Category Archives: Papadopoulos

Time For A Reckoning Against The Anti-Trump Coup Leaders

If we are to remain a nation of laws, then the people who manifestly engineered a coup against duly elected President Trump need to be called to account.

By Wolf Howling

Can you believe that it is 2019 and Trump has, to this moment at least, survived a coup attempt?  I did not expect him to survive the onslaught.  He has to be the cleanest President we’ve ever had in office.  He just survived a three year investigatory equivalent of a general warrant to search anywhere for any crime — something the Bill of Rights made unlawful on December 15, 1791.

Unlike a criminal investigation, which benefits from Constitutional limits and protections, things were different for Trump. Beginning on July 31, 2016, when the FBI launched an investigation explicitly aimed at Trump — and right through and including the Mueller investigation, likewise explicitly aimed at Trump, — every aspect of Trump’s life, his businesses, and finances his finances was pried open under the rubric of a “counter-intelligence investigation.”  That he is clean as a whistle is obvious, for we know that, had the FBI or the Mueller team found anything that could be cast as a crime, whether related to Russia or not, they would have used it to destroy Trump. After all, Mueller’s team, while pursuing their Russia counter-intelligence investigation, used evidence about fraud regarding taxi medallions, something far removed from Mueller’s mandate, to prosecute Michael Cohen.

Anti-Trump actors in the government leaked top-secret information from NSA wiretaps to the press.  Mueller’s team metaphorically raped people around Trump  — including Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos and Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen — to get them to give some evidence that Trump committed crimes.  The Mueller investigative team actively solicited testimony adverse to Trump, unethically and seemingly without regard to whether true or false.  Trump’s personal attorney was subject to a SWAT-style raid, as was Roger Stone when his arrest played out for all on CNN.  At least one person, Carter Page, was subject to four separate FISA warrants — and under the three hop rule, we can safely assume that means Trump and his inner circle were spied upon as part and parcel of that warrant as well.  They were spied upon under four FISA Warrants for an entire year, beginning in October 2016 and concluding in September 2017.   Indeed, it is hard not to conclude that they were the real target, with Carter Page merely a convenient patsy. Strikingly, despite this total warfare, when it came to Trump, Mueller and Co. produced . . . nothing.

There is no predicate in American law or history for any of this, whether the FBI’s counter-intelligence investigation aimed at Trump, the FISA warrants, or the way in which the DOJ unlawfully authorized Mueller to conduct a criminal investigation under the guise and rules of a counter-intelligence investigation. That is, this did not start with a crime that called for an investigation. This started with an elected president whom Washington insiders both feared and disdained and they used the investigation in the hopes that they could find a crime. The only predicate to this approach can be found in the Soviet Union’s Levrentiy Beria, who famously said, “Show me the man, I’ll find the crime.” It was an abuse aimed at finding anything in Trump’s activities that could force him from office or, during the duration of the investigation, get him to make a mistake, then force him from office on a process crime.

It’s this unconstitutional, Soviet-style, bass-ackwards bullshit that allows Mueller to claim before Congress that there’s meaning to the fact that he has not not proven Trump innocent of obstruction. As others have pointed out, Mueller also failed to exonerate Trump of assassinating Lincoln).  And thus do we now have half of the progressive Congresscritters calling for Trump’s impeachment on the grounds that Trump obstructed an investigation . . . that Mueller says was never “curtailed, stopped or hindered” . . . for a crime or crimes . . . that neither Trump nor anyone in his administration committed.

Folks, this is a top-down, engineered coup to overturn the 2016 election.  It is not enough that the coup be defeated.  We need the disinfectant of sunshine — to make public every single aspect of this attempted coup.  And then we need heads on pikes, metaphorically, and people in prison, for real.  Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum. Let justice be done though the heavens fall.

To that end, these are the questions I believe need to be answered:

I.  How did the Russian counter-intelligence operation aimed at the Trump Campaign originate?

A.  When was the Trump campaign targeted, by which law enforcement or intelligence agencies, and to what end in 2016 and 2017?

1)  We now know that, well before Mueller opened the Russia investigation targeting Trump on July 31, 2016, people who were key players in the Russian collusion hoax sought out and interacted with Trump campaign staffers Carter Page, Stephen Miller, and George Papadopoulos.  These key players included Joseph Mifsud, Stefan Halper and Alexander Downer, along with several women, at least one of whom, Azra Turk, the NYT subsequently identified as a U.S. intelligence agent.  Were any of these individuals acting on behalf of an American intelligence or law enforcement agencies and, if so, what were their orders? Were Mifsud or any of these individuals directed  to make contact with George Papadopolous or Carter Page in a sting operation?

