Patterico's Pontifications

5/18/2018

Uh-Oh: There’s a Rudy Loose in the China Shop and He’s Contradicting Trump Again

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 am



So Trump has taken to Twitter to allege, apparently based on stuff he saw on the teevee, that DoJ had a spy in his campaign:

Now Rudy’s gone on Chris Cuomo’s show to do that thing that Rudy does, which is usually to admit stuff that contradicts what Trump has said.

Uh-oh. The Donald’s not gonna like this.

GIULIANI: Here’s the issue that I really feel strongly about with this informant, if there is one. First of all, I don’t know for sure, nor does the President, if there really was one. We’re told that.

CUOMO: Told that by whom?

GIULIANI: We’re told that by people who — for a long time, we’ve been told there was some kind of infiltration. At one time, the president thought it was a wiretap. There were some FISA applications. But we’ve never been notified that he was on a tap or an intercept.

CUOMO: There’s never been any proof that he was on a wiretap either.

GIULIANI: No.

CUOMO: But he did say it as fact, many times.

GIULIANI: I think he thought that.

CUOMO: I know. But that doesn’t make it true.

Cuomo is right. He did say it as fact.

And Cuomo is also right that the fact Donald Trump thinks something doesn’t make it true.

Last September, I comprehensively took apart all the B.S. “evidence” that was being cited by Trump superfans to say that Trump had always been right about the “tapp” on his phones. I have maintained from the very beginning that Trump had no sooper sekrit evidence of a “tapp” — he was just repeating stuff he saw on Fox News. And I was right. As I said in my first post on this, the day after Trump said he had been the subject of a “tapp”:

If that guy has a Twitter account, it doesn’t make his ravings any more plausible. Now, here’s the tough part: if he is President of the United States, it still doesn’t mean his ravings are responsible commentary.

There’s Good Trump, who nominates great Justices and rolls back regulations, and Crazy Trump, who is uninformed and TV-obsessed and has a short attention span and goes around saying bizarre things. The fact that we like Good Trump doesn’t mean we have to defend Crazy Trump’s insane rants.

People did, of course, to their embarrassment. And people will defend this. Who knows? It could turn out to be true. But the point is, you can’t conclude it’s true simply because Trump said so.

And Rudy Giuliani just confirmed that.

Countdown to the walkback in 3…2…1…

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

404 Responses to “Uh-Oh: There’s a Rudy Loose in the China Shop and He’s Contradicting Trump Again”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. this is just semantics

    the sleazy corrupt men and women of the fbi ran an operation on the Trump campaign

    they got some p.o.s. fat-ass rubberstamp FISA judge to approve a whole buttload of illegal spying

    hot and horny Lisa Page was all up in it

    dirty skank Sally Yates was all up in it

    chunkybutt Loretta sugarbeeties Lynch was all up in it

    Comey the Clown? All up in it

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  3. happyfeet:

    this is just semantics

    It’s just words, Patterico. Trump and his supporters, like happyfeet, don’t worry about words … except when liberals, the media or bloggers use them to criticize Trump.

    DRJ (15874d)

  4. Stephan Harper and downer were both in contact with page, hence the continued surveillance papadop and probably Clovis, now about fast and furious.

    narciso (d1f714)

  5. This seems like a minor point in light of yesterday’s story entitled “Crossfire Hurricane,” a reference to the Stones’ nihilist Jumpin Jack Flash. Kimberly Strassel explains that the NY Times is helping the FBI/DOJ soften the soon-to-be release that the Obama Administration had a spy in the Trump campaign. Of course the report refers to this person as an informant.

    Law enforcement feed a story that Russians had Hillary’s missing 30,000 emails to a low level campaign worker who when drunk mentioned. This was then the justification for the spying and ultimately the perversion of the court process with full participation of prosecutors.

    Someone’s got it in for me
    They’re planting stories in the press
    Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out quick
    But when they will I can only guess…

    Bob Dylan

    AZ Bob (9a6ada)

  6. It’s just words, Patterico. Trump and his supporters, like happyfeet, don’t worry about words … except when liberals, the media or bloggers use them to criticize Trump.

    Indeed, DRJ. Words are totally unimportant when spoken by the President of the United States, so when he says stupid and crazy things because he watches teevee and gets mad, we should ignore it. But the words spoken by people like me are critically important, and if I level even accurate criticism at Trump, I should be shunned for those words.

    This all makes perfect sense and is totally a consistent application of principles by honorable people who are super duper intellectually honest and stuff.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  7. And mifsud who went down like a white rabbit is tied to the UK the kingdom and the Russians, btw abenatti has ties to the second paryy

    narciso (d1f714)

  8. Cheerleading is hard, Patterico.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFxbyOhhzyI

    Simon Jester (ad6a15)

  9. Party, which is apparently how he got 7.8 million in debt forgiven.

    narciso (d1f714)

  10. Does counterintelligence have some actual work to do, to waste a year and a half on this?

    narciso (d1f714)

  11. Another example of how the anti-Trump crowd tries to have it both ways.

    Trump’s reference to “my phones” could be his personal phone or someone in his campaign. It is entirely reasonable he meant the latter. Manafort was wiretapped. So, his campaign was. But, Manafort isn’t Trump, except when we talk about indictments, then Manafort=Trump, isn’t that right?

    CUOMO: There’s never been any proof that he was on a wiretap either.

    See what he did there? “he” Trump personally was not wiretapped. Rudy answered that correctly and consistently.

    Who knows? It could turn out to be true.

    Wiggle room noted.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  12. except when we talk about indictments, then Manafort=Trump, isn’t that right?

    It is not right. Neither is it right that “my phones” = “someone else’s phones.”

    Patterico (115b1f)

  13. Who’s trying to have it both ways again? Aren’t you the guy who says “my phones” = “someone else’s phones” and also “Manafort indictment” =/= “Trump indictment.”

    It seems to me that I am the one being consistent and you are not, random viking.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  14. It seems to me that I am the one being consistent and you are not, random viking.

    I’m sure Trump, the megalomaniac that he’s portrayed to be, thinks all phones in his campaign are his phones. Or, is he no longer a megalomaniac.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  15. He’s a narcissist and careless with his words.

    DRJ (15874d)

  16. 15 And he’s a careless speller.

    AZ Bob (393b7a)

  17. The phone belongs to whoever is paying the phone bill. A tapp is an unauthorized listener accessing your phone.

    Early in the campaign Mike Rogers informed Trump that his Trump Tower campaign HQ phones were tapped so Trump immediately moved his campaign staff to one of his New Jersey properties.

    ropelight (044604)

  18. That’s true but I wonder if that is part of his narcissism. He doesn’t care if he spells words correctly because he doesn’t care about other people’s opinions. His opinions are the only ones that matter.

    DRJ (15874d)

  19. Glenn Simpson testified under oath that the FBI told them they had a mole. Are we just assuming Simpson lied under oath?

    “Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS founder who sponsored the unverified anti-Trump dossier, claimed in August and again Jan. 2 that the FBI has a source inside the Trump camp who lent credence to the document.

    When a transcript of his secret August testimony was released on Tuesday, news headlines immediately latched onto the disclosure as a boon to a dossier whose core charges of Donald Trump-Russia collusion have been denied and not confirmed publicly.”

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  20. It’s a tap, not a tapp.

    DRJ (15874d)

  21. Reading how Muller’s case against Concord Management and Catering is falling apart and the outright lies told in those indictments, I think Trump deserves the benefit of the doubt.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  22. The potential mole even has name, and this isn’t all on teevee it’s written up in dozens of news sources.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  23. after all the obfuscation behind the source of this investigation, all the way around, with the perpetrators, who continue to leak to the new York times, their self justifying account, you would think certainty wouldn’t be that sure,

    narciso (d1f714)

  24. Love the ‘Uh-Oh’, this would not be the typical Trump post here without it.

    harkin (99ba6b)

  25. And Rudy Giuliani just confirmed that.

    This assumes that Rudy actually knows what he’s talking about….

    kishnevi (bb03e6)

  26. The host is going to end up chagrined over most of this post when all comes out in the wash.

    Did the FBI had a traditional TIII wiretap on candidate Donald Trump’s telephone in the Trump Tower?? No.

    Was the Donald Trump For President Campaign subject to multiple efforts of surveillance and infiltration by the Obama Justice Department and Intelligence Community? Absolutely. The only question at this point is how many, and the exact nature of the efforts.

    Some have been confirmed, some have been hinted at.

    Is the host comfortable with the party in control of the government using the law enforcement and intelligence services of the government as part of an effort to undermine the candidacy of the opposing party’s nominee?

    Assuming the answer is “It depends on the circumstances”, have you seen anything yet from nearly 2 years of investigation that would have warranted efforts to penetrate the inner circle of the Trump campaign?

    Given the characters involved from the Obama Admin., most notably the unhinged and dangerous John Brennan, and the increasingly curious profile of James Comey, are you comfortable with them having been arbiters of deciding when the “circumstances warranted” such efforts?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  27. 3 — No. But I don’t expect a person with no background or experience in federal criminal law surveillance techniques to understand, and verbalize, the difference between a “wiretap” — which isn’t itself even a formal description of the means — and other forms of electronic intercepts.

    You’re a lawyer — can you explain the difference between a “Wiretap” and a “Roving Wiretap?” How about the difference between a “pen register” and a “trap and trace?”

    How about the difference between unopened emails and deleted emails in user’s account?

    There are distinctions with respect to all of these kinds of surveillance mechanisms, which are understood by those in the business of using them, but not necessarily by those who find out later they’ve been subjected to having them used against them.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  28. Considering comey and McCabe and Rosenstein, and yates, dissembling all the way down the line,

    narciso (d1f714)

  29. Is the host comfortable with the party in control of the government using the law enforcement and intelligence services of the government as part of an effort to undermine the candidacy of the opposing party’s nominee?

    SWC, i enjoy your comments, however, instead of making an accusation, just frame it as a question and if Pat engages then you will know. I can tell you right now, he is 125 percent against it

    EPWJ (0ca1a7)

  30. And in the context of a Presidential campaign, I think it is arguable that “my phones” cannot be interpreted to be a reference to the campaign’s phones. The issue was always whether the Obama DOJ was spying on the Trump Presidential campaign, not whether they were spying on Donald Trump the person.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  31. But I don’t expect a person with no background or experience in federal criminal law surveillance techniques to understand, and verbalize, the difference between a “wiretap”

    It’s what we get when we elect a president who isn’t a lawyer. Damn “crap electorate”.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  32. 29 — there’s no accusation towards Patrick in my question. I think my answer and his answer would be the same — it depends on the circumstances. He’s said more than once that he’s reserving his judgment on the FISA warrant until the actual application is released, rather than dueling memos from the Intel Comm on what the application says.

    We’ve traveled quite a ways further down the path now than was the case when the House Intel Comm was generating its memos.

    My question is whether Patrick is more or less comfortable now with the additional information that has slowly leaked out.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  33. “And Cuomo is also right that the fact Donald Trump thinks something doesn’t make it true.”

    Reading this, it is difficult not to think back about when, over a year ago, Trump said, “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower.” For this unequivocally true comment the President was roundly derided. Of course, this is just one of a seemingly never-ending litany of baseless – and usually dishonest – criticisms. Perhaps Trump saying something doesn’t always make it right, but after two-plus years of never ending false accusations about Trump, it usually makes it right.

    So why is this? Popehat provides the answer in the preceding post: Trump’s critics are not purveyors of fact, but, instead, are in the business of preaching THE TRUTH. When you hold the keys to the secular kingdom, who needs grubby facts?

    I like the fact that in the Trump administration we don’t see tightly choreographed – and usually deceptive – talking points. The administrations of Presidents Clinton and Obama were very good at this. Is that the standard President Trump should emulate?

    ThOR (d25d69)

  34. what is striking is what a dry well this was, as much as Geraldo rivera, 30 years ago. yates had to misrepresents general Flynn’s communications with kislyak, as comey his conversation with trump,

    narciso (d1f714)

  35. Brennan and a hemp rope equal justice.

    mg (9e54f8)

  36. you know it’s a shame she doesn’t even get honorable mention at the Pulitzers:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/was-trumps-campaign-set-up-1526598374

    narciso (d1f714)

  37. he was truly sui generis,

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/richard-pipes-1526600411

    the strobe talbotts, bob scheers and jonathan schells of the world never understood him,

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. Wow — Andrew Sullivan has a column out today that basically says Trump has destroyed the world.

    That’s a pithy — yet completely accurate — summation of just about every point he makes.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  39. you know it’s a shame she doesn’t even get honorable mention at the Pulitzers:

    No, it’s a blessing. Who wants to be in the same company as Walter Duranty?

    random viking (6a54c2)

  40. “what is striking is what a dry well this was . . . ”

    I think that the putsch conspirators, Brennan, Comey, McCabe, etc., believed that President Trump would be just as corrupt as the Obama and Clinton administrations were, so finding the rope to hang President Trump would be easy. Too bad for them that our current CinC is cut from different cloth than the typical pol – or, for that matter, the typical federal law enforcement/ intelligence leadership. Freudian projection is a funny thing.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  41. point taken, I guess one is grateful as with lee smith and sean davis, and molly hemingway,

    so he’s gravitron, or thanos, he was coming along well, then he had a relapse, sarc,

    narciso (d1f714)

  42. So far the only one who seem to have benefited from Trump taking on Rudy as his lawyer, is Rudy’s law firm. He resigned.

    nk (dbc370)

  43. well another partner, berman, moved on to be us atty for the southern district, but maybe he should go back, for all the good he does,

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. This is the problem of having a President who seems more interested in creating drama and defending his brand than in communicating clearly. Twitter is a horrible vehicle for conveying nuance and facts. It’s a terrible medium for the leader of a country to indulge. Why does Trump use it? Why do we get mad at the media for trying to make sense of ambiguous Tweets? Too many people are either openly or quietly amused at having the leader of the country troll people. The fact that we don’t expect and demand more from our leader is one of the many norms that are taking a beating under Trump.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  45. 5… yes, it does, AZ Bob. But Strassel’s story doesn’t feed teh Narrative.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  46. 15… and he ain’t a lawyer!

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  47. 33… excellent points, Thor!

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  48. I like the fact that in the Trump administration we don’t see tightly choreographed – and usually deceptive – talking points. The administrations of Presidents Clinton and Obama were very good at this. Is that the standard President Trump should emulate?

    No, it’s much better that nobody in the executive branch knows what’s going on from one day to the next.

    Dave (445e97)

  49. 47 — Exhibit A for why he uses Twitter is the CSPAN video from his round-table on Sanctuary Cities, and the press coverage of the edited statement that followed all day yesterday.

    So he exchanges some factual specificity for not having the “smear tactics” of the media used against his every utterance.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  50. 51 — concerns about outing the “source” take a backseat to the CYA needs of the Obama DOJ officials who are feeding the leaks to the NYT and WaPo.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  51. Doesn’t Barrett get tired of being a doormat?

    narciso (d1f714)

  52. No, it’s much better that nobody in the executive branch knows what’s going on from one day to the next.

    Yeah, because if the details regarding the mole and the surveillance had been made known from day one, it would’ve blown up in your face then instead of now.

    random viking (64320c)

  53. Reading how Muller’s case against Concord Management and Catering is falling apart and the outright lies told in those indictments

    Can you point out at least two “outright lies” in those indictments for us?

    Dave (445e97)

  54. Didn’t the DOJ object to Concord’s appearance in court by saying the DOJ’s service of process was faulty. Funny but you’d think that the DOJ would thank them for appearing on the case despite the technically defective service.

    AZ Bob (9a6ada)

  55. “Exhibit A for why he uses Twitter…”

    Look, the media will take a hit on the MS-13 gross mischaracterization. In this day and age, it’s hard to hide such blatant bias or excuse it. However, it in no way justifies his penchant for tweets and the norm that the office of the President should be above such level of discourse, especially when it involves an active investigation of his administration. There should be some dignity…some circumspection. Just arguing that the media’s bad behavior justifies more bad behavior falls flat as a principle.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  56. Thank you, Haiku.

    I’m mystified why anyone could continue to harp about President Trump’s “dishonesty.” It is hard to imagine a more dishonest lot than the President’s shameless critics. Every single day, or thereabouts, the pattern is repeated: anti-Trumpers lying about Trump followed by Trump, or his supporters, or both, debunking the lie. Wash, rinse, repeat. The credo of the Church of Fake But Accurate seems to be, “Dishonesty in the condemnation of Trump is no vice!

    As for DRJ’s comment at 15, with the possible exception Bush Jr. (and I’m just saying “possible”), which of the past presidential contenders from both major wasn’t narcissistic? To the breathtakingly narcissistic Obama, President Trump is a distant second. And Mrs. Clinton? Clinton’s post-election ruminations about her well-deserved defeat reveal a narcissism second to none. Keep in mind, there’s talk that the APA is going to drop Narcissistic Personality Disorder from the DSM because it is now considered “normal” behavior. For better or worse (maybe I should say “Undoubtedly, for worse”), Trump is not an outlier. Not even close.

    Also, virtually any politician, when deprived of a telepromptered script, will come across as “careless,” if not worse. That’s why we hear pols talk in cliches (I love that part in Bull Durham when Nuke is tutored on cliches – “They’re your friends”). Is a teleprompter better? Are meaningless cliches the gold standard? Are those things preferable in a politician? Should our President spend more time in front of a teleprompter? To my mind, once again, not even close.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  57. Funny but you’d think that the DOJ would thank them for appearing on the case despite the technically defective service.

    Unless the defective service would open the door to a subsequent motion to dismiss or appeal on the grounds of procedural irregularity. No idea if that’s possible, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it were.

    Regardless, that’s not an outright lie, or any kind of lie, in the indictments.

