Monday, August 10, 2020

K. T. McFarland On Who's In 'Big Trouble'

Former national security official K. T. McFarland went on Fox this morning with Sandra Smith, who interviewed McFarland about recent activity on the part of the GOP controlled Senate: Lindsey Graham's release of damning FBI notes that show the FBI misled the Senate Intelligence Committee and Ron Johnson's subpoenas to the FBI and Director Chris Wray. Along with the usual talk, McFarland made some important points that should help to maintain perspective as we hear about all the important players in the Russia Hoax getting a pass.

Smith first asks McFarland about the documents that Senator Ron Johnson has subpoenaed from the FBI (as well as Director Chris Wray). McFarland goes over the items that we've all heard about on the news--the documents that were turned over to the IG, the Crossfire Hurricane documents. Then she turns particular attention to a third category of documents, which I hadn't heard were subpoenaed:

But interestingly, he's also asked for all documents that the GSA--Government Services Agency, General Services Agency [sic, it's actually General Services Administration]--had collected during the transition into the Trump administration and asked for what documents were there. I mean, what documents were turned over to whom? Who was turning them over to the FBI? So when I'm looking at this for those three requests, I think some of this is indicating that they're also looking at the Mueller investigation. Not just at incompetence at the FBI or potential wrongdoing.

I've been maintaining exactly that, that AG Barr and John Durham are definitely focusing on Team Mueller from a number of angles. Recall: You can't investigate Crossfire Hurricane without also investigating Team Mueller, which was a continuation of Crossfire Hurricane. The same goes for the Flynn case.

Now, the GSA documents that McFarland is referring to were the very first group of documents that Team Mueller went after. It was a very controversial and aggressive move on Team Mueller's part, because these were documents of the Trump transition team, not the Trump administration, and GSA simply turned them over to Team Mueller without informing the Trump administration. It was a typical Andrew Weissmann and inside the DC establishment move. One angle that Durham could be looking at might be whether Weissmann, in demanding these documents from the (all too willing to cooperate) GSA, may have misrepresented his official authority to obtain those documents without process or notification to the persons and the entity that created those documents.

In my opinion, the fact that the Senate is looking at this event does, indeed, mean that they're looking at Team Mueller. But I think you can take this to the bank as well: The Senate wouldn't be doing this unless they knew that Barr and Durham had already done so.

McFarland continues:

In any event, I think Christopher Wray is in big trouble. Because, Sandra, he did one of three things. He either knew what was going on in the FBI and he uncovered it--and he kept it covered, y'know, cover it up. He, secondly, didn't want to know, and so he's just sort of, 'Don't tell me about it, I don't wanna know.' Or, he's just completely incompetent. I mean, either way, all three of those are pretty bad indictments against the current FBI director.

Assuming Trump is reelected--Wray is unceromoniously fired. My opinion.

Sandra then pivots to disgraced former FBI Director, James Comey, noting that McFarland also thinks that Comey is in 'big trouble'. McFarland responds:

Yeah, because, not just particularly with this subpoena that you just referred to, but it's the testimony that's happened in the last couple of weeks. So you had Sally Yates saying last week, 'Well, the FBI Director, Jim Comey, he went rogue--I didn't know what he was doing.' And then Rod Rosenstein, who testified a couple of weeks ago, he was the Attorney General, acting Attorney General, he said, 'I didn't know anything about it, I would never have signed those requests coming from the FBI if I knew now what I knew then [sic].' And so Comey has a lot to answer for. Either he was rogue and he was running a rogue operation in the FBI--Comey, McCabe, and his senior officials--or he's being set up to take the fall, if in fact it was not a rogue operation, if it has origins that were higher up.
And the other thing, Sandra, to remember, is that Susan Rice wrote herself a memo for the record on Inauguration Day, saying, 'President Obama wants everything done exactly by the book.' So, in other words, 'Jim Comey, if he does something that's not by the books, it's not on us!'

If you watch the video, you can tell from McFarland's body language that she doesn't necessarily believe Yates and Rosenstein, but whether they're telling the truth isn't the real issue. The point is simply that nobody's going to bat for Jim Comey, nobody's arguing--as Chris Swecker recently did--that, gosh, it's so hard to prove intent. They'd all be happy to have Comey take the fall. And, in fact, if he turns out to be the fall guy he'll certainly have earned the distinction. But I think Durham's looking at others, too.

