Did Samantha Power Commit Perjury? It Depends If The Sessions Standard Applies.

440px-Samantha_Power_official_portraitFor weeks, we have discussed how the media, Democratic members, and a wide variety commentators have adopted a different standard in dealing with the allegation of sexual assault against Joe Biden. As soon as the presumptive Democratic nominee was accused, the rallying cry from the Kavanaugh hearing that “all women must be believed” was dropped. This week, the question may not be the applicability of the Kavanaugh standard but the Sessions standard. The recent declassification of documents shows that United Nations ambassador Samantha Power sought to unmask Michael Flynn’s name not once but on at least seven occasions. Yet, Power insisted that she had no recollection of even a single such request. When former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he had “no recollection” of meetings or other details, Democrats called for his prosecution for perjury. Will the Sessions’ standard apply to Power, or is this another example of standards changing with the affiliation of the accused?

Power testified under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that she had “no recollection” of ever making a single request for the unmasking of Flynn’s name. One would think that this was one unmasking that would stand out. After all, it occurred just before Power left with the Obama Administration and involved one of the top and most visible Trump officials. It also involved one of the highest ranking officials affecting diplomatic matters. Yet, Power said she had no such recollection.

It now appears that she made not one but at least seven such requests.  While Power and other Obama officials did not expressly seek Flynn’s name, they asked for the unmasking of the individual under surveillance who was speaking to the Russian ambassador on future policy changes. More importantly, Power was responding to unmasking requests that revealed Flynn’s name and said she had no recollection of such a request, let alone multiple requests. He was unmasked and later someone leaked that information from a classified investigation to the media as the Trump Administration was about to take over.

When Sessions had such gaps, the media spent weeks exploring the need for a perjury investigation and Democratic members demanded such an inquiry. He ultimately was investigation for perjury by the FBI.

Media like Politico lined up prosecutors to say that the “no recollection” claim is transparent and weak as a defense to perjury, including many of the former prosecutors routinely cited for supporting criminal charges against Trump and other Trump officials. Democratic insider and former Watergate prosector, Richard Ben-Veniste, said “Simply repeating the words ‘I don’t recall’ is not a magical amulet to ward off any further trouble.” On NBC.com, Sarah Kendzior declared “The first is that he is a skillful liar, flagrantly flirting with perjury as he denies or pretends to forget.”

However, Biden is not Kavanuagh and Power is not Sessions.  The most notable distinction is their party affiliation. Suddenly sexual assault and perjury becomes a more challenging and nuanced question.  The media has been virtually silent on this glaring failure to recollect.  The fact is that I did not view Sessions as a strong case for perjury and I do not view Powers as a strong case.  I also have never supported the view that any accuser must be believed as opposed to must be heard and taken seriously. My problem is the relative easy shown in these cases for Democratic members and commentators in shifting from one position to the other.  The only common denominator is not just political identification but political convenience.

 

 

119 thoughts on “Did Samantha Power Commit Perjury? It Depends If The Sessions Standard Applies.”

    1. Independent Bob – Ken Osmond “Eddie Haskell” became a LAPD motorcycle officer, was shot in the line of duty and retired sometime later. He died at 76

  1. Well, Ms. Power deserves an Irish Poem! Because I think if she didn’t unmask Flynn, she knows who did and is trying not to squeal. Either that or there could be sinister medical issues at play! And who else could have been stricken??? Daring to imagine things others will not – (Plus, I watch a lot of Zombie Movies!)

    Biden? Her Time???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    There once was a lady named Power,
    Whose memory it dimmed by the hour!
    A theory outrageous,
    Is Biden’s contagious!
    She was close to him hour after hour!

    Sooo, can Senile Dementia be spread???
    Like the flu, or a cold in the head???
    If so, ‘twould explain
    The whole dadgum chain,
    Of Barack Obama’s eight years – QED!*

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    A Latin word pronounced, “kwed”. 🙂

        1. Anonymous – you have to grow older, however you do not have to grow up. Being young at heart will make you live longer!

    1. Squeeky – the whole memory problem goes back to Hillary. Loved the poem and this time the footnote was NEEDED. 😉

      1. Thank you Cindy and PaulCS! I am glad you l liked it!

        Paul, I put a smiley face in the footnote for you, and I did not explain that QED is:

        QED is an abbreviation of the Latin words “Quod Erat Demonstrandum” which loosely translated means “that which was to be demonstrated”. It is usually placed at the end of a mathematical proof to indicate that the proof is complete.

        Because, I figgered everybody here knew that.

        Squeeky Fromm
        Girl Reporter

        1. Squeeky Fromm — You figured wrong. The vast majority here are unwashed, full of original sin, and have no idea where QED stems from.

          🐉

      2. FWIW, Squeeky’s footnote wasn’t correct.

        Q.E.D. is an abbreviation for a Latin phrase, quod erat demonstrandum (literally: “what was to be shown,” but more commonly interpreted as “thus it has been demonstrated”) that’s sometimes appended at the end of a logical or mathematical proof. It’s only correctly pronounced as either individual letters, “Q-E-D” (not “kwed”) or as the full phrase “quod erat demonstrandum.”

        1. Committ – you do not know crap about poetry. When a poet needs an unusual pronunciation for a word, they put it in a footnote.

