Patterico's Pontifications

5/19/2018

Two Phrases That Never Help Real Conversation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:59 am

Here are two phrases that never help real conversation. Both are designed to show that criticism is invalid, simply by virtue of the criticism being impassioned or frequent.

1. “[The object of your criticism] is living rent-free in your head.”

This phrase translates as: “You are criticizing [the object of your criticism] and I do not like it.” It’s meaningless. I used to hear this kind of thing all the time when I was a frequent critic of the Los Angeles Times. I was told that I was “obsessive” about criticizing them. My response was: if they gave me less to criticize them for, I’ll criticize them less. (It turned out that there was another option: you could get bored.)

2. “If you’re catching flak, you must be over the target.”

This one translates as: “If you are getting criticized a lot, that means you must be right.”

This one is kind of a dumb corollary of #1. #1 suggests that your criticism of something or someone is invalid if it is impassioned or frequent. #2 suggests that criticism of you is invalid if that criticism is impassioned or frequent. They both make the same stupid and wrong point. But one targets the critic, while the other validates the critic’s target.

Both of these have zero to do with the quality of the criticism. If you use one of these, you’re using them to avoid the real discussion or conversation.

There are analogies that reveal something about the thing analogized to, and then there are pointless analogies like this one, which say nothing. When you start using pointless analogies, you can get into one of those silly discussions where you parry back and forth, not about the substance of your argument, but about the silly analogy. “Oh yeah? Well, I say if you’re getting flak, that means you left yourself exposed! HaHA!” (The early bird gets the worm, but what does the early worm get? HaHA!)

These are usually employed when there is no answer to the substance of the criticism. They tend to be a crutch for people who don’t want to have a rational discussion.

P.S. This is unrelated to the specific topic, but related to the wider topic of real conversation. For the next week, at least, to the extent that I populate the comments, I’m going to try to engage in real and polite conversation. I’m working on perspective and the spiritual side of my life, and having snippy conversations with people on the Internet is not something I’m interested in doing. That probably means fewer discussions with people unwilling to engage in real conversation, but it should hopefully mean better conversations with people who are willing. If we begin a conversation and it begins to turn sour, I’ll just thank you for the conversation and bow out. I’m making a public commitment here so that I am accountable to people, which increases the chance that I’ll follow through.

551 Responses to “Two Phrases That Never Help Real Conversation”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  2. Closely related is the idiot claim:

    “I’m getting harshly criticized by both sides, so I guess I’m doing something right.”

    But more often, the author of that statement has said or done something so false or so stupid, that it’s patently obviously to all observers (liberal, conservatives, etc.)

    Brian (9e4b25)

  3. Let me add a third… “Oh well. I can’t “congratulate” such an awful cretin. F*ck this guy. He’s a ridiculous ignorant clown. His election is a giant disgrace.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. Closely related is the idiot claim:

    “I’m getting harshly criticized by both sides, so I guess I’m doing something right.”

    But more often, the author of that statement has said or done something so false or so stupid, that it’s patently obviously to all observers (liberal, conservatives, etc.)

    That’s true. Sometimes the person who says that is correct and people on both sides are being unreasonable. Very often, they are being annoying in different ways that trigger different groups in different ways. O’Reilly used to pull this exact stunt all the time.

    The point is, the fact that criticism exists, or its volume or frequency or level of passion, are irrelevant. None of these factors itself inherently makes you right or wrong. Only the value of the concepts in the criticism matters.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  5. #3 was posted the night of November 8, 2016.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. Patterico, I’ll take credit for the “flak” comment, (actually via Andrew McCarthy) in your post from yesterday. It was in response to the most insipid, vile, insulting grade school comment directed at me… which, should be noted, you have not called out.

    I believe you truly are trying to provide some honest guidelines for rational discourse, which I applaud, but if you can’t call out some of your more “respected” commenters, then what is the point?

    random viking (75c725)

  7. If the lefty media is willing to totally edit out context to imply that our President thinks immigrants are animals, then he truly does reside rent-free in their collective melons, why deny it?

    It’s just a term to describe being so obsessed with hate and delusion towards someone that you are willing to dishonor/beclown yourself over them.

    The same goes for govt. officials willing to commit fraud to spy on a political opponent.

    What should be discussed is not semantics that get under thin skin but the disastrous effect said mental corruption has on people in power.

    harkin (99ba6b)

  8. Flak over the target is a valuable phrase but its worthiness depends on the situation. For example, if someone like Trump is getting flak from the MSM, that definitely means he’s “over the target” and has made a point or passed a policy the Left simply can’t abide.

    OTOH, if you’re getting flak from both Friends and Enemies – its probably because you’re not over the target – you’re bombing Switzerland.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  9. “Here are two phrases that NEVER help real conversation. Both are designed to show that criticism is invalid, simply by virtue of the criticism being impassioned or frequent.”

    Both statements are true in certain instances and untrue in others, often whether or not they’re true of the individual in question depends on how unreasonably absolutist they are in denying that they can be reasonable human responses to visibly obsessive personalities (and some things, indeed, are worth obsessing over, especially if you’re paid to do it!)

    “These common phrases are NEVER true or descriptive even when they come from concerned third parties instead of partisans of the other side!” is a strong indication that you may in fact resemble some of those remarks. Stereotypes would not be stereotypes if they didn’t have enough truth to ring the memory bells of previous human experience across a representative cross-section of humanity!

    Non-autistic non-lawyer humans who haven’t let the “Deposition Mindset” take over their thinking recognize that insulting an insulter back with an equally obtuse metaphor is simply good daily practice (I’d suggest listening to rap music to get the basics down.)

    Tellurian (b07080)

  10. And I agree the lamest phrase is “I’m getting it from both sides, I must be right”. More likely it means your wrong, since EVERYONE is criticizing you.

    Its also a phrase beloved by pompous blowhards like Bill O’Reilly who always pose as “The only adult in the room” and by dishonest MSM types.

    The MSM uses it in this way. “We’re not biased. Why we get criticized from the Left AND the Right
    IOW, the few leftist at the Daily Worker don’t like them, and 90% of the Republican Party dislike them, so therefore they’re in the middle – y’know like Hillary.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  11. I’ll just start and say good day to all and hope you’re having better weather than us on the east coast.

    Rain, rain and more rain. April showers bring May showers.

    NJRob (b00189)

  12. “I’m getting harshly criticized by both sides, so I guess I’m doing something right.”

    But more often, the author of that statement has said or done something so false or so stupid, that it’s patently obviously to all observers (liberal, conservatives, etc.)

    That’s true. Sometimes the person who says that is correct and people on both sides are being unreasonable. Very often, they are being annoying in different ways that trigger different groups in different ways. O’Reilly used to pull this exact stunt all the time.

    In a political discussion, it may not necessarily involve anyone being unreasonable, but simply advocating a moderate position and being criticized by – I don’t want to say “extremist”, but “less moderate” – elements on both sides.

    If one’s goal is to arrive at a compromise solution to a problem, it may be reasonable to point to criticism from the least moderate elements of both sides as evidence that you have struck some kind of balance.

    Dave (445e97)

  13. “I’m getting harshly criticized by both sides, so I guess I’m doing something right.”
    But more often, the author of that statement has said or done something so false or so stupid, that it’s patently obviously to all observers (liberal, conservatives, etc.)

    I dunno. Are we talking about the Farm Bill that was shot down by the Freedom Caucus and Democrats for being neither Right enough nor Left enough, or about both Trump supporters and #NeverTrumpers agreeing that Trump is a buffoon even if the former don’t care as long as he passes out plum lollies?

    nk (dbc370)

  14. NJRob (b00189) — 5/19/2018 @ 10:13 am

    April showers Never mind Larry Parks, the voice you hear is really Al Jolson.

    felipe (023cc9)

  15. Flak over the target is a valuable phrase but its worthiness depends on the situation. For example, if someone like Trump is getting flak from the MSM, that definitely means he’s “over the target” and has made a point or passed a policy the Left simply can’t abide.

    No, it doesn’t “definitely mean” that. It could also mean he’s made another idiotic or obviously false statement.

    Irritating the MSM or the Left does not indicate correctness and should not be the guiding star of conservatism.

    Dave (445e97)

  16. I find he is a blunt instrument, whereas mcturtle and haskell are like hollow cigar Indians, the farm bill was a pitiful joke.

    narciso (d1f714)

  17. Random viking,

    Its best to go forwards, than backwards

    Let the past be the past

    EPWJ (0ca1a7)

  18. I’m pro-farmer and I think food stamps is the best way to subsidize them since it benefits a whole lot of people besides them, so picture me at the top of the hill (that the Freedom Caucus chose to die on) peeing down on them. They’re are NOT going to get a better bill if Ryan needs to enlist Democrats. Even this one might have needed to be softened in order to get 60 votes in the Senate.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. To me, the thesis of the post is self-evidently correct. The fact that criticism is frequent or impassioned has nothing to do with its validity. Yet a lot of people seem determined to defend these phrases, which I find interesting if not optimal.

    I noticed one commenter making a variant of the argument: that anything Trump does that upsets Big Media by definition upsets the left, and is therefore good.

    That’s a different issue from the one I raise in the post, but it is another oft-repeated contention that I find puzzling: that something that (pick your phrase) “owns the libs” or “triggers the left” is by definition a good thing.

    In a tribal world where a phrase like “literally everything a leftist says is by definition wrong” sounds valid to some people, I guess this philosophy makes sense. I don’t subscribe to that view, and I think there are things that people on the left and right can agree are bad — therefore, the notion that someone on the left is upset by x does not mean that x is good.

    I recognize that this is not a popular view these days.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  20. Peeing down on the Freedom Caucus not the farmers.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. Non-autistic non-lawyer humans who haven’t let the “Deposition Mindset” take over their thinking recognize that insulting an insulter back with an equally obtuse metaphor is simply good daily practice (I’d suggest listening to rap music to get the basics down.)

    I didn’t quite understand all of your comment — is it because I’m a lawyer? autistic? both? what are you saying here? — but I agree that insulting an insulter back in kind is sometimes satisfying. I’m trying to avoid it these days, as I suggested in the post, but it’s certainly something I have done in the past. For example, I searched my comments to see if I had ever used any variant of either of these phrases in the past. My hypothesis was that I might have, but only as a sarcastic response to the type of person who would be the type to use them to begin with.

    My hypothesis was right. I could find only one example of my using either phrase: I suggested that I lived “rent free” in the head of one Mr. Pink, who has spent years periodically but consistently repeating a misinterpretation of a post I wrote in 2008, almost ten years ago. I also called him a delicate snowflake in the same comment, which is proof that I was doing the “use the opponent’s mode of expression back at him” method.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  22. No, it doesn’t “definitely mean” that. It could also mean he’s made another idiotic or obviously false statement.

    Irritating the MSM or the Left does not indicate correctness and should not be the guiding star of conservatism.

    A more concise statement of what I said in #19. Quite so. It’s amazing to me how few see this.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  23. Doing that search revealed some interesting things.

    First, the people who have actually used these phrases over the years are mostly people who irritate me. However, there is one person I like a lot who has used the “rent free” phrase a lot. Also, the phrase “rent free” appears in unexpected places, like inside phrases like “inherent freedom” or “download of a different free anti-malware.”

    Patterico (115b1f)

  24. “These common phrases are NEVER true or descriptive even when they come from concerned third parties instead of partisans of the other side!” is a strong indication that you may in fact resemble some of those remarks.

    The chances are very low. These are conversational tics used most frequently by lazy thinkers. If a genuine person has a valid concern, they are unlikely to express it through these hoary cliches. Also, pouncing on a slightly inaccurate use of the term “never” seems hyperliteral. Are you a lawyer or autistic? :)

    Patterico (115b1f)

  25. Obviously any bromide can be used or misused.

    That said, I understand the point of the “catching flak over target” comment. It was applied to Nunes originally. The point is howls of resistance when asking for information. I see the same thing doing investigations. Often (not always) the resistance is the sign that someone is trying to protect themselves and not reveal relevant information. For example redactions which later we learned did not “protect national security” (like sources and methods) but were used to cover up poor behavior. This is common even in science when you push for proof of something (with a weak paper).

    For what it is worth, I don’t think the comments were misused here by commentors or that they terribly worsened the conversations.

    I could say as much of your blanket statement yesterday that “Trump is dishonest” during a conversation about issues with the investigation. (1) It doesn’t mitigate bad behavior by the investigators–they are separate topics. (2) Everyone is dishonest or honest at times–a blank statement like that is simplistic, emotive and really not too insightful. I’m not saying this to fence. I get your general point that you think he is dishonest and honesty is an important thing to me. For instance, I DISPISE the word games and equivocation of Comey, Clapper, etc. (Clintonian answers, requiring laborious pinning down to avoid wrong inference). Equivocation is actually considered an Honor Code violation (as there is intent to deceive) and can get you kicked out of a certain school.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  26. What a load of tripe!

    Mark Webb (db1273)

  27. Oh…and a little bit of “how to discourse” is helpful. But too much of it is a drag.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  28. April showers Never mind Larry Parks, the voice you hear is really Al Jolson.

    felipe (023cc9) — 5/19/2018 @ 10:20 am

    Though a little tame for my ear drums, nicely played.

    NJRob (b00189)

  29. The post who hired the son in law of a Cuban spymaster, who has lost all perspective, like I saw does devlin barrettes ever stop being afoul,

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. What (9) said. When you say “never” you are taking a strong logical risk, Paterico.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  31. I could say as much of your blanket statement yesterday that “Trump is dishonest” during a conversation about issues with the investigation. (1) It doesn’t mitigate bad behavior by the investigators–they are separate topics. (2) Everyone is dishonest or honest at times–a blank statement like that is simplistic, emotive and really not too insightful. I’m not saying this to fence. I get your general point that you think he is dishonest and honesty is an important thing to me. For instance, I DISPISE the word games and equivocation of Comey, Clapper, etc. (Clintonian answers, requiring laborious pinning down to avoid wrong inference). Equivocation is actually considered an Honor Code violation (as there is intent to deceive) and can get you kicked out of a certain school.

    I think the key here is this: “It doesn’t mitigate bad behavior by the investigators–they are separate topics.” Indeed. Yet if you go back and look at the context of when I said that, it was in response to two people who said that they had no idea why anyone would bother to complain about Trump being dishonest when law enforcement (in their view is also dishonest, or more dishonest. In other words, they were saying that the allegedly bad behavior by the investigators mitigates dishonesty by Trump. And MY point is that they are separate issues — and that even if you accept as true every allegation about the FBI out there, it’s still a pretty crazy statement to say that people should not discuss the dishonesty of the President of the United States.

    There’s no profitable discussion that you and I can have with respect to your downplaying of Trump’s dishonesty with the “everybody lies” argument. To take an extreme example (this is why people use Hitler as an extreme example, by the way — it’s not a comparison of Trump to Hitler but just an example that nobody can deny), you could defend Hitler’s anti-Semitism by saying “everybody is a little racist from time to time.” I happen to think Trump’s level of dishonesty is an exponential level greater than any that of other figure I can think of in public life. You don’t. There’s literally nothing I can get out of such a discussion, so I’ll bow out of continuing it further.

    Just do me a favor. Please don’t say I compared Trump to Hitler. That’s not what I did. I took the most undeniable example of someone with a bad characteristic to show that it is not a valid defense of that person to assert that others share that bad characteristic to a FAR lower degree.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  32. What (9) said. When you say “never” you are taking a strong logical risk, Paterico.

    “Patterico.”

    See the last two sentences of my 24.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  33. With 24, yeah, he was talking to you in your style.

    With respect to validating dishonesty, sorry you feel that way. I wasn’t meaning to make that some reductionist logical trifle to trip you up. It actually really gave me pause when you just made the flat statement. My first reaction was a “how? how much? what is your point?” You seem to be painting him as just flat bad. I could easily say the same of Clinton and have seen people do the same.

    On the that you were trying to disaggregate sins of the criminal and the po-lice: OK.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  34. “The chances are very low. These are conversational tics used most frequently by lazy thinkers.”

    It’s not lazy, it’s common. And sharp thinkers know that when there’s any amount of truth in the phrase, its status as a heard-everywhere emotional grindstone makes it more effective as a tactic, not less. Like the surveillance state says, if you are innocent of this ugly derangement that does in fact describe a large number of people, how does the common negative characterization affect you?

    “If a genuine person has a valid concern, they are unlikely to express it through these hoary cliches.”

    ONLY THE VERBALLY FACILE ARE “GENUINE” people, sorry, no, this is a far more pernicious and destructive attitude common to lawyers and their clients that deserves opprobrium wherever it arises.

    “Also, pouncing on a slightly inaccurate use of the term “never” seems hyperliteral. Are you a lawyer or autistic?”

    I’m a man who WILL finish a rock-throwing contest in a glass house if somebody decides to start one.

    Tellurian (b07080)

  35. Strictly speaking, you can’t get flak until you are near the target. A lefty isn’t going to give you a hard time for cheering for the Astros. So if you’re getting crap from a lefty, it’s because you’re moving toward something he finds valuable (belief, fact pattern, etc.) in such a way as to threaten it. It doesn’t mean you’re necessarily right, but you’re getting close.
    “rent free” isn’t an argument or a counter argument. It’s an observation which, literalness aside, looks to be true.

    tu quoque isn’t an excuse for bad behavior. It’s a way of spotting differential outrage which means the party in question is a partisan hack and not principled.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  36. 36. So I guess when I accuse Trump humpers of being unprincipled partisan hacks, I’m on to something…?

    Gryph (08c844)

  37. Richard Aubrey
    I disagree.
    You are saying, in essence, that a stiff defense of an idea indicates it is a bad idea.

    That, for instance, if you vigorously criticize a SWJ for attacking the First Amendment, your criticism is evidence the SWJ is right.

    You’re right that “drawing flak” corresponds to an idea’s importance. But it offers no clue about the idea’s validity.

    Kishnevi (682c47)

  38. Its best to go forwards, than backwards

    Let the past be the past

    OK, let’s keep it current.

    If person A writes a juvenile insulting comment directed at person B, a “flak/target” comment in reply is logically fine as opposed to responding in kind.

    And, person B might expect the host to call out the juvenile insult rather than calling out the “flak/target” comment.

    random viking (75c725)

  39. No, bevausr the first amendment is principle, now stupid arguments that juche Dave makes about certain faiths apparently not other are something else again.

    narciso (d1f714)

  40. @ Tellurian, who wrote (#35):

    I’m a man who WILL finish a rock-throwing contest in a glass house if somebody decides to start one.

    How will we know when you’re finished?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  41. 18. “I’m pro-farmer and I think food stamps is the best way to subsidize them since it benefits a whole lot of people besides them,”

    Best way to subsidize farmers or low income?

    Nate Ogden (9e7a13)

  42. A lefty isn’t going to give you a hard time for cheering for the Astros.

    I find this a truly remarkable assertion. There are no lefties who are Rangers fans?

    Dave (445e97)

  43. 35:

    You go, girl!

    The “genuine” remark by Patttttterico* made me wince also. I think I get what he is coming from in that he doesn’t want sophistry or degredation in the discussion. But being unprecise (even dismissive or stereotyped) is not “ungenuine”, if anything it might be less skilled or insightful but MORE genuine.

    * 😉

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  44. Farmers. Look at the “Product of” labels on your groceries. I spent $60.00 yesterday and even the Polish ham, provolone cheese, and olive oil were, respectively, from Iowa, Wisconsin, and California. Most of the food we eat comes from American farmers. The low income are incidental beneficiaries. A large chunk of the $80 billion in the SNAP program does go to pay the 57 plus bureaucracies which administer it, but I don’t know what we can do about that.

    nk (dbc370)

  45. It’s not lazy, it’s common.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aKOQWbTdxy8

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  46. And sharp thinkers know that when there’s any amount of truth in the phrase, its status as a heard-everywhere emotional grindstone makes it more effective as a tactic, not less. Like the surveillance state says, if you are innocent of this ugly derangement that does in fact describe a large number of people, how does the common negative characterization affect you?

    This is a long way of articulating a third thing that I hear often that detracts from real conversation: the assertion that if criticism negatively affects someone, that shows the criticism is true. It’s obviously a fallacy — people obviously react negatively to unfair criticism every day — but many people seem wedded to it. You seem to be one of them.

    At least you seem to be interested enough in the topic to leave several comments. I guess you changed your mind about whether the topic is “a drag.”

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  47. 46 supports large corporations far more than what many would consider farmers.

    “Total spending by SNAP households studied: $357.7 million
    Share of spending: 5.44%
    The top item purchased by food stamp recipients is likely to raise some eyebrows among those who fret about people using benefits to buy junk food. Spending on soda and other sweetened beverages is “slightly higher for SNAP households compared to non-SNAP households (5 cents versus 4 cents per dollar),” the researchers note.”

    Number 4 of top ten is bagged snacks and number 7 is cold cereal.

    The few products in the top 10 where American farmers contribute significantly they are way down the supply chain and commidized. I.e. Chicken breast and the disaster that market it.

    Food stamps are rampant with fraud and graft.

    Nate Ogden (9e7a13)

  48. The “genuine” remark by Patttttterico* made me wince also.

    You should try mindfulness meditation. It may help you wince less at such things. I continue to believe that if someone has a genuine concern for me, they won’t choose a way of expressing that which is commonly employed by lazy thinkers looking to score a cheap and meaningless point.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  49. And, person B might expect the host to call out the juvenile insult rather than calling out the “flak/target” comment.

    I don’t typically police comments unless I see someone being rude to a voice I consider extremely valuable. I tried finding the comment that bothered you enough to bring it up multiple times and I couldn’t. Could you link it and quote it here, and also offer your best guess as to what you said that prompted it? Thanks.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  50. I’m a man who WILL finish a rock-throwing contest in a glass house if somebody decides to start one.

    What does this mean in reality, given that nobody is throwing actual rocks here? That if someone insults you, you will insult them?

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  51. A bit off-topic, but why should the government transfer other peoples’ wealth to agribusiness?

    Our farmers are the most productive in the world. Why do they need, much less deserve, a hand-out?

    Dave (445e97)

  52. The top item purchased by food stamp recipients is likely to raise some eyebrows among those who fret about people using benefits to buy junk food. Spending on soda and other sweetened beverages is “slightly higher for SNAP households compared to non-SNAP households (5 cents versus 4 cents per dollar),” the researchers note.”

    Number 4 of top ten is bagged snacks and number 7 is cold cereal.

    I imagine that’s because households with young children are the largest group of food stamp recipients.

    nk (dbc370)

  53. A bit off-topic, but why should the government transfer other peoples’ wealth to agribusiness?

    Our farmers are the most productive in the world. Why do they need, much less deserve, a hand-out?
    1. If not them, then whom? Research universities?
    2. How long can you go without eating until “the invisible hand of the free market” “readjusts” the nation’s food supply?

    nk (dbc370)

  54. Limit food stamps, or direct food stamps, to farmers, farmers markets, and coops instead of Coke, Pepsi,Post, and Purdue.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  55. @51:

    I would’ve let it go if not for the post here calling out the “flak/target” line of thought. Perhaps I assume too much, but I thought it was directed at me since I used it in the exchange below yesterday. It seemed an unlikely coincidence, otherwise. I’ve read worse, and ignored worse, but not from someone who makes a habit out of calling others out for doing the same.

    http://patterico.com/2018/05/18/theres-a-rudy-loose-in-the-china-shop-and-hes-contradicting-trump-again/#comment-2118820
    comment #279 onward….

    279. 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) — 5/18/2018 @ 9:57 pm

    281. 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) — 5/18/2018 @ 10:05 pm

    289. # 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.

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

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/18/2018 @ 10:39 pm

    297. 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) — 5/18/2018 @ 10:52 pm

    It was all in reponse to my comment #273

    273. “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) — 5/18/2018 @ 9:47 pm

    random viking (6a54c2)

  56. Patterico, I really appreciate these posts.

    Clearly, for some people, over the top broad strokes of verbiage help them deal with their frustration over the world. My late father used to do this; he would say extreme things he really didn’t mean because of his anger at the system.

    It all comes down to carefully considering one’s world view and discussing from there. I really dislike the “because group A did something bad, it’s okay for group B to do it.” Also the “things are so bad it is okay for group B to do things I have really objected to when group A did them.”

    I understand where the sentiments originate. But I would rather by true to my ethose/world view/philosophical center.

    Thanks again.

    Simon Jester (ad6a15)

  57. Laziness is not the same as ungenuineness. And don’t replay the Simpsons (except I love them too)–it is you who are conflating, versus disaggregating:

    “if someone has a genuine concern for me, they won’t choose a way of expressing that which is commonly employed by lazy thinkers”

    A. It is incredibly easy to imagine someone who is VERY genuine (honest) but is also a lazy thinker (or just not overly precise in conversation).

    B. Also, you are moving from people BEING genuine (truthful, straight, revealing) in their conversations to ACTUAL concern (genuine used as a modifier, meaning actual, and on the topic of concern). And I’m not sure where the whole “for me” comes into it–I think even if there is a specific back and forth, people are talking to collection involved in the thread.

    ———–

    It was the unkind characterization (ungenuine has a connotation of deception as opposed to imprecion) that made me double take. That as well as just hearing a word choice that felt off (from someone who is generally very verbally skilled) that made me wince. These of course are two different reasons.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  58. 1. If not them, then whom? Research universities?

    False dichotomy. How about we judge government expenditure on a case by case basis, by looking at whether it makes sense?

    2. How long can you go without eating until “the invisible hand of the free market” “readjusts” the nation’s food supply?

    So we need to subsidize over-production, otherwise we’ll starve? Logic much?

    Dave (445e97)

  59. Random viking,

    Just my opinion but I don’t think you used the term “flak” in the sense Patterico used it in the post, and I don’t think his example had anything to do with your earlier comments. It seems like a coincidence.

    DRJ (15874d)

  60. Re your PS — I’m attempting to do the same. I think there’s been a bit of a rapproachement between Beldar and I by simply sticking to the subjects we like to discuss back and forth. I’m endeavoring to do the same with regard to you as well.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  61. But in this particular instance, it’s not which macroeconomics you subscribe to that makes the Freedom Couscous (sic) idiots. It’s simple politics. The GOP owes its majority in the House to the agricultural districts. The flyover country. Idiots!

    nk (dbc370)

  62. Anonymous,

    I think you are having a hard time understanding me. When communication is this difficult sometimes it’s best to just accept that we aren’t communicating and move on.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  63. Re your PS — I’m attempting to do the same. I think there’s been a bit of a rapproachement between Beldar and I by simply sticking to the subjects we like to discuss back and forth. I’m endeavoring to do the same with regard to you as well.

