March 5, 2017

"President Trump... demanded a congressional inquiry into whether Mr. Obama abused the power of federal law enforcement agencies before the 2016 presidential election."

The NYT reports.
“President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said in the statement.

Mr. Spicer, who repeated the entire statement in a series of Twitter messages, added that “neither the White House nor the president will comment further until such oversight is conducted.”

136 comments:

tim in vermont said...

I guess that there were no wiretaps, and all of these leaks of purported conversations between Trump advisors and the Russians were fake news! Or perhaps they were "alternative facts" offered up to explain the election!

Lewis Wetzel said...

I reckon that there are many ways a sitting president can make things uncomfortable for a predecessor who still believes that he represents the American People.

rhhardin said...

President Trump demanded a congressional inquiry into whether Barack Obama tapped his phones. He still offered no proof for the charge.

- NYT breaking news email headline.

tim in vermont said...

Obama has stated that he would have won, had he run for a third term, so that's good enough for him. He's the smartest guy in the country, after all. Dictator for life!

rhhardin said...

Nobody actually cares but it screws up the media environment for the Democrat narrative.

Mark said...

Trump setting up the precedent of investigations of the prior President.

Gee, what could go wrong with that idea in 4 years?

rhhardin said...

Call the scandal pair investi-gate.

jaydub said...

8 years, Mark, 8 years.

Michael K said...

Congress is not good at investigations as the Congress critters are all media hogs. Maybe they will appoint someone to do it.

My first choice s Andy McCarthy who has new input today.

President Trump’s tweets on Saturday claimed that “President Obama . . . tapp[ed] my phones[,]” which makes it more likely that Trump was targeted for surveillance, rather than merely mentioned in the application. In any event, the FISA court reportedly turned down the Obama Justice Department’s request, which is notable: The FISA court is notoriously solicitous of government requests to conduct national-security surveillance (although, as I’ve noted over the years, the claim by many that it is a rubber-stamp is overblown). Not taking no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department evidently returned to the FISA court in October 2016, the critical final weeks of the presidential campaign. This time, the Justice Department submitted a narrowly tailored application that did not mention Trump. The court apparently granted it, authorizing surveillance of some Trump associates. It is unknown whether that surveillance is still underway, but the New York Times has identified – again, based on illegal leaks of classified information – at least three of its targets: Paul Manafort (the former Trump campaign chairman who was ousted in August), and two others whose connection to the Trump campaign was loose at best, Manafort’s former political-consulting business partner Roger Stone, and investor Carter Page.

A "Special Prosecutor" is allowed considerable leeway on topics, as was Ken Starr who began with Whitewater and ended up with Monica Lewinski. The Clinton Foundation had significant Russian connections.

Tommy Duncan said...

The risk Trump is running in asking for a Congressional inquiry is that he can't be sure which side the GOP will take.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"President Trump demanded a congressional inquiry into whether Barack Obama tapped his phones. He still offered no proof for the charge.

- NYT breaking news email headline."

Why bother w/ demanding an investigation. DJT already stated as fact that this happened. So, DJT can simply tells us all how he knows these facts = investigation over.

Fernandinande said...

There's a new version of "Spinal Tap" coming out, called "Wire Tap".

It's about some zany over-the-hill halfwits and maybe their passion for glam-rock.

AllenS said...

Never trust anyone from Kenya.

Mark said...

This much is CERTAIN -- neither the FBI or any other executive branch agency can be trusted to conduct any kind of investigation in this area, with too many Obama holdovers and too many sympathizers in the career positions even if these same people were not the same ones that need investigating.

harryo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Mike Sylwester said...

From Andrew McCarthy's article "FISA and the Trump Team" on the National Review website.

[quote]

... The theory of the [President Bill] Clinton DOJ brass in imposing the Wall was the potential that a rogue criminal investigator, lacking sufficient evidence to obtain a traditional wiretap, would manufacture a national-security angle in order to get a wiretap under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). A traditional wiretap requires evidence amounting to probable cause of commission of a crime. A FISA wiretap requires no showing of a crime, just evidence amounting to probable cause that the target of the wiretap is an agent of a foreign power. ...

FISA wiretaps ... go through a ... difficult and remote chain of command. In it, the district AUSA and FBI crim-div agents who started the investigation get cut out of the process, which is taken over by Main Justice’s National Security Division and the FBI’s national-security agents. ....

... someone at the FBI initially had concerns that banking laws were being violated, but when the Bureau looked into it, investigators found no crimes were being committed. Rather than drop the matter for lack of evidence of criminal offenses, the Justice Department and FBI pursued it as a national-security investigation. ....

Presumably based on the fact that the bank or banks at issue were Russian, the Justice Department and the FBI decided to continue investigating on national-security grounds. ...

While it’s too early to say for sure, it may also be an example of what I thought would never actually happen: the government pretextually using its national-security authority to continue a criminal investigation after determining it lacked evidence of crimes.

[end quote]

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443768/obama-fisa-trump-wiretap

rhhardin said...

State spelled backwards is etats.

robother said...

It never quite made sense why the Democrats/MSM were pushing this Trump as Manchurian Candidate narrative so hard. Now, it begins to make sense, as providing retroactive cover for tapping Trump during the campaign.

The denials by Obama and Clapper this morning seem very artfully phrased if in fact there never was any actual tapping of Trump Tower or any FISA court requests to authorize same. More like "not to my knowledge" and Obama didn't personally authorize tapping "any U.S. Citizen." (Of course the NSA is legally authorized to tap only foreign conversations, albeit with US citizens.)

David Begley said...