The interview ends up with some general remarks riffing off Lindsey Graham's call for people at the FBI--or who were formerly at the FBI--to go down. IMO, McFarland's remarks here will resonate with any jury, and that dirty cops will receive no sympathy:

Now what we're finding out, whether they lied to the FISA court, whether they lied to Senator Graham, whether they lied to even President Trump, or that they lied to the American people--there were documents being falsified, there were people who were lying, senior officials of the FBI. And I think Lindsey Graham is saying, 'I wanna get to the bottom of it.' These are actual crimes. This is not just leaks to the media. These are actual crimes where people knowingly lied to other government officials and to people.


  1. I commented earlier on your what Comey could offer in a deal post that I would bet Comey did a better job of backing up his version of events with contemporaneous evidence than Mueller did. That goes double for Rice and Yates....

  2. "mean that they're looking at Team Trump".
    I presume that you intended "mean that they're looking at Team MUELLER."

    On how A.W. "misrepresented his official authority to obtain those documents", why isn't the brass at GSA required to consult Counsel, before caving to such demands?

    1. Thanks--got it!

      That was the legal quarrel, but Team Trump was anxious at the time to avoid the appearance of hiding anything.

  3. The GSA thing is even worse than described: Trump WH Counsel had worked out an arrangement with Mueller, based on Mueller promise that the investigation would be over in "a few months" if Trump officials cooperated and turned over requested documents, instead stonewalling Mueller's requests. Trump WH agreed to this, based on Mueller promise to get the investigation over and done quickly (he lied.) Despite this agreement, Mueller goons (Weissmann?) went behind the backs of Trump WH and obtained the GSA transition records without even asking Trump WH for them.

    The other issue, as I recall, is the law is fairly clear that the transition records belong to the transition team, not GSA. IOW, it wasn't GSA information to release without the WH being notified and agreeing to it, absent a subpoena (which Mueller did not have.)

    The reasons for this dirty trick are fairly obvious: SCO, possessing transition records without WH knowledge, could ask questions of various transition officials and compare answers to the records, without the witnesses knowing, a perfect setup for a perjury trap if the witness has the slightest memory glitch!

  4. There would be a certain poetry in having Jim Comey watch his Netflix series from a prison cell.

  5. At The Blogmire a commenter named Liane Theuer provides the following list of Igor Danchenko's subsources:

    Sub-source 1 = still unknown.
    Sub-source 2 = Ivan Vorontsov
    Sub-source 3 = Olga Galkina
    Sub-source 4 = Ivan Ivanovich Kurilla
    Sub-source 5 = Lyudmila Podobedova
    Sub-source 6 = Sergei Millian

    Ivan Vorontsov is founder and editor-in-chief of the media „Banks and Finance“, which spreads its news on Facebook. Apart from that he collects and trades coins. Vorontsov „often tries to monetize his relationship with Danchenko“.

    Olga Galkina, is a former press Secretary of Alexei Gubarev, with whom she is/was in a legal dispute. She told Danchenko about Michael Cohen in Prague and Carter Page meeting with Igor Divyekin (both not true). Danchenko described Galkina as „my friend who knows someone in the Kremlin with access to Sergey Ivanov“.

    Ivan Ivanovich Kurilla, is a historian and professor at the European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Political Science and Sociology, Faculty Member. He is also Academic Director at IMARES EUSOb, Russia. Kurilla teaches US-Russian relations. In 2012–2013 Kurilla was Visiting Scholar, Institute of European, Russian and EurasianStudies, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. This is when he became friend with Danchenko. PSS and Kurilla „drink heavily together“ when they meet each other. This is where media´s remarks about „bar talk“ comes from.

    Lyudmila Podobedova, is a PR consultant in the oil, gas, and garbage industry. She was the source for the Carter Page-Sechin meeting and fingered Sechin as having offered Carter Page a bribe (both disproven). At the same time she was being sued by Sechin for libel because of articles she wrote about him.

    Sergei Millian, is from Belarus but has US citizenship. He is the head of the US-Russian Chamber of Commerce.

  6. So if Comey is being set up as the de facto fall guy, what’s to stop him from implicating all the rest of the crowd, I.e. taking all the others down with him?

    Snowball effect in effect.

    1. Unless he expects a Biden win, and fears thus being fitted with a cement overcoat.

  7. If you missed Trump's press conference this afternoon, he once again responded that there would soon be news on the treasonous acts carried out by the previous administration.

    It seems hard to believe he would keep dangling this carrot without knowing something the rest of us don't know...


  8. I think Mueller is fairly safe. His dementia is on about the same level as Biden's.