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-Lurid Crime Tales-
A San Francisco Murder Sets Leftists and Social Interest Groups at Odds
[American Thinker] On January 28, while attempting to take a photo of a suspicious vehicle cruising in front of his San Francisco home, 76-year-old private investigator Jack Palladino was grabbed by one of the two men in the car and dragged forty feet before falling over backward and lethally striking his head.

Not since the Zebra killings of the 1970s has one murder caused San Francisco's leftist worthies so much consternation. If you do not know of the Zebra killers, there is a reason why. The killers were black. All 21 of their victims, 14 fatal, were white or Asian. The Zodiac killer worked the same area at roughly the same time, killed far fewer people, and got ten times the attention.

Palladino's killing made the news in spite of the fact that he was white and the two accused killers are black. What made Palladino newsworthy is that he has friends in high Democratic places. "Mr. Palladino was a San Francisco legend, someone who dedicated his career to pursing justice and truth," said San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin. "[He] did so much to make the justice system work, whether it was civil justice or criminal justice," said former San Francisco mayor and Kamala Harris "mentor" Willie Brown.

San Francisco civic leaders have a different take on truth and justice from what the rest of us have, starting with the women who accused men like Bill Clinton and Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault. Palladino first made the national news in 1992, when the Clinton campaign hired him, so reported the Washington Post, "to investigate the accusers involved in two dozen allegations."

The words "to investigate" do not quite do Palladino's role justice. "To silence" is more like it. His job was to make sure these women kept their mouths shut, a job he did well enough to get Clinton elected. Impressed by Palladino's body of work, Harvey Weinstein employed Palladino to "investigate" his accusers as well.

Home Front: Politix
REVEALED: Final presidential debate moderator Kristen Welker busted on live TV tipping off Clinton in 2016


Trump promises more ‘breathtaking' documents about Russia probe are coming
[NYPost] President Trump promised that more "breathtaking" documents pointing to the involvement of the Obama administration and the Hillary Clinton campaign in the Russia investigation will be coming soon.

"Documents are being released at a level now that nobody's ever seen before, Things that nobody thought were going to get released have been released and you're seeing it all the time. You see what's going on. We caught them cold, we have them cold," Trump told host Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures."

"And now they have to do something about it, but other documents are going to be released, Maria, which are breathtaking. Wait until you see what's coming out," the president said.

Bartiromo asked if the new documents would be about the FBI's role or Clinton's.

"It's about everything. Hillary Clinton is ‘Crooked Hillary.' I don't call her ‘Crooked Hillary' for nothing," he said.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
DNI Declassifies Handwritten Notes From John Brennan, 2016 CIA Referral On Clinton Campaign's Collusion Operation
[Federalist] On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified and released to Congress handwritten notes from former CIA Director John Brennan as well as a CIA investigative referral to James Comey and Peter Strzok requesting that they investigate Russian knowledge of Hillary Clinton's anti-Trump collusion smear operation.

Top U.S. intelligence officials were so concerned heading into the 2016 election that the Russians were aware of and potentially manipulating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s plans to smear Donald Trump as a Russian agent that they personally briefed President Barack Obama on the matter, newly declassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents show. CIA officials also requested that the FBI investigate Russian knowledge of the Clinton campaign’s collusion smear operation.

Newly declassified handwritten notes from former CIA Director John Brennan show that the U.S. intelligence community knew in 2016 that Russian intelligence was actively monitoring, and potentially injecting disinformation into, Clinton’s anti-Trump collusion narrative. The intelligence concerning Russia’s knowledge of Clinton’s campaign plans was so concerning to Brennan and other national security officials that they personally informed Obama of the matter in the Oval Office in the summer of 2016. The handwritten notes from Brennan were declassified by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe and provided to Congress on Tuesday afternoon.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
CIA Director Gina Haspel is blocking the declassification of docs corruption at the highest levels in 2016
[The Federalist] CIA Director Gina Haspel is personally blocking the declassification of documents detailing corruption at the highest levels of the intelligence community during the 2016 election, according to The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis.

