Saturday, October 31, 2020

Highly Recommended: Why Sullivan MUST Disqualify Himself From The Flynn Case

I wish I could simply paste in the entire article by Leslie McAdoo Gordon:

Here’s Why Judge Sullivan Must Disqualify Himself From Michael Flynn’s Case

Sullivan’s apparent animus toward Flynn's attorney and his fixation on Flynn being punished demonstrate bias in this case — sufficient to require his disqualification.

It's really well reasoned and expressed. As the subtitle indicates, the author focuses on two primary issues. 

First, Sullivan has exhibited extreme and improper bias against Flynn's attorney, Sidney Powell. McAdoo Gordon begins this section by pointing out disparities in Sullivan's treatment of Powell, as compared to the other attorneys involved--a manifest lack of respect. But she then moves on to an even more serious issue demonstrating Sullivan's animus against Powell--his unfounded and, really, rather unhinged attempt to paint Powell as in some way unethical. I say unhinged because this attempt follows a pattern of conduct by Sullivan--beginning with his accusation of "treason" leveled against Flynn, that appear to demonstrate appalling ignorance of basic matters both of law as well as of legal ethics. That, to me, is most easily explained not by ignorance per se but by an animus that is so consuming as to lead Sullivan to make grossly unfounded accusations in open court:

Highly Recommended--A Collusion Tale: China and the Bidens

Andy McCarthy has an excellent article today (h/t Mike Edmonson):

A Collusion Tale: China and the Bidens

Not only were the Bidens’ Chinese business contacts known to have ties to the regime; they also may have been clandestine agents.

There's actually no real "may have been" about it. McCarthy cites Hunter Biden's own description of a key partner, Chi Ping Patrick Ho, as “the f***ing spy chief of China.” As McCarthy amply documents, there is ample reason to accept Biden's assessment that Ho, if not the actual "f***ing spy chief of China," was certainly serving an intelligence function for China. And Ho worked directly for another top Chinese intelligence operative, Ye Zianming.

McCarthy tells the whole story very clearly, despite the dense detail. I highly recommend it.

I also draw attention to the role of FISA in the FBI investigations into these China operatives. There's no doubt at all that the FBI would have been well aware of the the Chinese cultivation of the Biden family--and other US politicians. That awareness, by now, has certainly spanned quite a few years. That's what the use of FISA makes possible, but there is a complication when it comes to use of evidence gather under FISA in a criminal trial. McCarthy explains:

Friday, October 30, 2020

The Biden Inc. Investigation Timeline

Nope, I'm not gonna provide a timeline. Jen Dyer has already done that, and commenter devilman drew Dyer's timeline to our attention:  

The laptop and the FBI investigation: The most interesting timeline you will see in 2020

There are a few details that can be added to flesh the timeline out just a bit, which I'll try to do. Dyer's basic narrative is that everything that we're now learning has to be viewed as part of a larger political struggle--but with the critical involvement of AG Bill Barr.

UPDATED: How Serious Is The FBI's Biden Inc. Investigation?

Almost certainly very serious. In the Indian tribe fraud case in which two Hunter Biden associates were convicted (Devon Archer's conviction was very recently reinstated on appeal), a lot of evidence regarding these key Biden Inc. players was gathered. One is now cooperating from prison. Next question: What will Devon Archer do? Obviously what they have to offer to the government, their bargaining chips, all have to do with Biden Inc. And the Biden Inc. case is open. Ongoing. But they've had to wait for the hoped for cooperation, working the documentary trail of evidence while they wait.

There's another indicator, and it's a significant one.