And Senator Tom Cotton said on Fox News Sunday said the committee would look into it.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Mark said...
Trump setting up the precedent of investigations of the prior President."

Obama has set the precedent of meddling in a Presidential election during his lame duck term. Now he's set up shop in DC to try to act as a shadow government.

You see nothing wrong with that, I take it.

Mark said...

The point made above that Congress cannot be trusted either -- whether for political or competency reasons -- is very valid too. But rather than one "independent counsel," I would establish a hand-selected commission to expose all those involved in the Obama Administration's Watergate-style dirty tricks and electronic surveillance of the presidential campaign of the opposing party, including sitting members of Congress and private U.S. citizens.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

My Starbucks cup is mostly white w/ a green logo. I won't show it to you to prove this. Rather, I demand that Congress should have an investigation to see if my cup is mostly white w/ a green logo.



Carry on.

Darrell said...

Loretta Lynch calls for more marching, blood in the streets. That guarantees that nobody will talk to her.

Michael K said...

Democrats are good at "Unexpected Consequences."

This may be another example.

David said...

Why did the Obama administration seek a FiSA warrant for Trump Tower? Who was behind it? What else was done, with or without Obama's approval? Why did Obama NOT act when he knew of the invasion of Podesta's and Clinton's emails? What about these renegades who have been fired by DNC/House of Representatives? There are a lot of possibilities and "Russia" is only one of them.

That said, Trump made a mistake (another one) in directly and immediately personalizing this as something Obama did. if Obama was involved, his participation will be well hidden. Very hard to detect. Better to start with the smaller fish and work up go big fishy if you can find him.

David said...

rhhardin said...
State spelled backwards is etats.


Peed Etats!

Fernandinande said...

Laslo Spatula said...
Disclaimer: Do not let children within six feet of the Ultra-High=Powered Ronco Shit Fan -- serious bodily injuries can result...


This fan, which is also made in the US of A, seems to have smacker-blades at the front so they're already dead before they actually "hit the fan".

AReasonableMan said...

Over the decades we have created a massive security state apparatus focused in large part on Russia as the enemy. How is it surprising that they view their job as ferreting out any and all information about Russian attempts to influence anyone with power in the US?

Meade said...

"Call the scandal pair investi-gate."

And that will bring us back to Doe...

Amadeus 48 said...

Trump pretty much laid off Obama during the campaign. He knocked out the GOP 16, he came on strong to defeat Clinton, he said nice things about Obama for a while, and then the Obama dirty tricks hit and Holder announced that Obama was ready and coming into the fight.

Obama has no future in electoral politics, so the best he can hope for is some other person will be elected president in four years, who will declare him to be at the right hand of God.

I suppose because Obama is acting un-past president-like, Trump will think he is fair game. Trump's people will control the DOJ and the administrative agencies. The GOP controls the Congressional machinery. Obama's people control the mainstream media.

Obama wafted effortlessly upwards on the good will of others. Early in his career, his minions knocked tough competitors off the ballot (he was elected to the Senate in a noncompetitive race with Alan Keyes, who never was a resident of Illinois, after Jack Ryan was chased off the ballot in a sex scandal that involved only Ryan and his own wife). McCain was not a tough opponent because he is so erratic. Romney waited for victory to come to him.

So, Trump vs. Obama. Who do you like--the Queens Krusher or the Debutante's Delight from the South Side? Obama, also known as the Honolulu Honey, has a lot of style--have you seen the crease in his boxing trunks?--and he has natural dignity entering the ring--but his swing is terrible. Trump is new to the presidency but he has been brawling in outer boroughs since he was a pup, and his moves in Manhattan in the eighties had to be seen to be believed. He is not above head-butting, and he has been in court a lot. This tough cookie is always underestimated, and he has had he share of knock-downs, but he has a way of raising his arms at the finish. He is long off the tee, and talks a great game.

Hubba, hubba--right this way.

This fight is being brought to you by the Trump Organization.

David said...

From "The Hill:"

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Sunday said that President Trump is likely correct that there was surveillance on Trump Tower for intelligence purposes, but incorrect in accusing former President Barack Obama of ordering the wiretapping.

“I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general – at the Justice Department,” Mukasey told ABC’s “This Week.”


Mukasey knows his stuff. The is a there there but where?

Darrell said...

Over the decades we have created a massive security state apparatus focused in large part on Russia as the enemy.

If that worked, half the Democrats would be in jail.

Unknown said...

Bring it on!

Mark said...

The question is --

What did the president (Obama) know and when did he know it?

His actions afterward, including radically changing the rules to allow for secret intercepted communications to be more widely divulged, greatly suggest that the enterprise had his support and that he was personally involved in spreading its poisonous fruits. Even if he got in the conspiracy late in the game, that makes him culpable for all of it.

David Begley said...

David above.

I note that there are a number of tenants in Trump Tower, including a large Chinese bank. The possibility exists that the FISA order was directed at a tenant.

William said...

It shouldn't be hard to either prove or disprove whether there were FISA requests. Contra Obama, it's hard to imagine that there weren't political motivations involved in such requests--if there were, in fact, such requests. Contra Trump, these are serious charges and should be leveled from a worthier platform than Twitter......In any event, if the purpose of the Russian hacking was to alienate Americans from their leaders and electoral system, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

WisRich said...

From "The Hill:"

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey on Sunday said that President Trump is likely correct that there was surveillance on Trump Tower for intelligence purposes, but incorrect in accusing former President Barack Obama of ordering the wiretapping.

