Thursday, August 6, 2020

Sally Talks To The Senate--What Was That About?

Sally Yates performed pretty much as expected--and I use the word 'peformed' advisedly. She was putting on a show, reprising all the worn out and discredited Russia Hoax talking points, smearing once again people who did nothing wrong but were framed by the DoJ and the FBI for political purposes.

How did the GOP senators do? Josh Hawley--a very smart lawyer but without prosecutorial experience--got high marks for aggressively challenging Yates' non-credible denials that she knew, well, anything.

Lindsey Graham, on the other hand, has had extensive prosecutorial experience and has demonstrated that he's an adept cross examiner when he wants to be. After rewatching a portion of his questioning it strikes me that we need to ask ourselves exactly what Graham--as, in my view, the lead questioner--was trying to accomplish.

I have in the past suggested, repeatedly, that Graham coordinates his committee's activities with regard to the Russia Hoax with AG Bil Barr. In other words, Graham makes sure that he does nothing that might involve stepping on John Durham's toes in any way. And that means that Graham calls no witnesses until he gets a go ahead from Barr and Durham.

From this standpoint, what would be the purpose of these witness inteviews and, in particular, the Yates interview. Obviously it satisfies the senatorial need for a certain amount of grandstanding for their constituents. Beyond that, I suggest the serious purposes are strictly limited--no one should expect any witness before the senate to break down and abjectly admit to criminal wrongdoing. That happens in movies or on TV, and it may happen in plea negotiations, but Graham's goal in questioning Yates yesterday were likely more modest and closely circumscribed after consultation with Barr. Those purposes may well have been achieved in Graham's questioning.

What Graham was able do was to lock Yates in to a handful of fundamental admissions: She accepts the findings of the Horowitz report and would never have signed the Carter Page FISA application if she had known then what she admits now: that it was a fraud on the FISC.

At this point we don't know what Durham and Barr may have in mind for Sally Yates, but one thing I think we can be sure of: If she is at risk of prosecution it will almost certainly be with regard to the Carter Page FISA--more so than the Flynn case. By locking Yates in, under oath, to the position that she signed a fraudulent FISA application, Graham ensures that if Yates ever takes the stand in a court she will be left with only one defense: that she signed the Carter Page FISA application in good faith. Working against that defense could be other witnesses who may have already cooperated with Durham: James Baker, Trisha Anderson (who has testified in the past that Yates read the FISA application "line by line"), and even Andrew McCabe, who might take exception to being left holding the bag by himself.

All of these witnesses--and quite possibly more--may be in a position to testify that, contrary to Yates's claims of ignorance, Yates was intimately involved in vetting an application that she has now admitted was fraudulent. It's true that Yates probably has going for her the presumed fact that she was not aware of the results of the Danchenko interview (Yates was fired on January 30, 2017). That, however, is by no means a complete defense for someone who signed a document that claims to have been verified and factual to the best of the signer's knowledge. Not if she was as intimately involved in the process as these other witnesses likely will be able to say that she was.

That doesn't necessarily mean Yates will be prosecuted. Durham may, for example, hold prosecution over her as a threat to induce Yates to provide other relevant testimony. If so, Graham's question may have served a purpose.

Now, watch this brief clip of Graham questioning Yates. Note that, without raising his voice, he boxes Yates in to the position that he wants her in, and she wants to avoid. Note also the expression on Devin Nunes' face at the end of the video segment--he seems to understand what's going on. Start at 6:50:


  1. so this entire show-hearing is a coordinated "lying to Congress" trap.

    I can live with that.

  2. Lindsey Graham is persuading the public that DOJ/FBI acted in good faith until Danchenko was interviewed. Then, after Danchenko was interviewed, DOJ/FBI should not have renewed the FISA warrant against Carter Page.

    Elite opinion will go along with Graham's conclusion. Mistakes were made. Some officials deserve reprimands. Training should be improved. The worst culprits are gone from DOJ/FBI. The matter has been dealt with sufficiently.

    For more to happen, John Durham will have to produce new, compelling evidence of deliberate plotting against Trump.

