Willful Blindness: New Damaging Information On The Russian Investigation Is Promptly Unseen By The Media

Pandora_-_John_William_WaterhouseBelow is my column in The Hill on the recent disclosure of a document showing that the FBI used an agent to gather information for Crossfire Hurricane during campaign briefings of Trump during 2016.  The document directly contradicted the long-standing denial that the investigation to Russian collusion was ever used to gather intelligence on Trump or his campaign.  At the same time, the credibility of the Steele Dossier was further undermined this weekend with the release of new information that Steele misrepresented the sources and information used as the basis for this report, which was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  The source for the most alarming allegations was revealed as Igor Danchenko, 42, as confirmed to The New York Times,  He was not the “Russian-based” source claimed by Steele and the FBI learned that Steele took third-hard rumors and presented them as hard intelligence in the report used to help justify the Russian collusion investigation. This source was used in the last two renewal applications to the FISA court as a “truthful and cooperative” and “Russian-based,” according to the Justice Department Inspector General report found. So it turns out that the primary “source” of Steele’s dossier was “not a well-connected current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian-based contract employee of Steele’s firm.”

None of this has made any difference to the coverage.  On ABC Sunday, George Stephanopoulos had Chris Christie as a guest but his involvement in the very meeting discussed in the document did not merit a single question from the host.  In the meantime, Democratic leaders, who once mocked the idea of any investigation of Trump or targeting of the campaign, now say that it really doesn’t matter. Rep. Eric Swalwell says that it was actually “the right thing to do.” 

Here is the column:

The Washington press corps seems engaged in a collective demonstration of the legal concept of willful blindness, or deliberately ignoring the facts, following the release of yet another declassified document which directly refutes prior statements about the investigation into Russia collusion. The document shows that FBI officials used a national security briefing of then candidate Donald Trump and his top aides to gather possible evidence for Crossfire Hurricane, its code name for the Russia investigation.

It is astonishing that the media refuses to see what is one of the biggest stories in decades. The Obama administration targeted the campaign of the opposing party based on false evidence. The media covered Obama administration officials ridiculing the suggestions of spying on the Trump campaign and of improper conduct with the Russia investigation. When Attorney General William Barr told the Senate last year that he believed spying did occur, he was lambasted in the media, including by James Comey and others involved in that investigation. The mocking “wow” response of the fired FBI director received extensive coverage.

The new document shows that, in summer 2016, FBI agent Joe Pientka briefed Trump campaign advisers Michael Flynn and Chris Christie over national security issues, standard practice ahead of the election. It had a discussion of Russian interference. But this was different. The document detailing the questions asked by Trump and his aides and their reactions was filed several days after that meeting under Crossfire Hurricane and Crossfire Razor, the FBI investigation of Flynn. The two FBI officials listed who approved the report are Kevin Clinesmith and Peter Strzok.

Clinesmith is the former FBI lawyer responsible for the FISA surveillance conducted on members of the Trump campaign. He opposed Trump and sent an email after the election declaring “viva the resistance.” He is now under review for possible criminal charges for altering a FISA court filing. The FBI used Trump adviser Carter Page as the basis for the original FISA application, due to his contacts with Russians. After that surveillance was approved, however, federal officials discredited the collusion allegations and noted that Page was a CIA asset. Clinesmith had allegedly changed the information to state that Page was not working for the CIA.

Strzok is the FBI agent whose violation of FBI rules led Justice Department officials to refer him for possible criminal charges. Strzok did not hide his intense loathing of Trump and famously referenced an “insurance policy” if Trump were to win the election. After FBI officials concluded there was no evidence of any crime by Flynn at the end of 2016, Strzok prevented the closing of the investigation as FBI officials searched for any crime that might be used to charge the incoming national security adviser.

Documents show Comey briefed President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on the investigation shortly before the inauguration of Trump. When Comey admitted the communications between Flynn and Russian officials appeared legitimate, Biden reportedly suggested using the Logan Act, a law widely seen as unconstitutional and never been used to successfully convict a single person, as an alternative charge against Flynn. The memo contradicts eventual claims by Biden that he did not know about the Flynn investigation. Let us detail some proven but mostly unseen facts.

First, the Russia collusion allegations were based in large  part on the dossier funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The Clinton campaign repeatedly denied paying for the dossier until after the election, when it was confronted with irrefutable evidence that the money had been buried among legal expenditures. As New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman wrote, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it and with sanctimony for a year.”

Second, FBI agents had warned that dossier author Christopher Steele may have been used by Russian intelligence to plant false information to disrupt the election. His source for the most serious allegations claims that Steele misrepresented what he had said and that it was little more than rumors that were recast by Steele as reliable intelligence.

Third, the Obama administration had been told that the basis for the FISA application was dubious and likely false. Yet it continued the investigation, and then someone leaked its existence to the media. Another declassified document shows that, after the New York Times ran a leaked story on the investigation, even Strzok had balked at the account as misleading and inaccurate. His early 2017 memo affirmed that there was no evidence of any individuals in contact with Russians. This information came as the collusion stories were turning into a frenzy that would last years.

Fourth, the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and inspectors general found no evidence of collusion or knowing contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. What inspectors general did find were false statements or possible criminal conduct by Comey and others. While unable to say it was the reason for their decisions, they also found statements of animus against Trump and his campaign by the FBI officials who were leading the investigation. Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified he never would have approved renewal of the FISA surveillance and encouraged further investigation into such bias.

Finally, Obama and Biden were aware of the investigation, as were the administration officials who publicly ridiculed Trump when he said there was spying on his campaign. Others, like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, declared they had evidence of collusion but never produced it. Countless reporters, columnists, and analysts still continue to deride, as writer Max Boot said it, the spinning of “absurd conspiracy theories” about how the FBI “supposedly spied on the Trump campaign.”