2)  Do transcripts or reports of any sort exist of the interactions between Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, on the one hand, and Joseph Mifsud, Stefan Halper, or Alexander Downer, on the other?  Papadopoulos believes that both Halper and Downer tried to get him to make admissions about Russia collusion and were recording or transmitting the discussions.

3)  Why, if Mueller claims Mifsud lied to his investigators on three occasions, was Mifsud the only person who was not then subject to prosecution for the process crime of lying to the FBI, (in comparison to Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, Alex van der Zwaan, and Paul Manafort)?

4)  Did Comey place a spy in the Trump campaign, transition team, or the White House and, if so, under what justification?  Comey repeatedly testified under oath that he was not investigating Trump personally for conspiring with Russia.  Comey did not have probable cause. Yet Comey refused to state that fact publicly and there is evidence that he placed an agent, Anthony Ferrante, a cyber crime specialist, inside the White House.

B.  Did Russian intelligence hack the DNC Server in April-May, 2016? 

It seems insane to have to ask that question about this pivotal issue three years into the nightmare to which this nation has been subject, and yet . . . Mueller made a very deliberate decision not to examine the origins of the Trump-Russia hoax, part and parcel of which is the alleged hack of the DNC server.  The only thing that we know for sure is that in June, 2016, the DNC announced that it had been hacked by Russia and that this hack was obviously intended to benefit Trump.  We know that Julian Assange somehow received thousands of DNC and John Podesta e-mails, which he then released to the public.  We know that Crowstrike, a cyber investigation agency that the DNC employed, analyzed the claimed hack and gave a redacted draft of that analysis to the FBI.  The FBI never saw the server. Beyond that, as Aaron Mate explains in Crowdstrikeout, we do not have even remotely trustworthy evidence that a hack occurred, nor does the Mueller Report, its bald assertions to the contrary, actually tie the hack to the Russian government.

C.  Was an ambiguous comment by third tier staffer George Papadopoulos actually the basis for opening up a counter-intelligence investigation aimed at Donald Trump and the Trump campaign and, if so, was it a reasonable basis? 

Mueller claims in his report that the reason that the FBI, back in July 2016, opened up a counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump Campaign for conspiring with Russia was because of a statement George Papadopoulos purported made to the Australian diplomat and Clinton friend,  Alexander Downer, who then relayed it to the FBI through unofficial channels. This is troubling.

Taking everything in the prosecution of Papadopoulos and the Mueller Report as true — and see Papadopoulos’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee at p. 21) — nothing Papadopoulos ever said indicated that, before the DNC publicly announced in June 2016 that it had been hacked, he had any knowledge about that hack.  What Papadopoulos did believe in April, 2016 was something that half of America — including FBI Director James Comey — also believed: namely, that Russia possessed some or all of the thousands of emails Hillary generated on her private server while serving as Secretary of State.  Given this publicly held knowledge, how could Papadopoulos’s statement — that Mifsud had told him that Russia had “dirt” in the form of “emails of Clinton,” and that they “have thousands of emails” — standing alone, possibly justify a counter-intelligence investigation into Trump and his campaign that used all of the tools and police power of the U.S. government?  Who signed off on opening this investigation and was Papadopoulos’s statement about commonly held public knowledge the only basis?  Was Papadopoulos’s statement used in any other Court documents to provide probable cause for law enforcement actions as regards Russia, Trump, and his campaign?  Why did Mueller ignore this glaring inconsistency in his report?

II.  Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele and the Steele Dossier:  Their roles in the Russian collusion hoax.

The genesis of the Russian hoax was the Steele Dossier, which the DNC funded as opposition research on Hillary’s behalf. Steele gave it to the FBI and to every major news outlet before the November, 2016, election.  And yet Mueller, in both his report and testimony, all but completely ignored the Dossier and refused to answer questions about it.  Moreover, Mueller even claimed he did not know that Fusion GPS funded the Dossier. It appears that Mueller was tasked by Rosenstein to investigate the Steele Dossier.  There is no rational reason for Mueller and his team to ignore these things in the final report.  The only possible explanation I can see is that, had Mueller acknowledged that the investigation’s genesis was false, unlawful and unconstitutional, his team would have had to halt its fishing expedition (or, if truly honest brokers, redirect the probe from Trump to the Obama administration) without accomplishing the main goal, which was driving Trump from office.

