Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Briefly Noted: The Stone, The Hopester, The Barr

Here we are, we got what we wanted--Barr and Durham are conducting a real investigation the way it's supposed to be done--and the result is pretty much no leaking, no revelations. Tough on us.

In the meantime ...

The Roger Stone Case

Roger Stone is doing a good job demonstrating that the entire Russia Hoax narrative--importantly including the Russia-hacked-the-DNC part of it--is ... a hoax. This is an important, and public, supplement to the Barr/Durham investigation of the ICA.

Stone's argument in pre-trial motions is simply this: The Team Mueller search warrant affidavits against Stone simply assumed that Russians hacked the DNC--that's part of their probable cause narrative. Problem: Probable cause is normally based on independently verifiable information or testimony. In this case the FBI, which is behind the search warrant, did essentially NO investigation to justify the Russia-hacked-the-DNC narrative. They did not examine the DNC server, having been refused access to the physical evidence by the lawyers for the purported victim, the DNC. What they did was to rely on a redacted report by a private company, Crowdstrike, hired by the DNC--which very arguably has an interest in smearing Stone and Trump. Further, Crowdstrike appears not to have followed standard protocols for handling the physical evidence, protocols that the FBI would have been held to had they obtained the physical evidence. And now, having relied on that narrative for purposes of the search warrant Team Mueller wants to say that they can't be held to prove the underlying narrative. Stone says the evidence should all be thrown out and, IMO, that's reasonable. However, all bets are off with Judge Amy Berman Jackson. My understanding, subject to correction, is that if Jackson rules against Stone an interlocutory appeal should be allowed. We shall see.

Hope Hicks v. Dem Impeachment Theater

The Hopester showed up to the House Judiciary Committee in response to her subpoena. However, she declined to answer any questions regarding her time working in the White House. Per Gateway Pundit:

On Tuesday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Nadler to let him know that Trump had instructed Hope Hicks not to answer any questions about her time in the White House. 
White House lawyers refused to let Hope Hicks answer any questions in the closed-door testimony and Jerry Nadler and other Democrat lawmakers are furious. 
White House counsel objected to every question about Hicks’ time at the White House as Nadler went through every question one-by-one. 
According to Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu (CA), Hope Hicks even refused to answer where her office was located in the White House. 

The Dems are labeling assertions of privilege as "obstruction of justice." That's one view, but it's a view that's unlikely to be upheld by any court. Nor is Dem fury likely to make any difference to any but true believers.

Kevin Brock's Pithy Comments Re Congress

Kevin Brock is a former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI. He was also principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Today at the Hill he has a pithy commentary: Want the truth? Put your money on Bill Barr, not Jerry Nadler. Yeah, I know--that's about as much of a no brainer as you could ask for, we're short on actual news and Brock makes some legit observations. Like this at the start:

An anonymous, but wise, Wyoming rancher recently summarized special counsel Robert Mueller's report in clear middle-America language: "We know that old boy didn't actually steal any horses, but he's obviously guilty of trying to avoid being hanged for it." 
The House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), wants a hangin' no matter what. We know they're serious because they had former Nixon counselor John Dean testify, which had everyone in America under age 60 searching Google. The parallels to Watergate apparently are uncanny in the minds of some. Next up: Maybe Robert DeNiro, since his resemblance to Bob Mueller on "Saturday Night Live" is uncanny, too.   
Let's face it, Congress seems little more than a parody now. The legislative branch of our constitutional government has withered to a thin twig, completely overshadowed by the executive and judicial branches that have far more impact on our lives.    
Congress's popularity hovers just above that of human traffickers. Their job description is to pass important laws and a budget. They've done neither, consistently, for years. 

That's what progressivism will do for representative government--they prefer top down totalitarian solutions and will block all views but their own until they can get that.

However, I was particularly pleased that Brock was thinking along the same lines as commenter Anonymous and I:

Anon: I recommend they trot out a lot of Hollywood celebrities. I know I'ld be impressed. 
Me: I'd bet few people under 60 even knew who John Dean was. For them Richard Nixon is probably some mythical figure they've only heard about when their liberal parents wanted to scare them into non-conservative behavior--you could end up like Nixon!

Brock also makes another useful observation, one that I've stressed over the past months. Brock wants Barr and Durham to "zoom in on" several questions that are particularly relevant to the early stages of government activities targeting the Trump campaign. Among those questions I believe this is especially relevant:

Was the Comey investigation conducted in accordance with the Attorney General's Guidelines that protect against law enforcement overreach into the lives of U.S. citizens?

Brock's reasoning is that the FBI's Russia Hoax "investigation"--Crossfire Hurricane--was

an isolated, compartmented investigation by Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former agent Peter Strzok - individuals not perceived as steeped in the dense requirements of the intelligence sections of the guidelines. 