    1. @ Mike

      "For more to happen, John Durham will have to produce new, compelling evidence of deliberate plotting against Trump."

      Which Trump says, if you can believe the hyperbole, is coming.

  3. It is a sad commentary when two of the best "political" reporters at Fox work for Fox Business; Bartiromo and McDonald.


  4. Suppose that Durham proves that Joseph Mifsud was working for CIA (perhaps indirectly, through some other Western Intelligence agency) and that Mifsud was tasked to set up George Papadopoulos to be framed.

    If so, then Durham still would have to prove that anybody at DOJ/FBI knew that Papadopoulos thus had been framed.

    Meanwhile, CIA will provide some plausible reason for tasking Mifsud to talk with Papadopoulos.

    DOJ/FBI will say that, in good faith, it investigated the possibility that Russian Intelligence intended to collude with someone on Trump's staff to use stolen computer files for an October Surprise against Hillary Clinton.

    DOJ/FBI will say further that DOJ/FBI kept its own investigation very secret and that all the leaks came from Senator Harry Reid, from Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele, etc. -- and that the FBI fired Steele for leaking.

    I think we will have to be satisfied with just some more explanations of what happened.

    1. Mike, that's a good explanation of why Durham's investigation has lasted a bit longer than, say, a month or so. OTOH, the hope is to jam someone up on a much easier to prove charge, then leverage that to get evidence re the harder to prove charges. It takes time.

    2. One big gap in the story is the arrangement of the conversation between Papadopoulos and Mifsud. Who arranged that conversation and why?

      I expect that the CIA will provide some plausible explanation that does not have anything to do with Russia. The CIA will say that the CIA wanted to learn something from Papadopoulos about petroleum dealings in the Eastern Mediterranean. And in the course of that conversation, Papadopoulos himself brought up the subject of Russia perhaps having Clinton's e-mails. And Durham will not get any more than that.

      The $10,000 cash given to Papadopoulos and his subsequent arrest at Dulles Airport will be explained away too. Papadopoulos will get an apology and monetary compensation.

      And DOJ/FBI had to mistreat Papadopoulos because the Special Counsel told DOJ/FBI to do it. And Congress has to share the blame for creating the Special Counsel.

      I think that Barr and Durham are doing the most they can do. That might be just some more explanations of what happened.

      There will be a truce. Elite opinion will stop insinuating that Trump is a stooge of Russian Intelligence, and the talk about "the Deep State" will be dismissed too.

      A truce should have been done right after the 2016 election. Let Trump be the President, and don't prosecute the Clintons.

    3. While I believe that we can look forward to some meaningful indictments, we also have to acknowledge the fact that the system is rigged to permit quite a lot of corruption.

      It's possible that we will not be fully satisfied with the outcome of Durham's investigation, even when you factor in an assumption that Obama and Biden will suffer no worse than momentary reputational smears.

    4. Put another way, what you (Mark) & Mike Sylvester are saying is that, in essence, they're all going to get away with it. Reprimands? Early retirement? Lateral moves! Explanations of what happened?

      If that's all that comes of the endless wrangling over this coup attempt, I'll feel like a sap.

      It's getting to the point where I'm starting to think that if I want any of these infinitely corrupt agencies, FBI, CIA, DOJ, to be "reformed" I'm going to have to sign on with Antifa.

    5. nor am I, FWIW.

      But...assuming, for instance, that they can prove that the ICA was a's plausible that the FBI folks will be able to argue that they were duped, when we are pretty sure that they were actually complicit.

      This is where the rumored guilty pleas will be critical for firming up harder-to-prove aspects of the case.

    6. Titan, I presume that your reference to antiFa is facetious.

      Mike, the truce you refer to won't be remotely acceptable to folks on the Right, save for maybe some GOPe.
      What's more likely, Deplorables standing for that result, or many millions of them opting for secession or some such?

    7. aNanyMouse, facetious for sure. Antifa is a terrorist organization.