    I regard this as a very positive development.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  64. DRJ,

    I think I did see random viking’s use of the phrase divorced from context. I immediately started musing on how the phrase annoys me but it really had nothing to do with the way he used it and even now I don’t know the context in which he did or whether it’s the same as I meant or not. It’s a coincidence in that way, but not a total coincidence, if that makes sense.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  65. “This is a long way of articulating a third thing that I hear often that detracts from real conversation: the assertion that if criticism negatively affects someone, that shows the criticism is true. It’s obviously a fallacy — people obviously react negatively to unfair criticism every day — but many people seem wedded to it. You seem to be one of them.”

    The presence, type, and manner of the reaction to conversational stimulus actually does matter in determining whether the criticism did indeed hit a nerve or not, lawyer. Have you suddenly forgotten a lifetime of practice? Have we suddenly forgotten every legal drama and cop show we’ve ever watched?

    Whether or not a study of these critical tactics is considered ‘best practices in the industry’ (spoiler: it absolutely is) is also highly relevant-if your opposition is crawling with high-verbal IQ lawyers and PR people who will constantly and willfully misinterpret your words and context when spoken plainly, you too might be cagey, evasive, contentious, and, yes, strategically dishonest where a normal person would be open and straightforward!

    What can I say to someone who has this form of professional godliness but constantly denies its power other than ‘this is why people like you are in fact hated by a plurality of people in public and a majority in private’?

    “At least you seem to be interested enough in the topic to leave several comments. I guess you changed your mind about whether the topic is “a drag.””

    Most normal and honest people would ‘have a funny feeling’ and simply leave, I simply revel in exposing strongly possible motivations for why some pundit might be loudly and aggressively propagandizing ignorant and sophomoric explanations on why people might behave certain ways…in public, anyway! Reading private message boards provides an entirely different picture!

    “What does this mean in reality, given that nobody is throwing actual rocks here? That if someone insults you, you will insult them?”

    That I heavily disrespect those who hide behind an appeal to Respect My Current Fragile Order when they show none to those of others. When people refuse to think, they will be made to feel.

    Tellurian (b07080)

  66. I don’t know the context in which he did or whether it’s the same as I meant or not

    Please see my comment @57. You might’ve passed over it.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  67. I may have mooshed together Tellurian and Anonymous somehow.

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  68. Most normal and honest people would ‘have a funny feeling’ and simply leave, I simply revel in exposing strongly possible motivations for why some pundit might be loudly and aggressively propagandizing ignorant and sophomoric explanations on why people might behave certain ways…in public, anyway!

    I’m going to go ahead and let you revel in that without me. I think our conversation is no longer productive (if it ever was).

    Patterico (c3b99c)

  69. 69:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooN9xdAgi5w

    70: Aw, don’t be like that. I think we got that you were concerned about sophistry. Just some differences in how much we think is occurring and who is doing it. But I get that honest discussion means something important to you.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  70. So, my opinion is in the minority on this, but I believe that rudeness is contagious. Somewhere along the line, we all decided as a culture that (i) honesty was the same as tactlessness, (ii) rudeness was the same as strength, and (iii) vulgarity was equivalent to conviction. I don’t, but everyone’s mileage may vary.

    So consistent snotty comments, juvenile nicknames, and vulgarisms that push the limit…they encourage more of the same in an environment where Patterico has been clear he does not wish to ban people. In fact, I would argue that they intensify over time. It’s okay to call person A a juvenile name, so it’s okay to tag a vulgar nickname on someone else. Then it develops into the “you must be a Hillary voting communist if you don’t agree with me.”

    Sigh.

    I think our PC culture just makes it worse; people feel restricted in how they express themselves, so they go over the top.

    I say that we should all try and reflect the way Patterico wants us to post on his site. It’s just polite.

    But folks will do what folks want to do.

    Simon Jester (ad6a15)

  71. Two of my best and dearest friends in the world, in whose wedding I was privileged to be a groomsman in 2016, just celebrated the birth of their first child, a healthy baby boy. As a newborn, he’s still at the age at which his arms and legs flail without much purpose — the “Whose arms are these that are whacking me at random in the face?” stage, which is just adorable.

    I’m to be “Uncle Beldar” to this child, so a couple of days ago, when he was crying, I drew upon my long-past experience with my own four children and happily volunteered to change his diaper. At the point in the diaper changing process in which I’d gotten his butt cleaned up, he stopped crying and began making contented newborn noises. But before I could affix the new diaper, as infant boys will do when reclining on their backs while being changed, he began to pee — directly into his own face, as it turned out. I, being wise to such things, dodged, but he lacks the understanding and motor control to do that, and he instantly became quite sputteringly unhappy again as he drenched his own face in warm urine before I could position the new diaper to clock the stream.

    This was the mental image that flashed through my mind when I read this sentence from random viking:

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

    So yes, by definition, my comment about random viking drowning was a juvenile insult. I thought, and think, that random viking’s comment displayed an equivalent lack of understanding about the world, and his place in it, as this beloved infant has about the world and his place in it.

    random viking presumes that because he hasn’t yet seen anything that he is willing to concede implicates Trump in any wrongdoing, therefore, no such evidence can possibly exist. The concept that Mueller’s team might have found, and still be withholding from public view, evidence of Trump wrongdoing is as impossible for him to imagine as it was for the infant boy to imagine that it was his own body producing the stream of warm liquid that was so annoying him. Both random viking and the infant were extremely indignant, but without rational grounds to be.

    The investigation is not over. It can’t be over until Mueller has at least attempted to secure, either under oath or otherwise in a formal interview as part of an ongoing investigation, Trump’s explanation for mutually inconsistent explanations for firing Comey — at a bare minimum, ignoring all the other possibilities of potential crimes, criminals, and evidence merely peripheral to Trump.

    random viking doesn’t know what, if anything, Mueller has or hasn’t found yet. And no one — not random viking, not me, not Patterico, not Mueller, not Rosenstein, not Guiliani, and not even Trump — knows what Trump would say when questioned closely about, for example, the reasons why he fired Comey and then gave mutually inconsistent explanations for that. Until the investigation is complete, no one is in a position to say, as to any issue or witness, that “nothing was found.”

    The “otherwise it would have leaked by now” line is of course the crown jewel of stupidity, a Trumpkinism that turns the universe on its head by conclusively presuming that everything revealed in an investigation must immediately be leaked, and that this is such an iron rule that we can draw conclusive inferences from silence.

    The infant, as I said, is a normal and healthy one, and both of his parents are extremely bright and loving, so he’ll be raised with the benefits of both nature and nuture. Someday he’ll learn about the Rule of Law (his dad’s a lawyer, his mom’s the law office manager), and he’ll learn about drawing inferences and making arguments. I expect him to surpass random viking within the next five years, in fact. And I expect him to surpass Trump in four or less.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  72. *check the stream, I meant. (Although it did have impressive velocity, I suspect.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  73. See, random viking? I credit you with being more mature than Trump! Perhaps there’s the basis for a new rapprochement between us!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  74. 72.

    You’re right. And it is easy to devolve a discussion into a flame war (and quite fun sometimes). That said, T-man was engaging in the meat of the topic and not just calling lawyers girl-men. Even were T-man wrong and Patty right, it would still be true that T-man made good comments on topic.

    I definitely don’t go to the extent of saying that Patterico was deceptive. I think honesty matters a lot to him. That does not mean his analysis is correct. I do think it is a reasonable to discuss if the bromides are as dishonest (or important) as Patterico asserts. This is even reasonable to discuss if Patterico is completely correct…although I don’t think he is.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  75. I rest my case. I would give a closing argument for the jury, but Beldar’s already done that for me. In spades.

    If Beldar were a betting man, he would take odds on a Trump conviction/impeachment based on all we don’t know about what Mueller has, or will have. I sure would. But, I doubt he would reduce himself to my level.

    random viking (6a54c2)

  76. The lady doth protest too much, methinks

    The statement could be an insightful one in certain circumstances. Sometimes a guilty mind will reveal itself in that way. Of course, the innocent may also protest vigorously their innocence. Using that phrase in other circumstances is just a rhetorical device to put the target on the defensive.

    But, just because it can be unfairly deployed doesn’t mean it’s useless. It, like any argument, can communicate a valid point.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  77. A comment at Althouse about the smear campaign being waged by the NYTimes (which I predicted here) on Jordan Peterson:

    When you start taking flak, it means you’re over the target.
    His book must really be having an impact, otherwise the MSM wouldn’t see the need to destroy him.”

    In this context I think the term is completely apt.

    harkin (99ba6b)

  78. 77.

    Longwinded story to justify this remark:

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

    ‘He was juvenile, therefore I used a juvenile insult.’ (My synthesis.) You had other choices, dude. Could have done a long-winded on the topic analysis breaking things into structured points with evidence (you are good at it). Or could have just not responded (often a good choice, not just to avoid the flames but to not waste your own time).

    Also interesting the later comparison of your debate opponent to a s*i#-dribbling baby.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  79. @ Anonymous (#81): First: I salute your parenthetical! Yes, that’s your synthesis, and in this instance you’ve not only conspicuously disclosed that, but I also agree with it. You’re also right that I had other choices. If one’s intent is to pick out and highlight stupid but Trumplike logic used by Trump supporters, this comments section is the proverbial target-rich environment: Many commenters, many comments, and many ways to respond to them.

    When he first showed up here, I gave random viking my standard presumption — that he was a rational adult interested in discussing current events, politic, etc., and entitled to respect and courtesy.

    I learned better within a matter of a couple of days.

    So yes: I chose to be insulting, and chose the target to insult, and the specific statement of the target, and to use a comparison of my target to a baby — all deliberate. I own it all.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  80. The investigation is not over. It can’t be over until Mueller has at least attempted to secure, either under oath or otherwise in a formal interview as part of an ongoing investigation, Trump’s explanation for mutually inconsistent explanations for firing Comey — at a bare minimum, ignoring all the other possibilities of potential crimes, criminals, and evidence merely peripheral to Trump.

    Trump does not need to justify or explain his decision to fire Comey. It was his prerogative as POTUS. They tried that crap in Texas, to bring charges against Abbott for pulling funds from that drunk-driving official. The executive can fire anyone under his command at his whim.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  81. My mistake. I said Abbott, but Perry was the Governor at the time.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  82. @ Anon Y Mous (#83): How’d that work out for Nixon and Archibald Cox? I seem to recall that the House Judiciary committee disagreed with your analysis in his case. Perhaps you might be mistaken.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  83. If you assert that the POTUS is immune from obstruction of justice charges, please provide a citation to a relevant authority that’s on point. Since this has both legal and political aspects, you’re free to search not only legal precedents from the judicial branch, but political ones from the legislative branch.

    We’ll wait.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  84. We take the trouble in the comments to this blog to distinguish between Dana (our host’s co-blogger) and Adjectival Dana (aka the Dana who ___). Are we now to take similar pains to distinguish between “Anonymous” and “Embedded_Blanks_Anon_Y_Mous”? You’re both good writers but obviously very different people. 😀

    Beldar (fa637a)

  85. Embedded_Blank_Anon_Y_Mous wrote, “Trump does not need to justify or explain his decision to fire Comey.”

    Does your analysis change at all when he volunteers multiple explanations that are logically inconsistent with one another, as part of which he expressly discounts his own original explanation?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  86. How’d that work out for Nixon and Archibald Cox? I seem to recall that the House Judiciary committee disagreed with your analysis in his case. Perhaps you might be mistaken.

    This House will not impeach Trump for firing Comey. For one thing, it was before a SP was even appointed. If he were to fire Mueller, he would have a political problem. But, if anyone was going to start impeachment hearings because of Comey, it would have happened already. Face it. Everyone knows this was a put-up job. Trump will not face impeachment.

    So sad; too bad.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  87. Trump does not need to justify or explain his decision to fire Comey. It was his prerogative as POTUS.

    The president is not above the law.

    The president is commander in chief of the military. Nobody disputes his absolute prerogative to command the military forces of the United States. Is it also your position that Trump could have ordered a drone strike on Comey’s home with legal impunity?

    Dave (445e97)

  88. With some technical assistance from a friend (to help me overcome my own instincts), I took a deliberate and self-imposed vacation from this blog’s comments from April 18th through May 3rd, during all of which time I continued to read this blog and its comments daily, without using the script blocker.

    The experiment confirmed for me that if I tried to refrain from all snark and cross-sniping in the midst of this environment, and to simply ignore comments and people whom I found offensive, stupid, or offensively stupid, I didn’t much enjoy reading or commenting myself.

    I still strive to avoid careless insults. But I am indeed going to uncork some deliberate ones, because some insults are deserved.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  89. Does your analysis change at all when he volunteers multiple explanations that are logically inconsistent with one another, as part of which he expressly discounts his own original explanation?

    Nope. That’s just politics. That fact that he offered competing explanations on different occasions is just the POTUS doing politics. Part of his job description.

    If he ever sits down for Mueller and Mueller tries to get him to explain his decision, Trump only has to say he didn’t have confidence in Comey’s ability to carry out his duties, so he dismissed him. If Mueller tries to get him to be more specific, Trump can refuse. Trump didn’t feel he was up to the job and that was it.

    Actually, I would say it would be a mistake for Trump to get bogged down in the minutia. That would be playing Mueller’s game. POTUS has the authority to fire the FBI Director, and he doesn’t have to have a reason that passes muster with anyone.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  90. Dave (445e97) — 5/19/2018 @ 3:59 pm

    Patterico has been going on lately about not debating dishonest hacks. I see what he means.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  91. So, Embedded_Blankymous (that’s awkward!), have you gone from asserting that Trump could fire Comey because it was “his perogative as POTUS” to Trump could fire Comey because this Congress, unlike Nixon’s, will let him get away with it? I’m confused.

    And you still haven’t cited any authority. Do you have any saying that the POTUS can’t commit obstruction of justice?

    (I only agree with you about this Congress, by the way, as long as Trump leaves Mueller in place to finish his investigation, which is apparently the same calculation that Trump and his advisers have made.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  92. Which one of Trump’s mutually inconsistent stories about why he fired Comey do you consider “minutia,” Embedded_Blankymous? Or are they all “minutia,” along with the inconsistency between them?

    I’m having a hard time distinguishing your position, whatever it is, from an assertion like Nixon’s “it’s not illegal when it’s the president doing it.” Help us out here. Is the POTUS above the law or not?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  93. So, Embedded_Blankymous (that’s awkward!), have you gone from asserting that Trump could fire Comey because it was “his perogative as POTUS” to Trump could fire Comey because this Congress, unlike Nixon’s, will let him get away with it? I’m confused.

    Why are you calling me “Embedded_Blankymous”? The name I post under is Anon Y. Mous.

    The House, if filled with 218 Maxine Waters, could impeach Trump for chewing gum on a Sunday. Impeachment is a political act, not bound by normal legal constraints.

    This House will not impeach Trump for firing Comey. Why is that different than a different (Democrat) House almost impeaching Nixon for participating in a coverup of a criminal act (spying on Democrats)?

    The question answers itself. Only the fever-swamp of lefties and neverTrumpers still even try to maintain that Trump was involved in colluding with Russians. Just the opposite. There was a criminal conspiracy against Trump, carried out by members of the Obama administration, in collusion with the Hillary campaign, first to throw the election to Hillary, and when that failed, to cook up fake evidence to be used against Trump in impeachment proceedings. Their conspiracy is coming to light, and at least some of them are going to be charged.

    Start planning how you are going to walk back all this foolishness you have been defending for the past two years, because you won’t be able to avoid the truth for much longer.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  94. Maybe Trump fired Comey because Trump colluded with the Russians and Comey wouldn’t stand for it. But I didn’t collude with the Russians and would have fired Comey.

    He’s done a few things that were evasive and dishonest. The whole “not a subject of investigation” (and I’m aware that police and prosecutors play that game all the time…it is still not balls on the table frank). Also, the Steele dossier briefing where he conveyed selective parts of the information. Also, when asked about source of dossier in Congress and he evaded with something like ‘started by Republicans’. (probably happened later than the firing, but I am saying it shows the man’s character.) Also, how he tried to pawn the decision on not informing Congress of the investigation onto a subordinate (even if subordinate made initial call…it was huge investigation, not some obscure one, and not something he did not know about…he owns that.)

    So. I never colluded with the Commies. But I wouldn’t work with Comey. Don’t trust him. Too much effort to have to pin him down. Wouldn’t want him as OOD if I were a skipper. He’s not frank. Maybe this is seen as normal in DC. But it’s not normal in flyover land.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  95. When Bill Clinton urged Monica Lewinski to lie about their sexual relationship in a sworn affidavit she gave to Ken Starr’s investigators, was he engaged in obstruction of justice, Embedded_Blankymous? The House of Representatives so found, but the Senate acquitted. How would Sen. Blankymous have voted on the same evidence?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  96. When Bill Clinton urged Monica Lewinski to lie about their sexual relationship in a sworn affidavit she gave to Ken Starr’s investigators, was he engaged in obstruction of justice, Embedded_Blankymous?

    Why are you calling me Embedded_Blankymous?

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  97. Why are you calling me “Embedded_Blankymous”? The name I post under is Anon Y. Mous.

    It’s a mnemonic device to help me keep straight your comments from those of the commenter who posts as “Anonymous.” No insult is implied or intended. If I called you Mr. Mous, that might seem dismissive. If I called you Anon, people might think I intend to call you soon. If I called you Y, people might think I was implying that you’re an algebraic variable.

    I do think you’re avoiding my direct questions, though.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  98. @ Anonymous (#97): I’ve thought Comey was a weasel who needed firing since I learned that he acquiesced in the USAO-EDNY’s handout of immunity deals and careful avoidance of real criminal investigatory techniques in the Clinton emails investigation, many weeks before his July 2016 whitewash. I started publicly calling for his firing, here and elsewhere, then. There’s no doubt that he well needed firing.

    But that begs the question of whether Trump obstructed justice when he actually did fire him, for the question there isn’t whether Trump had authority (of course he did), but whether Trump had ulterior and corrupt motives (which I still don’t pretend to know).

    Beldar (fa637a)

  99. It’s a mnemonic device to help me keep straight your comments from those of the commenter who posts as “Anonymous.” No insult is implied or intended. If I called you Mr. Mous, that might seem dismissive. If I called you Anon, people might think I intend to call you soon. If I called you Y, people might think I was implying that you’re an algebraic variable.

    I would prefer to be addressed by the name I post under. If you check a search engine, you will find I have been using that screen name at this site going back to at least 2004. It shouldn’t be too difficult to keep straight, as it appears under every comment I make.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  100. When Bill Clinton urged Monica Lewinski to lie about their sexual relationship in a sworn affidavit she gave to Ken Starr’s investigators, was he engaged in obstruction of justice, Anon Y. Mous (6cc438) [not to be confused with Anonymous (ea5569)]?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  101. 88 –Beldar, I have to quibble with the idea that he’s offered multiple logically inconsistent statements justifying Comey’s firing.

    IMO this is another myth created by the dominate media that is spinning the things he has said into their own narrative, and then attempting to relate that back to him.

    The game is revealed by the willful failure of the media to ever account for his FULL COMMENT to Lester Holt which set off the firestorm:

    HOLT: Monday you met with the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

    TRUMP: Right.

    HOLT: Did you ask for a recommendation?

    TRUMP: What I did is I was going to fire Comey. My decision. It was not…

    HOLT: You had made the decision before they came into your office (ph).

    TRUMP: I — I was going to fire Comey. I — there’s no good time to do it, by the way.

    They…

    HOLT: Because in your letter, you said…

    (CROSSTALK)

    TRUMP: They — they were…

    HOLT: …I — I accepted — accepted their recommendations.

    TRUMP: Yeah, well, they also…

    HOLT: So, you had already made the decision.

    TRUMP: Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.

    HOLT: So, there was…

    (CROSSTALK)

    TRUMP: They — he made a recommendation. He’s highly respected. Very good guy, very smart guy.

    And the Democrats like him. The Republicans like him.

    He had made a recommendation. But regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it

    And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.

    And the reason they should’ve won it is the electoral college is almost impossible for a Republican to win. It’s very hard because you start off at such a disadvantage. So, everybody was thinking they should’ve won the election. This was an excuse for having lost an election.

    HOLT: But were — are you angry…angry with Mr. Comey because of his Russia investigation?

    TRUMP: I just want somebody that’s competent. I am a big fan of the FBI. I love the FBI.

    HOLT: But were you a fan of

    TRUMP: …people of the FBI.

    HOLT: him taking up that investigation?

    TRUMP: I think that — about the Hillary Clinton investigation?

    HOLT: No, about — about the Russian investigation and possible…

    TRUMP: No, I don’t care

    HOLT: …links between…

    TRUMP: Look — look, let me tell you. As far as I’m concerned, I want that thing to be absolutely done properly.

    When I did this now, I said I probably maybe will confuse people. Maybe I’ll expand that — you know, I’ll lengthen the time because it should be over with. It should — in my opinion, should’ve been over with a long time ago because it — all it is an excuse.

    But I said to myself I might even lengthen out the investigation. But I have to do the right thing for the American people.

    He’s the wrong man for that position.

    He had decided to fire Comey by his own admission. Rosenstein and Sessions are with him in a meeting, and he asks for their opinions on Comey. He hears them out, and Rosenstein’s view is Comey should be fired for having usurped the AG’s authority in making a prosecutorial decision on Clinton. Sessions concurs. Trump says “Fine, but your views in writing”. He gets Rosenstein’s letter, accompanied by a concurring letter from Sessions, and he announces the firing.

    That Trump might have another unstated reason for coming to the same conclusion is irrelevant. Rosensteins’ recommendation was factually and legally accurate, and Trump announced the firing on that basis.

    From the transcript of his interview with Lester Holt, he makes clear that he understood firing Comey would not bring an end to the Russia investigation — HE SAID HE RECOGNIZED IT MIGHT ACTUALLY CAUSE IT TO GO ON LONGER. He said he wanted it done “properly” and by someone who was “competent” in Comey’s job.

    While it may be a matter of a difference of opinion, Trump’s view of Comey’s incompetence could be nothing more than a simple view on Trump’s part that Comey’s inability to move the matter to a conclusion expeditiously was unacceptable, and he needed to find someone who might be able to do so.

    Lets assume Trump is operating from the perspective that he knows he played no role in conspiring or cooperating with Russian efforts to influence the election, and he’s been told by Comey more than once that he’s not implicated based on the investigation. I can certainly understand a reaction on Trump’s part that can’t accept Comey’s inability to bring the matter to a close by charging someone or closing the case. He might be factually wrong because he doesn’t have a good understanding the complexity involved or the laborious prosecutorial steps that are necessary to run these kinds of cases.

    But he’s also dealing with the existence of an investigation overhanging the first five months of his Presidency that is dramatically impacting his administration’s ability to pursue its policy agenda.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  102. I lubz you, shippie.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  103. When Bill Clinton urged Monica Lewinski to lie about their sexual relationship in a sworn affidavit she gave to Ken Starr’s investigators, was he engaged in obstruction of justice, Anon Y. Mous (6cc438) [not to be confused with Anonymous (ea5569)]?

    I honestly don’t understand how you can ask this question with a straight face. The act itself, asking a witness to lie, is an obstruction of justice, on its face. There are no fact patterns that make it ok.

    POTUS has the authority to fire the FBI Director. He does not need approval from Congress or anyone else. He does not have to ask for permission before, nor provide a justification after. It is part of his powers, just as the veto power is.

    You seem to think that speculation about Trump covering up a crime, then firing Comey to prevent the crime coming out is enough. But, what is the crime that Trump is covering? It hasn’t been named. That’s one of the torpedoes circling in the water that will eventually detonate on Rosenstein/Mueller. Rosenstein didn’t follow DOJ procedures in appointing Mueller, as he never specified the crime that was being investigated. There is a reason for that. There is no credible evidence of criminal activity by Trump.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  104. Comey and the dirty, cowardly men and women of the corrupt sleazy FBI had their own agenda

    spying on America with the help of the lickspittle rubberstamp FISA court

    and everybody knows it now (not a great foundation for job security, lickspittle fbi trash)

    and who’s gonna hire sleazy traitor-trash from the dirty FBI anymore

    Russia maybe

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  105. The “admission” in the Lester Holt interview has been synthesized by the media for a year down to an inaccurate and purposely misleading claim that he admitted firing Comey because he wanted the investigation over and Comey was the obstacle standing in the way.

    That’s how they get to the “corrupt” motive conclusion and a claim of “obstruction.”

    Too bad he never said that, and its not even a fair inference from what he did say.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  106. . But, what is the crime that Trump is covering

    Money laundering and various forms of fraud from before his election. Remember the claim that any investigation of his finances or his family was a red line he would not allow to be crossed?

    Kishnevi (a722fb)

  107. conversation is conversation this idea that there’s a subspecies of conversation what’s “real” is an affectation what serves no purpose I think

    that’s why I abjure the concept of “real conversation” and prefer just calling conversations conversations

    it’s like how i like to call prosecco prosecco, not real prosecco

    and like how i call my friend Lisa Lisa instead of real lisa

    here’s a song by Lisa Lisa where she has a conversation with the listener about her feels

    she got the short end of the stick in this relationship sounds like

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  108. Money laundering and various forms of fraud from before his election. Remember the claim that any investigation of his finances or his family was a red line he would not allow to be crossed?

    Zero evidence. Internet speculation won’t get it done.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  109. Beldar — let me turn your police chief, prosecutor, subpoena issue around a bit.

    Let’s assume a large company executive wants to fire a subordinate who is a female because she becomes pregnant and plans to take 12 weeks of leave following the birth of her child, which will require a major project of the executive to be put on hold until she returns — possibly putting his status with the company in jeopardy because of performance issues. He’s mulling over in his mind how to create a pretext for firing her that will steer suspicion away from his clearly illegal motives. But while his planning his pretext, the subordinate commits an actual violation of company policy that everyone agrees is an offense warranting termination – so he fires her.

    Has he violated her civil rights because he was in the process of carrying out a pretextual plan firing for her having become pregnant, when she just happened to do something that gave him a legitimate basis to fire her?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  110. Kishnevi — you are an attorney. Do you throw around the term “money laundering” without understanding the elements?

