No, that's not me speaking--although AG Bill Barr's statement did rather stun me. That's Brett Tolman speaking, during an interview on Fox. I've cited Tolman's views in the past. He presents carefully considered views. He's not a bomb thrower. He was stunned by Barr's statement precisely because, to Tolman, the statement was not the carefully considered response to a question that Tolman expected--based on Barr's past performance. Barr is blunt, but he's not stupid and his words are carefully chosen. And so Tolman was stunned.
DoJ issued a statement claiming that various media outlets had misinterpreted or even misquoted Barr. Fine--correct that. But DoJ in no way revised Barr's words, except to place the emphasis on Barr's time conditioned caveats: "to date" and "so far". But those caveats don't weaken the impact that his words had. Tolman isn't stupid, either. He heard Barr's words and was able to think about them overnight and to consider the DoJ statement. This morning he was still stunned.
First I'll embed the tweet with the video of the Tolman interview, then I'll provide a transcript of the Tolman portions of the interview. The interview covers both Tolman's reaction to Barr's statement as well as Tolman's response to a two part question about John Durham's appointment as Special Counsel:
Former Federal Prosecutor, @tolmanbrett, is stunned by Attorney General Bill Barr’s comments that the DOJ hasn’t uncovered widespread evidence of voter fraud. His take on the lastest whistleblower claims on #FoxFriendsFirst.https://t.co/nV00LGHMcP— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) December 2, 2020
Now, here's the transcript. Tolman first presents his reaction to Barr's statement:
It almost sounds like someone shooting from the cuff and making some comments without having done any due diligence on his own. I've spoken to folks that are on the ground in several of these states that have been talking to witnesses, looking at what is alleged. It's really hard to believe that the Attorney General came out and-- Look, I'm a fan of AG Barr and I've followed his career for many, many years, but this statement really stunned me, because if you've watched any of the hearings you know that there are people out there expressing their first hand account of issues and irregularities that are concerning and that somebody needs to be digging into and getting to the bottom of.
Next, Tolman responds to the two part question regarding the 1) timing of the Durham SC appointment and 2) what affect this appointment could have on an incoming AG:
You know, it doesn't surprise me on the timing, and I see the Attorney General as someone who does wanna to make decisions hoping not to affect nationally, unlike Jim Comey when we saw some of the actions that he took. I think this Attorney General is very sensitive to that. October 19th is when he made the decision.
As to your second part, y'know, an incoming, new Attorney General could do as--you recall when Mueller was appointed, there was a lot of pressure on Attorney General Sessions and the Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to actually rescind the appointment of Mueller. I think there will be some pressure with a new Attorney General coming in, but it's a lot more difficult now that he's been designated a Special Counsel, because there's gonna be political pressure for him to be able to finish his investigation. And they're gonna be able to say, 'Look, we let Mueller do it, so now you're gonna hafta let Durham.'
The problem regarding Tolman's views on the Durham SC appointment is twofold. First, Dems don't play by the type of rules GOPers play by. There will be NO pressure--not in a meaningful sense--to allow Durham to continue. Firing Durham will NOT cause a public outcry--strong statements from GOP Reps/Senators or pundits don't count as pressure. In my view, the election scandal will actually have more impact on the public than anything Durham does or doesn't do.
Second, the fact that the Durham appointment broke the SC rules--and SC is supposed to be an outsider, not a government official like Durham--makes it child's play for a new AG to fire Durham and claim to be upholding the law in doing so. The fact of the matter is that Barr, by stating that Durham was really only focusing on the FBI, appears to have been offering a deal to the Dems: Let Durham spank a handful of bad boys at the FBI and everyone else will be off the hook and the whole thing will be forgotten.
It hurts me to say this. The possibility remains that Durham will do his for publication report that will cover more ground, but unless Barr publishes it before resigning I suspect it will never see the light of day. Not until the next GOP president--if the Dems ever permit that.
Is it an overreaction to take in everything we're seeing unfold-- an election that increasingly appears to be a coordinated attempt to install a compromised (dare I say Manchurian? ) candidate by national subversion along with the apparent abdication of the DOJ--- and conclude that it is a national emergency, perhaps on the scale of a Pearl Harbor? In other words, this election is looking like an electoral sneak attack th as t threatens to overturn our constitutional order by illegal and malicious means.ReplyDelete
If that is so, what means should our duly elected President employ to prevent this attack from succeeding?
It's all over the web today, that Flynn has called on DJT to declare martial law, and organize a re-vote.Delete
I wonder what Flynn expected such rhetoric to accomplish *now*.
