|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Barr's team startled in 'first chance' to assess Mueller investigation: Book|
|[Washington Examiner] Attorney General William Barr's team was in for a shock when it met with special counsel Robert Mueller before his report was released, according to a forthcoming book.|
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote about Barr's "first chance" to assess the Russia investigation in early March 2019 in True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump, an excerpt of which was published last week by the New Yorker.
He described a "fairly relaxed session" in which Mueller "gave a brief introduction" to Barr and his staff, who later reflected on how the former FBI director didn't live up to expectations.
Well yea! How many of them have "lived up to expectations lately?"
"Later, Barr’s team noted that Mueller looked tired and old. Because Mueller had been the focus of so much public attention for nearly two years and said so little in public, he had taken on an almost mythic status, even among people who once knew him well, like Barr. To see him after this exhausting enterprise was startling. He was an old seventy-four," Toobin wrote in the book that is set for release in August.
"Mueller looked tired and old"....I blame old man time, and D.C. traffic.
They weren't the only ones.
One prominent Democrat, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, said in a recent podcast that he was surprised by Mueller's shaky testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees in July 2019 after his report was released. The California Democrat agreed when asked whether he was "shocked" during a Daily Beast podcast last month.
"Shocked?" In Schiff's case, if it wan't a sustained, eye-popping 115V, then he wasn't "shocked" nearly enough.
"I have known Bob Mueller for a long time. I have tremendous respect for him. I think he is just an amazing human being and public servant," Schiff said. "He was not the man that I knew just in terms of his strength of presence, and so, it was quite surprising."
Republican political consultant Rick Wilson, one of the hosts of the New Abnormal podcast, offered his take on why "a lot" of people felt the same way.
Rick Wilson - Never Trumper
"I do think a lot of folks had projected on Mueller a level of aggression that was not present in that testimony — in that hearing," he said.
Mueller wrapped up his two-year investigation last spring. His team was unable to find a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but the report did lay out 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice that Democrats seized on as a road map to impeachment. The investigation did, however, lead to convictions and guilty pleas from Trump associates over charges unrelated to Russia collusion.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|As he cleans out his desk, outgoing Trump intel chief declassifies calls between Flynn, Kislyak|
|[NYP] Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has declassified the transcripts of the phone calls between former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, a senior administration official confirmed to The Post.|
The move by Grenell comes on the same day he was replaced by former Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tx.), who was sworn in Tuesday after being confirmed to the position by the Senate in a 49-44 vote Thursday.
Now that the declassification review process for those transcripts is complete, his successor Ratcliffe will decide whether they are released.
The trove of Russia probe documents includes transcripts of the December 2016 calls between Flynn and Kislyak.
Last week, Grenell said that he was in the process of declassifying those files after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) had asked him to do so.
Last week, Flynn’s lawyer Sidney Powell joined former National Security Adviser Susan Rice in calling for the transcripts to be released.
Powell said last Wednesday on SiriusXM’s "The Dan Abrams Show" that she "would love" to see those conversations become public, arguing that she believes the transcript would help exonerate her client.
"I think the reason we haven’t seen [the transcripts] is because the word ’sanctions’ doesn’t even appear in them," she said at the time.
Rice’s spokeswoman also called for the release of the transcripts in response to a declassified email written by Rice and sent to herself on President Trump’s inauguration day.
The email, which was declassified by Grenell, documented a Jan. 5 meeting she took part in with Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates regarding Flynn.
Rice wrote that Comey had expressed some concerns about the frequency with which Flynn was communicating with Kislyak, saying it could pose an issue when it came to sharing sensitive information.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|[National Review] A review of weekend news coverage and commentary shows that mainstream media have gone into full "Protect Obama" mode.|
Evidence released last week — including, but not limited to, House Intelligence Committee transcripts showing that multiple top-level Obama administration officials were lying to the public for three years about Russian collusion — indicates that former president Barack Obama wasn’t merely aware of what was going on; he was hip-deep in what increasingly appears to be one of the greatest political scandals in American history.
For other than the most sycophantic and credulous media personalities, Obama’s involvement isn’t much of a surprise. The August 5, 2016 email from Peter Strzok to Lisa Page stating, "the White House is running this," followed by the September 2016 Page text to Strzok stating, "POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing" suggested the obvious: An operation targeting a presidential campaign and then an incoming presidential administration isn’t a mere freelance effort cooked up by a few rogue FBI personnel in their spare time. An operation of that magnitude and import must be blessed from the very top.
Indeed, the January 5, 2017 White House meeting with President Obama, vice president Joe Biden, FBI director James Comey, deputy attorney general Sally Yates, director of national intelligence James Clapper, CIA director John Brennan, and national security adviser Susan Rice (which meeting was the subject of Rice’s mother-of-all C.Y.A. emails to herself on Inauguration Day) suggests that Obama wasn’t merely kept informed of the Russia collusion fraud, he was providing direction.
