Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the name that came up repeatedly in the Mueller hearings to the surprise of many viewers. The name is Joseph Mifsud and we still know little about him because Mueller, like so many others, refuses to discuss him. It is an example of how much of the origins of the Russian investigation remain largely walled off from public discussion.
More of such information arose this week after former Trump Adviser George Papadopoulos announced that he is heading back to Greece to retrieve $10,000 that “he suspects was dropped in his lap as part of an entrapment scheme by the CIA or FBI.” Once again, few people have heard of this money or the underlying allegation.
Here is the column:
Joseph Mifsud: The name of the generally unknown character in the Russia investigation came up, over and over, in the long-awaited House committee hearings with former special counsel Robert Mueller. Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio invoked the name as if it legally required the accompaniment of horror movie theme music; Mueller immediately snapped back that he would not discuss that man. Yet that did not deter Republicans. “Joseph Mifsud,” “Joseph Mifsud” — the mantra continued until the shadowy professor had emerged as the Keyser Söze of the Mueller hearings.
Söze was the mysterious figure in the film “The Usual Suspects.” Another of the film’s characters, “Verbal” Kint, explained to an FBI agent that Söze was a criminal mastermind who committed horrible acts and then disappeared: “Nobody has ever seen him since. He becomes a myth, a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night. Rat on your pop, and Keyser Söze will get you.”
Mifsud appears to be the story that Republicans tell their kids at night. However, it is a new story for most of us. Political analyst David Gergen acknowledged as much during CNN’s live coverage of hearings, saying that Republicans “presented things, frankly, we haven’t talked about much on CNN, aspects of this that are on the right but we don’t — you know — we haven’t visited because we don’t put much stock in a lot of what they’re arguing.”
Indeed, despite the nonstop coverage of the Russia investigation, most news shows have rarely “visited” the allegations linked to Mifsud. Certain subjects are rarely visited by CNN or other networks, at least not substantively. Media largely dismisses the fact that the Clinton campaign also solicited political dirt from foreign intelligence sources, including Russian intelligence, through investigator and British ex-spy Christopher Steele and the research firm Fusion GPS. Few programs mention that Glenn Simpson, a co-founder of Fusion GPS, had dinner with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya both the day before and the day after she met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.
Many figures are now household names, such as resigned Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. But not Mifsud, despite his central role as a catalyst of the original investigation. For Republicans, it is like what Kint said about Söze: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”
Two years ago, I wrote about Mifsud and his curious role in the unfolding scandal. He was variously described as a “Russian stooge,” a “KGB cutout” or an intelligence handler. Mifsud had worked as a “full-time professorial teaching fellow” at the University of Stirling in Scotland and was a professor at the London Academy of Diplomacy. He had a degree from the University of Malta and ran in diplomatic circles as a type of dealmaker for grants and conferences. He was said to be a fan and claimed acquaintance of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For Republicans, if there was a Garden of Eden in the Trump campaign, Mifsud was the snake. It was Mifsud who, in a 2016 meeting in London with then-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, suddenly broached the possibility that the Russians might have emails and dirt on Hillary Clinton. Notably, he had that meeting just after returning from Moscow and allegedly referred to “thousands of emails.” Papadopoulos later repeated what he had been told to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer in a London pub, and Downer reported that to the U.S. government.
Ultimately, Mueller concluded there was no evidence supporting a conspiracy theory against the Trump campaign, and he found no evidence that any Trump official knowingly worked with Russian hackers or trolls. Yet Mifsud appears to be there at the genesis. What remains a curiosity is that Mueller indicted various people for false statements. Most were relatively minor criminal cases in terms of sentencing, leading to a few weeks in jail for people like Papadopoulos. The Mueller report indicates Mifsud lied repeatedly to investigators on sensitive national security issues — and yet Mueller did not charge him with a single count. Cooperating witnesses were sentenced for lying but not Mifsud. Conversely, if Mifsud acted on behalf of U.S. officials to create the foundation for the Russia investigation, then that raises a host of other questions. For example, if Mifsud was an American agent (which he denies), why would he allegedly lie to the United States government?
As acknowledged by CNN’s Gergen, this is all very interesting — and it was not (as widely treated by the media) ridiculous for Republicans to raise with Mueller. The most credible point about Mifsud is that his relative anonymity in news coverage reflects a broader problem: There is a consistent effort to preserve a narrative that the Russians interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump. That was demonstrably true. However, it is not the only story. The Russians also had contacts and shared information with the Clinton campaign.
While Democrats have been highly emotive in demanding answers to the “full” story about Russian efforts, they have consistently opposed any effort to investigate such contacts within their own party or associates, dismissing that as a distraction. Likewise, documented anti-Trump bias by key players in the Russia investigation is treated as “unfortunate” or “not relevant.” There is every reason to be concerned that these same key players used people such as Mifsud to launch an investigation during the Obama administration against figures in the opposing party. If the Bush administration had launched secret surveillance of Clinton’s campaign staff, the media would hardly have been so cavalier.
That is how we end up with the mysterious Mr. Mifsud. He is unknown precisely because he is unwelcome in mainstream stories. The “usual suspects” do not “visit” that part of the story, particularly the absence of any criminal charge in a sea of indictments of Russian trolls and hackers. Even Mueller walled off that story. Mueller was supposed to investigate all Russian interference in the elections, and his inquiry took him to bank fraud and tax violations entirely unrelated to the election or to Russians. Yet there is no evidence that he ever investigated Russian intelligence efforts directed at Clinton campaign officials and associates.
While Mueller would say there is an ongoing investigation into such matters, that investigation did not start until long after Mueller’s appointment. The question is, what will happen when that investigation is completed? Will Democrats demand the same full disclosure of the facts, to get to the bottom of those contacts and efforts to influence our elections? In “The Usual Suspects,” Kint told the FBI agent that another character “always said, ‘I don’t believe in God, but I’m afraid of him.’ Well, I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Söze.” Söze feared precisely because he was so obscure.
Democrats have made Joseph Mifsud scary in the same way. He could just be a rumor-spreading, Putin-loving professor from Malta. Or he could be a master spy working for the Russians — or for Western intelligence. What makes him so scary is not what we know but what we don’t know … that and the fact that no one on Mueller’s team or in the political establishment wants to talk about him
Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.
185 thoughts on “The Mysterious Mister Mifsud And Why No One Wants To Discuss Him”
I am very troubled at how Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference, did not investigate the Clinton campaign. He used Clinton donors to investigate Trump. Would not comment on Misfud. Did not charge Mifsud. There are myriad examples of activists abusing their authority to investigate Trump
Karen, many news developments make no sense at all when your only sources are rightwing media.
It was self evident to anyone with half a brain from the very begining that the entire Trump Russia Collusion story was NONSENSE.
Litterally it made no sense.
Why is it that Trump would take enormous risks, and demonstrate trade craft that the Pros have not been able to crack to get a handlful of really bad social media adds from the Russians – at the very same time that Putin was pushing Sanders and Clinton on Social Media too ?
It does not matter what the truth is regarding Mifsud – Why wasn’t he persued ?
He lied to the FBI, the claim is that he was a russian agent conspiring with the trump campaign – If so was wan’t he detained ? Indicted ?
BTW it is not the “right wing media outlets” that are your and the left’s problem,
it is that slowly the secrets of the state department, the FBI, DOJ, the DNC, and the Clinton campaign are being pried loose.
Recently it turns out that Klimick – the russian agent that Manafort was indicted for providing polling data to, was a state/FBI asset.
Over the past 3 years I have heard lots of allegations against Trump.
All have been found to have no substance.
If you do not think that Mueller “exhonerated” Trump regardless of his words.
If you do not think that a $30M investigation with hundreds of people and wirettaps and subpeona’s that turned up nothing is exhoneration – then what about the fact that over the same period of time the entire world media was unable to corroborate ANYTHING consequential ?
For Trump/Russia collusion to not be conclusively disproven, you have to beleive that Mueller and his minions were either incompetent boobs who did not vigorously pursue Trump or that they were in Trump’s pocket AND that the entire media was too.
Over the same period of time we have heard all kinds of counter stories. Most of which on first blush appeared as absurd as the collusion narative itself.
Who would have beleived that Natalia met with Simpson immediately before and after meeting with Trump Jr ? That just sounds like a right wing conspiracy theory.
Who would have beleived that an FBI director would deliberately leak classified information tot eh media to get a special counsel appionted ?
Who would have beleived that members of FBI and DOJ even Joked about wearing a wire on the president ?
Who would have beleived that FBI agents would be conducting an affair on their government issued cell phones ? Who would have believed that FBI agents would express virulent political opposition to an elected president on govenrment cell phones ?
And I am just scratching the surface.
There are some claims beneficial to republicans that have been dismissed.
But a significant number of the credulous ones have been established as true.
And some of the remainder will yet likely prove true.
Why is it that Rachel Maddow and those on the left have been wrong by the numbers. Wrong in every single allegation, and nut jobs like Alex Jones have in far too many instances proven to be correct ?
The probability of someone who had been near universally wrong being right the next time approach zero.
The probability of someone who has often been right being right the next time is much higher.
That is true regardless of politics.
At the moment the left is on the losing side of credibility.
That’s a good summation and certainly those are questions a reasonable and rational person should ask.
I believe 2 things happened that together have been too much for some people to accept.
1. Obama’s declared fundamental transformation was not yet complete and all that was needed was for Clinton to win. She was a lock and so was her soon to be 2 picks on the court. This also explains the Keystone Kop efforts toward their insurance policy. They were never going to be investigated.
2. There was no way a political rookie, reality TV, arrogant, [think Natacha] would be elected President over the Clinton royal family. Never. Never. Never. In their mind, the only possible way Donald Trump could beat those odds was with help from outside the country.
Does the Covington Catholic defamation case have any hope of winning upon appeal? I hope so
The Covington Catholic Teen Lost His First Court Battle, But Will Probably Win His Next
If the Judge Is Right, All News Is Mere Opinion
Here, there is a great irony to the judge’s decision. His analysis of the reporting rendered virtually every statement concerning the incident mere opinion. Judge Bertelsman even went so far as to declare The Washington Post’s reporting “rhetoric” and “hyperbole” when analyzing this passage:
Friday’s incident near the Lincoln Memorial in which a group of high school boys confronted an elderly Native American man sent a ripple of fear and anger across the country. The image of a group of high school boys clad in ‘Make America Great Again’ hats, smirking and laughing as one of their members appeared to physically intimidate Nathan Phillips resurfaced tensions that have been simmering since president Trump’s campaign began.