I wasn't actually a supporter of Flynn as NSA--a separate issue from whether or not he was screwed. He was. I thought, to simplify, that he was another example of Trump's misguided trust in military guys. I'm not saying he's a snake like McMaster or Kelly, just that I'm not crazy about that military perspective after where the military has been for so many years.Delete
Some web sites speculate, that his words are a shot across the SCotUS bow.Delete
"I thought, to simplify, that he was another example of Trump's misguided trust in military guys."
If Trump prevails and wins a second term I'd like to think that he has learned an enormous amount about how Washington really works during his first term, which he can leverage during his second term. Not only about personnel, but plenty more. To our great benefit.
Totally agree. That thought probably strikes fear in establishment hearts.Delete
If this gets posted twice sorry, blogger is throwing errors...ReplyDelete
Sundance has the theory that this was a move to stop Trump from dumping the classified data pre or post election.
It makes sense when you stop and think about it because as we all know SC investigative materials are pretty much sealed for life.
I am not surprised by any of this as it falls into what I've been saying forever. The protections of the institution are always going to be the priority.
Spygate had the magnitude to tear our entire government apart to it's very core. It's too big to investigate and that has been "the norm" now for every large scale scandal for decades.
Sundance's experiences in meeting with Durham's investigators was the tell for me. It became clear pretty quickly that they were putting on a dog and pony show. I've got to give it to SD. He has been skeptical for quite a while--really since Wolf got such a sweet deal and the DoJ swore to the FISA court that they stood by their assessments of the Steele Dossier's PSS. Too much at stake. The whole FBI/DoJ edifice would have had to come down. Much easier to bait the boobs.ReplyDelete
We no longer have a country.
Barr's letter appointing Durham as a Special Counsel explains that the purpose is "to provide him and his team with the assurance that they could complete their work without regard to the outcome of the election."ReplyDelete
Barr writes in the appointment letter also that he had expected Durham to complete his work by the summer of 2020, but the work was slowed by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Perhaps Barr had good reason to think that some of Durham's team members might quit on account of the election's outcome. Perhaps someone might quit if Biden won. Perhaps someone might quit if Trump won. Some such considerations, unknown to the public, motivated Barr to change Durham's status to Special Counsel.
Barr's stated purpose is to reassure Durham and his team that they can complete their work.
"to reassure Durham and his team that they can complete their work."Delete
Quite slender reassurance.
When Biden cans Durham, the the GOPe and MSM will slobber all over whatever excuses he pukes out.
It's time for Trump to quote one of his predecessors and act accordingly.ReplyDelete
"You know, it's easy for the Monday morning quarterback to say what the coach should have done, after the game is over. But when the decision is up before you -- and on my desk I have a motto which says The Buck Stops Here' -- the decision has to be made." President Truman
The new Attorney General could fire Durham on the grounds that Durham is a government official. That does not mean that therefore he will fire Durham.ReplyDelete
If someone makes a big deal about that rule, then the new Attorney General could simply confirm Durham as the Acting Special Counsel until a non-government official is appointed and approved. Meanwhile, Durham could complete the investigation.
We are at the beginning of December 2020. A new Attorney General might take office in, say, February 2021. Between now and then is at least two months. Even if the new Attorney General wants to depose Durham, the investigation might be finished before Durham can be deposed.
Mike, what you say is (obviously) true. However ...Delete
There is established procedure for providing an Acting AG. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/28/508 So, a lot would still be up in the air. An Acting AG could fire Durham--or support him to the hilt. Then again, a President Biden might (depending, I think) fire the Acting AG like Trump fired Yates. Nothing's simple.
I did not write anything about an Acting Attorney General.Delete
I wrote that Durham might be considered to be the Acting Special Counsel. Durham will hold that position until a non-government official is appointed and confirmed. In the meantime, Acting Special Counsel Durham can complete his investigation.
"appointed and confirmed"Delete
What are you talking about? Confirmed by whom? An SC is not a position requiring confirmation. Anyway, an acting AG can fire Durham's ass and decline to replace him. DoJ can then dispose of the investigation as they see fit--including declining all prosecutions.
I was thinking that a Special Counsel had to be confirmed by the Senate, but maybe I was mistaken about that.Delete
No matter. Barr can simply maintain a fiction that he has appointed Durham to be Acting Special Counsel until he can appoint a non-government official to the position. In the meantime, Barr knows that Durham will complete his investigation before a Biden Administration can do anything about it.
Today, J.E. Dyer wrote about this SC appointment:Delete
"There’s something else it achieves, however, and that’s independence for Durham in filing indictments in federal court.
As a special counsel, he doesn’t have to *refer them to another* U.S. Attorney for action. He can do it himself."
Does anyone here think this factor will really matter much?
