Wednesday, September 30, 2020

In What World Would This Be Good News For Biden?

Paul Mirengoff has an interesting blog tonight on sports viewership, and to my mind it may have implications for the presidential election: NBA playoff viewership falls off the cliff. Viewership of the Western Conference finals--featuring the most famous team with the most famous player--is off 40% from one year ago. And that 40% drop is from a relatively low level to begin.

Mirengoff goes through the numbers, which you can read for yourself if you care to. He concludes:

Conservative America’s divorce from the NBA is a sign, I think, of things to come. Unless corporate America steps back from its embrace of woke leftism, we are going to have to divorce ourselves from large swathes of it. To the extent feasible, we may have to divorce ourselves from many of America’s public schools. And so forth.

Some of these divorces will be painful. The NBA divorce isn’t one of them ...

Mirengoff doesn't argue that this is a politically motivated boycott--in fact he deliberately avoids that judgment. Still, I have to believe that Dem brand and the NBA's new "woke" brand are very much connected in the minds of those former NBA viewers who have divorced from the league. As an indicator of public sentiment, that has to be bad news for the Dems and Biden.

Sean Davis: Gina Haspel Is Personally Blocking Important Declassifications

 Tonight Sean Davis and The Federalist are reporting:

CIA Director Gina Haspel is personally blocking the declassification of documents detailing corruption at the highest levels of the intelligence community during the 2016 election, according to The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis.


“I’m told that it is Gina Haspel personally who is blocking continued declassification of these documents that will show the American people the truth of what actually happened,” Davis said.

While Davis is unable to say exactly what those documents would show, he reminds us:

Haspel was previously the London CIA station chief under former CIA director John Brennan during the 2016 election. “Recall it was London where Christopher Steele was doing all this work,” Davis said, noting Haspel was the “main link” between Washington and London at the time. Haspel was hand-picked by former CIA director John Brennan to run the CIA’s operations in London, where she served as the spy agency’s bureau chief from 2014 through early 2017.

High stakes here. Davis called on Trump to personally take charge of the declassification.

Might Sullivan Dismiss The Flynn Case--Without Prejudice?

Shipwreckedcrew has a provocative article today: My Take on Yesterday’s Hearing on DOJ Motion to Dismiss Prosecution of Gen. Michael Flynn. He doesn't offer much analysis of the actual hearing--which dragged on for an almost unconscionable span of time. However, he offers a prediction as to how he believes Sullivan will rule on the DoJ motion to dismiss.

He believes that Sullivan will ultimately grant the motion to dismiss--but with a twist. DoJ is asking that the case be dismissed with prejudice, meaning that DoJ would not be able to reinstitute prosecution of Flynn on the same charges. SWC believes that Sullivan will follow the advice of Andrew Weissmann, and dismiss the case without prejudice. And that would mean that DoJ could--at least theoretically--reinstitute the prosecution.

I'm treading on ground here that I freely admit is well beyond my experience. SWC doesn't seem to see much problem with this outcome, but I'm not so sure.

SWC sees this outcome as protecting the interests of US district courts generally and, to that extent, as justifiable.

First, you need to understand the “equities” of Judge Sullivan in this dispute.  He’s fighting against the idea that a district court judge like himself does not have the authority to “check” what he might see as “abuses” in the decision-making process of the Executive branch AFTER they bring matters into his court. On this issue, I suspect he’d have broad support from district court judges all over the country. They are the gatekeepers to the federal court system. By asserting a strong role for the trial judge under Rule 48, Judge Sullivan — aided by Judge Gleeson — is saying to DOJ:

“You brought this case, you occupied my time, you made representations and arguments on the record to me and asked me to do certain things in my role as a district court judge, and you don’t get to just walk away from all that without an explanation that is to my satisfaction.”

He is defending institutional turf that he believes belongs to the Judiciary once a case is filed — and in this case a guilty plea is entered.

My problem with this line of argument is that it seems to me to ignore the whole reason for having courts to begin with--to see that justice is done. There is no mention here of the one person in the process with by far the most at stake: the defendant, in this case Michael Flynn. If we grant for the sake of argument that Sullivan may feel his time has been wasted and that DoJ's feet should be held to the fire, does the bankrupted Michael Flynn have no equities in this? What about his good name? This result--dismissal without prejudice--would mean that Flynn would not "get to just walk away." 

Trump Wins On The Issues--And On Character

If you want the Establishment take on the debate last night you can try Karl Rove's predictable article at the WSJ. I'm with those who have noted the way Trump smoked Biden out on the issues, separating Biden repeatedly from the Bernie Bros. on issue after issue: from the Green New Deal to Medicare for all to defunding the police. For my money, here are excerpts from two smart takes on Trump's performance. The first is from Stanley Kurtz's Actually, The Debate Was About Issues--a response to the usual knuckleheads who thought it was about a lack of "civility":

I thought [the debate] was a highly entertaining exchange that helpfully spotlighted the candidates’ differences on issues.

For my money, the law-and-order segment was the decisive exchange of the night. The differences between the candidates were stark. I think Trump was likely the big winner there, ... The section on climate change versus the economy was also clarifying. ... the very different ways in which the candidates strike the balance on environment-versus-economy came through. I think that’s another winner for Trump.

... I saw a president who was sharp as a tack, well able to call up interactions he’d had with world leaders and his policy people in order to make his points. Trump was tough to the point of rudeness, as usual, but had an energy, acuity, and strength that Biden lacked. When it comes to policy details, Trump can be frustratingly thin. But when it comes to the big-picture issues and options, the president comes through. He never explained in detail why Critical Race Theory is so pernicious, for example. But I’m betting that enough voters have knowledge of these insidious indoctrination sessions and the troubling culture they’ve spawned to take the president’s point. What other politician would have had the guts to tackle this issue? A lot of voters will appreciate that.


I think this debate has reminded the relatively few voters who may have only recently tuned in to this election how profoundly the candidates differ on the direction our country should take.

That observation about Trump having the "guts" to tackle sensitive issues directly apparently resonated with Spanish speaking viewers of the Left wing Telemundo--in a Twitter poll they saw Trump as winning by a 2-1 margin. As others have observed, Trump "dominated". He was the Alpha to Biden's Beta. If you prefer a Beta as president, maybe you didn't like that. However, a lot of people, on reflection, can see the need for an Alpha as president. A Beta president would be sure to plunge the country into this type of turmoil:

UPDATED: The Comey Senate Testimony

I've always disagreed with the idea that Senate hearings are the way forward with regard to the Russia Hoax. The only way is giving Barr and his prosecutors and investigators the time to do the job right. Coupled with public declassifications--which have been coming at an increasing rate as the investigations make headway.

