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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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26 May 2019 21:27
 

BTW, Gaetz is as poor a source as you can possibly get, and Hannity isn’t interested in anything with a credible source - much too boring.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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27 May 2019 06:39
 

IMHO the only way to repudiate this witch hunt is to repudiate the fruit of the poisonous tree…

Yes Manafort was guilty of crimes, but no as a republic we should not countenance this sort of “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime” approach to investigating Trump’s campaign—especially when there was so much high-level corruption by the investigators themselves—and the DOJ/FBI were made vassals of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.  Comey, Brennan, and Clapper were the merest errand boys for the deep state-DNC consensus that Trump posed a threat to exposing their rot.

All the sentences that are the result of this witch hunt should be vacated, while criminal charges for lying to a FISA judge should be brought against the four signatories, and likely criminal leak of classified information charges brought against Comey and others.

These people who orchestrated this near-coup should face prison time, insofar obviously as the law was broken, or else we really will become a police-state nation.

This is a hinge of history moment, and the United States is either going to choose to become the sort of nation that permits Steele-predicated-level spying on its (out-of-power) political opponents or it is not.

We do not need to become like Turkey, Cuba, Venezuela, or Russia here…  Nor should we (any longer) tolerate high-level spying on journalists that was so common in the last administration.

[ Edited: 27 May 2019 06:43 by John V. Linton]
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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27 May 2019 06:47
 

And what about the indictments against the Russian Hackers and Trolls?

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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27 May 2019 06:50
 

My understanding is that’s a problem of international law and jurisdiction to ever bring them to justice.  If we can get the culprits, then we should of course.

That said, strictly speaking, I’m pretty sure the DNC has never allowed the FBI to actually investigate its server and confirm that it was the Russians and not some other third party that hacked them.

While this may sound conspiratorial, given: a) the DNC’s weird reticence here; b) the DNC’s horrible recent record of corruption (fixing a primary, then attempting to fix a general election via aiding Steele/spying), it’s sadly quite plausible that there’s at least a 50/50 probability they are lying yet again…

Finally, there’s the kind of incestuous-codependent-parent aspect of the DNC bellyaching so much about their server being hacked after having been given a firm warning from the FBI that it was susceptible to hacking, and their not taking back then the prophylactic measures necessary that any commonsense political entity might have taken.

It’s as if the left has become so addicted to arguing victimhood in all things that even quotidian cybersecurity measures they were forewarned about are somehow too difficult for them to manage, so instead we get this absurd post facto hysteria about Russia when in fact any savvy cyber criminal on earth might have walked right into their server and stolen the information and published it to the precise same effect.  (Talk about leaving your keys on the hood.)

People who succeed so thoroughly in infantilizing themselves should not be given too much power, particularly when they then strike back at their enemies by employing the weapons of state intel to compensate…

What should we, go to nuclear war with Russia because the DNC couldn’t handle $50,000 for cybersecurity?

[ Edited: 27 May 2019 07:13 by John V. Linton]
 
Twissel
 
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27 May 2019 07:25
 

Well, should we at least make the effort to harden our election systems against current and future intrusions?

Because Trump is dead-set against making US elections more secure.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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27 May 2019 07:33
 

I agree it’s wise to harden our elections and to become more cyber savvy overall, and I was being a bit too vicious earlier as many of us are learning to play catch-up with the threats posed by cyber hacking.  People often have to see the worst-case of being hacked to learn how bad something can be, which is certainly the case for today’s DNC…

IMHO Trump can be his own worst enemy, but I’d take with a grain of salt Trump’s diminutive statements about the magnitude of the Russian hacking threat.

I say this because Trump has just endured a nearly 3 year onslaught of insinuation that he conspired with Putin to steal the election, in which the MSM gave him not only no benefit of the doubt but actively promulgated deep-state propaganda against him—paid for by his opponent, who was out to fix the election herself.

In such a context, I think it is superogatory to expect Trump not to push back hard against all things Russia, given both the size of the media onslaught, and the very obvious truth that had Hillary won, even if the same fact-pattern of Russian meddling emerged, it would have been the merest sidebar to the major news of the day, as the “right person” would have won.

It is only because Trump won that Russiagate ever assumed such monstrous proportions, when in fact $10,000 in FB ads and hacking (if the Russians even did it) are fairly small bean in historical Cold War terms…  Listen to anyone who is conversant with U.S.-Russia intrigue the past 70 years, say Chomsky, and one grows up quickly about what a yawn all of this was…

One must also bear in mind that the analogy of a crime committed by one U.S. citizen against another—say hacking a private citizen’s email account and publishing the results online—is not remotely commensurate with the routine intrigue/spy-craft between nation-states, particularly nuclear-armed nation-states, and today’s dumb pundits need to stop analogizing the two.