“I think he’s right in that there was surveillance and that it was conducted at the behest of the attorney general – at the Justice Department,” Mukasey told ABC’s “This Week.”

Mukasey knows his stuff. The is a there there but where?

3/5/17, 10:25 AM
------

Mukasey doesn't shot from the hip. Advantage - Golden Scalp Weasel.

wendybar said...

Mark Levin lays out a few article from NYT, and a few others that talk about wiretapping in January...... https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-levin/heres-just-some-of-what-we-know/10154134569580946

AReasonableMan said...

Darrell said...
If that worked, half the Democrats would be in jail.


Having used the fear of commies under the bed to win electoral battles for decades it seems appropriate somehow that the shoe is now on the other foot. No room for complaint there.

Michael K said...

" Better to start with the smaller fish and work up go big fishy if you can find him."

I agree but the Democrats are seriously misjudging this.

Does anyone really think Loretta Lynch would order a FISA warrant on Trump without Obama's approval ?

readering said...

Wow. When I first saw Saturday tweets I assumed Trump had been briefed earlier and couldn't resist blabbing. Turns out it's more like the birth certificate bull.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

This link was posted in the other thread:

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/04/if-trump-tower-was-wiretapped-trump-can-declassify-that-right-now/

As president, Tump already has access to the facts. Just declassify the relevant documents. The only person in a position to obfuscate now is Trump.

Mark said...

these are serious charges and should be leveled from a worthier platform than Twitter

The allegations (and evidence in support thereof) have been out there for some time, but without getting any traction.

Well, they have traction now. The use of Twitter worked where other methods failed. So it was worthy for getting the job done.

The mistake was not that Trump exposed all this or that he used Twitter to do it, the "mistake" was that the MSM bit hard on it. Now it cannot be ignored.

Nyamujal said...

"“President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016,”

Sure, have at it. Daylight is an excellent disinfectant. The only GOP play here is to have a sham investigation and put any rumors of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to rest. If they let this fester it'll only get worse. If the Dems win big in 2018 they'll make the Benghazi hearings seem like a Charlie Rose interview.
Besides, I'm sure the GOP establishment, through Pence and Priebus, is trying desperately to get Trump to stop running his mouth. They have a small window to enact their tax cuts and pro-business, pro-rich people policies. This shitshow is distracting them from gaining any traction on their legislative goals.

Unknown said...

According to some, Trump can declassify anything. Why doesn't he declassify the reason that a FISA warrant was issued? He probably spilled the beans on himself tweeting about being wire tapped, lol.

chickelit said...

Why is Jake Tapper so silent on tapping?

Michael K said...

"Having used the fear of commies under the bed to win electoral battles for decades "

But the difference is that they were there then.

Harry Dexter White

Alger Hiss.

Aldrich Aames

Robert Hanssen

Maybe even Harry Hopkins although that is still not proven.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

There is proof that the Obama Justice Department did F w/ the election result:

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

chickelit said...

Nyamujal speculates: If the Dems win big in 2018 they'll make the Benghazi hearings seem like a Charlie Rose interview.

The truth is subjunctive? Why are you so certain that the Dems are a gathering force rather than farce?

Michael K said...

"If the Dems win big in 2018 they'll make the Benghazi hearings seem like a Charlie Rose interview. "

Have you seen who the new Missouri Governor is ?

A Republican former SEAL. McCaskill must be shaking in her boots.

Mark said...

As president, Tump already has access to the facts.

That is a non-established presumption. In fact, there were many reports a few weeks ago about Obama holdovers refusing to tell President Trump everything. And they are certainly not going to divulge their own malfeasance.

Amadeus 48 said...

So confusing when there are so any unknown Unknowns, as Donald Rumsfeld said. One hardly knows what one knows and what one doesn't know. But we can all agree: Bring it on!

The Trump Organization has some exclusive fight memorabilia available to fans producing their voter registration and proof of citizenship.

The Obama Library and Museum (in formation) offers a chance to spend 15 minutes with the Honolulu Honey to one lucky donor from the first 10,000 who give at least $50,000 to the Museum and Library. Cash or certified checks only. No pledges, please.

Seeing Red said...

Via Insty:

TIMELINE of Obama Administration spying. “In summary: the Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.”

Matthew Sablan said...

I mean, we know he did regarding the IRS. So, the real question is if he did anywhere else.

Fernandinande said...

David said...
rhhardin said...State spelled backwards is etats.

Peed Etats!


Code-Talker, huh? Well, the Frogs call the US "Etats Unis", which is Code-Talker talk for "Sinu State".

Chąą' báhooghan !

Unknown said...

Whatever happened to the investigation regarding the 3-5 million illegal votes cast in the last election? We're not hearing to much about that one nowadays, I suspect this "congressional investigation" will also be relegated to dead investigations, but I hope not. He doesn't really want one, he's deflecting from the actual ongoing investigations. However, I would welcome one more investigation to either prove or disprove Trump's early morning rantings. Just why did some judge order a FISA warrant? What made him think there was probable cause to issue one?

AReasonableMan said...

Mark said...
That is a non-established presumption.


FISA warrants leave an extensive paper trail. They can't be hidden from the president. In addition the FISC judges are appointed solely by the Chief Justice of the United States, hard to argue liberal bias there.

chickelit said...

Unknown asks...Just why did some judge order a FISA warrant? What made him think there was probable cause to issue one?

Why doesn't someone identify that judge and ask him/her?

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
But the difference is that they were there then.


Even more reason to be extra vigilant.

Mark said...

TIMELINE of Obama Administration spying. “In summary: the Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.”

