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Russiagate -- the attempt to entrap Trump with Russia ties by CIA, FBI, MI6 and Clinton mafia

(also sometimes called Purple revolution; should probably be called American Maydan: two teams of oligarchs struggle for power using dirty methods against their opponents; one team is represented by neocons and Clinton neoliberals and  it was in power since Ronald Reagan; the composition of the other team in unclear, but  it is clear that Pentagon plays important role in supporting Trump after election in the face of neocon/neolib/intelligence agencies coup d'état  )

The effect of Russiagate lies is similar to Iraq WDM story; two third of the US population now is brainwashed into adamantly anti-Russian mindset, increasing the risk of the major war; too big money and too many defense  contactors are involved to allow Trump détente with Russia

Hat tip to cdn-05.anonfile.com

 
News Is national security state in the USA gone rogue Recommended Links Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller is a failed hatchet job: disingenuous and dishonest MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Barr Senate testimony and the counter investigation of Spygate (aka Russiagate) Strzokgate Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0
Post-Russiagate remorse -- Russiagate as the second Iraq WDM fiasco Fake tale about Smolenkov as "Kremlin spy" who provided info for Steele dossier Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap Steele dossier Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case Brennan elections machinations Wolff revelations and slander of Trump administration DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Carter Page Stephan Halper and attempts to entrap members of Trump team Papadopoulos entrapment Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Nunes FISA Memo scandal Joseph Misfud and MI6 connection to Russiagate FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga FBI contractor Fusion GPS
Obama administration directed the intelligence services putsch against Trump The Deep State Post-Russiagate remorse -- Russiagate as the second Iraq WDM fiasco Does Great Britain attempt to rig the US elections? "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate  Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate) "Trump is insane" meme
Andrew McCabe -- the brain behind the color Revolution against Trump  Clapper role in putsch Mistressgate: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Samantha Power Woodward insinuations Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit" Hypocrisy of British ruling elite Anti Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM
MSM as fake news industry Luke Harding: a pathetic author of book that rehash Steele Dossier FBI Mayberry Machiavellians and CIA connected democrats Michael Flynn removal Manafort and his Ukrainian connections Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Real War on Reality Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Trump vs. Deep State
Obama: a yet another Neocon US and British media are servants of security apparatus National Security State US Presidential Elections of 2020 NeoMcCartyism campaign as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" New American Militarism The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy
Color revolutions Do the foreign state influence the US Presidential elections ? History of American False Flag Operations Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Cambridge Analytica data mining scandal Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Due to the size the introductory article Russiagate color revolution against Trump as the second incarnation of Iraq WMD lies was moves to a separate page.

=== Sample ===

 
Russiagate has three purposes.

One is to prevent President Trump from endangering the vast budget and power of the military/security complex by normalizing relations with Russia.

Another, in the words of James Howard Kunstler, is “to conceal the criminal conduct of US government officials meddling in the 2016 election in collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign,” by focusing all public and political attention on a hoax distraction.

The third is to obstruct Trump’s campaign and distract him from his agenda when he won the election.

The Three Purposes of Russiagate - American Herald Tribune

Russiagate is the most fraudulent political scandal in modern American history closely connected with the desire of MIC and intelligence agencies to increase its level of funding, as well as patch cracks in the US neoliberalism facade by uniting the nation against the common scapegoat.  It rests on two core allegations:

  1. That Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an “attack on American democracy” during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to put Donald Trump in the White House
  2. Trump and his associates willfully colluded, or conspired with Kremlin in this “attack.”

The tragedy here is not that investigation about those baseless charges was opened and surveillance established (actually high level of electronic surveillance is given just due to existence of NSA), but that they were concocted. Multiple documented efforts were made by FBI, CIA and MI6 to entrap Trump in this scandal -- there were several attempts to link him and his associates with politically connected Russians initiated by FBI and/or CIA, and/or MI6 informants. This was an attempt to create condition  in which the target commits crime -- entrapment in legal speak (Entrapment legal definition of entrapment ):

The act of government agents or officials that induces a person to commit a crime he or she is not previously disposed to commit.

Entrapment is a defense to criminal charges when it is established that the agent or official originated the idea of the crime and induced the accused to engage in it. If the crime was promoted by a private person who has no connection to the government, it is not entrapment. A person induced by a friend to sell drugs has no legal excuse when police are informed that the person has agreed to make the sale.

The rationale underlying the defense is to deter law enforcement officers from engaging in reprehensible conduct by inducing persons not disposed to commit crimes to engage in criminal activity. In their efforts to obtain evidence and combat crime, however, officers are permitted to use some deception. For example, an officer may pretend to be a drug addict in order to apprehend a person suspected of selling drugs. On the other hand, an officer cannot use chicanery or Fraud to lure a person to commit a crime the person is not previously willing to commit. Generally, the defense is not available if the officer merely created an opportunity for the commission of the crime by a person already planning or willing to commit it.

The whole Mueller witch hunt was an attempt to implicate Trump in "obstruction of justice" concocted via firing of Comey (using Rosenstein as a Trojan horse) and subsequent events. In other words this is just another attempt to entrap Trump.

That's why key figures of Obama administration should face trial and if convicted should be jailed for a very long time.  The list might include Obama himself and definitely includes Brennan, Clapper, Comey and McCabe along with two dozens of "lesser" government bureaucrats in Department of Justice, FBI, CIA and State department.   Several UK government officials and MI6 current and former officers are also under strong suspicion and probably should be tried as well even if "in absentia". 

On the other hand Russiagate looks a classic palace intrigue—the fracas between the White House, the two houses of Congress and a ghoulish grand inquisitor named Mueller. But in reality this is the first color revolution that take place in the USA.  I think before Russiagate there was a tremendous gap between perception of the USA political landscape by the majority of the population (constitutional republic, elected representatives) and the reality (empire, "one dollar one vote", "deep state" with the core of all powerful and out of control intelligence agencies, etc). Much like in Matrix.

This gap is now shrinking, at least for those who follow this color revolution from the very beginning. And we can thank Trump for that. He singhadidnly did enormous damage to the image of neoliberal MSM which now are called "fake news" probably by the majority of  Americans. Calling WaPo "Bezos blog" was  a stoke of brilliance on his part.

Now most people clearly realize that it was FBI (FBI Mayberry Machiavellians) and CIA (Brennan) were the actual kingmakers in the last Presidential election. Like any true aristocracy they despise the ordinary US voters. They are directly responsible for the election of Trump by pushing Sanders under the bus. Indirectly via exonerating Hillary, but still they obviously pushed Sanders under the bus. And after Hillary lost to Trump they launched a color revolution against him in November 2016 to correct this blowback of their meddling in the USA election process.  And to ensure that the US foreign policy remain the same because huge expenses on maintaining global neoliberal empire fatten pockets of imperial servants. and the US intelligence agencies are such imperial servants. Who actually are ready to remove the Presidential like Praetorian Guard in Rome to preserve they share. 

So one rational behind Russiagate is to secure continuation of neocon policy of "Full Spectrum Dominance" at the expense of ordinary Americans standard of living.  Which including maintaining the "defence" spending on unprecedented level of over one trillion a year (if counted from all sources). Intelligence agencies are two headed centaur: a part of MIC and a part of Wall Street so they acted accordingly fueling anti-Russian hysteria to justify this racket. 

The reality of Russiagate is that the corrupt neoliberal system and its institutions were laid bare in an unprecedented way. The Democratic Party is now views as yet another corrupt oligarchic party, it was since Clinton sold it to Wall street. The Republican Party is no better.

And the neoliberal MSM has exposed itself as attack dogs of intelligence  agencies like never before. People are waking up to the corrupt and cruel neoliberal system which  was put in place instead of the New Deal capitalism since 1980th. The reality of the neoliberal system now is  exposed in magnifying Russiagate lens under which FBI, CIA, Justice Department, Pentagon, MSM does not look too good, to say the least.  That's probably the only good thing about it

The events after Trump elections really smells with coup d'état. Trump may be a threat but so is this was clearly  covert coup to preserve neocon foreign policy. . Now we know that there were attempts to entrap Trump associated with Russian links (Sater who initiated Moscow tower project was FBI informant; Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr.  was organized by MI6;  Papadopoulos entrapment was a joint effort of CIA, FBI and MI6). And there are strong suspicions  that Skripal was involved in  writing Steele dossier.

As James Jatras noted on Jun 9, 2018 (When, Where, and How Will the Empire Strike Back ), allegations of Trump’s and his team’s collusion with the Kremlin exposed the cover for color revolution against Trump within the structures of the US Deep State (CIA, NSA, FBI, Department of Justice, etc.) with full support and enthusiastic participation of British sister agencies (MI6, GCHQ). First they derailed Sanders, then they tried to deny Trump the presidency. While they quickly succeeded in neutering him, but they still want to remove him from office, and above all to block any chance of a detente with Russia  to protect MIC budget.

While Robert Mueller and his merry band of connected to Democratic Party witch hunters have not given up, their prospects are fading and the Russiagate is beginning to turn into a Spygate, exposing the level of corruption and malice within Obama administration.  A political liability for the DNC in the November Congressional elections

Let’s remember that in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, those who voted for Trump wanted not so much for Trump as against the neoliberal establishment. They voted for him because they wanted a wrecking ball for this corrupt and cruel system, a human hand grenade, a big “F*CK YOU” to the system. Maybe that’s what we got. In this sense Russiagate only helped because the political establishment  was rendered completely dysfunctional during the Russiagate.

Despite his inspiring election rhetoric's (against neoliberal globalization, foreign wars, unchecked immigration, for creation of jobs that pay decent wages and reverse of offshoring of the US manufacturing) Trump proved to be another stage of the same process of degradation of neoliberalism that was in full speed under Obama. With his "bait and switch" maneuver (mainly to save his own scalp, he is not  willing to die for his principles as a noble man). He was emasculated just after three months of his presidency. After May 2017 Trump became just a continuation of Obama "change we can believe in" scam.  With very few exception, which actually confirm the rule.

In all empires the real political power were eventually transferred to generals. and intelligence agencies are actually a branch of military-industrial complex not that different from Pentagon.

In this sense  the trend was visible as retired military brass is well represented in Trump administration.  While it is interesting and sometimes amusing to observe  the level of  animosity between Pentagon and CIA (they sometimes even fight each other in Syria via proxies), that does not change  the direction in which the USA administrations evolve. 


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[Dec 14, 2019] You Backing The Russians, Boy - Illinois Man Charged With Threatening To Murder GOP Congressman

Looks like Professor Karlan operated on the level very close to this man.
Notable quotes:
"... Rodney Lee Davis ..."
"... "I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?" ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

It would appear all the escalating rhetoric from a month of impeachment hearings - including one Democratic congressman asking fellow lawmakers to imagine the teenage daughter of Ukraine's president tied up in Trump's basement - have sparked more than just verbal assaults on Republicans ( just as Maxine Waters would had suggested previously ).

The Hill reports that a man in Illinois has been charged after allegedly threatening to shoot Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and accusing the congressman of "backing the Russians."

Rodney Lee Davis

64-year-old Randall Tar of Rochester, Ill. was charged with communicating threats to injure a person and threatening to assault, kidnap or murder a federal official, according to court documents released this week (full release below).

Contacted at his home Thursday, Tarr said he saw a television ad in which Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, claimed that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections , and it angered him enough to call.

Prosecutors say Tarr called Davis's district office last month and left a profanity-filled voicemail, saying:

"I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?"

"Stupid son of a bitch, you're gonna go against our military and back the Russians?" he allegedly added.

"I'm a sharpshooter. ... I'd like to shoot your f---ing head off you stupid motherf---er."

Tarrlater reportedly told The Associated Press :

"I screwed up," Tarr said.

"I don't even have a weapon to do it, is the silliest thing."

"I wish I could just take it all back and just say he's a lousy (expletive) for backing the Russian theory."

Of course, the only problem with all this is that the Democrats' constant spewing of the narrative that Ukraine did not 'meddle' in the 2016 election is entirely false .


Dr Anon , 45 minutes ago link

The bigger story is the number of mentally unstable Americans. When you go driving next, remember that about 20% of them are gorked on prescribed medications. The behavior you will observe makes complete sense in that context.

greek mafia , 46 minutes ago link

Damn...64 and still stupid as hell

Pendolino , 47 minutes ago link

" I'm a sharpshooter "

Well he certainly knows how to shoot his mouth off.

[Dec 14, 2019] Trump Impeachment Is Approved While Republicans Rant by Jonathan Bernstein

Neoliberal shill about failed impeachment ;-)
Dec 14, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

It's surprisingly easy to get bogged down in the nonsense of the moment when this is what's actually happening: the impeachment of the president, and a struggle over the power of the presidency and of the Congress, over the integrity of elections in the United States, and over the Constitution and the republic.

We're almost certainly heading for a party-line vote in the House with only a handful of defections, and there's every reason to believe the Senate trial will yield similar results. But there are some unanswered questions that could prove quite important in the long term.

Will Trump, and will future presidents, be more restrained because even impeachment and acquittal is still a sufficient punishment? Or will it backfire? Will Trump believe, if he is not removed, that pressuring a foreign nation to help his re-election bid and then stiff-arming Congress when they investigate it now has a seal of approval? We don't know. Nor do we really know how the specifics of the Senate trial -- whether witnesses are called, what the final vote is -- will matter.

[Dec 14, 2019] Federal Judge Unseals Nancy Pelosi's Alcoholic Treatment Records ALLOD Bustatroll.org

Dec 14, 2019 | bustatroll.org

Judge Marcus Alfonso Paralapalos of the conservative 51st District Court of Warrants, has ordered the medical treatment files for Nancy Pelosi's alcoholism unsealed and available to the general public. While technically a violation of about 11 laws, Judge Paralopolos stands by his ruling, fully expecting it to be overturned:

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"The public has a right to know if the Speaker of the House is undergoing treatment for alcoholism and bloogie addiction. The 9th Circuit Court will certainly overrule this, but I cannot in good conscience deny the motion to the plaintiff."

The plaintiff, Rudy Giuliani on behalf of the people of the United States, will now have to find a way to convince a panel of liberals that it's in the country's best interests to see the private treatment notes of one of our most powerful elected officials.

Let's face it. Even Trump had his doctor weigh in on his mental and physical well-being, calling him the healthiest 78-year-old of all time. It's not like they're asking for her tax returns. Nancy Pelosi should have to be seen and certified by a mental health professional. She sits way too close to power not to.

[Dec 14, 2019] Will Pelosi have the Votes to Impeach by Renée Parsons

This whole Schiff-Show is just bizarre. Why are the Dems doing this? In an election year to boot? There is just zero chance that the Senate will remove Trump from office, and the case against him is a total laughing stock anyway. All that's going to happen is that the senators are going to start discussing L'affaire Biden openly and loudly, thereby killing the Dem's current front-runner. Is that what Pelosi wants? Meanwhile, none of their other three dozen or so candidates are going to get any media at all, once this impeachment sucks all the oxygen right out of the room. Is that intentional?
Notable quotes:
"... Stating that he had not voted for Trump in 2016, GWU Law P rofessor Jonathan Turley who is a registered Democrat (as is yours truly) opened with a brilliant statement as he set the tone for an extraordinarily compelling testimony throughout the day, carefully explaining to the Democrats why they had not met a credible legal threshold for impeachment. ..."
"... Factually concise with rational, impartial explanations, Turley effectively disputed Democratic claims that an abuse of power stemming from a presumed effort to help one's own re-election is " inferred " and does not constitute proof of intent or direct knowledge of what was in the President's mind. ..."
"... What the Democrats fail to grasp is the double-standard that every politician makes decisions based on what is best for their reelection just as the Dems are hoping to benefit electorally in 2020 with the farcical impeachment. ..."
"... After his testimony, Mr. Turley tweeted. " Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with (death) threatening messages and demands that I be fired from GW. " ..."
"... For instance, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala) asked the defining question regarding the purpose of the hearing with "no fact witnesses " via a process that has been " insufficient, unprecedented and grossly inadequate ." Roby pointed out that the Dems had apparently not considered: that a constitutional law panel should come " only after specific charges have been made known and underlying facts presented in full due to an exhaustive investigation. How does anyone expect a panel of law professors to weigh in on legal grounds for impeachment prior to knowing what the grounds brought by this Committee are going to be ? ..."
"... Did any of those 31 notice when the Constitutional law experts were asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz " Can you identify one single material fact in the Schiff Report? – all four remained silent. ..."
"... As the Democratic party appears to have lost whatever is left of its sanity and integrity, the question remains why are the Democrats willing to sacrifice losing some of those 31 House seats in 2020? ..."
"... You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum." ..."
"... It is always good to hear of committed political activsts demanding that their own party stick to fundamental principles of justice, adherence to the Constitution etc etc. There does come a point when you have to ask whether this is temporary insanity or metastatic terminal cancer. If it is the latter, America needs new political parties ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Despite an inadequate performance last week by Constitutional law experts before the House Judiciary Committee, Chair Jerrold Nadler released a unilateral committee report on Saturday entitled " Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment ." The Report came the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi's press conference in which she directed the formation of Articles of Impeachment.

As has become apparent to any objective observer; that is one who prefers facts over fiction, the Democrats remain locked in an imaginary world struggling to maintain relevance, a stature of standing that no longer exists.

Presumably with no Quid Pro Quo, no allegation of criminal conduct, no legally substantial evidence or factual basis and no bipartisan support, in defiance of previous impeachment norms, the Democrats are hell bent on making public jackasses out of themselves.

In a hearing with Constitutional legal experts expected to score big legal points in support of impeachment, the witnesses instead turned out to be smug, hyper partisan activists as they were consistently unpersuasive and unimpressive .

All three displayed not a wit of objectivity or neutrality while touting their own personal political agenda with a foreign policy ax to grind, leaving the unmistakable impression that their testimonies were nothing short of conflated.

Condescending as if pontificating to a class of mediocre law students, Professor Noah Feldman had suggested in 2017 that Presidential tweets could be grounds for impeachment, indicative of the depth of his thinking as he repeatedly impressed himself with his own rhetoric.

Professor Pamela Karlan opened with a shrillness that grew into a hyperbole spewing divisiveness among the American people and went on to revisit the Russiagate and foreign electoral influence myth ad nauseam. Those dim witted Democrats on the committee repeated the mantra as if held in a spellbound trance whenever "Russiagate" was mentioned. There was no mention of Israel interference in US elections. Testimony of Professor Michael Gerhardt .

Stating that he had not voted for Trump in 2016, GWU Law P rofessor Jonathan Turley who is a registered Democrat (as is yours truly) opened with a brilliant statement as he set the tone for an extraordinarily compelling testimony throughout the day, carefully explaining to the Democrats why they had not met a credible legal threshold for impeachment.

Factually concise with rational, impartial explanations, Turley effectively disputed Democratic claims that an abuse of power stemming from a presumed effort to help one's own re-election is " inferred " and does not constitute proof of intent or direct knowledge of what was in the President's mind.

However, it did not appear that any of the Democrats had the acute sensibility to understand Turley's point as there is an edge of lunacy to the collective Democratic mind these days.

What the Democrats fail to grasp is the double-standard that every politician makes decisions based on what is best for their reelection just as the Dems are hoping to benefit electorally in 2020 with the farcical impeachment.

After his testimony, Mr. Turley tweeted. " Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with (death) threatening messages and demands that I be fired from GW. "

While it was surprising that there was no Democratic Star on either the Intel or Judiciary Committees who stepped forward to make a credible, cogent case for impeachment, it was somewhat surprising that the Republicans had an energetic array of participating Members not limited to Intel ranking member Devin Nunes (Calif), Judiciary ranking minority Rep. Doug Collins (NC), Rep. Jim Jordan (Oh), Rep. John Ratcliffe (Texas) and Rep. Mark Gaetz (R-Fla) all of whom can be expected to continue their Bulldog approach as the Committee begins preparing Articles of Impeachment.

For instance, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala) asked the defining question regarding the purpose of the hearing with "no fact witnesses " via a process that has been " insufficient, unprecedented and grossly inadequate ." Roby pointed out that the Dems had apparently not considered: that a constitutional law panel should come " only after specific charges have been made known and underlying facts presented in full due to an exhaustive investigation. How does anyone expect a panel of law professors to weigh in on legal grounds for impeachment prior to knowing what the grounds brought by this Committee are going to be ?

At her news conference the day after the Judiciary committee hearing, Pelosi was asked by a reporter " Do you hate President Trump ?" Pelosi responded with a shaky false piety as if she knows the votes are not there:

We don't hate anybody. Not anybody in the World. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is full – a heart full of love and always pray for the president, And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time, So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

It is a curiosity that with the 2020 election a scant twelve months away, the Democrats have not made the case for the urgency of why impeachment needs to occur right now, immediately, before the Christmas holidays when the Spirit of Good Cheer, Universal Love and Peace for all Americans should take precedence over the Democrat's divisive animosity, pitting one American against another.

In 2018, thirty-one new Democrats were elected to the House; predominately from districts that voted for Trump in 2016 assuring a tough 2020 re-election campaign.

Let's assume that every one of those 31 newbies have been paying very close attention to the Intel and Judiciary committee hearings with two questions in mind:

Is there sufficient legal evidence to convince my constituents to support Articles of Impeachment and is this flawed impeachment campaign worth losing my seat in Congress?

Did any of those 31 notice when the Constitutional law experts were asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz " Can you identify one single material fact in the Schiff Report? – all four remained silent.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-0SC) has already indicated that he does not intend to 'whip" the Dems in preparation for an Impeachment vote on the House floor and that the Dems "expect to lose some votes."

Let's do the math: With 233 Dems and 197 Republicans, if 18 of the 31 House newbies do not vote to impeach, the Democratic Motion to approve Articles of Impeachment will fail with a tie of 215 votes. Whether the Dems lose 18 votes or less, the damage will be irreversible.

As the Democratic party appears to have lost whatever is left of its sanity and integrity, the question remains why are the Democrats willing to sacrifice losing some of those 31 House seats in 2020?


Seamus Padraig ,

This whole Schiff-Show is just bizarre. Why are the Dems doing this? In an election year to boot? There is just zero chance that the Senate will remove Trump from office, and the case against him is a total laughing stock anyway. All that's going to happen is that the senators are going to start discussing L'affaire Biden openly and loudly, thereby killing the Dem's current front-runner. Is that what Pelosi wants? Meanwhile, none of their other three dozen or so candidates are going to get any media at all, once this impeachment sucks all the oxygen right out of the room. Is that intentional?

All I can say is, you have to really dig all the way to the bottom of the tinfoil-cooler to find an explanation for this one. Others it makes no sense whatsoever.

wardropper ,

This person has made herself ridiculous by refusing to impeach GWB in 2003, when she knew he was lying about Iraq's weapons.
What has Trump done which is comparable to that death toll?
Proof enough that Washington has nothing more to say to human beings.
The place belongs in The Book of Revelation – and not in the optimistic part

George Cornell ,

So your argument consists essentially of name-calling to exercise your own demons. You make Trump look good, like the other stark raving lunatics opining on this , many in the Democratic Party. You have zero chance of unseating Trump by impeachment and by the looks of things that might not be such a bad thing, he said, making the sign of the cross and mouthing pagan incantations, begging forgiveness from the ether.

You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum."

