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#157- What does the Mueller Report Really Say?  A Conversation with Benjamin Wittes

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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21 May 2019 06:43
 

No, I am not.
I am talking about an investigation started into a Nominee that continued due to overwhelming evidence.
And it was Trump’s own Deputy AG who started the investigation into Trump. Are you saying that Rosenstein wanted to upend the GOP win in 2016?


Unless you have proof that without the Steele Dossier their had been no FISA warrants, you have no argument. And don’t bother, it is just not true that Steels’s raw data was essential to convince the judges.


Your Feinstein-bit is clear Whataboutism. I have no problem in the FBI investigating anyone for ties to foreign governments. And Trump DID get briefed - A LOT! He just didn’t believe any of it.
Look, there are now four investigations into the start of the probe, none of which have found anything disqualifying.

Cohen, Manafort and others have committed many crimes even without any Trump involvement. So yes, they aren’t treated the same.
And it is pretty absurd to say that ordering your staff to fire Mueller and then order them to change the White House logs to say you didn’t order that isn’t Obstruction.

Bottom line John: if you think that Mueller didn’t treat Trump fairly, then there is no hope for dialogue here: there is no person in the entire US with more expertise and credibility who is not a Democrat.
Do you really think you understand the situation better than Mueller?

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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21 May 2019 06:57
 

There was not overwhelming evidence; it is entirely normal for incoming campaigns to have international contacts about policy; it is also entirely normal for international businessmen to have business overseas.  What “overwhelming evidence”?  There’s evidence that Russia bought some FB ads (nothing to do with Trump).  Trump said (in public during the campaign) ~“Publish her emails if you have them”—meaning that was baked into the vote.

You assert this flatly: “it is just not true that Steels’s raw data was essential to convince the judges”.  What then is this other evidence?  (The nice thing is, word is, we should have this information in the next week or so…)  Is it remotely plausible that if there was something more than Steele justifying the FISA warrants, it wouldn’t have been leaked by now?

Trump got briefed—as the FISA judges did—with expert omissions.  Comey deliberately declined to tell either that HRC and the DNC had paid for Steele!  That’s an absurd omission, and clearly the briefing to Trump was intended as a news/leak hook.

Mueller is one line lawyer at the DOJ.  Consider this: Mueller never ran for office, yet held this nation enthrall for 22 months, largely pursuing a pet theory of obstruction that was so weak that he could not even himself bring himself to abrogate the rules of logic and recommend an indictment.  (This is Mueller of the midnight raids and locking Manafort in solitary.  Would it really follow Mueller wouldn’t have crowed and recommended indictment—even in the face of the longstanding OLC guidance?)  Mueller mentions the OLC guidance in his report but does NOT say this was the reason he chose not to indict.  Barr has repeatedly said Mueller has assured him that “Not but for the OLC…” was not a final factor in his decision not to indict—it is one hell of a conspiracy theory to hold that Mueller would remain silent while Barr misrepresented his core findings.

Mueller’s letter was a crybaby antic that did not dispute Barr’s bottom-line—which was also Mueller’s bottom-line: Nothing to indict for.  What Mueller wanted was more emphasis on “context” and tone of voice and press management, etc.—concerns wholly not the purview of a prosecutor.  Mueller himself is highly corrupt.  No one else would have put the country through an extra year of this legal cloud hanging over a presidency just to play with his toy theory of obstruction—knowing early on there was no collusion—he pursued a theory of obstruction that is far outside the mainstream.

Finally, asking a lawyer to alter logs is not a crime.  It may be unethical, but it is not a crime.

[ Edited: 21 May 2019 07:01 by John V. Linton]
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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21 May 2019 07:21
 

Another fascinating bit of theater:  Mueller is likely now scared to testify before Congress.