    Dave (445e97)

  58. Why is Mueller not providing discovery, i.e. the evidence?

    AZ Bob (9a6ada)

  59. Because he’s from a law enforcement background and those guys don’t like anyone seeing how the sausage gets made.

    Leviticus (efada1)

  60. And feeding teh Narrative – while not the main objective here – lemme just say… it will never go hungry around here.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  61. Trump Tweets so the corrupt media’s attempts to misrepresent, distort, twist, paraphrase, and otherwise deliberately misinform the public about his intentions can be compared to his actual words to conclusively demonstrate just how blatently dishonest the entire so-called journalism profession (with only a very few notable exceptions) and their parrots and fellow travelers have devolved into guttersnipes, character assassins, liars, journolisters, race baiters, demagogues, perverts, and low-down, belly crawlin’ yellow dogs.

    ropelight (7bb9e5)

  62. This is the problem of having a President who seems more interested in creating drama and defending his brand than in communicating clearly. Twitter is a horrible vehicle for conveying nuance and facts. It’s a terrible medium for the leader of a country to indulge. Why does Trump use it? Why do we get mad at the media for trying to make sense of ambiguous Tweets? Too many people are either openly or quietly amused at having the leader of the country troll people. The fact that we don’t expect and demand more from our leader is one of the many norms that are taking a beating under Trump.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 5/18/2018 @ 9:52 am

    You’ve got to be kidding. Trump just did a press conference where the media lied through their teeth and claimed he said something that was no where resembling what he said. Yet you’re upset about him bypassing that media to tweet something instead?

    If Trump wasn’t President, Twitter would’ve shadowbanned him ages ago.

    NJRob (b00189)

  63. 47 the only people having trouble understanding Trump’s tweets are those obsessed with reading into them what isn’t there and those looking to misconstrue them to score points.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  64. Well I wouldn’t take someone who took james clapped at face value as definitive medium

    narciso (d1f714)

  65. Yep, he’s soooo beloved!

    And for the “real” conservatives who use Teh Devil’s Twitter… if you haven’t been shadow-banned, perhaps you aren’t doing it right.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  66. As always, you are precisely correct. Yet on this one, it seems to me an ill-advised criticism to have undertaken.

    I’ve tried to come up with an analogy…In a desert, a known blowhard/prevaricator somehow discerns there is an oasis with ice water in a dune that is off the current path being taken by the group, who are dying of thirst. They decide to follow the person with this “awareness” and lo and behold – WATER!!!!! But, no ice water.

    DJT’s charge was of such enormity that if he got it substantially correct, he would deserve a vigorous affirmation, in my opinion. Had this been just another ignorant spouting, he would have richly deserved wide scorn and it would rightly be upheld as a prima facie example as to how DJT was unfit to be POTUS. This ain’t such a bloviating example. He was basically right and the wrong is of such crucial importance that I believe we need to go after the treasonous bad actors with full throated vigor and NOT minimize or diminish the victim (DJT campaign and DJT himself). This is especially true if Joe DiGenova and Andrew McCarthy are essentially correct about the criminal conspiracy by execs at CIA, DOJ, FBI, and the White House.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  67. 58 catering company didn’t exist when it supposedly committed the crimes.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  68. Well relying on buzzfeed as primary source is becoming a problem as they are finding out in london.

    narciso (d1f714)

  69. 58 no English translations for the social media post that supposedly influenced election.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  70. 58 leading the judge to believe the 10 individuals where employees of Concord or associated with them.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  71. Try to explain what has been going on for a year and a half in under 50 words.

    narciso (d1f714)

  72. This was like the matryoska nesting dolls, one inside the other, the kournolist and echo chambers were precirsors.

    narciso (d1f714)

  73. Try to explain what has been going on for a year and a half in under 50 words.

    Same as what’s been going on for the past forty years, except that some feckless Republicans have joined in.

    random viking (64320c)

  74. The journolist were the medium the echo chamber was the method.

    narciso (d1f714)

  75. One of the tipoffs was when the house report classified already pubic materials.

    narciso (d1f714)

  76. Yes that was a typo.

    narciso (d1f714)

  77. Rudy is right.There probably was no informant inside the campaign (unless that informant is Carter Page,and he was an informant but he lied to the FBI) If there was an informant, just what did he do? You don’t hear anythig.Neitehr was any campoaign related material accessed.

    I think somebody’s carefully leaking, only on deep background, which means that even what they are sayinbg can’t be reported, a version of events that is false, with an intention of tripping up anybody who will accuse the investigation of having done wrong, or political things.

    So that:

    1) They won’t make true accusations. (false accusations they can live with.)

    2) They won’t have credibility when they find out something real,

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  78. I think:

    Stefan Halper was not the person who put George Papadoupolous in touch with Alexander Downing(if that is, that meeting in a bar actually took place in May, 2016)

    There was no FBI informant working in the Trump campaign. (except possibly for Carter Page.)

    There was no bugging or secret subpoena of Trump campaign documents.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  79. #77, narciso, yet, once we heard Comey exonerate Hillary on her private server, her missing emails, and her husband’s secret ‘chance meeting’ and collusion with the Attorney General, it was clear, without doubt, the fix was in at DoJ and FBI.

    The officers and agents charged with upholding the laws of our land have been perverted to shield Obama and Hillary and made members of their respective crime families from public exposure and prosecution. As their behavior proves.

    ropelight (7bb9e5)

  80. 76. narciso (d1f714) — 5/18/2018 @ 11:39 am

    76.Try to explain what has been going on for a year and a half in under 50 words.

    That’ll be easy once you have the facts right.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  81. 84) that was only the outermost doll, who knew they were running a counter Intel op at the same time, with the same players

    narciso (d1f714)

  82. Didn’t the DOJ object to Concord’s appearance in court by saying the DOJ’s service of process was faulty.

    That’s not quite the way it went down. Concord’s lawyers were the ones who claimed that the service was improper.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  83. “Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign.

    Trump did say:

    apparently.

    Rudy did not contradict him.

    There might be an issue with thsiword “apparently” Apparent to whom?

    A. Lots of commentators. I mean we’ve got Kimberley A. Strassel.

    But it’s all disinformation, in my opinion. Some people are throwing out smoke where there is no fire, to get people off on the wrong track.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  84. This is especially true if Joe DiGenova and Andrew McCarthy are essentially correct about the criminal conspiracy by execs at CIA, DOJ, FBI, and the White House.

    I normally love wild allegations of wide-ranging improbable conspiracies but color me skeptical of this one.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  85. Reporters are getting mixed up about what happened first. Steele was hired in April probably based on nothinbg more than Trump’spublic statements about Putin and Russian policy.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  86. blockquote> How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process… This claim came, indirectly, from radio broadcaster Mark Levin, who claimed to have deduced it.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  87. He was hired by fusion, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dec and contracted by a party to the anti magnitsky alliance, baker and hofstadler, which curious there haves been no charges against any of their principles, veselnitskaya hit a dry hole,

    narciso (d1f714)

  88. When did the Obama administration notify either campaign Russian tricksters were meddling and Russian agents were recruiting? Apparently never. Why? Nothing was done in the usual way. If Trump and/or his team are really Russian tools the Obama administration sure has bungled the OP.

    crazy (5c5b07)

  89. Rudy did not contradict him.

    Try again Sammy. Did Rudy say Obama tapppppped Trump? Did Trump say there was a tapppp? OK then.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  90. I love President Trump he surmounts all the obstacles and wins the Grand Prize.

    The sleazy men and women of the FBI? They can suck it!

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  91. New helper, who seems to have been with team job, was paid nearly 300k by the office of net assessments.

    narciso (d1f714)

  92. He (Christpher Steele) was hired in April – in fact Fusion GPS was itself hired in March, 2016.

    That had nothing to do with the separate project (search of public records – no private detective or British spy) paid for by the Washington Free Beacon.

    We haveto answer the qwuestion of why Russia,would spread anti-trump information.

    One answer is tghey didn’t, and Steele wa smaking it all up. I don’t think so.

    the other answerr, which nobody seems to have hit on is that they didn’t know Steele was acting on behalfof U.S. Democrats buy thought Steele was workiing for somebody British – plus also they ahd to defle3ct inquiries as to
    why Putin faviored Trump.

    There were two types of false explanations given:

    A) They had compromat on Trump

    B) Trump had a longstanding financial relation with Russia.

    The disinformation contained factual flaws, so that it could be pulled back if it went wrong.

    The real reason was probably that Putin thought he could infiltrate Trump’s campaign and possible administration. And he blamed Hillary for the loss of Ukraine in 2014 because he thought Victora Nuland was one of Hillary’s women. She had been instrumental in the success of the Euromaidan Revolution (Революція гідності – Revoliutsiia hidnos)

    Big question: Who recommended Manafort and Flynn?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  93. @89 Pat – As I was skeptical of DJT’s claim of a wiretap. I thought he may have really gone out on a limb waaaaaay too far.

    There is more than a little smoke that top IC leadership ignored protocols and then lied directly to responsible authority. Did they act in full concert? I don’t know. I’d love to have the opportunity to bet a huge sum that at least a couple of them did. Then again, I’d love to just have huge sums available.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  94. I normally love wild allegations of wide-ranging improbable conspiracies but color me skeptical of this one.

    A lack of skepticism within the anti-Trump crowd regarding “wide-ranging improbable conspiracies” has gotten us to this point.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  95. Rudy did not contradict him.

    94. Patterico (c3b99c) — 5/18/2018 @ 12:30 pm

    Try again Sammy. Did Rudy say Obama tapppppped Trump? Did Trump say there was a tapppp? OK then.

    I mean he didn’t contradict him about the second accusation – that the FBI had a spy in the Trump Campaign.

    Trump said “apparently” and “Reports are there” and Rudy said:

    “We’re told…by people….we’ve been told there was some kind of infiltration.”

    About the wiretapp, Rudy seems to be saying that Trump doesn’t stand by that now. The only thing is, he’s avoiding a true characterization of what Trump said. Trump stated something as fact, when it was only supposition. Rusy sayd he thinks Trump thought that.

    That would be a charitable way of putting it. Unless he’s really stupid (is he?) Trump had to know this was only a far from established accusation.

    Giuliani says he thinks Trump thought so “at one time” (but now they can be pretty sure that is wrong bewcause they’ve never been notified that Trump was on any tap or intercept – and – he doesnt say – they can be pretty confident they would be told the truth.)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  96. Sammwh, what didn’t putin get out of the previous administration, whether concessions in eastern Europe, or the uranium one deal, the look the other way on Ukraine, recall this whole shindig that manafort was apart of, that they paid podesta (actually David Adams) and weber, wee about getting Ukraine closer to the EU.

    narciso (d1f714)

  97. Rudy is probably right? Right about what?

    He says “we’re told they had an informant” – which is exactly what Trump says. Nowwhere does Trump assert – on his own – there’s an informant. He writes: Per “So-and-so”

    Before you get on your moral high horse – and start finger wagging – you’d better be moral yourself. That’s why all attempts by the MSM to paint Trump as unethical or immoral or a liar fail miserably. After all, they’re the biggest liars, ever, ever. They’ve taken Trump out of context, used anon sources proven to be false, misrepresented what he said, and outright lied about Trump – because they want to destroy.

    The only people who think the MSM are objective and can be trusted when it comes to Trump are the Sainted “Never trumpers”. Rod Dreher is a perfect example. Ever since August 2015, he’s been accepting everything the NYT and WaPo say about Trump on face value. Time and time again he’s had to recant his hysterical attacks on Trump for saying “XYZ” – when it later is shown to be false.

    But that doesn’t stop from constantly assuming every MSM attack on Trump is absolutely true. No skepticism, just join the liberal lynch mob.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  98. Rudy says this week Mueller would not indict Trump because (although this is a disputed legal point) they got Mueller to agree that he’s bound by Justice Department guidelines or rules, and the longstanding position of the DOJ is that a president cannot be indicted.

    That leaves naming Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator in something, or writing an impeachment recommendation.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  99. Yes and it doesn’t matter comedy said much the same thing to trump. David Adams was also the democrat lobbyist for zte

    narciso (d1f714)

  100. Same semantic games as with the wiretapping. Remember how that was laughed at? Are we OK calling it that, now?

    For what it is worth, not clear to me that there was some sort of inserted spy versus an informant or even a Clinton-funded operative who ended up contacting the FBI, like the “private public partnership” with the dossier. Or Halper trying to create entrapment. But bottom line, these guys wanted to go after Trump and did a lot of dishonest things in that vein.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  101. Uhm: If True. Perhaps? Nice word games you play though. Intellectual honesty!

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  102. As for the Trump wiretap, that’s been proven to be true, unless you dishonestly and stupidly, think Trump was talking about an old-timey “wiretap” of a phone – Y’know like Elliot Ness – something that went out of style 20 years ago.

    The FISA warrants show the FBI was conducting electronic surveillance of the Trumps campaign – including Trump himself. And it continued AFTER Trump was un-elected.

    And that’s what we know NOW. What the IG report will tell us, is anyone’s guess.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  103. If Trump wasn’t President, Twitter would’ve shadowbanned him ages ago.

    LOL – Truer words were never written. I’ll have to look up the 2015 Patterico blog posts when Trump was being attacked for being a racist – for supporting insulting “Immigrants”. No doubt he joined the hysteria and believed Trump was going to drop out any day.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  104. Does anyone believe that Mueller ever thought anyone would appear on his indictment of Russians? Normally indictments are secret. This would be an important device to nab any of the defendants if they came into the US. But a big fanfare on the indictment would insure no defendant would show. Except that Mueller also named a business that now wants to see his cards. Does anyone believe this Mueller effort isn’t political?

    AZ Bob (9a6ada)

  105. 99. I’ve been mostly speculating on this thread. But I can tell you that in politics as in science, those who adhere to Occam’s Razor are more likely to be correct more often than those who don’t.

    Gryph (08c844)

  106. Interesting about the atty:

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/eric-dubelier-b6a7679

    Since we speak of sdny

    narciso (d1f714)

  107. Andy McCarthy is not a hot-headed partisan. As he has mentioned in his columns, he respects Jim Comey and considers him a friend. That McCarthy, of all people, seems to be convinced of the existence of a conspiracy speaks volumes.

    And then there is the story dictated to the NYT by their friends in the DOJ/FBI that acknowledges the existence of the conspiracy in order to create a helpful spin ahead of the release of the OIG report.

    At this point, especially given the confirmation provided by the Times, it seems hard to argue that there wasn’t a conspiracy. If wishes were horses . . .

    We finally have a sufficiently complete picture of what happened to sort out the bad guys from the good. This is the watershed moment.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  108. 110. Spectating. I meant to say spectating. Whoops.

    Gryph (08c844)

  109. 102. rcocean (1a839e) — 5/18/2018 @ 12:52 pm

    Rudy is probably right? Right about what?

    That they don’t really know for sure that there was an informant.

    I later noticed this is not really a contradiction of what Trump said sbout a spy. It just amplifies it. Rudy also says that Trump also doesn’t know if there really was one

    He says “we’re told they had an informant” – which is exactly what Trump says. Nowwhere does Trump assert – on his own – there’s an informant. He writes: Per “So-and-so”

    Right. Unlike what he said about the tapp.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  110. 112. that’s the way Rush Limbaugh characterized the New York Times story yesterday. That the Inspector general repoort weas coming out (today he said he said no, the IG report is about the Hillary Clinton investigation) and they told their version of eevnts to the NYT before something bad about them got out. And then it will be old news,and covered less.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  111. rcocean @102

    They’ve taken Trump out of context, used anon sources proven to be false, misrepresented what he said,

    What Trump actually said, or implied, wasn’t very accurate either. Enforcing immigration laws DOES NOT equal going after MS-13.

    http://thehill.com/latino/388280-ice-arrests-of-immigrants-with-no-criminal-convictions-higher-year-over-year-report

    Another thing. Calling members of MS-13 animals, implies there is no use in making deals with any informants in MS-13, unlike say, with people in other gangs.

    Trump has also called Bashar Assad an animal, and he seemed to think there that Assad had no motive for gassing people. That he ordered it just because he’s nuts. But it did have a motive: getting people to leave so that no underground resistance would be present in any reconquered territory.

    The only people who think the MSM are objective and can be trusted when it comes to Trump are the Sainted “Never trumpers”.

    No, not them, and are partisan Democrats and members of the liberal lynch mob not people? Or are you saying members of the liberal lynch mob don’t actually believe the Washington Post and the New York Times when it comes to Trump, but only foolish Republican or ex-Republican Never Trumpers?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  112. 110. Occam’s razor is only likely to be accurate if you have full information. A 4-year old makes lots of mistakes using Occam’s Razor type reasoning.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  113. With so much time, energy, wind invested, it will be painful to watch the comeuppance of the narrative water carriers.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  114. 117. Absolutely. And I do see a lot of speculating on this thread, with very little resembling verifiably true information at all.

    For my part, I start with the base assumption that all politicians are scum-sucking bottom-feeding liars looking out only for themselves. That assumption is much safer than to assume Trump would do anything, right or wrong, that doesn’t build his own brand in the end.

    Gryph (08c844)

  115. The Mueller knob polishers… teh lapdogs… the NeverTrumpinistas

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  116. 10 killed in school shooting in texass. nra strikes again!

    guns for everyone (218c79)

  117. 101. narciso (d1f714) — 5/18/2018 @ 12:52 pm

    101.Sammwh, what didn’t putin get out of the previous administration, whether concessions in eastern Europe, or the uranium one deal, the look the other way on Ukraine, recall this whole shindig that manafort was a part of, that they paid podesta (actually David Adams) and weber, wee about getting Ukraine closer to the EU.

    I confess I don’t know what you are talking about.

    Manafort wss working for the pro-Russian ruler of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych. His goal wass to get support in Washington. Theer were issues like the imprisonment of Yulia Tymonshenko. Yanukovych did decide to do something independent with regard to the EU, and then Putin made him back down but then he got overthrown.