He also found the Post’s headline, “Marcher’s accost [sic] by boys in MAGA caps draws ire,” as “laden with rhetorical hyperbole,” and not actionable.
Bertelsman is half-right. The Post and every other major media outlet now resort to rhetoric and hyperbole in reporting on all things Trump and conservative, such as the March for Life. And they regularly peddle opinion as fact. But the Post’s coverage of the encounter between Sandmann and Phillips, and the passages above, reported false facts. Those false facts subjected Sandmann to “public hatred, ridicule, contempt, aversion, or disgrace,” eliminating the need under Kentucky law to show the defamatory statements caused damages.
Bertelsman concluded otherwise, and found that the statements were not even defamatory. Here, the appellate court will likely find the lower-court judge overstepped his bounds and conclude that it is for a jury to decide whether the Post’s reporting was defamatory and subjected Sandmann to public ostracization.
It could be as much as a year before Sandmann’s appeal is briefed, argued, and decided. If Sandmann wins on appeal, his case will return to the lower court for a trial.
Jean-Baptiste, An excellent summary.
I have never seen these questions asked in the way you have done it, three in particular:
“Why is it that Trump would take enormous risks, and demonstrate trade craft that the Pros have not been able to crack to get a handlful of really bad social media adds from the Russians – at the very same time that Putin was pushing Sanders and Clinton on Social Media too ?”
“If you do not think that a $30M investigation with hundreds of people and wirettaps and subpeona’s that turned up nothing is exhoneration – then what about the fact that over the same period of time the entire world media was unable to corroborate ANYTHING consequential ?”
“Why is it that Rachel Maddow and those on the left have been wrong by the numbers. Wrong in every single allegation, and nut jobs like Alex Jones have in far too many instances proven to be correct ?”
I think you should try writing this in essay form and submit it to one of the websites.
The Steele dossier was sourced from top Russian government officials and was completely bogus and used to illegally spy on the Trump campaign.Thats the only Russian interference that can be proved.
What Progressives Hopefully Learned From Russiagate
A frail old man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to
answer basic questions…I said it in 2017 and Mueller confirmed it
today — All you pundits and moderatesIt is entirely possible that
the Democrats and their allied media outlets handed Trump a re-election
in 2020 with their nonstop fixation on a fact-free conspiracy theory
that was doomed to failure, and many progressives have been pointing
A frail old
man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to answer basic
questions…I said it in 2017 and Mueller confirmed it today — All you
pundits and moderates and lame Dems who told the public to put their
faith in the esteemed Robert Mueller — just “Expletives” from now on
great to see more leftists & liberals recognizing that channelling
the anti-Trump Resistance into a stupid conspiracy theory was a massive
mistake, but for next time: let’s try harder to voice that when it’s
actually happening for 2+ years, not after it finally collapses.
No one wants to talk about Joseph Mifsud? It’s only establishment-types and the Trump-hating left that never/rarely talk about Mifsud, Halper, Downer, Turk, Tawil, etc. It’s comical watching the MSM have to explain to their audience why they’ve never spoken about Mifsud before.
The media is free to go where they please. They are biased – both left and right. Grow up, get over that, and make your own judgements who to beleive and when.
I would suggest that the more often a seource is correct the more beleivable they are.
As to Mifsud, Halper, Downer, Turk, Tawil, etc contra his statements in the house hearings, they were absolutely withing Mueller’s purview.
Mueller pummeled, threatened brow beat and indicted every Trump associate he could find.
Getting a date wrong resulted in indictment and jail.
Yet he did not interview many of the people you listed, and of those he did he allowed to walk all over him.
There are only 3 choices regarding Mifsud:
He is a russian agent – one that appears to have penetrated western intelligence – MI6, FBI, CIA at near the top,
in which case why did Mueller let the one Russian asset who could have connected Papadoulis to Russia walk after being lied to ?
He is a western agent – in which case there is a problem far far far more serious than the alleged Trump/Russia collusion.
If western intelligence agents – particularly if US intelligence is investigating politicians and political parties, without warrants and without a credible basis that is the kind of nonsense Nixon TRIED and failed to pull. Nixon also tries to use the FBI to go after political enemies. The Obama administration not only tried – it succeeded on a larger scale than Nixon dreamed of.
He is a dolt acting on his own.
Not one of those posibilities explains Mueller’s total disinterest in Mifsud.
Every single one DEMANDS Mueller look much more thoroughly into Mifsud than any other character in this charade.
If you beleive Mifsud was an actual Russian agent – why was he not persued vigorously ?
If you do not – then how do you beleive the rest of “Trump/Russia collusion”
If Mifsud is not one of the most significant if not the most significant single person in this, then how is it that you beleive there was ever any possibility of a There being There ?
There are only three possible reasons for lack of interest in Mifsud
You already know the answers – and that is a poor one. The FBI already knew the answers with Flynn and yet they hounded him.
You are afraid of the answers.
You goal is not to find the truth but to “get Trump”.
Everyone of those possibilities is damning to Mueller
The Obama administration not only tried – it succeeded on a larger scale than Nixon dreamed of.
New York Times Admits Obama Admin Deployed Multiple Spies Against Trump Campaign In 2016
The New York Times admitted on Thursday that the Obama administration deployed multiple spies against the Trump campaign in 2016, confirming recent comments by Attorney General William Barr that ‘spying did occur’ during the campaign.
Estovir, if it was ‘in’ The New York Time, why can’t you show us the N Y Times article? The fact that you can’t, casts immediate doubt on this post.
If I claimed that Fox News said something while posting from The Guardian every conservative here would be rightfully suspicious.
Peter Shill-speak:if it was ‘in’ The…..
if it were ‘in’ The…..
Use subjunctive. Do you know what subjunctive is?
Once again an immigrant is correcting your atrocious utilization of English. You should be sent back home. Will the rats of Baltimore take you?
Note the color of my handle, you racist, Cochino
Estovir, you can’t produce the N Y Times article, right??
No, I didn’t think so.
can’t produce the N Y Times article
Since you’re on your 3rd day of crystal meth binge, slamming and smoking, or perhaps up the azz as your Grindr FWB in West Hollywood do, you will have to read the articles I provide, evidenced based data that they are. Of course having a functional cerebral cortex is required, preferably both hemispheres, but we all know you paid trolls are functioning solely on a brainstem, perhaps amygdala as well.
Alas, the NYT doesn’t know what the subjunctive is either, and since at home we refuse to give lying leftwing liberal fake news sites any web-traffic, you will have to keep the anti-semitic NYT flush with revenue while your FWB keep you cracked on aspirin/talc/salt bumps
Don’t forget that teeth rot from crystal meth use.
Just saying…because we care
Again, an excellent discussion that includes the questions the left is afraid to answer.
“Grow up, get over that”
Stick it up your snob asss.
All I did was point out that those who only consume MSM/left media don’t know who Mifsud is and I find it funny when their anchor then need to explain to their audience why they have never spoken about such key figures before.
How dare you raise such a relevant figure as Mifsud Turley. I mean that’s down right embarrassing. And you know how Washington gets when their embarrassed. Prepare for a long haul.
JT, I’m finding it difficult to understand why you think Russia interfered in our election. That is the job of the US, our lackey states and social media companies!! Please give the devils their due!!!
Here is an excellent summary of Russia gate:
I’m more than a little concerned with the definition election “interference” covering click bait/troll farms. These are Internet communications. And if this is now considered election “interference”, that’s been going on ever since the Internet started.
You’re not going to get rid of it. And it’s not the reason your candidate lost.
The most egregious “interference” in our elections in the last 20 years happened in 2008 when the Chinese government hacked the Obama and McCain campaigns.
No uproar. What a shock. So if this is the new definition of “interference”, get used to it and it’s going to continue — as it has ever since the Internet was created.
People who think this is “interference” have awfully low opinion of the American people.
The threat to US election integrity has always been “dirty tricks” (illegal acts) which arise from either a campaign or its ardent surrogates. That’s what Watergate was all about. Nixon was kept in the dark about the break-in and bugging of the DNC headquarters, for reasons of plausible deniability. However, he was made aware of the $3M illegal slush fund within CREEP, and he got caught on tape OK’ing its use to buy the silence of the CIA-trained operatives who mounted the espionage operation.
The idea that illegal campaigning tactics are somehow new is hopelessly naive.
Yet, we want to emplace serious deterrents to violations of campaign integrity. The place to begin is with the use of spy tradecraft. The fact is that the US Govt. trains CIA and FBI agents in covert ops meant to shape public opinion. These are very advanced techniques, grounded in cognitive psychology, and designed to assure that the perpetrators are never caught, or at worst, can mount a “just doing my job” defense. We cannot be naive about the potential for this tradecraft to be turned upon the American electorate to sway public opinion, and hence tilt elections.
Here’s a basic outline of modern PsyOps. The trick is to deeply understand the biases and competencies of various actors in society, and then “plant” small actions or information that you can reliably predict will activate the desired response in said actors….without them ever questioning the possibility of being manipulated. You can go a step further, and predict second-tier group responses, activated by the first group’s actions.
A rarely discussed example was the successful dupe of US Intelligence and the entire Western media by the Iraqi Shiite cell led by Ahmed Chalabi. A clever misinformation campaign about WMDs and a secret Saddam-Al-Queda alliance was successfully mounted in 2002. The objective was to get Uncle Sam to topple Saddam’s regime.
The biases taken advantage of began the injured psyche of the American public over the 9-11 attacks (the desire to avenge this attack), as well as a priori hatred of Saddam Hussein inside the Bush Family for his failed attempt to assassinate Bush 41 on a trip to Kuwait. And, the bias of the CIA toward keeping secrets from the US public was exploited. Perhaps the biggest risk Chalabi faced was that a few anti-war journalists would uncover the plot. This turned out not to be a problem, since American journalism had already closed ranks around churning out narratives (as opposed to being driven by curiosity). Those who suggested that the WMD and Al Qaeda threats were a hoax were merely dismissed as peaceniks, and foreign correspondents who might be able to understand the involvement and motives of the Shiite Iraqis were directed toward other topics “of more interest”. You could say that Bush 43 was “played like a fiddle”, true in the sense that he failed to police his own biases for attempts at their manipulation.