From the facts already established, the question is not whether there was Watergate-style illegality, the question is -- who are the guilty parties?

When you come across a body shot in the chest, you do not ask, "Was someone killed? Was there a murder? Where's the evidence of that?" Rather, you ask but one question -- "Who did it?"

This is a "whodunit" mystery, not a "what happened?"

Unknown said...

".... then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media."

So why does Trump keep yelling about leaks of "classified" material? More pretzel twisting.

Curious George said...

"chickelit said...
Why is Jake Tapper so silent on tapping?"

He wants that CNN paycheck to keep coming every other week.

Angel-Dyne said...

Michael K to ARM: "Having used the fear of commies under the bed to win electoral battles for decades "

But the difference is that they were there then.


The left is both delighted that this is true and in deep denial to themselves that this is true.

Their crazy has been simmering for a long time now.

Unknown said...

"Unknown asks...Just why did some judge order a FISA warrant? What made him think there was probable cause to issue one?"

"Why doesn't someone identify that judge and ask him/her?"

Trump has that power, why doesn't he do it?

cf said...

like I said, Trump is the most transparent president ever.
you wanna stay in DC and play rumpus room, Loser?
let's play.

Matthew Sablan said...

"This is a "whodunit" mystery, not a "what happened?""

-- Technically, it is a whodunit vs howdunit? How done its are popular on TV where the viewer knows the bad guy from the start, but doesn't know HOW we'll prove they're the bad guy (several episodes of Monk/Murder She Wrote are excellent examples.)

Matthew Sablan said...

"; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely "

-- I wonder how Democrats would react to a local police department continuing to monitor people after they'd been determined to not be doing anything wrong, with the police department changing the rules until they found something wrong.

Seeing Red said...

Jack Ryan was chased off the ballot because sealed divorce documents were unsealed somehow and published.

Nyamujal said...

@chickelit
"The truth is subjunctive? Why are you so certain that the Dems are a gathering force rather than farce?"

They're not gathering force, but Trump's penchant for self-sabotage is definitely helping them. The dems are also taking a page out of the Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell playbook. You don't really have to put forth an alternative vision to succeed electorally. All you have to do is oppose the president every step of the way. Obstructionism works.

Matthew Sablan said...

"They're not gathering force, but Trump's penchant for self-sabotage is definitely helping them."

-- I can only hope to self-sabotage myself into multi-million dollar industries and the presidency.

AReasonableMan said...

If Trump's argument is that we should dismantle the surveillance state because it is open to abuse he will get no argument from me. Let's deconstruct those fuckers.

Nyamujal said...

"Whatever happened to the investigation regarding the 3-5 million illegal votes cast in the last election? We're not hearing to much about that one nowadays, I suspect this "congressional investigation" will also be relegated to dead investigations, but I hope not. He doesn't really want one, he's deflecting from the actual ongoing investigations. However, I would welcome one more investigation to either prove or disprove Trump's early morning rantings. Just why did some judge order a FISA warrant? What made him think there was probable cause to issue one?"

Yep. I agree. I'm willing to put down at least $300 or more on a bet that the number of illegal votes is no where near 3 million. 3000? Perhaps. 300,000? Not likely, but remotely plausible if you believe in silly conspiracies. 3 million? BULLSHIT.

robother said...

What are the possibilities that the NSA operatives went ahead and tapped Trump Campaign even after the June FISA court denial?

Darrell said...

Laslo needs to give us his take on the initial meeting where pimply-faced Obama/DNC staffers came up with the "Russia did it!" lie. Where they said the stupid American people--who still think Russia is the Soviet Union--will eat it up. Where Hillary/Podesta/ and the Biden boys were already on Russia's payroll or in their debt.

Michael K said...

FISA warrants leave an extensive paper trail. They can't be hidden from the president.

Thank you for making my point., Obama had to know and approve.

I assume Trump will eventually declassify the FISA warrant and the documentation. Maybe they want to clean up info they don;t want to declassify but I assume he will make it public.

Now Lewandowski says they were bugging Sessions' office in the Senate Office Building,

This may get to be fun.

Darrell said...

The "3-5 million illegal votes" estimate is just a back-of-the-envelope calculation based on a single older study of "illegal" behavior. It can be many times greater. Especially when the President speaks with an illegal and tells her "illegal" audience that they won't be prosecuted.

Nyamujal said...

"The "3-5 million illegal votes" estimate is just a back-of-the-envelope calculation based on a single older study of "illegal" behavior."

I'd be careful with wild extrapolations. The function here can in no way be extrapolated to yield your estimate.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Obama had to know and approve.


No. His approval is not necessary. The judges on FISC, appointed by the Chief Justice Roberts did know however and apparently thought things were kosher if there is any there there.

Your complaint, it there is any, is with them. And I couldn't be happier to see all this surveillance state crap dismantled. Lead the charge Trumpists.

Darrell said...

I'd be careful with wild extrapolations.

Right. Especially when you just gave us low-ball estimates out of your ass.

chickelit said...

Darrell reminds: Especially when the President speaks with an illegal and tells her "illegal" audience that they won't be prosecuted.

Yes, that was reprehensible. That video clip needs to play over and over again. But to Nyamujal's chagrin, the time is not yet right for that battle.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"Having used the fear of commies under the bed to win electoral battles for decades it seems appropriate somehow that the shoe is now on the other foot. No room for complaint there."

Scoop Jackson, call your office. Is the Left crushingly ignorant, crushingly dishonest, or both?

Yes, that is a rhetorical question.

chickelit said...

