Friday, February 7, 2020

UPDATED: Will Ciaramella Pay A Price? Here's Hoping.

Rand Paul's tweet during the Senate Impeachment Theater repays a close reading. George Parry, former prosecutor does just that this morning

Saving Private Ciaramella
The alleged “whistleblower” may get the whistle blown on himself.

This morning I commented to Ray-SoCal that I wouldn't be surprised if crimes were committed during the Impeachment Theater. Of course, that doesn't mean those crimes would be easy to prove. However, one important revelation during the Impeachment Theater that points in that direction was that we learned that Eric Ciaramella and Sean Misko were overheard at the NSC talking about taking President Trump out. As Senator Paul slyly notes, that happened before any talk of a "whistleblower," and in retrospect looks very much like the beginnings of a conspiracy. A conspiracy to do what? Possibly a conspiracy to submit false statements to the Federal government--that's right, it's not just a crime to the FBI, it's a crime to lie to the federal government generally.

Let's see how this could work, following Parry:

During the Senate trial, there was one portentous occurrence when Chief Justice John Roberts declined to read aloud a question addressed to the House managers from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). As later disclosed by Paul, that question was the following: 
     Are you aware that House Intelligence Committee staffer Shawn [sic] Misko had a close relationship with Eric Ciaramella while at the National Security Council together, and are you aware and how do you respond to reports that Ciaramella and Misko may have worked together to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings? 

"While at the NSC". And to make the implications of that perfectly clear, Paul notes that their time together at the NSC was: "before there were formal House impeachment proceedings." Now add in "plot." What's a plot? That's right: a conspiracy.

Following Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling, Paul tweeted the following: 
     My question today is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings. My question is not about a “whistleblower” as I have no independent information on his identity. 
Just so. Paul’s question cuts to the heart of the matter. Regardless of who the whistleblower may be, Paul wants to know if Ciaramella, Misko, and possibly other Schiff staffers conspired to impeach the president. If it turns out that Ciaramella is the whistleblower, then the follow-up question becomes whether or not he conspired with Schiff, et al., to concoct what is now exposed as a fictitious and materially false and misleading account of the Trump–Zelensky call. 
Did Ciaramella submit a false complaint to the inspector general? If so, was his false report concocted with Schiff, et al.? Is Ciaramella at the heart of this fraudulent and failed impeachment effort?

There we have it. A possible conspiracy to submit false statements to the IC inspector general, Michael Atkinson. A conspiracy that involved Misko, Schiff, "et alios." Who might those others be? Possibly Michael Atkinson--whose witness testimony was withheld. Nor does Barr/Durham need to wait for the Senate Intel Committee to act on this--they have full authority to investigate this possible federal crime, and for all we know have been hard at work already.

For good measure, Parry brings up the case of Kevin Clinesmith by way of comparison:

Recall that former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, another overeager Democrat partisan, has been referred for criminal prosecution for falsifying material information included in the FISA applications to intercept the communications of Trump campaign associate Carter Page. This is serious stuff, and young Kevin is in a heap of trouble. 
But how does that compare to the whistleblower’s predicament? What are the legal penalties for conjuring up a lie for the purpose of launching a fraudulent impeachment? And what do you do with someone whose deliberate fabrication bitterly divided the nation and effectively shut down the presidency, the House of Representatives, and the Senate as they sorted out truth from fiction? 
If ... Ciaramella is the whistleblower, then he is in grave jeopardy. But what of Misko, Schiff, and others who may have conspired with him? Will they skate and leave him to take the heat? 
Maybe Clinesmith and Ciaramella can keep each other company ... Will they roll to the Bureau and start naming names to save themselves from disaster?

Here's hoping.

UPDATE 1: One way this could work might run something like this ...

Ciaramella and Misko, shortly after Trump is inaugurated, begin conspiring to have Trump removed.

After both leave the NSC, they continue being fed information by sympathetic insiders at the NSC--information for which they have no "need to know." Is it a crime on both sides? I'm not sure but it may be.

Among those insiders feeding Ciaramella/Misko information is Mr. Vindman.

After the Ukraine call the conspirators consult--perhaps with others, as well--to come up with what they think is a plausible story, one that could lead to impeachment.

That story is demonstrably false and is based on a demonstrably false theory of Interagency dominance over a president.

Actual submission of false statements in the form of a conspiratorially jiggered "whistleblower" complaint.

Conspiracy to submit false statements to the federal government, conspiracy to defraud the government of honest services, actual submission of false statements.

We can hope.

UPDATE 2: Alex Vindman and his brother Yevgeniy were both dismissed from the NSC today. And his brother? Maybe something is known.

UPDATE 3: Is this gonna be Firing Week?


  1. Yippee! I am SO glad you picked up Parry’s piece. I just read it at the source and it is terrific. Time for the Ciaramellas and the Clinesmiths and the Vindmans and all the other embedded weasels to pay the piper. Dare we hope?

    1. It's very good. I'm not sure why he puts stock in the Senate. This would be false statements to a government agency in the IC--no need to wait. Again, I don't say proof would be easy, but definitely worth looking.

