Imagine if it had become known that Trump--or any Republican president you care to name--had said in similar circumstances:
Make sure you look at things, have the right people on it.
The collective howl from the Establishment media would have been heard around the globe. We would have had a mob descend upon the White House, probably including multiple GOP senators.
It seems clear to me that at this stage in the transition the Obama administration still had hopes of preventing Trump's inauguration. The lengths to which they were willing to go in that effort are revealed by Strzok's notes. It's worth taking another look at Susan Rice's email-to-self in light of these new revelations.
The Rice email has always been suspicious. For starters, the email was patently an exercise in ass covering: the "by the book" admonition attributed to Obama is really the main point of the email. This becomes apparent when we recollect several facts:
1. The email supposedly recording discussion at the meeting was not done in the regular course of business. The Oval Office meeting took place on 1/5/17, but Rice's email wasn't written until two weeks later--on the very day of Trump's inauguration, 1/20/17. Literally just before Rice ran out the door of the WH. Compare that timing with FBI rules regarding 302s: that they must be completed within five days of an interview to show that the 302 is a truly contemporaneous recollection and, therefore, trustworthy. The timing of Rice's literary exercise suggests strongly that, had Trump's inauguration been prevented, no such email would ever have been written.
2. Confirmation for that line of reasoning comes from the format used--an email-to-self, rather than a memo to some appropriate file. An email-to-self is NOT the way a high level meeting of supposedly extraordinary sensitivity is handled in the regular course of business.
3. Therefore, what occasioned this decidedly irregular exercise in ass covering? As we've recently learned, Rice wrote her email-to-self at the direction of WH Counsel Neil Eggleston. That's extraordinary. The last day of the previous administration, the first day of the incoming administration, and the outgoing WH counsel is directing the outgoing NSA to write an email explaining a meeting that took place two weeks previously, specifying that the then president had instructed the then FBI Director to take highly irregular actions but to do it "by the book." That sounds like Eggleston--who is recorded as having been at the meeting--came to learn of what had transpired, was alarmed at the implications and the possible outcome, and took action to cover Obama's ass. One suspects--strongly--that in directing Rice to write the email Eggleston also suggested the wording that was needed to deflect legal responsibility--from Obama to Jim Comey. In effect, Eggleston would have told Rice, make sure that you say that Obama wanted everything done on the up and up--"by the book." Any illegalities went against Obama's express instructions and were somebody else's responsibility. Whose? Comey's!
4. Interestingly, neither Strzok's notes--reflecting Comey's recollection--nor Sally Yates interviews reflect that supposed "by the book" admonition from Obama. Conceivably that could be oversight, but the lack of mention is certainly suggestive. Does Comey have his own notes on the meeting? To my way of thinking, Rice's email puts Comey and Yates on the hot spot, and it would be very much in their interest to dispute Rice's account, to say that they believed they were following Obama's express instructions and had no notion that all responsibility had been shifted to them. The highly irregular circumstances surrounding the Rice email would lend credence to denials by Comey and Yates. In other words, it should be very much in the interest of Comey and Yates to shift the blame--or at least to share the blame--for any criminal actions to Rice and Eggleston and ... Obama.
This could get very interesting going forward, and these dynamics go a long way to explaining the methodical way in which Barr and Durham are proceeding--as well as the palpable desperation and even panic on the Dem side.
In light of the above, I'll paste in an earlier post--Susan Rice: The WH Counsel Told Me To Write It:
So Senator Ron Johnson's earlier speculation in the course of a Fox News interview turned out to be well informed speculation. Johnson stated that the Susan Rice email-to-self read like something she was told to write by--Johnson suggested--the White Counsel. That is confirmed by Gillian Turner, citing Rice's "team":
@AmbassadorRice’s team confirms to #FoxNews that she was directed by White House Counsel to write the Jan 20, 2017 memorandum documenting an Oval Office meeting in which President Obama & National Security officials discussed #MichaelFlynn.
12:08 PM · May 20, 2020
The White House Counsel at that point would have been long time Clintonista Neil Eggleston.
Remember the FBI's Flynn FD-302? It took weeks to write and turned out to be a team effort. Maybe the Rice email-to-self was like that. We know it took weeks to write, and now Senator Johnson's suggestion that it was a team effort may turn out to be right on the money. And after all, if you wanted to CYA, wouldn't you prefer to have a legal operative like Eggleston do it rather than a Susan Rice?
No doubt John Durham will want to discuss this with Eggleston. In front of a Grand Jury.