Seeing Red relayed via Instapundit:
TIMELINE of Obama Administration spying. 'In summary: the Obama administration sought, and eventually obtained, authorization to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign; continued monitoring the Trump team even when no evidence of wrongdoing was found; then relaxed the NSA rules to allow evidence to be shared widely within the government, virtually ensuring that the information, including the conversations of private citizens, would be leaked to the media.'

Where does the election fall in that timeline? I'd like to make a point about hubris.

Browndog said...

Liberals:

Trump and Putin stole the election from Hillary--no evidence, let's investigate.

Obama did not wire tap Trump--no proof, let's not investigate.

Darrell said...

Where does the election fall in that timeline?

Legal Insurrection has an excellent timeline. I'd have to copy too much to put it here. Go there and see.

Tee REX said...

Let's follow-up Trump's Russian contacts investigation with past administration's various deals including, but not limited to: Hillary Clinton's State Department approval of 20% of the US uranium supply rights to Russia; Senator Schumer's dealings to allow a Russian oil company to install gas stations in Manhattan and former President Obama's involvement in tapping phones in Trump's election and directing the IRS to target the Tea Party. While we're at it, let's take a look at Bill Clinton's transference of missile technology to China and...

All the while, keeping the MSM busy putting out fires so Trump can get some work done to save America from itself.

Nyamujal said...

"Right. Especially when you just gave us low-ball estimates out of your ass."

If the "2-5 million illegals" voted is the hill you've chosen to die on, have at it. Even Jesse Richman's extrapolation, which I don't believe as it has issues and is based on self-reported survey data, maxes out at 834,000 votes. That's no where close to 3 million. If widespread voter fraud were really an issue, the GOP wouldn't be backtracking from Trump's absurd claims: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/25/politics/jason-chaffetz-donald-trump-voter-fraud/

AReasonableMan said...

If Trump and Bannon are serious about deconstructing government wouldn't the first place to start be dismantling our surveillance state? They could take it apart reasonably easily since there is deference to the president regarding matters of national security. This was one of the lefts major complaints about Obama that he did nothing to decrease the intrusiveness of the surveillance state. Trump could trump Obama on this.

tim in vermont said...

"How is it surprising that they view their job as ferreting out any and all information about Russian attempts to influence anyone with power in the US?" -ARM

I hope you didn't get whiplash from Obama's "the eighties called, and they want their foreign policy back" to his latter policy that Russia is the linchpin of all evil.

BTW, if Trump had made that comment, fact checkers at the WaPo would have given it four Pinocchios, since a decade can't actually pick up a phone.

tim in vermont said...

his was one of the lefts major complaints about Obama that he did nothing to decrease the intrusiveness of the surveillance state.

Yeah, using those powers to spy on reporters is now described as "doing nothing to decrease" rather than "ratcheting up the abuse."

tim in vermont said...

It's the only "reasonable" way to describe it.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
I hope you didn't get whiplash from Obama's "the eighties called, and they want their foreign policy back" to his latter policy that Russia is the linchpin of all evil.


You are confusing Obama and the surveillance state. Not the same thing. Obama is gone the surveillance state endures.

tim in vermont said...

Obama had eight years to populate the NSA, CIA, DOJ, and FBI with his people. Personnel is policy.

Unknown said...

"Liberals:

Trump and Putin stole the election from Hillary--no evidence, let's investigate.

Obama did not wire tap Trump--no proof, let's not investigate."

That's bullshit. Every liberal I know is all for investigating it all. As I said upthread, bring it on. Why put forth this false narrative about liberals?

tim in vermont said...

Plus, if Obama was so adamantly opposed to this kind of use of the powers against political opponents, now would be a good time to speak up about it.

Amadeus 48 said...

I have noticed among my friends and acquaintances, and on the comment section, people are really choosing sides right now, and blocking out common sense.

Some observations:
1. Donald Trump is very good at grabbing the tiller and setting the media narrative off on a new course. His opponents wanted to scalp Jeff Sessions this weekend, and now they have to defend the Obama Justice Department with no facts to do it with.
2. Barack Obama is not acting even with the dignity of Jimmy Carter. There is a reason former presidents leave the stage: their time in the spotlight is over. Obama may well regret this. His power is diminished. His enemies are not so afraid of him as they were.
3. Donald Trump made his career out of making outrageous, inaccurate, attention-grabbing statements. Everybody knows it. He knows it. He knows everybody knows it. Fact-checking him is silly--he doesn't have his facts right. The press looks like the they all went to Gradgrind's school. Here's a tip: Trump plays to emotional truth, not factual truth. If you don't get that, you'll never be effective at countering him.
4. Talking about impeachment six weeks after inauguration is silly. All he has done so far is make a bunch of top-level appointments and undo a bunch of things that Obama did by executive order. The pressure points for this administration will come when it has to deal with Congress. Plenty of spectator sport coming down the road--like when we hit the debt ceiling later this month. Haven't I seen this movie before? Where is that Obamacare replacement, anyway?
I could go on. Trump is having fun, but that is going to stop soon. He'll try to keep the entertainment going while he takes what he can get in the backroom and then comes out to announce THE BEST DEAL EVER MADE BY ANY PRESIDENT AT ANY TIME, AND THAT INCLUDES THAT SAD LOSER OBAMA.
This is going to be like Schwarzenegger in California, except with greater salesmanship.

Darrell said...

Because there is no system in place, intentionally on Democrat orders, to prevent illegal immigrants from voting (see California's "motor voter" laws and self-identifying mechanisms that can't be challenged by State workers), we have no clue as to how many illegals voted in the last election. I'll say 14 million, because I thing 6% (or whatever they used for the back-of-the-envelope calculation) is way too low. The Democrats would not be putting as much effort into bringing in illegals if they only got a 6% return.

