The enormity of the revelation from the Peter Strzok notes is slowly starting to sink in. It's not that the notes reveal things that--realistically--we didn't know already. It's that we can now look to the future and get some idea of what could be in the offing--what has the Progs and Libs and crazy Lefties of all sorts bouncing off the walls.
Let me start my pasting in some dressed up comments from earlier this morning, exchanges with commenters.
My initial impression upon looking at the Strzok notes was that they appeared to have been taken by a participant at the Oval Office meeting involving Obama, Biden, Sally Yates (NB: Did AG Loretta Lynch absent herself deliberately?) and disgraced former FBI Director Jim Comey. But there's no way that a guy at Strzok's level could have been present at such a meeting. 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 a briefing for the Russia Hoax inner circle at FBIHQ, read the notes to participants in that briefing--who took notes on Comey's notes. Perhaps if we could get a look at the redacted portions of the notes we'd understand fully. Or, perhaps Strzok wasn't actually present at that Comey briefing but received a second hand briefing, and took notes from someone else who was reading their notes from the Comey briefing.
However it worked, the very fact that there were any such briefings raises interesting prospects for the future, prospects that the Barr/Durham investigation is unquestionably focused on. We have to presume that at the Comey briefing issues that flowed from the Oval Office meeting were discussed. Issues like: Where do we go from here? What concrete steps do we at the FBI take?
Durham will want to know--among other things:
1. Who was present at Comey's briefing and any subsequent meetings and discussions? We've seen from his own notes that Bill Priestap, an Ass't Director, participated in high level discussions in which the Flynn interview was planned. FBI General Counsel Jim Baker (said to be cooperating with Durham) and Deputy Director Andy McCabe would also have had to be present. Since Lisa Page was counsel to McCabe, it's possible that she would have been present. It's also possible that Strzok, who would be one of Obama's "right people" who would be interviewing Flynn, would also have been called in.
2. What was the substance of the issue discussions--given that Comey had shared his own view that the Flynn - Kislyak calls were "legit"? In my view 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 have made such an absurd argument. However the decision came down, Comey went in with his eyes wide open. He and the rest of the coup plotters at the FBI knew they were on thin ice going forward against Flynn. But they went ahead.
Talk about a gamble! Because, after all, Flynn was only the proximate target. The real target, the real objective, was the removal of a sitting POTUS--whether through an attack on his national security adviser, through Comey's attempted blackmail via the Steele "dossier," or by other means yet to be determined. And the fact that they did go ahead with the plot speaks volumes about their perception of the lay of the land in Deep State and Establishment Washington, DC.
Barr and Durham probably had a pretty clear idea of all the above quite a while ago. Their first question in light of all this would probably have been: Who were the note takers and where are their notes? We've known for years now that Comey always took notes after speaking with Trump, but we can be pretty sure that he took notes whenever he spoke with anyone above him. That's almost certainly why Susan Rice wrote her email-to-self, preemptively exonerating Obama from any responsibility if the coup plot turned to doo-doo: Obama's White House Counsel, Neil Eggleston probably strongly advised that such an exoneration be put in writing to counter any notes that Comey took. So, we have to assume that Comey has/had notes on the Oval Office meeting.
We already know about Priestap's notes regarding the meetings that took place to plan for the interview of Flynn. Priestap's notes were incredibly damaging in that regard, but why should we think that those are his only notes that could be pertinent to the Russia Hoax? Now we have Strzok's notes--or maybe just a few of them. But ask yourself: Were these Strzok notes 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. What role did Dana Boente and Chris Wray play, sitting at the top of the FBI?
And--God help all coup plotters--how about Rod Rosenstein. Surely he took notes! He probably wrote a book while waiting for Barr to be confirmed.
My guess is that Durham has much if not all of that material already, and has had for some time. Preserving documentary 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 by releasing too much too soon. Sullivan's craziness forced DoJ's hand to some extent--to support the motion to dismiss with documentary evidence--but my guess is that they're still holding back evidence from public view.
What this reveals to us, however, is why Barr has spoken so frequently and so confidently about the lack of "predication", of a "basis," of a "foundation" for any of the Russia Hoax related investigations--and that also leads into the fake impeachment, as well. Don't suppose for a moment that Barr isn't looking at that farce from multiple angles. But for now we have this takeaway from the Strzok notes: We see clearly that Barr and Durham are building a strong conspiracy case, and these notes give us a glimpse of the evidence that they're assembling to prove the baseline element of a conspiracy: a clear and common intent among the conspirators. So, predication--this has always been about predication, first and foremost.
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. That we can count on.
