Saturday, August 22, 2020

Was Brennan Put In A Perjury Trap?

The answer, in my understanding, is: No, not strictly speaking.

Earlier today I wrote a number of things along the lines that just because Brennan may have been told that he wasn't a target or a subject but was being interviewed as a witness, that doesn't mean he's "out of the woods". For example:

All that said, Brennan is clearly not out of the woods yet. As others have noted, there's only one reason why Durham waited so long before interviewing Brennan--because he was trying to learn as much about Brennan's Russia Hoax related activities as possible before talking to him. And that means Brennan was right up at the top of the list of persons of interest.

In other words, if Brennan was interviewed as a witness for eight hours, that was a whole lotta witnessing going on. Durham must have had a lotta, lotta questions for Brennan as a witness.

Now, Shipwreckedcrew has a new article up about the circumstances surrounding the Brennan interview, and the statements that were made afterwards by Brennan's spokesman: John Brennan Was Put in a Perjury Trap Yesterday — A Completely Legitimate One. The article is well worth your time to read, because in it SWC explains things like:

Q: What's a target and what's a subject?

A: There are only targets and non-targets. Non-targets are witnesses. Targets are persons against whom a prosecutor believes he has sufficient evidence to file criminal charges.

Here's another topic he goes into:

Q: Why was Brennan interviewed rather than called before a grand jury?

And closely related:

Q: Why was Brennan interviewed in Langley, VA, rather than at FBIHQ or DoJ, in downtown DC?

Let's take the interview v. grand jury question first. SWC doesn't provide a definitive answer to the question, but he does suggest that the reasons that led Durham to interview Brennan may cast doubt on whether or not Brennan is a target. Here's the key:

One important distinction between “target” and “witness” that is not well understood, but might be in play here, is that it is against DOJ policy to issue a grand jury subpoena to someone who is already a “target”.

In other words, SWC is implicitly asking: Is it possible that Brennan wasn't called as a witness before a grand jury because he is in fact a target? To place that suggestion is context, SWC had earlier stated that his policy as a prosecutor, when asked before an interview by a defense lawyer whether the lawyer's client was a "target", was to talk around it and neither confirm nor deny. SWC clearly feels that Durham is likely to have done something similar.

But supposing that Brennan was interviewed as a witness, what then? That's where SWC raises the possibility of a "perjury trap":

John Durham and his team did not come to the decision to interview Brennan over the course of eight hours for the purpose of “filling in the blanks” on “events that are under review.”
The purpose of the interview was to get Brennan to confirm or deny information that others have provided up to this point about Brennan, and what he instructed others to do.
John Brennan was placed into a perjury trap yesterday because he’s shown himself willing to perjure himself in the past in order to evade scrutiny.
Yesterday, the ability to avoid the trap was completely within his control — all he had to do was tell the truth.  For the most part, Durham’s investigators knew the truth.

That sounds right to me, except for one thing. Remember the Michael Flynn case? Flynn wasn't charged with perjury, was he? He was charged with making a false statement. He wasn't charged with perjury because he wasn't under oath. And witness interviews are not conducted under oath unless they're conducted in front of a grand jury. So my understanding of this situation is that SWC is speaking in layman's terms and that Brennan was placed in a "false statement trap." If he lied, he faces the possibility of being charged under 18 USC 1001, not for perjury in the true sense of the word.

That takes us back to the site of the interview: Virginia. Here's how SWC explains that:

DOJ and the FBI HQ are in Washington DC.  CIA Headquarters is in Langley, Virginia.
If you are geographically challenged, you can read the distinction as “United States District Court for the District of Columbia” v. “United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.”  If John Brennan offered any false answers to the investigators during the interview, the venue for that “false statement” crime is in the EDVA, not in DC federal court.
... as a prosecutor, you save a liar like John Brennan for last.  He can’t help you because you can’t rely on what he tells you.
So your interview is not done for the purpose of helping your case.
And you do it in Virginia and not DC because of what you plan to do next.

Note that in answering this question SWC reverts to more technically correct language. He doesn't say: Brennan will be charged with "perjury" in the EDVA, he says that will be "the venue for that 'false statement' crime." So, 1001 false statements are what are in play here, not perjury in the strict sense of a false statement made under oath. So keep that in mind going forward, just to avoid any possibility of confusion.

