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Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime"

Politicized law enforcement, or "For friends everything, for enemies the law"
FBI established that Hillary broke the law, and then drafted acquittal despite ongoing investigation

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Introduction

McCabe for years worked Russian organized crime in New York for the FBI, previous to his Washington D.C. rise. He led the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force, a joint operation with the NYPD.  In this role he has close contacts with MI6 (Steele) and Justice Department (Bruce Ohr).

In other words he represented for CIA ideal Trojan horse within FBI to entrap Trump and make the appointment of the Special Prosecutor (aka "insurance")  inevitable.

From Wikipedia:

Andrew George McCabe[1] (born May 5, 1968) is an American attorney who is the Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

From May 9, 2017 to August 2, 2017, McCabe was the Acting Director of the FBI after James Comey was dismissed by President Donald Trump. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that McCabe was one of several candidates under consideration for Director. President Trump ultimately chose Christopher A. Wray, the former Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Criminal Division, to succeed Comey.[2] Once Wray was sworn in, McCabe returned to the position of Deputy Director.[3]

McCabe graduated from The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1986.[4] He graduated from Duke University in 1990 and obtained a J.D. degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1993.[5][1] During law school he interned in the criminal division of the United States Department of Justice.[5] Because of a hiring freeze,[5] McCabe spent three years in a private law practice before joining the FBI in 1996.[6]

McCabe began his FBI career in the New York Field Office.[6] While there, he was on the SWAT team.[7] In 2003, he began work as a supervisory special agent at the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force.[8] Later, McCabe held management positions in the FBI Counterterrorism Division,[6] the FBI National Security Branch[9] and the FBI's Washington Field Office.[10] In 2009, he served as the first director of the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, a program to research interrogation techniques that was created after the Department of Defense Directive 2310 ban of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques.[5] McCabe was part of the investigation of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.[7] McCabe secured the arrest of Ahmed Abu Khattala for suspected involvement in the 2012 Benghazi attack.[7]

FBI Director James Comey appointed McCabe as Deputy Director of the FBI on January 29, 2016, and he assumed those duties on February 1, 2016.[11]

The Inspector General of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee are investigating McCabe for concerns that he should have recused himself from the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server because of a potential conflict of interest caused by donations to his wife's Virginia State Senate campaign.[12][13]

On May 9, 2017, McCabe became acting Director of the FBI after President Trump dismissed James Comey as Director.[14] In the absence of a Senate-confirmed Director, the Deputy Director automatically becomes acting Director.[9] Statute allows the president to choose an interim FBI director (acting Director) outside of the standard order of succession.[15] That process began on May 10, 2017, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein interviewed four candidates to serve as interim FBI director.[16] Sessions said that McCabe was "also under consideration."[16]

McCabe is married to Dr. Jill McCabe, a pediatrician. They have two children. McCabe is a triathlete who bikes 35 miles to his office from his home in Virginia.[7]

"Insurance" -- the scheme to appoint  the Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump
"Russia collision" as the central issue of "Strzok-gate
"

  I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I'm afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40.

Strzok's instant message to Lisa Page  which was released along with many others in Dec 2017
 

Please understand that public knows very little about Strzokgate and probably will never know much; and this page is just a summary of open sources. Based on available open sources the idea of "insurance" for the Mayberry Machiavellians at FBI looks like the central issue of Strzok-gate.  What kind of insurance Peter Strzok meant is currently unclear. Most probably some dirty trick or false flag operation (As of December 2017 we have facts that allow to view Russiagate as a false flag operation) in order to appoint Special Prosecutor. It looks like this operation with the code  name "Insurance" proceeded in several stages:

  1. FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike  deliberately and falsely blamed Russians for hacking DNC server. while inreality that was lean committed by the staffer. Probably Seth Rich who was then killed by unknown assassins.  False flag personality Gussifer 2.0 was creating to make changes more plausible.
  2. Steele dossier created pretext for justifying already established surveillance on the members of Trump team. Here probably MI6 joined the game, because it has access to NSA intercepts.
  3. Brennan and Clapper organized  "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections written by a dozen hand-picked by Brennan analysts.  Then CIA helped to launch anti-Russian witch hunt in US MSM  to push  Trump under the bus by unfounded charges of "collision with Russians.
  4. Obama administration became super-engaged in digging dirt on members of Trump team (via unmasking mechanism) going as far as spying on Trump towers, which was prevented only due to direct interference of the head of NSA: after his visit to Trump tower Trump moved his transition team to one on NJ golf-clubs. 
  5. They managed to install Rosenstein as a Trojan horse in the DOJ. Probably not without help from  Trump AG.
  6. Rosenstein after recommending to fire Comey appointed Special prosecutor Mueller, who. for some reason, was trusted by Clinton clan.
  7. Mueller in turn collected a team of rabid "never-Trumpers."  Initially (before discovery of their instant messaging saga) Strzok and Lisa Page were on the team too.
  8. Mission accomplished.  From May 2017 Trump is under constant pressure from Mueller team, which makes coercing him to abandon his election promises and continue establishment policies very easy indeed.

There are a couple of YouTube videos that provide some additional insights into Strzok-gate "insurance scam", which I would recommend to watch:

Rep. Trey Gowdy from South Carolina, speaking about the current FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Dec. 15, said:

 "I'll be a little bit surprised if he's still an employee of the FBI this time next week."

McCabe skipped his scheduled testimony before the Congress a week before that date when information about Bruce Ohr contacts with former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele and the Fusion GPS surfaced. Including the fact that  Ohr's wife worked on the Russia case for Fusion GPS.

 

Timeline

They bought poor McCabe using his wife ambitions.

  1. Hillary server details exposed to the public.
  2. Jill McCabe was asked to run for the Senate around that time.
  3. Andrew and Jill McCabe meet with Democrats about donations.
  4. Hillary makes appearance to raise money for Jill.
  5. Andrew McCabe gets a promotion.
  6. Andrew’s promotion entitles Andrew to work personally on email case.

Hillary Emails, the McCabe's and Who is Peter Strzok - American Digital News

Steele dossier as the key element of FBI "insurance scam"

McCabe surfaced as one of the key players in Steele dossier saga in May  2017 —In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on May 2, Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked if now-acting FBI director Andrew McCabe was involved in approving or establishing the FBI’s reported arrangement with Christopher Steel, the British MI6 agent who prepared a widely-discredited dossier on now President Trump for the Clinton campaign, or if McCabe vouched for or otherwise relied on this dossier in the course of the FBI investigation of alleged collusion between President Trump’s associates and the Russians.

The Steele dossier, is a series of memos which were ordered by Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS (currently under investigation by House intelligence committee) and by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele (born 1964) for enumeration of around $160K.  Steele delivered a total of 16 reports to Fusion GPS between June and early November 2016. All of them found way to FBI almost immediately. That raises several questions about the role of FBI in Steele dossier creation and propagation. Steele is not some unknown to FBI player. He was a member of old McCabe squad and it is possible that it was McCabe who ordered this hit job to Steele and try to mask it via Fusion GPS (via Bruce Ohr or other channels). So McCabe might well be in the center of this scandal (Trump Dossier Author Christopher Steele Worked With FBI's McCabe & DOJ's Ohr on Russian Organized Crime Long Before 2016 Election):

...Steele was well known by the Bureau and CIA long before that and shared Intel with both agencies on cases with British links, especially dealing with MI6's interest in Russian Organized crime, federal law enforcement sources said. It is little wonder the Justice Department and the FBI refuse to release any documents dealing with Steele. Or the payments from government coffers -- including the FBI -- to Steele or Fusion GPS.

We are getting definitive Intel from FBI and federal law enforcement sources that Christopher Steele worked with the FBI when he was a MI6 Agent working Russian Organized Crime. Before his retirement from the British spy agency. That's the same desk and the exact same time frame FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe worked before coming the Washington, D.C., heading up the FBI Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force in Manhattan, along with NYPD Intel sources and resources. And on the Justice Department side, also in New York at the very same time, Bruce Ohr was working organized crime for the DOJ in the Southern District of New York, beginning in the 1990s through the identical timeline of Steele and McCabe. That's the same Bruce Ohr who was just demoted at DOJ for conducting secret meetings with Fusion GPS, who hired Steele to write the Trump Dossier. And Fusion GPS also hired Ohr's wife, a former CIA employee.

"You're finding that they all worked together," one FBI source said. "That's huge." If you wonder how Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson met Steele, look no further than Ohr. Or Ohr's wife. Or McCabe. Ohr ran the DOJ's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section from 1999 to 2011, mostly out of New York City. McCabe ran the FBI Eurasian Task Force up until 2006. Ohr's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section and the FBI were debriefed by Steele in London in 2010 on the FIFA corruption crime scheme, a major case for the DOJ. According to the Guardian, Steele trekked to Rome in 2010 to also swap Intel on FIFA with a FBI contact from its Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force. That was McCabe's old squad.

This information is one search "McCabe and MI6" away, but you will never read about this in Neoliberal MSM like WaPo, or NYT ;-) As McCabe was the special agent of the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force from 2003 to 2006 and undoubtedly maintained close contacts with MI6. Did McCabe use his contacts in the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force to facilitate the direct intervention of FBI into the US Presidential elections?

Connections with Steele, McCabe and Ohr

Information about connections between McCabe and Bruce Ohr surfaced in December 2017: McCabe cancels House Intelligence testimony, something far more sinister to come out in connection with Fusion GPS -- Puppet

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe abruptly cancelled his closed door testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee as news emerged that the wife of Senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr worked for Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm which assembled the infamous "Trump dossier." Ohr was demoted last week after allegedly trying to conceal his contacts with Fusion.

Fox News reporter Chad Pergram's sources tell him "McCabe has an Ohr problem," and they believe "FBI DepDir McCabe not coming to Hse Intel Cmte tomorrow because he'd be asked about Bruce Ohr & Ohr's wife Nellie who worked for Fusion GPS," adding "something far more sinister."

Pergram also tweeted "Expect subpoenas to compel McCabe to appear this wk."

As we reported yesterday, Nellie Ohr, the wife of disgraced DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was employed at Fusion GPS last year. Her term of employment overlapped with the period when the Trump dossier was being compiled. Though Fox was unable to discern the exact nature of her role at the firm, its reporters discovered that she has done extensive research on Russia-related topics for think tanks based in the Washington, DC area.

Fox News reports:

A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump "dossier" had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than have been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official's wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.

Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr's duties - including whether she worked on the dossier - remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.
Also notable is the fact that Bruce Ohr's wife not only worked for Fusion GPS, but also represented the CIA's "Open Source Works" group in a 2010 "expert working group report on international organized crime" along with Bruce Ohr and Fusion GPS cofounder Glenn Simpson.
Of note Open Source Works is described as the "CIA's in-house open source analysis component, devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source information." So - Nellie Ohr, the wife of recently demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr - worked for both Fusion GPS and the CIA. It is unclear whether her time at Fusion overlapped with her time at the CIA.
Open Source Works, which is the CIA's in-house open source analysis component, is devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source information. Oddly, however, the directive that established Open Source Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization. In fact, CIA says the very existence of any such records is a classified fact. "The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request," wrote Susan Viscuso, CIA Information and Privacy Coordinator, in a November 29 response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Jeffrey Richelson of the National Security Archive for the Open Source Works directive and charter.

"The fact of the existence or nonexistence of requested records is currently and properly classified and is intelligence sources and methods information that is protected from disclosure," Dr. Viscuso wrote. This is a surprising development since Open Source Works - by definition - does not engage in clandestine collection of intelligence. Rather, it performs analysis based on unclassified, open source materials. -FAS
House investigators determined that during the 2016 election, Bruce Ohr met with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, and shortly after the 2016 election he met with Glenn Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS - who commissioned Steele to assemble the dossier.
 

Another factor in McCabe's sudden cancellation is a report from The Hill's John Solomon that Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) recently interviewed a retired FBI supervisor who told him he was instructed by Deputy Director Andrew McCabe not to call the 2012 Benghazi attack an act of terrorism when distributing the FBI's findings to the larger intelligence community - despite knowing exactly who conducted the attack.

The agent found the instruction concerning because his unit had gathered incontrovertible evidence showing a major al Qaeda figure had directed the attack and the information had already been briefed to President Obama, the lawmaker said. -The Hill
If true, it means McCabe lied for the Obama administration in a clear, partisan violation of the FBI's mandate to "detect and prosecute crimes against the United States," not "lie for the President so as not to offend Islam." As Rep. DeSantis told The Hill:
"What operational reason would there be to issue an edict to agents telling them, in the face of virtually conclusive evidence to the contrary, not to categorize the Benghazi attack as a result of terrorism? By placing the interests of the Obama administration over the public's interests, the order is yet another data point highlighting the politicization of the FBI."
Whether McCabe cancelled over his "Ohr problem," or for instructing a retired FBI supervisor to lie about the Benghazi attack, or because he doesn't want to talk about Peter Strzok's dismissal from the Mueller probe - one thing is for sure; Devin Nunes can't be happy, and we can probably expect subpoenas to start flying off his desk as soon as this morning.

 

Botched prosecution of the Queen

When somebody is above the law it is called royalty. That why we can call Hillary Clinton to be Queen.

Too Big to Jail, Too Innocent to Flail, or Both

Should Clinton have been prosecuted at all? It depends on whether you wish to apply the law (many do), to apply what others consider common sense, or to rebalance the scale of unequal prosecution. And if the latter, rebalance in which direction? Should Clinton go to jail, or should Manning, among others, go free? I would personally be fine if Clinton never saw a courtroom and prisoners like Manning were freed. For the overall good of the nation, I would take that trade. Others, I’m sure, would choose differently.

Returning to why Clinton wasn’t prosecuted — was it just that Clinton is too important, too protected, to prosecute? “Too big to jail” in other words? Too high to be brought down by something as low as the law? After all, starting with Nixon, the circle of those who can never be punished for their crimes has grown constantly more inclusive. (I almost wrote “for their non-violent crimes,” but then I remembered the torturing George W. Bush.) That’s certainly a possible explanation, even a likely one, given our recent failure to prosecute even a straight-up thief like former Goldman Sachs chief, ex-governor and Democratic Party fundraiser Jon Corzine.

But we live in a punishing, prosecutorial state as well, one that treats its enemies as harshly as it treats its friends gently, especially its inner circle friends. It’s this second aspect, not just who is too big to jail, but who is too high-minded and innocent to torture and flail — too “loyal” to be treated, in other words, like Sterling and Manning — that must be considered before we can understand the unequal application of these laws. Clinton, for all her faults in James Comey’s eyes, was no Chelsea Manning.

As Wheeler says in her closing, this is “another way of saying our classification system is largely a way to arbitrarily label people you dislike disloyal.” On reflection, it’s hard to disagree.

As early as August, 2015 some former highly placed official were suggesting that Clinton committed a felony: Platte River Networks Clinton Email Investigation Timeline

August 20, 2015: Former CIA Director James Woosley suggests Clinton could have committed a felony.

Woolsey, who was CIA director from 1993 to 1995 under President Bill Clinton, comments on Clinton’s email scandal: “What is really wrong here was setting up this separate email system and using it for government work. If anybody wants to set one up and use it for yoga appointments, wedding planning, okay, fine. But to have a server in a bathroom closet in Colorado that is dealing with potentially extremely classified material because it is material that is passing through the secretary of state’s conversations with her staff, that’s really very irresponsible. It is a felony. I think and there are some ways of dealing with this, putting something in the wrong place and making a mistake that are only a misdemeanor. But we’ve had now several of my successors in the intelligence business at senior levels plead to charges and be in situations where it is clear they violated the law, around some of those things look very similar to what has happened here.”(Fox News, 8/20/2015)

As Edward Snowden noted: “Anyone who has the clearances that the secretary of state has or the director of any top level agency has knows how classified information should be handled. When the unclassified systems of the United States government—which has a full time information security staff—regularly get hacked, the idea that someone keeping a private server in the renovated bathroom of a server farm in Colorado, is more secure is completely ridiculous.” (Al Jazeera America, 9/3/2015)

What charges and sanctions were lingering

There are at least four legal charges that are implicit in "emailgate" scandal and more or less applicable to this case. Violation of NDA was the clear among them for anybody who took time to study the main facts. Each of which might lead to criminal conviction:

  1. [Dropped] Mishandling of classified information. This was the most serious change but due to Comey statement those changes were dropped. Sill it is the fact that Hillary copied all her emails on several USB sticks and gave them to her private lawyer and his staff. That involves the Espionage Act. Section 793(d) which makes it a felony if a person entrusted with “information relating to the national defense” “willfully communicates, delivers [or] transmits” it to an unauthorized person. While in case of server she can claim gross negligence, but passing copies of emails on USB to her lawyer was definitely done willfully and that can be proved. There were several top secret email discovered. Adjusting for the typical for government tendency to overclassify they probably were just secret. But that's enough. Also, most if not all of the Obama--Clinton email exchanges were presumptively classified. Yet, both Obama and Clinton knowingly conducted them not only outside the government’s secure system for classified information but using the private email server.
  2. Lying about the situation with her bathroom server to Congress. This change is now active and is supposedly investigated by FBI after referral by congress of July 12, 2016. See 8 Times Hillary Clinton Lied About Her Emails - Breitbart
  3. RICO changes connected with Clinton Foundation. Investigation might be active. Comey refused to answer the question whether FBI is investigating Clinton Foundation.
  4. Revealing identities of CIA operatives. This is similar to famous Valeria Plame case. Valeria Plame was the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson. Plame had her identity as covert officer of the CIA leaked to the press by members of the George W. Bush administration and subsequently made public.
  5. Obstruction of justice and/or destruction of evidence. Obstruction charges can be laid if a person alters, destroys, or conceals physical evidence, even if he was under no compulsion at any time to produce such evidence. wiping the server clean here might qualify. Often, no actual investigation or substantiated suspicion of a specific incident need exist to support a charge of obstruction of justice.
  6. Attempt to violate government employees disclosure rules by deleting emails from the server. Apparently Hillary’s problems with the FOIA cases will worsen after Comey statement. It is also clear that maintaining private email server was done deliberately to hide information about her activities from public and obstructing the national record of elected officials correspondence. As Dan Metcalfe states in POLITICO, “Hillary’s Email Defense Is Laughable...I should know — I ran FOIA for the U.S. government.”
  7. Violation of State Department procedures and installation of private email server into State Department environment (essentially a Trojan Horse). Which was managed by personnel without any government security clearance. As well as the use of a retail version of Blackberry to access them. Such a setup during the lifetime of the server also include moving the server from her house to unidentified NJ datacenter where backups to the cloud for the server content were accidentally made. Here we can talk about gross negligence.

There are several sanctions that can be applied to Hillary Clinton:

The Espionage Act Under Obama and Queen Clinton

Reproduced verbatim from Gaius Publius Picking Up James Comey’s Pieces — What He Did, What He Should Have Done & Why naked capitalism

It turns out that the Espionage Act has become a popular tool of punishment under the Obama administration, which has broadened its application from use against actual espionage to use against unfriendly leakers and whistle-blowers:

Under the Obama administration, seven Espionage Act prosecutions have been related not to traditional espionage but to either withholding information or communicating with members of the media. Out of a total eleven prosecutions under the Espionage Act against government officials accused of providing classified information to the media, seven have occurred since Obama took office.[89] “Leaks related to national security can put people at risk,” the President said at a news conference in 2013. “They can put men and women in uniform that I’ve sent into the battlefield at risk. I don’t think the American people would expect me, as commander in chief, not to be concerned about information that might compromise their missions or might get them killed.”[90]

As Glenn Greenwald (among many others) has recently noted:

Secrecy is a virtual religion in Washington. Those who violate its dogma have been punished in the harshest and most excessive manner – at least when they possess little political power or influence. As has been widely noted, the Obama administration has prosecuted more leakers under the 1917 Espionage Act than all prior administrations combined. Secrecy in DC is so revered that even the most banal documents are reflexively marked classified, making their disclosure or mishandling a felony. As former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden said in 2010, “Everything’s secret. I mean, I got an email saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ It carried a top secret NSA classification marking.”

People who leak to media outlets for the selfless purpose of informing the public – Daniel Ellsberg, Tom Drake, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden – face decades in prison. Those who leak for more ignoble and self-serving ends – such as enabling hagiography (Leon Panetta, David Petreaus) or ingratiating oneself to one’s mistress (Petraeus) – face career destruction, though they are usually spared if they are sufficiently Important-in-DC. For low-level, powerless Nobodies-in-DC, even the mere mishandling of classified informationwithout any intent to leak but merely to, say, work from home – has resulted in criminal prosecution, career destruction and the permanent loss of security clearance.

Even when no leakage or other damage was contemplated or occurred, the Espionage Act was applied against violators. Here’s what happened to Naval Reserve Engineer Brian Nishimura (link via Greenwald above):

A Naval reservist was sentenced for mishandling classified military materials.

A federal attorney announced Wednesday that Bryan Nishimura of Folsom, California, pleaded guilty to the unauthorized removal and retention of classified materials.

Nishimura, deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008 as a regional engineer, admitted to downloading classified briefings and digital records onto his personal electronic devices. He carried the materials off base and brought them back to the U.S. when his deployment ended.

An FBI search of Nishimura’s home turned up classified materials, but did not reveal evidence he intended to distribute them.

How was his case handled? He was obviously prosecuted, as the lead paragraph tells us. Then:

He was sentenced to two years of probation and a $7,500 fine, and was ordered to surrender his security clearance. He is barred from seeking a future security clearance.

This is a Navy engineer who took home downloaded briefings and records. We’re not told under what act he was prosecuted, but we don’t need to be told, just that doing what he did was a crime. The Espionage Act is perfectly suited to that crime, if the prosecutors wished to use it.

Here’s a bit from the FBI’s description of Nishimura’s case:

According to court documents, Nishimura was a Naval reservist deployed in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008. In his role as a Regional Engineer for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, Nishimura had access to classified briefings and digital records that could only be retained and viewed on authorized government computers. Nishimura, however, caused the materials to be downloaded and stored on his personal, unclassified electronic devices and storage media. … In the United States, Nishimura continued to maintain the information on unclassified systems in unauthorized locations, and copied the materials onto at least one additional unauthorized and unclassified system

Sounds like what Clinton did to a T. Should she be prosecuted? Loretta Lynch, speaking through James Comey, doesn’t think so. To understand why not, let’s look at three more notorious and more vigorously prosecuted cases: Jeffrey Sterling, Thomas Drake and Chelsea Manning. Those cases not only reveal why Clinton, in the eyes of many, should be prosecuted; they reveal why she wasn’t.

Jeffrey Sterling, Thomas Drake and Chelsea Manning

This gets to the heart of the problem related to when and why to prosecute. There’s first a question of what should happen and what does happen. Then there’s a question of intent, as in, what intent if any is the target of the law, and what intent is the target of prosecutors who apply the law. These are not the same.

Greenwald doesn’t think Clinton should be prosecuted, since in isolation her crime, as he sees it, doesn’t merit it. What Clinton did was attempt to shield all of her communications to the extent she could, an act that in his mind doesn’t deserve jail time, despite the letter of the law. I would add that we’re talking about applying the Espionage Act after all, and Clinton in no way committed or intended to commit espionage.

But that kind of sensible thinking isn’t what does happen. What does happen is that under Obama, certain people are prosecuted and sentenced very harshly. Greenwald again (bolded emphasis mine):

But this case does not exist in isolation. It exists in a political climate where secrecy is regarded as the highest end, where people have their lives destroyed for the most trivial – or, worse, the most well-intentioned – violations of secrecy laws, even in the absence of any evidence of harm or malignant intent. And these are injustices that Hillary Clinton and most of her stalwart Democratic followers have never once opposed – but rather enthusiastically cheered. In 2011, Army Private Chelsea Manning was charged with multiple felonies and faced decades in prison for leaking documents that she firmly believed the public had the right to see; unlike the documents Clinton recklessly mishandled, none of those was Top Secret. Nonetheless, this is what then-Secretary Clinton said in justifying her prosecution…

Clinton’s justification for Manning’s prosecution is this (emphasis Greenwald’s):

“I think that in an age where so much information is flying through cyberspace, we all have to be aware of the fact that some information which is sensitive, which does affect the security of individuals and relationships, deserves to be protected and we will continue to take necessary steps to do so.

Seems damning in retrospect, especially the emphasized portion. For Clinton, “necessary steps” to protect “sensitive” information that’s “flying through cyberspace” means the following:

In 2010, Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, the United States Army Private First Class accused of the largest leak of state secrets in U.S. history, was charged under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which incorporates parts of the Espionage Act 18 U.S.C. § 793(e). At the time, critics worried that the broad language of the Act could make news organizations, and anyone who reported, printed or disseminated information from WikiLeaks, subject to prosecution, although former prosecutors pushed back, citing Supreme Court precedent expanding First Amendment protections.[103] On July 30, 2013, following a judge-only trial by court-martial lasting eight weeks, Army judge Colonel Denise Lind convicted Manning on six counts of violating the Espionage Act, among other infractions.[98]

And the punishment was this:

Manning was sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years’ imprisonment, with the possibility of parole in the eighth year, and to be dishonorably discharged from the Army.[2]

That harsh punishment doesn’t count the torture she endured while in pre-trial detention. The fate that befell Chelsea Manning was (and is) draconian. Again, in retrospect Clinton’s words at the time are damning.

Let’s look at two more cases, starting with Jeffrey Sterling. As you read, see if you can see the thread that ties these three cases together:

Jeffrey Alexander Sterling, a former CIA agent was indicted under the [Espionage] Act in January 2011 for alleged unauthorized disclosure of national defense information to James Risen, a New York Times reporter, in 2003 regarding his book State of War. The indictment described his motive as revenge for the CIA’s refusal to allow him to publish his memoirs and its refusal to settle his racial discrimination lawsuit against the Agency. Others have described him as telling Risen about a backfired CIA plot against Iran in the 1990s.[91]

But the evidence of wrong-doing was almost non-existent, flimsily circumstantial, and the conviction relied heavily on the jury’s reaction to the government’s presentation of motive.

The government’s case consisted mostly of records of emails and phone calls between Sterling and Risen that began in 2001 and continued into 2005. The emails were very short, just a line or so, and did not reference any CIA programs. The phone calls were mostly short too, some just a few seconds, and the government did not introduce recordings or transcripts of any of them.

Sterling was represented by two lawyers, Edward MacMahon Jr. and Barry Pollack. In his opening statement, MacMahon pointed to the lack of hard evidence against his client.

“Mr. Trump is a fine lawyer,” MacMahon said. “If he had an email with details of these programs or a phone call, you would have heard it, and you’re not going to hear it in this case .… Mr. Trump told you that [Sterling] spoke to Risen. Did you hear where, when, or anything about what happened? No. That’s because there isn’t any such evidence of it whatsoever .… You don’t see a written communication to Mr. Risen from Mr. Sterling about the program at all, no evidence they even met in person.”

Nevertheless, despite this lack of real evidence:

[T]he jury convicted Sterling, based on what the judge, Leonie Brinkema, described at the sentencing as “very powerful circumstantial evidence.” She added, “In a perfect world, you’d only have direct evidence, but many times that’s not the case in a criminal case.” …

A few minutes before three in the afternoon, Judge Brinkema said that Sterling would go to prison for three and a half years. This was far below the sentencing guidelines — and was seen as a rebuke of the prosecution’s portrayal of Sterling as a traitor who had to be locked away for a long time. But that wasn’t much comfort for Sterling or his wife, because he would nonetheless be locked away. After the hearing ended, Sterling walked to the front row of seats to console his sobbing wife. You could hear her wails in the courtroom.

His lawyers requested that he be allowed to serve his sentence in his home state of Missouri, so that his wife and other family members could easily visit him. Earlier this week, Sterling reported to the prison that was selected for him. It is in Colorado.

We still don’t know for sure that Sterling was the person who leaked information to reporter James Risen. Nothing showing that they worked together was presented in court. Nothing. Yet the prosecutor did a good job of painting Sterling as “a traitor” motivated by “anger, bitterness, selfishness,” adding, “The defendant struck back at the CIA because he thought he had been treated unfairly. He had sued the agency for discrimination and demanded that they pay him $200,000 to settle his claim. When the agency refused, he struck back with the only weapon he had: secrets, the agency’s secrets.”

On that basis and almost no evidence, the jury convicted.

Finally, in the case of Thomas Drake, mentioned above by both Wheeler and Greenwald, this happened:

In April 2010, Thomas Andrews Drake, an official with the National Security Agency (NSA), was indicted under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) for alleged willful retention of national defense information. The case arose from investigations into his communications with Siobhan Gorman of the Baltimore Sun and Diane Roark of the House Intelligence Committee as part of his attempt to blow the whistle on several issues including the NSA’s Trailblazer project.[92][93][94][95][96] Considering the prosecution of Drake, investigative journalist Jane Mayer wrote that “Because reporters often retain unauthorized defense documents, Drake’s conviction would establish a legal precedent making it possible to prosecute journalists as spies.”[97]

What sets Drake, Sterling and Manning apart from Clinton in the way their violations of the Espionage Act are treated? It’s not just her elite status.

Why Is Clinton’s Case Different?

Clinton may well have been let off because the Justice Department thought prosecution was just the wrong thing to do. Given all the arcane rules of classification, and the fact that Clinton, put plainly, is not a spy, Comey and Lynch may well have decided that prosecution was pointless. Espionage, after all, was never her intent, and getting Hillary Clinton convicted on espionage charges may have looked to them like a very heavy lift. Yet espionage was never the intent of Sterling, Drake or Manning, yet they had the proverbial book thrown at them, and more. (Read the rest of the article on Sterling to see how his prosecution nearly destroyed his life, literally.)

The government’s behavior in these four cases isn’t clarified when comparing motives, at least not initially. It could be argued that the motives of Sterling, Drake and Manning were entirely beneficial, since whistle-blowers intend to perform a societal good, whereas Clinton’s motives were more self-centered, less morally defensible, and possibly illegal — at the very least, she was attempting to move all of her communication beyond the reach of FOIA records requests. (We’ll have to wait to see if she may have had other motives, such as shielding the Clinton Foundation from embarrassing scrutiny, or worse. I keep seeing mention of a separate investigation into that.)

Which brings us to the the matter of intent — not the intent contemplated by the law (intent to steal or to otherwise mishandle government secrets), but the intent contemplated by the prosecutors in applying the law. Look again at the Sterling conviction and what the prosecution relied on to get it. The man was painted by his prosecutors as, in effect, evil — a man whose goal was to harm the government, a betrayer, a traitor, motivated by anger, bitterness, selfishness, a man taking revenge. Though most stark in Sterling’s prosecution (and in Manning’s torture), you see this thread in all three whistle-blower cases.

What separates these cases from Clinton’s is the desire of the government to punish “evil deeds,” attempts to harm the country as the prosecutors defined harm, then secondarily to use the Espionage Act as a tool of that punishment, wielded in such a heavy way as to frighten others. Note that this initial filter — looking for who has done the kind of harm deserving of punishment, as opposed to looking for who violated the law — precedes the prosecution itself. What doesn’t precede the prosecution — certainly not in Clinton’s case — is an even-handed application of the law.

Yes, this is selective prosecution, but it’s much more than elites protecting elites, though it’s that as well. It’s also and primarily using the prosecutorial weight of the established state to mercilessly crush the perceived enemies of that state, while protecting its friends from that weight should they also stray under the law’s dark umbrella.

In other words, the key to determining who will be prosecuted is indeed intent, but not intent to violate the law. What’s being prosecuted is intent to violate the state as the state perceives it.

So we return where we started, to Marcy Wheeler, who calls the real crime of Sterling and Drake “disloyalty” and not a violation of the Espionage Act itself. Wheeler (my emphasis):

I can only imagine Comey came to his improper public prosecutorial opinion via one of two mental tricks. Either he — again, not the prosecutor — decided the only crime at issue was mishandling classified information (elsewhere in his statement he describes having no evidence that thousands of work emails were withheld from DOJ with ill intent, which dismisses another possible crime), and from there he decided either that it’d be a lot harder to prosecute Hillary Clinton (or David Petraeus) than it would be someone DOJ spent years maligning like Sterling or Drake. Or maybe he decided that there are no indications that Hillary is disloyal to the US.

Understand, though: with Sterling and Drake, DOJ decided they were disloyal to the US, and then used their alleged mishandling of classified information as proof that they were disloyal to the US (Drake ultimately plead to Exceeding Authorized Use of a Computer).

Ultimately, it involves arbitrary decisions about who is disloyal to the US, and from that a determination that the crime of mishandling classified information occurred.

This entirely ignores the political dimension, which I’ll take up at another time. But it perfectly characterizes, as I see it, the legal one.

Comey statement

After a brief introduction, Comey states the FBI was looking into

“whether classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on [Clinton’s] personal system in violation of the Federal statute that makes it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way; or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.”

And he presented the evidence of guilt. Of the approximately 30,000 emails Hillary Clinton turned over to State in 2014, the FBI found

110 emails, in 52 email chains, have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received.

Eight of those chains contained information that was ‘Top Secret’ at the time they were sent; 36 of those chains contained ‘Secret’ information at the time; eight contained ‘Confidential’ information at the time.”

See Supplement 1: FBI director's statement on Hillary Clinton email investigation

Why she was not indicted by FBI for mishandling of classified information?

“If it were me, I would have been out the door and probably in jail.”

General Michael Flynn during CNN appearance.

This chain of events has reinforced the American public’s perception that there are now no prosecutions of unlawful conduct by persons of sufficient wealth, power and influence who consider themselves to be above the law.

It’s not a right-wing theory, a conservative fever dream, conspiracy nonsense or anti-Hillary fear-mongering of a rabid Sanders or Trump supporter. It’s a cold hard facts:

Comey motives for no indicting her created a cottage industry of pundits. No question the case was highly politicized, especially after impromptu meeting of Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch. For some reason Obama also behaves as if he wants to join Clinton Foundation after the end of his term in office. Who in his sound mind endoce a person under FBI investigation. Only constitutional scholars do that ;-).

Looks like Comey was forced to lie about several aspects of this Clinton case and later was caught during congressional hearings (for which he, surprisingly, instantly agreed). If might well be tht he played dual role: mortally wounding Hillary candidacy and at the same time saving his boss (and indirectly Obama administration) from further embarrassment:

Dou Gen , July 13, 2016 at 9:45 am

This article doesn't explain why a punishment such as the one given to Petraeus was not considered by Comey or the DOJ. Petraeus was an elite insider who was not a spy and did not threaten the state, yet he still received a minor punishment so as not to delegitimatize the legal system and in order to give at least a minimal impression of fairness. Since Comey said it was possible - and most experts say very possible - that foreign governments read Hillary's emails, she may have caused significant damage to the US national interest over four years. Therefore even a loyal elite could expect to be at least fined for such gross negligence. Why wouldn't a fine and a reprimand and/or temporary loss of security clearance be normal even for a loyal DC insider? This suggests that the power of the Clinton Machine and its real-world ability to deliver retribution was the deciding factor in the lack of any suggestion of indictment. Comey surely wants to keep his job.

The article also fails to deal with the fact that Comey mistakenly claimed that only one person had ever been prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act. This is clearly not the case, and you list some of those prosecuted. There have also been several other convictions, including US vs. McGuinness in 1992 (see Andrew C. McCarthy, "Military Prosecutions Show That A Gross Negligence Prosecution Would Not Unfairly Single Out Mrs. Clinton" National Review (7/7/2016), CIA director John Deutch in 1997 (pardoned by Bill Clinton), James Hitselberger (who carried classified documents off his naval base in 1997 and simply kept them), and Jason Brezler, a Marine Major who sent classified information about a dangerous Afghan mayor in order to warn a colleague in 2014 (he is now appealing his conviction based on Comey's criteria).

Also please see Jared Beck, "Why Hillary Clinton's Emails Matter: A Legal Analysis" (6/6/2016): Beck lists 4 convictions under 793(f) alone. Also see Beck's "Comey's Volley, Or The Indictment That Wasn't" (7/11/2016). You also need to deal with the question of why Comey ignored the obvious fact that Hillary willfully and knowingly broke State Department rules in setting up the private server and therefore knew she was endangering security. The fact that Comey gave a false number of prosecutions under s. 793 and avoided mention of willful, knowing acts by Hillary suggests his decision to oppose indictment was a political decision, not a legal decision.

The article also fails to deal with the theory that Comey, taking into account various evidence, such as his talks with DOJ attorneys and the fact that Lynch agreed to meet Bill Clinton, decided that that there was no possibility that the Democrat-staffed DOJ would indict Hillary. Therefore Comey decided to make the best of a difficult situation by giving a two-part speech that first laid out reasons why Hillary could be indicted and then explained that it was not "reasonable" to indict her. "Reasonable" is of course a legal term, but it also covers a variety of meanings, including political motives. Do you reject this theory, or were you just unaware of it?

Criminality of this actions aside, all-in-all in dealing with this scandal she behaved more like a member of a clan that a statesman. That reminds me Godfather II.

Why did Hillary Clinton need to use a private server exclusively? I ask why Clinton needed this server in my latest YouTube segment, and I’m especially interested in learning why from Hillary supporters. The answer could very likely lead to Hillary Clinton’s indictment, which would then automatically lead to a Bernie Sanders nomination and Bernie destroying Trump by 8 points in the general election.

On CNN, Lt. General Michael Flynn stated that Hillary Clinton should “drop out” of the presidential race and states “If it were me, I would have been out the door and probably in jail.” I mentioned Lt. General Flynn’s views on the FBI investigation during my latest CNN appearance.

In regards to the unique aspects of the FBI’s email investigation, POLITIFACT states “Although some former secretaries of state occasionally used personal emails for official business, Clinton is the only one who never once used an @state.gov email address in the era of email.”

Thus, asking why she’s the only Secretary of State who refused to use an @state.gov email address is not only relevant, but vital to understanding the severity of the FBI’s investigation. As Dan Metcalfe states in POLITICO, “Hillary’s Email Defense Is Laughable...I should know—I ran FOIA for the U.S. government.” Saying others did worse also can’t explain the fact 100 FBI agents have worked on the case, especially since there’s never been a presidential candidate in American history linked to an ongoing FBI investigation.

National Review suggested "her lax handling of our most sensitive national-security information, Clinton all but served it to foreign intelligence services on a platter." (National Review):

Clinton held one of the highest offices of the United States, and communications involving high-level intelligence were a routine part of her job. Despite her protestations to the contrary, it was inevitable that classified information would be exchanged in her “private” e-mails and stored on her “private server.”

What was inevitable is now undeniable. Inspectors general from both the intelligence community and the State Department have reported to Congress that Clinton’s e-mails contain classified information. And remember, they have been able to review only portions of the 30,000-odd e-mails Clinton deigned to surrender (in paper-copy form) on the State Department’s demand, two years after she departed.

Regarding the access to sensitive information, the position of the Secretary of State is not that different from the position of Army Generals and high level officials at CIA. It might well be more close to the latter, taking into account State Department role in collecting intelligence information and staging color revolutions abroad. A similar level official at CIA or Pentagon would receive much harsher treatment: despite "bathroom server" scandal and a clear, provable violation of NDA she signed, Hillary Clinton retained her security clearance (mcclatchydc.com):

Hillary Clinton retains a security clearance allowing her access to classified information despite an FBI inquiry into her handling of sensitive government information on the private email account she used during her tenure as secretary of state.

... ... ...

While Clinton has kept her clearance, it’s common practice to suspend them while an investigation or internal inquiry is ongoing, according to some national security experts on Capitol Hill and in private practice.

... ... ...

Whether you’re a member of the military, a high-ranking executive branch official or anybody else with a security clearance, people should be treated equally,” said Grassley, R-Iowa. “If rank-and-file military and intelligence community employees have their clearances suspended during security investigations, then senior officials should not get any special exemptions.”

The key here in not personality of Hillary Clinton and her conduct, but the role of Obama in this misconduct. He is, so to speak, complicit in Mrs. Clinton’s misconduct by communicating with her on unprotected private server, which was set-up by personnel from Clinton Foundation. While, most probably, he personally does feel much sympathy for "this woman", the "preservation of legacy" dictated the polices that helped to get her off the hook.

We we now know after FBI announcement, mishandling of classified information changes were dropped. She was cleaned on any wrongdoing in this aspect of "emailgate". But all other relevant aspects of "emailgate" such as violation of FOIA, destruction of evidence, are still pending.

Comparison with General Petraeus case

General Petraeus ( who was the most promising GOP candidate for the current Presidential election) transgressions (aka Petraeus scandal - Wikipedia ) are the most relevant previous similar case. He also did not have any criminal intent that FBI director Comey used to dismiss changes against Hillary Clinton. Moreover his only correspondent has top security clearness while multiple people with who Hillary Clinton shared her email did not. Congressman Issa called this a double standard Congressman Issa Says FBI Director Comey Is Lying About Hillary Clinton's Criminal Intent! - YouTube

They are minimal in comparison with what Hillary Clinton did: Hillary Clinton Emailed Names of US Intelligence Officials, Unclassified. He revealed the information to a single person (his biographer), who was an army intelligence officer with top security clearance. While Hillary Clinton revealed her emails to her private lawyer and his staff as well as indirectly to all server administrators of the "bathroom server". She also potentially guilty in lying to Congress under the oath.

The punishment for him included two year probation and fine. See for example How Gen. David Petraeus Gets It, And Hillary Clinton Still Doesn't ( huffingtonpost.com, 09/29/2015):

At one point, we thought General David Petraeus would be a strong candidate for U.S. President. Certainly against this crop of GOP candidates, he’d be the clear front-runner. But then, he shared classified information, and more than that, with his biographer-turned-mistress (Paula Broadwell), according to ABC News, undoing an impressive military career, with plenty of political upside. ...instead of offering the typical hubris, misdirection, or blame shifting, he thought it was important to again show true remorse for his actions

... ... ...

Hillary Clinton, the former New York Senator and Secretary of State, has been the anti-Petraeus. As of last week, she still was claiming to the Associated Press that she had done nothing wrong and her actions were allowed. Even in her “apology,” she was still claiming it was just a “mistake” according to Fox News. Well, here’s what kind of “mistake” Clinton’s actions might cause. The U.S. National Security Agency Chief, Admiral Mike Rogers, explained that it would really help the NSA if someone like Vladimir Putin or the Supreme Leader of Iran had done the same, using classified information on a private email, as noted in The Guardian.

When classified information gets in the hands of our enemies and rivals, bad things happen for our beleaguered intelligence forces. Sometimes, it leads to the capture, and possible deaths, of our agents and sources. There’s no excuse for putting them in any more harm than they already face. General Petraeus gets that it is wrong. But as Clinton blames Republicans for her woes on NBC’s Meet the Press, it’s clear she still just doesn’t get it.

Please note that as Andrew C. McCarthy pointed in his June 11, 2015 article ( National Review ) when Obama’s Justice Department prosecuted former CIA director David Petraeus for mishandling classified information, it included notes of “defendant DAVID HOWELL PETRAEUS’s discussions with the President of the United States of America.” That completely destroys Hillary Clinton’s defense that the classified e-mails were not “marked” as such? Well, Petraeus’s notes were not marked either. But this was not a problem to his prosecution. Here is how it was revered -- it also included the use of email:

It is reasonable to assume that Hotmail mailbox is on the same of higher level of securty as private email server Hillary Clinton used. It also did not have two facto authentication and mailbox contained sensitive information. If you read Wikipedia article about emailgate ( Hillary Clinton email controversy) and compare it with General Petraeus transgressions the question of double standards definitely comes to mind.

Effectively pardoned by Obama: FBI did not recommend indictment

"They were careless people ... they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made . . . . ”

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow! #RiggedSystem

-- Donald Trump Twit, Jul 5, 2016

In order to get Hillary Clinton off the hook FBI rewrote the existing and pretty strict statute:

Although denying that he was effectively re-writing the language of any relevant statute to reach his conclusion, Director Comey asserted that it was appropriate to ignore the express “gross negligence” element in one such statute dealing with the gathering of defense-related information (18 U.S. Code §793(F)). He based his decision to ignore the “gross negligence” statutory element, despite his own statement that Hillary Clinton had been “extremely careless” in the “handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” on his understanding of past precedent.

He explained that federal prosecutors have brought only one case based on gross negligence in the last 99 years because, in part, of constitutional concerns with convictions in cases where there is no showing of criminal intent. He also concluded that it would be unfair to embark on what he called “celebrity hunting” by singling out Hillary Clinton for prosecution for “gross negligence” when only one such case has been brought in 99 years.

Similarly, the director disputed that the requisite criminal intent was provable under a separate criminal statute involving the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material in an unauthorized location (18 U.S. Code § 1924), even though that is precisely what Hillary Clinton did.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) had an exchange with Director Comey that set out the case for concluding that Hillary Clinton had criminal intent based on such circumstantial evidence. It is worth quoting from at length (Comey's Peculiar Explanations Frontpage Mag):

“GOWDY: …I’m going to ask you to put on your old hat. False exculpatory statements — they are used for what?

COMEY: Well, either for a substantive prosecution, or for evidence of intent in a criminal prosecution.

GOWDY: Exactly. Intent, and consciousness of guilt, right? Is that right?

COMEY: Right.

GOWDY: Consciousness of guilt, and intent. In your old job, you would prove intent, as you just referenced, by showing the jury evidence of a complex scheme that was designed for the very purpose of concealing the public record. And you would be arguing, in addition to concealment, the destruction that you and I just talked about, or certainly the failure to preserve. You would argue all of that under the heading of intent.

You would also be arguing the pervasiveness of the scheme: when it started, when it ended, and the number of e-mails, whether they were originally classified or up-classified. You would argue all of that under the heading of intent…

She affirmatively rejected efforts to give her a state.gov account, she kept these private e-mails for almost two years, and only turned them over to Congress because we found out she had a private e-mail account.

So you have a rogue e-mail system set up before she took the oath of office; thousands of what we now know to be classified e-mails, some of which were classified at the time; one of her more frequent e-mailed comrades was, in fact, hacked, and you don’t know whether or not she was; and this scheme took place over long period of time and resulted in the destruction of public records — and yet you say there is insufficient evidence of intent?

You say she was “extremely careless,” but not intentionally so. Now, you and I both know intent is really difficult to prove. Very rarely do defendants announce, “On this day, I intend to break this criminal code section. Just to put everyone on notice, I am going to break the law on this day.” It never happens that way. You have to do it with circumstantial evidence — or, if you’re Congress, and you realize how difficult it is to prove specific intent, you will formulate a statute that allows for “gross negligence.”

Even before FBI Director James Comey announcement chances of her indictment after Obama announced his support of her candidacy were next to zero. Especially after what was billed as a private meeting on Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch:

But she indicated it had nothing to do with the controversies swirling around the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate.

'Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix,' Lynch said.

Lynch's husband apparently was along for the trip as well.

'I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as he was leaving and spoke to myself and my husband on the plane,' she said.

The tarmac talk took place at Sky Harbor International Airport.

Usually well-informed The Washington Post promoted this theory as early as March 8 (Why Hillary Clinton is unlikely to be indicted over her private email server). "This woman" is above the law:

For those of you salivating — or trembling — at the thought of Hillary Clinton being clapped in handcuffs as she prepares to deliver her acceptance speech at the Democratic convention this summer: deep, cleansing breath. Based on the available facts and the relevant precedents, criminal prosecution of Clinton for mishandling classified information in her emails is extraordinarily unlikely.

There are two main statutory hooks. Title 18, Section 1924, a misdemeanor, makes it a crime for a government employee to “knowingly remove” classified information “without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location.” Prosecutors used this provision in securing a guilty plea from former CIA director David H. Petraeus, who was sentenced to probation and fined $100,000. But there are key differences between Petraeus and Clinton.

... ... ...

Another possible prosecutorial avenue involves the Espionage Act. Section 793(d) makes it a felony if a person entrusted with “information relating to the national defense” “willfully communicates, delivers [or] transmits” it to an unauthorized person. That might be a stretch given the “willfully” requirement.

Section 793(f) covers a person with access to “national defense” information who through “gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust.” The government has used the “gross negligence” provision to prosecute a Marine sergeant who accidentally put classified documents in his gym bag, then hid them in his garage rather than returning them, and an Air Force sergeant who put classified material in a Dumpster so he could get home early.

You can well think about Hillary Clinton server as a "dumpster". Copying emails to USB sticks is probably worse that putting classified documents in a gym bad. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey highlights that Hillary has violated at least 4 federal criminal laws: #18USC1924 #18USC793f #18USC2071 #18USC1519 #Hillary2016's private server violated at least 4 federal criminal laws: #18USC1924 #18USC793f #18USC2071 #18USC1519 ( twitter.com )

As Andrew C. McCarthy noted in http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/437479/fbi-rewrites-federal-law-let-hillary-hook Hillary Clinton checked every box required for a felony violation of Section 793(f) of the federal penal code (Title 18):

The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.

But those consideration are now mute. On July 5, FBI Director James Comey has completed his investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server. His agency recommended to the Justice Department that Clinton not face criminal prosecution, despite calling Clinton and her staff, 'extremely careless.' As one commenter to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3XvTonyUeg noted:

toasteh2 hours ago

Clinton won in the legal arena but could yet lose in the court of public opinion. Now Hillary opponents were given enough ammunition by the FBI report to keep the issue alive and emphasize the issue of trust until election day. Moreover, as Hillary Clinton was essentially put above the law that can double efforts in ares were she was not cleared by FBI investigation.

Political fallout for Hillary Clinton started along the lines that she’s inherently untrustworthy or, in Trump’s words: “a world-class liar”. Even as Comey helped clear the way for Clinton to be legally exonerated, he rebuked her for being “extremely careless” in using a private email server for classified information, adding that lesser government officials might have faced administrative sanction. Contrary to what Comey said in such cases intent does not matter.

In other way Donald Trump powerful ammunition to attack Hillary Clinton about her mishandling of classified information and lying about it till the election day. Just listen to C-Span viewers reaction: C-SPAN Callers VERY DISAPPOINTED In The FBI Decision Not To Charge Hillary Clinton - YouTube. Here are some comments to this recording:

Ross Meldrum

When Comey stated there would be no recommendation for prosecution what I think he was indirectly saying was that no one in the Obama administration or the DOJ is willing to bring an indictment or prosecute her. Even though there is ample evidence of criminality. Obama does not want prosecution because Obama would be called as a witness and found to be guilty himself of knowing she was using an unsecured server. Thus making him guilty as well.

Clooz

people the age of these callers allowed Clinton's election cheating to be successful by voting for her. We had the chance for an anti corruption, for the people candidate, and we threw it away for "first women president" or some bull. Even without the indictment I hope we get another candidate. The world is changing, we don't need corporations, lobbyist, and politicians that only care about the advancement of their careers!