The reality is that PsyOps were part of the 2016 election cycle, and the more experienced campaign (Clinton) knew how to “firewall” the campaign from those efforts by laundering them as legal services (Marc Elias, Perkins-Coie –> Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS). Why did Simpson engage Christopher Steele?….knowledge of PsyOps and infowarfare tradecraft. When the other shoe drops, we may find out that tradecraft-savvy operators in the Obama government used their skills to thrust a clever “Manchurian candidate” scare on the unsuspecting dupes in FBI Counterintelligence, knowing that the media would help advance any plot to stop Trump. Don’t make the mistake of thinking Comey, McCabe, Strzok had to be “in” on the plot. No! It was well known that they would have to act against a Russian-kompromized candidate for President. Devlin Barret (WSJ, WaPo) didn’t need to be “in” on the plot…he could be counted on to do his job while naturally indulging his predispositions. This is the flavor of modern PsyOps.
The only defense against PsyOps is for everyone to first be aware of how it works — how it takes advantage of extent bias and capacity to act “independently”. The antidote is for each actor to be fully aware of biases, and to be most skeptical when the impulse arises to act on them. The question “How do I know this is legit?” must precede all important decisions, as well as, “Why do I want to promote X (and undermine Y)?”
These are the big challenges going forward toward election integrity. It has to begin with an honest appraisal of gullibility….of the desire to believe rather than the polite demand for verification.
The question “How do I know this is legit?” must precede all important decisions, as well as, “Why do I want to promote X (and undermine Y)?”
These are the big challenges going forward toward election integrity. It has to begin with an honest appraisal of gullibility….of the desire to believe rather than the polite demand for verification.
Pew reported in April of this year that Trust in Government was near a historic low of 17%. When you contrast that with the fact incumbents are reelected at a rate between 80-90%, you’ll quickly see those questions are not being asked. Even when the forces behind policy accidentally reveal their strategy, like relying on the stupidity of the American voter, the voter is not moved to ask those questions.
W. Edwards Deming was famous for asking, How could I know? when talking about improving manufacturing quality of production. American automakers rejected his thesis and he went on to help the Japanese reinvent their industries.
There is going to come a significant emotional event to humble this country. It may be the soon to be released reports by Horowitz and Durham. If that doesn’t work, then perhaps Barr will release what President Trump gave him the authority to expose. Perhaps nothing will work and we are doomed to another civil war. Never underestimate the stupidity…
I tend to agree with you, I’m not sure the FBI was serious about Misfud or the Dossier until Trump won the election. The election itself and the subsequent meeting where Rice annotated the now famous “by the book” memo was probably the Manchurian candidate scare that kicked the snowball off the top of the mountain. Of course having a poor man’s Inspector Clouseau running the FBI didn’t help.
Good post John.
If Mifsud was a Russian asset he would be the greatest breach in western intelligence.
Ties That Bind – Stefan Halper, Joseph Mifsud & Alexander Downer (& Papadopoulos)
Mueller wants to believe he can just wave his hand and say, these are not the Mifsud’s you’re looking for. As much as Weismman and company pretended their efforts would play well in front of a Comic Con audience, there are people that live their lives in the real world that aren’t that gullible. Once the other half of the story is revealed, then and only then will we know which group of people will admit reality and those that will remain in their fantasy world.
OLLY – Don’t be putting down Comic Con, they can be pretty rough when they need to be. 😉 Two shows were too chicken to appear this year.
That’s not a slam on the CCer’s Paul. That audience is living out a fantasy world drama. Anyone still believing the Trump/Russia conspiracy is real, would fit right in at Comic Con.
OLLY – I would posit that the people at Comic Con know the difference between reality and fantasy.
Can we hold you to that Olly?
Mueller never interviewed Trump, and Trump’s responses to written questions were untruthful and incomplete. Trump ignored follow-up questions, so Mueller did not have all available evidence. That’s why this statement is facially untrue: “Ultimately, Mueller concluded there was no evidence supporting a conspiracy theory against the Trump campaign”. A correct way to state this would be: “the evidence Mueller was able to obtain, which was not complete, did not support criminal conspiracy”. Without complete evidence, Mueller’s hands were tied. Some of us believe he should have forced Trump to sit for a deposition, but he didn’t. That’s why trying to claim vindication on the grounds that Mueller concluded “there was no evidence” is inaccurate.
There is also ample evidence that the Trump campaign worked with Russians to feed them inside polling information of key districts that could sway the election. Russians did use this information to send out lies on social media about Hillary Clinton. What did they know, and when did they know it? They lied, so these facts were also not developed.
You also wrote: “and he found no evidence that any Trump official knowingly worked with Russian hackers or trolls.” He found plenty of evidence of Russian meddling and involvement by Trump campaign officials. Did they actually sit at computer terminals next to Russians while they were hacking email accounts of the DNC and HRC? Maybe not, but their hands aren’t clean, and never forget that they are liars. Recall that Trump said repeatedly: “I love WikiLeaks”. Also, he asked Russians, if they were listening to publish HRC’s missing e-mails. Did they know what was going on? How can anyone seriously doubt this?
I find it concerning that you wrote not less than 2 pieces attacking Mueller and his testimony, calling it a disaster, and pivoting to blame Democrats, in the first piece and media in the second piece. In your second lengthy piece, you expressed your opinion that media should have strongly criticized Mueller for inconsistencies, for one-word answers and being a 75 year old who didn’t give snappy responses to questions. His investigation covered 2 1/2 years, involved hundreds of witnesses and thousands of documents, plus Barr put handcuffs on him about the extent of what he was allowed to testify about, so he was trying to be measured. He was pounced upon by people with their flag tagged pages and highlighted passages that Mueller didn’t know by heart and had to look for. None of the people criticizing Mueller could live long enough to match his patriotic duty to country and his achievements.
What you didn’t mention is the true blockbuster things he said: that Trump can be indicted after being ousted from the White House, that Trump was not exonerated, that the investigation did not begin with the Steele Dossier, that Russians did interfere with the 2016 election, and are continuing to do so, that Trump’s responses to questions were incomplete and untruthful, that the investigation was neither a “hoax” nor “witch hunt”, and that Trump campaign officials lied. What he didn’t say, and which is blatantly obvious, is that Barr also lied about the contents of his report, trying to capture the news cycle headlines about it before it was actually released. Those are things that should concern any patriot.
AND….speaking of blockbusters: Trump forced Dan Coats out as head of intelligence. Why? Because he told the truth and contradicted Trump repeatedly, based on knowing what was going on. Trump can’t stand anyone who tells the truth, especially when it makes him look bad, so Coats is out.
Did you really write this all by yourself and have the evidence to back it up or even show you are a rea person and not just a passing tweet?
As for fiction writer as a career don’t give up your day job.
Natacha – I can go either way on Wikileaks. Same with Kiwi Farms.
I think you were trying to put yourself forward as a patriot. That I am against.
Natacha throws milkshakes and not the dairy type.
Portland’s Antifa Impunity: No one has been charged in the assault on journalist Andy Ngo.
Mr. Ngo was battered on June 29 as he reported on dueling protests. One demonstration included the far-right Proud Boys, and the counterprotest featured leftist groups associated with the extremist Antifa movement. Mr. Ngo has been a critic of Antifa’s militant tactics and its failure to disavow violence and vandalism, and that made him a target. Video footage shows Mr. Ngo being punched and kicked by people in black attire including hoodies and face masks, Antifa’s preferred uniform.
Mr. Ngo was hospitalized for his injuries, which included a brain bleed. A month later he’s still experiencing complications. Mr. Ngo says he sometimes has trouble finishing sentences or remembering common words, and he’s shown symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. He’s undergoing neurophysical and speech therapy, including for a cognitive communication deficit.
The assault “was brief, but it did end up being really traumatic,” he says. Mr. Ngo adds that far-left activists also spread his home address online, and he has continued to receive threats.
In a news conference more than a week after Mr. Ngo’s assault, Mayor Ted Wheeler disputed “the perception that Portland is somehow a lawless city or that somehow Portland is a violent city.” The acts of violence on June 29 “were alarming, they were disturbing, and from my perspective they were completely unacceptable. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that those who were engaged in acts of violence are brought to justice,” Mr. Wheeler added. Yet no one has been charged in the attack on Mr. Ngo.
Estovir – Portland the home of Portlandia.
Estovir, thank you for keeping us up to date. If the left is able to subvert violent justice then the acts of terror comitted by the left will never be tallied.
There are tapes that identify enough of the assailants to even get those that were not filmed but were guilty. The left is subverting the judicial system while the right worries whether the President is presidential enough.
We need to focus on the real crimes and to date there are many that acted under the flag of antifa that have not been charged because lawful Americans are too scared and too intimidated.
I find it concerning that you wrote not less than 2 pieces attacking Mueller and his testimony, calling it a disaster, and pivoting to blame Democrats, in the first piece and media in the second piece.
Apparently not concerning enough to make you question what you think you know to be true. No, according to you Jonathan Turley couldn’t possibly know something you don’t. Damn!
Natacha – do you know why Mueller did not pursue an interview with Trump or subpoena him? Do you know why Mueller held that bizarre 9 minute press conference? Of course you don’t.
I’m sure Natasha knows – nothing she has posted has been refuted by the magpies here – as do I since Mueller made it clear in his testimony why he did not pursue investigating Trump. He said that given Trump’s lawyers’ clear intent to litigate a subpoena, it would take too long and extend the investigation beyond what he thought a reasonable time frame.
They didn’t pursue Trump’s oral testimony b/c they knew they would lose in court.
Mueller’s press conference was all about damage control.
“The government, Freidrich found, “violated a standing court rule” by making these public pronouncements that intruded upon the question to be tried in her courtroom. To save Mueller’s team from “criminal contempt,” Freidrich exercised her discretion to decline to “initiate criminal contempt proceedings in response to the government’s Rule 57.7 violation.”
With the benefit of these newly unsealed documents from Judge Freidrich’s court, we now can see that Mueller’s May 29, 2019 press conference, held the day after the hearing on Concord’s contempt motion, must have been a desperate but successful effort to avoid the wrath of a judge whose authority Mueller insulted by “concluding” the guilt of defendants yet to be tried. And in that desperate effort, the U.S. government threw overboard the key assumption that the Russian government (as opposed to freelancing Russians) was behind the dubious internet troll case.”
