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Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit

By sacrificing Comey Intelligence agencies (along with Clinton loyalists in Justice department) managed  to appoint a Special Prosecutor for Trump.  Who is non other then personal mentor and friend of Comey and is the person  who presided over FBI post 9/11

News Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Recommended Links Steele dossier Do the US intelligence agencies  influence the US Presidential elections ? The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
Strzokgate American intelligence services putsch against Trump Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Michael Flynn removal DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Clapper role in putsch Rosenstein role
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war MSM as fake news industry NeoMcCartyism MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution History of American False Flag Operations
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Trump vs. Deep State Frustrated underachievers NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Corporatist Corruption Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy National Security State Color revolutions Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

I realize that Clinton wing of Democratic Party (soft neoliberals) and their supporters which include a part of Wall Street, large part of Silicon valley and most MSM progressives hate Donald Trump so much that they believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down. So they joined efforts with the neoconservatives. That's why war-mongering against Russia is now OK for them and Democratic party now is just another War Party (as was evident from Hillary campaign).

Many people who detest Trump view Russiagate as the most effective path to achieve Trump’s impeachment, so this desirable end justifies whatever means. that makes them very similar to supported of Ukrainian Maydan, which removed Yanukovich and installed far right junta with a lot of unsavory characters. But to me it look like Trump surrendered after just 100 of anti-Russian smear campaign launched by neocons. So why they still  want to finish him?  So it must be more  to it; there might be some skeletons in the closet revealing of which previous administration and their factions in intelligence  services the are afraid to death . Because their action is as close to sedition as one  can get. In other words they went va bank (a common expression among Russian and German speakers. Va bank means to put everything at risk in order to win. As a result you would win everything or lose everything). And nowhere it is more clear then in sordid case of Steele dossier. 

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

The key in understanding Stele dossier is to view it as in integral part of Russiagate plot to remove trump, the  part of "American Maydan" story.  Ukrainian Maydan  was about  Yanukovich removal. Yanukovich  who was a neoliberal wanted to bargain more before signing EU memorandum and postponeted its signing despite pressure.  At this point EU and the USA decided that he crosses the line  and decided to remove him by force.

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

A good overview of the role of "appointment gambit" was provided by Mike Whitney on Dec 21, 2017 (unz.com):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

Special prosecutor - Wikipedia

In the United States, a special prosecutor (or special counsel or independent counsel) is a lawyer appointed to investigate, and potentially prosecute, a particular case of suspected wrongdoing for which a conflict of interest exists for the usual prosecuting authority. Other jurisdictions have similar systems.[1][2] For example, the investigation of an allegation against a sitting president or attorney-general might be handled by a special prosecutor rather than by an ordinary prosecutor who would otherwise be in the position of investigating their own superior. Investigations into other persons connected to the government but not in a position of direct authority over the prosecutor, such as cabinet secretaries or election campaigns, have also been handled by special prosecutors.

The term is not specific to the federal government. The concept originates in state law: "state courts have traditionally appointed special prosecutors when the regular government attorney was disqualified from a case, whether for incapacitation or interest."[3]

While the most prominent special prosecutors have been those appointed since the 1870s to investigate presidents and those connected to them, the term can also be used to refer to any prosecutor appointed to avoid a conflict of interest or appearance thereof. For example, because district attorneys' offices work closely with police, some activists argue that cases of police misconduct at the state and local level should be handled by special prosecutors.[4]

the opening move was probably "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections. Then efforts were made to "facilitate" firing of Comey in the most  inopportune moment. BREAKING Justice Department Has Named Robert Mueller Special Prosecutor for the Russia Investigation, May 17, 2017

...President Trump fired the former FBI director last week while his agency was conducting an active investigation into whether the president's associates were colluding with Russian officials during the campaign.

The move sent shockwaves through the political world even before it emerged that Comey had asked Rosenstein for more resources for his investigation just a week before. Initially, the White House's position was that Comey was fired on the recommendation of the attorney general and his deputy, who cited his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the campaign...


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Old News ;-)

[Feb 10, 2018] It s Time for This Nightmare to End AG Jeff Sessions Must be Fired or He Must Resign – It s the Only Way to Save the Republic

Notable quotes:
"... essions may well be intimidated or over his head -- his inaction has been maddening. ..."
"... The fisagate people are being wormed out without sessions. Trump obviously thinks he's better with sessions than without. ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.thegatewaypundit.com

For months it's been clear that AG Sessions is a total failure. He recused himself and then hired crook Rod Rosenstein as Asst AG who then created the crooked Mueller investigation. If this republic is to continue, Sessions must go!

The US cannot have multiple layers of laws. It's impossible to have some individuals who do not have to abide by the same laws as the rest of the population. We also cannot stand for the corrupt FBI, DOJ and State Departments (amongst others) that are able to spy, lie and assault Americans for faulty crimes. Obama's Administration was corrupt and dishonest at all levels and so it's no surprise that the entire federal government is corrupt. These people must be swept out. It's starts with AG Sessions!

AG Sessions praised Asst AG Rosenstein the same day Rosenstein was identified in the FISA memo as one of the individuals who signed off on the slanderous FISA memo to spy on President Trump. Mueller's investigation is full of former Clinton and Obama corrupt cronies. The FBI and DOJ continue to delay and prevent Congress from seeing information requested for month. Much of the information is unnecessarily redacted from the individuals (Congress) who has the mandate to oversee these same institutions.

Many Congressman are calling for Jeff Sessions to resign or be replaced and have for months –


lowell2 , February 10, 2018 11:20 PM

I don't think he is deep state. Keep in mind that Trump has praised people he clearly didn't trust and later fired. Sessions may well be intimidated or over his head -- his inaction has been maddening.

Yet by standing to one side, those who are part of the cabal have revealed themselves and damned themselves . We've now gotten three layers. At some point, hopefully, there will be an honest person in the DC FBI office.

Trump could fire sessions, but whoever else he hired would first have to endure the confirmation firestorm and then land in the toxin laden swamp of the DC FBI.

It may be sessions is off doing drug interdiction, and he's apparently moving, if slowly, on the sanctuary cities issue. The fisagate people are being wormed out without sessions. Trump obviously thinks he's better with sessions than without.

[Jan 22, 2018] Joe diGenova Brazen Plot to Frame Trump

Highly recommended!
Brilliant summary of the situation. You should listen this interview. False Russiagate was from the beginning a plot to derail and then depose Trump. They created false facts.
Brazen port to exonerate Hillary Clinton and then derail Trump
Notable quotes:
"... It is rare to see a man of integrity and a lawyer who speaks in plain English and speaks about facts and conclusions of law. The problem we face today is far too many lawyers with no integrity in positions of government that protect blatant criminals holding public office who are also lawyers. Lawyers always protect other lawyers, except this wonderful man! ..."
Jan 22, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Rick W , 1 day ago

It is rare to see a man of integrity and a lawyer who speaks in plain English and speaks about facts and conclusions of law. The problem we face today is far too many lawyers with no integrity in positions of government that protect blatant criminals holding public office who are also lawyers. Lawyers always protect other lawyers, except this wonderful man!

Charles H , 1 day ago

Breathtaking information. Thanks so much for airing.

Walter 1408 , 1 day ago

All those Clinton Foundation millions bought a lot of FBI agents. They need a major house cleaning.

Caleb Engineering, LLC , 1 day ago

The punishments should be harsh to deter future attempts to do the same to future presidents.

Patricia Herman , 1 day ago

Love Joe to bad he can't become the new AG and why isn't this interview on the news at least Fox, Hannity, Tucker, Laura. And we know CNN, MSNBC, and the rest are all in the bag for Obummer and Killary. 😎

Teddy Dunford , 1 day ago

Remember HRC said if he (( Trump )) wins we are all going to HANG and I hope this is one time the Satan worshiping witch told the truth .

The last iconoclast , 1 day ago

Three heroes will go down in history: Journalist Julian Asange Adm. Mike Rogers Rep. Devin Nunes

Elisabeth Vancamp , 1 day ago

I am speechless. Best cohesive explanation! Man reaps what he sows.

James Stamulis , 1 day ago

All because Trump is MAGA and that was not the cabals game plan.

eh10000 , 1 day ago

RELEASE THE MEMO

Peter Sprague , 1 day ago

NY Times Buzzfeed Washington Post CNN ABC CBS NBC are all complicit in perpetrating these lies Just watch Colbert Jimmy Farrel or Jimmy Kimmel These bad actors pretending to be entertainers need to hang

Wide Awake , 1 day ago

Never forget what Hilary said: If Trump wins, we'll all hang. And so they should.

Pat Defeo , 15 hours ago

Joe D should have been our AG he is tough and has the ability to explain WTH is going on in plain english

Robin Ricks , 1 day ago

Mueller carried the sample of Uranium to the Russians. Mueller was paid off, as was Comey. So glad President Trump can confiscate all their money. Now to catch Daddy Bush and Jr for having all those people in New York killed on 9/11! Go Trump!!

David Gray , 1 day ago

# Release The Memo.

FindLiberty , 1 day ago

OUTSTANDING RESCUE OF THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC - (...proceed to lock 'em all up)

Thomas Rocco , 1 day ago

Fantastic interview. Saw it's entirety

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

treason

Samuel Anderson , 1 day ago

There needs to be an arrest of ALL the top MSM owners and chairpeople of all the affiliates including those who stand in front of the camera pushing false information. Their license needs to be rescinded and taken away. Bankrupt the news affiliates and sell off their assets.

Jerk Joker , 1 day ago

This is a truly excellent and clear explanation of how our government was corrupted by Team Hillary. I reckon she needs to pay the Ultimate price: a thorough investigation into her crimes: A fair trial... and maybe execution, followed by her being reviled down the centuries as one of the most evil women in History. Every little girl should be told: Do not be like this woman!

John Brooks , 1 day ago

A hell storm is coming !!! People need to be tried and possibly executed to send a massage that ALL these swamp creatures will understand.

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

you have a jezabel clinton the most dangerous couple ever ...what happened to JFK junior ?

Giant Sequoia , 1 day ago

Excellent, excellent, excellent report Bill!!!

Rachael SOJ , 1 day ago

Thank you, Mr. Still, for reporting on this, it was a very informative video!💛

james goodwin , 1 day ago

Thank god she didn't win

FilthyMcDumpin'Clips , 1 day ago

Bill, don't forget to mention that those same entities also include those working for CNN and MSNBC who were funded by Clinton donations to push the false media on the country. Can you say lawsuits?

DrewTronics , 1 day ago

Holy wow, thanks for posting Bill!

Noel B , 1 day ago (edited)

What about Clapper and Brennan they started this before they were replaced. They also are to blame.

Granville Higgins , 1 day ago

Trump let them dig their own graves.

Suzie Smith , 1 day ago

Amazing piece! Pulls so many things together! Thank you!

snowbunny20328 , 1 day ago

What a very important review of what this country has endured!!! Thank you Joe!

Jeffrey Robert-Dicken , 1 day ago

can someone wake sessions up?

James Pope , 1 day ago

This is the guy who should be the Director of tbe FBI, or AG

Susan Bennett , 1 day ago

Hillary will NEVER be exonerated, or ANY of those treasonous swamp rat sycophants!!!

JUNITO84 , 1 day ago

Thank you very much admiral Rodgers! the american people love you and appreciate you stress/gutsy actions to do the right thing 🙂

Tom Smith , 1 day ago

The last thing Seth Rich saw before he was murdered was an FBI special agents badge.

AVALON DEJAVU , 1 day ago

THANKS for explaining this so clearly!!! #LockThemUp No JUSTICE No PEACE!

ak6781fan , 1 day ago

Mr. Still you are very astute and observant. Your statement that this is the darkest hour for our great country since the Civil War is spot-on.

Rich P , 1 day ago

Do you have any doubt these people are capable of genociding all who disagree with there Marxist agenda?

[Dec 23, 2017] Imperial arrogance and paranoia in full display

This is the session that happened just before appointment of the Special prosecutor. So it was a interesting moment which relael the growd work for the appointment of the Special prosecutor and the extent US Congress was involved in this activity. So a part of Congress was also active in the plot to depose Trump.
It is also interesting due to the fact that McCabe, the person at the center of Steele dossier controversy at FBI was present. As you can see everybody try to hype Russian threat for their own political gain. And McCabe clearly played into inflaming this paranoia further with his answers.
Also interesting is that while answering "yes" about Russian interference in election was the most safe answer to give, but the real question is not about Russian interference per se, but whether the level of Russian interference exceeded in scope British interference (criminal story with Stele dossier and wiretapping of Trump tower), Israel (via Israel lobbyists, NGOs, Kushner and Trump donors) and Saudi interference (donations to Clinton campaign) to name a few. If the answer is "no", then this is clearly a witch hunt.
Russia is just another neoliberal state, so why it can be a threat to the US neoliberalism unclear. It does resist enlargement of the US neoliberal empire as it has its own geopolitical interests in former USSR space. How would the US react if Russia helped to depose legitimate government in Mexico and started to supply arms in order to get back California, Texas and Florida which new government would consider were occupied by the the USA illegally? the fact that Russia does not want ot be Washington vassal is not illegal. And there is nothing criminal in attempts to resist the spread of the US neoliberal empire on xUSSR space.
Notable quotes:
"... RUBIO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. McCabe, can you without going into the specific of any individual investigation, I think the American people want to know, has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigations? ..."
"... MCCABE: As you know, Senator, the work of the men and women of the FBI continues despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions. So there has been no effort to impede our investigation today. Quite simply put sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people, and upholding the Constitution. ..."
"... WYDEN: Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. ..."
"... Gentlemen, it's fair to say I disagreed with Director Comey as much as anyone in this room but the timing of this firing is wrong to anyone with a sembl ..."
"... At our public hearing in January where he refused to discuss his investigation into connections between Russia and Trump associates I stated my fear that if the information didn't come out before inauguration day it might never come out. With all the recent talk in recent weeks about whether there is evidence of collusion, I fear some colleagues have forgotten that Donald Trump urged the Russians to hack his opponents. He also said repeatedly that he loved WikiLeaks. ..."
"... MCCABE: No, sir, that is not accurate. I can tell you, sir, that I worked very, very closely with Director Comey. From the moment he started at the FBI I was his executive assistant director of national security at that time and I worked for him running the Washington field office. And of course I've served as deputy for the last year. ..."
"... MCCABE: I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity and it has been the greatest privilege and honor in my professional life to work with him. I can tell you also that Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does until this day. ..."
"... MCCABE: Sir, if you're referring to the Russia investigation, I do. I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately. If you're referring to the many constantly multiplying counter-intelligence threats that we face across the spectrum, they get bigger and more challenging every day and resources become an issue over time. ..."
"... Mr. McCabe, is the agent who is in charge of this very important investigation into Russian attempts to influence our election last fall still in charge? ..."
"... COLLINS: I want to follow up on a question of resources that Senator Heinrich asked your opinion on. Press reports yesterday indicated that Director Comey requested additional resources from the Justice Department for the bureau's ongoing investigation into Russian active measures. Are you aware that request? Can you confirm that that request was in fact made? ..."
"... MCCABE: Yes, sir. So obviously not discussing any specific investigation in detail. The -- the issue of Russian interference in the U.S. democratic process is one that causes us great concern. And quite frankly, it's something we've spent a lot of time working on over the past several months. And to reflect comments that were made in response to an earlier question that Director Coats handled, I think part of that process is to understand the inclinations of our foreign adversaries to interfere in those areas. ..."
"... LANKFORD: OK, so there's not limitations on resources, you have what you need? The -- the actions about Jim Comey and his release has not curtailed the investigation from the FBI, it's still moving forward? ..."
"... MCCABE: The investigation will move forward, absolutely. ..."
"... LANKFORD: Is it your impression at this point that the FBI is unable to complete the investigation in a fair and expeditious way because of the removal of Jim Comey? ..."
"... MANCHIN: I'm sure we'll have more questions in the closed hearing, sir but let me say to the rest of you all, we talked about Kaspersky, the lab, KL Lab. Do you all have -- has it risen to your level being the head of all of our intelligence agencies and people that mostly concerned about the security of our country of having a Russian connection in a lab as far outreaching as KL Labs? ..."
"... STEWART: We are tracking Kaspersky and their software. There is as well as I know, and I've checked this recently, no Kaspersky software on our networks. ..."
"... HARRIS: It's been widely reported, and you've mentioned this, that Director Comey asked Rosenstein for additional resources. And I understand that you're saying that you don't believe that you need any additional resources? ..."
"... MCCABE: For the Russia investigation, ma'am, I think we are adequately resourced. ..."
"... MCCABE: I don't believe there is a crisis of confidence in the leadership of the FBI. That's somewhat self-serving, and I apologize for that ..."
"... POMPEO: It's actually not a yes-or-no question, Senator. I can't answer yes or no. I regret that I'm unable to do so. You have to remember this is a counterintelligence investigation that was largely being conducted by the FBI and not by the CIA. We're a foreign intelligence organization. ..."
May 11, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

Full transcript Acting FBI director McCabe and others testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee

SEN. MARK WARNER, D-VA.: Intelligence community assessment accurately characterized the extent of Russian activities in the 2016 election and its conclusion that Russian intelligence agencies were responsible for the hacking and leaking of information and using misinformation to influence our elections? Simple yes or no would suffice.

ROBERT CARDILLO, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL GEOSPATIAL-INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: I do. Yes, sir.

STEWART: Yes, Senator.

ROGERS: Yes I do.

DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE : Yes I do.

MIKE POMPEO, DIRECTOR, CIA: Yes.

MCCABE: Yes.

WARNER: And I guess the presumption there -- or the next presumption, I won't even ask this question is consequently that committee assess -- or that community assessment was unanimous and is not a piece of fake news or evidence of some other individual or nation state other than Russia. So I appreciate that again for the record.

I warned you Mr. McCabe I was going to have to get you on the record as well on this. Mr. McCabe for as long as you are Acting FBI Director do you commit to informing this committee of any effort to interfere with the FBI's ongoing investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign?

MCCABE: I absolutely do.

WARNER: Thank you so much for that. I think in light of what's happened in the last 48 hours it's critically important that we have that assurance and I hope you'll relay, at least from me to the extraordinary people that work at the FBI that this committee supports them, supports their efforts, support their professionalism and supports their independence.

MCCABE: I will sir, thank you.

WARNER: In light of the fact that we just saw French elections where it felt like deja vu all over again in terms of the release of a series of e-mails against Mr. Macron days before the election and the fact that this committee continues to investigate the type of tactics that Russia has used.

Where do we stand, as a country, of preparation to make sure this doesn't happen again in 2018 and 2020 -- where have we moved in terms of collaboration with state voting -- voter files, in terms of working more with the tech community, particularly the platform -- platform entities in terms of how we can better assure real news versus fake news, is there some general sense -- Director Coats I know you've only been in the job for a short period of time -- of how we're going to have a strategic effort? Because while it was Russia in 2016 other nation states could -- you know -- launch similar type assaults.

COATS: Well, we are -- we will continue to use all the assets that we have in terms of collection and analysis relative to what the influence has been and potentially could be in future. Russians have spread this across the globe -- interestingly enough I met with the Prime Minister of Montenegro the latest nation to join NATO, the number 29 nation, what was the main topic?

Russian interference in their political system. And so it does -- it sweeps across Europe and other places. It's clear though, the Russians have upped their game using social media and other opportunities that we -- in ways that we haven't seen before. So it's a great threat to our -- our democratic process and our job here is to provide the best intelligence we can to the policy makers to -- as they develop a strategy in terms of how to best reflect a response to this.

WARNER: Well one of the things I'm concerned about is, we've all expressed this concern but since this doesn't fall neatly into any particular agency's jurisdiction you know, who's -- who's taking the point on interacting with the platform companies like the Google, Facebook and Twitter, who's taking the point in terms of interacting DHS image in terms of state boards of election? How are we trying to ensure that our systems more secure, and if we can get a brief answer on that because I got one last question for Admiral Rogers.

COATS: Well, I think the -- the obviously, our office tasks and takes the point, but there's contribution from agencies across the I.C. We will -- I've asked Director Pompeo to address that and others that might want to address that also. But each of us -- each of the agencies to the extent that they can and have the capacity whether its NSA though SIGINT, whether it's NSA through human or other sources will provide information to us that we want to use as a basis to provide to our -- to our policymakers.

Relative to a grand strategy, I am not aware right now of any -- I think we're still assessing the impact. We have not put a grand strategy together, which would not be our purview, we would provide the basis of intelligence that would then be the foundation for what that strategy would be.

WARNER: My hope -- my hope would be that we need to be proactive in this. We don't want to be sitting here kind of looking back at it after 2018 election cycle. Last question, very briefly, Admiral Rogers do you have any doubt that the Russians were behind the intervention in the French elections?

ROGERS: I -- let me phrase it this way, we are aware of some Russian activity directed against the Russian -- excuse me, directed against the French election process. As I previously said before Congress earlier this week, we in fact reached out to our French counterparts to say, we have become aware of this activity, we want to make you aware, what are you seeing?

I'm not in a position to have looked at the breadth of the French infrastructure. So I'm -- I'm not really in a position to make a whole simple declaratory statement.

WARNER: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

BURR: Senator Rubio?

RUBIO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. McCabe, can you without going into the specific of any individual investigation, I think the American people want to know, has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigations?

MCCABE: As you know, Senator, the work of the men and women of the FBI continues despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions. So there has been no effort to impede our investigation today. Quite simply put sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people, and upholding the Constitution.

RUBIO: And this is for all the members of the committee, as has been widely reported, and people know this, Kaspersky Lab software is used by not hundreds of thousands, millions of Americans. To each of our witnesses I would just ask, would any of you be comfortable with the Kaspersky Lab software on your computers?

COATS: A resounding no, from me.

POMPEO: No.

MCCABE: No, Senator.

ROGERS: No, sir.

STEWART: No, Senator.

CARDILLO: No, sir.

... ... ...

POMPEO: I'll -- I'll let Mr. McCabe make a comment as well, but yes, of course. Frankly, this is consistent with what -- right, this is the -- the -- the attempt to interfere in United States is not limited to Russia. The Cubans have deep ties, it is in their deepest tradition to take American visitors and do their best influence of the way that is in adverse to U.S. interests.

MCCABE: Yes, sir. Fully agree, we share your concerns about that issue.

RUBIO: And my final question is on -- all this focus on Russia and what's happened in the past is that the opinion of all of you -- or those of -- you certainly all have insight on this. That even as we focus on 2016 and the efforts leading up to that election, efforts to influence policy making here in the United States vis-a-vis the Russian interests are ongoing that the Russians continue to use active measures; even at this moment, even on this day.

To try, through the use of multiple different ways, to influence the political debate and the decisions made in American politics; particularly as they pertain to Russia's interests around the world. In essence, these active measures is an ongoing threat, not simply something that happened in the past.

MCCABE: Yes, sir, that's right.

POMPEO: Senator, it's right. In some sense, though, we've got to put it in context, this has been going on for a long time. There's -- there's nothing new. Only the cost has been lessened, the cost of doing it.

COATS: I -- I would just add that the use of cyber and social media has significantly increased the impact and the capabilities that -- obviously this has been done for years and years. Even decades. But the ability they have to -- to use the interconnectedness and -- and all the -- all that that provides, that didn't provide before I -- they literally upped their game to the point where it's having a significant impact.

ROGERS: From my perspective I would just highlight cyber is enabling them to access information in massive quantities that weren't quite obtainable to the same level previously and that's just another tool in their attempt to acquire information, misuse of that information, manipulation, outright lies, inaccuracies at time.

But other times, actually dumping raw data which is -- as we also saw during this last presidential election cycle for us.

... ... ...

COATS: I can't speak to how many agents of -- of the U.S. government are as cognizant as perhaps we should be but I certainly think that, given China's aggressive approach relative to information gathering and -- and all the things that you mentioned merits a -- a review of CFIUS in terms of whether or not it is -- needs to have some changes or innovations to -- to address the aggressive -- aggressive Chinese actions not just against or companies, but across the world.

They -- they clearly have a strategy through their investments, they've started a major investment bank -- you name a park of the world Chinese probably are -- are there looking to put investments in. We've seen the situation in Djibouti where they're also adding military capability to their investment, strategic area for -- on the Horn of Africa there that -- that you wouldn't necessarily expect. But they're active in Africa, Northern Africa, they're active across the world.

Their one belt, one road process opens -- opens their trade and -- and what other interest they have to the Indian Ocean in -- and a different way to address nations that they've had difficulty connecting with. So it's a -- it's clearly an issue that we ought to take a look at.

... ... ...

WYDEN: Thank you very much Mr. Chairman.

Gentlemen, it's fair to say I disagreed with Director Comey as much as anyone in this room but the timing of this firing is wrong to anyone with a semblance of ethics. Director Comey should be here this morning testifying to the American people about where the investigation he's been running stands.

At our public hearing in January where he refused to discuss his investigation into connections between Russia and Trump associates I stated my fear that if the information didn't come out before inauguration day it might never come out. With all the recent talk in recent weeks about whether there is evidence of collusion, I fear some colleagues have forgotten that Donald Trump urged the Russians to hack his opponents. He also said repeatedly that he loved WikiLeaks.

So the question is not whether Donald Trump actively encouraged the Russians and WikiLeaks to attack our democracy, he did; that is an established fact. The only question is whether he or someone associated with him coordinated with the Russians.

Now, Mr. McCabe, the president's letter to Director Comey asserted that on three separate occasions the director informed him that he was not under investigations. Would it have been wrong for the director to inform him he was not under investigations? Yes or no?

MCCABE: Sir, I'm not going to comment on any conversations that the director may have had with the president...

(CROSSTALK)

WYDEN: I didn't ask that. Would it have been wrong for the director to inform him he was not under investigation? That's not about conversations, that's yes or no answer.

MCCABE: As you know, Senator. We typically do not answer that question. I will not comment on whether or not the director and the president of the United States had that conversation.

WYDEN: Will you refrain from these kinds of alleged updates to the president or anyone else in the White House on the status of the investigation?

MCCABE: I will.

WYDEN: Thank you.

Director Pompeo, one of the few key unanswered questions is why the president didn't fire Michael Flynn after Acting Attorney General Yates warned the White House that he could be blackmailed by the Russians. Director Pompeo, did you know about the acting attorney general's warnings to the White House or were you aware of the concerns behind the warning?

POMPEO: I -- I don't have any comment on that.

WYDEN: Well, were you aware of the concerns behind the warning? I mean, this is a global threat. This is a global threat question, this is a global threat hearing. Were you...

(CROSSTALK)

POMPEO: Tell me...

(CROSSTALK)

WYDEN: Were you aware?

POMPEO: Senator, tell me what global threat it is you're concerned with, please. I'm not sure I understand the question.

WYDEN: Well, the possibility of blackmail. I mean, blackmail by a influential military official, that has real ramifications for the global threat. So this is not about a policy implication, this is about the national security advisor being vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians. And the American people deserve to know whether in these extraordinary circumstances the CIA kept them safe.

POMPEO: Yes, sir, the CIA's kept America safe. And...

WYDEN: So...

POMPEO: And the people at the Central Intelligence Agency are committed to that and will remain committed to that. And we will...

(CROSSTALK)

POMPEO: ... do that in the face of...

WYDEN: You won't answer the question...

POMPEO: We will do that in the face of political challenges that come from any direction, Senator.

WYDEN: But, you will not answer the question of whether or not you were aware of the concerns behind the Yates warning.

POMPEO: Sir, I don't know exactly what you're referring to with the Yates warning, I -- I -- I wasn't part of any of those conversations. I -- I... (CROSSTALK)

WYDEN: The Yates warning was...

(CROSSTALK)

POMPEO: ... I have no first hand information with respect to the warning that was given.

WYDEN: OK.

POMPEO: She didn't make that warning to me. I -- I can't -- I can't answer that question, Senator...

WYDEN: OK.

POMPEO: ... as much as I would like to.

WYDEN: OK.

Director Coats, how concerned are you that a Russian government oil company, run by a Putin crony could end up owning a significant percentage of U.S. oil refining capacity and what are you advising the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States about this?

COATS: I don't have specific information relative to that. I think that's something that potentially, we could provide intelligence on in terms of what this -- what situation might be, but...

WYDEN: I'd like you to furnace that in writing. Let me see if I can get one other question in, there have been mountains of press stories with allegations about financial connections between Russia and Trump and his associates. The matters are directly relevant to the FBI and my question is, when it comes to illicit Russian money and in particular, it's potential to be laundered on its way to the United States, what should the committee be most concerned about?

We hear stories about Deutsche Bank, Bank of Cypress, Shell companies in Moldova, the British Virgin Islands. I'd like to get your sense because I'm over my time. Director McCabe, what you we most -- be most concerned about with respect to illicit Russian money and its potential to be laundered on its way the United States?

MCCABE: Certainly sir. So as you know, I am not in the position to be able to speak about specific investigations and certainly not in this setting. However, I will confirm for you that those are issues that concern us greatly.

They have traditionally and they do even more so today, as it becomes easier to conceal the origin and the -- and the track and the destination of purpose of illicit money flows, as the exchange of information becomes more clouded in encryption and then more obtuse, it becomes harder and harder to get to the bottom of those investigations. That would shed light on those issues.

WYDEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. BURR: Senator Risch?

RISCH: Thank you very much. Gentlemen, I -- the purpose of this hearing as the chairman expressed is to give the American people some insight into what we all do, which they don't see pretty much at all. And so I think what I want to do is I want to make an observation and then I want to get your take on it, anybody who wants to volunteer. And I'm going to start with you Director Coats, to volunteer.

My -- I have been -- I've been on this committee all the time I've been here in the Senate and all through the last administration. And I have been greatly impressed by the current administrations hitting the ground running during the first hundred days, as far as their engagement on intelligence matters and their engagement with foreign countries. The national media here is focused on domestic issues which is of great interest to the American people be it healthcare, be it personnel issues in the government.

And they don't -- the -- the media isn't as focused on this administrations fast, and in my judgment, robust engagement with the intelligence communities around the world and with other governments. And my impression is that it's good and it is aggressive. And I want -- I'd like you're -- I'd like your impression of where we're going. Almost all of you had real engagement in the last administration and all the administrations are different. So Director Coats, you want to take that on to start with?

COATS: I'd be happy to start with that, I think most presidents that come into office come with an agenda in mind in terms of what issues they'd like to pursue, many of them issues that effect -- domestic issues that affect infrastructure and education and a number of things only to find that this is dangerous world, that the United States -- that the threats that exist out there need to be -- be given attention to.

This president, who I think the perception was not interested in that, I think Director Pompeo and I can certify the fact that we have spent far more hours in the Oval Office than we anticipated. The president is a voracious consumer of information and asking questions and asking us to provide intelligence. I -- we are both part of a process run through the national security council, General McMaster, all through the deputy's committees and the principal's committees consuming hours and hours of time looking at the threats, how do we address those threats, what is the intelligence that tells us -- that informs the policy makers in terms of how they put a strategy in place.

And so what I initially thought would be a one or two time a week, 10 to 15 minute quick brief, has turned into an everyday, sometimes exceeding 45 minutes to an hour or more just in briefing the president. We have -- I have brought along several of our directors to come and show the president what their agencies do and how important it is the info -- that the information they provide how that -- for the basis of making policy decisions.

I'd like to turn to my CIA colleague to get -- let him give you, and others, to give you their impression.

RISCH: I appreciate that. We're almost out of time but I did -- Director Pompeo you kind of sit in the same spot we all sit in through the last several years and I kind of like your observations along the line of Director Coats, what you feel about the matter?

POMPEO: Yeah, I think Director Coats had it right. He and I spend time with the president everyday, briefing him with the most urgent intelligence matters that are presented to us as -- in our roles. He asks good, hard questions. Make us go make sure we're doing our work in the right way.

Second, you asked about engagement in the world. This administration has reentered the battle space in places the administration -- the previous administration was completely absent. You all travel some too...

RISCH: Yes.

POMPEO: ... you will hear that when you go travel. I've now taken two trips to places and they welcome American leadership. They're not looking for American soldiers, they're not looking for American boots on the ground, they're looking for American leadership around the globe and this president has reentered that space in a way that I think will serve America's interest very well.

RISCH: Yeah I -- I couldn't agree more and we -- we deal with them not only overseas but they come here, as you know, regularly.

POMPEO: Yes sir.

RISCH: And the fact that the president has pulled the trigger twice as he has in -- in the first 100 days and -- and done it in a fashion that didn't start a world war and -- and was watched by both our friends and our enemies has made a significant and a huge difference as far as our standing in the world. My time's up. Thank you very much Mr. Chair.

WARNER: Thank you Senator.

Senator Heinrich.

HEINRICH: Director McCabe you -- you obviously have several decades of law enforcement experience, is it -- is it your experience that people who are innocent of wrong doing typically need to be reassured that they're not the subject of an investigation?

MCCABE: No sir.

HEINRICH: And I ask that because I'm still trying to make heads or tails of the dismissal letter from -- earlier this week from the president where he writes, "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation." And I'm still trying to figure out why that would even make it into a dismissal letter. But let me go to something a little more direct.

Director, has anyone in the White House spoken to you directly about the Russia investigation?

MCCABE: No, sir.

HEINRICH: Let me -- when -- when did you last meet with the president, Director McCabe?

MCCABE: I don't think I -- I'm in...

HEINRICH: Was it earlier this week?

MCCABE: ... the position to comment on that. I have met with the president this week, but I really don't want to go into the details of that.

HEINRICH: OK. But Russia did not come up?

MCCABE: That's correct, it did not.

HEINRICH: OK, thank you. We've heard in the news that -- that -- claims that Director Comey had -- had lost the confidence of rank and file FBI employees. You've been there for 21 years, in your opinion is it accurate that the rank and file no longer supported Director Comey?

MCCABE: No, sir, that is not accurate. I can tell you, sir, that I worked very, very closely with Director Comey. From the moment he started at the FBI I was his executive assistant director of national security at that time and I worked for him running the Washington field office. And of course I've served as deputy for the last year.

MCCABE: I can tell you that I hold Director Comey in the absolute highest regard. I have the highest respect for his considerable abilities and his integrity and it has been the greatest privilege and honor in my professional life to work with him. I can tell you also that Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does until this day.

We are a large organization, we are 36,500 people across this country, across this globe. We have a diversity of opinions about many things, but I can confidently tell you that the majority -- the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey.

HEINRICH: Thank you for your candor. Do you feel like you have the adequate resources for the existing investigations that the -- that the bureau is invested in right now to -- to follow them wherever they may lead?

MCCABE: Sir, if you're referring to the Russia investigation, I do. I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately. If you're referring to the many constantly multiplying counter-intelligence threats that we face across the spectrum, they get bigger and more challenging every day and resources become an issue over time.

HEINRICH: Sure.

MCCABE: But in terms of that investigation, sir, I can -- I can assure you we are covered.

HEINRICH: Thank you.

Director Coats, welcome back. Would you agree that it is a national security risk to provide classified information to an individual who has been compromised by a foreign government as a broad matter.

COATS: As a broad matter, yes.

HEINRICH: If the attorney general came to you and said one of your employees was compromised what -- what sort of action would you take?

COATS: I would take the action as prescribed in our procedures relative to how we report this ad how it's -- how it is processed. I mean, it's a serious -- serious issue Our -- our -- I would be consulting with our legal counsel and consulting with our inspector general and others as to how -- how best to proceed with this, but obviously we will take action.

HEINRICH: Would -- would one of the options be dismissal, obviously?

COATS: Very potentially could be dismissal, yes.

HEINRICH: OK, thank you Director.

BURR: Senator Collins?

COLLINS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Vice Chairman.

Mr. McCabe, is the agent who is in charge of this very important investigation into Russian attempts to influence our election last fall still in charge?

MCCABE: I mean we have many agents involved in the investigation at many levels so I'm not who you're referring to.

COLLINS: The lead agent overseeing the investigation.

MCCABE: Certainly, almost all of the agents involved in the investigation are still in their positions.

COLLINS: So has there been any curtailment of the FBI's activities in this important investigation since Director Comey was fired?

MCCABE: Ma'am, we don't curtail our activities. As you know, has the -- are people experiencing questions and are reacting to the developments this week? Absolutely.

COLLINS: Does that get in the way of our ability to pursue this or any other investigation?

MCCABE: No ma'am, we continue to focus on our mission and get that job done.

COLLINS: I want to follow up on a question of resources that Senator Heinrich asked your opinion on. Press reports yesterday indicated that Director Comey requested additional resources from the Justice Department for the bureau's ongoing investigation into Russian active measures. Are you aware that request? Can you confirm that that request was in fact made?

MCCABE: I cannot confirm that request was made. As you know ma'am, when we need resources, we make those requests here. So I -- I don't -- I'm not aware of that request and it's not consistent with my understanding of how we request additional resources.

That said, we don't typically request resources for an individual case. And as I mentioned, I strongly believe that the Russian investigation is adequately resourced. COLLINS: You've also been asked a question about target letters. Now, it's my understanding that when an individual is the target of an investigation, at some point, a letter is sent out notifying a individual that he is a target, is that correct?

MCCABE: No ma'am, I -- I don't believe that's correct.

COLLINS: OK. So before there is going to be an indictment, there is not a target letter sent out by the Justice Department?

MCCABE: Not that I'm aware of.

COLLINS: OK that's contrary to my -- my understanding, but let me ask you the reverse.

MCCABE: Again, I'm looking at it from the perspective of the investigators. So that's not part of our normal case investigative practice.

COLLINS: That would be the Justice Department, though. The Justice Department...

MCCABE: I see, I see...

COLLINS: I'm -- I'm asking you, isn't it standard practice when someone is the target of an investigation and is perhaps on the verge of being indicted that the Justice Department sends that individual what is known as a target letter?

MCCABE: Yes, ma'am I'm going have to defer that question to the Department of Justice.

COLLINS: Well, let me ask you the -- the flip side of that and perhaps you don't know the answer to this question but is it standard practice for the FBI to inform someone that they are not a target of an investigation?

MCCABE: It is not.

COLLINS: So it would be unusual and not standard practice for there -- it -- for there to have been a notification from the FBI director to President Trump or anyone else involved in this investigation, informing him or her that that individual I not a target, is that correct?

MCCABE: Again ma'am, I'm not going to comment on what Director Comey may or may not have done.

COLLINS: I -- I'm not asking you to comment on the facts of the case, I'm just trying to figure out what's standard practice and what's not.

MCCABE: Yes ma'am. I'm not aware of that being a standard practice.

COLLINS: Admiral Rogers, I want to follow up on Senator Warner's question to you about the attempted interference in the French...

ROGERS: French.

COLLINS: ... election. Some researchers, including the cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint claim that APT28 is the group that was behind the stealing of the -- and the leaking of the information about the president elect of France, the FBI and DHS have publicly tied APT28 to Russian intelligence services in the joint analysis report last year after the group's involvement in stealing data that was leaked in the run up to the U.S. elections in November.

Is the I.C. in a position to attribute the stealing and the leaking that took place prior to the French election to be the result of activities by this group, which is linked to Russian cyber activity?

ROGERS: Again ma'am, right now I don't think I have a complete picture of all the activity associated with France but as I have said publicly, both today and previously, we are aware of specific Russian activity directed against the French election cycle in the course -- particularly in the last few weeks.

To the point where we felt it was important enough we actually reached out to our French counterparts to inform them and make sure they awareness of what we were aware of and also to ask them, is there something we are missing that you are seeing?

COLLINS: Thank you.

BURR: Senator King.

KING: Mr. McCabe, thank you for being here today under somewhat difficult circumstances, we appreciate your candor in your testimony.

On March 20th, Director Comey -- then Director Comey testified to the House of Representative, "I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russian efforts.

As with any counter intelligence investigation this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed." Is that statement still accurate?

MCCABE: Yes sir, it is.

KING: And how many agents are assigned to this project? How many -- or personnel generally with the FBI, roughly?

MCCABE: Yeah, sorry I can't really answer those sorts of questions in this forum.

KING: Well, yesterday a White House press spokesman said that this is one of the smallest things on the plate of the FBI, is that an accurate statement?

MCCABE: It is...

KING: Is this a small investigation in relation to all -- to all the other work that you're doing?

MCCABE: Sir, we consider it to be a highly significant investigation.

KING: So you would not characterize it as one of the smallest things you're engaged in?

MCCABE: I would not.

KING: Thank you.

Let me change the subject briefly. We're -- we've been talking about Russia and -- and their involvement in this election. One of the issues of concern to me, and perhaps I can direct this to -- well, I'll direct it to anybody in the panel. The allegation of Russian involvement in our electoral systems, is that an issue that is of concern and what do we know about that? And is that being up followed up on by this investigation.

Mr. McCabe, is that part of your investigation? No I'm -- I'm not talking about the presidential election, I'm talking about state level election infrastructure.

MCCABE: Yes, sir. So obviously not discussing any specific investigation in detail. The -- the issue of Russian interference in the U.S. democratic process is one that causes us great concern. And quite frankly, it's something we've spent a lot of time working on over the past several months. And to reflect comments that were made in response to an earlier question that Director Coats handled, I think part of that process is to understand the inclinations of our foreign adversaries to interfere in those areas.

So we've seen this once, we are better positioned to see it the next time. We're able to improve not only our coordination with -- primarily through the Department of Homeland -- through DHS, their -- their expansive network and to the state and local election infrastructure. But to interact with those folks to defend against ; whether it's cyber attacks or any sort of influence driven interactions.

KING: Thank you, I think that's a very important part of this issue.

Admiral Rogers, yesterday a camera crew from TAS (ph) was allowed into the Oval Office. There was not any American press allowed, was there any consultation with you with regard to that action in terms of the risk of some kind of cyber penetration or communications in that incident?

ROGERS: No.

KING: Were you -- you were -- your agency wasn't consulted in any way?

ROGERS: Not that I'm aware of. I wouldn't expect that to automatically be the case; but no, not that I'm aware of.

KING: Did it raise any concerns when you saw those pictures that those cameramen and crew were in the Oval Office without....

ROGERS: I'll be honest, I wasn't aware of where the imaged came from.

KING: All right, thank you.

Mr. Coats -- Director Coats, you're -- you're -- you lead the intelligence community. Were you consulted at all with regard to the firing of Director Comey?

COATS: I was not.

KING: So you had no -- there were no discussions with you even though the FBI's an important part of the intelligence community?

COATS: There were no discussions.

KING: Thank you.

Mr. Chairman, thank you.

BURR: Thank you Senator King.

Senator Lankford.

LANKFORD: Thank you, let me just run through some quick questions on this. Director McCabe, thanks for being here as well.

Let me hit some high points of some of the things I've heard already, just to be able to confirm. You have the resources you need for the Russia investigation, is that correct?

MCCABE: Sir, we believe it's adequately resourced...

LANKFORD: OK, so there's not limitations on resources, you have what you need? The -- the actions about Jim Comey and his release has not curtailed the investigation from the FBI, it's still moving forward?

MCCABE: The investigation will move forward, absolutely.

LANKFORD: No agents have been removed that are the ongoing career folks that are doing the investigation?

MCCABE: No, sir.

LANKFORD: Is it your impression at this point that the FBI is unable to complete the investigation in a fair and expeditious way because of the removal of Jim Comey?