Willful blindness has its advantages. The media covered the original leak and the collusion narrative, despite mounting evidence that it was false. They filled hours of cable news shows and pages of print with a collusion story discredited by the FBI. Virtually none of these journalists or experts have acknowledged that the collusion leaks were proven false, let alone pursue the troubling implications of national security powers being used to target the political opponents of an administration. But in Washington, success often depends not on what you see but what you can unsee.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley

510 thoughts on “Willful Blindness: New Damaging Information On The Russian Investigation Is Promptly Unseen By The Media”

  1. I can only speak for myself – but if you link to a “factcheck” web site – I am not bothering. They are notoriously bad.
    Merely by citing one you are proving your own biases. This is like you 20,000 lies nonsense – that means “i disagree with trump 20,000 time, or I have microparsed his tweets.

    I am an adult with lots of real world experience and the ability to do a web search.

    I know how to do my own fact checking and I do not need someone else to think for me.

    I do not know the actual deaths from H1N1. I do not think we will every know.
    What I do know is that H1N1 deaths are measures entirely different from C19 deaths.

    We also know that regardless of the scale of the H1N1 epedemic – that Obama/Biden botched handling it.

    Are C19 and H1N1 radically different ? Does it even matter – they are both deadly virus’s that resulted in global epidemics.

  2. The whole C19 crap is nonsense.

    We can fight over it, for a while – but C19 is either continuing to rampage the country and soon (6 weeks ago) there will be massive numbers of deaths or it is dying.

    I do not expect to be wrong – but whatever my personal expectations – C19 will do what it does.

    If It fades soon – Biden is toast.

    If deaths spike – Trump is toast.

    What any of us claim will be true will not matter.

    I find the claims that Trump is trying to hide C19 or deflect – pure idiocy.

    C19 can not be hidden.

    So many of the claims regarding Trump are pure idiocy.

    I heard congressmen today claiming that there are not violent protests, at the same time they were blaming Trump for the violence – claiming that mythical federal troops through out the country have deliberately provoked “mom’s” to come out and join nonviolent protests, that involve arson, and myriads of forms of violence.

    We had one protestor with an AK-47 fire 4-5 rounds into a car yesterday – and when the driver fired back 3 times killing the man with the AK – we get moaning and a 117K go fund me campaign for the guy who unprovoked fired an AK-47 into a car and ended up dead.

    Throughout the country – these riots are the primary responsibility of local government – pretty much all blue.

    Yet, it is Trump trying to hide C19 behind a smoke screen of left wing nut violence in democrat cities.

    In many places – protestors are killing protestors.

    1. “The virus is not dependent on ideology.”

      And yet innumerable people here think otherwise.

      I noted that Trump will lose if this gets worse.

      That is NOT however actually proof that Trump failed.

      C19 not only does not care about ideology, it has mostly laughed at our efforts to control it.

      I frequently point out that blue states are STILL the worst places for C19 by far.
      AS those on the left seem to think the virus cares about ideology – I am prepared to use their own argument to rub salt in their wounds.
      But the fact is that aside from a small number of very stupid mistakes, the differences between red states and blue ones are demographics and latitude not ideology.

      C19 does not give a $hit about our efforts to control it.

      1. “The virus is not dependent on ideology.”

        I should have added that there are two separate and distinct Covid diseases that we have to contend with. One is the virus. It will add morbidity and death until it dies of its own accord or we find solutions to adequately fight or destroy it.

        The second is the ideologic virus that permeates the left. That creates self induced damage that in the end will have a far greater negative effect on our population for years to come. The actual number of years lost from the real Covid virus might not exceed years lost due to the flu that we see every year, but the damage to our economy, psyche and the children’s psyche will last a long time.

        That left wing ideological Covid virus is like bad DNA in the human body. It eats away and destroys..

    2. Closing the economy AT ALL was a mistake.
      Not focusing protection near exclusively on the unhealthy was a big mistake.

      A year from now when the ideology has died down the epidemiology community will with near certainty come to the conclusion that “flattening the curve” is far more likely to do harm than good.

      It is another of those things like economic stimulus – it appeals to our need to feel that Government cares and is acting – even if there is nothing it can actually do, and doing so may make things worse. It also appeals to the desire of those in government to wield power.

    3. I am honestly surprised that the left has been able to keep the emotional intensity up over Trump for the past 4 years.

      It is a tactic that is not sustainable – people burn out and get depressed.

      Further as is self evident at the moment – to sustain you have to get ever crazier.

      1. “to sustain you have to get ever crazier.”

        …And enter the denial stage… ‘what rioting in Portland’ __Nadler.

        1. When I was in college studying architecture in atlanta, one of our projects was to redesign the city to be sustainable when Oil completely ran out in 3 years.

          Dry toilets, hydroponic gardens, passive solar heating and cooling. ….

          I quickly realized that in the best case – we could not convert more than 1/4 of the city in the time remaining.
          And that meant that our sustainable homes had another requirement – machine gun turrets,
          Because the 3/4 of the city that was starving was going to come after the food of the purportedly wiser people who were sustainably living.
          I decided that I could not take a machine gun to my starving neighbors to protect my hydroponic gardens.

          That was the begining of my disenchantment with the left.

          What does it take for those on the left to confront their own conflicts ?

          CTDHD claims he does not wish for the deaths of thousands to defeat Trump.
          I am not in his mind – I do not know what he wishes.

          But I do know that he and so many others make strained arguments to beleive there will be catastrophic failure that will kill thousands, rather than accept the probability that this is slowly burning out and that tests are not the same as infections.

          BTB can not seem to grasp that a hypothetical in which all the elements are real is no longer a hypothetical.

          Those on the left are constantly confronted with the disjuction between their claims and reality, and never reach the level of self awareness to recognize that if the same ideology, values, have lead to fallacy, unreality 10 times in a row – it is not likely the 11th is going to turn out better.

          What is happening in Portland is rioting. It is not “mostly peacefull”.

          The objective is violence and destruction. If you are part of the “protests” in Portland, you are rioting, you are not marching for racial equality. If the nazi’s march through your town and you stand on the sidewalk and shout Nazi’s go home, you are protesting.

          If you break down the barricades and start punching Nazi’s you are rioting.

          If you show up at a protest knowing it is likely to turn into a riot – you are not a protestor, you are a rioter.

          1. “And that meant that our sustainable homes had another requirement – machine gun turrets,”

            I laughed because some of our differences reflect my understanding of what you have said. In fact the next time we have a difference of opinion I might quote those words. That goes along with the idea that in the end all things will work themselves out, but man’s lifespan is measured in decades not millenia. Therefore man has limited time to get what he needs or wants and man is very capable of using force even if you would not.

