September 19, 2017

"This is much worse than Watergate, folks. That was a third-rate burglary that went awry."

"Trump was called a liar. He was mocked for tweeting about Trump Tower being wiretapped. David Gergen, you’ll hear on the sound bites today, practically chokes when confronted with the news that Trump was right and doesn’t quite know what to say about it. But, I tell you what, folks, in many ways it’s worse than Watergate, and it’s still going on even with Trump in the White House. Richard Nixon was accused of spying on the DNC, but Nixon never ordered any such spying. In fact, he didn’t know anything about it. He was accused of using the IRS against his political opponents, but he never did. We know for a fact that Obama did both of these things, used the IRS against political opponents and probably more. There’s no outrage in the media on this. They think it’s great that Manafort’s lock was picked. The New York Times reports this as though it’s something that happens every day. Yep, the FBI showed up, they picked the lock of Manafort’s front door in Virginia and walked in and woke him up along with his family and then started demanding things and taking things...."

Rush Limbaugh, today.

159 comments:

Mark said...

We know Obama personally ordered it?

Big Mike said...

Those say that Obama had nothing to do with this have to get around the fact that he was notorious for micromanagement.

MAJMike said...

It's different when the DemCong do it.

MadisonMan said...

Maria hitting Puerto Rico tomorrow will also be much worse than Watergate.

YoungHegelian said...

The Obama administration was the most corrupt administration of our lifetimes. Over & over absolutely unbelievable acts of corruption & incompetence were on display.

Why did the press downplay it? Because they were part & parcel of the Chattering Classes who went in whole hog for the Magic Negro. For the Obama administration to have been shown to be incompetent or corrupt would reflect badly on them, because he was their man in the WH. Their mandate to rule the rest of us is because they're so smart. They know how the world works, not like all the boofers in Flyover Country.

That's why they're apoplectic over Trump. Because they got blindsided, when the Gospel according to the NYT was that HRC had a 90% cahnce of winning. If the Chattering Classes get shown up a few more times, why, they may even have to re-consider their Divine Mandate.

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Never happen......

Bay Area Guy said...

In Watergate, I seem to recall there was a crime, right? A burglary, right? Guys in 3-piece suits, with wads of cash, electronic equipment, and surgical gloves, found in the DNC headquarters at night, right?

Didn't the security guard see some mischief with the doors and call the police, who caught the burglars in the act?

Fast forward 45 years, in Russia-Gate, remind me again, what exactly is the crime?

Susan said...

What did Obama know and when did he know it?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The democrat party is a snake pit of thieves and liars.

Earnest Prole said...

Before Rush gets his panties in a bundle, he should remember that Paul Manafort was under investigation by the FBI well more than a year before Trump announced he would run for President, and he may well have committed crimes that even a partisan would agree should send him to prison.

Sebastian said...

"What did Obama know and when did he know it?" Hey, hey, you're late to the party: that question was raised much earlier today, by a very astute commenter. Remains to be seen, of course, whether any swamp creatures want to pursue the answers.

mccullough said...

Manafort needs a better lock on his door. I haven't seen a lock picked since a rerun of Barnaby Jones. Also, get a dog

Susan said...

@Sebastian...


I was the one asking in an earlier post. Didn't get an answer then. Probably won't get one now. But I think it's a good question.

Sebastian said...

"Paul Manafort was under investigation by the FBI well more than a year before Trump announced he would run for President" Of course, the FBI immediately notified Trump when he sought Manafort's help, alerting him to the risks. Not. It was an opportunity: using a prior investigation to start keeping tabs on Trump and his associates, collecting any dirt that might appear, and using it when necessary. They are still at it, now via Mueller.

"and he may well have committed crimes that even a partisan would agree should send him to prison." Which had been investigated by the FBI without any need for a special counsel--who now is on a fishing expedition, pure and simple. No ordinary investigation of foreign representation crimes requires striking "terror" into people. Only the swamp's desire to drown Trump does.

Martin said...

The Obama Admin was the most lawless Admin in history and they got away with it and probably will get away with it even in history books.

Nixon was a penny-ante grifter by comparison.

It's all a matter of who are your friends and who are you enemies. A govt of laws, not men--well, if it ever was, it hasn't been for a very long time.

And when they have succeeded in getting rid of Trump on false or grossly mischaracterized "charges," they will wonder why suddenly the opposition is even worse than what they insultingly called "the Trumpkins."

The GOP thinks they can stand aside, even help the Democrats and the Left "get Trump" as they stood aside while Obama's IRS throttled the Tea Party, and the world will return to 2004. But it will be the end of the Republican Party at the national level. They will have an organization, a fair amount of money from a few big donors (tho the real big money will go to the likely winners, the Democrats), and for a time some preferential ballot access in many states. But, no voters. And being just the "not Democrats" won't cut it, not after the Obamacare fiasco that they are still rolling out, even as I write.

Some of the tried to commit suicide by hijacking the 2016 Convention, but that didn't come off--but they will keep at it until they kill themselves. Biggest Darwin Award, ever.

At best they may be like the British LibDems are, going on 100 years after the last Liberal government. They can look back on Reagan as the Liberals looked back on Gladstone

Sebastian said...

"I was the one asking in an earlier post." Susan, Susan, I'm gonna have to check my own comments from this morning . . . :).

Birkel said...

Earnest Prole thinks the fact the Manafort taps were withdrawn for lack of evidence collected after a year of taps is unimportant.

Partisanship is weird that way.

J. Farmer said...

COINTELPRO was worse than either, but that's been flushed down the collective memory hole.

David Begley said...

Where is the outrage?

But Obama is immune.

I suspect Manafort gets nailed for something like tax evasion. BFD.

Bay Area Guy said...

And, since Manafort left the campaign in August of 2016, what exactly does he have to do with Russian's alleged rigging of the November election?

Chasing Zebras, oh this one, oh no, that one, almost got it, wait, here's another one, gonna get this one now......

buwaya said...

I have said, at various times, that the US is the largest and wealthiest Banana Republic there has ever been.

Note, all this is being done by the powers that be, the best and the brightest, Ivy league graduates, people with manners. And the press, compliant and sympathetic to this lawlessness, are owned by a couple of cabals of people worth not $billions, but $100's of billions.

Darrell said...

Obama then changed the rules, as to who could see the information gathered during the surveillance. For no reason whatsoever according to some commenters--since he didn't order or even know about the surveillance. Right.

James K said...

Paul Manafort was under investigation by the FBI well more than a year before Trump announced he would run for President

Irrelevant, since that investigation was dropped for lack of evidence. It was then mysteriously restarted when Manafort got involved with Trump's campaign.

President Toilet Paper Shoe's Perfect Phone Call said...

Wow. A full-paragraph quote-post.

Nice to know you're letting Rushed Lipbalm do your thinking for you these days.

Susan said...

There are comments in the morning? Oh my. I guess this non-early bird gets no worm today.

My apologies Sebastian. :)

Darrell said...

We have worms all day, Susan. Heck, Ritmo just showed up.

Tommy Duncan said...

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is calling on the Justice Department to release transcripts of any intercepted communications he may have had with foreigners.

Manafort, a longtime Republican political consultant, also called on the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate the leak of details of secret surveillance warrants obtained by U.S. investigators.

“Mr. Manafort requests that the Department of Justice release any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement.


---Daily Caller

President Toilet Paper Shoe's Perfect Phone Call said...

You know about worms that aren't available for the birds in the morning, Dorky Darrell? I thought you just knew about stiff little white tubes that you put in your mouth and suck on, like in that avatar.

Jupiter said...

Earnest Prole said...
"Before Rush gets his panties in a bundle, he should remember that Paul Manafort was under investigation by the FBI well more than a year before Trump announced he would run for President, and he may well have committed crimes that even a partisan would agree should send him to prison."

Good point, Earnest. And what about you? Mightn't you have committed crimes that even a partisan would agree should send you to prison? Sure you might. Let's think up some crimes Earnest might have committed.

Earnest Prole said...

The Trump–Russia investigation may eventually reveal nothing more than Manafort's personal Russian-connected business misdeeds, at which point all his eager defenders here will be cutting him loose faster than shit through a goose.

buwaya said...

"Manafort's personal Russian-connected business misdeeds"

Which are going to be worse than someone else's non Russian-connected business misdeeds?

What rich man in international business is going to be able to pass the kind of investigation he is going through? Instapundit calls this "Ham Sandwich Nation" - the complication of the laws to the degree that few can be innocent, and everyone is vulnerable to such a fishing expedition.

Whatever happens is not going to be justice.

This should concern you.

Darrell said...

I don't mind if you smoke, Ritmo. Heck, I don't care if you burn. Now go and eat another bag of dicks. You know you want to.

buwaya said...

If someone wanted to, and if the protection of extreme wealth were stripped away, a committee of public safety could easily investigate and convict pretty much every player in New York and Washington using the same tools.

The bulk of private wealth in the US could be sequestered using this procedure, there will be no safety or security of private property. This is the real defect of banana republics, extreme political risk.

Mark said...

Where are the transcripts of wiretaps of John Podesta, who had a lot of Russian business contacts?

harrogate said...