MCCABE: It is my opinion and belief that the FBI will continue to pursue this investigation vigorously and completely.

LANKFORD: Do you need somebody to take this away from you and somebody else to do?

MCCABE: No sir.

L.. ... ...

MANCHIN: Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Thank all of you for being here, I really appreciate it and I know that, Mr. McCabe, you seem to be of great interest of being here. And we're going to look forward to really from hearing from all of you all in a closed hearing this afternoon which I think that we'll able to get into more detail. So I appreciate that.

I just one question for Mr. McCabe it's basically the morale of the agency, the FBI agency and the morale basically starting back from July 5th to July 7th, October 28th, November 6th and election day -- did you all ever think you'd be embroiled in an election such as this and did -- what did it do to the morale?

MCCABE: Well, I -- I don't know that anyone envisioned exactly the way these things would develop. You know, as I said earlier Senator, we are a -- a large organization. We are -- we have a lot of diversity of opinions and -- and viewpoints on things. We are also a fiercely independent group.

MANCHIN: I'm just saying that basically, before July 5th, before the first testimony that basically Director Comey got involved in, prior to that, did you see a change in the morale? Just yes or no -- yes a change or more anxious, more concern?

MCCABE: I think morale has always been good, however we had -- there were folks within our agency who were frustrated with the outcome of the Hillary Clinton case and some of those folks were very vocal about that -- those concerns.

MANCHIN: I'm sure we'll have more questions in the closed hearing, sir but let me say to the rest of you all, we talked about Kaspersky, the lab, KL Lab. Do you all have -- has it risen to your level being the head of all of our intelligence agencies and people that mostly concerned about the security of our country of having a Russian connection in a lab as far outreaching as KL Labs?

Has it come with your IT people coming to you or have you gone directly to them making sure that you have no interaction with KL or any of the contractors you do business with? Just down the line there, Mr. Cardillo?

CARDILLO: Well, we count on the expertise of Admiral Rogers and the FBI to protect our systems and so I value...

MANCHIN: ...But you have I -- you have IT people, right?

CARDILLO: Absolutely.

MANCHIN: Have you talked to the IT people? Has it come to your concern that there might be a problem?

CARDILLO: I'm aware of the Kaspersky Lab challenge and/or threat.

MANCHIN: Let me tell you, it's more of a challenge -- more than a challenge, sir and I would hope that -- I'll go down the line but I hope that all of you -- we are very much concerned about this, very much concerned about security of our country watching (ph) their involvement.

CARDILLO: We share that.

MANCHIN: General?

STEWART: We are tracking Kaspersky and their software. There is as well as I know, and I've checked this recently, no Kaspersky software on our networks.

MANCHIN: Any contractors? STEWART: Now, the contractor piece might be a little bit harder to define but at this point we see no connection to Kaspersky and contractors supporting (ph)...

MANCHIN: ...Admiral Rogers?

ROGERS: I'm personally aware and involved with the director on the national security issues and the Kaspersky Lab issue, yes sir.

COATS: It wasn't that long ago I was sitting up there talking -- raising issues about Kaspersky and its position here. And that continues in this new job.

POMPEO: It has risen to the director of the CIA as well, Senator Manchin.

MANCHIN: Great.

(UNKNOWN): He's very concerned about it, sir, and we are focused on it closely.

MANCHIN: Only thing I would ask all of you, if you can give us a report back if you've swept all of your contractors to make sure they understand the certainty you have, concern that you have about this and making sure that they can verify to you all that they're not involved whatsoever with any Kaspersky's hardware. I'm going to switch to a couple different things because of national security.

But you know, the bottom gangs that we have in the United States, and I know -- we don't talk about them much. And when you talk about you have MS-13, the Crips, you've got Hells Angels, Aryan Brotherhood, it goes on and on and on, it's quite a few. What is -- what are we doing and what is it to your level -- has it been brought to your level the concern we have with these gangs within our country, really every part of our country?

Anybody on the gangland?

MCCABE: Yes sir. So we spend a lot of time talking about that at the FBI. It's one of our highest priorities...

MANCHIN: Did the resources go out to each one of these because they're interspersed over the country?

MCCABE: We do, sir. We have been focused on the gang threat for many years. It -- like -- much like the online pharmacy threat. It continues to change and develop harried we think it's likely a -- having an impact on elevated violent crime rates across the country, so we're spending a lot of time focused on that.

... ... ..

COTTON: Inmates are running the asylum.

(LAUGHTER)

COTTON: So, I think everyone in this room and most Americans have come to appreciate the aggressiveness with which would Russia uses active measures or covert influence operations, propaganda, call them what you will, as your agencies assess they did in 2016 and in hacking into those e-mails and releasing them as news reports suggest they did. In the French election last week -- that's one reason why I sought to revive the Russian active measures working group in the FY'17 Intelligence Authorization Act.

These activities that will go far beyond elections, I think, as most of our witnesses know. former director of the CIA, Bob Gates, in his memoir "From the Shadows," detailed soviet covert influence campaigns designed to slow or thwart the U.S. development of nuclear delivery systems and warheads, missile-defense systems and employment of intermediate nuclear range systems to Europe.

Specifically on page 260 of his memoir, he writes "during the period, the soviets mounted a massive covert action operation, aimed at thwarting INF deployments by NATO. We at CIA devoted tremendous resources to an effort at the time to uncovering the soviet covert campaign. Director Casey summarized this extraordinary effort in a paper he sent to Bush, Schultz, Weinberger and Clark on January 18, 1983. We later published it and circulated it widely within the government and to the allies, and finally, provided an unclassified version of the public to use," end quote.

I'd like to thank the CIA for digging up this unclassified version of the document and providing it to the committee, Soviet Strategy to derail U.S. INF deployment. Specifically, undermining NATO's solidarity in those deployments. I have asked unanimous consent that it be included in the hearing transcript and since the inmates are running the asylum, hearing no objection, we'll include it in the transcript.

(LAUGHTER)

Director Pompeo, earlier this year, Dr. Roy Godson testified that he believed that Russia was using active measures and covert influence efforts to undermine our nuclear modernization efforts, our missile defense deployments, and the INF Treaty, in keeping with these past practices.

To the best of your ability in this setting, would you agree with the assessment that Russia is likely using such active measures to undermine U.S. nuclear modernization efforts and missile defenses?

POMPEO: Yes.

COTTON: Thank you.

As I mentioned earlier, the F.Y. '17 Intelligence Authorization Act included two unclassified provisions that I authored. One would be re-starting that old (inaudible) Measures Working Group. A second would require additional scrutiny of Russian embassy officials who travel more than the prescribed distance from their duty station, whether it's their embassy or a consulate around the United States.

In late 2016, when that bill was on the verge of passing, I personally received calls from high-ranking Obama administration officials asking me to withdraw them from the bill. I declined. The bill did not pass. It passed last week as part of the F.Y. '17 spending bill.

I did not receive any objection from Trump administration officials to include from our intelligence community.

Director Coats, are you aware of any objection that the Trump administration had to my two provisions?

COATS: No, I'm not aware of any objection.

COTTON: Director Pompeo?

POMPEO: None.

COTTON: Do you know why the Obama administration objected to those two provisions in late 2016? I would add after the 2016 presidential election.

COATS: Well, it would be pure speculation. I don't -- I couldn't read -- I wasn't able to read the president's mind then and I don't think I can read it now.

COTTON: Thank you.

I'd like to turn my attention to a very important provision of law. I know that you've discussed earlier section 702.

Director Rogers, it's my understanding that your agency is undertaking an effort to try to release some kind of unclassified estimate of the number of U.S. persons who might have been incidentally collected using 702 techniques. Is that correct?

ROGERS: Sir, we're looking to see if we can quantify something that's of value to people outside the organization.

COTTON: Would -- would that require you going in and conducting searches of incidental collection that have been previously unexamined?

ROGERS: That's part of the challenge. How do I generate insight that doesn't in the process of generating the insight violate the actual tenets that...

(CROSSTALK)

COTTON: So -- so we're -- you're trying to produce an estimate that is designed to protect privacy rights, but to produce that estimate, you're going to have to violate privacy rights?

ROGERS: That is a potential part of all of this.

COTTON: It seems hard to do.

ROGERS: Yes, sir. That's why it has taken us a period of time and that's why we're in the midst of a dialogue.

COTTON: Is it going to be possible to produce that kind of estimate without some degree of inaccuracy or misleading information, or infringing upon the privacy rights of Americans?

ROGERS: Probably not.

COTTON: If anyone in your agency, or for that matter, Director McCabe, in yours, believes that there is misconduct or privacy rights are not being protected, they could, I believe under current law, come to your inspector general; come to your general counsel. I assume you have open door policies.

ROGERS: Whistleblower protections in addition, yes, sir, and they can come to you.

COTTON: They can come to this committee.

So four -- at least four different avenues. I'm probably missing some, if they believe there are any abuses in the section 702 (inaudible).

MCCABE (?): And anyone in their chain of command.

COTTON: I would ask that we proceed with caution before producing a report that might infringe on Americans' privacy rights needlessly, and that might make it even that much harder to reauthorize a critical program, something that, Director McCabe, your predecessor last week just characterized, if I can paraphrase, as a must-have program, not a nice-to-have program.

Thank you.

BURR: Thank you, Senator Cotton.

Senator Harris?

HARRIS: Thank you.

Acting Director McCabe, welcome. I know you've been in this position for only about 48 hours, and I appreciate your candor with this committee during the course of this open hearing.

MCCABE: Yes, ma'am.

HARRIS: Until this point, what was your role in the FBI's investigation into the Russian hacking of the 2016 election?

MCCABE: I've been the deputy director since February of 2016. So I've had an oversight role over all of our FBI operational activity, including that investigation.

HARRIS: And now that you're acting director, what will your role be in the investigation?

MCCABE: Very similar, senior oversight role to understand what our folks are doing and to make sure they have the resources they need and are getting the direction and the guidance they need to go forward.

HARRIS: Do you support the idea of a special prosecutor taking over the investigation in terms of oversight of the investigation, in addition to your role?

MCCABE: Ma'am, that is a question for the Department of Justice and it wouldn't be proper for me to comment on that.

HARRIS: From your understanding, who at the Department of Justice is in charge of the investigation?

MCCABE: The deputy attorney general, who serves as acting attorney general for that investigation. He is in charge.

HARRIS: And have you had conversations with him about the investigation since you've been in this role?

MCCABE: I have. Yes, ma'am.

HARRIS: And when Director Comey was fired, my understanding is he was not present in his office. He was actually in California. So my question is: Who was in charge of securing his files and devices when that -- when that information came down that he had been fired?

MCCABE: That's our responsibility, ma'am.

HARRIS: And are you confident that his files and his devices have been secured in a way that we can maintain whatever information or evidence he has in connection with the investigation?

MCCABE: Yes, ma'am. I am.

HARRIS: It's been widely reported, and you've mentioned this, that Director Comey asked Rosenstein for additional resources. And I understand that you're saying that you don't believe that you need any additional resources?

MCCABE: For the Russia investigation, ma'am, I think we are adequately resourced.

HARRIS: And will you commit to this committee that if you do need resources, that you will come to us, understanding that we would make every effort to get you what you need?

MCCABE: I absolutely will.

HARRIS: Has -- I understand that you've said that the White House, that you have not talked with the White House about the Russia investigation. Is that correct?

MCCABE: That's correct.

HARRIS: Have you talked with Jeff Sessions about the investigation?

MCCABE: No, ma'am.

HARRIS: Have you talked with anyone other than Rod Rosenstein at the Department of Justice about the investigation?

MCCABE: I don't believe I have -- you know, not recently; obviously, not in that -- not in this position.

HARRIS: Not in the last 48 hours?

MCCABE: No, ma'am.

HARRIS: OK. What protections have been put in place to assure that the good men and women of the FBI understand that they will not be fired if they aggressively pursue this investigation?

MCCABE: Yes, ma'am. So we have very active lines of communication with the team that's -- that's working on this issue. They are -- they have some exemplary and incredibly effective leaders that they work directly for. And I am confident that those -- that they understand and are confident in their position moving forward on this investigation, as my investigators, analysts and professionals staff are in everything we do every day.

HARRIS: And I agree with you. I have no question about the commitment that the men and women of the FBI have to pursue their mission. But will you commit to me that you will directly communicate in some way now that these occurrences have happened and Director Comey has been fired? Will you commit to me that given this changed circumstance, that you will find a way to directly communicate with those men and women to assure them that they will not be fired simply for aggressively pursuing this investigation?

MCCABE: Yes, ma'am.

HARRIS: Thank you.

And how do you believe we need to handle, to the extent that it exists, any crisis of confidence in the leadership of the FBI, given the firing of Director Comey?

MCCABE: I don't believe there is a crisis of confidence in the leadership of the FBI. That's somewhat self-serving, and I apologize for that.

(LAUGHTER)

You know, it was completely within the president's authority to take the steps that he did. We all understand that. We expect that he and the Justice Department will work to find a suitable replacement and a permanent director, and we look forward to supporting whoever that person is, whether they begin as an interim director or a permanently selected director.

This -- organization in its entirety will be completely committed to helping that person get off to a great start and do what they need to do.

HARRIS: And do you believe that there will be any pause in the investigation during this interim period, where we have a number of people who are in acting positions of authority?

MCCABE: No, ma'am. That is my job right now to ensure that the men and women who work for the FBI stay focused on the threats; stay focused on the issues that are of so much importance to this country; continue to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution. And I will ensure that that happens.

HARRIS: I appreciate that. Thank you.

MCCABE: Yes, ma'am.

BURR: Thank you.

Senator King?

Second round, five minutes each.

Senator Wyden?

WYDEN: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to go back to the question I asked you, Director Pompeo. And I went out and reviewed the response that you gave to me. And of course, what I'm concerned about is the Sally Yates warning to the White House that Michael Flynn could be blackmailed by the Russians.

And you said you didn't have any first-hand indication of it. Did you have any indication -- second-hand, any sense at all that the national security adviser might be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians? That is a yes or no question.

POMPEO: It's actually not a yes-or-no question, Senator. I can't answer yes or no. I regret that I'm unable to do so. You have to remember this is a counterintelligence investigation that was largely being conducted by the FBI and not by the CIA. We're a foreign intelligence organization.

And I'll add only this, I was not intending to be clever by using the term "first-hand." I had no second-hand or third-hand knowledge of that conversation either.

WYDEN: So with respect to the CIA, were there any discussion with General Flynn at all?

POMPEO: With respect to what sir? He was for a period of time the national security advisor.

WYDEN: Topics that could have put at risk the security and the well being of the American people. I mean I'm just finding it very hard to swallow that you all had no discussions with the national security advisor.

POMPEO: I spoke with the national security advisor. He was the national security advisor. He was present for the daily brief on many occasions and we talked about all the topics we spoke to the President about.

WYDEN: But nothing relating to matters that could have compromised the security of the United States? POMPEO: Sir I can't recall every conversation with General Flynn during that time period.

WYDEN: We're going to ask some more about it in closed session this afternoon. Admiral Rogers, let me ask you about a technical question that I think is particularly troubling and that is the S.S. 7 question in the technology threat. Last week the Department of Homeland Security published a lengthy study about the impact on the U.S. government of mobile phone security flaws. The report confirmed what I have been warning about for quite some time, which is the significance of cyber security vulnerabilities associated with a signaling system seven report says the department believes, and I quote, that all U.S. carriers are vulnerable to these exploits, resulting in risks to national security, the economy and the federal governments ability to reliably execute national security functions. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by criminals, terrorists and nation state actors and foreign intelligence organizations.

Do you all share the concerns of the Department of Human -- the Homeland Security Department about the severity of these vulnerabilities and what ought to be done right now to get the government and the private sector to be working together more clearly and in a coherent plan to deal with these monumental risks. These are risks that we're going to face with terrorists and hackers and threats. And I think the federal communications commission has been treading water on this and I'd like to see what you want to do to really take charge of this to deal what is an enormous vulnerability to the security of this country?

ROGERS: Sure. I hear the concern. It's a widely deployed technology in the mobile segment. I share the concern the Department of Homeland security in their role kind of as the lead federal agency associated with cyber and support from the federal government to the private sector as overall responsibility here.

We are trying to provide at the national security agency our expertise to help generate insights about the nature of the vulnerability, the nature of the problem. Partnering with DHS, talking to the private sector. There's a couple of specific things from a technology stand point that we're looking at in multiple forms that the government has created partnering with the private sector.

I'm not smart, I apologize about all of the specifics of the DHS effort. I can take that for the record if you'd like.

WYDEN: All right. I just want to respond before we break to Senator Cotton's comments with respect to section 702. Mr. Director, glad to see my tax reform partner back in this role. You know Mr. Director that I think it's critical the American people know how many innocent law abiding Americans are being swept up in the program. The argument that producing an estimate of the number is in itself a violation of privacy, is I think a far fetched argue has been made for years. I and others who believe that we can have security and liberty, that they're not mutually exclusive have always believed that this argument that you're going to be invading peoples privacy doesn't add up. We have to have that number. Are we going to get it? Are we going to get it in time so we can have a debate that shows that those of us who understand there are threats coming from overseas, and we support the effort to deal with those threats as part of 702. That we are not going to have American's privacy rights indiscriminately swept up.

We need that number. When will we get it?

COATS: Senator as you recall, during my confirmation hearing, we had this discussion. I promised to you that I would -- if confirmed and I was, talk (ph) to NSA indeed with Admiral Rogers, try to understand -- better understand why it was so difficult to come to a specific number. I -- I did go out to NSA. I was hosted by Admiral Rogers. We spent significant time talking about that. And I learned of the complexity of reaching that number. I think the -- the statements that had been made by Senator Cotton are very relevant statements as to that.

Clearly, what I have learned is that a breach of privacy has to be made against American people have to be made in order to determine whether or not they breached privacy. So, it -- it -- there is a anomaly there. They're -- they're -- they're issues of duplication.

I know that a -- we're underway in terms of setting up a time with this committee I believe in June -- as early as June to address -- get into that issue and to address that, and talk through the complexity of why it's so difficult to say...

WYDEN: I'm...

COATS: ...this is specifically when we can get you the -- the number and what the number is. So, I -- I believe -- I believe -- we are committed -- we are committed to a special meeting with the committee to try to go through this -- this particular issue.

But I cannot give you a date because I -- I -- and -- and a number because the -- I understand the complexity of it now and why it's so difficult for Admiral Rogers to say this specific number is the number.

WYDEN: I'm -- I'm well over my time. The point really is privacy advocates and technologists say that it's possible to get the number. If they say it, and the government is not saying it, something is really out of synch.

You've got people who want to work with you. We must get on with this and to have a real debate about 702 that ensures that security and liberty are not mutually exclusive. We have to have that number.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

... ... ...

[Dec 19, 2017] DOJ Discovers Robert Mueller Had Ties To Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort Prior To Probe

Important conflict of interests that Mueller interviewed for the position of the head of FBI and was rejected by Trump.
Dec 19, 2017 | www.dcstatesman.com
he Department of Justice is refusing to release details of the process that led to FBI Director Robert Mueller being granted an ethics waiver to be able to serve as special counsel investigating Trump's campaign involvement with Russia during the 2016 election.

On Friday, the agency released a one-sentence memo that confirmed Mueller was granted a conflict-of-interest waiver to serve in the position.

The waiver is believed to be related to Mueller's previous work as a partner at WilmerHale law firm, which is also the firm that represented former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and White House adviser Jared Kushner. However, documents signed by the Justice's top career official, Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott School, provide no evidence as to the grounds for the waiver. It's actually so vague that it doesn't even state why Mueller would need the release.

"'Pursuant to 5 CFR 2635.502(d), I hereby authorize Robert Mueller's participation in the investigation into Russia's role in the presidential campaign of 2016 and all matters arising from the investigation,' Schools wrote in the 'authorization' signed on May 18, one day after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein formally appointed Mueller to the position ."

The Justice Management Division of the agency found a two-page "recommendation memorandum" per POLITICO's request, but declined releasing it because it would interfere with the "deliberative process inside the department."

The secrecy revolving the situation could result in some Republican lawmakers and Trump allies to raise doubts about the impartiality of the Mueller investigation. Experts are troubled that the Justice Department hasn't been more open about the information of Mueller's waiver.

"'I think it's sloppy,' said Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush. 'The conspiratorial side of me thinks somebody at Justice is not giving you the explanation for the waiver because they want to create the impression that Robert Mueller has a problem when Robert Mueller doesn't have a problem. This is going to lead to Fox News conspiracy talk.'"

[Dec 15, 2017] Harvard University poll: Robert Mueller has 'conflict of interest'

Notable quotes:
"... The poll found that 54 percent of the voters agreed that "as the former head of the FBI and a friend of James Comey ," Mr. Mueller has a conflict of interest in the proceedings. Of course there is a partisan divide here: 70 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agreed. Among those who voted for President Trump in 2016, it was 73 percent; among Hillary Clinton voters, 34 percent. ..."
"... "Where in the hell is our attorney general? We need Attorney General Sessions to step up, do his job, seize control of the nightmare that is this investigation and let's get some unbiased people involved in looking at the facts and it's time for Bob Mueller to put up or shut up. If he's got evidence of collusion let's see it and if he doesn't let's move on and get to the issues can improve quality of life for the American people," Mr. Gaetz observed. ..."
"... 63 percent of voters overall believe that Justice personnel involved in the both the Clinton email and Russian investigations are "resisting providing Congress with information"; 74 percent of Republicans, 66 percent of independents and 49 percent of Democrats agree. ..."
"... 54 percent overall say "independent counsel Robert Mueller has conflicts of interest as the former head of the FBI and a friend of James Comey " in the investigation; 70 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agree. ..."
"... 36 percent overall say the special counsel has given President Trump 's aides "harsher treatment" during the investigations than Hillary Clinton 's aides; 56 percent of Republicans, 36 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats agree. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | www.washingtontimes.com

December 14, 2017

Despite the intricacies of the Russian collusion investigation, voters have some clear opinions about the situation, according to a wide-ranging Harvard Center for American Political Studies-Harris survey -- which weighs in at 204 pages. It is a long poll, and a telling one: A majority of American voters say special counsel Robert Mueller has a "conflict of interest" in the investigation.

The poll found that 54 percent of the voters agreed that "as the former head of the FBI and a friend of James Comey ," Mr. Mueller has a conflict of interest in the proceedings. Of course there is a partisan divide here: 70 percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agreed. Among those who voted for President Trump in 2016, it was 73 percent; among Hillary Clinton voters, 34 percent.

Has the investigation itself revealed any evidence of collusion? Thirty eight percent of the voters overall said that no evidence of such activities had been found, 35 percent said there was evidence, while 27 percent did not know the answer. Three fourths of the respondents also believe that "the special counsel is trying to make a case for obstruction of justice against the president," the poll found. More numbers in the Poll du Jour at column's end.

PAGING MR. SESSIONS

Just a comment from Rep. Matt Gaetz -- Florida Republican and a member of the House Judiciary Committee -- made during a discussion with Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade . The pair were discussing the aforementioned investigation into potential "Russia collusion" and the Trump campaign.

"Where in the hell is our attorney general? We need Attorney General Sessions to step up, do his job, seize control of the nightmare that is this investigation and let's get some unbiased people involved in looking at the facts and it's time for Bob Mueller to put up or shut up. If he's got evidence of collusion let's see it and if he doesn't let's move on and get to the issues can improve quality of life for the American people," Mr. Gaetz observed.

... ... ...

POLL DU JOUR

Source: A Harvard CAPS-Harris survey of 1,995 registered U.S. voters conducted between Dec. 8-11.

[Dec 13, 2017] Rod Rosenstein s Revenge -- and What Comes Next by Chris Smith

Looks like pressure from the "intelligence community" was the decisive factor in appointment of the special prosecutor.
Notable quotes:
"... In an impossible position, the deputy attorney general played the only card he had. But the game between the White House and the Justice Department and intelligence community will only get more complicated. ..."
"... Late Wednesday afternoon, Rosenstein suddenly announced the appointment of a special prosecutor, former F.B.I. director Robert S. Mueller III, to take charge of the investigation into Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. ..."
"... It's probably not coincidental that the latest twist came less than 24 hours before Rosenstein is scheduled to brief a meeting of all 100 U.S senators in a secure room of the subterranean Capitol Visitors Center. He will still be quizzed Thursday afternoon. The Democrats, led by New York's Chuck Schumer, will ask about the roles of President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the abrupt dismissal of Comey. Did Rosenstein tailor his case, which focused entirely on the F.B.I. director's handling of the 2016 probe into Hillary Clinton's e-mail habits, at the behest of the president and the A.G.? ..."
"... The appointment of a special counsel makes it easier for Rosenstein to deflect those questions. The 52-year-old has spent 27 years as a government lawyer. Hired straight out of Harvard, in 1990, to work in President George H.W. Bush's Justice Department, Rosenstein stayed on into President Bill Clinton's term. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated him to be U.S. attorney for Maryland, a job Rosenstein held for 12 years, making him the only U.S. attorney appointed under the previous regime to last through both of President Barack Obama's terms -- which means he's either highly competent or blandly unexceptional. ..."
"... In January, Sessions, himself a former U.S. attorney, chose Rosenstein as his top deputy. ..."
"... The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested that Justice turn over any memos written by Comey about his conversations with Trump, including the now-famous notes, first reported in The New York Times, where Comey says the president asked him to drop the F.B.I. inquiry into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser. Sessions -- in consultation with Rosenstein -- could refuse the Senate's request, forcing a subpoena and a possible constitutional confrontation. ..."
"... turmoil inside U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies is also having ramifications in external, more corrosive ways ..."
May 18, 2017 | www.vanityfair.com

In an impossible position, the deputy attorney general played the only card he had. But the game between the White House and the Justice Department and intelligence community will only get more complicated.

You remember Rod Rosenstein. Way back on May 9, Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, was thrust from bureaucratic obscurity when the White House cited his three-page memo as the basis for the firing of F.B.I. director James Comey.

Rosenstein, after a day or so, then receded from the headlines, thanks to the cyclonic chaos machine that is the Trump administration: Oval Office leaks to the Russians! Israeli spies! Angry tweets! But the bespectacled, seemingly mild-mannered lawyer just got very interesting again.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Rosenstein suddenly announced the appointment of a special prosecutor, former F.B.I. director Robert S. Mueller III, to take charge of the investigation into Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

It was a stunning reversal for Rosenstein, who for weeks had been fending off congressional calls for just such a move. It was also -- if the details are true -- a stunning vote of no-confidence in President Donald Trump : Department of Justice sources say the White House was given only 30-minutes notice before the public announcement, and that Rosenstein had already signed the order at that point. It may also be a sign of Rosenstein's anger at being bullied by Trump last week -- when the White House, amid the uproar over Comey's firing, tried to pin the blame on Rosenstein.

There were also pragmatic procedural reasons. "President Trump basically forced a special counsel to be appointed the minute he made Rosenstein a witness to Comey's firing -- by saying that he'd accepted the recommendation of Rosenstein to fire Comey," says Duncan Levin, a former federal prosecutor. "Trump disqualified Rosenstein as an impartial prosecutor and made this appointment all but inevitable."

It's probably not coincidental that the latest twist came less than 24 hours before Rosenstein is scheduled to brief a meeting of all 100 U.S senators in a secure room of the subterranean Capitol Visitors Center. He will still be quizzed Thursday afternoon. The Democrats, led by New York's Chuck Schumer, will ask about the roles of President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the abrupt dismissal of Comey. Did Rosenstein tailor his case, which focused entirely on the F.B.I. director's handling of the 2016 probe into Hillary Clinton's e-mail habits, at the behest of the president and the A.G.?

Rosenstein will also be grilled about the underlying mess: Was the president trying to slow down or scuttle the Russia inquiry by firing the F.B.I. director? "We are very curious about that," a Senate source says.

The appointment of a special counsel makes it easier for Rosenstein to deflect those questions. The 52-year-old has spent 27 years as a government lawyer. Hired straight out of Harvard, in 1990, to work in President George H.W. Bush's Justice Department, Rosenstein stayed on into President Bill Clinton's term. In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated him to be U.S. attorney for Maryland, a job Rosenstein held for 12 years, making him the only U.S. attorney appointed under the previous regime to last through both of President Barack Obama's terms -- which means he's either highly competent or blandly unexceptional.

In January, Sessions, himself a former U.S. attorney, chose Rosenstein as his top deputy.

"A lot of people, like me, who were really troubled by the Sessions appointment as attorney general thought Rod would be the person who would stand up for D.O.J.'s independence in a pinch," says Matthew Miller, who was Attorney General Eric Holder's spokesman. "And that did not prove to be the case last week. Rod wrote that memo, and it was a farce. It was a cover story so Trump could fire Comey over the Russia investigation. That was the moment for Rod to stand up and say no, and not only did he not do that, he helped load the gun for Trump."

The truth could be more complex, of course: Rosenstein may have genuinely believed Comey should be fired, and he also may have been an unwitting tool for Trump and Sessions. Appointing a special counsel "is an admission by Rosenstein that he messed up badly last week," Miller says. "He still needs to explain himself to Congress."

Attorneys on both sides of the political aisle who know Rosenstein don't question his impartiality when it comes to evaluating facts and legal issues. They wonder, however, whether Rosenstein has been out of his political depth as deputy attorney general -- and whether he wrote the Comey memo without sufficient concern as to how it might be used. "The skills needed to be an effective U.S. attorney are significantly different from the ones needed as deputy attorney general," one D.O.J. veteran says. "Being a straight shooter is great, but you have a lot of other considerations in those top leadership positions."

Even with Mueller now overseeing the Russia investigation, Rosenstein's impact should be felt on two other crucial fronts.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has requested that Justice turn over any memos written by Comey about his conversations with Trump, including the now-famous notes, first reported in The New York Times, where Comey says the president asked him to drop the F.B.I. inquiry into Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser. Sessions -- in consultation with Rosenstein -- could refuse the Senate's request, forcing a subpoena and a possible constitutional confrontation.

Then there's the larger, murkier subject of leaks. After Trump apparently blabbed confidential, Israeli-developed intelligence about the fight against ISIS to the Russians, conservative media outlets have been loudly calling for whoever tipped reporters to the story be hunted down. As Maryland U.S. attorney, Rosenstein's highest-profile case was the prosecution of James "Hoss" Cartwright, a retired four-star Marine general and a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Cartwright was accused of disclosing information about covert anti-Iranian operations to reporters; he was charged with lying about his conversations to F.B.I. investigators. Rosenstein extracted a guilty plea from Cartwright and pushed for a two-year jail term.

Trump apparently told Comey he wanted reporters who'd received leaks locked up. And now the White House and Sessions are prioritizing the pursuit of leakers. "It's almost as if people think they have a right to violate the law, and this has got to end, and probably it will take some convictions to put an end to it," Sessions told Bill O'Reilly on Fox in March. Rosenstein, who is in charge of the Justice Department's day-to-day operations, may be the one tasked with implementing a crackdown.

But the Trump-inflicted turmoil inside U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies is also having ramifications in external, more corrosive ways. "What happened with the president and the Russians the other day makes counterterrorism work even more difficult," says Ali Soufan, a former F.B.I. agent who pursued the 9/11 attackers and now runs an international security firm.

"Early on, the Israeli intelligence and military establishment warned the government about sharing intelligence with the White House for fear that Trump would share it with the Russians, and that the Russians will share it with the Iranians. And then we've proved them right. What I hear from people around the world, and from people who work for the U.S. overseas, is that the situation is chaotic. It's becoming increasingly difficult for people in nati

[Jul 26, 2017] Muller as A bomb dropped on Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Republicans join Democrats in warning Trump not to fire Mueller. Mueller remains and keeps digging. Mueller subpoenas damaging documents; Trump refuses to comply. A court orders him to comply. He declares this a witch hunt, an attack on his family (or whatever). Then he resigns, claiming he has already made America great. He tells the country that Vice President Pence will carry on in his place. ..."
"... It leaves out what comes after, though, and that's never wise with Trump. He lives to hit back. He's already attacking the GOP for its insufficient "defense" of him in this case, demanding openly that they put him above the law. If Rubin's scenario comes true, and Trump does leave, he'll look for vengeance unfettered by whatever remains of his political restraint. ..."
"... If Trump is forced out he's a hot torpedo looking for a target. He'll make revenge his life's mission. Donald Jr. and his siblings will take up the mantle because there's money to be made from political warfare. ..."
"... "President Trump and his advisers are floating possible replacements for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the list includes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), The Washington Post reports. ..."
Jul 24, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , July 25, 2017 at 08:57 AM

Well, well the Right's mouthpieces in the media are turning against Trump

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/7/23/1683310/-Trump-Loses-Jennifer-Rubin-Torpedo-in-the-Water

"Trump Loses Jennifer Rubin. Torpedo in the Water"

By Next Conservatism...Sunday Jul 23, 2017...8:55 PM EST

"Jennifer Rubin's "Right Turn" column in The Washington Post was reliably partisan beyond reason during the Obama years, so it's been a shock to see her turn sane and lawyer-like in her #nevertrump position. In fact she's given up on Trump and turned naysayer against the GOP. Her prognostications for what comes next as the Mueller investigation unfolds offer a range of possibilities, all bad. Bet on this one:

..... 4. Republicans join Democrats in warning Trump not to fire Mueller. Mueller remains and keeps digging. Mueller subpoenas damaging documents; Trump refuses to comply. A court orders him to comply. He declares this a witch hunt, an attack on his family (or whatever). Then he resigns, claiming he has already made America great. He tells the country that Vice President Pence will carry on in his place. LESSON: Congress must protect Mueller and preserve the possibility that Trump may be forced to resign.

That's the most likely scenario because it's to Trump's advantage in the same way that this entire presidency has been, as a branding effort to promote his business. If he rejects subpoenas and defies the law he's doing what he promised, fighting the evil Washington machine. If he leaves before a market correction he can allege that the spike in the Dow was his work; that he delivered on his promise to drive the Supreme Court rightward; that he gave the downtrodden Conservatives voters from both parties a real alternative; and that he is their martyr, their symbol of Making America Great Again despite all the efforts of the liars and partisans who forced him out. It's a perfect narrative, assuming that his resignation actually offers him some defense against indictment, which is not guaranteed.

It leaves out what comes after, though, and that's never wise with Trump. He lives to hit back. He's already attacking the GOP for its insufficient "defense" of him in this case, demanding openly that they put him above the law. If Rubin's scenario comes true, and Trump does leave, he'll look for vengeance unfettered by whatever remains of his political restraint. A third party of Trumpist candidates hand-picked by Trump is a realistic possibility. They'll run against the enemies Trump made in the deep red districts and force the GOP to accede to a Trumpist agenda or be defeated by it completely.

If Trump is forced out he's a hot torpedo looking for a target. He'll make revenge his life's mission. Donald Jr. and his siblings will take up the mantle because there's money to be made from political warfare.

If they're kingmakers instead of kings they can shelter themselves behind Far Right candidates, take huge money from political consultancies and influence peddling, and turn Conservatism into their business. Their properties and investments won't suffer, and they'll rebuild their fortresses of hidden deals and dark money. The GOP will be a sitting duck for them. The Trumps will do with the Republican Party what they do with any distressed property: take it over or tear it down it."

im1dc , July 24, 2017 at 05:47 PM
Trump wants to fire his Appointees Price if Obamacare Repeal and Replace fail, and Sessions for not protecting Trump from the Russian collusion investigation

The Big One is coming, I sense it and then every American must decide if Trump stays or goes, no more wiggle room after that happens

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/343556-cruz-being-considered-to-replace-sessions-report

"Cruz being considered to replace Sessions: report"

By Jacqueline Thomsen...07/24/17...07:57 PM EDT

"President Trump and his advisers are floating possible replacements for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and the list includes Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), The Washington Post reports.

...Trump also slammed Sessions in a tweet Monday morning, asking why our "beleaguered A.G." wasn't investigating ties between Hillary Clinton and Russia...

...Trump associates are viewing a possible Sessions ousting as a step toward firing special counsel Robert Mueller, according to the Post."...

[Jun 21, 2017] Good Agent, Bad Agent Robert Mueller and 9-11

Notable quotes:
"... Mueller, a Republican, was appointed by George W. Bush to head the FBI, and took the helm on September 4, 2001, one week before the terrorist attacks. So he can hardly be blamed for the failure of the FBI (along with the CIA and other U.S. and allied intelligence agencies) to detect and respond to numerous warning signs that the attacks were coming, including the arrival of many of the future perpetrators to the United States. ..."
"... The same cannot be said for Mueller's role in the subsequent coverup of FBI and White House bungling during the run up to 9/11. Six months after the attacks, Congress convened the Joint Senate-House Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Headed by Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham, the inquiry was more thorough and penetrating than the later official 9/11 Commission would ever be. ..."
"... While the San Diego scenario was the most extreme, there was other evidence of the FBI allowing future 9/11 perpetrators to slip through its fingers. By the time it issued its report, the Joint Inquiry had found that five of the hijackers "may have had contact with a total of 14 people who had come to the FBI's attention during counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigations prior to September 11, 2001. Four of those 14 were the focus of FBI investigations during the time that the hijackers were in the United States. Despite their proximity to FBI targets and at least one FBI source, the future hijackers successfully eluded FBI attention." ..."
"... Intelligence Matters ..."
"... Only years later, Graham writes, did information provided by FBI staffers confirm what he had long suspected: that the FBI carried out its resistance and obfuscation on direct instructions from the White House. Whether Bush and Company were eager to downplay any further connections to their friends the Saudis, or just protect itself from the fallout of such an obvious intelligence failure, will likely never be known. ..."
"... So much for Robert Mueller remaining above the political fray. And so much for the Bureau's supposed independence and incorruptibility. The latter, clearly, has always been a myth. From its earliest days it was a highly politicized–and relentlessly reactionary–agency, made all the more so by the colossal power of J. Edgar Hoover. Its mission has always been at heart a deeply reactionary one, dedicated to protecting the republic from whatever it perceived as a threat, including all forms of dissent and unrest–from communists to civil rights leaders. ..."
www.forbes.com
Robert Mueller, the former FBI director named special counsel for the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, is depicted as an iconic G-man: serious, patrician, and totally incorruptible. But in reality, it's a little different. As with FBI Agent Dale Cooper in the latest iteration of "Twin Peaks," there is a Good Mueller and a Bad Mueller. We've heard a lot about the good-guy Mueller, but nothing much about his bad side. And there is a bad side–though it's not the one that Trump supporters would have us think.

The President's loyal minions, following a familiar pattern, have been busy building an advance smear campaign against Mueller, claiming that he has it out for the poor, innocent Donald and is determined to bring him down due to pre-existing biases. In fact, if Mueller is indeed biased, it is toward preserving the institutions of government, including the White House, as well as his beloved FBI, even at the expense of making public the full truth. At least, that's how he behaved the last time he was involved in a major national crisis–namely, the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Mueller, a Republican, was appointed by George W. Bush to head the FBI, and took the helm on September 4, 2001, one week before the terrorist attacks. So he can hardly be blamed for the failure of the FBI (along with the CIA and other U.S. and allied intelligence agencies) to detect and respond to numerous warning signs that the attacks were coming, including the arrival of many of the future perpetrators to the United States.

The same cannot be said for Mueller's role in the subsequent coverup of FBI and White House bungling during the run up to 9/11. Six months after the attacks, Congress convened the Joint Senate-House Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Headed by Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham, the inquiry was more thorough and penetrating than the later official 9/11 Commission would ever be.

Among other things, the Joint Inquiry learned of the involvement of a paid FBI informant with two of the future hijackers: Khalid Al Mindhar, who had fought for Al Qaeda in Bosnia and Chechnya and trained in Bin Laden's Afghan training camps, and Nawaf Al Hazmi, who had battle experience in Bosnia, Chechyna, and Afghanistan. According to the Joint Inquiry report, the NSA and CIA at the time had available enough information to connect the two men with Osama Bin Laden.

The CIA, however, failed to share its information with the FBI, and did not place the two men on any watch lists. So Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi flew to Los Angeles in early 2000 (shortly after attending an Al Qaeda summit in Malaysia), and were routinely admitted into the United States on tourist visas. They traveled to San Diego, where they got Social Security cards, credits cards, and driver licenses, and bought a car, as well as a season pass to Sea World. They soon began taking flight lessons. They also had contact with a radical imam and a local Saudi national who were both being watched by the FBI. And they actually rented a room in the home of Abdusattar Shaikh, who was a retired English professor, a leader of the local mosque–and a paid informant for the FBI's San Diego office, charged with monitoring the city's Saudi community.

As the Joint Inquiry report would reveal, by mid-2001 U.S. intelligence agencies had ample evidence of possible terrorist plans to use hijacked airplanes as bombs, but had done little to act on this threat. In July 2001, the CIA had passed on the names of Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi to the FBI office in New York–though not the office in San Diego. Shaikh had apparently done nothing to warn the Bureau about any possible danger from his tenants. And no one had warned the airlines or the FAA not to let these men get on planes. So on the morning of September 11, Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi boarded American Airlines Flight 77 at Dulles Airport and helped crash it into the Pentagon.

While the San Diego scenario was the most extreme, there was other evidence of the FBI allowing future 9/11 perpetrators to slip through its fingers. By the time it issued its report, the Joint Inquiry had found that five of the hijackers "may have had contact with a total of 14 people who had come to the FBI's attention during counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigations prior to September 11, 2001. Four of those 14 were the focus of FBI investigations during the time that the hijackers were in the United States. Despite their proximity to FBI targets and at least one FBI source, the future hijackers successfully eluded FBI attention."

Yet in testimony before the Joint Inquiry on June 18, 2002, FBI director Mueller said, that "while here [in America] the hijackers effectively operated without suspicion, triggering nothing that would have alerted law enforcement and doing nothing that exposed them to domestic coverage." There is no way of knowing whether Mueller was lying or just ignorant.

Subsequently, Senator Graham set out to subpoena the informant to testify before the Joint Inquiry. The FBI refused to cooperate, blocked the Inquiry's efforts to interview the informant, and it appears to have arranged for a private attorney to represent him. Despite insisting that the informant had done nothing wrong, the Bureau at one point suggested the Inquiry give him immunity, which Graham refused to do.

As Graham would later describe in is book Intelligence Matters, the FBI also "insisted that we could not, even in the most sanitized manner, tell the American people that an FBI informant had a relationship with two of the hijackers." The Bureau opposed public hearings on the subject and deleted any references to the situation from drafts of the Joint Inquiry's unclassified report. It took more than a year for the Bureau allow a version of the story to appear in the public report, and even then it was heavily redacted.

Only years later, Graham writes, did information provided by FBI staffers confirm what he had long suspected: that the FBI carried out its resistance and obfuscation on direct instructions from the White House. Whether Bush and Company were eager to downplay any further connections to their friends the Saudis, or just protect itself from the fallout of such an obvious intelligence failure, will likely never be known.

So much for Robert Mueller remaining above the political fray. And so much for the Bureau's supposed independence and incorruptibility. The latter, clearly, has always been a myth. From its earliest days it was a highly politicized–and relentlessly reactionary–agency, made all the more so by the colossal power of J. Edgar Hoover. Its mission has always been at heart a deeply reactionary one, dedicated to protecting the republic from whatever it perceived as a threat, including all forms of dissent and unrest–from communists to civil rights leaders.

