Tuesday, June 25, 2019

UPDATED: Mueller To Testify Now That ICA Is In Play

Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before a “joint panel” of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, on July 17th. As CTH points out, this will be carefully rehearsed theater. What's it about? Adam Schiff gives it away in a tweet. We've all been hearing for the past two weeks that Barr and Durham are focusing on the ICA, the intelligence "assessment" that has controlled the Russia Hoax overall narrative. It's as phony as the Steele "dossier", but its evidence free "finding" that Putin "attacked our democracy to help Trump win" has been the Good News and the Creed of the Russia Hoaxers. Schiff tweets:

Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before Congress pursuant to subpoena.
Russia attacked our democracy to help Trump win. Trump welcomed and used that help. As Mueller said, that should concern every American.
And now, every American will get to hear directly from Mueller.

Sheer desperation. Mueller's appearance will be staged to defend the ICA narrative of the Russia Hoax, to stave off the looming disaster just a bit longer. But this isn't going to stop Barr and Durham. Mueller better mind how he goes.

UPDATE 1: You never know what might come up in Mueller's testimony, so this may be a good spot to recommend Jeff Carlson's new blog, Tracing the Origins of Congressional Democrats’ ‘Obstruction’ Strategy. Back in December, 2018, in A Message Of Hope, I made a big deal about Bill Barr's 19 page legal memo to Rod Rosenstein, which Barr wrote in June of 2018. The title of that memo was "Mueller's Theory Of Obstruction."

Carlson goes into detail regarding the development of the Democrat obstruction strategy, drawing on Mueller's (actually Weissmann's) theory, but his closing section is titled "William Barr’s Foresight". His point is simply that, at a time when nobody else--including Trump's lawyers--saw where Mueller was headed--Bill Barr did. This was a major reason that Barr took the AG gig when he could have been retired in comfort. Count on it--Barr is all over this. But look for the Dems to play that theory up. They don't need a straight opinion from Mueller to try to use the theory.

UPDATE 2: We all have a list of questions we'd like to see put to Mueller, but President Trump reopened what would be a fascinating line of inquiry in an interview with Maria Bartiromo (via Zerohedge). To put what follows in perspective, recall that Strzok and Page were dismissed from Team Mueller--and ultimately from the FBI--for cause for matters having to do with their emails and texts:

President Trump on Wednesday claimed that special counsel Robert Mueller 'illegally terminated' texts between ... Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.  

[Trump] was likely referring to a December report by the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) which found that after [Strzok] was fired from the Mueller probe, the special counsel's office allowed Strzok's phone to be wiped clean by the FBI before it was reassigned to another agent.  
It strains credulity to imagine that the special counsel's office would 'accidentally' allow Strzok's iPhone to be reformatted after he was fired for exchanging biased text messages on it. 

Jordan Schachtel

 So Mueller's team wiped ALL of the data off of Peter Strzok's iPhone after determining "it contained no substantive text messages." Given what we know about Strzok, this smells like quite the coverup. Time for Congress to step in? …
11:16 AM - Dec 13, 2018 
Page's phone was similarly scrubbed.  
Jordan Schachtel

Replying to @JordanSchachtel 
I'm sure you're all super shocked to find out that Lisa Page's phone was also scrubbed 
12:56 PM - Dec 13, 2018 
[Description of the content of their communications] 
No wonder Strzok's iPhone was allowed to be scrubbed!


  1. Now watch as the committees change the rules about who gets to ask questions.

  2. We all know that Mueller will not have to answer Republicans' questions publicly.

    We just do not know yet how it will be prevented.

  3. "Sheer desperation."

    In two words, you nailed it. I've probably said this before but I'll repeat it. When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

    Thankfully, none of these conspirators take the advice.

    1. The commenters on Hannity last night were predicting that this move will backfire, that Mueller will not turn out to be a compelling witness.

  4. Mueller's not a compelling man. He's also an incompetent and a morally compromised deep state hack. Republicans better have done their homework on this. I'd like to hear some questions about Martha Stewart, the anthrax case, Crowdstrike, etc, in addition to questions about Part II of his report and who actually wrote it.

    It may be shooting below the belt, but Dems do it all the time. My one worry is that not every Republican congressman has a working set of brain cells. I may be wrong, but I think Jim Jordan is on this committee. He's all we need.

    1. Hannity pointed out that in the low pressure setting of his prepared statement no-questions "press conference," Mueller nevertheless misspoke himself. Hannity added that only through the graciousness of Barr was Mueller granted, in effect, a mulligan. Under questioning about a report that he certainly didn't right and possibly didn't read, the results may not be pretty.

      He also opens himself up to questions about

      1. His past;
      2. Who chose his team;
      3. What the criteria for the choice was;
      4. Why he didn't seek to expand the investigation of Russian influence to the "dossier" itself.

      And that's just for starters. The GOPers have plenty of time for their lawyers to prepare and sequence questions for them.

    2. Ideally, since members only get a few (5?) minutes to question, I'd want them to ask about the errors and context in Part 2 of Mueller's report, the narrowness and basis of the ICA conclusion (only CIA, FBI, and a middling agreement of NSA), and what is the evidence, as Schiff claims, that Russia helped Trump win.

