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Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition

Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime ~ Lavrentiy Beria

 "'A mountain had gone into labor and was groaning terribly. Such rumors excited great expectations all over the country. In the end, however, the mountain gave birth to a mouse." The Mountain in Labour - Wikipedia

News Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Recommended Links Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit National Security State John "911 Coverup" Mueller Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
Strzokgate Steele dossier Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Anti Trump Hysteria MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Rosenstein
Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Rosenstein and appointment of the special prosecutor DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal History of American False Flag Operations
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Color revolutions Trump vs. Deep State Michael Flynn removal The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
US and British media are servants of security apparatus MSM as fake news industry Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Prosecutors are often in error, but never in doubt

Never underestimate the joy people derive from hearing something they already know.

~Enrico Fermi

When asked what he meant by a miracle: Oh, anything with a probability of less than 20%.

~Enrico Fermi

To hear the Western media talk, the Russian Federation has become the most powerful and influential nation on Earth. Russia can influence elections in faraway lands, and change the minds of people through Facebook ads, as long as the catering is done by a good Russian company, of course.

But wait, that’s probably not what the Western media wants to say. They want to tell us that Russia is a problem because it has the amazing ability to do all these things.

It must be that catering company. Something they put in the food makes the people who eat it into super mind-control agents.

Lavrov Russia ready for partnerships based on mutual respect

The gambit of appointment of the  Special Prosecutor was a pretty slick operation performed by Brennan and people who were supporting him at this time, including Rosenstein. Comey firing was just a pretext; if it did not happen, they would find another reason to appoint the Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump. Along with paralyzing Trump administration Mueller has basically criminalized foreign criticism of the Democratic party and neocons. Open season on Russia, but not even one peep about the Dems crimes. In other words the Special Prosecutor Muller emerged as Grand Inquisitor accusing Trump of religious heresy not following neocon perception in foreign policy, especially regarding Russia.

Mueller is going to investigate the life of Trump until they find something/anything he can hang around his neck. Who in the United States of American could pass that kind of scrutiny? After all Trump and Kushner were real estate developers. If you dig hard enough having a dozen of prosecutors and unlimited amount of money probably any real estate developer in the USA can be put in jail. 

One of the  most interesting fact about Mueller is that he  was the person responsible for investigation of 911 as the director of FBI.So destruction of evidentce, protection of Saudis royal family all happened  not just under  his  watch, but under his direct supervision.  

 He also closely supervised botched Anthrax investigation.

Those two facts alone tells you a lot about what we can expect from his "investigation" so quickly  launched by Rosenstein after Trump fired Mueller using falsified document nicknamed "Steele dossier" as the main evidence that Russia was trying to recruit Trump and/or members of his inner  circle.  Moreover, in such cases  "personnel is policy" and Muller hires strongly suggests that  the original intention was not an investigation, but a witch hunt with the single goal to depose Trump (it might well be that Muller appointment  was the insurance policy about which Strzok wrote to Lisa Page): 

  1. Aaron Zebley referred in MSM to as Mueller’s “right-hand man” acted as an attorney for Justin Cooper, the IT staffer who installed Clinton’s private email server at her home, and who destroyed her old Blackberry phones with a hammer (as Fox News report states).
  2. Andrew Weissmann, a former partner at the global law firm WilmerHale, attended the Democratic presidential candidate’s election party in November 2016.
  3. Jeannie Rhee, another former WilmerHale partner, represented Ben Rhodes, an ex-Obama National Security Adviser in a 2015 racketeering case, and Clinton herself in a lawsuit seeking disclosure of her private emails
  4. Peter Strzok (after whom Strzokgate was named) who was removed from Mueller’s team was the key person in exonerating Hillary Clinton in emailgate scandal. He also entrapped former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, which led to Flynn conviction. 

And in one year Mueller produce a pretty humiliating  results taking into account resorces which were put in his multimillion investigation: indictment of 13 Russia internet trolls from some sleazy marketing company (Internet research agency) run by former hot dog stand owner from Sanct Petersburg who first used it for PR campaign trying to protect himself from charges that he supplied rotten lunches to Moscow schoolchildren.

With each new indictment from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller the same question emerges: when will he produce evidence that the president of the United States committed treason? Because that’s what this is really about; Some Russians somewhere may have meddled in the election. But what Mueller has to answer is whether Trump knowingly worked with a foreign adversarial government to help get himself elected in return for some quid pro quo. Mueller is tasked with proving the president, now in his 13th month in office, purposefully acts against the interests of the United States because of some debt to Russia. Here’s what Mueller has, and does not have, so far in his case (WeMeantWell.com):

What Mueller’s Missing

That’s what Mueller has. Here’s what he is missing.

The full force of the U.S. intelligence community has been aimed at finding evidence of Russian government interference in the 2016 election (still largely undemonstrated) for some 18 months, and the Comey/Mueller team aimed at finding evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia for about a year. It is reasonable to conclude they do not have intelligence that would form a smoking gun, no tape of a high-ranking Trump official cutting a deal with a Russian spy. If such information existed, there would be no need for months of investigation. Same for the Steele dossier, and its salacious accusations. If there was proof any of it was true, we’d be hearing it read aloud during impeachment hearings.

What’s left is the battle cry of Trump opponents since election day: just you wait. The recount will show Hillary won. The Electoral College won’t select Trump. The Emoluments Clause will take Trump down. Or his tax returns. Or the 25th Amendment. Mueller will flip _____. The shoe will drop. Tick tock. And anything that looks like a weak move by Mueller is only an example we don’t yet understand his keen judicial kung fu.

No one knows the future. But so far the booked charges against Flynn and Papadopoulos, and the guilty pleas of others, point toward minor sentences to bargain over (never mind the possibility of a presidential pardon if it came to that), assuming they have relevant information to share in the first place. Manafort says he’ll go to court and defend himself. Mueller has produced nothing that has touched Trump, nothing connecting any meddling to a deal between Trump and Putin.

The core task is not to prove some Russians, or even the Russian government, meddled in the election. A limping to the finish line conclusion to Mueller’s work just ahead of the midterm elections that Trump somehow technically obstructed justice without a finding of an underlying crime would tear the nation apart. Mueller is charged with nothing less than proving the president knowingly worked with a foreign adversarial government, receiving help in the election in return for some quid pro quo, an act that can be demonstrated so clearly to the American people as to overturn an election well-over a year after it was decided.

It is a very dangerous thing to see the glee so many display hoping Trump will be found to be a Russian agent. That pleasure in hoping the U.S. is controlled by a foreign power because it means Trump will leave office early is not healthy for us. Mueller can fix that, but so far the bar is still seemingly pretty high above him. Given the stakes — a Kremlin-controlled man in the Oval Office — you’d think every person in govt would be on this 24/7 to save the nation, not just a relatively small staff of prosecutors ever-so-slowly filing indictments that so far have little to do with their core charge.

In other words "'A mountain had gone into labor and was groaning terribly. Such rumors excited great expectations all over the country. In the end, however, the mountain gave birth to a mouse." The Mountain in Labour - Wikipedia

The Russian company, which like dozens of similar sleazy Internet marketing  companies tried to earn some money by attracting audience with politically charged  messages and probably played some political games too on its own meager resources (with pro-Trump bias actually created automatically, as in this and several other cases pro-Trump messages were getting better audience and more money, and thus stimulating further moves in this direction, creating the impression of hardcore Trump supporters out of sleazy internet marketing firms).

After one year Mueller investigation looks more and and more as a part of color revolution against Trump, a futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning for the US neoliberal elite by deposing Trump (which definitely is a challenge to neoliberal elite, but not that great challenge, similar but slightly greater than the "change in can believe in" challenge that Obama supposedly represented ;-). But the  day when furious and informed citizens will demand accountability of neoliberals in the  Congress and  past governments  for their legitimate grievances might eventually come, especially after the next financial collapse or other major calamity. That's why neoliberal rats feel the danger and instead of jumping the ship decided to eat Trump alive ;-)

On the other hand Mueller investigation is a perfect tool of fueling  Neo-McCarthyism. Which is an tried and true dirty statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy as Satan (God's defeated adversary). Russia perfectly suited the role as it opposed unilateral global domination so substitution of Soviet Union with Russia was only logical and allow to reuse old Russophobia stereotypes like "better be dead then red".  Even contracts with Russian officials are now tantamount to treason. As if this is replay of WWII,  and Russia is equivalent of Imperial Japan, or Nazi Germany.  This is a typical war propaganda mechanism (Depicting the enemy - The British Library_:

 During World War One atrocity propaganda was employed on a global scale. The Great War was the first total war in which whole nations and not just professional armies were locked in mortal combat. This and subsequent modern wars required propaganda to (1) mobilize hatred against the enemy; (2) convince the population of the justness of one’s own cause; (3) enlist the active support and cooperation of neutral countries; and (4) strengthen the support of one’s allies. Having sought to pin war guilt on the enemy, the next step was to make the enemy appear savage, barbaric, and inhumane.

All the belligerents in World War One employed atrocity propaganda associated with the enemy and, as a result, stereotypes emerged that had been largely developed in the period leading up to the outbreak of war.

The recognition of stereotypes is an important part of understanding the use of anti-symbols and the portrayal of the enemy in propaganda. The enemy is of great importance in propaganda, for not only does it provide a target that can be attacked, but also it offers a scapegoat – the easiest means of diverting public attention from genuine social and political problems at home.

But the truth is the USA experience a crisis of neoliberalism as a social system. That's why Trump rejection of globalization during election campaign made him unacceptable to neoliberal (and neocon) camps. In this sense Mueller investigation is a perfect smoke screen which help to project  problems caused in Western societies by neoliberalism (in the USA there are clear signed of the de-legitimization of neoliberal elite, demonstrated by the Trump victory) into Russia as a very convenient scapegoat:

Russia has been made the scapegoat for most of the West’s problems for years now. In November, for example, British PM Theresa May accused Russia of threatening the international order of the world. However, this does nothing to counter the rise in knife-related attacks and stabbings in London and the UK at large. The American Democrat Party, and not a few Republicans, blame Russia for the successful election of Donald Trump, a man who doesn’t play by DC rules, to the presidency.

This witch hunt is modeled after Ken Starr prosecution of Bill Clinton and based on a very fuzzy mandate which is a feature not a bug as it allows "bait and switch" during investigation. Appointment of Mueller (of 911 investigation fame) was the final move in the complex multi-step gambit to depose Trump, which started with Steele dossier, and involves Strzok, 17 agencies memo, wiretapping of Trump team, Comey dismissal (sacrificial pawn), set of damaging and well-coordinated leaks, and, finally, Rosenstein appointment of Mueller

The fact that Mueller politicized the action of Russian Internet scammers (who are, at best,  petty criminals using clickbaits to earn money) suggest that he has nothing more significant to offer hungry US Russophobes. At this point Mueller turned  his investigation into pure political propaganda. The election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe. Here is one interesting  comment from  discussion of pro-clinton article in The Nation  The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don’t Know

Cara Marianna says: February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Here's what we know:

  1. NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC
  2. There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin
  3. Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective
  4. Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept)
  5. There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm
  6. Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security

Read number six again and think about it. The U.S. is ready and willing to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against any nation it accuses of undermining our cyber security - no proof necessary. The Democratic establishment, which has spent the past year engaging in baseless Kremlin-baiting (and very little else), is directly responsible for this insanity.

Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony.

Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss.

I realize that Clinton wing of Democratic Party (soft neoliberals) and their supporters which include a part of intelligence agencies (especially FBI and CIA), Wall Street, a large part of Silicon valley and most MSM  hate Trump. While he capitulated to neocons  after just three months of his Presidency, they still do not view him as the "member of the  club" much like NYC aristocracy shun him. 

But Mueller Russiagate witch hunt (and this is 100% pure witch hunt which also proved that Rosenstein is the agent of Clinton mafia) is suspicious for one simple reason: no intelligent person would assume that Deep State would allow any politician who are not "vetted" as for foreign and domestic policies, to say nothing about Russia connections to be on iether  party ticket. Trump would be derailed instantly if such information would  be avoidable. They would find not one but  a couple of Stormy Daniel which would tell the whole world that  Trump is a sexual pervert ;-). And if this did not work, that so other dirt iether in the form of his supposed connections to mafia and/or shadow financial deal would surface too. 

So all candidates were vetted. That includes both Trump and Sanders ( Hillary was the establishment candidate by definition).  Also Putin as pretty gifted politician would not play the game in which you can only lose supporting one candidate over another, as POTUS has almost  zero influence of the  US forign policy, which is amazingly consistent for the last four US administrations. 

In other words "Russiagate" is a domestic circus to distract shmucks from Hillary political fiasco (and preserve the power of Clinton neoliberal mafia over Democratic party) as well as rally the people against the  enemy patching the cracks that neoliberalism left in the nation unity, is much more reasonable attitude.  The only other reasonable explanation is that some minor Russian functionaries decided to  revenge the blatant USA interference into 2012 Russian Presidential elections and  an attempt to launch a color revolution in this country to prevent reelection of Putin. But this is not the right time, as Russia is still pretty weak after carnage and after horrible economic rape by the West of 1990th needs to recover. As French say " the revenge is a dish that is better served cold." And  most Russian  functionaries are not stupid and do not have the disgusting disease that infects almost all US politicians -- American exceptionalism and the burning desire to attain "full spectrum dominance" in the world. They generally more realistically weight their chances, probably hoping that the end of "cheap oil" in ten to twenty years will put a dent in the US full spectrum dominance and possibly can lead to the collapse the US economy.  That  why recently Hayden recently stressed the important of low oil prices for the US as usual masking it with  anti-Russian rhetoric  (Ex-CIA Chief Hayden U.S. Needs To ‘Wean’ Europe Off Russian Gas The National Interest Blog):

Increasing gas supplies to Europe would not only help prevent future shortages, but it could also push back against the Kremlin. Russia relies on oil and gas exports for approximately half of its fiscal revenue. The current abundance of cheap oil, in conjunction with international sanctions, has taken a toll on Russia’s economy. Hayden thinks taking away the Kremlin’s oil trade would deal a decisive blow.

Former CIA chief James Woolsey also stressed the importance  for the USA to keep oil price in the range $30-$40, the lower the better ( Former CIA Chief Admits US Meddling In Foreign Elections For Their Own Good

But this consideration can't explain why the Deep State went to such length as to launch "color revolution" against Trump administration of which Mueller investigation is the most prominent "enemy action". It should be viewed as a final move of the gambit to depose Trump (with Comey as sacrificed pawn)  which stated with the creation of the Steele dossier, they media witch hunt unleashed by "17 agencies memo" and Strzokgate (which included swiping Hillary "emailgate" dirt under the carpet).  In it unclear why neoliberals and neocons think that Trump is so dangerous to justify such extraordinary step. Or they were drunk with their own impunity ?  Or any attempt  for detente with Russia is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  Too much taxpayers money are flowing to MIC and intelligence agencies to afford any deviation from the "cold war with Russia" party line.

Few people read (and no major MSM for example reported such an interesting quote from 17 intelligence agencies memo, which explicitly state that  they just assessed the possibility of Russian interference. Whether this group of handpicked analysts were drunk or not (at Brennan expense) is not mentioned  at all ;-):

Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.

That sentence is the core to proper understand Russia-gate and Muller investigation. It defines the latter as a part of color revolution against Trump, a shrewd and well prepared maneuver  designed to depose Trump. It also defines Rosenstein as the forth member of the "gang of three" ( Comey, McCabe, Strzok) hell-bent on removing Trump.  Mayberry Machiavellians, all of them,  if you ask me. There were lots of claims, assertions and judgments, but no proof at all that any of the alleged Russian influence on elections really happened to warrant opening of this investigation (which is required for such things as appointment of the Special Prosecutor).  So this appointment was against the law, based on falsified evidence and solidly paints Rosenstein as a co-conspirator.

Neoliberals and neocons might hate Donald Trump so much for several (and slightly different for various factions) reasons (skeletons in the closet; MIC profits, continuation of globalization, to name a few). What unite them is a strong  believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down ("end justifices the means" mentality), even if it put in negative light the USA on international arena. AS Victoria Nuland  famously said "F*ck EU" ;-) 

That's why Clinton Democrats (neoliberal wing of Democratic Party, aka DemoRats) joined efforts with the neoconservatives in the Republican Party to take Trump down. That's why war-mongering against Russia is now established policy for both parties and actually a test for any political commentator who tried to get to any of major MSM. In other words Democratic party now is just the second War Party (as was evident from Hillary campaign) and anti-war left completely disappeared from the USA political landscape. 

Many people who detest Trump also view Russiagate positively as the most effective path to achieve Trump’s impeachment, so this desirable goal in which "ends justifies the means"  which makes this investigation somewhat similar to Ukrainian "EuroMaydan" charges of corruption, a part of color revolution effort by intelligence agencies and controlled by them MSM.   Moreover the atmosphere in the USA is already poisoned and the majority of people believe that Russia interfered in elections.  In other words Iraq yellowcake story was played on unsuspecting American public again and with the same resounding success.

But to me it look like Trump surrendered after just 100 days of anti-Russian smear campaign launched by neocons. So why they still  want to finish him like poor colonel Kaddafi?  That's an interesting question. So it must be more on the plate then just forcing Trump to abandon his election promises in foreign policy (which he already did); there might be some dangerous skeletons in the closet revealing of which the previous administration and their factions in intelligence  services the are afraid to death.

Because their action is as close to sedition as one  can get. In other words they went va bank (a common expression among Russian and German speakers. Va bank means to put everything at risk in order to win. As a result you would win everything or lose everything; similar US term might be "all in").  

In any case now two-third or more of US population is brainwashed into adamantly anti-Russian mindset, increasing the risk of the major war

At the foundation of Mueller fishing expedition is so called Steele dossier. The key in understanding Steele dossier is to view it as in integral part of Russiagate plot to remove Trump, an interesting twist of "Color revolutions" methods. See Steele dossier. It has a very interesting chronology and is closely connected with  Strzok-gate

Similarly Trump wanted to reach some level of detente  with Russia rightly considering the level of hostility achieved under Obama dangerous and counterproductive (to the extent that Obama might be controlled by Brennan it might be not Obama personal fought).  In this sense he also crossed the line (with the only difference that he did it during he election campaign) and at this point all power of neocons and neolib including their factions in intelligence agencies was unleashed for his removal. That's why Steele dossier was created and advertized: as part of anti-Trump coup d'état by the neocons, Clinton neoliberals and parts of the US intelligence services.  In both case the interests of the USA and national security suffers. In a way both neocons and neoliberals  are elements of foreign influence that do not care much about ordinary Americans.

From the beginning it was a set up to find dirt on Trump campaign insiders and if possible to topple Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations. It was actually pretty elegant gambit: after Attorney general recluse himself from Russian probe, Rob Rosenstein jumped into action first recommended firing Comey and then on the basis of this decision by Trump appointed the special prosecutor -- Comey friend and mentor Mueller. Whether firing Comey was a trap set up for Trump (and this is quite probably as Trump can be easily played by appealing to his vanity), or he just make the decision with bad timing (day 1 of his Presidency would be much more appropriate)  or not is immaterial.

turbojarhead -> loveyajimbo , Dec 10, 2017 2:37 PM

They played Sessions like a violin. Sessions recluses himself for a bullcrap Kisnyak speech, where he did not even meet him. Rosenstein then recommends Trump fire Comey -- who wanted to be fired so they would appoint a special prosecutor -- which Rosenstein does -- Mueller, to the acclamation of ALL of Con and the Senate -- including Republicans.

When Trump tries to get out of the trap by leaking he is thinking about firing Sessions, Lispin Lindsey goes on television to say that will not be allowed too happen. If he fires Sessions, Congress would not approve ANY of Trump's picks for DOJ-leaving Rosenstein in charge anyway.

Trump was pissed because they removed his only defender from Mueller -- the head of the DOJ. He knew it was a setup, so went ballistic when he found out about Sessions recusing.

Before and after the 2016 election Trump was under tack from intelligence  agencies. And the list includes not only obvious suspects in CIA and NSA, but also FBI (via liaison with CIA, see Strzokgate) as well as a several senior officials in Obama's Justice Department (Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Bruce Ohr), as well as National security advisor Susan Rise and UN ambassador Samantha Power (both were engaged in so called "unmasking" campaign).  to say nothing about Obama (who has high personal animosity to both Trump and Putin) who fueled Russiagate histeria by his expulsion of 35 Russian  diplomats on December 30, 2017, when he was already "lame duck".

Among the players that promoted Steele dossier and used it for "color revolution" against Trump Davis Stockman mentioned (The Russiagate Witch-Hunt Stockman Names Names In The Deep State's Insurance Policy )

Of course, this list is incomplete. CIA, FBI, State Department and Department of Justice all have their strong factions of Clinton loyalists, neocons and globalists.  Add to this large, dominant part of MSM, both newspapers, TV channels and major web sites.  So the critical mass for launching color revolution was present and they just needed a trigger, which was Steele dossier and 17 agencies memo. At this point the color revolution against Trump was launched. And while this operation had many moving parts and alternating players, the mission to unseat Trump never changed. And it remains ongoing with all hoes currently put on the result of 2018 elections (if Democrats regain majority Mueller can definitely to do more and House intelligence committee investigation, which is most damaging to Mueller can be shut). Efforts to find dirt on Trump involved extensive wiretapping (Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations? ):

And likely there were others.

A good overview of Mueller fishing expedition was provided by Mike Whitney on Dec 21, 2017 (unz.com):

While it's clear that this political cage-match is going to persist for some time to come, we'd like to make two points. First, that there was never sufficient

While it's clear that this political cage-match is going to persist for some time to come, we'd like to make two points. First, that there was never sufficient reason to appoint a Special Counsel. The threshold for making such an appointment should have been probable cause, that is, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should have shown why he thought there was 'reasonable basis to believe that a crime had been committed.' That's what's required under the Fourth Amendment, and that's the standard that should have been met. But Rosenstein ignored that rule because it improved the Special Counsel's chances of netting indictments

Even so, there's no evidence that a crime has been committed. None. And that's been the main criticism of the investigation from the get go. It's fine for the New York Times and the Washington Post to reiterate the same tedious, unsubstantiated claims over and over again ad nauseam. Their right to fabricate news is guaranteed under the First Amendment and they take full advantage of that privilege. But it's different for professional attorney operating at the highest level of the Justice Department to appoint a Special Counsel to rummage through all manner of private or privileged documents, transcripts, tax returns, private conversations, intercepted phone calls and emails -- of the democratically-elected president -- based on nothing more than the spurious and politically-motivated allegations made in the nation's elite media or by flagrantly-partisan actors operating in the Intelligence Community or law enforcement.

Can you see the problem here? This is not just an attack on Trump (whose immigration, environmental, health care, tax and foreign policies I personally despise.) It is an attempt to roll back the results of the election by bogging him down in legal proceedings making it impossible for him to govern. These attacks are not just on Trump, they're on the legitimate authority of the people to choose their own leaders in democratic elections. That's what's at stake. And that's why there must be a high threshold for launching an investigation like this.

Consider this: On May 17, 2017, when Rosenstein announced his decision to appoint a Special Counsel he said the following:

"In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command." Rosenstein wrote that his responsibility is to ensure a "full and thorough investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election." As special counsel, Mueller is charged with investigating "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump."

That's not good enough. There's no evidence that "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" were improper, unethical or illegal. Nor do any such presumed "links and/or coordination" imply a crime was committed. Rather, the loosey-goosy standard Rosenstein has applied is an invitation for an open ended fishing expedition aimed at derailing the political agenda of the elected government. This puts too much power in the hands of unelected agents in the bureaucracy who may be influenced by powerbrokers operating behind the scenes who want to disrupt, obstruct, or paralyze the government. And this, in fact, is exactly what is taking place presently.

Naturally, a broad-ranging mandate like Rosenstein's will result in excesses, and it has. Of the four people who have been caught up in Mueller's expansive dragnet, exactly zero have been indicted on charges even remotely connected to the original allegation of "collusion with Russia to sway the presidential election in Trump's favor." Clearly, people's civil liberties are being violated to conduct a political jihad on an unpopular president and his aids.

So, how does one establish whether there's a reasonable basis to believe that a crime has been committed?

The daily blather in the media does not meet that standard nor does the much ballyhooed Intelligence Community Assessment that was supposed to provide ironclad proof of Russian meddling in the elections. The ICA even offered this sweeping disclaimer at the beginning of the report which admits that the intelligence gathered therein should not in any way be construed to represent solid evidence of anything.
Here's the from the report:

"Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

... ... ...

The fact is, Mueller is no elder statesman or paragon of virtue. He's a political assassin whose task is to take down Trump at all cost. Unfortunately for Mueller, the credibility of his investigation is beginning to wane as conflicts of interest mount and public confidence dwindles. After 18 months of relentless propaganda and political skullduggery, the Russia-gate fiction is beginning to unravel.

 

Mike Whitney May 24, 2017 analysis

That's all nice but the truth is that Trump abandoned his agenda in April 2017, a month before appointment of Special Council. Also the intercity of Russian witch hunt was such that appointment of a special council was kind of inevitable. Trigger might be different, but the net result is the same.
The idea that both Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller belong to the same team is plausible. Mueller is also a close friend of Comey. But as Trump folded what would be the gain from his removal ?
Notable quotes:

Appointment of rabid anti-Trump prosecutors

Mueller got this appointment after he was rejected by Trump for the position of the director of FBI. So he  might have personal grudges to hold. In any case the selection of his team tells us a lot about the direction of the investigation as "personnel is policy".  Among the most notorious members of his team were

Peter Strzok

Peter Strzok the man who was instrumental in swiping the dirt of Hillary "emailgate" under the carpet as well as using Steele dossire as a ram to put members of Trump team under surveillance. Later became involved in Strzok-gate scandal and  removed from the investigation. Along with Comey and McCabe he influenced the US Presidential election depriving Sanders from chances to became the candidate from the Democratic Party. 

Peter P. Strzok II (born in 1970, currently 47 year old) was until July 2017  the key figure in Clinton Email investigation and Trump Russiagate investigation as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and second in command of counterintelligence.  He is the central figure of so called Strzok-gate scandal.

Despite being  a rabid Hillary Clinton supporter (judging from his texts to Lisa Page with whom he allegedly has an affair ) he was assigned as the investigator both Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server, and allegations of collusion of Trump team with Russians in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.  which were conducted in highly politized manner ( Anti-Trump FBI Agent Changed Language Of Hillary Email Scandal From Grossly Negligent To Extremely Careless )

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

Subsequently, he joined the 2017 Special Counsel investigation but was quietly removed by Mueller in late July 2017. At this time he was demoted in FBI to HR department.

Andrew Weissmann. He is called a legal bulldog of Mueller team. Here is how pro-clinton site thedailybeast.com  chantaterise hims

The FBI’s decision to send a dozen agents on an early-hour raid of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home struck some observers as an audacious, even unprecedented move for a white collar criminal case.

But to former federal prosecutors familiar with members of special counsel Bob Mueller’s team, it had all the makings of the work of Andrew Weissmann.

A former federal prosecutor from Brooklyn who spent his career going after mobsters, ponzi-schemers, and white collar criminals, Weissmann is known as a tenacious operator who uses strategies that have dazzled some legal experts and disturbed others. They believe his presence on Mueller’s team means the probe may push legal boundaries as it investigates alleged collusion between Trump and Russian interests.

“He fashions himself as a real tactician, in the sense of having a chessboard in front of him and moving pieces around,” said a person who has faced Weissmann in court.

Mueller has known and trusted Weissmann for more than a decade, having made him special counsel at the FBI for a few months in 2005, according to the Houston Chronicle. In 2011, after Weissmann left the bureau for a short stint in private practice, Mueller brought him back and made him the FBI’s general counsel.

“Mueller trusted him to be the FBI’s top lawyer,” said a former federal prosecutor who knows Weissmann. “That’s a pretty big deal.”

While he was general counsel to the FBI, Weissmann was known as quick-moving and decisive.

I am so proud Mueller deputy congratulated Sally Yates after she was fired for refusing to enforce Trump's travel ban  The substantive part of Andrew Weissmann’s email to Yates is just 11 words long.

Judicial Watch today released two productions (335 pages and 44 pages) of Justice Department (DOJ) documents showing strong support by top DOJ officials for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ refusal to enforce President Trump’s Middle East travel ban executive order. In one email, Andrew Weissmann, one of Robert Mueller’s top prosecutors and formerly the Obama-era Chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section, applauds Yates writing: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.”…

“This is an astonishing and disturbing find. Andrew Weisman, a key prosecutor on Robert Mueller’s team, praised Obama DOJ holdover Sally Yates after she lawlessly thwarted President Trump,” stated Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “How much more evidence do we need that the Mueller operation has been irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump partisans? Shut it down.”

The Hatch Act, passed in 1939, prohibits civil servants from engaging in political activity, which is directed at the promotion of or advocacy against a political party, group or candidate.  When you consider that Ms. Yates leaked FISA information to the Washington Post without the authority or approval to do so, which is a crime, I would have serious reservations about having anyone supportive of a criminal and who can be viewed as a part of an attempted coup on the new POTUS in the team


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[Jun 18, 2018] There was a strong commercial component in the sense that the accounts that the Russians are accused of creating were used to essentially, as a scheme in which vendors would pay them money for retweets at sometimes $25 to $50 a pop. It seems to me that there is both a commercial motive here as well as a political

Jun 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

UserFriendly | Jun 17, 2018 10:52:26 PM | 18

Re Aaron Mate
It's entirely possible he reads you regularly and saw your post when you first published, but on 2/20/18 :

AARON MATÉ: Let's talk about the indictment, Max. Reading through it, the prosecution alleges some clear political motives, a preference, basically, for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and a strong distaste for Hillary Clinton, also support for some, also, the encouragement of Russian trolls to disparage Republicans like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

There does appear to be some political motives there in whatever the Russians, whatever these alleged suspects were doing. But also, there's a strong commercial component in the sense that the accounts that the Russians are accused of creating were used to essentially, as a scheme in which vendors would pay them money for retweets at sometimes $25 to $50 a pop.

It seems to me that there is both a commercial motive here as well as a political imperative, as well. I'm wondering your thoughts on what this indictment tells us.

So your Tweet on 6/5/18 wasn't telling him anything he hadn't already said publicly.

[Jun 18, 2018] Real Takeaway The FBI Influenced the Election of a President by Peter Van Buren

In a way we now can talk about Intelligence Industrial complex
Notable quotes:
"... The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared. ..."
"... In a damning passage , the 568 page report found it "extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice." Comey's drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications. ..."
"... Enough: The DOJ Must Show Its Cards to the American Public A Higher Loyalty is Jim Comey's Revenge, Served Lukewarm ..."
"... Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. "Lynch's failure to recognize the appearance problem and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment." Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further "created public confusion and didn't adequately address the situation." ..."
"... Page and Strzok also discussed cutting back the number of investigators present for Clinton's in-person interview in light of the fact she might soon be president, and thus their new boss. Someone identified only as Agent One went on to refer to Clinton as "the President" and in a message told a friend "I'm with her." The FBI also allowed Clinton's lawyers to attend her interview, even though they were also witnesses to a possible crimes committed by Clinton. ..."
"... Page and Strzok were among five FBI officials the report found expressed hostility toward Trump and have been referred to the FBI's internal disciple system. The report otherwise makes only wishy-washy recommendations about things every agent should already know, like "adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements." ..."
"... In that sense, the IG just poured a can of jet fuel onto the fires of the 2016 election and walked away to watch it burn. ..."
"... One concrete outcome, however, is to weaken a line of prosecution for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The chief Russiagate investigator has just seen a key witness degraded -- any defense lawyer will characterize Comey's testimony as tainted now -- and a possible example of obstruction weakened. ..."
"... The report thus underscores one of the stated reasons for Comey's dismissal. Firing someone for incompetence isn't obstructing justice; it's the boss' job. ..."
"... the most important conclusion of the report: there is no longer a way to claim America's internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election. There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. And that's the tally before anyone brings up the FBI's use of a human informant inside the Trump campaign, the FBI's use of both FISA warrants and pseudo-legal warrantless surveillance against key members of the Trump team, the FBI's use of opposition research from the Steele Dossier , and so on. ..."
Jun 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
June 15, 2018 The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared.

It will be easy to miss the most important point amid the partisan bleating over what the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report on the FBI's Clinton email investigation really means.

While each side will find the evidence they want to find proving the FBI, with James Comey as director, helped/hurt Hillary Clinton and/or maybe Donald Trump, the real takeaway is this: the FBI influenced the election of a president.

In January 2017 the Inspector General for the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz (who previously worked on the 2012 study of "Fast and Furious"), opened his probe into the FBI's Clinton email investigation, including public statements Comey made at critical moments in the presidential campaign. Horowitz's focus was always to be on how the FBI did its work, not to re-litigate the case against Clinton. Nor did the IG plan to look into anything regarding Russiagate.

In a damning passage , the 568 page report found it "extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice." Comey's drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications.

Enough: The DOJ Must Show Its Cards to the American Public A Higher Loyalty is Jim Comey's Revenge, Served Lukewarm

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. "Lynch's failure to recognize the appearance problem and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment." Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further "created public confusion and didn't adequately address the situation."

The report also criticizes in depth FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged texts disparaging Trump before moving from the Clinton email to the Russiagate investigation. Those texts "brought discredit" to the FBI and sowed public doubt about the investigation, including one exchange that read, "Page: "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Strzok: "No. No he's not. We'll stop it." Another Strzok document stated "we know foreign actors obtained access to some Clinton emails, including at least one secret message."

Page and Strzok also discussed cutting back the number of investigators present for Clinton's in-person interview in light of the fact she might soon be president, and thus their new boss. Someone identified only as Agent One went on to refer to Clinton as "the President" and in a message told a friend "I'm with her." The FBI also allowed Clinton's lawyers to attend her interview, even though they were also witnesses to a possible crimes committed by Clinton.

Page and Strzok were among five FBI officials the report found expressed hostility toward Trump and have been referred to the FBI's internal disciple system. The report otherwise makes only wishy-washy recommendations about things every agent should already know, like "adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements."

But at the end of it all, the details really don't matter, because the report broadly found no political bias, no purposeful efforts or strategy to sway the election. In aviation disaster terms, it was all pilot error. Like an accident of sorts, as opposed to the pilot boarding drunk, but the plane crashed and killed 300 people either way.

The report is already being welcomed by Democrats -- who feel Comey shattered Clinton's chances of winning the election by reopening the email probe just days before the election -- and by Republicans, who feel Comey let Clinton off easy. Many are now celebrating it was only gross incompetence, unethical behavior, serial bad judgment, and insubordination that led the FBI to help determine the election. No Constitutional crisis.

A lot of details in those 568 pages to yet fully parse, but at first glance there is not much worthy of prosecution (though Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will review the report for possible prosecutions and IG Horowitz will testify in front of Congress on Monday and may reveal more information.) Each side will point to the IG's conclusion of "no bias" to shut down calls for this or that in a tsunami of blaming each other. In that sense, the IG just poured a can of jet fuel onto the fires of the 2016 election and walked away to watch it burn.

One concrete outcome, however, is to weaken a line of prosecution for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The chief Russiagate investigator has just seen a key witness degraded -- any defense lawyer will characterize Comey's testimony as tainted now -- and a possible example of obstruction weakened. As justification for firing Comey, the White House initially pointed to an earlier Justice Department memo criticizing Comey for many of the same actions now highlighted by the IG (Trump later added concerns about the handling of Russiagate.) The report thus underscores one of the stated reasons for Comey's dismissal. Firing someone for incompetence isn't obstructing justice; it's the boss' job.

It will be too easy, however, to miss the most important conclusion of the report: there is no longer a way to claim America's internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election. There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. And that's the tally before anyone brings up the FBI's use of a human informant inside the Trump campaign, the FBI's use of both FISA warrants and pseudo-legal warrantless surveillance against key members of the Trump team, the FBI's use of opposition research from the Steele Dossier , and so on.

The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared. But even if one fully accepts the IG report's conclusion that all this -- and there's a lot -- was not intentional, at a minimum it makes clear to those watching ahead of 2020 what tools are available and the impact they can have. While we continue to look for the bad guy abroad, we have already met the enemy and he is us.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell .

[Jun 15, 2018] And guess who did that redacting? Oh, that would be one Rod Rosenstein.

Jun 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

francis_the_wo -> JimmyJones Fri, 06/15/2018 - 22:09 Permalink

"The redacted material was just removed"

And guess who did that redacting? Oh, that would be one Rod Rosenstein.

The same Rod Rosenstein who is very much implicated of wrongdoing regarding his (illegal and unnecessary) appointment of a Special Counsel.

In other words, Rod's got a conflict of interest in redacting a document that implicates him in conflicts of interest.

You can't make this stuff up.....

[Jun 14, 2018] Trump Facing Renewed Pressure To Sit For Mueller Interview After Kim Summit Zero Hedge

Jun 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

During their push to turn public opinion against Mueller, Trump's lawyers, led by Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani, have engaged in selective leaking, including back in early May when they leaked a list of 49 questions purportedly turned. As one lawyer who spoke with Bloomberg pointed out, the ongoing negotiations have turned into "a bit of a game." Others have claimed that the leak was intended to pressure Mueller into killing the interview (of course, we all know how that turned out).

"It's a little bit of a game," said Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor who's now a partner with law firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. "Mueller could subpoena the president but probably doesn't want to. He faces some litigation risk. Trump could fight the subpoena, but he also faces a political risk."

The interview is key to Mueller's investigation into whether Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 U.S. election and whether Trump acted to obstruct the probe, one official said.

Meanwhile, Giuliani claimed late last month that he and Trump have already been rehearsing for an in-person interview with Mueller after the special counsel summarily rejected the Trump legal team's request to conduct some of the interview in a written format.

However, since FBI agents raided Trump attorney Michael Cohen's home, office and hotel room and are reportedly preparing to charge him with a crime, the president has grown increasingly wary of an interview.

One problem for Trump, though, is that if Mueller wins at the Supreme Court, he could compel Trump to sit for a Grand Jury for as long as he wants, and subject Trump to questions on a range of topics without providing any advanced warning.

"I think the Supreme Court will rule in Mueller's favor, but we don't really know," Sandick said. "If Mueller wins, he can actually put Trump in the grand jury without his lawyer for as long as he wants and ask about any subject he wants."

Furthermore, if Trump chooses the court battle route, Mueller's probe would encounter further delays, as the ruling likely wouldn't arrive until October at the earliest, after the Court returns from its summer recess. That would mean the investigation likely wouldn't wrap up until late this year - or early next year - at the very earliest. It also would open the Republican Party up to a high degree of political risk, because the Court's final ruling could arrive just before the midterms.

But since the beginning of the probe, the biggest obstacle to a direct interview is Trump. The president's legal team came within a hair's breadth of an agreement back in January. But as Trump got cold feet, his team sent Mueller a 20-page letter arguing that Trump isn't entitled to answer Mueller's questions as they invoked Trump's executive privilege.

Regardless of whether the interview happens, Mueller has told Trump's team that he will prepare a report summarizing his findings that will be turned over to the DOJ and, eventually, Congress. Then it will be up to Congress whether to release the report.

That will ultimately depend on the outcome of the midterm vote.


cankles' server -> natronic Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:51 Permalink

Why Mueller is still investigating.

BorisTheBlade -> cankles' server Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:54 Permalink

Hell of a racket, investigating something nonexistent can take years.

glenlloyd -> cankles' server Thu, 06/14/2018 - 00:25 Permalink

This is becoming the biggest shit show in the US. There is no evidence of Russian collusion at all Mueller has nothing. There's nothing to find but it drags on and wastes tax payer dollars.

You can't impeach a President for performing his duties as set out in the Constitution. Firing Comey was perfectly legitimate, especially now that the facts are coming out that the FBI needs to be completely purged from top to bottom.

Mueller needs to pack his bags and conclude this sucker and admit there was never anything to find, either that or arrest Hillary for the actual collusion with Russians plus go after her for the hacked email server.

D503 -> BorisTheBlade Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:55 Permalink

I hear Mueller's next investigation is Bigfoot.

The First Rule -> D503 Wed, 06/13/2018 - 23:59 Permalink

Mueller is a Crooked Cop.

Rosenstein is an outright Criminal.

Trump should Fire them both. Get rid of Sessions while he's at it, and install Pruitt on a temp basis.

There are no lasting political consequences. The Republicans in Congress wouldn't dare move against Trump; it would be political suicide.

And all the Democrats/Press can do is bitch and whine; they are utterly, completely powerless - like a 5 year old with a temper tantrum.

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER, should Trump agree to sit down with these CRIMINAL DEEP STATE SCUM.

MuffDiver69 Thu, 06/14/2018 - 01:02 Permalink

Watched an interview with Rudy tonight. He started going after Weismann and the other corrupt thugs Mueller hired. Always a plan within and it was tailored for IG report today...I expect Trump to crank it up on this obvious Deep State axis of hitmen populating DOJ and FBI...Rosenstein was getting pummeled today as well....

In politics, as in professional wrestling, it's always important to have a heel.

Trump understands this.

Hillary was the perfect heel in 2016.

>The lack of a single heel in 2018 was always going to be a challenge for him, but media/Mueller etc are doing an incredible job of filling that role.

[Jun 13, 2018] The trial was postponed because the defendant planed to show up to his own trial

I can't believe in the USA the prosecutor is asking the judge not to let the defendant see the evidence against them .
From comments: "Mueller's face [on the photo] looks like he is out on a limb and badly needs to take a restroom break."
Jun 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

are we there yet -> chunga Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:22 Permalink

The trial was postponed because the defendant planed to show up to his own trial. That just sounds wrong.

ebear -> chunga Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:12 Permalink

"In this case it's a euphemism for sleaze."

Oh it's way more than that. That is the kind of language Oliver Wendell Holmes would have used back in the day. It also brings to mind Samuel Clemens. This is a very sharp team indeed.

Ristretto X4 -> stacking12321 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

*Definition of pettifogger. 1 : a lawyer whose methods are petty, underhanded, or disreputable : shyster. 2 : one given to quibbling over trifles.

So, pretty much every bar member?

OverTheHedge -> apocalypticbrother Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:48 Permalink

To quote the immortal Derek and Clive:

"Laugh? I nearly shat!"

...and that is all the comment necessary on tnis.

The Man from Uncle -> y3maxx Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:59 Permalink

Mule-er basically drew to an inside straight, and got busted. The Russkies called his bluff, and his hand is 7-8-10-Jack-four. Sorry, Ereberto, no nine, just a "nein." Discovery is a bitch! I suspect that further developments are going to be highly entertaining. Judge: "can we see your evidence of wrongdoing." Mule-er: "That's highly classified."

IOW, "We got nuthin'."

platyops -> stacking12321 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:55 Permalink

In its earliest English uses, "pettifogger" was two separate words: "pettie fogger." "Pettie" was a variant spelling of "petty," a reasonable inclusion in a word for someone who is disreputable and small-minded.

That is Meuller!

Keep Stacking

Versengetorix -> stacking12321 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:06 Permalink

Actually this is the third time a Federal Judge has used the term against the Mueller team. It's accurate and it is beginning to stick.

ironmace -> stacking12321 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

pettifog:

  1. to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
  2. to carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
  3. to practice chicanery of any sort.

I had to look it up.

archaic: to practice legal deception.

good word.

Gaius Frakkin' -> Zip_the_Zap Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:26 Permalink

Maybe if Mueller resigned and spent some time away from DC to travel the country he'd realize the division in America is real and not a Russian ploy.

He's either incompetent for not knowing or a complete shill for pushing a narrative he knows is false. Pick one.

nidaar -> Gaius Frakkin' Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:30 Permalink

"After indicted Russians actually show up in court"

Puhahahaha

No one could see that comin' right Mueller?

Shift For Brains -> BarkingCat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:25 Permalink

Who would have believed decent Americans would ever applaud Russians kicking the shit out of federal law enforcement? Do I hear "The World Turned Upside Down" in the distance? Should Mueller change his name to Cornwallis?

aelfheld -> Gaius Frakkin' Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:37 Permalink

Why can't he be a complete, incompetent, shill?

i poop pink ic -> Gaius Frakkin' Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

How about "corrupt" shill? Remember, Mueller headed the FBI before and after the 9/11 attacks. Did Mueller's FBI investigate? No; they covered up for 9/11 perpetrators. Thanks a lot Mueller.

I Am Jack's Ma -> Bastiat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:26 Permalink

but what's the crime?

political speech? conspiring to engage in political speech?

clickbait ads on the internet?

Being Russian?

Being against Hillary Clinton?

I'm waiting for someone to explain what the alleged actual crime is - and why Mueller isn't prosecuting the 1st Amendment?

jin187 -> Bastiat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

If I were the judge, I would refuse any motion Mueller makes to avoid releasing evidence, and if he doesn't do it within a matter of hours, his entire staff would be getting perp walked for contempt. Let Mueller manage his investigation from a prison cell, like some drug kingpin.

shortonoil -> jin187 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

The US government has already wasted $200 million on this stupid "pettifoggery". Some one, any one, put an end to this ridiculous dog and pony show. Mueller, and the Justice Dept. are now the laughing stock of the world. We need to save a little face, and have this SOB shot for the good of the nation. This Prick doesn't give two shits for the American people, or the nation that he is paid to serve.

The_Dude -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:14 Permalink

These guys were likely just pushing click-bait on Facebook. And since it is election season, it is easy for them to riff off the candidates.

Mueller giving it any legitimacy shows he is either out of touch with how the internet works or has his own special case of Trump derangement syndrome.

Rufus Temblor -> MoreFreedom Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:27 Permalink

If producing propaganda to change the outcome of an election is a crime, then the entire democrat party should be put in jail.

ChargingHandle -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:49 Permalink

Accuse others for which you are guilty is in the dnc handbook. The only illegal activity involved the DNC, team Hillary, and operatives in the FBI, CIA, DOJ, and the IRS.

Unknown User -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

Apparently Mueller has a novel legal theory that Russians are not protected under the 1st Amendment in US.

are we there yet -> gmrpeabody Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:19 Permalink

Mueller's face looks like he is out on a limb and badly needs to take a restroom break.

Rufus Temblor -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:24 Permalink

This indictment is a total fujkin joke. In Mueller's world he can charge you with a crime but refuse to show the evidence. Proves that he has no interest in serving justice. His goals are to defame and bankrupt enemies of the deep swamp.

Thordoom -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

When the truth comes out and i was Russian company or individual affected by this assholes i would sue US for lost business and for defamation and demand reparations and let THe black Jesus and Clinton Killer Gang and their lackies pay for it.

PlayMoney -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

Last thing in the world ole Bobby wants is to go to trial. This is going to be quite entertaining.

Buster Cherry -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:57 Permalink

A summons is a summons. It is an ORDER by a court to be present.

Since when does a court need to have a summons be " formally accepted???"

This shit needs to seriously blow up in Mueller's face, hopefully decapitating him in the process.

Scipio Africanuz -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:05 Permalink

Is this how the Republic dies? Via strangulation of the First Amendment?

When JFK called himself a Berliner, was he a German citizen?...

When Reagan interfered in German affairs, by proclaiming "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!", was he a German citizen?

When Obama advised Britain not to exit the EU, was he a British citizen?

Folks, what's sauce for the goose, is same for the gander!...

I Am Jack's Ma -> nmewn Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:39 Permalink

malicious prosecution?

malicious prosecution - SCOTUSblog

http://www.virginialawreview.org/sites/virginialawreview.org/files/Kossis_Book.pdf

nmewn -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:44 Permalink

Yes, very good links but, this is different in my opinion.

Mueller attempted to bring a criminal domestic case against international personas that he is now unwilling to go through the discovery process with (his claim) because of...wait for it...national security.

He never intended or wanted for this case to go to trial (but he had to show "something" for his efforts) it is malpractice (at the American bar level) and he knew it when he filed it.

