Thursday, September 3, 2020

UPDATED: McCabe And The Big Picture Conspiracy

We're having a bit of a slow news day. However, Paul Sperry has tweeted a link to an article he wrote back in March: Days After Comey Firing, McCabe's Team Re-Engaged Fired Dossier Author. With various opinions swirling around regarding exactly what Barr and Durham are planning in terms of indictments, it may be useful to take a second look at Sperry's article from the standpoint of what I've called the "big picture conspiracy".

The big picture conspiracy, of course, is the plot to remove President Trump from office--the attempt to prevent his election having failed. Sperry's article is focused on the FBI's continuing contacts with Christopher Steele in the wake of James Comey's firing. To place that in context, we now know much more about the Danchenko interview in February, 2017, which, in essence, totally debunked the Steele "dossier." Team Mueller was set up in May, 2017. Add to that what we've now learned about the FBI's interview of Joseph Mifsud (also in February, 2017)--in which the Papadopoulos hoax predication for Crossfire Hurricane and Russian "collusion" was also debunked. Does that suggest a predication problem to you? The predication for the Russia Hoax investigation had never been verified to begin with--a serious violation in itself. For the FBI under McCabe (the Acting Director after the disgraced Comey's departure) and Team Mueller to then forge ahead even after the unverified "information" had been actually debunked and the purveyor of much of it--Chris Steele--had been exposed as a known hoaxer who, moreover, was in the pay of the Clinton campaign ... Well, that compounded the whole predication problem.

What that suggests is an agenda, and one that was driven solely by animus against Trump and not by disinterested considerations of probable cause. If that agenda was the removal of a lawfully elected president, and that agenda was combined with the opening of unpredicated investigations and obtaining FISA warrants under false pretenses, then we have the making of a conspiracy.

Now look at this passage from Sperry's article:

Michael Biasello, a 25-year veteran of the FBI who spent 10 years in counterintelligence, agreed that McCabe lacked a case against Trump. "What McCabe did is outrageous,” he said, "and McCabe as a lawyer should have known better.” 
Biasello noted that two months after ordering the probe of Trump, McCabe also signed an application to renew a surveillance warrant to electronically spy on a former foreign policy adviser of Trump. The July 2017 warrant to surveil Carter Page, which may have collected “incidental" communications with White House aides, relied heavily on information provided by Steele, which the FBI failed to tell the secret FISA court was uncorroborated and paid for by the Clinton campaign. 
McCabe has testified that without the dossier, the original FISA warrant could not have been obtained by the FBI in October 2016. Ohr testified he first warned McCabe of Steele’s anti-Trump bias during an August 2016 meeting in the then-deputy director's office. In British court papers, Steele himself confessed that his dossier was “unverifiable” and could never be used in a court of law. 
“McCabe appears to have violated the law to obtain evidence as part of an effort to subvert a sitting president,” Biasello asserted, adding that he may have also engaged in a "criminal conspiracy" to remove the president from office. On May 16, 2017, McCabe discussed trying to oust Trump via the 25th Amendment with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The two also talked about "wiring the president" -- secretly tape-recording his conversations. (Rosenstein has confirmed the exchange, but says he was being sarcastic -- as a way of showing how absurd he found the conversation.)

So here we see all the elements of a conspiracy. We have a conscious goal that could only be achieved by illegal means, since legal avenues lacked predication. The goal, of course, was the removal of Trump--and we have evidence of McCabe's intentions in that regard from his discussions with Rod Rosenstein regarding the possible use of the 25th Amendment. Further evidence lies in McCabe's opening of an obstruction investigation on Trump on a patently absurd theoretical basis.

There were also steps taken in furtherance of that conspiracy that were illegitimate or even criminal--opening investigations without predication, obtaining FISA warrants under false pretenses, and then doubling down on those same efforts even after they were affirmatively debunked. By "doubling down" I mean, securing renewal of earlier FISA warrants even after any basis had been debunked as well as moving from the Crossfire Hurricane hoax investigation to a full blown Special Counsel investigation that was based on the same debunked "information." This is what Biasello means when he states:

“McCabe appears to have violated the law to obtain evidence as part of an effort to subvert a sitting president."