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Before We Go Further, A Short Summary of Dossier Facts

The Dossier is a series of “intelligence reports” compiled between June and December, 2016, making a series of wild and unfounded accusations against Donald Trump and the Trump campaign.  Specifically, it alleges that:

— Trump was an agent of Russia and had been working for the Russian government for eight years before 2016.  Russians paid Trump by providing him with hookers.

— Trump was being blackmailed by a tape held by the Russian government showing him watching hookers urinate on a bed in 2013.

— Trump actively supported the hacking of Democratic Party computers to steal and release stolen emails.

— Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page, and campaign manager, Paul Manafort, conspired with the Russian government and coordinated with Russia on behalf of the Trump campaign.

— Carter Page traveled to Moscow in early July 2016 to deliver a public speech at a university. The dossier says he met with two top Kremlin operatives and discussed bribes worth billions of rubles for working to lift economic sanctions.

—  Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, secretly traveled to Prague in August 2016 to orchestrate payments with agents of Vladimir Putin to manage the growing scandal of Trump-Russia collusion.

It is notable that the dossier contains some glaring errors: Here are just a few:

— A claim that Russian intelligence network was being paid for in part through a Russian consulate in Miami.  There is no Russian consulate in Miami.

— A claim that Mikhail Kalugin, chief of the economic section at the Russian Embassy was a spy responsible for funding Russian hacking, and that he was whisked out of Washington when the hacking scandal broke in August. His return to Moscow was actually a normal rotation announced ten months previously.

—  The claim that Michael Cohen’s wife was Russian and that his father-in-law was a wealthy Russian developer in Moscow.  Neither fact is true.

— The claim that Michael Cohen had been to Prague in August 2016 collapsed when it became apparent that he had never ever been to Prague.

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A.  Was the dossier, in whole or part, a series of manufactured charges designed to shock the public into supporting Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, and did the FBI and others misuse it to attack the Trump administration?

1)  What was Christopher Steele’s source (or chain of sources, where there are multiple levels of hearsay) for each allegation contained in the dossier?  Which of the allegations were based on legitimate foreign intelligence and which were not?  Given the specificity of the Steele allegations and his evidentiary claims in the dossier, the fact that not a single allegation has been proven in three years is stunning.  It strongly suggests on its face that some or all of the allegations were manufactured out of whole cloth, with the expectation that the media would make them public before the 2016 election and that both the media and the newly elected Hillary Clinton administration would conveniently bury them thereafter.  That would be the mother of all crimes against our democracy.  Is it true?

2)  What role did Clinton political hatchet men Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer play in providing allegations included in the Steele Dossier?  When these two men are involved, their history is so sordid that lone justifies investigating every last detail of their relevant acts.  We know that Blumenthal  funneled Cody Shearer’s opposition research to Steele using a State Department employee, Jonathan Winer, as a conduit.  I would not be surprised at all to find the more lurid, sex-based allegations against Trump originated with Blumenthal or Shearer. We do not know Shearer’s sources nor do we have a copy of his memo.  Was it too provided to the FBI?

3)  Steele lied to the FBI about briefing the media on the Steele Dossier in October, 2016.  Senators Grassley and Graham made a recommendation to the FBI that Steele be investigated and, if appropriate, prosecuted for this.  Mueller ignored the referral and did not address it in his report.  Why?

4)  It’s already been covered ad nauseum that the Steele Dossier, with its myriad of unverified allegations and obvious discrepancies, was the primary basis to obtain the FISA warrants against Carter Page.  We are awaiting a report from Inspector General Horowitz on whether the FISA warrants targeting Carter Page, signed and attested by Director Comey and others, were criminally deceptive and insufficient.

5)  On whom did the FBI spy as a result of the Steele Dossier?  We only know that the FBI spied upon Carter Page because it was convenient for the left to leak that to the media at the height of the Trump collusion frenzy.  Did the FBI also submit FISA warrants on Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn or anyone else associated with the Trump campaign?  Did any of the players in this coup leak to third parties, including Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, the DNC, or the media, any of the information gleaned from these FISA warrants?