Paul Sperry, in a brief series of tweets, illustrates what would foreseeable go wrong with having disgraced former FBI Director Jim Comey testify--it's a waste of time. He's too slippery to provide the soundbites that would light up the news--if the MSM even reported it:

Paul Sperry


Comey keeps referring to the Horowitz report -- "I only know what I've read in the Horowitz report" -- even though he ran the investigation the report details. When he's not limiting his testimony to the Horowitz report, he's suffering suspicious bouts of amnesia.

There is corrupt, and then there is pompously corrupt, and Comey is pompously corrupt.

This scandal is too serious to have politicians questioning such a key witness as Comey under oath. He's too slippery. A staff attorney with prosecutorial experience ought to be questioning Comey, pinning him down with documents, following up on his obfuscations and evasions.

BREAKING: Comey swears he doesn't remember hearing anything about Steele's primary subsource, Igor Danchenko, being the subject of an FBI C.I. investigation, as a suspected Russian agent, and doesn't recall his own CrossFire Hurricane team interviewing Danchenko in Jan 2017.

SENATE: When did you learn Steele dossier's primary subsource was a suspected Russian agent?

COMEY: I don't remember ever being informed.

BREAKING: Comey swears he does not remember, despite documentation, receiving intelligence in 2016 that Hillary Clinton was trying to tie Trump to Russia as part of a political strategy: "doesn't ring any bells".

Why do Senate Judiciary Republicans keep referring only to the Horowitz report when they have a guilty plea from FBI lawyer Clinesmith to now refer to?

Republicans are incapable of asking the pointed questions and follow-ups of Comey to draw any blood, to elicit new admissions and details to advance the investigation. They need a hard-nosed staff attorney to take Comey as a hostile witness.

The real answer isn't to have a Senate staff attorney do the questioning. The real answer is to finish the investigation, indict this deeply creepy guy, and see whether he's willing to be cross-examined in front of a jury by experienced prosecutors--and subject to impeachment by other witnesses.

UPDATE: More illustration of the relatively pointless exercise this testimony is--unless you're only just now learning what a snake Comey has always been. Jonathan Turley:

James Comey seems to be offering the Senate today a series of shrugs over troubling evidence of false evidence and possible Russian disinformation in the Russian investigation. Despite his signing off on secret surveillance, Comey is dismissing questions on the basis that he never knew of any of the memos indicating that the information in the investigation was false or even Russian misinformation. He was under a duty to confirm such facts. As someone who has billed himself as a strong leader, he is now portraying himself as a passive player in these decisions. However, while he would not answer questions on the new evidence of possible Russian misinformation used by the FBI, he had no problem discussing new evidence on Trump's debt that might suggest Russian control over him.

After saying that he could not comment on the new evidence on possible Russian misinformation used by the FBI, Comey just had no problem is saying that he has read material on the Flynn case and give his conclusions on their meaning.

Comey did say that, knowing what he knows today, that he would not have signed off on the Page surveillance. That makes it unanimous with Yates and Rosenstein. Nobody now supports the surveillance request but no one takes real responsibility. 


All this was entirely predictable. No surprises at all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Patrick Deneen On Amy Coney Barrett

Will Justice Amy be the second coming of Clarence Thomas--only as a white female? I sure hope so! And Patrick Deneen offers some hope in that regard in this teaser. What a concept, hey? America as a project to secure the common good. The point is, for that to be the case there needs to be some basic agreement on just what the common good is. Says Deneen:

So the constitution is not merely a non-aggression pact, as I think it has been increasingly interpreted, for people to do as they wish.


In other words, at the time of the founding there was a basic agreement as to the substantive content underlying the notion of a common good. We need to recover that to Make America Great Again. I believe AG Bill Barr is very much on board with that project--of recovering a substantive notion of the common good--and Deneen contends that Justice Amy will be, too. I'm all for it.

Was The FBI In Bed With The Russians?

The Ratcliffe Revelations--here: John Ratcliffe Goes NUCLEAR!--lead to some mind blowing speculation. I'm pasting in below my second update to the linked post. This officially places the United States in the ranks of banana republics. 

Sean Davis and Mollie Hemingway have a pretty thorough--thorough to this point--write-up on all this here: BREAKING: Russia Believed Clinton Was Planning Anti-Trump Collusion Campaign In 2016, And U.S. Officials Knew It.

As a former federal bureaucrat who worked for many years in the counterintelligence field, this raises disturbing questions. For example.

If the Russians knew this about Hillary, wouldn't that constitute "kompromat"? Wouldn't Hillary be compromised and therefore subject to blackmail by the Russians, who could reveal her dastardly plot? And yet disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok has a book out claiming--on purely speculative and farfetched grounds--that Trump was subject to blackmail.

Even more disturbing. If Igor Danchenko, Steele's supposed source, was a Russian agent--as the FBI is on record as believing--wouldn't that mean that, since he provided false information against Trump at the behest of a paid Clinton operative, that Hillary and the FBI were in collusion with the Russian intelligence services against the elected President of the United States? Because, after all, Hillary didn't fess up after the election, although she could have and should have. Even worse, it would then appear that the FBI continued to collude with the Russian intelligence services against Trump--since they continued to use the hoax information provided by the Russian agent Danchenko to renew the Carter Page FISA and to launch the Team Mueller witchhunt that eventually led to the fake impeachment.

Think about that. 

Disgraced former FBI Director Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate. Could be interesting. I'd say he's wedged himself into a pretty tight spot.

UPDATED: John Ratcliffe Goes NUCLEAR!

Sullivan and Gleeson aren't news and they're not even comedy any more.

OTOH, this is NEWS, via Sean Davis. Handwritten notes of John Brennan--Brennan briefed Obama on Russia's knowledge that Hillary was cooking up a Russia Hoax against Trump! Obama and "other senior intelligence officials." Let's see. Jim Comey, Strzok, Clapper, Susie Rice, and ... who else?

Hey, looks like the Russians knew a thing or two--in any event, they turned out to be right, and the Russia Hoax turned out to be ... a hoax!

