Till Death Do Us Part: Nellie Ohr Invokes Spousal Privilege To Refuse To Answer Questions From Congress

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the surprising invocation of spousal privilege by Nellie Our to refuse to answer questions about her communications with her husband, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. While the privilege remains an important protection, this invocation raises serious questions about its use where a husband and wife mix marital and professional relationships.

Here is the column:

Congress faced another hurdle this week in its effort to establish the record of how, why and when the FBI was given information from Fusion GPS on its controversial investigation of President Trump.

Just last week, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson refused to answer any additional questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Now, former Fusion employee Nellie Ohr, the wife of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, has invoked spousal privilege to refuse to answer questions from the committee. The use of spousal privilege in this context, however, could prove more damaging for Congress than the underlying allegations involving Ohr. Congress needs to seriously examine of the basis and scope of this common-law privilege in the context of an oversight investigation.

Despite exaggerated claims on both sides, Congress has a legitimate interest in establishing the underlying facts concerning the work of Fusion GPS and the novel involvement of the Ohrs. The fact that a secret investigation was launched under the Obama administration targeting associates of a political opponent should concern all citizens. We now know the Clinton campaign funneled a huge amount of money through its campaign counsel to fund the report by former British spy Christopher Steele. Fusion GPS and Steele also actively tried to place negative media stories about Donald Trump during the presidential campaign.

The issue is not the overplayed theories of Russian “kompromat” schemes on the left or the overheated conspiracy theories on the right. It is the ongoing concern over the alleged use of the FBI, wittingly or unwittingly, to further political opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign. That is a matter worthy of investigation by oversight committees.

That brings us to Mr. and Mrs. Ohrs. In fairness, Bruce Ohr had a prior relationship with Steele as part of his former FBI duties recruiting high-level Russians and oligarchs. Moreover, it is not clear that Nellie Ohr did significant work on the Steele dossier. However, they remain legitimate witnesses with clearly material information needed by Congress. Among the topics is the fact that the Ohrs met with Steele the day before the FBI opened its investigation into the Trump campaign.

Nellie Ohr’s use of spousal privilege raises questions that go beyond this particular controversy. Early spousal privilege assertions were recognized in England in the early 1600s, based on a belief that such testimony was conceptually impossible since a husband and wife were viewed as one. In the 1800s, this common law “rule of incompetency” was denounced by figures like Jeremy Bentham. Some feminists questioned the rule as sexist.

To put it simply, Nellie Ohr has a recognized separate legal existence in her work with Fusion GPS. To put it simply, this was not what the privilege was originally designed to protect. She is not a wife being asked about stray comments from her husband over dinner. She is an accomplished professional with a stellar record. She holds a degree in history and Russian literature from Harvard, and received a history doctorate degree from Stanford University. She previously taught at Vassar College before joining Fusion GPS. She also is a member of the Women in International Security, which is “dedicated to advancing the leadership and professional development of women in the field of international peace and security.”

It was, therefore, not a surprise for Fusion GPS to be interested in her, entirely separate from her connection to Bruce Ohr. That contradicts suggestions that her hiring was a grand conspiracy. However, it also makes her invocation of the spousal privilege more problematic. Nellie Ohr accepted a position with a political opposition research firm working for Hillary Clintonin one of the most bitterly contested presidential elections in history. She actively sought the involvement of her husband on behalf of Fusion GPS. Yet, when asked about those communications and meetings, Nellie Ohr suddenly became “one” with her husband.

In 1952, the Senate counterpart to the House Committee on Un-American Activities accepted a spousal privilege claim because the questions delved into conversations that occurred in a more conventional marital context of using a spouse to incriminate the other spouse by exposing private conversations.

Nellie Ohr’s invocation raises serious questions over how this privilege should apply with many couples working in the same fields.The privilege is a valuable protection to keep spouses from being used as pawns by politicians or threatened as leverage by prosecutors.

Yet, even under conventional analysis, she may have over-extended the use of the privilege. The testimonial spousal privilege is not recognized in many states but, even when recognized, it can allow one spouse to testify against another. The “marital communications privilege” is more broadly applied but only covers confidential communications in a marriage. It is based on the societal importance of protecting the sanctity of a marriage.

Congress, however, is not interested in confidential marital conversations between Nellie and Bruce Ohr. The implications of Ohr’s invocation are hard to overstate. Women have struggled mightily to establish careers separate from their husbands. This invocation undermines that progress. On one hand, some might question the hiring of a woman in light of the complications of her legal “incompetency.” On the other hand, Nellie Ohr’s invocation could be seen as an opportunity for some employers to potentially shield evidence from disclosure by hiring spouses of powerful members of Congress or other government officials. Nepotism and favoritism already are epidemic in Washington. This adds another nefarious advantage to hiring well-connected employees.

Washington is a small town filled with power couples. Under Ohr’s approach, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-Ky.) and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, could refuse to answer questions on a corruption scandal due to their speaking more as spouses than officials.

Ohr may have been asked questions that inappropriately delved into marital confidences; such questions can threaten the “harmony” of marriages long protected under the rule. If, however, Ohr used the privilege to refuse to answer an array of questions, as was reported, then Congress may want to challenge the assertion or, at the very least, consider how to approach such questions in the future.

Nellie and Bruce Ohr chose to mix their marital and professional worlds. The use of the privilege outside of marital conversations would be opportunistic, obstructionist and increasingly irresistible, if allowed. None of this means that the allegations involving Nellie Ohr are true — but she needs to answer those questions in her professional, not her marital, capacity.

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

333 thoughts on “Till Death Do Us Part: Nellie Ohr Invokes Spousal Privilege To Refuse To Answer Questions From Congress”

  1. The fact that a secret investigation was launched under the Obama administration targeting associates of a political opponent should concern all citizens.

    It doesn’t concern Democrats because they have no principles. They can also examine the FEC’s public databases and see just what sort of person works for the U.S. Department of Justice. They know perfectly well these abuses won’t be committed against them.

  2. Curious that Bruce Ohr didn’t claim the spousal privilege when he testified before congress, but his wife did.

    This week’s news is that Mr. Ohr’s deliveries to the FBI came with a caveat. Congress already knew that Mr. Ohr had been aware of Mr. Steele’s political biases. In notes Mr. Ohr took of a September 2016 conversation with Mr. Steele, he wrote that the dossier author “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” Congressional sources tell me that Mr. Ohr revealed Tuesday that he verbally warned the FBI that its source had a credibility problem, alerting the bureau to Mr. Steele’s leanings and motives. He also informed the bureau that Mrs. Ohr was working for Fusion and contributing to the dossier project.

    1. OLLY – it is my understanding, and everybody can correct me if I am wrong, but the privilege lies with her against him. However, it does not protect her actions individually.

      1. Paul,
        Isn’t the spousal privilege to protect either spouse from incriminating each other based on what they know only as a result of their marriage? Not to be used to protect the spouse from incriminating the other on what they know through work experience.

        1. Olly – You’re correct. Either spouse, or both, can claim the marital privilege. I suspect that Bruce Ohr isn’t invoking it because as a federal employee he is required to cooperate in any federal investigation.

    1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me nineteen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – only in your fevered dreams. 🙂

  3. OT: Haven’t seen much on the blawg about our favorite “creepy porn lawyer,” Michael Avenatti, but here’s an expose’ worth reading. Owing millions in back taxes for two businesses and refusing to turn over income records to his wife in their divorce proceeding despite his extravagant lifestyle, we’re just now getting a glimpse at his feet of clay. Predictable.
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/michael-avenatti-lived-the-high-life-while-owing-millions-to-irs

          1. https://twitter.com/michaelavenatti/status/989110054921129984?lang=en

            5,515 replies 3,608 retweets 13,604 likes
            Reply 5.5K Retweet 3.6K Like 14K

            Michael Avenatti

            Verified account

            @MichaelAvenatti
            Follow Follow @MichaelAvenatti

            Replying to @seanhannity

            BTW, I’ve known A LOT about FISA for 22 years, long before people were talking about it on cable TV. Taught by one of the leading experts in the world – @JonathanTurley, whom I assisted on cases. Go to https://jonathanturley.org/2018/04/18/turley-and-avenatti-to-appear-at-gw-event/ … …. So I’m happy to discuss FISA issues on the show.

