL or their supporters so deep that there is a need to protect them, from what is anybody's guess. Because if the information is accurate, I doubt the Russians are going to about killing the source, but rather improving their airline security.

But if we are in fact attempting to remove Pres Assad, and are in league with ISIS/ISIL in doing so - I get why the advocates of such nonsense might be in a huff. So ISIS/ISISL our one time foe and now our sometimes friend . . .

Good greif . . .

Pres Trump is the least of muy concerns when it coes to security.

Some relevant material on intel:

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/327413-how-the-intel-community-was-turned-into-a-political

http://www.lexingtoninstitute.org/intelligence-failures-more-profound-than-president-admits/

But if I were Pres Trump, I might steer clear of Russia for a while to stop feeding the beast.

Kurt Gayle , says: May 16, 2017 at 3:28 pm
Philip, back on July 23, 2014, you explained in "How ISIS Evades the CIA" "the inability of the United States government to anticipate the ISIS offensive that has succeeded in taking control of a large part of Iraq." You explained why the CIA had to date had no success in infiltrating ISIS.

You continued: "Given U.S. intelligence's probable limited physical access to any actual terrorist groups operating in Syria or Iraq any direct attempt to penetrate the organization through placing a source inside would be difficult in the extreme. Such efforts would most likely be dependent on the assistance of friendly intelligence services in Turkey or Jordan. Both Turkey and Jordan have reported that terrorists have entered their countries by concealing themselves in the large numbers of refugees that the conflict in Syria has produced, and both are concerned as they understand full well that groups like ISIS will be targeting them next. Some of the infiltrating adherents to radical groups have certainly been identified and detained by the respective intelligence services of those two countries, and undoubtedly efforts have been made to 'turn' some of those in custody to send them back into Syria (and more recently Iraq) to report on what is taking place. Depending on what arrangements might have been made to coordinate the operations, the 'take' might well be shared with the United States and other friendly governments."

You then describe the difficulties faced by a Turkish or Jordanian agent trying to infiltrate ISIS: "But seeding is very much hit or miss, as someone who has been out of the loop of his organization might have difficulty working his way back in. He will almost certainly be regarded with some suspicion by his peers and would be searched and watched after his return, meaning that he could not take back with him any sophisticated communications devices no matter how cleverly they are concealed. This would make communicating any information obtained back to one's case officers in Jordan or Turkey difficult or even impossible."

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-isis-evades-the-cia/

Notwithstanding how "difficult or even impossible" such an operation would be - and using the New York Times as your only source for a lot of otherwise completely unsubstantiated information – and admitting that "this is sheer speculation on my part" – you say that "it is logical to assume that the countries that have provided numerous recruits for ISIS [Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia] would have used that fact as cover to carry out a seeding operation to introduce some of their own agents into the ISIS organization."

Back to the New York Times as your only source, you say that "the Times is also reporting that Trump provided to Lavrov 'granular' information on the city in Syria where the information was collected that will possibly enable the Russians or ISIS to identify the actual source, with devastating consequences."

But having ventured into the far reaches of that line of speculation, you do admit that "that projection may be overreach." Indeed!

You go on to characterize the events of the White House meeting with the Russians as "the latest gaffe from the White House" – even though there is absolutely no evidence (outside of the unsubstantiated reports of the Washington Post and the New York Times) that anything to do with the meeting was a "gaffe" – and you further speculate that "it could well damage an important intelligence liaison relationship in the Middle East."

That is, again, pure speculation on your part.

One valuable lesson that you've taught TAC readers over the years, Philip: That we need to carefully examine the sources of information – and the sources of dis-information.

KennethF , says: May 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm
Yet again from Giraldi: the problem isn't that the POTUS is ignorant and incompetent; we should all be more concerned that the Deep State is leaking the proof.
collin , says: May 16, 2017 at 4:12 pm
In general I agree with you, but the media was NEVER concerned about the treatment of sensitive material from HRC!
charley , says: May 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm
I think he needs to cut back on intelligence sharing with Israel. They do just what the hell they want to do with anything.
Brad Kain , says: May 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm
Trump has now essentially confirmed the story from the Post and contradicted the denials from McMaster – he shared specific intelligence to demonstrate his willingness to work with the Russians. Moreover, it seems that Israel was the ally that provided this intelligence. The author and others will defend this, but I can only see this as a reckless and impulsive decision that only causes Russia and our allies to trust the US less.

[May 16, 2017] Comey and Hypocrisy - Crooked Timber

Notable quotes:
"... I just visited the several newspapers and my own take away is that Democrats must be weeping with joy at their good fortune. The firing of Comey is being construed as the desperate act of a criminal about to be indicted. Which is remarkable given the fact that senior Democrats in the intelligence and judiciary committees confirmed they've yet to see any evidence connecting Russia and the GOP candidate as recently as last week. ..."
"... One problem with the claim that the president firing Comey is in any way a subversion of the rule of law, is that firing by the president of any official in the executive branch (with the exception of independent agency officials) is as legal as church on Sunday. That's a foolish feature of our system, but it is a feature of our system. The Senate failed by one vote to impeach Andrew Johnson for firing Stanton as Secy of War, and partly as a way to rationalize that failure, but mostly because the presidency was always going to evolve towards an elected monarchy, we later passed a law clarifying that the president has the power to fire cabinet members and their subordinates. ..."
"... But hypocrisy is a moral charge, and so this is not a politically important issue. It's good that Republican and Democratic hypocrisy might get Trump impeached, even if the state of the souls on both sides are extremely impure. ..."
"... There is not much use in being outraged by something one can in no way affect, such as the outcome of the struggle between rogue capitalist Trump, now thrashing about randomly, and the Deep State or Established Order or whatever you want to call it. However, as the struggle intensifies, and stuff begins to come loose and flap in the wind, we may be able to learn something about the current power structure of the U.S. ..."
"... "A few seconds googling reveals numerous explicit statements from prominent Democrats that Comey is incompetent and untrustworthy and should no longer be in the job. I'm afraid that's quite textbook hypocrisy." ..."
"... "It is not that the president does not, in the abstract, have the power to fire the FBI director–it's that it is inappropriate to do so when the FBI is investigating the president." This from rea is the perfect summary: And the fact that no-one in the White House who knew that, had enough power to do anything about it, is why this particular move worries me at least as much as anything else Trump has done thus far. ..."
"... Comey's public statement two weeks before the election that the Clinton email investigation had found new evidence which might yet (at long last) turn out to be incriminating was an outrageous act – particularly since a potentially more serious investigation of Trump was in progress and not similarly mentioned. ..."
"... Trump seems to have quite a few problems understanding appropriate timing. He held on to Flynn for 18 days after he was informed of Flynn's ties to the Russians and his lies about that. ..."
"... If Comey is unfit to hold the office, as many top Democrats have said outright or at least strongly implied, it is plainly ridiculous to trust him with an investigation which you consider so important. ..."
"... The honest response from Dems would then be, "it's great you fired Comey, now appoint a special prosecutor." ..."
"... "Are the State Dept's own computers underperforming, - or else compromised? Are gov't communications of all sorts OVER-classified?" – Lee Arnold @7 ..."
"... As someone familiar – far too familiar – with civil service bureaucracies (albeit not US ones) I would bet money that the answer to both questions is a resounding YES. ..."
"... bureaucrats consistently over classify because they like to believe they're insiders, privy to important and successful conspiracies. ..."
"... You can use these HTML tags and attributes: ..."
May 16, 2017 | crookedtimber.org

by John Holbo on May 10, 2017 It is not hypocritical in the least for Democrats to be outraged about Comey over the Clinton business and also to be outraged over Trump's firing of Comey, apparently to hinder FBI investigations of Trump and his associates. (One presumes Trump has a motive for the firing and the official reason is obviously not the real one.)