When a prosecutor files charges against anyone (here) he is in essence saying "We have the evidence to prosecute your honor and we are going to show it to you." now he is saying he can't or will not produce that evidence in the venue he chose to prosecute in.

Probably because he (and his crack Hillary lawyers) didn't do the homework required until after filing charges (idiot fucktard that he and they are...lol) as Concord's new CEO is none other than one Dimitry Utkin, founder of the Wagner Group, a Rodnover, for whatever thats worth ;-)

whosyerdaddy -> Countrybunkererd Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:03 Permalink

It's not just embarrassing it's criminal. He wants unlimited scope to find "something". He indicts Russians knowing they won't show up for court or so he thought and now he wants to limit the evidence because he has no hand. Don't interfere with your enemy when he's mucking it up. Mueller is going to be indicted for all of this, Uranium One being the least of his problems. If Mr. Mueller wants to question me the first thing I say is how much money did you give Whitey Bulger?

currency Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:58 Permalink

Muller got caught, tried to make headlines with Real Russians thinking they would not show up and one did he is now in a PANIC - Muller needs to produce the evidence or shut up and go away with his band of 13 anti Trump staff.

Do us a favor Muller RESIGN

SmittyinLA Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:00 Permalink

"The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters."

Cough cough, none of that is illegal, 1st Amendment, even for Russians

[Jun 13, 2018] Mueller Scrambles To Limit Evidence After Indicted Russians Actually Show Up In Court Zero Hedge

Jun 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scrambling to limit pretrial evidence handed over to a Russian company he indicted in February over alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, according to Bloomberg .

Mueller asked a Washington federal Judge for a protective order that would prevent the delivery of copious evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, one of three Russian firms and 13 Russian nationals. The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters .

The special counsel's office argues that the risk of the evidence leaking or falling into the hands of foreign intelligence services, especially Russia, would assist the Kremlin's active "interference operations" against the United States.

"The substance of the government's evidence identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in interference operations like those charged in the present indictment," prosecutors wrote.

Improper disclosure would tip foreign intelligence services about how the U.S. operates, which would "allow foreign actors to learn of those techniques and adjust their conduct, thus undermining ongoing and future national security operations ," according to the filing.

The evidence includes thousands of documents involving U.S. residents not charged with crimes who prosecutors say were unwittingly recruited by Russian defendants and co-conspirators to engage in political activity in the U.S., prosecutors wrote. - Bloomberg

Mueller also accused Concord of "knowingly and intentionally" conspiring to interfere with the election by using social media to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump.

And Concord Management decided to fight it...

As Powerline notes, Mueller probably didn't see that coming - and the indictment itself was perhaps nothing more than a PR stunt to bolster the Russian interference narrative.

I don't think anyone (including Mueller) anticipated that any of the defendants would appear in court to defend against the charges. Rather, the Mueller prosecutors seem to have obtained the indictment to serve a public relations purpose, laying out the case for interference as understood by the government and lending a veneer of respectability to the Mueller Switch Project.

One of the Russian corporate defendants nevertheless hired counsel to contest the charges. In April two Washington-area attorneys -- Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly of the Reed Smith firm -- filed appearances in court on behalf of Concord Management and Consulting . Josh Gerstein covered that turn of events for Politico here . - Powerline Blog

Politico' s Gerstein notes that by defending against the charges, " Concord could force prosecutors to turn over discovery about how the case was assembled as well as evidence that might undermine the prosecution's theories ."

In a mad scramble to put the brakes on the case, Mueller's team tried to delay the trial - saying that Concord never formally accepted the court summons related to the case , wrapping themselves in a "cloud of confusion" as Powerline puts it. "Until the Court has an opportunity to determine if Concord was properly served, it would be inadvisable to conduct an initial appearance and arraignment at which important rights will be communicated and a plea entertained."

The Judge, Dabney Friedrich - a Trump appointee, didn't buy it - denying Mueller a delay in the high-profile trial.

The Russians hit back - filing a response to let the court know that " [Concord] voluntarily appeared through counsel as provided for in [the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure], and further intends to enter a plea of not guilty . [Concord] has not sought a limited appearance nor has it moved to quash the summons. As such, the briefing sought by the Special Counsel's motion is pettifoggery. "

And the Judge agreed ...

A federal judge has rejected special counsel Robert Mueller's request to delay the first court hearing in a criminal case charging three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a brief order Saturday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich offered no explanation for her decision to deny a request prosecutors made Friday to put off the scheduled Wednesday arraignment for Concord Management and Consulting, one of the three firms charged in the case . - Politico

In other words, Mueller was denied the opportunity to kick the can down the road, forcing him to produce the requested evidence or withdraw the indictment , potentially jeopardizing the PR aspect of the entire "Trump collusion" probe.

And now Mueller is pointing to Russian "interference operations" in a last-ditch effort .

Of note, Facebook VP of advertising, Rob Goldman, tossed a major hand grenade in the "pro-Trump" Russian meddling narrative in February when he fired off a series of tweets the day of the Russian indictments. Most notably, Goldman pointed out that the majority of advertising purchased by Russians on Facebook occurred after the election, were hardly pro-Trump, and they was designed to "sow discord and divide Americans", something which Americans have been quite adept at doing on their own ever since the Fed decided to unleash a record class, wealth, income divide by keeping capital markets artificially afloat at any cost.

me title=


gmrpeabody -> Arnold Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:58 Permalink

The charges are redacted, your Honor.., but he sure is guilty just the same.

I Am Jack's Ma -> gmrpeabody Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:05 Permalink

The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters .

...

"knowingly and intentionally" conspiring to interfere with the election by using social media to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump.

Wait a minute, hold on - what exactly is the 'crime' here? Facebook ads that said Clinton sucks? That's a crime now? I'm missing something obviously - I just don't know what. Anyone willing and able to shed light on the crime alleged here?

How about CNN and NYT absolutely slanted and biased coverage? [And no - 'the press' in the 1st Amendment meant and means still the written word, not news corporations].

So far as I know "meddling" isn't a crime outside of Scooby Doo cartoons and MSNBC

Bastiat -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:12 Permalink

The nerve of them to: a) show up; and b) demand to see the evidence against them. What they hell to those damn Russians think this is?

philipat -> Oliver Klozoff Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:27 Permalink

I believe that Mueller is, rightly, being told to "Put up or shut up"? The discovery phase should be very interesting and the only way to avoid that is to drop the charges, which will indeed completely destroy Mueller's PR strategy. And with it, what remains of his credibility...

Mr. Universe -> Leakanthrophy Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

I can picture Mueller sitting at the poker table with a huge stack. As he looks over his hand, with a sly look on his face and a wink, he goes all in. Surprise suprise, they call his bet. Now we wait for the reveal except that Bobby is screaming, wait, no fair, it was an accident, I didn't mean to go all in. Turn those machines back on! The dealer then looks him dead in the eye and says "Tough shit" as he turns over Mueller's losing hand.

JRobby -> Mr. Universe Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:15 Permalink

"Laugh Track Deafening !!!!!"

Called Mueller's bluff. Discovery could be a "back breaker".

janus -> JRobby Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:37 Permalink

mueller, you are so screwed. so supremely and royally screwed. now your investigation is coming to a crashing halt without POTUS having to step in. all that was ever needed is transparency. and now the good guys will have the IG report, Session's investigation, the declassification of spy-gate materials and discovery from your Keystone cop operation all at once.

best timeline ever.

take it from janus, extracting a troll from the interwebs and thinking you can crush him IRL ALWAYS blows up in your face.

the only way you can win the game is with the deck stacked like a tower in your favor and warping the rules to effect a desired outcome. tptb, you are up against superior people with superior minds animated by an indomitable will. devastating defeat is inevitable.

surrender now,

janus

monkeyshine -> janus Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:12 Permalink

They have a right to a speedy trial. They have a right to see the evidence against them. They have a right to interview witnesses.

Pettifoggers will pettifogger, but they will be pasquinaded by the defense and the court will show its disapprobation.

bh2 -> monkeyshine Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:29 Permalink

"the government believes"

Whatever happened to "the government will prove " as a basis of conviction?

The government "believes". But we don't have any actual evidence we can provide the court. You'll just have to take our word for it.

Good grief. How perfectly Star Chamber.

These people should be embarrassed to even show up before an honest judge.

monkeyshine -> bh2 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:04 Permalink

That is part of the defense's argument. Many are asking "what is the actual crime" being charged. Mueller charged them with campaign finance violations and failing to register as a foreign agent. These crimes have a high burden of proof in that they require the state to prove that the defendant knowingly broke the laws. No foreign corporation has ever been charged with these crimes before. And the defense argues that there is nothing in the indictment to show that they knew they were breaking these laws - hence no way to prove the case against them. They also raise the 1st Amendment as defense saying political speech is protected.

SybilDefense -> monkeyshine Tue, 06/12/2018 - 23:06 Permalink

Did/do these companies have any other function besides buying $500 worth of "I Like Trump" ads like selling something? So only Americans can have free speech in America, unless you identify you and your coworkers as foreign free speech speaker-people? It sounds too tricky. Only a progressive could figure out the legalities involved, as they are the free speech professionals. The rest of us must get permission first, and then it will only be grafted IF we say things that are officially approved by the free speech Nazi party.

Just think if these Ruskies could have voted! It would have been 30-40 more Trump votes and he would have really really won bigly.

Can't Mueller be prosecuted himself if he knows there is no collusion or whatever... No Russian anything, yet he continues to steal tax payer monies to fabricate false leads? He has no incentive to be honest or to limit the investigation and if having the case remain open benefits his party affiliates and he himself financially. If I got hired to do a one day job and lied to make it a one year job, wouldn't that be theft of services?? The cuss must show or he must go!

The pettifoggin dickbrain bitchfuck!

are we there yet -> chunga Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:09 Permalink

Kangaroo...Mueller...Kangaroo...
Kangaroo Mueller is a good nickname....surprised Trump has not used it.

[Jun 13, 2018] Downright Chilling Rosenstein Threatened To Subpoena Congressmen In Closed-Door Meeting Zero Hedge

Jun 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

"Downright Chilling": Rosenstein "Threatened" To Subpoena Congressmen In Closed-Door Meeting

by Tyler Durden Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:00 57 SHARES

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to "subpoena" GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee during a tense January meeting involving committee members and senior DOJ/FBI officials, according to emails seen by Fox News documenting the encounter described by aides as a "personal attack."

That said, Rosenstein was responding to a threat to hold him in contempt of Congress - and the "threat" to subpoena GOP records was ostensibly in order for him to be able to defend himself.

Rosenstein allegedly threatened to "turn the tables" on the committee's aggressive document requests, according to Fox .

" The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee's request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding ," the committee's then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. " Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then 'we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails ,' referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall."

A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel's account, writing: " Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening . ... Also, having the nation's #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to 'subpoena your calls and emails' was downright chilling." - Fox News

The committee staffer suggested that Rosenstein's comment could be interpreted to mean that the DOJ would " vigorously defend a contempt action " -- which might be expected. But the staffer continued, " I also read it as a not-so-veiled threat to unleash the full prosecutorial power of the state against us. "

But really - Rosenstein appears to have been warning the GOP Committee members that he would aggressively defend himself.

G-Men Hit Back

A DOJ official said that Rosenstein "never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation," telling Fox that the department and bureau officials in the room "are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false, " and that Rosenstein was merely responding to a threat of contempt.

The FBI, meanwhile, said that they disagree with " a number of characterizations of the meeting as described in the excerpts of a staffer's emails provided to us by Fox News. "

"The Deputy Attorney General was making the point -- after being threatened with contempt -- that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false ," the official said. "That is why he put them on notice to retain relevant emails and text messages, and he hopes they did so. (We have no process to obtain such records without congressional approval.)"

Details of the encounter began to trickle out in early February, as Fox News' Greg Jarrett tweeted: "A 2nd source has now confirmed to me that, in a meeting on January 10, Deputy A-G Rosenstein used the power of his office to threaten to subpoena the calls & texts of the Intel Committee to get it to stop it's investigation of DOJ and FBI. Likely an Abuse of Power & Obstruction."


Pure Evil -> Ambrose Bierce Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:21 Permalink

Nothing like insubordination in the ranks.

NoDebt -> Pure Evil Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:30 Permalink

Rosenstein, translated: "I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground!"

Seriously, for the grown-ups here... Is there really ANY doubt what he said was anything other than a threat? Didn't think so. If he had said "Come at me, bro!" it couldn't be any more clear. He is ready to use the full resources of his office to respond to any attempt of Congress to oversee his activities, regardless of the fact that they have a legal right and responsibility to do so.

cankles' server -> NoDebt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:41 Permalink

For anyone to think that this wasn't a threat is a fool. The only reason that he'd be charged with contempt is because he didn't do his job and turn over the documents.

Unknown User -> A Sentinel Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:42 Permalink

Why Nunes is not using his Constitutional power to have the Sergent at Arms arrest and jail Rosenstein?

rgraf -> phaedrus1952 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:27 Permalink

They're all dirty, and the banksters must be deeply regretting their policy of hiring stooges just intelligent enough to foolow orders, but too stupid to question those orders. They all think they have the backing of their bankster overlords, not realizing that they are merely decoys. And the banksters are now seeing that enough of the populace is aware to the point that too many people have figured out the hoax, for the exposition to be shouted down. Complicate that with the fact that the only believers left are far too stupid to present a coherent position, and it all equals meltdown. Going to be an interesting summer.

philipat -> NoDebt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:55 Permalink

Seems like Comey was not the only insubordinate one? Congress has a constitutional oversight duty over DOJ and yet, even though the applicable members have the necessary levels of security clearance, DOJ is fighting them every step of the way, presumably because something or someone(s) is being covered up. Rosenstein should be fired, although that should have happened long ago. Where is Sessions?

phaedrus1952 -> philipat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:54 Permalink

There is a LOT that is being covered up, with the main - not the only - crime being an attempted coup d'etat.

The 8chan Q Research board has 24/7 input on all these developments and those autists are a colorful, talented bunch.

Huber is working with Horowitz and the 'flipping' - particularly with key players like Priestap - will ensure as smooth and complete a demolition of the Deep State as possible.

A significant component of this process will be to have tens of millions of Americans who loathe Trump accept these outcomes as both true and fair.

Obama is now strongly implicated in ALL the minutia of this plot.

rgraf -> NoDebt Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:10 Permalink

The executive branch is only supposed to execute whatever the legislative branch, unless it gets vetoed. And, the judicial branch is supposed to be the final check on those powers, even though the judiciary is appointed by executive nomination with congressional approval. So, the real question now is: was that 'strike three, you're out', or 'ball four: take a walk'.

cankles' server -> Pure Evil Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:37 Permalink

That this pissing contest is still going after Trump told the DOJ to turn over the documents to congress really demonstrates the power of the Deep State.

philipat -> cankles' server Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:58 Permalink

Trump can and should still declassify everything. There are no genuine National Security issues involved here...

Got The Wrong No -> philipat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:33 Permalink

According to Q, the IG report is going to be heavily redacted and Trump will use an EO to declassify everything in due time. He will wait until after the IG report on the Clinton Foundation is released. Catch everything at once. We shall see.

phaedrus1952 -> cankles' server Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:01 Permalink

The documents show a concentrated effort targeting Trump MONTHS before he declared his candidacy.

Operatives were hired to approach Trump people and these events were then used as pretext for FISA warrants.

What you are seeing are the final, frantic actions of DOJ, FBI, DNI, CIA cadres attempting to stave off the inevitable.

Huber will follow up on the IG report in the coming days with publicized indictments that are apt to rock our world.

Got The Wrong No -> phaedrus1952 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:38 Permalink

Huber, I believe has 400 Investigators at his disposal. Things are about to get interesting. Much more firepower than a Special Counsel.

yrad -> Cognitive Dissonance Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:20 Permalink

This book will tell you all you need to know about Rosenstein.

https://www.amazon.com/Licensed-Lie-Exposing-Corruption-Department/dp/1

thinkmoretalkless -> bigkahuna Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:19 Permalink

RR stinks of desperation...not a good frame of mind. He is deep in the trap.

A Sentinel -> thinkmoretalkless Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:00 Permalink

Your insight is an important one. He's snarling and showing teeth -- that means that he's either 1) out of maneuvering room or 2) the larvae he protects are nearby and/or in danger.

And you can't just bluff your boss- rosey HAS TO follow through. It's his only dominant strategy.

Unless they're idiots, Congress must issue an asymmetrical response and do it preemptively.

If they let this go, it's over.

MadHatt -> A Sentinel Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:29 Permalink

Public perception.

There are still quite a few people who trust and watch TV news stations like CNN, ABC, MSNBC ect

None of those news stations report the truth, that the top of the DOJ, FBI and CIA were corrupt.

Arresting the previous president within the first year of taking office is asking for riots.

The only way to do it, and protect the public individuals as much as possible, is to allow the information out piece by piece, remove bad actors one by one. There are a lot of people who live with their head in the sand, and exposing them to something as shocking as arresting a previous president for treason, it... might be too much all at once.

phaedrus1952 -> Handful of Dust Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:23 Permalink

Interesting question that we shall know the answer to shortly.

Q has indicated that both Mueller and Rosenstein were on the same team without clarifying whether white or black hat.

Recent posts, always cryptic and subject to interpretation, seem to indicate Rosenstein is reneging on secret deals.

lester1 -> takeaction Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:09 Permalink

Rosenstein is the gate keeper to the deep state secrets and hes protecting the illegal NSA surveillance actions ordered by Barack Obama !!

President Trump needs to fire Rosenstein immediately for insubordination and corruption!

G-R-U-N-T -> lester1 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:19 Permalink

If, indeed, Rosenstein is the 'gatekeeper of the deep state' and the deep state has been surveilling everything organic for years, then they have something on every tom, dick, harry and jane, which means all 3 branches are compromised. I can just imagine the massive blackmail that has gone on for years which is why Washington has turned into a cesspool. So many turds floating in the piss, that a regular Sodom and Gomorra event may have to occur to clean up this disgusting mess.

Boxed Merlot Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:15 Permalink

...he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages...

OK, so as a "citizen" he claims to have the "right" to "request" from duly elected officials what can legitimately be classified communications. Yet, he as a political appointee and not directly answerable to an electorate claims the right to tell these same individuals to pound sand when they request legitimate findings he is required by law to provide them with?

The fact is, they are the ones, as elected officials that are in the position to tell him as a mere appointee to pound sand. There are no "tables to turn", the fact is he is on the end of the downhill slope. Now, if he has evidence that some legislators have appointed personnel within their personal offices guilty of crimes, then put up or shut up.

This charade has gone on far too long. The best we can hope for is a real time lesson in Constitutional law that will right this ship of state again and place all these imbeciles in custody and out of circulation permanently. This clown show is disgusting!

jmo.

Yen Cross Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:18 Permalink

Rosenstein isn't overly intelligent. He likes to lurk in the shadows, and will do anything to please his masters.

Maybe Trump gets rid of the Semite, and Sessions starts to play ball?

Political jockeying has nothing to do with the constituency.

Thom Paine Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:19 Permalink

Rosenstein has NO right to defend himself as AAG.

He is an appointed official, not an individual, he is Assistant AG - and has no right to obstruct any peak into his workings..

Do people forget that these people are employed by the People, they are employees?

VWAndy Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:51 Permalink

Revoke his security clearance. Trump could on any old whim. Does not have to give a reason to anyone.

robobbob Tue, 06/12/2018 - 23:04 Permalink

"after being threatened with contempt"

bs

a branch of government empowered by the constitution demanding answers within their oversight authority is not threatening

that a civil servant would take retaliatory action if forced to do his job is a threat

he should have been removed immediately

[Jun 09, 2018] Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say. ..."
"... The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack. ..."
"... "No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.] ..."
"... "Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since . ..."
"... "More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi." ..."
"... The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ] ..."
"... Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers. ..."
"... The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. ..."
"... I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply." ..."
"... There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths. ..."
"... Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another ..."
"... (FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed. ..."
"... Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden. ..."
"... Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again. ..."
"... Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham. ..."
"... Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams. ..."
"... Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." ..."
"... For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy. ..."
"... Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known. ..."
"... There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings. ..."
"... Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH- ..."
"... Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face? ..."
"... If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars. ..."
"... My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody? ..."
Jun 09, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny . It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -- including two "alumni" who were former National Security Agency technical directors -- have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the "emails related to Hillary Clinton" via a "hack" by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device -- probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the "conclusions" of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were "inconclusive." Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA "Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections" of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA "assessment" became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump. It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself. No, it had to have been the Russians.

Five days into the Trump presidency, I had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still "can't share the evidence" with me or with anyone else, because it does not exist.

WikiLeaks

It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of "emails related to Hillary Clinton," throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what I call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.

Clinton's PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions "to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." The diversion worked like a charm. Mainstream media kept shouting "The Russians did it," and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer' Fox, Bernie didn't say nothin'.

Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating "forensic facts" to "prove" the Russians did it. Here's how it played out:

June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish "emails related to Hillary Clinton."

June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the "hack;" claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack.

Enter Independent Investigators

A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the "handpicked analysts" who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do. The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the "hack" that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.

Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider -- the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the "fluid dynamics" principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)

One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.

In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated , "We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI."

Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

"No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]

Marbled

"Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since .

"The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima, it seems, 'did not get the memo' in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: 'WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.'

"The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use 'obfuscation,' and that Marble source code includes a "de-obfuscator" to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical, and I commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun

The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be 'masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin' [of the hack] And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.

"'Hackers may be anywhere,' he said. 'There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? I can.'

New attention has been drawn to these issues after I discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.

In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, I believe I must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:

"Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

"We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer before serving as a CIA analyst for 27 years. His duties included preparing, and briefing one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief.


ThomasGilroy , June 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers.

The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. It must be the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. While Crowdstrike might have a "dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest", their results were also confirmed by several other cyber-security firms (Wikipedia):

cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, have rejected the claims of "Guccifer 2.0" and have determined, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the cyberattacks were committed by two Russian state-sponsored groups (Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear).

Then there was Papadopoulas who coincidentally was given the information that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Obviously, they were illegally obtained (unless this was another CIA false flag operation). This was before the release of the emails by WikiLeaks. This was followed by the Trump Tower meeting with Russians with connections to the Russian government and the release of the emails by WikiLeaks shortly thereafter. Additionally, Russia had the motive to defeat HRC and elect Trump. Yesterday, Trump pushed for the reinstatement of Russia at the G-7 summit. What a shock! All known evidence and motive points the finger directly at Russia.

Calling everything a false flag operation is really the easy way out, but ultimately, it lets the responsible culprits off of the hook.

anon , June 9, 2018 at 11:28 am

I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply."

CitizenOne , June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm

There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths.

In pre computer technology days there were also many false flags which were set up to create real world scenarios which suited the geopolitical agenda. Even today, there are many examples of tactical false flag operations either organized and orchestrated or utilized by the intelligence agencies to create the narrative which supports geopolitical objectives.

Examples:

The US loaded munitions in broad daylight visible to German spies onto the passenger ship Lusitania despite German warnings that they would torpedo any vessels suspected of carrying munitions. The Lusitania then proceeded to loiter unaccompanied by escorts in an area off the Ireland coast treading over the same waters until it was spotted by a German U-Boat and was torpedoed. This was not exactly a false flag since the German U-Boat pulled the trigger but it was required to gain public support for the entrance of the US into WWI. It worked.

There is evidence that the US was deliberately caught "off guard" in the Pearl Harbor Attack. Numerous coded communication intercepts were made but somehow the advanced warning radar on the island of Hawaii was mysteriously turned off in the hours before and during the Japanese attack which guaranteed that the attack would be successful and also guaranteed that our population would instantly sign on to the war against Japan. It worked.

There is evidence that the US deliberately ignored the intelligence reports that UBL was planning to conduct an attack on the US using planes as bombs. The terrorists who carried out the attacks on the twin towers were "allowed" to conduct them. The result was the war in Iraq which was sold based on a pack of lies about WMDs and which we used to go to war with Iraq.

The Tonkin Gulf incident which historians doubt actually happened or believe if it did was greatly exaggerated by intelligence and military sources was used to justify the war in Vietnam.

The Spanish American War was ginned up by William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism empire to justify attacking Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. The facts revealed by forensic analysis of the exploded USS Maine have shown that the cataclysm was caused by a boiler explosion not an enemy mine. At the time this was also widely believed to not be caused by a Spanish mine in the harbor but the news sold the story of Spanish treachery and war was waged.

In each case of physical false flags created on purpose, or allowed to happen or just made up by fictions based on useful information that could be manipulated and distorted the US was led to war. Some of these wars were just wars and others were wars of choice but in every case a false flag was needed to bring the nation into a state where we believed we were under attack and under the circumstances flocked to war. I will not be the judge of history or justice here since each of these events had both negative and positive consequences for our nation. What I will state is that it is obvious that the willingness to allow or create or just capitalize on the events which have led to war are an essential ingredient. Without a publicly perceived and publicly supported cause for war there can be no widespread support for war. I can also say our leaders have always known this.

Enter the age of technology and the computer age with the electronic contraptions which enable global communication and commerce.

Is it such a stretch to imagine that the governments desire to shape world events based on military actions would result in a plan to use these modern technologies to once again create in our minds a cyber scenario in which we are once again as a result of the "cyber" false flag prepared for us to go to war? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that the government would use the new electronic frontier just as it used the old physical world events to justify military action?

Again, I will not go on to condemn any action by our military but will focus on how did we get there and how did we arrive at a place where a majority favored war.

Whether created by physical or cyberspace methods we can conclude that such false flags will happen for better or worse in any medium available.

susan sunflower , June 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I'd like "evidence" and I'd also like "context" since apparently international electoral "highjinks" and monkey-wrenching and rat-f*cking have a long tradition and history (before anyone draws a weapon, kills a candidate or sicc's death squads on the citizenry.

The DNC e-mail publication "theft" I suspect represents very small small potatoes for so many reasons As Dixon at Black Agenda Report put it . Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another

https://www.blackagendareport.com/russia-gate-and-crisis-american-exceptionalism

(FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed.

Gary Weglarz , June 8, 2018 at 11:08 am

Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden.

Skip Scott , June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I can't think of any single piece of evidence that our MSM is under the very strict control of our so-called intelligence agencies than how fast and completely the Vault 7 releases got flushed down the memory hole. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."

Realist , June 9, 2018 at 1:36 am

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/dems-put-finishing-touches-on-one-party-surveillance-superstate/

Skip Scott , June 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

Mbob-

I don't think anyone can predict whether or not Sanders would have won as a 3rd party candidate. He ran a remarkable campaign, but when he caved to the Clinton machine he lost a lot of supporters, including me. If he had stood up at the convention and talked of the DNC skullduggery exposed by Wikileaks, and said "either I run as a democrat, or I run as a Green, but I'm running", he would have at least gotten 15 pct to make the TV debates, and who knows what could have happened after that. 40 pct of registered voters didn't vote. That alone tells you it is possible he might have won.

Instead he expected us to follow him like he was the f'ing Pied Piper to elect another Wall St. loving warmonger. That's why he gets no "pass" from me. He (and the Queen of Chaos) gave us Trump. BTW, Obama doesn't get a "pass" either.

willow , June 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm

It's all about the money. A big motive for the DNC to conjure up Russia-gate was to keep donors from abandoning any future
Good Ship Hillary or other Blue Dog Democrat campaigns: "Our brand/platform wasn't flawed. It was the Rooskies."

Vivian O'Blivion , June 8, 2018 at 8:22 am

An earlier time line.

March 14th. Popadopoulos has first encounter with Mifsud.
April 26th. Mifsud tells Popadopoulos that Russians have "dirt" on Clinton, including "thousands of e-mails".
May 4th. Trump last man standing in Republican primary.
May 10th. Popadopoulos gets drunk with London based Australian diplomat and talks about "dirt" but not specifically e-mails.
June 9th. Don. Jr meets in Trump tower with Russians promising "dirt" but not specifically in form of e-mails.

It all comes down to who Mifsud is, who he is working for and why he has been "off grid" to journalists (but not presumably Intelligence services) for > 6 months.

Specific points.
On March 14th Popadopoulos knew he was transferring from team Carson to team Trump but this was not announced to the (presumably underwhelmed) world 'till March 21st. Whoever put Mifsud onto Popadopoulos was very quick on their feet.
The Australian diplomat broke chain of command by reporting the drunken conversation to the State Department as opposed to his domestic Intelligence service. If Mifsud was a western asset, Australian Intelligence would likely be aware of his status.
If Mifsud was a Russian asset why would demonstrably genuine Russians be trying to dish up the dirt on Clinton in June?

There are missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle but it's starting to look like a deep state operation to dirty Trump in the unlikely event that he went on to win.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Ms. Clinton was personally trying to tar Trump with allusions to "Russia" and being "Putin's puppet" long before he won the presidency, in fact, quite conspicuously during the two conventions and most pointedly during the debates. She was willing to use that ruse long before her defeat at the ballot box. It was the straw that she clung to and was willing to use as a pretext for overturning the election after the unthinkable happened. But, you are right, smearing Trump through association with Russia was part of her long game going back to the early primaries, especially since her forces (both in politics and in the media) were trying mightily to get him the nomination under the assumption that he would be the easiest (more like the only) Republican candidate that she could defeat come November.

Wcb , June 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Steven Halper?

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:33 am

I might add to this informative article that the reason why Julian Assange has been ostracized and isolated from any public appearance, denied a cell phone, internet and visitors is that he tells the truth, and TPTB don't want him to say yet again that the emails were leaked from the DNC. I've heard him say it several times. H. Clinton was so shocked and angry that she didn't become president as she so confidently expected that her, almost knee-jerk, reaction was to find a reason that was outside of herself on which to blame her defeat. It's always surprised me that no one talks about what was in those emails which covered her plans for Iran and Russia (disgusting).
Trump is a sociopath, but the Russians had nothing to do with him becoming elected. I was please to read here that he or perhaps just Pompeo? met with Binney. That's a good thing, though Pompeo, too, is unstable and war hungry to follow Israel into bombing yet another innocent sovereign country. Thank, Mr. McGovern for another excellent coverage of this story.

MLS , June 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm

"no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team"

Do tell, Ray: How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:14 am

MLS: Thank you! No one stands up for what is right any more. We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen. And just last week the Republicans Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel and Trey Gowdy (who I detest) said the FBI and CIA and NSA were just doing there jobs the way ALL AMERICANS woudl want them to. And even Adam Schiff, do you think he will tell any reporter what evidence he does have? #1 It is probably classified and #2 he is probably saving it for the inpeachment. We did not find out about the Nixon missing 18 minutes until the end anyways. All of these articles sound like the writer just copied Sean Hannity and wrote everything down he said, and yesterday he told all suspects in the Mueller investigation to Smash and Bleach there mobile devices, witch is OBSTRUCTION of justice and witness TAMPERING. A great American there!

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:48 am

strgr-tgther:

Sean Hannity??? Ha, ha, ha.

As Mr. McGoven wrote .."any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:48 am

Sorry I had to come back and point out the ultimate irony of ANYONE who supports the Butcher of Libya complaining about having an election stolen from them (after the blatant rigging of the primary that caused her to take the nomination away from the ONE PERSON who was polling ahead of Trump beyond the margin of error of the polls.)

It is people like you who gave us Trump. The Pied Piper Candidate promoted by the DNC machine (as the emails that were LEAKED, not "hacked", as the metadata proves conclusively, show.)

incontinent reader , June 8, 2018 at 7:14 am

What is this baloney? Seventeen Intelligence agencies DID NOT conclude what you are alleging, And in fact, Brennan and his cabal avoided using a National intelligence Estimate, which would have shot down his cherry-picked 'assessment' before it got off the ground – and it would have been published for all to read.

The NSA has everything on everybody, yet has never released anything remotely indicating Russian collusion. Do you think the NSA Director, who, as you may recall, did not give a strong endorsement to the Brennan-Comey assessment, would have held back from the Congress such information, if it had existed, when he was questioned? Furthermore, former technical directors of the NSA, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis- the very best of the best- have proven through forensics that the Wikileaks disclosures were not obtained by hacking the DNC computers, but by a leak, most likely to a thumb drive on the East Coast of the U.S. How many times does it have to be laid out for you before you are willing and able to absorb the facts?

As for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, (and Trey Gowdy, who was quite skilled on the Benghazi and the Clinton private email server investigations- investigations during which Schiff ran interference for Clinton- but has seemed unwilling to digest the Strozk, Page, McCabe, et al emails and demand a Bureau housecleaning), who cares what they think or say, what matters is the evidence.

I suggest you familiarize yourself with the facts- and start by rereading Ray's articles, and the piece by Joe diGenova posted on Ray's website.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm

The guy's got Schiff for brains. Everyone who cares about the truth has known since before Mueller started his charade that the "17 intelligence agency" claim was entirely a ruse, bald-faced confected propaganda to anger the public to support the coup attempted by Ms. Clinton and her zombie followers. People are NOT going to support the Democratic party now or in the future when its tactics include subverting our public institutions, including the electoral process under the constitution–whether you like the results or not! If the Democratic party is to be saved, those honest people still in it should endeavor to drain the septic tank that has become their party before we can all drain the swamp that is the federal government and its ex-officio manipulators (otherwise known as the "deep state") in Washington.

Farmer Pete , June 8, 2018 at 7:30 am

"We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen."

You opened up with a talking point that is factually incorrect. The team of hand-picked spooks that slapped the "high confidence" report together came from 3 agencies. I know, 17 sounds like a lot and very convincing to us peasants. Regardless, it's important to practice a few ounces of skepticism when it comes to institutions with a long rap sheet of crime and deception. Taking their word for it as a substitute for actual observable evidence is naive to say the least. The rest of your hollow argument is filled with "probably(s)". If I were you, I'd turn off my TV and stop looking for scapegoats for an epically horrible presidential campaign and candidate.

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

/horrible presidential campaign and candidate/ Say you. But we all went to sleep comfortable the night before the election where 97% of all poles said Clinton was going to be are next President. And that did not happen! So Robert Mueller is going to find out EXACTLY why. Stay tuned!!!

irina , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Not 'all'. I knew she was toast after reading that she had cancelled her election night fireworks
celebration, early on the morning of Election Day. She must have known it also, too.

And she was toast in my mind after seeing the ridiculous scene of her virtual image
'breaking the glass ceiling' during the Democratic Convention. So expensively stupid.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Mueller is simply orchestrating a dramatic charade to distract you from the obvious reason why she lost: Trump garnered more electoral votes, even after the popular votes were counted and recounted. Any evidence of ballot box stuffing in the key states pointed to the Democrats, so they gave that up. She and her supporters like you have never stopped trying to hoodwink the public either before or after the election. Too many voters were on to you, that's why she lost.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Indeed, stop the nonsense which can't be changed short of a coup d'etat, and start focusing on opposing the bad policy which this administration has been pursuing. I don't see the Dems doing that even in their incipient campaigns leading up to the November elections. Fact is, they are not inclined to change the policies, which are the same ones that got them "shellacked" at the ballot box in 2016. (I think Obama must own lots of stock in the shellack trade.)

Curious , June 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Ignorance of th facts keep showing up in your posts for some unknown reason. Sentence two: "we have 17 intelligency (sic) agencies that say ". this statement was debunked a long time ago.

Have you learned nothing yet regarding the hand-picked people out of three agencies after all this time? Given that set of lies it makes your post impossible to read.
I would suggest a review of what really happened before you perpetuate more myths and this will benefit all.

Also, a good reading of the Snowden Docs and vault 7 should scare you out of your shell since our "intelligeny" community can pretend to be Chinese, Russian, Iranian just for starters, and the blame game can start after hours instead of the needed weeks and/or months to determine the veracity of a hack and/or leak.

It's past trying to win you over with the actual 'time lines' and truths. Mr McGovern has re-emphasized in this article the very things you should be reading.
Start with Mr Binney and his technical evaluation of the forensics in the DNC docs and build out from there This is just a suggestion.

What never ceases to amaze me in your posts is the 'issue' that many of the docs were bought and paid for by the Clinton team, and yet amnesia has taken over those aspects as well. Shouldn't you start with the Clintons paying for this dirt before it was ever attributed to Trump?

Daniel , June 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again.

More than 1/2 of their report was about RT, and even though that was all easily viewable public record, they got huge claims wrong. Basically, the best they had was that RT covered Occupy Wall Street and the NO DAPL and BLM protests, and horror of horrors, aired third party debates! In a democracy! How dare they?

Why didn't FBI subpoena DNC's servers so they could run their own forensics on them? Why did they just accept the claims of a private company founded by an Atlantic Council board member? Did you know that CrowdStrike had to backpedal on the exact same claim they made about the DNC server when Ukraine showed they were completely wrong regarding Ukie artillery?

Joe Lauria , June 8, 2018 at 2:12 am

Until he went incommunicado Assange stated on several occasions that he was never questioned by Muellers team. Craig Murray has said the same. And Kim Dotcom has written to Mueller offering evidence about the source and he says they have never replied to him.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham.

Miranda Keefe , June 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm

MLS wrote, "How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?"

Robert Mueller is NOT a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Congress. He is a special counsel appointed by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, and is part of the Department of Justice.

I know no one who dislikes Trumps wants to hear it. But all Mueller's authority and power to act is derived from Donald J. Trump's executive authority because he won the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is down the chain of command in the Executive Department.

That's why this is all nonsense. What we basically have is Trump investigating himself. The framers of the Constitution never intended this. They intended Congress to investigate the Executive and that's why they gave Congress the power to remove him or her via impeachment.

As long as we continue with this folly of expecting the Justice Department to somehow investigate and prosecute a president we end up with two terrible possibilities. Either a corrupt president will exercise his legitimate authority to end the investigation like Nixon did -or- we have a Deep State beyond the reach of the elected president that can effectively investigate and prosecute a corrupt president, but also then has other powers with no democratic control.

The solution to this dilemma? An empowered Congress elected by the People operating as the Constitution intended.

As to the rest of your post? It is an example of the "will to believe." Me? I'll not act as if there is evidence of Russian interference until I'm shown evidence, not act as if it must be true, because I want to believe that, until it's fully proven that it didn't happen.

F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm

There must be some Trump-Russia ties.
Or so claim those CIA spies-
McCabe wants a deal, or else he won't squeal,
He'll dissemble when he testifies!

No one knows what's on Huma's computer.
There's no jury and no prosecutor.
Poor Adam Schiff hopes McCabe takes the fifth,
Special council might someday recruit her!

Assange is still embassy bound.
Mueller's case hasn't quite come unwound.
Wayne Madsen implies that there might be some ties,
To Israelis they haven't yet found!

Halper and Mifsud are players.
John Brennan used cutouts in layers.
If the scheme falls apart and the bureau is smart,
They'll go after them all as betrayers!

They needed historical fiction.
A dossier with salacious depiction!
Some urinous whores could get down on all fours,
They'd accomplish some bed sheet emiction!

Pablo Miller and Skripal were cited.
Sidney Blumenthal might have been slighted.
Christopher Steele offered Sidney a deal,
But the dossier's not copyrighted!

That story about Novichok,
Smells a lot like a very large crock.
But they can't be deposed or the story disclosed,
The Skripals have toxic brain block!

Papadopolis shot off his yap.
He told Downer, that affable chap-
There was dirt to report on the Clinton cohort,
Mifsud hooked him with that honey trap!

She was blond and a bombshell to boot.
Papadopolis thought she was cute.
She worked for Mifsud, a mysterious dude,
Now poor Paps is in grave disrepute!

But the trick was to tie it to Russians.
The Clinton team had some discussions.
Their big email scandal was easy to handle,
They'd blame Vlad for the bad repercussions!

There must have been Russian collusion.
That explained all the vote count confusion.
Guccifer Two made the Trump team come through,
If he won, it was just an illusion!

Lisa Page and Pete Strzok were disgusted
They schemed and they plotted and lusted.
If bald-headed Clapper appealed to Jake Tapper,
Brennan's Tweets might get Donald Trump busted!

There had to be cyber subversion.
It would serve as the perfect perversion.
They would claim it was missed if it didn't exist,
It's a logically perfect diversion!

Ray McGovern , June 8, 2018 at 1:03 am

BRAVO, F.G. and thanks.
Ray

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:41 am

F.G., you've done it again, and I might add, topped even yourself! Thanks.

KiwiAntz , June 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

What a joke, America, the most dishonest Country on Earth, has meddled, murdered & committed coups to overturn other Govts & interfered & continues to do so in just about every Country on Earth by using Trade sanctions, arming Terrorists & illegal invasions, has the barefaced cheek to puff out its chest & hypocritcally blame Russia for something that it does on a daily basis?? And the point with Mueller's investigation is not to find any Russian collusion evidence, who needs evidence when you can just make it up? The point is provide the US with a list of unfounded lies & excuses, FIRSTLY to slander & demonise RUSSIA for something they clearly didn't do! SECONDLY, was to provide a excuse for the Democrats dismal election loss result to the DONALD & his Trump Party which just happens to contain some Republicans? THIRDLY, to conduct a soft Coup by trying to get Trump impeached on "TRUMPED UP CHARGES OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION"? And FOURTLY to divert attention away from scrutiny & cover up Obama & Hillary Clinton's illegal, money grubbing activities & her treasonous behaviour with her private email server?? After two years of Russiagate nonsense with NOTHING to show for it, I think it's about time America owes Russia a public apology & compensation for its blatant lying & slander of a innocent Country for a crime they never committed?

Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams.

I am sure that they manipulate the digital voting machines directly and indirectly. True elections are now impossible.

Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

Antiwar7 , June 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Expecting the evil people running the show to respond to reason is futile, of course. All of these reports are really addressed to the peanut gallery, where true power lies, if only they could realize it.

Thanks, Ray and VIPS, for keeping up the good fight.

mike k , June 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm

For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy.

And BTW people have become shy about using the word conspiracy, for fear it will automatically brand one as a hoaxer. On the contrary, conspiracies are extremely common, the higher one climbs in the power hierarchy. Like monopolies, conspiracies are central to the way the oligarchs do business.

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:42 am

Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known.

There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings.

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH-

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:47 am

" whether or not"?!! Wow. That's an imperialistic statement.

Drew Hunkins , June 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?

So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was arguably in bed with the Winter Hill Gang!

jose , June 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars.

Jeff , June 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Thanx, Ray. The sad news is that everybody now believes that Russia tried to "meddle" in our election and, since it's a belief, neither facts nor reality will dislodge it. Your disclaimer should also probably carry the warning – never believe a word a government official says especially if they are in the CIA, NSA, or FBI unless they provide proof. If they tell you that it's classified, that they can't divulge it, or anything of that sort, you know they are lying.

john wilson , June 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm

I suspect the real reason no evidence has been produced is because there isn't any. I know this is stating the obvious, but if you think about it, as long as the non extent evidence is supposedly being "investigated" the story remains alive. They know they aren't going to find anything even remotely plausible that would stand up to any kind of scrutiny, but as long as they are looking, it has the appearance that there might be something.

Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I first want to thank Ray and the VIPS for their continuing to follow through on this Russia-Gate story. And it is a story.

My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody?

Now we have Sean Hannity making a strong case against the Clinton's and the FBI's careful handling of their crimes. What seems out of place, since this should be big news, is that CNN nor MSNBC seems to be covering this story in the same way Hannity is. I mean isn't this news, meant to be reported as news? Why avoid reporting on Hillary in such a manner? This must be that 'fake news' they all talk about boy am I smart.

In the end I have decided to be merely an observer, because there are no good guys or gals in our nation's capital worth believing. In the end even Hannity's version of what took place leads back to a guilty Russia. So, the way I see it, the swamp is being drained only to make more room for more, and new swamp creatures to emerge. Talk about spinning our wheels. When will good people arrive to finally once and for all drain this freaking swamp, once and for all?

Realist , June 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Ha, ha! Don't you enjoy the magic show being put on by the insiders desperately trying to hang onto their power even after being voted out of office? Their attempt to distract your attention from reality whilst feeding you their false illusions is worthy of Penn & Teller, or David Copperfield (the magician). Who ya gonna believe? Them or your lying eyes?

Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Realist, You can bet they will investigate everything but what needs investigated, as our Politico class devolves into survivalist in fighting, the mechanism of war goes uninterrupted. Joe

F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Joe, speaking of draining the swamp, check out my comment under Ray's June 1 article about Freddy Fleitz!

Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

That is just what I was reminded of; here is an antiseptic but less emphatic last line:
"Swamp draining progresses apace.
It's being accomplished with grace:
They're taking great pains to clean out the drains,"
New swamp creatures will need all that space!

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

We must realize that to them, "the Swamp" refers to those in office who still abide by New Deal policy. Despite the thoroughly discredited neoliberal economic policy, the radical right are driving the world in the libertarian direction of privatization, austerity, private bank control of money creation, dismantling the nation-state, contempt for the Constitution, etc.

[Jun 09, 2018] Spooks Spooking Themselves by Daniel Lazare

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump. ..."
"... The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin." ..."
"... Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst). ..."
"... Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor . ..."
"... Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd. ..."
"... As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too. ..."
"... Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... describes Mifsud as "an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia" and "a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends," which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort. ..."
"... But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome. Since it's unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud's intelligence ties are more likely with the UK. ..."
"... Stefan Halper then infiltrated the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other. ..."
"... The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it." Clovis believes that Halper was trying "to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation." Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration. ..."
"... Notwithstanding Clovis's nutty rightwing politics , his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying " to build something that did not exist ." Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a "nothing-burger" than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws. ..."
"... As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article , 2, 700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day. ..."
"... Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer's expense to "protect" the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government. ..."
"... Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker ..."
"... But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press." ..."
"... It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree. But that's what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda. In this case, their efforts are so effective that they've gotten lost in a fog of their own making. If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice. ..."
"... "Russiagate" continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I'd be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-02/fbi-spying-trump-started-london-earlier-thought-new-texts-implicate-obama-white ..."
"... I've always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump's persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama's public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants' Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged "puppet." ..."
"... The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That's what really happened. ..."
"... I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I've underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The "insiders" are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did. ..."
"... Long-time CIA asset named as FBI's spy on Trump campaign By Bill Van Auken https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/poli-m21.html ..."
"... What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be "hustled". The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was "in the lead". ..."
"... Those clever media folks. What a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton's and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part. ..."
"... The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the "not a real republican" peace-nick occupying the White House. ..."
"... It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies. ..."
"... So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook "influence" that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab. ..."
May 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

As the role of a well-connected group of British and U.S. intelligence agents begins to emerge, new suspicions are growing about what hand they may have had in weaving the Russia-gate story, as Daniel Lazare explains.

Special to Consortium News

With the news that a Cambridge academic-cum-spy named Stefan Halper infiltrated the Trump campaign, the role of the intelligence agencies in shaping the great Russiagate saga is at last coming into focus.

It's looking more and more massive. The intelligence agencies initiated reports that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia, they nurtured them and helped them grow, and then they spread the word to the press and key government officials. Reportedly, they even tried to use these reports to force Trump to step down prior to his inauguration. Although the corporate press accuses Trump of conspiring with Russia to stop Hillary Clinton, the reverse now seems to be the case: the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump.

The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin."

Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst).

In-Bred

A few things stand out about this august group. One is its in-bred quality. After helping to run an annual confab known as the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor .

Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd.

Halper: Infiltrated Trump campaign

In December 2016, Halper and Dearlove both resigned from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar because they suspected that a company footing some of the costs was tied up with Russian intelligence – suspicions that Christopher Andrew, former chairman of the Cambridge history department and the seminar's founder, regards as " absurd " as well.

As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too.

Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine.