The purpose of opening an investigation and obtaining a FISA warrant is, quite obviously, to obtain evidence--or information that can be construed as evidence. But to do so without a legal basis is, as Biasello asserts, a violation of law. There's the conspiracy. It's a conspiracy to defraud the government of honest service, the knowing misuse of government powers without proper authorization and with fraudulent means. It may also be a conspiracy to violate the constitutional rights of a US citizen, one Donald J. Trump.

Biasello also makes the important point that McCabe is a lawyer. As such he can be presumed to have an overall understanding of the legal significance of all his actions--a fact that bolsters other evidence of his intent.

The important remaining question is: Who were McCabe's co-conspirators. We can have a pretty good idea, but we don't know what evidence John Durham has been able to adduce to tie all the familiar players into the same conspiracy. Key to this is the question of how to ties Team Mueller into the previous conspiratorial plotting by McCabe. Nevertheless, based on this overview, and taking into consideration how little we know about Durham's investigation, we should be careful about writing off the chances for establishing and prosecuting that big picture conspiracy. We simply have no alternative but to wait.

UPDATE: Commenter MjH pointed out another example of the fact--as in verified fact--that the USIC had every reason to distrust anything that Chris Steele gave them. What's more, that fact was known well before the Danchenko interview or the Mifsud interview. There are plenty of references to this event out there, but here's one that works for us. Obviously this sets off a major explosive underneath the purported "probably cause" for the Carter Page FISA renewals--all of which probably came after the letter was received. However, it's also a major problem for the contention that Crossfire Hurricane and--especially--the Team Mueller witchhunt were properly predicated:

Rep. Devin Nunes said his team of investigators knows a memo from the British government disavowing British ex-spy Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier, is real. 
A letter from the British Embassy to the incoming national security team after President Trump was elected to the White House is mentioned in a newly unsealed filing in federal court by former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lawyers. The filing claims this letter was also sent to outgoing national security adviser Susan Rice and "apparently disavows former British Secret Service Agent Christopher Steele, calls his credibility into question and declares him untrustworthy." 
Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday his team of investigators have been looking for that same document.
"We know that document exists," Nunes said on Fox News. "This document that came from the British government. But yet nobody can seem to find it." 
Nunes said he hopes the Flynn case will shed a light on the elusive letter from the United Kingdom. 
"I know there are witnesses out there that know this. And I hope that the judge in this case will actually get those witnesses that know this document exists and let them come in and talk to the court or at least give an affidavit to the court," he said.

Wanna bet John Durham has seen this letter? And that he's been trying to find out who knew about this letter and when they knew about it?


  1. This is not new information though. We’ve all known this for some time. Is Sperry just now realizing this or articulating it in a manner for his readers to better understand?

    I dunno. What’s the key take away or am I missing something we haven’t read about here before or commented about.

    1. "This is not new information".

      Correct. I thought I made that clear:

      We're having a bit of a slow news day. However, Paul Sperry has tweeted a link to an article he wrote back in March: Days After Comey Firing, McCabe's Team Re-Engaged Fired Dossier Author. With various opinions swirling around regarding exactly what Barr and Durham are planning in terms of indictments, it may be useful to take a second look at Sperry's article from the standpoint of what I've called the "big picture conspiracy".

      IMO, that's legit. To my mind, this does help to clarify what we knew before. YMMV.

    2. I thought it helped a lot. Past info can gain much value with new info, and that’s what happened with this post.

    3. As further evidence, didn’t the UK send a letter re Steele and others
      to the Administration(Susan Rice?) I do not the recall the substance of that communication being revealed but I may have missed it. Another in
      the string of Stop signs they ran through.

    4. You're absolutely right. Thanks for the reminder:

    5. In your update it is stated that the letter from the British embassy to
      the INCOMING national security team(my emphasis on incoming).
      How does a letter so supportive of Trump’s hoax position get buried by his “own” people? It really boggles the mind the level of resistance he has encountered. I fully expect Barr has taken it all in and reacts as strongly as the rule of law permits. It’s ok with me if he goes a little beyond. Thanks for all the info.