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
Obama had eight years to populate the NSA, CIA, DOJ, and FBI with his people. Personnel is policy.


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"

Tear it down, I say. Tear it down. You Trumpistas should tear it down.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"This is going to be like Schwarzenegger in California, except with greater salesmanship."

Republicans control the California Legislature?

tim in vermont said...

https://www.aclu.org/other/nsa-spying-americans-illegal

I am still trying to figure out if all of those leaks of intercepted conversations which were used to such effect against Trump appointees were examples of "alternative facts" because, you know, the NSA would never spy on an American, or were they just "fake news" because the surveillance never happened... Or did the surveillance happen?

It's a mystery! Trump is demanding an investigation, the New York Times is opining that no such investigation should be undertaken. Makes one wonder where the Times, with its insider knowledge of what the Democrats are thinking and want to happen, thinks such an investigation would lead.

Investigate on! We all agree. This is too important an issue to sweep under the rug.

tim in vermont said...

Meanwhile the DOJ couldn't rouse itself to investigate clear violations of the law that Hillary committed that were testified to by Abedin, her right hand.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Why is Jake Tapper so silent on tapping?"

Because of people like me, who push it too far, way too far, saying junk like "hey Tapper I hope you name your son Cervix!"

Ask him how long he's bugled Taps, tap dancing puns, etc.

I don't blame the poor player, it is this seemingly almightly damned game we all play that is at fault...

Amadeus 48 said...

Cracker Emcee--I don't think either party controls the House. It is not clear to me the the Freedom Caucus in the House answers to the House leadership or feels compelled to vote for Trump's big government plans. Look at the often expressed animosity in these comments towards Ryan and McCarthy. I sense more HR drama coming. And speaking of drama, in the Senate, the GOP has 52 Senators including McCain, Graham, Collins and Murkowski. I sense some egos that at a minimum will require massaging and offerings. Between the NeverTrumpers and the "Hell no" conservatives, Trump does not have smooth sailing ahead in the GOP.
Where does a can-do deal-maker go when he needs more votes? Why, to the other party.
Watch the heads explode when Trump and his old friend Schumer make a deal that goes right around Cruz, Lee, McCain and any fiscal conservatives in the Senate, with Pelosi standing there grinning while 40 members of her caucus vote with the Trump to run over the Freedom Caucus. That scenario sounds a lot like where Schwarzenegger ended up.
Have a nice day, and enjoy the show.

Michael K said...

If widespread voter fraud were really an issue, the GOP wouldn't be backtracking from Trump's absurd claims: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/25/politics/jason-chaffetz-donald-trump-voter-fraud/

So, there should be no objection to voter ID, right ?

We already know that black voter turnout exceeds white voter turnout on the southern states that were the subject of the consent decree.

Soon, the voter ID bills will start coming out of Congress and then you lefties that say there are no illegals will have a chance to see the evidence,

Night Owl said...

Commenter Crimso said in an earlier thread:
"The repeated pushing of the "Trump colluded with the Russians" fable long after it's clear there is no "there" there now makes perfect sense. Those culpable desperately need for there to be suspicion of Trump and the Russians to justify the FISA warrant. "

That has the ring of truth. We know that Obama has no problem using the govt to go after his opponents-- the weaponized IRS and the wiretapping of a reporter are the well-known examples. There are probably others we don't know about.

We know Pres. "I won" Obama is vindictive and hates Trump, probably over the "Birther" stuff. Based on what we all know so far, here is my conjecture: The Fisa taps were a -- probably illegal-- fishing expedition. Obama --using his DOJ-- was hoping to get some dirt that he could use to destroy Trump, or at least neuter him. Based on what has been reported, the servers Trump used to connect to Russian Banks were targeted for surveillance. But apparently these servers were just for normal, legal business operations. If not we would've been told by now.

Keep in mind that they all expected Trump to lose... but he didn't. That must've have scared the crap out of a lot of the rats who've had cover for 8 years under Obama's DOJ and the crooked media. What was that unconfirmed quote attributed to Hillary prior to the election: "If Trump wins we all hang?"...Or something like that.

The non-stop "Russia hacking" nonsense is being driven out of desperation. It has always come across to many as a smoke screen intended to obscure something-- I often harped on about how it was to cover up the contents of the wiki documents that highlighted the dirty dealings of the leftists during this last election-- and now we know what that something is: Obama and his DOJ are desperate to create an atmosphere in which their possibly illegal action to bug a US citizen -- even worse, the opposition candidate in a very contentious election year-- on flimsy grounds. Maybe they actually fudged the truth on the FISA application in order to get the second application approved, since the first one was denied. Will all the smoke they are blowing -- with the help of their useful idiots in the press-- work to shield them from prosecution? Tune in tomorrow...

(rhhardin is right; what a freakin' soap opera...)

readering said...

Maybe this is why Sessions recused himself on Russia, so he wouldn't have to take crazy orders from Trump on this. And why Trump ballistic over the recusal. Deputy AG not a Trumpist. He needs to get a crony into Deputy spot so he can safely fire Sessions and start using DOJ the way he planned. Too bad Giuliani turned him down at outset (prescient) and Christie unconfirmable probably.

Amadeus 48 said...

One further point: the Democrats will feel free to kick the stuffing out of Obama if his team dug them into a hole with Nixon-like behavior. They need to look to the next guy. He's the last guy. His future is behind him.

Jay Elink said...