"What did Obama know and when did he know it?"

Good lord the Kool Aid is strong

Aunty Trump said...

We know Obama personally ordered it?

Yeah, the buck stops waay before it gets to Obama's desk, in fact the Obama Administration is clearly a misnomer, since he was not in charge.

BTW, as has been pointed out, he did personally order much wider distribution of the materials gathered in the wiretapping. That is not a matter of dispute. The reason he did it, he claimed, was so that Trump couldn't kill the investigation easily, but the real-world effect of the order was to get the stuff leaked as widely as possible. And it was. Story after story based on that stuff.

President Toilet Paper Shoe's Perfect Phone Call said...

Now go and eat another bag of dicks.

Like the one that's satisfying your mouth, with a nice, white, plume right now?

n.n said...

Did Manafort become a person of interest following the Obama-backed coup in Kiev?

As for Towergate, unlike Watergate, there was a collusion of government and press, foreign and domestic, interests with the intent to violate civil rights and disenfranchise American citizens.

Aunty Trump said...

Good lord the Kool Aid is strong

Why don't you write a. short paragraph explaining why it is a ridiculous question? It must be all composed in your head, right? Just write it out for us.

Unknown said...

The problem with this investigation is the fact that there is an investigation at all when "colluding with Russians" isn't actually a crime. I have not seen a single place where the statute is listed as to the crime committed. The entire premise is just an excuse to go fishing.

Darrell said...

Ritmo thinks a cigarette is a dick. I hope he doesn't have a sex partner.

eric said...

Rush is right. Again.

Anonymous said...

@J farmer COINTELPRO makes you wonder why we are supposed to think so highly of the FBI. Comey certainly seemed willing to compromise any and all FBI standards for his own gain. Plus ca change....

Aunty Trump said...

Wags finger at camera ..... I did not have sex with that wiretap accusation!!" - Humperdink on another thread.

Blow job isn't "sex" and a query against captured data isn't a wiretap. And it all depends on the meaning of "is."

Earnest Prole said...

Which are going to be worse than someone else's non Russian-connected business misdeeds?

Of course they're not -- just ask Martha Stewart.

President Toilet Paper Shoe's Perfect Phone Call said...

Ritmo thinks a cigarette is a dick.

Well, I'm sure you're familiar enough with both to know the difference better than I would. But from where I stand, one makes you gay, the other makes you someone who just likes to suck on long, stinky things.

I hope he doesn't have a sex partner.

Sorry Dorky Darrell. As desperate as you are, I'm not available to you.

Aunty Trump said...

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is calling on the Justice Department to release transcripts of any intercepted communications he may have had with foreigners.

LOL, never happen. Much better to selectively leak passages that can be made to sound sinister.

Qwinn said...

Notice not even a shred of apology from the Left. If they don't admit it, it didn't happen, and if events prove them false, crank up the insults and faux outrage and false equivalencies till another news cycle erases it. And it always works.

PJ57 said...

Wait a second. I despise the media and Obama as much as the next deranged conservative. But Manafort was wiretapeed after a warrant was issued by a judge. Watergate was not that type of abuse of power.

Darrell said...

I know you are the toothless revolutionary because your mother kicked your teeth out. Now you want to stick cigarettes in your ass. Time for the cycle of pain to end. Get professional help. The Republicans increased the NIH budget by quite a bit, so maybe you can get a piece of that action.

iowan2 said...

Rush also played the audio of Comey, under oath, in front of a Congressional committee, declaring unequivocally that no surveillance ever occurred, and he checked with justice, and they too, denied any surveillance took place.

Lying under oath got Martha Stewart prison time, and Comey has done it repeatedly.

President Toilet Paper Shoe's Perfect Phone Call said...

Darrell, quit jerking off and suck on your ashtray-flavored penis a little more vigorously!

Qwinn said...

PJ57:

The guy was wiretapped, the wiretap was stopped due to lack of evidence, then the wiretap was restarted much later the moment he entered Trump's orbit. You think a completely off the books burglary is a greater abuse of power then actually gaming the system in that manner?

Aunty Trump said...

Darrell, quit jerking off and suck on your ashtray-flavored penis a little more vigorously

Ha, TTR thinks your a webcam guy. Got his URL's mixed up, probably.

Humperdink said...

He's baaaack! Good night folks.

Aunty Trump said...

Sorry TTR, I was trying to stay neutral on you guys' little spat, but you set yourself up like a bowling pin.

Molly said...

Qwinn and PJ57: I think I'm with Qwinn on this. The DoJ (at the direction of Loretta Lynch, Obama appointee) has to request the FISA tap. The abuse was not in the fact that the court granted the request (though do they ever turn down a request? and wasn't this the type of thing that opponents of the FISA law brought up to support their view?). the abuse was in the decision by political appointees to seek the FISA tap. I am not convinced that anything actually illegal occurred here; but in terms of abuse of power, why isn't it just as bad as Nixon? (As I recall the FBI acting director, just appointed by Nixon called the CIA chief to ask if CIA would back up a probably untrue story that certain actions were needed for national security. I'm sorry I'm fuzzy on the details of this. The asking the FISA court for "national security cover" seems to me to be very similar.)

Big Mike said...

And it always works.

Or it did until November 8, 2016.

Qwinn said...

Big Mike: Nah. Even after Nov 2016, it still works to keep any federal leftist from ever going to jail.

Michael K said...

he may well have committed crimes that even a partisan would agree should send him to prison.

And then he may not have done so. What will you say then ? Nothing, of course.

Did Manafort become a person of interest following the Obama-backed coup in Kiev?

My question, too. The corruption in all this is definitely industrial c\strength,

Mark O said...

Is there a seasoned observer who can honestly think Obama had nothing to do with this.
Obama was certain Hillary would win and this would never surface.
It's just who he is.

William said...

There's a movie coming out about Mark Felt, the Deep Throat guy. Liam Neeson is playing him, so I guess the portrayal will be sympathetic. If Steve Buscemi had the part, I would expect a more hostile take........Can you imagine how they would portray some FBI bureaucrat who leaked negative info on Hillary or Obama? Hello, Linda Tripp. The bureaucrat would be some fascist plotting to overthrow a duly elected government official. Whatever Mark Felt was, he was no hero.........General MacChrystal has a few drinks and says something negative about Obama. The Rolling Stone reporter doesn't cultivate him as a background source for Deep Throat info on the real story about A-stan. No, he outs him in a heartbeat and MacChrystal's career is over.......So it goes. Manafort looks like he might have a squeeze of sleaze about him, but the part about picking locks and photographing suits also doesn't look right. Do we see dedicated, straight arrow FBI agents bringing down the high and the mighty or do we see ideologues preparing the bonfires for the witches? You know what the movie version will be.

Freeman Hunt said...

He's wild and crazy. He says outlandish things all the time. You read his Twitter feed and have weird thoughts like, "This is the President? What if I have been having some kind of elaborate, long term delusion? Is it more likely that this guy is the President or that I am mentally ill?" He's the watermelon smash.

And yet. And yet!

These media people are ensnared. Trapped. Caught out! Like the hated villain in a movie, who at the moment of peak smugness receives his comeuppance, they are exposed.

Bay Area Guy said...

If you want to understand Watergate, ya gotta read two books:

1. Secret Agenda by Jim Hougan

2. Silent Coup by Len Colodny

Yancey Ward said...

As I wrote in the earlier thread, it is important to note that the story, if true, shows that the first tap yielded nothing incriminating against Manafort. Pay attention to what is missing in the details- the date the FBI reapplied for a second warrant on Manafort. I don't think that missing detail is an accident- that detail was deliberately withheld because it coincided with the hiring of Manafort by Trump. The story seems to be deliberately written to make you think it happened last Fall, but why do that if you actually know the date? I suspect the journalists writing this know the dates involved and know it would look extremely bad for FBI and the Obama Administration.

I will even go further- I strongly suspect that the Manafort taps were used as shoehorns for getting other Trump Campaign officials wiretapped. I suspect that Manafort has become the focus of the Mueller investigation because of this- they literally need his pelt to pin on the wall because these other taps cannot be justified in any other way.

I will make this prediction- by next Summer you will learn that at least a half-dozen Trump Campaign officials were the subjects of full electronic surveillance that arose from the initial Manafort taps, and that is what Obama's minions who still reside at the DoJ and the FBI are covering up at this very moment.

MacMacConnell said...

Is there anyone connected to the Obama administration that's not a paid liar? How about the NSA or FBI?

Earnest Prole said...

And then he may not have done so. What will you say then ? Nothing, of course.

We shall see.

walter said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...Nice to know you're letting Rushed Lipbalm do your thinking for you these days.
--
Ed Hominem in disguise!

walter said...

Nah..Prole will say there will be another shoe to drop...you just wait.

walter said...

("That goal post needs adjusting..")

Bruce Hayden said...

"as much as the next deranged conservative. But Manafort was wiretapeed after a warrant was issued by a judge. Watergate was not that type of abuse of power."

