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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    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....

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • surfgun
    replied
    Originally posted by DOR View Post

    Do I have to say it?
    ”CHECK YOUR SOURCES ! ! “
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/tru...-debate-online
    John Brennan ?

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by DOR View Post

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

    Leave a comment:


  • DOR
    replied
    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......
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/tru...robe-documents
    Do I have to say it?
    ”CHECK YOUR SOURCES ! ! “

    Leave a comment:


  • surfgun
    replied
    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......
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/tru...robe-documents

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Oldest Living CIA Agent Says Russia Probably Targeted Trump Decades Ago

    On Aug. 18, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 1,300-page report characterizing the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives with officials of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign as an “aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.” The report detailed the longstanding relationship between Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, and a Russian intelligence operative named Konstantin Kilimnik, while also describing the links of other Russian intelligence figures to Trump family members, notably Donald Jr. and Jared Kushner, and to such Trump confidants as Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, briefly the president’s national security adviser.

    As to be expected, President Trump immediately denounced the report as “a hoax” (never mind that it was authored by a Republican-controlled committee), while his inner circle adopted their usual stance on such matters, either staying mum or decrying the committee’s work as a tired retread of last year’s Mueller report. The real scandal, the president declaimed, was the deep state “witch hunt” against him that spurred these investigations in the first place.


    If this latest chapter in the four-year Russiagate drama is unlikely to change many minds, at least one person has examined the Senate’s findings with both great interest and alarm. His name is Peter Sichel and, at the age of 97, he is the last surviving member of the early CIA that faced off with the Soviets at the start of the Cold War.

    An escapee from Nazi Germany in the mid-1930s, Sichel served with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the United States’ wartime intelligence agency, during World War II. In October 1945, just months after war’s end, he was dispatched to Berlin to take charge of the local clandestine wing of an embryonic American intelligence outfit called the Strategic Services Unit, a precursor to the CIA. That posting placed Sichel at ground zero of the Cold War already beginning to take shape between the Soviet Union and its wartime Western allies, and gave him a front-row seat in observing precisely how the Soviets were taking over in Eastern Europe.

    “Most people have this idea that they came in and grabbed all those countries by force,” Sichel explained, “but that is not true. In almost every case, they worked within the structure of the prewar political parties and just gradually coopted them.”

    Through his contacts in Soviet-controlled eastern Germany, Sichel witnessed how the Soviets first coerced the local left and center-left political parties to join together, and to then accept the overall leadership of the embryonic German communist party. “They did this both by threats—if a political figure resisted, he could be threatened with arrest as a Nazi war criminal—and enticements. Remember, Germany was in absolute ruins at the time, so it didn’t take much—the offer of a car or an allotment of food—to bring people in line. Their ambition was to take over the political parties, but to pretend it was the will of the people.”

    Sichel’s early 1946 report on the methods the Soviets were using to coopt the eastern German political parties was the first detailed examination of the phenomenon, one soon emulated in the other Eastern European nations under their military control. Once they comprised a sizeable minority in the government, the communist-led coalitions would then start taking control of key ministries, notably the police and internal security services, until they could take over outright. One of the ultimate beneficiaries of this approach, a Hungarian communist leader named Matyas Rakosi, called it “salami tactics,” the process of joining the existing political system and then slicing away at it until there was nothing left.

    In this regard, one revelation in the Senate Intelligence Committee report stood out to Sichel. Contrary to most previous assumptions, Senate investigators found that the Russian intelligence campaign to gain influence with the Republican party began well before Trump emerged as a viable candidate, in keeping with Vladimir Putin’s scheme to help thwart a Hillary Clinton presidency however he could. This fit with the pattern the old CIA hand had seen in Eastern Europe.

    “One great advantage the Soviets always had over us,” Sichel explained, “is that they played the long game. We thought in terms of quarters, whereas they thought in terms of years or even decades. They were opportunistic, willing to let matters gradually develop until the right political faction or right leader to support had emerged.”

    “Scattered throughout the Senate report is a litany of instances in which Trump’s associates left themselves open to Russian blackmail.”

    This found echo in the years prior to 2016 in the series of ties that Putin, an old KGB man himself, fostered with right-wing political figures and fringe groups across the breadth of Europe. However much those ties may have appeared to run counter to Putin’s open nostalgia for the good old days of Soviet communist rule, they shared the common ground of ultra-nationalism.

    This paid great dividends for the Russian ruler, for these same nationalist groups were at the forefront in their respective countries in calling for the dissolution or weakening of NATO and the European Union, two long-term Putin goals. For the same reason, the Russian leadership could only have been thrilled by Trump’s steady climb toward the Republican nomination. Far more than with any other Republican running for president, Trump’s xenophobic, America First rhetoric dovetailed with Putin’s own version, while Trump’s promise of a diminished American role on the global stage was the stuff of Russian fantasy. Little wonder that Putin’s minions would do anything in their power to help propel the hotel magnate and reality show host into the White House.