          1. LOL that you think you know anything about my poetry knowledge.

            Again, Q.E.D. isn’t a word. It’s an abbreviation for a phrase. She could have accurately said “I’m taking poetic license with the pronunciation for this abbreviation” or just trusted readers would know how to mispronounce it to work with her limerick. The rhyme structure of a limerick isn’t hard.

            If you like limericks, here’s another from Limericking:

            “Pompeo, who’s very well staffed,
            Was using his staffers for graft.
            An IG inspected,
            Pompeo objected,
            And then the IG got the shaft.”

            1. Committ – poets don’t say I am going to take poetic licence, they just do it. Although they may say it to themselves. 😉 It does come up in discussions.

              1. Speaking of Haiku I thought I had lost this one! My world famous 3 word haiku!:
                ————
                Hey, wait a minute! This is Japan! We should all be doing Haiku! Here is one, with the fewest possible words, which Haikus are all about brevity. . .and just expressing enough of the essence to get the drift.

                A Ticky Situation???
                A Haiku by Squeeky Fromm

                Parasitism!
                Thrombocytopenia!
                Antibiotic!

                Squeeky Fromm
                Girl Reporter

                From here: https://jonathanturley.org/2017/09/13/ticked-off-japanese-officials-accidentally-release-lethal-tick-at-press-conference/

    2. QED — Q.E.D. —
      Quod Erat Demonstrandum

      Loosely, most loosely, “thus it is demonstrated”.

      🎓

  2. Regardless of the media or Democrats perceived beliefs…Mr. Durham and Mr. Barr will make those decisions…

    1. About what time?

      I would dearly love to see justice done prior to the next millennium!

      Obama is the most essential, abject criminal in American history.

      When does Obama pay the price for treason; for engaging in “…fundamentally transforming…” American fundamental law without

      even a modicum of authority to do so while fraudulently holding an office he is fully aware he is eminently ineligible for.

  3. BARR TO EXONERATE OBAMA

    “Barr: Review of Russia probe unlikely to lead to prosecution of Obama or Biden”

    – Axios
    ______

    “If James Comey would have indicted Hillary, James Comey would have convicted Obama.”

    – Andrew C. McCarthy
    __________________

    “We will stop him.”

    – Peter Strzok to FBI paramour, Lisa Page
    __________________________________

    “POTUS (Obama) wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    – Lisa Page to FBI paramour, Peter Strzok
    __________________________________

    If Obama had been caught in Great Britain two centuries ago, he would have been sentenced to Drawing and Quartering for challenging the authority of the [duly elected president].
    ___________________________________

    The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious criminal act in American political history.

    The co-conspirators are:

    Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann,

    Comey, Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Yates,

    Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove,

    Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper,

    Azra Turk, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner,

    Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler,

    Schiff, Pelosi, Obama, James E. Boasberg et al.

  4. government harassment of massage workers continues: AZ officers get hanjbs in order to “investigate human trafficking”

    https://reason.com/2020/05/14/ice-agents-fight-sex-trafficking-by-paying-potential-victims-for-hand-jobs/

    just like the one that ended up with the failed case against Robert Kraft. no nefarious “trafficking” just some misdemeanor tickets handed out to middle aged women for giving massages that customers liked just a little too much

  5. I have no interest in the claim made against Joe Biden, except in regards the consistency of those covering it and commenting on it. I do not believe all women, just like I do not believe all men. I believe Biden, like Kavanaugh, should be innocent till proven guilty, and that the responsibility for proving guilt should be on the accuser, regardless any other factors. I believe, as John Adams once said, “Better that a guilt man go free than an innocent man be jailed.” We should demand such consistency from our government officials and ourselves.

  6. “Simply repeating the words ‘I don’t recall’ is not a magical amulet to ward off any further trouble.”

    It shouldn’t be, but it is. Unless there is some documented, physical reason for a faulty memory, the response should never be neutral. Either Ms. Power did submit the unmasking requests or she did not. If she did not, and the evidence shows they were submitted in her name, but not by her, she is still responsible. As long as gross malfeasance, incompetence and/or maladministration is allowed to be an acceptable defense strategy, then we’ll get more and more of this kind of abuse of power.

    1. You haven’t presented any evidence that any of the unmasking requests constitute “abuse of power.” In fact, Grenell’s document says that all of these unmasking requests were “approved through NSA’s standard process, which includes a review of the justification for the request.”

      1. You haven’t presented any evidence that any of the unmasking requests constitute “abuse of power.”

        I don’t effing care, Paint Chips. Unless proven otherwise, she is on record as making the unmasking requests. And her claim that she “doesn’t recall” should never be a get out of jail free card. Idiots defending that deserve to be run over by their government.

        1. I’m not “Paint Chips.” Odd that you think I am.

          As for your statement that “her claim that she “doesn’t recall” should never be a get out of jail free card,” no one has suggested otherwise. Do “Idiots defending that [her claim that she ‘doesn’t recall’ should be a get out of jail free card]” even exist?

          1. “I’m not “Paint Chips.” Odd that you think I am.”

            Why is it odd? You sound like Paint Chips, Natacha, ByTheBook. The four of you all come here and do the same exact thing: you are always hating on Turley, the mildest man alive. You all share that same very strange behavior and sound very much alike.

            If you always behave like a shill, then you are one…and why would a shill only use one alias?

            1. “Why is it odd? You sound like Paint Chips, Natacha, ByTheBook. The four of you all come here and do the same exact thing”

              Well, it sounds like there is only one commenter on this blog that supports Trump. That commenter uses about 50 different names and posts many self-congratulating comments.