    1. i read that. interesting. potentially fraudulent involuntary bk filing triggered by questionable creditor! COLLUSION!

  4. The overall religion of the New World Order is the Law. However, as with most transitions that happen successfully and that endure; it is an evolution and not a revolution. US Law is based, in large part, on English Common Law, which is derived from efforts spanning thousands of years. Ultimately truth and common sense provide the foundation for any legal system.

    Law, to be omnipotent, given mankind’s transient nature, must have immovable elements such as: not being tried twice for the same crime, not being forced to answer if one feels it will act against one’s self, and spousal privilege among others. Lawyer client privilege, spousal privilege, and other privileges are designed after the privilege of confession in the Catholic and other religions. These elements that apply to all in all instances create that part of the religion that is permanent and all encompassing. They are above and beyond the transitory nature of mankind, even though they were created by mankind. They represent a god to some degree.

    This is where responsibility and good governance enters the picture, or not. When Rick Scott took the fifth, more than two dozen times, avoiding telling the truth about his involvement in the $250mil fraud performed over years by the company he created and headed, he literally got away with the mega theft of taxpayers dollars. Rick Scott created the largest health care insurance company in the US. He ran the company for a number of years until coming to odds with the board of directors and taking a golden parachute of over $350mil in lieu of his shares. Shortly after he left, the fraud was discovered by government investigators and the company he designed was fined hundreds of millions of dollars. Then Scott went on to use a hundred mil or so to buy the Governorship of Florida, twice, and is now making a move on the Senate in Washington. One must ask one’s self; what would have happened if Scott was compelled to answer those two dozen or so questions?

    As with Rick Scott’s taking the fifth and not being forced to incriminate himself, or tell the truth, by answering questions relating to his part in this fraud, The Ohr’s claiming of spousal privilege lies well beyond the original intentions of the laws. Given that these immutable conditions were created by this society it would follow that some decision making body of this society should be able to determine on a case by case basis whether or not they apply, especially when they are used for the wrong reasons as with the Ohr’s or when they protect such an obvious criminal from a crime that only he could have committed or at the very least been a part of. Just as religions can be perverse and work against the best interests of society; the law can move in a direction opposite to that for which it was created.

    1. Well stated but for the end. Neither Ohr is “obviously” a criminal.

      Indeed, it appears, at least to me, that the Kleptocrat-in-chief is attempting to make use of sycophants, including our own Jonathan Turley, to smear the Ohrs.

      But then, I had thought that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were pretty good guys. More fool me.

    2. laws are the rules the state dictates for imposition of force.
      they can never be OMNIPOTENT– your word not mine
      Only very creepy people want the state to be OMNIPOTENT
      the state is not God

      maybe you would like to clarify your meaning isaac

  5. Paul C Schulte, if indeed there has been “no personality change” then I feel very sorry for your former students.

    1. To be completely clear, I assess PCS as lacking some mental function. As I have repeatedly stated, he ought to visit with a mental health professional. Especially if he feels he is under no obligation to behave ethically.

      1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – whose ethical threshold are we upholding? Yours or mine. I always follow my ethical standards.

          1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me nineteen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – citation, please.

            BTW, one more and you make God Emperor.

  6. It seems that we are not done with the silliness. PCS claims a minor in behavioral psychology and is unethically attempting to “drive me crazy”. Furthermore, he states that his doctor thinks it is funny.

    I took Psychobiology from Roger Sperry. My TA was Michael Gazzeniga. If you care to, look up the names. I subsequently had further instruction regarding neurons. In addition, I knew several members of the psychology faculty here.

    The behavior of PCS is not normal. He needs attention from a professional who can recognize that.

    In the nonce, PCS might care to introspect just how far his behavior deviates from that prescribed in the Book of Matthew.

    But he won’t. Those in need of mental health counseling rarely recognize the need in themselves.

    1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you have several logic problems. I do not belong to any group that requires that I follow an ethical mode of behavior. I have no need to be adherent to Matthew since I am agnostic. And you do have another choice. Give me my citations!!!!

      I have to ask. Are the people you listed the ones who told you never to cite anything?

      1. But yet you insist on St. Augistine’s primal cause? My goodness, what inconsistent thoughts!

        No, you can look up who those luminaries were. I merely learned the beginning of brain function, a topic that I have attempted to stay abreast of. Called neuroscience these days.

        1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – let me add to your education. There are two types of agnostics. 1) the type most people think of: I don’t believe in God, but I don’t disbelieve in God and 2) the type I belong to: There is a God, however it is not a daily guiding force in our lives.

          Now, you might have learned something new there.

          1. Neither is the usual definition of agnostic.

            The first is atheist.

            The second is a form of theism.

            Agnosticism refers to the irrelevancy of such beliefs.

            1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me eighteen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. citation, please.

                1. DBB:

                  “Neither is the usual definition of agnostic.

                  The first is atheist.

                  The second is a form of theism.

                  Agnosticism refers to the irrelevancy of such beliefs.”

                  **************************

                  I did (even though I didn’t have to) and you’re wrong as ever. Paul is a deist, not a theist. An atheist is the opposite of a theist and rejects all notions of God or gods. An agnostic believes that whether God exists is unknowable. And that is relevant to an agnostic. Arrogant ignorance is funny. You need better resources — like the OED!

              1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – God has never spoken to me and never will. And my God does not speak to people, so I am not disappointed.

                1. Excessive literalism. Whoever said that God “speaks” the way humans “speak”? They say that Jesus heard God as a voice in the wilderness. Do you think that Jesus heard an excessively literal voice of God?

                  1. They say that Jesus heard God as a voice in the wilderness.Do you think that Jesus heard an excessively literal voice of God?
                    *****************
                    Well, he actually talked to Satan who tempted him or so the story goes. Satan spoke plainly enough offering all those rubies and things.

                  1. “… but where is your heaven.”
                    ***************
                    A little cottage on Mobjack Bay in May. Clear day, sunny sky, slight breeze and the Rock Fish biting. Bald eagles gliding and glossy ibis diving.

    2. DBB:
      “It seems that we are not done with the silliness. PCS claims a minor in behavioral psychology and is unethically attempting to “drive me crazy”.
      ***********
      It’s a short trip.

      1. I must disagree; I find that the attempts by PCS to drive Benson crazy are completely ethical, and laudable.

      2. mespo – I do not want to drive him crazy, I want my citations. 😉 He eats with the students at WSU and seems to be stealing their lecture notes. He is already on the edge. However, I have patience and time. One more missing citation and he is promoted to God Emperor of Making Stuff Up. Maybe that has been his goal all along.

        1. Dr. Benson is concise to the point of being cryptic–like the story of “the writing on the wall.” It’s just not the same thing as making stuff up.

    3. David Benson, why do you continuously embarrass those academics that tried to teach you things you never could learn?

  7. If we are done, for the moment, with the silliness, I mention that Carl Zimmer’s new book describes a case in Washington state where the law failed to correctly treat what can happen. Despite witnessing the birth some fool intended to part the infant from the biological mother on the grounds of lack of genetic relatedness. Surely this fool was from Child Protective Services, a part of Washington state government that I have no respect for.

    Carl Zimmer explains how the lack of genetic relationship can occur; obviously it did. Fortunately the mother was able to secure the services of a competent lawyer. There can’t be many that understand heredity that well.

    By the way, I do hope that the law has been modified.

    1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – we are so glad you are up-to-date on popular science. God forbid you read a hard science book.

      1. “Principles of Planetary Climate” by Ray Pierrehumbert is considered to be an advanced undergraduate or first year graduate text. Far beyond your ken as you won’t even tackle Weart.

        Currently I am reading lecture notes in cosmology and astrophysics. The differential equations are more interesting.

        1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you stealing the student’s lecture note?

  8. Was anything pertinent ever posted besides Paul’s? I skipped all the Pinoy I don’t speak Filipino

  9. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – I know you have been trolling the WSU campus, so get some poor student to lead you to the library and at least take care of the OED citation. You are twenty weeks into this and still no citation. Now you owe me 17, count them 17, that right. One seven, seventeen citations. And it could have been a lot higher, I cut you some slack on many of your outrageous comments.

          1. You’re right. It is an insult to loons.

            He’s completely off his rocker.

            What adult would continue to post the citation stuff over and over and over and over again. He thinks it’s cute. What a wacko.

            1. I am moderately certain that he is missing part of his mind. As in a stroke or two.

              That happened to my father. He wasn’t the same.