            1. It is extremely common for people – yourself included to have a shallow understanding of the libertarian position on force.

              Which is inherently the moral foundation of the west and western law and has its roots dating back as far as hamurabi.

              Libertarians do not beleive that force is never necescary or that government may not use force.

              Even anarcho-capitalists do not beleive that force can never be used.

              The critical issue is that force can ONLY be used if it is justified.

              We can have a very long discussion of what constitutes justified.

              You may be willing to count as justified much more than I.

              But the big problem today is that the entire concept that government must justify the use of force is GONE.

              Today it is enough to beleive that some use of force might produce a good outcome, or advance a political objective.

              You can not murder your neighbor merely because the world might be a better place.

              While government acts REQUIRE the consent of the majority – that is necescary, but it is not sufficient for justification.

              Today we are willing to allow government to use force because some minority temporarily gained enough political power to make a change that does not have majority support – and that magically becomes permanent.

              It is likely that I agree with you on pretty much everything you think government should not be able to do.
              The difference is my list is bigger.

              And there is one other difference.

              My determinations are not arbitrary. They are rooted in principle that I can explain.
              To the greatest extent possible – and it is NOT perfectly possible – I have bright lines.

              That is incredibly important. The claim that ignorance of the law is not an excuse rests on the assumption that the law
              is logical and obvious – that people know it, or can derive it from first principles – without reading the minutia of law books.

              1. “It is extremely common for people – yourself included to have a shallow understanding of the libertarian position on force.”

                John, Where did I say libertarians can never use force?

                “My determinations are not arbitrary. They are rooted in principle that I can explain.”

                What makes you think my determinations aren’t rooted in principle? Some people like to fight every battle and die fighting. I choose which battle to fight and try to stay alive.

  3. This is not blindness. They are committed to dishonest discussion. They are trying to defeat President Trump. They are not reporters, they are lying propagandists.

  4. Why do you want commission ?

    Either humans sshould make districting choices – or there is some perfect algorithm.

    If there is just math – then a computer can do it.

    If humans are going to do it then what is the difference between the legislature and some commission ?

    Atleast the legislature is answerable to voters.

    Political processes are inherently corrupt

    One of the fundimental differences between us is that you fail to grasp:

    Power corrupts.

    It is impossible to eliminate corruption. with commisions or whatever magical ideas you have.

    The best you can do is limit government power – it comes at the expense of individuals,
    The smaller government is the less it matters if it is corrupt.

  5. While your at it you need to make sure that you mathematically correctly represent blacks and each other minority.
    And women.
    And union members,
    and farmers.
    and factory workers, office workers, …

    And gays, and lesbians and …

    Put simply your entire concept that we can or should make anything proportionate to anything is idiocy.

    I warned you ahead of time – there is no objectively correct means to do this.

  6. All you have done is proven my point – there is no objectively correct way to allocate districts.

    Your way will work – ANY way will work. It will also have consequences – some good, but alot bad.

    Your approach treats people like beans in a jar. It does not take into consideration that people choose to congregate together in particular ways in specific geographical areas, and that they therefore have difference interests.

    Your approach presumes that red/blue is the only attribute that distinguishes representatives.

    That it does not matter if they are urban or rural. If they are from farm or manufacturing regions.

  7. Our founders deliberately and wisely constructed what we have.

    If they had wanted proportionate representation – we could just elect represenatives from the state at large.

    The structure of the federal government – which is mimicked in most states is a deliberate effort to give minorities of every kind the power to say NO inside government.

    Farmers make up only a small portion of voters – yet between advantages to rural representatives as well as the 2 senators per state – regardless of the size of the state – it is usually possible for rural congressmen to thwart legislation that would harm farmers.

    Wise people would want that. Why would anyone expect that a representative from manhattan would have any clue about the needs of farmers ?

    You are quite literally destroying one of the structural facets of this country that makes it actually work.

  8. “Fortunately, the solution is simple: require each state to draw districts that accurately reflect the political views of the American people. Such “voter-determined districts” are based on the principle that however the voters in a state are divided between the major parties, the districts should be divided in the same way. Accordingly, in a state in which voters are split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, the representatives would also be split 50-50.”

    Only an idiot would propose this. AGAIN there is no objective means to determine districts.

    If a State is equally divided WHY should the representatives be equally divided ?

    In much of the US democrats self concentrate – in urban areas 70% or more of voters are democrats.
    Isn’t it reasonable that the government in those areas should be solidly democratic ?
    If the rest of the state is 55/45 republican isn’t it reasonable that the govenrment in those areas should be republican ?

    Why should some city be gerrymandered to include republican districts just because of YOUR idea of how districts should be ?
    Why should areas where republicans dominate be redraw to include democrats ?

    People live in urban, rural and suburban areas – each has their own problems – why should we have to add urban voters to suburban or rural distritcs to acheive your mathematical desire for proportionate representation ?

    Rural, Suburban and urban districts have different wants, needs, and should have different representation.

    What is a state is divided 60/40 or 70/30 ? and republicans and democrats are spread uniformly throughout the state ?
    Should a state that has few republicans (or democrats) still be required to have some republican congressmen ?

  9. You start with Center for American Progress and wonder why you get off results ?

    Regardless, if there is no such thing as an objectively correct district map – and there is not.
    Then there is no such thing as an unfairly drawn districts.

    That said if either party attempts to maximimize the seats they hold via the way the draw the district maps, they will inherently create the possibility of very large shifts based on small shifts in the electorate.

    I would note the cause of the shifts is NOT “unfairly drawn maps” it is that districts with smaller majorities flip more easily.

    1. I’ve never made any references to the Center for American Progress and you haven’t a clue as to what I was talking about.

  10. “The Obama administration declared swine flu, or H1N1, a public health emergency six weeks before H1N1 was declared a pandemic.

    No H1N1 deaths had yet been recorded in the United States.

    Six months after that initial declaration, when more than 1,000 deaths had occurred, Obama himself declared H1N1 a national emergency.”


