April 11, 2019

"The baffling thing was why they were baffled. Barr's statement was accurate and supported by publicly known facts...."

"It is a fact that in October 2016 the FBI wiretapped Carter Page, who had earlier been a short-term foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. The bureau's application to a secret court for that wiretapping is public. It is heavily redacted but is clearly focused on Page and 'the Russian government's attempt to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.' Page was wiretapped because of his connection with the Trump campaign. Some critics have noted that the wiretap authorization came after Page left the campaign. But the surveillance order allowed authorities to intercept Page's electronic communications both going forward from the day of the order and backward, as well. Investigators could see Page's emails and texts going back to his time in the campaign. So there is simply no doubt that the FBI wiretapped a Trump campaign figure.... [I]t is also known that the FBI engaged at least one informant, a professor named Stefan Halper, to penetrate the Trump campaign... [D]espite the cries from outraged Democrats and the media analysts who simply can't imagine what Barr might have been referring to, the attorney general's words were demonstrably true."

Writes Byron York at The Washington Times.

153 comments:

Quaestor said...

Next step — Comey who?

Quaestor said...

Winston Smith can look forward to lots of jolly time-and-a-half overtime.

Unfortunately, Oceania has never paid time-and-a-half.

Limited blogger said...

Lights are on, cockroaches scurrying

Bay Area Guy said...
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Bay Area Guy said...

So let me understand this:

The folks who gleefully told us Mueller was gonna indict Trump for Russian Collusion, are now hysterically telling us there was no spying on the Trump campaign?

Hmm. Color me skeptical..,,,,,,

Phil 3:14 said...

“Spying” is such a problematic word.

YoungHegelian said...

The Democrats feigning outrage are not stupid. They know that Mollie Hemingway's words are the truth:

This is a scandal of epic proportions. It is one that threatens the foundations of constitutional government. It is a direct attack on American democracy.

This scandal has the potential to damage the power of the MSM, the Democratic Party Machine, & the Deep State bureaucracy. This is the beginnings of what may turn out to be their worst nightmare.

Don't be surprised if the Left suddenly decides it's time to turn to political violence.

Ray - SoCal said...

Operation destroy Barr has begun.

Roadmap is what was done to Ken Starr.

With the typical Republican President the reputation attacks would probably work, but they have no chance with Trump.

Amazing how the Democrats and msm allies are opening themselves up to Trump attacks.

Quaestor said...

With all those Ingsoc dollars he won't be getting Winston Smith can finally afford a haircut with something sharper than a spork.

tim maguire said...

Still using the old playbook where they control the narrative. So long as the media sticks together, they will win. 10 years ago. Today? Maybe not.

readering said...

Now for the analysis of POTUS crazy treason accusation please.

Hagar said...

The FBI was ordered to spy on civilians in WWI days - before it even became the FBI.

Danno said...

The "Trump troubles" tag should be relabeled as "Trump payback time". Although I was worried Barr was starting slow or ignoring the issue, it does clearly appear he is going after these clowns who tried to advance a procedural coup against our elected president.

Hunter said...

I have a group of predominantly left-leaning friends with whom I sometimes get into political discussions. They are largely oblivious to facts such as the Steele dossier being funded by the DNC, and its use in obtaining FISA warrants by people who likely knew and seemed to obscure that it was garbage intel, which anybody who follows any conservative outlet would be well aware of. All they know about these topics, if anything at all, is the spin presented by outlets like NYT/Wapo (at best) or Huffpo/MSNBC/various blue-checkmarks on Twitter (more commonly).

So it is absolutely no surprise to me that a lot of people who've lived in the anti-Trump echo chamber for the past 3 years are baffled. They honestly think the right is just making this stuff up to muddy the waters and prevent Trump's crimes (which we ALL KNOW he committed) from coming to light.

pious agnostic said...

My favorite type of comments are the ones where people ask for a different topic because the current one makes them uncomfortable.

Darrell said...

who had earlier been a short-term foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign

Yeah. He was paid to participate in a single meeting, along with several others. When he was later representing himself as part of the Trump Campaign, he was sent a cease and desist letter telling him to stop doing that. They also put out an official notice that he was never part of the Trump team.

Ralph L said...

Here's hoping Barr works faster than Mueller. This needs to get far enough in public consciousness that Dem candidates are forced to address it before the primaries.

iowan2 said...

So far all the leftist actors are sticking to their script. Acting, surprised, and offended, attacking Barr, and President Trump. All scripted so far. We will see of some don't start going off script in an attempt to get on the right side of the facts.

Michael said...


Schumer's anxiety shows how fearful the Democrats are, and rightfully ought to be. That part is delicious.

The average Democrat's unawareness of what happened is sad and can at least partially be explained by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds.

The same reason just enough people are buying common stocks at the highest long-term earnings multiples in American financial history.

Mike Sylwester said...

I heard that Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller found that Stormy Daniels was born in Russia, that her real name is Stormochka Danielovna and that she was one of the Russian prostitutes urinating on a Moscow hotel bed while Donald Trump watched. Mueller included this finding in his report.

However, William Barr did not mention that finding in his summary.

Limited blogger said...

Who knew? And when did they know it?

Bay Area Guy said...

President Obama on 10.16.16, before the election:

" But the larger point I want to emphasize here is that there is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even — you could even rig America’s elections, in part, because they are so decentralized and the numbers of votes involved.

There is no evidence that that has happened in the past or that there are instances in which that will happen this time. And so I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes."

Question 1 - is Obama right, that the Russians were not rigging the election?

Question 2 - if the Russians were rigging the election, why didn't the Obama DOJ find the culprits and stop it?

Birkel said...

Andrew McCarthy wrote something very similar:

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/andrew-mccarthy-barr-is-right-to-review-why-trump-russia-investigation-began

zipity said...

How dare an Attorney General investigate wrong doing by Deep State Democrat DNC operatives?

Hunter said...

Granted, an alternate explanation is that the "baffled" aren't baffled at all, they are just arguing in bad faith. More likely true of those in positions of power, as opposed to the media or regular folk to whom the bad-faith arguments are targeted.

Lee Moore said...

People are missing an obvious technical point about what "spying" means.

It was not even technically possible for the FBI or the CIA, in 2016, to "spy" on the Trump campaign. The FBI "investigates" and the CIA "gathers intelligence" in each case, possibly using "surveillance techniques" and "confidential informants."

"Spying" can only be carried out by a hostile power - Ruccian intelligence, Chinese intelligence, or the FBI and the CIA while under GOP political managment

The difficult point in this case is judging when the FBI and CIA can be said to have come under GOP management. Jan 2017 ? When Barr was appointed ? Not even now ?

Ralph L said...

We will see of some don't start going off script

That's a mighty big "of."

Rory said...

"This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue about who spied on who."

tcrosse said...

I spy with my little eye something beginning with T.

Birkel said...

Lee Moore runs a new definition of spying up the flagpole. My dog lifts its back leg to salute the effort.

What a bad start for a new troll.

Darrell said...
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Darrell said...

Try the entire Obama Administration for abuse of power and election tampering.
Lock them up.

Hey Skipper said...

The Democrats feigning outrage are not stupid. They know that Mollie Hemingway's words are the truth:

The NYT and WaPo got Pulitzer prizes for what has amounted to a couple and a half years of "Wait. What? Oh. Never mind then."

And Mollie Hemingway, who was been relentlessly correct the entire time?

Otto said...

"sound predicate". Remember these words in the coming months.Light is a strong disinfectant.

Ralph L said...

What a bad start for a new troll.

Read the whole thing.

tim maguire said...

Hunter said...
Granted, an alternate explanation is that the "baffled" aren't baffled at all, they are just arguing in bad faith. More likely true of those in positions of power, as opposed to the media or regular folk to whom the bad-faith arguments are targeted.


Can you say that a little more clearly? Your "alternate" explanation is overwhelmingly the most likely (because they are not as stupid as they'd have to be to be honestly baffled). It's also unclear what is meant by "more likely true." What is this thing you are asserting is more likely true?

Chuck said...

If it is a serious investigation, why is Barr talking about it at all? A pending, ongoing investigation? How many DoJ rules would such a premature discussion violate?