The final question, one which SWC doesn't raise in this article, but which should have popped into your mind, is: All this being true, why would Brennan submit to the interview? Surely he has excellent lawyers, who would have warned him about the dangers involved in such an interview? 

A couple of weeks ago we discussed that issue, and at that time I offered the opinion that I saw little for Brennan to gain from submitting to an interview. I also quoted SWC, who was of a similar opinion, but thought that Brennan was doing it for the sake of "appearances." I'm skeptical of that. As a defense lawyer advising a client--a position I've never been in--I'm not sure I would ever suggest that my client take that sort of a risk, the risk of voluntarily laying oneself open to criminal charges. I personally still lean toward the view that Brennan is very much afraid of being indicted, and so took this risk in the hope of talking Durham out of charging him. That might explain why his spokesman's statement, while savaging Barr and Trump as usual, praised Durham's "professionalism."

We shall see.


  1. The thing that keeps jumping out at me is this: if you are investigating why the engine blew up in the ship, you interview the people who were working in the engine room, and maintenance people, to find out the "who, what, where, when, why" ... you do not interview the Captain of the ship, who was not in the engine room.... unless you think he's guilty of something, in which case, you interview him last, and grill him against all the information you have gleaned elsewhere, to see if he's lying.

    That's a pretty good explanation of why Brennan went last, and took 8 hours to be interviewed. He's not the nuts'n'bolts guy who would know the intimate details -- he's the guy how gave commands, and took reports.

  2. I was soo hopeful after reading SWC's article. What you plan to do next. And Brennan's arrogance and lack of discretion historically lead me to believe he's stupid enough to disregard his attorney's advice to not take the interview, which would explain away Mark's question above?

    But then I had another dark thought. Maybe Brennan was taking the offer in response to a "Queen for a day letter" and at the end of the day didn't think Durham had enough on him to take whatever plea Durham might have offered and walked out of the negotiation and had his spokesman blow a lot of smoke about how he's not a target?

  3. Thank you so much, Mark, for the content you post here. I find it very helpful, and free of hyper-anything.

    1. Couldn’t agree more with Mr. Ottoway above.

      This is where you come for thoughtful thinking discourse and analysis firmly grounded on solid terrain devoid of hyperextensive contortions.

      Sundance revoked my commenting privilege a couple or so months ago. Not a real big loss, frankly.

    2. He gets that a lot.

  4. I wonder, is Brennan smarter than he seems? Because he has never struck me as intelligent. Given the cabal of allies arrayed against Barr, Durham, and Trump, given the brew ha ha of Weissmann about Kleinsmith, why not just say no? I cannot think that they would not give him cover. It doesn't make sense to me, but who am I?

    On the other hand, maybe they've got the goods, and he knows it.

    1. From SWC’s article:

      John Brennan doesn’t come from a world of objective “truths” and “lies”.  For Brennan, the “truth” is always malleable to fit his needs at any given moment.

      That’s CIA tradecraft.  He sees himself as a master of such “dark arts” based on his decades in DC.  Others have long viewed him as a clown.


    2. @Bebe

      Of course you are right.

      This is also why I have always totally discounted Brennan's ad hominem attacks on Trump. Brennan has no soul or conscience. He doesn't believe in good or evil. He did stuff far worse than Trump has ever done every day of his life for 30 years.

      He has overthrown governments.

      He has killed innocent people.

      He has lied to Congress and the American People.

      I can give his personal opinion of Donald Trump no (zero) credit.

  5. "I'm not sure I would ever suggest that my client take that sort of a risk".
    Moreover, why *consent* to it being in Langley, given the prospect of the trial venue thus being in EDVA?

    One way or the other, something major is involved, of which we know virtually nothing.

    1. The assumption being that he is a D.C. wheel and as such it will be heard in D.C. Jurisdictional lines are for little people, not wheels. Narcissism at its finest.

  6. Thanks for all the kinds comments. There's been a lot of interest today and I haven't been able to address all the comments.

    1. We can only express gratitude, and look forward to whatever efforts you can manage to put forth, in this, the monumental drama of our time.

    2. Greatest political crime in the history our country.

    3. To paraphrase Churchill again, never have so few (hyper-privileged brats) did such grave institutional damage, with such stupendous arrogance.

  7. Who Was Sam Clovis and Why Does He Matter?

    A lot of the discussion today has focused on John Brennan’s role in Obamagate and whether he’ll ‘get off’, notwithstanding his ostensible, his likely, involvement in the game.