Brock thinks that Comey, McCabe. and Strzok may have slipped up. I doubt that. I believe they (and especially Strzok, a career CI agent) were better versed in the Guidelines than Brock suspects. Therefore, any departures from the Guidelines--and I don't doubt that there were some--should be presumptively purposeful, intended. And therefore criminal.


  1. Mark -- I acknowledge this comment drifts a bit off the subject of your post.

    I can't help but observe the disconnect between my reaction to Trump's campaign rally last night and the first 100 reader comments I read in the New York Times this morning.

    I thought Trump was as good as he gets. Far more confident and self-assured than in 2016 and persuasive in defining his accomplishments in light of the opposition he has faced. While I'm still no fan of some of his ad hominem attacks and exaggerations, I have no problem supporting his efforts to address illegal immigration, trade imbalances and self-defeating treaties. My retirement and savings accounts are the beneficiary of the market's confidence in his economic policies. While he has not had as much success disentangling us from Endless War as I might have liked I have no doubt his instincts are far less hawkish than his 2016 opponent's must have been. His record of judicial nominations is the icing on the cake. His critique of extremist Democrat social policies seems right on target to me.

    The more or less unanimous NYT reader comments seemed to me to come from a wholly different planet. Not a single one acknowledged any of Trump's accomplishments. All were focussed on his supposed 'lies', his undoubted collusion with Russia (!) and supposed criminal conduct, his tax 'increase', his supposed racism and his supposed hatred of American values and norms. I try to bend over backwards to be objective, but I just can't see the objective truth in these accusations.

    And then I reflect on the fact that Trump addressed an overflowing crowd of 20,000+ cheering supporters and Biden struggles to attract an audience of a couple hundred. Some of the NYT comments suggest that Trump is paying people to attend his rallies!

    I could go on and on but suffice it to say: these disconnects are incredible!

    1. Obviously, each group is self selected and, therefore, by definition unrepresentative. OTOH, if you follow polling on those issues it seems to me that the NYT commenters are far more out of touch with the country.

    2. As for Trump's "undoubted" "collusion", Thomas Lifson at AmThinker says the NYT commenters are going to get their wish--they'll be able to debate "collusion" to their hearts' content:

      Trump’s kickoff rally in Orlando signals Russia Hoax will be a major focus of his campaign

      ... because Trump talks to AG Barr who is supervising Durham’s probe, it is highly probable that he knows something about what lies ahead courtesy of a grand jury sitting in Hartford, Connecticut, ...

    3. I had a conversation just over a week ago, which included an editor at the NYT, who remains certain that collusion or election interference (related to, or including Trump) occurred. I really need to learn to laugh in people's faces in order to express my dumbfounded astonishment. The confirmation bias weighs heavily.

    4. Where do you even begin? I have a landscape design lady I deal with who was eager to talk politics with me--until this spring. When I raised the topic she said, I haven't been following the news. I think she had all her hopes pinned on the Mueller Dossier. You can imagine what I'd been telling her all along.

  2. Yesterday, The Gateway Pundit published an article by Larry Johnson titled Exposing the Fraudulent DNC Suit Against Trump for Russian Collusion. Johnson is a former analyst for the CIA and former analyst for the State Department's Office of CounterTerrorism.

    Johnson's article provides a clearly written, critical overview of the publicly available evidence that the DNC computers were hacked by Russian Intelligence.

    CrowdStrike's CEO Dmitri Alperovitch has admitted, "We don't have hard evidence."

    I recommend reading the article.

    1. Yeah, I saw that. You have to luv that "We don't have hard evidence," which really means: We don't have evidence. At best it's a WAG that we thought our clients would like.

  3. Robert Mueller's gang is dragging out its case against Concord Management, the Russian food-catering business that has been charged with meddling in our 2016 election.

    On June 12, Mueller's gang submitted a Motion for a Protective Order to complicate and impede discovery by Concord's US lawyers.

    Mueller's gang claims to intend to use "between 1.5 and 2 tetrabytes of data" in its prosecution of Concord Management, a food-catering business.

    Of course, this is just prosecutorial abuse that intends to postpone the beginning of the trial for many years. The indictment of Concord Management, a food-catering business, was a stupid mistake by Mueller's gang.

    The judge should put a quick end to this abusive nonsense. Also, Attorney General William Barr should terminate the prosecution.


    The business history of Concord Management, a food-catering business, is described in an article titled Mueller Indictment - The "Russian Influence" Is A Commercial Marketing Scheme, on the Moon of Alabama website.

    1. I've been wondering how Barr will treat the still existing prosecutions. Let them continue and see what comes of it--assuming that abuse will be exposed?

  4. I made a mistake on my last comment here. That Motion for a Protective Order was submitted on June 12, 2018 (eighteen) -- a year ago.

    1. I believe there was an article about the case yesterday at The Federalist.