Saturday, July 18, 2020

When Strzok Knew There Was No 'There' There

When the Team Mueller witchhunt was formally ramped up by Rod Rosenstein, in mid-May, 2017, disgraced former FBI official Peter Strzok famously anguished over whether to join the witchhunt, texting to another disgraced former FBI official, Lisa Page: We both know there's probably no 'there' there. Meaning, of course: No collusion.

We now know for sure, thanks to the stage managed revelation (by DoJ through Senator Graham) of Strzok's notes critiquing the NYT coverage, that Strzok--and presumably everyone else in his FBI orbit--had come to that conclusion no later than mid-February, 2017. Well before Team Mueller was set up.

Who else thinks Rod Rosenstein has a LOT to answer for? The reason he has a lot to answer for is in plain sight for anyone who reads Strzok's notes. Rosenstein claimed that the witchhunt was simply a continuation of Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation of "four Americans" associated with the Trump campaign that the FBI ginned up in summer of 2016. But Strzok makes it clear that not only was Trump himself clear of such claims, but so, too, were all Trump associates. Even Politico gets that--or has been forced to admit that--finally. With the Carter Page FISA still running--and yet to be renewed two more times!--Strzok wrote re claims being pushed by the NYT:

“We have not seen evidence of any officials associated with the Trump team in contact with IOs [intelligence officers]. We are unaware of ANY Trump advisors engaging in conversations with Russian intelligence officials.”

In other words, the stuff being peddled as investigative gold by the NYT was, in fact, the purest propagandistic horsesh*t.

Here's how Politico soft peddles Strzok's quite categorical statements:

The documents suggest that even as press reports began to describe connections between Americans in Trump’s orbit and figures in Russia’s shadowy intelligence services, the FBI had gathered little, if any, evidence that such ties existed.

"Suggest." As if one needs to somehow parse Strzok's words to ascertain just what he might be trying to say. Instead, Politico tries to staunch the mortal wound that Strzok's notes are to the Russia Hoax by blaming ... The Orange Man:

Trump supercharged the investigation, however, in May 2017 when he abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey and invited senior Russian officials to the Oval Office. Comey went on to provide internal notes, through an intermediary, to The New York Times that described his growing concerns about Trump’s posture toward the Russia probe. Days later, the Justice Department appointed Mueller to take over the Russia investigation, which continued for two more years.

Problem: Rosenstein appointed Mueller to "take over [a] Russian investigation" which Strzok himself had admitted months previously in categorical terms had no predication. How does firing the FBI Director--based on a justificatory memo that Rosenstein himself wrote--justify continuing an investigation that had no predication? Does the President of the United States inviting with "senior Russian officials" to the Oval Office justify opening an investigation? Rosenstein nowhere suggests that as a basis for any investigation, but for the sake of argument, exactly how would one articulate that as predication for an investigation? It doesn't pass the laugh test.

This, now, is what the NeverTrumps are reduced to.


  1. As Lenin is supposed to have said, "Probe with bayonets. If you meet mush, advance. If you meet steel, retreat."

    So far, the bayonets have met only mush: not only in the coup participants' attempt to overthrow the legitimately elected president, but in the barbarians' war to discredit and destroy Western civilization.

    After all we have seen, if we do nothing then we will deserve our fate. The coup participants must be punished. The barbarians must be rejected, defeated, and forced to surrender publicly and unconditionally.

    1. Dem local officials have not been held accountable by their voters, as they have had the police stand down and allowed the rioting. I don't think today's revolutionaries have the stuff of Bolsheviks in them.

    2. Lenin had the "people" on his side against a monarchist leader with a military comprised of serfs who sympathized with the people. A much different scenario than what is currently transpiring here in the USA where the majority stand for law and order; and capitalism. There is no downtrodden class as in Russia, but plenty of college indoctrinated fascists who are too few in number to defeat law enforcement.


    3. "college indoctrinated fascists who are *too few* in number to defeat law enforcement".
      Unless the cops go Fetal, in response to the Elites' drive to sabotage such law enforcement.