Sullivan Makes A Pig's Breakfast Of The Hearing

Sullivan is a shocking idiot. Remember how he previously had no clue about the constitutional definition of "treason"? Now it turns out that he has no clue about the First Amendment right to petition the government. He thinks there was something improper about Sidney Powell writing a letter to AG Barr!

From Wikipedia, about the right to petition the government:

In the United States the right to petition is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which specifically prohibits Congress from abridging "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".

Although often overlooked in favor of other more famous freedoms, and sometimes taken for granted,[1] many other civil liberties are enforceable against the government only by exercising this basic right.[2][1]

According to the Congressional Research Service, since the Constitution was written,[3]

the right of petition has expanded. It is no longer confined to demands for “a redress of grievances,” in any accurate meaning of these words, but comprehends demands for an exercise by the government of its powers in furtherance of the interest and prosperity of the petitioners and of their views on politically contentious matters. The right extends to the "approach of citizens or groups of them to administrative agencies (which are both creatures of the legislature, and arms of the executive) and to courts, the third branch of Government. Certainly the right to petition extends to all departments of the Government. The right of access to the courts is indeed but one aspect of the right of petition."

So now check this out (again per Leslie McAdoo Gordon). Note that Sidney Powell is pulling no punches (JS = Judge Sullivan):

The DoJ States Its Position In Flynn Case

Per Leslie McAdoo Gordon, these are the four points Hashim (“Hash”) Mooppan presented:

Mr. Mooppan has 4 points. 

First is that there is no case or controversy, which Sullivan said he wasn't going to discuss. 

He's saying it's not a separate issue. It's one of the govt's grounds for dismissal. 

Second issue: Court isn't a rubber stamp, but the examples Gleeson used don't apply here. This isn't a case of a rogue prosecutor. This case is the "considered view" of the US. 

3rd: The US has exclusive authority to dismiss; Fokker give court no role to disagree with DOJ's determination. Nixon and Fokker are controlling. 

4th: materiality. DOJ cited Safavian - he gives the page. Says that is about whether a jury "could" convict, not "should" and certainly not whether the DOJ "should" pursue. 

After Mooppan, Ken Kohl reviews some of the evidentiary problems with any prosecution of Flynn. Brief examples:

Barnett 302

Comey's testimony to HPSCI: 

saying it was a "close one" - he doesn't know if Flynn lied. Kohl says that would be a problem for DOJ. DOJ doesn't prosecute people unless they are SURE there is a crime; not that there might be.

Calling Strzok as witness? Who misled the FISC?

It's simply a weak case, even assuming there had been a reason for it to begin with.

I assume Sullivan will deny the motion--because he can. To delay.

OMG! ACB Is Sunk!

 Sorry, I couldn't resist this:

CNN Reports Amy Coney Barrett Attended Bizarre Ceremony Where She Ate Flesh, Drank Blood Of Jewish Guy

SOUTH BEND, IN—In a disturbing new report, CNN has revealed the bizarre practices of the strange cult Amy Coney Berrett belongs to. Known to some as "Christendom," it features many ancient rituals that were recorded by undercover CNN journalists at a strange stone building on Sunday where the ceremonies were held. 

"I've never seen anything like this," said CNN's investigative reporter from the scene. "This is really, really sick stuff. It's never been more clear to me that Amy Coney Barrett is an existential threat to our civil liberties, in addition to being a major weirdo." 

According to sources, the building where these rituals take place is littered with statues of dead people. In addition to the statues, the central feature of the inner sanctum is a giant torture device with the likeness of a victim being nailed to it.

"Please be advised," said the CNN anchor reporting the news. "What you're about to see is disturbing." 

Secret cameras showed Amy Coney Barrett kneeling before a priest-type figure as he recited some kind of incantation in a dead tongue. The priest then held up a round wafer and a goblet of red liquid which he announced to be the true body and blood of a Jewish rabbi who died 2000 years ago.

"I can't believe I'm about to say this, but she ate and drank the stuff," said the reporter with trembling lips. "This is horrifying. Amy Coney Barrett must be stopped!"

They then brought a newborn baby to a basin of water and attempted to drown it. Fortunately, the baby survived. After the ceremony, they crossed themselves in what appears to be a vague reference to the Crusades and a white-supremacist dog-whistle. 

"This woman is clearly looney-tunes. No chance she'll be confirmed," concluded CNN. 

Has Sullivan Found A Way To Keep Flynn Case Going Past Election?

 H/T to commenter Bruce from Oz, who points out:

Sullivan has granted 'Leave for filling' on the Goelman letter (also contains the letters in question). This is going to drag on.

Aitan D. Goelman is Peter Strzok's lawyer, and this is his letter. In the letter Goelman complains that Strzok's handwritten notes have been "altered." What he means is that dates have been added to show the date of the notes (these additions by document reviewers are set off in boxes), and he complains that one date is inaccurate. He also complains that Sidney Powell has violated an order not to supplement pleadings until the government's "Brady" production is complete.

You can view the two pages of notes that Goelman is complaining about by following the link above.

Roscoe Davis argues that this signals that Sullivan will seek to hold additional--evidentiary--hearings to drag the case past the election. Davis also points out that none of this has anything to do with Flynn himself, or with the DoJ decision to dismiss the prosecution. 

I hasten to add that Sullivan allowing this letter to be filed doesn't mean that there actually will be hearings on the matters discussed in the letter--nor does Goelman request any particular action. It's all up to Sullivan. However, it seems to me that if Sullivan seizes on issues of this sort to prevent expeditious dismissal of the Flynn case, then AG Barr needs to find a way to play some hardball with the Judicial Branch, which is increasingly out of control. Joining an appeal to the SCOTUS would seem appropriate.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Bombshell Revelations Ahead Of Tomorrow's Flynn Hearing

Commenter Tom Bop alluded to these new revelations earlier this evening. DoJ has turned over handwritten notes that make it quite clear that the FBI knew they had no legitimate case against Flynn. The conclusion can only be that the FBI was seeking to undermine the new Trump administration. I say these are "bombshell" revelations not because we didn't already know this with moral certainty, but because it's astonishing to see it all in writing.

Think of it as the FBI making a claim against their "insurance policy."

Add to that what Senator Johnson said Sunday about the games the FBI continues to play with excessive and absurd redactions of documents that Johnson has requested, and OIG's letter today saying basically the same thing. The picture you get is of the FBI as an existential threat to our constitutional order. Exaggeration? 