Rhys Jaggar ,

Would Ms Parsons like to write an OpEd on the US Senate pushing forward false narratives that Russia is 'a promoter of terrorism'?

The biggest promoter of terrorism workdwide since 1945 is the USA, be it through OSS, CIA, or other outsourced channels of coup-promoting violence .

Is it not time a motion were voted upon in the UN on precisely that postulate?

wardropper ,

Unfortunately, as you know, the UN, like NATO, to all intents and purposes actually IS the USA, and vetoes all criticism of itself. And if vetoing doesn't work, it just ignores the criticism. Other recent farces at the UN show the US and Israel sitting alone while the rest of the world condems them, and the condemnation is simply shrugged off.

Astonishing that educated adults put up with it, but there it is.

Rhys Jaggar ,

It is always good to hear of committed political activsts demanding that their own party stick to fundamental principles of justice, adherence to the Constitution etc etc. There does come a point when you have to ask whether this is temporary insanity or metastatic terminal cancer. If it is the latter, America needs new political parties

wardropper ,

This person has made herself ridiculous by refusing to impeach GWB in 2003, when she knew he was lying about Iraq's weapons.
What has Trump done which is comparable to that death toll? Proof enough that Washington has nothing more to say to human beings.
The place belongs in The Book of Revelation – and not in the optimistic part

[Dec 14, 2019] The impeachment

Dec 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The impeachment . The two articles of impeachment are so anemic as to invite ridicule.

1. "Abuse of power" by expressing concern over thievery by Ukrainians and Americans? This is a charge? The Washington Post has been running a series of articles based on "leaked" US Afghan IG reports and interviews with people involved in that wretched place. These articles reveal the massive scale of the thievery that lost America enormous amounts of money taken through graft and bribery. Was it unreasonable for this president to solicit the Ukrainian president's cooperation in trying to deal with a similar situation in that country. He mentioned Uncle Joe Biden and his drug addled son? Well, why not? The younger of the two has IMO been used as the family bag man for collecting protection money. Joe Biden himself looks to me to be a political version of Jimmy Hoffa the mobbed up Teamsters boss of long ago, but, with less charm, "a little for you, a lot for me," etc. He was potentially a rival for the 2020 election? He was not then a candidate. Is every human or semi-human to be exempt from investigation and prosecution because he MIGHT become a political rival? The Democrats know full well this would be absurd.

2. "Obstructing congress" What we are seeing in the behavior of the Democratic majority in the House and minority in the senate is an attempt to seize control of the federal government using the constitutional powers to "advise and consent" on appointments and the ability to impeach in the House.. They have not yet tried to impeach federal judges appointed by the other party but IMO they will try that soon. In this article of impeachment they claim that the president has obstructed their function by relying on the doctrine of Executive Privilege to deny them access to his present and past staff. Trump did not invent this doctrine. It is a well established feature of American law. Without it no president could conduct internal policy discussions or confidential discussions with foreign leaders. The Democrats know full well that the principal of Executive Privilege is often contested in the courts. That is what they should have done this time, but instead they have chosen to charge the president for impeachment for claiming Executive Privilege. They do not claim this is a violation of law. They merely stamp their feet and scream that they are unhappy and want him gone.

This farce will end in a trial in the US Senate with the Chief Justice of SCOTUS presiding. The Republicans control the senate and will not allow Trump to be deposed. The senate can dismiss the charges by a simple majority vote and that is what Senator Lindsey Graham wants to see happen. Trump does not want that. He wants to be tried for the purpose of turning the tables on the Democrats.

I think he is correct in wanting that. If that occurs, witnesses must be subpoenaed and examined in open court. The Bidens must be so called to demonstrate the reasonable nature of Trump's concern over their behavior in Ukraine . pl


Enrico Malatesta , 13 December 2019 at 12:52 PM

I don't think that Trump gets what he wants from the Senate - the Swamp is too deep in the US Congress.
James Lung , 13 December 2019 at 01:21 PM
Just wondering. Suppose the Senate dismisses the Impeachment. Won't the Chief Justice have to rule on the question of whether or not there is at least probable cause for the democrats' determination that this is probable cause to Impeach?
Factotum said in reply to James Lung... , 13 December 2019 at 09:32 PM
Chief Justice could rule on a demurrer which would dismiss the case without a trial - failure to present prima facie elements of the underlying charge. Therefore nothing of fact is triable - case dismissed.

Which is probably why Democrats ditched the more specific treason, bribery and extortion charges, leaving only the garbage can of "abuse of power" and "obstruction" behind. By what standards of evidence are both those remaining elements - abuse of power and obstruction -- even tried, let alone judged?

blue peacock said in reply to srw... , 13 December 2019 at 03:10 PM
That's obvious.

Biden on camera bragging about a quid pro quo to fire a prosecutor examining corruption at a company where Biden's son is on the board taking a fat paycheck with no experience or expertise to have that position.

Bill Wade , 13 December 2019 at 01:39 PM
Am wondering if President Trump can force the trial or if he has to defer to Senator Graham's wishes? TIA
Diana C , 13 December 2019 at 01:41 PM
I agree that Trump should get his wish. He has endured a lot of false "reporting." And those untruths need to be shown for what they are. I wonder if Mitch McConnell would be able to arrange that despite Graham.

I know that Trump's personality attracts that sort of shocked response from some people. Heck, I'm a Republican and was first also opposed to Trump because of his personality. But I'm of the opinion that the Democrats and their fawning media characters have earned a lot of the same sort negative responses and disgust on the part of the people because their personalities are pretty off-putting also.

I'm still suffering from cognitive dissonance because Adam Schiff has somehow actually remained in his elected position. I can't imagine a high school principal allowing someone who does "parody" to continue as a student council candidate.

I do believe that Nancy Pelosi may be really sinking into dementia or alcoholism--just on the basis of her inability to control her dentures. To have those two criticize the character of Trump really seems strange. I feel that I'm watching a Dickens novel performed on national news each day. I can't laugh, though, because this is happening in reality.

JohninMK , 13 December 2019 at 02:04 PM
Given the corruption on both sides of the Senate it is probable that no-one wants an in depth trial during which unwanted facts might accidentally appear. Much better to whisk it through without it touching the sides so to speak.

OK so Trump doesn't get the exoneration he wants but then nothing will explode in his face. Its not a win win but then its not a lose either and it is unlikely to seriously affect his chances next November. Plus as a quid pro quo he might have got his defence spending increase and the trade bill through.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 02:57 PM
johninMK

"the corruption on both sides of the Senate" OK Brit. Explain to us in detail what you think is the "corruption on both sides of the seanate."

John Merryman said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 December 2019 at 10:14 PM
I'm trying to remember the site I read it on, maybe south front, where the point was made the graft flows through these governments we give billions to, back through the various institutes and global initiatives the US politicians set up. McCain and Clinton being the two mentioned. So neither side wants it looked into too deeply.
turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:02 PM
SRW

A conversation between two heads of state is not and should not be conducted as though the subject matter of the conversation is subject to the rules and assumptions of a court of justice.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:04 PM
james Lung

No. Their vote would end the matter. The chief justice would not have a role if the senate votes not to have a trial.

blue peacock , 13 December 2019 at 03:15 PM
Col. Lang

Graham has a vested interest in not having an extensive trial with many witnesses as it may uncover his own culpability in the Ukraine corruption. And of course may drag in Saint McCain too!

His and Mitch's argument to Trump likely would be, that with no trial they can guarantee acquittal but with a trial they can't.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:20 PM
blue peacock

There is no chance that that the senate will remove Trump from office. None!

Paul Damascene , 13 December 2019 at 03:39 PM
An article in the Duran indicates that and why Senate Republicans may buck Trump's wishes, as they are as deep in Ukraine corruption as any of the Dems are. Lindsay, the late John M and Sleep Joe are perhaps the most deeply planted ...
Fred -> Paul Damascene... , 13 December 2019 at 06:37 PM
Paul,

You mean that with the same investigative power the Obama administration had he has none of the alleged evidence on senators you allude to? What a wonderful implication from a Cyprus based media outlet founded in 2016 and run by the host of an RT political show.
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-duran/

Dave Schuler , 13 December 2019 at 03:46 PM
As of today Trump's approval rating is 43.9% and Congress's approval rating is 24%. I gather that the House Democrats don't realize how unpopular they are and how many Americans support "obstruction of Congress". Are they trying to turn Trump into a national hero?
Harper , 13 December 2019 at 03:57 PM
In the legitimate focus on the impeachment, a stunning revelation in the Horowitz report has been largely overlooked. In January 2017, the FBI conducted three interviews with the key source to Christopher Steele for his dossier. He told interviewed on all three occasions that the material he passed on to Steele was gossip and second and third-hand rumors with no proof. He even said that the sexual allegations were actually a joke and he never meant for them to be taken serious. The FBI in seeking the follow-on FISA warrant merely reported they interviewed Steele's source and he was "cooperative and candid." No content reported.

In addition, Horowitz found email exchanges between FBI and CIA, in which the FBI inquired if Carter Page was a CIA source. Three times the CIA responded "yes." But the FBI agent preparing the affidavit for the FISA renewal lied and wrote "no" to the question of Page's CIA work. That was the false statement Horowitz referred to.

These are serious crimes by FBI officials and they should not go unnoted in the MSM or left to be ignored. I hope that Durham is carefully reading every word of the Horowitz report for points of criminal misconduct to present to his Federal grand jury.

You can't fully discuss impeachment of Trump without going back to the first cause, and in this case it was clearly criminal misconduct by Federal law enforcement.

Cortes , 13 December 2019 at 04:59 PM
b of Moonofalabama speculates

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/12/the-impeachment-deal-between-the-house-and-the-senate.html#comments

that a bipartisan agreement exists that the Democrats can introduce the impeachment but the majority Republicans will vote it out without trial.

An approach which seems plausible. But after nigh on four full years of a campaign against initially a candidate and for the majority of the time the holder of the presidential office involving lurid allegations might not a trial be helpful in restoring some public confidence in the body politic? And in reducing the levels of vitriol.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 06:25 PM
cortes

I have warned people against using SST as a bulletin board for other blogs. why should I not ban you?

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 06:31 PM
Paul Damascene

What is "the Duran?"

robt willmann , 13 December 2019 at 09:14 PM
Earlier today a person asked me what was going to happen in the impeachment trial, and I said that the senate will decide that after the case gets to them. The rules of procedure and rules of evidence (if any!) will be determined by the senate.

The U.S. Constitution says in Article 1, section 3 that--

"The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.

"Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, trust, or profit, under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law".

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Repub. Kentucky) appeared on the Sean Hannity television show on FoxNews and said in essence that how a trial will proceed is up in the air, as he explains at the 1 minute mark until 2 minutes and 17 seconds into the video--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ-qnp9QLV8

McConnell, as usual, carefully maintains his position, and says that everything he does about an impeachment trial, "I am coordinating with White House counsel". And, "There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can".

What McConnell is obviously doing is protecting himself no matter what the political effect of the content of the trial may be.

He says: "We all know how it's going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office".

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 10:24 PM
John Merryman

It is worse than that. Groups of current or former high level employees band together to bid on large scale development contracts. They have local partners and the loot is tremendous.

[Dec 14, 2019] FBI EXPOSED: Lindsey Graham DETAILS Massive FBI Bias Against President Trump

Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

FOX 10 Phoenix 722K subscribers The U.S. attorney who is conducting a wide-ranging investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe released a rare statement Monday saying he disagrees with conclusions of the so-called FISA report -- after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found in that review that the probe's launch largely complied with DOJ and FBI policies. "Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report's conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened," U.S. Attorney John Durham said in a statement. Horowitz released his report Monday saying his investigators found no intentional misconduct or political bias surrounding efforts to launch that 2016 probe and to seek a highly controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the early months of the investigation. Still, it found that there were "significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised." "I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff," Durham said. "However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S." As Horowitz has conducted his review of DOJ actions during the Russia probe, Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, has also been conducting a wider inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Fox News reported in October that Durham's ongoing probe has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation. Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr ripped the FBI's "intrusive" investigation after the release of Horowitz's review, saying it was launched based on the "thinnest of suspicions." "The Inspector General's report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken," Barr said in a statement. Barr expressed frustration that the FBI continued investigating the Trump campaign, even as "exculpatory" information came to the light.


Matthew McKay , 2 days ago

When the FBI lies to a court it's called an "Irregularity" When you or I lie to a court, it's called "Perjury" and we go to jail.

Are See , 2 days ago

The history of FBI and DOJ lying and legal abuse is much older than Trump. Read Sidney Powell's LICENSED TO LIE. Been going on since at least the Enron prosecutions. And judges are just as much to blame.

Terry R , 2 days ago

This is what we get for having so many lawyers in office.

Guitarguts63 , 2 days ago

16 minutes and 30 seconds in should be labeled as treason

Liam Daniels , 2 days ago

The evidence is glaring. Indictments need to be handed out or else this is a mockery of justice

Geena Gador , 2 days ago

Talk is cheap. DO something to bring justice to the perpetrators.

sethgabel , 2 days ago

Page and Strzok conversation is more like insurgency than pillow talk.

SWFL Motorsports Fan , 2 days ago

Thank God for: Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Doug Collins, Jim Jordan, and Louie Gohmert to represent our country in this mess to shed light on whats been going on. Drain the swamp in Washington!

Wynette Greer , 2 days ago

The CIA are just as corrupt as the FBI , they have even more power to abuse !

Lillie Holmes , 2 days ago

WOW all the investigations they did on Trump was just to set him up, James Comey should be arrested

Karlyn Pinson , 2 days ago

HOROWITZ'S IS A DEEP STATE SWAMP RAT. FIRE HIM

Arlene Duran , 2 days ago

CNN should be sued and barred from all angles of media. Dangerous very very dangerous situation.

Michael Carr , 2 days ago

And the tax payers of the United States spent 40 million dollars investigating Trump because of the Steele Dossier. Terrible, just awful.

Crystal kellim , 1 day ago

Why aren't Lisa page and stroke in cuffs by NOW, this is conspiracy, treasonous behavior.... biased and they think they are above Americans.

[Dec 14, 2019] Meadows reacts to IG report: 'Doesn't get any more damning than this'

Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Sean Nolan , 4 days ago

The dems slandered Barr and Durham but not Horowitz, now we know why .

Tim Burton , 4 days ago

Graham running cover for the Deep-State and directing us to low-level offenders NOT obama/hillary/DNC and their FAILED CoupD'etat's

SwapPart, LLC , 4 days ago

Horowitz is just afraid of being added to the Clinton's body count.

William Bailey , 4 days ago

Well folks there you have it. The deep state investigated themselves and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

Rice Family , 4 days ago (edited)

It's insane to say there were "17 material omissions, miss-representations (lies) and errors" - but no evidence of bias. This is like accidentally shooting someone 17 times.

[Dec 14, 2019] Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation

Highly recommended!
Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview: done in "bad faith" = SEDITION !!!! Deep State operatives...ie, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Stork, Lisa, McCabe, should be held accountable. Obama should probably be impeached.
The hard fact is, that the top of the FBI knew, in advance, that the "dossier" was just bs invented by Russian liars, for money, to be used as political lies for kilary's campaign. It Wasn't evidence and Comey knew far in advance of crossfire hurricane. I can't see less than 20 years in comey's future. That same includes barak, brennan and clapper, who were all informed, willing accomplices in this crime.
10:30 Whoever in FBI that intentionally misled the court using the Steele dossier knowing that the dossier was "total rubbish" as Barr states, needs to be inditing immediately. Why we are continuing to investigate instead of inditimg while continuing to investigate. Until these people are held accountable I don't think our country will begin to heal and media and others apologize to the country for the damage they have done.
7:49 - "Comey refused to sign back up for his security clearance, and therefore couldn't be questioned about classified matters." Well now, isn't that interesting. Haven't heard that one before.
Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

In an exclusive interview, Attorney General William Barr spoke to NBC News' Pete Williams about the findings on the Justice Department Inspector General's report on the Russia investigation and his criticisms of the FBI.


grabir01 , 3 days ago

It appears that none of AG Barr's answers were what Pete Williams wanted to hear.

Gary Ellis , 2 days ago

I sincerely hope that the Durham investigation brings people to justice for what they have done to our country.

greg j , 2 days ago

The man just admitted "this may be the biggest conspiracy in U.S Political History." Ouch!

Jeremy Elice , 3 days ago

Shame we didn't get to see Pete William's face during Barr's answer accusing "an irresponsible press of fanning the flames."

JOHN DRUMHELLER , 2 days ago

Here's the adult in the room. Look out children.

Hart , 1 day ago

This is like if Watergate was on steroids and then some. Everyone involved should be prosecuted including the person who bought the dossier

Russell McAfee , 1 day ago (edited)

The FBI never got the actual DNC server. Crowdstrike has it. The FBI got a 'forensic copy'

Richard McLeod , 1 day ago

The FBI has now been proven to be corrupt at its' highest levels.

King Eris , 1 day ago

I could listen to AG Barr talk for hours. He's so calm and professional.

Noble Victory , 1 day ago

Barr is so intelligent and just. He's smoothe like the way he plays the Bagpipes. Pretty amazing! 🇺🇸👍

Nolan Gleason , 3 days ago

Death to the swamp

ctafrance , 1 day ago

The press is hopelessly corrupt. If we didn't know it already, this interview proves it.

Roman King , 1 day ago (edited)

I'm So glade we have a competent attorney General pushing back on the massive disinformation narrative that comes from Giant News outlets of which are used to being unchallenged, unchecked by today's "journalistic standards"

Clarion Call , 2 days ago

I so respect and admire this man's brain and logical thinking. His vocabulary is great as well.

wkcw1 , 2 days ago

NBC realizing they need to take a bath on this whole thing. Probably a bit too late now.

barbandrob1 , 1 day ago

Barr just basically clarified and justified Fox news reporting over the last 2 years.. Thanks NBC

Faris Hamarneh , 3 days ago

I love Barr's nonchalant style. But this is real big and heads are going to roll

Craig Bigelow , 2 days ago

Obama spied on Trump. Obama should have known about the FISA warrant!

Luis Santiago , 1 day ago

so this guy really asked Bahr"why not open an investigation even with little evidence?" because is a violation of civil liberties to invade the privacy of law abiding citizens. You need compelling evidence for something so huge

macfan128 , 1 day ago

17:44 "Why should the Attorney General care that the FBI was spying on a presidential candidate?" LOLOLOLOL Our media is a jooooooooke.

David , 3 days ago

NBC did a straight up interview??? This is shocking. Who told them that they could start doing journalism again?

Bill the Cat , 2 days ago

Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview.

Alan Sullivan , 1 day ago

Horowitz should be instructed to edit or update his Report to discuss The Question of Bias and Evidence of Bias. He has clearly misguided Americans with his choice of words and has omitted important facts underpinning bias.

MegaTrucker65 , 1 day ago

I haven't looked into Ukraine YET.

Gamer John3:18 , 1 day ago

AG Barr is an outstanding role model, a man of integrity and wisdom, calm in a raging political storm. I have full confidence he will make those who fabricated evidence and hid exculpatory evidence finally face justice. AG Barr for President 2024!

Yo Mama , 2 days ago

Barr is a straight shooter and I love it. It sounds like we will get to the real truth eventually through Durhams investigation I just hope it doesnt take another year to get to the prosecutions.


Direbear Coat , 1 day ago

So, I watched the interview... The video is called, "Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation." Not once did I hear him criticize the I.G.'s report. In fact, A.G. Barr clarified that the I.G.'s report was limited in scope because of the limitations put on the I.G. He said that the report was appropriate.

Wolverines Fight , 1 day ago

It's scary to see how powerful the corruption of the Democratic Party has grown. It represents a serious threat to all our personal freedom. The Democratic Party has to be stopped.

Benny .Burmeister Jørgensen , 3 days ago

Ok after watching this interview its quite clear that Barr and Durham is going after these criminals and people are going to jail. Maybe there is hope for US yet becuase this dane consider US atm a banana republic. Spying on political candidates? Forging documents? You FBI behaving like Stalins secret police. Lets see what happen.

Mike Dorsey , 1 day ago

God Bless Bill Barr. I'm glad there's still some adults in government that will speak their mind intelligently, rationally and unabashedly.

protochris , 1 day ago

This guy is brilliant; he's clearly exposing the FBI and the barking dogs on the alphabet networks.

Dan Kuo , 1 day ago

Amazing for the AG to go in deep into enemy territory at the heart of the opposition media to lay out a case for the criminal activities that undermined our country prior to and after the 2016 election. The deep state is trembling at the prospect of being held accountable after all the facts are laid out to the american people that these activities cannot be brushed aside or swept under the carpet if we are to continue as a country.

Jbyrd Texas , 2 days ago

The corrupt media is trying to act like they have not been involved in this treasonous scam since the beginning working directly with the treasonous cabal. The media has been lying and pushing fake news for 3 years calling Trump a Russia agent and called him treasonous. I knew the whole time that they were lying there was evidence from day one that this was all lies and if I can see that from the public then they can definitely see that from the inside they are purposefully lying.

Stephan Coutts , 1 day ago

I dare anyone on here to research Barr's History back to his involvement in the assignation of JFK, the cover up, defending Nixon, Epstein, and many other illegal and immoral activities. After reviewing the evidence, I walked away believing that Barr is trying to cover up his tracks so he does do jail time. No need to reply. Either take my dare or not. God Bless America and ALL her people, Stephan

Worlds Best Metal Detectorist , 2 days ago

The public are sick of waiting . I find myself skipping through a half hour news show in 5 minutes flat looking for arrests ,whereas before I was rivited to every minute of the half hour show but it goes on and on and at the there is Nothiing .The Democrats are the masters , it's obvious . If they break the law they get off scott free . If you are republican wave bye bye , you will be in jail for years . America is not the free and fair country it is all cracked up to be . It is corrupted by the democrats who have peoiple in high places that thwart real justice.

Right Thinking , 3 days ago

Mifsud approached George! Who was Mifsud working for (western asset) and why did he approach George? He’s the one who offered George dirt on Hill. Then invited him to meet the fake “niece”, of Putin, in England! What about this information? Someone set George up to make this happen outside the US, because of EO 12333. It had to happen outside the US so they could go to the fisa court!

dethtrk Jones , 3 days ago

I dont trust Christopher Wrey. He keeps slow-walking all the FBI documents and declassifications. He also fights judicial watch and judges that rule in their favor and continue not giving over what is ordered! This last judge was ready to hold him in contempt for refusing to cooperate with court ordered documents.

Brad Brown , 2 days ago

Why did the FBI continue to investigate Trump after January when the case collapsed? To try and find a way to impeach Trump. Remember the Washington Post headlined article right after the inauguration "The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is already underway." The FBI "insurance" policy was essential!

[Dec 14, 2019] 'The Five' reacts to Barr blasting FBI's Trump probe

Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Dan Bogardo , 2 days ago

This is Washington corruption, and they wonder why Trump was voted in.

human151 , 2 days ago

Does Horowitz really expect people to believe his conclusions? The guy is obviously dirty.

[Dec 14, 2019] In politics there are no accidents by Harry Truman

Notable quotes:
"... While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home. ..."
"... Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

squid, 7 hours ago link

They want to do it by Christmas in the vain hope that this circus will all blow over by November. I think not.

While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home.

Part of me, however, thinks back to something that Harry Truman said, "in politics there are no accidents" .

Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

The Republicans will have both houses when in 2024 the the tax take will barley cover interest.

Meme Iamfurst , 6 hours ago link

designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

Been thinking along the same lines. May be the last thing they want is to be "on line" in 2021. I even wonder if CNN and BSNBC, etc, are there to DRIVE the decent Democrat to the Republicians.

I do think that things are not adding up.

[Dec 14, 2019] FISA Court Falls Under Congressional Scrutiny Following IG Report

Notable quotes:
"... And in the case of Carter Page, the FISA judges initially denied a warrant to surveil the former Trump aide until the agency padded the application with the wildly unverified Steele Report , lying about Steele's credibility, and then fabricating evidence to specifically say Page was not an "operational contact" for the CIA , when in fact he was - and had a "positive assessment." ..."
"... Let's not forget that FISA court judge Rudolph Contreras recused himself from overseeing the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn due to his personal friendship with former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok. ..."
"... And the only reason Contreras did so was because his friendship with Strzok was revealed in their anti-Trump text messages found by the Inspector General. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The shadowy Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) and the processes behind obtaining a warrant from it has fallen under harsh scrutiny by lawmakers following the release of the DOJ Inspector General's report which found that the FBI was able to easily mislead the judges to surveil Trump adviser Carter Page.

FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras, who recused himself from the Mike Flynn case after his friendship with former FBI agent Peter Strzok was revealed in text messages.

"The goal is to make sure this doesn't happen again, so you tighten up the system right," said Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), adding: "Quite frankly, I'm looking at the FISA court itself. ... I'm looking for the court to tell the public, 'Hey, we're upset about this too,' and, you know, take some corrective steps."

Graham said his committee will look into legislation to introduce more "checks and balances" to the FISA process, according to The Hill .

When asked if he thought there would be bipartisan support for FISA reform, Sen. Dick Durban (D-IL) said "I hope so," adding "This was a real wake-up call that three different teams can screw this up at the FBI."

The renewed interest comes after five hours of partisan barb trading during a Judiciary hearing Wednesday with Horowitz that resulted in one clear bipartisan interest: overhauling the FISA court.

"One of the only points I've heard with bipartisan agreement today is a renewed interest in reforming the FISA process," said Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.). - The Hill

Created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, the FISA court is made up of 11 judges who are chosen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court to serve seven-year terms. They are responsible for approving warrant applications for intelligence gathering purposes and national security operations, which - as The Hill notes, "more often than not, they sign off."

And in the case of Carter Page, the FISA judges initially denied a warrant to surveil the former Trump aide until the agency padded the application with the wildly unverified Steele Report , lying about Steele's credibility, and then fabricating evidence to specifically say Page was not an "operational contact" for the CIA , when in fact he was - and had a "positive assessment."

Last year the government filed 1,117 FISA warrant applications, including 1,081 for electronic monitoring. The court signed off on 1,079 according to a DOJ report.

That said, reform may come slowly.

But the timeline for any legislative reforms is unclear. Congress already faces a mid-March deadline to extend expiring surveillance authorities under the USA Freedom Act.

Durbin suggested the discussions could merge, while Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a longtime privacy advocate, appeared skeptical that Republicans would ultimately get on board with broader changes to surveillance powers.

"Why after YEARS of blocking bipartisan FISA reforms are senior Republicans suddenly interested in it? There is no question that we need to improve transparency, accountability and oversight of the FISA process," Wyden tweeted. - The Hill

Still, the IG report appears to have 'enlightened' some GOP lawmakers who previously resisted the notion of reining in FISA courts . Several GOP senators gave credit to their libertarian-minded colleagues on the hill, who have pushed for surveillance reform after accurately predicting the potential for abuse.

Those who have long-advocated for reform include GOP Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.), according to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

"I wish Mike Lee weren't sitting here two people from me right now, because as a national security hawk I've argued with Mike Lee in the 4 1/2 or five years that I've been in the Senate that stuff just like this couldn't possibly happen at the FBI and at the Department of Justice," said Sasse during the Horowitz testimony, who added that the IG's findings marked a "massive crisis of public trust" since we should know about FISA applications that aren ' t as high-profile as Page's.

Horowitz reported a total of 17 "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in the applications to monitor Page , taking particular issue with applications to renew the FISA warrant and chastising the FBI for a lack of satisfactory explanations for those mistakes.

Horowitz stressed that he would not have submitted the follow-up applications as they were drafted by the FBI . Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI lawyer, altered an email related to the warrant renewal application, according to Horowitz's report.

" [The] applications made it appear as though the evidence supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case ," Horowitz said. " We also found basic, fundamental and serious errors during the completion of the FBl's factual accuracy reviews. "

Horowitz also found that there were errors that "represent serious performance failures by the supervisory and non-supervisory agents with responsibility over the FISA applications." - The Hill

Let's not forget that FISA court judge Rudolph Contreras recused himself from overseeing the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn due to his personal friendship with former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok.

And the only reason Contreras did so was because his friendship with Strzok was revealed in their anti-Trump text messages found by the Inspector General.

[Dec 14, 2019] To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Md4 , 8 hours ago link

No reputable legal authority would fear ensuring due process for an accused, unless it had no evidence of an actual crime to justify prosecution...but DID have ulterior motives and nefarious purposes for doing so.

Let's be clear.

To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election.

***.

Nada.

We have the opinion of domestic intelligence agencies, but we have no physical or direct evidence.

On the contrary, we have as much reason to believe some or all of them interfered in the Trump campaign, to orchestrate and execute a foreign interference hoax against Trump, before and after his election.

Daily, and throughout this sick prog left congressional abuse of power, we have repeatedly heard claims of an "ongoing war with Russia" in Ukraine.

Which war is this? Is this a continuation of the non-invasion of the Donbas in 2014? The specious and false claims of Russian troop concentrations, and tanks rolling, that even spy satellites didn't see? Are we still lying about this? If so, where are the media reports of Russian airstrikes, burning Ukrainian villages, or body bags?

In any "on-going" war with Russia, we would've been treated to near-constant news video of Russian armor all over eastern Ukraine. Have we? Perhaps this war they keep telling us about is like the Russian "invasion" of Crimea that didn't happen either.

We clearly remember the two Crimean-initiated referenda which put them back in their ancestral Russian homelands, but none of that had anything to do with invading Russians, who already had a substantial military presence in Crimea for decades.

No sir, Professor Turley. ​​​​​​

There is no basis whatsoever for Trump's impeachment.

There is mounting evidence of a continued coup against this president, and the substantial number of Americans who actually elected him.

We too are closely monitoring the actual situation...

[Dec 14, 2019] Warmongeing is the national sport for the neoliberal elite in the USA

As Tony Kevin reported (watch-v=dJiS3nFzsWg) at one small fundraiser Bill Clinton made an interesting remark. He said that the USA should always have enemies. That's absolutely true, this this is a way to unite such a society as we have in the USA. probably the only way. And Russia simply fits the bill. Very convenient bogeyman.
Notable quotes:
"... The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Twolfe , 10 Dec 2019 16:30

One aspect of this report in the NYT is very troubling but not a great surprise to those who pay attention to Asian affairs.

The reports that US military leaders had no idea of what to do in Afghanistan and constantly lied to the public should rouse citizens in America to take a different view of military leaders. That view must be to trust nothing coming from the Pentagon or from spokespersons for the military. Included must be any and all secretaries of defence, and all branches of the military.

It is totally unacceptable that 1-2 trillion dollars and several thousand lives were spent by America for some nebulous cause. This does not include many thousands of civilians.

During the Vietnam disaster, it became obvious that American military was lying to the public and taking many causalities in an unwinnable war. Nothing was learned about Asia or Asian culture because America entered Afghanistan without a real plan and no understanding of the country or it's history.

The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium.

[Dec 14, 2019] A Determined Effort to Undermine Russia

Highly recommended!
The USA "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine requires weakening and, if possible, partitioning Russia.
Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin tells the audience that Skripals poisoning was a false flag operation. 7:00
He also point several weak points in Western politicians narrative about MH17
Notable quotes:
"... Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America ..."
"... Putin made it clear when he said the next war would not be fought inside Russia. The troglodytes in the West are unable to grasp not only what that means, but why he said it. ..."
"... The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans). ..."
"... I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!) ..."
"... There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause". ..."
"... Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic. ..."
"... "Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly. But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined." ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin, in conversation with former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, says the West is unnecessarily determined to undermine Russia.

A t an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause.

When Kevin said he returned to Russia after more than 40 years in 2016 he realized he "had to take sides" in the U.S.-Russia standoff when all Nato countries boycotted the Moscow celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

"I had to take a moral position that it is not right for the West to be ganging up on Russia," Kevin says in his conversation with the former Australian foreign minister.

The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate.

Watch the hour-long in depth discussion which was filmed and produced by Consortium News' CN Live! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dJiS3nFzsWg?feature=oembed

Tags: Bob Carr Russia Russiagate Russophobia Tony Kevin Vladimir Putin


Tom Culpeper , December 11, 2019 at 16:03

Putin & the Russian citizenry play chess on this 3-dimensional world.! The Americas and their inane elites attempt checkers on their flat Earth . Pity, some such as Noam Chomsky are admirable world citizens..! Pity again.! WE will miss men of this honest calibre and down- to-earth intelligence. Bob Carr is of this cohort.

Eugenie Basile , December 10, 2019 at 03:36

The 'Russia did it' mantra is a gift for the powers in the Kremlin. It rallies most Russians behind their leaders because they are proud of their country and don't accept the West's moral hypocrite grandstanding.

Just recently the WADA proclaimed sporting ban against Russia is a perfect example. It excludes all Russian athletes because they happen to represent their country while U.S. athletes who have been caught cheating in the past are allowed to participate .

Jerry Alatalo , December 10, 2019 at 00:30

It is very encouraging to know there are good people like Mr. Tony Kevin and Mr. Bob Carr alive and sharing their powerful wisdom at this dangerous historical point on planet Earth. Mr. Kevin and Mr. Carr's immensely important and courageously honest discussion should become – immediately, and for many years to come – required study in university classrooms and government halls around this world.

Peace.

ElderD , December 9, 2019 at 15:03

Tony's (especially!) and Bob's sane and sensible view of this dangerous and destructive state of affairs deserve the widest possible distribution and attention.

George McGlynn , December 9, 2019 at 13:27

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Soviet Union, and little has changed. Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America. The further we distance ourselves from the end of the Cold War, the closer we come to its revival. Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured.

peter mcloughlin , December 9, 2019 at 10:45

It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is.

Lois Gagnon , December 9, 2019 at 17:30

I agree. Putin made it clear when he said the next war would not be fought inside Russia. The troglodytes in the West are unable to grasp not only what that means, but why he said it.

AnneR , December 9, 2019 at 07:48

The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans).

Then there were allegations – of those "highly likely" (therefore one knows to be untrue and unadulterated propaganda to increase Russophobia) sort – about Russian hackers (always giving the impression that the "Kremlin" is behind itl) being the Labour Party's source of the Tory party's US-UK trade deal which would/will deliberately and finally destroy the NHS and replace it with (of course) US "health" insurance company profiteering.

(Always the Tory intention from the NHS's initiation in May of 1948; only its popularity among many Tory party supporters among the working and lower middle classes prevented them from a full-frontal killing off the NHS; the Snatcher's government began the undermining, via installing a top-heavy bureaucratization, siphoning off a sizable proportion of the funds that would otherwise have gone to medical care, demanding that hospitals not "lose" money – a concept completely beyond the remit of the NHS as originally conceived and constructed and like exactions.)

Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency).

Someone even suggested that President Putin needed to be diplomatic. Really? From what I've read the man is the most diplomatic and intelligent politician (not just political leader) along with Xi Jinping and the Iranian government that exist on the world stage. None of them are hubristic, solipsistic, eager beaver killers of peoples in other countries. Unlike their western "world" political counterparts.

Jeff Harrison , December 8, 2019 at 18:30

Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing.

St. Ronnie's whole thing back in the 80's was to outspend Russia militarily and it worked well. We're trying to do it again but Russia isn't playing the same game this time and now it is the US that has a mountain of debt and Russia that doesn't.

SIPIRI tags US military spending at $650B and Russian military spending at $62B. But we know that the $650B number is bogus because it doesn't include our in-violation-of-the-NNPT nuclear program which is in the energy department or our veteran's expenses which are in HHS. I don't know what's missing from Russia's $62B but I'll bet they can sustain that a whole lot better than we can sustain our $650B and rising bill.

Antonio Costa , December 9, 2019 at 13:17

Good point regarding Russia's downsizing the Soviet Union. From Gorbachev to Putin there was NEVER a surrender, intended in any way. The intent has been multilateral partnerships. For Russia the US/West won nothing at all except the opportunity to live and work in peace. (By the way this policy has a long Russian history.)

They gave up the Warsaw Pact and America with our worthless "word" expanded NATO.

The US foreign policy has lost even the semblance of sanity. Our naked aggression is clear as never before, a mad man throwing a global fit armed with megaton nuclear projectiles on trigger first strike alert. What could go wrong?

nondimenticare , December 8, 2019 at 15:56

If, magically, Consortium News/CN Live! were a mass-distribution network/magazine (hence universally consulted), allowing the light in for the mass of the viewing and listening public, it could change the world – both an exalting and despairing thought.

Lily , December 8, 2019 at 09:52

It is a great joy to listen to this conversation!

I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!)

I wish people would have the courage to break away from the group pressure originated by a nation which has been started by killing more than 90% of the indigenous people in their country and since then has turned the worl into a very insecure place.

Chapeau, Tony Kevin! Thanks to Bob Carr and Consortiums News.

Lily , December 9, 2019 at 01:18

It seems that some facts are beginning to be realized in the military department.

www(dot)zerohedge(dot)com/geopolitical/pentagon-alarmed-russia-gaining-sympathy-among-us-troops

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 8, 2019 at 07:30

"At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause."

The American establishment's problem with Russia is simply that Russia is the only country on earth capable of obliterating the United States. Not even China has yet reached that capacity.

"Carthago delenda est"

Skip Scott , December 9, 2019 at 06:13

There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause".

Bruno DP , December 8, 2019 at 02:34

The West is ganging up on Russia? Replace "West" by "United States of America", and I will agree.

Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic.

Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.

But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined.

Martin Schuchert , December 8, 2019 at 17:33

I'm German, living in the US, and I agree with your comment. I especially love the last two sentences:

"Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly. But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined."

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment trial would be amusing to watch. However, the end result is a lose-lose for The United States no matter who wins.

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

D. Fuller , December 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm

It would be amusing to watch. However, the end result is a lose-lose for The United States no matter who wins.

Crook(D) v Crook(R) is the perception – much as it is with impeachment with Pelosi playing the part of Biden – with Trump standing a good chance to win. As of right now, the 2020 election is Democrats to lose. They are doing a great job of that so far and it is not even 2020.

Centrist Democrats will be trying to court the same voters – suburban center-right Republicans – that Trump will be angling to get. Should it be Biden that wins the nomination.

If Sanders somehow is nominated and Trump refuses to engage in debats? Run a "Trump Tucks Tail and Runs" campaign with a massive highlight of his policy failures. Trump excels in the arena of personal attacks. Biden would lose. Sanders could keep it clean and focused on policy, dropping nuke after nuke on Trump. With Biden? Given how Centrist Democrats and Republicans are both guilty of cooperating on issues such as Syria, Libya, Wall Street, torture, Iraq, etc?

Centrist Democrats have no powder or if they do? Their powder is all wet. It was amazing the number of policy attacks and opportunities that Centrist Democrats had to use against Trump in 2016 yet were too afraid to. Opting for personal attacks. I still remember that ambush by Andersen Cooper and Hillary Clinton against Trump at the 2nd(?) debate discussing the allegations against Trump regarding rape, etc.

Never mind that Hillary Clinton had Bill with his prior allegations of sexual abuse. That was the lamest ambush I've ever seen. You could practically see Hillary Clinton's vein pop out on her forehead when Trump responded. I thought she was going to have a stroke. That ambush wasted approximately 25 minutes of debate time and achieved less than nothing.

As we've seen with the latest funding bill? Centrist Democrats gave Trump what he wanted. So, what do Centrist Democrats have to run on?

Practically nothing.

[Dec 14, 2019] McConnell: There's No Chance The President's Going To Be Removed

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In a rare interview on Fox News' "Hannity" Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed certainty that President Donald Trump would stay in office despite the fact that there has yet to be a vote on impeachment .

"There's no chance the President's going to be removed from office," McConnell told Hannity.

Further, McConnell said he expects all Republicans and even some Democrats to vote against impeachment.

"This is a thoroughly political exercise. It's not like a courtroom experience, It's a political exercise. They've been trying to do this for three years. They've finally screwed up their courage to do it," McConnell said.

He continued,

" It looks to me like it may be backfiring on them particularly in swing districts that the Speaker's party managed to win in order to get the majority. Most of the nervousness I see on this issue with politicians since it's a political process is on the Democratic side."

House Democrats charged the President with abuse of power and obstruction of congress earlier this week. Soon after, the House Judiciary Committee began debating those charges. They were expected to hold an official vote late Thursday after debating the articles for fourteen hours, but the Committee's Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delayed that vote .

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment vote represents a trap for Sanders

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:54 am

When the Impeachment gets finally voted on in the Senate, what will Sanders do? He will do best by being true to his own self, regardless of what votes he loses whichever way he votes.

But I hope that being true to himself involves voting NOT to remove. Because depending on how bitter the Democratic Convention is, a Nominee Sanders may get few or zero Clintonite Democratic votes by definition, regardless of what he does. Whereas if he votes TO remove, he will lose any votes, or even respectful hearing, that he might have had otherwise among the deplorables.

[Dec 13, 2019] Women have proven over the centuries that they can be just as bloodthirsty when in power

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Marygoal , 10 Dec 2019 14:03

... Women have proven over the centuries that they can be just as bloodthirsty when in power. Indeed one of them is busy in The Hague as we speak.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Notable quotes:
"... the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ( "deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen. ..."
"... the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools? ..."
"... damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses. ..."
"... First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:23 utc | 57

Hopefully readers can now clearly see that the bunny persona is disingenuous and is here primarily for spin management.

psychohistorian @36 , on the other hand, is quite legit and raises points that are worth discussing.

So we have to ask, cui bono? Lets start answering that question by identifying who is not benefitting:
  1. The American public economically...except the top X%
  2. The Congress Critters that are being made to look corrupt
  3. The Deep State of various branches of government
  4. Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations

Point #1 is no big surprise. The elites (including Trump) firmly believe that what is good for them personally is good for everyone. What is good for the lord of the land is good for his serfs, right? There is, however, a caveat to this that I want to touch on later.

Points #2 and #3 are problematic. ...the credibility of the Congress Critters is undeniably taking a severe hit. As well the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ( "deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen.

So points #2 and #3 are absolutely true, but they are problematic because they conflict with the narrative that the circus we've been watching play out in D.C. since the 2016 elections is all intentional and choreographed by the elites. I don't think anyone here would dispute that the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools?

No, these two points by themselves expose the falsity of the notion that what we are witnessing playing out in the imperial capital was the intended outcome of the 2016 elections. Furthermore, damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses.

Point #4 about who is not benefiting, "Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations" , is related to the caveat that I mentioned above.

First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits.

The reader should be able to see that not all oligarchs are created equal. While all of the oligarchs share the imperative of maintaining the oligarchy itself and expanding the empire that it operates within, their interests begin to diverge outside of those issues. In particular, finance oligarchs and real estate oligarchs have a natural antagonism. This antagonism also exists between the finance oligarchs and the fixed-capital oligarchs. Current imperial policy strongly favors the finance oligarchs. The other oligarchs are willing to accept that so long as the economy continues to grow in real terms, but that hasn't been happening for years now within the empire. Because of this we are now seeing infighting among the oligarchs, with Trump being on the side of the non-finance underdogs.

Does this mean that the reader should become a fan of Trump? Not if one is prone to latching onto powerful individuals as saviors. If, on the other hand, personal emotional attachment can be kept at the level of rooting for one stranger in a drunken bum fight over the other stranger then it should be perfectly acceptable. It doesn't hurt to cheer the oligarchs on when they fight among themselves.


William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:26 utc | 58

"Do I have that right?" --polecat @50

That sounds about right!

vk , Dec 13 2019 13:41 utc | 59
@ Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

The problem is that you don't got to change the rules when they don't fit you anymore. The USA has deprived the rest of the world of "dignity" for 70 years. Now that China is being better than the USA at its own game, it's going to change the game?

Unfortunately to the likes of Rubio, that's not how the real world works, because the real world is not a game.

--//--

Speaking of the USA:

American households see increasingly heavier debt burden

The aggregate household debt balances in the U.S. increased to a record high of $13.95 trillion, or 73 percent of the country's GDP, in the third quarter of 2019, said a recent report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mortgage balances accounted for 2/3 of the total household debt balances, followed by student loans that took 11 percent of the share. Besides, auto loans and credit card balances also stood at a high level.

Each household in the U.S. carrying at least one form of debt owed an average of $144,100, said a report issued by America's Debt Help Organization.

For comparison, the American manufacturing sector makes only 12% of its GDP. Manufacturing is so tiny in the USA that we had recession in the sector this year and that didn't moved its GDP growth rate at all.

That's why the USA -- which has been failing in this trade war against China -- will ultimately fail in its Trumpian attempt to revert to isolationism: the empire is now essentially a financial superpower. To maintain your status as a financial superpower, you have to keep yourself economically open, otherwise the financial architecture that sustains the Dollar Standard will crumble (since the USD is fiat money).

If your country wants to be the world's sole superpower in a capitalist world, it has to have two titles/belts: financial and industrial superpower.

In 1946, the USA was both, hence it was the sole capitalist superpower. When Germany and mainly Japan threatened its title as the sole industrial superpower in the 1970s, the USA maneuvered to curb their developments in the Plaza Accord of 1985, which forced both nations to value their respective currencies in relation to the Dollar.

The maneuver was providential, but it worked. Germany and Japan would enter into recession in the early 1990s, to never recover again. However, it came with a cost to the USA: it had to outsource its manufacturing sector to China and content itself in being just to retain the financial champion belt, scattering the industrial champion belt around Asia, thus letting this "title" vacant. It stayed "vacant" for 20 years, until China, thanks to its socialist doctrine, was able to free itself from the commodity cycle and middle income traps to launch itself in the direction of gaining the industrial superpower status.

div> Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

Cynica , Dec 13 2019 14:23 utc | 61
@William Gruff

Excellent posting thus far. Just one thing to add to your analysis: the non-finance oligarchs are more dependent on the finance oligarchs than the other way around.

ohm , Dec 13 2019 15:01 utc | 62

b's posting says:
"The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi.."

I can't see those two trusting each other on anything. And the Senate Majority Leader, McConnell, appeared on Fixed News last night and insisted that he will defer to Trump's lawyers in all strategic matters, including whether or not to call witnesses. Given that the House Democrats have threatened that if this impeachment doesn't work, they will impeach him again on some other matter; plus Trump's insane craving for vindication; or for the need to produce juicy sound bites for the re-election campaign; or simply to stretch out the process past the Iowa caucuses, it is likely that this impeachment will have a more or less full process, saving the summary treatment for the predictable follow-on impeachments.