  5. Nothing can be done about Sally Yates and her ilk. She can and will continue to tell her story about Michael Flynn being vulnerable to Russian blackmail for violating the Logan Act.

    And many people will think she was a hero for taking action against Flynn -- for getting him removed from office.

    She herself thinks she is a hero.

    She and many others never will be punished significantly. They merely will be criticized by some people who study the history.

    1. Then it's time to bring back the Star Chamber.

    2. When you have to account for your actions in this life, I wonder how meaningful being a “hero” like this will be to the almighty.

  6. The question to ask, is what are Barr's Goals?

    Barr knows the FBI, and accessories, attempted a coup against a President of the US. Barr can see how politicized the DOJ has become. As well as all the illegal surveillance that happened. Plus the massive China spying / influence, happening in the US, that has been ignored. And other overseas corruption (Ukraine), that impacts the US.

    Barr had a very nice retirement, and becoming AG in the Trump Administration is a thankless job. He is risking his reputation.

    My guess, is only doing this job out of a sense of duty, I don't think he is a masocist.

    So what actions is Barr taking to clean up the DOJ, focus the DOJ and FBI on the job they should be doing (China and Crime), and restore their reputation with the American People? While avoiding being seen as a political hatchet man for Trump?

    To do this, Barr needs indictments and plea deals that are air tight, and are not seen as political. And he is dealing with people with access to high powered lawyers and are highly skilled political players. As well as opposition from the Democrats and Press.

    1. I hafta believe that if nothing were gonna happen we'd have signals, instead of Barr saying he expects developments.

    2. Reporting today says Brennan is expecting to be interviewed any day now by Durham. If nothing was happening, why would Brennan even comment about such a thing? Or perhaps it will be like the FBI interviewing Hillary and her staff cronies on the 4th of July handing out immunity. That kind of meeting. Somehow I doubt that...


    3. If these reports are true, which appears to be the case, then you know that it's being carefully orchestrated. Brennan's team wouldn't be public without OK from Durham, etc. We can only wait and see at this point.

  7. The history can be divided into two periods:

    1) Before the creation of the Special Counsel

    2) After the creation of the Special Counsel

    DOJ/FBI will say that much of the abuses happened in the second period. Examples are the prosecutions of Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Roger Stone. In those cases, DOJ/FBI was compelled to mistreat people by the Special Counsel.

    Compare those three cases to the case of Carter Page. DOJ/FBI did its best to keep its investigation of Page secret and never did prosecute him.

    DOJ/FBI will be able to say that if DOJ/FBI had been left alone to deal with the matter -- without the creation of the Special Counsel -- then the wrong-doing would have been limited. By itself, DOJ/FBI would have completed its investigation rather quickly and fairly. Flynn, Papadopoulos, Stone and even Manafort would have been untouched. President Trump would have cleared publicly.

    DOJ/FBI will say that, in hindsight, Jim Comey indeed deserved to be fired. After he was fired, though, DOJ/FBI would have corrected course by itself. There should be no more Special Counsels. The public should trust DOJ/FBI.

    1. The problem with that theory is that at the absolute latest the investigation should have ceased in January 2017 when FBI interview Denchenko for 3 days. As Andy McCarthy has repeatedly pointed out, there are 2 kinds of investigations: (1) national security, which is done for the President (by this time, Trump); and (2) criminal, which requires probable cause. After Trump was sworn in, there could only have been a criminal investigation. There was zero probable cause after the Danchenko interview.

      But, yes we'd be in a much different position had Spineless Sessions not recused himself.

    2. Barr, in interviews, divides the time periods into before and after inauguration. I think he has events of January, 2017, in mind as a collective turning point: The Oval Office meeting, the ICA (both before inauguration but pointing to the future), interview of Flynn, Danchenko interview. All this points ahead to the Special Counsel, which doesn't come to pass for 4-5 more mos.

    3. Would we know anywhere close to what we know now, had Spineless Sessions not recused himself>
      Would the AG at that time have allowed Horowitz's report to become public, with the relatively *few* redactions which it did bear?
      My point is, that the Mueller circus may've (unintentionally) spurred events (e.g. a Flynn case, and Contreras' recusal) which opened eyes which
      otherwise would've stayed shut (unless a super-aggressive AG pushed to publish other big eye-openers).

