DOJ continues to abuse the law to investigate Trump
Think about it. When going after Trump the FBI abused their authority to violate attorney client privilege repeatedly. They did it with McGhan. They did it with Rudy Giuliani. They did it with Michael Cohen (the only one who actually flipped, but he had nothing on Trump).
FBI markets fake encrypted cell phone to criminals
I find this extremely troubling. The FBI here created an explicit expectation of privacy under false pretenses and then spied on their "customers", presumably without warrants. I do not care that their actions appear to have resulted in catching real criminals; this action by the FBI appears entirely inappropriate and unconstitutional.
The vast majority of those statements have nothing to do with race, but quite a lot to do with politics. And one of the "class exercises" involves filling out and mailing a form letter demanding more critical race theory classes.
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.
This is hardly a surprise. Biden has signaled his opposition to gun rights by such things as hiring "Beto" as his gun control czar. But it's nice to have him on the record as opposing the Bill of Rights.
There are so many wrong lessons here I hardly know where to start. There's a kid who checks that his mom is peacefully reading a book, then goes upstairs to (presumably) her room and opens her chest of drawers to find a gun (very much not safely stored). Without checking whether it is loaded or if a round is in the chamber or the condition of the safety if the gun has one, he puts it into his backpack without a holster or other protective covering and takes it to school with him before pulling it out of his backpack and putting it on the teacher's desk and asking the teacher to get rid of it because "he doesn't want to have a gun in the house."
Leaving aside the many insanely unsafe gun handling practices in this propaganda video, he's stealing a gun from his parents and taking it to school in order to turn it in to someone who (just based on profession!) likely has no idea how to handle it safely or dispose of it legally. Not to mention the school itself is a gun free zone. So. How many laws did this kid violate?
1) Felony theft of a firearm. Most gun felonies are 10 year federal crimes. 2) Gun-Free School Zone laws. $10,000 fine and 5 years. 3) Carrying concealed without a license, depending on state laws. 4) Illegal transfer of a firearm without a background check, depending on state laws. 5) The teacher may be liable for receiving stolen property. 6) Arguably reckless endangerment of the students and teacher, brandishing, etc. 7) Aside from the above, the student will undoubtedly be immediately expelled.
In addition his mom (and/or dad, who is never shown) will be vulnerable to criminal attack and may get in trouble for their unsafe storage. If either of the parents are police officers, military, or security, the gun may not even be theirs -- meaning they are in trouble with their jobs, and may be legally charged or fired.
This video is stupid propaganda encouraging kids to do things that will get them in serious legal trouble even if they do not accidentally hurt themselves or those around them.
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.
He's doing it by executive order, which I find a bit questionable, but I don't know if he has that authority under Kentucky law. Clearly he thinks he does.
As a policy matter this is a complex topic. As a political matter, the Democrats are clearly implementing this policy for electoral purposes, the same way they encourage illegal immigration and resist voter id laws. Any state they take temporary control of, they immediately seek to strengthen their hold on.
Anti-gun politicians abusing the Parkland murders for their own purposes
Not everyone who lost someone to the Parkland murder is for gun control. And the people who are using that crime to push for policy changes they favored, and that have nothing to do with the murders, are vile. The ones using it to fundraise are worse.
What is it with corporations spending millions on idiotic political virtue signaling? Nike made the face of their brand the anti-patriot kneeler, and now a jeans manufacturer decides that going against the Constitution is a good public image and worth millions of dollars to convey to the public.
So, the CEO even admits it is unpopular, but he felt compelled to do it anyway.
He could have saved himself a little unpopularity if he had stuck to the platitudes about wanting to stop the violence, but he had to go and compare American gun owners to racists. That makes it clear where he stands, and that this is far more about virtue signaling and looking down on ordinary Americans than it is about safety.
His take is about the same as my take: some guy reloading ammunition as a hobby and occasionally selling the results of his work. Consensus seems to be so far that the armor piercing element of the charge is somewhere between complete bullshit and a technicality, and we're not going to know which without knowing the details of the ammunition that was found. I don't have any idea what the law on manufacturing and selling tracer rounds is.
In a Democrat administration we'd get some BS gun control laws passed over this. I bet the ATF is salivating over the possibility of eliminating or regulating reloading if the House turns over to Democrat hands, figuring they can pick up enough Republican squishes in the Senate and pressure Trump to sign it.
Folks, we're going to have to keep an eye on this. It's not going away.
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.
A credible case can be made for FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok talking to various reporters about the Trump-Russia investigation. This is mentioned in the FISA memo, sourced from various text messages from them that have been publically leaked, and some specific stories and reporters can be identified by closely examining the timing.
Why weren't Page and Strzok terminated for talking to the media? Are the rules different for FBI agents than paid informants? Weaker? Why?
Sure, at first, you can argue no one knew what they were doing (clearly in their text messages to each other they were trying to hide it from their colleagues). But then the messages came out. They were transferred, demoted... but not fired. Why not?
I ran across three facts related to the FISA memo today that, together, paint an interesting picture.
Trey Gowdy announced he would not run for re-election the day before the memo was released. He said he planned to return to the justice system rather than remain in electoral office. The timing is very interesting indeed.
I see three possible takes. Either, both, or neither could be true.
First, Trey Gowdy expects the memo to force out more people at DOJ and FBI, and would like to be nominated for one of their jobs. Probably not Sessions; but it would be reasonable to expect Rod Rosenstein or possibly Christopher Wray to leave the FBI as a result of the memo dropping.
Second, it's possible Trey is removing himself as a target for retaliation. If Trey is the primary author of the memo, but Nunes is taking the public relations fire for it, maybe Trey knows he is vulnerable (to blackmail or worse) and needs to stay in the background.
Third... Trey could be expecting an appointment as a special prosecutor in this case. That's where I'm going to lay my chips for now. It's too dangerous for Trump to fire people (he would risk being accused of obstruction of justice), but he or AG Sessions can appoint their own special prosecutor. Given that Trey is currently the only person who has seen the actual FISA warrant applications, he would be the obvious choice for special prosecutor here. He's partisan, sure, but no worse than Mueller and the FBI he would be investigating, and he's not conflicted.
UPDATE: Don't confuse this for a recommendation. I don't know these players enough to be making recommendations.
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.