Who was it that said "Repeating the same mistake, over and over, and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity"?

J.L.Seagull , Dec 13 2019 15:25 utc | 63
This strikes me as a George Zimmerman style impeachment.

Zimmerman's prosecutor purposefully charged him with murder, a case doomed to fail, rather than manslaughter, where it was likely to fail but would have been more damning in the failure -- i.e. more facts would have been brought in and a big mess would have been created.

Pelosi purposefully charges Trump with a very narrow impeachment, which is doomed to fail in the Senate, rather than conducting a months-long investigation that would dig up what Biden was really doing in Ukraine and who he got permission from to operate there. The investigation wouldn't have made impeachment more likely to succeed, it would have just made a bigger mess.

joseph k jr , Dec 13 2019 16:09 utc | 64
interesting that trump's numbers have risen so spectacularly in the last couple of weeks with this impeachment thing in my view because it puts him (falsely or not) squarely back into the "maverick" role that the Public is ravenous to see, with all its anger and desire to strike back at "the government" which is not doing well by the way (60% country moving in the wrong direction; 17% approval of congress)--so, to me, the question is: Can Donald resist playing his cowboy savior maverick role and pretending to straighten things out or not. Will he "do a deal" because McConnell is so convincing to him and he can pass up a wonderful opportunity to put the Dems on trial for their obvious bullshit in the past three years, including what impetus will be (coming right up) from Durham? I tend to believe the Donald Ego will welcome a Big Fight in The Impeachment Corral much as he once delighted in phony wrestling.

interesting times, at least we could say that

Johnny Law , Dec 13 2019 16:42 utc | 65
Deal is as follows:

--Patriot Act renewed
--New NAFTA passed this week
--New massive Defense bill passes
--New Paid Parental Leave for Fed employees(Clinton and Obama ignored this)

--Maybe a budget or at least easy continuing resolutions.

--Jews now nationality??? not too sure, more like the usual Trump stuff like moving embassy.
This stuff all happened in the last week or so after nothing happened for years.

Perimetr , Dec 13 2019 17:39 utc | 66
Everyone is in on the deal. LOL

"Government is the Entertainment Division of the Military-industrial Complex." Frank Zappa

Piotr Berman , Dec 13 2019 19:12 utc | 67
To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump.

Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5

=====================

The imperialist foreign policy entails "bipartisan consensus", "interagency consensus" etc. Sometimes I think that establishment Democrats are patriots [in their self-image] who prefer a political calamity over the betrayal of that consensus. Trump is an incoherent idiot and he may be attacked in many ways. Should he be attacked for disastrous breach of international agreements, starting with the crown jewel of Obama's tenure, multilateral agreement with Iran? Or for a mockery he made from negotiations with North Korea? Or inflicting misery across the globe with "maximal sanctions" policies, pretty much against everybody*? No, no and no.

As some of the incoherent statements of Trump were "friendly toward Russia" (while he continued Nuland-Boland policies), THAT was selected as the main target. So we are going back to 2016. In 2018 Democrats switched gears for the duration of election campaign focusing on health care, something that Trump monumentally botched, but the imperialist circus is back. Lamentably, the "deplorables" are not impressed and the electorally wobbly Rustbelt may be lost again in 2020 because of this inanities, but the consensus (bipartisan, inter-agency etc.) will be preserved. History will remember the selfless sacrifice of these idiots.

=====
* I read an article in Russia, full of gleeful satisfaction, about Lithuanian dairy producers being hit by a round of Trumpian sanctions, in spite of indefatigable efforts of Lithuanian government to be the most obedient (if often neglected) poodle of USA.

Piotr Berman , Dec 13 2019 19:22 utc | 68
[Rubio's] Defending against the global mercantilist aspirations of China is a very responsible course of action for a policymaker.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

I wonder if Rubio will stay on this topic for full 15 minutes. It is actually very much against GOP ideology, industrial policy coordinated by the federal government -- is a 5-year plan (as Stalin practiced) next? Or will he revert to plan B, assuring that American families live better than those in the Marxist hell that is Venezuela through sanctions, sabotage etc.? Plan A, actually doing something about USAians having decent jobs, would make the likes of Rubio vomiting and defecating uncontrollably as they couldn't digest it. So my bet is that he will stay with plan B.

Lorna MacKay , Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69
Maybe I am dim, but I have read the transcript of the infamous phone call between Trump and Zelensky several times and I do not understand how it is being interpreted as Trump trying to pressure the Ukrainian president to smear Biden. As I read the transcript, the favour Trump asked was for Ukraine to look into Crowdstrike. It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought, not the main thrust of the conversation.

I'm not American, maybe I am missing something that is culturally obvious to Americans? Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't? Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

Not trying to derail the discussion here, but genuinely puzzled.

Russ , Dec 13 2019 20:18 utc | 70
Posted by: Lorna MacKay | Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69

"Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't?"

Only the ones that are Trump-Deranged. Everyone else sees what you saw, standard operating procedure among all US elites including of course all presidents and high officials. Both Obama and Sec. of State Hillary made dozens of calls exactly like that.

polecat , Dec 13 2019 20:20 utc | 71
Lorna MacKay @ 69

I'll give it a 2-finger shot. The Credentialed 20%ers, along with their center-left-turned-right House masters are furiously clutching their rosery bead (heres hatin on you and your pitiful brethren, Nancy!) .. while the Red Senators are all taking turns hold Satan's pitchfork, hoping they don't get pricked .. or worse!, as the republican mope's support starts to melt away like an iceberg at the equator !!

polecat , Dec 13 2019 20:29 utc | 72
As an aside .. all one has to do is read the comments over at the Hedge, to see that many (but not all, by far ..) have, over these past 3+ years, have gone through a phase-change, seeing the blatant bs .. from both legasy parties, without eyes wide shut !
wagelaborer , Dec 13 2019 20:43 utc | 73
Both Trump and Zelensky were elected on platforms of peace with Russia. What was in that phone call that got Pelosi onboard with impeachment, after years of taking it off the table?
I doubt very much that it was the claimed statement of Trump asking for help with a corruption investigation. (Which is perfectly legal under a 1998 Treaty signed by Clinton).
Something got that CIA spy running to Adam Schiff, and something got Pelosi to move forward. Did Trump and Zelensky speak of the Forbidden thing, making peace?
Biden was not the front runner until they needed him to be. You would be hard pressed to find an actual Biden supporter. They are telling us this, because otherwise the ridiculous impeachment charge would not make sense. (Not that it makes a whole lot of sense anyway).
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?
Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.
Lorna MacKay at 69, when the media tells you something, it doesn't mean it is true. Of course, the transcript doesn't show anything wrong. The only Americans who are culturally programmed to see anything there are the ones whose brains have been turned to mush by TDS. (Trump Derangement Syndrome).
It's not you, it's us.
Really?? , Dec 13 2019 20:55 utc | 74
Joseph K @ 64

Agree.

If I had money to put on the impeachment trial in the Senate, it would be on Donald NOT doing a deal to save various butts and FOR going for the Dems' jugualar(s) and let the chips fall where they may on the Repug side.

I just cannot see him acting "statesmanlike" and forgoing seeking vindication after the provocations of the past three years.

Would you? I mean, even normal-size egos have a "Make my day" threshold. I reckon that Trump's threshold was the beginning of the actual impeachment "hearing."

We'll soon see.

Jackrabbit , Dec 13 2019 21:40 utc | 75
Lorna MacKay @69:
It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought

This is what I have contended. Trump didn't need to mention Biden at all.

Did he do it innocently? Was it an ego-driven mistake?

Maybe.

But Trump has done other things that suggest that he did so as kayfabe . He engaged in a heated campaign with Hillary and promised to have a special prosecutor investigate her if he was elected. But within days of being elected announced that he would not do so (his first broken promise). Was the Hillary-Trump battle really as contentious as it appeared?

Trump invited Nancy Pelosi to a White House meeting days before the vote for Speaker of the House. This gave Pelosi a boost at a time when Democrats were grumbling that she didn't deserve to be Speaker (she had worked closely with GW Bush Administration). Result: Pelosi was elected Speaker.

Lastly, it's strange that Hilllary and Pelosi were adamantly against impeachment wrt Russiagate (the Mueller Report cited possible obstruction of justice), saying that voters should decide in 2020 but approved impeachment for Ukrainegate where the grounds for impeachment are arguably worse. Their refusal to allow impeachment after the Mueller Report was widely seen (by progressives) as the establishment protecting Trump. Impeachment over Ukrainegate conveniently ended such speculation .

Impeachment over Russiagate could have brought unwanted public scrutiny of CIA-MI6 and the Deep State. Instead, AG Wm Barr will make sure things are 'sorted' in a way that safeguards the Deep State. Not surprisingly, he just announced that the FBI acted in "bad faith" - a mild rebuke that almost guarantees that no one will be held accountable.

Some believe that the political disaster that Democrats reap from impeachment will be hung around the neck of the progressives that clamored for impeachment in Spring 2019 (after the Mueller Report). IMO that 'hunch' is likely to prove accurate.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 21:49 utc | 76
Paul Damascene #21
Whereas it is very likely that not just Hunter but Joe Biden can be brought down, it would come at the expense of a massive draining of a bipartisan Congressional / Senatorial money laundering swamp, with millions, perhaps billions in US tax dollars being recycled back into campaign contributions, etc. Many heads might roll, including several on the Republican side of the Senate chamber.

Thank you and exactly that.

There has been brief mention of Biden shenanigans in China too but now studiously avoided. Perhaps the same boondoggle there as well or maybe that is the country behind the threat from Biden to Lindsay Graham re going down big time.

They are a bunch of thieving thugs.

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 21:57 utc | 77
Lorna MacKay #69
Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

I fully agree with you. The Crowdstrike bust would give Trump the material needed to truly unravel the CIA (Brennan) and FBI (Comey/Mueller)saboteurs. These pigs set out to smash Trump and his family, and Presidency. He will no doubt find a way to extract revenge as he is known for that.

Pressing Zelensky on the Crowdstrike element is mighty good politics as it would likely disable the Democrat machinery for many election cycles if the dogs of war are loosed on the DNC internal malevolence.

Jackrabbit , Dec 13 2019 22:08 utc | 78
continuing @75:

The Agreement to have limited charges (nothing related to Russiagate!) and no calling of witnesses (Bidens are safe) was likely agreed in late Spring 2019 when the kayfabe was arranged.

Also, although there's been much hand-wringing about Joe Biden's electoral prospects, the kayfabe has helped Biden as he now says that Trump focused on him because Trump fears him as a political opponent. This plays into the establishment's main electoral ploy: electability!

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 22:10 utc | 79
wagelaborer #73
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?

Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.


Fascinating proposition. The Senate calls no witnesses and votes for impeachment? Unlikely, but I wont dismiss either that or a drawn out trial and votes for impeachment - or not. Strange theatre this stuff.

One thing for sure - if the Senate votes to impeach all hell will break out in the Repugnant party. The USA political serenity has been totally disturbed by Trump's election (or should I say Hillary Clinton's capitulation and not campaign in three key states).

[Dec 13, 2019] In the Shadow of Impeachment, Neoliberal Democrats Hand Trump a Victory With USMCA (NAFTA 2.0)

Dec 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

If Trump gets re-elected, if Big Tech continues to evade accountability, if imperial adventures continue abroad, if migrant farmworkers cannot feed their families, you can trace it back to this Tuesday, and the actions a House Speaker took while nobody was paying attention .
-- David Dayen, The American Prospect (emphasis added)

As the Impeachment Drama lumbers to a 2020 conclusion, morphing into its variant selves and sucking life from every other story the media most folks attend to are inclined to tell, unwatched things are happening in its shadow.

Nancy Pelosi has used end-of-year urgency and the impeachment distraction to pass four pieces of major legislation, three of which will become law, all on the same day.

NAFTA 2.0 is one of them. Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, agreed under pressure to approve Pelosi's House version of NAFTA 2.0, rebranded "USMCA," or United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, for obvious reasons. This is a deal he should never have made, yet he made it.

Consider who Trumka is -- a bridge between the neoliberal mainstream of the Democratic Party and the (presumably further left) labor movement that supports and sustains it. In other words, he's the person who blesses neoliberal policies as "progressive" (thus retaining mainstream Democratic Party approval) while modifying those policies in the margins to be less terrible (thus retaining the approval of progressives, who want to think of him as opposed to neoliberalist policies).

He's the person, in other words, who makes the labor movement look less like a puppy of the Democratic Party establishment to progressives, while keeping the labor movement (and himself) firmly in the Party establishment tent. The drama of "Will Trumka approve USMCA?" we recently witnessed exemplified this role.

To anyone with two cells in their brain, it was obvious as soon as the question was asked that he would approve USMCA. The stage was set; his arrival on it announced; the spotlight was ready and bright. Would he really walk onto this stage at this late date and say no to Party leaders? Of course not.

Would he have been able to stay in his lofty perch if he had? His job was to bless the cake after it had been baked, not to unbake it.

What pressure was Trumka under? First, obviously, from the Democratic Party and its billionaire donors, to give them what they and the Republicans -- and Donald Trump -- all wanted, a neoliberal-lite trade deal that could become in Nancy Pelosi's words "a template for future trade agreements a good template."

Second, Trumka was under pressure from his union base itself (so say some, including David Dayen in the piece linked below), many of whom are Trump supporters, to give President Trump a signature first-term victory, just in time for the start of his second-term campaign.

Do I believe this latter explanation? No, but I believe Trumka believes it. And if indeed it is true that Trumka has to serve Trump, at least in part, in order to serve his own base, it's further evidence of the careerism of his actions, in contrast to behavior from actual labor-movement principles.

Here's Dayen on this sordid tale (emphasis added):

Pelosi got AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka to sign off on the U.S.–Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), handing Trump a political victory on one of his signature issues. Predictably, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham immediately gushed, calling USMCA "the biggest and best trade agreement in the history of the world."

It's, um, not that. Economically, USMCA is a nothingburger; even the most rose-colored analysis with doubtful assumptions built in shows GDP growth of only 0.06 percent per year. There's one good provision: the elimination of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision that allowed corporations to sue governments in secret tribunals over trade violations. There's one bad provision: the extension of legal immunity for tech platforms over user-generated content, put into a trade deal for the first time. This will make the immunity shield, codified in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, much harder to alter in the future. Pelosi has called this deal a "template" for future agreements, though trade reformers have called it a bare minimum floor.

Pelosi tried to remove the immunity shield , but abandoned the request. She did succeed in removing a provision for Big Pharma that extended exclusivity periods for biologics. The Sierra Club has termed the deal an " environmental failure " that will not have binding standards on clean air and water or climate goals. But the threshold question on the USMCA was always going to be labor enforcement: would the labor laws imposed on Mexico hold, improving their lot while giving U.S. manufacturing workers a chance to compete? There was also the open question of why the U.S. would reward Mexico with a trade deal update when trade unionists in the country continue to be kidnapped and killed.

In his statement, Trumka lauds the labor enforcement, noting provisions that make it easier to prove violations (including violence against workers), rules of evidence for disputes, and inspections of Mexican facilities, a key win. But I've been told that the AFL-CIO did not see the details of the text before signing off, which is unforgivable , especially on trade where details matter. There was no vote by union leaders , just a briefing from the AFL-CIO.

At least one union, the Machinists, remains opposed , and others were noncommittal until they see text. The Economic Policy Institute, which is strongly tied to labor, called the agreement " weak tea at best ," a tiny advance on the status quo that will not reverse decades of outsourcing of U.S. jobs.

Meanwhile, back at the Trump re-election ranch:

While the economics are negligible (and potentially harmful on tech policy), on the politics activists are losing their mind at the prospect of a Trump signing ceremony, with labor by his side, on a deal that he will construe as keeping promises to Midwest voters . "Any corporate Democrat who pushed to get this agreement passed that thinks Donald Trump is going to share the credit for those improvements is dangerously gullible," said Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, in a statement. Only a small handful of Democratic centrists were pushing for a USMCA vote, based mostly on the idea that they had to "do something" to show that they could get things done in Congress. Now they've got it, and they'll have to live with the consequences.

I guess helping re-elect the " most dangerous president ever " pales in comparison to passing bipartisan-approved neoliberal trade deals.

One of Richard Trumka's jobs, if he wants to stay employed, is to make sure neoliberal Party leaders like Nancy Pelosi are happy and well served while simultaneously keeping progressives thinking that Big Labor is still in their corner even on issues the donor class most cares about.

At that he does very well, and did so here.

[Dec 13, 2019] NY Post Editorial Board Names Eric Ciaramella As Whistleblower

Notable quotes:
"... Ciaramella notably contacted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) office before filing his complaint , on a form which was altered to allow for second-hand information, after going to a Democratic operative attorney who will neither confirm nor deny his status as the whistleblower. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

NY Post Editorial Board Names Eric Ciaramella As Whistleblower by Tyler Durden Fri, 12/13/2019 - 10:30 0 SHARES

The New York Post Editorial Board has named CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella as the whistleblower at the heart of the Trump impeachment saga, confirming an October 30 report by RealClearInvestigation 's Paul Sperry which has been widely cited in subsequent reports.

Eric Ciaramella poses for a photo with former President Barack Obama at the White House. (Via the Washington Examiner )

Whistleblower lawyers refuse to confirm or deny Ciaramella is their man. His identity is apparently the worst-kept secret of the Washington press corps . In a sign of how farcical this has become, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said his name as part of a series of names during a live hearing Wednesday night aired on television. He never called him the whistleblower, just said he was someone Republicans thought should testify, yet Democrats angrily denounced the "outing." If you don't know the man's name, how do you know the man's name? - New York Post

Ciaramella, a registered Democrat, is a CIA analyst who specializes in Russia and Ukraine, and ran the Ukraine desk at the National Security Council (NSC) in 2016. He previously worked for then-NSC adviser Susan Rice, as well as Joe Biden when the former VP was the Obama administration's point-man for Ukraine. He also worked for former CIA Director John Brennan, and was reportedly a highly valued employee according to RedState ' s Elizabeth Vaughn. He also became former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's personal aide in June 2017, was called out as a leaker by journalist Mike Cernovich that same month.

He also worked with Alexandra Chalupa , a Ukrainian-American lawyer and Democratic operative involved in allegations that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 US election by releasing the so-called 'Black Ledger' that contained Paul Manafort's name.

In 2017, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon wanted Ciaramella kicked off the National Security Council over concerns about leaks.

Earlier this year, Ciaramella ignited the Democratic impeachment efforts against President Trump when, using second-hand information, he anonymously complained that Trump abused his office when he asked Ukraine to investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as claims related to pro-Clinton election interference and DNC hacking in 2016.

Ciaramella notably contacted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) office before filing his complaint , on a form which was altered to allow for second-hand information, after going to a Democratic operative attorney who will neither confirm nor deny his status as the whistleblower.

Mzhen , 3 minutes ago link

Steve Bannon was only on the National Security Council for two months, and was removed in early April 2017 at the direction of the President. So the story about Bannon valiantly trying to save the day is probably more of his resume padding.

Epstein101 , 5 minutes ago link

He looks like the sort of guy who follows Rachel Maddow on Twitter, and is still 'friends' with several of his ex-girlfriends.

[Dec 13, 2019] Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about the wars the USA is engaged?

Notable quotes:
"... This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

yemrajesh , 10 Dec 2019 16:54

Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land.

The pentagon with the full cooperation of MSM will sell it as we are defending our ways of life by fighting a country 10,000 kms away. This show the poor literacy, poor analytical thinking of US population constantly brain washed by MSM, holy men, clergy, other neo con organisations like National rifle club etc.

sorrymess , 10 Dec 2019 15:00

i been to Cambodia a few years ago.

I never knew USA dropped 2.7 millions tons of bombs and now so many left unexploded and its same in Vietnam, Cambodia as neutral,
but i met so many injured kids etc from the bombs,.

the total MADNESS OF USA IS NAZI SM AT ITS BEST,.NO SHAME OR COMPASSION FOR THE VICTIMS.

I cannot comprehend the money it cost USA,. AN ALSO PROFITS FOR SOME,.

Heisham , 10 Dec 2019 14:10
With the exceptions of two attacks on American soil-Pearl Harbor and 911- the American people and for the most part their legislative representatives in Congress- will always remain cluless what the United States Government does overseas.

This country runs on its own drum beats. The ordinary man on the street needs to take care of his economic needs. The Big Boys always take care of themselves. That includes the military establishment, that is always entitled to an absurd amounts of monies, fueled by an empire building machinery, pushed by the elites that control the fate of economic might, and political orchestra that feeds its ego and prestige.
Time and again, our American sociopaths in power have a strangle hold on us, regardless of the destruction and animosity they heap on distant peoples and lands the world over in the name of national security and the democratic spiel, as they like to tell us ....
Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson- Vietnam and the South East Asian countries of Laos , Cambodia, are an example .
Years later, the establishment manufactures blatant cover-ups with lies upon lies to accuse on record, as general Powell eloquently presented at the United Nations: That Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and needs to be held accountable.And now, this report on Afghanistan with all this pathological violence.

Is it reasonable to conclude that our democracy and its pathological actors in government and big business will always purchase it by demagoguery and self vested interest, because the ordinary man whose vote should count will never have the ultimate say when it comes to war and destruction!

[Dec 13, 2019] The True Soviet History of Lt. Col. Vindman by Andrew Rosenthal

Nov 01, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In testimony before Congress this week, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, an Army officer with more than 20 years of service, told lawmakers that he had heard the president try to pressure Ukraine's president to unearth dirt on a political rival. In response, the president's allies have decided to make an issue of Vindman's birthplace. They say his infanthood in Kiev -- he left at age 3 -- reveals something about his character and his allegiances. They are right, but in exactly the wrong way.

Here, you should pardon the expression, are some facts and a little bit of history. When Vindman was born on June 6, 1975, Ukraine was enveloped in the Soviet Union. At birth, Vindman would have been added temporarily to his parents' internal passports, a document that all Soviet citizens were required to carry starting at 16, mostly to make sure they were not residing somewhere without official permission.

That passport contained the infamous "fifth line" or "pyati punkt," in Russian, which had been created under Josef Stalin and listed the holder's "nationality." Vindman was born in Ukraine, but that line would not have said "Ukrainian" unless his parents had chosen to defy the law. It would have said "Jew."

In the Soviet Union, Jews were considered separate and apart from other nationalities, especially in two of the republics, Russia and Ukraine, where the local party enforcers were particularly happy to do the Kremlin's dirty work. You could be born in Minsk or Pinsk, or Omsk or Tomsk, or even Alexandrovsk or Petropavlovsk, and if you were born to Jewish parents, your passport was likely stamped "Jew."

When I first learned this, upon arriving in Moscow in May 1983 as a reporter for the Associated Press, I was outraged. I saw it like the Nazi's yellow star. I couldn't imagine how Jewish people could stand it.

Until one day, I put that question to Naum Meiman, a Jewish mathematician who was part of Andrei Sakharov's circle of dissidents. The answer was simple and humbling.

He didn't want "Russian," or any other so-called Soviet nationality, in his passport. Russians didn't consider him Russian, officially or otherwise, and he didn't want the label. "I'm a Jew who is forced to live in Russia, not a Russian," he said more than once.