If Republicans try to troll Democrats – and I see that they already are – here's the short, sharp response: we all agree that someone may deserve to be punished, but also that proper procedures for punishing them need to be observed. This is not hypocrisy. It's the rule of law. If I say Smith should be arrested for capital crimes, and then I am outraged when Smith dies in custody in a suspicious manner, suggesting the police might be covering their own crimes, I am not a hypocrite. The firing is like that. If you care about the rule of law, you are outraged that Comey was fired today. If you care about the integrity of US elections, you are outraged he wasn't fired before. There is no tension in the view that the rule of law is good, yet the integrity of elections is also good. If Republicans want to make the case that one or both of these are bad, or that it's wrong to want both, let them make their case openly and honestly.

Raven 05.10.17 at 5:50 am ( 1 )

Of course Trump's firing of Comey had nothing at all to do with this other headline just out: " Grand jury subpoenas issued in FBI's Russia investigation - Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records ."
faustusnotes 05.10.17 at 6:13 am ( 2 )
This is surely going to encourage a whole new level of counter-Trump activity in the security state. Holder's tweet was basically telling FBI staff to have at it
nastywoman 05.10.17 at 6:59 am (
– but as the reasoning for firing the FBI-Dude is such awesome classical 'Comedy Gold' – we have to admire the lawyers -(and even the F faces humor)
And I just see them sitting somewhere and chuckling:
'Let's use the Clinton Inquiry'!
'Oh – that woulld be hilarious'
'Even the writers of SNL can't beat that'!
'Take that Colbert'!
'And it will show even Kimmel with his Baby- what 'real' comedy in our homeland is all about.

– and all what's left is roaring laughter.
And for everybody who reall wants to discuss seriously some 'laweful' aspect of 'Trumpland' we might have to wait until Von Clownstick has departed again?

bluicebank 05.10.17 at 8:16 am (
In a nutshell, Comey committed suicide-by-cop+mobsters. Rarely done if ever, even in film noir. First you piss off the cops. Then you piss off the mobsters. Then you get between them, hoping none of the bullets hit you and you come out a hero like in "L.A. Confidential." Yeah, never works that way.
kidneystones 05.10.17 at 10:43 am (
Hi John. I've no complaint with the OP.

I just visited the several newspapers and my own take away is that Democrats must be weeping with joy at their good fortune. The firing of Comey is being construed as the desperate act of a criminal about to be indicted. Which is remarkable given the fact that senior Democrats in the intelligence and judiciary committees confirmed they've yet to see any evidence connecting Russia and the GOP candidate as recently as last week.

So, if the new Nixon (who I thought was Obama – record secrecy, spying on journalists, and prosecuting whistle-blowers) isn't impeached, convicted, and pilloried it won't be because there's no evidence. Better still, Putin – Trump's Russian master – is now running America through his Manchurian candidate in the White House. Historians are going to have a field day with the denunciations. I can't wait.

Daragh 05.10.17 at 11:27 am (
I think this may be the GOP engaging in projection again. They divide the world into 'good' and 'bad' guys, the latter of whom are fair game. Proceduralism is just the formalities. Look at how massively they abused Congressional investigative powers to try and make Benghazi a scandal. That other people might have principles above 'crush mine enemies' isn't really a thought they've spent much time trying to grasp.
Lee A. Arnold 05.10.17 at 11:35 am ( 7 )
From Trump's letter of termination, it looks like Comey was fired because he refused to say in public, at the Senate hearing, whether Trump himself was under investigation about the Russians, thus leaving it appear that Trump could be under investigation, or that the investigation might lead to Trump.

Here is the beginning of Trump's second paragraph in the termination letter: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau."

This seems to have little to do with Comey's performance in the Clinton email "scandals". It looks instead like the Russian story is getting too close, & Trump found a convenient premise to fire Comey, that premise being the need to correct Comey's public misunderstanding of the scope of Clinton's emails on Weiner's computer in Comey's statements, at the Senate hearing last week - a rather minor error, at that.

I imagine that Comey may have divided feelings right now: relieved to be off the hot seat, but alarmed that history may abuse him. Because last year Comey was sandbagged by the GOP, twice:

1. In the last hour of the July 7 hearing about the State Dept. emails, you can see Comey's visible discomfort and his growing frustration that he was being manipulated into saying something untrue about Hillary Clinton, in a witch hunt, under the repetitious badgering by Gowdy and Chaffetz who were trying different legalistic locutions. Their intended effect was to make much of the public believe that the FBI let Clinton off the hook.

As Comey had already explained in that same hearing, the facts are that dozens or hundreds of State employees, all the way back to Colin Powell's days, were using private servers without the "classified" status printed on the emails, and there was technically no law broken, therefore none prosecutable - though it was careless and sloppy, as Comey stated. So far as I know, the big questions have never been asked in the media: Why were they all doing this? Why didn't the State Dept. provide a secure server? Are the State Dept's own computers underperforming, - or else compromised? Are gov't communications of all sorts OVER-classified?

2. Various published reports could be construed to narrate a "dirty-tricks" story: that in October, an anti-Clinton faction in the FBI's NY office leaked the Abedin-Weiner non-story bullcrap to Rudy Giuliani, and possibly to Republicans in Congress. This threatened Comey to come out and say something about it IN PUBLIC, before it was blown up in headlines in another way - with the added bogus suggestion of the Bureaus' involvement in a new coverup to protect Hillary. So Comey found himself in another no-win situation.