    One aspect of his possible involvement which hasn’t been discussed today is: who set up the Russia Hoax which the FBI then ultimately ‘investigated’ and the DOJ ultimately prosecuted? Its cloudy today where I live so I’ve spent a few hours tracing the history of various Trump Campaign employees who were central figures in the Russia Hoax and the guy who hired them. Could it be that John Brennan really did set up the whole charade? I don’t know, but here are some tantalizing facts. (Again, I’ve broken the rule on word limits for blogspot comments, so I’ll try to post this comment in separate parts.)

    1/ Its true that the FBI’s and DOJ’s (and perhaps not the CIA’s) fingerprints are all over the opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, the investigation of Carter Page and the Carter Page FISA application, the investigation of George Papadopoulos and his subsequent arrest, prosecution and plea, the investigation of Michael Flynn and his subsequent arrest, prosecution and plea, and the investigation of Paul Manafort and his subsequent arrest, prosecution and convictions.

    And, since we now know that none of Page, Papadopoulos, Flynn and Manafort had anything whatsoever to do with any collusion with Russia, but were all accused of it, how did this happen?

    How did these four individuals end up first working on the Trump Campaign and then each being falsely accused of being one of the connections between Donald Trump and the alleged efforts of the Russia Government to influence the 2016 election and defeat Hillary Clinton.

    Ever since I found my way to this blog I have wondered, and from time to time debated with Mark and others, whether some or all of Page, Papadopoulos, Flynn and Manafort weren’t plants…dupes, perhaps…inserted by others into the Trump Campaign to make a phony case for collusion with Russia which could be used, if necessary, to destroy Donald Trump, especially if he were to win the 2016 election.

  8. 2/ I have always found each of Page’s, Papadopoulos’, Flynn’s and Manafort’s stories, while containing plausible lines and aspects, to be, essentially incredible.

    Page himself was first and foremost a career CIA and FBI operative…not by any means a foreign policy expert with any advice useful to candidate Trump. He had no business advising Trump on anything.

    Papadopoulos was even less an expert on anything and his background is filled with holes and question marks. Before joining the Trump Campaign, Papadopoulos was connected to both the London Centre of International Law Practice and the Link Campus University in Rome, neither of which has any apparent legitimate commercial raison d’etre.

    Flynn certainly had more apparent substance than Page or Papadopoulos, but certainly includes some improbable elements. Somewhat magically he appeared at Trump’s side during the campaign and then magically was accused of implausible connections to Russians giving rise to the implausible claim that Donald Trump was in Vladimir Putin’s pocket. And even more difficult to fathom, despite knowing that he had committed no crime, Flynn actually plead guilty, notwithstanding the inability of the prosecution to document either a transcript of the communications with Kislyak or the first draft of the FBI’s Form 302 record of Flynn’s false statements! And, before Flynn got sideways with Mueller and hired Sidney Powell, Mueller himself announced in December 2018 that the Trump-supporting Flynn had co-operated in providing “substantial assistance” to the special counsel’s Russia investigation. He did?

    As for Manafort, his arrest and frame job defies belief. He was accused of connections with Russia on the basis of a ‘black book’ which almost surely doesn’t exist…and then was prosecuted for crimes which the DOJ had already investigated and declined to prosecute.

  9. 3/ Of course it may be a sheer coincidence that Page, Papadopoulos, Flynn and Manafort were all hired on to the Trump campaign because of their support for the candidate and his policies and were later each coincidentally implicated in accusations of collusion with Russia…or not.

    A good argument against coincidence is the fact that each of the four were hired by the improbable, mysterious and incredibly obese Sam Clovis, who had himself appeared out of nowhere and in a short period of time somehow became Trump’s “campaign co-chair”. Clovis is another “nobody”, with no experience or credentials whatsoever managing a major political campaign, let alone a campaign for election as President of the United States, who amazingly became a senior adviser to Trump.

    Was Clovis a Deep State plant in the Trump Campaign, placed there to hire the dupes who were ultimately accused of colluding with Russia?

    First off, Clovis was truly a political “nobody”. He had attended the Air Force Academy, graduating in the early 1970s. He served in the Air Force for 25 years (1971–96) as a pilot and then served in The Pentagon, the Middle East, and as a commander of a fighter squadron. He retired from the Air Force having attained the rank of colonel as Inspector General of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the United States Space Command.