      So much of the claims bandied about appear to be evidence-free--faith-based--assertions I'd like to have some sunlight cast upon, some serious pushback.

    3. That's also why I really hope the GOPers really seriously rehearse and prepare their questions--make the most of this.

  5. Mr. Wauck,

    I have actually only seen Bobby Boy speak one time. That was at his infamous press conference on May 29. He didn't impress. He's going to need to bring his A game to this testimony, not his Z game that he brought on May 29.

    I hope that Mike and Yancey are wrong and that the Reps get to ask questions. I'll enjoy seeing him squirm, take the Fifth, deny, stutter and change the subject. All the while with him giving perjurious statements.

    1. Of course the GOPers get to ask questions. What the Dems are going to do is limit questioning to only one round, but I that shouldn't be enough to rig it if the GOPers prepare and sequence their questions--they know what the order will be.

      Mueller has a further problem in that he has said that the report is his testimony and he failed to enunciate a clear theory. Since he'll be under oath his best strategy will be to consistently refer to the report and not venture into new territory.

    2. Rehearsing for a surprise appearance at Mueller's big day?

    3. I come to bury Mueller, not to praise him?

  6. Jeff Carlson's article refers to an article, titled What If Trump Wins?, written by Benjamin Wittes and published on the Lawfare website on October 24, 2016.

    When Wittes wrote the article, he thought that Donald Trump probably would lose on Election Day, November 8, but he recognized polling-based analyses found some probability -- 7% to 16% -- that Trump might win.

    Therefore, Wittes wrote that Trump's opponents should develop an "insurance policy" to deal with a possible Trump victory.

    Wittes' "insurance policy" is essentially a plan for action that would begin to be implemented during the two months following Election Day. Wittes writes:


    If I wake up on November 9 to find that Trump has been elected president, I plan to spend the next two months building such a network [of lawyers and philanthropists]. The first two people I will talk to will be Boutrous and Tribe, both of whom agreed in an email exchange yesterday to a have a conference call November 9, if necessary, to begin organizing this coalition.

    [end quote]

    It's remarkable that Wittes framed his "insurance policy" as extending two months -- from November 9, 2018, through January 9, 2019. The framework of Wittes' "insurance policy" matches almost exactly with the Deep State's response to Trump's victory.

    On January 6, James Clapper published his Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that Russia had meddled in the election that Trump had won.

    On that same date, Clapper, Brennan and Comey briefed Trump about the ICA, and then Comey briefed Trump about Christopher Steele's dossier.

    The fact that Comey briefed Trump about the dossier then served as a justification for Clapper to leak to Trump-hating journalists about the dossier. In the following days, those journalists wrote articles, based on Clapper's leaks, about Comey's briefing to Trump about the dossier.

    Then on January 10, Buzzfeed published the dossier.

    It seems to me that Wittes was not the only person who was working with a two-month framework to develop an insurance-policy response to a Trump victory.

    1. You realize, of course, that Wittes is a Comey confidante?

    2. Wittes and Comey communicated with each other frequently. During the two months when Wittes was developing his "insurance policy", he certainly was informed by Comey about the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

      I think that Comey, Clapper and Brennan set a goal of informing the public about two months after the election that Trump had won the election only because the Kremlin had meddled in the election to help Trump win. The public would be informed about ten days before Trump was inaugurated.

      During the following weeks and months, the public would be informed gradually, through leaks, that our Intelligence Community's brilliant and heroic officials had discovered and were continuing to investigate the dastardly collusion that enabled Trump to win the election unfairly.

      In this situation, President Trump would try to obstruct that investigation. Fortunately, though, the brilliant and heroic officials would overcome that obstruction. The public would be informed continuously, by means of leaks, about the progress of this secret struggle between obstructionist Trump and the brilliant, heroic officials.

      Yes, Trump had won the election, but he had won only because of secret meddling by the Kremlin. Now as President, he was obstructing the brilliant, heroic investigators who continued to reveal the Russkie election-meddlers and the wicked, undeserving election-winner.

    3. I wouldn't be surprised if something of the sort was going through their minds. You can imagine their frustration when events in the very early going of the Trump administration didn't pan out as they hoped and then May rolled around and Comey got fired! Again, Rosenstein is the key player.

    4. I say RR was key because without the Special Counsel it all pretty much goes away.

    5. What Mike says about the insurance policy makes my blood boil.

      I can't see convictions come soon enough.

  7. Re: Update #2. Can we just say there was nothing "accidental" about reformatting/wiping clean the cell phones used by Strzok and Page.

    The text evidence was destroyed because it was embarrassing to the integrity of the Mueller probe and the FBI, and therefore was erased so that it couldn't be used in any partisan or political way against the probe, The FBI, Strzok, or Page. The Deep State protects its own--even to the point of professional and official corruption.

    And the Deep State can rely on their DNC-MSM partners to give cursory coverage, while applying the official spin, and move on to the next daily outrage to provide cover to the misconduct.