Why the FBI's counterintelligence probe of President Trump should be investigated

If no President is above the law, does that mean no President is above the FBI?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Readers of this blog may be interested in my Lawfare post about the news that the FBI made President Trump the subject of a counterintelligence investigation after he fired their boss. My take:

The political and bureaucratic motives mixed into this incident are reminiscent of the motives mixed into the decision to launch an investigation of Russia and the Trump campaign, the decision to rely on Christopher Steele's research despite his partisan funding, and the decision to interrogate national security adviser Michael Flynn in the slipperiest of fashions. There are reasons why all of these things might have seemed necessary to honest, committed cops just doing their job. But they also offer a roadmap for how to abuse counterintelligence authority to serve partisan ends—a roadmap that more or less begins where the civil liberties protections of the 1970s end.

My concern is that we're not taking that risk seriously because so many former officials and commentators believe that President Trump deserves all this and more. Some of them still hope that the election of 2016 can be undone, or at least discredited. This leads to a perseverating focus on leaks and scraps from the investigation and a determined lack of concern about the investigation's sometimes tawdry origins. (Yes, I'm talking to you, #BabyCannon!)

If we're going to prevent future scandals, we need to look at both. We need to know the answers to a lot of questions that are not being seriously addressed today: To what extent was politics involved in the decision to open the Trump-Russia investigation; to what extent did politics drive its direction; to what extent was politics involved in the Obama administration's transition intelligence leaks; and, finally, to what extent was politics involved in adding the president to the counterintelligence probe?

The only independent review of any of these questions seems to be the investigation launched by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. He's examining the FISA application for Carter Page. That's a good start, but it's only a start. It's a commonplace insight that President Trump's norm-defying conduct has triggered norm-defying payback by others. I'm sure we're going to learn about the first, but we can't ignore the second.

It's time to expand the Horowitz inquiry, or something like it, into all of these events.

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  1. The govt didn’t rely on the steel dossier. The govt created it to spy on

  2. The govt didn’t rely on the steel dossier. The govt created it to spy on

    1. The Obama administration created it to spy on the Trump campaign and Transition. This weekends smear, was supposed to look like the FBI had evidence to open a counter Intel investigation, when their is no evidence. A counter intel investigation, because a criminal investigation would require a named crime, evidence to get warrants, and other legal niceties Brennen, Comey, and the rest of mgt at the FBI and the top brass at the Justice dept, and the State Dept. They are all dirty cops.

      1. The Obama administration created it to spy on the Trump campaign and Transition.

        Birther logic and Trump capitalization fit together like dumb and ass.

        1. And your comments demonstrate the close connection between your head and your ass. It’s almost as if the former just slides effortlessly into the latter every time you post something.

          1. I guess I’m just never going to win over the disaffected, vanquished, stale-thinking right-wingers.

            I am content.

            1. You real, y need to have your testicles beaten with your own shoes.

              1. Libertarian, are you?

                1. Libertarian is my middle name.

      2. The heart of being a Trump supporter is ignoring the obvious, such as the man’s lies, incompetence, and dimwitted sleaze. Also this question :

        If the investigation of Trump / Russia was an election year ploy, why wasn’t it used in the election?

        Oops. Kinda hard to avoid that one, no matter the pretzel logic you use. Yes, there were political pre-election leaks from the FBI, but they were from the New York field office and pro-Trump. All of your “deep state” villains kept their mouths shut right up thru Election Day. Comey pretty-much knee-capped Clinton’s campaign, even while fiercely resisting any attempt to publicly divulge Russia’s pro-Trump efforts or ties to his campaign. And yet Comey was supposedly a secret agent against DJT. Who is stupid enough to actually believe that?

        OK; we’ll say this jokey conspiracy was to supposedly “spy” on Trump’s transition, but again to what end? DJT’s problems haven’t come from any Obama / Satanic machinations, but from Trump’s own slimy bungling as president. Fire the FBI head, brag to the Russian ambassador that took care of the investigation against you, and suddenly you face a special counsel. Try blaming Obama for that. Your own National Security Adviser lies to your own Vice President about the Russians. You have a problem, but it’s not Comey’s fault. The person who put Trump in this situation is Trump.

        1. It was. See multiple news reports on it during the election.

        2. It’s hliarious to hear a progtard call Trump ‘incompetent’ after eight years of Obama. An empty suit that rolled for prom one scandal or fuck up to another through both his terms. Only surviving because of the blind subservience of America’s Pravdaesque propaganda media.

        3. “If the investigation of Trump / Russia was an election year ploy, why wasn’t it used in the election?”

          Aside from the fact that it was, can you really not come up with any uses a Presidential campaign might have for wiretapping the opposing candidate’s campaign, besides leaking the results to the press? No use at all for having access to their internal deliberations and planning?

          1. The interesting thing is that the wiretapping was done almost entirely after the election. The Title I FISA warrant (that we know of – there are hints that there might be more) was issued mere weeks before the election and renewed 3 times, finally expiring almost a year after the election. The original warrant mostly covered the transition, while the three renewals were almost entirely during Trump’s first year as President. The question there is whose phones were tapped, and phone calls intercepted? The FBI isn’t saying, on the grounds, apparently, that divulging this might impact Mueller’s investigation. Also apparently why the FISA applications and FISC opinions can’t be unredacted.

          2. Aside from the fact that it was, can you really not come up with any uses a Presidential campaign might have for wiretapping the opposing candidate’s campaign, besides leaking the results to the press? No use at all for having access to their internal deliberations and planning?

            Of course, Carter Page was not part of the campaign at the time any of the FISA warrants were issued (and the first one wasn’t even issued until the campaign was nearly over). And even when he was part of the campaign, he was not a campaign strategist; he would have had virtually no access to “internal deliberations and planning.” So… no.

  3. Let’s see : A man deep in dept to figures tied to Russian intelligence volunteers to be Trump’s campaign head for free, and then siphons off campaign data to those same shadowy figures. Meanwhile, Trump is asking what’s the big deal if a few opposition journalists are assassinated in Putin’s Russia; claiming the U.S. is just as bad. At the same time, Trump’s lackey is in Moscow negotiating a massive real estate deal, dangling something close to a bribe before Putin himself. And back in the States? Trump repeatedly lies to the American people about just those negotiations. Russian intelligence mounts a multi-faceted campaign to help Trump’s election. Meanwhile, someone approaches Trump’s inner circle offering help from the “Russian government” against Clinton; Donald Trump Jr is ecstatic and eager for the assistance. After the election, Trump’s son-in-law and National Security Adviser nominee seeks a back channel to communicate with Moscow – trying to evade US intelligence. That same nominee lies to both the FBI and Vice President about his Russian contacts.