The result is a diplo-espionage gang that is very bad at the facts but very good at public manipulation – and which therefore decided to use its skill set out to create a public furor over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

It Started Late 2015

The effort began in late 2015 when GCHQ, along with intelligence agencies in Poland, Estonia, and Germany, began monitoring what they said were " suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

Since Trump was surging ahead in the polls and scaring the pants off the foreign-policy establishment by calling for a rapprochement with Moscow, the agencies figured that Russia was somehow behind it. The pace accelerated in March 2016 when a 30-year-old policy consultant named George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser. Traveling in Italy a week later, he ran into Mifsud, the London-based Maltese academic, who reportedly set about cultivating him after learning of his position with Trump. Mifsud claimed to have "substantial connections with Russian government officials," according to prosecutors. Over breakfast at a London hotel, he told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from Moscow where he had learned that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

This was the remark that supposedly triggered an FBI investigation. The New York Times describes Mifsud as "an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia" and "a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends," which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort.

But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome. Since it's unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud's intelligence ties are more likely with the UK.

After Papadopoulos caused a minor political ruckus by telling a reporter that Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize for criticizing Trump's anti-Muslim pronouncements, a friend in the Israeli embassy put him in touch with a friend in the Australian embassy, who introduced him to Downer, her boss. Over drinks, Downer advised him to be more diplomatic. After Papadopoulos then passed along Misfud's tip about Clinton's emails, Downer informed his government, which, in late July, informed the FBI.

Was Papadopoulos Set Up?

Suspicions are unavoidable but evidence is lacking. Other pieces were meanwhile clicking into place. In late May or early June 2016, Fusion GPS, a private Washington intelligence firm employed by the Democratic National Committee, hired Steele to look into the Russian angle.

On June 20, he turned in the first of eighteen memos that would eventually comprise the Steele dossier , in this instance a three-page document asserting that Putin "has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years" and that Russian intelligence possessed "kompromat" in the form of a video of prostitutes performing a "golden showers" show for his benefit at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton. A week or two later, Steele briefed the FBI on his findings. Around the same time, Robert Hannigan flew to Washington to brief CIA Director John Brennan about additional material that had come GCHQ's way, material so sensitive that it could only be handled at "director level."

One player was filling Papadopoulos's head with tales of Russian dirty tricks, another was telling the FBI, while a third was collecting more information and passing it on to the bureau as well.

Page: Took Russia's side.

On July 7, 2016 Carter Page delivered a lecture on U.S.-Russian relations in Moscow in which he complained that " Washington and other western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change." Washington hawks expressed " unease " that someone representing the presumptive Republican nominee would take Russia's side in a growing neo-Cold War.

Stefan Halper then infiltrated the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other.

On July 11, Page showed up at a Cambridge symposium at which Halper and Dearlove both spoke. In early September, Halper sent Papadopoulos an email offering $3,000 and a paid trip to London to write a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean, his specialty. "George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?" Halper asked when he got there, but Papadopoulos said he knew nothing. Halper also sought out Sam Clovis, Trump's national campaign co-chairman, with whom he chatted about China for an hour or so over coffee in Washington.

The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it." Clovis believes that Halper was trying "to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation." Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration.

Notwithstanding Clovis's nutty rightwing politics , his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying " to build something that did not exist ." Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a "nothing-burger" than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws.

But the corruption charges have nothing to do with Russian collusion and nothing in the indictment against IRA indicates that either the Kremlin or the Trump campaign were involved. Indeed, the activities that got IRA in trouble in the first place are so unimpressive – just $46,000 worth of Facebook ads that it purchased prior to election day, some pro-Trump, some anti, and some with no particular slant at all – that Mueller probably wouldn't even have bothered if he hadn't been under intense pressure to come up with anything at all.

The same goes for the army of bots that Russia supposedly deployed on Twitter. As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article , 2, 700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day.

The Steele dossier is also underwhelming. It declares on one page that the Kremlin sought to cultivate Trump by throwing "various lucrative real estate development business deals" his way but says on another that Trump's efforts to drum up business were unavailing and that he thus "had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success."

Why would Trump turn down business offers when he couldn't generate any on his own? The idea that Putin would spot a U.S. reality-TV star somewhere around 2011 and conclude that he was destined for the Oval Office five years later is ludicrous. The fact that the Democratic National Committee funded the dossier via its law firm Perkins Coie renders it less credible still, as does the fact that the world has heard nothing more about the alleged video despite the ongoing deterioration in US-Russian relations. What's the point of making a blackmail tape if you don't use it?

Steele: Paid for political research, not intelligence.

Even Steele is backing off. In a legal paper filed in response to a libel suit last May, he said the document "did not represent (and did not purport to represent) verified facts, but were raw intelligence which had identified a range of allegations that warranted investigation given their potential national security implications." The fact is that the "dossier" was opposition research, not an intelligence report. It was neither vetted by Steele nor anyone in an intelligence agency. Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer's expense to "protect" the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government.

Using it Anyway

Nonetheless, the spooks have made the most of such pseudo-evidence. Dearlove and Wood both advised Steele to take his "findings" to the FBI, while, after the election, Wood pulled Sen. John McCain aside at a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to let him know that the Russians might be blackmailing the president-elect. McCain dispatched long-time aide David J. Kramer to the UK to discuss the dossier with Steele directly.

Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker found a former national-security official who says he spoke with him at the time and that Kramer's goal was to have McCain confront Trump with the dossier in the hope that he would resign on the spot. When that didn't happen, Clapper and Brennan arranged for FBI Director James Comey to confront Trump instead. Comey later testified that he didn't want Trump to think he was creating "a J. Edgar Hoover-type situation – I didn't want him thinking I was briefing him on this to sort of hang it over him in some way."

But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press."

Since then, the Democrats have touted the dossier at every opportunity, The New Yorker continues to defend it , while Times columnist Michelle Goldberg cites it as well, saying it's a "rather obvious possibility that Trump is being blackmailed." CNN, for its part, suggested not long ago that the dossier may actually be Russian disinformation designed to throw everyone off base, Republicans and Democrats alike.

It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree. But that's what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda. In this case, their efforts are so effective that they've gotten lost in a fog of their own making. If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice.

Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique , and his articles about the Middle East, terrorism, Eastern Europe, and other topics appear regularly on such websites as Jacobin and The American Conservative.


Vivian O'Blivion , June 4, 2018 at 6:36 am

Interesting technical detail.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/04/mueller-russia-troll-case-620653

Mueller is trying to omit the normal burden of legal liability, "wilful intent" in his charges against the St Petersburg, social media operation. In a horrifically complex area such as tax, campaign contributions or lobbying, a foreign entity can be found guilty of breaking a law that they cannot reasonably have been expected to have knowledge of.

But the omission or inclusion of "wilful intent" is applied on a selective basis depending on the advantage to the deep state. From a practical standpoint, omission of "wilful intent" makes it easier for Mueller to get a guilty verdict (in adsentia assuming this is legally valid in America). Once the "guilt" of the St Petersburg staff is established, any communication between an American and them becomes "collusion".

This stinks.

Realist , June 3, 2018 at 4:50 am

"Russiagate" continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I'd be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-02/fbi-spying-trump-started-london-earlier-thought-new-texts-implicate-obama-white

I've always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump's persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama's public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants' Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged "puppet."

The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That's what really happened.

backwardsevolution , June 3, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Realist – good post. I think what you say is true. Trump got too caught up in the birther crap, and Obama retaliated. But I think that Trump had been thinking about the presidency long before Obama came along. He sees the country differently than Obama and Clinton do. Trump would never have built up China to the point where all American technology has been given away for free, with millions of jobs lost and a huge trade deficit, and he would have probably left Russia alone, not ransacked it.

I saw Obama as a somewhat reluctant globalist and Hillary as an eager globalist. They are both insiders. Trump is not. He's interested in what is best for the U.S., whereas the Clinton's and the Bush's were interested in what their corporate masters wanted. The multinationals have been selling the U.S. out, Trump is trying to put a stop to this, and it is going to be a fight to the death. Trump is playing hardball with China (who ARE U.S. multinationals), and it is working. Beginning July 1, 2018, China has agreed to reduce its tariffs:

"Import tariffs for apparel, footwear and headgear, kitchen supplies and fitness products will be more than halved to an average of 7.1 percent from 15.9 percent, with those on washing machines and refrigerators slashed to just 8 percent, from 20.5 percent.

Tariffs will also be cut on processed foods such as aquaculture and fishing products and mineral water, from 15.2 percent to 6.9 percent.

Cosmetics, such as skin and hair products, and some medical and health products, will also benefit from a tariff cut to 2.9 percent from 8.4 percent.

In particular, tariffs on drugs ranging from penicillin, cephalosporin to insulin will be slashed to zero from 6 percent before.

In the meantime, temporary tariff rates on 210 imported products from most favored nations will be scrapped as they are no longer favorable compared with new rates."

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-tariffs/china-to-cut-import-tariffs-for-some-consumer-goods-from-most-favored-nations-idUSKCN1IW1PY

Trade with China has been all one way. At least Trump is leveling the playing field. He at least is trying to bring back jobs, something the "insiders" could care less about.

I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I've underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The "insiders" are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did.

Abe , June 2, 2018 at 2:20 am

"Pentagon documents indicate that the Department of Defense's shadowy intelligence arm, the Office of Net Assessment, paid Halper $282,000 in 2016 and $129,000 in 2017. According to reports, Halper sought to secure Papadopoulos's collaboration by offering him $3,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to London, ostensibly to produce a research paper on energy issues in the eastern Mediterranean.

"The choice of Halper for this spying operation has ominous implications. His deep ties to the US intelligence apparatus date back decades. His father-in-law was Ray Cline, who headed the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence at the height of the Cold War. Halper served as an aide to Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Alexander Haig in the Nixon and Ford administrations.

"In 1980, as the director of policy coordination for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign, Halper oversaw an operation in which CIA officials gave the campaign confidential information on the Carter administration and its foreign policy. This intelligence was in turn utilized to further back-channel negotiations between Reagan's campaign manager and subsequent CIA director William Casey and representatives of Iran to delay the release of the American embassy hostages until after the election, in order to prevent Carter from scoring a foreign policy victory on the eve of the November vote.

"Halper subsequently held posts as deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs and senior adviser to the Pentagon and Justice Department. More recently, Halper has collaborated with Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, the British intelligence service, in directing the Cambridge Security Initiative (CSi), a security think tank that lists the US and UK governments as its principal clients.

"Before the 2016 election, Halper had expressed his view – shared by predominant layers within the intelligence agencies – that Clinton's election would prove 'less disruptive' than Trump's.

"The revelations of the role played by Halper point to an intervention in the 2016 elections by the US intelligence agencies that far eclipsed anything one could even imagine the Kremlin attempting."

Long-time CIA asset named as FBI's spy on Trump campaign By Bill Van Auken https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/poli-m21.html

CitizenOne , June 1, 2018 at 11:19 pm

Sorry for not commenting on other posts as of yet. But I think I have a different perspective. Russia Gate is not about Hillary Clinton or Putin but it is about Donald Trump. Specifically an effort to get rid of him by the intelligence agencies and the MSM. The fact is the MSM created Trump and were chiefly responsible for his election. Trump is their brainchild starlet used to fleece all the republican campaigns like a huckster fleeces an audience. It all ties to key Supreme Court rulings eliminating campaign finance regulations which ushered in the age of dark money.

When billionaires can donate unlimited amounts of money anonymously to the candidate of their choosing what ends up is a field of fourteen wannabes in a primary race each backed by their own investor(s). The only way these candidates can win is to convince us to vote. The only way they can do that is to spend on advertising.

What the MSM dreamed of in a purely capitalistic way was a way to drain the wallets of every single one of the republican Super PACs. The mission was fraught with potential checkmates. Foe example, there could be an early leader who snatched up the needed delegates for the nomination early on which would have stopped the flow of advertising cash flowing to the MSM. Such possibilities worried the MSM and caused great angst since this might just be the biggest haul they ever took in during a primary season. How would they prevent a premature end of the money river. Like financial vampire bats, ticks and leeches they needed a way to keep the money flowing from the veins of the republican Super PACs until they were sucked dry.

What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be "hustled". The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was "in the lead".

It was a pure stroke of genius and it worked so well that Carl Rove is looking for a job and Donald Trump is sitting in the White House.

Those clever media folks. What a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton's and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part.

What to do? Trump was now the Commander in Chief and was spouting nonsense that the establishment recoiled at such as Trumps plans to form economic ties with Russia rather than continue to wage a cold war spanning 65 years which the MIC used year after year to spook us all and guarantee their billions annual increase in funding. Trump directly attacked defense projects and called for de-funding major initiatives like F35 etc.

The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the "not a real republican" peace-nick occupying the White House.

What to do? There was clearly a need to eliminate this bad guy since his avowed policies were in direct opposition to the game plan that had successfully compromised the former administration. They felt powerless to dissuade the Administration to continue the course and form strategies to eliminate Iran, Syria, North Korea, Libya, Ukraine and other vulnerable targets swaying toward China and Russia. They faced a new threat with the Trump Administration which seemed hell bent to discontinue the wars in these regions robbing them of many dollars.

It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies.

So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook "influence" that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab.

In the interim, they also forgot on purpose to tell anyone about the election campaign finance fraud that they were the chief beneficiaries of. They also of course forgot to tell anyone what the fight was about for the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Twenty seven million dollars in dark money was donated by dark money donors enabled by the Supreme Court's decisions to eliminate campaign finance regulations which enabled these donors to buy out Congress and elect and confirm a Supreme Court Justice who would uphold the laws which eliminate all the election rules and campaign finance regulations dating back to the Tillman Act of 1907 which was an attempt to eliminate corporate contributions in political campaigns with associated meager fines as penalties. The law was weak then and has now been eliminated.

In an era of dark money in politics protected by revisionist judges laying at the top of our federal judicial branch posing as strict constructionists while being funded by the corporatocracy that viciously fights over control of the highest court by a panicked republican party that seeks to tie up their domination in our Congress by any means including the abdication of the Constitutional authority granted to the citizens of the nation we now face a new internal enemy.

That enemy is not some foreign nation but our own government which conspires to represent the wealthy and the powerful and which exalts them and which enacts laws to defend their control of our nation. Here is a quote:

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.

Frederic Bastiat – (1801-1850) in Economic Sophisms

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:32 am

Different journalist covering much the same ground:

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/why-is-the-new-york-times-misleading-the-american-people-about-the-paid-informant-who-was-spying-on-the-trump-campaign/

"Russiagate" is strictly a contrivance of the Deep State, American & British Spookery, and the corporate media propagandists. It clearly needs to be genuinely investigated (unlike the mockery being orchestrated by Herr Mueller from the Ministry of Truth), re-christened "Intellgate" (after the real perpetrators of crime), pursued until all the guilty traitors (including Mueller) who really tried to steal our democratic election are tried, convicted and incarcerated (including probably hundreds complicit from the media) and given its own lengthy chapter in all the history books about "The Election They Tried to Steal and Blame on Russia: How America Nearly Lost its Constitution." If not done, America will lose its constitution, or rather the incipient process will become totally irreversible.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 6:25 am

Your timing of events is confused.
The deep state didn't try and steal the election because they were overly complacent that their woman would win. Remember, they didn't try to use the dodgy, Steele dossier before the election.
What the deep state has done is reactively try to overcome the election outcome by launching an investigation into Trump. The egregious element of the investigation is giving it the title "investigation into collusion" when they in all probability knew that collusion was unlikely to have taken place. To achieve their aim (removing Trump) they included the line "and matters arising" in the brief to give them an open ended remit which allowed them to investigate Trump's business dealings of a Russian / Ukrainian nature (which may venture uncomfortably close to Semion Mogilevich).
If as you state (and I concur) there was no Russian collusion, then barring fabrication of evidence by Mueller (and there is little evidence of that to date) you have nothing to worry about on the collusion front. Remember, to date, Mueller has stuck (almost exclusively) to meat and potatoes charges like tax evasion and money laundering. If however the investigation leads to credible evidence that Trump broke substantive laws in the past for financial gain, then it is not reasonable to cry foul.

Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:02 am

The Deep State assisted the DNC in knocking out Sanders. THAT was ground zero. Everything since then has been to cover this up and to discredit Trump (using him as the distraction). Consider that the Deep State never bothered to investigate the DNC servers/data; reason being is that they'd (Deep State) be implicated.

Skip Scott , June 1, 2018 at 7:29 am

Very true Seer. That is the real genesis of RussiaGate. It was a diversion tactic to keep people from looking at the DNC's behavior during the primaries. They are the reason Trump is president, not the evil Ruskies.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 8:13 am

We all seem agreed that the Russia collusion is an exercise in distraction. I can't say I know enough to comment with authority on whether the DNC would require assistance from the deep state to trash Bernie. From an outsider perspective it looked more like an application of massively disproportionate spending and standard, back room dirty tricks.
There is a saying; don't attribute to conspiracy that which can be explained by incompetence. In this case, try replacing incompetence with MONEY.

dikcheney , June 2, 2018 at 5:09 pm

Totally agree with you Skip and the Mueller performance is there to keep up the intimidation and distraction by regularly finding turds to throw at Trump. Mueller doesnt need to find anything, he just needs to create vague intimations of 'guilty Trump' and suspicious associates so that no one will look at the DNC or the Clinton corruption or the smashing of the Sanders campaign.

Their actual agenda is to smother analysis and clear thinking. Thankfully there is the forensicator piecing the jigsaw as well as consortium news.

robjira , June 1, 2018 at 11:55 am

Spot on, Seer.

michael , June 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Those servers probably had a lot more pay-to-play secrets from the Clinton Foundation and ring-kissing from foreign big donors than what was released by Wikileaks, which mostly was just screwing over Bernie, which the judge ruled was Hillary's prerogative. Some email chains were probably construed as National Security and were discreetly not leaked.
The 30,000 emails Hillary had bit bleached from her private servers are likely in the hands of Russians and every other major country, all biding their time for leverage. This was the carrot the British (who undoubtedly have copies as well) dangled over idiot Popodopolous.

Uncle Bob , June 1, 2018 at 10:33 pm

Seth Rich

anon , June 1, 2018 at 7:42 am

Realist is likely referring to events before the election which involved people with secret agency connections, such as the opposition research (Steele dossier and Skripal affair).

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 9:32 am

Realist responded but is being "moderated" as per usual.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 9:31 am

Hillary herself was a prime force in cooking up the smear against Trump for being "Putin's puppet." This even before the Democratic convention. Then she used it big time during the debates. It wasn't something merely reactive after she lost. Certainly she and her collaborators inside the deep state and the intelligence agencies never imagined that she would lose and have to distract from what she and her people did by projecting the blame onto Trump. That part was reactive. The rest of the conspiracy was totally proactive on her part and that of the DNC, even during the primaries.

Don't forget, the intel agencies led by Clapper, Brennan and Comey were all working for Obama at the time and were totally acquiescent in spying on the Trump campaign and "unmasking" the identities and actions of his would-be administration, including individuals like General Flynn. The cooked up Steele dossier was paid for by money from the Clinton campaign and used as a pretext for the intel agencies to spy on the Trump campaign. There is no issue on timing. The establishment was fully behind Clinton by hook or crook from the moment Trump had the delegates to win the GOP nomination. (OBTW, I am not a Trump supporter or even a Republican, so I KNOW that I "have nothing to worry about on the collusion front." I'm a registered Dem, though not a Hillary supporter.)

Moreover, if you think that Mueller (and the other intel chiefs) have been on the impartial up-and-up, why did the FBI never seize and examine the DNC servers? Why simply accept the interpretation of events given by the private cybersecurity firm (Crowdstrike) that the Clinton campaign hired to very likely mastermind a cover-up? That is exceptional (nay, unheard of!) "professional courtesy." Why has Mueller to this day not deposed Julian Assange or former British Ambassador Craig Murray, both of whom admit to knowing precisely who provided the leaked (not hacked) Podesta and DNC emails to Wikileaks? Why has Mueller not pursued the potential role of the late Seth Rich in the leaking of said emails? Why has Mueller not pursued the robust theory, based on actual evidence, proposed by VIPS, and supported by computer experts like Bill Binney and John McAfee, that the emails were not, as the Dems and the intel agencies would have you believe on NO EVIDENCE, hacked (by the "Russians" or anyone else) but were downloaded to a flash drive directly from the DNC servers? Why has Mueller not deposed Binney or Ray McGovern who claim to have evidence to bear on this and have discussed it freely in the media (to the miniscule extent that the corporate media will give them an audience)? Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running? Is the media really independent and impartial or are they part of a cover-up, perpetrating numerous sins of both commission and omission in their highly flawed reportage?

I don't see clarity in what has been thus far been propounded by Mueller or any of Trump's other accusers, but I don't think I am the one who is confused here, Vivian. If you want to meet a thoroughly confused individual on what transpired leading up to this moment in American political history, just go read Hillary's book. Absolutely everyone under the sun shares in the blame but her for the fact that she does not presently reside in the White House.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 1:48 pm

You have presented your case with a great deal more detail and clarity than the original post that prompted my reply. You are also a great deal more knowledgeable than I on the details. I think we are 98% in agreement and I wouldn't like to say who's correct on the remaining 2%.
For clarity, I didn't follow the debates and wouldn't do so now if they were repeated. Much heat very little light.
The "pretext" that the intel agencies claim launched their actions against Trump was not the Steele dossier, at least that is what the intel agencies say. Either way your assertion that it was the dossier that set things off is just that, an assertion. I think this is a minor point.
On the DNC servers and the FBI we are 100% singing from the same hymn book and it all sticks. Mueller's apparent disinterest in the question of hack or USB drive does rather taint his investigation and thanks for pointing this out, I hadn't thought of that angle. I still think Mueller will stick to tax and money laundering and stay well clear of "collusion", so yes he may be running a kangaroo court investigation but the charges will be real world.
The MSM as a whole are a sick joke which is why we collectively find ourselves at CN, Craig Murray's blog, etc. I wouldn't like to attribute "collaboration" to any individual in the media. It was the reference to hundreds of journalists being sent to jail in your original post that set me off in the first place. When considering the "culpability" of any individual journalist you can have any position on a spectrum from; fully cognisant collaborator with a deep state conspiracy, to; a bit dim and running with the "sexy" story 'cause it's the biggest thing ever, the bosses can't get enough of it and the overtime is great. If American journalists are anything like their UK counterparts, 99% will fall into the latter category.
Don't have any issue with your final point. Hillary on stage and on camera was phoney as rocking horse s**te and everyone outside her extremely highly remunerated team could see it.
Sorry for any inconvenience, but your second post makes your points a hell of a lot clearer than the original.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:26 pm

My purpose for the first post in this thread was to direct readers to the article in Unz by Mike Whitney, not to compress a full-blown amateur expose' by myself into a three-sentence paragraph. You would have found much more in the way of facts, analysis and opinion in his article to which my terse comments did not even serve as an abstract.

Quoting his last paragraph may give you the flavor of this piece, which is definitely not a one-off by him or other actual journalists who have delved into the issues:

"Let's see if I got this right: Brennan gets his buddies in the UK to feed fake information on Russia to members of the Trump campaign, after which the FBI uses the suspicious communications about Russia as a pretext to unmask, wiretap, issue FISA warrants, and infiltrate the campaign, after which the incriminating evidence that was collected in the process of entrapping Trump campaign assistants is compiled in a legal case that is used to remove Trump from office. Is that how it's supposed to work?

It certainly looks like it. But don't expect to read about it in the Times."

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Vivian – 90% of all major media is owned by six corporations. There most definitely was and IS collusion between some of them to bring down the outsider, Trump.

As far as individual journalists go, yeah, they're trying to pay their mortgage, I get it, and they're going to spin what their boss bloody well tells them to spin. But there is evidence coming out that "some" journalists did accept money from either Fusion GPS, Perkins Coie (sp) or Christopher Steele to leak information, which they did.

Bill Clinton passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that enabled these six media conglomerates to dominate the news. Of course they're political. They need to be split up, like yesterday, into a thousand pieces (ditto for the banks). They have purposely and with intent been feeding lies to the American people. Yes, some SHOULD go to jail.

As Peter Strzok of the FBI said re Trump colluding with Russia, "There was never any there, there." The collusion has come from the intelligence agencies, in cahoots with Hillary Clinton, perhaps even as high as Obama, to prevent Trump being elected. When that failed, they set out to get him impeached on whatever they could find. Of course Mueller is going to stick with tax and money laundering because he already KNOWS there was never any collusion with Russia.

This is the Swamp versus the People.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm

Realist – another excellent post. "Is Mueller after the truth, or is this a kangaroo court he is running?" As you rightly point out, Mueller IS being very selective in what he examines and doesn't examine. He's not after the whole truth, just a particular kind of truth, one that gets him a very specific result – to take down or severely cripple the President.

Evidence continues to trickle out. Former and active members of the FBI are now even begging to testify as they are disgusted with what is being purposely omitted from this so-called "impartial" investigation. This whole affair is "kangaroo" all the way.

I'm not so much a fan of Trump as I am a fan of the truth. I don't like to see him – anyone – being railroaded. That bothers me more than anything. But he's right about what he calls "the Swamp". If these people are not uncovered and brought to justice, then the country is truly lost.

Realist , June 1, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Precisely. Destroy the man on false pretenses and you destroy our entire system, whether you like him and his questionable policies or not.

Some people would say it's already gone, but we do what we can to get it back or hold onto to what's left of it. Besides, all the transparent lies and skullduggery in the service of politics rather than principles are just making our entire system look as corrupt as hell.

michael , June 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm

When Mueller arrested slimy Manafort for crimes committed in the Ukraine and gave a pass to the Podesta Brothers who worked closely with Manafort, it was clear that Russiagate was a partisan operation.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Michael – good point!

KiwiAntz , June 1, 2018 at 1:00 am

Its becoming abundantly clear now, that the whole Russiagate charade was had nothibg to do with Russia & is about a elaborate smokescreen & shellgame coverup designed to divert attention away from, firstly the Democratic Party's woeful defeat & its lousy Candidate choice in the corrupt Hillary Clinton? & also the DNC's sabotaging of Bernie Saunders campaign run! But the most henious & treacherous parts was Obama's, weaponising the intelligence agencies to spy (Halper) on the imaginary Mancharian Candidate Trump & to set him up as a Russia stooge? Obama & Hillary Clinton are complicent in this disgraceful & illegal activity to get dirt on Trump withe goal of ensuring Clinton's election win? This is bigger than Watergate & more scandalous? But despite the cheating & stacking of the card deck, she still lost out to the Donald? And this isn't just illegal its treasonous & willful actions deserving of a lengthy jail incarceration? HRC & her crooked Clinton foundation's funding of the fraudulent & discredited "Steele Dosier" was also used to implement Trump & Russia in a made up, pile of fictitious gargage that was pure offal? Obama & HRC along with their FBI & CIA spys need to be rounded up, convicted & thrown in jail? Perhaps if Trump could just shut his damn mouuth for once & get off twitter long enough to be able too get some Justice Dept officials looking into this, without being distracted by this Russiagate shellgame fakery, then perhaps the real criminal's like Halpert, Obama,HRC & these corrupt spooks & spies can be rounded up & held to account for this treasonous behaviour?

Sean Ahern , May 31, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Attention should be paid also to the role of so called progressive media outlets such as Mother Jones which served as an outlets for the disinformation campaign described in Lazare's article.
Here from David Corn's Mother Jones 2016 article:

"And a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump -- and that the FBI requested more information from him."
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/10/veteran-spy-gave-fbi-info-alleging-russian-operation-cultivate-donald-trump/

Not only was Corn and Mother Jones selected by the spooks as an outlet, but these so called progressives lauded their 'expose' as a great investigative coup on their part and it paved the way for Corn's elevation on MSNBC for a while as a 'pundit.'

Paul G. , May 31, 2018 at 8:46 pm

In that vein did the spooks influence Rachel Maddow or is her $30,000. a day salary adequate to totally compromise her microscopic journalistic integrity.

dikcheney , June 3, 2018 at 6:57 am

Passing around references to Mother Jones is like passing round used toilet paper for another try. MJ is BS it is entirely controlled fake press.

Abby , May 31, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Stefan Halper was being paid by the Clinton's foundation during the time he was spying on the Trump campaign. This is further evidence that Hillary Clinton's hands are all over getting Russia Gate started. Then there's the role that Obama's justice department played in setting up the spying on people who were working with the Trump campaign. This is worse than Watergate, IMO.

Rumors are that a few ex FBI agents are going to testify to congress in Comey's role in covering up Hillary's crimes when she used her private email server to send classified information to people who did not have clearance to read it. Sydney Bluementhol was working for Hillary's foundation and sending her classified information that he stole from the NSA.

Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills were concerned about Obama knowing that Hillary wasn't using her government email account after he told the press that he only found out about it at the same time they did. He had been sending and receiving emails from her Clintonone email address during her whole tenure as SOS.

Obama was also aware of her using her foundation for pay to play which she was told by both congress and Obama to keep far away from her duties. Why did she use her private email server? So that Chelsea could know where Hillary was doing business so she could send Bill there to give his speeches to the same organizations, foreign governments and people who had just donated to their foundation.

Has any previous Secretary of State in history used their position to enrich their spouses or their foundations? I think not.

The secrets of how the FBI covered for Hillary are coming out. Whether she is charged for her crimes is a different matter.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 7:48 pm

If Hillary paid a political operative using Clinton Foundation funds – those are tax exempt charitable contributions – she would be guilty of tax fraud, charity fraud and campaign finance violations. Hillary may be evil, but she's not stupid. The U.S.Government paid Halper, which might be "waste, fraud and abuse", but it doesn't implicate Hillary at all. Not that she's innocent, mind you

Rob , June 1, 2018 at 2:14 am

I need some references to take any of your multitude of claims seriously. With all due respect, this sound like something taken from info wars and stylized in smartened up a little bit.

chris m , May 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm

the idea that Stefan Halper was some sort a of mastermind spy behind the so called "Russiagate" fiasco
seems very implausible considering what he seems to have spent doing for the past 40 years
going back to the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980 and his efforts then.

i think he must have had a fairly peripheral role as to whatever or not was going on behind the scenes from 2016 election campaign, and the campaign to first stop Trump getting elected, and secondly, when that failed, to bring down his Presidency.

of course, the moment his name was revealed in recent days, would have shocked or surprised those of in the general
public, but not certainly amongst those in Government aka FBI/CIA/Military-industrial circles.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 4:36 pm

chris m – Halper is probably one of those people who hide behind their professor (or other legitimate) jobs, but are there at the ready to serve the Deep State. "I understand. You want me to set up some dupes in order to make it look like there was or could be actual Russian meddling. Gotcha." All you've got to do is make it "look like" something nefarious was going on. This facilitates a "reason" to have a phony investigation, and of course they make it as open-ended an investigation as possible, hoping to get the target on something, anything.

Well, they've no doubt looked long and hard for almost two years now, but zip. However, in their zeal to get rid of their opponent, who they did not think would win the election, they left themselves open, left a trail of crimes. Whoops!

This is the Swamp that Trump talked about during the election. He's probably not squeaky clean either, but he pales in comparison to what these guys have done. They have tried to take down a duly-elected President.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 5:09 pm

His role may have been peripheral, but I seem to recall that the Office of Net Assessments paid him roughly a million bucks to play it. That office, run from the Pentagon, is about as deep into the world of "black ops" spookdom as you can get. Hardly "peripheral", I'd say.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:13 pm

F. G. Sanford – yes, a million bucks implies something more than just a peripheral involvement, more like something essential to the plot, like the actual setting up of the plot. Risk of exposure costs money.

ranney , May 31, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Chris, I think the Halper inclusion in this complex tale is simply an example of how these things work in the ultra paranoid style of spy agencies. As Lazare explains, every one knew every one else – at least at the start of this, and it just kind of built from there, and Halper may have been the spark – but the spark landed on a highly combustible pile of paranoia that caught on fire right away. This is how our and the UK agencies function. There is an interesting companion piece to this story today at Common Dreams by Robert Kohler titled The American Way of War. It describes basically the same sort of mind set and action as this story. I'd link it for you if I knew how, but I'm not very adept at the computer. (Maybe another reader knows how?)

We (that is the American people who are paying the salaries of these brain blocked, stiff necked idiots) need to start getting vocal and visible about the destructive path our politicians, banks and generals have rigidly put us on. Does any average working stiff still believe that all this hate, death and destruction is to "protect" us?

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:07 pm

ranney – when you are on the page that you want to link to, take your cursor (the little arrow on your screen) to the top of the page to the address bar (for instance, the address for this article is:
"https://consortiumnews.com/2018/05/31/spooks-spooking ")

Once your cursor is over the address bar, right click on your mouse. A little menu will come up. Then position your cursor down to the word "copy" and then left click on your mouse. This will copy the link.

Then proceed back to the blog (like Consortium) where you want to provide the link in your post. You might say, "Here is the link for the article I just described above." Then at this point you would right click on your mouse again, position your cursor over the word "paste", and then left click on your mouse. Voila, your link magically appears.

If you don't have a mouse and are using a laptop pad, then someone else will have to help you. That's above my pay grade. Good luck, ranney.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:13 pm

If you are using a Mac, either laptop w/touch screen or with a mouse, the copy/paste function
works similarly. Use either the mouse (no need to 'right click, left click') or the touch screen
to highlight the address bar once you have the cursor flashing away on the left side of it.
You may need to scroll right to highlight the whole address. Then go up to Edit (there's also
a keyboard command you can use, but I don't) in your tool bar at the top of your screen.
Click on 'copy'. Now your address is in memory. Then do the same as described above to
get back to where you want to paste it. Put your cursor where you want it to be 'pasted'.
Go back to 'edit' and click 'paste'. Voila !

This is a very handy function and can be used to copy text, web addresses, whatever you want.
Explore it a little bit. (Students definitely overuse the 'paste and match style' option, which allows
a person to 'paste' text into for example an essay and 'match the style' so it looks seamless, although
unless carefully edited it usually doesn't read seamlessly !)

Remember that whatever is in 'copy' will remain there until you 'copy' something else. (Or your
computer crashes . . . )

ranney , June 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Irina and Backwards Evolution – Thanks guys for the computer advice! I'll try it, but I think I need someone at my shoulder the first time I try it.

backwardsevolution , June 1, 2018 at 8:53 pm

ranney – you're welcome! Snag one of your kids or a friend, and then do it together. Sometimes I see people posting things like: "Testing. I'm trying to provide a link, bear with me." Throw caution to the wind, ranney. I don't worry about embarrassing myself anymore. I do it every day and the world still goes on.

I heard a good bit of advice once, something I remind my kids: when you're young, you think everybody is watching you and so you're afraid to step out of line. When you're middle-aged, you think everybody is watching you, but you don't care. When you're older, you realize nobody is really watching you because they're more concerned about themselves.

Good luck, ranney.

irina , June 2, 2018 at 10:00 pm

I find it helpful to write down the steps (on an old fashioned piece of paper, with old fashioned ink)
when learning to use a new computer tool, because while I think I'll remember, it doesn't usually
'stick' until after using it for quite a while. And yes, definitely recruit a member of the younger set
or someone familiar with computers. My daughter showed me many years ago how to 'cut & paste'
and to her credit she was very gracious about it. Remember that you need a place to 'paste' what-
ever you copied -- either a comment board like this, or a document you are working on, or (this is
handy) an email where you want to send someone a link to something. Lots of other possibilities too!

mike , June 1, 2018 at 7:43 pm

No one is presenting Halper as a mastermind spy. He was a tool of the deep state nothing more.

Gary Weglarz , May 31, 2018 at 1:57 pm

It seems a mistake to frame the "Russiagate" nonsense as a "Democrat vs Republican" affair, except at the most surface level of understanding in terms of our political realities. If one considers that the Bush family has been effectively the Republican Party's face of the CIA/deep state nexus for decades, as the Clinton/Obama's have been the Democratic Party's face for decades now, what comes into focus is Trump as a sort of unknown, unexpected wild card not appropriately tethered to the control structure. Simply noting that the U.S. and Russia need not be enemies is alone enough to require an operation to get Trump into line.
This hardly means this is some sort of "partisan" issue as the involvement of McCain and others demonstrates.

One of the true "you can't make this stuff up" ironies of the Bush/Clinton CIA/deep state nexus history is worth remembering if one still maintains any illusions about how the CIA vets potential presidents since they killed JFK. During Iran/Contra we had Bush, the former CIA director now vice president, running a drugs for arms operation out the White House through Ollie North, WHILE then unknown Arkansas governor Bill Clinton was busy squashing Arkansas State Police investigations into said narcotics trafficking. Clinton obviously proved his bona fides to the CIA/deep state with such service and was appropriately rewarded as an asset who could function as a reliable president. Here in one operation we had two future presidents in Bush and Clinton both engaged in THE SAME CIA drug running operation. You truly can't make this stuff up.

Russiagate seems to be in the end all about keeping deep state policy moving in the "right direction" and "hating Russia" is the only entree on the menu at this time for the whole cadre of CIA/deep state, MIC, neocons, Zionists, and all their minions in the MSM. The Obama White House would have gladly supported Vlad the Impaler as the Republican candidate that beat Hillary if Vlad were to have the appropriate foaming at the mouth "hate-Russia" vibe going on.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Gary – great post.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm

Roger that. I would really like to see an inquiry re-opened into the
teenage boys who died 'on the train tracks' in Arkansas during the
early years of the Clinton-Bush trafficking. Many questions are still
unanswered. Speculation is that they saw something they weren't
supposed to see.

Mark Thomason , May 31, 2018 at 1:12 pm

This all grows out of the failure to clean up the mess revealed by the Iraq fiasco. Instead, those who did that remained, got away with it, and are doing more of the same.

Babyl-on , May 31, 2018 at 12:46 pm

So, here is my question – Who, ultimately does the permanent/bureaucratic/deep/Imperial* state finally answer to? Who's interests are they serving? How do they know what those interests are?

It could be, and increasingly it looks as if, the answer is – no one in particular – but the Saud family, the Zionist cabal of billionaires, the German industrialist dynasties, the Japanese oligarchy and never forget the arms dealers, all of them once part of the Empire now fighting for themselves so we end up with the high level apparatchiks not knowing what to do or who to follow so they lie outright to Congress and go on TV and babble more lies for money.

It's a great contradiction that the greatest armed force ever assembled with cutting edge robotics and AI yet at the same time so weak and pathetic it can not exercise hegemony over the Middle East as it seems to desire more than anything. Being defeated by forces with less than 20% of the US spend.

Abby , May 31, 2018 at 6:36 pm

You're right. They answer to no one because they are not just working in this country, but they think that the whole world is theirs.

To these people there are no borders. They meet at places like the G20, Davos and wherever the Bilderberg group decides to meet every year. No leader of any country gets to be one unless they are acceptable to the Deep State. The council of foreign relations is one of the groups that run the world. How we take them down is a good question.

Abe , May 31, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Following the pattern of mainstream media, Daniel Lazare assiduously avoids mentioning Israel and pro-Israel Lobby interference in the 2016 presidential election, and the Israel-gate reality underlying all the Russia-gate fictions.

For example, George Papadopoulos is directly connected to the pro-Israel Lobby, right wing Israeli political interests, and Israeli government efforts to control regional energy resources.

Lazare mentions that Papadapoulos had "a friend in the Israeli embassy".

But Lazare conspicuously neglects to mention numerous Israeli and pro-Israel Lobby players interested in "filling Papadopoulos's head" with "tales of Russian dirty tricks".

Papadopoulos' LinkedIn page lists his association with the right wing Hudson Institute. The Washington, D.C.-based think tank part of pro-Israel Lobby web of militaristic security policy institutes that promote Israel-centric U.S. foreign policy.

https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/hudson_institute/

The Hudson Institute confirmed that Papadopoulos was an intern who left the pro-Israel neoconservative think tank in 2014.

In 2014, Papadopoulos authored op-ed pieces in Israeli publications.

In an op-ed published in Arutz Sheva, media organ of the right wing Religionist Zionist movement embraced by the Israeli "settler" movement, Papadopoulos argued that the U.S. should focus on its "stalwart allies" Israel, Greece, and Cyprus to "contain the newly emergent Russian fleet".

In another op-ed published in Ha'aretz, Papadopoulos contended that Israel should exploit its natural gas resources in partnership with Cyprus and Greece rather than Turkey.

In November 2015, Papadapalous participated in a conference in Tel Aviv, discussing the export of natural gas from Israel with a panel of current and past Israeli government officials including Ron Adam, a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Eran Lerman, a former Israeli Deputy National Security Adviser.

Among Israel's numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region.

Israeli plans to develop energy resources and expand territorial holdings in the Syrian Golan are threatened by the Russian military presence in Syria. Russian diplomatic efforts, and the Russian military intervention that began in September 2015 after an official request by the Syrian government, have interfered with the Israeli-Saudi-U.S. Axis "dirty war" in Syria.

Israeli activities and Israel-gate realities are predictably ignored by the mainstream media, which continues to salivate at every moldy scrap of Russia-gate fiction.

Lazare need no be so circumspect, unless he has somehow been spooked.

Herman , May 31, 2018 at 4:13 pm

"Among Israel's numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region."

And water. Rating energy and water, what's at the top for Israel. Israel would probably say both but Israel shielded by the US will take what it wants. That is already true with the Palestinians.. The last figure I heard is that the Palestinians are allocated one fifth per capita what is allocated to Israel's

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 11:59 am

A large swamp is actually an ancient and highly organized ecosystem. Only humans could create a lawless madness like Washington DC.

irina , May 31, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Yes that is a good description of a swamp. BUT, if it loses what sustains it --
water, in the case of a 'real' swamp and money in the case of this swamp --
it changes character very quickly and becomes first a bog, then a meadow.

I am definitely ready for more meadowland ! But the only way to create it
is to voluntarily redirect federal taxes into escrow accounts which stipulate
that the funds are to be used for (fill in the blank) Public Services at the
Local and Regional levels. Much more efficient than filtering them through
the federal bureaucracy !

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:21 pm

But how would one avoid prosecution for nonpayment of taxes?
That seems a very quiet way to be rendered ineffective as a resister.

irina , June 1, 2018 at 2:30 am

The thing is, you don't 'nonpay' them. The way it used to work, through the
Con$cience and Military Tax Campaign Escrow Account, was that you filed
your taxes as usual. (This does require having less withholding than you owe).
BUT instead of paying what is due to the IRS, you send it to the Escrow Account.
You attach a letter to your tax return, explaining where the money is and why it
is there. That is, you want it to be spent on _________________(fill in the blank)
worthy public social service. Then you send your return to the IRS.

When I used to do this, I stated that I wanted my tax dollars to be spent to develop
public health clinics at neighborhood schools. Said clinics would be staffed by nurse
practitioners, would be open 24-7 and nurses would be equipped with vans to make
House Calls. Security would be provided.

So you're not 'nonpaying' your taxes, you are (attempting) to redirect them. Eventually,
after several rounds of letters back and forth, the IRS would seize the monies from the
escrow account, which would only release them to the IRS upon being told to by the
tax re-director. Unfortunately, not enough people participated to make it a going concern.
But the potential is still there, and the template has been made and used. It's very scale-
able, from local to international. And it would not take that many 're-directors' to shift the
focus of tax liability from the collector to the payor. Because ultimately we are liable for
how our funds are used !

Bill , June 2, 2018 at 3:19 pm

this was done a lot during the Vietnam conflict, especially by Quakers. the first thing, if you are a wage earner, is to re-file a W2 with maximum withholdings-that has two effects: 1) it means you owe all your taxes in April. 2) it means the feds are deprived of the hidden tax in which they use or invest your withholding throughout the year before it's actually due(and un-owed taxes if you over over-withhold). Pretty sure that if a large number of people deprive the government of that hidden tax by under-withholding, they will begin to take notice.

Abe , May 31, 2018 at 11:54 am

Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is an intelligence agency of the government and armed forces of the United Kingdom.

In 2013, GCHQ received considerable media attention when the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was in the process of collecting all online and telephone data in the UK. Snowden's revelations began a spate of ongoing disclosures of global surveillance and manipulation.

For example, NSA files from the Snowden archive published by Glenn Greenwald reveal details about GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) unit, which uses "dirty trick" tactics to covertly manipulate and control online communities.

JTRIG document: "The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations"
https://edwardsnowden.com/docs/doc/the-art-of-deception-training-for-a-new.pdf

In 2017, officials from the UK and Israel made an unprecedented confirmation of the close relationship between the GCHQ and Israeli intelligence services.

Robert Hannigan, outgoing Director-General of the GCHQ, revealed for the first time that his organization has a "strong partnership with our Israeli counterparts in signals intelligence." He claimed the relationship "is protecting people from terrorism not only in the UK and Israel but in many other countries."

Mark Regev, Israeli ambassador to the UK, commented on the close relationship between British and Israeli intelligence agencies. During remarks at a Conservative Friends of Israel reception, Regev opined: "I have no doubt the cooperation between our two democracies is saving British lives."

Hannigan added that GCHQ was "building on an excellent cyber relationship with a range of Israeli bodies and the remarkable cyber industry in Be'er Sheva."

The IDF's most important signal intelligence–gathering installation is the Urim SIGINT Base, a part of Unit 8200, located in the Negev desert approximately 30 km from Be'er Sheva.

Snowden revealed how Unit 8200 receives raw, unfiltered data of U.S. citizens, as part of a secret agreement with the U.S. National Security Agency.

After his departure from GCHQ, Hannigan joined BlueteamGlobal, a cybersecurity services firm, later re-named BlueVoyant.

BlueVoyant's board of directors includes Nadav Zafrir, former Commander of the Israel Defense Forces' Unit 8200. The senior leadership team at BlueVoyant includes Ron Feler, formerly Deputy Commander of the IDF's Unit 8200, and Gad Goldstein, who served as a division head in the Israel Security Agency, Shin Bet, in the rank equivalent to Major General.

In addition to their purported cybersecurity activities, Israeli. American, and British private companies have enormous access and potential to promote government and military deception operations.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Thanks Abe. Sounds like a manual for slave owners and con men. What a tangled wed the rich bastards weave. The simple truth is their sworn enemy.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Interesting that a foreign power would be given all US communications data, which implies that the US has seized it all without a warrant and revealed it all in violation of the Constitution. If extensive, this use of information power amounts to information warfare against the US by its own secret agencies in collusion with a foreign power, an act of treason.

Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:18 am

This has been going on for a LONG time, it's nothing new. I seem to recall 60 Minutes covering it way back in the 70s(?). UK was allowed to do the snooping in the US (and, likely, vice versa) and then providing info to the US. This way the US govt could claim that it didn't spy/snoop on its citizens. Without a doubt Israel has been extensively intercepting communications in the US..

Secrecy kills.

Sam F , June 1, 2018 at 8:23 am

Yes, but the act of allowing unregulated foreign agencies unwarranted access to US telecoms is federal crime, and it is treason when it goes so far as to allow them full access, and even direct US bulk traffic to their spy agencies. If this is so, these people should be prosecuted for treason.

F. G. Sanford , May 31, 2018 at 11:36 am

To listen to the media coverage of these events, it is tempting to believe that two entirely different planets are being discussed. Fox comes out and says Mueller was "owned" by Trump. Then, CNN comes out and says Trump was "owned" by Clapper. Clapper claims the evidence is "staggering", while video clips of his testimony reveal irrefutable perjury. Some of President Trump's policies are understandably abhorrent to Democrats, while Clinton's email server and charity frauds are indisputably violations of Federal statutes. Democrats are attempting to claim that a "spy" in the Trump campaign was perfectly reasonable to protect "national security", but evidence seems to indicate that the spy was placed BEFORE there was a legitimate national security concern. Some analysts note that, while Mueller's team appears to be Democratic partisan hacks, their native "skill set" is actually expertise in money laundering investigations. They claim that although Mr. Trump may not be compromised by the Russian government, he is involved with nefarious Russian organized crime figures. It follows, according to them, that given time, Mueller will reveal these illicit connections, and prosecution will become inevitable.