Notwithstanding the IRS targeting of politically disfavored citizens, Fast and Furious gunrunning, the VA debacle, Benghazi, surveillance of reporters, and other scandals, an adoring mainstream press consistently parrots Obama’s risible claim that his administration was scandal-free. But the Russia-collusion hoax dwarfs all the other Obama scandals and malfeasance combined.
Obama knows this. So do the media. They also know most of Obama’s "achievements" haven’t even survived Trump’s first term. The media-enabled fiction of a scandal-free administration is nearly all that remains of the Obama legacy. So it must be maintained. After all, he’s progressives’ Lightworker. He validates their pieties, conceits, and presumptions.
That’s why we’re about to experience media prevarication, deflection, omission, and misrepresentation on a scale never before witnessed in political news coverage — even eclipsing that of the last three years. Obama must be protected, facts be damned. And if they spin furiously enough, they might even be rewarded with a Pulitzer.
|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.
|Home Front: Politix|
|Adam Schiff may be the biggest loser of Russia probe declassification|
|[Just the News] Review of Democratic House Intelligence Committee chairman's public statements finds many contradicted, some linked to Russian disinformation.|
Also don't make Sydney come over there:
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Rosenstein memo tasked Mueller to investigate already-discredited Steele allegations|
|[Just the News] Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein instructed Special Counsel Robert Mueller in August 2017 to investigate allegations against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page that originated with the Steele dossier and had already been discredited by the FBI, a newly declassified memo showed Wednesday night.|
The Justice Department's release of the unredacted version of Rosenstein's so-called investigative scoping memo provided the first declarative evidence that Mueller was asked to investigate widely suspect allegations from Christopher Steele's opposition research conducted for the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party back in 2016.
Specifically, Rosenstein's memo instucted Mueller to investigate "allegations that Carter Page committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 election for President of the United States, in violation of United States law." Recently declassified evidence has shown that by the time that instruction was given, the FBI had:
Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who long called for the release of the unredacted scoping memo, said Wednesday's development confirmed his worst suspicions. He accused prior officials of the Justice Department of unnecessarily hiding the evidence from Congress and the American people before Attorney General William Barr intervened.
"This information was redacted until now for one single reason — to hide the fact that false allegations from the Steele dossier were included in Mueller’s scoping memo," Nunes told Just the News. "In other words, a bunch of lies paid for by the Democrats were used to engineer the appointment of a Special Counsel to drag the Trump administration through the mud for years. The Russia collusion hoax was a disgrace, and we can’t let anything like it ever be repeated."
The degree to which the FBI had discredited Steele's intelligence reporting on Page — including allegations he colluded with Russia — only came into focus with the December, 2019 release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on FBI abuses of the FISA surveillance that targeted Page. In addition, just-declassified evidence showed the FBI had learned by February 2017 that Steele's information on Page was likely disinformation from Russian intelligence planted with Steele.
"Most relevant to the Carter Page FISA applications, the specific substantive allegations contained in Reports 80, 94, 95, and 102, which were relied upon in all four FISA applications, remained uncorroborated and, in several instances, were inconsistent with information gathered by the team," Horowitz wrote in debunking key allegations against Page.
More recently, declassified footnotes made clear that Steele's claim that Page had met back in 2016 with a senior Russian named Igor Sechin and been offered a lucrative finder's fee had been debunked by the FBI by February 2017 — months before Mueller was appointed. In fact, Steele's own source challenged the veracity of the information attributed to him inside the dossier.
"The Primary Sub-source told the FBI that one of his/her sub-sources furnished information for that part of Report 134 through a text message, but said that the sub-source never stated that Sechin had offered a brokerage interest to Page," Horowitz reported.
"The Primary Sub-Source also told the FBI at these interviews that the sub-source who provided the information about the Carter Page-Sechin meeting had connections to Russian Intelligence Services (RIS)," he added.
Horowitz's footnotes also made clear that the allegations about Page had only come from Steele and had not been substantiated anywhere else by the time Mueller was named.
"We found that the FBI did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele’s reporting when it relied upon his reports in the first FISA application or subsequent renewal applications," Horowitz wrote.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Sergei Millian Is No Longer Hiding, Tells This Reporter British Spy Expert Is Giving ‘100 percent false information about me.'|
|[Sara Carter] Sergei Millian is not in hiding. Even if he was, he isn't any longer. He reached out to SaraACarter.com on Tuesday to dispute a recent podcast interview with a famous British historian who accused him of possibly being connected to Russia's GRU, Moscow's military intelligence. He called the allegations outlandish and accused historian Nigel West of attempting to spread disinformation about him, much like former British spy Christopher Steele did about the Trump campaign.|
Millian, an American citizen born in Belarus, was believed to be an unwitting source, in Steele's infamous and now-debunked dossier. But lawmakers and some intelligence experts have more questions than answers when it comes to Millian. They say Millian is the only one that can provide clarity on what exactly happened during his time with Steele.