Yes, replacing Coats with a political hack is a continuation of the colluding with Russians, who’;s side Trump has taken against Coats and our intelligence agencies and FBI. JT continues to cover up for Trump, blaming other commentators, Congress, and now Mueller for the low standards of behavior Trump is pretty much solely responsible for.
identified 3 areas he thinks should be investigated:
-Leak of Flynn transcript to WaPo
-Discrepancy in Glenn Simpson’s testimony about when he met Bruce Ohr
-James Comey leaking memos to his friend who then leaked to NYT.
-from Chuck Ross
Are you saying that Eric Holder was not a “political hack” ?
One of the consequences of elections are the winning party gets to put the political hacks of its choice in control of parts of government. that has been true since the founding.
Frankly a shakeup of the intelligence community is absolutely necescary.
What we have learned so far is that the US IC has no idenependent evidence of Russian involvement in the US elections.
That is not acceptable. We expect more from CIA, NSA, DNI than rehashes of news stories or garbage like the Steele Dossier without corroboration.
It is not like the US IC was wrong about WMD’s in Iraq, or Iran’s nuclear program, or whether Sadam would invade Kuwait or the Collapse of the USSR or ……. a long long long list of other things
If the US IC is to be trusted when they produce results you like, but not when they do not – the problem is YOU,.
I do not trust them about pretty much anything.
I expect that US IC assessments will reflect what is in the best interests of the US IC – not the country.
While there are many good people in government service, that gets rarer the closer to the top ranks you get.
People in government do not mostly get promoted or appointed for competence.
Do you have an actual basis for Mueller to even question Trump ?
We just spent 3 years and $30 investigating something that too this day has insufficient evidence to reach any honest understanding of the 4th amendments requirement for a warrant. And yet thousands of warrants were issued.
You seem to beleive you are entitled to know whatever you want. That if you can dream up some incredible allegation you can investigate it, destroying whoever is in your way.
Please tell me what evidence exists TODAY after years of investigation that is “probable cause” that a crime has been committed AND that whoever you wish to investigate has evidence that would raise probable cause to “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
Aside from Manafort not a single american has been indicted by Mueller for anything that was not a “process crime”
and nothing manafort was prosecuted for had anything to do with Trump or Russia and all happened almost a decade ago.
We KNOW beyond any doubt that Christoper Steele and Fussion GPS were paid by HFA and the DNC to “collude” with actual russians to influence the 2016 election. Every single element of the allegations against Trump are present and proven.
If Clinton’s actions were legal – so were Trump’s
If Trump’s actions might have been illegal – Clinton’s certainly were, and should have been prosecuted.
Worse still Clinton sucked the US State department, CIA, FBI and DOJ into her criminal conspiracy with Russia.
The moment that the FBI knew that the sources for much of the Steele Dossier were russian, it was an absolute requirement that before proceeding they verify that the Russians were not using the Clinton campaign AND the FBI, CIA, DOJ, State, …. to “interfere” with our elections.
Put simply we have ALWAYS had a good basis for investigating Clinton/Russia Collusion. Steele and Company delivered the evidence of that to the FBI’s door step.
We still to this day have no evidence that any of our founders would have signed a warrant based on.
The claim that the DNC was hacked by Russia – rather than leaked or hacked by others has NOT ever been proven.
In fact it likely can not be proven.
The US hacked the Iranian centrifuges – using Stuxnet. We now know that – because wikileaks found the evidence in US government records. Prior to that the US denied it, and everyone suspected the Mossad – whey ? Because the technical evidence, the tools etc all were Mossad tools.
CozyBear and FancyBear were available to the governments of the world and hackers prior to the DNC hack.
There is already an instance were the French were hacked using cozyBear and FancyBear that turned out to be mideastern hackers.
There is no CREDIBLE reason that if the wikileaks source was the CozyBear and FancyBear hacks of the DNC that it could not be by Mid Eastern groups, Chinese, North Koreans or others.
Anyone who claims to be able to attribute the source of a modern hack absent inside information – pretty much a confession with proof by the hacking government, is just plain smoking dope. It can not be done.
With respect to the DNC we do actually know that they were hacked with FancyBear and CozyBear – atleast as early as July 2015.
We do NOT however know who the hackers were – or even that they were the same bad actor. Nor do we actually know that the DNC emails came from these hacks.
Muller claimed to have further evidence in his IRA indictments, but he walked that back in his report, which rests entirely on the CrowdStrike report.
With respect to Assange and Wikileaks – it is irrelevant where the DNC emails came from.
Absent Assange and Wikileaks directly participating in a crime in obtaining them, there is ZERO difference between WikiLeaks publishing the DNC emails and WaPo publishing the pentagon papers.
You can like Assange, or dislike him. You can beleive that he is a good person or a bad person.
But none of that alters the damning nature of the DNC emails.
Are you honestly claiming that you are OK with the conduct of Clinton and the DNC ?
That whether by hacking or leaks it should not have come out ?
You are OK with people secretly recording and leaking GOP fundraising events.
How is this different ?
You claim that Trump and republicans have no right to privacy, that they must share whatever you want, that they must answer your questions regardless of any foundation for them.
And yet keeping secret from the public Clinton’s election misconduct is OK with you ?
Well, I tried to post a link to information that will clear up JT’s questions. It comes up with “invalid security”. So just go the twitter feed of Chris Blackburn or Elizabeth Lee Vos.
The good professor has extensive ties with the FBI and CNN, among others!
PROFESSOR TURLEY REVIVES CONSPIRACY..
THAT HILLARY / OBAMA FABRICATED “RUSSIA HOAX”
WHY THEN WAS MUELLER A DUD?
Here Professor Turley would have us believe that the possible mastermind of the “Russia Hoax” remains cloaked in mystery. This narrative is irresistibly attractive to Trump supporters. It breaths new life into the idea that “Crooked Hillary” cooked up all these intrigues with assistance from the Obama administration.
Yet this narrative fails to explain why Mueller was such a disappointment to Democrats. One can only guess that Mueller was never part of the hoax. This narrative also fails to explain why Republicans, who controlled Congress during Trump’s first two years, never made an effort to exert proper oversight of the Mueller Probe.
Are we to believe that Trump ally Devin Nunes never heard of Mifsud? Surely Congressman Nunues had plenty of time to bring Mifsud into focus as a person of interest. And what about rightwing media?? Fox News had almost 2 years to make Mifsud a household name. Mifsud could have been another Benghazi. Did Fox just drop the ball completely?
Mifsud sounds like an intriguing figure to me. But there could be good reasons Trump allies never shed much light on him. Mifsud could be a figure that cuts both ways; one ultimately unhelpful to either Trump or Democrats.
You have an odd idea as to who the conspiracy theorist is. You’re the one claiming that the President of the United States is Russian spy.
How are people who are skeptical of such a fantastic claim without any evidence the Conspiracy Theorists? Enquiring minds want to know.
No one said Trump was a Russian spy. He’s too narcissistic and not intelligent enough to be a spy. Because he’s a lousy businessman and no banks in the US will loan him any more money, he looks to borrow from Russia and middle easterners. Russia helped elect him. He’s returning the favor by appearing publicly deferential to Putin, by supporting pro-Russia positions with NATO and vetoing a bill to block arms sales to Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
And this is illegal exactly how?
Make your case for the next election. It’s not a matter for a special council’s office.
SteveJ: do you want an American POTUS beholden to Russia and Saudi Arabia? Should Congress just ignore the collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russians? Do you want election systems in all 50 states hacked by foreigners who could manipulate the names and votes of American citizens? Why won’t Republicans support the House bills to fund greater election system security? The FBI was contacted by Australia, whose diplomat was told by George Papadopoulos that Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton that they obtained by illegal hacking. Shouldn’t a candidate for POTUS be required to report to the FBI overtures by a foreigner or foreign government for campaign help by means of illegal hacking of e-mails?
This isn’t some game, here. Is it all right with you that Barr lied to help Trump by misrepresenting Mueller’s findings?
Importante. Barr didn’t lie, Mueller did. Trump didn’t cheat. Obama did. There was no collusion, no conspiracy, no obstruction. Comprende?
Yea, you are an idiot and a liar.
And another thing, when you are accused with “collaborating” with Russia, what exactly do you call that? Most people call it spying. That’s the whole impetus for this farce.
So don’t give me any of this “nobody claimed he was a spy” business. All right?
This went off the rails into neurosis, and people should be held accountable for that. The question is will they?
“Collaborating” is not a crime, but conspiracy is a crime. Trump’s campaign met with Russians, fed them internal polling information on where a social disinformation campaign attacking Hillary Clinton would give them the most help and never reported this to the FBI. When questioned, they lied about these things. Trump did not cooperate with the Mueller investigation, and his written responses to questions were evasive, incomplete and untruthful. Trump is deferential to Putin, has secret meetings with him, and supports Russia’s efforts to undermine NATO. That does not make him a spy. It makes him an asset that Russia can manipulate. Trump is already publicly deferential to Putin, which is used in Russia for propaganda. Russia could blackmail Trump by disclosing proof of his conspiracy any time it wanted to. Mueller made this clear, too.
There’s no neurosis here. Trump has been a cheater and liar his entire life, and his so-called “presidency” is fake because he cheated to get it. Most Americans did not vote for him, and have not supported him since he was elected. Trump did not cooperate with the Special Counsel’s investigation, he fired Sessions because Sessions followed the Rules of Professional Conduct by recusing himself, and he engaged in 10+ specific acts of obstruction of justice for which he can be charged when he leaves office. This is not a farce–it is a scenario our founding fathers feared–control of a POTUS by a foreign government. This is the reason for the requirement that a POTUS be born in the U.S.. We don’t know the whole truth yet, but the things uncovered by Mueller are disturbing enough. Mueller totally refuted the “no collulsion…no obstruction” mantra which Trump continues to repeat. He is lying. He didn’t cooperate with Mueller’s investigation, and stonewalls Congressional oversight efforts by ignoring subpoenas. He replaced Sessions with Barr, who defends him instead of enforcing the rule of law. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sexual encounters with an intern, which has no national security implications. Trump’s lying does have national security implications. Why don’t these things bother you?
why? because almost everything you just said is wrong and full of outright lies and absurdities — including saying that Barr is not enforcing the rule of law.