    Or are you just swallowing the left wing talking points that Russian oligarchs and organized crime figures have laundered dirty money through purchasing real estate properties tied to the Trump organization, which Trump has allowed in exchange for getting favorable terms on needed financing through, or sponsored by, Russian sources?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  111. why would Trump need to do launders on monies

    his cash flow’s from absurdly traditional places like renting and selling real estate, and licensing his brand

    it’s not like he’s hillary where he’s trying to funnel monies to his ugly no-talent daughter or into his campaign all the time

    he didn’t even do launders on his payment to the porn-slut with the obscenely large boobies as you can clearly see from his most recent financial disclosure

    this is why President Trump’s become something of an icon and a hero to the American people

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  112. The “admission” in the Lester Holt interview has been synthesized by the media for a year down to an inaccurate and purposely misleading claim that he admitted firing Comey because he wanted the investigation over and Comey was the obstacle standing in the way.

    Trump did say that the but-for reason was not Rosenstein’s recommendation, and said that when he made the decision he had the Russia investigation on his mind. Here is part of what you bolded:

    regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it

    And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.

    He said other things too, but he said that.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  113. 110:

    She played at the Boat School in the 80s. Interesting the dynamic between her and the male audience. And not just from them, but her. Something about being surrounded by all that squid meat.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  114. 115: I liked shipmate’s longer quote better.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  115. @ swc: Fairly viewed in context, in his interview with Holt, Trump admitted — indeed, volunteered — that by attaching the Rosenthal memo and Sessions’ cover memo to his announcement of his firing of Comey, Trump was engaging in a false pretext regarding the reason for firing Comey. He was papering the file, without knowing or caring much what was in the paperwork.

    Having admitted one false pretext, one can fairly wonder about every other purported justification and the extent to which it, too, was pretextual.

    Obama, to pick an example of pretext, claimed that his comments about Hillary’s lack of intent to harm U.S. security interests were never intended to impact the then-ongoing (sham of an) investigation of the Clinton email server. I believe, and I suspect that you agree, that Obama damn well knew that his extraordinary statements would be interpreted by law enforcement personnel within both the DoJ and the FBI as being very important, almost in inverse proportion to the extent Obama insisted that they weren’t.

    Trump critics can likewise claim that when Trump said, “I might even lengthen out the investigation,” he was likewise engaging in a pretense of innocent and selfless purpose, when his actual purpose had been to send everyone involved in investigating Trump a clear message about who can fire whom on a whim.

    Trump indeed is capable of what’s called “studied ambiguities,” that is, intentional ones. Like most con men, in fact, he relentlessly thrives on them, often with little or no subtlety to accompany the ambiguity. Pardoning Scooter Libby was one such: There were plenty of defensible reasons for doing that. Did any of them fit the timing? Nope, not a one. Did pardoning Libby serve as a message to others who might be wondering about Trump’s willingness to use his pardon power to reward a stalwart Trump associate someday? Yes, that’s as clear as a loud fart in church.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  116. I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.

    what this says is that since he knew the Russia investigation was a hoax it presented no obstacle to firing sleazy cowardly jim comey

    it doesn’t say he fired lickspittle Jim cause he was concerned about the hoax sham investigation – quite the opposite

    and the esteem with which he is held by the American people has done nothing but grow since then

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  117. I’ve been drinking a lot (just now and over the years). But there is some dude from a long long time ago (maybe 10 years or so, but I live in the past). And his name was captain ed or something different. I seem to remember he shut his blog down. Was conservative.

    I live in the past. Can anyone remember what I am thinking of?

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  118. @ swc: The fact pattern you pose in #112 is pretty close to the kind of stuff I litigate regularly. In general, once there’s even a bit of pretext confirmed, then the jury is going to get to hear everything — no summary judgments, no motions to dismiss granted — and decide upon whether at least one of the purposes for the firing was an illegal one, in which case, the defendant is going to lose. And that’s true even when the employment relationship was purely at will, with either side having the contractual right to terminate it with or without cause, with or without notice, and for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reasons at all (except for a few reasons that the courts and/or legislatures involved have declared impermissible ones). Is that responsive to your question?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  119. Ed Morrisey was “Captain Ed,” and he still blogs at Hot Air, Anonymous. Good man, good writer, smart fellow.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  120. Hmm…

    Different question (out of the blue):

    Do y’all ever talk about oil, shale, peak oil, fracking or the like? Imagine I have been in a time capsule for 10 years and not read the blog (latter part true).

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  121. 122: Yeah, he seemed like a good dude. People liked his site. Was he literally an O-6? (Not to crawl into his jock, just curious.)

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  122. What was the name of the Captain Ed site? Is it still up? Having a hard time recalling.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  123. #118: great comment, Beldar, from start to finish.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  124. Captain’s Quarters.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  125. Patterico has been going on lately about not debating dishonest hacks. I see what he means.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438) — 5/19/2018 @ 4:02 pm

    What was dishonest?

    You said (as I understood it) “the president has authority to do X, so it is always lawful for him to do X whatever the motives”.

    I offered an example that seems difficult to sustain under that premise. If you think there is a distinction that separates the two cases, you should explain what it is.

    Otherwise *I* am not the “dishonest hack”.

    Dave (445e97)

  126. Has he violated her civil rights because he was in the process of carrying out a pretextual plan firing for her having become pregnant, when she just happened to do something that gave him a legitimate basis to fire her?

    Does he give an interview on tape where he admits his pretextual plan, and says that the legitimate reason was not the but-for cause?

    I understand that’s unlikely, because executives are usually smarter than that — but not always.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  127. the peak oil concept’s eschewed now in favor of the peak oil demand concept

    the oil story what’s exciting right now is the export story i think for economic reasons but also for soft power reasons as well

    the maritime regulations about ship fuel are a fun story too, perhaps a bit over-hyped, but an interesting catalyst that was never on anybody’s radar til now

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  128. What was dishonest?

    Nothing in your comment was dishonest, Dave. It was a good point.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  129. Except for the fact that this post is too wordy (the header and the two bullet points, standing alone, would have been perfect), it is still one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long, long time (What’s happened to everbody’s sense of humor?).

    Very good! This post will be living in my head for some time – I can’t stop laughing!

    ThOR (d25d69)

  130. Morrisey’s blog was “Captain’s Quarters.” I don’t know about his service background or lack thereof.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  131. he ran a call center

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  132. we are currently experiencing large call volumes please hold and a representative will join you soon to engage you in a real conversation

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  133. Reminds me of the Bearing Drift blog in the VA political blogosphere. I was broadly in agreement with them but as always prompted some pickyoone disagreement because of my Aspieness. Then I made a comment and used the acronym CBDR in mid sentence. And my opponent loved it. [You had to be there. It’s a nav thing. You wouldn’t understand.]

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  134. CNN
    @CNN
    China will “significantly increase” purchases of US goods and services

    __ _

    Ed Morrissey
    @EdMorrissey
    Looks like Trump got his way, at least to some extent.

    harkin (99ba6b)

  135. Re: Ed Morrissey

    According to Wikipedia:

    “Captain” is “just a nickname”, not a rank.

    His original blog says:

    It’s a nickname bestowed on me by a former girlfriend during a time in my life when I was a huge Star Trek fan, and had named my first car the Carship Enterprise, and had bought a license-plate frame with that on it. For a birthday gift, she got me a set of personalized license plates that read CPTN ED to fit within it.

    Dave (445e97)

  136. So it’s almost as embarrassing as “Beldar”

    Dave (445e97)

  137. Ok. Interesting and no worries. You could tell the CBDR dude was an old salt though. Bear trap. Goat locker. “Subic rules”.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  138. The part about Beldar doing an over the top sexy skit makes him much more bearable. I thought he was some limp word boy.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  139. Pookah. Using the ten point dividers (for Loran) to stick people. Of course I could just have read this all on the Intertubes…

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  140. “Did pardoning Libby serve as a message to others who might be wondering about Trump’s willingness to use his pardon power to reward a stalwart Trump associate someday? Yes, that’s as clear as . . . “

    -Beldar

    When dealing with an opponent who is playing hardball, whether it is a Planning Commissioner who wants to block your hotel development or a zealous prosecutor out to get you, you play hardball right back.

    For many of us, having a President who is both willing and able to play hardball is no character flaw, but, instead, a huge relief.

    For people who roundly condemn President Trump for his dis-ingeniousness, many of you seem quick to endorse his comment that he was going to fire Comey “regardless of the recommendation.” I never bought that braggadocios line. What he is communicating is that “I am in charge,” not just taking orders from Rosenstein, et. al. Isn’t that exactly what he’d say even if he was still undecided about the firing but moved to act by the memo? Of course it is.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  141. Nothing in your comment was dishonest, Dave. It was a good point.

    So asking if Trump has the legal authority to send a drone out to murder the inhabitants of Comey’s home is an honest question. One that naturally arises from the claim that Trump has the authority to fire Comey.

    Pray tell, what part of the constitution arguably gives Trump that authority?

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  142. I was in the Nav. You are supposed to follow legal orders. Even there, you can have honest questions about Hiroshima or the like. But if it is clear cut (and I admit the situation and time could affect what you call clear cut), you are not to execute an unlawful order. Of course there are reasonable reasons why you may not be able to stop and do some law blogger analysis right at the time and in the moment.

    Anonymous (ea5569)

  143. On the general subject of pretexts and facts brought in to prove or disprove them, and the fact that Comey needed firing regardless of whether Trump went about with a corrupt or pure heart:

    I was brought in at the last minute to co-first-chair a wrongful death case back in the early 1990s, a dram shop case in which one of my partner’s clients, the Virginia City Dance Hall & Saloon in Tomball, TX, was accused of overserving plaintiff’s decedent (aka the widow’s dead husband, Willie) at a “$10 cover/drinks for free” promotion, just before Willie’s fatal single-vehicle accident a half mile from my client’s location.

    Willie had been a family man, with not only a wife but kids, and of course among the elements of their legal damages was their loss of his past and future love and companionship, in addition to their economic damages (which were substantial: Willie was a union flagman for a railroad, with an excellent record of wages, although he’d mostly spent them on things other than his family).

    My partner was an extremely confident and aggressive lawyer, and while farming out voir dire and expert witness examinations to me, she kept for herself the cross-examination of the widow and the other witnesses who were called to bolster the family’s damages case. We were brainstorming how precisely she ought to cross the widow, and I was expressing concern that we might generate a strong backlash if my partner attacked head-on the widow’s claim that Willie was The Best Husband-and-Father Ever Known To Mankind.

    “Look here,” I warned my partner, “we can’t come straight out and argue that our client did the widow and her kids a favor by drunkening up, and then killing off, her no-account, lying, cheating, malingering dog of a husband. That may be true, but then again, it might boomerang around on us.”

    “I’m not going to argue that in so many words,” replied my partner, “I’m just going to vividly adduce the facts from which someone in the jury room can make that argument to his or her fellow jurors, if’n any of them are so inclined when they get back there. It’s material to damages.”

    And sure enough, she did indeed confront the widow fairly directly on cross — not going so far as to try to prove through the widow’s own testimony that she was lying about their family history and her husband’s many affairs and long absences, but certainly flagging these issues for discussion with other witnesses.

    Consistent with this plan, during our case-in-chief, my partner called to the stand one of Willie’s deer hunting buddies, who testified in substance that on the day before the opening of deer season during the fall before Willie’s death, he & Willie had gone to Waco to check out their deer stands and other equipment out at the deer lease, after which they’d gone out drinking and dancing at a kicker joint across the highway from their motel. The friend allowed how Willie had gotten very drunk, and how with increasing fervor he’d pursued a particular young lady’s attentions for dancing and conversation. He said that he himself had stayed at the bar until closing time, but that about an hour before that, Willie and the young lady had left the bar, whereupon he’d seen, through a window, Willie escorting the young lady across the highway and into Willie’s room at their motel.

    Having adduced this story in calm, clinical detail, my partner sat back in her chair and said, “Pass the witness.” At which point the widow’s lawyer predictably huffed and puffed in righteous indignation. Was there anything wrong with Willie enjoying himself on that trip with a little bit of drinking and dancing? No, sir, I was doing that too, admitted the friend. Were the shades on Willie’s hotel room open or closed when you saw them enter the room? They were closed. Did you go around back to try and peek in through the bathroom window to see what they were doing in there? No, he hadn’t. Did the friend actually know, from what he’d seen with his own eyes and heard with his own ears, what, if anything, Willie and the young lady were doing inside? No, the friend reckoned that he really didn’t know and couldn’t say what they’d been doing.

    “In fact, for all you know, they could have been playing cards or even reading that little motel-room Gideon’s Bible after they went in there, isn’t that true?” thundered the widow’s lawyer as he wound up his cross-examination.

    “Yes, sir, I suppose they could’ve been playing cards or reading the Bible. All I know, sir, is that they were both still in the room, and both nekkid as jaybirds, when I went to get Willie to head out to the deer lease just before dawn the next morning.”

    The jury found that my client had not over-served Willie with alcoholic beverages, meaning my client wasn’t liable for violating the Texas Dram Shop Act or otherwise responsible for Willie’s death. And since the trial had gone well for us, I wasn’t very surprised by that. But I do confess to being surprised by the jury’s verdict on damages, which was in response to a question that they had to answer regardless of their earlier answers establishing no liability: The jury assessed the widow’s and kid’s damages from the loss of Willie’s love and company at precisely zero.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  144. What you can get a jury to buy off on or not is different from right or wrong (morally or legally). I am more interested in the latter than the former.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  145. That’s a wonderful story, Beldar.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  146. (The widow appealed and lost, if you were wondering.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  147. For people who roundly condemn President Trump for his dis-ingeniousness, many of you seem quick to endorse his comment that he was going to fire Comey “regardless of the recommendation.” I never bought that braggadocios line.

    This is the type of evidence that courts typically decide is a fact question for a jury because it is susceptible to different meanings. If one person reasonably thinks it means X and another reasonably thinks it means Y, then we can’t say with certainty what it means.

    DRJ (15874d)

  148. @ Anonymous, who wrote (#147):

    What you can get a jury to buy off on or not is different from right or wrong (morally or legally). I am more interested in the latter than the former.

    That’s true, and a fair comment, sir or ma’am. I suppose the story occurred to me because I was imagining Trump insisting to Mueller, “Look, regardless of what I was or wasn’t trying to cover up, I did America a favor when I fired Comey!”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  149. (I actually think Mueller might agree with that, by the way, but he won’t think that’s the relevant question.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  150. There is a chasm of distance between the “Russia thing” being “on his mind”, and him corruptly intending to end the investigation by firing Comey.

    The media and his critics have harrumphed for a year that he said the latter, when it does not follow from the former.

    He said less than 30 seconds later in the interview that he knew he might be EXTENDING the investigation by firing Comey, and he wanted it done properly, but he didn’t think Comey was the right guy for the job.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  151. Thank you for your comment, DRJ. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m not a lawyer.

    Beldar, your “studied ambiguities” comment reminds me of how I am forced to communicate in social situations about politics and, especially, about Trump. I live in in the San Francisco Bay Area. If I weren’t a con man, I’d have no friends and no job prospects. Group-think is strictly enforced around here.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  152. 118 — not true.

    “without knowing or caring much what was in the paperwork

    How do you know that, or do you just take it as a matter of faith given your overall view of his intellect and manner of thinking?

    According to Rosenstein and Sessions, they met before the meeting with Trump, and they both agreed on the need for new leadership at the FBI.

    In one of my first meetings with then-Senator Jeff Sessions last winter, we discussed the need for new leadership at the FBI,” Rosenstein said, according to prepared remarks released by the Justice Department. “Among the concerns that I recall were to restore the credibility of the FBI, respect the established authority of the Department of Justice, limit public statements and eliminate leaks.”

    That’s from the Daily Beast on May 19, 2017, exactly 1 year ago. It followed his all-Senate briefing of his role in Comey’s firing.

    “On May 8, I learned that President Trump intended to remove Director Comey and sought my advice and input,” Rosenstein said. “Notwithstanding my personal affection for Director Comey, I thought it was appropriate to seek a new leader.”

    Trump might have had a different view in his own mind about why Comey should be fired, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t agree with the reasons given by Rosenstein, and Rosenstein’s justification went directly to the heart of Comey’s performance as FBI Director, and the possibility that he might act inappropriately in the future in a similar fashion given his repeated efforts to defend his conduct.

    According to Comey, on a couple of occasions Trump gave him kudos for the way Comey handled himself in the aftermath of the Clinton email fiasco, so my guess is that Trump wasn’t even sensitive to the issues raised by Rosenstein in his memo until he sat down and talked with Rosenstein and Sessions about Comey.

    Just like its possible to have two thoughts in your head at one time, as the host has pointed out, its also possible to have two separate and independent reasons for why Comey should have been fired. Just because Trump offered only one publicly doesn’t mean that one was false or pretextual.

    The President is not obligate to offer his thinking on the reasons for making personnel moves. Do we know why he fired HR McMasters? Trump hasn’t said so. Do we know why he fired Tillerson? Trump hasn’t said so.

    As laid out by Rosensteing, the”For Cause” reason for firing Comey was a matter of factual record. It didn’t require explanation or justification.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  153. Jim Comey’s a liar, a lying fbi twat-coward.

    You can’t trust anything he says cause like John McCain he’s a coward devoid of any integrity.

    And you can be fired from the slut-b-i just for being a liar (ask Andykins).

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  154. And Mueller is still hunting the real anthrax mailers along with the shooters who personally should be attributed to whitey bulger Shirley you cent be serious.

    narciso (d1f714)

  155. “Pardoning Scooter Libby was one such: There were plenty of defensible reasons for doing that. Did any of them fit the timing? Nope, not a one.”

    One defensible reason is that the pardon of Libby should’ve happened several years ago.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  156. @ swc: I don’t believe that Trump fired Comey because Comey was unfair to Hillary Clinton. You can argue until the heat death of the universe before I’ll believe that.

    Trump’s actions and comments, in this context and others, both before and after his election, show either profound ignorance or profound indifference to the need for independence between the White House and the DoJ and law enforcement authorities. But yes, perhaps you’re correct, and perhaps Trump could have dictated, without notes, the sum and substance of the arguments Rosenstein included in his memo criticizing Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. Perhaps Trump likewise could have formulated from scratch the gasoline that powered his limousine that day, and perhaps his secret plan to replace Obamacare was eaten by Barron’s dog.

    I’m taking it as a matter of faith, you win on that. On convincing me to abandon that faith, you lose.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  157. 121 — YES!

    But for reasons I didn’t disclose. Its similar in generalities to a case I have going right now against a very large corporation where the complaint alleges civil rights violations as a basis for termination, while the company is offering what I see as a transparently pretextual justification formed around a trumped-up claim of a policy violation that was alleged to have taken place 18 months earlier. The firing came after an overt threat, heard by others, where my client was told by a corporate official “We’re going to turn your store inside out, and if I find a single thing wrong, I’m going to fire you on the spot.”

    And he did just that two months later over an incident that had taken place 18 months prior, had been reported on, but nothing ever done about it.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  158. @ Haiku (#158): Then why did Trump wait a year and a half into his presidency to pardon Libby?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  159. the slut-b-i railroaded Mr. Libby with phony evidence

    this is how they do (no integrity)

    it’s a good reminder for people

    especially in the context of herr mueller’s russian collusion hoax

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  160. 159 — and that, again, is a media driven myth. That’s not what Rosenstein said in his memo.

    Rosenstein’s memo says Comey should be fired for having usurped the authority of the Attorney General in announcing a decision to not prosecute Clinton. No matter the circumstances, that was not Comey’s decision, and it was not an announcement to take upon himself. If he believed Lynch was conflicted, there are DOJ procedures he should have followed to resolve the conflict.

    The fact that he did it again in Oct. 2016, and made repeated public efforts to justify his wrongful conduct, created a risk that he could take it upon himself to do something similar in the future.

    THAT IS WHY ROSENSTEIN RECOMMENDED HE BE FIRED.

    Not that it was unfair to Hillary.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  161. kishnevi WRT 38. No. A stiff defense means the defender thinks his idea is under threat. So, one way or another, it means you’re over the target. A correct idea can be threatened by somebody who’s arguingin ignorance or bad faith. So it will be defended. A false idea can be seen as correct by the defender, or perhaps he knows he’s lying. Either way, he will be motivated to defend it.
    My point is that you get flak when you’re relevant.
    The implication is that you’re probably right since a correct idea is supposed to able to stand by itself and not need defense.

    Richard Aubrey (10ef71)

  162. With the previous President’s first Attorney General describing himself as Obama’s “wingman” and the second instructing the FBI to describe Hill’s criminal investigation as a matter, whatever independence that may have once existed was, by 2016, ancient history. On inauguration day, like it or not, President Trump met the existing standard.

    ThOR (d25d69)

  163. @ Haiku (#158): Then why did Trump wait a year and a half into his presidency to pardon Libby?

    Beldar (fa637a) — 5/19/2018 @ 7:38 pm

    I don’t know, Beldar. He just did. He may not have met your personal timetable and perhaps you’d previously written about the injustice of it all, but Trump is the guy who did it, yes?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  164. Pray tell, what part of the constitution arguably gives Trump that authority?

    It was tough to find, I admit.

    I was in the Nav. You are supposed to follow legal orders. Even there, you can have honest questions about Hiroshima or the like. But if it is clear cut (and I admit the situation and time could affect what you call clear cut), you are not to execute an unlawful order.

    But Anon Y. Mous’s position seems to be the same as Nixon’s – that an order from the president cannot be illegal:

    Trump does not need to justify or explain his decision to fire Comey. It was his prerogative as POTUS. […] The executive can fire anyone under his command at his whim.

    I don’t wish to mischaracterize anyone’s position, but he hasn’t explained why he thinks acting with mens rea would be OK for some presidential powers but not others.

    Dave (445e97)

  165. Trump’s best defense is that he’s a scatter-brained, shallow, inarticulate, self-centered baby who holds grudges and acts impulsively, who neither knew or cared about the self-restraint he ought to have been exercising given his own peripheral involvement with criminal investigations into anyone else (including Flynn and Manafort), and that he fired Comey out of pique and frustration that Comey wouldn’t say to the public what he was telling Trump privately, and that he did indeed use the Rosenstein memo as a pretext, and ditto the argument about the “cloud on the presidency,” and ditto any other rational justification that ever was, or could have been, advanced to support Comey’s firing.

    His lawyers should, in this instance, let Trump be Trump. Embrace the suck, go with the flow, tell the whole truth for once, and sing along with me: How could you believe me when I said I loved you, when you know I’ve been a liar all my life? It’s not a diminished capacity defense, but he should cop to being a petty and impatient baby to convincingly explain that he’s not trying to hide something worse.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  166. O think they will need a signed confession Ala jt Walsh in a few good man, before they admit the entire intelligence estAblishment was weaponized by the previous administration.

    narciso (d1f714)

  167. I wouldn’t have pardoned Libby ever, Haiku. I think Bush’s commutation was exactly the right result, and I’ve said so here and elsewhere at the time. But I repeat my point: Trump’s timing very strongly supports the notion that the Libby pardon was a message to Trump supporters who are, or may find themselves in, criminal jeopardy.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  168. the dirty men and women of the slut-b-i have been trying to frame President Trump for *years* now and they got nothing

    why does he need a defense

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  169. No Beldar, his defense is you have a bureaucracy that will take unverified rumors from Russia, in order to sabotage a candidate, angleton was faulted for relying too much on golitsy , which caused transatlantic rifts in the intelligence services of perhaps two countries three if you count south Africa. But at least golitsym was a known quantity.

    narciso (d1f714)

  170. And maybe he showed a tiny spark of humanity, Beldar, which would be most welcome these days, IMHO.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  171. swc@113
    This being a blog in which nonlawyers predominate, I use the term in the way nonlawyers use it.

    But there is more evidence for those left wing talking points than your descriptions of FBI chicanery. Nor the gaping lacunae which vitiate them.

    Kishnevi (7976e0)

  172. The people who should be worrying about criminal culpability and pardons are the jackholes and assclowns who are behind the soft coup.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  173. I would have pardoned Libby twice and thrice on Tuesday, if you still don’t realize how fits pursued a witchhunt after Armitage was known as the leaker, how Judith miller was deprived if her liberty for info they already how russert .Mitchell Gregory likely perjured themselves, how eickenride lost the 302 transcripts I can’t help you.

    narciso (d1f714)

  174. @ swc, who wrote (#163):

    Rosenstein’s memo says Comey should be fired for having usurped the authority of the Attorney General in announcing a decision to not prosecute Clinton. No matter the circumstances, that was not Comey’s decision, and it was not an announcement to take upon himself.

    I agree with your paraphrase. Can you find an example of Trump having ever said this, or anything close to this — by which I mean, in which Trump expressly recognizes and discusses the different roles of cops and prosecutors — in public, to support your suggestion that Trump knew and understood this? Enlighten us if so.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  175. How could you believe me when I said I loved you, when you know I’ve been a liar all my life?

    LOL. I guess when they realized that wouldn’t fit on a red baseball cap, they went with “Make America Great Again” instead…

    Dave (445e97)

  176. President Trump doesn’t have to jump through hoops

    especially not for the dirty slutty animals at the fbi

    not for nobody!

    Jim Comey disgraced himself and his pussyhat family and now he don’t got no job

    thank you President Trump!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  177. @ narciso (#176): Yup, we’ve discussed all this, and you’re right, you can’t “help” me, but I acknowledge and respect your differing opinion.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  178. So Mueller has really given up on the Russian connection, so he is going after the anti islamist axis uae the kingdom Bahrain and Israel, which puts them in cahoots with Iran and Qatar.

    narciso (d1f714)

  179. What is the remedy to abuse of power, under color of law and unrestricted lawfare against political opponents.

    narciso (d1f714)

  180. the sleazy, cowardly men and women of the FBI will do everything they can to undermine america while President Trump is president Mr. narciso

    they’re basically traitors, and they should all get bad reviews

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  181. @ Dave: That’s supposed to be the longest title of a movie musical song ever. 😀 I think it’s the Trumpiest song ever, too!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  182. That’s supposed to be the longest title of a movie musical song ever.

    Hmmm.

    *counts the letters in “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”*

    *nods*

    Dave (445e97)

  183. So. Ifsud is apparently at least a triple asset with Saudi and. British ties as well as Russian and germin ones, the kingdom ties are through nawaf obaid the British ones through Claire Smith, now as with a player in the blame matter, rocco martin who provided the Niger dossier ostensibly on behalf of Italian intelligence but he was just as likely a French asset, which posed a problem because they were on the opposite side of the Iraq question.

    narciso (d1f714)

  184. 113 — the way non-lawyers use it isn’t a crime. So tossing around a loaded “criminal” term like “money laundering” to describe non-criminal acts is dishonest when done by someone who does understand that it means.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  185. Addicted to Love Trump

    Your lights are on, but you’re not home
    Your mind is not your own
    Your brain sweats, emotions faked
    Another post is what it takes
    You can’t sleep, you can’t work
    There’s no doubt, teh guy’s a jerk
    Your ass is tight, you can’t breathe
    Your hands shake, you sit and seethe
    Ohh oohh

    You like to think you got it all figured out…oh yeah
    It’s closer to the truth to say you won’t beat the lout
    You know you’re gonna have to face it
    You’re addicted to Trump

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  186. 170 — I’m ambivalent on the Libby pardon. I think his prosecution and conviction were a miscarriage of justice, made more so by the fact that Judith Miller has offered a plausible explanation that she was misled by Fitzgerald when he prepped her for her testimony. Since she had spend time in jail because of him, I don’t doubt that she was going to follow his lead wherever he told her to go.