The reasons are manifold, including his exposures on cross examination to deeper questions about Steele and why he wasn’t concerned that this might all have been a partisan hit-job.  (Also, by Mueller’s own thinking about obstruction, Obama also would have been guilty for commenting on Hillary’s email investigation…)

Also the Democrats are publicly putting on a brave face but privately the smart ones are starting to wake up that Mueller is not going to give them the golden goose, i.e. “Trump should have been indicted”.  He will rather very visibly confirm the insufficiency of the obstruction theory as not warranting indictment.  It will prove highly embarrassing to both sides—and likely disclosures would come out that might even implicate Mueller himself of malfeasance.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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21 May 2019 07:29
 

John, do you by any chance follow Q ?

Because you are making a lot of assumptions.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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21 May 2019 07:35
 
Twissel - 21 May 2019 07:29 AM

John, do you by any chance follow Q ?

Because you are making a lot of assumptions.

No, just Occam’s razor.  There is far more suspect behavior from Comey and Brennan say, who are now publicly turning on each other, and accusing the other of lying about Steele than there’s ever been any serious evidence that Trump was Putin’s pet.  Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald, Stephen F. Cohen, Alan Dershowitz and many of the left’s deepest best voices think it was always malarkey.

Whereas there is a ton of evidence in plain view that the FISA judges were misled, that Trump was deliberately misled, that the troika of Comey/Brennan/Clapper repeatedly leaked high-level intel to the media to frame Trump, that they then cited news reports about their own leaks as evidence internally in a loop feedback mechanism, that the spies were bankrolled to entrap Trump campaign officials using sex and money, weaponizing the most powerful intelligence agency in the world against a domestic political opponent.

What you are about to see in the next two months come out in terms of the true facts about corruption will vastly dwarf the absurd vignette that Trump was Putin’s puppet.

Trump has, in realpolitik terms, indeed been far harder on Russia than Obama, by the way.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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21 May 2019 07:44
 

sorry, but the amount of projections you make on the motivations of everyone is far beyond what even a cursory application of Occam’s razor would leave standing.
And your predictions of “what’s to come out” is pure out of the Q book.

Question: can you make your argument without the Steele Dosier? Because you are completely misrepresenting it.


 
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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21 May 2019 07:48
 

Let’s for a second assume that nothing Trump has done so far is an Impeachable Offense:

how is his complete refusal to cooperate with the House investigations and his refusal to let people testify not grounds for Impeachment?
It was for Nixon.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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21 May 2019 07:48
 

Rather a clever diversion, “can you make your argument without the Steele Dossier”, as that threads so very many hands and is at the core of so much that is wrong here.

What facts am I making up?  Did any of the four FISA application signatories tell the FISA judge that Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid for the Steele Dossier?

Why isn’t that a titanic omission in your view?

(The page 15 footnote is deliberately designed to cover them without disclosing this crucial provenance of Steele.)

Why isn’t “TRUMP’S POLITICAL OPPONENT PAID FOR THE BASIS FOR THIS SPYING WARRANT” on page 1?

[ Edited: 21 May 2019 07:50 by John V. Linton]
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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21 May 2019 07:52
 

Oh, I’m sorry - I didn’t know you were present at the FISA hearing.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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21 May 2019 07:52
 
Twissel - 21 May 2019 07:48 AM

Let’s for a second assume that nothing Trump has done so far is an Impeachable Offense:

how is his complete refusal to cooperate with the House investigations and his refusal to let people testify not grounds for Impeachment?
It was for Nixon.

Nice redirect, but I had you on the FISA warrant application being entirely fraudulent.

How many times is Trump expected to subject the Executive to this witch hunt, having provided Mueller with all his answers?

 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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21 May 2019 07:53
 
Twissel - 21 May 2019 07:52 AM

Oh, I’m sorry - I didn’t know you were present at the FISA hearing.

Ah, I see, so that nuclear-level explosive disclosure wasn’t made in the fine print but no doubt during the hearing they remembered to bring it up…

My god, you do need to sharpen your Occam’s razor, Sir.

Btw—they also lied on other counts, telling the Court they had no adverse information on Christopher Steele, which is not the case.  (They had plentiful notice that Steele had an ill motive against Trump.)

