With New Referral To The Inspector General: The FBI Finds Itself Caught In A Crossfire Hurricane

2560px-Hurricane_Isabel_from_ISSBelow is my column in the Hill Newspaper on newly released information on the use of an informant against Trump officials as well as other details stemming from Operation Crossfire Hurricane.  The disclosures appear to confirm in large part the allegations made by President Donald Trump at the beginning of his Administration.  While denied at the time, it does now appear that campaign officials were surveilled and investigated.  Deputy  Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has now referred the allegation to the Inspector General for further investigation.  That is a belated but correct decision in light of the troubling implications raised by this new evidence.

Here is the column:

It was called “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI counterintelligence operation that targeted Trump figures as part of the investigation into possible campaign ties to Russia. It was a poignant choice of a Rolling Stones song, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash, that describes a man “born in a crossfire hurricane” who “howled at the morning driving rain.”

It could be an apt description of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. After a year of media denials of his claims of surveillance targeting his campaign, Trump can legitimately claim some vindication. Indeed, with his rising poll numbers, the president must feel, in the words of the song, like “it’s all right now, in fact, it’s a gas.”

The New York Times this week disclosed that the FBI made a conscious effort to use secret counterintelligence powers to investigate Trump officials and may have had a confidential informant who was used in connection with key Trump figures long before the November 2016 election. (Officials stated anonymously that this was a longstanding source who worked with both the FBI and CIA for years.)

In early 2017, President Trump was widely ridiculed for alleging that the Obama administration placed his campaign under surveillance. The response from experts on CNN and other sites was open mockery. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper came forward to assure the media that he could categorically deny the allegation and stated, “There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign.” The range of media analysis seemed to run from whether Trump was a clinical paranoid or a delusional demagogue.

We now know there was, indeed, surveillance ordered repeatedly on Trump campaign figures before and after the election. Rather than acknowledge the troubling implications of an administration investigating the opposing party’s leading candidate for president, the media shifted to saying that there was ample reason to order the surveillance.

That remains to be seen but much of the coverage brushes over the fact that no charges were brought against the principal target, Carter Page, or that the secret warrants for surveillance were based in part on a dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, a fact known but not fully disclosed by the FBI to the secret FISA court. The documented Russian interference, thus far, has been largely a Russian operation out of St. Petersburg that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has said was carried out without the knowledge of Trump campaign officials.

Now the plot has thickened even further with the added disclosure of not just national security letters to gather documents related to Trump figures but also at least one confidential informant who met with campaign figures like Page and George Papadopoulos to gather information. In response to the New York Times report, Trump declared that the FBI planted “at least one” spy in his campaign to frame him. Trump counsel Rudy Giuliani ratcheted up the rhetoric and said, if the story is true, that former FBI Director James Comey should be prosecuted.

The record does not currently support such a criminal conspiracy. However, if Trump and his counsel can be accused of overplaying the known facts, the media can be equally accused of ignoring the implications of the known facts. It should be a serious concern that the Obama administration used secret counterintelligence powers to target officials in the campaign of the opposing party. That is a practice we have widely criticized in other countries from Turkey to Russia to Iran.

Worse yet, the New York Times wrote that the decision was made to use the secret FISA court and counterintelligence personnel to conceal the operation for political purposes. According to the report, FBI officials consciously decided not to seek conventional criminal warrants or pursue a criminal investigation because it might be discovered and raised by Trump during the campaign. Thus, as Trump campaigned against the “deep state,” FBI officials hid their investigation deeper inside the state. FISA was not designed as a convenient alternative for the FBI and the Justice Department to avoid political costs or scrutiny.

The added problem with using a counterintelligence operation is that it is easier to launch and conceal than a criminal investigation. While there is a “probable cause” requirement under FISA, it is not the same as the one contained in the Fourth Amendment. Virtually every FISA application ever filed by the Justice Department has been granted, with a couple of exceptions. The FISA investigation was based on loose claims of foreign influence and a little cognizable evidence of actual crimes.

For his part, Page continues to maintain that he accepted standard contracts to work with the Russians, as have hundreds of people in Washington. Clearly, the FBI should investigate any serious criminal conduct linked to Trump figures or the campaign. However, the publicly released FISA material describes interactions with Russians that could have applied easily to myriad other “Beltway bandits” who regularly cash in on foreign contracts, including leading figures of both parties. The still unresolved question is why these particular allegations of foreign contacts merited the extraordinary decision to target an opposing party’s campaign or campaign figures before a major election.

I have been highly critical of Trump’s attacks on the media. However, that does not mean his objections are wholly unfounded, and this seems one such example. There may have been legitimate reasons to investigate Russian influence before the election. Yet, very serious concerns are raised by the targeting of an opposing party in the midst of a heated election. These concerns will be magnified by the use of a confidential source to elicit information from Trump campaign associates, though officials deny that the FBI actually had an informant inside the campaign.

Just as it is too early to support allegations of a conspiracy to frame Trump, it is too early to dismiss allegations of bias against Trump. As shown by many of the emails and later criminal referrals and disciplinary actions at the FBI, an open hostility to Trump existed among some bureau figures. Moreover, the extensive unmasking of Trump figures and false statements from FBI officials cannot be dismissed as irrelevant.

As a nation committed to the rule of law, we need a full and transparent investigation of these allegations. All of the allegations. That includes both the investigation of special counsel Mueller and the investigation of these latest allegations involving the FBI. For many Trump supporters, this new information deepens suspicions of the role of the “deep state.” If we ever hope to come out of these poisonous times as a unified nation, the public must be allowed to see the full record on both sides.