Unknown said...
According to some, Trump can declassify anything. Why doesn't he declassify the reason that a FISA warrant was issued? He probably spilled the beans on himself tweeting about being wire tapped, lol.

***********

Continually offering up nothing but snot and snark is no way to go through life, son.

Night Owl said...

As to why won't Trump just declassify the FISA warrants and make them public? He's a good poker player; you don't reveal your hand too soon, especially if you're bluffing-- perhaps the phones were tapped along with the servers, perhaps not. And he might also be playing "lets make a deal" with the opposition, and any damaging info on the FISA warrants are bargaining chips.

The other possibility is that Trump's latest tweets are a hail-Mary pass from a desperate and unhinged man who is actually a paid Russian stooge, who undermined the election using some sort of Russian mind control on the American electorate-- perhaps something was put in the water at those Trump rallies-- and he stole the election from the well-loathed Hillary, to become President and turn the USA into a satellite of Russia.


But of course this is all just speculation on my part.

Night Owl said...

Correction to my first comment above :

Obama and his DOJ are desperate to create an atmosphere in which their possibly illegal action to bug a US citizen -- even worse, the opposition candidate in a very contentious election year-- on flimsy grounds.

should read:

Obama and his former DOJ operatives are desperate to create an atmosphere which justifies their possibly illegal action to bug a US citizen -- even worse, the opposition candidate in a very contentious election year-- on flimsy grounds.

Amadeus 48 said...

readering--I am afraid you are behind the class. Here's a bit of tutoring:
Remember when the FBI guy told Priebus that they had not found anything? Did you see Trey Gowdy sitting in the catbird seat on Martha McCallem on Thursday after the meeting with Comey? Have you seen Adam Schiff crying that Comey didn't tell them anything after sitting through the same meeting Gowdy was at? Right now the Dems are hoping, praying that something will turn up, because there is nothing there now.
So Trump, thinking that the Dems were getting off too light, dropped the dime on Team Obama. What is this all about? It's about a bunch of stuff (the FISA requests) that had been lightly reported here in the US because it didn't turn up anything. But Trump, appealing to emotional truth, asked, "What the hell are these clowns doing thinking they can evesdrop on my campaign? Nixon got chased out for that!"
Our stooge press didn't even think about the implications of what they had reported.
Steve Bannon has said some very cutting but sadly accurate things about our media: they are lazy, stupid, and disgustingly partisan stooges of the Democratic Party. They are not even close to the end of their travails with this administration.
And the really sad thing is, if you read Ben Rhodes's interview in the Atlantic, Team Obama knew the same things that Bannon said and bragged about how they had played the press.
I am glad that Althouse is willing to read the New York Times so I don't have to.

readering said...

Fever swamps indeed . . . .

Tee REX said...

Amadeus 48 -
Well said! I should be so articulate.

Michael K said...

readering knows a lot about fever swamps. Inside dope.

Matt said...

Retweeted Stephen King (@StephenKing):
Trump should know OBAMA NEVER LEFT THE WHITE HOUSE! He's in the closet! HE HAS SCISSORS!

This is how Trump's mind works. Ignore it. There are more important things to be concerned with.

rcocean said...

MSM double standard:

1) Did Trump collude with Russians? Trump says no, but he might be lying. We demand proof Trump is innocent. Even if evidence is shaky, Press/Congress must still investigate.

2) Did Obama wiretap Trump? Obama says no. Case closed. Give us proof Trump that Obama ordered it or STFU!

Amadeus 48 said...

Matt (and Stephen King)--Like those Russians permanently installed in the personal residence of the White House, I presume.

Self-awareness is so rare it should be a superpower.

Amadeus 48 said...

Rcocean-- I also loved all the stooge headlines that Obama "refuted" the claim. No he didn't. His spokesman denied the claim. They didn't refute anything.

If these people were trying to look biased against Trump, they couldn't do better.

khesanh0802 said...

@ARM This certainly does make your distaste for the "surveillance state" completely understandable. The one thing - of many - that I take away from all this leaking intelligence is that domestic "intelligence gathering' is completely out of control. Snowden may have been a traitor, he may also have been right. (I can't believe I wrote that!)

wildswan said...

The John Doe investigation of Scott Walker and his supporters went on and on in Wisconsin even after nothing turned up. Police caravans pulled into driveways in suburbia at dawn, turned headlights and spotlights on the doors of conservatives, pulled guns and raced for doors, pounded on doors, once inside burst through houses grabbing every computer and family photos, in the course of interviews threatened wives with prison if they said anything to anyone about this raid and asked if they had been told by anyone about similar raids. The NYT and ALCU simply did not care that this was done to conservatives. This was only stopped by the Wisconsin Supreme Court (after years of such abuses) when one conservative lawyer was brave enough to believe in the system and appeal all the way.

So I find it easy to suspect that Obama, through Loretta Lynch, continued an investigation long after it was seen as useless. And that he abused the FISA process to wiretap in some way the opposition candidate. And that he allowed national security procedures to be exposed and violated before and after the election. It's all a new type of abuse of power but it is now happening. First it was the IRS, now it's national security. It should all be investigated because that's the only way abuses get corrected. Or, more colorfully, this is how you drain the swamp.

And as the swamp drains, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, namely, "national security" routinely used as cover for partisan political advantage by Barack Obama on behalf of Hillary Clinton, comes crawling forth. It's very ugly and will get worse. For, if Democratic party partisans would abuse "national security" to collect data, why would they not abuse "national security" to alter collected data? It feels like sci-fi but it is all now real.