Anyway, Roscoe Davis does a super job summarizing this new material, which is almost totally redacted--by Sullivan. Consult the link to the court filing to see just how much is redacted. Nevertheless, from the little that's revealed it's completely clear that the FBI at its highest management levels--with plenty of support within DoJ--was fully aware that there was no legitimate case against Flynn. None. The continuing Flynn case was all about hobbling the new Trump administration.

The real question for Barr's investigators would seem to boil down to this: 

Was this just the FBI operating on its own to cash in its insurance policy? After all, they seem to have been ready to close the case up until the Kislyak call. Or did they receive really high level and possibly broadly based political pressure--even after Trump's inauguration--to continue down this slow rolling coup road? And if so, from whom? 

We really are talking about a Big Picture Conspiracy narrative here.

Here's Roscoe:

UPDATED: Mental Health Day

I'm taking a bit of time off today--or at least this morning. Also to rest my eyes. 

Two quick comments. 

The next Michael Flynn hearing is coming up. FWIW, what will interest me the most will be how aggressive the DoJ attorney is. We know Sidney Powell will push hard on the theme of government misconduct and that Gleeson will be unhinged. So I'm interested in how DoJ intends to react to having been stonewalled--in the face of all evidence and legitimate constitutional concerns--at both the District and Circuit court levels. Powell has stated that, if balked again, she'll "go straight to the Supreme Court." Will DoJ adopt a similarly aggressive posture?

And now a request.

Shipwreckedcrew has an article out today in which he maintains--IMO convincingly--that the "insurance policy" that Strzok and Page texted about was, in fact, simply the Michael Flynn case. I say his argument is convincing. It's extended and draws in most of the available evidence. Here's his conclusion. As you'll see, he's echoing points made here--both by me as well as by commenters--while expanding on them:

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Lindsey's Three Buckets

At the end of his interview with Maria Bartiromo today, Senator Graham stated that there would be another revelation coming soon that would be even more shocking that what they had been talking about. What they'd been talking about was the FISA abuse and the Barnett 302. However, Graham was too cagey for me to even make a guess at what that revelation might be.

Then, to close out the interview, Graham summarized the Barr investigation as being composed of "three buckets":

1) Was there any predication at all for Team Mueller?

2) The Carter Page FISA abuse.

3) The Michael Flynn case.

I see #1 as being the most significant. The wrongdoing in the second and third buckets has been known for a long time. However, the fact that the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is now openly suggesting that the Team Mueller witchhunt had no predication--i.e., was illegal--is a major positive development. It certainly confirms what I've been saying since Durham was appointed: Team Mueller is in the crosshairs. We saw that, implicitly, in the Barnett 302, and now Graham is saying that pretty explicitly.

Might Justice Amy Play A Role In The Russia Hoax?

That's right--I've already promoted Barrett from Judge Amy to Justice Amy.

And the answer to the question is, Yes, she just might play a role in the Russia Hoax.

We've referenced 42 U.S. Code § 1983 - Civil action for deprivation of rights in the past. it's the federal law that allows people to sue the ass off people who deprive them of their constitutional rights. There is a problem with that and--sit down for this--it's a judge made problem. Judges decided that this law was too hard on law enforcement types, so they came up with a doctrine of "qualified immunity" in such cases. That doctrine can be summarized--and, indeed, the SCOTUS did summarize the doctrine--this way:

"[G]overnment officials performing discretionary functions generally are shielded from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known."

When--not if--the prosecution of Michael Flynn is dismissed for government misconduct, Michael Flynn will be suing the ass off those who were responsible for violating his rights. It's called a Bivens action.

It just so happens that Judge Amy, soon to be Justice Amy, has a track record on Bivens and qualified immunity, and it's not the kind of track record that potential Bivens defendants will be happy with. You can read about it here:

UPDATED: Is The Barnett 302 A Downpayment On More To Come?

In my original post regarding the fascinating 302 of USA Jensen's Flynn Team interview of SA William Barnett, I briefly made the point that this 302 may actually not be the full story on Barnett's cooperation with the Barr led DoJ investigation of all things Russia Hoax--an investigation that has expanded now to include at least three aggressive and very competent US Attorneys: John Durham, Jeff Jensen, and John Bash. Jensen has been making a lot of waves in the last few months, because--among other aspects of the Russia Hoax--he has the lead on the Michael Flynn case, which has gone very public with the lurid details of government misconduct.

Here's that brief point I made--with the surrounding paragraphs for a bit more context:

The result was that very little real investigation of Flynn ever took place. Instead, the open case appeared to Barnett to be a sort of placeholder--a case without real predication that was being kept open "just in case". Just in case Flynn became a target of opportunity (as in fact happened) and the FBI could then say, Oh yeah, we've been investigating him as a foreign agent all along--to provide added credibility to the setup interview of Flynn. 

That, of course, is not how investigations are supposed to be managed. In this regard, there are signs in the 302 that this write-up may be only one of several. For example, regarding the lack of predication and the lack of actual investigative activity, the 302 briefly notes that Barnett mentions a "very frank discussion" on that score with "Analyst 1." But no details. I suspect a more detailed account of that aspect exists.

This perspective on how the Flynn investigation was managed is important, because it narrows down USA Jensen's focus on the Flynn case. Presumably, Barnett's account will also be supported by or will confirm what Joe Pientka has already told investigators regarding who directed it all. This in turn will help Jensen to pin the decision on opening a basically unpredicated Full Investigation of Flynn on Strzok--and possibly others above Strzok.

I probably should have gone into a bit more detail on my thinking here. However, Shipwreckedcrew has done more on that. After citing him, I'll make one additional point that I think indicates that Barnett's 302--as we've seen it--may only be a small part of the whole picture. That will also illustrate why there's reason to believe that the "sprawl" of this investigation could be quite extensive. So, here's SWC, retweeting Sidney Powell and offering his take:

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Horror Story: When I Clerked For Barrett ...


Jeremy McLellan
When I clerked for Barrett she tried to adopt me twice against my will, called regular wine cis-substantiated, had a yellow phone with a secure line to the Vatican, and made me read all the memos out loud in Latin while facing away from her. Please Democrats, you must stop her.

And what would we do without the Babylon Bee?

Trump suddenly appeared on the White House lawn and greeted all the gathered crowd with a wide beaming smile like that of an expectant father. “Thank you, ladies and gentlemen and Democrats and Fake News media! I am very happy, so very happy, I don't even remember the last time I was this happy, to announce the gender of our nominee to fill the seat!” he said. 