Let's assume, for argument, that both sides are right. That means that our entire government is irretrievably corrupt. Republicans claim that it could " go all the way to Obama". Democrats, of course, play the "moral high ground" card, insinuating that the current administration is so base and immoral that somehow, the "ends justify the means". No matter how you slice it, the Clinton campaign has a lot more liability on its hands. The problem is, if prosecutions begin, people will "talk" to save their own skins. The puppet masters can't really afford that.

"All the way to Obama", you say? I think it could go higher than that. Personally, I think it could go all the way to Dick Cheney, and the 'powers that be' are in no mood to let that happen.

Vivian O'Blivion , May 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm

The issue as I see it is that from the start everyone was calling the Mueller probe an investigation into collusion and not really grasping the catch all nature of his brief.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Counsel_investigation_(2017–present)

It's the "any matters arising " that is the real kicker. So any dodgy dealing / possible criminal activity in the past is fair game. And this is exactly what in happening with Manafort.
Morally you can apply the Nucky Johnson defence and state that everyone knew Trump was a crook when they voted for him, but legally this has no value.
There is an unpleasant whiff of deep state interference with the will of the people (electoral college). Perhaps if most bodies hadn't written Trump's chances off in such an off hand manner, proper due diligence of his background would have uncovered any liabilities before the election.
If there is actionable dirt, can't say I am overly sympathetic to Trump. Big prizes sometimes come with big risks.

David G , May 31, 2018 at 5:14 pm

My own feeling from the start has been that Mueller was never going to track down any "collusion" or "meddling" (at least not to any significant degree) because the whole, sprawling Russia-gate narrative – to the extent one can be discerned – is obviously phony.

But at the same time, there's no way the completely lawless, unethical Trump, along with his scummy associates, would be able to escape that kind of scrutiny without criminal conduct being exposed.

So far, on both scores, that still seems to me to be a likely outcome, and for my part I'm fine with it.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 5:29 am

My thoughts exactly. Collusion was never a viable proposition because the Russians aren't that stupid. Regardless of any personal opinion regarding the intelligence and mental stability of Donald Snr., the people he surrounds himself with are weapons grade stupid. I don't see the Russians touching the Trump campaign with a proverbial barge pole.

Bill , June 2, 2018 at 3:26 pm

it just happens that Trump appears to have been involved (wittingly or not), with the laundering a whole lot of Russian money and so many of his friends seem to be connected with wealthy Russian oligarchs as well plus they are so stupid, they keep appearing to (and probably are) obstructing justice. The Cohen thing doesn't get much attention here, but it's significant that they have all this stuff on a guy who is clearly Trump's bagman.

Steve Naidamast , May 31, 2018 at 3:15 pm

There is also quite an indication that the entire Mueller investigation is a complete smoke screen to be used as cannon fodder in the mainstream media.

On the one hand, Mueller and his hacks have found nothing of import to link Trump to anything close to collusion with members of the Russian government. And I am by no means a Trump supporter by any stretch of the imagination, except as a foil to Clinton. However, even my minimalist expectations for Trump have not worked out either.

In addition. the Mueller investigation has been spending what appears to be a majority of its time on ancillary matters that were not within the supposed scope and mandate of this investigation. Further, a number of indictments have come down against people involved with such ancillary matters.

The result is that if Mueller is going beyond the scope of his investigatory mandate, this may come in as a technicality that will allow indicted persons to escape prosecution on appeal.

Such a mandate, I would think, is the same thing as a police warrant, which can find only admissible evidence covered by the warrant. Anything else found to be criminally liable must be found to be as a result of a completely different investigation that has nothing to do with the original warrant.

In other words, it appears that the Mueller investigation was allowed to commence under a Republican controlled Congress for the very reason that its intent is simply to go in circles long enough for Republicans to get their agendas through, which does not appear to be working all too well as a result of their high levels of internecine party conflicts.

This entire affair is coming to show just how dysfunctional, corrupt, and incompetent the entirety of the US federal government has become. And to the chagrin of all sincere activists, no amount of organized protesting and political action will ever rid the country of this grotesque political quagmire that now engulfs the entirety of our political infrastructure.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 8:48 pm

Very true that the US federal government is now "dysfunctional, corrupt, and incompetent."
What are your thoughts on forms of action to rid us this political quagmire?
(other than ineffective "organized protesting and political action")
Have you considered new forms of public debate and public information?

Seer , June 1, 2018 at 7:34 am

All of this is blackmail to hold Trump's feet to the fire of the Israel firsters (such actions pull in all the dark swampy things). By creating the Russia blackmail story they've effectively redirected away from themselves. The moment Trump balks the Deep State will reel in some more, airing innuendos to overwhelm Trump. Better believe that Trump has been fully "briefed" on all of this. John Bolton was able to push out a former OPCW head with threats (knew where his, the OPCW head's children were). And now John Bolton is sitting right next to Trump (whispering in his ear that he knows ways in which to oust Trump).

What actual "ideas" were in Trump's head going in to all of this (POTUS run) is hard to say. But, anything that can be considered a threat to the Deep State has been effectively nullified now.

Vivian O'Blivion , June 1, 2018 at 8:22 am

Possible, but Manafort already tried to get his charges thrown out as being the outcome of investigations beyond the remit He failed.

Brendan , May 31, 2018 at 10:26 am

There's no doubt at all that Joseph Mifsud was closely connected with western intelligence, and with MI6 in particular. His contacts with Russia are insignificant compared with his long career working amongst the elite of western officials.
Lee Smith of RealClearInvestigations lists some of the places where Mifsud worked, including two universities:

"he taught at Link Campus University in Rome, ( ) whose lecturers and professors include senior Western diplomats and intelligence officials from a number of NATO countries, especially Italy and the United Kingdom.

Mifsud also taught at the University of Stirling in Scotland, and the London Academy of Diplomacy, which trained diplomats and government officials, some of them sponsored by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Council, or by their own governments."

Two former colleagues of Mifsud's, Roh and Pastor, recently interviewed him for a book they have written. Those authors could very well be biased, but one of them makes a valid point, similar to one that Daniel Lazare makes above:
"Given the affiliations of Link's faculty and staff, as well as Mifsud's pedigree, Roh thinks it's impossible that the man he hired as a business development consultant is a Russian agent."

Politically, Mifsud identifies with the Clintons more than anyone else, and claims to belong to the Clinton Foundation, which has often been accused of being just a way of funneling money into Hillary Clinton's campaign.

As Lee Smith says, if Mifsud really is a Russian spy, "Western intelligence services are looking at one of the largest and most embarrassing breaches in a generation. But none of the governments or intelligence agencies potentially compromised is acting like there's anything wrong."

From all that we know about Joseph Mifsud, it's safe to say that he was never a Russian spy. If not, then what was he doing when he was allegedly feeding stories to George Papadopoulos about Russians having 'dirt' on Clinton?

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/05/26/the_maltese_phantom_of_russiagate_.html

David G , May 31, 2018 at 4:25 pm

I read somewhere that Mifsud had disappeared. Was that true? If so, is he back, or still missing?

Chet Roman , May 31, 2018 at 6:21 pm

Here are some excerpts that will answer your question from an article by Lee Smith at Realclearinvestigations, "The Maltese Phantom of Russiagate".

A new book by former colleagues of Mifsud's – Stephan Roh, a 50-year-old Swiss-German lawyer, and Thierry Pastor, a 35-year-old French political analyst – reports that he is alive and well. Their account includes a recent interview with him.

Their self-published book, "The Faking of Russia-gate: The Papadopoulos Case, an Investigative Analysis," includes a recent interview with Mifsud in which he denies saying anything about Clinton emails to Papadopoulos. Mifsud, they write, stated "vehemently that he never told anything like this to George Papadopoulos." Mifsud asked rhetorically: "From where should I have this [information]?"

Mifsud's account seems to be supported by Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat who alerted authorities about Papadopoulos. As reported in the Daily Caller, Downer said Papadopoulos never mentioned emails; he spoke, instead, about the Russians possessing material that could be damaging to Clinton. This new detail raises the possibility that Mifsud, Papadopoulos' alleged source for the information, never said anything about Clinton-related emails either.

In interviews with RealClearInvestigations, Roh and Pastor said Mifsud is anything but a Russian spy. Rather, he is more likely a Western intelligence asset.

According to the two authors, it was a former Italian intelligence official, Vincenzo Scotti, a colleague of Mifsud's and onetime interior minister, who told the professor to go into hiding. "I don't know who was hiding him," said Roh, "but I'm sure it was organized by someone. And I am sure it will be difficult to get to the bottom of it."

Toby McCrossin , June 1, 2018 at 1:54 am

" The Papadopoulos Case, an Investigative Analysis," includes a recent interview with Mifsud in which he denies saying anything about Clinton emails to Papadopoulos. Mifsud, they write, stated "vehemently that he never told anything like this to George Papadopoulos.""

Thank you for providing that explosive piece of information. If true, and I suspect it is, that's one more nail in the Russiagate narrative. Who, then, is making the claim that Misfud mentioned emails? The only source for the statement I can find is "court documents".

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 9:20 am

The election scams serve only to distract from the Israel-gate scandal and the oligarchy destruction of our former democracy. Mr. Lazare neglects to tell us about that. All of Hillary's top ten campaign bribers were zionists, and Trump let Goldman-Sachs take over the economy. KSA and big business also bribed heavily.

We must restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual donations, for democracy is lost.

We must eliminate zionist fascism from our political parties, federal government, and foreign policy. Obviously that has nothing to do with any ethnic or religious preference.

Otherwise the United States is lost, and our lives have no historical meaning beyond slavery to oligarchy.

Joe Tedesky , May 31, 2018 at 9:51 am

You are right Sam. Israel does work the fence under the guise of the Breaking News. Joe

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 8:18 pm

My response was that Israel massacres at the fence, ignored by the zionist US mass media.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 11:48 am

The extreme wealth and privileges of oligarchy depend on the poverty and slavery of others. Inequality of income is the root cause of most of our ills. Try to imagine what a world of economic equals would be like. No striving for more and more wealth at the expense of others. No wars. What would there be to fight over – everyone would be content with what they already had.

If you automatically think such a world would be impossible, try to state why. You might discover that the only obstacle to such a world is the greedy bastards who are sitting on top of everybody, and will do anything to maintain their advantages.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 11:52 am

How do the oligarchs ensure your slavery? With the little green tickets they have hoarded that the rest of us need just to eat and have a roof over our heads. The people sleeping in the streets tell us the penalty for not being good slaves.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 12:50 pm

Very true, Mike. Those who say that equality or fairness of income implies breaking the productivity incentive system are wrong. No matter how much or how little wage incentive we offer for making an effort in work, we need not have great disparities of income. Those who can work should have work, and we should all make an effort to do well in our work, but none of us need the fanciest cars or grand monuments to live in, just to do our best.

Getting rid of oligarchy, and getting money out of mass media and elections, would be the greatest achievement of our times.

Joe Tedesky , May 31, 2018 at 5:30 pm

An old socialist friend of my dad's generation who claimed to have read the biography of Andrew Carnegie had told me over a few beers that Carnegie said, "that at a time when he was paying his workers $5 a week he 'could' have been paying them $50 a day, but then he could not figure out what kind of life they would lead with all that money". Think about it mike, if his workers would have had that kind of money it would not be long before Carnegie's workers became his competition and opened up next door to him the worst case scenario would be his former workers would sell their steel at a cheaper price, kind of, well no exactly like what Rockefeller did with oil, or as Carnegie did with steel innovation. How's that saying go, keep them down on the farm . well. Remember Carnegie was a low level stooge for the railroads at one time, and rose to the top .mike. Great point to make mike, because there could be more to go around. Joe

Steve Naidamast , May 31, 2018 at 3:16 pm

"We must restrict funding of elections and mass media to limited individual donations, for democracy is lost.

We must eliminate zionist fascism from our political parties, federal government, and foreign policy. Obviously that has nothing to do with any ethnic or religious preference."

Good luck with that!!!

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 8:19 pm

Well, you are welcome to make suggestions on how to save the republic.

john wilson , May 31, 2018 at 9:10 am

The depths of the deep state has no limits, but as a UK citizen, I fail to see why the American "spooks" need any help from we Brits when it comes state criminal activity. Sure, we are masters at underhand dirty tricks, but the US has a basket full of tricks that 'Trump' (lol) anything we've got. It was the Russians wot done mantra has been going on for many decades and is ever good for another turn around the political mulberry tree of corruption and underhand dealings. Whether the Democrats or the Republicans win its all the same to the deep state as they are in control whoever is in the White House. Trump was an outsider and there for election colour and the "ho ho ho" look what a great democracy we are, anyone can be president. He is in fact the very essence of the 'wild card' and when he actually won there was total confusion, panic, disbelief and probably terror in the caves and dungeons of the deep state.

Realist , May 31, 2018 at 9:33 am

I'm sure the result was so unexpected that the shadowy fixers, the IT mavens who could have "adjusted" the numbers, were totally caught off guard and unable to do "cleanly." Not that they didn't try to re-jigger the results in the four state recounts that were ordered, but it was simply too late to effectively cheat at that point, as there were already massive overvotes detected in key urban precincts. Such a thing will never happen again, I am sure.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 9:36 am

It appears that UK has long had a supply of anti-Russia fearmongers, presumably backed by its anti-socialist oligarchy as in the US. Perhaps the US oligarchy is the dumbest salesman, who believes that all customers are even dumber, so that UK can sell Russophobia here thirty years after the USSR.

Bob Van Noy , May 31, 2018 at 8:49 am

"But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press."

Perfect.
Recently, while trying to justify my arguement that a new investigation into the RFK Killing was necessary, I was asked why I thought that, and my response was "Modus operandi," exactly what Robert Parry learned by experience, and that is the fundamental similarity to all of the institutionalized crime that takes place by the IC. Once one realizes the literary approach to disinformation that was fundamental to Alan Dulles, James Jesus Angleton, even Ian Fleming, one can easily see the Themes being applied. I suppose that the very feature of believability offered by propaganda, once recognized, becomes its undoing. That could be our current reality; the old Lines simply are beginning to appear to be ridiculous

Thank you Daniel Lazar.

Sam F , June 1, 2018 at 8:39 am

The recognition of themes of propaganda as literary themes and modus operandi is helping to discredit propaganda. The similarities of the CW false-flag operations (Iraq, Syria, and UK), and the fake assassinations (Skripal and Babchenko) by the anti-Russia crowd help reveal and persuade on the falsehood of the Iraq WMD, Syria CW, and MH-17 propaganda ops. Just as the similarities of the JFK/MLK/RFK assassinations persuade us that commonalities exist long before we see evidence.

Bob Van Noy , June 1, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Many thanks Sam F for recognizing that. As we begin to achieve a resolution of the 60's Kllings, we can begin to see the general and specific themes utilized to direct the programs of Assassination. The other aspect is that real investigation Never followed; and that took Real Power.

In a truly insightful book by author Sally Denton entitled "The Profiteers" she puts together a very cogent theory that it isn't the Mafia, it's the Syndicate, which means (for me at least) real, criminal power with somewhat divergent interests ok with one another, to the extent that they can maintain their Own Turf. I think that's a profound insight

Too, in a similar vain, the Grand Deceptions of American Foreign Policy, "scenarios" are simply and only that, not a Real possible solution. Always resulting in failure

Sam F , June 1, 2018 at 9:23 pm

Yes, it is difficult to determine the structure of a subculture of gangsterism in power, which can have many specialized factions in loose cooperation, agreeing on some general policy points, like benefits for the rich, hatred of socialism, institutionalized bribery of politicians and judges, militarized policing, destruction of welfare and social security, deregulation of everything, essentially the neocon/neolib line of the DemReps. The party line of oligarchy in any form.

Indeed the foreign policy of such gangsters is designed to "fail" because destruction of cultures, waste, and fragmentation most efficiently exploits the bribery structure available, and serves the anti-socialist oligarchy. Failure of the declared foreign policy is success, because that is only propaganda to cover the corruption.

SocraticGadfly , May 31, 2018 at 8:48 am

You know, not only Gay Trowdy but even Dracula Napolitano think people like Lazare , McGovern, etc. are overblown on this issue.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 1:47 pm

SocraticGadfly – Trey Gowdy hasn't even seen the documents yet, so he's hardly in a position to say anything. The House Intelligence Committee, under Chairman Nunes, are being stymied by the FBI and the Department of Justice who are refusing to hand over documents. Refusing! Refusing to disclose documents to the very people who, by law, have oversight. Nunes is threatening to hit them with Contempt of Congress.

Let's see the documents. Then Trey Gowdy can open his mouth.

Herman , May 31, 2018 at 8:32 am

What I take from this head spinning article is the paragraph about Carter Page.

"On July 7, 2016 Carter Page delivered a lecture on U.S.-Russian relations in Moscow in which he complained that "Washington and other western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change." Washington hawks expressed "unease" that someone representing the presumptive Republican nominee would take Russia's side in a growing neo-Cold War

Mr. Page hit the nail on the head. There is no greater sin to entrenched power than to spell out what is going on with Russia. It helps us understand why terms like dupe and naïve were stuck on Carter Page's back.. Truth to power is not always good for your health.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:07 am

The tyrant accuses of disloyalty, all who question the reality of his foreign monsters.
And so do his monster-fighting agencies, whose budgets depend upon the fiction.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:25 am

Daniel Lazare – good report. "It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree." This wasn't a case of paranoia. This was a blatant attempt to bring down a rival opponent and, failing that, the President of the United States. This was intentional and required collusion between top officials of the government. They fabricated the phony Steele dossier (paid for by the Clinton campaign), exonerated Hillary Clinton, and then went to town on bringing down Trump.

"Was George Popodopolous set up?" Of course he was. Set up a patsy in order to give you reason to carry out a phony investigation.

"If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice." They're not befogged; they're following orders (the major television and newspaper outfits). Without their 24/7 spin and lies, Russiagate would never have been kept alive.

These guys got the biggest surprise of their life when Hillary Clinton lost the election. None of this would have come out had she won. During the campaign, as Trump gained in the polls, she was heard to say, "If they ever find out what we've done, we'll all hang."

I hope they see jail time for what they've done.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:38 am

Apparently what has come out so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Some are saying this could lead all the way up to Obama. I hope not, but they have certainly done all they can to ruin the Trump Presidency.

JohnM , May 31, 2018 at 9:58 am

I'm adjusting my tinfoil hat right now. I'm wondering if Skripal had something to do with the Steel dossier. The iceberg may be even bigger than thought.

Sam F , May 31, 2018 at 10:18 am

It is known that Skripal's close friend living nearby was an employee of Steele's firm Orbis.

Chet Roman , May 31, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Exactly, his name is Pablo Miller and he is the MI6 agent who initially recruited Sergei Skripal. Miller worked for Orbis, Steele's company and listed that in his resume on LinkedIn but later deleted it. But once it's on the internet it can always be found and it was and it was published.

robjira , May 31, 2018 at 2:13 pm

John, both Moon Of Alabama and OffGuardian have had excellent coverage of the Skripal affair. Informed opinions wonder if Sergei Skripal was one of Steele's "Russian sources," and that he may have been poisoned for the purpose of either a) bolstering the whole "Russia = evil" narrative, or b) a warning not to ask for more than what he may have conceivably received for any contribution he may or may not have made to the "dossiere."

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 7:20 am

Interesting details in this article, but we have known this whole Russiagate affair was a scam from the get go. It all started the day after Trump's unexpected electoral win over Hillary. The chagrined dems came together and concocted their sore loser alibi – the Russians did it. They scooped up a lot of pre-election dirt, rolled it into a ball and directed it at Trump. It is a testament to the media's determination to stick with their story, that in spite of not a single scrap of real evidence after over a year of digging by a huge team of democratic hit men and women, this ridiculous story still has supporters.

David G , May 31, 2018 at 10:31 am

"It all started the day after Trump's unexpected electoral win over Hillary."

Not so.

Daniel Lazare's first link in the above piece is to Paul Krugman's July 22, 2016 NY Times op-ed, "Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate". (Note how that headline doesn't even bother to employ a question mark.)

I appreciate that that Krugman column gets pride of place here since I distinctly remember reading it in my copy of the Times that day, months before the election, and my immediate reaction to it: nonplussed that such a risible thesis was being aired so prominently, along with a deep realization that this was only the first shot in what would be a co-ordinated media disinformation campaign, à la Saddam's WMDs.

Chet Roman , May 31, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Actually, I think the intelligence agencies' (CIA/FBI/DNI) plan started shortly after Trump gave the names of Page and Papadopoulos to the Washington Post (CIA annex) in a meeting on March 21, 2016 outlining his foreign policy team.

Carter Page (Naval Academy distinguished graduate and Naval intelligence officer) in 2013 worked as an "under-cover employee" of the FBI in a case that convicted Evgeny Buryakov and it was reported that he was still an UCE in March of 2016. The FBI never charged or even hinted that Page was anything but innocent and patriotic. However, in October 2016 the FBI told the FISA Court that he was a spy to support spying on him. Remember the FISA Court allows spying on him AND the persons he is in contact, which means almost everyone on the Trump transition team/administration.

Here is an excerpt from an article by WSJ's Kimberley Strassel:

In "late spring" of 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed White House "National Security Council Principals" that the FBI had counterintelligence concerns about the Trump campaign. Carter Page was announced as a campaign adviser on March 21, and Paul Manafort joined the campaign March 29. The briefing likely referenced both men, since both had previously been on the radar of law enforcement. But here's what matters: With this briefing, Mr. Comey officially notified senior political operators on Team Obama that the bureau had eyes on Donald Trump and Russia. Imagine what might be done in these partisan times with such explosive information.

And what do you know? Sometime in April, the law firm Perkins Coie (on behalf the Clinton campaign) hired Fusion GPS, and Fusion turned its attention to Trump-Russia connections.

David G , May 31, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Most interesting, Chet Roman. Thanks.

My understanding is that Trump more or less pulled Page's name out of a hat to show the WashPost that he had a "foreign policy team", and thus that his campaign wasn't just a hollow sham, but that at that point he really had had no significant contact at all with Page – maybe hadn't even met him. It was just a name from his new political world that sprang to "mind" (or the Trumpian equivalent).

Of course, the Trump campaign *was* just a sham, by conventional Beltway standards: a ramshackle road show with no actual "foreign policy team", or any other policy team.

So maybe that random piece of B.S. from Trump has caused him a heap of trouble. This is part of why – no matter how bogus "Russia-gate" is – I just can't bring myself to feel sorry for old Cheeto Dust.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 6:56 am

Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal had some good advice:

"Mr. Trump has an even quicker way to bring the hostility to an end.

He can – and should – declassify everything possible, letting Congress and the public see the truth.

That would put an end to the daily spin and conspiracy theories. It would puncture Democratic arguments that the administration is seeking to gain this information only for itself, to "undermine" an investigation.

And it would end the Justice Department's campaign of secrecy, which has done such harm to its reputation with the public and with Congress."

What do you bet he does?

RickD , May 31, 2018 at 6:44 am

I have serious doubts about the article's veracity. There seems to be a thread running through it indicating an attempt to whitewash any Russian efforts to get Trump elected. To dismiss all the evidence of such efforts, and , despite this author's words, there is enough such evidence, seems more than a bit partisan.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , May 31, 2018 at 6:55 am

What evidence? I've seen none so far. A lot of claims that there is such evidence but no one seems to ever say what it is.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:06 am

RickD – thanks for the good laugh before bedtime. I'm with Mr. Merrell and I actually want to see some evidence. Maybe it was Professor Halper in the kitchen with the paring knife.

Realist , May 31, 2018 at 9:21 am

Unfortunately, what this guy says is what most Americans still seem to believe. When I ask people what is the actual hard evidence for "Russiagate" (because I don't know of any that has been corroborated), I get a response that there have been massive examples of Russian hacks, Russian posts, tweets and internet adverts–all meant to sabotage Hillary's candidacy, and very effective, mind you. Putin has been an evil genius worthy of a comic book villain (to date myself, a regular Lex Luthor). Sez who, ask I? Sez the trustworthy American media that would never lie to the public, sez they. You know, professional paragons of virtue like Rachel Maddow and her merry band.

Nobody seems aware of the recent findings about Halpern, none seem to have a realistic handle on the miniscule scope of the Russian "offenses" against American democracy. Rachel, the NY Times and WaPo have seen to that with their sins of both commission and omission. Even the Republican party is doing a half-hearted job of defending its own power base with rigorous and openly disseminated fact checking. It's like even many of the committee chairs with long seniority are reluctant to buck the conventional narrative peddled by the media. Many have chosen to retire rather than fight the media and the Deep State. What's a better interpretation of events? Or is one to believe that the silent voices, curious retirements and political heat generated by the Dems, the prosecutors and the media are all independent variables with no connections? These old pols recognise a good demonizing when they see it, especially when directed at them.

Personally, I think that not only the GOPers should be fighting like the devil to expose the truth (which should benefit them in this circumstance) but so should the media and all the watchdog agencies (ngo's) out there because our democracy WAS hijacked, but it was NOT by the Russians. Worse than that, it was done by internal domestic enemies of the people who must be outed and punished to save the constitution and the republic, if it is not too late. All the misinformation by influential insiders and the purported purveyors of truth accompanied by the deliberate silence by those who should be chirping like birds suggests it may well be far too late.

backwardsevolution , May 31, 2018 at 7:53 pm

Realist – a most excellent post! Some poll result I read about the other day mentioned that well over half of the American public do NOT believe what they are being told by the media. That was good to hear. But you are right, there are still way too many who never question anything. If I ever get in trouble, I wouldn't want those types on my jury. They'd be wide awake during the prosecution's case and fast asleep during my defense.

This is the Swamp at work on both sides of the aisle. Most of the Republicans are hanging Trump out to dry. They've probably got too much dirt they want to keep hidden themselves, so retirement looks like a good idea. Get out of Dodge while the going is good, before the real fighting begins! The Democrats are battling for all they're worth, and I've got to hand it to them – they're dirty little fighters.

Yes, democracy has been hijacked. Hard to say how long this has been going on – maybe forever. If there is anything good about Trump's presidency, it's that the Deep State is being laid out and delivered up on a silver platter for all to see.

There has never been a better chance to take back the country than this. If this opportunity passes, it will never come again. They will make sure of it.

The greatest thing that Trump could do for the country would be to declassify all documents. Jeff Sessions is either part of the Deep State or he's been scared off. He's not going to act. Rosenstein is up to his eyeballs in this mess and he's not going to act. In fact, he's preventing Nunes from getting documents. It is up to Trump to act. I just hope he's not being surrounded by a bunch of bad apple lawyers who are giving him bad advice. He needs to go above the Department of Justice and declassify ALL documents. If he did that, a lot of these people would probably die of a heart attack within a minute.

mike k , May 31, 2018 at 7:11 am

You sure came out of the woodwork quickly to express your "serious doubts" RickD.

Skip Scott , May 31, 2018 at 8:07 am

Please provide "such evidence". I've yet to see any. The entire prosecution of RussiaGate has been one big Gish Gallop.

strgr-tgther , May 31, 2018 at 9:39 pm

RickD – Thank you for pointing that out! You were the only one!!! It is a very strange article leaving Putin and the Russians evidence out and also not a single word about Stromy Daniels witch is also very strange. I know Hillary would never have approved of any of this and they don't say that either.

John , June 1, 2018 at 2:26 am

What does Stormy Daniels have to do with RussiaGate?

You know that someone who committed the ultimate war crime by lying us into war to destroy Libya and re-institute slavery there, and who laughed after watching video of a man that Nelson Mandela called "The Greatest Living Champion of Human Rights on the Planet" be sodomized to death with a knife, is somehow too "moral" to do such a thing? Really?

It amazes me how utterly cultish those who support the Red Queen have shown themselves to be – without apparently realizing that they are obviously on par with the followers of Jim Jones!

strgr-tgther , June 1, 2018 at 12:17 pm

That is like saying what does income tax have to do with Al Capone. Who went to Alctraz because he did not pay income tax not for being a gangster. So we know Trump has sexual relations with Stormy Daniels, then afterward PAID her not to talk about it. So he paid Story Daniels for sex! That is Prostitution! Same thing. And that is inpeachable, using womens bodies as objects. If we don't prosecute Trump here then from now on all a John needs to say to the police is that he was not paying for sex but paying to keep quiet about it. And Cogress can get Trump for prostitution and disgracing the office of President. Without Russia investigations we would never have found out about this important fact, so that is what it has to do with Russia Gate.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , May 31, 2018 at 4:53 am

Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/05/guccifer-2-0s-american-fingerprints-reveal-an-operation-made-in-the-usa/

[Jun 06, 2018] Was Comey trying to threaten Trump by telling about pee tape in Steele dossier, creation of which in fact was deeply connected with FBI and used by FBI to open wiretapping of Trump associates

Notable quotes:
"... Hopefully that means he'll respond to genuine lines of criticism against him, including his decision to investigate both Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election but only discuss one of those investigations in public . ..."
Jun 06, 2018 | newrepublic.com

A Higher Loyalty drops on Tuesday, but, in keeping with longstanding publishing tradition, the good bits have already been selectively leaked to outlets in advance. We've learned that the former FBI director compares Trump to a mafia boss , that Trump's "leadership is transactional, ego driven, and about personal loyalty," and that Comey admits that the widespread belief that Clinton would become president may have played a role in his decision to announce that the FBI was reopening an investigation into her use of a private email server less than two weeks before the election.

We also learn that Trump was obsessed with the "pee tape," the most salacious allegation in the infamous Steele Dossier. Comey writes that Trump "strongly denied the allegations, asking -- rhetorically, I assumed -- whether he seemed like a guy who needed the service of prostitutes. He then began discussing cases where women had accused him of sexual assault, a subject I had not raised. He mentioned a number of women, and seemed to have memorized their allegations."

Trump took the bait, sending out two tweets attacking Comey on Friday morning.

James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR. Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH. He is a weak and.....

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018

....untruthful slime ball who was, as time has proven, a terrible Director of the FBI. His handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst "botch jobs" of history. It was my great honor to fire James Comey!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018

But of course, Trump admitted, only days after Comey's dismissal, that he really fired Comey over the Russia investigation.

... ... ...

The Republicans are scared of James Comey.

The Republican National Committee just unveiled a new website, LyinComey.com , to counter whatever allegations the former FBI director levels against President Donald Trump in his new book, which goes on sale next week. As CNN reports, the RNC is also buying digital ads and sending talking points sent to GOP politicians. This counter-information campaign is a sign of how worried Republicans are about Comey's potential to inflict political damage -- and is wholly unconvincing.

For example, the RNC's Comey site says that he "stated under oath that he never posed as an anonymous source to leak information to the press," then notes that he "later testified that he 'asked a friend of [his] to share the content of the memo with a reporter.'" The presentation makes these two factual statements seem contradictory when they're not. Comey testified in a May 3, 2017, congressional hearing that he had never been an anonymous source; he told lawmakers the following June that he sent his bombshell memos to The New York Times through an intermediary only after his May 9 ouster.

Those memos laid the groundwork for allegations that Trump obstructed justice by firing the FBI director. "Comey may use his book tour to push the phony narrative that President Trump obstructed the Russia investigation," the website warns, citing Comey's testimony last June in which he said Trump never ordered him to halt the Russia investigation. The framing is somewhat misleading, since legal experts believe the obstruction question instead revolves around Comey's firing itself.

The website's release comes after Comey taped an interview with ABC News that's set to air on Sunday night. Axios quoted an unnamed source present during the interview who said that Comey "answered every question" posed to him. Hopefully that means he'll respond to genuine lines of criticism against him, including his decision to investigate both Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election but only discuss one of those investigations in public .

[Jun 06, 2018] >Why did the FBI raid the office of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen?

How paying to a prostitute is connected with Russiagate ? Was she also Putin agent ?
Jun 06, 2018 | newrepublic.com
The New York Times reported on Monday that federal agents seized "records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress," presumably referring to the $130,000 payments Cohen made to Stephanie Clifford -- who is known professionally as Stormy Daniels -- during the 2016 campaign. According to the Times , the search warrants were obtained by the federal prosecutor in Manhattan after receiving a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller.

Executing a search warrant against any attorney's office, let alone a personal lawyer for the president of the United States, is no small matter. Attorney and legal blogger Ken White noted that the federal guidelines require prosecutors to seek approval from the Justice Department's upper echelons before applying for a warrant targeting a lawyer's office. That DOJ officials approved the raid suggests that the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan had an extremely good reason to search Cohen's workplace.

This is the first public indication that Cohen is involved in a federal investigation that's unrelated to Mueller's inquiry into Russian election meddling. The Washington Post reported last month that Mueller had requested documents and other materials related to Russian interference, but added that there was "no indication" that Cohen is a subject or target of the special counsel's investigation.

That'll likely come as little relief to Cohen himself as he now faces a federal investigation of his own. One possible avenue of inquiry for federal prosecutors is whether the president compensated Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Clifford during the 2016 campaign as part of a non-disclosure agreement about her alleged past sexual liaisons with Trump. If he wasn't reimbursed, Cohen may have run afoul of federal campaign-finance laws, since the payment could be considered an in-kind donation to Trump's campaign beyond the individual legal limit.

[Jun 06, 2018] Konstantin Kilimnik Manafort Aide Is Mueller's 'Person A' by Franklin Foer

Such a deep provisionalism and burning desire to revive McCarthyism. "Russians under each bed" type of story... To this guy if you are not CIA agent, then you agent of GRU or FSB. And he does not understand that Manafort essentially pushed Yanukovich into Joe Biden hands.
If we consider all people who left Ukraine after EuroMaydan as Putin's agents, then it is unclear how EuroMaydan managed to sucessed with such an wast netwrok of Russian spies.
Also it is unknown to Foer that Yanukovich was a moderate Ukrainian nationalist, who flirted w and supported far right parties such as Svoboda and organizations, rise of which under his Presidency was the instrumental in his demise.
Jun 06, 2018 | www.theatlantic.com

But then , last winter, Robert Mueller described Kostya as a "long-time Russian colleague of Manafort's" with "ties to a Russian intelligence service." The reference came in a casual aside, buried in a brief arguing that Manafort should be subjected to stringent bail conditions. It was a strange way to inject such a crucial fact. But Mueller repeated the allegation a few months later, as if to remove ambiguity. These ties weren't vestiges of a distant past, but were said to be active through 2016. In a footnote, Mueller asked for permission to submit evidence substantiating the charge in a sealed filing.

All the while, Manafort and Kilimnik remained attached to each other. During the past few months, Manafort's inner circle has collapsed. Rick Gates, his primary American deputy for the past decade, pleaded guilty and began supplying evidence against him. Manafort's ex-son-in-law also cut a deal to cooperate with Mueller. Through it all, Kilimnik has continued to trail after Manafort. When Manafort allegedly hatched a ploy to tamper with witnesses this past February, Kilimnik seems to have served as his loyal co-conspirator. When Manafort wanted a dose of positive press, Kilimnik attempted to arrange an op-ed in the Kyiv Post.

When I recently emailed Kilimnik, he responded quickly. He wanted to let me know that he disapproved of the media's coverage of Manafort, including my own, which he ascribed to "a hatred against certain people in the US Government." He told me, "I don't want to play a role in this zoo." I replied and asked Kilimnik about his present whereabouts, a question he left hanging. In December, Robert Mueller hinted, in passing, that Kostya had relocated to Russia. When I asked around Kiev, nobody had any evidence to the contrary. It was a prospect that Kostya suggested was a possibility last year in a text to Christopher Miller. "I hope I am able to get out of the country. Before 'patriots' start hunting me down." Fleeing the accusation of spying for Vladimir Putin, he has apparently taken refuge with him.

Franklin Foer is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He is the former editor of The New Republic and the author of World Without Mind .

[Jun 04, 2018] Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin He Will Do His Job If You Let Him by Barbara Boyd

All this is an interesting information. But Trump folded long ago. So why they continues so relentlessly pursue him.
Some of the statements are iether naive, or incorrect, or both. For example: ""The Anglo-American response to this development can be seen in the events in Ukraine, where Obama, the British, and the National Endowment for Democracy staged a coup in February 2014, overthrowing the government of the duly elected President, Victor Yanukovych, because he refused to turn his country into a western satrapy to be wielded against Putin's Russia. " also " We know that Paul Manafort was considered practically an enemy combatant in Anglo-American swamp circles by 2014, because of his Ukraine work with Yanukovych and the Party of the Regions. He apparently chose the wrong side by fighting against a Nazi coup. The same was true even of Democratic consultants such as Tony Podesta, who worked with Manafort on Ukraine and were subject to the same reported 2014 FISA surveillance warrant"
Notable quotes:
"... Victoria Nuland, who helped oversee the coup from her perch at Hillary Clinton's State Department, was famously caught on tape dictating the Ukraine succession, after bands of murderous neo-Nazis did the scut-work for the coup. According to Nuland, the price for this handiwork was some $5 billion. ..."
"... The actual "swamp" of the British and their accomplices in the U.S. intelligence community and aligned trans-Atlantic institutions, like NATO, have viewed themselves as being in a state of war against Russia and China since the 2013-2014 events. ..."
"... Flynn had already driven Obama crazy by proposing a determined U.S.-Russian collaboration in the war on terror, and going after the Administration's policy aimed at dismembering Syria. Obama had fired him. ..."
"... Page had already functioned as an FBI informant in a major 2013 New York City FBI case against Russian organized crime figures, and stated on CNN that he briefed both the CIA and FBI regularly on these business dealings in Russia. ..."
"... Was he used as a front to get a FISA warrant directed at the Trump campaign? Was he a spy sent by the FBI both to Russia and into the Trump campaign? The targeting of the alleged activities of the St.Petersburg Internet Research Agency (IRA) in DNI Clapper's January report, again points to the heavy British hand in the coup against the President. ..."
"... Crowdstrike's Dimitri Alperovitch -- the person with sole access to the DNC's allegedly "hacked" computers, whose forensic analysis was adopted wholesale by James Comey's FBI and the U.S. intelligence community -- is a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Service. ..."
"... What exactly was the relationship of the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and the other black propagandists operating against the President, together with their reporters, with the NED, the Information Warfare Initiative, NATO's Strategic Communications Service, and The Institute for Modern Russia in New York City, or other British or U.S. intelligence agencies during the Obama Administration and subsequently? ..."
"... Steele and Orbis claim that the 17th memo, produced in December 2016, which referenced the salacious and disgusting claim that Trump engaged in perverse sexual activities at a Russian hotel, was solely produced to one David Kramer as a representative of John McCain, Senator John McCain himself, and a representative of the British security services. ..."
"... It has been widely reported that James Comey's FBI was also offering Steele and Orbis $50,000 or more at this point to corroborate aspects of the dodgy dossier smearing the President-elect. ..."
"... David Kramer is the former President of the CIA and NED quango, Freedom House, was a fellow of the neo-conservative Project for a New American Century, held State Department positions dedicated to Project Democracy and soft power coups in Russia and the former East Bloc, and presently serves as Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedoms at Senator McCain's Institute for International Leadership in Arizona. ..."
"... Department of Justice concerning four participants in the Trump Tower meeting and others for failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Browder's complaint claimed that these people were engaged in unregistered Russian lobbying activities, namely, attempting to overturn the Magnitsky Act. Browder renounced his American citizenship in 1989 to become a British subject and has operated at the highest levels of British finance and intelligence. ..."
Sep 27, 2017 | https://larouchepac.com

by Barbara Boyd - barbara@lpac-organizers.com ·

View the PDF here , a leaflet advertising the dossier can be found here.

... ... ...

The Real Story: Issues of War, Peace, and the Future

Beginning with an announcement of President Xi Jinping, at a conference in Kazakhstan in July of 2013, China has set into motion an entirely new dynamic in the world, a new paradigm of cooperation between nation states, to build vital modern infrastructure allowing nations in the former "developing sector" to reach their full economic potentials.

Xi Jinping's vision of the New Silk Road or "One Belt, One Road" project has been endorsed by Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Russia and China are joining in projects which will fully develop the Eurasian landmass, creating a "new financial architecture" in the Asia-Pacific region.

On July 16, 2014, the BRICS group of nations meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil, joined by the Latin American heads of state, agreed with Xi Jinping's proposal on the creation of an entirely new economic and financial system, representing a fundamental alternative to the casino economy of the present system of globalization.

The Anglo-American globalist system is based on maximized profit of the few, and the impoverishment of billions of people.

In the new paradigm, financing for joint great projects is to come from development banks, such as the newly created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, ending dependence on such globalist institutions as the IMF or World Bank.

Globalization as administered by the IMF and World Bank is effectively a system of imperial debt slavery, keeping the nations dependent on their loans in primitive economic conditions, while their raw materials are looted.

As Prime Minister Narenda Modi from India remarked, "The BRICS is unique as an international institution.

In this first instance, it unifies a group of nations, not on the basis of their existing prosperity or common identities, but rather their future potentials.

The idea of the BRICS itself is thus aligned with the future.

" It is not incidental to this remark that Russia, China, and India have set future goals for space exploration, including most specifically exploration of the Moon and possible exploitation of Helium 3 on the Moon, which has the potential of finally realizing nuclear fusion power as a primary energy source powering the world.

China has made clear that no small part of this initiative is inspired by the work of Lyndon and Helga LaRouche.

Many of the envisioned projects reflect long-standing proposals by Executive Intelligence Review and the Schiller Institute .

The methods employed echo the ideas of political economy first developed by Alexander Hamilton, and deployed by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt -- ideas uniquely developed and expanded by Lyndon LaRouche.

Xi Jinping has asked the United States to join this great venture, which could produce thousands of productive jobs and jump-start infrastructure projects in this country.

Obama adamantly refused Xi's offer, and did everything in his power to block and defeat the Chinese initiative.

President Trump has indicated an openness to the proposition.

These 2013-2014 events were and are a direct challenge to the British imperial system.

They directly challenge the monetary system which is the source of Anglo-American domination of the world.

They directly challenge fundamental British strategic policy extant since the days of Halford Mackinder.

Under the "One Belt, One Road" initiative, joined with Russia's Eurasian Union, Mackinder's "world island" of Eurasia and Africa will be developed, crisscrossed with new high-speed rail links, new cities, and vital modern infrastructure, based on the mutual benefit of all of the nation states existing there.

Under the British geopolitical model, this area of the world has been subjected to endless instability, war, and raw materials looting.

Xi Jinping has also attacked the geopolitical axioms by which the United States and the British have operated.

He proposes instead a model of "win-win" cooperation in which nation states collaborate for development based on the common aims of mankind.

The Anglo-American response to this development can be seen in the events in Ukraine, where Obama, the British, and the National Endowment for Democracy staged a coup in February 2014, overthrowing the government of the duly elected President, Victor Yanukovych, because he refused to turn his country into a western satrapy to be wielded against Putin's Russia.

Victoria Nuland, who helped oversee the coup from her perch at Hillary Clinton's State Department, was famously caught on tape dictating the Ukraine succession, after bands of murderous neo-Nazis did the scut-work for the coup. According to Nuland, the price for this handiwork was some $5 billion.

The actual "swamp" of the British and their accomplices in the U.S. intelligence community and aligned trans-Atlantic institutions, like NATO, have viewed themselves as being in a state of war against Russia and China since the 2013-2014 events.

Think about former DNI Clapper's unhinged speech in Australia of June 7, 2017. Clapper ranted that it was in Putin's and Russia's "genes" to attack the United States. Since Trump pursues better relations and shared intelligence with Russia on terrorism, Clapper ranted, Watergate (where Richard Nixon committed proven crimes) paled in comparison to Russiagate (where both Clapper and Comey have testified that to date the President has committed no crimes). Clapper told the Aussies also to target China, accusing the Chinese, without any offer of proof, of meddling in Australia's elections.

Former FBI Director James Comey backed Clapper in his testimony on June 8, 2017, attempting to wax eloquent in response to Senator Joe Manchin, about how Putin exists with one purpose in mind -- to shred and dismember the United States. But China and Russia have completely outflanked these cretins, and the new paradigm is rapidly coming to life with "shovels in the ground" everywhere.

In response, the Anglo-American elites have absolutely nothing to offer the world except the same dying, decadent globalist "order." This explains why many in official Washington let loose their inner alien monster every time the President mentions a desire for better relations with Russia, or evinces his friendship with President Xi Jinping of China.

This is why Hillary Clinton has literally gone insane, raving like Lady Macbeth, and obsessing about Putin's "man-spreading." That is why, also, they would risk World War III rather than see the "Belt and Road," the New Silk Road, go forward with its "community of principle" idea of relations among nations.

What Did Trump Do?

Like LaRouche, Trump represents an existential challenge to the post-War British-dictated monetarist and imperial order.

In his campaign platform he called for the reinstitution of Glass-Steagall banking separation.

This would end the casino economy which is about to blow up again -- the real economy never having recovered from the collapse of 2008.

He wants to build huge modern infrastructure and revitalize the manufacturing sector of the economy with modern manufacturing techniques.

He wants to return the United States to space exploration and the funding of fundamental science, recognizing the optimistic national morale which will result from that.

In his public speeches, Trump has repeatedly invoked what he understands as "The American System" of political economy, a concept developed and elaborated in recent history by only one man, Lyndon LaRouche.

This centers economic systems in nation states, rather than global institutions, and calls for harnessing the resources of the nation state to develop the economy to higher and higher levels of physical productivity and human culture.

While Trump has features in his version of the American System which LaRouche would not endorse as historically accurate or politically wise, even the use of the term, invoking Alexander Hamilton and Lincoln's economist Henry Carey, is a direct challenge to the free trade, small-government nostrums foisted on the United States by a parade of British agents during the Twentieth Century.

The British, up to this point, have been largely successful in burying the actual ideas of Alexander Hamilton and Franklin Roosevelt, and burying the fundamental advances in these ideas resulting from original discoveries by LaRouche.

Through deliberate miseducation of Americans, the British have made their economic theories and systems, against which Americans explicitly fought in our Revolution, appear to be universal laws of human behavior.

As his recent speech to the United Nations emphasized, Trump envisions a system of sovereign nations, each striving to develop and enrich their populations, engaged in cooperative trade relationships, reciprocal in nature and targeted for the benefit of each party.

His U.N.

speech echoed the foreign policy of John Quincy Adams, a policy which forbade our nation from "going abroad, seeking monsters to destroy." This is the very opposite of the imperial-gendarme, perpetual-war policy long favored by the British for the United States.

Trump's positive vision, under present circumstances, requires active collaboration with Russia and China.

To stop the coup, the President's team and his supporters must stop reacting defensively.

He must act on the aspects of his program -- Glass-Steagall, large scale infrastructure development funded by national banking mechanism devoted to that purpose, space exploration, fusion power development, and joining the "One Belt, One Road" program with China, which can actually save the economy and produce high paying jobs.

At the same time, they should look at the actual crimes involved in the coup which are already on the public record, investigate them -- including in the Congress -- and prosecute them.

With respect to Mueller, they should investigate his obstruction of the investigation into the crimes committed on 9/11, together with a full public unveiling of the Saudi and British role in international terrorism.

In aid of such an effort we present seven crimes implicated in the events in the coup against the President to date.

Seven Actual Crimes

The crimes outlined below make clear that a Special Counsel, not Robert Mueller, should be investigating the U.S.-British response to China's Belt and Road Initiative, beginning with the illegal coup in Ukraine which has resulted in the targeting of Paul Manafort.

In the British account of the American election, largely published in pieces in the Guardian, they began warning their American counterparts about the dangers of Donald Trump's accommodating views toward Putin and Russia in 2015.

These warnings were followed by the specific claim that the Democratic National Committee's servers had been hacked by the Russians as of July of 2015.

According to the British account, their American counterparts were slow to respond, although the FBI says it notified the DNC, which did nothing about the alleged Russian hack until June of 2016.

The obvious should be stated here.

If the British were developing dossiers on Trump and his associates as early as 2015, Trump and his associates were under surveillance as of that date or sooner by British GCHQ and/or the NSA.

We know that Paul Manafort was considered practically an enemy combatant in Anglo-American swamp circles by 2014, because of his Ukraine work with Yanukovych and the Party of the Regions.