"Firing Durham will NOT cause a public outcry--strong statements from GOP Reps/Senators or pundits don't count as pressure.... everyone else will be off the hook."ReplyDelete
Huckabee is on Fox now, referring to how "public servants" no longer need to do much more, than pay minimal lip-service to caring about duties to the public.
If Biden wins the election and Biden (or his AG) tries to fire Durham after January 20, 2021, Republicans might well take the position that this is 'obstruction of justice'.Delete
Many readers here will say, who cares? That's how Dems roll.
But is obstruction of justice by a President (post the events of 2020) an impeachable offense?
If GOP wins 2022 House, would they impeach Biden?
Something for Biden to keep in mind.
it’s my guess that Biden’s presidency will have been fragged by the Obama/Kamala cabal long before the 2022 midterms…Delete
If I were named Biden, Kamala Harris in the Oval Office would be a scary prospect in more ways than one. Once a cutthroat prosecutor, who knows what she might decide to do with Biden Inc….
And now, Fox has Tolman on, talking about Barr, and Sec. 230.ReplyDelete
And now, Fox has Turley on, talking about Barr, Durham etc., and on how Yates would be conflicted if she became AG.Delete
"...Yates would be conflicted if she became AG."Delete
That is rich. The idea that some sense of propriety would slow her down carrying water for the team. How last century. Turley must be looking to audition for MC at the WHCA dinner.
I should've made clear, that Turley's drift was that she'd get heat for her being conflicted.Delete
I agree w/ you, that this hope of his is so last century.
It definitely seems that the person who uttered those words yesterday is not the same AG William Barr as gave the interview to Wolf Blitzer, but what are you gonna do? It definitely seemed like making Donald Trump out to be an agent of Russia because he joked that Russia might want to look into getting Hilary's lost emails" could not possibly be something sane people would believe, and it definitely seems like touting a respiratory virus with a miniscule mortality rate focused on a aged and medically vulnerable minority of the population as cause for worldwide panic and lockdown is a major over-reaction with terrible consequences for societies all over the world , but what....are....you....gonna....do? Politicians are corrupt. Politics when it leaps its boundaries is a corrupting influence. But this has always been true. But never has the rule of law been so weak. It is for this there will be hell to pay, not because the Dems stole the election, but because we don't have enough will/courage/rectitude to enforce our laws. Bill Barr is corrupt. He may be a nice man, he may be a kind and a thoughtful man, he may believe (I doubt it) that he and not Sidney Powell is the one with integrity, but I'm here to tell you laws that are not enforced will not be obeyed.ReplyDelete
Jesse Binnall, who is leading the Trump challenge in NV, says he'll present clear evidence that 40K voted twice in NV--many times the margin of 'victory'. Surely Barr knew this--and much else?ReplyDelete
How could he not know? He knows all the allegations of fraud, he knows all the statistical testimony - and I'd bet the farm on that.Delete
It seems that there is really 1 of 2 possibilities regarding Barr's statements and the intent behind them.
Either Barr simply isn't the the guy we thought he is (highly unlikely) or this is a massive sleight of hand...if we accept that he MUST know about the NV situation "and much else".
Check my logic meter here, but I'm betting on the good guys here and that their motives are still aligned with everything he's on the record stating (particularly when it comes to mail in ballots and election fraud).
I also can't believe that after activating US Attorney's Jensen et al - in multiple jurisdictions - that allll of that get's white washed, and that Barr and team would think the 73+ million people (who will form the new 'republican' party) will stand by and allow it to disappear...
I'm betting on the good guys. Today.
I think that Durham has narrowed his focus to the FBI, in particular its Counterintelligence Division. The CIA was not involved in operational shenanigans. Papadopoulos's meetings with Mifsud and with Downer were organized by the FBI, without the CIA's involvement or even knowledge.ReplyDelete
Durham might criticize the CIA's assessment that Russia was meddling in the US election, but such criticism would be merely a judgement-call.
Recently Book TV broadcast an hour-long interview of John Brennan by The New York Time's national-security reporter Julian Barnes. A very interesting part of the interview discussed an objection to the assessment by two of CIA's Russia-expert analysts. Barnes asked a question that indicated that those two analysts were much more experienced and high-ranking than a larger number of analysts who approved the assessment. Brennan allowed those two analysts to come into his office in order to explain to Brennan their objections to the assessment. Brennan explained to Barnes that he listed to those two analysts' objections but then approved the assessment written by the majority of analysts.
Brennan told Barnes that he had told all this to Durham, who interviewed Brennan for eight hours.
Durham sure is not going to indict Brennan for going along with the assessment of a majority of analysts, even though the two most experienced and high-ranking analysts objected.
Durham will attack only the FBI officials who framed Papadopoulos, Page and Flynn -- who framed them with the intent of concocting false evidence against Trump. Those FBI officials might include members of Mueller's team.