              1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – nice try David. I did have two strokes, I am very open about it. My limitations are physical, not mental. Mentally, I am just as sharp as I was. And I keep adding to my education with hard classes, not popular science. I took the MMPI-2 a couple of years ago prior to surgery and no one suggested any treatment or medication. In fact, they were rather impressed with my Wechsler scores considering my age. They were concerned about loss of IQ or personality change after prolonged use of anesthesia which is a problem for people over 65. I decided not to have the surgery.

            2. Anonymous – for those who follow the Benson thread, my preface is a running clock on how many citations he owes me and how many weeks he has been owing me. The citation number(s) change when a new citation(s) is/are asked for and a new week is added every Monday. I have a minor in behavioral psychology, so this will either drive him crazy or cause him give me the citations. BTW, my family doctor thought it was rather funny (ha ha not peculiar).

                1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – if you get to twenty citations I will make you God Emperor of Making Stuff Up, does that make you feel better? And you owe me because you continually complain other people are Making Stuff Up.

          2. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you are up, the library is open. Go get me my citations. Do something productive with your life.

              1. “Sharp as a tack”

                YNOT, I don’t know what to say except thank you even if you don’t know what the idiom means.

                “sharp as a tack” definition: Intelligent and a quick-thinker.

        1. Anonymous – for an NPC they seem to have give you some extra script. BTW, this is JT’s sandbox, I just get to play in as long as he lets me. I do think he should cut the NPCs out of the sandbox though.

        2. In his mind, he runs this blog. He’s a loon.

          Clarification:

          In his mind, he’s the chief of the comments section.

          1. commented – I am not sure how I can be the chief of the comments section, NPC. That is Darren’s job. I do not have that kind of power.

            1. No, but you think you can order me around.

              That is a sign that some mental health counseling is advisable.

              1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twenty weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – yep, I do order you around. However, you do not follow my directions (orders) so what good does it do? Except to make others realize who you are.

    1. Obviously not, however, there is a lot of evidence that the Clinton’s are. Check it out and look at their bankbooks and the Clinton Foundation. Also check her silverware drawer.

  10. Professor Turley:

    The attorney client privilege can be breached if the two engage a criminal conspiracy. Would not a criminal conspiracy also be valid grounds to deny spousal privilege?

        1. Spousal privilege has to do mostly with things said between married partners. Actions are a different thing. If the spouse saw the other spouse commit a murder I don’t think spousal privilege would apply. Let’s say words not deeds and even there I don’t believe the boundary lines are clear. I believe documents were sent in the comission of a potential crime. I don’t think that would be covered but others may disagree.

          We need competent lawyers to add their opinions. I know we have one, Mespo but it might be a question he would not like to answer for legitimate reasons.

  11. OHR IS A LEADING EXPERT..

    ON RUSSIAN ORGANIZED CRIME

    FOR THAT REASON TRUMP AND TURLEY WANT TO SILENCE OHR

    Trump seeks to rid the Justice Department of anyone with expertise on Russian organized crime. The problem is these experts run afoul of Russian billionaires connected to Putin. For that reason conservatives have targeted Bruce Ohr. They want to discredit Ohr as a tool of the Clintons.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/27/us/politics/bruce-ohr-trump-justice-department.html

    1. NELLIE OHR, WHO WAS WORKING FOR FUSION GPS, IS “SILENCED” OF HER OWN ACCORD.
      I DON’T KNOW WHAT BRUCE OHR HAS TESTIFIED TO UP UNTIL NOW, BUT IT IS INTERESTING THAT AS A DOJ LAWYER: A. HIS WIFE WORKED FOR THE FIRM THAT COMMISSIONED THE CAMPAIGN OPPOSITION RESEARCH PRODUCT, AKA “THE RUSSIAN DOSSIER” AND B. THAT HE MAINTAINED CONTACT WITH THE THE AUTHOR OF THE DOSSIER AFTER THE FBI SEVERED TIES WITH THE AUTHOR, CHRISTOPHER STEELE.
      THE IMPLICATION THAT BRUCE OR NELLIE OHR HAVE BEEN “SILENCED” IS RIDICULOUS.
      WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE THAT WE WAS “SILENCED” AS “A LEADING EXPERT ON ORGANIZED CRIME”, AS IF HE AND HE ALONE WAS THE ONLY EXPERT IN THAT AREA.
      I NORMALLY DO NOT USE ALL CAPS, BUT I WILL OCCASIONALLY MAKE EXECPTIONS TO COUNTER THE SHEAR POWER 😏😊😂OF HHNN BOLD PRINT “NEWS”.

        1. TELL THAT TO THE HHNN ALL-CAPS NEWS EDITOR THAT ROUTINELY APPEARS HERE, DAVID.
          INTERESTING THAT I HAVE NEVER SEEN YOU POINT THAT OUT BEFORE, WHEN THAT ONE CONTRIBUTOR CONSTANTLY USES ALL-CAPS.

        2. Sure, David, like you “ignore”😏 the ALL CAPS HHNN constantly posted here.
          Strange thay you never mentioned hazard of all-caps ” being the ignored” until now.
          Great timing and selectivity😂 on your part to bring it up now.

          1. DAVID BENSON OWES PAUL C. SCHULTE MULTIPLE CITATIONS, AND CONTINUES TO RENEGE ON THAT DEBT HE OWES TO SCHULTE.

                1. I agree Tom, but David can’t provide any sources to back himself up in those circumstances because David was making things up.

            1. Another profound, courageous, and anonymous post and diagnosis from the anonymous linker.
              “Anonymous”
              is a wise choice you made as a username.

        3. David, you are correct. Even using caps too frequently makes one want to ignore people except when they are so laughably stupid.

    2. Any chance of translating that into standard US English with sources. The one you mentioned is not acceptable.

    3. PH said, “They want to discredit Ohr as a tool of the Clintons.”

      That’s one possibility, Mr. Hill. Another possibility is that Grassley is cooking up yet another conspiracy theory that might connect Clinton to Oleg Deripaska by way of Christopher Steele. You see, Steele asked Ohr to assist Deripaska at acquiring a visa to visit the US for the sake of cooperating with the FBI’s Russia investigation. Ohr refused to assist Deripaska. And Deripaska never got his US visa. But the request from Steele implies that Deripaska may have known that Steele was compiling the Trump-Russia dossier. Grassley is hoping to use that prospective information against Clinton as a false equivalency for whatever allegations Mueller brings against the Trump campaign.

      But what really needs to be investigated is whether or not Deripaska told Putin, or The Kremlin, or Paul Manafort that Steele was compiling the Trump Russia dossier. While there are any number of other ways that The Russians could have found out about Steele’s work on the dossier, the route through Deripaska is the one for which there is some evidence already available. If The Russians planted disinformation in Steele’s Trump-Russia dossier, that disinformation could have been used to discredit the dossier, discredit the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s efforts to cultivate members of the Trump campaign and, depending upon the timeline, planted disinformation also could have misled the Clinton campaign and The DNC into thinking that Russia’s hacking capabilities were as poor as Steele said they were in the dossier.

      P. S. Manafort knows the answers to those questions. And that means that Mueller now knows the answers to those questions, too.

      1. conspiracy theory: a term used to discredit allegations of conspiracy whether they are well formed or not

        almost always comes out of the mouth of a propagandist

        such as when the CIA directed its assets to “discredit” JFK alternative hypotheses as “conspiracy theories”

        https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=53510#relPageId=2

        conspiracy:
        a criminal plan that is alleged by the state

        conspiracy theory:
        a criminal plan alleged by nonstate interlocutors, that the state doesnt like

    4. Trump seeks to rid the Justice Department of anyone with expertise on Russian organized crime.

      LOL! He’d better hurry up then because he’ll have at most 8 years to accomplish that goal.

      Of course the best way for Steele and the Ohr’s to prove themselves innocent of any wrongdoing would be full cooperation with the investigation. Pleading the fifth and claiming the spousal privilege undercuts any notion they aren’t complicit in an organized crime of their own.