    Approx 12k died from H!NI. We are up to 150k+ on Covid-19 and Trump was claiming it would just go away way after 12k dead.


    1. As I just posted above if one looks at speed, Obama failed miserably. But you are comparing apples to oranges. I posted the entire article hoping you could read it and take out quotes from the article to discuss. Obviously you were unable to deal with the academic requirements of such an endeavor.

    2. As always, Politifact is wrong. Just like you, BTB.

      “A Pandemic Is Declared

      On June 11, 2009, the World Health OrganizationExternal Web Site Icon (WHO) signaled that a global pandemic of novel influenza A (H1N1) was underway by raising the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6”


      “President Obama Declares H1N1 National Emergency
      Oct 26, 2009”


      So your Messiah named Barry, did wait 4 months before declaring H1N1 a national emergency after the WHO declared it a level 6 pandemic.

      So, why didn’t the entire country shut down, replete with stay at home orders, social distancing, and the destruction of the economy, when that occurred 11 years ago?

      Just to make that even worse, it started in Mexico, not China. Right in our backyard, instead of thousands of miles away.

      1. Dude, the Politifact article is correct and agrees with yours on the dates they cite – read them. Here’s what you are missing – other than the fact that the H!N! virus killed 12k Americans and we are up to 150k while Trump continues rudderless j.cking off and wishing it would go away:

        “Obama’s acting director of health and human services declared H1N1 a public health emergency on April 26, 2009.

        That was when only 20 cases of H1N1 — and no deaths — around the country had been confirmed.

        Two days later, the administration made an initial funding request for H1N1 to Congress. Eventually $7.65 billion was allocated for a vaccine and other measures.

        H1N1 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on June 11, 2009.

        In other words, the Obama administration’s public health emergency declaration came more than six weeks before the pandemic designation.

        Now to Obama’s second action.

        On Oct. 24, 2009, six months after his administration declared H1N1 a public health emergency, Obama declared it a national emergency.

        At that point, H1N1 had claimed more than 1,000 American lives, according to the CDC.

        When Obama made his declaration, the New York Times reported at the time, thousands of people were lining up in cities across the country to receive vaccinations, as federal officials acknowledged that their vaccination program had gotten off to a slow start, with some states having requested 10 times the amount they have been allotted.

        Millions of people in the United States had had H1N1.

        The national emergency declaration allowed the federal government to temporarily waive or modify requirements of the Medicare, Medicaid, and State Children’s Health Insurance programs. It also permitted doctors and hospitals to bypass certain requirements as they responded to H1N1…..”

        Your welcome.

        1. Ah, so the fact that Pres. Obama was uninvolved for what 9 months – thats OK because someone no one paid attention to said something earlier ?

          Lets atleast compare apples to apples.

          President Obama did NOT consider H1N1 serious.

          If we can use information from elsewere the US NCMI reported C19 in November 2019.

        2. No one is thanking you.

          Your own facts do not agree with your analysis.

          There is no difference between Trump’s declaration of an emergency than Obama’s in terms of effect.
          There was a massive difference in terms of time frame.

          I do not think that Obama especially botched H1N1

          But he did worse than Obama.

          The good news for both is that there is pretty much nothing government can do about respiratory viruses.

    3. We have been through this ground before. And you are repeating the same nonsense – even Wikipedia does not agree with you.

      You refused to make clear claims – provide actual dates for you claims – because that would make the errors more obvious.

      We are extremely bad at identifying early cases – and H1N1 had a lower R0 than C19 that means the earliest cases where much further back, that the virus existed in very low numbers for a very long time.

      The current estimate is that the first US death was likely 10 months before Obama declared an emergency.

      Further if you counted the C19 deaths in the same way as the CDC counted H1N1 deaths – they would be a small fraction of the current number. H1N1 deaths were CDC lab confirmed, and only cases absent a comorbidity that would have caused death in 6 months.

      Something – probably in 2021 we will see the C19 numbers recalculated properly. Because researchers will need valid data to make proper analysis.

    4. You also fixate on words – many on the left claimed that C19 was going to kill 4.4M in the US.

      Are you pillorying them. Biden might be among them.

      I know that the mere sound of Trump’s voice drives you bat $h!t, but can we deal with facts ?

      There is no consequential difference between the US and the EU. The EU has had 181K deaths so far.

  11. Btb, read the first paragraph that disputes what you think. “Trump has repeatedly said the Obama administration “stopped testing” during the H1N1 pandemic. He’s correct that individual reporting was halted after a few months, but some testing did continue.”

    Some testing almost always exists for reasons I don’t think you would understand.

    We don’t have to trust Trump on this because the evidence that testing ceased exists prior to Trump becoming a candidate.

    You don’t even understand your own sources.

  12. Whatever minor investment that Putin and his pals made in funneling disinformation to the Brookings guy for use in Hillary’s oppo research paid off beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their a@@es off.

  13. A Seth Warner Exclusive: “WHAT I PROVED HERE”

    On Monday afternoon I sat down to see how many news stories I could find linking Donald Trump to Russians. Specifically I wanted to determine how many stories existed ‘before’ Christopher Steele compiled his dossier.

    Within 20 minutes I unearthed a series of stories regarding hundreds of condominiums Trump sold for cash to unnamed shell companies. And ‘no’, sales like that are not a routine practice. But they appeared unusually common for the Trump Organization.

    I had never heard how extensive these sales were. So it’s not a revelation widely covered during the Russia Probe.

    According to a USA Today story from 2013, a Russian mafioso figure was arrested for running a gambling ring in a condo one floor below Donald Trump’s penthouse. This surprised me too. I had never heard that story. Trump was selling condos for cash to nameless investors and a Russian gangster is busted one floor under Trump!

    These revelations indicate that mainstream media was possibly reserved in its coverage of Trump – Russia links. The peculiar ties were, if anything, more extensive than most people know. Yet Christopher Steele could have Googled numerous articles regarding Trump and Russians. Said articles were already abundant by the time Steele began his investigation in 2016.

    Therefore this idea that Christopher Steele ‘invented’ the Trump – Russia links is an absolute lie. Just a brief Google search, in 2016, could have revealed enough Trump – Russia links to fill a report.