I am certainly not speaking for Vindman, whom I do not know, but I have never met a Jew who fled the Soviet Union and felt any kind of loyalty to the country -- one where Jews were spurned from birth and then imprisoned within the state's borders until it decided to allow them to leave. In those days, the Soviet Union revoked émigré's citizenships, in what was supposed to be a final act of deep humiliation, but was invariably a badge of pride.

"Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president's interest," Fox News host Laura Ingraham told viewers Monday.

The circumstances of Vindman's birth argue for a different interpretation. They show him to be part of a tradition of 20th century Eastern European Jews who suffered under tyrannies of the left and the right. These people fled the first chance they had to a country that would accept them as fellow citizens, one where they would not be constantly questioned about their loyalties. For many decades, that country was the United States.

To contact the author of this story: Andrew Rosenthal at andyrosenthal269@gmail.com

[Dec 13, 2019] Looks like Vindman spend two years in Moscow including one during US sponsored colore revolution which failed

Dec 13, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

Retired Brigadier General Peter Zwack spoke to "Nightline" ahead of Vindman's testifying before the House Intelligence Committee during a public impeachment hearing of President Trump.

Former democrat

21 days ago Mr Vindman looks more like a doorman, than a Army Officer in that uniform ! Larry

21 days ago

What's that "thing" on his ring finger (appears wooden)? Is that from his partner "Husband"? In my US Army years, soldiers were dishonorable discharged from this "Criminal Offense" !

[Dec 13, 2019] Retired Army Officer Remembers Lt. Col. Vindman as Partisan Democrat Who Ridiculed America Flopping Aces

Dec 13, 2019 | www.floppingaces.net

A retired Army officer who worked with Democrat "star witness" Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in Grafenwoher, Germany, claims Vindman "really talked up" President Barack Obama and ridiculed America and Americans in front of Russian military officers.

In an eye-opening thread on Twitter last week, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Jim Hickman said that he "verbally reprimanded" Vindman after he heard some of his derisive remarks for himself. " Do not let the uniform fool you," Hickman wrote. "He is a political activist in uniform."

Hickman's former boss at the Joint Multinational Simulation Center in Grafenwoehr has since gone on the record to corroborate his story.

Hickman, 52, says he's a disabled wounded warrior who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who received numerous medals, including the Purple Heart.

The retired officer said that Vindman, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Ukraine, made fun of the United States to the point that it made other soldiers "uncomfortable." For example, Hickman told American Greatness that he heard Vindman call Americans "rednecks" -- a word that needed to be translated for the Russians. He said they all had a big laugh at America's expense.

Vindman, who serves on the National Security Council (NSC), appeared last week before the House Intelligence Committee and testified that he'd had "concerns" about the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman's testimony rested on his negative opinions of the call, rather than any new facts about the call.

Vindman's former boss, NSC Senior Director for European Affairs Tim Morrison, threw cold water on Vindman's claims in his own testimony later in the week, saying he didn't have concerns that "anything illegal was discussed" in the phone call. Morrison also testified that Ukrainian officials were not even aware that military funding had been delayed by the Trump Administration until late August 2019, more than a month after the Trump-Zelensky call.

"Completely Beyond Reproach"

Hickman said he decided to come forward because Vindman "disobeyed a direct order from the commander-in-chief, his boss," made his testimony "about his foreign policy opinions versus facts," and "wore his Army service uniform to make a political statement" against the president.

"Then right on cue, the mainstream media began calling him a war hero with a purple heart, and completely beyond reproach," Hickman wrote in a statement to American Greatness and another journalist. "Knowing his political bias, backed by his somewhat radical left-leaning ideology, it was my obligation, indeed my duty, to come forward with this information. I couldn't go to the same mainstream media to put it out, nor could I go to the Army, as they're backing Vindman, so I took to Twitter, a source for getting the truth out," he added.

According to Hickman, Vindman was the Defense Department attaché at the Russian embassy in Germany when he met him in 2013. He told American Greatness that he also met Vindman's twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman while he was stationed in Germany.

"I know LTC Alex Vindman from a Combined US-Russian exercise called Atlas Vision [13] in Grafenwoher," Hickman wrote on Twitter. "He worked with the Russian Embassy and I was assigned to the JMTC (Joint Multinational Training Command), within USAREUR (US Army Europe). He worked coordination w/the Russian 15th Peacekeeping Brigade, and I was in charge of all Simulations planning, as well as assisting the USAREUR Lead Planner as the Senior Military Planner."

[Dec 13, 2019] Eugene Vindman, Alexander Vindman's Twin Brother: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know by Jessica McBride

Nov 19, 2019 | heavy.com

Like his twin, Eugene Vindman has forged a career in White House civil service. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported that it's possible Eugene Vindman might also be called to testify. Alexander Vindman has stated that Eugene Vindman, also called Yevgeny Vindman, "witnessed (the) decision to move Trump-Zelensky call's transcript to a top secret server," The Journal reported of the president's call to the president of Ukraine.

Vindman's twin brother lists his title as attorney at the White House on his Facebook page. Born Yevgeny Vindman, he goes by Eugene Vindman on social media.

The twin's Facebook page explains that he is an attorney at The White House and a former Attorney at Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army. He also says that he is a former Senior Trial Counsel at U.S. Army and former Major at United States Army.

According to JTA , Eugene Vindman is a lawyer on the national security council. CNN called Eugene Vindman "the chief ethics counsel at NSC."

His Facebook page also provides the following biographical details about Eugene:

Studied Law School at University of Georgia
Studied General Administration at Central Michigan University
Studied at UGA School of Law
Studied History at SUNY Binghamton
Went to Franklin D.Roosevelt High School
Lives in Washington, District of Columbia
From Brooklyn, New York


2. Eugene Vindman Was a Campaign Strategist for a Democratic Congressional Candidate

The Vindman brothers.

Eugene Vindman's Facebook page also describes him as a "former Campaign Strategist at Bobby Saxon for Congress (GA District 10)."

Saxon ran as a Democrat. According to an article in The Red & Black , Saxon was running for public office for the first time and called himself a "regular guy."

The 2008 article describes him as saying, "I'm 46-years-old, and I've never run for an office. Most of all, I'm a frustrated American who's mad that politicians have no clue what it's like to be one of us. We need regular people with common sense in Washington D.C."

Like Eugene Vindman, Saxon had an Army background. "I'm a major in the Georgia Army National Guard," he explained.


3. Eugene Vindman Was Involved in Efforts to Find Roadside Bombers in Iraq

A 2010 NPR article on the U.S. connecting dots to find roadside bombers quoted Eugene Vindman. "Maj. Eugene Vindman, a JAG officer, or judge advocate general" said that a "network analysis course put him and other military lawyers in a better position to carry out oversight responsibilities in Iraq," the article stated.

"[You could] maybe do a little bit of analysis on your own or ask some intelligent questions of the targeteers," Eugene Vindman said to NPR, "to make sure that the target they've identified is not a guy that might have made a wrong phone call to a bad guy but actually has enough links to that bad guy through other activities to actually be a bad guy and therefore be a legal military target."

Alexander Vindman is also similarly invested in American government work. "Since 2008, I have been a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia," he wrote. "In this role, I have served in the United States' embassies in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia. In Washington D.C., I was a politico-military affairs officer for Russia for the Chairman of Joint Chiefs where I authored the principle strategy for managing competition with Russia. In July 2018, I was asked to serve at the National Security Council."

... ... ...

There is another Vindman brother. He's older than the twins and his name is Leonid Simon Vindman.

Leonid Simon Vindman is the "Founder and Managing Partner, Tungsten Capital Advisors" and "has approximately thirty years of experience in the financial markets," his company website states.

"During the past twenty five years, he has been focusing predominantly on Central Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia where he completed some of the biggest investment and advisory transactions in the region," according to the website. "He also completed transactions in the Middle East, and traveled extensively in Asia and Africa."

The page continues: "Prior to founding Tungsten he was a Managing Director responsible for investment banking origination and client coverage activities for Russia and CIS region at UniCredit Group – the largest international bank in Central and Eastern Europe at that time. Previously he worked as a Vice President Investment Banking at JPMorgan Chase, Principal Banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the EBRD), Senior Associate at Bankers Trust and Manager at Central Europe Trust."

Leonid Vindman "received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business," his company website says.

The company's founding and managing partner Maria Starkova-Vindman is described as "an art historian and art advisor" who previously "worked at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow as an assistant keeper and curator, and taught on the Courtauld MA course on global contemporary art."

[Dec 13, 2019] Vindman reveals that he had been offered a position as defense minister of Ukraine

Dec 13, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

me name=

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman admitted that he had been offered to serve as minister of defense for Ukraine.

Vindman, 44, explained during his impeachment testimony that he had been offered the position three times but declined the position because of his loyalty to the United States. The lieutenant colonel was born in Ukraine, but his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was a toddler.

Vindman claimed he did not know why he was offered the high ranking position of defense minister.

[ Watch: House Intelligence Committee holds public impeachment hearing featuring Vindman ]

"Every single time, I dismissed it. Upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about the offer," said Vindman, later adding, "I think it would be a great honor, and frankly, I'm aware of service members that have left service to help nurture the developing democracies in that part of the world."

He declined the offer and told Congress, "I'm an American. I came here when I was a toddler, and I immediately dismissed these offers. I did not entertain them."

Vindman added that he found the offer "rather comical," saying, "I was being asked to consider whether I would want to be the minister of defense, I did not leave the door open at all. But it is pretty funny for a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, which really is not that senior, to be offered that illustrious of a position."

He explained that he had no follow-up questions about the position with his chain of command. Vindman said he was not concerned about a "perception of a conflict of interest" following his offer because he only valued the opinion of his American colleagues.

"Frankly, if they were concerned with me being able to continue my duties, they would have brought that to my attention," said Vindman.

Vindman is the top Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council. He testified that he raised concerns about President Trump's phone call with President Zelensky, calling it "improper."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_xjVgO3oJ8Y

[Dec 13, 2019] 'Pushing a coup' Fellow soldiers slam Vindman for testifying in uniform

Dec 13, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

me name=

'Pushing a coup': Fellow soldiers slam Vindman for testifying in uniform by Russ Read | November 08, 2019 03:49 PM Print this article S ome of Alexander Vindman's fellow soldiers have blasted him for testifying in uniform during the House impeachment hearings, accusing him of politicizing the military by stating personal opinions that were highly critical of President Trump.

Vindman, 44, the National Security Council's Ukraine director , was thrust into the political spotlight when he testified before Congress on Oct. 29 as one of the few people who listened in on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

His appearance in uniform has been a point of contention. Military members detailed to the NSC typically wear suits but Vindman gave his testimony in uniform, and was lauded for having been awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded in Iraq, and a Combat Infantryman's Badge.

"This is a bad look for him to be in uniform," an active duty military officer stationed at the Pentagon told the Washington Examiner. "He makes it look like the Army is behind this. Like the Army is pushing a coup."

Another officer was concerned that Vindman's testimony veered too much into personal assessment. "I don't care what he thinks, he's entitled to his opinion," the officer said. "But it's an opinion and he should give it without the uniform."

A third officer said that Vindman's weight indicated he would be unlikely to pass the Combat Fitness Test even though he had achieved a Ranger tab earlier in his career.

Matt Zeller, an Afghanistan veteran and fellow at the American Security Project, defended Vindman. "I think he's a patriot, and how he's been treated is an abomination," Zeller told the Washington Examiner . "All he is is a public servant doing his duty."

Vindman might have been required to wear his uniform, Zeller said, although where Army regulations come down on the issue is unclear. The Army's Training and Doctrine Command did not respond to questions from the Washington Examiner .

H.R. McMaster, who was an active duty lieutenant general in the Army during his tenure as national security adviser, did not normally wear his uniform at the White House.

Military personnel such as Vindman detailed to the NSC operate within a unique system. Unlike other troops who report to military commanders, military NSC staffers fall under directors within the NSC itself. As a Ukraine expert, Vindman reports to civilian Andrew Peek, who replaced Tim Morrison as the NSC's senior director for European and Russian affairs after Morrison announced his departure last Wednesday, one day before he testified before the House impeachment proceeding.

Military detailees generally are assigned to a unit within the Department of Defense for administrative issues such as leave and pay. Performance reports, however, are handled by the individual's boss on the NSC.

Most NSC staffers are drawn from the military and various other government agencies. They generally are recruited via word-of-mouth, another change from typical government agencies that are notorious for their long application processes.

The Reagan administration's NSC included Lt. Gen. Colin Powell and Lt. Col. Oliver North, . Powell was national security adviser from 1987 to 1989 and went on to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State . North was on the NSC from 1981 to 1986 and testified in uniform during the Iran-Contra hearings.

Vindman returned to work after his testimony and is expected to stay on at the NSC until his appointment ends next summer.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Inspector General's Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... a single American ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | theintercept.com
Just as was true when the Mueller investigation closed without a single American being charged with criminally conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election, Wednesday's issuance of the long-waited report from the Department of Justice's Inspector General reveals that years of major claims and narratives from the U.S. media were utter frauds .

Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI's gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.

If you don't consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is? But none of this is aberrational: the FBI still has its headquarters in a building named after J. Edgar Hoover – who constantly blackmailed elected officials with dossiers and tried to blackmail Martin Luther King into killing himself – because that's what these security state agencies are. They are out-of-control, virtually unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course.

In this case, no rational person should allow standard partisan bickering to distort or hide this severe FBI corruption. The IG Report leaves no doubt about it. It's brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit, all in service of persuading a FISA court of something that was not true: that U.S. citizen and former Trump campaign official Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government and therefore needed to have his communications surveilled.

[Dec 13, 2019] Rudy Giuliani Can Barely Contain Himself Over His Ukraine Findings

Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Rudy Giuliani Can Barely Contain Himself Over His Ukraine Findings by Tyler Durden Fri, 12/13/2019 - 17:05 0 SHARES

Rudy Giuliani is grinning like the Cheshire cat. His standard smile.

For the past several weeks, the personal attorney to President Trump has been in Ukraine, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence to shed light on what the Bidens were up to during the Obama years, and get to the bottom of claims that Kiev interfered in the 2016 US election in favor of Hillary Clinton. He has enlisted the help of former Ukrainian diplomat, Andriy Telizhenko, to gather information from politicians and ask them to participate in a documentary series in partnership with One America News Network (OANN) - which will make the case for investigating the Bidens as well as Burisma Holdings - the natural gas firm which employed the son of a sitting US Vice President in a case which reeks of textbook corruption.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zi2UWTO2DyY

According to the Journal , Giuliani will present findings from his self-described "secret assignment" in a 20-page report .

Trump and Giuliani say then-Vice President Biden engaged in corruption when he called for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had investigated a Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden served on the board. The Bidens deny wrongdoing, and ousting the prosecutor was a goal at the time of the U.S. and several European countries . - Wall Street Journal

( Note the Wall Street Journal's use of a straw man when they write: "The allegations of Ukrainian election interference are at odds with findings by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia was behind the election interference ."

Apparently the three journalists who collaborated on the article didn't get the memo that two countries can meddle at the same time, nor did any of them read the January, 2017 Politico article: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire - which outlines how Ukrainian government officials conspired with a DNC operative to hurt the Trump campaign during the 2016 election - a move which led to the disruptive ouster of campaign chairman Paul Manafort).

Rudy Giuliani's trip to Kyiv this month, which he described as a "secret assignment," included a meeting with Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach. PHOTO: PRESS OFFICE OF ANDRIY DERKACH/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Telizhenko, the former diplomat, tells the Journal that the plan for the series was conceived during the impeachment hearings as a way for Giuliani to tell his side of the story. The former Ukrainian diplomat flew to Washington on November 20 to film with Giuliani, while in early December he accompanied America's Mayor on the Kiev trip - stopping in Budapest, Vienna and Rome.

Rudy comes home

Upon his return to New York on Saturday, Giuliani says he took a call from President Trump while his plane was still taxiing down the runway, according to the Wall Street Journal .

" What did you get? " Trump asked. " More than you can imagine ," answered the former New York mayor who gained notoriety in the 1980s for taking down the mob as a then-federal prosecutor.

According to the 77-year-old Giuliani, Trump instructed him to brief Attorney General William Barr and GOP lawmakers on his findings. Soon after, the president then told reporters at the White House, " I hear he has found plenty ."

Rudy has been working on this project for a while. In late January, he conducted phone interviews with former Ukrainian prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yiury Lutsenko. On the call was George Boyle - Giuliani's Chief Operating Officer and Director of Investigations. Boyle started as a NYPD beat cop in 1987, and was promoted to detective - eventually joining the Special Victims Squad. In short, the ever-grinning Giuliani has some serious professionals working on this.

" When he believes he's right, he loves taking on fights ," said longtime Giuliani friend, Tony Carbonetti.

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That said, Giuliani's efforts have not gone off without a hitch. In October, two associates - Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both of whom assisted with his Ukraine investigation, were related in October on campaign-finance charges. Both men have pleaded not guilty, while Giuliani denies wrongdoing and says they did not lobby him. Parnas, notably, was also on the January call with Shokin and Lutsenko as a translator.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tc4nQD6eiW4

In pressing ahead on Ukraine, Mr. Giuliani has replaced the translation skills of Messrs. Parnas and Fruman with an app he downloaded that allows him to read Russian documents by holding his phone over them . But on his recent trip, he said, "despite whatever else you can say, I missed them." - Wall Street Journal

Trump opponents insist Giuliani is conducting shadow foreign policy and orchestrated the ouster of former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch - who Ukraine's new president Volodomyr Zelensky complained on a now-famous July 25 phone call accused of not recognizing his authority.

In the impeachment hearings, witnesses accused Mr. Giuliani of conducting a shadow foreign policy and orchestrating the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. He was described as "problematic" and "disruptive" and, in testimony that cited former national security adviser John Bolton, likened to a "hand grenade that's going to blow everybody up." Mr. Giuliani has said he kept the State Department apprised of his efforts and that he was working at the president's behest. - Wall Street Journal

" Just having fun while Dems and friends try to destroy my brilliant career ," Giuliani wrote in a text message while conducting his investigation overseas.


Surftown , 8 minutes ago link

If it doesn't fit the Mueller narrative.

It doesn't fit the Horowitz narrative.

It fits the impeachment narrative.

- Pelosi, Podestas, Bidens, Clinton, Soros, washing foreign aid money, -- So the manufactured whistleblower handlers including DNI IG are dirty.

- But if nobody heard a conversation they Only heard "about" -- who in NSA or CIA ( Ciaramella) gave the illegal surveillance to Schiff?

That sounds like Brennan still doing his dirty work.

His name was Seth Rich.

J S Bach , 12 minutes ago link

Never forget... Giuliani was up to his neck in the treasonous happenings on 9/11. For that, he can NEVER be forgiven... no matter how much dirt he digs up in this inane Ukranian circus.

SolidGold , 6 minutes ago link

I get it. 911 was a deep state, CIA, Mossad type deal.

Giuliani was just the mayor.

rosiescenario , 12 minutes ago link

Maybe Rudy discovered just what the Ukraine arms dealer got in return from Pelosi and Schiff for their money?

precarryus , 18 minutes ago link

Three j ournalists also wrote a WSJ piece October 22, '19; one author same as December 13 piece. ( Identify a narrative?)

Excerpts:
" Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani have repeatedly promoted an unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election, and that a related computer server is now located there. That theory is sharply at odds with the findings of a special counsel investigation and a 2017 U.S. intelligence community report that found Russia was responsible for the hack and leak of Democratic emails as part of a broader operation intended to aid Mr. Trump."... ...

... ... " Mr. Giuliani, who didn't respond to a request for comment, had for months pressed for Ukraine to investigate issues related to the 2016 election as well as Mr. Biden, a potential 2020 rival of Mr. Trump. As vice president under President Obama, Mr. Biden led an anti-corruption drive in Ukraine at the same time as his son received $50,000 a month for sitting on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, an arrangement Mr. Trump has called corrupt. Mr. Biden and his son have denied any wrongdoing, and no evidence of wrongdoing has been presented. "

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-diplomat-urged-ukrainian-president-to-convince-trump-he-would-investigate-corruption-11571770997?mod=hp_lead_pos6

[Dec 13, 2019] Obama stooge Holder attacks Barr to protect Novel Peace Price Winner who engaged in dirty tricks to depose Trump

Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, the first AG in history to be held in both criminal and civil contempt by Congress for failing to turn over ' Fast and Furious ' documents, says that current Attorney General William Barr is "nakedly partisan" and unfit for office.

In a Wednesday night op-ed in the Washington Post , Holder - who previously described himself as President Obama's 'wing-man,' wrote that Barr is employing "the tactics of an unscrupulous criminal defense lawyer" by vilifying critics of President Trump.

Holder slammed Barr's recent comments at a Federalist Society event, in which the AG "delivered an ode to essentially unbridled executive power" by "dismissing the authority of the legislative and judicial branches."

When, in the same speech, Barr accused "the other side" of "the systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law," he exposed himself as a partisan actor, not an impartial law enforcement official. Even more troubling -- and telling -- was a later (and little-noticed) section of his remarks, in which Barr made the outlandish suggestion that Congress cannot entrust anyone but the president himself to execute the law. -Eric Holder

"It undermines the need for understanding between law enforcement and certain communities and flies in the face of everything the Justice Department stands for," wrote Holder, adding "I and many other Justice veterans were hopeful that he would serve as a responsible steward of the department and a protector of the rule of law."

So - Eric Holder thinks Barr should be an "impartial law enforcement official," and not a "partisan actor," yet described himself in a 2013 interview as President Obama's "wing-man."

In 2012, 'scandal-free' Obama claimed executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents "gunwalking" operation sought by House investigators investigating the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry at the hands of foreign nationals who used a weapon obtained through illegal straw purchases orchestrated by Obama's ATF.

Holder blasted the contempt votes as "politically motivated" and "misguided."


Silentwistle , 8 minutes ago link

You know, when everyone speaks of people who should be in jail we always forget about Holder. Thanks for reminding us again what a POS Holder is.

Salsa Verde , 13 minutes ago link

I dream of the day when families in Mexico who's loved one's were killed by F&F guns get their hands on Holder and tear him to pieces.

Tachyon5321 , 17 minutes ago link

As a result of his stupidity, Attorney General Eric Holder's actions killed US Boarder and Mexican police . Holder should have been charged with homicide for the murders of the US Boarder Gaurds.

mtumba , 21 minutes ago link

The Obama turds continue to float to the top of the toilet bowl.

Cthonic , 19 minutes ago link

clinton turd

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2014/08/27/eric-holder-waco-coverup/

two hoots , 23 minutes ago link

Holder is another protection card to play, yesterday it was Bill Clinton. They are reaching desperation, bottom of the barrel, and soon all will be naked and exposed. Easy to lose sight of the damage to our nation wrought by this one party that puts it's survival and needs above us all.

[Dec 12, 2019] The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas: the problem is with the absence of the evidentiary record. It remains both incomplete and conflicted

This deal confirms the hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.
Notable quotes:
"... Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached. So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution? The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core. ..."
"... The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous. ..."
"... The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats. ..."
"... The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi. The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome. ..."
"... That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached. ..."
"... Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations. ..."
"... my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents that some other dirty deals by him might come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival. ..."
"... So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental. ..."
"... I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump. Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment. ..."
"... The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today. ..."
"... The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS. ..."
"... he Repub decision for an expedited impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump! ..."
"... Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force... ..."
"... If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode. ..."
"... Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy. Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day. ..."
"... ...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals. ..."
"... I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Two weeks ago we analyzed the consequences of an impeachment process of President Donal Trump. We found that the Democrats would lose by impeaching him and would therefore likely censure him instead . We were wrong. A week later Pelosi announced to proceed with impeachment.