If it is an investigation of FBI warrant applications, why talk about it in terms of “spying”?

If there are things that Barr can and should discuss with Congress, why do it in the context of an appropriations hearing, in sound-bite form?

Those are just some of my questions. There may be more and better questions for Barr.

And I come at this from the perspective of a prejudice in favor of Barr. Barr has the trust of Mitch McConnell and an excellent GOP pedigree. But I don’t like being left with more questions than answers after the US Attorney General testifies under oath.

I also have always liked Byron York, which makes it all the more interesting to read him and listen to him critically when it comes to how he addresses his audience.


tim maguire said...

Lee Moore said...People are missing an obvious technical point about what "spying" means.

"Spying" can only be carried out by a hostile power


Where'd you get that idea?

Mike Sylwester said...

All 17 of the USA's Intelligence agencies agreed that Russia was meddling in our 2016 elections.

The FBI found that Carter Page, an advisor on Donald Trump's campaign staff, was a witting agent of the Russian Intelligence service.

Another campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos, was receiving information -- from Joseph Mifsud, an agent of Russian Intelligence -- that Russia had thousands of Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

President Trump was publicly calling on Vladimir Putin to release Clinton's e-mails.

Was the FBI supposed to just sit on its hands and do nothing?

In these circumstances, the FBI was morally compelled to spy on Trump's campaign staff.

robother said...

So, the FBI and CIA never spied on MLK or Lennon. They merely surveilled them. So that was totally cool with the Democrats (as it was in fact with JFK, RFK and LBJ). Who was Frank Church and why did he say those nasty things about our secret agents?

Tommy Duncan said...

Perhaps we have reached a tipping point?

Could this be the beginning of the end?

gspencer said...

"We're shocked, just shocked, that allegations of spying are going on here"

Birkel said...

Ralph L,
Please let me introduce you to tim maguire.

Sebastian said...

They weren't baffled-baffled.

But they are a tad worried about the tables being turned.

Anonymous said...

I observe, you surveille, he spies . . . I think that's the progression.

And if there's one thing that has distinguished the Left in this country for the past 60 years it is their rock-solid, unswerving belief in the honesty, integrity, and professionalism of the agents of the Organs of State Security.

In this case, they couldn't even frame the guy competently.

All gloating aside, the few senior reality-based D's left (Pelosi, Clyburn) were waving furiously for everyone to accept the Mueller report and move on to Healthcare and 2020, but waifs like Schiff and Swalwell can't see where this will lead.

And like some other posters here, most of my friends and family have been oblivious to the background all along.

Narr

Mike Sylwester said...

I hope that Attorney General Barr eventually will provide to the public an overview of the FBI's collection and analysis of communications based on the FISA warrants.

* From how many people were communications collected?

* What were the names of those people?

* What kinds of communications were collected?

* How many communications were collected and studied?

* Who studied the collected communications?

* What information was sought in the collected communications?

* What investigative results were produced?

* Did the information contribute to any legal proceedings?

* How long did this collection and study of communications continue?

* What is the current status of the collected communications?

Seeing Red said...

Lee Moore said...People are missing an obvious technical point about what "spying" means.

"Spying" can only be carried out by a hostile power

Where'd you get that idea?


ITA.

Well, FB and Google and Amazon could be considered that I guess.

It seems IL wants to pass a law that they can’t turn on the microphones of peoples’ devices Remotely or something like that and they’re having a cow.

So is turning on the microphone in my phone while it’s in my purse where ever that purse is spying or not?

Hunter said...

@tim maguire

I'm baffled at your being baffled by my statement.

There are certainly people who know exactly what they're doing and disseminating spin to hide the truth, but I think you underestimate the pervasiveness of echo chambers. I'd wager that more half of the pundits on TV are ignorant of the facts I gave as examples.

It isn't that they are stupid; it's that they are incurious. They aren't skeptical of information that confirms their bias and don't go looking for information that might contradict it.

Big Mike said...

Don't be surprised if the Left suddenly decides it's time to turn to political violence.

Oh dear, dear, dear. Maybe I should buy some more double ought shells for my 12 gauge? Or perhaps I should just sit tight, because when Swalwell makes good on his threat to nuke me it’ll vaporize about eight Democrat families for every Trump supporting family in this neighborhood. Too bad about the grade school, though.

Two-eyed Jack said...

Chuck asks "If there are things that Barr can and should discuss with Congress, why do it in the context of an appropriations hearing, in sound-bite form?"

Chuck, Senator Shaheen (D NH) asked him the question:

News just broke, today, that you have a special team looking into why the FBI opened an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. I wonder if you can share with this committee: who is on that team; why you felt the need to form that kind of a team; and what you intend to be the scope of their investigation?

Why do you think Sen Shaheen brought it up? Should Barr have refused to comment because it was the wrong committee?

Craig Howard said...

"Spying" can only be carried out by a hostile power

I think the Obama administration qualifies.

Biff said...

"Writes Byron York at The Washington Times."
...which means that the Left will sneer at it.

Hunter said...

robother said...
So, the FBI and CIA never spied on MLK or Lennon. They merely surveilled them.

"Collect data" probably has some technical definition that means Clapper technically wasn't lying when he told Congress the NSA never did it.

Birkel said...

Chuck, fopdoodle extraordinaire, has questions.
They happen to be in full and complete operational alignment with Democratics.

Conclusions remain drawn.

Mike Sylwester said...

"Spying" can only be carried out by a hostile power

The FBI was very hostile toward Donald Trump and his deplorable supporters.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Ray - SoCal:

OperationOperation destroy Barr has begun.

Roadmap is what was done to Ken Starr.



So it's true that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

wildswan said...

The ACLU, CNN and The Guardian all think the FBI spies.
see below some of the entries that Google finds if you enter FBI + spy. The ACLU entries are the top two in the Google search.

More About FBI Spying | American Civil Liberties Union
https://www.aclu.org/other/more-about-fbi-spying

FBI Spy Files: California | American Civil Liberties Union
https://www.aclu.org/other/fbi-spy-files-california

the FBI's spying on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr - CNN.com
www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/31/mlk.fbi.conspiracy/
Dec 29, 2008 - (CNN)

Revealed: FBI investigated civil rights group as 'terrorism' threat and ...
https://www.theguardian.com/us.../sacramento-rally-fbi-kkk-domestic-terrorism-californi...
Feb 1, 2019 - Bureau spied on California activists, citing potential 'conspiracy' against the 'rights' of neo-Nazis.

Bay Area Guy said...

Dem definition of spying:

1. When they do it to us - it's spying
2. When we do it to them - it's investigating.

Ok, ok, ok - I'll play ball.

Did the FBI and/or other Intelligence Agencies surveille any members of the Trump campaign in 2016?

Answer: yes

Ok, was it lawfully authorized?

Well, a FISA Warrant was granted. But did the FBI lie to get the FISA warrant? We know there was improper unmasking and improper leaking of classified info to the press.

We must investigate!

Drago said...

Adam Schiff Republican Chuck: "And I come at this from the perspective of a prejudice in favor of Barr.....I also have always liked Byron York, which makes it all the more interesting to read him and
listen to him critically when it comes to how he addresses his audience."

LOL!!

I was wondering how our pro-dem LLR's would attempt to thread the needle on this one.

Needless to say, Concern Troll mode was item #1 on that list and LLR Chuck does not disappoint.

So very very predictable...just like the far left......hmmmmmm

StephenFearby said...

Sometimes even Homer nods:

AA wrote: "Writes Byron York at The Washington Times."

...linking to Bryon York at the Washington Examiner.

Certainly no biggie. But since you're so very particular about what you write, I thought I'd mention it.

Char Char Binks said...

"Spying" can only be carried out by a hostile power'

And that hostile power is the Democrat Party.

Chuck said...

This is such a good comment, and such a good question for me:


Blogger Two-eyed Jack said...
Chuck asks "If there are things that Barr can and should discuss with Congress, why do it in the context of an appropriations hearing, in sound-bite form?"

Chuck, Senator Shaheen (D NH) asked him the question:

“News just broke, today, that you have a special team looking into why the FBI opened an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. I wonder if you can share with this committee: who is on that team; why you felt the need to form that kind of a team; and what you intend to be the scope of their investigation?”