Until then, many Americans across the country will continue to believe that, like “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Trump was greeted after his election by being “crowned with a spike” right through his head.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

310 thoughts on “With New Referral To The Inspector General: The FBI Finds Itself Caught In A Crossfire Hurricane”

    1. But James Comey is a good man, an honest man, an ethical man.
      Hillary cant go to jail because Comey wrote in his book that he had bigger hands than Trump which was a sign to James he couldnt charge Hillary. Ergo, Comey was the One to undermind the presidential election.

      That’s the current state of law and order in America. We are a big mess, e.g. this 16 year old thug just ran over a female police officer in Baltimore and killed her

      Dawnta Anthony Harris
      http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/dawnta-anthony-harris-booking-photo-ht-jc-180522_hpMain_16x9_992.jpg

      That is America’s lawlessness and moral depravity while the Left lecture us what is truth and good.

      Bring back the dinosaurs or arm everyone with pistols. Might as well give the good guys guns to rid us of rhe Dawntas, Shaqueenas and Mfume

      This poor young female police officer, 4 year veteran, killeed by a 16 year old thug by running her over.

      is one rotten country

      http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/bs-md-co-officer-killed-20180522-story.html

      “The West Baltimore teen’s crime spree began in December, prosecutors say, and, over the subsequent months, he stole four cars, skipped court dates and escaped from a juvenile center.

      When a Baltimore County police officer confronted him Monday, 16-year-old Dawnta Harris ducked down and accelerated a stolen Jeep, running over Officer Amy Caprio as she opened fire, prosecutors say.

      Caprio, 29, became the first Baltimore County policewoman killed in the line of duty. Condolences poured in Tuesday from across Maryland. Grieving officers crowded a courtroom in Towson for the first appearance of her alleged killer.”

  1. OT – liberals losing grip on MSM as people shed cable. Trying to shore up their control on Netflix. Sad.

    1. is he even relevant these days?

      Total failure of a politician, never mind Nobel Prize laureatte…. what a joke

      1. On the contrary. Not only was President Barack HUSSEIN Obama the greatest President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces since Harry Truman, but prior to his marriage, he undoubtedly had “access” to the white women.

        this is to “but at least the new guy is white” js

  2. This is in response to NutChaCha, but I’m putting it out so that more can see it, in case they want to follow George Conway on Twitter.

    You may not be aware of this but one of the delights of twitter is that Kellyanne conway’s husband, George, is on twitter and from time to time he tweets or retweets something that is in direct contradiction to what she is doing or saying. It’s quite hilarious. Their pillow talk must be, uh, something.

    Here is a recent tweet by Ari Fleischer: I trust Mueller to pursue the truth, but his hirings create the appearance of bias: 82% of his lawyers are Ds. 71% of them have contributed money to D candidates/causes. Mueller’s lawyers donated $80,257. Ds got 77,507 (97%) while Rs got $2,750 (3%).

    Here is Conway’s response: Nope. His hirings show that he hired lawyers. And lawyers overwhelmingly tend, especially in the elite ranks, to be liberal Democrats.

    So what was Mueller supposed to do? Should he have hired mediocre lawyers of the caliber of, let’s say, Michael Cohen in order to get republican lawyers? He knew that he needed the absolute best and more experienced lawyers in the country. It’s not his fault that the best lawyers in the country do tend to be democrats and often from the east coast. Sorry, but fair to middlin’ country lawyers from KY or Arkansas, etc., just weren’t gonna cut it.

    Conway, BTW, went to Harvard and then to Yale Law where he was an editor of the Law Review.

    Trumpets may hate east coast elites but that’s where a lot of the intellectual fire power in the country resides. Mueller needed the best and he got the best. Just ask GEorge Conway.

    1. So what was Mueller supposed to do? Should he have hired mediocre lawyers o

      The question incorporates steep conceits, offered by a person who has yet to grace us with a single intelligent observation today. If you’re going to condescend, quit being stupid.

      1. Midsummer, be aware that he likes to shoot the messenger, If you were to say it is day, he would say it’s night because he is insufferable.

        1. Meet me halfway: offer a serious argument. That’s what you’ve demonstrated you cannot do. You cannot manage even Late4Dinner’s simulacrum of a serious argument.

            1. I refer and will refer you to the newspapers of record/indictments from the Mueller team,

              1. Process crimes

              2. Trivia they didn’t expect to have to take to trial (Concord Catering)

              3. Paul Manafort’s business interests, in re their writ to process the case is questionable.

              This is bupkis. You haven’t been paying attention.

          1. L4D presents perspectives different from yours — which irks you to no end.

            Most of L4D’s posts deal with factual information; a few wander to speculation, but this is nothing you’re not guilty of yourself.

            L4D presents current information that rankles you, as your arguments are typically some tributary you pull the argument into so as to ignore information that does not suit you.

            L4D has a much better handle on fast changing events than yourself. Your ploys of insult and intimidation are well worn.

            1. L4D presents perspectives different from yours — which irks you to no end.

              I’m not the one tangling with her. You’ve confused me with other posters.

              1. SOT, DSS, NII

                “I’m not the one tangling with her. You’ve confused me with other posters.”

                So the ugly little bully runs away from history.

                Disputes claims, easily verified, against the current one offered above.

                No courage displayed, sprinting away pointing at others.

                Whining to Darren about the sanctity of posting handles while owning the most.

                Pathetic little troll.