Dr. Tim Williams

With the latest announcement from the FBI shows that Hillary Clinton was very negligent during her tenure as Secretary of State. A series of gross negligence moves concerning classified e-mails is equivalent to what the military terms as a dereliction of duty in her performance as Secretary of State. As the Democratic convention looms ahead the findings by the FBI has to be a real wake up call for every delegate to consider the weakness of a Clinton candidacy. It has to be noted that Senator Sanders who the media continues to ignore has moved the nation into realizing that change is needed to secure that our democratic process returns to the way our founding fathers intended. Make no mistake that if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee leaves open the more than probability that Trump will win in November. Or if the wheels of corruption by the DNC and the already super delegates that are being pulled by Clinton's purse strings succeed at striping the nomination away from Senator Sanders manage to convince enough voters in November it will be a sad day for all Americans.

Trish McRae

The democratic leaders need to lead and ask for Hillary to step down and allow Bernie to be the nominee. Congress needs to make sure Loretta Lynch indicts Hillary for her crimes. Bernie is honest and brings much enthusiasm. I don't understand why I constantly hear the media asking Sanders to step down when Hillary is the worst candidate. Watching the election fraud videos from San Diego and not hearing about any of it in the news is disgusting. It feels like Hillary brought much corruption to our party. I am a lifelong democrat and will never vote for Hillary. I may have to leave it.

FBI director James Comey Testifies on Clinton Email Probe

It provided some additional facts.

Congressman Gowdy asked Director Comey point-blank if Clinton’s testimony that she did not e-mail “any classified material to anyone on my e-mail” was true. Comey said it was not true. Was Clinton telling the truth when she said that she used only one device while Secretary of State? Comey said she used multiple devices. Did she return all work-related e-mails to the State Department as she had claimed? No was the reply. “We found work-related emails, thousands that were not returned,” Comey said.

There were also funny exchange in which Comey suggested that Hillary might be not "sophisticated enough" to understand that classified markings are present (in other word that she is not qualified for any government position):

FBI Director James Comey is suggesting that it's possible Hillary Clinton may not have been able to identify classified markings on emails.

Comey's investigation found that there were 113 emails that were sent or received by Clinton containing classified material, contradicting Clinton's previous statements.

Comey says under questioning from a Republican lawmaker that they asked Clinton about three emails that bore "C'' markings indicating that the documents are classified. He says there's a question of whether Clinton was "sophisticated enough" to understand what the C markings meant.

North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows says a reasonable person would think someone who is the secretary of state would understand what that means. Meadows says after Clinton's time in the Senate and at the State Department, "that's hard to believe."

Looks like there might be multiple servers in the basement. Here are some interesting fragments:

  1. Trey Gowdy GRILLS James Comey On Hillary Clinton Emails 7-7-16 - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC1Mc6-RDyQ
  2. Palmer Questioning FBI Director Comey - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMg9CjtsykY
  3. Jason Chaffetz Digs in on Comey at Start of Capitol Hearing ‘We Are Mystified and Confused’ - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2vyE4QWk1o
  4. Rep. Hurd Grills James Comey - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T119FRJRnyU
  5. Highlights James Comey Testimony in Clinton Email Hearing - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsYOfAZZq_s
  6. Rep. Jody Hice questions FBI Director James Comey (Full video) - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyK5xPafkGI
  7. Georgia Reps. grill James Comey - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zfugJDD6jk
  8. Clinton dodges questions after FBI interrogation - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzFIVntNOck

McCabe, Comey and Strzok -- three FBI Mayberry Machiavellians, three key FBI players in the scheme to clear Clinton and frame Trump in order to appoint the Special Prosecutor to investigate his "collision with Russia"

Just as Comey, Strzok, Page and company clearly conspired to clear Hillary Clinton, they likewise concocted their “insurance policy,” a scam investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump in order to be able to appoint the Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump connections with Russia. created with the help of CIA and MI6 (with active role of Brennan) using "false flag" techniques  (Gregg Jarrett Comey and Strzok -- Two key players in the scheme to clear Clinton and frame Trump Fox News _

Metadata shows that on June 6, the FBI’s lead investigator on the case, Peter Strzok, sat down at his office computer to cleanse his boss’s statement of the vexing term, “gross negligence.”  With the help of his paramour and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the words “extremely careless” were substituted to make Clinton appear less criminally culpable. Page told the IG that “to use a term that actually has a legal definition would be confusing.”

It most certainly would. After all, how could Clinton be exonerated under the “gross negligence” law if that very phrase was used to describe her behavior? The phrases mean the same thing, but only one appears in the statute.

Strozk and Page also expunged from Comey’s statement his reference to another statute that Clinton had plainly violated. She should have been charged under the statute’s “intent” provisions.  With Comey’s consent and encouragement, the pair sanitized his findings of fact and contorted his conclusions of law. Clinton, who had not even been interviewed by the FBI yet, was free and clear. The investigation was a sham.

Comey may not have remembered writing the words that should have indicted Clinton, but he had complete recall of his inability to read the law. He told the IG he thought “Congress intended for there to be some level of willfulness present even to prove a ‘gross negligence’ violation.” If Comey had ever read the legislative history, he would have known that in 1948, Congress amended the original Espionage Act of 1917 to add a “gross negligence” provision that did not require intent or willfulness.

Amnesia must be contagious at the FBI. Testifying before Congress, Strzok feigned no recollection of using his computer to make the critical alteration that cleared Clinton. He did, however, directly implicate the FBI director.

“Ultimately, he (Comey) made the decision to change that wording,” said Strzok.

But wait, how could Comey order a change in the words he doesn’t remember writing?  Their stories don’t jibe. At least one of them is lying.

Strzok’s memory repression must be acute.  He also informed Congress he does “not recall writing” the infamous text message to his lover, Page, vowing to “stop” Trump from being elected president.

“What I can tell you is that text in no way suggested that I or the FBI would take any action to influence the candidacy,” Strzok insisted.

That is a remarkably dexterous explanation for something he does not remember doing.  When confronted with a myriad of other messages extoling Clinton and disparaging Trump, Strzok had the temerity to say, “I do not have bias.”  Later, “Those text messages are not indicative of bias.”

No one with an ounce of intelligence could possibly buy the self-serving rubbish that Strzok was peddling. This includes the inspector general who, after an exhaustive investigation, concluded that the Strzok-Page communications “are not only indicative of a biased state of mind but imply a willingness to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral process.”

Just as Comey, Strzok, Page and company conspired to clear Hillary Clinton, they likewise concocted their “insurance policy,” a scam investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump. The FBI had no legal basis to initiate its investigation into Trump and his campaign. Facts were invented or exaggerated. Laws were perverted or ignored.  The law enforcers became the law breakers.  Comey’s scheme to leak pilfered presidential memos in order to trigger the appointment of his friend, Robert Mueller, as special counsel was a devious maneuver by an unscrupulous man. Comey’s insinuation that the president obstructed justice was another canard designed to inflame the liberal media.  Sure enough, they became his witting accessories.

Compare all of this – that there was never any credible evidence that Trump or his campaign collaborated with Russia to win the presidency – with the fact that there was ample evidence that Clinton had broken the law.

This is the story of “The Russia Hoax.”


 


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[Apr 21, 2019] Man Cited As Trump's Russian Link Actually Works For The FBI Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... Meanwhile, Sater is still working for the FBI , according to two current FBI agents. Moreover, he has relationships with at least six members of Robert Mueller's team, "some going back more than 10 years." ..."
Mar 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Felix Sater, the man at the center of a controversial email "tying" President Trump to Russia while trying to work a business deal, has come forward in a comprehensive BuzzFeed News Exposé, which if Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Anthony Cormier and co-author Jason Leopold hadn't verified - nobody would believe.

Sater went from a "Wall Street wunderkind" working at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, to getting barred from the securities industry over a barroom brawl which led to a year in prison, to facilitating a $40 million pump-and-dump stock scheme for the New York mafia, to working telecom deals in Russia - where the FBI and CIA tapped him as an undercover intelligence asset who was told by his handler " I want you to understand: If you're caught, the USA is going to disavow you and, at best, you get a bullet in the head ."

... ... ...

Meanwhile, Sater is still working for the FBI , according to two current FBI agents. Moreover, he has relationships with at least six members of Robert Mueller's team, "some going back more than 10 years."

To this day, Sater continues to cooperate with the FBI and Justice Department, he said in his statement to the House Intelligence Committee. He wouldn't disclose additional details, except to say that he works on "international matters." Two US officials confirmed Sater continues to be a reliable asset.

As for his regular life, when he relocated back to the US in 2010, he recalled, "Donald said, 'Where have you been?'" Sater said Trump asked him to join the Trump Organization. "That's when I became senior advisor to him," he said. The Trump Organization and the White House declined to comment. - BuzzFeed

In effect, Sater - at least according to BuzzFeed , is more or less a rockstar opportunist spy with a shady past, who redeemed himself as an asset for the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI. During the course of his work for the agencies, all unpaid, BuzzFeed confirmed the following exploits:

[Apr 21, 2019] Special Counsel Mueller -- Disingenuous and Dishonest by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As I noted in my previous piece-- The FBI Tried and Failed to Entrap Trump --Sater was an active FBI undercover informant. ..."
"... An honest prosecutor would have and should have disclosed this fact. He, Sater, was the one encouraging the Trump team to cozy up to Russia. Mueller does not disclose one single instance of Trump or Cohen or any of the Trump kids calling Sater on the carpet and chewing his ass for not bringing them deals and not opening doors in Russia. Omitting this key fact goes beyond simple disingenuity. It is a conscious lie. ..."
"... The circumstantial evidence indicates that Sater was doing this at the behest of FBI handlers. We do not yet know who they are. ..."
"... We also have the case of Michael Caputo and Roger Stone being approached by a Russian gangster named Henry Greenberg. ..."
"... How does a guy like Vorkretsov/Greenberg, with an extensive criminal record and circumstantial ties to the Russian mob gain entrance into the United States? Very simple answer. He too was an FBI informant : ..."
"... Please take time to read the full dossier at democrat dossier . This is more than an odd coincidence. This is a pattern. The FBI was targeting the Trump campaign and personnel in a deliberate effort to implicate them in wanting to work with Russians. ..."
"... Once again, the Mueller team treats the provocateur -- -i.e., Joseph Mifsud -- -as some simple guy with ties to Russia's political elites. Another egregious lie. Mifsud was not working on behalf of Russia. He was deployed by MI-6. Disobedient Media has been on the forefront of exposing Mifsud's ties to western intelligence in general and the Brits in particular . ..."
"... A number of Twitter users recently observed that Joseph Mifsud had been photographed standing next to Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee at Mifsud’s LINK campus in Rome. Newsmax and Buzzfeed later reported that the professor’s name and biography had been removed from the campus’ website, writing that the mysterious removal took place after Mifsud had served the institution for “years.” ..."
"... WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange likewise noted the connection between Mifsud and Smith in a Twitter thread, additionally pointing out his connections with Saudi intelligence: “[Mifsud] and Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and eight-year member of the UK Security Vetting panel both trained Italian security services at the Link University in Rome and appear to both be present in this [photo].” ..."
"... This is not a mere matter of Mueller and his team "failing" to disclose some important facts. If they were operating honestly they should have investigated Mifsud, Greenberg and Sater. But they did not. Two of the three--Sater and Greenber--alleged Russian stooges have ties to the FBI. And Mifsud has been living and working in the belly of the intelligence community. ..."
"... Don't hold your breath .The so called deep state which in reality are our plutocratic oligarchical class that win. Look at the new boss same as the old boss. ..."
"... Look at all the hair triggers that have been laid out with the TRUMP regime since he became POTUS with regards to the ME and the Russian Federation . THe IRGC being labelled a terrorist organization and further more both Dems and Repub are trying to introduce a bill that labels the Russian Federation as a sponsor of terrorism. ..."
"... You just can't make this stuff up. Least we forget replacing the meme of ASSAD HAS TO GO TO MADURRO HAS TO GO. War is a racket and as per usual we the sheeple just fall for it. Ret. Col Wilkerson lays all out at last years Israeli influence conference. ..."
"... The Special Relationship is hopefully entering the divorce stage. None too soon. Great work, Mr. Johnson. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

While President Trump is correct to celebrate the Mueller Report’s conclusion that no one on Trump’s side of the ledger attempted to or succeeded in collaborating or colluding with the Russian Government or Russian spies, there remains a dark cloud behind the silver lining. And I am not referring to the claims of alleged obstruction of justice. A careful reading of the report reveals that Mueller has issued findings that are both disingenuous and dishonest. The report is a failed hatchet job. Part of the failure can be attributed to the amount of material that Attorney General Barr allowed to be released. It appears that Bill Barr's light editing may have been intended to expose the bias and sloppiness of Mueller and his team.

Let us start with the case of trying to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. If you were to believe that the Steele Dossier accurately reported Vladimir Putin's attitude towards Trump, then a Trump real estate deal in Moscow was a slam dunk. According to one of Steele's breathless reports:
The Kremlin's cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. How ever, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.
Then there is reality. The impetus, the encouragement for the Moscow project came from one man--Felix Sater.
In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov.J07 Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City.30S Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).
To reiterate--if the Steele Dossier was based on truthful intelligence then the Trump organization only had to sit back, stretch out their hands and seize the moment. Instead, little Felix Sater keeps coming back to the well. In January 2016, according to the Mueller report,
Sater then sent a draft invitation for Cohen to visit Moscow to discuss the Trump Moscow project,along with a note to "[t]ell me if the letter is good as amended by me or make whatever changes you want and send it back to me."

After a further round of edits, on January 25, 2016, Sater sent Cohen an invitation -- signed by Andrey Ryabinskiy of the company MHJ -- to travel to "Moscow for a working visit" about the "prospects of development and the construction business in Russia," "the various land plots available suited for construction of this enormous Tower," and "the opportunity to co-ordinate a follow up visit to Moscow by Mr. Donald Trump..

This produced nothing. No deal, no trip. But Sater persisted:

Beginning in late 2015, Sater repeatedly tried to arrange for Cohen and candidate Trump, as representatives of the Trump Organization, to travel to Russia to meet with Russian government officials and possible financing partners. . . .

Into the spring of 2016, Sater and Cohen continued to discuss a trip to Moscow in connection with the Trump Moscow project. On April 20, 2016, Sater wrote Cohen, " [t)he People wanted to know when you are coming?,,

On May 4, 2016, Sater followed up:

“I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the trip does happen the question is before or after the convention. I said I believe, but don't know for sure, that's it's probably after the convention. Obviously the pre-meeting trip (you only) can happen anytime you want but he 2 big guys where [sic) the question. I said I would confirm and revert.”

On May 5, 2016, Sater wrote to Cohen:

“Peskov would like to invite you as his guest to the St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia's Davos it's June 16-19. He wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to either Putin or Medvedev, as they are not sure if 1 or both will be there. This is perfect. The entire business class of Russia will be there as well.”

On June 14, 2016, Cohen met Sater in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York and informed him that he would not be traveling at that time.

Why was Felix Sater the one repeatedly identified pushing to arrange deals with the Russians and yet did not face any subsequent charges by the Mueller team? Sater had been working as part of the Trump team since 2003. Why is it that the proposed deals and travel to Moscow came predominantly from Felix Sater?

As I noted in my previous piece--The FBI Tried and Failed to Entrap Trump--Sater was an active FBI undercover informant. He had been working with the FBI since 1998. When he agreed to start working as an undercover informant aka cooperator in December 1998 guess who signed off on the deal? Andrew Weissman. You can see the deal here. It was signed 10 December 1998.

An honest prosecutor would have and should have disclosed this fact. He, Sater, was the one encouraging the Trump team to cozy up to Russia. Mueller does not disclose one single instance of Trump or Cohen or any of the Trump kids calling Sater on the carpet and chewing his ass for not bringing them deals and not opening doors in Russia. Omitting this key fact goes beyond simple disingenuity. It is a conscious lie.

The circumstantial evidence indicates that Sater was doing this at the behest of FBI handlers. We do not yet know who they are.

But Sater's behavior and status as an FBI Informant was not an isolated incident. We also have the case of Michael Caputo and Roger Stone being approached by a Russian gangster named Henry Greenberg. According to democratdossier.com:

Greenberg's birth name is Gennady Vasilievich Vostretsov, the son of Yekatrina Vostretsova and Vasliy Vostretsov. He later adopted new names twice as a result of two different marriages and became Gennady V. Arzhanik and later Henry Oknyansky. Henry Greenberg is not a legal alias, but he uses it quite commonly in recent years.
But you would not know this from reading the Mueller report. Mr. Disingenuous strikes again:
In the spring of 2016, Trump Campaign advisor Michael Caputo learned through a Florida-based Russian business partner that another Florida-based Russian, Henry Oknyansky (who also went by the name Henry Greenberg), claimed to have information pertaining to Hillary Clinton . Caputo notified Roger Stone and brokered communication between Stone and Oknyansky.

Oknyansky and Stone set up a May 2016 in-person meeting. 260 Oknyansky was accompanied to the meeting by Alexei Rasin, a Ukrainian associate involved in Florida real estate. At the meeting, Rasin offered to sell Stone derogatory information on Clinton that Rasin claimed to have obtained while working for Clinton. Rasin claimed to possess financial statements demonstrating Clinton's involvement in money laundering with Rasin's companies. According to Oknyansky, Stone asked if the amounts in question totaled millions of dollars but was told it was closer to hundreds of thousands. Stone refused the offer, stating that Trump would not pay for opposition research.

How does a guy like Vorkretsov/Greenberg, with an extensive criminal record and circumstantial ties to the Russian mob gain entrance into the United States? Very simple answer. He too was an FBI informant:

In an affidavit, Vostretsov explained to an immigration judge he worked for the FBI for 17 years throughout the world, including in the US, Iran and North Korea. He explained in the same paperwork the FBI granted him several temporary visas to visit the US in exchange for information about criminal activities.

Please take time to read the full dossier at democrat dossier. This is more than an odd coincidence. This is a pattern. The FBI was targeting the Trump campaign and personnel in a deliberate effort to implicate them in wanting to work with Russians.

And there is more. George Papodopoulus was entrapped by individuals linked to British MI-6 and the CIA with offers to provide meetings with Russians and Putin. The Mueller account is a lie:

In late April 2016, Papadopoulos was told by London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, immediately after Mifsud 's return from a trip to Moscow, that the Russian government had obtained "dirt" on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. One week later, on May 6, 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to candidate Clinton.

Papadopoulos shared information about Russian "dirt " with people outside of the Campaign, and the Office investigated whether he also provided it to a Campaign official. Papadopoulos and the Campaign officials with whom he interacted told the Office that they did · not recall that Papadopoulos passed them the information. Throughout the relevant period of time and for several months thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government. That meeting never came to pass.

Once again, the Mueller team treats the provocateur -- -i.e., Joseph Mifsud -- -as some simple guy with ties to Russia's political elites. Another egregious lie. Mifsud was not working on behalf of Russia. He was deployed by MI-6. Disobedient Media has been on the forefront of exposing Mifsud's ties to western intelligence in general and the Brits in particular.

Mifsud’s alleged links to Russian intelligence are summarily debunked by his close working relationship with Claire Smith, a major figure in the upper echelons of British intelligence. A number of Twitter users recently observed that Joseph Mifsud had been photographed standing next to Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee at Mifsud’s LINK campus in Rome. Newsmax and Buzzfeed later reported that the professor’s name and biography had been removed from the campus’ website, writing that the mysterious removal took place after Mifsud had served the institution for “years.”

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange likewise noted the connection between Mifsud and Smith in a Twitter thread, additionally pointing out his connections with Saudi intelligence: “[Mifsud] and Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and eight-year member of the UK Security Vetting panel both trained Italian security services at the Link University in Rome and appear to both be present in this [photo].”

The photograph in question originated on Geodiplomatics.com, where it specified that Joseph Mifsud is indeed standing next to Claire Smith, who was attending a: “…Training program on International Security which was organised by Link Campus University and London Academy of Diplomacy.” The event is listed as taking place in October, 2012. This is highly significant for a number of reasons.

This is not a mere matter of Mueller and his team "failing" to disclose some important facts. If they were operating honestly they should have investigated Mifsud, Greenberg and Sater. But they did not. Two of the three--Sater and Greenber--alleged Russian stooges have ties to the FBI. And Mifsud has been living and working in the belly of the intelligence community.

When you put these facts together it is clear that there is real meat on the bone for Barr's upcoming investigation of the "spying" that was being done on the Trump campaign by law enforcement and intelligence. These facts must become a part of the public consciousness. The foreign country that worked feverishly to meddle in the 2016 Presidential election and the subsequent rule of Donald Trump is the United Kingdom. Russia is the patsy.

turcopolier, 20 April 2019 at 10:44 PM

IMO the FBI leadership, Clapper, Brennan and his flunkies were working with the Brits at some senior level of their IO apparatus to screw Trump. Mueller's testimony before the Congress should be revelatory of his true position.

falcemartello, 20 April 2019 at 11:28 PM

Don't hold your breath .The so called deep state which in reality are our plutocratic oligarchical class that win. Look at the new boss same as the old boss.

It was obvious from way back in June 2016 when most of the fabricated /novella known as the Steele Dossier was floating around and the role Fusion GPS played in the Clinton POTUS machine. There is a lot out there but as per usual smokey mirrors and deception.

I live you with this one thought.

Look at all the hair triggers that have been laid out with the TRUMP regime since he became POTUS with regards to the ME and the Russian Federation . THe IRGC being labelled a terrorist organization and further more both Dems and Repub are trying to introduce a bill that labels the Russian Federation as a sponsor of terrorism.

You just can't make this stuff up. Least we forget replacing the meme of ASSAD HAS TO GO TO MADURRO HAS TO GO. War is a racket and as per usual we the sheeple just fall for it. Ret. Col Wilkerson lays all out at last years Israeli influence conference.

Rick Merlotti

The Special Relationship is hopefully entering the divorce stage. None too soon. Great work, Mr. Johnson.

[Apr 21, 2019] George Papodopoulus was entrapped by individuals linked to British MI-6 and the CIA with offers to provide meetings with Russians and Putin. The Mueller account is a lie

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

And there is more. George Papodopoulus was entrapped by individuals linked to British MI-6 and the CIA with offers to provide meetings with Russians and Putin. The Mueller account is a lie:

In late April 2016, Papadopoulos was told by London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, immediately after Mifsud 's return from a trip to Moscow, that the Russian government had obtained "dirt" on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. One week later, on May 6, 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to candidate Clinton.

Papadopoulos shared information about Russian "dirt " with people outside of the Campaign, and the Office investigated whether he also provided it to a Campaign official. Papadopoulos and the Campaign officials with whom he interacted told the Office that they did · not recall that Papadopoulos passed them the information. Throughout the relevant period of time and for several months thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government. That meeting never came to pass.

Once again, the Mueller team treats the provocateur -- -i.e., Joseph Mifsud -- -as some simple guy with ties to Russia's political elites. Another egregious lie. Mifsud was not working on behalf of Russia. He was deployed by MI-6. Disobedient Media has been on the forefront of exposing Mifsud's ties to western intelligence in general and the Brits in particular .

Mifsud’s alleged links to Russian intelligence are summarily debunked by his close working relationship with Claire Smith, a major figure in the upper echelons of British intelligence. A number of Twitter users recently observed that Joseph Mifsud had been photographed standing next to Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee at Mifsud’s LINK campus in Rome. Newsmax and Buzzfeed later reported that the professor’s name and biography had been removed from the campus’ website, writing that the mysterious removal took place after Mifsud had served the institution for “years.”

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange likewise noted the connection between Mifsud and Smith in a Twitter thread, additionally pointing out his connections with Saudi intelligence: “[Mifsud] and Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and eight-year member of the UK Security Vetting panel both trained Italian security services at the Link University in Rome and appear to both be present in this [photo].”

The photograph in question originated on Geodiplomatics.com, where it specified that Joseph Mifsud is indeed standing next to Claire Smith, who was attending a: “…Training program on International Security which was organised by Link Campus University and London Academy of Diplomacy.” The event is listed as taking place in October, 2012. This is highly significant for a number of reasons.

This is not a mere matter of Mueller and his team "failing" to disclose some important facts. If they were operating honestly they should have investigated Mifsud, Greenberg and Sater. But they did not. Two of the three -- Sater and Greenber -- alleged Russian stooges have ties to the FBI. And Mifsud has been living and working in the belly of the intelligence community.

[Apr 20, 2019] Did Assange lied about Seth Rich?

Assange actually undermined the key pre-condition of the Deep state existence -- secrecy.
Notable quotes:
"... Robert Mueller, who helped the Bush administration deceive the world about WMD in Iraq, has claimed that the GRU was the source of WikiLeaks' 2016 drops, and claimed in his report that WikiLeaks deceived its audience by implying that its source was the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. ..."
"... The smear is that Assange knew his source was actually the Russian government, and he implied it was Seth Rich to throw people off the scent. Mueller asserted that something happened, and it's interpreted as hard fact instead of assertion. There's no evidence for any of this, and there's no reason to go believing the WMD guy on faith about a narrative which incriminates yet another government which refuses to obey the dictates of the US empire. ..."
"... HItchen's Razor: "what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

I'm just going to toss this one here at the end because I'm seeing it go around a lot in the wake of the Mueller report.

Robert Mueller, who helped the Bush administration deceive the world about WMD in Iraq, has claimed that the GRU was the source of WikiLeaks' 2016 drops, and claimed in his report that WikiLeaks deceived its audience by implying that its source was the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich.

This claim is unsubstantiated because, as we discussed in Smear 4, the public has not seen a shred of evidence proving who was or was not WikiLeaks' source, so there's no way to know there was any deception happening there. We've never seen any hard proof, nor indeed anything besides official narrative, connecting the Russian government to Guccifer 2.0 and Guccifer 2.0 to WikiLeaks, and Daniel Lazare for Consortium News documents that there are in fact some major plot holes in Mueller's timeline. Longtime Assange friend and WikiLeaks ally Craig Murray maintains that he knows the source of the DNC Leaks and Podesta Emails were two different Americans, not Russians, and hints that one of them was a DNC insider. There is exactly as much publicly available evidence for Murray's claim as there is for Mueller's.

Mainstream media has been blaring day after day for years that it is an absolute known fact that the Russian government was WikiLeaks' source, and the only reason people scoff and roll their eyes at anyone who makes the indisputably factual claim that we've seen no evidence for this is because the illusory truth effect causes the human brain to mistake repetition for fact.

The smear is that Assange knew his source was actually the Russian government, and he implied it was Seth Rich to throw people off the scent. Mueller asserted that something happened, and it's interpreted as hard fact instead of assertion. There's no evidence for any of this, and there's no reason to go believing the WMD guy on faith about a narrative which incriminates yet another government which refuses to obey the dictates of the US empire.

And I guess that's it for now. Again, this article is an ongoing project, so I'll be updating it and adding to it regularly as new information comes in and new smears need refutation. If I missed something or got something wrong, or even if you spotted a typo, please email me at admin@caitlinjohnstone.com and let me know. I'm trying to create the best possible tool for people to refute Assange smears, so I'll keep sharpening this baby to make sure it cuts like a razor. Thanks for reading, and thanks to everyone who helped! Phew! That was long.


motherjones , 52 minutes ago link

We don't have to like Julian Assange, but the release of the "Collateral Damage" video alone is enough to justify defending Assange and the freedom of the press.

Ozymandiasssss , 1 hour ago link

She really didn't debunk the thing about Seth Rich very well. Basically just said that whatever Mueller said wasn't true, which doesn't go very far for me. He definitely did imply that he got at least some of his info from Rich so if there is some sort of proof of that, it needs to be supplied; otherwise Mueller's story is the only one.

bh2 , 1 hour ago link

HItchen's Razor: "what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

beemasters , 2 hours ago link

I have recently seen a political cartoon with Dotard then saying: "I love Wikileaks" + " I will throw her in jail" and now saying: "I know nothing about Wikileaks" + "I will throw him in jail"

It summed up perfectly that swine's lack of integrity.

Downtoolong , 2 hours ago link

It's so simple. Assange and Wikileaks exposed Hillary, Podesta, and the entire DNC to be lying, deceiving, hypocritical, disingenuous, elitist bastards. His crimes are miniscule compared to that, and all who attempt to condemn Assange only show us that they are members of that foul group.

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

Yet Dotard didn't push hard at all to get Killary, Podesta & friends charged...not even tweets calling for it since he got elected.

TotalMachineFail , 3 hours ago link

Excellent thorough content. And Kim Schmitz pointed out they'll drag things on for as long as possible and try to add additional things as they go. Such a bunch of sad, pathetic control freaks. Covering up their own failures, crimes and short comings with a highly publicized distraction putting the screws to a single journalist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBs1dgYL-7w

When the next world leader is Kashoggied nobody is going to care.

freedommusic , 3 hours ago link

“ Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange .

And they responded by saying we’ve got 15 files , 32 pages , but they’re all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can’t have them.

That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that’s the only business that NSA is in — copying communications between people and devices.”

—Bill Binney (NSA 30 year vet)

( source )

RussianSniper , 3 hours ago link

Long story!

Important topic!!

Assange and Snowden are freedom fighters, exposing the duplicitous, corrupt, and criminals to the entire world.

The hundreds of millions of mindless zombies are so brainwashed by the fake news industry, that if Assange and Snowden are not spies, they are criminal in some capacity.

I have liberal, conservative, and libertarian leaning friends, and virtually every one of them believe Assange and Snowden are traitors to America, got innocent people killed, are rapists, or too cowardly to stand trial in the USA.

What has happened to common sense and some necessary cynicism?

Dugald , 2 hours ago link

The trouble with Common Sense is it's not all that common.....

LetThemEatRand , 3 hours ago link

Why even bother arguing with these people. Assange gave up his liberty to reveal the truth, and the American public said in essence "so what." No one except the leakers and whistle-blowers faced any punishment, and I can't think of a single national politician who even talks about doing anything about the misconduct that was revealed. Yeah, a small percentage of the population is outraged at what was revealed, but the vast majority literally don't give a ****.

fezline , 3 hours ago link

Hehe... I guess you will find out how wrong you are in 2020 :-) His release of Hillary's emails gave Trump 2016... and him turning his back on Assange took away his chances in 2020

chunga , 3 hours ago link

Most regular readers on ZH know but this is an echo chamber for "Always Trumpers" so there won't be many commenters on this article. Rather than defend his DOJ's extradition attempts with implausible theories they'll be chattering back and forth about the Mueller Report.

/winning

LetThemEatRand , 2 hours ago link

Agreed. It's amazing to me that people who claim to be believers of the MAGA message don't see the harm associated with the arrest of Assange, and all of the other uniparty **** Trump is perpetuating. A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

ZENDOG , 3 hours ago link

Whole lot of yadda yadda yadda about someone 99.9% of Americans don't know.

And even less who give a ****.

Hillary dead yet?

fezline , 3 hours ago link

Yeah and yet.... everyone seemed to credit Hillary's loss to the release of her emails on wikileaks... Hmm that narrative that seems to be trying to minimize the impact on Trumps chances in 2020 really breaks down in the face of that fact doesn't it?? Trump has no hope... just stop... get behind a republican that has a chance... Trump doesn't... he lost half of his base... get over it...

[Apr 19, 2019] HARPER RUSSIAGATERS IN IG CROSSHAIRS

Notable quotes:
"... While criminal referrals from Congress are often ignored at the DOJ, referrals from the Department's own Inspector General can hardly be ignored altogether. I anticipate that the release of the Horowitz report, expected in four-to-six weeks will be a bombshell. ..."
"... Cleanout of the corrupt, inept and ultra-partisan elements of the FBI and DOJ is long, long overdue. ..."
"... Maybe Assange was arrested to prevent him from testifying that he did not get the DNC emails from the Russians. He has always claimed that he did not get it from the Russians. ..."
"... http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51442.htm : VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal To Interview Assange ..."
"... There is much evidence suggesting an insider leak as opposed to a hack and the VIPS examination has the forensics to assert it, unlike Mueller who declared, without forensic examination, the emails to be hacked. ..."
"... There are 1000's of real reasons to take down Trump for his financial crimes. Defending the pathetic loss by Hillary Clinton on "Russia" and "Russians" is xenophobic, indeed racist, cold war propaganda. I suggest you stop drinking the kool-aid. ..."
"... In 2015 the DOJ-OIG (office of inspector general) requested oversight of the DOJ National Security Division. It was Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58 page legal explanation saying, essentially, 'nope – not allowed.' All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the DOJ-NSD. ..."
"... Larry Johnson's separate comment is quite true. Just as gentlemen DO read other people's mail, governments have historically used their covert resources to interfere in other nations' elections to their benefit. Nothing new under the Sun in this. Fully agree that VIPS has made a strong case, along with others, that the DNC emails were just as likely obtained from someone on the premises. ..."
"... I recall Boris Yeltsin's reelection campaign, when a small army of American political campaign experts flooded Moscow and virtually ran Boris' campaign from a Moscow hotel. ..."
Apr 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

With all the attention focused on tomorrow's release of the redacted version of the Mueller final report, more attention should be directed at the upcoming report of Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, who is looking into misconduct by those who foisted the Russiagate/Trump collusion tale. In recent meeting with two House Republican allies of Trump--Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows--Horowitz indicated that he would be making criminal referrals, presumably against FBI and DOJ officials.

While criminal referrals from Congress are often ignored at the DOJ, referrals from the Department's own Inspector General can hardly be ignored altogether. I anticipate that the release of the Horowitz report, expected in four-to-six weeks will be a bombshell.

Cleanout of the corrupt, inept and ultra-partisan elements of the FBI and DOJ is long, long overdue. Horowitz is respected for his professionalism. He nailed the bias by some of the FBI and DOJ people who totally blew it in the Hillary Clinton email probe.

It may take years--perhaps a generation--to do a genuine house cleaning at the FBI and DOJ. But look for Horowitz to move that process ahead. Much more worthwhile reading than the Mueller report when it is released.

Posted at 01:15 PM | Permalink


Tom Wonacott , 17 April 2019 at 03:44 PM

Mr. Harper

William Barr's summary of the Mueller report included this section from the report:

"......The second element involved the Russian government's efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign ......."

It should be noted that WikiLeaks is under indictment by the DOJ for allegedly helping Chelsea Manning hack into intelligence files - and potentially more charges may be pending against Assange for his 2016 election interference and/or the release of Vault 7. The indictment of the GRU which worked to undermine the Hillary campaign and elect Trump is an important part of the Mueller report.

I'm not disputing that the FBI may have broken the law while investigating the Trump campaign (as you indicate) - and may need to be overhauled.

blue peacock said in reply to Tom Wonacott... , 17 April 2019 at 05:58 PM
Maybe Assange was arrested to prevent him from testifying that he did not get the DNC emails from the Russians. He has always claimed that he did not get it from the Russians.

In any case it will be interesting to see the actual evidence on the basis of which Mueller has come to these conclusions or assertions - that Russia successfully hacked and disseminated through Wikileaks.

Fred -> Tom Wonacott... , 17 April 2019 at 07:01 PM
Nice job Tom, I don't recall any of that highlighting. Did you purposely leave off highlighinging

"did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government"?

chris trakas said in reply to Tom Wonacott... , 18 April 2019 at 07:44 AM
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51442.htm : VIPS Fault Mueller Probe, Criticize Refusal To Interview Assange

There is much evidence suggesting an insider leak as opposed to a hack and the VIPS examination has the forensics to assert it, unlike Mueller who declared, without forensic examination, the emails to be hacked. It's the lynchpin of the entire investigation.

One need not be a Trump supporter in order to want the truth to be told because what can be done to Trump can AND WILL be done to the next Democratic president (assuming there will ever be another in my lifetime, not an assumption one should make without caution).

There are 1000's of real reasons to take down Trump for his financial crimes. Defending the pathetic loss by Hillary Clinton on "Russia" and "Russians" is xenophobic, indeed racist, cold war propaganda. I suggest you stop drinking the kool-aid.

Phillip Allen said in reply to Tom Wonacott... , 18 April 2019 at 08:29 AM
Why on earth do you credit any Russian involvement in the Clinton/DNC email affair, when VIPS have conclusively demonstrated that those emails had to have been leaked by someone with physical access, and that they were downloaded to a flash drive and therefore physically taken away and then passed on to Wikileaks. There is no credible evidence yet presented that would support a story of Russian involvement in that leak or its dissemination. FBI/CIA/NSA are all partisan actors in this farce, and any credit given to their statements about anything regarding this affair is profoundly misplaced.

As to Assange, the DOJ can indict a random dairy cow on any allegation they care to invent, and it would have exactly as much meaning as the Assange indictment. Not saying that powerful factions among our owners and masters don't yearn to kill him or at least lock him away forever, but this stupid kabuki they are using to accomplish their end is vastly insulting to even a minimal intelligence.

Keith Harbaugh , 17 April 2019 at 07:49 PM
Anyone have any comment on this?:

"The DOJ and FBI Influence of Dana Boente " , by sundance, 2019-04-17

In 2015 the DOJ-OIG (office of inspector general) requested oversight of the DOJ National Security Division. It was Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58 page legal explanation saying, essentially, 'nope – not allowed.' All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the DOJ-NSD.
BTW, on the Disquis vs. Typepad comment issue, I like very much the ability Typepad gives to preview comments.
Harper , 18 April 2019 at 08:50 AM
Larry Johnson's separate comment is quite true. Just as gentlemen DO read other people's mail, governments have historically used their covert resources to interfere in other nations' elections to their benefit. Nothing new under the Sun in this. Fully agree that VIPS has made a strong case, along with others, that the DNC emails were just as likely obtained from someone on the premises.

Everything I've seen about the level of Russian interference in the 2016 elections was low-budget, low-level and given the controversial nature of the Trump-Clinton election, I do not believe evidence can ever be established that the Russian actions tilted the outcome.

A contact in the USIC told me at the outset of the so-called Russiagate probe that there would be hyperbolic outrage and exaggeration of what the Russians did to make it more difficult for foreign powers to do it in the future. Issue was not 2016, but 2018 and onward.

I recall Boris Yeltsin's reelection campaign, when a small army of American political campaign experts flooded Moscow and virtually ran Boris' campaign from a Moscow hotel.

I hope the Democrats are collectively wise enough to let the Mueller report land and move on. As one reader commented, the backlash down the line will further damage our already hyper-partisan political climate and make bipartisan governance an impossibility for at least the duration of this generation.

The Beaver , 18 April 2019 at 08:50 AM
The SCO's report:

https://www.justice.gov/storage/report.pdf

448 pages

[Apr 18, 2019] Were FBI honchos on drugs when they went to such an extent to entrap Trump and smear him as Putin's bitch?

Apr 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

He's turned out to be a ziocon and Bibi's bitch instead. He's surrounded himself with neocons. And he's also Wall St's bitch as his primary concern is stock prices. He wants the Fed to lower already low rates and grow its multi-trillion dollar "emergency" balance sheet even more. The federal government will add a trillion dollars to the national debt each year of his term. Isn't this exactly what the establishment of both parties want?

In any case, the hammer needs to come down hard on the putschists, so that law enforcement & the intelligence agencies don't become an extra-constitutional 4th branch of government accountable only to themselves. We'll see how far the Trump administration will go in holding these seditionists to account?

[Apr 18, 2019] The FBI Tried and Failed to Entrap Trump by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... One of the many critical questions that need to be asked is who at the FBI directed Felix Sater to try to bait the Trump team with the Putin/Moscow opportunity. Felix Sater, given his long track record with the FBI, did not come up with this idea on his own. He was put into play as part of a fishing expedition to hook Trump into a Russian collusion narrative. Fortunately for Trump, he did not take the bait. ..."
"... This certainly appears to be part of a broader, orchestrated effort to ensnare Trump. As I noted with respect to the Steele Dossier, the theme of Russian Real Estate deals appeared early on: ..."
"... Thanks to Mueller, we now know that the cultivation operation did not originate in Moscow nor the Kremlin. It came via Felix Sater who was working for the FBI. Do you think that is a mere coincidence? Jack said... Since I don't plan to read the Mueller report, I would like to ask a question of those SST correspondents who have read the report? What evidence was provided that the Russians hacked the DNC servers and provided the contents to Wikileaks? ..."
"... If the Russian interference in the election was of the magnitude asserted to change the election, then the failure to prevent this interference belongs to the Obama administration under whose watch it took place. That would imply that Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Lynch and Rogers failed in their jobs. Why are there no calls to investigate this failure? ..."
"... I think you are on to something important. I suspect the Brits collected on them as well, just in case. When it became clear that Trump was on the road to the nomination, the effort focused on him. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The Mueller Report is damning of the FBI and reveals circumstantial evidence that the FBI was engaged actively as early as September 2015 in trying to entrap Donald Trump in a web of Russian conspiracy. Let's go to the report and you can read the evidence yourself .

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater , a New York based real estate advisor, contacted Michael Cohen, then-executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald J. Trump. Sater had previously worked with the Trump Organization and advised it on a number of domestic and international projects. Sater had explored the possibility of a Trump Tower project in Moscow while working with the Trump Organization and therefore knew of the organization 's general interest in completing a deal there. Sater had also served as an informal agent of the Trump Organization in Moscow previously and had accompanied Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. to Moscow in the mid-2000s.

Sater contacted Cohen on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert.

Cohen was the only Trump Organization representative to negotiate directly with I.C. Expert or its agents.

Please pay attention. It was not Trump that directed Felix Sater to go get a deal in Russia. IT WAS SATER BRINGING THE DEAL (or trying to) to Donald Trump. A key fact not included in this paragraph was the fact--yes, established fact--that Sater was a fully signed up FBI informant. He helped the FBI make multiple cases against the Russian mob and Russian spies. Please go back and re-read the pieces I wrote on Sater:

Felix Sater--The Rosetta Stone for the FBI/CIA Conspiracy Against Trump? Felix Sater and the Steele Dossier

My eyes bugged out with the next revelation from Mueller. Here is what Sater says to Michael Cohen, his old childhood buddy:

On November 3,2015, the day after the Trump Organization transmitted the LOI (i.e., Letter Of Intent), Sater emailed Cohen suggesting that the Trump Moscow project could be used to increase candidate Trump's chances at being elected, writing:

Buddy our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process .... Michael, Putin gets on stage with Donald for a ribbon cutting for Trump Moscow, and Donald owns the republican nomination. And possibly beats Hillary and our boy is in . ... We will manage this process better than anyone. You and I will get Donald and Vladimir on a stage together very shortly. That the game changer.

One of the many critical questions that need to be asked is who at the FBI directed Felix Sater to try to bait the Trump team with the Putin/Moscow opportunity. Felix Sater, given his long track record with the FBI, did not come up with this idea on his own. He was put into play as part of a fishing expedition to hook Trump into a Russian collusion narrative. Fortunately for Trump, he did not take the bait.

This certainly appears to be part of a broader, orchestrated effort to ensnare Trump. As I noted with respect to the Steele Dossier, the theme of Russian Real Estate deals appeared early on:

The Kremlin's cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. However, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.

Thanks to Mueller, we now know that the cultivation operation did not originate in Moscow nor the Kremlin. It came via Felix Sater who was working for the FBI. Do you think that is a mere coincidence? Jack said... Since I don't plan to read the Mueller report, I would like to ask a question of those SST correspondents who have read the report? What evidence was provided that the Russians hacked the DNC servers and provided the contents to Wikileaks?

Jack said... 18 April 2019 at 05:47 PM

Since I don't plan to read the Mueller report, I would like to ask a question of those SST correspondents who have read the report? What evidence was provided that the Russians hacked the DNC servers and provided the contents to Wikileaks?

If the Russian interference in the election was of the magnitude asserted to change the election, then the failure to prevent this interference belongs to the Obama administration under whose watch it took place. That would imply that Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Lynch and Rogers failed in their jobs. Why are there no calls to investigate this failure?

Larry Johnson said in reply to Jack... 18 April 2019 at 06:25 PM

Read the VIPS memo I posted yesterday. It will answer your question.

akaPatience said... 18 April 2019 at 05:47 PM

Wow, what an absolutely smarmy, laughable proposal made to Cohen by Felix Sater. If Cohen didn't stand to personally profit from services rendered to facilitate such a deal, I'd consider it very suspicious that he promoted it to Trump for as long as he did. As it is, knowing how much money lawyers can make in matters like this, the potential for profit can't be discounted enough as motivation.

I recall a strategy of the Clinton campaign called "Pied Piper", revealed in Wikileaks' Podesta dump, in which an email dated April 7, 2015 discussed the goal of "elevating" Trump's candidacy (along with Ted Cruz and Ben Carson), thinking they would be easiest for Hillary to beat. I wonder if we'll ever learn of a connection with efforts to entrap Trump like this Sater offer, the Trump Tower meeting, etc?

ambrit (ex Britam) said in reply to akaPatience ... 18 April 2019 at 09:09 PM

Sirs;

In mentioning the inclusion of Cruz and Carson in the 'Pied Piper' scheme, akaPatience rightly brings up the question as to whether those persons experienced anything similar to Trump regarding 'entrapment.' Are there 'compromising' files in the FBI archives relating to those other politicians? If so, a broad strategy to 'foam the runway' for the presumed Democrat Party candidate in 2016 could be surmised and the "case" for Trump Russian "collusion" as a specific and sinister plot will be demolished. (At least as far as persons with some shreds of attachment to rationality are concerned.)

Larry Johnson said in reply to ambrit (ex Britam)... 18 April 2019 at 11:13 PM

I think you are on to something important. I suspect the Brits collected on them as well, just in case. When it became clear that Trump was on the road to the nomination, the effort focused on him.

Steven Athearn said... 18 April 2019 at 06:02 PM

Given the absence of evidence of the Kremlin trying to cultivate Trump or offer lucrative real estate development deals - Irecall hearing that one of the Cohen trial documents had him emailing the Kremlin with regard to the Trump Tower idea at an email address taken from its public website, and the Kremlin replying with a pro forma "thank you for your interest in doing business in Russia" and an offer of two free tickets to Valdai - and given the abundance of evidence for a wide-ranging FBI entrapment operation in coordination with foreign intelligence operatives, the association between the latter and the specific form the disinformation took is practically obvious.

I haven't read the Papadopoulos book yet (though I have it on hand), but in lieu of that I would recommend the long interview Michael Tracey did with him the other day for an overview of another large chunk of these entrapment operations. Reply

walrus said... 18 April 2019 at 07:57 PM

And the characters in this hall of mirrors; Steele, Mifsud and Sater. What of them?

The entire report is a chronicle of the grubby dealings of the courtiers surrounding any great man, nothing more. My opinion is that President Trump and his organisation successfully navigated through the Russian collusion mine field with only minimal casualties. A minefield laid by Hilary Clinton and her acolytes.

It almost succeeded - Trump, the Republican Presidential nominee, appearing on stage with his good friend Putin? Imagine what Clinton would have done with that...

blue peacock said... 18 April 2019 at 08:45 PM

What were they so concerned about Trump that they'd go to such an extent to entrap him and smear him as Putin's bitch?

He's turned out to be a ziocon and Bibi's bitch instead. He's surrounded himself with neocons. And he's also Wall St's bitch as his primary concern is stock prices. He wants the Fed to lower already low rates and grow its multi-trillion dollar "emergency" balance sheet even more. The federal government will add a trillion dollars to the national debt each year of his term. Isn't this exactly what the establishment of both parties want?

In any case, the hammer needs to come down hard on the putschists, so that law enforcement & the intelligence agencies don't become an extra-constitutional 4th branch of government accountable only to themselves. We'll see how far the Trump administration will go in holding these seditionists to account?

[Apr 17, 2019] Deep State and the FBI Federal Blackmail Investigation

Highly recommended!
Intelligence agencies, once created, has their own development dynamics and tend to escape from the control of civilians and in turn control them. Such an interesting dynamics. In any case, the intelligence agencies and first of all top brass of those agencies constitute the the core of the "deep state". Unlike civiliant emplorres they are protected by the veil of secrecy and has access to large funds. Bush the elder was probably the first deep state creature who became the president of the USA, but "special relationship" of Obama and Brennan is also not a secret.
Another problem is that secrecy and access to surveillance, Which gives intelligence agencies the ability to blackmail politicians.
Availability of unaccounted financial resources make them real kingmakers. In a sense, as soon as such agencies were created the tail started waging the dog.
Notable quotes:
"... Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer? ..."
"... One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb. ..."
"... JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House. ..."
"... However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day. ..."
"... But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career. ..."
"... Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

No other individual in modern US history has a more sinister legacy than John Edgar Hoover, the founder and lifetime director of the FBI. He founded the bureau in 1924 and was its director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77.

Serving under nine presidents, from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, the FBI was turned into a "Gestapo by Hoover whose modus operandi was blackmail". That's how President Harry Truman (1943-53) reportedly characterized Hoover's bureau. How else do you think he survived for so long – five decades – as the nation's top law enforcer?

J Edgar Hoover and his henchmen kept files on thousands of politicians, judges, journalists and other public figures, according to biographer Anthony Summers. Hoover ruthlessly used those files on the secret and often sordid private lives of senior public figures to control their career conduct and official decisions so as to serve his interests.

And Hoover's interests were of a rightwing, anti-communist, racist bigot.

Ironically, his own suppressed homosexuality also manifested in witch-hunts against homosexuals in public life.

It was Hoover's secret files that largely informed the McCarthyite anti-communist inquisitions of the 1950s, whose baleful legacy on American democracy, foreign policy and freedom of expression continues to this day.

One of Hoover's mainstay sources is strongly believed to be Mafia crime bosses who had lots of dirt on politicians, from bribe-taking to vote-rigging, to illicit sexual affairs. It is suspected that the Mafia had their own dossier of images on Hoover in a compromising homosexual tryst which, in turn, kept him under their thumb.

Absurdly, the FBI chief maintained that there was "no such thing as the Mafia" in public statements.

Two notorious cases of how FBI wiretapping worked under Hoover can be seen in the presidencies of John F Kennedy (1961-63) and Richard Nixon (1969-74).

As recounted by Laurent Guyénot in his 2013 book , 'JFK to 9/11: 50 Years of Deep State', Hoover made a point of letting each new president know of compromising information he had on them. It wouldn't be brandished overtly as blackmail; the president would be briefed subtly, "Sir, if someone were to have copies of this it would be damaging to your career". Enough said.