          2. “When I see a bird that walks like a duck and swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”

            – James Whitcomb Riley

          3. I’m not “Paint Chips.” Odd that you think I am.

            What would be odd is if you did.

            “Idiots defending that [her claim that she ‘doesn’t recall’ should be a get out of jail free card]” even exist?

            Well let’s see. You stated, You haven’t presented any evidence that any of the unmasking requests constitute “abuse of power.” Given the evidence, there are only two options and based on her testimony, neither of them are good; 1. Power was the person making the unmasking requests or 2. Someone else used her name to make the requests.

            On the first point: If all the unmasking requests she made were always for legitimate purposes, then why try to cover by claiming I don’t recall? If she never abused her authority, the correct response would be that every unmasking request she recalls submitting had legitimate State department purposes. On the second point: Unmasking requests done under her name but without her knowledge, would be by definition an abuse of power. And if that was the case, is there any evidence that Power initiated an internal investigation to discover who made those requests and has anyone was held accountable?

            So the I don’t recall response is one notch above the pathetic not wittingly Clapper response. And we know he escaped justice. So yeah, you’d have to be an idiot to accept the I don’t know response from an adult with the power to destroy lives, when you’d never accept that response from your child after discovering someone chopped off all their hair.

            1. Since her job was public diplomacy, it’s hard to understand why she would even be given a franchise to request unmaskings.

              1. I agree DSS. What’s tragic about all of this is roughly half the country are so blindly partisan that they will endorse any abuse of power as long as it benefits their preferred party.

            2. “Given the evidence, there are only two options … 1. Power was the person making the unmasking requests or 2. Someone else used her name to make the requests.”

              Your claim that there are “only two options” is false, as there are more than 2 options. You seem to be conflating the evidence in Grenell’s document (where there *are* only 2 possibilities: the request came from Power or from someone else using her name, presumably — though not necessarily — authorized to do that; also, this info is limited to requests from a 3 month period that resulted in Flynn’s name being unmasked and not any other unmasking requests from other dates or for other names) and the evidence in the 115 page transcript, which was not limited to a discussion of unmasking, much less a discussion of unmasking only of Flynn’s name.

              Have you read the transcript of the relevant exchanges, to know what she was asked, to know what’s ambiguous because of redactions in the questions and answers, …?

              When you say things like “If all the unmasking requests she made were always for legitimate purposes, then why try to cover by claiming I don’t recall?,” you’re assuming that she was covering something up, that (a) all of the questions where she said “no recollection” were about specific unmasking requests and (b) a competent person would never fail to recall some specific thing that s/he’s being asked about — that it can’t possibly be that “I don’t recall” or “I have no recollection” is an honest response for a legitimate request. The transcript makes clear that she requested many more unmaskings than the 7 in Grenell’s document (and of course we don’t know who else’s name was unmasked in those requests).

              Re: “Unmasking requests done under her name but without her knowledge, would be by definition an abuse of power,” note that you’ve moved the goalposts from “Someone else used her name to make the requests” (we agree that that’s one of 2 options for the Grenell doc) to “under her name but without her knowledge.” You’ve omitted “under her name and with her knowledge.”

              Re: “If she never abused her authority, the correct response would be that every unmasking request she recalls submitting had legitimate State department purposes,” if you read the transcript, you’d know that that’s not what she was asked. Focus on what she *was* asked, as that’s the context for her replies.

              A lot of this seems to boil down to you making unwarranted assumptions and likely not having looked at the transcript, perhaps relying on Turley’s description, which is not at all accurate. For example, his claim that “[Power and other Obama officials] asked for the unmasking of the individual under surveillance who was speaking to the Russian ambassador on future policy changes” is totally unwarranted. As, Ryan Goodman notes “The Washington Post confirms the summary of the Dec. 29 call [between Flynn and Kislyak] was an FBI, not an NSA, product which openly included Flynn’s name — and thus there would be no reason for officials to request an unmasking from the NSA [for that call].” (The FBI and NSA apparently have different rules about when someone’s name is masked in the first place.)

              1. There are of course many assumptions. At the top of my list is the assumption that anyone with power to infringe upon the rights of US persons has and will continue to do so until proven otherwise. This is not some irrational or unreasonable paranoia. Nor is my concern limited to one political party or another. It is a self-evident truth that power unchecked will be power abused.

                You’ve omitted “under her name and with her knowledge.

                For good reason. In the transcript, Power states that she didn’t even know what unmasking was. She was merely requesting to know the names of the US persons to better understand the intelligence she was receiving. I’m not sure which is worse, ignorantly abusing power, or doing so wittingly. Whichever the case, the right’s are infringed regardless.

                Here is an interesting exchange between her and Ms. Stefanik regarding the number of unmasking requests made by Power:

                MS. STEFANIK: So is it once a week? I mean, its just – it’s helpful. I know the difficulties of saying – if someone were to ask me how many meetings have you taken since the start of this year, I would say over 500, over 600 but, you know, probably not over 1,500. I’d be able to ballpark that knowing that I don’t necessarily keep track of that. But iust thinking in, you know, how ! do my lob.So if you know **** and you say you weren’t doing it on a daily basis, what about a weekly basis? Just to help us understand what the actual number was, if it’s more consistent with other requests.