What does all this bode for the current moment? Normally, it would seem that Mueller's instinct would be to try to preserve some semblance of the current order, up to and including the presidency. But with Trump now locked in a knock down drag out struggle with the intelligence agencies–what some people like to call "the Deep State"–Mueller and his intelligence cronies may find it in the best interests of the status quo–and, of course, themselves–to throw the President under the bus and one way Mueller could do so is by cutting some sort of deal with Congress, specifically with the legislature's true power broker, Mitch McConnell, to turn on Trump and run him out of office.

As Agent Cooper said of his own famous investigation into the death of Laura Palmer, "I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

Note: More detail, and complete sources, on the FBI informant scandal and the Joint Inquiry's investigation can be found in my book The 5 Unanswered Questions About 9/11.

[Jun 19, 2017] George Washington: Special Prosecutor Mueller Is a Political Hack

Notable quotes:
"... One of the lessons of the Brazilian soft coup is that you don't need the prez to commit a crime or even evidence of one. Just drive down popularity until the public finds it palatable. Dilma Rouseff lost her base and then was toast. ..."
"... As you've pointed out, yves, trump MUST hold his base to survive. ..."
"... The One party, governing class of Democrats/Republicans made itself well known when it voted 97 to 2 in the Senate for S. 722. Statement of Purpose: To impose sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation and to combat terrorism and illicit financing. ..."
"... New sanctions on Russia is a highly bipartisan, one governing class result. ..."
"... It would be nice if the country learned the lesson that running a country* is nothing like running a business (something shallow concept of "leadership" you read about in airport bookstores - and does it remind us of something? - erases). ..."
"... virtuous ..."
"... When I voted for Trump, I thought he would be a fighter. I was wrong. He's not fighting for anything. Maybe his highest priority is simply avoiding assassination. ..."
"... I don't think any of us knew what Trump would be. But while he certainly hasn't helped himself with the tweets and pettish behavior you can really blame him for failing to drain a swamp that also includes lots of members of his own administration (Pence, Haley etc). The elite groupthink on foreign policy in particular is overwhelming. So where would he find subordinates to enact a change of course? And on domestic matters a well bribed Congress is determined to maintain failed GOP Reaganomics. ..."
"... Trump's only real accomplishment may be the defeat of Clinton which has shaken the political world. Now they are seeking to undo that as well. It's the ongoing soft coup that must be resisted or we will turn into Brazil. ..."
"... No one else wanted the slot. It was considered political suicide. Haley turned him down. Joni Ernst turned him down. Ted Cruz said no. Pence only relented because he thought it would give him some national exposure when he sought the presidential nomination in 2020. ..."
"... Good god, had no idea Mueller was the one in charge of the anthrax investigation. That was one of the most ham-handed idiotic things I've ever read about. ..."
"... So what evidence did the FBI have against Hatfill? There was none, so the agency did a Hail Mary, importing two bloodhounds from California whose handlers claimed could sniff the scent of the killer on the anthrax-tainted letters. These dogs were shown to Hatfill, who promptly petted them. When the dogs responded favorably, their handlers told the FBI that they'd "alerted" on Hatfill and that he must be the killer. ..."
"... You'd think that any good FBI agent would have kicked these quacks in the fanny and found their dogs a good home. Or at least checked news accounts of criminal cases in California where these same dogs had been used against defendants who'd been convicted - and later exonerated. As Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times investigative reporter David Willman detailed in his authoritative book on the case, a California judge who'd tossed out a murder conviction based on these sketchy canines called the prosecution's dog handler "as biased as any witness that this court has ever seen." ..."
"... Instead, Mueller, who micromanaged the anthrax case and fell in love with the dubious dog evidence, personally assured Ashcroft and presumably George W. Bush that in Steven Hatfill the bureau had its man. Comey, in turn, was asked by a skeptical Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz if Hatfill was another Richard Jewell - the security guard wrongly accused of the Atlanta Olympics bombing. Comey replied that he was "absolutely certain" they weren't making a mistake. ..."
"... The Year of Voting Dangerously ..."
Jun 17, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

As Lambert pointed out via e-mail:

There's so much bad history that's been normalized we become numb, and this is an impressive parade of horribles.

By George Washington. Originally published at his website

The New York Times characterizes special prosecutor Robert Mueller as being independent and fair:

Robert S. Mueller III managed in a dozen years as F.B.I. director to stay above the partisan fray, carefully cultivating a rare reputation for independence and fairness.

Let's fact-check the Times

Anthrax Frame-Up

Mueller presided over the incredibly flawed anthrax investigation.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office says the FBI's investigation was "flawed and inaccurate" . The investigation was so bogus that a senator called for an "independent review and assessment of how the FBI handled its investigation in the anthrax case."

The head of the FBI's anthrax investigation says the whole thing was a sham . He says that the FBI higher-ups "greatly obstructed and impeded the investigation", that there were "politically motivated communication embargos from FBI Headquarters".

Moreover, the anthrax investigation head said that the FBI framed scientist Bruce Ivins. On July 6, 2006, the FBI's anthrax investigation FBI Plaintiff provided a whistleblower report of mismanagement to the FBI's Deputy Director pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 2303, which noted:

(j) the FBI's fingering of Bruce Ivins as the anthrax mailer ; and, (k) the FBI's subsequent efforts to railroad the prosecution of Ivins in the face of daunting exculpatory evidence .

Following the announcement of its circumstantial case against Ivins, Defendants DOJ and FBI crafted an elaborate perception management campaign to bolster their assertion of Ivins' guilt . These efforts included press conferences and highly selective evidentiary presentations which were replete with material omissions .

In other words, Mueller presided over the attempt to frame an innocent man (and see this ).

Unsure About Assassination of U.S. Citizens Living On U.S. Soil

Rather than saying "of course not!", Mueller said that he wasn't sure whether Obama had the right to assassinate Americans living on American soil . Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley commented at the time:

One would hope that the FBI Director would have a handle on a few details guiding his responsibilities, including whether he can kill citizens without a charge or court order.

***

He appeared unclear whether he had the power under the Obama Kill Doctrine or, in the very least, was unwilling to discuss that power. For civil libertarians, the answer should be easy: "Of course, I do not have that power under the Constitution."

Spying on Americans

Mueller participated in one of the greatest expansions of mass surveillance in human history. As we noted in 2013:

NBC News reports :

NBC News has learned that under the post-9/11 Patriot Act, the government has been collecting records on every phone call made in the U.S.

On March 2011, FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee:

We put in place technological improvements relating to the capabilities of a database to pull together past emails and future ones as they come in so that it does not require an individualized search .

Remember, the FBI – unlike the CIA – deals with internal matters within the borders of the United States.

On May 1st of this year, former FBI agent Tim Clemente told CNN's Erin Burnett that all present and past phone calls were recorded :

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation . It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the ainvestigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not ."

The next day, Clemente again appeared on CNN, this time with host Carol Costello, and she asked him about those remarks. He reiterated what he said the night before but added expressly that "all digital communications in the past" are recorded and stored :

NSA whistleblowers say that this means that the NSA collects "word for word" all of our communications .

FBI special agent – and a 2002 Time Person of the Year – Colleen Rowley writes :

Mueller's FBI was also severely criticized by Department of Justice Inspector Generals finding the FBI overstepped the lhttp://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=68066&action=editaw improperly serving hundreds of thousands of "national security letters" to obtain private (and irrelevant) metadata on citizens, and for infiltrating nonviolent anti-war groups under the guise of investigating "terrorism."

Torture

FBI special agent Colleen Rowley points out :

Mueller was even okay with the CIA conducting torture programs after his own agents warned against participation. Agents were simply instructed not to document such torture, and any "war crimes files" were made to disappear. Not only did "collect it all" surveillance and torture programs continue, but Mueller's (and then Comey's) FBI later worked to prosecute NSA and CIA whistleblowers who revealed these illegalities.

Iraq War

Rowley notes :

When you had the lead-up to the Iraq War Mueller and, of course, the CIA and all the other directors, saluted smartly and went along with what Bush wanted, which was to gin up the intelligence to make a pretext for the Iraq War. For instance, in the case of the FBI, they actually had a receipt, and other documentary proof, that one of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had not been in Prague, as Dick Cheney was alleging. And yet those directors more or less kept quiet. That included CIA, FBI, Mueller, and it included also the deputy attorney general at the time, James Comey.

Post 9/11 Round-Up

FBI special agent Rowley also notes :

Beyond ignoring politicized intelligence, Mueller bent to other political pressures. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Mueller directed the " post 9/11 round-up " of about 1,000 immigrants who mostly happened to be in the wrong place (the New York City area) at the wrong time. FBI Headquarters encouraged more and more detentions for what seemed to be essentially P.R. purposes. Field offices were required to report daily the number of detentions in order to supply grist for FBI press releases about FBI "progress" in fighting terrorism. Consequently, some of the detainees were brutalized and jailed for up to a year despite the fact that none turned out to be terrorists .

9/11 Cover Up

Rowley points out :

The FBI and all the other officials claimed that there were no clues, that they had no warning [about 9/11] etc., and that was not the case. There had been all kinds of memos and intelligence coming in. I actually had a chance to meet Director Mueller personally the night before I testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee [he was] trying to get us on his side, on the FBI side, so that we wouldn't say anything terribly embarrassing.

But overwhelming evidence shows that 9/11 was foreseeable . Indeed, Al Qaeda crashing planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was itself foreseeable . Even the chair of the 9/11 Commission said that the attack was preventable .

Rowley also said says :

TIME Magazine would probably have not called my own disclosures a " bombshell memo " to the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry in May 2002 if it had not been for Mueller's having so misled everyone after 9/11.

In addition, Rowley says that the FBI sent Soviet-style "minders" to her interviews with the Joint Intelligence Committee investigation of 9/11, to make sure that she didn't say anything the FBI didn't like. The chairs of both the 9/11 Commission and the Official Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 confirmed that government "minders" obstructed the investigation into 9/11 by intimidating witnesses (and see this ).

Mueller's FBI also obstructed the 9/11 investigation in many other ways. For example, an FBI informant hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000. Specifically, investigators for the Congressional Joint Inquiry discovered that an FBI informant had hosted and even rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location . And see this .

And Kristen Breitweiser – one of the four 9/11 widows instrumental in forcing the government to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 2001 attacks – points out :

Mueller and other FBI officials had purposely tried to keep any incriminating information specifically surrounding the Saudis out of the Inquiry's investigative hands. To repeat, there was a concerted effort by the FBI and the Bush Administration to keep incriminating Saudi evidence out of the Inquiry's investigation. And for the exception of the 29 full pages, they succeeded in their effort.

Conclusion

Rather than being "above the fray", Mueller is an authoritarian and water-carrier for the status quo and the powers-that-be.

As Coleen Rowley puts it :

It seems clear that based on his history and close "partnership" with Comey, called "one of the closest working relationships the top ranks of the Justice Department have ever seen," Mueller was chosen as Special Counsel not because he has integrity but because he will do what the powerful want him to do.

Mueller didn't speak the truth about a war he knew to be unjustified. He didn't speak out against torture. He didn't speak out against unconstitutional surveillance. And he didn't tell the truth about 9/11. He is just "their man."

Furzy , June 17, 2017 at 10:26 am

Excellent run down of the 9/11 coverup:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ342GueSUg&feature=youtu.be

15 Years Later: Never Forget 9/11 crimes were never thoroughly investigated

911InsideOut

4,752 views

Published on Aug 30, 2016
After 15 years of meticulous research and analysis into the events and theories surrounding 9/11, this is a collection of all the best facts and evidence proving who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crimes we witnessed on September 11th, and who ought to be investigated if we ever hope to get to the bottom of it.
Category
People & Blogs
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Standard YouTube License

UserFriendly , June 17, 2017 at 4:02 am

Well of course he's an evil SOB who has done horrible things in the name of this country, but he has done them for both parties; hence the 'above the partisan fray' line. You can't be a partisan hack if you are hacking up dead bodies for both sides.

integer , June 17, 2017 at 4:43 am

Sigh. Yet another of the empire's eunuchs steps up to the plate. Trump will prevail.

Yves Smith Post author , June 17, 2017 at 6:35 am

I would not bet on that. The play seems to be to bait him into obstruction of justice or pressure him into a health crisis.

johnnygl , June 17, 2017 at 7:41 am

One of the lessons of the Brazilian soft coup is that you don't need the prez to commit a crime or even evidence of one. Just drive down popularity until the public finds it palatable. Dilma Rouseff lost her base and then was toast.

As you've pointed out, yves, trump MUST hold his base to survive.

RenoDino , June 17, 2017 at 10:44 am

Driving down his popularity per se won't harm him. Even the elites who want him out could care less about the vox populi. They need to remind congressional Republicans there is only one party, the governing class, and supporting Trump makes them guilty by association of colluding with Russia and obstructing justice. The end game is making Republicans fall in line with the establishment thus making way for impeachment. It's their only hope and a long shot because the Republicans will be committing suicide.

Art Eclectic , June 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Republicans are on a Bataan Death March either way. They either embrace the alt-right and make that the new party standard or the alt-right destroys them. Trumps campaign was about burning down the governing class without respect for party. Not that he will be allowed to do any such thing on a grand scale, there's too much money at stake from donors who bought the governing apparatus fair and square.

Forcing the Republicans to engage in internecine warfare is destroying them. Democrats are doing the job on their own without much help from Trump's team. Both parties are under siege, which is not a bad thing. The bad thing is the destruction of education, energy, environmental, and financial policy. Instead of draining the swamp Trump has introduced swamp sharks to the predator mix.

RenoDino , June 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Totally agree and I like introduction of swamp sharks as a new predator class. I envision them as a football with fins. The policies you mentioned were already bad to begin with. Trump's tampering may make them worse at the margins.

Waking Up , June 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm

The One party, governing class of Democrats/Republicans made itself well known when it voted 97 to 2 in the Senate for S. 722. Statement of Purpose: To impose sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation and to combat terrorism and illicit financing.

New sanctions on Russia is a highly bipartisan, one governing class result.

Arizona Slim , June 17, 2017 at 8:58 am

Pressure him into a health crisis? Hmmm, where have we seen that one before?

Point of history: A few months after he left office (in disgrace), Nixon had a phlebitis attack and nearly died.

And he wasn't in the best of shape before he left the White House.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2017 at 7:01 am

It would be nice if the country learned the lesson that running a country* is nothing like running a business (something shallow concept of "leadership" you read about in airport bookstores - and does it remind us of something? - erases).

It's going to be an expensive lesson though, and the political class might even double down on it; what we need is a virtuous CEO; like Zuckerberg, for example.

* I suppose the counter-argument would be Bloomberg. Perhaps there's a scale issue.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm

> Zuckerberg or bloomberg are virtuous? I hope you are joking or being sarcastic.

I ladle my irony out with a shovel these days. It's the only way to cope.

EndOfTheWorld , June 17, 2017 at 5:14 am

When I voted for Trump, I thought he would be a fighter. I was wrong. He's not fighting for anything. Maybe his highest priority is simply avoiding assassination.

Sometimes he will get on Twitter and say some belligerent stuff, but doesn't he realize that he has the authority to hire and fire who he wants?

Carolinian , June 17, 2017 at 8:53 am

I don't think any of us knew what Trump would be. But while he certainly hasn't helped himself with the tweets and pettish behavior you can really blame him for failing to drain a swamp that also includes lots of members of his own administration (Pence, Haley etc). The elite groupthink on foreign policy in particular is overwhelming. So where would he find subordinates to enact a change of course? And on domestic matters a well bribed Congress is determined to maintain failed GOP Reaganomics.

Trump's only real accomplishment may be the defeat of Clinton which has shaken the political world. Now they are seeking to undo that as well. It's the ongoing soft coup that must be resisted or we will turn into Brazil.

EndOfTheWorld , June 17, 2017 at 9:22 am

Right, when he selected Pence as veep you could already see he was giving in to the establishment. But he had to: otherwise they would never have let him leave the convention with the nomination.

I would have preferred to see him select somebody like Jesse Ventura or Nomi Prins or Alex Jones as veep and let the chips fall where they may. It's not like he needs the job anyway.

edmondo , June 17, 2017 at 10:59 am

" when he selected Pence as veep you could already see he was giving in to the establishment.".

No one else wanted the slot. It was considered political suicide. Haley turned him down. Joni Ernst turned him down. Ted Cruz said no. Pence only relented because he thought it would give him some national exposure when he sought the presidential nomination in 2020.

EndOfTheWorld , June 17, 2017 at 12:34 pm

They turned him down only because they believed he had no chance of winning. But he had to choose somebody entrenched with the Republican establishment, because as it was he barely made it out of Cleveland still the nominee.

There were a lot of Republicans like Romney and Kasich who went to Cleveland but did not attend the convention. Obviously hoping for some kind of coup which would kick out The Donald.

Kim Kaufman , June 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Chris Christie would have done it in a heartbeat. The establishment did sort of force or trick Trump into Pence as I recall.

Disturbed Voter , June 17, 2017 at 6:41 am

People who want to be liked/loved are insecure demagogues. People who obey illegal orders or who initiate them, are no friend of the People. And yes, the real Deep State is bipartisan. Partisanship we see is kabuki.

And most coverups aren't Bourne Identity, they are just an incompetent bureaucracy covering its tracks.

RRH , June 17, 2017 at 7:46 am

"Hope" is not "You Will" when it comes to Flynn.

Asking organizations that knew there was no connection to make it public is not "obstruction of justice," it is exposing the deep state's intense effort to keep the level of the swamp high. Telling Comey to get on with the investigation is not obstruction, but an effort to expedite the witch hunt to it's logical conclusion so that the Administration can get on with it's agenda. Deep state's leaks are all against Trump. Statistically impossible.

cocomaan , June 17, 2017 at 8:15 am

Good god, had no idea Mueller was the one in charge of the anthrax investigation. That was one of the most ham-handed idiotic things I've ever read about.

Good to see George Washington around these parts again, there's few people as passionate about politics as him!

Katniss Everdeen , June 17, 2017 at 9:14 am

Here's an interesting run through of mueller's handling of the anthrax investigation, among other things. A fun bit:

So what evidence did the FBI have against Hatfill? There was none, so the agency did a Hail Mary, importing two bloodhounds from California whose handlers claimed could sniff the scent of the killer on the anthrax-tainted letters. These dogs were shown to Hatfill, who promptly petted them. When the dogs responded favorably, their handlers told the FBI that they'd "alerted" on Hatfill and that he must be the killer.

You'd think that any good FBI agent would have kicked these quacks in the fanny and found their dogs a good home. Or at least checked news accounts of criminal cases in California where these same dogs had been used against defendants who'd been convicted - and later exonerated. As Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times investigative reporter David Willman detailed in his authoritative book on the case, a California judge who'd tossed out a murder conviction based on these sketchy canines called the prosecution's dog handler "as biased as any witness that this court has ever seen."

Instead, Mueller, who micromanaged the anthrax case and fell in love with the dubious dog evidence, personally assured Ashcroft and presumably George W. Bush that in Steven Hatfill the bureau had its man. Comey, in turn, was asked by a skeptical Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz if Hatfill was another Richard Jewell - the security guard wrongly accused of the Atlanta Olympics bombing. Comey replied that he was "absolutely certain" they weren't making a mistake.

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/05/21/comey-mueller-bungled-big-anthrax-case-together/

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the fix is in. BTW, Hatfill got $5+ million in taxpayer money thanks to mueller / comey's dogged yet severely flawed pursuit of truth, justice and the american way.

Alex Morfesis , June 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Hold on had to open another roll to triple layer my tf hat there that's better

If hatfill might lead to others, one has to work hard to create the legend and backstory to divert attention

Mueller is the typical insider designed to insure only the unwashed and uninitiated are thrown into the grinder to keep the news folks busy with filling the hole between the ads

Hatfill might not have been the direct person, but the south afrikans and boeremag around and associated with him

And those wondrous apartheidistas were allowed to keep their toys after most of them had their "matter" dismissed

Mueller is there to keep trump in check the investigation will go on and on and on feeding tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to a group of "approved" insiders who will occasionally on a late friday, burp out some pdf report before some major sporting event or just after some massive news story on a thursday

"Bungling" a case is the best way to cover it up when it might lead to unexpected further investigation

Back to the funny papers yellow kid strikes again

teejay , June 17, 2017 at 8:59 am

Washington Blog forgot to mention Mueller slow walking the BCCI investigation.

https://saboteur365.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/special-prosecutor-mueller-is-the-consummate-deep-state-insider/

http://www.blacklistednews.com/?news_id=4304

lyman alpha blob , June 17, 2017 at 10:52 am

Good catch – thanks for pointing that out.

Mueller was also head of the FBI when post 9-11 it began framing impressionable young men by handing them phony weapons and then arresting them as 'terrorists' in an attempt to make it look like the spooks were keeping the country safe or some such nonsense.

I would imagine Trump can expect the same treatment.

Charles Yaker , June 17, 2017 at 9:59 am

Just for the record Trump is being Trump just like Obama did what Obama wanted despite Progressive self denial.

David Carl Grimes , June 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

Does the obstruction of justice issue have any merit? I thought it was a nothingburger according to posts here in the NC

Yves Smith Post author , June 17, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Of all people, Alan Dershowitz says no because in the US the DoJ and the FBI report to the President. He can fire anyone he wants to. According to Dershowitz, he can also tell them to stop an investigation. He can also pardon anyone, including himself! The idea that they are independent is a canard the media has been selling and civics-challenged Americans have been buying.

This is also not at all comparable to Watergate. There was an actual crime, as opposed to a protracted "Trump won when he shouldn't have! Evil Rooskies must have engineered it! And on top of that, they must have a secret handshake with Trump!" that has yet to do anything beyond hyperventilate about Trump officials knowing and meeting some Russians. And the reason firing the Watergate special prosecutor was obstruction of justice was that that that investigator, Archibald Cox, had been appointed by Congress and therefore really was independent.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm

To my simple mind, the charge of obstruction of justice implies that there is justice to be obstructed, i.e. that the charges of Russian collusion of Trump were made in good faith with an evidentiary basis. Dubious, at best. Anonymous leaks from "intelligence officials" are not enough. Nor is the Steele report, such as it is.

Parker Dooley , June 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm

"To my simple mind, the charge of obstruction of justice implies that there is justice to be obstructed, i.e. that the charges of Russian collusion of Trump were made in good faith with an evidentiary basis"

Lambert, that is not how it works for the little people. Based on the gossip about Trump's actual net worth, perhaps he has been pegged as one of "us".

Plenue , June 17, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Democrats have gone from "Russia did something AND WE HAVE PROOF!" to Maxine Waters admitting they don't even have evidence that any crime was committed, but they all believe that something happened, so they just have 'connect the dots' and find actual evidence. This is some real presuppositional crap here; this is the type of 'thinking' that liberals are always mocking Creationists for. Over half of year with no evidence that anything even happened isn't an investigation: it's a fishing expedition.

Bobby Gladd , June 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm

So many Bright Shiny Things out there for our distraction pleasure (golden shower hookers, Russian anti-Clinton email and election hacking, dirty money, Jared ). How about keeping Eyes on the Prize. General Flynn was conducting an illegal rogue solo privatized ad hoc foreign policy shop, for which he was getting handsomely compensated by foreign entities. Trump either knew it since the beginning of their relationship (and either didn't care, or winky-winky greenlighted it), or suborned it when he later found out. Then he incontrovertibly started leaning on the investigations. Obstruction of Justice, if the phrase is to have any rational meaning. Whether the only remedy for that is impeachment is a separate issue (and is probably the case where Trump is concerned, notwithstanding that he'll probably pardon Flynn and bet on not getting convicted by the Senate).

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Since the whole thing is such a mass of confusion and conjecture, I don't see how it's clear what can have been "obstructed" or indeed what "justice" might mean. (Rhe "Russian hacking" of votes, for example, is so ludicrous it's pointless to discuss it, even if around half of Clinton's voters believe it)

On Flynn, who Trump heaved over the side, the alternative theory is that Flynn was opening an independent channel to the Russians, and The Blob hates that, because they want to go to war with Russia. As far as "inconvertibly," I always look adverbs like that. All I can tell is that great legal minds differ.

Steven , June 17, 2017 at 10:51 am

What the country and the world needs is someone who is actually serious about 'Draining the swamp' in Washington – and the editorial offices at the New York Times!

P.S. I'm still reading Maureen Dowd's The Year of Voting Dangerously . In a 2014 article Dowd provides a catalogue of sellouts by major Democratic Party players to Hillary and the Clintons, e.g. Elizabeth Warren, when it looked like the 2016 election was going to be a sure thing for HRC. The catalogue was so precise and devastating most likely the only thing that saved Dowd's job at the NYT was the reverence for HRC's ruthless pursuit of power with which she concluded the chapter (and, of course, Dowd's prodigious talent as a writer) .

Art Eclectic , June 17, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Draining the swamp in Washington would require removal of all sitting members of Congress. Those people ARE the swamp. They're duly elected and funded by the donor class to make business decisions that will impact revenue for the winners. We hold elections to decide which businesses we want to win. The FIRE sector famously buys both sides of the table to hedge.

JEHR , June 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

A fine description!

Michael , June 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

How crazy is the idea that Paul Ryan becomes Prez after the investigations conclude? We haven't done that yet if I recall correctly. Would Pence be any good as a Prez? Or would the R party clean house and force him out? Could he select a new VP then? (I don't know the answer to that one either) .

Yves Smith Post author , June 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Completely batshit but the Democrats keeping the upset dialed to 11 may get us there.

Pence was not a very good governor but he'd be celebrated for looking Presidential and not being Trump. He's also way more conservative and would get far more bills passed.

The Dems have a much better chance with Trump in in 2018 than out. They are best served by keeping him on the defensive rather than actually succeeding in driving him out. Pence would be a much less powerful fundraising hook than Trump, for instance.

Left in Wisconsin , June 17, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Dems want to make same mistake nationally they made here with Walker. Instead of giving voters til the next election to make up their mind, they prematurely instigated a recall, leading to the recall election being in the middle of summer instead of Nov 2012, and they lost because a majority of voters didn't like the process.

If they succeed in getting Trump out before 2018, there is likely to be a huge sympathy vote for Repubs when 2018 rolls around.

gepay , June 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Such is the state of political affairs that one has to wonder what, if anything, is true. Did Trump select (?) Pence as VP in order to get some cooperation from the mainsteam Republicans? If he had picked someone like Ron Paul one might have thought there was a good chance he would "drain the swamp". Goldman Sachs alumni, billionaires, and generals in his cabinet are not exactly "draining the swamp". One couldn't submit to HBO a series script with some general (affectionately lol) known as "Mad Dog" being the Sec of Def. So what part of the Powers That Be does Mueller work for? The part of which Soros is a visible element was not happy with Trump. It is possible that this whole circus is just a distraction rather than two different elements of the people who really decide things fighting. One clue is if damaging evidence comes out about either side. it is possible that the DNC and Podesta leaks were just from disillusioned Democrat (Bernie suppporters). Or they could be the evidence there is a real split.Did the revelations of former CFR (?ostracized) Steve Pieczenik of Trump being a counter coup to ;the Clintonistas have any value? FDR said, if it happens in the political world, it was planned, The only thing clear to me is when you get this kind hall of mirrors head confusion, then the CIA is at work.

Bernard , June 17, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Trump is a businessman out to make a profit. Hillary is a con artist out to grift. otherwise, there isn't that much difference betwixt the two. Hillary is straight forward with her "scam." Trump uses Market strategy to con others . Hillary uses whatever it takes to "get" and "enjoy" Power.

Trump's kind of business "men" hire media who enable the "Right kind" of Calvanism/American "Thinking" which has bought Congress. These grifters "use" whatever it takes to get what they want. Since everything has a price, Everything is for sale to the highest bidder . outright theft, looting and pillaging legalized by Congress. Lies, mispeaking, and others means. "Whatever it takes!," as someone said.

we could not foresee exactly what kind of "Grifter in Chief" Trump would turn out to be until in office . The Blob has now 'ensnared" Trump as blowback for "stealing" the Presidency. Hillary as the rightful heir is doing her part with her morally indignant, empty and vacuous righteousness, as if she possessed "morals" to begin with.

Hillary has continued to play her part in the subterfuge, though it's all out in the open, which lost her the deplorables' vote she didn't care about but she needed.

watching people show surprise at either of these two actors shows how Americans are so easily "led/fooled" by the PR. Goebbels was just ahead of his time . St. Reagan, a Hollywood Actor, who played his "Role," proved how easy it was to "sell' us out to Big Business. Before St. Reagan, due to losing so many elections, the Republican Party just laid low and built the groundwork for the absolute oligarchy we 'enjoy" courtesy of a bought and sold highest bidder Congress we see today.

we cant be nice or respectful to those who despoil our country or planet, for profit. a profit the 99% pay. not calling a spade a spade is how we got to this despicable situation, and allows the Scam to continue. Vichy Democrats and Corporate Republicans need to be jailed. Polite criticism wont cut it.

"For the many, not the few" is a belief we need here in America, too. though Americans are still buying the self-hating PR so-called Leaders Thatcher, St. Reagan sold. the young don't, however, which could promise a hopeful future in England. maybe Bernie can help reconnect the Youth here in America. Obama destroyed that "Dream" in America for the Poor and Young, thank you,very much.

Kent St. shows how the Blob responded to the Youth 50 years ago.
power cedes nothing without unyielding force in America.

Don Lowell , June 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Nothing will happen until we get rid of fixed elections. Suppression, kicking voters off the list, gerrymandering, no paper trail voting machine's. We are screwed.

dcblogger , June 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Mueller also play a notorious role in the Starr Chamber Whitewater witch hunt. Mueller is really truly awful. In some ways it is satisfying to see all the Republican hacks turn on one another.

Bobby Gladd , June 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Busted for my typo. Fair enough. :)

Flynn broke laws, repeatedly. I dimly recall some long ago "3rd rate burglary."

Trump is minimally trying to interfere with justice in regard to Flynn, for whatever reasons.

witters , June 17, 2017 at 7:58 pm

"Robert S. Mueller III managed in a dozen years as F.B.I. director to stay above the partisan fray, carefully cultivating a rare reputation for independence and fairness."

So he was independent and fairness? Clearly laughable nonsense.
So he was "cultivating a rare reputation" as such?
OK: Does that mean for the NYT that "cultivating a rare reputation for X" is what is it TO BE X?
In that case reality has collapsed into and become mere appearance.

(No wonder listening to Putin on Stone's movie is like listening to a different world.)

[Jun 17, 2017] Deep State just leaked proof that special counsel Mueller was appointed to bring down Trump

Notable quotes:
"... If you are still believing the hype from both political parties that special counsel Robert Mueller, BFF of fired FBI Director James Comey, was appointed strictly as an "independent" counsel to probe alleged "collusion" between Team Trump and the Russians – and not a plant to bring down the president – you can stop thinking that. ..."
"... The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said. ..."
"... The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump's conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates , officials said. ..."
"... It's not like they conferred before Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, right? Oh, wait . Is it possible that this was all just a set up ? That perhaps Comey broke the law by leaking sensitive information in conversations he allegedly had with Trump – just so a special prosecutor would be named ? ..."
thenationalsentinel.com

If you are still believing the hype from both political parties that special counsel Robert Mueller, BFF of fired FBI Director James Comey, was appointed strictly as an "independent" counsel to probe alleged "collusion" between Team Trump and the Russians – and not a plant to bring down the president – you can stop thinking that.

Leaks by the Deep State to the disgusting Washington Post on Wednesday – the day Republicans were scrambling for their lives on a baseball field in Northern Virginia – published a story claiming that Mueller is looking into obstruction of justice charges against President Donald J. Trump.

The report noted:

The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump's conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates , officials said.

[ ]

The obstruction-of-justice investigation of the president began days after Comey was fired on May 9 , according to people familiar with the matter. Mueller's office has taken up that work, and the preliminary interviews scheduled with intelligence officials indicate that his team is actively pursuing potential witnesses inside and outside the government.

Of course, this could all be just a coincidence , right? After all, there's nothing to the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate this president (again and again and again) who just happens to be a former FBI director himself and best bud of the guy who got fired right?

It's not like they conferred before Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week, right? Oh, wait . Is it possible that this was all just a set up ? That perhaps Comey broke the law by leaking sensitive information in conversations he allegedly had with Trump – just so a special prosecutor would be named ?

Well, call us conspiracy theorists, but yeah, it sure seems like this has all been a set up to get our president from the outset. And now the Deep State has all the pieces in place.

If this sham is allowed to proceed, there is only one logical outcome: The finding or, actually, more correctly, the creation of "evidence" that Trump somehow, acting in his constitutional role as head of the Executive Branch, did something improper to someone at some point when he, you know, tried to run the Executive Branch.

Constitutional experts have been saying for weeks now there is no there, there , when it comes to obstruction. Or anything else Trump and his administration have been accused of doing even after, as the Post reminds us, a year-long investigation , in which hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have no doubt been expended.

But not one dollar has been expended investigating Comey's illegal leak . Or all of the leaking – from the Justice Department, intelligence agencies and the White House. Weird, huh?

As the president has said repeatedly – and said again today – this is a "witch hunt." It's actually worse than that; this is the Deep State's effort to take out a duly-elected president simply because they fear that he will do what he campaigned to do, drain the nasty, infested, incestuous swamp in which they swim.

It's time to band together to support the president. He will need it in the months ahead.

Update [12:30 CST]: It should be noted that following Comey's Feb. 14 private dinner with Trump, in which the president allegedly said (Trump has denied it) "I hope you can see your way past" the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, the former FBI director never reported to anyone that he believed the president was ordering him to drop the investigation (which Trump, as head of the Executive Branch, has a constitutional right to do). Only after he was fired by Trump did Comey turn around and then claim the president was attempting to "obstruct" him.

As to the Post story, something stinks about it. Consider that in March , Comey told the president he wasn't under investigation again – and he would have been had their been alleged "obstruction of justice." And yet, as the Post stated, Trump did not come under investigation for obstruction until after Comey was fired.

Finally, if Trump had actually ordered the Flynn and Russia investigation halted, it obviously wasn't halted – and the president would have followed up on such an order to ensure the investigation was shut down. As Donald Trump Jr. notes, when dad gives an order, there is no ambiguity; everyone knows it's an order:

[Jun 17, 2017] Trump now understands that Rosenstein was Obama/Hillary mole and that he backstabbed him, but this is too late

Notable quotes:
"... Acknowledging for the first time publicly that he is under investigation, Mr. Trump appeared to accuse Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading what the president called a "witch hunt." Mr. Rosenstein appointed a special counsel last month to conduct the investigation after Mr. Trump fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey. ..."
"... "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" Mr. Trump wrote, apparently referring to a memo Mr. Rosenstein wrote in May that was critical of Mr. Comey's leadership at the F.B.I. ..."
"... In other words, Washington is the opposite of how it orchestrates its portrait. There is no such thing as "liberal internationalism." All "liberal internationalism" means is American hegemony over the idiot countries that participate in "liberal internationalism." ..."
Jun 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs June 17, 2017 at 01:49 AM

Trump Attacks Rosenstein in Latest Rebuke of Justice Department

https://nyti.ms/2tuS5hb

NYT - MICHAEL D. SHEAR, CHARLIE SAVAGE and MAGGIE HABERMAN - JUNE 16

WASHINGTON - President Trump escalated his attacks on his own Justice Department on Friday, using an early-morning Twitter rant to condemn the department's actions as "phony" and "sad!" and to challenge the integrity of the official overseeing the expanding inquiry into Russian influence of the 2016 election.

Acknowledging for the first time publicly that he is under investigation, Mr. Trump appeared to accuse Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading what the president called a "witch hunt." Mr. Rosenstein appointed a special counsel last month to conduct the investigation after Mr. Trump fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" Mr. Trump wrote, apparently referring to a memo Mr. Rosenstein wrote in May that was critical of Mr. Comey's leadership at the F.B.I.

"Witch hunt," Mr. Trump added.

The remarkable public rebuke is the latest example of a concerted effort by Mr. Trump, the White House and its allies to undermine officials at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. even as the Russia investigation proceeds.

The nation's law enforcement agency is under siege, short-staffed because of delays in filling senior positions and increasingly at odds with a president who had already engaged in a monthslong feud with the government's intelligence agencies.

Several current and former assistant United States attorneys described a sense of listlessness and uncertainty, with some expressing hesitation about pursuing new investigations, not knowing whether there would be an appetite for them once leadership was installed in each district after Mr. Trump fired dozens of United States attorneys who were Obama-era holdovers.

In the five weeks since Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey, he has let it be known that he has considered firing Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel leading the Russia investigation. His personal lawyer bragged about firing Preet Bharara, the former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was let go as part of the mass dismissal of top prosecutors. Newt Gingrich, an ally of the president's, accused Mr. Mueller of being the tip of the "deep-state spear aimed at destroying" the Trump presidency. ...

graphic: How 7 Trump Associates Have Been
Linked to Russia https://nyti.ms/2sVvf23
NYT - updated June 13

ilsm , June 17, 2017 at 02:37 AM
"witch hunt" wrongly associates this travesty with Salem hangings!

This is more like Stalinist shows trials while the traitors ruin the branches. Or, "Beria hunts", if you wish

libezkova , June 17, 2017 at 06:57 AM
Neocon are determined not to allow anybody to change the US foreign policy as their well-being, as lobbyists of MIC and Israel, depends on this

President Trump is in trouble, Bacevich says, because "he appears disinclined to perpetuate American hegemony."

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-global-order-myth/

American hegemony is the neoconservatives doctrine and "the Russian threat" is an insurance of MIC $1.1 trillion annual budget.

And DemoRats now are just another War party, a bunch of lobbyists with the only difference that they get less money from Israel, and more from MIC and Wall Street (all wars are bankers wars)

Those "very serious guys" are determined to install President Pence and already succeeded in applointed a Special Prosecutor as the milestone of this color revolution.

Poor Trump did not realized that he is trapped until it was too late.

http://www.unz.com/proberts/global-order-is-an-euphemism-for-washingtons-hegemony/

Bacevich points out that the orchestrated attack on President Trump is based on the assumption that President Trump has launched an attack on the open, liberal, enlightened, rule of law, and democratic order that Washington has established. This liberal world order of goodness is threatened by a Trump-Putin Conspiracy.

Bacevich, a rare honest American, says this that this characterization of America is a bullshit myth.

For example, the orchestrated image of America as the great upholder of truth, justice, democracy, and human rights conveniently overlooks Washington's "meddling in foreign elections; coups and assassination plots in Iran [Washingtonn's 1953 overthrow of the first elected Iranian government], Guatemala, the Congo, Cuba, South Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere; indiscriminate aerial bombing campaigns in North Korea and throughout Southeast Asia; a nuclear arms race bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon; support for corrupt, authoritarian regimes in Iran [the Shah], Turkey, Greece, South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere-many of them abandoned when deemed inconvenient; the shielding of illegal activities through the use of the Security Council veto; unlawful wars launched under false pretenses; 'extraordinary rendition,' torture, and the indefinite imprisonment of persons without any semblance of due process [the evisceration of the US Constitution]."

In other words, Washington is the opposite of how it orchestrates its portrait. There is no such thing as "liberal internationalism." All "liberal internationalism" means is American hegemony over the idiot countries that participate in "liberal internationalism."

[Jun 17, 2017] FBI refuses to release Comey memos while investigation ongoing

They should investigate why Comey wrote this memo is is there any conspiracy to oust President Trump...
BTW much better timing of firing Comey would be immediately after Inauguration citing the fact that he outsourced DNC investigation to a private firm with Ukrainian ties.
Jun 17, 2017 | www.msn.com

The FBI won't be publicly releasing any memos that ousted FBI director James Comey wrote about his conversations with President Donald Trump because they might interfere with an ongoing investigation.

... ... ...

"I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job," Trump said to Russian officials in the Oval Office the day after the firing, according to a New York Times report . "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That's taken off."

[Jun 17, 2017] The basic scheme of color revolution against Trump

Jun 16, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova, June 16, 2017 at 06:48 PM
Looks like in the last Presidential elections voters faced Faustian bargain (A deal in which one focuses on present gain without considering the long term consequences): Crazy neocon warmonger, vs. Republican variant of "bait and switch" artist Obama.

The only two candidates who were to some extent promising "in a long run" (Sanders and Rand Paul) were eliminated before the final round.

As the result we got what we deserve as brainwashed by neoliberals and neocons lemmings. So Trump is not a problem, he is a symptom of the much larger problem: the crisis of neoliberalism. In a way, he is punishment for our neoliberal sins.

Many people voted for Trump in a hope that he will end the neocons wars. They were deceived and now keep their heads low:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/resist-this-how-hillary-lost-in-her-own-words/

"Yes, I voted for Donald Trump. When people confront me and ask me why, I sort of shuffle off, head down, while muttering something about how "he wasn't the war candidate."

But the current color revolution against Trump (so called Russiagate) has all signs of an intelligence operation and that's a problem. Here is the basic scheme as I understand it:

  1. Provoke Trump.
  2. Use MSM to produce hysteria for this act, not matter what it is about.
  3. Force the appointment of a Special Prosecutor either via Obama mole in Department of Justice, or via Congress.
  4. Remove Tramp, or force him to voluntarily resign due to dirt dug by Special Prosecutor on him and his family (Bill Clinton know this staff pretty well).

It looks like this scheme might have significant externalities:

1. First of all VP Mike Pence is not a solution; he is a part of the problem.

2. And the second the direction and a strength of the blowback for this intelligence operation is unpredictable.

[Jun 16, 2017] Robert Mueller expands special counsel office, hires 13 lawyers

Notable quotes:
"... While only five attorneys have been identified, concerns have come up over the political leanings of Quarles, Rhee and Weissmann. They have donated overwhelmingly to Democrats , totaling more than $53,000 since 1988, according to a CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission records. Widening probe The special counsel's investigators are looking into questions of Russian interference in last year's election, and plan to speak to senior intelligence officials, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. ..."
"... Mueller is also investigating whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. ..."
"... "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history -- led by some very bad and conflicted people!" ..."
Jun 16, 2017 | www.cnn.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller has brought 13 lawyers on board to handle the Russia investigation, with plans to hire more, according to his spokesman Peter Carr. Mueller has assembled a high-powered team of top investigators and leading experts, including seasoned attorneys who've represented major American companies in court and who have worked on cases ranging from Watergate to the Enron fraud scandal. Among them are James Quarles and Jeannie Rhee, both of whom Mueller brought over from his old firm, WilmerHale. He's also hired Andrew Weissmann, who led the Enron investigation.

"That is a great, great team of complete professionals, so let's let him do his job," former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who investigated President Bill Clinton in the 1990s, told ABC News. While only five attorneys have been identified, concerns have come up over the political leanings of Quarles, Rhee and Weissmann. They have donated overwhelmingly to Democrats , totaling more than $53,000 since 1988, according to a CNN analysis of Federal Election Commission records. Widening probe The special counsel's investigators are looking into questions of Russian interference in last year's election, and plan to speak to senior intelligence officials, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

Mueller is also investigating whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The Post reported that the interviews represent a widening of the probe to include looking into whether the President obstructed justice in suggesting to his former FBI Director James Comey that Comey drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser, as well as for his firing of Comey.