While new information about wrongdoing at the FBI has recently been declassified, including recent revelations about Hillary Clinton campaign’s collusion with Russia, Davis reported on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday that Haspel herself is standing in the way of the declassification of other relevant documents.

CIA Director Gina Haspel is personally blocking the declassification of documents detailing corruption at the highest levels of the intelligence community during the 2016 election, according to The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
'Trump was right, explosive new FBI texts detail internal furor over phony crosswise hurricane investigation
[Federalist] Newly disclosed internal FBI notes and text messages detail the extent of the FBI's desire to take down Trump and his associates at any cost.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents tasked by fired former Director James Comey to take down Donald Trump during and after the 2016 election were so concerned about the agency’s potentially illegal behavior that they purchased liability insurance to protect themselves less than two weeks before Trump was inaugurated president, previously hidden FBI text messages show. The explosive new communications and internal FBI notes were disclosed in federal court filings today from Sidney Powell, the attorney who heads Michael Flynn’s legal defense team.

“[W]e all went and purchased professional liability insurance,” one agent texted on Jan. 10, 2017, the same day CNN leaked details that then-President-elect Trump had been briefed by Comey about the bogus Christopher Steele dossier. That briefing of Trump was used as a pretext to legitimize the debunked dossier, which was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign and compiled by a foreign intelligence officer who was working for a sanctioned Russian oligarch.

“Holy crap,” an agent responded. “All the analysts too?”

“Yep,” the first agent said. “All the folks at the Agency as well.”

“[C]an I ask who are the most likely litigators?” an agent responded. “[A]s far as potentially suing y’all[?]”

“[H]aha, who knows….I think [t]he concern when we got it was that there was a big leak at DOJ and the NYT among others was going to do a piece,” the first agent said.

While the names of the agents responsible for the texts are redacted, the legal filing from Powell, quoting communications from the Department of Justice (DOJ), states that the latest document production included handwritten notes and texts from Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and FBI analysts who worked on the FBI’s investigation of Flynn.

Agents also said they were worried about how a new attorney general might view the actions taken against Trump during the investigation. Shortly after then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was confirmed to be Trump’s new attorney general, congressional Democrats, media, and Obama holdovers within DOJ immediately moved to force Sessions to recuse himself from overseeing the department’s investigations against Trump.

“[T]he new AG might have some questions….then yada yada yada…we all get screwed,” one agent wrote.

The FBI agents also discussed how the investigation’s leadership was consumed with conspiracy theories rather than evidence.

“I’m tellying [sic] man, if this thing ever gets FOIA’d, there are going to be some tough questions asked,” one agent wrote. “[A]nd a great deal of those will be related to Brian having a scope way outside the boundaries of logic[.]”

Several texts show that the order to close the criminal investigation against Flynn came as early as Nov. 8, 2016, the same day as the 2016 presidential election. It was later re-opened in early January of 2017.

“We have some loose ends to tie up, and we all need to meet to discuss what to do with each case (he said shut down Razor),” one agent texted, referring to Crossfire Razor, the FBI’s internal code name for the investigation of Flynn.

“[S]o glad they’re closing Razor,” an agent responded.

The new disclosures made by DOJ also show that the FBI used so-called national security letters (NSLs) to spy on Flynn’s finances. Unlike traditional subpoenas, which require judicial review and approval before authorities can seize an innocent person’s property and information, NSLs are never independently reviewed by courts. One of the agents noted in a text message that the NSLs were just being used as a pretext by FBI leadership to buy time to find dirt on Flynn after the first investigation of him yielded no derogatory information.
Sidney Powell: 2020-08-10 ‘ There Were a Lot of Republicans Involved’– Steven Schrage – The Man Who Introduced Deep State Spy Stefan Halper to Carter Page Holds First Interview
Sidney Powell: 2020-06-29 Before ‘takedown' of General Flynn, he was planning to audit John Brennan for running billions ‘off the books'
Sidney Powell: 2020-06-26 General Flynn's attorney Sydney Powell at Lou Dobbs (video)
Crossfire Razor: 2020-05-28 The FBI documents that put Barack Obama in the ‘Obamagate' narrative
National security letter: 2019-05-27 3 Times Media Falsely Claimed Russiagate Transparency Would End The Republic
National security letter: 2018-08-23 6 Takeaways About Paul Manafort And Michael Cohen's Legal Woes
National security letter: 2018-08-01 FBI's Strzok requested that he be allowed to retain Security Clearance