Jeff Cortese, 

@FBI SSA and Public Corruption A/Unit Chief (former)

writes something that makes total sense:


Jeff Cortese
I’ve done my share of five hour interviews, but six FBI agents feels like multiple squads with separate cases. You don’t need that many people unless you’re working different angles.
Quote Tweet
James Rosen
EXCLUSIVE: Tony Bobulinski tells @WeAreSinclair he was questioned by six @FBI agents, with counsel present, for five hours on October 23, listing him as a "material witness" in an ongoing investigation focused on Hunter Biden and his associates. His cell phones were examined.
Obviously the cases probably involve evidentiary overlap. Nevertheless, it makes administrative sense to separate different strands of investigation for the sake of focus and efficiency. To see 6 agents together like this is highly unusual and argues for something like three investigative teams--two representatives from each team.

UPDATE: How would those hypothetical three teams/squads divide the investigative pie? To me, perhaps the most logical way, based on what we know, might be assign investigative duties based on geography. For example, we know that China and Ukraine/Russia were two very active areas for Biden Inc. One team for each? As for other areas, another team to handle all the rest? 

To me that would make sense, for this reason. Suppose that there are multiple criminal violations. The likelihood remains that, for any given geographical area, the same players would be involved in all the violations. Therefore, it would be logical to keep them together. That's just a guess. I can also see a separate team handling all the financial investigation, regardless of geography. We'll just have to wait and see.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

UPDATED: Subject: Hunter Biden And Associates

That, or something like it, might be how the subject line of the FBI's opening EC would have read:

EXCLUSIVE: A official confirms that in 2019, the opened up a criminal investigation into "Hunter Biden and his associates," focused on allegations of money-laundering, and that it remains open and active today. More very soon on your stations.

Investigations of this sort are like pulling on a loose thread to see what it connects to. The interesting question is: Who are those "associates"? Jim Biden? I'd bet on that. "The Big Guy?" Why not? Quite possibly Tony Bobulinski, although that may now have changed.  

But then there's that email that Fox News obtained, that is said to be unrelated to Hunter's laptop. You can read all about it here: Email Reveals Joe Biden Would Get Cut Of China Deal. The idea behind the email--which is titled 'Phase one domestic contacts/projects'--is that Biden Inc. would steer lucrative infrastructure projects to the Chinese side, represented by CEFC. Sounds corrupt to me. Or potentially corrupt.

Follow the link for the full email, but here's the headers and the contacts:

RICO Redux

It'd be a foolish exercise to keep repeat-reporting polling stories--although there is encouraging news out there. So, on a day when there's not much else, but on which I did link to Maria Bartiromo's promise of Russia Hoax prosecutions after the election, let's briefly return to RICO.

I'm not going to try to provide information here. I'm just offering the views of professionals. You'll need to read between the lines a bit, but the line at the bottom is simply this: RICO was dreamed up with a very specific problem in mind--Mafia type organized crime. While it does have theoretical applicability beyond that, as a practical prosecutive matter by far the better case theory to go with--if at all possible--is a much more traditional conspiracy approach. It depends on circumstances, but that's always going to be the general rule, and it's basically DoJ policy as well. Conspiracy cases are far more straightforward, and any juror can understand a conspiracy.

This, in my view, is absolutely beyond question as regards the Russia Hoax. Regarding the Biden Inc. case, we're hampered because we simply don't know the full scope of it--recall, Biden Inc. appears to have been incorporated into an already existing money laundering investigation, according to Rudy Giuliani. And that money laundering investigation would include other criminal violations that are hidden from our view at this time. Nevertheless, I'd be very surprised if any effort to do a RICO would be made.

Fitting in with that, there was a revealing lawyerly exchange on Twitter today regarding the general utility of RICO. Read it and see how actual prosecutors view RICO:

BREAKING: Tucker's Biden Inc. Docs Suddenly Reappear

As always, all is well that ends well--assuming that ALL the docs reappeared. To be honest, I was frankly nonplussed at the idea of shipping docs like these by any carrier. To me, hot evidence like this--it's the kind of thing where I'd say, send this by courier. You know, like: in a locked briefcase handcuffed to the courier's wrist. Something like that.