          2. Nii said to FishWings, “Meet me halfway: offer a serious argument. That’s what you’ve demonstrated you cannot do. You cannot manage even Late4Dinner’s simulacrum of a serious argument.”

            FishWings made an excellent argument that L4D has already pilfered several times. It goes like this:

            If the FBI had been in the bag for Clinton, then they would’ve publicly disclosed their counterintelligence investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane before the election. Given that the FBI did not publicly disclose their investigation of Russia’s attempts to cultivate members of the Trump campaign before the election, it follows that the FBI was not in the bag for Clinton.

            If the FBI did not want Trump to be President, then the FBI would have publicly disclosed its investigation of Russia’s attempts to cultivate members of the Trump campaign before the election. Given that the FBI did not publicly disclose its investigation of Russia’s attempts to cultivate members of the Trump campaign before the election, it follows that the FBI did not not want Trump to be President. Of course, the elimination of the double negation does not entail that the FBI wanted Trump to be President either. But it does entail that the FBI was neutral with respect to Trump’s bid for The Presidency. And that puts the lie to Trump’s current crock of cockamamie, as well.

            Good job, FishWings. I intend to plagiarize you more often in the future.

            1. @Late4Dinner May 23, 2018 at 7:29 AM
              “If the FBI had been in the bag for Clinton, then they would’ve publicly disclosed their counterintelligence investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane before the election. Given that the FBI did not publicly disclose their investigation of Russia’s attempts to cultivate members of the Trump campaign before the election, it follows that the FBI was not in the bag for Clinton.”

              Say, what? They had every reason to conceal the operation for Clinton’s benefit:

              “Worse yet, the New York Times wrote that the decision was made to use the secret FISA court and counterintelligence personnel to conceal the operation for political purposes. According to the report, FBI officials consciously decided not to seek conventional criminal warrants or pursue a criminal investigation because it might be discovered and raised by Trump during the campaign. Thus, as Trump campaigned against the ‘deep state,’ FBI officials hid their investigation deeper inside the state. [Emphasis added] FISA was not designed as a convenient alternative for the FBI and the Justice Department to avoid political costs or scrutiny.” (From JT’s blog, above)

              Do you think that Trump campaign staff recruiting Stefan Halper was working for the Russians, rather than for the FBI and CIA?

              Are you unaware that Comey, et al assumed that Clinton was going to be elected, and that was why he announced, he explained, just days before the election the re-opening of the Clinton server investigation, so her presidency wouldn’t be seen as illegitimate?
              https://nypost.com/2018/04/12/comey-feared-making-clinton-an-illegitimate-president/

              Are you unaware of the emails between the FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in which they discussed the WH and IC project against Trump? For example, “An account of an August 15 discussion among top FBI officials in then-deputy director Andrew McCabe’s office, with Strzok observing that although it was highly unlikely ‘Trump gets elected,’ the government ‘can’t take that risk’ and needed an ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency.”
              https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/strzok-page-texts-trump-russia-investigation-origins/

              Are you inadvertently overlooking key evidence regarding “Hurricane Crossfire,” or ignoring it on purpose?

        2. Thanks! Sounds like you know him or know of him. That sounds more like someone who’d be married to KAC, to be honest.

  3. The appointment of Robert Mueller violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution…
    Posted on May 21, 2018
    The appointment of Robert Mueller violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Mueller is not an inferior appointee, but a principal appointee as understood under our constitutional. His powers are more akin to an United States attorney, not an assistant United States attorney. Moreover, his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, treats him as a principal officer — that is, Mueller is mostly free to conduct his investigation with few limits or restraints. The parameters of his appointment were extraordinarily broad in the first instance, and have only expanded since then. Indeed, Mueller is more powerful than most United States attorneys, all of whom were nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate as principal officers. Furthermore, Rosenstein mostly rubber stamps Mueller’s decisions and is not involved in the regular management and oversight of Mueller to any significant extent, underscoring Mueller’s role not as an inferior officer but a principal officer. As such, Mueller’s appointment violates the Appointments Clause. Mueller would’ve had to be nominated for Senate confirmation like any other principal officer in the Executive Branch. Rosenstein did not have the constitutional power to appoint a principal officer on his own anymore than the President himself does. To do otherwise is to defy the procedure established by the Framers for making such consequential executive appointments. It follows, then, that every subpoena, indictment, and plea agreement involving the Mueller investigation is null and void. Every defendant, suspect, witness, etc., in this matter should challenge the Mueller appointment as a violation of the Appointments Clause.

    H/T to Northwestern Law School Professor Steven Calabresi, who raised many of these points, and more, with me and a few other friends and colleagues over the weekend, in a well-researched opinion he shared with us. He deserves great credit. I agree completely with his analysis. Please do not miss my radio show this evening or LevinTV, where I will more thoroughly address this. Don’t miss either!

    http://www.marklevinshow.com/2018/05/21/the-appointment-of-robert-mueller-violates-the-appointments-clause-of-the-constitution/

    1. Mark Levin!

      Oky1 has upgraded his sources, ever so slightly, above Infowars nutty trash!

      Credit where credit is due, Attaboy!

      1. ck out infowars.com/show/ mid day tomorrow, Alex Jones & his guest are to release breaking news again & expose another Trump hating Obama type Spy.

        And the only that’s nutty Trash is most all of your post. 😉

        1. In main, more incoherence, but it looks good on you.

          this is to “guess what I’m writing, I dare you” okie

        2. Oky1, you don’t know the endless amusement I get out of your feckless promotion of Alex Jones and his whacky conspiracy theories.
          The amusement value is derived not so much that you believe that drivel, but that you actually believe others might!

