Tuesday, April 30, 2019

UPDATED: Briefly Noted: Where Are We At This Point?

For the last few days there hasn't been too much in the way of actual news on the Russia Hoax front, although there have been some excellent summaries of where we stand and what we may be able to reasonably expect (or hope for). Where to begin?

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.


  1. A very good summation of where we stand. Your thoughts are so close to mine to the point that I’d almost say that we’re of one mind about this topic.

    If charges are issued against the perpetrators, would sedition be one of the charges? I am not a legal expert. To my layman mind, this behavior seems to fit the definition that I saw “conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.”

    We have a history of not indicting presidents, à la the Ford pardon of Richard Nixon. Is it a realistic possibility that charges are brought against Obama and Clinton, with a Trump pardon predicated on an admission of guilt and possible payments of large fines? Thinking of Clinton for all the dirty Clinton Foundation pay-to-play scheme.

    My mind automatically did a little word morphing part of your opening sentence regarding the “Russia Hoax front” to just the ‘Russian Front.’ This led me to the old Hogan’s Heroes sitcom. Is William Barr playing Hogan, Obama as General Burkhalter, Brennan as Major Hochstetter, Clapper as Colonel Klink, Strozk as Sergeant Schultz, Page as Helga, Steele as Newkirk, Mifsud as LeBeau, Nellie Ohr as Kinchloe?

    “I know nothing…………….”

    1. My understanding of sedition is that it requires either advocacy or actual acts aimed at overthrowing the US government by force or violence. I think the most recent convictions for seditious conspiracy have involved terrorists such as the Blind Sheikh and the FALN.

    2. I've been thinking about the charges/pardon issue you raised. It's difficult. For example, Nixon refused to make an admission of guilt. I tend to believe he was right in doing so, because I think Watergate was a travesty--the left couldn't forgive Nixon his anti-Communism and sought revenge for Nixon's role in bringing the Soviet spy Alger Hiss to justice. Nor is it clear that Nixon committed any crime beyond being unpopular in DC.

      OTOH, if the Russia Hoax could be laid at Obama's door, it would be a very different matter. Conspiring with a foreign power (UK and others) to subvert an election by illegal means (FISA), etc.

  2. On April 24, the Consortium News website published an article by Larry C. Johnson that makes a good argument that the US Intelligence Community's framing of Donald Trump was active already in September 2015.

    This framing was being done through Felix Sater, who had worked for the FBI as an agent for several years.

    In about September 2015, Sater began contacting Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen in order to propose a hotel project in Moscow. Sater lured Cohen to visit Moscow to discuss this project, and Sater indicated that Trump himself should visit Moscow as the hotel project developed.

    Johnson's article is clever in that it uses Robert Mueller's report to describe and detail Sater's role in this Moscow hotel project.

    The initiative for this Moscow hotel project was coming always from Sater, not from Cohen or Trump. Sater's initiative is described explicitly in Mueller's report.

    Since Sater was an FBI agent for many years, perhaps William Barr will be able to determine whether Sater was being controlled in this activity by the FBI or another US intelligence agency in September 2015.

    1. Tx, Mike. I believe I skimmed that a few days ago, but I'll reread it. The whole Sater business stinks--no question about it. When I read stuff like this, I think back to being told that, contrary to what we're usually told, the Dems knew early on that Trump was a legit electoral threat. To me that's the only way to make sense of what seems to be true--that the Russia Hoax planning went much further back than is generally assumed.

    2. Mike, I'm still rereading--it's very good--but now seems to be an opportune moment to link to Buzzfeed Source Was Felix Sater--Oh My!

      I thought that was a long time ago, but just a couple of months.

    3. Finished. What really jumps out is that Trump announced his candidacy June 16, 2015, and the Mueller Dossier tells us that by "late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater ... contacted Cohen ..." I think I get it.

    4. The Sater story in the Mueller Dossier (I bow to the terminology!) is quite interesting. Yes, it was Sater pretty much the entire way trying to get this deal going, if it ever was anything more than just another entrapment angle. After Cohen went along with it for a few months, he started to get annoyed with it because Sater never was able to convince Cohen that he, Sater, had any real contacts in Russia that would facilitate the signing of an actual agreement to build in Moscow. Cohen explicitly said as much- that he wasn't interested if Sater couldn't bring actual government officials to the table.

      After reading it, and not even knowing Sater's history (I had missed the previous post in February linked to above), I was immediately thinking this all sounded just like the Mifsud and Halper stories- an attempt at entrapment/entanglement. Once I read Sater's history with the FBI, one would have to be fool not to assign a high probability that he was working with them in 2015-16, too.