    I don’t question those who find suspicion in the timing, but I did see it reported that Victoria Toensing represented Libby, she drafted his pardon petition, and she took advantage of the face-time she had with the President to press the case for his pardon.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  187. 174 — Kishnevi lets agree that I have a far greater understanding of how the FBI operates in the norm that you do — even on the counter-intel side for reasons you will likely never know. And as a result I can compare what the FBI did in the second half of 2016 with the way the FBI normally operates based on my personal experiences.

    So, for you to question my observations is pretty much the equivalent of a blind man trying to identify an elephant with the benefit of only one finger.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  188. the hundreds of millions of dollars Mueller’s wasted on his fishing expedition is bad enough but the taxpayers are also gonna need make his victims whole too

    pardons aren’t sufficient they need to be indemnified

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  189. oopers need *to* make his victims whole too

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  190. Yes she has also represented actual intelligence operatives including will campbell, who actually infiltrated a Russian influence scheme.

    narciso (d1f714)

  191. 177 — I know he sat in a room with Rosenstein and Sessions as they explained their views, which they had arrived at some time earlier.

    Its a bit of a head scratcher to me why you think he would leave that meeting and not understand the points that they had made. Why would he need to make a public comment in that regard to affirm for you that he understood the problem going forward with Comey as FBI Director based on what they explained to him?

    IMO, this comes home a bit more when you consider that Comey has said prior to being fired, Trump had actually patted him on the back — rhetorically — for the manner in which he handled himself in comeing through the firestorm following his Clinton email fiasco.

    So I can see Trump sitting in a room with Sessions and Rosenstein, not fully appreciating before that meeting how unwise it is for an FBI Director to assume to himself the full authority of DOJ in matters of prosecutorial discretion. So rather than be applauded for his rectitude, it may have only been at that moment that Trump realized having someone as an FBI Dir. who saw that as properly his role wasn’t really that good of an idea — based on the points of view explained by the two top prosecutors in DOJ.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  192. in retrospect sleazy cowardly Jim Comey didn’t have the integrity or judgement expected of a law enforcement official, even for the slutty incompetent treasonous fbi

    it’s really just that simple

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  193. hundreds of millions of dollars Mueller’s wasted on his fishing expedition

    As of December, Mueller’s investigation had spent $3.2M.

    His annual budget is $10M, so to spend “hundreds of millions” it would need to go on for about 20 years.

    Dave (445e97)

  194. Manafort will probably be out of jail before Mueller spends “hundreds of millions” of dollars…

    Dave (445e97)

  195. He’s being doing that for nearly 20 years as with rosenstein.

    narciso (d1f714)

  196. His annual budget is $10M, so to spend “hundreds of millions” it would need to go on for about 20 years.

    i don’t believe this

    and i bet he embezzles a crapload of money too

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  197. America was founded by persons whose whose belief was much more significant than flying elephant cteatures.

    narciso (d1f714)

  198. and how much did they pay dirty fat-ass Stefan Halper

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  199. So I can see Trump sitting in a room with Sessions and Rosenstein, not fully appreciating before that meeting how unwise it is for an FBI Director to assume to himself the full authority of DOJ in matters of prosecutorial discretion. So rather than be applauded for his rectitude, it may have only been at that moment that Trump realized having someone as an FBI Dir. who saw that as properly his role wasn’t really that good of an idea — based on the points of view explained by the two top prosecutors in DOJ.

    And yet, when asked by Lester Holt mere days after making the decision, the only substantive rationale that he could (barely) articulate was “this Russia thing with Trump and Russia”.

    Dave (445e97)

  200. 190
    Except most of your “knowledge” of what they were doing in 2016 is speculation. And there are some gaping holes that vitiate your entire theory.

    And you are committing a fundamental error: corrupt FBI and corrupt Trump are not mutually exclusive.

    Kishnevi (7976e0)

  201. About 900k over the better part of a year from funds vouchered from the office of net assessment.

    narciso (d1f714)

  202. President Trump’s a lot of things but corrupt?

    No freaking way.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  203. i don’t believe this

    It’s in President Trump’s budget.

    Are you … calling President Trump a liar?? (*clutches pearls*)

    President Donald Trump’s new budget projects that special counsel Robert Mueller’s office will still be in business in fiscal year 2019 — even though White House officials have repeatedly said they expect the probe to wrap up soon.

    The budget projects that Mueller’s team will keep spending at its current rate of about $10 million per year in the next fiscal year, which starts in October.

    Dave (445e97)

  204. $10 million doesn’t even cover the bribe money for his witnesses

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  205. $10 million doesn’t even cover the bribe money for his witnesses

    But it will cover 6 Playmate abortions!

    Dave (445e97)

  206. @ ThOr: Thanks for the kind words, and once again, welcome back! Studied ambiguities of the sort you describe are some of the tastiest, so enjoy them — it’s a silver lining to be appreciated, right?

    @ swc, who asked (#194):

    Its a bit of a head scratcher to me why you think [Trump] would leave that meeting and not understand the points that they had made. Why would he need to make a public comment in that regard to affirm for you that he understood the problem going forward with Comey as FBI Director based on what they explained to him?

    I dunno. Because he thinks there are Twelve Articles in the Constitution? Because he hires lawyers like Michael Cohen? Because he’s mad at Jeff Sessions for being ethical instead of being Trump’s Roy Cohn? Because he’s oblivious to the impropriety of commenting publicly on pending criminal investigations and indictments? Because he thought his sister would be a good SCOTUS appointee? How long have you got?

    I didn’t say he has any obligations to do so, but I would expect that at some point along the way, he might have paraphrased the point of Rosenstein’s memo — perhaps not as succinctly and accurately as you did, but in some way which indeed confirms that he understands and cares about the difference between the appropriate roles of the FBI and DoJ. He talks and tweets about Comey every damn day; no one can stop him. He accuses Comey of leaking. He accuses Comey of breaking the law. He accuses Comey of conspiring against him. He has a long list of complaints about Comey — and yet … and yet …

    “Usurping the authority of the Attorney General” is not one of the complaints about Comey that I can recall ever having seen Trump tweet. Maybe I missed it; I don’t use Twitter directly, and only know of it through references elsewhere. (Twitter delenda est.)

    Hence my invitation to you: Why do you presume that Trump understood, or cared at all, about anything Sessions or Rosenstein said about Rosenstein’s memo beyond the most superficial view from 50,000 feet, i.e., thumbs up or down on Slippery Shady James Comey?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  207. Old habits die hard another fellow uou might have heard of once upon a time, a e Howard hunt who was a consultant to the Nixon administration but his official title was working for a private concern Mullen and co, which was an agencybprorietatu

    narciso (d1f714)

  208. Front company headed by the future senator from Utah Robert Bennett, this is who McMullen wanted to be when he grew up.

    narciso (d1f714)

  209. the slutty un-American men and women of the FBI are corrupt trash it’s just that simple

    President Trump did the right thing by firing sleazy dirty pussyhat Jim (who did so much to create the corrupt sleazy FBI we know today)

    but the rest of the filth-dirty fbi cowards need to be fired too

    chop chop President Trump!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  210. On a different, yet related topic.

    I’m engaged in a running email exchange on all these subjects, and one thing I harped on in those emails, but haven’t spent any time discussing here, is the extent to which a SC investigation, supervised only by one insulated official at DOJ, is potentially causing havoc in other sectors of the government, and whether those collateral costs are a legitimate basis to make changes, or shut down the investigation altogether. And there is a new story out today that I think best encapsulates this problem.

    There is a new story in the NYT today saying that Mueller is investigating a meeting in that Don Jr. may have had in the fall of 2016 with Eric Prince, George Nadar, and an Israeli businessman, where the topic was an offer by the Saudi Royal Price and the UAE Royal Prince to help Trump win the election.

    Would anyone be bothered by the fact that Rosenstein may have expanded the scope of the SC’s mandate to include issues involving the Saudis or the UAE? How far afield of Russian collusion is too far?

    The Saudi angle — assisted by the Israelis — clearly plays into Trump’s anti-Iran Deal position in the campaign, as contrasted to the defense of the Iran Deal by Obama and Clinton.

    Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran deal has met largely with applause from the Sunni parts of the Middle East and the Israelis. Our relationship with both is a central feature of critical foreign policy issues now playing themselves out.

    But we have a SC, backed by a DAG (maybe), who is conducting a criminal investigation that might have unintended collateral impacts on those key relationships. Is Sec of State Pompeo, or the leadership of the CIA, part of discussions with DOJ on the impact of this investigation on their portfolio of responsibilities?
    Shouldn’t they be if they are not?

    At what point is it legitimate for Trump to say that the collateral costs of Mueller’s rummaging around in matters that lead to foreign policy complications 1) overstepping the legitimate bases of his investigation, and 2) Rosenstein’s failure to consider these collateral consequences in his decision-making with regard to Mueller, grounds to dismiss both of them?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  211. The metaphor is not a swamp, however,it’s a minefield ringed with barbed wire; you try to remove a pawn and you get a nice hash inn The arm or worse.

    narciso (d1f714)

  212. dirty Rosytwat needs to be fired and it’s sleazy bama-bigot Jeffy Sessions’ responsibility to do that, not President Trump’s

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  213. The key common element is those countries are part of an anti Islamic bloc, against Iran and qatar. Egypt and the militia of general hafter are on the opposite side of thatvaxis.

    narciso (d1f714)

  214. “But it will cover 6 Playmate abortions!”

    But less than one fifth a Clinton uranium shakedown.

    harkin (99ba6b)

  215. Shippie:

    You are right on. The behavior of Comey with setting himself up as a proesecuting decision maker vice an investigator is similar to his flouncing himself up with his book and his TV discussions. He just doesn’t get that he isn’t what he thinks he is (some ethics kingpin).

    It’s interesting how the comments on Trump’s firing have moved from the rectitude of it to Trump’s imprecision in expressing it. Beldar is close when he says Trump’s defense should be that he is just a swing for the fences commenter. Although, I have a different take on it–that he doesn’t have to say things in some lawyer self-defense manner to keep Beldar happy. (Same point, really, but a different slant on it.)

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  216. The Trump Twitter Archive (a neat, searchable resource!) suggests that Trump has only once ever used the word “usurp,” or any variation thereof, on Twitter, and that was in 2015, when he re-tweeted this:

    “@MamaGlove: Please tell Cruz & Rubio we are trying to return to the Constitution.No more usurpers #RunTrumpRun #MakeAmericaGreatAgain”

    If I understand this Twitter stuff, @MamaGlove was calling Cruz & Rubio usurpers because they had the audacity to run, despite the fact that as “Trump KNOWS[,] they aren’t natural born citizens!”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  217. Ah yes nader tried to buy rissian weapons from Maliki, when Obama cut him off, an associate of Cody shearer which was peddling a thesis even too ridiculous from Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart to explore.

    narciso (d1f714)

  218. The whole Berlin brouhaha, you try explaining something clearly to Lester Holt, re the presidential debate that was an endurance play.

    narciso (d1f714)

  219. swc, you truly astonish me.

    Am I misunderstanding, or do you really not see any problem at all with candidates promising foreign countries favors in return for covert financial and/or intelligence support?

    In my opinion, it should be a capital offense.

    Dave (445e97)

  220. 213:

    The whole thing has wandered drastically. We got the increased up our orifices Patriot Act* NSA spying based on keeping us safe from Al Queda. And then we have this instance of NSA spying being used for Russia, not Aeab terrorism. And in some sort of wave-particle duality that I still can’t make out of counterintel versus criminal investigation. And then it segues to going after Manafort for things in 2004. And for payments to Stormy Daniels. And to sleazey Cohen lawyer stuff (similar to whole K street game and Podesta).

    *Not saying the FISA was covered by Patriot Act. IANAL. Don’t know. But sure seems like in general pendulum has swung to less freedom and more security.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  221. lil babby roob roob and harvardtrash Ted weren’t president material

    Ted and his wife are both way too ugly and lil babby roob roob has no integrity plus he has that open borders amnesty problem

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  222. Well Rubio has his good points, he is a Paisan, but his patron Paul singer seems to rolling snakeeyes against both Cruz and trump.

    narciso (d1f714)

  223. promising foreign countries favors in return for covert financial and/or intelligence support

    food stamp gave his persian butt buddies hundreds of billions in favors with literally nothing but a vague promise to nuke the jews asap in return

    how is that a good thing

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  224. A second topic that I mentioned earlier, but have not seen addressed:

    Yesterday Chuck Grassley sent a very pointed letter to Rosenstein asking for specific responses to questions regarding the nature of the SC’s original authorization, the expansion of that authorization in Aug. 2017, and the misleading statements made in public on that subject.

    A second topic raised by Grassley is getting less coverage, but to me is much more significant. Grassley asks directly if, among the authorizations given by Rosenstien to Mueller, did they include the authority for Mueller to use counter-intelligence tools such as National Security letters and FISA applications based on his own approval, without the input of DOJ in the normal course?

    This issue was raised by virtue of the fact that the SC tipped off in the hearing on the Russian Troll Farm case that they had to a access filing by Reed Smith with the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control about the companies. Those filings are normally confidential, but could likely be accessed as part of a counter-intelligence investigation which is normally only about gathering information. Here you had that confidential information in hands of a prosecutor in a criminal case. How did they obtain it?

    Normally, if a counter-intelligence investigation develops information regarding criminal activity, that information is provided to a different group of investigators to pursue as a criminal matter. All the criminal investigators get is a “referral” — a statement that a particular person or organization may be involved in a certain type of criminal activity. The actual evidence collected in the counter-intelligence investigation is not shared, because its likely been developed and acquired in violation of the 4th Amendment. Its up to the criminal investigators to dig out the information on their own, using means that are consistent with the 4th Amendment.

    But if Rosenstein has given the SC counter-intelligence authorization — and remember that when the SC was originally named, the authorization specifically referred to the investigation that had been identified by James Comey in his testimony before Congress in March, 2017. In that testimony, Comey said

    I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.

    So it was a counter-intelligence investigation that was being turned over to the SC.

    As Andy McCarthy has pointed out, the regulation doesn’t allow for counter-intelligence investigations to be run by an SC.

    Comey added one more sentence to his statement:

    As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.

    Perfectly accurate.

    BUT, the same agents DO NOT conduct both investigations for the reasons I have explained above. They use different tools, and you don’t want to contaminate the criminal case with evidence gathered in the counter-intelligence investigation using tools that violate the 4th amendment.

    So, if Mueller is, at the same time, pursuing a counter-intelligence investigation that he is also looking to prosecute various individuals, I think we have a real problem that won’t be fully appreciated until Grassley gets answers to his questions.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  225. @ swc, re your #213: If Trump’s Department of Justice is not properly consulting with Trump’s Department of State on matters relating to Trump’s foreign policy, that suggests to me a failure on the part of Trump. I don’t claim to know much about foreign intelligence investigations, or criminal investigations with foreign policy ramifications and complications, or anything in-between or adjacent to any of that. I’d be surprised, however, if there aren’t channels already in existence for such on-going consultations; maybe you know. Anyway, I know for sure that those are all executive branch matters — and I know who’s at the top of the executive branch. If he can’t manage things so that both of his executive departments can do their responsibilities without interfering with one another — including the responsibilities of Rosenstein and Mueller or anyone else at DoJ to consult with State — then Trump’s not doing his job.

    So in answer to your question about at what point your hypothesized consequences due to hypothesized failures to coordinate would make it legitimate for Trump to fire Rosenstein and Mueller, I’d say: Definitely not yet, and probably never.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  226. Mr. shipwreck you’re a treasure I’m so glad you’re here

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  227. You mean Yates or laufman or ohr or any number of moles that Obama had planted in the department, not to mention tillerson protectong offocials,who first sympathy was iran.

    narciso (d1f714)

  228. tillerboobs was too much of a putz even to protect iran

    he must hate himself for being such an unmitigated failure in life

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  229. he must hate himself for being such an unmitigated failure in life

    Why does President Trump nominate so many terrible people to important jobs?

    Dave (445e97)

  230. it’s ok he gets a mulligan on that one

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  231. He came recommended by rice and Scowcroft, I know their judgement isn’t what I would consider top notch but in Washington they are considered top people. And as fellow CEO he wanted to give him a shot.

    narciso (d1f714)

  232. 227:

    Yep. And the intentional PUBLIC presentation of one scope along with a secret different scope (by using DELIBERATELY vague wording (even when the rules require the opposite) and by having separate communication(s) in addition is “intent to deceive”. IOW, LYING.

    This isn’t nuanced. It’s not sooper secret sources and methods. It’s basic deception. Doesn’t pass the look your granma in the eye at the kitchen table and hold your head high test.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  233. it’s ok he gets a mulligan on that one

    Sessions too?

    Rosenstein?

    Mulligan, mulligan, mulligan?

    It sounds exactly like how he plays golf, actually…

    Dave (445e97)

  234. 203 — “And you are committing a fundamental error: corrupt FBI and corrupt Trump are not mutually exclusive.”

    I don’t discount that possibility for a minute. But there has been a years long effort by more than a dozen political candidates for President, and their supporters, to make a documented and persuasive case about “corrupt Trump.” It hasn’t happened yet.

    He’s a man of poor personal character.

    He’s a huckster and a salesman more than he’s a businessman or a property developer.

    His greatest business achievement in my estimation is the monetization of his last name.

    He has courted good and bad press while becoming a NYC Icon, all in pursuit of that Iconic status.

    But he stumbled on an electoral strategy that allowed him to win the single most important electoral office in the world, without ever having run for election before, and he did so with an initial staff of about 10 people, and while paying for most of the expenses early in the campaign with his own money.

    He then defeated an opponent in the general election who had been preparing for that election for nearly 40 years, had an political establishment behind her worthy of being called an Army, had the Presidential administration in place viewing her as its 3rd term, and after being pilloried in the press for months which showed him destined for a historic electoral beat down, he won because he understood where he needed to go to get votes which were historically democratic but up for grabs.

    The FBI, on the other hand, does a lot of things that happen behind closed doors, but much of what they did in the summer and fall of 2016 has now been exposed both by Congress, and more recently confirmed by the media. No, I don’t know everything that they did yet, but I know the scope of what is “right” and what is “wrong” in the investigation they undertook, and I see a alot of indicators that they opted for “wrong” more often than not. Like not verifying the factual information in the Steele memos about Carter Page before putting them in a FISA warrant, and then not including the specific information of bias about the source of that information for the court when that information was known by them. The rationalizations that have been offered — as reflected in the minority report put out by Adam Schiff, reveal a recognition by the FBI that they know not putting that information into the warrant was wrong. But they were afraid that if the precise nature of the bias was disclosed, the Court might reject the application.

    We can keep this up all night if you want, because you actually have no idea what I know or dont know, because we don’t necessarily glean the same information from material when we read it.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  235. Open the pod bay doors dave.

    narciso (d1f714)

  236. i just read where the bastard son of Princess Diana got married today

    some tart from California

    back in the day this would’ve been big news

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  237. Only one faction had the state power and private resources to choppy collude and coordinate with a foreign power whose stAte apparat has targeted thousands of American sercenen

    narciso (d1f714)

  238. 209 — I understand the subject matter in a way that allowed me to paraphrase it because I lived in the environment for 23 years. I can recite a lot of DOJ policies from memory.

    GSA not so much. But if I sit with an GSA OIG investigator who explains to me some particular GSA policy on prohibiting the expenditure of funds to pay the moving expenses of a workers live-in girl-friend, I can probably recite the gist of it even if I don’t get it right point by point.

    So I’m not sure why you would expect a non-politician, with no prior experience holding office, and how campaigned on a pledge of wrecking governmental norms for the purpose of changing the way business gets done in Washington, to have taken the time to internalize those things which you fault him for not knowing.

    I don’t think he cares about the traditions of not commenting on ongoing criminal investigations or prosecutions, nor does he care about the complications that result from him doing so. Should he care? Probably. Does he care — it seems not.

    Shrug.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  239. Servicemen, don’t be dissing leggy Meghan, well the other one pikachu.
    The downside of the female ted McKinley will end suits like thanos

    narciso (d1f714)

  240. That would be Katherine beigl, who savages tv shows like necrocarrier transports

    narciso (d1f714)

  241. i just read where the bastard son of Princess Diana got married today

    some tart from California

    They didn’t invite Bill and Hillary Clinton to the ceremony, so that was kind of a win for them.

    Dave (445e97)

  242. 218 — I believe — and I think Beldar and I agree on this point — that Comey never really separated himself from his responsibilities when the was Deputy Attorney General under John Ashcroft.

    When he made his announcement in July 2016, he really did so in what he saw as a the role of de facto Dep. AG because of Lynch having compromised herself.

    He’d been DAG, and when he was DAG the decision about the Clinton email case was the kind of decision that was his to make. The FBI Director is actually down the organizational chart from the DAG. He didn’t recognize, or just ignored the fact, that simply because he was DAG previously did not give him the bona fides to step into that role and take the decision over as he did.

    If he could have done it in the Bush Administration, why couldn’t he make the same call in the Obama Administration?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  243. someone said they didn’t invite anybody political just fluffy no-accounts like elton john

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  244. That’s why I trace almost all the players from that era, the titles have changed goldsmith runs lawfarecwhich is hiring James baker, Wray has moved to the top rung.

    narciso (d1f714)

  245. Wray’s sizing up to be every bit as sleazy and dishonest as Comey was

    fbi gonna fbi i guess

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  246. He didn’t look fluffy. He was the size of a blimp.

    Dave (445e97)

  247. Does Victoria Beckham seem more wraithlike than usual.

    narciso (d1f714)

  248. Liz did not look too well, though. Poor old gal. Nice hat though.

    Dave (445e97)

  249. ugh her hat’s ridiculous

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  250. Here is a nice thought – Judge Jeanine for A.G.

    mg (9e54f8)

  251. not Liz’s hat I mean posh

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  252. zara phillips does hat

    fresh from the capitol of panem

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  253. Posh is preggers, FYI.

    Dave (445e97)

  254. she must have had sex then

    she must feel so dirty

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  255. 228 — there absolutely are such channels. We heard about just such a circumstance a few months ago when news surfaced that a bunch of DEA agents and supervisors were complaining that investigations into drug trafficking by the Iranians were shut down by the Obama WH and Dept. of State because they were seen as a threat to progress in the ongoing talks that led to the Iran Deal.

    So criminal law enforcement cases are often compromised in favor of other policy objectives of the administration in power. I don’t have a problem with that concept, as sometimes hard choices have to be made.

    But my point is more of a question than an accusation — if the SC is operating independently of the rest of the administration, and making decisions about how to pursue its investigations without regard for collateral consequences, is that cause for Trump to can Rosenstein if he authorized it, or to can Mueller if he is taking this actions and pursing these threads without Rosenstein’s approval.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  256. And just one step from another Josie and the pussycats film which means the return of tara Reid, something predicted by lovecraft.

    narciso (d1f714)

  257. Did you see how thR story went down the memory hole, considering it ties Ukrainians Hezbollah and Latin American officials?

    narciso (d1f714)

  258. But seriously though the bill of the fco and mi6 are dead set against brexit, they are solidly in favor of the Iran deal,

    narciso (d1f714)

  259. They are willing to wage a trade war in favor of it, like every country west of Poland and North of czechoslovakia

    narciso (d1f714)

  260. Rip Bernard Lewis, carp this is just a terrible loss of great and talented men.

    narciso (d1f714)

  261. His memoir published a half dozen years ago was one that was a genuine pleasure to read.

    narciso (d1f714)

  262. 245:

    Interesting. Still, that seems like a pretty clear failing and a trend with the guy. He thinks he is things he’s not. Maybe he can think he is still something he’s not, even out of Federal service and a civilian now.

    Reminds me slightly of the Obama lady (don’t recall the name) who said something along the lines of get all the intel you can before Trump turns over. If any of that intel was printed or electronic (anything other than reading it), this seems like a felony. You aren’t supposed to take classified info when you leave Federal service just because it would be nice to have and you won’t have it any more because of losing you political appointee status. Wouldn’t surprise me if some of these people were trying to maintain access to classified info even as civilians, just based on personal connections to politically simpatico people still in the service.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  263. Evelyn farkas she was one of the Pentagon drones, who gave the game away.

    narciso (d1f714)

  264. So you can collude in public with three high rAnking Iranian officials without question.

    narciso (d1f714)

  265. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onw1tN50UAM

    Clapper denying wiretaps. It is possibly confused some by the interviewer mentioning “illegal wiretaps” (although later interviewer says under FISA). Also itnerviewer mentions “at Trump Tower” at end of questioning but not beginning. But several times Clapper makes broad statements (especially from 0:30-0:40): ‘I can deny anything like this.’ ‘No wiretapping of the campaign’. Now we learn one (possibly several) campaign members were wiretapped and there was a clear internal organization around how to look at the Trump campaign. The guy is either an outright liar or an intent to deceive dissembler.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  266. Interesting article speculating that a Turkish cutey-pie was dangled in front of Papa to help get information out of him.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/05/jazzing-up-the-fbi-spying-on-trump-scandal.php

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  267. Did the blog (or commenters) discuss the OIG report on McCabe? Link? (I tried Google but could only find discussion of the firing, not of the OIG report.)

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  268. Did the blog (or commenters) discuss the OIG report on McCabe?

    I’m not sure there was ever a dedicated blog post on it. It was definitely discussed in the comments around the time it was released.

    I withheld judgment until I read the report; he certainly appears to be guilty, and the investigators were extremely conscientious. It was a single, not particularly serious, leak, and they pursued it for close to a year. The investigation migrated through multiple investigative offices, any one of which could have closed the matter if they had wanted to cover for “one of their own”.

    Pity that McCabe stupidly ruined a long career of law enforcement service, ironically as a result of releasing information helpful to Donald Trump shortly before the election…

    Dave (445e97)

  269. Can’t remember if I wrote a post about the OIG report. I read it, and he looks like the bad egg I have always said he was. I don’t think he had much to do with the Hillary investigation at his level, but he should have recused months before he did, and it sure looks like he wasn’t entirely honest.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  270. Now we learn one (possibly several) campaign members were wiretapped and there was a clear internal organization around how to look at the Trump campaign.