What everyone is glossing over or missing is that the warrants were not issued under the Wiretap Act, which requires probable cause to believe that a crime has occurred, but rather under FISA, by the FISC, a secret court (albeit with judges selected from the US District Court judge ranks), with a showing that there is a likelihood that national security information can be obtained. A much lower wer standard, but supposedly protected under FISA by required "minimization" requirements, which, among other things, are supposed to protect US Persons (citizens and legal resident aliens) from having their identities unmasked, except for legitimate national security inquiries. And this is where the loosening of the unmasking by Obama and Lynch comes in - there was apparently significant unmasking requested by political operatives in the White House. Plus, unmasked intercepts could be shared through many more govt agencies. Up until a couple years ago, this was tightly controlled, as was intended by Congress when enacting FISA. You had to show a legitimate need to know, in a legitimate national security investigation. Which many of those who could now see the unmasked intercepts did not have, and the White House political operatives (including the UN Amassaddor clearly did not have). FISA was weaponized by the Obama Administration in its last year or two, and that weaponization is why reenactment of FISA this year is problematic.

The other thing to keep in mind here is the practice of reverse targeting, where the CIA (far from unpolitical under Clapper) would go to the FISC for a FISA warrant for target A, when their real target was B, who talked to A a bit. But the requirements for FISA warrants of US Persons in the US are quite high, which is why they couldn't go after B directly. B is, of course, supposedly protected from unreasonable search without probable cause (under the 5th Amdt) by the FISA Minimization requirements. How do you intercept Trump's conversations? You do it by dredging up old dealings by his campaign manager concerning the Ukrane, get a FISA warrant for his conversations, then request unmaskings of the identities of those involved in the conversations, and, finally, by allowing multiple agencies throughout the govt (and the White House) to see the unmasked results. Of course, if they had wanted to do the same thing with Crooked Hillary, they could have gotten FISA warrants for the Podesta Group, for its dealings with both Russia and the Ukrane (since John Podesta was her campaign manager for her entire campaign, and his brother, Tony, continued to run it throughout the campaign).

Bruce Hayden said...

In order to see how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
(FISA)
was abused by the Obama Administration, you should go to the act itself: 50 U.S. Code Subchapter I - ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE.

There are three important parts here. First, the requirements for application for a FISA warrant (50 USC 1804):

(a)Submission by Federal officer; approval of Attorney General; contentsEach application for an order approving electronic surveillance under this subchapter shall be made by a Federal officer in writing upon oath or affirmation to a judge having jurisdiction under section 1803 of this title. Each application shall require the approval of the Attorney General based upon his finding that it satisfies the criteria and requirements of such application as set forth in this subchapter. It shall include—
(1)the identity of the Federal officer making the application;
(2)the identity, if known, or a description of the specific target of the electronic surveillance;
(3)a statement of the facts and circumstances relied upon by the applicant to justify his belief that—
(A)the target of the electronic surveillance is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power; and
(B)each of the facilities or places at which the electronic surveillance is directed is being used, or is about to be used, by a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;
(4)a statement of the proposed minimization procedures;
(5)a description of the nature of the information sought and the type of communications or activities to be subjected to the surveillance;
(6)a certification or certifications by the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, an executive branch official or officials designated by the President from among those executive officers employed in the area of national security or defense and appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, or the Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, if designated by the President as a certifying official—
(A)that the certifying official deems the information sought to be foreign intelligence information;
(B)that a significant purpose of the surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information;
(C)that such information cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques;
(D)that designates the type of foreign intelligence informationbeing sought according to the categories described in section 1801(e) of this title; and
(E)including a statement of the basis for the certification that—
(i)the information sought is the type of foreign intelligence information designated; and
(ii)such information cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques;
(7)a summary statement of the means by which the surveillance will be effected and a statement whether physical entry is required to effect the surveillance;
(8)a statement of the facts concerning all previous applications that have been made to any judge under this subchapter involving any of the persons, facilities, or places specified in the application, and the action taken on each previous application; and
(9)a statement of the period of time for which the electronic surveillance is required to be maintained, and if the nature of the intelligence gathering is such that the approval of the use of electronic surveillance under this subchapter should not automatically terminate when the described type of information has first been obtained, a description of facts supporting the belief that additional information of the same type will be obtained thereafter.

Bruce Hayden said...

Now for some relevant definitions (50 USC 1801):

(e)“Foreign intelligence information” means—
(1)information that relates to, and if concerning a United States person is necessary to, the ability of the United States to protect against—
(A)actual or potential attack or other grave hostile acts of a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;
(B)sabotage, international terrorism, or the international proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power; or
(C)clandestine intelligence activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by an agent of a foreign power; or
(2)information with respect to a foreign power or foreign territory that relates to, and if concerning a United States person is necessary to—
(A)the national defense or the security of the United States; or
(B)the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States.

(b)“Agent of a foreign power” means—
(1)any person other than a United States person, who—
(A)acts in the United States as an officer or employee of a foreign power, or as a member of a foreign power as defined in subsection (a)(4), irrespective of whether the person is inside the United States;
(B)acts for or on behalf of a foreign power which engages in clandestine intelligence activities in the United States contrary to the interests of the United States, when the circumstances indicate that such person may engage in such activities, or when such person knowingly aids or abets any person in the conduct of such activities or knowingly conspires with any person to engage in such activities;
(C)engages in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefore;
(D)engages in the international proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or activities in preparation therefor; or
(E)engages in the international proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or activities in preparation therefor, for or on behalf of a foreign power, or knowingly aids or abets any person in the conduct of such proliferation or activities in preparation therefor, or knowingly conspires with any person to engage in such proliferation or activities in preparation therefor; or
2)any person who—
(A)knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, which activities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;
(B)pursuant to the direction of an intelligence service or network of a foreign power, knowingly engages in any other clandestine intelligence activities for or on behalf of such foreign power, which activities involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;
(C)knowingly engages in sabotage or international terrorism, or activities that are in preparation therefor, for or on behalf of a foreign power;
(D)knowingly enters the United States under a false or fraudulent identity for or on behalf of a foreign power or, while in the United States, knowingly assumes a false or fraudulent identity for or on behalf of a foreign power; or
(E)knowingly aids or abets any person in the conduct of activities described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) or knowingly conspires with any person to engage in activities described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C).

Bruce Hayden said...

Finally:

(h) “Minimization procedures”, with respect to electronic surveillance, means—
(1)specific procedures, which shall be adopted by the Attorney General, that are reasonably designed in light of the purpose and technique of the particular surveillance, to minimize the acquisition and retention, and prohibit the dissemination, of nonpublicly available information concerning unconsenting United States persons consistent with the need of the United States to obtain, produce, and disseminate foreign intelligence information;
(2)procedures that require that nonpublicly available information, which is not foreign intelligence information, as defined in subsection (e)(1), shall not be disseminated in a manner that identifies any United States person, without such person’s consent, unless such person’s identity is necessary to understand foreign intelligence information or assess its importance;
(3)notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), procedures that allow for the retention and dissemination of information that is evidence of a crime which has been, is being, or is about to be committed and that is to be retained or disseminated for law enforcement purposes; and
(4)notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2), and (3), with respect to any electronic surveillance approved pursuant to section 1802(a) of this title, procedures that require that no contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party shall be disclosed, disseminated, or used for any purpose or retained for longer than 72 hours unless a court order under section 1805 of this title is obtained or unless the Attorney General determines that the information indicates a threat of death or serious bodily harm to any person.
------
As a quick note - the Podesta Group belatedly registered as an agent of a foreign govt a week or so ago.

Getting back to the discussion - keep in mind that Monfort, Trump, the Trump team, and incidentally the Podesta brothers, Crooked Hillary, and her staff, are all US Persons under FISA, and thus protected by the 5th Amdt against unreasonable searches and seizures. Wiretap, or electronic interception, would normally require a court order showing probable cause of a crime having been committed, or is about to be. FISA was designed to provide the same level, if not greater, protection to US Persons as under the Wiretap Act, and the 5th Amdt. The way that it appears that FISA was weaponized by the Obama Administration to get around this appears to have been:

- Broadening the definition of an Agent of a Foreign Power, esp. under 1801(a)(1) and (b)(2) to cover Americans who merely work with people associated with intelligence gathering by the Foreign Powers.
- Interpret “Foreign intelligence information” under 1801(e)(2) to essentially eat up (e)(1) by reverse targeting- by targeting Ukraine and its agents, instead of Monfort directly.
- And then bypass the “Minimization procedures” under 1801(h) by justifying the broadening of "dissemination, of nonpublicly available information concerning unconsenting United States persons" as "consistent with the need of the United States to obtain, produce, and disseminate foreign intelligence information".

Aunty Trump said...

He's wild and crazy. He says outlandish things all the time. You read his Twitter feed and have weird thoughts like, "This is the President? What if I have been having some kind of elaborate, long term delusion? Is it more likely that this guy is the President or that I am mentally ill?"

Tee hee! Embrace the healing power of "and."

Robert Cook said...

"This is much worse than Watergate" has become the new version of Godwin's Law. Let's call it "Wingnut's Law."

Aunty Trump said...

You could, of course, explain why it is not, Robert. But that is more work than name-calling.

MadisonMan said...

Bruce: Thank you for your comments.

Professional lady said...