    I keep on saying Putin turned against Hillary in 2014. (not 2011 like she likes to claim)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  118. narciso @104. What Comey said was that Trump was not under investigation but what Mueller has conceded is that he doesn’t have the power to indict Trump because DOJ rules bar the indictment of a sitting president and he cannot depart from them.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  119. Here’s a nice video of Giuliani contradicting himself

    https://youtu.be/AOb5FmZmD-k

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  120. Edit: to be clear, contradicting himself on whether the president can be subpoenaed

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  121. With so much time, energy, wind invested, it will be painful to watch the comeuppance of the narrative water carriers.

    There will be no comeuppance. The next stage, after the IG report and whatever else, will be an admission that yes procedural lines were crossed and laws were broken, but extraordinarily dangerous candidates require extraordinary measures. Wouldn’t you have preferred that laws had been broken in order to prevent Hitler from coming to power? Blah, blah, blah…

    Brennan has already laid the groundwork with his kakistocracy comment and other unhinged rantings.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  122. I’m talking about the sane folks, closer to home, RV.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  123. Mr. Patterico do you have any professional comment on the mugshots.com arrests?

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  124. So when “wild allegations of wide-ranging improbable conspiracies” are proven correct, what do we do next?

    When every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints, how do we clean the Augean Stables?

    How do we reign in those in law enforcement/ justice/ intelligence to restore the integrity of those organizations involved and make sure nothing like this ever happens again?

    How should those who vouched for the integrity of the process find absolution?

    And, most importantly, how do we get at the President who was behind these crimes?

    ThOR (d25d69)

  125. No just the top people, hence the rebellion in the bureau ranks which the likes of ackerman and graff wanted to cover with a pillow,

    narciso (d1f714)

  126. The Steele dossier is a joke. It talks about Trump having hookers piss on the bed and talks about Trump naming his poops “Obama”. It is 4chan trollbait. It was generated by the Clinton campaign (a source they TRIED to HIDE from us.) And then used for a FISA application. Slimy, cowardly, weasely.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  127. But the carp cozy shearer was putting out, was no better, remember that Berlin escapade that went down the memory hole

    narciso (d1f714)

  128. 124/5. Davethulhu (fab944) — 5/18/2018 @ 1:26 pm

    Here’s a nice video of Giuliani contradicting himself…on whether the president can be subpoenaed

    The CNN interviewer didn’t quite establish that. Rudy said that the word :subpoena” can mean two different things. But Clinton did testify. I thik what hapepned wsas they negotiated asnd this wa snot tested in court. The argiment was bnot allowed to proceed till the point was met.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  129. 131. Well, I’d certainly like to know what the value of Christopher Steele’s information was in the opast and it stands the test of time. I think, though he didn’t make any of it up. Putin’s minions did.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  130. “We know that Hillary Clinton was illegally exonerated. We knew that a year ago,” the former prosecutor said.

    “We know that there was a substantial effort to frame the current president of the United States with crimes by infiltrating his campaign and then his administration with spies that the FBI had set upon them.”

    “We have learned that the crimes were committed by the FBI, senior members of the Department of Justice, John Brennan, Mr. [James] Clapper, Mr. [James] Comey and others associated with the Democratic Party,” he continued. “And Donald Trump and his associates committed no crimes.”

    “Categorically and unequivocally, it has been proved that the FBI, in violation of all guidelines, all legislation — and I believe they committed crimes in doing so — purposely sent people into the Trump campaign to plant false information, then force that information to be forwarded back to CIA, and then funneled to the FBI, to be used as false information in FISA applications,” he said.

    “Everybody involved in that process, who knowingly participated, committed a crime,” DiGenova concluded.

    He explained that “criminal referrals have already been made.”

    “And I suggest that Mr. Brennan, who loves to make comments about the process, get himself a good lawyer not a good writer,” DiGenova said.

    –Joe diGenova on Tucker Carlson’s show

    https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2018/05/18/digenova-clapper-brennan-investigation/

    Streiff wonders whether diGenova was bloviating for rating or if he has solid info. I’d bet on solid info.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  131. 132. You mean this?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/us/politics/us-cyberweapons-russia-trump.html

    After months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump, according to American and European intelligence officials.

    This was in 3017. The NSA didn’t want to buy any of this Trump stuff but the Russian insisted on delivering it. They refused to take it and left it with agerman.

    The on;y thing relevant that he delivered was things they already knew.

    The Times obtained four of the documents that the Russian in Germany tried to pass to American intelligence (The Times did not pay for the material). All are purported to be Russian intelligence reports, and each focuses on associates of Mr. Trump. Carter Page, the former campaign adviser who has been the focus of F.B.I. investigators, features in one; Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire Republican donors, in another.

    Yet all four appear to be drawn almost entirely from news reports, not secret intelligence. They all also contain stylistic and grammatical usages not typically seen in Russian intelligence reports, said Yuri Shvets, a former K.G.B. officer who spent years as a spy in Washington before immigrating to the United States after the end of the Cold War.

    American spies are not the only ones who have dealt with Russians claiming to have secrets to sell. Cody Shearer, an American political operative with ties to the Democratic Party, has been crisscrossing Eastern Europe for more than six months to secure the purported kompromat from a different Russian, said people familiar with the efforts, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid damaging their relationship with him.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  132. I think the hookers pissing and “naming poops Obama” (this is actually in the dossier) will be found out to have been a 4chan prank that pulled in gullible and wanting to believe “intel” types.

    By the way, these intel types are total jokes. They have poor language skills and lack quantititative analysis skills. Big time second raters.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  133. 137. Are you saying 4chan people weee impersonatig Russians?

    I think it was actual Russians who just thought this would be plausible. They’d make out Trump to have personal animosity toward Obama (and also almost obscene)

    Anyone who knew anything about American policitcs would know that wasn’t it. trump did not hate Obama.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  134. McCarthy let himself be used last night on Hannity’s show, during which Hannity ranted and raved about how Trump’s subjective intent was absolutely irrelevant to anything, but during which Hannity was careful never to give McCarthy an opportunity to respond to that claim. Instead Hannity fed McCarthy a couple of softball leading questions to which McCarthy nodded yes and smiled.

    My respect for McCarthy plummeted last night. He let himself be used by Hannity in peddling something that McCarthy damn well knows is absolutely contrary to the law.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  135. By 2017, peoplein teh government of Russia were selling that story:

    The Russian was known to American and European officials for his ties to Russian intelligence and cybercriminals — two groups suspected in the theft of the N.S.A. and C.I.A. hacking tools.

    But his apparent eagerness to sell the Trump “kompromat” — a Russian term for information used to gain leverage over someone — to American spies raised suspicions among officials that he was part of an operation to feed the information to United States intelligence agencies and pit them against Mr. Trump. Early in the negotiations, for instance, he dropped his asking price from about $10 million to just over $1 million. Then, a few months later, he showed the American businessman a 15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women.

    No audio could be heard on the video, and there was no way to verify if the man was Mr. Trump, as the Russian claimed. But the choice of venue for showing the clip heightened American suspicions of a Russian operation: The viewing took place at the Russian Embassy in Berlin, the businessman said….

    …In December, the Russian said he told the American intermediary that he was providing the Trump material and holding out on the hacking tools at the orders of senior Russian intelligence officials.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  136. 89 — While I’m a bit reluctant to sign on to DiGenova’s views, I don’t think McCarthy has gone quite that far.

    But, even to the extent he has, I would only suggest the following:

    18 USC Sec. 371 makes is a crime to “conspire” to “defraud the United States.”

    If you assume the worst case scenario about the still as yet unknown facts underlying the decision-making that led to the investigation of the Trump campaign, I think you can make a much more plausible case for naming those government officials in a conspiracy to defraud the US within the scope of 371, than anything Mueller has set forth in this Russian Troll Farm indictment which employs the statute for that purpose.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  137. Here’s a left wing slant

    https://splinternews.com/the-new-york-times-backtracks-on-one-of-its-most-infamo-1826087627

    (Claim: NYT comfessed an error in going too easy on Trump in Oct 2016 news story.)

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  138. shipwreckedcrew # 141: Was it you who said that the purpose of the charge of defrauding the United States indictment was to make the allegations public since a prosecutor cannot simply issue a report?

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  139. Brennan’s exposure, IMO, is that he might have green-lighted a CIA operation targeting US Citizens, who were lured to foreign soil in order to be subjected to CIA directed intelligence gathering efforts.

    That would be a federal crime.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  140. i don’t think i framed it in those terms. What I remember writing at the time was that Mueller put out a “Speaking Indictment” which included a ton of factual information not necessary to establish the elements of the offenses alleged, because that allowed public commentary and discussion on all these facts that would have remained hidden from public view. Under the SC regs, Mueller prepares a report to the AG with regard to his findings. Its up to the AG to determine whether to forward that report to Congress, or to issue it publicly.

    IMO the Russian Troll Farm case — and the use of Sec. 371 — was all about justifying the investigation, expenditure of resources, and turmoil being caused within the government, by showing that really bad actors had attempted to disrupt the 2016 election, and we can’t stop investigating until we have uncovered every nefarious effort.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  141. #134

    Well, one would think such a seasoned veteran might have thought through these claims a figured they might be a bit dicey, to say the least. So Putin fed Steele false info about hookers urinating on The Donald? But he wanted Trump to win. Or he didn’t. What’s the storyline today? Hard to keep up. Then again, maybe you don’t believe Putin favored Trump.

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  142. No sammeh, the 4chan was represented as Russian material. Steel had proven useful in the FIFA investigation, but there he had actual documents.

    So which network and what anchor has gotten anything close to right, not NBC abc CBS CNN or MSNBC

    narciso (d1f714)

  143. McCarthy traded Hannity’s inanity for the opportunity to stress that the true issue, now proven, is that the FBI used the intelligence apparatus when they were unable to strike at DJT with a criminal investigation (no PC). The media game is inherently a corrupt game. I choose to give AM some leeway here as he is the first, and pretty much only, authoritative individual insisting we pay attention to this egregious (and perhaps illegal) sleight of hand.

    Now, if the revelation that AMc is now a Fox contributor has resulted in some reduced measure of regard, I can’t begin to argue. He is diminished.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  144. Thankfully for haspels confirmation, no one asked her any questions re this matter.

    narciso (d1f714)

  145. #146 to #134 to…comment ping pong.

    You apparently do not believe Putin was working to get Trump elected. Your comments on the matter are intriguing. I’d heard none of this, and I thought I was up to date. Where did you come by this?

    Estarcatus (fd736a)

  146. Tell Putin and Kim that after Trump is re-elected he’ll have more flexibility.

    ropelight (3535e2)

  147. I’m no fan of most conservative talkers. I’ve only seen Hannity a few times and most of those viewings were recent. In Hannity’s defense, he seems to attract bright, insightful guests – bright enough to know what the story is and how to present it (two things the host seems to struggle with). The show invariably seems to go downhill, at least during my viewings, when Hannity opens his mouth. He adds nothing. I’m glad I missed last night’s installment.

    All that not withstanding, I’m happy that Hannity’s considerable viewership gets to hear McCarthy and other insightful guests, even if it is an abridged version.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  148. Thankfully for haspels confirmation, no one asked her any questions re this matter.

    But somebody did:
    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/sen-rand-paul-haspel-says-no-communication-between-british-intel-and-john

    random viking (6a54c2)

  149. Occams razor points the other way

    http://amp.dailycaller.com/2018/05/18/rinat-akhmetshin-clinton-trump-tower/?__twitter_impression=true

    So sammeh, the Berlin pintaa

    narciso (d1f714)

  150. Suspect in Santa Fe Shooting Has Trenchcoat adorned with symbols of Imperial Japanese kamikazes, Baphomet (a Devil), Cthulhu, the Soviet hammer and sickle, and the German Wehrmacht Iron Cross…

    Cthulhu… you bastard.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  151. The Republican Party/ conservatives have a big tent problem, of sorts. There are wildly popular conservative media figures I feel I have virtually nothing in common with. Pat Buchanan is a prime example. Although I tune them out, I am, in fact, quite pleased that ours is a big tent with many competing ideas.

    When I look at Democrats/ liberals I am nauseated by the group-think and how it is enforced. By contrast, our side has room for the Sean Hannitys of this world and I’m glad we do.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  152. Another case of kids bullying and picking on a kid? Can’t imagine how tough it would be to deal with a thing like this.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  153. So comey bureau employee richman, has a neighbor Amy wenzen with Carey Richmond which in turn works with veselnitskaya.

    narciso (d1f714)

  154. So Trump wasn’t spied on and Clapper says it was a damn’ fine idea.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  155. 139 — I didn’t see the show last night, but I just read the transcript of Hannity and McCarthy. I’m not sure what part you are bothered by.

    McCarthy wrote an article a couple months ago where he issued a mea culpa — basically saying that he had thrown cold water on the idea last year that the federal law enforcement establishment in the bodies of DOJ and the FBI would engage in nefarious activity in connection with the 2016 election. He treated that different from their march to exonerate Clinton in the email matter, which he attributed to the fact that Obama himself sent a very loud signal in March 2016 that Clinton should be exonerated.

    For a very long time he presumed valid and plausible motives to the initiation of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign – which is a different subject from the initiation of the SC investigation of the Trump campaign.

    I happen to agree with you about whether or not there was a need for a public statement by Rosenstein with regard to the scope of the authority given to the SC, and I also agree with you that there was criminal conduct — namely Flynn’s alleged false statements about his telephone call with the Russian Ambassador — to justify under the Regs a SC investigation as a criminal case and not just a counter-intel case as McCarthy has argued. One more point on this below.

    But when the FISA application was the subject of the dueling memos — especially after the Grassley and Graham memo made it clear the Steele memos had not been corroborated before being used in the application — McCarthy issued his mea culpa, explaining that he never imagined DOJ would seek a FISA warrant which allowed them access to all Carter Page’s email while with the campaign, AND any recorded communications while he was with the campaign that NSA might have in its database, based on something as unverified as the Steele memos (Priestap testified that “verification” was in its “infancy” at the time the FISA warrant was sought). Given that they had done that only 3 weeks prior to an election, and given Brennan’s descent into kookville in 2017, McCarthy basically said “I have no idea what else they might have done. Anything is now within the scope of “possible.”

    Nothing Hannity said last night is out of the scope of “possible” — most of it is quite likely.

    So I’m not sure why you are faulting McCarthy for not contradicting him. Hannity said:

    Andy, I know that you’ve been doing great, right? (1) Am I wrong and Hillary Clinton committed crimes that they exonerated before investigating, so it seems like it was rigged?
    (2) Then you lead to the phony dossier,
    (3) then you lead to a spy in the campaign,
    (4) then you lead to the FISA courts being lied to for an entire year with unverified, uncorroborated and they never — by omission they lied by not telling the Hillary paid for it.

    Is anything in those statements I’m saying that are wrong, sir?

    I might have quibbled with the characterization of the FISA court being “lied” to with respect to the use of the Steele memos. We still don’t know exactly how the Application tried to finesse the issue of the memos not having been verified. We think from the reporting that the effort was to rely on Steele’s history of credibility to bootstrap to the documents themselves being credible. But that’s nonsense — and the Applicant would have known that — so even if they did it that way the bottom line is they presented a basis for the “credibility” of Steele’s memos in a way that likely obfuscated the fact that Steele himself couldn’t validate his own memos.

    On the point about McCarthy’s view of the SC authorization memo — I think where there might be a problem is the part of Dreeban’s argument to Judge Ellis last week when he claimed that the “scope” of the factual matters the SC was authorized to look into was fully explained by the DAG to the SC even if its not reflected in the initial scope memo appointing him in May 2017. To me, the only way to interpret Dreeban’s comment is that the factual scope was stated orally during their meeting. The August 2017 follow-up memo is said to have memorialized the discussion from May 2017.

    My problem is whether that’s sufficient. If the “oral” authorization is not appropriate under the Regs, then that means that Mueller and his team lacked the proper delegation of authority from DOJ to act on behalf of the Government beyond anything mentioned in the appointment memo — and we know that Manafort isn’t referenced in the appointment memo. But during that time frame they were issuing GJ subpoenas, and seeking and executing search warrants. If those were extra-judicial actions, were they unlawful? If they were unlawful, would all the evidence obtained thereby be subject to being suppressed?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  156. thank God for Mr. shipwreck and how he keeps helping this thread from degenerating into silly poopery

    i can’t even belieber how lack of understanding some of you people are

    this is the most widest and wholesale corruption ever seen on the failmerican government/cnn jake tapper fake news propaganda slut media

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  157. But… but… muh Stormy!

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  158. Leading by example, Mr. Feet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHgm0htDzU8

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  159. You guys really think too small with your conspiracy theories.

    If true, this shady agreement to “limit the scope” of questioning is pretty clear evidence that Mueller’s in the tank for Trump and actively involved in the election cover-up, isn’t it?

    Dave (98d911)

  160. @157. =Haiku!= Gesundheit!

    Seems to be a common lack of any kind of dress code w/staff or kids. Recall a time when there was proper ‘dress’ for attending school stateside; nice shoes, slacks, open collar shirt and so forth- no t-shirts or jeans permitted; not even sneakers allowed except in PE; none of this trench coat crap at all. And overseas, in HS we were required to wear coats and ties. American school kids dress like slobs so they feel they have the freedom to act like slobs.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  161. You guys really think too small with your conspiracy theories

    Yeah, we should think big — like a “Russia collusion conspiracy” we’ve been living with the past two years. How does one create half-baked conspiracy theories the media will buy? Teach us, Dave.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  162. he’s just so special

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  163. 165 — No, it means that Mueller has been told by DOJ that he cannot subpoena Trump to the GJ based on a Separation of Powers issue, so if he wants to get any answers from Trump directly he’s going to have to negotiate for them.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  164. so how complicit is Rod Rosytwat

    he’s up to his corrupt slimy pencilneck in this

    he’s a dirty boy

    he’s made his mark on the Justice Department that’s for sure (dirty skidmark)

    what a skanky bunch of corrupt losers

    I can’t even

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  165. Uh oh. Sen Grassley has a lot of questions about the SC delegation for DAG Rosenstein he wants answered by May 31. Boom!

    crazy (5c5b07)

  166. No, it means that Mueller has been told by DOJ that he cannot subpoena Trump to the GJ based on a Separation of Powers issue, so if he wants to get any answers from Trump directly he’s going to have to negotiate for them.