JFK was particularly wide open to blackmail owing to his rampant promiscuity and extra-marital liaisons, including with screen idol Marilyn Monroe. Kennedy more than once confided to his aides that "the bastards" had him nailed. It was for this reason that he made the thuggish Texan Senator Lyndon B Johnson his vice president even though he detested LBJ. Hoover and Johnson were longtime associates and the former no doubt pulled a favor to get LBJ into the White House.

However, Hoover's blackmail on JFK was not enough to curtail his defiance of rabidly anti-communist Cold War politics. Against the hostility of the Pentagon, CIA and FBI, Kennedy pursued a courageous policy of detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Such a policy no doubt led to his assassination by the Deep State in Dallas on November 22, 1963. There is ample evidence that Hoover and Johnson, who became the new president, then colluded with the Deep State assassins to cover up the assassination as the act of lone nut Lee Harvey Oswald – a cover-up that persists to this day.

As for Richard Nixon, it is believed that "Tricky Dicky" engaged in secret communications with the US-backed South Vietnamese regime on the cusp of the presidential elections in 1968. Nixon promised the South Vietnamese stronger military support if they held off entering peace talks with communist North Vietnam, which incumbent President Johnson was trying to organize. LBJ wanted to claim a peace process was underway in order to boost the election chances of his vice president Hubert Humphrey.

Nixon's scheming prevailed. The Vietnam peace gambit was scuttled, the Vietnam war raged on, and so the Democrat candidate lost. Nixon finally got into the White House, which he had long coveted from the time he lost out to JFK back in 1960.

But Hoover and Johnson got their revenge by subsequently letting Nixon know that there was classified information on him – thanks to FBI wiretaps. The specter of incrimination is possibly a factor in Nixon becoming increasingly paranoid during this presidency, culminating in the ignominy of the Watergate scandal that ended his career.

These are but only two examples of how Deep State politics works in controlling and subverting American democracy. The notion that lawmakers and presidents are free to serve the people is a quaintly naive one. For the US media to pretend otherwise, and to hail the FBI as some kind of benign bastion of justice, while also deprecating claims of "Deep State" intrusion as "conspiracy theory", is either impossibly ignorant of history – or a sign of the media's own compromised complicity.

Nonetheless, to blame this culture of institutionalized blackmail and corruption on one individual – J Edgar Hoover – is not fair either.

Hoover certainly was the devious architect of a malign Deep State machine. But he was not alone. He instilled a culture and legacy that pervades the top echelons of the bureau. And not just the FBI. The early Cold War years saw the formation of the CIA and the NSA under the Machiavellian guidance of men like Allen Dulles and Richard Helms and a host of others.

Once formed, the Deep State – as an alternate, unaccountable, unelected government – does not surrender its immense power willingly. It has learnt to hold on to its power through blackmail, media control, incitement of wars, and, even ultimately, assassination of American dissenters.

The illegal tapping of private communications is an oxygen supply for the depredations of the American Deep State.

Thinking that such agencies are not actively warping and working the electoral system to fix the figurehead in the White House is a dangerous delusion.

So too are claims that American democracy is being "influenced" by malign Russian enemies, as the US intelligence chiefs once again chorused in front of the Senate this past week. The consummate irony of it!

The real "influence campaigns" corrupting American democracy are those of the "All-American" agencies who claim to be law enforcers and defenders of national security.

US citizens would do well to refresh on the untold history of their country to appreciate how they are being manipulated.

We might even surmise that a good number of citizens are already aware, if only vaguely, of the elite corruption – and that is why Washington DC is viewed with increasing contempt by the people.

[Apr 14, 2019] The Complete Unexpurgated AIPAC Tape from 1993

Jul 07, 2018 | www.unz.com

renfro , July 5, 2018 at 7:41 pm GMT

Why I am all for wire tapping and all other spying by the CIA and FBI ...get all the uber Jews and all the politicians and make it public. Would be delighted if all the news channels did nothing but play the tapes on the daily news.

The Complete Unexpurgated AIPAC Tape

https://www.wrmea.org/1992-december/january-1993/the-complete-unexpurgated-aipac-tape.html

Following is a transcript of the Oct. 22, 1992 conversation with President David Steiner of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) recorded without his knowledge by New York businessman Haim (Harry) Katz. Its existence was first revealed to the Washington Times and its release triggered Steiner's resignation.

(sample)

HK: Let me tell you, I was planning, I was planning to, to . . . Inouye, by the way, is in real trouble? He's been there forever. . .

DS: Yeah! Well, we might lose him. There's been such a sea change, such trouble this year, I can't believe all our friends that are in trouble. Because there's an anti-incumbency mood, and foreign aid has not been popular. You know what I got for, I met with [U.S. Secretary of State] Jim Baker and I cut a deal with him. I got, besides the $3 billion, you know they're looking for the Jewish votes, and I'll tell him whatever he wants to hear . . .

HK: Right.

DS: Besides the $10 billion in loan guarantees which was a fabulous thing, $3 billion in foreign, in military aid, and I got almost a billion dollars in other goodies that people don't even know about .

HK: Such as?

DS: $700 million in military draw-down, from equipment that the United States Army's going to give to Israel; $200 million the U.S. government is going to preposition materials in Israel, which Israel can draw upon; put them in the global warning protection system; so when if there's a missile fired, they'll get the same advanced notification that the U.S., is notified, joint military exercises -- I've got a whole shopping list of things .

HK: So this is from Baker?

DS: From Baker and from the Pentagon.

[Apr 14, 2019] 'Boom!' an autopsy of the media after the Mueller bombshell by Michael Tracey

That was Neo-McCarthyim hysteria plain and simple; and it still is continuing as "FullOfSchiff" fqrse.
Notable quotes:
"... Can you think of a more vulgar and disgraceful manifestation of Trump-Russia media malfeasance than Rachel Maddow? Her deluded nightly conspiratorial rants may have been lucrative for MSNBC, but she fed viewers a complete fraud for three years. Now her show is undergoing a genuine existential crisis after Robert Mueller's exoneration of Trump . ..."
"... The harm Maddow inflicted is unforgivable and she should obviously resign, go into exile, and take up some other line of work: perhaps gardening. That said, she has also become something of a scapegoat. ..."
"... As contemptible as Rachel undoubtedly is, dwelling on her absolves the rest of the industry from acknowledging what really happened: a structural calamity of epic proportions, implicating almost all of them, which has utterly destroyed the reputation of the media writ large. And for good reason. ..."
"... (Brennan infamously declared Trump guilty of treason on Twitter following the Helsinki summit). ..."
"... Last week, Wheeler finally admitted her suspicion that the FBI may have just decided she is 'crazy.' Yes, sounds plausible. ..."
"... Sadly, all the media figures who might have been assigned to legitimate evidence-based inquiries were wrapped up in the never-ending Russia melodrama, based on the hunch that it would result in the revelation of treasonous collusion, followed by the arrest of Trump's family and his swift impeachment. None of this happened. So what was the point? ..."
"... Most disturbing of all is how otherwise-smart journalists and commentators lost their minds and integrity throughout the debacle. It was all a joke, a scam, and I've barely even scratched the surface here. It will take years to fully sift through the wreckage ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | spectator.us
'Boom!': an autopsy of the media after the Mueller bombshell Dunking on Rachel Maddow may be fun, but she's far from the sole perpetrator Michael Tracey Rachel Maddow

Can you think of a more vulgar and disgraceful manifestation of Trump-Russia media malfeasance than Rachel Maddow? Her deluded nightly conspiratorial rants may have been lucrative for MSNBC, but she fed viewers a complete fraud for three years. Now her show is undergoing a genuine existential crisis after Robert Mueller's exoneration of Trump .

The harm Maddow inflicted is unforgivable and she should obviously resign, go into exile, and take up some other line of work: perhaps gardening. That said, she has also become something of a scapegoat. It's convenient to disavow Maddow's excesses if you're a journalist who wants to pretend that the media failures which gave rise to Trump-Russia weren't a full-scale indictment of their entire profession. To act as though the misconduct was somehow confined to one unhinged cable news personality would be a gross distortion.

As contemptible as Rachel undoubtedly is, dwelling on her absolves the rest of the industry from acknowledging what really happened: a structural calamity of epic proportions, implicating almost all of them, which has utterly destroyed the reputation of the media writ large. And for good reason.

Easy as it might be to pooh-pooh Maddow as some zany outlier, the undeniable reality is that the sick conspiratorial mindset she embodied was thoroughly mainstream: it infected virtually every sector of elite American culture, from journalism, to entertainment, to the professional political class. Rachel is just the tip of the rotten iceberg.

Take, for instance, Keith Olbermann. Keith was the most influential host on MSNBC during the George W. Bush years, when audiences ate up his furious denunciations of the Iraq War, which scratched a genuine itch because of the prevailing pro-war media conformity of the time. Olbermann gave voice to frustrated liberals who felt that their well-founded grievances were not being represented in the popular media, and his style came to be emulated across the industry (including by the host he recruited for a top spot on the network, Rachel Maddow.)

Then came the Trump era, when Olbermann's brain appeared to explode. He began recording short video rants for GQ magazine, which rank among the most mind-bendingly deranged content produced throughout the entire Russiagate ordeal. Please, just watch this unbelievable screed from December 2016:

'We are at war with Russia,' Olbermann gravely proclaims. The inauguration of Donald Trump, he prophesies, will mark 'the end of the United States as an independent country.' Anyone who rejects this analysis is a 'traitor' says Olbermann, and in league with 'Russian scum.' His recommendation is to thwart Trump via some harebrained Electoral College scheme where electors are intimidated into violating their duty to vote according to the election outcome in their respective states and districts. I covered this attempted coup at the time, which failed, but was supported by leading Democrats ranging from Hillary Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri to Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe; as well as Michael Moore, Lawrence Lessig, Peter Beinart, DeRay McKesson, Paul Krugman, and Neera Tanden. Prominent liberals had been melodramatically whinging for months about how appalled they were by Trump's alleged propensity to violate 'norms,' but the next minute they turned around and demanded that all norms governing the centuries-old Electoral College process be thrown out the window. The wild propaganda promoted by Olbermann had become the standard, mainstream view among American liberals: fundamentally corrupting their capacity to view subsequent political events with any semblance of rationality.

Despite their truly insane offerings, focusing solely on demented opinionators like Olbermann and Maddow still lets ostensibly 'neutral' journalists off the hook. The amount of journalistic resources squandered on the Trump-Russia boondoggle, for instance by the New York Times and the Washington Post , will never be fully quantified. Both newspapers were lavished with Pulitzer Prizes and every other pointless accolade for their supposedly intrepid journalism. Their constant 'bombshell scoops' routinely ricocheted across Twitter before they were injected into the rest of the turbocharged media ecosystem, each one breathlessly touted on cable news for hours at a time. The harsh truth is that most all of these 'scoops' were predicated on a fiction. There was supposed to be a core conspiracy, which was meant to explain why Trump associates kept getting caught in lies – why their communications were extrajudicially intercepted, why they were surveilled on dubious pretenses. But no underlying conspiracy was ever revealed. The whole thing was based on a fairytale. Shouldn't the Times and WaPo therefore apologize and give back their Pulitzers? Or at very least toss them in the dumpster.

Benjamin Wittes, the LawFare website guru and arguably the most lauded Twitter authority on the Trump-Russia scam, became well-known for his fun slogan, 'BOOM!,' which he would gleefully tweet every time a supposed bombshell article burst on the scene. Here's a Washington Post story from October 21 last year headlined 'Special counsel examines conflicting accounts as scrutiny of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks deepens,' which got the Wittes 'boom' treatment. Wow, very dramatic! Sounds a lot like Mueller and his squad were closing in on Stone as the evil mastermind behind some grand Trump-Russia conspiracy plot, given his suspicious ties to WikiLeaks, right? The only problem is, when Stone was indicted three months later, Mueller not only brought zero charges alleging Stone as party to any conspiracy, he dispelled such notions.

All the correspondence cited in Mueller's indictment showed that Stone had no advanced knowledge of WikiLeaks releases or any privileged access to its operations. Roger Stone was just doing what Roger Stone does best: bullshitting.

Stone was eventually charged by Mueller for making false statements, but again: none of those statements pertained to a conspiracy cover-up. They pertained to the dirty trickster being who he's been for decades: a fabulist who frequently misrepresents himself and gets in stupid feuds with fellow political hucksters. The October 2018 story about which Wittes tweeted 'boom' ultimately had no real significance. Like so many other stories touted at the time as an incredible BOMBSHELL, everyone got amped up over a total fantasy. The story had no serious value, other than to temporarily scintillate now-discredited obsessives like Wittes.

Special scorn should be reserved for those in prominent media positions who ought to have known better, but indulged day after day in conspiratorial nonsense anyway. Take Chris Hayes, the popular 8pm MSNBC host, who unlike Maddow has a journalistic background (he was formerly the Washington Editor of The Nation magazine). Theoretically, Hayes should have been imbued with a greater sense of ingrained skepticism regarding CIA and FBI claims, which are what drove the entire Trump-Russia investigation to begin with. He is also a genuinely intelligent person, having (ironically) written the excellent Twilight of the Elites (2012), a book which examined the propensity for upper-crust society to engage in self-defeating groupthink.

But Hayes too ended up witlessly amplifying the most obscene Russiagate antics – no doubt influenced by the pressure of having to turn in big ratings every night. His shows were always brimming with security state spooks like John Brennan , the former CIA Director and proven fantasist . Brennan was eventually hired by NBC, becoming one of Hayes's colleagues despite having played a central role in instigating the original Trump-Russia investigation in 2016 and inflaming its most incendiary elements (Brennan infamously declared Trump guilty of treason on Twitter following the Helsinki summit).

For further insight on the subject, Hayes generally turned to pseudo-journalistic figures like Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic , whose frenetically conspiratorial Russia coverage has also proven to have been total bunk – as well as former prosecutors and FBI officials like Chuck Rosenberg, disreputable security state apparatchiks like former NSA lawyer Susan Hennessey, and outright charlatans like purported 'intelligence expert' Malcolm Nance. (Here's an example from 2016 of the esteemed Nance getting tricked by a Twitter troll.)

Hayes even went so far as to promote the theory that Trump had been colluding with Russia since 1987, a story somehow featured on the cover of New York magazine despite drawing on source material that literally originated with the recently deceased, notorious madman Lyndon LaRouche. Hayes's descent into fact-free mania culminated with his declaration to Stephen Colbert on March 8 last year that Trump and his associates were 'super guilty' of collusion. Whoops!

While many once-respectable media figures like Hayes have seen their reputations inserted directly into the toilet, maybe the most bizarre case of all is Marcy Wheeler, the independent journalist known as @emptywheel . Wheeler appeared on Hayes's first show after Mueller decisively cleared Trump of collusion – you know, the central tenet of the Special Counsel's mandate. The fact that Hayes would have Wheeler on at that moment – after the entire Trump-Russia drama was definitively exposed as a ludicrous fantasy – showed that Hayes was committed to perpetuating the deceit even in the face of all countervailing evidence, whether unconsciously or consciously. That's because Marcy Wheeler is almost certainly a deluded basket case.

The most obvious evidence for this is Wheeler's sensational admission in July 2018 that she burned a source to the FBI, voluntarily and proactively, thereby committing one of journalism's mortal sins. Wheeler justified her demented action on numerous fronts. First, she claimed that she possessed bombshell, smoking gun info that proved a Trump-Russia conspiracy, and felt a patriotic duty to hand this over to the FBI – in retribution for what she called Russia's 'attack' on the United States. Let's remember, shall we, that said attack at most amounted to some Twitter bots, goofy Facebook memes, and spear-phished Gmail accounts: John Podesta famously clicked on a phony link, which led to his emails being swiped. Hardly 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, wouldn't you say? However, those comparisons have been seriously made by various prominent elected officials, including Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who would have presided over impeachment proceedings had things panned out differently.

When pressed – even after the Mueller clearly asserted that no such Trump-Russia conspiracy ever existed – Wheeler still refuses to divulge any details about the extraordinary dispositive evidence she mysteriously claims to possess. Second, Wheeler further justified her insane conduct by insisting she could literally be killed by some unknown sinister alliance of Russians and Trump-backed mafia figures, or something ( I'm not making this up .). Shamefully, Wheeler's outlandish assertions were treated as gospel by members of the media who failed to apply even a modicum of critical scrutiny; Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post heralded Wheeler as following her conscience and wrote this about the supposed Russian hit squad out to get her: 'Overly dramatic? Not really. The Russians do have a penchant for disposing of people they find threatening.' Utter lunacy. Since the Mueller finding, Wheeler has strangely not revealed any additional information about the nature of these would-be assassins.

Think about it. For months, Wheeler dangled cryptic hints about the explosive info that she alone supposedly knew about, enthralling blog readers and Twitter followers – and earning her major platforms not just on MSNBC but even the New York Times , where she contributed columns that contained blatant falsehoods. In the pages of the world's most influential newspaper, she claimed that Mueller had been 'hiding' evidence showing Trump's participation in a Russia conspiracy, and it would all come out once Mueller issued his final verdict. No dice.

Last week, Wheeler finally admitted her suspicion that the FBI may have just decided she is 'crazy.' Yes, sounds plausible.

So much journalistic energy was wasted chronicling the ins-and-outs of the Russiagate non-story. Imagine if instead that time was devoted to reporting in the public interest: like, say, I don't know – investigating the militaristic think tanks which attempted to undermine Trump's key diplomatic initiatives (such as North Korea), or how Trump was co-opted by the Republican donor class, or his various actual corruptions that didn't happen to involve any international espionage conspiracy.

Sadly, all the media figures who might have been assigned to legitimate evidence-based inquiries were wrapped up in the never-ending Russia melodrama, based on the hunch that it would result in the revelation of treasonous collusion, followed by the arrest of Trump's family and his swift impeachment. None of this happened. So what was the point?

Most disturbing of all is how otherwise-smart journalists and commentators lost their minds and integrity throughout the debacle. It was all a joke, a scam, and I've barely even scratched the surface here. It will take years to fully sift through the wreckage.

See other Michael Tracy articles Michael Tracey, Author at Spectator USA

[Apr 14, 2019] The FBI/CIA gang is also very stupid. From Halper-the-spy and his incompetent handler Brennan to the obnoxious Zionists of Ledeen kind they, the members of the "gang", show incompetence and the self-endangering and stupid amorality.

Apr 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:19 pm GMT

@Carlton Meyer 'This gang is so powerful "

-- The gang is also very stupid. From Halper-the-spy and his incompetent handler Brennan to the obnoxious zionists of Ledeen kind they, the members of the "gang", show incompetence and the self-endangering and stupid amorality.

By destroying whatever decent has been in the western civilization so far, and by spreading the rot around, the gangsters have been destroying their children's & grandchildren's future.

[Apr 12, 2019] the main goal of those who started> Russia probe was to unleash neo-McCarthyism compaign, not so much Trump who proviided to the Deel State everything they wanted: he expanded the military budget, cut taxes, reduced regulations

Notable quotes:
"... Those who started Russia probe were attempting a 'coup', AG must start investigation – Trump ..."
"... The coup happened in earnest on 9/11 and the people who started the Russia probe were just doing what they do: sow division and strife within the domestic population to allow them to continue operating in an unfettered manner in service to their master, Zionism. ..."
"... "When the Mueller report is released, it would be wonderful if he explained why neither he, the senate, nor any one of the federal law or intelligence agencies who have all given opinions on the matter, has ever taken the simple first step of examining the DNC servers. He won't." ..."
"... Friends and associates of all of these 'ringleaders' (in single-quotes because my suppositions are based on indirect evidence) have gotten key positions in the Trump Administration. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Apr 10, 2019 12:14:58 PM | link

thoughts on how far this will go?

Those who started Russia probe were attempting a 'coup', AG must start investigation – Trump

SlapHappy , Apr 10, 2019 12:29:20 PM | link

The coup happened in earnest on 9/11 and the people who started the Russia probe were just doing what they do: sow division and strife within the domestic population to allow them to continue operating in an unfettered manner in service to their master, Zionism.
PJB , Apr 10, 2019 4:04:00 PM | link
The absurdity of two official mainstream conspiracy theories.

Nice satire: https://consentfactory.org/2019/04/02/a-russiagate-requiem/

karlof1 , Apr 10, 2019 7:25:22 PM | link
Good thread discussion:

"When the Mueller report is released, it would be wonderful if he explained why neither he, the senate, nor any one of the federal law or intelligence agencies who have all given opinions on the matter, has ever taken the simple first step of examining the DNC servers.
He won't."

Nor will there be any answer to the unasked questions that after Murray's open statement about he knowing the leaker and the revelation of the metadata why none of the people involved were questioned.

karlof1 , Apr 10, 2019 8:13:38 PM | link
Excellent thread by Aaron Mate! "With Trump, Barr now on offense..."

"Dems face an awkward choice: continue to defend those who gave them a discredited (& self-defeating) conspiracy theory, or acknowledge that those people, including intel officials, acted improperly."

I'm sure we'll be discussing what Ray McGovern has dubbed Deep State Gate now that Russiagate's ended. I linked to Ray's essay earlier, which focused on BigLie media's roll.

Jackrabbit , Apr 10, 2019 11:30:41 PM | link
karlof1 @49

IMO the notion that a few senior Intelligence officials (mostly FBI) tried to overthrow Trump is silly to the point of being laughable. But that is the fall-back position that is being ... ur, Trumped up. The fact is, Trump has done everything that the Deep State and establishment could have wanted: expanded the military budget, cut taxes, reduced regulations, etc.

While some will complain loudly (for now), the whole affair will slowly fade away because, as I've previously noted, the best explanation for Russiagate is that the Deep State selected Trump and ran an anti-Russia psyop to spur neo-McCarthyism. As part of that effort, it seems highly likely that they attempted to settle scores with Wikileaks/Assange and Michael Flynn.

FBI failures - to follow investigative procedures; to include important information to the FISA court, etc. - are best explained as part of the bi-partisan Deep State consensus to pursue an anti-Russia agenda.

Anyone that thinks that senior people would participate in such activities without the cover of higher-ups is smoking something. Brennan, Mueller, Hillary, McCain, and Kissinger have the collective power to form and initiate a strategy to meet the challenge from Russia and China.

It all goes back to the 2014 surprise realization that Russia had grown a backbone and that the Russia-China Alliance was a serious threat to AZ Empire's NWO. That point of view was described by Kissinger in August 2014, in which Kissinger ALSO called for MAGA.

Trump entered the race for President 10 months later as the only MAGA candidate.

Jackrabbit | Apr 10, 2019 11:46:30 PM | 69

@67

Friends and associates of all of these 'ringleaders' (in single-quotes because my suppositions are based on indirect evidence) have gotten key positions in the Trump Administration.

[Apr 11, 2019] Interview transcripts from Congress on FBI officials Bill Priestap and James Baker by Robert Willmann

Apr 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Congressman Doug Collins (Repub. Georgia) has released two more transcripts of committee interviews of people about the attempt to de-legitimize the election and inauguration of an elected president, and to create conditions for his removal. They can be viewed and downloaded for reading.

... ... ...

Representative Collins previously released transcripts of interviews of Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, George Papadopolous, and Bruce and Nellie Ohr. Those transcripts were cited here at SST on 29 March 2019--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/03/interview-transcripts-from-congress-on-peter-strzok-lisa-page-g-papadopoulos-and-b-and-n-ohr.html

[Apr 11, 2019] Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok Could Face Serious Charges, Sources Say

We write Strzok and mean McCabe...
Notable quotes:
"... Strzok who has already been investigated by Horowitz for his role in the FBI's Clinton investigation is also expected to be named in the IG's upcoming report on how the Russia investigation was handled by the FBI. He was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team in 2017 and then fired from the FBI in August, 2018. ..."
"... The official did not reveal what Strzok's "actions or inactions" may have been but said "obstruction, is a serious concern." Strzok "is in hot water," said another government official, with knowledge. "I'm certain he's not the only one." ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Sara Carter,

Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok could face 'serious' charges for his involvement and actions in the bureau's probe of Hillary Clinton's use of a private server to send classified emails, as well as the FBI's investigation into President Trump's campaign, multiple sources with knowledge of Strzok's actions told SaraACarter.com .

Further, sources contend that the nearly year long investigation by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, will reveal explosive information and shed light on alleged malfeasance by FBI and DOJ officials directly involved in the Russia investigation. The Inspector General's report may be completed as early as May or June, according to testimony provided this week by Attorney General William Barr.

Strzok who has already been investigated by Horowitz for his role in the FBI's Clinton investigation is also expected to be named in the IG's upcoming report on how the Russia investigation was handled by the FBI. He was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team in 2017 and then fired from the FBI in August, 2018. He was fired by the FBI after an extensive review by Horowitz's office into the FBI's handling of the Clinton investigation and was removed from Mueller's team after the IG discovered his anti-Trump text messages to his paramour former FBI Attorney Lisa Page.

"There are a number of individuals who are looking at Peter Strzok's actions and inactions and how those actions affected both of the investigations he was involved in," said a U.S. official, with knowledge.

"Further evaluation of what Peter Strzok did or did not do needs to be evaluated thoroughly."

The official did not reveal what Strzok's "actions or inactions" may have been but said "obstruction, is a serious concern." Strzok "is in hot water," said another government official, with knowledge. "I'm certain he's not the only one."


progro , 11 minutes ago link

Sociopaths are not usually physically violent. A typical sociopath never kills anybody and doesn't look like Charles Manson - they look like you and me and everybody else. You're not looking for someone who's recognizably evil or scary-looking, but rather someone who looks normal. Another lynchpin is dishonesty. Lying for the sake of lying. Lying just to see whether you can trick people. And sometimes telling larger lies to get larger effects.

freedommusic , 18 minutes ago link

§2384. Seditious conspiracy

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow , put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States , or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years , or both.

g speed , 6 minutes ago link

I think the problem here is to decide who is the government of the US if the Deepstate is then Trump and people who voted for him are traitors If on the other hand the elected by rules and laws representatives are the acting government then the Deepstate and it's actors are traitors can't be any other option other than that some dully elected representatives decide to join with appointees and hires of the Deepstate to remove by criminal action others of the legitimate gov't then they are also traitors

KarlGDenninger , 20 minutes ago link

I am willing to be this sort of abuse of the FISA process goes all the way back to 2008. There were reports that Romney's campaign in 2012 was infiltrated by Fusion GPS and similar setup, in what seemed like acts of Sabotage of certain regional campaigns and misdirection and a video of a private dinner about 47%

[Apr 07, 2019] The chain of events that led to the publication of the DNC emails is highly suspect

Selection of Crowdstrike is highly suspect; the behaviour of FBI is highly suspect (why they allowed the contractor to handle the evidence), the behaviour of MSM is highly suspect (they came with the predefined notion -- Russia), the murder of Seth Rich and subsequent investigation (or the lack of thereof ) are highly suspect. Add to this mix incredible Awan brothers story and Debbie Wasserman behaviour after Imran Awan arrest
This all points in the direction of the false flag.
Notable quotes:
"... There can be no conceivable excuse for relying on a contractor selected by the organisation which is claiming that there has been a hack, when an alternative possibility is a leak: and the implications of the alternative possibility could be devastating for that organisation . ..."
"... The chain of events that led to the publication of the DNC emails is highly suspect. IMO it's likely to be a CIA/Mossad op to portray Wikileaks as an agent of Russia (AFAIK, Seth Rich was Jewish; and his family has acted strangely about the whole affair). And this 'op' fits well with use of the 2016 Presidential campaign to prepare for McCarthyist 'Russiagate' - for which CIA seems to have joined with MI6. ..."
"... If the publication of the DNC emails was in fact a false flag then to support Assange that fact needs to be proven, and the persons responsible exposed for staging a false "framing of Assange" event.. ..."
"... The Zionist "take the oil from the Ottoman" project involved weaponizing Jewish immigration and and redirecting European Jewish immigration from locating in Argentina ..."
Apr 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Apr 7, 2019 11:25:38 AM | link

Habakkuk on cockroaches and the New York Times

It cannot be repeated often enough that it is difficult to see any conceivable excuse for the FBI to fail to secure access to the DNC servers. One would normally moreover expect that, on an issue of this sensitivity, they would have the 'digital forensics' done by their own people.

There can be no conceivable excuse for relying on a contractor selected by the organisation which is claiming that there has been a hack, when an alternative possibility is a leak: and the implications of the alternative possibility could be devastating for that organisation .

To rely on a contractor linked to the notoriously Russophobic 'Atlantic Council' is even more preposterous.

The clear close integration of other cyber people from the 'Atlantic Council' into Orwellian 'information operations' sponsored by the British Government simply puts these facts into sharp relief.

There has to be a strong possible 'prima facie' case that anyone in authority prepared to accept the 'digital forensics' from 'CrowdStrike' is complicit in the conspiracy against the constitution, and/or the conspiracy to cover-up that conspiracy. This certainly goes for Comey, and I think it also goes for Mueller."

IMO The suggestion that Crowdstrike called it a hack instead of a leak to absolve themselves [as per the bolded phrase] is specious. But Habbuk (thankfully) rightly puts the onus on the FBI for not doing their job.

The chain of events that led to the publication of the DNC emails is highly suspect. IMO it's likely to be a CIA/Mossad op to portray Wikileaks as an agent of Russia (AFAIK, Seth Rich was Jewish; and his family has acted strangely about the whole affair). And this 'op' fits well with use of the 2016 Presidential campaign to prepare for McCarthyist 'Russiagate' - for which CIA seems to have joined with MI6.

snake , Apr 7, 2019 1:39:35 PM | link

The chain of events that led to the publication of the DNC emails is highly suspect. IMO it's likely to be a CIA/Mossad op to portray Wikileaks as an agent of Russia (AFAIK, Seth Rich was Jewish; and his family has acted strangely about the whole affair). And this 'op' fits well with use of the 2016 Presidential campaign to prepare for McCarthyist 'Russiagate' - for which CIA seems to have joined with MI6.

by: Jackrabbit @7

Seems to me this could be that place to start donkeytale @ 3 asks is there a way to save Julian Assange..

If the publication of the DNC emails was in fact a false flag then to support Assange that fact needs to be proven, and the persons responsible exposed for staging a false "framing of Assange" event..

The Jews immigrated to NYC from Salonika (the other half went to Russia) after the failure to use a corrupted CUP to over throw the Ottomans ( Ottomans discovered, and burned the Jews out) in 1908-1912 the dominate political majority in NYC became Jewish, dwarfing the previous majority, who were the Irish.

So when the POTUS needed stronger support to force governed Americans into WWI, Those in charge of the banker backed "take the oil and land from the Ottomans" project in banker controlled Europe directed the new NYC immigrants to send letters to the POTUS urging USA entry into the war in Europe.. within a week over a million letters arrived, which were designed to strengthen POTUS efforts to force Americans and the congress critters into WWI (abuse of American human rights by sending soldiers, creating a tax law, that had been rule unconstitutional every year since 1865 to (1912-13) diverting the domestic budget to a foreign war budget, and organizing and directing the industrial might of America to assist in the WWI Zionist movement in Europe to take the oil from the Ottoman.

WWI was planned before 1896, (Read: Roland Green Usher Pan-Germanism 1913-14 and My Memoirs 1878-1918 by Ex-Kaiser William, II< https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_II,_German_Emperor) and organized at Zionist Congress (1897) in Europe (Russia signed a contain Germany Agreement with France in 1896 to deny Germany) and in 1897 the USA secretly agreed to support France and England against Germany agreement (why? Germany relations with Ottomans gave Germans access to the Ottoman oil, which the British, French and USA bankers and the corporations they sponsored would not stand for.

The Zionist "take the oil from the Ottoman" project involved weaponizing Jewish immigration and and redirecting European Jewish immigration from locating in Argentina [ http://www.billgladstone.ca/?p=3197] to locating in Ottoman-Palestine-Israel locations <=object to: occupy and eventually displace the Ottomans (WWI divided the Ottoman empire into British Palestine, and French Syria) from their land and their oil.

So letters (in answer to donkeytale @ 3) with return receipt, sent directly to the POTUS might be a means to support Julian Assange?

I can imagine what it might be like to see 10 million return receipts posted somewhere!

[Mar 25, 2019] Russiagate was never about substance, it was about who gets to image-manage the decline of a turbo-charged, self-harming neoliberal capitalism by Jonathan Cook

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It may look like Russiagate was a failure, but it was actually a success. It deflected the left's attention from endemic corruption within the leadership of the Democratic party, which supposedly represents the left. It rechannelled the left's political energies instead towards the convenient bogeymen targets of Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... What Mueller found – all he was ever going to find – was marginal corruption in the Trump camp. And that was inevitable because Washington is mired in corruption. In fact, what Mueller revealed was the most exceptional forms of corruption among Trump's team while obscuring the run-of-the-mill stuff that would have served as a reminder of the endemic corruption infecting the Democratic leadership too. ..."
"... Further, in focusing on the Trump camp – and relative minnows like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone – the Russiagate inquiry actually served to shield the Democratic leadership from an investigation into the much worse corruption revealed in the content of the DNC emails. ..."
"... What should have been at the front and centre of any inquiry was how the Democratic party sought to rig its primaries to prevent party members selecting anyone but Hillary as their presidential candidate. ..."
"... Trump faces opposition from within the establishment not because he is "anti-establishment" but because he refuses to decorate the pig's snout with lipstick. He is tearing the mask off late-stage capitalism's greed and self-destructiveness ..."
"... The corporate media, and the journalists they employ, are propagandists – for a system that keeps them wealthy. When Trump was a Republican primary candidate, the entire corporate media loved him because he was TV's equivalent of clickbait, just as he had been since reality TV began to usurp the place of current affairs programmes and meaningful political debate. ..."
"... The "[neo]liberal" corporate media shares the values of the Democratic party leadership. In other words, it is heavily invested in making sure the pig doesn't lose its lipstick. By contrast, Fox News and the shock-jocks, like Trump, prioritise making money in the short term over the long-term credibility of a system that gives them licence to make money. They care much less whether the pig's face remains painted. ..."
"... Just as too many on the left sleep-walked through the past two years waiting for Mueller – a former head of the FBI, the US secret police, for chrissakes! – to save them from Trump, they have been manipulated by liberal elites into the political cul-de-sac of identity politics. ..."
"... The "[neo]liberal" elites exploited identity politics to keep us divided by pacifying the most maginalised with the offer of a few additional crumbs. Trump has exploited identity politics to keep us divided by inflaming tensions as he reorders the hierarchy of "privilege" in which those crumbs are offered. In the process, both wings of the elite have averted the danger that class consciousness and real solidarity might develop and start to challenge their privileges. ..."
"... Were the US to get its own Corbyn as president, he or she would undoubtedly face a Mueller-style inquiry, and one far more effective at securing the president's impeachment than this one was ever going to be. ..."
Mar 25, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
Here are three important lessons for the progressive left to consider now that it is clear the inquiry by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russiagate is never going to uncover collusion between Donald Trump's camp and the Kremlin in the 2016 presidential election.

Painting the pig's face

The left never had a dog in this race. This was always an in-house squabble between different wings of the establishment. Late-stage capitalism is in terminal crisis, and the biggest problem facing our corporate elites is how to emerge from this crisis with their power intact. One wing wants to make sure the pig's face remains painted, the other is happy simply getting its snout deeper into the trough while the food lasts.

Russiagate was never about substance, it was about who gets to image-manage the decline of a turbo-charged, self-harming neoliberal capitalism.

The leaders of the Democratic party are less terrified of Trump and what he represents than they are of us and what we might do if we understood how they have rigged the political and economic system to their permanent advantage.

It may look like Russiagate was a failure, but it was actually a success. It deflected the left's attention from endemic corruption within the leadership of the Democratic party, which supposedly represents the left. It rechannelled the left's political energies instead towards the convenient bogeymen targets of Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Mired in corruption

What Mueller found – all he was ever going to find – was marginal corruption in the Trump camp. And that was inevitable because Washington is mired in corruption. In fact, what Mueller revealed was the most exceptional forms of corruption among Trump's team while obscuring the run-of-the-mill stuff that would have served as a reminder of the endemic corruption infecting the Democratic leadership too.

An anti-corruption investigation would have run much deeper and exposed far more. It would have highlighted the Clinton Foundation, and the role of mega-donors like James Simons, George Soros and Haim Saban who funded Hillary's campaign with one aim in mind: to get their issues into a paid-for national "consensus".

Further, in focusing on the Trump camp – and relative minnows like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone – the Russiagate inquiry actually served to shield the Democratic leadership from an investigation into the much worse corruption revealed in the content of the DNC emails. It was the leaking / hacking of those emails that provided the rationale for Mueller's investigations. What should have been at the front and centre of any inquiry was how the Democratic party sought to rig its primaries to prevent party members selecting anyone but Hillary as their presidential candidate.

So, in short, Russiagate has been two years of wasted energy by the left, energy that could have been spent both targeting Trump for what he is really doing rather than what it is imagined he has done, and targeting the Democratic leadership for its own, equally corrupt practices.

Trump empowered

But it's far worse than that. It is not just that the left wasted two years of political energy on Russiagate. At the same time, they empowered Trump, breathing life into his phony arguments that he is the anti-establishment president, a people's president the elites are determined to destroy.

Trump faces opposition from within the establishment not because he is "anti-establishment" but because he refuses to decorate the pig's snout with lipstick. He is tearing the mask off late-stage capitalism's greed and self-destructiveness. And he is doing so not because he wants to reform or overthrow turbo-charged capitalism but because he wants to remove the last, largely cosmetic constraints on the system so that he and his friends can plunder with greater abandon – and destroy the planet more quickly.

The other wing of the neoliberal establishment, the one represented by the Democratic party leadership, fears that exposing capitalism in this way – making explicit its inherently brutal, wrist-slitting tendencies – will awaken the masses, that over time it will risk turning them into revolutionaries. Democratic party leaders fear Trump chiefly because of the threat he poses to the image of the political and economic system they have so lovingly crafted so that they can continue enriching themselves and their children.

Trump's genius – his only genius – is to have appropriated, and misappropriated, some of the language of the left to advance the interests of the 1 per cent. When he attacks the corporate "liberal" media for having a harmful agenda, for serving as propagandists, he is not wrong. When he rails against the identity politics cultivated by "liberal" elites over the past two decades – suggesting that it has weakened the US – he is not wrong. But he is right for the wrong reasons.

TV's version of clickbait

The corporate media, and the journalists they employ, are propagandists – for a system that keeps them wealthy. When Trump was a Republican primary candidate, the entire corporate media loved him because he was TV's equivalent of clickbait, just as he had been since reality TV began to usurp the place of current affairs programmes and meaningful political debate.

The handful of corporations that own the US media – and much of corporate America besides – are there both to make ever-more money by expanding profits and to maintain the credibility of a political and economic system that lets them make ever more money.

The "[neo]liberal" corporate media shares the values of the Democratic party leadership. In other words, it is heavily invested in making sure the pig doesn't lose its lipstick. By contrast, Fox News and the shock-jocks, like Trump, prioritise making money in the short term over the long-term credibility of a system that gives them licence to make money. They care much less whether the pig's face remains painted.

So Trump is right that the "liberal" media is undemocratic and that it is now propagandising against him. But he is wrong about why. In fact, all corporate media – whether "liberal" or not, whether against Trump or for him – is undemocratic. All of the media propagandises for a rotten system that keeps the vast majority of Americans impoverished. All of the media cares more for Trump and the elites he belongs to than it cares for the 99 per cent.

Gorging on the main course

Similarly, with identity politics. Trump says he wants to make (a white) America great again, and uses the left's obsession with identity as a way to energize a backlash from his own supporters.

Just as too many on the left sleep-walked through the past two years waiting for Mueller – a former head of the FBI, the US secret police, for chrissakes! – to save them from Trump, they have been manipulated by liberal elites into the political cul-de-sac of identity politics.

Just as Mueller put the left on standby, into waiting-for-the-Messiah mode, so simple-minded, pussy-hat-wearing identity politics has been cultivated in the supposedly liberal bastions of the corporate media and Ivy League universities – the same universities that have turned out generations of Muellers and Clintons – to deplete the left's political energies. While we argue over who is most entitled and most victimised, the establishment has carried on raping and pillaging Third World countries, destroying the planet and siphoning off the wealth produced by the rest of us.

These liberal elites long ago worked out that if we could be made to squabble among ourselves about who was most entitled to scraps from the table, they could keep gorging on the main course.

The "[neo]liberal" elites exploited identity politics to keep us divided by pacifying the most maginalised with the offer of a few additional crumbs. Trump has exploited identity politics to keep us divided by inflaming tensions as he reorders the hierarchy of "privilege" in which those crumbs are offered. In the process, both wings of the elite have averted the danger that class consciousness and real solidarity might develop and start to challenge their privileges.

The Corbyn experience

3. But the most important lesson of all for the left is that support among its ranks for the Mueller inquiry against Trump was foolhardy in the extreme.

Not only was the inquiry doomed to failure – in fact, not only was it designed to fail – but it has set a precedent for future politicised investigations that will be used against the progressive left should it make any significant political gains. And an inquiry against the real left will be far more aggressive and far more "productive" than Mueller was.

If there is any doubt about that look to the UK. Britain now has within reach of power the first truly progressive politician in living memory, someone seeking to represent the 99 per cent, not the 1 per cent. But Jeremy Corbyn's experience as the leader of the Labour party – massively swelling the membership's ranks to make it the largest political party in Europe – has been eye-popping.

I have documented Corbyn's travails regularly in this blog over the past four years at the hands of the British political and media establishment. You can find many examples here.

Corbyn, even more so than the small, new wave of insurgency politicians in the US Congress, has faced a relentless barrage of criticism from across the UK's similarly narrow political spectrum. He has been attacked by both the rightwing media and the supposedly "liberal" media. He has been savaged by the ruling Conservative party, as was to be expected, and by his own parliamentary Labour party. The UK's two-party system has been exposed as just as hollow as the US one.

The ferocity of the attacks has been necessary because, unlike the Democratic party's success in keeping a progressive leftwinger away from the presidential campaign, the UK system accidentally allowed a socialist to slip past the gatekeepers. All hell has broken out ever since.

Simple-minded identity politics

What is so noticeable is that Corbyn is rarely attacked over his policies – mainly because they have wide popular appeal. Instead he has been hounded over fanciful claims that, despite being a life-long and very visible anti-racism campaigner, he suddenly morphed into an outright anti-semite the moment party members elected him leader.

I will not rehearse again how implausible these claims are. Simply look through these previous blog posts should you be in any doubt.

But what is amazing is that, just as with the Mueller inquiry, much of the British left – including prominent figures like Owen Jones and the supposedly countercultural Novara Media – have sapped their political energies in trying to placate or support those leading the preposterous claims that Labour under Corbyn has become "institutionally anti-semitic". Again, the promotion of a simple-minded identity politics – which pits the rights of Palestinians against the sensitivities of Zionist Jews about Israel – was exploited to divide the left.

The more the left has conceded to this campaign, the angrier, the more implacable, the more self-righteous Corbyn's opponents have become – to the point that the Labour party is now in serious danger of imploding.

A clarifying moment

Were the US to get its own Corbyn as president, he or she would undoubtedly face a Mueller-style inquiry, and one far more effective at securing the president's impeachment than this one was ever going to be.

That is not because a leftwing US president would be more corrupt or more likely to have colluded with a foreign power. As the UK example shows, it would be because the entire media system – from the New York Times to Fox News – would be against such a president. And as the UK example also shows, it would be because the leaderships of both the Republican and Democratic parties would work as one to finish off such a president.

In the combined success-failure of the Mueller inquiry, the left has an opportunity to understand in a much more sophisticated way how real power works and in whose favour it is exercised. It is moment that should be clarifying – if we are willing to open our eyes to Mueller's real lessons.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

[Mar 25, 2019] Russiagate Revisited by Jackson Lears

This article is over a year old, but it really explains what this with hunt was about -- to deflect real interference in the US election as well as exonerate Hillary fiasco. The way Russian were selected is a typical "projected" Anti-Semitism -- persecution on the base on national origin without any solid fact, but with plenty of prejudices due to Russia Soviet past. What a gang of scamsters the US neoliberal elite became !
Feb 22, 2018 | lrb.co.uk
Russiagate Revisited 35 The anti-Russian hysteria in Washington has slipped beyond self-parody. We now have front-row seats in a theatre of the absurd, watching the media furor explode after Robert Mueller's 'indictments' of 13 Russians and three Russian companies for interfering in the 2016 presidential elections.

Mueller's actions deserve the scare quotes because they are not really indictments at all. The accused parties will never be extradited or brought to trial. Nor is it clear that their actions rise to the level of crimes. The supposed indictments are merely dramatic accusations, a giant publicity stunt.

Even if they were real indictments, they would not be convictions. American journalists seem to have forgotten that distinction. In contemporary American jurisprudence, prosecutors routinely get rubber stamps from grand juries. A grand jury, the adage goes, will indict a ham sandwich. For a g-man on a white horse like Mueller, universally lionised in the mainstream media, a grand jury would probably indict a peanut butter sandwich.

One of the most bizarre aspects of Russiagate is the magical transformation of intelligence agency heads into paragons of truth-telling – a trick performed not by reactionary apologists for domestic spying, as one would expect, but by people who consider themselves liberals. There is something genuinely absurd about a former director of the FBI – which along with the CIA and NSA has long been one of the gravest threats to democracy in America – solemnly warning of the threat to democracy posed by Russian meddling in the election.

And what was the nature of that alleged meddling? The pseudo-indictments are clear: the meddlers had nothing to do with the Russian government and nothing to do with the Trump campaign – except that they sometimes 'communicated with unwitting individuals' associated with it. And the Russians' activities had no impact on the outcome of the election. Mueller's assignment was to investigate whether the Russian government colluded with the Trump campaign to promote his victory over Hillary Clinton. None of the current charges has anything to do with this. (Nor does Mueller's recent indictment of Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney and associate of Trump's crony Paul Manafort.) The pseudo-indictments merely add to the billowing clouds of innuendo that have characterised the Russiagate narrative from the beginning.

According to Mueller's accusations, the meddlers began their operations long before the campaign began and certainly before anyone thought Trump had a snowball's chance in hell; they posed as Muslims, black activists, white Southerners, among other social types, all posting slogans and invective on social media. After the election, they staged pro-Trump and anti-Trump rallies. Somehow the media have made this mishmash fit the Russiagate narrative, assuming it reveals a coherent Kremlin plan to elect Trump.

So what is the point of these sham indictments? It is fair to speculate that there is more going on here than a simple search for truth. Early on in the 37-page document that was released to such fanfare, the FBI makes a revealing assertion, claiming that the Russians aimed 'to sow discord in the US political system' – as if vigorous debate were not an appropriate state of affairs for a democratic polity; as if the normal expression of democracy is bland conformity to policies fashioned by elites. By explicitly linking the Russians with support for the Sanders and Trump campaigns, Mueller's pseudo-indictments identify dissent from the Washington consensus with foreign subversion. They reinforce the reigning orthodoxy and tighten the boundaries of permissible public discourse.

The consequences are potentially catastrophic. By focusing on the manufactured menace of Russiagate, the Democratic Party leadership can continue to ignore its own failures as well as the actual menace posed by Trump. And by fostering the fantasy of a vast Russian plot against America, the mainstream media can shut down reasonable foreign policy debate and promote a dangerous, unnecessary confrontation with a rival power. The final act in Washington's theatre of the absurd has yet to be written, but the denouement looks dark.

[Mar 25, 2019] Spygate The True Story of Collusion (plus Infographic) by Jeff Carlson

Highly recommended!
This is probably the most comprehensive outline of the color revolution against Trump. Bravo, simply bravo !!!
Reads like Agatha Christi Murder on the Orient Express ;-) Rosenstein role is completely revised from a popular narrative. Brennan role clarifies and detailed. Obama personal role hinted. Victoria Nuland role and the role of the State Department in Russiagate is documented for the first time, I think.
Notable quotes:
"... The "insurance policy" appears to have been the effort to legitimize the Trump–Russia collusion narrative so that an FBI investigation, led by McCabe, could continue unhindered. ..."
"... Ohr, one of the highest-ranking officials in the DOJ, was communicating on an ongoing basis with Steele, whom he had known since at least 2006 , well into mid-2017. He is also married to Nellie Ohr, an expert on Russia and Eurasia who began working for Fusion GPS sometime in late 2015 . Nellie Ohr likely played a significant role in the construction of the dossier. ..."
"... The Obama administration provided a simultaneous layer of protection and facilitation for the entire effort. One example is provided by Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 , also known as Obama's data-sharing order . With the passage of the order, agencies and individuals were able to ask the NSA for access to specific surveillance simply by claiming the intercepts contained relevant information that was useful to a particular mission. ..."
"... Leaking, including felony leaking of classified information, has been widespread. The Carter Page FISA warrant -- likely the unredacted version -- has been in the possession of The Washington Post and The New York Times since March 2017. Traditionally, the intelligence community leaked to The Washington Post while the DOJ leaked to sources within The New York Times. This was a historical pattern that stood until this election. The leaking became so widespread, even this tradition was broken. ..."
"... The information contained within both articles likely came via felony leaks from James Wolfe, former director of security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who was arrested on June 7, 2018, and charged with one count of lying to the FBI. Wolfe's indictment alleges that he was leaking classified information to multiple reporters over an extended period of time. ..."
"... The Steele dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources. One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood later relayed information regarding the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who dispatched David Kramer, a fellow at the McCain Institute, to London to meet with Steele in November 2016. McCain would later admit in a Jan. 11, 2017, statement that he had personally passed on the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey. ..."
"... Trump, after issuing an order for the declassification of documents and text messages related to the Russia-collusion investigations -- including parts of the Carter Page FISA warrant application -- received phone calls from two U.S. allies saying, "Please, can we talk." Those "allies" were almost certainly the UK and Australia. ..."
"... Questions to be asked are why is it that two of our allies would find themselves so opposed to the release of these classified documents that a coordinated plea would be made directly to the president? And why would these same allies have even the slightest idea of what was contained in these classified U.S. documents? ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.theepochtimes.com
Spygate: The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] How America's most powerful agencies were weaponized against President Donald Trump

Although the details remain complex, the structure underlying Spygate -- the creation of the false narrative that candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia, and the spying on his presidential campaign -- remains surprisingly simple:

  1. CIA Director John Brennan, with some assistance from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, gathered foreign intelligence and fed it throughout our domestic Intelligence Community.
  2. The FBI became the handler of Brennan's intelligence and engaged in the more practical elements of surveillance.
  3. The Department of Justice facilitated investigations by the FBI and legal maneuverings, while providing a crucial shield of nondisclosure.
  4. The Department of State became a mechanism of information dissemination and leaks.
  5. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee provided funding, support, and media collusion.
  6. Obama administration officials were complicit, and engaged in unmasking and intelligence gathering and dissemination.
  7. The media was the most corrosive element in many respects. None of these events could have transpired without their willing participation. Stories were pushed, facts were ignored, and narratives were promoted.

