FBI using NSA databases without warrants -- again -- STILL
The legality of these investigations stops at without court orders. There's no exception in the 4th Amendment for terrorism, regardless of motivation or potential for violence. (If international contacts are involved, that is murkier, but even in such situations communications of US persons are supposed to be protected). It's clear that with Trump out of office, the FBI is doubling down on Spygate and political investigations.
And don't forget that the FBI has been trying for decades to smear the right in general, and Donald Trump supporters in particular, as white supremacists. Which makes me think that's who those queries are targeting.
This is not an isolated problem. Seven separate field offices were involved, meaning not just the Washington, DC group.
It's unclear what exactly they were looking for, but the election audit in Arizona is also getting a lot of attempted legal interference, and Trump gave interviews on that topic the day before the raid where he said he was being kept up to date on the results. Likely, the FBI were really looking for information about the results of that audit (which is ongoing). It's not the first time they have targeted Giuliani. And of course before that they targeted another Trump lawyer, Michael Cohen, who eventually broke -- but had nothing on Trump.
They raided Victoria Toensing at about the same time. The warrant mentioned John Solomon. It's purportedly about Ukraine. But once they have seized all electronic devices, they can search those devices for whatever they want to know. Legally? Of course not; legally they are only supposed to look for evidence of crimes listed on the warrant. But in practice? Everything.
Post Office running surveillance on social media posts
According to Yahoo News, the Post Office is running a program to monitor conservative social media postings, possibly using donor databases seized from We Build The Wall to know who to watch. The post office appears to have no authority to do this, nor is it remotely within the purpose of their agency. Even if it was, it appears to violate the 1st and 4th amendments, as they admit to monitoring for information about protests.
Remember when the Post Office was begging for money recently? Was this what they wanted to fund?
I find these allegations particularly interesting. Here's my theory: this guy was known to law enforcement and intelligence. He was their agent in channeling donations to their preferred candidates, like Hillary and Obama (both of which he fundraised for). When Trump won, the intel agencies tasked him with trying to "dirty up" Trump by donating to Trump's inauguration and trying to get favors in return. This would allow the FBI to immediately put him under investigation and wiretap him, trying to parley the resulting evidence into getting someone in the Trump administration for bribery or the like. When that effort failed, the only thing they could do was go after their own agent to make it look like a real investigation instead of an attempted political sting.
And the emails that were deleted likely contained the official DOJ/intel instructions for this guy to do exactly what he did.
Speculation? Sure. But it makes sense, and we already know the intel agencies, DOJ, and FBI are willing and able to engage in dirty tricks.
No charges for capitol police officer who shot Ashli Babbit
I've personally watched the video where Babbit was shot. Babbit was arguably entering into the house building by force, but she was unarmed and threatening no one. I observed no threat of deadly force from her. I observed the still-unidentified police officer shoot her from effective concealment (only his hands and arms were visible), without an audible warning. He had a clear path to retreat, additional officers close by on the other side of the doors, and every opportunity to deescalate the situation with Babbitt personally.
Even if he was legally in the right (which, for all practical purposes, depends on the details of federal and DC laws combined with the proven lack of stomach for actual prosecution of this case), this was an easily avoidable shooting.
Should he still have one, that officer's conscience should torment him for the rest of his life.
Prompted by Danforth's involvement with the President Debate Commission, the author examines Danforth's role in covering up the Waco massacre. The focus on Danforth is a little odd, but the piece is worth reading as a refresher on what happened at Waco and how it was covered up. And if Danforth is still treated with respect anywhere, well, this should put an end to that.
It's a new excuse for the same old trick -- suppress your political opponents by any means necessary. The IRS has always been willing to accommodate Democrats. The FBI have a long tradition of similar behavior that they prefer not to talk about.
... and they did it because of red flag laws. They are also refusing to share their bodycam footage, because of course they are. After all, that footage would expose them as liars who shot and killed a man while he slept peacefully in bed next to his pregnant girlfriend, who they also shot.
The police are keeping the survivors under surveillance and threatening them with arrest if they attend protests.
