California registering huge numbrs of illegal voters
So why the big effort? Well, there's no presidential race this time around, but House Intel Committee chair Devin Nunes is from California, one of their rare rural seats. They would love to make him stop investigating their party's abuse of the FBI in 2016.
Power Line on Trump on the Hunter and Collins indictments
I don't have a lot to add to this piece, except that I no longer trust the DOJ to act without political bias in these matters. I imagine that's true for Trump as well as anyone else who has been following SpyGate. And it's not just Spygate; Obama got to 60 votes in the Senate in part due to the FBI framing a sitting Republican Senator. I didn't know the guy, but we don't use trumped-up charges to win elections in this country, and this is twice in my own memory the FBI has been caught doing it.
If he's right, it's not the first time Halper engaged in a little election meddling on both sides. And there are some very large payments from government accounts to him. It looks very much like the intelligence community is for hire and willingly takes money to help decide elections. That's a bigger scandal than even I expected.
Yes, elections. He apparently has close ties to the Bush family, which has surprisingly amiable relations with the Clintons. There are indications he meddled in the Reagan-Carter race, in the other direction, perhaps explained by his connection to the Bushes (George Bush Sr was Reagan's VP candidate). And if he'll do it twice, why wouldn't he or others do it much more often than that?
The claims from the intelligence community that revealing his name would jeopardize his life seems absurd and self-serving. Unless, you know, they think someone would object to him fixing elections for the intelligence community rather violently.
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.
Claim: DOJ may have told FISA court of political origins of dossier
I rate this claim bullshit. Why bullshit? Because "ample disclosure of relevant, material facts" is just a way of claiming the court was informed without acting saying that the court was told that Hillary or the DNC funded the dossier. Because, you know, they can't claim that, because it isn't true.
There's a vast difference between saying, as the memo suggests, that the research into the Trump dossier was funded by "a US person" and saying that it was funded by "Hillary Clinton and her party organization who is running against Trump in the presidential election". A "US person" could be anyone, and while there are a lot of people who might have motive to research Trump in the hopes of finding something negative about him to damage his changes of winning the election, most of them have no particular motive to make things up, and even if they had such a motive, they lacked the media access to make a lie stick. Only someone with the resources of a national political party could reasonably expect to make something up and sell it to the media for long enough to swing an election.
So, yes, it makes a big difference whether you tell them the identity of the US Person funding the dossier. And also, you know, whether you tell the court that the source of the dossier is personally biased against Trump, is in fact self-admittedly "desperate" to ensure Trump does not win the election, and has been terminated from his position with the FBI over his partisan bias and contacts with the news media trying to publicize this.
So no, saying it was funded by a "US person" is not enough, not even if you also mention a political entity.
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.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC both paid Perkins-Coie for legal services. Perkins-Coie paid Fusion GPS for the Trump dossier. Perkins-Coie was basically used as a cutout to avoid the payments showing up in campaign finance reports. The Russian businessman linked to the Kremlin used similar legal cutouts. The dossier compiled by Steele quoted Russian intelligence sources extensively (they may have been paid; that issue is still unclear). And by "Russian intelligence sources" I mean "sources who work in Russian intelligence agencies". And the dossier, of course, was used to try to smear Trump during the election and potentially to justify using our own intelligence agencies to spy on Trump's campaign.
There's a lot of Russian collusion to influence the election there, but I don't see Trump being involved in it as anything more than the victim of a particularly nasty smear campaign and multiple felonies.