    Anonymous,

    Could you list for me the names of the campaign members who were wiretapped, the dates of the wiretapping, and the dates of their membership in the campaign, with links and ideally quotes? I think that would be helpful, because I hear a lot of things that are repeated and repeated about surveillance on Trump people that I don’t know to be validated by the public record. You seem to confidently know many facts about this, so if you could list them here that would be a public service.

    I could have my facts wrong, since there’s a lot going on with this story, but I think the FISA warrant on Carter page was October 2016, after he left the campaign, and I don’t think we know that Manafort was wiretapped during the time he was Trump’s campaign manager. But I could be wrong — and if I am, links and quotes would help. Who are the people who were wiretapped, when were they wiretapped, how do you know this, and were they part of the campaign at the time?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  271. Yes 5hey couldn’t get a tap without the dossier, the behavior of the who?e stop strata at justice the bureau and the company is suspect, but they didn’t actually get anything of note, it was al capons vault.

    narciso (d1f714)

  272. 274:

    I was referring to Page (“one, possibly others”).

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  273. 273:

    I just read the report. In it, it says that Comey was deeply involved with Hillary investigation (comments about his time being taken up with it), so I’m not sure why McCabe being at a high position would have excluded him. Comey having even more rank.

    The report is just about the leak and the lie on it. Doesn’t cover the email investigation itself (e.g. the reported delay in looking at Weiner email archive).

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  274. I was referring to Page (“one, possibly others”).

    I thought the initial FISA warrant on Page was obtained in October 2016, and that he left the campaign in September 2016.

    If you have reason to believe I am wrong, could you give me the evidence?

    Otherwise you might want to amend your statement to “former” campaign members. Which is significantly different, I think you’d agree.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  275. Halper identified in the press: https://nypost.com/2018/05/19/cambridge-professor-outed-as-fbi-informant-inside-trump-campaign/

    There will be somesturm and drang about Republicans outing him but a lot of the information came from NYT and Washington Post articles that seem to have been leaked by officials, not Congress (which had not been given the name).

    Of course it is possible that Halper was just “collecting” anyway in normal interactions at the beginning. The Papa $3000 paper seems like a conscious action though and I doubt it would be done ad hoc.

    And I recognize we are guessing. Nobody has confirmed Halper as the spy.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  276. If you want to talk about emails, they were (from what I know) able to obtain emails from when he was with the campaign. But you said “wiretapped.” And I don’t think Page was wiretapped as a campaign member.

    Again, I am open to correction.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  277. Can I get you to answer my question, Anonymous? I see you’re posting.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  278. 278:

    Clapper made some broad statements “anything like that”. Fencing about the timing of Page being on the campaign seems to be game playing. And he left because of the rumors of Russia involvement.

    Also, presumably the wiretap authorization would cover emails from when Page was still on the campaign. No?

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  279. IANAL, but my understanding is the “wiretap” procedure now covers looking at people’s emails, not just listening to phone calls.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  280. 280:

    Just looked at Wiki (page on Carter Page). You are correct that he was not wiretapped WHILE in the campaign.

    “Page served as a foreign policy adviser in Donald Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign.[23] In September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials investigated alleged contacts between Page and Russian officials subject to U.S. sanctions, including Igor Sechin, the president of state-run Russian oil conglomerate Rosneft.[4] After news reports began to appear describing Page’s links to Russia and Putin’s government, Page stepped down from his role in the Trump campaign.[1][24]

    Shortly after Page resigned from the Trump campaign, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained another warrant (he was subject to one in 2014) from the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in October 2016 to surveil Page’s communications.[25]”

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  281. I just read the Papa plea: https://www.justice.gov/file/1007346/download

    Why do these guys even talk to the FBI? If you want to lie or conceal, you’re better off not talking and taking a chance on perjury or even of conveying some information during the interrogation. If you want to actually help them, you are still taking a danger of getting screwed up somehow.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  282. Now we learn one (possibly several) campaign members were wiretapped and there was a clear internal organization around how to look at the Trump campaign.

    So, possible that zero campaign members were wiretapped, correct?

    IANAL, but my understanding is the “wiretap” procedure now covers looking at people’s emails, not just listening to phone calls.

    I have used wiretap information, including federal wiretaps, that did not, but that does not mean it’s not possible. Quick Google searches suggest you may be right, and certainly a FISA authorization allows access to emails whether technically through a “wiretap” or some other process. I’d defer to swc on this. It’s probably a matter of sematics, but when I think of a wiretap I think of listening to phone conversations and getting text messages.

    From my understanding, it is definitely possible that Page’s historical emails from the time was a campaign member were obtained. Again, it’s not my understanding that emails are obtained through a “wiretap” per se, but they are obtainable through electronic surveillance, and FISA warrants can authorize that, I’m sure of all of that. Whether the warrant DID cover Page’s emails from that time, I’m not 100% certain.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  283. Be careful about relying on Wikipedia, Anonymous. For example, this page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_Tower_wiretapping_allegations

    says this:

    In April 2017, The Washington Post reported that the FBI secured a FISA warrant to monitor Trump campaign associate Carter Page in the summer of 2016. The warrant was reportedly based on the possibility that Page was acting as an agent of a foreign government, i.e., Russia.[51][52]

    I think we need to be clear that the FBI did not obtain a wiretap on Page until after he left the Trump campaign. And I am aware of no evidence that they wiretapped anyone else who was at the time a campaign member.

    Wow! They got the warrant in the summer, and he left the campaign in September. Guess they did wiretap him as a campaign member!

    Except…

    …except if you actually follow the links, it shows that they do not support the citation. One of the citations supported it, initially, but then had this correction:

    Correction: This story has been updated to note that government investigators obtained a FISA warrant on Carter Page in October 2016, not the summer of 2016 as originally reported, and that in October 2016 Page was no longer an adviser to the Trump campaign.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  284. “The accusation that the Obama administration used information gleaned from classified foreign surveillance to smear and blackmail its political opponents at home has gained new traction in recent days, after reports that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have been rifling through classified transcripts for over a year that could have included information about Donald Trump and his associates. While using resources that are supposed to keep Americans safe from terrorism for other purposes may be a dereliction of duty, it is no more of a crime than spending all day on Twitter instead of doing your job. The crime here would be if she leaked the names of U.S. citizens to reporters. In the end, the seriousness of the accusation against Rice and other former administration officials who will be caught up in the “unmasking” scandal will rise or fall based on whether or not Donald Trump was actively engaged in a conspiracy to turn over the keys of the White House to the Kremlin. For true believers in the Trump-Kremlin conspiracy theories, the Obama “spying and lying” scandal isn’t a scandal at all; just public officials taking prudent steps to guard against an imminent threat to the republic.

    But what if Donald Trump wasn’t the first or only target of an Obama White House campaign of spying and illegal leaks directed at domestic political opponents?

    In a December 29, 2015 article, The Wall Street Journal described how the Obama administration had conducted surveillance on Israeli officials to understand how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, like Ambassador Ron Dermer, intended to fight the Iran Deal. The Journal reported that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

    Despite this reporting, it seemed inconceivable at the time that—given myriad legal, ethical, political, and historical concerns, as well as strict National Security Agency protocols that protect the identity of American names caught in intercepts—the Obama White House would have actually spied on American citizens. In a December 31, 2016, Tablet article on the controversy, “Why the White House Wanted Congress to Think It Was Being Spied on By the NSA,” I argued that the Obama administration had merely used the appearance of spying on American lawmakers to corner opponents of the Iran Deal. Spying on U.S. citizens would be a clear abuse of the foreign-intelligence surveillance system. It would be a felony offense to leak the names of U.S. citizens to the press.”

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/229062/did-the-obama-administrations-abuse-of-foreign-intelligence-collection-start-before-trump

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  285. @ Anonymous: I think our host is pushing you to, perhaps, become more discriminating in your language, even though you’re not a lawyer. The POTUS isn’t a lawyer either, and he’s been pretty indiscriminate in his own terminology. But you don’t have to be a lawyer to know that there’s a very, very big difference between recording someone’s phone conversations, on the one hand, and keeping track merely of who’s called whom and for how long (with no recordings or other actual listening in on the substance of the calls). There’s a pretty big difference between either of those two things and electronic surveillance of meta-data (to, from, bytes) of emails. And there’s a difference between the meta-data and the substance of what’s communicated in the emails.

    Each of these things creates a different type of intrusion into privacy, with different levels of impact, and with different time scopes. Some have pointed out, correctly, that electronic surveillance of Carter Page may have picked up meta-data and/or substance of his emails from prior to the date of the surveillance’s authorization, including during the period that he was associated with the Trump campaign.

    Trump, though, claimed to the public that his telephone communications into and out of Trump Tower were wiretapped, implying very clearly and strongly that his own private conversations had been recorded. And our host has examined that claim, and its overbreadth (and therefore its lack of credibility at a minimum, and perhaps also its lack of honesty), in past posts. So I think he’s politely suggesting that you’re likewise being overbroad and imprecise, in circumstances where precision is actually quite important to the discussion.

    This blog can’t help but get pretty nerdy and compulsive, especially on matters involving the law or law enforcement, given its host’s day-job and continuing interests. But you’re a welcome addition and you’re obviously capable of sharp discrimination, which I think you’re being politely challenged to strive for, that we may have the benefit of your contributions with that sharpness.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  286. The law covering wiretapping is the same law covering looking at people’s emails. No? So I won’t apologize for the imprecision of saying “wiretapping”. You could also fence about cellular intercepts or even POTS intercepts that did not physically use a wire tap.

    Patterico is right about the timing of the warrant–I wasn’t aware of that. [Although if we learn it was used to look at communications while on the campaign and because on the campaign, that will turn the other way. But this is an unknown, agreed.]

    This article is also interesting:

    “The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

    Again, an unknown since this is just a press report, but seems to show that the same warrant application was made while the guy was still on the campaign but only went through after he had left.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  287. “Trump, though, claimed to the public that his telephone communications into and out of Trump Tower were wiretapped, implying very clearly and strongly that his own private conversations had been recorded. And our host has examined that claim, and its overbreadth (and therefore its lack of credibility at a minimum, and perhaps also its lack of honesty), in past posts. So I think he’s politely suggesting that you’re likewise being overbroad and imprecise, in circumstances where precision is actually quite important to the discussion.”

    Seems unlikely, given what kerfuffle has surfaced to date, that Trump phone was tapped. Given all the different surveillance (FISA “about” searches, Page warrant, etc.), I can understand Trump being concerned about being surveilled. Doesn’t excuse his imprecision. But I sure could understand the move out of TT and to the country club.

    This country seems pretty screwed. I am more and more with Rand Paul and Snowden on this. Panopticon. Star Chamber. Patriot Act. And the Orwellian sounding DHS.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  288. The Fisa court turned down the application

    Unpossible. I am reliably informed that the court is a rubber stamp that never rejects anything. All the smartest peoples tell me so.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  289. @ Anonymous: I didn’t suggest that you apologize. Why are you defensive?

    Beldar (fa637a)

  290. 278 — as was noted at the time, the FISA warrant on Page — because its a FISA warrant — opened up access to all his past communications which had been captured by NSA and stored. That includes all his historical emails while he was with the campaign, as well as all the data swept and stored in NSA’s massive data bases, including recorded phone conversations.

    Because Page was already a person of interest from his July 2016 trip to Moscow, not to mention the events of 2013 when Russian intelligence agents were trying to recruit him, my GUESS would be that NSA maintained a significant amount of stored information on him.

    And, of course, when you pull up all the emails of a particular person, what you get access to are ALL emails in that string where the person is either a sender or recipient — and therefore you get all the communications by the other people that are in that same string.

    Other than that, the FBI didn’t get anything on the Trump campaign I guess.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  291. 286 — would you concede that the record supports the proposition that members of the Trump campaign, exact number at this point not yet known, were subject to electronic surveillance by the IC, be it the FBI, NSA, or CIA?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  292. The first payment came in June 201y through the ona if memory serves.

    narciso (0faea5)

  293. But you said Page was already a person of interest, swc, including showing why his travel history made him one. Should the government have decided that, despite his history and actions, he should be exempted because of his campaign ties?

    DRJ (15874d)

  294. Overpaid, overbearing, overjudicous, overrated, sums up lawyers to a T.

    mg (9e54f8)

  295. 286 — along the lines of my exchange with Kishnevi yesterday about the use of the term “money laundering” in a non-technical way, I think we have a lot of non-lawyers using the generic term “wiretap” as a shorthand reference for what in today’s world are several available means of electronic surveillance.

    The GENERALLY accepted definition of a “wiretap” is a mechanical means of listening to or recording a conversation where none of the participants in the conversation are aware its being listened to or recorded.

    “Consensual monitoring” is a similar recording by mechanical means or listening in on a conversation when one or more participants is aware, and has consented to the activity.

    Interception of other forms of communication during or after the fact of the communication is now normally referred to as “electronic monitoring.”

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  296. 293:

    You were just coaching me. You old salt of the forum, you: http://www.flamewarriorsguide.com/warriorshtm/xenophobe.htm

    Kidding, kidding…don’t hurt me, Hammer.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  297. Actually, I was trying to be friendly and helpful. No good deed goes unpunished.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  298. They are playing the Plame card with halper, just the latest rabbit in the maze, last year when the burned ‘The wolf’ using his zd 30, he they used folderall to excuse itm

    narciso (0faea5)

  299. 292:

    I know you are kidding, but this article is interesting:

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/dont-read-too-much-jump-rejected-fisa-applications

    The impression I have is that there are a reasonable amount of rejected warrants in effect even if not counted as rejects. If someone pulls the application and it doesn’t make the statistic of formally rejected or if they narrow from 4 dudes to 1 dude, that still seems like a de facto rejection. After all, the warrant would have been used and the extra people wire-tapped/electronic-monitored had the application sailed through. It’s probably a gray area to some extent (like if the application process changes time slightly). But I do think the cited super tiny rejection rate doesn’t reflect reality.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  300. 301: I know you were. I was teasing.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  301. Sure wish gwb would be prosecuted for having his hands all over the opium money in Afghanistan. Such a creepy family, Kinda like the Romney clan.

    mg (9e54f8)

  302. 297 — the outcome of CONINTELPRO was that the government was not supposed to use its counter-intelligence authorities and abilities against political opponents.

    If they had actual evidence that Carter Page was an “Agent of a Foreign Power”, then they would have been in the ballpark for seeking FISA authorization.

    But if all they had was that Carter Page went to a publicly broadcast conference in Moscow, and made public comments critical of US foreign policy towards Moscow, all they had was political views different from the administration.

    That’s not a basis upon which to subject him to FISA surveillance.

    The fact that he is/was a campaign official of the opposition party’s candidate for the office of POTUS should have given them GREAT PAUSE before seeking such authorization.

    And that is the reason I find great fault in what the Obama Nat.Sec. people did — rather than be extraordinarily cautious because of his campaign ties, the fact of those campaign ties instead caused them to throw caution to the wind.

    THAT is how you end up going down the path of jailing your political opponents.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  303. When the moussaoui warrant was turned down in 2001, it was regarded as very rare.

    narciso (0faea5)

  304. “as was noted at the time, the FISA warrant on Page — because its a FISA warrant — opened up access to all his past communications which had been captured by NSA and stored. That includes all his historical emails while he was with the campaign, as well as all the data swept and stored in NSA’s massive data bases, including recorded phone conversations.

    Yikes

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  305. Re the “rejection” of FISA applications. Unlike TIII warrants, there is a “pre-screening” that happens with FISA applications where the Judge is sent a quasi-draft of the application without all the various paperwork that will later be required to be signed. The Judge’s chambers will sometimes communicate back to the attorneys that the Judge wants/needs more information on a particular subject, or that the application is in some manner defective in the view of the Judge. The problems are the addressed, or if they can’t be addressed adequately to the Judge’s satisfaction, the application is withdrawn.

    These “withdrawn” applications are not counted as “denials” by the Court. The Court only counts as “Denials” the full applications that are submitted for authorization, and then rejected.

    Its unclear at this point whether the initial effort made to get a FISA warrant which has been the subject of reporting but never confirmed, and which supposedly referenced Trump specifically and the Trump campaign, was rejected as “Denial” by the Court, or was an instance where the Court simply provided feedback to the draft that more information would be needed in order for the application to be approved.

    But, MY RECOLLECTION of the reporting is that the initial effort identified 4 individuals as being subject to the warrant, and made reference to Trump and the Trump Campaign. I’m not sure the reporting ever confirmed that Trump himself was ever intended to be subject to the warrant –THAT would have been scandalous.

    But, if the early reporting — long before the revelations of the past 120 days — that the original effort concerned 4 persons, that would be consistent with what we know now, that the early investigation of Trump campaign officials targeted Papadopolous, Page, Manafort, and Gates.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  306. This article argues that FISA warrant on Page probably lacked justification.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/adam-schiff-memo-carter-page-fisa-warrant-fbi-should-have-interviewed/

    (Sorry if discussed to death already. I’m getting up to speed and wasn’t reading earlier.)

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  307. Did they have a basis in law to take this to the level that they have… surveillance, knocking doors down, etc., given the initial focus on someone – tangentially at best – connected to the Trump campaign?

    A Special Counsel taking this in whatever direction he sees fit. Because that’s what this has been.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  308. Fitz played the same games with black, libby, flipped Rezko agAinst some small fry.

    narciso (0faea5)

  309. Patterico–

    You’re just in denial about Trump living rent-free in your head.

    (my attempt at a double helping of unhelpful)

    Kevin M (752a26)

  310. Am I misunderstanding, or do you really not see any problem at all with candidates promising foreign countries favors in return for covert financial and/or intelligence support?

    In my opinion, it should be a capital offense.

    You mean like approving arms sales to Saudi Arabia and then getting a $20 million donation to your foundation (which pays for all your bills). Oh, but wait, she wasn’t a candidate then, she was Secretary of State. That’s different.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  311. @ swc, re your #213: If Trump’s Department of Justice is not properly consulting with Trump’s Department of State on matters relating to Trump’s foreign policy, that suggests to me a failure on the part of Trump. I don’t claim to know much about foreign intelligence investigations, or criminal investigations with foreign policy ramifications and complications, or anything in-between or adjacent to any of that. I’d be surprised, however, if there aren’t channels already in existence for such on-going consultations; maybe you know. Anyway, I know for sure that those are all executive branch matters — and I know who’s at the top of the executive branch. If he can’t manage things so that both of his executive departments can do their responsibilities without interfering with one another — including the responsibilities of Rosenstein and Mueller or anyone else at DoJ to consult with State — then Trump’s not doing his job.

    So in answer to your question about at what point your hypothesized consequences due to hypothesized failures to coordinate would make it legitimate for Trump to fire Rosenstein and Mueller, I’d say: Definitely not yet, and probably never.

    Beldar — you have made my point.

    If Trump’s DOJ — in this instance Rosenstein since Sessions is recused — is not communicating with State or the CIA on the geopolitical implications of investigatory actions undertaken by Mueller, you find fault with Trump.

    So, to correct that problem, wouldn’t Trump be justified in firing Rosenstein, and replacing him with someone who had an appreciation for the fact that supervising Mueller’s probe includes the responsibility to make judgments about whether certain areas of inquiry that Mueller seeks to go into could implicate other sensitive foreign policy considerations, and to consult with other departments before giving Mueller the authorization to do so?

    I’m not saying that hasn’t been done. But lets assume it was not done – would you support Trump firing Rosenstein for that misfeasance, i.e., the improper use of authority (giving Mueller authorization) that is legitimately his to employ.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  312. The fact that he is/was a campaign official of the opposition party’s candidate for the office of POTUS should have given them GREAT PAUSE before seeking such authorization.

    Maybe they did, and that is why they waited until Page was no longer affiliated with the Trump campaign to get a warrant. Instead of viewing this as overreach, isn’t it equally possible the FBI had a basis to act earlier but exercised restraint because of Page’s campaign affiliation?

    DRJ (15874d)

  313. “Maybe they did, and that is why they waited until Page was no longer affiliated with the Trump campaign to get a warrant. Instead of viewing this as overreach, isn’t it equally possible the FBI had a basis to act earlier but exercised restraint because of Page’s campaign affiliation?”

    Maybe. And then maybe they didn’t look at any previous communications.

    Or maybe it is like we read in the news reports that they tried getting the warrants the summer before…

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  314. DJT just tweeted that he is officially demanding that DOJ investigate as to any potential “spying” (my term).

    I note that he is NOT choosing to significantly declassify the myriad memos under congressional subpoena and the many others which could shed genuine light on everything.

    I also note that he is choosing to use the mechanism of Session’s DOJ to investigate….wait for it….the DOJ!!!!!

    Here we have a classic DJT move. Disingenuous (I’m being kind) to the max. It sounds tough but is no such thing. His supporters will eat it up.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  315. Beldar (fa637a) — 5/20/2018 @ 8:26 am

    Well said. You do us all a service, Beldar.

    felipe (023cc9)

  316. This is speculative but interesting:

    “The FBI is asked–way back as early as 2015, but who knows? — to be helpful to the Dems and they agree. What they do is they hire non-government consultants with close Dem ties to do “analytical work” for them, which happens to include total access to NSA data. Advantages? For the Dems, obviously, access to EVERYTHING digital. A gold mine for modern campaign research. For the FBI there’s also an advantage. They get to play dumb — gosh, we didn’t know they were looking at all that stuff! They also don’t have to falsify anything, like making [stuff] up to “justify” opening a FI [full investigation]on an American citizen and then lying to the FISC to get a FISA on the USPER [US person] and having to continually renew the FISA and lie all over again to the FISC each renewal. And the beauty of it all is, who’s ever going to find out? And even if they do, how do you prove criminal intent?

    So everything’s humming along until a pain in the a** named Mike Rogers at NSA does an audit in 4/2016, just as the real campaign season is about to start. And Rogers learns that 85% of the searches the FBI has done between 12/2015 and 4/2016 have been totally out of bounds. And he clamps down — no more non-government contractors, tight auditing on searches of NSA data. Oh sh*t! What to do, just give up? Well, not necessarily, but there’s a lot more work involved and a lot more fudging the facts. What the FBI needs to do now is get a FISA that will cover their a** and provide coverage on the GOPers going forward. That means, first get a FI on an USPER [US person] connected to the Trump campaign (who looks, in [April] or [May] 2016, like the GOP candidate) so you can then get that FISA. That’s not so easy, because they’ve got to find an USPER with that profile who they can plausibly present as a Russian spy. But they have this source named Halper.

    So they first open a PI [preliminary investigation]. That allows them to legally use NatSec Letters and other investigative techniques to keep at least some of what they were doing going. But importantly this allows them to legally use Halper to try to frame people connected to the Trump campaign — IOW, find someone to open a FI on so they can then get that FISA. However the PI is framed, that’s what they’re looking to do. It has legal form, even if the real intent is to help the Dems. And you can see why this had to be a CI [counterintelligence] thing, so in a sense the Russia narrative was almost inevitable — no other bogeyman would really fit the bill, and especially on short notice.

    So that’s what they do, and Halper helps them come up with Papadopoulos and Page, so by the end of July they’ve got their FI. Problem. Their first FISA is rejected, but eventually, 10/2016, they get that.

    And then Trump wins and Rogers visits Trump Tower. And the Deep State has a fit.”

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/halper_spells_game_up_for_obamas_spies.html

    P.s. what are “national security letters” and what do they allow?

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  317. yes, and we saw how doj blacks out two thirds of the file, and not in the way that the 28 pages were released, but wholesale, you saw what it took to release the comey memos,

    narciso (d1f714)

  318. 316 — but the warrant reaches backwards to when he was a campaign official.

    And nothing in the record supports your supposition that they waited out of caution. They used Halper to make repeated contact with him in the months following his trip to Moscow in July — which IMO were simply efforts to generate probable cause for their warrant — and they used Halper to make contact with Papadopolous, likely because they were getting corroboration on the Steele memo allegations from Halper’s contacts with Page.

    Remember, the Steele dossier never mentions Papadopolous — only Page. So they are trying to corroborate the allegations in the memos with regard to Page first, and when they were not having any success, they switched to Papadopolous.

    Ultimately, according to reporting, they didnt’ get either, and went to the FISC with just the allegations in the Steele dossier, which they claimed were credible based on Steele’s history of providing credible information in other investigations.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  319. 318 — My guess is that he’s quite pleased with what he is seeing and hearing about with regard to the work of the IG, and its an IG investigation of the use of an informant against a political opponent that he is demanding.

    And I think he’s going to get it.

    Whether Horowitz wants to remain in the job long enough to unravel that one remains to be seen. But it seems like it might go hand-in-hand with the already announced investigation he has undertaken with regard to whether there was abuse of the FISA process in securing the Page warrant.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  320. You mean like approving arms sales to Saudi Arabia and then getting a $20 million donation to your foundation (which pays for all your bills). Oh, but wait, she wasn’t a candidate then, she was Secretary of State. That’s different.

    I have no problem with applying the same rules to everybody.

    I don’t agree that the fact pattern you describe is identical to the one in my question, though. Publicly documented and prima facie legal financial donations to a non-profit organization whose financial records are open to public inspection are not identical to unlawful secret financial donations and intelligence agency support to a political campaign.

    And although you insinuate (based on …?) that a quid pro quo was involved, I suspect there is no evidence for one; if there is, the Trump administration must be covering up for his friends again by not prosecuting them, as Trump promised he would do shortly after the election. I would be just as happy to see the Clintons convicted of electoral treachery as I would Donald J. Trump, if they are also guilty of it.

    If we’re done with the mandatory attempt to use one potentially immoral or illegal act to justify another definitely immoral AND illegal act, how about an answer to my original question?

    Does “conservatism” now proudly stand for selling favors to foreign governments in return for financial and in-kind campaign contributions from their intelligence agencies?

    Dave (445e97)

  321. 320 — National Security Letters are like subpoenas – but they come from DOJ not a court. They were created under the Patriot Act, and based on the FBI Director’s certification, they are only to be used in matters concerning investigations of national security threats. They allow the investigators to obtain records in the same manner as they would with a GJ subpoena, but these investigations are not conducted as part of criminal prosecutions so GJ subpoenas are not available.

    With regard to communications records, the letters only authorize the disclosure of transactional information — who, when, where, etc., — but not the actual content of the communications. To get the content, they need a FISA warrant.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  322. 322 — should be “they were not” getting corroboration for the Steele memos from Halper’s contacts with Page.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  323. Dave at 324:

    unlawful secret financial donations and intelligence agency support to a political campaign.