Mueller's investigators have asked for information and will talk to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, according to a source, who said they have also sought information from recently retired NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett.

Coats and Rogers have testified that they were not pressured by the Trump administration.

'Phony' story

Law enforcement sources tell CNN that the special counsel is gathering information and considering whether there is evidence to launch a full-scale obstruction investigation.

Hill Russia investigators plow forward, Mueller meetings on horizon Trump, however, referred to the Post's reporting as a "phony" story in a tweet Thursday. "They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story.

Nice," the President tweeted .

In another tweet, Trump called it "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history -- led by some very bad and conflicted people!" A spokesman for the office of the special counsel declined to comment, and so did a representative for the director of National Intelligence. In a statement, the National Security Agency said it "will fully cooperate with the special counsel," but declined to comment further.

Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Trump's outside attorney, Marc Kasowitz, slammed the Post's reporting. "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal," he said.

[Jun 16, 2017] A U.S. representative from Texas is warning Americans that there most definitely is a Trump-related conspiracy afoot, but it has nothing to do with the president s alleged collusion with Russia.

Notable quotes:
"... Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, says the conspiracy lies within the Department of Justice, which he adds is full of Obama-era holdovers who are out to get President Donald J. Trump. ..."
"... mert also targeted fired FBI Director James Comey for failing to write a memo about his meeting with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in which he said she told him to treat the Hillary Clinton email probe as a "matter" rather than an "investigation." ..."
"... "When he said that the president lied about him and he used the L-word, Comey was lying. How do we know? Look at all of the things he said. That was ridiculous to not have done a memo, and then I heard him say he had done the memo and then he talked with some of his colleagues," the congressman said. ..."
Jun 16, 2017 | thenationalsentinel.com
Executive Branch: A U.S. representative from Texas is warning Americans that there most definitely is a Trump-related conspiracy afoot, but it has nothing to do with the president's alleged "collusion" with Russia.

Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, says the conspiracy lies within the Department of Justice, which he adds is full of Obama-era holdovers who are out to get President Donald J. Trump.

"We have a conspiracy remaining afoot in the Department of Justice that is out to destroy this president and they've got to be fired, if not worse," Gohmert told Fox News , as reported by The Hill .

Gohmert also targeted fired FBI Director James Comey for failing to write a memo about his meeting with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in which he said she told him to treat the Hillary Clinton email probe as a "matter" rather than an "investigation."

During last week's Senate testimony, Comey said he kept memos of all his meetings with President Donald J. Trump. Critics like Gohmert have said doing so with Trump but not with Obama or other Obama administration officials he interacted with at Justice suggests political motivations rather than genuine concern.

"When he said that the president lied about him and he used the L-word, Comey was lying. How do we know? Look at all of the things he said. That was ridiculous to not have done a memo, and then I heard him say he had done the memo and then he talked with some of his colleagues," the congressman said.

Gohmert called for serious legal consequences for all Justice Department officials Comey talked to regarding the memos.

"We need to round up everybody he talked to, because they were all conspiring against the president," he said.

Here's the interview:

[Jun 16, 2017] This is how color revolution against Trump works -- get the special procecutor and then charge the President with the obstruction of justice so that neocon swamp remains undistrubed

All previous Presidents, including Obama, Bush II, and Clinton, have much more serious transgressions (suppression of Hillary Clinton investigation is one).
Jun 16, 2017 | www.msn.com

Former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara on Sunday said he thinks there is evidence to start a case for obstruction of justice against President Trump.

"I think there's absolutely evidence to begin a case -- I think it's very important for all sorts of armchair speculators in the law, to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction," he said on ABC's "This Week."

"It's also true...that there's no basis to say there's no obstruction."

Bharara also said during the interview that there is evidence from someone who is under oath that "on at least one occasion, the president of the United States, cleared the room of his vice president and his attorney general and told his director of the FBI that he should essentially drop the case against his former national security adviser."

"Whether or not that is impeachable or that's indictable, that's a very serious thing and I'm not sure that people fully get that the standard is not just whether something is a crime or not," Bharara said.

"Whether or not it can be charged as a crime or Congress will impeach, it is a very serious thing."

He said there is a lot to be "frightened" and "outraged" about.

"That's an incredibly serious thing if people think that the president of the United States can tell heads of law enforcement agencies, based on his own whim or his own personal preferences or friendships, that they should or should not pursue particular criminal cases against individuals," he said.

"That's not how America works."

[Jun 15, 2017] Comeys Lies of Omission by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump is not the target of an FBI investigation. Donald Trump has never been the target of an FBI investigation. The FBI is not investigating Trump for collusion, improper relations with a foreign government, treason or any of the other ridiculous things he's been falsely accused of in the fake media. In fact, the FBI is not investigating him at all. ..."
"... So, there was no counter-intelligence case on Trump? There was no investigation of collusion with Russia? But how can that be, after all, Trump has been hectored and harassed by the media from Day 1? His appointments have been blocked, his political agenda has been derailed, and the results of the 2016 elections have been effectively repealed due to the relentless attacks of the media, political elites and high-ranking leaders in the Intelligence Community. Now Comey admits that Trump is not guilty of anything, he's not even a suspect. ..."
"... Trump repeatedly asked Comey to announce that he wasn't under investigation. According to Comey, Trump "emphasized the problems this was causing him" and (Trump) said "We need to get that fact out." But Comey repeatedly refused to publicly acknowledge the truth. Why? ..."
"... It's true, he admitted it himself. Following his first meeting with Trump on January 6, he started recording contents of his private conversations with the president-elect on a secure FBI laptop in his car outside Trump Tower. He didn't even wait until he got back to the office, he did it in the goddamn parking lot. That's what you call "eager". In his testimony he admitted that he kept notes of his private meetings with Trump "from that point forward." ..."
"... Does that sound like the normal activities of dedicated public servant acting in behalf of the elected government or does it sound like someone who's on an assignment to dig up as much dirt as possible on the target of a political smear campaign. ..."
"... Comey is a man with zero integrity. Did you know that? ..."
"... In short, the memo Comey that approved gave a thumbs-up on waterboarding, wall slams, and other forms of torture – all violations of domestic and international law. Then, there's warrantless wiretapping. ."("Let's Check James Comey's Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director", ACLU) ..."
"... Repeat: "He approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration (including) torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention." How does that square with the media's portrayal of Comey as a man of unshakable integrity and honor? ..."
"... In my mind, Comey tipped his hand when he said that he leaked the memo of his private conversation with Trump to the media in order to precipitate the appointment of a special prosecutor. Think about that for a minute. Here's what he said: ..."
"... because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel ..."
"... Listen to Comey. The man is openly admitting that leaking the memo was all part of a very clearly-defined political strategy to force the appointment of a special prosecutor. That was the political objective from the get go. He doesn't even try to hide it. He wasn't trying to protect himself from 'mean old' Trump. That's baloney! He was laying the groundwork for a massive and expansive investigation into anything and anyone even remotely connected to the Trump team, a gigantic fishing expedition aimed at taking down Trump and his closest allies. That's what Comey's been up to. Only his plan didn't work, did it, because the 'leaked memo' didn't lead to the appointment of the special prosecutor. Instead, someone had to whisper in Trump's ear that he should fire Comey and, ah ha, that's all it took. ..."
"... In other words, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenberg had to step in and give Comey his pink slip before the media could cry "obstruction", creating the perfect opportunity to appoint "hired gun" Robert Mueller as special counsel. Now that the dominoes are in motion, Comey can trundle off to some comfy job at one of the many rightwing Washington think tanks while Mueller gathers together his team of superstar prosecutors to launch their first broadsides on the White House. ..."
"... Clearly, Trump was not trying to impede the investigation. But even if he was, it is a particularly murky area of the law and difficult to prove. ..."
"... lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com . ..."
"... Excellent article. The politicized charge 'obstruction of justice' is nebulous, arcane and insufferably highfalutin, which makes the entire investigation a very appealing opportunity to launch a politically correct witch hunt. Watch the MSM cheer it on. ..."
"... But the endgame is not exclusively about Russia. Ancillary targets include Russia's teetering allies, Syria and Iran. Cui Bono? ..."
"... Good takes all, Mike, and they're the truth. But I'd fire Rosenburg for his betrayals, then fire Mueller for his political selections, all Democrats, most with contributor or employment connections to the Clintons, the Foundation, or the Global Initiative. Those would be a firings for cause and I would fire all their allies, too. Immediately, I'd demand a Grand Jury hearing and have appointed another Special Prosecutor. Nixon wasn't impeached over the Saturday Night Massacre, he was impeached because they had the goods on him. ..."
"... The endless investigations can be terminated by the President on whim. The Congress can then impeach and hold a trial. They would all look like fools because there's nothing there, only their desire to do Trump in. Trump should fire, fire, fire wherever the politics lead in whatever agency. A lot of this is Clinton-driven, too. Jeff Sessions also needs to get on board, carry the frustrated Clinton investigations to a Grand Jury, flip it all back on them and indict Comey, Rosenberg and all their little buddies down below that leaked. Anyone who leaks, lies or obstructs goes to jail. ..."
"... It may sound strange, but I do not believe this entire escapade is about Donald Trump or Russia. It is about our Neocon overlords asserting their unconstitutional primacy over the sovereign will of the American People. ..."
"... If the American people had their way, all our "Neocon overlords" would be in federal prison or Guantanamo Bay, and all their assets seized to pay down the heinous 20 trillion debt their lies have created. ..."
"... Presumably Comey was deeply involved in Obama's illegal spying. ..."
"... Learned thus far; the deep state has more power than the Senate, the HOUSE and all members of the voting public.. Its not about Trump, its about you voters.. you people out their in vote land did not vote for the person the deep state elected.. therefore your elected persons must go.. somehow, he must go.. and believe me the DEEPSTATE has pledged to make it so.. ..."
"... Mueller was not appointed via the congressional "special prosecutor" statute (which was allowed to lapse.) He was appointed by the Justice Departement which means that Trump appointed the man whose job is to destroy him. Why would Trump agree to that when he can simply fire Rosenstein and instal someone who'll get rid of Mueller. Sure, the Washington Post will moan and groan, but who cares. ..."
"... A little discouraged. Don' t think the swamp is drainable. Trump agenda will never be enacted under these circumstances. Maybe Trump should fire Rosenstein and Mueller and then resign, loudly proclaiming truth about swamp. Don't like Pence but maybe few things can get done. Trump underestimated deep state. They ARE in charge. What will the people do ? Become more apathetic? ..."
"... Alternatively, Trump could go out swinging. Fire Rosenstein and Mueller and rally base and see what happens. Can't go on as is. The death by a thousand cuts. ..."
"... In light of Mueller's early actions corroborating his status as an establishment thug and lackey, Trump should fire him, and should fire Rosenstein, particularly since he has the power to do so, and Comey's testimony admits that the leak was intended to get somebody, probably his longtime associate Mueller, in as special prosecutor. As the article shows, the whole thing has been an effort by the power structure to continue its nihilistic war policies. Trump's other proven faults are not the issue. Our survival and the restoration of the rule of law are what is at stake. ..."
"... The problem is that this leads back to the same questions of why Russia is Washington's sworn enemy anyway. Furthermore, what is Trump's motivation in pushing for a detente with Russia, potentially jeopardizing first his candidacy, and now his presidency, with a generally unpopular among the electorate position? ..."
"... I tend to agree with some of the comments above, that this has to do with the Neocons, their hold on power and their plans for Middle Eastern conquest. Russia stands in the way of a lot of their plans. Still, Trump's stance on Russia, and who or what else is behind that, to me is the great mystery in all this. And, to be clear, I don't believe in any kind of ridiculous collusion or blackmail scenario. ..."
"... Trump needs to stage a false flag assasination attempt. Blame it on operatives within the FBI and the upper echelons of congress. Invite bikers for Trump and other patriots to washington, putting them on the payroll and arming them while stating "Due to the assasination attempt I can no longer trust the secret service or Washington establishment for protection." He then needs to have this army occupy both Capitol hill, the CIA and the FBI. etc etc. Its time for Trump to flex his inner Yeltsin. ..."
"... Uh, because he is a tool of the criminal elite who really run the show, which is one reason he was rewarded with a directorship at HSBC in an earlier time. He made beaucoup bucks there they made beaucoup bucks laundering hundreds of billions of drug cartel money. Apple tree. ..."
"... I don't care much for Trump, finding many of his specific domestic policies noxious; but I do have a dog in the fight when the Deep State tries to overturn the election of the Chief Magistrate of the nation because he might upset their applecart. He already fucked with their so-called "trade" deals by deep sixing the TPP, and then he is talking about speaking respectfully with Russia, implicitly rejecting the unipolarity of American Hegemony. What further proof did the Deep State require to set a soft coup into motion? ..."
"... Comey's having previously taken a job as general counsel of Bridgewater, including a reported and unmerited $3+ million severance on leaving, was sufficient reason for Trump to fire him on day one. Comey's due diligence had to have made him aware of–and therefore he apparently wanted to be in on–Dalio's deranged, Stalinesque corporate culture of backstabbing absolutely everyone under the guise of openness. ..."
"... Were Trump to take hysterical pieces like this post seriously it would likely precipitate him into war with Russia. Fortunately that won't be necessary, because Trump can order the FBI to do or stop doing things; the pres has that constitutional authority as Dershowitz has said repeatedly from the begining, so there is no case against Trump for obstruction. Dershowitz has also said anything (jaywalking) is in theory an "impeachable offense" , because impeachment is completely political. ..."
"... JULY 10 = ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SETH RICH MURDER How about something big on July 10? The date shouldn't be wasted. Over 66,000 people have signed the petition to make this point. There are only 3 days left, but it could still make the 100K mark. ..."
Jun 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

"The Democrats are not fighting Trump over his assault on health care, his attacks on immigrants, his militaristic bullying around the world, or even his status as a minority president who can claim no mandate after losing the popular vote. Instead, they have chosen to attack Trump, the most right-wing president in US history, from the right, denouncing him as insufficiently committed to a military confrontation with Russia."

- Patrick Martin, "The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming", World Socialist Web Site

Donald Trump is not the target of an FBI investigation. Donald Trump has never been the target of an FBI investigation. The FBI is not investigating Trump for collusion, improper relations with a foreign government, treason or any of the other ridiculous things he's been falsely accused of in the fake media. In fact, the FBI is not investigating him at all.

Last week, former FBI Director James Comey admitted publicly what he has known all along: that Trump was not a suspect in the Russia hacking probe and never has been. Here's the story from Politico:

"Comey assured Trump he wasn't under investigation during their first meeting. He said he discussed with FBI leadership before his meeting with the president-elect whether to disclose that he wasn't personally under investigation. "That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him," Comey said." (Politico)

So, there was no counter-intelligence case on Trump? There was no investigation of collusion with Russia? But how can that be, after all, Trump has been hectored and harassed by the media from Day 1? His appointments have been blocked, his political agenda has been derailed, and the results of the 2016 elections have been effectively repealed due to the relentless attacks of the media, political elites and high-ranking leaders in the Intelligence Community. Now Comey admits that Trump is not guilty of anything, he's not even a suspect.

What's going on here? Why didn't Comey clear the air earlier so the American people would know that their president wasn't in bed with a foreign power? Why did he allow this farce to continue when he knew there was no substance to the claims? Did he enjoy seeing Trump twisting in the wind or was there some more sinister "political" motive behind his omission?

Trump repeatedly asked Comey to announce that he wasn't under investigation. According to Comey, Trump "emphasized the problems this was causing him" and (Trump) said "We need to get that fact out." But Comey repeatedly refused to publicly acknowledge the truth. Why?

Comey never answered that question to Trump, but he did explain his reasoning to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. He said he didn't want to announce that Trump was not part of the Bureau's Russia probe because "it would create a duty to correct, should that change."

A "duty to correct"? Are you kidding me? What kind of bullshit answer is that? How many hours of legal brainstorming did it take to come up with that lame-ass excuse?

Let's state the obvious: Comey wanted to maintain the cloud of suspicion that was hanging over Trump because it helped to feed the perception that Trump was a traitor who collaborated with Russia to win the election. By remaining silent, Comey helped to fuel the public hysteria and reinforce the belief that Trump was guilty of criminal wrongdoing. That is why Comey never spoke out before, it's because his silence was already achieving the result he sought which was to inflict as much damage as possible on Trump and his administration.

Did you know that Comey was spying on Trump from Day 1?

It's true, he admitted it himself. Following his first meeting with Trump on January 6, he started recording contents of his private conversations with the president-elect on a secure FBI laptop in his car outside Trump Tower. He didn't even wait until he got back to the office, he did it in the goddamn parking lot. That's what you call "eager". In his testimony he admitted that he kept notes of his private meetings with Trump "from that point forward."

Does that sound like the normal activities of dedicated public servant acting in behalf of the elected government or does it sound like someone who's on an assignment to dig up as much dirt as possible on the target of a political smear campaign.

Isn't that what Comey was really up to?

Comey is a man with zero integrity. Did you know that?

"There's one very big problem with describing Comey as some sort of civil libertarian: some facts suggest otherwise. While Comey deserves credit for stopping an illegal spying program in dramatic fashion, he also approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration during his time as deputy attorney general. Those included torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention.

On 30 December 2004, a memo addressed to James Comey was issued that superseded the infamous memo that defined torture as pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure". The memo to Comey seemed to renounce torture but did nothing of the sort. The key sentence in the opinion is tucked away in footnote 8. It concludes that the new Comey memo did not change the authorizations of interrogation tactics in any earlier memos.

In short, the memo Comey that approved gave a thumbs-up on waterboarding, wall slams, and other forms of torture – all violations of domestic and international law. Then, there's warrantless wiretapping. ."("Let's Check James Comey's Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director", ACLU)

Repeat: "He approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration (including) torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention." How does that square with the media's portrayal of Comey as a man of unshakable integrity and honor?

It doesn't square at all, does it? The media is obviously lying. Now ask yourself this: Can a man who rubber-stamped waterboarding be trusted? No, he can't be trusted because he's already proved himself to be inherently immoral.

Would a man like Comey agree to use his position and authority to try to "undo" the damage he did prior to the election when he announced the FBI was reopening its investigation of Hillary Clinton? In other words, was Comey being blackmailed to gather illicit material on Trump?

I think it's very likely, although entirely unprovable. Even so, Comey has been way too eager to frame Trump for things for which he is not guilty. Why has he been so eager? Was he really just protecting himself as he says or was he gathering information to build a legal case against Trump?

In my mind, Comey tipped his hand when he said that he leaked the memo of his private conversation with Trump to the media in order to precipitate the appointment of a special prosecutor. Think about that for a minute. Here's what he said:

"My judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square. So I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel , so I asked a close friend of mine to do it."

Listen to Comey. The man is openly admitting that leaking the memo was all part of a very clearly-defined political strategy to force the appointment of a special prosecutor. That was the political objective from the get go. He doesn't even try to hide it. He wasn't trying to protect himself from 'mean old' Trump. That's baloney! He was laying the groundwork for a massive and expansive investigation into anything and anyone even remotely connected to the Trump team, a gigantic fishing expedition aimed at taking down Trump and his closest allies. That's what Comey's been up to. Only his plan didn't work, did it, because the 'leaked memo' didn't lead to the appointment of the special prosecutor. Instead, someone had to whisper in Trump's ear that he should fire Comey and, ah ha, that's all it took.

In other words, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenberg had to step in and give Comey his pink slip before the media could cry "obstruction", creating the perfect opportunity to appoint "hired gun" Robert Mueller as special counsel. Now that the dominoes are in motion, Comey can trundle off to some comfy job at one of the many rightwing Washington think tanks while Mueller gathers together his team of superstar prosecutors to launch their first broadsides on the White House.

Whoever wrote this script deserves an Oscar. This is really first-rate political theater.

Now it's up to Mueller to prove that Trump tried to obstruct the investigation by asking Comey to go easy on former national security advisor General Michael Flynn. (According to Comey, Trump said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.") It might sound like obstruction, but there are real problems with this type of prosecution particularly the fact that Trump denies the allegations. Also, Comey has acknowledged that Trump expressed his support for the overall goals of the investigation when he said, "that if there were some 'satellite' associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out."

Clearly, Trump was not trying to impede the investigation. But even if he was, it is a particularly murky area of the law and difficult to prove. Here's a short clip from an article by Professor Jonathan Turley at George Washington University who helps to clarify the point:

"The desire for some indictable or impeachable offense by President Trump has distorted the legal analysis to an alarming degree. Analysts seem far too thrilled by the possibility of a crime by Trump. The legal fact is that Comey's testimony does not establish a prima facie - or even a strong - case for obstruction.

It is certainly true that if Trump made these comments, his conduct is wildly inappropriate. However, talking like Tony Soprano does not make you Tony Soprano .

The crime of obstruction of justice has not been defined as broadly as suggested by commentators The mere fact that Trump asked to speak to Comey alone would not implicate the president in obstruction. .

It would be a highly dangerous interpretation to allow obstruction charges at this stage. If prosecutors can charge people at the investigation stage of cases, a wide array of comments or conduct could be criminalized. It is quite common to have such issues arise early in criminal cases. Courts have limited the crime precisely to avoid this type of open-ended crime where prosecutors could threaten potential witnesses with charges unless they cooperated.

We do not indict or impeach people for being boorish or clueless or simply being Donald Trump." ("James Comey's testimony doesn't make the case for impeachment or obstruction against Donald Trump", USA Today)

The fact that the obstruction charge won't stick is not going to stop Mueller from rummaging around and making Trump's life a living Hell. Heck no. He's going to dig through his old phone records, bank accounts, tax returns, shaky land deals, ex girl friends, whatever it takes. His prosecutorial tentacles will extend into every nook and cranny of Trump's private life and affairs until he latches onto some particularly sordid incident or transaction he can use he can use to disgrace, discredit, and demonize Trump to the point that impeachment proceedings seem like a welcome relief. It should be obvious by now, that the deep state elites who launched this coup are not going to be satisfied until Trump is forced from office and the results of the 2016 presidential election are wiped out.

But, why? Why is Trump so hated by these people?

Trump is not being attacked because of his reactionary political agenda, but because he's been deemed insufficiently hostile to Washington's sworn enemy, Russia. It's all about Russia. Trump wanted to "normalize" relations with Moscow which pitted him against the powerful US foreign policy establishment. Now Trump has to be taught a lesson. He must be crushed, humiliated and exiled. And that's probably the way this will end.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

Fran Macadam Website, June 14, 2017 at 5:04 pm GMT

Somebody else sure is in charge of America other than 300 million ordinary Americans, though it certainly isn't Russians.

Mike Whitney, June 15, 2017 at 3:30 am GMT

Let me get this straight: Comey leaks a memo to the NY Times saying that Trump pressured him to go easy on Flynn. He hoped that the leak would result in an "obstruction" charge against Trump. But it doesn't work.

So, Rod Rosenstein–who has convenently replaced Sessions– talks Trump into firing Comey. Why?

Because Rosenstein is working for the other team and he needs Trump to do something stupid that REALLY looks like obstruction, so he fires the head of the FBI. (Again, according to Salon, firing Comey was Rosenstein's idea)

A week later, Rosenstein –without consulting Trump– appoints deep state handyman and political assassin, Bob Mueller. So, in effect, Rosenstein appointed a special prosecutor to address the appearence of obstruction that he created when he told Trump to fire Comey.
How's that for symetry!

Then on Tuesday, Rosenstein was asked what he would do if the president ordered him to fire Mueller. Rosenstein said, "I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders." He added later: "As long as I'm in this position, he's not going to be fired without good cause," which he said he would have to put in writing.

Oh man, this thing has "set up" written all over it. The whole thing stinks to high heaven

Countercoup, Part 5: After Comey, Sessions Hearings the #TrumpRussia Con is Failing – Rogue Money, June 15, 2017 at 5:05 am GMT

[ ] Comey's defenders were left sputtering that the fired FBI director had repeatedly affirmed the 'fact' of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and that Comey had called Trump a liar. The President's response was to hint again that he had recordings of his conversations with Comey, to which the ex-director cockily declared 'Lordy I hope there are tapes'. This of course, is a bluff by Comey and his derp state/Trump hating media backers, since Comey's entire argument for obstruction of justice rests on his feelings/interpretations of a conversation alone with the President, rather than any actual evidence of obstructing actions by Administration officials. The only thing known for sure as of this posting is that the U.S. Secret Service says it does not have recordings of the private Trump-Comey conversation. Meaning the President may have used a personal recording device to protect himself from Comey's subsequent write up and self-serving leaked recollections of their conversation. For more on the crookedness of Comey, read this summary by Mike Whitney at Unz Review. [ ]

utu, June 15, 2017 at 5:09 am GMT

@Mike Whitney I can see the reason for Trump being furious with Sessions.

Mark Green, June 15, 2017 at 6:17 am GMT

Excellent article. The politicized charge 'obstruction of justice' is nebulous, arcane and insufferably highfalutin, which makes the entire investigation a very appealing opportunity to launch a politically correct witch hunt. Watch the MSM cheer it on.

Meanwhile, the broad and well-earned suspicions surrounding the Clintons and their money-laundering foundation will be moved aside and slowly forgotten, as planned.

Trump's enemies will use this open-ended 'investigation' to cloud and sully every action the President makes. It is a legalistic act of war using the courts as cover. Disgraceful.

But the endgame is not exclusively about Russia. Ancillary targets include Russia's teetering allies, Syria and Iran. Cui Bono?

jilles dykstra, June 15, 2017 at 6:51 am GMT

Seen from Europe the hearings by the USA Senate seem a comedy, if it was not serious. In my view the effort is to prevent talks with Russia, in order to get a normal relation with that country. At all costs Russia must remain the dangerous enemy of the USA. Why ?

I suppose on the on hand the desire for USA world domination, on the other hand the fear, that existed in the USA since the 1917 Lenin coup, that Europe's trade relations with the east would become more important than across the Atlantic.

Antony C. Sutton, ´Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution', 1974 New Rochelle, N.Y.

Jim Christian, June 15, 2017 at 9:54 am GMT

@Mike Whitney

Good takes all, Mike, and they're the truth. But I'd fire Rosenburg for his betrayals, then fire Mueller for his political selections, all Democrats, most with contributor or employment connections to the Clintons, the Foundation, or the Global Initiative. Those would be a firings for cause and I would fire all their allies, too. Immediately, I'd demand a Grand Jury hearing and have appointed another Special Prosecutor. Nixon wasn't impeached over the Saturday Night Massacre, he was impeached because they had the goods on him.

The endless investigations can be terminated by the President on whim. The Congress can then impeach and hold a trial. They would all look like fools because there's nothing there, only their desire to do Trump in. Trump should fire, fire, fire wherever the politics lead in whatever agency. A lot of this is Clinton-driven, too. Jeff Sessions also needs to get on board, carry the frustrated Clinton investigations to a Grand Jury, flip it all back on them and indict Comey, Rosenberg and all their little buddies down below that leaked. Anyone who leaks, lies or obstructs goes to jail.

This IS manageable, Jeff Sessions needs to man up here, or another AG needs to be in his place.

alexander, June 15, 2017 at 10:01 am GMT

Dear Mr. Whitney,

Thank you for a fine article. It may sound strange, but I do not believe this entire escapade is about Donald Trump or Russia. It is about our Neocon overlords asserting their unconstitutional primacy over the sovereign will of the American People.

If the American people had their way, all our "Neocon overlords" would be in federal prison or Guantanamo Bay, and all their assets seized to pay down the heinous 20 trillion debt their lies have created.

Rather than be held to ACCOUNT for the gigantic mess they have made, the stupid wars they "lied us into", and the trillions they have pilfered from the taxpayer in the process They put on this " Comey (dog) and Mueller (pony) show to deflect from their stupendous failures and horrendous criminality.

On day ONE of his Presidency, Donald Trump should have called in "the Marines", and started seizing assets (up ,down, left and right) to recoup the losses our nation has endured.

The American people should be witnessing a Nuremberg like trial, today, where all our treasonous, defrauding "elites" are admonished, shamed, and sentenced before the entire world.

LondonBob, June 15, 2017 at 10:30 am GMT

@Mike Whitney Yes the role of Rosenstein and his background needs exploring. Firing Comey was the right thing to do I think, he and they would have worked something anyway.

Frank Qattrone and Martha Stewart could tell you that you can do nothing wrong but they can still put you in prison. Trump needs to be careful and get some good advice, I think so far he hasn't taken this seriously enough. Seems clear Mueller has a conflict and that a special counsel was appointed on false pretext.

LondonBob, June 15, 2017 at 10:33 am GMT

Presumably Comey was deeply involved in Obama's illegal spying.

Notaboutrump_but_about you voters, June 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm GMT

Learned thus far; the deep state has more power than the Senate, the HOUSE and all members of the voting public.. Its not about Trump, its about you voters.. you people out their in vote land did not vote for the person the deep state elected.. therefore your elected persons must go.. somehow, he must go.. and believe me the DEEPSTATE has pledged to make it so..

Mike Whitney, June 15, 2017 at 12:55 pm GMT

Why should Trump hire his own executioner? Would you? Would you try to help the people who are trying to frame you for nothing? Comey already admitted that there wasn't even an investigation. Why wasn't there an investigation? Because they have nothing on Trump. Nothing. That's why Comey "the waterboarder" agreed to frame him on the obstruction charge. Because they have Nothing.

Mueller was not appointed via the congressional "special prosecutor" statute (which was allowed to lapse.) He was appointed by the Justice Departement which means that Trump appointed the man whose job is to destroy him. Why would Trump agree to that when he can simply fire Rosenstein and instal someone who'll get rid of Mueller. Sure, the Washington Post will moan and groan, but who cares.

If Congress thinks there is enough evidence here to prosecute Trump, LET THEM APPOINT THEIR OWN SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.

Agent76, June 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT

Jun 8, 2017 Comey's Testimony What's EVERYBODY Missing?

Jason Bermas breaks down the Comey testimony, and reveals what everyone is missing!

Jul 7, 2016 Justice Vs. "Just Us": Of Course the FBI Let Hillary off the Hook

The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised by this.

pepperinmono, June 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

A little discouraged. Don' t think the swamp is drainable. Trump agenda will never be enacted under these circumstances. Maybe Trump should fire Rosenstein and Mueller and then resign, loudly proclaiming truth about swamp. Don't like Pence but maybe few things can get done. Trump underestimated deep state. They ARE in charge. What will the people do ? Become more apathetic?

Alternatively, Trump could go out swinging. Fire Rosenstein and Mueller and rally base and see what happens. Can't go on as is. The death by a thousand cuts.

exiled off mainstreet, June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm GMT

In light of Mueller's early actions corroborating his status as an establishment thug and lackey, Trump should fire him, and should fire Rosenstein, particularly since he has the power to do so, and Comey's testimony admits that the leak was intended to get somebody, probably his longtime associate Mueller, in as special prosecutor. As the article shows, the whole thing has been an effort by the power structure to continue its nihilistic war policies. Trump's other proven faults are not the issue. Our survival and the restoration of the rule of law are what is at stake.

I emigrated to Canada 10 years ago, fortunately being a dual citizen. One of the major reasons I did so was the Martha Stewart case mentioned by a commenter above. I didn't think much of Martha Stewart personally, but if she could be prosecuted despite the fifth amendment for a statement made not under oath exclusively on the say-so of a government agent, then there was no longer due process in the yankee imperium.

The fact the courts had allowed this "law" to go unchallenged was proof that the rule of law no longer obtained. That was a key factor in my deliberations about what to do. I also find it discouraging that counterpunch apparently did not see fit to publish this Whitney article, probably because it is too much on point and they don't want to fully break with the traditional left, which has destroyed itself by being taken over by fascists like the Clintons and Tony Blair. The yankee imperium needs a figure like Corbyn to put things right again, not a sell-out like Sanders.

pepperinmono, June 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

Republicans in Congress surely don't like Trump. However, they better start getting on board with him. They are tied together, whether they like it or not.

art guerrilla Website, June 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

what i find so weird, is the almost immediate flip-flop of so-called progressives/dem'rats yelling full-throatedly for violence against -not just all things t-rumpian- ALL those who fail ANY trivial PC litmus test they have their about-face on -essentially- renouncing nonviolence, adopting Empire's motto of 'might makes right', and going full berserker against the rest of the 99% is too sudden and severe to be anything but an astroturf wannabe purple revolution with hillary's puppet masters pulling the strings

IF they were actually calling for jihad against EMPIRE, instead of their fellow pathetic nekkid apes, i could get behind that but their petulant excuses for why they should be given free reign to 'punch a nazi' (ie ANYONE who disagrees with me), the disgusting shilling for hillary/dem'rats/Empire is maddening
.
don't give a shit about t-rump; but they hound him out of office, i will consider that a direct assault on my small-dee democracy, that a duly elected official is run off by hijacking the mechanisms of state to pursue the agenda of the 1% is not right, though done numerous times
.
i think they might find that 100+ million PISSED-OFF, nothing-to-lose unemployed may consider that the straw that broke the camel's back, and soros and his cabal of deep state slime won't like the pushback when bubba gets out of the recliner
.
come the revolution idiot dem'rats appear to be itching for, just WHICH SIDE do stupid libtards think the police, natl guard, military, etc are going to come down on ? ? ?
(hint: NOT the libtard side )

SolontoCroesus, June 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney nb. from the essay:

"Instead, someone had to whisper in Trump's ear that he should fire Comey and, ah ha, that's all it took. In other words, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosen berg had to step in"

We know what you meant. They all look alike.

JL, June 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

The problem is that this leads back to the same questions of why Russia is Washington's sworn enemy anyway. Furthermore, what is Trump's motivation in pushing for a detente with Russia, potentially jeopardizing first his candidacy, and now his presidency, with a generally unpopular among the electorate position?

I tend to agree with some of the comments above, that this has to do with the Neocons, their hold on power and their plans for Middle Eastern conquest. Russia stands in the way of a lot of their plans. Still, Trump's stance on Russia, and who or what else is behind that, to me is the great mystery in all this. And, to be clear, I don't believe in any kind of ridiculous collusion or blackmail scenario.

nsa, June 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT

We here in Ft. Meade are having a good laugh. One of our assets, a shyster named Rosenstein (that's Scottish, isn't it?) gives Trumpenstein a little pinprick in the back (not even a stab) and the silly old jooie tool folds like a cheap lawn chair. No wall, no tax cuts, no ending the jooie wars for the izzies, no mass deportations, no curbing the jooie central bank .just tacky soap opera histrionics for the few interested in the doings in wash dc.

nickels, June 15, 2017 at 2:52 pm GMT

Trump needs to stage a false flag assasination attempt. Blame it on operatives within the FBI and the upper echelons of congress. Invite bikers for Trump and other patriots to washington, putting them on the payroll and arming them while stating "Due to the assasination attempt I can no longer trust the secret service or Washington establishment for protection." He then needs to have this army occupy both Capitol hill, the CIA and the FBI. etc etc. Its time for Trump to flex his inner Yeltsin.

The Alarmist, June 15, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT

"Why has he been so eager?"

Uh, because he is a tool of the criminal elite who really run the show, which is one reason he was rewarded with a directorship at HSBC in an earlier time. He made beaucoup bucks there they made beaucoup bucks laundering hundreds of billions of drug cartel money. Apple tree.

Joe Franklin, June 15, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Put Rosenstein under oath and ask him about any communications and agreements and meetings he may have had with Comey or Mueller before he appointed a special prosecutor. Do the same thing with Comey and Mueller in regard to Rosenstein. Trump's attorney should do these interrogations.

Agent76, June 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT

@JL

Know this and it is all NATO and their aggression in the world of the empire. Nov 29, 2016 The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With USA

Sowhat, June 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT

I feel that, despite the exhaustive process, this one has to be played- all 19 holes. Everyone is going to demand a good stiff one at the nineteenth. Given his resume, Rosenstein was a good choice by Trump. Sessions may regret his recusal but, Rosenstein may feel that his Frosted Flakes breakfast will carry the day. One should not prejudice him. Trump may have snagged a few and ended up in a sand trap but, he's still below par and we're only on the forth fairway. I did some digging and found that Rod's from Philly. Just thought I would throw that in.
You can't judge a book by it's cover. The guy will be a good caddy.

anon, June 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Trump should directly appeal to the American people( his base and large number of disaffected Clinton supporters)

JerseyJeffersonian, June 15, 2017 at 8:12 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Thank you, Mr. Whitney. This comment and comment #12 delineate the mechanics of the set-up with laser-like precision.

We are in your debt for articulating the hinge points of this assault on the Constitutional order. I don't care much for Trump, finding many of his specific domestic policies noxious; but I do have a dog in the fight when the Deep State tries to overturn the election of the Chief Magistrate of the nation because he might upset their applecart. He already fucked with their so-called "trade" deals by deep sixing the TPP, and then he is talking about speaking respectfully with Russia, implicitly rejecting the unipolarity of American Hegemony. What further proof did the Deep State require to set a soft coup into motion?

DanCT, June 15, 2017 at 9:02 pm GMT

Comey's having previously taken a job as general counsel of Bridgewater, including a reported and unmerited $3+ million severance on leaving, was sufficient reason for Trump to fire him on day one. Comey's due diligence had to have made him aware of–and therefore he apparently wanted to be in on–Dalio's deranged, Stalinesque corporate culture of backstabbing absolutely everyone under the guise of openness.

Dalio may be very rich, but he's an evil man who we may assume saw in Comey a kindred spirit. Having a Ray Dalio protege leading the FBI suggests agents supported him, if that's actually the case, out of fear and not allegiance.

Sean, June 15, 2017 at 9:05 pm GMT

Were Trump to take hysterical pieces like this post seriously it would likely precipitate him into war with Russia. Fortunately that won't be necessary, because Trump can order the FBI to do or stop doing things; the pres has that constitutional authority as Dershowitz has said repeatedly from the begining, so there is no case against Trump for obstruction. Dershowitz has also said anything (jaywalking) is in theory an "impeachable offense" , because impeachment is completely political.

They want Trump to quit and are predicting impeachment in an attempt to get him to just go, but even if Trump got fed up and wanted to quit, he couldn't now, because without the protection of office, his fortune (at least) would be destroyed. As for the Russia innuendo, it is always open to Trump to humiliate Russia with a military initiative (in Syria for example), which would prove he has nothing to hide. As a major conflict with Russian proxies beckoned, the country would look askance at scarce domestic intelligence resources being used for an old tax or sexual harassment line of investigation against the sitting president. Knowing what kind of a man he is, who can doubt that Trump wouldn't hesitate to kill Russians if that is what it took to turn the heat on his opponents..

Sam J., June 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm GMT

@Joe Franklin " Put Rosenstein under oath "

That's a good idea. Should be public. He needs to be fired any way. The person or persons who recommended Rosenstein need to be fired also.

annamaria, June 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm GMT

@Fran Macadam " the Russians did not "interfere in our Democracy" either. We have no democracy."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/15/the-russians-didnt-do-it/

Sowhat, June 15, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney

A week later, Rosenstein –without consulting Trump– appoints deep state handyman and political assassin, Bob Mueller

I missed this. Is there a reference, please?

Sowhat, June 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT

@alexander

If the American people had their way, all our "Neocon overlords" would be in federal prison or Guantanamo Bay, and all their assets seized to pay down the heinous 20 trillion debt their lies have created.

Agree

RobinG, June 15, 2017 at 10:26 pm GMT

@Mark Green "Ancillary targets" are American citizens. (Syria and Iran are much clearer direct targets.)

Trump has done some great things. Recognition of Fake News and the Deep State threatened a much bigger awakening. So Trump had to be diminished. Sure, he's a mixed bag, but his defeat of Killary was a blessing. His direct communication (Twitter) and exposure of the MSM was brilliant.

As you say, 'obstruction of justice' is nebulous. Going on the defensive is a loser's game. There must be a counter-attack. What have we got? Please, if you have something better, something simpler to put in meme and slogan, let's have it, but I see Who Killed Seth Rich as a powerful offensive. You don't even have to solve it. Just get the case broadcast. Do you know that only this week, Seth Rich's neighbor has come out as a witness? (NOT a witness of the shooting, but of the immediate aftermath, police, etc. Seth may have been totally beat down before he was shot.)

JULY 10 = ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SETH RICH MURDER How about something big on July 10? The date shouldn't be wasted. Over 66,000 people have signed the petition to make this point. There are only 3 days left, but it could still make the 100K mark.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/appoint-special-prosecutor-investigate-murder-seth-rich-alleged-wikileaks-email-leaker

PLEASE SIGN. Either way, THE ANNIVERSARY LOOMS.

RobinG, June 15, 2017 at 10:36 pm GMT

@Jim Christian

"..carry the frustrated Clinton investigations to a Grand Jury, flip it all back on them and indict Comey, Rosenberg and all their little buddies down below that leaked "

YES, SO TRUE!! Big mistake to let Clinton off the hook. And what was her involvement in the murder of Seth Rich? Investigate the DNC, Lynch, Comey, Clinton – all of them.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/appoint-special-prosecutor-investigate-murder-seth-rich-alleged-wikileaks-email-leaker

Appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the murder of Seth Rich, the alleged Wikileaks email leaker.

Sowhat, June 15, 2017 at 10:54 pm GMT

@Sam J. "...Put Rosenstein under oath..."

That's a good idea. Should be public. He needs to be fired any way. The person or persons who recommended Rosenstein need to be fired also. Putting him under is an excellent idea. Trump needs to hear it or read it. IMO, Rosenstein doesn't have a resumè that him suspect.

[Jun 15, 2017] The appointment of the special prosecutor was the part of the plan of Russiagate color revolution from the very beginning

Jun 15, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

libezkova, June 14, 2017 at 09:00 PM

Fred,

"Mr. Comey said during the testimony that it was up to Mr. Mueller to decide whether the president's actions amounted to obstruction of justice."

Comey probably lied. This was probably the plan hatched from the very beginning of this color revolution by Comey and other members of anti-trump conspiracy such as Brennan: to raise Russiagate or anything else to the level which allow to appoint special prosecutor and to sink Trump using this mechanism, because digging by itself produces the necessary result.

Obstruction of justice is the easiest path to remove Trump, a no-brainer so to speak, the charge which can be used to remove any any past and future US president with guaranteed result.

The other, more Trump-specific, is of financial deals within the Trump empire. Especially his son-in-law deals.

In this sense Trump is now hostage like Clinton previously was. He can fight for survival, by unleashing some war, like Clinton did with Yugoslavia. Which probably is OK for neocons because war for them is the first, the second and the third solution to any problem. But as a result the US standing in the globe probably will be further damaged.

BTW, in your zeal to republish this neocon propaganda, do you understand that Hillary was a head of one of those 17 intelligence agencies in the past?

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) has ties to the Office of Strategic Services from World War II, but was transferred to State after the war. INR now reports directly to the Secretary of State, harnessing intelligence from all sources and offering independent analysis of global events and real-time insight.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : This agency serves as the Secretary of State's primary advisor on intelligence matters, and gives support to other policymakers, ambassadors, and embassy staff.

