March 5, 2017

"FISA Is Not Law-Enforcement – It’s Not Interference with Justice Department Independence for White House to Ask for FISA Information."

The invaluable legal analysis of Andrew M. McCarthy, checking the work of the NYT.
According to [the NYT report "Trump, Offering No Evidence, Says Obama Tapped His Phones"], a Trump official said that White House counsel Donald F. McGahn II is “working to secure access” to what is believed to be “an order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing some form of surveillance related to Mr. Trump and his associates.” Presumably, this means the Trump White House is seeking to review the Justice Department’s applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance of Trump associates, and perhaps Trump himself, from June and October 2016, including any orders issued by the FISA court – as my post explains, it has been reported that the Obama Justice Department’s June application was denied, but its October application (which apparently did not name Trump) was granted.   
The NYT report makes assertions about the law — "Any request for information from a top White House official about a continuing investigation would be a stunning departure from protocols intended to insulate the F.B.I. from political pressure" — that McCarthy debunks. McCarthy is adamant:
[A] FISA investigation is not a “law-enforcement matter” or “case.” A law-enforcement matter is a criminal prosecution. That is the mission in which there should never be any political interference because it involves the strictly legal matter of whether there is evidence that penal statutes have been violated. In such a situation, White House intrusion would be political interference in a proceeding that is essentially judicial in nature, involving the potential removal of liberty from a citizen.
McCarthy has great expertise in this area and the NYT should be powerfully embarrassed to botch things this badly — whether the mistakes are from ignorance or from a deliberate attempt to deceive. I'm not an expert in this area, so maybe McCarthy is wrong and the NYT is right. The NYT had better scramble to explain itself if it's right or come clean if it's wrong.

Meanwhile, this gets my "fake news" tag.

206 comments:

1 – 200 of 206   Newer›   Newest»
mockturtle said...

"Any request for information from a top White House official about a continuing investigation would be a stunning departure from protocols intended to insulate the F.B.I. from political pressure"

LOL!!!

Michael K said...

Lewandowski is now saying that Sessions office was bugged.

That was unlikely to be FISA.

Judge Jeanine: Whoa, you’re saying they were listening to conversations between then Senator Sessions and the Russian Ambassador Kislyak or are you talking about Mike Flynn and Kislyak?

Lewandowski: No, I’m talking about Jeff Sessions.


Maybe we will have a real old fashioned scandal. That might keep Democrats busy being deposed while Trump gets on with his agenda.

mockturtle said...

Heaven knows there has never been political pressure put on the FBI by a POTUS. Even back in the Kennedy administration, JFK's brother, the AG, pressured the FBI to go after the Kennedys' mob rivals. Which they did.

Seeing Red said...

Oh, boy. Well the Left wanted Nixon and the 70s back, they got It.


Should have stuck with or disabling removing the DJT keys from the keyboards.

Everything Barry touches turns to dust or ruin.

David Begley said...

Andy McCarthy knows his stuff and he needs to be a regular guest on cable TV. His omission is troubling especially in light of Tom Friedman on MTP today. Friedman is an unhinged partisan. Friedman adds nothing.

Regardless of what branch of the FBI got the surveillance order, the contents of the Flynn investigation WAS leaked. That's what is important.

Darrell said...

Kenya will soon be "disappearing" those "Barack Obama Was Born Here" signs. Mark my words.

David Begley said...

Ann:

The NYT is intentionally conflating the law enforcement and foreign counter-intelligence roles of the FBI.

McCarthy covered this in his book "Willful Blindness."

The Drill SGT said...

You and McCarthy beat me to it.

FISA has nothing to do with LE, and everything to do with National Security. In theory, FISA can only be invoked again foreign intelligence targets (hence the name) that pose a grave and immediate threat to the homeland. Effectively the DOJ swears that their application is not in pursuit of a criminal matter (thus invoking various bill of rights protections, specifically the 4th).

The material gathered is protected at the highest levels, and they are supposed to scrub the tapes of extraneous matters involving US parties.

In this case, it appears that the FBI downgraded the material, did not scrub the transcripts and disseminated the material widely, expecting it to leak.

David Begley said...

I should clarify. In his book, McCarthy constantly complained about why it is a mistake to deal with terror in the courtroom. Because the FBI was ordered to build court cases, lots of decisions were made by the FBI that hurt our ability to crush radical Islamic terrorism in the early stages. Andy thought it much better to stay out of court and conduct FBI investigations with that end in mind.

Zach said...

So wait -- was the Trump campaign wiretapped or not? How about the transition team?

This is only partially a legal scandal. There is also the political scandal that the national security apparatus is accused of being used to spy on a domestic political campaign for pretextual reasons.

David Begley said...

In his last paragraph, Drill SGT nails it.

The Drill SGT said...

Finishing my thought, since FISA is a National Security La, it is perfectly appropriate for the Chief National Security Officer (e.g. POTUS) and his staff, to be very interested in ongoing FISA matters, and since it is not LE related, it is not interfering in a criminal case.

PS: I have seen posting that say the DOJ went after Trump 3 times.

1. in an Article 3 court, looking for a warrant and got rejected, because the Judge refused to put his name on a warrant that involved Obama tapping Trump.

2. In the FISA court for the same reason

3. Then in FISA, they just listed Russians, and "various US parties, to be determined", hiding that these TBD's were Trump staff.


Jupiter said...

"the NYT should be powerfully embarrassed to botch things this badly"

Althouse, if the NYT can find a law professor anywhere on Earth who will say what they want to print, they will call him a "prominent legal scholar" and print it. If they can't find anyone willing to attest to what Carlos Slim would like attested to today, well, they'll print it without attribution.

Original Mike said...

"The NYT had better scramble to explain itself if it's right or come clean if it's wrong."

It is not the goal of the NYT to be right.

Scott said...

As I noted in the other thread earlier today, in addition, Trump has the authority and ability to declassify any executive-branch document he wants to and post it on his Twitter feed, or mail it to CNN and so on. He doesn't even have to redact it if he so chooses (although there's a certain case for redacting sources and methods, naturally).

I'm not sure how FISA pleadings fall under this, though. If it's a judicial record, he may not have access to the actual court record (though he would have the draft affidavit as an internal DOJ document). I would think, though, a copy of the actual pleading would be filed in the DOJ archives (such as questions the FISA court asked the DOJ, and so on).

That said, if I were Obama, Lynch, Holder, or anyone else who worked on that pleading, I'd worry that everything was done by the book, because this could get extraordinarily ugly for them if any irregularities crop up. The fact that the first attempt was shot down by the court suggests that there were some problems with it, which further suggests at least the possibility for dirty laundry.

Mark O said...

Obama has a verified history of surveilling political opponents and journalists.
This certainly fits a sorry pattern of abuse.

As for Trump, after Obama, anything goes.

Scott said...

Now, all this said, it's possible that the FISA taps were not aimed at Trump but against some other tenant of Trump Towers who had overseas ties. Proper procedures would be to focus on that person and give legal protection to any US citizens who were inadvertently tapped, which were apparently not followed in this case, as we know from the Flynn leaks.

Big Mike said...

This is a nice rebuttal to the Times. Hat tip to Instapundit.

steve uhr said...

If there is an ongoing investigation (criminal or otherwise) into the conduct of Trump or his associates, then the existence, scope and nature of the investigation as well as the information uncovered should not be disclosed to the President simply because the President asks. Doing so would compromise the investigation.

Zach said...

There's a weird mixture of cynicism and naivete in this scandal.

Cynicism, in that people thought they could order a wiretap on a presidential campaign and get away with it.

Naivete, in that there was no apparent thought for what would happen if Trump won.

I mean, what is your mental state if you decide to
a) wiretap your political opponents, and also
b) leave a paper trail!?

Say this for the Watergate burglars -- at least they knew they were breaking the law. They got paid in cash, and they didn't give anybody a receipt. Much less swear out an affidavit.

AlbertAnonymous said...