      1. The Joint Committee of The Senate Judiciary and The House Oversight Committees is trying to find out what Mueller has already learnt from Manafort–namely, whether Oleg Deripaska found out about Steele’s work compiling the Trump-Russia dossier from Christopher Steele, himself. If that is what happened, then Mueller already knows that from Manafort. If that is not what happened, then Mueller already knows that from Manafort, instead. The Joint Committee wants to know which of those two possibilities is the actual case so that they can design a more plausible conspiracy theory to counter the Mueller investigation than the conspiracy theories that they’ve cooked up thus far.

        The whole thing is coming down to nut-crunching time and Congressional Republicans are still in the dark about most of it. (And, yes, so am I still in the dark about most of it. But I’m not allowed to know anything about it that hasn’t already been reported in the press.) Anyway, if Republicans lose their Majority in The House before they’ve put the finishing touches on their last best conspiracy theory, then they might not be able to run interference for Trump after that. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

        1. If Mueller doesn’t know, then Manafort may or may not know what Mueller may not know.
          “If that is what happened”, we may or may not ever know what Manafort, Mueller, Steele, Deripaska, or even L4B knows or does not know.
          For the sake of variety and probably for the sake of accuracy, “Tick tock, tick tock” can be replaced with “Ding dong, ding dong” when untangling L4B’s webs.
          “If the Russians planted disinformation in Steele’s Trump-Russia dossier, that disinformation could have been used to discredit” Trump, not to discredit the dossier.
          The dossier was, after all, a product of opposition research using 2nd and 3rd hand information from foreign sources.
          For another possibilty, you can try to follow the last sentence of L4B’s 8:47 AM post.
          ( the last sentence before the “PS”).

          1. For another possibilty, you can try to follow the last sentence of L4B’s 8:47 AM post.

            Unpacking her posts are similar to rummaging through a hoarder’s home for something of value. The cost doesn’t outweigh the benefit. The Dollar Store would be a better use of my time. I’ll pass.

            1. Olly, for sheer entertainment value, I still find myself reading some of her posts.
              I got a kick out of the late Prof. Corey, and her imitation of his style is one of the best I’ve seen.

              1. Steele vastly underrated the Russian hacking capabilities. His memos on that topic may very well have misled the DNC and the Clinton campaign into a false sense of security that cost them dearly. If Steele told Deripaska that he was compiling the Trump-Russia dossier, then Steele has no excuse for whatever disinformation the Russians may have planted in the dossier. Likewise, if Deripaska knew what Steele was up to, then Manafort knew what Steele was up to. And if Manafort knew what Steele was up to, then Mueller knows now whatever Manafort knew then.

          2. The Great Garbler from Bournemouth said, “Ding dong, ding dong . . . If the Russians planted disinformation in Steele’s Trump-Russia dossier, that disinformation could have been used to discredit Trump, not to discredit the dossier.”

            Listen to what you’re suggesting, Great Garbler: First Russia gets Trump elected. Second Russia discredits Trump with disinformation they had planted in the dossier at the same time that they were hacking and leaking the DNC, DCCC and Podesta emails for the sake of getting Trump elected, because . . . Russia really couldn’t care less about sanctions relief from Trump by way of Flynn, Kushner, Nader and Prince.

            You know, when you were a lad following the bouncing ball from syllable to syllable during a sing-along at the old-timey movie theatres, you always had to wait for the next line in the lyrics to pop up on the silver screen. By the time that happened, you had probably forgotten the first line in the little ditty about, you know, sanctions relief for Russia from, you know, Trump–they guy they got elected with their hack and leak and social-media trolling campaign.

            And that’s why merely following the bouncing ball will never untangle the web the Russians and the Trump campaign wove in 2016, Ding Dong Garbler.

            1. Thanks for that “clarification”.
              Listen to what you’re suggesting, Irwina.
              And think about what you repeatedly ignore when dodging issues related to Christopher Steele and his British-Russian opposition research project targeting Trump.
              Steele had a strong built-in bias against Trump.
              I don’t know if that bias was as visceral as the bias of Strzok, Page, and others.
              But as a far-left wing British businessman and political operative, hired to do foreign opposition research on a candidate he detests, Steele is not inclined to write a positive report on Trump.
              His “contacts”, in turn, know what Steele wants to hear.
              The “contacts”, in turn, get information from their “sources”, so the loop is completed when the sources talk to the contacts who report to Steele who is hired by Fusion GPS via Perkins-Coie and the DNC to get Russian op. research on Trump.
              You happily speculate that Russians may have intentionally planted “disinformation” in for Steele’s dossier, and flatly refuse to consider the real possibilty that the bulk of the dossier is disinformation, because of the incentives of the players involved.
              And because of the incentives and objectives of their financial financial backers.
              I’ve mentioned some other factors that raise questions about the Steele Dossier.
              In the interest of conserving time to plow through one of your 50-100 word tortured sentences that you’re likely to plaster here in reply, I won’t review those other factors at this point.

              1. So the Russians had no interest in getting Trump elected?

                Nor do the Russians have any care in the world for sanctions relief from Trump, Flynn, Kushner, Nader and Prince?

                Did Steele have anything to do with Papadopoulos–about whom Steele filed not one single report?

                And how about that Trump Tower meeting? Is Rob Goldstone one Steele’s “contacts”?

                Maybe you’re still missing the song on account of following the bouncing ball.

                1. So all of the players involved in the Steele Dossier had no interest in seeing Trump defeated?
                  Also, would you now like to recycle the lie you posted a few months ago; i.e., that the attendees of the Trump Tower meeting admitted, IN CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY, to openly negotiating exchanging sanctions relief for Russian dirt on Hillary?
                  Inventing Congressional testimony that does not exist may seem like a handy tool, if you can get away with it.
                  But it ultimately does not help your case, or your credibility.

                  1. That the attendees of the Trump Tower meeting denied having reached an agreement on sanctions relief in exchange for thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton in no way whatsoever falsifies the fact that they admitted entering into a negotiation for sanctions relief in exchange for thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.

                    BTW, it doesn’t matter worth a hill of beans which emails the Trump campaign thought The Russians had–let alone which emails The Russians actually had. All that matters is that the Trump campaign thought the Russians had thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.

                    1. “All that matters is that the Trump campaign thought the Russians had thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.”

                      All that matters is that Hillary produced those emails on unsecured computer systems and those emails went all over the place including to Anthony Weiners computer. Trump joked about those emails, but Hillary against government policy and the desires of Congress disposed of the emails. Then she illegally wiped her computer clean. She lied. She lied again and again.

                      In the end the Secretary of State compromised the security of America by using an unsecure computer to handle top secret information. She should be in jail, but the dummies of the left of which Diane belongs keep trying to blame everyone else.

                      Trump is President. He has done a fantastic job to date. Live with it.

                    2. The Village Idiot said, “All that matters is that Hillary produced those emails on unsecured computer systems and those emails went all over the place . . .”

                      Those are not the emails that Russia hacked nor the emails that Wikileaks released. Those may be the emails that the Trump campaign thought the Russians had. But they are still not the emails that the Russians had nor the emails that Wikileaks released. Consequently, those emails are not an alibi for the Trump campaign.

                      Trump needs an actual legal defense–STAT. Asserting that the Russians hacked and leaked the wrong emails is not an actual legal defense. Admitting that the Trump campaign negotiated with Russia for the wrong emails undermines the claim that the Trump campaign did not conspire with Russia to defraud the United States.

                    3. There is NO “Congessional testimony” in which the attendees of the Trump admitted to “entering into a negotiation for sanction relief in exchange for thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton”.
                      NONE.
                      We’ve been through all of this before; that fact that you believe that those negoiations may have occured is not justification for lying about Congressional testimony.
                      You keep doubling down on your original lie from June 2018.
                      Peddling that same lie does not make it any truer.

                    4. The Other Village Idiot said, “There is NO “Congessional testimony” in which the attendees of the Trump admitted to “entering into a negotiation for sanction relief in exchange for thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton”.”

                      Paul Manafort never testified before Congress. He has testified to the grand jury. Jared Kushner was allowed to submit written statements to Congress, but never appeared to answer questions in person on cross examination. Jared Kushner has not testified to the grand jury, either. Congressional testimony is the least of the problems facing the Trump campaign. Grand jury testimony and grand jury evidence is the number one problem facing the Trump campaign. There are emails, text messages and other communications that will show what the Republican Congress refused to investigate. Mueller can and will make his case-in-chief for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States against the Trump campaign. That is no lie. Time to come up with a defense for the Trump campaign–STAT.