    1. You found nothing meaningful.

      Yes, actually the sale of condo’s in FL to affluent foreigners through shell companies are quite common. There are alot of wealthy venezeulans who escaped hell that way.

      The pregnant wives of wealthy Russians buy condo’s here so that their child will be a us citizen.

      You are clueless about the world

      While pretending that anything you do not like or understand should be illegal.

      Trump properties are bought and sold by real estate agents – Not Donald Trump personally.

      I am sure there are Russian emegre’s working in some of his properties – that is NOT a Link between Trump and the Russian Government.

      Trump also knows personally a Russian Pop Star and his agent. That is not a Link to Putin of the Russian Government.

      Trump knows Bill and Hillary – maybe that is a link to Putin ?

      You have been selling this delusional nonsense for 4 years.

      If you can not admit a mistake – go away and come back under a different pseudonym.
      Will pretend not to know.

        1. No worries, BTB.

          Durham’s got this, and you’re not going to like what he has.

          Your Russian Snipe Hunt ended like all Snipe Hunts end.

          A bag full of nothing.

            1. Tell that “misfires” story to the FBI agents he put in prison, Seth.

              Durham is something you will never be. The real deal.

              Not some teenager posting DNC talking points from his parents house, like you.

              BTW, you never have answered this question.

              Do you still have all of your participation trophies for showing up to soccer practice prominently displayed in your room?

            2. I do beleive that Durham may not be as significant as republicans hope.

              Barr/Durham have already made clear – they are not going to prosecute stupid process crimes like Mueller did.

              DOJ refused to prosecuted the referal for Comey for lying under oath – which he clearly did.
              DOJ appears to have dropped a lying prosecution of McCabe that has much more merrit than that against Flynn, Van Sandt, Papadoulis or Stone.

              AG Barr testified today that the Stone Prosecution had merrit – NOT if the Comey, McCabe and Clapper ones did not.

              If Barr wants the rule of law and a level playing field that means the same standards for all.

              Regardless, though I am sure Barr and Durham want to prosecute those involved in ObamaGate, unless Barr relaxes his standards to those of Mueller, I do not expect many prosecutions.

              What was done was dispicable. And it should be a serious crime. But it is not. There is LOTS of extremely bad conduct.
              But there is not lots that I see that is currently criminal – without stooping to Muellers low standards.
              And Barr should not do that.

              But I expect a damning report.


          Book, thanks a million for posting this. There’s a wealth of information here. It buttresses my point that if anything, the media was ‘too soft’ on Trump.

          Here’s a section from the piece quoting a skeptic of the Russia Probe. He’s half-speaking on Trump’s behalf but the disclaimer is not that kind:

          Some New York real-estate experts, like Joel Ross, a long-established investment banker in Manhattan, say this devil-may-care attitude is typical in the industry, and critics are overreacting in tying Trump’s business ties to his presidential policies. Though Ross says he’s “no fan” of Trump, he added that the key point is that the big 2016 Moscow negotiation went nowhere, and there is no evidence that Trump is currently basing his policies toward Russia on his business dealings. In truth, Trump’s several forays into Russia in search of possible deals is standard in big-time real estate, Ross said. And the majority of negotiations don’t pan out.

          “As to any other deals, what they may earn on a management contract is not enough to get him to change foreign policy,” Ross wrote FP in an email. “This is not as serious an issue as you seem to imagine. You guys in the media have no understanding of how real estate works and how unserious these things are. Trump is not much different than most of the NY real estate developers. Obnoxious, liar, screws people, impossible to trust, etc, but in NY real estate–not unusual.”

          Ross added: “None of any of that is proof of anything other than Trump was considered a bad guy who nobody trusted to do business with in the US banking world. That is far from any proof he did anything wrong as to collusion which there was none.”

        3. JEFF BEZOS THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD OWNS BOTH FOREIGN POLICY AND WAPOO. they tell clever lies on his behalf.

          owner of Amazon dot com, he’s destroyed tens of thousands of mom and pop shops, brick and mortar businesses
          he imports billons of cheap junk from China, so, he hates Trump for raising the costs with tariffs on China
          a guy like that hates trump for the most obvious pecuniary reasons
          it has NOTHING to do with Russia

          Democrats just love these plutocratic pigs like Bezos. and yet they pretend to be friends of the American worker. wow! the hubris

            1. Book, check out the column thread for “Did CNN’s Stelter–

              At 1:42 a comment was logged by your name. But I wonder if it was ‘you’.

            2. Bezos is liberterian? Ok but no change in my thesis– I can explain.

              liberterians can be globalists too. milton friedman was no nationalist. he was explicitly for some of the globalist agenda of today.,

              adam smith might have been, but he was apologizing for laissez faire centuries ago and well within the system of nation states

              my point is these plutocrats want to get rid of national boundaries which limit the free movement of goods, capital, and people ie labor.

              Bezos is a liberterian, of course., And so is George Soros, when it comes to the liberty to ship his capital around the globe playing games with one national currency after another all these years. he is a free trader and a free migration guy too.

              here is where Republicans need to understand the problem with liberterianism. i used to be afflicted with it myself, but now I’ve been corrected

              now maybe Soros if for higher taxation than Bezos. that is a question of degree and not essential difference. the qualitative factor that informs how these guys direct their propaganda, whether it is by ordering about journalists or professional community organizers– is a vision about international relations, not domestic things. but of course Bezos and Soros alike will revile “populism” as it manifests in domestic issues, because that envigors the nationalistic opposition to the globalist agenda in free trade, free movement of capital, and free movement of labor.

              you could easily have a “left wing populist” quasi socialist government that these guys would dislike., the touchstone is national sovereignty.
              here we are reminded of an intersection with “human rights ideology” which is the rationale for suspending ever more features of the eroding Westphalian system

              in one venue for example they will make buddy buddy with the Chicoms but then when it comes to something else, they will be harping on human rights violations.

              a better example might be Aung Sung Su Qi or whatever her name was. As a dissident they were all in favor of her. She was a gadfly to an “authoritarian” regime which is to say, one that did not take orders from Soros.