    So Rosenstein is in Trump’s pocket too. It figures, I never trusted that squirrelly little dweeb…

    Dave (b869d3)

  167. Today’s word has 10 letters. Do you know what it means?

    C
    O
    I
    N
    T
    E
    L
    P
    R
    O

    Google is your friend.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  168. The Grassley Letter.

    crazy (5c5b07)

  169. Same semantic games as with the wiretapping. Remember how that was laughed at? Are we OK calling it that, now?

    You mean are we OK taking something Trump said that was false, and pretending it’s true?

    I’m not. Some anonymous people may differ.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  170. Narciso, when Jeff Bezos does real estate deals with Russians tied to Putin, then it will be time to talk about hypocrisy. Because that’s the actual nub: Trump’s ties to Russia dating back to before his candidacy.

    Kishnevi (f0a3aa)

  171. @ swc: Did you hear Hannity’s rant about how Trump’s intentions were irrelevant? I hope that you and I can agree that’s not just mistaken, it’s the 180-degree opposite of the truth: Sean Hannity was actively misleading the American public about the law.

    That was immediately before the segment in which McCarthy appeared. I have no problem with anything McCarthy did say, in the very limited time Hannity gave him to talk. My problem is that by showing Andy McCarthy smiling and nodding and agreeing with a couple of softballs immediately after Hannity’s rant, Hannity borrowed McCarthy’s credibility. If McCarthy could hear the rant, he should have said, “Hey, wait, Sean, before we talk about what you just asked me, let’s talk about your opening, in which you positively misled the American public about substantive criminal law regarding intent.”

    If McCarthy couldn’t hear the rant, then I forgive him for appearing on the show and allowing himself to be used, once, to lend credibility to Hannity’s BS. If he returns, then he’s happy being used, and I would not respect that at all.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  172. McCarthy let himself be used last night on Hannity’s show, during which Hannity ranted and raved about how Trump’s subjective intent was absolutely irrelevant to anything, but during which Hannity was careful never to give McCarthy an opportunity to respond to that claim. Instead Hannity fed McCarthy a couple of softball leading questions to which McCarthy nodded yes and smiled.

    My respect for McCarthy plummeted last night. He let himself be used by Hannity in peddling something that McCarthy damn well knows is absolutely contrary to the law.

    I didn’t see it, but while McCarthy has been very good at times throughout this, he has also leapt to conclusions at times that were not warranted. Follow the links in this post for one example. His leaping at the narrative of the Nunes memo is another.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  173. Are you ok with the Obama Administration conducting an electronic surveillance operation against the GOP Nominee for President?

    Would you be ok with the SC having been given authority by the DAG to apply for FISA warrants without DOJ approval?

    Would you be ok with the SC having access to the entire intel gathering apparatus of the IC?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  174. @ swc (#169), re this assertion by you:

    No, it means that Mueller has been told by DOJ that he cannot subpoena Trump to the GJ based on a Separation of Powers issue, so if he wants to get any answers from Trump directly he’s going to have to negotiate for them.

    For context, let’s confirm: This is your speculation and inference. Correct? If we can stipulate to that, then we can proceed to the question of whether it’s reasonable speculation and inference, in which case I’m going to want to ask you more about the bases for those inferences.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  175. A deal that never went through, by contrast the Obama administration sought out unverifiable info from Russian agents and put in nit one but two official documents, Brendan seems to have selected strzok to ‘shape’ the intelligence, fusions counterpart derwick partners launders caracas regime cash in south Florida.

    narciso (d1f714)

  176. That’s why all attempts by the MSM to paint Trump as unethical or immoral or a liar fail miserably.

    LOL

    Patterico (115b1f)

  177. 178 — I only looked at McCarthy’s comments in the transcript — but I’ll go back and look at what came before. I now understand better what you meant, because it was scratching my head over your reaction when I didn’t see anything in the transcript that seemed to justify it.

    Give me 5 mins.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  178. Trump is unethical, immoral, and a liar. Saying that any attempt to “paint” him as such always fails is coo-coo-for-Cocoa-puffs batshit crazy.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  179. 181… must everything be a cross examination with you? Lighten up, Francis.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  180. 181 — yes yes. I think I posted that here yesterday. I would be willing to make a small wager that Mueller asked for an opinion from OLC on the issue of indicting a sitting President, and on whether he can issue a GJ subpoena for testimony to a sitting President. And I Guiliani’s comments are consistent with Mueller having been told he cannot — which I think is the only possible answer to those questions while Trump is in office.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  181. Captain Ed has a reasonable take on this informant business.

    As I noted with the Strassel story, however, there are two ways to read this. Either the person inside the campaign worked for the FBI before joining the campaign, or he/she reached out to the FBI as a whistleblower. CNN reports that “US officials” are insisting it’s the latter, not the former.

    The interesting part in the CNN story is that this informant was a “source for the FBI and CIA for years,” emphasis mine. My best guess is that this informant is Secret Service.

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  182. What you gonna do when he’s off scot-free?
    What you gonna do when this is gone?

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  183. Beldar — I must flee the field for about 30 minutes. Need to do a kid pickup from school.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  184. this isn’t all on teevee it’s written up in dozens of news sources.

    Which Trump didn’t read, because he doesn’t read. When I say “apparently based on stuff he saw on the teevee” I am relying on massive amounts of evidence that Trump is not a reader.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  185. I actually have a long comment kicking around in my head about whether the legal strategy pursued by John Dowd and Ty Cobb was executed brilliantly — or whether they just stumbled into dumb luck — and I think Guiliani on the “bully pulpit” just as the screws are tightening on Obama Admin. officials was either a stroke of genius, or more dumb luck.

    I’ll expound later.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  186. “he has also leapt to conclusions at times that were not warranted.”

    That is hilarious!

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  187. When the schiff hits the fan on all this, I hope to be shocked, stunned and delighted… much like I felt on my honeymoon.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  188. The CNN that parties with avenatti and deletes the record, snorfle, with members like lichblau who was the head of their snooper unit.

    narciso (d1f714)

  189. I’m mystified why anyone could continue to harp about President Trump’s “dishonesty.”

    I’m not. He’s the President of the United States and he’s dishonest. No scare quotes needed.

    There, I solved the mystery, Mr. Lestrade. Let me know if any other puzzlers come up.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  190. DJT’s charge was of such enormity that if he got it substantially correct, he would deserve a vigorous affirmation, in my opinion. Had this been just another ignorant spouting, he would have richly deserved wide scorn and it would rightly be upheld as a prima facie example as to how DJT was unfit to be POTUS. This ain’t such a bloviating example. He was basically right and the wrong is of such crucial importance that I believe we need to go after the treasonous bad actors with full throated vigor and NOT minimize or diminish the victim (DJT campaign and DJT himself). This is especially true if Joe DiGenova and Andrew McCarthy are essentially correct about the criminal conspiracy by execs at CIA, DOJ, FBI, and the White House.

    You seem taken in by this, Ed from SFV. Are you saying that if the FBI ran across evidence that Trump campaign advisers were coordinating with Russians — say, for example, that one of the campaign advisers knew about hacked emails in advance of the public revelation that they were hacked — the FBI is not allowed to investigate??

    Patterico (115b1f)

  191. There is more than a little smoke that top IC leadership ignored protocols and then lied directly to responsible authority. Did they act in full concert? I don’t know. I’d love to have the opportunity to bet a huge sum that at least a couple of them did. Then again, I’d love to just have huge sums available.

    Can you elaborate? You’re one of the few people on this thread whose comments are worth reading and paying attention to.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  192. When I look at Democrats/ liberals I am nauseated by the group-think and how it is enforced. By contrast, our side has room for the Sean Hannitys of this world and I’m glad we do.

    Yeah, there’s no group-think on the right, for sure!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  193. Brennan is going to be the fall guy. He’s a true believer, and they’ll never go after The One. Simply the Obama DoJ, probably with a wink and a nod from The One Himself, decided to spy on a campaign of the other party, mostly because like dogs and their private parts, well, they could. And they never expected Trump to win. This is the problem that the left continues to not grasp, they erroneous pretense of their own virtue is not grounds to do what ever they want.

    And really, how does Brennan go from Jesuit Fordham to converting to Islam to voting for Gus Hall get hired much less become the head of the CIA? It’s a disgrace. There is a hubris there ready to be punctured like a fracture blister. And the only way to do it is to put this walking pile of nasty in jail.

    Let me understand; a man who in fact voted for a Soviet plant in the midst of the Cold War was worried a GOP presidential candidate might have some minimal contact with the 2016 Russian government? This is insane.

    Bugg (8aed21)

  194. Invoke teh 8th Grade Mean Gurlz Script™

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  195. Not only insane, it’s inane, as well. Lines continue to be drawn. Choose well.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  196. “I think there’s a major fallacy in focusing on the 2016 election without understanding the bigger part of the picture: *why* bad actors in intel community were so desperate to not have Trump elected. It’s about what could be discovered about the past 10-20 years. Not just 2016.“

    —- Sharyl Attkisson

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  197. @ swc, who wrote (#187):

    I think I posted that here yesterday. I would be willing to make a small wager that Mueller asked for an opinion from OLC on the issue of indicting a sitting President, and on whether he can issue a GJ subpoena for testimony to a sitting President. And I Guiliani’s comments are consistent with Mueller having been told he cannot — which I think is the only possible answer to those questions while Trump is in office.

    Yes, I saw your comments yesterday and was interested in your inferences. I agree that what we’ve seen in public could be entirely consistent with your hypothesis. I have no basis or inclination to dispute your sense of how such a decision might play out internally within DoJ. Your guesses may still be guesses, but on these issues they are presumptively less wild than mine or most other observers who’ve never been federal prosecutors.

    And if there’s any important decision on which a special counsel ought to consult upstream before acting publicly, subpoenaing a POTUS to come testify before a grand jury would surely be at the top of that list. Likewise, it seems overwhelmingly likely that before directing Mueller on this topic, Rosenstein would ask OLC to confirm whether DoJ had an appropriate legal basis to argue that this situation is more like United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974)(recognizing executive privilege, but holding it is a conditional privilege which on those facts, involving the Nixon WH tapes, prosecutors had made a strong enough case to overcome the privilege), and Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997)(requiring sitting POTUS to give his deposition in civil tort lawsuit based on conduct predating his presidency, but requiring polite logistical accommodations to minimize interference in ongoing presidential duties), than it is like Nixon v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 731 (1982)(holding ex-POTUS absolutely immune from private civil lawsuit seeking damages based upon actions allegedly taken in the former President’s official capacity during his tenure in office).

    None of those precedents are exactly on point, although the tapes case is pretty close, except for the different burden imposed by the POTUS in testifying, as compared to merely producing documents and tangible things. The whole point of the accommodations given Bubba in his deposition for the Paula Jones case, though, and then for his subsequent video testimony for Ken Starr’s grand jury — permitting him to appear at an agreed-upon time and date, in a setting of his choosing, with time limits — was to pay due respect to, and heed, the admonitions in all three of those cases: The SCOTUS says the POTUS gets the kid glove treatment if he does have to testify, so any prosecutor seeking evidence from a POTUS is, at a minimum, not going to be conducting any no-knock dawn raids at 1600 Pennsylvania, right?

    It seems to me that these cases pretty much compel Mueller to build a record that he’s tried, comprehensively, in good faith, and all the way to impasse, to get some voluntary accommodation — and moreover, that he would be obliged to do that even if he’s asked permission of Rosenstein, who asked for the views of OLC, who said, “Yes, provided you’ve actually done the drill of exhausting all lesser sources, demonstrated materiality and relevance, minimized inconvenience, and made a record of having done it.”

    In other words, in short: Isn’t Mueller’s willingness to negotiate logistics and time limits and subject matters just as consistent with him having gotten permission to use a grand jury subpoena if push comes to shove, as it is with him having been refused permission?

    What am I missing here?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  198. On what basis is this investigation conducted, Fitzgerald was an air force whistleblower who was seeking documents re cost overruns, a reasonable request related to good stewardship of defense resources, not this snipe hunt.

    narciso (d1f714)

  199. 191 according to The Hill and Axios and people that know him your wrong.

    “At Trump Tower, the president received copies of The New York Times and New York Post to read in the mornings. A friend reportedly said the Post is the “paper of record for him.”

    Trump also “skims The Wall Street Journal.” He doesn’t get The Washington Post, although a friend predicted that would change soon.”

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  200. 204 — I think the issue is not “compliance” with the decisions in Nixon, Clinton, and Nixon. I think the issue is one of Separation of Powers. A GJ subpoena is a process of the Article III Judiciary. The GJ “belongs” to the Court, not the prosecutor.

    I think the determination is that POTUS — regardless of the occupant — is Article II of the Constitution.

    Article III cannot command Article II to do anything, and a subpoena for testimony is a command to answer questions under oath.

    The subpoena to Nixon for the tapes was a prosecution where POTUS was not a party — POTUS had evidence. It was a criminal case, and the fair trial rights of the defendants were implicated without the evidence. I think Nixon could have simply refused to comply on separation of powers grounds, and the Court would have been without recourse. Nixon chose to not undermine the Court in that way, as he knew he was going to be impeached and removed from office either way.

    Do you think Congress could issue a subpoena to the Chief Justice and command him to appear before the Judiciary Committee and answer questions about the Court’s deliberations?

    The Branches are equal. No one branch can compel the other two to do anything under threat of sanction. If you allowed it, and the Chief Justice did not attend, could Congress refuse to appropriate money for court operations the next year as a sanction?

    If the Chief Justice didn’t comply with a demand that he come to the Oval Office for a chat with POTUS, could POTUS withdraw all security from the Court, and direct GSA to no longer clean federal courthouses?

    It’s a matter of “respect” for the co-equal branches of Gov’t.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  201. but instead prefers the hard copies of newspapers, taking a black Sharpie and marking up printed stories.

    If he thinks a story warrants a response, he will write the staffer’s name on the paper with his notes and either give it to them in person or have an aide email a PDF of his written comment.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  202. @197 Pat – Absolutely not. If there was PC to go hard after a campaign, by all means go! However, significant deference must be paid and the highest discretion utilized in determining the “Evidence.” This goes triple if an opposition political party is involved.

    As I understand it, the “evidence” which got this all started was flimsy and highly dubious.

    If this were truly simply about Russian interference? Then they needed to go after any and all contacts HRC and he folks had, as well. That did not happen.

    I’d be pleased if we had a super-duper commission on electoral interference from without AND from within our country. Bring it!

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  203. “I’ve been introduced to a person who is close friends with Donald Trump. And when I told her about The Epoch Times publication, she said that Donald Trump reads it every day and it’s the one newspaper that he believes to be a truthful and correct paper. … It’s the only one he trusts,” Taylor said. “Now, he reads all newspapers so he finds out what’s going on. But The Epoch Times is the one that he believes is the most credible newspaper in the world. That’s a big thing.”

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  204. What crime is knowing about a hack that would justify an FBI investigation?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  205. I respect all the branches cause of equality

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  206. #203, Colonel, sort of like finding out the Watergate burglers were part of the same CIA crew up to their chinny chin chins in the Bay of Pigs invasion and who just happened to be skulking around Dealy Plaza when JFK was assassinated.

    Wow, what an unbelievable coincidence!

    ropelight (3535e2)

  207. Well, the FBI’s defense is now out in print, naturally leaked to the NY Times and the Washington Post. Sure, they had an informant meet with those affiliated with the Trump campaign–but just for “investigative purposes.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/us/politics/trump-fbi-informant-russia-investigation.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/secret-fbi-source-for-russia-investigation-met-with-three-trump-advisers-during-campaign/2018/05/18/9778d9f0-5aea-11e8-b656-a5f8c2a9295d_story.html?utm_term=.d43a67480bf4

    While they don’t name the informant (sources and methods would be at risk….) it’s really easy to know who it is. Hard to keep up with the FBI spin operation–but its coming fast and furious (my bad) right now.

    pete (a65bac)

  208. no but seriously Mr. P what do you think of the mugshots thing

    it’s a meta-justice case what has numerous penumbra

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  209. And its being reported now that the “informant” is a retired professor from the US. currently living in Britain, who contacted 3 members of the Trump campaign ONLY AFTER evidence was developed that those three were having contact with Russians. WaPo and NYT are reporting.

    But “No ONe Will Confirm His Name”.

    Sheesh — its Steven Halper, as has been rumored since last March. I wrote about it on March 28 — although it was in an email to a couple of pen pals.

    Halper made contact with Page, Papadopolous, and Sam Clovis.

    The question is, why? The “story” so far is that the FBI put him up to it. I don’t buy it.

    IMO, this steaming pile of pig sheet is going to end up around the next of John Brennan.

    I’ve resisted putting this in writing, but IMO its so obvious that no one is being fooled any longer.

    Halper is a retired CIA case officer. His father-in-law, Ray Cline, was an original founding member of the CIA, having first served in the OSS during WWII. Cline rose to head the Intelligence side of the CIA, and is a legend. Where in the CIA did Brennan come up?? Oh yeah, the intelligence side.

    Halper has been in and out of government for 40+ years, mostly with GOP administrations during Nixon, Ford, and Reagan presidencies. BUT, he maintained the title of “Special Counsel” with both the DOD and DOJ from 1984 to 2001. Why? That’s called “Official Cover” for a CIA case officer. One step below being a NOC — “non-official cover” — which is where a CIA case officer poses as an ordinary citizen. Halper couldn’t have carried off the NOC because of his family history.

