I think the overall big picture has to do with Obama. I've insisted throughout--mostly in private emails--that the first law of bureaucratic behavior is CYA: Do not go out on a limb by yourself. Be sure that someone else has your back, has authorized whatever you do. There's only one place in the US Government that the buck stops, and that's the Oval Office. None of these important people like Lynch, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, and all their subordinates would have taken the risks they took, broken the laws they broke, unless they thought they were covered. Therefore the question is inevitable: What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It?
What we may be seeing now is jockeying for position. On the Dem side, the House committees are trying to establish an alternate narrative to distract the public from where Barr's investigations are almost certain to lead: Obama. Thus, we hear that Barr is somehow hiding the truth of the Mueller Dossier; the American people want to know the truth about Trump's finances; it's all about GOP "obstruction". My own opinion is that the public is tired of Dem conspiracy theories and promises of future proof. None of it--none--has panned out. Further, two events--and which comes first remains to be seen--will, in my view, see the floor falling out from beneath the Dems in the House. One of those events will be when indictments of the real Russia Hoax conspirators start coming down--with the focus on spying on Trump and innocent Americans. As it becomes ever more clear, as well, that innocent people such as General Flynn were framed, public revulsion will increase. Promises of future proof will not be able to make the tangible proof of those indictments go away.
The other event is simply the fruitlessness of the Dem subpoenas and demands for testimony. The simple truth is as Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova have stated it: Executive privilege case law favors Trump, not Nadler (it's an excellent read). I believe the same will hold true regarding the attempts to obtain Trump's and his family's personal records as well. As the linked article makes clear in general, the courts have consistently held that Congress is the legislative branch of government--not the investigative branch. When all the Dem demands bog down in a blizzard of court filings that will go on indefinitely the public will lose interest--with the exception of the usual wingnut suspects. The fruitlessness of the entire Russia Hoax will be amply apparent.
A few brave--or, more likely, foolhardy--former Obamaites have attempted to lend their support to the desired alternate narrative. The likelihood is that they're doing so because they recognize their own legal jeopardy. Thus, Ben Rhodes wants us to know that "I didn't know nuthin'" all those months and months (With the walls closing in on Obama, Ben Rhodes weaves a sticky narrative web). And Long Tall Sally Yates wants us to know that Trump would be indicted on obstruction of justice if he were not president. Again, I believe that their self serving protestations will neither gain more than a brief yawn from the public nor deflect Barr from his investigative goals. Bring on Loretta Lynch and Hillary. It won't change the dynamics.
Here are the facts that will dictate the dynamics of it all going forward--they were set out less than a week ago by Joe DiGenova, with his prosecutor's nose for a case:
- For four YEARS the Obama Administration conducted an illegal spying operation, via access to NSA databases;
- The mechanism for the spying was through the FBI, which provided four private contractors illegal access to NSA databases;
- Adm. Mike Rogers, former head of NSA, personally went to the Chief Judge of the FISC and worked with her for months during 2016 to explain to her how this happened;
- The FISC has already ruled that this operation violated the law, that Sally Yates and John Carlin at DoJ knew about it and lied to the court;
- The FISC has already been told by DoJ who lied to the court, and that report has already been given to Bill Barr--he knows;
- IG Horowitz will produce his FISA report in late May or early June;
- IG Horowitz will produce another, separate, report focused on James Comey alone; that report will be a "bombshell" that will produce criminal referrals.
And we'll be hearing more about the Obama White House and Ukraine (uh oh, Joe Biden!). Jerry Nadler's sad blustering won't change any of this, nor will it cause Bill Barr to take much notice of Nadler's antics.
In the meantime, here's a fun read that draws parallels between the Deep State's attempted Russia Hoax coup and a successful British Deep State coup in the UK back in the 1970's. That coup was known as Clockwork Orange, and you can find a nice introduction to it here: Is Spygate a recycled 1970s plot?
Hmmmm. Crossfire Hurricane? Another codename rooted in pop culture. Could it be that the Brits, with their deep involvement in the Russia Hoax offered inspiration to our own plotters from their own institutional experience? If so, Trump was made of sterner stuff than Harold Wilson--to the continuing and deepening dismay of the Dems.
UPDATE 1: Don't miss Julie Kelly's entertaining The Real ‘Bombshells’ Are About to Hit Their Targets. It paints a nice picture of the ever mounting--and wholely justified--concern among Dems. Kelly ends where I began:
The Horowitz report could do what the Mueller report could not: Find legitimate evidence of conspiracies between political operatives, Russian interests, and top government officials; uncover attempts to obstruct justice as the various investigations into misconduct proceeded; and expose rank corruption at the highest levels of a presidential administration.
It just won’t be the presidential administration that Mueller and his colleagues were targeting.
Speaking of Sally Yates (Kelly does), has anyone ever wondered who has the longer neck--Yates or Schiff?
UPDATE 2: Toensing and DiGenova rip Mueller for his letter claiming that Barr didn't capture the "context" of his Dossier. DiGenova shakes his head and says Bob Mueller "stayed too long at the fair," intimating that he's over the hill and being led around. He also calls the letter "unethical" and "unprofessional."
Interestingly, in referring to Admiral Mike Rogers of NSA, Toensing seems to make a point of twice referring to "GOOD Mike Rogers." Does she mean by emphasizing the word "GOOD" that there's a BAD Mike Rogers? Maybe: The Spy In The Trump Campaign.