5)  What was CIA Director John Brennan’s role, if any, in creating and transmitting the Steele Dossier allegations to the FBI, to Congress, and to President Obama?  Did Brennan perjure himself in hearings before Congress (a) in claiming that he did not know about the Steele Dossier until December, 2016; and (b) in claiming that he determined, based solely on independent CIA-developed intelligence, that people in the Trump campaign were conspiring with the Kremlin in July 2016?  Note that Brennan now contends that he provided that intelligence to the FBI in July, yet in the one place one would expect to see independent corroborating evidence, in the FISA Court applications for a warrant to spy on Carter Page, there is no reference to information from the CIA.  There are simply the bare allegations of the Steele dossier, references to Michael Isikoff’s Sept 2016 article (based on information Steele gave Isikoff), and Steele’s personal reputation for honesty.

6)  Why was Trump Attorney Michael Cohen charged with a campaign finance violation while Mueller ignored the DNC’s, Clinton Campaign’s, and Perkins Coie law firm’s glaring violations of the same laws?  The fact that the DNC and Clinton Campaign used Perkins Coie to employ Fusion GPS, thus hiding behind a wall of attorney-client privilege their machinations with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele, should make them subject to more stringent investigation on fraud grounds rather than getting Mueller’s free pass.

B.  Why has Fusion GPS’s role in manufacturing a Trump-Russian conspiracy been ignored?

1)  One of the pivotal events in the Trump-Russian conspiracy hoax was the fact that Trump family friend Ron Goldstone, arranged a meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. along with several other members of the Trump campaign team, with a Russian lawyer named Natalia Veselnitskaya. While Veselnitskaya claimed to have compromising material on Hillary Clinton, she didn’t. However, the mere fact of the meeting was played in the press as proof of a Trump-Russia conspiracy.

While Mueller, in his report, expends several pages analyzing the meeting, he ignores the elephant in the room, which is that Veselnitskaya had a business relationship with Fusion GPS and that she met with Fusion GPS’s founder, Glenn Simpson, both the day before and the day after the Trump Jr. meeting.  The Mueller Report fails to explain either Simpson’s role in arranging this apparent sting or how and why Goldstone misrepresented the meeting to Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign workers.

2)  There is  clear evidence that Glen Simpson of Fusion GPS misled and affirmatively lied to Congress about his relationship with Nellie Ohr, wife of high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Ohr.  Why hasn’t Mueller or the DOJ pursued this?

III.  FISA Misuse and leaks of classified information

The Trump administration has been plagued by leaks, including the leaks of Top Secret information from FISA intercepts.  It has been abuse on a grand scale for which no one has been held accountable.  The most egregious example was the unmasking and leak of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russian Ambassador that served as the springboard Sally Yates and team Mueller to politically assassinate him.  What, if anything, has been done to identify those abusing the NSA intercepts and leaking / abusing that information?

That concludes my list of questions.  Please feel free to add any that you think I have missed.  I note that Aaron Mate has some different questions in his recent piece, Here are five big holes in Mueller’s work.  And at the Federalist, Adam Mill questions the Mueller investigation itself, given the apparent degree of Robert Mueller’s disconnect from the investigation.

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The collusion and obstruction investigation indicts others, not Trump

Officially, Mueller investigated Trump’s alleged collusion and obstruction. We now know that there was collusion and obstruction — but not by Trump.

The investigation into Trump’s campaign began with the ludicrous hearsay (in some cases, multiple levels of hearsay) allegations compiled by Michael Steele, paid for by the DNC, provided to the FBI before the 2016 election, and briefed to every major media outlet as part of an “October surprise” that failed to derail Trump.  It is worth quickly reviewing what those allegations were.  To summarize the charges in the original Buzzfeed “report”:

  1.  Trump was a Russian intelligence asset who had been working for Russian intelligence for at least seven years.
  2. Trump, who had no business interests in Russia, was being paid in Russian prostitutes for his services.
  3. Russian intelligence has a tape of Trump inviting prostitutes to his hotel room during the 2013 Miss Universe contest held in Moscow and so they could perform a “golden shower” on the bed.
  4. Trump was handling the payment of Russian assets in New York through a complicated money laundering scheme.
  5. Trump coordinated with Russian intelligence through Paul Manafort, Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and his private attorney, Michael Cohen.
  6. Carter Page’s business trip to Russia in 2016 was cover for a meeting with Russian intelligence.
  7. The Trump campaign coordinated with Russia for the release of DNC emails hacked by Russian intelligence.  Papadopoulos admitted to knowing this information in near real time, before it was made public by the DNC.
  8. Michael Cohen was subject to Russian influence through his Russian wife (she is not Russian, by the way).  Cohen traveled to Prague to coordinate with Russian intel on behalf of Trump once Russian involvement in the campaign became public knowledge.