Again, no one steps up to refute anything Natacha posted here. They are known facts.
“Barr is lying” and “not enforcing the rule of law” is a “known” fact? Prove it.
The reports to come from Horowitz and Durham will make public facts missing from the Mueller report. We’ll then have an opportunity to see how committed Barr is to the rule of law.
Barr told Rep Crist under oath that he did not know what Mueller thought of his summation of the report. In fact he received a letter from Mueller objecting to his summation. That was a bold face lie by Barr under oath.
By not Responding to congressional subpoenas and supporting other administration hack…. I mean members, Barr is acting against the rule of law.
Any other questions?
Yes. How many subpoenas did the Obama admin ignore? How many top FBI officials have been fired, stepped down, referred for prosecution, under investigation, etc? How many are now “analysts” at CNN spinning their own crimes? Barr knows what happened within the Obama admin…the illegal spying on Trump and his campaign and all the illegal leaking and lying that’s been going on. Barr is probably the only one willing to uphold the rule of law right now. Can’t say that about Schiff or Nadler or a single Democrat member of Congress right now.
I’m happy to see we are in now in agreement on Barr’s lying and acting against the rule of law.
I don’t know the answer to your question on the Obama administration and congressional subpoenas though Trump’s recent claim that they did not turn over “even one letter” was a lie. He is our president now. Are you a history buff?
This keeps getting misrepresented.
Mueller did NOT object to the summation.
He objected to the public response.
When you accuse someone of lying you bet your moral credibility against theirs.
If you fail to prove the lie, the moral failure is yours.
You can be innocently wrong about facts and oppinions.
You can not be innocently wrong – not even once, about moral accusations.
Are you lying or innocently wrong about the facts jbsay:
“…..As we stated in our meeting of March 5 and reiterated to the Department early in the
afternoon of March 24, the introductions and executive summaries of our two-volume report
accurately summarize this Office’s work and conclusions. The summary letter the Department
sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture
the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions. We communicated that
concern to the Department on the morning of March 25. There is now public confusion about
critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose
for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the
outcome of the investigations. See Department of Justice, Press Release (May 17, 2017)…..”
Congress is free to go to court to enforce their subpeonas.
That is what courts are there for
Anon1 – no one really cares about Natacha. And she spouts semi-facts. Cite the source.
Pretty weak Paul. I haven’t seen any footnotes on your posts.
I know you all would like to not think about Natacha. That sting must hurt.
Anon1 – I have not been asked for footnotes, and you are low, low. low on the list of people I worry about.
I’m happy to hear I am low on your list of people you worry about Paul, not that I claimed or implied Otherwise, Interesting that you have that list and I even made it.
Can you provide the list with footnotes?
Anon1 – I can supply the list. I will not supply the list. It does not come with footnotes.
No one asked for footnotes.
Facts, logic and reason make valid arguements,
not histrionics, oppinions and naked assertions.
Anon, the known facts are like your own facts, nonexistent.
You read hit pieces and then interpret them as fact. That is the lazy way of making decisions.
Meeting with Russians is not a crime Anon. Otherwise Hillary Clinton would be in jail. And unlike you, I believer in the rule of law. So she shouldn’t be charged for that. Nor should Trump.
Trump meets with Putin without staff and then gets on podiums and attacks his country while defending his master. He’s a traitor and doing nothing to stop Russian screwing with our elections. Are you blind?
Trump didn’t attack his country and has been very tough on Russia though correctly he would rather talk and have peace than war which perhaps the Dems are looking for.
Meeting without putin without staff is not a crime.
FDR met with Stalin without staff.
Attacking this country (which is NOT what Trump does) is not a crime – or the left would be in jail.
Attacking institutions – particularly those that have failed is not a crime.
Traitor is defined in the constitution – specifically to avoid the conflation of political differences with Treason.
Trump meets with Putin without staff and then gets on podiums and attacks his country while defending his master. He’s a traitor and doing nothing to stop Russian screwing with our elections. Are you blind?
Has trump given Putin control of 20% of US Uranium ?
jbsay, Trump, by virtue of his and the sycophantic GOP’s refusal to do anything to stop them, has given Putin control of our elections.
If by “control of 20% of US Uranium”, you mean non-weapons grade which cannot be exported and who’s transactions must be approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and now accounts for about 6% of domestic production, and by “given” you mean a deal sponsored by the Treasury Dept which had to make approval before the 9 member Committee on Foreign Investments, including the State department, yes, but that’s some pretty sloppy thinking and hard to tell if innocently wrong or just a lie.
Maybe Trump felt that the written question were “outside of his purview”.
You do know that Klimeck has been outed as a US State/FBI asset ?
Please list all of the meetings between the Trump campaign and “russians” ?
Do you have a “meeting” that Mueller did not investigate ?
There is no obligation to contact the FBI about anything.
I?n fact filing false reports of crimes – as the Clintonista’s did, is itself a crime.
There is no requirement to “cooperate” with a “witch hunt”
Regardless Mueller had the opertunity to go threw the courts to demand more and more comprehenzive testimony from Trump. That is what the courts are there for.
Clinton was compelled to testify.
Mueller himself testified that he got the information that he needed which is why he did not go to court over Trump.
If Trump was provably untruthful in responses to Mueller – that is a crime and Mueller should have asserted that in his report – with proof.
Can you tell me what Trump purportedly lied about ?
We get this all the time – the media and the left saying “Trump lied” or “Trump said something racist”
Rather than take the OPPINION of the press or the left or mueller – look at Trump’s statements
Distinguish between – I do not agree – oppinion, and actual facts. Disagreements of oppinion are not lies.
He’s too narcissistic and not intelligent enough to be…
…a paid troll like David Brock’s mongrels paid by George Soros
Tell your boss that your effectiveness on these forums are as stained and abused as Monica Lewinsky’s tour of duty in Bill Clinton’s White House and that his trolls are as dependable as dragging a $1 Bill through a rat infested district in Baltimore represented by Elijah Cummings
I really don’t know how many times I’ve been accused of being paid to write what I write, but I’m going to call you out once and for all: I write what I write because I am an American patriot, related to the founding fathers of this country. My family has been involved in the service of this country for most wars from the Revolutionary War to Viet Nam, and some are buried at Arlington. I take the time to refute the endless lying and factual distortions put out by Faux News and supporters of Trump, who is one of the worst people to occupy the White House. He cheated to get there, and he is neither an honest nor honorable person. He is not doing a good job, either, and he is hurting people, like the migrants seeking asylum. His only true agenda is personal aggrandizement. Republicans refuse to call out his racism, xenophobia, misogyny and islamophobia because they aren’t patriots: they care more about rolling back regulations, tax cuts for corporations and the very wealthy, and appointment of pro-business federal judges than American values and the rule of law. These things are the antithesis of America’s founding principles, and I don’t need to be paid to speak my heart about my love for this country and disgust over the current occupant of the White House.
“He cheated to get there”
Barack Obama cheated to get reelected. He certainly would have lost if he had not cheated to win a second term. Prove me wrong. There is more evidence that my statement is true than what you said.
I’m gagging over here. Natacha talking about what a Patriot she is and Democrats are cuz she’s just speaking what’s on her heart — which is her love for this country…..blah blah blah….y’all phony AF and stealing from Trump’s winning playbook. Won’t work.
Natacha – please insert your family tree for our examination. Your TDS is clouding your judgment.
You can do better than that, can’t you Paul? Natacha laid it all out pretty clearly – insulting her doesn’t answer her statements, but that’s pretty much all your pals here do – they’ve got nothing else.
Anon1 – you said she had facts. I want facts. So, I want to see her family tree.
Anon1 — prove me wrong when I say Obama cheated to get reelected.
For starters, Anon1, you can look at what Obama’s IRS did to silence conservative groups in the runup to the 2012 election. Obama’s media protectors simply slough it off and call it a nothing burger when we all know it was illegal and they got away with it. Point is…Obama and the Democrats cheated like heck to push him over the top. The IRS was just one example of what went on during the Obama reelection cheating campaign.
“….In late September 2017, an exhaustive report by the Treasury Department’s inspector general found that from 2004 to 2013, the IRS used both conservative and liberal keywords to choose targets for further scrutiny, blunting claims that the issue had been an Obama-era partisan scandal. The 115 page report confirmed the findings of the prior 2013 report that some conservative organizations had been unfairly targeted, but also found that the pattern of misconduct had been ongoing since 2004 and was non-partisan in nature….
In January 2014, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that it had found no evidence warranting the filing of federal criminal charges in connection with the affair. The FBI stated it found no evidence of “enemy hunting” of the kind that had been suspected, but that the investigation did reveal the IRS to be a mismanaged bureaucracy enforcing rules that IRS personnel did not fully understand…….
In October 2015, the Justice Department notified Congress that there would be no charges against the former IRS official Lois Lerner or against anyone else in the IRS. The investigation found no evidence of illegal activity or the partisan targeting of political groups and found that no IRS official attempted to obstruct justice. The DOJ investigation did find evidence of mismanagement and Lerner’s poor judgement in using her IRS account for personal messages but said “…poor management is not a crime.” In September 2017, the DOJ declined a request from the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means to reopen the investigation into Lerner’s IRS activities.…”
“Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Thursday that the Department of Justice had agreed to settle two lawsuits brought by 469 parties who were targeted by the IRS. He faulted the agency and the Obama administration for fostering a partisan application of the tax code and singled out the request for sensitive information, such as requests for donor lists, as irrelevant to making “a determination of tax-exempt status.”
The settlement comes a month after the Justice Department announced it would not pursue charges against Lois Lerner, the IRS’s director of the Exempt Organizations unit at the time of the scandal. Lerner and the agency stonewalled investigators and resisted public records requests by claiming that hard drive failures caused top officials to lose emails related to the controversy; the agency later admitted that it had in fact located those records. A 2013 inspector general report found that Lerner, who exercised her Fifth Amendment rights during congressional investigations into the scandal, and other senior Washington, D.C., officials were aware of the targeting as early as 2011.
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said he had “zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal” in the wake of the September announcement.
“The FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue,” Fitton said in a release.”