Home Front: Politix
Graham says declassified FBI documents show 'double standard' for Clinton and Trump campaigns
[FOXNEWS] Following the release of recently declassified documents, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham
...soft-spoken senator from South Carolina, former best buddy of John Maverick McCain. Since McCain's demise, Graham has become more outspoken, more Republican and more of a supporter of President Trump. The speech he gave in support of Brett Kavanaugh was downright manly and really cheesed off the Dems...
, R-S.C., says he believes the FBI showed a double standard in its investigations into reports of foreign interference at the campaigns of Crooked Hillary Clinton
...former first lady, former secretary of state, former presidential candidate, Conqueror of Benghazi, Heroine of Tuzla, formerly described by her supporters as the smartest woman in the world, usually described by the rest of us as The Thing That Wouldn't Go Away. Politix is not one of her talents, but it's something she keeps trying to do...
and now-President Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

Calling it "the ultimate double standard," Graham said that the documents reveal that leaders at the FBI sought to give the Clinton campaign a defensive briefing before it could pursue a FISA warrant related to a threat posed to the campaign by a foreign government.

But instead of doing the same for the Trump campaign, the FBI opened the Crossfire Hurricane operation and pursued a number of FISA warrants against people working with Trump’s campaign.

While Graham would not reveal which foreign government wanted to assist Clinton in getting elected, he said on Fox News’ "Sunday Morning Futures" that FBI leadership shot down a request for a FISA warrant until Clinton was briefed on the matter.

"They never did to Trump," Graham said. "As a matter of fact, not only did they not tell Trump, they used a generic briefing to spy on Trump."

Crossfire Hurricane was the code name of the FBI counterintelligence investigation into links between Trump associates like George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and Carter Page and Russian officials and whether they worked "wittingly or unwittingly, with the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election."

Home Front: Politix
Vid: Rep. Nunes on secret source for anti-Trump Steele dossier: 'expanded our investigation' into Brookings Institute
[FoxNews] House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told "Sunday Morning Futures" in an exclusive interview that "we've now expanded our investigation, full-blown investigation, into the Brookings Institute."

Nunes made the comment one day after the primary source for Christopher Steel's unverified dossier had been revealed as a United States resident who once co-wrote a research paper showing Russian President Vladimir Putin plagiarized his dissertation.

Host Maria Bartiromo pointed out on Sunday that "Nunes was among the first lawmakers to question the Russian collusion hoax as then chairman of the House Intel committee." She noted that three years ago he said "that the FBI engaged in a coup to take down a sitting president."

She pointed to a Fox Business interview last week where Nunes first said that he believes there were "direct links between the Brookings Institute leadership and the creation, possibly, of the Steele dossier and the dissemination of the Steele dossier."

The FBI knew who Danchenko was and interviewed him in 2017 about the information he provided for the Steele dossier that purported to show Trump campaign ties to the Russian government. Danchenko cooperated on the condition the FBI keep his identity secret so he could protect himself, the paper reported.

But that all changed when Attorney General William Barr directed the FBI to declassify the report about its three-day interview of Danchenko and turn it over to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., whose Judiciary Committee has been investigating the origins of the Russia probe. Graham wanted the interview out because it further undercuts the credibility of the Steele dossier, he said.

Danchenko's identity further raises questions about the FBI renewing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Page. In the last two renewal applications to the FISA court, the FBI referred to the primary sub-source of the document as "truthful and cooperative" and "Russian-based," the Justice Department Inspector General report found.

But Danchenko lives in the United States, though he visited Moscow to gather information on Steele's behalf, the Times reported.

Nunes pointed to an interview he did with Bartiromo a couple of months ago where he "talked about that we were really looking at three Russians."

"It ends up... the third one was actually not a Russian at all. He actually sounds like he lives here in America and the FBI led Congress to believe, and the media led Congress to believe and they led the American public to believe, that somehow Steele had this really super-secret source that nobody could know about," he continued.