                    5. Diane, are you stupid? I didn’t label the emails as to who had them or when. I only mentioned emails some of which were supposed to be classified and those emails went to computers they should not have been on. Anthony Weiner’s computer was one of those computers.

                      I did not use the emails as an alibi for Trump. Firstly, your accusations against Trump have been demonstrated to be wrong so he needed no alibi. Secondly, your conclusion, “Admitting that the Trump campaign negotiated with Russia for the wrong emails” is idiotic. There is no proof that Trump negotiated with Russia for any emails and obtaining them from Russia would not be a crime.

                      I guess every blog is entitled to have a lunatic or two. You clearly fulfill the lunatic role. Congratulations.

                  2. Tom, Diane has no credibility. She has been inventing things since the day I came on this list and I don’t think she will ever stop. She mixes a bit of truth with fiction and reaches a conclusion that she then uses as fact. I applaud you for being able to deal with such drivel.

                    1. Mueller can and will prove that Russia hacked the DNC, DCCC and Podesta emails. Mueller can and will prove that Russia disseminated those emails through Wikileaks. Mueller can and will prove that the Trump campaign negotiated with Russia for the dissemination of thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton. Mueller can and will prove that the Trump campaign entered into an agreement with Russia to disseminate thousands of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.

                      If the Trump campaign asserts that the emails that Russia hacked and Wikileaks released are not the emails for which the Trump campaign had negotiated and entered into an agreement with Russia to disseminate, then the Trump campaign will incriminate itself on the charge of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States that Mueller will bring against the Trump campaign.

                      If you really want to do Trump a yuge favor, then invent an actual legal defense other than “not those emails; these emails”.

                    2. This is a damn waste of time. Diane/Irwina claims that the attendees of the Trump Tower meeting admitted, in testimony to Congress, that they negotiated sanctions relief in exchange for the emails damaging to Hillary Clinton.
                      She repeatedly doubles down on that claim about non-existent Congressional testimony.
                      Now she claims that Mueller can prove that those negotiations took place at the Trump Tower meeting.
                      If the attendees had already admitted to doing so in Congressional testimony, proof that those negotiations occured would already be in the Congressional Record.
                      Now, she “explains” why there is NO Congessional testimony of that nature, if that somehow squares with her previous repeated lies about the non-existent Cong. testimony.
                      It is unknown what Mueller ultimately be able to prove, or unable to prove; most of us lack the pipeline into the Office of Special Counsel that Diane/ Irwina seems to have.
                      I do know that manufacturing Congressional testimony out of thin air is not likely to prove anything.
                      This moving of the goalpost by Diane/ Irwina, and her duplicitous evasiveness and lieing is why any real exchange with her is virtually impossible.

                    3. Tom, Diane was schooled, but not educated. She has no concept as to how things should be analyzed. Maybe she was a liberal arts teacher or something of that nature where one could use feelings rather than data without having to face the consequences of poor judgement.

                    4. This moving of the goalpost by Diane/ Irwina, and her duplicitous evasiveness and lieing is why any real exchange with her is virtually impossible.

                      I was advised by Nick 7 years ago that trying to have a rational debate with Annie/Inga/Diane and now L4D was a complete waste of time. JT booted her from the blog after she crossed the line. Nick has the details on that.

                      Anyway, she’s been doing this a long time. She may change her nom de plume, but she’s stuck with whatever is rummaging around in that head of hers.

                    5. “JT booted her from the blog after she crossed the line. Nick has the details on that.”

                      Olly, I think as election day draws nearer Diane is becoming more crazy.

                    6. Olly, I think as election day draws nearer Diane is becoming more crazy.

                      Then election day is always drawing near.

                    7. With the exceptions of Manafort and Kushner, the other attendees of the Trump Tower meeting testified to Congress that they did not reach an agreement on sanctions relief for Russia in exchange for “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, because the “dirt” that the Russians offered at the Trump Tower meeting was not the “dirt” that the Trump campaign had been expecting.

                      The absence of an agreement reached between The Russians and the Trump campaign at the Trump Tower meeting does not negate the fact of the negotiation between The Russians and the Trump campaign at the Trump Tower meeting–no matter how much Tom Nash persists to the contrary.

                      Eventually you’ll all realize that the complaint against The Russians for their bait-and-switch tactic at the Trump Tower meeting is not an adequate defense against a charge of Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. Till then, keep on scratching those heads of yours whilst denying what’s hidden in plain sight as though it were a lie told by L4D rather than a lie told by Trump.

                    8. “With the exceptions of Manafort and Kushner,”

                      Diane, you put bits and pieces together and then draw an unfounded conclusion in almost everything you write. I don’t even bother reading most of your stuff because it makes little sense despite how much space it occupies.

                      I think reading Looney Tunes comic strips would be a better use of everyone’s time.

                    9. Diane writes: “Mueller can and will prove that Russia hacked the DNC, DCCC and Podesta emails.”

                      I don’t think that Russia hacked Hillary Clintons emails. I don’t know who if anyone hacked any of the others. They might not even have been hacked. There are other ways to steal such information. Podesta left the door open for a 3 year old to look at his files. Memembers of the DNC used people that were Pakistani and we all know what happened with Awan. That tells us how much concern the DNC has for security.

                      I expect a name change for Diane / Late 4 as soon as the Mueller report comes out.

                      Diane the more you talk the dumber you sound. However, that has its advantages. It makes some of the low knowledge lefties on this blog look more intelligent.

    5. What a dummy we have in Peter. It is quite obvious the Ohr’s were never silenced and in fact seem to have illegally conspired to push information that wasn’t true. This is quite clear except those that need to read Political Intrigue for Dummies volume 1.

      1. Given any person whosever reflexively knuckles under to the thoroughly risible Saudi explanation for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi without doing any critical thinking whatsoever on the issue, it follows that that dumb-as-dirt simpleton, Allanucklehead, forfeits the privilege of calling anyone else a dummy.

        1. Diane, you are a dummy. Your assumptions about what I believe are of your own creation. You are unable to read the written word and understand it as stated. But, most of us know that. We watch you daily spinning tales that are neither true nor do they make sense.

          1. My “assumption” is that you argue whatever serves Trump’s interests as you perceive them in the heat of the moment. I assume nothing whatsoever about what you actually believe–including, especially, whether you even hold actual beliefs in the first place. Who knows? And, far more to the point, who cares? You’ll argue anything to serve Trump–anything at all.

            The fifteen Saudi intelligence operatives who assassinated Khashoggi were only trying to kidnap him, instead. But Khashoggi fought back against all fifteen of his kidnappers who thereby had no choice but to kill Khashoggi in fifteen-man-against-one-man self-defense. Trump now says that they had a flawed concept that was poorly executed and therefore a botched operation. Poorly executed? They did precisely and exactly just what they had been sent to do. Bone saw and all. Where’s the body, Simpleton? Botched operation means they got caught. Flawed concept means, they had no reason to think that they were going to get away with it.

            Let’s hear your dumb-as-dirt argument in defense of Trump’s interests now that the heat of the moment has dissipated.

                1. Sure it is. You see, what Trump’s getting at is that, if it hadn’t been for those two whack-job Jims–Woolsey and Comey–then, when the time came, General Flynn and Son could have kidnapped Khashoggi and ex-filtrated him back to Saudi Arabia without the very bad original concept that MBS had and that was carried out so poorly that it led to one of the worst cover-ups in history.

                  But whack-job Woolsey ratted good-guy Flynn out to whack-job Comey who started investigating good-guy Flynn for all sorts of things other than the Turkish plan to pay Flynn and Son to kidnap Gulen; such that, Flynn then lied to The Vice-President and to The FBI; such that, Trump had to fire Flynn despite the fact that he’s a good guy and whack-job Comey should’ve let Flynn go.

            1. The Wallower In Chief in his own words excerpted from the article linked above:

              “They had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly, and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups,” Mr. Trump said to reporters in the Oval Office.

                  1. Dynastic strife in Saudi Arabia?
                    Sectarian strife in Yemen?
                    Who’d’ve thunk it?

                    She who always pays attention, anonymous. That’s who did think it.

              1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

                In late October, Jared Kushner made an unannounced trip to Riyadh, catching some intelligence officials off guard. “The two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, swapping stories and planning strategy,” the Washington Post’s David Ignatius reported at the time.