    Immediately upon retiring, Clovis went to work for something called “BETAC” in 1996 and 1997 and then for Northrop Grumman through 2000. What did he do for these new employers? Work on political campaigns? Of course not.

    We know that Northrop Grumman is a major defense contractor, allegedly the third largest military contractor in the world. A thirty billion dollar Fortune 500 company with multiple scandals on its record. It appears from a google search that it has and has had extensive CIA contacts, but there is no record (which I have yet come across) of what Clovis did while employed by Northrop.

    1. I find the idea that the DS planted people in the Trump campaign inherently believable. The trouble is figuring which ones. Clovis is an interesting candidate. Those who were part of the CH investigation I tend to wonder whether they may have been steered to the Trump campaign, unwittingly. But that supposes, again, that there were operatives to do that steering. Many loose ends still.

    2. "steered to the Trump campaign, unwittingly"

      Too bad they didn't know about Debbins sooner. Probably would have used him.

  10. 4/ More interesting is the other company Clovis worked for, called “BETAC”? A google search for BETAC (or Betac) turns up virtually nothing related to the Air Force (from whence Clovis came), except for an obscure reference to an article in The Nation, titled ‘Privatizing war: how affairs of state are outsourced to corporations beyond public control’.

    However, the article has a lot to say about the relationship between private contractors and the Defense Department…and a lot about the business of BETAC in the 1990s. It starts:
    “The history of American foreign and military policy abounds with deception and scandal, with shadowy actors, monied interests and efforts to keep the public out of what are properly public decisions. Now those efforts have taken an unprecedented turn in scale and degree. Privatization, the process by which the responsibilities of government are transferred to unaccountable corporate hands, now occupies the halls of warmaking.

    “With little public knowledge or debate. the government has been dispatching private companies--most of them with tight links to the Pentagon and staffed by retired armed forces personnel--to provide military and police training to America's foreign allies. The government has also vastly expanded the use of private firms to support its own overseas military operations, including top-secret antidrug actions in Latin America, intelligence gathering and military assistance programs for U.S. clients.

    “The firms themselves are not eager to discuss their activities. Nor is the State Department's Office of Defense Trade Controls, which oversees much of the emerging field and which rejected my request for an on-the-record interview. A State Department official told me he could provide very little information even on background because of the need to protect the "proprietary information" of the companies involved (a loophole that makes the Freedom of Information Act in effect useless in this area). As a result, much information remains hidden behind government claims of secrecy or locked in the companies' accounting books.”

    The article goes on to discuss the activities of a number of these ‘private companies’ and then comes to two companies, Dyncorp and BETAC, about which it says:

    “One company that merits examination is Dyncorp of Reston, Virginia. It does contract work for the C.I.A., and, before it went private, its stockholders included former agency boss James Woolsey.

    “… DynCorp's previous record should set off alarm bells. In the early 1990s the company was hired by the State Department for the ostensible purpose of maintaining helicopters then on loan to Peruvian antidrug police. In 1992 one for those helicopters was shot down over a major coca-growing region, and three DynCorp employees died in the cash. Among them was Robert Hitchman, and he was not in Peru to repair helicopters. A onetime Marine Corps fighter pilot and covert-ops specialist, Hitchman worked for air America, the C.I.A.'s airlines, in the 1960s. Two decades later he turned up in Lybya, where he helped run former C.I.A. agent Ed Wilson's military support and training operations for Muammar el-Qaddafi. (Wilson is currently serving a fifty-two-year term in federal prosecutors and witnesses.) In Joe Goulden's The Death Merchant, a biography of Wilson, one former colleague of Hitchman described his as a brilliant helicopter pilot and "a son of a bitch who could look death in the face and chuck it under the chin; absolute ice water."

  11. 5/
    “Involved in equally murky activities is Betac, a company that, like [DynCorp], does contract work for the C.I.A [and] also works closely with the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. The command, which was created following the bungled rescue of fifty U.S. hostages in Iran in 1980, overseas Navy Seals, Army Rangers and Delta Force. These elite units specializes in covert operations in the Third World, train antidrug police in Latin America and assist U.S. clients with "internal security."

    “A former special operations officer now in the private sector tells me that SOCOM has hired Betac to assist it in a range of activities, including overseas military training. Betac's work with the Command has been facilitated by the past two chiefs of SOCOM, retired four-star generals Carl Stiner and Wayne Downing, whom it has retained as consultants. SOCOM spokesman George Grimes told Jeff Moag of the National Security New Service, who assisted me with some research for this story, that he'd never heard of Betac and denied that any such firm worked with the command. Meanwhile, Betac's Web site announces that the company maintains offices with a staff of four at SOCOM headquarters.”

