Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A Clarification Re Declassification

This is important. You have to bear it in mind when listening to Trump's rhetoric. As I've said, I have no particular problem with political rhetoric, but you do need to recognize it:

Catherine Herridge


#DeclassifyEverything NEW: Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows Court Declaration in FOIA lawsuits clarifies declassification. 

“The President indicated to me that his statements on Twitter (Oct 6) ... do not require the declassification or release of any particular documents including ... interviews prepared by FBI in connection with the (Special Counsel) ... the President's statements related to the authorization he had provided the AG to declassify documents as part of his ongoing review of intelligence activities relating to the 2016 President election..”


This is a clear acknowledgment by President Trump that he recognizes the importance of the ongoing Barr/Durham investigation--that documents that date after the election cannot be readily declassified ... yet. Nor does Trump want those documents declassified--that's the clear implication of the tweet from Mark Meadows. How many times have we heard bloggers complaining, for example, that the Mueller "scope memos" hadn't been declassified? All of that came after the election and Trump is now saying that the "authorization" he gave to Barr doesn't even pertain to those matters. Some "authorization," right? Nothing is as simple as we'd like it to be.

So, taken within that context, when Trump proclaims that "we" have all the evidence "we" need and could somebody--hint, hint--please indict someone, what he's saying is that he'd like to see James Comey and some few others indicted. I certainly also want to see Comey indicted. However, I also want to see the entire Russia Hoax--including and even especially what came after the election--exposed. It really is sprawling, and we really do need the full picture.

I write this just to keep a proper perspective on things. I still want Barr to speak up about the Biden Crime Family. That's a different issue and can be done without revealing any sensitive investigative details. Confirming an ongoing investigation would be sufficient, confirming that it relates to matters that have recently become public knowledge. It was probably an error in judgment to let it go this long. 


  1. "an error in judgment to let it go this long."
    Referring to the Biden probe?

    1. What I mean--and of course I'm not privy to all the facts--is that Barr probably should have gone public about a Biden investigation at an early date. For the simple reason that there would always be the possibility of getting jammed up by a time crunch. And, in a very real sense, it's a disservice to the American people to be presented with a non-choice (albeit many millions will still choose the non-choice). That could have been prevented.

      It's possible Barr was deluded by the fact that two of the main culprits--Archer and Cooney--were convicted already. But that's not the real point. If Barr knew this, how could he say that he wouldn't be looking to prosecute Obama or Biden. I understand he doesn't want to set the precedent of prosecuting the former P/VP, but this is simply different. Pretending things aren't broken ...

    2. "I understand he doesn't want to set the *precedent* of prosecuting the former P/VP, but this is simply different."
      Alas, folks who I'd expect to know better don't
      They don't see how this is simply different.
      The Righty media didn't stress enough, the most crucial details of e.g. Horowitz's report, esp. on the unprecedented scale of the "errors" in the C. Page FISA warrant.

    3. "The Righty media didn't stress enough, the most crucial details..."

      If MSM doesn't report it, did it happen?
      Even when they do report it, it's so full of obfuscation, nobody can understand it.


  2. Barr is a professional detour.


  4. @Mark

    I have a different take on disclosure of an investigation of Joe Biden.

    Having not said anything until now, I think Barr should follow SOP and remains silent about the existence/non-existence of any investigation.

    As you well know, prosecutors are under no obligation to publicly announce investigations and, although they are not prohibited from so doing when it is in the public interest, they are reluctant to do so in an election window. Balancing all these considerations, I say 'no disclosure' before November 4 and expect Barr to say/do the same.

    I believe we are in a slightly different place with the Durham investigation. Having disclosed its existence, and having missed some self-proclaimed deadlines, I think Barr owes the public a status call. I would not expect him to name targets but there must be a word formulation which clarifies whether Durham is still investigating and whether indictments are possible. I think he owes us this much.

    Another good question is why the FBI did not provide Trump with the laptop evidence which it received before Trump's impeachment trial. A lot of folks are pretty pissed off about this and I think Barr owes us an answer. If he is as good a lawyer as his many supporters say he is, I would expect that he has a good and legally justifiable explanation. Since the discussion has an inherently political dimension, I can imagine there is a robust internal debate within DoJ whether to make this explanation before or after the election. Either way, its an explanation which the American people are entitled to.

    1. I assume that your position mirrors Barr's. I understand, I think, the considerations involved. However, to them I oppose these two:

      Everyone concerned--the Dem party (!), the American people--deserved to know that the leading Dem candidate was credibly implicated as compromised by our two leading geopolitical rivals. That assumes that Barr knew.

      I'm not suggesting that Barr get deep into details, but given that the matter is now public knowledge I believe that some sort of status statement is called for. I believe that's owed to the nation at this point.

      I fault Barr--assuming, again, that he knew of the case--for not foreseeing these complications.

      And, of course, I say all this as a defender of Barr. I don't want to see him go.

    2. Cassander, I recommend Maria and Bannon. I've only heard the first three minutes or so, but he articulates what's at stake here extraordinarily well. I understand Barr's position, but don't believe it fits the situation.

  5. @Mark

    "Everyone concerned--the Dem party (!), the American people--deserved to know that the leading Dem candidate was credibly implicated as compromised by our two leading geopolitical rivals. That assumes that Barr knew."

    Regardless of whether or when Barr knew, Hunter Biden(!), the New York Post, Rudy Giuliani, John Ratcliffe and Donald Trump are doing a very good job (Twitter bans notwithstanding) letting the American people know that 'the leading Dem candidate was credibly implicated as compromised by our two leading geopolitical rivals'.

    There are very good reasons (which you know) for not disclosing investigations (or even the fact of investigations) in mid-stream.

    Yes, I'm with Barr on this.