He apparently chose the wrong side by fighting against a Nazi coup.

The same was true even of Democratic consultants such as Tony Podesta, who worked with Manafort on Ukraine and were subject to the same reported 2014 FISA surveillance warrant.

What was the FBI affidavit which justified the 2014 Manafort, Podesta FISA court surveillance warrant, and what was the British role in obtaining it? What role did the British play, including GCHQ and MI6, in the Manafort counterintelligence investigation? What were the British "concerns" about Trump communicated to U.S.

intelligence as early as 2015? What was the specific British warning about hacks of the DNC computer in July 2015? By December of 2015, according to James Clapper's dodgy January, 2017 report on alleged Russian meddling in the election, hundreds of paid Russian trolls associated with the St.

Petersburg, Russia, Internet Research Agency had begun to advocate for Trump's election.

At the same time, Michael Flynn attended a dinner at RT in Russia, sitting across the table from Putin.

Flynn had already driven Obama crazy by proposing a determined U.S.-Russian collaboration in the war on terror, and going after the Administration's policy aimed at dismembering Syria. Obama had fired him.

Is this the date when surveillance on Flynn actually began, or did it begin sooner? What was the British role in this surveillance? Carter Page has also been a subject in Mueller's Russiagate hysteria.

He apparently walked in to volunteer for the Trump campaign without any prior association with the President, and was disavowed by the campaign soon after.

He went to school in London, had a variety of business dealings in Russia, and had volunteered for the Trump campaign as a foreign policy advisor by simply walking in the door.

Page had already functioned as an FBI informant in a major 2013 New York City FBI case against Russian organized crime figures, and stated on CNN that he briefed both the CIA and FBI regularly on these business dealings in Russia.

Was he used as a front to get a FISA warrant directed at the Trump campaign? Was he a spy sent by the FBI both to Russia and into the Trump campaign? The targeting of the alleged activities of the St.Petersburg Internet Research Agency (IRA) in DNI Clapper's January report, again points to the heavy British hand in the coup against the President.

According to French journalist Thierry Meyssan, in September 2014, the British government created the 77th Brigade, a unit tasked with countering foreign propaganda, which worked with the U.S. military in Europe to interfere with websites considered to be distributing Russian propaganda. This project ultimately morphed into NATO's Strategic Communications Service, tasked with suppressing any news or person favorable to the Russian position concerning strategic topics, but particularly Ukraine. From its inception, the NATO Strategic Communications Service incorporated a service of the Atlantic Council, the Digital Forensics Service.

Crowdstrike's Dimitri Alperovitch -- the person with sole access to the DNC's allegedly "hacked" computers, whose forensic analysis was adopted wholesale by James Comey's FBI and the U.S. intelligence community -- is a senior fellow in the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Service.

News about Russian trolls operating out of the IRA and poisoning the Western mind filled the British press in 2015. In line with this NATO project is the Information Warfare Initiative in the U.S., centered at the Washington Center for European Policy Analysis and founded by Washington Post neo-con Anne Applebaum. It is a pseudopod of the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. intelligence community, and has concentrated its attacks on the Russian broadcasters RT and Sputnik. 2

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uc-JTs2BkDw?wmode=opaque&controls=&rel=0 Watch LaRouchePAC's full interview of former CIA Officer Ray McGovern and the VIPS report.

William Binney has insisted from the first reference to Russian hacking as the source of the WikiLeaks Podesta/DNC documents, that if such an event had occurred, the NSA would have traced it and could say so with certainty. In their report, the VIPS point out that the CIA's "Marble Framework" program allows for obfuscation of cyberattacks and false flag attribution to other state actors. WikiLeaks has consistently claimed that the source of its dossier was an inside leak from the DNC, implying that Seth Rich, a DNC data management staffer who supported Bernie Sanders, was one of its sources.

Rich was murdered in July of 2016 in Washington, D.C., in a crime which remains unsolved at this date.

Congressman Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) recently met with Julian Assange of WikiLeaks, and states that he has evidence confirming that the WikiLeaks DNC/John Podesta email trove was the result of a leak, not a Russian hack.

(3). The Trump Tower Meeting -- Entrapping a Presidential Campaign

On June 9, 2016, a meeting took place in Trump Tower involving Donald Trump, Jr., Paul Manafort, at the time the campaign manager for the Trump Presidential campaign, Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law, and five other people. As opposed to media accounts, only one of the participants in the Trump Tower meeting was a Russian, the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. By all accounts provided by participants, the meeting was very short, and involved the Magnitsky Act sanctions imposed by the U.S. Congress on certain Russians.

Many consider these 2012 sanctions to be the opening shot of the New Cold War. This meeting has attracted extensive attention from Special Counsel Mueller, as the media has painted it as a "smoking gun." The emails setting up the meeting do not reflect what actually happened at the meeting.

Instead, they bear all the marks of an intelligence-agency entrapment attempt against Donald Trump, Jr., designed to fix the "Manchurian candidate" label on Trump early in the general election campaign. The emails setting up the meeting specifically offered "dirt" on Hillary Clinton to be provided by the Russian government itself.

On July 15, 2016, at the same time as the FBI was opening an investigation of the Russians for interfering in the U.S.election and of the Trump campaign for colluding with them, another British intelligence operative, Bill Browder, was filing a complaint with the U.S.

Department of Justice concerning four participants in the Trump Tower meeting and others for failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Browder's complaint claimed that these people were engaged in unregistered Russian lobbying activities, namely, attempting to overturn the Magnitsky Act. Browder renounced his American citizenship in 1989 to become a British subject and has operated at the highest levels of British finance and intelligence.

Undoubtedly, by the time of the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting, the British government's Trump file already included a full history of Donald Trump's sponsorship of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and its players, Trump's real estate dealings with Russians anywhere in the world, all of candidate Trump's conciliatory statements toward Russia, and complaints that campaign advisor Michael Flynn was soft on Russia, and a rebel against the U.S. intelligence establishment from within that establishment.

The file also included surveillance of Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who was considered an outright enemy of Anglo-American interests given his political work for the former President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych and his Party of the Regions, and Trump's relationship with Felix Sater, a Russian-American and high level FBI informant. 3 The official British government file also probably included surveillance of apartments at Trump Tower associated with a then ongoing investigation of a Russian organized crime ring said to operate there and figures involved in the FIFA corruption investigation who also lived there. The FIFA investigation was worked by the FBI Eurasian Organized Crime Strike Force and Christopher Steele.

So, even before the Trump Tower meeting, we find following intelligence services in motion and attempting to concoct illicit dirt about Trump and Putin: British intelligence, Ukrainian intelligence, the DNI and the CIA in the United States, the FBI, and NATO's Strategic Communications Service and its U.S. offshoots.

But wait, as they say in infomercial sales, that's not even close to all involved. According to Foreign Policy Magazine and others, on July 11, 2017, a hacker going by the name of "Johnnie Walker" published a trove of emails from the private account of Lieutenant Robert J.Otto, who is tasked to a secretive unit in the U.S.State Department focused on Russia. Newsweek magazine states that Otto is the nation's "foremost" intelligence guy concerning Russia. The emails have not been authenticated. However, they contain an email purported to be on the day of the Trump Tower meeting between Otto and Kyle Parker, of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, featuring a picture of Russian attorney Natalia Velselnitskaya's house in Russia.

Parker credits himself as the actual author of the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, and a close friend of Bill Browder. Velselnitskaya claims that her children have been threatened as a result of her participation in a legal case questioning the bona fides of Bill Browder and the factual foundations of the Magnitsky Act. The picture of her house in this context suggests another level of intense surveillance directed at Trump Tower on the day of the meeting, and the possibility that threats to her family were actually governing Veselnitskaya's behavior.

The Set-Up

On June 3rd, Trump Jr.was emailed by publicist Ron Goldstone, a British national who operates out of the U.S., whose first career was as a British tabloid journalist. Goldstone's Facebook account appears to indicate that he is presently on a break from his businesses and on a world tour of gay bathhouses in which the proudly obese Goldstone takes pictures of himself wearing various strange hats and shirts in the company of young men.

Who is financing this tour apparently outside the reach of Grand Jury subpoenas? Goldstone has also been photographed with Kathy Griffin, who famously posted a picture of herself with President Trump's severed head. Goldstone emailed Donald Trump, Jr. that Aras Agalarov wanted Goldstone to set up a meeting with Trump, Jr. in which sensitive Russian government files about Hillary Clinton's dealings with Russia would be provided to the Trump campaign as a gesture of official Russian government support of the campaign. Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting. Goldstone is the publicist for Emin Agalarov, an Azerbarjani pop star. Aras Agalarov and his son Emin partnered with Trump for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. The base of operations for the Agalarov family is the Moscow regional government, not Putin's Kremlin.

The actual twenty-minute meeting involved Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, who did most of the speaking by all accounts; Rinat Akhmetshin, a well-known Washington D.C.-based lobbyist and American citizen; Ike Kaveladze, a U.S. citizen and vice-president at one of the Agalarov's companies; Ron Goldstone; and the translator for Natalia Veselnitskaya, Anatoli Samochornov. Samochornov is also an American citizen who worked with Veselnitskaya frequently, since she does not speak English. He has also worked extensively for the FBI and the U.S. State Department.

Although Akhmetshin has been linked to Russian counterintelligence repeatedly in the news media, that all appears to be based on his bragging about his two-year stint in the Russian military as a young man.

The topic addressed by Veselnitskaya was the Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russia, which resulted from a campaign conducted by violently anti-Putin British operative William Browder, allied with Senator John McCain and the D.C. public relations firm Ashcroft and Glover.

Any sound investigation about this meeting would focus on who, out of the small army of intelligence operatives watching this meeting, designed and implemented the clear entrapment attempt against Donald Trump, Jr. for later use.

Since it was surveilled and recorded by multiple intelligence agencies tripping all over one another at the time, (you get the image of Keystone cops), why was it only surfaced as the "smoking gun" recently? Natalia Veselnitskaya had been paroled into the United States to serve as the Russian lawyer in a legal case in the Southern District of New York based solely on money-laundering allegations made by Bill Browder against her Russian clients.

At the time of the Trump Tower meeting, however, Veselnitskaya was traveling on a business visa issued by the U.S. Department of State after having been previously denied such a visa, and after efforts by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to prevent any free travel by her in the U.S. at all. Immigration attorneys I have spoken to describe this situation as extremely strange.

(4). Obama's Final Days In Office -- Insurrection Against the President-Elect, Felonious Leaks

In an apparent effort to influence the Electoral College vote following the election, the Obama Administration leaked a preliminary intelligence community "assessment" that the Russians had hacked the Democrats' computers and otherwise intervened to swing the election to Donald Trump.

According to the New York Times of March 1, 2017, Obama and his national security colleagues additionally spent the months after the election and prior to President Trump's inauguration dropping a trail of "leads" in official documents and leaking information, in the effort to delegitimize Trump and to continue their policies against Russia and China.

Certainly, there is a document trail on this process which appears to be confined to a period of a little over two months.

Evelyn Farkas, formerly of the Defense Department's Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia Desk and the Atlantic Council, virtually admitted to MSNBC in March that she had participated in this process. This is where the illegal unmasking of names in FISA and E.O. 12333 surveillance occurred, when these crimes were committed. Samantha Power, the U.N. Ambassador, was reportedly involved in 260 unmasking requests bearing little relationship to her function. Other targets of the House Intelligence Committee concerning illegal unmasking and leaks include Susan Rice, John Brennan, and Ben Rhodes.

On December 15, 2016, DNI James Clapper signed new procedures allowing the NSA to distribute raw intercept data throughout the entire intelligence community. These procedures became official on January 3, 2017 when Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed off on them.

At issue is modification of secret procedures under E.O. 12333, deemed by Edward Snowden and others as the most significant authority for our present, completely unconstitutional surveillance state. Previously, the NSA was required to filter and redact information regarding U.S. citizens monitored in foreign counterintelligence activities. DNI Clapper had also implemented a cloud intelligence data platform accessible by all intelligence agencies, and obliterating many paper and digital access trails and safeguards.

Were these new procedures implemented in any way based on a desire to facilitate leaks and obscure their origin to future investigators?

(5). The January Blackmail/Extortion Attempt

On January 6, 2017, according to James Comey's June 8th Congressional testimony, the intelligence chiefs went to Trump Tower to present the Obama Administration's report on Russian hacking, hoping to convince the skeptical President-elect to abandon his campaign promise for better relations with Putin and Russia.

Following that briefing, in a pre-arranged move with the rest of Obama's intelligence directors, Comey cleared the room of everyone but himself and Trump.

He presented Trump with the Steele dossier's most salacious allegations, namely that Trump had engaged in sexually perverse acts with Russian prostitutes while visiting Moscow, and Putin had taped it. This is exactly what the infamous J.Edgar Hoover did -- blackmail Washington politicians with FBI dossiers, assuring them that he could protect them so long as they did as Hoover wished.

In fact, Comey described this as a "J.Edgar Hoover moment" in answers to questions by Senator Susan Collins on June 8th. Dick Morris describes the entire affair as "just about as close as you can get to a political assassination without holding a gun to the President's head." Trump appears to have demanded that the entirely fake dossier be investigated, and refused to back down in efforts to achieve better relations with Russia. In fact, Trump denounced the intelligence community publicly as acting like Nazis.

He also denounced the McCarthyite hysteria they were generating.

While Comey recorded the President-elect's responses on a classified computer moments after leaving him, Buzzfeed, which had frequently published raw Clinton/Obama "oppo" stories, published the December 2016 British/Clinton dodgy dossier in full.

The U.S.

intelligence community, particularly Obama's ghoulish grand inquisitor, CIA head John Brennan, proceeded to give it credibility by leaking that both President-elect Trump and President Obama had been briefed on its contents.

Publication of the Trump Russian sex allegations accompanied James Clapper's factless "official intelligence community assessment" that the Russians hacked the DNC and Podesta, and that they did so to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump.

Put together by analysts "hand-picked" by the CIA's John Brennan, that assessment was backed by no actual evidence.

It has now been thoroughly debunked as "the hack that wasn't" by the analysis presented by the Veteran's Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

John Brennan subsequently explained to Congress and the public that he does not "do evidence."

The Democrats, the news media, and their Republican allies led by John McCain and Lindsay Graham, went berserk over the factless Obama Administration "assessment," demanding special prosecutors and Congressional investigations, and sneering that "other shoes" were about to drop.

The New York Times' Thomas Friedman, having clearly lost it, claimed that Russia had committed an "act of war," presumably seeking to invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty.

(6).

The President Calls Out Comey, Brennan et al.

for Wiretapping Him, They Lie About It To Congress

On March 4, 2017, after General Flynn was fired, and after a deluge of leaks of classified surveillance of members of Trump's transition and national defense teams, President Trump interrupted the entire fake media narrative by tweeting what had become obvious: that Obama had him "wiretapped" in Trump Tower prior to the election, and that what was happening to him reeked of McCarthyism.

The media, which had been publishing allegations about FISA warrants and intercepts of Trump or his associates for months, erupted in what has to be one the most shameless demonstrations of the Big Lie ever known.

They declared that Trump was offering wild claims with no evidence, essentially circling back on their very own reporting and labeling it, "fake news."

Now it has been revealed that FISA warrants existed on Paul Manafort from 2014 through some period in 2016, and from some period in 2016 through this year, conveniently omitting the period when he was Trump's campaign manager.

Manafort lives in Trump Tower, and was originally investigated under the Foreign Agents Registration Act for his Ukraine activities.

It is fairly obvious that the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower was the subject of massive surveillance.

It is also abundantly clear from the leaks which occurred concerning contacts with the Russians by Trump's campaign officials and supporters, that the Trump Tower offices of his transition were subject to massive surveillance, either as the result of extant FISA warrants or under E.O.

12333.

James Comey and James Clapper were both asked directly in their appearances before Congressional Committees whether there was any evidence at all to substantiate the President's wiretapping claims.

Both of them gave emphatic answers that there was not, and went out of their respective ways to paint the President as a paranoid wacko.

So now, Robert Mueller is investigating the President of the United States for obstruction of justice, because he fired an FBI Director who lied to Congress.

Really?

(7).

The Comey Firing-Attempted Entrapment of the President

On March 20, 2017, former FBI Director Comey breathed new life into what was, by then, an insurrection which had run out of steam.

People were simply tired of Democrats, like Adam Schiff, 4 Schiff has a watermelon face combining features of the comic Charlie Brown and a Conehead; his personality is like the grasping and crazy personality of Peanuts cartoon character, Lucy Van Pelt.

As a prosecutor it took him three tries to convict the hapless former FBI agent Richard Miller of espionage despite overwhelming and salacious evidence. trying on McCarthyite tinfoil hats before TV cameras and pontificating about the outrage du jour.

Comey, in testimony before the House Select Committee on Intelligence, made it officially public, for the first time, that the FBI had been investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the election since July of 2016.

He opined that the FBI counterintelligence investigation (which had been leaking like a sieve since its instigation in July, without producing any verifiable facts about either Russian interference or Trump campaign collusion) could continue for many more months, if not years.

He refused to say whether the President himself was under investigation, despite the fact that he had told the President that he was not, and had told Congress the same thing behind closed doors.

Despite the daily press instructions about events which the public must view as scandalous (why scandalous was never explained), and highly publicized Congressional hearings concerning "Russia! Russia! Russia!" all of President Obama's men, at this late date, had only managed to arrange the human sacrifice of Michael Flynn for lying to the Vice-President about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. 5 Flynn's scalping itself was the result of the unmasking of Flynn's name and illegal leaks of same to the press as a result of classified surveillance.

This fact was obliterated by sensational press coverage of the hyperventilated visit of Obama Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates to the White House to warn, nonsensically, that Flynn had been "compromised" by the Russians because he lied to the Vice-President.

Exactly how this makes any sense at all we have not been told.

As Shakespeare's MacBeth intoned, "it is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." They had also generated ethics, foreign intelligence registration, and tax questions about their other Trump campaign targets -- typical of what happens when an entire life is put under a microscope, in a dedicated search for something, anything, that could be construed feasibly as wrongdoing.

Ask yourself, what have any of these people allegedly done? Spoken with the Russians? Talked about lifting sanctions imposed because Putin reacted to a coup Obama ran against the duly elected government of Ukraine? Lobbied on behalf of foreign governments? Really?

The actual testimony of Obama's intelligence officials before Congressional Committees, shorn of the media hype surrounding it, was that there was absolutely no evidence of any Trump campaign collusion with alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S.

elections.

In fact, on March 15, 2017, Comey himself had told Senators Chuck Grassley and Diane Feinstein behind closed doors, that the President was not a target of his investigations, despite planted press stories to the contrary.

Comey had otherwise continually stone-walled Grassley concerning the Senator's persistent questions about the FBI's relationship to British operative Christopher Steele.

While unable to produce any saleable legal goods, the illicit investigations had significantly bogged down the President's political agenda, while fostering an increasingly toxic and divisive national political environment.

The strategy of official Washington, the Republicans who opposed the President's election, the Obama/Clinton Democratic establishment, and the intelligence agencies operating on behalf of British strategic policies and axioms is clear -- use complicit Republicans to trap the President in failed and obnoxious policies, such as the healthcare bill; hope that the President's silent majority remains exactly that -- silent; hope that some of the smelly stuff they are throwing up against the wall actually sticks; distract, distract, distract the President, and prevent him from working with Russia and China to develop the world, end wars, and implement the massive infrastructure and space exploration projects which will actually save our economy.

On May 3, 2017, Comey followed his March drama-queen performance before the House, with even more theatrical speechifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He bloviated that despite the fact that his unprecedented disclosures and handling of the Clinton email investigation may have impacted the election, and it made him nauseous, he, Mr.

Eagle Scout and True Crime Detective rolled into one, would do the same thing all over again.

He exaggerated the significance of the Anthony Weiner computer discovery by stating that it contained thousands of new Clinton emails, not previously produced, some of which were classified -- a statement the FBI had to subsequently correct.

As Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein rightly argued, Comey violated numerous Justice Department regulations and ethical norms in his outrageous actions in the Clinton email investigation.

It is the Attorney General's job to prosecute cases -- to open and close them -- not that of the FBI.

At the same Senate Judiciary hearing, Comey refused to state publicly that President Trump was not under investigation, despite repeatedly assuring the President of that fact privately.

He knew this allowed the media and Democratic party "color revolution" to continue.

He refused to confirm that there was any investigation into the torrent of illegal classified leaks at the center of the media campaign.

On May 9th, President Trump fired Comey, setting the stage for Robert Mueller's appointment as Special Prosecutor.

At the center of Mueller's inquiry will be a conspiracy to obstruct justice charge against the President for firing James Comey, along with any so-called process crimes he can find during his investigation -- registration offenses under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, tax offenses, or false statements to FBI agents or Congress.

As he builds his case, Mueller will follow his standard playbook, putting unrelenting psychological pressure on those Trump loyalists he can implicate in the process crimes.

He will continue to target and investigate the President's family for similar offenses in order to destabilize the President himself.

He will continue the relentless demonization of the President, in order to ensure that neutral officials in Washington who witnessed key events will testify not according to the truth, but according to what they see as future career prospects.

Following his firing, Comey and friends leaked to the press notes which he had allegedly taken following most of his encounters with the President.

With each encounter, Comey's leaked account says, he returned to discuss what was said and its implications with a close circle of his FBI comrades.

He prepared for each encounter with the President based on "murder boards" conducted by his FBI colleagues.

In the course of their meetings, Comey says, the President asked for his loyalty, which Comey portrayed like the request of some mafia don in a bad Hollywood movie.

If it happened, such a request, in the context of what appeared to be an open insurrection against the President by the intelligence community, is hardly surprising.

The President denies that it happened.

On the day after the President fired Flynn, according to Comey, the President cleared the room and went one on one with him, expressing the "hope" that Comey could let the matter of Michael Flynn go.

Comey whines that he took the President's "hope" as an "order," giving rise to concerns about possible obstruction of justice.

This line of reasoning was thoroughly eviscerated by Senator James Risch in the Senate Judicary Committee hearing on June 8, 2017.

Senator Risch forced Comey to admit that Trump never ordered him to let the Flynn matter go, but only expressed a "hope" that he would do so, and no prosecution that Comey knew of ever went forward, based on someone expressing "hope" for something.

While the President denies he ever asked Comey to let the Flynn matter go, Harvard Law Professor Emeritus and famed trial lawyer Alan Dershowitz writes that the President would be fully within his legal and constitutional prerogatives to order Comey to back off Flynn.

He could have simply told Comey, I am going to pardon Flynn.

So, it is clear by James Comey's own account that he was trying to set the President up, to entrap him -- an escapade which was "crudely" interrupted when the President fired him.

Again, confirming this, Comey told Senator Susan Collins in his testimony, that the reason why he did not stop the President from improper interactions, if he thought they were such, the reason he concealed the alleged improper and possibly illegal conduct from his superiors at the Justice Department, and the reason he did not resign, was because his encounters with the President were of "investigative interest" to the FBI.

Otherwise, Comey's leaks reveal a man so leery of even shaking the President's hand (or being photographed doing it) that once in January he tried to hide himself in the White House drapes in the hopes that Trump would not see him.

The problem for Robert Mueller's obstruction case, among others, is that both Comey and his Assistant Andrew McCabe have previously testified, under oath, to Congress that there was no pressure to end the FBI's investigations from anyone in the Trump Administration.

And, Comey confirmed in his testimony that prior to his firing, Trump was not under investigation for collusion with Russia, obstruction, or any other offense.

Further, Comey has proved that he is willing to violate professional norms and Justice Department regulations, if not laws, by leaking government documents.

The question is, what else was leaked by Comey and his FBI circle? Finally, we now know that Comey lied to or misled Congress about the "wiretaps" on Trump Tower -- the Manafort FISA warrants prove the case.

Senator Grassley has asked the FBI: Why, if you were wiretapping a close associate of the President, wouldn't you warn the President about him as is customarily done? The true answer is that the President himself was and is the target of an unprecedented and illegal coup-attempt conducted by those sworn to uphold the Constitution and the nation's laws.

Those familiar with the relationship between Comey and Robert Mueller describe them as "joined at the hip," "cut from the same cloth" (can't help thinking of the Union Jack), close personal friends, and mentor (Mueller) to mentee (Comey).

The problem with this relationship is that Department of Justice conflict guidelines specifically bar prosecutors (Mueller) from investigating issues where close friends (Comey) have a significant role, such as material witnesses.

Official Washington knows all of this and yet touts this investigation as somehow "independent," "apolitical," and "unconflicted."

Will You Help Us End This Coup?

So, now you know.

Since the election and before, we have been stuck in a very elaborate and dangerous British hoax, gambling the future of our nation in a cold coup against an elected president.

Actual crimes have been committed -- not by the President -- but against the President and the Constitution.

What has happened is that political differences, ideas, have been criminalized, the very danger most provisions of our Constitution and its Bill of Rights were explicitly designed to guard against.

We have shown you the prosecutorial robot named Robert Mueller, whom others have always pointed to shoot, and why he has been deployed to take out the President of the United States.

We have told you the real reasons why the President has been attacked by a foreign power, the British and their allies in our country.

We have shown you that many of the same people and methods were deployed on a smaller scale to deprive the world of the beautiful ideas of Lyndon LaRouche.

Now, at a point where this President, freed of Mueller and adequately advised, could join with China's Belt and Road and usher in a new renaissance for mankind, shouldn't we really, finally, win our future, this time?

[Jun 03, 2018] In Leaked Letter, Trump's Lawyers Tell Mueller To Go Pound Sand

Jun 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

A 20-page confidential letter from President Trump's legal team leaked to the New York Times argues that President Trump could not have obstructed justice at any point during his presidency due to his Constitutional authority, and that he cannot be compelled to testify in front of Special Counsel Robert Mueller due to his Constitutional powers as President.

The letter, crafted by Trump's legal team, reveals that the White House has been waging a quiet campaign for several months to prevent Mueller from trying to subpoena the president - contending that because the Constitution empowers him to "if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon," Trump could not have illegally obstucted any aspect of the investigation into potential collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 US election.

Mr. Trump's defense is a wide-ranging interpretation of presidential power. In saying he has the authority to end a law enforcement inquiry or pardon people, his lawyers ambiguously left open the possibility that they were referring only to the investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn , which he is accused of pressuring the F.B.I. to drop -- or perhaps the one Mr. Mueller is pursuing into Mr. Trump himself as well.

Mr. Dowd and Mr. Sekulow outlined 16 areas they said the special counsel was scrutinizing as part of the obstruction investigation, i ncluding the firings of Mr. Comey and of Mr. Flynn , and the president's reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions's recusal from the Russia investigation. -NYT

"It remains our position that the president's actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself , and that he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired," writes President Trump's former attorney John Dowd, who left the team in March.

The leaked letter effectively reveals Trump's trump card in the event Mueller proceeds with a subpoena.

"We are reminded of our duty to protect the president and his office," wrote the lawyers, who stressed that " Ensuring that the office remains sacred and above the fray of shifting political winds and gamesmanship is of critical importance. "

Translation - this is a clown show, go pound sand.

Mueller's office has told Trump's lawyers they need to speak with the president to determine whether he criminally obstructed any aspect of the Russia investigation. If Trump refuses to be questioned, Mueller will be forced to choose whether or not to try and subpoena him - which, as Trump's lawyers have made abundantly clear, will result in a Constitutional crisis.

They argued that the president holds a special position in the government and is busy running the country , making it difficult for him to prepare and sit for an interview. They said that because of those demands on Mr. Trump's time, the special counsel's office should have to clear a higher bar to get him to talk. Mr. Mueller, the president's attorneys argued, needs to prove that the president is the only person who can give him the information he seeks and that he has exhausted all other avenues for getting it. -NYT

" The president's prime function as the chief executive ought not be hampered by requests for interview ," they wrote. " Having him testify demeans the office of the president before the world ."

Trump's attorneys also argued that the president did nothing to technically violate obstruction-of-justice statutes.

"Every action that the president took was taken with full constitutional authority pursuant to Article II of the United States Constitution," they wrote of the part of the Constitution that created the executive branch. "As such, these actions cannot constitute obstruction, whether viewed separately or even as a totality."

According to legal experts cited by the Times , the president wields broad authority to control the actions of the executive branch, which includes the Department of Justice and the FBI. The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that Congress can impose some restrictions on that power, including limiting a president's ability to fire certain officials.

"As a result, it is not clear whether statutes criminalizing obstruction of justice apply to the president and amount to another legal limit on how he may wield his powers ," notes the Times .

About that Russia probe...

And while Trump's team works to make the case against testifying, media reports and Congressional investigations have revealed what appears to be grave misconduct by the FBI and Department of Justice in order to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 US election, and then once he won - discredit him with a Russia allegations fabricated by US Intelligence agencies, UK intelligence assets - in collusion with the Clinton campaign and the Obama administration.

We now know that Trump campaign aides were likely fed rumors that Russia had damaging information on Hillary Clinton, and then used as patsies by Clinton-linked operatives in what appears to have been a set-up, something Trump once again hinted in his latest tweet, in which he also asked if the Mueller team or the DOJ is leaking his lawyers' letters to the "Fake News Media."

me title=

Trump's attorneys have also attacked the credibility of former FBI Director James Comey, while also contesting what they believe are Mueller's version of significant facts.

Mr. Giuliani said in an interview that Mr. Trump is telling the truth but that investigators "have a false version of it, we believe, so you're trapped." And the stakes are too high to risk being interviewed under those circumstances, he added: "That becomes not just a prosecutable offense, but an impeachable offense." -NYT

They argue that Trump couldn't have intentionally obstructed justice anyway based on the fact that he did not know that Mike Flynn was under investigation when Trump spoke to Comey.

"There could not possibly have been intent to obstruct an 'investigation' that had been neither confirmed nor denied to White House counsel," the president's lawyers wrote, adding that FBI investigations generally do not qualify as the type of "proceeding" covered by an obstruction-of-justice statute.

"Of course, the president of the United States is not above the law, but just as obvious and equally as true is the fact that the president should not be subjected to strained readings and forced applications of clearly irrelevant statutes," wrote Mr. Dowd and Mr. Sekulow.

The Times, however, suggests that their argument may be outdated, as a 2002 law passed by Congress makes it a crime to obstruct proceedings that have not yet begun.

But the lawyers based those arguments on an outdated statute , without mentioning that Congress passed a broader law in 2002 that makes it a crime to obstruct proceedings that have not yet started.

Samuel W. Buell, a Duke Law School professor and white-collar criminal law specialist who was a lead prosecutor for the Justice Department's Enron task force, said the real issue was whether Mr. Trump obstructed a potential grand jury investigation or trial -- which do count as proceedings -- even if the F.B.I. investigation had not yet developed into one of those . He called it inexplicable why the president's legal team was making arguments that were focused on the wrong obstruction-of-justice statute.

Regardless, it appears Trump's team is going to tell Mueller to take a hike if he tries to subpoena the president, and that it will simply further embarrass the United States on the world stage.

"We write to address news reports, purportedly based on leaks, indicating that you may have begun a preliminary inquiry into whether the president's termination of former FBI Director James Comey constituted obstruction of justice," the June 2017 memo from Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz to Mueller reads - while a more recent memo outlines the 16 areas they believe Mueller is focusing on (via CBS News )

  1. Former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn -- information regarding his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak about sanctions during the transition process;
  2. Lt. Gen. Flynn's communications with Vice President Mike Pence regarding those contacts;
  3. Lt. Gen. Flynn's interview with the FBI regarding the same;
  4. Then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates coming to the White House to discuss same;
  5. The president's meeting on Feb. 14, 2017, with then-Director James Comey;
  6. Any other relevant information regarding former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn;
  7. The president's awareness of and reaction to investigations by the FBI, the House and the Senate into possible collusion;
  8. The president's reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russia investigation;
  9. The president's reaction to former FBI Director James Comey's testimony on March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee;
  10. Information related to conversations with intelligence officials generally regarding ongoing investigations;
  11. Information regarding who the president had had conversations with concerning Mr. Comey's performance;
  12. Whether or not Mr. Comey's May 3, 2017, testimony lead to his termination;
  13. Information regarding communications with Ambassador Kislyak, Minister Lavrov, and Lester Holt;
  14. The president's reaction to the appointment of Robert Mueller as Special Counsel;
  15. The president's interaction with Attorney General Sessions as it relates to the appointment of Special Counsel; and,
  16. The statement of July 8, 2017, concerning Donald Trump, Jr.'s meeting in Trump Tower.

Chupacabra-322 -> NoDebt Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:17 Permalink

They have nothing.

They need something.

They need his testimony.

That's is where they will conjure up Fake Charges & proceed forward with indictment.

or if not,

Its their Indictments.

They're, desperate, cornered & done for.

swmnguy -> Chupacabra-322 Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:37 Permalink

One interesting fact I don't see mentioned in this article, or the comments so far, is that this letter from Trump's attorneys to Mueller was written and delivered to Mueller in January, 2018. 5 months ago. One of the authors has since left the Trump team (Dowd). Mueller does not appear to have shut up shop and left town.

The only new thing about this letter is that somebody, presumably from Team Trump, has leaked it to the New York Times. Could easily be Giuliani.

This may very well end up at the Supreme Court. If that happens, I expect a 5-4 decision to exempt the President of the United States from the rule of law. Won't that be fun when somebody like Elizabeth Warren becomes President in 2, 6, or however-many years?

A lot of Republicans loved how George W. Bush amassed a lot of King-like powers, and then bemoaned it when Barack Obama used those powers of the "Unitary Executive." That shoe cramps badly on the other foot, doesn't it.

Arctic Frost -> swmnguy Sun, 06/03/2018 - 14:17 Permalink

Uhm, so what you're saying is the Supreme Court, which IS the rule of law, will likely interpret the Constitution correctly and UPHOLD the portions of the constitution that speak to not allowing the President to be encumbered with frivolous, unfounded charges that render him unable to execute the charge of his office while he is a sitting President, even though those charges CAN be brought as soon as he steps down. So this RULING OF THE LAW would be uncomfortable for you? Tough shit, you live in America where the Constitution reigns supreme. Are you one of those that wants to toss the constitution into the garbage all based upon, but but but we may not be able to bring our OWN unjustified, frivolous, unfounded charges on Presidents we don't agree with and are SUPER angry they got elected?

CONGRESS amassed a bunch of King-like powers for Bush and Obama, ignorantly. The Supreme Court does not give any powers to the President and I have no problem with that court being the final word.

Yen Cross -> NoDebt Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:32 Permalink

Mueller is assholes and elbows deep in his own stinky poo poo.

If the IG report is that damning, and a second council is appointed, Mueller should buy an apple orchard, to feed his horse face, during his incarceration.

Trump should stay "light years" AWAY>from Mueller desperation's<

fleur de lis -> Yen Cross Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:05 Permalink

Wake me up when Mueller goes after his friends for the 911 murder spree.

Or if he decides to investigate the murder of Sgt. Terry Yeakey.

But Mueller is a NWO crack ho -- and going after the killers would upset his pimps.

So he uses the FBI and DoJ like Bolshevik terror squads.

They were not concerned about laws either, they just targeted and destroyed whomever they wanted with impunity.

He and his handlers should have to pay for this misuse of power with their own money.

Yen Cross -> fleur de lis Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:17 Permalink

Have you looked at the incestuous relationship between Comey and Fitzgerald?

These clowns think that they are above the law, and so very violate the statutes they were sworn to protect.

The rotten hydra head, needs to be chopped off. James Clapper is a fucking treasonous compulsive LIAR.

He better have a legal team, because I'm speaking with some people that want him sealed in a cave.

fleur de lis -> Yen Cross Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:24 Permalink

Just another day in DC Swampland.

They remind me of roach nests where the vermin are always nesting cozy cozy together until an opportunity arises that allows them to bug the s**t out of the rest of us.

And of course they produce nothing, and mooch off everybody else's work.

Except these DC Swamp roaches carry badges and guns.

Only the DC Swamp could produce such freaks.

They are a step below regular six legged roaches.

At least those roaches are better behaved than their DC cousins.

Mr Hankey -> Yen Cross Sun, 06/03/2018 - 12:13 Permalink

" sworn to protect" guppy rubes like YOU are the problem,Pollyanna.

They ARE protecting what they were intended to protect from the beginning.

Arctic Frost -> Mr Hankey Sun, 06/03/2018 - 14:27 Permalink

America doesn't need THEIR kind of protections if it requires a handful of people to run amuck breaking every law they vowed to uphold simply because shits like YOU are so damn stupid you couldn't even beat a clown like Trump. Why don't you people just admit it. You're too damn stupid to accomplish anything anymore. You couldn't win what SHOULD have been the easiest election to win in all of American history. THEN you couldn't even run an intelligence op "intelligently". On top of THAT you all convict yourselves as you go on "book tours" and "political commentary" junkets because your greed surpasses your stupidity.

You have no one but yourselves to blame for everything that upsets you.

Arnold -> 107cicero Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

Now that the entire Obama administration has committed their crime to paper, I sleep more peacefully, and celebrate more freely.

Ben Rhodes, freshly squeezed, should be able to provide the road map to the big house for all of them.

Chupacabra-322 -> Arnold Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:18 Permalink

"This entire case is built on a fake piece of information in the Dossier. Or multiple pieces of information in a Fake Dossier, I should say to be more precise. Breaking yesterday, Breanan has insisted that to multiple people by the way, that he didn't know much about the Dossier. Wait till we play this audio. Get the Chuck Todd one ready Joe."

"This is Devastating audio. But hold on a minute. Why is Breanan doing this? Because Breanan knows that the Dossier was his case. And, the minute he admits on the record. That as a Senior Level, powerful member of the Intelligence Community. That John Breanan started a Political Investigation based on Fake Information he may very well of known was not verified. John Breanan is going to be in a World of trouble. So he has to run from this thing."

"Now I'll get to this Sberry piece in a second. And, why it's important. But just to show you that Breanan has run from this Dossier. Despite the fact, we know he knew about it. And, he Lied about it. Here's him basically telling Chuck Todd....listen to how he emphasizes on the Dossier played no role, no, no, no role, no, no, no, no, no to the Dossier. Listen to him with Chuck Todd:"

Audio Played.

https://www.bongino.com/may-16-2018-ep-721-police-state-liberals-are-us

Chuck Todd Interview 3:30 Mark. Pure Evil War Criminal Treasonous Seditious Psychopath John Breanan admits the Fake Dossier Played:

"and it did not play any role whatsoever in the Intelligence Community Assessment that was done. That was presented to then...Pesident Obama & President Elect Trump."

-Former CIA Director John Breanan.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=45IEzp2uTCo

Absolute, Complete, Open, in your Faces Tyrannical Lawlessness.

ToWo -> Arnold Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:15 Permalink

Judas Rhodes - why he just got a BIG paying job with one of the lame media outlets .. yes - he is clearly showing the path of the media and govt.

Lostinfortwalton -> 107cicero Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

Mueller reminds me of the 'preacher' character in the 'Right Stuff' movie. Death made visible. A year and a half and the only result has been to damage a freely-elected president. Mueller's end game is to drag this s - - - out until the midterms when it is hoped the Dems can regain the House and impeach Trump.

Robert of Ottawa -> Lostinfortwalton Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:04 Permalink

That's the objective. A spoke in the wheel. A sabot in the machinery.

Robert of Ottawa -> Lostinfortwalton Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:05 Permalink

Regarding the whole "impeachment" thing, I still do not udnerstand. Don't they need a reason other than "we don't like you"?

fleur de lis -> 107cicero Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:06 Permalink

He and Kerry are cut from the same NWO cloth.

Yog Soggoth -> 107cicero Sun, 06/03/2018 - 11:31 Permalink

Like they are close relatives?

Deep Snorkeler -> Arnold Sun, 06/03/2018 - 14:23 Permalink

Trump World

ethical behavior is unknown

efficiency is non-existent

financial constraints broken

sub-educated/self-justifying

rampant scabies infections

the atrocities of American life

the taxpayer is stripped, raped and robbed

collective sanity is very fragile

nmewn -> IridiumRebel Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:26 Permalink

Mueller should be issuing a subpoena to Comey for obstructing justice and the theft/transference of classified government documents...lol...but of course, it is not in "Muellers mandate" to pursue justice ;-)

Supafly -> nmewn Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:30 Permalink

Breaking on CNN: Trump refusal to meet with Mueller admission of guilt.

nmewn -> Supafly Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:33 Permalink

Out of all the things Trump has done his annihilation of the Communist Nuuuz Network is the most impressive ;-)

DingleBarryObummer -> nmewn Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:35 Permalink

Out of all the things Trump has done his annihilation of the Communist Nuuuz Network is the most impressive ;-)

Their ratings have gone up since he became president

&

I feel like Bill Murray in groundhog's day. What drugs do you guys take to maintain interest in this?

NoDebt -> DingleBarryObummer Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:42 Permalink

Initially they did. But not any more. Go check.

DingleBarryObummer -> NoDebt Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:49 Permalink

So Trump's animal spirit bump is wearing off?

Giant Meteor -> NoDebt Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:13 Permalink

The consistent (p) MSN narrative is Trump's "war" on Robert Mule Her.

Anyway, Sessions is not long for this administration.

My morning prediction.

RumpleShitzkin -> NoDebt Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:52 Permalink

You're correct. I just checked. CNN is hemorrhaging slobbering viewers.

Ow, my Ballz! Is still number one slot followed by Fox.

So the joy of CNN withering only goes so far when the only refuge is FOX and Ow, my Ballz.

Fox and friends makes me violently ill - it's soooo saccharine sweet. Steve Docey is tolerable but that dip shit Kilmeade is such a bloodthirsty war mongering chickenhawk and airhead Ainsley reminds me of Barbies little sister Skipper who thinks every day is Summer and wonderful. It seriously gives me the trots in the morning. Used to like Greta, super smart but a face for radio so they ditched her. Still like Tucker but I seriously doubt he will stay there long term.

The time has never been more ripe for someone to buck up and create a serious media channel that is a red pilling machine gun. 100% Mockingbird and Sheeny free, too.

[May 27, 2018] The Code Name Crossfire Hurricane Undermines The FBI s Russia Story by Lee Smith

So Strzok was involved with this part of the story too. Strzokgate now has distinct British accent and probably was coordinated by CIA and MI6.
Harper was definitely acted like an "agent provocateur", whose job was to ask leading questions to get Trump campaign advisers to say things that would corroborate-or seem to corroborate-evidence that the FBI believed it already had in hand. It looks like among other things Halper was tasked with the attempt elaborate on the claims made in Steele's September 14 dossier memo: "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and considering disseminating it."
London was the perfect place for such dirty games -- the territory where the agent knew he could operate safely.
"Halper's fishing expedition therefore came up with nothing to suggest the Steele dossier was true. The real story is therefore the continuing attempt to assert that the dossier, or key parts of it, are true, after large-scale investigations by the FBI, and now by special counsel Robert Mueller, have failed to turn up any evidence of a plot hatched between Trump and Vladimir Putin to take over the White House."
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times' ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... So, how many "informants" targeted the Trump campaign? Were they being paid by the U.S. government? What are their names? What were they doing? ..."
"... Under whose authority were they spying on a political campaign? Did FBI and DOJ leadership sign off? Did FBI director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch know about it? What about other senior Obama administration officials? CIA Director John Brennan? Did President Obama know the FBI was spying on a presidential campaign? Did Hillary Clinton know? What about Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta? ..."
May 27, 2018 | thefederalist.com

The New York Times' 4,000-word report last week on the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign's possible ties to Russia revealed for the first time that the investigation was called "Crossfire Hurricane."

The name, explains the paper, refers to the Rolling Stones lyric "I was born in a crossfire hurricane," from the 1968 hit "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Mick Jagger, one of the songwriters, said the song was a "metaphor" for psychedelic-drug induced states. The other, Keith Richards, said it "refers to his being born amid the bombing and air raid sirens of Dartford, England, in 1943 during World War II."

Investigation names, say senior U.S. law enforcement officials, are designed to refer to facts, ideas, or people related to the investigation. Sometimes they're explicit, and other times playful or even allusive. So what did the Russia investigation have to do with World War II, psychedelic drugs, or Keith's childhood?

The answer may be found in the 1986 Penny Marshall film named after the song, "Jumpin' Jack Flash." In the Cold War-era comedy, a quirky bank officer played by Whoopi Goldberg comes to the aid of Jonathan Pryce, who plays a British spy being chased by the KGB.

The code name "Crossfire Hurricane" is therefore most likely a reference to the former British spy whose allegedly Russian-sourced reports on the Trump team's alleged ties to Russia were used as evidence to secure a Foreign Intelligence Service Act secret warrant on Trump adviser Carter Page in October 2016: ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele.

Helping Spin a New Origin Story

It is hardly surprising that the Times refrained from exploring the meaning of the code name. The paper of record has apparently joined a campaign, spearheaded by the Department of Justice, FBI, and political operatives pushing the Trump-Russia collusion story, to minimize Steele's role in the Russia investigation.

After an October news report showed his dossier was funded by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, facts that further challenged the credibility of Steele's research, the FBI investigation's origin story shifted.

In December, The New York Times published a "scoop " on the new origin story. In the revised narrative, the probe didn't start with the Steele dossier at all. Rather, it began with an April 2016 meeting between Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud. The professor informed him that "he had just learned from high-level Russian officials in Moscow that the Russians had 'dirt' on Mrs. Clinton in the form of 'thousands of emails.'"

Weeks later, Papadopoulos boasted to the Australian ambassador to London, Alexander Downer, that he was told the Russians had Clinton-related emails. Two months later, according to the Times , the Australians reported Papadopoulos' boasts to the FBI, and on July 31, 2016, the bureau began its investigation.

Further reinforcement of the new origin story came from congressional Democrats. A January 29 memo written by House Intelligence Committee minority staff under ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff further distances Steele from the opening of the investigation. "Christopher Steele's raw reporting did not inform the FBI's decision to initiate its counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016. In fact, the FBI's closely-held investigative team only received Steele's reporting in mid-September."

Last week's major Times article echoes the Schiff memo. Steele's reports, according to the paper, reached the "Crossfire Hurricane team" "in mid-September."

Yet the new account of how the government spying campaign against Trump started is highly unlikely. According to the thousands of favorable press reports asserting his credibility, Steele was well-respected at the FBI for his work on a 2015 case that helped win indictments of more than a dozen officials working for soccer's international governing body, FIFA. In July 2016, Steele met with the agent he worked with on the FIFA case to show his early findings on the Trump team's ties to Russia.

The FBI took Steele's reporting on Trump's ties to Russia so seriously it was later used as evidence to monitor the electronic communications of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But, according to Schiff and the Times , the FBI somehow lost track of reports from a "credible" source who claimed to have information showing that the Republican candidate for president was compromised by a foreign government. That makes no sense.

The code name "Crossfire Hurricane" is further evidence that the FBI's cover story is absurd. A reference to a movie about a British spy evading Russian spies behind enemy lines suggests the Steele dossier was always the core of the bureau's investigation into the Trump campaign.

Was Halper an Informant, Spy, Or Agent Provocateur?

Taken together with the other significant revelation from last Times story, the purpose and structure of Crossfire Hurricane may be coming into clearer focus. According to the Times story: "At least one government informant met several times with [Trump campaign advisers Carter] Page and [George] Papadopoulos, current and former officials said."

As we now know, the informant is Stefan Halper, a former classmate of Bill Clinton's at Oxford University who worked in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations. Halper is known for his good connections in intelligence circles. His father-in-law was Ray Cline , former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Halper is also reported to have led the 1980 Ronald Reagan campaign team that collected intelligence on sitting U.S. President Jimmy Carter's foreign policy.

So what was Halper doing in this instance? He wasn't really a spy (a person who is generally tasked with stealing secrets) or an informant (a person who provides information about criminal activities from the inside). Rather, it seems he was more like an agent provocateur, whose job was to ask leading questions to get Trump campaign advisers to say things that would corroborate -- or seem to corroborate -- evidence that the bureau believed it already had in hand.

