Twitter abuse of conservatives targeted by FEC complaint
Twitter has a history of bias in this area. Whether that bias is deliberate, or merely the result of emergent mob behavior on the left, remains to be proven... but I think the observed results are pretty clearly damning. If Twitter seeks the protection of being a content-neutral publisher of individually-authored content, they need to actually be content-neutral.
Articles of Impeachment introduced against... Rosenstein?
The only problem with the idea of impeaching Rosenstein is that the Senate will never vote to convict. That said, a vote to impeach in the House would give Trump political cover to remove Rosenstein without being credibly accused of obstruction of justice. ("I don't want anyone in my administration who has been impeached by the House" is an entirely justifiable reason for firing Rosenstein). Similar rules can be applied to lower level officials with a simple majority in the House; the Senate might need some fiddling but putting the rule in a reconciliation bill should let it through with a simple majority. And the principle would be a significant step towards accountability when the President is, unfortunately, politically hamstrung by a conspiracy against him among his own officials.
More Cohen data leaked in violation of attorney-client privilege
Details here. Fox says the tape came from Lanny Davis, Cohen's attorney, rather than the police who raided Cohen. Whether this represents Cohen being cooperative, or Cohen making a desperate cry for help from Trump (financial or otherwise), is unknown. As far as I am concerned, the contents of the tape are a nothingburger; it's Trump discussing whether and/or how to pay off a playboy playmate to keep quiet about an alleged affair from over 10 years ago. If there's a crime here, it's blackmail, and Trump is the victim, and then doubly so for Cohen, his attorney, violating attorney-client privilege to release the tape, never mind taping his client in the first place. I don't give a shit about an alleged consensual affair while Trump was a private citizen.
Appeals court rules 2nd Amendment means carry outside your home, too
Amazingly enough, this came out of the 9th circuit. We've seen similar rulings -- the 7th circuit's rulings that forced Illinois to go to shall-issue concealed carry come to mind -- but this is a step forward. We'll likely see the en banc court reject the ruling, but by then the Supreme Court may lend a friendly ear.
Borepatch has the story of a waiter who didn't get a tip, and called the customers racists. He made it up. Well, the part where he said they wrote "We don't tip terrorists" on the receipt. It does seem like they didn't tip him. Maybe he's a bad waiter who lies about his customers?
House Intel committee asks POTUS to declassify part of FISA app
I sure would like to know what the House Intel committee thinks is under the redactions on those pages. You may also be interested in the broader summary of issues with the application. And they are serious issues. Andrew McCarthy, who spent some time defending the FISA application before he actually saw it, said this:
One of the questions that needs to be asked is "Is this the usual evidentiary standard for FISA cases?"
If so, the court needs to be shut down as a rubber stamp and the entire process redesigned and reformed.
If not, the judges who approved this application need to be examined for evidence of bias along with the FBI, DOJ, and intelligence community.
Trump considering revoking clearances of some Obama officials
With the exception of Hayden, whose name I don't recognize offhand, all of these people deserve to lose their clearances.
Comey: leaking to the press in an effort to impeach the president, lying to the president, being a weasel and doing weasel things.
Clapper: Involvement in the FISA abuse against the Trump campaign and administration, and leaking.
Brennan: Involvement in the FISA abuse against the Trump campaign and administration, and leaking. Plus voting for a communist party candidate.
Rice: Unmasking and lying about it.
McCabe: Already fired for lying and leaking, participated in the FISA abuse, and his wife took political contributions from Clinton while he was running the investigation into her emails.
UPDATE: Hayden was a CIA director for Bush and has been outspokenly anti-Trump. I'm not sure if frothing at the mouth while calling the current president Hitler is outside the bounds people holding a security clearance, but this one still seems a little questionable to me. Given their involvement in abusing the intelligence agencies against Trump, however, the rest should lose their clearances immediately.
Bourdain was interviewed attacking Clinton before suicide
Suddenly the idea that Hillary has had a lot of people killed to cover up her scandals seems more plausible. I'm not making any accusations, or even necessarily taking it seriously, but the timing does make you wonder.
Judicial Watch obtains (redacted) Carter Page FISA Warrant
It's 400 pages of redacted information. The thing that leaps out at me is that this document alleges Carter Page (the target) is "an agent of a foreign power". We've seen how slippery that definition can be, with Manafort being accused of basically failing to file paperwork to register as such an agent. However, it can also indicate someone who is actually an espionage agent rather than simply a lobbyist.
On page 4, the application describes Page as having been "the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian Government [long redacted passage] undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election in violation of US criminal law."
So let's stop a moment here.
The last time Russians tried to recruit Page, they called him an idiot... and he testified against them in court, resulting in convictions. That was Page's prior experience as an FBI informant. But now the Russians are going to try to recruit him again? When they got burned last time? That reads more like an excuse than anything else. Maybe they are conflating earlier efforts to recruit Page with the current situation. We can't tell because they redacted the details.
More comments as I read through the release below the fold.
What does this possibly have to do with Russian collusion? Nothing, of course. It's Mueller trying to put pressure on anyone he can find in her files connected to Trump, so they will be encouraged to flip on Trump.
Special counsels are supposed to have very specific, very narrow fields of jurisdiction where they can investigate. This is because they are otherwise unrestrained and easily turned into partisan weapons (as in fact Mueller was intended to be from the beginning). The more Mueller chases these things far, far away from his appropriate area of authority, the more obviously partisan and corrupt his entire operation becomes.
Attorney-Client privilege no longer a thing, I guess?
So Trump talks to his lawyer, Cohen, who records it for unknown reasons. Prosecutors with ties to Mueller then raid Cohen's office to get the recording in a clear violation of attorney-client privilege. The recording then somehow ends up in the hands of the New York Times, which prints a story on it because it embarrasses the President even if no payment ended up happening and nothing illegal was done.
This bullshit is going to continue until the Trump admin finds some way to push back against the people doing it.
This lends credence to the narrative that Mueller is covering things up. By granting immunity to witnesses, Mueller ensures that they cannot be prosecuted for the things they testify about. Since one of the witnesses is expected to be Tony Podesta, and John Podesta has well known links to the Clintons. So by granting immunity, Mueller can protect Tony from other prosecutors wanting to charge him with anything he testifies about. This would thus protect John Podesta, and Hillary Clinton.
The FBI/DOJ investigation of Clinton's emails used a similar trick. Just grant lots of immunity and don't use any of the information you get.