But, but, but... Obama was amazingly scandal free. The news said so.

AReasonableMan said...

The judges on FISC are appointed solely by Chief Justice Roberts.

WIki:
"Since all of the judges are appointed by the same person (the Chief Justice of the United States), as of 2013 nearly all currently serving judges are of the same political party (the Republican Party), hear no opposing testimony and feel no pressure from colleagues or the public to moderate their rulings"

Bob Boyd said...

"...there was no apparent thought for what would happen if Trump won."

But then why tap Trump in the first place?
Now I wonder if they tapped any other candidates.

Hagar said...

How they got the FISA order may also be important. Remember the James Rosen case? DoJ lawyers swore out a false affidavit against Rosen and went judge shopping until they found one who was willing to sign off on it so that they could get at Rosen's phone records with a color of legality.
(BTW, why haven't we heard anything more about that case? Should not these lawyers have been prosecuted and the judge impeached?)

And, iirc, the real reason they wanted Rosen's phone records was political, and the White House wound up at least apologizing to Rosen.

WisRich said...

Zach said...
There's a weird mixture of cynicism and naivete in this scandal.

Cynicism, in that people thought they could order a wiretap on a presidential campaign and get away with it.

How do you handle a government scandal? Do it in the wide open and call it standard operating procedures.

The Drill SGT said...

Scott said...I'm not sure how FISA pleadings fall under this, though. If it's a judicial record, he may not have access to the actual court record (though he would have the draft affidavit as an internal DOJ document). I would think, though, a copy of the actual pleading would be filed in the DOJ archives (such as questions the FISA court asked the DOJ, and so on).

and

Now, all this said, it's possible that the FISA taps were not aimed at Trump but against some other tenant of Trump Towers who had overseas ties. Proper procedures would be to focus on that person and give legal protection to any US citizens who were inadvertently tapped, which were apparently not followed in this case, as we know from the Flynn leaks.


To the first point, the request for a FISA warrant is in the form of an affidavit, where the Agent or DOJ official makes a sworn statement as to the facts and is not permitted to leave out material facts that the judge ought to know, e.g these people are Trump staff...

On the second point, FISA taps must be aimed an Foreign powers. The only time that they can be used against a US person, is by making (again) a sworn statement that that US person, is an agent of the enemy, and there is great risk of harm to the homeland.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Andrew McCarthy was great in Pretty in Pink.

Amadeus 48 said...

Nixon tried to get the FBI and the CIA to give him national security cover for his campaign's Watergate break-in. Team Obama don't know much about history.

Clapper and Brennan belong behind bars.

CWJ said...

ARM,

Do you remember garage Mahal? Your comment is eerily similar to his defense of the WI John Doe investigations.

WisRich said...

Bob Boyd said...
"...there was no apparent thought for what would happen if Trump won."

But then why tap Trump in the first place?
Now I wonder if they tapped any other candidates.
3/5/17, 11:40 AM
--------


That's why they needed the Russia hacking cover story. Trump is right, the Russia hacking story is a ruse.

tim in vermont said...

But then why tap Trump in the first place?

Because the stakes were far higher than just national security, prevention of terrorism, anticipation of war, the stakes were the political fortunes of the Democrat Party!

AReasonableMan said...

CWJ said...
Do you remember garage Mahal? Your comment is eerily similar


I am simply pointing out the facts, you should at least address the facts.

clint said...

It's interesting that no one in the Obama camp has yet denied the core of the allegation -- that our own Federal government was spying on the Trump campaign during the election.

That's pretty shocking.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bob Boyd said...

Now I wonder if they tapped any other candidates.

I, for one, would not be surprised to find out that the Deep State shenanigans were in place long before it became apparent that Trump was going to be the Republican candidate and would have been used against Hillary if she'd won.

tim in vermont said...

Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.
- New York Times

So who intercepted these calls? Nobody because the surveillance never happened? Was it all a set of "alternative facts" promulgated by the New York Times?

I am just trying to reconcile the two narratives here, because they don't boil down to the same IRL truth.

Michael K said...

ARM, lying to a federal judge in swearing out an affidavit is a crime. The judge may be trying to act in accordance with the law. Therefore, maybe they judge shopped until they found the Ben Sasse of the FISA court who thought Trump was crazy. Maybe they lied about who was the target.

My FBI agent daughter, who used to prepare FISA court warrant applications, says the agent is not in danger.

If she is correct, the person who provided the documents to the agent is.

Bob Boyd said...

We still don't know Wikileaks' source for the DNC emails.

It's a rabbit hole in a swamp.

tim in vermont said...

I love that "so far, no evidence" but let's keep spying on them, because, who knows what useful stuff we might turn up!

YoungHegelian said...

the NYT should be powerfully embarrassed to botch things this badly

I don't think there's a lot of shame left in their game, madam!

But then why tap Trump in the first place? Now I wonder if they tapped any other candidates.

After what the DNC did to Bernie, you still wonder? It's all the same bunch of people playing musical chairs in these government/party positions!

Okay, let me make a grim prediction, a prediction that I as of yet have absolutely no evidence for, but which I'm sure will come to light because it makes too much sense:

If DOJ officials would stoop to tapping the Trump campaign, which it seems they did, they were doing so for a reason. What was the reason they wanted intel on the Trump campaign? Because they were feeding it to the Clinton campaign & to friendly media sources to use against Trump. My guess is that they did the same thing to the Sanders campaign, we just don't know it yet.

We had a DoJ that was out of control for eight years. Now, the enemy has invested the castle, & they have all the records of the Obama administration. As time goes on, we're going to discover just what a criminal enterprise the Obama administration was, & in their own words. It's going to be Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggge!

Seeing Red said...

The NYT is going a great public service/ saving the Republic.

Every lie is told for the Greater Good. It will bear any burden to relieve the country of Trump.

Seeing Red said...

Is doing

Seeing Red said...

We need the weaponizing the federal government staff pic from the day the President-Elect visited the White House.

The long faces. The tears.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Meanwhile, Trump earns Four Pinocchios.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/03/05/trumps-evidence-for-obama-wiretap-claims-relies-on-sketchy-anonymously-sourced-reports/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_fc-wiretap-1138am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.7ec7f61b0f16

CWJ said...

ARM,

What facts were I supposed to address? I didn't challenge you. I was just just struck by the similarity is all.

readering said...

Interesting clarification/distinction that makes sense. Flip side of all the Clinton efforts last year to say DOJ just engaged in security review, not investigation, of her server. But New York Times should be embarrassed? Read again the Trump tweets yesterday that started all this. Papers quickly pursuing ever lead, including leaks, to try to keep up with insane weekend tweets and other pronouncements from Southern White House. What kool-aid is Althouse drinking from Trump world?

AprilApple said...

So far Walker is clean, but we must invade some houses and families next - just to make sure.

Michael K said...

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

That's Latin peanut butter.

Factchecker needs a factchecker.

WisRich said...

YoungHegelian said...

Okay, let me make a grim prediction, a prediction that I as of yet have absolutely no evidence for, but which I'm sure will come to light because it makes too much sense:

If DOJ officials would stoop to tapping the Trump campaign, which it seems they did, they were doing so for a reason. What was the reason they wanted intel on the Trump campaign? Because they were feeding it to the Clinton campaign & to friendly media sources to use against Trump. My guess is that they did the same thing to the Sanders campaign, we just don't know it yet.

3/5/17, 12:05 PM
-------

This has been my working theory as well. The Clinton camp was involved in some fashion. Not only did they want to crush Trump in the election but wanted to thoroughly discredit him so nobody would take him seriously..on anything...ever again.

Why would Obama help Clinton? After all, there is no love loss between those two. 1) Obama still held a grudge for the birth certificate and 2) Trump had the temerity to win the Republican Nomination on a Pro-American, Anti-Obama agenda.

It never occurred to either Clinton or Obama that Trump would win. They thought could cover this up nice and tidy after Clinton won.

Pride goeth before a fall.