There has been a serious escalation of tensions with Russia that has now become itself quite dangerous due to an incommensurate emotional response to all this, as if somehow some FB ads and a hack determined the election, which is unfalsifiable.  60 diplomats have been expelled, Trump has indeed been tougher arming some anti-Putin factions and bombing in Syria (even Russia troops) than his predecessor.  Trump’s building more domestic oil reserve is not in Putin’s interests, but contrary.

We should lay off Russia and let things simmer down again, lest a real crisis occurs…

[ Edited: 27 May 2019 07:37 by John V. Linton]
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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27 May 2019 08:15
 

Well, you set yourself a two month’s limit to see the Mueller report’s origins discredited.

I am certain that won’t happen, mostly because in Counter-Intelligence, there is no such thing as a “fruit of the poisonous tree”.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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27 May 2019 11:45
 

Here is a great rebuttal of Benjamin Wittes’s reasoning, also from lawfare…

https://www.lawfareblog.com/mueller-reports-weak-statutory-interpretation-analysis-part-ii

Also, regards, “Counter-Intelligence, there is no such thing as a “fruit of the poisonous tree”.”, I am no legal expert, but we had better hope the United States remains superintended by democratic elections and not by low-evidenciary-bar counter-intelligence investigations.

You continue to act like the counter-intelligence investigation necessarily has more legitimacy than our elections, but it may well be that the officials who launched it were themselves highly corrupt—and if that proves to be the case—the political will for reforming the abuse of counter-intelligence investigations (and FISA) will be huge—and the deep-state people who lied to launch them will have no standing before the public, nor any fair application of the relevant law.

The people in this democracy superintend the intelligence agencies, not Sir the other way around.  John Brennan and James Comey and James Clapper do not run this democracy; the American people do.  And it’s high time those Augean stables were cleaned out.

[ Edited: 27 May 2019 11:47 by John V. Linton]
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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27 May 2019 12:37
 

The goal of Counterintelligence is not a criminal conviction, so airtight evidence isn’t the priority, national security is. So no, there is no presumption of innocence in CI.
We haven’t even seen the Counterintelligence part of the investigation yet.

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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27 May 2019 13:29
 

And what I’m saying is it is crooked and absurd that a corrupt official like Andy McCabe could initiate a counter-intelligence probe into Trump the day after Trump fired Comey, merely because the deep state didn’t like one of their own being fired.

The sheer fact McCabe, removed for cause, was able to open one of the counter-intelligence probes into Trump on such a thin predicate is why the American people are concerned with the entire question of whether such a practice was used not for counter-intelligence purposes, but rather for political purposes.

The evidenciary standard for conviction is irrelevant here; the clear capacity for abuse and payback (retribution for firing Comey) is.

This fact alone means voters want the practice reviewed for abuses.  It’s highly unlikely the other counter-intelligence probe had any more grounds for being opened than stopping Trump either.

 
Twissel
 
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27 May 2019 23:58
 

John, is Devine Nunes one of the ‘corrupt officals’ ?

 
 
John V. Linton
 
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28 May 2019 03:34
 
Twissel - 27 May 2019 11:58 PM

John, is Devine Nunes one of the ‘corrupt officals’ ?

No, Nunes is one who has been fighting to get the truth out.  (As opposed to Schiff, who fought to keep the Steele’s true partisan payers hidden.)

Nor am I saying all counter-intelligence probes are bogus, just that the most recent ones applied to the Trump campaign appear to be motivated by the same vitriol as the lying to the FISA court was.  A thorough house-cleaning needs to occur.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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28 May 2019 03:44
 

Well, Nunes’ investigation puts Papadopoulos, not Steele, as the origin of the Mueller probe:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/02/full-text-nunes-memo-fbi-transcript-385057

from his famous memo:

The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening
of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.

So the truth is that Papadopoulos, not Steele was the initial trigger, as stated by Nunes who you trust.

The intel that Papadopoulos was bragging about Trump-Russia contacts was delivered to the FBI from a member of the Five-Eyes Intelligence Alliance, Australia.
If only for the sake of maintaining the alliance, the FBI had no choice but to investigate; otherwise, how could they continue to share their top-secret intel with a country that won’t even check whether their potentially new president is beholden to an adversary?