    4. @Mark W. hence today's revolutionaries "mush" vs. "steel"?

    5. @DJL; today's version of "Lenin's people" is actually the "MSM" IMO.

  2. Slowly the conspirators - and they are that - are being exposed as more documents see the light of day. Why did it take so long for these documents to be shown to the public? Who - what person or persons - was responsible for withholding this evidence? What penalty will they pay, if any? Why was this evidence not shown to the public by Mueller? He had it all and then some.

    There had better be a reckoning; and soon.


  3. "Dem local officials have not been held accountable by their voters".
    And won't be, as long as Dems let MSM/ Higher Ed Lefties run their party.
    This will pertain, until major events hugely discredits these Lefties.

    Such events could include mega busts by Durham (incl. of MSM brats), & by Barr (incl. of local wheels like Madigan, FatAss, Cuomo, ....);
    and, major intellectuals following-up on the (weak) start which recently appeared in Harper's.
    For analyses of how weak that letter was, see C. Black, at ;
    Lomez, at;
    and even (in a way) Taibbi, at .

  4. Also, readers' comments at , particularly by Stuytown:
    "In the lead up to the elections in 2016, we heard report after report, about how there could be rioting in the streets, if Donald Trump did not win. Yet, Donald Trump did win —and, still, there WAS rioting in the streets...."

  5. "the purest propagandistic horsesh*t."

    Thanks, I needed that :)

    1. Hopefully Durham will soon be saying that to a jury.

  6. While it's true Dem local officials haven't been held accountable--they will likely get it good and hard--because as it stands, there is no longer any reason to live in any large city.

    More Detroits are on the horizon. Most people will be forced into some kind of telecommuting, business real estate footprints will be reduced--there will be less dense living and working, not more.

    NYC is killing itself. There's no tourism, and no reason for tourism. All the reasons for the wealthy with choices to live here are gone--restaurants, Broadway theatre, Lincoln Center symphony, ballet, opera, etc., sporting events, concerts are dark. All which means real estate, hospitality, airlines will shrink. SF. LA, Chicago, et al., are no different in that regard. (And all the associated jobs, i.e. especially low skilled immigrant labor in hotels and restaurants.)

    And just wait to see the govt employee layoffs that will follow the dramatic--and continuing reduction in sales and income taxes.

    No Dem local politicians haven't paid a price--just wait until the consequences pile up to see the damage they've done.

    And if people were working, few would be in the streets rioting, looting, and shooting.

    1. Makes total sense to me. I guess what they're doing to themselves is why they call it Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    2. I understand completely the concerns over the possibility of a Biden win, especially if coupled with a Dem takeover of the Senate and a hold of the House.

      But if this occurs it seems to me highly unlikely that 60+ million Trump voters will simply go quietly into the night, especially in light of the Dem-condoned wreckage of the country Forbes outlines above.

  7. Mark --

    I've been doing some follow up reading today on the question we touched on a day or two ago regarding John Brennan's role in Obamagate.

    There is no question that Brennan played an important part in the overall conspiracy, but recent evidentiary disclosures have focused more on FISA abuses (the fact that the Dossier was known to be worthless and yet it continued to be used to obtain FISA renewals) and prosecutory abuses (continuing disclosures of Comey team and Mueller team abuses in prosecuting General Flynn).

    But those of us who have been following this story since the first hints of a conspiracy to destroy Trump surfaced know that John Brennan also played a huge role in the conspiracy.

    So I've spent a good part of the day re-researching Brennan's role. The most interesting comprehensive analysis I've come up with is a 7-part article written by a guy named Ashton Gray, whose writing does not seem to have attracted much comment and about whom I can find out very little.

    His article is titled "CIA Crimes: How John Brennan Weaponized the CIA and FBI, and Conspired with Russia and Harry Reid to Frame Trump" and was published online between August 2018 and October 2019. If I saw it when it was first published I had forgotten it.