"Well it ends up he used to work for the Brookings Institute. It looks like there were a lot of connections to the Brookings Institute."

Nunes then explained what he believes "all of this" means.

"This was the Clinton campaign's dossiers. It was the dirt. It was a phony story that they sold not only to the American people, but they sold it and corrupted our FBI, where it appears these dirty cops were more than willing to take this information to present it to the FISA court," Nunes said.

He added, "We've now expanded our investigation, full-blown investigation, into the Brookings Institute and it really centers on two issues."

"One is the IRS. This is a tax-exempt organization. There supposed to stay out of politics. They clearly have not done that. They've obstructed our investigation with propaganda for the last four years," Nunes said. "It’s well-known that they've attacked our investigation for four years through this kind of phony legal group of fact-checkers that they set up. So we need to look in there to see if they are involved in politics."

Dean Patterson, an IRS spokesperson, told Fox News, "Federal law prohibits the IRS from discussing specific taxpayers."

Nunes said the second issue is that the Brookings Institute allegedly accepts "foreign money from foreign countries and foreign governments."

"We need to know what foreign governments were involved in this because, were they acting on behalf of a foreign power?" Nunes said.

"Everybody has questioned for all this time, if the Trump campaign, Republicans, were involved with Russians, well who was the Brookings Institute, who were their foreign donors? And are they doing all of this not just to help the Democratic Party, but also any foreign government?"

Home Front: Politix
Meet Steele Dossier's 'Primary Subsource': Fabulist Russian at Democrat Think Tank Whose Boozy Past the FBI Ignored
Brookings Institute : Hive
[RCI via AOSHQ] The mysterious "Primary Subsource" that Christopher Steele has long hidden behind to defend his discredited Trump-Russia dossier is former Brookings Institution analyst -- Igor "Iggy" Danchenko, a Russian national whose past includes criminal convictions and other personal baggage ignored by the FBI in vetting him and the information he fed to Steele, according to congressional sources and records obtained by RealClearInvestigations. Agents continued to use the dossier as grounds to investigate President Trump and put his advisers under counter-espionage surveillance.

The 42-year-old Danchenko, who was hired by Steele in 2016 to deploy a network of sources to dig up dirt on Trump and Russia for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was arrested, jailed and convicted years earlier on multiple public drunkenness and disorderly conduct charges in the Washington area and ordered to undergo substance-abuse and mental-health counseling, according to criminal records.
Related: Conservative Treehouse commenters dig into Igor Danchencko’s background.