I have been telling my husband for a long time that Obama has done things that Richard Nixon never dreamed of. Maybe now he'll believe me.

Owen said...

Bruce Hayden: excellent explanation of FISA. It is actually drafted with some care IMHO, but Obama hijacked it and drove it into the Constitutional ditch. Then he grabbed his jumbo Slurpee and wandered off.

I was particularly impressed by the wording that bars the unmasking of US persons without their consent. Is a violation of that provision a felony? A misdemeanor? Cause for a reprimand? Anything?

Robert Cook said...

"You could, of course, explain why it is not, Robert. But that is more work than name-calling."

I don't know if this is not worse than Watergate or if it is--though I am skeptical--but it is certainly too early for anyone to know. Let's have investigations and Congressional hearings to examine the matter, followed by in-depth comparisons of then and now. Then, we might know if it is worse than Watergate or or if it is just another example of Wingnut's Law in action.

Owen said...

Robert Cook: your sedulous avoidance of conclusions and the all-too-human tendency to jump to them?

Noted.

narciso said...

Tom sizemore and other Hollywood heavies like szorkas play felts rivals, nah Kylie plays the fellow porringer, who discovered he was the leakier, felt did it out of pique to be passed over, not any great moral principle.

Robert Cook said...

@Owen: What conclusion have I jumped to here? I merely point out the obvious--there is too little known about recent events to compare them to Watergate, much less to assert "This is much worse than Watergate."

Birkel said...

There is too little known with metaphysical certainty for Robert Cook and other Leftist Collectivists to admit Obama was at the center of disrupting the civil rights protections of American citizens.

And Leftist Collectivists are damned sure to keep it that way.

Aunty Trump said...

So it is Robert's conrention that the evidence in the IRS is inconclusive on account of our democracy is perfectly just and if Lerner skated, we can trust that she was innocent of using the IRS against political opponents.

Aunty Trump said...

Funny how much faith in authority our resident revolutionaries have.

Aunty Trump said...

Well when the Democrats are in control, anyways.

Owen said...

Robert: you misread my comment. I was noting your sedulous AVOIDANCE of the conclusion-jumping which plagues our species.

Maybe that odd word, "sedulous," threw you off?

Chuck said...

Breaking down Rush:
"Trump was called a liar. He was mocked for tweeting about Trump Tower being wiretapped.

No; Trump was mocked for personalizing any wiretapping as to "Obama." And most particularaly for engaging in the Breitbart/Limbaugh-level personalized attack that Obama was a "Bad (or sick) guy" for ordering such wiretapping. A judge had to have issued the order for a wiretap. And absolutely nobody thinks that the wiretap made Trump a subject. Trump was tweeting about "my phones" in Trump Tower.

David Gergen, you’ll hear on the sound bites today, practically chokes when confronted with the news that Trump was right and doesn’t quite know what to say about it.
I don't know about David Gergen. I'm not David Gergen. But what I wrote at the time way back in March was this, and I continue to stand by it:
I'm not so sure anybody has mentioned it yet; if we make the (plausible, I submit) presumption that there was some form of FBI-requested/FISA-approved electronic surveillance within Trump Tower, and Trump has based his morning Tweets on that, has Donald J. Trump broken any laws by revealing the existence of same? Has Trump compromised information that was given to him in a classified briefing or other classified communication?
So for my part, I was not ridiculing the story out of hand, but I was begging for a clearer and more detailed story as to just what the hell it was that Trump was talking about. And I stand by that part more than anything today. We are stuck wondering if Trump actually meant that "Obama" ordered anything. If it was a purely politically-motivated action. Hell, we don't even know, now, if Trump was talking about the Manafort wiretap or another FISA surveillance operation. All of which I posited as "plausible" at the time. The Trump administration, asked repeatedly to explain the meaning of the Tweets at the time, never did so.

But, I tell you what, folks, in many ways it’s worse than Watergate...
...There’s no outrage in the media on this.

"No outrage in the media" about the IRS under Obama?!? The reason that we all know anything about the IRS, Lois Lerner and the Tea Party 501(c)'s is because the conservative media did a good job of exposing it, and Congressional Republicans added to the exposure. They held hearings. Covered by the news media, at least the conservative news media. Rush has this overwhelming victimhood thing about "the media." For Rush, "the media" is a great big monolith that is all leftwing. As if Rush himself isn't one of the biggest draws in all of radio, FNC isn't the number one cable news network, the Wall Street Journal isn't one of the most influential editorial pages in all of newspaperdom, and Breitbart/Drudge are not internet sensations. Rush is way too into his victimhood. He's never learned to be a majoritarian winner. He just wants to lead the band of desperate outlaws.

They think it’s great that Manafort’s lock was picked. The New York Times reports this as though it’s something that happens every day. Yep, the FBI showed up, they picked the lock of Manafort’s front door in Virginia and walked in and woke him up along with his family and then started demanding things and taking things...."

I get the exact opposite impression. Of course Rush makes the Manafort raid look like a burglary, when in fact there was a federal warrant. A warrant issued by a judge. A warrant issued through an FBI request, in the Trump Administration. Commentary I heard was that such a no-knock warrant like this gets issued when an investigation subject has given signs of a lack of cooperation or worse. We haven't seen the warrant application, which might really be interesting. We don't know much about the Manafort investigation which also might be really interesting. But Rush is not interested in any of that. Rush needs to sell more accounts for Life-Lock.

Dave said...

Chuck is in denial. If the FBI wiretapped the campaign manager then ipso facto they wiretapped Trump. There is no debate on this, they would know through the Manafort wiretaps everything that was going on in the Trump campaign. All the plans, all the speeches, everything.

Owen said...

FBI executed a no-knock on Manafort? It's lucky nobody got killed. Of course, going forward, Cloud storage obviates the need for physical intrusion. Future Manaforts will be completely penetrated digitally before they can begin to form the idea.

Birkel said...

Trump and his FBI responsible for Manafort warrant.I
Obama in no ways responsible for civil rights violating unmasking of conservative.

Also, a few right leaning news sources outweigh the entire MSM.

Thinks you learn from LLRs.

Chuck said...

Dave Hunter said...
Chuck is in denial. If the FBI wiretapped the campaign manager then ipso facto they wiretapped Trump. There is no debate on this, they would know through the Manafort wiretaps everything that was going on in the Trump campaign. All the plans, all the speeches, everything.

If that is the real story, and the true narrative that a complete exposure of the facts would show to the nation and the world, then why doesn't the Trump Administration just say so? Why do they all refuse to answer questions about the March Trump Tweets? Why don't they do an exhaustive narrative on this whole matter?

Birkel said...

Chuck,
You would advise your clients, already the targets of a legal witch hunt in pursuit of crimes, to speak out on the investigation?

Second question: Will you need counsel in your hearing in front of the bar?

Chuck said...

Birkel: Trump says that he isn't a subject of any investigation.

But let's say that he is the subject of something else; a "witch hunt." And your legal advice is to say nothing to anybody, ever, except to your lawyer and preferable in his office and never in public.

Uh, okay. Then why the March Twitter-storm?

Chuck said...

"preferably"

Birkel said...

Correction: Comey said Trump is not the subject of a criminal into months ago. Do you know what has transpired since then?

I think you aren't good at logic.

Birkel said...

...criminal investigation...

Robert Cook said...

"So it is Robert's conrention that the evidence in the IRS is inconclusive on account of our democracy is perfectly just and if Lerner skated, we can trust that she was innocent of using the IRS against political opponents."

I'm talking about the contention by Trump that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. This is my reading of what Limbaugh was talking about, based on the excerpt presented.

I have no doubt Obama violated the privacy and other civil rights of American citizens, and, as well, is a war criminal.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert: you misread my comment. I was noting your sedulous AVOIDANCE of the conclusion-jumping which plagues our species.

"Maybe that odd word, 'sedulous,' threw you off?"


Owen, it wasn't that word...I just misread the comment. My apologies.

Birkel said...

And the answer Robert Cook would impose on us is more government and credible threats of force by that government to command the People and their Posterity.

Good intentions are no excuse when the evil you would cause are evident.

Chuck said...

Okay, Birkel, so you are saying that no matter what anybody says, Trump is the subject of a nasty de facto investigation. Filled with traps.

And consequently, your position presumably goes, Trump should not be saying anything to anybody. So then why the March Tweets? And if the Tweets were smart messaging, then why not explain them?

If your answer is that it all changed when Trump fired Comey and then Rosenstein named a Special Counsel, um, okay. But there were a whole lot questions, all of which got fouled off, before any of that happened.

And in the end, I don't care personally about Trump or his fate. Trump made this thing into a public fight in March, and he should answer for what he Tweets. Sorry if that isn't convenient for Trump.

By the way, I didn't hear much from Rush Limbaugh -- the subject of this post -- about how Manafort is likely to be indicted and how much danger Trump might be in, following such an indictment of Manafort or Flynn.

Birkel said...

The man who alleges war crimes at every turn simply hates jumping to conclusions.

Birkel said...

Chuck,
Trump blew up the carefully procured MSM narrative bull shit in March. Why does that escape you?

Lickspittle is a bad look for anybody. In service of the feckless eGOP you look deranged.

