OpenCDA

May 25, 2018

House Conservatives Call for Another Special Counsel

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 3:10 pm

House of Reps logoSeveral members of the US House of Representatives introduced a House Resolution today calling for the appointment of a second Special Counsel to look into alleged wrongdoing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its parent department, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Specifically, the resolution calls on the Attorney General of the United States to, “…appoint a Special Counsel to investigate misconduct at the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, including an investigation of abuse of the FISA warrant process, how and why the Hillary Clinton probe ended, and how and why the Donald Trump-Russia probe began.”

Today’s House Resolution, even if passed, will have no effect in law but is only an expression of opinion or intention.  Its 57 recitals form a useful synopsis of the reasons offered by the Resolution’s signers to support the appointment of another Special Counsel.

(ADDENDUM/UPDATE:  The original post on 05-21-2018 included the unsigned draft of the resolution.  Today’s update replaces that draft with the resolution formally introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary  today including the names of all sponsors.)

May 22, 2018

What Happened and In What Order?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:12 pm

Sequence of EventsKeeping the sequence of events in order in the Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation can be very tricky.

If you have been trying to follow the Trump-Russia collusion investigation sequence of events from day to day — well, good luck with that one.

To try and help you put some of the collusion confusion into order, here are links to three timelines.

Washington Post’s Trump-Russia Timeline

Committee to Investigate Russia’s Trump-Russia Timeline

Sharyl Attkisson’s Collusion Against Trump Timeline

 

May 20, 2018

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 11:39 am

COSI-TopSecret-Today’s Washington Times online is running an article headlined  Top Democrat deems claims Trump campaign was spied on ‘nonsense’.

Sadly, even with mounting evidence to the contrary, there are people who refuse to believe that employees of the FBI and DoJ, acting under color of law, would spy illegally on political organizations.  History proves their disbelief to be misplaced.

Google COINTELPRO

Even the FBI’s own website acknowledges that COINTELPRO “…was later rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons.”

The aphorism in the title of my post is most often attributed to George Santayana.

May 18, 2018

‘Crossfire Hurricane’

Left J Warren-Commission-Composite-NYTWhen I read The Sulzberger Slimes online article headlined Code Name Crossfire Hurricane:  The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation on Wednesday, my first reaction to this 3800+ word piece was:   Somebody at Main Justice got a preview of the Department of Justice Inspector General’s long-overdue report regarding the FBI and DOJ’s investigation and handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, called up their favorite Slimes stenographer, and planted a pre-emptive fluff story out ahead of an expected ‘Bad Moon Rising’.

Later in the same day I learned that the Department of Justice Inspector General had finished his long-awaited report of the FBI and DOJ’s investigation and handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.  The draft report has not yet been released publicly, but it has been (or will be by COB Friday) made available to multiple subjects of the report for their review.

Judging from the nervous tics suddenly afflicting the Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac swamp rats in the respective Mahogany Rows at Main Justice and the FBI, John Fogerty* may have been foretelling some more career ending moves when he wrote:

Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

Two other writers have prepared read-worthy articles for their respective online publications.  These two articles are decent counterpoints to the Slimes’ effort to soften the blows expected to be inflicted by the DoJ IG’s report.

Mollie Hemingway has written 10 Key Takeaways from The New York Times’ Error-Ridden Defense of FBI Spying on Trump Campaign.  It was published online in The Federalist on May 17, 2018.

Andrew McCarthy has written Spinning a Crossfire Hurricane:  The Times on the FBI’s Trump Investigation.  His article was published online in National Review on May 17, 2018.   (more…)

May 11, 2018

Just Who Is Our Enemy Here?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 12:05 pm

COSI-TopSecret-If you haven’t yet read Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel’s column posted on May 10, 2018, please take the time to read it.  It was entitled About That FBI ‘Source’.

Strassel asserts that Rosenstein and the US Department of Justice are stonewalling the House Intelligence Committee’s most recent subpoena because, “… the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.”

Strassel’s column implies that the FBI inserted  a highly-placed human intelligence source or recruited one already inside the Trump campaign before the 2016 election.  She also says, “… we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a ‘top secret intelligence source’ of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe.” [emphasis mine]  In other words, she suggests the FBI was running an intelligence collection operation inside the Trump campaign.

