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Ex-FBI Director Mueller appointed DOJ Special Counsel

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  • Originally posted by surfgun View Post
    The direct links between the Clinton Campaign, the Obama Administration, political operatives within the intelligence community and a former British spook are coming to fruition.
    Back in 2016 the MSM insisted that it was all unsubstantiated hysteria that the Trump Campaign was spied upon. But guess what, it actually happened and the misinformation campaign against the Trump Administration would continue......
    Do I have to say it?
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!


    • Originally posted by DOR View Post

      Do I have to say it?
      He Doesn't Know HOW!

      Originally posted by surfgun View Post
      Tops, Fox is not a favorite. It has declined under the tutelage of those lefty Murdoch boys. They are hardly a chip off the old block.
      Also surfgun: Here's yet another post from Fox News.

      Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


      • Trump rewrites the Russia probe from the hospital
        The president declassified intelligence documents meant to implicate Clinton in 2016 meddling, but officials say they're misleading.

        Even as he recovers from a coronavirus case that left him hospitalized for days, President Donald Trump has intensified a late-campaign effort to undermine widely accepted evidence about Russia’s election interference efforts in 2016.

        Trump authorized the declassification and release of documents this week based on intelligence that even his own advisers warn could be Russian disinformation, in what his allies have signaled is aimed at sowing doubt about the intelligence community’s conclusion that the meddling in the 2016 campaign came at the Kremlin’s direction — and was intended to boost Trump’s candidacy.

        As Trump was still recuperating in the presidential suite at Walter Reed on Monday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said the president had “already tasked me with getting some declassification rolling” on sensitive Russia probe documents.

        Some of those documents were released on Tuesday afternoon, including heavily redacted notes from former CIA Director John Brennan after a briefing with then-President Barack Obama. The notes describe intelligence reports that were drawn from Russian operatives, summaries of which Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified last week.

        In the legible, unredacted portion of Brennan’s notes, first published by Fox News, he wrote: “We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED].”

        In another section, the notes describe an alleged plan “approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

        A second, also heavily redacted document released on Tuesday, a summary of the intelligence the CIA prepared for the FBI, describes “an exchange” between unknown individuals regarding “Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from the use of her private email server.”

        Some Trump allies have framed this latest declassification push not as an effort to question Russia's interference at all but simply to question the "Trump-Russia collusion" narrative that loomed over the White House for much of Trump's presidency. But Ratcliffe's release suggested that the Russian intelligence indicated that attributing 2016 interference to Russia was part of a Clinton plot to stir up a scandal against Trump. And many Trump allies have deployed the new evidence to broadly declare that the entire scandal was cooked up by Democrats.

        Republicans and Democrats had previously rejected this Russian chatter as likely disinformation intended to deflect from Moscow’s own hacking operation targeting the Democratic National Committee. And Clinton herself was publicly making the case at the time that Trump was inviting Russian interference. Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, said last week that the documents were “baseless bullshit.”

        Four people familiar with the matter said the Russians’ assessment of Clinton was only one part of a larger intelligence report that was billed as an initial examination of Russian cyberattacks targeting the 2016 election, and was not the reason that it was referred to the bureau.

        The people all described Ratcliffe as “cherry-picking” portions of the intelligence to try to tarnish Trump’s political enemies.

        Brennan told CNN on Tuesday that the declassified material was his “notes from the 2016 period when I briefed President Obama and the rest of the national security council team about what the Russians were up to, and I was giving examples of the type of access that the U.S. intelligence community had to Russian information and what the Russians were talking about and alleging.”

        He added that “if, in fact, what the Russians were alleging — that Hillary was trying to highlight the reported connections between Trump and the Russians — there is nothing at all illegal about that.”

        The effort to discredit the intelligence community’s findings that Russia hacked Democrats to harm Clinton’s candidacy comes almost exactly four years to the day after the U.S. intelligence community first assessed that the Russian government had mounted a sweeping effort to interfere in the 2016 presidential election with the specific goal of helping Trump win.

        It also comes in the middle of an ongoing investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham, who was tasked by the Justice Department with probing the intelligence community’s findings. Durham is expected to refrain from releasing any conclusions before Election Day to avoid affecting the race, but the recent declassifications by both Ratcliffe and Attorney General William Barr appear to be an effort to fill that void. Trump has taken full advantage of it, weaponizing the releases to boost his reelection campaign.

        The new round of declassifications also serves a larger and more vindictive purpose for the president: It is the latest salvo in a yearslong effort to cast doubt on U.S. intelligence agencies and senior Obama administration officials, who the president alleges were unfairly and illegally targeting him and his campaign. Trump’s crusade has extended to questioning assessments by his own administration that Russia is actively backing him in the 2020 election; he went so far as to fire a top intelligence official who, earlier this year, allowed a subordinate to brief Congress about Russia’s interference in the ongoing presidential race.

        Trump’s detractors, meanwhile, say he has systematically warped intelligence agencies to promote his preferred narrative and selectively declassified information to undercut key findings about Russia’s intentions and ongoing malign activities.