  2. Off topic I know, but couldn't resist:

    Trump is so smart... always hits them in the pocketbook...

    Trump had to have a strong response to all the riots and looting and murders. He had to do something. And he had to do it before the election. He could have gone in with men with guns, but instead he chose the more moderate approach – sanctions.
    In combat, you always seek to hit your opponent in their weakest point. The cities are already hemorrhaging money. All their rich people are leaving in a mass exodus, and businesses are paralyzed and dying, as Nancy Pelosi so helpfully just brought to our attention. And now Trump cuts off their Federal funding. No new businesses will want to open up shop in these cities under those conditions. People will want to move out of these cities, not into them, so real estate values will drop, so local tax revenues will drop too, on TOP of the loss of federal funds. Crime, already going through the roof, will explode under these impoverished conditions. Living conditions will collapse.

  3. Anybody still wondering about Mifsud's passport and personal effects reportedly found discarded in Madeira in August 2017? Has there been anything further on that?

  4. Mark, by "conspiracy to defraud the government of honest service," which statutory section do you refer to? 18 USC 371 is the general conspiracy statute. It defines conspiracy in part as where "two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose."

    18 USC 1346 says that "'scheme or artifice to defraud' includes any scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services." In public sector cases, this means bribery or failure to disclose a conflict of interest where the public official made money.

    Is there another relevant conspiracy section? I'm trying to figure out which statute(s) Durham might charge Comey, McCabe, Weissman, et al with. And what defenses the brood of vipers might plead. Thanks.

    1. 1346 doesn't necessarily require bribery or conflict:

      'For the purposes of this chapter, the term “scheme or artifice to defraud” includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.'

      It's simply that bribery makes the scheme and intent easier to prove, especially because there are usually separate statutes to cover that behavior in the absence of a conspiracy.

    2. The point is that a government employee is being paid to provide--presumably honest--services. That's where the fraud comes in if the services are an intentional misuse of government authority for his own non-authorized purposes. He has fraudulently converted government authority to his own uses and purposes.

    3. I was in a rush and didn't express it that well. The idea behind any fraud is to use a scheme or artifice to deprive someone of something they own or have a right to or to convert that to their own use against the wish of the owner or holder. That's as opposed to crimes such as theft, robbery, burglary, etc. where a physical action is at the core of it.

      Any employer has a right to the services he pays his employee for. In the case of the FBI, part of the services performed, for example, involve applying for FISA warrants in accordance with established law, under which the employer--the FBI--operates. For an FBI official to do so in contravention of law is to fraudulently deprive the FBI/Government of the services to which they are entitled, using a scheme or artifice--the dishonest representations that they made.

    4. Ah, got it. I was looking at it from Trump's viewpoint. As head of the Executive Branch, the Vipers' fraud deprived him of the ability to do his job without having to deal with a BS investigation.

  5. Just brainstorming here, but it's beginning to look like McCabe is THE target, and Brennan and Comey walk...

    It's inconceivable that Brennan and Comey didn't know that Steele was hired by smear shop FusionGPS, and paid for by Clinton campaign/DNC--thus making obvious the partisan motivation and purpose of Steele's "product." It's their organizations' responsibility to know such details. The Crossfire Hurricane and Mueller investigations are fraudulent miscarriages six ways to Sunday--yet remain defended on procedural grounds that don't pass the smell test (innocent error).

    We're less than 60 days to a presidential election, so I have my doubts whether bombshell indictments get announced prior thereto. And if Barr/Durham are building air-tight cases for prosecution under a Biden administration, there isn't a snowballs chance that ever happens. The only justice that will survive is a Trump re-election.

    The entirety of Sperry's article is that the top of the FBI should've known from day 1 the investigation premised on a fraud/fiction. But they continued on as if the fictions were real.

    -->"McCabe said his decision to investigate Trump as a Russian asset was based on public information, not secret intelligence or any smoking-gun evidence tying Trump to the Kremlin." (From Sperry's article.)<--

    Public information = fake news in NYT/WaPo planted by anonymous sources. Perhaps the FBI should raise its standards regarding credibility and only act on information it has developed and corroborated--rather than being manipulated by media.