    The article concludes,
    “From postwar C.I.A. operations in Iran and Guatemala, though the Reagan Administration's wars in Central America, and on to recent C.I.A. support for a botched coup against Saddam Hussein, the U.S. government has consistently sought to keep the public in the dark about its overseas adventures. By adding a new layer of secrecy and unaccountability, the use of private contractors offers the government even greater opportunities to conduct covert foreign policy.”

    So…after active duty which included a stint at the Pentagon, Clovis worked for a private company which was a U.S. military contractor with CIA and Special Forces contacts specializing in covert operations which the military hierarchy officially denied working with… Then, after leaving BETAC and Northrop Grumman, Clovis spent a few years in ‘academia’ . He then turns up at Booz Allen Hamilton.

  12. 6/ Now, who is Booz Allen and Hamilton? According to Spies for Hire, a book about big dollar intelligence outsourcing and black ops by Tim Sherrock, Booz Allen is a consulting firm with extensive connections to the intelligence community. He writes,

    “In 2002, Information Week reported that Booz Allen had ‘more than one thousand former intelligence officers on its staff. … A Booz Allen IT contract with the Defense Intelligence Agency … stated that the Booz Allen team “employs more than 10,000 TS/SCI cleared personnel’. TS/SCI stands for Top Secret/ Sensitive Compartmented Information, the highest possible security rating in the IC.

    “This would make Booz Allen one of the largest employers of cleared personnel in the United States. Booz Allen has “the biggest chunk of recent former CIA people of any of the corporations” involved in contracting, says John Gannon, the former director of the CIA‘s National Intelligence Council … ”
    So…after active duty with the Air Force, including a stint at the Pentagon, Clovis worked for two U.S. military contractors with extensive CIA connections and then went to a contractor employing “the biggest chunk of recent former CIA people” of any contractor.
    After Booz Allen Hamilton Clovis worked for the Homeland Security Institute (now the Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute) from 2004 to 2010. In 2005 he also began teaching business, management and public policy classes at a college in Iowa. Along the way he received an MBA from Golden Gate University, attended the national security program at Georgetown University, and earned a doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama in 2006.

  13. 7/ Around 2010, Clovis became active in the Iowa Republican Party and served as a delegate to the state convention. In 2012, he supported and campaigned with Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses, and was chairman of the 4th District Republican convention as well as an alternate delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention.

    In June 2014, he finished second to Joni Ernst in the Republican Senate primary in Iowa. Later that month, at the Iowa GOP state convention, Clovis was selected as the Republican candidate for the Iowa state treasurer, but lost. (His campaign manager was Matthew Whitaker, who later (coincidentally?) became Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff and Acting Attorney General of the United States).

    In June 2015 Clovis joined the Rick Perry Campaign as Iowa chairman. In August 2015 he resigned from the Perry campaign, immediately endorsed Donald Trump and, based on his extensive political experience described above, joined the Trump Campaign as a policy advisor and national cochairman.

    And, in short order, Clovis hired Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort on to the Trump Campaign. Given Clovis’ background is it fair to ask whether he ever worked for the CIA? Is it fair to ask whether he was working for the CIA when he joined the Trump Campaign? Did he know John Brennan and did he ever talk to him before and during the time he worked for Donald Trump?

  14. If they get Brennan on more than one false statement, can they charge him more than once ie separate charges for each false statement?

    1. Yes. Also, there is the possibility with false statements that they could fall under another related statute, such as obstruction.

  15. SWC's latest tweet:

    Correct. In act in furtherance if a conspiracy creates venue for prosecution that conspiracy in the district where the act took place.

    Quote Tweet:
    Kenneth A. Grimm (a.k.a. - "K. A. G. Sundaram")
    · 4h
    Replying to @shipwreckedcrew and @GKJoe

    By the "One Element Rule" for Conspiracy, it there is one felony element of conspiracy, one little tiny lie " furtherance of the conspiracy..." in Brennan's testimony at Langley, the entire conspiracy - McCabe, Comey, Mueller and all - can be tried in Virginia.


    1. Understand, however, that an act in furtherance of a conspiracy needn't be criminal in itself to be chargeable as part of the conspiracy.