Robert Cook said...

"And the answer Robert Cook would impose on us is more government and credible threats of force by that government to command the People and their Posterity.

"Good intentions are no excuse when the evil you would cause are evident."


What answer? To what? What is the "Good intentions are not excuse..." statement referring to or supposed to mean? It is certainly an apt description of the results of America's actions in the world in the past 15 years, (though I do not ascribe our actions to "good intentions").

Birkel said...

Playing dumb is a great tactic. But as a socialist who would impose his vision on the rest of us, I assume you are actually stupid.

You're the sort of would-be tyrant every person of conscience should loathe.

Robert Cook said...

So...you have no answer. As I thought.

Chuck said...

Birkel you and all of your fellow Trumpkins are just sick personality cultists if you think that Trump's "war on the mainstream media" means that he doesn't have to answer questions.

As I said in a previous thread, we know what happens when you get Trump under oath, and under cross-examination, in front of a court reporter; you get a $25 million fraud judgment against him.

Gahrie said...

In a better world, Chuck and the GOP Establishment would be as opposed to the Democrats as they are to Trump.

Birkel said...

No answer you appreciate, no.

Chuck,
Does your keyboard auto-write those non sequiturs ?

Gahrie said...

And in the end, I don't care personally about Trump or his fate.

Are you fucking kidding? That's all you appear to care about...Trump is living in your head 24/7!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

A warrant issued through an FBI request, in the Trump Administration.

Mantafort's home-search warrant is ultimately the responsibility of the Trump Administration, run by one President Donald Trump. The actions of the FBI roll up to the Justice Department, which rolls up to the Executive Branch, which is headed by the current President. In that sense it's reasonable to "personalize" those actions as being the responsibility of the current President and his Administration. Ok, good so far.

Trump was mocked for personalizing any wiretapping as to "Obama."

Whoops! See the problem? Suddenly it's mock-able to "personalize" the actions of people in the Justice Dept. to the President. Suddenly that's not just wrong, it's so self-obviously stupid that it's worth laughing at.

The warrant to search Mantafort's house, issued recently, was obtained under the Trump Administration. You agree that has a little something to do with Trump and his responsibility. An order to "wiretap" Mantafort previously, issued under the Obama Administration, though, somehow doesn't have anything at all to do with Obama and only a Trumpkin would assert that it would.

That's pretty weak. Sad, really.

Chuck said...

Gahrie said...
In a better world, Chuck and the GOP Establishment would be as opposed to the Democrats as they are to Trump.

The GOP House spent an entire six years opposing Obama, joined by a GOP Senate in the last two years. Earning them the unfair title of "the do-nothing Congress."

Only in your fucked up minds does "Trump critic" equate with "pro-Democrat."

Chuck said...

Hoodlum, I'd be fine with a complete factual exposure of everything that we are talking about. I hope that prosecutions and trials of Manafort and Flynn are the beginnings of that.

I don't understand your complaints/observations about which actions of the DoJ should get personalized as to the sitting president. I actually think it is okay to talk about "the Obama Administration," or "the Obama-era Department of Justice" in many cases. As part of an intelligent, comprehensive discussion. If done right, and I have done it, that sort of description is a benefit to the discussion. The DoJ is an Executive branch, after all.

But in a Tweet, calling the President a "Bad (or sick) guy" in the context of an FBI warrant application or the operation of FISA courts, that is an entirely different matter. That needs to be explained in detail.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I really like all these "there's a warrant so that means they must have pretty good proof of something really bad, otherwise how'd they get a warrant" takes I'm hearing. There was a great one this morning on NPR from a Dem Congressperson (Chris Coons I think).

I like them because of my time on the Althouse blog. Because of my time here I'm familiar with the John Doe investigation(s) in Wisconsin. I probably never would have read about those if not for this blog!

Anyway in those investigations there were a number of high-profile search warrants served, with allegations that SWAT-type police rushing in to grab files, etc. MANY people insisted that given the scope of the investigation and the large number of search warrant targets there must be something big coming--that we'd see all kinds of indictments of bad politicians and political actors any day. How could judges have approved all those warrants if there wasn't good evidence of all sorts of crimes being committed? People were going to be frog marched and pretty boy Governor Walker was going be crying from behind bars.

Remember all that? I do. I also remember what actually happened--what actually came of all of that.

Hey, I'm sure this time it's not a partisan-driven witch hunt...I'm sure the Feds are serious people who don't get used by political people to attack their political opponents. The FBI is beyond reproach! I mean a large part of the current investigation was instigated by the fired FBI director leaking info in a (successful) attempt to force the appointment of a special prosecutor....but other than that I'm sure the Feds are guilty of no shenanigans.

Warrants = "there must be smoke, and fire!" should have been dropped by anyone who is familiar with those John Doe investigations, and everyone here ought to be familiar with those.

But yeah, keep up the credulous takes, Democrats. I am going to love using that standard next time some "gentle giant" is arrested on some charge you think is unfair or something like that.

Bruce Hayden said...

This article in FrontPage explains it maybe better than I did: WHY OBAMA REALLY SPIED ON TRUMP (Obama had to spy on Trump to protect himself). Excerpts to follow.

Bruce Hayden said...

Last week, CNN revealed (and excused) one phase of the Obama spying operation on Trump. After lying about it on MSNBC, Susan Rice admitted unmasking the identities of Trump officials to Congress.

Rice was unmasking the names of Trump officials a month before leaving office. The targets may have included her own successor, General Flynn, who was forced out of office using leaked surveillance.

While Rice’s targets weren’t named, the CNN story listed a meeting with Flynn, Bannon and Kushner.

Bannon was Trump’s former campaign chief executive and a senior adviser. Kushner is a senior adviser. Those are exactly the people you spy on to get an insight into what your political opponents plan to do.

Now the latest CNN spin piece informs us that secret FISA orders were used to spy on the conversations of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The surveillance was discontinued for lack of evidence and then renewed under a new warrant. This is part of a pattern of FISA abuses by Obama Inc. which never allowed minor matters like lack of evidence to dissuade them from new FISA requests.

Desperate Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the limitations on the conventional investigations of their political opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.

If any of Trump’s people were talking to non-Americans, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be used to spy on them. And then the redacted names of the Americans could be unmasked by Susan Rice, Samantha Power and other Obama allies. It was a technically legal Watergate.

Bruce Hayden said...

Furthermore the Obama espionage operation closely tracked Trump’s political progress. The first FISA request targeting Trump happened the month after he received the GOP nomination. The second one came through in October: the traditional month of political surprises meant to upend an election.

The spying ramped up after Trump’s win when the results could no longer be used to engineer a Hillary victory, but would instead have to be used to cripple and bring down President Trump. Headed out the door, Rice was still unmasking the names of Trump’s people while Obama was making it easier to pass around raw eavesdropped data to other agencies.

Obama had switched from spying on a political opponent to win an election, to spying on his successor to undo the results of the election. Abuse of power by a sitting government had become subversion of the government by an outgoing administration. Domestic spying on opponents had become a coup.

The Democrat scandals of the past few administrations have hinged on gross violations of political norms, elementary ethics and the rule of law that, out of context, were not technically illegal.

Bruce Hayden said...

But it’s the pattern that makes the crime. It’s the context that shows the motive.

Obama Inc. compartmentalized its espionage operation in individual acts of surveillance and unmasking, and general policies implemented to aid both, that may have been individually legal, in the purely technical sense, in order to commit the major crime of eavesdropping on the political opposition.

When the individual acts of surveillance are described as legal, that’s irrelevant. It’s the collective pattern of surveillance of the political opposition that exposes the criminal motive for them.

If Obama spied on two of Trump’s campaign leaders, that’s not a coincidence. It’s a pattern.


A criminal motive can be spotted by a consistent pattern of actions disguised by different pretexts. A dirty cop may lose two pieces of evidence from the same defendant while giving two different excuses. A shady accountant may explain two otherwise identical losses in two different ways. Both excuses are technically plausible. But it’s the pattern that makes the crime.

Manafort was spied on under the Russia pretext. Bannon may have been spied on over the UAE. That’s two different countries, two different people and two different pretexts.

But one single target. President Trump.

It’s the pattern that exposes the motive.


When we learn the whole truth (if we ever do), we will likely discover that Obama Inc. assembled a motley collection of different technically legal pretexts to spy on Trump’s team.

Each individual pretext might be technically defensible. But together they add up to the crime of the century.

Obama’s gamble was that the illegal surveillance would justify itself. If you spy on a bunch of people long enough, especially people in politics and business, some sort of illegality, actual or technical, is bound to turn up. That’s the same gamble anyone engaged in illegal surveillance makes.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

But in a Tweet, calling the President a "Bad (or sick) guy" in the context of an FBI warrant application or the operation of FISA courts, that is an entirely different matter. That needs to be explained in detail.