    Over the past 3 years, some obscure company he’s associated with has been paid more than $900,000 by DOD under a “research” grant. In September 2016 — gee what was he doing then??? — the company was paid $200,000. Oh yeah, he was commissioning Papadopolous to write a paper on an Israeli natural gas field, and having his young female Turkish assistant run her hand up Papa’s pant leg while Halper asked him about Russians having Hillary’s emails. PRetty much your standard “honey trap” trade craft.

    What’s that sound like??? Sounds like a CIA agent who, even in retirement, is maintaining a network of sources and cooperators in various places, and they all need to continue to get paid for their efforts. All of that is done off the books of the CIA.

    The next chapter of this pathetic fiasco is going to be the unraveling of the jsutifications and rationalizations about to be peddled to the NYT and WaPo about “why” the Obama DOJ felt the need to do this.

    Keep one thing in mind though.

    They weren’t supposed to ever be in the position of having to justify and rationalize what they did.

    Hillary was going to win.

    Comey was going to still be FBI Dir.

    And Brennan was going to still be CIA Dir.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  210. The daily caller had his nAme at least a week before, so the veils call away one by one.

    narciso (d1f714)

  211. who’s also a legend is whitney houston and she died like a stranded drugged-up manatee in a hotel bathroom just sayin

    did you know they made lucky charms treats

    true story

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  212. Andy McCarthy sums it up in a few tweets: “They said we didn’t spy on campaign. When we pointed to CarterPage, they said he was out of campaign then (tho warrant allowed seizure of past campaign comms). Now, it’s undeniable they spied on campaign, so they say it was for campaign’s own good.” https://twitter.com/AndrewCMcCarthy/status/997668878313508864

    “If ‘existing CI concern’ was valid reason to spy on campaign, why not own it and be proud of it? Why did they pretend they didn’t do it?” https://twitter.com/AndrewCMcCarthy/status/997672200089100288

    And the dagger: “You know that if a Republican admin had done this to a Dem candidate, NYTimes & WPost wouldn’t be rationalizing it, they’d be proposing articles of impeachment.”https://twitter.com/AndrewCMcCarthy/status/997672605271371776

    pete (a65bac)

  213. The Daily Caller has his name in March, because the interviewed people close to Papadolopous who told them all the details about Halper calling Papa out of the blue to have him write a paper on the Israeli “Leviathan” natural gas field, which is the only topic about anything that Papa had ever been published on, so its the only thing Halper could find to “hook” him with.

    Halper’s got no connection to energy issues in the Middle East, so why would he look up Papa about such an obscure topic — except for the fact that its the only thing in the whole internet that he could find on Papa.

    Halper paid for Papa to fly to London, where he used his young Turkish female assistant to assist him, and out of the blue asked Papa what he knew about the Russians having Clinton’s emails — supposedly based on the information Downer had given to the FBI.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  214. i miss Mr. JD he could make all this very simple when he wanted

    and it’s gittin way too fuzzy logic round here

    and in between the moon and you the angels get a better view of the crumbling difference between wrong and right

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  215. Police reports are generally public records. The extent to which they’re open to the public varies from state to state and from locality to locality. Florida is among the worst. Do you remember when the pedophile paparazzi got the pedophile judge to allow the pedophile police to release photos of Justin Bieber’s strip search in the pedophile jail?

    As for mugshots.com, people named Sahar Sarid, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, Thomas Keesee, and David Usdan should be locked up on just the basis of their names and then deported back to their sh!thole countries.

    nk (dbc370)

  216. @220 The next shoe to drop is likely is who was controlling Joseph Mifsud when he met with Papadopolous way back in March, 2016 and brought up Russia and how he could arrange a meeting with the Russians–the CIA or the FBI. At this point, given how unhinged Brennan has been acting, I would put my money on the CIA.

    pete (a65bac)

  217. Assist, nudge nudge say no more’ if he was in contact with at least trump official there would debrief reports no?

    narciso (d1f714)

  218. John Brennan — your lawyer is holding on line 2.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  219. We’re not worried about people meeting with the Trump campaign on behalf of the Russian government. We are worried about people meeting with Trump campaign advisers, who were under suspicion for contacts with Russians, on behalf of counterintelligence officials investigating contacts with Russians.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  220. @198 Pat – In watching journalists (yes, actual journalists!) Carter and Solomon these many months, the direct inference I have taken is that Brennan and Clapper must be investigated for potentially having planted false evidence and for lying under oath to Congress.

    Rosenstein’s utter refusal to recuse is directly counter to DOJ protocols, imo. He is clearly a potential and direct target of investigation as to his signing off on a bogus FISA warrant renewal. His back-dating of the scope of powers to Mueller is a fireable offense, imo. It stinks. What else has he pulled?

    The same way one is a fool if one relies upon CNN, NYT, WaPo, and on and on for reliable data, one would similarly be a fool to ignore/dismiss Levin, diGenova and McCarthy. Each man has well-earned my respect through the years.

    I am genuinely surprised at the depth of the conspiracy taking shape with the drip drip drip of new data. And disgusted.

    I well remember Watergate. I was constantly looking to find a path to support Nixon against the Dem and liberal jackals. John Dean merits a special place in hell for his betrayals and subsequent valor he accepted. But, once the 18 minute gap in the tape became known, I knew it was over. Nixon participated in the conspiracy to cover-up.

    Now, I would actually be pleased if I were wrong about Comey and the boys. Truly. Release the documentation and get all the actors under oath. Sunlight the disinfectant! Until then, in Sara, John, Mark, Joe, and Andy I trust.

    We really do need to dig deep as to the integrity of our electoral processes. And we can’t trust DJT any further than we can fling a Keno card.

    I apologize to you and any reader looking for more specific citations of specific data in my reply. Can we agree to disagree on the breadth and depth of the potential scandal until a mostly unredacted IG report is published?

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  221. 223 — DING DING DING — give the man a prize. We have a winner!!!!!!

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  222. @224 I have to wonder if that’s why Brennan is acting the way he is. He’s not in charge of the CIA anymore, so his ability to influence what eventually gets released/discovered is greatly diminished. (not zero, because he likely has some allies there still)

    pete (a65bac)

  223. 226 — yes we are. Because that’s against the law.

    There was a bit of controversy about this a couple decades ago when the FBI called the program COINTELPRO.

    Its called a “domestic counter-intelligence investigation of US Citizens”, and there are very strict rules on how you go about it.

    Because meeting with Russians — last time I checked Title 18 — isn’t a crime.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  224. 216… but… but Trump lies and then he lies again!

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  225. oh my goodness we’re worried about people meeting with Trump campaign advisers who were under suspicion for contacts with russians on behalf of counterintelligence officials investigating contacts with russians and plus also global warming

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  226. 229 — Brennan will never, in his life, have as much influence as he had as CIA Director. I’m 100% certain he’s as convinced that the Russians are responsible for him not being CIA Director any more as Hillary is convinced that the Russians are responsible for her not being President.

    His “grudge” animates his entire life now.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  227. Brennan is still tied to all the contacts he made certainly in the last 10-12 years, not just in the company but nsc dod nsa.

    narciso (d1f714)

  228. Who met with the Trump campaign on behalf of the Russian Gov’t?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  229. Clearly, the right thing to do upon learning of Trump campaign members with ties to Russian intelligence was: nothing. Because Trump, or something.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  230. What is as funny as fvck is that even with all this deep state, IC, 0bama-directed crap, Trump still won.

    It is mind-boggling and yet it passes the smell test with all but some very smart commenters.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  231. John Brennan’s a sub-Anderson Cooper CNN fake news propaganda slut (even more commie tho) (bonus commie bonus)

    which means when Anderson says please to lickit lickit, Mr. Brennan, Mr. Brennan has but no choice (but to lickit lickit)

    cause Mr. Brennan’s voluntarily reduced himself to a media codswallop

    i’m aghast at how arbitrary it all is

    inexorable if you will

    i luv muh private sector job!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  232. Apparently, those in positions of power who have abused their responsibilities and caused what in any other circumstances would be thought a “constitutional crisis” are to be given a pass and not held to account.

    Is that really what our host’s position is?

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  233. @226 At this point, given the ever changing stories by the FBI about everything from the FISA applications, from how and when the investigation was kicked off, to redactions on grounds of “sources and methods” only to be shown to be bogus and hiding embarrassing information when passages are unredacted, etc, etc—I can no longer take at face value anything the FBI says (or says through leaks) about their conduct and motivation for that conduct in this whole episode.

    So, no, I won’t accept their statement via leaks that all their informants did was meet to collect information, vs an alternate explanation that those meetings were an effort to push information to those they met with and then use that fed information to justify a counterintelligence operation.

    That doesn’t equate to not being concerned about “people meeting with the Trump campaign on behalf of the Russian government.” It means that I no longer will just accept the FBI version of why they did what they did.

    Frankly, as suggested by many (I think you) I think that it is past time for everything to be declassifed about this whole operation, from the FISA applications to the documents about how/when the informants met with those from the Trump campaign. The argument that can’t be done just went out the window tonight when the FBI, in the WaPo story, gave enough details that anybody can figure out who their informants were.

    pete (a65bac)

  234. Beldar — re Hannity and McCarthy. I can’t find anywhere in the transcript where Hannity says anything about Trump and “intent” prior to the segment with McCarthy.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  235. 236 — what were the ties to Russian intelligence?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  236. @198 Pat – In watching journalists (yes, actual journalists!) Carter and Solomon these many months, the direct inference I have taken is that Brennan and Clapper must be investigated for potentially having planted false evidence and for lying under oath to Congress.

    Rosenstein’s utter refusal to recuse is directly counter to DOJ protocols, imo. He is clearly a potential and direct target of investigation as to his signing off on a bogus FISA warrant renewal. His back-dating of the scope of powers to Mueller is a fireable offense, imo. It stinks. What else has he pulled?

    You clearly put a lot more stock in partisan secondhand descriptions of the FISA warrant applications on Carter Page than I do. Can you elaborate on the backdating thing?

    The same way one is a fool if one relies upon CNN, NYT, WaPo, and on and on for reliable data, one would similarly be a fool to ignore/dismiss Levin, diGenova and McCarthy. Each man has well-earned my respect through the years.

    We don’t quite see eye to eye there either. Levin and DiGenova, feh. McCarthy is great at times and sloppy at times.

    I am genuinely surprised at the depth of the conspiracy taking shape with the drip drip drip of new data. And disgusted.

    I well remember Watergate. I was constantly looking to find a path to support Nixon against the Dem and liberal jackals. John Dean merits a special place in hell for his betrayals and subsequent valor he accepted. But, once the 18 minute gap in the tape became known, I knew it was over. Nixon participated in the conspiracy to cover-up.

    Now, I would actually be pleased if I were wrong about Comey and the boys. Truly. Release the documentation and get all the actors under oath. Sunlight the disinfectant! Until then, in Sara, John, Mark, Joe, and Andy I trust.

    We really do need to dig deep as to the integrity of our electoral processes. And we can’t trust DJT any further than we can fling a Keno card.

    I apologize to you and any reader looking for more specific citations of specific data in my reply. Can we agree to disagree on the breadth and depth of the potential scandal until a mostly unredacted IG report is published?

    I guess we’ll see.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  237. pete,

    I think a whole series of things has been taken out of context and blown out of proportion as a preemptive attempt to discredit whatever Mueller finds. I’ve seen this kind of smear campaign before, and have been the target of one. It’s trivially easy to manipulate people’s tendency to believe narratives that are convenient for their partisan preconceptions. You should have seen the hard left Dems who went around preaching that I SWATted myself. Pardon me if I tread carefully when I suspect the same kind of frenzy is being whipped up here.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  238. Klimnik was hired from international Republican institute, akmetshin has worked with state dept in Kazakhstan,

    narciso (d1f714)

  239. lol i guess we’ll see

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  240. nevertrump caught in a bad romance

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  241. @227 The IG report on this will be a long way away. The next report due out will only be on the handling of the Clinton e-mails.https://oig.justice.gov/press/2017/2017-01-12.pdf

    He wasn’t referred the FISA issues until March, 2018. Given how long it has taken for him to issue those reports and how rapidly things are unfolding, his report on that when it come out might be anti-climatic.

    pete (a65bac)

  242. 236 — the way it works is you investigate the Russian intelligence ties — you dont need any evidence to investigate the Russians. Only after you have evidence the US Citizen is an “Agent of a Foreign Power,” and engaged in criminal activity, are you authorized to open an counter-intelligence investigation of a US Citizen on US soil.

    So, when Carter Page was approached in 2013 by Russian intelligence agents known to the FBI, he was contacted by the FBI and told that the Russian businessmen he was engaged with were actually Russian intelligence officers. Carter Page, a US Naval Academy Grad, and former officer in the United States Navy, then cooperated with the FBI, and introduced an undercover FBI agent to the Russian Intelligence officials. That agent was able to plant a listening device in the offices of the Russian Intelligence agents during a meeting. The recordings made from that device led to criminal prosecutions and convictions for espionage.

    See, and what experience FBI Agents who do counter-intelligence work will tell you is that from that episode, Carter Page had a Bureau “Handler”. In his source file there was an agent’s name who was to be contacted any time any issue arose with Page. So when in the summer of 2016 Page again came into contact with dubious Russians — he did business in Russia hence the connections — he would have been first viewed as a source, and his Handler would have made contact to see what was going on.

    But Page says the FBI never contacted him, and never gave him any warnings that he was dealing with Russian intelligence. As he said — in his Congressional testimony I think — Russian intelligence guys don’t go around wearing “Russian Intelligence” badges.

    So why didn’t the FBI contact Page in the same manner they had contacted and made use of him in 2013?

    Because they didn’t want Page as a “source”, they — John Brennan — wanted Page for what he could supply them — a plausible justification to seek a FISA warrant.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  243. I think the narratives have been given official by the exact officials who colluded with Iran (thankfully Paris, remember him so have to find meaningful work) Moloch minions will not get their allowed human sacrifice, and fast and furious a real flesh and home scandal may actually get an examination.

    narciso (d1f714)

  244. Yeah these center-right folks are all just like the hard left, they have no track record that exhibits any interest in facts or reality. They are without a doubt the same brand of weasel.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  245. Trump never fails to make people sorry they ever stuck up for him. Like not all that long ago when he whipped up outrage over Mueller’s proposed interview questions being leaked to the NYT. And then it turned out that he was the one who had leaked them. (No, don’t tell me “his legal team”. He is his legal team.) So, yeah, we’ll see.

    nk (dbc370)

  246. If something is an official folder say a national intelligence estimate, one had expectation thAt it was carefully vetted that there would be no conflicts between the source and the subkect.

    narciso (d1f714)

  247. 244 — Rosenstein’s appointment memo re the SC, dated May 17, 2017, has a brief and pretty general “factual description” of the scope of the SC authority, and the factual matters he’s authorized to investigate.

    On Aug. 4 (?), 2017, Rosenstein authored a much more comprehensive memo, elaborating at length on various subjects and facts that the SC was authorized to investigate, and stating that this authorization would relate back to the day of his appointment.

    Charles Grassley has taken great umbrage at the fact that the SC memo seems to have been a deliberate attempt to misdirect the public The regulation requiring the factual basis requires it to be specific, and the appointment memo was — by Rosenstien’s own admission — kept very generic on purpose. This is sort of the same point Judge Ellis made in court a couple weeks ago when he pointed out the appointment memo on related to Trump-Russia collusion, and Manafort isn’t mentioned anywhere. When the SC tried to explain they kept it general and vague so as to not alert targets, the Judge pointedly made the point “So you lied. You said publicly it was about one thing, but in private it was really about other things.”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  248. we’ve already lost both double O7 and double 08

    ikes

    well then basil this looks like a case for

    double O BEHAVE

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  249. @245 I won’t challenge your experience. But, as a now retired prosecutor, it was always powerful evidence in trial to present to the jury a defendant’s initial statements, and contrast that with his subsequent statements about the same event, those subsequent statements being made either unprompted, as the police confronted them with evidence that challenged that initial statement, or when they testified at trial. Perhaps that background is why I have a jaundiced eye regarding the FBI’s multiple explanations of what their actions.

    pete (a65bac)

  250. @244 Pat The raid of Manafort was not pre-approved. The raid was based on acts well before any possible campaign connection in 2016 or later. It is quite arguable that Mueller went “fishing” without a license.

    The point is that Rosenstein gave approval ex post facto. There was no need for that sequence to have occurred in the first place. There was plenty of advance knowledge to obtain such an approval if a raid was to take place at all. To me, it is all but inarguable that the raid went beyond the scope of the original authorizing memo for the SC and that it is far afield from any genuine investigation of electoral interference in 2016.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2018/05/05/sara_carter_what_authority_did_rosenstein_give_to_mueller_who_oversees_rosenstein_and_mueller.html

    https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/rosenstein-secretly-authorized-mueller-investigate-manafort-after-fbi

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  251. @244 Pat The raid of Manafort was not pre-approved. The raid was based on acts well before any possible campaign connection in 2016 or later. It is quite arguable that Mueller went “fishing” without a license.

    The point is that Rosenstein gave approval ex post facto.

    Do we know this, or is this your conclusion? Didn’t Rosenstein say that Mueller had this authority all along, but that it had not been publicly announced (i.e. put in a memo that would be released publicly) so that they would not be confirming ongoing investigations? Is there a specific reason to doubt that? If that’s what happened, does it sound inappropriate?

    I truly do not care what Mark Levin or Joe DiGenova say about any of this. And I will scrutinize what Andy McCarthy says carefully, because I have busted him here for sloppiness 2-3 times already.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  252. Ed from SFV,

    I looked at your links and the questions I asked stand. I will add that I don’t care what Alan Dershowitz says either. And the ex post facto law has jack squat to do with the scope of Mueller’s authority. What Manafort did was a crime when he did it. That’s the end of the ex post facto analysis.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  253. I mean he didn’t contradict him about the second accusation – that the FBI had a spy in the Trump Campaign.