  2. As a student of human nature, my answer is yes. Misery loves company and why would they be stupid enough to take the fall for the higher ups?

    Plus, there is an incentive in the form of a reduced sentence.

    When indictments comes out or when it's definitively known that someone is cooperating, we'll see the knives come out for each other. Didn't Clapper send up a trial balloon invoking Obama's involvement in the coup? Comey and McCabe no longer speak. Page told Strozk not tho ever text her again. Brennan has skewered Burr.

    I'm sticking to a timeline that around June we're going to start seeing some things come down. I'm just guessing based on Barr's comments.

    For long-suffering conservatives, we'll start to see the wheels of justice move on the Deep State.

    1. All true. If there's a case to be made, they probably know by now. We don't know what evidence may be available.

    2. However, the leak of the Ciaramella/Misko overheard conversation may be significant.

    3. I totally agree. It strikes fear in the hearts of Ciaramella/Misko and gives them (and other unknown rats) something to think about, something to gnaw on their consciousness and contemplate how bad their futures are looking.

      This, in turn, makes them anxious, anxiety leads to mistakes or to a rational turn to cooperate with Barr and Durham. And there are many such scenarios playing out in the minds of the conspirators. And who will be weak link? I've already suggested B Ohr, L Page and J Baker. It sounds like Rosenstein is folded.

    4. "It sounds like Rosenstein is folded."

      Yes. I don't think it's possible that RR was given a free pass, after his treachery in authorizing a non-predicated takedown of Trump.

    5. Should've been "has folded".

      I'm sure that you covered it, but I read some good stuff about Rosenstein being a total weasel. He played a large part in getting Comey fired and then he sucked up to McCabe with overtures towards getting Comey on his (RR's) side.

      It was just an astounding amount of chutzpah. I think that you are the one who posited that Rosenstein "needed" the approval of the Dems/Deep State/Fake News and was stunned to have a black hat pinned on him. Apparently he lacked the courage of his convictions to stand tall and he made some terrible decisions with grave consequence.

  3. Again, the core defense strategy of the Deep State operatives is founded on the idea that the crimes being committed are so huge (e.g. conspiracy to remove a duly elected president from office using manufactured evidence) that DOJ cannot go down that road for fear of bringing down the whole house of cards (DC corruption that would likely would include many Rs). It's a desperate gamble, but they seem to think it will work.

    1. I guess we're gonna find out. Trump will do it. Barr has seen all anyone should need to see of how far the Left will go to trash our constitutional order. He's not stupid, and I have no doubt what his view of NeverTrump GOP senators is.

  4. I continue to have confidence in Barr/Durham. Their going about their business quietly is reassuring to me. Not a fan of “big talk, little do” that signifies many in our government. Some months ago there was a big gang bust in Los Angeles that succeeded because it was done secretly. Much ado in the local media about the involved high school’s not being informed, but those with a brain could figure out LE's argument that this was a very dangerous gang that involved high school kids and adults. Informing the students and their parents could have blown the investigation and possibly endangered some students. There is a place for secrecy.

    1. When Barr was first nominated I quoted articles in which other lawyers told of how "stunned" they were at how aggressive Barr was as a litigator. Paul Mirengoff worked for Barr for a time, and seconded that. So Barr didn't earn his rep as a top litigator by playing patty cake. Some may be finding that out soon.

  5. From Parry's article: "Maybe Clinesmith and Ciaramella can keep each other company as — to paraphrase Kipling — they lie wounded on Washington’s plains and the Senate Republicans, the FBI, and the Justice Department come out to cut up what remains. Will they roll to the Bureau and start naming names to save themselves from disaster?" Another possibility: Ciaramella simply dies in some suspicious way like Seth Rich did...

  6. "Lt. Col. Vindman was just escorted out of the White House by security and told his services were no longer needed."

    1. My understanding is that he was dismissed for cause. You don't get escorted out by security otherwise--I don't think. Maybe someone knows better.

  7. It appears Vindman is heading out the door of White House. Someone filed an ethics complaint against Rand Paul.

    Rob S

    1. The ethics complaint is of the same quality as the emoluments suit--pure BS. The claim is that Paul violated 18 U.S.C. § 1513(e):

      Whoever knowingly, with the intent to retaliate, takes any action harmful to any person, including interference with the lawful employment or livelihood of any person, for providing to a law enforcement officer any truthful information relating to the commission or possible commission of any Federal offense, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.

    2. Paul never mentioned the guy was the "whistleblower.

    3. But beyond that, naming a person is not a harmful action. And naming per se is not an offense.

    4. Not to mention there was no Federal offense reported.
      Tom S.

  8. Fox is reporting that the Vindman twins have been fired by the NSC. Vindman is said to be returning to the Department of Defense, that had detailed him to the NSC.

  9. House democrats apoplectic about 86'd Vindman: "More obstruction!"

    "We losin' our damn minds!"

    "Ya'll killin' the pawty!"

    I think they should impeach him.