UPDATE 1: shipwreckedcrew has an article at RedState that parses the Rice email-to-self--and related correspondence--in excruciating detail. Based on that parsing he poses the question: Has Susan Rice Made Herself a “Target” for Durham Probe With Langauge in Her CYA Memo? His answer is: Yes.
Shipwreckedcrew argues that the email actually represents Obama's own self serving version of his meeting with Comey and Yates. He concludes, based on that understanding (which I agree with):
Andy McCarthy has posited — convincingly in my view — that the true purpose of the Memorandum written by Rice was to allow Pres. Obama to point the finger of blame at Comey for whatever might happen in the aftermath of the transition into power of the Trump Administration. According to Rice’s Memorandum, Pres. Obama told Comey to do everything “by the book”, and if Comey did not do so then Comey — and only Comey — was to blame.
Did Rice put herself present in the room just so she could avoid setting forth in the Memorandum that the details she memorialized had come from Pres. Obama? Was she playing the “loyal soldier” by creating the impression that Obama’s version of the conversation had at least one supporting witness — herself — rather than have it as a “He said, He said” between Pres. Obama and Jim Comey at some future point in time?
Whichever answer is true, neither is a defense to the crime of violating Section 1001.
UPDATE 2: Brett Tolman nails it:
Now that so much is pointing to Obama, the Rice/Eggleston memo makes more sense.ReplyDelete
It's like R/E: context, context, context.Delete
Comey must have written CYA memos about all these meetings and shenanigans.ReplyDelete
I'd say it would be out of character for Comey if he didn't. I suspect that's what had Eggleston really worried.Delete
Perennial Johnny-Come-Lately Andy McCarthy told Maria Bartiromo this morning that there was “nothing new” in Strzok’s notes. McCarthy vows that they were just a recap of what Strzok was told by someone else. But he appears to have missed the part where Obama told Comey to "put good people on it”. McCarthy, who never speaks until he’s had a chance to read other people’s work, is turning himself into a clown show. Another Andrew Napolitano. IMO.ReplyDelete
Re Andy McCarthy’s offhand “nothing new in Strzok’s notes”, he also failed to notice what was missing. That “by the book” comment that Rice/Eggleston mentioned in her CYA 1/20/17 email to herself.ReplyDelete
How long will the lamestream media be able to ignore the elephant in the room? If Obama speaks to it, they'll come out quickly in his defense. Trump needs to zing him; or, his newest ally Flynn can do that legwork.ReplyDelete
Why anyone gives McCarthy any credence is beyond me. The guy is an empty suit living on a media paycheck. He couldn't even admit his contemporaries were capable of or responsible for the Russian Hoax for two years, much less Mueller's crusade until he had his nose rubbed in it.
The cost of Obama's Hall of Wonders to honor himself looks to be increasing in cost as more dark passages to dimly lit rooms are about to be added.
McCarthy and Napolitano are on retainer to Fox as its “senior legal analysts”. Napolitano was a local judge in New Jersey for seven years - years ago - before he quit the bench to go on to real money McCarthy is a card-carrying member of the SDNY good old boys club, although he never made first chair. I seem to remember that Fox used to have Jay Sekulow give legal opinions. And another lawyer whose name escapes me. I have a feeling they might have been shut down when Ailes was fired.Delete
No, Ailes was fired 4 years ago, but Sekulow was on as recently as 2 months ago.Delete
Sekulow was a regular legal analyst. I don’t believe he is now. He has been on a few times as a guest since the failed impeachment effort. Maybe they are trying to woo him back? (Unlikely)Delete
>I'd say it would be out of character for Comey if he >didn't.
Comey seem to be a real CYA type, especially with what he did with Trump on documenting.
This has been going on for years:
>tactic of News Suppression
And before Trump, it would have worked. All it does now is gives Trump opportunities to dominate the media cycle, and increase the overall distrust of the media.
This is gonna be fun. Pass the popcorn while I get a cherry coke.ReplyDelete
"Rice's email wasn't written until two weeks later--on the very day of Trump's inauguration"ReplyDelete
I've thought this bit damning since the "contemporaneous" memo-to-self was disclosed. I picture Trump being sworn in while at the very same moment, over at the White House, Rice is desperately typing. Out of time. Illicit efforts failed to prevent Trump presidency. CYA.
Get a load of this latest transmission from Obizarro:ReplyDelete
"What we have seen over the last couple of years is a White House enabled by Republicans in Congress, and a media structure that supports them, that ... has gone at the very foundations of who we are and who we should be."
