AG Barr has appointed John Franklin Bash III--currently US Attorney for the Western District of Texas (i.e., San Antonio) to probe more deeply into "certain aspects" of the Deep State unmaskings of Donald Trump and members of his campaign and administration--which is to say, the "certain aspects" will concern unmaskings that took place both "before and after the 2016 election." That's according to FoxNews. DoJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec noted that while unmasking isn't illegal, what Barr is having Bash examine could play into the bigger picture investigation that John Durham is conducting:
"Unmasking inherently isn't wrong, but certainly, the frequency, the motivation and the reasoning behind unmasking can be problematic, and when you're looking at unmasking as part of a broader investigation -- like John Durham's investigation -- looking specifically at who was unmasking whom, can add a lot to our understanding about motivation and big picture events."
"Big picture?" Can you say "conspiracy"? I sure can. As I noted last night in a comment, Bash will certainly be examining whether any unmaskings can be associated with illegal leaks targeting the Trump administration, which have been rampant right up to the present. However, even unmaskings that cannot be associated with specific criminal acts may be associated with the "big picture" conspiracy. If those unmaskings can be seen to be in furtherance of the conspiracy, they become criminal acts in and of themselves. Obviously Barr thinks that Durham has come up with something that's worth pursuing regarding the unmaskings. He wouldn't be pulling a US Attorney from a major metro area if he didn't think so.
Interestingly, Bash has the distinction of having been one of the very few non-girl law clerks for Brett Kavanaugh.
When the DC Circuit took up the Flynn camp's petition for a mandamus directed at Sullivan, the three judge panel, in addition to ordering Sullivan to respond, "invited" the government to also file a response. DoJ has confirmed, as expected, that they will file a brief that will reiterate the position they stated previously: that the Flynn prosecution should be dismissed with prejudice.
No surprise here. It would have been passing strange if DoJ had ignored the DC Circuit's invitation.
Finally, we learned yesterday that Rod Rosenstein, former Deputy AG and Acting AG and ringmaster for all things Russia Hoax related--especially Team Mueller--will voluntarily testify before the Senate next week. If some really obvious questions are asked--and pressed--Rosenstein's testimony might prove to be of interest. Presumably Senator Graham has consulted with AG Barr about the parameters for Rosenstein's testimony--which may be circumscribed by some prior agreement with Barr and Durham.
The Russia Hoax world seems to be divided into two camps: those who think Rosenstein was either a dupe or a Trump mole in DoJ, and those who regard him as an evil weasel. I'm pretty firmly in the latter camp. In that regard, Debra Heine has dredged up some of Rosenstein's emails dating back to 2017, and it's all highly incriminating as regards Rosenstein's total complicity in the plot against the president. We've seen these before, but it's an excellent reminder--Key Questions Former DAG Rod Rosenstein Should Be Asked at Senate Oversight Hearing Next Week:
On May 8, 2017, Rosenstein wrote a memo to President Trump recommending that FBI Director James Comey be fired. The next day, President Trump fired Comey. Just three days later, on May 12, Rosenstein sent an email assuring Robert Mueller that “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions.”
In a May 16, 2017 email, sent the day before Mueller’s appointment, Rosenstein emailed former Bush administration Deputy Attorney General and current Kirkland & Ellis Partner, Mark Filip stating, “I am with Mueller. He shares my views. Duty Calls. Sometimes the moment chooses us.”
On May 17, he appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to conduct the investigation into “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” as well as any matters arising directly from that investigation.
Some time between May 8 and May 17, according to then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s notes, Rosenstein met with McCabe and other senior Justice Department and FBI officials to discuss wearing a wire into the oval office to spy on Trump, as well as invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president.
When McCabe’s claim was made public, Rosenstein denied the charge, calling it “inaccurate and factually incorrect.” However, McCabe’s notes about the meeting (also released by Judicial Watch), tell a different story: “The DAG proposed that he could potentially wear a recording device into the Oval Office to collect additional evidence on the President’s true intentions,” McCabe wrote. “He said he thought this might be possible because he was not searched when he entered the White House. I told him that I would discuss the opportunity with my investigative team and get back to him.”
Rosenstein will undoubtedly also be asked to explain why he signed the June 2017 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to renew surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page. The FISA warrant was based heavily on the now discredited Steele dossier.
The former DAG is also likely to be asked to explain his three “scope memos” to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. [The memos significantly expanded the Mueller Witchhunt.]
And there's more.