It appears Halper's job was to induce inexperienced Trump campaign figures to say things.

Halper met with at least three Trump campaign advisers: Sam Clovis, Page, and George Papadopoulos. The latter two he met with in London, where Halper had reason to feel comfortable operating.

Halper's close contacts in the intelligence world weren't limited to the CIA. They also include foreign intelligence officials like Richard Dearlove , the former head of the United Kingdom's foreign intelligence service, MI6. According to a Washington Times report , Halper and Dearlove are partners in a UK consulting firm, Cambridge Security Initiative.

Dearlove is also close to Steele. According to the Washington Post , Dearlove met with Steele in the early fall of 2016, when his former charge shared his "worries" about what he'd found on the Trump campaign and "asked for his guidance."

London was therefore the perfect place for Halper to spring a trap -- outside the direct purview of the FBI, but on territory where he knew he could operate safely. It appears Halper's job was to induce inexperienced Trump campaign figures to say things that corroborated the 35-page series of memos written by Steele -- the centerpiece of the Russiagate investigation -- in order to license a broader campaign of government spying against Trump and his associates in the middle of a presidential election.

Halper Reached Out to Trump Campaign Members

Chuck Ross's reporting in The Daily Caller provides invaluable details and insight. As Ross explained in The Daily Caller back in March, Halper emailed Papadopoulos on September 2, 2016 with an invitation to write a research paper, for which he'd be paid $3,000, and a paid trip to London. According to Ross, "Papadopoulos and Halper met several times during the London trip," with one meeting scheduled for September 13 and another two days later.

Ross writes: "According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Halper asked Papadopoulos: 'George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?' Papadopoulos told Halper he didn't know anything about emails or Russian hacking." It seems Halper was looking to elaborate on the claims made in Steele's September 14 dossier memo : "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and considering disseminating it."

Halper's fishing expedition therefore came up with nothing to suggest the Steele dossier was true.

Had Papadopoulos confirmed that a shadowy Maltese academic had told him in April about Russians holding Clinton-related emails, presumably that would have entered the dossier as something like, "Trump campaign adviser PAPADOPOULOS confirms knowledge of Russian 'kompromat.'"

Another Trump campaign adviser Halper contacted was Page. They first met in Cambridge, England at a July 11, 2016 symposium. Halper's partner Dearlove spoke at the conference, which was held just days after Page had delivered a widely reported speech at the New Economic School in Moscow. According to another Ross article reporting on Page and Halper's interactions, the Trump adviser "recalls nothing of substance being discussed other than Halper's passing mention that he knew then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Page and Manafort both figure prominently in the Steele dossier's July 19 memos. According to the document , Manafort "was using foreign policy advisor, Carter PAGE, and others as intermediaries." Page had also, according to the dossier, met with senior Kremlin officials -- a charge he later denied in his November 2, 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Evidently, he also gave Halper nothing to use in verifying the charges made against him.

Halper's fishing expedition therefore came up with nothing to suggest the Steele dossier was true. The real story is therefore the continuing attempt to assert that the dossier, or key parts of it, are true, after large-scale investigations by the FBI, and now by special counsel Robert Mueller, have failed to turn up any evidence of a plot hatched between Trump and Vladimir Putin to take over the White House.

Using Spy Powers on Political Opponents Is a Big Problem

That portions of the American national security apparatus would put their considerable powers -- surveillance, spying, legal pressure -- at the service of a partisan political campaign is a sign that something very big is broken in Washington. Our Founding Fathers would not be surprised to learn that the post-9/11 surveillance and spying apparatus built to protect Americans from al-Qaeda has now become a political tool that targets Americans for partisan purposes. That the rest of us are surprised is a sign that we have stopped taking the U.S. Constitution as seriously as we should.

The damage done to the American press is equally large. Since the November 2016 presidential election, a financially imperiled media industry gambled its remaining prestige on Russiagate. Yet after nearly a year and a half filled with thousands of stories feeding the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy, last week still represented a landmark moment in American journalism. The New York Times , which proudly published the Pentagon Papers, provided cover for an espionage operation against a presidential campaign.

The New York Times , which proudly published the Pentagon Papers, provided cover for an espionage operation against a presidential campaign.

There are significant errors and misrepresentations in the article that the Times could've easily checked, if it weren't in such a hurry to hide the FBI and DOJ's crimes and abuses. Perhaps most significantly, the Times avoided asking the key questions that the article raised with its revelation that "at least one government informant" met with Trump campaign figures.

So, how many "informants" targeted the Trump campaign? Were they being paid by the U.S. government? What are their names? What were they doing?

Under whose authority were they spying on a political campaign? Did FBI and DOJ leadership sign off? Did FBI director James Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch know about it? What about other senior Obama administration officials? CIA Director John Brennan? Did President Obama know the FBI was spying on a presidential campaign? Did Hillary Clinton know? What about Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta?

These questions are sure to be asked. What we know already is that the Times reporters did not ask them, because they do not bother to indicate that the officials interviewed for the story had declined to answer. That they did not ask these questions is evidence the Times is no longer a newspaper that sees its job as reporting the truth or holding high government officials responsible for their crimes. Lee Smith is the media columnist at Tablet.

[May 27, 2018] Roger Stone Rips DOJ's Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein as 'Two Crooks'

May 27, 2018 | www.newsmax.com

Political consultant Roger Stone, who served as a long-time political adviser to Donald Trump, tried to dismantle the Russia investigation during an interview with Newsmax TV, saying the probe has roots in the "fabricated dossier" put together about then-candidate Donald Trump.

Stone, who recently authored " Stone's Rules: How to Win at Politics, Business, and Style, " appeared on Tuesday's " America Talks Live " and said the Russia probe is "the biggest, single political scandal in American history. In essence, they used a fabricated dossier to justify state surveillance of the Republican candidate for president of the United States.

"That's using the government's authority and capability to spy on the Trump campaign. And now, incredibly, we've learned that they used the FBI to insert spies and infiltrate the Trump campaign." Special counsel Robert Mueller is leading a Department of Justice investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Stone has entered Mueller's radar because of his alleged ties to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. He was also a subject of FBI surveillance in the early days of the counterintelligence operation against certain members of the Trump campaign.

"We have two crooks running the Justice Department," Stone said, referencing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. "The fact that Jeff Sessions will not hand over to Congress information regarding the FISA warrant surveillance of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, and Carter Page is criminal." It has been alleged Stone had some sort of channel to the Russians, whether through WikiLeaks or otherwise, a charge he denies.

"This is an egregious smear, and in all honesty, the question -- which I've answered again, and again, and again -- grows tedious," Stone said.

Stone's roots in politics go back to the Nixon campaign, when he worked for his 1972 re-election campaign. He has since worked with countless other Republicans over the years, including former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Regarding the Russia probe, Stone said he supports calls to appoint a second special counsel to investigate how the FBI and DOJ started and conducted the Trump campaign surveillance.

"We have text messages from [FBI agent] Peter Strzok saying [former President Barack] Obama wanted to be briefed on everything," Stone said. "So, when it comes to the phony dossier, what did Obama know and when did he know it? They're covering up the greatest scandal in American history."

And he said the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s is peanuts compared to what the government is alleged to have done to the Trump campaign.

"They were inserting moles to create faux evidence of Russian collusion as part of what FBI agent Peter Strzok referred to as their insurance policy against Donald Trump's election," Stone said. "This makes Watergate look like a second-rate burglary. What we have here today is far more egregious."

[May 24, 2018] Most probably Veselnitskaya was a false flag operation to entrap Trump campaign played by British intelligence

Notable quotes:
"... FUsion GPS arranged the meeting at trump tower. ..."
"... IF Misfud told papaD that he had access to Hillary's emails, why did they not bother looking for him for 9 months and then let him walk free? Because he was a set up. ..."
May 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Merasmus , May 21, 2018 at 12:36 am

'Collusion' would mean actively conspiring with a foreign government. To this day there is no evidence that the Russian lawyer was working for the Russian government (I have seen some media simply assert that she has Kremlin 'connections', whatever that's supposed to mean). Also, why exactly would the Trump campaign have any need to meet with someone promising dirt if, as the Steele Dossier claims, Trump had been a Russian agent for 5 years? The Kremlin would surely have already been providing any possible dirt, and more besides.

And is this really where we are now? Is this what we've come to? Russia is a country of 144 million people. Is simply being Russian, or talking to a Russian, now a crime? Because that's what our current atmosphere seems to think. It's shocking to see so many people, especially supposedly tolerant and multicultural liberals, ignore any distinction between a government and private citizens, and engage in what can only be called bigotry about 'Russians'. Replace 'Russian' with 'Jew', or a slur like 'Jap', and how incredibly ugly the atmosphere has become in the last 18 months or so becomes obvious.

That Trump is comically corrupt is a given. But the two central claims of Russiagate were that a. Trump is a Russian agent (or at least being blackmailed by Russia), and that b. Russia in some way hacked or interfered in the election to get Trump elected. There is, to this day, exactly zero evidence for either.

No, his son meeting with a Russian citizen promising political dirt (even if dirt had been exchanged, which it wasn't because she was lying and just wanted to get a meeting to lobby for some business interests), doesn't constitute 'collusion', or interference by a foreign government.

Nor does some St. Petersburg company spending a paltry amount of money to run a clickbait ad revenue scheme on Facebook. Nor do Macedonian teenagers running troll accounts (Macedonia isn't even in Russia, and to this day I've never seen any evidence that any Russian, much less the Russian government, is behind their activities).

The above two are especially damning, because they make it painfully obvious that Russiagate has exactly nothing. In the absence of any evidence that Russia hacked the election, proponents have been forced to venture far and wide to find something, anything, they can remotely pin on Russia. A few hundred thousand dollars spent on social media ads, including ads for Clinton and Sanders, many of which were seen by literally no one, and half of which didn't run until AFTER the election? Are you freaking kidding me?

As for 'shady Russian money', maybe Trump has taken some. It certainly wouldn't surprise me that he's done something like launder money for Russian oligarchs. Now prove to me took money from the Russian government. Because, again, those are two very different prospects. And if you think the Kremlin and Russian oligarchs are interchangeable or in lockstep with each other, you clearly don't know much about recent Russian history.

The Russiagate claim wasn't that Trump is skeevy and corrupt. Of course he is. The claim is that he is corrupt in very specific ways, ways that constitute treason.

Vivian O'Blivion , May 21, 2018 at 6:30 am

Marasmus.

Difficult to argue with any of your points.

Mueller has filed charges against some of the staff in the St Petersburg operation, if you can connect Trump to this entity then cooperation becomes criminal collusion. As charges have already been filed it matters not whether the St Petersburg staff are private or state employees.

The fact that America has laws prohibiting foreign interference in its elections is I guess understandable, but hypocritical and exceptionalist in the extreme given the cart blanch attitude America takes to interfering in the internal affairs of other nations.

The Donald Jr meeting with Russians is just a rats nest of conflicting stupidities. If as many others state (and I don't disagree) everyone tries to get dirt on the opposition and foreign sources of information are regularly tapped, then the secret is not to get caught. The Democrats have a plausible cut out (or two) in place between the Russian sources for the Steele dossier and themselves.

As Steve Bannon has stated, meeting directly with the Russians was weapons grade stupid, but hey it's Don Jr. and Jared Kushner we're talking about.

The really odd part is that the Russians would attend given that they must have known that their names would be logged by the Secret Service detail providing security for the Republican candidate. To me, this does not suggest an attempt to help Trump as "their man", but rather to dirty by association a candidate that could become President. This interpretation would concur with analysis of the activities of the St Petersburg operation, which was to sow chaos into American social and political discourse.

andy--s , May 23, 2018 at 12:13 am

Heres the problem with that.
FUsion GPS arranged the meeting at trump tower. The Russians paid them to connect with the trump campaign in order to discuss the magnitsky act. They did not come to the meeting with any notion of DIRT. Trump Jr was told they had DIRT.

THe problem the FBI has, is that they never investigated the Russian contacts to the extent that they investigated the Americans being contacted. Dig? :) IF Misfud told papaD that he had access to Hillary's emails, why did they not bother looking for him for 9 months and then let him walk free? Because he was a set up.

PapaD got nailed for not being able to remember if the meeting was the tuesday prior or after joing the trump Campaign. It doesnt make sense unless the FBI was looking to spy

Homer Jay , May 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Let's all assume for one second that all the fantasies of Russia gate are true. That every Russian that Trump and his associates/family ever had any contact with are directed by Putin himself. Who believes for one second that this collusion has had more of a negative impact 2016 election then the collusion that occured between Clinton and the DNC to subvert Sanders, Clinton and the media to 1st subvert Sanders and then Trump (side note, why doesn't Clinton/MSM collusion against Trump balance with the Trump/Russian collusion for Trump?) How about the collusion between Wall Street and the DNC to such an extent that Citi Group was exposed as having picked Obama's cabinet. And then let's remember that the Trump collusion with Kremlin has alot of guilt by association through 6 degrees of separation and the Clinton/DNC/MSM/Wall Street collusion was proven in black and white through the publication of Clinton/DNC/Podesta emails in Wikileaks.

That this point gets ignored by the MSM, is proof to me that they have lost all objectivity.

andy--s , May 23, 2018 at 12:16 am

MOre so.. Homer If Clintons personal server was a nothing burger not worthy of a single indictment, then why was it a national security issue when some stranger offered the emails to Papadopoulos? They didnt bother investigating the stranger. they investigated Papadopoulos!

Nobody will touch that with a ten foot poll in the main stream media.

[May 24, 2018] Let us consider the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian delegation. As Steve Bannon stated, meeting with the Russians at a venue under Secret Service control was monumentally stupid. The Russians intelligence can't have been that dumb.

May 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Vivian O'Blivion , May 19, 2018 at 8:09 am

strngr
You cite quite a number of examples, presumably without detailed knowledge of few, if any. I will not fall into the same trap.

The Brexit vote was an outbreak of mass hysteria amongst English and Welsh working class voters. The sentiment that powered the grass roots "rebellion" against the perceived wisdom of the ruling elite was understandable frustration at social and economic neglect. My guess is that in this regard it was a mirror of the rise of Trumpism. Interestingly Scotland voted to remain in the EU by a substantially stronger margin than England voted to leave, because there was already established a vivid, informed, grass roots political discourse mainly based on Scottish social media. The Brexit outcome was influenced by some pretty underhand digital media manipulation, but those doing the manipulation were domestic and hard right wing, not Russian. The Guardian cannot be considered a source of untainted information, it is increasingly Atlantasist and Zionist.

The Scottish independence vote in 2014 was heavily influenced by digital media but it was entirely indigenous and grass roots. There was no credible claim of Russian interference then or since. The Daily Express is a far right rag owned at the time of the article you cite by a pornographer, and deeply unpleasant Zionist.

Over to a more general discussion.

Is there on any level a Russian state programme using a digital platform to influence politics and social cohesion in other states? Frankly I would be astonished if there wasn't.

The UK has had the British Council working out of its embassies since the beginning of time.

The American State Department has been creating and financing Atlantasist think tanks and associations for decades to skew British politics to meet American ends.

I doubt there is a country on the planet that has not felt the malign influence of the State Department or CIA.

In the circumstances, Russia would be entirely justified in operating troll factories and similar vehicles.

Next, what would the objectives of a Russian cyber operation be in the run up to the American Presidential election? All academic evaluation of content believed to originate in Russia and to be presented as domestic American input, suggests that the goal of the intervention was to sew discord and chaos in society. That is to say that the Kremlin did not have a favoured candidate.

How effective would the efforts of the St Petersburg troll factory be in exasperating social divisions? My guess is that it would have been analogous with taking a hair dryer outside in a category 5 hurricane.

Let us consider the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian delegation. As Steve Bannon stated, meeting with the Russians at a venue under Secret Service control was monumentally stupid. Monumentally stupid is entirely believable of Donald Jr., Jared Kushner and possibly Manafort, but the Russians can't have been that dumb. By meeting at a venue where their names would be openly logged by the State, they would be sabotaging any serious attempt to "get their man into the White House", if that was their true goal. Taking this into account, the object of the meeting from a Russian perspective can only have been to generate chaos. Seventeen months on in the new administration and if I were them I would be awarding myself an A+.

Try this though experiment and subdue your moral indignation at Russian interference for a minute. In the circumstances is Russia entitled to do that which it you accuse it of? I will not offer an answer to the question I pose, I am genuinely asking that you try and project to see an alternative perspective.

[May 23, 2018] Mueller role as a hatchet man is now firmly established. Rosenstein key role in applointing Mueller without any evidence became also more clear with time. Was he coerced or did it voluntarily is unclear by Lambert Strether

Highly recommended!
Was Rosenstein-Comey-Mueller gambit so called "insurance" about which Strzok told Lisa Page ? It looks more and more likely that it was. So Trump was declared illegitimate president by intelligence community even before he was elected. And actions against him were actins typically done during color revolutions by the State Department and CIA. Role of FBI in "regime change" efforts was to implement directives from those agencies. It is doubtful that FBI acted as an independent player.
Notable quotes:
"... The regulations require that such an appointment recite the facts justifying the conclusion that a federal crime was committed, and specify the crime. However, the initial appointment of Robert Mueller did neither, referring instead to a national security investigation that a special counsel has no authority to pursue. Although Rosenstein apparently tried to correct his mistake in a new appointment memo, he has thus far refused to disclose, even to a federal judge, a complete copy of it. ..."
"... lettre de cachet ..."
May 23, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all" [Mark Penn (!), The Hill ]. "Rather than a fair, limited and impartial investigation, the Mueller investigation became a partisan, open-ended inquisition that, by its precedent, is a threat to all those who ever want to participate in a national campaign or an administration again. Its prosecutions have all been principally to pressure witnesses with unrelated charges and threats to family, or just for a public relations effect, like the indictment of Russian internet trolls. Unfortunately, just like the Doomsday Machine in 'Dr. Strangelove; that was supposed to save the world but instead destroys it, the Mueller investigation comes with no 'off' switch: You can't fire Mueller. He needs to be defeated, like Ken Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton. Finding the 'off' switch will not be easy. Step one here is for the Justice Department inspector general report to knock Comey out of the witness box. Next, the full origins of the investigation and its lack of any real intelligence needs to come out in the open." ( Penn was a chief strategist and pollster for the 2008 Clinton campaign .)

"End Robert Mueller's investigation: Michael Mukasey" [ USA Today ]. "Recall that the investigation was begun to learn whether the Trump campaign had gotten help unlawfully from Russia . Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had worked on the Trump campaign, he recused himself from the matter, and so the deputy -- Rod Rosenstein -- took the decision to appoint a special counsel. The regulations require that such an appointment recite the facts justifying the conclusion that a federal crime was committed, and specify the crime. However, the initial appointment of Robert Mueller did neither, referring instead to a national security investigation that a special counsel has no authority to pursue. Although Rosenstein apparently tried to correct his mistake in a new appointment memo, he has thus far refused to disclose, even to a federal judge, a complete copy of it.

In other investigations supposedly implicating a president -- Watergate and Whitewater come to mind -- we were told what the crime was and what facts justified the investigation. Not here . Nor have any of the charges filed in the Mueller investigation disclosed the Trump campaign's criminal acceptance or solicitation of help from the Russians." I missed that detail about the lettre de cachet aspect of the appointment memo

"The FBI Informant Who Wasn't Spying" [Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal ]. "Could a Trump FBI task agents to look into the foreign ties of advisers to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2020?"

"Hayden: The Intel Community and Presidents -- Facts vs. Vision" [ RealClearPolitics ]. Hayden on Presidential transitions and the intelligence community:

"HAYDEN : We knew that if it were to be a President Trump this [transition] would be a big speed bump because these attributes I described over here, I think the creator gave him an extra measure. He is inherently instinctive, spontaneous, not very reflective, prone to action, has an almost preternatural view of his own preternatural confidence in his own a priori narrative of how things work. So we well, this one's gonna be tough. To your point, it is a national tragedy and a perfect storm that the first time we had to do that with the new president, we knew it's always tough but it was gonna be especially tough with this one, through no one's fault, it was on an issue as you described. An issue that other Americans, not the intel guys, other Americans were using to challenge his legitimacy of President of the United States ."

"Not the intel guys." Really?

[May 18, 2018] Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan s Denial of Reliance on Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... In my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying. ..."
"... This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. ..."
"... Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, ..."
"... They're covering up an attempted coup. ..."
"... essions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. ..."
"... It's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle. ..."
"... They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. ..."
"... It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton. ..."
"... I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey. ..."
"... The DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. ..."
"... And someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out. ..."
"... Brennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. ..."
"... Rogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins. ..."
"... I believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." ..."
"... Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam? ..."
"... Brennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch. ..."
"... There are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks ..."
"... Former FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. ..."
"... FBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign. ..."
"... If these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution. ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan's insistence that the salacious and unverified Steele dossier was not part of the official Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 election is being contradicted by two top former officials.

Recently retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the Clinton campaign-funded memos did factor into the ICA . And James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, conceded in a recent CNN interview that the assessment was based on "some of the substantive content of the dossier." Without elaborating, he maintained that "we were able to corroborate" certain allegations.

These accounts are at odds with Brennan's May 2017 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that the Steele dossier was "not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community's assessment" that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. Brennan has repeated this claim numerous times, including in February on "Meet the Press."

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."

His skepticism of the dossier may explain why the NSA parted company with other intelligence agencies and cast doubt on one of its crucial conclusions: that Vladimir Putin personally ordered a cyberattack on Hillary Clinton's campaign to help Donald Trump win the White House.

Rogers has testified that while he was sure the Russians wanted to hurt Clinton, he wasn't as confident as CIA and FBI officials that their actions were designed to help Trump, explaining that such as assessment "didn't have the same level of sourcing and the same level of multiple sources."

Here and in photo at top, from left, the National Security Agency Director, Adm. Michael Rogers; FBI Director James Comey; Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; CIA Director John Brennan; and the Defense Intelligence Agency Director, Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, testifying before the

The dossier, which is made up of 16 opposition research-style memos on Trump underwritten by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton's own campaign, is based mostly on uncorroborated third-hand sources. Still, the ICA has been viewed by much of the Washington establishment as the unimpeachable consensus of the U.S. intelligence community. Its conclusions that "Vladimir Putin ordered" the hacking and leaking of Clinton campaign emails "to help Trump's chances of victory" have driven the "Russia collusion" narrative and subsequent investigations besieging the Trump presidency.

Except that the ICA did not reflect the consensus of the intelligence community. Clapper broke with tradition and decided not to put the assessment out to all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies for review. Instead, he limited input to a couple dozen chosen analysts from just three agencies -- the CIA, NSA and FBI. Agencies with relevant expertise on Russia, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department's intelligence bureau, were excluded from the process.

While faulting Clapper for not following intelligence community tradecraft standards that Clapper himself ordered in 2015, the House Intelligence Committee's 250-page report also found that the ICA did not properly describe the "quality and credibility of underlying sources" and was not "independent of political considerations."

In another departure from custom, the report is missing any dissenting views or an annex with evaluations of the conclusions from outside reviewers. "Traditionally, controversial intelligence community assessments like this include dissenting views and the views of an outside review group," said Fred Fleitz, who worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years and helped draft national intelligence estimates at Langley. "It also should have been thoroughly vetted with all relevant IC agencies," he added. "Why were DHS and DIA excluded?"

Fleitz suggests that the Obama administration limited the number of players involved in the analysis to skew the results. He believes the process was "manipulated" to reach a "predetermined political conclusion" that the incoming Republican president was compromised by the Russians.

"I've never viewed the ICA as credible," the CIA veteran added.

A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.

Last year, Strzok was reassigned to another department and removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation after anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages he wrote to another investigator during the 2016 campaign were discovered by the Justice Department's inspector general. Strzok remains under IG investigation, along with other senior FBI officials, for possible misconduct.

Strzok led the FBI's investigation of Trump campaign ties to Russia during 2016, including obtaining electronic surveillance warrants on Carter Page and other campaign advisers. The Page warrant relied heavily on unverified allegations contained in the Democratic Party-funded dossier.

Brennan has sworn the dossier was not "in any way" used as a basis for the ICA. He explains he heard snippets of the dossier from the press in the summer of 2016, but insists he did not see it or read it for himself until late 2016. "Brennan's claims are impossible to believe," Fleitz asserted.

"Brennan was pushing the Trump collusion line in mid-2016 and claimed to start the FBI collusion investigation in August 2016," he said. "It's impossible to believe Brennan was pushing for this investigation without having read the dossier."

He also pointed out that the key findings of the ICA match the central allegations in the dossier. The House Intelligence Committee concluded that Brennan, who previously worked in the White House as Obama's deputy national security adviser, created a "fusion cell" on Russian election interference made up of analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA, who produced a series of related papers for the White House during the 2016 campaign.

Less than a month after Trump won the election, Obama directed Brennan to conduct a review of all intelligence relating to Russian involvement in the 2016 election and produce a single, comprehensive assessment. Obama was briefed on the findings, along with President-elect Trump, in early January.

"Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a 'credible source,' which is how they viewed Steele," said the source familiar with the House investigation. "But they never corroborated his sources."

Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful. Several prominent Washington news outlets had access to the dossier during the 2016 campaign -- or at least portions of it -- but also could not confirm Steele's allegations. So they shied away from covering them. All that changed in early January 2017, after CNN and The Washington Post learned through Obama administration leaks that the CIA had briefed the president and president-elect about them. Then the allegations became a media feeding frenzy. On Jan. 11, 2017, within days of the dossier briefings and release of the declassified ICA report, BuzzFeed published virtually all of the dossier memos on its website.

The House committee found "significant leaks" of classified information around the time of the ICA -- and "many of these leaks were likely from senior officials within the IC." Its recently released report points to Clapper as the main source of leaks about the presidential briefings involving the dossier. It also suggests that during his July 17, 2017, testimony behind closed doors in executive session, he misled House investigators.

When first asked about leaks related to the ICA in July 2017, Clapper flatly denied "discuss[ing] the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists." But he subsequently acknowledged discussing the "dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper," and admitted he might have spoken with other journalists about the same issue.

On Jan. 10, 2017, CNN published an article by Tapper and others about the dossier briefings sourced to "multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings." Tapper shared a byline with lead writer Evan Perez, a close friend of the founders of Fusion GPS, which hired Steele as a subcontractor on the dossier project.

The next day, Clapper expressed his "profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press," while stressing that "I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC." A month after his misleading testimony to House investigators, Clapper joined CNN as a "national security analyst."

Attempts to reach Clapper for comment were unsuccessful.


Tom JonesLeader 3d

My, My, My.....what a tangled web they weave. Interesting that both Rogers and Clapper indicated the dossier was part of the assessment and Brennan does not. All while Obama was assuring the public that in no way could Russia impact our elections. With the recent allegations of a plant in the Trump campaign organization and the continued reluctance of the DOJ to release documents, it's becoming more evident by the day of significant irregularities that took place. Certainly, one would hope that only under the most severe probabilities would a President allow his intelligence agencies to spy on an opponents campaign....but it's looking more and more like it was an intended political operation rather than a national security issue. And if so, it's a direct threat to our democracy and should be addressed with the full power and legal impact of our judicial system. If it was political, EVERYONE involved should be prosecuted to the fullest extend of the law and they should spend significant time behind bars.
magic_worker 1d
In my opinion the key points are: - Obama spied on Trump and many other Senator's Congressmen, Judges, and the press without warrants they only did Trump warrants well after they started spying.

This was to cover their a$$ because they had no warrants when the spying started. Did it start the second a billionaire stepped on the escalator or before? - Obama spied using our allies (GCHQ) 5 eyes etc. and DOJ, IRS, FBI, CIA, Treasury and all the Alphabet Obamagate will be 10,000 x worse than Watergate, Don't fall for the golly gee Obama knew nothing Schultz defense. - Awan's were hired by Obama to run the DNC server, you really don't think Debbie hired them do you? ... See more

Rosa1984 Leader 3d
They're covering up an attempted coup. What we've witnessed the past 15 months is HORRIFIC, Deeply Disturbing, and a Threat to the U.S. We CANNOT allow Democrats and Deep State to get away with this.
NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d Edited
Did you know the President was in Nevada and Las Vegas during the Mandalay Assassination? Err, I mean the mass shooting by an FBI informant, of course. We assume Trump is free to govern. Why? If the Deep State owns the FBI, CIA, NSA and the most powerful weapon on Earth, the IRS. Martial Law of all Security clearance holders who are still alive "off" the books or not. Operative word is "Ex" spooks and their active psychopath cousins in the Military Industrial Complex.
Peps Leader 3d
All of which means precisely nothing, because Sessions (via his absurd recusal) and Rosenstein allowed the Statute of Limitations to run out against Clapper without filing a perjury charge. So, once again, if you are a high-ranking DC insider, you can commit a felony for which any average citizen would be arrested, prosecuted and jailed, and do so with absolute, arrogant impunity, regardless of which party is technically in charge of the Department of Justice.
KathyMcP 3d
What is the limitation period for a perjury charge???
carolinaswampfox Leader 3d
What is the limitations period for sedition, treason, conspiring to interfere with a presidential election, conspiring to overturn the results of an American presidential election, obstruction of justice, illegal abuse of the FISA process, perjury in sworn testimony and in the FISA process, etc.
Sam Hyde Leader 3d Edited
Mr. Clapper, did you leak any information on the briefings that took place with the President and President-elect? Clapper: Not wittingly. How many times has this guy committed perjury and gotten away with it? lol
Carolinatarheel Leader 3d
Obama lowered the bar substantially for ethical standards and telling the truth! Our FBI is corrupt and dangerous! Mueller and Comey are dirty cops! ...
chris_zzz Leader 3d
It's a bit ironic that Comey has been the focus of so much ire from the Trump people. Brennan and Clapper, not Comey, were the Obama political hacks who were pushing the Russian collusion angle.

They forced the FBI to open a Trump/Russia investigation, even though Strzok and Comey were skeptical that any real evidence existed. Congressional investigators as well as the relevant IGs need to look at whether Obama himself, as well as the White House staff, engineered the Trump/Russia collusion hocus-pocus. It's hard to believe that Clapper and Brennan (and Lynch, Yates, and Ohr from DoJ) cooked-up the scheme without the approval/direction of Obama. In fact, the sheer political evil genius of the Trump/Russia collusion plot, including how it "explained" the DNC hack, reeks of the only person capable of inventing it: that 'ol silver fox himself, Bill Clinton.

Greg Bed 2d
I think it is Comey's sanctimonious self-righteousness that brings that reaction. It always does. No matter who the parties are or what event it is. Even though their crimes are greater, it is easier to tolerate the obviously slimy swamp critters like Clapper and Brennan than it is the pious hypocrite like Comey.
GameTime68 Leader 3d
How much more of this are we going to have to read about before someone with authority begins investigating this entire sordid mess? Until someone is indicated and charged with something, there is no incentive for the truth - just more media stories about conflicting congressional testimony, colleague disagreements on the veracity of statements, and so forth. Those of us who sat through Watergate were not naive enough to think it was a one-off. What is Sessions doing? Where is the special investigator for Dossiergate?
NoBS NoSpam Influencer 3d
The DNC was caught in the act of rigging the Primaries. Fact. Do we really think they stopped at only the level of the DNC Primaries? I wish to be that naive so my love for America was still alive and not dead like Seth Rich. The low lives could not even cheat well, but not from lack of trying.
GameTime68 Leader span 3d
And someone inside hacked their computers for all those emails, too. That's why they didn't turn over their computers to the F.B.I. because it would bear that out.
Old Paratrooper Contributor 3d
Brennan and Clapper may have been the puppetmasters, with Comey, McCabe, Stzrok, Page, Ohr and Yates dancing to their tune, but Rogers didn't play nice and they didn't even invite the Defense Intelligence Agency to play. But I suspect the conspiracy went to the White House. Didn't Page say that the President "wanted to know everything we do"? And I suspect that Susan Rice, Valarie Jarrett and Ben Rhodes left fingerprints all over this crime.
chris_zzz Leader span oper 3d
The NSA director at the time, Adm. Rogers, reportedly visited Trump (without Clapper's authorization) during the transition to inform Trump about the FBI's surveillance of his operation. The next day Trump tweeted that Obama was wiretapping Trump Tower.
carolinaswampfox Leader 3d
Rogers is a white hat in a sea of black hats who tried to fire him for being a patriot. Rogers is a true American hero, without whom the extent of this coup and treasonous plot may never have been fully uncovered. The big ugly awaits the traitors and hopefully, the great awakening begins.
carolinaswampfox Leader span oper 3d
--and BHO communicated with Hillary at her private email address. The computers were smashed and bleach bit and Comey and company obstructed justice in whitewashing the Clinton investigation because all roads lead to BHO.
Right-Here; Right Now ! Influencer 3d
The cogent fact is that none of that matters since the entire premise is that the Russians hacked the emails.....the ENTIRE Russia collusion theory collapses without the hacking of emails. And of course the Russians did not hack the DNC emails (time stamps on the meta data PROVE that they were copied at speeds too fast for any internet hack) ....they were downloaded on site on to a portable storage devise. We Know that the DNC denied law enforcement access to its server, (why would any "victim," of a crime refuse to cooperate with investigators?) Even more remarkable, experts determined that the files released by Guccifer 2.0 have been "run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints." Brennan Clapper and Comey ALL testified to congress that the CIA...and many others.. had this capability to leave "fingerprints" of whomever they wished to implicate. Moreover, for what it is worth, Julian Assange has repeatedly denied that Russia "or any state actor" was the source of the stolen DNC data published by WikiLeaks...but rather a staffer who passed a portable drive on the Mall in DC I think its safe to assume that the downloading was done by Imran Awan who we KNOW had access and we KNOW downloaded material and we KNOW used unauthorized methods to access unauthorized areas of Congressional servers and TOTAL ... See more
James Fitzpatrick Influencer span Right Now ! 3d Edited
I believe the name you're looking for is "Seth Rich." This is a case that requires a bull dog, not Droopy Dog. It's got murder, blackmail, extortion, Deep State conspiracy, high treason, low-level corruption, perverted sex cults... c'mon! Why are we still hearing about how a Senator met a Russian Ambassador at a meet-and-greet?! This is real drama!
NoBS NoSpam Influencer span atrick 3d
They are mocking Seth Rich as the Russian Hacker. They keep dragging this kids hard work through the mud!
JayTeigh Leader span Right Now ! 3d
I think you're right about Awan being the hacker. I now wonder if the somehow sold the emails to someone who sent them to Assange.
James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3d
Here are some things that need investigation:
  1. Aside from the obvious crimes of espionage and certainly extortion and fraud, why was Imran Awan trying to flee the country just after Seth Rich's assassination? Was Rich spilling the beans about Debbie Schultz's Pakistani mole and not just the Hillary scam?
  2. Russia expert Nellie Ohr was hired by FusionGPS during the launch of the Steele scam. But she was CIA. Was Fusion itself a rogue CIA shell org? And nobody seems to get the connection to the CIA OpenSource hackers' toolbox that was leaked into the wild, just as the "resist" people were expressing concern that THEY would lose access to these spying malware products and could no longer spy on Trump. And who worked for the OpenSource project? Why, Nellie Ohr, of course. Funny.
pmidas span atrick 3d
Didn't Nellie state in some format that "i am going to be purchasing short-wave radios for our communications going forward"....?
James Fitzpatrick Influencer 3d
Yes. One of many attempts to dodge a trail for investigators, oversight and FOIA.
BorisBadinov Leader 3d
Brennan and Clapper are dirty as can be. They are both corrupt deep state agents, and should go to prison for their lies and corruption. Adm. Rogers looks like the only straight-shooter in the bunch.
NoBS NoSpam Influencer span v 3d
General Flynn was the main crusader for our children's dignity. The son of a b*censured*ich is still fighting for them!
Grandmother of 7 Contributor 3d
May Brennan and all his cohorts, including Obama, rot from the inside out because I doubt anything we could punish them with would be enough. They did more damage to the Republic than Osama bin Laden and his ilk ever could.
Mcgovern72 Leader 3d
The Clap-Man and Jimmy the B continue to be the best sources of intrigue on the whole collusion confusion, huh? Their legacy tarnished by all the lies, they now get to spew it on 'fake news', further tarnishing the credibility of 'faux news'. Brilliant!!
Sam Hyde Leader span 3d Edited
DNI Clapper doing what DNI Clapper does best. I can see him rubbing his greasy egg head right now for not having his story straight.
dadling 3d
There are 2 sets of Laws in America. One for the elite, power political people and one for the Joe Sixpacks.....there is NO Law in America...the people are still asleep and have yet to be roused. However, when they do wake up, pitchforks, tar & feathers will be the order of the day for these criminals.
dawg1234 3d
Ouch! Quite a scathing article from Real Clear! Impressive! Brennan? Brennan? Calling Mister, John, Brennan! LOL, this is getting fun!
cjones1 Leader 3d
The plot thickens!
leestauf4 Leader 2d
The democrats accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians to get elected, have ZERO proof of it after two years of trying to invent it, and yet it is a proven fact that Hillary and the DNC, through the middlemen Fusion GPS and Steele, COLLUDED with and paid high level Russian officials millions of dollars to produce the "salacious and completely unverified dossier" (Comey's words), in an attempt to throw our election like they did in their own primary, and to then try to impeach a constitutionally elected president with the same Russian supplied lies when that failed! So where was the actual collusion with the enemy? And why is Mueller completely ignoring those facts?
jrc_mrc 2d
Former FBI Director James Comey has a long history of involvement in Department of Justice actions that arguably ended up favorable to the Clintons. In 2001, following the original 9/11 mass murder by the Muslim jihadists, President Bush asked the FBI to track the movements of likely Muslim jihadists; Comey and Mueller refused that request on the basis that such tracking would be "un-American". The jihadist mass murders of Americans in Boston, Chattanooga, Orlando, Fort Hood, and San Bernardino are therefore the direct result of that irresponsible refusal. In 2004 Comey, then serving as a deputy attorney general in the Justice Department, apparently limited the scope of the criminal investigation of Sandy Berger, which left out former Clinton administration officials who may have coordinated with Berger in his removal and destruction of classified records from the National Archives. The documents were relevant to the accusations that the Clinton administration was negligent in the build-up to the 9/11 terrorist attack. Back a year or two ago, FBI director Comey announced that despite the evidence of "extreme negligence" by Hillary Clinton and her top aides regarding the handling of classified information through her unprotected private email server, the FBI would not refer criminal charges to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department since it was just a case of innocent negligence.
jrc_mrc 2d
FBI has had its ups and downs, certainly, but usually it found those low times due to some mishap or bad policy decisions based on matters of process by its upper management. But despite some of the worst 1970s conspiracy theories, rarely has the FBI been considered a bald-faced political actor until Director James Comey tarnished the shield by becoming a member of the Hillary Clinton's election campaign.

The FBI is no longer a legitimate or competent law enforcement agency. The FBI has become nothing more than a bunch of goons for the DNC and the Democrat Party. The FBI should now be considered a domestic corrupt terrorist organization. Due to the FBI's corruption and political affiliation with the Democrat Party, they should no longer have jurisdiction over a single American citizen. Comey is now guilty of treason by default and association. He has violated his sworn oath and must be removed. "Yes – Hillary Clinton is guilty but we will not recommend prosecution" – he declared to the congressional inquiry with a straight face. In other words, and for all practical purposes our FBI had become the American KGB.

KenPittman 2d
Clapper, Brennan and Comey have al likely retained legal counsel as Nunes has brilliantly followed the trail methodically backwards to the source. The Ohr couple, the intercepts of Strzok and the common denominators linking Stefan Halper are going to rock the Deep State to its foundation. Thankfully there are enough patriots in Washington to continue to outflank the framing of the POTUS.
johnmike 2d
The butts of Brennan, Clapper, and Comey should be hauled before a Grand Jury by John Huber, the US Attorney, as stated by Joe DiGenova. I believe all three are enemies of the US and the biggest threats to our constitutional republic. Brennan once voted for a communist. All three are pathological liars...it's scary that these three scumbags held the highest and most critical intelligence and law enforcement positions in the nation.
Ralph Lynch Contributor 1d
If these yokels better knew history, they would better understand the dangers of fomenting revolution.

[May 18, 2018] The Steele Dossier the Intelligence Community Assessment by Jeff Carlson, CFA

May 15, 2018 | www.themarketswork.com

An article, Two Colleagues Contradict Brennan's Denial of Reliance on Dossier , caught the attention of a bunch of folks:

In a March 5, 2018, letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Adm. Rogers informed the committee that a two-page summary of the dossier -- described as "the Christopher Steele information" -- was "added" as an "appendix to the ICA draft," and that consideration of that appendix was "part of the overall ICA review/approval process."

A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

"Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA," according to the source.

As a result of the article, I'm re-upping relevant portions from a February 23, 2108 post, Did Brennan & Clapper Use the Steele Dossier in the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We've long suspected that Clapper and Brennan were already ensnared in the Inspector General's Investigation – see John Brennan & James Clapper – Complicity, Lies & Bill Priestap .

Clapper was the architect of the report – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections . I've previously discussed the report here and here .

Clapper's Assessment Report was the third in series of reports – each building on the other.

The first report, an assessment of Russian Intervention, was made in an October 7, 2016, Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence noting the Intelligence Community was confident of Russian involvement in our election.

Later testimony by our various Intelligence Directors confirmed that Russia is always involved in Presidential elections.

The October report was followed up by a December 29, 2016, Joint Analysis by Homeland Security and the FBI titled GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity .

This report was meant to directly tie Russian hacking to the election.

What the report actually did was use technical language to describe a generalized hacking process – and the means by which hacking and phishing can be generally prevented.

I strongly encourage you to read the report. Its lack of actual detail is eye-opening.

FBI Russian Hacking Report by The Conservative Treehouse on Scribd

[May 18, 2018] In fact the Intelligence Community Assessment was the work product of two of Brennan's analysts

Notable quotes:
"... The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE). ..."
May 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The President is not CinC of the US, by W. Patrick Lang - The Unz Review

3. John Brennan, James Clapper and Admiral Rogers stage-managed a paper in January, 2017 that asserted that the Intelligence Community believed various things about Russian government tinkering with the US election (much as the US does in other countries' elections). The paper was represented to be an IC wide opinion (like an NIE).

Clapper gave it his imprimatur as Director of National Intelligence but Admiral Rogers at the National Security Agency could not get his people to express more than limited confidence in the document. DIA, State Department INR, the Army, Navy, Air Force and other agencies were either not consulted or did not deign to "sign on." Donald J Trump thinks this is a "rum deal," a phony politically motivated procedure run by a group of "hacks". Why would he not think that? The reaction of the Left is to excoriate him for his lack of "respect", for the people who "cooked up" this document. We should remember that the people who "cooked" the document have no legal or constitutional existence outside the framework of the Executive Branch. Any president, in any circumstance could dismiss them all at will. No president is under any obligation at all to accept their opinion or that of anyone in the Executive Branch on anything. They are his advisers and subordinates, tools in his kit box, and that is all they are.

[May 16, 2018] 'No focus on Russian activities' - Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts -- RT US News

Notable quotes:
"... "hear them out." ..."
"... "no focus on Russian activities" ..."
"... "the most embarrassing thing you've ever asked me to do" ..."
"... "complete loss of time" ..."
"... "answered every question asked" ..."
"... "I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry," ..."
"... "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the Committee." ..."
May 16, 2018 | www.rt.com

The 2016 Trump Tower meeting set up to reveal dirt on Hillary Clinton "infuriated" Jared Kushner, was a "waste of time" and had nothing to do with Clinton, according to transcripts of interviews with the meeting's participants. The US Senate Judiciary Committee has released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts, which provide new insight into the controversial meeting during which Donald Trump Jr, along with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and then campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was expecting to receive "dirt" on Hillary Clinton from Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Overall, the newly-released documents seem to indicate that a short 20-minute meeting resulted in hours of interviews and thousands of pages of documents for little reason.

In the transcripts, Trump Jr. said that he was skeptical that Rob Goldstone, the publicist who had been the first to contact him about a meeting, had colleagues who possessed incriminating information about Clinton, but said felt he should at least "hear them out." Read more © RT 'Wasting taxpayers' money': Lawyer Veselnitskaya talks Trump's dossier & Fusion GPS

He also said that it was important to note that when he accepted the invitation to go to the meeting there was "no focus on Russian activities" surrounding the campaign and claimed that Goldstone had not even confirmed the names of the attendees who would join them at the meeting.

Goldstone had set up the meeting on behalf of Russian musical artist Emin Agaralov, the son of a wealthy Russian businessman, but revealed in his interview that he later told Agaralov that the meeting was "the most embarrassing thing you've ever asked me to do" given that it ended up having nothing to do with Clinton. Goldstone also revealed that Veselnitskaya's apparently Clinton-free presentation in the meeting had "infuriated" Kushner.

In another indication that the meeting was not supposed to be a top-secret attempt for the Trump campaign to collude with Russia, Goldstone also revealed that he "checked in" to Trump Tower on Facebook when he arrived.

In a supplemental interview, Goldstone also told investigators that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not able to meet Trump during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, but invited him through a phone call with his spokesman Dmitry Peskov, organized by Agaralov, to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi instead. According to Goldstone, Peskov said Putin would be happy to meet him there -- but that meeting did not end up happening.

Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian translator who attended the meeting, said that no one present had said the Russian government either supported Trump or opposed Clinton for president. He also said there were no offers from the Russian side to release hacked emails, hack voting totals or anything else.

The other translator present, Ike Kaveladze, said he spoke to Agaralov about two hours after the meeting and told him it was a "complete loss of time" and a "useless" meeting.

The committee released the thousands of pages of transcripts along with hundreds of additional pages of related material, including the interviews with Goldstone, Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and translators Samochornov and Kaveladze.

Read more A woman passes by the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in New York City, January 13, 2016 © Brendan McDermid 'Weapon of mass suppression': Russiagate now used to target any dissent in US – Max Blumenthal

The meeting has been the subject of controversy, particularly the question of whether then-candidate Trump knew about it. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has looked closely at the meeting as part of his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, which has not yet turned up any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.

Following the publication of the documents, Trump Jr. said they showed that he "answered every question asked" by the committee.

"I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry," he said in a statement. "The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the Committee."

Those who were present at the meeting said Veselnitskaya did not provide any 'dirt' on Clinton and instead focused on discussing the overturning of US sanctions placed on Russia under the Magnitsky Act. Those sanctions, which impose US entry bans and asset freezes on Russians alleged to have been involved in human rights abuses, are still in place and have since been expanded , most recently in December 2017 when five more Russian nationals were added to the Magnitsky List. 'No focus on Russian activities' - Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts Democrats & Russians 'laughing' at 'witch hunt' collusion probe – Trump 'No focus on Russian activities' - Donald Jr. on Trump Tower meeting in interview transcripts 'Story of my meeting with Trump Jr. has been manipulated' - Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya

[May 16, 2018] Documents Show Promise, and Letdown, Around Trump Tower Meeting

Note how NYT try to hide the fact that the meeting was most probably yet another a false flag operation (along with Steele dossier) to implicate Russia staged with the help of a person connected to British intelligence service, Mr. Goldstone, a British music promoter. That in an interesting fact in additional to CIA mode within Trump campaign.
Notable quotes:
"... The intermediary, Rob Goldstone, told the committee that he proposed a second meeting between the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and members of Mr. Trump's team in November 2016. He said he contacted Mr. Trump's longtime executive assistant at the behest of Aras Agalarov, a Russia-based billionaire who knows Mr. Putin. ..."
May 16, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Most of the participants in the meeting have already publicly described their version of events. Nonetheless, the records reveal some new details about the players involved and what happened after the meeting was reported by The New York Times last summer.

Among them: Six months after the Trump Tower meeting , an intermediary contacted Donald J. Trump's office asking for a follow-up, the newly released documents showed.

