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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

John Solomon: Declass Begins In 7-8 Days

John Solomon, speaking to Sean Hannity, is saying that the first set of declass documents will be out in 7-8 days. According to Solomon, the first set will include exculpatory information that the FBI was aware of before the initial FISA application--information that discredited Chris Steele and his "dossier". As an example, Solomon relates that he personally was told by the FBI before the FISA application that the Steele's Alfa Bank story--according to which there was a secret comm setup between Putin and Trump at Trump Tower via Alfa Bank--had been debunked. And yet the FBI told the FISA court that Steele was completely reliable. For more details, see Solomon's latest article: Christopher Steele's nugget of fool's gold was easily disproven — but FBI didn't blink an eye.

Solomon also points out that for the first time ever a poll is showing a majority of Americans support investigating FBI spying on Trump--evidence that Americans are wising up to the Russia Hoax: Most Americans support inquiry into FBI decisions to monitor former Trump campaign officials: poll. In fact, support for AG Barr's investigation is strong and broad based:

In a new Hill-HarrisX survey, a majority of registered voters said they support a new Department of Justice inquiry into whether official procedures were followed when the FBI began examining allegations of connections between Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russia. 
Sixty-two percent of respondents to the May 17-18 survey said they support Attorney General William Barr's decision to name a U.S. attorney to determine whether law enforcement officers had obeyed regulations governing surveillance of U.S. citizens while 38 percent said they opposed the new inquiry. 
The poll found broad agreement across age groups in favor of the probe led by Connecticut-based U.S. attorney John H. Durham with more than 58 percent of voters under 35, between 35 and 49, between 50 and 64, and older than 64 saying that they supported it.

Bad news--but only to be expected--for the Impeachment Madness zealots in the House.


UPDATED: Impeachment Madness

Reports are out that the Dems may play their "impeachment card" within two weeks. Oh, wait, is it true that Declass could be coming even sooner than that? This morning I wrote:

I assume that the impeachment NOW hysteria gripping Left/Progs in Congress is a function of two--no, make that three--things:
1. The steady drumbeat of damaging revelations--with the promise of MUCH MORE to come;
2. The patent futility of their efforts to slow AG Barr down or faze him;
3. The realization, based on Barr's latest interview that, as I said, Barr has bigger fish to fry than the texting duo of Strzok and Page--and one of those fish is named Barack Obama.

I've just now read Steve Grammatico's thoughtful piece at American Thinker, Impeachment is now the only play the Left has. I agree entirely with the thesis. However, Grammatico makes four points, not all of which I can buy into. Let me deal with each of Grammatico's points in turn:

Monday, May 20, 2019

UPDATED: Rep. Doug Collins Releases Nine Transcripts Of Witness Interviews

Follow the link for a launching pad to all the transcripts: TRANSPARENCY.

Separately, there are reports that House Dems are placing enormous pressure on Pelosi to start impeachment ASAP.

Desperation. They see what's coming and can think of nothing else to do.

UPDATE: Rep. Matt Gaetz is predicting bombshell revelations--probably via declass--within days.

I assume that the impeachment NOW hysteria gripping Left/Progs in Congress is a function of two--no, make that three--things:

1. The steady drumbeat of damaging revelations--with the promise of MUCH MORE to come;

2. The patent futility of their efforts to slow AG Barr down or phase him;

3. The realization, based on Barr's latest interview that, as I said, Barr has bigger fish to fry than the texting duo of Strzok and Page--and one of those fish is named Barack Obama.

UPDATED: The Shape Of The Coup Plot: Obama And The Brits

Yesterday, in Is There A Prosecutive Theory To Fit The Russia Hoax? I outlined a prosecutive theory that might be able to encompass the enormity of the Leftist/Prog plot against our constitutional order (please do yourself a favor and give it a careful reading). Today there are analyses available that advance the snowballing effort to flesh out the full detail of this plot.