                MS. POWER: l don’t recall, and it’s not because I have a bad memory. It’s just because I wasn’t tracking this. I am trying to think of – you’ve offered an analogy. You know, it was nowhere close to this. But l just think it’s perilous, you know. We’re talking orally, I am writing, I am writing in the car, I am writing in You know, it just – the process was – I am reading over the life of my time, you know, hundreds of thousands of pages of intelligence, in which, again, there are a huge number of references to U.S. persons. And l just think its hazardous for me to go there. But, again, it was nowhere near what is being ascribed here.

                What’s interesting to me after reading the transcript and this exchange, although Power already knows she is being offered the opportunity to make an educated guess, she has no number to offer. And yet she mysteriously does know the number documented in her name is nowhere near a number she won’t admit. How could she know it’s nowhere near when she does not know?

                1. “In the transcript, Power states that she didn’t even know what unmasking was.”

                  No, that’s not what she stated. She said “I heard the word unmasking for the first time when I read about it in the press … I had never heard the term unmasking before.” Not being familiar with terminology is quite distinct from not being familiar with a concept; a better transcription would even have put quotation marks around both occurrences of the word “unmasking” for that reason. I disagree that your having omitted “under her name and with her knowledge” was “For good reason.” Some of what she said certainly sounded to me like there were times when unmasking requests were made by her intelligence team on her behalf and with her knowledge, but it’s hard to interpret a lot of the discussion given the redactions.

                  “How could she know it’s nowhere near when she does not know?”

                  The same way Stefanik can say “I would say over 500, over 600 but, you know, probably not over 1,500.” So if someone asked her “Is it 10,000?,” she would presumably say “it was nowhere near [that],” even though she can’t say what the correct number is. The same way I can say “my weight is nowhere near X” for lots of values of X, even though I don’t know my weight right now. It’s quite common for people to be able to bound a range without knowing where in the range the actual value lies.

                  Going back to the beginning, you responded to a quote from Ben-Veniste by saying “[‘Simply repeating the words ‘I don’t recall’’] shouldn’t be [‘a magical amulet to ward off any further trouble’], but it is. Unless there is some documented, physical reason for a faulty memory, the response should never be neutral.”

                  Your first sentence is false. As noted in the article that Turley was quoting from, “Several top Richard Nixon White House aides went to prison in part for perjury after insisting they couldn’t recall details surrounding Watergate that later proved disingenuous.” Your second sentence is also false. People can sometimes honestly say “I don’t recall” in the absence of a “documented, physical reason for a faulty memory.”

                  That said, I’m certainly not claiming that “I don’t recall” (or some variant) is always true. For example, Trump said this over 2 dozen times under oath in response to Mueller’s questions. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was lying for some of these.

                  I don’t know if Power was telling the truth.
                  I do know that Turley made a lot of mistakes in his argument, and I think it’s bad for society for people to make these kinds of sloppy arguments.

                  1. I don’t know if Power was telling the truth.

                    And so the only reasonable response given this particular power is to of course whine about Turley’s argument and defend this LIKELY serious abuse of power. GFY

                    1. RME. Neither of us knows whether she was telling the truth.

                      There are many reasonable responses to this column. Mine is one of them. Regardless of whether she was telling the truth, Turley’s analysis is faulty and includes false statements. I’ve worked in academia and expect better of faculty.

                      You’ve presented no good argument that it’s “LIKELY serious abuse of power.” If you have one, I invite you to make it. If you don’t have one or would rather walk away, OK, your claim will remain unsubstantiated.

                    2. You’ve presented no good argument that it’s “LIKELY serious abuse of power.”

                      Of course I have, they just don’t align with your defense of government abuse of power. I know, right now you’re thinking I’m doing no such thing. I don’t care which party has the power. My default position is whoever has it will abuse it. And how do they get people to defend abuse? By convincing people it’s not abuse, but a legitimate use of the law. And of course by legitimate, I mean supportive of one parties ideology against the threat of another. So while your party gets you whacking around in the legal weeds, you’ll never see what is painfully obvious to the victims of the abuse, as well as anyone concerned with the security of rights.

                      Samantha Power may have legally submitted unmasking requests and that is the angle I perceive you taking. That’s the weed whacking angle. I approach it from a rights angle and whether what is legal is also just. From that perspective, it is entirely unjust.

                    3. With respect to providing evidence for your claim that “this [is] LIKELY serious abuse of power” you now say “My default position is whoever has it will abuse it.”

                      If that’s what your argument boils down to, then you’re begging the question, a common fallacy: https://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#BeggingtheQuestion

                      “Of course I have [made arguments], they just don’t align with your defense of government abuse of power.”

                      You don’t provide a shred of evidence here that I’ve presented any “defense of government abuse of power.” Of course, if your “default position is whoever has it will abuse it,” then you may well assume that anyone who doesn’t take *your* default position is defending government abuse of power. If so, that would again be begging the question.

                      You often seem to simply assume the things that are key to your argument. You say things like “It is a self-evident truth that power unchecked will be power abused,” when it’s not a self-evident truth (it’s only what you, personally, believe, and — interestingly — goes far beyond Acton’s claim that “Absolute power corrupts absolutely,” since unchecked power doesn’t equal absolute power; we all have unchecked power for some things), and you present no evidence that there were no checks on these unmasking requests.