                What exactly Kushner and the Saudi royal talked about in Riyadh may be known only to them, but after the meeting, Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families since the crackdown. Kushner, through his attorney’s spokesperson, denies having done so.

                “Some questions by the media are so obviously false and ridiculous that they merit no response. This is one. The Intercept should know better,” said Peter Mirijanian, a spokesperson for Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell.

              2. Also excerpted from the article linked above:

                On November 4, a week after Kushner returned to the U.S., the crown prince, known in official Washington by his initials MBS, launched what he called an anti-corruption crackdown. The Saudi government arrested dozens of members of the Saudi royal family and imprisoned them in the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, which was first reported in English by The Intercept. The Saudi figures named in the President’s Daily Brief were among those rounded up; at least one was reportedly tortured.

            2. What President of the United States whines like a little school girl about one of the worst cover-ups in history for the assassination conducted by one of his clients?

              Well, Trump does, obviously. But why? Could it be shall one suppose that MBS has dirt on both Kushner and Trump from Kushner’s own mouth? Or from the President’s Daily Briefing that Kushner was not cleared to read at the time that he read it? How should I know? All I know is the conventional wisdom that holds that it’s always the cover-up that gets you in the end.

                1. In his own words from the article linked above:

                  “I get along great with all of them; they buy apartments from me,” Trump said. “They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much!”

                2. Also in his own words from the article linked above:

                  “For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russia, for that matter),” Trump tweeted. “Any suggestion that I have is just more FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”

                    1. Anonymous, you are empty headed. That is why you can’t come up with a more original and better comment.

              1. Dems. Never care much about all the many civilian Yemenis slaughtered or starved by Saudis or the people getting beheaded there over the years. But let a single AMERICAN NEWSPAPER WRITING Saudi get his khaffiya wearing ugly head get harmed, and all hell breaks loose.

                You see that’s what its all about. the newspaper men don’t like this. it hits too close to home. has nothing to do with human rights or geopolitics at all. hence it is mostly an issue that the Turks should be on point to complain about not the US

            3. “My “assumption” is that you argue whatever serves Trump’s interests”

              Nope, I argue what I believe to be true and to date you have been wrong far more than right.

              Trump had nothing to do with the killing of Khassoghi so I don’t know what you are leading to. His problem at the present is dealing with the Saudi’s while not sacrificing American interests. Things are not yet totally clear and the turks haven’t released all their information. You jump and act before you have enough facts to analyze the problem. Right now Trump is walking a fine line waiting to see how the Saudi’s will handle the situation and what the complete facts are. Your type of actions don’t help solve problems. They only focus on one problem while creating a host of others. Even Obama would throw your ideas in the garbage where they belong.

              1. The True Believer said, “His [Trump’s] problem at the present is dealing with the Saudi’s while not sacrificing American interests. Right now Trump is walking a fine line waiting to see how the Saudi’s will handle the situation and what the complete facts are.”

                Trump can’t defend America’s interests without sacrificing his own interests. And The Saudis know that full well about Trump. Right now Trump doesn’t know if MBS will expose the compromising information that MBS has about Trump having sent Kushner to expose to MBS the names of Saudis disloyal to MBS that Kushner got from The President’s Daily Brief that Kushner was not cleared to read at the time that Kushner had his secret meeting with MBS right before MBS started arresting his political opponents for “corruption”. That Jamal Khashoggi had fled Saudi Arabia before MBS’ crackdown on disloyal Saudis does not necessarily let Kushner (nor Trump) off the hook for Khashoggi’s assassination. Trump is truly in crisis mode now. And Wednesday November 7th 2018 rapidly approaches.

                1. Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in September of 2017.
                  Kushner met secretly with MBS in October of 2017.
                  MBS began his crackdown on “corrupt” (read: disloyal) Saudis on November 4th, 2017.

                  1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – you are trying to connect A to F to H to make C. Your logic sucks.

                    1. Your logic sucks.

                      You’ve been here longer than I have; two of the constants of this blog’s Sybil is her weakness in logic and her propensity to out-post everyone. Don’t expect her to change anything but the name she posts under.

                    2. A) Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in September of 2017.
                      B) Kushner met secretly with MBS in October of 2017.
                      C) MBS began his crackdown on “corrupt” (read: disloyal) Saudis on November 4th, 2017.

                      How did Khashoggi know to get out of Saudi Arabia in September of 2017? Lucky guess? What if Khashoggi was exfiltrated? Let’s ask Spymaster Ubi Pablito.

                      Whoever in the world would have “exfiltrated” Khashoggi? And why would that “whoever” exfiltrate Khashoggi before Kushner’s secret meeting with MBS? And why would the MBS crackdown on disloyal Saudis begin after Kushner’s secret meeting with MBS? And how did the names of disloyal Saudis show up on the President’s Daily Brief before Kushner’s secret meeting with MBS?

                      And how did Khashoggi know to get out of Saudi Arabia almost two months before the MBS crackdown on disloyal Saudis began? The blawg hound know as George awaits Spymaster Ubi Pablito’s “logical” answers to such questions.

                      Extra credit question: Will Trump ever dare to defy Pompeo again?

                  1. Come and get me, you Coppers. I’m not going out alone.

                    What’s sauce for Crazy George is sauce for L4D. You want a prisoner swap? It’ll take a dozen more tin foil hat conventioneers besides just George to rid this blawg of L4D.

                    In the immortal words of FishWings: You ain’t seen nothing yet.

            1. “Paid to post by someone?”

              Anonymous, No way someone would pay anywhere near my going rate for something of this nature. I do this for free.

              Diane is a dummy and you are too. You are both quite similar in many respects so in the future when I call Diane a dummy assume I am calling you a dummy as well.

              1. The real “dummy” (“Allan”) is projecting.

                Laughing about his “going rate” — which can’t be much.

                1. You demonstrate how stupid you are with every comment. What have we learned from you? Absolutely nothing. The best you can do is copy what has been said by others or repeat what has already been said changing a couple of words.

                  To prove what I say is true or untrue just look at your previous comments.

                  1. Just as I see little to no value in your comments, Allan. You’re verbose and add little of value to this blog. And god only knows, you have to always have the last word. Go for it.

                    1. That is known as content, but to you a bunch of letters since you don’t seem to understand the printed word.

  12. Jonathan Turley, I disagree. Women’s lot is difficult enough without your position. For example, the Equal Rights Amendment did not pass. For another example, the wage/salary differential.

    How would this be treated in Scandinavian countries?

      1. David makes a succinct, valid point about womens’ legal and economic disadvantages in the U.S., in comparison to Northern European countries. And there is something clearly wrong with an adult who posts the same childish, repetitious taunts day after day after day. I figured it was senility or minor brain damage as the result of a stroke. In any case, I ignore it, but have wondered whether the petty back and forth snipes and bullying tend to drive people away from this blog. It is disrespectful to Professor Turley and doesn’t add anything. I understand that there may be some people who have nothing better to do than sit on this blog all day and lob childish insults. But those of of who have jobs and have limited free time, and who are seeking intelligent discourse find it disheartening to see what this blog has devolved to.

        1. Kevin Finnerty – if you follow my comments, I am always up for an intelligent discussion. And you misrepresent my taunts. BTW, David Benson has not backed up any of the comments he has made regarding women’s economic and legal situations in the US, especially compared to Northern Europe. Although, I have heard that Democratic Congress people pay their female staffers less than male staffers. Maybe that is where this pay differential is coming from. What do you think?

        2. Kevin Finnerty – I am subscribed on over 4200 threads. Pick one you like, address it to me and start and “intelligent conversation.” I am up for it. 😉

          1. Kevin has it right.

            His comment is spot-on — all of it — but especially this:

            “And there is something clearly wrong with an adult who posts the same childish, repetitious taunts day after day after day. I figured it was senility or minor brain damage as the result of a stroke. In any case, I ignore it, but have wondered whether the petty back and forth snipes and bullying tend to drive people away from this blog. It is disrespectful to Professor Turley and doesn’t add anything.”

            Paul writes: “I am subscribed on over 4200 threads.”

            SMH.

              1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

                The Franks discover Ganelon’s betrayal and keep him in chains until his trial, where Ganelon argues that his action was legitimate revenge, not treason. While the council of barons assembled to decide the traitor’s fate is initially swayed by this claim, partially out of fear of Ganelon’s friend Pinabel who threatens to fight anyone who judges Ganelon guilty, one man, Thierry, argues that because Roland was serving Charlemagne when Ganelon delivered his revenge on him, Ganelon’s action constitutes a betrayal.