If anyone in the FBI had leaked this to the press, Trump would never have been elected - he should be grateful that the agency was so non-partisan in this case (HRC wasn’t treated with so much consideration).

 

[ Edited: 28 May 2019 03:47 by Twissel]
 
 
EN
 
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EN
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28 May 2019 14:26
 
Twissel - 28 May 2019 03:44 AM

Well, Nunes’ investigation puts Papadopoulos, not Steele, as the origin of the Mueller probe:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/02/full-text-nunes-memo-fbi-transcript-385057

from his famous memo:

The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening
of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.

So the truth is that Papadopoulos, not Steele was the initial trigger, as stated by Nunes who you trust.

The intel that Papadopoulos was bragging about Trump-Russia contacts was delivered to the FBI from a member of the Five-Eyes Intelligence Alliance, Australia.
If only for the sake of maintaining the alliance, the FBI had no choice but to investigate; otherwise, how could they continue to share their top-secret intel with a country that won’t even check whether their potentially new president is beholden to an adversary?

If anyone in the FBI had leaked this to the press, Trump would never have been elected - he should be grateful that the agency was so non-partisan in this case (HRC wasn’t treated with so much consideration).

Good point. Screaming about the Steele Dossier is a red herring.  The fact is, as Mueller showed in both his report and in the convictions he obtained, Russia tried to influence our election and Trump did what he could to stop any investigation stemming from that fact.

 
John V. Linton
 
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John V. Linton
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28 May 2019 17:03
 
EN - 28 May 2019 02:26 PM
Twissel - 28 May 2019 03:44 AM

Well, Nunes’ investigation puts Papadopoulos, not Steele, as the origin of the Mueller probe:

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/02/full-text-nunes-memo-fbi-transcript-385057

from his famous memo:

The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening
of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.

So the truth is that Papadopoulos, not Steele was the initial trigger, as stated by Nunes who you trust.

The intel that Papadopoulos was bragging about Trump-Russia contacts was delivered to the FBI from a member of the Five-Eyes Intelligence Alliance, Australia.
If only for the sake of maintaining the alliance, the FBI had no choice but to investigate; otherwise, how could they continue to share their top-secret intel with a country that won’t even check whether their potentially new president is beholden to an adversary?

If anyone in the FBI had leaked this to the press, Trump would never have been elected - he should be grateful that the agency was so non-partisan in this case (HRC wasn’t treated with so much consideration).

Good point. Screaming about the Steele Dossier is a red herring.  The fact is, as Mueller showed in both his report and in the convictions he obtained, Russia tried to influence our election and Trump did what he could to stop any investigation stemming from that fact.

It’s not at all clear Papadopoulos wasn’t originally set up by Mifsud:

https://thefederalist.com/2019/04/01/papadopoulos-hints-conversation-launched-trump-russia-probe-fbi-setup/

Every time an independent line of first contact or evidence is suggested, intel people are nearby.  The whole thing was likely a setup.  Enormous resources were deployed to ensnare Trump campaign personnel with entrapment-like overtures.

Per your latter points, Trump had every right to stop an illicit probe like Mueller’s, predicated in large part on planted rumors leaked from Steele.  (It begs the question about Mueller’s legitimacy to say that Trump would have no Article II powers to superintend a possibly crooked DOJ/FBI/special prosecutor.)

The four FISA warrants to spy on Carter Page were all based on Steele and illegally obtained.  Comey, Rosenstein, Yates lied to the FISA courts.  That is relevant for assessing just how deep the corruption of our intel community goes.  Steele is not a red herring, but threads much of the news hysteria around Trump and Russia.  It likely amplified the case for the hiring of Mueller.

Mueller’s Report is highly biased because as someone has pointed out, “the Steele Dossier is the black hole at its center”.  Mueller never concerns himself with any investigation of Steele—despite being tasked with discovering Russian interference in the 2016 election.  Instead he merely speaks of the “unverified” Steele dossier.  He studiously avoids the profound partisan conflict of interest questions from Steele having been paid for by DNC/HRC and used to spy on the DNC/HRC’s opponent.

You keep your eyes on only a small subset of the facts, pretending that you are covering the real story.

There is immensely more evidence in public view of corruption of high intel than of anything remotely implicating Trump being in cahoots with Putin.

His so-called obstructive acts all have to do with stopping an illicit investigation that Trump knew a priori had no justification (in relation to his own lack of guilt).

[ Edited: 28 May 2019 17:08 by John V. Linton]
 
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