Let's start with a simple premise: The candidacy of Trump presented both an opportunity and a threat.

Initially not viewed with any real seriousness, Trump's campaign was seen as an opportunistic wedge in the election process. At the same time, and particularly as the viability of his candidacy increased, Trump was seen as an existential threat to the established political system.

The sudden legitimacy of Trump's candidacy was not welcomed by the U.S. political establishment. Here was a true political outsider who held no traditional allegiances. He was brash and boastful, he ignored political correctness, he couldn't be bought, and he didn't care what others thought of him -- he trusted himself.

Governing bodies in Britain and the European Union were also worried. Candidate Trump was openly challenging monetary policy, regulations, and the power of special interests. He challenged Congress. He challenged the United Nations and the European Union. He questioned everything.

Brennan played a crucial role in the creation of the Russia-collusion narrative and the spying on the Trump campaign. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Brennan became the point man in the operation to stop a potential Trump presidency. It remains unclear whether his role was self-appointed or came from above. To embark on such a mission without direct presidential authority seems both a stretch of the imagination and particularly foolhardy.

Brennan took unofficial foreign intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates -- primarily from the UK , but also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia.

Individuals in official positions in UK intelligence, such as Robert Hannigan -- head of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, Britain's equivalent of the National Security Agency) -- partnered with former UK foreign intelligence members. Former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove , former Ambassador Sir Andrew Wood, and private UK intelligence firm Hakluyt all played a role.

In the summer of 2016, Hannigan traveled to Washington to meet with Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. On Jan. 23, 2017 -- three days after Trump's inauguration -- Hannigan abruptly announced his retirement. The Guardian openly speculated that Hannigan's resignation was directly related to the sharing of UK intelligence.

One method used to help establish evidence of collusion was the employment of "spy traps." Prominent among these were ones set for Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. The intent was to provide or establish connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. The content and context mattered little as long as a connection could be established that could then be publicized. The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was another such attempt.

Western intelligence assets were used to initiate and establish these connections, particularly in the cases of Papadopoulos and Page.

Ultimately, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and/or government departments. The FBI, Treasury, and DOJ handled the domestic inquiry into Trump and possible Russia connections. The CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA) handled foreign and intelligence aspects.

Brennan's inter-agency task force is not to be confused with the July 2016 FBI counterintelligence investigation, which was formed later at Brennan's urging.

During this time, Brennan also employed the use of reverse targeting , which relates to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen. This effort was uncovered and made public by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in a March 2017 press conference :

"I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show the president-elect and his team were monitored and disseminated out in intelligence-reporting channels. Details about persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little apparent foreign-intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.

"From what I know right now, it looks like incidental collection. We don't know exactly how that was picked up but we're trying to get to the bottom of it."

As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation. Brennan repeatedly noted this during a May 23, 2017, congressional testimony :

"I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the [FBI]."

Brennan also admitted that his intelligence helped establish the FBI investigation:

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."

This admission is important, as no official intelligence was used to open the FBI's investigation.

Once the FBI began its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016, Brennan shifted his focus. Through a series of meetings in August and September 2016, Brennan informed the congressional Gang of Eight regarding intelligence and information he had gathered. Notably, each Gang of Eight member was briefed separately, calling into question whether each of the members received the same information. Efforts to block the release of the transcripts from each meeting remain ongoing.

The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports and greater participation from Clapper. The first report, the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017.

This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of President Donald Trump. Notably, Admiral Mike Rogers of the NSA publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning only a moderate confidence level.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bMcNbum93cU?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Although the FBI is technically part of the DOJ, it is best for the purposes of this article that the FBI and DOJ be viewed as separate entities, each with its own related ties.

The FBI itself was comprised of various factions, with a particularly active element that has come to be known as the "insurance policy group." It appears that this faction was led by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and comprised other notable names such as FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and FBI general counsel James Baker.

The FBI established the counterintelligence investigation into alleged Russia collusion with the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016. Comey initially refused to say whether the FBI was investigating possible connections between members of the Trump campaign and Russia. He would continue to refuse to provide answers until March 20, 2017, when he disclosed the existence of the FBI investigation during congressional testimony.

Comey also testified that he did not provide notification to the Gang of Eight until early March 2017 -- less than one month earlier. This admission was in stark contrast to actions taken by Brennan, who had notified members of the Gang of Eight individually during August and September 2016. It's likely that Brennan never informed Comey that he had briefed the Gang of Eight in 2016. Comey did note that the DOJ "had been aware" of the investigation all along.

Comey opened the counterintelligence investigation into Trump on the urging of CIA Director John Brennan.
Following Comey's firing on May 9, 2017, the FBI's investigation was transferred to special counsel Robert Mueller. The Mueller investigation remains ongoing.

The FBI's formal involvement with the Steele dossier began on July 5, 2016, when Mike Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the US Embassy in Rome, was dispatched to visit former MI6 spy Christopher Steele in London. Gaeta would return from this meeting with a copy of Steele's first memo. This memo was given to Victoria Nuland at the State Department, who passed it along to the FBI.

Gaeta, who also headed the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, had known Steele since at least 2010, when Steele had provided assistance to the FBI's investigation into the FIFA corruption scandal .

Prior to the London meeting, Gaeta may also have met on a less formal basis with Steele several weeks earlier. "In June, Steele flew to Rome to brief the FBI contact with whom he had cooperated over FIFA," The Guardian reported. "His information started to reach the bureau in Washington."

It's worth noting that there was no "dossier" until it was fully compiled in December 2016. There was only a sequence of documents from Steele -- documents that were passed on individually -- as they were created. Therefore, from the FBI's legal perspective, they didn't use the dossier. They used individual documents.

For the next month and a half, there appeared to be little contact between Steele and the FBI. However, the FBI's interest in the dossier suddenly accelerated in late August 2016, when the bureau asked Steele "for all information in his possession and for him to explain how the material had been gathered and to identify his sources."

In September 2016, Steele traveled back to Rome to meet with the FBI's Eurasian squad once again. It's likely that the meeting included several other FBI officials as well. According to a House Intelligence Committee minority memo , Steele's reporting reached the FBI counterintelligence team in mid-September 2016 -- the same time as Steele's September trip to Rome.

The reason for the FBI's renewed interest had to do with an adviser to the Trump campaign -- Carter Page -- who had been in contact with Stefan Halper, a CIA and FBI source, since July 2016. Halper arranged to meet with Page for the first time on July 11, 2016, at a Cambridge symposium , just three days after Page took a trip to Moscow. Speakers at the symposium included Madeleine Albright, Vin Webber, and Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6.

Page was now the FBI's chosen target for a FISA warrant that would be obtained on Oct. 21, 2016. The Steele dossier would be the primary evidence used in obtaining the FISA warrant, which would be renewed three separate times, including after Trump took office, finally expiring in September 2017.

Former volunteer Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on Nov. 2, 2017. The FBI obtained a retroactive FISA spy warrant on Page.

After being in contact with Page for 14 months, Halper stopped contact exactly as the final FISA warrant on Page expired. Page, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, was never charged with any crime by the FBI. Efforts for the declassification of the Page FISA application are currently ongoing through the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General.

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were two prominent members of the FBI's "insurance policy" group. Strzok, a senior FBI agent, was the deputy assistant director of FBI's Counterintelligence Division. Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, served as special counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Strzok was in charge of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for government business. He helped FBI Director James Comey draft the statement exonerating Clinton and was personally responsible for changing specific wording within that statement that reduced Clinton's legal liability. Specifically, Strzok changed the words "grossly negligent," which could be a criminal offense, to "extremely careless."

Strzok also personally led the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the alleged Trump–Russia collusion and signed the documents that opened the investigation on July 31, 2016. He was one of the FBI agents who interviewed Trump's national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn. Strzok met multiple times with DOJ official Bruce Ohr and received information from Steele at those meetings.

Following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, Strzok would join the team of special counsel Robert Mueller. Two months later, he was removed from that team after the DOJ inspector general discovered a lengthy series of texts between Strzok and Page that contained politically charged messages. Strzok would be fired from the FBI in August 2018.

Both Strzok and Page engaged in strategic leaking to the press. Page did so at the direction of McCabe, who directly authorized Page to share information with Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett. That information was used in an Oct. 30, 2016, article headlined "FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe ." Page leaked to Barrett thinking she had been granted legal and official authorization to do so.

McCabe would later initially deny providing such authorization to the Office of Inspector General. Page, when confronted with McCabe's denials, produced texts refuting his statement. It was these texts that led to the inspector general uncovering the texts between Strzok and Page.

The two exchanged thousands of texts, some of them indicating surveillance activities, over a two-year period. Texts sent between Aug. 21, 2015, and June 25, 2017, have been made public . The series comes to an end with a final text by Page telling Strzok, "Don't ever text me again."

On Aug. 8, 2016, Stzrok wrote that they would prevent candidate Trump from becoming president:

Page: "[Trump is] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!"

Strzok: "No. No he won't. We'll stop it."

On Aug. 15, 2016, Strzok sent a text referring to an "insurance policy":

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office -- that there's no way [Trump] gets elected -- but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40."

The "insurance policy" appears to have been the effort to legitimize the Trump–Russia collusion narrative so that an FBI investigation, led by McCabe, could continue unhindered.

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice, which comprises 60 agencies , was transformed during the Obama years. The department is forbidden by federal law from hiring employees based on political affiliation.

However, a series of investigative articles by PJ Media published during Eric Holder's tenure as attorney general revealed an unsettling pattern of ideological conformity among new hires at the DOJ: Only lawyers from the progressive left were hired. Not one single moderate or conservative lawyer made the cut. This is significant as the DOJ enjoys significant latitude in determining who will be subject to prosecution.

The DOJ's job in Spygate was to facilitate the legal side of surveillance while providing a protective layer of cover for all those involved. The department became a repository of information and provided a protective wall between the investigative efforts of the FBI and the legislative branch. Importantly, it also served as the firewall within the executive branch, serving as the insulating barrier between the FBI and Obama officials. The department had become legendary for its stonewalling tactics with Congress.

DOJ Official Bruce Ohr on Aug. 28, 2018. Ohr passed on information from Christopher Steele to the FBI.

The DOJ, which was fully aware of the actions being taken by James Comey and the FBI, also became an active element acting against members of the Trump campaign. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, along with Mary McCord, the head of the DOJ's National Security Division, was actively involved in efforts to remove Gen. Michael Flynn from his position as national security adviser to President Trump.

To this day, it remains unknown which individual was responsible for making public Flynn's call with the Russian ambassador. Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to a process crime: lying to the FBI. There have been questions raised in Congress regarding the possible alteration of FD-302s, the written notes of Flynn's FBI interviews. Special counsel Robert Mueller has repeatedly deferred Flynn's sentencing hearing.

David Laufman, deputy assistant attorney general in charge of counterintelligence at the DOJ's National Security Division, played a key role in both the Clinton email server and Russia hacking investigations. Laufman is currently the attorney for Monica McLean, the long-time friend of Christine Blasey Ford, who recently accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her while in high school. McLean was also employed by the FBI for 24 years.

Bruce Ohr was a significant DOJ official who played a key role in Spygate. Ohr held two important positions at the DOJ: associate deputy attorney general, and director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. As associate deputy attorney general, Ohr was just four offices away from then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and he reported directly to her. As director of the task force, he was in charge of a program described as "the centerpiece of the attorney general's drug strategy."

Ohr, one of the highest-ranking officials in the DOJ, was communicating on an ongoing basis with Steele, whom he had known since at least 2006 , well into mid-2017. He is also married to Nellie Ohr, an expert on Russia and Eurasia who began working for Fusion GPS sometime in late 2015 . Nellie Ohr likely played a significant role in the construction of the dossier.

According to testimony from FBI agent Peter Strzok, he and Ohr met at least five times during 2016 and 2017. Strzok was working directly with then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Additionally, Ohr met with the FBI at least 12 times between late November 2016 and May 2017 for a series of interviews. These meetings could have been used to transmit information from Steele to the FBI. This came after the FBI had formally severed contact with Steele in late October or early November 2016.

John Carlin is another notable figure with the DOJ. Carlin was an assistant attorney general and the head of the DOJ's National Security Division until October 2016. His role will be discussed below in the section on FISA abuse.

The Battle Between Rosenstein and McCabe

Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe held a pivotal role in what has become known as "Spygate." He directed the activities of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and was involved in all aspects of the Russia investigation. He was also mentioned in the infamous "insurance policy" text message.

McCabe was a major component of the insurance policy.

On April 26, 2017, Rosenstein found himself appointed as the new deputy attorney general. He was placed into a somewhat chaotic situation, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the ongoing Russia investigation a little less than two months earlier, on March 2, 2017. This effectively meant that no one in the Trump administration had any oversight of the ongoing investigation being conducted by the FBI and the DOJ.

Additionally, the leadership of then-FBI Director James Comey was coming under increased scrutiny as the result of actions taken leading up to and following the election, particularly Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

On May 9, 2017, Rosenstein wrote a memorandum recommending that Comey be fired. The subject of the memo was "Restoring Public Confidence in the FBI." Comey was fired that day. McCabe was now the acting director of the FBI and was immediately under consideration for the permanent position.

On the same day Comey was fired, McCabe would lie during an interview with agents from the FBI's Inspection Division (INSD) regarding apparent leaks that were used in an Oct. 30, 2016, Wall Street Journal article, "FBI in Internal Feud Over Hillary Clinton Probe" by Devlin Barrett. This would later be disclosed in the inspector general report, "A Report of Investigation of Certain Allegations Relating to Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe."

At the time, nobody, including the INSD agents, knew that McCabe had lied, nor were the darker aspects of McCabe's role in Spygate fully known.

In late April or early May 2016, McCabe opened a federal criminal investigation on Sessions, regarding potential lack of candor before Congress in relation to Sessions's contacts with Russians. Sessions was unaware of the investigation.

Sessions would later be cleared of any wrongdoing by special counsel Robert Mueller.

On the morning of May 16, 2017, Rosenstein reportedly suggested to McCabe that he secretly record President Trump. This remark was reported in a New York Times article that was sourced from memos from the now-fired McCabe, along with testimony taken from former FBI general counsel James Baker, who relayed a conversation he had with McCabe about the occurrence. Rosenstein issued a statement denying the accusations.

The alleged comments by Rosenstein occurred at a meeting where McCabe was "pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president." An unnamed participant at the meeting, in comments to The Washington Post, framed the conversation somewhat differently, noting Rosenstein responded sarcastically to McCabe, saying, "What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?"

Later, on the same day that Rosenstein had his meetings with McCabe, President Trump met with Mueller, reportedly as an interview for the FBI director job. On May 17, 2017, the day after President Trump's meeting with Mueller -- and the day after Rosenstein's encounters with McCabe -- Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel.

The May 17 appointment of Mueller in effect shifted control of the Russia investigation from the FBI and McCabe to Mueller. Rosenstein would retain ultimate authority for the probe and any expansion of Mueller's investigation required authorization from Rosenstein.

Interestingly, without Comey's memo leaks, a special counsel might not have been appointed -- the FBI, and possibly McCabe, would have remained in charge of the Russia investigation. McCabe was probably not going to become the permanent FBI director, but he was reportedly under consideration. Regardless, without Comey's leak, McCabe would have retained direct involvement and the FBI would have retained control.

On July 28, 2017, McCabe lied to Inspector General Michael Horowitz while under oath regarding authorization of the leaking to The Wall Street Journal. At this point, Horowitz knew McCabe was lying, but did not yet know of the May 9 INSD interview with McCabe.

On Aug. 2, 2017, Rosenstein secretly issued Mueller a revised memo on "the scope of investigation and definition of authority" that remains heavily redacted. The full purpose of this memo remains unknown. On this same day, Christopher Wray was named as the new FBI director.

Two days later, on Aug. 4, 2017, Sessions announced that the FBI had created a new leaks investigation unit. Rosenstein and Wray were tasked with overseeing all leak investigations.

That Aug. 2 memo from Rosenstein to Mueller may have been specifically designed to remove any residual FBI influence -- specifically that of McCabe -- from the Russia investigation. The appointment of Wray as FBI director helped cement this. McCabe was finally completely neutralized.

On March 16, 2018, McCabe was fired for lying under oath at least three different times and is currently the subject of a grand jury investigation.

State Department

The State Department, with its many contacts within foreign governments, became a conduit for the flow of information. The transfer of Christopher Steele's first dossier memo was personally facilitated by Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland gave approval for FBI agent Michael Gaeta to travel to London to obtain the memo from Steele. The memo may have passed directly from her to FBI leadership. Secretary of State John Kerry was also given a copy.

Steele was already well-known within the State Department. Following Steele's involvement in the FIFA scandal investigation, he began to provide reports informally to the State Department. The reports were written for a "private client" but were "shared widely within the U.S. State Department, and sent up to Secretary of State John Kerry and Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who was in charge of the U.S. response to Putin's annexation of Crimea and covert invasion of eastern Ukraine," the Guardian reported.

Nuland passed on parts of the Steele dossier to the FBI. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In July 2016, when the FBI wanted to send Gaeta to visit Steele in London, the bureau sought permission from the office of Nuland, who provided this version of events during a Feb. 4, 2018, appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation":

"In the middle of July, when [Steele] was doing this other work and became concerned, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That's something for the FBI to investigate."

Steele also met with Jonathan Winer, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for international law enforcement and former special envoy for Libya. Steele and Winer had known each other since at least 2010. In an opinion article in The Washington Post, Winer wrote the following:

"In September 2016, Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the 'dossier.' Steele's sources suggested that the Kremlin not only had been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign but also had compromised Trump and developed ties with his associates and campaign."

In a strange turn of events, Winer also received a separate dossier , very similar to Steele's, from long-time Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal. This "second dossier" had been compiled by another longtime Clinton operative, former journalist Cody Shearer, and echoed claims made in the Steele dossier. Winer then met with Steele in late September 2016 and gave Steele a copy of the "second dossier." Steele went on to share this second dossier with the FBI, which may have used it to corroborate his dossier.

Winer passed on memos from Christopher Steele to Victoria Nuland. (State Department)

Other foreign officials also used conduits into the State Department. Alexander Downer, Australia's high commissioner to the UK, reportedly funneled his conversation with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos -- later used as a reason to open the FBI's counterintelligence investigation -- directly to the U.S. Embassy in London.

"The Downer details landed with the embassy's then-chargé d'affaires, Elizabeth Dibble, who previously served as a principal deputy assistant secretary in Mrs. Clinton's State Department," The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel wrote in a May 31, 2018, article .

If true, this would mean that neither Australian intelligence nor the Australian government alerted the FBI to the Papadopoulos information. What happened with the Downer details, and to whom they were ultimately relayed, remains unknown.

Curiously, details surprisingly similar to the Papadopoulos–Downer conversation show up in the first memo written by Steele on June 20, 2016:

"A dossier of compromising information on Hillary Clinton has been collated by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years and mainly comprises bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls. It has not yet been distributed abroad, including to Trump."

Clinton Campaign and the DNC

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee both occupied a unique position. They had the most to gain but they also had the most to lose. And they stood willing and ready to do whatever was necessary to win. Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, is credited with being the first to raise the specter of candidate Donald Trump's alleged collusion with Russia.

The entire Clinton campaign willfully promoted the narrative of Russia–Trump collusion despite the uncomfortable fact that they were the ones who had engaged the services of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele through their law firm Perkins Coie. Information flowed from the campaign -- sometimes through Perkins Coie, other times through affiliates -- ultimately making its way into the media and sometimes to the FBI. Information from the Clinton campaign may also have ended up in the Steele dossier.

Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for the Clinton campaign, in tandem with Jake Sullivan, the senior policy adviser to the campaign, took the lead in briefing the press on the Trump–Russia collusion story.

Another example of this behavior can be seen from an instance when Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann leaked information from Steele and Fusion GPS to Franklin Foer of Slate magazine. This event is described in the House Intelligence Committee's final report on Russian active measures , in footnote 43 on page 57. Foer then published the article "Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia? " on Oct. 31, 2016. The article concerns allegations regarding a server in the Trump Tower.

The Slate article managed to attract the immediate attention of Clinton, who posted a tweet on the same day the article was published:

"Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank."

Attached to her tweet was a statement from Sullivan:

"This could be the most direct link yet between Donald Trump and Moscow. Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank.

"This secret hotline may be the key to unlocking the mystery of Trump's ties to Russia. It certainly seems the Trump Organization felt it had something to hide, given that it apparently took steps to conceal the link when it was discovered by journalists."

These statements, which were later proven to be incorrect, are all the more disturbing with the hindsight knowledge that it was a senior Clinton/DNC lawyer who helped plant the story. And given the prepared statement by Sullivan, the Clinton campaign knew this.

This type of behavior would be engaged in repeatedly -- damning leaks leading to media stories, followed by ready attacks from the Clinton campaign.

Alexandra Chalupa is a Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee. Chalupa met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, Paul Manafort, and Russia. Chalupa began investigating Manafort in 2014. In late 2015, Chalupa expanded her opposition research on Manafort to include Trump's ties to Russia. In January 2016, Chalupa shared her information with a senior DNC official.

Chalupa's meetings with DNC and Ukrainian officials would continue. On April 26, 2016, investigative reporter Michael Isikoff published a story on Yahoo News about Manafort's business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. It was later learned from a DNC email leaked by Wikileaks that Chalupa had been working with Isikoff -- the same journalist Christopher Steele leaked to in September 2016. Manafort would later be indicted for Foreign Agents Registration Act violations that occurred during the Obama administration.

Perkins Coie

International law firm Perkins Coie served as the legal arm for both the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Ties to Perkins Coie extended beyond the DNC into the Obama White House.

Bob Bauer, a partner at the law firm and founder of its political law practice, served as White House counsel to President Barack Obama throughout 2010 and 2011. Bauer was also general counsel to Obama's campaign organization, Obama for America, in 2008 and 2012.

Perkins Coie partners Marc Elias and Michael Sussmann each played critical roles and were the ones who hired Fusion GPS and Steele. Sussmann personally handled the alleged hack of the DNC server. He also transmitted information, likely from Steele and Fusion GPS, to James Baker, then-chief counsel at the FBI, and to several members of the press.

Perkins Coie partner Michael Sussmann. Sussmann transmitted information to FBI chief counsel James Baker and several journalists. (Courtesy Perkins Coie)

According to a letter dated Oct. 24, 2017, written by Matthew Gehringer, general counsel at Perkins Coie, the firm was approached by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson in early March 2016 regarding the possibility of hiring Fusion GPS to continue opposition research into the Trump campaign. Simpson's overtures were successful, and in April 2016, Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS on behalf of the DNC.

Sometime in April or May 2016, Fusion GPS hired Christopher Steele. During this same period, Fusion also reportedly hired Nellie Ohr, the wife of Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr. Steele would complete his first memo on June 20, 2016, and send it to Fusion via enciphered mail.

Perkins Coie appears to have also been acting as a conduit between the DNC and the FBI. Documents suggest that Sussmann was feeding information to FBI general counsel James Baker and at least one journalist ahead of the FBI's application for a FISA warrant on the Trump campaign.

The information provided by Sussmann may have been used by the FBI as "corroborating information."

Obama Administration

The Obama administration provided a simultaneous layer of protection and facilitation for the entire effort. One example is provided by Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 , also known as Obama's data-sharing order . With the passage of the order, agencies and individuals were able to ask the NSA for access to specific surveillance simply by claiming the intercepts contained relevant information that was useful to a particular mission.

Section 2.3 had been expected to be finalized by early to mid-2016. Instead, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn't sign off on Section 2.3 until Dec. 15, 2016. The order was finalized when Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed it on Jan. 3, 2017.

The reason for the delay could relate to the fact that while the executive order made it easier to share intelligence between agencies, it also limited certain types of information from going to the White House.

An example of this was provided by Evelyn Farkas during a March 2, 2017, MSNBC interview , where she detailed how the Obama administration gathered and disseminated intelligence on the Trump team:

"I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill 'Get as much information as you can. Get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.'

"The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff's dealing with Russians, [they] would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. That's why you have the leaking."

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia Evelyn Farkas on May 6, 2014. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Many of the Obama administration's efforts appear to have been structural in nature, such as establishing new procedures or creating impediments to oversight that enabled much of the surveillance abuse to occur.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz was appointed by Obama in 2011. From the very start, he found his duties throttled by the attorney general's office. According to congressional testimony by Horowitz:

"We got access to information up to 2010 in all of these categories. No law changed in 2010. No policy changed. It was simply a decision by the General Counsel's Office in 2010 that they viewed, now, the law differently. And as a result, they weren't going to give us that information."

These new restrictions were put in place by Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

On Aug. 5, 2014, Horowitz and other inspectors general sent a letter to Congress asking for unimpeded access to all records. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded on July 20, 2015, with a 58-page memorandum . The memo specifically denied the inspector general access to any information collected under Title III -- including intercepted communications and national security letters.

The New York Times recently disclosed that national security letters were used in the surveillance of the Trump campaign.

At other times, the Obama administration's efforts were more direct. The Intelligence Community assessment was released internally on Jan. 5, 2017. On this same day, Obama held an undisclosed White House meeting to discuss the dossier with national security adviser Susan Rice, FBI Director James Comey, and Yates. Rice would later send herself an email documenting the meeting.

The following day, Brennan, Clapper, and Comey attached a written summary of the Steele dossier to the classified briefing they gave Obama. Comey then met with President-elect Trump to inform him of the dossier. This meeting took place just hours after Comey, Brennan, and Clapper formally briefed Obama on both the Intelligence Community assessment and the Steele dossier.

Comey would only inform Trump of the "salacious" details contained within the dossier. He later explained on CNN in an April 2018 interview why:

"Because that was the part that the leaders of the Intelligence Community agreed he needed to be told about."

Shortly after Comey's meeting with Trump, both the Trump–Comey meeting and the existence of the dossier were leaked to CNN. The significance of the meeting was material, as Comey noted in a Jan. 7 memo he wrote:

"Media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material."

Clapper leaked information to CNN, after which he publicly condemned the leaks. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The media had widely dismissed the dossier as unsubstantiated and, therefore, unreportable. It was only after learning that Comey briefed Trump that CNN reported on the dossier. It was later revealed that DNI James Clapper personally leaked Comey's meeting with Trump to CNN.

The Obama administration also directly participated in a series of intelligence unmaskings , the process whereby a U.S. citizen's identity is revealed from collected surveillance. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power reportedly engaged in hundreds of unmasking requests. Rice has admitted to doing the same.

The Obama administration engaged in the ultimately successful effort to oust Trump's newly appointed national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn. Yates, along with Mary McCord, head of the DOJ's National Security Division, led that effort .

Executive Order 13762

President Barack Obama issued a last-minute executive order on Jan. 13, 2017, that altered the line of succession within the DOJ. The action was not done in consultation with the incoming Trump administration.

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired on Jan. 30, 2017, by a newly inaugurated President Trump for refusing to uphold the president's executive order limiting travel from certain terror-prone countries. Yates was initially supposed to serve in her position until Jeff Sessions was confirmed as attorney general.

Obama's executive order placed the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia next in line behind the department's senior leadership. The attorney at the time was Channing Phillips.

Phillips was first hired by former Attorney General Eric Holder in 1994 for a position in the D.C. U.S. attorney's office. Phillips, after serving as a senior adviser to Holder, stayed on after he was replaced by Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

It appears the Obama administration was hoping the Russia investigation would default to Channing in the event Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the investigation. Sessions, whose confirmation hearings began three days before the order, was already coming under intense scrutiny.

The implementation of the order may also tie into Yates's efforts to remove Gen. Michael Flynn over his call with the Russian ambassador.

Trump ignored the succession order, as he is legally allowed to do, and instead appointed Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, as acting attorney general on Jan. 30, 2017, the same day Yates was fired.

Trump issued a new executive order on Feb. 9, 2017, the same day Sessions was sworn in, reversing Obama's prior order.

On March 10, 2017, Trump fired 46 Obama-era U.S. attorneys, including Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan. These firings appear to have been unexpected.

Media

In some respects, the media has played the most disingenuous of roles. Areas of investigation that historically would have proven irresistible to reporters of the past have been steadfastly ignored. False narratives have been all-too-willingly promoted and facts ignored. Fusion GPS personally made a series of payments to several as-of-yet- unnamed reporters .

The majority of the mainstream media has represented positions of the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

Steele met with members of certain media with relative frequency. In September 2016 , he met with a number of U.S. journalists for "The New York Times, the Washington Post, Yahoo! News, the New Yorker and CNN," according to The Guardian. It was during this period that Steele met with Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News.

In mid-October 2016, Steele returned to New York and met with reporters again. Toward the end of October, Steele spoke via Skype with Mother Jones reporter David Corn.

Leaking, including felony leaking of classified information, has been widespread. The Carter Page FISA warrant -- likely the unredacted version -- has been in the possession of The Washington Post and The New York Times since March 2017. Traditionally, the intelligence community leaked to The Washington Post while the DOJ leaked to sources within The New York Times. This was a historical pattern that stood until this election. The leaking became so widespread, even this tradition was broken.

On April 3, 2017, BuzzFeed reporter Ali Watkins wrote the article " A Former Trump Adviser Met With a Russian Spy ." In the article, she identified "Male-1," referred to in court documents relating to the case of Russian spy Evgeny Buryakov, as Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who had provided the FBI with assistance in the case. Just over a week later, on April 11, 2017, a Washington Post article, " FBI Obtained FISA Warrant to Monitor Former Trump Adviser Carter Page ," confirmed the existence of the October 2016 Page FISA warrant.

The information contained within both articles likely came via felony leaks from James Wolfe, former director of security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who was arrested on June 7, 2018, and charged with one count of lying to the FBI. Wolfe's indictment alleges that he was leaking classified information to multiple reporters over an extended period of time.

Reporter Ali Watkins likely received the undredacted FISA application on Carter Page from James Wolfe.
It appears probable that Wolfe leaked unredacted copies of the Page FISA application. According to the indictment , Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with Watkins on March 17, 2017. That same evening they engaged in a 28-minute phone call. The original Page FISA application is 83 pages long, including one final signatory page.

In the public version of the application, there are 37 fully redacted pages. In addition to that, several other pages have redactions for all but the header. There are only two pages in the entire document that contain no redactions.

Why would Wolfe bother to send 37 pages of complete redactions? It seems more than plausible that Wolfe took pictures of the original unredacted FISA application and sent them by text to Watkins.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has repeatedly stated that evidence within the FISA application shows the counterintelligence agencies were abused by the Obama administration. Most of the mainstream media has known this.

Despite this, most major news organizations for over two years have promoted the Russia-collusion narrative. Despite ample evidence having come out to the contrary, they have not admitted they were wrong, likely because doing so would mean they would have to admit their complicity.

Foreign Intelligence

UK and Australian intelligence agencies also played meaningful roles during the 2016 presidential election.

Britain's GCHQ was involved in collecting information regarding then-candidate Trump and transmitting it to the United States. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, the head of GCHQ, flew from London to meet personally with then-CIA Director John Brennan, The Guardian reported.

Former GCHQ head Robert Hannigan in this file photo. Hannigan transmitted information regarding Donald Trump to John Brennan in the summer of 2016. (Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images)

Hannigan's meeting was noteworthy because Brennan wasn't Hannigan's counterpart. That position belonged to NSA Director Mike Rogers. In the following year, Hannigan abruptly announced his retirement on Jan. 23, 2017 -- three days after Trump's inauguration.

As GCHQ was gathering intelligence, low-level Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos appears to have been targeted after a series of highly coincidental meetings. Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, FBI informant Stefan Halper, and officials from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) all crossed paths with Papadopoulos -- some repeatedly so.

Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier on Trump, was an MI6 agent while the agency was headed by Sir Richard Dearlove. Steele retains close ties with Dearlove.

Dearlove has ties to most of the parties mentioned. It was he who advised Steele and his business partner, Chris Burrows, to work with a top British government official to pass along information to the FBI in the fall of 2016. He also was a speaker at the July 2016 Cambridge symposium that Halper invited Carter Page to attend.

Dearlove knows Halper through their mutual association at the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar. Dearlove also knows Sir Iain Lobban, a former head of GCHQ, who is an advisory board member at British strategic intelligence and advisory firm Hakluyt , which was founded by former MI6 members and retains close ties to UK intelligence services.

Halper has historical connections to Hakluyt through Jonathan Clarke, with whom he has co-authored two books.

Downer, who met Papadopoulos in a May 2016 meeting established through a chain of two intermediaries, served on the advisory board of Hakluyt from 2008 to 2014. He reportedly still maintains contact with Hakluyt officials. Information from his meeting with Papadopoulos was later used by the FBI to establish the bureau's counterintelligence investigation into Trump–Russia collusion. Downer has changed his version of events multiple times.

The Steele dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources. One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood later relayed information regarding the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who dispatched David Kramer, a fellow at the McCain Institute, to London to meet with Steele in November 2016. McCain would later admit in a Jan. 11, 2017, statement that he had personally passed on the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey.

Trump, after issuing an order for the declassification of documents and text messages related to the Russia-collusion investigations -- including parts of the Carter Page FISA warrant application -- received phone calls from two U.S. allies saying, "Please, can we talk." Those "allies" were almost certainly the UK and Australia.

In a Twitter post , Trump wrote that the "key Allies called to ask not to release" the documents.

Questions to be asked are why is it that two of our allies would find themselves so opposed to the release of these classified documents that a coordinated plea would be made directly to the president? And why would these same allies have even the slightest idea of what was contained in these classified U.S. documents?

Britain and Australia appear to know full well what those documents contain, and their attempt to prevent their public release appears to be because they don't want their role in events surrounding the 2016 presidential election to be made public.

Fusion GPS/Orbis/Christopher Steele

Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, is co-founder of Fusion GPS, along with Peter Fritsch and Tom Catan. Fusion was hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign through law firm Perkins Coie to produce and disseminate the Steele dossier used against Trump. The dossier would later be the primary evidence used to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page on Oct. 21, 2016.

The company was hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC–through law firm Perkins Coie–to produce the dossier on Trump.

Christopher Steele, who retains close ties to UK intelligence, worked for MI6 from 1987 until his retirement in 2009, when he and his partner, Chris Burrows, founded Orbis Intelligence. Steele maintains contact with British intelligence, Sir Richard Dearlove , and UK intelligence firm Hakluyt.

Steele appears to have been represented by lawyer Adam Waldman, who also represented Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. We know this from texts sent by Waldman. On April 10, 2017, Waldman sent this to Sen. Mark Warner:

"Hi. Steele: would like to get a bi partisan letter from the committee; Assange: I convinced him to make serious and important concessions and am discussing those w DOJ; Deripaska: willing to testify to congress but interested in state of play w Manafort. I will be with him next tuesday for a week."

Steele also appears to have lobbied on behalf of Deripaska, who was discussed in emails between Bruce Ohr and Steele that were recently disclosed by the Washington Examiner:

"Steele said he was 'circulating some recent sensitive Orbis reporting' on Deripaska that suggested Deripaska was not a 'tool' of the Kremlin. Steele said he would send the reporting to a name that is redacted in the email."

Fusion GPS was also employed by Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in a previous case. Veselnitskaya was involved in litigation pitting Russian firm Prevezon Holdings against British-American financier William Browder. Veselnitskaya hired U.S. law firm BakerHostetler, who, in turn, hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Browder. Veselnitskaya was one of the participants at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, at which she discussed the Magnitsky Act .

Fox News reported on Nov. 9, 2017, that Simpson met with Veselnitskaya immediately before and after the Trump Tower meeting.

A declassified top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court report released on April 26, 2017, revealed that government agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and NSA, had improperly accessed Americans' communications. The FBI specifically provided outside contractors with access to raw surveillance data on American citizens without proper oversight.

Communications and other data of members of the Trump campaign may have been accessed in this way.


Nellie Ohr, the wife of high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS to work on the dossier on Trump.

Bruce and Nellie Ohr have known Simpson since at least 2010 and have known Steele since at least 2006. The Ohrs and Simpson worked together on a DOJ report in 2010 . In that report, Nellie Ohr's biography lists her as working for Open Source Works, which is part of the CIA. Simpson met with Bruce Ohr before and after the 2016 election.

Bruce Ohr had been in contact repeatedly with Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign -- while Steele was constructing his dossier. Ohr later actively shared information he received from Steele with the FBI, after the agency had terminated Steele as a source. Interactions between Ohr and Steele stretched for months into the first year of Trump's presidency and were documented in a number of FD-302s -- memos that summarize interviews with him by the FBI.

Spy Traps

In an effort to put forth evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, it appears that several different spy traps were set, with varying degrees of success. Many of these efforts appear to center around Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos and involve London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, who has ties to Western intelligence, particularly in the UK.

Papadopoulos and Mifsud both worked at the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP). Mifsud appears to have joined LCILP around November 2015 . Papadopoulos reportedly joined LCILP sometime in late February 2016 after leaving Ben Carson's presidential campaign. However, some reports indicate Papadopoulos joined LCILP in November or December of 2015. Mifsud and Papadopoulos reportedly never crossed paths until March 14, 2016, in Italy.

Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos to several Russians, including Olga Polonskaya, whom Mifsud introduced as "Putin's niece," and Ivan Timofeev, an official at a state-sponsored think tank called the Russian International Affairs Council. Both Papadopoulos and Mifsud were interviewed by the FBI. Papadopoulos was ultimately charged with a process crime and was recently sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to the FBI. Mifsud was never charged by the FBI.

Throughout this period, Papadopoulos continuously pushed for meetings between Trump campaign officials and Russian contacts but was ultimately unsuccessful in establishing any meetings.

Papadopoulos met with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer on May 10, 2016. The Papadopoulos–Downer meeting has been portrayed as a chance encounter in a bar. That does not appear to be the case.

Papadopoulos was introduced to Downer through a chain of two intermediaries who said Downer wanted to meet with Papadopoulos. Another individual happened to be in London at exactly the same time: the FBI's head of counterintelligence, Bill Priestap. The purpose of Priestap's visit remains unknown.

The Papadopoulos–Downer meeting was later used to establish the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Trump–Russia collusion. It was repeatedly reported that Papadopoulos told Downer that Russia had Hillary Clinton's emails. This is incorrect.

Foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign was approached by several individuals with ties to UK and U.S. intelligence agencies. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

According to Downer, Papadopoulos at some point mentioned the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

"During that conversation, he [Papadopoulos] mentioned the Russians might use material that they have on Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the election, which may be damaging,'' Downer told The Australian about the Papadopoulos meeting in an April 2018 article. "He didn't say dirt, he said material that could be damaging to her. No, he said it would be damaging. He didn't say what it was."

Downer, while serving as Australia's foreign minister, was responsible for one of the largest foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation: $25 million from the Australian government.

Unconfirmed media reports, including a Jan. 12, 2017, BBC article , have suggested that the FBI attempted to obtain two FISA warrants in June and July 2016 that were denied by the FISA court. It's likely that Papadopoulos was an intended target of these failed FISAs.

Interestingly, there is no mention of Papadopoulos in the Steele dossier. Paul Manafort, Carter Page, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, Gen. Michael Flynn, and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski are all listed in the Steele dossier.

Papadopoulos may have started out assisting the FBI or CIA and later discovered that he was being set up for surveillance himself.

After failing to obtain a spy warrant on the Trump campaign using Papadopoulos, the FBI set its sights on campaign volunteer Carter Page. By this time, the counterintelligence investigation was in the process of being established, and we know now that it was formalized with no official intelligence. The FBI needed some sort of legal cover. They needed a retroactive warrant. And they got one on Oct. 21, 2016. The Page FISA warrant would be renewed three times and remain in force until September 2017.

Stefan Halper met with Page for the first time on July 11, 2016, at a Cambridge symposium , just three days after Page's July 2016 Moscow trip. As noted previously, former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove was a speaker at the symposium. Halper and Dearlove have known each other for years and maintain several mutual associations.

Page was already known to the FBI. The Page FISA warrant application references the Buryakov spy case and an FBI interview with Page. Current information suggests there was only one meeting between Page and the FBI in 2016. It happened on March 2, 2016. It was in relation to Victor Podobnyy, who was named in the Buryakov case.

Page, who cooperated with the FBI on the case, almost certainly was providing testimony or details against Podobnyy. Page had been contacted by Podobnyy in 2013 and had previously provided information to the FBI. Buryakov pleaded guilty on March 11, 2016 -- nine days after Page met with the FBI on the case -- and was sentenced to 30 months in prison on May 25, 2016. On April 5, 2017, Buryakov was granted early release and was deported to Russia.

FBI informant Stefan Halper approached Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said in August that exculpatory evidence on Page exists that wasn't included by the DOJ and the FBI in the FISA application and subsequent renewals. The exculpatory evidence likely relates specifically to Page's role in the Buryakov case.

If the FBI failed to disclose Page's cooperation with the bureau or materially misrepresented his involvement in its application to the FISA Court, it means that the FBI's Woods procedures, which govern FISA applications, were violated.

Page has not been arrested or charged with any crime related to the investigation.

FISA Abuse

Admiral Mike Rogers, while director of the NSA, was personally responsible for uncovering an unprecedented level of FISA abuse that would later be documented in a 99-page unsealed FISA court ruling . As the FISA court noted in the April 26, 2017, ruling, the abuses had been occurring since at least November 2015:

"The FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to private contractors.

"Private contractors had access to raw FISA information on FBI storage systems.

"Contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI's requests."

The FISA Court report is particularly focused on the FBI:

"The Court is concerned about the FBI's apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported."

The FISA Court disclosed that illegal NSA database searches were endemic. Private contractors, employed by the FBI, were given full access to the NSA database. Once in the contractors' possession, the data couldn't be traced.

In April 2016, after Rogers became aware of improper contractor access to raw FISA data on March 9, 2016, he directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to conduct a "fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702."

On April 18, 2016, Rogers shut down all outside contractor access to raw FISA information -- specifically outside contractors working for the FBI.

Then-NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers on May 23, 2017. Rogers uncovered widespread abuse of FISA data by the FBI. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the Office of the Inspector General and associated FISA abuse to the FISA Court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702 compliance review.

The following day, on Sept. 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation, effective Oct. 15, 2016.

After receiving a briefing by the NSA compliance officer on Oct. 20, 2016, detailing numerous "about query" violations from the 702 NSA compliance audit, Rogers shut down all "about query" activity the next day and reported his findings to the DOJ. "About queries" are searches based on communications containing a reference "about" a surveillance target but that are not "to" or "from" the target.

On Oct. 21, 2016, the DOJ and the FBI sought and received a Title I FISA probable-cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISA Court.

At this point, the FISA Court was still unaware of the Section 702 violations.

On Oct. 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings. On Oct. 26, 2016, Rogers appeared formally before the FISA Court and presented the written findings of his audit.

The FISA Court had been unaware of the query violations until they were presented to the court by Rogers.

Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA Court ahead of receiving the Page FISA warrant.

The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page.

While all this was transpiring, DNI James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter submitted a recommendation that Rogers be removed from his post as NSA director.

The move to fire Rogers, which ultimately failed, originated sometime in mid-October 2016 -- exactly when Rogers was preparing to present his findings to the FISA Court.

The Insurance Policy

Ever since the release of FBI text messages revealing the existence of an "insurance policy," the term has been the subject of wide speculation.

Some observers have suggested that the insurance policy was the FISA spy warrant used to monitor Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and, by extension, other members of the Trump campaign. This interpretation is too narrow and fails to capture the underlying meaning of the text.

The insurance policy was the actual process of establishing the Trump–Russia collusion narrative.

It encompassed actions undertaken in late 2016 and early 2017, including the leaking of the Steele dossier and James Clapper's leaks of James Comey's briefing to President Trump. The intent behind these actions was simple. The legitimization of the investigation into the Trump campaign.

The strategy involved the recusal of Trump officials with the intent that Andrew McCabe would end up running the investigation.

The Steele dossier, which was paid for by the Clinton presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, served as the foundation for the Russia narrative.

The intelligence community, led by CIA Director John Brennan and DNI James Clapper, used the dossier as a launching pad for creating their Intelligence Community assessment.

This report, which was presented to Obama in December 2016, despite NSA Director Mike Rogers having only moderate confidence in its assessment, became one of the core pieces of the narrative that Russia interfered with the 2016 elections.

Through intelligence community leaks, and in collusion with willing media outlets, the narrative that Russia helped Trump win the elections was aggressively pushed throughout 2017.

Spygate

Spygate represents the biggest political scandal in our nation's history. A sitting administration actively colluded with a political campaign to affect the outcome of a U.S. presidential election. Government agencies were weaponized and a complicit media spread intelligence community leaks as facts.

But a larger question remains: How long has the United States been subject to interference from the intelligence community and our political agencies? Was the 2016 presidential election a one-time aberration, or is this episode symptomatic of a larger pattern extending back decades?

The intensity, scale, and coordination suggest something greater than overzealous actions taken during a single election. They represent a unified reaction of the establishment to a threat posed by a true outsider -- a reaction that has come to be known as Spygate.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[Mar 24, 2019] T>he accountability that must follow Mueller's report. The Hill

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections. ..."
"... At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this. ..."
"... I would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy. ..."
"... It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further. ..."
"... They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. ..."
"... Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal. ..."
"... The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue; ..."
"... Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law. ..."
"... It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.) ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
  1. President Trump was not indicted, nor did Mueller recommend an indictment against him for collusion or obstruction.
  2. There were no major disagreements between Mueller and his managers at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
  3. The Russians who tried to interfere in the 2016 election were exposed and charged -- but no American was charged with any effort to conspire with Moscow and hijack the election.
  4. While nearly three dozen people were charged , including a few close to the president or who worked for his campaign, no one in proximity to the president was formally charged with colluding with Russia. Most, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn or campaign adviser George Papadopoulos , were charged with process crimes or felonies unrelated to the main case, as in Paul Manafort 's secretive, multimillion-dollar foreign lobbying spree through Ukraine.

*********

Such omissions are so glaring as to constitute defrauding a federal court. And each and every participant to those omissions needs to be brought to justice.

An upcoming DOJ inspector general's report should trigger the beginning of that accountability in a court of law, and President Trump can assist the effort by declassifying all evidence of wrongdoing by FBI, CIA and DOJ officials. " The Hill

------------

Pilgrims, the seditious conspiracy to depose the elected president of the United States for conspiracy to commit treason with the Government of the Russian Federation has been defeated.

The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections.

At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this.

The leftist press is already discounting the results of Mueller's investigation while gloating over how long the Democratic held House of Representatives can continue to search through Trump's life trying to find criminality.

AG Barr should stand Mueller up next to him at a press conference to make clear the results of his report and to answer questions about it. After that the prosecutions should begin. pl

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/435394-the-wisdom-of-trumps-lawyers-and-the-accountability-that-must-follow

Posted at 09:00 AM in government , Justice , Politics | Permalink | 20 Comments


David Habakkuk , 14 hours ago

I would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy.

It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further.

The argument that declassification of relevant documentation would harm the intelligence relationship between the U.S. and U.K. has clearly been made with great emphasis from this side.

In fact, it is pure bollocks. A serious investigation on your side, which could lead to the kind of clean-out which should have happened when the scale of the corruption of intelligence in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq became clear, might pave the way for us to reconstruct reasonably functional intelligence services.

Doing this on both sides of the Atlantic might pave the way for a reconstruction of an intelligence relationship which was actually beneficial to both countries, as in recent years it patently has not been.

Whether there is a realistic prospect of people on your side opening the cans of worms on ours, as well as your own, of course remains a moot point.

English Outsider -> David Habakkuk , 12 hours ago
Mr Habakkuk,

I'm glad the Steele affair has been examined at the American end -

"They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. "

What about the UK end? We're fussing over some little local difficulties in the UK at the moment and at our end the questions still remain - Who in the UK authorised it and how high did it go?

Mark Logan -> David Habakkuk , 9 hours ago

The problem with criminal prosecution is one must cite a Brit or US law which was violated. The only ones in US law that I am aware of stipulate that the plotting must be by means of violence, "by force". All this appears to me to be only the propagation of rumors.
English Outsider -> Mark Logan , 6 hours ago
I think it might be more the investigation of the propagation of rumours. Think back to that election campaign, and to the period before the inauguration.

Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal.

With respect it is not propagating rumours to ask how that happened. As for my own interest in the affair, it is not propagating rumours to ask how a senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer comes to be mixed up in it all. I suppose I started to look on it as rather more than a prank or a few cogs slipping when that senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer got whisked away to a safe house. We're a penny pinching lot over here and we don't run to that sort of thing for nothing.

Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 6 hours ago
Ex?
Mad_Max22 , 11 hours ago
An investigation could certainly be predicated on the reasonable suspicion that Steele, et al, conspired to defraud the United States, in this case a purposeful and knowing smear of a candidate for office; also, another potential violation could be lying to the FBI, T 18 USC 1001.

The problem, as I see it, is sorting out the malignant from the merely incompetent. As I've argued many times, the dossier should have been dismissed from the outset as a pile of garbage, empty of actionable content, because the ultimate sources could not be vetted: the information could not be said to be either credible or reliable. The information was acted on by screening it behind the reliabilty and credibility, so called, of Steele. So it would be necessary to show that Steele knew that the information, point by point, was false. This could be difficult. Steele's first line of defense would be that he threw everything that he heard from anyone at all into the mix in the expectation that the "professionals" would figure it out.

Yes, they were all partisan, Steele, his sources, his bosses, the so called professionals, and their partisanship would be easy to prove; and yes, almost assuredly their partisanship contributed, perhaps even explained, their defective judgement as to how to handle the scurrilous information, especially on the part of the so called professionals, but proving they actually knew the materials to be false would be difficult.

They couldn't know that it was false because they had no ability to run down the sources. The professionals would defend themselves by saying they had no ability to vet the sources but the information represented such a serious security threat that they had no alternative but to try to vet the information by launching the investigation against the targets. This puts the cart before the horse, represents an astonishing lack of judgement, especially considering the "exalted" positions in the Intel Community the people exercising the bad judgement occupied, but there it is - "we thought we were doing the right thing."

Perhaps this defense could be overcome by demonstrating that people at such high and important heights of government could not possible be so stupid... maybe.

And of course we have the orchestrated leaks to various media, the orchestrated unmaskings, all of which kept the media frenzy fired up. All in all, it was the greatest political dirty trick ever attempted in American Politics, and did devastating damage to both domestic tranquility and national security. Trump survived, but the damage done is incalculable.