        In media appearances on Sunday and Monday, Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, did not acknowledge the intelligence community’s judgment that the Kremlin is already engaged in efforts to denigrate Joe Biden and support Trump’s reelection, instead touting assurances he had received from top Russian officials forswearing interference in the 2020 election.

        “Look, it's Russia,” O’Brien said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “So as President Reagan said, and as President Trump often says, it's trust but verify. So we'll keep an eye on it, but the Russians did commit to not interfere in the elections.”

        Ratcliffe’s latest declassifications center around some chatter by Russian intelligence officers that was picked up by the U.S. intelligence community in 2016. The intelligence, Ratcliffe indicated in a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) last week, suggested that the Russians believed Clinton authorized a campaign strategy to tie Trump to Russia’s intelligence services and their operation to undermine Democrats four years ago.

        Ratcliffe further told Graham, who is investigating the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe, that the intelligence community had referred the Russian chatter to the bureau for further investigation in 2016.

        Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell, who endorsed Clinton in 2016, called Ratcliffe’s reclassifications “the most politicized act I’ve ever seen by a senior intel official” and “a blatant attempt to get votes for Donald Trump before the election.

        “This is Russian disinformation designed to create the very political chaos that it's creating. This is Putin playing with us,” he added.

        Ratcliffe also acknowledged last week that the information he disclosed might have been “exaggerated” or “fabricated” by Russian intelligence services, raising concerns among even some Republicans about Ratcliffe’s decision to publish the Russian assessment.

        “It certainly raises questions ... about the appropriateness of publicly releasing it,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

        Ratcliffe later asserted the material was “not Russian disinformation and has not been assessed as such by the intelligence community.” The next day, the intel chief briefed members of the Gang of Eight — the group of congressional leaders privy to the most sensitive intelligence reports — about his letter to Graham that first revealed the unverified Russian intelligence assessment, according to two sources familiar with the briefing.

        Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, worried last week that even the release of Ratcliffe’s summary may have compromised the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to collect information on the Russian intelligence services. “One of the things I want to try to determine is ... to what extent was this release cleared by the intelligence services themselves,” he said. “My experience is that information like this would not be released normally because of the potential compromise of sources and methods.”

        But Trump was ready to deploy the newly disclosed information during last week’s debate against Biden.

        In his comments Monday, Meadows indicated that the material Trump directed for release has been sought by California Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, who over the weekend suggested that the entire U.S. intelligence apparatus should be shut down unless the documents were released.

        “We want every damn bit of evidence that every intelligence agency has or it’s maybe time to shut those agencies down,” Nunes said Sunday on Fox News.

        The effort has high-profile supporters in the Senate, too: Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, have lauded Ratcliffe for releasing several pieces of information they say support their claims that the FBI targeted Trump and his campaign unfairly. In a brief interview last week, Graham indicated that it didn’t matter whether the declassified material was actually true.

        “Can you imagine if they found something alleging wrongdoing by Trump that the FBI never even looked at? People would be going crazy,” Graham said. “So it’s not whether it’s true or not. The question is, did the FBI try to find out whether it was true after they were informed by the intelligence community of their concerns?”

        “At some point, maybe the press will wake up and go, maybe we’re looking at the wrong people here,” added Johnson.

        Brennan, for his part, has denied accusations by Trump’s allies that he politicized the intelligence community’s findings in January 2017, when it concluded that Moscow interfered with the goal of helping Trump.

        “I left it up to the CIA components responsible for Russia, cyber, and counterintelligence to select the relevant experts, some of whom had served in the fusion cell, to write the report,” he wrote in his recently released book.

        When two senior managers approached him in late 2016 and said they had only medium confidence in the assessment of Putin’s motives, Brennan suggested they raise their concerns with the analysts who wrote the report and had seen all of the raw intelligence, he recalled. The managers agreed, and never came back to Brennan with further issues, said a person familiar with the matter.

        Meanwhile, Trump screams out: "I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!"

        Notice how an unredacted Mueller Report will be released only over Trump's dead body....even though it "completely exonerated" Trump
        Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


        • Originally posted by DOR View Post

          Do I have to say it?
          ”CHECK YOUR SOURCES ! ! “

          John Brennan ?


          • House asks Supreme Court to postpone Mueller grand jury case
            Democrats want to reconsider their approach with the Trump presidency ending.

            The House is asking the Supreme Court to postpone consideration of Democrats’ 18-month effort to obtain former special counsel Robert Mueller’s secret evidence, citing the imminent inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

            In a filing with the high court on Tuesday, House counsel Doug Letter urged the court to postpone a Dec. 2 hearing on the matter. Biden’s ascension to the Oval Office, combined with a newly constituted Congress taking office next year will require the House Judiciary Committee to reconsider how to pursue its investigation, Letter said.

            “The Committee’s investigations into misconduct by President Trump, oversight of agency activities during the Trump Administration, and consideration of related legislative reforms have remained ongoing,” he wrote. “But a new Congress will convene in the first week of January 2021, and President-elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, 2021. Once those events occur, the newly constituted Committee will have to determine whether it wishes to continue pursuing the application for the grand-jury materials that gave rise to this case.”