    5. The more we learn about Halper, Mifsud, Steele, Downer and now Sater working for the Deep State, the more I wonder whether Carter Page and Papadopoulos weren't as well. Those guys had nothing to offer Trump. They simply made no sense. Still don't.

    6. Anon, check out UPDATE 2--above. I have long wondered whether all the people who were set up in the Russia Hoax were minor Deep State players who were unwittingly introduced into the Trump campaign to serve as patsies to further the Russia Hoax narrative. This was achieved by The Spy In The Trump Campaign (link above).

  3. Boy, oh, boy. As much as I see things your way, and I do, down to the molecular level, I just can't see Barr indicting all these savvy, connected, entrenched Deep Staters. I want him to, and so far, he's the man of the hour. But this is a tall order. IOW, I'm afraid even to hope this comes about. Fingers crossed, though.

    And those Dems. They live in an absolute parallel universe.

    1. I agree--it's a very tall order. OTOH, if you understand Barr's background, there's nobody better prepared to understand fully what's at stake--our constitutional order. He rose up as a legal guy in the intel community and only later rose to the top of DoJ, so he knows the IC as well as DoJ. If you look at his time at DoJ, he was very involved in foreign policy stuff. So this is very far from being your average lawyer who hasn't a clue about national security law.

      "And those Dems. They live in an absolute parallel universe."

      LOL! What can you say about Nadler's latest? He says he'll send the Sergeant at Arms to arrest Barr, he'll lock him up and fine him $20K per day till he testifies under Nadler's terms?

      I think Barr's FBI security detail will have something to say about all that. I'm not sure whether Nadler is just saying these nonsensical things for PR narrative purposes or whether he's totally delusional and thinks the House is the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches all rolled up into one.

  4. Will Chamberlain had an excellent rejoinder regarding Nadler wanting to lock up the AG. It's on Twitter.

  5. As this thing (hopefully) progresses, I sure hope that most people don't get too caught up in some sort of "get-Obama mania." We need to work our way methodically up the chain, going wherever this takes us. Reading your post, it's hard not to think such a process should eventually find its way to the top, organically.

    We should very much want as much of the country as possible - regardless of partisan leanings - to see the collusion hoax for what it is: an honest-to-goodness banana-republic assault on our constitutional system of government. To reach straight for Obama's throat turns it into pure politics, and we'll risk losing large chunks of the public who might otherwise have looked at all this with open eyes and therefore ended up as properly horrified as the reality warrants. This thing needs to avoid ending up as a purely partisan issue, with half the country thinking it's all just politics, learning nothing.

    1. Barr will be in charge of this. I don't think you need worry about those considerations.

    2. Thanks, Mark. Not for the first time in my life, I've failed to express my thoughts well. I'm worried about the public, not Barr. The Twitterverse, Sean Hannity (as one example), conservative commentators in general. I don't want to see the *public* discussion focus too much on Obama. Remember the party-line divisiveness during the Monica Lewinsky affair, or the last two years we just experienced? I'm hoping for something in which the uncovering of the wrongdoing that has occurred will sway the non-radical segment of the public to see this whole thing for what it is. I think if the effort gets seen as being too much "Obama did it!," it'll be another straight party-line split, where the voting public ends up even more divided than before.

      I'll be thrilled if Obama doesn't become the public debate's center of attention before the time is right. But I do feel the need to keep my fingers crossed.

  6. I am skeptical that Barr does anything meaningful other than maybe give a public scolding to some people. That won't be enough, and I have a feeling even that won't ultimately be done.

    1. All the claims of people who supposedly know are that there will be indictments--and sigfificant ones. Toensing says the current wait is simply for Horowitz to finish up.

    2. I'll repeat--read up on Barr's background. He has deep experience in the legal aspects of the Deep State. No other AG I can think of has come to office with his experience in that regard. His time at the top of DoJ was during the Iran-Contra affair, so he knows full well what he has stepped into. I can't conceive that his intent is to simply manage a slow-mo defeat for constitutional government. Might I be wrong? I suppose so, but my expectations are otherwise.

  7. Mr. Wauck,

    I am in your corner regarding AG Barr. If he is not intent on getting to the bottom of this mess and holding bad people accountable, then why is he the target of so much ire from the Dems and their media sycophants.

    I may be highly disappointed but I'm on the record that William Barr is the right man for the job at the right time in a very dark part of our history.

    1. His responses certainly give every indication that he intends to really get to the bottom of it all.