Why do you think Sen Shaheen brought it up? Should Barr have refused to comment because it was the wrong committee?


Excellent point. In trial practice parlance, she “opened the door.”

I don’t fault Barr for answering that direct question. I fault him for a sound-bite answer.

tim maguire said...

Hunter said...
@tim maguire

I'm baffled at your being baffled by my statement.


Because as written, it made no sense. As noted, "more likely true" has no clear referent--even now with your clarification, I still can't guess what you're saying is more likely true.

In terms of the pundits, I agree they are incurious. They begin with a conclusion and work backwards to a justification that fits with their assumptions and world view.

But most of them have, themselves, personally, reported on the facts that Barr calls spying and they know what spying means. So they can't be baffled that Barr chose to use that word. They are pretending to incredulousness because it suits the needs of the moment.

Unless they have brain damage and can no longer form or access memories.

Wilson Carroll said...

This is not about "spying" on Carter Page. Google the "two hop rule" and understand that the FISA warrant on Page enabled the FBI to data mine five years worth of information on virtually everyone in the Trump campaign including, of course, Trump himself.

Birkel said...

Chuck, fopdoodle extraordinaire, thinks AG Barr should hamstring himself by being less than honest or only being fully truthful. And he does that only minutes after criticizing AG Barr for discussing a "pending, ongoing investigation". Therefore fully honest is removed as an option acceptable to a smear merchant.

Therefore, Chuck is either arguing for a lie or no statement by Barr about the likely criminal behavior of the Obama Administration.

That is convenient.

Dave Begley said...

Former WH counsel Greg Craig to be indicted.

He was not the lawyer to the CIA and FBI. He can rat out Brennan and Comey.

The Dems are foaming at the mouth rabid dogs screaming about all of this. They know this is the end. It all comes out.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Luendowski said today that this spying goes all the way to the top. Brennan, Comey, Rice and Obama.

roesch/voltaire said...

Bit odd to use the term "spy" and talk about an on going investigation, which he points out so far has provided no evidence. Now we all know about the "investigations" that were conducted legally and made public, which have been noted on this site. In the past the FBI spent more time "investigating" civil rights and peace movements so I wonder what compelled them to start this investigation ( or spying) depending who is on the receiving end. The intelligence community claims it was because of the in your face involvement of Russia in the 2016 election, but how far and it extend and why. I a wait the Barr conclusions.

Birkel said...

Chuck, fopdoodle extraordinaire, admires AG Barr so well he wants to make him a liar or a eunuch.

If only a smear merchant were not so obvious.

Birkel said...

roesch/voltaire

Please point me to the ongoing investigation of Carter Page, former FBI informant and completely free man.
Surely you have some evidence of your assertion.
Or are you peddling baseless assertions that miraculously fit as a piece with a certain fopdoodle's claims?

Dave Begley said...

Yeah, tables turned.

Turnabout is fair play.

Ann: Can we have a poll on which rat sings first?

Brian said...

Chuck: If it is a serious investigation, why is Barr talking about it at all? A pending, ongoing investigation? How many DoJ rules would such a premature discussion violate?

It's a shot across the bow. Barr is going to be investigating (maybe already have been, just no formal conclusions as of yet). Get your ducks in a row. Start formulating your defense. McCabe, can you "flip" on Comey? Comey, can you "flip" on Yates? Yates, can you flip on the WH?

This is Washington, the responsible parties have boxes full of CYA memos to the file. Some of Comey's are just now coming to light.
More will become public. Where does the buck stop? Nobody knows.
Yet.

This was always in the plan, but it couldn't be announced until the Mueller report was released. Yates was high cover for the DOJ, then she was fired so they had to get Sessions to recuse himself. Comey was high cover for the FBI, but then he got fired, so they had to get a Special Counsel appointed for high cover. Well they just lost their high cover with the release of the report.

It's obvious now from the summary of the Mueller report that the plan was to investigate the President, have him go off half cocked and do something stupid, and get himself impeached. The underestimated him, however. Because they are stuck in the movie where he's an idiot. It does them no service.

If you are predisposed that a successful (in 3 different areas!) man is just a dunce bumbling his way through life and getting lucky then this proclamation from Barr makes no sense.

If instead you can acknowledge that no man can achieve what Trump has achieved in his life without having some smarts, then this plan was announced by him back in May of 2017 with his tweet: Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!

Instead of taking that as a warning shot to stand down, they instead tried to force Mueller into the FBI director spot (15 days later) and failing that, appointed him Special Counsel (the next day). The hope is that the House is the high cover now. The die is cast.

We should welcome an investigation. As Barr said, if there was a valid reason for spying on a political campaign, then we should know that. If there wasn't a valid reason, then we should know that too.

But "spying" (surveillance) of the Trump Campaign (Carter page and anybody he was 2 removed from in perpetuity) happened. Those are facts. The FISA warrant exists. Legal? Warranted? That requires an investigation.

Again the media does the DNC a disservice. By being cheerleaders they provide false information about the state of the battlefield and lead the party into strategic mistakes, which perpetuates a feedback loop requiring more cheer-leading.

Nonapod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nonapod said...

A hostile power can be a political advisary and it can be your own government. If a government is surreptitiously monitoring its own citizens without their knowledge, it is indeed "spying" on them. By any sane definition, the FBI and Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign.

The only question here is if that spying was justifiable and defensible.

Larry J said...

Time to start convening grand juries but none within 500 miles of the DC Beltway. Let the indictments fall where they may, with prosecutions in criminal courts to follow. Let those found guilty be sentenced to long terms in unpleasant prisons. Don't wait on the showboat hearings in Congress where nothing is accomplished other than allowing politicians to grandstand.

Dr Weevil said...

Why is anyone arguing with "Lee Moore" (8:29am)? There's no more obvious sign of a Russian troll than a misspelling only a Slav would make: "Ruccian intelligence". Russian C is equivalent to English S, which is why Soviet missiles were all labeled CCCP. That's not three Cees and a Pee, it's thee Esses and an Are. Russian for Union is 'Soyuz', so the USSR is the SSSR in Russian-with-English-letters, CCCP in Russian printed with its usual Cyrillic script. Anyone who spells English words with Cees where the Esses should be may be named Trollovich or Pinheadsky or Dumbfuckov (Russian -ov sounds like -off, by the way), but is highly unlikely to be named anything like "Lee Moore".

Another hint: the idea that the FBI and CIA under Republican control could be a foreign enemy whose opposition to a (Republican only?) president would be treason, but under Democratic control could not be. Obviously stupid, and completely backwards at best, but the kind of stupid that will get people riled up and arguing.

Ignore the troll, please.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wilson Carroll said...

Also remember that literally the last week Obama was in office he changed the rules to allow the NSA to share pretty much everything they had with the FBI without screening or filtering out identifying information about U.S. citizens. In retrospect, this was obviously done to facilitate the soft coup.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/01/obama-expands-surveillance-powers-his-way-out

MayBee said...

They are focusing on the term "spy" to distract from the fact that they did it to an opposing party presidential campaign.
And all you need to do is look at the way the people who ran the intelligence apparatus - Brennan and Comey- talked (and do talk) about Trump. How can anybody argue good faith?

I will repeat what I have been saying: ask every single Democrat running for President if they will allow the FBI to do to their campaign what they did to Trump's.

Brian said...

I fault him for a sound-bite answer.

But he NEEDS a sound bite answer. Those types of answers get repeated. As I said above, it was a shot across the bow. He needs to prime the public for what's coming. For 2 years Trump was going to be hauled off to jail at any moment. The public was expecting it. Requiring it!. Now the director of the movie they are watching is not going to give them the payoff they were expecting. They are going to be angry. They will need a scapegoat.

Michael K said...

The average Democrat's unawareness of what happened is sad and can at least partially be explained by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_Popular_Delusions_and_the_Madness_of_Crowds.

Our Bernie Bro daughter told her mother a while ago that it is unhealthy to watch Fox News.

Nobody is this crazy, though.

A loved one seemed to have changed over time. Maybe that person was already somewhat conservative to start. Maybe they were apolitical. But at one point or another, they sat down in front of Fox News, found some kind of deep, addictive comfort in the anger and paranoia, and became a different person — someone difficult, if not impossible, to spend time with. The fallout led to failed marriages and estranged parental relationships. For at least one person, it marks the final memory he’ll ever have of his father: “When I found my dad dead in his armchair, fucking Fox News was on the TV,” this reader told me. “It’s likely the last thing he saw. I hate what that channel and conservative talk radio did to my funny, compassionate dad. He spent the last years of his life increasingly angry, bigoted, and paranoid.”

Except Inga.

Two-eyed Jack said...

Chuck, Barr's "soundbite answer" came in response to Shaheen's second follow up question. And it was the second half of the answer. Your respect for Barr does not seem very firmly tethered if it cannot survive him answering a question directly and honestly.

Michael K said...

If you are predisposed that a successful (in 3 different areas!) man is just a dunce bumbling his way through life and getting lucky then this proclamation from Barr makes no sense. <

I think this is a good observation. The Democrats have never understood Trump. Their politicians are clowns so they assume he is. In fairness, he has presented that personna.

Read Conrad Black's book about him. Explains a lot. Churchill was thought for years to be a "cad" by the Tories who botched most of what happened after 1890.

We have had an incompetent ruling class since Eisenhower. Nixon was good at some things but allowed himself to be deposed by a coup.

Birkel said...

A smear merchant is tethered only to what thing produces the most useful smear.
Truth matters very little, if at all.

Michael K,
Nixon expanded the powers of government more than any president since FDR.
He was awful.

Lee Moore said...

My Lord, there are some slow folk about today.

Anyway, on a more serious point. There's a possible misunderstanding about Barr's investigation of the origins of the Russia investigation. There seems to be an assumption that it has to be an investigation in the sense of looking into the doings of outsiders (outsiders to the DoJ / FBI). Such "outsider" investigations are limited to criminal investigations and counter-intelligence investigations; and they both require a "predicate" - you can read pretty much any Andy McCarthy article in the last two years for background.

But the DoJ / FBI can also investigate insiders ie its own staff, and its own past activities, to see if they were screwed up, or done accordng to DoJ rules or whatever. "Whatever" could include such mundane matters as cost countrol, efficiency, wasted time - stuff that any employer might choose to investigate. So for example Barr might want to investigate why so many of Mueller's indictments started with purple Russia connected prose, and finished up indicting them for jaywalking in Poughkeepsie. That's a "did we do our job right" investigation.

The IG is one way of doing that, but it's not the only way. Barr could have assembled a team to look into all that, without yet having a "predicate" for a criminal or counter-intelligence investigation. Of course an insider investigation might develop criminal horns if evidence of criminal wrong doing occurs.

So for Trumpists - don't get overexcited too early. The fact that he's started an investigation does not necessarily imply he's found a criminal "predicate." And for overexcited Dems - don't be assuming he needs a criminal predicate. An internal affairs investigation doesn't need one.

Birkel said...

Troll status: ignored with prejudice.

Francisco D said...

The Democrats have never understood Trump. Their politicians are clowns so they assume he is

I have to disagree with you Michael.

Trump is well known by NYC and DC politicians because his business required it. He was a confidential informant to the FBI/DOJ when Rudy was going after the Mafia in NY. A lot of recent DOJ players are very familiar with him.

That Trump often plays a foolish blowhard is a credit to his street smarts. His opponents demonize him (above and beyond the usual Republican bashing) because they know who he is and they are scared of him.

Bay Area Guy said...

DOJ Press Release, April 11, 2019 - Office of Attorney General

"Ok, Ok, Ok, I shoulda said, "I think there was surveillance on the campaign. Are you fuckers happy, now?"


[End of Statement]

For Press Inquiries: Please contact the Office of Who Gives a Fuck, 202-555-1234


Michael K said...

they know who he is and they are scared of him.

That might apply to the New York City Democrats, with the exception of retards like AOC. I don't think it applies to the rest of the party.

I stopped by Patterico today to see how he is taking the news of the Barr comments yesterday. Hilarious.

I react with excessive distress at the way that the expedient crowd has also gone along with Trumpism. I’m writing a blog mostly for people who aren’t part of my party, and who don’t like me. Think about that.
. Many readers have left as a result and the readership is down, and I mainly write for the small number of the core anti-Trump party that remains, as I respect them more than anyone. Otherwise, it’s as if I’m suddenly writing for Democrats — not that pro-Trumpers are Democrats, but they are a different party. Imagine what it would be like to write a blog and suddenly have 85% of your readers become Democrats. You’d feel alienated and dispirited — but especially happy about the 15% who remain ideologically in tune with you.


Inga and Chuck are big fans, I'm sure. She has ever quoted him here with glee. I'm one of the 85% who left.

Yancey Ward said...

Pecan Pie Detective asked:

"If there are things that Barr can and should discuss with Congress, why do it in the context of an appropriations hearing, in sound-bite form?"

You didn't even so much as read the fucking transcript, did you? He was answering a question asked of him by a fucking Democrat Senator.

Why is it you insist on continuously looking like a fucking fool with nearly every comment you make these days? Even Inga sometimes appears to be smarter than you.

Yancey Ward said...

I see Two-Eyed Jack beat me to it.

traditionalguy said...

It's the forbidden SPY word that has the Dems in a panic. The Obama Globalists were stupid enough to use The Crown's MI6 professional spies to hide their dirty work. That makes Obama's wiretapping of Trump into SPYING.

Final Score: Putin has the high ground. The Globalists in Europe are dead meat. And Trump has ascended to the most coveted Victim Status.

Yancey Ward said...

Brian at 9:59 a.m. is a recommended comment by me. I wish I had written it.

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Yancey Ward: You didn't even so much as read the fucking transcript, did you? He was answering a question asked of him by a fucking Democrat Senator.

Why is it you insist on continuously looking like a fucking fool with nearly every comment you make these days?


I can't read a PPD comment these days without this popping into my head. Alas.

Yancey Ward said...

Lee Moore,

I feel for you, dude. I also like to do parody comments, but find myself doing it less and less these days.

Also, you wrote:

"The IG is one way of doing that, but it's not the only way. Barr could have assembled a team to look into all that, without yet having a "predicate" for a criminal or counter-intelligence investigation. Of course an insider investigation might develop criminal horns if evidence of criminal wrong doing occurs.

So for Trumpists - don't get overexcited too early. The fact that he's started an investigation does not necessarily imply he's found a criminal "predicate." And for overexcited Dems - don't be assuming he needs a criminal predicate. An internal affairs investigation doesn't need one."


Agreed 100%. I don't expect Barr to actually end up doing anything- I still think he is far more likely to protect the DoJ by covering up himself. My expectations are set very low, and this is compounded by my belief that the operators will have sufficiently hidden their motives and actual operations that he won't easily find the criminal predicate even if he really wants to clean house.

Drago said...

One of the many interesting comments by Barr was in outlining his expectation that Muellers team would have clearly delineated their reports findings in such a way as to make it easy to redact for the 4 conditions Barr laid out.

However, Barr informed us the Mueller teams report did not come to him that way.

Clearly, Mueller's team of LLR-beloved far left dem partisan hacks made sure to intertwine all the innuendo and smears they could into each summary page they offered up, thereby ensuring their would be tons of smear-y stuff for the dems to use as the basis for impeachment.

Hoax Dossier 2.0.

This is why the left/LLR-left are so upset.

They would have gotten away with it to if it hadnt been for that meddling Barr!!

Birkel said...

Yancey Ward,

I would caution that the newly found troll is using words completely out of context.
Nothing the new troll typed relates to what AG Barr actually said.
Predicate was used when discussing the initiation of the CI investigation.

Troll 101 is not an advanced course.

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

YW: "I don't expect Barr to actually end up doing anything- I still think he is far more likely to protect the DoJ by covering up himself. My expectations are set very low, and this is compounded by my belief
that the operators will have sufficiently hidden their motives and actual operations that he won't easily find the criminal predicate even if he really wants to clean house."

Agreed.