Anyway, the key to this is that the package arrived, sans contents. UPS admits that it was the contents that went missing--not the packaging--but now says the contents have been recovered:

UPS said Thursday it found a package that Fox News host Tucker Carlson complained the night before had never made its way to him. Carlson said on his Fox News show Wednesday that he was expecting a package containing some kind of incriminating information related to Democratic nominee Joe Biden, but it never showed up.

After an extensive search, we have found the contents of the package and are arranging for its return,” UPS told TheWrap. “UPS will always focus first on our customers, and will never stop working to solve issues and make things right. We work hard to ensure every package is delivered, including essential goods, precious family belongings and critical healthcare.”


How does this work?  One assumes that this package was very securely put together and sent by the highest priority method. I have NEVER had any experience like this with either UPS of FedEx--or even with USPS, for that matter.

UPDATED: Another Thing That Bill Barr Is Doing

Not long ago, in a comment, I listed a variety of things that AG Bill Barr has done or is in the process of doing. Things like,

Shutting down the Mueller Witchhunt,

Starting the Durham investigation,

Dismissing the Flynn Case (also addressing the Manafort sentencing),

Vastly increasing investigation and data collection on Leftist sponsored terror (this will take on enormous importance after the election),

Suing Yale for discrimination,

Suing Google for antitrust violations,

And etc.

Today AP reminded me of another important Barr initiative. And if Trump wins, as I expect, this is not going away, any more than any of these other initiatives will be going away. Here's the first part of the article:

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Pennsylvania GOP Denied--Without Input From Justice Amy

You can read the decision here. It's a short statement that the expedited petition for certiorari is denied. That means that the petition itself could be accepted at a later date--presumably with Justice Amy participating. She didn't participate today because she didn't have time to read the briefs:

The motion to expedite consideration of the petition for a writ of certiorari is denied. JUSTICE BARRETT took no part in the consideration or decision of this motion.

Justice Alito--joined by Thomas, and Gorsuch--made it pretty clear that they were unhappy with Roberts' hijacking of this case, by issuing a "statement." Kavanaugh didn't join the statement.


The Court’s handling of the important constitutional issue raised by this matter has needlessly created conditions that could lead to serious post-election problems. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has issued a decree that squarely alters an important statutory provision enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature pursuant to its authority under the Constitution of the United States to make rules governing the conduct of elections for federal office.


It would be highly desirable to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the State Supreme Court’s decision before the election. That question has national importance, and there is a strong likelihood that the State Supreme Court decision violates the Federal Constitution. The provisions of the Federal Constitution conferring on state legislatures, not state courts, the authority to make rules governing federal elections would be meaningless if a state court could override the rules adopted by the legislature simply by claiming that a state constitutional provision gave the courts the authority to make whatever rules it thought appropriate for the conduct of a fair election. 


That does not mean, however, that the state court decision must escape our review. Although the Court denies the motion to expedite, the petition for certiorari remains before us, and if it is granted, the case can then be decided under a shortened schedule. In addition, the Court’s denial of the motion to expedite is not a denial of a request for this Court to order that ballots received after election day be segregated ...

And, in fact, those ballots are being segregated. Justice Amy will have a chance to participate in deciding whether to accept the petition on a non-expedited basis.

Maybe it's just me, but it appears to me that Roberts is sacrificing good will in a shortsighted manner with this behavior.

China: The Corruption Of The Left And Higher Ed

One of President Trump's better cabinet appointment's has been Betsy DeVos as Secretary of the Department of Education. She has come out with a report that documents the failure of many major universities to comply with Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965. You can peruse the report here:

Institutional Compliance with Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965

From the Executive Summary of the report, this is what Section 117 is about:

Congress requires U.S. colleges and universities (“institutions”) publicly to report foreign gifts and contracts to the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”). Codified at Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), 20 U.S.C. 1011f (“Section 117”), this mandate requires nearly all colleges and universities to report, twice each year, foreign gifts and contracts the value of which is $250,000 or more (considered alone or in combination with other gifts or contracts with a foreign source) and to disclose any foreign ownership or control to the Secretary of Education. Section 117 does not prohibit institutions from taking foreign money; it mandates accurate and transparent disclosures of sources and amounts to the Department.