[ Edited: 21 May 2019 07:57 by John V. Linton]
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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21 May 2019 08:06
 
John V. Linton - 21 May 2019 07:53 AM
Twissel - 21 May 2019 07:52 AM

Oh, I’m sorry - I didn’t know you were present at the FISA hearing.

Ah, I see, so that nuclear-level explosive disclosure wasn’t made in the fine print but no doubt during the hearing they remembered to bring it up…

My god, you do need to sharpen your Occam’s razor, Sir.

Btw—they also lied on other counts, telling the Court they had no adverse information on Christopher Steele, which is not the case.  (They had plentiful notice that Steele had an ill motive against Trump.)

John, I am going to quit here. You clearly don’t understand what Occam’s Razor means in situations like this.
You also make a mountain of assumptions, yet reject the notions that others might know more than you.

Luckily, we have the Mueller Report and not just vague ideas about “what is really going on”.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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21 May 2019 08:21
 

Well, thanks for debating me, Sir.

I suspect a lot of this will come into more crystalline relief in the next month or two.

Say by July 4th some people might meet back here and see how this all weathered.

All my best…

 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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21 May 2019 09:45
 

To anyone else on this list—lawyers, Sam Harris, whomever—a simple legal challenge:

Say you are a novelist and can create ANY conceivable reason why HRC/DNC paying for Steele should not have been explicitly included in the FISA application.

In other words, I am holding by Occam’s razor that the overwhelming case (99.999%) is ONLY that a corrupt intent to deceive could explain this omission.

So what I’m asking is can anyone in Sam Harris’s entire forum, or in these United States, or around the world, come up with an alternative explanation that is more plausible than my own?

For example:

-we forgot to include it
-we ran out of ink
-we would bring it up if the judge asked (which still conduces to my explanation)

What legal principle—what rational principle—what conceivable, imaginable justification could there be for this other than high-level corruption?

[ Edited: 21 May 2019 09:49 by John V. Linton]
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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22 May 2019 11:30
 

The “The investigation was illegal” narrative is starting to gain traction outside of the rightstream media, as this article in The Hill by Kevin Brock attests: Attorney General Barr puts former intel bosses on notice:

Momentum is building toward uncovering the distasteful possibility that the targeting of a U.S. presidential campaign was actually a political operation, fostered at the highest levels of government, masquerading as an FBI counterintelligence investigation.

. . .

Why would the attorney general add a third investigation [by US Attorney John Durham] to those under way by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and U.S. Attorney John Huber? Because those investigations are focused on the FBI. Durham’s assignment is not similarly constrained; his marching orders appear broader.

. . .

Christopher Steele’s dossier is clearly a Russian intelligence operation (“active measure” in IC-speak [Intelligence Community]) that took advantage of a cooperative outreach by the Hillary Clinton campaign. 

If these IC leaders didn’t recognize it as such, then it truly was amateur hour at the top. The more troubling scenario would be if each made a conscious decision to ignore the obvious Russian interference attempt and, instead, wring political value out of the dossier.

. . .

Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is a founder and principal of NewStreet Global Solutions, LLC.

If true, and if the Steele dossier was the impetus for the investigation into Trump’s campaign, then it seems to me that the investigation was merely a political operation. If Brock is right, then does this change the context in which Trump’s alleged obstruction of justice should be viewed? Couldn’t it be better described in this context as “obstruction of injustice?”

If the Steele dossier was not the impetus for the investigation, how much of a difference does it make? Doesn’t the fact that the dossier was included at all (again, assuming Brock is right about it) call into question the motives and credibility of the intelligence community? Should this be taken into account before claiming Trump obstructed justice?

Which possibility is true? That Trump obstructed justice or that his campaign was targeted as part of a political operation involving the intelligence community? There’s no way for us to know at this point. I’m guessing the truth is probably somewhere in the gray area between the two extremes: the investigation was partly justified, but partly a political operation that cut some corners; and that Trump’s obstruction will turn out to be more a matter of opinion than fact.

 
 
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