The crowd erupted in joyous applause as the Secret Service rolled out a giant wheeled cannon similar to a civil war artillery piece and pulled the trigger to send an enormous cloud of pink glitter into the air.

“Of course it’s a girl! It’s a girl!” Trump said as he made an hourglass curve gesture with his hands. “Tremendous. Thank you very much!”

Is Something Afoot In Blue America?

My wife sent me an article from Fox about something that happened yesterday in deepest Blue Illinois. What happened was a pretty much impromptu demonstration, sparked by an anti-Trump sign that the Village of Northbrook has allowed a liberal activist to display in a public park. Here's the sign, which obviously parrots the line of Illinois' ueber liberal and ueber wealthy governor Pritzker, that attempts to pin blame for Covid deaths on President Trump alone:

Northbrook is a North Shore suburb of Chicago and trends very definitely liberal on the political spectrum--if you view this at the original site the dot located Northbrook on the spectrum is at the left edge of the second palest blue bar:

The sign has become a flashpoint in what I'm pretty sure is a normally very placid community, and Friday a local high school student sponsored a rally against the sign that attracted far more support than anticipated. Note among the issues mentioned, beyond Covid, is: reopening government operated schools. In deepest Blue Cook County I've seen polls showing support for reopening government run schools at 75-85%, varying by school district. Some are now reopening, perhaps spurred by the success of the still fairly large Catholic school (and other private schools) in reopening on schedule. Of course, the extreme left Chicago teachers union has made sure that Chicago schools, serving heavily Black and Hispanic populations, remain closed.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Are These Declassifications An Alternate Type Of Durham Report?

That's an idea that Shipwreckedcrew came up with. I was toying with the idea of writing something suggesting that the recent bombshell declassifications were tied to the coming election, but I couldn't think of the right way to put it. SWC found that way:



I'm guessing -- and its all been speculation -- that the releases the past 3 days are an alternative to a "Durham Report."  One guts the Flynn case, and another is huge new on the Page investigation.  This is for electorate consumption.

They also suggest that Durham is probably wanting more time, and this is the alternative disclosure vehicle.  Remember that Trump gave Barr ultimate DeClass authority, so the FBI cannot block DeClass any longer.  So this stuff is coming out because Barr wants it out.

1:28 PM · Sep 25, 2020·

This makes sense to me. Barr and Durham surely understand that this investigation is one that the nation has a huge stake in. For the public to want to know what is going on is entirely reasonable, no matter what the legal difficulties with releasing information may be. You can't write a report that's just a few pages long, and once you start writing you're likely to also raise more questions in the minds of your readers. Of course, that's also true about declassifications, but a report is viewed as something that's supposed to be somehow complete in itself. Narrowly targeted declassifications may be a good alternative--one that shows that you're doing something, making progress, but doesn't give too much away.

The Barnett 302

I'll do this in a sort of impressionistic way--concentrating on overall impressions taken from the FD-302 of FBI Agent William Barnett. That "302" memorializes the interview of Barnett that was conducted by FBI agents and prosecutors investigating the handling of the Michael Flynn case.

First of all, imagine how Barnett felt going into this interview, and what the circumstances of the interview tell us.

Barnett, a law enforcement official of the federal government, had hired an attorney to be present with him at the interview--even though he was just a witness. He may have been just a witness, but he knew this was a high stakes interview and he couldn't simply trust to his own integrity.

He was interviewed by two FBI agents and two federal prosecutors--one of them Jeffrey Jensen, a USA who had also been an FBI agent. Barnett knew there'd be no BS-ing his way through this interview, and that this interview was supremely important from the government's standpoint.

Right at the start we learn something very important. Barnett had worked on both the Flynn and Manafort investigations. In fact, he was the case agent for both investigations at the FBI's Washington Field Office (WFO), having been specifically recruited to join the Crossfire Hurricane (CH) team by SSA Joe Pientka. He continued working those cases once Team Mueller was set up. That means that he would have interacted regularly with the prosecutors who led those investigations for Team Mueller. We learn later that Barnett is able to recall the attitudes and words of Jeannie Rhee and Andrew Weissmann, so it's a good guess that Durham/Jensen are very much interested in those two Team Mueller alumni.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Or Maybe THIS Is What Lindsey Was Talking About?

Lindsey Graham's office today released an unclassified summary of an FBI Counterintelligence investigation of an individual who was believed to be cooperating with the Russian intelligence services--a Russian 'asset'. It's the kinda stuff that's hard to make up. The Counterintelligence investigation was of Igor Danchenko--Christopher Steele's so-called 'Primary Sub-source (PSS).' The investigation began in 2009 as a Preliminary Investigation, but was upgraded to a Full Investigation. The investigation was closed in 2011. 

When the FBI learned in December, 2016, that Danchenko was Steele's PSS they searched their records and learned about the investigation. In other words, they knew all this when they interviewed Danchenko in late January, 2017, regarding his role in providing material to Steele for the 'dossier.' Danchenko was not questioned about his relationship with the Russian intelligence services at that time, and the FBI continued to claim that Danchenko's 'dossier' material was reliable as they sought three renewals of the Carter Page FISA. They apparently saw no reason to inform the FISA court that the probable cause for Carter Page FISA was heavily based on material provided by a person they suspected of being a Russian spy.

Interestingly, the FBI sought a FISA on Danchenko in the second half of 2010. However, before the FISA could be processed Danchenko left the country. Here's how the investigation was left:

Because the Primary Sub-source had apparently left the United States, the FBI withdrew the FISA application request and closed the investigation. The record documenting the closing of the investigation stated that consideration would be given to re-opening the investigation in the event that the Primary Sub-source returned to the United States. 

In other words, as of the last time the FBI was involved with Danchenko before they interviewed him in January, 2017, they believed they had probable cause to believe that Danchenko was an agent of the Russian government--a spy. Apparently the FBI lost track of Danchenko, who later reentered the US. 

The details of the investigation itself aren't terribly important--read them for yourselves. From my perspective Danchenko comes across as rather clumsy and probably not terribly stable--which fits in with what we've heard about him to this point.

The real point is that the FBI knew all this about Danchenko and their own past concerns that he was a Russian spy. They knew this by December, 2016, and knowing this they failed to inform the FISA court and probably also withheld this information from DoJ as well. They should have terminated the Carter Page FISA at that point. Instead, they fraudulently renewed the FISA three times.

I have to say, I'm flabbergasted. 