YoungHegelian said...

@Seeing Red,

The NYT is going a great public service/ saving the Republic.

Every lie is told for the Greater Good


Oh, it's much more evil than that. The Greater Good is accomplished by The Good People. What The Good People do is by definition good. The rules & laws that The Good People have to circumvent to do The Greater Good are moral trifles compared to the great evil of Those Other People that the The Good People fight against.

It's like the Elect of Calvinism, except that Calvinists knew that they were elect only by God's grace & mercy & not by their merits. For these moral elect, it's all about their merit.

Seeing Red said...

Yup I was going to add it's their definition of the Greater Good.


I'm really getting to the point of resurrecting, "Who died and left you boss?"

J2 said...

Why tap Trump?

So the Clinton DOJ could hit the ground running to persecute Trump allies.

Two words: Tar Mac

tim in vermont said...

We all know that the Washington Post shoots straight when it comes to Trump.

Scott said...

Bob Boyd said...

"...there was no apparent thought for what would happen if Trump won."

But then why tap Trump in the first place?
Now I wonder if they tapped any other candidates.
3/5/17, 11:40 AM


I think if Trump was tapped, they saw it as a low-risk high-reward way to get Hillary into office. Clearly, she would have a lot of incentive not to rock the boat since she was campaigning as Obama's 3rd term and had major ties to the Obama administration (such as promising Lynch would stay as AG). I really don't think that these folks thought that Trump would win, much less that he would counterattack the way that he is currently doing so.

At this point, with the facts we have, we pretty much have a binary solution set. Either Trump's in bed with the Russians yugely, therefore the FISA taps were legit and aimed at a foreign agent, or Obama's DOJ is running the 42 year remake of Watergate with surveillance on a presidential candidate and potential interference in the election.

If this blows up in the direction of the Obama DOJ, it's going to be really really ugly for the Democrats, since they are already at a nadir in terms of political strength currently. Giving a large chunk of their voters a reason to not vote or vote for the other guy is not the way to win in 2018-2020.

Seeing Red said...

The Trump tweets didn't start this.

Obama did.

Either there are rogue agencies or there aren't.


Hmmm kind of makes me wonder about Roberts and his Obamacare flip. It was joked Barry had something on him.

mockturtle said...

Seeing Red observes: The long faces. The tears.

What? Kerry is involved in this, too?

YoungHegelian said...

@WisRich,

Why would Obama help Clinton? After all, there is no love loss between those two. 1) Obama still held a grudge for the birth certificate and 2) Trump had the temerity to win the Republican Nomination on a Pro-American, Anti-Obama agenda.

Why? Because the secrets held in the Obama admin records have the potential to destroy the Democratic Party. However much Clinton hates Obama, she still wants to keep the Democrats in power. If she won, what happened under the Obama admin could be kept buried & there would be four years to "manicure" the records. But, unexpectedly, Trump won. There's no way to clean up those records in two & half months. Nothing in the fed. government works that fast. Now, the Republicans, controlling all three branches, have those records, & there's going to be hell to pay.

Seeing Red said...

Yeah, J2. Tar Mac is correct.

chickelit said...

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...Meanwhile, Trump earns Four Pinocchios.

Yeah, smearing Trump always gets WaPo "hard nosed."

Bob Boyd said...

Who could possibly have predicted these government surveillance powers would someday be abused?

traditionalguy said...

The surprise Trump win was never supposed to happen. So Sick Obama did what he always does: he lied and cheated with no compunction at all. It worked on IRS-gate. It worked on Benghazi-gate. It worked on fast and furious-gate. It worked on Iran Treaty-gate.

But now another Trump stroke of luck. Trump wins when there seems no way to win. And then he wins again.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Chick,

WaPo looked at what DJT folks said was the evidence that supported DJT's tweet claims. As a result, they realized that the DJT folks pointed to evidence that did not support DJT's tweet claims.

AReasonableMan said...

Blogger Bob Boyd said...
Who could possibly have predicted these government surveillance powers would someday be abused?


Rhetorical I know but pretty much everyone on the libertarian and left sides of politics.

AReasonableMan said...

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...
WaPo looked at what DJT folks said was the evidence that supported DJT's tweet claims. As a result, they realized that the DJT folks pointed to evidence that did not support DJT's tweet claims.


One supporter claimed that Trump was evincing an emotional truth rather than an actual verifiable truth. Based on the defenses that he has received here I think are right.

Michael K said...

Peanut Butter doesn;t know that this has been going on for a while.

This suggests major misconduct by the NSA and the White House of a sort not seen since Watergate. First, intercepts of congressmen’s communications regarding a dispute between Congress and the White House should have been destroyed and never left the NSA building. The Journal article said a 2011 NSA directive requires direct communications between foreign intelligence targets and members of Congress to be destroyed, but gives the NSA director the authority to waive this requirement if he determines the communications contain “significant foreign intelligence.”

Standard Obama policy. Weaponize the federal bureaucracy. They never thought the other guys would get a hold of it.

AReasonableMan said...

Personally I am happy that Trump has brought this issue to light because without his efforts most people would not understand that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is packed with a bunch of Republican party hacks. As a consequence, nothing they decide on can be considered clean and the court should be disbanded immediately. Trump is doing God's work here.

AprilApple said...

The holy leftist who voted for corrupt Hillary hath spoken.

YoungHegelian said...

@Bob Boyd/ARM,

Who could possibly have predicted these government surveillance powers would someday be abused?

Was it an abuse of government surveillance powers? Yes. But let's not kid ourselves that these abuses didn't happen before the Patriot Act (e.g. Nixon & Johnson doing "surveillance" on their political enemies). The fact that the Patriot Act mandates that these surveillance measures have to be codified & sign-off by multiple parties (like the FISA court) means that we now have a paper trail to punish the abusers.

We knew of Nixon's abuses because he failed to erase some tapes & he had clumsy burglars. Johnson's didn't come out until after he was dead. Here, we got government evidence on standard forms filled out in triplicate.

AReasonableMan said...

You keep lying April, that is all you are good for.

exhelodrvr1 said...

What seems most likely is that this has been going on for quite awhile - Trump just happened to be the most recent victim. Probably did the same thing to Romney and Ryan.

Michael K said...

ARM, I assume you are opposed to any foreign surveillance ?

You want ISIS to be free to communicate and plan attacks ?

Republican judges are all hacks?

Nice to know your politics

Michael K said...

Trump just happened to be the most recent victim. Probably did the same thing to Romney and Ryan.

He is the first one to fight back.

The Stratfor article I quote in my blog post from 2008 about the Nixon coup d'etat makes the point that the FBI has been spying on the White House since Hoover.

Felt saw Gray’s selection as an unwelcome politicization of the FBI (by placing it under direct presidential control), an assault on the traditions created by Hoover and an insult to his memory, and a massive personal disappointment. Felt was thus a disgruntled employee at the highest level. He was also a senior official in an organization that traditionally had protected its interests in predictable ways. (By then formally the No. 2 figure in FBI, Felt effectively controlled the agency given Gray’s inexperience and outsider status.) The FBI identified its enemies, then used its vast knowledge of its enemies’ wrongdoings in press leaks designed to be as devastating as possible.

The FBI is not innocent.

Bob Boyd said...

@ YoungHegelian

I hope you're right.

Unknown said...

"But New York Times should be embarrassed? Read again the Trump tweets yesterday that started all this. Papers quickly pursuing ever lead, including leaks, to try to keep up with insane weekend tweets and other pronouncements from Southern White House. What kool-aid is Althouse drinking from Trump world?"

No they aren't embarrassed by him. He could shoot someone on fifth avenue, ya know...but it is mindboggling that intelligent people could be so in the tank for the Fraud in Chief.

AReasonableMan said...

"In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” guest host Martha Raddatz asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders why the president had made the allegations so confidently.

“I think that this is, again, something that if this happened, Martha ―” Sanders began.