      Simple example: a conspiracy to rob a bank. One of the conspirators doesn't actually participate in the robbery but provides a getaway car. That act may not be criminal in itself, but if it's done with the knowledge of how the car will be used, it becomes an act in furtherance of a conspiracy, and is chargeable as such.

      By analogy, that's how something like the ICA could arguably become an act in furtherance of the Russia Hoax conspiracy. Obviously, it's not a simple thing to prove--writing an IC assessment isn't a criminal act in itself. That's why Durham has been trying to find emails or other communications that could show knowledge and intent.

  16. Durham's investigative and prosecutorial team has been radio silent (as in Black Hole level silent) for over a year. That doesn't happen by accident. Ditto for the related investigations by Jensen and Bash. Now compare that with the Rosenstein led DOJ prior to Barr's arrival.

    It likely means that all the participants understand that they may be making history with this case, and more than a few careers could be launched as a consequence.

    Finally, if this investigation were a bust, it is very unlikely that Trump would've stuck his neck out teasing about more to come.

  17. I was recruited for DynCorp.

    I do not generally believe in coincidences, especially when the same names pop up on different, but related things.

    Cassandra has entered the Sundance/CTH world.

    Imagine that.

    A T anna D.

    1. @AT&D, I believe Cassander like me and others are trying to put pieces together of the early targets and the rationale behind it. Cassander ties in commonality thru Clovis hence the deep dive. Actually not much TMK has been talked about Clovis.

      Cassander’s no SD. Solid contributor here.

      My thoughts; Obama weaponized the intelligence agencies at least as far back as 2012. Brennan and his Analyst org and the other non govt orgs collaborated to meet Obama’s demands. Maxine Waters bragged about it.

      This illegal use of Intel agencies along with collaboration of the State dept IMO set the stage for Obama’s 2nd term accomplishments to be memorialized. Trumps plans to undo these accomplishments we’re viewed by both Democrats and Republicans suspiciously. (See Paul Ryan).

      By late 2015 early 2016 actions had to be put in place or ready to be acted upon as well as insurance policies. What they did not anticipate was China stealing Hillary’s emails from an unsecured server and Obama gave the order to blame it on the Russians as by this time Trump was the Republican nominee.

      No, this all started at the top and Brennan was the henchman to get the ball rolling not withstanding his animus and boss for Trump at that stage.

    2. @AmericanCardigan

      Thanks for the support...

      I don't know what to make of A T anna D's criticism. The best I can make of it is that he think's I'm some kind of SD-like conspiracy theorist who is completely off-base. Well...maybe I am. But I don't think so.

      Like you, I'm just trying to figure out what happened and posting the *facts* that I've found. Make of them what you will.

      There has been a lot of talk this weekend that Brennan might skate...that the wrong-doing was all the work of the FBI and DOJ. That Brennan was not involved in Crossfire Hurricane, the FISA abuse or the Weissmann Show.

      Like Mark and most of the commenters here I believe Brennan was involved. I believe Brennan was at the heart of a conspiracy which concocted the Russia Hoax to destroy Donald defeat him at the polls and when that didn't work to oust him as President. As Mark said recently, it was the biggest criminal conspiracy in our nation's political history.

      Here are the dots I was attempting to connect.

      • Isn't it funny that there were (at least) four members of the Trump Campaign team who were extensively investigated for 'colluding' with 'Russia' ... when in fact it has now been conclusively shown that none of them 'colluded' with 'Russia'.

      • Isn't it funny that all four were hired on to the Trump team by Sam Clovis

      • Isn't it funny that Sam Clovis was a political nobody with an extensive background in military and intelligence matters who had worked for several CIA private contractors. Including 'black ops' CIA contractors.

      Of course, I surmise that Sam Clovis was a CIA operative who was inserted into the Trump Campaign to set up the future use of Page, Papadopoulos, Flynn and Manafort as dupes and fall guys (witting or unwitting) for others (FBI, DOJ, Media) to make the case that Trump was colluding with Russia.

      And of course I surmise that Clovis didn't think this up all by himself. I surmise that a small group of conspirators, probably led by John Brennan, developed this criminal scheme for potential use to prevent Donald Trump from being elected President, or if he was, from being able to function as President.

      The only question left is why? All of us have been wondering why and posting our various theories. As time goes on it certainly appears that Obama had plenty of reasons (far too many to list here) to not want Donald Trump to succeed him. So many in fact that he was willing to bend Hillary Clinton's email investigation into a non-crime so that she could run against Trump and then criminally use the police, intelligence, investigative, and prosecutorial powers of the federal government to destroy his political opponent.