Thanks for providing the opinions of the non-partisan and professional AG Sessions and Judicial Watch. I’ll go with the FBI and the IG reports and note that under Sessions watch as head of the DOJ, it passed on reopening the investigation which had cleared Lerner and anyone at the IRS from criminal or partisan intent
When people are given immunity they are given it BECAUSE a crime was committed. When people involved criminally or non criminally are given immunity that immunity is given so they provide further EVIDENCE of the crime and aid in the conviction of the offender. When everyone involved is given IMMUNITY and no information is obtained that means those in charge were COVERING UP A CRIME.
Anon1 — does’t matter….we all know they did it. Lerner took the fifth. Emails/backup tapes were destroyed, lost, then found. A few liberal groups thrown in so it could appear to be nonpartisan. It’s wasn’t mismangement or bad judgment; it was IRS targeting of conservative tea party groups in order to silence them in the lead up to the 2012 election.
GRAY INK BLOT GOES FROM “ANONYMOUS” TO ALAN
Tell that to the Anonymous one you are talking about. I asked him to at least adopt an individual name but he decided not to. I don’t want to take any credit for anything he posts that is opinion so a simple name would help alleviate that problem.
That may be you opinion, but it is wrong according to those who investigated the issue in depth, including the DOJ under Trump, which passed on reopening the investigation, I’m not really interested in your opinion given you don’t ase it on facts.
No. The burden is on you Anon @ 5:22 PM.
Prove that Obama cheated.
Right. That’s my point. There is no proof in the Mueller report that Trump cheated to win. The report found no obstruction, no conspiracy, no collusion. No one in Trump’s orbit was indicted for anything Russia or campaign related. But Russiagate Cult followers like Natacha keep repeating outright lies and hyperbolic trash talk as if any of it was proven true when it was not.
I already bulldozed that thesis.
Can’t be anymore wrong than that summary of the report. Why waste time on this one?
Thank you for you FAMILY;s service.
What have YOU done ?
The media distorts facts – what is new ?
Politicians distort facts – also not new.
“I did not have sex with that woman”
“if you like your insurance company you can keep them”.
Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration”
As to your claims – How did Trump “cheat” ?
Did he not win the election by the rules ?
there are few politiicians I think are honest or honorable. Trump is not among them.
But Trump has kept more of his promises than any president since Washington.
That is sort of important to being “honest and honorable”.
Standard of living is rising 50% faster than in the prior 16 years.
That is pretty much the defintion of “helping people”.
Regardless the US government is not a charity.
If you want to “help people” give to your church or civic groups.
Please cite specific and clear examples of Trump’s racism with full context.
Trump disagrees with people – some of those are not white.
It is not racism to vigorously disagree.
Trump agrees with others – some of those are not white.
Differences of oppinion DO NOT constitute racism.
Not particularly enamoured of some of Trump’s past conduct with women.
but that is a wide spread problem.
We were told by feminists that women should put on their knee pads and give Bill Clinton a blow job.
Trump is not the most mysoginst president we have had – or even close.
If there is something wrong with the law – change it.
regulations have a deletorious effect on standard of living and no demonstrable positive impact otherwise.
I think it is very patriotic to get rid of them
The declaration of independence says “To secure these rights governments are created”.
There is not a word in the declaration or constitution about government charity.
Charity is private.
Government is about actual rights.
Taxes on corporations are double taxes on production.
Production is the foundation of rising standard of living.
Corporate taxes are economically destructive and self defaeating.
Even Obama’s Cheif Economic advisor Christine Romer found that.
Taxes on “the wealthy” are the next most economically destructive tax.
“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.”
What you call the “antithesis of america’s founding principles” is actually those founding principles.
YOU are their antithesis.
You seem to love the United States in much the same way that Robespierre loved France, or Mao loved China, or Castro loved Cuba, or Chavez loved Venezuella.
That form of love ended in copious amounts of blood shed.
Nor do you seem to love this country but some idealistic utopia in your head that can not be brought about because things do not work in the way you wish.
Get a second day job.
“not intelligent enough to be a spy”.
He lost a lot of money in part due to a plane crash that killed the most important people in certain investments he had. Then he rebuilt his brand and his wealth. The only one not intelligent is you.
“Because he’s a lousy businessman and no banks in the US will loan him any more money”
You apparently know nothing about banking. Loans are dependent on terms.
” Russia helped elect him.”
Russia helped trying to get Hillary elected but didn’t succeed.
Trump, like every businessman in the world borrows money. In fact most americans borrow money.
I am not conspiring to overthrow the government or to commit treason because I have a mortgage to a bank.
I am not conspiring to crimes – even if that bank is foreign held.
One of the banks that lent money to Trump is Deutche Bank. One of the larger, and more conservative banks in the world.
Trump – like nearly all who borrow money – is repaying his loans – with interest.
That interest is the reward to those who loaned him money.
There is nothing nefarious about that.
Nothing different from your home mortgage.
Russia helped elect him ?
How so ? But running a few incredibly poor internet adds for Trump, Clinton and Sanders ?
Have you actually seen any of them ?
Do you really beleive that Russia flipped a single vote with crappy adds like those ?
Much less millions ?
BTW what is it that the IRA did that Radio Free America or Voice of America have not been doing for decades ?
According to Mueller the IRA spent less than 10K on US political interfereance.
So you are saying that Trump went to incredible effort – and the best spycraft ever seen to get 10K of help ?
Putting aside the fluffy nonsense at the top of your post jbsay, the Russians did the Wiki Leaks info which negatively dominated headlines for weeks during the campaign and still has true believers thinking it exposed some nefarious plot which they can’t specify with any detail. As to the bot farms, some of the memes used against Hillary were successfully sold to millions – you saw it repeated no doubt – such as the one about how sick she was because she couldn’t stand up. That was BS by the way.
In an election won by a 77,000 total vote margin in 3 states – states by the way targeted by bots and in line with the info given by Manafort – it doesn’t take much to turn it. Comey’s letter was most decisive in this regard, but if not wounded by the Wiki Leaks and bad memes attacks, may not have been fatal. We’ll never know definitively, by why does that matter. We know Trumps campaign colluded with the Russians, including hundreds of meetings later lied about, and up to the present day when Trump is obviously still over a barrel and helping Putin in broad daylight. He’s a traitor.
false. an insider downloaded the leaked documents from the DNC. prolly seth rich, yes.
endless lies on this account from our Democrat friends here
onto some kind of thumb driver or something, then hand delivered that. it’s physically impossible that it was a hack over the internet
The Obama Admin is responsible for extensive damage to the US-Turkey relationship. At its lowest point, right after the 07-15-2016 attempted coup by Gulenists in the military, the US decided to protect Fethullah Gulen and sent Joe Biden over to Ankara to lie thru his teeth “We know nothing!”, when in fact the CIA had been secretly grooming the Gulenists as an “alternative” in case the Erdogan government strayed too far from US interests or democratic contstraints. I’m sure Joe was 0% believable in Ankara.
I’m not claiming that the CIA was directly involved in the coup plot. I’m saying that they gave some form of support to the Gulenists. The fact that the US won’t extradict Gulen back to Turkey says a lot.
Steve, call Trump a ‘useful idiot’ then.
No president who really cares about the country deliberately charts a course of polarization. That’s the route that only a mischiefmaker would choose.
No president who really cares about the country deliberately charts a course of polarization. That’s the route that only a mischiefmaker would choose.
Wow! Are you currently in the running to unseat your middle school council president? Come on, everyone knows your demographic only cares about the vending machines.
Pew Data says the polarization started in 2008.
Other data brings that back to 2000.
Regardless they all show the polarization caused by the left moving farther to the left
Your argument is both false and deceptive.
You may hold whatever oppinions you wish.
You may hold oppions to the extreme left.
But you may not compell the rest of us to go with you,
claim we are polarizing when it si YOU that have gone to the extreme.
You are free to try to drag the country left.
But not while calling those who oppose you polarizing.
The right in this country has shifted dramatically left.
Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms are dead.
The left has won the culture wars.
You bitch about racism, and mysogyny at the least racist and mysogynist moment in US history.
While telling us all that it is worse now than ever.
Worse than when women could not vote ?
Worse than under Jim Crow(democratic) ?
Worse than when Blacks were being Lynched in the democratic south ?
I have no problem with those who love this country trying to make it better.
But if you hate the country as it is, if you hate half the people.
You do not love the country.
You love some utopian vision that is not real, and does not work.
Trump is probably not a Russian spy – they’d be idiots to think he could handle it – they probably just own him. The evidence is clear that he takes their side against protecting our elections and against our intelligence agencies and FBI. That is not disputable.
“That is not disputable.”
Almost everything Anon says is disputable. He thinks that if he says the same garbage enough it will become true.
Do you care more about “sides” than truth ?
Russia has tried to interfere in every US election for decades. They have never succeeded – not even in 2016.
What they did succeed in POST 2016 is persuading the left to mistrust our elections.
To some extent that is good.
I would be happy to see changes that make actual voter fraud harder.
But you are not interested in that.
Thwarting Russian free speech is lunatic and impossible.
What do you plan on doing – going to war over russian social media posts ?
To the extent you are able to silence voices – even Russian voices, even evil voices by force aka government,
you do evil.
The entire Russia nonsense channels Orwell and 1984
You are required to change peoples minds and their votes through persuasion.
not silencing those you disagree with.
The cure for bad speech is more speech, not enforced silence.
this is a good point dhili? seems like thats you
foreigners have a free speech right in american spaces too
funny how Democrats are always standing up for the rights of foreigners unless they are saying something nice about Republicans. then it’s a crime!!
I answered your “free unicorns” analysis of our 2016 election above:
I think you should suggest to Moscow Mitch that the GOP run in 2020 on free speech for Russians in our elections. Kurtz is with you!
The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently said that noncitizens living in this country have free speech rights. (See, for example, Bridges v. Wixon, 326 U.S. 135 (1945).)
but the Court has approved legal restrictions on political contributions (a form of expression) by people who aren’t either citizens or permanent residents (green card holders). That would include people who are here on temporary work, student, tourist, or other “nonimmigrant” visas. (See 52 U.S.C. § 30121; Bluman v. Federal Election Commission, 800 F.Supp.2d 281 (D.C. Cir. 2011); affirmed, 565 U.S. 1104.)
so you may wish to consider not being so pompous. there are subtleties about the topic but the bedrock rule is yes the first amendment generally applies to foreigners even russians
the limitations can come in with respect to elections activity but don’t forget the basic rule
is Hill Natascha’s last name?
