Deputy AG Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire, using 25th Amd
Why is this leaking now? Obviously, it's in the declassification request -- probably the text messages. It's going to come out, so Rosenstein or his friends are leaking it first for damage control purposes on a Friday afternoon.
Rosenstein denies it -- for now. He'll probably claim he was misunderstood by Page or StrzokMcCabe or something. But he wants to be able to say "Old news, already debunked" when the declassification happens.
This is grounds for recusal. It's grounds for revoking his security clearance. It's grounds for firing. Hell, it's probably grounds for prosecution, if he actually did it.
Why is this being leaked now? It's obviously a very weak and panicked response to Trump's public threat to declassify the FISA warrant. But Mueller doesn't really have anything left up his sleeve to negotiate with.
Why do I think this is weak? Well, look: the leak doesn't say a damn thing about Cohen's answers, and the "hours and hours of interviews" could (and almost certainly does) cover Trump's "financial and business dealings with Russia".
Or, in other words, Trump has done business in Russia and Cohen knows about it since Cohen has been Trump's lawyer. Normally that would fall under attorney-client privilege, but it's not like Mueller's team cares about that. Those discussions could cover hours of interviews even with nothing criminal and nothing related to Russian election meddling.
You know what else is interesting here?
They aren't talking about the campaign finance issues. Sure, they appear in the article, but Mueller isn't asking Cohen about them. Those are, apparently, dead, at least with respect to Trump. What is also interesting is that Trump has previously warned Mueller that investigating his business interests would be a red line indicating that Mueller had abandoned his problematic mandate to investigate Russian collusion and simply targeted the President personally.
It will be interesting to see how the President reacts.
I continue to see the interactions between Congress, the President, and Mueller as a complex negotiation conducted in publicly coded actions. One that, I think, the President has been winning, but which will not truly be finalized until Mueller shuts down his probe and the midterm elections generate the score.
Mueller needs to threaten the President enough to keep things under wraps. He needs to protect the FBI, the intel community, the Deep State, the Clintons. He does that by threatening Trump with impeachment if Trump removes the people in DOJ and FBI running the coverup.
And of course Trump wants the probe shut down, the Deep State ejected from his administration, and to move forward with his agenda and hopefully enough support in the House and Senate to enact it.
This is an ultimatum as much as a simple instruction. Do this -- which Congress and the President have been pressuring DOJ and FBI to do for some time -- or be fired. The words "immediately" and "without redaction" are not used casually.
It is very likely Trump has a deadline in his head. Friday (today) wouldn't be a bad bet. At some point, he's going to decide time is up and start firing people. And however they protest, however they claim obstruction, however they try to sue, he will be able to point to this: a clear and legitimate Presidential directive they failed to comply with.
When 50% of the population in an urban area with literally millions of people do not even share a common language, you're no longer talking about a nation. You're talking about utter chaos, and civil war becomes inevitable.
I wonder what's in the soon to be declassified material about this that is prompting this leak?
So the sources for this story are named Brennan and Clapper then, I take it?
While Comey is the one with the most public exposure for this, Clapper was instrumental in getting the media to discuss the dossier (he encouraged Comey to brief Trump on it, thus providing a news hook) and Brennan was shopping the dossier to Reid. They are all pointing fingers at each other and trying to shift the blame...
Mueller seeks to interfere with President's pardon power
That Mueller would even try to do this is a huge red flag. He has no authority to interfere with the President's pardon power; that power is absolute, rooted in the Constitution, and any legal agreement that purports to prevent or discourage Manafort from being pardoned or from seeking a pardon is null and void.
The precedent has been set, indeed. The only way to counter that precedent is to set another: that the people who did this are publicly exposed, fired, have their clearances stripped, and are then tried, convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned.
Immediately following President Trump's direct orders to his subordinates to declassify documents related to the FBI's spying on his own campaign and their attempt to frame him for colluding with Russia to influence the election, the Democrats on the Gang of Eight -- a joint intelligence subcommittee -- write to the recipients of the presidential order to remind them not to share certain information with the president.
Why would the recipients -- Deputy AG Rosenstein, FBI Director Wray, National Intelligence Director Coats -- offer any such assurance to Congress? Trump is the President. He is cleared for anything he wants to see.
The letter is pretty blunt. They demand a briefing. They need to know what's going to happen. They need assurances their secrets, whatever secrets are in that redacted space, will remain secret. And if they can't get that, they need time to do damage control.
Apparently, the specific recipients of this letter earlier gave assurances to these four Democratic senators and representatives that they would keep information from the President. That was improper. But it confirms my speculation earlier: they are on the wrong side of the President, they have been hiding information from him and resisting orders to declassify, and now the President has put out a public order to declassify the documents. The or else is implied.