All involved denied those allegations. Moreover, Mueller’s $30 million-plus, two year-plus investigation either affirmatively disproved them or was unable to find any facts that might prove them.  None are supported in the Mueller Report.  And indeed, Mueller makes only passing reference to the Steele Dossier.

Now recall that, once it became apparent that the Steele Dossier did not provide probable cause for anything, because all of its wild allegations were affirmatively false or incapable of proof, a story appeared in the NYT  on Dec. 30, 2017, based on a leak, that the investigation was warranted because Papadopoulos in fact knew of the theft of DNC emails before that theft was made public.

There’s only one problem with the NYT’s “bombshell of the moment”: Reviewing the FBI affidavit that supports charging Papadopoulos with the crime of lying to investigators, it is readily apparent that Papadopoulos had said nothing at all that tied the hacked DNC emails to Russia. As I wrote at the time, anyone paying attention to the Hillary email scandal suspected that Hillary’s emails had long before been hacked by foreign intelligence from her time as Secretary of State.

Yet, “even in the FBI’s indictment against Papadopoulos for lying, the “FBI” seems to go the extra mile not to clarify precisely which emails Papadopoulos was talking about.”  In other words, the FBI was assuming without reasonable justification, that Papadopoulos was talking about the Wikileaks emails, not her emails from Secretary of State. The implication then, is that Papadopoulos was in on the Russian hack into the DNC, which he knew about before it went public, rather than his referring to Hillary’s own unsecured server.”

And that factually unsupported indictment was the basis for three years of investigating Trump and placing a millstone around his ability to execute his duties as president?

I wrote the above quoted paragraph when the NYT published its December 30, 2017 report. Since then, the Mueller Report did nothing at all to challenge my conclusions. And today retired DOJ attorney Andrew McCarthy sums up what was really going on — The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation Was Formally Opened on False Pretenses:

There is no evidence whatsoever, including in the 448-page Mueller report, that Papadopoulos was ever told that Russia intended, through an intermediary, to disseminate damaging information about Clinton in a manner designed to hurt Clinton’s candidacy and help Trump’s. There is, furthermore, no evidence that Papadopoulos ever said such a thing to anyone else — including Downer, whom he famously met at the Kensington Wine Rooms in London on May 6, 2016.

The claim that Papadopoulos made such a statement is a fabrication, initially founded on what, at best, was a deeply flawed assumption by Downer, the Australian diplomat.

On July 22, 2016, the eve of the Democratic National Convention and two months after Downer met with Papadopoulos, WikiLeaks began disseminating to the press the hacked DNC emails. From this fact, Downer drew the unfounded inference that the hacked emails must have been what Papadopoulos was talking about when he said Russia had damaging information about Clinton.

Downer’s assumption was specious, for at least four reasons.

1) In speaking with Downer, Papadopoulos never mentioned emails. Neither Downer nor Papadopoulos has ever claimed that Papadopoulos spoke of emails.

2) Papadopoulos did not tell Downer that Russia was planning to publish damaging information about Clinton through an intermediary. There is no allegation in the Mueller report that Mifsud ever told Papadopoulos any such thing, much less that Papadopoulos relayed it to Downer. Mueller’s report says:

Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had met with high-level Russian government officials during his recent trip to Moscow. Mifsud also said that, on the trip, he learned that the Russians had obtained “dirt” on candidate Hillary Clinton. As Papadopoulos later stated to the FBI, Mifsud said that the “dirt” was in the form of “emails of Clinton,” and that they “have thousands of emails.”

(Vol. I, p. 89 & n. 464). In neither the Mueller report nor the “Statement of the Offense” that Mueller filed in connection with Papadopoulos’s plea (pp. 6–7) have prosecutors claimed that Mifsud told Papadopoulos what Russia was planning to do with the “dirt,” much less why. And, to repeat, Mifsud denied telling Papadopoulos anything about emails; Mueller never alleged that Mifsud’s denial was false.