              But as a head of a sovereign nation, Myanmar, they have thrown her in the garbage. Now she is “discredited” to use one of their favorite words. Because, minorities!

              When they control the mouthpiece, and the podium, all these sleights of hand are very easy for them. The key thing is understanding how their agenda serves their own group plutocratic interests. That is the key to understanding globalism, just money. And nothing else.

              1. I would say that Bezos is “libertarianism” to the extent that he is a globalist. The rest of his ideology is questionable. Would he want some sort of national health care? I never heard him talk about it (I don’t follow him) but I don’t think he would object. That would relieve him of one of the big nuisances of business, health insurance. However I don’t perceive him objecting to illegals being permitted to work and getting free healthcare at the same time.

                The product of his desires is cheap labor and cheap benefits to his workers which means 1) more unemployment for our middle class where 2) the middle class has to pay the taxes for the health care of both legal and illegal folk along with 3) the unemployment taxes and wefare for those Americans placed out of work. These costs mount up and create the need 4) for both parents to work and therefore 5) have to pay costs for childcare. That makes the income of the second earner in many middle class families approach marginal benefit.

                That is the problem with Libertarianism in a country with a mixed economy. It is totally unsuitable. However, one can move the country in that direction or in the opposite direction. Libertarians might want near open borders which might be OK but with so many social services open borders drains the resources of those already here. They might want legalized drugs (often the example used to demean Libertarianism) but one can’t have legalized drugs and then treat drug addiction as an illness so other people have to pay for their addiction and their unemployment.

                If working people are looking to realize the benefits of their work and older folk are looking after the welfare of their children and grandchildren this election rationally should pose no question as to who to vote for. That would be Donald Trump because almost everything he has done has been beneficial to the worker and the families. The results were seen in the economic and unemployment numbers.

          1. Kurtz, how’s The Tribune doing? It doesn’t have a rich sugar daddy. The Tribune, in fact, took down the L.A. Times.

            1. Wiki says: In December 2019, Alden Global Capital, a New York City-based hedge fund, acquired a 32% stake in shares of Tribune Publishing Company.

              I have no particular insight into them beyond that.

              It seems to me that NYT and Wapoo are the newspapers I dislike. They have a global reach.
              I do not find the FT or WSJ so obnoxious. The big city newspapers a tier below them are also not so obnoxious.
              I often find stories I like in Chicago Trib or the Sun Times. And the LA Times too.

              I follow the Straits times out of Singapore and the SCMP too. SCMP is actually a fantastic newspaper. They are thriving in a difficult situation, in HK

              I tend to agree with you that there has been a long demise of local newspaper publishing in America and that this is a real loss to communities.,

              Social media is the cause I am sure. That is what really draws eyeballs. Look at us here! and yet Turley does not monetize his blog. What a great guy! I thank him.

              However, much as I dislike the social media giants, and feel they should not have section 230 protections if they are going to be censoring posts all the time, on the other hand, you can’t really stop the march of technology. internet not going away.

              I think a lot of the newspapers that are hanging on are being managed by unimaginative people. Timid editors and cowardly ownership.
              If they really want to survive, then they will do what the local tv does, and get out there on the street and discover relevant information about local communities and deliver it in an understandable and timely format to the people.

              Then they will catch eyeballs and attract advertisers. That’s how the money has always been made and it still is possible if they are willing to work and step on a few toes.

        4. These type of arguments only get made by idiots who have no understanding of business.

          Giving money to others is called charity.

          Trump has not received any charity. No one gave him money.

          Those who loan others money – expect it back with interest.

          Those who loan money where the risk is high – expect it back with ALOT of interest.

          At whatever time you wish to fixate – if Trump borrowed money he either repaid it as required or has gone bankrupt.

          No one EVER “saves” someone else in business. No one EVER bails someone out in business.

          Only government does that.

          I do not care if Trump borrowed money from Drug Dealers – they did not “save” his business.
          And if he did not pay them back, he is in deep shit.

        5. You seem to be unable to critically think.

          You read a news story that makes unsupported claims and has political spin that appeals to you, and you never bother to ask

          Does this make any sense ?

          The entire collusion delusion nonsense never made sense.

          This is no better.

          Borrowing money is not only a legitimate, but a critical part of free exchange.

          There are few and there should be far less rules on borrowing.

          They are not needed.

          Ranting because you think that it is your right to interfere in the free exchange of someone else is idiocy.

          Again – I do nto care if Trump borrowed money from drug dealers.

          If he did – they got it back with a great deal of interest.

      1. John, you’re denials here sound like the gaspings of a jogger aborting his run because he’s too out of shape to continue.

        1. Who denied what ?

          You are the one trying to pretend that there is much more to something that is apparent.

          If Donald Trump personally sold a Florida Condo to Putin that would not be a link to the russian government.
          That would be a condo sale.

          But you do not have that. You have real estate agents selling properties in Florida owned by Trump to a wide assortment of weealthy people from all around the world – to whoever can afford to pay for the condo – Russian, Arab, Chinese, Venezuelan, ….

          That is called free exchange, not collusion.

          Next you tell me that Trump is a xenophobic racist, muslim hater – yet he is doing business with people from all over the globe from Saudi Arabia, From the philipines from ….

          You tell me Trump is racist for wanting to restrict the torrent of poor immigrants from south america – while YOU tell me we should be worried about rich chinese ?

          Do you even try to make sense ?

      1. All penny lives matter!!!


        What is it with his “exclusive” comments?
        He didn’t get any attention at home and now he is asking readers here to give him time?
        Watching the kids play in the back yard is far more enjoyable than watching trolls troll

        1. What makes his exclusive claim even more pathetic is the fact that all he does is cut and paste other peoples work without ever providing links or accreditation to the writers.

          Seth would have a very hard time writing a cogent “What I did on my Summer vacation” essay for his 8th grade English class.

          Natacha is certifiably crazy. Seth is just dull and lazy.