So, guess what?

The facts uncovered during the Department’s investigations and information collection confirm that many large and well-resourced institutions of higher education have aggressively pursued and accepted foreign money while failing to comply with Section 117 of the HEA. At the same time, higher education industry trade organizations have argued against donor transparency and sought to block disclosure of strings attached to foreign funds.

Who would have expected Leftist controlled institutions to behave any differently, and without any regard for national security or, indeed, for basic human decency?

What's Wrong With The Bureau?

Regular readers will know that I like to blame the FBI's current dysfunction on the practice of "parachuting" top management in who are predominantly former federal prosecutors--a disproportionately liberal demographic at odds with Bureau culture. Add to that the now top heavy presence of attorneys and a revolving door between FBI and DoJ, as well as the practice of many of these same people rotating between government service and the private sector. Think, at the Director level, Mueller, Comey, Wray. All have gone through that revolving door of private law practice and government office. Add to that some of their top legal people--Andrew Weissmann and Aaron Zebley. And then there's the lower level types--Lisa Page, Trisha Anderson. And the list goes on. It has led to a radical cultural change at the FBI, which now has an institutional culture that is informed by the prosecutorial mindset of 'anything goes for a conviction that will enhance my career.' That change came on top of the institutional change that emphasized career advancement as a professional manager rather than developing a specific expertise. Together it has spelled disaster.

For some time Shipwreckedcrew has been having a dialogue on this subject on his twitter thread: What's wrong with the Bureau. As a former prosecutor, SWC is sympathetic to the Bureau, although he speaks as an outsider. Just the fact that he uses the phrase 'gun and badge' rather than 'badge and gun' tells me that he's an outsider. It may seem like a small thing, but it jarred on my ear. Nevertheless, he sees the Bureau's problems in ways that are similar to the way I view them. His solution is to appoint as Director someone who rose through the ranks.

That does hit on some of the problems I've described, but unfortunately the problem is bigger than that and won't be solved that easily. In a sense Louis Freeh is the proof of what I'm saying. Freeh had started his career as an agent and was supposed to bring with him the understanding of the agent point of view that SWC talks about. Of course, Freeh had quit the Bureau because he failed to make director in five years, or whatever his master plan was. Under Freeh, problems simply metastasized, even though in his previous life he had been an agent. He lacked a broad understanding of the Bureau's mission. His tenure culminated with the Robert Hanssen debacle. Nuff said. Lots of other things went wrong.

Unfortunately, nothing in life is so simple as the suggested solution of putting an agent in charge of the FBI. By now the Gramscian long march through the institutions--spearheaded by the takeover of Human Resources officers and the career support people--has also marched through the Bureau. The Bureau, like any other social institution, will ultimately reflect the society around it, and so the solution can only be cultural--and those types of solutions are precisely what the Progressive takeover of our legal system is in place to prevent. Trump's latest executive orders may begin to have a salutary effect on that, but at best we're looking at a years long struggle. Many years. To think otherwise is simply naive.

Nevertheless, you may be interested in SWC's latest exchanges on this topic. I've put it in Q & A form, with SWC being "A".

Q: Most law enforcement agencies are headed by people who have been on the gun & badge side themselves.  But the FBI and a few other fed agencies seem to pick a lot of prosecutors or ppl who’ve been attornies [sic] for most of their professional life. Agents would prefer one of their own.

A: This is a much bigger issue than most understand.  The "gun and badge" folks have less interest in the "politics" of the position.  But POTUS has always looked for a "political" actor for the job.  It's a mismatch that hurts the environment.

It's like if all the "Generals" in the military were civilians.

Q: The very thing people are complaining about now is the result of picking people from the outside.