                      You assume that I’m whacking at legal weeds, and you miss what I’m actually doing: focusing on whether reasoning is valid or faulty and whether the claims people make are true, or if they’re instead false, or uncertain, or simply matters of opinion. It’s no surprise that people often have different opinions.

                    4. Begging the question, huh? When I state that I have a default position, I freely admit that is a bias toward expecting our government also has a default position towards the infringement of rights. I believe I’m in pretty good company. You may recognize this sentence:

                      That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends,..

                      Jefferson and the other framers weren’t saying if, but when. Were they begging the question when they signed on to what they believed were self-evident truths about human nature and it’s influence on those given the power of law? Were they begging the question when they created our constitution? Are the Federalist Papers rooted in logical fallacies? What do you believe they would say about where we are as a nation? Would they take the known evidence and argue in defense of the government’s position that the unmasking requests were likely a proper use of the law? I could see them arguing (in the legal weeds) like Adam’s defense of the British troops involved in the Boston Massacre. Power was merely using the law available. The question is not whether the use was legal. The question is whether the law enables abuse of rights. If you consider my reasoning a logical fallacy, so be it. You defend the law, I’ll defend the rights.

                  2. Much of Turley’s opinion was without proper context. Not much in the way of credible sources (something he read in Politico?) that I found. Both of these are missing and are essential to understanding the story. By not providing this critical information there’s doesn’t seem to be much of a point, or reason, for writing this article.

            3. “Yes, but I’m trying to grapple with the word ‘suggest.’ Could you repeat the question?”

              “Sir, it seems you’d remember something like that and be able to tell us. Perhaps they suggested?”

              “I wouldn’t say suggest.”

              “Hinted?”

              “I don’t know.”

              “Inferred?”

  7. At his cabinet meetings, when Obama would look around at a sea of pom-poms, I’m sure he never imagined that one day his presidential pep squad would be under this kind of scrutiny.

  8. I posted this in Turley’s “Corrections” page, but it belongs here too …

    In today’s column about Samantha Power, Mr. Turley says “Samantha Power sought to unmask Michael Flynn’s name not once but on at least seven occasions. Yet, Power insisted that she had no recollection of even a single such request. … Power testified under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that she had ‘no recollection’ of ever making a single request for the unmasking of Flynn’s name.”

    The errors in this:
    1) It has been pointed out to Mr. Turley at least twice — in comments on previous columns about unmasking — that “Not all the officials on the list may have made the request directly, according to [former Acting CIA Director Michael] Morell. Sometimes an intelligence officer briefing a senior official makes the request, but those are logged as coming from the senior official.” (nytimes.com/2020/05/13/us/politics/unmasking-flynn.html ). Mr. Turley has presented no evidence that the seven requests logged in Power’s name actually came from her rather than from one or more intelligence officers briefing her.
    2) He doesn’t link to the transcript he’s quoting from, and he quotes the phrase “no recollection” but doesn’t quote even a full sentence, much less an exchange that provides the full context of what she said she had “no recollection” of. Presumably he’s referring to this transcript: https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/sp40.pdf In that transcript, there are three places where she says “no recollection,” and any honest discussion would note that because of redactions, we lack the full context for what she’s been asked about. The claim that “Power testified under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that she had ‘no recollection’ of ever making a single request for the unmasking of Flynn’s name” (emphasis added) is simply baseless, as there is no evidence that that she was asked a general question about whether she’d ever made a request that resulted in Flynn’s name being unmasked.

    Elaborating on point (2):

    Here is the first exchange containing “no recollection,” from pp. 36-37:

    MR. SCHIFF: Well, let me then ask you about, sort of, maybe the gravamen of how this came about. And I think it came about over a concern about the leaking of Mike Flynn’s name. Now, the White House has publicly acknowledged that they had to let him go because he didn’t disclose a conversation he had with the Russian Ambassador on the subject of sanctions. None of the reports that I’ve seen that will be related to you or you’ll be asked about today concern the conversation with Mike Flynn and the Russian Ambassador. So, to your knowledge, did you ever make [redacted].”
    MS. POWER: “I don’t recall making such a request. I want to just again stress, though, that any time a U.S. person or entity’s name came to me disclosed or annotated or where I requested it and it came back, I never discussed it with another member of the human race.
    “So, you know, I don’t recall making such a request. I wasn’t tabulating when and whether l was making requests. I wasn’t thinking about this practice in the fraught way in which we are discussing it. But, certainly, I have nothing to do with the leaking of names that were deminimized in whatever process occurred –”
    MR. SCHIFF: “And l just want to be clear that there’s no indication you ever made a request or that there necessarily was even a report on that subject. But I did want to get you on the record on that, because at the end of the day that’s sort of where this came from.”
    MS. POWER: “Yes. I have no recollection of making a request related to General Flynn.”

    Because the end of Rep. Schiff’s question is redacted, we simply do not know whether Mr. Schiff was asking about any unmasking whatsoever (which seems highly unlikely, given that he explicitly says “None of the reports that … you’ll be asked about today concern the conversation with Mike Flynn and the Russian Ambassador.”) or if he was instead asking about something much more specific. So we have insufficient context for interpreting her statement “I have no recollection of making a request related to General Flynn.” Moreover, “a request related to Gen. Flynn” is not synonymous with “a request that resulted in Gen. Flynn’s name being unmasked.” For all you know, she was referring to a request that would have resulted in someone else’s name being unmasked in a context related to Flynn, for whatever Schiff was asking about.