3) Papadopoulos says the emails he claims Mifsud referred to were not the DNC emails; they were Clinton’s own emails. That is, when Papadopoulos claims that Mifsud told him that Russia had “dirt” in the form of “thousands” of “emails of Clinton,” he understood Mifsud to be alluding to the thousands of State Department and Clinton Foundation emails that Clinton had stored on a private server. These, of course, were the emails that were being intensively covered in the media (including speculation that they might have been hacked by hostile foreign intelligence services) at the time Mifsud and Papadopoulos spoke – i.e., April 2016, when neither Mifsud nor Papadopoulos had any basis to know anything about hacked DNC emails. . . .

The State Department and the FBI Distort What Papadopoulos ‘Suggested’

Downer’s flawed assumption that Papadopoulos must have been referring to the hacked DNC emails was then inflated into a Trump-Russia conspiracy theory by Clinton partisans in the Obama administration — first at the State Department, and then in the Justice Department, the FBI, and the broader intelligence community — all agencies in which animus against Donald Trump ran deep.

There is much more, so I would suggest that you read McCarthy’s entire article.  The main takeaway is that the Fourth Amendment requires probable cause before law enforcement can conduct the type of investigation launched against Trump and his associates. In the absence of probable cause, the Trump investigation was unlawful — a political dirty trick that broke the law, involved misuse of the police power of government on a scale not seen outside a police state, and resulted in a scandal that dwarfs the facts of Watergate.  It also makes the push to punish Trump for “obstructing” this investigation utterly surreal.

If you want to see obstruction in action, look today at what the Left is doing to try and savage Barr and Trump.  Rep. Jerry Nadler has scheduled a vote of contempt against AG Barr for failing to appear before the House Judicial Committee.  Virtually every Democrat is screaming to the rafters that AG Barr lied to Congress and now needs to resign.

Then there is Jim Comey, who is also criticizing Barr.  Let’s not forget him because, if the facts are as I suspect they may be, he is dirty as the day is long.  This from Victor Davis Hanson today:

Comey seems to be prepping his own defense by a transparent preemptive attack on the very official who may soon calibrate Comey’s own legal exposure. Comey should at least offer a disclaimer that the federal prosecutor he is now attacking may soon be adjudicating his own future—if for no other reason than to prevent a naïf from assuming that Comey’s gambit of attacking Barr is deliberately designed to suggest later on that prosecutor Barr harbored a prejudicial dislike of likely defendant Comey.

How ironic that Comey who used to lecture the nation on “obstruction” and the impropriety of Trump’s editorializing about the Mueller prosecutorial team, is now attacking—or perhaps “obstructing”—the Attorney General before he has even issued a single indictment.

Three, Comey somehow remains seriously delusional about the abyss between his sermonizing and his own unethical and likely illegal behavior.

Remember, James Comey assured the nation that the Steele dossier, contra the testimony of his subordinate Andrew McCabe (already facing criminal referrals) was not the chief evidence presented to a FISA court. That is likely untrue. And if it is not, Comey’s other evidence he presented is likely to be just as compromised.

Comey also misled a FISA judge by not admitting 1) that his submitted dossier evidence was compiled by a contractor paid by Hillary Clinton; 2) that ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s work was unverified; 3) that Steele’s relationship with Comey’s FBI has already been severed due to Steele’s unprofessional behavior; and 4) that submitted news accounts of “collusion” were in circular fashion based on the dossier itself. Had Comey’s behavior ever become standard procedure in FISA applications, there could be no longer a FISA court.

Comey also misled about his meetings with President Trump, as memorialized in his now infamous memos. He briefed the president on the Steele dossier—without telling Trump that it had been paid for by Hillary Clinton.

Comey likely also lied in telling Trump he wanted to brief him on the dossier in worries that the press might otherwise report on it first. In fact, his meeting with Trump by design was the necessary imprimatur the press had been waiting for to leak information from the dossier, which shortly followed. . . .

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Leaks and Barr (by Wolf Howling)

Expect deep state leaks to pick up to fire hose speed as the left targets AG Bill Barr and tries to minimize their criminal actions.

Is anyone else tired of criminal deep state denizens leaking classified information to a corrupt media in order to, at best, unfairly slant the news and, at worst, to plant outright lies? All of the leaks were once aimed at taking down the Trump administration, but now they’re aimed at taking down the Attorney General, Bill Barr.

For instance, who leaked the ridiculous Mueller memo to Barr on the eve of Barr’s testimony before Congress?  Leaks like this seem so commonplace now, though, in the Age of Deep State v. Donald Trump, that Vanity Fair is running an article on how the DOJ leaked the memo to two sources, WaPo and the NYT:

It was a familiar one-two in the age of Trump. On Tuesday, the day before Attorney General William Barr’s Senate testimony, The Washington Post published a staggering scoop, one that’s driven the news ever since: Robert Mueller had written a letter to Barr complaining that his initial summary of the Mueller report “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the special counsel’s work.