      So, suffice it to say, I agree with your conclusion above: "...this all started at the top and Brennan was the henchman to get the ball rolling..."

  18. Cassander begs questions ...

    What saves our republic?

    A pathetic prosecution of the traitors with a few, small scalps?

    Or, going at it full bore no matter how high it goes (Obama/Biden)?

    Another ...

    If the rule of law and our Constitution means anything, how can Barr not go full bore?


    If not now, it will never happen.


  19. What happened to Steven P. Schrage?

    It sounded like he was going to out Sam Clovis, but I am not finding anything after his initial appearance about Russiagate.

  20. There seems to have been two types of plants in the Trump Campaign. One was unwittingly, where they were steered there by the DS. The other was wittingly.

    Plus there is all the people that deliberately interacted with the Trump campaign attempting to entrap them.

    >I find the idea that the DS planted people in the Trump
    >campaign inherently believable.

    The Trump Administration and campaign has been as radioactive for many potential applicants for their career, so there has been a lack of applicants. And then some of the early Trump appointees purged those that shared Trumps Foreign Policy Ideology. Not to mention the deliberate slowdown of getting people through the Senate Confirmation Process by the Resistance.

    1. @Ray

      "The Trump Administration and campaign has been as radioactive for many potential applicants for their career, so there has been a lack of applicants."


      I doubt Sam Clovis had any difficulty getting a job on the Trump Campaign. Write a check for $1000? Ok! You can be 'co-chairman'!

    2. As long as I'm thinking of it...I might as well say it. :-)

      Since I am apparently guilty of being a 'conspiracy theorist'...

      There is no doubt in my mind that Mitt Romney is 'owned' by the CIA and Deep State. Who knows what they've got on him... One of us suggested recently that it is sexual since his wife has been sick for several decades...or it could be financial...private equity rewards have been huge but there has always been always will be the temptation to make them more huge by cutting corners...

      I will be 'shocked' if Romney's interview with Trump for the Secretary of State job in early 2017 was not a (pathetic) effort to infiltrate the Trump Administration.

      Can you imagine (in hindsight) the mischief Romney could have done before Trump could have thrown him out!

    3. Carpetbagger Mitt roams the country trying to find glory to satisfy his egocentric needs. No need to get into his sick wife or anything other than just raging ambition, aging, and the realization that he is never ever going to be president of the United States. I imagine his jealousy of President Donald Trump is overwhelming. “How dare he be President!!!???” NOCD. Lots of issues. And now he is in the Senate surrounded by many he views as peasants.

    4. @Bebe

      So... I guess we disagree.

      You think he's merely an egomaniac.

      I think they've got something on him and he's corrupt.

      We shall see.

    5. @Cassander, I too am suspicious of Romney so you’re not alone here. I believe he knows of Obama’s DS spying databases and has known for some time. Also since he too despised Trump wasn’t willing to offer much assistance anywhere or anytime.

    6. My guess is Romney has a bit of a savior complex, a bit of envy, along with a heavy dose of arrogance, moral outrage, and feeling he is a different, higher class, than Trump whom is basically a hyped up carnival barker that Got Lucky.

      Romney's impeachment vote I can't explain. I have been surprised on Romney's negative actions against Trump, since Trump helped him get elected.

      >CassanderAugust 23, 2020 at 12:38 PM
      - egomaniac.
      - corrupt.

    7. Other than that the salt of the earth?

  21. For some perspective, read Michael Anton's piece at Claremont Review, "The Case for Trump." Among other things, Anton remarks just how incredible-- perhaps divinely miraculous-- was the election of Trump in 2016. He came out of nowhere, espousing policies abjured by Democrats and Republicans but loved by Normal Americans. He took office with a long list of experinced Republican bureaucrats who swore they would NEVER work for him; with a hostile Republican House and Senate and; with a frenzied Democrat Media out for his blood-- literally. Not to mention the DS rolling coup. How did Trump manage to find ANYONE who wasn't a spy, dupe, plant, shill, cat's paw, or incompetent to staff his administration? It's incredible what he's accomplished in 4 years against such, unprecedented opposition from everyone except the American people. In the process he has dragged the Republican party towards positions that can actually appeal to a durable and dominant coalition of working class, middle class, minority, and white voters, while pushing the Democrats into a hyperbolic neo marxist party of insurrection. All this to say that Cassandra's posts are quite possible (although not Flynn). Another 4 years are needed at a minimum.