    The article is extremely detailed and well documented and has one of the best timelines of the period March through July 2016 I've seen, exposing many of the not-so-coincidental-coincidences that are part of the conspiracy. I don't necessarily agree with every conclusion Gray draws but there is much that makes a lot of sense to me.

    (In particular, Gray finds the hiring of Carter Page and George Papadopoulos (as well as the hiring of General Flynn and Paul Manafort) by Sam Clovis to be 'of interest' as you might remember I have argued. Another interesting theory Gray posits is that the tarmac meeting was in order for Lynch to hand deliver a copy of the Steele Dossier to Bill Clinton. I had always assumed that Clinton was trying to give something (advice? a warning?) to Lynch.)

    But after bringing the incredibly detailed narrative down to July abruptly stops. No explanation given. Very interesting. Here's a link:

    I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.


    1. Brennan was instrumental in getting the Russia Hoax up and running, using his contacts with overseas assets and services. Once that was accomplished, the FBI could takeover--although with a notable boost from the ICA. The FBI defense might have been, even, that they were hoodwinked by the CIA. However, Durham has gutted that defense, thanks to Strzok's notetaking.

      The reason we're hearing so much about FISA and prosecutive abuses is probably twofold:

      1) These are the avenues for showing that the FBI ultimately owns the Russia Hoax on its own--whether or not they were initially deceived by Brennan to some extent, the abuses of FISA even after they knew about Steele's lying use of the "subsource" gives the FBI full ownership.

      2) Because FISA and prosecutorial abuse relates, ultimately, to Mueller. Barr fully understands that, for all the bad things that were done, none of it would ultimately really matter BUT FOR Team Mueller. Team Mueller adopted the FISA abuses and doubled down with the prosecutorial abuse--doubled down in the sense of putting the big picture conspiracy on steroids. Team Mueller is what ultimately did the most harm to the country--thanks, RR! Barr knows all this and understands that, difficult as the Team Mueller target may be, he has to go for it. If he can't prosecute he still has to discredit.

      I have read Ashton Gray in the past--I was turned onto him by Mike Sylwester. Re the hiring of Carter Page and Papadopoulos being "of interest," I would also add--especially--Paul Manafort's hiring should be of interest. It's almost as if someone was trying to get certain people--people who could be relatively easily compromised in the MSM as Russian agents--close to Trump. I've speculated on that in the past and am surprised we still haven't heard much about it. I doubt that has escaped Durham and Barr.

      I'll check the link out.

    2. I've been reading the Ashton Gray blog. It all makes sense, but one thing gives me pause...

      he states that Micheal Flynn was part of the deep state attempt to take down Trump. That certainly adds a level of confusion, if accurate.

    3. @Anonymous

      Thanks for the link to the Chalet article about Flynn written by someone named David Reznor…like Gray, also hardly a household name. He writes (and remember this was written in 2018):

      “Whether Flynn was a witting operative for the Deep State—which he had been an important part of as Director of the US Defense Intelligence Service—or whether he was used, unwittingly, as a piece in the game by his former associates to ensnare Trump as candidate, and then President Elect, is impossible to say, but the weight of the evidence we have accumulated militates toward a conclusion that Flynn was, to some degree, a willing participant.”

      Yes, Gray's assertions about Flynn are puzzling...especially since Gray's timeline and analysis ends abruptly at the end of July 2016...and he never gets to what we have learned subsequently about the framing of Flynn by Comey/FBI, the Flynn prosecution, and Sidney Powell's work.

      Gray asserts that Page and Papadopoulos were essentially 'plants' who were then used by Brennan et al (Mifusd, Halper and Downer) to create the phony Russia Hoax. So far so good...plausible (to me at least), notwithstanding Page and Papadopoulos' subsequent protestations of innocence.

      Gray proposes that the same is true of Manafort and Flynn but he never makes the case in chapter and verse. So far as I can tell, his 7-part article never gets there.

      I can imagine that Manafort and Flynn were also ‘recruited’ to the campaign by Brennan et al in order to ultimately use them to ‘ensnare’ Trump but if this is the case Manafort and Flynn certainly appear to have paid an exceedingly high price. Is it possible Brennan has betrayed them? It certainly appears that Brennan 'used' Carter Page for example...Or is it more likely that Gray is simply wrong about Manafort and Flynn...