    Now : Is this a full summary of Trump’s strange entanglement with Putin and Russia? Not even close. Can all this sleaze and sludge be explained away? It’s possible.

    But spare us all your tin-foil hat crap about a conspiracy against Trump. He’s earned every bit of the attention he’s gotten…

    1. It is fascinating that the Volokh Conspiracy has adopted radio silence with respect to Trump.

      Some might figure it relates to yet another Russian connection, but I figure its the confluence of (1) the Conspirators’ recognition that it might be quite some time before another administration is in the market for right-wing judicial nominees and (2) their understanding that expressing sensible views about public affairs and the Trump administration would be fatal to any aspiration toward a Trump nomination to the federal bench.

      That, and general cowardice.

      1. You’re far too cynical for me. I’m still certain we’ll see this published any day now :

        “Lawless The Trump Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law”
        by David E. Bernstein

        1. “Lawless The Trump Administration’s Unprecedented Assault on the Constitution and the Rule of Law”

          FIFY

          1. I get you think Obama overreached, but Trump’s doing some next-level business here.

            1. You can say your guy overreached more that the other guy if you want. Trump supporters obviously feel differently. But one of DB’s points was that Obama was creating precedents that can be used by future presidents in ways that Obama supporters wouldn’t like. Now that that’s happened, it’s rich when Obama supporters wonder why DB isn’t taking about Trump’s “precedented” overreach.

              1. Trump supporters obviously feel differently.

                Trump supporters also believe

                Pres. Obama was not born in Hawaii (communist Muslim socialist Kenyan instead);

                evolution is a Satanic plot;

                education is overrated;

                millions of illegal votes cost Pres. Trump a majority in the election;

                global warming is a hoax and any environment problems will be solved by a Rapture;

                Hillary’s emails contained code regarding a child sex abuse ring headquarter at a pizzeria;

                and

                black men should be compelled to lower their gaze in the company of white women.

                Their judgment seems unreliable.

                Carry on, clingers.

            2. What trump overreach exactly?

              1. Well if he does declare a national emergency to build a wall without an express appropriation then I’d call it overreach.

                But then again Obama declared at least a half a dozen national emergencies. And gave billions to insurance companies to support Obamacare without an appropriation. To those that point out Congress approved the payments even though they didn’t appropriate the money I’ll point out Congress has authorized the wall a few times too, but without funds.

                1. Trump isn’t just using Obama’s precedents.

                  Threatening specific companies with federal retaliation if they go overseas.
                  Firing Comey in order to kill an investigation he didn’t like
                  With Obamacare there was at least an exigency. Here there very much is not.
                  The eminent domain use he’s looking into would be extraordinary in degree.

                  Plus when it comes to tariffs, pardons, and executive orders Trump is ignoring internal controls to an unprecedented extent.

                  1. Firing an FBI director that basically everyone wanted gone until it happened is hardly over-reach. And claiming he did it to kill an investigation that firing Comey wouldn’t kill is just a monumentally stupid talking point.

                    It’s just an excuse to criminalize Trump taking control of the DoJ, as a newly elected President is entitled to.

                    1. Firing him to kill an investigation sure is overreach, and as I recall Trump has said exactly that.

                    2. NY Times, 19 May 2017 :

                      President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.

                      “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

                    3. Firing an FBI director that basically everyone wanted gone until it happened is hardly over-reach. And claiming he did it to kill an investigation that firing Comey wouldn’t kill is just a monumentally stupid talking point.

                      If that’s “monumentally stupid,” then what label would be left for your denial that he did it even though he already admitted that? Galactically stupid?

            3. Hilarious progtard bullshit.

              1. Disaffected, bigoted, right-wing yahoos are among my favorite faux libertarians.

        2. DB is preparing for the resumption of his campaign against Sen Warren.

          1. DB may throw his 2 cents in about Warren from time to time, but she’s really Todd Zywicki’s beat.

            Nowadays, DB is burnishing his self-declared non-partisanship at the famously non-partisan Instapundit. He’ll bide his time there until an enemy of constitutional norms from either party (as long as its Democrat) takes over the WH, creating a moral imperative for him to write books again.

    2. Thank you for the example of full Trump derangement syndrome! Wow.

    3. Wow. Your TDS is impressive. Your allies in the government have mounted a coup against Trump, but it is Trump’s fault.

      Remember for the future: If elections don’t matter, then elections won’t matter. And which side has the guns?

      1. I don’t know.

      2. Everyone who is trying to unseat Trump should be rounded up and executed. Need to really clean house.

        1. Nice to see that Trump-supporters, contrary to the canard, are devoid of authoritarian leanings, and are merely principled constitutional conservatives.

      3. The side that likes to shoot up schools?

    4. You’re the tin foil hat wearer here, buddy.

      “Trump is a manchurian candidate, Russian asset” is even less believable than “Obama is a secret Muslim agent.”

      1. Sure. If things like evidence don’t count.

    5. Sorry. The campaign data went to different oligarchs. Ukrainian, not Russian. Yes, the Ukrainians speak Russian, and used to be part of the USSR, BUT Ukraine is also the country that Russia recently stole the Crimea from. And these Ukrainian oligarchs seemed more interested in joining the EU, and maybe even NATO, than rejoining Russia in a reconstituted USSR.

      1. Except these Ukrainian oligarchs are known to be Russia-aligned and were aligned with the prior pro-Russian government. Also, Manafort owed money to Derapeska, and offered him “briefings” on the campaign. Kilimnick, a Ukrainian who nevertheless was former GRU, was the conduit for the data.

        I think that the thrust of the investigation has been poorly characterized. It should have been framed as an investigation into the at least attempted infiltration and penetration of the Trump campaign. There is no question that the Russians made numerous overtures to the campaign, and, as I understand it, the initial concern was to determine if any of these had been successful. I don’t see any scenario where such a concern would be illegitimate, especially when the investigation was kept tightly under wraps.

  4. A clinger doesn’t worry about evidence indicating that Pres. Trump has a “special” relationship with Russia.

    A clinger worries that those who investigate such evidence are doing the wrong thing.

    Clingers gotta cling.

    For as long as their betters permit, anyway.