Only today did I understand where I was wrong and what had since happened. Let me walk you through it.

The earlier conclusion was based on this table of possible outcomes of an impeachment resolution:

If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

Looking at the choices it is quite curious why Pelosi took that decision and there has been so far no in-depth explanation for it.

The rather short House Resolution (also here ) Pelosi let pass has only two articles of impeachment of Trump. The issues over which he is supposed to be impeached for are very limited :

Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, and then withheld $400 million in military aid as the U.S. ally faced an aggressive Russia.
They say he then obstructed Congress by stonewalling the House investigation.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky himself said that he did not know that Trump withheld the $400 million for Ukraine when he had the phone call with the president in which Trump asked him to dig into the Burisma/Biden affair. The request itself is legitimate as Biden has lots of dirt in Ukraine. But there was no quid-quo-pro and no bribery, at least not in the phone call the CIA 'whistleblower' and some of the witnesses complained about. Where then is the evidence that Trump abused his power?

The obstruction of Congress accusation is equally weak. Trump had rejected the House subpoenas to his staff because he wanted a judicial review of their legality. They might indeed infringe on certain presidential privileges. The court process would take several months but the Democrats simply do not want to wait that long. So who is really obstructing the legal process in this?

Law professor Jonathan Turley, who is not a Trump fan and had testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee, finds both points the Democrats make extremely week :

For three years, the same Democratic leadership told the public that a variety of criminal and impeachable acts were proven in the Mueller investigation. None of those crimes are now part of this impeachment.

Why? Because it would have been too easy an impeachment? Hardly.

Instead, the House will go forward on the only two plausible grounds that I outlined in my testimony - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Unlike the other claims, the problem is not with the legal basis for such impeachable offences but the evidentiary record.

This record remains both incomplete and conflicted. The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas rather than build a record to support such charges.
...
This is now the fastest investigation with the thinnest record supporting the narrowest impeachment in modern history.
...
The Democrats just gave Trump the best Christmas gift he could hope for under these two circumstances ...

Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached. So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution? The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core.

The House will then vote on it within the next week. The Senate will launch the impeachment trial in January.

Which brings me back to the possible outcomes table:

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous.

But Pelosi still took that way and allowed for only a very weak impeachment resolutions. That led me to assume that a deal was made that allowed Pelosi to go that way. But there was no sign that such a deal was made. Only today do we get the confirmation, as open as we will ever get it, that a deal has indeed been made.

The Republican led Senate will not dig into the Democrats but will vote against impeachment without using the process to hit at the political enemy :

Senate Republicans are coalescing around a strategy of holding a short impeachment trial early next year that would include no witnesses , a plan that could clash with President Trump's desire to stage a public defense of his actions toward Ukraine that would include testimony the White House believes would damage its political rivals.

Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus.

"I would say I don't think the appetite is real high for turning this into a prolonged spectacle," Senate Majority Whip John Thune (S.D.), the chamber's ­second-ranking Republican, told The Washington Post on Wednesday when asked whether Trump will get the witnesses he wants in an impeachment trial.
...
Most notably, a quick, clean trial is broadly perceived to be the preference of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) , who wants to minimize political distractions in an election year during which Republicans will be working to protect their slim majority in the chamber.

The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats.

The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi. The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome.

The narrowness and weakness of the impeachment resolution that can not hurt the president was in exchange for a no-fuzz process in the Senate that will not dig into Biden and will not hurt the Democrats during next year's election.

That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached.

Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations.

Trump will loudly claim that he does not like that the Senate will shut down the issue as soon as possible. He will twitter that the Senate must tear into Biden and other Democrats. He will play deeply disappointed when it does not do that.

But my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents that some other dirty deals by him might come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival.

The question left is if there were additional elements in this deal. What could those be about?

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Posted by b on December 12, 2019 at 18:44 UTC | Permalink


c1ue , Dec 12 2019 18:52 utc | 1

Don't forget Sanders. Pelosi pulling back from any impeachment attempt would only serve to underscore the pusillanimity of the Democratic leadership. If the Democrats *must* do an impeachment but would be hurt by a Republican Senate hit back, this deal makes perfect sense.
M , Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 2
Clearly Trump doesn't care about doling out money to corrupt countries. If he did, he would be stopping aid to Israel where Netanyahu has actually been indicted on multiple counts of corruption.
rucio , Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 3
So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental.
M , Dec 12 2019 19:07 utc | 4
Dems will be able to paint swing state republicans that have been trying to distance themselves from Trump as Trump lackeys for their 2020 reelection bids. Saying these GOP senators are perfectly fine with inviting foreign interference into elections.
Ed , Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5
To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump. Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

dbriz , Dec 12 2019 19:29 utc | 8
@c1ue #6

Not sure. McConnell may actually prefer working against a Dem prez than working for a Pub. Especially a Pub loose cannon like Trump. To date, McConnell has a better record in obstructing Dem execut8ve plans than passing GOP proposals.

Bernard makes a lot of sense today. The swamp is on the verge of eating its own and neither Pelosi or McConnell desire that.

karlof1 , Dec 12 2019 19:32 utc | 9
rucio @3--

Pelosi remains alive only through the deal she made with the Devil decades ago which she continues to honor daily.

This quote from the cited WaPost article is too funny:

"Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus ." [my emphasis]

The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today.

Someone wrote that this is the season of pantomime, and to that I must agree. Fantasies and falsehoods peddled as realities all for the purpose of further enriching the few while the many rejoice in their collective gullibility. Please, add another shot of brandy to my eggnog!

Nemesiscalling , Dec 12 2019 19:33 utc | 10
B, you are right that deals have been made, but you are wrong to think Trump is in on it.

He may go along with it, but that does not mean he is arguing from a point of weakness.

Here is the fact:

The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS.

If they look weak towards POTUS, the Dems will have signaled their acknowledgment that this whole affair is in fact a distraction.

Therefore, you can see that the Repub decision for an expedited impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump!

It can be inferred that the Repubs are still dreaming of DJT's eventual dethronement and a return to the standard operating procedure of the pre-DJT era.

Thank you for helping me understand it more, b!

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 12 2019 19:35 utc | 11
Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force...

Who knows. They have consultants to tell them how to play the game.

vk , Dec 12 2019 19:42 utc | 12
This deal confirms my long-held hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.

If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode.

LIkklemore , Dec 12 2019 19:46 utc | 13
On mobile and Unable to link to the

Two articles on Zerohedge citing Wapo and Derskowitz

ben , Dec 12 2019 19:57 utc | 14
vk @ 7 said;"The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode."

Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy. Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day.

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 12 2019 20:03 utc | 15
...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals.

I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat.

[Dec 12, 2019] Paul Singer Funded Washington Free Beacon Behind Initial Fusion GPS Trump Effort by Adam Shaw

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Examiner first reported Friday that lawyers for the Free Beacon -- a conservative outlet based in the nation's capital -- funded the project from fall 2015 to spring 2016, when it pulled its funding as Trump looked set to clinch the nomination. ..."
"... Washington Free Beacon ..."
"... After the Democrats took over funding of the operation in mid-2016, Fusion GPS would hire former British spy Christopher Steele and would lead to the production of the so-called "Trump dossier," filled with salacious but unconfirmed claims about how Trump was compromised by the Russians. ..."
"... The Free Beacon noted in its statement that it had "no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele." ..."
"... The Free Beacon is funded in large part by the New York hedge fund billionaire and major GOP donor Paul Singer. The New York Times reports that Singer initially supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for the Republican nomination, but later spearheaded a campaign to deny Trump the nomination even after Rubio dropped out of the race. ..."
"... While supporting Republican establishment favorites such as Rubio and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Singer was a major backer of Common Core and was the founder of a super-PAC that has the express purpose of turning the GOP pro-gay marriage. ..."
"... Kristol is also the founder of the Weekly Standard, which like the Free Beacon has a neoconservative foreign policy outlook. The Free Beacon was co-founded by two former Weekly Standard writers, chairman Michael Goldfarb and editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti. ..."
Oct 27, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

The Washington Free Beacon, funded by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, was the original funder of Fusion GPS' research project that attempted to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump -- a project that would later be funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The Washington Examiner first reported Friday that lawyers for the Free Beacon -- a conservative outlet based in the nation's capital -- funded the project from fall 2015 to spring 2016, when it pulled its funding as Trump looked set to clinch the nomination.

Lawyers for the Free Beacon informed the House Intelligence Committee of its role in the funding on Friday. The outlet issued a statement standing by its decision to fund the project:

Since its launch in February of 2012, the Washington Free Beacon has retained third party firms to conduct research on many individuals and institutions of interest to us and our readers. In that capacity, during the 2016 election cycle we retained Fusion GPS to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary, just as we retained other firms to assist in our research into Hillary Clinton.

After the Democrats took over funding of the operation in mid-2016, Fusion GPS would hire former British spy Christopher Steele and would lead to the production of the so-called "Trump dossier," filled with salacious but unconfirmed claims about how Trump was compromised by the Russians.

Fusion has come under scrutiny for its alleged ties to Russia, including the fact that many of the claims originate from Kremlin sources -- meaning that the information came from inside the Russian government.

The Free Beacon noted in its statement that it had "no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele."

"The Washington Free Beacon has issued a statement asserting that it had no involvement with Christopher Steele or the dossier he compiled from Russian sources," Jack Langer, spokesman for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Breitbart News. "The Beacon has agreed to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee to help the Committee verify this assertion."

Yet, the revelation is likely to fuel questions about the role the so-called "Never Trump" movement played in an effort that would eventually inflict damage on President Trump, and that was possibly part of a Russian misinformation scheme.

The Free Beacon is funded in large part by the New York hedge fund billionaire and major GOP donor Paul Singer. The New York Times reports that Singer initially supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for the Republican nomination, but later spearheaded a campaign to deny Trump the nomination even after Rubio dropped out of the race.

While supporting Republican establishment favorites such as Rubio and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Singer was a major backer of Common Core and was the founder of a super-PAC that has the express purpose of turning the GOP pro-gay marriage.

The Examiner reports that the Free Beacon was originally part of the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization -- the Center for American Freedom -- but in 2014 became a for-profit organization. The Center's original board of directors includes William Kristol, a prominent "Never Trump" activist.

Kristol is also the founder of the Weekly Standard, which like the Free Beacon has a neoconservative foreign policy outlook. The Free Beacon was co-founded by two former Weekly Standard writers, chairman Michael Goldfarb and editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti.

***Update***

"The Washington Free Beacon has issued a statement asserting that it had no involvement with Christopher Steele or the dossier he compiled from Russian sources," Jack Langer, spokesman for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Breitbart News. "The Beacon has agreed to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee to help the Committee verify this assertion."

TrumpAlways 2 years ago • edited I smell McCain. Anyone else smell McCain with a little bit of Bush in there...

[Dec 12, 2019] Now that we know Carter Page was working for the CIA as an informant in 2016, is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?

Dec 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jon Carter , Dec 11 2019 18:59 utc | 17

Now that we know Carter Page was working for the CIA as an informant in 2016, is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?

[Dec 12, 2019] The FBI - Pushed By John Brennan - Lied To The Court Seven Times To Spy On The Trump Campaign

Highly recommended!
And behind Brennan we can can see the Nobel Peace Price winner.
Notable quotes:
"... A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA. ..."
"... One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign. ..."
"... The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with. ..."
"... The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors. ..."
"... That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published ..."
"... That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs. ..."
"... (This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .) ..."
"... Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism. ..."
"... "Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted." ..."
"... ... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ... ..."
"... It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed. ..."
"... Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story). ..."
"... Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others. ..."
"... physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns. ..."
"... So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

On January 6 2017 this author concluded :

When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump.

The ultimate aim of the cabal is to kick him out of office and have a reliable replacement, like the Vice-President elect Pence, take over. Should that not be possible it is hoped that the delegitimization will make it impossible for Trump to change major policy trajectories especially in foreign policy. A main issue here is the reorientation of the U.S. military complex and its NATO proxies from the war of terror towards a direct confrontation with main powers like Russia and China.

...

A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA.

One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign.

The Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department Michael Horowitz has investigated the FBI operation against the election campaign of Donald Trump. Yesterday he published his report, Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane Investigation (pdf). It is 480 pages long and quite thorough but unfortunately very limited in its scope.

Horowitz finds that the FBI was within the law when it opened the investigation but that the FBI's applications to the FISA court, which decides if the FBI can spy on someone's communications, were based on lies and utterly flawed.

Your host unfortunately lacked the time so far to read more than the executive summary. But others have pointed out some essential findings.

Matt Taibbi remarks :

The Guardian headline reads: " DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser ."

If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a "clearing" of the FBI, never clear me of anything. ...

Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz's conclusion that there was no evidence of "political bias or improper motivation" in the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had "authorized purpose" to conduct.

...

However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose "serious" procedural problems and omissions of "significant information" in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president).

...

There are too many to list in one column, but the Horowitz report show years of breathless headlines were wrong. Some key points:

The so-called "Steele dossier" was, actually, crucial to the FBI's decision to seek secret surveillance of Page. ...

...

The "Steele dossier" was "Internet rumor," and corroboration for the pee tape story was "zero." ...

John Solomon finds :

Appendix 1 identifies the total violations by the FBI of the so-called Woods Procedures, the process by which the bureau verifies information and assures the FISA court its evidence is true.

The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016.

A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: "Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is inaccurate."

For those who don't speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file.

The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with.

The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors.

That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published . Here is what we wrote about it at that time:

The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous compatriot that two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claimed to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin.

They assert that Trump was supported and directed by Putin himself five years ago while even a year ago no one would have bet a penny on Trump gaining any political significant position or even the presidency.

There is a lot more of such nonsense in these new Hitler diaries. It is bonkers from a to z.

Those who thought otherwise should question their judgment.

It is now claimed that the FBI is exculpated because the Horowitz report did not find "political bias or improper motivation". But that omits the fact that at least four high ranking people in the FBI and Justice Department who were involved in the case were found to be politically biased and were removed from their positions.

It also omits that the scope of Horowitz's investigation was limited to the Justice Department. He was not able to investigate the CIA and its former director John Brennan who was alleging Russia-Trump connections months before the FBI investigation started:

Contrary to a general impression that the FBI launched the Trump-Russia conspiracy probe, Brennan pushed it to the bureau – breaking with CIA tradition by intruding into domestic politics: the 2016 presidential election. He also supplied suggestive but ultimately false information to counterintelligence investigators and other U.S. officials.

The current CIA director Gina Haspel was CIA station chief in London during that time and while several of the entrapment attempts of Trump campaign staff by the FBI investigation happened. Horowitz spoke with neither of them.

Peter Van Buren concludes :

The current Horowitz Report, read alongside his previous report on how the FBI played inside the 2016 election vis-a-vis Clinton, should leave no doubt that the Bureau tried to influence the election of a president and then delegitimize him when he won. It wasn't the Russians; it was us.

That is correct, but the whole conspiracy was even deeper. It was not the FBI which initiated the case.

My hunch is still that the FBI investigation was a case of parallel construction which is often used to build a legitimate case after a suspicion was found by illegitimate means. In this case it was John Brennan who in early 2016 contacted the head of the British GCHQ electronic interception service and asked him to spy on the Trump campaign. GHCQ then claimed that something was found that was deemed suspicious :

That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs.

The FBI was tipped off on the issue and on July 31 2016 started an investigation to construct a parallel legal case. It send out British and U.S. agents to entrap Trump campaign members. It used the obviously fake Steele dossier to gain FISA court judgments that allowed it to spy on the campaign. Downing Street was informed throughout the whole affair. A day after Trump's inauguration the UK's then Prime Minister Theresa May fired GHCQ chief Robert Hannigan.

One still open question is to what extend then President Barack Obama was involved in the affair.

There is another ongoing investigation by U.S. Prosecutor John Durham. That investigation is not limited to the Justice Department but will involve all agencies and domestic as well as foreign sources. Durham has the legal rights to declassify whatever is needed and he can indict persons should he find that they committed a crime. His report will hopefully go much deeper than the already horrendous stuff Horowitz delivered.

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Posted by b on December 11, 2019 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink


Antoinetta III , Dec 11 2019 16:27 utc | 1

Do we have any idea when the Durham report will be coming out?

Antoinetta III

casey , Dec 11 2019 16:30 utc | 2
Anyone taking bets on Durham/Barr making indictments in this mess? My guess is a whole lot of horse trading is going on behind the scenes now, as in, "I'll trade you a censure for all potential indictments going down the memory hole."
Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 16:54 utc | 3
Typical dog and pony show which will change nothing relating to interventionist foreign policy and the new cold war with Russia. Too many saw benefits from the corruption in Ukraine to dig deep there; the Bidens were just the most blatant, Lindsey Graham and others from both parties were involved so don't expect much from the Senate hearings. The bipartisan major goals are a fait accompli; universal acceptance that Russia worked to undermine our elections (and to destroy our "Democracy") and are thus an enemy we must fight, and it's universally accepted by all that we MUST provide Ukraine with Javelin missiles and other lethal aid to fight "Russian Aggression" (with little mention that even Obama balked at that reckless option). All of these proceedings are great distractions, but the weapons of war will not be diminished.
c1ue , Dec 11 2019 17:08 utc | 4
@Kabobyak #3

Very possibly, but the Afghanistan papers have made an impact on some people: American Conservative editor is outraged, including militating against his children serving in the military and taxpayers funding it

jayc , Dec 11 2019 17:10 utc | 5
Another candidate for Steele's "primary source" is Stefan Halper. Svetlana Lhokova suggested that this past Sunday.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 17:12 utc | 6
Unfortuneately, few will question the findings of these investigations or consider the possibility that the investigations themselves are misdirection/cover-up.

Repeating my comment from yesterday on the Open Thread :

IMO the Lavrov-Pompeo presser is notable mostly for Lavrov's discussion of Russiagate (about 6 minutes in).

Lavrov tells us that the Russian's repeatedly sought to clarify their noninterference by publishing correspondence - which the Trump Administration didn't respond to. And he actual mentions McCarthyism!

Wait, wot?

Yeah, during the worst of the Russiagate accusations, Trump wouldn't do things that would've helped to prove that Russiagate was a farce!!

So, during the election, Trump called on Putin to publish Hillary's emails (the very act of making such a request is likely illegal because at the time it was known that her emails contained highly classified info) but he wouldn't accept Russia's publication of exculpatory info about Russiagate?!?!

This would cause cognitive dissonance galore in an Americans that hear it - so one can be sure that it will not be reported.

Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism.

Meanwhile in bizarroland (aka USA), Barr says Russiagate is a fantasy based on FBI "bad faith" - yet Pompeo still presses on with the "Russia meddled" bullshit.

!!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:24 utc | 7
thanks b... i like your example in the comment - ''those who thought otherwise should question their judgment''.. good example!

i am a bit concerned like @ 2 casey, that most of this is going to go down the memory hole and there will be that made in america stamp on it - ''no accountability''... i wish i was wrong, but getting worked up at the idea anyone is going to be held accountable for any actions of the usa, or the insiders playing the usa, is clearly a fools game at this point.. all i mostly see is the needed collapse and waiting for that to happen..

Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 8
@c1ue #4

Thanks for that, there are definitely cracks in the armor and we should promote that narrative as you do in your link. Tulsi Gabbard has also expanded the awareness, hopefully she will make the upcoming debates despite strong efforts to silence her. I'll try more to focus on the positive!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 9
@ 6 jr.. there is a press release on all what was said here for anyone interested..

lavrov quote and etc. etc.. "We suggested to our colleagues that in order to dispel all suspicions that are baseless, let us publish this closed-channel correspondence starting from October 2016 till November 2017 so it would all become very clear to many people. However, regrettably, this administration refused to do so. But I'd like to repeat once again we are prepared to do that, and to publish the correspondence that took place through that channel would clear many matters up, I believe. Nevertheless, we hope that the turbulence that appeared out of thin air will die down, just like in 1950s McCarthyism came to naught, and there'll be an opportunity to go back to a more constructive cooperation."

evilempire , Dec 11 2019 17:44 utc | 10
I continue to believe that the FBI and Horowitz perjured themselves in the FISA report. To correct a mistake in a previous post I made, I believe they lied when the claimed the Steele Dossier was not a predicate for opening crossfire hurricane. How can the Steele dossier not be instrumental in the opening of the investigation when bruce ohr's wife nellie ohr was working at fusion gps when bruce ohr met with steele to discuss the dirty dossier.

In other words, the FBI was concocting Operation Crossfire Hurricane prior to the time they had any knowledge of the phony Papadopoulus predicate that the russians were proferring the clinton emails to the trump campaign.

The FISA report claim that Operation Crossfire Hurricane was predicated solely on the Papadopolous allegations is therefore a lie. There was, in fact, no real predicate for Operation Crossfire Hurricane. The predications cited were all fictions and inventions fabricated in a conspiracy between MI6(the FFC or

friendly foreign country cited in the Horowitz report), the DOJ and the FBI. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was a massive Psyop from its inception.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 18:19 utc | 12
james @9

What major publications have picked up this info from the State Dept PR? Which of them are questioning why Trump didn't agree to let the Russians publish the exonerating information? And how many of those are linking this strange fact to other strange facts and thus raising troubling questions about the 2016 election?

<> <> <> <> <> <>

It's not just that Trump refused to publish exculpatory material. Anyone that's been reading my comments (and/or my blog) knows that Trump also:

- hired Manafort - whose work for pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine had drawn the ire of CIA - despite Manafort's having no recent experience with US elections;

- helped Pelosi to be elected Speaker of the House by inviting her to attend a White House meeting about his border wall (along with Chuck Schumer) prior to the House vote to elect a Speaker.

- initiated Ukrainegate by talking with Ukraine's President about investigating an announced candidate - he didn't have to do this(!) he could've let subordinates work behind the scenes .

And then there's a set of suspicious activity that is difficult to explain, such as: ...

- Kissinger's having called for MAGA in August 2014 (Trump announced his campaign 10 months later and he was the ONLY MAGA candidate and the ONLY populist in the Republican primary) ;

- London as a nexus for the US 2016 campaign (Cambridge Analytica; GPS Fusion; Halper, etc.) ;

- Hillary's making mistakes in the 2016 campaign that no seasoned politician would make;

- the settling of scores via entrapments of Flynn, Manafort, and Wikileaks/Assange (painted as a hostile intelligence agency and Russian agent).

All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate.

!!

Piotr Berman , Dec 11 2019 18:28 utc | 13
The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous asserted compatriot what two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claim to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin. <-- Perhaps it is too much to add that the entire conversation happen in a pub, like an eyewitness account of a trout caught by an angler that was larger than a tiger shark [the trout was so large, not the angler].

Really?? , Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14
James #11

I am a great fan of Dmitri Orlov and have just read a large portion of his linked post.