The letter is signed by Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff, and Warner.
There's another tidbit here. The letter refers to things that Wray, Rosenstein, and Coats allegedly agreed to keep secret from the President. In an interview with John Solomon, Trump claims he has not read the documents he just ordered declassified.
I take that to mean that the letter is correct, and the FBI, DOJ, even DNI Coats have been keeping this information from the President.
Fusion GPS employee says they got Manafort "completely wrong"
Funny how this never came out until Manafort was tried and convicted in one court (some counts had a hung jury) and pled guilty in another. Do you think maybe this employee's statements might have been helpful to Manafort's defense?
I lived through the 90s, including the presidency of William "BJ" Clinton. I considered myself a pro-gun Libertarian at the time (and still do, though I have shifted to the right on some issues due in large part to 9-11 and terrorism). I supported the attempt to impeach Clinton, though not so much on the grounds that he engaged in (arguably) consensual (but harassment and power differential!) sex with an intern. I wanted Clinton impeached for the Clipper chip attempt to violate the 4th amendment, for the unnecessarily fiery end of the Waco siege and subsequent cover up, for the use of the FBI to spy on political opponents (and gosh doesn't that one sound familiar?), for starting wars without Congressional authorization... (frankly, in my living memory only Trump has managed not to commit impeachable offenses while in office, and the jury is still out on him; perhaps literally, if Mueller has his way).
I remember a controversy about TWA 800, but not any of the details. It made no impression on me. Perhaps it needs a second look, since we're digging into the FBI's dirty laundry already. I wouldn't mind another look at Waco, either.
It seems unlikely there will be any surviving evidence of a cover up, but you never know. They did seem to do cover ups better back then, when text messages were in their infancy and cell phone cameras were not ubiquitous.
That has certainly been the plan up until now. But Trump's order contains the word "immediate". And if they try to redact what they release, it also contains the words "without redaction".
Why would the DOJ defy such a Presidential order?
Rosenstein is toast. He incriminates himself by the public release of these documents, or he resigns in protest and they get released anyway, or he gets fired and they get released anyway. When you play the Game of Coups, you win or you go to jail, and it looks like Rosenstein is going to jail.
As for what they are demanding -- more hearings, more delay -- it is entirely pointless except in raising the price of the bribes they are demanding to allow Kavanaugh to be confirmed. Think about it. Feinstein had the accusation for months and didn't bring it up until after all of her meetings, all of the normal scheduled hearings, etc, etc, had been held. Even the press had the accusation and didn't leak it until the coordinated moment. Why? Obviously to prevent it being investigated (and properly dismissed as unprovable).
What will more hearings and more delay do to either prove the accusations or disprove them?
We have Kavanaugh's strong denial, which he said he will repeat under oath. His friend in the room also strongly denies anything like it ever happened. The accuser is a leftist with both personal and political motives to lie and offers no evidence. No one else was in the room, at least no one who has been identified and come forward to talk. By the accuser's own account there's no possible evidence at this late date. No DNA on a dress or sitting in a police rape kit. Just a bad experience being locked into a room with two guys while everyone involved were being drunken teenagers. And that's assuming her account was entirely accurate.
More delay and more hearings and more investigation will prove nothing. It can't prove anything. Nothing that happened could conceivably have left any evidence. It's he-said-he-said-she-said, and apparently, a woman's word is worth that of two men before the Senate -- the exact opposite of Islam, and something anyone who persists in claiming we live in a patriarchy should take careful note of.
The excuse for hiding this is sources and methods. In this case we're obviously talking about a source, and one the Democrats in the Gang of Eight are desperate to keep hidden even from President Trump himself. So who was it? Steele himself? Unlikely, his name is out there. A Russian billionaire with links to Putin? There are already at least two of those in play. Wouldn't it be embarrassing to get a specific name for a Russian colluding with Hillary's campaign and the Obama administration to influence the election... AGAINST Trump?
And delaying past the midterm elections is exactly what the Democrats want at this point; they are betting everything on a Blue Wave that will give them control of Congress to stop the investigations of their intelligence abuses and the ability to stop Trump confirming appointees through the Senate at all.
Of course, the FBI has nothing to investigate on this matter. It's not within their jurisdiction except as a background check matter (and the accusation, without evidence, has already been added to the appropriate file). There's no practical investigation that can be done for an event like this 35 years after the fact.
This entire accusation was a despicable political stunt engineered to delay, and even the accuser is unwilling to make her accusation under oath.
Kavanaugh should be confirmed without further delay.