You're playing stupid here, and I'm not sure why. It's not advancing any cause.
Just to be nice, though, I'll explain this in detail:

1.) Trump came to believe that members of his organization, possibly including himself, were under investigation and surveillance by law enforcement agencies acting under orders from the Obama Administration. Trump believed that surveillance included Trump Tower, where he himself resided.
2.) Trump believed those actions to be without legal basis, and felt the power of the State was being used against him for political reasons.
3.) Trump blamed those actions on the head of the Executive, President Obama. Trump most likely thought the Obama administration had taken similar actions (tacitly "ordering" bureaucrats to use the power of the government/their official positions to attack Democrat opponents--as members of the IRS abused their positions to oppose Tea Party-type groups)
4.) Trump therefore concluded that since President Obama was misusing his office (by seeing to it that government officials used their positions to harm Trump during the time of the election) Obama was a bad guy.

You want to say that Trump didn't have what you consider sufficient reason to believe these things. You want to say that Trump hasn't given you sufficient evidence that his beliefs were reasonable based on what he knew. That's fine, Chuck, and you're welcome to argue that Trump was making unfounded assertions and shouldn't be listened to. Lots of people think Trump shoots his mouth off and says things he can't support all the time!

What's happened recently, though, is we've received some evidence that at least part of what Trump seems to have believed/asserted at the time--that "Trump Tower was wiretapped" has some basis in fact. I mean, it's still just a Media allegation now, but it seems like everyone is accepting it as true that Mantafort was surveilled and at least some of that involved his communications while in Trump Tower. Trump's assertion was that "Obama" was responsible for that activity. Since the activity was undertaken by members of an organization that Obama as President is responsible for, Trump's assertion is not entirely without basis. Certainly he wants to blame the agency's action WHOLLY on Obama and certainly that agency's action was (probably) not undertaken on the direct order of Obama himself, but it's not incorrect for Trump to argue that the actions of an agency that Obama oversees should be viewed as partially Obama's responsibility. They're not unrelated!

Because of that some of your objection sounds a bit like "well Trump might have been partially right about some of what he alleged at the time, but he couldn't have known that then and he hasn't given a full explanation of why he thought that at the time, so we shouldn't treat him as though he was, in fact, right about anything." That just seems...silly.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I mean, I'll take it back to the John Doe WI stuff again:
It would be silly, in hindsight, to say "there was not any political influence involved in that John Doe investigation: all the search warrants executed in that case were obtained from sitting judges, so there's no way you can say that the actions were the "fault" of someone with a political axe to grind. The cops and the judges did their thing, and cops and judges are impartial!"

Just as that's obviously silly so is it equally silly to say "well we're talking about FISA courts and legal warrants here, so there's no reason for anyone to insinuate that this investigation or the actions of the people carrying out the investigation are in any way politically motivated."

Same argument! You can, I hope, see why I don't give it much weight.

Bruce Hayden said...

When we learn the whole truth (if we ever do), we will likely discover that Obama Inc. assembled a motley collection of different technically legal pretexts to spy on Trump’s team.

Each individual pretext might be technically defensible. But together they add up to the crime of the century.

Obama’s gamble was that the illegal surveillance would justify itself. If you spy on a bunch of people long enough, especially people in politics and business, some sort of illegality, actual or technical, is bound to turn up. That’s the same gamble anyone engaged in illegal surveillance makes.

Businessmen illegally tape conversations with former partners hoping that they’ll say something damning enough to justify the risk. That was what Obama and his allies were doing with Trump.

It’s a crime. And you can’t justify committing a crime by discovering a crime.

If everyone were being spied on all the time, many crimes could be exposed every second. But that’s not how our system works. That’s why we have a Fourth Amendment.

Nor was Obama Inc. trying to expose crimes for their own sake, but to bring down the opposition.

That’s why it doesn’t matter what results the Obama surveillance turned up. The surveillance was a crime. Anything turned up by it is the fruit of a poisonous tree. It’s inherently illegitimate.

Birkel said...

HoodlumDoodlum:

Are you talking about the FISC that is staffed by judges from the D.C. District Courts that Obama effectively packed when Harry Reid used the nuclear option?

Because I have been led to believe all those judges are beyond reproach. Don't even call them so-called or Chuck will threaten you with physical violence.

Bruce Hayden said...

The first and foremost agenda must be to assemble a list of Trump officials who were spied on and the pretexts under which they were spied upon. The pattern will show the crime. And that’s what Obama and his allies are terrified of. It’s why Flynn was forced out using illegal surveillance and leaks. It’s why McMaster is protecting Susan Rice and the Obama holdovers while purging Trump loyalists at the NSC.

The left’s gamble was that the Mueller investigation or some other illegitimate spawn of the Obama eavesdropping would produce an indictment and then the procedural questions wouldn’t matter.

It’s the dirty cop using illegal eavesdropping to generate leads for a “clean” case against his target while betting that no one will look too closely or care how the case was generated. If one of the Mueller targets is intimidated into making a deal, the question of how the case was generated won’t matter.

Mueller will have a cooperative witness. And the Democrats can begin their coup in earnest. It will eventually turn out that there is no “there” there. But by then, it’ll be time for President Booker.

There’s just one problem.

If the gamble fails, if no criminal case that amounts to anything more than the usual investigational gimmick charges like perjury (the Federal equivalent of ‘resisting arrest’ for a beat cop) develops, then Obama and his allies are on the hook for the domestic surveillance of their political opponents.

With nothing to show for it and no way to distract from it.

That’s the race against the clock that is happening right now. Either the investigation gets results. Or its perpetrators are left hanging in the wind. If McMaster is fired, which on purely statistical grounds he probably will be, and a Trump loyalist who wasn’t targeted by the surveillance operation becomes the next National Security Adviser and brings in Trump loyalists, as Flynn tried to do, then it’s over.

And the Dems finally get their Watergate. Except the star won’t be Trump, it will be Obama. Rice, Power, Lynch and the rest of the gang will be the new Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Mitchell.

Once Obama and his allies launched their domestic surveillance operation, they crossed the Rubicon. And there was no way back. They had to destroy President Trump or risk going to jail.

The more crimes they committed by spying on the opposition, the more urgently they needed to bring down Trump. The consequences of each crime that they had committed spurred them on to commit worse crimes to save themselves from going to jail. It’s the same old story when it comes to criminals.

Each act of illegal surveillance became more blatant. And when illegal surveillance couldn’t stop Trump’s victory, they had to double down on the illegal surveillance for a coup.

The more Obama spied on Trump, the more he had to keep doing it. This time it was bound to pay off.

Obama and his allies had violated the norms so often for their policy goals that they couldn’t afford to be replaced by anyone but one of their own. The more Obama relied on the imperial presidency of executive orders, the less he could afford to be replaced by anyone who would undo them. The more his staffers lied and broke the law on everything from the government shutdown to the Iran nuke sellout, the more desperately they needed to pull out all the stops to keep Trump out of office. And the more they did it, the more they couldn’t afford not to do it. Abuse of power locks you into the loop familiar to all dictators. You can’t stop riding the tiger. Once you start, you can’t afford to stop.
...

Birkel said...

Bruce Hayden,
First, careful about copyright infringement.

Second, the "fruit of the poisonous tree" argument would be made by any criminal defendant in any of these circumstances. The prosecutors will have to argue they could have (and would have?) found that evidence through other legitimate avenues but there will be a strong presumption that the fruit remains poisonous.

That said, Mueller will only bring process charges for that very reason. But the attorneys should have great fun arguing that any untruths can only be known as untruths based on the ill-gotten information from the 4th and 5th Amendment violations of the Obama Administration.

Those arguments would be intensely interesting if full discovery is ordered by a court. Here's hoping!

Bruce Hayden said...

@Birkel -.my understanding is that there are a number of GW Bush appointees on the FISC, which is why they AG and her DoJ minions had to essentially lie about their targeting. Need a bit more research there.

Chuck said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
I really like all these "there's a warrant so that means they must have pretty good proof of something really bad, otherwise how'd they get a warrant" takes I'm hearing. There was a great one this morning on NPR from a Dem Congressperson (Chris Coons I think).

Your characterization isn't any sort of fair characterization of what I am saying. I am not commenting on the quality of any evidence. I'd very much like to know more, about the quality of any evidence.

What I am saying is that because the wiretapping was ordered by a federal judge, upon an FBI warrant application that is in a court file (or a FISA court file), it is a profoundly weird, perverted thing for Trump to say "Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my 'wires tapped' in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!" and "How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!" And then say nothing more after that. Trump wanted (wants?) people to believe that "Obama" ordered the wiretapping. And that Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump. Trump's phones.

Irrespective of the quality of the evidence, a judge ordered it. Obama didn't order it. If we are somehow misconstruing Trump's Tweets, then he should explain it in detail.

Because going further with those Tweets, Trump seems to be misleading:
"Is it legal for a sitting President to be 'wire tapping' a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!"

And...

"I'd bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!"

Again, more personalizing as to Trump. With the added detail that a court had earlier turned down a request for a wiretap warrant. (Which might just be true, but in the end a court DID agree, apparently, to a warrant request.)

Bruce Hayden said...

@Birkel - Fair Use. Obviously done for commentary, and not for financial gain. No reason to believe that it will have a financial impact on the author. That's 3 of 4 of the 17 USC 107 Fair Use factors. I will take my chances.

Morkoth4682 said...