What I do not see Orlov doing is taking into account--in his takedown of "scientific" models---evidence of global warming/change such as *actual* observations of *actual, current* phenomena that are being measured today, such as the condition of the world's coral reefs; the rate of melting of permafrost and release of methane gas; the melting of Greenland (and other) glaciers and release of fresh water into the oceans; acidification of oceans; and quite a lot of evidence for sea level rise, such as saltwater intrusion into freshwater swamps, aquifers, etc.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 18:38 utc | 15
More can be gleaned by the manner in which BigLie Media spin the investigation's results. At The Hill , Jonathon Turley makes that clear in the first paragraph:

"The analysis of the report by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz greatly depends, as is often the case, on which cable news channel you watch. Indeed, many people might be excused for concluding that Horowitz spent 476 pages to primarily conclude one thing, which is that the Justice Department acted within its guidelines in starting its investigation into the 2016 campaign of President Trump."

The further he goes the worse it gets for the Ds. And he's 100% correct about the biases present in reporting about the Report. Remarks made by Lavrov at the presser were likely done prior to anyone from Russia's delegation having digested any of the Report. What I found important was the following revelation by Lavrov:

"Let me remind you that at the time of the first statements on this topic, which was on the eve of the 2016 US presidential election, we used the communications channel that linked back then Moscow and the Obama administration in Washington to ask our US partners on numerous occasions whether these allegations that emerged in October 2016 and persisted until Donald Trump's inauguration could be addressed. The reply never came. There was no response whatsoever to all our proposals when we said: look, if you suspect us, let's sit down and talk, just put your facts on the table. All this continued after President Trump's inauguration and the appointment of a new administration. We proposed releasing the correspondence through this closed communications channel for the period from October 2016 until January 2017 in order to dispel all this groundless suspicion. This would have clarified the situation for many. Unfortunately, this time it was the current administration that refused to do so. Let me reiterate that we are ready to disclose to the public the exchanges we had through this channel . I think that this would set many things straight. Nevertheless we expect the turbulence that appeared out of thin air to calm down little by little, just as McCarthyism waned in the 1950s, so that we can place our cooperation on a more constructive footing." [My Emphasis]

Lavrov on Mueller Report: "It contains no confirmation of any collusion." End of story. But we do have all this compiled evidence within our communications we're ready to publish is the USA

agrees.

The Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) organization has yet to publish anything about the report. However, Matt Taibbi often writes for that outlet, so his reporting at Rolling Stone ought to be seen as a proxy FAIR report.

Michael Droy , Dec 11 2019 18:42 utc | 16
Great stuff as ever. How useful is it that Skripal is Unavailable but not Dead? For example does it affect redaction of material linked to him?
Jon Carter , Dec 11 2019 18:59 utc | 17
Now that we know Carter Page was working for the CIA as an informant in 2016, is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?
GeorgeV , Dec 11 2019 19:11 utc | 18
The Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Micheal Horowitz's report on the move to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is clear proof of the massive rot that lies at the heart of the US' political system. If this matter is whitewashed over by the MSM, then one more step will have been taken to a violent and bloody revolution in the US of A.
JR , Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20
By now Steele's credibility is zero. Time to revisit Steele's involvement with the debunked "Russia bought the soccer World Champion games", the Litvinenko polonium poisening and the Skripal novichok poisening. The timing of the Skripal matter deserves some scrutiny in relation to Skripal possibly being Steele's source for the infamous Trump dossier. There might be a motive hidden there.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 19:44 utc | 21
Jon Carter @17:
... is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?

And then there's Simon Bracey Lane in the Sanders campaign as described here: British Spies Infiltrated Bernie Sanders' Campaign?

Plus we have the strange goings-on of Halper and Mifsud as well as Gina Haspel in London also.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 11 2019 20:04 utc | 22
karlof1 #15

Thank you for posting Lavrov's words. Between those words and the IG report the kabuki farce is revealed. Why was Trump ignoring the Russian offer you might ask. Because it suited him to have this nonsense dominate the news cycle, you might conclude. Trump and Comey and Brennan deserve each other.

Lavrov's words condemn the three of them.

S , Dec 11 2019 20:25 utc | 24
Twitter account @Techno_Fog lists MSM shills who assured the public the FISA warrant on Page was not based on Steele dossier (h/t Zero Hedge).
james , Dec 11 2019 20:26 utc | 25
just like 9-11... this is an inside job... does anyone really think the truth is going to come to light in any of it?? i'm still with @ 2 caseys view...
karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 20:48 utc | 27
uncle tungsten @22--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, agreed, and I'd add Obama and Clinton. Lavrov also held another presser at the conclusion of his visit that provides additional info not covered in the first. The following is one I thought important:

"Question: The day before, US Congress agreed on a draft military budget, which includes possible sanctions against Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream. Have you covered this topic? The Congress sounds very determined. How seriously will the new restrictions affect the completion of our projects?

"Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted."

I must emphatically agree with Lavrov's opinion and was very pleased he answered forthrightly. What seems quite clear is the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate, with bipartisan Congressional backing. That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned. So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance made reality by that policy goal. That a supermajority in Congress remain deluded is clearly a huge problem, and those continuing to vote for the War Budget need to be removed.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:03 utc | 28
b posted, in part;"When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump."

It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
This tweet sums up things nicely in ways BigLie Media won't:

With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:18 utc | 30
Jrabbit @ 12 said; "All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate."

YEP!!!!!

Paul Damascene , Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

Karlof1 @ 29--

Are you aware of any means by which a member of congress or of a congressional committee can be impeached or otherwise censured for the misconduct of official duties? That would at least be Schiff...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

james , Dec 11 2019 21:25 utc | 33
@ 31 john.. i didn't know i had to read the orlov article to say what i did to you!! your post @11 never make any internet link to orlov... what am i missing? does this mean i can only speak with you after i have read another orlov article? lol...
james , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 34
i see it now.. my comment still stands though... people seem especially pugnacious today..
William Gruff , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 35
"It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO." --ben @28

Ah, but that would be legitimate deligitimization, like attacking his actual policies. Those are rocks that would break the Democrats' own windows as well as Trump's.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:30 utc | 36
29 Cont'd--

And Congress continues to alienate allies :

"So far on Dec 11:

1. Senate Foreign Relations Comm passed Turkey sanctions bill

2. Pentagon Chief warned Turkey moving away NATO

3. U.S. lawmakers introduce legislation to curb Turkey's nuclear weapon obtainment"

Finally, the pretense of being nice to Turkey has come to an end. It will now intensify its looking East, and pursue its national interests. IMO, the Eastern Med's energy issues will now become a major headache.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:40 utc | 37
karlof @ 29: The head Dems know their pushing the " Russia did it"meme is weak, but the PTB

insist on it, to keep the MIC funds flowing.

The "no-brainer" charges should be; "Obstruction" and "Emoluments" violations. Charges the public can grasp.

What happens if you, or any average person, ignores a summons to appear? They are arrested.

Funneling govt. funds for personal gain is a violation of law, if you are POTUS.

These are violations average Americans can grasp, not the current circus of he said, she said, going on in D.C. lately.

Guess my point is, this hearings are built to fail, because most of our so-called leaders like things the way they are. The rape of the workings classes will continue.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:41 utc | 38
Paul Damascene @32--

Yes. The impeachment process is the same as for Trump. Censuring is much easier but doubt it will occur as too many are deserving. We're seeing the reason Congressional elections are held every two years--vote 'em out if they're no good!

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 22:01 utc | 40
karlof1 @27:

... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ...

I don't agree that the baton would be passed to Clinton. The Deep State uses the two-party system as a device. It's not tied to partisan concerns. If the Deep State and the establishment really wanted Clinton elected, they would've made that happen. Few expected Trump to win and few would've been outraged if he had lost. Yet he won. Against all odds. Furthermore, Clinton wasn't the MAGA candidate as called for by Kissinger - Trump was. And he was from the beginning of his candidacy.

Russiagate was based on suspicions of a populist that was compromised by Russia. Hillary has too much baggage to play populist or nationalist - including Bill's involvement with Epstein.

Also, you're forgetting the set ups of Manafort, Flynn, and Wikileaks/Assange - which were important parts of Russiagate and also a convenient way of settling scores. These set-ups required the Russiagate-tainted candidate (Trump) to win.

And Trump's beating Hillary makes him the classic come-from-behind hero - giving Trump a certain legitimacy that an establishment candidate wouldn't have. That's important when contemplating taking the country to war in the near future.

It's strange to me that people can think that Hillary was the 'chosen candidate', and be OK with that but find a possible selection of a different candidate (Trump, as it turns out) to be outrageous and inconceivable.

=

... with bipartisan Congressional backing . That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned.

Since the Deep State and the Establishment desired an effort to restore the Empire, they would turn to whomever could most effectively accomplish that task.

Once again: It didn't have to be Hillary that was selected. In fact, for many reasons (that I've previously expressed) Hillary would have been a poor choice.

=

So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people ...

FSD is US Mil policy, not a political goal. It states that US Mil will strive to have superiority in weapons and capability in every sphere of combat.

Politically, FSD is just one of several means to an end. IMO that end is the maintenance and expansion of the Anglo-Zionist Empire (aka New World Order).

Also, your dominance theory doesn't answer the question of WHY NOW? (more on that below)

... regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance ...

Firstly, US Deep State believes that it is possible. And I personally don't buy the notion that Russia and China are fated to prevail. If that were obvious, then the moa bar would have no patrons.

Secondly (and again), WHY NOW? The Sino-Russo Alliance was long in the making. Why did USA suddenly take note?

It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

I've written many times of Kissinger's Op-Ed and of indications that the Deep State selected MAGA Trump to be President while also initiating a new McCarthyism. Why is it STILL so difficult to believe a theory that makes so much sense?

!!

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:08 utc | 41
ben @37--

Yes, the status quo is very generous to the Current Oligarchy and its tools, but not so for the vast public majority which is clamoring for change. IMO, much can be learned from the UK election tomorrow, of which there's been very little discussion here despite its importance. I suggest following the very important developments from the past few days at Criag Murray's Twitter and at his website , the linked article being a scoop of sorts.

Also harder to follow but important as well are ballot initiatives within the states. This site has current listing . I just looked over those for California where there are a few good ones, but the threshold for signatures is getting higher, close to one million are now needed in CA.

Cortes , Dec 11 2019 22:34 utc | 43
Lavrov's comments about the offers to open up normally closed communications really only highlight two obvious issues:
AshenLight , Dec 11 2019 22:38 utc | 44
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

You'd think so, but somehow the numbers pretty much reverse when these same people consider their own rep, and the incumbency reelection rate is shockingly high (haven't looked recently but IIRC it has hovered around 90% for decades). Apparently it is amazingly easy to convince the masses that their guy is the one good apple in the bunch.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:39 utc | 45
Jon Schwartz reminds me why I don't stop and peruse magazine stands anymore. Seeing the words and this picture would've sparked lots of unpleasant language:

"The best part of Michelle Obama explaining she shares the same values as George W. Bush is she was being interviewed on network TV by Bush's daughter. There's nothing more American than our ruling class making us watch them discuss how great they all are."

And the escalation wasn't rigged for Clinton to initiate--yeah, sure, whatever the rabbit says.

steven t johnson , Dec 11 2019 22:42 utc | 46
Until there is some comparison of how the FISA court usually works, none of this chatter means a thing. Violations of Woods procedures and assertions not supported by documents are SOP. The FISA court is always a joke.

Delgeitimizing Trump, reversing the election, all simple-minded drviel, as only nitwits see Trump as anything but the loser.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 23:08 utc | 48
Jen, that's a really interesting post. Thanks.

Skripal knows something that US-UK either 1) don't want the Russians to know OR 2) don't want ANYONE to know.

What could that be? 1) That Steele dossier is bullshit? We know that. 2) That Steele dossier was meant to be bullshit ? Well, that raises a whole host of questions, doesn't it?

!!

Kabobyak , Dec 12 2019 0:45 utc | 51
Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story).

Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others.

daffyDuct , Dec 12 2019 2:26 utc | 56
c1ue @4

The Afghanistan report outlines a *massive fraud*. $14 billion/month, 90% of the world's opium, no "progress", oh, and lying to Congress for two decades.

ben , Dec 12 2019 3:24 utc | 59
OT, but this seems to be going around..Eh?

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/11/jeremy-corbyn-faces-russiagate-smear-campaign-before-uk-vote/#more-17822

ben , Dec 12 2019 4:47 utc | 62
physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns.
Piotr Berman , Dec 12 2019 5:03 utc | 63
Fox News, now: Biden blames staff, says nobody 'warned' him son's Ukraine job could raise conflict. In a TV comedy Seinfeld, one of the main characters, George, is a compulsive liar with a knack of getting in trouble. Sometimes he has a job. Final scene of one of those jobs:
evilempire , Dec 12 2019 5:34 utc | 64
I have theory about why Horowitz did not bias in the FBI. The definition of bias is to harbor a deeply negative feeling that clouds one's judgement about a person or subject. However, the conspirators' judgement was not clouded in this case. Their negative feelings focused their intent to destroy the object of

their feeling. The precise term for this is malice.

So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice.

Perimetr , Dec 12 2019 6:03 utc | 65
Re Really?? | Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14 and AshenLight | Dec 11 2019 19:36 utc | 19

I agree with you. Orlov is a brilliant, insightful analyst, who is also very funny. But he is off the mark with his dismissal of global warming and also with his endorsement of nuclear power. The immense amounts of waste from uranium mining all the way to hundreds of thousands of tons of high-level waste in spent fuel pools pose a huge threat to current and future generations . . . like the next 3000 generations of humans (and all other forms of life) that will have to deal with this. Mankind has never built anything that has lasted a fraction of the 100,000 years required for the isolation of high-level wastes from the biosphere. Take a look at Into Eternity which is a great documentary on the disposal of nuclear waste in Finland.

Orlov's analysis is superficial, unfortunately, in these areas.

[Dec 12, 2019] The Skripals residing on US territory would definitely indicate that the US has been the senior partner in the "Skripal operation"

Notable quotes:
"... The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with. ..."
"... The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with.

The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors.

Michael Droy , Dec 11 2019 18:42 utc | 16
Great stuff as ever. How useful is it that Skripal is Unavailable but not Dead? For example does it affect redaction of material linked to him?
JR , Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20
By now Steele's credibility is zero. Time to revisit Steele's involvement with the debunked "Russia bought the soccer World Champion games", the Litvinenko polonium poisening and the Skripal novichok poisening. The timing of the Skripal matter deserves some scrutiny in relation to Skripal possibly being Steele's source for the infamous Trump dossier. There might be a motive hidden there.
Jen , Dec 11 2019 22:27 utc | 42
I know on a recemt MoA Open Thread comments forum that there was a link to this recent John Helmer / Dances With Bears article mentioning that Sergei and Julia Skripal were being held at an airbase in Gloucestershire being used by the United States Air Force (USAF) at the time that Julia Skripal was interviewed by a Reuters representative in May last year. I consider that link and the news worth mentioning again in this comments thread as some commenters have already mentioned Sergei Skripal in connection with Christopher Steele's dossier.

As early as August 2018 , there had been speculation that the Skripals were being held at USAF Fairford airbase, based on audiovisual evidence in the background garden scene where the interview took place. Helmer's sources (they requested anonymity) spotted a chicken coop in the background which they say is a crow ladder trap. This is one indication that the garden scene was located near a runway. Background noises included the roar of jet engines.

If Helmer's information is correct, then we can now understand why the British government never gave Russian embassy staff access to the Skripals: London was in no position to do so, the Skripals were on US territory.

One implication of this new information is that the Skripals may no longer be in Britain and may now be living in North America somewhere with new identities. Should something happen to them (or have happened to them already), they will not be missed by their new neighbours. The Skripals will never be allowed to return to Russia and Sergei Skripal will never see or be allowed to communicate with his elderly mother again.

It really does look as if Sergei Skripal may have had something to do with that Orbis dossier after all, even if as a minor source or as a reference rather than the primary source of disinformation about Donald Trump's past activities in Moscow. What other work has Skripal done for his American masters?

Jen , Dec 11 2019 22:44 utc | 47
JR @ 20:

It looks as if Sergei Skripal may not be the primary source of the disinformation in Christopher Steele's dossier. Perhaps the person who is the primary source is not a Russian at all.

RJPJR , Dec 11 2019 23:56 utc | 50
JR | Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20 brings up a revisiting of the Litvinenko polonium poisoning.

It is worth mentioning that a tiny but crucial and virtually never mentioned detail of the official inquiry (considered the last word on the matter) is that those conducting the official inquiry were never allowed access to the autopsy report -- which should have been (which would have been, in any honest effort at inquiry) the bedrock starting point. The report has right along been sequestered by Scotland Yard in the interests of... you guessed it: national security. Go figure...

bevin , Dec 12 2019 1:46 utc | 53
It strikes me that the best explanation of the attack on the Skripals is not that he was responsible for the Steele Dossier in any way, but that he could easily prove that it was a fantasy. And was planning to do so.

He knew better, though, than to say so in the UK which suggests that he was on his way home with his daughter when MI6 caught up with him and poisoned them both.

Steele, Pablo Miller and Skripal were old partners in crime.

I'm wondering whether the mistake Sergei made was not to leave the house -- probably worth lotsa rubles -- behind and just go. On the other hand he was almost certainly under constant surveillance.

@50 The Official Report to which you refer was also very careful to enter extensive caveats regarding its conclusions for which there was almost no real evidence.

Cynica , Dec 12 2019 1:48 utc | 54

@Jackrabbit #12, @karlof1 #15

It seems important to note that Mr. Lavrov refers to administrations in his comments, not presidents per se. As there are many staff in presidential administrations, it seems entirely possible that 1) the requests from the Russians never reached Obama or Trump personally, and 2) either or both presidents were therefore not even aware of the requests. In the case of Trump, that would be consistent with the fact that many members of his administration have been revealed to have operated contrary to his wishes.

@Jen #42

The Skripals residing on US territory would definitely indicate that the US has been the senior partner in the "Skripal operation". This seems to be part of a general pattern.

@Jackrabbit #48

For the Steele dossier to be intentional bullshit (meaning its creator(s) knew it was false when they created it) doesn't seem all that surprising. Intelligence agencies promote disinformation all the time. That in no way means that Trump is in on the game.

pretzelattack , Dec 12 2019 2:04 utc | 55
by this point i don't know if either Skripal is still alive. Why keep them alive if they could debunk the oh so precious propaganda?
karlof1 , Dec 12 2019 3:20 utc | 58
Cynica @54--

Both Putin and Lavrov have stated that they talked directly with Obama and Trump about the issues involved with their relations, so there's no excuses or obfuscation possible is this case.

[Dec 11, 2019] The belief that Trump is the victim of a vast and ongoing conspiracy is a crucial element of the president's enduring appeal to his supporters.

Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

If the allegations against the president are all completely false, then his supporters can continue to back him with a clear conscience, because anything and everything negative they hear about the president must be false. The consistency of that message is more important than the actual details, which frequently end up contradicting complex explanations for the president's innocence that are often incongruous with each other, such as the insistence that Robert Mueller's investigation was a "total exoneration" of the president, but also " total bullshit ."

[Dec 11, 2019] The neocon narrative that Ukraine did not interfere in 2016 elections started to crumple

Notable quotes:
"... Meet the Press ..."
"... Yes, something happened, but it was because Ukraine did it and not us ..."
"... David Hale, an undersecretary in Trump's own State Department, expressed that concern at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. When asked about the national-security ramifications of the rhetoric, Hale said pointedly, "It does not serve our interests." ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

This new front opened when Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, repeatedly insisted during last month's impeachment hearings that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election against Trump. That drew a stern rebuke from one witness asked to testify, the former Trump National Security Council adviser Fiona Hill, who warned that congressional Republicans were spreading "a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."

Read: The first impeachment witness to go after Republicans

But Hill's words have not stopped Republicans from reprising those arguments. In late November, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana claimed during a television interview that Ukraine, not Russia, might have hacked the Democratic National Committee's computers in 2016. After retreating from that claim , he went on Meet the Press on Sunday and equated public criticism of Trump by some Ukrainian officials with Russia's systematic interference campaign in 2016. The Senate Intelligence Committee, during its investigation of 2016 election meddling, found no evidence of Ukrainian interference . But when asked about Kennedy's comments this week, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the committee's chairman, came closer to endorsing rather than repudiating them.

"Every elected official in the Ukraine was for Hillary Clinton," Burr told NBC . "Is that very different than the Russians being for Donald Trump?" Burr went on to liken Russia's massive intelligence and hacking campaign to occasional public comments by Ukrainian officials critical of Trump. "The president can say that they meddled because they had a preference, the elected officials," Burr said . Other Republican senators, including John Barrasso of Wyoming, offered similar arguments this week. The report released on Monday by House Republicans likewise blurred the difference. "Publicly available -- and irrefutable -- evidence shows how senior Ukrainian government officials sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to President Trump's candidacy," the report insisted.

Tucker Carlson took these arguments to new heights on his show Monday night, not only minimizing Russian involvement in 2016 but questioning why the U.S. was opposing its incursion into Ukraine at all. "I think we should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine," Carlson insisted.

Republican foreign-policy experts are still worried about the attempts by GOP leaders to defend Trump by disparaging Ukraine.

"For starters, you end up validating the Kremlin line which they have been peddling since 2016: Yes, something happened, but it was because Ukraine did it and not us ," says Richard Fontaine, who runs the nonpartisan Center for a New American Security and was the top foreign-policy adviser to the late Senator John McCain of Arizona. "It's one thing if Putin says these things, or if Kremlin spokespeople say these things; people, I hope, will take it with a gigantic mountain of salt. But when you have U.S. elected leaders saying these things, it gives it a significant dose of credibility, and that's not a good thing."

David Hale, an undersecretary in Trump's own State Department, expressed that concern at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. When asked about the national-security ramifications of the rhetoric, Hale said pointedly, "It does not serve our interests."

The accusations against Ukraine have drawn forceful pushback this week from Democrats, but only a few Republicans -- most directly Senator Mitt Romney of Utah -- have openly condemned them. "What you are seeing unfortunately is Republicans wanting to just adopt and parrot the Trump talking points, which also coincide with the Putin talking points," Van Hollen said.

[Dec 11, 2019] Senate Republicans To Let Bidens Off The Hook May Skip Witnesses In 'Expedited' Impeachment Trial

Notable quotes:
"... According to the Washington Examiner , the GOP-controlled Senate have no plans to call key witnesses to testify in an impeachment trial. This means Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry's stepson, Alexandra Chalupa and Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the Burisma case won't set foot in the Senate. ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... That may not play well with Trump's base, who was expecting to see a doddering Joe Biden and his cokehead son Hunter answer tough questions about Ukraine. ..."
"... Without witness testimony, the Senate proceedings would take roughly two weeks according to the report. ..."
"... On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Notably, there is no mention "extortion" or "quid-pro-quo" - accusations Democrats have been pounding on throughout the process. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 Senate Republicans To Let Bidens Off The Hook? May Skip Witnesses In 'Expedited' Impeachment Trial by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/10/2019 - 19:45 0 SHARES

While House Democrats are about to impeach President Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for what looks like obvious corruption - Senate Republicans have no interest in calling witnesses to determine whether Trump's request was justified in the first place.