      I could argue that Flynn’s behavior up to and including his decision to plead guilty is not inconsistent with his participation in a convoluted CIA scam/hoax to wreck Trump…with Flynn agreeing to cooperate with the conspirators and getting off with a sentence that was a slap on the wrist. And perhaps getting paid a substantial amount of money? But then he reverses course 180 degrees, hires Powell and drops his plea…

      I would note that Carter Page and George Papadopoulos have had similar epiphanies and are now vocal critics of the Deep State…which they once (it would appear) worked for? What’s going on? A ‘limited hang out’? Or a religious conversion…

      I wonder what Donald this point... really thinks…

    4. It's puzzling because Flynn was head of DIA, who "knows where all the bodies are buried". Apparently they were all afraid of him, and therefore needed to sideline him.

      Being head of DIA, with a 30 year career, one would think he would have a huge network of operatives or colleagues who he could use to get information about what was going on, even after he was indicted, and perhaps then turn the tables.

      If he really knew where the bodies were buried, that implies he would have information that would damage some of these coupsters. And yet, as far as we know, he did nothing.

      Even the whole bit about falling for the "friendly interview" doesn't make sense for a man in his experience and position. One would think he would have known who he was dealing with (Obama's people), and would therefore have been cautious.

      Seems like there's more hidden stuff that hasn't come out about him.

    5. @Anonymous

      At the end of the day (which is to say after nearly four years), I still have more questions than answers about how Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort ended up "advising" Donald Trump.

  8. Holy Cow!

    Shipwreckedcrew thinks Strzok is cooperating.

    He describes him as the "bridge" between Brennan's off book set-up of the Russia Collusion hoax, and Crossfire Hurricane.

    >> <<

    1. Nothing surprises me less. He has much to gain and will get totally hammered if he doesn't. I assume that these docs were withheld for precisely the reason that he was cooperating and Durham didn't want to give away to others what he knew Strzok had said. The extra value of Strzok's cooperation may come if my previously expressed surmise proves correct--that Strzok helped the top three (Brennan, Clapper, Comey) liaise.

    2. OK, I see shipwreckedcrew agrees with me on my surmise:

      "[Strzok is] the bridge between Brennan's off-the-books CIA operation overseas, and CH at the FBI."

      Except that, based on a text, I suspect Strzok also was a bridge between Clapper and Comey at some point.

    3. If Strzok flipped, there are some very big fish who are about to get fried ....

    4. I've assumed he would. 1) he's been so quiet, 2) he has so much to lose--his bad behavior is so well documented. That's why I didn't include him on my list of top targets for Durham.

    5. Cassander wrote:

      >> Another interesting theory Gray posits is that the tarmac meeting was in order for Lynch to hand deliver a copy of the Steele Dossier to Bill Clinton. I had always assumed that Clinton was trying to give something (advice? a warning?) to Lynch.) <<

      The timeline doesn't make sense.

      Tarmac Meeting was on 27 June, but Steele did not even start to share his Collusion info with FBI until his first meeting with his handler on 5 July. There's no documented way for Steele's hogwash to have been shared with Lynch to "share with Bubba" more than a week before he shared it with the FBI for the first time.

      Also, since Hillary is already the end client for Steele's reports, what possible reason is there for Lynch to share it with Bubba? It's duplicative, even if she did have access to it, and there's no evidence she did prior to the tarmac meeting.

    6. @EZ

      Gray addresses your timeline doubts.

    7. The fate of the republic may well depend, on whether Strzok (or someone of his rank) sings.
      If the only squealers are from beneath his rank, Durham's road figures to be quite rough.

    8. The optimistic aspect here is that, if he's not singing, it'd behoove him to make that known in Made Circles, to forestall them from teeing off against him/ family.
      So, until we get reason to bet that he's somehow passed that word, I'll bet that he's not done such, and that he is singing.