“If, if, if, if,” Raddatz interjected. “Why is the president saying that it did happen?”

“He is going off of information that he’s seen that has led him to believe that this is a very real potential,” Sanders replied."


Virtually anything has "a very real potential". The walk-back has begun.

Jon Ericson said...

Hey, five bucks is five bucks.
Baby needs new shoes.

Unknown said...

ARM, I saw that too, it is to laugh.

Bob Boyd said...

"Rhetorical I know but pretty much everyone on the libertarian and left sides of politics."

That's true. It will be interesting to observe those same people if it comes out that the left gave into the temptation. I'd anticipate a lot of false equivalence type rationalization.

AprilApple said...

How did you know I was talking about you, ARM? oh right - you DID vote for Hillary.

shameful. She's a money grubbing corrupt liar just like your party.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Republican judges are all hacks?


No, but if they are all appointed to the same court by a single man then the probability of this possibility rises to unacceptable levels. Without multiple inputs and oversight the safest assumption is that they are hacks. Clearly Trump believes that the court has failed to do its job properly. I am on his side. Trump should disband the court as soon as possible.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Standard Obama policy. Weaponize the federal bureaucracy. They never thought the other guys would get a hold of it."

Could you clarify, are the other guys the Russians or Comey?

http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/1/11/14215930/comey-email-election-clinton-campaign

Or, was it the lock her up perpetual momentum machine in Congress that was weaponizing the Fed Gov? It seems like that one should have gone after the folks sending classified stuff to HRC, rather than only HRC who received only three emails w/ subsections w/ a hand written "C" for the lowest of three levels of classification (confidential), and State says two of the three where mislabeled because they were not classified. And, they could have at least kept the Congressional hearings going for a few months after the election, so the political hackery wasn't so obvious.

But, whatever floats your boat.

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

but it is mindboggling that intelligent people could be so in the tank for the Fraud in Chief.

Is Trump a clown? A bozo? A fraud?

Maybe, but the Democrats are rife with criminals & criminality, & the expose' starts now.

A hard rain's gonna fall, Unknown, and your sides about to get soaked to the bone.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"The FBI is not innocent."

Tell that to HRC.

Mike Sylwester said...

On January 19, the day before our President Trump's inauguration, The New York Times published an article titled "Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates" and reporting:

=====
The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.
=====

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/us/politics/trump-russia-associates-investigation.html?_r=2

Jon Ericson said...

#98, come clean. Are you formerly #51, or the slightly less stupid #55?

Unknown said...

"Maybe, but the Democrats are rife with criminals & criminality, & the expose' starts now."

Let the expose' begin! But I think it won't expose who you think it will.

Bob Boyd said...

"Virtually anything has "a very real potential". "

Sounds like something a despondent Hillary sobbed drunkenly to Huma in the green room, late on election night.
Then she stood up, screamed, "Fuuuuuuuuuuuck!" and threw a vodka bottle at the TV.

grackle said...

A roundup of Mark Levin’s case for Trump Towers being wiretapped is here.

It’s obvious to me that Obama wiretapped Trump Towers. Obama didn’t find anything other than the ordinary, normal fact that meetings and conversations took place which is why there was no reason for Sessions to recuse without, apparently, even discussing it with his boss(Trump) that he was going to do so.

But the MSM is very good at taking the normal(Trump and/or his people speaking to foreign diplomats) and promoting it as something ominous or illegal. It’s called “fake news.”

Keeping this in mind I would not be surprised if Sessions resigned at Trump’s request at some time in the future. Sessions revealed a disturbing lack of character by jumping through this recusal hoop at the command of the MSM/Democrat/eGOP coalition. You just cannot scare that easily. A Trump Attorney General is going to have to have a good set of cojones in order to weather the inevitable fake news storms that will come his way. Too bad. Other than lack of courage I think Sessions was a good choice.

Molly said...

Why hasn't Loretta Lynch denied the Trump claim?

AprilApple said...

Yes, There Could Be Serious Legal Problems if Obama Admin Involved in Illegal Surveillance

"President Trump recently tweeted claiming that former President Obama wiretapped him during his campaign. One can only imagine how nuts the media would have gone if the roles had been reversed: President Trump wiretapping either Obama or the Clintons, though his DOJ could have authority to do just that given the expansive leaks of intelligence information by Obama and Clinton supporters the last few months. Heck, he could wiretap the media at this point, legally and legitimately, as the sources of these unlawful leaks, for which Obama himself set precedent. Do liberals understand what Pandora’s Box Obama opened up by Obama using the powers of the NSA, CIA and FBI to spy on his political opponents? Even Nixon never did that.

If the stories are correct, Obama or his officials might even face prosecution. But, we are still early in all of this and there are a lot of rumors flying around so the key is if the reports are accurate. We just don’t know at this time. The stories currently are three-fold: first, that Obama’s team tried to get a warrant from a regular, Article III federal court on Trump, and was told no by someone along the way (maybe the FBI), as the evidence was that weak or non-existent; second, Obama’s team then tried to circumvent the federal judiciary’s independent role by trying to mislabel the issue one of “foreign agents,” and tried to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “courts”, and were again turned down, when the court saw Trump named (an extremely rare act of FISA court refusal of the government, suggesting the evidence was truly non-existent against Trump); and so, third, Obama circumvented both the regular command of the FBI and the regularly appointed federal courts, by placing the entire case as a FISA case (and apparently under Sally Yates at DOJ) as a “foreign” case, and then omitted Trump’s name from a surveillance warrant submitted to the FISA court, which the FISA court unwittingly granted, which Obama then misused to spy on Trump and many connected to Trump. Are these allegations true? We don’t know yet, but if any part of them are than Obama and/or his officials could face serious trouble."

Obama lied?

oooo

AprilApple said...

"Can a President be charged with a crime? Only once out of office. While in office, impeachment remains the exclusive remedy in order to avoid a single judicial branch trying to overturn an election, such as a grand jury in any part of the country could. Once out of office, a President remains immune from civil liability for his duties while President, under a 1982 decision of the United States Supreme Court. However, as the Nixon pardon attests, nothing forecloses a criminal prosecution of the President after his presidency is complete for crimes against the country. Obama, the Constitutional lawyer, should know that.

What crimes could have been committed? Ironically, for Democrats falsely accusing Attorney General Sessions, perjury and conspiracy to commit perjury, as well as intentional violations of FISA. Rather shockingly, no law currently forbids misusing the power of the presidency to spy on one’s adversaries. What the law does forbid is lying to any judicial officer to obtain any means of surveillance. What the law does forbid, under criminal penalty, is the misuse of FISA. Both derive from the protections of the Fourth Amendment itself. Under section 1809, FISA makes it a crime for anyone to either “engage in” electronic surveillance under “color of law” under FISA without following the law’s restrictions, or “disclose” or “use” information gathered from it in contravention of the statute’s sharp constrictions."

AprilApple said...

so the liar leftwing meme is - Republican judges authorized this?

Whatever bullshit angle helps their sad deluded liar butts sleep at night.

Bob Boyd said...

Drain the rabbit hole!

buwaya said...

There was a point made yesterday about "the rule of law" in the US. I said that it no longer exists, because at the highest levels of business and politics (and nearly everywhere in regulatory affairs, note) it is too complex, so complex that legality or otherwise is entirely about interpretations directed by whomever holds the preponderance of power.

Thats what we see here. President or not, its not clear that Trump has this preponderance of power. I believe he doesn't, though he should, which is a measure of the corruption of the system.

In any case technical legal analyses will not matter in the outcome.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Let the expose' begin! But I think it won't expose who you think it will"

You've been wrong about each and every event for the last 18 months, so you know, you've got that going for you. There is something to be said for consistency.

BTW, which side is calling immediately for congressional investigations and to get all of this aired out immediately?

Hint: not the dems who were calling for an "independent" investigator (lefty) to be appointed by the DOJ (still populated by the obama Stasi) which could bottle up the entire ball of wax for years to come (and that was the intent).