    1. …and on your fourth comment, you let your religious bigotry come out. As always, you are and will be a religious bigot who is cynical and critical of those who show any religious thoughts or actions. Your hate of religion is behind everything you say in your comments. Pathetic.

      1. Clingers are not merely, or always, religious. Some of them focus on clinging to guns, or white nationalism, or diffuse intolerance (gays, blacks, immigrants, women, agnostics, Muslims, atheists), or general pining for ‘good old days’ that never existed.

        This article from today’s Washington Post illuminates the “clinger” issue.

        In this discussion, “clingers” refers to right-wingers gullible enough to fall for Pres. Trump’s stories.

        1. It’s fun sliding over to the law blog once in a while to watch much more patient people try to deal with Rev. Over at Reason he just gets laid into like he deserves. Y’all are way too kind to this anti- american progressive socialist

          1. We don’t mind your insolence, Ryan, so long as you toe the line with respect to the rules established by the liberal-libertarian mainstream. Stay obedient to your betters’ preferences and you can yap all you want.

    2. President Trump has a “special” relationship with China as well, and with North Korea, Germany, France and so on. What’s your point?

  5. You forgot Benghazi.

    1. Yeah, who knew a video could do so much damage?

      1. Leni Riefenstahl and Sergei Eisenstein

        1. Don’t ferget Birth of a Nation……

            1. Much thanks, as I always like to learn a new word.

              “rickrolled”

            2. Much thanks, as I always like to learn a new word.

              “rickrolled”

            3. Much thanks, as I always like to learn a new word.

              “rickrolled”

              1. On the other hand, I hate multiple posts…sigh.

  6. “It’s a commonplace insight that President Trump’s norm-defying conduct has triggered norm-defying payback by others. ”

    Given when the investigations started, and when Trump became President, there must have been a time machine involved in this “triggering”

    1. You’re reading too much into the statement. I believe this was directed pretty specifically at the NYT leak about FBI opening a counterintelligence investigation into Trump.

    2. The FBI claims they started in July 2016. Brennen had Stephen Halper, and Joseph Mifsud spying on the campaign before that.

      1. I don’t think that Misfyp, Downer, and Halper were really doing much spying, but rather seem to have been trying to compromise some of Trump’s low level campaign people with a push/pull intelligence scheme. The way it worked was that Misfyp told the Trump person that the Russians had Clinton’s missing emails. Then Downer (who was way too high up as the Australian ambassador to the UK to meet with such low level people) sets up a meeting, at which he asks about the emails, and the campaign worker tells him that Misfyp had told him that the Russians had them. Turns out that the two of them know each other, apparently know Halper better, and all three have worked in the past with spy agencies, including, of course, the CIA (but mostly MI-6). The connection with MI-6 is probably what the Britts were so apoplectic about declassifying the Carter Page FISA applications, the presence of the Australian ambassador in the push/pull scheme was likely why they were also apoplectic.

    3. Well he didn’t start being sketchy as fuck just at the moment he was sworn in.

  7. FBI conspiracy against the Chief Executive. High treason

    1. I’ll be fascinated to see the evidence supporting that claim. Please do share.

    2. No, storing e-mails in a personal server is high treason. Asking Russia for copies of the e-mails is high jinks.

  8. Why us it bad to collude with Russia?

    1. Its perfectly fine if you collude by laundering campaign money through a law firm to pay a British agent to pay Russian agents for sordid lies

  9. The political and bureaucratic motives mixed into this incident are reminiscent of the motives mixed into the decision to launch an investigation of Russia and the Trump campaign

    Yeah! Lets ignore the ridiculous volumes of evidence indicating something fishy in the relationship between Trump and Russia!

    the decision to rely on Christopher Steele’s research despite his partisan funding

    Gasp! Law enforcement using a source that may have another agenda!! What’s next?? Flipping informants?!?

    and the decision to interrogate national security adviser Michael Flynn in the slipperiest of fashions

    Poor Flynn, he only tried to mislead the FBI, VP, and American Public.

    My concern is that we’re not taking that risk seriously because so many former officials and commentators believe that President Trump deserves all this and more.

    Because he’s committed crimes that should result in Prison time, before, after, and probably during the Presidential campaign.

    This leads to a perseverating focus on leaks and scraps from the investigation and a determined lack of concern about the investigation’s sometimes tawdry origins.

    You mean the ridiculous volume of contacts between Trump campaign members and Russian intelligence?

    I think it’s way more likely than not that the Russians counted Trump as an asset, the question to me was whether he did it consciously or if he was more of a “useful idiot”. An investigation is essential to protect your country.

    1. You mean the ridiculous volume of contacts between Trump campaign members and Russian intelligence?

      Wow, I count Zero.

      1. Bragging about your inability to count is an odd tactic, but okay.

    2. You mean the ridiculous volume of contacts between Trump campaign members and Russian intelligence?

      Wow, I count Zero.

      1. If you count Flynn. He talked to the Ambassador. ALL National Intelligence would talk to foreign Ambassadors. The conversation contained nothing incriminating. Because the Obama Administration unmasked the conversation, even when nothing out of the ordinary would warrant unmasking, if they were following the law.
        ZERO

        1. Manafort?
          Kushner’s ‘back channel?’
          Caputo?
          Gates?
          Carter Page?
          Papadopoulos?
          Cohen?

          Oh, and Donald Trump Jr.

          1. Don’t be too hard on him. I don’t think counting is his strong suit.

          2. Sarcastro believed 9/11 was an inside job too. You’re a fucking idiot.

            1. No I don’t. Why are you lying about me, Jesse?

          3. It’s perfectly normal, expected even, for Presidential campaigns that have even the slightest chance of winning to start establishing foreign diplomatic contacts in advance of taking office. And even doing it through unofficial channels when the official channels are controlled by the opposing party.

            But a more detailed examination of that list reveals that we’re not talking about contacts with Russian intelligence, as such, but rather contacts with Ukrainians and Russians who might have relationships with Russian intelligence. But, again, ruling out contacting anybody who might have contact with, or be monitored by, Russian intelligence, would rule out contacting basically anybody in Eastern Europe. Which is absurd to demand.

            1. It’d be normal except that it was all unofficial, and denied, and great lengths were gone to to keep it quiet. And then there are all the people getting indicted for lying about it.

              Plus, does it strike you as funny that this super normal thing was only done with Russia?