First let's turn to Byron York, who describes the increasing Leftist/Prog desperation as they find that the Mueller Dossier "has changed everything"--and not in their favor:

The ground has shifted in the month since the report became public. Before the release, many Democrats adopted a "wait for Mueller" stance, basing their anti-Trump strategy on the hope that Mueller would find the much-anticipated conspiracy. 
Then Mueller did not deliver. ... Democrats searched for a way to convince Americans that the president was still guilty of something serious. 
They devised a plan to turn the Mueller report into a TV show, ... 
At the same time, they would insist that Attorney General William Barr, who has allowed top lawmakers to see the full Mueller report with the exception of a small amount of grand jury material, was hiding something, and that the hidden material might reveal presidential wrongdoing. 
So far, the strategy has not worked. ... 
... 
In the meantime, House Democrats have been reduced to stunts to try to grab the public's attention. At the Capitol recently, they enlisted Hollywood star John Cusack to take part in a public reading of the entire Mueller report — it took 12 hours — as C-Span cameras rolled. The event did not exactly captivate the nation.

Then, last week, Bill Barr gave his bombshell The Answers I'm Getting To My Questions Don't Hang Together interview. The bombshell in the interview was the revelation of what Barr personally finds most riveting:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Is There A Prosecutive Theory To Fit The Russia Hoax?

Let me get this out of the way right up front, because I don't want it to get buried down below: I owe a big hat tip to commenter Mike Sylwester. I'll explain.

Many observers of the Russia Hoax have expressed frustration that what seems in a common sense way to be a clearly treasonous or seditious conspiracy by the Obama Administration is not being discussed in that sense by legal conservative types. I've explained to several commenters that the Founding Fathers delibarately made these types of prosecutions very difficult, even going so far as to embody their restrictive views in the Constitution itself:

Article III, Section 3
1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

There were good historical reasons for this but, even as I maintained that these laws didn't fit the facts of the Russia Hoax, I had to admit that the alternatives were--to take a term from Bill Barr--"inadequate." Yes, it seems clear that various criminal statues have been violated, but none of them capture the full scope of what was in reality a broadly based conspiracy to subvert a national election or, failing that, prosecute a lawfare coup against President Trump by fraudulent means. Kim Strassel captures this big picture excellently ("A Searing Indictment Of The FBI"). To prosecute the perps of this massive subversion of our constitutional order as a nation on other charges seems, relatively speaking, a nickel dime affair when compared to the enormity of what actually took place over a period of years at the highest levels of the Obama Administration, it's Department of "Justice", and the Intelligence Community (FBI/CIA). "Inadequate," to quote Bill Barr again.

I was stewing over this when Mike Sylwester reminded me of 18 U.S.C. § 371—CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD THE UNITED STATES. And, better than just reminding me, Mike pointed me to the Department of Justices Criminal Resource Manual, which provides guidance on the application of criminal statutes by prosecutors. You can read the entire section on Conspiracy to Defraud the United States here, but I'll be quoting selected portions. As it happens, I've previously discussed 371 at some length as forming a possible theory that the Russia Hoaxers hoped to use against Trump. I'll append that discussion below, but suffice it to say that at that time I didn't find the theory far fetched as a theory--the problem was that Trump failed to oblige the Russia Hoaxers by engaging in a pattern of conduct that would match facts to theory.

So ...

Saturday, May 18, 2019

"A Searing Indictment Of The FBI"

Many of you have already viewed this Kim Strassel video: The Left will Silence You. The title of this post actually comes from a Strassel article that I quoted back on March 24, 2019. I have some reservations about a few of the things she says--for example, about the supposedly "anything goes" nature of CI investigations. Nevertheless, her big picture narrative of the FBI and of the Media, of Mueller's corruption, of the accurate perception of unequal justice, is so good that I highly recommend you spend a half hour listening to Strassel. I think it's a great way to spend that small amount of time while we wait for developments from AG Barr's investigation:



Friday, May 17, 2019

UPDATED: "A Real Attorney General"

If you haven't watched this interview with Devin Nunes, it's a must view. Nunes is clearly worked up and more plain spoken than I've ever seen him.

In response to segments of the Bill Barr interview with Fox News, in which Barr says that he has more questions now about the Russia Hoax than when he first started as AG, and that the questions he's received are inadequate, Nunes points out that the same is true for the House. For example, he says, just this week, even today, they've finally seen interagency emails regarding Christopher Steele--emails that "the FBI" (he means "Chris Wray") had hidden from Congress.

How did we just find out about this [the Kavalec email]? ... I think what you're seeing is, you're seeing a real Attorney General, a professional, and someone who's not gonna take this poisonous garbage [started by the Dems, and still pushed by irresponsible Dems and their media allies.]