            1. He posts it as if he expects someone will actually take it seriously!

              Absolutely clueless…

              1. The possibility has not yet been eliminated that someone in the Trump administration might be in the Federal Witness Protection Program. Oky1 refuses to say who that might be for the obvious reason that nobody is supposed to know if its even possible in the first place, let alone who it might possibly be–not even Robert Swan Mueller III is allowed to know such things. And there’s the flaw in the system. Like Giuliani said the other day, Mueller is messing with things much larger than any of us. And he can’t take a hint, either. I mean c’mon, man. How else should the US Marshall Service protect a federal witness who just so happens to be . . . Wait. I can’t figure out how to complete that sentence without spilling the beans. O! Bother!

    2. Mark Levin is the final and authoritative source on these matters? If so, how is it that no court has ordered the disbanding of the special counselor’s activities?

  4. DUBIOUS DUO CONTRIVED BOYCOTT OF QATAR

    PAIR SOUGHT $1 BILLON CONSULTING CONTRACT

    ELLIOT BROIDY LINKED TO TRUMP AND MICHAEL COHEN

    After a year spent carefully cultivating two princes from the Arabian Peninsula, Elliott Broidy, a top fundraiser for President Donald Trump, thought he was finally close to nailing more than $1 billion in business.

    He had ingratiated himself with crown princes from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who were seeking to alter U.S. foreign policy and punish Qatar, an archrival in the Gulf that he dubbed “the snake.”

    To do that, the California businessman had helped spearhead a secret campaign to influence the White House and Congress, flooding Washington with political donations.

    Broidy and his business partner, Lebanese-American George Nader, pitched themselves to the crown princes as a backchannel to the White House, passing the princes’ praise — and messaging — straight to the president’s ears.

    Now, in December 2017, Broidy was ready to be rewarded for all his hard work.

    It was time to cash in.

    In return for pushing anti-Qatar policies at the highest levels of America’s government, Broidy and Nader expected huge consulting contracts from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to an Associated Press investigation based on interviews with more than two dozen people and hundreds of pages of leaked emails between the two men. The emails reviewed by the AP included work summaries and contracting documents and proposals.

    The AP has previously reported that Broidy and Nader sought to get an anti-Qatar bill through Congress while obscuring the source of the money behind their influence campaign. A new cache of emails obtained by the AP reveals an ambitious, secretive lobbying effort to isolate Qatar and undermine the Pentagon’s longstanding relationship with the Gulf country.

    A lawyer for Broidy, Chris Clark, contended the AP’s reporting “is based on fraudulent and fabricated documents obtained from entities with a known agenda to harm Mr. Broidy.”

    Text edited from: “The Princes, The President And The Fortune Seekers”

    Today’s APNews.com

      1. WEB OF INTRIGUES SURROUNDS KUSHNER PROPERTY

        BLOCKADE OF QATAR WAS POSSIBLE EXTORTION PLOT

        Federal investigators are scrutinizing whether any of Jared Kushner’s business discussions with foreigners during the presidential transition later shaped White House policies in ways designed to either benefit or retaliate against those he spoke with, according to witnesses and other people familiar with the investigation.

        Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has asked witnesses about Kushner’s efforts to secure financing for his family’s real estate properties, focusing specifically on his discussions during the transition with individuals from Qatar and Turkey, as well as Russia, China and the United Arab Emirates, according to witnesses who have been interviewed as part of the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to sway the 2016 election.

        As part of the scrutiny of Kushner’s discussions with Turks, federal investigators have reached out to Turkish nationals for information on Kushner through the FBI’s legal attache office in Ankara, according to two people familiar with the matter. Separately, Qatari government officials visiting the U.S. in late January and early February considered turning over to Mueller what they believe is evidence of efforts by their country’s Persian Gulf neighbors in coordination with Kushner to hurt their country, four people familiar with the matter said. The Qatari officials decided against cooperating with Mueller for now out of fear it would further strain the country’s relations with the White House, these people said.

        Kushner’s family real estate business, Kushner Companies, approached Qatar multiple times, including last spring, about investing in the company’s troubled flagship property at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York, but the government-run sovereign wealth fund declined, according to two people familiar with the discussion. Another discussion of interest to Mueller’s team is a meeting Kushner held at Trump Tower during the transition in December 2016 with a former prime minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, or HBJ, according to people familiar with the meeting.

        HBJ had been in talks with Kushner Companies about investing in its Fifth Avenue property, which is facing roughly $1.4 billion in debt that is due in 2019, these people said. Those talks with the company continued after Kushner entered the White House and stepped away from the business, but last spring HBJ decided against investing, these people said.

        In the weeks after Kushner Companies’ talks with the Qatari government and HBJ collapsed, the White House strongly backed an economically punishing blockade against Qatar, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, citing the country’s support for terrorism as the impetus. Kushner, who is both President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a key adviser, has played a major role in Trump’s Middle East policy and has developed close relationships with the crown princes of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

        Some top Qatari government officials believe the White House’s position on the blockade may have been a form of retaliation driven by Kushner who was sour about the failed deal, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. Saudi Arabia and UAE have long had a rivalry with Qatar.

        The White House, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have said the blockade against Qatar is in retaliation for their government’s support for terrorism.

        Any cooperation with Mueller’s probe from foreign nationals or government officials would mark a significant new dimension to the investigation beyond what is currently publicly known.

        While Kushner and his business dealings have long been a focus of the investigation, this line of questioning suggests Mueller could be building a case that directly links action he took after the election to his conduct as a senior adviser in the White House.