    And your source for that is …….?

    Or is it just more Dem talking points about what MIGHT have been the reason for the meeting?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  324. it’s very weak tea, so a lobbyist met with some trump campaign staff, that’s what lobbyists do this was the end of the shaking down of zamel, and nader, under what authority he does this?

    narciso (d1f714)

  325. And your source for that is …….?

    You.

    There is a new story in the NYT today saying that Mueller is investigating a meeting in that Don Jr. may have had in the fall of 2016 with Eric Prince, George Nadar, and an Israeli businessman, where the topic was an offer by the Saudi Royal Price and the UAE Royal Prince to help Trump win the election.

    Dave (445e97)

  326. as you well remember absence of malice, shipwrecked, Elliot (balaban) decides based on no authority to put taps on (newman), after having leaked his file to (fields)

    narciso (d1f714)

  327. Question: Were there political motives behind the exoneration of Hillary Clinton in the investigation of her use of a personal server to host a private email account through which she did official business?

    If yes, which officials of the Obama Justice Department and IC were involved in carrying forward those political motivations?

    How many of those officials were also involved in the decision-making process with respect to the investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election cycle, and after the inauguration?

    To the extent there is an overlap between personnel involved in the two episodes, why is it not appropriate to start with the working presumption that political motives animated the decision-making in the Trump investigation until evidence to the contrary is established as a fact?

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  328. 325: By communication, do you mean audio? Would emails be considered written (and content shown)?

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  329. But my question is independent of whether, in this case, any such illegal financial donations or in-kind contributions actually occurred. The question is whether, as you appeared to suggest, they should not even be investigated.

    My original question to you (swc), back @222, was:

    Am I misunderstanding, or do you really not see any problem at all with candidates promising foreign countries favors in return for covert financial and/or intelligence support?

    You seemed to suggest that investigators should be barred from even looking into this, because it was potentially too damaging to our foreign relations. It struck me as such an indefensible position that I explicitly asked you to correct me if I was misunderstanding you.

    Dave (445e97)

  330. 331: That’s something I noticed from some of the Strozk communications. Seemed like there was a clique and that group handled both email and Trump investigations. Seems a little problematic that same group involved in each. Also, that it was dominated by Washington operators and not a lot of general field hands. Obviously there could be some excuse for this in that both were high profile and DC located, but still bugs me how tight it was and same group for each. Even some indications of Strozk bypassing his chain of command.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  331. if you recall, the ostensible reason was a hunch, that newman’s character was ostensibly involved in the disappearance of a union leader,

    narciso (d1f714)

  332. 333. I think he said it should be taken into account, not a black or white always/never.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  333. 331 — one of my favorite movies, and it was an “animating” image in my head when I first applied for the job of Assistant United States Attorney in 1992. I came to have a first hand understanding of just how true Wilfred Brimley’s lines were in the following exchange:


    James J. Wells: Tell you what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna sit right here and talk about it. Now if you get tired of talking here, Mr. Marshal Elving Patrick there will hand you one of them subpoenas he’s got stuck down in his pocket and we’ll go downstairs and talk in front of the grand jury… Elliot? Jim?… Fine. All right, Elving, hand whichever one of these fellas you like a subpoena and we’ll go on downstairs and talk in front of the grand jury.

    Quinn: Gallagher’s a government witness.

    James A. Wells: Wonderful thing, a subpoena.

    And this exchange about the press:

    Megan Carter: Would you tell me the truth, Michael? I’d just please like to know the truth.

    Michael Gallagher: Tell you or the whole world?

    Megan Carter: The truth is the truth.

    Michael Gallagher: No. You wanna know the truth? Ask me as a person, I’ll tell you. Ask me as a reporter, I got no comment.

    Megan Carter: That’s not fair.

    Michael Gallagher: Not fair to whom? Wait a minute! You don’t write the truth. You write what people say. What you overhear, you eavesdrop. You don’t come across truth that easy.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  334. I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  335. @323 swc – First, thank you for all of your posts. I have learned a ton.

    The way I see it, DJT will never come close to fully redacting the IG report. If DJT were truly interested in a full accounting, he would demand another SC and he would go hog wild declassifying what most of the journalists have been insisting are embarrassing, but not truly sensitive, material.

    There already is a DOJ investigation almost precisely on point to his tweet. USA Huber is leading it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7Eyyl1Vs1M

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  336. 332 — yes, the content of emails is considered a “communication”, and requires a warrant.

    HOWEVER, there are different rules about deleted emails which remain on the servers of the email service provider. I MUST CONFESS however, that the rules in that regard have changed over time, and I haven’t had a need to look at them in quite a while. I’m not certain at this point what the requirements are with regard to collecting the content of emails that the sender or recipient has deleted from their account. At one point they were treated as analogous to your garbage when you sat it out in the street for pickup — you had surrendered your expectation of privacy with regard to the contents.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  337. 278 — as was noted at the time, the FISA warrant on Page — because its a FISA warrant — opened up access to all his past communications which had been captured by NSA and stored. That includes all his historical emails while he was with the campaign, as well as all the data swept and stored in NSA’s massive data bases, including recorded phone conversations.

    Do FISA warrants never have limitations on scope of time? Genuine question. It would surprise me, but that’s what you seem to be saying.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  338. that’s as close as we need to a special counsel, honestly ed, after the last year and a half you really think it’s this easy, you have seen the level of redactions

    narciso (d1f714)

  339. 333 –I’ll address that question in a longer post that I’m working on now, and trying to give some considered thought to.

    But I would ask you if you have criticism from the reports that John Kerry told the Iranian Foreign Minister to not over-react to Trump pulling out of the Iran deal because Kerry is considering running again for President in 2020, and they’ll get Trump out of office.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  340. the warrant seems to have been good for a year, coincident with the three instances and the three ona disbursements,

    narciso (d1f714)

  341. I haven’t seen the FISA warrant application, nor (I assume) has anyone here — so how do we know what time period it covers?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  342. 339 — Huber is only working on what the IG sends to him. Right now, until Sessions sees a “conflict” as contemplated by the Regulations on Special Counsels, he’s going to leave that situation as it exists.

    There is currently no IG investigation into the FBI/CIA’s introduction of an informant into the Trump campaign. There is an IG investigation into the process used to obtain the Carter Page FISA warrant. I think the demand Trump is making will be folded into the Carter Page FISA investigation because the two subjects are part of the same set of operative facts, and all the same key players are involved.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  343. You mean like approving arms sales to Saudi Arabia and then getting a $20 million donation to your foundation (which pays for all your bills). Oh, but wait, she wasn’t a candidate then, she was Secretary of State. That’s different.

    This entire episode is just another chapter in the Big Liberal Book of “Its Different When We Do It”.

    Imagine If Trump had commited only a few things Hillary did regarding her foundation and her secret server.

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  344. @342 narciso I seem to recall a POTUS who bragged about his pen. Used it, too.

    If this is really supposed to be about transparency and the Rule of Law, DJT’s “official demand” fails. I say it is purposefully lacking. It well fits the DJT decades-long MO: Bombast over substance.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  345. Interesting article by McCarthy on different tactics in email and Russiagate:

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

    I think he overplays it a little (e.g. my understanding is not the agents found Flynn had not lied but thought his carraige implied not lying…also Flynn did plead guilty to perjury.)

    But some other parts are good. Comey wants to make out he is some “ethics professor” but I just don’t see the throw the palm tree over the side and tell the captain you did it level of honesty…more “nuance” and wordsmanship.

    Anonymous (1448ff)

  346. Question: Were there political motives behind the exoneration of Hillary Clinton in the investigation of her use of a personal server to host a private email account through which she did official business?

    If yes, which officials of the Obama Justice Department and IC were involved in carrying forward those political motivations?

    We should stop right here, shouldn’t we, because you have no evidence that partisan political motives were involved.

    You might have a better case that the FBI exercised restraint with non-partisan, but institutional considerations in mind – not wanting to appear to take a presidential election out of the hands of the voters.

    In exactly the way, I might add, that you suggest Carter Page’s role as a campaign aide for a major party POTUS candidate should have given them “GREAT PAUSE”. Except in this case, it was not an aide, but the actual candidate.

    If the FBI was supposed to give a minor apparatchik like Carter Page the kid-glove treatment, how should they have handled a nominee?

    Dave (445e97)

  347. 341 — not usually because the purpose of a FISA warrant is to simply gather information. There are not the same kinds of “staleness” or “overbreadth” concerns that exist under the 4th Amendment with regard to criminal evidence collection methods.

    There’s no reason why you would limit the information that can be gathered for “informational” purposes once you have a sufficient basis to get your hands on it.

    That’s the reason why the government spends billions of dollars every year on NSA’s massive data storage capabilities. They keep EVERYTHING just in case there is ever a justification for looking at stuff.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  348. @346 swc My understanding is that just as Mueller was given broad discretion to go after Russian meddling, Huber similarly is charged with going after FBI misconduct in the election. Clearly, abusing the counter intelligence process applies.

    Now, nobody knows whether Huber has chosen to examine this area.

    I am open to being corrected!

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  349. we haven’t seen the actual paperwork where the FBI killed Martin Luther King Jr. either but we know enough to know they did it

    the FBI is SO dirty plus they hate black people

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  350. 344 — FISA warrants also grant authority to monitor ongoing communications. It’s that part of the authorization that must be renewed every 90 days with an application for an extension.

    And just to demonstrate in one small way how the FISA warrant is more “liberal” than the normal TIII wiretap warrant, those must be renewed every 30 days, and the prosecutor must prepare and file with the Judge who issued the warrant “10 Day” reports every ten days which detail the pertinent calls that have been intercepted in that reporting period.

    Being the AUSA running a wiretap is a time consuming job. Having great agents working on it (they feed you the info you need) makes things much easier.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  351. El Dorado Slim is this cat who cruises up and down Sunset Blvd lookin’ for hippie dippie in a lavender Cadillac El Dorado with a white, metalflake vinyl top on it and purple-tinted windows… Jesus… it’s too good! So he’s cruising down the street one afternoon and he sees this chick… a little hippie dippie chicken a red velvet jumpsuit with tomatoes… and she standin’ there doin’ alright with a little puppy, cuz she was a hippie chick, hitchhiking… so she was standin there and he drives up and his automatic doors go up and he says “uh… why don’t you climb in and…

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAfaNwu_UGnDnvkElkQB0r-2fGpE5WjXr

    Colonel Haiku (adce92)

  352. 349 — this is an educated guess on what the references made by Comey about the agents who interviewed Flynn thinking about whether he was lying.

    MY GUESS is that because the info on Flynn’s conversation with the Russian Ambassador came via a FISA intercept of the Ambassador’s telephone, when the agents were sent to interview Flynn they had probably not been given a copy of the transcript. So they were not in a position when he was answering their questions to know if his answers were contradicted by the transcipt.

    They were probably instructed to ask him about any conversations he had with any officials of the Russian government during the transition while he was preparing to become the new NSA. They may have specifically asked him if the spoke with the Ambassador, and what they talked about. They might have even been told to ask him if he spoke to the Ambassador about the sanctions that had been imposed, and what was said between the two of them.

    But if the agents had not read the transcript, they wouldn’t have known what statements by Flynn seemed to be in conflict with the call. But they may have been asked to reflect in their 302 how Flynn reacted to be asked these questions since there seems to be some indications that Yates and McCabe/Priestap/Comey wanted to try to catch Flynn by surprise by the questioning. That’s simply a standard tactic when you have a suspicion connected to a particular person.

    So they reflected in their notes that Flynn seemed to answer all their questions without any observable indications of deception — which are things that agents are taught to look for when they are in the Academy, and things they recognize based on their own experience in conducting interviews.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  353. 350 – then you don’t understand the process at all Dave. I would suggest your read Andy McCarthy’s column from yesterday which identifies all the ways the FBI deviated from standard investigation techniques in conducting the Clinton email investigation, right down to negotiating limits on questioning with attorneys who were not only representing officials involved in the email server problem, but who were also US Govt attorneys at the time the email server was being used.

    That investigation was a sham a dozen different ways, and we’re about to get a definitive determination in that regard from the IG in the days ahead.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  354. 352 –but Huber is operating in conjunction with the IG, and the IG’s investigations are limited.

    Huber could, conceivably, as a DOJ prosecutor with plenary authority, go off any direction that he wanted to. But unless you have information to the contrary, he is not running a contemporaneous but separate investigation apart from the IG with is own set of investigators.

    Its certainly possible — maybe even likely — that as the IG passes information off to him, Huber has a separate set of investigators with wider legal authority than the IG investigators, and Huber’s guys are then taking what the IG has found and goes deeper.

    So there is a bit of a dual track potential — the IG can refer specific people for prosecution based solely on what the IG has uncovered in its own investigation, as it supposedly has done with regard to McCabe’s false statements.

    In addition, the IG can simply forward evidence of possible criminal activity to Huber with the explanation that the IG’s limited authority does not allow it to go further, and leave it to Huber’s agents to continue to pursue the matter.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  355. And Justified is going to win the Triple Crown.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  356. 341 — not usually because the purpose of a FISA warrant is to simply gather information. There are not the same kinds of “staleness” or “overbreadth” concerns that exist under the 4th Amendment with regard to criminal evidence collection methods.

    There’s no reason why you would limit the information that can be gathered for “informational” purposes once you have a sufficient basis to get your hands on it.

    But might a court narrow the scope of communications reviewable by a former campaign official to communications made after they left the campaign, because the court wanted to tread lightly around a campaign? Couldn’t that be a “reason” in this rather unusual situation?

    Given that we know from reporting (assuming it’s accurate) that the super-duper rubber-stampy FISA court rejected a warrant during the summer (when Page was a campaign official) and approved one in October (after he left), should we really be making these confident assumptions about how the feds were necessarily reading his emails sent and received during the campaign, if we don’t know that for sure?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  357. 356:

    Yes. This seems to be a mistake that “my side” makes. Having just read the McCabe OIG report, it is interesting what can be identified from comparing testimony. Like in Starman Jones, where the Navigator says ‘watch out when you juggle numbers, they will cut you’.

    Anonymous (1448ff)

  358. I would suggest your read Andy McCarthy’s column from yesterday which identifies all the ways the FBI deviated from standard investigation techniques in conducting the Clinton email investigation,

    My favorite was the bit about ignoring her lie about knowing what (C) for classified means. I have ranted about that before. Literally nobody who understands this stuff believes that. Yet they made up their minds long before she told that whopper.

    Too bad nobody ever pressed Comey about that. If you’d put me in Bret Baier’s chair, with a lot of time with him, you can bet I would have asked about it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  359. They were probably instructed to ask him about any conversations he had with any officials of the Russian government during the transition while he was preparing to become the new NSA. They may have specifically asked him if the spoke with the Ambassador, and what they talked about. They might have even been told to ask him if he spoke to the Ambassador about the sanctions that had been imposed, and what was said between the two of them.

    What if they had multiple sets agents in the room, the questioner(s) who knew what they needed to know to do the questioning, and others who were just there as observer(s). Acting as human lie detectors without having any specific knowledge about the topics Flynn was questioned about.

    I don’t know if the FBI does that, but it seems plausible that it might be an effective interview technique.

    Anon Y. Mous (6cc438)

  360. there was much baier did not press comey, on, I guess that’s the way Lachlan wanted it,

    narciso (d1f714)

  361. so let’s talk about Elvis he was a lovely person but the Colonel was a shark through and through

    Elvis was such a phenomenon the Colonel was able to extort the song rights for every song Elvis covered (a half interest in the song in perpetuity)

    after our friend Dolly Parton had such a success with I Will Always Love You, Mr. Elvis decided he wanted to do a version too!

    So the Colonel got in touch with Dolly and explained the terms.

    And Dolly said oh sweetie no I’m not signing over my song.

    And that was that. Mr. Elvis never did no cover of that song.

    Ms. Parton was asked about this later:

    I said, ‘I’m really sorry,’ and I cried all night. I mean, it was like the worst thing. You know, it’s like, Oh, my God … Elvis Presley.’ And other people were saying, ‘You’re nuts. It’s Elvis Presley.’ … I said, ‘I can’t do that. Something in my heart says, ‘Don’t do that. And I just didn’t do it… He would have killed it. But anyway, so he didn’t. Then when Whitney’s came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland.

    Love her more than pickles she’s an American treasure that’s for sure

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  362. @356

    My interpretation – entirely speculation was almost the opposite.

    In the book interview, Comey was asked whether it was true that the agents who interviewed Flynn didn’t think he was lying:

    GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: There’s been some reporting that– at– at– at one point you told the Congress that the agency who interviewed Mike Flynn didn’t believe that he had lied.

    JAMES COMEY: Yeah, I saw that. And that– I don’t know where that’s coming from. That– unless I’m– I– I– said something that people misunderstood, I don’t remember even intending to say that. So my recollection is I never said that to anybody.

    Note the question was whether the agent(s) “didn’t believe that he had lied”. Snuffleupagus (h/t: Patterico) was basically asking him whether the agents though he was innocent. And Comey said, no, I never said that.

    The unredacted House intelligence report says something distinctly different, and not inconsistent:

    Director Comey testified to the Committee that “the agents … discerned no physical indications of deception. They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them”

    This makes perfect sense if the agents didn’t have to rely on interpreting his body language to form a judgment about whether he was lying – for instance if they knew, independently, that he was lying by virtue of having transcripts of the conversation(s) they were questioning him about.

    Dave (445e97)

  363. agents *thought he was innocent

    Dave (445e97)

  364. Interesting article speculating on differences between Comey and Brennan:

    http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/255020/how-cia-director-john-brennan-targeted-james-comey (note, it is from FEB18)

    Nice chronology in the middle. Also towards the end some discussion of how Comey’s improper comments on Clinton emails in late October prompted Simpson/Steele to go public with the dossier.

    Anonymous (1448ff)

  365. #353, feet, I wasn’t aware you knew that. Do you also know Raoul’s identity?

    ropelight (710e4b)

  366. Battle of teh Barristers!!! Sunday! SUNDAY l!!!! Sunday!

    Colonel Haiku (adce92)

  367. 362 — Absolutely. It was a bald faced lie. But you can find on Youtube the video Trey Gowdy ripping Comey over and over again about Clinton’s “false exculpatory statements” and how, when you are trying to prove a criminal case where state of mind has to be inferred, “false exculpatory statements” are like gold.

    The media just ignored it though, and Comey’s “explanations” have accepted as gospel.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  368. i don’t know about Raoul but it’s time people understood just what an evil and fundamentally un-American organization the FBI is

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  369. 362. Yeah, that was a hoot. If she really is that stupid, it just shows she didn’t belong in the job either. But I don’t think Miss Wellesly was that dim. I think I learned that about a few days into being on the boat.

    366: Agreed. That is my side overreaching. All that said, Comey could have clarified it just the way we do. Also, could have conveyed the difference in discussions with Congress. Maybe he’s not that bright? Or is it “lack of candor” (an actual term from the OIG report on McCabe)?

    Anonymous (1448ff)

  370. Raoul, in the black legend, that steven berry resurrects in bishops pawn, is the asset that
    enabled james earl ray’s prison, that funded his trips to montreal that set him up for the king hit, and as far as Lisbon, they aren’t anywhere that competent, in x files lore, he was one of cigarette smoking man’s aliases,

    narciso (d1f714)

  371. as I’ve mentioned before. I have tangential brushes with the secret world, I went to school with the son of the fellow, who allegedly witnessed Oswald’s raul,

    narciso (d1f714)

  372. i didn’t know it at the time, I only subsequently found out, as with my family connection to the bay of pigs,

    narciso (d1f714)

  373. then you don’t understand the process at all Dave.

    You have still shown no evidence that anything that was done was done out of favoritism. They have hundreds or thousands of contemporaneous messages between Strzok and Page, and not a one apparently contains any hint of sandbagging.

    I would suggest your read Andy McCarthy’s column from yesterday

    I’ve caught McCarthy using his supposed insider knowledge to torture the facts for Trump’s benefit in the past; I have no doubt he’s still on the job. I’ll wait for the IG report.

    I disagree with the decision not to indict Clinton, btw. I just don’t believe – in the absence of any evidence – that it was a partisan decision.

    Dave (445e97)

  374. Giuliani tells NYT Mueller will wrap obstruction inquiry by Sept., 1. SNL wrapped last night. Nice try, Rudolph, but Kate is much more believable as you than you. “Why can’t a woman, be more like a man,” eh, Rudy? She’ll get the Emmy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  375. 337:

    Didn’t know the reference. Googled it (Absence of Malice, 81). Watching now. Like the start with the presses running. All that power…

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  376. sometimes there is two sometimes three competing factions,

    https://twitter.com/JMichaelWaller/status/998270375917182976

    narciso (d1f714)

  377. slutty bush/obama and their useless wars were the greatest tragedy on America our whole lives

    ladyboy mattis loves it though cause it makes his tiny little post-transition peener tingle

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  378. Recently the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Space and Competitiveness held a hearing on the future of the International Space Station. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) the chair of the subcommittee, and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the ranking member of the full Senate Commerce Committee, were in attendance. Bill Gerstenmaier, the NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, and Paul Martin, the NASA Inspector General, were the witnesses.

    The actual title of the hearing should have been “Why the Trump administration’s plan to privatize the ISS by 2025 is not happening.” Both Cruz and Nelson were absolute on this in a rare display of bi-partisan agreement.

    butt-ugly and socialist is no way to go through life ted

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  379. @ swc, re your comment #315: If I accept your hypothetical premise that Rosenstein is breaking the rules and policies regarding interdepartmental coordination, then yes, I agree that there should be consequences from that. What they should be would depend on the circumstances, but they could include firing. Let us know when and if this becomes something other than speculation. We can also speculate that Mueller and Rosenstein are stealing from the FBI payroll to support their mistresses in Aruba, which would also be a good reason for firing them both, if true. But it’s not true, so far as I know. This doesn’t seem to me to be a very interesting exercise, but your mileage seems to be varying from mine on this point, which is okay.

    Re your comment last night about Comey’s mindset and rationalization for going off the rails (#245), though, you were correct in predicting I’d have no quibble with that. It didn’t take much imagination on Loretta Lynch’s part to play him, did it? She batted her eyelashes and intoned, “Save us Obi-wan Jim Comey, you’re our only hope!” To which his reaction was, “Who better than me? Surely I can be trusted above anyone when it comes to breaking all the rules. Now hold my beer.”

    To which my response to Comey (as shouted at my TV or computer screen) has always been: No, you putz! The reason you were permitted to exercise, in trust for the public, these awesome powers of government was because you were supposedly a worthy choice to play by the rules and go by the book. We thought you could be trusted to keep that oath. What you interpret as taking necessary and urgent license to save your institution, or the criminal justice system or whatever “higher interest” you thought you were serving, Comey, you failed utterly and in the worst and most weasel-like way. For that you deserve the greatest shame, not warm congratulations.

    Comey has utterly lost his objectivity, and his universe is turned inside out. I hope someday someone capable gets to cross-examine him under oath: He’d be an exploding piñata in the hands of someone well prepared and well organized, but he hasn’t faced anyone that capable yet, Gowdy included, or in a context where it could all be developed thoroughly (which would indeed take many hours, probably over more than one day, given his tendency to filibuster). (I remain available and would pay for the privilege; not holding my breath. Patterico has the same instinct, see his comment #362.)

    Re swc’s comment at #357 about McCarthy’s latest: I agree that Hillary was whitewashed. I am unconvinced that Trump is being persecuted by Mueller, though, and my reaction when I learned that Manafort is being treated as a flight risk, or that there was an early morning search warrant on his house, was, “Good, and that’s what they should have done in investigating Hillary’s emails,” not, “Gee, poor Manafort.” I’m glad to see McCarthy illustrating the disparate treatment, in other words, but I depart from his characterization of Mueller’s actions so far as being a deviation from the normal.

    I want someone to ask Loretta Lynch on the record, under oath, why she assigned the Clinton email investigation to the EDNY, where the Sixth Amendment says Hillary could never have been prosecuted. I think even Lynch will have to recognize the Sixth Amendment as authoritative. I can’t imagine that she has anything approaching a remotely credible explanation. Maybe Huber will get to pose that question to both her and to her hirelings and cronies at EDNY, where she’d been the U.S. Attorney before she became AG.

    I’m thinking of starting a GoFundMe page: Would anyone care to pitch in for the cost of a really good weasel costume, plus hotel and roundtrip airfair from Houston to Williamsburg, VA, so I can picket outside Comey’s ethics lectures this fall at William & Mary? I’m talking about a costume that’s as eyecatching as an MLB mascot. I can donate the time and prepare the signage, plus rent a bullhorn and get the permits, etc. If I’m lucky, W&M would contest my right to picket on campus!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  380. Trump can’t seem to settle on a nickname for Comey, although he’s used “Slimeball” and other typical Queens taunts.

    It’s not exactly Trumplike, nor, surely, as widely accessible to the public, but “Faithless Fiduciary” is actually an extremely accurate and uncomplimentary nickname for James Comey.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  381. (I’d probably want that embroidered on the weasel costume.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  382. “Defalcator” is also accurate. Not exactly part of the general public’s working vocabulary, though.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  383. Would anyone care to pitch in for the cost of a really good weasel costume, plus hotel and roundtrip airfair from Houston to Williamsburg, VA, so I can picket outside Comey’s ethics lectures this fall at William & Mary?

    The fees from one slip-and-fall case must cover the sums involved, ten times over, and you wanna hit *us* up for it? Sheesh.

    I for one will have nothing to do with your plans to harass The Last Honest Man in Washington(tm).

    :)

    Dave (445e97)

  384. I think “fiduciary” is not likely to be in Trump’s vocabulary.

    Kishnevi (c5227a)

  385. I just want to give others the opportunity to share materially if indirectly in the picketing, Dave!

    Beldar (fa637a)

  386. Seems like a chameleon with a certain flair for Curtain Camouflage to me

    crazy (5c5b07)

  387. I think “fiduciary” is not likely to be in Trump’s vocabulary.

    Not one of the best words.

    “I went to an Ivy League school. I’m very highly educated. I know words, I have the best words…but there is no better word than stupid. Right?”
    – Donald J. Trump

    Dave (445e97)

  388. 375
    There are two things that article does not talk about.
    Those two things happen to render the entire spinning tale of DOJ corruption into fantasy. They are so obvious to me that I can only assume they are avoided on purpose. Or perhaps willful blind spots.

    Kishnevi (c5227a)

  389. 384 — Hahaha. So what does that tell you about ONA’s $20 million budget???

    Sounds like a slush fund to me.