Q: You're an institution man. That doesn't make your views more "justified," it exposes you to the same errors in judgment necessitating inspectors general. The same kind of thinking that causes people to compromise themselves because they place an organization above individuals.

A: Not true. It gives me a window into why the Bureau is dysfunctional in some ways.  Public assumes one thing -- but public lacks facts.  Facts show problems originate elsewhere.  Correct those and public perceptions will change.

Q: I know nothing how the internals of the FBI work, but it seems to me this type of in house hire should be a major field office director, like Ted Gunderson was supposed to be.

A: Agree--the individual must COMMAND respect from the rank and file to get them to perform. Bringing in outsiders who lack the necessary POV of the working agents is detrimental and creates a division between working agents and senior management. "Us v. Them" = blame shifting.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Ouch! This Could Really Hurt Dems In PA

From Breitbart:

One Week Left: 42 Percent of Pennsylvania Mail-in Ballot Requests Not Returned

And Rasmussen is saying:

Most likely voters believe Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was involved in his son's foreign business deals, according to a Monday Rasmussen poll.

The survey found that 54 percent of likely voters believe that Joe Biden likely was "consulted about and perhaps even profited in" Hunter Biden's foreign involvement in a Chinese company. Only 38 percent of respondents said it was unlikely the former vice president knew about his son's affairs abroad. 

Couple that with the trending search on Google, people wanting to claw back their vote. You get the picture. The censorship didn't work. One assumes that events may be following a similar trajectory in other states as well.

The Practical Difference Justice Amy Could Make

John O. McGinnis, a law professor at Northwestern University, writes today that the SCOTUS is now the "Barrett Court." In an admirably lucid article he argues that "the newest justice will change the dynamic among her colleagues." And, interestingly, we may see what McGinnis means by a 'changed dynamic' very soon--in the Pennsylvania election law case.

The way this changed dynamic works is actually quite simple. Chief Justice Roberts has been able in quite a few cases to shape the Court's decisions in ways that he prefers. He has been able to do this by alternately siding with either the four conservative justices or with the four liberal justices. Whichever side he takes in a 5-4 decision, as CJ he gets to either write the decision himself or choose who will write it. He also is able to influence the shape of the decision with the understanding that if the others don't go along with him, he can always go the other way.

With the solidly conservative Justice Amy now confirmed, that entire dynamic is changed--or, will change, as long as the five conservative justices are in basic agreement. The reason is that the five conservatives won't need Roberts' vote, and if he sides with the three liberals it won't make any difference. If he goes with the five conservatives with the intention of shaping the decision, that approach becomes much more difficult because they don't need him and can simply decline to join with him. Further, Justice Thomas could play a much larger role, by virtue of being the senior justice on the Court:

if [Roberts] is not in the majority when the rest of the conservatives are, the right to assign the opinion will then pass to Thomas. Thomas remains the most committed originalist on the Court and can use the opinion assignment to put the law on his own preferred trajectory. The diminishment of Roberts’s power thus shifts authority to Thomas. Look for him to write more originalist opinions for the Court. Thomas can also assign opinions to the other strong originalists, including Barrett.

This is why I was so excited to see Thomas at the White House ceremony for Justice Amy. I took it as a signal that the two are of similar judicial philosophies. Of course, in any given case things could get more complicated than this, but the tendency seems clear:

The strengthening of the originalist camp leads directly to more originalist opinions. A justice assigned an opinion has some leeway to write it the way he or she wants, and more originalists will enjoy the drafting pen. Moreover, justices can move the law with powerful concurrences and even dissents, and we will see more such originalist efforts with more justices joining them.

Roberts' Pennsylvania decision was a 4-4 case. With Justice Amy now on board, this 'changed dynamic' could play out in her first major decision. If Justice Amy sides with the four conservatives, if they hold together--and the concurrences by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh in the Wisconsin case suggest that they will--then Roberts will find himself either in the minority or compelled to execute and embarrassing public volte face.

ADDENDUM: There's something about this photo I really like: