January 11, 2019

At the Rat Cafe…



… you can skitter all over the place…

37 comments:

Inga...Allie Oop said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/us/politics/fbi-trump-russia-inquiry.html

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

“WASHINGTON — In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”

ceowens said...

You want ticks, I present ticks.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-46833426

Josephbleau said...

I think the inquiry has explosive implications, that the us intelegence community is flipping crazy.

donald said...

Inga, you are a fucking moron.

alanc709 said...

If that's the case, Inga, wouldn't Uranium-1 have been a much better reason to investigate the Clintons for possible conspiracy with Russian agents? At least there was actual activity of a suspicious nature, as opposed to pure conjecture. Occam's Razor says the more likely reason for DOJ and FBI to try and infiltrate the Trump campaign would be that the reigning administration wanted it done.

iowan2 said...

More lies from NYT. I can't get to the piece. Sources inside the FBI? Right? How many times is Lucy going to pull the ball away from Inga?

Seeing Red said...

Via Insty:

H.R. 1: Democrats Act to Strip State Powers Over Elections

Democrats in Congress have announced their top legislative priority, and it isn’t health care, immigration, or taxes. Instead, they want to centralize power over elections in Washington, D.C. H.R. 1 is number one on the legislative agenda because it is the number one priority of House Democrats, leftist groups, deep-pocketed dark money, and those who use election process rules to help win elections -- or at least to cause chaos.

The bill is a 571-page dreamscape of wild wishes and federal mandates on states. The Constitution decentralizes power over American elections and puts states in charge. H.R. 1 would undo that.

H.R. 1 has 218 cosponsors. It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list -- such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies -- then they would be automatically registered to vote.

H.R. 1 also mandates that states allow all felons to vote.

H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes. While purportedly designed to increase participation, early voting has been shown to have no effect on turnout.

H.R. 1 also undermines the First Amendment by exerting government control over political speech and undoing the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

H.R. 1 mandates same-day voter registration and would obliterate state registration procedures.

H.R. 1 limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.

H.R. 1 would nullify state laws that permit election observers to work as partners with election officials to file a formal challenge to a suspicious voter registration.

H.R. 1 would criminalize protected political speech by making it a crime to “discourage” someone from voting or to use deceptive practices in politics. It also would bar states from disallowing vote by mail.

The bill would prohibit chief election officials in each state from participating in federal election campaigns -- call this the anti-Kris Kobach and Brian Kemp provision.

The bill mandates that absentee ballots can be mailed for free. It mandates that states adopt so-called "independent" redistricting commissions.

But the biggest prize in H.R. 1 is to restore Justice Department approval powers over state election law changes, known as “preclearance.” This preclearance power, struck down by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder, is the one power that unites them all. Preclearance gave radical bureaucrats at the Justice Department Voting Section, where I used to work, the power to micromanage every single state election law behind closed doors.

Here’s how it worked: Whenever a state wanted to make an election law change, no matter how small, it needed approval from Washington, D.C. bureaucrats at the Department of Justice. Move a polling place, change the hours the election office is open, hire a new translator, change a precinct line, or move voting from the school gym to the school library? DOJ had to approve.












narciso said...

Strzok and page following gaeta Bruce ohr and company chuck Ross has a better description in the daily caller.

Bay Area Guy said...

Who cares what McCabe did at the FBI after his protector Comey got fired?

narciso said...

It's the steal the vote outright, scenario, counting they have a cooperative drone at justice

narciso said...

Well it does show abuse of resources, but Rosenstein wrote the memo, it's the vekakte dossier all the (redacted) over again

Bay Area Guy said...

The House can pass all the crazy shit it wants, and the Senate can either not vote on it, or vote it down or vote that crazy shit up, and let Trump veto it.

Original Mike said...

"The House can pass all the crazy shit it wants, and the Senate can either not vote on it, or vote it down or vote that crazy shit up, and let Trump veto it."

Yes, but someday they'll pass all that crazy shit.

FullMoon said...

Priorities:

House Dems to shut down terrorism subcommittee — to focus on investigating Trump instead

https://hotair.com/archives/2019/01/11/house-dems-shut-terrorism-subcommittee-focus-investigating-trump-instead/

StephenFearby said...

Unpacking some of the NYT Agitprop of the day:

F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia

"...Other factors fueled the F.B.I.’s concerns, according to the people familiar with the inquiry. Christopher Steele, a former British spy who worked as an F.B.I. informant, had compiled memos in mid-2016 containing unsubstantiated claims that Russian officials tried to obtain influence over Mr. Trump by preparing to blackmail and bribe him.


In the months before the 2016 election, the F.B.I. was also already investigating four of Mr. Trump’s associates over their ties to Russia. The constellation of events disquieted F.B.I. officials who were simultaneously watching as Russia’s campaign unfolded to undermine the presidential election by exploiting existing divisions among Americans."

(1) This Agitprop notably fails to mention the material fact that Christopher Steele's "unsubstantiated claims" (ie, the Dossier) was funded by the Democratic Party and the Hilary for President Campaign. And that it was leaked to the press in an attempt to influence the outcome of the election.

(2) The FBI's investigation before the election of four Trump associates "over their ties to Russia" was based entirely on the "unsubstantiated claims" of the Dossier. But if a politicized FBI really wants to get you, a lack of evidence doesn't matter.

(3) Trump's May 9, 2017 letter to Comey included: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation...[I'm firing you anyway]." Since Comey seems never to have denied this assertion, Comey is a lying weasel because Comey had approved the Trump investigation.

I'm not surprised that the NYT didn't provide a comments section to this Agitprop.

eddie willers said...

So they had spies in the campaign before the election and then brought guns blazing after Comey was fired.

And STILL they got nothing.

narciso said...

They never did:

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/01/report-fbi-opened-inquiry-into-whether-trump-was-working-for-the-russians.php

narciso said...


They cover the story but with the worst angles

https://donsurber.blogspot.com/2019/01/mexico-pays-for-not-having-wall.html?spref=fb&fbclid=IwAR3-gbqkzku4dGwcA26a6ySleseEiVyE5qs9Gn54nXWRmD8luVLShV4Yrco&m=1

walter said...

Eddie,
You'd think they'd be better at doing their job.
Of course..if their job is lay down sustained smoke screen to obscure their own malfeasance..

Bruce Hayden said...

The reality of the DNC/Clinton sponsored attack on Trump via the CIA, DoJ, FBI, State Dept, and even Obama WH continues to seep out. Thus, the NYT article, while seeming to be offensive, is really defensive getting an early positive spin on facts that should reflect badly on the Dems and the Deep State. Think of what that article is saying: that in response to Comey being fired for cause, they, the unelected government bureaucrats, ginned up a bogus investigation of their legal, moral, and Constitutional boss, the President, from whom all of their power is devolved (and he wasn't even the one to fire Comey). And they were using unverified information that, by then, they had spent probably most of a year trying to verify, and couldn't. And very likely knew that it had been funded by Crooked Hillary and tge DNC that she had controlled at the time. What gave them the moral right to investigate their Constitutional boss? Their GS (and higher) ratings? Who elected them God? I think that you can see why the NYT was trying to get ahead of this - these Deep Staters had engaged in gross insubordinationv, verging on treason.

Bruce Hayden said...

We are at a transistion point right now. The Mueller investigation has managed to keep a whole bunch of the DoJ and FBI dirt away from the public, and to some extent, even Congress. It was, of course, initiated based on the bogus information in the Steele Dossier, paid for by Trup's opponent in the 2016 election - a point that is repeatedly ignored. Needless to say, the Mueller investigation has found no Rusdian collusion by Team Trump (and studiously ignored such by Team Clinton). No one involved actually expected them to find any, because most of them knew it was a setup from the start. That wasn't the real purpose of the Mueller investigation. Part of it was to keep the pressure on Trup, and part, as I indicated, was to block disclosure if inconvenient and embarrassing information about the Deep State and the Obama Administration. Which they did admirably. Mueller has almost nothing to show for it, except indicting some Rusdians who they will never be able to try, and hanging some Trump people with process crimes essentially created by the investigation itself. DAG Rosenstein, who officially controls the investigation, has announced his retirement. With a new AG and DAG, someone was guaranteed to pull the plug. Besides, the focus is shifting quickly to the House, where every committee that can halfway plausibly claim part of tge action, is announcing that they are going to investigate Trump for anything and everything that might support his impeachment, for whatever flimsy excuses that they can cook up. And, no doubt, all the illegally obtained information from ine illegal FISA 702 searches from the first third of 2016, along with the results of tge FISA Title I warrants on Carter Page, and maybe three others, is very likely in the hands of some of those newly installed committee chairs, passed to them by Mueller, and to him by Strzok, Page, and Weissman. They of course cannot admit that one of the primary purposes of the Mueller investigation was to keep the levels on the release of all of the inconvenient and embarrassing facts about high level DoJ, FBI, CIA, and Obama WH malfeasance. On the flip side, partisan Dem House investigations of Trump, Trump, and more Trump shouldn't have the same effect on keeping all of this information out of the hands of the Senate, DoJ and IC IGs, USA Heber, and the American public. Maybe if Mueller had actually found some Trump/Russian collusion, they could continue hiding it. They couldn't, and can't. Which means that the MSM is going to try their darnedest to keep the focus on the House committees investigating Trump.

Bruce Hayden said...

Someone on the Republican side of the House seems to have gotten frustrated at the DoJ's and FBI's ability to keep this information about high level malfeasance, and probable criminality out of tge publc by citing ongoing investigations (I.e. The Mueller investigation, supposed investigating Trump/Russian collusion, based on the Clinton funded Steele Dossier), and has started some leaking. One of the leaks involved the closed testimony of DD McCabe's former legal counsel, Lisa Page.

One nugget that came from her testimony is that the critical decisions in the Mid Year Exam (MYE) noninvestigation investigation of Crooked Hillary's illegal email server were made, as I have long suspected, by the DoJ. They were the ones who didn't believe that actual intent could be shown, and they were the ones who made the determination not to try to prove gross negligence. Someone in the DoJ (Page didn't know who) claimed to have determined that Gross Negligence was too vague a legal standard, and thus was Constitutionally suspect on Due Process grounds. Of course, the DoJ, in other areas, makes successful Gross Negligence cases every day, and, likewise, civil liability is determined based on Gross Negligence win civil courts probably even more frequently. And, of course, they probably could have proven actual intent, if they had empaneled a grand jury, or even provided the FBI with search warrants, none of which were provided. Similarly, it was apparently the DoJ that allowed Clinton's two chief aides to sit in on her unsworn interview as her attorneys, despite being fact witnesses. And was the agency that gave them, along with Huma Abedelin, immunity. The FBI had requested search warrants for the Clinton email server and her electronic devices, and the DoJ refused. Similarly, they were the agency that allowed those two Clinton aides/attorneys to (supposedly) sift through Clinton's email to determine what was work related, and what wasn't, instead of the employing agency (State Dept), which is the case in the other 99.99% of the time. Page didn't seem to know who at the DoJ made which decisions, but did know that "Sally" (DAG Sally Yates) was involved, along with an ADAG or AAG ir two. It wasn't clear to Page how recused AG Lynch was, after having been caught meeting with Clinton's husband on the Tarmac at Sky Harbor Airport in PHX. The interesting part of this to me is that the FBI was apparently quite frustrated by the significant amount of DoJ meddling in the MYE (Clinton) investigation. On the one hand, the DoJ didn't supply any of the prosecutorial assets and tools that they routinely supply the FBI in their investigations, such as search warrants and grand juries. On the flip side, they apparently insisted that high level DoJ employees be present at any meetings with Clinton or any of her aides or coconspirators.