    But of course, one can’t rely on jingoistic fraternity alone to achieve one’s goals, and limning the pages of the Senate Intelligence Committee report is the specter of another old KGB standby: kompromat, or blackmail. During his Cold War days in Berlin, Peter Sichel had to remain constantly vigilant against kompromat schemes targeting himself and his CIA colleagues, as well as western German political figures. “The KGB were absolute masters at it,” he recalled, “and they would use whatever they could get their hands on. A favorite was honey traps [or sexual entrapments], but bribes, favors, whatever they could find. And once they had their hooks into you, they owned you.”

    Scattered throughout the Senate report is a litany of instances in which Trump’s associates left themselves open to Russian blackmail: Manafort’s many dealings with Kilimnik; the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting at which Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, and Michael Flynn met with Russian intelligence operatives who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton; the backchannel communications between Flynn, by then Trump’s national security adviser-designate, and the Russian ambassador.

    “The past four years have been very, very good for Vladimir Putin.”

    “The key thing is that all of them then lied about it to investigators,” Sichel explained, “and that’s where the potential blackmail comes in. Imagine if the FBI hadn’t caught Flynn out, and he had remained in his post. The Russians knew he lied—I’m sure they taped all their communications with him—so they would have had him over a barrel forever.”

    In this way, the old spymaster contended, the various investigations into Russiagate have actually been of great service to Trump.

    “I know he doesn’t see it this way,” Sichel said, “but by having all this stuff brought out in public, it removes the blackmail threat. The smartest thing Trump could have done when all this started to break was to just come out and say, ‘Yes, it appears there was Russian involvement with my campaign, but that’s over with now, I’m the president, so let’s move on.’ But he didn’t do that, obviously. Perhaps there were reasons why he couldn’t.”

    Even long-retired intelligence officers tend to be circumspect by nature—Sichel left the CIA in 1960—and while he left that last comment to dangle, his allusion seemed fairly clear. After all, what to make of an American president whose foreign policy initiatives have included weakening NATO and urging on the fracturing of the European Union. Who has repeatedly tried to reinstate Russia into the G-8 council of industrialized of nations, over the strenuous objections of America’s European allies, and who defends Putin’s propensity for killing his political opponents by stating, “I think our country does plenty of killing also.” And it’s not as if Trump’s obeisance to his Russian friend is a thing of the past. On Aug. 20, two days after the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report, Putin’s principal surviving political opponent, Alexei Navalny, was left near death by a poison almost certainly administered by Russian intelligence agents. Even as European leaders have lodged protests against the Kremlin and demanded an investigation, President Trump has yet to say a word on the matter. Hardly an original thought, but did Sichel think the president himself could be hostage to Russian kompromat?

    “Well, I couldn’t possibly say,” he replied, “because I think we’re still in the early stages of unlocking all that has gone on. What I can say is that the past four years have been very, very good for Vladimir Putin. And if Trump is reelected, the next four will be even better.”
    __________

    A weak-minded fool in debt up to his eyeballs? Yeah, no opportunity there....

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Justice Department must release redacted portions of Mueller report dealing with criminal charges before Election Day, judge rules

    The US Department of Justice improperly censored portions of the Mueller report dealing with potential criminal charges and Russia's hacking of the Democratic National Committee, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

    In response to a complaint brought by BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold, US District Judge Reggie Walton ruled that Attorney General William Barr's department must release the redacted segments — including portions related to the 2016 Trump campaign's interest in DNC emails stolen by Russia — by November 2, a day before the US election.

    According to BuzzFeed, the ruling means the Justice Department "will be obliged to unveil at least 15 previously blacked-out pages from volume one of special counsel Robert Mueller's 448-page report" on Russian electoral interference.

    In March 2020, the same judge, appointed to the bench by former President George W. Bush, chastised Attorney General Barr for having issued a "distorted" and "misleading" summary of the Mueller report.

    In March 2019, Barr falsely claimed that the report had exonerated Donald Trump, asserting that Mueller had found no evidence of coordination between the president's 2016 campaign and Russia. In fact, the report detailed many contacts between the Trump camp and Russian government assets, though the special counsel said those contacts were not enough to demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that crimes had occurred.
    __________



    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Trump's Helsinki summit with Putin was 'soul crushing' for Mueller's team and showed them Russia had won a 'servile' American president

    Prosecutors and FBI agents working in the special counsel Robert Mueller's office were shell-shocked when they watched President Donald Trump publicly side with Russian President Vladimir Putin following a bilateral summit in Helsinki in 2018, according to a new memoir by the former Mueller prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann.

    The Trump-Putin press conference came just days after the special counsel's office indicted 12 Russian military intelligence officers on multiple felony charges related to the 2016 "hack-and-dump" operation against the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    It was the first time Mueller's team directly pointed a finger at the Russian government for meddling in the 2016 election, and it corroborated a 2017 assessment by the US intelligence community that concluded Putin ordered Russia's interference campaign.