    1. @Tschifty

      Good article. Thought provoking.

      Here's the link:

    2. Anton, as Publius Decius Mus, also wrote “The Flight 93 Election”… a rather amazing essay on the importance of the 2016 election.

  22. @Tschifty

    "All this to say that Cassandra's (sic) posts are quite possible (although not Flynn)"

    Flynn is a tough one. He seems to have believed whole-heartedly in Trump's foreign agenda. He seems to be a straight shooter. He seems to have had substantial disagreements with Obama's foreign policy. He seems to have had stories to tell about Iran, etc. He seems to have been royally f*cked by Weissmann. Probably all of the above.

    But... he is also career military intelligence. He was DIA! (In all likelihood, that is what Sam Clovis was, too...) He resigned after doing nothing wrong with Kislyak...after merely doing his job. He then plead guilty to a crime he knew beyond a doubt he didn't commit and which Weissmann couldn't begin to prove in a trial in open court! By pleading he single-handedly gave the Deep State the Russia Collusion case on a silver platter. Which was probably more harmful to Trump than any other action taken during his first term. He then provided 'substantial' 'helpful' assistance to Mueller on 'other cases' after he plead. In part due to his actions, Mueller came within a hair of overthrowing the President.

    So...I don't know. If I had to commit, I would say he was likely recruited to the Trump campaign by Clovis who he knew or should have known was 'one of us', that he had legitimate foreign policy differences with Obama, that whether or not he was a witting or unwitting dupe he was a dupe put there to be used by the conspirators when and if needed...and that he was, subsequently, used by the conspirators. They had been setting him up for this from Day 1 (Svetlana trap, etc.)

    And then...he turned on his masters. Like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos he decided getting thrown under the bus (and tagged with a criminal record) in a Deep State coup attempt to destroy a duly elected President and look like a Russian agent/tool was, to say the least, no fun...and he turned. He hired Sidney Powell and he turned.

    Whether or not I'm right (or just another conspiracy theorist), it will be most interesting when we finally hear his whole story.

    1. I stick by Flynn on this for these reasons: 1) he did not plead guilty to any crime insofar as we now know that there was no crime committed to which he could plead. He was railroaded the entire way including falsified documents and actual crimes by DOJ prosecutors. If Flynn was taking a flop, as you imply, there wouldn't have been any need to falsify and railroad hom like that. 2) Never underestimate the power of crooked lawyers who mis-represented him during those early stages before Powell got involved. Conflicts if interest, secret deals with prosecutors, almost as if they were working against Flynn, huh? 3) Obama and his minions had every motivation to ensure that Flynn never set foot inside the DNI office where he would know how to unravel and expose the coup. 4) I trust Sidney Powell, a real patriot and hero in my book. She would quickly smell a rat if such was Flynn. 5) It is just as likely that Clovis recruited Flynn in order to set him up. I.e., Brennan et al directed Clovis to bring on Flynn so they could set and spring the trap that would crush Flynn (as it almost did).

  23. "...he is also career military intelligence. He was DIA!"

    And yet he was duped?

    Something doesn't fit there. One would think he had a whole network he could have used to check out what he was getting involved with, before being duped.

  24. I think your explanation for why Brennan agreed is probably correct. I think it is what motivates most targets of an investigation to talk to the police at all. I know I have seen enough in the last 4 years that I will never say one word to the police or the FBI if I am being investigated. I will become a deaf mute for practical purposes.

    I think Brennan is just too damned overconfident to stay silent.

  25. "Former FBI Director James Comey spoke dismissively of Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation of the origins of the bureau's Russia probe Sunday, saying he has not been contacted for it and that it is being used as a political tool for President Trump and his supporters." From Fox News. Brennan has been interviewed but apparently Durham isn't taking Comey's phone calls does not bode well for Comey. Whatever else happens it's looking more likely by the moment that a piano is about to fall on Wiley E. Comey.
    Tom S.

  26. I am still in shock on what was done to Flynn and Trump. Just a few years ago I would have sworn this was not possible in the us, and in crazed conspiracy theory territory.

    >AnonymousAugust 23, 2020 at 3:47 PM
    >And yet he was duped?
    >Something doesn't fit there.


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