On Monday, this reporter interviewed Nigel West on The Sara Carter Show podcast. He stated that he believed, based on Millian's own past statements in open-source media, that he could be linked to Russian intelligence.
"Nigel West so far gave 100% false information about me in his last public interview in London (where he claimed I was PSS)," Millian told me. "Now, he doubled on from the first lie and there is not an ounce of truth what he claims. He is an out of his mind crazy, deranged man. I’m not kidding. Ask him to provide proof of any of his false rumors and wild innuendoes. USSR disbanded when I was still a teenager. The big question is why West, out of London, lies about me, an AMERICAN citizen, so much just like Steele before West? Is it coordinated and what's their plan?"
But a mystery still surrounds Millian and senior U.S. lawmakers are seeking to interview him. Ranking Republican of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes has said he wishes to interview the mysterious Millian.
Nunes told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News Sunday Morning Futures at the end of April, that his investigators zeroed in on three Russian Americans during their probe of the FBI's handling of its Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign.
He said Millian was the most important figure in recent information released by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
"Because of new information that has come out because of the Horowitz report that's declassified that we've been talking about for a long time and the FISAs, we now are targeting what appear to be three Russian-Americans," Nunes said. "I think the most important one is somebody that we actually asked to come to our committee named Sergei Millian. He is hiding somewhere around the globe — we don't know exactly what country he's in. But we really would like Sergei to come forward and talk to us because, either he was, you know, working for Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign and dirtying up Trump people, or it's quite possible that he may have been framed.
In the podcast broadcast Monday, West claimed that the Russian disinformation pointed out in the recent declassification of the footnotes in DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report may have been directly linked to Sergei Millian. He noted that Millian is Steele’s only real identifiable source in his report. He also said Millian may have had ties in his early life to Russia’s GRU, Moscow’s military intelligence, by his own admission.
|Home Front: Politix|
|Schiff: If Trump Were Removed by Impeachment, Coronavirus Deaths Would Not Be at Daily 9/11 Levels|
|They're half the rate of Britain's, concentrated in New York and other places where they put the infected in nursing homes with the frail.|
[BREITBART] Monday on MSNBC’s "The Last Word," House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. (D-CA) said had the Senate removed President as a result of his impeachment trial, casualties in America would not be on some days the "equivalent of the number of people we lost on 9/11."
Anchor Lawrence O’Donnell said, "We can’t act even slightly surprised by this because you told us this was going to happen in your argument in the Senate impeachment trial."
Schiff said, "Well, we certainly told the senators that he was not going to change, and there was no way to constrain him. That he is who he is, and he would continue to operate the way he had, and indeed, that’s exactly what we’ve seen since. The one thing we dramatically understated is when we asked the question if you found him guilty, do you really need to remove him given there is another election only nine months away, how much damage could he really do?"
He continued, "We said a lot, but little did we know just how great the casualties would be. Some days we lose the equivalent of the number of people we lost on 9/11. You know, I think that there is no way we could have foreseen just how tragic his malfeasance would be in his remaining months in the administration."
Maryland cases by county (not my figures, confirmed cases, not deaths):
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Fox's Maria Bartiromo: Sources say Michael Flynn will be 'completely exonerated this week'|
|[Washington Examiner] This week is shaping up to be a critical one for retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.|
"Breaking News: sources tell me [Flynn] will be completely exonerated this week. It was a total fraud. A Set up. More tomorrow," tweeted Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday.
In another tweet teasing Monday's edition of her weekday morning show, Mornings with Maria, Bartiromo included the hashtag, "#GeneralFlynn," along with a list of her guests, including multiple lawmakers.
Earlier in the day on her weekend Fox News show, Sunday Morning Futures, Bartiromo noted during a conversation with Rep. Devin Nunes that it would be an "important" week for Flynn.
The California congressman, who is the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said he suspects a filing submitted to the court in Flynn's case on Friday contained exculpatory evidence and noted U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeffrey Jensen, who was selected by Attorney General William Barr in January 2020, is reviewing the Flynn case.
CBS News senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge also reported on Sunday that Friday's filing will be "important" for the day ahead.