          4. Back channel… yep that sound very spy-ie like. I thought Trump was already colluding with the evil Russians! for years. already had back channels, yet you believe Kushner was setting up a backchannel. You lack of sluethiness is showing
            Page? He actually worked with the CIA to catch a couple of Russian opperatives. Navy Intelligence Officer woking with the CIA, SHOCKED.
            All the rest? Buying Russian Salad dressing is not Russian Contact.
            You will notice none of the people you list have been tied to Russia by Mueller.

            1. You will notice none of the people you list have been tied to Russia by Mueller.
              Except for the ones who got indicted or plead guilty.

              Read up on Kushner’s clumsy attempt. Diplomacy this was not. Just like Page wasn’t acting in some counterintel capacity.

              All the rest? Buying Russian Salad dressing is not Russian Contact.
              I guess you got tired of making excuses and opted for flippancy.

              You are bad at this.

              1. None were indicted or convicted of anything related to their communications with the Russian government, except for Gen Flynn who plead guilty to lying about a conversation with the Russian Ambassador when he was the US NSA at the White House. And, yes, that was his job as the NSA, to talk to the Russian Ambassador. That is what National Security Advisors do. The crime wasn’t in talking to the ambassador, but that the call was illegally unmasked and used in the perjury trap. Looking back it was clearly a perjury trap set for the US NSA by the FBI. They weren’t interested in the contents of the call – because they already knew the contents from the unmasked intercept. They went over to the White House for one purpose, and one purpose alone – and that was to take down Flynn, who had crossed the FBI before, in their perjury trap. Which is, of course, why DD McCabe told him, in setting up the “informal” talk, that he didn’t need to get the attorneys involved, and why he told the FBI agents not to warn Flynn that lying to the FBI is a crime.

                1. Gen Flynn who plead guilty to lying about a conversation with the Russian Ambassador when he was the US NSA at the White House.

                  While the lying certainly occurred when he was the NSA, the conversation was before he was the NSA.

                  why he told the FBI agents not to warn Flynn that lying to the FBI is a crime.

                  Look, I know that Trumpkins have to repeat every moronically stupid pro-Trump talking point they hear on Fox or read on Twitter, but all it does is insult the rest of us who actually know what we’re talking about. This has nothing to do with a “perjury trap” — a phrase you’re misusing anyway. Setting aside that Flynn already knew that lying to the FBI was a crime, the FBI never warns the people they’re interviewing of that (except when trying to intimidate them).

  10. You forgot to add you requests:
    -To what extent did politics enter into Comey’s decision to hamstring Hillary Clinton’s campaign by publically rebuking her during the summer?
    -To what extent did politics enter into the FBI/Justice Dept’s decision to deliberately help the Trump campaign by hiding from the America people that Trump and/or his campaign were also being investigated?
    -Did politics enter into Comey’s decision re his October Surprise?

    Your omissions–from the list of things that you believe ought to be formally investigated–were inadvertent, I am sure.

    1. A rebuke is much lighter than a conviction.

      October surprise? Abedin withheld information that she forwarded emails to her husbands laptop in direct violation of her written and sworn testimony… yet no jail. Comey tried holding the information in secret but the New York office was about to leak it.

      1. Comey’s real sin is that he lacked the resolve to be honest or fully corrupt. An honest FBI director in that position would have conducted a real investigation, not a whitewash, and likely recommended that she be prosecuted. At least that SOMEBODY be prosecuted. A fully corrupt FBI director wouldn’t have felt the need to talk about the crimes Hillary had committed before absolving her of them.

        But he tried to have it both ways; Spare her any legal consequences, and salve his conscience by making it clear that she was guilty anyway. And so he made enemies of the entire political spectrum, instead of just half of it.

        1. Brett – your take on comey is near spot on

          On honest FBI director would have resigned in protest for failing to indict Hillary. and public announce the reasons for the resignation including the obstruction from the top. The same honest FBI director would have exposed the other corruption coming from the white house. An honest FBI director wuld have fired all the partisans in the FBI.

          Instead comey was compromised and only alluded to the reasons for the recomendation of an indictment and alluded to the reasons to not to indict

          1. See, this kind of twilight ‘I praise him and then I damn him’ self-contradiction is required to make the right’s Comey narrative work.

            Well that, or write lengthy fanfiction like Bruce over there.

    2. A rebuke is much lighter than a conviction.

      October surprise? Abedin withheld information that she forwarded emails to her husbands laptop in direct violation of her written and sworn testimony… yet no jail. Comey tried holding the information in secret but the New York office was about to leak it.

    3. You seem to be skipping a bunch of what was going on in June and early July of 2016.

      Stepping back a bit, after Clinton left office as Sec of State, a conservative public interest law firm sued under FOIA to see her emails from when she was in office. Imagine their surprise when the response, after a lot of litigation, was that there were no responsive documents. Not that they were classified or privileged, but that the State department had no state.gov emails whatsoever. None. Either, in 2012, she still wasn’t using email, or something else was going on. So they FOIAewd the email from her closest associates, and lo and behold, Clinton did use email while in office, just not a state.gov email account, which apparently had never really been set up. Whoops, federal law requires that official business be conducted using federal email accounts. So, already they had a prima facile case of law breaking on her part, even before seeing the email from her personal email server. But during that time she was one of five primary classifieds in the federal govt. she was responsible for every piece of classified information generated anywhere in the world by the State Dept, which includes everything from our embassies and consulates around the world. So, it was highly probable that she had sent, or, in particular, received classified information on her private server, which meant felony violations of the Espionage Act.

      1. Meanwhile the Republicans in Congress found out about this, and based on that prima facile vase, sent a criminal referral to the FBI, requesting that they investigate. At some point the State Dept requested the work related emails from Clinton. Her attorneys went through them and deleted half of them as not work related, returning the rest, which were checked for classified information, some of which was found (some very highly classified), essentially confirming Espionage Act violations on her part.

      2. That was essentially the situation coming into summer of 2016. A prima facile case violations of Official Records and Espionage Acts had been made by Congress and the FBI. Congress (I.e. the Republicans controlling both Houses) was asking for status on the investigation, and the FBI rank and file had become awRe of what was going on. They were starting to leak, and it was commonly expected that the leak that the FBI was sitting on a prima faie case of felony lawbreaking on the part of Clinton was ready to turn into a flood. And that is when Dir Comey stepped in to say that no federal prosecutor would prosecute the case. What he carefully avoided saying was that the reason that no federal prosecutor would prosecute the case because they had stand down orders from DAG Yates, AG Lynch, and ultimately President Obama. It is not clear why those orders were given, whether because Obama owed the Clintons, or he himself was implicated by sending and receiving email from her on her private server (thus himself violating the law), or maybe even just because she was the Democratic Presidential nominee.