Home Front: Politix
Rosenstein says he wouldn’t approve Russia warrant now
[APNEWS] Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told lawmakers Wednesday that he would not have approved an FBI surveillance application for a former Trump campaign aide during the Russia investigation had he known at the time about the problems that have since been revealed.
But he did approve it then, the consequential results including political sliming of innocent men, personal bankruptcies of victims, and inflaming political passions to the detriment of the nation as a whole. Prince Johnson is really sorry he videotaped Samuel Doe being tortured and castrated. He's a preacher now, and reformed. Samuel Doe, on the other hand, remains deader than Tut, and his agonies can't be undone.
Rosenstein’s comments amounted to a striking concession that law enforcement officials made mistakes as they scrutinized ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Motive is key. If you do things on purpose they're not "mistakes." If they had been mistakes nothing would have happened after a short initial investigation.
But even as he acknowledged the legitimacy of anger from Trump and his allies, he defended his appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the probe and affirmed his support for the conclusion that Russia interfered but did not criminally conspire with associates of the Trump campaign.
If Russian "interference" was confined to phony Facebook accounts and a bunch of bots, what was the need for a special prosecutor targeting the Trump administration? Why was Mueller given carte blanche?
“I do not consider the investigation to be corrupt,
That's a rose colored view. It was corrupt on its face, and now the facts are out to back up that statement.
but I understand the president’s frustration given the outcome that there was no evidence” of a conspiracy between the campaign and Russia, Rosenstein said.
Golly. I'll bet Trump also recognizes the frustrations of Adam Schiff, San Fran Nan, and Jerry Nadler.
His appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee was for the first in a series of oversight hearings scrutinizing the FBI’s Russia investigation and the law enforcement officials involved. With subpoena authority expected to be granted this week, the hearing served as the opening salvo of the GOP’s election-year congressional investigation into what they say are damaging findings about the Russia probe from an inspector general review.
What went around is what's coming around, y'say?
The president’s allies have taken fresh aim at the Russia investigation over the last year, pointing to newly declassified information to allege that Trump and his associates were unfairly pursued. They have also claimed vindication from the Justice Department’s decision to dismiss the case against ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and at times advanced unsupported theories against Obama administration officials.
Umm... Three words there: "January Fifth Meeting."
“We’re going to look backward so we can move forward,” committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in explaining the purpose for the hearings. “If you don’t like Trump, fine, but this is not about Trump or not liking Trump. This is about moving forward as a nation.”
Damage is done. Time to sift through the wreckage.
Graham also questioned whether Mueller should have been appointed at all. Rosenstein said he believed there was a sufficient basis for the investigation when he appointed Mueller in May 2017, but when Graham asked if he would agree that by that August, there was “no there there,” Rosenstein said yes.
May 2017 was five months into the administration. If I recall correctly, the calls for impeachment started coming a month before Trump was inaugurated.
Democrats lamented the hearing’s politically charged and retrospective nature, saying Republicans were attempting to refocus attention away from more urgent problems, including unrest in cities set off by the death of George Floyd and the coronavirus pandemic.
"Let's just Move On®. It's all in the past. We were all so much younger then!"
“This hearing wastes this committee’s time in a blatant effort to support the president’s conspiracy theories and to help the president’s reelection,” said Democratic Sen. Mazie 'We Democrats know so much that we tend to alienate voters' Hirono of Hawaii.
Good to hear from the Sage of Honolulu. I don't recall her wanting to concentrate on problems of the moment during the patently biased witch hunts, the targeted events of which were coincidentally in the past when the fishing expedition began.
The hearing delved into detail in two areas that Trump allies have recently seized on to challenge the conduct of law enforcement.
Law enforcement has no place in politix, regardless of anyone's personal opinions. Law enforcement's job is to umm... enforce the laws.
Rosenstein was pressed repeatedly about his decision to sign off on the fourth and final application for a warrant to eavesdrop on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on suspicion that he was a Russian agent.
That's Carter Page, the sometime FBI asset...
Page has denied wrongdoing and was never charged with a crime, and a Justice Department inspector general report identified significant errors and omissions in each of the applications submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Just little details that an assistant attorney general couldn't be expected to catch.
The watchdog said the FBI relied in part for its applications on a dossier of information compiled by a former British spy whose research was funded by Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The FBI used the dossier even though agents were aware of the possibility that it could have been colored by Russian disinformation and omitted information that called into question allegations they were making in the application.
Nobody thought the idea of Trump hiring hookers to pee on the bed Obama had slept in was umm... out of line? Unlikely?
Asked by Graham if he would have signed the warrant application knowing what he knows now, Rosenstein replied, “No, I would not.”
Rod Rosenstein: 2020-05-31 Schumer Calls On GOP To Cancel ‘Conspiracy' Hearings On Origins Of Trump-Russia Probe
Rod Rosenstein: 2020-05-26 Nunes: GOP Lawmakers Expanding Investigation Into Special Counsel Operation, "We Will Be Making Criminal Referrals of the Mueller Team" (VIDEO)
Rod Rosenstein: 2020-05-07 Rosenstein memo tasked Mueller to investigate already-discredited Steele allegations
Russia investigation: 2020-05-26 Nunes: GOP Lawmakers Expanding Investigation Into Special Counsel Operation, "We Will Be Making Criminal Referrals of the Mueller Team" (VIDEO)
Russia investigation: 2020-05-24 How Russiagate Began With Obama's Iran Deal Domestic Spying Campaign
Russia investigation: 2020-05-23 FBI Director Christopher Wray orders internal review of Michael Flynn investigation
Robert Mueller: 2020-05-31 Declassified Flynn Transcripts Contradict Key Mueller Claims Against Flynn
Robert Mueller: 2020-05-29 Former Mueller Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann Now Fundraising for Joe Biden
Robert Mueller: 2020-05-24 Guccifer 2.0's Hidden Agenda
Michael Flynn: 2020-05-31 James Howard Kunstler - 'The Unspooling'
Michael Flynn: 2020-05-31 Declassified Flynn Transcripts Contradict Key Mueller Claims Against Flynn
Michael Flynn: 2020-05-29 Former Mueller Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann Now Fundraising for Joe Biden
Lindsey Graham: 2020-05-29 Lindsey Graham: Comey, McCabe, Brennan and Clapper Will Be Called to Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee
Lindsey Graham: 2020-05-22 Senate Committee Authorizes Subpoena in Hunter Biden-Burisma Investigation
Lindsey Graham: 2020-05-21 Ukraine judge orders Joe Biden be listed as alleged perpetrator of crime in prosecutor’s firing
George Floyd: 2020-06-02 Dallas Protesters Arrested For Violating Curfew, Walking On Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
George Floyd: 2020-06-02 Gun Battle Outside St Louis Police Station: 4 Officers Shot
George Floyd: 2020-06-02 Time to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act? Sen. Tom Cotton thinks so
Mazie Hirono: 2019-08-14 Senate Dems deliver stunning warning to Supreme Court: ’Heal’ or face restructuring
Mazie Hirono: 2019-07-28 Senate confirms judge despite Dems' ‘unadulterated anti-Catholic bigotry'
Mazie Hirono: 2019-05-03 Dems Solemnly Don Tinfoil Hats Before Questioning Barr On Mueller Report
Carter Page: 2020-05-18 One if by Land, Two if by Sea, and Three if They're Using the CIA
Carter Page: 2020-05-11 Why is Obama Panicking Now? – The Importance of Understanding Political Surveillance In The Era of President Obama…
Carter Page: 2020-05-07 Rosenstein memo tasked Mueller to investigate already-discredited Steele allegations
Hillary Clinton campaign: 2020-02-09 FBI director admits: Yes, surveillance of Carter Page was illegal
Hillary Clinton campaign: 2019-10-29 Dem Position on Impeachment: 'I Killed my Parents, and Now I Ask for Mercy on the Grounds That I'm an Orphan'
Hillary Clinton campaign: 2019-09-08 Adios, Think Progress