Your comment has quite a few inaccuracies. Aside from that, isn’t the bottom line that numerous questions about contacts w/Russia and Russian interference w/the 2016 were not pursued by Mueller despite those matters clearly being within the purview of his mandate(s)? Team Mueller should have investigated the entirety of Russian efforts, not just those possibly leading to Trump.
Hill – Mifsud seems to have gone into hiding according to some reports so he would not be available for testimony before any House committee (who really are not looking for the truth any way). Clearly he is an intelligence asset, the question is: who does he really work for?
“WHY THEN WAS MUELLER A DUD?”
Mueller was a dud because he was there to prove something that never happened while protecting those that actually broke the law such as his former associates in the FBI.
Those that wanted Mueller actually thought they would find things on Trump because they know the illegal things they have done and figure Trump had to be the same. I thought they would come up with some minor things but they proved to me Trump was squeaky clean.
The fabrication is yours.
Maybe there are good reasons that Trump and Co did not “shed light” on Mifsud.
But it was not their job to investigate this.
Mueller was specifically appointed to investigate Russian interferance in US elections.
Unless Mueller was convinced that Mifsud was NOT tied to Russia, he was OBLIGATED to pursue him.
Mueller – not Fox, not CNN, not MSNBC.
And if Mifsud is NOT connected to the russians – that poses all kinds of other problems – at the very least Mueller would have been OBLIGATED to refer him to DOJ/FBI for further investigation/prosecution.
Mifsud has off and on been a figure of interest in this from the start.
There is no “sudden” interest in Mifsud. There have been LOTS of stories about him – they just do not reach the attention of the MSM or those on the left.
Nor is Mifsud alone.
Jordan Raised Mifsud with Mueller because Mueller highlighted Mifsud in his report.
Because Mueller report alleges that Miffsud LIED to the FBI 3 separate times about serious matters involving national security.
Not minor errors about dates such as Papadoulis.
Yet Mueller did not hold, seek to further question or indict much less prosecute Mifsud.
If Mueller did not persue Mifsud – what other leads did he fail to persue ?
The questions regarding Mifsud were not really about Mifsud – they were about the Mueller investigation.
They were an effort to expose what is obvious to most of us.
The Mueller investigation was not a quest for the truth,
it was a “witch hunt”
Mifsud and others were ignore because they were not “witches” or the right witches (they were left witches).
“Conversely, if Mifsud acted on behalf of U.S. officials to create the foundation for the Russia investigation, then that raises a host of other questions. For example, if Mifsud was an American agent (which he denies), why would he allegedly lie to the United States government?”
Textbook answer for this. He’s an ongoing CIA asset. CIA has a history of lying to US government investigators.
Hypothetically; as I would not know any such thing for sure.
The CIA not only lied, it actively subverted the investigation,” says G. Robert Blakey, the former general counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), which issued its report in 1979.
“It is time that either Congress or the Justice Department conducts a real investigation of the CIA,” Blakey said at a conference last month. “Indeed, in my opinion, it is long past time.”
(article from a few years back)
The House Select Committee on Assassinations ended up endorsing a thesis that was facially dubious and discredited completely within three years.
Kurtz: “It is time that either Congress or the Justice Department conducts a real investigation of the CIA,” Blakey said at a conference last month. “Indeed, in my opinion, it is long past time.”
As Blakey says, “It is long past time.”
Americans should demand it, but they won’t.
they did and it was the HSCA but the investigation was hamstrung by blatant felonious relevant and material lies by the CIA liason George Ioannidis. Nothing against him personally, no doubt George was just following orders. also, George was not just the liason he was actually a person of interest in the very materials which had been requested by Blakey and covered up by CIA.
Blakey essentially conceded the point that Mark Lane had made for years, that the failure to subpoena CIA records was a critical failure for the HSCA and a crucial mistake by Blakey. I always wondered why. Why would a hot shot like Blakey essentially concede the point that had been unpleasantly made about him by Lane? Lane flat out called it a whitewash. Lane’s remarks about Blakey were “not nice”
Maybe because it so turns out that Ionnides who was lying to him during the investigation, was actually handling the anti-Castro outfit that was connected to Oswald. Oops! That probably made Bob mad.
But what would mark lane know; he only convinced a jury that it was more likely than not, that the story told by ex CIA case officer Victor marchetti, that E Howard Hunt had been part of a cabal to assassinate JFK was true and not defamatory.
there’s at least 2 published appeals (824 f2d 914 is the second one) about the case and a book by Mark Lane about the trial.
Howard Hunt tried like hell to punish for that article, around 1980 and those years, but the funny thing is, he reversed himself near his death in or around 2005, in a taped interview in which he admitted precisely what he had denied so strongly decades before. But there are a litany of excuses made about that too.
btw Victor Marchetti died within the past year
It’s a bore discussing this, i just throw a few crumbs out there for people who havent heard of these things. For my part, I just want to understand people’s motivations for discussing things that happened long after the drama is done. Why that interests me, I don’t know. I’m an odd duck.
They were ‘hamstrung’ by bad judgement.
You want to hunt for truffles around CIA headquarters. There’s no reason to believe there’s anything there.
CIA lied about relevant contacts with Oswald.
Blakey’s bad judgment was just trusting them.
CIA also covered up relevant contacts with Jack Ruby. Not a reason for you of course.
Truly absurd: “You want to hunt for truffles around CIA headquarters. There’s no reason to believe there’s anything there.” Said by TIA x X.
Well, it just goes to show…: TIA doesn’t know everything, though he likes to pretend otherwise.
Quote in Marchetti’s obit:
“If I had it to do all over again, I’d have kept my mouth shut,” he said years after the furor over his book. “I’d have played the game.”
Which is one of the problems. Too many people are willing to play the game. And we’re in one hell of a mess.
“Journalist Misses His Deadline on Manson Article. By 20 Years.”
“Tom O’Neill, the author of a new book about the Manson murders, finds that the accepted narrative of the crimes doesn’t quite add up.”
“I had never believed in conspiracies. But it is a documented fact that the C.I.A. had a program called Chaos, and the F.B.I. had one called Cointelpro. The objectives of both of those at-the-time secret operations was to destabilize the left-wing movement and make hippies appear dangerous. And if this was a government operation, then boy did they succeed. Suddenly, everybody looked at anyone with long hair and a beard as a possible Charlie Manson.”
“Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties” (Hardcover – June 25, 2019)
Another excerpt for the aforementioned book:
The idea that the Manson family was trafficking drugs in Hollywood doesn’t seem wildly far-fetched. But what’s with the C.I.A. reference in the book’s title?
It may sound like a crazy conspiracy theory, but I discovered a lot of evidence that right after Manson was released from prison in 1967, he was spending a lot of time in the same medical clinic in San Francisco where it has been documented that a C.I.A. employee was recruiting subjects for studies of L.S.D. and its ability to influence human behavior.
Coincidental or not, Manson suddenly transformed from a harmless little ex-con who nobody ever gave a second glance, to an all-powerful guru surrounded by a harem of women who would do anything he asked, including kill complete strangers.
Anonymous – Manson seems to have memorized Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. When he got out of prison the last time and head to SF, he set himself up as a guru using sex, drugs, prison psychology and Dale. According to the girls, he used the drugs to get the girls and then the girls to get a couple more guys, including Tex.
Is there a CIA connection? Who knows.
Tom O’Neill seems to think so.
I dont know about all that Mason stuff, but the creepy Syd Gottlieb’s experiments on LSD for CIA were a real black mark. Today legitimate research on psychological effects of psychadelics and their potential therapeutic use is always hampered by Gottlieb’s horrible mischief.
Equally unfortunately, the number of cranks out there in cyberspace claiming they were “victims of MK Ultra” grows all the time and it’s totally impossible that this specific CIA mischief was at the foot of all the things that are blamed on it.
Then people like Absurd point to these cranks and dismiss the whole 9 years including legitimate historical questions grounded in fact, with potential relevance to our current times.
Relevant in part to us now because after 9-11 the Church committee reforms were simply tossed out the window and who knows what they’re up to now. What we have found out about in spite of the government is troubling and I continue to wonder how much the entrenched bureaucratic interests are up to no good and the bumbling Mueller and the whole phony fiasco are case in point.
“who knows what they’re up to now” -Mr Kurtz
the burning question
Most Americans don’t seem to care.
caring too much can be hazardous to your health.
“Mr Kurtz says: July 30, 2019 at 4:12 PM
caring too much can be hazardous to your health.”
Yep, that’s a fact.
No awards for this Report.
Dr. T – Again I see you excusing not only shoddy or inept investigative reporting by the Press, but the false lies perpetuated by multiple Dems. It’s shameful of you to say “Most were relatively minor criminal cases in terms of sentencing, leading to a few weeks in jail for people like Papadopoulos…” as if this is inconsequential or even representative of fair juris prudence. ANY AND ALL ABUSE by the Democrats, the CIA, FBI and Mueller team are travesties and should be stated as such. I have grave doubts you would welcome your name being smeared by liberals for months or being sentenced to a “few weeks in jail” when you were innocent of the absurd charges leveled at you by the Mueller Dossier Team who has indefinitely harmed Papadapoulos, Page, Flynn and many other conservatives. Please change your tone and excuses for the liberals who perpetuated these lies.
if their was Russian collusion for the winner it had to go to Clinton for having 3 million more votes for President Trump. I want to know why this was not investigated. that is a lot of votes.
Well I think it’s pretty obvious by now that this special council staff was not all that interested in so-called Russian election “interference” — whatever that means — per se.
That was simply a backdoor mechanism to prosecute Trump and others in his campaign for something — anything. And to insinuate Trump did not legitimately win the election.
That was the motivation here.
SteveJ – in watching the Mueller hearing, it was clear neither Mueller or the Democrats wanted to know who or where he was
Mueller or the Democrats wanted to know who or where he was
Honestly Paul many (most?) Americans don’t have the interest to delve deeper into the who, what, where, and when analysis for a third year. We are sickened with this coup d’etat by the Left.
The problem is that Americans keep sending back to Congress, and patronizing in the news media, e.g. CNN, NYT, WaPuhtz, et al., communist propagandists.
it’s a wonder we haven’t become another Cuba by now considering Woodward and Bernstein started us down this path with taking out Richard Nixon. But I’m the paranoid one!