Barr really cant go after anyone of note aggressively without them exposing more, and I believe Barr will try to rescue the agencies he loves from too much negative exposure.

However, however...., he did explicitly call out the leadership of those several agencies (law enforcement and intelligence services) so that makes me wonder if he believes he can decapitate and expose those leaders and preserve the good reputation of the depts/agencies.

This is a direct threat to the dems and their LLR henchmen.

The democrats and their LLR lap-poodles responses from yesterday and today clearly indicate the lefties and LLR Chucks are quite concerned this is the scenario they face.

Time will tell.

Birkel said...

Drago,
Like any good doctor attempting to save a dying patient, AG Barr understands he might have to subject the patient to radical, painful, and harmful treatment options. Chemo and radiation therapy might be seen as barbaric in 100 years. But right now they are state of the art treatments.

I think AG Barr is going to treat the patient.

And I think President Trump loves to vanquish his enemies.

Yancey Ward said...

Birkel,

If you are talking about Lee Moore's first comment, then you have to read it to the end. It is obviously a parody comment directed at the likes of Readering, Roesch/Voltaire, Inga, and PPD. How this was missed can only be explained by the guess that they didn't read the entire comment, but just the beginning of it.

Birkel said...

YW,
Agree to disagree.

Gospace said...

Something not mentioned above about Carter Page.

Carter Page was working FOR and in COOPERATION with the FBI in uncovering Russian wrongdoing. Graduated in the top 10% of class at the United States Naval Academy. At the very least looking at his Navy service he had a TOP SECRET clearance. And likely a step above that. His life was thoroughly examined by various intelligence agencies before he received those clearances.

Because of his post Navy career, he had contacts in Russia. And as said- he cooperated with the FBI in investigations against Russian nationals, and even VOLUNTEERED information of potential wrongdoing. He was an FBI asset. Up until the day the FBI leadership needed an excuse to surveil Trump. His Russian contacts were then used as an excuse to present him to the FISA court as a Russian agent! From FBI asset to Russian agent of influence overnight.

Note- after being used as the excuse to start all the spying against the Trump campaign, Carter Page has been charged with- absolutely not one thing. Logic dictates that if this whole brouhaha started because Carter Page was a RUSSIAN spy, that somehow, somewhere, some evidence would be found allowing the FBI to charge Carter Page with something, anything. Instead, he roams the world freely. His passport is his to use as he pleases; he hasn't been forced to surrender it. There's not even a hint from anyone about any potential charges that might be brought against him. Because- he's not, and never has been, a Russian agent. He was an FBI asset.

Yancey Ward said...

Birkel,

Seriously? You can't see that this was parody when Moore wrote:

"Spying can only be carried out by a hostile power - Ruccian intelligence, Chinese intelligence, or the FBI and the CIA while under GOP political managment

The difficult point in this case is judging when the FBI and CIA can be said to have come under GOP management. Jan 2017 ? When Barr was appointed ? Not even now ?"

Yancey again: that is clear mockery the Left, Birkel.

Seeing Red said...

Not tired of winning!

The progs are batshit crazy. Get yer earplugs the screeching will make you go deaf.

Me thinks they protesteth too much.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Jonathan Poollard, who was jailed for spying on Israel's behalf, would be very interested to learn that spying only applies to the activities of a hostile power.

Ditto the Brits, who helped Hillary and the Dems with the attempted smearing of Trump.

Birkel said...

Reads like standard issue Leftist speak to me.
We have read that and dumber from the usual suspects.

Birkel said...

I will point to other comments on other threads.
Troll status: confirmed.

Ray - SoCal said...

I think Barr is going to clean up the cess pit.

Evidence:

- use of word spy
- mention of other intelligence agency
- will be looking at origin of the spying
- will be looking at if spying was authorized / appropriate
- mentioned this is just wrong

He’s not sugar coating anything, and it seems to be the best possible at this time.

Brian said...

I wish I had written it.

Thank you.

Jim at said...

Don't be surprised if the Left suddenly decides it's time to turn to political violence.

They've already decided that.

Nichevo said...

Ann: Can we have a poll on which rat sings first?

4/11/19, 9:59 AM


I vote for Rattatatz. Don't care for these new vision-ableist color rats.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Here's hoping Barr works faster than Mueller. This needs to get far enough in public consciousness that Dem candidates are forced to address it before the primaries.”

Just a reminder - Mueller and his team pretty well knew almost from the first that there was no collusion between Trump and the Russian government. His lead prosecutor, Andrew Weissman, had non about the Steele Dossier and its highly questionable provenance, president badly as early as late Summer, 2016, when he was brought to meetings with Steele and Simpson by Bruce Ohr. The two worked together in This organized Crime. And both Strzok and Lisa Page transferred over to the Mueller team after texting each other that there was no there there. As far as we know so far (hopefully we will find more with the Mueller report), the Mueller investigators didn’t really find anything of note supporting the theory of Russian conclusion, that wasn’t already known before that.

The sad reality is that the the primary, if not almost only, reason for the Mueller investigation was to prevent disclosure of wrongdoing by top bureaucrats in the DoJ and FBI, as well as Obama political appointees. You read Congressional testimony transcripts of esp anyone who had worked for the FBI at the relevant time, and huge swaths of information were off limits, with the inevitable excuse being an ongoing investigation- I.e. the Mueller Investigation. Every current and former FBI employee testifying before Congress had an FBI attorney sitting at their side, acting as their minder, and objecting any time the questions got anywhere near Russia, collusion, FISA, spying, etc. That, btw, was why I found the Bruce Ohr interview so enlightening - being DoJ, and not FBI, he didn’t have an FBI minder at his side, and was, thus, much more forthcoming. I was struck reading the recently released mostly unredacted transcript for the testimony of James Baker, former FBI general counsel, at how closely closely the objections parallel the collusion narrative that was supposedly at the root or base of the Mueller investigation original charging statement. I think that it was fairly clear that the Republicans at the interviews knew precisely which ongoing investigation was at the heart of the FBI attorney minders’ objections.

Lee Moore said...

All good points, Bruce Hayden. But there is an upside.

If the Mueller investigation had been straight, a routine element would have been to gather and file, very neatly, all of the originating investigative threads. And not merely the originating threads, but what happened to them in the course of the investigation. If X seemed like a good lead, what happened to X, and why did it utimately turn out to be a dead end ?

So on Mueller's files there should be, to pluck an example from thin air, a very fat section on Prof Mifsud. Not just his 302, but the evidence for believing he was a Russian agent, details of all the investigative work that went into analysing whether he really was on the Rusian payroll. Why the FBI let him go after interviewing him. Lots and lots of details that should make Barr's review of whether there were any irregularities.

But if the Mueller investigation was not so straight then there'll be interesting gaps in the files, demonstrating that lots of fairly obvious questons were not pursued.

Greg Q said...

Blogger Chuck said...
If it is a serious investigation, why is Barr talking about it at all? A pending, ongoing investigation? How many DoJ rules would such a premature discussion violate?


Oh, that's funny.

How much discussion was there about the Mueller investigation? Or are you admitting that wasn't a "serious investigation"?

Greg Q said...

I'm trying to figure out if Mike Sylwester is a righty troll, or a really stupid leftie:

All 17 of the USA's Intelligence agencies agreed that Russia was meddling in our 2016 elections.

No, known perjurer Brennen made that claim, all by himself, after the election

long after the spying on Trump started


The FBI found that Carter Page, an advisor on Donald Trump's campaign staff, was a witting agent of the Russian Intelligence service.

No, the FBI worked with Carter Page to arrest a Russian agent in 2015. So far not the slightest shred of evidence has been offered to indicate that Page was anything other than an American patriot


Another campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos, was receiving information -- from Joseph Mifsud, an agent of Russian Intelligence -- that Russia had thousands of Hillary Clinton's e-mails.

1: Mifsud was an agent of Western intelligence services
2: Every single person with a functional brain, upon learning about Hillary's private email server, believed that the Russians hacked it, and had all her emails

President Trump was publicly calling on Vladimir Putin to release Clinton's e-mails.
Well, of course he was! It was a very effective way to point out to the clueless that, by setting up her own server, Sec of State Clinton made it possible for the Russians to read all her classified emails


Was the FBI supposed to just sit on its hands and do nothing?
No. They were supposed to perform an honest investigation of Hillary, and recommend that she be prosecuted.

But they were too corrupt to do that


In these circumstances, the FBI was morally compelled to spy on Trump's campaign staff.
False

But if it were true, then you would have no concerns about Barr calling it spying, and confirming it was valid.

Chuck said...

Two-eyed Jack said...
Chuck, Barr's "soundbite answer" came in response to Shaheen's second follow up question. And it was the second half of the answer. Your respect for Barr does not seem very firmly tethered if it cannot survive him answering a question directly and honestly.


I'm not so sure that I am as critical of Barr as you seem to think.

Barr's definition of "spying" was unauthorized surveillance. And Barr said at first that he thought that there was "spying." And then he got to the end of the hearing and realized that he needed to walk himself back from that soundbite carelessness. So here is what Barr, rightly, said:

“I just want to make it clear, thinking back on all the different colloquies here, that I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred,” Barr offered at the close of the hearing. “I am saying I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”


That's fine with me. Barr can investigate. I trust him. I trust him like Mitch McConnell trusts him. I trust him because Barr, very much unlike Trump, has a life and a career of creditable accomplishment. Barr, unlike Trump, is a serious player.

Greg Q said...

Blogger Drago said...
YW: "I don't expect Barr to actually end up doing anything- I still think he is far more likely to protect the DoJ by covering up himself. My expectations are set very low, and this is compounded by my belief
that the operators will have sufficiently hidden their motives and actual operations that he won't easily find the criminal predicate even if he really wants to clean house."

Agreed.

Barr really cant go after anyone of note aggressively without them exposing more, and I believe Barr will try to rescue the agencies he loves from too much negative exposure.


Well, it all depends on whether or not Barr is an idiot.

The fact that the FBI, DoJ, CIA, and probably NSA all let themselves be throughly corrupted by the Obama Administration is obvious to anyone willing to pay attention. If he wants anyone on the Right to ever again support those agencies, he's going to need to do a thorough house-cleaning.

Otherwise, they will become nothing but tools of the Left, used for politics, not for crime fighting and / or national defense. Which would destroy them far more thoroughly than anything he could do.

Greg Q said...

Chuck said...

Barr's definition of "spying" was unauthorized surveillance.

No, it isn't. Which is why Barr clearly said that the Obama Admin spied on the Trump campaign, and that the, Barr, was investigating whether or not that spying was "adequately predicated".


Hint: unless they can convict Cater Page of being a Russian agent, then it wasn't.

Birkel said...

Barr said spying because there was spying.
He said he was investigating the predicates offered.
That would establish whether the spying was lawful.
HINT: It was not lawful.

The 4th Amendment rights of American citizens were violated.
Government forces operating under color of law violated civil rights.

Carter Page was not a knowing Russian agent.
Carter Page was an FBI informant.
The FISA application was deficient on multiple fronts.
The FISA application was full of knowing lies.

The lies of the Obama Administration are patent.
Fopdoodles and Leftist Collectivists hardest hit.

Birkel said...

Remember, AG Barr has seen whatever he cares to see.
He can look behind all redactions and knows, as Peter Strzok did before he joined the Mueller team, that there is no there there.

Chuck said...

Greg Q I don't know who the fuck you think you are, but here is transcript from Barr's testimony:

****
SCHATZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Attorney General, for being here. I want to give you a chance to rephrase something you said because I think when the Attorney General of the United States uses the word "spying" it's rather provocative and, in my view, unnecessarily inflammatory. And I -- I know what you're getting at because you have explained yourself in terms of answering Senator Graham's questions and -- and the questions of others. Do you want to rephrase what you're doing? Because I think the word "spying" could cause everybody in the cable news ecosystem to freak out and I think it's necessary for you to be precise with your language here.

You normally are and I want to give you a chance to be especially precise here.

BARR: I'm not sure of all the connotations of that word that you're referring to but you know, authorized surveillance. I want to make sure there was no unauthorized surveillance.

SCHATZ: OK. Thank you.

BARR: Is that -- is that more appropriate in your mind?

SCHATZ: This is your call. I really did want to give you a chance to -- to say it how you wanted to say and make sure that you didn't misspeak, because you talked for a long time, you had yesterday and I want to make sure --

BARR: I appreciate that (ph).


So again I say after you have doubted me on it and denied it, that Barr effectively defined "spying" as "unauthorized surveillance."

And I really could not care less about whether you think that any surveillance was authorized or not. I don't care what you think or what you believe. I just want to hammer the fact of the transcript after you tried to call me out on it.

Lee Moore said...

No, chuck, he's not defining spying as "unauthorised surveillance"

His remarks show clearly that "spying" and "surveillance" can each be authorised (or adequately predicated) or not. So there's good spying and bad spying. And good surveillance and bad surveillance.

In fact it's obvious that in this context he regars the words as synonyms.

His polite response to Schatz's freakout :


"I'm not sure of all the connotations of that word that you're referring to" and
"is that more appropriate in your mind"

is Attorney General speak for "Whatever."

Lee Moore said...

The spying v surveillance thing is rhetorical battlefield preparation by the Dems. Spying and surveillance carry different rhetorical value. It's not that spying is bad and surveillance is good. Either can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances.

It's just that "surveillance" is a dull, grey, damp word that does not get up and punch Joe Public in the teeth. Whereas "spying" is, to the aforesaid Joe, a BIG XXXXXXX DEAL.

What Schatz and media pals are doing is preparing for the possible conclusion of Barr's investigation - that there was no adequate justification for the, ah, clandestine information gathering and related activities directed at the Trump campaign. In that event they'd like the media to be pumping out the message :

"Meh - it was only dull, damp, grey, surveillance anyway. Who cares ?"

Chuck said...

Lee Moore what we know is that Attorney General Barr does NOT know that unauthorized surveillance occurred. We know that, because Attorney General Barr said, “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred... I am saying I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”

And again I don't give a flying fuck about your opinions. I am going off the transcript.

Lee Moore said...

what we know is that Attorney General Barr does NOT know that unauthorized surveillance occurred

I know that.

But your suggestion was not that. It was that Barr had defined spying as unauthorised surveillance. You were mistaken. He didn't.

He said that spying on a political campaign had happened, it was a big deal, and he intended to check whether it was done based on an adequate predicate.

Later on, Schatz complained about the word "spying" and Barr essentially told him -

spying, surveillance, whatev - the question is was it authorised and based on an adequate predicate.

Chuck said...

Lee Moore said...
what we know is that Attorney General Barr does NOT know that unauthorized surveillance occurred

I know that.

But your suggestion was not that. It was that Barr had defined spying as unauthorised surveillance. You were mistaken. He didn't.

He said that spying on a political campaign had happened, it was a big deal, and he intended to check whether it was done based on an adequate predicate.

Later on, Schatz complained about the word "spying" and Barr essentially told him -

spying, surveillance, whatev - the question is was it authorised and based on an adequate predicate.


Barr did say that "spying" occurred. Was Barr in that case using "spying" for "surveillance"? Or was Barr using the term "spying" for "unauthorized surveillance"? The fact that we cannot agree on that simple fact or a simple understanding of what that explosive terminology means, means that the Barr testimony was a failure. He couldn't even make himself clear, with about three or four chances to do it.

I think that Barr wanted to start out using "spying" to mean "surveillance," and in the end settled on "unauthorized surveillance." That's based on Barr's final statement at the end of the hearing after Barr had reflected on his prior testimony on "spying."

No matter what, Barr has set himself up for a shitload of oversight now in terms of what he investigates and why, (and what he doesn't investigate!) based on what he said in the hearing.

Matt Sablan said...

Is this like how no phones were tapped?

Chuck said...

Matt Sablan said...
Is this like how no phones were tapped?


The reason that that is so unfunny is that Trump never, ever made clear what his allegation was. Trump put out that asinine series of Tweets about "Obama... tapped my wires in Trump Tower... bad (or sick) guy!"

I will think about treating that garbage seriously right after Trump sits down for a sworn statement under oath to answer questions about what his allegation(s) really meant.