        1. Bruce, if you think that helped Hillary you might want to look at the polling data.

          I also note that all the classified stuff (none of it was highly classified) was classified after the fact by the FBI, which Hillary had no control over. Which still points to her irresponsibility, but nowhere near how you paint it.

          1. It had nothing really to do with Clinton, and everything to do with protecting Obama, etc, except, of course, Clinton was expected to be Comey’s new boss in January.

            1. Well, that’s a whole new goal post. You make quite a weak case for that:

              What he carefully avoided saying was that the reason that no federal prosecutor would prosecute the case because they had stand down orders from DAG Yates, AG Lynch, and ultimately President Obama. It is not clear why those orders were given, whether because Obama owed the Clintons, or he himself was implicated by sending and receiving email from her on her private server (thus himself violating the law), or maybe even just because she was the Democratic Presidential nominee.

              That’s nothing but speculation, written in a potboiler style.

              1. Read Lisa Page’s leaked Congressional testimony.

                1. You mean the uncorroborated leaked testimony that was flatly contradicted by everyone else’s open testimony?

              2. Red herring alert.

                No. That isn’t the way it works. The FBI classified nothing here. All that they could do there is determine whether or not a document contained classified information at some point in time. Information is classified by the originating department or agency. Much of it is automatically classified ab initio. Much of the information that the FBI determined to have been classified, was classified by Clinton’s own State Department ultimately under her responsibility as the primary classifier for the State Dept. most likely it was classified under guidelines that she either promulgated, or accepted. She didn’t say that this document contained classified information, but rather that this type of information is classified at some level. The code word classified information though appears to have been owned by another primary classifier, in particular, drone targeting information owned by the DoD. That was apparently some of the code word classified information found on her server. All that the FBI did was to determine what emails contained classified information, but they had no control over whether it was classified or not.

                1. Sorry, you have it wrong.

                  First, there was no code word classified information found.

                  Second, as to quote the White House: The White House said after the release that the FBI had determined that previously unclassified material in the emails needed to be classified on later review; spokesman Josh Earnest said such a decision isn’t uncommon.

                  Your voluminous writing is full of details that upon any googling at all reveal them to come from either selective reading or historical fiction, or both.

              3. That’s nothing but speculation, written in a potboiler style.

                Complete with made up citations to nonexistent statutes!

                The “Official Records Act.” LOL.

                There is a Federal Records Act, but (a) it is not a criminal statute, and (b) does not say what Bruce claims.

          2. No. That isn’t the way it works. The FBI classified nothing here. All that they could do there is determine whether or not a document contained classified information at some point in time. Information is classified by the originating department or agency. Much of it is automatically classified ab initio. Much of the information that the FBI determined to have been classified, was classified by Clinton’s own State Department ultimately under her responsibility as the primary classifier for the State Dept. most likely it was classified under guidelines that she either promulgated, or acceded to. She didn’t say that this document contained classified information, but rather that this type of information is classified at some level. The code word classified information though appears to have been owned by another primary classifier, in particular, drone targeting information?pop,

      3. The blanks are starting to be filled in. In particular, specific questions were asked in closed session in the House of Lisa Page, former FBI atty for DD McCabe, and Pete Strzok lover, and the transcript (leaked last week) makes interesting reading. It apparently wasn’t the FBI that refused to prosecute Espionage Act violations under a gross negligence standard. It was the DoJ. Ditto for refusing to impute intent from the frequency of violations, the number of security briefings and classes, etc that she had had over the years. Theoretically, they could have found intent from her top assistants, who were implicated as having sent Clinton work related classified information – but they were inexplicably given immunity instead by the DoJ. The critical thing her though was that the Obama/Lynch/Yates DoJ refused to provide the FBI with any prosecutorial resources. That meant no grad jury, no search warrants, and, of course, no trial. She, a tepid Clinton supporter, who saw her as the lesser of two evils, was horrified. 99.9% of the time, when the FBI opens an investigation, the DoJ provides prosecutorial resources as a matter of course.

      4. So Dir Comey was caught between a rock and a hard place. They had evidence of wrongdoing that Congress had requested that they investigate, but the DoJ was doing its darndest to kill the investigation. He couldn’t sit on it any longer, because his rank and file were in almost open revolt. But telling the truth, that the DoJ was effectively preventing an investigation would embarrass his bosses (Yates, Lynch, and ultimately Obama). So he punted. Nothing that he said was probably actually false – but it was highly misleading, trying to protect his bosses. I suspected that was what was going on initially, with his lawyerly disclaimer of prosecution, but Page, McCabe’s former FBI attorney, confirmed it.

  11. 5 numbers that prove the Mueller probe is NOT a “big fat hoax.

    That is demonstrably false. And, I’ll prove it — in just five numbers: 192, 36, 7, 4 and 1.

    * 192 is the number of overall criminal counts brought by Mueller’s team to date

    * 36 is the number of people and entities charged in the Mueller probe

    * 7 is the number of people who have pleaded guilty in the investigation

    * 4 is the number of people who have been sentenced to jail for their wrongdoing unearthed by Mueller

    * 1 is the person (Paul Manafort) who was convicted of crimes sniffed out by Mueller’s team

    And reminder: The Mueller probe isn’t over yet. And no one — up to and including Trump — knows what Mueller knows and, more importantly, what he can prove.

    Sorry, Trumptards ….he WILL be imprisoned.

    1. The number from the above list that ties President Trump, his administration, or Transition, or Campaign to Russian interests…ZERO
      That’s right, ZERO is the exact number times Mueller has tied President Trump to any crime.

      1. Neither you nor I know what Mueller has done.

        My bet is on financial crimes that Trump folks will write off as super common among rich people, so no foul.

        1. So you’re okay with a fake premise to issue an open investigation targeting a person, not a crime, based on the government disliking them. You’re a statist dumbass.

          1. Trump was NOT targeted by the Mueller appointment … which makes JesseAZ the brainwashed dumbass, STILL!!

            Mueller Appointment.

            (a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed to serve as Special Counsel for the United States
            Department of Justice.

            (b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confined by then-FBI
            Director James 8. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on
            Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:

            (i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals
            associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and (((found over 100, Trump said zero)))

            (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and

            (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. ? 600.4(a).

            (c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is
            authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.

            1) Dated 5/17/16, SIX MONTHS BEFORE the CRAZY-ASS BULLSHIT that a FISA warrant launched the investigation

            2) Based on the EXISTING investigation that TRUMP says caused him to fire Comey.