    Why is it paying a retired American now a professor at a British University $1 million over 3 years??

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  390. Dr. Hatfill is much amused beldar, Bruce ivins is unavailable for comment.

    Which two things kish.

    narciso (0faea5)

  391. “But might a court narrow the scope of communications reviewable by a former campaign official to communications made after they left the campaign, because the court wanted to tread lightly around a campaign? Couldn’t that be a “reason” in this rather unusual situation?”

    Possible. Unlikely. Consider the FISA request included the dossier with a lot of stuff about Trump, not Page).

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  392. Sorry I meant dave.

    Beldar how can you explain how trump got the 3rd degree and Hillary got the clean bill of heath.

    narciso (0faea5)

  393. @383. $100-plus billion to assemble w/int’l partners, including Russia; $3 billion-plus/year to operate and going in circles, no place fast, Mr. Feet.

    Tedtoo has zero gravitas personally on this issue anyway; but does have a constituency that’s aiming at it– chiefly Musk’s SpaceX, which has facilities in work due to favorable geography and thrives on gov’t contracting to service the inevitably doomed platform. Nelson does, given his own years of support as a Florida senator representing KSC ops and as a congressman taking a spaceflight junket on a shuttle in the 80’s. The ISS is Gerstenmaier’s last gig, too; his mindset is part of the past, as was the ISS anyway, which essentially devolved into a ‘make work’ project [as Deke Slayton called it] for partners as the Cold War melted away.

    But at this time, w/t 2020s approaching, w/o the ISS, private space firms essentially have no place to fly to. It’s an artificial target they can reach; the moon and Mars, not so much. For them, at this stage of development, contracting is simply government-subsidized seed money to get them off the ground. Given the flat budgets in the out years to come, it frees up NASA to press onward and outward. Privatizing the whole ISS and its ops is a stretch; sucker bait to any investment capital firms given its fate and low to no ROI. Possibly leasing single module for tourist runs in time, but privatizing the whole platform would not be cost-effective at all. With safety margins, it can only manage six people at a time. And none of these private space firms have yet to even try to launch, orbit and safely return any ‘human cargo’ from LEO either. While governments have been doing it for 57 years and even managed several trips out to Luna as well.

    Ferrying cargo- be it pizza or people– up to 300 miles and back from 17,500 mph., is hard. Private space ops have demonstrated some incredibly impressive engineering in the past few years and it’s encouraging. But the big one has yet to be tried; getting some one up around and back down safely. Once they accomplish that, a whole new world will open up.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  394. i will defer to your superior judgment on this matter Mr. DCSCA

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  395. Kish is the one who referred to “two things”, not me…

    Consider the FISA request included the dossier with a lot of stuff about Trump, not Page).

    You don’t know what parts of the dossier were referenced in the FISA request, nor in what context. To the extent the dossier was relevant to the Page warrant at all, why would you assume it isn’t the parts that actually concern … Page?

    Dave (445e97)

  396. I assume the approving judges considered the parts regarding Page, whether or not the whole thing was included. (Although the whole thing might help with context or with showing importance.)

    That document stinks though. The Obama poops and hookers on the bed. The way it was compiled by political opponents.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  397. Somehow I don’t think Peter Strozk and 5 guys flew off to London toot-sweet to start Operation Crossfire Hurricane based on the danger from poor little Page. Think they had more on their mind.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  398. That document stinks though. The Obama poops and hookers on the bed. The way it was compiled by political opponents.

    Perhaps.

    My understanding (IANAL and the legal types here can correct me if I’m mistaken, although it is based on stuff I read here) is that search warrant applications routinely rely to varying degrees on the testimony of drug addicts, criminals and other generally unsavory types.

    This resource on probable cause says:

    Probable cause may be demonstrated by live, sworn testimony or by affidavit. More importantly, an affidavit based on hearsay (which could not be used as evidence in a criminal trial) can be used as the basis for issuing a search warrant, so long as the circumstances in their totality establish probable cause. See Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983).

    The Steele dossier is hearsay, but that doesn’t make it inadmissible in establishing probable cause for a search warrant.

    Dave (445e97)

  399. Narciso, you should be able to figure it. If this were a spy novel, you would be laughing at the plot holes.

    There’s actually three things piled into the first one, but they are interrelated. The second is something that did not happen, but should have if what you think happened did actually happen.

    I am not being coy or playing a game. I want to make you think it through, see the weak spots, and realize what a flimsy structure it is.

    Kishnevi (54fe57)

  400. Somehow I don’t think Peter Strozk and 5 guys flew off to London toot-sweet to start Operation Crossfire Hurricane based on the danger from poor little Page. Think they had more on their mind.

    You’re conflating an investigation and a warrant. They are not the same things.

    Dave (445e97)

  401. Give me a clue, knish

    Mark wauck has some interesting views that I don’t entirely subscribe to. his major area of focus on that blog has been biblical escatology.

    narciso (d1f714)

  402. I am not being coy or playing a game. I want to make you think it through, see the weak spots, and realize what a flimsy structure it is.

    Another triumph of optimism over experience…

    Dave (445e97)

  403. I don’t have an objection to the hearsay. Gotta start somewhere.

    But the Obama poop story and the hookers on the bed sounded like Nurse Nasty from 419eater. Such an over the top Internet troll, that it wasn’t even credible. I’m still betting on some 4chan involvement on that stuff. And the rest of that thing was pushed together like a snowball with dry snow that won’t stick. It’s just shoddy stuff.

    If FBI did excise and present only the relevant parts, that might have actually been a better strategy to get the warrant since the thing looks so bad it calls into question what the heck these people were relying on.

    Confirmation bias can be powerful. Look at Iraq War WMD assessment.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  404. The second dossier, peddled by shearer, handed over to Jonathan winer had the same carp only from Turkish sources.

    narciso (d1f714)

  405. that pic Drudge has up of Hillary right now is gorgeously iconic

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  406. 411
    I didn’t even realize it was a constitutional crisis.

    Kishnevi (54fe57)

  407. “Confirmation bias can be powerful. Look at Iraq War WMD assessment.

    The real bias these days concerning belief in Iraq WMDs back then is from those who decline ownership while blaming others for same.

    https://youtu.be/N5p-qIq32m8

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  408. Well it is because trump,

    He is Robert Hansen’s brother in law, with a Phd in classics

    narciso (d1f714)

  409. …that pic Drudge has up of Hillary right now is gorgeously iconic

    It so strange, I had already captured it.

    http://www2.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Hillary+Clinton+Evening+Hillary+Rodham+Clinton+v8LJCPe3Xjwl.jpg

    She looks like one of those Russian (no pun intended) dolls with a half dozen progressively smaller dolls inside.

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  410. yes yes you’ve described the strangeness nicely

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  411. progressively smaller

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  412. I want to make you think it through, see the weak spots, and realize what a flimsy structure it is.

    OK, I’ll play.

    According to the article, the intel investigation of Page was the result of an elaborate, months-long conspiracy to give the FBI a false pretext to read FISA intercepts about people in the Trump campaign … people who the FBI supposedly knew were totally innocent of any wrongdoing and pure as the driven snow. So, um, what was the point again? To dig up non-existent dirt?

    If you’re going to manufacture evidence on secondary targets to gain access to highly protected data that will merely prove your primary target’s innocence, why not just manufacture damning evidence on the primary target in the first place?

    And virtually nothing was publicly divulged about Trump or Russians before the election. It was never a significant issue. Having supposedly conspired since the Spring of 2016, if the goal was to manufacture false evidence tying Trump to the Russians, why would you hold onto it until after the election you expected Trump to lose? Why not release the Steele dossier in October when it could actually, you know, affect the election?

    If done with the deviousness and dishonesty worthy of an institution-wide, six-month long criminal conspiracy, a selective release of information could have been used to contrive an “October surprise” that Trump & Co. would have had a hard time knocking down with a couple weeks remaining.

    And finally, how does Comey’s very damaging (to Clinton) announcement about re-opening the email investigation 10 days before the election comport with the rest of this stuff and nonsense?

    With all the other alleged outright criminality, are you trying to tell me they couldn’t manage to lose Weiner’s laptop for a week, or “accidentally” erase the emails, or encounter “unexpected delays” in processing them, if they had been cheerfully committing felonies for the past 8 months to throw the election to Clinton?

    My mom used to use the expression “Don’t swallow the cow and choke on the tail,” meaning: don’t complete hard part of the job only to come up short on the easy part. If ever there was a case of “swallowing the cow and choking on the tail,” this is it. Utterly implausible.

    Dave (445e97)

  413. Obama spied on Trump’s campaign and created a fig leaf of “Ruuuusian collusion” to justify it. It is really that simple. The complexity is all the smoke and and mirrors his minions in the White House, the NSA, the FBI, the DOJ, and the CIA created to disguise their banana republic dirty trick.

    nk (dbc370)

  414. Oh, and if the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians was a set-up, why use it indirectly, to try to justify a pointless intel investigation of a minor apparatchik like Page?

    Why didn’t they use it directly (against Trump)? It would have been absolutely devastating if divulged shortly before the election. Instead we only found out about it 6 months after. Makes. No. Sense.

    Dave (445e97)

  415. Ding! We have a winner. With bonus points because I wasn’t thinking about Hillary’s emails.

    Kishnevi (54fe57)

  416. Because they didn’t have any evidence, because the nypd was dogging them with the wiener emails, because there was indeed a revolt in the bureau, hence the misdirect to barrettes from mccabe via strzok

    narciso (d1f714)

  417. nk, what info did they hope to collect? What info did they use? Why pick a relatively peripheral figure? And why not leak the fact that there was an investigation to a favorite journolistee before the election?

    Kishnevi (54fe57)

  418. They elected to find collusion because that’s what fusion does, when its not discrediting whistleblowers, that’s why baker and hofstadler hired them.

    narciso (d1f714)

  419. What did they hope to collect? Anything they could use to a) to sabotage Trump’s campaign or b) in the unlikely event (in their minds) that he won his administration. As for their particular tactics and actions, they were rats sniffing, licking, and gnawing in dark corners and behind baseboards and it’s not significant that in retrospect some don’t seem to make sense.

    nk (dbc370)

  420. Un a previous incarnation, Simpson had helped keep the anti Iranian prince of ras Al khalmah off the throne.

    narciso (d1f714)

  421. As for Weiner’s laptop, at that point Comey was totally unmoored. He had compromised himself in July and never recovered. Another rat chasing his tail in the dark. Retrospective couldas, shouldas, wouldas are likewise meaningless.

    nk (dbc370)

  422. Yes he had, but by delaying the examination of the laptop that was dejure obstruction, which wouldn’t have come to light if George tosac hadn’t found it in the first place.

    narciso (d1f714)

  423. Yes, that too. Even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t have been able to keep it under wraps. One person can keep a secret, two persons cannot keep a secret. And what if it had come out two days before the election? But I doubt that even he knew what he was thinking at that point.

    nk (dbc370)

  424. I’ve faced it myself. I think we all have at one time or another. Procrastination because we can’t or don’t want to decide can seem like deliberate stalling.

    nk (dbc370)

  425. what info did they hope to collect? What info did they use? Why pick a relatively peripheral figure? And why not leak the fact that there was an investigation to a favorite journolistee before the election?

    Kishnevi (54fe57) — 5/20/2018 @ 5:20 pm

    The purpose was to spy on the campaign. See if there was anything to use against them. They never thought they’d actually lose to Trump.

    NJRob (f2e941)

  426. So the fact that the only action taken by the FBI in the decisive final weeks of the campaign was a godsend to Trump is simply more evidence that they were in the tank for Clinton all along?

    OK.

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  427. They believed thepolls, they though it wouldn’t matter.

    narciso (d1f714)

  428. So a dozen or more career law enforcement professionals conspired to commit multiple felonies to generate a false FISA warrant against a minor former campaign advisor less than a month before the election they expected to win easily and then used none of whatever they found, but decided at the last minute to see how close they could make things by releasing damaging information about their preferred candidate, which they could have easily suppressed.

    Have I got it right?

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  429. What a tangled web we weave once we practice to deceive. And don’t forget that they were swimming upstream against the laws, regulations and policies they knew they were violating and weighed down by the oaths they had taken.

    nk (dbc370)

  430. What a tangled web we weave once we practice to deceive.

    o stahp

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  431. The Strzok

    Now everybody
    Have you heard
    If you’re down on Trump
    Then the Strzok’s teh word
    Don’t take no lawyer
    Don’t take no style
    Gotta thirst for textin’
    Grab those files and

    Grab yer iPhone tight
    Tell ‘em whatcha think
    Then kiss that Page gal
    Right where it stinks
    Spread teh new pollution
    But do it on teh sly
    Keep your contributions
    Terse and snide and

    Strzok it, Strzok it
    Could be a winner boy you’re fittin’ right in
    Strzok it Strzok it
    (Strzok)
    Strzok it, Strzok it
    You got this number down
    Strzok it, Strzok it
    Say you’re a winner but man
    You’re soundin’ bitter now

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  432. “With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

    But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump presidential campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. No, it wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

    In no way would a fourth-hand report from a Maltese professor justify wholesale targeting of four or five members of the Trump campaign. It took Christopher Steele, with his funding concealed through false campaign filings, to be incredibly successful at creating a vast echo chamber around his unverified, fanciful dossier, bouncing it back and forth between the press and the FBI so it appeared that there were multiple sources all coming to the same conclusion.”

    http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/388549-stopping-robert-mueller-to-protect-us-all

    __ _
    Meanwhile…….

    Wash Post:

    Commentary: If the FBI used an informant, it wasn’t to go after Trump. It was to protect him.

    Lol

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  433. Like I was saying … LOL

    nk (dbc370)

  434. She’s the real Alex Parrish, two and trump broke quantico utterly.

    narciso (0faea5)

  435. So much dishonesty dedicated to trying to make everyone in the world look as corrupt and immoral as Donald Trump…

    Downer signed a memorandum of understanding between the Australian government and the Clinton foundation for a project to fight AIDS in Africa… (in 2006).

    http://thehill.com/376858-australian-diplomat-whose-tip-prompted-fbis-russia-probe-has-tie-to-clintons

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  436. For all those who question timing, look for an answer in the book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. :

    Within 24 hours of her concession speech, [campaign chair John Podesta and manager Robby Mook] assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  437. *Asia, not Africa

    Dave (4e2ac9)

  438. You forget his board membership with haklyt.

    narciso (0faea5)

  439. Giving a foundation run by the presumptive next president (O’Failure was barely a blip on the radar) $25 milly….a foundation that would be criticized for “management weaknesses” and “inadequate budget oversight” (from the linked article). No way was this buying influence (cough).

    Think how much better they could have addressed AIDS in Asia if a reputable org. had got the funds.

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  440. leggy meggy can suck it

    ok that was so like 9 hours ago

    but it’s still news for some

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  441. mueller-fag had his chance to be relevant

    b!tch failed

    and the caravan moves on

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  442. Help me out here. How exactly does signing off on a charitable project while serving as your country’s foreign minister make you beholden to the people who run the charitable organization? It’s not your money, and it’s not even your decision to spend the money.

    Australia granted around $4B AUD per year to projects like this. The grant extended over multiple years, so it represents no more than 1/3 of 1% of Australia’s development grant budget. And if there is some kind of debt of gratitude incurred, it is generally the recipients of the money, not the donors, who owe it. So it is just hard for me to understand how an honest person could try to represent the former Australian Foreign Minister as being somehow tainted because his country donated a tiny fraction its development budget to a tiny fraction of the AIDS relief work done by the Clinton Foundation.

    Here is the start of the Conclusion Section of the independent project evaluation:

    It is the view of the [Evaluation Team] that this has been on the whole a well managed project that has created enthusiasm and ownership in many areas. It has been exemplary in the way it has carefully considered the pace of rollout of all program areas, and has taken time to reflect and analyse many elements of it. Its commitment to building local capacity has been outstanding.

    The evaluation ratings given (“6 = very high quality, 1 = very low quality, below 4 is less than satisfactory”) were

    Relevance: 5
    Effectiveness: 5
    Efficiency: 5
    Sustainability: 4
    Gender Equality: 2
    Monitoring & Evaluation: 2
    Analysis & Learning: 5

    The project was a real project that did real medical relief work in one of the most primitive and underdeveloped areas of the world (Papua-New Guinea). The auditor found it was not perfect, but there is no hint of any impropriety and to suggest that it was some kind fraud or scam is just lying.

    Dave (445e97)

  443. Just as a reality check, Donald J. Trump is in the top 0.2% of contributors to the Clinton Foundation.

    Dave (445e97)

  444. the caravan moved on Mr. Dave

    it’s a thing

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  445. the caravan moved on Mr. Dave

    it’s a thing

    Ah that’s good, Mr. Feet.

    Trump donated to the Clintons as recently as 2009.

    The Aussie dude signed the agreement for his country way back in 2006, so his caravan has been on the road for three years longer.

    Dave (445e97)

  446. Senator McConnell & Speaker Ryan: If Mr. Trump continues along this disastrous path, you will bear major responsibility for the harm done to our democracy. You do a great disservice to our Nation & the Republican Party if you continue to enable Mr. Trump’s self-serving actions. – John O. Brennan

    Mr. Brennan pls to take a beat. Pedophile mitt romney’s greased-up baby butt-boy Paul Ryan likes it when you finger-pop it in the key of d minor specifically.

    SPECIFICALLY (hello)

    It would help your case immeasurably if you specified these telling details.

    Don’t just

    Don’t just stand there

    Don’t just stand there let’s get to it Mr. Brennan.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  447. Good luck getting the media interested in Trump buying political influence if he was buying it from the Clintons.
    __ _

    As to the Clintons and the Asian AIDS program, just google it and see if you can get past watered-down drugs.

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/19/exclusive-clinton-foundation-aids-program-distributed-watered-down-drugs-to-third-world-countries/

    True though, they never hit their foreign-aid stride till Haiti.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2016/07/hillarys-america-secret-history-democratic-party-dinesh-dsouza-clinton-foundation/

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  448. Silly bunny is relying on charo0ity navigator.

    narciso (d1f714)

  449. Pedophile mitt romney? Seriously?

    Paul Montagu (e6130e)

  450. Charity navigator,

    narciso (0faea5)

  451. Well the democrats called him a dog torturing, employees wife killing student hazing bully who cheated on his taxes, so it’s not a leap

    narciso (0faea5)

  452. at the end of the day what are we gonna do about how the dirty scumsuck Australian government tried to help do a coup on the duly elected president of the united states

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  453. “PAUL BEDARD: Boom: Team Trump cuts nearly twice as many regulations as promised.

    The Trump administration is showing no signs of slowing its slashing of Obama-era regulations, beating their plans to cut two for every new rule and saving more than double what was hoped for, according to a new report.

    “The Trump administration is making substantial deregulatory progress,” said a new report from American Action Forum.

    “The administration is prioritizing deregulation, and it is set to double its goals of a two-for-one deregulatory-to-regulatory ratio and $686.6 million in net savings,” said the report from forum experts Dan Bosch, director of regulatory policy, and Dan Goldbeck, a senior analyst.

    When he came to office, Trump promised to cut two regulations for every new one he imposed.

    The duo said that the percentage is actually 3.75 to 1, an unprecedented reduction.

    Trump believes that cutting regulations, while it receives few headlines, is one of his team’s biggest accomplishments and a driver in the improving economy and investment in the United States.

    Trump has so far been both the most conservative and most libertarian president of my lifetime. Granted, that’s not a super-high bar to clear, but still.”

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/297297/

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  454. Rave on, #NeverTrump…

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  455. #NeverTrump catches what Democrats are pitchin’, IYKWIMAITYD.

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  456. “Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had worked on the Trump campaign, he recused himself from the matter, and so the deputy — Rod Rosenstein — took the decision to appoint a special counsel. The regulations require that such an appointment recite the facts justifying the conclusion that a federal crime was committed, and specify the crime. However, the initial appointment of Robert Mueller did neither, referring instead to a national security investigation that a special counsel has no authority to pursue.

    Although Rosenstein apparently tried to correct his mistake in a new appointment memo, he has thus far refused to disclose, even to a federal judge, a complete copy of it. In other investigations supposedly implicating a president — Watergate and Whitewater come to mind — we were told what the crime was and what facts justified the investigation. Not here.

    Nor have any of the charges filed in the Mueller investigation disclosed the Trump campaign’s criminal acceptance or solicitation of help from the Russians. The one indictment that relates to Russian criminality charges that the Russians hacked Democratic Party computers and committed other social media abuse, but says specifically that if the Trump campaign got the benefit of it, that was “unwitting” — i.e., without criminal intent.”

    —- Former AG Michael Mukasey

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/20/end-robert-mueller-investigation-michael-mukasey-editorials-debates/35157745/

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  457. “It’s easy to find timelines that detail Trump-Russia collusion developments. Here are links to two of them I recommend. . . . On the other side, evidence has emerged in the past year that makes it clear there were organized efforts to collude against candidate Donald Trump–and then President Trump.”

    https://sharylattkisson.com/2018/05/20/collusion-against-trump-timeline/

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  458. That is good, Haiku. Thank you for linking it. From the original source:

    To provide a look at how agencies are fairing at reaching their budget targets so far, this study analyzes the 41 final rules published in the Federal Register (through May 11) that were designated as regulatory or deregulatory under EO 13,771 and included estimated costs or cost savings. The results of this analysis appear in the table below. Agencies in red have not met their budgetary goal yet, while agencies in green have met or exceeded it.

    Agency FY2018 Budget (Annualized Costs/Savings $millions) Year to Date ($millions) Difference ($millions)
    Interior -196 -38.6 -157.4
    Labor -137 -324.3 187.3
    Energy -80 0.0 -80.0
    Defense -70.9 -2.6 -68.3
    USDA -56 -87.8 31.8
    EPA -40 -62.2 22.2
    DOT -35 -166.1 131.1
    HUD -29 -31.2 2.2
    HHS -28.7 -316.3 287.6
    SBA -3.6 0.0 -3.6
    ED -3 -18.7 15.7
    VA -2.4 0.0 -2.4
    Justice -2 -156.0 154.0
    USAID -1.2 0.0 -1.2
    State -1.1 0.0 -1.1
    Commerce -0.7 -0.1 -0.6
    NASA 0 -0.1 0.1
    GSA 0 -0.1 0.1
    DHS 0 0.0 0.0
    FAR 0 0.0 0.0
    OMB 0 0.0 0.0
    Treasury 0 0.1 -0.1
    Total -686.6 -1,204.0 517.4

    Executive agencies have thus far exceeded their cumulative target by a substantial margin. OIRA set a goal of $686.6 million in annualized savings. So far, executive agencies have exceeded this goal by 75 percent.

    As the table shows, 13 agencies have already met or exceeded their savings target – some by a substantial margin. The Department of Labor currently has published the most savings, primarily due to a delay of the effective date of its Fiduciary Rule ($291.1 million). HHS comes in a close second on savings from two Medicare rules totaling $511.5 million. Had HHS not implemented a Medicare rule that cost $296 million, however, it would be far ahead of all other agencies. DOT and the Department of Justice are currently third and fourth, respectively.

    Nine agencies still have some work left to do. The three agencies with the largest shortfalls currently are in the top four of budgeted savings targets: Interior, Energy, and Defense. According to OIRA guidance, agencies that fail to meet their budget target in the current fiscal year must develop a plan to get into compliance, and explain why they failed to do so.

    Well done, Alex Azar and Alex Acosta. Get busy, Rick Perry.

    DRJ (0280d9)

  459. Here is the chart with bold (green — met or exceeded goals) and not bold (red — have not met goals) since we don’t have colors here:

    Agency FY2018 Budget (Annualized Costs/Savings $millions) Year to Date ($millions) Difference ($millions)

    Interior -196 -38.6 -157.4
    Labor -137 -324.3 187.3
    Energy -80 0.0 -80.0
    Defense -70.9 -2.6 -68.3
    USDA -56 -87.8 31.8
    EPA -40 -62.2 22.2
    DOT -35 -166.1 131.1
    HUD -29 -31.2 2.2
    HHS -28.7 -316.3 287.6

    SBA -3.6 0.0 -3.6
    ED -3 -18.7 15.7
    VA -2.4 0.0 -2.4
    Justice -2 -156.0 154.0
    USAID -1.2 0.0 -1.2
    State -1.1 0.0 -1.1
    Commerce -0.7 -0.1 -0.6
    NASA 0 -0.1 0.1
    GSA 0 -0.1 0.1
    DHS 0 0.0 0.0
    FAR 0 0.0 0.0
    OMB 0 0.0 0.0

    Treasury 0 0.1 -0.1
    Total -686.6 -1,204.0 517.4

    DRJ (0280d9)

  460. lol this whole idea must make the corrupt mattis defense piggies squeal in abject terror

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  461. “Last week I reported that Internet sleuths had winkled out the name of the spy/agent provocateur that Obama’s intelligence officers had used on the Trump campaign. The New York Times and Washington Post, the Democrats’ semi-official newspapers this week megaphoned the instigators, offering up their justifications without naming his name.

    Again, the name is Stefan Halper, who, as I wrote here last week, was paid a substantial sum by the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment.

    If it was for this work – and it suspiciously looks like it because the payments were made in July and September of 2016 when he was weaseling his way into the campaign – then we know we have the DNI, CIA, DOJ, FBI, Dept. of State and the Defense Department working for Hillary’s election and to smear and create a basis for further spying on Trump and his campaign.

    The NYT and Washington Post stories were clearly dictated by the perpetrators of this unprecedented effort to interfere with our elections. A careful reading shows that they leaked just enough about Halper to positively identify him while the press refuses to name him because the selective leakers warned, “that exposing him could endanger him or his contacts.” If you buy that nonsense, please send me your name and contact information because I have a great investment deal for you.”

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/halper_spells_game_up_for_obamas_spies.html

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  462. Democrats or #NeverTrump?

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  463. If Rudy warranted an “uh oh” here, you would think Stefan Halper does too.

    harkin (2fa2ca)

  464. consider it with a grain of salt,

    https://twitter.com/BryanDeanWright/status/998400770553757697

    narciso (d1f714)

  465. chaitred, doesn’t disappoint:

    https://twitter.com/jonathanchait/status/997837076396761089

    narciso (d1f714)

  466. 473… but you would be wrong.