    Here is the second exchange containing “no recollection,” from pp. 63-65:

    MR. GOWDY: “[redacted] I think you will see two named U.S. persons on the second page, maybe two-thirds of the way down.”
    MS. POWER: “Yep.”
    MR. GOWDY: “Adam is right. There’s the leak part. There’s the masking with respect to Russia. There’s the broader unmasking question that if we had you twice we wouldn’t be going into today, but we’re trying to only bring you once. So that’s what we’re trying to do. Help me understand why you would have made a request to unmask those two named U.S. persons and how their identity would’ve helped you assess the intelligence value of this product.”

    MS. POWER: “So l don’t recall making this unmasking request, and I don’t recall this piece of intelligence. Again, I’m reading a lot of intelligence and often quite quickly. [4 paragraphs redacted] But, again, I certainly have no recollection of making a request of this kind.”

    Given that Gowdy referred ot “two named U.S. persons” but references to Flynn are not oblique in this way, odds are that he’s not even asking about unmaskings that led to Flynn’s name being unmasked.

    Here is the third exchange containing “no recollection,” from pp. 82-83:

    MR. SWALWELL: “And so its clear that there’s a — as the [redacted] has produced more reports, you have requested more what the majority calls unmaskings? You have more access — you’re requesting more unmaskings?”
    MS. POWER: “Yeah. I mean, what I can tell you is that the number reflect — the number that you have appears to reflect that, but I don’t — my intelligence practice didn’t change in 2016. I don’t recall there being any increase or change in the way that l would’ve asked questions about intelligence. So I recognize that your numbers are reflecting an increase, and I recognize that the totality of [redacted] reports has [redacted] it looks like [redacted] in 2016 than 2008.
    “But even your [redacted] numbers, which are news to me, that you have provided, I can’t tell you with certainty that I made that number or a different number. I just have no recollection, and, again, I was focused on another task not on tabulating this. …”

    This instance of “no recollection” seems unrelated to Flynn’s name being unmasked.

    Finally, if you look at the document that Mr. Grenell sent to Senators Grassley and Johnson with the names and dates of unmasking requests from people “who may have received Lt. Gen Flynn’s identity in response to a request processed between 8 November 2016 and 31 January 2017 to unmask an identity that had been generically referred to in an NSA foreign intelligence report,” you’ll see that Grenell also states “While the principals are identified below, we cannot confirm that they saw the unmasked information.” If she requested an unmasking but ultimately didn’t see the unmasked information (say, if she instead had an intelligence officer read it), then what is she likely to recall about that unmasking request?

    The entire column is irresponsible. The more I think about it, the more I’m struck that Mr. Turley doesn’t link to the Power transcript but he does link to a Fox News article about her testimony. I suspect that he never took time to read her actual testimony and instead based his column on the misrepresentations in the Fox News article.

    If he’s truly committed to correcting errors, he’ll address these and perhaps retract the column

    1. Perhaps Mr. Turley will otherwise address these issues, but you make the unsupported assumption Ms. Powers is telling the truth. This is, in the proverbial phrase, a known unknown.

      1. No, I’m not assuming that “Ms. Powers is telling the truth.”

        I’m noting that the evidence Mr. Turley is drawing on doesn’t support his claims and that his analysis is sloppy. He’s tenured faculty at GWU, and he should take better care with evidence and analyses.

    2. So, if you believe that someone other than Powers made the unmasking requests? Are you anxious to find out who did this if true? Or, do you, like most Democrats, just make a statement, and then try to shut down the investigation.

      If what Ms. Powers says is true, then it is imperative that we find out who used her name in the unmaskings? Since unmasking is not a crime, the use of someone else’s name to do it, would be.

      1. “Or, do you, like most Democrats, just make a statement, and then try to shut down the investigation.” Excellent analysis Justice for All… I don’t know if this rhetorical tactic has a name, but we should call it the Billary-Carville defense, because I’ve never seen anyone on the political scene do it more often. It’s like the phrase, “I was taken out of context.” Both phrases should require the listener to do some work. In the first case, they should say, “Okay, if Power didn’t do it, who did? And, more importantly, why did they do it?” To defeat and hopefully put the second one to rest, we should say, “Okay, put it in context and tell us what you meant when you said it.” Too often, we allow these lazy defenses to somehow be the lone defense of a transgression, and we never get to the thrust of the issue at hand.

      2. “So, if you believe that someone other than Powers made the unmasking requests…”

        I neither believe nor disbelieve it. I don’t know either way.

        “Are you anxious to find out who did this if true?”

        I’m fine with finding out, but I’m not “anxious” about it, just like I’m not “anxious” about finding out who made the over 30,000 unmasking requests in Trump’s administration.

        “do you, like most Democrats, just make a statement, and then try to shut down the investigation.”

        You’ve provided no evidence that most Democrats do this, and I doubt it’s true. I’m certainly not trying to shut down any predicated investigation.

        “Since unmasking is not a crime, the use of someone else’s name to do it, would be [a crime].”

        I have no reason to assume that, especially since the former CIA Acting Director indicated it’s done by intelligence officers who are briefing senior officials and didn’t suggest that it’s a crime. If *you* think it’s a crime, simply cite the law that says it’s a crime. But assuming it’s a crime without evidence is unhelpful.