    I get it, Sammy. But when my headline says Rudy contradicted Trump, and Rudy did contradict Trump, and you say Rudy didn’t contradict Trump, I feel I need to point out that…Rudy contradicted Trump.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  254. The “raid” on Manafort was “approved” when the judge signed the search warrant.

    nk (dbc370)

  255. @245 I won’t challenge your experience. But, as a now retired prosecutor, it was always powerful evidence in trial to present to the jury a defendant’s initial statements, and contrast that with his subsequent statements about the same event, those subsequent statements being made either unprompted, as the police confronted them with evidence that challenged that initial statement, or when they testified at trial. Perhaps that background is why I have a jaundiced eye regarding the FBI’s multiple explanations of what their actions.

    Sometimes the defense attorney thought he had powerful evidence to present to the jury in the form of the police’s initial statements, as contrasted with later statements that the defense attorney jumped up and down and screamed were totally different. And yet, in the end, the jury was able to see that there was no real contradiction, and convicted the defendant, ignoring the blown-out-of-proportion hysterical and ultimately fraudulent attacks on law enforcement.

    Surely you had that experience as a prosecutor.

    So, pick your analogy. It could be that the FBI ends up resembling the hapless defendant as in your scenario. Or it could be that Mark Levin and Joe DiGenova are like the slick defense attorneys, and that the FBI is like the maligned law enforcement agencies in the trials you and I have done.

    We’ll see. But the jury’s still out!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  256. The “raid” on Manafort was “approved” when the judge signed the search warrant.

    Oh that

    Patterico (115b1f)

  257. sphincter status = tight my liege!

    and we’ll all float on alright

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  258. From the transcript (thanks for that, swc):

    Mueller’s original questions are completely ridiculous and insane, obviously a perjury trap. What were you thinking? It doesn’t matter what he was thinking.

    That was delivered with great emphasis and scorn. And later:

    In other words, Mueller already has everything that they have requested and the only point of a presidential interview is to set a perjury trap.

    These are comments I’ve heard Hannity, and many other Trump supporters, make over and over again, ever since someone on Team Trump leaked Jay Sekolow’s [very work-product privileged!] memo of his notes from what he was told by the Mueller team that they were interested in. I’ve read Trump supporters here say it — insisting over and over again that Trump’s thinking, his intentions, are completely irrelevant since Trump had the constitutional power to fire Comey.

    This is one of Team Trump’s big lies. I’ve never heard McCarthy spout this lie, and I think he knows better than to do so. Trump’s intentions are the difference between a lawful act within his constitutional and statutory authority and obstruction of justice.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  259. The SC is a special creature of limited authority — he has only the authority that the AG (or DAG in this instance) gives him in the appointment memo. He does not have plenary prosecutorial authority like a US Attorney.

    Manafort was not listed among the individuals subject to the SC authority in the appointment memo. Manafort was specifically added in the August 4 supplement issued by Rosenstein.

    The problem is that in between those two dates, the SC used GJ subpoenas and sought a search warrant from a federal judge.

    Both those actions may have been extra-judicial if Rosenstein’s Aug. memo isn’t deemed to have “related backwards” to the original appointment.

    There is a link above to a letter from Grassley to Rosenstein dated yesterday asking some very specific and pointed questions on this issue, and demanding to see the unredacted version of the August supplement that was given to the Court yesterday.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  260. @260 – Pat If a conspiracy is to be proven, it will be necessary to show a bad faith state of mind. Approving a bad faith raid after the fact would go a long way to getting there.

    I can’t prove or disprove any Manafort contact with the Russians during the relevant window of the 2016 election which may justify the attempt to squeeze him a la Flynn. Nor can you. I do think the guy is hinky, though. So is Cohen. DJT does have a predilection for bringing in unsavory characters. No question. Ruh roh – did I just give an admission against self-interest (in argument)?

    I read where Judge Ellis was given a copy of the full original authorizing memo of the SC (Mueller) yesterday. If true, we’ll soon know a lot more.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  261. 266 — my reaction to the ‘What were you thinking” questions was 1) POTUS is under no obligation to share his thought processes with an inferior official of the Executive Branch. I agree with Dershowitz on this subject — to the extent the action under review was wholly authorized by law (i.e., firing Comey), the subjective motives of POTUS in doing so are irrelevant. If he has complete discretion to dismiss the FBI Dir., in my view whether he had “corrupt” motives or not is irrelevant.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  262. And I think the questions were leaked by John Dowd, not Sekulow. I think Dowd was against an interview, and he leaked them to get Trumps supporters to cry out “DON”T DO IT”.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  263. and we’ll all float on alright

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  264. That seems probable, also an ally of come say this dhillon fellow in the white house counsel office.

    narciso (d1f714)

  265. Clearly, the right thing to do upon learning of Trump campaign members with ties to Russian intelligence was: nothing. Because Trump, or something.

    Clearly, the right thing to do is investigate until you find something… anything. Because Trump, or something.

    It was investigated. Nothing was found regarding Trump, otherwise it would’ve been leaked by now. The end.

    Except, it’s not the end. Because Trump, or something.

    I’m guessing not many people would care about an investigation starting, if it was not still going on two years later, and only because they haven’t found anything yet. What may have started as a duty to investigate was morphed into taking sides. This is not “the right thing to do.”

    random viking (6a54c2)

  266. swc, in your long answer about Nixon (#207) — who was an unindicted co-conspirator and the respondent with respect to the grand jury subpoena of the tapes, which were in his control and over which he had dominion, by the way, but let’s set that aside for now — I still don’t see an answer to the question I asked. Let me repeat it for clarity. Given that the SCOTUS precedent recognizes a qualified executive privilege and also requires a minimization of disruption of the POTUS’ performance of his executive duties:

    Isn’t Mueller’s willingness to negotiate logistics and time limits and subject matters just as consistent with him having gotten permission to use a grand jury subpoena if push comes to shove, as it is with him having been refused permission?

    What am I missing here?

    If Mueller already has permission from Rosenstein, with an okay from the OLC, to use a grand jury subpoena if necessary (i.e., in case his negotiations fail), isn’t he still obligated to try to negotiate? If so — and I think that’s actually indisputable, but maybe I’m missing something — then the fact that he’s engaged in negotiating tells us nothing either way about whether he’s sought, or received, permission yet.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  267. Where did I read that Trump likes leaks and will only make noises about stopping them? Because what he loves more than anything is being talked about, whether it’s good or bad.

    nk (dbc370)

  268. Impeachment would be the proper remedy for a President who fires a subordinate officer with corrupt intent, see Andrew Johnson.

    crazy (5c5b07)

  269. gayest hill-splooge evar:

    FBI informant met with three Trump campaign advisers: report

    The informant, a professor who is said to be a longtime U.S. intelligence source, met Clovis for coffee in northern Virginia in the summer of 2016, during which he offered to provide foreign policy advice to the campaign, the Post reported.

    and on a wednesday

    in a café

    i watched it begin again

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  270. I have complete discretion under Texas and federal law to fire any of my employees, too. They’re at will employees. They have no expectation of a minimum term of employment. They have no expectation that they may only be fired for good cause. They likewise can quit, at will, with or without a good reason, or even for a stupid or bad reason, just as I can fire them, at will, with or without a good reason, or even for a stupid or bad reason.

    But if I fire them in retaliation for filing a worker’s compensation claim, have I broken the law? Yep. If I fire them because I’m discriminating against them on the basis of race or religion or some other protection granted them under state or federal civil rights laws, can I urge my “complete discretion” to fire them as a defense? Nope.

    Nixon had complete discretion as POTUS to fire Archibald Cox, and yet it ended up as part of his articles of impeachment, under the obstruction of justice counts. That happened. I remember it. Dershowitz seems to pretend he doesn’t, but I don’t believe him, and I don’t agree with anyone who says this, and when I ask them to cite precedents, they can’t.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  271. The “or it would have leaked by now” argument — whether by random viking or any other idiot — is genuinely funny. The very same people who are so insistent that the FBI and DoJ are hell-bent to destroy Trump through leaks will turn around and argue that an absence of leaks means the FBI and DoJ “has nothing.”

    I don’t know how you manage to pee in the morning without drowning yourself, random viking.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  272. I didn’t say Sekulow was the leaker, btw; I don’t know if it was Dowd or someone else on Team Trump. But according to multiple news organizations who received the leaked notes, they were attributed to Sekulow, meaning that they necessarily reflect his mental processes and therefore could have been subject to a claim of work product privilege. Right? So until someone explains how Mueller or anyone else got hold of Sekulow’s work product — something which he’d surely only share among a very select number of people already on the POTUS’ legal team (otherwise he’d waive that privilege — I’m going to presume that someone on Team Trump leaked them.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  273. Hmmm…. this is the Beldar who likes to hurl playground level insults, in lieu of an argument, who will then morph into the outraged and “disgusted” Beldar if I deign follow his example and respond in kind.

    Please, please add me back to your blocking script.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  274. When did they reveal the contents of those memos again, that were the basis of the appt of the special counsel and how at odds was that with richman wittes and comeys public statements?

    narciso (d1f714)

  275. the way you pee in the morning is as follows

    go pee in the toilet (bathroom toilet)

    don’t drown

    then make some lovely covfefe

    get on with your day

    and it is so good

    have lunch somewhere with fabulous egg salad

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  276. The Branches are equal. No one branch can compel the other two to do anything under threat of sanction.

    Congress routinely (or at least, whenever they feel it is necessary) issues subpoenas to officials of the executive branch, and enforces them with contempt citations in extremis, not do they not?

    It is true that enforcement of a contempt citation requires cooperation of both other branches.

    There is an interesting review of the subject by the Congressional Research Service here.

    Dave (445e97)

  277. Well new organization lie with full confidence about the substance of memos, they misrepresent the context of communications with certain Russian officials. they further accept representations of fincen info,

    narciso (d1f714)

  278. 274 — Beldar. Very limited on time, about to head out to a dance recital.

    Accept for the moment that the OLC says Nixon, Clinton, and Nixon are all binding. And all could suggest that negotiations over subject matter and scope are necessary before the Court would consider enforcing a subpeona. But Nixon was a trial subpoena, not a GJ subpoena, and didn’t involve a personal appearance or testimony. Clinton involved a civil case where Clinton was a party, and involved events prior to him becoming POTUS. So to the extent both settled questions on whether POTUS is subject to court process, they involve markedly different factual scenarios from the one here, where the SC would seek testimony from POTUS in the investigatory phase of a case.

    But I think OLC’s opinion goes beyond a simple analysis of Nixon and Clinton. OLC, as it did previously, would take into consideration the constitutional implications of issuing a GJ subpoena, and the possible outcomes of litigation of that subpoena, as well as the constitutional crisis that might unfold if POTUS simply disregarded both the subpoena and the outcome of any such litigation. OLC doesn’t only provide discrete legal advice, it also makes policy recommendations. And I think OLC would answer the question on the basis of Separation of Powers– while Nixon and Clinton offer support for the proposition that POTUS is subject to process, there is no meaningful way to compel POTUS to comply with a subpoena, and it could prompt a rupture in the relations between the branches. So, is the “upside” worth the “downside” risk.

    More later.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  279. 284 — They don’t subpoena POTUS or the WH staff. They issue subpoenas based on the fact that the government departments and agencies are creatures of statutes passed by Congress, and they have oversight responsibilities.

    The same is not true of POTUS or the WH Staff.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  280. you do fosse fosse fosse (he grewed up in that high school cross street from here (downton abbey high))

    OR

    you do martha graham martha graham martha graham

    or madonna madonna madonna

    but you keep it all inside

    but you can dance

    for inspiration

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  281. # 281 seems to be “in lieu of an argument,” indeed, but it’s not me without one. You’re a continuing stream of data points, random viking, in my ongoing observations of Trump’s corrosive effects on the intelligence of his followers. You rarely disappoint.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  282. (You may be among the least “random” people I’ve ever encountered on the internet, by the way.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  283. I think its rather clear that this special counsel was convened in spurious grounds that Sally Yates misrepresented communications to make sessions decide, that rosenstein ran with the ball. Which is what he wanted to do in the first place.

    narciso (d1f714)

  284. btw

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  285. Still not on your blocking script, Beldar?

    I guess this means I’m still on for your tupperware party?

    random viking (6a54c2)

  286. i like how the lids mix and match

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  287. Recuse, and sally Yates was one of the parties to the page warrant and supervised Bruce ohr whose wife ended up putting together the dossier.

    narciso (d1f714)

  288. There is no evidence that the FBI dispatched the informant to infiltrate the Trump campaign, the Times reported Friday.

    the FBI is gayer than a lubed-up poophole with a putin-style stiffy bearing down on it (imminent penetration)

    but you know what

    MS-13 is people

    people who need people

    and they’re so

    lucky

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  289. McCarthy, a week ago:

    “By now, Nunes has learned that if he is catching flak, he is over the target.“

    I feel you, Devin. Beldar’s sure giving me a lot of flak.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  290. a week ago the sleazy texas cripple-gov supported the second amendment

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  291. “If true, it is 1,000 times bigger than Watergate. But until now, wild horses couldn’t have pulled the facts that have been steadily emerging about the real scandals of the 2016 election out of the AP. Why does the AP grudgingly cover them now? Because they were tweeted by President Trump. Democratic Party outlets like the Associated Press know that millions of people understand quite a bit about the brewing Obama FBI/CIA/Fusion GPS/Clinton campaign/FISA scandal–not just the eggheads who read National Review, but the great many who follow the president on Twitter, or see accounts of his tweets elsewhere. More than anyone else, it is President Trump who has stood up to the swamp in the person of Bob Mueller, and is forcing the Democratic Party press to begin covering the real story of the 2016 election.”

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/05/why-trump-tweets.php

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  292. What am I missing here?

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/18/2018 @ 7:10 pm

    You’re missing an entry in your blocking script: random viking

    random viking (6a54c2)

  293. New York Times:
    F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims

    lol

    if dykey cougar Ann Mueller’s slicked-up-and-ready hubby had evidence of “Russia ties to campaign”

    we’d all be poopin’ pickles and dancin’ with deney terrio

    cause that’s solid gold right there

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  294. NYT story is hilarious. Doesn’t even tell us that it is based on leaks (of what would be a counterintelligence operation). Did the NYT just theorize? I doubt it. But they don’t want to admit that same people who went after Trump and try to wrap their past misdeeds in “sources and methods” are actively leaking to press. Like Clapper sharing info on a confidential briefing with the President Elect!

    Even the NYT commenters (usually pretty darned “house crowd”) were making fun of the article. Got so bad that NYT had to stop comments and delete the comment section.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  295. does dykey cougar Ann Mueller’s slicked-up-and-ready hubby leaks strategically?

    it depends

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  296. oopers *leak* strategically i mean

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  297. I wonder if it’s gonna take a 2 million man march, 1 million in Washington DC, and another million in New York City, before this sinister pack of unAmerican would-be usurpers wakes up, comes clean, and names names before their only real option is to make a run for some no-extradition 3rd world hellhole.

    Maybe Trump should order his new SecState to confiscate their passports and put them on the no-fly list. Just sayin’

    Jeff Sessions should fire Rosencriminal, and read Hillary her rights. That would light a fire so bright even the Founding Fathers could rest assured we’ve kept the Republic safe, at least for now.

    ropelight (026cbf)

  298. Well, if Beldar won’t do it, I will. I’ll have to make a second one for happyfeet because I block his comments only after I have read them. Adios, stray Norseman!

    nk (dbc370)

  299. And just “random” or “viking” works.

    nk (dbc370)

  300. i like america so there you go

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  301. i like how we don’t have to spend our whole weekend prostrating ourselves to trash like meghan markle and her bastard prince (so obviously not Prince Charles’ son hello he’s like that thing Arnold did with the maid)

    instead we can do other stuff like watch han solo do wookies all up in it

    that’s so fun

    wookies lol

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  302. What’s there to like? She’s all tranny and bull-dykey not to mention tatted up and ladyboyed?

    nk (dbc370)

  303. i just want everyone to be happy

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  304. people like to give me a hard time but i say

    don’t do that it’s uncomfortable for me

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  305. Was Halper a CIA contractor? If so and if sent in to have meetings with people on the Trump campaign and gather information from their replies (and bring it back to CIA/FBI) that sure sounds like “spying on them” to me. I’m sure the masters of semantics will dissect it. But it doesn’t pass the “professor of ethics” bar for me.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  306. “So, pick your analogy. It could be that the FBI ends up resembling the hapless defendant as in your scenario. Or it could be that Mark Levin and Joe DiGenova are like the slick defense attorneys, and that the FBI is like the maligned law enforcement agencies in the trials you and I have done.”

    It could be that this is a crappy hagiographic analogy not normally used by grown-ups who have an actual analysis and vision of who, exactly, in law enforcement is most likely to have malign intentions.

    “I think your nakedly political appointees are playing politics with the police agencies they’re overseeing!”

    “HOW DARE YOU *ATTACK ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES*, INDEED THE VERY FOUNDATION OF THE RULE OF LAW, GOOD SIR!”

    It’s a fake and gay way of communicating and should be trashed whenever you claim to be the most reasonable man in the room. Chris Cuomo approved, but Chris Cuomo is not someone whose approval anyone should seek, it’s like watching starlets anxious about what Harvey Weinstein thinks of them.

    Tellurian (b07080)

  307. “I get it, Sammy. But when my headline says Rudy contradicted Trump, and Rudy did contradict Trump, and you say Rudy didn’t contradict Trump, I feel I need to point out that…Rudy contradicted Trump.”

    For Trump supporters, ‘winning’ is having someone in office who fights for the issues we care about.

    For Trump detractors, ‘winning’ is a VERY OFFICIAL LEGAL LAWYER-PERSYN lightly ‘confirming’ that the big bad bully used the wrong industry jargon to describe a shadowy and hostile legal and intelligence operation against them by individuals who have a very fast and loose relationship with fair investigatory practice. IT’S NOT WIRETAPPING IF METAL NEVER TOUCHES WIRES, BIGOT! TRUMP IS A LIAR!!!