    1. Everyone knew--or should have known--that this was coming. Hopefully more serious measures will come soon.

  10. I'm not sure what is going to happen between now and the Election. There have already been so many surprises, mostly positive, since Trump was elected.

    Some thoughts spinning in my head:

    I believe crimes were committed during this impeachment fiasco.

    And that the usual person commits 3 Felonies a Day - book by that title is good content, but a dry read.

    And I am still amazed they did not get Trump with all the resources the deep state has thrown at him.

    And I believe that Federal Prosecution is selective, and the system is biased, for example the prosecutions of Martha Stewart, Conrad Black, Arthur Andersen, Mike Flynn, etc. Contrast with how the prosecution was handled for James Wolfe, Aswan Brothers, IRS Tea Party Scandal,Clinton Emails, and Sharyl Attkisson.

    I hope Barr / Durham build air tight cases against the coup plotters and actually files charges that stick, but we will see. In the Senate with Graham and Burr, they seem to be protecting the deep state. Lots of noise, but I don't see the actions.

    What is happening with Carter Page does give me some hope. Along with the constant drip of information on what the deep state has done against Trump. Devin Nunes has done an incredible job. And I trust Trump to make the right decision, which is a huge change from my thoughts when he was elected. Then I saw voting for him as the least worst, but I have been astonished at what he has achieved, and the corruption he has unmasked in US politics by both parties.

    So what is next?

    1. "I am still amazed they did not get Trump"

      You think you're amazed? Imagine how the Dems and the Deep State feel! Cleanest man in DC!

      Have to agree with what you're saying. Hate to say it. I used to be a believer.

    2. He was smart, he refused to talk to the toadies.

    3. "Cleanest man in DC!" is a pretty low bar to clear.
      Tom S.

    4. "I used to be a believer."
      You mean, in the view that they'd be able to get DJT?

    5. No, that justice is mostly done in American public life.

  11. A bunch of SWAG's, some more likely than others:

    1. Durham releases his reports and files charges. Durham establishes connections up to the Obama Whitehouse for the coup against Trump, with charges files against Comey, Brennan, etc. Trump finally releases Christmas list for Conservative Tree house. Involvement of overseas players is documented including UK, Turkey, NZ, Italy, Australia, etc.

    2. Durham releases charges, cry of politicization, and it becomes mired in the courts being litigated for years past the Trump administration.

    3. Durham release report, with lots of promises of hearings, more training, and promises we won't do it again. The hearing drag this out so long that everybody forgets about it. Hearings cause charges of double jeopardy, so charges are dropped. Wray is leading the charge on calls for more training. Unspoken fear is if the US public found out what was happened, the counter intelligence tools would be gutted, and their would be a huge loss of respect for the FBI, Justice, and US Intel Agencies.

    4, Charges are thrown out against Michael Flynn.

    5. Court filings by Judicial Watch expose more Deep State shenanigans.

    6. Durham Report is delayed until after the election, because it is so explosive.

    7. Romney is recalled, resigns, and other Senators decide to play ball with Trump. Recess appointments finally happen.

    8. Republicans regain the House.

    9. Democrats keep the House.

    10. Trump manages to get 20% or more, of the Black Vote, Trump manages to get them to vote for House GOP Candidates, and Democrats are forces to rebuild their party after historical losses. GOP becomes more Blue Collar and Middle Class focused, and less on the Elites.

    11. Internet Giants go all out against Trump. Internet Giants try to appear Neural. Internet Giants are actually Neutral in the Election.

    12. Trump uses the Bully Pulpit against the Democrats and carpet bombs them using their actions to show their corruption. Nancy Pelosi's tearing of the SOTU is noted in history as one of the key reasons for the GOP Wave.

    13. Corona Virus has little or no impact on the US Economy. My bet.

    14. Corona Virus has a huge impact on the US Economy.

    15. US Economy goes into recession, causes Trump to sqeek by, but GOP loses the house.

    16. US Economy due to fracking, new Trade Deals, and deregulation keeps doing great. My bet.

    17. Stock Market takes a major hit due to CoronaVirus and Global Recession. Political impact is ?

    18. California Economy takes a hit due to local incompetence, and impact of Coronavirus in China. Rest of US does great. I am very surprised at how good the US economy is doing.

    1. 1-3: Durham is a prosecutor, not an IG. No reports, just prosecutions.

      4: One way or another, exoneration.

  12. Watch Nunes interview this AM with Maria Bartiromo:


    Basically says if WB is forced to testify, we will be able to connect the dots between the Dems working on Impeachment, their deep state allies, and the ICIG machinations to help fabricate a fake complaint to set up the Impeachment Narrative.

    "ScamPeachment™" by any other name.

    1. Just before publishing your comment I was transcribing that interview, and decided not to post it. The most encouraging part, IMO, was the second part in which he expressed confidence that Durham would get to the bottom of the Russia Hoax. Steve Scalise, also, said the other night that he has seen classified docs that show that crimes were committed and that makes him confident that Durham will forge ahead.