            3) Obama was born in Hawaii.

            Anything else?

            1. Hihnfaggot, go commit suicide. No one wants your deranged fantasies.

            2. 1) Dated 5/17/16, SIX MONTHS BEFORE the CRAZY-ASS BULLSHIT that a FISA warrant launched the investigation

              Uh, it was dated 5/17/17, not 16.

          2. In the Times story, I didn’t see a fake premise at all.

        2. When your position has become infected with hihnsanity, you should reflect on your life choices.

          1. I’m not going to worry overmuch if his random manic contrarianism sometimes align with my more boring contrary point of view.

        3. Why would you think that? Other than not liking Trump. There is nothing that would cause a rational person to reach such a conclusion.

          That’s kind of the point of this corrupt govt interference in an election. Accusations lacking foundational facts.

          Exactly what you are practicing.

          Read Andy Mc Carthy. He spent 6 months defending the FBI and DOJ, until the facts caused him to lose faith in those institution he has always held in high esteem for his entire career.

          1. Why would I think Trump’s been involved in anything financially shady? I’ll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

            There are lots of facts;
            You accuse the ‘government’ of corruption because you don’t see the full facts in ongoing investigations…isn’t that an accusation lacking foundational facts?

            Speaking of unfounded…McCarthy was the guy who thought Obama didn’t write Dreams From My Father.
            And I also recall he defended Saudi Arabia’s killing of that journalist.
            So excuse me if that particular appeal to authority doesn’t seem quite as nonpartisan as you feel it does.

            1. Nice response, missing of course any evidence that would lead to an investigation.

              This whole thing lacks an actionable evidence.

              Try again to come up with ANYTHING

              1. I see you’ve moved on from all the Trump people already indicted or convicted.
                But of course we also know the dossier wasn’t the seminal piece of evidence. (though it’s been corroborated in a number of places, and not contradicted yet).

                Are you ignoring the actual Papadopoulos boasting to Australia that actually lead to the initial investigation?

      2. Bait a goober … CATCH a goober!

        And reminder: The Mueller probe isn’t over yet. And no one — up to and including Trump — knows what Mueller knows and, more importantly, what he can prove.

        That’s right, ZERO is the exact number times Mueller has tied President Trump to any crime.

        (sneer)

        1. Oh look, it’s the Hihnfection again. How many times will you get banned and scrubbed from this site? Go choke on on a bottle of Drano, you tired sack of shit.

    2. “He will be imprisoned” You got the criminal. all you need is the crime. Got anything in mind? Mueller hasn’t named one. The charging documents don’t list a crime. What crime?

      “Show me the man, I’ll find the crime” “Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria chief of the Soviet security and secret police, under Stalin.

      You have some impressive role models

      1. Bait a trumptard … CATCH a brainwashed goober (smirk)

        And reminder: The Mueller probe isn’t over yet. And no one — up to and including Trump — knows what Mueller knows and, more importantly, what he can prove.

        Pity their terrible choice for a hero.
        As they scurry around like cockroaches.

    3. 0 is the number of these events that involve Trump or his campaign.

      1. They ALL involve his campaign (snort)

    4. Majority of those counts against Russian nationals who will never appear. Guess every retard needs a shiny object and you found yours.

      1. Crazy Trumptard IGNORES Trump’s ENTIRE senior campaign staff
        * Manafort
        * Cohen
        * Miller
        * Gates
        *Popadopolous

        UPDATE (Pecker flip) That’s his name!

        The August 2015 meeting where Pecker CONSPIRED with the Trump campaign ….Trump was there …

        According to court filings, Trump was joined by Michael Cohen, who was his attorney at the time, and David Pecker, the chairman of American Media Inc., parent company of the National Enquirer.

        During the meeting, the group discussed a plan to shield Trump from potentially damaging stories….

        Trump’s attendance was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in a November article. The meeting returned to the spotlight Wednesday when federal prosecutors announced that they agreed not to prosecute AMI for campaign finance violations in exchange for its cooperation.

        The newspaper reported that Trump asked Pecker what he could do to help his presidential campaign.

        Wall ….. Street …. Journal

        Pecker agreed to cooperate for three years. Yet unknown is why Allen Weisberg flipped 6 months ago (The Trump accountant, since Donald’s dad)

        Next: Weisberg (smirk)

        1. Far more conclusive … Trump committed intentional fraud to disguise Cohen’s reimbursement.

          1) Stretched out payments over several months. No record of that amount.
          2) FRAUDULENTLY reported them as monthly retainers and/or illegal fees.
          3) THE SMOKING GUN. This required Trump to reimburse Cohen’s taxes on that income, because it was NOT income!

          Cohen could not have seen internal accounting – which SUGGESTS Mueller has enough to hang Trump.

          ONE person knows EVERY item of Trump’s income and expenses — for his entire career — Allen Weiselberg — the chief accountant since Trump’s father.

          Look for this. After Trump’s 12 bankruptcies and/or failures, NO U.S. bank would touch him. He got nearly a half-billion from Deutsche Bank, a CONVICTED money launder for …
          …Russia!

          Here’s what we know from public records. That amount can be traced to property purchases, over prox 2-1/2 years. HUH? How could Trump get mortgages, up to two years before buying the property … wait for it …

          THERE ARE NO MORTGAGES! That means he paid cash. That means Trump, then the absolute worst credit risk in America … got an UNSECURED LOAN … of nearly a half-billion dollars … some long before he needed it … FROM A RUSSIAN MONEY LAUNDERER. Not quite a smoking gun. THAT gun is in Weiselberg’s holster.

          Why else would he be cooperating?

          NEVER just follow Fox News Pravda.

          Anything else.

        2. Not a crime. Not connected with russia. NOT part of the Charging document.

          For a law blog, there is very little understanding of law here

    5. Go away Hiln, you contribute nothing.

    6. Yes, Mueller will be imprisoned, and spend the rest of his miserable life making big rocks into little rocks.

      Next to Obama, Hillary, Carter, etc.

      1. Look at Iran Contra. Look at Watergate.

        Anyone who thinks Trump, Hillary, or Obama will be in prison is dreaming.

  12. “to what extent was politics involved . . . ”

    Is “politics” here shorthand for “covering my own ass” ?