According to the Washington Examiner , the GOP-controlled Senate have no plans to call key witnesses to testify in an impeachment trial. This means Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry's stepson, Alexandra Chalupa and Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the Burisma case won't set foot in the Senate.

Their reasoning? Senate Republicans have "no appetite" for it.

Senate impeachment rules require a majority vote to call witnesses, and with just two out of 53 votes to spare, there is no "appetite" among Republicans to pursue testimony from people that Democrats blocked Republicans from subpoenaing during the House investigation . Indeed, Republicans might forgo calling witnesses altogether, saying minds are made up on Trump's guilt or innocence and that testimony at trial on the Senate floor would draw out the proceedings unnecessarily. - Washington Examiner

Instead, top Senate Republicans are leaning towards calling a quick vote to acquit Trump once House Democrats and the White House have delivered their arguments.

"At that point, I would expect that most members would be ready to vote and wouldn't need more information," said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming - the #3 ranked Senate Republican. "Many people have their minds pretty well made up."

"Here's what I want to avoid: this thing going on longer than it needs to," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). " I want to end this. "

The president is not in danger of being removed from office by the Senate, a move that requires 67 votes.

But in a trial, he is seeking exoneration . Some Republicans question whether that's possible without hearing from witnesses, whether it be these or other less politically charged figures. " Not sure how you have a fair trial without calling witnesses ," said one Trump ally in the House.

But with some Senate Republicans facing uncertain 2020 reelection contests and others privately unhappy with Trump's behavior, mustering 51 GOP votes for Trump's dream witness list appears impossible.

" How many senators would enjoy a Trump rally? That's probably your whip count for calling Hunter, " a Republican senator said, requesting anonymity to speak candidly. Senate Democrats are not expected to provide any votes to call Biden or the others. Or they might ask so high a price, demanding that in exchange, they be allowed to call Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence, that Republicans balk. - Washington Examiner

"It becomes endless motions to call people, and I'm not sure what anybody gains from all that," said #2 Senate Republican, John Thune of South Dakota.

That may not play well with Trump's base, who was expecting to see a doddering Joe Biden and his cokehead son Hunter answer tough questions about Ukraine.

"President Trump's allies will want to see witnesses called. How many, and which witnesses, will quickly become a dividing line," said former Trump adviser Jason Miller, who co-hosts an impeachment-centric podcast with Steve Bannon.

Without witness testimony, the Senate proceedings would take roughly two weeks according to the report.

On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Notably, there is no mention "extortion" or "quid-pro-quo" - accusations Democrats have been pounding on throughout the process.


LEEPERMAX , 39 seconds ago link

AS PREDICTED: LINDSEY GRAHAM DOES NOT WANT SCHIFF OR OTHER CONGRESSMEN TO TESTIFY AT SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

American Thinker

07564111 , 1 minute ago link

ROFLMFAO @ americans

The swamp will NEVER be punished.

The Swamp will NEVER be drained.

Both teams are in on the scam.

Justapleb , 1 minute ago link

Calling us stupid:

But with some Senate Republicans facing uncertain 2020 reelection contests and others privately unhappy with Trump's behavior, mustering 51 GOP votes for Trump's dream witness list appears impossible.

Oh, you mean their own corruption will be exposed.

They take us for idiots.

Bear , 2 minutes ago link

Democrats will claim that it was a rush to 'Political Judgement' and that they did all the investigating and the Senate did nothing ... which will be true.

We need a complete Senate trial to bring to light the truth ... the IG report did not do it and the DOJ seem impossibly incapable ... only chance is complete witnessed Senate trial

south40_dreams , 5 minutes ago link

Impeachment is to distract from the HUGE money being laundered through Ukraine and many many other countries. The numbers must be staggering

surf@jm , 7 minutes ago link

I,m just curious to see if anybody has the balls to publish the names of all the grifting family members of Senators and Congressmen and the details of what they are skimming and where.......

I Guess Peter Schweitzer is the closest we will get.....

A true unsung hero.....

Collectivism Killz , 7 minutes ago link

Well, I just watched Nadler's Articles of Impeachment presser. Jeez, I never saw the dems so scarred and glum. Nancy looked like a zombie, as did all the rest. Check out the fat, ugly bitch in the red jacket near Adam Schiff. Tells you all you need to know about the dems.

[Dec 11, 2019] Pamela Karlan was 'totally biased, completely unhinged' Rep. Zeldin - YouTube

Dec 11, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Silvia Chamlee , 5 days ago

Stanford should be embarrassed .

JoPa GeRi , 5 days ago

Karlan is a freakin psychopath. I can see why our college youth are so deranged. It's because of lunatic professors like Karlan have brainwashed them.

[Dec 11, 2019] The fundamental question is: How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither. ..."
"... A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege. ..."
"... JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial. ..."
"... As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matthew G. Saroff , , December 10, 2019 at 11:27 am

The are two answers to the question, "How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?"

The optimistic answer is, "Because the former is a matter of statecraft, and the latter is using official power to derive a direct personal benefit, and the standards for impeachment based statecraft are much higher." (Congress in rejected Cambodia based articles of impeachment in 1974)

The cynical answer is, "Because everyone in Washington, DC has sad-sack children who get jobs because of their political power, and Trump must not be allowed to infringe on our privilege."

The thing is, BOTH answers are true for different people.

For folks like Pramila Jayapal or AOC, I think that they see this as bribery and an abuse of office for personal gain. (This group has been calling for impeachment for a while)

For someone like Nancy Pelosi, whose kids have clearly had opportunities as a result of her position, I think that it is the latter.

How these two categories are split in the Democratic caucus, and there are probably some in the, "Both," camp, is beyond me.

However, even by a relatively strict interpretation if impeachable offense, we have obstruction of justice in the Mueller report, obstruction of Congress right now, tax and bank fraud (though those were done when he was a private citizen), connections to the mob, both domestic and Russian, witness intimidation, and bribery off the top of my head. (Ignoring campaign finance violations, because seriously, who cares)

I have always felt the the furor over Russian interference in the election, which was minor compared to what Churchill did in 1940, was primarily about excusing the corrupt and incompetent Democratic Party (mis)leadership, and you will notice that I have not included any of that, though obviously the cover-up flowed from that in some cases.

David in Santa Cruz , , December 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

As Lambert knows, I'm retired after working as a prosecutor in Silicon Valley for 32 years. I think that Lambert is "on to something" here, but doesn't quite hit the mark. Selective Prosecution is a huge issue in this country, but it isn't the issue here.

I agree that for years , Presidents have been committing "impeachable offenses" without being impeached. Unlike the decision to prosecute an ordinary citizen, impeachment is a political decision . However, the question being asked by the House Judiciary Committee, whether attempting to extort the investigation of a political rival through the withholding of foreign aid or favors to a foreign head of state is only one small facet of the impeachment inquiry.

If Trump were to have engaged in such conduct, I believe that it would certainly constitute an impeachable offense . Whether to proceed with an investigation into such an offense is a political decision. I happen to agree that Trump is a turd and that he should be investigated.

Once this political decision has been made, the potentially impeachable offense must be investigated and prosecuted . The House leadership are engaging in the typical mistake of the rookie prosecutor: saying to him/herself " I know he's good for it " and filing charges without conducting a complete and thorough investigation . This is where Professor Turley is correct:

Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege.

JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial.

This is where hard evidence such as tapes and transcripts of the actual words used become critical. This evidence apparently exists, but House Democrats have failed to file suit to obtain them. Only when we know the words used and the surrounding circumstances can we draw inferences about the subjective intent of the actors. In the criminal law we draw such inferences about an actor's subjective intent all the time . However, we apply special rules when drawing inferences about a person's intent. Those inferences must not only be reasonable , they must be the only reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts and circumstances presented.

As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence.

[Dec 11, 2019] Karlan's statement was not even footnoted

Dec 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

DJG , , December 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm

This observation by Lambert Strether sums it up: "Karlan's wasn't even footnoted, whether to facts, or to law." She is supposedly a professor of law, supposedly advising the Congress about the process of impeachment. She didn't even try to do her job. One may not agree with Turley, although the long excerpt brings a broad perspective to what is criminality and to how much criminality we now consider normal in the U.S. government. To his credit, Turley marshals facts into a synthesis.

What the Republicans don't seem to get is that will to power isn't all that matters and that their commitment to economic degradation and looting the citizenry have thrown them into a crisis (as the paleo-conservatives keep pointing out). Among liberals like Pelosi (and Karlan), the cluelessness is breathtaking. American liberalism is in a profound crisis, with Karlan's disquisition being particulary breathtaking for clichés-a-minute, sheer vulgar thinking, and kitsch.

This is the end. For those of us on the left, and I hesitate to advise non-action, it may be time simply to let these two rotten structures and ways of thinking collapse. It is like watching two ghost ships engaged battle, desparately trying to sink one another into a putrid ocean.

On a lighter (!) note, I will quote Gramsci:

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying away and the new cannot yet be born; during this break in continuity, unhealthy events of every kind are happening.

La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.

Antonio Gramsci -- Prison Notebooks

flora , , December 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm

An old lawyer adage: If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither the facts nor the law , pound the table.

Karlan was pounding the table.

[Dec 11, 2019] Russiagate is a gift. If any argument was still needed to tell the peoples of the world that the USA imperail sevants are terminaly deranged

Dec 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

refl , says: December 9, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT

@AnonFromTN It is heartening that there are people who are expecting salvation from Germany. Let me tell you guys, it is GONE. And it is certainly not heroic to say this, but I can live with having past my service at an old peoples home, instead, and I can live with not sending my son off to a trench. And I absolutely subscribe to what Jim Christian said (thanks for his comments, as for quite some others! ), if you touch my wife or son, I will get wild, but the rest is not worth defending.

But here is my thought: Agreed, that western and american military is today disfunctional and deluded about themselves. But they are absolutely superior when it comes to psyop. 9/11 was marvellously executed and to root up the whole middle east and pump the destitute people from there into Europe to blow it up, that is quite something.

From that perspective,

refl , says: December 9, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN It is heartening that there are people who are expecting salvation from Germany. Let me tell you guys, it is GONE. And it is certainly not heroic to say this, but I can live with having past my service at an old peoples home, instead, and I can live with not sending my son off to a trench. And I absolutely subscribe to what Jim Christian said (thanks for his comments, as for quite some others! ), if you touch my wife or son, I will get wild, but the rest is not worth defending.

But here is my thought: Agreed, that western and american military is today disfunctional and deluded about themselves. But they are absolutely superior when it comes to psyop. 9/11 was marvellously executed and to root up the whole middle east and pump the destitute people from there into Europe to blow it up, that is quite something.

From that perspective, Russiagate is a gift. If any argument was still needed to tell the peoples of the world that the western empire is terminaly deranged, that is it.

Peace to all of you.

[Dec 11, 2019] Why Brennan and his team have all lawyered up

Dec 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

LEEPERMAX , 2 minutes ago link

BOTH the AG and federal prosecutor Durham REJECT the findings. Durham has the ability to conduct a criminal investigation that Horowitz did not. Given this, the IG found evidence to criminally refer FBI officials and campaign spies.

-- GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS (@GEORGEPAPA19) DECEMBER 9, 2019

Remember: the Durham probe became a CRIMINAL investigation as soon as he left Rome with information on Mifsud. IG said he wasn't working for the FBI. Leaves only one other option: CIA, and why Brennan and his team have all lawyered up. Bye bye, Brennan.

-- GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS (@GEORGEPAPA19) DECEMBER 9, 2019

[Dec 11, 2019] Not Steele dossier, but FBI/CIA/MI6 operation of George Papadopoulos entrapment was the real star of Russiagate

This is selective quotes from anti-Trump of neocon author. The general tone of the article is completely different from presented quotes.
Notable quotes:
"... ..."This was an overthrow of government, this was an attempted overthrow -- and a lot of people were in on it," Trump declared , while Barr insisted , in a more lawyerly fashion, "The Inspector General's report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken." ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

The report confirmed that the Russia investigation originated, as has been previously reported, with the Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos bragging to an Australian diplomat about Russia possessing "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, which the IG determined "was sufficient to predicate the investigation." The widespread conservative belief that the investigation began because of the dubious claims in the Steele dossier was false. "Steele's reports played no role" in the opening of the Russia investigation, the report found, because FBI officials were not "aware of Steele's election reporting until weeks later."

...The IG also "did not find any records" that Joseph Mifsud, the professor who told Papadopoulos the Russians had obtained "dirt" on Clinton, was an FBI informant sent to entrap him.

...Page "did not play a role in the decision to open" the Russia investigation, and that Strzok was "was not the sole, or even the highest-level, decision maker as to any of those matters."

...the IG did determine that the Page FISA application was "inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation," which misled the court as to the credibility of the FBI's evidence when seeking authority to surveil Page.

..."This was an overthrow of government, this was an attempted overthrow -- and a lot of people were in on it," Trump declared , while Barr insisted , in a more lawyerly fashion, "The Inspector General's report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken."

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The Atlantic , where he covers politics.

[Dec 10, 2019] FBI Didn't Tell Surveillance Court That Carter Page Was Operational Contact For CIA With Positive Assessment

Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI Didn't Tell Surveillance Court That Carter Page Was "Operational Contact" For CIA With "Positive Assessment" by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/10/2019 - 07:55 0 SHARES

Authored by Chuck Ross via National Interest,

The FBI failed to inform surveillance court judges that Carter Page was an "operational contact" for the CIA for years , and that an employee at the spy agency gave the former Trump aide a "positive assessment," according to a Justice Department report released Monday.

The finding is included in a list of seven of the FBI's "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page, a longtime energy consultant who joined the Trump campaign in March 2016.

(emphasis ours)

The report said the FBI "omitted" information it obtained from another U.S. government agency about its prior relationship with Page.

The agency approved Page as an "operational contact" from 2008 to 2013, according to the report.

"Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application," the report stated.

Page told the Daily Caller News Foundation he believes the agency in question is the CIA. Page has previously said he provided information to the CIA and FBI before becoming ensnared in the bureau's investigation of the Trump campaign.

The report stated an employee with the CIA assessed Page "candidly" described contact he had with a Russian intelligence officer in 2014. But the FBI cited Page's contact with the officer to assert in its FISA applications that there was probable cause to believe that Page was working as a Russian agent.

The IG faulted the FBI for failing to disclose to FISA judges that Page was an operational contact for the CIA for five years, and that "Page had disclosed to the other agency contacts that he had with Intelligence Officer 1 and certain other individuals."

The report also stated that the FBI omitted that "the other agency's employee had given a positive assessment of Page's candor."

The IG said the FBI's failure to disclose Page's relationship with the CIA "was particularly concerning" because an FBI attorney had specifically asked an FBI case agent whether Page had a current or prior relationship with the other federal agency.

***

[editor's note: Not only that, an FBI employee - undoubtedly 'resistance' lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , altered an email to specifically state that Page was "not a source" for the CIA . ]

The FBI agent falsely asserted Page's relationship was "outside scope" of the investigation because it dated back to when Page lived in Moscow from 2004 to 2007.

"This representation, however, was contrary to information that the other agency had provided to the FBI in August 2016, which stated that Page was approved as an 'operational contact' of the other agency from 2008 to 2013 (after Page had left Moscow)," the IG report stated.

The report also said Page's CIA contacts considered him to have been candid about his interactions with a suspected Russian intelligence officer who was later indicted for acting as an unregistered agent of Russia.


Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 8 minutes ago link

I sometimes think Page was a plant- he's vigorously defended Trump and slammed the CIA and the hoax of the spying- but that could all be a ruse.

In my mind the jury is still out.

Papadopolous on the other hand- was clearly used, honey pot and all.

SnatchnGrab , 13 minutes ago link

Is the phrase ""significant inaccuracies and omissions" code for LYING?

Asking for a friend.

Old Hippie Patriot , 29 minutes ago link

The entire "Russian collusion" investigation is another example of the Feds manufacturing false evidence. Mitsud, supposedly a Russian agent, was actually an asset of US intelligence. Ever since the foisting of the 17th Amendment, which destroyed the veto of the several states of Washington excesses and corruptions, Washington D.C. has been the only REAL enemy that the people have ever had.

Teamtc321 , 42 minutes ago link

Rudy is going to take a huge Trump Dump, right on the heads of the Libtards this week....... Open wide Retards..........

=============

Breaking: Ukrainian Official Reveals Six Criminal Cases Opened in Ukraine Involving the Bidens

Trump told the waiting reporters that his personal attorney former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani "found plenty" of "good information" during his recent trip to Ukraine and Europe.

Trump then added that he believes Giuliani wants to present a report to the Attorney General William Barr and to Congress. Trump added Giuliani has not told him what he found.

Giuliani reportedly traveled to Budapest and Ukraine this past week to meet with several Ukrainian officials about corruption.

OAN reporter Chanel Rion has been traveling with Rudy Giuliani and reporting on his investigations in Hungary and Kiev, Ukraine.

In her report released on Sunday night Chanel Rion mentioned that Ukrainian officials showed her six criminal cases involving the Bidens, Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/12/breaking-ukrainian-official-reveals-six-criminal-cases-opened-in-ukraine-involving-the-bidens/

Charlie_Martel , 48 minutes ago link

The CIA-FBI put a lot of "assets" into and around Trump's 2016 campaign to rig the election for Hillary.

simpson seers , 1 hour ago link

FBI employee - undoubtedly 'resistance' lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , altered an email to specifically state that Page was "not a source" for the CIA . ]

if it's murican and it's mouth is open it's lying.......it's been a tradition since 1776.....

two hoots , 1 hour ago link

A more powerful force is at work here, the agencies are their tools, operators. We need to get our heads out of the weeds if we are to identify the source. Whatever it is, it is likely internal, thought a higher cause and convincing as CIA, FBI have bought in?

enough of this , 1 hour ago link

DOJ IG Horowitz delivered up another costly whitewash, just like he did with his investigation of the FBI's handling of Clinton's emails.

https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/doj-inspector-general-michael-horowitz-does-it-again-with-another-whitewash/

Drop-Hammer , 1 hour ago link

I read the linked article. Quite fascinating that Hillary and her minions were treated with kid gloves (and nothing at all about Obama, Lynch, Holder, Jarrett, et al) and extended every courtesy and soft-pedal, yet Roger Stone and Paul Manafort were greeted with platoons of FBI ninjas and armored vehicles in early morning raids akin to those in Stalinist Russia.

Equinox7 , 1 hour ago link

The FBI didn't tell the FISA court a lot of things. The FBI failed to tell the FISA court the interview with Papadopoulos revealed there to be absolutely NO Russian collusion. The FBI deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence that would have freed General Flynn and ended the investigations.

Instead, the FBI covered up the truth with omissions and lies. That what I call bias.

Call it willful blindness by omission, but I prefer to call it a criminal act and sedition against a President.

tedstr , 1 hour ago link

This guy is an Annapolis grad and CIA contact and they destroyed him. Hes gonna get very rich with lawsuits now. The thing that amazes me no one is talking about.........motivation. All of these major and minor infractions add up to one thing.....an orchestrated attempt to frame and over throw the President.\ of the United States

[Dec 10, 2019] Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Exposes Yovanovich Perjury, George Kent's Motive To Impeach Trump by Sundance

Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress . ..."
"... What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently. ..."
"... Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch. ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Exposes Yovanovich Perjury, George Kent's Motive To Impeach Trump by Tyler Durden Mon, 12/09/2019 - 19:40 0 SHARES

Authored by Sundance via the Conservative Treehouse

In a fantastic display of true investigative journalism, One America News journalist Chanel Rion tracked down Ukrainian witnesses as part of an exclusive OAN investigative series. The evidence being discovered dismantles the baseless Adam Schiff impeachment hoax and highlights many corrupt motives for U.S. politicians.

Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/KgKGjoIkaXU

What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently.

Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch.

Imagine what would happen if all of the background information was to reach the general public? Thus the motive for Lindsey Graham currently working to bury it.

You might remember George Kent and Bill Taylor testified together.

It was evident months ago that U.S. chargé d'affaires to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, was one of the current participants in the coup effort against President Trump. It was Taylor who engaged in carefully planned text messages with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to set-up a narrative helpful to Adam Schiff's political coup effort.

Bill Taylor was formerly U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine ('06-'09) and later helped the Obama administration to design the laundry operation providing taxpayer financing to Ukraine in exchange for back-channel payments to U.S. politicians and their families.

In November Rudy Giuliani released a letter he sent to Senator Lindsey Graham outlining how Bill Taylor blocked VISA's for Ukrainian 'whistle-blowers' who are willing to testify to the corrupt financial scheme.

Unfortunately, as we are now witnessing, Senator Lindsey Graham, along with dozens of U.S. Senators currently serving, may very well have been recipients for money through the aforementioned laundry process. The VISA's are unlikely to get approval for congressional testimony, or Senate impeachment trial witness testimony.

U.S. senators write foreign aid policy, rules and regulations thereby creating the financing mechanisms to transmit U.S. funds. Those same senators then received a portion of the laundered funds back through their various "institutes" and business connections to the foreign government offices; in this example Ukraine. [ex. Burisma to Biden]

The U.S. State Dept. serves as a distribution network for the authorization of the money laundering by granting conflict waivers , approvals for financing (think Clinton Global Initiative), and permission slips for the payment of foreign money. The officials within the State Dept. take a cut of the overall payments through a system of "indulgence fees", junkets, gifts and expense payments to those with political oversight.

If anyone gets too close to revealing the process, writ large, they become a target of the entire apparatus. President Trump was considered an existential threat to this entire process. Hence our current political status with the ongoing coup.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain meeting with corrupt Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko in December 2016.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out , because, well, in reality all of the U.S. Senators (both parties) are participating in the process for receiving taxpayer money and contributions from foreign governments.

A "Codel" is a congressional delegation that takes trips to work out the payments terms/conditions of any changes in graft financing. This is why Senators spend $20 million on a campaign to earn a job paying $350k/year. The "institutes" is where the real foreign money comes in; billions paid by governments like China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Ukraine, etc. etc. There are trillions at stake.

[SIDEBAR: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the power over these members (and the members of the Senate Intel Committee), because McConnell decides who sits on what committee. As soon as a Senator starts taking the bribes lobbying funds, McConnell then has full control over that Senator. This is how the system works.]

The McCain Institute is one of the obvious examples of the financing network. And that is the primary reason why Cindy McCain is such an outspoken critic of President Trump. In essence President Trump is standing between her and her next diamond necklace; a dangerous place to be.

So when we think about a Senate Impeachment Trial; and we consider which senators will vote to impeach President Trump, it's not just a matter of Democrats -vs- Republican. We need to look at the game of leverage, and the stand-off between those bribed Senators who would prefer President Trump did not interfere in their process.

McConnell has been advising President Trump which Senators are most likely to need their sensibilities eased. As an example President Trump met with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski in November. Senator Murkowski rakes in millions from the multinational Oil and Gas industry; and she ain't about to allow horrible Trump to lessen her bank account any more than Cindy McCain will give up her frequent shopper discounts at Tiffanys.

Senator Lindsey Graham announcing today that he will not request or facilitate any impeachment testimony that touches on the DC laundry system for personal financial benefit (ie. Ukraine example), is specifically motivated by the need for all DC politicians to keep prying eyes away from the swamps' financial endeavors. WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com