Of course, setting up a continued scenario where the left would keep leaking to the NYT/WashPost/CNN.

Generally speaking, always put your money on the side that wants all the info to come out publicly as fast as possible.

And in this case it's clear who that is.

I wonder why that might be?....

Unknown said...

I haven't been here for 18 months Drago, maybe one of the other Unknowns.

Michael K said...

"HRC who received only three emails w/ subsections w/ a hand written "C" for the lowest of three levels of classification (confidential),"

I didn't think you were this stupid.

Hillary had her staff strip classification headers off messages, some of which were code word classification, and copy them so they could be sent to her private, insecure, email. Those are felonies.

"Let the expose' begin! But I think it won't expose who you think it will."

The stupid is strong in this one.

YoungHegelian said...

The Obama DoJ discovered bright & early that the executive branch enforces the law & that the DoJ is in charge of prosecuting those who break the law. Thus, any law the Obama admin or its friends broke could be passed down the line to the DoJ who would do ---- nothing. Add in a clueless Republican Congress for half of the admin's stint & a press that would gloss over incredible abuses & you have the makings of a rogue agency.

Think about this: both AG Holder & Asst AG Perez both refused to respond to Congressional subpoenas. Just "Sorry, I'm not doing this, & it's my agency that's responsible for punishing folks who don't obey Congressional subpoenas, so you're fucked, Congress".

Holder retired to suffer no ill effect, & is now making big bucks. Perez got Secretary of Labor, & is now DNC chair. Lawlessness not only paid; it paid well.

Unknown said...

Democrats have been calling for Congressional investigations for months and months now, Drago, lol. We are also calling for a Special Prosecutor, pretending we haven't been is stupid.

Darrell said...

Dems smell blood in the water. Unfortunately, it's their blood.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Mike,

So, you don't know about sipper and nipper. Or, you just think HRC decided she'd never use it?

You folks are funny.

AprilApple said...

Buwaya @ 1:30

I agree.

The rule of law is over, trashed by the institutionalized corruption of the left.
Hillary was supposed to cement that corruption.

Michael K said...

One interesting theory on another blog is that Trump tweeted the accusation to panic lower level conspirators into activating their escape plans, which may include ratting out their superiors. One problem with left wing conspiracy theories is that things like 9/11 would have to be massive conspiracies and secrets known by a lot of people aren't secret for long.

To successfully bug Trump Tower server in Oct 2016, a “black bag” crew had to go through the Secret Service security bubble to place a capture device on the server.

For that to work, the Secret Service had to cooperate, if not place the bug themselves.

And Trump Tower corporate security has independent video records of all the movements of everyone into and out of the Trump Tower security bubble.


Trump has tight cyber security because of the gambling casinos. He may have people on video placing bugs or taps.

They probably could not hack his systems.

AprilApple said...

Shorter Schumer: 'It's beneath Trump to put forth the allegation, but if true, it only proves Trump colluded with the Russians and he deserved the wiretap.'


Did Chuck Todd(D) flip Schumer over on his belly and lay a towel over his behind for an oil rubbed back massage like he gave Hickenlooper last week?

AReasonableMan said...

Putin Starting to Wonder If His Puppets Are Smart Enough to Pull This Off

Jon Ericson said...

Puppets like ARM.

AprilApple said...

The left's delusion never ends.

Trump and Putin made poor Hillary lose! Even though Putin would have an easier time with Hillary at the helm. The blackmail, the favors owed.... The end to the Keystone pipeline. Endless possibility for mutual graft. Hillary and Putin are practically the same person.

Marc Puckett said...

Thanks, Big Mike, for that introduction to the Streetwise Professor site.

AprilApple said...

Who killed Seth Rich?

tim in vermont said...

You know that is satire,ARM?

I wonder what the New Yorker would think of the tens of millions Putin funneled to Hillary? Incurious would be my guess.

tim in vermont said...

I guess Putin wanted to drive down the price of oil...

Michael K said...

"Who killed Seth Rich?"

Well, it wasn't Polonium or another exotic poison so probably a Hillary operation.

Vince Foster could not be reached for comment.

viejo loco said...

Loretta Lynch is dirty in this, as she was in the Clinton "afair". The admin needs to turn someone, and use it against their enemies (Obama, Democrats, media, etc).

viejo loco said...

Loretta Lynch is dirty in this, as she was in the Clinton "affair". The admin needs to turn someone, and use it against their enemies (Obama, Democrats, media, etc).

AReasonableMan said...

Jon Ericson said...
Puppets like ARM.


Red-baiting is last decades thing. We are not doing that any more. The new thing is 'inappropriate contacts'. It's a revival of a fashion trend previously restricted to Roman Catholic priests and closeted Republican politicians.

AprilApple said...

Seth Rich.

Don't forget him.

Note how the hack media have ZERO interest in the suspicious murder of a DNC staffer.

Mike said...

Remember way back when Senate candidate Obama got hold of sealed court documents that sank his Republican opponent? Of course you don't -- if you rely on the DNC-Media Complex to put this episode "in context" for you!

AprilApple said...

Hillary and Putin are two peas in a pod.

PWS said...

OK--good; the NYT should be scrutinized. However, this blog proclaims to be "cruelly neutral." I don't think I've ever seen the words or even the idea conveyed that Trump should be "powerfully embarrassed" despite all his shenanigans. I know neutral and balanced are not the same thing but it doesn't feel neutral; it feels like Ann's contrarian streak makes her lean against the "establishment" and for the "outsider." (Or whatever.) Nothing wrong with this but don't proclaim to be neutral--cruel or not.

Michael K said...

"(Or whatever.) Nothing wrong with this but don't proclaim to be neutral--cruel or not."

You don't think "lean against the "establishment" and for the "outsider." is neutral.

Interesting. You sound like a Hillary voter. The next year should be interesting for you.

AprilApple said...

Well, it wasn't Polonium.

It was a well placed bullet.

buwaya puti said...

On the New York Times itself -

A bit of what may well be self-generated "fake news" about its influence, which if true is close to being outright commercial fraud.

I saw this on Vox Day, but you can check it out yourselves.

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2017/03/fake-news-fake-views.html

The NYT boasted about recent increases in digital subscriptions and web traffic. The unusual increase in all this was also seen with other major MSM outlets like the Wapo and the Guardian.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/29/new-york-times-subscriptions-soar-tenfold-after-donald-trump-wins-presidency.html

etc.

However, it seems that a very great deal of this "new" business may have been generated by Chinese web bots - the NYT is blocked in China. There is a very interesting Zerohedge article from February -

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-09/fake-newsflow-are-ny-times-guardian-and-wapo-buying-clicks-china-jumps-trickle-half-

The NYT even ran a story about this sort of scam -

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/technology/forgers-use-fake-web-users-to-steal-real-ad-revenue.html?_r=0

But being outed seems to have stopped the silliness -

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/nytco.com

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/washingtonpost.com

Besides the NYT story about purchased, fraudulent web traffic, this was the subject of a couple of "Silicon Valley" episodes. See "Daily Active Users". I love "Silicon Valley".

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5218498/

AReasonableMan said...

There are two inherently funny things here. 1) Republicans being hoisted on the 'red-scare' petard. Who doesn't think that is well deserved? 2) If Trump had just kept his fat mouth shut the Sunday talk shows would have largely focussed on his 'Presidential' speech and how well it was received. Instead he shits all over his own success with spectacular but unverified claims that now dominate the press coverage.

The sad thing is that this cycle is going to continue more or less unchanged for the next four years. Trump is clearly incapable of learning new tricks. He keeps returning to what he thinks 'works' for him irrespective of his changed circumstances.

zefal said...

Blogger Zach said...
There's a weird mixture of cynicism and naivete in this scandal.

Cynicism, in that people thought they could order a wiretap on a presidential campaign and get away with it.

Naivete, in that there was no apparent thought for what would happen if Trump won.