    9. To paraphrase Churchill (about the RAF), "never have so many depended so much on so few".

    10. from the article (part f)

      "By … Monday, 27 June 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, CIA Director John Brennan, Greg Vogle—director of the CIA’s dirty National Clandestine Service—and FBI Director James Comey all had copies of the first “dossier” memo from Christopher Steele, which contained the “golden showers” filth about Donald Trump, and which had been written one week earlier, on Monday, 20 June 2016."

      "ALL of this crap from CIA mouthpieces David Corn, Michael Isikoff, Glenn Simpson, and Christopher Steel, ALL the made-up garbage fiction about Michael Gaeta “turning white” on Tuesday, 5 July 2016 in London, ALL the CIA-generated sewage about Strzok not having gotten the dossier memos for “weeks” after that date, ALL the impossible contradictions—ALL of it is to accomplish one thing, and one thing only: to create a completely fictional “reality” to hide the fact that by no later than Monday, 27 June 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, CIA Director John Brennan, Greg Vogle—director of the CIA’s dirty National Clandestine Service—and FBI Director James Comey all had copies of the first “dossier” memo from Christopher Steele..."

    11. Yup. FWIW, this is where Gray explains his theory that Lynch gives a hard copy of the dossier to Bill Clinton on the tarmac.

      I believe Gray's theory is that Steele had couriered it to Nellie Ohr, who gave it to Bruce, who gave it to Loretta Lynch, who gives it to Bill.

    12. Too much speculation for me.

    13. Shouldn't Occam's Razor apply at some point?

      The context of the tarmac meeting was the email investigation, and didn't Comey give his "extremely careless" press conference shortly after?

      It seems obvious that Clinton was giving marching orders to Lynch. She was to publicly defer to Comey's judgment; Comey would make the "no reasonable prosecutor" announcement.

    14. @mistcr

      If the horse isn't already dead, I'll kill it with this post.

      I too have believed for a long time that Bill hopped on Loretta's plane to squeeze her...most likely, I thought, as you might, to remind Loretta to just let Comey handle the Hillary email exoneration and not mess it up. And maybe to make a few 'promises' about the potential rewards (a Supreme Court nomination?) for her loyalty.

      Of course, the public does not yet know what happened on the plane.

      But I no longer believe the purpose of the meeting was to strong arm or bribe Loretta.

      Here's why.

      1. The meeting could not have been accidental or coincidental. Bill didn't just serendipitously discover that Loretta's plane was a few feet away from his in the 110 degree heat on the tarmac. As Mark has said a couple times recently (in a different context), "it just doesn't work that way". Passengers on one plane don't just discover that someone they might want to talk to is on another plane, and simply open the door and walk over to the other plane and get on board. Even former presidents of the United States.

      *It had to be pre-arranged*.

      It had to be.

      2. There was no reason for Clinton to get in Loretta's face to threaten her. While I have wondered (here and elsewhere) how committed Loretta was to the conspiracy, I have no doubt that she was 100% on the team. Comey's exoneration was pre-baked and everyone in the game was all in. Does anyone in their right mind remotely believe that Comey made his announcement without talking to the Justice Department beforehand (as he claimed)? Does anyone in their right mind remotely think Loretta was going to put her hand up after Comey's press conference and say that she was shocked that he had usurped the prosecutor's authority in exonerating Hillary...and that she was going to file charges? That could never have happened.

      3. No, as I have suggested recently, the pre-arranged face to face had to be a face to face because Loretta made a hand delivery to Bill. I admit I had never thought of this possibility until reading Ashton Gray over the weekend. Gray posits that Loretta handed Bill a copy of the Steele Dossier.

      4. Some have pooh-poohed this theory because, presumably, why would Bill need a hard copy of the Dossier his wife had paid for and why couldn't Steele have just emailed him a copy. This is a good question but it seems to me not unlikely that the conspirators would be reluctant to use electronic communications to transmit the phony dossier.