@Molly:

If I recall correctly, there were actually a couple of FISA requests, and the first one or two were turned down (which almost never happens) because the initially stated reasons were deemed to basically have no merit. Finally, the 3rd request was approved after the Obama and company narrowed the scope significantly. And then Obama turned around and changed the rules around redacting names and how this information could be disseminated, so that effectively anyone could have access to these highly personal and private communications.

What Obama did is abuse on an un-precedented scale in American history.

Morkoth4682 said...

Robert Cook said...
"This is much worse than Watergate" has become the new version of Godwin's Law. Let's call it "Wingnut's Law."

9/20/17, 6:50 AM

------------------

But still not nearly as bad as Trump conspiring with Putin to steal the election... right Cookie?

Birkel said...

Bruce Hayden,
I just said be careful. Mindful. I offered no opinion.

Chuck,
You should read your Alinsky. Personalize the target. Freeze the target. The argument is now turned against Democrats. Reasonable people understand that the arguments Bruce Hayden offered above are consistent with the evidence. Combined with the low regard in which political operators are held, and the great tide of public opinion will not be held back by the MSM who have tried their collective best to bury recent developments regarding the Russia bull shit. You cannot see that the rules by which you wish to play will not yield the results you claim to prefer. The easiest explanations for this are stupidity, that your claimed preferences are not your real preferences, or both.

Take your head out of your ass, pretend Trump wasn't involved. Pretend any other politicians beside Trump faced investigations by an outgoing Executive Branch that changed the rules on unmasking, demonstrably lied to the FISC, and violated the 4th and 5th Amendment rights of American citizens under a Foreign Intelligence law. Pretend you had principles beyond raw hatred of Trump and analyze the situation.

Chuck said...

Birkel said...
HoodlumDoodlum:

Are you talking about the FISC that is staffed by judges from the D.C. District Courts that Obama effectively packed when Harry Reid used the nuclear option?

Because I have been led to believe all those judges are beyond reproach. Don't even call them so-called or Chuck will threaten you with physical violence.

Shut up, you dumbass. Quit writing about things about which you are so badly informed. And leave me out of your stupid, misleading posts.

The FISA courts' staffing is decided by the Chief Justice of the United States. That would be Chief Justice John Roberts, whose nomination was actually opposed by Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).

The current FISC includes district judges from Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky and Massachusetts. In addition to three from DC (in compliance with a statutory requirement that a certain number be from DC, for logistical reasons).

And no, it wasn't the DC district courts that earned Obama and Harry Reid such infamy, for what I agree was their "packing" scheme. It was the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Whose members do not sit on the FISC.

You hateful piece of shit. Quit writing about me. Leave me out of your crappy posts. I hate the task of correcting all of the wrong headed stuff you post.

Birkel said...

So, everything I wrote was correct and I got a marvelous rant for my efforts?

Do you understand the rules to this game?

Bruce Hayden said...

That said, Mueller will only bring process charges for that very reason. But the attorneys should have great fun arguing that any untruths can only be known as untruths based on the ill-gotten information from the 4th and 5th Amendment violations of the Obama Administration.

Those arguments would be intensely interesting if full discovery is ordered by a court. Here's hoping!


Keep that in mind - the 4th and 5th amdts don't have a FISA exception. Instead, FISA is supposed to protect against violation of those rights through strict requirements for warrants and minimization. And note that these deprivations of civil rights were done under the color of law, which means that if there were, indeed, a conspiracy to intercept conversations of Trump and his people through reverse targeting and stretching the act in various ways, that could very well violate the Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 USC 1863) (the "Ku Klux Klan Act").

Bruce Hayden said...

@Chuck - thanks for the reminder that the Chief Justice appoints the FISC judges. I had forgotten that. Should keep enough Republican judges on the court to keep it honest even with a Dem in the White House.

Birkel said...

Oh, I think the Civil Rights of American citizens were undoubtedly infringed. I don't think it's a close call.

That's what makes Mueller's job really hard. He has to be able to charge crimes that cannot yield significant discovery by the defense. I think he absolutely knows that. In fact, I believe his appointment was based on his willingness to play ball.

It would be nice if any whistleblower stepped out of one of the agencies and admitted their part in Obama's schemes.

Birkel said...

Note again that everything I wrote was correct, Chuck.

Chuck said...

No, Birkel, what you wrote was wrong.

You claimed that Obama and Reid packed the DC federal district courts. That's wrong. They packed the Circuit Court.

Then, you claimed that FISC judges are drawn from the Dem-packed DC district. That's wrong. A minority of the seats on the FISC are DC judges. Most are drawn from all over the country. District judges, yes. Not the Dem-packed DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

And finally I pointed out that Chief Justice Roberts does the picking, and not a Dem sinecure inside DC.

What part did you get right? Beats me; the whole premise of your post was that FISC judges can't be trusted because they are all the products of Harry Reid's court-packing. And that just isn't true.

My only problem now is in having to ponder what more a of a beatdown I can concoct for you, since you not only blew the substance of your post, but you also went out of your way to drag me into it.

Fuck off and leave me alone.

Birkel said...

No, they packed every court they could. But you can feel free to ignore what I actually wrote.

Two Obama appointees from the D.C. District Court (which I properly named above too) are on the FISC. I said the FISC is staffed by D.C. District Court judges. That is true. Did you read the word "exclusively" in front of the word staffed?

You aren't good at reading and discerning. I like to believe that's because your Trump-rage leaves you unable but I'm open to the explanation that you're not bright.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...Your characterization isn't any sort of fair characterization of what I am saying. I am not commenting on the quality of any evidence.

Believe it or not I wasn't talking about you with that comment--I have just been hearing the argument that "since there is a warrant there must be something behind it" a lot lately, including from a Congressperson on NPR this morning. You didn't specifically say that, but others have. Professor Althouse doesn't want us to directly address comments to people but sometimes not doing that causes more confusion!

What I am saying is that because the wiretapping was ordered by a federal judge, upon an FBI warrant application that is in a court file (or a FISA court file), it is a profoundly weird, perverted thing for Trump to say [...that it was done "by" Obama]

Yeah, and I hear you, but check this out:
With the WI John Doe investigations someone could have said much the same thing(s). Lots of us thought it was a sham investigation--a "political witch hunt"--and said so. Lots of us said the investigation looked like a perversion of the power of the government's justice system, driven by partisan individuals (Chisholm et al.). People who disagreed could, easily say "these are duly elected and appointed individuals exercising the valid power of their offices to undertake legal action as they deem fit. Judges approved subpoenas and signed search warrants (authorizing early-morning SWAT-type raids!) in furtherance of the investigation. If there was nothing to the allegations, or if this was all just an abuse of the power of the State for political/partisan ends, surely none of the officials involved (judges, cops, etc) would have participated nor given their respective stamps of approval!" People DID in fact make those same arguments--I remember them!

Just as those people argued that it was wrong to say that "Democrats in WI" or "partisan Dems like Chisholm" were ultimately responsible for what many of us saw as abuses of the legal system (for partisan ends), so too are many now saying that these investigations into people linked to Trump may be abuses of the legal system and are ultimately the responsibility of the people in charge--namely the then-head of the Executive, President Obama.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

This might be a good time to say it, so here goes:

From what I've read about Mantafort he seems like a typically-sleazy international lobbyist "consultant" kinda guy. Just like I think John Podesta's pretty sleazy in exactly the same way. Sidney Blumenthal is probably the sleaziest I know about...but there are a lot of those types hanging around the edges of government officials, making big bucks in what seem to me to be pretty shady ways. It would not surprise me in the least if Mantafort cut corners or did unethical things in furtherance of his client's wishes (in order to line his own pockets), and since many of his clients are foreign nations and/or are linked to foreign nations I don't have much trouble believing that he may have broken laws along the way. I add that I'll bet MOST of the people in his business, including tons who work for and with Dems (like Podesta) take the same kinds of actions and break the same kinds of laws, routinely.
All of that is to say it would not surprise me to learn that Mantafort did in fact break some laws. He seems like a bad person to make campaign manager and his hiring (in that role, specifically) was almost certainly a bad call on Trump's part. The blame for that hire does ultimately rest with Trump, as well. Mantafort seems like a posterboy for a "swamp thing" and surely could have been given a less-visible role in the campaign if he was in fact needed at all. (Since Trump did win, you know, I can't really say he wasn't needed!)

Trump can be correct that these investigations were in some way improper and/or improperly driven by partisan impulses AND Mantafort (or Flynn, or others) can also be guilty of wrongdoing and/or crimes. Both can be true! Mantafort being guilty does not, itself, mean the investigations were proper nor that they were undertaken for proper/non-partisan reasons.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...Irrespective of the quality of the evidence, a judge ordered it. Obama didn't order it.

Plug that into my WI John Doe example. "Those raids weren't ordered by partisan Dems; a judge ordered the raids, a judge approved the warrants. How could anyone blame those actions on partisan Dems?!"

See why that doesn't work?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

You can dismiss me as paranoid if you want, but I think about Rick Perry, Tom Delay, Scott Walker, Ted Stevens...and I think "maybe we can't trust in the impartiality of the justice system when it comes to actions taken against Republican politicians. Maybe thinking that if a judge approves of the action it must be ok isn't a smart approach when the targets are Repbulicans."