Budget : $49 million in 2007, according to documents obtained by FAS.

This all drama makes no sense for me. Trump folded. He proved to be not a fighter. The attempt to bring members of his family close to White house is a huge liability for him now in view of possible digging of the past of his son in law by the special Prosecutor. Who is recruiting the most rabid Hillary hacks for the job ;-).

But the key question is what DemoRats will gain with the current vice president elevated to the new level?

Other then a blowback from the remaining part of Trump supporters. Pat Buchanan was talking about civil war recently, which is probably exaggeration, but the probably direction of reaction is probably guessed right:

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/are-we-nearing-civil-war

Not that I trust him with such a prediction, but still this is a danger.

[Jun 15, 2017] Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say

WaPo rumor mills (aka fake news). In case this Russiagate color revolution fails, Bezos should be tried for sedition: "Five people briefed on the requests, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly". So some anonymous officials leak information and WaPo published it without verified if it is true of an attempt to damage Trump. That's sedition.
As of obstruction of justice and financial crimes: this is a no brainer path to impeachment (you can always find obstruction of justice if you look closely; to say nothing about financial machinations on Trump level), as Russian hacks are propaganda and everybody understand this. This might be CrowdStrike hacks to conceal leaks, Ukrainian hacks, whatever. The fact that FBI was pressed to "outsource" investigation to CrowdStrike suggests the former.
What is unclear is what DemoRats and neocons wins with President Pence. Trump already folded to their demands and there is a distinct continuation of the US foreign policy. But backlash to this coup d'état (or color revolution to be correct) might be unpredictable.
Notable quotes:
"... The move by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump's own conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said. ..."
"... Experts point out that the Supreme Court ruled during the Watergate scandal that officials cannot use privilege to withhold evidence in criminal prosecutions. ..."
"... The obstruction of justice investigation into the president began days after Comey was fired on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter. Mueller's office has now taken up that work, and the preliminary interviews scheduled with intelligence officials indicate his team is actively pursuing potential witnesses inside and outside the government. ..."
"... The interviews suggest Mueller sees the attempted obstruction of justice question as more than just a "he said, he said" dispute between the president and the fired FBI director, an official said. ..."
Jun 14, 2017 | www.msn.com
Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say Washington Post - Washington Post The Washington Post Devlin Barrett, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Sari Horwitz

The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

The move by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump's own conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.

Trump had received private assurances from former FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January that he was not personally under investigation. Officials say that changed shortly after Comey's firing.

Five people briefed on the requests, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Adm. Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, and Rogers' recently departed deputy, Richard Ledgett, agreed to be interviewed by Mueller's investigators as early as this week. The investigation has been cloaked in secrecy and it's unclear how many others have been questioned by the FBI.

The NSA said in statement that it will "fully cooperate with the special counsel," and declined to comment further. The office of Director of National Intelligence and Ledgett declined to comment.

The White House now refers all questions about the Russia investigation to Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz. "The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal," said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Kasowitz.

The officials said Coats, Rogers and Ledgett would appear voluntarily, though it remains unclear whether they will describe in full their conversations with Trump and other top officials, or will be directed by the White House to invoke executive privilege. It is doubtful the White House could ultimately use executive privilege to try to block them from speaking to Mueller's investigators. Experts point out that the Supreme Court ruled during the Watergate scandal that officials cannot use privilege to withhold evidence in criminal prosecutions.

The obstruction of justice investigation into the president began days after Comey was fired on May 9, according to people familiar with the matter. Mueller's office has now taken up that work, and the preliminary interviews scheduled with intelligence officials indicate his team is actively pursuing potential witnesses inside and outside the government.

The interviews suggest Mueller sees the attempted obstruction of justice question as more than just a "he said, he said" dispute between the president and the fired FBI director, an official said.

Probing the president for possible crimes is a complicated affair, even if convincing evidence of a crime is found. The Justice Department has long held that it would not be appropriate to indict a sitting president. Instead, experts say the onus would be on Congress to review any findings of criminal misconduct and then decide whether to initiate impeachment proceedings.

[Jun 14, 2017] Comeys memos was shrewd political game

Notable quotes:
"... Comey's memos were not contemporaneous notes done in the ordinary course of business. These were exceptions to his standard operating procedure being created as part of a deliberate plan to generate self-serving material for him to use against the president. ..."
"... He did not inform his superiors after any of the meetings or memos, because, contrary to his testimony, he knew they would have immediately created more distance between him and the president, and that would have ended the game he was playing" [Mark Penn, The Hill]. ..."
"... Inside baseball thing here about the rules and regulations about official notes to the file. In FDA the rules on note taking are under 21 CFR (code of federal regulation) 10.70 and I am sure they would be the same for any other Federal agency OR even much more strict in the DoJ BECAUSE it is just common sense that the other person gets to see if what you have written is correct. Indeed, I have always thought the idea that FBI notes should be accorded some special deference because FBI note takers are better or more honest is JUST ABSURD. Sorry for the rant ..."
Jun 14, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

fresno dan , June 13, 2017 at 3:06 pm

"Comey's memos were not contemporaneous notes done in the ordinary course of business. These were exceptions to his standard operating procedure being created as part of a deliberate plan to generate self-serving material for him to use against the president.

Their "revelations" should be accorded extreme skepticism rather than evidentiary weight.

He did not inform his superiors after any of the meetings or memos, because, contrary to his testimony, he knew they would have immediately created more distance between him and the president, and that would have ended the game he was playing" [Mark Penn, The Hill].

One of the more entertaining features of the current zeitgeist is that people I heartily dislike keep coming up with perceptive, well-reasoned arguments.
====================================================
Inside baseball thing here about the rules and regulations about official notes to the file. In FDA the rules on note taking are under 21 CFR (code of federal regulation) 10.70 and I am sure they would be the same for any other Federal agency OR even much more strict in the DoJ BECAUSE it is just common sense that the other person gets to see if what you have written is correct. Indeed, I have always thought the idea that FBI notes should be accorded some special deference because FBI note takers are better or more honest is JUST ABSURD. Sorry for the rant

21 CFR Sec. 10.70 Documentation of significant decisions in administrative file.
(a) This section applies to every significant FDA decision on any matter under the laws administered by the Commissioner, whether it is raised formally, for example, by a petition or informally, for example, by correspondence.

(b) FDA employees responsible for handling a matter are responsible for insuring the completeness of the administrative file relating to it. The file must contain:

(1) Appropriate documentation of the basis for the decision, including relevant evaluations, reviews, memoranda, letters, opinions of consultants, minutes of meetings, and other pertinent written documents; and

(2) The recommendations and decisions of individual employees, including supervisory personnel, responsible for handling the matter.

(i) The recommendations and decisions are to reveal significant controversies or differences of opinion and their resolution.

(ii) An agency employee working on a matter and, consistent with the prompt completion of other assignments, an agency employee who has worked on a matter may record individual views on that matter in a written memorandum, which is to be placed in the file.

(c) A written document placed in an administrative file must:

(1) Relate to the factual, scientific, legal or related issues under consideration;

(2) Be dated and signed by the author;

(3) Be directed to the file, to appropriate supervisory personnel, and to other appropriate employees, and show all persons to whom copies were sent;

(4) Avoid defamatory language, intemperate remarks, undocumented charges, or irrelevant matters (e.g., personnel complaints);

(5) If it records the views, analyses, recommendations, or decisions of an agency employee in addition to the author, be given to the other employees ; and

(6) Once completed (i.e., typed in final form, dated, and signed) not be altered or removed. Later additions to or revisions of the document must be made in a new document.

(d) Memoranda or other documents that are prepared by agency employees and are not in the administrative file have no status or effect.

(e) FDA employees working on a matter have access to the administrative file on that matter, as appropriate for the conduct of their work. FDA employees who have worked on a matter have access to the administrative file on that matter so long as attention to their assignments is not impeded. Reasonable restrictions may be placed upon access to assure proper cataloging and storage of documents, the availability of the file to others, and the completeness of the file for review.

==========================================
For example, I now HAVE IN MY HAND, a written list from Lambert saying he will send me 205 cases of beer, and good Russian beer, not Budweiser. I wrote it – it MUST be true!!!! SHOW ME THE BEER!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Jun 13, 2017] Looks like Clinton mafia went va bank in Russiagate

Notable quotes:
"... Looks like Clinton mafia is playing va bank. May be because Clinton's desperate need to maintain their profile because they badly need the money to sustain their "shadow party" infrastructure. ..."
"... But if Russiagate proved to be false those who supported they all can be tried by Trump administration for sedition. ..."
"... Don't be so naïve. Russiagate is a color revolution. If it fails, those who tried to launch this color revolution should be tried for sedition. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

im1dc , June 12, 2017 at 07:11 PM

Jun 13, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
If the above happened Trump would have his defenders in his Party. They will be voted out of office for their perfidy by voters and be forgotten if history is a guide.
libezkova , June 12, 2017 at 10:22 PM
I wonder if it has ever occurred to the Democrat party brass that once the great Russian/Trump treason snipe-hunt comes up empty they may face consequences.

Looks like Clinton mafia is playing va bank. May be because Clinton's desperate need to maintain their profile because they badly need the money to sustain their "shadow party" infrastructure.

And because "the Clinton clan" (people who financially depend on the Clintons) is so numerous (Podestas, Teneo, all those consultants), that they form their own ecosystem.

But if Russiagate proved to be false those who supported they all can be tried by Trump administration for sedition.

Trump refused to pursue "emailgate" (which was a blunder), but now I think he will not allow Hillary to get off the hook.

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

Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that tends toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontention (or resistance) to lawful authority.

Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.

im1dc, June 13, 2017 at 06:59 AM
"I wonder if it has ever occurred to the Democrat party brass that once the great Russian/Trump treason snipe-hunt comes up empty they may face consequences."

What are you talking about? The Russia/Trump connection has been made just not to the level of treason or Impeachment, yet, and it may not rise to that level.

However, the Trump directed WH cover-up of Russian Election involvement has risen to the level of Obstruction of Justice and only time will tell if the Republicans in Congress will Impeach Trump and the Senate Convict. Geez, pay attention, get your facts ordered and don't make leaps of nonsense about DEMs doing their jobs as the Loyal Opposition since the GOP Leadership refuses to do its job to protect the nation, its people, and the US Constitution.

libezkova , June 13, 2017 at 09:04 PM
Don't be so naïve. Russiagate is a color revolution. If it fails, those who tried to launch this color revolution should be tried for sedition.

http://fpif.org/russias-not-the-country-benefitting-most-from-trump/

Forget RussiaGate for the moment. Forget James Comey's upcoming testimony before the Senate intelligence committee. Forget all the conspiratorial speculation that Donald Trump is the plaything of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In strictly foreign policy terms, Trump's election is not really working out so well for the Kremlin. The sanctions against Russia are still in place, and Congress wants to make them even more punitive. Nikki Haley is lambasting Putin and his policies from her perch at the United Nations. Various investigations into the compromising ties of the Trump team represent a significant speed bump in the administration's efforts to restart relations with Russia.

The Chinese are another matter.

[Jun 13, 2017] Comey s memos were exceptions to his standard operating procedure being created as part of a deliberate plan to generate self-serving material for him to use against the president

www.unz.com

"Comey's memos were not contemporaneous notes done in the ordinary course of business. These were exceptions to his standard operating procedure being created as part of a deliberate plan to generate self-serving material for him to use against the president. Their "revelations" should be accorded extreme skepticism rather than evidentiary weight. He did not inform his superiors after any of the meetings or memos, because, contrary to his testimony, he knew they would have immediately created more distance between him and the president, and that would have ended the game he was playing" [Mark Penn, The Hill]. One of the more entertaining features of the current zeitgeist is that people I heartily dislike keep coming up with perceptive, well-reasoned arguments.

"Amid Comey chaos, lessons from the history of America's secret police" [DigiBoston]. Worth noting that the FBI wasn't always iconic for liberals.

"Why Chris Ruddy floated the idea of firing Bob Mueller" [Chris Cillizza, CNN]. "My (educated) guess is that during his visit to the White House on Monday, Ruddy heard that Trump was considering firing Mueller. Ruddy thought, rightly, that doing so would be an absolutely terrible political move. Rather than calling the President to tell him that, Ruddy took to a medium where he knew Trump would listen: TV. We know from the 2016 campaign that Trump's advisers and friends would use cable television appearances to send messages to Trump that he was simply not hearing in private conversations."

"Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known" [Bloomberg].

"Special counsel team members donated to Dems, FEC records show" [CNN] .

[Jun 10, 2017] Muller was the guy who helps to cover up actions of Bush gang

Notable quotes:
"... TIME Magazine would probably have not called my own disclosures a " bombshell memo " to the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry in May 2002 if it had not been for Mueller's having so misled everyone after 9/11. Although he bore no personal responsibility for intelligence failures before the attack, since he only became FBI Director a week before, Mueller denied or downplayed the significance of warnings that had poured in yet were all ignored or mishandled during the Spring and Summer of 2001. ..."
"... I wanted to believe Director Mueller when he expressed some regret in our personal meeting the night before we both testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He told me he was seeking improvements and that I should not hesitate to contact him if I ever witnessed a similar situation to what was behind the FBI's pre 9/11 failures. ..."
"... A few months later, when it appeared he was acceding to Bush-Cheney's ginning up intelligence to launch the unjustified, counterproductive and illegal war on Iraq, I took Mueller up on his offer, emailing him my concerns in late February 2003. Mueller knew, for instance, that Vice President Dick Cheney's claims connecting 9/11 to Iraq were bogus yet he remained quiet. He also never responded to my email. ..."
Jun 10, 2017 | content.time.com

TIME Magazine would probably have not called my own disclosures a " bombshell memo " to the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry in May 2002 if it had not been for Mueller's having so misled everyone after 9/11. Although he bore no personal responsibility for intelligence failures before the attack, since he only became FBI Director a week before, Mueller denied or downplayed the significance of warnings that had poured in yet were all ignored or mishandled during the Spring and Summer of 2001.

I wanted to believe Director Mueller when he expressed some regret in our personal meeting the night before we both testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He told me he was seeking improvements and that I should not hesitate to contact him if I ever witnessed a similar situation to what was behind the FBI's pre 9/11 failures.

A few months later, when it appeared he was acceding to Bush-Cheney's ginning up intelligence to launch the unjustified, counterproductive and illegal war on Iraq, I took Mueller up on his offer, emailing him my concerns in late February 2003. Mueller knew, for instance, that Vice President Dick Cheney's claims connecting 9/11 to Iraq were bogus yet he remained quiet. He also never responded to my email.

[Jun 08, 2017] The Six Most Important Revelations from the Comey Hearing

Notable quotes:
"... Comey admitted to orchestrating leaks from the investigation to the media using a network of friends. Reponse was swift on social media: ..."
"... Senator Risch questioned Comey about the Times, asking "So the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true, is that a fair statement?" "It was not true," Comey said. "Again, all of you know this, maybe the American people don't. The challenge - I'm not picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information [the challenge is] that people talking about it often don't really now what's going on and those of us who actually know what's going on are not talking about it." ..."
"... Comey discussed the involvement of President Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, in the investigation of Hillary Clinton. He stated that Lynch made an odd request for how the FBI investigation should be described. "At one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which concerned and confused me," Comey said. ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
One thing is for sure, Comey's testimony was anything but boring. 1) Trump was not under investigation by the FBI

When questioned by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Comey answered that President Donald Trump was not under investigation by the FBI. It was also revealed that congressional leaders had previously been briefed on this fact.

This morning Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton joined Breitbart News Daily and predicted this fact. Fitton called allegations against Trump "gossip" and "a nothing burger."

2) James Comey leaked documents to the media

Comey admitted to orchestrating leaks from the investigation to the media using a network of friends. Reponse was swift on social media:

Senators should ask Comey the name of the Columbia professor and then subpoena the memos from him.

- Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) June 8, 2017

So the collusion involves former FBI director, mainstream media, and the left-wing academy to bring down the elected president #ComeyHearing https://t.co/sVWKpajWw9 June 8, 2017

Columbia Law Prof Daniel Richman confirms to @ZCohenCNN that he is the friend that provided excerpts of the Comey memo to reporters.

- Ryan Nobles (@ryanobles) June 8, 2017

Senator Rubio pointed out the interesting fact that one of the few things not to leak out was the fact that Trump was not under investigation himself.

Because if it was leaked that @realDonaldTrump was personally not under investigation- it would have crushed the entire narrative. pic.twitter.com/drFcCxin5M

- Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) June 8, 2017

President Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, issued a blistering statement after the hearing on the subject of Comey's leaks.

3) The obstruction of justice case against Trump just went up in smoke

Senator James Risch (R-ID) questioned Comey early in the hearing about the possibility of obstruction of justice regarding the investigation of General Michael Flynn. Risch repeatedly questioned Comey about the exact wording used by President Trump to him in private, which Comey recorded in his much-discussed memo .

The exchange leaves Democrat's hopes of impeachment for obstruction of justice considerably dimmed:

Comey : I mean, it's the President of the United States with me alone, saying, "I hope this." I took it as this is what he wants me to do. I didn't obey that, but that's the way I took it.

Risch : You may have taken it as a direction, but that's not what he said.

Risch : He said, "I hope."

Comey : Those are exact words, correct.

Risch : You don't know of anyone that's been charged for hoping something?

Comey : I don't, as I sit here.

Risch : Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

4) Comey says the New York Times published fake news

James Comey had a few things to say about the reporting of the New York Times which reported on collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Senator Risch questioned Comey about the Times, asking "So the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true, is that a fair statement?" "It was not true," Comey said. "Again, all of you know this, maybe the American people don't. The challenge - I'm not picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information [the challenge is] that people talking about it often don't really now what's going on and those of us who actually know what's going on are not talking about it."

5) Loretta Lynch meddled in the Clinton investigation

Comey discussed the involvement of President Obama's Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, in the investigation of Hillary Clinton. He stated that Lynch made an odd request for how the FBI investigation should be described. "At one point the attorney general had directed me not to call it investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which concerned and confused me," Comey said.

Comey added that Lynch's infamous tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton during the campaign was the reason he decided to make a statement when the decision was made not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

"In a ultimately conclusive way, that was the thing that capped it for me, that I had to do something separately to protect the credibility of the investigation, which meant both the FBI and the Justice Department," Comey said.

6) James Comey sounds like every disgruntled former employee ever

Comey had quite a bit to say about his firing, which leaves him looking like a disgruntled former employee . Comey accused President Trump and his administration of lying about him, and "defaming him and more importantly the FBI."

Comey also explained that his discomfort with the President and the belief that Trump would lie about him led to the creation of his memo on the meeting. "I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, so I thought it really important to document," Comey said. "I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened not only to defend myself but to protect the FBI."

... ... ...

Colin Madine is a contributor and editor at Breitbart News and can be reached at cmadine@breitbart.com

[Jun 08, 2017] The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy by Patrick J. Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... Now, given that our NSA and CIA seemingly intercept everything Russians say to Americans, why is our fabled FBI, having investigated for a year, unable to give us a definitive yes or no? ..."
"... The snail's pace of the FBI investigation explains Trump's frustration. What explains the FBI's torpor? If J. Edgar Hoover had moved at this pace, John Dillinger would have died of old age. ..."
"... We hear daily on cable TV of the "Trump-Russia" scandal. Yet, no one has been charged with collusion, and every intelligence official, past or prevent, who has spoken out has echoed ex-acting CIA Director Mike Morrell: ..."
"... "On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark." ..."
"... Where are the criminals? Where is the crime? ..."
"... Given the Russophobia rampant here, that makes sense. And while it appears amateurish that Flynn would use Russian channels of communication, what is criminal about this ? ..."
"... All the synthetic shock over what Kushner or Sessions said to Kislyak aside, this city's hatred for President Trump, and its fanatic determination to bring him down in disgrace, predates his presidency. ..."
"... For Trump ran in 2016 not simply as the Republican alternative. He presented his candidacy as a rejection, a repudiation of the failed elites, political and media, of both parties. Americans voted in 2016 not just for a change in leaders but for a revolution to overthrow a ruling regime. ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | www.vdare.com

Pressed by Megyn Kelly on his ties to President Trump, an exasperated Vladimir Putin blurted out, "We had no relationship at all. I never met him. Have you all lost your senses over there?"

Yes, Vlad, we have.

Consider the questions that have convulsed this city since the Trump triumph, and raised talk of impeachment.

Did Trump collude with Russians to hack the DNC emails and move the goods to WikiLeaks, t hus revealing the state secret that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was putting the screws to poor Bernie Sanders?

If not Trump himself, did campaign aides collude with the KGB?

Now, given that our NSA and CIA seemingly intercept everything Russians say to Americans, why is our fabled FBI, having investigated for a year, unable to give us a definitive yes or no?

The snail's pace of the FBI investigation explains Trump's frustration. What explains the FBI's torpor? If J. Edgar Hoover had moved at this pace, John Dillinger would have died of old age.

We hear daily on cable TV of the "Trump-Russia" scandal. Yet, no one has been charged with collusion, and every intelligence official, past or prevent, who has spoken out has echoed ex-acting CIA Director Mike Morrell:

"On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There's no little campfire, there's no little candle, there's no spark."

Where are the criminals? Where is the crime?

As for the meetings between Gen. Mike Flynn, Jared Kushner, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, it appears that Trump wanted a "back channel" to Putin so he could honor his commitment t o seek better relations with Russia.

Given the Russophobia rampant here, that makes sense. And while it appears amateurish that Flynn would use Russian channels of communication, what is criminal about this ?

Putin is not Stalin. Soviet divisions are not sitting on the Elbe. The Cold War is over. And many presidents have used back channels. Woodrow Wilson sent Col. Edward House to talk to the Kaiser and the Brits . FDR ran messages to Churchill through Harry Hopkins.

As for Trump asking Director James Comey to cut some slack for Flynn, it is understandable in human terms. Flynn had been a loyal aide and friend and Trump had to feel rotten about having to fire the man.

So, what is really going on here?

All the synthetic shock over what Kushner or Sessions said to Kislyak aside, this city's hatred for President Trump, and its fanatic determination to bring him down in disgrace, predates his presidency.

For Trump ran in 2016 not simply as the Republican alternative. He presented his candidacy as a rejection, a repudiation of the failed elites, political and media, of both parties. Americans voted in 2016 not just for a change in leaders but for a revolution to overthrow a ruling regime.

Thus this city has never reconciled itself to Trump's victory, and the president daily rubs their noses in their defeat with his tweets.

Seeking a rationale for its rejection, this city has seized upon that old standby. We didn't lose! The election was stolen in a vast conspiracy, an "act of war" against America, an assault upon "our democracy," criminal collusion between the Kremlin and the Trumpites.

Hence, Trump is an illegitimate president, and it is the duty of brave citizens of both parties to work to remove the usurper.

The city seized upon a similar argument in 1968, when Richard Nixon won, because it was said he had colluded to have South Vietnam's president abort Lyndon Johnson's new plan to bring peace to Southeast Asia in the final hours of that election.

Then, as now, the "t" word, treason, was trotted out.

Attempts to overturn elections where elites are repudiated are not uncommon in U.S. history. Both Nixon and Reagan, after 49-state landslides, were faced with attempts to overturn the election results.

With Nixon in Watergate, the elites succeeded. With Reagan in Iran-Contra, they almost succeeded in destroying that great president as he was ending the Cold War in a bloodless victory for the West.

After Lincoln's assassination, President Andrew Johnson sought to prevent Radical Republicans from imposing a ruthless Reconstruction on a defeated and devastated South.

The Radicals enacted the Tenure of Office Act, stripping Johnson of his authority to remove any member of the Cabinet without Senate permission. Johnson defied the Radicals and fired their agent in the Cabinet, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

"Tennessee" Johnson was impeached, and missed conviction by one vote. John F. Kennedy, in his 1956 book, called the senator who had voted to save Johnson a "Profile in Courage."

If Trump is brought down on the basis of what Putin correctly labels "nonsense," this city will have executed a nonviolent coup against a constitutionally elected president. Such an act would drop us into the company of those Third World nations where such means are the customary ways that corrupt elites retain their hold on power.

Patrick J. Buchanan needs no introduction to VDARE.COM readers; his books State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America , and Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? are available from Amazon.com. Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of " The Great est Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

His latest book, published May 9, is "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

[Jun 08, 2017] James Comey leaked his own memos to contradict Trump, spur special prosecutor by Stephen Dinan

Jun 08, 2017 | www.washingtontimes.com
Fired FBI Director James B. Comey orchestrated the leak of details from memos of his conversations with President Trump, he admitted to Congress on Thursday, saying he had hoped it would spur the Justice Department to announce an independent prosecutor to probe the Trump operation.

Mr. Comey said he used a law professor friend at Columbia University as a go-between to share information with The New York Times. He didn't name the professor, but said he wanted to get information out after Mr. Trump took to Twitter to dispute that he had asked the FBI to let former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn off the hook.

"I asked him to, because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel. And so I asked a close friend of mine to do it," Mr. Comey testified.

The revelation was among the most striking of the day for Mr. Comey , who spent 2 and 1/2 hours answering questions publicly to the Senate intelligence committee.

The former director said he felt compelled to take notes of his interactions with Mr. Trump because he was afraid the president would "lie" about them.

[Jun 07, 2017] Russia-gate's Mythical Heroes by Coleen Rowley

Notable quotes:
"... Long before he became FBI Director, serious questions existed about Mueller's role as Acting US Attorney in Boston in effectively enabling decades of corruption and covering up of the FBI's illicit deals with mobster Whitey Bulger and other "top echelon" informants who committed numerous murders and crimes. When the truth was finally uncovered through intrepid investigative reporting and persistent, honest judges, US taxpayers footed a $100 million court award to the four men framed for murders committed by (the FBI-operated) Bulger gang. ..."
"... For his part, Deputy Attorney General James Comey , too, went along with the abuses of Bush and Cheney after 9/11 and signed off on a number of highly illegal programs including warrantless surveillance of Americans and torture of captives . Comey also defended the Bush Administration's three-year-long detention of an American citizen without charges or right to counsel. ..."
"... Up to the March 2004 night in Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital room, both Comey and Mueller were complicit with implementing a form of martial law, perpetrated via secret Office of Legal Counsel memos mainly written by John Yoo and predicated upon Yoo's singular theories of absolute "imperial" or "war presidency" powers, and requiring Ashcroft every 90 days to renew certification of a "state of emergency." ..."
"... Mueller was even okay with the CIA conducting torture programs after his own agents warned against participation. Agents were simply instructed not to document such torture, and any "war crimes files" were made to disappear. Not only did "collect it all" surveillance and torture programs continue, but Mueller's (and then Comey's) FBI later worked to prosecute NSA and CIA whistleblowers who revealed these illegalities. ..."
"... Neither Comey nor Mueller – who are reported to be " joined at the hip " – deserve their current lionization among politicians and mainstream media. Instead of Jimmy Stewart-like "G-men" with reputations for principled integrity, the two close confidants and collaborators merely proved themselves, along with former CIA Director George "Slam Dunk" Tenet, reliably politicized sycophants, enmeshing themselves in a series of wrongful abuses of power along with official incompetence ..."
Jun 06, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

The mainstream U.S. media sells the mythical integrity of fired FBI Director Comey and special Russia-gate prosecutor Mueller, but the truth is they have long histories as pliable political operatives

Posted on June 07, 2017 June 6, 2017 Mainstream commentators display amnesia when they describe former FBI Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey as stellar and credible law enforcement figures. Perhaps if they included J. Edgar Hoover, such fulsome praise could be put into proper perspective.

Although these Hoover successors, now occupying center stage in the investigation of President Trump, have been hailed for their impeccable character by much of Official Washington, the truth is, as top law enforcement officials of the George W. Bush Administration (Mueller as FBI Director and James Comey as Deputy Attorney General), both presided over post-9/11 cover-ups and secret abuses of the Constitution, enabled Bush-Cheney fabrications used to launch wrongful wars, and exhibited plain vanilla incompetence.

TIME Magazine would probably have not called my own disclosures a " bombshell memo " to the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry in May 2002 if it had not been for Mueller's having so misled everyone after 9/11. Although he bore no personal responsibility for intelligence failures before the attack, since he only became FBI Director a week before, Mueller denied or downplayed the significance of warnings that had poured in yet were all ignored or mishandled during the Spring and Summer of 2001.

Bush Administration officials had circled the wagons and refused to publicly own up to what the 9/11 Commission eventually concluded, "that the system had been blinking red ." Failures to read, share or act upon important intelligence, which a FBI agent witness termed " criminal negligence " in later trial testimony, were therefore not fixed in a timely manner. (Some failures were never fixed at all.)

Worse, Bush and Cheney used that post 9/11 period of obfuscation to "roll out" their misbegotten "war on terror," which only served to exponentially increase worldwide terrorism .

Unfulfilled Promise

I wanted to believe Director Mueller when he expressed some regret in our personal meeting the night before we both testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. He told me he was seeking improvements and that I should not hesitate to contact him if I ever witnessed a similar situation to what was behind the FBI's pre 9/11 failures.

A few months later, when it appeared he was acceding to Bush-Cheney's ginning up intelligence to launch the unjustified, counterproductive and illegal war on Iraq, I took Mueller up on his offer, emailing him my concerns in late February 2003. Mueller knew, for instance, that Vice President Dick Cheney's claims connecting 9/11 to Iraq were bogus yet he remained quiet. He also never responded to my email.

Beyond ignoring politicized intelligence, Mueller bent to other political pressures. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Mueller directed the " post 9/11 round-up " of about 1,000 immigrants who mostly happened to be in the wrong place (the New York City area) at the wrong time. FBI Headquarters encouraged more and more detentions for what seemed to be essentially P.R. purposes. Field offices were required to report daily the number of detentions in order to supply grist for FBI press releases about FBI "progress" in fighting terrorism. Consequently, some of the detainees were brutalized and jailed for up to a year despite the fact that none turned out to be terrorists .

A History of Failure

Long before he became FBI Director, serious questions existed about Mueller's role as Acting US Attorney in Boston in effectively enabling decades of corruption and covering up of the FBI's illicit deals with mobster Whitey Bulger and other "top echelon" informants who committed numerous murders and crimes. When the truth was finally uncovered through intrepid investigative reporting and persistent, honest judges, US taxpayers footed a $100 million court award to the four men framed for murders committed by (the FBI-operated) Bulger gang.

Current media applause omits the fact that former FBI Director Mueller was the top official in charge of the Anthrax terror fiasco investigation into those 2001 murders , which targeted an innocent man (Steven Hatfill) whose lawsuit eventually forced the FBI to pay $5 million in compensation. Mueller's FBI was also severely criticized by Department of Justice Inspector Generals finding the FBI overstepped the law improperly serving hundreds of thousands of "national security letters" to obtain private (and irrelevant) metadata on citizens, and for infiltrating nonviolent antiwar groups under the guise of investigating "terrorism."

For his part, Deputy Attorney General James Comey , too, went along with the abuses of Bush and Cheney after 9/11 and signed off on a number of highly illegal programs including warrantless surveillance of Americans and torture of captives . Comey also defended the Bush Administration's three-year-long detention of an American citizen without charges or right to counsel.

Up to the March 2004 night in Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital room, both Comey and Mueller were complicit with implementing a form of martial law, perpetrated via secret Office of Legal Counsel memos mainly written by John Yoo and predicated upon Yoo's singular theories of absolute "imperial" or "war presidency" powers, and requiring Ashcroft every 90 days to renew certification of a "state of emergency."

The Comey/Mueller Myth

What's not well understood is that Comey's and Mueller's joint intervention to stop Bush's men from forcing the sick Attorney General to sign the certification that night was a short-lived moment. A few days later, they all simply went back to the drawing board to draft new legal loopholes to continue the same (unconstitutional) surveillance of Americans.

The mythology of this episode, repeated endlessly throughout the press, is that Comey and Mueller did something significant and lasting in that hospital room. They didn't. Only the legal rationale for their unconstitutional actions was tweaked.

Mueller was even okay with the CIA conducting torture programs after his own agents warned against participation. Agents were simply instructed not to document such torture, and any "war crimes files" were made to disappear. Not only did "collect it all" surveillance and torture programs continue, but Mueller's (and then Comey's) FBI later worked to prosecute NSA and CIA whistleblowers who revealed these illegalities.

Neither Comey nor Mueller – who are reported to be " joined at the hip " – deserve their current lionization among politicians and mainstream media. Instead of Jimmy Stewart-like "G-men" with reputations for principled integrity, the two close confidants and collaborators merely proved themselves, along with former CIA Director George "Slam Dunk" Tenet, reliably politicized sycophants, enmeshing themselves in a series of wrongful abuses of power along with official incompetence.

It seems clear that based on his history and close "partnership" with Comey, called "one of the closest working relationships the top ranks of the Justice Department have ever seen," Mueller was chosen as Special Counsel not because he has integrity but because he will do what the powerful want him to do.

Mueller didn't speak the truth about a war he knew to be unjustified. He didn't speak out against torture. He didn't speak out against unconstitutional surveillance. And he didn't tell the truth about 9/11. He is just "their man."

Coleen Rowley, a retired FBI special agent and division legal counsel whose May 2002 memo to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller exposed some of the FBI's pre-9/11 failures, was named one of TIME magazine's "Persons of the Year" in 2002. Her 2003 letter to Robert Mueller in opposition to launching the Iraq War is archived in full text on the NYT and her 2013 op-ed entitled " Questions for the FBI Nominee " was published on the day of James Comey's confirmation hearing. This piece will also be cross-posted on Rowley's Huffington Post page.)

[May 31, 2017] Why Robert Mueller should resign as special counsel

Notable quotes:
"... The law governing the special counsel (28 CFR 600.7) specifically prohibits him from serving if he has a conflict of interest in the case. The rule has been interpreted to mean that even the appearance of a conflict is sufficient for disqualification. ..."
"... A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual has competing interests or loyalties. The conflict itself creates a clash between that individual's self-interest or bias and his professional or public interest. It calls into question whether he can discharge his responsibilities in a fair, objective and impartial manner. ..."
"... So what exactly is Mueller's conflict? He and James Comey are good friends and former colleagues who worked hand-in-hand for years at the FBI. Agents will tell you they were joined at the hip. They stood together in solidarity, both threatening to resign over the warrantless wiretapping fiasco involving then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004. ..."
"... Comey regards his predecessor as a mentor, while Mueller considers Comey his protégé. When Comey was appointed to succeed Mueller as FBI Director, both men appeared together and were effusive in their praise of one another. Their relationship is not merely a casual one. It is precisely the kind of association which ethical rules are designed to guard against. ..."
"... Pursuant to his appointment, Mueller has been directed to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump." But that's not all. He is empowered to investigate "any related matters" . Those last three words are important because they allow the special counsel unfettered discretion to expand his probe in almost limitless directions. ..."
"... Mueller's investigation of alleged campaign collusion with the Russians will inexorably involve President Trump's former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who was fired after his controversial meeting with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. The FBI interviewed Flynn about his meeting and there have been questions raised about Flynn's other Russian contacts. ..."
May 26, 2017 | www.msn.com
Robert Mueller has a serious conflict of interest that should disqualify him from serving as special counsel.

He has had a long and close relationship with someone who will surely become a pivotal witness –James Comey.

No one doubts Mueller's sterling credentials. That is not the issue. He is imminently qualified. The problem arises in his duty to fairly and objectively evaluate the evidence he gathers.

How can Americans have confidence in the results if they know the special counsel may harbor a conspicuous bias? They cannot. The conflict inevitably discredits whatever conclusion is reached. It renders the entire investigatory exercise suspect, and it only elevates the controversy surrounding it.

For this reason, Mueller should not serve as special counsel.

Conflict Defined

The law governing the special counsel (28 CFR 600.7) specifically prohibits him from serving if he has a conflict of interest in the case. The rule has been interpreted to mean that even the appearance of a conflict is sufficient for disqualification.

A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual has competing interests or loyalties. The conflict itself creates a clash between that individual's self-interest or bias and his professional or public interest. It calls into question whether he can discharge his responsibilities in a fair, objective and impartial manner.

Identical rules govern prosecutors who, for example, must recuse themselves from handling a case against a person with whom they have worked or had a personal relationship. The same would be true if a prosecutor had a close relationship with a witness in the case. The prior association raises the real or perceived possibility of prejudice or favoritism which is contrary to the fair administration of justice.

So what exactly is Mueller's conflict? He and James Comey are good friends and former colleagues who worked hand-in-hand for years at the FBI. Agents will tell you they were joined at the hip. They stood together in solidarity, both threatening to resign over the warrantless wiretapping fiasco involving then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004.

Comey regards his predecessor as a mentor, while Mueller considers Comey his protégé. When Comey was appointed to succeed Mueller as FBI Director, both men appeared together and were effusive in their praise of one another. Their relationship is not merely a casual one. It is precisely the kind of association which ethical rules are designed to guard against.

The Investigation

Pursuant to his appointment, Mueller has been directed to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump." But that's not all. He is empowered to investigate "any related matters" . Those last three words are important because they allow the special counsel unfettered discretion to expand his probe in almost limitless directions.

Mueller's investigation of alleged campaign collusion with the Russians will inexorably involve President Trump's former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, who was fired after his controversial meeting with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. The FBI interviewed Flynn about his meeting and there have been questions raised about Flynn's other Russian contacts.

This is likely what prompted President Trump's private meeting in February with then-FBI Director James Comey in which the president is alleged to have asked Comey to end the Flynn investigation. The words reportedly used by Mr. Trump hardly constitute an attempt to obstruction of justice, but that has not stopped Democrats and the media from declaring it a crime.

So it is clear where all of this is headed. Mueller's probe will morph into an investigation of the Trump-Comey meeting to determine whether the president tried to obstruct justice. It will become a case of "he said he said". Which man will the special counsel believe? His good friend or the man who fired his good friend? How can Mueller fairly and impartially assess Comey's credibility versus Trump's?

There is also the fairness of the broader investigation to consider. It is reasonable to assume Mueller was not pleased to see Comey canned. Any animosity which the special counsel may bear could influence the course of his overall investigation into wrongdoing by President Trump and his associates. He may be tempted to conjure criminality where none really exists.

Even if Mueller takes pains to avoid partiality, how can anyone be assured he will succeed? Even impeccably honest people can be subject to influence in ways they don't even recognize themselves. It is the human condition. Which is precisely why there are legal and ethical rules which demand recusal based on prior relationships.

If Robert Mueller truly embraces a fidelity to the law and all its attendant principles of ethics, then he should disqualify himself from serving as Special Counsel.

Anything less threatens to subvert the rule of law and the trust Americans must have in their system of justice.

[May 23, 2017] Trumped-up claims against Trump by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A few days before his firing, Mr. Comey reportedly had asked for still more resources to hunt the Russian bear. Pundit piranhas swarmed to charge Mr. Trump with trying to thwart the investigation into how the Russians supposedly "interfered" to help him win the election. ..."
"... Truth is, President Trump had ample reason to be fed up with Mr. Comey, in part for his lack of enthusiasm to investigate actual, provable crimes related to "Russia-gate" -- like leaking information from highly sensitive intercepted communications to precipitate the demise of Trump aide Michael Flynn ..."
"... we suspect Mr. Comey already knows who was responsible.) ..."
"... In contrast, Mr. Comey evinced strong determination to chase after ties between Russia and the Trump campaign until the cows came home. In the meantime, the investigation (already underway for 10 months) would itself cast doubt on the legitimacy of Mr. Trump's presidency and put the kibosh on plans to forge a more workable relationship with Russia -- a win-win for the establishment and the FBI/CIA/NSA "Deep State"; a lose-lose for the president. ..."
"... So far, it has been all smoke and mirrors with no chargeable offenses and not a scintilla of convincing evidence of Russian "meddling" in the election. The oft-cited, but evidence-free, CIA/FBI/NSA report of Jan. 6, crafted by "hand-picked" analysts, according to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , is of a piece with the "high-confidence," but fraudulent, National Intelligence Estimate 15 years ago about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. ..."
"... On March 31, 2017, WikiLeaks released original CIA documents - ignored by mainstream media - showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs like Cyrillic markings, ..."
"... It is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Mr. Clapper - the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free memorandum of Jan. 6. ..."
"... Mr. Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the those done by DNC contractor Crowdstrike. Could this be explained by Mr. Comey's fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted? Did this play a role in Mr. Trump's firing of Mr. Comey? ..."
"... President Trump has entered into a high-stakes gamble in confronting the Deep State and its media allies over the evidence-free accusations of his colluding with Russia. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, publicly warned him of the risk earlier this year. "You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," ..."
May 17, 2017 | www.baltimoresun.com
Donald Trump said he had fired FBI Director James Comey over "this Russia thing, with Trump and Russia." The president labeled it a "made-up story" and, by all appearances, he is mostly correct.

A few days before his firing, Mr. Comey reportedly had asked for still more resources to hunt the Russian bear. Pundit piranhas swarmed to charge Mr. Trump with trying to thwart the investigation into how the Russians supposedly "interfered" to help him win the election.

But can that commentary bear close scrutiny, or is it the " phony narrative " Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas claims it to be? Mr. Cornyn has quipped that, if impeding the investigation was Mr. Trump's aim, "This strikes me as a lousy way to do it. All it does is heighten the attention given to the issue."

Truth is, President Trump had ample reason to be fed up with Mr. Comey, in part for his lack of enthusiasm to investigate actual, provable crimes related to "Russia-gate" -- like leaking information from highly sensitive intercepted communications to precipitate the demise of Trump aide Michael Flynn . Mr. Flynn was caught "red-handed," so to speak, talking with Russia's ambassador last December. (In our experience, finding the culprit for that leak should not be very difficult; we suspect Mr. Comey already knows who was responsible.)

In contrast, Mr. Comey evinced strong determination to chase after ties between Russia and the Trump campaign until the cows came home. In the meantime, the investigation (already underway for 10 months) would itself cast doubt on the legitimacy of Mr. Trump's presidency and put the kibosh on plans to forge a more workable relationship with Russia -- a win-win for the establishment and the FBI/CIA/NSA "Deep State"; a lose-lose for the president.

So far, it has been all smoke and mirrors with no chargeable offenses and not a scintilla of convincing evidence of Russian "meddling" in the election. The oft-cited, but evidence-free, CIA/FBI/NSA report of Jan. 6, crafted by "hand-picked" analysts, according to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper , is of a piece with the "high-confidence," but fraudulent, National Intelligence Estimate 15 years ago about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

But what about "Russia hacking," the centerpiece of accusations of Kremlin "interference" to help Mr.Trump?

On March 31, 2017, WikiLeaks released original CIA documents - ignored by mainstream media - showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs like Cyrillic markings, for example. The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the "Vault 7" trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for "proving" the Russians hacked.

It is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Mr. Clapper - the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free memorandum of Jan. 6.

Mr. Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the those done by DNC contractor Crowdstrike. Could this be explained by Mr. Comey's fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted? Did this play a role in Mr. Trump's firing of Mr. Comey?

President Trump has entered into a high-stakes gamble in confronting the Deep State and its media allies over the evidence-free accusations of his colluding with Russia. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, publicly warned him of the risk earlier this year. "You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," Mr. Schumer told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Jan. 3.