On the other hand, this certainly looks more and more like Durham has a legitimate shot at proving a big picture conspiracy--a conspiracy on the part of FBI management to defraud the government of the FBI's honest services in furtherance of the attempted political goal of ousting the President of the United States from the office of the presidency on false pretenses through the means of criminal false statements to the FISA court. And they did all this while utilizing material provided by a suspected Russian spy which was known to be unreliable, but which they presented to the court as highly reliable.

Good For Sidney!

Speaking to Lou Dobbs this evening, Sidney Powell said that if Sullivan doesn't dismiss the case she'll take it straight to the SCOTUS--to bypass the corrupt Obama DC Circuit. I have an idea that the SCOTUS will take the case if it comes to that. 

Good for Sidney--our judicial emperors no longer have clothes.

Oh, Wow! What Lindsey Was Saying!

Just wait, 10-12 days, said Lindsey, if you think you're mad now.

Just in time for the new Flynn hearing, a big doc drop by DoJ. The docs mostly deal with Flynn case and were turned over to Sidney Powell for her latest filing, but there's some relevance for the entire Crossfire Hurricane case--especially Comey's attempt to blackmail Trump at Trump Towers on January 6, 2017. The Federalist has an excellent summary here:

‘Trump Was Right’: Explosive New FBI Texts Detail Internal Furor Over Handling Of ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ Investigation

Newly disclosed internal FBI notes and text messages detail the extent of the FBI's desire to take down Trump and his associates at any cost.


Here's how it starts:

UPDATED: How Broad Is 'Sprawling'?

Could a 'sprawling' investigation into the Russia Hoax include an examination of how the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton investigations--The Clinton Foundation, the Uranium One deal, etc.?

Based on reporting by the NYT the answer may be, Yes:

In Politically Charged Inquiry, Durham Sought Details About Scrutiny of Clintons

John Durham’s team has sought information about the F.B.I.’s handling of the Clinton Foundation investigation, raising questions about the scope of the prosecutor’s review.


Mr. Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut assigned by Mr. Barr to review the Russia inquiry, has sought documents and interviews about how federal law enforcement officials handled an investigation around the same time into allegations of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Mr. Durham’s team members have suggested to others that they are comparing the two investigations as well as examining whether investigators in the Russia inquiry flouted laws or policies. It was not clear whether Mr. Durham’s investigators were similarly looking for violations in the Clinton Foundation investigation, nor whether the comparison would be included or play a major role in the outcome of Mr. Durham’s inquiry.

..., Mr. Durham’s efforts suggest the scope of his review is broader than previously known.

Most of the NYT article reads like an extended and quite tendentious defense of Hillary, as well as a continuation of Russia Hoax conspiracy theories. 

Fox News, however, adds some fascinating details. It seems the conservative blogosphere isn't the only sector that has been asking, What has John Huber been up to? Apparently the White House and DoJ have also been asking that. The result, it seems, is that John Durham has taken over aspects of the John Huber investigation--aspects that involved Hillary and the Clinton Foundation:

Sperry: Brennan 'Juiced' The ICA For Political Purposes

Did you ever doubt that John Brennan juiced the Intelligence Community's Assessment (ICA) for political--i.e., anti-Trump--purposes? Me neither.

But just in case you had any doubts, Paul Sperry is here to tell you that it's true--and he has anonymous sources to confirm that it's true: Secret Report: How CIA's Brennan Overruled Dissenting Analysts Who Concluded Russia Favored Hillary.

So, this article isn't exactly man-bites-dog stuff. On the other hand, Sperry adds a fair amount of interesting detail. For example, he provides names for some of the handful of Brennan's collaborators in writing the ICA. The significance of that is that, as we learn, Brennan only had a handful of collaborators--the other analysts who would ordinarily have participated in the full ICA process were essentially shut out when it came to writing the ICA. So, if you know the names of just a handful then you pretty much know most of Brennan's team. And, anyway, Brennan himself did the final edit.

All that is interesting and useful knowledge, even if most of it isn't really new. The potentially important portion of the article is quite brief. Sperry asserts that John Durham remains focused on the ICA and is using a secret House report that debunks the ICA as a "road map" for his investigation:

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Durham v. Mueller

I've repeated several times my view that John Durham almost certainly believes that he has unfinished business with the Mueller FBI. The Comey FBI was really little more than a continuation of the Mueller FBI, and the Team Mueller SCO was, to a significant degree, a resurrection of the Mueller FBI to defend the Deep State against the existential threat of a fully functional Trump administration.

Techno Fog today has a pair of tweets that provide a sort of snapshot of that Durham v. Mueller dynamic. It very simply illustrates the very different understanding the two men have of the injunction to "do justice." These two tweets will also, hopefully, buoy confidence in Durham as we await results--buoy confidence that Durham is doing all in his power to "do justice." He is not the man to easily allow these crimes to go unpunished or to pull up short when he's on the trail. Please excuse my clumsy embedding job:

Another Big Step Toward MAGA

Andrea Widburg has the story at American Thinker, with plenty of documentary explanation: Trump strikes a second, massive blow against Critical Race theory. It's hard to overemphasize how important Trump's new move is. Trump's first executive order against Critical Race Theory indoctrination in government agencies--which he enforced when CDC tried to ignore it--was a big first step toward healing the nation from Leftist inflicted hate mongering. This new executive order extends the ban on CRT indoctrination to: 

the military, 

government contractors, and 

"grantees" (i.e., among others, institutions of education).

The scope of this ban is now, essentially, society wide. It adds the ban to two more fundamental societal institutions--the military, with its vast network of contractors, and education--taking them out of the indoctrination game, bringing the Gramscian long march of the Left through our basic institutions to a grinding halt. Control of indoctrination in the military and in educational institutions has been key to the poisoning of our youth's minds with Leftist ideology. Universities can "resist" the ban, but they'll be doing it without federal money. 

Obviously this is still the first step. Trump's reelection is an essential next step if we are to see the full fruits of this bold initiative. In particular, if we are to see how far the provision regarding "grantees" and contractors may extend. For example, do social media and tech companies qualify as "government contractors". My guess is that most of them do, in one way or another. This executive order could be a far more effective and expeditious way of addressing the problem of Leftist indoctrination and censorship than years long anti-trust lawsuits. Those lawsuits can begin and continue, but effective change and control over Leftist attempts to silence opposition will not have to wait on the results of antitrust litigation.

Getting a new conservative voice on the SCOTUS will be another big step in this direction.