            The filing suggests the House is broadly reconsidering its posture toward Trump-era investigations in light of Biden's election victory. The House is also in court attempting to obtain Trump's financial records and tax returns and to force his former White House counsel Don McGahn — a star witness in Mueller's obstruction of justice investigation — to testify.

            An aide to Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler told POLITICO recently that Nadler intends to pursue the McGahn deposition even after Trump leaves office as part of an effort to implement protections from political interference in the Justice Department.

            But the Judiciary Committee's effort to obtain Mueller's grand jury information is one of the House's longest continuing legal actions of the Trump era.

            The panel filed a petition in July 2019 to obtain Mueller's grand jury evidence, material that is typically closely held within the judiciary. But Nadler and his allies emphasized that Congress has often been granted exception to grand jury secrecy, particularly as it has considered bringing articles of impeachment against previous presidents, including Richard Nixon in the Watergate investigation and Bill Clinton during Ken Starr's independent counsel probe.

            At the heart of the issue is whether Congress' impeachment power, which can result in a Senate trial, counts as a “judicial proceeding” akin to a courtroom process. The limited exceptions to grand jury secrecy include allowances for “judicial proceedings,” and lawmakers have long treated House impeachment inquiries and Senate trials as satisfying that exception.

            But Attorney General William Barr rejected the characterization and said he saw no legal precedent for forking over reams of Mueller’s grand jury material to lawmakers, even in the context of impeachment.

            The case has wound through the courts, with Democrats winning at both the district and appeals court levels before the Supreme Court agreed over the summer to take the case.

            No need for Trump's conservative-packed Supreme Court to rule on the district and appeals court's decision when an actual law-abiding AG can simply release the information after January 20th
            Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


            • McGahn Is Likely to Testify Next Week on Trump’s Efforts to Obstruct Russia Inquiry

              WASHINGTON — President Donald J. Trump’s former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, has agreed to testify behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee sometime next week about Mr. Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter.

              Lawyers for House Democrats, the Justice Department and Mr. McGahn had tentatively struck a deal to provide the testimony earlier in May. But the scheduling was delayed for weeks while they waited to see what Mr. Trump, who was not a party to the agreement, would do.

              Mr. McGahn’s agreement to testify — with President Biden’s permission — was contingent upon there being no active legal challenge to his participation in the matter, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the legal and political sensitivity of the matter.

              Immediately after the deal was announced this month in a court filing, a lawyer for Mr. Trump had conveyed that the former president intended to intervene. Former presidents can invoke executive privilege, although courts weigh that against the view of the incumbent president, and Mr. Trump could have sought a court order blocking Mr. McGahn’s testimony.

              But late last week, the people said, the lawyer for Mr. Trump — Patrick Philbin, a former deputy White House counsel in the Trump administration who is continuing to help handle his post-presidential legal affairs — said that Mr. Trump would not be intervening after all.

              Mr. Philbin, who did not respond to a request for comment, is said to have provided no reason for the about-face.

              While he was president, Mr. Trump vowed to stonewall “all” congressional subpoenas, and taxpayer-funded lawyers with the Justice Department fought lengthy court battles and appeals that succeeded in running out the clock on the possibility that House Democrats would obtain the information they were seeking before the 2020 election.

              Now that Mr. Trump is no longer president, however, there is at least one major difference: To keep litigating over the matter, Mr. Trump would have to pay the legal costs himself.

              The McGahn case stems from the House Judiciary Committee’s desire in 2019 to question him about matters related to his role as a key witness in the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about efforts by Mr. Trump to impede the Russia investigation.

              But after the panel subpoenaed Mr. McGahn to testify, he refused to appear, on Mr. Trump’s instructions. The committee sued, and the case went through several rounds of legal fights over various constitutional issues that lacked definitive precedents because previous such disputes had generally been resolved with a negotiated compromise.

              Currently, the case is pending before the Court of Appeals for the full District of Columbia Circuit on the question of whether Congress has a “cause of action” that permits it to sue the executive branch. Under presidents of both parties, the executive branch has argued that Congress does not, and the Biden Justice Department had signaled that it was prepared to keep arguing that position if no accommodation could be reached.

              The deal averts the uncertain outcome of further such litigation — but also means that the next time a fight emerges over a subpoena from the House to the executive branch, the Justice Department will be able to start fresh in prolonged litigation over that unresolved issue.

              Under the deal, according to a court filing, there will be strict limits on the testimony Mr. McGahn will provide. He will testify behind closed doors for a transcribed interview, rather than in public.

              Only lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee may attend. And they may ask Mr. McGahn only about information attributed to him, or events involving him, in the publicly available portions of the Mueller report.

              The deal also says that the parties will get up to seven days to review the transcript for accuracy before it is made public, suggesting that it would be disclosed sometime in the second week of June.

              Look what's back....again.
              Supporting or defending Donald Trump is such an unforgivable moral failing that it calls every bit of your judgement and character into question. Nothing about you should be trusted if you can look at this man and find redeemable value


              • Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
                Look what's back....again.
                Also looking forward to what happens as more of the Mueller Report start leaking out....

                “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                Mark Twain