I don’t know what your motives are, but it’s ridiculous to bring Nixon into this. He was guilty as hell of numerous campaign finance abuses, and I’m confident he would have been indicted and done jail time had he not been pardoned by Ford.
Stick to the current matter.
Stick to the current matter.
Yes, you should. Nixon <<<<<< Hillary Clinton breaking the laws of the US Government, Obama spying on Trump campaign, Comey, Mueller, Democrats in US House, all make Nixon look like an amateur.
the MSM brought down Nixon while they gave Bill Clinton and successive Dem politicos a pass. This really isn't new information
Oh come on. Nixon brought himself down. There was no prosecutorial misconduct in the Nixon case.
The Unraveling Myth of Watergate
by Patrick Buchanan
It was, they said, the crime of the century.
An attempted coup d’etat by Richard Nixon, stopped by two intrepid young reporters from The Washington Post and their dashing and heroic editor.
The 1976 movie, “All the President’s Men,” retold the story with Robert Redford as Bob Woodward, Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein and Jason Robards in his Oscar-winning role as Ben Bradlee. What did Bradlee really think of Watergate?
In a taped interview in 1990, revealed now in “Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee,” Bradlee himself dynamites the myth:
“Watergate … (has) achieved a place in history … that it really doesn’t deserve. … The crime itself was really not a great deal. Had it not been for the Nixon resignation, it really would have been a blip in history.”
“The Iran-Contra hearing was a much more significant violation of the democratic ethic than anything in Watergate,” said Bradlee.
Yet when the Iran-Contra scandal hit the Reagan White House, Bradlee chortled, “We haven’t had this much fun since Watergate.”
All fun and games at the Post. Yet with Nixon’s fall came the fall of South Vietnam, thousands executed, hundreds of thousands of boat people struggling in the South China Sea and a holocaust in Cambodia.
Still, what is most arresting about “Yours in Truth” is the panic that gripped Bob Woodward when Jeff Himmelman, the author and a protege of Woodward, revealed to him the contents of the Bradlee tapes.
Speaking of “All the President’s Men,” Bradlee had said, “I have a little problem with Deep Throat,” Woodward’s famous source, played in the movie by Hal Holbrooke, later revealed to be Mark Felt of the FBI.
Bradlee was deeply skeptical of the Woodward-Felt signals code and all those secret meetings. He told interviewer Barbara Feinman:
“Did that potted palm thing ever happen? … And meeting in some garage. One meeting in the garage. Fifty meetings in the garage … there’s a residual fear in my soul that that isn’t quite straight.”
Bradlee spoke about that fear gnawing at him: “I just find the flower in the window difficult to believe and the garage scenes. …
“If they could prove that Deep Throat never existed … that would be a devastating blow to Woodward and to the Post. … It would be devastating, devastating.”
When Himmelman showed him the transcript, Woodward “was visibly shaken” and repeated Bradlee’s line — “there’s a residual fear in my soul that that isn’t quite straight” — 15 times in 20 minutes.
Woodward tried to get Bradlee to retract. He told Himmelman not to include the statements in his book. He pleaded. He threatened. He failed.
That Woodward became so alarmed and agitated that Bradlee’s bullhockey detector had gone off over the dramatized version of “All the President’s Men” suggests a fear in more than just one soul here.
A second revelation of Himmelman’s is more startling.
During Watergate, Woodward and Bernstein sought to breach the secrecy of the grand jury. The Post lawyer, Edward Bennett Williams, had to go to see Judge John Sirica to prevent their being charged with jury tampering.
No breach had occurred, we were assured.
We were deceived.
According to Himmelman, not only did Bernstein try to breach the grand jury, he succeeded. One juror, a woman identified as “Z,” had collaborated. Notes of Bernstein’s interviews with Z were found in Bradlee’s files.
Writes Himmelman: “Carl and Bob, with Ben’s explicit permission, lured a grand juror over the line of illegality …”
This means that either Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee lied to Williams about breaching the grand jury, or the legendary lawyer lied to Sirica, or Sirica was told the truth but let it go, as all were engaged in the same noble cause — bringing down Nixon.
Who was that grand juror? Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee know, but none is talking and no one is asking. The cover-up continues.
Had one of Nixon’s men, with his approval, breached the secrecy of the Watergate grand jury, and lied abut it, that aide would have gone to prison and that would have been an article of impeachment.
Conduct that sent Nixon men to the penitentiary got the Post’s men a stern admonition. Welcome to Washington, circa 1972.
With the 40th anniversary of the break-in coming up this June, Himmelman’s book, well-written and revelatory of the temper of that time, will receive a wider reading.
As will Max Holland’s “Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat,” out this spring and the definitive book on why J. Edgar Hoover’s deputy betrayed his bureau and sought to destroy the honorable man who ran it, L. Patrick Gray.
With Bernstein’s primary source spilling grand jury secrets, and Mark Felt leaking details of the FBI investigation to Woodward, both of the primary sources on which the Washington Post’s Pulitzer depended were engaged in criminal misconduct.
At Kay Graham’s Post, the end justified the means.
Redford is now backing a new documentary, “All the President’s Men Revisited.” The Sundance Kid has his work cut out for him.
Thanks for the above Estovir. Watergate tells us what may have caused the problems we have today along with Muellers appointment. Some people at the FBI started to do the wrong things before Trump was a candidate.
Mark Steyn writes and one can change the names to today’s personalities, “As it is, the best take on Deep Throat comes not from The Washington Post but from LBJ’s old aphorism on Mark Felt’s boss J Edgar Hoover: it’s better to have him inside the tent, ah, leaking out than outside the tent leaking in. If only Nixon had kept Mark Felt inside the tent … ”
We should also understand that Mark Felt, himself, authorized illegal searches.
When I read books on Watergate in the mid 70s as a teen at a Jesuit prep school, my friends and I all asked why no one considered the Watergate expose an American coup’d etat. Of course you have had to have fled your country due to leftist communist dictatorship to have thought such a thing. To this very day many immigrant US Citizens see communists at work in overthrowing Nixon, Trump and any Republican by any means necessary. That most Americans think it would never happen here is concerning. Nadler, Schiff, Cummings, Wah Putz, NYT, CNN…..all commies.
Estovir, I take note of the fact that when Nixon’s actions were discovered Republicans asked him to resign. When Democrats have done far worse they are protected by their comrades many of which are guilty. I did not realize all this when I was young for I was a registered Democrat and didn’t like Republicans. Today I have a clearer view of what was happening at the time and recognize my positions have never substantially changed. Today I like neither party except I refuse to vote Democrat because I believe the party a danger to the nation. I am hoping that this will change so we return to at least a 2 party system responsive to the people where both parties support America and American citizens.
I have experience with the world of socialism and dictatorship and how that type of leadership leads to death and slavery. If the left continues on its march to dive off of cliffs following its leaders like buffalos do, we will all suffer.
interesting. i like a lot of pat’s columns but the corrupt RVN government and its weak and incompetent armed forces would have lost sooner or later with or without Watergate. I don’t get how pat lays that on watergate.
And another thing. Some think Nixon was driven from office because he recorded himself breaking the law.
That certainly expedited the matter, but the paper trail of campaign finance violations would have resulted in indictments anyway — probably by the time Carter was President.
Would Carter have pardoned him? We’ll never know.
Some of us scroll when we see Estovir’s name.
What “real life” do you need to break out of?
What grace can you ask of the Lord for mission?
The prayer that Jesus taught us
In his book The Screwtape Letters, near the end of the first letter, C. S. Lewis talks about the soul-deadening power of “real life.” The familiar experiences of our lives create a kind of hard shell around our awareness. As our lives draw on, it becomes increasingly difficult to believe any perception or intuition that draws our mind beyond its everyday expectations. We become conditioned to the set of experiences that we call “real life,” and we treat everything else as illusion or magic or childish fantasy. The tiny world we can create for ourselves can be quite comfortable, because nothing unusual ever happens in it. We can even start to imagine that this tiny world is completely under our control. This comfort comes at a high price, since it closes our minds to divine creativity and to the power that God is always ready to share.
In his teachings on prayer, Jesus shows his disciples how to break through this illusion and encounter divine grace. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus offers these teachings during his journey to Jerusalem. This is especially apt, because it is during this time that he prepares his disciples for their own ministry. Luke presents a version of the Lord’s Prayer as a summary introduction to everything Jesus wanted his disciples to know about prayer.
The first line of the prayer facilitates the “breakthrough.” The Father is so holy that even his name is sacred. For many first-century Jews, holiness was a paradox, implying both separation and nearness. A prime example appears in Ex 40:34-38, in which God, in fire and cloud, takes up residence at the very center of the Israelite camp. God remains an awesome and disruptive mystery, nearby and always at work, but never a part of the human world with its violence and self-interest. Those who call on the Lord’s holy name draw near to this same mystery.
The second petition turns one outward from this mystery to the world. “Your kingdom come” is a poignant prayer. In effect, we beg the Father that the world around us not be the final story, that flashes of love and grace foreshadow a joyful end to the human drama. Jesus caught sight of this beauty because his awareness of God’s holiness never wavered; just so, his disciples must ground themselves in God’s holy name before they can understand the world as a place for God’s kingdom.
Only then do we ask for what we need—a day’s bread, forgiveness, deliverance. In Jesus’ own experience, God provided these things in abundance. When a disciple prays as Jesus taught, “real life” melts away. A stingy world, which offers its benefits only in response to great effort and often capriciously, yields to the reign of God, who is more generous than the best of friends or the most loving of parents.
To pray as Jesus did draws our attention to the subtle evidence of God’s kingdom taking shape. With such prayer, Christ prepares us, as he did the first disciples, to continue his ministry of salvation.
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
Gn 18:20-32, Ps 138, Col 2:12-14, Lk 11:1-13
I yield to no one in my utter contempt at the chronic and habitual liar in the White House, but I- for one- am all ears about any misconduct on the part of the investigators. I could give you a taste of your own medicine and call the investigation of the Clinton campaign a “witch-hunt” but I will not. You got factual evidence? Bring it. No one is above the law including the moral degenerate we have as a President.
Are you for real?
Keep probing, Mr. Turley!
What is really scary is if they get and the they is the media not reporting and the Democrats. What could they do to you and I. I hope Gergan is curious to read John Soloman at the Hill to find answers.
Hill newspaper reference is shocking.
I’m really not going to wade through all that Natascha to find out if Hill is her last name. Tweets are for another forum.
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