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  467. Chait: the Heart and Soul Voice of Trumpbusters

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  468. she does seem to be beating the crazy deleon

    https://twitter.com/CortesSteve/status/998556274584375297

    narciso (d1f714)

  469. no he just hates all spies, he’s probably still mad over 1964 brazil,

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/998553924998070274

    narciso (d1f714)

  470. he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer admittedly:

    https://twitter.com/carterwpage/status/998131289063591936

    narciso (d1f714)

  471. yup it’s clear now Jeffy Sessions is just a useless dirty eunuch and Rosytwat has his balls in a box on his desk

    what an utterly disgraceful coward

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  472. So a dozen or more career law enforcement professionals conspired to commit multiple felonies to generate a false FISA warrant against a minor former campaign advisor less than a month before the election they expected to win easily and then used none of whatever they found, but decided at the last minute to see how close they could make things by releasing damaging information about their preferred candidate, which they could have easily suppressed.

    Have I got it right?

    Dave (4e2ac9) — 5/20/2018 @ 6:23 pm

    The same group that went after the Little Sisters of the Poor, the same group that targeted conservative groups using the IRS, the same group that did Fast and the Furious, yes, the same group.

    You dost protest too much.

    NJRob (b00189)

  473. so only under certain conditions,

    https://twitter.com/SecStudiesGrp/status/998571722898001920

    narciso (d1f714)

  474. The more things change, the more they remain the same:

    The White House, the CIA and the Pike Committee, 1975

    National Security Agency Tracking of U.S. Citizens – “Questionable Practices” from 1960s & 1970s

    The CIA’s Family Jewels

    Four decades later serious questions need to be answered once again about the application of foreign intelligence tools in the targeting of US persons engaged in domestic political activities. Then and now DOJ, FBI, NSA and CIA have the answers but are reluctant to share with Congress. It may not be time to share the facts with US, but it’s past time to share them with the Congressional Committees that were created to prevent a return to the excesses of the past.

    crazy (5c5b07)

  475. 487 — it wasn’t a dozen or more, and they weren’t all “career” officials.

    We are going to see shortly that political considerations dictated many of the crucial decisions which undermined the Clinton email investigation, and those decisions were made by DOJ political appointees. Decisions like not authorizing the use of a grand jury, not seizing material evidence through the use of search warrants, and offering immunity to witnesses who when the only purpose seems to have been to save them from themselves.

    On that last point, keep in mind that the FBI doesn’t grant immunity — only prosecutors can grant immunity. Given the number of people connected to Clinton who were given immunity, that tells you all you need to know about how much that was a DOJ drive investigation, and not an FBI one.

    And, the actors involved in the Trump investigation didn’t think they were engaging in multiple conspiracies — and it may still turn out to be the case that no crimes were committed.

    But simply because they might not have done anything illegal doesn’t change the fact that they employed counter-intelligence surveillance tools and a human informant against the political opposition in a US Presidential election contest, and have yet to offer a bona fide compelling reason for having done so.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  476. the sleazy men and women of the FBI condoned every ounce of the DOJ’s corruption though

    either overtly or tacitly

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  477. I’m very glad Trump ordered the DOJ to investigate the Obama Administration’s surveillance prior to the election. I hope we learn the truth. I wish he had done this on Day One, and that he had fired all the Obama political appointees swc mentioned.

    It is puzzling why Trump never did this. I suspect it would have been done if Trump had let Christie run his Transition instead of Kushner/Pence. Sometimes personnel drives policy.

    DRJ (15874d)

  478. 492… could be true… Crispy Kreme could’ve been a factor…

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  479. Some are saying that Trump asking the DOJ to come nvestigate itself is not the smartest of plays…

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  480. stay puft, who didn’t see the need to fire comey, and I imagine McCabe, maybe he needs another bridge to cross,

    narciso (d1f714)

  481. Our boy Rosie ensured more room for shenanigans by giving the DJT “demand” to an IG who cannot indict of himself nor empanel a GJ. There is zero chance, if there was one to begin with, of having a report before November. There may have been at least one indictment had a prosecutor been given this task.

    The Clintonistas always play for time, and they ALWAYS do whatever it takes to avoid a GJ process. Another advantage they will enjoy is a telegraphing of IG findings from friendly weasels.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  482. “They” being the deep statists and Obamists.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  483. 494, I can see that. I think the DOJ IG still has credibility as nonpartisan. He is the one who investigated and referred McCabe for prosecution.

    DRJ (15874d)

  484. i will defer to your superior judgment on this matter Mr. DCSCA

    Mr. DCASPCA, have you ever worked in the space program?

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  485. 492 — He never did it because 1) I don’t think anyone imagined that the Obama DOJ had sought a FISA warrant, and 2) I don’t think anyone imagined that the Obama DOJ would have sent a informant at Trump Campaign officials.

    And, the day he took office his campaign was already the target of this investigation. If he had set about firing all the people at DOJ, there would have been an uproar over that, claiming he was trying to coverup what he had done during the campaign.

    He fired Sally Yates over the first Travel EO. Other Obama DOJ people resigned.

    The problem in a transition is that there are 2nd and 3rd level career officials at DOJ who step into the role of “Acting” occupants of positions that will later be filled by political appointees. You can’t simply fire those people. But make not mistake, they aren’t any less “political” than the political appointees they replaced.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  486. 494 — I think he was asking for exactly what he got, an expansion of the IG’s ongoing investigation.

    I don’t think Trump has any real complaints right now about what the IG has done so far in terms of McCabe, and the rumors are that the upcoming report on the Clinton email matter is a scathing indictment (non-criminal) of many Obama DOJ officials, attributing political motives to many of their decisions.

    So, at this point, I think he sees Horowitz as an “honest broker”, and the Dems can’t attack Horowitz because he’s a lifelong Dem, and was appointed to the position by Obama.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  487. 496 – but remember that Sessions instructed US Attorney Huber to work with the IG for the purpose of bringing criminal charges against anyone found to have committed crimes based on the IG’s investigation. Huber, I’m almost 100% certain, has federal agents attached to his work who are not from the FBI, and those agents have the authority that the IG investigators lack. So when the IG guys hit a wall in terms of their authority, they simply had it over to the federal agents working with Huber — they can interview people outside DOJ, they can issue grand jury subpoenas, and they can seek and execute search warrants.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  488. I think so, too, but this ‘never ending story’ has to close up shop.

    narciso (d1f714)

  489. Swc,

    You said at 490 there aren’t that many political appointees making decisions. Now you say at 500 their replacements are just as bad, so it wouldn’t help to fire people. Remind me why we even bother electing anyone, even Trump, if things are so hopeless. I think competent conservative leaders can make a difference but in your zeal to cover for Trump, it sounds like you think it is hopeless.

    As for surveillance, Trump first tweeted about he had his “wires tapped” on the morning of March 4, 2017, 42 days after his Inauguration. Why wait another 15 months to do something about it?

    DRJ (15874d)

  490. Really, what has happened in the interim, drj how many layers of the onion have been unpeeled, fusion the second dossier the ig report the house intelligence report?

    narciso (d1f714)

  491. > I’m working on perspective and the spiritual side of my life

    Congratulations, I wish you much success of this. :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  492. > 1. “[The object of your criticism] is living rent-free in your head.”

    This is not useful in a political context, I agree, but it *is* useful as advice to a friend who is obsessing over some harm done them in the past, and it’s the fundamental underpinning of the notion that forgiveness is good for the person doing the forgiving.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  493. >Non-autistic non-lawyer humans who haven’t let the “Deposition Mindset” take over their thinking recognize that insulting an insulter back with an equally obtuse metaphor is simply good daily practice (I’d suggest listening to rap music to get the basics down.)

    As a moderator of several online fora, my view on this is very different from yours: insulting an insulter back creates an environment where everyone expects insults to be the order of the day. Insulting responses to insults get removed just as quickly as the original insult did, because *both* contribute to a degradation of the level of conversation.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  494. 504 –I think you misread 490. What I said is that I think the IG’s report is going to show that the critical investigatory decisions made in the Clinton email investigation are going to be revealed to have been made by Obama political appointees in Justice, rather than by the officials at the FBI, and the IG is going to find that political considerations underpinned some/most of those decisions.

    Many of the people who made those decisions left in the transition. While the Trump Admin. went about its business of finding new political appointees for those slots, the person given the “Acting” label in each of those jobs is normally the senior-most career official. But, my experience over 23 years was that those “career” officals only got to their status as being most “senior” because their politics were similar to the political appointees that moved them up in the organizational chart.

    So, for example, when Obama was elected, I was the Civil Rights Coordinator for my office, having successfully prosecuted some high profile civil rights cases in conjunction with the Bush DOJ Civil Rights Division. But when Obama appointed a new US Attorney in my district, I was removed from my position as Civil Rights Coordoinator — not fired, just lost that particular responsibility — and it was given to someone much more liberal whose views were more in line with the radically more liberal Civil Rights Division that was coming together under Eric Holder as AG.

    During the transition, while Trump appointees are being put in the nomination pipeline, those career officials whose political views are more aligned with the Administration who just left office, are in charge of the day-to-day operations of many DOJ components. That’s why you get someone like Sally Yates who says “I’m directing the litigation sections of DOJ to not seek to defend the Travel Ban policy in Court.”

    Combine that problem with the way the Dems in the Senate have slowed to a crawl the confirmation process by requiring 30 hours of floor debate on every nominee, and you can see how even 18 months after his election, Trump is still fighting against political opposition in the departments of the Executive that he should control.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  495. we have to elevate the tone we can do this by saying nice things about our president, President Donald Trump

    I’ll go first

    President Trump’s making the summer sizzle with great prices and exciting opportunities that are always served fresh!

    This summer please to enjoy many freedoms – second amendment, first amendment, and many more!

    As the summer days grow hot and lazy President Trump will be hard at work

    deregulating!

    negotiating a peaceful resolution!

    bringing people together!

    building a wall!

    and many other fun activities!

    So make this summer a distinctively America summer – and say a hearty thank you to President Donald Trump!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  496. Which is precisely why, swc, the spygate simply must be taken out of the hands of regular DOJ as much as conceivably possible. Any IG report will be subject to review by the very same tools you’ve identified and who largely remain, and will so remain for months and months.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  497. How did this spying (Russian or otherwise) get past the Secret Service?

    crazy (5c5b07)

  498. Without their grift, they get no lift, narciso l.

    Colonel Haiku (e208fd)

  499. 514 — well, I’m unhappy for the moment with the actions of Sessions and Rosenstein.

    But, one thing to keep in mind is that both strongly recommended that Comey be fired, and both made the decision to fire McCabe.

    I think Rosenstein has made mistakes in the way he’s handled Mueller, but its quite possible that from his vantage point he can see that Mueller really has nothing on Trump or anyone close to Trump, so while its maddening to let it play out slowly, if the outcome is that Mueller has to concede he has nothing on Trump, the political opposition can’t yell and screamed that it was rigged.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  500. Hugh Hewitt suggests schools ban trench coats after Texas shooting

    what a completely gaywad thing to say

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  501. Dave is a promulgator of Motivated Idiocy:

    “According to the article, the intel investigation of Page was the result of an elaborate, months-long conspiracy to give the FBI a false pretext to read FISA intercepts about people in the Trump campaign … people who the FBI supposedly knew were totally innocent of any wrongdoing and pure as the driven snow. So, um, what was the point again? To dig up non-existent dirt?”

    Dense Deep State sophistry on the level of “IF YOU’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG WHY DO YOU CARE ABOUT US WATCHING YOU!” Collecting AS MUCH NON-PUBLIC DATA AS POSSIBLE on your political opponents, ill or nil, is simply good practice. Big Data and Big Processing Power is cheap, you can crunch, massage, fold, spindle, process, and mutilate it it later! The fact that you HAVE it and other people DON’T is power enough! What sort of opinion of your audience do you have that you would make this room-temperature IQ assertion?

    “If you’re going to manufacture evidence on secondary targets to gain access to highly protected data that will merely prove your primary target’s innocence, why not just manufacture damning evidence on the primary target in the first place?”

    Several news articles written by FBI and DOJ sources have already given the reason-you don’t just say ‘we’re out to get DRUMPH By Any Means Necessary’ without openly stepping into Illegal Acts, and the presence of an investigatory Sword of Damocles over people two and three degrees removed from him limits his operational capacity and political/personnel effectiveness, which I guarantee the billionaire funders of these projects are A-OK with as secondary effects.

    “And virtually nothing was publicly divulged about Trump or Russians before the election. It was never a significant issue.”

    It was one of many angles of attack that became viable later. Retconning a big general story pile into one super-specific screenplay for your intended audience isn’t just for comic books and movies anymore!

    “Having supposedly conspired since the Spring of 2016, if the goal was to manufacture false evidence tying Trump to the Russians, why would you hold onto it until after the election you expected Trump to lose? Why not release the Steele dossier in October when it could actually, you know, affect the election?”

    Because everyone believed the polls and, like Comey said, did not want to give the impression that their sneaky political hit job was in fact an unabashed political hit job. People, especially wilfully segregated intellectuals, make stupid losing bets all the time.

    “If done with the deviousness and dishonesty worthy of an institution-wide, six-month long criminal conspiracy, a selective release of information could have been used to contrive an “October surprise” that Trump & Co. would have had a hard time knocking down with a couple weeks remaining.”

    Revisionist nonsense. No swing voter gives a crap about POSSIBLE CONFIRMED SHADY DEALINGS!!! whose authors names you have to redact that late in the election.

    “And finally, how does Comey’s very damaging (to Clinton) announcement about re-opening the email investigation 10 days before the election comport with the rest of this stuff and nonsense?”

    There are things you’re forced to say and act on when outer departments get their hands on information regarding rogue Weiners you thought was already locked up. Have you literally never had to change your strategy and tactics in the face of unexpected events?

    “”With all the other alleged outright criminality, are you trying to tell me they couldn’t manage to lose Weiner’s laptop for a week, or “accidentally” erase the emails, or encounter “unexpected delays” in processing them, if they had been cheerfully committing felonies for the past 8 months to throw the election to Clinton?”

    At the level of right and left-wing media scrutiny they were under at the time? Hell no! Those excuses are best released weeks later on a Friday night!

    “My mom used to use the expression “Don’t swallow the cow and choke on the tail,” meaning: don’t complete hard part of the job only to come up short on the easy part. If ever there was a case of “swallowing the cow and choking on the tail,” this is it. Utterly implausible.”

    Even your metaphors are lazy, obtuse, and actually need explanation to make sure we’ve got the joke.

    Tellurian (b07080)

  502. Shippie:

    Just watched that movie. Interesting. At the very beginning where the receptionist slips up and gives info the Sally Fields, was that deliberate? Rosen told her to?

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  503. I read the McCabe report and it seemed pretty good and thorough (albeit on a small topic). So I am inclined to trust the OIG. And of course he can refer to Huber if there is a need to investigate State, CIA, etc. (or people out of government). But probably a good move to let it start with OIG versus flail around by someone new.

    Also, OIG does have access to Peter Strozk, who, from the texts, seemed to make a practice of trying to be involved in things, to be in the know…and there was sort of an “inter agency task force” feel to this Trump investigation.

    One thing that concerned me was just technically on the texts, seemed like OIG was poor at finding them all at first, just a matter of poor investigation technique. But overall I am OK to roll with OIG.

    If it becomes large will be a need for Huber to have work force, budget, grand jury, etc. Also, to figure out how to coordinate back to OIG.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  504. swc,

    I like that you defend your beliefs but I think the notion that Trump has done a good job with nonjudicial political nominations, especially DOJ nominations, is a loser.

    Obama announced his intention to nominate Eric Holder as AG during his Transition (on 12/1/2008). Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, and he announced 4 assistant DOJ appointments on January 22, 2009. By the end of January 2009, he had named a dozen or more key DOJ nominations.

    NOTE: I have more to say but it will be too many links and put this comment in the spam filter, so I am breaking it into two comments.

    DRJ (15874d)

  505. Part 2:

    As for the Obama holdovers? Yes, they have slowed down Trump’s ability to get things done. That’s why they were put there by Obama and amazingly Trump let them stay even though the liberal media was writing about it as early as February 2017.

    On the plus side, Trump named Sessions as AG during his Transition, but he had only named personnel to 6 out of more than 200 political DOJ slots as of May 2017. Clearly, Trump didn’t care about these appointments during his Transition and he is paying for it now.

    My guess is the hiring freeze that Trump announced at the beginning of his Presidency came back to bite him, because it caused every department to leave Obama holdovers in place instead of name new appointees. If so, that is a judgment mistake during the Transition that makes for good PR but bad policy.

    DRJ (15874d)

  506. 521:

    Just rewatched the beginning. Donna gives out a LOT of intel but carefully covers her typewriter. Hmmm.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  507. 521 — Haven’t watched it closely in years, so I’m not sure what scene your are referring to. I remember when Rosen left the file open on his desk prominently, and then left the room.

    Did you watch it on Netflix or Amazon? I have both those — maybe I’ll dial it up later.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  508. 522 — I believe Peter Strzok is going to end up being a key witness for OIG. I think you haven’t heard much from him because his attorney has told him to keep his mouth shut.

    He’s a career agent, who is obligated to follow the instructions of his superiors.

    The other guy I think is going to be key is Bill Priestap. He was Strozk’s boss, and while everyone else at the top of the FBI has been fired or resigned, Priestap is still there. So I think he’s clean, he’s cooperating, and Wray has kept him in place

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  509. @ swc, re this comment you wrote at #518:

    [W]hile its maddening to let [the investigation] play out slowly, if the outcome is that Mueller has to concede he has nothing on Trump, the political opposition can’t yell and screamed that it was rigged.

    I am very glad we agree on this, and I hope you’ll continue to share this observation.

    There’s probably a bookie somewhere who deals in “Adam Schiff futures options.” I want to place a large bet that Adam Schiff will go from Mueller’s strongest defender to his fiercest foe in the space of 24 hours if Trump isn’t accused by Mueller of something Schiff can claim to be an impeachable offense. He and the Dems will scream whitewash and cover-up, and claim that Trump has overborn Mueller’s will and judgment through a relentless press war, yada yada.

    And Trump certainly has been conducting a relentless series of press attacks on his own DoJ, his own FBI, his own political appointees as AG and Deputy AG, and Mueller. Trump’s doing his very best at that. He may have cause to regret that, because he’s going to look silly to the part of America that still expects Trump to be self-consistent about anything, ever, when and if Mueller effectively clears Trump.

    Regardless of Trump’s consistency or wild lack thereof, however, it is clearly in Trump’s own best interests, if he’s effectively cleared, for Mueller to have been — and to have been seen (insofar as we can) to have been — very thorough in his investigation.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  510. Amazon. I have Prime, but it wasn’t on the free list this month. Just paid the $4.

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  511. Yes, but rosen (balaban) allowed carter (fields)to get a glance, at the file of Gallagher (Newman) the classic movie station, was where they ran it.

    narciso (d1f714)

  512. 523

    swc,

    I like that you defend your beliefs but I think the notion that Trump has done a good job with nonjudicial political nominations, especially DOJ nominations, is a loser.

    Obama announced his intention to nominate Eric Holder as AG during his Transition (on 12/1/2008). Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009, and he announced 4 assistant DOJ appointments on January 22, 2009. By the end of January 2009, he had named a dozen or more key DOJ nominations.

    NOTE: I have more to say but it will be too many links and put this comment in the spam filter, so I am breaking it into two comments.

    DRJ (15874d) — 5/21/2018 @ 3:34 pm

    Where did I say that? The pace of nominees was too slow, and that problem was then made worse by the Dems playing games with the confirmation process by filibustering every nominee and requiring 30 hours of floor debate, only to then vote to confirm.

    But the pace of nominations by Trump has been greatly hampered by the fact that he 1) wasn’t expected to win, and 2) vast segments of the GOP establishment refused to be part of the campaign or administration. So, when they did win, the transition was way behind where you would have expected them to be in terms of having identified potential nominees for both cabinet posts and sub-cabinet posts. That has resulted in more “career” officials serving in “Acting” capacities than has been the case in any previous new administration.

    They WH is slowly making its way through that problem, but the Senate Dems have made things worse at every step because they have recognized it as a way to hamstring the Administration with regard to implementing its policy agenda at the agency level.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  513. dirty Mueller’s job is to drag this out as long as possible

    he knows this is a hoax already that’s why he’s indicting ham sandwiches and then pooping his panties when they actually show up in court

    his job isn’t to “get” Trump it’s to protect the dirty sleazy slicked-up and ready butt sex fetishists at the corrupt fbi

    and part of how he does that is to drag this out as long as possible with a focus on making it difficult for President Trump to both a.) staff his administration and b.) retain the best legal counsel

    he’s a dirty p.o.s. Robert Mueller is (another goddamn coward-ass war hero lol god help us)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  514. Yes sally Yates Bruce ohr David Kaufman, James rybicki, bill prietap, James baker, who have been plotting against him for two years

    narciso (d1f714)

  515. 528 — thank you.

    Saying a few weeks ago that you should feel any sense of “shame” for the thought process that led you to cast your vote as you did, was an unnecessary and inappropriate personal attack on a decision that I’m sure you took a great deal of care in reaching. So I apologize for having used that language.

    I think we can still engage in a healthy debate over the merits of our various views on the voting options that we all faced — even Patrick — and come out the other side with our respect for each other maybe bruised but still intact.

    Sometime soon I’ll try to rephrase the point I was trying to make in that comment many weeks ago, and we can discuss the merits of that point rather than the insult that was felt.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  516. “Where did I say that? ”

    You say it when you said “During the transition, while Trump appointees are being put in the nomination pipeline,” as if Trump had anyone other than Sessions in the pipeline during the Transition.

    You say it when you make excuses for the slow pace of nominations, as if slow-walking of nominees by the Democrats is what caused the delay instead of the fact that Trump only had 6 DOJ nominees as of May 2017.

    DRJ (15874d)

  517. Further, saying that Trump didn’t think he would win so he wasn’t prepared to go forward is especially disappointing. He had the Transition time, which he wasted. And if he us so lame that he can’t get things done and can’t figure out how to get things done for months, then he wasn’t qualified and shouldn’t have run in the first place.

    DRJ (15874d)

  518. 535 — when you have an understaffed transition by virtue of the fact that for large parts of the establishment you are radioactive, and you have 13 cabinet agencies with a 1000+ political appointees to name, plus judicial nominations which included a Supreme Court Justice for an open seat, some things have to get done before others.

    When you are trying to rollback Obamacare in the first 6 months, HHS needs to have political appointees in place.

    When you are trying to put EPA on a leash, political appointees need to be in place.

    Etc.

    DOJ, in my opinion, is the one agency that can, in large part, operate a bit on “auto pilot” because the mission isn’t — for the most part — policy driven. You can change policy priorities, but that just means shifting resources from one area of emphasis to another. The over-arching policy is to simply enforce the law.

    The “Fraud” Division isn’t going to do things much differently under an Acting Assistant AG than it would under a politically appointed AG.

    The one section where this is not true is Civil Rights.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  519. 536 — I’m just citing the facts as I saw them unfold.

    “Could’of, Should’of, Would’of” isn’t of interest to me.

    Hindsight is always 20-20. What’s important is the challenges they were facing “in the moment”, and what they did.

    shipwreckedcrew (56b591)

  520. Because of this carpstorm, pardon my french, because saboteurs like sally Yates because their enablers like comey and the rest of his crew, who have at best been negligent in the conduct of their duties, and have committed malpractice.

    narciso (d1f714)

  521. Mr. Trump is VERY qualified that’s number one DRJ and number two he’s also very prepared

    his priorities are very clear he was gonna unshackle the economy and do it by picking as much low-hanging fruit in the first year

    so he focused on things that really move the dial not installing ephemeral gaywads at the corrupt Justice Department: he focused on confirming a billion new conservative judges that will live forever

    he focused on unshackling the economy from vicious and cruel regulations

    he focused on reforming trade and energy

    and he said to America it’s time to get busy and do what you do best!

    and a grateful nation can’t help but stand up and cheer, saying together with one voice: we love you President Trump!

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  522. It is not “Could’of, Should’of, Would’of” to say a President should use his Transition time to have nominees identified and his Administration ready to move forward after the Inauguration.

    DRJ (15874d)

  523. So one picks a us atty for the Sdny, but lord high executioner Mueller decides heck my sense of entitlement isso great you don’t get to make the decision. Meanwhile apparently there is a sense you can leak any confidential info from any source, not even doing your due diligence because trump.

    narciso (d1f714)

  524. It would appear to me that his transition team put leadership where it needed to be in a timely manner. Here is a record of the confrontations:

    https://www.senate.gov/legislative/nom_confc.htm

    Letting the leaders of each department see what is happening within each department before selecting replacements seems practical.

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  525. Conformations

    BuDuh (fc15db)

  526. Mueller team’s special status could save Virginia Manafort case

    A spokesman for Mueller’s office, Peter Carr, confirmed to POLITICO that some of the attorneys on the special counsel’s team have the SAUSA status. Carr pointed to a local federal court rule that allows federal prosecutors to handle cases there when “appearing pursuant to the authority of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.”

    “As special assistant U.S. attorneys, they are not confined to the scope the special counsel is acting under,” said Haley White, a North Carolina attorney who wrote a 2015 law review article on the SAUSA phenomenon. “They can potentially have the ability to go outside that scope. … They have all the powers and abilities that just a regular U.S. attorney would have.”

    Why would the Acting Attorney General want or allow this?

    crazy (5c5b07)

  527. Shippie:

    There are a couple other interesting parts. In the bar, when the FBI guy talks to Sally and asks “did he cut your hair” about Michael Gallagher and she lies and says “yes”. Also in the hallway ehre same guy makes comments about leak by the receptionist (could have been genuine though).

    Anonymous (d41cee)

  528. Its a special status, on matters like counterintelligence, but judge Ellis was right to examine the circumstance.

    Re malice, rosen had a hunch, that happened to be disastrously wrong for one character, but he didn’t give a farthing.

    narciso (d1f714)

  529. It boggles my mind that anyone grants any good faith to the DOJ, FBI and the IC as regards the investigation of the soft coup.

    That the IG is going to be point on an all-time crucial inter-branch struggle is farcical. He can’t even compel Comey to answer a friggin thing!!!!!!!

    Can anyone identify an instance in the recent IG investigation (report has been submitted) where he made a referral to a prosecutor to compel a target to answer questions, or to take a matter to a GJ? It ain’t gonna happen. The referrals of which I am aware were all made at the END of the process.

    Again, please prove me incorrect.

    Ed from SFV (b95465)

  530. We don’t know when he makes referrals (since we are not flies on the wall) but I assume standard practice is to refer criminal issues as discovered. Maybe there would be some small delay to synthesize or confirm, but I don’t have the impression that OIG sits on clear criminal issues found halfway through.

    Anonymous (9103c9)

  531. I don’t know ed, one assumes he has subpoenaed prietap and or , the players on the second rung of the plot.

    narciso (d1f714)


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