    3. This isn’t even a “nice try”. Just because you don’t want something to be true, doesn’t mean it isn’t.

      1. If you think something I said is false, just quote it and give me evidence that it’s false, and if you’re right, I’ll gladly admit that I was wrong. I have no problem correcting my actual mistakes. But you haven’t identified any.

    4. Committ, the sloppiness of many of JTs columns, including repeated falsehoods, is alarming coming from a professor of law.

      1. an alarm in your mind only and presumptuous of you to judge turley’s content though you do it in a negative way day after day after day after day it’s up to like 1/3 of your posts now just dissing turley

      2. Yeah, I’ve about given up on this site. Turley’s columns have too many errors of fact and reasoning, and there are too many commenters posting insults all the time / too little honest discussion. So if I disappear soon, take care.

        1. Hope you stick. Good to see someone try to stay with real issues and facts – we haven”t agreed on all of them. I’ve gotten used to swimming against the tide and the insults and take way too much pleasure in hurling my own.

        2. Committ – you do not reason honestly. You fudged my comment to look like I hadn’t given a cite. And then accused me of not giving a cite. You will not be missed..

          1. Re: “you do not reason honestly,” if you think I said anything false, just quote it and provide evidence that it’s false. If you’re correct that it’s false, I’ll gladly note that I was mistaken.

            “You fudged my comment to look like I hadn’t given a cite. And then accused me of not giving a cite.”

            I have no idea what comment you’re referring to. It’s certainly not a comment on this column, because as of right now (6:40 pm EDT), you only have 2 comments on this column, and I didn’t respond to the first and am only now responding to the second. If you link to the comment where you’re claiming I did that, everyone will be able to judge whether I did what you accuse me of.

            And I have no doubt that most here won’t miss me. I won’t miss them either.

                1. Why so mean Jelly Bean? Okay okay, we can all see you are emotionally needy so here you go: I would miss you too snarky Anon. 😉

    5. Sometimes an intelligence officer briefing a senior official makes the request, but those are logged as coming from the senior official
      _______________________________________________________

      So let me see if I got this straight:
      The intelligence officers briefed Obama officials and that resulted in records of unmasking by those Obama officials. Then fast forward to the present where the Obama officials are being excoriated for doing the unmasking which they were unaware of.

      If that is correct, this sure sounds like the Intelligence community has framed the Obama officials in an attempt to help Trump politically. But once again the Democrats are either too stupid or too complicit to do anything to expose or counter this this frame up.

      1. That “Sometimes an intelligence officer briefing a senior official makes the request, but those are logged as coming from the senior official” does not tell us whether that occurred in any of the instances listed in the material released by DNI Grenell. We don’t know and shouldn’t assume either way. The answer to “let me see if I got this straight: …,” is no, you didn’t get it straight.

        1. That “Sometimes an intelligence officer briefing a senior official makes the request, but those are logged as coming from the senior official” does not tell us whether that occurred in any of the instances listed in the material released by DNI Grenell.
          ___________________________________________________

          It tells us it could have occurred and there is no evidence it did not occur. In other words, it means there is zero evidence that the story that these Obama officials unmasked anybody is true given the uncertainty as to who logged the requests.
          ____________________________________________________

          We don’t know and shouldn’t assume either way
          __________________________________________________

          I am afraid that ship has sailed. Mr Turley and his numerous fans have assumed that they have good evidence when it is clear as you point out none of us have any evidence at all besides the word of the Obama officials who may well be telling the truth.

          But here is the thing: When such charges are made and they gain traction despite the fact that there is not a bit of good evidence you have to look at and suspect whomever it is that has the power to make that happen.

    6. “It has been pointed out to Mr. Turley at least twice — in comments on previous columns about unmasking…”

      You know Turley doesn’t read the comments section so what on earth are you talking about?

      1. No, I don’t “know Turley doesn’t read the comments section.” Unless he says, how would anyone even determine whether he does or doesn’t *read* comments, as distinct from *posting responses* to comments. In the week I’ve been commenting, I haven’t seen him post any replies, but he did correct 3 errors that I pointed out in comments, so someone is reading some of the comments.

    7. Agree. I had the same thoughts. Thank you for posting this information. It’s a valid critique. His article is sketchy and needs clarification. It really was not informative & a bit of a waste of time. Unless the point was just a hit-job.

  9. I think you’re being too hard on Miss Samantha. There was only one interview with Flynn-Kislyak that the FBI relied on and if she asked for the same unmasking 6 times before it is probable she forgot again after getting the 7th one. Recall is probably not her strength.

    1. The requests made under Power’s name are dated 11/30/16, 12/2/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16 (two requests), 12/23/16, and 1/11/17, and all but one of these occurred before Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak on 12/29/16, so those first six requests could not possibly about Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak. Unlikely that the last one is either, since there was no need for there to be an unmasking request made to the NSA for those conversations in the first place. As Post reporter Ellen Nakashima noted: “As we first reported here https://t.co/eusNgeUPGG, it was the FBI– not the NSA–that collected on Kislyak’s call with Flynn. And the FBI’s summary of that call included Flynn’s name in the open. So there was NO NEED to request an unmasking.”

      Details, details.

  10. Of course it’s another example of double standards. Anyone who doesn’t see that immediately is lying, and accepts the double standard as “the ends justify the means” in the ongoing quest to unseat Bad Orange Man.