Indeed Rudy just came up, again. From the hearing last week, May 3:

SENATOR LEAHY: Let me ask you this. During your investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, a number of surrogates like Rudy Giuliani claimed to have a pipeline to the FBI. He boasted that, and I quote, numerous agents talk to him all the time. (Inaudible) regarding the investigation. He even said that he had - insinuated he had advanced warning about the emails described in your October letter. Former FBI agent Jim Kallstrom made similar claims.
Now, either they're lying, or there's a serious problem within thebureau. Anybody in the FBI during this 2016 campaign have contact with Rudy Giuliani about - about the Clinton investigation?
COMEY: I don't know yet. But if I find out that people were leaking information about our investigations, whether it's to reporters or to private parties, there will be severe consequences.
LEAHY: Did you know of anything from Jim Kallstrom?
COMEY: Same answer. I don't know yet.
LEAHY: Do you know any about - from other former agents?
COMEY: I don't know yet. But it's a matter that I'm very, very interested in.
LEAHY: But you are looking into it?
COMEY: Correct.
LEAHY: And once you've found that answer, will you provide it to us?
COMEY: I'll provide it to the committee in some form. I don't whether I would say publicly, but I'd find some way to let you know.

Reading the full transcript of this hearing will show you just how serious the Russian connections are, to both sides of the aisle in the Senate.

On the Rudy story, see also Reuters, Nov. 3: "FBI fear of leaks drove decision on emails linked to Clinton: sources"
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-fbi-leaks-idUSKBN12Y2QD

And a detailed overview as of Dec. 22: "Was Rudy Giuliani At The Center Of An FBI-Trump Campaign Conspiracy To Steal The Election?"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/was-rudy-giuliani-at-the-center-of-an-fbi-trump-campaign_us_585ad14ce4b014e7c72ed993

Mario 05.10.17 at 11:42 am ( 8
Here is the letter where Comey gets fired (link goes to the New York Times).

In these weird times its the original sources which one should read, if possible.

nastywoman 05.10.17 at 11:47 am ( 9 )
– and @5 stop this nonsense about 'Trump's Russian master' – as by now everybody is aware that Von Clownstick only has ONE 'master' – the most nasty, dangerous and demented of them all: 'Himself'.

But – still – Historians are going to have the absolute and total 'field day' for how little dough one could in Trumps erection – buy a real 'campaign manager' – or for what an amazing tiny budget price you were able to get a real US national security advisor – and I really understand that lots and lots of US politicians are angry – how Manafort and Flynn went for such small change in order to help – of all Creeps one of the nastiest dudes of them all.

I mean I it would have been France -(or even better Italy) trying to buy themselves into the US government in order that Von Clownstick would do some promotion for them -(and Paris or Rome) – that would have been some kind of acceptable – and ME and my friends already thought: If a buy in – into the US government is 'that' cheap – why leave it to countries like Russian – why not getting it for ourselves? – and then when Ivanka comes by get some of her clothes a lot cheaper too?

Glen Tomkins 05.10.17 at 1:36 pm
One problem with the claim that the president firing Comey is in any way a subversion of the rule of law, is that firing by the president of any official in the executive branch (with the exception of independent agency officials) is as legal as church on Sunday. That's a foolish feature of our system, but it is a feature of our system. The Senate failed by one vote to impeach Andrew Johnson for firing Stanton as Secy of War, and partly as a way to rationalize that failure, but mostly because the presidency was always going to evolve towards an elected monarchy, we later passed a law clarifying that the president has the power to fire cabinet members and their subordinates.

So, sure, we had the president fire the head of the FBI because he was leading an investigation into the wrongdoings of the president and his associates. But however much that outrages common sense and common decency, it clearly is not an outrage to the law and what we have let our system become. That's our system. We've put the presidency above the law by letting the office control the prosecutors.

The legal recourse now, within our system, is to appoint an independent counsel, a prosecutor to lead the investigation into administration wrong-doing who cannot be fired by the president or his Atty-Genl. Trump, though, is no Clinton. There is zero prospect that he would let public pressure squeeze him into approving an independent counsel.

The prevention, and now cure, of the pathology Trump presents, is a political matter. The Republican party should never have let him have their nomination. That they failed to stop such an obvious threat to all of us, including themselves, is the final proof that there is no longer a party capable of acting even in self-preservation. Now that prevention failed, the only recourse is for Congress to investigate him by impeaching him, or to use the 25th to just get him out of office.

I suspect that we're about to have fairly definitive proof that the US no longer has a Congress capable of acting, even in self-preservation.

Yan 05.10.17 at 3:34 pm
Hypocrisy is not a charge about reasons but about motives.

The question is not: are there good reasons for Democrats to hold different positions about Comey in each case? (There are.) The question is: are they in fact motivated by those good reasons? (That seems less obvious.)

Imagine if Comey had been fired with equally improper procedure after the Clinton email scandal. Do you really think many Democrats would have been outraged?

This is particularly an ironic defense given that it applies equally well to Trump himself. Trump claims he's firing Comey for mishandling the Clinton email investigation. Of course, no one believes that's his real motive. But it is a sound reason, a reason that exists and is available to him, and by this logic, inures him from the charge of hypocrisy.

What's astonishing is that the OP even presents the case in a cynical way that almost short-circuits the post: "if Republicans try to troll Democrats here's the short, sharp response." In other words: hey, people on my team, in case anyone tries to impugn your motives and you need help coming up with a good motive, here's one.

But hypocrisy is a moral charge, and so this is not a politically important issue. It's good that Republican and Democratic hypocrisy might get Trump impeached, even if the state of the souls on both sides are extremely impure.

Manta 05.10.17 at 3:52 pm (
12 )
I am not American, so I am not positive about how the proper procedure is.

However, I tend to agree with Tomksin @10.

If I understand correctly, John Holbo is complaining that the Democrat were asking to follow the "proper" legal procedure to fire the head of FBI, but Trump did not follow it.

So, what is this proper procedure? I was under the impression that the procedure was the president (maybe after consulting with the AG) writing a letter with "YOU ARE FIRED!" written on it. If I am right, and the rule of law was followed, the whole post is bullshit; if I am wrong, I would appreciate a clarification on what is the procedure: more precisely, what would be the legitimate way to follow the requests of the Democrats and fire Comey? (By the way, I think his firing was a tragic loss for US democracy: he proved to be a fiercely independent public official, willing to make powerful enemies from both sides of the aisle).

bianca steele 05.10.17 at 3:55 pm ( 13 )

If Republicans want to make the case that one or both of these are bad, or that it's wrong to want both, let them make their case openly and honestly.

They are never going to make their case openly and honestly. They will continue to equivocate and to give lip service to principles they don't even bother to cover up anymore. The only question is whether they rest complacent in their hypocrisy, or whether they begin to argue that "rule of law" mean something different from what it does (or more likely, to hypocritically insist that we use their use of the word in inappropriate ways is correct, while giving lip service to the idea of shared meanings, traditional definitions, and so on). Which of these would be preferable (not that we have a say in the matter) seems to be less clear than we might wish.

Anarcissie 05.10.17 at 4:18 pm ( 14
There is not much use in being outraged by something one can in no way affect, such as the outcome of the struggle between rogue capitalist Trump, now thrashing about randomly, and the Deep State or Established Order or whatever you want to call it. However, as the struggle intensifies, and stuff begins to come loose and flap in the wind, we may be able to learn something about the current power structure of the U.S.