      Historical counter-factuals are most always quite a rough road to ride, when one tries to be conscientious about them.

    4. JHUM
      The problem with that theory is that at the absolute latest the investigation should have ceased in January 2017 when FBI interview Denchenko for 3 days.

      DOJ/FBI might have corrected course by itself after Jim Comey was fired on May 9, 2017. However, the Special Counsel was created just eight days later.

      I think that if DOJ/FBI had been allowed to deal with the investigation by itself after Comey was fired, then DOJ/FBI would have completed the investigation rather quickly and fairly.

      There was at least one FBI official -- Stuart Evans -- who was talking sense. He might have gotten through to the new FBI Director, who then might have paid some attention belatedly to the Danchenko interview. The new FBI Director could have put the Crossfire Hurricane team under some sensible FBI officials who would have concluded quickly that there was no good evidence for the supposed Russian collusion.

    5. Comey hated Trump and believed in Steele. Comey believed that the Dossier was essentially true. Comey intended to trap President Trump in an obstruction-of-justice situation what would cause Trump to be impeached and removed from office.

      Other top officials in DOJ/FBI shared Comey's hatred and intention, but Christopher Wray did not. Wray would have been happy to get rid of the entire Crossfire Hurricane investigation to get along with President Trump.

      Unfortunately, though, Comey was replaced essentially by the Special Counsel in relation to Trump. The Special Counsel continued in Comey's intention to trap President Trump in an obstruction-of-justice situation that would cause Trump to be impeached and removed from office.

    6. Mike- all these guys knew what the score was- Comey and the rest of them were all in on making it up from day one! Comey knew that Steele was a stooge to give it some 'foreign intelligence' gloss. Don't be naive. He did intend to trap Trump, but he knew he was going to trap him with fake stuff. Or he planned to get him to go away with the Golden Showers presentation. Don't be an apologist for these guys! And Sally has one of the best "I'm a good girl and would never do anything wrong" acts in the world, but was living in a doghouse. Believe what you see, not what she says!

  8. aNanyMouse nails on the head, methinks, the central irony of this whole charade--at the end of the day the Mueller-Brennan fraud might turn out to be one of the best things to happen to the United States this century. The sitting President of these United States, his senior staff, family, and members of his cabinet have been victims of the panopticon state that the Republican Party spent the first decade of this century helping the CIA and FBI to create all the while insisting to the American people and Congress that precisely these types of abuses were not possible due to safeguards such as FISA and 702 certifications, which Comey then Mueller passed through like a knife through butter. If the chief apologists of the Deep State come to realize, as a result of the Mueller Fraud, that they can come to be victims of it, doesn't that hold out some hope that the GOP if and when they do regain the House will try to rein in our surveillance state?

    1. "passed through like a knife through butter."

      This should be sooo obvious, to any remotely-hip folks, that, even if the Dems keep the House, a DJT 2nd term should embolden the DoJ etc., to smash the DS and its MSM shills, both by slam-dunk busts, and by naming of Unindicted co-conspirators.

  9. The most annoying aspect in all of this is the continued pretense by the perps that they were acting in good faith and sincerely believed that members of the Trump campaign were conspiring with Russia. They all know damned well what they were really trying to do. The insistent lying is maddening.

  10. Sally Yates is a clown show.

    What was the evidence that Flynn was compromised? He was a senior Army officer into 2014. So in the next two years, he was compromised??

    Such allegations require delivering a defensive briefing to Trump. That didn't happen because Trump was the investigatory target, not Flynn.

    She's a partisan hack play acting for The Narrative.

    These are the kind of people who should never be in government in any capacity due to a complete lack of integrity nor any fidelity to Constitutional principles.

    "If I knew then what I know now" should be indictable. She was supposed to know it then.

    1. People say all kinds of crazy things when they're under pressure.

    2. I thought that's when the truth comes out.

      I guess we're not quite there yet.