Everyone involved here needs to go on trial for murder and violation of civil rights. But they won't. Because they are police.
Note that, however strongly worded the letter may be, it is effectively demanding new policies and procedures rather than issuing contempt of court orders. Thus, it is unlikely to deter further abuses as none of the people involved have suffered real consequences... at least so far. Durham is still in play.
Patterico is working himself into a lather over a detail...
Patterico is not quite a NeverTrump guy. He's a California lawyer (prosecutor) who is usually intellectually honest and doesn't much like Trump. I'm cool with that, because usually he has good reasons for not liking Trump. This time, I'm not quite as onboard with his reasoning. He's talking about the Nunes memo.
While Patterico is right that this admission does mildly weaken the point of the memo, it is far from fatal. Disclosing to the FISA court that the Trump dossier was put together by an unspecified political entity is a far cry from disclosing that the dossier was put together by the candidate running against him, her political party, and the political party of the sitting President who runs the surveillance apparatus that the FISA applications seeks to use. It also makes a difference when the surveillance request is not against Trump (remember, reports are they tried for a warrant that mentioned Trump and got rejected) but against a temporary unpaid volunteer member of the Trump campaign, Carter Page. Does surveillance against Carter Page raise red flags of political interference? Not really... unless you realize that authorizing Title I surveillance of Page will retroactively authorize surveillance of everyone on the Trump campaign he has been in contact with. Did the FISA application disclose that Page was a Trump campaign member and that authorizing surveillance of Page would expose the entire Trump campaign to the same surveillance authority? No? Oh, I see.
Oh, and the FISA application described Page as, essentially, a Russian spy. In actuality, it appears Page was an undercover FBI agent or informant who was cooperating with the FBI in exposing Russian spies. Was that disclosed? No?
Well, they might not get the warrant.
Did they disclose in the renewals that Steele had been terminated as a source? That he had very strong political motivations and was shopping his "research" to media outlets, including the outlets they had previously cited as corroboration? No? Why not?
But let's assume, for the sake of argument, that it was all disclosed properly and the Nunes memo was wrong to leave that out.
Why the FUCK did the FBI and DOJ request the FISA warrant? Why the FUCK did the FISA court authorize the warrant?
Saying "Gosh, it was all disclosed properly.." does not make the scandal go away. The FBI is still corrupt. The only thing that does is make the FISA court either corrupt, complicit, or incompetent. And before you say "Just one judge!", the FBI reportedly went to four separate judges, once each, to get the warrant and renew it. So four separate judges all saw this warrant request and approved it. If everything was disclosed, they are all implicated.
But I do agree with Patterico on one thing.
Release the Documentation. Let's see the FISA applications. Bring it all into the sunlight.
DOJ IG recovers missing text messages between Page and Strzok
Well, they sure didn't stay missing long, did they? As this incident should remind us, when the government wants to recover text messages, they can generally recover the text messages. When they don't want to recover the text messages, as with the case of the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, it's a cover up.
And speaking of coverups, I feel that I should point out that the IG had to use "forensic tools" to recover those missing text messages. That means someone tried to delete them, probably Page and Strzok themselves, which speaks to consciousness of guilt.
UPDATE: I meant to point out that the notification does not say "all" messages were recovered, which potentially leaves some wiggle room. We don't know how many messages were actually recovered, out of how many total.
So remember: those 10,000+ text messages between Strzok and Page that included the "insurance policy" against a Trump win and god only knows what else? Those are the ones they thought we should be allowed to have. The missing messages -- between Dec 14th 2016 and May 17th 2017 -- must be much, much worse.
Funny how government agencies have their records go missing whenever this sort of investigation pops up. I remember when Lois Lerner destroyed her hard drives, laptops, and cell phones. And of course there's Hillary, who wiped her server with a cloth soaked in Bleachbit.
Prosecutors refuse to charge officer for videotaped execution
After struggling with Saenz for several minutes and apparently getting frustrated with their inability to get Saenz sufficiently subdued, one of the officers, El Paso Police Officer Jose Flores, pulls his pistol and shoots a downed and restrained Saenz from behind, twice, killing him.