Assuming Strassel and her competitors at the Washington Post have the straight scoop, it raises a few  questions.

  • Was the Trump Campaign the only presidential campaign targeted or were other presidential candidate campaigns targeted as well?  If so, which ones?
  • Who made the final decision to allow the FBI to run a collection operation inside the Trump campaign?  Who had the authority to okay ‘a top secret intelligence source of the FBI and CIA’ to collect information about or exert influence on a candidate or nominee for President of the United States?
  • Was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ a human being or technical device(s) or combination of both?
  • Who or what was the actual target of the collection operation?  If it was only for collection, what were the essential elements of information sought?
  • Was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ of the FBI and CIA an information collector or was s/he an agent of influence (or both)?
  • Who was the human source’s handler/case officer?  To whom did the ‘top secret intelligence source’ report?
  • When?
    • When was this operation first proposed and by whom?
    • When was the operation finally approved?
    • When did the operation launch?
    • When will Congress subpoena the Case Officer’s contact reports and source?
    • If the operation began and continued after Trump had officially become the Republican nominee and was therefore receiving national security briefings, when was the Secret Service notified of this operation as it should have been?
    • When did this operation end (assuming it has!)?
    • When was candidate/nominee/President Trump first notified of this operation and by whom?
  • Was the collection operation limited to personal observations and recollections of the ‘top secret intelligence source’ or was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ allowed or directed to spot, assess, and recruit other human sources within the Trump campaign?

The actions of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to resist the HPSCI’s subpoenas only adds to the plausibility of the Washington Post’s and Wall Street Journal’s articles.  President Trump can if he chooses declassify everything DoJ and the CIA have on this matter.  Whether he should or not must be based on legitimate national security considerations, not political expedience or advantage.

May 7, 2018

Not a Bludgeon!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 8:17 pm

bludgeonGovernment agencies are supposed to use investigations to obtain verifiable facts, not bludgeon citizens into making false statements so the “G” can notch another conviction.

Apparently Special Counsel Robert Mueller never got that memo.

Finally an honest and unintimidated Senior Federal District Court Judge, Thomas Selby Ellis III, has declared in open court what most people have recognized for months:  Special Counsel Robert Mueller has insufficient or, more likely, no evidence showing Russians worked cooperatively with the Trump campaign to manipulate the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Now having spent several million dollars of public money with little to show for it, Mueller appears willing to use the bludgeon of criminal prosecution to convince witnesses (e.g., Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort) to “sing” against President Trump.  Or maybe Mueller will settle for an imaginative composition in lieu of admissible evidence.

In the hearing on Friday, May 4, 2018, in the Eastern District of Virginia,  Judge Ellis said, “You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud.  You really care about what information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump or lead to his prosecution or impeachment or whatever. …”

There was a succinct summary of the Judge’s comments in The Daily Caller News Foundation article dated May 6, 2018, entitled Federal Judge Could Be A Nightmare For Special Counsel Mueller.

I really like the phraseology law professor Alan Dershowitz used in the May 7, 2018, The Hill article entitled Federal judge rightly rebukes Mueller attorney for questionable tactics.  Judge Ellis said, “This vernacular is to ‘sing,’ is what prosecutors use. What you got to be careful of is, they may not only sing, they may compose.”

Two other federal district court judges are looking at the Michael Flynn guilty plea and the demand of the 13 indicted Russian boiler room operators for a speedy trial.

In Flynn’s case, recently released unredacted FBI reports indicate that during their interview with Flynn, the FBI agents detected no evidence of Flynn’s making false statements to them in violation of federal law.  Yet he pled guilty to making false statements to them.  Why?  Apparently the Justice Department suggested that unless Flynn admitted making false statements, his son would be prosecuted, too.

Special Counsel Mueller’s highly publicized indictments of the 13 Russians is beginning to look like another Justice Department clown car act, too.  Expecting the Russians to remain in Russia with which the US of A has no extradition treaty, Mueller’s thugs asked for a continuance of their arraignment.  Oddly enough, the Russians’ US of A legal counsel objected, saying in fact that the Russians would plead not guilty and demand  a speedy trial.  More importantly, the Russians’ legal counsel made a detailed demand for discovery.  Their counsel wants to see everything Uncle Sugar has on the 13 Russians.  Ruh-roh!