The stakes in this election could not be more clear.

Excerpts from Widburg's article:

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

UPDATED: Barrett Or Lagoa?

Right now that appears to be the choice--one of the two. 

Realistically, while one hopes that principle plays a dominant role in the selection, electoral considerations are bound to play a part. Lagoa, of course, would appeal to many Floridians, and Florida is a supremely important state for Trump.

On the other hand, while Lagoa comes well recommended, her resume is unquestionably on the thin side for a SCOTUS nominee. Nobody really knows that much about her. Barrett has an excellent resume and appears to be a clear favorite among conservatives. She also, by the sheer Middle American normality of her persona, might well appeal to a broad swath of Americans--especially women, and especially in the upper Midwest.

My tendency is to go with Barrett for reasons that don't denigrate Lagoa. It's not Lagoa's fault that she's not more of a known quantity--it takes time on the federal bench to establish the type of credentials that recommend a person for the SCOTUS, and Lagoa simply has not had the bench time or the time in an academic setting to establish a judicial profile to that extent.

I like that Barrett, while having for certain periods of her career been a member of the Federalist Society, is not closely associated with the Libertarian wing of the GOP or the legal establishment. I like her track record on important issues for conservatives: Title IX, Immigation, 2nd Amendment, and 4th Amendment.

Bill Barr: Like A Boss, Or An Adult

And after all, isn't that what this country is supposed to be about? The idea that citizens can come together, choose representatives, debate issues and policies, come to understandings or, failing that, litigate those matters according to the laws and Constitution? It's a matter of reasoned discourse, as adults. The alternative is ... civil war. We tried that once. It's a bad idea.

But that's what Dems want to try again. They showed that intent when AG Barr showed up to testify before Nadler's committee in the House--and I use that phraseology deliberately. That was on July 28th. Rather than engage with Barr, Nadler and the Dems simply harangued Barr in the crudest and most childish manner--even denying him a 5 minute potty break toward the end of the session.

So, yesterday Assistant AG Stephen E. Boyd sent a letter to Nadler. Boyd's letter responded to Nadler's demand that three DoJ officials show up before Nadler to be grilled: Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal and U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald Washington. Boyd--beyond doubt at the direction of AG Barr--refused to send those three DoJ officials to be abused by Nadler. In doing so Boyd specifically cited the treatment of Barr by Nadler and the Dems, pointing out that that treatment had violated the Constitutional conditions under which Congress is authorized to conduct oversight hearings--they had shown no interest at all in obtaining testimony to assist in their legislative duties:

Unfortunately, when given the opportunity to obtain information from the head of the Department of Justice about precisely these matters, many Committee Members chose instead to use their allotted time to air grievances. Rather than attempt to obtain information from the Department that would assist the Committee in recommending legislation to the House, many Members of the majority devoted their time entirely towards scolding and insulting the Attorney General. These Members refused to allow the Attorney General to respond to their accusations or to answer questions asked for rhetorical effect. As the New York Times reported, “Democrat after Democrat posed questions to Mr.Barr only to cut him off when he tried to reply, substituting their own replies for his.” See Barr Testimony: Highlights of Combative Hearings on Protests, Stone Case and More, N.Y. Times (July 28, 2020) In what can only be viewed as a coordinated effort to muzzle the Attorney General the Members repeatedly invoked the phrase, “reclaiming my time,” which they employed more than 30 times when the Attorney General tried to respond. All told, when the Attorney General tried to address the Committee's questions, he was interrupted and silenced in excess of 70 times. Some Members were quite candid that they had no interest in actually hearing from the Attorney General. One Member interrupted him and admitted “Well I don't want you to tell your story.” Oversight of the Department of Justice, Hearing Before the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 116th Cong. ( July 28, 2020). Another advised, “You will have a chance to comment after your testimony is done here today.” Id. Despite the Attorney General appearing in person and taking questions from all Members who were present, he was denied the most basic opportunities to respond.

As the Supreme Court recently reiterated, the purpose of a hearing by the House is to obtain the information necessary to legislate“ wisely and effectively,” and the questioning is required to serve a legitimate legislative purpose. See Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, 140 S. Ct. 2019 2020). Yet the House's so-called oversight hearing” of the Attorney General did preciously [sic] little to advance any legitimate interest since the Attorney General was repeatedly denied the opportunity to provide information to the Committee. We very much regret that the Committee did not elect to engage in a meaningful, good-faith effort to obtain information and views from the Attorney General while he was present and prepared to testify. Having squandered its opportunity to conduct a meaningful oversight hearing with the Attorney General, it remains unclear how further public spectacles with other Department officials would now—a mere 14 legislative days since the Attorney General's hearing--advance the Committee's legitimate oversight efforts.

What ever gave the Dems the idea that Bill Barr would put up with childish antics? That he would play into their dreams of show trial type hearings?

Monday, September 21, 2020

UPDATED: Andrew Weissmann Out To Settle Scores?

Andrew Weissmann's book is out tomorrow.  “Where the Law Ends”. Search it at Amazon if you're interested.

The book is basically an account of how everyone else on Team Mueller--but especially Mueller's chief of staff, Aaron Zebley--screwed up and prevented Weissmann from saving the country. Commenter Mike Sylwester has linked to an interview Weissmann did with The Atlantic: The Inside Story of the Mueller Probe’s Mistakes. I haven't read it, but Shipwreckedcrew has, and he says the interview is "a doozy."

In the past I've written about Weissmann, pointing out that after the ethical shambles of the Enron case, resulting in a 9-0 and strongly worded reversal from the SCOTUS for Weissmann, Weissmann become a pariah at DoJ. It was Bob Mueller who twice gave Weissmann a landing place at FBI, "to lick his wounds" as SWC puts it.

SWC, however, has far more of a DoJ insider's perspective on Weissmann than I ever had, and he explains what's going with Weissmann's holy war against Zebley.

Here are a few samples.

Bill Barr Goes "There"

Breaking. In a statement this morning DoJ has done the following:

Department Of Justice Identifies New York City, Portland And Seattle As Jurisdictions Permitting Violence And Destruction Of Property

Identification is Response to Presidential Memorandum Reviewing Federal Funding to State and Local Governments that are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities

The U.S. Department of Justice today identified the following three jurisdictions that have permitted violence and destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract criminal activities: New York City; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington. The Department of Justice is continuing to work to identify jurisdictions that meet the criteria set out in the President’s Memorandum and will periodically update the list of selected jurisdictions as required therein.