I mean, what is your mental state if you decide to
a) wiretap your political opponents, and also
b) leave a paper trail!?

Say this for the Watergate burglars -- at least they knew they were breaking the law. They got paid in cash,

and they didn't give anybody a receipt. Much less swear out an affidavit.
-------------------------------------------------------------
With hilary in office and the media there to run interference obama had every reason to feel confidant that the matter would never even see the light of day. Nixon had no expectation of losing to Mcgovern so why tap DNC phones? Does that require "cynicism" to believe he did/attempted to? Their reason was they believed the democrats were receiving illegal foreign money and probably were and still do.

AprilApple said...

LOL - the LEFT are actively red-bating. 'SCARY RUSSIANS! You better not talk to them or let me catch you talking to them, or have ever talked to them!' Only a devoted prog could flip that on its head.

Better get back to your rapist priest fantasies, ARM.

Jon Ericson said...

"Laugh a while you can monkey-boy!"

buwaya said...

ARM,

Re that the talk shows would have focused on Trumps speech -

You know better than that, I have too much regard for you to think thats your realistic take. The talk shows would have been all about the Russians and Sessions.

As for Russia vs the Soviet Union, night and day. When the facts change, so should attitudes, n'est pas?

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
The talk shows would have been all about the Russians and Sessions.


They could not have avoided talking about Trump's speech triumph. I agree the Reds and Sessions would have also gotten a run but that was largely resolved due to his recusal. Sessions probably thought he was doing the right thing by putting the focus back on the boss. Little did he know.

AprilApple said...

Someone should make T-shirts.


"Who is Seth Rich?"

Seeing Red said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

The left get their news from satire and Comedy Central.

Seeing Red said...

Let's try this again.

The only reason pubbies would be hoisted by the red scare petard is ignorance of history. Not on this blog though .

I had this conversation at Thanksgiving with the 30 something nephew in law. I laughed in his face and told him to stick to what he knows which is tech

AReasonableMan said...

buwaya said...
As for Russia vs the Soviet Union, night and day.


I am not sure what to think. This is a good article on the differences. But, there are a lot of similarities as well, particularly the neurotic distrust of the west, even the western europeans who were potential allies, although that ship has now sailed.

buwaya said...

ARM,

Nah, you know better than that. There is no way on earth they would do anything positive re Trump. Sessions action was like an animal rolling over and showing his throat as a submission display. Foolish. They would have gone for any vulnerable spot.

Anyway, re the NYT and etc., I dont think that "fake news" about its web traffic was MEANT as commercial fraud. They aren't really a commercial enterprise anyway. To analogize again, its more like an animals threat display, arching their back and puffing out their fur to appear bigger and more ferocious, and more to be feared politically.

Seeing Red said...

Which is why you don't think she's cruelly neutral, she's not agreeing with you.

However, she is a constitutional lawyer and she looks at it Thru that lens.

I would also think the Watergate lens.

Plus the dem party was her ideological home.


Now she's watching them burn it down but this is what they always were.

Trump should be pointing all this out. He shouldn't be hiding it and letting them control the narrative

Drago said...

ARM: "2) If Trump had just kept his fat mouth shut the Sunday talk shows would have largely focussed on his 'Presidential' speech and how well it was received. Instead he shits all over his own success with spectacular but unverified claims that now dominate the press coverage."

What an interesting observation.

We have been swimming in an ocean of "unverified claims" put forth by clearly left media sources with only "anonymous" sources as the basis yet that has not stopped very lefty media outlet running full speed on innuendo, almost unbelievably fake "dossier" claims, lefty chattering and entertainment classes all piling on as if it were all gospel.

Only now, when an accusation flies in the reverse do we hear calls for absolute concrete proof!! before we can discuss it.

It will all come out in the end now that the obama/Hillary Stasi will no longer be in all the key leadership roles as of Tuesday.

Mac McConnell said...

So if Trump is incorrect about being "tapped" all the stories in the NY Times and Wapo concerning leaked info is a lie.

Drago said...

ARM, in assuming his cute fake "reasonable" role, seeks to convince us that the media, gosh darn it, would love to treat Trump and the republicans in a fair manner but gee whiz they just can't cuz "republicans"/Trump.

Go ahead, pull the other one.

Seeing Red said...

For the young'uns who never lived thru this.

This could be bad.

Rantburg is a good place to go. They know their history.

Drago said...

Mac McConnell: "So if Trump is incorrect about being "tapped" all the stories in the NY Times and Wapo concerning leaked info is a lie"'


Shhh.

There are clear logical outcomes from certain premises that should not yet be discussed with our lefty pals. They are under some illusion that it turns out "capital" for them under any scenario.

Yancey Ward said...

I have to wonder about something, though.

Many of the stories linking the Trump campaign to the Russians came in the form of leaks that the media, especially WaPo and the NYTimes, claimed were based on surveillance material. Indeed, it was the NYTimes where we learned of the two claimed FISA filings.

Consider this- the original story was actually a lie- there were no FISA filings and no support for any of the underlying allegations- everything claimed in support of the allegation is made up whole cloth, including the investigatory methods. When I first read about the FISA material, my very first reaction was that it was just another made-up story by the media. Only the fact that Trump seems to have confirmed it yesterday makes me consider it might be true.

It has been hilarious watching the two big newspapers try to undercut their own earlier reporting on the FISA requests.

At this point, one of two things has to be true, and you can take your pick:

(1) the Obama Administration did try to open criminal and security surveillance of Trump and/or his surrogates during the Summer, and finally succeeded in October, or...

(2) or the papers have been lying about the nature of the leaks they have been reporting.

buwaya said...

Ditto, Rantburg is a very good place to go.
They are a very selective news aggregator, their best work is in pulling stories that you are unlikely to find on US news feeds, from foreign sources like Pakistani newspapers, Xinhua, Iraqi news sources, Iranian sources, etc.

PWS said...

Michael K - Interesting; your comment suggests that you think the establishment needs someone to offset it or balance against; that's fine; I don't disagree; Althouse can do that; she's good at it; but that's not necessarily neutral if that's all you do. That's taking a less than neutral position--nay almost having an agenda, I dare say. (And not a neutral one.)

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
Personally I am happy that Trump has brought this issue to light because without his efforts most people would not understand that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is packed with a bunch of Republican party hacks. As a consequence, nothing they decide on can be considered clean and the court should be disbanded immediately. Trump is doing God's work here.

You are stuck in the past ARM. The republicans and democrats have been on the same team for years. Democrats nominated the biggest warmonger and most dishonest person they could find. Bush and his team supported Hillary. Then the Oligarchs lost the election and they couldn't let it stay lost. They kept pushing and trying to delegitimize Trump.

Now everybody is going to jail. FISA has very strict rules about who you can surveil and what you can do with the information you get. Obama somehow decided he could just change those rules in December. His hubris is mind boggling.

The problem is Obama took it to another level while president. Obama has been using this surveillance to purge the Officer Corps all the way back to Petreus. What is even worse is the routine databasing of every phone call, tweet, email, facebook post and electronic communication of every person in the country.

If Bush had been caught wiretapping Obama in 2008, changed the rules in december after McCain lost to allow that information to be passed around the government without redaction, and hung around DC and accused Obama of being a Russian Mole all hell would have broken loose. Well, if the left doubles down on allowing a sitting president to wiretap opposing campaigns all hell will break loose. There is no reconciliation with people who are so debased.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
the media, gosh darn it, would love to treat Trump and the republicans in a fair manner


I am not sure I agree with this but I watched Van Jones, CNN panelist and a former special advisor to the Obama administration, with my own eyes on Tuesday when he said:
"That was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics, period, and he did something extraordinary, and for people who have been hoping that he would become unifying, hoping that he might find some way to become presidential, they should be happy with that moment. For people who have been hoping that maybe he would remain a divisive cartoon, which he often finds a way to do, they should begin to become a little bit worried tonight, because that thing you just saw him do-if he finds a way to do that over and over again, he's going to be there for eight years. Now, there was a lot that he said in that speech that was counterfactual, that was not right, that I oppose and will oppose. But he did something tonight that you cannot take away from him. He became President of the United States."