The fact that the E.O. did not stop Trump long before he got anywhere near the presidency shows serious, Weimar-reminiscent incompetence, whose consequences will continue to develop. The E.O. also lacks foot soldiers among the proles, which Trump still seems to have. It may be we have entered Interesting Times.

Heliopause 05.10.17 at 4:30 pm (
A few seconds googling reveals numerous explicit statements from prominent Democrats that Comey is incompetent and untrustworthy and should no longer be in the job. I'm afraid that's quite textbook hypocrisy.

The alternative to that reading would be that it's not hypocritical because I want this incompetent individual to continue his incompetent work investigating my political rival. That would not be hypocritical but would be an inane position to take.

The public reasons Trump gave for the firing are broadly assumed to be correct assessments of Comey's performance. If you're worried that he had unstated ulterior motives you can relax, the "Saturday Night Massacre" didn't help Nixon and if there's anything to all this Russia Trutherism there are phalanxes of anti-Trump people in the government and elite media to bring it out.

rea 05.10.17 at 4:58 pm (
It is not that the president does not, in the abstract, have the power to fire the FBI director–it's that it is inappropriate to do so when the FBI is investigating the president.
Frank Wilhoit 05.10.17 at 5:46 pm ( 17 )
" let them make their case openly and honestly."

You are neglecting the fact that conservatives have a total emotional block against honesty (at least outside their own closed community). To tell someone a true thing grants the hearer equal status: this a conservative cannot do, not under any manner of duress.

Chris "merian" W. 05.10.17 at 5:50 pm ( 18
Yan, if you want to find a hypocritical Democrat, I'm sure you can find one. However, I think that your criterion, that a Democrat's reaction is only not hypocritical if they also would have been not hypocritial in the event of a similarly shoddy firing under Obama or Clinton, is not proper. I absolutely believe that the people around me who are shocked are genuinely shocked.

Also, given recent precedent, it is quite absurd to think it is likely that a Democratic administration would have proceeded in this way. Obama gave Democrats ample reason to expect that whatever would be done, it would be done in a way to protect institutional integrity. (Indeed, before the inauguration, internal affairs announced they'd start to look into Comey - an investigation the result of which was not yet available yesterday.) So for someone who does NOT have this internal insight into what the options and their trade-offs are to say "get rid of Comey!" is perfectly appropriate - that's why we have specialists who know how to implement a goal properly.

Scott P. 05.10.17 at 6:18 pm (
"A few seconds googling reveals numerous explicit statements from prominent Democrats that Comey is incompetent and untrustworthy and should no longer be in the job. I'm afraid that's quite textbook hypocrisy."

Not at all. You can think Comey should be replaced with someone more competent, and to also believe that Trump fired Comey not to replace him with someone more competent but to cover up an ongoing investigation.

Similarly, I think Trump is woefully incompetent and should be removed from office, but I would be violently opposed to the Chinese government assassinating him.

Sebastian H 05.10.17 at 6:55 pm (
20 )
"It is not that the president does not, in the abstract, have the power to fire the FBI director–it's that it is inappropriate to do so when the FBI is investigating the president." This from rea is the perfect summary: And the fact that no-one in the White House who knew that, had enough power to do anything about it, is why this particular move worries me at least as much as anything else Trump has done thus far.
oldster 05.10.17 at 7:10 pm ( 21
I think John Cole explains the case rather well:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2017/05/10/the-part-of-james-comey-will-be-played-by-a-pizza-a-balloon-juice-explainer/

JimV 05.10.17 at 7:45 pm ( 22 )
My reading of the OP was that (filling in some background as I see it):

1. Comey's public statement two weeks before the election that the Clinton email investigation had found new evidence which might yet (at long last) turn out to be incriminating was an outrageous act – particularly since a potentially more serious investigation of Trump was in progress and not similarly mentioned.

2. Trump's firing of Comey, in order to put someone else in his place who would shut down the Trump investigation, was also an outrageous act – the act of a tyrant.

3. Both these acts are censurable, with or without hypocrisy; and one should not let 2) pass for fear of being called a hypocrite.

Assuming that is, in fact, the sense of the OP, the firing procedure was not being questioned but rather the motive behind it; and I agree with the OP (as I read it).

Mario 05.10.17 at 9:00 pm ( 24 )
And so it begins.

One thing I don't like about all of this is that the liberal / progressive voices are uniting behind the wrong flag. Folks, this is an enemy firing a broadside at another enemy. Instead of taking sides in this harrowing spectacle, let's make sure they take turns at that until little is left.

A more interesting question is: what can be done to take advantage of the situation? What can be done to advance the common good?

Sebastian H 05.10.17 at 11:04 pm (
"If this is an inappropriate procedure for firing the director of the FBI, what would be the appropriate procedure for firing the director of the FBI?"

Well step one might be to disclose the actual reasons for deciding to fire the director of the FBI in the middle of his term instead of transparently false ones.

If you, surprisingly, believe the disclosed reasons for deciding to fire the director of the FBI, step two would be to disclose the reason for firing him now, instead of in January, or February, or March, or April.

Trump seems to have quite a few problems understanding appropriate timing. He held on to Flynn for 18 days after he was informed of Flynn's ties to the Russians and his lies about that.

J-D 05.10.17 at 11:52 pm (
27
Sebastian H

Well step one might be to disclose the actual reasons for deciding to fire the director of the FBI in the middle of his term instead of transparently false ones.

That's an issue of substance, not an issue of procedure.

If you, surprisingly, believe the disclosed reasons for deciding to fire the director of the FBI,

I'm not sure what you mean by 'believing the reasons'. The reasons given in the Deputy Attorney-General's memo appear, on the face of it, to constitute an adequate justification for the decision; but official justifications are only sometimes actual motives; sometimes they are not motives, but pretexts.

step two would be to disclose the reason for firing him now, instead of in January, or February, or March, or April.

The President's official notification, the memo from the Attorney-General, and the memo from the Deputy Attorney-General all bear the same date, so this question reduces to the question of why the Deputy Attorney-General compiled his memo when he did. Obviously he couldn't have submitted a memo as Deputy Attorney-General before he became Deputy Attorney-General, but aside from that, there's nothing in his memo to explain why he wrote it when he did, or indeed why he wrote it at all. It doesn't begin (as it could so easily have begun) 'You have asked me to report on ' or 'My attention has been drawn by ' or 'I have become concerned because ' or 'In the bath today, I suddenly began to wonder whether the Director of the FBI should be fired ' (okay, that last one he would never have actually written).

So if anybody's looking for a procedural flaw, I think that has to be it. There's no explanation, on the part of the Deputy Attorney-General, for why he has taken this action (written this memo). That's a reasonable procedural requirement, for a memo of this importance to include background information that explains how the preparation of the memo came to be initiated. Once the memo had been submitted, I can't figure how there's any procedural fault in the Attorney-General endorsing it or the President acting on it (I can figure how it could be argued that there are substantive faults, but not procedural ones).