Minutes later, The New York Times published a story with almost precisely the same reporting. “I felt a flashback to the days of 2017 and 2018 when the Times and the Post published dueling scoops the way fighters trade blows,” CNN’s Brian Stelter remarked in his newsletter that night.

The Times and the Post are both well sourced and are often in pursuit of the same stories. In this instance, however, the Times has been left with the distinct impression that the Department of Justice intentionally screwed it by helping its competitor get the scoop. . . .

I was more than a bit taken aback at how casually the media now treats the fact that a person at DOJ is leaking to the press. Media types used to be a bit more discrete about that kind of thing.  But to the media, these leaks are all part and parcel of the new hysteria surrounding AG Bill Barr.

True, a small part of the hysteria is anger that Barr circumscribed the proggie / media complex’s ability to spin the Mueller report with his own memo, setting out the bottom line conclusions of both Mueller and himself — no collusion, no actionable obstruction of justice.*  But the bulk of the hysteria is aimed at doing in Barr before he does in the deep state folks responsible for the what has amounted to a soft coup attempt. Andrew McCarthy explains:

So I give you: the Bill Barr perjury allegation.

We are all entitled to our own opinions. But are we entitled to our own facts? Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s bon mot says no, but Washington makes you wonder. Like when spleen-venting about the supposedly outrageous, unbelievable, disgraceful invocation of the word “spy” to describe episodes of government spying is instantly followed by a New York Times story about how the spying — er, I mean, court-authorized electronic surveillance — coupled with the tasking of spies — er, undercover agents — green-lighted by a foreign spy — er, intelligence service — was more widespread than previously known.

If I were a cynic, I’d think people were trying to get out in front of some embarrassing revelations on the horizon. I might even be tempted to speculate that progressives were trotting out their “Destroy Ken Starr” template for Barr deployment (which, I suppose, means that 20 years from now we’ll be reading about what a straight-arrow Barr was compared to whomever Democrats are savaging at that point).

The claim that Barr gave false testimony is frivolous. That is why, at least initially, Democrats and their media echo chamber soft-pedaled it — with such dishonorable exceptions as Mazie Horono, the Hawaii Democrat who, somehow, is a United States senator. It’s tough to make the perjury argument without any false or even inaccurate statements . . .

A good portion of Washington right now has to be as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a rocking chair showroom.  Obama weaponized the alphabet agencies and turned them lawless; Clinton and the DNC put them to use.  All of it is illegal.  All of it dwarfs Watergate as Watergate was only a criminal dirty trick and cover-up, while this was a soft coup.  Soon we’ll see the NYT explaining to us, on the one hand, that Barr is Hitler’s newest henchman and, on the other hand, that the FBI’s and CIA’s did spying and stings against the Trump organization were wholly reasonable.

For instance, the NYT / DOJ line up to now was that the entire investigation into Trump had nothing to do with the Steele dossier, but was only opened when George Papadopoulos learned from Joseph Mifsud that Russia had “thousands” of Hillary e-mails and then divulged that fact to Aussie official, Alexander Downer.  Except now it is slowly coming out, through leaks and otherwise that Mifsud / Downer and two others involved in the Papadopoulos machinations, Stefan Halper and his “assistant,” Azra Turk, all had links to either or both the CIA and FBI.  In other words, it is starting to appear that the hapless Papadopoulos might well have been set up in a sting done as a pretext for investigating Trump.

At any rate, get ready for a lot more leaks.  They will soon start coming, dare I say it, fast and furious as the proggies try to justify their unjustifiable and unforgivable actions.

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*BOOKWORM HERE: Wolf Howling wrote the above post, but it did remind me of something. Yes, it’s true that even an innocent person can be guilty of obstruction of justice. In other words, it’s still wrong to impede genuine investigative work, no matter your innocence. But even assuming the Trump aggressively impeded first the FBI’s and then the Special Counsel’s work, was their work justice?

As is becoming quite clear, they were part of an ongoing illegal effort to oust a duly elected American president based upon faked charges. So whatever Trump did (no matter how minimal or egregious), he wasn’t obstructing “justice,” he was obstructing what he knew to be an attempted coup. That’s heroic, not illegal.

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