Good God! He really became one with Alinsky's teachings. What a disturbing, despicable fraud one would have to be to publicly assert the exact opposite of what is facially, objectively obvious to anybody with half a brain and a molecule of intellectual integrity.
The essential conundrum of the coup conspirators is . . . do I flip now (and get the best deal possible) or stand firm at the stonewall and hope the Deep State can bury Trump this November?ReplyDelete
At this point, even flipping is going to get you some serious consequences, so the Hail Mary pass is a convenient excuse to bury your head in the sand.
What's missing from the current public analysis of this problem is the enormity of the documentary evidence that has already been unearthed. Even if Trump were somehow defeated in November (very unlikely unless massive voter fraud occurs), he will declassify and blast out that evidence before leaving office. And if that should happen, a hot civil war becomes a non-trivial probability.
Where is that Tolman nails it update?ReplyDelete
It’s Tolman's tweet just below that remark… that’s the update.Delete
The hubris of Obama and others involved is frightening.ReplyDelete
And it’s frightening how close they came to never being found out.
There are still many in denial over what was done to Trump.
Good point by Julie Kelly - Obama is untouchable.ReplyDelete
Obama is protected by his Praetorian Guard in the MSM and Internet Giants, along with the shield of any attacks are Racist. Obama has also kept a relatively low profile.
So far. I think Barr will ultimately reveal all he learns--and it will be damning. Obama will be touched. That's the significance of the Strzok notes--Obama and Biden have now been touched. Biden is demented, a figurehead. But that Obama has been openly fingered to the public is very significant. There will be more.Delete
Obama may be trying to keep a low profile now, although the election has clearly brought him out. His discomfort, written large all over his face during his disastrous virtual fundraiser with Biden, was obvious. He’s no poker player.Delete
I believe the high level indictments will come close enough to him that they will (as I posted here before) singe his eyebrows. He was clearly fingered in the Strzok notes, as he was in the Strzok-Page texts when Page said that he wanted to be kept informed of everything they were doing. Obama is all about his so-called “legacy”. I don’t believe that he and his legacy will come out unscathed. It’s not over.
I hope to post on another aspect of this soon.Delete
Strzok's notes give the impression of being taken while listening to the meeting itself- not from getting a recap. The way the speakers are labeled, how the ends of the statements are cut off or trail, the pace of the handwriting, and total lack of digression or 'filling in' from a "recapper" (or questions from the notetaker) could all indicate it was not a recap. If it's not a recap, and Strzok wasn't present at the meeting, that means 'tape' (or the modern equivalent, haha). Would Comey have had the resources and proclivity to record a meeting like that?ReplyDelete
Tom, that puzzled me. That was absolutely my impression, as well--that the notes appeared to have been take by a participant. But there's no way that Strzok could have been present at a meeting at that level. We'll probably find out later how it worked. I don't believe Comey could have recorded it, so I'm guessing--just a guess--that Comey took notes on his way back to FBIHQ and then, as part of the briefing for the Russia Hoax inner circle, read the notes to participants. Or, perhaps Strzok wasn't actually present at that briefing but received a second had briefing, and took notes from someone else reading their notes from the Comey briefing.Delete
The fact that there were any such briefings raises interesting prospects. Presumably, at the Comey briefing issues were discussed, like: Where do we go from here? So now we want to know:
1. Who was present--had to be Baker (said to be cooperating) and McCabe. If Strzok was present I would expect Priestap, too, and in that case Lisa Page as well. Priestap is likely cooperating.
2. What was the substance of the issue discussions--given that Comey had shared his own view that the Flynn - Kislyak calls were "legit." There's no possible way that an egomaniac like Comey would have been talked around to viewing the calls as non-legit by an idiot like McCabe. As for Baker, he's far too smart a lawyer to make such an absurd argument, so Comey and the rest knew they were on thin ice going forward against Flynn. But they went ahead.
Talk about a gamble!
What strikes me as odd about the Strzok notes is the idea that Comey would, in briefing his team of "right people," provide blow-by-blow accounts of what each WH participant said.Delete
Nobody at his level does that. An underling sent in place of a high level manager might come back and repeat verbatim what others said, so his bosses got the full flavor. But Comey would, IMHO, simply meet with his people and say something like: "after meeting with the WH to discus CR, we need to do the following ...."
There's definitely more to this story than we know.