The intermediary, Rob Goldstone, told the committee that he proposed a second meeting between the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and members of Mr. Trump's team in November 2016. He said he contacted Mr. Trump's longtime executive assistant at the behest of Aras Agalarov, a Russia-based billionaire who knows Mr. Putin.

The second session never took place. But the invitation shows the determination of Russians with close Kremlin connections to convince the Trump team that the Magnitsky Act, which imposed sanctions on a host of Russian officials for human rights abuses, was a mistake. The 2012 law, which froze the bank accounts of some Russian officials and barred them from entering the United States, infuriated Mr. Putin.

In a late November 2016 email to Mr. Trump's assistant, Mr. Goldstone, a British music promoter, attached a three-page document marked "confidential" that called for "the launch of a congressional investigation into the circumstances of passing the Magnitsky Act." He wrote that Mr. Agalarov hoped the document would be delivered to "the appropriate team." Ms. Veselnitskaya also attacked the law in the June meeting.

The transcripts also highlight how lawyers for the Trump Organization tried to manage the fallout by coordinating the statements of Mr. Goldstone and others.

In testimony, Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that his father may have helped draft the statement that he put out to the press after the meeting became public, but he said that they had not discussed the meeting when it happened.

[May 04, 2018] Memo to Trump Defy Robert Mueller by Patrick J. Buchanan

The shadow of 9/11 hangs over Mueller. The Deep State keeps him by the balls and wants results. And that means impeachment.
CIA-democrats which now is the ruling wing of Democratic Party wants to get to power but they have no that many viable candidates for midterm elections. If they overplay their hand then the attempt to cover betrayal of ordinary Americans with former military CIA candidates might backfire.
Notable quotes:
"... By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump's impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence. Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation. ..."
"... For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge: that Trump's team colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC. ..."
"... Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation. How did Trump obstruct justice? ..."
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, ..."
"... . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com. ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Should Mueller subpoena him, as he has threatened to do, Trump should ignore the subpoena and frame it for viewing in Trump Tower.

If Mueller goes to the Supreme Court and wins an order for Trump to comply and testify before a grand jury, Trump should defy the Court.

The only institution that is empowered to prosecute a president is Congress. If charges against Trump are to be brought, this is the arena, this is the forum, where the battle should be fought and the fate and future of the Trump presidency decided.

The goal of Mueller's prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap. If they can get him behind closed doors and make him respond in detail to questions -- to which they already know the answers -- any misstep by Trump could be converted into a perjury charge.

Trump has to score 100 on a test to which Mueller's team has all the answers in advance while he must rely upon memory.

Why take this risk?

By now, witnesses have testified in ways that contradict what Trump has said. This, plus Trump's impulsiveness, propensity to exaggerate, and often rash responses to hostile questions, would make him easy prey for the perjury traps prosecutors set up when they cannot convict their targets on the evidence. Mueller and his team are the ones who need this interrogation.

For, after almost two years, their Russiagate investigation has produced no conclusive proof of the foundational charge: that Trump's team colluded with Vladimir Putin's Russia to hack and thieve the emails of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Having failed, Mueller & Co. now seek to prove that, even if Trump did not collude with the Russians, he interfered with their investigation. How did Trump obstruct justice?

Did he suggest that fired national security advisor General Mike Flynn might get a pardon? What was his motive in sacking FBI director James Comey? Did Trump edit the Air Force One explanation of the meeting in June 2016 between his campaign officials and Russians? Did he pressure Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire Mueller?

Mueller's problem: These questions and more have all been aired and argued endlessly in the public square. Yet no national consensus has formed that Trump committed an offense to justify his removal. Even Democrats are backing away from talk of impeachment.

Trump's lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: impeach me and be damned.

Would a new Congress really impeach and convict an elected president?

An impeachment battle would be a titanic struggle between a capital that detests Trump and a vast slice of Middle America that voted to repudiate that capital's elite, trusts Trump, and will stand by him to the end.

And in any impeachment debate before Congress and the cameras of the world, not one but two narratives will be heard.

The first is that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton and then sought to obstruct an investigation of his collusion.

The second is the story of how an FBI cabal went into the tank on an investigation of Clinton to save her campaign. Then it used the product of a Clinton-DNC dirt-diving operation, created by a British spy with Russian contacts, to attempt to destroy the Trump candidacy. Now, failing that, it's looking to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

In short, the second narrative is that the "deep state" and its media auxiliaries are colluding to overturn the results of the 2016 election.

Unlike Watergate, with Russiagate, the investigators will be on trial as well.

Trump needs to shift the struggle out of the legal arena, where Mueller and his men have superior weapons, and into the political arena, where he can bring his populous forces to bear on the decision as to his fate.

This is the terrain on which Trump can win: an us-vs-them fight, before Congress and country, where not only the alleged crimes of Trump are aired but also the actual crimes committed to destroy him and to overturn his victory.

Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


Sid Finster May 4, 2018 at 11:30 am

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2018/05/gaius-publius-setting-perjury-trap-trump.html
swb , says: May 4, 2018 at 1:15 pm
Pat is correct, Trump should try to avoid answering any questions as he is incapable of keeping his lies straight. He can't even keep then straight in two consecutive sentences. A couple of hours of answering questions will result in a incoherent transcript that will take many teams of layers years to decipher.
Kurt Gayle , says: May 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm
Pat, I'm with you 100%!

Somebody should have said this a long time ago:

"Trump's lawyers should tell Mueller to wrap up his work, as Trump will not be testifying, no matter what subpoena he draws up or what the courts say he must do. And if Congress threatens impeachment for defying a court order, Trump should tell them: impeach me and be damned."

The Deep State, the mainstream media, Establishment Democrats, and (yes) Establishment Republicans have been conspiring to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election since the early hours of Nov. 9, 2016.

But we're not going to let that happen!

You're right, Pat, that "Trump is a nationalist who puts America first both in trade and securing her frontiers against an historic invasion from the South. If he is overthrown, and the agenda for which America voted is trashed as well, it may be Middle America in the streets this time."

Yes! If we have to go into the streets to protect our duly-elected President and our country, then we will take the fight into the streets.

If we don't stand and fight now, we'll lose our country! It's that simple!

Sign me up! I'm ready!

Kurt Gayle , says: May 4, 2018 at 2:17 pm
Pat is right: "The goal of Mueller's prosecutors is to take down Trump on the cheap."

A good example of this came this morning at the Paul Manafort trial in federal court in Virginia, where Judge T.S. Ellis III scolded Mueller's prosecuters:

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud. You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment I don't see what relationship this indictment [against Manafort] has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate."

Ken Zaretzke , says: May 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm
Because Mueller's entire team consists of Democrats, who are presumptively partisan, his investigation lacks even *prima facie* credibility.

It would be nice if Trump's team makes this point. Rudy G. could explain to dimwitted journos, "That means 'on its face.' The point being, what kind of charade is this investigation, and what kind of person doesn't think it's inevitably a charade?"

Dan Green , says: May 4, 2018 at 3:50 pm
The longer the left pursues this impeachment strategy the bigger hole they are digging for themselves. They never come forth with our Obama replacement or a plan.

[May 04, 2018] FBI monitored phone calls of Trump s personal lawyer by Barry Grey

FBI monitored phone calls of Trump's personal lawyer
Notable quotes:
"... US prosecutors, according to news reports, have also been covertly reading Cohen's emails. ..."
"... Spying on a lawyer's phone calls and Internet communications is considered highly unusual, given the principle of lawyer-client privilege. However, the Daily Beast ..."
"... Indeed, Trump's enemies within the ruling elite and the state apparatus know with whom they are dealing. The billionaire president is a representative of the criminal American financial oligarchy, a product of the New York real estate, casino gambling and reality TV milieu. His election expressed the degradation of American bourgeois politics and the entire political system. ..."
"... That being said, the methods being employed by Trump's factional opponents within the ruling elite are profoundly anti-democratic. The Mueller investigation itself is based on concocted and unsubstantiated allegations of Russian "meddling" in the elections and collusion by the Trump campaign in Moscow's supposed efforts to swing the election in his favor. ..."
"... This narrative, which has dominated US politics for nearly two years, has been used by the Democratic Party and most of the corporate media to attempt to whip up a war hysteria against Russia and force Trump to more rapidly escalate Washington's wars in the Middle East. It is also the pretext for the expanding campaign to censor the Internet and criminalize political dissent in the name of combating foreign-inspired "fake news." ..."
"... The context for the latest revelations is a sharpening of the conflict between the Trump White House and Mueller. Over the past several weeks, Trump has reshuffled the legal team handling his dealings with the special counsel to pursue a more aggressive legal response to the investigation. Last month, Trump named former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head the team, following the resignation of John Dowd in March. ..."
"... This week, the White House announced the resignation of Ty Cobb, who had counseled Trump to adopt a cooperative posture toward Mueller, advising that such a course would lead to a more rapid conclusion to the investigation. Not only has that not occurred, but Mueller has increased pressure on Trump to agree to an interview with his investigators. ..."
"... Flood has been described in the press as a "wartime consigliere." His appointment is seen as increasing the possibility of a legal fight to block an interview with Mueller that could ultimately go to the US Supreme Court. ..."
"... In a Wednesday night television interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Giuliani excoriated former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last May after Comey announced that the FBI was investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Giuliani called him "a disgraceful liar" and said he should be indicted for leaking "confidential FBI information." He called the Mueller probe "a completely tainted investigation" and denounced the FBI raid on Cohen as a "storm trooper" operation. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
May 04, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Multiple media reports on Thursday revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation monitored and logged the phone calls of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and confidante, Michael Cohen, in the period leading up to the FBI raid on Cohen's office and residences in April.

According to NBC News, at least one of the calls that were tracked was between Cohen and Trump.

The extraordinary fact that the federal government's chief police agency, an integral part of the country's intelligence network, is monitoring telephone communications between the president and his self-described "fixer" points to the explosive level of conflict within the American ruling class and its state.

The revelation comes a month after the FBI, based on a referral from Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign, raided Cohen's office and residences as part of a criminal probe into his business dealings. FBI agents seized Cohen's financial records, computer hard drive, cell phones and taped recordings of conversations. Ostensibly, the main concern of federal prosecutors is Cohen's involvement in hush-money payoffs to two women, a porn star and a former Playboy playmate, who claim to have had sexual relations with Trump.

US prosecutors, according to news reports, have also been covertly reading Cohen's emails.

Spying on a lawyer's phone calls and Internet communications is considered highly unusual, given the principle of lawyer-client privilege. However, the Daily Beast quoted Ken White, a former federal prosecutor, as saying, "That sort of thing happens all the time if you're dealing with mob wiretaps."

Indeed, Trump's enemies within the ruling elite and the state apparatus know with whom they are dealing. The billionaire president is a representative of the criminal American financial oligarchy, a product of the New York real estate, casino gambling and reality TV milieu. His election expressed the degradation of American bourgeois politics and the entire political system.

There is little doubt that the FBI and Mueller have seized more than enough evidence of wrong-doing in Trump's business dealings to bring down an indictment, either to attempt a criminal prosecution -- never before carried out against a sitting president -- or force Trump to resign. Alternately, an indictment could become part of an impeachment effort should the Democrats win control of the House of Representatives in the November midterm elections.

No one is more aware of the threat posed by these developments than Trump himself.

That being said, the methods being employed by Trump's factional opponents within the ruling elite are profoundly anti-democratic. The Mueller investigation itself is based on concocted and unsubstantiated allegations of Russian "meddling" in the elections and collusion by the Trump campaign in Moscow's supposed efforts to swing the election in his favor.

This narrative, which has dominated US politics for nearly two years, has been used by the Democratic Party and most of the corporate media to attempt to whip up a war hysteria against Russia and force Trump to more rapidly escalate Washington's wars in the Middle East. It is also the pretext for the expanding campaign to censor the Internet and criminalize political dissent in the name of combating foreign-inspired "fake news."

These are the methods of palace coup, without the slightest democratic or progressive content. Should Trump be removed as a result of such a campaign, the result would be to shift the political system even further to the right.

The context for the latest revelations is a sharpening of the conflict between the Trump White House and Mueller. Over the past several weeks, Trump has reshuffled the legal team handling his dealings with the special counsel to pursue a more aggressive legal response to the investigation. Last month, Trump named former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to head the team, following the resignation of John Dowd in March.

This week, the White House announced the resignation of Ty Cobb, who had counseled Trump to adopt a cooperative posture toward Mueller, advising that such a course would lead to a more rapid conclusion to the investigation. Not only has that not occurred, but Mueller has increased pressure on Trump to agree to an interview with his investigators.

This week, it was reported that in discussions with Trump's lawyers in March, Mueller threatened to subpoena Trump to appear before a grand jury if he did not voluntarily agree to an interview. On Wednesday, it was announced that Emmet Flood, a Republican who served as one of Bill Clinton's lawyers during the House of Representatives impeachment process in 1998, would replace Cobb.

Flood has been described in the press as a "wartime consigliere." His appointment is seen as increasing the possibility of a legal fight to block an interview with Mueller that could ultimately go to the US Supreme Court.

In a Wednesday night television interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Giuliani excoriated former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last May after Comey announced that the FBI was investigating possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Giuliani called him "a disgraceful liar" and said he should be indicted for leaking "confidential FBI information." He called the Mueller probe "a completely tainted investigation" and denounced the FBI raid on Cohen as a "storm trooper" operation.

He cited a list of 49 questions for Trump prepared by Trump's lawyers on the basis of an oral presentation by Mueller's investigators and called the wide-ranging queries concerning links to Russians and potential obstruction of justice, including the firing of Comey, a "perjury trap." The questions were leaked and published earlier this week by the New York Times . The Times , along with the Washington Post , have been in the forefront of the media witch hunt against Russia.

On the question of Trump agreeing to be interviewed by Mueller, Giuliani said, "Right now, the odds are against it."

Most of the media commentary on the interview has focused on Giuliani's statement that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 in hush money he paid to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election. Cohen has said he paid the money from his own funds and without Trump's knowledge, and last month Trump told reporters that he had no knowledge of the payoff.

It is striking that despite the media obsession with Trump and Russia, and the single-minded focus of the Democratic Party on this reactionary campaign, the public remains skeptical, if not hostile, to the entire matter. The Democrats have said virtually nothing about Trump's war on immigrants, including the barbaric treatment of the Central American caravan of refugees forced to camp out at the US border and the denial of their right to asylum. The Democratic Party has dropped its phony opposition to Trump's tax cut for corporations and the rich and barely noted the mounting assault on social programs, from Medicaid to food stamps to housing subsidies for the poor.

This is reflected in recent polls, which show Trump's approval rating actually increasing and the Democrats' edge in the coming midterm elections cut in half since the beginning of the year.

There is mass opposition in the working class and among young people to Trump and his chauvinist, militarist and pro-corporate policies. It is reflected in the upsurge of teachers' strikes and protests in defiance of the corporatist unions, which the unions and the Democrats are doing everything they can to isolate and suppress.

This emerging movement of the working class in the US and internationally is intensifying the warfare within the American ruling class and state. The crisis is being fueled not only by sharp differences over foreign policy -- including tactical differences over Trump's threat to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and his trade war measures -- but also by a general loss of confidence in Trump's ability to manage either the global affairs of US imperialism or the tense internal social and political situation.

The independent social and political struggle of the working class is the only basis for a progressive solution to the crisis of American capitalism. The opposition of workers to Trump can find no progressive outlet within the framework of the capitalist two-party system. Both factions in the current political wars, notwithstanding their bitter differences, agree on a strategy of expanding war abroad and austerity and repression at home.

[May 04, 2018] Mueller's team questioned Russian billionaire who attended Trump inauguration report TheHill

Any witch hunt has its own dynamics.
May 04, 2018 | thehill.com
Robert Mueller s team of investigators interviewed a Russian billionaire earlier this year, according to a New York Times report .

Investigators stopped the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg at a New York-area airport after he stepped off a private plane, according to the Times. They proceeded to search his electronic devices and question him.

There is no indication that Vekselberg is suspected of wrongdoing. But the search and interview suggests that Mueller's team is homing in on the Trump campaign and inauguration committee's potential ties with Russians.

[May 04, 2018] Mueller emerges as villain in Republican campaigns

Notable quotes:
"... Rep. Todd Rokita who is in a heated three-way primary in Indiana, appears to be the first Republican Senate candidate to include Mueller in a TV spot, telling GOP voters he will "fight the Mueller witch hunt" if he wins. ..."
"... they are using "fake news to try to destroy our president." ..."
May 04, 2018 | thehill.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller 's investigation is emerging as a new litmus test in key Republican Senate primaries.

GOP hopefuls locked in nasty primary fights are increasingly denouncing the Russia probe as they try to position themselves as the candidate aligned closest with President Trump

The volleys against the special counsel -- who has been investigating potential collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign for nearly a year -- come at a time when elections in several battleground states have entered a crucial stretch.

Rep. Todd Rokita who is in a heated three-way primary in Indiana, appears to be the first Republican Senate candidate to include Mueller in a TV spot, telling GOP voters he will "fight the Mueller witch hunt" if he wins.

The ad unfavorably compares the former FBI director, who is widely respected in the Beltway, to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly , saying they are using "fake news to try to destroy our president."

[May 04, 2018] Judge Mulls Dismissal Of Manafort Charges, Sharply Questioned Mueller Overreach Zero Hedge

May 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Judge Mulls Dismissal Of Manafort Charges, "Sharply Questioned" Mueller Overreach

by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/04/2018 - 11:39 4.1K SHARES

Like most motions to dismiss, Paul Manafort's was initially viewed as a long-shot bid to win the political operative his freedom and get out from under the thumb of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

But after today's hearing on a motion to dismiss filed by Manafort's lawyers, it's looking increasingly likely that Manafort could escape his charges - and be free of his ankle bracelets - because in a surprising rebuke of Mueller's "overreach", Eastern District of Virginia Judge T.S. Ellis, a Reagan appointee, said Mueller shouldn't have "unfettered power" to prosecute over charges that have nothing to do with collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Ellis said he's concerned Mueller is only pursuing charges against Manafort (and presumably other individuals) to pressure them into turning on Trump. The Judge added that the charges brought against Manafort didn't appear to stem from Mueller's collusion probe. Instead, they appeared to be the work of an older investigation into Manafort that was eventually dropped.

"I don't see how this indictment has anything to do with anything the special prosecutor is authorized to investigate," Ellis said at a hearing in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, concerning a motion by Manafort to dismiss the case.

It got better: Ellis also slammed prosecutors saying it appeared they were using the indictment of Manafort to pressure him to cooperate against Trump. Manafort, 69, has pleaded not guilty and disputes Mueller's assertion that he violated U.S. laws when he worked for a decade as a political consultant for pro-Russian groups in Ukraine.

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," Ellis said. "You really care about what information he might give you about Mr. Trump and what might lead to his impeachment or prosecution. "

According to Bloomberg, Ellis is overseeing one of two indictments against Manafort. Manafort is also charged in Washington with money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent of Ukraine.

* * *

Manafort's lawyers had asked the judge in the Virginia case to dismiss an indictment filed against him in what was their third effort to beat back criminal charges by attacking Mueller's authority. The judge also questioned why Manafort's case there could not be handled by the U.S. attorney's office in Virginia, rather than the special counsel's office, as it is not Russia-related . A question many others have asked, as well.

Ellis has given prosecutors two weeks to show what evidence they have that Manafort was complicit in colluding with the Russians. If they can't come up with any, he may, presumably, dismiss the case. Ellis also asked the special counsel's office to share privately with him a copy of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein's August 2017 memo elaborating on the scope of Mueller's Russia probe. He said the current version he has been heavily redacted.

At that point, should nothing change materially, Manafort may be a free man; needless to say, a dismissal would set precedent and be nothing short of groundbreaking by potentially making it much harder for Mueller to turn other witnesses against the president.

[May 04, 2018] Rosenstein defiant as impeachment talk rises TheHill

Notable quotes:
"... Republicans have repeatedly accused Rosenstein of being unnecessarily slow in providing the documents they say are necessary for carrying out several parallel congressional investigations into FBI decision-making. Some of them have suggested the Justice Department is biased against Trump and now seeking to hide the evidence. ..."
"... The seventh and eighth articles of impeachment in the draft document charge Rosenstein of "knowingly and intentionally prevented the production of all documents and information" related to potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the federal government's initial investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. ..."
"... It was Rosenstein who authored the memo criticizing former FBI Director James Comey , which the White House ultimately used to justify his firing. Trump later indicated that he removed Comey in part because of the Russia investigation, which helped open him up to charges of obstruction of justice. ..."
"... After Comey's firing, it was Rosenstein who decided to appoint Mueller, a former FBI director who is widely respected for his prosecutorial skill and independence, as special counsel to handle the Russia probe. ..."
"... Since then, Rosenstein has given Mueller a broad mandat e to investigate any criminal activity uncovered by his work, angering the president and his allies. ..."
"... In addition, Rosenstein reportedly signed off on the FBI's raid of Michael Cohen, Trump's long-time personal attorney, fueling widespread speculation that the president might fire him. Rosenstein has privately told allies that he is prepared for the possibility of being dismissed, according to NBC News , but his appearance Tuesday made clear he has no intention of caving to outside pressure. ..."
"... He described a process in which a career federal law enforcement officer swears on an affidavit that the information they presented in a FISA application is both "true and correct" to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. While mistakes do happen and there are consequences for those who erred, he said, the agency employs "people who are accountable." ..."
"... "If the focus is Rod Rosenstein and whether he has done something or failed to do something that could remotely warrant impeachment, I think it's just groundless," said Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigations. ..."
May 04, 2018 | thehill.com

Rosenstein defiant as impeachment talk rises By Olivia Beavers and Morgan Chalfant - 05/03/18 06:00 AM EDT 2,577 63 Ex-doctor says Trump dictated letter claiming he would be 'healthiest' president ever Trump- South Korean president gives us all the credit Rosenstein knocks Republicans who want to impeach him: 'They can't even resist leaking their own drafts' White House dodges on Mueller questions Sanders: White House tries to 'never be concerned' with Adam Schiff White House talking to Waffle House hero about Trump meeting White House says Trump is 'very happy' with chief of staff White House: Jackson no longer serving as Trump's lead physician Chaplain controversy shifts spotlight to rising GOP star Pruitt's head of security resigns Trump&rsquo;s ex-doctor says Trump associates 'raided' his office Romney praises Trump's first year in office: It's similar to things 'I'd have done' WHCD host: Sarah Sanders lies Netanyahu: iran deal flawed, based on lies WHCD host: Trump is not rich Conservative House lawmakers draft articles of impeachment against Rosenstein List reveals questions Mueller wants to ask Trump: report NBC: White House chief of staff told aides women 'more emotional' than men McCain torches Trump in new book: He prioritizes appearance of toughness over American values White House chief of staff denies report he called Trump an idiot Trump: Threats to pull out of Iran deal 'sends the right message' Trump: We don't want to be the policemen of the world Trump campaign covered some of Cohen's legal costs: report Democrats losing support of millennials: poll Cruz again questioning McConnell&rsquo;s strategies Ex-Bush ethics official to run for Franken's former Senate seat as Dem: report Parkland survivor calls out NRA for banning guns at convention Michelle Wolf pushes back on criticism of Sarah Sanders jokes 7 targets Michelle Wolf took aim at during the White House correspondents&rsquo; dinner Trump: If Dems win in 2018 midterms, they'll impeach me WHCD host calls Trump &lsquo;cowardly&rsquo; for skipping event again Trump threatens to 'close down the country' over funding for border wall GOP chairman 'doesn't have a problem' with Tester's handling of Jackson allegations Election forecaster: Nunes seat no longer &lsquo;safe&rsquo; Republican Washington&rsquo;s heavy-drinking ways in spotlight Stars of 'Veep,' 'West Wing' to lobby lawmakers ahead of White House correspondents' dinner Republican worries 'assassination risk' prompting lawmaker resignations Gillibrand unveils bill to offer banking services at post offices Meehan resigns with promise to pay back alleged sexual harassment claim Rosenstein knocks Republicans who want to impeach him: 'They can't even resist leaking their own drafts'

On Tuesday, the deputy attorney general rebuked the nascent conservative effort to impeach him, likely exacerbating tensions with conservatives in the House. House Republicans are demanding access to classified documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, including a heavily redacted memo that spells out the scope of the investigation.

"There is really nothing to comment on there, but just give me the documents. The bottom line is, he needs to be give me the documents," Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said during an interview with The Hill on Wednesday when asked about his response to Rosenstein.

"I have one goal in mind, and that is not somebody's job or the termination of somebody's job, it is getting the documents and making sure we can do proper oversight," he said, adding that there are "no current plans to introduce an impeachment resolution."

Republican lawmakers led by Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus one of President Trump's top allies in Congress, have drafted eight articles of impeachment against Rosenstein. The articles make a series of charges against Rosenstein and question his credibility, reputation and fitness to serve.

Conservatives have called the impeachment articles a last resort. Rosenstein dismissed the impeachment threat and went a step further by suggesting the Justice Department's independence is being threatened. "There have been people who have been making threats privately and publicly against me for quite some time, and I think they should understand by now the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted," Rosenstein said during an appearance at the Newseum. "I just don't have anything to say about documents like that that nobody has the courage to put their name on and they leak in that way," he continued, after quipping earlier that the lawmakers "can't even resist leaking their own drafts."

Rosenstein, a career Justice Department official, is widely respected in legal circles. He has been praised for his work leading the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland, a position to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush and served in for 12 years, spanning Republican and Democratic administrations. Rosenstein's years of service at the department came through in his public remarks, lawyers say.

"With a guy like Rosenstein, you can't underestimate the deep connection that many career -- not all -- but many career Justice Department officials have to the department," said Steven Cash, a lawyer at Day Pitney. "It defines their self image as participating in ensuring the rule of law in a way you often don't see in other departments -- they are very, very proud of their association with the department, its traditions, history and independence."

But Rosenstein has plenty of critics on Capitol Hill, where some Republicans accuse him of hindering legitimate oversight.

Republicans have repeatedly accused Rosenstein of being unnecessarily slow in providing the documents they say are necessary for carrying out several parallel congressional investigations into FBI decision-making. Some of them have suggested the Justice Department is biased against Trump and now seeking to hide the evidence.

The seventh and eighth articles of impeachment in the draft document charge Rosenstein of "knowingly and intentionally prevented the production of all documents and information" related to potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the federal government's initial investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The charges appear to have caught the attention of the president, who threatened to get involved on Wednesday morning.

"A Rigged System -- They don't want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal 'justice?' At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved," Trump tweeted.

Since Trump appointed Rosenstein to serve as deputy attorney general, he has become a key player in the drama surrounding the Mueller investigation.

It was Rosenstein who authored the memo criticizing former FBI Director James Comey, which the White House ultimately used to justify his firing. Trump later indicated that he removed Comey in part because of the Russia investigation, which helped open him up to charges of obstruction of justice.

Rosenstein has defended the memo on Comey, pointing to criticism from both parties about Comey's handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 's use of a private email server before the 2016 presidential election.

After Comey's firing, it was Rosenstein who decided to appoint Mueller, a former FBI director who is widely respected for his prosecutorial skill and independence, as special counsel to handle the Russia probe.

Since then, Rosenstein has given Mueller a broad mandat e to investigate any criminal activity uncovered by his work, angering the president and his allies.

In addition, Rosenstein reportedly signed off on the FBI's raid of Michael Cohen, Trump's long-time personal attorney, fueling widespread speculation that the president might fire him. Rosenstein has privately told allies that he is prepared for the possibility of being dismissed, according to NBC News , but his appearance Tuesday made clear he has no intention of caving to outside pressure.

Rosenstein took issue with allegations detailed in the impeachment draft, including the charge that he failed to properly supervise surveillance applications.

He described a process in which a career federal law enforcement officer swears on an affidavit that the information they presented in a FISA application is both "true and correct" to the best of his or her knowledge and belief. While mistakes do happen and there are consequences for those who erred, he said, the agency employs "people who are accountable."

It's unclear yet whether an impeachment push will gain traction among rank-and-file Republicans; GOP leaders have remained silent on the matter. AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), indicated Wednesday that he sees no reason to fire Rosenstein, as he said earlier this year. Some GOP lawmakers in recent weeks have also said they've seen improvement from the Justice Department in responding to documents requests.

"If the focus is Rod Rosenstein and whether he has done something or failed to do something that could remotely warrant impeachment, I think it's just groundless," said Jack Sharman, a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigations.

Still, Rosenstein's remarks are sure to ramp up tensions between two sides. Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, said Rosenstein came off as "cagey" in his defense and raised questions about what he may be trying to hide. "Everyone knows that this is heating up and both sides are gearing up for a fight," O'Connell told The Hill.

[May 04, 2018] Rosenstein -- Agent of the Deep State Coup by Daniel John Sobieski

Notable quotes:
"... The confirmation of Rod Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General by a lopsided 94-6 vote should have set off warning bells. It is odd that a Trump nominee would get much Democratic support, if any. ..."
"... A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it. ..."
"... Steele's discredited "research," which relied heavily on input from Russian sources, was paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, which puts Rosenstein in the position of aiding the efforts of one political party to overturn the results of an election won by the other political party by okaying domestic spying on an American citizen. ..."
"... Needless to say, Rosenstein did not grant Page's request to see the FISA application to determine how much it was based on Steele's fake dossier. Nor has he expressed any dissatisfaction with the Mueller witchhunt he was responsible for launching, ..."
"... In an interview with a local D.C. TV station , Rosenstein admired the monster he created, who now runs an alleged investigation into supposed Russia-Trump collusion but which quickly morphed into what amounts to a silent coup against a sitting President of the United States: ..."
"... Yes, Mr. Rosenstein, you certainly are accountable for the Mueller witchhunt. Mueller has picked staff and prosecutors as if he were stocking Hillary Clinton's Department of Justice. He has picked a bevy of Clinton donors , an attorney who worked for the Clinton Foundation, a former Watergate assistant prosecutor, and even a senior advise to Eric Holder. Objective professionals all. ..."
"... A good question Rosenstein won't answer. Rosenstein is satisfied with Mueller, and why shouldn't he be? The two go back a long way and cooperated in the coverup of an FBI investigation into Russia's use of bribes, kickbacks, and money laundering to grab U.S. uranium supplies and real collusion with Hillary Clinton, only to resurface years later to chase phantom collusion between Team Trump and Russia. ..."
"... Mueller and Rosenstein were both involved in the FBI investigation dating back to 2009, with current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller up to their eyeballs in covering up evidence of Hillary's collusion, bordering on treason, with Vladimir Putin's Russia: ..."
"... Robert Mueller was head of the FBI from Sept 2001-Sept 2013 until James Comey took over as FBI Director in 2013. They were BOTH involved in this Russian scam being that this case started in 2009 and ended in 2015. ..."
"... If evidence of bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering in the Uranium One affair were not grounds for a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton, then what is? Rosenstein's goal apparently has long been to shield Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her crimes and to use any means to bring down the Trump administration he supposedly was appointed to serve. Now he has stooped so low as to employ a fake Russian dossier in a witchhunt the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy could only envy ..."
Jan 30, 2018 | www.americanthinker.com
The confirmation of Rod Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General by a lopsided 94-6 vote should have set off warning bells. It is odd that a Trump nominee would get much Democratic support, if any.

But his role in appointing his buddy Robert Mueller to lead a bogus Russian collusion probe and his history of looking the other way when Hillary Clinton is involved shows the Democrats had high hopes for Rosenstein, hopes realized by actions documented in the four-page House Intelligence Committee memo:

A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it.

The renewal shows that the Justice Department under President Trump saw reason to believe that the associate, Carter Page, was acting as a Russian agent

The memo's primary contention is that F.B.I. and Justice Department officials failed to adequately explain to an intelligence court judge in initially seeking a warrant for surveillance of Mr. Page that they were relying in part on research by an investigator, Christopher Steele, that had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

Steele's discredited "research," which relied heavily on input from Russian sources, was paid for by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign, which puts Rosenstein in the position of aiding the efforts of one political party to overturn the results of an election won by the other political party by okaying domestic spying on an American citizen.

When the newly departed Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified for seven hours before the House Intelligence Committee, he was unable to report that the FBI had corroborated anything in the Steele dossier, except for the fact that Carter Page had visited Russia :

Investigators say McCabe recounted to the panel how hard the FBI had worked to verify the contents of the anti-Trump "dossier" and stood by its credibility. But when pressed to identify what in the salacious document the bureau had actually corroborated, the sources said, McCabe cited only the fact that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had traveled to Moscow. Beyond that, investigators said, McCabe could not even say that the bureau had verified the dossier's allegations about the specific meetings Page supposedly held in Moscow.

Based on the flimsiest of evidence in a fake Russian dossier paid for by Democrats the surveillance of Carter Page began and was reauthorized by Rosenstein. Page has vehemently denied the allegations in the dossier and has sought the release of the memo to show its falseness and to show the DOJ of Rod Rosenstein and the FBI of Andrew McCabe colluded with the Democrats to keep Hillary Clinton out of prison and Donald Trump out of the White House:

The former Trump campaign adviser who was spied on by the U.S. government prior to the 2016 election is "very much" in favor of the release of a controversial congressional memo alleging abuses of the surveillance warrant application process

Page pressed for the release the FISA application in a May 14 letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"If FISA warrants indeed exist as has been extensively reported, wide-ranging false evidence will be inevitably revealed in light of the fact that I have never done anything remotely unlawful in Russia or with any Russian person at any point in my life," he wrote.

What remains unanswered about the application for the warrant on Page is how heavily it relied on the dossier and whether the FBI and DOJ vetted the allegations made about him by Steele

Page has vehemently denied the allegations made against him in the dossier, which was put together by former British spy Christopher Steele, commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

In the 35-page dossier, Steele alleges that Page was the Trump campaign's main backchannel to the Kremlin for the purposes of campaign collusion. Steele claims that Page was working with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and that during a trip to Moscow in July 2016, he met secretly with two Kremlin cronies, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin.

The dossier also alleges that it was Page who "conceived and promoted" the idea of having hacked DNC emails released through WikiLeaks in order to swing Bernie Sanders supporters away from Hillary Clinton and into the Trump camp.

Page denies all of the claims. He says he does not know Manafort and has never spoken with Sechin and Diveykin.

Needless to say, Rosenstein did not grant Page's request to see the FISA application to determine how much it was based on Steele's fake dossier. Nor has he expressed any dissatisfaction with the Mueller witchhunt he was responsible for launching,

In an interview with a local D.C. TV station , Rosenstein admired the monster he created, who now runs an alleged investigation into supposed Russia-Trump collusion but which quickly morphed into what amounts to a silent coup against a sitting President of the United States:

The U.S. Department of Justice official who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election said he is satisfied with the special counsel's work

"The Office of Special Counsel, as you know, has a degree of autonomy from the Department of Justice. But there is appropriate oversight by the department. That includes budget. But it also includes certain other details of the office. It is part of the Department of Justice. And we're accountable for it."

Yes, Mr. Rosenstein, you certainly are accountable for the Mueller witchhunt. Mueller has picked staff and prosecutors as if he were stocking Hillary Clinton's Department of Justice. He has picked a bevy of Clinton donors , an attorney who worked for the Clinton Foundation, a former Watergate assistant prosecutor, and even a senior advise to Eric Holder. Objective professionals all.

Oh, what tangled webs Rosenstein and the FBI have woven! Republican lawmakers, needless to say, are not amused at all this, casting the obvious doubts on Rosenstein's praise of Special Counsel Mueller:

Several conservative lawmakers held a news conference Wednesday demanding more details of how the FBI proceeded last year in its probes of Hillary Clinton's use of personal email and Russian election interference. This week, the conservative group Judicial Watch released an internal Justice Department email that, the group said, showed political bias against Trump by one of Mueller's senior prosecutors .

"The question really is, if Mueller was doing such a great job on investigating the Russian collusion, why could he have not found the conflict of interest within their own agency?'' Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) asked at the news conference. Meadows, leader of the Freedom Caucus, cited a litany of other issues that he said show bias on the part of the FBI and Mueller, including past political donations by lawyers on Mueller's team.

A good question Rosenstein won't answer. Rosenstein is satisfied with Mueller, and why shouldn't he be? The two go back a long way and cooperated in the coverup of an FBI investigation into Russia's use of bribes, kickbacks, and money laundering to grab U.S. uranium supplies and real collusion with Hillary Clinton, only to resurface years later to chase phantom collusion between Team Trump and Russia.

Mueller and Rosenstein were both involved in the FBI investigation dating back to 2009, with current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller up to their eyeballs in covering up evidence of Hillary's collusion, bordering on treason, with Vladimir Putin's Russia:

Prior to the Obama administration approving the very controversial deal in 2010 giving Russia 20% of America's Uranium, the FBI had evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were involved in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering in order to benefit Vladimir Putin, says a report by The Hill

John Solomon and Alison Spann of The Hill : Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show

From today's report we find out that the investigation was supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who is now President Trump's Deputy Attorney General, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who is now the deputy FBI director under Trump.

Robert Mueller was head of the FBI from Sept 2001-Sept 2013 until James Comey took over as FBI Director in 2013. They were BOTH involved in this Russian scam being that this case started in 2009 and ended in 2015.

If evidence of bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering in the Uranium One affair were not grounds for a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Hillary Clinton, then what is? Rosenstein's goal apparently has long been to shield Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her crimes and to use any means to bring down the Trump administration he supposedly was appointed to serve. Now he has stooped so low as to employ a fake Russian dossier in a witchhunt the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy could only envy

Rosenstein, Mueller, McCabe et al have used the office of special counsel and a politicized the FBI and DOJ to conduct a silent coup against a duly elected president and are unindicted coconspirators in Hillary's crimes. They should be the targets of their very own special counsel.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily , Human Events , Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

[May 03, 2018] Mueller's questions to Trump more those of a prosecuting attorney than of an impartial investigator by Alexander Mercouris

Highly recommended!
Mueller's proposed questions to Trump show that Trump remains Mueller's ultimate target
Notable quotes:
"... (1) Robert Mueller is in possession of no facts which have not previously been made public. ..."
"... (2) Donald Trump continues to be Robert Mueller's target ..."
"... Frankly they do not look like the sort of questions an investigator asks if he searching for the truth. Rather they look like cross examination by prosecuting Counsel. ..."
"... (3) Obstruction of Justice has replaced collusion with Russia as the focus of the Mueller probe ..."
"... the Russiagate investigation did become a criminal inquiry and not just a counterespionage inquiry. ..."
"... When he finished, I said that I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence ..."
"... The memo shows Trump putting pressure on Comey to investigate the leaks and Comey resisting doing so. Whilst Comey purported to agree with Trump that the leaks were terrible and that the leakers should be punished, he resisted Trump's suggestion that the most effective way to go after the leakers was to go after the reporters they were leaking to. ..."
"... The reason Trump brought up the subject of Flynn was because his case was a particularly egregious example of a career that had been destroyed by unauthorised and illegal leaking. ..."
"... In addition Mueller wants to ask Trump questions about his thoughts about Comey and his reasons for dismissing Comey, all of which suggest an attempt to catch Trump in some sort of obstruction of justice charge in relation to the circumstances of Comey's dismissal, about which however see above. ..."
"... (4) The collusion narrative has collapsed ..."
"... The lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, duped Don Jr. into setting up the meeting by claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. In fact, the meeting was a bait and switch. It turned out the lawyer had no meaningful information to offer on Mrs. Clinton. Rather, she wanted to interest the Trump team in a Moscow initiative to allow American families to adopt Russian children. ..."
"... In contrast, Hillary Clinton's campaign actually helped pay for a dossier of almost entirely false accusations about Mr. Trump , some of which a British former intelligence official obtained from Russian contacts. ..."
"... Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to Mueller's investigation as a witch-hunt, and he is right. The questions Mueller is seeking to ask Trump confirm as much. ..."
May 03, 2018 | theduran.com

...Here is my take on these questions:

(1) Robert Mueller is in possession of no facts which have not previously been made public.

Every single one of the questions is obviously drawn on information which has already been made public and which has been widely discussed.

... ... ...

(2) Donald Trump continues to be Robert Mueller's target

Recently there have been media reports that Robert Mueller's investigators have informed Donald Trump that he is not a target of the Mueller investigation.

The highly aggressive questions Mueller wants to ask Trump however tell a very different story. The consistent theme behind them is of a Donald Trump who is very much at the centre of all sorts of nefarious activities. Frankly they do not look like the sort of questions an investigator asks if he searching for the truth. Rather they look like cross examination by prosecuting Counsel.

In light of this Trump's hesitation in submitting himself to an interview by Mueller in which these sort of questions are asked is fully understandable.

I suspect his lawyers are advising him against it.

(3) Obstruction of Justice has replaced collusion with Russia as the focus of the Mueller probe

When around the time of former FBI Director James Comey's admittedly botched dismissal the issue of obstruction of justice first arose, it seemed to me so farfetched that I could not bring myself to believe that Mueller or anyone else would seriously entertain it.

As I pointed out at the time the Russiagate investigation was at that point in time still a counterespionage inquiry rather than a crime inquiry, as had recently been confirmed by no less a person than James Comey himself in his March 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.

As it happens it is a moot point when exactly the Russiagate investigation did become a criminal inquiry and not just a counterespionage inquiry.

My guess is that no such formal decision was ever taken, but that Mueller himself simply decided as soon as he was appointed Special Counsel that he was conducting a criminal inquiry as well as a counterespionage inquiry. The point is apparently being pursued by Paul Manafort's lawyers in the case Mueller has brought against him. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. Irrespective of this, the fact that the Russiagate investigation was apparently still a counterespionage inquiry as opposed to a criminal inquiry when Comey was sacked made it impossible for me to see how Comey's sacking could amount to an obstruction of justice.

What I was of course at that time completely unaware of was of the discussions which had previously passed between Trump and Comey about General Flynn.

A memo Comey wrote up after one of these discussions has been seized on by Trump's critics as evidence that he attempted to block the FBI's investigation into whether or not General Flynn had committed an offence under the Logan Act by talking whilst a member of the Trump transition team to Russian ambassador Kislyak, and that this amounts to an obstruction of justice.

When early accounts of the contents of this memo appeared I expressed my strong doubt that its contents as they were being reported showed that there had been any obstruction of justice by Donald Trump of the investigation of General Flynn

..since Comey's note shows Trump neither instructing Comey nor requesting Comey to drop the investigation against Flynn, nor of Trump putting pressure on Comey to do so, but merely shows Trump expressing the "hope" Comey would do so, in any sane world no charge of obstructing justice or of perverting the course of justice brought upon it could possibly stick.

The redacted text of this and of Comey's other memos has now been published, and the relevant sections of the memo read as follows

He [Donald Trump – AM] began by saying he "wanted to talk about Mike Flynn". He then said that although Flynn "hadn't done anything wrong" in his call with the Russians (a point he made at least two more times in the conversation), he had to let him go because he misled the Vice-President and, in any event, he had concerns about Flynn, and had a great guy coming in, so he had to let Flynn go ..

..He then referred at length to the leaks relating to Mike Flynn's call with the Russians, which he stressed was not wrong in any way ("he made lots of calls"), but that the leaks were terrible.

I tried to interject several times to agree with him about the leaks being terrible, but was unsuccessful. When he finished, I said that I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence ..

He then returned to the subject of Mike Flynn, saying that Flynn is a good guy, and has been through a lot. He misled the Vice-President but he didn't do anything wrong in the call. He said, "I hope you can see your way to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." I replied by saying, "I agree he is a good guy", but said no more.

(bold italics added)

The entirety of the memo in fact shows that the main subject of the conversation and Donald Trump's major concern as of the time when the conversation took place was not General Flynn or the case against him but the systematic campaign of leaks which were undermining his administration.

The memo shows Trump putting pressure on Comey to investigate the leaks and Comey resisting doing so. Whilst Comey purported to agree with Trump that the leaks were terrible and that the leakers should be punished, he resisted Trump's suggestion that the most effective way to go after the leakers was to go after the reporters they were leaking to.

The reason Trump brought up the subject of Flynn was because his case was a particularly egregious example of a career that had been destroyed by unauthorised and illegal leaking.

In this Trump was undoubtedly right.

Over the course of this discussion – and obviously so as to emphasise the point -Trump made the further point – which is no longer disputed by anyone – that Flynn had done nothing wrong in his conversations with Kislyak, and had done nothing to deserve having his career and reputation destroyed by illegal leaking.

The memo shows that it was in the context of these observations about the way Flynn was brought down by illegal leaking that Trump made his comments about the investigation of Flynn.

Trump's point was that the investigation of Flynn for committing an offence under the Logan Act (initiated by former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates). coming on top of the illegal leaks which had destroyed his career, was tough on Flynn given that he had done nothing wrong.

Accordingly Trump said to Comey that he hoped Comey would be able to find a way to "letting [the case against Flynn] go".

It was a minor aside and it is unlikely Trump gave much thought to it. Certainly it was not intended as any sort of instruction to Comey to drop the inquiry, and the entirety of the text of the memo shows that Comey never thought it was.

In fact the memo shows that Comey agreed with Trump.

The words in the memo which I have highlighted ("I agreed very much that it was terrible that his calls with foreign leaders leaked. I said they were classified and he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence") have attracted remarkably little attention. However they show clearly that Comey also thought that Flynn's conversation with Kislyak was lawful.

No other explanation for his words as he himself has reported them in his memo – "he needed to be able to speak to foreign leaders in confidence" – is possible.

In other words the memo shows that not only did Trump not instruct or request Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn or put pressure on Comey to do so, but on the contrary he and Comey had what was essentially a consensual conversation in which they both agreed with each other that (1) leaks are terrible; (2) Flynn had been appallingly treated by having his career and reputation destroyed by leaks; and (3) in his conversation with Kislyak Flynn had done nothing wrong.

Given that this is so it is simply impossible to see how an obstruction of justice charge can be put together from this material.

Nonetheless the drift of Mueller's questions to Trump suggests that this is still what Mueller is trying to do.

A disproportionate number of Mueller's questions concern Trump's various interactions with Comey. These include but are not limited to Trump's interactions with Comey which concerned Flynn.

In addition Mueller wants to ask Trump questions about his thoughts about Comey and his reasons for dismissing Comey, all of which suggest an attempt to catch Trump in some sort of obstruction of justice charge in relation to the circumstances of Comey's dismissal, about which however see above.

There is also a number of questions concerning Trump's sometimes fraught relationship with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the clear implication of which is that Trump's widely known and publicly expressed anger about Sessions's decision to recuse himself from the Russiagate inquiry stems from anger that Sessions would no longer be able to protect Trump from it.

Even if that is so – which it probably is – I cannot see how it amounts to obstruction of justice. Anger that Sessions had recused himself from the Russiagate inquiry and would no longer be able to protect the President is surely no more than a thought crime even if it were true, which it probably is.

Last I heard thought crimes are not actionable in America. However,judging from his questions, Mueller still seems intent on pursuing this one.

(4) The collusion narrative has collapsed

By comparison with the disproportionate number of questions devoted to the obstruction of justice allegations, the questions about the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – the investigation of which was supposed to be the object of the Mueller inquiry – look threadbare.

All of them cover old ground, in which all the facts are known.

The first two questions concern the now notorious meeting in Trump Tower in June 2016 between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The lack of substance to this meeting, and the extent to which it is truly a non-story, has been brilliantly explained by Ronald Kessler in The Washington Times

When it comes to President Trump and the question of collusion with Russia , there is indeed a smoking gun. But it's not the June 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr. , along with campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, held in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.

The lawyer, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, duped Don Jr. into setting up the meeting by claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton. In fact, the meeting was a bait and switch. It turned out the lawyer had no meaningful information to offer on Mrs. Clinton. Rather, she wanted to interest the Trump team in a Moscow initiative to allow American families to adopt Russian children.