This weekend was a missed opportunity, another own goal.

Kevin said...

"If Trump had just kept his fat mouth shut the Sunday talk shows would have largely focussed on his 'Presidential' speech and how well it was received."

No, it would have been about how Sessions' recusal confirmed his "perjury" and why he now needs to resign.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Actually, it hasn't gotten your "fake news" tag. Yet. Just sayin'.

Mac McConnell said...

If FISA was used against a private US citizen not involved in violent espionage, that's illegal. If FISA product concerning a private US citizen is released and not redacted, that's illegal.

AprilApple said...

CNN - or, the hack press(D)

buwaya said...

ARM,

That article on poverty-stricken Russia matches my take on the place. Russia is poor. It never recovered its old Soviet sacrificial mojo, which ran on ideology. The broken down industries no longer support a massive high tech military.
Their actual interventions abroad involve very minimal forces, which only look significant as they are dealing with even weaker and more broken-down adversaries.

Russia, and Putin, are (see above) all about the threat display, puffing up to fool people into taking them seriously.

The old Soviet Union really did have 10,000 tanks in working order, with which to invade Western Europe. Look online and you will find extensive image libraries of the massive scrapyards full of the rusted remnants.

AprilApple said...

LOL - the great speech was swept under the run by the hack press(D) - Blame Trump!

The witch hunt for Sessions consumed everything. I'd love it if Sessions would step aside for a younger anti-corruption pit-bull.

Mac McConnell said...

The majority of FISA judges are Republican, but 4 or the 11 are Democrats, 2 of which are Obama appointees to the bench.

AprilApple said...

Read this - the FISA judges had nothing to do with it. They were lied to.

buwaya said...

A great deal of news is being swept under the rug.
Its interesting what is going on that just never makes it to any front page.
Or rarely.
For instance the Spanish Moroccan enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla are under siege by a horde (in the hundreds of thousands) of African migrants that keep trying to break through the security barriers by swarming them. Straight out of "Camp of the Saints".
Or that Al-Quaeda linked militias in Libya just grabbed the principal oil terminal from the "government". Thats a rather significant war going on there.
And on and on and on.

Drago said...

ARM: "I am not sure I agree with this but I watched Van Jones, CNN panelist and a former special advisor to the Obama administration, with my own eyes on Tuesday when he said..."

ARM, Van Jones is not "the media". He is a well recognized commentator with quite the leftist pedigree.

I did see what you allude to and, quite frankly, it surprises me not at all that Van Jones and others on the left who are more populist oriented see more promise in what Trump is putting forth. Van Jones to his credit, immediately after the election headed out to the midwest in a very non-condescending manner to better understand the people who voted for Trump, so no argument on this one.

Angel-Dyne said...

ARM: There are two inherently funny things here. 1) Republicans being hoisted on the 'red-scare' petard.

Wrong metaphor. (Aside from falsely implying that either the "red scare" was a nothingburger or that the Russians-under-the-bed is a demonstrated fact.) One is hoist on one's own petard. Who's being hoist here remains to be seen, but I have a feeling you're going to need the services of a different metaphor.

But yes, the Dems' (and die-hard cucks') Russians-under-the-bed hysteria is hilarious.

2) If Trump had just kept his fat mouth shut the Sunday talk shows would have largely focussed on his 'Presidential' speech and how well it was received. Instead he shits all over his own success with spectacular but unverified claims that now dominate the press coverage.

As buwaya says, you know better than that. You really should leave the "Trump is sooooooo stupid" stuff to the fourth-rate trolls; it's beneath you. A man of your demonstrated trolling talent should have more self-respect.

Angel-Dyne said...

buwaya: A great deal of news is being swept under the rug.
Its interesting what is going on that just never makes it to any front page.
Or rarely.


Just another day in American journalism, then?

Jon Ericson said...

He thinks he's Aristotle.

Mac McConnell said...

Have to disagree with ARM, Trump didn't step on his own speech, the Dems did with the bogus call for Sessions' resignation. Trump's speech was on the 27th, the Dems launched three days ago, Trump countered with "tapped" two day ago.

Unknown said...

Just when you think things couldn't get any staranger...

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/322435-comey-asks-justice-department-to-reject-trumps-claims-report

"FBI Director James Comey reportedly asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election.

Senior American officials told The New York Times on Sunday that Comey has said the president's wiretapping allegations are not true and asked the Justice Department on Saturday to publicly correct the record.

The report comes after President Trump, in a series of early Saturday tweets, claimed President Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower.

The FBI and the DOJ declined to comment to the Times.

Comey wants the Justice Department to deflate Trump’s claim because there is no evidence to support it, the Times reported, and it insinuates that Comey's FBI broke the law, the officials told the paper."

Drago said...

Unknown: ""FBI Director James Comey reportedly asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump's claims that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election"

LOL

We just covered the weasel words.

No, Barack Obama did not don his Time-Warner Cable outfit and head on over to Trump Tower. And since only a FISA court can technically "order" the surveillance.

McCarthy has already shot this latest dem fall-back position/excuse out of the water:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/445504/obama-camp-disingenuous-denials-fisa-surveillance-trump

snip: "First, as Obama officials well know, under the FISA process, it is technically the FISA court that “orders” surveillance. And by statute, it is the Justice Department, not the White House, that represents the government in proceedings before the FISA court. So, the issue is not whether Obama or some member of his White House staff “ordered” surveillance of Trump and his associates. The issues are (a) whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court, and (b) whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so. Personally, given the explosive and controversial nature of the surveillance request we are talking about – an application to wiretap the presidential candidate of the opposition party, and some of his associates, during the heat of the presidential campaign, based on the allegation that the candidate and his associates were acting as Russian agents – it seems to me that there is less than zero chance that could have happened without consultation between the Justice Department and the White House."

Keep spinning li'l soldier. The Stasi-left needs you to keep up morale!

AReasonableMan said...

Angel-Dyne said...
As buwaya says, you know better than that.


Can we go back to calling me a libtard? Now I feel like I am in grade school disappointing some particularly demanding teachers.

Mark said...

Comey obstructing justice isn't strange. It appears to be SOP for him.

Mary Beth said...

I have a hard time figuring out the difference between unsupported claims that need to be investigated immediately and unsupported claims that need to be ignored.

(Not really. Although, if I didn't know who was making the claim against whom, I wouldn't know whether to expect a call by the press for investigation or not.)

Drago said...

To repeat: here are 2 questions we will get answers to:

(a) whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court, and
(b) whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so.

Again, we have the spectre of a sitting administration unleashing the investigative powers of all it's intelligence agencies as well as other agencies against an opposing Presidential candidate in the middle of an election and then changing all the key rules for how that information is shared across the government AND making sure no US citizen names are redacted until much later in the process.

All of which ensured all the raw, classified data and intercept methods were exposed broadly across the government with the information all ending up in lefty MSM outlets.

Gee, nothing to see there. Not a smidgeon of corruption.

But Trump took office anyway. And now he is in the oval office. And he and the republican led committees will get the information outed.

Can't wait to see the justification for the original rejected June 2016 FISA request as well as the later modified October 2016 request.

Hmmmm, a second request, right at the moment when it was clear that Hillary's campaign was in more trouble than anyone thought possible.

Hmmmm, nothing to see there...but we're gonna get to see it anyway!

Carry on!

Unknown said...

Sorry Drago,

Your weekend of hoping Obama is like Nixon just deflated. But I demand at the very least a congressional hearing and better yet a special prosecutor!

Drago said...

ARM: "Can we go back to calling me a libtard?"

Nope.

Quite frankly during this entire campaign other than you jumping on the Trump rumors for some obvious fun without becoming too emotionally involved with those rumors, you haven't been so bad.

You know, for a Philistine.

buwaya said...

