The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the matter.
The revelation that U.S. Attorney John Bash, who left the department last week, had concluded his review without criminal charges or any public report will rankle President Trump at a moment when he is particularly upset at the Justice Department. The department has so far declined to release the results of Bash’s work, though people familiar with his findings say they would likely disappoint conservatives who have tried to paint the “unmasking” of names — a common practice in government to help understand classified documents — as a political conspiracy.
Over 10,000 unmasking requests a year. And that’s during the Trump administration.
If you’re uninformed enough to be taken in by the propaganda suggesting that the mere act of asking for the “unmasking” of someone (whose identity you do not know by definition which is why you are asking) is somehow sinister, you must think the Trump administration is a hotbed of corruption. (Which it is, but this is not evidence of that. At all.)
If you’re arguing that it was improper to make a request to unmask someone who turned out to be Flynn with respect to the Kislyak call, you’re simply not arguing in good faith. Full stop.
Always trust content from Patterico!
Well, this fizzled and the Durham thing is going nowhere before the election, so the New York Post has the last best attempt at a fishy October surprise:
Hunter Biden introduced his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to a top executive at a Ukrainian energy firm less than a year before the elder Biden pressured government officials in Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the company, according to emails obtained by The Post.
The never-before-revealed meeting is mentioned in a message of appreciation that Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Burisma, allegedly sent Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015, about a year after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email reads.
. . . .
Photos of a Delaware federal subpoena given to The Post show that both the computer and hard drive were seized by the FBI in December, after the shop’s owner says he alerted the feds to their existence.
But before turning over the gear, the shop owner says, he made a copy of the hard drive and later gave it to former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello.
An October revelation that the FBI is investigating emails relating to Trump’s opponent, found in a newly discovered (OK not really) trove of emails on a laptop! Hey, it worked before!
That email does not really clearly say the meeting happened, actually; it could be that Hunter had simply promised one. In any event, the story goes that Hunter brings a waterlogged computer to this service place, which identifies it as a Biden-related laptop from sticker relating to Beau, decides to dig around the data on its own, and send the laptop to the FBI after making a copy for Rudy Giuliani. I mean that makes perfect sense to me. But as Columbo said: I have just one more question. Actually, a few:
Things that are sketchy in NYP story on Hunter Biden – why wasn’t this in Ron Johnson report if it’s been in possession for awhile? When did Giuliani acquire it? Giuliani has been everywhere on the but this has been kicking around since late last year and unreleased till now?
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) October 14, 2020
We’ll see what comes of this, if anything. I suspect it will fizzle like the unmasking, but get excited about it while you can.