Home Front: Politix
How to destroy your wealth: Tech billionaires prepared to blow many millions (again) to boost sadsack Dem candidate
Long and detailed, naming names. A taste:
[Vox] Inside the experiments, data wars, and partisan news sites that Silicon Valley thinks can help Biden catch up to Trump.

In Silicon Valley’s new political moment, four billionaires in particular — LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt — have the most ambitious plans, according to Recode’s interviews with over 20 donors and operatives. The chess moves of this power set are instrumental to fulfilling Democrats’ — and much of Silicon Valley’s — four-year quest to oust Donald Trump.

And yet each of these billionaires is moving their pieces with varying levels of secrecy, and often with minimal disclosure, scrutiny, or accountability.

Four years after the Democratic Party’s data was described by Hillary Clinton as “bankrupt” and “on the verge of insolvency,” tech billionaires are regrouping and pouring millions into the party’s digital infrastructure, even to the point of building competing power centers that threaten the Democratic establishment.

Republicans have invested far more steadily as of late than have Democrats in the data that powers modern campaigns. And so, a decade after a generation of tech wizards helped usher in a new era of digital campaigning that helped elevate Barack Obama to the presidency, it is Democrats who are left playing catch-up. Even if it was self-identifying progressives that created today’s digital tools, it was conservatives who mastered how to use them, and none more than Donald Trump.

Now, some tech leaders, particularly Hoffman and Schmidt, are racing to master a sphere that, theoretically, is firmly in their bailiwick. But this determination has fueled competing, even rivalrous approaches from multiple tech billionaires. Some Democrats are concerned that both efforts, for all their urgency, are indeed too little, too late — at least for November.