So It pains me greatly to think that the reckoning will likely have to be political rather than criminal because the malice that can be demonstrated is so admixed and even overshadowed by incompetence and judgement flaws; and even a political reckoning given the state of the country is so uncertain.

I hope that I am wrong and that some kind of prosecution can be fashioned because of the sheer enormity of violence that was done to our electoral system, surpassing by far the chickenshit case Mueller brought against the Russian troll farm; but I fear that I am right. It hurts to think that so much damage can be caused by scheming little political weasels and that they all may well walk away scot free; and even be lionized by their political confreres as having tried to do the right thing. This is the state of American politics today!!!

Eric Newhill , 12 hours ago
I see that some of the midgets on horseback are saying that they will bring Mueller before congress to explain himself. Their knight in shining armor has failed to return with the holy grail. A couple even suggested that perhaps Mueller has been influenced by the Russians or somehow intimated by Trump.

The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue;

and that + all the crazy Marxism (social and economic), bad immigration policy and Green New Deal is going to doom the Democrats in 2020. They look like they are jumping off a final sake fueled banzai charge. Maybe they think the best defense is a good offense re; the prosecutions that should happen. What is the chance that Mueller will pass *all* he has learned to help get the criminal cases under way?

robt willmann , 3 hours ago
seesee2468,

On 13 July 2018, when announcing the indictment of 12 Russian military officers by the Mueller group for "conspiring to interfere" in the 2016 presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein admitted that no "interference" actually happened. In this video of his announcement, starting at 5 minutes, 52 seconds into it and ending at the 6 minute, 5 second mark, he says--

"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result."

https://www.c-span.org/vide...

Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law.

However, I am concerned that the new attorney general, William Barr, will not do so based on his past associations and work. I hope I am wrong about that, but I am not optimistic.

Divadab Newton , 10 hours ago
It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.)

I'm wrestling with the idea that 'twas ever thus and now with the internet its workings are revealed to a "lay" audience with no connection to the dark arts of the spy business. But I am curious, with the good Colonel's indulgence, if the new tools of the trade have made things which should be secret not possible to be kept secret?

Walrus , 13 hours ago
Amen to the prosecutions. If there is seen to be no accountability for this fraud then we are seriously damaging what's left of democracy. Who, in their right mind, is going to publicly support and assist a political candidate who is not "Swamp approved" if they face the threat of thereby triggering their own, and their family's destruction by the judicial system?

I suggest that even a pardon is not enough for those entrapped in this mess. There needs to be restitution.

To put that another way, in my opinion, "birther" allegations could be passed off as political tactics. Nobody got hurt. It is just good luck that Russiagate hasn't resulted in suicide or worse - so far.

ugluk2 , 3 hours ago
Matt Taibbi on how the press has destroyed its credibility.

https://taibbi.substack.com...

Taras77 , 8 hours ago
I certainly agree that consequences must be brought to bear: lying politicians without a shred of evidence, nor did they offer any for their lies; press for their utter and complete malfeasance and corruption without a shred of evidence, the doj/fbi corrupted and coup plotting officials,and finally the shame to all who shrieked about "evil" putin, russia the aggressor, etc. It has set our discourse back decades, forced any critics of this insanity into the shadows, and completely killed any attempt at normal diplomacy between nations.

I noted one astute writer as equating this russiagate insanity to the lies surrounding wmd and the destruction of iraq. Close. The damage from this criminality is incalculable!

Will the shrillest of all in the press lose their jobs? Nah, not a chance. Prob get raise or promotion.Will the brennans, clintons, clappers, et al do the perp walk. Nah, not a chance. High paid lawyers will tie the courts up for years if not decades.

And america has the institutional memory of a gnat. And of course, the question is as to high up did this criminality go? I personally do not believe it is a question-it is obvious to me. The major question for me is how high up the prosecution, if any, will go.

MP98 , 12 hours ago
Problem is...who's going to do the prosecuting? The DOJ - protector of the swamp - has become thoroughly corrupted as an arm of the Democrat-media party. Should (can) Trump appoint a special prosecutor as far as possible from the DOJ?
Greco , 12 hours ago
The president might use this and any Republican-led prosecutions as leverage to work out deals that will allow him to achieve his agenda. I think he'll need to given how the Democrats intend to use their house majority to launch investigations and hearings to find something, anything to howl about and impede his agenda.
Fred W , 12 hours ago
Still need to see the full report. I hope it is releasable. Otherwise the conspiracy theories or leaks will never let up. The article cited is a partisan opinion piece, not a news report. It accepts the fallback stance that yes, crimes were committed but collusion by Trump was not among them. This actually seems possible if only in light of the chaotic condition of the campaign.

That said, I would not be surprised to find collusion discounted. Not that the Russians didn't interfere. That would be entirely in character. But I don't know any reason for supposing that they would have a better understanding of American political dynamics than the Americans who make good livings being the best in that arena. The Russians seem to have been doing the same things as numerous other players. They shouldn't have been in that game, but there is no strong reason for according them Superman status. Their strongest feature seems to have been sheer quantity. Outrage over their actions often seems to flow from a poor grasp of the real nature of normal political process.

Fred -> Fred W , 4 hours ago
"The Russians seem to have been doing the same things..."

Multiple members of the FBI and DOJ seem to have been interfering in the 2016 Presidential election. How many other federal and state elections did they interfere with?

seesee2468 -> Fred W , 6 hours ago
Can you cite a single piece of hard evidence, not simply allegation, that proves the Russians interfered in the 2016 election? If so, please cite it, since I know of none. Thank you.
Pat Lang Mod -> seesee2468 , 6 hours ago
I cannot.
peter hodges , 12 hours ago
Nothing will happen. In fact, the way things have been going, Trump will make Mueller the next AG.

[Mar 24, 2019] "Russia Gate" investigation was a color revolution agaist Trump. But a strnge side effect was that Clintons have managed to raise a vicious, loud mouthed thug to the status of some kind of martyr.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy that everyone knows really runs the country that they actually elected Donald Trump president ..."
"... The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years, and appointing a special prosecutor to conduct an official investigation in order to lend it the appearance of legitimacy. Every component of the ruling establishment (i.e., the government, the media, the intelligence agencies, the liberal intelligentsia, et al.) collaborated in an unprecedented effort to remove an American president from office based on a bunch of made-up horseshit which kind of amounts to an attempted soft coup. ..."
"... It now appears that the world will see that the so-called "Russia Gate" investigation was nothing more than the pro-Clintonista BS that Trump always claimed it was. ..."
"... As for the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, they should be treated like the creeps they are: corrupt, opportunistic and power hungry. Like Typhoid Mary, they infect everything they touch ..."
"... I'm also convinced that Trump and Clinton colluded, but that they did so in order to get her elected. I don't think he really wanted the job. But still, Hillary can do nationalist, and the designs of the Empire would have proceeded either way. ..."
"... Trump is a crook who takes money wherever he can get it, from subcontractors foolish enough to work for him to bankers dumb enough to believe his financial statements. No doubt he has helped Russian crooks sanitize their booty, but that is apparently too difficult for Mueller to prove. ..."
"... It is not good news that this troglodyte was not indicted, but it is good news that Russia was not found guilty of electing him. Russiagate is an existential issue for the "national security" establishment and just another propaganda offensive designed to justify the largely useless & destructive activities of the Pentagon. ..."
"... It is time to build cooperation not continue the stupidity of US unilateralism and pursuit of global hegemony. Trump and his team have to be removed from office. Democrats don't need Russiagate to do it. The truth will work better. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ken , Mar 23, 2019 2:09:31 PM | link

Back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy that everyone knows really runs the country that they actually elected Donald Trump president. They did this fully aware that Trump was a repulsive, narcissistic ass clown who bragged about "grabbing women by the pussy" and jabbered about building "a big, beautiful wall" and making the Mexican government pay for it. They did this fully aware of the fact that Donald Trump had zero experience in any political office whatsoever, was a loudmouth bigot, and was possibly out of his gourd on amphetamines half the time. The American people did not care. They were so disgusted with being conned by arrogant, two-faced, establishment stooges like the Clintons, the Bushes, and Barack Obama that they chose to put Donald Trump in office, because, fuck it, what did they have to lose?

The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years, and appointing a special prosecutor to conduct an official investigation in order to lend it the appearance of legitimacy. Every component of the ruling establishment (i.e., the government, the media, the intelligence agencies, the liberal intelligentsia, et al.) collaborated in an unprecedented effort to remove an American president from office based on a bunch of made-up horseshit which kind of amounts to an attempted soft coup.

This is the story Donald Trump is going to tell the American people.
https://consentfactory.org/2019/03/21/mueller-dammerung/

GeorgeV , Mar 23, 2019 2:13:42 PM | link

It now appears that the world will see that the so-called "Russia Gate" investigation was nothing more than the pro-Clintonista BS that Trump always claimed it was. The Clintons once again, both Bill and Hillary, have managed to raise a vicious, loud mouthed thug in the White House to the status of some kind of martyr. What a country America it is. One thing should be clear however. Any politician or media pundit that towed the pro-Clintonista line should be barred from public office or the media forever.

As for the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, they should be treated like the creeps they are: corrupt, opportunistic and power hungry. Like Typhoid Mary, they infect everything they touch. There is one difference between Typhoid Mary, and Bill and Hillary: Typhoid Mary didn't realize what she was doing, the Clintons did!

the pair , Mar 23, 2019 2:14:43 PM | link
sorry to double post, but it just occurred to me that they pulled a classic DC move: if you have something humiliating or horrible to admit, do it on a friday night.

i have to wonder if the entire western media is cynically praying for a (coincidentally distracting) school shooting or terrorist attack within the next two days.

ger , Mar 23, 2019 2:16:08 PM | link
I have close friends that have been on the MSNBC/Maddow Kool-Ade for years. Constantly declaring Mueller was on the verge of closing in on Trump and associates for treason with the Russians. On Friday night after dinner at our home, the TV was tuned to MSNBC so they could watch their spiritual leader Rachel Maddow....what a pitiful sight (both Maddow and friends). No one was going to jail or be impeached for conspiring with Putin.....how on how could that be true. Putin personally stole the election from Clinton and THEY are just going to let him walk was the declaration a few feet from my chair. Normally, I would recommend grieve counseling, but they are still my friends ... now they can go back to blaming Bernie for Clinton's loss. Maybe I will recommend grieve counseling!
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Mar 23, 2019 2:27:18 PM | link
@dltravers: Apart from the "goyim" you may be right.. But if you want to claim with that Trumps opponents where under the pressure of the Zionists, you got it all wrong man.. ;) No presidents been more under the Zionist thumb than DJT.
That ofc doesnt make Hillarys Saudi and Muslim brotherhood connections better.. ;)

Anyway, cheers to the end of this BS! And lets hope that Trump has now payed off his debts with Adelson now that he secured Bibis reelection. But dont hold your breath.. ;)

Nathan Mulcahy , Mar 23, 2019 2:31:06 PM | link
"very politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit and everyone who swallowed this moronic load of bull spunk has officially discredited themselves for life".

I wish so, but that's not how the exceptional nation of US of A works, as demonstrated by the Iraq WMD fiasco case. In fact, very politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit (about Saddam's WMD" BS) is alive and well, spreading more BS. What is even more depressing is that the huge chunk of this exceptional nation cannot have enough of the BS and is chanting "give me more, give me more...".

Disgusting! sorry for the pessimistic rant.

renfro , Mar 23, 2019 2:56:18 PM | link
The Dems were stupid to gin up the Russian collusion.

However some good things have come out of the investigation. It cost taxpayers 2 million but recouped over 25 million from those convicted of fraud and tax evasion.
And its not over, Mueller has sent 5 to 7 referrals or evidence/witnesses to SDNY, EDNY, DC, EDVA, plus the National Security and Criminal Divisions. These from information turned up crimes unrelated to his Russia probe and allegedly concerning Trump or his family business, a cadre of his advisers and associates. They are being conducted by officials from Los Angeles to Brooklyn.

The bad news is it exposed how wide spread and corrupt the US has become...in private and political circles.

The other bad news is most of the Trump lovers and Trump haters are too stupid to drop their partisan and personal blinders and recognize that ....ITS THE CORRUPTION STUPID.

BraveNewWorld , Mar 23, 2019 3:00:34 PM | link
b you have repeatedly made the case that this whole thing was kicked off by the Steele dossier. That is factually incorrect. The first investigation was already running before the dossier ever materialized. That investigation spawned the special prosecutors investigation when Trump fired Comey and then went on TV and said it was because of the Russia investigation. The Russia investigation was originally kicked off by Papadopoulos drinking with the the Australian ambassador and bragging about what the campaign was doing with Russia. Remember the original evidence was presented to the leadership of both the House and the Senate when they were both controlled by the Republican party and every one that was briefed came out on camera and said the Justice dept was doing the right thing in pursuing this.

I think the Democrats should lose Hillary down a deep hole and not let her near any of the coming campaign events. But this came about because of the actions of the people around Trump. Not because Hillary controls the US government from some secret bunker some where.

Lozion , Mar 23, 2019 3:09:29 PM | link
One could argue Russiagate was on the contrary quite a success. The Elites behind the scheme never believed it would end up with Trump's impeachment. What they did accomplish though is a deflection via "Fake News" from the Dem's election failures & shenanigans and refocus the attention towards the DNC's emerging pedophilia scandals (Weiner, the Podesta's, Alefantis, etc) & suspicious deaths (Seth Rich, etc) towards a dead-end with the added corollary of preventing US/Ru rapprochement for more then half an administration..
Blooming Barricade , Mar 23, 2019 3:10:02 PM | link
The deeply tragic thing about this for the media, the neocons, and the liberals is that they brought it upon themselves by moving the goalposts continuously. If, after Hillary lost, they had stuck to the "Russia hacked WikiLeaks" lie, then they probably have sufficient proof from their perspective and the perspective of most of the public that Russia helped Trump win. In this case it would be remembered by the Democrats like the stolen election of 2000 (albeit the fact that it was a lie this time). They had multiple opportunities to jump off this train. Even the ridiculous DNI report could have been their final play: "Russia helped Trump." Instead of going with 2000 they went with 2001, aka 9-11, with the same neocon fearmongers playing the pipe organ of lies. As soon as they accepted the Steele Dossier, moving the focus to "collusion" they discredited themselves forever. Many of the lead proponents were discredited Iraq war hawks. Except this time it was actually worse because the whole media bought into it. This leaves an interesting conundrum: there were at least some pro-Afghanistan anti-Iraq warmongers who rejected the Bush premise in the media, so they took over the airwaves for about two years before the real swamp creatures returned. This time, it will be harder to issue a mea culpa. They made this appear like 9-11, well, this time the truthers have won, and they are doomed.
dh-mtl , Mar 23, 2019 3:11:13 PM | link
Societies collapse when their systems (institutions) become compromised. When they are no longer capable of meeting the needs of the population, or of adapting to a changing world.

Societal systems become compromised when their decision making structures, which are designed to ensure that decisions are taken in the best interest of the society as a whole, are captured by people who have no legitimacy to make the decisions, and who make decisions for the benefit of themselves, at the expense of society as a whole.

Russia-gate is a flagrant example of how the law enforcement and intelligence institutions have been captured. Their top officials, no longer loyal to their country or their institution, but rather to an international elite (including the likes of Soros, the Clintons, and far beyond) have used these institutions in an attempt to delegitimize a constitutionally elected president and to over turn an election. This is no less than treason of the highest order.

Indeed, the actions much of the Washington establishment, as well as a number international actors, since Trump was elected seems suspiciously like one of the 'Color Revolutions' that are visited upon any country who's citizens did not 'vote right' the first time. Over-throw the vote, one way or another, until the result that is wanted is achieved. None of these 'Color Revolutions' has resulted in anything good for the country involved. Rather they have resulted in the destruction of each country's institutions, and eventually societal collapse.

In the U.S. the capturing of systems' decision making structures is not limited to Russia-Gate and the overturning of the electoral system. Their are other prime examples:

- The capture of the Air Transport Safety System by Boeing that has resulted in the recent 737 Max crashes, and likely the destruction of the reputation of the U.S. aviation industry, in an industry where reputation is everything.

- The capture of the Financial Regulatory System, by Wall Street, who in 1998 rewrote the rules in their own favor, against the best interests of the population as a whole. The result was the 2008 financial crisis and the inability of the U.S. economy to effectively recover from that crisis.

- This capture is also seen in international diplomatic systems, where the U.S. is systematically by-passing or subverting international law and international institutions, (the U.N. I.C.J., I.N.F. treaty) etc., and in doing so is destroying these institutions and the ability to maintain peace.

The result of system (institution) capture is difficult to see at first. But, in time, the damage adds up, the ability of the systems to meet the needs of the population disappears, and societal decline sets in.

It looks today like the the societal decline is acellerating. Russia-gate is just one of many indicators.

English Outsider , Mar 23, 2019 3:27:38 PM | link
The pair @ 3.

Your comment on the BBC is on the mild side. I listen to it when I drive in in the morning and also get annoyed sometimes. When it is reporting on the Westminster bubble it is factually accurate as far as I can judge. Apart from that, and particularly in the case of the BBC news, we're in information control territory.

But accept that and the BBC turns into quite a valuable resource. It's well staffed, has good contacts, and picks up what the politicians want us to think with great accuracy.

In that respect it's better than the newspapers and better also than the American media. Those news outlets have several masters of which the political elite is only one. The BBC has just the one master, the political elite, and is as sensitive as a stethoscope to the shifting currents within that political elite.

So I wouldn't despise the BBC entirely. It tells us how the politicians want us to think. In telling us that it sometimes gives us a bearing on what the politicians et al are doing and what they intend to do.

worldblee , Mar 23, 2019 3:28:20 PM | link
The never-Trumpers will never let their dreams die. Of course, they never oppose Trump on substantive issues like attempting a coup in Venezuela, withdrawing from the INF treaty, supporting the nazis in Ukraine, supporting Al Qaeda forces in Syria, etc. But somehow they're totally against him and ready to haul out the latest stupid thing he said as their daily fodder for conversation...
ben , Mar 23, 2019 3:32:48 PM | link
renfro @ 10 said;"The Dems were stupid to gin up the Russian collusion."

Uh no, just doing their job of distracting the public, while ignoring the real issues the
American workers care about. You know, the things DJT promised the workers, but has never delivered.(better health care for all, ending the useless wars overseas, an infrastructure
plan to increase good paying jobs), to name just a few.

The corporate Dems( which is the lions share of them), are bought and paid for to distract, and they've done it well.

The Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas, and most who have come before, are of the same ilk.

Bend over workers and lube up, for more of the same in 2020...

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 3:48:10 PM | link
I profoundly disagree with the notion that Russiagate had anything to do with Hillary's collusion with the DNC. Gosh, that is naive at best.
1) Hillary didn't need to collude against Sanders - the additional money that she got from doing so was small change compared the to overall amount she raised for her campaign.

2) Sanders was a long-time friend of the Clintons. He boasted that he's known Hillary for over 25 years.

3) Sanders was a sheepdog meant to keep progressives in the Democratic Party. He was never a real candidate. He refused to attack Hillary on character issues and remained loyal even after Hillary-DNC collusion was revealed.

When Sanders had a chance to total disgrace Hillary, he refused to do so. Hillary repeatedly said that she had NEVER changed for vote for money but Warren had proven that she had: Hillary changed her vote on the Bankruptcy Bill for money from the credit card industry.

4) Hillary didn't try to bury her collusion with the DNC (as might be expected), instead she used it to alienate progressive voters by bring Debra Wasserman-Shultz into her campaign.

5) Hillary also alienated or ignored other important constituencies: she wouldn't support an increase in the minimum wage but accepted $750,000 from Goldman Sachs for a speech; she took the black vote for granted and all-but berated a Black Lives Matters activist; and she called whites "deplorables".

Hillary threw the race to her OTHER long-time friend in the race: Trump. The Deep-State wanted a nationalist and that's just what they got.

6) Hillary and the DNC has shown NO REMORSE whatsoever about colluding with Sanders and Sanders has shown no desire whatsoever to hold them accountable.

IMO Russiagate (Russian influence on Trump) and accusations of "Russian meddling" in the election are part of the same McCarthyist psyop to direct hate at Russia and stamp out any dissent. Trump probably knowingly, played into the Deep State's psyop by:

> hiring Manafort;

> calling on Russia to release Hillary's emails;

> talking about Putin in a admiring way.

And it accomplished much more than hating on Russia:

> served as excuse for Trump to do Deep State bidding;

> distracted from the real meddling in the 2016 election;

> served as a device for settling scores:

- Assange isolated
(Wikileaks was termed an "agent of a foreign power");

- Michael Flynn forced to resign
(because he spoke to the Russian ambassador).

hopehely , Mar 23, 2019 3:49:15 PM | link The US owes Russia an official apology. And also Russia should get its stolen buildings and the consulate back. And maybe to get paid some compensation for the injustice and for damages suffered. Without that, the Russiagate is not really over.
Jen , Mar 23, 2019 4:01:43 PM | link
BraveNewWorld @ 11:

If memory serves me correctly, the initial accusations of collusion between DJT's presidential campaign and the Kremlin came from Crowdstrike, the cybersecurity company hired by the Democratic National Committee to oversee the security of its computers and databases. This was done to deflect attention away from Hillary Clinton's illegal use of a personal server at home to conduct government business during her time as US State Secretary (2009 - 2013), business which among other things included plotting with the US embassy in Libya (and the then US ambassador Chris Stevens) to overthrow Muammar Gaddhafi's government in 2011, and conspiring also to overthrow the elected government in Honduras in 2010.

The business of Christopher Steele's dossier (part or even most of which could have been written by Sergei Skripal, depending on who you read) and George Papadopoulos' conversation with the half-wit Australian "diplomat" Alexander Downer in London were brought in to bolster the Russiagate claims and make them look genuine.

As B says, Crowdstrike does indeed have a Ukrainian nationalist agenda: its founder and head Dmitri Alperovich is a Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council (the folks who fund Bellingcat's crapaganda) and which itself receives donations from Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. Crowdstrike has some association with one of the Chalupa sisters (Alexandra or Andrea - I can't be bothered dredging through DuckDuckGo to check which - but one of them was employed by the DNC) who donated money to the Maidan campaign that overthrew Viktor Yanukovych's government in Kiev in February 2014.

james , Mar 23, 2019 4:16:03 PM | link
thanks b... i would like russiagate to be finished, but i tend to see it much like kadath @2.. the link @2 is worth the read as a reminder of how far the usa has sunk in being a nation of passive neocons... emptywheel can't say no to this as witnessed by her article from today.. ) as a consequence, i agree with @14 dh-mtl's conclusion - "It looks today like the the societal decline is acellerating. Russia-gate is just one of many indicators."

the irony for those of us who don't live in the usa, is we are going to have watch this sad state of affairs continue to unravel, as the usa and the west continue to unravel in tandem.. the msm as corporate mouthpiece is not going to be tell us anything of relevance.. instead it will be continued madcow, or maddow bullshit 24-7... amd as kadath notes @2 - if any of them are to step up as a truth teller - they will be marginalized or silenced... so long as the mainstream swallow what they are fed in the msm, the direction of the titanic is still on track...

@19 hopehely... you can forget about anything like that happening..

WDDiM , Mar 23, 2019 4:36:17 PM | link
What Difference Does it Make?
They don't really need Russia-gate anymore. It bought them time. As we speak nuclear bombers make runs near Russian borders every day and Russian consulates get attacked with heavy weaponry in the EU and no Russian outlet is even making a reference,while Israel is ready to move heavy artillery in to Golan targeting Russia bases in Syria and China raking all their deals for civilian projects in the Med.
Russia got stuffed in the corner getting all the punches.
Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:37:43 PM | link
What a horrible witch hunt, but the msm will keep on denying and keep creating new hoaxes about Trump, Russia.
Heck the media even deny there was no collussion, they keep spinning it in different ways!

But remember folks, we here was always right...
The Mueller Report Is In. They Were Wrong. We Were Right.
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-mueller-report-is-in-they-were-wrong-we-were-right-a915d23a6d82

iv> also, there is a big risk that the media, deep state will create new accusations coming days.

Posted by: Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:39:30 PM | link

also, there is a big risk that the media, deep state will create new accusations coming days.

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 23, 2019 4:39:30 PM | link

Russ , Mar 23, 2019 4:41:30 PM | link
People are forgetting to call Dembot agent Wheeler "FBI rat Wheeler", or just Rat Wheeler. Or EmptySqueal.
karlof1 , Mar 23, 2019 4:47:23 PM | link
Thanks for citing Caitlin Johnstone's wonderful epitaph, b--Russiavape indeed!

During the fiasco, the Outlaw US Empire provided excellent proof to the world that it does everything it accused Russia of doing and more, while Russia's cred has greatly risen. Meanwhile, there're numerous other crimes Trump, his associates, Clinton, her associates--like Pelosi--ought to be impeached, removed from office, arrested, then tried in court, which is diametrically opposed to the current--false--narrative.

Scotch Bingeington , Mar 23, 2019 4:47:39 PM | link
The people who steered us into two years of Russiavape insanity are the very last people anyone should ever listen to ever again when determining the future direction of our world.

Yes, absolutely. And not just regarding the world's future, but even if you happen to be in the same building with one of them and he/she bursts into your already smoke-filled room yelling that the house is on fire.

Btw, whatever authority has ever ruled that "ex-MI6 dude" Steele (who doesn't remind me of steel at all, but rather of a certain nondescript entity named Anthony Blair) is in fact merely 'EX'? He himself? The organisation? The Queen perhaps?

Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:52:41 PM | link
Scotch Bingeington

Expose them at every opportunity, they should not get away with this like nothing happend:

If you think a single Russiagate conspiracist is going to be held accountable for media malpractice, you clearly haven't been awake the past 2 decades. No one will pay for being wrong. This profession is as corrupt & rotten as the kleptocracy it serves

defeatism isn't the answer -- should remind & mock these hacks every opportunity. Just need to be aware of the beast we're up against.


https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/1109235461430657026
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 5:00:23 PM | link
Who will say that the King has no clothes?

The establishment plays on peoples fears and so we all sink together as we all cling to our "lesser evils", tribal allegiances, and try to avoid the embarrassment of being wrong.

Although everyone is aware of the corruption and insider dealing, no one seems to want to acknowledge the extent, or to think critically so as to reveal any more than we already know.

It's almost as though corruption (the King's nudity) is a national treasure and revealing it would be a national security breach in the exceptional nation.

And so to the Deep State cabal continues to rule unimpeded.

WDDiM , Mar 23, 2019 5:08:16 PM | link
The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years

Posted by: Ken | Mar 23, 2019 2:09:31 PM | 4

You people don't get it do you?
'The Plan' was to get rid of Turkey-Russia-Israel (and a few others) with one fell swoop....

steve , Mar 23, 2019 5:11:08 PM | link
Deep state makes the warren commish seem authoritative
john , Mar 23, 2019 5:13:37 PM | link
the rot in DC is palpable. this whole russiagate fiasco's been like some kind of really bad audition for deeper state kabuki...what's next?

keeping brand Trump alive.

Blooming Barricade , Mar 23, 2019 5:22:08 PM | link
Matt Taibbi:

It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD
The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

Pft , Mar 23, 2019 5:38:41 PM | link
Russia gate was both a diversion from the real collusions (Russian Mafia , China and Israel) and a clever ruse to allow Trump to back off from his campaign promise to improve relations with Russia. US policy toward Russia is no different under Trump than it was during Obamas administration. Exactly what the Russia Gaters wanted and Trump delivered.

That Mueller could find nothing more than some tax/money laundering/perjury charges in which the culprits in the end get pardoned is hardly surprising given his history. Want something covered up? Put Mueller on it.

To show how afraid Trump was of Mueller he appointed his long term friend Barr as AJ and pretended he didn't know how close they were when it came out. There is no lie people wont believe. Lol

Meanwhile Trumps Russian Mafia connections stay under the radar in MSM, Trump continues as Bibi's sock puppet, the fake trade war with China continues as Ivanka is rolling in China trademarks .

The Rothschild puppet that bailed out Trumps casinos as Commerce Secretary overseeing negotiations that will open the doors for more US and EU (they willy piggy back on the deal like hyenas) jobs to go to China (this time in financial/services) and stronger IPR protections that will facilitate this transfer, and will provide companies more profits in which to buyback stocks but wont bring manufacturing jobs back.

tuyzentfloot , Mar 23, 2019 5:46:31 PM | link
The collusion story has been hit badly and it will likely lose its momentum, but I wonder how far reaching this loss of momentum is. There are many variants. The 'unwitting accomplice' is an oxymoron which isn't finished yet. The Russians hacking the election: not over. The Russians sowing discord and division. Not over. Credibility of the Russiagate champions overall? Not clear. Some could take a serious hit. Brennan and other insiders who made it onto cable tv?
It is possible that the whole groupthink about Russiagate changes drastically
and that 'the other claims' also lose their credibility but it's far from certain. After years of building up tension Russia's policies are also changing. I think they have shown restraint but their paranoia and aggressiveness is also increasing and some claims will become true after all.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , Mar 23, 2019 5:48:55 PM | link

"Russiagate" has always been a meaningless political fraud.

When folks like Hillary Clinton sign on to something and give it a great deal of weight, you really do know you are talking about an empty bag of tricks. She is a psychopathic liar, one with a great deal of blood on her hands.

My problem with this official result is that it may tend to give Trump a boost, new credibility.

The trouble with Trump has never been Russia - something only blind ideologues and people with the minds of children believe - it is that he is genuinely ignorant and genuinely arrogant and loud-mouthed - an extremely dangerous combination.

And in trying to defend himself, this genuine coward has completely surrendered American foreign policy to its most dangerous enemies, the Neocons.


https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/john-chuckman-comment-americas-democrats-launch-lawsuit-against-trump-and-russia-and-wiki-leaks-over-election-hilarious-this-is-a-country-fit-to-dominate-the-earth-they-cant-manage-their-own/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/john-chuckman-comment-yet-more-ignorant-gossip-and-innuendo-about-trump-and-russia-this-all-reminds-me-of-insane-past-american-campaigns-against-procter-gamble-or-harry-potter-charging-devil/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/john-chuckman-comment-what-americas-neocons-represent-for-arms-control-agreements-such-as-the-inf-with-russia-and-heres-the-deadly-weakness-in-trumps-psychology-that-has-allowed-neocons-to-ta/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/john-chuckman-comment-a-comment-rightly-asks-with-trump-doing-everything-the-establishment-wants-why-do-they-still-want-to-get-rid-of-him-i-think-these-are-the-essential-reasons/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/john-chuckman-comment-some-very-dark-thoughts-of-where-america-is-going-in-its-relations-with-russia-and-iran-i-do-think-we-live-in-dangerous-times-and-they-are-deliberately-manufactured/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/john-chuckman-comment-complete-degradation-of-a-self-styled-great-nation-which-allows-paid-thugs-to-use-poison-gas-to-give-it-an-excuse-for-still-more-killing-the-dark-place-we-are-brought-to-by-tr/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/john-chuckman-comment-more-on-the-strange-phenomenon-of-trump-and-americas-neocons-a-man-who-imagines-himself-a-great-leader-leading-nothing-and-he-still-has-pathetic-followers-who-think-hes-fi/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/john-chuckman-comment-new-phony-book-on-trump-and-russia-whats-really-going-on-with-all-the-mumbo-jumbo-insanity-in-america-the-real-target-aint-trump-neocons-and-russia/


Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 5:59:03 PM | link
Blaming Russiagate on Hillary is very easy for those who hate her or hope that Trump will deliver on his faux populist fake-agenda.

No one wants to contemplate the possibility that Hillary and Trump, and the duopoly they lead, fixed the election and planned Russiagate in advance.

It seems a bridge too far, even for the smart skeptics at MoA.

So funny.

Trump has proven himself to be a neocon. He broke his campaign promise to investigate Hillary within DAYS of being elected. He has brought allies of his supposed enemies into his Administration.

Yet every one turns from the possibility that the election was fixed. LOL.

The horrible possibility that our "democracy" is managed is too horrible to contemplate. Lets just blame it all on Hillary.

Welcome to the rabbithole.

Copeland , Mar 23, 2019 6:23:41 PM | link
Those who have been holding their breath for two years can finally exhale. I guess the fever of hysteria will have to be attended a while longer. A malady of this kind does not easily die out overnight. Those who have been taken in, and duped for so long, can not so easily recover. The weight of so much cognitive dissonance presses down on them like a boulder. The dust of the stampeded herd behind Russiagate is enough paralyze the will of those who have succumbed.

As Joseph Conrad once wrote, "The ways of human progress are inscrutable."

Jonathan , Mar 23, 2019 7:02:54 PM | link
@37 Jackrabbit,

Of course it was fixed. That's what the Electoral College is for .

Arioch , Mar 23, 2019 7:06:26 PM | link
Russiagate is a pendulum, it reached the dead point, it would hange in the air for a moment, then it would start swinging right backwards at full speed crashign everything in the way!

It would be revealed, it was Russia who paid Muller to start that hysteria and stole money from American tax-payers and make America an international laughing stock. "Putin benefited from it", highly likely!

Muller's investigation is paid for with Manafort's seized cash and property and Manafort has made Yanukovich king of Ukraine, so Manafort is Putin's agent, so Muller is working of Putin's money, so it was Putin's collusion everything that Muller is doing! Highly likely.

fast freddy , Mar 23, 2019 7:12:20 PM | link
There is no "Liberal Media". Those whom claim to be Liberal and yet support the Warmonger Democratic Party (Republican lite) are frauds. Liberalism does not condone war and it most certainly does not support wars of aggression - especially those wars waged against defenseless nations. Neither can liberalism support trade sanctions or the subjugation of Palestinians in the Apartheid State of ISreal.
Peter , Mar 23, 2019 7:16:00 PM | link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHo6cW0HVkQ DISGRACEFUL WILL WE EVER SAY NO?
vk , Mar 23, 2019 7:24:32 PM | link
@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23, 2019 3:48:10 PM | 18

We must be very careful with the words we choose, in order to paint the correct conjuncture and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.

It's one thing to say Bernie Sanders is not a revolutionary; it's another completely different thing to say he was in cahoots with the Clintons.

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary. Not only he chose to do so, but he only didn't win because the DNC threw all its weight against him.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist. He's an imperialist who believes the spoils of the empire should be also used to build a Scandinavian-style Welfare State for the American people only. A cynic would tell you this would make him a Nazi without the race theme, but you have to keep in mind societies move in a dialectical patern, not a linear one: if you preach for "democratic socialism", you're bringing the whole package, not only the bits you want.

I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists. Americans are more aware of their own contradictions (more enlightened) now than before he disputed those faithful primaries of 2016. And the most important ingredient for that, in my opinion, was the fact he was crushed by both parties; that the "establishment" acted in unison not to let him get near the WH. That was a didactic moment for the American people (or a signficant part of it).

But I agree Russiagate went well beyond just covering the Clintons' dirt in the DNC.

It may have be born like that, but, if that was the case, the elites quickly realized it had other, ampler practical uses. The main one, in my opinion, was to drive a wedge between Trump's Clash of Civilizations's doctrine -- which perceives China as the main long term enemy, and Russia as a natural ally of the West -- and the public opinon. The thing is most of the American elite is far too dependent on China's productive chain; Russia is not, and can be balkanized.

Sandwichman , Mar 23, 2019 7:30:58 PM | link
counterpoint: If the Mueller report does not EXPLICITLY exonerate Trump, it does NOT exonerate Trump.
wagelaborer , Mar 23, 2019 7:43:06 PM | link
There is a funny video compilation of the TV talking heads predicting the end of Trump, new bombshells, impeachment, etc., over the last two years.
Unfortunately, the same sort of compilation could be made of sane people predicting "this new information means the end of Russiagate" over the same time period.
The truth is that the truth doesn't matter, only the propaganda, and it has not stopped, only spun onto new hysteria.
Rob , Mar 23, 2019 7:58:15 PM | link
As others have said, hard core Russiagaters will likely not be convinced that they have been wrong all along. They have too much emotional investment in the grand conspiracy theory to simply let it go. Rather, they will forever point to what they believe are genuine bits of evidence and curse Mueller for not following the leads. And the Dems in the House of Representatives will waste more time and resources on pointless investigations in an effort to keep the public sufficiently distracted from more important matters, such as the endless wars and coups that they support. A pox on all their houses, both Democrats and Republicans.
Sandwichman , Mar 23, 2019 8:08:59 PM | link
"...hard core Russiagaters will likely not be convinced that they have been wrong all along."

Wrong about what? There seems to be "narrative" operative here that there are only two positions on this matter: the "right" one and the "wrong" one and nothing else.

Sunny Runny Burger , Mar 23, 2019 8:10:36 PM | link
Ben nails it in "Mar 23, 2019 3:32:48 PM | 17".

Ben's and other comments might make this a little bit superfluous but it's short.

A case of divide and conquer against the population

This time it was a fabricated scandal.

Continued control over "facts" and narratives, the opportunity for efficient misdirection and distraction, stealing and wasting other people's time and effort, spurious disagreements, wearing down relations.

The illusion of choice, (false) opposition, blinded "oversight", and mythical claims concerning a civilian government (in the case of the US: "of, for, and by" or something like that).

Who knew or knows is irrelevant as long as the show goes on. There's nothing to prove anything significant about who if anyone may or may not be behind the curtain and thus on towards the next big or small scandal we go because people will be dissatisfied and hungry and ready to bite as hard as possible on some other bait for or against something.

Maybe "Russiagate" was impeccably engineered or maybe it organically outcompeted other distractions on offer that would ultimately also waste enormous amounts of time and effort.

Management by crisis

The scandals, crises, "Science says" games and rubbish, outrage narratives, and any other manipulations attempt and perhaps succeed at controlling the US and the world through spam.

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 8:11:22 PM | link
Jonathan @39: Of course it was fixed. That's what the Electoral College is for.

Well, you can say the same think about money-as-speech , gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. Despite all these, Americans believe that their democracy works.

I contend that what we witnessed in 2016 was a SHOW. Like American wrestling. It was (mostly) fake. The proper term for this is kayfabe .

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

And we have seen other 'shows' also, like:

> White Helmets;

>> Skripal;

>> the Kavanaugh hearings;

>> pulling troops out of Syria.

aspnaz , Mar 23, 2019 8:19:24 PM | link
My advice to the yanks mourning Russiagate: move to the UK. The sick Brits will keep the Russia hating cult alive even after they spend a decade puking over Brexit.
mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 8:50:48 PM | link
Jackrabbit @18
So, you don't think HRC qualifies as a nationalist? She can't fake populist, but she can do nationalist.
I also think she is much too ambitious to have intentionally thrown the election. It was her turn dammit! Take a look at her behavior as First Lady if you think she's the kind of personality that is content to wield power from behind the scenes.
Cortes , Mar 23, 2019 8:51:27 PM | link
As usual, a fine essay. Thank you.

A couple of suggestions?

The headline would be better worded "Russiagate really is finished."

And the reaction at Colonel Lang's site makes interesting reading.

Les , Mar 23, 2019 8:55:52 PM | link
They didn't fall for the Steele dossier. I recall that emptywheel had discredited the dossier during the election as it was known to have been rejected by major media outlets leading up to the election. I think they merely fell behind the others as the outgoing administration, the Democrats, the CIA, and the media chose to use the dossier to 'blackmail' Trump.
paul , Mar 23, 2019 8:56:02 PM | link
The most important fruit of russiagate, from the view of the establishment of the hegemon, is that America has now taken a giant step towards full bore censorship.
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:00:35 PM | link
vk @43

We must be very careful ... and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.
Don't we already have plenty of evidence that there is no precious democratic baby in the bath? What do you think the Yellow Vests are doing every weekend?

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary.
Why not? Do you know him personally? Can you vouch for him?

Have you read this: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016 ?

Bernie referred to Hillary as "my friend" many times on the campaign trail. He told Politico that he's known her for 25 years but they are not "best friends". That's Sander's typical word judo. Like when he was asked about Zionism, his response: what's that?

The fact is, Bernie is friendly with all the top Democrats: Obama campaigned for him and Schumer wouldn't allow funding for democratic candidates that opposed him.

Then there's other strangeness. Like Bernie's refusal to release his 2014 tax returns. Bernie said his returns were "boring" but when his 2015 tax return was delayed the press asked him to release his 2014 return (Hillary boasted that she had released 10 years of returns). Bernie refused.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist.... I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists.
Really? LOL. Sanders REFUSED to lead a Movement for real change. That might've changed things for the better Mi>- like the Yellow Vests are changing things for the better.

What have we seen from the Democratics since 2016? Bullshit like Russiagate, meaningless astroturf activism around bathrooms and statues, and outlandish policies like open borders. These things just irritate most Americans and will lead to more failure for the Democrats and another 4 years for Trump.

Lastly, you said nothing about Bernie's refusal to attack Hillary on character issues and to counter her assertion that she NEVER changed her vote for money. Other examples: Bernie refused to discuss Hillary's home email server, never mentioned Hillary's well known work to squash investigations of Bill Clinton for abusing women (Jennifer Flowers), and didn't talk about other scandals like Benghazi ("What difference does it make") and her glee at the overthrow of Quadaffi ("we came, we saw, we kicked his ass").

And what of Trump? He was the ONLY republican populist in a field of 19. Do you find that even a little bit strange?

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:02:11 PM | link
Sorry, here's a more readable version:

We must be very careful ... and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.
Don't we already have plenty of evidence that there is no precious democratic baby in the bath? What do you think the Yellow Vests are doing every weekend?

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary.
Why not? Do you know him personally? Can you vouch for him?

Have you read this: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016 ?

Bernie referred to Hillary as "my friend" many times on the campaign trail. He told Politico that he's known her for 25 years but they are not "best friends". That's Sander's typical word judo. Like when he was asked about Zionism, his response: what's that?

The fact is, Bernie is friendly with all the top Democrats: Obama campaigned for him and Schumer wouldn't allow funding for democratic candidates that opposed him.

Then there's other strangeness. Like Bernie's refusal to release his 2014 tax returns. Bernie said his returns were "boring" but when his 2015 tax return was delayed the press asked him to release his 2014 return (Hillary boasted that she had released 10 years of returns) . Bernie refused.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist.... I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists.
Really? LOL. Sanders REFUSED to lead a Movement for real change. That might've changed things for the better Mi>- like the Yellow Vests are changing things for the better.

What have we seen from the Democratics since 2016? Bullshit like Russiagate, meaningless astroturf activism around bathrooms and statues, and outlandish policies like open borders. These things just irritate most Americans and will lead to more failure for the Democrats and another 4 years for Trump.

Lastly, you said nothing about Bernie's refusal to attack Hillary on character issues and to counter her assertion that she NEVER changed her vote for money. Other examples: Bernie refused to discuss Hillary's home email server, never mentioned Hillary's well known work to squash investigations of Bill Clinton for abusing women (Jennifer Flowers), and didn't talk about other scandals like Benghazi ("What difference does it make") and her glee at the overthrow of Quadaffi ("we came, we saw, we kicked his ass").

And what of Trump? He was the ONLY republican populist in a field of 19. Do you find that even a little bit strange?

mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 9:06:00 PM | link
Jonathan @39
Exactly! It's the Electoral College that decides elections, not voters.
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:13:59 PM | link
mourning dove @57: Exactly! It's the Electoral College that decides elections, not voters.

Do you think Hillary didn't know that? She refused to campaign in the three mid-western states that would've won her the electoral college. Each of the states were won by Trump by a thin margin.

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 23, 2019 9:14:04 PM | link
Gosh and Blimey!
Comment #56 in a thread about an utterly corrupt political system and no-one has mentioned the pro-"Israel" Lobby?
Words fail me. So I'll use someone else's...

From Xymphora March 21, 2019.

"Truth or Trope?" (Sailer):

"Of the top 50 political donors to either party at the federal level in 2018, 52 percent were Jewish and 48 percent were gentile. Individuals who identify as Jewish are usually estimated to make up perhaps 2.2 percent of the population.
Of the $675 million given by the top 50 donors, 66 percent of the money came from Jews and 34 percent from gentiles.
Of the $297 million that GOP candidates and conservative causes received from the top 50 donors, 56 percent was from Jewish individuals.
Of the $361 million Democratic politicians and liberal causes received, 76 percent came from Jewish givers.
So it turns out that Rep. Omar and Gov. LePage appear to have been correct, at least about the biggest 2018 donors. But you can also see why Pelosi wanted Omar to just shut up about it: 76 percent is a lot."

Erelis , Mar 23, 2019 9:35:12 PM | link
Next up another false flag operation. The thing is, it would have be non-trivial and involving the harming of people to jolt the narrative back to that favoring the deep state. And taking off the proverbial media table, that Mueller found no collusion. Yes, election in 2016 no collusion, but Putin was behind the latest horrific false flag, "oh look, Trump is not confronting Putin"...
daffyDuct , Mar 23, 2019 9:40:02 PM | link

Not even getting into the "treason", "putin's c*ckholster", "what's the time on Moscow, troll!" crap we've been subjected to for 3 years, please enjoy this mashup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjUvfZj-Fm0.

mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 9:54:13 PM | link
Jackrabbit,

I've said before that she's a terrible strategist and she ran a terrible campaign and she's terribly out of touch. I think she expected a cake walk and was relying on Trump being so distasteful to voters that they'd have no other option.

I think Trump legitimately won the election and I don't believe for a second that she won the popular vote. There were so many problems with the election but since they were on the losing side, nobody cares. In 2012 I didn't know anyone else who was voting for Jill Stein, way too many people were still in love with Obama. She got .4% of the vote. In 2016 most of the people I knew were voting for Jill Stein, she drew a large crowd from DemExit, but they say she got .4% of the vote. Total bullshit. There was also ballot stuffing and lots of other problems, but it still wasn't enough.

I'm also convinced that Trump and Clinton colluded, but that they did so in order to get her elected. I don't think he really wanted the job. But still, Hillary can do nationalist, and the designs of the Empire would have proceeded either way.

jadan , Mar 23, 2019 9:56:37 PM | link

Trump is a crook who takes money wherever he can get it, from subcontractors foolish enough to work for him to bankers dumb enough to believe his financial statements. No doubt he has helped Russian crooks sanitize their booty, but that is apparently too difficult for Mueller to prove.

It is not good news that this troglodyte was not indicted, but it is good news that Russia was not found guilty of electing him. Russiagate is an existential issue for the "national security" establishment and just another propaganda offensive designed to justify the largely useless & destructive activities of the Pentagon.

It is time to build cooperation not continue the stupidity of US unilateralism and pursuit of global hegemony. Trump and his team have to be removed from office. Democrats don't need Russiagate to do it. The truth will work better.

[Mar 24, 2019] With RussiaGate Over Where's Hillary

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there. ..."
"... And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that Hillary's blackmail is now worthless. ..."
"... They don't fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power. ..."
"... The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled. If they don't do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, "No evidence of collusion." ..."
"... It's clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point? Comey? No. McCabe? No. ..."
"... If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb. ..."
"... If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate. ..."
"... And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us. ..."
"... Hillary is the epitome of evil. ..."
"... I don't think Hillary is enough. I want McCabe, Comey, Mueller, Rosenstein, Loretta Lynch, Obama, Lois Lerner, Blasey Ford, Brennan, Clapper, Abedin, Weiner, Cheryl Mills, Susan Rice, Strzok, Page, Sally Yates, all of the phony FISA cohort brought to justice. ..."
"... Her DNC cabal cooked in less than 24 hours from the election defeat a conspiracy of Russian meddling and now, when more information became available, HCR is involved in two separate cases of foreign collusion, The Steele dossier, with Russo-Anglo meddling and another a Ukrainian one, which is now under investigation and the purpose was getting their help for becoming elected. ..."
"... Without a doubt the Russian collusion is the most serious one, because it deliberately sabotaged diplomatic relations with Russia and lead into to a new cold war era. This also raised substantially risks for a direct confrontation with catastrophic consequences. The damage from these treacherous acts is huge and the felony bears pretty much all hallmarks of treason. Se deliberately undermined her own nation´s interests and rather risked even a war simply, because she is a psychopath, who refused to concede the defeat in due elections and instead wanted to hide real reasons for her loss to any cost for everybody else, "because it was her turn to get elected". ..."
"... HIS NAME WAS SETH RICH ..."
"... It is clear that from the beginning, fraudulent FISA warrants, that it was a case of Obama's administration digging dirt on Trump believing that when Hillary wins there will be nobody to hold them responsible ..."
"... When Hillary lost there was only one way out for them to justify that kind of abuse, to find something, anything on Trump so they can say that they were right. Worse than Watergate by orders of magnitude, involving FBI, DOJ and WH itself. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including 'Miss' Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller's investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton's ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary's failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump's guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that Hillary has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin' Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else's life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It's the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency. And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She's worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/efHCdKb5UWc

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there's little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won't give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that's what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry. It didn't work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman's resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further. Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I've been convinced that it would come down to reputations. Would the British MP's vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU? Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end? Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn't get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that Hillary's blackmail is now worthless.

They don't fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power. The progressives that were convinced of Trump's treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave. Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops....

... ... ...

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled. If they don't do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, "No evidence of collusion."

It's clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point? Comey? No. McCabe? No. There is only one answer. And Obama's people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that " Hillary would indict herself. " And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn't win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable. Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast. If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it's the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.


Jdhank , 27 minutes ago link

Hillary ain't enough!

We demand Comey, Brennan, Bill, the Podesta's, and the prancing little effiminate pony himself.

consider me gone , 29 minutes ago link

I'm surprised Donna Brazier and Pedo Podesta are still breathing. Maybe Hillary got God. Or gin.

Koba the Dread , 32 minutes ago link

Hillary is the epitome of envy.

Your spelling is atrocious. Let me correct it.

Hillary is the epitome of evil.

There, that does it.

KnitDame , 1 hour ago link

I don't think Hillary is enough. I want McCabe, Comey, Mueller, Rosenstein, Loretta Lynch, Obama, Lois Lerner, Blasey Ford, Brennan, Clapper, Abedin, Weiner, Cheryl Mills, Susan Rice, Strzok, Page, Sally Yates, all of the phony FISA cohort brought to justice. Think of the taxpayer money wasted on this ridiculous Mueller investigation! The Roger Stone arrest was an outrage. Who tipped off CNN? Who ordered it? What was with the attack dogs and machine guns?

And now we have Nadler trying to destroy anyone and everyone who ever did business with Trump. All those 80 people who got letters from him asking for documents will now be bankrupted by legal fees.

According to Scott Adams, one recipient is refusing to cooperate -- he's saying "I can't afford for me and family to be destroyed." He put the request for documents in a drawer. He has no money for lawyers.