ARM,

I spend at least half my professional time "teaching", in a demanding field. So you may be right there.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Sorry Drago, Your weekend of hoping Obama is like Nixon just deflated."

You've already demonstrated you cannot avoid the potholes that are right in front of you when it comes to the facts of this rapidly evolving story.

It's not a surprise you take this non-denial denial to heart. Given your position what choice do you have?

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
other than you jumping on the Trump rumors for some obvious fun


Whatever happened to that nice young man Milo?

buwaya said...

Comey had to know the details of the FISA requests.
I suspect he is being rather desperate to pin it all on DOJ.

He probably has a lot of skeletons in the closet besides, as is to be suspected for a man who has had to deal with such a corrupt lot for so long. Its not difficult to become implicated, if only because turning a blind eye has to become a habit.

Drago said...

ARM: "Whatever happened to that nice young man Milo"

Case in point.

Drago said...

buwaya: "Comey had to know the details of the FISA requests.
I suspect he is being rather desperate to pin it all on DOJ."

The FBI and DOJ both had to be involved.

There is perhaps one saving grace in that a supposed early effort by the Obama DOJ to get an FBI investigation up and running and through some District court was turned down.

I don't have the link handy for that particular chapter of this story.

Unknown said...

President Obama should sue Trump for defamation, but I doubt he would, he's just too classy for that.

Unknown said...

"NYT should be powerfully embarrassed to botch things this badly"

Really. Have you read what James Comey has requested from the Justice Department.

How about everything coming out of Trump and his surrogates mouths is fake news. Oh, yeah. That makes no sense because Trumpies are always right.

Dream on as your man Trump goes down.

Drago said...

Unknown: "President Obama should sue Trump for defamation, but I doubt he would, he's just too classy for that"

LOL

Yeah, he's too classy, that's why he won't unleash a court case where both sides get discovery!

BTW, why are you here? Shouldn't you be sending food packages to the victims of your ideology in Venezuela or calling in threats to Jewish centers like your lefty pals?

AprilApple said...

Milo - exiled by the anti-free speech contingent.

We can't have crazy gay men talking badly about the left.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Really. Have you read what James Comey has requested from the Justice Department"

Yes. As already discussed Obama would not be the entity that "ordered" the surveillance. It was the FISA court.

Hmmm, you aren't very sharp are you?

Unknown said...

LOL, but Trump said it was Obama!!!!1111!!!!

Hahahaha! What a bunch of dummies you people are.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
President Obama should sue Trump for defamation, but I doubt he would, he's just too classy for that.

Russia agrees. Obama is the classiest.

You people are a joke.

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

LOL, but Trump said it was Obama!

Uhhhmmmm, Unknown, you know that old saying about where the buck stops? Where did the bucks stop in the Obama administration?

It's not a trick question.

Unknown said...

If a judge ordered a FISA warrant on Trump, it would have to be for probable cause. Trump may have outed himself, hahahahahaha!

Seeing Red said...

We either have rogue departments or we don't.

There is no grey here.

It is that simple.

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

If a judge ordered a FISA warrant on Trump, it would have to be for probable cause

We've covered that above. Unless the judge was lied to about who the targets were & for what reason.

If you can't keep up, why don't you go take a nap & a cup of coffee & come back refreshed.

Unknown said...

Youngster,
Don't you people ever get tired of conspiracy theories?

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

Conspiracies? You mean like the facts that it took three times before a judge over a period of 4 months before a judge signed off? Those facts are not in dispute. Why a did a FISA judge, who almost never turn down requests, turn down the request for a FISA warrant?

The only "conspiracy" questions now have to do with the intentions of the FBI & DoJ officials involved. That will come out soon enough.

Remember, "conspiracies" occur on both sides of the political divide. That the mean ol' syphilitic Trumpies are coming out of nowhere to go after poor little Obama officials who were so sweet that butter wouldn't melt in their mouths is itself a delusional conspiracy.

No one, but no one, can say that the Obama DoJ wasn't one loosey-goosey organization.

Drago said...

Poor Unknown.

She's still reeling from her failed prediction of Sessions demise.

Remember, she gave him 2 days before he resigned! Too funny.

Unknown said...

Hmmm, anyone think that the FBI has gotten info about Trump via intercepts from a foreign government? No FISA warrant needed at all, lol.

Unknown said...

Drago, I don't care about Sessions and didn't say he should resign. I did say he should recuse himself, which he did, thanks!

Hagar said...

If a judge ordered a FISA warrant on Trump, it would have to be for probable cause.

They did not have a valid "probable cause" for James Rosen, so they just forged one, and Eric Holder wound up publicly apologizing on national TV for having done that to so fine and upstanding a young man and excellent journalist as James Rosen.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Youngster, Don't you people ever get tired of conspiracy theories?"

I think everyone is especially tired of the Trump/Putin-throw the election conspiracy.

What's most interesting about that is that we now know that every single intelligence agency in our govt has investigated (almost certainly improperly) the Trump campaign and Trump surrogates for over a year and there was ZERO information developed for that accusation.

Which is why the idea that Trump is "outing" himself is hilarious by this pushback.

Remember, it's only the DOJ reps in with the FISA judge to gain the surveillance permission and we know that the DOJ had to narrow it signficantly, yet still used it to conduct surveillance on Trump and his associates.

As reported in the New York Times and McClatchy amongst others.

Michael K said...

If Comey really did try to squash the rumors, Unknown/Inga finally said something worth reading.

If he did, he may have chosen his side and I suspect he will not end well. Maybe he is too compromised to back down.

My daughter said the FBI agent who submitted the request is not in trouble. Maybe it all was done outside the FISA court.

It will be an interesting few weeks.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Hmmm, anyone think that the FBI has gotten info about Trump via intercepts from a foreign government? No FISA warrant needed at all, lolj"

No.

Because it would have been leaked months ago.

And wasn't.

I'm typing slow to help you out.

No, what we see now are the dems screaming about Sessions to keep hope alive, but that ship has sailed long ago.

And Trump has learned much and is calling attention to it. Something tells me that the Executive branch has learned quite a bit about our obama pals over the last 6 weeks or so. Quite a bit indeed and they feel confident enough to focus everyone on this.

Achilles said...

Unknown said...
If a judge ordered a FISA warrant on Trump, it would have to be for probable cause. Trump may have outed himself, hahahahahaha!

Anyone with any intelligence at all has realized everything is being leaked to the press. People have been illegally leaking even nothing for months. Saying this just makes you look stupid.

Hmmm, anyone think that the FBI has gotten info about Trump via intercepts from a foreign government? No FISA warrant needed at all, lol.

Delusional. You people have lost. You are down to making excuses for using the state against political opponents. This in addition to the multiple episodes of violence committed by leftists all over the country makes you toxic to the republic. You can go hard or easy, but you are going to go.

Michael K said...

People I know and who probably know what they are talking about, say Trump, because of the casino business in some of his hotels, has very tight cyber security. If people were tapping his phones, or more likely, planted bugs, they are probably known to him through his security people.

One theory is that his tweet was a fire alarm for the underlings who will now be looking for an out, which just might be ratting out the people who ordered the surveillance.

This guy is not Hillary or Podesta who uses "Password" as his password.

Jon Ericson said...

What's your password Sugartits?

American Liberal Elite said...

It would be nice if you held the president to the same exacting standards to which you hold the NYT.

Jon Ericson said...

That's too dumb to comment on.

Jon Ericson said...

Especially from someone who thinks itself an "American Liberal Elite".
lol.

Carry On!

Angel-Dyne said...

ARM: Can we go back to calling me a libtard? Now I feel like I am in grade school disappointing some particularly demanding teachers.

Well, OK.

But only on weekends! Slacking won't be permitted during the work week.

Libtard.

Sebastian said...

"the NYT should be powerfully embarrassed to botch things this badly" Faux indignation, right? I mean, that assumes standards and integrity and concern for any reputation besides pushing the prog narrative du jour.

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