Also, if Strzok took notes of the Comey debriefing meeting, where are the notes of all the other people who were with him? Perhaps that the shoe that hasn't dropped.
Re other people taking notes--OF COURSE!Delete
For example, we already knew about Priestap's notes on the meetings re interviewing Flynn. They were incredibly damaging. Now we have Strzok's notes--but were they really just discovered by Jensen, or ... what? How did Priestap's notes get out, but Strzok's notes were withheld until now? And how about Jim Baker's notes--you know he took notes, and he was at all the major meetings. Not to mention Comey himself and others.
My guess is that Durham has much if not all of that already, and has had for some time. Preserving evidence would have been step #1 in his investigation. The problem with the Flynn case was that Barr/Durham didn't want to tip their hand publicly. Sullivan's craziness forced DoJ's hand, but my guess is that they're still holding back evidence from public view.
Again, Occam's Razor.ReplyDelete
The Obama Administration corrupted huge swaths of the Executive Branch and ran two major criminal enterprises during his 8 years in office.
The first was the systemic mining of incriminating information from the NSA database. Brennan implemented this program using the assets of a private IT contractor that was awarded a contract to develop centralized EC management software. The illegally harvested data was then used to blackmail dozens of members of Congress, the Judiciary, and key Executive Branch officials. It was all about consolidating power in DC.
The second was pay-to-play grift on scale never before seen in DC. Ukraine is small potatoes compared to what China and Iran have contributed to bribery of US officials. The US economy was being looted in the dark with the aid of globalist corporations. Obama was their pawn, and very well paid for his contributions.
Which brings us to the current revelation du jour. Comey was, and is, a dirty cop. He was dutifully doing what he was told to do by Obama. When he return to FBIHQ after the Jan 5, 2016 meeting, he got push-back from his senor staff about going so far off the rails. He told them to get in line or suffer the same fate as others who opposed the Obama Administration. And they genuinely believed that they would succeed in driving Trump from office.
It was always a coup, and you don't do that half-assed. It's all or nothing.
That's an aspect that amazes me--that the Chinese corruption of our government has remained so far under the radar.Delete
I hypothesize the Chinese corruption of the US government is "under the radar" because the Chinese very wisely corrupted the US MSM first.Delete
Once the news media were in their pocket, they could proceed with the rest of their corruption plans with little fear of public exposure.
The Chinese government is many things, but "stupid" isn't one of them.
Interesting take on this topic by Larry Johnson:Delete
>> https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/06/the-obama-biden-coup-meeting-of-january-5-2017-by-larry-c-johnson.html#more <<
Not sure I agree with all of his analysis, but he makes several points on how the Strzok notes conflict with Susan Rice's belated CYA memo to herself regarding the same 5 Jan WH meeting.
can the "rise" of Iran and Muslim Brotherhood as favored Middle East players get a little love here, too??Delete
Unknown's last statement is the wild card- they should have all known not to wound the prince...
“under the radar”Delete
Let’s not forget that large portions of the version of Strzok’s notes which have been released are redacted. How surprising would it be if the redacted portions reveal the notes’ provenance?Delete
Cassander, I make exactly that point in my new post. Also, Barr in his interview with Cruz seems to have no doubts re those notes.Delete
Mark, I agree that evidence from the overall 'conspiracy' has been dribbled out due to the turns in the Flynn case, and it may have played some role in the timing of the motion for dismissal. Being released when it was is also very interesting- and it starts to 'check' the other side by directly threatening its 'king'...ReplyDelete
I agree with above comments about recording. There should have been countermeasures in the room that would allow only static to be recorded, and other protections. However, the notes still do not seem like a recap. Time will tell, I'm sure- we can still wonder for now. Would Comey have had enough cred to instigate an off-book, regulation-violating op on his mere say-so, though? Would a recording in O's voice been the cred he needed to kick it off? Or would the "right people" just have been such true believers they would have been rtg? Hard to imagine people in intel/cointel doing things as true believers, only, but with so much hubris involved (by all players) , judgments may have been clouded. Keep the popcorn coming...
The progression with the notes gives me hope that the Barr/Jensen investigation is in good hands and they know what they're doing. The progression with the Flynn case gives me hope that they also have consciences and want to do the right thing along the way.
Thanks for all the insightful comments--sorry I was unable to get them until now, due to pressure of writing. As you'll see from the new post, I've been thinking along the same lines and have tried to address some of the issues I now see have been raised in these comments.ReplyDelete