This insanity and abuse of power has got to stop. Meanwhile, nothing gets done in Congress. We're all looking at censorship, tilted search engines, de-monetization, being beat up on campus for trying to express an opinion, being accosted in a restaurant (or, VP Pence, from the stage ("Hamilton"), getting sucker-punched for wearing a MAGA hat, having elections stolen through myriad Dem cheating methods, and NOTHING is being done.

2willies , 1 hour ago link

You forgot Rachel

TeraByte , 1 hour ago link

"all roads lead to Hillary Clinton"

Her DNC cabal cooked in less than 24 hours from the election defeat a conspiracy of Russian meddling and now, when more information became available, HCR is involved in two separate cases of foreign collusion, The Steele dossier, with Russo-Anglo meddling and another a Ukrainian one, which is now under investigation and the purpose was getting their help for becoming elected.

Without a doubt the Russian collusion is the most serious one, because it deliberately sabotaged diplomatic relations with Russia and lead into to a new cold war era. This also raised substantially risks for a direct confrontation with catastrophic consequences. The damage from these treacherous acts is huge and the felony bears pretty much all hallmarks of treason. Se deliberately undermined her own nation´s interests and rather risked even a war simply, because she is a psychopath, who refused to concede the defeat in due elections and instead wanted to hide real reasons for her loss to any cost for everybody else, "because it was her turn to get elected".

Dragon HAwk , 1 hour ago link

Hillary is expendable.

God I Love Feel Good Stories.

East Indian , 1 hour ago link

And, oh, I almost forgot.

HIS NAME WAS SETH RICH

Neochrome , 1 hour ago link

It is clear that from the beginning, fraudulent FISA warrants, that it was a case of Obama's administration digging dirt on Trump believing that when Hillary wins there will be nobody to hold them responsible.

When Hillary lost there was only one way out for them to justify that kind of abuse, to find something, anything on Trump so they can say that they were right. Worse than Watergate by orders of magnitude, involving FBI, DOJ and WH itself.

[Mar 20, 2019] Customer reviews The Threat How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump

First of all the modern Russian mafia was created by the USA as the result of Clinton policies of decimation Russia economically after the dissolution of the USA. In a way Bill Clinton (who is as close to Mafioso as one can get) is the godfather of Russian mafia (with CIA and FBI as instruments of the Clinton administration). The goal of the USA elite always was to weaken, and, if possible, to dismember Russia. So the rise of organized crime in Russia was the direct result of their weakening of Russian state under drunkard Yeltsin. Jewish gangster (along with Harvard mafia) were instrumental in economic rape of Russia (Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Khodorkovsky, etc)
So McCabe (with Steele) was the guy who participated in politicizing investigation of corruption in sport investigation in order to "get Russia." So he firmly belongs to the neocon, imperial wing of the USA political establishment. So first and foremost he is a "dirty cop" himself. And later he naturally became part of intelligence serves junta which along with DemoRats (Clinton wing of the Democratic Party) and neocons run color revolution against Trump to block any changes in the USA foreign policy. Imperial policy of world domination to be more more correct.
In essence McCabe documents how FBI became political police and later Praetoria Guarl who selects the President of the USA. All in defense of Constitution and to protect every citizen ;-) Of course. But protect from whom ? From influence of people who oppose the US imperial policies ? That's what political police does.
Also ethnical composition of Russian mafia is really multinational and is dominated by with Jewish gangsters (see List of post-Soviet mobsters - Wikipedia) of the USSR origin like Semion Mogilevich. who was born in 1946 to a Jewish family in Kiev's Podol neighborhood. They are not necessary from Russia, but from Ukraine and other former USSR republics as well. Especially prominent their USA branch (so called The Odessa Mafia with headquarters in Brighton Beach) They have Israel as a cover to escape to, so they tend to be more brazen then other national groups in Russian mafia. Some Caucasian nationalities (Chechen mafia is the most brutal and Georgian mafia is regarded as one of the biggest, powerful and influential criminal networks in Europe, which has produced the biggest number of "thieves in law" in all former USSR countries. ) prominently represented as well. Russian are probably a minority in it, at least of senior level ;-)
In the past CIA and FBI infiltrated and used for their purposes Italian mafia (look at JFK assasination). It is plausible that they infiltrated and used for their purposes Russian Jewish mafia too.
Notable quotes:
"... 2.0 out of 5 stars "Oh, what a tangled web we weave...." ~ Sir Walter Scott ..."
"... I absolutely can not see any reason that a member of the FBI would be in a discussion with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concerning this amendment. None at all. Totally inappropriate. ..."
"... There is another incident about the wearing of a wire tap which I won't discuss here. ..."
"... There is a saying in the US Navy (and probably elsewhere) that 'one oh crap takes away one thousand atta boys' ..."
"... 2.0 out of 5 stars ..."
"... He tells us what we already know and can see for ourselves about Donald Trump: he disrespects and undermines the constitutional order, the rule of law, and the government institutions that are empowered to contain or investigate him. But that is virtually all he tells us. ..."
"... 3.0 out of 5 stars ..."
"... 3.0 out of 5 stars ..."
Mar 20, 2019 | www.amazon.com

Serenity

2.0 out of 5 stars "Oh, what a tangled web we weave...." ~ Sir Walter Scott

There is no doubt in my mind that the author, Andrew McCabe, had a truly outstanding career in the FBI. Otherwise, he would not have risen to the number 2 spot ...(FBI Deputy Director) . His service started in 1996 and ended less than 2 days prior to his retirement for being 'less than truthful'. Actually twenty-six hours...

Does he have an ax to grind? Absolutely, without a doubt. Who wouldn't be upset with being fired that close to retirement?

And, no, I did not listen to the interview on 60 Minutes Sunday night...I did, however hear snippets of the conversation on the major news stations. I did refresh my mind on Mr. McCabe, Mr. Rosenstein, the 25th amendment and a few other points.

In the blurb for this book it is stated 'President Trump and his administration... 'undermine the US Constitution that protects every citizen'.. It appears to me that the author has indeed stepped over that line in the discussion of this amendment with Mr. Rosenstein (if in fact this did happen) .... this is my largest problem I have with this book.. Is not the 25th Amendment part of our Constitution?

I absolutely can not see any reason that a member of the FBI would be in a discussion with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concerning this amendment. None at all. Totally inappropriate. There is no FBI listed in the Cabinet of the President of the United States. So, now the 25th amendment has been propelled into this conversation....This conversation should have been halted at the first mention of it..and I do mean a screeching halt, not a slow one, but at absolute warp speed....

And, Mr Rosenstein has denied that this discussion took place although the author insists that it did in fact occur. So, now Senator Lindsey Graham, (R -SC), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has said that his committee will investigate. One more time, let the subpoenas fly and two more go into the hornet's nest. There is another incident about the wearing of a wire tap which I won't discuss here.

There is a saying in the US Navy (and probably elsewhere) that 'one oh crap takes away one thousand atta boys' . So, despite an outstanding career in the FBI, if one has told an 'untruth', it is difficult to rise to the top of the heap again.

And, in Mr. McCabe's recent past there were 4 incidents and now this one with the discussion of the 25th amendment which has not been resolved yet. Up until now it is still, 'he said, he said'....

And, for anyone that may be wondering...I am neither a Democrat or a Republican. In my 50+ years of voting, I have always voted for the person I felt was most qualified for the office being sought. And, this past election for President was the only one I have not voted for either candidate.

Yes, Mr. McCabe had an outstanding career at the FBI albeit short a couple of days of his retirement.. Do I put much credence in this book? No, but I will give him an extra star for his service...

rusty day 2.0 out of 5 stars February 25, 2019

What is the Threat? McCabe does not say.

The Threat is deeply disturbing, far more for what it does not say or grasp.

In the game of chess, checkmate occurs when your opponent captures or paralyzes your king. Much evidence indicates that America's most dangerous adversary has not only captured or paralyzed our President, but much if not all of the Republican leadership and wealthy oligarchy that surrounds him. Is this "The Threat" that we confront? Andy McCabe, the former Acting Director of the FBI, does not tell us.

At the outset, McCabe does tell us that the FBI is the principal law enforcement agency in America, whose mission is "to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution." He tells us that "organized criminal networks from other countries target the United States," that "dirty money corrupts business and politics," and that "our own government officials use the power of public office to undermine legal authority and to denigrate law enforcement." He tells us what we already know and can see for ourselves about Donald Trump: he disrespects and undermines the constitutional order, the rule of law, and the government institutions that are empowered to contain or investigate him. But that is virtually all he tells us.

For 21 years, McCabe rose rapidly through the ranks of the FBI, rising ultimately to become the Bureau's Acting Director. He began his FBI career in New York, confronting the penetration and expansion of the Russian Mafia in the United States. In 2001 the shock and horror of 9/11 then redirected his career from the Russian Mafia to anti-terrorism, to which he devoted extraordinary energy and focus for the next 15 years, which he details at length.

As Deputy Director and then Acting Director, McCabe presumably had complete insight into the threats confronting our nation, as well as the responsibility to assess their relative gravity and prioritize and direct the resources needed to combat them. McCabe tells us that the Russian Mafia is particularly dangerous precisely because it works to corrupt and appropriate the organs and assets of government for its criminal benefit. Is that what is happening in this country? Has the Russian state or the Russian Mafia captured our presidency and/or part of our ruling oligarchy? Are we in checkmate? In retrospect, was that ultimately his, and our, greatest mistake: the failure to perceive and counter the threat posed by the Russian government or its criminal elements to our survival as a just, self-governing society? McCabe does not say. Is our principal law enforcement agency focused on this threat and organized to defeat it? Again, McCabe does not say. Judging by the very little we are told in this book about that threat, the answer would seem to be No. And that is truly disturbing.

Charles TOP 100 REVIEWER 3.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite What I Expected February 21, 2019

The only reason anyone has ever heard of Andrew McCabe is because of James Comey. As everyone knows, Comey was fired by Donald Trump from his position as Director of the FBI. As a result, McCabe was, for three crucial months, from May 2017 to August 2017, in charge of the FBI. It is those months that are the core of this book, supplemented by the fifteen months prior in which McCabe also found himself subjected to the Trump administration, and by some thoughts on the FBI's role more generally. All of this is grouped into the sections of "How We Work" -- though all anyone cares about is what McCabe has to say about Trump and his team.

While the book is interesting, my major complaint about it is that McCabe, who by his own account had numerous opportunities to do so, never stood up to the men who he now says were destroying the Republic. Now, though, when it benefits him and they have no power over him, he is very bold. This suggests weakness of character and undercuts his claims to truth-telling. Nor is McCabe politically neutral. But neither of those things necessarily mean he's wrong, so let's examine the book itself.

It is often misunderstood that the FBI is not independent; it is an arm of the Executive Branch, that is, of the Office of the President. The FBI Director's immediate superior is the Attorney General, who is answerable to, and can be fired by, the President. Thus, McCabe's boss was Jeff Sessions -- and both Trump and Sessions are the focus of the criticism in this book, taking alternating blows from the pugilistic McCabe. In fact, it is Sessions who gets the most attacks in this book; he is mostly portrayed as a racist halfwit (and the President is portrayed as perpetually angry and thin-skinned, among other vices). That may be fair, but the odd thing about McCabe's book is that, whatever the truth of it, what he tells us ironically strengthens his most vigorous opponents -- those who claim there is a Deep State, out to get Donald Trump and his allies. You can simultaneously believe that Trump is an undisciplined buffoon and that his enemies form a vast and strong cabal out to get rid of him by any means necessary, and McCabe's book is going to be Exhibit A in support of that latter claim. I'm not sure that's what he intended.

Anyway, all that said, I was somewhat surprised that this book does not contain any of the details that McCabe has revealed in recent days in other forums. For example, McCabe claimed on "60 Minutes" that high-ranking officials, including more than one Cabinet officer, actively discussed removing Trump from office as unfit under the Twenty-Fifth Amendment. They contemplated tape recording Trump, as well. You'd think McCabe would lead with his strongest and most engaging, or interesting, claims. Unfortunately, we don't get any such details in this book, which annoyed me somewhat, given that I paid good money for what I thought was a complete story. Actually, the book is quite short, and openly ghostwritten, which doubled my disappointment. The reader is, or at least this reader was, also annoyed by the vagueness and lack of detail of many of the stories told. We get sonorous pronouncements about the rule of law and its claimed erosion, but not many specifics to back that up.

And the reader is also left with the feeling that much of McCabe's account is score-settling. McCabe, who went back to being plain Deputy Director when Christopher Wray became the Director in August, 2017, was fired in March, 2018 by Sessions. (McCabe wasn't actually working -- he had stepped down in January and was scheduled to retire later in March; like a good bureaucrat he was running out his vacation pay.) McCabe was fired because he lied to the inspector general of his own FBI.

What about? Well, that depends on whom you ask, but whatever exactly it was, it was about Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, two FBI employees. Strzok was McCabe's highest-ranking legal advisor. They were having an affair, and as part of that exchanged text messages that, read from a certain angle, imply that they, in combination with others, were taking illegal action to get rid of Trump. McCabe denied to the FBI's inspector general that he knew of Strzok's leaks to the press, presumably in furtherance of that program, when, in fact, he did. McCabe addresses all this with what is, basically, a vague "I forgot to mention it" excuse, which is not very convincing. Again, this undermines the points McCabe is trying to make.

The rest of the book, which as I say is short, covers a grab bag of topics, including a minor sort-of apology for the FBI's handling of the criminal allegations against Hillary Clinton. I don't think reader learns much new in any of these areas, though. So should you read it? Maybe -- but given that the reader doesn't really get a sense of confidence in McCabe, probably only if this is the sort of thing you're very interested in.

Joel Hammer , February 25, 2019

3.0 out of 5 stars Good description of government dysfunction

Just finished this book. The author had a long career in the FBI as a Special Agent. He started out investigating organized crime in NY City (Russian mobs mainly) and after 9/11 went into counter terrorism and did that mainly until he rose in the ranks and became Deputy Director and then Acting Director after Comey was fired. He himself was fired just before he reached full retirement age. The grounds for his firing were "lack of candor" during interviews with the Inspector General about the handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server when she was Sec. of State.

McCabe was a newly minted lawyer but decided he wanted to be an FBI guy. So, he became a Special Agent. He spent his entire career at the FBI. In this he was very unlike Comey, whose background was that of a lawyer, Federal prosecutor, corporate counsel, law professor, and then FBI director.

The book covers his entire career at the FBI. It is quite interesting in its description of the Russian mob in NYC. In keeping with the Russian threat we face to our democracy, he ends up saying that Russian dark money is a threat to our country and its institutions. I guess dark money from China is no problem for him, since he never discusses Chinese organized crime or political payoffs in his book.

Russia has an economy 1/15th of America's. China has a GNP which rivals ours. Who do you think has more potential to influence American institutions? Yet, not a word about China. This seems typical the Deep State. James Clapper was also obsessed with Russia but wasn't worried at all about China.

After 9/11, the FBI changed gears from organized crime to counter-terrorism. He went into counter-terrorism.

It is interesting how he describes the events of 9/11. He leaves out the FBI misses and court maneuvers which allowed the attack to take place. He talks only about his job of rounding up potential suspects in NY City. These were people reported to the FBI who looked suspicious. They were several hundred such people reported to the FBI. They were mainly Middle Eastern men working in this country illegally. McCabe felt bad for them, since their only crime was illegal residence in this country and illegally holding jobs in this country. " most of them were guilty of nothing other than violating immigration laws that typically had not been enforced. " McCabe in many parts of his book stresses how important law enforcement is and how we should respect laws, etc. Reflect.

He was Deputy Director when the Boston marathon bombing happened. He was mortified when they realized that the Russian secret service had warned the FBI that this family of immigrants were radical Muslims.

He was so relieved when they checked their records and could confirm that the lead was followed up on. They had investigated the family and found nothing wrong and the file on the family was closed. So there! Wasn't our fault. He also says that since the source of this tip was Russia, you never could really trust them. He does not give a single example of Russian misinformation on terrorism. He leaves out that the older brother later went back to Russia and spent 6 months with a violent and radical Muslim cleric and the FBI was unaware of this.

He absolves the FBI of any responsibility for this bombing. I guess going through the motions absolves you of blame in a bureaucracy. He also left out the fact the the Muslim friends of these bombers immediately after the bombing offered them help to escape. McCabe is politically correct. See below.

He despised Jeff Sessions, who he describes as an incompetent person. Once at a briefing on terrorism Session said all this was due to Islam and immigrants. McCabe took strong exception to this, saying that Islam is not violent and that immigration status was not anything the FBI worried about. Yet, with one exception, all the acts of terror he talks about his his book were Islamic inspired and most were carried out my immigrants or their children.

He hates Congress. He says he has no objection to oversight but accuses the Congress of gross politics. This means that they attack the FBI, not help it. He has no qualms about lying to Congress. I find this sort of admission surprising. But, here is what he said. After Obama became President, he directed the FBI to set up a system to interrogate high value suspects which did not involve "enhanced" techniques or Guantanamo.

They set up HIG, high value interrogation unit, under his direction. The only description of its use in this book was to interrogate the underwear bomber.

McCabe claimed it worked very well until the bomber decided to stop cooperating for unstated reasons. The bomber is now in the SuperMax prision in Utah. That is how McCabe thinks we should handle such people. I don't think he has done the math. There are thousands of terrorists who are hoping to kill Americans. They can't all be housed in the SuperMax prison after months of tender FBI interrogation.

Now, about the lying to Congress part. A high value target held by the Pakistani's was interrogated by the CIA overseas. He was not allowed to be interrogated by the FBI. Typical interagency BS. When this became known, McCabe was asked by one of those awful Republican congressmen, who opposed HIG, why the FBI didn't interrogate the target. This comes right from his book: "To expose all the details of interagency tension would have been a mistake. Frustrated as I was with my reluctant CIA partners, calling the to account in front of Congress would have only made things worse."

Recall that McCabe was fired for multiple instances of "lack of candor" to the inspector general regarding the Clinton email investigation. This is a pattern with him.

Reflect. He mislead Congress deliberately. Congress has the duty to provide oversight to the FBI and CIA. This is the Deep State in action.

This book also supports the image of Mueller as a dominating persona who impedes investigations. In the Mirage Man, the book about the anthrax letters, Mueller was demanding daily briefings about the investigation. It got to the point that the investigators were spending all their time just doing stuff to brief Mueller about, not really doing a good investigation. Only because of an internal audit by the FBI did this behavior cease, and the new investigators told Mueller not to expect briefings unless there was anything significant to report. Only then did the investigation make progress. Same thing with counter terrorism. Mueller would demand briefings 2x per day, morning and night, in detail. Mueller would tell them what to do in detail. A control freak. Again, they spent all their time getting ready to brief Mueller.

McCabe was closely involved in the Hillary email server investigation.

Here is an amazing fact that hit me hard. After the Benghazi attack (that subject again!), Republican congressmen demanded to see emails by the Sec of State regarding this matter. That was when the Dept of State "realized" for the first time it did not have a copy of even a SINGLE email sent by or sent to Hillary when she was Sec of State. Let that sink in. They claimed they didn't realize this. (Of course, that was a lie. Read the OIG report about the FBI in 2016. It was all on her private server and the Dept of State knew it.) She had 60,000 emails on that server. Hillary had her own people review them, and she deleted 30,000 emails and gave the other 30,000 to the Dept of State. She carefully bit cleaned her server after that. The FBI then had to spend months and big bucks to try to recover those 30,000 emails from other servers which had been used to transmit those emails, etc.

The take home lesson is the the Dept of State is corrupt.

During the investigation of the server, the FBI tried to do its usual thing. They usually had two FBI people interview the subject, with or without their lawyer present. In this investigation, the Dept of Justice strongly intervened, which is highly unusual. McCabe points out that there is only one political appointee in the FBI, the director. However, in the DOJ there are many political appointees. All of them owed their jobs to Obama, and all of them knew Obama was supporting Hillary for President. Not mentioned is that all of them would be out of a job if Hillary lost. McCabe thought that all the political appointees should have kept well away from the investigation, if not outright recused themselves, but they did neither.

So, during a typical interview, the DOJ would send four lawyers to observe and comment. The FBI then would send four of their lawyers. The witness had a lawyer or two. Sometimes a witness one day was a lawyer the next day. The FBI was told when they could or could not talk about sometimes. McCabe thought this was awful. He began to wonder about DOJ's motives, and certainly the optics were bad. But, in the end he says he can't believe that the DOJ was really trying to alter the outcome of the investigation, such is his faith in political appointees.

The debacle of Comey's press conference to say he would not recommend indictment is well known. McCabe says Comey did it because Lynch had ruined her credibility by meeting with Bill on the tarmac and then refusing to recuse herself. Comey felt he had to salvage the credibility of the investigation. By the time, the FBI and the DOJ were hardly talking to each other, such was the "interagency tension."

Well, that's about all I have the energy to write. Read the book. But, one caveat. I have read books by James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe, and others. If you read just one of these books, you would be highly mislead. Each author in his book crafts a narrative, and twists words to mislead the reader, or just leaves out facts that would contradict the narrative. Here are two examples from this book:

Benghazi again. We now know it was a terrorist attack carried out by a splinter militia group. The leader of that group was found guilty in Federal court and sent to jail. James Clapper insisted that based on the video footage, it was just a mob looting the place. No evidence of a planned attack. McCabe says that it was never clear if it was an attack or just mob violence, but later says that the ring leader was arrested and sent to prison. Now, when you hear the words "mob" and "ringleader", what do you conclude? Right, you conclude it was just a mob. We know that is simply a lie. And, it was the FBI who built the legal case against him.

Another example from his book. McCabe disputes that Islam and immigrants are the main source of terror in this country. So, he described the shootings in San Bernardino as carried out by "an American couple influenced by ISIS." This is what he leaves out. This American couple consisted of a son of Pakistani immigrants and his wife, who came from Pakistan. Not mentioned in the book was his accomplice who bought the guns and discussed how to carry out terror attacks, an illegal Mexican immigrant. His accomplice's two associates were illegal immigrants who had engaged in marriage fraud to get legal residency.

Read the book. Read other books. And don't trust news stories based on anonymous sources.

[Mar 13, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis The Paul Manafort sentence and the notorious and diabolical federal sentencing guidelines

Mar 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The Paul Manafort sentence and the notorious and diabolical federal sentencing guidelines Ussc_logo
By Robert Willmann

Crime is a legal definition. This means that to commit big crime you make it legal. Or, you can try to enhance your commercial business or money making organization by getting conduct made into a crime that is competition to your activity, like is found in copyright law, and is done by state governments that make gambling illegal but have state-run lotteries in which the odds of winning are so remote they make the negative percentage in Las Vegas casino games look like a paragon of virtue. This also means that the concept of a crime is created by a government, even though it is commonly thought to be bad behavior (or a failure to act), as described by social relations, culture, religion, and human biology (with murder opposed by the instinctive act of self defense). Conduct that is said to be bad enough is defined as a crime and involves the government using force directly against the actor at least in the form initially of an arrest, possible imprisonment, or later if an order from a criminal court case is not followed.

The ongoing jabbering in the mass media -- starting in November 2016 when Donald Trump was elected president -- declared that all sorts of conduct was illegal, as a civil or criminal case, or should be the subject of charges for impeachment. A lot of that talk can be described as horse manure, but it has had a real effect on the public, which effect has been and is the intent. It reached a fever pitch last week when Judge T.S. Ellis III, an American hero, in a federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia, sentenced Paul Manafort in one of his two criminal cases to 47 months in prison, which was noticeably below the "sentencing guidelines range" of 235 to 293 months--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/manafort_court_sentencing_minutes.pdf

Television talkers expressed shock and dismay that Manafort received such a "low" sentence below the guidelines and they look forward with glee to his second sentencing on 13 March, beginning at 9:30 a.m., eastern time, in federal court in Washington DC, with Judge Amy Berman Jackson presiding. Her rulings can be described as statistically matching to a degree those requested by government prosecutors in cases brought by "special counsel" Robert Mueller, who was tasked to investigate "interference" in the 2016 presidential election by the Russian government, with attention to "collusion" by the Trump campaign, but mysteriously not involving possible collusion with Russia by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Just as important as the definition of a crime are the rules of procedure and evidence that govern a criminal justice system from start to finish, such as: detaining and arresting a person, questioning a suspect, confinement or release before a trial (if any), pretrial court hearings, a trial itself by a jury or otherwise, any appeal of a trial's verdict, ordering a sentence of punishment or a consequence to the finding of guilt, suspending a sentence through probation, operating a prison, the power of a president or governor to pardon a person's conviction or commute the sentence, and so forth.

This brings us to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, a deceptive name if there ever was one. They are part of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 (CCCA), disguised inside House Joint Resolution 648, "A joint resolution making continuing appropriations for the fiscal year 1985, and for other purposes", which became Public Law 98-473 and which president Ronald Reagan signed on 12 October 1984. That legislation shifted the existing federal criminal law so extensively that it can accurately be described as a radical change. Whether becoming a law in 1984 was a coincidence or an arrogant expression by implementing some of the meaning in George Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-four" (published in 1949) is not known.

The so-called guidelines came from the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, introduced by Senator Edward Kennedy (Dem. Massachusetts), and they became part of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which in turn was Title 2 of the continuing appropriations bill, Public Law 98-473. In the legislation, Congress created the United States Sentencing Commission, and it would write the new sentencing rules, and federal judges would have to sentence someone within the "guideline range" set by the commission. This smaller "guideline range" was within the regular "range of punishment" set by Congress as a possible minimum to maximum sentence for each particular crime Congress defined. Before the CCCA, if a defendant was found guilty, the federal judge had the power and discretion to sentence the person to anything within the regular range of punishment established by Congress, and order probation if allowed in that instance. But the sentencing guidelines took that discretion away from the federal judge, and required the sentence to be within the guideline range. The self-righteous language that supposedly allowed a judge to "depart" from the guideline range in a certain way was laughable as a practical matter.

When the sentencing guidelines became law, the sentencing commission magically was said to become part of the judicial branch of government, where it resides today [1].

When the sentencing guidelines kicked in and became operational, a court challenge followed. The case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, as United States v. Mistretta, 488 U.S. 361 (1989), and even though at that time "liberals" such as Judges William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall, and John Paul Stevens were on the court, the decision was 8 to 1 that the guidelines were constitutional, with the lone dissenter being none other than Antonin Scalia [2]. Sometimes Judge Scalia would pull back covering language about an issue and shine a light on what was really going on. He did so at the start of his dissent--

"While the products of the Sentencing Commission's labors have been given the modest name 'Guidelines,' see 28 U.S.C. 994(a)(1) (1982 ed., Supp. IV); United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual (June 15, 1988), they have the force and effect of laws, prescribing the sentences criminal defendants are to receive. A judge who disregards them will be reversed, 18 U.S.C. 3742 (1982 ed., Supp. IV). I dissent from today's decision because I can find no place within our constitutional system for an agency created by Congress to exercise no governmental power other than the making of laws."

As some sort of smiling rationale is always given for a new law or governmental action, the sentencing guidelines were promoted as providing certainty and fairness in sentencing and avoiding unwarranted disparities among defendants with similar records found guilty of similar offenses. Never mind that the differences between individual human beings, their backgrounds, and behavior are basically unlimited and disparate in reality. The existence of reality was not part of the new game, and "disparity" was claimed to be a bad thing. Asserted to be just as bad was the difference between federal judges and the sentences they imposed. Surprisingly, one of the original members of the sentencing commission, Paul Robinson, objected to what was created as a final product, and Judge Scalia quoted him--

" ' Under the guidelines, the judge could give the same sentence for abusive sexual contact that puts the child in fear as for unlawfully entering or remaining in the United States. Similarly, the guidelines permit equivalent sentences for the following pairs of offenses: drug trafficking and a violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act; arson with a destructive device and failure to surrender a cancelled naturalization certificate; operation of a common carrier under the influence of drugs that causes injury and alteration of one motor vehicle identification number; illegal trafficking in explosives and trespass; interference with a flight attendant and unlawful conduct relating to contraband cigarettes; aggravated assault and smuggling $11,000 worth of fish.' Dissenting View of Commissioner Paul H. Robinson on the Promulgation of the Sentencing Guidelines by the United States Sentencing Commission 6-7 (May 1, 1987) (citations omitted)".

The point was and is that laws are to be made by Congress, and not from scratch by delegating the power to a type of commission, which Judge Scalia called "a sort of junior-varsity Congress". This context also raises thoughts about the separation of powers in the structure of the federal government.

Sentencing in federal court became a process of assigning a certain number of points to certain factors, and adding them up and subtracting some to reach a numerical score, and after that looking at a grid and finding the pigeon hole telling you, and the handcuffed judge, what the sentence within the new, smaller range of punishment could be. If you think that such a process is surreal, it is. The sentencing scheme with its new commission became a sprawling monster, not only in its text and procedures, but also in its expenditure of time and money and court litigation, which continues to this day. Here is the current version of the sentencing guidelines manual, in excess of 500 pages, which you can read if your stomach can stand it--

https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/guidelines-manual/2018/GLMFull.pdf

After the guidelines became effective in 1987 and the Mistretta opinion was handed down in 1989, the problems generated by the new system became more and more obvious and acute. Despite dissatisfaction expressed in the legal community, Congress did nothing, and it took 15 years until 2004 for another case with some substance to be accepted by the Supreme Court for review, called United States vs. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005). It produced an unusual decision consisting of two separate majority opinions, with each one made up of a different group of five judges, and several dissenting opinions [3].

One opinion ruled that two sections of the Sentencing Reform Act that made the guidelines mandatory had to be severed and excised from that law because a conflict existed between facts that might be found by a jury through a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, and what could be done under the mandatory aspects of the sentencing guidelines. Invalidating the two sections made the guidelines effectively advisory , but the "[federal] district courts, while not bound to apply the Guidelines, must consult those Guidelines and take them into account when sentencing", and the "courts of appeals review sentencing decisions for unreasonableness" (see pages 246-267, pdf pages 448-469). The supreme court did not have the intestinal fortitude to strike down the entire sentencing guidelines regime, and instead wrote around the problems, split hairs, and kept the system mostly in place, requiring the trial judge to still consider the "numerous factors that guide sentencing", and a court of appeals can review the judge's sentence and decide whether it is "unreasonable".

Judge Stephen Breyer is the author of that particular majority opinion in the Booker case that kept the guidelines mostly in place; Supreme Court Judge John Paul Stevens wrote the other majority opinion. One of the original members of the U.S. Sentencing Commission from 1985-1989 was a judge on the federal First Circuit Court of Appeals named Stephen Breyer, who was on that court from 1980-1994. He was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by president Bill Clinton and took his seat on 3 August 1994.

The world is indeed small, for in the Booker case before the supreme court in 2004, two lawyers involved in writing the brief (the written argument) for the Justice Department to support the guidelines were Christopher Wray, now the FBI Director, and Michael Drebeen, who has been in the Solicitor General's office in the Justice Department and who has been working at least part time since 2017 for -- you guessed it -- special counsel Robert Mueller [4]. In this New York Times newspaper story from 6 June 2017 about Christopher Wray being nominated to be FBI Director, at the beginning of the story is a photograph from February 2004 of three men standing together -- James Comey (the Deputy Attorney General), Robert Mueller (FBI Director), and Christopher Wray (Chief of the Criminal Division in the Justice Department) [5]. To slightly modify the immortal words of comedian George Carlin, "It's a small club, and you're not in it".

The growing mutation of the sentencing system continues, with endless quibbling among lawyers in court, judges, and the sentencing commission through litigation over detailed bureaucratic parts of the guidelines attempting to identify and pull under control every conceivable variation of a person, the person's conduct, and different factors that might be considered in a sentence, and assign a number to it, ultimately producing your guideline and criminal history levels. The sentencing commission has published a selected annotation of 85 supreme court cases from the Mistretta decision in 1989 to one from 2018, with a brief discussion of each opinion [6].

You can now see and understand the real reason for the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the carefully crafted system of assigning numbers to points and designing strict categories to include and control every possible factor about ordering a sentence for a crime.

This system removes the sentencing power and discretion from the courts and judges in the judicial branch and gives them to the prosecuting attorneys in the executive branch, through the Department of Justice and the offices of U.S. Attorneys. It has been and is a clever and diabolical transfer to the prosecuting authority of one of the most important functions in a criminal justice system: the sentencing punishment or consequence given to a defendant.

I, the federal prosecutor, will decide what your sentence will be by the offenses I decide to charge you with. All I have to do is get a guilty verdict from a jury trial or from a trial to the judge if you agree to have a judge alone hear and decide the trial. Or obtain a guilty plea from you to a charge and on terms that I agree to, whether that guilty plea results from your objective decision about your conduct, or whether you are coerced into pleading guilty by the sheer number of charges with possible sentences I have filed against you, or you plead guilty because you have run out of money and cannot afford a trial, or I threaten to charge your wife or family members also if you do not plead guilty to what I agree you can plead to. The judge is so constrained and limited by the sentencing guideline scheme that I am not worried at all about the sentence you will get; I have no downside risk there.

The presentence investigation report (PSI) about Paul Manafort from the federal probation office was filed on 6 March and is not publicly available, as is standard practice. Manafort's sentencing hearing on 13 March is taking on the aura of a spectacle, boosted by the government's allegation that he violated the terms of his plea agreement, and after the courageous departure downward from the sentencing guidelines by Judge T.S. Ellis III last week. Whether Judge Ellis's sentence may be the subject of review by appeal is another dense issue.

Meanwhile, in the pending case of Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.), a status report by the lawyers was filed on 12 March. It requested that his sentencing hearing be rescheduled--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/michaelflynn_status_report_20190312.pdf

Politicians, the press, and candidates announcing a year before the presidential primaries begin are blathering on clownlike about who has verbally offended whom, which newly invented group should have new "rights", whether someone is cis-gender, whether the president had sexual contact with a floozy pornographic movie performer and whether a legal payment to her to keep it confidential violated campaign finance laws (it did not), and on and on.

All the while, they are blithely unaware that playing out right in front of their faces is a radical transformation of federal criminal law, consolidating the ultimate governmental power in the branch that executes the police power, while federal judges with a lifetime appointment and all office facilities and perks paid for by taxpayers, dither and refuse to honestly describe and resist what has been happening. All federal judges except for two. One, Antonin Scalia, left this world in 2016, but was the only one on the supreme court standing against the slick usurpation of the democratic process and sentencing discretion. The other one, T.S. Ellis III, is still with us, and he not only understands what the sentencing guidelines really are, but he also assessed a sentence as it used to be done, without the double meaning of 1984.

[1] The United States Sentencing Commission--

http://www.ussc.gov

[2] The official version of a Supreme Court opinion is in a book called the United States Reports. The Supreme Court has a digital version of its opinions in the pdf computer format going back only to volume 509, and the Mistretta opinion is in volume 488. Other internet websites have reproduced the opinion.

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/488/361.html

[3] The supreme court opinion is in a bound volume on the court's website, but I do not have the software at hand to pull it out as a separate document. The full volume of 1,259 pages in the pdf computer format is 3.9 megabytes in size and can be viewed or downloaded. The Booker opinion is on pdf pages 422 to 536, and on book pages 220 to 334.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/boundvolumes/543bv.pdf

[4] Justice Department lawyers for the government in the Booker appeal--

https://www.justice.gov/osg/brief/united-states-v-booker-brief-merits

Michael Drebeen in the Booker appeal is hired by Mueller in the Russia investigation--

https://jonathanturley.org/2017/06/12/mueller-hires-justice-official-with-history-of-arguing-for-expansive-interpretation-of-obstruction-of-justice/

[5] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/us/politics/christopher-wray-bio.html

[6] https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/training/case-law-documents/2018-supreme-court-cases.pdf

blue peacock , 9 hours ago

Thank you Robert for the education. Most people, even educated ones don't grasp the scale, scope and intricacies of our governmental apparatus. I know the more I learn, the more I become convinced we have a leviathan that is manipulated, twisted, overly complex and one that is working only for the ruling elites. We have to cut this behemoth down to size. And follow Taleb's maxims of "Skin in the Game" and "Anti-fragile" meaning simplicity.
Bill H , 10 hours ago
"The point was and is that laws are to be made by Congress, and not from
scratch by delegating the power to a type of commission, which Judge
Scalia called 'a sort of junior-varsity Congress' ".
Such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

[Mar 11, 2019] Bruce Ohr, Liar or Moron by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Orr was one of the central figures of the conspiracy against Trump in Justice Department. And it was Orr wife who probably had written parts of the dossier at the request of CIA Brennan and other conspirators in CIA (who were acting via controlled by them counterintelligence division at FBI)
Notable quotes:
"... Christopher Steele, a "former" MI-6 officer, had been a paid FBI informant for several years. ..."
"... Bruce Ohr met with Glenn Simpson in August 2016, which totally contradicts Simpson's previous sworn testimony that he did not meet with Ohr until after the 2016 election. ..."
"... Ohr informed FBI and senior DOJ officials, who signed off on the FISA application in October 2016 to spy on Carter Page, that the "dossier" had a tainted political history. ..."
"... What is truly remarkable about Ohr's testimony is that his explanation for repeated meetings and contacts with Christopher Steele do not make sense. I am referring specifically to Ohr's claim that Steele wanted him, Ohr, to pass info to the FBI. ..."
"... This guy is a senior DOJ official. He is a former prosecutor. He knows that the minute he accepts anything from Steele and then passes it on to the FBI that he, Ohr, became a fact witness. He is part of the chain of custody. More importantly, Ohr, knowing that Steele is on the FBI payroll, should have refused to accept any information and direct Steele to talk to his Agent/handler. Period. ..."
"... One other important sidetone--there has been a longstanding agreement among the 5 Eyes (i.e., US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) to NOT recruit as assets each other's spies. ..."
"... In light of all of this one can only conclude that Bruce Ohr is lying about the real reason for meeting with Steele or that he is a complete moron. There is no other possible explanation or excuse. I do not think that Ohr is a moron. He does not strike me as a man of limited intelligence. I think he is lying. I believe that the reason Steele approached Ohr was to provide some insulation to the FBI, which was engaged in an act of sedition. The FBI was interfering in the 2016 election and working to destroy Donald Trump. ..."
"... As more transcripts and documents come into the sunlight, we will get a clearer picture of the corruption at both the FBI and the DOJ. The FISA applications to spy on a US citizen, Carter Page, are without foundation. I am sure that William Barr appreciates this point and will press for action against those who willingly engaged in such despicable actions. ..."
Mar 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sorry to have been out of pocket (I've fled the wintry north for a new home in Florida). I am back, so to speak, and ready to write a bit. Last week's release by Congressman Collins of the interview transcript of Bruce Ohr, who appeared before the House Judiciary Committee last year is quite damning of the FBI and the DOJ. If our system of justice is truly blind and committed to fairness, there is little doubt that former FBI and DOJ officials--Comey, McCabe, Yates and Rosenstein--will be facing serious legal jeopardy. They have lied.

The biggest "revelations" from Ohr are as follows:

  1. Christopher Steele, a "former" MI-6 officer, had been a paid FBI informant for several years.
  2. Bruce Ohr met with Glenn Simpson in August 2016, which totally contradicts Simpson's previous sworn testimony that he did not meet with Ohr until after the 2016 election.
  3. Ohr informed FBI and senior DOJ officials, who signed off on the FISA application in October 2016 to spy on Carter Page, that the "dossier" had a tainted political history.

I put "revelations" in quotations because we already knew most of this--specifically Steele's status as a paid informant and the failure of the FBI and DOJ to verify the accuracy of the so-called dossier. The new meat on the bone is Ohr's claim that he met with Simpson in August 2016. Simpson swore under oath that no such meeting took place. That's a substantive lie and, if the Flynn case is a guide, Mr. Simpson will be looking at prison.

What is truly remarkable about Ohr's testimony is that his explanation for repeated meetings and contacts with Christopher Steele do not make sense. I am referring specifically to Ohr's claim that Steele wanted him, Ohr, to pass info to the FBI. Think about this for a moment--Ohr knows that Steele is a paid FBI informant. That means Steele has an FBI agent who is his conduit into the FBI. That Agent handles interviews and writes up reports. Why in the hell would Steele approach Ohr and not his FBI handler? Because Steele did not want to create a record, i.e., a 302, that would have been generated if he had followed protocol and gone thru normal channels.

And Ohr? This guy is a senior DOJ official. He is a former prosecutor. He knows that the minute he accepts anything from Steele and then passes it on to the FBI that he, Ohr, became a fact witness. He is part of the chain of custody. More importantly, Ohr, knowing that Steele is on the FBI payroll, should have refused to accept any information and direct Steele to talk to his Agent/handler. Period.

One other important sidetone--there has been a longstanding agreement among the 5 Eyes (i.e., US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) to NOT recruit as assets each other's spies. Christopher Steele's employ with the FBI violates this policy.

In light of all of this one can only conclude that Bruce Ohr is lying about the real reason for meeting with Steele or that he is a complete moron. There is no other possible explanation or excuse. I do not think that Ohr is a moron. He does not strike me as a man of limited intelligence. I think he is lying. I believe that the reason Steele approached Ohr was to provide some insulation to the FBI, which was engaged in an act of sedition. The FBI was interfering in the 2016 election and working to destroy Donald Trump.

As more transcripts and documents come into the sunlight, we will get a clearer picture of the corruption at both the FBI and the DOJ. The FISA applications to spy on a US citizen, Carter Page, are without foundation. I am sure that William Barr appreciates this point and will press for action against those who willingly engaged in such despicable actions.

[Mar 01, 2019] ...a nation divided against itself ...

Feb 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"For more than two years, the United States and the world have had two competing narratives: that an elected president of the United States was a Russian agent whom the Kremlin helped elect; and its rival narrative that senior officials of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and other national intelligence organizations had repeatedly lied under oath, misinformed federal officials, and meddled in partisan political matters illegally and unconstitutionally and had effectively tried to influence the outcome of a presidential election, and then undo its result by falsely propagating the first narrative. It is now obvious and indisputable that the second narrative is the correct one.

The authors, accomplices, and dupes of this attempted overthrow of constitutional government are now well along in reciting their misconduct without embarrassment or remorse because -- in fired FBI Director James Comey's formulation -- a "higher duty" than the oath they swore to uphold the Constitution compelled them.

Or -- in fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's words -- "the threat" was too great. Nevermind that the nature of "the threat" was that the people might elect someone he and Comey disapproved of as president, and that that person might actually serve his term, as elected." Black

----------

Baron Black of Crossharbour, is an interesting fellow. In this piece he (or someone) makes the case for the reality of the "soft coup" that the Borg (foreign policy establishment) and the Deep State mandarins (SES ers) scattered across the Executive Branch undertook and for which they only now are being driven back into their dens. Black reminds me of Lord Beaverbrook, another Canadian who was a member of the War Cabinet in WW2?

The caste of US general and admirals are not I think part of the coup plot. They have their own game as a group and it is not a neocon game except for a few outliers like Jack Keane, a priest of the neocon cult.

Nevertheless, IMO Black is wrong when he thinks that the present situation is the worst constitutional crisis since the outbreak of the WBS. No, IMO, this is far worse than that. It is the worst ever. In 1860 the seceding states did not seek to overthrow Lincoln, the legally elected president of the US, even though he had been elected by a plurality in the popular vote and not a single electoral vote from the South. They simply wished to depart what they saw as a voluntary union of the states.

In this case the forces arrayed against Trump wish to overthrow the constitutional order. That is much worse. pl

http://www.conradmblack.com/1449/the-greatest-constitutional-crisis-since?fbclid=IwAR2qWyKRRnX94rYAZ4xBeWE8yscLdMA8U-bWfPYirVfCXjFiigyUcf_nIM4

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


MP98 , 5 hours ago

Unfortunately nothing will happen to these people.
No one will be charged, much less tried..
The swamp is above the law - "laws are for little people."
We are not governed, we are ruled.
Pat Lang Mod -> MP98 , 3 hours ago
Ok. I will quit.
Keith Harbaugh , 7 hours ago
"In this case the forces arrayed against Trump wish to overthrow the constitutional order. That is much worse. pl"

Just want to point out someone who seems to agree with you on many issues, such as this: David A. Stockman .
For a sample of his thinking and writing, see
"The New Gray Lady – Comfort Woman for the War Party" , 2019-01-16

The Donald has been on a red hot twitter rampage, and he's completely justified. Actually, we didn't think the Russian Collusion Hoax could get any stupider until we saw the New York Times' Friday evening bushwhack. ...

And for lots of his columns, see his archive at antiwar.com . There you will find not only the titles of his articles, but also short summaries.

Interesting (actually quite disappointing) how little he is quoted in the MSM. What an echo chamber it is!

[Feb 23, 2019] FBI EXTENSIVE ILLEGAL SURVAILANCE PROGRAM

Feb 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

William Dorritt , 3 hours ago link

CREATION OF CONTROL FILES TRANSFERRED FROM FBI TO NSA

"But by then, it was already too late. The FBI's surveillance was messy and involved too many agents who could potentially blow the whistle. In the wake of 9/11, the internal surveillance program was shifted from the Bureau to the NSA, and it was not long before those surveillance powers were being directed against politicians and officials in yet another attempt to gather dirt and find blackmail-worthy material on these individuals.

As NSA whistleblower Russell Tice told The Corbett Report in 2013, he had first-hand knowledge of this surveillance, which included politicians, judges, military personnel, and even the future President of the United States.

In short, this scandal is too deep, too dark, and covers too many people from both sides of the political aisle for it to ever proceed in public. If it were to be exposed it would uncover a tale of surveillance, scandal, drug money, child prostitution and blackmail that could blow up all over Washington and make Watergate look like a minor footnote in the history of political scandal."

https://www.corbettreport.com/the-real-hastert-scandal-pedophilia-drug-money-and-blackmail/

FBI EXTENSIVE ILLEGAL SURVAILANCE PROGRAM

"In 2002 Gilbert Graham, a Special Agent in the Washington Field Office of the FBI, blew the whistle on an illegal surveillance program being conducted out of the Bureau's Washington headquarters. According to the unclassified version of his complaint, obtained by the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition in 2007, Graham alleged violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillence Act "in conducting electronic surveillance as a subterfuge to acquire evidence of criminal activity."

These allegations were backed up by a former FBI Counterintelligence Specialist in the Washington Field Office, who told the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition: " you are looking at covering up massive public corruption and espionage cases; to top that off you have major violations of FISA by the FBI Washington Field Office and HQ targeting these cases. Everyone involved has motive to cover up these reports and prevent investigation and public disclosure."

According to FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, revealing the details of this program for the first time in a series of podcasts in the wake of the Hastert revelations, this illegal surveillance program -- dubbed COINTELPRO II by the agents who were asked to implement it -- dates back to the mid-1990s, when the Clinton White House was being rocked by a series of sex scandals."

https://www.corbettreport.com/the-real-hastert-scandal-pedophilia-drug-money-and-blackmail/

The main objective of the plan was to:

[SOURCE: Probable Cause Podcast #23 | BoilingFrogsPost.com ]

[Feb 22, 2019] Trump vs. the FBI Who are the good guys by Joe Jarvis

With Trump incoherence, impulsivity and appointment of Pompeo and Bolton it is really unclear who are the good guys and and who are bad guys.
Color revolution against Trump failed and that's a good sign, the sign of healthy political system. But it might well be that "The moor has done his duty, the moor can go"
Trump already undermined the credibility of neoliberal MSM and we should be glad to him for that. He also withdrawing troops from Syria (which were in the country illegally) but only after bombing Assad air forces half-dozen times on false premises.
Looks like he reached some progress in talks with China and Chine will buy more agricultural production from the USA. But the question to him is: if China already has the capacity to produce all those goods, how he think manufacturing will return to the USA.
He still is warmongering about Iran. And he initiated the regime change in Venezuela.
On domestic front he positioned himself as a clear neoliberal and bully -- king of "national neoliberalism" instead of national socialism of the past (what is funny is that many point of NSDAP program of 1920 are now far left to the Democratic Party platform, to say nothing about Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... "All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible." -Frank Herbert, Author of Dune ..."
Feb 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by TDB Thu, 02/21/2019 - 12:24 5 SHARES By Joe Jarvis via The Daily Bell

The bad guys wear black hats. We're programmed to see things in black or white, right or wrong, good or evil. From what we are shown in movies and books from an early age, there is a protagonist and an antagonist.

Clever writers make it a little more complex, with the Boo Radleys and Snapes who are thought to be villains but turn out to be heroes. But generally, the characters fit largely into extremes: good guys or bad guys with little overlap: Harry Potter versus Voldemort.

But it's those characters on the edge who people can't get enough of. Like Walter White, the cancer patient who starts producing meth to leave some money behind for his family in the TV show Breaking Bad .

And that's probably because its an often unspoken truth that life is mostly gray, and not so black and white.

But the binary two choice meme has a function. It makes things a hell of a lot easier. And it prevents us from being crippled by indecision and inaction.

Of course, this is also easily exploited by bad guys

When I hear that the FBI considered attempting to oust Trump from the oval office, I am tempted to think, hey, Trump must not be such a bad guy.

According to a new book by former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, top FBI brass discussed using the 25th amendment to remove Trump, even though as the Wall Street Journal explains:

A President exercises his constitutional prerogative to fire the FBI director, and Mr. Comey's associates immediately talked about deposing him in what would amount to a coup?

The 25th Amendment was passed after JFK's assassination to allow for a transfer of power when a President is "unable" to discharge his duties. It is intended to be used only after demonstrated evidence of impairment that is witnessed by those closest to the Commander in Chief. It doesn't exist to settle political differences, or to let scheming bureaucrats imagine they are saving the country from someone they fear is a Manchurian candidate. The constitutional process for that is impeachment.

So if the horribly corrupt FBI doesn't like Trump, he must have something to offer. But this is only true in the binary world or pure good and evil. In the real world, evil often opposes evil, because they are different factions fighting for the same territory.

"All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible." -Frank Herbert, Author of Dune

We usually end up supporting who we see as the lesser of two evils.

That's sort of like Walter White. He starts off as a timid science geek and devoted father and husband. He is attracted to the drug industry for apparently noble purposes. And he ends up poisoning a child, causing another child to be murdered, ordering an innocent assistant killed, and causing the death of his brother-in-law. Ultimately, Walter White admits he didn't become a massive meth producer for his family. He did it for the thrill, the glory, the power that came with it . We live in a world of Walter Whites, not Voldemorts.

J.K. Rowling made Voldemort pure evil. But to her credit, she demonstrated how easy it was for him to seize the reigns of power at the Ministry of Magic, and how all the bureaucrats and ministers simply started serving a new master. Some even rejoiced in their new authority, relishing the newfound power.