    Muller, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, et. al. are part of the same group that has been running the FBI/DOJ for decades, aligned with Hillary Clinton, vulnerable to charges of a number of high profile mistakes and instances of negligence over that time, deceiving the public, “soft” corruption at a minimum, and even real criminal liability. One lie begets another. The pattern of abuse is such that it’s mostly covering up for other abuses. That seems at least as likely as any mere personal/political animus, or ideological agenda.

    Anyway, the whole thing is unconstitutional and needs to be tossed out like rancid dishwater. The only way to restore the executive branch to its constitutional function is for the President to wield actual executive authority — almost like a dictator or CEO — over the entire executive branch. Of course, such a radical shift would force Congress to reclaim its responsibility. Which is the whole point.

    1. Muller, Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, et. al. are part of the same group that has been running the FBI/DOJ for decades, aligned with Hillary Clinton,

      You do realize that all 4 of those men were Republicans? And Trump even appointed one of them!

      The pattern of abuse is such that it’s mostly covering up for other abuses. That seems at least as likely as any mere personal/political animus, or ideological agenda.

      Or Trump is extremely corrupt and his campaign dirty as hell, so any decent person, regardless of political persuasion, becomes his opponent.

      The only way to restore the executive branch to its constitutional function is for the President to wield actual executive authority — almost like a dictator or CEO — over the entire executive branch. Of course, such a radical shift would force Congress to reclaim its responsibility. Which is the whole point.

      Impeachment? Well I’m in agreement on that part.

      1. I’m trying to imagine the level of derangement required to actually think “b-b-but they were Republicans!” is a good retort. Lmao!

        1. They don’t understand how the military-industrial complex operates and why the Bushes and Obamas get along so well but hate Trump.

          They clap like seals anytime someone attacks Trump, just mindless nincompoops getting their daily dose of dopamine.

          Don’t worry Aluchko, you’ll get your fix, they won’t stop attacking Trump until he starts bombing more brown people like Obama did

          1. Military Industrial Complex? I thought it was the globalist bankers!

  13. Nov. 3, 2016: FBI Attorney Lisa Page texts FBI’s Peter Strzok about her concerns that Clinton might lose and Trump would become president: “The New York Times probability numbers are dropping every day. I’m scared for our organization.”

    1. Neither of those two are exactly higher ups in the organization.

      And there has been no proof their private concerns made them act any less than professionally.

      1. You mean no evidence? Right, except for the fact that they surveilled the Trump campaign, political opponents of the Obama administration, kind of like Watergate. And did so by “colluding” with foreign DNC guns for hire and Russian sources.

      2. More proof than trump colluding with Russia. You’ve gotten even more ignorant over the years.

      3. It must be amazing to be this stupid. Really, what’s it like going through life thinking human beings who are that emotional can completely separate that from an investigation?

        I should come over here more. I thought there’d be smarter people but damn you’re dumb. TDS is strong everywhere

        1. Hey, GOOBERS! (snort)

          Don Jr. KNOWINGLY conspired with an agent of the Russian government, to help his father’s campaign (Trump Tower)… because Retard Jr. ADMITTED iit!!!

          Trump totally misled the American people on the purpose of the meeting and, when he got caught, claimed he had no advance knowledge of it.

          If he did, that makes him a co-conspirator in treasonous activity.

          “Conspiring” means PLANNING together. Junior released the emails PLANNING the meeting, KNOWING it was on behalf of the Russian government, to help elect his father,

          Wait for it ….

          Russian invitation to Donald Jr.
          The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

          This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump ? helped along by Aras and Emin.
          Source: Donald Trump Jr’s own Twitter feed!!!

          LOCK THEM UP!

          OR … Junior is undeniably guilty. Will his father allow his son to spend the rest of his life in prison. Is Trump THAT evil?

          LINKED PROOF vs IGNORANT BABBLING

          Anything else? (smirk)

          1. Hihnfaggot, no one reads your shitposts. We just tell you to fuck off.

            You’re being shown the door. Now GTFO cunt.

            1. You’re at least amusing. This guy is an argument in himself for Reason to add an ‘ignore user’ option.

      4. Strkzy was the 2cnd highest FBI agent in Counter Intelligence. He worked Directly with the Director of the FBI

        1. Do you think he probably directed the FBI to investigate Trump? Because otherwise you’re still looking at an underling.

          1. Your funny

            Popadopolous is PROOF that President Trump is a Russian Puppet. Because of all the power he wields around the Trump world

            on the other side of the ledger

            Strozk is nothing but an underling. Logic was never your long suit.

            1. It’s strong suit, but whatev.

              Popadapolous did crimes.
              Strozk said he didn’t like Trump.

              Popadapolous appeared to have steered a lot of the Trump campaign’s extraordinarily close relationship with Russia.
              Strozk made none of the policy decisions your side is yelling TREASON about.

              And then beyond Popadapolous you have Cohen, Manafort, Flynn, and actual Russian support of the Trump campaign.

              Your tu quoque attempt is serving only to show how weak your case is compared to what’s actually openly proven.

      5. “Neither of those two are exactly higher ups in the organization.”

        “Strzok rose to become the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division, the second-highest position in that division. He also led the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[4][7][8][9]”

        How high up do they have to be to be higher ups?

        1. High enough to initiate the investigation Baker is complaining about.

          Deputy division director ain’t nothing, but it’s also not high enough to be the cabal iowantoo is complaining about, but no one is complaining about the management of the investigation, just that it exists, and the permissions it obtained from DoJ.

      6. “And there has been no proof their private concerns made them act any less than professionally.”

        A little detachment from reality.

        1. Mere proof of dislike of Trump is not enough to prove bias in one’s job. Similarly, mere proof of dislike of Obama isn’t enough to prove same.

          1. As i said – detachment for reality both on the facts and behavior

            1. Repeating ‘U are wrong’ doesn’t make it any more convincing.

              1. Just noting that you confirmed the detachment for reality

  14. I don’t like Trump, but if this is allowed to go unchallenged then these sorts of shenanigans will inevitably be turned against someone I do like.

    1. The internal security agency secretly investigating a candidate for incorrect foreign policy views, what could go wrong?

  15. As a retired federal agent, I completely agree that any investigation that was improperly conducted should be reviewed – and action taken against anyone who broke laws and/or procedures.

    One reminder: The FBI and other US agencies are NOT what you see on TV and movies so you’d be wrong to think there were ‘rogue’ agents and/or some sort of inner cabal operating independently with no organizational and governmental oversight.

    1. I think the problem is more that we’re not dealing with rogue agents. If it were rogue agents the agency could be cleaned up by getting rid of a few people.