I think I get it. Jeff Sessions wasn't a real Attorney General, nor was Rod Rosenstein. If Devin Nunes knows this, count on it: Bill Barr sure knows it. And I think he's telling us that Barr told Chris Wray how high to jump. When opportunity offers, Wray will be gone. Barr doesn't want to go through another confirmation just now, but if Wray wants to leave, it'll be: Hey, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. In the meantime, he's got him on a leash--a short one.

As for Barr not shying away from the word "spying"?

Sandra, it's ridiculous. Every American out there knows what spying is. This [objecting to the "S" word] is all about narrative building by the Left to cover up what they did, and you have accomplices in the media. This is foolishness. ... He [Barr] used to work at the CIA, for God's sake. I've never seen something so ridiculous, where the media is culpable for this nonsense. Everybody in the media oughta be laughing at these politicians ... It's a joke, it's a joke.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Bill Barr: The Answers I'm Getting To My Questions Don't Hang Together

In a preview to a longer interview that will air on Fox News, AG Bill Barr offered his usual frank assessment:

"I’ve been trying to get answers to the questions and I've found that a lot of the answers have been inadequate and some of the explanations I've gotten don't hang together, in a sense I have more questions today than when I first started," Barr told Fox News' Bill Hemmer in an interview set to air Friday on "America's Newsroom."
...
"Why does that matter?" asked Hemmer. 
"People have to find out what the government was doing during that period. If we're worried about foreign influence, for the very same reason we should be worried about whether government officials abuse their power and put their thumb on the scale," ...

Hemmer then added a teaser for the full interview tomorrow (Friday). According to Hemmer, Barr is personally troubled by what happened between the election and the inauguration. According to Hemmer, the one specific example that Barr kept returning to was the Trump Tower meeting on January 6, 2017, between disgraced former FBI Director James Comey and Trump, when Comey tried to blackmail, er, when Comey briefed the President Elect about the salacious claims of the Steele "dossier". Weirdly, all those salacious claims appeared in the press within days of the meeting.

Hemmer: "He clearly has a lot of questions about that ..." Yeah. Go figure. And the answers he's gotten "don't hang together."

Interesting, though, that Barr should say, in almost so many words: If we're worried about foreign influence on our elections, by the same token we should be worried about whether our own government abused their power and put their thumb on the scale. Putin and Obama both.


Uh-Oh! Developments In The Flynn Case

Undercover Huber has posted the latest:

Undercover Huber

 @JohnWHuber
BREAKING: D.C. Judge Sullivan orders DOJ to file on the public docket:
Fully unredacted parts of Mueller report that relate to @GenFlynn 
TRANSCRIPT of @GenFlynn's calls with Russian ambassador KISLYAK 
Both by May 31 2019

It's necessary to bear in mind that Flynn has repeatedly insisted--under oath--that he's guilty and that he wants to plead guilty and pay the price for his supposed crimes. As part of his plea he also states that he violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), although he was never charged for that supposed crime. Nevertheless ...

It seems to me to be unlikely that Team Mueller is pleased with this development. To my way of thinking--and maybe I'm wrong--but the second part in particular, the TRANSCRIPT of Flynn's calls with Kislyak, can only be relevant to the issue of why the FBI wanted to interview Flynn about his contacts with Kislyak in the first place. Does Judge Sullivan want to ask Team Mueller to explain why Flynn was subjected to a setup interview without counsel for doing his job?

There are a lot of moving parts here. If Flynn was already under FBI investigation, why was that? From what we know, it appears he was being targeted for political reasons. OTOH, it does appear that he violated FARA--but why not just warn him and require him to register, as is usually done? Further, it seems vanishingly unlikely that any previously initiated FBI investigation had anything to do with a supposed violation of the Logan Act--that doesn't pass the laugh test.

And then there's the question of whether Flynn's plea was truly voluntary--despite his statements under oath. It's hard to help a guy like Flynn who's his own worst enemy, but on the other hand Sullivan is nobody's fool in these matters. One wonders whether Sullivan is contemplating some rather dramatic intervention and wants the public record out there so that there will be no doubt about the basis for his actions.

Interesting days.