    Not sure which is more morally righteous, but I know which one sounds mentally healthier!

    Tellurian (b07080)

  308. Leaker of Cohen financial data committed a crime and is likely to be found:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-17/who-leaked-secret-bank-report-on-cohen-answer-may-come-soon

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  309. Speculative article on likely CIA involvement in starting Trump investigation:

    https://spectator.org/crossfire-hurricane-category-5-political-espionage/

    Do I need to watch Sicario again for some of that CIA going after people with FBI figleaf? It wasn’t that good of a movie.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  310. One more pending follow-up question for swc: Suppose Trump were not the POTUS, but instead, let’s say, a metropolitan chief of police who instructed one of his own subordinate department heads to “take it easy” on a mafia boss with political ties to, and even a past employer-employee relationship with, the police chief. Suppose the chief of police suspected the department head’s investigation of the mafia boss had broadened to include himself, and rumors to that effect had begun to appear in the press. Assume that the chief of police fires the department head — an act concededly within the chief’s full discretionary authority in this hypothetical jurisdiction — yet within 48 hours, the chief of police has given multiple public explanations for the firing that are all mutually inconsistent with one another, and indeed, in which he overtly disavows the original explanation. Assume he then systematically bad-mouths all of the remaining members of the police department and engages in a deliberate public campaign to delegitimize all his critics, a campaign that includes such dishonest steps as leaking information himself, from the mayor’s office, while accusing the police of leaking. Finally, assume that the remaining stalwart investigators, undeterred by all this, have found that the chief of police has one or more deep dark secrets that he’s concealed throughout his career, the revelation of which would jeopardize not only his standing in the community but also his job and pension.

    The police chief is no flight risk. Indeed, now that the fact of an on-going investigation is public, he’s under substantial pressure from the city council and mayor to cooperate with the investigation in every possible way. Certainly if he were to plead the Fifth, the requisite supermajority of the council would remove him from office.

    You’re the prosecutor considering obstruction of justice charges. You have the opportunity to subpoena the police chief to testify before a grand jury, to ask, among other questions, about the police chief’s under oath explanation for why he fired the department head and for why he thereafter gave inconsistent explanations for it.

    Is it legitimate for you to use the subpoena and, when the police chief appears before the grand jury, to ask him about what he was thinking when he fired the department head?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  311. Sorry, that ought have read, “leaking information himself, from the police chief’s office.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  312. Ah Beldar isn’t that comey did in collusion with lynch and brennan in keeping with obamas wishes, coordinate with the patamilitary satrapy that Iran has become in the last 40 years.

    narciso (d1f714)

  313. 315… Sammy for the win!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  314. 298, I’d be happy if Texans (and Floridians) learned to split votes on the same ballots, but its hard when their no good use for the LIHEAP program on account of being warm most of the time (my theory of why those places will never blue).

    urbanleftbehind (0cfff9)

  315. Trump would have us know “people say” this and “people say” that. Oh, and “we were told” something or “reports are”…blah blah blah.

    This is what passes for fact with the President and his TV lawyer. Who would believe that kind of “evidence”? They are just making this stuff up. They change their statements and contradict themselves day after day. But most Republicans are still eager to believe their fiction.

    noel (b4d580)

  316. You scolding twatwaffle, you.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  317. Here, Colonel Haiku. Tell me… did you believe this Trump tale too?

    “There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.”

    “I have people that have been studying [Obama’s birth certificate] and they cannot believe what they’re finding …

    “Now, somebody told me….”

    “I think that tape’s going to be produced fairly soon.”

    (Oh, so much “evidence”. All quotes about Obama birth certificate.)

    noel (b4d580)

  318. Trump’s a known quantity. He is what he is, for better or worse.

    My focus is on how many of the things he was castigated for alleging are now being shown to have been true. My interest is in seeing the deep state mechanism and the people – e.g., the IC, the 0bama administration, leadership in the FBI, the DOJ – who have abused their power , exposed for what they’ve done and for what they are. And no amount of semantics, parsing, deflection, distraction, preening, pontification, puffery or mealy-mouthed legalese will overcome it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  319. “It has now been confirmed that the Trump campaign was subjected to spying tactics under counterintelligence law — FISA surveillance, national-security letters, and covert intelligence operatives who work with the CIA and allied intelligence services. It made no difference, apparently, that there was an ongoing election campaign, which the FBI is supposed to avoid affecting; nor did it matter that the spy targets were American citizens, as to whom there is supposed to be evidence of purposeful, clandestine, criminal activity on behalf of a foreign power before counterintelligence powers are invoked.

    But what was the rationale for using these spying authorities?

    The fons et origo of the counterintelligence investigation was the suspicion — which our intelligence agencies assure us is a fact — that the Democratic National Committee’s server was hacked by covert Russian operatives. Without this cyber-espionage attack, there would be no investigation. But how do we know it really happened? The Obama Justice Department never took custody of the server — no subpoena, no search warrant. The server was thus never subjected to analysis by the FBI’s renowned forensics lab, and its evidentiary integrity was never preserved for courtroom presentation to a jury.

    How come? Well, you see, there was an ongoing election campaign, so the Obama Justice Department figured it would be a terrible imposition to pry into the Democrats’ communications. So, yes, the entire “Russia hacked the election” narrative the nation has endured for nearly two years hinges on the say-so of CrowdStrike, a private DNC contractor with significant financial ties to the Clinton campaign.

    In Investigations 101, using foreign-intelligence authorities to spy on Americans is extraordinary, while taking custody of essential physical evidence is basic. By the way, the government’s failure to ensure the evidentiary integrity of the DNC server by taking possession of it and performing its own rigorous testing on it makes it practically impossible to prosecute anyone for “colluding” in Russia’s cyber-espionage. It’s tough to prove that anyone conspired in something unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the something actually happened the way you say it happened. To do that in a courtroom, you need evidence — a confident probability analysis by your intelligence agencies won’t do.”

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/clinton-email-trump-russia-probes-justice-department-double-standards/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  320. Colonel Haiku. You want to see corruption “exposed”? You are kidding, right?

    noel (b4d580)

  321. 326. Like what? The birth certificate? How Mexico was going to be made to pay for that big beautiful wall? Look, I get that Trump has done some good things. But the cornerstones of his campaign, the things that made his supporters the most excited, are amounting to nothing but a laundry list of unfulfilled (broken?) promises. Unless Hillary got thrown in prison and I wasn’t aware of it.

    Gryph (08c844)

  322. The corruption is right under your nose. The scam goes on and on. Perhaps you have chosen to believe this…

    “If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” said Dr. Harold N. Bornstein, a gastroenterologist from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

    Or, even better, maybe some John Barron quotes? Would you like me to gather a few of those for you?

    “There’s a sucker born every minute”. PT Barnum

    noel (b4d580)

  323. Look, I get that Trump has done some good things.

    I am interested in the notion of having a quality insult free dialog.

    I politely ask you, Gryph, to list the top 10 good things that Trump has done in order of their importance.

    If you don’t have 10, I promise I won’t mock you. This is an honest question. Thank you.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  324. Should I correct the “their” that should have been “there” or has our new found level of discourse, that I wholeheartedly support, got us past teasing and demeaning others over typos?

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  325. Oops. It was correct in the 1st place. I am firing my proofreader.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  326. Maybe you can list the 10 things you like, BuDuh, and start the conversation that way.

    DRJ (15874d)

  327. #330, noel, you remind me of Baghdad Bob.

    Harfing: To say or assert something so patiently stupid and preposterous as to generate widespread mockery. (Named for former State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.)

    ropelight (140cff)

  328. That would be great, DRJ, but I think it is important that Gryph goes first. I will be more than happy to point to the items on Gryph’s lost that I agree with.

    I hope you don’t reduce this olive branch to some sort of taunt, not that I think that is what you are doing.

    I hope you understand.
    Respectfully.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  329. Gryph’s list

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  330. “I like his hair.”

    ropelight (140cff)

  331. Because they didn’t want to know coronello just like with fast and furious or lerners server, and when Lachlan Murdoch gets through they won’t know it can be two minute hat 24/7

    narciso (b3d356)

  332. Oh Ropelight…. you mean “somebody told you” that I remind you of Baghdad Bob. Or maybe “some say” or “reports are” that I am a “Baghdad Bob”.

    noel (b4d580)

  333. You’re funny Ropelight… but I think I may have to remind you that Baghdad Bob was the one denying the facts that were right there in plain sight for everyone to see. Kind of like the Obama birth certificate fallacy. He was PRESIDENT of the United States, for God’s sake.

    That’s your guy.

    noel (b4d580)

  334. Which was why Obama let his bio fleet the legacy of a luo Prince, for 17 years because barry Dunham wasn’t getting him anywhere.

    narciso (b3d356)

  335. #340, noel, no, I mean exactly that your level of harfing brings to mind the bizarre delusional pronouncements voiced on TV by Baghdad Bob as conclusive evidence to the contrary was clearly visible over his left shoulder.

    ropelight (140cff)

  336. I guess I don’t understand why someone else has to provide a list to you. If you want a discussion about positive things Trump has done, it seems to me it’s up to you to start that discussion. Of course, maybe Gryph wants to provide the list you requested to start a discussion, as a courtesy to you.

    DRJ (15874d)

  337. Some staff were already under observation when they joined the Trump team. The Trump folks were publicly denying even meeting with the Russians which the FBI knew was untrue. Trump’s campaign was seeking Russian dirt and stolen emails.

    Why on Earth would the FBI find some on the Trump team worth watching? Outrageous, right?

    noel (b4d580)

  338. Here is a list that, perhaps, could start off the discussion:

    • Appointed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and more than 75 other constitutionally sound federal judges, 30 of which are serving.

    • Reinstated an expanded Mexico City Policy blocking foreign aid from being used for abortions.


    • Cracked down on illegal immigration and “sanctuary cities.” As Attorney General Jeff Sessions put it: “The lawlessness, the abdication of the duty to enforce our laws, and the catch and release policies of the past are over.”

    • Issued an order killing two federal regulations for every new one. In actuality, 16 were cut for every new one in his first year, saving billions.
    • Engineered a historic tax cut that will save money for more than 80 percent of American households.

    • Withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of U.S. governance by international bureaucrats.

    • Reversed onerous Obama environmental rules that gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ham-handed authority to destroy the coal industry and abrogate landowners’ rights.

    • Presided over an economic and stock market boom, lowered unemployment and brought manufacturing jobs back to America from overseas.

    • Rebuilt the nation’s military, destroyed ISIS and faced down North Korea’s “Rocket Man.”

    • Issued an order enforcing First Amendment protections for religious liberty.

    • Restored the freedom of military chaplains to espouse biblical morality, and essentially reversing Mr. Obama’s transgender military policy.

    DRJ (15874d)

  339. Agreed, noel 345.

    DRJ (15874d)

  340. Yep, definitely Baghdad Bob.

    ropelight (140cff)

  341. I was quoting Gryph, DRJ.

    Why do you feel it necessary to create tension where none exists?

    If A person says “I hate Denny’s but I do admit that they have couple items on the menu that I enjoy,” and someone else asks “what are those items that you enjoy,” it seems to me that a reasonable dialog has begun.

    Either you missed what Gryph stated or you have some other purpose imposing your rulebook on proper dialog.

    Maybe you can go back to ignoring me for just long enough that Gryph and I may have a breakthrough.

    Poking from the sidelines is counterproductive. Let’s try to get along.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  342. Well, Gryph, DRJ felt it necessary to give you a boost. I had faith in you that you would speak for yourself and I don’t impose “crickets” time lines for responses so I will wait patiently if you do choose to answer my non-threatening question that set DRJ into motion.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  343. 336.

    I hope you don’t reduce this olive branch to some sort of taunt, not that I think that is what you are doing.

    Puh-leez! That’s exactly what your demand for a list is. Incidentally I think DRJ’s list is perfectly fair and accurate in pointing out good things Trump has done. I think it’s fair to say that it may not even be a *complete* list of good things that Trump has done. But come on! I really have to defend my distaste for a Manhattanite real estate developer-cum-politician by talking about what a swell policy agenda he’s enacted?

    Gryph (08c844)

  344. noel: Trump’s campaign was seeking Russian dirt and stolen emails.

    Hillary’s campaign found Russian dirt (Steele dossier) and destroyed emails. The FBI and DOJ investigated, no sorry, leveraged the former against the Trump campaign, and broomed the latter. I know noel is outraged about that.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  345. Odd how someone who imported Russian dezinforma into official govt statements isn’t prosecuted, wait they paid for the info my mistake.

    narciso (b3d356)

  346. 351. Or perahaps more to the point, what a swell policy agenda his advisors enacted in his name?

    Gryph (08c844)

  347. “Look, I get that Trump has done some good things…”

    —- gryph

    All gryph was asked was to list “some good things”, and buhduh was polite about it. Why the intrusion?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  348. #351, I’m glad you caught yourself, Gryph, for a minute there you had me scratching my head.

    ropelight (140cff)

  349. I didn’t demand anything, Gryph, and it impossible to read my question to you any other way. I tried to be as polite as possible. I had a feeling DRJ’s stirring of the pot would result in an unfortunate outcome.

    At least she got what she wanted. Unfortunately, I have learned that pursuing this topic, now that it has been erroneously portrayed as being a bad faith engagement, will not get us to the place Patterico hopes we can thrive.

    Everyone will have their own opinion of how this conversation derailed before it had a chance. I have mine, and I conclude that it is better for me to disengage on this topic.

    Too bad.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  350. Ten things I like about Trump:
    1. He appointed Gorsuch and I like him for it because Gorsuch seems to be a worthy successor to Scalia.
    2. He appointed Gorsuch and I like him for it because it did not leave the Republican Senate which held up Merrick Garland’s appointment dangling. Yes, he gets two credits for Gorsuch.
    3-7. He got his orange ass out of the White House and put an ocean and a continent between himself and America five times so far, and that’s the biggest favor he can do for America next to not coming back at all.
    7-10. He periodically gets his orange ass out of the White House and down to Mar-a-Lago and that’s a thousand miles away from the White House and I like that too.

    nk (dbc370)

  351. 357. You do that. And enjoy your vacation in Blockville.

    Gryph (08c844)

  352. 358. LOL Good one, nk. :)

    Gryph (08c844)

  353. 359

    ?

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  354. BuDuh, I appreciate your efforts, and the patience you are displaying. Hang in there.

    felipe (023cc9)

  355. felipe!!!

    It’s always great to see you.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  356. “I bet you can’t make the Democrats defend MS-13 and Hamas in the same week.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  357. Thank you, gentlemen. I still find this site, and the comments, worthy of reading. God bless you all.

    felipe (023cc9)

  358. Uh-oh… the Cone of 8th Grade Mean Gurlz Script™

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  359. Thanks for that link, col. It’s World Whiskey Day! Who knew? I haven’t had any Whiskey in a month. Time to hit Spec’s Warning: my comments tonight may exhibit some “spirit.”

    felipe (023cc9)

  360. You say spy, they say investigate, let’s call the whole thing off, until John Brennan finds himself behind bars with a nonhalal baloney sandwich and a stainless steel toilet.

    The semantics do not help them, only makes it worse. Obama (and he will skate) spied on the presidential campaign of the opposing party.

    The rest is damning details. The IG report is going to be very bad for the Ds. You do not get to do something so egregious simply because Donald Trump is often a vainglorious buffoon.

    Brennan is going to jail because he’s self-righteous nutball who has inexplicably come to think he has some right to do these things in the first place. Expect Clapper to develop some ailment or other that he hopes precludes government housing with baloney sandwiches. Rice, Abedin and many others are about to become very familiar with the right to decline to answer questions that might incriminate themselves. Comey’s book is well on it’s way to the 99 cents bin.

    When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay…

    Bugg (8aed21)

  361. Lol… just lock the drawer with the Pappy VanWinkle!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  362. “Suppose Trump were not the POTUS, but instead, let’s say, a metropolitan chief of police who instructed one of his own subordinate department heads to “take it easy” on a mafia boss”

    Trump is nowhere near the SDNY, and Flynn is nowhere near a mob boss. Both members of the Executive branch whose ‘crime’ appears to be mainly not communicating to the higher-ranking Investigative Branch in ways that satisfied their anxious and exacting souls. Some people even criticize the Investigative Branch when they exercise their due privilege to treat criminal investigations as counterintelligence investigations, or download entire classified files about people that leak mysteriously to national media at the least politically opportune times, or make the legal cost of working for Trump so expensive his agenda is hamstrung.

    Tellurian (b07080)

  363. BuDuh,

    I wasn’t trying to “stir the pot,” as you characterize my comments. I was expressing my opinion. I didn’t realize you wanted to have a private/focused conversation solely with Gryph.

    However, because of our history here, I was concerned that might be your reaction. That is why I went to the trouble of searching for and linking a list of Trump’s accomplishments of which even Trump might approve. I wanted to show my good faith.

    If your goal is good faith discussion, why does it matter who contributes?

    DRJ (15874d)

  364. Give not that which is holy to the dogs nor cast ye pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot and turn and rend you, DRJ.

    nk (dbc370)

  365. @ Tellurian (#371): I honestly for the life of me can’t figure out what your point was, if you had one. “Trump is nowhere near the SDNY,” you say. I don’t know what you mean by that, either generally or in the context of my question that you were quoting, which had nothing to do with any particular federal judicial district. Trump maintains a residence within the SDNY at Trump Tower, so he literally lived in the SDNY as his primary residence for many years until he was POTUS, so your assertion makes no sense outside the context of my hypothetical either.

    The point of the hypothetical is to test Sean Hannity’s assertion to millions of loyal Trump followers that what was in Trump’s head at any point in time is legally irrelevant to anything Mueller could possibly be investigating, given that among those matters, assuredly, is potential obstruction of justice connected to the POTUS’ comments about Flynn or the POTUS’ firing of James Comey.