“When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest,” said Attorney General William P. Barr.  “We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance. It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”

 Criteria for evaluating each city is below: 

* Whether a jurisdiction forbids the police force from intervening to restore order amid widespread or sustained violence or destruction.

* Whether a jurisdiction has withdrawn law enforcement protection from a geographical area or structure that law enforcement officers are lawfully entitled to access but have been officially prevented from accessing or permitted to access only in exceptional circumstances, except when law enforcement officers are briefly withheld as a tactical decision intended to resolve safely and expeditiously a specific and ongoing unlawful incident posing an imminent threat to the safety of individuals or law enforcement officers.

* Whether a jurisdiction disempowers or defunds police departments.

*Whether a jurisdiction unreasonably refuses to accept offers of law enforcement assistance from the Federal Government.

* Any other related factors the Attorney General deems appropriate.

The statement then goes on to provide details justifying placing New York, Portland, and Seattle in this category. 

Clearly Trump continues to take the initiative in the leadup to the election.

OMG! Trump To Nominate Biden To SCOTUS!

 Yep, Babylon Bee strikes again:

The "4D chess" move forced Dems to immediately accuse Joe Biden of sexual assault and reverse their position on the current claims against him.

"We now believe Tara Reade," said a somber Kamala Harris, "and we will do everything in our power to destroy this man's life."

In addition to believing current claims against Joe Biden, Democrats also immediately dug up 417 new accusers against Joe Biden. He has been accused of participating in wild frat parties, drunken keggers, and something called the "Devil's Triangle," which Dems say is either a Satanic ritual or code for a sexual practice or "maybe both."

"It's clear this man is dangerous and cannot be trusted," said Nancy Pelosi. "We call on the Senate to turn down his nomination and run him out of public life."

Biden released a statement, saying, "I just want to go home and see my grandkids again."

BTW, I'll be taking a car in for service this morning. I'll enable comments upon return.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

UPDATED: Breaking: Suspect Apprehended In Assassination Attempt

 NBC News is reporting that a woman has been detained in connection with the attempted Ricin attack against President Trump. The unidentified woman was taken into custody while attempting to enter the United States from Canada. No other details were available. 

I'm simply speculating, but it sounds like the suspect may be a US person who mailed the package from Canada and was then returning to the US. No doubt we'll be hearing more.

UPDATE: Media yawns at ricin attempt on Trump

Someone sent the toxic ricin to the White House in a letter, either as a warning or an actual attack. The New York Times consigned the story to page 28. It wasn't front page news to the management of Times. A feature story on Paul Rusesabagina of Rwanda was.

The Washington Post likewise did not think President Donald John Trump's life was newsworthy. It ran on its Page One an interview with Jerry Falwell Jr.'s former pool attendant instead.

How different it was when the media was the target of a poison sent in the mail.


But someone threatens this president, ho-hum.

And the Times Page 28 story was headlined, "Ricin Is Said to Have Been Sent to White House."

Is Said. The passive voice is how the media softens a hard news story. And the Times did not even say in its headline who said it.


That was on Sunday. Today, the arrest of a woman in the ricin attack also failed to make the front page of either the New York Times or the Washington Post.

An attempt on a president's life 6 weeks before the election strikes me as more important than a rehash of the Democrat riots in Kenosha that the Post ran on its Page One, or another fires-prove-climate-change story that the Times ran on its Page One.

We have a national media that gives us candy and cakes instead of the meat and potatoes of news. The media entertain and offer their worthless opinions while downplaying important stories such as peace breaking out in the Middle East.

Indictments Next Week?

I don't like to go with unsourced assertions, so I've resisted these claims for the past week or so. However, Shipwreckedcrew presumably has very good sources to go this far out on a limb:

We shall see. If so it'll be one helluva news cycle. Oh--he doesn't say so, but I assume he's talking about Durham.

UPDATE: SWC does some CYA:

This is getting a lot of traction so lets not let it linger without further exposition.  My view is based on events, not inside info.  Dannehy's resignation suggests Durham's probe is shifting away from investigation towards the Courtroom.

The abject panic from Dems in Congress subject to being exposed for having been behind-the-scenes participants as leakers and enablers is instructive.  The idiotic letters to the IG is inexplicable unless there is a serious rumor floating around behind the scenes.

The public disclosure of potentially criminal conduct by members of the SCO only comes to light if the AG and DOJ are not concerned about that public disclosure.  And the unhinged nature of Weissman's attacks on Barr and Durham, all suggest extreme nervousness.

The suggestion that there is a "report" in the works means Barr might be relying on DOJ policy that authorizes release of information to "reassure" the public that DOJ is investigating matters of public interest, AND that DOJ is investigating past misconduct by DOJ officials.


"This is getting a lot of traction?" Well, no sh*t!

"My view is based on events, not inside info." And the problem with having said that right up front would have been ...?

I think we can all agree there's a high degree of panic among Dems, and that panic is reflected in public statements, letters and tweets. Next week?

Working against "next week" is the scheduling of Senate testimony for key figures.

We'll see.


How Long Has Durham Been On The Job?

We've known, or at least we thought we knew, that John Durham was investigating Russia Hoax related matters as early as the late summer of 2018. However, a new book by NYT reporter Mike Schmidt (Donald Trump v. the United States) sheds additional light on this matter, without clearing it up entirely. Here's how this is explained at The Lawfare Blog:

Schmidt reports in his book that around March 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions tapped Durham—then an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut—to open a leak investigation into FBI Director James Comey following reporting by the New York Times that Comey had asked the Justice Department to refute Trump’s baseless allegations that former President Barack Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower. The investigation reported directly to Sessions. Schmidt adds that Durham’s investigation “unnerved career officials in the deputy attorney general’s office,” [i.e., officials working for Rod Rosenstein] which is generally responsible for the department’s day-to-day operations and normally would have overseen an investigation like Durham’s.

The existence of the investigation shows that Durham has been involved with the investigation of Russia-related matters from the very start of the Trump administration, a point the New York Times’s Charlie Savage made on Twitter. It is unclear to what extent Durham’s 2017 inquiry is related to a January 2020 report that federal prosecutors were investigating whether Comey improperly disclosed information to reporters in the spring of 2017.

Contrary to Schmidt, I don't think this does show that Durham was involved in "Russia-related matters" at that point. In fact, I'd be pretty certain that he wasn't.