Heliopause 05.11.17 at 12:43 am ( 29 )
@19
If Comey is unfit to hold the office, as many top Democrats have said outright or at least strongly implied, it is plainly ridiculous to trust him with an investigation which you consider so important.
Heliopause 05.11.17 at 1:11 am (
@25
1. Trump effected the result that Democrats said they wanted, i.e. Comey out of office.
2. Trump's publicly stated reasons were the same reasons as those of the Dems.
3. Dems have also said they'd like a special prosecutor.

The honest response from Dems would then be, "it's great you fired Comey, now appoint a special prosecutor."

Can I also point out while I'm here that a very prominent Democrat recently identified Comey as the main cause for Trump's being in office in the first place and that it is facially absurd for a Democrat to want such an individual to continue in office under any condition?

derrida derider 05.11.17 at 4:30 am (
"Are the State Dept's own computers underperforming, - or else compromised? Are gov't communications of all sorts OVER-classified?" – Lee Arnold @7

As someone familiar – far too familiar – with civil service bureaucracies (albeit not US ones) I would bet money that the answer to both questions is a resounding YES.

My experience is that successful conspiracies of any sort are almost impossible, not because there aren't plenty of would-be conspirators but because secrets are almost impossible to keep in the modern world; truth really will out. And bureaucrats consistently over classify because they like to believe they're insiders, privy to important and successful conspiracies.

John Holbo 05.11.17 at 9:42 am ( 36 )
Heliopause asks an apparently reasonable question to which there is a reasonable response: "If Comey is unfit to hold the office, as many top Democrats have said outright or at least strongly implied, it is plainly ridiculous to trust him with an investigation which you consider so important."

The trouble with trying to keep things short is it is not conducive to nuance. In Comey's case, there is a need for nuance because questions of motive and procedure get pretty fine. The following things seem to me likely true.

Comey, in a mistaken attempt to protect the reputation of the FBI by forestalling pro-Trump leaks concerning Hillary's case, did something that was in-itself inappropriate and thereby threw the election to Trump. That's pretty outrageous even though Comey almost certainly intended no such effect. The fact remains: outrage at this circumstance is fully justified and it really isn't good to have an FBI director who – however inadvertently – took inappropriate actions that threw a US Presidential election (in a 'but for X, Y wouldn't have happened' sense.) Nevertheless, it's hard to say when it would have been appropriate to fire Comey. Obama could have, but it would have looked real bad and partisan. Trump might have, before the point where Comey testified that there was an investigation of Trump's campaign but even then it would have looked real bad and partisan because it isn't believable that Trump is Hillary's white knight, concerned that someone called her 'crooked' in an unfair way. It would be obvious he was replacing Comey to install some crony (probably.) Worst of all, of course, is what actually happened.

Now this is sort of annoying; it's outrageous that Comey is still director, but there wouldn't have been an acceptable way to remove him at any point. But that's life. Sometimes there's no good procedural way to do something. But even if we disagree about that, we can all agree that, if you are going to fire Comey, you shouldn't do it in what looks to me the most inappropriate possible way, i.e. with intent to obstruct an ongoing investigation.

kidneystones 05.11.17 at 10:44 am ( 37
The principal reason Comey spoke out in the first place was because candidate Clinton's husband decided to pay an unscripted visit to his friend and long-time confident, the AG of the United States, at precisely the same time the Justice department was debating whether to open a criminal investigation into the handling of government documents by the Democratic nominee, also named Clinton. Comey's decision not greeted with universal applause. The partisan press has spent the last 8 years polishing the myth of the scandal-free Obama administration so that the gullible and the cynical can promulgate the myth among the masses. This rather good Wapo piece on AETNA's plan to walk away from Obama's signature program does more to explain why Trump is president and Clinton is not than any parsing of statements. The long and short of is that this election should never have been close. It was principally because of the broken promises and failed policies of the Obama administration.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/aetna-exiting-all-aca-insurance-marketplaces-in-2018/2017/05/10/9dedbeea-35d4-11e7-b373-418f6849a004_story.html?utm_term=.73cecd86b1f4 )

The principal reason Comey spoke out in the first place was because candidate Clinton's husband decided to pay an unscripted visit to his friend and long-time confident, the AG of the United States, at precisely the same time the Justice department was debating whether to open a criminal investigation into the handling of government documents by the Democratic nominee, also named Clinton. Comey's decision not greeted with universal applause. The partisan press has spent the last 8 years polishing the myth of the scandal-free Obama administration so that the gullible and the cynical can promulgate the myth among the masses. This rather good Wapo piece on AETNA's plan to walk away from Obama's signature program does more to explain why Trump is president and Clinton is not than any parsing of statements. The long and short of is that this election should never have been close. It was principally because of the broken promises and failed policies of the Obama administration.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/aetna-exiting-all-aca-insurance-marketplaces-in-2018/2017/05/10/9dedbeea-35d4-11e7-b373-418f6849a004_story.html?utm_term=.73cecd86b1f4

Bill Benzon 05.11.17 at 10:50 am ( 38
Over at Lawfare, a post on procedural issues in the firing:

The Administration, in short, has shown little regard for thoughtful process in law enforcement that is key to the maintenance of the integrity of the legal system, and of public confidence. Mr. Trump and his DOJ leadership have jumped ahead of the Inspector General's inquiry, moving suddenly to put their views on record on the same issues the IG is addressing. They have failed to explain why they did so, when the alleged misconduct to which they appeal is no different from that which generated the IG inquiry and was widely known when the President took office. The AG was involved in this decision when recused from any matter involving the Russia investigation-again with no explanation. The Deputy AG could not have weighed the matter carefully in 14 days, some part of which he spent writing the short memorandum: which means he reached his conclusion in less than those two weeks. So with whom did he consult-and on what factual record, developed in what way and by whom, did he depend? Again: no explanation.

https://lawfareblog.com/how-it-was-done-problem-not-only-trump-fired-comey-how-he-did-it

Lee A. Arnold 05.11.17 at 10:51 am ( 39
It looks even more like Comey was cashiered because he wanted to expand the investigation into Trump's Russian connections.

Trump screamed at Comey on the TV during the Senate hearing last week, then called Sessions & Rosenstein to the White House, said "Get rid of Comey".

Rosenstein went back to his office & dutifully wrote a letter to give some reasons why.

But then Trump used Rosenstein as the pretext, claiming that the Rosenstein letter INITIATED Comey's firing!

Washington Post top headline this morning: "Deputy attorney general threatened to quit after being cast as impetus of dismissal".

I had been wondering about Rosenstein's participation in Comey's sudden cashiering, because it didn't make sense. Rosenstein seems like the reasonable sort, but the reasons in his letter are last year's stories. Rosenstein must know (as everybody in D.C. does, including FBI rank-and-file) that Comey is a decent guy, not a politician, and that he was dirty-tricked into smearing Hillary in two different ways in July & October. So the command to write the letter must have seemed like a call to scribble some perfunctory bureaucratise, however unfair to a fellow.