We know that there was some telephone surveillance. Many of them were pin tracings and not taps. Done with court-approved warrants, leading to multiple felony convictions.

So let me know exactly, precisely what it is that Trump is alleging, and I'll give you a serious answer.

Lee Moore said...

chuck : Barr did say that "spying" occurred. Was Barr in that case using "spying" for "surveillance"?

Yes. He was using spying to describe what was going on. The D Senators would have preferred him to use "surveillance" but it is plain that he considered that in this context the words meant the same thing.

Or was Barr using the term "spying" for "unauthorized surveillance"?

No. See the exchange with Shaheen below in which he uses both spying and surveillance, making it clear that either could be improper or proper. The bit on Vietnam shows him explicitly equating spying and surveillance, and not distinguishing the two on the basis authorisation.


"Barr: Well, for the same reason we are worried about foreign influence in elections we want to make sure that, uh, during an election, I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal.
The generation I grew up in, which is the Vietnam war period, people were all concerned about spying on anti-war people and so forth by the government; and there were a lot of rules put in place to ensure there was an adequate basis for, before our law enforcement agencies get involved in political surveillance. I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that; and I’m not just talking about the FBI necessarily, but the intelligence agencies more broadly.
Shaheen: So your not, your not suggesting though that spying occurred?
Barr: I don’t, well, I guess you could, I think there’s that spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur.
Shaheen: Wow, let me, uh…
Barr: But the question is: whether it was predicated. Adequately predicated. And I’m not suggested that it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that."

And he finishes by repeating that he thinks spying took place and that the question is whether it was adequately predicated.

The later exchange with Schatz confirms that Barr regards "spying" and "surveillance" in this context as synonyms.

Barr wasn't at all unclear. He sees no significant distinction in this context between spying and surveillance - the distinction he is interested in is whether this rose, by whatever name called, was adequately predicated, under the law and DoJ rules.

Birkel said...

What is funny is that Chuck, fopdoodle extraordinaire, wants the sort of precision that only telepathic communication might allow.

He complains always that Trump is not clear enough. Now he simply must complain that AG Barr was not clear enough.

The failure is internal to Chuck, fopdoodle extraordinaire.

Original Mike said...

"The reason that that is so unfunny is that Trump never, ever made clear what his allegation was."

His allegation was he was being spied upon. It was perfectly clear to anyone not actively seeking to not get it.

Greg Q said...

Here, Chuck, since maybe you can't read things that aren't in bold:

Barr: I don’t, well, I guess you could, I think there’s that spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur.
Shaheen: Wow, let me, uh…
Barr: But the question is: whether it was predicated. Adequately predicated. And I’m not suggested that it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that."

“I just want to make it clear, thinking back on all the different colloquies here, that I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred,”

Note, this statement is NOT the same thing as saying "I don't believe that improper surveillance occurred." Or "I don't know yet if improper surveillance occurred."

All he's saying is that he's not, yet, going to say it was improper.


but you look at the fact that Carter Page hasn't been charged with anything, despite the FISA spying being renewed 3 times, and you know that there were MANY improper things going on.

Chuck said...

So Lee Moore if there was “authorized surveillance,” that will be the most unremarkable story of the year. The Mueller leadership of the Office of Special Counsel makes it clear to that there was surveillance that was authorized by federal judges and magistrates. Stuff that the DoJ does every day of every week of every year. So THAT is “spying”? A pin tracing or a wiretap under a federal warrant or some other foreign surveillance statute is “spying”?

There could be many ways to sensibly discuss those issues; using terminology like “spying,” without the most careful definition, is a uniquely irresponsible way to go about it.

I have already staked out my own eminently sensible position which is that Barr could be rightfully concerned about unauthorized surveillance; he doesn’t know if any unauthorized surveillance occurred as yet but he will investigate whether it did. And his early-in-the-hearing suggestion that he believed that there was “spying” on the Trump campaign was in fact a careless way of saying that certain actors were the subject of surveillance but Barr is not certain whether it was properly authorized.

Chuck said...

Original Mike said...
"The reason that that is so unfunny is that Trump never, ever made clear what his allegation was."

His allegation was he was being spied upon. It was perfectly clear to anyone not actively seeking to not get it.


No, godammit. I'm not accepting any such allegations from Trump. If Trump is serious, he should be specific, and careful. Not raging on Twitter.

Trump can go fuck himself until, with all of the executive branch powers at his disposal, he makes an absolutely clear case. I'm not guessing about it to benefit Trump. I'm not taking Trump's word for anything. I'm not accepting any euphemisms or hints or suggestions from Trump.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Barr wasn't at all unclear. He sees no significant distinction in this context between spying and surveillance - the distinction he is interested in is whether this rose, by whatever name called, was adequately predicated, under the law and DoJ rules”

Let suggest that you may have given them too much credit, when you include DoJ rules. DAG Yates, for one, apparently greatly opened up FISA information disclosure during her time in that position. Indeed, one of the problems is that rules and even regulations, were tweaked here and there at least all the way through the FISA process, so that a lot of stuff that under a previous Administration would have been forbidden, was now allowed. They, and Yates in particular, seem to have done their weaponization of national security law one small almost unrelated change at a time. Much of it had to be approved by the FISC, but until Adm Rogers came to them with the FBIs 702 FISA abuse, they probably thought things were just fine. It is notable that DAG Yates and DD McCabe preapproved the original FISA warrant application on Carter Page (causing their subordinates to essentially rubber stamp their work), and then hurried the approval process, in order, very likely, to beat Rogers to the FISC. My point is that with DoJ officials involved who tweaked the rules in order to weaponize national security tools, I don’t think that you can just use those tweaked rules as a baseline as to adequate predication, etc.

iowan2 said...

He complains always that Trump is not clear enough. Now he simply must complain that AG Barr was not clear enough.

It's chucks thing. Picking something that is so small and insignificant to hammer away on. Something that is so irrelevant, that it can never be determined what side of the discussion he is supporting. So he is not wrong when President Trump is once again proven right. Chuck can point to this semantical argument to prove he had it figured out before it was even a thing.

walter said...

Chuck said...Barr did say that "spying" occurred. Was Barr in that case using "spying" for "surveillance"? Or was Barr using the term "spying" for "unauthorized surveillance"? The fact that we cannot agree on that simple fact or a simple understanding of what that explosive terminology means, means that the Barr testimony was a failure.
--
No..it means your inane parsing is showing you to be thick as a brick.

Lee Moore said...

Not thick as a brick, merely a loyal footsoldier trying to help Dem talking points.

iowan2 said...

He complains always that Trump is not clear enough. Now he simply must complain that AG Barr was not clear enough.

It's chucks thing. Picking something that is so small and insignificant to hammer away on. Something that is so irrelevant, that it can never be determined what side of the discussion he is supporting. So he is not wrong when President Trump is once again proven right. Chuck can point to this semantical argument to prove he had it figured out before it was even a thing.

Original Mike said...

"No, godammit. I'm not accepting any such allegations from Trump."

I know. Your position is ridiculous.

Rusty said...

Barr is a lawyer, Chuck. He knows what words mean. He knows exactly what he's saying.
Your obfication not withstanding.

Brian said...

I'm not taking Trump's word for anything. I'm not accepting any euphemisms or hints or suggestions from Trump.

Trump doesn't give a shit about whether you accept it or not, Chuck. You are a non-entity to him.

Birkel said...

Brian,
To be fair Chuck is a non-entity to people on these boards, also.

Yancey Ward said...

Lee Moore wrote:

"But if the Mueller investigation was not so straight then there'll be interesting gaps in the files, demonstrating that lots of fairly obvious questons were not pursued."

I made a similar point and prediction on Mark Wauck's site "MeaninginHistory" the weekend the Mueller Report was delivered to Barr. I wrote that the Mueller investigation, if if were on the up and up, would have detailed investigation of the origin of the Steele Dossier, would include hard questioning of people like Christopher Steele, Glenn Simpson, and Bruce Ohr. Would investigate deeply the connections of all the peripheral people- Mifsud, Halper, and others. Would have collected all the e-mails of people like Mifsud and Halper, and all their phone records- who they called, when, and for how long.