        Text Edited from: “Mueller Asking If Kushner Business Ties Influenced White House Policy”

        NBC News, 5/2/18

  5. Midsummernight, maybe you should be investigated to see if you’ve committed any crimes. This isn’t just about Trump. The powers that be could do that to any of us!

    1. And they’ve always had the power to do that if they were corrupt enough. But even under Nixon, who was the most corrupt prior to Trump, no I was never investigated. However, Trump has already demanded that the justice department investigate his enemies, so he’s already crossed that line. And if he destroys the DOJ, he’ll demand that all kinds of innocent people be investigated.

      1. But if only you managed to get yourself elected POTUS, then . . . Oh! What a world of hurt the dreaded deep state might put on poor innocent midsummer night under that circumstance.

  6. President Donald Trump uses a White House cellphone that isn’t equipped with sophisticated security features designed to shield his communications, according to two senior administration officials — a departure from the practice of his predecessors that potentially exposes him to hacking or surveillance.

    From:
    https://www.politico.com/amp/story/2018/05/21/trump-phone-security-risk-hackers-601903?__twitter_impression=true

    Lock her, I mean him, up.

    1. “Independence” is code for ‘under the control of Democratic Party lawfare artists with civil service protection”.

      1. So the entire Justice Department needs to swear absolute loyalty to the person and interests of Donald J. Trump, and can never have the slightest doubt about their Chief …..

        These ideas are really a way of advocating for the abandonment of the Civil Service System, and a return to the spoils system of Andrew Jackson. That is, loyalty is more important that expertise or ability. Jackson himself opined that government duties did not require any special knowledge, and that therefore it was essential to install only men (no women back then!) who owed everything to the president, and could be counted on to take no actions contrary to the interests and agenda of the president, no matter what.

    2. @Peter Hill May 22, 2018 at 1:08 PM
      “TRUMP DEMANDS INVESTIGATION OF INVESTIGATION
      BUT INDEPENDENCE OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AT STAKE”

      So, are you maintaining that the members of the angelic hierarchy in the Justice Department are above the law, that they can do nothing wrong, and that the DoJ’s Inspector General has no business investigating their behavior, lest he contravene their “independence”?

    3. Nothing in the Constitution makes the ironically named DOJ independent of the will of people through the POTUS. Nothing. Otherwise they’re a burecratic roving commission and political tyrant as they’ve been shown to be. Oh absolute power, it’s remarkably consistent.

    1. Yes, saw this, too. But of course the red hats will find some way to link him to Obama and Clinton, or even better, he’ll be accused of working for “THE DEEP STATE” before afternoon tea. They may have to wait until they get their instructions from Hannity tonight, though, so perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit on the teatime.

      1. The beautiful thing with “deep state conspiracies” is they can be expanded to include almost everyone.

        1. Yes, exactly. And even better is that no facts ever need be involved except the ones that your mind spins out endlessly without evidence.

    2. I predict that it won’t matter to the fruit loops who take their marching orders from Infowars and Breitbarts.

  7. I believe Trump’s complaint was that HE was under surveillance for political reasons. My understanding of the FBI’s actions is that various members of his campaign were under surveillance because of their contacts with the Russians and others. Could be that Trump was one of those cavorting with the Russians. It was a counter-intelligence action, not a political action. Would you rather the Russians or others totally insinuate themselves in a campaign without the FBI paying attention?

    1. Your last sentence is key. And, yes, the Rs are okay with the Russians interfering in not just the election but our governance because it’s Trump. Imagine doing this for tax cuts and Gorsuch.

  8. THE FBI WAS INVESTIGATING CLINTON AND TRUMP AT SAME TIME

    BUT THE INVESTIGATION AGAINST CLINTON WAS CONSIDERED PRIORITY

    According to The New York Time article that Professor Turley quotes here, the FBI launched it’s investigation against Trump after the Australian Ambassador to London contacted them to report an odd encounter with George Papadopoulos.

    Papadopoulos, a youthful and inexperienced advisor to the Trump campaign, had met the Australian Ambassador at a London drinking establishment. In a state of semi-drunkeness, Papadopoulos told the Ambassador that Wikileaks had ‘obtained’ DNC emails and was going to release them during the campaign to embarrass the Democrats.

    The Australian Ambassador was shocked by the cavalier nature of Papadopoulos’ boasting. This compelled him to inform the FBI. At about this same time the FBI was contacted by Christopher Steele with regards to disturbing rumors he had heard while compiling his dossier. Therefore the FBI decided it might be prudent to investigate the Trump campaign.

    Carter Page, one should note, had already been approached by Russian spies seeking to cultivate him as a spy. And when FBI agents formally warned Page, the latter responded dismissively. Therefore the FBI entered the investigation with ‘three’ unrelated factors: Papadopoulos, Steele’s dossier and Carter Page’s odd contacts with Russians.

    But The New York Times article stresses that during the summer of 2016 the FBI most certainly expected Hillary Clinton to win the general election. Therefore the FBI’s Clinton investigation took priority over the investigation of Trump’s campaign; which is significant to note. Because there came a point, in late summer of 2016, when Christopher Steele felt the FBI no longer cared about the information he had given them.

    Ultimately the FBI turned its focus totally on Clinton. James Comey feared that if Clinton won the general election while her ‘lost’ emails remained an issue, that ‘he’, Comey, would be blamed by Congressional Republicans. Therefore to ‘cover himself’, Comey decided to issue that infamous letter to Congress 11 days before the election. That letter, more than any factor, was responsible for Clinton’s peculiar defeat.

    The New York Times carefully noted in its coverage that neither the FBI nor Clinton campaign made any attempt to use information from the Steele dossier as a campaign weapon. The American public never heard of the so-called “pee party” until two months after the election.

    Therefore it’s difficult to articulate what damage was done to the Trump campaign by either the Steele dossier or FBI investigation. “Where is the tort?”, one might ask. It was Clinton’s campaign that was sunk by James Comey’s letter.

  9. Do you get up every day and ask yourself “How can I undermine the rule of law?”

    You wrote “For his part, Page continues to maintain that he accepted standard contracts to work with the Russians, as have hundreds of people in Washington.” Yet, if the work for the Russian GOVERNMENT, as Page bragged he did, most of the others register as agents of the Russian government, AS FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES. Page DID NOT.

  10. Djeesus, things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser.
    I have predicted most of it and written about it publicly, so my friends and acquaintances can look back and see what I was saying back before we had dispositive facts; intelligent people assessing the situation from both sides of these political claims have taken it easy in making snap decisions about WTF is going on.
    One of the best is Scott Adams, who distills it all down to what appears obvious after his analysis. And he is consistently right.
    What is on full display from all the pundits is a case study in groupthink and emotional bias to prove what one “just knows” to be true, whether it is or not.
    We see a constant jumping to conclusions and posing of incomplete information as vindication of what they want to believe and are emotionally sure is true. And then when it is not turning out that way, then they change the narrative and spin all their previous proclamations and earnest positions to force-fit the facts to their newly morphed theories to prove their consistency. And in the process disprove all their consistency and original positions — except of course for the emotional ones, which will never change until they are bludgeoned repeatedly by the facts.
    Occam’s razor is steadily shaving down the crazy, unlikely proposition that Trump had any help from foreign agents to win, or that he is in cahoots with foreign agents to undermine our Nation, to the much more likelihood that powerful domestic political forces simply could not allow him to attain the presidency, the electorate be damned, and that they did everything they could to dig up, and invent, dirt on Trump to prove something that they too “just knew” was true.
    They were so sure that Trump was corrupt and that Hillary would win, that all their Machinations would never see the light of day. That gamble was a bad one, and is now coming to roost.

    1. Good to see your input Gary. This hits it right on the head:

      “We see a constant jumping to conclusions and posing of incomplete information as vindication of what they want to believe and are emotionally sure is true. And then when it is not turning out that way, then they change the narrative and spin all their previous proclamations and earnest positions to force-fit the facts to their newly morphed theories to prove their consistency.”

      The usual comments on this blog are a prime example. Deceiving oneself on a public blog is a terrible thing to watch.

    2. What is on full display from all the pundits is a case study in groupthink and emotional bias to prove what one “just knows” to be true, whether it is or not.

      Good post Gary. One of the fallacies commonly asserted is if you’re against the politicizing (lawfare) of our government agencies, then you obviously get all your information from FoxNews and you must be a Trump supporter. There is another option that I believe is too uncomfortable for those making that false assumption to admit: there are millions of people that aren’t aligned by political party first. That they actually desire us to return to the rule of law, justice and accountability in government; regardless of political party affiliation. This independent wave of voters is aware of the corruption among our political class and the government agencies that do their bidding. They are now learning just how deep that corruption goes.

    3. Trump IS corrupt. Hillary DID win the popular vote. No gambling was involved, just help from his friends at the Kremlin and firing up his racist, misogynist base.

    4. Gary Trieste said, “They were so sure that Trump was corrupt and that Hillary would win, that all their Machinations would never see the light of day. That gamble was a bad one, and is now coming to roost.”

      If they were so sure that Trump was corrupt, then they could have used their “machinations” more simply and more efficiently by preventing Trump from being elected so that their “machinations” would never see the light of day.

      If they were so sure that Hillary would win, then there would have been no need for any of their “machinations,” which would only have seen the light of day if Hillary lost.

      Gary’s argument takes a new form of an old logical fallacy. Instead of post hoc ergo prompter hoc (after this therefore because of this), Gary gives us prompter hoc ergo prompter hoc (because of this therefore because of this). It is, in essence, a circular support system. A supports B; B supports C; and C supports A . . . Oopsie daisy. All fall down.

      Of course, some would call Gary’s argument 20/20 hindsight, while others might call it retroactive anachronism. I call it synchronic amnesia. There is only one moment in time. And that is the present moment. All past events are actually happening now. All knowledge of current events must inform and explain all past events that are still actually happening now. Consequently, the supposed fact that nobody knew ahead of time that Hillary would lose the election to Trump, supposedly entails that the people currently investigating of Trump somehow knew ahead of time that Hillary would lose the election to Trump.

      Or else the FBI truly does have time travel capabilities. What does Gary Trieste think?

      1. Annie/Inga – On the morning of the 2016 election, Nate Silver (who had been very accurate in previous election predictions) gave Trump a 15% chance of winning. Others had him much lower than that. Earlier in the campaign, Nate Silver had Trump at a 1% chance of winning. The FBI emails show the same trend, they thought Hillary was going to win but there was always a chance something could go wrong. So, they had their ‘insurance policy’ ready.

        1. They could have prevented Trump from being elected. They didn’t. The could have assured that Hillary would be elected. They didn’t. The simplest solution is that the FBI did not care one way or the other who was elected. They did, however, care about Russia’s attempts to cultivate members of the Trump campaign. And yet, they didn’t use the results of their counterintelligence investigation to prevent Trump from being elected. Likewise, the FBI did care about Russian hacking, leaking and information warfare. And yet, they did not use Papadopoulos’ foreknowledge of Russia’s possession of Clinton emails to prevent Trump from being elected.

          The “insurance policy” argument presupposes that the FBI preferred to launch a counterintelligence investigation aimed at the Impeachment of Trump after he got elected rather than to use the results of their counterintelligence investigation to prevent Trump from getting elected. The “insurance policy” argument makes no more sense than any other Trumpian crock of cockamamie.

      2. Gary’s argument takes a new form of an old logical fallacy. Instead of post hoc ergo prompter hoc (after this therefore because of this), Gary gives us prompter hoc ergo prompter hoc (because of this therefore because of this). It is, in essence, a circular support system. A supports B; B supports C; and C supports A . . . Oopsie daisy. All fall down.”

        It’s propter hoc, and you’re the one who’s being illogical. For one example, you write, “If they were so sure that Trump was corrupt, then they could have used their ‘machinations’ more simply and more efficiently by preventing Trump from being elected so that their ‘machinations’ would never see the light of day.”

        In the first place, they had no way of “preventing Trump from being elected,” and in the second place, even if they had had the ability and acted on it, it doesn’t follow that Trump’s defeat would have ensured that their machinations would never have been exposed. How could it?

        You also write, “Consequently, the supposed fact that nobody knew ahead of time that Hillary would lose the election to Trump, supposedly entails that the people currently investigating of [sic] Trump somehow knew ahead of time that Hillary would lose the election to Trump.”

        It wasn’t a “supposed” fact that nobody knew ahead of time that Hillary would lose, it was an indisputable fact. How couldanyone know for certain who would win or lose? In one of the Strzok-Page email exchanges, moreover, you’ll find this:

        “An account of an August 15 discussion among top FBI officials in then-deputy director Andrew McCabe’s office, with Strzok observing that although it was highly unlikely ‘Trump gets elected,’ the government ‘can’t take that risk’ and needed an ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency.”
        https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/strzok-page-texts-trump-russia-investigation-origins/

        So, although their machinations couldn’t prevent a Trump presidency, they knew that they could attack and attempt to undermine a Trump presidency, in the unlikely event he was elected. The “insurance policy” consisted of compromising information that they were trying to gather on Trump, to use against him were he to be, against all odds, elected.

        Their plan was pretty straightforward, and I don’t know why you’re having so much trouble understanding it, unless it’s that you just can’t conceive of anyone in the federal government’s using his power illicitly.

  11. Such a predictable take by Turley. Does he want to be on short list for next SCOTUS justice?

  12. Great people to read or follow if you want to learn how tyranny can take hold in a democracy : Masha Gessen, GArry Kasparov, Sarah Kendzior, and Timothy Snyder.

  13. For over a year now we are investigating a citizen to see if he committed a crime. We use to investigate crimes to see who committed them.

    1. Sounds like you’d like the FBI to investigate all crimes, except those related in any way to Trump, his family, his team.

      You poor souls were so conned by this devilish man. He has turned your brains to porridge.

      1. Thanks for all the supporting logic there. I don’t know if you’ve seen the news, but they’ve been investigating this guy for over a year now or something. See Gary’s comment above. I hope it helps you.

        1. LOL. Yes, of course I know that. I edited my statement too much.

          Trumpets want crimes to be investigated but when the crimes into Trump, Inc. are investigated, they scream that the deep state is after Trump. So, they want all crimes investigated except those involving Trump, which they view as a sign of deep state corruption.

          1. The stakes are so high for this particular situation, and there are continually arising new facts and supported allegations of corruption, and daily contradictory statements from the FBI and DOJ, that reviewing the FBI’s investigation of Trump is ripe and called for.
            This was not just a simple criminal investigation by the FBI, later changed to a FISA investigation — it was the deepest processes of the American government, where a colorable claim can be made that a concerted (maybe even conspiratorial) effort was made by officials in power sought to illegally undermine a presidential election.
            The allergic response and hysterical antipathy to even thinking about investigating the investigators is a telling reveal all on its own.

            1. Who besides Pravda Faux News shills and sycophantic Republican Congressmen are making “allegations”, much less proffering any “facts”?

              this is to “any source is peachy-keen” gary

    2. “We use to investigate crimes to see who committed them.”

      That’s what Mueller is doing.

      If your a Trump supporter and convinced of his innocence you should be cheering for Mueller.

      1. That’s what Mueller is doing.

        He’s not investigating any crimes. The investigation was begun as a counter-intelligence investigation and Mueller and Rosenstein have pretended the original justification sufficed to set the scope of a criminal investigation. BTW, the scope of Mueller’s investigation has been declared a state secret by his office and even judges cannot see the scope memo.

        1. Let’s see, since the conspiratorial wingnuts, wackjobs and mouth-breathers believe that law enforcement officers must be colored in by their political party, let’s check the political persuasions of Mueller and Rosenstein….Hmmmmm, it appears that both are Republicans, who have worked in public service in prior Republican administrations, and who were each appointed to their current positions by….wait for it….Republicans! Wow! who knew?

          this is to the nutty sufferer

            1. Stay focused. Relevance is a very real and useful concept. I understand that the cult of hannity and the day glo bozo think that Kellyanne’s pivot tactic is logical, but here in the real world she’s considered a ridiculous caricature of a buffoon.

              this is to the nutty sufferer

              1. Marky Mark Mark – you are posting a lot today. Did your clients finally decide to go pro se?

          1. Trumpian game is to say something ridiculous, delusional, deceitful and then tell you to disprove it. We should remember to recognize this game so that we can quickly ignore them. It’s a waste of your precious time. It’s their responsibility to prove that their lies or delusions are true. Which of course they can’t.