Now let's continue our speculation by reviewing a transcript of a Fox and Friends interview from yesterday with Brett Tolman. I've already in the past cited Tolman's views on Bivens actions and the applicability of such an action to the Flynn case (among other cases). A Bivens action provides for monetary damages to persons whose constitutional rights have been deprived by the action of federal officials.
Any person who participated in the Russia Hoax conspiracy is a potential defendant in a Bivens action. Think about that.
That obviously would include all the FBI officials we named above. It would also include multiple officials at DoJ (Hello, Sally Yates!) and, especially, members of Team Mueller--including "Bob" himself. It could also include multiple White House officials--including those who pressured the FBI to take illegal actions against persons such as Michael Flynn. Are you listening, Obama?
We're talking here about the possibility of the mother of all Bivens actions, which is part of why I've always believed the Flynn case is so important--it leads to the heart of the Russia Hoax in a highly actionable way. The only thing I can think of that would hinder a Bivens action would be--simultaneous criminal prosecutions. But there's good news there, too, for any Bivens plaintiffs. Any material facts established in a criminal trial or plea agreement will be taken as proven in a Bivens action--which would greatly expedite matters.
Of course, everyone who's anyone in legal circles in DC knows all this. The possible scope of revelations from the combination of criminal prosecutions and Bivens actions is mind boggling--which explains why Dems appear to be currently intent on their own version of the Samson Option. It also explains the fear and loathing that Bill Barr generates.
Now, the Brett Tolman interview:
Q: Brian Kilmeade:
A: Brett Tolman:
Q: Newly unsealed notes by former FBI agent Peter Strzok now suggesting that former president Obama--and Joe Biden--weighed in on the Michael Flynn case with the Russian ambassador back in 2017 in the Oval Office. This is the handwritten note showed former FBI Director Jim Comey--get this--*downplaying* Flynn's call, saying they, quote, "appear legit," with Kislyak of Russia. So, could Flynn *sue* over malicious prosecution? And what *else* do we get from that conversation and those notes?
Here to discuss it, former federal prosecutor, former US Attorney for Utah, Brett Tolman. Brett, does Michael Flynn, first, have a legal case?
A: Well, he certainly does. I mean, that's why there is an action called a Bivens action, and that is to go after a federal investigator that violates someone's constitutional rights. That's specific for that occasion, and I hope that he [Flynn] is looking at it strongly.
Q: What do you take from these notes that Strzok produced? First off, on the Comey comment. The conversations "appear legit."
A: Well [laughs], that's the biggest reason why, now we know, that so much was withheld from General Flynn in the case. These weren't turned over when the investigation went forward, or the prosecution. So, now they discover it and they see that at the highest levels of the FBI they indicate that the calls were legitimate. That should concern *everyone* that they still, *somehow,* found a way to manipulate a case and bring it when they deemed his underlying action as legitimate.
Q: So, if Comey thinks it's legitimate, why would the investigation continue? You point to Headquarters at the FBI.
A: [Nods]. Yeah. McCabe saves this case from being dismissed. And why does he do it? Because there is an absolute effort--call it a collusion, a conspiracy, whatever you wanna say, that now we know goes as high as the vice president and the president--to not only withhold information about the investigation [from] the incoming president, but to go after an incoming president, through [his] incoming National Security Adviser, on an investigation that did not have a foundation to it. [I.e., no predication] *That was why* they withheld this, that's why they continued to prosecute him, because they were doing what they could to try and prevent Donald Trump from getting into the Oval Office.
Q: Brett, we also know that the first person to bring up the Logan Act appears to be the then vice president, Joe Biden. So he can't duck this issue. Number two is President Obama. He wonders if he should keep intelligence from the incoming administration! And one of the two things he gave, told, President Trump, President-Elect Trump, when he was touring around the White House was: North Korea's gonna be your number one problem and, number two, essentially, look out for Michael Flynn--he's trouble. Why do you think he said that?
A: Yeah, I mean, think about that! The vice president has now been caught in a lie--indicates he didn't know it, but he may have been the one who planted the seed of the Logan Act--and then you have the president of the United States, in a vital conversation with the incoming president, who seems to be tipping his hand at the fact that *something* is going on with General Flynn. Does he want President Trump to be concerned about it? Is he trying to protect the fact that they've already launched an investigation they're not gonna tell him about? It's concerning at that level, but it's concerning to *me* as a prosecutor that we would then see them utilize and manipulate FISA warrants, the Steele "dossier", and everything that they did in their power to try to take down a sitting president.
Q: While the Secretary of State's overseas, saying, 'The president is gonna get impea-'--former Secretary of State, John Kerry--'is gonna get impeached, don't worry about him.' Telling Iran, 'Hold on, we'll get a new, he's not gonna last four years. If he does he's gonna be gone.' Unbelievable, the undermining that took place.