If Mr. Trump continues to "take on" the Deep State, he will be fighting uphill, whether he's in the right or not. It is far from certain he will prevail.

Ray McGovern (rrmcgovern@gmail.com) was a CIA analyst for 27 years; he briefed the president's daily brief one-on-one to President Reagan's most senior national security officials from 1981-85. William Binney (williambinney0802@comcast.net) worked for NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting; he created many of the collection systems still used by NSA.

truth_will_set_you_free Newcomer 4day(s)ago
The public owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to both Mr. McGovern and Mr. Binney, who are substantial individuals with sterling reputations, for putting themselves forward and informing the public of the crimes that are taking place in DC behind closed doors.

The fact that paid shills and trolls would make the effort to post content free criticisms of this article only serves to underline the article's importance to a thoughtful reader. The people who sponsor these posters obviously have complete contempt for the public. However, each day, thanks to articles like this and the idiotic attempts to criticize them, more and more people are becoming aware of the fraud that is DC.

[May 23, 2017] Are they really out to get Trump by Philip Girald

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Ray suggests that Brennan and also Comey may been at the center of a "Deep State" combined CIA-NSA-FBI cabal working to discredit the Trump candidacy and delegitimize his presidency. Brennan in particular was uniquely well placed to fabricate the Russian hacker narrative that has been fully embraced by Congress and the media even though no actual evidence supporting that claim has yet been produced. As WikiLeaks has now revealed that the CIA had the technical ability to hack into sites surreptitiously while leaving behind footprints that would attribute the hack to someone else, including the Russians, it does not take much imagination to consider that the alleged trail to Moscow might have been fabricated. If that is so, this false intelligence has in turn proven to be of immense value to those seeking to present "proof" that the Russian government handed the presidency to Donald Trump. ..."
"... Robert Parry asked in an article on May 10 th whether we are seeing is "Watergate redux or 'Deep State' coup?" and then followed up with a second Piece "The 'Soft Coup' of Russia-gate" on the 13 th . In other words, is this all a cover-up of wrongdoing by the White House akin to President Richard Nixon's firing of Watergate independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox and the resignations of both the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General or is it something quite different, an undermining of an elected president who has not actually committed any "high crimes and misdemeanors" to force his removal from office. ..."
"... Parry sees the three key players in the scheme as John Brennan of CIA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and James Comey of the FBI. Comey's role in the "coup" was key as it consisted of using his office to undercut both Hillary Clinton and Trump, neither of whom was seen as a truly suitable candidate by the Deep State. He speculates that a broken election might well have resulted in a vote in the House of Representatives to elect the new president, a process that might have produced a Colin Powell presidency as Powell actually received three votes in the Electoral College and therefore was an acceptable candidate under the rules governing the electoral process. ..."
"... Yes, the scheme is bizarre, but Parry carefully documents how Russiagate has developed and how the national security and intelligence organs have been key players as it moved along, often working by leaking classified information. ..."
"... anyone even vaguely connected with Trump who also had contact with Russia or Russians has been regarded as a potential traitor. Carter Page, for example, who was investigated under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was under suspicion because he made a speech in Moscow which was mildly critical of the west's interaction with Russia after the fall of communism. ..."
"... Parry's point is that there is a growing Washington consensus that consists of traditional liberals and progressives as well as Democratic globalist interventionists and neoconservatives who believe that Donald Trump must be removed from office no matter what it takes. ..."
"... The interventionists and neocons in particular already control most of the foreign policy mechanisms but they continue to see Trump as a possible impediment to their plans for aggressive action against a host of enemies, most particularly Russia. ..."
"... Ray has been strongly critical of the current foreign policy, most particularly of the expansion of various wars, claims of Damascus's use of chemical weapons, and the cruise missile attack on Syria. Robert in his latest article describes Trump as narcissistic and politically incompetent. But their legitimate concerns are that we are moving in a direction that is far more dangerous than Trump. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do. ..."
"... Brennan is a particularly unsavory character. There has been some baying-at-the-moon speculation that he is a Moslem convert! ..."
"... The coup, if successful, would probably mean the end of what would traditionally be considered to be a republican form of government in the US and its replacement by a deep state dictatorship. ..."
"... The USA is not different from other western countries, such as GB, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, Netherlands. In each of these countries the battle is going on between the establishment, and those who want to rid themselves of this establishment. ..."
"... The battle is between trying to dominate the world, neoliberalism, destruction of nation states, power of money, on the one hand, and nationalism, more or less certain jobs, rejection of wars, power of governments, on the other hand. ..."
"... What is amazing is that Mr Giraldi still believes the USA is a democracy. Maybe if one compares it with China. Anyway, "a soft coup" has already happened in you history -- Kennedy's assassination by the deep state- and life just went on in the "greatest democracy" in the earth. ..."
"... Perhaps this is the indication of where Trump and DOJ are going: Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox's Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks. ..."
"... Despite the TV image, it is rare for a CEO to outright sack one of his top executives. The story of dinners where Comey made his pitch to stay rings true to what I have seen in real life. Trump probably asked Comey if he wouldn't be happier returning to private business where he made a boatload more money, and Comey, drunk on the power of high public office just wouldn't pull the trigger for him. ..."
"... Having just noticed the latest by-line in Antiwar.com, I am forced to raise the question we should all be asking ourselves "Was it Russia or was it .. Seth Rich ? " ..."
"... If there was indeed a "soft coup" in our country, did it not occur at the DNC convention when our back room oligarchs decided to "putsch" Bernie Sanders out of the race, and gift the nomination to Hillary ? ..."
"... Was it not Bernie Sanders who was igniting the young progressive liberal base by the tens of millions ? Was it not Bernie who was gaining enormous momentum as the race for the nomination went on ? Was it not Bernie's "message" that began to ring true for so many voters across the country ? ..."
"... The homicide detective hired by the family , also pointed out, after doing some rudimentary due diligence, that word had come down through the DC mayor's office to stymie its own detectives in the murder investigation of Mr. Rich. Strange thing, especially when we are dealing with a homicide .No, Mr Giraldi ? If the Seth Rich murder was a "botched robbery" as is claimed, why won't the DC police release Seth's laptop computer to his family ? ..."
"... I would be very interested in your take on the latest impeachable "scandal", that Trump revealed unrevealable top secrets to Lavrov and Kislyak during their recent White House meeting. Among other things, how would the Washington Post know the specifics of the Trump-Lavrov conversation? Is the White House bugged? And if an intelligence source was somehow really compromised, is advertising that fact in the Washington Post (presumably on the front page) really the wisest course? ..."
"... "A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do." Until further notice, that is absolutely correct. It needs to be recalled – ad nauseam – that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians. The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME. ..."
"... Trump was right in firing Comey. An open ended investigation that hasn't yielded a scintilla of evidence of collusion with Russia after one year is not acceptable. Such an investigation would not have been tolerated if the target was a Marxist mulatto by the name of Barack Hussein Obama. Blacks would have rioted in response while the media cheered them on. ..."
"... If there's a Constitutional crisis then it's that the deep state apparatus in the form of the various alphabet soup intelligence agencies have the power to plot a coup against a duly elected president. They need to be stripped of much of their power and reformed but it's probably already too late for that. ..."
"... I thought since Trump went from advocating a humble, non-interventionist foreign policy to loud and proud neo-conservative (in less than 100 days) that that would buy him protection from deep state machinations and endear him to the corrupt Washington, D.C. establishment. ..."
"... The only thing I can think of is that even though Trump's picking up where Dubya and Obama left off on foreign policy, the deep state knows that Trump can be totally unpredictable and change on a dime. So he could go off the establishment reservation at a moment's notice which makes them apoplectic. Hence, their attempts to get him out of the way and install someone more pliant and predictable like Tom Pence. ..."
"... Deepstate has been sustaining and expanding its conspiracies for 100 years. (There is always a 'deep state' of some kind, but the current well-organized structure was created by Wilson.) A conspiracy AGAINST Deepstate is hard to sustain because Deepstate owns and monitors all public communications. ..."
"... While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades. ..."
"... The money-laundering angle is already all over the Web (ex. google: Bayrock Trump) and, one must assume, in the hands of various intelligence agencies. .This may be the basis for Trump's increasingly frantic attempts to shut down the "Russian thing" investigation.(Comey firing??) ..."
"... I don't think, however, the notion of the "establishment" is a problem in itself. Our country has always had powerful elites, so have many other countries. The problem which presents itself today is our elites seem determined to perpetuate endless wars that cost obscene amounts of money, and do not seem to produce positive results in any of the places the wars are being fought. ..."
"... The short answer is yes! March 31, 2017 The Surveillance State Behind Russia-Gate. Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump. ..."
"... The people pushing the big lie about Trump and Russia are legion. And they are not stupid. They are evil. They are the same people who are preparing a preemptive nuclear attack against Russia and China. They are the globalists who would institute a universal Feudalism from which there would be no escape. I have no further use for Trump. But his enemies remain enemies of the people. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.unz.com
And what if there really is a conspiracy against Donald Trump being orchestrated within the various national security agencies that are part of the United States government? The president has been complaining for months about damaging leaks emanating from the intelligence community and the failure of Congress to pay any attention to the illegal dissemination of classified information. It is quite possible that Trump has become aware that there is actually something going on and that something just might be a conspiracy to delegitimize and somehow remove him from office.

President Trump has also been insisting that the "Russian thing" is a made-up story, a view that I happen to agree with. I recently produced my own analysis of the possibility that there is in progress a soft, or stealth or silent coup, call it what you will, underway directed against the president and that, if it exists, it is being directed by former senior officials from the Obama White House. Indeed, it is quite plausible to suggest that it was orchestrated within the Obama White House itself before the government changed hands at the inauguration on January 20 th . In line with that thinking, some observers are now suggesting that Comey might well have been party to the conspiracy and his dismissal would have been perfectly justified based on his demonstrated interference in both the electoral process and in his broadening of the acceptable role of his own Bureau, which Trump has described as "showboating."

Two well-informed observers of the situation have recently joined in the discussion, Robert Parry of Consortiumnews and former CIA senior analyst Ray McGovern of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. McGovern has noted, as have I, that there is one individual who has been curiously absent from the list of former officials who have been called in to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. That is ex-CIA Director John Brennan, who many have long considered an extreme Obama/Hillary Clinton loyalist long rumored to be at the center of the information damaging to Team Trump sent to Washington by friendly intelligence services, including the British.

Like Parry, I am reluctant to embrace conspiracy theories, in my case largely because I believe a conspiracy is awfully hard to sustain. The federal government leaks like a sieve and if more than two conspirators ever meet in the CIA basement it would seem to me their discussion would become public knowledge within forty-eight hours, but perhaps what we are seeing here is less a formal arrangement than a group of individuals who are loosely connected while driven by a common objective.

Parry sees the three key players in the scheme as John Brennan of CIA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and James Comey of the FBI. Comey's role in the "coup" was key as it consisted of using his office to undercut both Hillary Clinton and Trump, neither of whom was seen as a truly suitable candidate by the Deep State. He speculates that a broken election might well have resulted in a vote in the House of Representatives to elect the new president, a process that might have produced a Colin Powell presidency as Powell actually received three votes in the Electoral College and therefore was an acceptable candidate under the rules governing the electoral process.

Yes, the scheme is bizarre, but Parry carefully documents how Russiagate has developed and how the national security and intelligence organs have been key players as it moved along, often working by leaking classified information. And President Barack Obama was likely the initiator, notably so when he de facto authorized the wide distribution of raw intelligence on Trump and the Russians through executive order. Parry notes, as would I, that to date no actual evidence has been presented to support allegations that Russia sought to influence the U.S. election and/or that Trump associates were somehow coopted by Moscow's intelligence services as part of the process. Nevertheless, anyone even vaguely connected with Trump who also had contact with Russia or Russians has been regarded as a potential traitor. Carter Page, for example, who was investigated under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant, was under suspicion because he made a speech in Moscow which was mildly critical of the west's interaction with Russia after the fall of communism.

Parry's point is that there is a growing Washington consensus that consists of traditional liberals and progressives as well as Democratic globalist interventionists and neoconservatives who believe that Donald Trump must be removed from office no matter what it takes.

The interventionists and neocons in particular already control most of the foreign policy mechanisms but they continue to see Trump as a possible impediment to their plans for aggressive action against a host of enemies, most particularly Russia. As they are desirous of bringing down Trump "legally" through either impeachment or Article 25 of the Constitution which permits removal for incapacity, it might be termed a constitutional coup, though the other labels cited above also fit.

The rationale Trump haters have fabricated is simple: the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if true, would provide grounds for impeachment. The driving force, in terms of the argument being made, is that removing Trump must be done "for the good of the country" and to "correct a mistake made by the American voters."

The mainstream media is completely on board of the process, including the outlets that flatter themselves by describing their national stature, most notably the New York Times and Washington Post.

So what is to be done? For starters, until Donald Trump has unambiguously broken a law the critics should take a valium and relax. He is an elected president and his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama certainly did plenty of things that in retrospect do not bear much scrutiny. Folks like Ray McGovern and Robert Parry should be listened to even when they are being provocative in their views. They are not, to be sure, friends of the White House in any conventional way and are not apologists for those in power, quite the contrary. Ray has been strongly critical of the current foreign policy, most particularly of the expansion of various wars, claims of Damascus's use of chemical weapons, and the cruise missile attack on Syria. Robert in his latest article describes Trump as narcissistic and politically incompetent. But their legitimate concerns are that we are moving in a direction that is far more dangerous than Trump. A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do. Are They Really Out to Get Trump? Sometimes paranoia is justified

Philip Giraldi May 16, 2017 1,600 Words

Dan Hayes , May 16, 2017 at 4:18 am GMT

Brennan is a particularly unsavory character. There has been some baying-at-the-moon speculation that he is a Moslem convert!

exiled off mainstreet , May 16, 2017 at 5:26 am GMT

The coup, if successful, would probably mean the end of what would traditionally be considered to be a republican form of government in the US and its replacement by a deep state dictatorship.

In light of what is being used, a phony claim of Russian interference with the US political system, the danger that nuclear war might be the outcome of this coup is real.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 5:36 am GMT

I don't know who Robert Parry is but to me this Colin Powell stuff is pure nonsense. At the same time my answer to the question "Are They Really Out to Get Trump?" is affirmative. Republicans and Democrats want Trump out and Pence in. The operation with Flynn who allegedly deceived Pence was part of this plan. That Trump fired Flynn was his greatest mistake in this game. It was not fatal yet. This was Their plan since the election or even earlier since Republican convention: have Trump step down and have Pence take over. After April 4th it seemed that They got Trump where They wanted him to be. Trump even became presidential. The escalation of rhetoric against North Korea over following weekend and week reinforced this perception until it turned out that it was all fake. There was no fleet steaming to Korea. Media realized they were played by Trump. During this time Trump and Tillerson in particular got some breathing space. The pre-April 4 policy of agreeing with Russia on Syria continued. Apparently Russia understood that the missile attack on Syria was just part of the game. It was not personal. More recently the US agreed to safe zones plan by Russia, Syria, Iran and Turkey. One should expect a false flag of gas attack or accidental bombing by US air force of Syrian forces to happen soon – broadcasted all night before the start of the US media news cycle by BBC, so US media, all talking heads memorize all talking points.

While it is possible that Trump behaves erratically w/o well thought out plans we must give him a benefit of doubt and assume that there is a deep reason for firing Comey. Trump is fighting for his life. While he would prefer to be presidential and enjoy easy going times and provide peace and safety for his family by know he knows that nothing will satisfy Them. They want him out! Erratic Trump and confused and chaotic WH is a meme which They and Their media want to plant and reinforce. That's why we hear about it all the time. But how to explain the firing of Comey? I would look for the answer at DOJ. Initially their hands were tied up but slowly they showed that there is new leadership at DOJ that was working for Trump for a change. Their independence of the Deep State was demonstrated by forcing Israel police to arrest Mossad operative/patsy for the wave of world wide anti-semitic hoaxes that were meant to undermine and compromise Trump. This is the proof that DOJ and part of FBI finally is strong enough and working for Trump. What next do they want to do? If they want to squash this "collusion with Russia" false narrative that is paralyzing the administration and in fact all belt way they must hit at those who originated this narrative, meaning Hillary Clinton and Obama. To do it they need to have a full control of FBI. Comey is gone. McCabe must go next. Will DOJ and new FBI go after Susan Rice, Sally Yates and Loretta Lynch? If they do this will lead to Obama. Will they go after Hillary Clinton and her emails? Will they secure Anthony Weiner computer? Does it still exist? Who will be nominated to replace Comey? What Trump will have to promise GOP to have him approved?

The bottom line is that Trump is fighting for his life.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT

Of course they are. The USA is not different from other western countries, such as GB, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, Netherlands. In each of these countries the battle is going on between the establishment, and those who want to rid themselves of this establishment.

GB is the first country where maybe this succeeded, but, as in the USA, the GB establishment and the EU establishment do anything to prevent that things really change.

The battle is between trying to dominate the world, neoliberalism, destruction of nation states, power of money, on the one hand, and nationalism, more or less certain jobs, rejection of wars, power of governments, on the other hand.

In France one sees that once again the establishment won, 60% of the French still support the establishment, 40% rejects it.

In other countries more or less the same.

The opposing views make governing increasingly difficult, two months after the Dutch elections the efforts to contrue a government are a failure. Belgium was more than a year without a government. In Spain one government after another. The establishment now fears that Austria will turn around. Until now Brussels, by threats and cajoling, prevented a rebellion against Brussels in Poland and Hungary. The Greek rebellion failed completely.

Anon , May 16, 2017 at 6:05 am GMT

White House Leaks and the "Muh Russia" Seesaw

utu , May 16, 2017 at 6:08 am GMT

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had sought to sneak a recording device into the White House during last week's visit.

John Brown , May 16, 2017 at 6:09 am GMT

"A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do" concludes the writer.

What is amazing is that Mr Giraldi still believes the USA is a democracy. Maybe if one compares it with China. Anyway, "a soft coup" has already happened in you history -- Kennedy's assassination by the deep state- and life just went on in the "greatest democracy" in the earth.

A "soft coup" against Donald Trump will be in fact an improvement. The "narcissist" president won't be killed. It will be a soft clean coup. Progress.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 6:52 am GMT

Perhaps this is the indication of where Trump and DOJ are going: Monday during the 10 p.m. ET news broadcast on Fox's Washington, D.C. affiliate WTTG, correspondent Marina Marraco said an investigation by former D.C. homicide detective Rod Wheeler found that the now-deceased Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich had been emailing with WikiLeaks.

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/05/15/report-investigator-says-evidence-showing-deceased-dnc-staffer-seth-rich-emailing-wikileaks/

But the Deep State respond with: Deep State Leaks Highly Classified Info to Washington Post to Smear President Trump

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/15/deep-state-leaks-highly-classified-info-to-washington-post-to-smear-president-trump/

The Alarmist , May 16, 2017 at 8:23 am GMT

Despite the TV image, it is rare for a CEO to outright sack one of his top executives. The story of dinners where Comey made his pitch to stay rings true to what I have seen in real life. Trump probably asked Comey if he wouldn't be happier returning to private business where he made a boatload more money, and Comey, drunk on the power of high public office just wouldn't pull the trigger for him.

Comey was a goner in November he just wouldn't go quietly and on his own accord, no doubt for the reasons suggested in this piece a so-called higher calling and his own inflated sense of service to his country.

alexander , May 16, 2017 at 8:52 am GMT

Dear Mr. Giraldi,

Thanks for another fine article.

Certainly writers like Robert Parry and Ray Mcgovern, as well as yourself, have earned the highest of marks from internet readers around the globe, anxious for some integrity of analysis , as they seek to understand our nation's policy decisions. As long as gentlemen like you, as well as others, keep writing , you will find your readership growing at an exponential rate.

Having just noticed the latest by-line in Antiwar.com, I am forced to raise the question we should all be asking ourselves "Was it Russia or was it .. Seth Rich ? "

If there was indeed a "soft coup" in our country, did it not occur at the DNC convention when our back room oligarchs decided to "putsch" Bernie Sanders out of the race, and gift the nomination to Hillary ?

Was it not Bernie Sanders who was igniting the young progressive liberal base by the tens of millions ? Was it not Bernie who was gaining enormous momentum as the race for the nomination went on ? Was it not Bernie's "message" that began to ring true for so many voters across the country ?

Was it not Bernie Sanders who may well have swept the DNC nomination, were it not for the "dirty pool" being played out in the back room ?.

According to the retired homicide detective, hired by the family of Seth Rich to investigate their son's bizarre murder, it was Seth Rich who WAS in contact with Wikileaks.

(For all those who don't know who Seth Rich was , he was the 27 year old "voter data director" at the DNC, shot to death on july 10, 2016, in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington D.C.)

In an interview three days after Seth Rich was found dead, Julian Assange intimated, too, that Seth Rich HAD contacted Wikileaks .NOT Russia.

The homicide detective hired by the family , also pointed out, after doing some rudimentary due diligence, that word had come down through the DC mayor's office to stymie its own detectives in the murder investigation of Mr. Rich. Strange thing, especially when we are dealing with a homicide .No, Mr Giraldi ? If the Seth Rich murder was a "botched robbery" as is claimed, why won't the DC police release Seth's laptop computer to his family ?

We are all aware there were "shenanigans" going on in the DNC that put the kibosh on the Bernie nomination.(we all know this)

This makes sense too, given the fact that the DNC party bosses and their oligarchs, wanted Bernie running in the general election against the Donald like they wanted a "hole in the head". What we "cannot" see ..is how decisive Bernie's margin of victory might have been, Nor can we see what "crimes" were committed to ensure Hillary's run at the W. H. It is not much of a stretch to assume Seth Rich had hard evidence, perhaps of multiple counts of treasonous fraud and other sorted felonies that would have brought down "the back room" of the DNC.

Not good for the party..not good for its oligarchs .and not good for their Hillary anointment.

"Russia-gate" may prove to be the most concerted effort, by the powers that be, to DEFLECT from an investigation into their OWN "real"criminality .

How savvy and how clever they are to manipulate the public's perceptions, through Big Media, by grafting the allegations of the very crimes they may well have committed .onto Russia, the Donald, and Vladimir Putin.

Clever, clever, clever.

Can any of us imagine, how cold a day in hell it will be before Rachel Maddow(or any MSM "journalist") asks some basic questions about the Seth Rich laptop .or what was on it ?

Sub zero.

for-the-record , May 16, 2017 at 8:53 am GMT

Mr. Giralidi,

I would be very interested in your take on the latest impeachable "scandal", that Trump revealed unrevealable top secrets to Lavrov and Kislyak during their recent White House meeting. Among other things, how would the Washington Post know the specifics of the Trump-Lavrov conversation? Is the White House bugged? And if an intelligence source was somehow really compromised, is advertising that fact in the Washington Post (presumably on the front page) really the wisest course?

mp , May 16, 2017 at 9:29 am GMT

Trump has turned out to be very weak. Maybe he just doesn't believe in anything, so it doesn't matter to him. Or maybe he has some ideas, but has no clue about implementation. He's going to see the Tribe next week. That will tell us a lot, I'm thinking. But it's a lot that we probably already know or at least can guess.

animalogic , May 16, 2017 at 10:10 am GMT

"A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do."
Until further notice, that is absolutely correct. It needs to be recalled – ad nauseam – that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians. The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME.

geokat62 , May 16, 2017 at 11:08 am GMT

A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do.

For more dangerous to American democracy has been the ZOG engineered by the "Friends of Zion," but, unfortunately, there is little chance there will ever be a Zion-gate investigation.

KenH , May 16, 2017 at 11:10 am GMT

Trump was right in firing Comey. An open ended investigation that hasn't yielded a scintilla of evidence of collusion with Russia after one year is not acceptable. Such an investigation would not have been tolerated if the target was a Marxist mulatto by the name of Barack Hussein Obama. Blacks would have rioted in response while the media cheered them on.

If there's a Constitutional crisis then it's that the deep state apparatus in the form of the various alphabet soup intelligence agencies have the power to plot a coup against a duly elected president. They need to be stripped of much of their power and reformed but it's probably already too late for that.

I thought since Trump went from advocating a humble, non-interventionist foreign policy to loud and proud neo-conservative (in less than 100 days) that that would buy him protection from deep state machinations and endear him to the corrupt Washington, D.C. establishment. For a time he was even making "never Trumper" little (((William Kristol))) coo with delight which is no small feat. Moreover, he's a lickspittle of Israel which seems a prerequisite for a presidential candidate.

The only thing I can think of is that even though Trump's picking up where Dubya and Obama left off on foreign policy, the deep state knows that Trump can be totally unpredictable and change on a dime. So he could go off the establishment reservation at a moment's notice which makes them apoplectic. Hence, their attempts to get him out of the way and install someone more pliant and predictable like Tom Pence.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

@animalogic "A soft coup engineered by the national security and intelligence agencies would be far more dangerous to our democracy than anything Donald Trump can do."

Until further notice, that is absolutely correct.

It needs to be recalled - ad nauseam - that Russia-gate, or whatever rubbish its called, is a LIE. There is NO, repeat NO evidence of ANY wrong-doing by Trump re the Russians.

The MSM & various elements of the "establishment" should suicide NOW from pure SHAME.

polistra , May 16, 2017 at 11:56 am GMT

Conspiracies are NOT hard to sustain. That's an absurd statement. Deepstate has been sustaining and expanding its conspiracies for 100 years. (There is always a 'deep state' of some kind, but the current well-organized structure was created by Wilson.) A conspiracy AGAINST Deepstate is hard to sustain because Deepstate owns and monitors all public communications.

Hobo , May 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT

While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades.

Some of the investigations have expanded their scope to include careful scrutiny of Trump's business dealings in relation to Russia. Recently FinCEN, which specializes in fighting money laundering, agreed to turn over records to the Senate Intelligence Committee in this regard. Even Sen. Linsey Graham recently stated he wanted to know more about Trump's business dealings with Russia. The possibility that this may result in a criminal investigation cannot be ruled out. The money-laundering angle is already all over the Web (ex. google: Bayrock Trump) and, one must assume, in the hands of various intelligence agencies. .This may be the basis for Trump's increasingly frantic attempts to shut down the "Russian thing" investigation.(Comey firing??)

Dutch Public Broadcasting has recently broadcast a two part series exploring some of the connections involving Trump's business dealings with Russia.

THE DUBIOUS FRIENDS OF DONALD TRUMP: THE RUSSIANS

More detail and background is provided in this informative article by James S. Henry, a reputable investigative journalist:

The Curious World of Donald Trump's Private Russian Connections

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/12/19/the-curious-world-of-donald-trumps-private-russian-connections/

p.s.: Regarding the term Russo-jewish mafia, should you watch the videos and read the article you will find the players involved are almost exclusively of a certain 'tribal' persuasion. (A number have direct links to the infamous Mogilevich crime syndicate (top 10 FBI's most wanted list) and one of the principals of Bayrock was named as a major Israeli organized crime figure by the Turkish media following his arrest there.)

Chris Bridges , May 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm GMT

Phil,

As you know, Brennan is an extreme liberal Democrat, a creature of both Clinton and Obama. He is an utterly unprincipled old fool. He failed as a CIA operations officer and went back to Langley with his tail between his legs to become analyst. Nothing wrong with that but he nursed bitter resentment at the Clandestine Service during his whole career. He was finally allowed to go out as chief in, of all places, Riyadh. He promptly destroyed the station with his incompetence, though he earned the praise of the ambassador, as such toadies usually do. Brennan is perfectly capable of the things you describe. Washington is awash in these kinds of traitors. If Trump does not have a plan to arrest them all some dark night then he is a fool himself.

MEexpert , May 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

And President Barack Obama was likely the initiator, notably so when he de facto authorized the wide distribution of raw intelligence on Trump and the Russians through executive order.

I repeat, why hasn't Trump issued an executive order cancelling Obama's executive order? He needs to stop this information sharing if he expects to remain President.

Phil, is there any one who has Trump's ear? The mainstream media are hell bent in destroying anyone close to Trump. First, Flynn, then Steve Bannon and now Kellyanne Conway. Trump must stop these leaks from the White House. He should fire all Obama holdovers.

utu , May 16, 2017 at 1:21 pm GMT

@Hobo While the collusion story is an obvious canard there is another level to this "Russian thing" which may prove to be extremely damaging to Trump. And that is Trump's participation in a money-laundering operation with the Russo-jewish mafia going back decades.

... ... ... ...

p.s.: Regarding the term Russo-jewish mafia, should you watch the videos and read the article you will find the players involved are almost exclusively of a certain 'tribal' persuasion. (A number have direct links to the infamous Mogilevich crime syndicate (top 10 FBI's most wanted list) and one of the principals of Bayrock was named as a major Israeli organized crime figure by the Turkish media following his arrest there.)

Sam Shama , May 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm GMT

I recently produced my own analysis of the possibility that there is in progress a soft, or stealth or silent coup, call it what you will, underway directed against the president and that, if it exists, it is being directed by former senior officials from the Obama White House. Indeed, it is quite plausible to suggest that it was orchestrated within the Obama White House itself before the government changed hands at the inauguration on January 20th. In line with that thinking, some observers are now suggesting that Comey might well have been party to the conspiracy and his dismissal would have been perfectly justified based on his demonstrated interference in both the electoral process and in his broadening of the acceptable role of his own Bureau , which Trump has described as "showboating."

It's quite difficult to accept this line of thought when Comey practically scuppered Hillary's bid, something strongly endorsed by Obama. Going with this narrative requires Obama to have engineered Hillary's departure followed by a concerted plan to unseat Trump as well, both objectives utilizing Comey! To what end? Paint chaos on the American political canvas?

RadicalCenter , May 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm GMT

@Colleen Pater This " theory " isnt a theory its not debatable and its clear both parties and every power node in the world are signalling they will do whatever they can to help. Its really a good thing they are not fooling anyone but some maroon prog snowflakes. Trump was the howard beale last option before civil war candidate, he won fair and square , actually despite massive cheating by the other side and now they are overthrowing him in full view of the american people.Its good as long as idiots on the right still believed in democracy, that getting their candidate in would change war was averted. after thirty years of steady leftism no matter who was in power they voted trump now trumps being overthrown. They will see we dont live in a democracy we live in the matrix democracy is diversionary tactic to prevent us from killing them all. And kill them all is what we must do.

jilles dykstra , May 16, 2017 at 2:28 pm GMT

@alexander Some fine points here, Mr, Dykstra,

I don't think, however, the notion of the "establishment" is a problem in itself. Our country has always had powerful elites, so have many other countries. The problem which presents itself today is our elites seem determined to perpetuate endless wars that cost obscene amounts of money, and do not seem to produce positive results in any of the places the wars are being fought.

The "establishment" does not seem to care. It is now wholly unthinkable for our "establishment" to consider "making peace"and ending our wars. There is an addiction to "war spending" and "war profiteering" which has consumed the Deep State Apparatus, especially since 9-11, and operates almost completely independently of any administration in office.

Its an insatiable appetite...that grows larger every year. Any President, elected by the people today,to end our wars will simply not be tolerated by the establishment class and the deep state it lords over. The problem is not that we have an "establishment", the problem is our establishment is addicted to war.

Only "war" will do for them, full time, all the time..... end of story. Today, any President is given two choices once in office....make WAR..... or be impeached.

anonymous , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

@Anon Trump Heads to Saudi Arabia - Target Iran and Iraq?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIYy10NJcMI

Agent76 , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

The short answer is yes! March 31, 2017 The Surveillance State Behind Russia-Gate. Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-surveillance-state-behind-russia-gate/5582211

Mar 9, 2017 BADA BING! NSA Whistleblower Confirms Trump Was Tapped!

They're wire tapping President Trump, and Kim Kardashian, and Hulk Hogan, and you and EVERYBODY!

https://youtu.be/tWOCLMJRQ7I

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

It is now wholly unthinkable for our "establishment" to consider "making peace"and ending our wars. There is an addiction to "war spending" and "war profiteering" which has consumed the Deep State Apparatus, especially since 9-11, and operates almost completely independently of any administration in office.

Precisely. Frankly, I suspect 90% of the daily brouhaha of conspiracies and collusion theories is a product solely of tawdry greed. The rich will do anything for money . anything.

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:41 pm GMT

Reopening the investigation in a dramatic public manner (I guess we do tell who is under investigation) and then coming back to announce, "We were correct the first time; there is no case" might convince a few thousand staggling doubters. It was very close.

Quite so. Comey's election-eve announcement was a calculated risk, with the intention of making the "investigation" of Clinton look legitimate and professional, not just lip service to troublesome legalities. It was intended to produce a public reaction like "Oh, they double-checked like good investigators, and sure enough, Hillary's email operation was completely legit."

Done clumsily, and it backfired.

Aaron Burr , May 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm GMT

At what point does political infighting cross the line into treason?

There's a line somewhere between the two, obviously. Perhaps its when you break the law? Perhaps its when you leak classified documents? Or details of a key diplomatic meeting?

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@utu There will be no open coup. Trump will resign for health reason or in the worst case scenario will be declared unfit for health reasons. And Pence will give a speech how great Trump was and how great his ideas were and that now he as president will continue his vision. And many people will believe it.

Sam Shama , May 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@iffen It's quite difficult to accept this line of thought when Comey practically scuppered Hillary's bid

There is reason to believe that Clinton's email troubles were having a major impact. Many were unconvinced by Comey's first pronouncement that there was no case there. (I thought this was the prosecutor's job anyway. People would have been skeptical of a compromised Lynch saying that there was no case, but might be persuaded by Comey.)

Reopening the investigation in a dramatic public manner (I guess we do tell who is under investigation) and then coming back to announce, "We were correct the first time; there is no case" might convince a few thousand staggling doubters. It was very close.

Philip Giraldi , May 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm GMT

@Sam Shama I need to understand why Phil Giraldi thinks she was considered a flawed candidate from the Deep State's perspective .

In the minds of non-mainstream writers who constantly viewed her as the embodiment of the Establishment, one wouldn't have wagered "their" perfect candidate to be marked for removal.

Joe Hide , May 16, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT

It looks to me as though the "deep state" is getting progressive dementia. While inhabited by many high I.Q. players, their moves are increasingly insane. They had assumed their "Surveillance State" would become all intrusive, giving them ever greater control over us peasants. The reverse has happened, where most of the 7 billion of us have cell phones that record and display all their nefarious deeds. We have a million times more high I.Q. people than them, that increasingly are waking up and exposing those psychopaths for the pieces of garbage that they are.

iffen , May 16, 2017 at 3:59 pm GMT

@Sam Shama I need to understand why Phil Giraldi thinks she was considered a flawed candidate from the Deep State's perspective .

In the minds of non-mainstream writers who constantly viewed her as the embodiment of the Establishment, one wouldn't have wagered "their" perfect candidate to be marked for removal.

John Jeremiah Smith , May 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm GMT

@utu

Comey's election-eve announcement was a calculated risk, with the intention of making the "investigation" of Clinton look legitimate and professional, not just lip service to troublesome legalities.
No. They knew then that election could not be stolen (for whatever reasons) for Clinton. The 28th October announcement by Comey was the signal to press to change the fake narrative of huge advantage in polls by Hillary and prepare the eventual excuse for Hillary why she lost.
Boris M Garsky , May 16, 2017 at 5:03 pm GMT

Comey was abruptly and unceremoniously fired after he stated that Clinton had forwarded thousands of e-mails containing classified information on an unsecured server to wiener and friends. Hardly covering Clintons back. The FBI investigates -- it does not prosecute -- that is the function of the attorney generals office. The AG solely has the power to convene a grand jury, not the FBI. The deputy attorney general Rosenstein writes a scathing report and recommendation to fire Comey. Trump, probably on Kushner's urging fires Comey. Comey redacts his prior statement.

My guess is that the FBI were very close to the neocons hidden secret -- Clinton and its foundation are foreign assets and not of Russia, hence, we have the Russia-gate diversion. Unfortunately, Comey;s replacement will be toothless, merely a shelf ornament. And what happened? We hear no more of Kushners? omitting his relationship to the Rothchilds enterprises. Flynn was fired for far less. Is/ are Kushner? and/ or Rosenstein the leak(s)?

WorkingClass , May 16, 2017 at 5:52 pm GMT

The people pushing the big lie about Trump and Russia are legion. And they are not stupid. They are evil. They are the same people who are preparing a preemptive nuclear attack against Russia and China. They are the globalists who would institute a universal Feudalism from which there would be no escape. I have no further use for Trump. But his enemies remain enemies of the people.

[May 22, 2017] How Did Russiagate Start

Notable quotes:
"... Intelligence [agencies] started #Russiagate ..."
"... Speaking generally, Clapper seemed to imply that the Trump-Russia-collusion scandal, the thing colloquially known as #Russiagate all over the world now, may have originated in information gleaned by the intelligence community, who in turn may have tipped off the FBI. ..."
"... But Comey had said the counterintelligence investigation dated back to July, when he was FBI director under a Democratic president. So what happened between July and January? ..."
"... If Comey felt the existence of his investigation was so important that he he had to disclose it to DNI Coats on Coats' first day in office, why didn't he feel the same need to disclose the existence of an investigation to Clapper at any time between July and January? ..."
"... Furthermore, how could the FBI participate in a joint assessment about Russian efforts to meddle in American elections and not tell Clapper and the other intelligence chiefs about what would seemingly be a highly germane counterintelligence investigation in that direction? ..."
"... But why hide your investigation in Obama's administration, only to tell superiors about it under Trump? Why keep a secret from Clapper and not Coats? Moreover, why hide it from the voting public before the election, but announce it on live TV on March 20th? ..."
"... Another interpretation is that Clapper was simply not telling the whole truth, either on March 20th or last week. In this version of events, he knew of the FBI investigation all along. More than one person I spoke with found it implausible that Clapper could have been ignorant of any investigation, especially following the issuance of the reported FISA warrant against Page. ..."
"... Certainly firing an FBI director who has announced the existence of an investigation targeting your campaign is going to be improper in almost every case. And in his post-firing rants about tapes and loyalty, President Trump validated every criticism of him as an impetuous, unstable, unfit executive who additionally is ignorant of the law and lunges for authoritarian solutions in a crisis. ..."
"... We should care. The uncertainty has led to widespread public terror, mass media hysteria and excess , and possibly even panic in the White House itself, where, who knows, Trump may even have risked military confrontation with Russia in an effort to shake the collusion accusations. All of this is exacerbated by the constant stream of leaks and hints at mother lodes of evidence that are just around the corner. It's quite literally driving the country crazy. ..."
"... Mueller quit his regular job, so he needs to be Special Counsel for as long as possible. So, it's (2). He doesn't have to say he's found anything, he just needs to say the investigation continues. It could continue into and after the next general election, making Trump a lame duck from now until the end of his term. ..."
May 21, 2017 | www.rollingstone.com

Intelligence [agencies] started #Russiagate

Speaking generally, Clapper seemed to imply that the Trump-Russia-collusion scandal, the thing colloquially known as #Russiagate all over the world now, may have originated in information gleaned by the intelligence community, who in turn may have tipped off the FBI.

Amid the chaos of James Comey's firing, new questions about the timeline of his fateful investigation

... ... ...

Todd went out of his way to hammer at the question of whether or not he knew of any evidence of collusion. Clapper again said, "Not to my knowledge." Here Todd appropriately pressed him: If it did exist, would you know?

To this, Clapper merely answered, "This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government."

That's not an unequivocal "yes," but it's close. There's no way to compare Clapper's statements on March 5th to his interviews last week and not feel that something significant changed between then and now.

Clapper's statements seem even stranger in light of James Comey's own testimony in the House on March 20th.

In that appearance, Comey – who by then had dropped his bombshell about the existence of an investigation into Trump campaign figures – was asked by New York Republican Elise Stefanik when he notified the DNI about his inquiry.

"Good question," Comey said. "Obviously, the Department of Justice has been aware of it all along. The DNI, I don't know what the DNI's knowledge of it was, because we didn't have a DNI – until Mr. Coats took office and I briefed him his first morning."

Comey was saying that he hadn't briefed the DNI because between January 20th, when Clapper left office, and March 16th, when former Indiana senator and now Trump appointee Dan Coats took office, the DNI position was unfilled.

But Comey had said the counterintelligence investigation dated back to July, when he was FBI director under a Democratic president. So what happened between July and January?

If Comey felt the existence of his investigation was so important that he he had to disclose it to DNI Coats on Coats' first day in office, why didn't he feel the same need to disclose the existence of an investigation to Clapper at any time between July and January?

Furthermore, how could the FBI participate in a joint assessment about Russian efforts to meddle in American elections and not tell Clapper and the other intelligence chiefs about what would seemingly be a highly germane counterintelligence investigation in that direction?

Again, prior to last week, Clapper had said he would know if there was a FISA warrant issued on this matter. But then on April 11th, law enforcement and government officials leaked – anonymously, as has been the case throughout most of this story – that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant for surveillance of Trump associate Carter Page.

So what's going on here? In talking to people on the Hill last week, I heard a number of theories.

One interpretation is that the FBI, concerned about operational security, conducted a secret investigation during the last months of Barack Obama's presidency without informing the likes of Clapper and other agency chiefs.

But why hide your investigation in Obama's administration, only to tell superiors about it under Trump? Why keep a secret from Clapper and not Coats? Moreover, why hide it from the voting public before the election, but announce it on live TV on March 20th?

Another interpretation is that Clapper was simply not telling the whole truth, either on March 20th or last week. In this version of events, he knew of the FBI investigation all along. More than one person I spoke with found it implausible that Clapper could have been ignorant of any investigation, especially following the issuance of the reported FISA warrant against Page.

But the context of these interviews still makes Clapper dissembling in his March interview a strange and unlikely possibility. Clapper has not been in the habit of doing Trump political favors this season. And if indeed it's standard practice for a DNI to not know what counterintelligence operations the FBI might be up to, it would have made a lot more sense for Clapper to say that on Meet the Press on March 5th.

Instead, he did Trump a solid by stating unequivocally that there were no FISA warrants out, and that he would have known if there were, adding he had seen no evidence of collusion. Why?

When James Comey was fired last week, I didn't know what to think, because so much of this story is still hidden from view.

Certainly firing an FBI director who has announced the existence of an investigation targeting your campaign is going to be improper in almost every case. And in his post-firing rants about tapes and loyalty, President Trump validated every criticism of him as an impetuous, unstable, unfit executive who additionally is ignorant of the law and lunges for authoritarian solutions in a crisis.

But it's our job in the media to be bothered by little details, and the strange timeline of the Trump-Russia investigation qualifies as a conspicuous loose end.

What exactly is the FBI investigating? Why was it kept secret from other intelligence chiefs, if that's what happened? That matters, if we're trying to gauge what happened last week.

Is it a FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) case involving former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn or a lower-level knucklehead like Carter Page ?

Since FARA is violated more or less daily in Washington and largely ignored by authorities unless it involves someone without political connections (an awful lot of important people in Washington who appear to be making fortunes lobbying for foreign countries are merely engaged in "litigation support," if you ask them), it would be somewhat anticlimactic to find out that this was the alleged crime underlying our current white-hot constitutional crisis.