Power has to be devolved back to the states and to the nation states as much as possible so that no official is seen as "too big to fail." That's today's challenge, I think.

Michael K said...

Power has to be devolved back to the states and to the nation states as much as possible so that no official is seen as "too big to fail."

This can't be done in four years. Eight may not be enough. I just hope Trump, and Pence, keep personal security close. I don't trust the USSS.

Dr Weevil said...

Amadeus 48:
Newspapers routinely say 'refute' (prove wrong) when they mean 'rebut' (try to prove wrong), but this is even worse: Obama didn't even rebut the claim, he merely denied it, and did it in such a lawyerly over-parsed way that he might as well have admitted it.

Amadeus 48 said...

Wildswan--
Last year a rather tiresome former friend who moves in Council on Foreign Relations circles in New York breathlessly told me that Russ Feingold had appeared at one of their forums and revealed how the Koch Brothers had staged a takeover of Wisconsin, and it had to be undone. I laughed in her face (that was the beginning of the end of a 40 year friendship). I came home and sent Ron Johnson a $1000 contribution. The election I cared most about last November was Johnson v. Feingold.
I am really sorry I lost my friend, but that line is what was going out to well-meaning Democrats across the country. Wisconsin is the birthplace of the Progressive movement. It has been a bitter pill to lose control. John Doe was their last line of attack.
I am sure they'll be back someday, but in the meantime, on Wisconsin!

Michael K said...

"the Koch Brothers had staged a takeover of Wisconsin"

That was Putin I.

Unknown said...


"Trump should know OBAMA NEVER LEFT THE WHITE HOUSE! He's in the closet! HE HAS SCISSORS!

This is how Trump's mind works. Ignore it. There are more important things to be concerned with."
-------------------
"And the walls have ears and the eyes in the Jackson painting follow you around the room!"

Night Owl said...

William said:
"In any event, if the purpose of the Russian hacking was to alienate Americans from their leaders and electoral system, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams."

That could be true. But I think it more likely that through our media -- both mainstream and social --we have become caught up in a mass hysteria, and without the need for any outside assistance, we are doing a good job of harming ourselves. Laslo, where can I get one of those shit-fans?

Obama vs Trump-- just like a WWE match. And we eat it up, don't we? I admit to being guilty. I've been glued to the internet -- and to a much lesser extent -- the TV, since this broke yesterday. (But I don't do social media. It's a distraction and an indulgence-- one I fear I could easily OD on-- that I don't want in my life. )

Achilles said...

Let's get this party started.

10 points for every elected official republican or democrat who gets more than 5 years in jail.

5 points for every bureaucrat who gets more than a year.

Brass ring for jarret or obama.

A bag of cheetos if you get Trump.

A republic if we are no longer under surveillance for the crime of being citizens.

Mark said...

2009 - Obama is the first black president

2017 - Orange is the new black

readering said...

"I don't trust the USSS."

Fever temperatures going up and up.

Clyde said...

If this is true, then Barack Milhous Obama is even worse than Nixon.

Mark said...

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

Mark said...

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

Sorry, wrong thread.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Does anyone really think Loretta Lynch would order a FISA warrant on Trump without Obama's approval ?"

Actually, I do. It wouldn't have happened with either GW Bush or Trump, and Crooked Hillary would have personally given the orders, then ordered her AG to arrest anyone who balked at it. Trump, like any good CEO, doesn't like surprises. But Obama had no management training or experience when moving into the White House, and it showed. Most of his cabinet were political hacks who got their positions as payment for supporting him, and were allowed to do what they wanted while in office, including enriching themselves. But his AGs were there to protect him, and everything else was secondary. I believe him when he claimed that he found out what was going on in his Administration on TV. He really was, apparently, that incompetent.

One thing that you must remember about Obama is that the only professional training he ever had was as an attorney. One of the things that is strange at first in the practice of law is that you, on occasion, have to tell clients not to tell you things. Or, more commonly, if the clients are not brain dead, you tell them that if you are told X by them, then Y will happen. Often this means telling someone else. Most often this revolves around some ethical obligation that the attorney has to someone else. So, criminal defense attys don't want to hear about how their client killed someone in cold blood. Because, then you can't put on a sel-defense defense, because you know it to be false. In my case, as a patent atty, I have told clients that if they admit to prior art to me, I have to disclose it to the USPTO (and in litigation). Of course, AGs Holder and Lynch are also attys too, so they knew, w/o being warned by Obama, that there were certain things that they couldn't tell him, for his own good, such as the wiretapping of Trump Tower.

By the one person who had to know what was going on was AG Lynch. She had to approve all FISA warrant applications. This isn't just because the DoJ lawyers worked for her, but, more importantly,, because FISA requires it, presumably to keep the AG from claiming ignorance, when applications are illegally applied for, issued, and utilized.

Michael K said...

"I don't trust the USSS."

Fever temperatures going up and up.


Says the lefty who doesn't mind if USSS agents get drunk and run into the The White House barriers.

Two senior Secret Service agents, including a top member of President Barack Obama's protective detail, crashed a car into a White House barricade following a late-night party for retiring spokesman Ed Donovan and it's suspected they had been drinking, sources confirmed to CNN.

Or partying with hookers when supposed to be providing security.

A 24-year-old woman who says she is the prostitute at the center of a Secret Service scandal gave the most complete account yet of her alleged dispute over payment with an agent that led to revelations about nine Secret Service members bringing prostitutes to their rooms on a presidential business trip to Colombia.

That doesn't bother you a bit. You know what ? It doesn't bother me either as long as it was Obama.

Trump has enemies, some of which might be in the government.

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