Given the US DoJ’s extremely bad habit of not fully disclosing exculpatory evidence and its not expecting the Russians to actually want to go to trial, we may soon see a motion for dismissal from the Special Counsel.

As I’ve suggested in preceding OpenCdA posts, the US Department of Justice and its subordinate element, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, need a mercilessly critical examination by a Presidential Commission akin to the 1963 Warren Commission.    There are clearly some corrupt lawyers and agents in both.   And for the sake of the Constitution, fire Mueller and his thugs before they can bludgeon again!

April 27, 2018

Final HPSCI Report – Russian Interference in 2016 Election

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:32 am

HRPT-115-1 Cover

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has just publicly released its final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Here is a link to the redacted report entitled Report on Russian Active Measures.

ADDENDUM:   04-28-2018 – Here is a link to the 96-page Minority Views commentary about the HPSCI final report linked above.

April 13, 2018

Just Released: USDoJIG Report – McCabe Firing

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 1:58 pm

McCabe OIG Report Cover|

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Here is a link to the cover letter and the 39-page report of the Office of Inspector General, US Department of Justice, released April13, 2018.

A Report of Investigation of Certain Allegations Relating to Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

April 12, 2018

How Will They Know?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 12:21 pm

SherlockHemlock MuellerSenate Majority Leader Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. and Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Davis Ryan Jr. are among several Fools on the Hill urging President Trump to just let Special Counsel Robert Mueller finish his investigation.  Just let him finish the job he started, they’re saying.

That certainly sounds like a reasonable suggestion.  Except it’s not.

How will McConnell, Ryan, and the other Fools on the Hill know when the investigation is finished?

What are the clearly enumerated defined investigative criteria being used to judge the sufficiency of  the Mueller Hit Squad’s investigation?

Who has been designated and empowered to be the person to say that the investigation has reached its conclusion?

The answers to those questions should have been clearly enumerated and included in the authorization for the Special Counsel, but they weren’t.

Why not?

The answer to that last question may be in what was not included in Order 3915-2017  signed by Acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein on 5/17/17.  That was the order which appointed the Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 Presidential election and related matters.  Paragraph (b) of that Order gives Mueller almost unlimited authority to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump“. [emphasis mine]

Notice, however, the Order does not authorize as well the investigation of “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and inviduals associated with the campaign of nominee Hillary Clinton.”  Had the Clinton campaign been mentioned specifically with the Trump campaign in the Order, it would have forced Rosenstein to include the kind of specificity I suggested.  It would have made it difficult for Mueller to ignore the Clinton campaign’s and the DNC’s now-proven financial relationship with the Russian government to create the fictional Steele dossier.  It would have made it difficult for Mueller to focus his entire inquisition on Trump.

By specifically excluding the Clinton campaign from the Order, Rosenstein gave Mueller complete authority to ignore Clinton campaign complicity with the Russians and also to ignore other crimes committed by the Clinton campaign and others.

For an exceedingly clear explanation of just how corrupt the US Department of Justice has become, read ‘Talk to Mueller?  No, Trump Should Use His Bully Pulpit to Expose Mueller’s Corruption‘.  It was written by Kurt Schlichter and was posted April 12, 2017, on townhall.com.

April 10, 2018

Renewed Request for Presidential Commission

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 11:03 am

Warren Commission Composite NYTMy OpenCdA posts on January 10, 2018, entitled ‘So It Never Happens Again …‘ and February 13, 2018, entitled ‘Appoint a Presidential Commission‘ urged President Trump to appoint a Presidential Commission with the same stature and authority as the 1963 Warren Commission.  The Commission I advocated first in January 2018 would examine the depth and effects of corruption by politicization of both the US Department of Justice and its subordinate agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

There were two underlying reasons for my belief that a national Presidential Commission was more appropriate than a second Special Counsel.