                Pinabel challenges Thierry to trial by combat. By divine intervention, Thierry kills Pinabel. By this the Franks are convinced of Ganelon’s treason. Thus, he is torn apart by having four galloping horses tied one to each arm and leg and thirty of his relatives are hanged. Bramimonde converts to Christianity, her name changing to Juliana. While sleeping, Charlemagne is told by Gabriel to ride to help King Vivien and bemoans his life.

                1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – do you have the score? Maybe we can sing it together?

                    1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – poison gas was banned before WWI, however everyone used it. The British used more of it than anyone. Just because there is a treaty does not mean it cannot be broken. Remember what Hitler did to the Treaty of Versailles? Remember Chamber thought we were going to have “peace in our times”?

                      You could just be altruistic and agree not to sing to save the rest of the world the pain. BTW, I think it would be a sonic weapon, not a biological weapon.

                    2. As I’m sure you know, sonic weapons cause emesis in both human and non-human animals. When Pepper The Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog loses her lunch, that’s a biological weapon of mass destruction.

              2. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark

                Here is the plot of The Song of Roland, according to Wikipedia:

                The death of Roland at the Battle of Roncevaux, from an illuminated manuscript c.1455–1460.
                Charlemagne’s army is fighting the Muslims in Spain. They have been there for seven years, and the last city standing is Saragossa, held by the Muslim King Marsile. Threatened by the might of Charlemagne’s army of Franks, Marsile seeks advice from his wise man, Blancandrin, who councils him to conciliate the Emperor, offering to surrender and giving hostages. Accordingly, Marsile sends out messengers to Charlemagne, promising treasure and Marsile’s conversion to Christianity if the Franks will go back to France.

                Charlemagne and his men, tired of fighting, accept his peace offer and select a messenger to Marsile’s court. The protagonist Roland, Charlemagne’s nephew, nominates his stepfather Ganelon as messenger. Ganelon, who fears to be murdered by the enemy and accuses Roland of intending this, takes revenge by informing the Saracens of a way to ambush the rear guard of Charlemagne’s army, led by Roland, as the Franks re-enter France through the mountain passes.

                As Ganelon predicted, Roland leads the rear guard, with the wise and moderate Oliver and the fierce Archbishop Turpin. The Muslims ambush them at Roncesvalles and the Christians are overwhelmed. Oliver pleads with Roland to blow his horn to call for help, but Roland tells him that blowing his horn in the middle of the battle would be an act of cowardice. If Roland continues to refuse, Oliver will not let Roland see his sister again whom Roland loves the most. However, Archbishop Turpin intervenes and tells them that the battle will be fatal for all of them and so instructs Roland to blow his horn oliphant (the word is an old alternative to “elephant”, and was used to refer to a hunting horn made from an elephant tusk) to call for help from the Frankish army. The emperor hears the call on their way to France. Charlemagne and his noblemen gallop back even though Count Ganelon tries to trick them.

                The Franks fight well, but are outnumbered, until almost all Roland’s men are dead and he knows that Charlemagne’s army can no longer save them. Despite this, he blows his olifant to summon revenge, until his temples burst and he dies a martyr’s death. Angels take his soul to Paradise.

                When Charlemagne and his men reach the battlefield, they find the dead bodies of Roland’s men, who have been utterly annihilated. They pursue the Muslims into the river Ebro, where the Muslims drown. Meanwhile, Baligant, the powerful emir of Babylon, has arrived in Spain to help Marsile. His army encounters that of Charlemagne at Roncesvalles, where the Christians are burying and mourning their dead. Both sides fight valiantly. When Charlemagne kills Baligant, the Muslim army scatters and flees, leaving the Franks to conquer Saragossa. With Marsile’s wife Bramimonde, Queen of Saragossa, Charlemagne and his men ride back to Aix, their capital in France.

                The Franks discover Ganelon’s betrayal and keep him in chains until his trial, where Ganelon argues that his action was legitimate revenge, not treason. While the council of barons assembled to decide the traitor’s fate is initially swayed by this claim, partially out of fear of Ganelon’s friend Pinabel who threatens to fight anyone who judges Ganelon guilty, one man, Thierry, argues that because Roland was serving Charlemagne when Ganelon delivered his revenge on him, Ganelon’s action constitutes a betrayal.

                Pinabel challenges Thierry to trial by combat. By divine intervention, Thierry kills Pinabel. By this the Franks are convinced of Ganelon’s treason. Thus, he is torn apart by having four galloping horses tied one to each arm and leg and thirty of his relatives are hanged. Bramimonde converts to Christianity, her name changing to Juliana. While sleeping, Charlemagne is told by Gabriel to ride to help King Vivien and bemoans his life.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Song_of_Roland

                That would not have me on the swooning couch.

                1. A person who was really mean, nasty and dirty lowdown could easily exploit your inability to follow a thread for the sake of making good on Dr. Benson’s gibes about the deteriorating state of your mental health.

                  But who would ever stoop that low?

                  1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – I pick and choose what I am going to respond to. And I do that within a comment as well. For example, someone may have ten points but I only want to talk about one because that is the one I am interested in.

                    BTW, several NPCs would stoop that low. Do you want to join them? Do you want to became an NPC? However, NPCs do not bother me. You just have to get past them for the game to continue. You do have to deal with them, but you do not have to take them home to mom.

        3. David makes a succinct, valid point about womens’ legal and economic disadvantages in the U.S., in comparison to Northern European countries.

          No, he makes a stupid and invalid point. There aren’t any ‘legal and economic disadvantages’. Quite the contrary, if we’re talking about what’s stewed through the family court system.

    1. Jonathan Turley, I disagree. Women’s lot is difficult enough without your position. For example, the Equal Rights Amendment did not pass. For another example, the wage/salary differential.

      The relationship of the former to the problems in living experienced by American women is bupkis. As for the latter, it’s a function of lower working hours, more frequent entry and exit from the labor market, and occupational choice.

      1. A review of the employment law literature reveals that women often get paid less than men for the same work, especially in the professions. And men are more frequently promoted to management and to partnership positions. Now and then a woman will sue a major law or accounting firm, and we get to see the ugly details. But the King & Spaulding or Price Waterhouse cases are rare, because few women have the resources to fight a legal battle that could easily run into hundreds of thousands in legal fees. The EEOC has a massive backlog and cases are taking years to wind through the administrative system before ever seeing the inside of a courtroom. I commend the women who have the wherewithal to stick with this; they are doing a great service to themselves, their families and their country.

        1. “A review of the employment law literature reveals that women often get paid less than men for the same work,”

          Kevin, be careful as to the interpretation of such literature as one has to deal with all the variables not just the variables used to make such determinations. I’m not saying that any statistic or position is wrong. I am only saying that one has to account for all the variables and too many times the literature leaves out important variables that can change one’s conclusions.

          1. If you actually wanted to study labor market dynamics, you wouldn’t consult ’employment law literature’.

            1. That was Kevin’s remark that referred us to employment law. I think too many people forget the number of variables that determine the value of a person. In some cases we find differences that might be due to prejudices, but in general they are slight and create far less of a disparity than when government uses its heavy hand and intervenes.

              1. The variables that matter would be:

                1. Prevailing wages and salaries in a given industry

                2. The compensation package which induces them to apply

                3. The compensation they’ll agree to if it’s negotiated

                4. Disruptions in the company due to excess turnover, which is a function of working conditions but also compensation.

                5. The residue of efforts to reduce head count.

                And of course, 2, 3, and 4 reset 1 continually. KF fancies this whole process is artificially suppressing the compensation of females. Question: how many men work in HR at your employer (or most recent employer)? How about the previous employer? (In my case, none worked in HR at one company; there was one guy at the other, and I think he spent most of his time dealing with union stewards).

                1. If you are asking me those questions I have been self employed all my life so I chose employees based on what would lead to the best net profit for the businesses and what caused the least problems. Problems waste money even if not directly reflected in the balance sheet.

                  A major problem seen when hiring a woman is will she get pregnant and cause hardship on the business. If the person is easily replaceable that is not necessarily a big problem but if that person is one that is greatly needed and cannot be easily replaced then one might take the sex of a woman into account when hiring for that position. An educated woman that has children will very often earn less than the man of the same age and training. That man will frequently have had many more hours of work and experience than the woman which should lead to a higher salary.