          1. Rhodes, you’re the nerd who has worked overtime to make this blog safe for stupid Trumpers.

    2. The transactions are legal. The report would be a bore. Seth, did you see the link to wapo article Book gave?

      “the scandal is that it is legal”

      you are complaining about a system of real estate ownership that literally lets anybody buy it. so long as they are not on this list.


      and so long as the vendors and people involved in the transaction have no actual knowledge that the funds are products of the usual areas of “KYC” concern (tax evasion, fraud, drugs, terror funding, or other assorted forms of illegal trafficking)

      moreover, this is an evolving field. some of the data these things refer to may be out of context from the legal requirements of the sales infrastructure such as it existed at the time.

      finally, according to some British lawyers I have discussed on the topic, “the biggest asset protection destination preferred by scoundrels due to its lack of transparency is the United states”

      my reply was, “we like our financial privacy laws, thank you sir.”

      Seth, this is a technical subject. Don’t be mad that this is getting short shrift. The subject is deep and complicated but the basic thing to understand about your trump sells real estate to russian story, is, not only is there nothing there, but, “there is no there, there”

  14. Some have posted at another blog that AG Barr is just another in an infinitely long line of deep state operatives that don’t really give a rats behind about the FBI and CIA’s criminal and non-criminal acts against Trump. Till now there seemed to be reason to ignore these claims.

    Now though, with possibly only a few short months remaining in Trump’s tenure, and Barr has not brought one criminal charge, I think those posters were correct. The criminal behavior started under Jesus Obama and that was a solid 4 years ago, and not one of these scum have been brought to justice, and the “GOP” arm of the deep state (the other arm is the DNC) owned both houses and the presidency for 2 solid years.

    One thing seems certain: Lyndsay Graham is all talk and bluster and no action. That POS would not pursue criminal charges against a Federal employee if his life depended on it.

    Look at that POS John Roberts that Bushie gave us. Time and again the GOP proves there is little reason to vote for them. Conversely, you almost NEVER see the DNC betray their voters and act against them.

    1. Peter Strzok is now cooperating with Durham and his investigators.

      Focus on Barr all you want. Durham is the one who runs silent and runs deep.

      “you almost NEVER see the DNC betray their voters and act against them.”

      Who is this mythical “you”?

      Tell that to the Bernie supporters, and see where it gets you.

    2. Maybe he’s saving it for when it will pack the biggest punch Princess. Which is, close to the election. Closer, at least. I hope so.

      these days I am less worried about the Deep state than I am the coming Democrat one party state. If, Trump loses and they get a majority in both houses of Congress, then they will initiate a series of vindictive laws that will ensure further Democrat victories to come

      a) massive legalization of existing illegal immigrants into voters (they will thank the Democrats by voting 95% for them you can be sure)
      b) redistricting, court cramming, all manner of fiddling with small things not even on our radar, and the big kahuna: ENDING ELECTORAL COLLEGE. that will be a biggie.
      c) reparations for blacks. this will be a major expense and signal that blacks have finally become a privileged racial caste above all others.. it sounds crazy but it is on the list of the rioters and they are still out there being coddled by Democrats. How will they appease them if they win? We all know they want the money. oh, and defunding police to pay for it to a degree. that will screw all us regular folks who actually need police to keep order and we can’t afford security teams like the big politicians and their billionaire donors have. we will be skrewed.

      Deep state bureaucracies can outlive those problems that will affect us, so they dont care. i sincerely think they habitually favor Democrats, though they had a cabal with the Bush Jr crowd that worked well for them back during the GWOT

      so right now , this is the bigger fish to fry, just three months out from election

  15. Covid is no problem for those under 60, so this guys probably faking it:

    ” Earlier this week, the Boston Red Sox shut down left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez’s throwing program after discovering health complications stemming from his bout with COVID-19. On Sunday, Rodriguez confirmed a report from WEEI’s Rob Bradford that his “complication” is myocarditis, or “an inflammation of the heart muscle,” per the Mayo Clinic.

    Rodriguez, 27, told reporters he was “still scared” about the condition after learning more about it in recent days, but that he doesn’t intend to opt out of playing at some point this season. “I want to be pitching yesterday, the day before, or today,” he said, according to Bradford. “I want to be out there every time I can, so I’m never thinking of getting out of the season. I feel bad every time I see a game happening and I’m not even in the dugout.”

    The current plan for Rodriguez entails him taking the week off before undergoing another MRI. At that point, doctors will determine if the inflammation has subsided and he can resume activity. Otherwise, Rodriguez may not get his wish of pitching in a game anytime soon. …..”

    1. Book–“Covid is no problem for those under 60, so this guys probably faking it:”


      First you pretend to be a legal expert and now you are a doctor.

      You are not good in either role.

      Some people in their twenties and up have gotten deathly sick from the Wuhan virus. Common knowledge.

      How do you come up with so many transparently false statements?

      1. Young, it’s a laser beam. You’re not going to catch it. Go lay down in that sunny spot on the couch.

        1. Bythe book: The Chinese doctor who warned of Wuhan virus died of the disease age 34. Karen S posts below of a man in his twenties who is deteriorating rapidly. Both, obviously, are much younger than the 60 threshold for concern you proclaim. But then, you were one of those who kept insisting hydroxychloroqine was dangerous and ineffective. Have you not noticed that much of the time you are clearly wrong?

          1. To btb: “Have you not noticed that much of the time you are clearly wrong?”

            Young, you are too nice in giving btb too much credit.

            1. Allan– I know, too much credit to BTB. I was going to say ‘wrong all of the time’ but then I remembered about stopped clocks being right twice a day [ unless they are digital] and decided to soften the comment.

        1. Rhodes– Book placed the threshold for concern at 60, not 14. I can’t imagine why you think your comment is relevant.

          1. It is relevant to BTB’s comment.

            Sorry, should have made that clear.

            The answer is one.

            BTB tries to pretend like he’s actually concerned about the scamdemic. But the only thing he’s really concerned about is making it sound far worse than it is in order to feed into his severe TDS.

            1. 80% of H1N1 deaths were under 65.

              Far more school children were more seriously harmed by H1N1 than C19
              Yet no one closed the schools.

    2. SARS-Cov2 appears to be pretty good at depleting zinc since it takes a lot of zinc to interfere with the virus’ replication, and, the virus binds to the ACE2 receptors, which require zinc.

      Zinc is needed to prevent cardiac inflammation, too. Perhaps Rodriguez has insufficient zinc status in his heart.