  • The job was too big for a Special Counsel.  The scope of DoJ and FBI malfeasance, criminal abuses of authority, and other criminal conduct infected other federal agencies during the Obama presidency.  Some of those agencies, notably the CIA, the NSA, the Department of State including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Internal Revenue Service, the Executive Office of the President under and including then-President Barack Obama, and employees and members of the US Congress (e.g., Deborah Wasserman Schultz, D-FL 23rd District) had personnel with varying degrees of criminal complicity involving national security compromises and outright apparent violations of Title 18 US Code sections.
  • Ordering authoritative measures to identify and correct the abuses and criminal conduct by the DoJ and FBI and to reestablish the public’s confidence in both the DoJ and the FBI is more important than prosecuting offenders except for the most egregious violations of criminal law.  Criminal prosecutions sound good, but in the end, the results are often unsatisfying.   That outcome would still leave a corrupt DoJ and FBI intact after a few low-level sacrificial stooges are convicted in skewed show trials that would likely take years to convene and conclude.

I believe those original reasons remain valid, but now there are more.

  • My August 16, 2017, post entitled ‘Understanding the Subversion of the Trump Presidency‘ linked to documents explaining several levels of plans that were put in place immediately after President Trump’s election to subvert his presidency and undermine the national security.  Little did we know at the time that the ‘lawfare’ mentioned in the written plans of Brock, et al, would result in the appointment of an overzealous Special Counsel and his employment of several DoJ attorneys who had in numerous prosecutions been excoriated  by federal trial courts for withholding excuplatory evidence from defense counsels.  Several of the convictions in those prosecutions were overturned on appeal.
  • On April 9, 2018, FBI special agents executed search warrants and seized documents from the permanent home, the temporary hotel residence, and the office of one of President Trump’s personal attorneys, Michael Cohen.  Since we have not seen either the affidavits prepared in support of the search warrants or the search warrant return itemizing the material seized, we don’t know for sure if the warrant service was related to the so far unproven allegations of illegal conduct by President Trump.  We do know that the warrants were sought by the Office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York based at least in part on a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and with the approval of Main Justice.  Significantly, we also know that some of the material seized contained privileged communication between President Trump and attorney Cohen.
  • The seizure by FBI agents of privileged communications between President Trump and attorney Cohen should have resulted in the material being immediately turned over to a DoJ “taint team” before any of the material was examined by anyone.  The taint team comprises DoJ attorneys who are supposed to segregate privileged information from other material so that FBI agents and DoJ attorneys do not taint an investigation by the unauthorized examination and illegal use of attorney-client privileged information.   Some of the DoJ attorneys on Mueller’s Special Counsel have been chastised for Brady decision violations (For a brief discussion of Brady, see my August 27, 2014, OpenCdA post entitled From Arfee to Brady).  Their professional credibility has already been tainted in earlier times by documented misconduct.
  • The FBI and the DoJ misrepresented or withheld material facts from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in securing warrants to surveil a US citizen, Carter Page.  Agencies and their agents who will lie to the Court may also be willing to fabricate evidence.   When those agencies and their agents are part of the US Intelligence Community, they have access to the resources who could fabricate false but convincing documentary evidence that would be difficult to detect forensically or linguistically, particularly if the forgers had access to contextual documents that might be found in an attorney’s files.
  • The FBI and DoJ have intentionally delayed their responses to Congressional subpoenas for information about the numerous acts of alleged criminal conduct by Hillary Clinton, her campaign, her husband, and their Foundation.
  • The DoJ Inspector General’s report (actually six reports), originally to have been released in March, then April, may not not be released until May or later.   AG Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III should, but likely won’t, ask the President to declassify that report and immediately release it without redactions to the public by posting it on the White House website.   A Presidential Commission’s recommendation to do exactly that could hardly be ignored by Sessions whose love for the DoJ as an institution appears to exceed his loyalty to the US Constitution or the American people.
  • The efforts of the DoJ, the FBI, and the Special Counsel seem now to be a concerted effort to intentionally obstruct the performance of the duties of the President and Congress.   By design, our “free press” heartily endorses and furthers that objective.   The skews media are protected by the First Amendment, however as those same media are quick to point out when it serves their purposes, there can be reasonable restrictions on the freedoms guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.  There needs to be a reasonable discussion about an appropriate and reasonable reaction when the supposedly untouchable skews media become co-conspirators with agencies and agents of the US Government to intentionally obstruct the lawful operation of a duly elected government.  A Presidential Commission, not an overzealous Special Counsel hell-bent on taking down the President of the United States, is the proper venue for that discussion.
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