But now it looks like Rosenstein is being sandbagged, too. And he doesn't like it.

Not good for Trump. Both Rosenstein & Comey can both be called up to the Hill for testimony.

Firing Comey was Trump's second big unforced error. A hyoooge error, even bigger than his shallow claim in a tweety pique that Obama wiretapped him.

Despite the Democrats' apparent indignation & hypocrisy at Comey's sacking, you can forget it, they are tickled to death.

J-D 05.11.17 at 11:21 am ( 40
John Holbo

Now this is sort of annoying; it's outrageous that Comey is still director, but there wouldn't have been an acceptable way to remove him at any point. But that's life. Sometimes there's no good procedural way to do something.

Sometimes, if there's no good procedural way to do something, that's a system flaw. There should be a good procedural way to remove the FBI director, and if there isn't, that a flaw in the system; although, now that I've got on to the subject, not nearly as big a flaw as the lack of a good procedural way to remove the US President. Yes, I know there's a procedure for removing the President, but it's not a good one, and there should be a good one.

But even if we disagree about that, we can all agree that, if you are going to fire Comey, you shouldn't do it in what looks to me the most inappropriate possible way, i.e. with intent to obstruct an ongoing investigation.

That still seems to me to be an issue of substance, not of procedure.

Cranky Observer 05.11.17 at 11:40 am ( 41 )

= = = John Holbo @ 9:42 am: The following things seem to me likely true.
Comey, in a mistaken attempt to protect the reputation of the FBI by forestalling pro-Trump leaks concerning Hillary's case, did something that was in-itself inappropriate and thereby threw the election to Trump. That's pretty outrageous even though Comey almost certainly intended no such effect. = = =

The difficulty is that there is an equally likely explanation that fits the facts and is no more complicated than this one and perhaps less complicated: there is a faction within the FBI that actively dislikes Hillary Clinton and took specific intended actions to damage her Presidential campaign, with the deliberate intention of seeing a candidate elected who was more congenial to their worldview. In this scenario whether Comney was a member of that faction or simply took no action to identify and fire/prosecute them, he was complicit in their actions.

[I saw a transcript yesterday in which Senator Schumer specifically asked Comney about Giuliani's magical ability to predict FBI announcements up to 36 hours in advance. Comney did his best to deflect but admitted he might have to look into that. I think we can assume that won't happen now. ]

If a large number of Democrats accept the fell scenario, then it becomes harder to disagree with Helipause: there is no justification for a law enforcement official not only violating the Hatch Act but actually throwing an election using law enforcement resources to remain in office regardless of what else he might be investigating.

Cranky Observer 05.11.17 at 11:45 am ( 43 )

= = =Lee A. Arnold @ 11:35 am: So far as I know, the big questions have never been asked in the media: Why were they all doing this? Why didn't the State Dept. provide a secure server? Are the State Dept's own computers underperforming, - or else compromised? Are gov't communications of all sorts OVER-classified? = = =

I was working in the technology sector at the time and perhaps it was covered in more detail by the technology press, but yes: Hillary's Clinton's first employee town hall meeting as Secretary of State turned into a 2-hour gripe session about how bad State Dept. computer and communication technology was, why State employees were forced to use only Internet Explorer 4 and forbidden to install Mozilla/Firefox despite the latter's vastly superior security record, etc. The answer from State's CIO was: because that's what our outsourcing contractor gives us and we are not allowed to complain or deviate from that.

Manta 05.11.17 at 11:52 am (
In other words: if "you" (a professional politician) demand that the presidents does X, you are implicitly claiming that there is an acceptable way to do X.
Otherwise, you are a buffoon.
John Holbo 05.11.17 at 12:23 pm (
45 )
"If you think so, what would make of the demands by the Democrats to do exactly that?"

Well, it's a dilemma. But again, just because whatever you do there's something bad about it doesn't mean you should haul off and do something obviously worse.

It's true that in the post I take the 'Comey should have been fired' line, which honestly is a bit strong, given my view that really there wasn't a good way to do.

Manta 05.11.17 at 12:35 pm (
Also, motives are not important.
For instance, whether the Democrats elected official motives for asking Comey's head were sincerely felt outrage or simply a way to embarrass the president, is irrelevant.

What is important is that they asked X, and got X: now they cannot complains "but he did it for the wrong reasons!" (especially since the stated official reasons are the same that they claimed).

Mind you, procedure and rule of law *are* important, but it's pretty clear that
1) the rule of law was followed (i.e.: the President can fire the head of FBI)
2) no procedure would have been satisfactory (by your own admission).

The whole mess seems like a unruly kid, that first asks mommy for a toy, and then complains that he got what he asked for.

John Holbo 05.11.17 at 12:42 pm (
47 )
"Also, motives are not important.
For instance, whether the Democrats elected official motives for asking Comey's head were sincerely felt outrage or simply a way to embarrass the president, is irrelevant."

I think you are confusing motives and procedures. As you yourself admit, those need to be kept distinct.

Also, just because no procedure would be satisfactory for dealing with Comey, it does not follow that all procedures are equally unsatisfactory. That's a fallacy. You can still have a worse option among bad options.

Katsue 05.11.17 at 12:48 pm (
Re: the Russia investigation, didn't Comey reveal during the Senate hearings that he didn't know what Gazprom was, and then go on to talk about Putin's motives? Surely a "What is a leppo?" moment if ever there was one.
Daragh 05.11.17 at 1:07 pm (
49 )
I would argue there is an acceptable procedure for firing Comey. Trump could announce that due to Comey's intervention, the results of the election are clearly tainted and his own presidency is illegitimate. Pence could then resign, and be replaced by Hillary Clinton as VP. Trump could then fire Comey for cause, before handing his own resignation to the Secretary of State, and making Clinton president in accordance with the will of a plurality of the American people.

Will this ever happen? Of course not. But the arguments above seem to boil down to 'one cannot hold the opinion "Comey is unfit to be director of the FBI and, ceteris paribus, should be fired" and "Comey is unfit, but whoever Trump replaces him with will be far worse, so we must tolerate him" at the same time.' if there is no satisfactory procedure to remove him available. So consider this the possible, but wildly improbable, satisfactory procedure.

kidneystones 05.11.17 at 1:55 pm ( 50 )
Thanks, John, for remaining relatively level-headed over this. There are some sensible comments and fair push-back to the OP. There's also an unhealthy amount of wishful thinking.

Trump just imploded! For the last two years we have we been forced to endure countless convoluted LARGE CAP!!! assertions that THIS. IS. IT!!!! GAME OVER!!!!! Done, toast, finished, stick-a-fork-in-him MARK THIS DAY!!!!

I watched a fantastic sequence with a middle-aged female voter who, when informed that May had just called the UK election, reacted with NO! No more. Not another election, not more politics. She refused to even offer much of a comment beyond stating that she was sick to death of politics.