The data wars are a stand-in for the broader tensions between the party and this quartet of Silicon Valley billionaires. While Democratic megadonors on Wall Street tend to route their donations to the party, tech billionaires like to claim they are offering more than just a check — and they want to be more in control.

“My problem is when Silicon Valley folks think that they know how to do our jobs better. I would never walk into Google or anywhere else and say, ‘Your model sucks,’” Jane Kleeb, the chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party, told Recode. “I don’t second-guess them, and I’m asking them not to second-guess us.”

Kleeb and others in Democratic politics have been particularly incensed by a political startup that Hoffman has invested about $18 million, his single-biggest bet this cycle, in called Alloy. The startup is attempting to build a warehouse to store the data that various progressive groups collect on voters and use it to try to get them to the polls. As part of its data acquisition, Alloy has bought some lists of voters’ cellphone numbers, a data source that people say Hoffman’s team, like other donors, sees as key this year due to the new need for digital campaigning.

But Alloy, despite all its promises to revitalize the left’s voter file, has had an at-times frosty relationship with party officials like Kleeb, who have their own voter file that they’d prefer to improve rather than circumvent. And some of the party’s most senior digital operatives consider Alloy to be an underachievement, saying that it has produced few tangible accomplishments, no publicly announced clients, and, most importantly, squandered significant time and money as it struggled to figure out its role in Democratic politics.

“We’re already putting data into the hands of Democrats and progressives on the front lines of this critical election cycle,” said Luis Miranda, an Alloy spokesperson. “We’re proud of our work, and we’re just getting started.”

And it’s not as though all tech billionaires on the same team are backing Alloy as the singular solution. Some are funding other rival revisions to the party’s data deficit. Where Hoffman sees a product to be replaced, Schmidt — a technocrat’s technocrat — sees a product that can be tweaked, perhaps with some executive coaching.

Sources say he has sunk money into the Democratic Data Exchange, a modest, competing effort by the Democratic National Committee to encourage data sharing by state parties to improve the party’s beleaguered digital backbone. Somehow, despite the somewhat duplicative efforts, Democrats still broadly fear that they’re at a disadvantage compared to the rival efforts of the GOP, which were created a decade ago.

Schmidt, a longtime Democratic powerbroker, may be working more closely with the party than Hoffman. But he is still critical of the party’s operatives and so is doing things his own way with his own skunk-works projects.

In 2016, Schmidt effectively funded and embedded a group of technologists within the Clinton campaign. Many Silicon Valley hands, including some Biden allies, think the Schmidt effort was largely unsuccessful.

Home Front: Politix
Podesta testimony: Hillary Clinton knew in 2016 about Russia dirt digging on Trump
[Just the News] Former Clinton campaign chairman talks about how DNC, Clinton campaign funded research but says candidate likely didn't know the vendors

In recently unsealed testimony to Congress, former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta acknowledged that both he and Hillary Clinton were aware that her campaign had purchase opposition research and was looking for dirt on Donald Trump's ties to Russia during the 2016 election.

Podesta's comments are the most direct acknowledgement about what Donald Trump's opponent knew in real-time about the effort that ultimately became known as the Steele dossier.

In a second appearance before the House Intelligence Committee in December 2017, Podesta testified that Clinton likely didn't know the names of the firm, Fusion GPS, and former British spy Christopher Steele who had conducted the research. But he said she and he were both cognizant of an opposition research effort to connect Trump to business dealings in Russia.
Read the entire article.
John Podesta: 2020-02-08 Israeli sovereignty and the fate of the Trump plan
John Podesta: 2019-09-08 Adios, Think Progress
John Podesta: 2019-06-24 Podesta’s CAP Fuels Dark Money Group Hitting Trump with Lawsuits
Hillary Clinton: 2020-05-10 Ted Cruz owns Joe Scarborough: ‘You chased after Trump for 2 years like a teenage girl throwing her panties’
Hillary Clinton: 2020-05-09 A Surprising Figure Is Now Going Under the Microscope Over the Michael Flynn Ordeal
Hillary Clinton: 2020-05-08 Biden says he'll reverse DeVos rule bolstering protections for those accused of campus sexual assault

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