When it comes to Trump versus the FBI, the Wall Street Journal editorial laments, "This is all corrosive to public trust in American democracy."

So what do we do about it?

Rejoice!

The less trust we put in the political system, the better. All we can do is separate ourselves to the best of our abilities from far off bureaucrats and politicians.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb says in his book Skin in the Game , paraphrasing brothers Geoff and Vince Graham:

I am, at the Fed level, libertarian; at the state level, Republican; at the local level, Democrat; and at the family and friends level, a socialist.

... ... ...

[Feb 22, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis A seditious conspiracy ...

Notable quotes:
"... It is not at all clear that Steele wrote the dossier attributed to him. Maybe Nellie Ohr wrote some of it and Steele was used to "launder" it as he was a "reliable" FBI asset. ..."
"... In any case Trump has shown that he doesn't want to get to the bottom of it either. He got to the declassification brink at the behest of Nunes, Meadows and Jordan but then quickly walked it back. It seems he prefers to tweet witch hunt. That makes sense as Brad Parscale has noted that the way they have built the database of potential Trump voters is by getting them to respond to social media provocations. ..."
"... As the past 2 years have marched on, the seditious conspiracy theory has grown more stronger while the Russian collusion theory is looking much more as pure propaganda. And the Mueller probe seems a vehicle to inflict as much damage on Trump and those that worked for him. ..."
"... Corruption at the highest levels of our law enforcement and intelligence apparatus could possibly be at banana republic levels. ..."
"... When Rosy according to McCabe brought up the 25th amendment discussion most would expect the Acting Director of the FBI to shut the conversation down providing the advice that the discussion was moving into the Sedition area. That did not occur.....I suspect Rosy is being set up. ..."
Feb 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"McCabe blithely went about meeting with the president, continued to do his normal work, and said nothing about it publicly. Is it reasonable to believe a career law officer wouldn't shout from the rooftops, and even risk his job, to blow the whistle on such a catastrophic potential national security risk? McCabe and his cabal knew that the entire Russia collusion narrative was bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign. We know McCabe knew this from the congressional testimony of former associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr, who swore under oath (and he, unlike McCabe, was not fired for lying) that he told McCabe and others at the FBI that the Steele dossier was being pushed by a Trump-hater and should be relied upon with caution.

By May 2017, McCabe implies he was in a state of panic on behalf of the gullible nation led by a Russian asset -- but as Ohr said, McCabe and his cronies were aware that the explosive claims in the dossier were unverified. How could there be panic about unverified allegations? " The Hill

*********

"If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down , or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years , or both.

For a seditious conspiracy charge to be effected, a crime need only be planned, it need not be actually attempted ." wiki on seditious conspiracy.

---------------

20 years, pilgrims, 20 years AND a fine perhaps. McCabe is an interesting case, a senior civil servant who believes that he and his fellow mandarins ARE the government of the United States in much the same way that many Catholic clergy believe that THEY are the church rather than the people in the pews, the actual People of God.

Club Fed won't be all that bad. There are lots of opportunities for self-improvement. McCabe and Rosenstein could study American Government in a seminar made up of their fellow conspirators with a few Bubbas and Bros thrown in for "seasoning." That would be a good way to meet new friends to help pass the time in jail.

If McCabe is truthful in this the studied arrogance involved is memorable, but .. I remember much the same kind of attitude, the "Yes Minister" mindset from the time when I was an SES.

The former priest Theodore McCarrick has been laicized (de-frocked) by Pope Francis. What took so long? It has been widely known for a long time among the clergy, hierarchy, and lay hangers-on of the RC church apparat that Teddy was madly, wildly gay. I sat in a number of meetings that he chaired and must say that it was a very creepy experience. The leprechaun act was painful to watch.

Let's see if the new AG has as much, or hopefully more guts about this as Francis. pl

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/430318-mccabes-shocking-claims-prove-the-bloodless-coup-rolls-on

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

VietnamVet , 3 days ago

Colonel,

In response to the Great Recession, rather than jail the crooks, the Obama Administration political appointees and senior executives were complicit in making the ruling elite whole again. They also looked the other way at the Great Enablers' (the Clinton family) shenanigans. They were wedded to the need for Hillary Clinton to be the President. When she failed, it was so dastardly, it had to have been the Russians; not their own failings.

The real problem is that the Republicans with Democrats assistance have flushed government down the toilet. There is no government by or for the people; only connected cronies. Ann Coulter's epitaph "Idiot" is appropriate for them all. The condition has also seized Great Britain and French governments; indicating that this is a global plague.

Mad_Max22 , 3 days ago
"How could there be panic about unverified allegations?"

The inexorable momentum of bureacracy. Once in, all in. Their political proclivities by now should be obvious. They tanked the Clinton e mail investigation, they blew past the Clinton Foundation corruption case that was staring at them in plain view, and when Steele gave them a hook, despite not only being unverified but unverifiable by conventual means of investigation, they swallowed it whole because he was telling them something they wanted to hear...and Steele traded on that. Steele also leaked to the media to create a feedback mechanism to reinforce the faux atmosphere of Russian menace that had them straining at the leashes. Incompetence? Malice? Both? Who at this point knows?

When Trump fired Comey, the fuse was lit. Comey further inflamed the situation with his leak to the NYT with the expressed purpose of triggering a SC. McCabe was suddenly in a decision making position he was in no way prepared for, ditto Rosenstein, there was no authority above them to rein them in, Sessions having stupidly and unnecessarily recused himself, except for Trump that is, and sadly enough there was no one below them either to talk sense into them; so yes, they panicked. They thought they had hit a Solomon like decision bringing in Mueller. I wonder who was in on that decision, talk about collusion.

I read today that Steele continues to resist testifying before the Senate. How about that for a glaring hole in the effort to find out who did what to whom, and why.

blue peacock -> Mad_Max22 , 2 days ago
It is not at all clear that Steele wrote the dossier attributed to him. Maybe Nellie Ohr wrote some of it and Steele was used to "launder" it as he was a "reliable" FBI asset.

In any case Trump has shown that he doesn't want to get to the bottom of it either. He got to the declassification brink at the behest of Nunes, Meadows and Jordan but then quickly walked it back. It seems he prefers to tweet witch hunt. That makes sense as Brad Parscale has noted that the way they have built the database of potential Trump voters is by getting them to respond to social media provocations.

This is the gift that will keep giving. Conspiracy writers will keep the tales going for many a moon as the convoluted nature of it all is perfect for so many tales.

blue peacock , 4 days ago
Col. Lang

As the past 2 years have marched on, the seditious conspiracy theory has grown more stronger while the Russian collusion theory is looking much more as pure propaganda. And the Mueller probe seems a vehicle to inflict as much damage on Trump and those that worked for him.

Roger Stone has been indicted for lying to Congress and arrested with a pre-dawn FBI SWAT team raid televised by CNN. Brennan & Clapper who are known to have lied to Congress are treated with reverence by the media.

Manafort has been convicted of money laundering which took place years ago. But the Podesta brothers and the legions of political consultants in DC for who money laundering is a way of life are not prosecuted.

Flynn was indicted for lying to the FBI and threatened with not registering under FARA for his Turkish money. AIPAC spends hundred of millions on American politics and the Chinese, Saudis and other Arabs also spend hundreds of millions on DC think-tanks, politicians and US media.

Corruption at the highest levels of our law enforcement and intelligence apparatus could possibly be at banana republic levels.

Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , 3 days ago
I suspect that DJT will pardon these people.
akaPatience , 3 days ago
It's frightening to read many of the comments on the article in The Hill . I've noticed that leftists, trolls, and [possible] bots seem to come out of the woodwork en force to comment on articles of this sort -- articles that turn the spotlight on the possibility of sedition.

These rare articles are in such opposition to the barrage of anti-Trump commentary that's broadcast daily that I wonder if the MSM may even employ some of those who so quickly and assiduously refute anything that contradicts their anti-Trump fare.

DianaLC -> akaPatience , 3 days ago
The leftist progressives don't need to pay anyone to make those comments against Trump and anyone who is a bit conservative. The NEA has made sure the organizations that pass for public education systems are training up those mindless but nasty comment trolls.
Mike Ring , 3 days ago
When Rosy according to McCabe brought up the 25th amendment discussion most would expect the Acting Director of the FBI to shut the conversation down providing the advice that the discussion was moving into the Sedition area. That did not occur.....I suspect Rosy is being set up.

McCabe's book and TV appearances are his attempt at his cleansing prior to the coming onslaught. Interesting that the Justice Dept. SES executives make up 10% of the total SES executives in the government a percentage that should definitely come down. Unfortunately the SES should be the managers of the nuts and bolts of our government but they have become too highly politicized which is turning younger and brighter individuals away from that career path.

Seems the Old Grey Lady has an article out today that further condemns the actions of a few (actually too many) of our priests and unfortunately our nuns. One priest in talking about the makeup of the priesthood says " one third are gay, one third are straight and the other third who knows" he did indicatate they were all celibate.

My four year old grandson from Central America has a saying when he does not like something "Que Asco" which literally means "That is Disgusting" thus a pox on those miscreants in the FBI and the Priesthood.
Que Asco!

MP98 -> billy roche , 3 days ago
Don't get your hopes up about Barr. He is a personal friend of Mueller and a swamp creature in good standing.
Keith Harbaugh , 2 days ago
The revelation that McCarrick's homosexuality was widely known in certain circles, but not to, AFAIK, the general public
emboldens me to ask a question I have long wanted to ask, but been afraid to:

What is the sexual orientation and family status of the Executive Editor of the Washington Post, Martin Baron ?

I know the answer to such personal questions often is, and should be, that "It's none of your business". That certainly does apply to most people in America. However Baron plays such a significant role in " The Fourth Estate ", shaping opinion and framing issues, that I think the answers to those questions should be a matter of public record. After all, as his newspaper constantly states, "Democracy Dies in Darkness". So too do traditional values.

I think the question can and should be expanded to: which of the Post 's opinion leaders and reporters are homosexual? Again, the reason is that all of them, like Baron, are shaping our opinions and framing issues. Surely the public has a right to know if they are doing so in pursuit of their own, personal, agenda. In other words, do they have a conflict of interest on this matter? A comparison: If a reporter owned shares in, say, General Electric, and also reported on it, that would clearly be a conflict of interest.
So, too, if a reporter is homosexual and writing about it, is that not also a conflict of interest? I think it is.

jonst , 2 days ago
I would like to flesh out the actions behind the statement by McCabe, or cryptic illusion, anyway, that perhaps "two" cabinet officers may have been inclined to go along with the 25th Amendment plan. Who in the cabinet was sounded out? By who were they sounded out? What precisely was their response? That would make for interesting reading.
Pat Lang Mod -> jonst , 2 days ago
My SWAG would be Tillerson and Sessions.
jonst -> Pat Lang , 2 days ago
Those would be my top two candidates as well. With Mnuchin as dark horse. But it would take a grand jury to have even a chance to get to the facts. Congressional hearings won't do it. Not in any 5 minute questioning format, with interruptions by the 'other side'. .
Dan M , 3 days ago
A seditious conspiracy charge sounds dubious to me. If discussing the removal of a president via the 25th amendment is sedition, then why wouldn't calling for impeachment be sedition as well?
Pat Lang Mod -> Dan M , 2 days ago
Impeachment is part of the constitution and the procedure is clear. A conspiracy by the political police to overthrow the president because they do not like him is not in the 25th Amendment where the action has to be among the cabinet and the VP.
Fred , 3 days ago
It looks like a lot of folks need to beware the ides of March. Rosenstein to leave in the middle of the month.
https://abcnews.go.com/Poli...
Bag Man -> Fred , 3 days ago
Love to hear what Rosenstein has to saw now that McCabe through him under the bus. So it was Rosenstein's idea of using the 25th Amendment? Nobody knew of this plan before this interview. McCabe mentions this out of the blue and makes sure to say that it wasn't his idea but Rosenstein. Why?
Fred -> Bag Man , 2 days ago
"Nobody knew of this plan before this interview. " That is not true. There has been a widespread and ongoing effort to discredit the Trump administration and remove him from office. Here's an example from 2017. https://www.newyorker.com/m...

[Feb 18, 2019] Do You Believe in the Deep State Now by Robert W. Merry

Highly recommended!
Feb 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

That's a natural reaction to the revelation of Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy FBI director, that top Justice Department officials, alarmed by Donald Trump's firing of former Bureau director James Comey, explored a plan to invoke the 25th Amendment and kick the duly elected president out of office.

According to New York Times reporters Adam Goldman and Matthew Haag, McCabe made the statement in an NBC 60 Minutes interview to be aired on Sunday. He also reportedly said that McCabe wanted the so-called Russia collusion investigation to go after Trump for obstructing justice in firing Comey and for any instances they could turn up of his working in behalf of Russia.

The idea of invoking the 25th Amendment was discussed, it seems, at two meetings on May 16, 2017. According to McCabe, top law enforcement officials pondered how they might recruit Vice President Pence and a majority of cabinet members to declare in writing, to the Senate's president pro tempore and the House speaker, that the president was "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." That would be enough, under the 25th Amendment, to install the vice president as acting president, pushing aside Trump.

But to understand what kind of constitutional crisis this would unleash and the precedent it would set, it's necessary to ponder the rest of this section of the 25th Amendment. The text prescribes that, if the president, after being removed, transmits to the same congressional figures that he is indeed capable of discharging his duties, he shall once again be president after four days. But if the vice president and the cabinet majority reiterate their declaration within those four days that the guy can't govern, Congress is charged with deciding the issue. It then takes a two-thirds vote of both houses to keep the president removed, which would have to be done within 21 days, during which time the elected president would be sidelined and the vice president would govern. If Congress can't muster the two-thirds majority within the prescribed time period, the president "shall resume the powers and duties of his office."

It's almost impossible to contemplate the political conflagration that would ensue under this plan. Citizens would watch those in Washington struggle with the monumental question of the fate of their elected leader under an initiative that had never before been invoked, or even considered, in such circumstances. Debates would flare up over whether this comported with the original intent of the amendment; whether it was crafted to deal with physical or mental "incapacitation," as opposed to controversial actions or unsubstantiated allegations or even erratic decision making; whether such an action, if established as precedent, would destabilize the American republic for all time; and whether unelected bureaucrats should arrogate to themselves the power to set in motion the downfall of a president, circumventing the impeachment language of the Constitution.

For the past two years, the country has been struggling to understand the two competing narratives of the criminal investigation of the president.

One narrative -- let's call it Narrative A -- has it that honorable and dedicated federal law enforcement officials developed concerns over a tainted election in which nefarious Russian agents had sought to tilt the balloting towards the candidate who wanted to improve U.S.-Russian relations and who seemed generally unseemly. Thus did the notion emerge, quite understandably, that Trump had "colluded" with Russian officials to cadge a victory that otherwise would have gone to his opponent. This narrative is supported and protected by Democratic figures and organizations, by adherents of the "Russia as Threat" preoccupation, and by anti-Trumpers everywhere, particularly news outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post , and The New York Times .

Trump, the FBI, and the Final Debasement of American Politics Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly

The other view -- Narrative B -- posits that certain bureaucratic mandarins of the national security state and the outgoing Obama administration resolved early on to thwart Trump's candidacy. After his election, they determined to undermine his political standing, and particularly his proposed policy toward Russia, through a relentless and expansive investigation characterized by initial misrepresentations, selective media leaks, brutal law enforcement tactics, and a barrage of innuendo. This is the narrative of most Trump supporters, conservative commentators, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal editorial page, notably columnist Kimberley Strassel.

The McCabe revelation won't affect the battle of the two narratives. As ominous and outrageous as this "deep state" behavior may seem to those who embrace Narrative B, it will be seen by Narrative A adherents as evidence that those law enforcement officials were out there heroically on the front lines protecting the republic from Donald J. Trump.

And those Narrative A folks won't have any difficulty tossing aside the fact that McCabe was fired as deputy FBI director for violating agency policy in leaking unauthorized information to the news media. He then allegedly violated the law in lying about it to federal investigators on four occasions, including three times while under oath.

Indeed, Narrative A people have no difficulty at all brushing aside serious questions posed by Narrative B people. McCabe is a likely liar and perjurer? Doesn't matter. Peter Strzok, head of the FBI's counterespionage section, demonstrated his anti-Trump animus in tweets and emails to Justice official Lisa Page? Irrelevant. Christopher Steele's dossier of dirt on Trump, including an allegation that the Russians were seeking to blackmail and bribe him, was compiled by a man who had demonstrated to a Justice Department official that he was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and passionate about him not being president"? Not important. The dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party? Immaterial. Nothing in the dossier was ever substantiated? So what?

Now we have a report from a participant of those meetings that top officials of the country's premier law enforcement entity sat around and pondered how to bring down a sitting president they didn't like. The Times even says that McCabe "confirmed" an earlier report that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire in meetings with Trump to incriminate him and make him more vulnerable to the plot.

There is no suggestion in McCabe's interview pronouncements or in the words of Scott Pelley, who conducted the interview and spoke to CBS This Morning about it, that these federal officials ever took action to further the aim of unseating the president. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that they approached cabinet members or the vice president about it. "They were speculating, 'This person would be with us, this person would not be,' and they were counting noses in that effort," said Pelley. He added, apparently in response to Rosenstein's insistence that his comments about wearing a wire were meant as a joke, "This was not perceived to be a joke."

What are we to make of this? Around the time of the meetings to discuss the 25th Amendment plot, senior FBI officials also discussed initiating a national security investigation of the president as a stooge of the Russians or perhaps even a Russian agent. These talks were revealed by The New York Times and CNN in January, based on closed-door congressional testimony by former FBI general counsel James Baker. You don't have to read very carefully to see that the reporters on these stories brought to them a Narrative A sensibility. The Times headline: "F.B.I. Opened Inquiry into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia." CNN's: "Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was 'following directions' of Russia." And of course, whoever leaked those hearing transcripts almost surely did so to bolster the Narrative A version of events.

The independent journalist Gareth Porter, writing at Consortium News, offers a penetrating exposition of the inconsistencies, fallacies, and fatuities of the Narrative A matrix, as reflected in how the Times and CNN handled the stories that resulted from what were clearly self-interested leaks.

Porter notes that a particularly sinister expression in May 2017 by former CIA director John O. Brennan, a leading Trump antagonist, has precipitated echoes in the news media ever since, particularly in the Times . Asked in a committee hearing if he had intelligence indicating that anyone in the Trump campaign was "colluding with Moscow," Brennan dodged the question. He said his experience had taught him that "the Russians try to suborn individuals, and they try to get them to act on their behalf either wittingly or unwittingly."

Of course you can't collude with anybody unwittingly. But Brennan's fancy expression has the effect of expanding what can be thrown at political adversaries, to include not just conscious and nefarious collaboration but also policy advocacy that could be viewed as wrongheaded or injurious to U.S. interests. As Porter puts it, "The real purpose is to confer on national security officials and their media allies the power to cast suspicion on individuals on the basis of undesirable policy views of Russia rather than on any evidence of actual collaboration with the Russian government."

That seems to be what's going on here. There's no doubt that McCabe and Rosenstein and Strzok and Brennan and Page and many others despised Trump and his resolve to thaw relations with Russia. They viewed him as a president "who needed to be reined in," as a CNN report described the sentiment among top FBI officials after the Comey firing.

So they expanded the definition of collusion to include "unwitting" collaboration in order to justify their machinations. It's difficult to believe that people in such positions would take such a cavalier attitude toward the kind of damage they could wreak on the body politic.

Now we learn that they actually sat around and plotted how to distort the Constitution, just as they distorted the rules of official behavior designed to hold them in check, in order to destroy a presidential administration placed in power by the American people. It's getting more and more difficult to dismiss Narrative B.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century. MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Alternative Facts at the NYT James Polk's Realpolitik Hide 52 comments 52 Responses to Do You Believe in the Deep State Now? ← Older Comments

Ken Zaretzke February 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/trump-russia-collusion-investigation-criminalization-policy-disputes/

Also very good is the blunt force trauma inflicted on the FBI in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Kimberly Strassel.

Fran Macadam , , February 15, 2019 at 2:19 pm
You're right, it didn't change a thing in the full-throated support to depose an elected President they disagree with. The bureaucratic cabal has long had a more informal absolute veto over who can even run for President. This guy challenged that hegemony of insider power brokers, and caused the revelation that we have morphed into a Potemkin-style, managed democracy, in which we don't choose who gets to run, just which of their choices we are allowed to approve.

Such is the decadent trajectory, of republics that transition into empires, where democratic accountabilty to the governed, domestic and foreign, decays in favor of empire administrators and their elite beneficiaries and their sinecures at the expense of the majority.

People rail against Trump as some sort of would-be Caesar, but he is elected, while those permanent unaccountable "national security" czars acting in secrecy they are willing to transfer all power to, are not.

No form of popular government can survive when secret police recording everything and spying on the population become the real power.

This is a coup, in slow motion.

Kent , , February 15, 2019 at 2:26 pm
"It's difficult to believe that people in such positions would take such a cavalier attitude toward the kind of damage they could wreak on the body politic."

What we don't want to recognize is that people in such positions are, in fact, just that dumb. It is unfortunately true. While not a Trump supporter, I would be out on the streets with them if these jacka$$es had tried to pull this off. They should ALL be immediately terminated and any benefits revoked.

Kurt Gayle , , February 15, 2019 at 2:32 pm
Last night (Feb 14, 2019) Tucker Carlson interviewed retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz (1:04-3:36):

Carlson: "Professor, thanks very much for coming on. So now the suspicions of many are confirmed by one of the players in it. The Department of Justice discussed trying to remove the President using the 25 Amendment. What's your reaction to that?

Dershowitz: "Well, if that's true, it is clearly an attempt at a coup d'état. Relating to what your former guest said, let's take the worst case scenario: Let's assume the President of the United States was in bed with the Russians, committed treason, committed obstruction of justice -- the 25 Amendment simply is irrelevant to that. That's why you have an impeachment provision. The 25th amendment is about Woodrow Wilson having a stroke. It's about a president being shot and not being able to perform his office. It's not about the most fundamental disagreements. It's not about impeachable offenses. And any Justice Department official who even mentioned the 25th Amendment in the context of President Trump has committed a grievous offense against the Constitution. The framers of the 25th amendment had in mind something very specific. And trying to use the 25th amendment to circumvent the impeachment provisions, or to circumvent an election is a despicable act of unconstitutional power-grabbing. And you were right when you said it reminded me of what happens in third world countries. Look, these people may have been well-intentioned. They may believe that they were serving the interests of the United States. But you have to obey the law and the law is the Constitution and the 25th Amendment is as clear as could be: incapacity, unable to perform office. That's what you need. That's why you need 2/3 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate agreeing. And it has to be on the basis of a medical or psychological incapacity. Not on the basis of even the most extreme crimes -- which there is no evidence were committed -- but even if they were, that would not be basis for invoking the 25th Amendment. And I challenge any left-wing person to get on television and to defend the use of the 25th Amendment. I challenge any of my colleagues who are in the "Get Trump At Any Cost" camp to come on television and justify the use of the 25 Amendment other than for physical or psychiatric incapacity.

Carlson: I bet they're doing that right now. This is an attack on our system, I would say, not just the President. Alan Dershowitz, thank you very much.

Dershowitz: It is an attack on our system. It's an attack on the constitution. Thank you.

Carlson: Scary.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q9OlUaeiQjQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Bluestem , , February 15, 2019 at 2:42 pm
How many millions of dollars did Bill and Hill receive from Russians? How much of America's uranium deposits did Hillary sell to Russians during her time in the Obama administration? The New York Times informs us:

" . . . the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One's chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

"And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

"At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company's assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show."

(end of NY Times excerpt. Full story: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html )

I wonder how much howling and how many allegations of "collusion" with Russia we'd be hearing if the name Clinton were removed from the NY Times article and the name Trump were inserted?

curri , , February 15, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency.

Oh, they just knew . Maybe they just knew he wasn't an obvious reliable puppet like W and Obama.

Sid Finster , , February 15, 2019 at 3:16 pm
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/11/27/leaked-transcript-proves-russiagaters-have-been-right-all-along/

About Those Russians.

Stephen J. , , February 15, 2019 at 4:01 pm
The article states: " top officials of the country's premier law enforcement entity sat around and pondered how to bring down a sitting president they didn't like."
-- -- -- --
Which makes one wonder if "The rule of law" is becoming the rule of outlaws? When the non-elected in the justice profession appear to have their own agenda.
WorkingClass , , February 15, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Y'all Never Trump Republicans have NO future in American electoral politics.
Gerard , , February 15, 2019 at 4:22 pm
Trump is an idiot, but his enemies in the lib-Dem-media Establishment are far worse: corrupt, deceitful, arrogant, and lawless. Exhibit A is Andrew McCabe.

That's why I'll vote for the Idiot-in-Chief (again) in 2020. Because the alternative makes me vomit.

polistra , , February 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm
FBI has been destroying and paralyzing unwanted presidents forever. Lady Edgar did it far more effectively than her modern successors.
aristotle , , February 15, 2019 at 5:19 pm
"The pages of this publication drift further and further into utter insanity and despicable defense of Trump. Stand up for the values of the Constitution, or something, but not for this man who is no more than a self-enriching demagogue with no understanding of the reactionary politics he uses to delude the rubes and attract asinine threadbare pieces like this one."

Actually no. Consider me the inverse of Peter. I didn't vote for Trump due to the character weaknesses Peter describes. However, what I see is a seriously flawed man who has served the useful purpose of revealing an echo chamber of flawed and self-serving biases shared by the media and political establishment of this country. I see CNN, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and even some key leaders of our security services in a completely different light than I did two years ago. I am thankful for the clarity. I consider Merry's article to be a contribution in that direction.

Kouros , , February 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm
Cannot agree more with Fran Macadam.

On that note an interesting article by one of Mr. Putin's ideologues about Putinism and why Putinism might have more viability than the smoke and mirror exercise provided in established democracies:
https://russia-insider.com/en/vladislav-surkovs-hugely-important-new-article-about-what-putinism-full-translation/ri26259

The article admits that these bureaucracies are at times a nuisance and need to be dealt with appropriately...

Arthur Sido , , February 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm
"Peter" sez: "Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency."

Weird but no one has shown any actual criminal behavior by said President. Two years later still no charges. But Peter and these "career law enforcement officials" KNEW he was a criminal. Then Peter appeals to the Constitution, apparently oblivious to the fact that the Constitution doesn't make any provisions for plotting to remove the lawfully elected President because you don't like just because you "know" he is a "criminal", in spite of any actual evidence.

JeffK , , February 15, 2019 at 5:53 pm
"After his election, they (the deep state) determined to undermine his political standing, and particularly his proposed policy toward Russia, through a relentless and expansive investigation characterized by initial misrepresentations, selective media leaks, brutal law enforcement tactics, and a barrage of innuendo. This is the narrative of most Trump supporters, conservative commentators, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal editorial page, notably columnist Kimberley Strassel."

The trouble with that is it completely ignores the ton of evidence pointing to really nefarious stuff.

Lots of times, when there's smoke, there's fire. And when the smoke is overwhelming there probably is a fire. A big one.

Sid , , February 15, 2019 at 9:19 pm
Trump has been going after the Russians since his inauguration. Therefore, those trying to remove him from office are likely the actual Russian agents. Of course they would need smoke and mirrors to hide that fact and deflect attention from themselves. It just so happens that Russian spies are trained by the FSB to accuse others of being a spy, for just this purpose. I'm looking at you, John O. (Oleg?) Brennan
Sheila , , February 15, 2019 at 11:03 pm
No matter who the President is, there is some group of people in Washington is ALWAYS trying to bring him down. Who those people are, and how large and powerful the group is, depends on a variety of factors. But a competent president manages to enact his agenda while staying one step ahead of his intriguers. Obama and GWB accomplished both, more or less because they were intelligent men of good character (though Obama was much smarter and better man than W)

While Bill Clinton's character was too low to avoid impeachment he was a smart and able administrator. Trump has both low character and low intellect so it is not surprising A. that many people want to bring him down and B. that they have been pretty effective.

Politics may be a blood sport in Washington but that's not the same as a "deep state". And Trump can't compete and win with anyone in Washington who doesn't grovel before him like the supine Senate Republicans. And that is no one's fault but his.

You wanting Trump to be a Russian agent does not make him one. It never will. Get over it. , , February 16, 2019 at 12:08 am
"If it turns out that Trump IS a Russian asset, will you apologize, Robert Merry? Because he certainly acts like one. And, as REAL Republicans used to say, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, maybe it's a duck."

@One Guy Yeah, because sending deadly aid to Ukraine is so pro-Russian. What an idiot you are!

VikingLS , , February 16, 2019 at 12:10 am
"Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency. Shame on them!"

They also "knew" Martin Luther King Jr. was a Soviet agent.

Just Curiosity , , February 16, 2019 at 12:38 am
This article must have hit a nerve. Media Matters/Soros have sent out their "goons".

{BTW, isn't it amazing that Media Matters/Soros never have to worry about having any advertisers boycotted.}

{smirk}

JK , , February 16, 2019 at 3:14 am
The issue with the 25th amendment, is that the President's character flaws or mental deficiency were known and very visible before the election. Is it constitutionally proper for Congress to suspend a President for a preexisting condition that was known to and unhidden from voters? If Congress did that, it means Congress has a veto over who the public is allowed to vote in as President.
Frank LaSaracina , , February 16, 2019 at 10:19 am
Clear and convincing evidence of a silent coup by rogue IC / law enforcement community, the genesis of which was the Obama admin. Prima facie
Oleg Gark , , February 16, 2019 at 10:40 am
Forget the Covington students, Andrew McCabe and his lady co-workers have some pretty punchable faces. (Ok, I'm enough of a sexist to not punch a lady. I'd use eye-rolling and mocking gestures instead.)
tjoe , , February 16, 2019 at 11:18 am
These are the peeps that did 9.11 and took down 3 towers with 2 planes. or maybe you believe guys with box-cutters did it.
Contra1789 , , February 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm
The problem is not the existence of the deep state. It's inevitable that there will be unelected officials who will continue to shape policy regardless of who is elected President. The problem is that the deep state is blatantly working to undermine its elected leadership. If you can't in good conscience work with your President, the honorable thing to do is resign as some undoubtedly have. It's not an excuse for insubordination.

[Feb 17, 2019] Two Trump Cabinet Officials Were Ready To Support 25th Amendment Coup As Rosenstein Tallied Votes

Notable quotes:
"... Baker said McCabe was cool, calm and collected throughout the discussions, telling lawmakers: "At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don't know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time." ..."
"... According to McCabe, Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort," adding that Rosenstein was "definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time." ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Two Trump Cabinet officials were "ready to support" a DOJ scheme to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump , according to Bloomberg and Fox News , citing closed-door testimony from the FBI's former top lawyer, James Baker - who said that the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The testimony was delivered last fall to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. Fox News has confirmed portions of the transcript. It provides additional insight into discussions that have returned to the spotlight in Washington as fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe revisits the matter during interviews promoting his forthcoming book. - Fox News

While Baker did not identify the two Cabinet officials, he says that McCabe and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page approached him to relay their conversations with Rosenstein, including their discussions of the 25th Amendment scheme. "I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the Deputy Attorney General, he had stated that he -- this was what was related to me -- that he had at least two members of the president's Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment," Baker told the Congressional committees.

The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a sitting president from office through various mechanisms - including the majority of a president's Cabinet agreeing that the commander-in-chief is incapable of performing his duties.

Rosenstein - who is slated to leave the Justice Department in the near future, has denied the claims. Baker said McCabe was cool, calm and collected throughout the discussions, telling lawmakers: "At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don't know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time."

McCabe, meanwhile told "60 Minutes" in an interview set to air Sunday night that Rosenstein was concerned about Trump's "capacity."

According to McCabe, Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort," adding that Rosenstein was "definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time."

"Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president?" asks CBS News anchor Scott Pelly, to which McCabe replied: " That's correct. Counting votes or possible votes. "

The New York Times first reported last year that McCabe alleged in memos that Rosenstein had talked about using the 25th Amendment to oust Trump -- or wearing a wire to surreptitiously monitor the president -- in the hectic days in May 2017 after Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director. At the time, Rosenstein disputed the reporting. - WaPo

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the 25th Amendment scheme a " bureaucratic coup " led by enemies of President Trump. On Sunday morning, Graham said he would subpoena McCabe and Rosenstein "if that's what it takes" to get to the bottom of the 25th Amendment claim.

On Thursday, the DOJ issued a statement claiming that Rosenstein rejects McCabe's version of events "as inaccurate and factually incorrect," and also denied that Rosenstein ever approved wearing a "wire" to record Trump.

"The deputy attorney general never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references," reads the DOJ statement. "As the deputy attorney general previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment."

McCabe, meanwhile, walked back some of his "60 Minutes" statements . On Friday a spokeswoman for the former Deputy Director said: "Certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented," adding "To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions."

Baker acknowledged during his testimony that he was not directly involved in the May 2017 discussions, rather, McCabe and Page approached him contemporaneously following a meeting with Rosenstein in the days following former FBI Director James Comey's firing.

"I had the impression that the deputy attorney general had already discussed this with two members in the president's Cabinet and that they were onboard with this concept already," said Baker.

Question: "Do you know what direction that went? Was it Mr. Rosenstein seeking out members of the Cabinet looking to pursue this 25th Amendment approach or was it the other way around?"

Baker: "What I recall being said was that the Deputy Attorney General had two members of the Cabinet. So he – how they came to be had, I don't know, but "

Question: "So he had two members, almost like he was taking the initiative and getting the members?"

Baker: "That would be speculation on my part." - Via Fox News

Baker also suggested that "Lisa and Andy" did not know the names of the Cabinet officials who were on board with the 25th Amendment scheme.

Baker testified in October that the alleged discussions took place during an uncertain and anxious time at the FBI and DOJ after Comey's termination, and that the mood was "pretty dark":

Question: "Did people tell you that the DAG (Deputy Attorney General) was upset?"

Baker: "Yes."

Question: "Did they tell you that he was making jokes?"

Baker: "No."

Question: "Did they tell you that..."

Baker: " This was not a joking sort of time. This was pretty dark. " - Via Fox News

Pretty dark indeed.


Moneycircus , 6 minutes ago link

John Judge, executive director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations , was the most insightful political analyst besides Mae Brussell.

Speaking less than 6 months after 911, he understood more then than most commentators do now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrFm1E74wYU

"Our choice now seems to be between a "new war" and a new world. As always, the forces of reaction and wealth are telling us we have no choice but war, and no right or power to decide. They are calling for a secret investigation, a secret conviction, a secret method of execution, and a totally secret war abroad.

"The American people as a whole are the only ones in the world who have the right to decide on a national response to this tragedy, and it must be one that takes into account the rights of all the other peoples and nations of the world."

-- John Judge , 9/23/01

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/

loop , 16 minutes ago link

Funny to think that ***-lover Trump, with a JEWISH AGENDA , could have been brought down in a Jewish-led coup.

Priceless.

Sanity Bear , 24 minutes ago link

"the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein"

and we know that the claim was not a baldfaced lie... how?

Moneycircus , 33 minutes ago link

Always like this. Way Washington works. It's an oligarchy. Power = carrot and stick. Carrot = money to buy and bribe. Stick = kompromat and blackmail.

Why was J. Edgar Hoover the most powerful man in America? Did FBI cease to be the political police when he died?

Why are institutions like the CIA more influential than any politician? How was the public so easily misled about the coup that was Watergate?

Mae Brussell laid it all out on the table 40 years ago. Understanding is within reach if you want it.

http://www.worldwatchers.info/

[Feb 17, 2019] There's No Denying It; It Was Never Anything But a Coup!

Notable quotes:
"... In interviews to boost his forthcoming book, fired former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe confirms that Obama holdovers repeatedly discussed removing President Donald Trump under the pretext of the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein more than once seriously offered to "wear a wire" in meetings with the President. After Trump fired James Comey as FBI Director in May 2017, McCabe, Comey's deputy director, launched a phony "obstruction of justice" investigation, and said that he began to accumulate files of memos on that and the "Russia Collusion" investigation, to try to ensure that the investigations would continue if he were fired as well. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | larouchepub.com

In interviews to boost his forthcoming book, fired former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe confirms that Obama holdovers repeatedly discussed removing President Donald Trump under the pretext of the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein more than once seriously offered to "wear a wire" in meetings with the President. After Trump fired James Comey as FBI Director in May 2017, McCabe, Comey's deputy director, launched a phony "obstruction of justice" investigation, and said that he began to accumulate files of memos on that and the "Russia Collusion" investigation, to try to ensure that the investigations would continue if he were fired as well.

Now, after its own two years of investigation and 200 interviews, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Richard Burr (R-NC) has said, "There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia." Ranking Member Mark Warner (D-VA) said he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence, but declined to give his own assessment.

Veteran criminal attorney John Dowd, a member of Trump's legal team from June 2017 to March 2018, said,

"I know exactly what he [Mueller] has. I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is."

What will be the result of the probe?

"It's been a terrible waste of time.... This is one of the greatest frauds the country has ever seen. I'm just shocked that Bob Mueller didn't call it that way and say, 'I'm being used.' I would've done that.

"I'd have gone to [then Attorney General] Sessions and Rosenstein and said, 'Look. This is nonsense. We are being used by a cabal in the FBI to get even.' "

Asked about Mueller's final report, he responded, "I will be shocked if anything regarding the President is made public, other than, 'We're done.' "

At the same time, former NSA Technical Director William Binney has published new evidence which shows that the DNC documents posted by WikiLeaks in July 2016, were probably not hacked over the internet, by Russians or anyone else -- rather, the only available forensic evidence indicates that they were downloaded from within the DNC's network. His evidence is summarized in an article he co-authored with former CIA analyst Larry Johnson on Col. Pat Lang's "Sic Semper Tyrannis" blog yesterday.

[Jan 29, 2019] Once Barr is installed in office, stand by. The Department of Justice and the FBI will received the equivalent of a high powered enema. Both are sick institutions and need to have the feces flushed out

Notable quotes:
"... Then a funny thing happened. Robert Mueller's press guy issued an unprecedented statement calling the Buzzfeed story pure, unadulterated bullshit. Whoops!! ..."
"... How many of of the FBI and DOJ's top leadership from the Obama administration have gotten fired and are being investigated for criminal conduct? ..."
"... Enema works for me but reading reports on the analysis of Ohr's transcript, I'm not even sure an enema is going to be enough for the fbi. I think the only solution is liquidation. ..."
"... Bill Barr clean out the DOJ? I wouldn't count on it. He is a member in good standing of the swamp ..."
Jan 19, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Remember when Dan Rather self-immolated his credibility in a desperate attempt to take out George W. Bush? The Killian documents controversy (also referred to as Memogate or Rathergate) involved six purported documents critical of U.S. President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard in 1972–73.

Four of these documents[1] were presented as authentic in a 60 Minutes II broadcast aired by CBS on September 8, 2004, less than two months before the 2004 presidential election, but it was later found that CBS had failed to authenticate the documents.[2][3][4] Subsequently, several typewriter and typography experts concluded the documents were forgeries.[5][6]

Well, looks like Buzzfeed did not learn from history. Buzzfeed set the media world on fire on Friday with a story that appeared well sourced that claimed Donald Trump had directed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal that never came to fruition. The mainstream media went into hyper impeachment drive.

This was the nail in the Trump coffin as far as they were concerned. Trump was as good as dead.

Then a funny thing happened. Robert Mueller's press guy issued an unprecedented statement calling the Buzzfeed story pure, unadulterated bullshit. Whoops!!

The Trump is dead meme quickly evaporated. Why did Mueller do this? The answer is simple. Bill Barr.

The soon to be new Attorney General is known as a man of impeccable integrity with a minimal tolerance for bullshit. Mueller, as an old friend of Barr, knew that he had to do something dramatic to distance himself and his staff from this toxic story.

Once Barr is installed in office, stand by. The Department of Justice and the FBI will received the equivalent of a high powered enema. Both are sick institutions and need to have the feces flushed out.


Jack , 19 hours ago

"...Bill Barr. The soon to be new Attorney General is known as a man of impeccable integrity with a minimal tolerance for bullshit."

Mr. Barr seems as swampy as they get. He played a key role in the mass surveillance of all Americans and is the classic beltway sophist who has done much to reinterpret the constitution eviscerating the Bill of Rights. His past actions don't make him a man of integrity unless of course being in service to the national security state is considered virtuous.

I believe Mr. Johnson's optimism of Barr's nomination leading to a "high powered enema" at the DOJ & FBI is unfounded. IMO, none of the seditionists will be held to account. In any case POTUS Trump seems quite content with tweeting witch hunt rather than declassifying and ordering a prosecutor convene a grand jury and have Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and all the other putschists testify.

Fred -> Jack , 12 hours ago
"He played a key role in the mass surveillance of all Americans"

He served under H.W. Bush who lost to Clinton. Obama did just what, beside get great protection from Brennan, Clapper, Comey and a list of others you haven't named yet. How many of of the FBI and DOJ's top leadership from the Obama administration have gotten fired and are being investigated for criminal conduct? What kind of support do you think the Trump administration was getting from those outstanding civil servants for the past two years?

blue peacock -> Fred , 9 hours ago
"What kind of support do you think the Trump administration was getting from those outstanding civil servants for the past two years?"

Well, it is the Trump administration that nominated Sessions, Rosenstein and Wray and now Barr. How many of those fired have testified to a grand jury? They're nicely ensconced with their lucrative sinecures until the next Borg administration. Mueller has spent tens of millions in going after Trump campaign minions. Where is the witch hunt against Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Lynch, et al? Of course its not that POTUS has no agency here. He can order declassification and the appointment of a prosecutor with a stroke of pen. Tweeting however is more like his pace.

Pat Lang Mod , a day ago
Rather interviewed me in the library of the Army and Navy Club in DC at the height of the excitement over the obviously approaching US invasion of Iraq in 2002. At one point he asked me if the Bushies were going to invade Iraq. I told himthat should not even be a question. He did not believe me.
Bill H , 10 hours ago
The only difference is that Rather had some small degree of credibility before the incident in question. I don't believe that Buzzfeed has ever had a shred of credibility to anyone with the slightest ability to think.
Taras77 , a day ago
Enema works for me but reading reports on the analysis of Ohr's transcript, I'm not even sure an enema is going to be enough for the fbi. I think the only solution is liquidation.

This is a tragedy for past good /honest fbi agents but the fbi currently is a pestilence on this country which claims to be a nation of laws.

MP98 , a day ago
Bill Barr clean out the DOJ? I wouldn't count on it. He is a member in good standing of the swamp

[Jan 24, 2019] Intelligence agency officials carefully monitor the activities of the two main parties, keeping a vigilant eye out for any deviations from the national security consensus in Washington

Essentially they are trying to control the US foreign policy. That's a sign of the slide to neofascism as under neofascism intelligence agencies have a political role and are instrumental in crashing the dissent.
Notable quotes:
"... The Times article goes on to describe how FBI officials monitored the platform adopted at the Republican National Convention, reporting that the spy agency "watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia." That is, the nation's top police agency was concerned that the positions adopted contravened certain basic tenets of dominant sections of the foreign policy establishment. ..."
"... By what constitutional authority can the FBI, based on political positions adopted by one or the other of the two main capitalist parties, open up a secret investigation into treason and conspiracy? Such an operation bespeaks a police state and recalls the methods of the Stalinist NKVD. ..."
"... The operations of the FBI, encouraged, aided and abetted by the Times , recall the paranoid rantings of the John Birch Society, the ultra-right group formed in the 1950s, whose founder, Robert Welch, notoriously claimed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former World War II commander of Allied forces in Europe, was a "a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy." ..."
"... Claims that once were the province of an extremist group, on the fringes of American politics, are now embraced by the military-intelligence apparatus, appear on the front page of the most influential American daily newspaper, and dominate the network and cable television news. ..."
"... But these allegations have no credibility. Why should anyone believe claims that Trump, at age 70, after decades as a real estate mogul, con man and media celebrity, with a billion-dollar fortune, suddenly decided to throw in his lot with Vladimir Putin? Even the Times report itself concedes, in a single sentence buried in the 2,000-word text, "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials." ..."
Jan 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Times claims that Trump "had caught the attention of FBI counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton." Given that this was a sarcastic campaign remark directed against Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, and delivered at a public news conference, Trump's sally can hardly be construed as evidence of a conspiracy.

The Times article goes on to describe how FBI officials monitored the platform adopted at the Republican National Convention, reporting that the spy agency "watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia." That is, the nation's top police agency was concerned that the positions adopted contravened certain basic tenets of dominant sections of the foreign policy establishment.

By what constitutional authority can the FBI, based on political positions adopted by one or the other of the two main capitalist parties, open up a secret investigation into treason and conspiracy? Such an operation bespeaks a police state and recalls the methods of the Stalinist NKVD.

The agency also investigated four of Trump's campaign aides over possible ties to Russia, and even made use of the notorious Steele dossier, consisting of anti-Trump gossip collated from Russian sources by a former British intelligence agent on the payroll of the Democratic Party.

After Trump fired Comey, according to the Times , "law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president's behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence."

The operations of the FBI, encouraged, aided and abetted by the Times , recall the paranoid rantings of the John Birch Society, the ultra-right group formed in the 1950s, whose founder, Robert Welch, notoriously claimed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former World War II commander of Allied forces in Europe, was a "a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy."

Claims that once were the province of an extremist group, on the fringes of American politics, are now embraced by the military-intelligence apparatus, appear on the front page of the most influential American daily newspaper, and dominate the network and cable television news.

But these allegations have no credibility. Why should anyone believe claims that Trump, at age 70, after decades as a real estate mogul, con man and media celebrity, with a billion-dollar fortune, suddenly decided to throw in his lot with Vladimir Putin? Even the Times report itself concedes, in a single sentence buried in the 2,000-word text, "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials."

While there is no evidence of a conspiracy between Trump and Moscow, the Times report itself is evidence of a conspiracy involving the intelligence agencies and the corporate media to overturn the 2016 presidential election - which Trump won, albeit within the undemocratic framework of the Electoral College - and install a government that would differ from Trump's chiefly in being more committed to military confrontation with Russia in Syria, Ukraine and elsewhere.

A secret security investigation by a powerful police agency directed against an elected president or prime minister can be described as nothing other than the antechamber to a coup by the military or intelligence services.

Historically, the FBI has been at the center of such dangers in the United States. Its founding director, J. Edgar Hoover, was notorious for his unchecked power, particularly during the period of the McCarthy anticommunist witch hunt, when he accumulated dossiers on virtually every Democratic and Republican politician and authorized widespread spying on civil rights and antiwar groups.

President John F. Kennedy was so concerned that he installed his brother Robert as attorney general - and nominal superior to Hoover - to keep watch over the bureau. That did not save Kennedy from assassination in 1963 , an event linked in still undisclosed ways to ultra-right circles, including Cuban exiles embittered by the Bay of Pigs disaster, Southern segregationists, and sections of the military-intelligence apparatus up in arms over Kennedy's signing of a nuclear test ban treaty with Moscow.

The New York Times report - and a companion piece published Sunday in the Washington Post claiming that Trump has kept secret key details of his private conversations with Putin - serve to legitimize antidemocratic and unconstitutional conduct by the military-intelligence apparatus .

These reports shed light on the striking complacency in the "mainstream" media over Trump's threats to declare a national emergency, using the pretext of his conflict with congressional Democrats over funding of a border wall, which has led to a three-week-long partial shutdown of the federal government.

If one takes for good coin the main contention of the reports by the two newspapers, their acquiescence in a potential Trump declaration of emergency rule is inexplicable. After all, if Trump is Putin's agent, then a Trump declaration of a state of emergency, giving him sweeping, near-absolute authority, would put the United States under the control of Moscow.

The explanation is that the Times and the Post welcome the discussion of emergency rule, to prepare the forces of the state for coming conflicts with the working class. Their only disagreement with Trump is over which faction of the ruling elite, Trump or his opponents in the Democratic Party, should direct the repression.

One thing is certain: if Trump declares a national emergency, or if, as the Post suggested in an editorial, his opponents in the ruling elite declare a national emergency over alleged Russian "meddling" as part an effort to remove him, it will represent an irrevocable break with democracy.

It is impossible to determine which side in this sordid conflict is more reactionary. The working class is confronted with two alternatives :

[Jan 21, 2019] Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy by Stephen F. Cohen

The problem is not Russia; the problem is the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. And related legitimization of neoliberal elite, which now Deep State is trying ot patch with anti-Russian hysteria
Notable quotes:
"... That is, in the modern history of US-Russian summits, we are told by a former American ambassador who knows, the "secrecy of presidential private meetings has been the rule, not the exception." He continues, "There's nothing unusual about withholding information from the bureaucracy about the president's private meetings with foreign leaders . Sometimes they would dictate a memo afterward, sometimes not." Indeed, President Richard Nixon, distrustful of the US "bureaucracy," sometimes met privately with Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev while only Brezhnev's translator was present. ..."
Jan 16, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Baseless Russiagate allegations continue to risk war with Russia. Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy | The Nation The New Year has brought a torrent of ever-more-frenzied allegations that President Donald Trump has long had a conspiratorial relationship -- why mince words and call it "collusion"? -- with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.

Why the frenzy now? Perhaps because Russiagate promoters in high places are concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller will not produce the hoped-for "bombshell" to end Trump's presidency. Certainly, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt seems worried, demanding, "The president must go," his drop line exhorting, "What are we waiting for?" (In some countries, articles like his, and there are very many, would be read as calling for a coup.) Perhaps to incite Democrats who have now taken control of House investigative committees. Perhaps simply because Russiagate has become a political-media cult that no facts, or any lack of evidence, can dissuade or diminish.

And there is no new credible evidence, preposterous claims notwithstanding. One of The New York Times ' own recent "bombshells," published on January 12, reported, for example, that in spring 2017, FBI officials "began investigating whether [President Trump] had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests." None of the three reporters bothered to point out that those "agents and officials" almost certainly included ones later reprimanded and retired by the FBI itself for their political biases. (As usual, the Times buried its self-protective disclaimer deep in the story: "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.")

Whatever the explanation, the heightened frenzy is unmistakable, leading the "news" almost daily in the synergistic print and cable media outlets that have zealously promoted Russiagate for more than two years, in particular the Times , The Washington Post , MSNBC, CNN, and their kindred outlets. They have plenty of eager enablers, including the once-distinguished Strobe Talbott, President Bill Clinton's top adviser on Russia and until recently president of the Brookings Institution. According to Talbott , "We already know that the Kremlin helped put Trump into the White House and played him for a sucker . Trump has been colluding with a hostile Russia throughout his presidency." In fact, we do not "know" any of this. These remain merely widely disseminated suspicions and allegations.