            I know it’s tempting to fall into their potholes, but we should all make a resolution not to do it. This includes me!

            1. “Trumpian game is to say something ridiculous, delusional, deceitful and then tell you to disprove it. ”

              That is what you have been doing all day on these boards…which begs the question: what is David Brock paying you trolls these days? Dont bother asking Avenatti for any help since he has his own financial woes

              You lefties are going down, down, down….but can you swallow?

              ####

              Law firm of Stormy Daniels’ attorney hit with $10-million judgment
              http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-avenatti-bankruptcy-20180522-story.html

              The law firm of Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti was hit with a $10-million judgment Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court after he broke his promise to pay $2 million to a former colleague.

              Judge Catherine Bauer of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana ordered the Eagan Avenatti law firm to pay the $10 million to Jason Frank, a lawyer who used to work at the Newport Beach firm.

              “At this point, that’s what’s appropriate,” Bauer said at a brief hearing.

              To settle his law firm’s bankruptcy, Avenatti had personally guaranteed that the $2 million would be paid to Frank last week, but both he and his firm failed to turn over the money.

              At the hearing, the U.S. Justice Department revealed that Avenatti has also defaulted on just over $440,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest that he had personally promised to pay the Internal Revenue Service under another bankruptcy settlement for his law firm.

      2. @wildbill99 May 22, 2018 at 3:39 PM
        “ ‘We use to investigate crimes to see who committed them.’
        “That’s what Mueller is doing.
        “If your [sic] a Trump supporter and convinced of his innocence you should be cheering for Mueller.”

        As I’ve pointed our repeatedly, I’m emphatically not a Trump supporter, except in the narrow instance of opposing his malicious persecution, but what crime that was already known to have been committed are you claiming that Mueller is now investigating?

        1. My family did not vote for the orange turd. However we at home are giddy about Obama and his friends now turn white because they have been exposed for what we all knew the Democrats have done for decades with the Main Screed Media…..lie

          Trump has turned Saul Alinsky tactics against the MSM and they hate it.

          So in this one instance, Trump is doing good work. Otherwise he is a reflection of the Clintons as a moral cripple

          1. Rich. Unfortunately for you membership in the mouth-breathers clan, others have already posted today’s Pravda Faux News talking points. So sorry for your loss.

            this is to “yup, by golly, that there hannity feller sure shades the smarty-pants types” tj

            1. Marky Mark Mark – the generic poll is now showing the Republicans +6. Do you have any idea how bad that makes the Democrats look when they are both broke and cannot raise money going into the midterms?

              There should be three IG reports coming out before September. The President cannot be indicted. If I were Nate Silver I would be burning sage in my office to cleanse it.

            2. Mark “One Note” M. May 22, 2018 at 6:00 PM
              “Rich. Unfortunately for you membership in the mouth-breathers clan, others have already posted today’s Pravda Faux News talking points. So sorry for your loss.”

              Are you totally clueless regarding how repetitiously puerile and effete your “comments” are?

        2. Wrong standard “counselor.” A crime doesn’t already have to be “known” before an investigation is instituted, only the probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. Reddit is down the hall. Thanks for playing.

          this is to “doze lawyer types hisn’t so smart” kennie

        3. Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible involvement of Trump associates, and any other issues that may be uncovered in the course of the investigation.

          1. @wildbill99 May 23, 2018 at 8:23 AM
            “Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible involvement of Trump associates, and any other issues that may be uncovered in the course of the investigation.”

            Is this your answer to my question, “What crime that was already known to have been committed are you claiming that Mueller is now investigating?”

            Are you claiming that whether “Russia” interfered in the 2016 has not been integral to Mueller’s investigation?

            If so, how did you or anyone else know that “Russia” did so. Presumably, you aren’t claiming that the whole country of Russia interfered in the 2016 election, so who specifically in Russia do you claim did so, and when, prior to the initiation of Mueller’s investigation, did you come to know their identities and/or specific actions?

            If you know of more than one Russian who interfered in the 2016 election, did they conspire to do so, or did they all act independently and without knowing of each other’s efforts?

            1. What I know doesn’t matter, what Mueller and his staff knows matters greatly. In good time we shall know what he has uncovered, till then I recommend patience and avoidance of conclusions.

              1. In good time we shall know what he has uncovered,

                We know now. He’s uncovered Russian internet trolls. The Manafort indictment he cannibalized off of work done by other divisions of the Justice Department and the rest are people who pleaded to lying to FBI agents who do not film their interrogations.

                1. Neither one of us knows what the Mueller investigation has so far uncovered, why pretend otherwise?

              2. @wildbill99 May 22, 2018 at 3:39 PM
                “ ‘We use to investigate crimes to see who committed them.’

                @wildbill99: “That’s what Mueller is doing.”

                @ Ken Rogers: “Presumably, you aren’t claiming that the whole country of Russia interfered in the 2016 election, so who specifically in Russia do you claim did so, and when, prior to the initiation of Mueller’s investigation, did you come to know their identities and/or specific actions?”

                @wildbill99 May 23, 2018 at 5:58 PM
                “What I know doesn’t matter, what Mueller and his staff knows matters greatly. In good time we shall know what he has uncovered, till then I recommend patience and avoidance of conclusions.”

                Yes, if I were you, I, too, would take the 5th, as you’re obviously in way over your head. 🙂

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