Briefly Noted: Declassification Coming; Inherent Contempt Of Congress

Today, following on the heels of Laura Ingraham's report that declassification of key Russia Hoax documents could come as soon as next week, CTH has a lengthy explanation of what's involved. The long and short of it is that, especially when you have multiple agencies and departments involved, the process is is complex. CTH walks you through it: Laura Ingraham Reports: Declassification Directive Possible Next Week … Sundance approves of the timing--immediately before release of the OIG report(s).

You've undoubtedly been hearing a lot about contempt of Congress in recent weeks. During the past week there's been increasing talk among Dems about resorting to what's known as "inherent contempt" of Congress, whereby Congress would arrest supposed contemnors, put them on trial, find them guilty, and then imprison or fine them--or both. What's this about?

Here's the Wikipedia version:

Inherent contempt 
Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subjected to punishment as the chamber may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment, imprisonment for coersion, or release from the contempt citation). 
Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its "inherent contempt" authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, in a Senate investigation of airlines and the U.S. Postmaster. After a one-week trial on the Senate floor (presided over by Vice President John Nance Garner, in his capacity as Senate President), William P. MacCracken, Jr., a lawyer and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics who was charged with allowing clients to remove or rip up subpoenaed documents, was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment. 
MacCracken filed a petition of habeas corpus in federal courts to overturn his arrest, but after litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition in the case Jurney v. MacCracken.
Presidential pardons appear not to apply to a civil contempt procedure such as the above, since it is not an "offense against the United States" or against "the dignity of public authority."

The reason for resorting to "inherent contempt" rather than the statutory process that has been in place since 1857 is obvious: in the statutory process the matter would be referred to AG Bill Barr. You may have also noticed that the Dems are talking about using "inherent contempt" to levy heavy fines. This is, presumably, to avoid a petition of habeas corpus. My guess is that even as we read this there are smart lawyers in the administration who are working on challenges to this attempt to avoid judicial review on constitutional grounds. I'm also guessing that the courts would find a way to review such a high handed and potentially abusive procedure.

If you really want to get into the weeds on this, I found a Congressional Research Service report yesterday:  Congress’s Contempt Power and the Enforcement of Congressional Subpoenas: Law, History, Practice, and Procedure (Updated May 12, 2017). It's long, but the section on Inherent Contempt is covered in only about six pages.

The key to all of this is that Congress's power of inherent contempt can only be exercised in matters over which Congress has jurisdiction. In other words, Congress must be exercising a valid legislative or oversight function, not attempting to misuse its powers for a purely political purpose--such as, to embarrass the president. That is the ground on which this will be fought if Congress attempts to use inherent contempt.


"Christopher Wray Is Becoming A Very Big Problem"

I've been on FBI Director Chris Wray's case for some time now. You can review past posts here. The quote in the title, "Christopher Wray Is Becoming A Very Big Problem," is taken from an interview with Joe DiGenova on Monday, May 13, 2019. DiGenova touched on a number of Chris Wray related problems:

Wray was behind the illegal classification of the Kathleen Kavalec memo; 
The decision requiring Wray to declassify that memo was taken by DoJ; 
Wray's Congressional testimony in which he disagreed with AG Bill Barr's use of the word "spying", or at least distanced himself, was "badly received throughout the Trump administration;
Wray was recommended to Trump by Chris Christie.

I have in the past pointed out Wray's close association with Andrew Weissmann in the notorious Enron case (Weissmann's theory of obstruction was rejected by the SCOTUS 9-0, but only after Arthur Andersen was destroyed and ten thousand people lost their jobs). DiGenova adds to that and sketches out Wray's Deep State connections by relating that Wray is close friends with Robert Mueller and James Comey, terming Wray "an acolyte [altar boy] of Comey," adding that Wray "worshipped" Comey.

Wray can't be gone soon enough for me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Barr Mocks Pelosi To Her Face

Self explanatory. It sure is great to have a guy like this as AG:

Nicholas Fandos

Verified account

@npfandos
Today at a law enforcement ceremony at Capitol:
AG Barr approached Pelosi, shook her hand: "Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?"
Pelosi smiled and, per a bystander, told Barr the House Sergeant at Arms was there should an arrest be needed. Barr laughed; walked away.
11:31 AM - 15 May 2019