                  This aspect of child rearing causes females to chose fields where absence from work doesn’t hinder their performance. In a field that changes daily a woman who took a couple of years off might not ever be able to return to her original job.

        2. A review of the employment law literature

          Is irrelevant. That will tell you what cack-handed interventions innumerate lawyers have made into the function of labor markets. It doesn’t explain the origin of the phenomenon.

          Wages and salaries are a function of millions of small decisions about the marginal benefit of hiring an individual to an enterprise and about the marginal benefit to the worker of signing up with one employer over another. There isn’t some vast conspiracy to suppress the wages of women nor are you seeing a tsunami of enterprises formed by disgruntled-because-underpaid women nor are you seeing a tsunami of enterprises whose business model is prosperity through recruiting a mess of valuable female employees by splitting the difference between prevailing wages among female employees and the national means. Here’s a suggestion: women are paid less because they’ve acquired less in the way of salable skills and because they’re less likely to seek promotions because higher positions don’t as well into their life.

          1. That sounds like basic econ textbook theories of “perfect markets” which those of us who have worked in the real world know don’t exist, because market decisions are made by people, not computers. People hire those whom they feel comfortable with. Some manager in the hinterlands hires an assistant he feels comfortable working with, which is likely someone similar to himself. He’s not concerned about the “marginal efficiencies” of distant corporate headquarters, he is concerned about who he’s going to be working with day to day. And studies show that to the extent the wage differential between men and women is shrinking, it is because men are doing worse, not because women are doing better. As more men take gender neutral jobs like retail clerks and fast food, they will be paid the same as women. Econ is not a hard science, as much as it likes to pretend it is. Market decisions are made by humans, with all their biases and prejudices and imperfect understandings, and that has a huge impact on economic choices.

            1. It doesn’t require perfect markets, just decentralized markets which function.

              Your complaint is that employers are hiring people according to calculations and preference architecture that you wouldn’t use. Leave it to judges and liberal lawyers to fancy the world should revolve around their asses. My suggestion is that you run your office the way you see fit and leave other people alone. Of course, that takes away valuable psychic income from you, which is why you’d never advocate that.

              And, again, you’re not addressing the obvious hole in your argument: the lack or wage-arbitrage driven by women starting and running their own businesses and hiring those with whom they’re comfortable.

              And I’d suggest you have a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics data and the data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Men and women have very different preferences about what to study, what to train for, and how to earn a living, and how earning a living dovetails with the rest of life. It doesn’t matter how many supercilious remarks people like you marshal, it doesn’t matter how many dopey articles Gloria Steinem writes, engineering, information technology, the building trades, machine repair & c & c are not occupations that interest aught but a modest minority of women.

              And studies show that to the extent the wage differential between men and women is shrinking, it is because men are doing worse, not because women are doing better

              This is a nonsense statement. ‘Better’ or ‘worse’ are comparative terms.

              1. Thanks for taking the time to spell that out. I just think most of these kinds of initiatives are social pressure group money shakedowns dressed up in sociological trappings.

                More and more I find it useful to denounce them as pressure group shakedowns and not waste too much break trying to correct people. One can never out-educate the legions of university functionaries who miseducate and pump this garbage out but you do have a chance to quickly illuminate the money-grubbing dynamics behind it, with frank words.

                The whole lot of them are no better than angry women squeezing ex husbands for divorce money in the court system. When men as a group wake up and begin to see these social schemes in such blunt terms then maybe their testosterone impaired backbones will stiffen up faster.

              2. TTTP: There are numerous studies of women in law, all establishing pay inequalities The ABA, the Women in Law Institute, and a McKinsey study available at http://www.mckinsey.com (women-in-law-firms-final). Roughly 60% of American lawyers are women, but they comprise approx 15% of equity partners, and only 4% of managing partners at the top 200 law firms. McKinsey reports that the turn-over of women associates is LOWER than that of their male counterparts, yet despite 40 years of parity in male-female law school graduation rates, female attorneys are grossly under-represented as law firm partners. (Note that there is some disparity in the stats, as some studies count non-equity partners, raising the total of women law partners to 22%, which is still abysmal.

                As for engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education published a report on the 2014-2015 school year. Engineering bachelors degrees awarded to women were as follows: MIT 45.7%; Princeton 38.5%, Columbia 35.6%, Harvard, 35.4%, etc. I don’t know why they didn’t provide info for Berkeley and Cal Tech, but there you have it. Women averaged around 40%, and foreign students around 10%. So it cannot be credibly stated that women have little interest in engineering or computer science. The numbers clearly refute that assertion.

                1. Again, so what? You are beginning with the assumption that the two labor pools have the same dispositions and fancy descriptive statistics drive your point home.

                  I used to work at the fringes of the legal profession in my town. At the time,we had one big local firm, a cliff, and then a second tier with 4 local firms. The big firm is now somewhere in the pedigree of an international megafirm headquartered in Boston. It allocates about 15% of its manpower to the local offices and its local headcount might be the 3d largest in town. Of the other 4 firms, two have dissolved. Their places have been taken by a couple of other firms (one of them antique) which were rather obscure in 1990. There’s quite a bit of churn in the market for legal services. If these women are being shortchanged by the firms they work for, where are their start ups?

                  While we’re at it, the legal profession encompasses about 0.4% of the workforce and law firms account for maybe 1.5% of the gross output in this country.

                  Engineering bachelors degrees awarded to women were as follows: MIT 45.7%; Princeton 38.5%, Columbia 35.6%, Harvard, 35.4%,

                  So what? Nationally, women earn about 20% of all bachelor’s degrees in engineering, architecture, and engineering technologies and account for 16% of those working in those fields. In information technology and computer science, they earn about 17% of the bachelor’s degrees abut account for about 25% of the workforce. The female share of those getting bachelor’s degrees in computer science and IT saw it’s peak in 1984. For a hypothesis former, you could read Megan McArdle (who is childless and married late in life) on why she left IT as a field. It had nothing to do with ‘discrimination’.

                  1. DSS – I think WAMEN earn at least 97% of all degrees in Feminists and Gender Studies. Do we see a major problem here?

        3. another backlog of meritless nonsense from the female grievance industry

          foolishness, and only abject losers and castrati fawn over them for their phony complaints

        4. Kevin:

          “A review of the employment law literature reveals that women often get paid less than men for the same work, especially in the professions. ”
          **************
          No it doesn’t. Name one organization where a man gets paid more for the same job as a woman with similar seniority and working hours. The figures cited (77 cents on the dollar) have been rebutted thousands of times yet they are still repeated. If you want intelligent conversation, try starting one without tired, unreliable statistics. And you criticize the blawg? Yeesh.

          Here let me give you a primer so you can start an “intelligent” discussion about the mythical “pay gap”:

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/karinagness/2016/04/12/dont-buy-into-the-gender-pay-gap-myth/#7093741a2596

      2. its a nice thing to remember how this unfair initiative targeted at a systematic fleecing of men, failed democratically

        who besides an anti-male lackey of the female grievance industry, would consider such a good result from our system as a difficulty?

  13. My evidence instructor didn’t go into all that much detail about the spousal privilege. He didn’t indicate that it diminished the wife in any way. This is the first I’ve heard of that perspective. It was presented as a means of preserving the privacy and sanctity of the marriage, and not allowing the government to divide families by making one spouse testify against the other. Granted, my instructor was a Jesuit priest, as well as a lawyer, but he did have a point that a couple wasn’t likely to overcome the sense of betrayal of having one spouse testifying against the other, or revealing private communications made in the privacy of their home.

  14. Jonathan Turley, Washington, DC, has a population of 640,000. That is about the same as Portland, Oregon. Not a small town.

    Tch, tch.

    1. David, D.C. is divided into four quadrants. When people speak of Washington, in the sense of politics, power couples, government headquarters, and so forth, they’re really talking about the Northwest quadrant. The other quadrants are ghettos that have little to no involvement in the business of the federal government, other the crime that finds its way into the wealthier areas. The difference in real estate values is staggering. In NW, a tiny, 300 square foot condo can go for $300,000; in S.W., which is but a few miles away on the other side of the Anacostia River, a condo twice that size would go for $50,000.

Leave a Reply