I also predicted that the Mueller team will have investigated none of this. They will have only collected the e-mails and phone records of Trump staff and family, and will have only interrogated such staff and family. It will turn out to have been a complete fraud of an investigation.

Yancey Ward said...

"It's Chuck's thing. Picking something that is so small and insignificant to hammer away on. Something that is so irrelevant, that it can never be determined what side of the discussion he is supporting. So he is not wrong when President Trump is once again proven right. Chuck can point to this semantic argument to prove he had it figured out before it was even a thing."

Exactly. It is nothing but goalpost moving. If Barr brings indictments for improper surveillance and warrant applications, Chuck will be back here fighting the battle on the next football field over. It will be something like, unintentional spying or some sort of thing. I don't know why he does this- it is transparent and makes him look like an idiot.

Martin said...

Of course York is right but that is beside teh piint--the Dems and their media allies have kept that out of view of the great majority of people, and Barr making such a statement in an open hearing threatens the cloak of silence.

Lee Moore said...

chuck : if there was “authorized surveillance,” that will be the most unremarkable story of the year

And while we here, I think we just need to unpack this a little. Obviously there's a question as to whether any "surveillance" was unauthorised. But in addition to this, there are questions as to whether "authorised surveillance" was properly authorised. Not all "authorised surveillance' is kosher.

Indeed, to take one obvious example, this is precidely what Horowitz is supposed to be investigating in re the Carter Page FISA warrant. Once the FBI have a FISA warrant, what they do pursuant to it is "authorised."

But if they obtained the warrant by, for example :

(a) including alleged facts that they knew to be untrue
(b) including alleged facts that they had failed to verify
(c) omitted facts - or even doubts - that were relevant to application
(d) failed to review the application in accordance with DoJ rules
(e) otherwise departed from DoJ rules

then the surveillance pursuant to the warrant may have been authorised, but it would still have been improper, and depending on the details, there may have been criminal laws or departmental regulations broken by FBI or DoJ officials.

So the questions are much broader than whether any surveillance, or spying, was "authorised."

Birkel said...

McCabe testified that he didn't even read the Woods file.
And he was one of the people who signed off on at least one FISA application.

Again, McCabe said he did not read the Woods file under oath.
So either he perjured himself (which means everything else he did is suspect) or he was truthful when he said he didn't read the Woods file.

Woods file = exculpatory evidence that cuts against the issuance of a FISA application

Original Mike said...

Do we know that a Woods file was even produced in this case?

Bruce Hayden said...

McCabe testified that he didn't even read the Woods file.
And he was one of the people who signed off on at least one FISA application.


As a lawyer, there are things that you put in writing, and things that you don't, for the protection of your clients. If it is in writing, it is typically discoverable. So, for example, if a client had hired me for a patentability report, I would typically write it up for him if positive, but suggest to them that many people do not wish them in writing if negative. DD McCabe signed the first FISA warrant application on behalf of the FBI likely having actual knowledge of much of the adverse information found in the Woods file, but not official knowledge. It was very likely McCabe, along with Strzok, Page, and a couple others, who put the entire FISA application together, much of the planning for such probably around his $70k conference room table. He very definitely knew all about the questionable sources for much of the information included in the application, from, for example, AAG Bruce Ohr. And, several sources have indicated that he and DAG Sally Yates had preapproved the warrant application and rushed it through, which pressured their subordinates to essentially rubber stamp much of their parts of the application package. Not reading the Woods file helps protect him from a perjury charge (etc) for signing the FISA warrant application, since it is going to be much harder to prove that he had actual knowledge of the falsity of the statements he affirmed to the FISC with his signature.

Bruce Hayden said...

chuck : if there was “authorized surveillance,” that will be the most unremarkable story of the year

Agree with Les here. The surveillance was, no doubt, authorized. They put together a FISA warrant application, submitted it to the FISC, and received their FISA warrant for electronic surveillance of Carter Page, and those two hops away, forward and backwards in time (according to DoJ policy). We know that the FISA warrant and three extensions issued. We have seen them in heavily redacted form. So, much of the surveillance was, no doubt, authorized. The question, as AG Barr suggested, was whether there was an adequate predicate for the surveillance. And, was there some lying, by either commission, or much more likely, by omission, in the FISA warrant application submitted to the FISC, etc.

Keep in mind, that the FBI and DoJ are old, large, bureaucracies. This means that all the i's are dotted and t's crossed, before anything happens. Looking back through summer of 2016, what is interesting to me is watching what very much appears to have been jumping through the right bureaucratic hoops to accomplish what they wanted to accomplish. Thus, for example, they couldn't open up the Crossfire Hurricane investigation until they had a proper predicate, and it had to come through proper channels. And, thus, a lot of the luring of low level Trump people to Europe (OCONUS), likely by the CIA, to dirty them up, and then spending probably better than a month getting the evidence cleanly back to the FBI in a form that they could legally use. No doubt, they would love to have just tapped everyone's phones, and skip all the paperwork. But, the low level people doing the actual work would balk without all the proper paperwork, but with the proper paperwork would often happily wiretap or otherwise surveil anyone their bosses insisted on them doing it to, and esp if the orders were coming from the DDir, who was apparently in charge of day to day operations for the entire bureau. AG Barr knows all this, having been AG before, and that is why he is looking at the justifications for the legal authorizations, instead of whether there was authorization, because he knows that it was authorized, but suspects that the authorization may have been questionable.

Bruce Hayden said...

Finally (for today) Dennis Nunes, via CTH:

In/around late June and early July of ’16, Brennan was in position to turn over the outcome of his operation to the FBI via an origination EC memo.

"[April 22nd 2018] According to House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes; who is also a member of the intelligence oversight ‘Gang-of-Eight’; that EC contains intelligence material that did not come through “official intelligence channels” into the U.S. intelligence apparatus.

The EC was not an official product of the U.S. intelligence community. Additionally, Brennan was NOT using official partnerships with intelligence agencies of our Five-Eyes partner nations; and he did not provide raw intelligence –as an outcome of those relationships– to the FBI. {Go Deep}"

CIA Director Brennan formatted the same intelligence to the White House where Susan Rice and Samantha Powers were doing the unmasking to facilitate the leaks.

The FBI took Brennan’s two-page “EC” memo and originated the official counterintelligence operation known as “Crossfire Hurricane” on July 31st, 2016.

FBI Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok wrote out the operational instructions and objectives for the operation. As noted by Trey Gowdy, included in those instructions was the targeting of the “Trump Campaign” specifically.


This is very likely a good part of why Brennan has been running around like a maniac since AG Barr announced that he was looking into the predication for opening up the Crossfire Hurricane Trump/Russia collusion investigation. According to Nunes, a member of the Gang of Eight, formerly chair, now ranking member of the HSCI, the predication utilized was extremely hinky.

Lee Moore said...

Bruce : and received their FISA warrant for electronic surveillance of Carter Page, and those two hops away, forward and backwards in time

I've seen this a thousand times, but I have one question on it. If you get a FISA warrant in October 2016, and then in November 2016 you use it to review June 2016 phone logs or emails of someone one hop away from the subject of the warrant, that's presumably fine and dandy.

But if you (or your friend down the corridor) were reviewing that same someone's phone logs and emails illegally in June, ie with no warrant; but now you get a FISA warrant in November, does the illegal stuff done by yor friend in June become retrospectively legal ? Or does it stay illegal ?

Assuming it stays illegal, presumably technically you can't conceal the fact that you had an illegal early peek in June, by having another legal peek in November. I assume there are computer logs of who checked what record and when ?

My problem with all this is - why did they bother with the Carter Page FISA warrant in the first place ? I understand the rush to get it done before Admiral Rogers showed up in the FISA court to do the big fess up - but why bother ? They presumably already had FISA warrants on people like Manafort and Papadopoulos, covering roughly the same people two hops away. And in October 2016 Hillary was bound to win anyway, so - why ?

There's a bee in my bonnet the keeps telling me that they had made some dumb admin mistake that needed tidying up. Maybe bugged someone who wasn't within two hop range of existing FISA warrants, and some toothpaste needed to be popped back in the tube somewhere.