    Your objection seems to be: Beldar’s hypothetical is hypothetical. Well yes, that’s rather the point.

    The hypothetical was crafted in order to pose a question to swc; I presume that, like virtually all lawyers, he’s familiar with that drill, which he’s surely engaged in since law school and has used himself from time to time here. If he’s got an argument that the police chief’s subjective thoughts and intentions in the hypothetical are legally irrelevant, I’d like to hear that. If by contrast he agrees with me that the prosecutor would indeed have good reasons to try to develop direct evidence, from the only possible source thereof, of the police chief’s subjective thoughts and intent because they’re legally critical to the factual question of whether the police chief was obstructing justice with a corrupt heart, then we’ve reduced the number of possible disputes between us over whether Sean Hannity was or wasn’t misleading the American public in insisting that Trump’s subjective thoughts and intent is irrelevant to anything Mueller could be investigating.

    Especially if you’ve been a prosecutor, you’re welcome to tackle the hypothetical question yourself. Even if you’ve not been a prosecutor, and you’re not even a lawyer, you’re likewise welcome. But what you don’t get to do is say, “That hypothetical is hypothetical!” You score zero points with that answer.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  366. Beldar – I am not swc. But, as I understand it, POTUS IS, basically, Article II. He decides, of himself, what crime to pursue, or not, whom to fire, or not, what is classified, or not, and any number of other plenary powers. I just don’t see how his thought process can ever be subject to any criminal investigation. The only remedy, as I understand it, is that Congress can remove him.

    How can it be the case that any member of congress can go to the floor and say literally anything and enjoy complete and total criminal immunity, but a president can’t enjoy absolute freedom of thought?

    If I am arguing a point that you are not, apologies.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  367. If the one-year anniversary of the Mueller investigation is noteworthy because it still hasn’t either cleared or implicated Trump in any specific crime, shouldn’t Trump likewise be concerned about how long that damn audit (or those damn audits) of his taxes are taking? Because we all know he desperately wants to share his tax returns with the American people, right? And that must have been going on for far, far, far more than one year now. Why hasn’t Trump fired the Commissioner of Internal Revenue yet!??!??1!?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  368. Corrupt motives have been the gravamen in two recent high profile bribery trials — the former Virginia governor and more recently Sen. Menendez. Just because it’s hard to prove does not mean that it’s irrelevant.

    But there was more than one non-corrupt reason to fire Comey. The man had lost it. His integrity, his professionalism, his moral authority to lead the FBI, the confidence of his agents in his leadership.

    nk (dbc370)

  369. If the one-year anniversary of the Mueller investigation is noteworthy because it still hasn’t either cleared or implicated Trump in any specific crime, shouldn’t Trump likewise be concerned about how long that damn audit (or those damn audits) of his taxes are taking? Because we all know he desperately wants to share his tax returns with the American people, right? And that must have been going on for far, far, far more than one year now. Why hasn’t Trump fired the Commissioner of Internal Revenue yet!??!??1!?

    LOL

    Raise your hand if you actually believed that stuff.

    Now raise your hand if you pretended to.

    A few more hands for the second one. Good: I like the honesty.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  370. ROFL, Beldar.

    nk (dbc370)

  371. But there was more than one non-corrupt reason to fire Comey. The man had lost it. His integrity, his professionalism, his moral authority to lead the FBI, the confidence of his agents in his leadership.

    I don’t believe he had lost the confidence of his agents. From my discussions with agents, my belief is that there has been a split since his book came out, with a good chunk seeing him as being self-aggrandizing — but when he was fired, the rank and file was totally behind him, with very, very few exceptions. Trump’s claim that the rank and file had turned on him, based on a couple of isolated fruitcakes who ran their mouths to the press, appears to be completely false, say the people I have talked to.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  372. Ed,

    Members of Congress only have immunity from defamation claims, and only when they speak in Congress. They do not have immunity from any other claim, including obstruction of justice and other charges that have intent as an element of the crime.

    We don’t know whether a sitting President has immunity from all claims but we do know they are subject to civil matters while in office (see, e.g., Clinton vs Jones) and possibly criminal matters (by indictment by a grand jury instead of a special counsel).

    DRJ (15874d)

  373. @ Ed from SFV (#375): I absolutely disagree that being the head of the executive branch puts Trump above and beyond criminal law.

    Let’s say that to our surprise, Trump pulls out a pistol tomorrow and shoots Jim Comey on Second Avenue in NYC. Local police are trying to decide whether to charge him under New York’s various homicide statutes, and if so, with what. Do you think he’s immune from intentional murder charges because he’s POTUS and he therefore must enjoy complete freedom of thought?

    I agree that before a sitting POTUS can be charged with a federal crime, he must first be impeached. Thereafter his criminal proceedings will be like anyone else’s. But even before impeachment, his conduct must be subject to the same standards of lawfulness or unlawfulness as any other persons, even if, temporarily, he can’t be indicted for that.

    The draft articles of impeachment against Nixon were based in large part on Nixon’s subjective intentions when he directed his subordinates to create the false CIA/national security narrative to try to shut down the FBI’s investigation into the Watergate break-in and his firing of Archibald Cox, who was looking into that cover-up among other things. The duly-passed articles of impeachment returned by the House against Bill Clinton were likewise based on his subjective intentions when he committed perjury, withheld evidence, and attempted to influence other witness’ testimony (including having Lewinsky perjure herself in her affidavit). I think both sets of impeachment articles were well-founded and appropriate, either though, as the DoJ’s OLC concluded on both occasions, the DoJ couldn’t indict either Nixon or Clinton.

    So I’m not sure where you’d rather draw the lines. Surely you aren’t of the “It’s not illegal if it’s the President doing it”-persuasion (Nixon’s post hoc attempt at justification in his interviews with David Frost), are you?

    I think a particular person’s temporary occupancy of the spot at the apex of the Executive Branch doesn’t change a single crime to a non-crime. I think it delays the federal government’s ability to indict him for federal crimes while he’s in office, and that that’s the sum total of all the magical immunity his actions, and their underlying intentions, entitles him to. And as the Nixon and Clinton examples show, his temporary immunity from being indicted by name as a party defendant conveys no immunity against being investigated like any other witness, subject, or target in connection with a criminal investigation.

    I’m curious whether you think in my hypothetical the police chief can be subpoenaed to testify about his intentions. Do you have any doubt that he can be?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  374. Beldar – You are quite right. I should have been more precise. A sitting president is not subject to criminal proceeding. He is the only person on the planet who enjoys this privilege. So, yes, your chief is wide open to investigation, or ought to be.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  375. If I could edit #382, I’d rewrite the first sentence. Ed from SFV didn’t assert that being the head of the executive branch puts Trump “above and beyond [all] criminal law,” and it would be churlish and inaccurate of me to so characterize what he wrote.

    But I’m concerned if Ed from SFV believes that by virtue of being POTUS, no POTUS can obstruct justice. That may not be at all his belief, but if he believes that the POTUS gets any substantive immunity from criminal liability beyond the temporary freedom from indictment in federal court on charges of violating federal law, I don’t agree, regardless of whether we’re talking obstruction of justice and perjury or some other kind of criminal jeopardy on crimes that include specific intent as an element thereof.

    Ed from SFV is one of the consistently most civil people who comment here, and I do not want to put words in his mouth! I apologize, my friend!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  376. And now, reading Ed from SFV’s comment at #383, my blush deepens.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  377. Who has been i
    Using the security services of this country astheir own private police force who has been suborning perjury, who bribed a foreign poerr to the tune of 150 billion, is this on?

    narciso (d1f714)

  378. Beldar – Your affirmations lift my spirit. Truly.

    Now, to a matter at hand…am I correct that it is your position that so long as he is in office, DJT is basically untouchable by Mueller? That DJT can tell him, and any GJ, to go pound sand with any subpoena or warrant? If not, under what circumstances can they compel a response under oath, or otherwise?

    If this is too broad a question and you have better things to do on a Saturday, by all means we can save this for another and more suitable occasion.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  379. DRJ – I have not ignored your learned response. I’ve been attempting a proper response.

    I am well convinced that a POTUS enjoys a total immunity from any criminal proceeding. It is the only way the government can hope to operate. Now, once he leaves office, he is wholly answerable to anything he did. Hence, the Ford pardon of Nixon.

    As to congressional immunity…I don’t have the ability to cite with any precision, the relevant law. It seems to me that even if the immunity is limited as you suggest, that immunity alone would be enough to blunt a criminal prosecution. Proving intent would be one helluva burden.

    However, such a practical problem does not obviate your assertion as to absolute immunity. I simply am not qualified to properly respond to you. You, and the issue/question, deserve a complete and precise response.

    Please know my assertion was made in good faith. In fact, I was told of this immunity by a congressional aide of many decades while I was literally sitting in the first row of the House, a very few feet from a speaking well. I was astonished, but the man insisted on his point. I do not so insist.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  380. @ Ed from SFV, who asked (#387):

    [A]m I correct that it is your position that so long as he is in office, DJT is basically untouchable by Mueller? That DJT can tell him, and any GJ, to go pound sand with any subpoena or warrant? If not, under what circumstances can they compel a response under oath, or otherwise?

    “Untouchable” is clearly not the right word. Nixon was, as swc pointed out yesterday, not a party defendant but merely an unindicted co-conspirator in possession of material evidence relating to his alleged co-conspirators guilt or innocence when the SCOTUS obliged him to comply with a trial subpoena by producing the WH tapes. Nixon complied with the SCOTUS’ ruling rather than setting up a larger constitutional crisis.

    He still was afforded the benefits of executive privilege, meaning that Jaworski’s team was held to a higher standard of showing materiality and exhaustion of other sources than the ordinary prosecution team would have been in subpoenaing comparable materials from a non-POTUS. Clinton got similar deference in the civil Clinton v. Jones case, and then again in his video testimony to Starr’s grand jury.

    So while I think no POTUS is ultimately above the law when it comes to the obligation of every citizen to provide truthful testimony, and/or to produce documents and things in his possession, in response to a subpoena, he’s clearly no ordinary Joe, and in addition to a privilege that no one else gets to assert (i.e., executive privilege), he also gets the benefit of kid gloves and special time-place-and-manner deference from both his own subordinates in the executive branch (including special prosecutors/counsel) and from the judicial branch. That’s all as it should be, IMHO.

    And I’m likewise on board with the analysis of the OLC in that 1973 memo, as reaffirmed in the 2000 OLC memo, in which the DoJ concluded that a sitting POTUS can’t be indicted.

    But that still leaves a lot of ways in which a POTUS is indeed “touchable” in one way or another. Being compelled to appear before a grand jury to testify, for example, doesn’t create the same degree of interference with a POTUS’ ongoing performance of his constitutional duties as chief executive as a public indictment (much less a trial) would.

    The legally curious part of me wishes Trump would stop negotiating and make Mueller subpoena him to testify before a grand jury, just so we’d get more guidance from the SCOTUS. The rest of me recognizes that the playing out of that constitutional fight among branches of government imposes real but intangible costs on both the country and its leadership, so I hope Trump will listen to the wiser heads who are counseling his voluntary cooperation, like Bush’s in Plamegate, for an interview or sworn deposition in lieu of that. Despite having already lost in the SCOTUS on the question of whether he had to sit for his deposition in Paula Jones’ civil lawsuit, Clinton could have — and arguably should have, for institutional reasons — fought Ken Starr’s demand for a follow-up examination before the grand jury. But I think he and his legal counsel wisely chose to capitulate rather than fight that fight, because whether from a personal standpoint or an institutional one, they could read the tea leaves and predict that they’d have lost as badly as Nixon did in the tapes case (unanimously) or as Clinton had already lost in the Jones case (again, unanimously as to the judgment, with only one justice writing a separate concurrence).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  381. I’m not learned on this topic, Ed, but you are kind to act like it. We may not kniw the answers but frankly no one does, so I see no harm in trying to expand what we know.

    However, I will quibble with you about proving intent. How do we prove intent in any criminal case? We look at the evidence — typically what the defendant has said, writen, and done. If anything, it may be easier to prove intent with Trump than a typical defendant because we have an extensive written, audio and video record of what he has said, written and done.

    DRJ (15874d)

  382. 318 — the circumstances are simply inapposite. There is no “separation of powers” issue between a prosecutor, police chief, and GJ, in the manner there is between POTUS, a Exec. branch inferior official, and the federal judiciary.

    The co-equal branches of Gov’t are organic to the Constitution. Nothing supports the view that an Article III actor can impose on the Article II Executive a personal obligation to provide testimony under oath for the benefit of an inferior executive official. The Judicary hasn’t empowered the SC with any authority – his authority comes from the AG – and it’s authority the AG derives from the Exec — POTUS.

    The path for resolution of this problem is clearly laid out in the Constitution – its impeachment.

    The problem with the current arrangement — and where I think OLC would come down — is that DOJ and/or a SC cannot serve in the role as “Chief Impeachment Investigator” of POTUS. That’s the job of Congress. IMO there is an even more interesting question than the GJ subpoena question — if Congress is considering Articles of Impeachment, for that purpose can Congress subpoena POTUS for personal testimony on the subject at issue? I think they can, and a refusal by POTUS to attend would be grounds to conclude his testimony would likely not benefit him.

    The proper method for going forward is for the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings and gather evidence on the question of whether the termination of Comey constituted “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”. That’s not Mueller’s role.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  383. 380 — from MY discussion with Agents -and by that I mean several of them — Comey was much preferred to Mueller for many reasons. So he was held in good esteem in relationship to his predecessor, who was the only Dir. that many had known. BUT, the view of Comey changed in the minds of AGENTS — as opposed to the broader class of FBI employees — when he took to the stage and explained why Hillary would not be prosecuted.

    EVERY agent I have met understands 100% that there are people in jail right now for having done less than was uncovered with regard to Hillary when it comes to mishandling classified information, AND they all understand that they would have been fired and prosecuted if they had done what Hillary did — moved classified information from their Bureau email to a private email account on an unclassified network.

    Its not even a close call, and they didn’t necessarily disagree with Comey on the basis of politics — some are Dems who supported Hillary — they all disagreed with Comey on the basis that his charade undermined the integrity of the Bureau by engaging in the whitewashing right along with the Obama DOJ.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  384. 381 — I think that is incorrect DRJ — Sen. Mike Gravel was immune from prosecution when he read the Pentagon Papers into the record during a Senate subcommittee hearing he convened. Any thing a Congress person does as part of the “Speech and Debate” clause cannot be subject to prosecution.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  385. “The path for resolution of this problem is clearly laid out in the Constitution – its impeachment.”

    – shipwreckedcrew

    Works for me. Should be a lot easier come January.

    Leviticus (194d42)

  386. 394 — And how many points was Trump behind Clinton in May 2016?

    Its possible the Dems take the house in Nov., but there won’t be anywhere close to 67 votes in the Senate. Just like Clinton, Trump isn’t going anywhere.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  387. The GOP should be leading the drive to impeach Trump. They have the most to gain from it.

    Dave (98d911)

  388. swc 392,

    You are right and I am wrong, and thank you for correcting me. Members of Congress are immune regarding things they say from the floor, not only from defamation but also regarding the release of classified materials and (I assume) any other charge regarding the spoken words.

    But didn’t the Gravel case hold that he could still be prosecuted for privately publishing the Pentagon Papers after he read them on the floor, and that he and his staff could be questioned and even subpoenaed regarding how and where they obtained the documents? I think i’s the words that are protected, not the actions, but please correct me if this is wrong.

    DRJ (15874d)

  389. 397 — yes, exactly correct. He delivered the papers to a newspaper, and he was subject to prosecution for having done so because it was a “non-legislative” act.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  390. 396 — If the GOP led the drive for impeachment, it would lose 40-60% of its self-identified members, and be a sub-25% national party for the foreseeable future.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  391. 399,

    I think that’s true but I don’t see that happening.

    DRJ (15874d)

  392. If the GOP led the drive for impeachment, it would lose 40-60% of its self-identified members, and be a sub-25% national party for the foreseeable future.

    I disagree; even moderately effective leadership by Pence, without Trump’s constant lies, distractions and own-goals, would quickly convince any doubters that it was the right decision, especially after the new administration released all the dirt on him, like Khrushchev’s posthumous truth-bomb on Stalin, instead of covering it up.

    Dave (445e97)

  393. I like you shippie. IANAL but I like your brains and clear communication. And that pretty darned often you say the things that I “feel”.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  394. The co-equal branches of Gov’t are organic to the Constitution.

    This is the accepted view, but I honestly don’t see what makes makes it a necessary interpretation.

    Each branch clearly has the powers enumerated by the constitution. And the constitution is the supreme law of the land, so no act of congress or court decision can deprive another actor of the powers granted by the constitution.

    But there seems an unbridgeable chasm between that, and saying that congress, or the courts, through the law, cannot impose obligations on the POTUS.

    Constitution > Law > (Executive = Legislative = Judiciary)

    Congress cannot, through legislation, deny any power granted by the constitution, but they can “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.” (emphasis added)

    Note there is no exception for the powers vested in the president, and “the Government of the United States” manifestly includes all three branches.

    Furthermore, congress can create courts and define their jurisdiction. Congress can also strip appellate jurisdiction from the Supreme Court in any matter where the SC doesn’t have original jurisdiction.

    All this is explicitly written in the document. In contrast, the extreme “co-equal branches” theory seems grounded in nothing more than the unsurprising fact that each branch of government was described in its own Article. If the layout of the document into numbered articles was supposed to reflect the most fundamental organizational principle of the government, one might expect Articles 4, 5, 6 and 7 to follow the same principle and establish other “co-equal” branches. But they don’t.

    Dave (445e97)

  395. If your goal is good faith discussion, why does it matter who contributes?

    Your first contribution was an instruction to me on protocol.

    It had nothing to do with a good faith discussion. I am certain that you can scroll back and see that.

    BuDuh (fc15db)


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