Is it something more serious than a FARA case, like money-laundering for instance, involving someone higher up in the Trump campaign? That would indeed be disturbing, and it would surely be improper – possibly even impeachable, depending upon what exactly happened behind the scenes – for Trump to get in the way of such a case playing itself out.

But even a case like that would be very different from espionage and treason. Gutting a money-laundering case involving a campaign staffer would be more like garden-variety corruption than the cloak-and-dagger nightmares currently consuming the popular imagination.

However, let's say the FBI is actually investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian state. That's the most serious possibility, and the one exciting so much public dread.

If it's that, what's at the heart of that case? Why can't we be told what's going on? Operational secrecy would be a believable excuse, were it not for the fact that so much else has been leaked. Intelligence sources even appeared to give up their ability to capture Russian officials celebrating Trump's election win. If something like that can be leaked, and if even foreign governments can be told about "leverages of pressure" Russia allegedly has on Trump , it stands to reason that the American public should have heard what's behind the Trump-Russia investigation by now.

Trump easily could have committed some disqualifying act in response to this scandal. The worry about that is why we've always needed an independent investigation.

Such an investigation into Trump's campaign might very well uncover a range of improprieties and shady dealings by some of the campaign "associates" who've figured into news reports. This wouldn't be surprising, I don't think, even to some of the people in the White House.

But when it comes to the collusion investigation, there are serious questions. A lot of our civil liberties protections and rules of press ethics are designed to prevent exactly this situation, in which a person lingers for extended periods of time under public suspicion without being aware of the exact nature, or origin, of the accusations.

It's why liberal thinkers have traditionally abhorred secret courts, secret surveillance and secret evidence, and in the past would have reflexively discouraged the news media from printing the unverified or unverifiable charges emanating from such secret sources. But because it's Donald Trump, no one seems to care.

We should care. The uncertainty has led to widespread public terror, mass media hysteria and excess , and possibly even panic in the White House itself, where, who knows, Trump may even have risked military confrontation with Russia in an effort to shake the collusion accusations. All of this is exacerbated by the constant stream of leaks and hints at mother lodes of evidence that are just around the corner. It's quite literally driving the country crazy.

The public deserves to know what's going on. It deserved to know before the election, it deserved to know before the inauguration, and it deserves to know now.

Paulytical Rob Kaufman 3 days ago
Mueller quit his regular job, so he needs to be Special Counsel for as long as possible. So, it's (2). He doesn't have to say he's found anything, he just needs to say the investigation continues. It could continue into and after the next general election, making Trump a lame duck from now until the end of his term.
Thomas Roberts Rob Kaufman 3 days ago
I think McCain might give Clapper a go for first place.

ernie_oertle Thomas Roberts 21 hours ago

I dunno. There is alot of competition = DamascusNancy, Shummer-Hits-the-Fan, TomPerez, SenatorTurban, Lieawotha, JoeOBiden, BS Bernie, Maxine, BarbaraBoxer, AlGreen, MitchMcConnell, AlecBaldwin, TrevorNoah, SteponColbear, JannWenner, CaliphKeith al-Ellison
furtive 17 hours ago
Attorney General Robert H. Jackson;
"The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. . . .While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst."

A prosecutor has almost unilateral, unchecked ability to destroy the lives of those he charges. It is beyond troubling that our top law enforcement officer chooses the company of those who repeatedly failed their duty.

mitrom 18 hours ago
It's obvious that this Russia-Trump investigation is a ruse to spy on Trump and his associates for dirt. I'm sure the Obama Admin spied on other political foes. His admin has a history of it. Let's hope that Mueller actually has some integrity and finds the truth.

furtive mitrom 17 hours ago

See: Trevor Aaronson: "The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI's Manufactured War On Terrorism,"
Irish Good ol boy Mueller as FBI DIRECTOR created the Terror Factory- conspired to entrap Muslims and arrested them as terrorists to justify the FBI's inflated budget.
The FBI are the keystone cops. They are coverup operators & incompetent. Nothing but a gangster operation.

Mueller mentored Comey. Both are corrupt, pretending to be patriotic.
Comey got $3 million as a "board member" at Lockheed Martin to shut down Clintons Treason investigation.
Mueller wants Trump's tax returns to dig into. He has UNLIMITED boundaries to probe.

Obama never gave up his life to an independent counsel. Lynch Holder & Yates protected him.

Rod Rosenstein must be compromised. No other answer why he didn't protect Trump.

Gangsters are running our country like a banana republic.
No honest person can lead these criminals. They turn the tables & charge the innocent.

(See Senator Stevens because he ran for another term in Alaska. They killed him!)

Irredeemable Deplorable 18 hours ago
"Russiagate" is going to backfire on the DemocRats big time. I can't wait for the finale.

furtive 19 hours ago

Hey, Matt,

Substitute Trump for Hil-Lia-y & any special counsel will have enough
evidence to execute her.

Why doesn't Tahibbi investigate the uranium hil-liar y sold to the Russians & how she LAUNDERED A payoff INTO THE CLINTON FOUNDATION; or Why the FBI DIDN'T SEIZE THE DNC COMPUTERS; or why was Seth Rich assassinated?

Or how john podesta got rich on Russian banking while working in the Obama White House.

What came first, Matt, voter fraud or Trump's large crowds?

Read the book, "Shattered" & you will discover how & Hil-liar-y CONSPIRED TO SPIN THE WAG THE DOG EXCUSE AS A RUSSIAN HACK WHEN IT WAS SETH RICH , & they murdered him.

Gumshoe reporter or Goebbels parrot, which are you, Matt?

L. Wm. Roberts 19 hours ago
Russian-connection my hynnie --- Is the DNC and Hillary connection to Wikileaks Source Seth Rich and his probable actual death in the Hospital, hours after the time recorded on his death-certificate, news-worthy yet... or is Faceplant and Tweeker still deleting the message?
http://www.wnd.com/2017/05/...
https://medium.com/@caityjo...
http://www.news.com.au/tech...
https://www.youtube.com/wat...
PNW_Patriot 20 hours ago
Maybe the investigation is a ruse started by Obama apparatchiks with the idea that Trump would self-destruct under the pressure Looks like it's working.
burningtree 20 hours ago
The "Russia" investigation is a red herring, a hoax. Can anyone, anyone name the statute that is being referenced for this "investigation?" They can't because there is none. Is there any claim or evidence that a single vote was compromised by the "Russians" in favor of Trump? Anyway, they don't want him POTUS, because he is no pushover, like HRC would have been. it's all a fiction, all of it.

[May 22, 2017] The Special Council Inquisition - Bad For Trump - And All of Us

Notable quotes:
"... Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further. The order the Acting Attorney General wrote includes language which allows for nearly unlimited digging in "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." It will thereby continue until -inevitably- some dirt will be found that can be blown out of all proportion and lead to prosecutions or impeachment. ..."
"... It is doubtful that Flynn's communication of the decision was influenced by money. Flynn had registered his lobbying under the Lobbying Disclosure Act with the Clerk of the House of Representatives effectively September 15, 2016. ..."
"... Trump believes that better relations with Russia are important for the well-being of the United States, Pence would likely pursue an anti-Russian policy. That, I believe, is the real issue here. There are no unbeseeming relations between Trump and Russia. Russia had little, if any, influence on the 2016 election. There was no "Russian meddling". But Trump's somewhat more friendly behavior towards Russia, which he campaigned for, is disliked by the-powers-that-are. ..."
"... He didn't even know what hit him. His assistant attorney general gave him the news just 30 minutes before he released it to the media. Anyone who thinks the rump is the engineer is dreaming. he's in the caboose, playing solitaire with the twits. ..."
"... I disagree this is bad. This appointment should give Trump & Sessions cover to appoint a decent FBI Director and properly go after Hilary Clinton, John Podesta, Clinton Foundation and find out who had Seth Rich murdered. ..."
"... who was in the oval office when Trump supposedly "leaked" the information? Just Rex Tillerson and McMaster (and the two Russians). McMaster is in regular communication with Paul Wolfowitz. Isn't it possible that McMaster is the mole, and then he has tried to hide his tracks by defending Trump publicly? ..."
"... The 'Russia did it', in conjunction with the 'Trump is in bed with the Russians', narratives, both completely unsubstantiated, were chosen to be seized on as a red-herring to stick like a burr to, to milk for all they could be milked for, for a variety of reasons by the PTB. ..."
"... For example, there is still a handy residual fear of Russia in the States, and Putin has been relentlessly demonized, so let's make use of it, and Russia effectively opposes 'full spectrum dominance, etc', and the spooks and MIC depend for a living on a scary big boogieman. ..."
"... The leaked extreme pathology on display easily interpreted in the Podesta emails via Wikileaks, along with the Weiner computer 'treasure trove' of emails - and the latter reportedly turned the stomach of an experienced key member of the NYPD, and involved evidence or indications of many serious crimes, Clintons involved - and then the murder of Seth Rich for having been in effect a hugely important whistleblower via Wikileaks, this mass of evidence re the seamy sick side of the massive Swamp had to be buried, silenced. ..."
"... There were two interpreter-scribes in there, both of whom made a transcript of the conversations. Putin's offer to turn over his was rebuffed, leading one to believe mischief is afoot on our side. ..."
"... The real relations and divisions in Washington seem to turned into the Soviet system under Brezhnev. They don't align with the political parties and the mostly stage-managed elections anymore. The domestic federal bureaucracy, the government contractors, the intelligence & surveillance sector, the overseas military, Wall Street, they're all playing power-circle games. ..."
"... The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the communist party of each country or region. ..."
"... Filling his admin with goldman sachs scum ..."
"... Bombing Syria and helping out IS and al Qaeda for the neocons ..."
"... Considering dual citizen garbage like Lieberman ..."
"... and almost every other campaign promise he ever made. And while this is happening Trump supporters are still patting themselves on the back with blather about the power of their 'memes'. ..."
"... The Dutch are just one of many tentacles of the Christian Colonial octopus/ Swamp Alliance. All of Christian Colonialism's warmongering, banksterised, govt-toppling, movers and shakers (US, France, Germany, UK etc etc) are on board with the Get Trump conspiracy. One thing they have in common is that they all (including Oz) get their "News" from the Jew-controlled MSM and are anti-Palestinian and apologists for Jewish Colonialism in Palestine. The worsening facts-on-the-ground in "Israel" speak volumes about Christian Colonialism's support for the Israel Project. ..."
"... "Israeli"-dominated News is the de facto bullshit/ talking-point manufacturer & coordinator for The West. ..."
"... Language in the remit that authorizes an open-ended investigation is a mandate to find something to pin on the target of the investigation, not an authorization for a "proper investigation." ..."
"... Mueller's charge is to find something to pin on Trump, not to conduct a "proper investigation." ..."
"... Trump is NOT a member of the club which is the Republican Hierarchy. Those are the real motherfuckers. They do not want him to be prez and he is not welcome in their club. Neither is Trump an official errand boy for the Deep State (many among both parties are official errand boys and girls). Again, Trump is not an official errand boy. ..."
"... Trump has tried to appease the rotten motherfuckers. He really has. Trump is already ratfucking the middle class and the poor in accordance with their prescription. Trump will keep on trying to please them (See Joe Lieberhebrewratbastard). ..."
"... No matter, they strapped Pence to his back, BECAUSE they want a malleable errand boy who will DO Exactly as he is instructed ..."
"... Things are not as they seem. IMO this is a carefully scripted plan by the Deep State to push Trump into Total War, not that he was not inclined to do so anyways. His Russian connections lead to mafia ties so deep he could lose everything under Rico. He knows this. Once the War begins the internet kill switch is thrown and the lights go out. Martial Law. Like in WWI, if you criticize the war you go to jail. A Deep State Dream. ..."
"... Trump was a Trojan Horse ..."
"... MIC and international Banks will be rolling in the dough. Everyone wins except those caught in the carnage down below (bottom 99%) and of course those nations we obliterate with Shock & Awe on Steroids (nukes) ..."
"... Having never been part of the political system or worked his way up through a party, Trump lacks the army of lackeys who normally create a massive support structure for a president when he comes into office. ..."
"... Trump does not have any experts or thinkers of note that do not belong to the "meritocrats", i.e. the Washington establishment. Bannon is perhaps a thinker, but hardly of note. I even doubt that Trump has any good instincts, except that at occasion he had the childish gift of noticing that this or that has "no cloths". But the next thing a child does is throwing a tantrum for some petty reason. ..."
"... Wow what a show. Faux populist Obama was also politically weakened by crazy opposition. Faux populist Obama was also forced FORCED! to do the establishment's bidding. Could Trump be the Republican Obama? Are we all falling for essentially the same con? Few can wrap their heads around that possibility. Yet ... ..."
"... That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be Trump's dirt that washes up. If Seth Rich is proven to have leaked the emails to Wikileaks, the Russian hacking narrative evaporates, and the Ukrainian collusion to manipulate the election from the Democrat side is legitimately within the ambit of the investigation. We may yet see the Democrat Party prosecuted as a continuing criminal enterprise, and none too soon. ..."
"... They describe the capabilities of US Internet advertisers, even worse post-net-neutrality, and project it onto Russia. Their desperation reeks. ..."
"... Obama was never in the "opposition", Trump is indeed in the opposition but the question is if he have the strength to stand up to these sick people in deepstate/msm. With attacks on Syria etc it doesnt look good but there is no comparsion to the wimp Obama. ..."
"... "Politicians, journalists, academics, and even ordinary folks will be targeted by the government in the hunt for 'Putin's puppets.'" http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/how-muellers-investigation-could-turn-raging-mccarthyesque-witchhunt/ri19884 ..."
"... "the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network reported Thursday, citing current and former Jordanian intelligence officials" Which part of this sourcing in the article did you not understand? The more interesting questions are what is the purpose of releasing this information by a US puppet, who colluded in the release and how it plays into the 'Trump betrayed Israel' hysteria. ..."
"... My thesis is this: both Obama and Trump are faux populists and are part and parcel of a 'faux populist model of governance'. Elements of this model are ..."
"... A craven narcisstic egotistic Leader (Obama, Trump) that is a willing tool because he/she intends to capture a future payoff for himself. ..."
"... Establishment-friendly VP as insurance. Both Biden and Pence are seen as 'reliable hands' by TPTB. ..."
"... crazy opposition that is intended to weaken a faux populist leader and energize apologists. I call them "enforcers". ..."
"... ... they are self-funding operations. once the money starts to flow a portion is set aside for kickbacks, bribes, and efforts to protect the mainstream funding itself. it is truly a parasitic operation that feeds on the fruits of its effort on others' behalf, and thus strengthens itself, becoming a stand-alone operation. ..."
"... there are tens of thousands of people in ac/dc working in these operations, looking out for taiwan's interests, israel's interests, making sure that russia stays demonized ... all the various corporate issues ... but at base and before all else, looking out for number one. ..."
"... a sort of 5th column of folks working on behalf of 5th columnists, subverting government in favor of the lucrative process of policy misdirection itself. ..."
"... Y'all may remember that Trump's domestic business dealings had some Mob connections. I think Wm Engdahl, among other, reported on this. Well, if you google Trump and Russian Mafia you will see an entirely different idea as to what this attack on Trump might be about. ..."
May 22, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
The Trump administration made a huge mistake by not preventing the just announced special council investigation into the alleged, but likely non-existing "Trump-Russia" connections:
The Justice Department appointed a special counsel Wednesday to investigate possible coordination between President Trump's associates and Russian officials - a clear signal to the White House that federal investigators will aggressively pursue the matter despite the president's insistence that there was no "collusion'' with the Kremlin.

Robert S. Mueller III, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, has agreed to take over the investigation as a special counsel, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced. The move marks a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation to be run independently of the Justice Department. Calls for a special counsel intensified after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey last week.

It is weird that the WaPo report above calls this "a concession by the Trump administration to Democratic demands for the investigation". It further states that the White House was not informed about it until it had been made:

The White House did not learn of Rosenstein's decision until just 30 minutes before the public announcement was made.

Anyway. This is bad and the Trump administration should have pulled all strings to prevent it. Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further. The order the Acting Attorney General wrote includes language which allows for nearly unlimited digging in "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." It will thereby continue until -inevitably- some dirt will be found that can be blown out of all proportion and lead to prosecutions or impeachment.

Robert S. Mueller is also a bad choice as a special council as he is a former colleague and friend of former FBI director James Comey who Trump recently fired. From 2013: Forged Under Fire-Bob Mueller and Jim Comey's Unusual Friendship

Both men were rising stars mentored and guided by Eric Holder in the 1990s during Holder's time in the Justice Department under the Clinton administration.
...
Mueller, now 68, and Comey, now 52, would become close partners and close allies throughout the years ahead.
...

Both, Comey and Mueller, were involved in the dramatic hospital scene at the bed of Attorney General Ashcroft to stop Bush's illegal program of spying on U.S. citizens. The program in question stopped for a moment but the spying simply continued under a different legal justification.

The attempts to smear Trump and those around him over foreign connections have entered absurd territory. The lead headline at McClatchy today is a. old news, b. confusing the timeline only to further throw dirt into the direction of Trump:

Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its agent

One of the Trump administration's first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he'd been paid more than $500,000 to represent.

The incoming Trump administration temporarily stopped the Raqqa campaign which the Obama administration had decided would be done with Kurdish forces. This was on January 17 , only a few days before the Trump administration took over. The Obama administration itself had deliberated about the issue for over 8 month and its choice was not its preferred option:

Most of the shortcomings outlined by the Trump team were obvious to Obama's advisers he added. In fact, the senior Obama administration official said, arming the Kurds was Obama's Plan B, after it became clear that Plan A - using Turkish forces to take Raqqa - would not be feasible.

It is doubtful that Flynn's communication of the decision was influenced by money. Flynn had registered his lobbying under the Lobbying Disclosure Act with the Clerk of the House of Representatives effectively September 15, 2016. According to his later filling (pdf) at the Foreign Agent Registry, his consulting contract with the Turkish owned company had ended three month later, on November 15, 2016. The owner of the company Inovo, which had hired Flynn, is Ekim Alptekin, an ally of the Turkish President Erdogan. (Alptekin's lawyer ones asserted that the company had acted on behalf of Israeli gas interests. The two Israeli gas companies possibly involved both denied any such connection.) Alptekin himself denied any connection to Trump administration decisions and correctly noted that Trump had practically no chance of winning the election at the time Alptekin had hired Flynn who was then just one of many Trump advisors.

There is no reasonable relation between Flynn's lobbying for Turkish interest and the halt of the Raqqa campaign preparations. Attempts to drawn lines between the Turkish lobbying and Russian interests end up as convoluted rumor collections. With the Raqqa halt the Trump administration simply rejected to take responsibility for a military adventure (which had not even started) based on a dubious last-minute Obama decision. It wanted to review the issue and decide after its own assessment.

One has to ask why McClatchy is reporting this now? That Flynn had was lobbying for Alptekin's company was registered in September and first reported in November 2016. The temporary halt of the Raqqa campaign planing was decided on January 17 and reported on February 2 2017. Where then is the "news" value in this May 2017 McClatchy report?

Aspecial council investigation will, of course, jump on such not-news reports like McClatchy's. He will dramatically invite witnesses and leak further rumors to the media - even when the basic facts show that there is nothing to it. Such investigations pursue death by a thousand cuts.

The Democrats, and especially progressives, work against their voters interest when they pursue a Trump impeachment which would let Vice President Pence take the White House:

Pence is a horror -- fiscal sadist, misogynist, homophobe, lover of the carceral state.

Pence is way more conservative than Trump. With Republicans in power in Congress he could easily implement all the horrific policies he ever dreamed of.

But the borg and the Democratic leadership are not concerned about that:

Democrats cheered the [special council] announcement as a step forward in resolving the unanswered questions about Russian meddling in last year's presidential election - and whether the president or anyone at the White House has interfered with the investigation.

Trump believes that better relations with Russia are important for the well-being of the United States, Pence would likely pursue an anti-Russian policy. That, I believe, is the real issue here. There are no unbeseeming relations between Trump and Russia. Russia had little, if any, influence on the 2016 election. There was no "Russian meddling". But Trump's somewhat more friendly behavior towards Russia, which he campaigned for, is disliked by the-powers-that-are.

We can now expect a very long drawn special council investigation with lots of media leaks and reporting. It will drown out all other important issues. It will likely end badly for Trump and badly for peaceful global power relations.

Posted by b on May 18, 2017 at 07:07 AM | Permalink

1

1) Allow me to hail your work. I myself have done research on the Web, I know how much work it can be, and the speed at which you find relevant information and put it together is absolutely stunning.
2) To quote you, "It will end badly for Trump, badly for global power relations", and I add, badly for Western democracies. The gloves are coming off: we Westerners (USA, EU, etc) have democratic systems... as long as we vote as we are told. In other terms, ours is a wolf in sheep's clothing system, and the truth is we live in banana republics.

Our US-led system has never seen anything wrong about toppling elected leaders and sponsoring the worst dictators in places like Asia, Europe, the Middle-East or South America. They've done it for decades. Why did we ever imagine they would hesitate to do the same at home?

Berry Friesen | May 18, 2017 7:54:24 AM | 2
I'm persuaded there's nothing there, so are you, b. Yet for obvious reasons, many are not. So Trump did the wise thing: he is cooperating with the only chance he has of putting this manufactured issue to bed.
Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 8:01:12 AM | 3
While special investigations can be pretty bad, I do not see a superior alternative. Investigations are part of the executive function of the government, at least in USA, and the executive power has too many temptations to meddle, temptations that Trump did not resist. On paper, the special prosecutor is accomplished and "non-partisan", one can quibble if they could not found someone with a higher numeral, like Robert S. Mueller IV (III means that both dad and grandad were Roberts, rather than alternate between two names like kings of Denmark who alternate between Christian and Frederik).
somebody | May 18, 2017 8:19:22 AM | 4
Actually it is good for Trump.

As I understand it the task is to "oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters" Mueller was appointed by Bush. As I understand it, he has to report to Rod Rosenstein, a Republican, who fired Comey . The devil is in the "related matters" - which might be anything from the DNC leak to the Obama administration spying on the Trump campaign.

jfl | May 18, 2017 8:35:29 AM | 5
@2 bf, 'Trump did the wise thing: he is cooperating with the only chance he has of putting this manufactured issue to bed ...'

He didn't even know what hit him. His assistant attorney general gave him the news just 30 minutes before he released it to the media. Anyone who thinks the rump is the engineer is dreaming. he's in the caboose, playing solitaire with the twits.

The show will go on. The rump will continue from somewhere in the white house at the length of his leash, blowing off steam as he goes, but the pressure in the boiler will continuously drop and the sound of his whistle will diminish, calling more and more lonesome night after night from the tracks along the twitter line. an endless line of dictators will stream through the white house, each duly proclaimed his new best friend.

People all over the world will begin to reduce as much as possible their exposure to all things American, especially the dollar.

V. Arnold | May 18, 2017 8:36:48 AM | 6
Circus maximus; minus the dead bodies (?)...
Hoarsewhisperer | May 18, 2017 8:42:08 AM | 7
Trump's experience in dog-eat-dog BizWorld would have included worse scenarios than this Star Chamber gambit by the Swamp. And the Swamp is so politicized and corrupt that Team Trump will drown them in their own bs.
PavewayIV | May 18, 2017 8:56:49 AM | 9
b,
"Pence is a horror-fiscal sadist, misogynist, homophobe, lover of the carceral state."

They forgot "Israeli-firster" and this doesn't even scratch the surface. The only thing worse than having the U.S. with nobody in charge since election day is having a sniveling little psychopath like Pence in charge. I still think I'll be right about WW III - I was just one president too early. God does have a sense of humor, and the joke is on the U.S. Few tears will be shed. We had it coming for a long time now.

Julian | May 18, 2017 9:09:11 AM | 10
I disagree this is bad. This appointment should give Trump & Sessions cover to appoint a decent FBI Director and properly go after Hilary Clinton, John Podesta, Clinton Foundation and find out who had Seth Rich murdered.

Justice for Seth Rich. Fire Clinton Corrupt Cabal Crony Andy McCabe and put him in the dock for the cover-up. Do it Trump and don't stuff it up!

pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 9:51:03 AM | 13
@8. 9

Speaking of "Israeli-firster" and "appoint a decent FBI Director", it appears that in the latest iteration of Tales from the Crypt, none other than Joe Lieberman has been resurrected from the undead to become odds on favourite as the next FBI Director. The same uber-Zionist Lieberman who makes Pence look positively meek in regard to Israel, who sponsored the Iraqi War Resolution Act , and who along with fellow lunatics McCain and Graham comprised the more war act known as the Three Amigos.

Yep, things are really looking up.

Anon | May 18, 2017 9:54:36 AM | 14
Does this idiocy ever stop? -- US with its deep state and media is really in a mess with this hatred against Russia and the sick witch hunt to find 1 piece of evidence to get rid of Trump. This is McCarthyism all over it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

"McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence.[1] The term refers to U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1947 to 1956 and characterized by heightened political repression as well as a campaign spreading fear of influence on American institutions and of espionage by Soviet agents".

somebody

How is this hysteria a good thing? There is no russian connection. Its a hoax and its scary how people buy this, eventually this will result in hot war.

Julian | May 18, 2017 9:59:24 AM | 15
Re: Posted by: pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 9:51:03 AM | 13

Well. If Trump is dumb enough to make Lieberman his next FBI Director he will have only himself to blame for his failed Presidency.

Given Lieberman's a well known swamp creature though I can't possibly see Trump making such a huge error so soon after making such a great decision - ie - Firing Corrupt Comey. Take it to the bank - there is no chance Lieberman will be FBI Director.

PavewayIV | May 18, 2017 10:09:19 AM | 17
Debsisdead@12 - "...Pence will be gone quick smart so that the whores on the hill can manipulate some schmuck into the VP gig so if they do get the trumpet, the whores will own the executive..."

Why would the powers that be want Pence gone, Debs? It has nothing to do with Pence's vision or skills. It has everything to do with how 'ownable' he is, and that guy (as you have observed) is very ownable . The perfect lapdog for the deep state. Spiro Agnew indeed.

"...IMO, that is a good thing when pols spend their days trying to fuck each other up it diverts them away from their usual business of trying to fuck us up..."

I'll humbly suggest you have not been watching closely enough. The shackles are being slipped over your ankles while you watch the juggling monkeys duke it out. The monkeys have little to do with anything - they're the entertainment and distraction. People fall for it every time. Why would it be different this time around?

LXV | May 18, 2017 10:15:04 AM | 19
Thank you b!

I believe TPTSB's appointment of a special investigator serves as a counterweight to recent revelations of a direct Communication between Seth Rich and Wikileaks.

I.e. it's the age old strategy of obfuscation, smoke and mirrors: when adversaries find and present evidence against you, a counter-attack of at least the same proportions makes the perfect defense (with lamestream media shills on their side, this is gonna get ridiculous coverage). In this way they're killing 2 flies with 1 strike - taking the heat off of themselves and transforming Trump's offensive into a desperate attempt to save face and not get impeached.

Anon | May 18, 2017 10:24:16 AM | 20
somebody

Forbidden to make business with Russia? Yes apparently it is. Since the election US media and the ongoing investigation on Russia have already put out according to themselves clear evidence of Russian influence. Have you missed this? How is this hysteria a good thing now?

BRF | May 18, 2017 10:29:59 AM | 22
The tangled web of international business connections and deals runs across all so called' national interest' lines and any sanctions and such for the big boyz. The HSBC conviction and deferred prosecution being a prime example. This is but one small corner that may be revealed and no doubt Trump has business connections with the more shadowy Russian oligarchs as the casino-resort business has long ties with organized crime and the Russians of this bent would probably like a piece of that action by investing in a Trump development.

It is one of my beliefs that a big portion of Trump's political ideology could be summed up as 'What is good for the casino resorts is good for America.' So a disappearing American middle class is 'not good,' and thus 'America needs to be made great again.' Three axioms prevail in deciphering today's world: cui bono, follow the money, and don't be distracted by the manufactured distractions. In this case a lot of roads lead back to the Clintons et al.

harrylaw | May 18, 2017 10:46:08 AM | 23
I agree with somebody@4 and Julian@10, A special Council Investigation cannot limit its investigation to Trump and Associates, a proper investigation will go where the evidence leads, since Clinton and the DNC servers are also in the frame and should be even more investigated by Special Council since it is the DNC and it's MSM supporters complaints which have led the affair thus far.

Seth Rich, for instance is alleged to have 44,000 emails and 17,000 attachments on his computor, which again have been alleged to have been shared with Wikileaks through its now deceased Director Gavin MacFadyen. Adding credence to this claim is Wikileaks 20,000 dollar reward for any information on who killed Seth Rich. This is a double edged sword which could blow Clinton the DNC and all their nefarious machinations out the water.

Anon | May 18, 2017 10:52:54 AM | 24
harrylaw

But this is not a new investigation, its the continuation of the ongoing investigation about so called russian influence - comey had to go and this new guy will take over. This investigation which have been ongoing past months have nothing to do with Clinton whatsoever to do with. Is this really news for people?

blues | May 18, 2017 10:57:15 AM | 25
I'll take the guess that this will initially look to be on the up-and-up, and then turn into a political Kenneth Star type of affair. It's all ugly. They really are swamp creatures.
James lake | May 18, 2017 11:08:11 AM | 26
Just read An article entitled Trump Escalates Syrian Proxy War over at Consortium News. Could not care less what happens to Trump, he brought it all on himself. Iran, Russia and China need to get their defenses ready as the guns will be turned in them when the US has finished tearing itself apart

karlof1 | May 18, 2017 11:26:16 AM | 29
Trump tweets: "With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel [sic] appointed!

"This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Zerohedge chimes in: "Of course, he does seem to have a point that after all the revelations of intentional evidence destruction (remember BleachBit), despite the known existence of a Congressional subpoena, intentional violations of the Federal Records Retention Act, secret Bill Clinton meetings with the Attorney General on Phoenix tarmacs and the passing out of immunity deals "like they were candy" by former FBI Director Comey, it does seem curious that no special counsel was ever appointed to look into Hillary's case. Will Trump now insist that one be appointed?"

Unfortunately, the crimes Trump's committed as POTUS come under the category of Crimes of Empire for which no POTUS has ever been impeached. One possible outcome from this political war would be the rise of an alternative political party having no connections with the wreckage of the D or R parties. I propose it be named the 99% Party.

Mina | May 18, 2017 12:05:50 PM | 31
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/269029/World/International/-Trump-campaign-had-at-least--undisclosed-contacts.aspx
runaway robot | May 18, 2017 12:43:00 PM | 32
Interesting article by Jim Kavanagh up on Counterpunch. Any thoughts on this?
ProPeace | May 18, 2017 1:12:58 PM | 34
Well said: Donald Trump's Seven Days in May - Judge Napolitano
Though the president has complained that Comey failed to investigate leaks of intelligence data from within his administration, The Washington Post effectively accused the president himself of becoming the leaker in chief by revealing to the Russians information so secret that only a handful of Americans legally possessed it. That information consisted of the name of a city in Syria from which spies had reported that the Islamic State group was plotting to plant bombs on commercial airliners.

What is so secret about that? Intelligence data almost always requires reading between the lines. Doing so here reveals the country from which the intelligence came, as there is only one friendly country that has sufficient intelligence resources in that city to develop local human spies. That country, which the president did not name but which we know is Israel, at first threatened to cut off providing intelligence data to the U.S. because of the president's private revelations but later said that all is forgiven. So, the president told the Russians where to find Israeli spies in Syria.

The fact that these revelations were private is of legal significance. Under federal law, the president can declassify any secrets, even the most highly sensitive and guarded ones. He can do so by whispering the secret into someone's ear or by formally removing the secret from its The Freedom Answer Boo... Andrew P. Napolitano Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $3.01 classified status. But because he did not do the latter, the secret is still a secret - yet The Washington Post has this material and may now legally reveal it.

All of this demonstrates that rogue intelligence agents can engage in their own form of agitprop - agitation propaganda. And they can cause political harm with it. Yet the questions of whether Donald Trump revealed top secrets to the Russians and, if he did so, whether it was intentional or not and whether it was harmful to national security are questions to which we are entitled to answers. And was Jim Comey fired for getting too close to the truth or not close enough?

Why do these questions keep coming?

plantman | May 18, 2017 1:54:26 PM | 36
who was in the oval office when Trump supposedly "leaked" the information? Just Rex Tillerson and McMaster (and the two Russians). McMaster is in regular communication with Paul Wolfowitz. Isn't it possible that McMaster is the mole, and then he has tried to hide his tracks by defending Trump publicly?

canuck | May 18, 2017 2:29:06 PM | 40
The 'Russia did it', in conjunction with the 'Trump is in bed with the Russians', narratives, both completely unsubstantiated, were chosen to be seized on as a red-herring to stick like a burr to, to milk for all they could be milked for, for a variety of reasons by the PTB.

For example, there is still a handy residual fear of Russia in the States, and Putin has been relentlessly demonized, so let's make use of it, and Russia effectively opposes 'full spectrum dominance, etc', and the spooks and MIC depend for a living on a scary big boogieman.

But the main intent was to divert public attention from extremely serious revelations about the Swamp that is the Washington PsTB.

The leaked extreme pathology on display easily interpreted in the Podesta emails via Wikileaks, along with the Weiner computer 'treasure trove' of emails - and the latter reportedly turned the stomach of an experienced key member of the NYPD, and involved evidence or indications of many serious crimes, Clintons involved - and then the murder of Seth Rich for having been in effect a hugely important whistleblower via Wikileaks, this mass of evidence re the seamy sick side of the massive Swamp had to be buried, silenced.

And notice that Comey was notably silent on much of this, and couldn't manage to find enough stuff on Hillary to merit more than a mild 'she was careless' with classified material reprimand.

The attention of the public had to be diverted somewhere, so why not towards Russia, and Trump had to be defeated, because Trump is not a reliable charter member of the Swamp. No doubt he has had some unseemly forays into the swamp. But the swamp dwellers see him on their very personal private level as a deadly enemy, a terminal threat. Recall Hillary's "we'll hang" prediction.

The Russia did it meme has been a desperate 'endless talking point' attempt to first, cover up and deny and divert attention from pedogate and other satanic or seriously criminal stuff in Washington and among the elite, and second, to try to take down Trump. He who may actually try to do the right thing; is not reliably under control by the PTB.

Hard to know what are the implications and will be the outcome of the appointment of the former FBI director Mueller, to investigate a non event and other related stuff. Sounds like an infinite task. Maybe this new oddyssey will be featured in his obituary notice some day, overshadowing his hitherto main claim to fame: presiding over the non-investigation of the treasonous 9/11 false flag.

CarlD | May 18, 2017 2:49:28 PM | 43
It is to be feared that feeling the heat, the Donald might try to divert attention with some "action d'eclat" involving some invented enemy's treat. He could very well sting NK or Iran. He could invent some "tonkin incident" in the persian Gulf... who knows?
Anon | May 18, 2017 2:57:08 PM | 44
CarlD

Correct, and in fact just hours now he attacked pro-Syrian forces in Syria. So Trump attack Syria when he got problems with neocon, anti-russian groups at home. Meanwhile ISIS cheer, along with EU, Nato and the Media, what a sick mind the western world have.

terril | May 18, 2017 3:03:45 PM | 45
Within 24 hours of terrorist supporter McCain coming out publicly about not supporting any impeachment of Trump, Trump bombs Syrian and Iraqi anti-IS troops in Syria.
Bart | May 18, 2017 3:10:02 PM | 46
36 - "who was in the oval office when Trump supposedly "leaked" the information?"

There were two interpreter-scribes in there, both of whom made a transcript of the conversations. Putin's offer to turn over his was rebuffed, leading one to believe mischief is afoot on our side.

chet380 | May 18, 2017 4:06:23 PM | 47
As to a Deputy-AG appointing a Special Counsel w/o presidential approval, there is a purported "Chinese wall" between the Office of the A-G and POTUS to allow the A-G to act independently. One can only pray that the present appointee doesn't turn out to be another Kenneth Starr.

Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 4:29:26 PM | 51
The Dems are foolish retards, totally unredeemable.
Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 18, 2017 2:48:24 PM | 42

I am more optimistic about possibilities of redemption. For example, Enlightenment was a reaction to XVII century in Europe that was spend on a series of very bloody religious wars, in proportion to population, XVII century was more bloody than XX. So particular types of myopic and stupidity do not last forever. Second, it is not a particularly "partisan" condition. More like zeitgeist, I am afraid.

Within 24 hours of terrorist supporter McCain coming out publicly about not supporting any impeachment of Trump, Trump bombs Syrian and Iraqi anti-IS troops in Syria.

Posted by: terril | May 18, 2017 3:03:45 PM | 45

If only the special counsel would add war crimes to his investigation. If they can drift from real estate deals to veracity of testimony about sexual contacts, war crimes are a bit more related to "improper foreign contacts". And, well, they are crimes.

Anon | May 18, 2017 4:35:44 PM | 52
james

What strikes me is how far GOP seems to be totally uninterested in defending Trump and = their party, basically they are making GOP weaker and weaker. Some GOP seems to hate Trump even more than the Democrats!

tommy cockles | May 18, 2017 4:50:27 PM | 54
Bob Mueller: Super Hero (Oh wow, modern history completely revised!) I awoke to Fake News stories this morning, about the former FBI director, Robert Swan Mueller III: utterly impeccable, fantastic previous performance, in fact, a paragon of performance virtue! -- ! (Does have quite the Deep State lineage, that Bob!)

The Nation is saved! Or, maybe not . . . .

To recap old Bob's performances: the FBI never solved the case of missing nuke secrets at Los Alamos, but certainly put poor Mr. Wen Ho Lee through the ringer; they appear to have never investigated the valid allegations of former translator and whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds --- who was put under an official gag order for years; multiple contrived "counterterrorist" shams, when poor inner-city youths in Miami and Chicago (and elsewhere???) were set up --- then busted --- as probable terrorists; further deep penetration and compromising of the FBI by Chinese intelligence organizations, etc., etc., etc.

OK, under Bob Mueller's watch, the notorious international crime lord, Martha Stewart, was jailed! Bravo, Bobby, and I'm sure American slept more soundly with Ms. Stewart off the streets!

I recall the FBI, under the directorship of Mueller, as one severely dysfunctional outfit, i.e., business as usual. (Remember the congressional after-action report on 9/11? Remember how FBI middle managers, Frasca and Maltbie, rejected all terrorist warnings from field agents Sinder, Cowley and Williams, et al.? Remember how Frasca and Maltbie were then promoted???)

Yes, Bob Mueller does have a history of "public service" --- he was appointed chief of the DoJ's criminal division by President George H.W. Bush when that BCCI investigation was getting closer and closer to the White House and old Bob made sure that it got no closer!

And to insure that Treasury was in line during that period, Bush family cousin, John Walker, had been appointed the chief enforcement officer there --- the same John Walker, later appointed as a judge, who would have the future FBI director, James Comey, clerking for him.

Yes, Bob is the grandnephew of Richard Bissell, the CIA deputy director of plans, fired by President Kennedy before he was assassinated in Dallas.

Yes, Bob's wife's family name is Cabell --- and it was deputy director of the CIA, Gen. Charles Cabell, who was also fired by President Kennedy, and Cabell's brother, Earl Cabell, was indeed the mayor of Dallas on the day Kennedy had his brains splattered on a Dallas street!

Bob grew up in a wealthy family, we are told, so he needn't have served in Vietnam in combat. Yes, Bob's family wealth was on the Truesdale side of the family,that would be the same Truesdales who generations earlier were implicated in the bombing of competitors' oil refineries for the Rockefeller family, and later ended up with a Rockefeller-previously-owned railroad. Typical Horatio Alger-type story, no doubt. (I'm not suggesting anyone search into the family background of Bob --- those rich people are all saints, after all!)

I cannot comment on his military service, although it would be interesting to hear any former Marines' comments who served under him?

I recall that George W. Bush, who would late appoint Bob as the FBI director, was ahead of me a bit when he entered enlisted basic training and his name was still a joke at Lackland AFB when I went through there: the politician's son who went through enlisted basic training, then returned to Houston to miraculously, overnight, become an officer and jet pilot?!?!

Call me a radical progressive or call me a socialist --- but never, ever call me gullible and stupid! (And wasn't that Robert Swan Mueller III? And wasn't there a chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, around 1962 or early 1963, named Swan, when they lost millions of dollars there? Always wondered how the CIA paid for those assassinations in '63 and '68?)

Recommended viewing and reading:

The Tiger Trap by David Wise

Jounalists for Hire by Udo Ulfkotte

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IClVKyb63m4&authuser=0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pCk1qc4JvI

nonsense factory | May 18, 2017 4:58:30 PM | 56
Anon

The real relations and divisions in Washington seem to turned into the Soviet system under Brezhnev. They don't align with the political parties and the mostly stage-managed elections anymore. The domestic federal bureaucracy, the government contractors, the intelligence & surveillance sector, the overseas military, Wall Street, they're all playing power-circle games. This is how the system has operated - Cheney ran it under Bush, Clinton ran it under Obama, it's all bureaucractic infighting. If you read about Soviet history you see the same thing:

The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in the bureaucracy running all spheres of those countries' activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the communist party of each country or region.

These are the functionaries and apparatchiks of a stagnating system, which is what's been going on in the U.S. for awhile now. Trump was just too much of an outsider to be accepted by the insiders, and his threats to change the status quo led to the current situation. Pence, they figure, will be far more amenable to control. Even though Trump has been going along with the standard Republican domestic agenda, he's just viewed as too unpredictable for their tastes. This is exactly how leadership selection in the old Soviet Union went on, too. And Trump is no master of bureaucratic infighting, unlike say, Putin. He's just flailing at this point.

I'm not concerned about it though, if the grossly corrupt federal government is locked up with this nonsense for the next four years, that's fine. Perhaps state governments can step up and work together to solve problems while Washington gnaws its own belly, that's about the best we can hope for.

psychohistorian | May 18, 2017 5:18:31 PM | 57
What seems obvious to me is that the appointment of a special investigation defuses the issue for the moment and lets whatever findings are allowed to be brought forth to occur at some timely future date as part of some other wag the dog event.

Next.

karlof1 | May 18, 2017 5:32:42 PM | 58
tc @54--

Thanks for that blistering bio. Seems most Deep State players have family ties to the cabal that hired General Butler to oust FDR only to become the nascent CIA's cadre.

terril | May 18, 2017 5:37:02 PM | 59
Trump being neutered by Washington and increasingly likely being taken down points out the incredible naievity of the populus shouts of 'drain the swamp', 'term limits', etc. and the lone hero arriving in town like some stereotypical Western movie plot.

Having never been part of the political system or worked his way up through a party, Trump lacks the army of lackeys who normally create a massive support structure for a president when he comes into office.

Trump appears to be like someone curled up in a fetal position crying out to an angry mob beating him what else he needs to do for them to stop.

and almost every other campaign promise he ever made. And while this is happening Trump supporters are still patting themselves on the back with blather about the power of their 'memes'.