      5. It has also been suggested that Gray's theory is too speculative. I guess I'm just not willing to reject anything as too 'speculative' at this point given the extraordinary nature of the conspiracy and the events we have already discovered. Is it too hard to imagine that Steele sent a copy of the Dossier to Nellie Ohr and she passed it over to Bruce who gave it to his boss, Loretta? Not for me. And Loretta arranged to hand a copy of the Dossier (and who knows what else?) to Bill on the tarmac?

      Preposterous? Well, so is the idea that the sitting President of the United States would criminally conspire with the heads of the nation's intelligence, investigative, police and prosecutorial agencies to defeat the candidate of the opposing party.

    15. #1 is a given

      #2 is more complex
      I think most knew that Hillary would skate one way or another, but that doesn't mean they had a plan.

      Remember, in those ancient days people cared about appearances and reputations. So, the logical argument is that Bill was informing her of a plan that would allow her the appearance of propriety.

  9. corrected link : >> <<

  10. The real interesting thing would be to find out what Strzok has to say about how he went from his supposed skepticism in the released notes to full on participant. He also got things going originally with his email to himself authorizing his own investigation. So presumably he had some buy in early on.

  11. between reading most of Strzok's text correspondence with Page, and seeing how strident he was in his congressional testimony, he seems like the type that confuses, at some deep level, what's in his personal interest with what's 'right' in a moral and ethical sense. I'd guess he believes this switch at some deep level. In that case, what's clearly in his interest now is to cooperate and avoid being the rogue fall guy. Also, and probably more importantly, isn't he still married? If so, who do you think is calling ALL the shots in that household?

    1. -->the type that confuses, at some deep level, what's in his personal interest with what's 'right' in a moral and ethical sense<--

      It doesn't have to be deep at all. People innately, instinctively do what's in their own best (personal) interest, i.e. survival (at the moment) at any cost.

      Moral and ethical considerations will always take a back seat--if they're considered at all. If moral and ethical considerations were commonplace, then stories, like that of Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's "A Man For All Seasons" wouldn't strike a cord, and would be superfluous.

      For the mind troubled with inconsistency in ethics and morals, the "switch" is simply what's in his best interest (and convenient) at the moment, e.g., his job with the FBI (for the present), his standing with his FBI superiors (for the future), his desire to shield his or others' perfidy, to develop an adversarial persona for future use or compromise, et al. There are many future/forward time considerations that serve to aid or conflict with ethical behavior when situationally specific flexibility comes into play.

      Unlike Sir Thomas More, most people will not sacrifice their life for their principles.

  12. @ Forbes

    "For the mind troubled with inconsistency in ethics and morals, the "switch" is simply what's in his best interest (and convenient) at the moment, e.g., his job with the FBI (for the present), his standing with his FBI superiors (for the future), his desire to shield his or others' perfidy, to develop an adversarial persona for future use or compromise, et al."

    Was Strzok motivated by moral considerations or personal self interest when Lisa Page asked him "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!", and he answered: "No. No he won't. We'll stop it."

    I have observed here, in discussions about John Brennan, that I don't buy his personal animus for Donald Trump as a motivating factor one bit. I don't believe a person can spend a career in the CIA (of all places) and end up running it and even have a conscience at the end, let alone principles, moral qualms or personal animus.

    And so I highly doubt Peter Strzok did.

  13. Likewise I (like Codevilla) don't believe that someone very high up in these bureaucracies (e.g. Fauci) for decades, stays that high without making his peace with the DS.


  14. bottom line is money- people generally have no idea how much spoils go to the victor, if the victor wants to take all they can get. Remember when Eric Holder as AG was threatening large corps with civil rights suits and then settling them when they made donations to private 'causes' that were 'acceptable' to that administration? That netted $6B in funds they controlled. Just billions upon billions for the unscrupulous to be the party in office. If you want to see Faucci's personality on full display, google the msgs he sent Podesta sycophanting (to coin a verb) HRC, when he thought she was going to win).

  15. Have a look here, Mark. These internet sleuths have tracked down the PSS' identity, and the evidence is conclusive.

    Charlez Z