  11. naah
    The Flynn standard should be used
    Better still
    Skip the perjury sideshow and go with the acts of unmasking, spying and conspiracy with illegal wiretaps

  12. I agree with your conclusion, but until the left is made to live with the same standards they have set for their opponents on the right, they will never learn. They never suffer any consequences in part because the press, who we must defend and not attack, turns a blind eye.

  13. On his way out the door Obama committed one of his most wicked acts. It was certainly the most blatant, and a clear up yours to the USA and President elect Trump. Power was his enabler, and she relished the act. President Trump moved the Israeli embassy, honouring Congressional law, and has done all that he can to rectify this shame. Power unmasked US citizens for political gain, in an industrial manner. Perjury is as nothing to her.

  14. I’m curious at this point Mr. Turley..

    Exactly what Democratic principle do you adhere to that makes you identify yourself as such?

    I will point out there is a distinct difference between “classical Liberal” and today’s Democrat. So I’m curious how you still say you are democrat, when your party is consistently taking an anti-Constitutional view on matters of Law.

    And most recently, which you are very much aware of, even taking stances that are not logical much less bound by the Rule of Law.

    1. Excellent question, I have wondered for some time now how anyone with any semblance of mental acuity could adhere to or even admit membership in the democrat party.

      1. Every sane person in the Democrat party is a force multiplier for actually having good results happen in government.

        The more they drift towards insanity, the more we risk a constitutional crisis and civil war.

        Democrats like Turley bring hope to the American experiment in “democracy”

        1. I agree – however, I do find it annoying to be told in about every third post that Mr. Turley didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I don’t think it adds to the gravitas of his analysis.

    2. So apparently you are saying that because Prof. Turley does not support, or questions, the Democrat’s policy of using a double-standard means he cannot be a Democrat?

  15. Sessions was railroaded by McCabe, who opened the criminal investigation for perjury, when they (The FBI) knew damn well that Sessions wasn’t ‘colluding’ or ‘conspiring’ or lying about his interactions. In fact, the question he was asked related to his interactions with Russians as “part of the Trump Campaign”. He told the truth – and everyone knew it. McCabe used that criminal investigation to get Jeff Sessions to recuse himself so they could perpetuate the Russia Hoax and get the jellyfish-spine Rosenstein to appoint a Special Counsel.

    1. McCabe used that criminal investigation to get Jeff Sessions to recuse himself so they could perpetuate the Russia Hoax and get the jellyfish-spine Rosenstein to appoint a Special Counsel.
      ____________________________________________________

      Sorry that story does not work.
      Session ended up firing McCabe and after that he testified that he was unaware that he was ever being investigated by McCabe.

  16. Democrats are post-modernists. Post-modernists, like their progenitor from antiquity, reject the law of non-contradiction; that is, self-contradiction is not self-refutation, at least not automatically. That’s just an argument, and arguments are cheap.

    Post-modernism is incoherent, but the post modernist doesn’t see that as a problem. Basically, the will to power is what they observe.

    https://strikelawyer.wordpress.com/2018/03/07/nietzsche-redux-and-the-tyranny-of-the-incoherent/

  17. “My problem is the relative easy shown in these cases for Democratic members and commentators in shifting from one position to the other. The only common denominator is not just political identification but political convenience.”

    Go ahead Professor Turley! I am fine if you use my “Bad Wrestler” analogy! To wit:

    Trying to explain “principles”, or “right vs. wrong”, or “rules”, or “logical consistency” to a Democrat, is like trying to explain to a bad, cheating, folding metal chair-using, wrestler why he didn’t win the WWF Belt fairly. He is not able to comprehend what you are going on about. All he knows is, that he won the match and the Championship Belt, and so what if his girl friend jumped into the ring while the referee wasn’t looking, and whacked the Good Wrestler over the head with a metal chair! What difference, at this point, does it really make??? After all, he won! He has the Championship Belt! Isn’t that all that matters???

    But if the Good Wrestler does the same thing in response to the Bad Wrestler, then the Bad Wrestler is full of righteous indignation and he will mouth all the right words – for example “ I was cheated blah blah blah!” But there really is no issue of morality in play with the Democrats or the Bad Wrestler. Like some sort of primitive in the wilds, whatever helps him get what he wants is good, and whatever keeps him from getting what he wants is bad. It is as simple as that. Democrats, and Bad Wrestlers, are complete sociopaths.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. I think I said pretty much the same thing, but pointed out the intellectual underpinnings for this pathology. Intellectual used in a loose sense, obviously. It’s more like anti-intellectual.

    2. In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass (1871). Alice remarks that Humpty is “exactly like an egg,” which Humpty finds to be “very provoking.” Alice clarifies that she said he looks LIKE an egg, not that he IS one … to which Humpty Dumpty says, “my name means the shape I am …”
      And later, Alice said, “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,'” Humpty Dumpty smiled … contemptuously .. saying “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!'” “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected. Humpty said in a scornful tone, “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
      “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
      “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
      Alice was too puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again: “They’ve a temper, some of them—particularly verbs, they’re the proudest—adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs—however, I can manage the whole lot! Impenetrability! That’s what I say!”
      This passage was used in Britain by Lord Atkin in his dissenting judgement in the seminal case Liversidge v. Anderson (1942), … and became a popular citation in U.S. legal opinions, appearing in more than 250 judicial decisions in the Westlaw database, including two Supreme Court cases (TVA v. Hill and Zschernig v. Miller).

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