    But days later, during the Helsinki summit, the American president stood next to the Russian leader and said he trusted Putin over the US intelligence community.

    Trump said he didn't "see any reason why" Russia would be responsible for the election meddling.

    "I have President Putin," Trump said. "He just said it's not Russia I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be."

    Back in Mueller's office, the comments were "surreal" and "soul crushing," Weissmann wrote in his book, "Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation," which hit shelves on Tuesday.

    "By this time, Trump not only had the conclusions of the original intelligence assessment, but the incontrovertible proof" from Mueller's team "to expand on and corroborate it," he wrote. "Still, Trump said, Putin 'was extremely strong and powerful in his denial,' and that was apparently enough for him."

    The president's comments were "profoundly alarming" and also sparked "general amazement" for the FBI agents working in Mueller's office, Weissmann said.

    "It was like they'd built up a mountain of incriminating evidence only to watch the prosecutor suddenly decide to call off the case and go home, just because the defendant said he wasn't guilty," he added.

    Weissmann continued: "The scene in Helsinki should have been stunning to the average American viewer, but for those within our office who'd poured energy into pinning down these facts, it was profoundly alarming. Here was our own president kowtowing to Putin, denying the election interference he had perpetrated on our nation and siding with a bloody dictator over a bipartisan consensus in the Senate and the nonpartisan conclusions of the IC that Putin had attacked our democracy."

    The event set off "alarm bells" for Weissmann and another prosecutor in Mueller's office, Jeannie Rhee. Mueller, meanwhile, "looked exasperated" during the team's daily meeting that evening and speculated that Trump had financial reasons for caving to Putin.

    The special counsel "commented that, if the president was in the tank with Putin, 'It would be about money' — that is, that Trump was motivated by money and his fawning behavior toward Putin could be explained by his seeking to make a buck in Russia,"
    Weissmann wrote.

    Trump eventually walked back his comments following a "bipartisan uproar" back in the US, but Weissmann and Rhee both thought it was clear that the Russian government "had now gotten what it had worked so hard for: a servile, but popular, American leader," he wrote.
    _______________

    An American President, servile and submissive to the Russians....and a Republican, no less. And Trump's followers simply did not, and do not, care one bit.

    Can you imagine if Ronald Reagan was alive to witness this? Trump's cultists would tear Reagan limb from limb if he dared to call Trump what Trump is: A traitor to the Republican Party and a traitor to the United States.


    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by surfgun View Post

    His professionalism, that prohibited him the ability to police his small band of miscreants that tainted his whole investigation?
    I know many Trump supporters are fairly dense but there are some who take it to a whole other level. Like I said you wouldn't know true professionalism or ethics even if it slammed you in the face head on. Actually pretty sad but not unexpected...

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by surfgun View Post

    His professionalism, that prohibited him the ability to police his small band of miscreants that tainted his whole investigation?
    Not surprising that you believe that. Of course, you don't believe that Russia interfered with the 2016 election and the Trump Campaign wholeheartedly welcomed and invited that interference either, do you.

    Because...Trump told you so.


    H.R. McMaster On Trump and Russian Interference:

    As for the president, McMaster told us foreign policy was not his favorite subject. McMaster would brief to the limits of Mr. Trump's attention, then watch him shoot from the hip.

    Scott Pelley: The president was speaking to reporters on Air Force One in late 2017. The president was asked about the Russian cyber assault on the 2016 election. Mr. Trump said of Russian President Putin, quote, "Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that,' and I really believe that when he tells me that. He means it." What was your reaction after the president said that?

    H.R. McMaster: Well, my reaction was one of surprise, disappointment, disbelief.

    Scott Pelley: Later the same day, the president went before cameras and said he didn't mean it.

    President Trump: I'm surprised that there's any conflict on this. What I said there is that I believe he believes that…

    Scott Pelley: Did you have a hand in the president's retraction?

    H.R. McMaster: I did, and others. We had a conversation with the president afterwards we said, "your answer to that question will be misconstrued as a complete denial of Russian meddling when we know it's incontrovertible. It's just, it's just a fact."

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  • surfgun
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

    Wow. I don't know if you realize this but you are not even qualified to shine his shoes much less critique his professionalism. Yet, that is what people do when they know they can't possibly measure up so they instead try to tear down to their low level.
    His professionalism, that prohibited him the ability to police his small band of miscreants that tainted his whole investigation?

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  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by surfgun View Post
    Mueller refuses to testify about his corrupted investigation (he does not have enough time).
    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/...eller-refused/
    Wow. I don't know if you realize this but you are not even qualified to shine his shoes much less critique his professionalism. Yet, that is what people do when they know they can't possibly measure up so they instead try to tear down to their low level.

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