The meeting, which lasted 20 minutes, was the sort any political campaign or media outlet would have agreed to. Like investigative reporters, political operatives want to obtain tips, even if most of the time the proffered information turns out to be of no value. In this case, nothing came of the meeting. In contrast, Hillary Clinton's campaign actually helped pay for a dossier of almost entirely false accusations about Mr. Trump , some of which a British former intelligence official obtained from Russian contacts.

According to journalistic standards that existed decades ago, the fact that such a meeting took place would not have even been a story. The pretext for the meeting was a hoax, and nothing resulted from it. To suggest by running a story that there was something nefarious about it was unfair. But in today's politically charged media world, the meeting became an immediate sensation as part of a narrative -- pushed by the media and Democrats -- suggesting that the Trump campaign illegally colluded with Russia .

I have nothing to add to this masterful analysis save to say that the fact that Mueller is continuing to ask questions about a meeting at which exactly nothing happened is testimony to the hollowness of the whole collusion narrative the investigation of which Mueller's inquiry is supposed to be about.

Summary

When Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel I welcomed his appointment. What I had heard about Mueller suggested that he would be a safe pair of hands who would put the whole preposterous Russiagate conspiracy theory to bed. It is with frank embarrassment that I repeat what I wrote about him at the time of his appointment

.it is essential that with Comey gone the Russiagate investigation is put in the charge of a safe pair of hands, and of someone who will not be seen as the President's defender, and whose eventual findings are accepted, and Mueller seems by most accounts to be the sort of person to do that ..

Mueller appears to be a good choice for the job. He was a well regarded FBI director, staying in post from 2001 – when he was appointed by George W. Bush – until his retirement in 2013, when Comey replaced him. During that period he resisted the George W. Bush administration's attempts to introduce interrogation methods since characterised as torture as part of the so-called 'war on terror'. As someone well known to the staff of the FBI, he looks like the obvious person to do the job, and to steady the ship, and – hopefully – to bring some sanity to this investigation.

Mueller's job will now be to bring order to the mess Comey has created, and to bring the various investigations into Russiagate that Obama's Justice Department initiated to a proper close. If he does his job properly – and if he is left alone to do it – it should all be over by the summer.

It has long since become clear that far from Mueller being the safe pair of hands I took him for, he is someone who sees his task as protecting the Justice Department and the FBI (which he largely built up) from someone who he obviously considers to be an angry and potentially vengeful President. His proposed questions show that he still has the President in his sights, and that Mueller is pulling out all the stops to bring him down.

Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to Mueller's investigation as a witch-hunt, and he is right. The questions Mueller is seeking to ask Trump confirm as much.

[May 01, 2018] What Robert Mueller Reportedly Wants To Ask Donald Trump HuffPost

The Deep State is still going after Trump, after all his concession to neocons. amazing staff. This is a clear attempt of entrapment, similar to one that worked in Flynn case
Notable quotes:
"... Read the full list here . ..."
"... This article has been updated with more details on the questions and Trump's changing legal team. ..."
May 01, 2018 | www.huffingtonpost.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller hopes to ask President Donald Trump dozens of open-ended questions as part of his inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Many of those questions , which were published by The New York Times on Monday, focus on determining if Trump obstructed justice through his firings of FBI Director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn, or his attempts to fire Mueller himself, among other events. "What efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?" reads one of the queries supplied to the Times by an unnamed official separate from the president's legal team. "What consideration and discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel in June of 2017?" another asks. Read the full list here . The questions shed light on what's been a tight-lipped investigation and show Mueller is homing in on the president's behavior in office. Some of the inquiries hope to shed light on Trump's interactions, if there are any, with Russian officials or those connected to the Kremlin during the campaign. Trump himself has publicly said he'd be willing to talk with Mueller and has vehemently denied there was any collusion with the Russians during the campaign. He said in January he was " looking forward " to speaking with the special counsel. But the president's lawyers have cautioned against the interview and have sought to strictly limit the terms of any sit-down, worried that Trump could go off-script and end up making false statements. The Times noted that four people in the president's orbit have already pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators. The questions obtained by the Times are said to be the result of months of negotiations between the special counsel and Trump's squadron of lawyers. The Times noted that the back and forth led to Mueller providing his ideal list to Trump's former lead lawyer in the Russia inquiry, John Dowd, in March. Dowd, who had urged Trump to reject any request for an interview in the investigation, was reportedly even more wary about a meeting after seeing the list. But the lawyer resigned later in March amid reports that his relationship with the president had frayed and that Trump planned to ignore his advice. Dowd was replaced last week by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani . Trump has ramped up his criticism of the special counsel's office in recent weeks following FBI raids at the home and offices of his longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen. "It's a total witch-hunt . I've been saying it for a long time," Trump said at the time. The president, however, has since moved to distance himself from Cohen, saying on "Fox & Friends" last week that the lawyer handled only a " tiny, tiny little fraction " of his overall legal work. Mueller's list of questions also includes some involving Cohen's business deals in Moscow, according to the Times. This article has been updated with more details on the questions and Trump's changing legal team.

[Apr 28, 2018] A Higher Loyalty Truth, Lies, and Leadership

Comey career was damaged by his treatment of Hillary email scandal and derailing Sanders; clearly the political role the FBI assumed. So this is a memoir of a politician who happened to work in law enforcement, and should be treated as such.
An investigation of real Comey role in derailing Sanders and electing Trump still is a matter of the future.
Rosenstein memo pictures quite a different portrait Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's Memo Against James Comey, Annotated - The Atlantic
Notable quotes:
"... Comey is more than willing on several occasions to make misguided decisions because of his uncompromising loyalty to the FBI. Loyalty to the FBI is ever bit as dangerous as loyalty to the president. ..."
"... I am not a fan of James Comey and to this day I have never seen an answer to why it would be ok for the FBI director to hold a press conference for what seemed to be injecting his own political thoughts and opinions far too close to an election to not have known it would have an effect. ..."
"... Comey goes on to say that "in mid June the Russian Government began dumping emails stolen from the institutions associated with the Democratic Party." Here he is implying that Wikileaks is the Russian Government without any evidence to back it up. ..."
"... Is Comey saying Russia in order to protect Clinton?, its possible. Comey has said in his Book he has been investigating the Clintons since the Clinton administration. Each of those investigations he has let the Clintons walk free and has stop the investigations unexpectedly even when evidence appears to pile up, he does admit that Hillary Clinton destroyed evidence even after receiving a subpoena .Comey investigated a suicide in the clintons white house. Comey was behind an investigation of Bill clinton in January 2002. ..."
"... Comey tries to imply if you did not go along with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election and not supported her or made no positive comments about her as "associating or working with the Russians". I believe this mindset is very dangerous to suggest if you did not support Hillary Clinton for president as if working with the Russians. ..."
"... He says that "Candidate Clinton herself was talking about the Russian effort to elect her opponent.", well we do know that she was who paid for the slanderous "dossier" which is why she knew about what was in the dossier before the "Dossier" was publish by Buzzfeed and CNN. ..."
"... Before the election Comey said he did his job as if Hillary was already President and as if working for Her even though the election was weeks to come. He says " I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next President" ..."
"... Comey expected Trump to curse Russia based on what the suppose "evidence" or the DNC funded "dossier". We do know that the Clinton campaign was running the DNC before Hillary was nominated based on Donna Brazile latest book where she implies that Hillary Clinton cheated Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... Yet Comey fails to mention that he signed a FISA warrant based on the "Dossier" paid by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. He said the Dossier was "salacious and unverified". The Dossier was politically crafted much of it has been proven to be false yet Comey use it to get a FISA warrant. ..."
"... Finishing, Comey goes on to slander president Trump of undermining public confidence in law enforcement institutions when this enforcement institutions have been caught lying, protecting politicians like Hillary Clinton having a double standard when it comes to investigating certain politicians and letting them walk free before finishing an investigation. ..."
"... Comey had his issues with the Justice Department, especially Loretta Lynch although he never says that she had sinister intent. ..."
Apr 28, 2018 | www.amazon.com

mick on April 25, 2018

Loyal to whom?

James Comey is articulate and makes his case in an interesting and effective manner. He seems competent and well intentioned. Problem is he, like many, considers lying about a crime a greater crime than the crime. It is not the case. If someone commits murder, is lying about it worse than the murder?

He rightfully seems horrified that Trump demands loyalty, but Comey is more than willing on several occasions to make misguided decisions because of his uncompromising loyalty to the FBI. Loyalty to the FBI is ever bit as dangerous as loyalty to the president.

Tucker Lieberman on April 18, 2018
A justification of the Clinton email server investigation and a nonpartisan critique of Trump's erosion of norms

A skillfully written and affecting memoir. Comey shares formative experiences: suffering a random attack by a serial home invader as a teenager, being bullied and then bullying, losing an infant son. There's a lot of detail about his decision to announce the reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server right before the election. Given that situation as he described it, had I been in his shoes, I can't say for sure what I would have done. He means to reveal the ethical complexity and he does it well.

He speaks positively of working for President George W. Bush and then for President Obama, but he has no such appreciation for President Trump. Contradicting longstanding norms of U.S. government, Trump demanded loyalty from Comey in his nonpartisan, ten-year term as the FBI Director, and when Comey did not give it unconditionally and did not halt the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Trump fired him. "We had that thing, you know," Trump said to Comey, referring to the previous conversation in which he had asked for loyalty. Comey's knowledge of La Cosa Nostra ("that thing of ours," the Mafia's name for itself) adds a layer of meaning. Comey knows what Mafia guys are like, and he does not live like them; he is not swayed by appeals to loyalty. That's how he became FBI Director and that's also how he lost his job under Trump.

"I say this as someone who has worked in law enforcement for most of my life, and served presidents of both parties. What is happening now," he warns from his new position as a private citizen, "is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not okay." For those who support Trump's policy agenda because they believe it will benefit them personally somehow, Comey delivers a reminder that "the core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington -- to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy."

Irene on April 17, 2018
A higher loyalty

I am not a fan of James Comey and to this day I have never seen an answer to why it would be ok for the FBI director to hold a press conference for what seemed to be injecting his own political thoughts and opinions far too close to an election to not have known it would have an effect.

If you watch the news at all or read the 1 star reviews by people who appear not to have read the book you will be led to believe this is a book about Trump, and bashing him, or outing him as unfit in some way.

Especially if you know that the RNC has gone out of their way to create a website just ahead of the book release for the sole purpose of Comey bashing. So let me bust that myth. This is not a book about Trump. There are no big jaw dropping Trump secrets here.

This is a book about James Comey, from his early childhood until the here and now. Comey touches on childhood memories, being bullied, later on participating or at least turning a blind eye to bullyng himself. He speaks on his experience being home alone with his brother when the "Ramsey Rapist" broke into his house. He tells you how and why he decided to pursue law as a career instead of becoming a doctor. There are humorous anecdotes about his first job in the grocery store and yes some about his final days as FBI director. You do not have to be a fan of Comey or any of his decisions to enjoy this book. You may or may not be satisfied with his explanation of why he decided to make such public announcements on Hilary's emails, but that is a small part of this book. Personally I was not satisfied and he does admit that others may have handled it differently. If you are only looking for bombshells this book is not for you. By the time it gets to the visit to alert Trump to the salacious allegations the book is 70% over, because as I said this is not a book about Trump.

Even if I do not agree with Comey's decisions to publicly give his opinion on one candidate while withholding the fact that there is an investigation surrounding the other even with the "classified info" that he says we still do not know about I was still able to enjoy this book. I agree with his assessment in the last televised interview he gave, that if Comey is an idiot he is at least an honest idiot.

Omar Gonzalez on April 21, 2018
Just finished reading 100% of the book. James Comey

Just finished reading 100% of the book. James Comey starts with sharing an experience of a time his house was broken in by a robber while his parents were away and he was alone with Pete. James Comey recounts his investigations of the Mafia. James Comey talks about having Malaria and thanks his wife Patrice for taking him on the back of her motorcycle to the Hospital. He mentions his family life and his new born son Collin who passed away in the hospital after Doctors failed to give Collin treatment while Collin was already showing abnormal behavior.

Comey goes on to talk about his role as FBI director during the Obama Administration.

He talks about Micheal Brown and how fake news caused a big up roar and hatred on police by their distortion on what happened in Ferguson and thus caused great divisions.

Comey tries to justify the outcome of not prosecuting what clinton did with her private email server which had classified government data by saying that even if her actions were bad though a statute was broken and had lied to FBI officials about having classified information but she did so carelessly.

He says that the Clinton campaign was calling the criminal investigation surrounding Hillary Clinton a "matter" and he says that Attorney General Loretta Lynch was strangely telling him to do the same when confronting the media.

When Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton privately on a tarmac he saw it not as a big deal, though it was after this private meeting that the decision of not prosecuting Secretary Hillary Clinton was decided . So this shows that the Clinton campaign had influence on the outcome of the investigation concerning Clinton.

Comey goes on to say that "in mid June the Russian Government began dumping emails stolen from the institutions associated with the Democratic Party." Here he is implying that Wikileaks is the Russian Government without any evidence to back it up. Though Wikileaks has already said that it was not Russia but someone living in the United States who sent the emails to Wikileaks.

Is Comey saying Russia in order to protect Clinton?, its possible. Comey has said in his Book he has been investigating the Clintons since the Clinton administration. Each of those investigations he has let the Clintons walk free and has stop the investigations unexpectedly even when evidence appears to pile up, he does admit that Hillary Clinton destroyed evidence even after receiving a subpoena .Comey investigated a suicide in the clintons white house. Comey was behind an investigation of Bill clinton in January 2002.

Comey mentions the piss dossier as evidence "strongly suggesting that the Russian government was trying to interfere in the election in 3 ways." He later admits the suppose "evidence" as "unverifiable", this is the same "dossier" that was used to grant a FISA warrant to spy on Clinton opponent Donald Trump which was paid by Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

Comey tries to imply if you did not go along with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election and not supported her or made no positive comments about her as "associating or working with the Russians". I believe this mindset is very dangerous to suggest if you did not support Hillary Clinton for president as if working with the Russians. Again this is all based on the "unverifiable dossier" , even though the suggested "evidence" is unverifiable a tyrant Government can use this to justify in going after ANYONE who speaks against the corruption going within former director James Comey FBI.

He says that "Candidate Clinton herself was talking about the Russian effort to elect her opponent.", well we do know that she was who paid for the slanderous "dossier" which is why she knew about what was in the dossier before the "Dossier" was publish by Buzzfeed and CNN.

He says that his family were Hillary supporters and that they attended the "Woman's March" which was more of a rally in protest to President Trump presidency. Before the election Comey said he did his job as if Hillary was already President and as if working for Her even though the election was weeks to come. He says " I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next President"

Comey goes on to talk about Donald Trump inauguration and as FBI director fails to talk about the riots and protestors blocking the entrance to the inauguration where they set a limousine on fire, stores were broken in including a Starbucks. He compares Trump inauguration to Obama but Obama had no rioters.

Comey expected Trump to curse Russia based on what the suppose "evidence" or the DNC funded "dossier". We do know that the Clinton campaign was running the DNC before Hillary was nominated based on Donna Brazile latest book where she implies that Hillary Clinton cheated Bernie Sanders.

Yet Comey fails to mention that he signed a FISA warrant based on the "Dossier" paid by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. He said the Dossier was "salacious and unverified". The Dossier was politically crafted much of it has been proven to be false yet Comey use it to get a FISA warrant.

Finishing, Comey goes on to slander president Trump of undermining public confidence in law enforcement institutions when this enforcement institutions have been caught lying, protecting politicians like Hillary Clinton having a double standard when it comes to investigating certain politicians and letting them walk free before finishing an investigation.

JWM on April 27, 2018
A better title would have been " An American's Highest Loyalty"

This memoir is an important piece in the analysis of turn of the century politics in the United States. It is unfortunate that the media hype for this book has been about the more recent turmoil in James Comey's service to his country. True, the Trump administration is different and in many ways dysfunctional. But it is only in the part of the book, that he deals with it's dysfunction.

If one reads carefully, President Trump is only a more obvious and verbal and transparent figure in his disdain for the judiciary and the justice department. Dick Cheney and others in the Bush 43 administration are portrayed as far more sinister in their actions to sublimate justice after 9/11.

His admiration for President Obama is evident and little discussed in the media.

Comey had his issues with the Justice Department, especially Loretta Lynch although he never says that she had sinister intent. His dealings with the Clinton email controversy is well outlined. His dilemma with his communication regarding his investigation and its reopening was inadequately described in the book and his naivety that its reopening would not influence the election is remarkable. He supposes that the average American voter understands how the investigative system and justice system works.

His demeaning comments about President Trump's physical flaws add nothing to the book. I can understand why he wrote them in as these kinds of notations sell books. They added nothing to the story he had to tell. He should have left them out.

I appreciate that he does not give loyalty to a person. What makes America great is that we are loyal to an idea. Even if we disagree on the interpretation of the Constitution, we can all be American. His loyalty seems to be to honesty and integrity which is admirable. However the highest loyalty should be to one's reading of the Constitution. I just wished he had said it.

[Apr 28, 2018] Jim Comey, Liar or Fool by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... Because Comey revealed that he is either a world class liar or a total moron. Actually, he may be both. I also think that he earned the title of "sanctimonious twit." ..."
"... This exchange should leave you slack jawed by the audacity of Comey's lies. We are asked to believe that Jim Comey is a boy scout. Honest to a fault. Just a humble man trying to do the right thing. Oh yeah, he also is supposed to be really smart. He is a lawyer don't cha know. ..."
"... Put yourself in Jim Comey's large shoes. Would you get such a letter and then file it away at the bottom of your burn bag? Or, would you demand immediate action from your senior staff, including a briefing from the CIA liaison officer posted to FBI Headquarters? Call me crazy, but I am betting that someone as smart and honorable and conscientious (you get the drift) as Jimmy Comey would go for the latter. He would want a briefing and want to know what was told to Senator Reid and other key members of Congress. ..."
"... Comey also wants us to assume that he is a total idiot. Who else catches a briefing laying out sordid and salacious details about Donald Trump and members of his crew romping around Moscow and other formerly commie nooks and crannies and does not have even a wee bit of curiosity to ask, "Who is the source?" or "How did the source come to have this info?" ..."
"... 'Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.' It is important here that the 'we' clearly refers to the circle around Berezovsky. Of this, a very large part – Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, Yuri Felshtinsky, for example – were based on your side of the Atlantic. ..."
"... 'Litvinenko said interesting things about the British judiciary system. He was thrilled, he loved it, that in Britain you could prove anything, really. He used to say: "You can't imagine, you can simply raise your hand, tell the judge whatever, and they will believe you! They will believe you!" And in this respect, a Russia to totally different things, so for a Russian person it is all available and beneficial.' ..."
"... 'I want to stress this thought, the one I mentioned in my statement. I quote – Litvinenko used to say: You can't imagine what idiots they are and they believe everything we are telling them. I stress that.' ..."
"... this seems to me clearly to reflect Lugovoi's considered judgment as to the intellectual quality of British intelligence and law enforcement people, and it is also clear to me that Owen's conduct of his Inquiry is only one item among a mass of material vindicating his contempt. ..."
"... No competent intelligence agency would employ a man like Steele, let alone appoint him as head of its Russia Desk. ..."
"... A more plausible scenario, it increasingly appears, is that crucial strings were pulled by Berezovsky when alive, and are still being pulled by his ghost, after his death. As with Ahmed Chalabi, a somewhat similar figure, both in my country and ours we are going to have to live with the consequences of our credulity in the face of conmen, for a very long time. ..."
"... Another way of looking at it is that they're not really stupid, just completely uninterested in the truth. All they're interested in is gathering the 'evidence' that fits the party line--that's how careers are advanced in the Decadent West now. ..."
"... I tend to agree with RaisingMac below. Or perhaps as Publius says, it's a case of both stupidity and mendacity. I may have mentioned before that most Presidents are perfectly happy to go on national TV and state complete and utter lies that they would have to be more than retarded to actually believe. People used to talk about George Bush as if his speech impediments were related to his intelligence. I always thought it was just a case of he just didn't give a damn what he said because he KNEW he would never pay any consequence for anything he said. And that was true about Obama and it's true about Trump. ..."
"... Yes. I cringed every time Obama repeated the reason we were fighting in Afghanistan. "We are denying them space in which to plan their attacks." At least he used good grammar. ..."
"... Just what were Daniel Richman's duties as a "special government employee"? Who worked, according to Richman, "for no pay". Serve as the official leaker of FBI documents? What other documents has Richman seen and by whose authority? ..."
"... No collusion here, nothing to see here, just normal business amongst FBI leaders. Happens all the time, like Attorney General tarmac meetings with spouses of people being investigated by the FBI. ..."
"... Comey was part of the cabal to bring Trump down....pure and simple.. ..."
"... Just another so-called "smartest guy in the room." Does swimming in the swamp destroy brain cells or does the swamp just naturally attract the dimwitted among us? ..."
"... Plenty smart enough to cope with a TV interview, to the average observer with little grasp of the background. Observing from that position myself I can report that Mr Comey's performance would have been more than adequately convincing for most. After I'd watched the interview I had to re-read PT's article carefully to see where Mr Comey had been skating on thin ice. So yes, smart enough. ..."
"... Smart enough to cope with the considerably sharper and more persistent questioning of a hostile lawyer in a Court? Judging by that uneasy manner of shifting in his jacket from time to time even under such undemanding questioning as this, I'd imagine Mr Comey would do better to devote his ingenuity to avoiding such a test. ..."
Apr 27, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Lordy, Lordy, Lordy (to quote James Comey liberally). He was interviewed tonight (Thursday, 26 April 2018) by Bret Baier on the Fox 6pm news show and it was shocking. Why? Because Comey revealed that he is either a world class liar or a total moron. Actually, he may be both. I also think that he earned the title of "sanctimonious twit."

Do not take my word for it. Watch it yourself:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CqdE0sMDKTo

I want to direct you to look at the exchange that starts at 8:30 into the interview. It concerns the so-called Steele Dossier. This exchange should leave you slack jawed by the audacity of Comey's lies. We are asked to believe that Jim Comey is a boy scout. Honest to a fault. Just a humble man trying to do the right thing. Oh yeah, he also is supposed to be really smart. He is a lawyer don't cha know.

So here is the scenario. He claims he is briefed sometime in September or October on parts of the Steele documents. He is not sure. This really smart guy just cannot remember.

Well, let's see if this helps jog the faltering brain cells of choir boy. There was a letter from Senator Harry Reid, whose panties were in a bunch after being briefed by someone from the Intelligence Community (probably CIA Director John Brennan) that there was:

. . . evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the former Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an "unwitting agent" of Russia and the Kremlin. The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War and it is critical for the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation to use every resource available to investigate this matter thoroughly and in a timely fashion. The American people deserve to have a full understanding of the facts from a completed investigation before they vote this November.

Put yourself in Jim Comey's large shoes. Would you get such a letter and then file it away at the bottom of your burn bag? Or, would you demand immediate action from your senior staff, including a briefing from the CIA liaison officer posted to FBI Headquarters? Call me crazy, but I am betting that someone as smart and honorable and conscientious (you get the drift) as Jimmy Comey would go for the latter. He would want a briefing and want to know what was told to Senator Reid and other key members of Congress.

But Comey now wants us to believe that he does not remember anything about the specifics of this Dossier and the information contained in it. Are we to suppose that Comey was getting so many letters and reports about Trump and the Rooskies collaborating on stealing the election that it was just something routine? I doubt that.

Comey also wants us to assume that he is a total idiot. Who else catches a briefing laying out sordid and salacious details about Donald Trump and members of his crew romping around Moscow and other formerly commie nooks and crannies and does not have even a wee bit of curiosity to ask, "Who is the source?" or "How did the source come to have this info?"

Nope. Not Jimmy Comey. Asking such basic, factual questions apparently eluded his razor sharp mind. He concedes that it came from a foreign intelligence officer (Steele) and, rather than wonder about any possible counter intelligence concerns, says that he took that fact as validation of the reliability of these fantastical reports.

There was a time when I respected James Comey. No longer. Trump called him a liar today. I think President Trump has it right. Comey is a liar. What is shocking to me is that someone who is supposedly so smart can be so downright stupid. His interview above seals that fact for me.


David Habakkuk, a day ago

PT and All,

"He concedes that it came from a foreign intelligence officer (Steele) and, rather than wonder about any possible counter intelligence concerns, says that he took that fact as validation of the reliability of these fantastical reports."

As I have noted in earlier exchanges on these matters, in the press conference where he responded to the British request for his extradition, the man Steele et al framed over the death of Alexander Litvinenko, Andrei Lugovoi, made the following claim about what his supposed victim really thought of people like the man Comey appears so happy to believe:

'Litvinenko used to say: They are total retards in the UK, they believe everything we are telling them about Russia.' It is important here that the 'we' clearly refers to the circle around Berezovsky. Of this, a very large part – Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, Yuri Felshtinsky, for example – were based on your side of the Atlantic.

In the appearance on Russian primetime television where Litvinenko's father embraced Lugovoi, in addition to making the quite implausible claim that Goldfarb had assassinated his son, he made the to my mind not implausible suggestion that the figure who he was, in his turn, framing, was working for the CIA.

(See https://sputniknews.com/rus... .)

In the Q&A at the press conference, Lugovoi's supposed partner-in-crime, Dmitri Kovtun, made a claim parallel to Lugovoi's, about British law enforcement, clearly referring to the supposed plot to assassinate Berezovsky with a 'poison pen', which back in 2003 MI6 had used to frustrate Russian attempts to have the oligarch extradited.

(In this, I think it likely that the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office are quite correct to claim that Goldfarb and Litvinenko played crucial roles.)

According to Kovtun:

'Litvinenko said interesting things about the British judiciary system. He was thrilled, he loved it, that in Britain you could prove anything, really. He used to say: "You can't imagine, you can simply raise your hand, tell the judge whatever, and they will believe you! They will believe you!" And in this respect, a Russia to totally different things, so for a Russian person it is all available and beneficial.'

Also in the Q&A, Lugovoi returned to his earlier claim about Litvinenko's contempt for people like Steele:

'I want to stress this thought, the one I mentioned in my statement. I quote – Litvinenko used to say: You can't imagine what idiots they are and they believe everything we are telling them. I stress that.'

(For the press conference, follow the link INQ001886 on the 'Evidence page' on the archived website of the inquiry presided over by Sir Robert Owen, which is at http://webarchive.nationala... .)

Whether or not Litvinenko made the remarks attributed to him – and I think it most likely that he did – this seems to me clearly to reflect Lugovoi's considered judgment as to the intellectual quality of British intelligence and law enforcement people, and it is also clear to me that Owen's conduct of his Inquiry is only one item among a mass of material vindicating his contempt.

As it happens, the type to which Steele, and also our embarrassment of a Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, patently belongs – the worst kind of superannuated Oxbridge student politician – is one with which I have quite extensive knowledge, which even if I had not followed the antics of Steele and Owen, would strongly incline me to think that Lugovoi's judgments were accurate.

No competent intelligence agency would employ a man like Steele, let alone appoint him as head of its Russia Desk.

If people take a 'retard' seriously, then the natural inference is that they are themselves 'retards.'

I have largely lost count of the number of the people in the United States who appear to have taken Steele seriously. But it seems clear that your intelligence, foreign affairs and law enforcement bureaucracies are as infested by 'retards' as are ours.

The notion of Putin as the sinister puppet master, pulling the 'strings' which caused people to vote for 'Leave' in the Brexit campaign, or to support Trump, has always been BS.

A more plausible scenario, it increasingly appears, is that crucial strings were pulled by Berezovsky when alive, and are still being pulled by his ghost, after his death. As with Ahmed Chalabi, a somewhat similar figure, both in my country and ours we are going to have to live with the consequences of our credulity in the face of conmen, for a very long time.

RaisingMac -> David Habakkuk, a day ago

Another way of looking at it is that they're not really stupid, just completely uninterested in the truth. All they're interested in is gathering the 'evidence' that fits the party line--that's how careers are advanced in the Decadent West now.

richardstevenhack -> David Habakkuk, a day ago

I tend to agree with RaisingMac below. Or perhaps as Publius says, it's a case of both stupidity and mendacity. I may have mentioned before that most Presidents are perfectly happy to go on national TV and state complete and utter lies that they would have to be more than retarded to actually believe. People used to talk about George Bush as if his speech impediments were related to his intelligence. I always thought it was just a case of he just didn't give a damn what he said because he KNEW he would never pay any consequence for anything he said. And that was true about Obama and it's true about Trump.

This is the nature of people in power - they don't care what you think about what they said, so they say anything they want as long as it isn't something so absurd as to make them look like fools directly - in the minds of the rest of the fools listening to them as if what they said really mattered.

Parsing what these people say is a complete waste of time. What matters is what did they DO and what were the consequences to the rest of us.

Bill H -> richardstevenhack, 10 hours ago

Yes. I cringed every time Obama repeated the reason we were fighting in Afghanistan. "We are denying them space in which to plan their attacks." At least he used good grammar.

Nobby Stiles -> David Habakkuk, 17 hours ago

Yes! But i think you really should have said highly convenient credulity. That is why an intelligence agency employs a man like Steele. That is the key competancy they saw when recruiting. That "flexibility" with the truth is such an asset in the civil service. I dont believe all players were idiots. I believe they were "fooled" like John Scarlett was fooled about WMD.

Jack -> David Habakkuk, a day ago

David

Are these people retards or just skilled at playing the bureaucratic game and knowing which way the wind blows?

Sid Finster, a day ago

The criminal laws in the United States are broad and far-reaching enough that an aggressive prosecutor will always have a pretext to bring charges against anyone. This is entirely intentional. Those whom the establishment want punished are punished.

At the same time, because everybody and anybody can be made into a criminal whenever convenient, the converse is that violating the law is considered blameless, praiseworthy even, when doing so aligns with consensus establishment goals.

This does not mean that a shadowy cabal have secret meeting and take a ballot on whom we will persecute today. Rather, it refers to people of influence and authority, and prosecutors, being, depending on how you look at it, glorified or perhaps degraded politicians, are exquisitely sensitive to such things.

Che Guevara -> Sid Finster, a day ago

Excellent points!

Vicky SD, a day ago

I deal with attorneys on a weekly basis. The percentage of them which are simply unqualified to wake up in the morning and charge people for advice is mind boggling.

DianaLC, a day ago

I am giggling still after reading your comments about our little Jimmy C. I watched the interview yesterday and came away feeling that somehow I must be losing my marbles, so to speak, because I just could not make myself believe that this person had reached the level of authority in our government that he had reached before deservedly being fired at last.

When the whole Clinton email situation was at its peak in the news cycle, I finally decided that Jimmy was a prime example of the Peter Principle. He had reached his level of incompetence. But after watching the interview yesterday, I decided that he had reached that level of incompetence long before becoming the Director of the FBI. Perhaps all the really intelligent, competent people just didn't want to go into some sort of bureaucratic swampy environment that taking a management position would mean. Maybe they all just kept pushing him up the ladder to keep him from going out into the field to do the real work of the FBI. Who knows? One person--I forget who it was--did call him a malignant narcissist. And that he is. So, I hope he ends up in a federal prison with his fellow malignant narcissists, though they tend more to violence than he does. I pity his daughters. They have no hope of growing up to live rational lives.

I then thought the round table discussion afterward was a bit surreal. It's not that I thought the people weren't stating good points. It was just that I thought they would all be laughing so hard and holding their sides and rolling on the floor laughing at him.

God save our country if there are many more like Jimmy in high positions. I will have to pray extra hard at church this Sunday.

Fred S, a day ago

Just what were Daniel Richman's duties as a "special government employee"? Who worked, according to Richman, "for no pay". Serve as the official leaker of FBI documents? What other documents has Richman seen and by whose authority?

Does anyone else find it convenient that Comey is now paying him as his attorney, thus giving him "attorney client privilege". That being the thing Mueller's raid on Cohen's home and office voided for Trump.

No collusion here, nothing to see here, just normal business amongst FBI leaders. Happens all the time, like Attorney General tarmac meetings with spouses of people being investigated by the FBI.

Fred, a day ago

Just what were Daniel Richman's duties as a "special government employee". Who worked, according to Richman, "for no pay"? Serve as the official leaker of FBI documents? Does anyone else find it convenient that Comey is now paying him as his attorney, thus giving him "attorney client privilege". That would be the thing Mueller's raid on Cohen's home and office voided for Trump.

notlurking, a day ago

Comey was part of the cabal to bring Trump down....pure and simple...

Jack, a day ago

It seems that there is more than meets the eye here. It is becoming more evident that the allegations of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russian government was actually a cover for the far more insidious collusion of top officials in the Obama administration including possibly Obama himself to use the resources and capabilities of the federal government to destroy a major party presidential candidate from the opposing party.

Clapper once again being accused of lying to Congress and being a leaker of classified information. Brennan sure looks very concerned. Let's see if the rule of law applies to high officials in government. I'm not holding my breath.

Valissa Rauhallinen, a day ago

Those terms are not mutually exclusive. He looks like both a liar and fool to many of us.

Not surprisingly, there are many great political cartoons to be found on Comey over the past couple of years. It was hard to limit myself to sharing 3 of them, but I didn't want to end up in the spam bin.

Comey, possibly auditioning for an acting job :)

Ghost ship, 12 hours ago

are any Americans in cahoots with the foreign intelligence of an adversary nation

Since when does the Director of the FBI get to decide American foreign policy and does he really understand the principles of democracy? Donald Trump was clear throughout his campaign that he wanted better relations with Russia so the people who elected him however flawed the process had an expectation that there would be better relations with Russia. People in the executive might disagree with this as a policy but in a democracy they should not actively frustrate the will of the people; Trump should call on anybody who has done so to resign as a matter of principle.

MP98, a day ago

Just another so-called "smartest guy in the room." Does swimming in the swamp destroy brain cells or does the swamp just naturally attract the dimwitted among us?

English Outsider -> MP98, 6 hours ago

Plenty smart enough to cope with a TV interview, to the average observer with little grasp of the background. Observing from that position myself I can report that Mr Comey's performance would have been more than adequately convincing for most. After I'd watched the interview I had to re-read PT's article carefully to see where Mr Comey had been skating on thin ice. So yes, smart enough.

It reminded me of similar awkward interviews here, from Mr Blair in the distant past to Boris Johnson's recent DW interview: enough ingenuity to convince the most of us and too few of the unconvinced to matter. After all for such people, or I'd guess in the environment Mr Comey has so far prospered in, there's no call for cast iron explanations. The plausible, as long as it has some colour of reason, will carry the day.

Smart enough to cope with the considerably sharper and more persistent questioning of a hostile lawyer in a Court? Judging by that uneasy manner of shifting in his jacket from time to time even under such undemanding questioning as this, I'd imagine Mr Comey would do better to devote his ingenuity to avoiding such a test.

Karel Whitman, a day ago

ooops, forgot to this: https://www.amazon.com/char...

Karel Whitman, a day ago

PT, I vaguely, very, very vaguely (not much) followed up on Fred's book alert on Comey and his book. I stumbled across a young man's review (as old lady), whose name I had never heard before. Touched old chords somehow. Not sure if I may link here to--of all possible places--Rolling Stone? And Garrett M. Graff, that is: James Comey's 'A Higher Loyalty' Is a Study in Contradictions, Inside and Out. The former FBI director's memoir is about life, leadership and undoing all of the above

https://www.rollingstone.co...

Strictly, I doubt the title was his own choice. But then he, or his ghostwriter must have somehow headed there.

********

Springer and Holtzbrinck, oops, I meant Flatiron:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

...

[Apr 28, 2018] Sic Semper Tyrannis The Corruption and Deceit of the FBI by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. McCabe then instructed the email investigators to talk to the Weiner investigators and see whether the laptop's contents could be relevant to the Clinton email probe, these people said. After the investigators spoke, the agents agreed it was potentially relevant. ..."
"... Mr. Comey was given an update, decided to go forward with the case and notified Congress on Friday (28 October 2016), with explosive results. ..."
"... In February of this year (2016), Mr. McCabe ascended from the No. 3 position at the FBI to the deputy director post. When he assumed that role, officials say, he started overseeing the probe into Mrs. Clinton's use of a private email server for government work when she was secretary of state. ..."
"... The Mueller probe in many ways has become a parody. They have financially ruined and destroyed Gen. Flynn for having a legitimate discussion with the Russian ambassador. Of course he has pled guilty to lying. The leaking of this conversation seems to be a felony but that has yet to be prosecuted. ..."
"... Mueller has not uncovered any collusion with the Russians by the Trump campaign but is targeting Manafort for financial irregularities that took place well before he joined the Trump campaign. Additionally, he referred Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen to the FBI for possible criminal activity that had nothing to do with Russia or collusion, who then raided his home and office. ..."
Apr 24, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

My current piece will be focused almost exclusively on Andy McCabe. He was fired, there was grumbling that this was unfair political payback. And then we got a look at the Department of Justice Inspector General's report. Liar, liar pants on fire. Although the OIG report is very poorly written (as you read through the 39 pages you'll feel like a young Yeshiva student pouring over some tendentious exegesis by an elderly Hasidic Rabbi), it contains damning evidence of malfeasance on the part of McCabe. So let me simplify it for you.

McCabe was fired because he lied about his role in leaking information in late October 2016 to Wall Street Journal reporter, Devlin Barrett, who authored the article, FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe . Barrett's article is not much better than the IG report in terms of simplicity and clarity. It lacks both. It is poorly written and requires a compass and advanced land navigation skills to map out the story. This is the bottom line of the article--Andy McCabe is accused of ordering FBI Agents to not investigate the Clinton Foundation because his wife got money from Virginia Governor and Clinton confidant, Terry McAuliffe. Here are the salient points from that article:

This article triggered the investigation by the FBI's Inspection Division aka INSD, which then led to the 31 August 2017 investigation by the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General aka OIG. These are the critical facts/findings by the OIG:

  1. Prior to the 30 October 2016 Devlin Barrett article, the FBI had neither confirmed nor denied that there was an investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
  2. On 23 October 2016 the WSJ's Barrett reported that McCabe's wife had received $675,000 from Virginia Democrats linked to Clinton. This article sparked a public debate over whether McCabe should have any role whatsoever with investigations that touched on Hillary Clinton or the Clinton Foundation.
  3. 25 October 2016, McCabe learns that Barret (WSJ reporter) is working on a follow up to the 23 October piece. McCabe then authorized the Special Counsel (some say it was Lisa Page, not confirmed) and the Assistant Director of the Office of Public Affairs aka AD/OPA (Michael Kortan) to talk to Barrett.
  4. 27 October 2016, McCabe is excluded from a meeting/conference call regarding a search warrant for a set of Clinton-related emails.
  5. On the same day the Special Counsel and the AD/OPA met with Barrett who informed the two FBI officials that his sources claimed McCabe wanted to shut down the Clinton Foundation investigation for "improper reasons."
  6. On the same day the Special Counsel, after receiving guidance from McCabe, spoke with Barrett of the WSJ and informed him of McCabe's 12 August conversation with the DOJ Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, which was very acrimonious and left McCabe "pissed off."
  7. Barrett's article about the battle between the FBI and DOJ over the Clinton Foundation was published online on Sunday, 30 October 2016 at 3:34 pm.
  8. On the same day, shortly after the WSJ article hit the internet, McCabe made an angry call to the senior FBI Executives at the Washington and New York Field Divisions to voice his outrage at the leaks and ordered those Executives "to get their houses in order." McCabe did not disclose to either person that he had authorized the FBI Special Counsel to disclose that information.
  9. 31 October 2016, FBI Director Comey voiced his concerns about the leak to senior FBI staffers, which included McCabe.
  10. May 2017 FBI INSD (i.e., the Inspection Division) opens investigation into the 30 October 2016 leak.
  11. 9 May 2017 McCabe is interviewed under oath by INSD and shown the 30 October 2016 WSJ article and specifically directed to the report of the acrimonious exchange between McCabe and a senior DOJ official. McCabe said the report was accurate but that he had no idea where the leak about the 12 August 2016 phone call with the PADAG at Justice came from.
  12. Three days later (i.e., 12 May 2017), INSD emailed McCabe the draft Signed Sworn Statement for his review and signature. McCabe, according to the OIG report, did nothing with the statement until three months later (18 August 2017).
  13. Two months later, on 28 July 2017, the OIG interviewed McCabe under oath regarding "various FBI and Department actions in advance of the 2016 Election," and was asked specifically if the Special Counsel had been authorized to speak to the Wall Street Journal reporter who wrote the 30 October 2016 article. McCabe said, "Not that I'm aware of."
  14. Four days later, 1 August 2017, McCabe called the Assistant Inspector General and stated, "he may have authorized the Special Counsel to work with the AD/OPA and speak to Devlin Barrett."
  15. 7 August 2017, the Special Counsel was interviewed by INSD (the FBI) about the 30 October 2016 Barrett article. She admitted, under oath, that she gave the information to Barrett but was authorized to do so by Andy McCabe.
  16. Eleven days later (18 August 2017), INSD reinterviewed Andy McCabe about the 30 October 2016 article. McCabe admitted that his sworn testimony from May was wrong and conceded that he had authorized the disclosure.
  17. Andy McCabe was reinterviewed by the OIG on 29 November 2017 and admitted to the following:
    1. he authorized the leak to the WSJ for the 30 October article;
    2. he did not recall discussing the disclosure with Comey in advance;
    3. he told Comey after the 30 October article that he had authorized the leak;
    4. that other FBI executive managers knew he had authorized the leak
    5. claimed he had not purposefully made previous false statements to INSD and OIG investigators.

There is still a big case of he said/she said to come that will pit McCabe against Comey. McCabe, under oath, insists he told Comey, at least after the fact, and that Comey was okay with the leak. Comey is on the record, also under oath, saying that is not true. Someone is lying. It is an appalling situation to be in a position of having to choose between the former number two guy in the FBI and the former number one. They were supposed to be better than this.

Puts the whole case against Flynn in a new light. He has had his entire life ruined for saying something to the FBI that may not have been true, but was not a statement under oath. Most Americans understand double standards and cheaters. America's premiere law enforcement agency is now appearing to be worse than a crooked casino. Only house favorites win.


nightsticker , 4 days ago

Publius Tacitus,

There is a private online forum where retired FBI Special Agents gather to discuss FBI related matters. The topics used to be FBI health insurance, retirements, death notices, local newspaper articles, and ....well you get the idea. It is only a subset of the entire retired population and the great majority of members are lurkers who do not actively participate. Still, it is the best, if not only measure, of sentiment in this group. Unfortunately the matters you write about now dominate the discussions.

You may be interested to know that from my reading of it over the past 18 months, the overwhelming majority, by avalanche proportions, possibly close to unanimity [previously unheard of in this organization in my generation on any topic] share your point of view about the recent top Bu leadership. There is shock, disbelief, shame, and a great deal of anger at the recent/current top leadership who got us into this situation. [as a point of reference, to measure seriousness, when I entered on duty a really serious matter was "Bu agent, in Bu car, with Bu Steno (female employee), drunk"] [the penalty for which was usually fire the steno for lack of moral character, and transfer agent to the New York office,] The good news is that this recent rot exists/existed only at the very upper levels [maybe 10-20 people] of the HQ staff [approx 800]. The other 30,000 or so FBI employees were not involved.

That is not to say they won't be impacted; the last 18 months of drip by drip criticism must make work by the operational personnel much more difficult. This is not a good thing as after all is said the FBI is still out there every day trying to catch corrupt politicians, brutal policemen, kidnappers, bank robbers, terrorists,cyber criminals, organized crime members, and about 1000 other types of criminals. I encourage you to make a distinction in your writing between the villains at the top and the rank and file of the FBI.

Nightsticker
USMC '65-'72
FBI '72-'96

Publius Tacitus -> nightsticker , 4 days ago
A valid criticism.
Gerry Wright -> nightsticker , 4 days ago
Ah, but Nightsticker this is not a new phenomena, didn't the LDS faction always play by their own rules. I saw the careers destroyed of those who chose to stand up to the Salt Lake City crowd, and didn't that bring us Waco and some humiliating revelations about the Laboratory Division?

I would completely agree that the Steno's, the Ident clerks, and the Brick Agents were the hardest working of all Government employees but there was always an element that operated purely for their own designs. Remember the old pound on the desk and shout "No FBI Agent has ever been turned", whenever someone questioned the Bureau? Did they still say that after Whitey Bolger?

blue peacock -> nightsticker , 4 days ago
Nightsticker,

While your point that a distinction should be made between the rank & file and the villains at the top is well taken, there have been several high profile cases of misconduct in the field offices. The Bundy case in Nevada being a recent one, where a judge threw out the DOJ/FBI prosecution with prejudice for prosecutorial misconduct.

Considering how much these types of misconduct and malfeasance gets hidden from the public under the rubric of "classified information", it seems there are many more cases of such misconduct that has come out in the recent past. One has to feel sympathetic towards the ordinary citizen when the full force of the DOJ/FBI are brought to bear against them, especially in a climate where national security "concerns" trumps liberty and due process.

Do you think the character of the agents & prosecutors as well as the "command climate" have changed due to institutional pressures over the last couple decades?

Jack -> nightsticker , 4 days ago
Nightsticker

Do you believe this all took place without anyone lower in the hierarchy knowing about it or participating in it? Can secrets be kept in such a large organization where most don't know what the bosses are up to?

blue peacock , 4 days ago
PT

In your point #3, the Special Counsel is Lisa Page, who was legal counsel to McCabe. With the criminal referral from the IG we'll have to see if and when he's indicted.

The Mueller probe in many ways has become a parody. They have financially ruined and destroyed Gen. Flynn for having a legitimate discussion with the Russian ambassador. Of course he has pled guilty to lying. The leaking of this conversation seems to be a felony but that has yet to be prosecuted.

Mueller has not uncovered any collusion with the Russians by the Trump campaign but is targeting Manafort for financial irregularities that took place well before he joined the Trump campaign. Additionally, he referred Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen to the FBI for possible criminal activity that had nothing to do with Russia or collusion, who then raided his home and office.

In this context it will be interesting to see if the DOJ indicts McCabe. There's now increasing pieces of the puzzle being uncovered that sheds more light on the incredible conspiracy among Brennan, Clapper, Loretta Lynch, Comey, McCabe, Sally Yates, Susan Rice - essentially the top brass in the Obama administration who ran the intelligence, law enforcement and national security apparatus who used their offices for political purposes to interfere and manipulate an election campaign and when that failed to attempt a coup.

The foreign interference were these guys working with the British and Estonian intelligence to fabricate reports to launch a fraudulent investigation on candidate Trump and his campaign.

The genie is out of the bottle. It will only be a matter of time when a GOP administration will use the intelligence and law enforcement capabilities of an administration to play dirty tricks on the Democrats. The Democrats have made sure that the FBI, CIA, ODNI, & DOJ have now become tools for vicious political fights.

VietnamVet , 4 days ago
PT

Thanks for your ice clear update. Corporate media mostly ignores the "Pay to Play" governance that has enveloped Washington DC with the decision in 2008 by the Obama Administration to foam the runways for Wall Street and not jail corporate crooks. The FBI could not do a full investigation. The DOJ would never indict Hillary Clinton. Both James Comey and General Michael Flynn should have kept their mouths shut. Yet, they rose near the top of the cess pool. I assume they simply couldn't acknowledge to themselves the criminal sewer they were swimming in. An addition note on the sewer overflow; the President's Physician's nomination to head the VA is in trouble due to drinking on the job and pushing pills.

Reports like these are our only hope of the restoration of a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

Jack , 4 days ago
Publius Tacitus

It's not just the leadership at the FBI. It is the whole kit and kaboodle when Brennan, Clapper, Lynch, Yates, and the ladies Rice, Powers, Farkas all had a hand in this. I'm a Depression Era baby and I've seen many a scandal in government but I can't recall another time when an existing administration of a major party used the intelligence and law enf