If Dems think that six months to six years of conspiracy theories is going to win back the voters, I'd suggest they think again. Yes, a large number of Americans would like to see an investigation of some sort. But that investigation probably concerns them less than taxes, jobs, education, health care, national security and a host of other issues. Trump supporters stopped listening to the media long ago, and I'm not convinced independents believe Comey matters much, much as the NYT wishes otherwise.

The Doctorow series was very good, btw. Enjoy!

John Holbo 05.11.17 at 1:58 pm ( 51

John Holbo 05.11.17 at 1:58 pm

One thing Manta may be getting at is that it is possible – no doubt actual – for some on the left to be rank hypocrites about Comey. But my point isn't that it's impossible for anyone to hold inconsistent positions about this (obviously that's possible.) Rather, it's possible – and actual – to hold consistent positions. One ought to hold a consistent position about this.

One thing I could be wrong about is this: have prominent Democratic elected officials (not just some dude on Twitter) called for Comey's head since he testified about the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation two months ago (or whenever exactly it was)? If so, then it's rank hypocrisy. Granted. But my impression is that Dems have 1) done most of their griping back in Nov-Dec. And why shouldn't they have griped? 2) not called on Trump (or Obama) to fire him but simply expressed that the situation is outrageous – which it is. I just did a quick search and here's the worst the Washington Examiner came up with from Schumer.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/schumer-too-lost-confidence-in-comey-in-november/article/2622608 )

One thing Manta may be getting at is that it is possible – no doubt actual – for some on the left to be rank hypocrites about Comey. But my point isn't that it's impossible for anyone to hold inconsistent positions about this (obviously that's possible.) Rather, it's possible – and actual – to hold consistent positions. One ought to hold a consistent position about this.

One thing I could be wrong about is this: have prominent Democratic elected officials (not just some dude on Twitter) called for Comey's head since he testified about the ongoing Trump-Russia investigation two months ago (or whenever exactly it was)? If so, then it's rank hypocrisy. Granted. But my impression is that Dems have 1) done most of their griping back in Nov-Dec. And why shouldn't they have griped? 2) not called on Trump (or Obama) to fire him but simply expressed that the situation is outrageous – which it is. I just did a quick search and here's the worst the Washington Examiner came up with from Schumer.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/schumer-too-lost-confidence-in-comey-in-november/article/2622608

It's not evidence of hypocrisy. Nothing that Schumer has said is inconsistent with him saying that it's outrageous for Trump to transparently interfere with an ongoing investigation by summarily firing its head.

John Holbo 05.11.17 at 2:07 pm (
Thanks, kidneystones, glad you like the Doctorow. The OP has problems. My point is fine but the capital crimes analogy is bad and misleading. The simple way to put it would be: if Dems have actually been calling for Comey's firing the last 2 months, since he testified about the ongoing investigation, then they are flagrant hypocrites. Otherwise, if they just complained about how outrageous the election interference was – especially if they did it back in November-Dec, but even more recently – well, they didn't ask for THIS. Not hypocrites.
Cranky Observer 05.11.17 at 2:13 pm (

kidneystones: If Dems think that six months to six years of conspiracy theories is going to win back the voters, I'd suggest they think again. Yes,

Alternate view: the Republicans managed to keep the EBOLA drumbeat going for 6 months even while the Liberian Health Service got the spread under control and the US health services stayed in top of it. You and your Republican allies are just surprised and set back on your heels to find out that Democrats can pull the same trick on you – and you know they have a real scandal to work with in the Trump case.

Sebastian H 05.11.17 at 3:11 pm (
J-D "That still seems to me to be an issue of substance, not of procedure."

You keep saying that but you aren't exhibiting an understanding of what these types of procedures are for–to protect against corrupt or improper decision making. You are also improperly trying to create a sharp divide between substance/procedure which does not exist in improper influence cases.

Lets take an area I've worked in, and which is directly on point–employment law.

In California, and many states, employees are "at-will", which means from that point of view, literally any procedure is enough to fire them.

But if you drill down half a step, you find that you can fire them for any reason, with a few exceptions which count as illegal reasons. Things like discrimination against certain classes, or retaliation for doing a legally important thing that you didn't like.

So, half a step down, lots of employers put in procedural safeguards to show that they aren't letting improper reasons influence their decision to fire someone. And that is good, because lots of times it actually stops improper reasons from influencing their decisions.

But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the employers use these procedures in a pretextual way–they go through the some of the FORM of the procedures, but inject the improper reasons anyway. They do that by firing someone for reporting them to the FDA, but saying it was because they didn't fill out their timecard properly. Or they say that they screened the notorious anti-black bigot out of the decision making, but in reality he told one of the managers who was involved in the decision making that he wanted the nigger out of the office.

The purpose of the procedure is to screen out improper influence. If you purposely inject improper influence you aren't actually following the procedure .

A desire to avoid letting the Russia investigation get to the bottom of things would be obstruction of justice–one of the key things that procedures regarding the firing of the FBI director is supposed to avoid. So there are procedures to keep the improper influence away–like the Sessions 'recusing' himself (scare quotes to be explained in a moment).

So we examine the firing letter for pretext. We find that it claims to be firing Comey for things that were well known to the firing party for months. Things that the firing party in fact publicly praised Comey for. In any employment action this would be a clear sign of pretextual firing. Then you try to look beyond the pretext. Is there any evidence that there were other reasons for the firing? Yes there are–we have reports of Trump ranting about the Russia investigation (an improper motive). Is there any evidence of the procedure being subverted for an improper purpose–yes Rosenstein appears to have been ordered by Sessions (his boss and the very person supposedly recused from the investigation) and Trump (whose aides are being investigated) to draw up a memo with other reasons to fire Comey. All of those actions appear to subvert the procedural requirements.

What could Trump have done? He could have let the Inspector General finish his investigation into Comey and acted on his report. He didn't do that because Trump and Sessions weren't actually following the procedures to avoid improper influence.

Sebastian H 05.11.17 at 3:20 pm (
One thing I fail to mention above is that in a typical employment case with pretextual firing in retaliation for doing something legal (or legally mandated like reporting certain types of irregularities to the FDA) timing is almost always a factor. If you show that the legally mandated, but vexing to the employer, action is close in time to the firing, while the pretext is not close in time to the firing, you have gotten very far along to winning a lot of money.
Manta 05.11.17 at 4:40 pm (
John @51 & @52

I agree with your take there.
However, I remember (I hope correctly) that it was also the NYT and other news outlets to call for Comey's head: it's not "some dude on twitter", but it's also not prominent Dem official.

kidneystones 05.11.17 at 4:48 pm (
57 )
Just took a final look at the international and national press coverage of Comey. Bottom line – the probe continues and there may be a special prosecutor. So, if the firing was an attempt to derail the investigation – that's clearly failed. So, why did Trump do it?
Absent any other explanation I return to my original suppositions re: Trump.