Hoarsewhisperer | May 18, 2017 5:37:28 PM | 60
Posted by: pantaraxia | May 18, 2017 8:54:19 AM | 8
(Dutch anti-Trump smears)

The Dutch are just one of many tentacles of the Christian Colonial octopus/ Swamp Alliance. All of Christian Colonialism's warmongering, banksterised, govt-toppling, movers and shakers (US, France, Germany, UK etc etc) are on board with the Get Trump conspiracy. One thing they have in common is that they all (including Oz) get their "News" from the Jew-controlled MSM and are anti-Palestinian and apologists for Jewish Colonialism in Palestine. The worsening facts-on-the-ground in "Israel" speak volumes about Christian Colonialism's support for the Israel Project.

"Israeli"-dominated News is the de facto bullshit/ talking-point manufacturer & coordinator for The West.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. | May 18, 2017 5:48:16 PM | 62
I agree with somebody@4 and Julian@10, A special Council Investigation cannot limit its investigation to Trump and Associates, a proper investigation will go where the evidence leads ...
Posted by: harrylaw | May 18, 2017 10:46:08 AM | 23

Investigations going where the evidence leads sounds important but is utter B.S. Every fact in the world is connected to every other fact by some other intervening fact(s). A "proper investigation" begins with a suspicion that a particular act or omission has been committed and the investigation answers whether that particular act or omission was in fact committed.

Language in the remit that authorizes an open-ended investigation is a mandate to find something to pin on the target of the investigation, not an authorization for a "proper investigation." E.g., Kenneth Star's investigation began with a remit to investigate the suicide death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster and the Whitewater real estate investments of Bill Clinton. But Star ultimately charged Bill Clinton only with perjury about having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, something that had only the most tenuous connection --- many would say no connection --- with his original remit.

Mueller's charge is to find something to pin on Trump, not to conduct a "proper investigation."

2 cents from someone who has done hundreds of investigation.

karlof1 | May 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM | 63
Mercouris at The Duran presents an excellent argument why nothing will be found and the investigation shut down after awhile, the reasoning being within the statement made appointing Mueller, http://theduran.com/counsel-mueller-disappoint-democrats-media/

fast freddy | May 18, 2017 7:16:54 PM | 65
Trump is NOT a member of the club which is the Republican Hierarchy. Those are the real motherfuckers. They do not want him to be prez and he is not welcome in their club. Neither is Trump an official errand boy for the Deep State (many among both parties are official errand boys and girls). Again, Trump is not an official errand boy.

Trump has tried to appease the rotten motherfuckers. He really has. Trump is already ratfucking the middle class and the poor in accordance with their prescription. Trump will keep on trying to please them (See Joe Lieberhebrewratbastard).

No matter, they strapped Pence to his back, BECAUSE they want a malleable errand boy who will DO Exactly as he is instructed.

They don't want Trump - second guessing them. No hesitation.

The Middle East must fall as quickly as possible in accordance with the Yinon Plan. And America must NOT have a revived middle class. It cannot be made great again.

blues | May 18, 2017 7:38:11 PM | 66
Just so people know. . .

/~~~~~~~~~~
Independent Counsels, Special Prosecutors, Special Counsels, and the Role of Congress
Congressional Research Service
June 20, 2013
https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43112.pdf

Congress may also have a legislative role in designing a statutory mechanism for the appointment of "independent counsels" or "special prosecutors," as it did in title VI of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Under the provisions of that law relating to the appointment of "independent counsels" (called "special prosecutors" until 1983), the Attorney General was directed to petition a special three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals to name an independent counsel upon the receipt of credible allegations of criminal misconduct by certain high-level personnel in the executive branch of the federal government whose prosecution by the Administration might give rise to an appearance of a conflict of interest. In 1999, Congress allowed the "independent counsel" provisions of law to expire. Upon the expiration of the law in June of 1999, no new "independent counsels" or "special prosecutors" may be appointed by a three-judge panel upon the application of the Attorney General.
\~~~~~~~~~~

So Robert S. Mueller is a "special counsel" but not a "special prosecutor" (I don't recall this mentioned here yet -- might have missed it). This means that it would require an act of congress (and probably 2/3rds of Congress) to appoint a new "special prosecutor". And so, they say, Trump could theoretically fire Mueller.

Pft | May 18, 2017 7:54:33 PM | 67
Things are not as they seem. IMO this is a carefully scripted plan by the Deep State to push Trump into Total War, not that he was not inclined to do so anyways. His Russian connections lead to mafia ties so deep he could lose everything under Rico. He knows this. Once the War begins the internet kill switch is thrown and the lights go out. Martial Law. Like in WWI, if you criticize the war you go to jail. A Deep State Dream.

I never did believe Trump with his billions would want to be in this for the long haul. He resigns at some point, keeps his fortune and the guy the Deep State and Dark Money (koch Brothers, etc) wanted all along takes over (Pence).

Trump was a Trojan Horse to get the Koch Brothers control. They probably had something on Trump to force him to run and avoid Rico charges. He lied his way into office , got some help from Comey and a mole in the DNC who has been taken out (blamed on Putin) and now will play out the script. Lets face it, we've all been had. Trump had Comey ousted for show and he will live the good life with a job well done. Deep State controlled MSM will have a new war to cover and maybe even a show of impeachment hearings before or during the war. Great for ratings and advertisements especially if they can shut down the alternative media on the internet which Martial Law or new laws being wriitten will allow. MIC and international Banks will be rolling in the dough. Everyone wins except those caught in the carnage down below (bottom 99%) and of course those nations we obliterate with Shock & Awe on Steroids (nukes)

Lochearn | May 18, 2017 7:55:12 PM | 68
They will go on and on and on until they can find something to impeach Trump on. I with agree with comments that now Israel appears to have pitched in the outlook for Trump does not look good. The flip side of this is how Trump's deplorables will react to the taking down of their man. The ongoing events have awakened and will awaken significant numbers of previously asleep people. People who are very angry, many of whom have guns. If these people start rioting the whole edifice will shake and anything could happen.

If they don't riot the anger could find its outlet in mass targetted killings of the 1% by individuals or groups that are very difficult to track.

Ghostship | May 18, 2017 8:00:36 PM | 69
>>>> karlof1 | May 18, 2017 6:48:40 PM | 63

Mercouris at The Duran is almost certainly correct that nothing will be found and there might be an attempt to shut down the investigation, but the Clintonists like their vozhd won't accept the results and this stupidity will continue. Who says Trump is a bad loser? Clinton and the Clintonists who still can't accept that she lost.

Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 8:37:50 PM | 70
Having never been part of the political system or worked his way up through a party, Trump lacks the army of lackeys who normally create a massive support structure for a president when he comes into office. Posted by: terril | May 18, 2017 5:37:02 PM | 59

More precisely, Trump may have as any lackeys, well-wishing hacks (like Bannon), doting family members as he wants, but "institutional memory" has layers of aristocracy (born to expert meritorious service) and those who earned her spurs with aristocratic mentors and got accepted. There was a time when Bill Clinton was a literal hillbilly to our aristocrats, and Hillary, a girl from a good family who unfortunately strayed and married the rascal. But with hard work, quick wit, and good eye for the newest fashion (making liberalism more centric) he got accepted. The case of Obama is similar.

One can sneer at the aristocracy and "first generation meritocrats", but this is not XVIII-th century and the government is, by necessity, quite complex, and experts are necessary. If you send a non-expert to a key department, or to Presidential office, without good vision and good advise, he will get digested or spit out.

To some degree, the bureaucrats are apolitical and can follow the politicians. You want more reasonable penalties in the federal court? We can do it. You want to push them up to the max for your favorite categories -- we can do it. You want to squeeze financial wizards who make the economy moving (some people may call it fraud, but isn't it a form of capital formation?), the digestive juices of the system starts flowing. And so on.

Trump does not have any experts or thinkers of note that do not belong to the "meritocrats", i.e. the Washington establishment. Bannon is perhaps a thinker, but hardly of note. I even doubt that Trump has any good instincts, except that at occasion he had the childish gift of noticing that this or that has "no cloths". But the next thing a child does is throwing a tantrum for some petty reason.

jfl | May 18, 2017 9:32:00 PM | 76
@75 vv 'They will blunder about in lost befuddlement until they vanish.'

so true. but we'll still be here. our sheer numbers ensure that we will survive. i think it would be good if we worked together to prevent the reboot of the same old broken system after its blue screen flashes at death, just like a m$ machine. we know now exactly what will reboot if we don't.

Piotr Berman | May 18, 2017 10:04:50 PM | 77
"Donald Trump used alt-right messaging to get into the White House but he and his third-rate staff haven't the slightest clue of what gave rise to the deplorables in the first place and how to address the root despair of the western working class." VietnamVet

I do not know how highly rated the staff was, but it was sufficiently high. If the opponent has fourth-rate staff, it would be wasteful to use anything better than third-rate. Figuring what gave rise to the deplorable is a wasted effort, sociologist differ, and in politics the "root causes" matter only a little. And all authorities suggest to exploit the despair with soundbites and posturing. Granted, this is a platitude, but how to obtain compelling soundbites and posturing? I think that the best technique is based on so-called wedge issues. A good wedge issue should raise passions on "both sides" but not so much in the "center", mostly clueless undecided voters. Calibrate your position so it is a good scrap of meat for your "base" while it drives the adversaries to conniptions, the conniptions provide talking points and together, drive the clueless in your direction. Wash, repeat.

susan sunflower | May 18, 2017 10:24:50 PM | 78
for your convenient reference, there are 5 current investigations into Trump (per the Guardian)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/may/18/the-investigations-swirling-around-donald-trump-a-short-guide .

Mueller is only involved in one, the first ""An FBI counter-intelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible collusion in this effort by the Trump campaign""

By focusing his energy on the outrage and insult of this witchhunt, Trump may have painted himself into a corner from which all escape routes involve loss of face and a his most loyal base of support ... for example, releasing his tax returns/sources of income ...

His only apparent silver lining is that Flynn and Rice (although details are unclear) appear to be not-cooperating and declining to appear ... whether they will actually commit follow through and risk "contempt of congress" charges remains to be seen... but I suspect there's hidden agenda (like an immunity deal) rather than some principled stand at work.

Jackrabbit | May 19, 2017 1:44:38 AM | 79
Wow what a show. Faux populist Obama was also politically weakened by crazy opposition. Faux populist Obama was also forced FORCED! to do the establishment's bidding. Could Trump be the Republican Obama? Are we all falling for essentially the same con? Few can wrap their heads around that possibility. Yet ...
Alain B | May 19, 2017 2:45:31 AM | 81
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/politics/special-counsel-in-russia-investigation-raises-stakes-for-trump.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0
Jonathan | May 19, 2017 3:10:25 AM | 82
Such investigations NEVER stick to their original, limited tasks but extend further and further.
That doesn't necessarily mean it'll be Trump's dirt that washes up. If Seth Rich is proven to have leaked the emails to Wikileaks, the Russian hacking narrative evaporates, and the Ukrainian collusion to manipulate the election from the Democrat side is legitimately within the ambit of the investigation. We may yet see the Democrat Party prosecuted as a continuing criminal enterprise, and none too soon.

@71 Petri Krohn,

They describe the capabilities of US Internet advertisers, even worse post-net-neutrality, and project it onto Russia. Their desperation reeks.

Anon | May 19, 2017 4:32:50 AM | 83
Jackrabbit

Obama was never in the "opposition", Trump is indeed in the opposition but the question is if he have the strength to stand up to these sick people in deepstate/msm. With attacks on Syria etc it doesnt look good but there is no comparsion to the wimp Obama.

pantaraxia | May 19, 2017 6:02:12 AM | 84
Just when you thought things couldn't get any crazier in this Looking Glass War, with all the hysteria over Trump's ultimate unpardonable sin - the revelation of an Israeli secret, this comes out (fwiw):

Intel Trump gave Russians came from Jordan, not Israel – report http://www.timesofisrael.com/intel-trump-gave-russians-was-from-jordan-not-israel-report/

"Jordan, not Israel, was likely the original source of secret intelligence information given by US President Donald Trump to the Russians, the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network reported Thursday, citing current and former Jordanian intelligence officials

The sources said the intelligence that Trump shared with the Russians came mainly from Jordanian spies. Jordan, they said, has developed human intelligence resources with agents on the ground, including some who have infiltrated militia groups . When it comes to ISIL, unlike Jordan, Israel relies on its electronic surveillance collection and its intelligence sharing-arrangement with its Arab partners"

james | May 19, 2017 3:11:21 PM | 85
@84 pantaraxia.. i thought jordan was working for isis/israel, err i mean the usa.... i can't tell the difference.. times of israel - that is a reliable source, if ever there was one, lol...
darms | May 20, 2017 3:00:47 AM | 86
Pence is up to his eyeballs in this sh*t & is likely to be taken down as well. Wonder if Ryan will still be speaker once this stuff comes down (assuming it does)...
Anon | May 20, 2017 12:08:41 PM | 87
On the Mueller investigation:

"Politicians, journalists, academics, and even ordinary folks will be targeted by the government in the hunt for 'Putin's puppets.'" http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/how-muellers-investigation-could-turn-raging-mccarthyesque-witchhunt/ri19884

pantaraxia | May 20, 2017 1:24:57 PM | 88
@ 85 james
re: times of israel - that is a reliable source, if ever there was one, lol...

"the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network reported Thursday, citing current and former Jordanian intelligence officials" Which part of this sourcing in the article did you not understand? The more interesting questions are what is the purpose of releasing this information by a US puppet, who colluded in the release and how it plays into the 'Trump betrayed Israel' hysteria.

Jackrabbit | May 20, 2017 2:10:15 PM | 89
Anon @83

I think you misread or misunderstood what I wrote.

My thesis is this: both Obama and Trump are faux populists and are part and parcel of a 'faux populist model of governance'. Elements of this model are:

1. A craven narcisstic egotistic Leader (Obama, Trump) that is a willing tool because he/she intends to capture a future payoff for himself. They signal their willingness via:

> forgiving past abuses ("no-drama Obama"; Trump's not prosecuting Hillary)

> constraining their own power: Obama's bi-partisanship (termed "11-dimensional chess" by critics), Trump's brashness/recklessness that gives his opponents fodder ("tapes" on Comey, etc.)

2. Establishment-friendly VP as insurance. Both Biden and Pence are seen as 'reliable hands' by TPTB.

3. crazy opposition that is intended to weaken a faux populist leader and energize apologists. I call them "enforcers". By crazy opposition, I mean

> Obama: 'birthers' and smears like "socialist muslim".

Trump: Russia probe; smears like "the new Hitler"

4. apologists that take as a given that the President wants to fulfill the promises, both spoken and unspoken, that he has made to the people.

PS I wrote about this on my blog.
Jackrabbit | May 20, 2017 2:47:50 PM | 90
And, of course:
5. A compliant media
Other considerations: This is a toxic mix because it sends the message that neither your vote nor your opinion matters so why waste your time seeking out truth?
james | May 20, 2017 3:33:32 PM | 91
@88 pantaraxia.. i don't know that it matters either way... it is only interesting from the point of view of further obfuscation being created and moving away for the central fact that trump can share whatever info he wants to share.. now the irony here as i understand it, is nothing he shared was all that earth shattering - but no matter - witch hunt on trump must continue!
jfl | May 20, 2017 7:04:53 PM | 92
in what's termed the second of a series, someone named jonathan marshall makes the crucial point about the various 'lobbies' in the usofa ... How China Lobby Shaped America
In 1949, two members of Congress called for an investigation of the lobby's "brazen power." Rep. Mike Mansfield, a Montana Democrat who would later become Senate majority leader, accused Nationalist Chinese officials - who had fled the mainland for Taiwan that year in the wake of the communist revolution - of diverting U.S. aid to fund political propaganda in the United States.

Ironically, a timely dispensation of $800,000 from Nationalist Chinese officials in Taiwan to their New York office financed a successful campaign to squelch that proposed investigation.

... they are self-funding operations. once the money starts to flow a portion is set aside for kickbacks, bribes, and efforts to protect the mainstream funding itself. it is truly a parasitic operation that feeds on the fruits of its effort on others' behalf, and thus strengthens itself, becoming a stand-alone operation.

there are tens of thousands of people in ac/dc working in these operations, looking out for taiwan's interests, israel's interests, making sure that russia stays demonized ... all the various corporate issues ... but at base and before all else, looking out for number one.

a sort of 5th column of folks working on behalf of 5th columnists, subverting government in favor of the lucrative process of policy misdirection itself.

with a gang like that at the core of our government what, as they say, could go wrong?

Penelope | May 20, 2017 8:24:51 PM | 93
Y'all may remember that Trump's domestic business dealings had some Mob connections. I think Wm Engdahl, among other, reported on this. Well, if you google Trump and Russian Mafia you will see an entirely different idea as to what this attack on Trump might be about. I've not studied it, take no position. If I WERE interested, it's what I'd be looking at.

At this time, it seems to me a better use of one's time to avoid allowing the media to direct your time and attention, and instead to focus on deepening your knowledge of the international institutions' agenda for bringing about the last few steps to the NWO.

United Nations sustainable development agenda www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/

On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit - officially came into force. ... The SDGs, also known as Global Goals, build on the success of the

[May 21, 2017] WhateverGate -- The Crazed Quest To Find Some Reason (Any Reason!) To Dump Trump by John Derbyshire

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One of Steve Sailer's many clever commenters has brilliantly named it WhateverGate-the frantic legalistic churning about who said what to whom in President Trump's circle, and whether the thing that was or was not said warrants impeachment. Or whatever. But impeachment. ..."
"... Instead of registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Flynn reported his income through the Lobbying Disclosure Act! ..."
"... There's a grain of truth in that. The Watergate affair was a media witch-hunt against a president the Establishment elites disliked. Nixon's offenses were of a kind the Main Stream Media had never bothered about, nor even reported, when done by Democrat presidents-like Lyndon Johnson's bugging of Barry Goldwater in 1964. ..."
"... It's pretty plain by now that the Republican Party Establishment is not going to forgive Donald Trump for humiliating them last year. They'll be just as happy as Democrats to see him go, if they can somehow help the Democrats force him out without showing too much outward enthusiasm. ..."
"... Sixty-three million Americans rejected establishment politics last November. They took a chance on an outsider. From a field of seventeen seasoned Republican politicians, GOP primary voters selected the one un-seasoned guy. Then sixty-three million of us voted for him in the general. ..."
"... The GOP leadership would like to go back anyway. They think if they can get rid of Trump, that will get rid of Trump_vs_deep_state. They yearn to get back to the futile wars, the free trade sucker economy, the open borders and multiculturalism. ..."
"... They really think that, the McCains and Grahams and McConnells and Ryans . Get rid of Trump, you get rid of Trump_vs_deep_state, they believe. Then we can all go back to what Orwell called "the dear old game of scratch-my-neighbor." Yep, this is the Stupid Party. ..."
"... But whether Donald Trump is actually the right person to give us Trump_vs_deep_state is more and more in doubt. ..."
"... Those are small mercies, though. Where's the really big, bold swamp -draining exercise, like the one I just described? Why are we still issuing work permits to illegal aliens? Why no federal legislation to slam a mandatory ten-year sentence on any illegal who, after being deported, comes back in ? Why no request to Congress on funding for the border Wall? For an end to the visa lottery and restrictions on chain migration? When do we start testing the constitutionality of birthright citizenship? Why are we still in NATO ? Why are we still at war with North Korea ( which technically we are , since there hasn't been a peace treaty, only an armistice)? ..."
"... I like Ann Coulter's analogy: It's as if we're in Chicago, and Trump says he can get us to L.A. in six days; and then for the first three days we're driving towards New York. He can still turn around and get us to L.A. in three days. But, says Ann , she's getting nervous. ..."
May 21, 2017 | www.unz.com

One of Steve Sailer's many clever commenters has brilliantly named it WhateverGate-the frantic legalistic churning about who said what to whom in President Trump's circle, and whether the thing that was or was not said warrants impeachment. Or whatever. But impeachment.

Every week, I think things can't get any crazier-the hysteria has to burn itself out, the temperature can't get any higher, the fever has to break-and every week it's worse. Boy, they really want to get this guy. That just gives us more reasons to defend him.

I don't even bother much any more to focus on the actual thing that President Trump or one of his colleagues is supposed to have said or done. Every time, when you look closely, it's basically nothing.

I've been reading news and memoirs about American presidents since the Kennedy administration. I swear that every single damn thing Trump is accused of, warranting special counsels, congressional enquiries, impeachment-every single thing has been done by other recent presidents, often to a much greater degree, with little or no comment.

Remember Barack Obama's hot-mike blooper in the 2012 campaign, telling the Russian President that, quote, "After my election I have more flexibility"? [ Obama tells Russia's Medvedev more flexibility after election , Reuters, March 26, 2012] Can you imagine how today's media would react if footage showed up of Trump doing that in last year's campaign? Can you imagine ? I can't.

We are a big, important country with big, important things that need doing-most important of all, halting the demographic transformation that's tugging us out of the Anglosphere into the Latino-sphere and filling our country with low-skill workers just as robots are arriving to take their jobs.

Those big, important things aren't getting done. Instead, our news outlets are shrieking about high crimes and misdemeanors in the new administration–things that, when you read about the actual details, look awful picayune.

Sample, from today's press, concerning Michael Flynn , the national security advisor President Trump fired for supposedly lying to the Vice President about a phone conversation he'd had with the Russian Ambassador last December. To the best of my understanding, the root issue was just a difference of opinion over the parsing of what Flynn remembered having said, and the precise definition of the word "substantive," but Trump fired him anyway.

Well, here's Eli Lake at Bloomberg News on the latest tranche of investigations into Flynn's activities:

Flynn's legal troubles come from his failure to properly report foreign income. One source close to Flynn told me that the Justice Department had opened an investigation into Flynn after the election in November for failing to register his work on behalf of a Turkish businessman, pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Flynn had instead reported this income through the more lax Lobbying Disclosure Act. After his resignation, Flynn registered as a foreign agent for Turkey.

The Special Counsel Who Just Might Save Trump's Presidency, by Eli Lake, May 18, 2017

Did you get that? Instead of registering under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Flynn reported his income through the Lobbying Disclosure Act!

High crimes! Treason! Special Prosecutor! Congressional inquiry! The Republic is in danger! Suspend habeas corpus -- This must not stand!

And then, the whole silly Russia business. The Bloomberg guy has words about that, too:

Flynn also failed to report with the Pentagon his payment in 2015 from Russia's propaganda network, RT, for a speech in Moscow at the network's annual gala. As I reported last month, Flynn did brief the Defense Intelligence Agency about that trip before and after he attended the RT gala. The Pentagon also renewed his top-secret security clearance after that trip.

So obviously the rot goes deep into the Pentagon. They're covering for him! Let's have a purge of the military! Special prosecutor!

Oh, we have a special prosecutor? Let's have another one!

Russia, Russia, Russia. For crying out loud , Russia's just a country . We have no great differences of interest with them . What, are they trying to reclaim Alaska? First I've heard of it.

You could make an argument, I suppose-I don't myself think it's much of an argument, but you could make it-that Russia's a military threat to Europe.

Once again , with feeling: Europe has a population three and a half times greater than Russia's and a GDP ten times greater. Europe's two nuclear powers, Britain and France, have more than five hundred nuclear weapons between them. If the Euros can't defend themselves against Russia, there's something very badly wrong over there, beyond any ability of ours to fix–even if you could show me it's in our national interest to fix it, which you can't.

At this point, in fact, reading the news from Europe, I think a Russian invasion and occupation of the continent would be an improvement. A Russian hegemony might at least put up some resistance to the ongoing invasion of Europe from Africa and the Middle East . It doesn't look as though the Euros themselves are up to the job.

That aside, American citizens are free to visit Russia and talk to Russians, including Russian government employees, just as free as we are to talk to Australians, Brazilians, or Cambodians. As the Lion said on his blog :

Do liberals who are making a big deal about the Trump-Russia thing really believe that no one involved in a presidential campaign should have ever talked to anyone from another country? How would an administration ever conduct any foreign policy if no one in the administration has ever left the United States or ever talked to a foreigner?

And again, these standards have never been applied to other Presidents. Bill Clinton took campaign donations from the Chinese army . [ Chinagate and the Clintons, By Robert Zapesochny, American Spectator, October 6, 2016] Barack Obama groveled to the Saudis . Where were the calls for special prosecutors?

Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, with whom Flynn had that December phone conversation, is, says the New York Post , "a suspected Kremlin spy." [ Michael Flynn won't honor subpoena to provide documents, By Bob Fredericks, May 18, 2017] Is he? Why should I care?

I bet ol' Sergey does all the spying he can. So, I'm sure, do the ambassadors of China, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Botswana. That's what ambassadors do. That's what we do in their countries. Does anyone not know this?

"A Kremlin spy"? What is this, 1957 ? Russia's just a country . And as our own James Kirkpatrick has pointed out here at VDARE.com , it's a country run by people who hate us-the American people- less than our own elites do.

As James also points out, if it's interference in our elections that bothers you, consider what Mexico's been doing for the last forty years: encouraging mass immigration of its own underclass into the U.S.A., lobbying through its consulates and Spanish-language TV channels for voter registration, using Mexican-owned outlets like the New York Times to demonize and discredit national conservatives.

The founder of Christianity scoffed at those who strain at a gnat but swallow a camel. In the matter of foreign interference in our elections, the gnat here is Russia; the camel is Mexico. Our media and opinion elites have swallowed the camel.

Unless, of course, just down the road a few months, there's going to be a hysteria-storm about Mexican interference in our elections. My advice would be: Don't hold your breath.

All the shouting and swooning is just the rage of a dispossessed class-our political class.

Our political and government class, I think I should say. There are tens of thousands of federal functionaries who have never stood for election to anything, but whose loyalty is to the political Establishment. Great numbers of these people settled in to their comfortable seats during the eight years of Barack Obama's administration; so to the degree that they care about party affiliation, they prefer the Democratic Party. Washington, D.C. voted 91 percent for Mrs. Clinton last November.

Obama Holdovers, Vacant Posts Still Plague Trump - Administration housecleaning is long overdue to get agenda in motion, end damaging leaks, by Thomas Richard, LifeZette.com, May 18, 2017] Draining the swamp means getting rid of those people. They should be fired -en masse, in their hundreds and thousands, and marched out the office door by security guards before they can trash files.

Still, a big majority of federal politicians are helping to drive the hysteria; and their rage against Trump is, as they say in D.C., bipartisan. Senator John McCain told CNN on Tuesday that President Trump's troubles are, quote , "of Watergate size and scale."

There's a grain of truth in that. The Watergate affair was a media witch-hunt against a president the Establishment elites disliked. Nixon's offenses were of a kind the Main Stream Media had never bothered about, nor even reported, when done by Democrat presidents-like Lyndon Johnson's bugging of Barry Goldwater in 1964.

So yes: When the political and media establishment try to drive from office a president they dislike, it is kinda like Watergate.

It's pretty plain by now that the Republican Party Establishment is not going to forgive Donald Trump for humiliating them last year. They'll be just as happy as Democrats to see him go, if they can somehow help the Democrats force him out without showing too much outward enthusiasm.

Last August, after Trump had clinched the Republican nomination, I reproduced a remark Peggy Noonan made in one of her columns. Here's the remark again, quote :

From what I've seen there has been zero reflection on the part of Republican leaders on how much the base's views differ from theirs and what to do about it. The GOP is not at all refiguring its stands.

Has there been any reflection among GOP leaders in the nine months since, about the meaning of Trump's victory? Not much that I can see.

Sixty-three million Americans rejected establishment politics last November. They took a chance on an outsider. From a field of seventeen seasoned Republican politicians, GOP primary voters selected the one un-seasoned guy. Then sixty-three million of us voted for him in the general.

Does the GOP get this? Have they learned anything from it? Not that I can see.

With some exceptions, of course. GOP elder statesman Pat Buchanan spelled it out in an interview with the Daily Caller this week:

The GOP leadership would like to go back anyway. They think if they can get rid of Trump, that will get rid of Trump_vs_deep_state. They yearn to get back to the futile wars, the free trade sucker economy, the open borders and multiculturalism.

If they can just pull off an impeachment, the Republican party bosses believe, and install some donor-compliant drone in the White House, then we sixty-three million Trump voters will smack our foreheads with our palms and say: "Jeez, we are so dumb! Why did we let ourselves get led astray like that? Why didn't we vote for Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush in the primaries, as you wise elders wanted us to? We're sorry! We promise to follow your advice in future!"

They really think that, the McCains and Grahams and McConnells and Ryans . Get rid of Trump, you get rid of Trump_vs_deep_state, they believe. Then we can all go back to what Orwell called "the dear old game of scratch-my-neighbor." Yep, this is the Stupid Party.

But whether Donald Trump is actually the right person to give us Trump_vs_deep_state is more and more in doubt.

I am of course grateful for the small mercies. Thank you for Jeff Sessions; thank you for the work you're doing on trade; thank you somewhat for Neil Gorsuch, who may yet turn and cuck on us.

Those are small mercies, though. Where's the really big, bold swamp -draining exercise, like the one I just described? Why are we still issuing work permits to illegal aliens? Why no federal legislation to slam a mandatory ten-year sentence on any illegal who, after being deported, comes back in ? Why no request to Congress on funding for the border Wall? For an end to the visa lottery and restrictions on chain migration? When do we start testing the constitutionality of birthright citizenship? Why are we still in NATO ? Why are we still at war with North Korea ( which technically we are , since there hasn't been a peace treaty, only an armistice)?

I like Ann Coulter's analogy: It's as if we're in Chicago, and Trump says he can get us to L.A. in six days; and then for the first three days we're driving towards New York. He can still turn around and get us to L.A. in three days. But, says Ann , she's getting nervous.

Me too.

John Derbyshire [ email him ] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books . He's had two books published by VDARE.com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT ( also available in Kindle ) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013 . His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com .

[May 20, 2017] Rosenstein Joins the Posse by Patrick J. Buchanan

After just 100 days in the office Trump already has a special prosecutor.
Notable quotes:
"... Without consulting the White House, he sandbagged President Trump, naming a special counsel to take over the investigation of the Russia connection that could prove ruinous to this presidency. ..."
"... Rod has reinvigorated a tired 10-month investigation that failed to find any collusion between Trump and Russian hacking of the DNC. Not a single indictment had come out of the FBI investigation. ..."
"... Yet, now a new special counsel, Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI, will slow-walk his way through this same terrain again, searching for clues leading to potentially impeachable offenses. What seemed to be winding down for Trump is now only just beginning to gear up. ..."
"... Why did Rosenstein capitulate to a Democrat-media clamor for a special counsel that could prove disastrous for the president who elevated and honored him? Surely in part, as Milbank writes, to salvage his damaged reputation. ..."
"... Rosenstein had gone over to the dark side. He had, it was said, on Trump's orders, put the hit on Comey. Now, by siccing a special counsel on the president himself, Rosenstein is restored to the good graces of this city. Rosenstein just turned in his black hat for a white hat. ..."
"... Democrats are hailing both his decision to name a special counsel and the man he chose. Yet it is difficult to exaggerate the damage he has done. As did almost all of its predecessors, including those which led to the resignation of President Nixon and impeachment of Bill Clinton, Mueller's investigation seems certain to drag on for years. ..."
"... Recall the famous adage that a competent district attorney could successfully indict a ham sandwich. ..."
"... Political trials are infamously witch hunts, and there isn't a witch hunt that couldn't miraculously find any number of witches to burn. ..."
"... One has to hand it to the Democrats. This strategy to get the ruling elite class back in both houses of congress and bring forth a shining night in armour for their next candidate is well crafted. The Clintons messed up the Obama Hope and Change Rhetoric. ..."
"... From the very outset of his presidency, U.S. President D.J. Trump either hired people who were against his presidential campaign all the time of last year or cozied up to perpetual political opponents while distancing himself from the very patriotic people who gave him the electoral college victory last November. ..."
"... Like Pres. Dick Nixon did, U.S. President D.J. Trump will also politically kill himself with one political misstep after another by giving his political opponents whatever they demand until it will be too late to reverse the course. ..."
"... "The real power in this country doesn't reside within the ballot box After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real. Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic What we are witnessing is a "regime-change" operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy "consensus." It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war The reign of terror is about to begin: anyone who opposes our interventionist foreign policy is liable to be labeled a "Kremlin tool" – and could face legal sanctions. ..."
"... If Trump wasn't a narcissistic idiot, he could be well on the way to leading a takedown of establishment politics. Should have left Comey in to go nowhere, but Trump is a narcissistic idiot who does not read and his presidency is and will continue to be a miserable failure. Donald J. Trump is a Loser and a Laughingstock, plain and simple. There's nothing to see here. Does he have the ability to do better? Yes. Will he? Doubtful. Firing Comey is not impeachable or even wrong, it's just a blunder of monumental proportions. Trump's continued incompetent "explanations" of the decision raised red flags. This is not Trump Steaks Inc. This is the Presidency of the United States of America. ..."
May 20, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"With the stroke of a pen, Rod Rosenstein redeemed his reputation," writes Dana Milbank of The Washington Post .

What had Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein done to be welcomed home by the Post like the prodigal son?

Without consulting the White House, he sandbagged President Trump, naming a special counsel to take over the investigation of the Russia connection that could prove ruinous to this presidency.

Rod has reinvigorated a tired 10-month investigation that failed to find any collusion between Trump and Russian hacking of the DNC. Not a single indictment had come out of the FBI investigation.

Yet, now a new special counsel, Robert Mueller, former director of the FBI, will slow-walk his way through this same terrain again, searching for clues leading to potentially impeachable offenses. What seemed to be winding down for Trump is now only just beginning to gear up.

Also to be investigated is whether the president tried to curtail the FBI investigation with his phone calls and Oval Office meetings with FBI Director James Comey, before abruptly firing Comey last week.

Regarded as able and honest, Mueller will be under media pressure to come up with charges. Great and famous prosecutors are measured by whom they convict and how many scalps they take. Moreover, a burgeoning special counsel's office dredging up dirt on Trump and associates will find itself the beneficiary of an indulgent press.

Why did Rosenstein capitulate to a Democrat-media clamor for a special counsel that could prove disastrous for the president who elevated and honored him? Surely in part, as Milbank writes, to salvage his damaged reputation.

After being approved 94-6 by a Senate that hailed him as a principled and independent U.S. attorney for both George Bush and Barack Obama, Rosenstein found himself being pilloried for preparing the document White House aides called crucial to Trump's decision to fire Comey.

Rosenstein had gone over to the dark side. He had, it was said, on Trump's orders, put the hit on Comey. Now, by siccing a special counsel on the president himself, Rosenstein is restored to the good graces of this city. Rosenstein just turned in his black hat for a white hat.

Democrats are hailing both his decision to name a special counsel and the man he chose. Yet it is difficult to exaggerate the damage he has done. As did almost all of its predecessors, including those which led to the resignation of President Nixon and impeachment of Bill Clinton, Mueller's investigation seems certain to drag on for years.

... ... ...

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Wilfred , says: May 18, 2017 at 9:58 pm
Any way we can get a Special Counsel to investigate Hillary?
Fran Macadam , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:56 pm
Recall the famous adage that a competent district attorney could successfully indict a ham sandwich.

Political trials are infamously witch hunts, and there isn't a witch hunt that couldn't miraculously find any number of witches to burn.

Cal , says: May 18, 2017 at 11:58 pm
Trump set up his own demise -- all the Jews like Rosenstein that he has appointed would really rather have the rabid evangelical Israel supporter Pence as president.
William Dalton , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:23 am
The appointment of former director Mueller to take charge of an investigation too hot for Rosenstein or anyone in his department to file a report on, particularly if no prosecution will be recommended, does not presage this affair will continue interminably. Months of work have already been put into the matter by the FBI. Mueller may arrive, ask those agents for a summary of what they have unearthed, say, "I don't see anything here. Do you think further work by you will uncover more?", and if they respond, "No", Mueller might very well take what he is given, file a report saying no prosecution is warranted, just as Jim Comey did in the Clinton matter, and go home.

The man is retired with honor. He doesn't need to make a name for himself with this or any other case. The last thing he wants to find out is that there is evidence that might result in the impeachment and criminal prosecution of the President of the United States.

StrategyK , says: May 19, 2017 at 2:59 am
Wasnt pat a happy supporter of the special counsel investigating Clinton? Now suddenly he is against such counsels? How about some priciples Mr buchanan?
StrategyK , says: May 19, 2017 at 3:13 am
And here is a hat tip for you aggrieved folks here. Trump brought this on himself. He could have avoided it all by simply letting Comey do his job. If there really is nothing in the Russia story, then Comey would have come up with nothing.

Trump has been used to running a family business all his life and a fake TV show as well where his and only his word runs. That is not how the government functions and nor should it be. What happened to the famous negotiator? The one who could make great deals? Who would learn quickly how to navigate the waters and make things happen. This person seems non existent. Lets see some of that please.

John Gruskos , says: May 19, 2017 at 8:57 am
Justin Raimondo correctly explains the significance of this development:

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/05/18/the-special-counsel-comes-to-town-its-the-moscow-trials-revisited/

Liam , says: May 19, 2017 at 9:16 am
Wall Street swooned *not* because Trump's "populist" agenda is endangered but rather because Alt-Trump's bait-and-switch pro-Wall Street agenda is endangered. That Pat Buchanan cannot distinguish these is stunning to behold.
elizabeth , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:22 am
And if Hillary Clinton had been inaugurated in January, there wouldn't be a dozen Congressional committees pursuing specious investigations, egged on by right wing media? (Even this comment thread carries one such demand, and she is not in office.)

This is one outcome of a poisoned body politic. Roger Ailes was there at the beginning, and we are all sickened by his legacy.

Jack , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:40 am
Unfortunately, Buchanan seems to have ignored the fact that Rosenstein's decision to appoint a special prosecutor was sparked by Trump's precipitous and unnecessary decision to dismiss Comey. It was a foolish decision and now he's paying a price for it.
Dan Green , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:53 am
One has to hand it to the Democrats. This strategy to get the ruling elite class back in both houses of congress and bring forth a shining night in armour for their next candidate is well crafted. The Clintons messed up the Obama Hope and Change Rhetoric.
ukm1 , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:55 am
U.S. President D.J. Trump is himself 100% responsible for the political and legal debacles where he is in now and will be in for any foreseeable future!

From the very outset of his presidency, U.S. President D.J. Trump either hired people who were against his presidential campaign all the time of last year or cozied up to perpetual political opponents while distancing himself from the very patriotic people who gave him the electoral college victory last November.

Like Pres. Dick Nixon did, U.S. President D.J. Trump will also politically kill himself with one political misstep after another by giving his political opponents whatever they demand until it will be too late to reverse the course.

Kurt Gayle , says: May 19, 2017 at 10:57 am
John Gruskos (8:57 a.m.) is right. Justin Raimondo's column today is a "must read":

"The real power in this country doesn't reside within the ballot box After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real. Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic What we are witnessing is a "regime-change" operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy "consensus." It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war The reign of terror is about to begin: anyone who opposes our interventionist foreign policy is liable to be labeled a "Kremlin tool" – and could face legal sanctions.

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2017/05/18/the-special-counsel-comes-to-town-its-the-moscow-trials-revisited/

Bob K. , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:05 am
You tell it like it is, Pat! Once someone has sold his soul to the "dark side" his own reputation with it comes before the welfare of the Nation!
David Smith , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:37 am
What goes around, comes around. The Republicans did the same thing to Bill Clinton. Remember, if you can do it to them, they can do it to you. Be careful about the precedents you set.
Adriana I Pena , says: May 19, 2017 at 11:57 am
Has anyone considered that the opposition from career bureaucrats is due to their past experience as to what works and what doesn't? They can recognize a half-baked plan, concocted by someone who has only a hazy idea of what goes on (the guy who managed to admit that health care was "complicated" after touting on the campaign trail that it was easy). Add to it stubborness and unwillingness to learn, and those bureaucrats may think that they are staring at an accident waiting to happen.

What would you do in their place?

Mac61 , says: May 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm
If Trump wasn't a narcissistic idiot, he could be well on the way to leading a takedown of establishment politics. Should have left Comey in to go nowhere, but Trump is a narcissistic idiot who does not read and his presidency is and will continue to be a miserable failure. Donald J. Trump is a Loser and a Laughingstock, plain and simple. There's nothing to see here.

Does he have the ability to do better? Yes. Will he? Doubtful. Firing Comey is not impeachable or even wrong, it's just a blunder of monumental proportions. Trump's continued incompetent "explanations" of the decision raised red flags.

This is not Trump Steaks Inc. This is the Presidency of the United States of America. He will be held to a higher standard until such time as he realizes he cannot run this world's most powerful country like some sham casino operation he let fall into bankruptcy. And @Cal, this is not a Jewish conspiracy. If you can't see that Trump is an incompetent idiot narcissist, you can't see anything.

[May 19, 2017] The suppliers of the intelligence that Trump told the Ruskies, want to control the US Intelligence Community

Notable quotes:
"... Joe Lieberman surfacing from the lowest portal of the swamp, is not good news. The suppliers of the intelligence that Trump told the Ruskies, want to control the US Intelligence Community. ..."
May 19, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Mr. Bill, May 18, 2017 at 06:56 PM

Joe Lieberman surfacing from the lowest portal of the swamp, is not good news. The suppliers of the intelligence that Trump told the Ruskies, want to control the US Intelligence Community.

How many nuclear weapons do they have and where are they pointed ? Anyone allowed to ask ?

[May 17, 2017] Justice Department Has Named Robert Mueller Special Prosecutor for the Russia Investigation by Jack Holmes

Notable quotes:
"... Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein selected former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who preceded James Comey in that role from 2001 to 2013 and served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. ..."
May 17, 2017 | www.esquire.com

In a seismic event, the United States Department of Justice just announced a special prosecutor will lead the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, which includes a probe of whether associates of President Donald Trump colluded with Russian officials. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein selected former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who preceded James Comey in that role from 2001 to 2013 and served under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The move follows months of damaging revelations, salacious leaks, and generalized uncertainty surrounding the investigation, which gradually lost the public's faith as a result. After all, Rosenstein made the selection because the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was forced to recuse himself after it emerged that he misled a Senate committee about whether he was in contact with Russian officials during the campaign.

The Washington Post reported that Sessions met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak on two separate occasions, something Sessions did not include in his testimony. (Lying under oath to a Senate committee constitutes perjury, but Sessions was confirmed as AG and has never been substantially accused.) The former Alabama senator was also a prominent Trump supporter during the campaign -- he was the first senator to endorse him. So, beyond the recusal, the Justice Department already lacked the necessary appearance of independence

[May 17, 2017] Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation by REBECCA R. RUIZ and MARK LANDLER

May 17, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

May 17, 2017

The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump's campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump's four-month-old presidency.

The decision by the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, came after a cascade of damaging developments for Mr. Trump in recent days, including his abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the subsequent disclosure that Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to drop the investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.

Mr. Rosenstein had been under escalating pressure from Democrats, and even some Republicans, to appoint a special counsel after he wrote a memo that the White House initially cited as the rationale for Mr. Comey's dismissal.

By appointing Mr. Mueller, a former federal prosecutor with an unblemished reputation, Mr. Rosenstein could alleviate uncertainty about the government's ability to investigate the questions surrounding the Trump campaign and the Russians.

Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement that he concluded that "it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter."

"My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted," Mr. Rosenstein added. "I have made no such determination."

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