      “Our results show that the inflammatory response acts as a barrier for cardiac reprogramming, and ZNF281 [zinc finger transcription factor 281 (ZNF281)] appears to impose an anti-inflammatory influence on cardiac reprogramming.”

      “Taken together, ZAP [Zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP)] confers resistance to CVB3 infection via directly targeting viral RNA and protects mice from acute myocarditis by suppressing viral replication and cardiac inflammatory cytokine production. Our finding further expands ZAP’s range of viral targets, and suggests ZAP as a potential therapeutic target for viral myocarditis caused by CVB3.”

      Apparently, SARS-Cov2 evolved in an environment that allows it to better evade ZAP, allowing it to replicate more easily. (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7184484/pdf/msaa094.pdf) So, the body likely has to work harder to produce sufficient ZAP to destroy the virus.

      Your body cannot make ZAP or ZNF281 without sufficiently ingested or absorbed zinc. What, then, is going to happen to processes that require zinc to function?

      1. Sorry, Darren. Just realized I was a dope and put in 3 links as citations. Could you please kill one of the links?

        1. SARS-Cov2 appears to be pretty good at depleting zinc since it takes a lot of zinc to interfere with the virus’ replication, and, the virus binds to the ACE2 receptors, which require zinc.

          Zinc is needed to prevent cardiac inflammation, too. Perhaps Rodriguez has insufficient zinc status in his heart.

          “Our results show that the inflammatory response acts as a barrier for cardiac reprogramming, and ZNF281 [zinc finger transcription factor 281 (ZNF281)] appears to impose an anti-inflammatory influence on cardiac reprogramming.”
          https://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC5666675/

          “Taken together, ZAP [Zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP)] confers resistance to CVB3 infection via directly targeting viral RNA and protects mice from acute myocarditis by suppressing viral replication and cardiac inflammatory cytokine production. Our finding further expands ZAP’s range of viral targets, and suggests ZAP as a potential therapeutic target for viral myocarditis caused by CVB3.”
          https:// pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ 26343012/

          Apparently, SARS-Cov2 evolved in an environment that allows it to better evade ZAP, allowing it to replicate more easily. (https:// http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7184484/pdf/msaa094. pdf) So, the body likely has to work harder to produce sufficient ZAP to destroy the virus.

          Your body cannot make ZAP or ZNF281 without sufficiently ingested or absorbed zinc. What, then, is going to happen to processes that require zinc to function?

          (I hopefully broke the links by adding spaces.)

      1. “8 in New York City were shot dead over the weekend. ”

        You say that with such pride. Democrat mayors promote death and you eat it up.

      2. Someone say it would ?

        The press is playing down ALL violence – unless a white guy kills a black BLM protestor.

        The press has no interest in disrupting the orange man racist narative with reality.

    1. Tragic, no doubt. Especially given the sense the man was in the extreme minority. Black Trump supporters are rare indeed. But the Bannon talking points, Kurtz? Way 2016. They land with a thud now.

      1. “Black Trump supporters are rare indeed”

        Your definition of “rare” needs adjustment, Bugs. And you obviously know very few black people.

        The blowback from the defund the police idiocy is going to bite the DNC right in the ass.

        Biden’s handlers are quite aware of that fact. Which is why they are now trying to do an about face on his comments supporting the defund the police movement.

        1. While his remarks were an afterthought, Biden came out at the end of an interview today – while the left was slandering AG Barr, saying that rioting is unacceptable and that rioters should expect to be put down.

          I listened today as democratic congressmen accused the non-violent protestors who came out against the actually authoritarian actions of democratic governors such as Whitmer of being nazi’s racists and violent – for wanting to be able to reopen their stores, to go fishing, or to send their kids back to school. Aparently because those protestors came to the cityhall’s and statehouses with guns.

          As best as I can tell for those on the left – being angry about having your rights taken from you and petitioning government peacefully under arms – that is racist violent protesting, But burning down target and walmart and neiman marcus, murdering people, throwing bricks and using lasers on police – that is peaceful protest ?

          Truth and the meaning of words means nothing to the left.

      2. Bugs Bunny reports: “Black Trump supporters are rare indeed.”
        Rasmussen: Black Voter Approval for Trump Has Surged to Over 40 Percent
        BY MATT MARGOLIS JUN 05, 2020 2:12 PM EST

        Despite the left’s recent efforts to paint Trump as a racist and blame him for police brutality and the riots, Rasmussen Reports says that approval for President Trump amongst likely black voters is now over 40 percent.
        Trump received 8 percent of the African American vote in 2016. In August 2019, black voter approval for Trump stood at 26 percent.

        I am admittedly skeptical of Rasmussens 40 percent approval number, nevertheless, the increase of 14 points from a year ago suggests that Trump’s support from within the black community is increasing, despite the best efforts of the Democrats and the media to paint him as a racist. With the economy starting to recover, that approval is bound to increase.

        Another Rasmussen poll found that one out of four black voters agreed with Joe Biden’s statement that a black voter who votes for Trump isn’t really black.

      3. well, we will see. he did better with blacks than romney did. 8% as opposed to 6%. sounds like a small number, but a 2 point gain on a base of 6 is a 33% increase.

        and he may be doing better than you may suspect even now


        of course that was from march. some people might speculate he is doing worse now

        or, some people might speculate, he is doing better.

        one never knows how folks will make up their minds on that magic day in november

    1. Very concise, should be the crime of a century, , Where has all the Journalists Gone, bought and paid for the Media Cabal.

      1. Charles, why would ‘1’ murder in Milwaukee qualify as ‘the crime of the century’? Milwaukee has become a dangerous city and violent crime is trending up all over the country.

        1. “violent crime is trending up all over the country.”


          In Democrat strongholds where criminals are dumped into the streets and laws are not enforced.

          I read somewhere that criminals released early are now joining the “mostly peaceful looting and arson protests” to raid places. Democrat politicians appear to have gone insane. Is the DNC sending all of them LSD? Is this an experiment in mass insanity? The riots could be stopped in less than a week.

          By the way, no snowflake engaging in rioting should qualify for student loans or a place in any university receiving federal funds.

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