Chuck said...

Birkel said...
No, they packed every court they could. But you can feel free to ignore what I actually wrote.

Two Obama appointees from the D.C. District Court (which I properly named above too) are on the FISC. I said the FISC is staffed by D.C. District Court judges. That is true. Did you read the word "exclusively" in front of the word staffed?

You aren't good at reading and discerning. I like to believe that's because your Trump-rage leaves you unable but I'm open to the explanation that you're not bright.

You malignant asshole.

No; there are not two DC District judges serving on the FISC. There are three.

No; there are not two "Obama appointees" now serving on the FISC. There is one. The presiding judge of the court is Rosemary Collyer, who was nominated by George W. Bush to the DC District. Another DC Circuit judge on the FISC is Jeb Boasberg, who also was nominated to his district court judgeship by Bush.

So you've got one of about 11 judges who was an Obama nominee to the district court, and recall that Chief Justice Roberts nominated that judge (Rudolph Contreras) to the FISC. And Contreras was not even nominated in the time period that you previously wanted us to think about, when Harry Reid "went nuclear" on lower court nominations and helped Obama pack the DC Circuit. That packing happened in the fall of 2013 and after during the Obama second term. Judge Contreras, on the FISC, was nominated and confirmed in 2011.

So exactly zero is the number of DC District judges on the FISC who were installed via any "packing" from Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

Every time you post on this subject you dig yourself deeper into the hole of incredibility. You should stop it.

Inkling said...

Scandals like these are one reason why many inside the Beltway and in the media were so desperate to elect Hillary. She would have covered up what the Trump administration is free to expose and prosecute.

Chuck said...

Just to clarify my post immediately above...

Rudolph Contreras was nominated by Barack Obama to the DC District Court in 2011 and confirmed the same year.

Then, in 2013, we had the nuclear option being invoked by Harry Reid and Obama to do some "packing" of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (having nothing to do with staffing the FISC, or Judge Contreras).

Then, SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts nominated Judge Contreras to the FISC from his post on the DC District. That happened last year, in May of 2016.

There are 11 judges currently on the FISC, and that is full-staffing for that court. And as I mentioned above in the Birkel beatdown, Judge Contreras is the ONLY Obama-nominated DC District Judge on the FISC.

Of the other ten judges assigned to the FISC, most were nominated to their district court positions by Reagan, GHW Bush or GW Bush. Contreras is the only Obama-nominated judge and there are two Clinton nominees.

All of which just goes further in making Birkel look like a dumbass.

Birkel said...

Just to clarify, what I wrote was correct. Judges Boasberg and Contreras are both Obama appointees.

Boasberg is here.

Chuck, do you ever stop to wonder why you are wrong so often?

Birkel said...

Wow, I guess I'm a dumb ass who can provide a hyperlink that proves I'm correct according to the government's own website.

Sick burn, Chuck, so called fopdoodle.

Your plan to catch me in a web of my own truth is working.

Ingot9455 said...

Just so Chuck knows from earlier up in the thread...

The President is the root of all classification and has the power to declassify information.
If the President mistakenly lets slip otherwise classified information, it is considered that he declassified it for himself and himself alone to speak - maybe for others but it is unwise of someone with a security clearance to repeat something classified that the President said even if he said it in public on national TV until it is properly declassified by paperwork. This has happened several times and you can look it up easily on the web.

While it might be considered a foolishmove , the President cannot by definition illegally release classified information.


Bruce Hayden said...

@Hoodlum - Keep in mind though that the purpose of a FISA warrant is the collection of foreign intelligence information (see the 1801 definitions). It cannot be to detect a crime. That requires, esp for US Persons, and esp when in the US, a Wiretap Act warrant, issued by a District Court after the showing of probable cause. Crime detection must be secondary - the Feds are allowed to provide the criminal side of the FBI and US Attys information inadvertently or collaterally collected during a foreign intelligence information investigation, but the criminal investigation must be secondary. This means that the FBI can't go to the FISC and ask for a FISA warrant for detecting criminal wrongdoing. Presumably, they would refuse. But that also likely means, given what we know now that Manafort, Brannon, etc likely could attack any evidence of any illegality acquired through pretextual reverse FISA targeting, as fruit of the forbidden tree. As I pointed out above, FISA is not a license to bypass the 4th and 5th Amdts.

Bad Lieutenant said...

All of that is to say it would not surprise me to learn that Mantafort did in fact break some laws. He seems like a bad person to make campaign manager and his hiring (in that role, specifically) was almost certainly a bad call on Trump's part. The blame for that hire does ultimately rest with Trump, as well.

Not for nothing, but let's recall that Trump was being gigged for Corey Lewandowski's unorthodox style and encouraged, nay berated, to pick a more conventional choice. OK, who is a Republican old hand? Hmm, Scott Walker seems a reasonable chap, who did he use? Hmm, Manafort. Sharp dresser, establishment choice, should stay the dogs barking. We'll take a flyer on him I guess...couple of months later, seeya.

What was Trump supposed to do? Ensure that the man's heart was pure? If Manafort diddled with Ukraine, what's that to him? Any crime? None announced. Any crimes while working for Trump? None announced.

Not seeing the beef here. Guess Trump shouldn't listen to people, or at least not to establishment people.

SDN said...

"Earnest Prole said...
Before Rush gets his panties in a bundle, he should remember that Paul Manafort was under investigation by the FBI well more than a year before Trump announced he would run for President, "

And nothing was found, so they closed it. All of a sudden, they re-open it as part of the campaign, by lying to the FISA court, as the court itself has said.

Birkel said...

Did you follow the link I provided, Chuck?
The one that shows you were wrong and I was correct?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bruce: thanks.

I meant to mention this earlier, but do we know to what extent the applications for the more recent FISA warrants may have relied on bogus intel from things like the "piss prostitute" dossier? I mean, if stuff like that was used as possible evidence of foreign contacts/influence within the Trump campaign personnel pool, and that was then used to get warrants...wouldn't that severely undercut the contention that "these warrants are serious business, we have to assume they're based no serious, credible claims" etc?

I mean, just spitballing here, but it seems like anti-Trump people (Republican & Dem) financed the work that resulted in the dossier, yeah? So if I was an Obama Admin person and I wanted to "get Trump," what would I do if I knew about a possibly-shady intel dossier that alleged Trump had all sorts of foreign contacts & entanglements? Maybe I'd suggest that the matter ought to be looked into by the DOJ--just to be safe!--and maybe the DOJ could then use that dossier as the basis for an investigation, and then maybe that investigation would get FISA warrants and include surveillance, and then maybe I'd do my best to LEAK some selective facts about those investigations....and even if it turns out there's nothing solid at the bottom of the investigation maybe I fuck some people over on some process charges (BS obstruction, etc) anyway just to cover my back. Of course I'd assume Trump would lose anyway, so maybe I wouldn't even worry about that last part--maybe I wouldn't even plan to continue the investigation once Hillary was invested.

You know...lots of maybes, but here's the thing I can't unknow: Comey got Mueller appointed by deliberately leaking info. Even assuming there's something that needed to be investigated, that's about as clear of an "insider" set up as there gets. Based JUST on that I can't say speculation about what else might have its origin in a political hit must be crazy!

Chuck said...

You are still a still a fucking asshole, Birkel. Yes exactly two out of the 11 FISC judges were nominated to the US District Court by Obama. Boasberg, about who you were correct and I was wrong, was nominated to the DC Superior Court by George W. Bush but nominated (as you said) to the District Court by Obama.

Both of them became District Judges before any of the "packing" of the DC CircuitCourt of Appeals about which you were blathering earlier. Not one single FISC judge is on the FISA court as a result of the "packing" that you were talking about.

So again to your original assclown post on this matter; just 2 out of 11 FISC judges are Obama nominees to the District Court, and both of those judges were appointed to the FISA court by Chief Justice John Roberts. The other FISA judges are not from DC at all. And they are from all over the country, and most of them are Republican nominees to their respective District Courts.

I urge every reader to compare what you wrote on this subject and what I have written and judge which one of us provided better information.

Birkel said...

So, good. We're still at the point where everything I typed is correct and you have been wrong. Sorry if that grates.

Do better and you won't have to admit defeat as often. Retiring your hatred of Trump would be a good first step. Given that, I'll continue to remind you of how you are wrong.

Your name calling and insults are noted. It is often the case when over-matched a loser will call names.

Birkel said...

Oh, it is a wonderful laugh to imagine the judge from Oregon facing two Democrat blue slips is a rock-ribbed conservative jurist. That seems likely.

Care to embarrass yourself again?

Bad Lieutenant said...

The funny thing is that I, and everyone, despise Chuck so deeply that we wouldn't support him even if/inasmuch as he were right. (He somehow got people to stop calling him deservedly vile names but he still uses them on anyone he contends with, anyone he still feels capable of contending with.) There would be no reason to, because Chuck is beyond reason. This is the end of debate.

Chuck, you've poisoned the well here for yourself. You should consider leaving the blog. There is no more point to your being here.

furious_a said...

"At no point was the Obama Administration aware of what the Obama Administration was doing."