Bruce Hayden said...

Plus, there were some interesting tidbits about the Steele Dossier. One was that the FBI apparently learned unofficially about it from the CIA. Whiich is interesting, because the way that Misfyp, Downer, and Helper were run makes their part of it look like a CIA operation. Which is to say that we have more evidence that the CIA very likely constructed the legal justification for the FISA Title I warrants issued against Trump campaign staff, and then fed it back through the State Dept to the FBI. And that CIA misinformation appears to be, even today, to be a big part of the.legal predicate for the Mueller investigation. Indeed, it looks like Brennan and his CIA knew about the Steele Dosdier long before anyone else in the govt knew - except, of course, for AAG Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie, was the Russian expect at Fusion GPS, and likely (based on writing styles - she is the PhD, while Steele Is a former journalist) wrote parts of the Dossier. Turns out Page worked for Ohr for 5-6 years, and met his wife at an office BBQ. Small world. Except that her story is a bit suspect because she claims to have not known of the Steele Dossier until Sept 2016, while AAG Bruce Ohr, along with his protege Andrew Weissman, both in Organized Crimes at the DoJ, started interfacing between Steele and Simpson and the FBI starting in August 2016. What she might have been saying though is that they weren't officially notified of the Dossier until Sept 2016, when a bunch of them (including, I expect Peter Strzok) flew to London to briefed on it.

Kevin said...

How would the NYT have reported the same story if it were the FBI looking into Obama and Iran?

stevew said...

The addition of artwork is quite a nice new thing here at Althouse. Inspired by Picasso I assume:

https://www.art.com/products/p10290468-sa-i724882/pablo-picasso-femme.htm

It's the weekend, got lots to do today. Remember, Frost said good fences make good neighbors, and Jim Acosta went there to prove it!

Best wishes for a lovely weekend.

Rusty said...

More like a Jack Russel Terrier, Ann, Needs work. Your muscles have forgotten what they learned.

When is Justice going to investigate George Soros?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Happy Birthday Professor!

wildswan said...

Reader Ratman's Epitaph

Cast a cold eye on life, on death.
Man and Cat, pass by!

narciso said...

Yes it's the zinoviev telegram strategy, all of these lures had more ties to UK and American intelligence than the russians.

cf said...

Is today your birthday, Althouse? I lift my morning coffee:
Happy day to you, and an excellent year ahead, Clink!

Andrew said...

These nihilistic password security questions are funny.

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/nihilistic-password-security-questions

Examples:

What is the name of your least favorite child?

In what year did you abandon your dreams?

At what age did your childhood pet run away?

In what city did you first experience ennui?

Andrew said...

Oh, and happy birthday, Ann! Thank you for what you do here. May you live a long and fulfilling life, for the blog if for nothing else.

Bruce Hayden said...

Can’t be Ann’s birthday - it is Rush Limbaugh’s. 1/12/1951.

chickenlittle said...

Bruce Hayden said...Can’t be Ann’s birthday - it is Rush Limbaugh’s. 1/12/1951.

Althouse and Limbaugh are "conascenti."

I'll wait for her to announce it to congratulate her.

In Europe, you bring a cake a work on your birthday. At first I found that custom annoying, but it really works out best for everyone. You can hide your birthday if you want, on the other hand, there are never any hurt feelings of being forgotten.

Rusty said...

Well,damn. Happy birthday, Ann.

chickenlittle said...

@seeing red: HR 1 must fail. We have to see to it.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Double A-

We know you arent a dog, nor oracle, but could you draw a 'Democ' to go with your 'Rat' ensemble???(or Pack--"mischief" is the official term)
please oh please???
yes it will take a little imagination, but the artistry will burst forth with flair and facility after a few glasses of celebratory B-Day champagne!
eagerly anticipating the fulfillment of this humble request.
thanks in advance for your gracious compliance!