      The “inner cabal” IS the upper management of the FBI.

    2. I agree, except it wasnt rogue agents, it was the entire management team of the FBI, The director, and assistant director have been removed from their positions and those around them have resigned or retired to avoid being fired for cause.

      1. James Baker, counsel to the FBI is now under criminal investigation.

    3. Apedad – While I am not a fed agent or ex fed agent. The comments I have heard from agents in the Field offices are that the field offices are very professional and very non-partisan. Several said that they didnt know the political leanings of most of the agents in the field offices. That being said, they all admitted that the washington office did have indices of partisanship.

      any comments Apedad

  16. A party platform? The most insignificant thing in a campaign triggered this?

    Outside of a few activists, lobbyists and the Platform Committee, a platform is unread and unloved. Once passed, its promptly ignored.

    The FBI really is Famous But Incompetent

  17. Overall, the actions of certain members of the FBI are, at a minimum, a gross abuse of power. Given that these actions were undertaken for political purposes and designed to thwart Trump, they may also be considered treasonous – they are attempting to undermine a duly elected President, because he not their “chosen” one.

    The powerful elite think the little people only get to vote if the little people vote vote for the “selected candidate. If not, they will use the power of the government to overthrow the people’s choice.

    Ironically, the conduct of the FBI most closely resembles the Soviet’s methods. It should be noted that the Democrat party similarly weaponized the IRS and the EPA.

    1. Treason…elites…Soviets…Democrat…

      I was one Deep State from BINGO!
      —————
      The motives you imply are pretty speculative. And as we know animus isn’t a good reason to invalidate governmental action.

      If you think it’s treason to investigate the President, then the President becomes above the law, which doesn’t seem right, does it?

      1. I would ask – who do you want above the law – unelected government bureaucrats, or the Constitutionally elected President?

        I think that an argument can be made that, with all prosecutorial discretion being delegated from the President’s Article II Executive Power, that if anyone should be above the law, it should be he. But so far, we have seen no hard evidence of him lawbreaking before becoming President, or more importantly here, after he took office. And, yet, we see a number of unelected bureaucrats who have almost assuredly committed crimes not being seriously investigated.

        For example, a half dozen or so top people at the DoJ and FBI (typically the agency’s #2 – DAG in the DoJ and DDir in the FBI) swore under penalty of perjury that the facts in the four Carter Page FISA warrant applications were true and complete. Yet, they left out that much of the factual basis came from the Steele Dossier, paid for by Trump’s opponent and the DNC (that she effectively controlled through its finances), that little from it had been confirmed, some discredited, that the FBI had fired Steele as a contractor for going to the press, that some of those press accounts were used to corroborate the Dossier, the FBI didn’t find the Dossier or Steele credible, and that Carter Page had been a cooperating witness to the FBI, and offered several times to me3t with them, and was blown off.

        1. Do you think that’s the choice here? Either a lawless investigation or a lawless President? Because that’s quite the excluded middle there.

          The rest is authoritarianism and Trump apologia.

          Your third paragraph pathologizes what was normal procedure. There was nothing held back that isn’t usually done so in warrant applications. Indeed, the application noted that the source was partisan, which is more than they needed to do.

          Nothing in the Dossier has been discredited, and a lot of it has been confirmed (Cohen being in Prague is the latest I remember).

          I don’t know where your sources are, but they’re using old Trumpiean excuses that are outmoded and disproved at this point.

          1. The latest media report of Cohen being in Prague, is exactly like the previous 3 media reports, and are still unaccompanied by proof. Also being in Prague is still not a crime.
            Zero parts of the Dossier have been verified.2 years of the finest investigatory agency in the world has verifed Zero claims in the Dossier.

            1. Come on, man.

              Cohen denied being in Prague, contradicting the dossier. Cell phone records reveal this was a lie, corroborating the dossier.

              1. No; one newspaper outlet – McClatchy — claims that cell phone records reveal that, but so far that remains completely uncorroborated by any other media outlet or government agency. I want it to be true, but it seems unlikely.

                First, as I said, nobody else has been able to get the story. Second, McClatchy’s reporters admit that they are relying on secondhand information; they haven’t seen anything to verify it. Third, Mueller. He has not charged Cohen with lying to Congress about Prague (even though he has charged him with lying about other stuff in that testimony), and he hasn’t done anything about Cohen continuing to deny the Prague story publicly. (If he wants Cohen to be a witness against Trump in the future, he doesn’t want Cohen going around lying in public about stuff relevant to the Trump investigation.)

                1. Fair enough about McClatchy being uncorroborated.

                  Mueller not charging someone doesn’t seem probative of what he knows. I don’t know what his plan is, but he’s left people lying in the wind for a while before as he continued to investigate.

                  In sum, reasonable suspicion, but not probable cause.

        2. swore under penalty of perjury that the facts in the four Carter Page FISA warrant applications were true and complete.

          Wrong. The affidavit is that it’s “true and correct,” not “true and complete.” Warrant applications do not need to be, and never are, “complete.”

          1. Doesn’t though “true and correct” require the inclusion of ALL material information known to that applicant at that time? The FISA applications were missing at least the following about the use of the Steele dossier:
            – funding by the Clinton campaign and the DNC (controlled by Clinton through funding)
            – Steele has extremely strong biases against Trump
            – Steele had gone to the press with his Dossier, and the press accounts for the contents were apparently used for corroboration
            – none of the important claims in the Dossier had been corroborated, except via the press, despite extensive attempts
            – Carter Page had been a cooperating witness for the FBI into at least March of 2016, and had repeatedly offered to meet with the FBI well after that

            All of that information was known by the FBI before the first FISA application was signed. And the biases and other issues with Steele were personally known by DDir McCabe before signing the first application, according to Congressional testimony by ADAG Bruce Ohr, who knew Steele, Simpson, and Simpson’s wife personally, and whose wife had worked as Fusion with Steele as their Russian expert. Ohr testified that he had warned DDir McCabe personally starting well before the latter signed the FISA application for the FBI. Some of that was also likely known by his direct supervisor, DAG Sally Yates, who signed for the DoJ. And much of that information would probaly have been considered material to the FISC judge.

            1. No. It does not require all material information. A warrant is an investigatory tool; all one needs to do is demonstrate the existence of probable cause, not eliminate the possibility of innocence. So one must include information that would negate the existence of probable cause. Bias on the part of a witness is not material, and indeed is generally assumed by a judge assessing a warrant application.

  18. Every politician should be throughly investigated.

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