In this cult-like commentary, the "threat" of "a hostile Russia" must be inflated along with charges against Trump. (In truth, Russia represents no threat to the United States that Washington itself did not provoke since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.) For its own threat inflation, the Times featured not an expert with any plausible credentials but Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer with no known Russia expertise, and who was one of those reprimanded by the agency for anti-Trump political bias. Nonetheless, the Times quotes Page at length : "In the Russian Federation and in President Putin himself you have an individual whose aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability to spread our democratic ideals." Perhaps we should have guessed that the democracy-promotion genes of J. Edgar Hoover were still alive and breeding in the FBI, though for the Times , in its exploitation of the hapless and legally endangered Page, it seems not to matter.

Which brings us, or rather Russiagate zealots, to the heightened "threat" represented by "Putin's Russia." If true, we would expect the US president to negotiate with the Kremlin leader, including at summit meetings, as every president since Dwight Eisenhower has done. But, we are told, we cannot trust Trump to do so, because, according to The Washington Post , he has repeatedly met with Putin alone, with only translators present, and concealed the records of their private talks, sure signs of "treasonous" behavior, as the Russiagate media first insisted following the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018.

It's hard to know whether this is historical ignorance or Russiagate malice, though it is probably both. In any event, the truth is very different. In preparing US-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) summits since the 1950s, aides on both sides have arranged "private time" for their bosses for two essential reasons: so they can develop sufficient personal rapport to sustain any policy partnership they decide on; and so they can alert one another to constraints on their policy powers at home, to foes of such détente policies often centered in their respective intelligence agencies. (The KGB ran operations against Nikita Khrushchev's détente policies with Eisenhower, and, as is well established, US intelligence agencies have run operations against Trump's proclaimed goal of "cooperation with Russia.")

That is, in the modern history of US-Russian summits, we are told by a former American ambassador who knows, the "secrecy of presidential private meetings has been the rule, not the exception." He continues, "There's nothing unusual about withholding information from the bureaucracy about the president's private meetings with foreign leaders . Sometimes they would dictate a memo afterward, sometimes not." Indeed, President Richard Nixon, distrustful of the US "bureaucracy," sometimes met privately with Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev while only Brezhnev's translator was present.

Nor should we forget the national-security benefits that have come from private meetings between US and Kremlin leaders. In October 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met alone with their translators and an American official who took notes -- the two leaders, despite their disagreements, agreed in principle that nuclear weapons should be abolished. The result, in 1987, was the first and still only treaty abolishing an entire category of such weapons, the exceedingly dangerous intermediate-range ones. (This is the historic treaty Trump has said he may abrogate.)

And yet, congressional zealots are now threatening to subpoena the American translator who was present during Trump's meetings with Putin. If this recklessness prevails, it will be the end of the nuclear-superpower summit diplomacy that has helped to keep America and the world safe from catastrophic war for nearly 70 years -- and as a new, more perilous nuclear arms race between the two countries is unfolding. It will amply confirm a thesis set out in my book War with Russia? -- that anti-Trump Russiagate allegations have become the gravest threat to our security.

The following correction and clarification were made to the original version of this article on January 17: Reagan and Gorbachev met privately with translators during their summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986, not February, and Reagan was also accompanied by an American official who took notes. And it would be more precise to say that the two leaders, despite their disagreements, agreed in principle that nuclear weapons should be abolished.

Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of politics and Russian studies at Princeton and NYU and author of the new book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate . This commentary is based on the most recent of his weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War with the host of the John Batchelor radio show. (The podcast is here . Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com . )

[Jan 15, 2019] Apparently, the FBI, and not the CIA, are the real government.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... According to these transcripts of congressional testimony by some of the participants, the FBI decided all by itself after Comey was fired to consider acting against Trump by pursuing him for suspicion of conspiracy with Russia to give the Russians the president of the US that they supposedly wanted. ..."
"... Following these seditious and IMO illegal discussions the FBI and Sessions/Rosenstein's Justice Department sought FISA Court warrants for surveillance against associates of Trump and members of his campaign for president. ..."
"... IMO this collection of actions when added to whatever Clapper, Brennan and "the lads" of the Deep State were doing with the British intelligence services amount to an attempted "soft coup" against the constitution and from the continued stonewalling of the FBI and DoJ the coup is ongoing ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Just to review the situation:

  1. The president of the US was made head of the Executive Branch (EC) of the federal government by Article 2 of the present constitution of the US. He is also Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the federal government. As head of the EC, he is head of all the parts of the government excepting the Congress and the Federal courts which are co-equal branches of the federal government. The Department of Justice is just another Executive Branch Department subordinate in all things to the president. The FBI is a federal police force and counter-intelligence agency subordinate to the Department of Justice and DNI and therefore to the president in all things. The FBI actually IMO has no legal right whatever to investigate the president. He is the constitutionally elected commander of the FBI. Does one investigate one's commander? No. The procedures for legally and constitutionally removing a president from office for malfeasance are clear. He must be impeached by the House of Representatives for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" and then tried by the US Senate on the charges. Conviction results in removal from office.
  2. According to these transcripts of congressional testimony by some of the participants, the FBI decided all by itself after Comey was fired to consider acting against Trump by pursuing him for suspicion of conspiracy with Russia to give the Russians the president of the US that they supposedly wanted. Part of the discussions among senior FBI people had to do with whether or not the president had the legal authority to remove from office an FBI Director. Say what? Where have these dummies been all their careers? Do they not teach anything about this at the FBI Academy? The US Army lectures its officers at every level of schooling on the subject of the constitutional and legal basis and limits of their authority.
  3. Following these seditious and IMO illegal discussions the FBI and Sessions/Rosenstein's Justice Department sought FISA Court warrants for surveillance against associates of Trump and members of his campaign for president. Their application for warrants were largely based on unsubstantiated "opposition research" funded by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. The judge who approved the warrants was not informed of the nature of the evidence. These warrants provided an authority for surveillance of the Trump campaign.
  4. IMO this collection of actions when added to whatever Clapper, Brennan and "the lads" of the Deep State were doing with the British intelligence services amount to an attempted "soft coup" against the constitution and from the continued stonewalling of the FBI and DoJ the coup is ongoing. pl

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/14/politics/trump-fbi-debate-investigation/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Two_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Clause_4:_Receiving_foreign_representatives

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Bureau_of_Investigation#Organization

[Jan 14, 2019] The Russia Hoax The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump Gregg Jarrett 9788925598352 Amazon.com

The books does not answer the key question: if it was not Russian influence, who of forign powers tried to influence the election: GB, Israel, Saudi, or all three. We have solid evidence of interference of British intelligence services into the election. Which means May government interference.
Also important to understand that FBI from the very beginning was apolitical tool. Nothing new here.
This dirty political witch hunt has one major goal to cement the cracks in neoliberal society that appear after 2008 Financial crash. This attempt failed and Pateigenosse Mueller is unable to change that. Confidence in the ruling neoliberal oligarchy collapsed and problem with the inequality laid now bare.
Jan 14, 2019 | www.amazon.com

KB from Illinois 5.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed. Raises many questions about politically motivated investigations. September 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

My interest in this book occurred by chance. Over the past couple years reading news stories on sites like Yahoo News I sensed a very overt stance against President Trump. It appeared very obvious to me, but I wanted some confirmation whether these views may have validity, or perhaps not. So I started to investigate other opinions via some of the conservative talk radio shows. Up until this time, I rarely listened to them. One was the Sean Hannity Show and Gregg Jarrett was sitting in for Sean on one of the shows. He mentioned his book and I thought it sounded interesting. My basic assumption even prior to reading this book was I never felt there was any illegal Trump/Russian collusion in our recent election. I couldn't see how it would ever be done in such a way that would actually affect the voting outcome (other than if it were some kind of ballot box type fraud). So I had doubts about all the related investigations. When this book was mentioned I figured it would offer some factual information to help me understand the investigations better. It did accomplish that. And much more awareness.

One of the major items about this book is that it is well researched and documented. This made me feel somewhat comfortable about its content. There is so much misinformation making its rounds today that knowing what is truthful and what isn't can become a real guessing game. I could even ask 'Did Mr. Jarrett fabricate his sources'? At this point I will go on faith that they are real.

Based on that assumption, he presents a very hard case about the Russian collusion investigation as not being quite what the U.S.A. people are being led to believe by the media outlets. So much so, I hope this book could be a catalyst for other investigations (assuming that isn't already being planned). As summarized in this book, a major point is about federal investigative departments having integrity in performing their duties, and doing so legally and without prejudice or political partisanship. This book does raise some real concerns.

The author states at the end of the book "The people who should read this book, probably won't". Unfortunately he is probably correct. As a country we seem so divided today politically. It is my impression that anti-Trumpers will probably not want to acknowledge any conflicting thoughts or facts to their beliefs. But this book could be a great exercise in broadening one's knowledge regarding the investigations on Trump. It would show a different viewpoint than that being touted by much of the media, and has the facts backing it up. At the very least, it can provide some food for thought.

Grady T. Birdsong 5.0 out of 5 stars Tells the honest truth about corruption in our Government November 23, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

As Gregg Jarrett states in the Epilogue of this book, "The people who should read this book, probably won't... they are intellectually dishonest in believing that the president must have committed some crime in connection with Russia...There was never any plausible evidence that Trump or his campaign collaborated with Russia to win the presidency... Comey's scheme to trigger the appointment of his friend as special counsel was a devious maneuver by an unscrupulous man..."
As many of these events unfolded I have watched closely and performed my own "tests of reasonableness" from facts presented. Utilizing logic and common sense I often wondered if I was missing something? What crystal ball would have predicted that Donald Trump would run for the presidency? One example: The press told us he had been a political asset for many years and had been exchanging Intel with the Russians...
Then I heard about this book, purchased it and began reading it... I could hardly put it down... The information in it is astonishing! It is all to clear now...
Jarrett has researched, compiled and formatted an almost air-tight legal case (within this book) for prosecuting these "weasels." The astonishing levels of corruption and crimes committed by those in the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI are unprecedented. He has compiled an extraordinary amount of source information to back up his many claims throughout the book. I am totally perplexed that our so-called leaders in Congress are allowing this abuse to go unpunished... baffling? This disgraceful abuse of power documented by Jarrett will come back to haunt us! A well written expose by Mr. Jarrett!

E. Christine Hess 5.0 out of 5 stars Mueller, Rosenstein & the members of the Special Council SHOULD be on trial! November 24, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Gregg Jarrett's research leaves NO DOUBT that drastic action needs to be taken to hold these people- PRETENDING to represent the law- accountable & end their "assassination" tactics on our tax dollar.
This is not Halloween, not a play. This is REALITY with our laws running amok!
And our Congress - our elected officials, supposedly servants of We, the People, - is not taking action?
How is this possible?

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The deep bias rooted in the Deep State, better known now as The Swamp October 8, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Incredibly well researched and well written book which explains methodically in an easy to read style the undeniable deep seated bias against President Trump at the highest levels of the Department of Justice and the FBI. They tried to first prevent him from being elected by exonerating Hillary Clinton of a long list of crimes committed during her tenure as Secretary of State and then smearing him with a politically motivated fake "Dossier". When that didn't work, they have tried to undermine his presidency from the start with an equally politically motivated Special Prosecutor investigating "Collusion with Russia" in an investigation which had no crime to investigate from the start. A must read for all Americans.

Andrew Maile 5.0 out of 5 stars A very informative, but yet digestible, read........ September 30, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

This author writes with a very smooth, easy, but detailed style. The book brings in much law for the reader to digest, but, somehow, does not get a reader tangled up in the weeds. As for the thrust of the book: A detailed 'tick tock' of the day by day events that have taken America to the point we are today on this entire question of Trump, Russia, and the 2016 election.
This book really is vivid proof that the 'deep state' does emphatically exist. Not as a structure or organization with secret meetings,rituals or handshakes. But as a mentality, or common political/social view of government, stemming from the longevity of bureaucracy to feel invulnerable to popular will because of their simple edict that 'we'll still be here after you're long gone'. And from this, these bureaucrats build liaisons with favoring political elites that lead to deep, hidden, obscure --shall we say 'deep state'-- actions to pervert the popular will for the ends of a few.
This book vividly displays why bureaucrats (whose lifeblood is to promote more government) so turn their collective hand to supporting Democrats, the party of government. Yates covering for Comey and the blackmailing of Gen. Flynn, Comey leaking to a friend in Academia that provokes the appointment of his (Comey's) close associate --indeed, his mentor-- Robert Mueller. Senior bureaucrats (McCabe, Strzok) playing inside baseball to maneuver themselves for promotion in the expected new (Democratic) administration that they so much support and wish for. Indeed friendships with FISA judges to assure bogus warrants can be obtained against political enemies.
Where money and power are traded as coin of the realm in a way that is so antiseptic and hidden. Nobody says 'How much money will it take'; instead it's 'I can help you fund raise'. Rod Blagojevich was foolish enough to call a bribe a bribe...well, he's in jail, but Strzok's wife isn't.
It just goes on and on................it's simple corruption!!! And the band plays on......the human comedy continues........

JG Kuhl 5.0 out of 5 stars How about a media complicity sequel? September 3, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Excellent detailed and researched book that simply amazes me. Lynch, Comey, Clinton, Stzrok, Orr, Rosenstein, McCabe, Reid and Brennen all worked seamlessly to install Hillary and have a backup plan B to lay the groundwork to impeach Trump in case she doesn't make it. All under the oversight of Obama. Neat trick, but what follows is even more orchestrated: MEDIA COMPLICITY! You can't pull this off unless you have the full cooperation willingly or otherwise of: NBC, CBS, NPR, ABC, MSNBC, and most of all CNN, the New York Times, and Washington Post! Here's where the real story lies. The media and the Democrat party are simpatico, joint at the brain and mouth and one other orifice. This is the real story that Jarrett only pays passing attention to. Sequel maybe, I hope so. Jon Kuhl Papillion, NE & New England

Amazon Customer 5.0 out of 5 stars The Deep State Is Real September 14, 2018 Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This book is very thorough and completely exposes the Deep State. If there were any doubts about the conspiracy to depose President Trump before reading this book, there certainly aren't any afterwards. After reading the book, I am very disappointed and discouraged to find that our government has such liars and criminals in the FBI, the DOJ, and the Congress. I have completely lost any confidence I had in the U.S. government and will never believe in it again, unless there is a complete house-cleaning in the FBI and the DOJ.

S. Martin Shelton 4.0 out of 5 stars This attack to undermine our democracy is unparalleled in the history of our republic. October 1, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Jarrett pens a comprehensive review of the Deep State's inordinate fraud on our Constitution -- perhaps the greatest attack on our constitutional republic in the history of our country. He writes in clear and empathetic style. His narrative evolves in a coherent and logical progression that details the conspirators' skullduggery in an "ABC" type of progression. He cites exactly who violated the relevant federal statute and why and how it was violated. Unfortunately, as of 30 September 2018 -- the date I'm preparing the review -- none of the miscreants have been indicted even though the documentation of evidence is ponderous.

Larry A. Whited 4.0 out of 5 stars One Less than Five Stars August 8, 2018 Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase

Gregg Jarrett's study -- and that is what this book is, a study -- covers two main aspects of recent history. First and foremost it is an in-depth look at the tactics and forces arrayed against President Trump. Intertwined with this comes by necessity a parallel look at Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, her presidential run, as well as a broader look at the activities of the Clintons with the nearly full support of those same forces that are now aligned against the presidency of Donald Trump. The nature of the often overlapping issues and the personnel involved has resulted in a fair amount of repetition of key points. This was not a lazy attempt to achieve a book-length manuscript, as Jarrett's original copy by his own admission in the acknowledgments was a hefty 100,000 words before the publisher encouraged him to trim things down.

It is unfortunate that this book will be dismissed by so many who are unwilling to understand and accept that the pervasive high-level animosity against President Trump has evolved into a direct and active threat against our country -- and this threat is compounded by a complicit media that is eager to pounce. The rule of law has been twisted and contorted if not completely abandoned. Trump is the primary target, but whether by design or happenstance it is the U.S. Constitution that is being the most assaulted. The danger of this cannot be overemphasized -- we are at a critical crossroads. Gregg Jarret understands this and was motivated to bring this truth to light. He is no sycophant of President Trump. His loyalty is to the rule of law and to our Constitution rather than to political agendas on either side.

I withheld one star because a great opportunity was lost. This book will never appear in classrooms, and it will likely be stocked in few law libraries. It most certainly should be, and it needs to be read and studied. The flagrant abuses of power by the DOJ, the FBI, and others need to be brought out into a bright light and the corruption purged. As a people we need to get our head out of the sand and realize what has been going on behind closed doors -- our future is most definitely at stake. The lost opportunity that I am alluding to comes down to the expressed (albeit well deserved) disdain and disgust that Gregg Jarrett now has towards those who are participating in this hoax that he has so thoroughly revealed. I fear even the preface itself will turn away those who most need to read this book.

What will be perceived as bias before the facts are presented and developed will allow or even cause those who need to read this book to close their minds, giving them the excuse they want to dismiss the evidence. If strictly the evidence and history had alone been presented with Jarrett's (again, well-deserved) animosity being held in check and edited out, then perhaps this book could have become a classic for later generations to study assuming that we survive these perilously subversive times. I did the math, and there are 771 supporting references -- an average of 70 per chapter -- documenting Jarrett's research, plus 12 references even in the epilogue. Obviously, we are not talking about willfully blind opinion with no basis in fact.

The antagonists who post their 1-star reviews with almost all of them having obviously never read the book (Re. few verified purchases) reveal a dangerous willful ignorance that they are happy to embrace. Their mindset should concern us all.

[Jan 13, 2019] As FBI Ramped Up Witch Hunt When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

Highly recommended!
All links are going to Brennan and CIA. Rosenstein was just a tool, necessary to appoint the Special Prosecutor. And launching the prove was the meaning of "insurance" that Strock mentioned to his mistress. Both Strzok and McCabe have their liasons (read bosses) at CIA, so in essence they were "CIA infiltration group" within the FBI. And it is also important to understand that Obama was just a CIA snowperson.
There is Stalin's NKVD chief Beria shadow over CIA and FBI now. He famously said "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime."
Notable quotes:
"... The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation. ..."
"... Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe ..."
"... As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As FBI Ramped Up "Witch Hunt" When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

A Friday report in the New York Times revealing that the FBI supercharged its Trump-Russia collusion investigation after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey appears to have backfired - especially when one reviews internal FBI communications from the time period in question.

The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation.

Nine days after Comey was fired and the DOJ "sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia," Strzok texted Page on May 18, 2017: "You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely I'd be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there. "

It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation. The article suggests that the FBI had long considered the move and that Comey's firing and Trump's subsequent comments marked a tipping point.

...

A source close to Strzok told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Jan. 26, 2018, shortly after the text was released, that the message reflected Strzok's concern that the FBI would not find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia . - Daily Caller

The Times' explanation for the FBI's rationale that Trump may have been a Russian asset consists of Trump's call for Moscow to release Hillary Clinton's emails an election debate, and allegations contained within the unverified Steele Dossier. The Times was also quick to note that Trump may have "unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence," to temper the accusation that he was an agent of a foreign power. In short, weak sauce.

It's no wonder Strzok was hesitant to join Mueller's team.

Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe.

As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump.

" And we need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting ," Strzok texted Page the day Comey was fired, referring to then-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.

Meanwhile, Page - who served as McCabe's deputy, provided some additional color on the text messages during her July 2018 congressional testimony, suggesting that the "case we've been waiting on" text referred to an investigation separate of the obstruction probe we already knew about.

"Well, other than obstruction, what could it have been?" one lawmaker asked Page in her interview, details of which were published by The Epoch Times on Friday.

" I can't answer that, sir. I'm sorry ," she replied.

"If I was able to explain in more depth why the Director firing precipitated this text, I would," she continued while declining to say if the text message referred to an obstruction of justice investigation or something more. - Daily Caller

That said, Page admitted that Comey's firing prompted the text exchange.

"So the firing of Jim Comey was the precipitating event as opposed to the occupant of the Director's office?" asked one lawmaker.

"Yes, that's correct," replied Page.

Meanwhile, The Times went to great lengths to imply that the FBI was justified in their ratcheted-up collusion investigation - failing to mention who started the probe, who led it, and more importantly - waiting until the 9th paragraph to mention the fact that it turned up nothing .

"No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel's office both declined to comment."

VideoEng_NC

"It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation."

Should be pretty simple with one question. "Was it Hillary who was the responsible party to open an investigation on Trump?". About as direct as it gets & we already know the answer.

adampeart

TDS sufferers hate Trump so bad that they have become (at 70%) pro-warmonger. Pathetic. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised. They were fine with Black Jesus starting wars, overthrowing governments and bombing brown people for 8 years.

Teeter

McCabe initiated the investigation. Nobody likes McCabe, so he is likely to be the one guy that gets thrown under the bus. Of course what he knows may protect him to some extent... they won't want a trial.

Duc888

Sedition? Treason?

Yippie21

7 Days in May.... except for current version we use the DOJ and FBI! Interesting times.

[Dec 21, 2018] Virtually no one in neoliberal MSM is paying attention to the fact that a group of Pakistani muslims, working for a Jewish Congresswoman from Florida, had full computer access to a large number of Democrat Representatives. Most of the press is disinterested in pursuing this matter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What Are the Democrats Hiding?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) demanded that Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa return equipment belonging to her office that was seized as part of the investigation -- or face "consequences." ..."
"... "FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation. Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back." ..."
"... This is not your phony Russia-gate or McCain-commissioned funny dossier on Trump. This is the documented "serious, potentially illegal, violations of the House IT network," which is a case of a free access to classified information by a group of the proven blackmailers. Would this matter be treated with the same urgency of "patriotism" as the cases of Manning and Assange? ..."
Jul 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: July 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm GMT

@zzzzzzz

" but the Deep State knows how to box"

Let's see: "What Are the Democrats Hiding?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) demanded that Capitol Police Chief Matthew Verderosa return equipment belonging to her office that was seized as part of the investigation -- or face "consequences."

Virtually no one [from MSM] is paying attention to the fact that a group of Pakistani Muslims, working for a Jewish Congresswoman from Florida, had full computer access to a large number of Democrat Representatives. Most of the press is disinterested in pursuing this matter."

http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/23/exclusive-fbi-seized-smashed-hard-drives-from-wasserman-schultz-it-aides-home/

"FBI agents seized smashed computer hard drives from the home of Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's information technology (IT) administrator, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation. Pakistani-born Imran Awan, long-time right-hand IT aide to the former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman, has since desperately tried to get the hard drives back."

This is not your phony Russia-gate or McCain-commissioned funny dossier on Trump. This is the documented "serious, potentially illegal, violations of the House IT network," which is a case of a free access to classified information by a group of the proven blackmailers. Would this matter be treated with the same urgency of "patriotism" as the cases of Manning and Assange?

[Dec 19, 2018] Here's What Newly-Diagnosed Amnesiac James Comey Did Not Recall On Day 2 Of Testimony

Notable quotes:
"... He might call it a "higher loyalty", but it looks to us peons like a true double-standard. Democrats get Wall Street Bankster treatment, while the rabble get tossed in the slammer. ..."
Dec 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Former FBI Director James Comey appeared December 17th, 2018, for a second round of questions by a joint House committee oversight probe into the DOJ and FBI conduct during the 2016 presidential election and incoming Trump administration.

The Joint House Committee just released the transcript online (full pdf below).

Director Blue blog's Doug Ross read through most of the septic backflow so you don't need to. You're welcome:

1. Double Standard: Obama vs. Trump

Trey Gowdy grilled Comey on his vastly different handling of comments by Trump and Obama. When Trump asked Comey whether he could see his way clear to easing up on Flynn, Comey memorialized the conversation in a memo and distributed it to his leadership team, including Andrew McCabe and James Baker.

However, when President Obama on 60 Minutes publicly exonerated Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information -- setting the stage for true obstruction of justice -- Comey did nothing. He never talked to the president about potential obstruction, he never memorialized his observations, and he didn't leak anything to the press. These were all things he did with Trump.

He might call it a "higher loyalty", but it looks to us peons like a true double-standard. Democrats get Wall Street Bankster treatment, while the rabble get tossed in the slammer.

2. According to Comey, Flynn had no right to counsel

This is interesting:

Mr. Gowdy. Did Mr. Flynn have the right to have counsel present during that interview?

Mr. Comey. No.

Oooooooookay.

3. Comey confirmed McCabe called Flynn to initiate "entrapment"; contradicts himself on counsel

And:

Mr. Gowdy. Why not advise General Flynn of the consequences of making false statements to the FBI?

Mr. Comey. ...the Deputy Director [McCabe] called him, told him what the subject matter was, told him he was welcome to have a representative from White House Counsel there...

So Comey is saying that Flynn didn't have the right to counsel (item 2), and then states that he does have the right to a White House counsel attending the meeting.

The lies are getting harder and harder to keep straight with this egregious individual.

4. Comey lied about McCabe's conversation with Flynn

When asked whether McCabe was trying to set Flynn up by asserting no counsel was needed in the interview, Comey claimed he was unaware of that critical fact. But McCabe, in a written memo, asserted that he told Flynn, "[i]f you have a lawyer present, we'll need to involve the Department of Justice".

In other words, McCabe was trying to ensure Flynn had no counsel present during the interview.

5. Comey still falls back on the Logan Act scam to justify his actions

Yes, the Logan Act. When former secretary of state John Kerry meets with various Mullahs while President Trump is unwinding the disastrous Iran deal, there's no crime there !

But let Flynn, a member of the Trump transition team, have a perfectly legitimate conversation with a Russian diplomat, we get:

Mr. Comey. And I hesitate only with "wrong." I think a Department of Justice prosecutor might say, on its face, it was problematic under the Logan Act because of private citizens negotiating and all that business.

What a lying sack of gumbo. At the time, Flynn was not a private citizen. He was a member of the incoming administration, and had anyone bothered to prosecute prior transitions for similar "crimes", the entire Obama and Clinton posses would be breaking rocks at Leavenworth.

6. Comey Throws James Clapper Under the Bus

When asked by Jim Jordan about his private meeting with the President to brief him on a very tiny portion of the "salacious and unverified" (Comey's words under oath) dossier, Comey claimed ODNI James Clapper had orchestrated the entire fiasco.

Mr. Comey. ...ultimately, it was Clapper's call. I agreed -- we agreed that it made sense for me to do it and to do it privately, separately. So I don't want to make it sound like I was ordered to do it.

He wasn't ordered to do it, but it was Clapper's call.

Oooooooookay.

7. Jordan Torches Comey Over His Dossier Comments

I'll just leave this here. Comey may need to put some ice on that.

Mr. Jordan. So that's what I'm not understanding, is you felt this was so important that it required a private session with you and the President-elect, you only spoke of the salacious part of the dossier, but yet you also say there's no way any good reporter would print this. But you felt it was still critical that you had to talk to the President-elect about it. And I would argue you created the very news hook that you said you were concerned about...

...it's so inflammatory that reporters would 'get killed' for reporting it, why was it so important to tell the President? Particularly when you weren't going to tell him the rest of the dossier -- about the rest of the dossier?

8. Comey Concealed Critical National Security Concerns About Flynn From the President

This is quite unbelievable: in a private dinner with the president, Comey neglected to mention that just three days earlier he had directed the interview of Trump's ostensible National Security Advisor.

Mr. Comey. ...at no time during the dinner was there a reference, allusion, mention by either of
us about the FBI having contact with General Flynn or being interested in General Flynn investigatively.

Mr. Jordan. That was what I wanted to know. So this is not just referring to the President didn't bring it up. You didn't bring it up either.

Mr. Comey. Correct, neither of us brought it up or alluded to it.

Mr. Jordan. Why not? He's talking about General Flynn. You had just interviewed him 3 days earlier and discovered that he was lying to the Vice President, knew he was lying to the Vice President, and, based on what we've heard of late, that he lied tyour agents. Why not tell his boss, why not tell the head of the executive branch, why not tell the President of the United States, "Hey, your National Security Advisor just lied to us 3 days ago"?

Mr. Comey. Because we had an open investigation, and there would be no reason or a need to tell the President about it.

Mr. Jordan. Really?

Mr. Comey. Really.

Mr. Jordan. You wouldn't tell the President of the United States that his National Security Advisor wasn't being square with the FBI? ... I mean, but this is not just any investigation, it seems to me, Director. This is a top advisor to the Commander in Chief. And you guys, based on what we've heard, felt that he wasn't being honest with the Vice President and wasn't honest with two of your agents. And just 3 days later, you're meeting with the President, and, oh, by the way, the conversation is about General Flynn. And you don't tell the President anything?

Mr. Comey. I did not.

Mr. Meadows. So, Director Comey, let me make sure I understand this. You were so concerned that Michael Flynn may have lied or did lie to the Vice President of the United States, but that once you got that confirmed, that he had told a falsehood, you didn't believe that it was appropriate to tell the President of the United States that there was no national security risk where you would actually convey that to the President of the United States? Is that your testimony?

Mr. Comey. That is correct. We had an --

The more we learn, the dirtier a cop Comey ends up appearing.

9. Gowdy Destroys the Double Standard of Clinton vs. Flynn

Check this out:

Mr. Gowdy. ...we are going to contrast the decision to not allow Michael Flynn to have an attorney, or discourage him from having one, with allowing some other folks the Bureau interviewed to have multiple attorneys in the room, including fact witnesses. Can you see the dichotomy there, or is that an unreasonable comparison?

Mr. Comey. I'm not going to comment on that. I remember you asking me questions about that last week. I'm happy to answer them again.

Mr. Gowdy. You will not say whether or not it is an unreasonable comparison to compare allowing multiple attorneys, who are also fact witnesses, to be present during an interview but discouraging another person from having counsel present?

Mr. Comey. I'm not going to answer that in a vacuum...

10. Comey May Have Been Involved With the Infamous Tarmac Meeting

Another interesting vignette, this time from John Ratcliffe :

Mr. Ratcliffe. Okay. So it would appear from this that there had been some type of briefing the day before, with reference to yesterday, June 27, 2016, where you had requested a copy of emails between President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Comey. I see that it says that.

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...The significance of that is, as we talked about last time, June 27th of 2016 was also the date that Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton met on a tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona. Do you recall whether or not this briefing was held at the FBI because of that tarmac meeting, or was it just happened to be a coincidence that it was held on that day? Mr. Comey. It would have to have been a coincidence. I don't remember a meeting in response to the tarmac meeting.

Muh don't know!

11. Comey confirms Obama knew Hillary Clinton was using a compromised, insecure email server

Well, spank me on the fanny and call me Nancy!

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama were communicating via email through an unsecure, unclassified server?

Mr. Comey. Yes, they were between her Clinton email.com account and his -- I don't know where his account, his unclassified account, was maintained. So I'm sorry. So, yes, here were communications unclassified between two accounts, hers and then his cover account.

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...Did your review of these emails or the content of these emails impact your decision to edit out a reference to President Obama in your July 5th, 2016, press conference remarks?

If Trump had done 1/1,000,000th of this crap, he'd be -- yes -- breaking rocks in Leavenworth right now.

But there's no double-standard, rabble! Just keep buying iPhones and playing Call of Duty !

...Aaaaaaaaand I'm spent.

Okay, done for now.

But let's recap the activities of Dr. "Higher Loyalty" Comey:

But, no, there's no double-standard for the aggressiveness of law enforcement when it comes to Democrats like Clinton and Obama.

Hat tip: BadBlue Uncensored News .

[Dec 16, 2018] FBI Docs Reveal Flynn Was Not Lying Or Did Not Think He Was Lying

The decision to indict Flynn ruins " esprit de corps " in the USA intelligence community. So Partaigenosser Mulkler trying to depose Trump oversteped the "norms" of intelligence community. And if CIA allied with FBI against DIA that's a bad sign. It looks like the US elite was split into two warring camps that will fight for power absolutely ruthlessly.
As for "In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn 'clearly saw the FBI agents as allies.' " the question arise how he got the to position of the head of DIA with such astounding level of naivety. If anyone from FBI does not want your lawyer to be present you should probably have a lawyer present.
Notable quotes:
"... "The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview," the Flynn memo says. ..."
"... According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed , and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport." ..."
"... McCabe, who has since been fired for lying to the DOJ's Office of Inspector General about leaking information to the media, also asked Flynn not to have his lawyer present during the initial meeting with the FBI agents. ..."
"... On Thursday, FBI Supervisory Agent Jeff Danik told SaraACarter.com that Sullivan must also request all the communications between the two agents, as well as their supervisors around the August 2017 time-frame in order to get a complete and accurate picture of what transpired. Danik, who is an expert in FBI policy, says it is imperative that Sullivan also request "the workflow chart, which would show one-hundred percent, when the 302s were created when they were sent to a supervisor and who approved them." ..."
"... Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI. Supporters of Flynn have questioned Mueller's tactics in getting the retired three-star general to plead guilty to this one count of lying. ..."
"... In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies." Flynn is described as discussing a variety of "subjects." The report includes his openness regarding Trump's "knack for interior design," the hotels he stayed at during his campaign, as well as other issues. ..."
"... It would appear that the branch of government that may be out of control (by the Supreme Court) is the judiciary. It is the court rules and failure of the Supreme Court to act and weed its subordinate courts, that allowed much of this to happen. The FISA Court has been a rubber stamp. No judge is held accountable for failure to obtain justice in their court. ..."
"... Could Mueller's whole appointment be meant to protect the Clinton empire? ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Sara Carter via SaraCarter.com,

The Special Counsel's Office released key documents related to former National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn Friday. Robert Mueller's office had until 3 p.m. to get the documents to Judge Emmet Sullivan, who demanded information Wednesday after bombshell information surfaced in a memorandum submitted by Flynn's attorney's that led to serious concerns regarding the FBI's initial questioning of the retired three-star general.

The highly redacted documents included notes from former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe regarding his conversation with Flynn about arranging the interview with the FBI. The initial interview took place at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017.

The documents also include the FBI's "302" report regarding Flynn's interview with anti-Trump former FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Agent Joe Pientka when they met with him at the White House. It is not, however, the 302 document from the actual January, 2017 interview but an August, 2017 report of Strzok's recollections of the interview.

Flynn's attorney's had noted in their memorandum to the courts that the documents revealed that FBI officials made the decision not to provide Flynn with his Miranda Rights, which would've have warned him of penalties for making false statements.

"The agents did not provide Gen. Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement under 18 U.S.C. 1001 before, during, or after the interview," the Flynn memo says.

According to the 302, before the interview, McCabe and other FBI officials "decided the agents would not warn Flynn that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview because they wanted Flynn to be relaxed , and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport."

McCabe, who has since been fired for lying to the DOJ's Office of Inspector General about leaking information to the media, also asked Flynn not to have his lawyer present during the initial meeting with the FBI agents.

The July 2017 report, however, was the interview with Strzok. It described his interview with Flynn but was not the original Flynn interview.

Apparent discrepancies within the 302 documents are being questioned by may former senior FBI officials, who state that there are stringent policies in place to ensure that the documents are guarded against tampering.

On Thursday, FBI Supervisory Agent Jeff Danik told SaraACarter.com that Sullivan must also request all the communications between the two agents, as well as their supervisors around the August 2017 time-frame in order to get a complete and accurate picture of what transpired. Danik, who is an expert in FBI policy, says it is imperative that Sullivan also request "the workflow chart, which would show one-hundred percent, when the 302s were created when they were sent to a supervisor and who approved them."

He stressed, "the bureau policy – the absolute FBI policy – is that the notes must be placed in the system in a 1-A file within five days of the interview." Danik said that the handwritten notes get placed into the FBI Sentinel System, which is the FBI's main record keeping system. "Anything beyond five business days is a problem, eight months is a disaster," he added.

In the redacted 302 report Strzok and Pientka said they "both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying." Information that Flynn was not lying was first published and reported by SaraACarter.com.

Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI. Supporters of Flynn have questioned Mueller's tactics in getting the retired three-star general to plead guilty to this one count of lying.

In the report, the two agents describe Flynn as being very open and noted said Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies." Flynn is described as discussing a variety of "subjects." The report includes his openness regarding Trump's "knack for interior design," the hotels he stayed at during his campaign, as well as other issues.

"Flynn was so talkative, and had so much time for them, that Strzok wondered if the national security adviser did not have more important things to do than have a such a relaxed, non-pertinent discussion with them," it said.

The documents turned over by Mueller also reveal that other FBI personnel "later argued about the FBI's decision to interview Flynn." Tags Law Crime


haruspicio , 3 hours ago link

Basically McCabe and others in his unit are totally discredited. He should have this quashed and the case thrown out of court. No Miranda rights, therefore no lying to FBI.

Ajax-1 , 4 hours ago link

Why didn't Flynn demand his day in court? He would have won. I am not buying the ******** argument about him being run into bankruptcy. Hell, he could have represented himself and still won the case at trial. In addition, I am not buying this ******** argument that he agreed to plead guilty because he was afraid the Mueller would go after his son. Does anyone know what Flynn's son does for a living? Why would he be afraid?

alter_ , 4 hours ago link

I've got news for you, if you don't think you are lying, its not a lie. That is a simple fact for anyone who understands English

Koba the Dread , 4 hours ago link

Flynn was found guilty by Mueller on one count of lying to the FBI.

No! Flynn was not f ound guilty by Mueller on one count of lying. The FBI is an investigative body (at best) not a judicial body. Only a jury or a judge acting in lieu of a jury can find someone guilty of anything.

Flynn plead guilty to one count of lying because to have plead innocent would have bankrupted him in legal fees. However, it's interesting that this ZH article stated that Mueller found Flynn guilty. In federal courts these days, once you're charged with a crime you will be found guilty. FBI, DEA, BATF, IRS...whoever, you do not get a fair trial. Federal judges are hard-wired to find guilt. Vicious and ambitious federal prosecutors have only one interest, to rack up successful prosecutions. Federal juries are intimidated by the brute force of the federal system and, I suspect, fear that if they don't bring in a verdict satisfactory to the prosecutor, they may be investigated themselves. "Investigation" in the federal sense means that they will be relentlessly harassed forever by the federal government

artichoke , 1 hour ago link

My small experience as a juror is that state prosecutors and judges are no different than what you describe for the federal system. We found a guy non-guilty (not a close call either) that the judge wanted convicted, and he came back and questioned us about our logic. Casually of course. I just said the guy was innocent beyond a reasonable doubt. Judge wasn't pleased.

Imxploring , 7 hours ago link

Flynn is an idiot.... why agree to talk to the FBI at all.... as Martha Stewart found out.... if they can't make the case for what they're investigating... they'll just find some statement in your "interview" that they claim was not true.... no matter if it was your intention to lie or just a recollection that was wrong... and charge you with that!

Simple answer is that if law enforcement wants to "talk" to you they're looking to get information to charge you.... simple reply.... FU... I want a lawyer!

Amy G. Dala , 8 hours ago link

Remember Petreaus and Paula Broadwell?

The compromise of classified docs was really sort of candy-assed, everybody knew it . . .

Rewind the tape, and you will find the contrite Petreaus in front of any and all microphones confessing to his affair with Broadwell, which he repeatedly stated began on some certain date . . .conveniently AFTER his confirmation as CIA director . . .

. . .certainly Petreaus was asked in his FBI background interview if he was involved in any affairs. And he certainly said no.

So, Paula, since I'm on all the networks at the moment, I know you can hear me, our affair started on X date, in case the FBI gets a notion to ask you (which they did not.)

See, the FBI takes lying seriously. But somebody must have said something along the lines of: hey, Petreaus is a good guy, I hope you can find a way to let him off easy.

Noktirnal , 9 hours ago link

How can an honest investigation be done now?

The FBI destroyed evidence and devices at the behest of subjects in the HRC investigation on the first go-round.

Aubiekong , 9 hours ago link

But when faced with financial destruction, your kids being threatened, and false evidence against you, you sometimes admit to the charges to make a deal...

PGR88 , 10 hours ago link

Flynn "clearly saw the FBI agents as allies."

Sorry dumbass, they are America's new Gestapo. Big mistake.

divingengineer , 7 hours ago link

The military is realizing they are not on the same team with FBI, CIA, DOJ.

Why do you think they have tried so hard to keep NSA under military leadership? Wink, wink...

Leguran

It would appear that the branch of government that may be out of control (by the Supreme Court) is the judiciary. It is the court rules and failure of the Supreme Court to act and weed its subordinate courts, that allowed much of this to happen. The FISA Court has been a rubber stamp. No judge is held accountable for failure to obtain justice in their court.

The Chief Justice has refused to accept that judges can employ personal poliltical beliefs in court. All courts are subordinate to the US Supreme Court and therefore the Supreme Court has a duty to ensure justice not just to decide whether cases are 'sufficiently mature' to come before the Supreme Court. In other words, the Judiciary needs to be disturbed from their lifetime appointments and made conditional appointments. The Supreme Court needs to deal with incapacity within its own ranks. All told, this shocking miscarriage of justice came about because the Judicial Branch of government allowed it to happen. The Judicial Branch has run amok.

lizzie dw

IMO, Judge Emmet Sullivan needs to demand and receive the original UNREDACTED 302 about the Strzok/Pientka interview with General Flynn. But, really, just by reading the pre-interview discussions of the FBI members involved, the whole thing sounds fishy.

Caloot

Hedge headline:

Could Mueller's whole appointment be meant to protect the Clinton empire?

Like Trump or not, there are serious cracks appearing in the Clintons foundation.

[Nov 23, 2018] Kunstler Exposes The Core Truth Of The 2016 Russia Collusion Story

Notable quotes:
"... For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth. ..."
"... For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth. ..."
Nov 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kunstler Exposes "The Core Truth" Of The 2016 Russia Collusion Story

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/23/2018 - 15:25 23 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, Holiday Doings And Undoings

Somehow I doubt that this Christmas will win the Bing Crosby star of approval. Rather, we see the financial markets breaking under the strain of sustained institutionalized fraud, and the social fabric tearing from persistent systemic political dishonesty. It adds up to a nation that can't navigate through reality, a nation too dependent on sure things, safe spaces, and happy outcomes. Every few decades a message comes from the Universe that faking it is not good enough.

The main message from the financials is that the global debt barge has run aground, and with it, the global economy. That mighty engine has been chugging along on promises-to-pay and now the faith that sustained those promises is dissolving. China, Euroland, and the USA can't possibly meet their tangled obligations, and are running out of tricks for rigging, gaming, and jacking the bond markets, where all those promises are vested. It boils down to a whole lot of people not getting paid, one way or the other -- and it's really bad for business.

Our President has taken full credit for the bubblicious markets, of course, and will be Hooverized as they gurgle around the drain. Given his chimerical personality, he may try to put on an FDR mask -- perhaps even sit in a wheelchair -- and try a few grand-scale policy tricks to escape the vortex. But the net effect will surely be to make matters worse -- for instance, if he can hector the Federal Reserve to buy every bond that isn't nailed to some deadly derivative booby-trap. But then he'll only succeed in crashing the dollar. Remember, there are two main ways you can go broke: You can run out of money; or you can have plenty of worthless money.

On the social and political scene, I sense that some things have run their course. Is a critical mass of supposedly educated people not fatigued and nauseated by the regime of "social justice" good-think, and the massive mendacity it stands for , starting with the idea that "diversity and inclusion" require the shut-down of free speech. The obvious hypocrisies and violations of reason emanating from the campuses -- a lot, but not all of it, in response to the Golden Golem of Greatness -- have made enough smart people stupid to endanger the country's political future. A lot of these formerly-non-stupid people work in the news media. It's not too late for some institutions like The New York Times and CNN to change out their editors and producers, and go back to reporting the reality-du-jour instead of functioning as agit-prop mills for every unsound idea ginned through the Yale humanities departments.

Shoehorned into the festivity of the season is the lame-duck session in congress, and one of the main events it portends is the end of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The Sphinx-like Mueller has maintained supernatural silence about his tendings and intentions. But if he'd uncovered anything substantial in the way of "collusion" between Mr. Trump and Russia, the public would know by now, since it would represent a signal threat to national security. So it's hard not to conclude that he has nothing except a few Mickey Mouse "process" convictions for lying to the FBI. On the other hand, it's quite impossible to imagine him ignoring the well-documented evidence trail of Hillary Clinton colluding with Russians to influence the 2016 contest against Mr. Trump -- and to defame him after he won. There's also the Hieronymus Bosch panorama of criminal mischief around the racketeering scheme known as the Clinton Foundation to consider. Do these venal characters get a pass on all that?

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has announced plans to call Federal Attorney John Huber (Utah District) to testify about his assignment to look into these Clinton matters. It's a little hard to see how that might produce any enlightenment, since prosecutors are bound by law to not blab about currently open cases. The committee has also subpoenaed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and others who have some serious 'splainin' to do. But if both Huber and Mueller come up empty-handed on the Clintons it will be one of the epic marvels of official bad faith in US history.

There is a core truth to the 2016 Russia collusion story, and the Clintons are at the heart of it. Failure to even look will have very dark consequences for the public interest.


XWeatherman , 40 seconds ago link

It ought to be obvious to just about everyone who is paying attention and not a Corporate-Whore Democrat that the "The Russians Did It" delusion and the accompanying Mueller "investigation" is only a distraction to draw attention away from the obvious and numerous crimeS of H. Clinton, including running an electronic drop-box for U.S. state secrets using a server in her basement, charity fraud, pay-to-play bribe-taking, the uranium to Russia case, etc. And, that's not counting the inexcusable Unprovoked War of Aggression WAR CRIME against Libya. (Of course, she had an excuse: "Destroy a country in order to save a few "protesters".

Mueller is the Deep State (Corporations [especially Military Industrial Complex Death-Merchants, who direct the politicians and foreign policy actions (continual War-For-Humongous-Profits that has taken and takes multiple trillions of dollars away from potential domestic programs & Wall Street bankster-fraudsters who bankrupted the country with the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial fiasco and who sent U.S. industrial production jobs to other countries] and Oligarchs who reap the profits of such crimes and their results) operative who apparently was brought in the head the FBI to fail to prevent and to coverup the real actors and actions that occurred in association with the downing of buildings at the New York City World Trade center on 9/11.

Hapa , 5 minutes ago link

Sorry, nobodies going to jail and all will be swept under the rug. We will have war to cover their tracks along with all the other frauds. The political buddy buddy system at the upper levels is set up to protect the guilty, and nobody has to pay the price lest the whole thing crumble. It's built that way.

Our only way out is a crash and a reset, with no guarantee what happens on the other side.

I used to be optimistic, but the level of lies, double speak and university factories pumping out marxist leftists portends a bleak future. How anyone thinks we can reason our way out of this situation is fooling themselves about human nature.

SantaClaws , 6 minutes ago link

Nice to see Kunstler focusing on some serious issues like the Uranium One scandal for a change. He seems to be on the concluding end of a cold-turkey or other rehab from some long-term unholy influence. As a result, he has been producing increasingly readable articles for the past several months. Congratulations are due him but with the warning that recovery is always one day at a time.

VWAndy , 7 minutes ago link

Did the Clintons go on a world tour like some kinda rockstars selling us all out?

An nobody said ****!

He–Mene Mox Mox , 14 minutes ago link

" Remember, there are two main ways you can go broke: You can run out of money; or you can have plenty of worthless money". Both pretty much sums up America's predicament. Americans are deep in debt, and their money is worthless.

MarsInScorpio , 1 minute ago link

OK.let's try this for speculative prediction:

Mueller isn't going to touch the Clintons - they have way too much criminal dirt on him. And Huber is an unknown lightweight with no Malicious Seditious Media support.

Sooooo . . . there is only one thing to do once the new Congress takes its oath: Trump gets DOJ Acting AG to appoint the long-awaited Special Prosecutor.

There are more than enough recognized felonies to go after - unlike the Mueller fishing expedition. That will put the Democrat investigation on ice - mainly because lots of Demo chairs and members will be part of the investigation.

"Yes Virginia, Hillary is going to prison . . .:"

navy62802 , 34 minutes ago link

Any serious investigation of the Clinton Foundation would reveal that "Russian Collusion" has everything to do with distraction from the crimes of the Clinton family. The fact that Bill and Hillary have escaped accountability for their heinous crimes is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in US history. It is truly quite frightening.

The Merovingian , 34 minutes ago link

There is a reason why the DOJ, Congress (both parties), MSM, the MIC, the Deep State don't want ANYONE to look into corruption ... because they are ALL ******* guilty as sin and buried neck deep in ****. Its long past time for the whole ******* thing to come down. We're all fucked.

Jim in MN , 13 minutes ago link

Weiner laptop For The Win. Give us that hard drive, Mr. President! We'll have it all analyzed in one weekend.

Meanwhile, Seth Rich awaits Mueller's OH SO DILIGENT investigation.

Can you believe that the 'core' of Mueller's 'case' ends up being about WIKILEAKS?

What the serious ****.

If he's done zero serious looks at Seth Rich all Mueller's work will just be thrown out of court anyway.

Ham sandwich my fat turkey-enriched ***.

For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth.

chippers , 40 minutes ago link

This guy is dreaming if he thinks anything is going to happen to the clintons, the MSM/DOJ is protected those 2 scumbags with the line that if they are investigated trump is going after his political opponents, just like a banana republic. But truthfully nothing reaks more of banana repubicism more then letting the high and mighty of on crimes.

chunga , 12 minutes ago link

I'd like to give a shout out to the "opposition" red team that has sat by and done nothing for more than 30 years.

And for you dopes in Rio Linda, that doesn't mean I'd rather have Honest Hill'rey, for crying out loud.

Bricker , 41 minutes ago link

Theres only one truth...Hillary and Co (CIA) colluded to bring down Trump and Trump kicked the **** out of her.

If we had a true republic, Hillary, Holder, Lynch, Obama, Clapper, Brennan, Lerner would all be under indictment. I mean the ******* list is long

pissonmefico , 19 minutes ago link

If they weren't all on the same side, that of the international bankster cabal, Trump would order his justice department to prosecute those people you mentioned.

The purpose of the Russia investigation is to fool you into thinking there are two sides, and to demonized Russia to create public opinion in favor of attacking Russia because it is not on board with the jwo totalitarian world government. WTFU.

navy62802 , 28 minutes ago link

For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth.

Teamtc321 , 24 minutes ago link

Mueller long ago gave up the fruitless hunt for Russian collusion involving President Trump and is now desperately seeking overdue library books or unpaid parking tickets on anyone remotely connected to President Trump to justify his mooching taxpayer dollars.