"Drawing attention Friday filing Flynn case @CBSNews told important for days ahead. AG Barr directed Missouri US Attorney to review FBI personnel 'communications and notes,' in part, to determine whether key evidence withheld. Docs under seal but may change," she tweeted.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Rep. Nunes: Time for key witness transcripts from Trump probe to be public. Democrats hiding them|
|[Whatfinger] Witness transcripts from the investigation into charges of Russian collusion against President Trump were supposed to made public by the House Intelligence Committee back in late in 2018. To date, they are still secret. One America’s John Hines has more on this.|
|Home Front: Politix|
|Intelligence chief Grenell hits back against Schiff criticism of agency reorganization|
|[THEHILL] Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell on Tuesday hit back against recent criticism of the reorganization of intelligence community (IC) agencies from House Intelligence Committee Chairman (D-Calif.). |
Grenell wrote to Schiff that the reorganization under his leadership came on the heels of calls for change from intelligence committee staffers.
"Career IC officials have conducted four studies in the last two years calling for reforms at the ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence], and the career officials are eager to implement the recommendations," Grenell wrote in a sharply worded letter to Schiff. "It is my duty to listen to these ODNI career employees who have ideas on how to improve the work we do for the American people."
Grenell added that he would "encourage" Schiff to "think of the relationship between your committee and the IC as that between the legislative and executive branches of government, rather than that between a hedge fund and a distressed asset, as your letter suggests."
Grenell’s letter was sent two weeks after Schiff sent him a missive strongly criticizing steps he had taken to reorganize the intelligence community since being appointed acting director of national intelligence.
Schiff noted that Grenell was pursuing leadership changes at intelligence agencies without seeking authorization from Congress and raised questions about the removal or departure of every Senate-confirmed official at the ODNI.
Schiff also accused Grenell of allowing his staff to "interfere with the production and briefing of intelligence information" on election security that was given to Congress during a March 10 all-members briefing on election security.
Grenell wrote to Schiff that intelligence community staff were "offended" by his allegations that they did not give "unvarnished" intelligence reports to Congress.
"As the Acting DNI, I am compelled to defend these career officers from unsubstantiated indictments of their motivations and judgment," Grenell wrote. "Many are offended by the accusations that they did not share unvarnished assessments. If you share with me the reports you believe provide evidence for these claims, I can promise you that I will review them with the seriousness such accusations demand."
|Home Front: Politix|
|Dem. Rep. Adam Schiff and his impeachment fairies go full Wuhan|
|[Wash Times] Now, they browse nonfiction.|
Democrats in Congress have plundered the library of racy novels, dreamy fairy tales and bizarre science fiction paperbacks. They have even stoked their own psychotropic fever dreams.
They have scrawled in the margins and defaced every book on the shelves, turning each one into a "choose your own adventure" mystery drama.
Yet, still, they could not conjure up a story wild enough or scary enough or remotely believable enough to bring down President Trump.
So, now they are headed for the nonfiction stacks.
While Democrats in Congress were entirely consumed with impeaching Mr. Trump, it now appears, the president was conspiring with the leaders of Wuhan, China, and the wild-bat delicacy industry to hatch a virus so deadly and uncontrollably transmissible that it would spark a global pandemic and shut down the world’s economy.
All in an effort to — I don’t know — help Russia? Maybe. Or, because, he is racist. Whatever.
"We are right now going through our intelligence holdings. What did the intelligence community make us aware of at the end of last year or earlier this year," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff explained on Easter Sunday how he and fellow Democrats plan to blame the coronavirus pandemic on Mr. Trump before the 2020 election.
Yes, this would be the same Adam Schiff who for more than three years now has lied to gullible reporters about his spectacular fantasies of Mr. Trump in a Moscow hotel room with hookers.
This is the same ridiculous nutjob who for years now has been lying to American voters about how he has secret evidence that he cannot share proving that Mr. Trump "colluded" with Russian President Vladimir Putin to "steal" the 2016 election.
Secret "evidence," it turned out, that all came from the Kremlin.
This is the same desperate, dishonest charlatan who — after his Russian fantasy went up in smoke — turned his imagination to Ukraine and began spinning new fantasies about Mr. Trump conspiring with the president of Ukraine to make Joe Biden look bad — as if Joe Biden needs any help looking bad.
And, yes, this is the same Adam Schiff who colluded with phone callers he believed to be actual Ukrainians in order to obtain naked pictures of Mr. Trump. (Sickos like this you really cannot make up.)
Now Mr. Schiff and his fellow Democrats have seized on something that at least did actually happen. The Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
This virus is as deadly real as these people are ridiculously unserious.
Mr. Schiff and his band of twittering impeachment fairies have decided to turn the awesome powers of the legislative branch of the federal government into yet another weapon against Mr. Trump. This time, they want to use all their constitutional powers to accuse the president of somehow playing dumb to allow the coronavirus to spread as far and wide as possible so as to infect and kill as many Americans as possible.
Again, to what end? To help Russia? To prop up his only personal financial interests in the wild-bat trade?