Some people have suggested that Barr appointed Durham as Special Counsel in order to prevent Trump from declassifying relevant documents.ReplyDelete
Maybe also there were important members of Durham's team who would quit and make a stink if Trump indeed did lose the election and then did declassify documents.
And maybe Barr foresaw that possibility and wanted to prevent it. That was part of Barr's reason to appoint Durham as Acting Special Counsel. That appointment assures Durham's team members that they will not feel compelled to quit because Trump might lose the election and declassify documents. In other words, that appointment assures Durham's team members that they will be able to complete their investigation without feeling morally compelled to quit because Trump declassifies documents.
One important difference between the FBI and the CIA in this situation is their relationships to Steele's Dossier. I think that Durham recognizes that difference.ReplyDelete
The FBI invested itself heavily in the Dossier. The major theme of the Dossier was that Donald Trump was controlled by Vladimir Putin.
In contrast, the CIA I think that the CIA concluded soon that Steele was a fabricator. I explained my opinion in a blog article titled The CIA's Concerns About Steele's Dossier.
The CIA based its assessments mainly on two considerations:
1) CrowdStrike's finding that the Democratic National Committee's computers had been hacked by Russian Intelligence.
2) Reports from the CIA's spy Oleg Smolenkov that Putin's Presidential Administration was meddling in the US election in order to cause Americans to lose faith in our Democracy.
The CIA's assessments did not use Steele's Dossier.
Smolenkov never told the CIA anything about Trump.
Eventually, John Brennan did conclude and say that Trump seemed to be controlled by Putin. However, that opinion was not based on the CIA assessment, on Smolenkov's reports or on Steele's Dossier. Rather, Brennan says his opinion was based on his own, personal observations that Trump reacted oddly to CIA reporting about Russia.
In contrast, James Comey's opinion that Trump was controlled by Putin was based on Steele's Dossier. Comey believed he had compelling evidence (the Dossier, etc.) incriminating Trump, and Comey intended to use that evidence to remove Trump from his elected office.
That is why, it seems, Durham intends to give the CIA a pass and to focus his attack on the FBI.
Just bumped across this blog site, some really strong stuff. The blog owner must be good with it, but it sure seems skeezy to be linking out to your blog from this blog, poaching site traffic as many will not return. But this blog owner must approve?Delete
Let's assume everything you say is true. Given everything we've learned about Smolenkov and CrowdStrike, why should we be any more impressed by an organization relying on their ludicrous assessments then an organization relying on Christopher Steele's?Delete
Yeah, I've noticed the same thing. I've spent 35 years in marketing, 22 of it in digital. One thing is routine: once you lose a site visit, the chances of getting their attention back from YouTube cat videos is slim. ;)Delete
Perhaps Mike will graciously link Marks site from his blog to here.
Some sites won’t allow links to blogs in Comments for just that reason. I’ve wondered for some time about Mike’s unpaid ads...Delete
PS. Maybe Mark is content in the knowledge that his blog is a cut above?Delete
AG BARR COMPROMISED…ReplyDelete
I know it has been suggested on these pages (and I think you've agreed) that if Trump is going down (not saying he is...just if) he should declassify everything.
I get it and I sure would like some transparency. But maybe the stuff he doesn't declassify is a chip(s) he can use when the Biden Gestapo comes after him and his family (if Biden gets in).
Just a thought.
I've wondered what Trump's memoirs might be like. After all, all presidents pretty much do memoirs, right. Might be some hellacious payback.Delete
Some presidents do serial memoirs. Obie is on Book Three. At some point will he offer a book shelf - for a price - to hold them - inscribed with his signature? Or his likeness? All he needs is someone to keep cranking them out for him.Delete
One thing that the inevitable firing of Durham will accomplish, which almost certainly has occurred to AG Barr. This will be our Saturday Night Massacre. Sure, none of the MSM will care about it, but the next GOP POTUS, including possibly Donald "Grover Cleveland" Trump in 2025, can cite the Durham example whenever he fires a special counsel at will...ReplyDelete
The Dem's are redrawing the lines of the political battlespace at breakneck speed compared to the last century. They will consolidate and entrench their positions over the next four years. With industrial level cheating they are engaged in supra-redistricting. 2024, if not 2022, will be a complete rout for Republicans, Trump or no. They only let the lower tickets go this time to gull the Rep's into not fighting for Trump, something they were looking for an excuse for anyway, they at best being shortsighted if not willingly complicit.Delete
I read a great analogy that will probably stick with me for a while.ReplyDelete
The FBI, DOJ and judicial branches as a whole have become our nation's HR department.
You hope that HR is there to support the resources when in fact HR is there to protect the company.
That's about the best hillbilly soapboxing I've seen in some time.