No 1: He's no politician, but a damn effective reality TV producer and actor. He builds and markets brand Trump. Comey was fired because he wasn't generating the kind of ratings Trump wanted, the narrative was stale and the actor 'playing the part of the FBI director' was hated by every demographic of the president's 'audience.' Trump isn't running a government, he's casting a reality TV show. Comey' replacement must be competent, but more important she, or he, must win the trust of the public and the nation that Comey had clearly lost. Pretty much all the air goes out of the obstruction argument with the investigation going forwards as is surely seems to be doing. Any remaining goes out with the appointment of a special prosecutor. There may be some piece of spectacular evidence that eluded the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other security agencies (many of which are evidently staffed by individuals hostile to Trump) that will knock the president off stride. Within a week, or two, the news cycle will move on. Feinstein confessed there's no there, there – at least not yet. And until there is, Trump moves on.

Comey is gone. He'll be trotted out as a martyr, but in the end will regarded unsympathetically by pretty much everyone, rightly or wrongly. The folks who hate Trump still will, and those who don't aren't paying much attention to hyperbolic after-the-election moaning. Trump may yet hit a wall, but that will most likely come from some future blunder, and so far he hasn't made any significant enough to knock too far off stride.

Praying for the president to fail? That's what Republicans did for 8 years. How'd that turn out? Dems still have no persuasive economic argument to win back white voters. Few liberals are ready to make common cause with the 'mouth breathers,' and until they are Republican fortunes remain bright.

Orange Watch 05.11.17 at 7:23 pm (
kidneystones@56:

Pretty much all the air goes out of the obstruction argument with the investigation going forwards as is surely seems to be doing. Any remaining goes out with the appointment of a special prosecutor.

It only goes out if you assume that it would have necessarily succeeded if that was the motivation. Which is a pretty hard assumption to justify, especially with the actors involved.

Heliopause 05.11.17 at 9:04 pm (
@36
"Sometimes there's no good procedural way to do something."

Trump's fans like him because he is supposedly decisive, and if someone needs firing he's not going to wait around 142 days for the HR report, he's just going to do it. That's his schtick and that's what we should expect him to do. If he carefully deliberated his decisions he'd be Obama.

If that's the way it's going to be, that we're going to pull the Capt. Renault routine every time Trump doesn't follow "procedure" and acts like Trump, then it's going to be years of these histrionics in the foreground while god knows what goes on in the back. More Russia nonsense, more Trump doing Trump stuff, more alienation of the general public from the whole stinking pile. I would say that the one good thing to come out of this is that there won't be any more Comey dog-and-pony shows on TV, but, alas, my fear is that we haven't seen the last of him.

Maybe I should be more positive about the Democratic party as Resistance. Maybe I should ignore obvious hypocrisy when I see it. Maybe I should immerse myself in procedure and personality and put all the stuff that matters on the back burner. Maybe I should look forward to our choice in 2020 between Mark Zuckerberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

jack lecou 05.11.17 at 10:25 pm (
No 1: He's no politician, but a damn effective reality TV producer and actor. He builds and markets brand Trump.

We should be wary about underestimating Trump, but I wonder if this nevertheless gives too much credit.

What Trump does as a businessman promoting his "brand" is to self-aggrandize and act like a duplicitous, thin-skinned, imperious, tasteless jerk. What Trump does as an "actor" is to play a self-aggrandizing, duplicitous, thin-skinned, imperious, tasteless jerk. What Trump has done so far as both a candidate and a President is to behave like a self-aggrandizing, duplicitous, thin-skinned, imperious, tasteless jerk.

Which leads me to lean toward a hypothesis that he isn't so much an individual who is clever and talented at PLAYING a self-aggrandizing, duplicitous, thin-skinned, imperious, tasteless jerk - when the circumstances are appropriate - so much as that he IS a self-aggrandizing, duplicitous, thin-skinned, imperious, tasteless jerk. One who has simply been lucky enough to find himself (until now, perhaps) in circumstances where that more or less worked.

This might seem like a subtle distinction, and in a way it doesn't contradict the above statement. But it does put it in a different light.

It's kind of like how when a cymothoa exigua louse burrows into a red snapper's gills and attaches itself to its tongue. We don't say our louse is acting like a disgusting parasite because of talent, or because of a clever calculation that that's going to play well in the cable news cycle. Nope. Our C. exigua does so simply because it IS a disgusting parasite, and that's what it does. If and when the behavior works, it's only because it's found its niche on a susceptible fish.

kidneystones 05.11.17 at 11:02 pm (
@ 58 You put the pitfalls of focusing on bright, shiny objects – Trump's 'outrageous' 'unprecedented' actions (all as you note quite predictable) into sharp relief. Trump couldn't give a rat's behind about Comey and may actually respect him for all we know. I don't doubt for a second that Trump was going to dump him whatever the report said, or that many more former Obama officials will follow him out the door, a development which I hope comes as no surprise to anyone.

Who will be the first Dem to break ranks post-Comey and join the administration? That's an interesting question for the distant, or not too distant future. Media outlets are showing few signs of regaining any sense of balance, or focus and have devolved into click-bait camps for the shrill of various persuasions.

Faustusnotes 05.11.17 at 11:33 pm ( 62

Faustusnotes )

What's the point in talking about procedure in a political system where the entire civil service leadership changes hands every election and the current leader is an idiot who cares about nothing except his own grift? In any case trump has now helpfully stated in a tv interview that he had already decided to sack comey and didn't need reasons, just as everyone (rightfully) assumed. This won't sway the republicans of course because they're traitors and economic wreckers, and they don't care what orange shitgibbon does to violate norms so long as they can keep destroying the country.
Suzanne 05.11.17 at 11:47 pm (
58: "Maybe I should be more positive about the Democratic party as Resistance."

You should, actually. From the grassroots to the top the party has put up a quite spirited resistance and I think they can keep it up. Given the weakness of the Democrats' position, they can't stop much if the GOP gets it halfway together – they could not stop Gorsuch and they may not be able to stop "health care reform" if a bill actually gets out of the Senate or the "tax reform" that the Republicans also have planned. But they really are making things as difficult for the GOP as they responsibly can, with a powerful assist from the Toddler-in-Chief.

As for Comey, I'm willing to believe a considerable part of Trump's motivation was perfectly unserious. Comey had annoyed him by failing to support his claim that Obama tapped him, he had admitted the Russian investigation was underway, and apparently Trump took Comey's "nauseous" remark to mean that Comey wanted to puke at the thought that his actions might have elected Trump. Never underestimate personal spite when it comes to Trump.

J-D 05.12.17 at 1:49 am (
64 )
kidneystones

Praying for the president to fail? That's what Republicans did for 8 years. How'd that turn out?

A Republican got elected President. Did you not notice? How do you think it turned out?

Pavel A 05.12.17 at 4:22 am ( 65 )
Given that the next Director is probably going to be Chris Christie or Rudy Guilliani (or