Justice Delayed or Justice Denied? A Response To Andrew Weissmann And Ryan Goodman

US-DeptOfJustice-Seal_svgRecently, I posted a criticism of Andrew Weissmann, one of the top prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who ran a column with Professor Ryan Goodman encouraging Justice Department attorneys not to assist U.S. Attorney John Durham in his ongoing investigation (at least before the election) and dismissing the basis for the plea agreement reached with former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.  Goodman argues that I was unfair to him and Weissmann in my posting and I wanted to respond.  I did include a longer quote from the column to be sure that their point was better understood in context in an updated posting. However, in my view, the defense of this column only highlights the inherent bias that the original posting sought to address. Rather than append this long discussion at the end of the original column, I felt it deserved its own posting and consideration by readers. The discussion below is a response not just to Goodman’s tweets but their column.

On Twitter, Professor Goodman makes four basic points which I make out into roughly six points. I would like to address each below.  However, it is worth noting that only one point appears to be a claim of misrepresentation.

First, Goodman states that the posting was “seriously flawed” and “Turley badly misrepresents what we said, what Justice Dept charged, and more… This is a pattern for Turley (see final tweet in this thread for that pattern)…” I will address the “pattern” referenced by Goodman below. However, Goodman states that the blog “falsely claims op-ed calls on DOJ lawyers ‘to undermine’ Durham investigation. He points out that “[o]ur op-ed: DOJ lawyers should refuse IMPROPER requests if VIOLATE oath to Constitution and policy on actions that interfere in election; plus Durham CAN indict after 11/3.”

This appears to be the heart of Goodman’s claim of misrepresentation (indeed it appears the only claim). It is a rather curious and tautological point. Goodman simply restates his argument that what Durham is doing is improper and thus says that it cannot be viewed as “undermining” Durham’s investigation. Yes, I believe telling DOJ lawyers that they should refuse to assist in indictment or pleas is undermining Durham’s investigation, even if it is to do so for a few months. Such pleas or indictments are critical parts to an investigation or additional criminal cases. Durham, who even Democratic leaders have acknowledged is an apolitical and dedicated prosecutor, believes that this plea is needed to move forward on what could be a broader prosecution. Durham was delay by the pandemic but has moved to complete this long-standing investigation. For Durham, waiting for additional months is an example of an unnecessary example of justice delay being justice denied. He is allowed to move forward with his case and the cited “unwritten norm” of the authors is highly challengeable.  Regardless of the merits, it hardly seems “seriously flawed” to characterize a call for Durham’s subordinates to stand down as undermining his investigation.

Goodman adds that this is not undermining the investigation because it violates their oath.  Again, this just assumes what Weissmann and Goodman has said is demonstrably true. Specifically, they argue that the entering of this plea would violate long-standing policies but they are conclusory in describing the violation. Indeed, the premise of the column is that the investigations themselves are an effort of Attorney General Bill Barr to influence the election.  Here is what they say is the violation:

“Today, Wednesday, marks 90 days before the presidential election, a date in the calendar that is supposed to be of special note to the Justice Department. That’s because of two department guidelines, one a written policy that no action be influenced in any way by politics. Another, unwritten norm urges officials to defer publicly charging or taking any other overt investigative steps or disclosures that could affect a coming election.”

The first objection is that any action under two ongoing investigations would be influenced by politics. Again, the two authors simply assume that the investigations are political in design and purpose. Durham does not.  There are no reports that Durham has been denied total control over his investigation, including when he enters pleas or indictments. The “action” here is a criminal plea that is based on false evidence being given to the federal court. While Weissmann has dismissed the basis for the indictment, most of us do not. It is a serious violation that warranted this action. Again, Weissmann and Goodman cannot just assert that this is political and then denounce others for misrepresenting their columns by objecting that it is not. My posting goes into detail why I believe Clinesmith commit this crime as does a separate column. Notably, this first point would seem to support the overall suggestion of the two authors that the investigations themselves are political, not just the timing of any indictments or pleas.

The reference to “unwritten norm” is equally curious. There is no hard and fast rule on which cases must be held back and which cases can proceed before an election. Weissmann and Goodman seem to think that anything dealing with the Russian investigation must be categorically halted in terms of public filings. Why?  Well, they explain that:

“The genesis of the department’s admirable practice of creating a protective shell surrounding an election recognizes that unelected officials at the Justice Department should not take action that could distort an election and influence the electorate. If someone is charged immediately before an election, for instance, that person has no time to offer a defense to counter the charges. The closer the election, the greater the risk that the department is impermissibly acting based on political considerations, which is always prohibited.”

Many major cases have impacts on the political debate but this “unwritten norm” does not require them to be frozen in amber. The primary purpose of this norm is not to indict a candidate or bring charges against a campaign just before an election. This is an action against a former prosecutor, not a candidate or campaign. The Clinton campaign is four years in the past and it has not been implicated in any conspiracy with Clinesmith. There is no stated connection in this plea to Biden or his campaign.  Moreover, the allegation against Clinesmith was already public and long discussed in the media after the Inspector General flagged the false statement. Barr testified in Congress that he does not view the Durham investigation as covered by any such rule that there is a good-faith basis for that view. Yet, Weissmann and Goodman believe that DOJ attorneys working with Durham should refuse to assist him in bringing this plea or other indictments to the court?

In their column, Weissmann and Goodman insist that the DOJ cannot issue any indictment, charge or report when it might give ”an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party.” This case shows just how sweeping and disruptive that reasoning would be for any case that could be used to the advantage of some candidate or campaign in an election period. They wrote that three months to an election, a plea by a former FBI agent violates this policy despite the details of the allegations being public for a year and widely discussed.  They cite to the fact that the Mueller waited to indict Russian military figures before the mid-term election.

“The special counsel’s office knew it could not indict Russian military intelligence officials for the 2016 hacking operation in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections. That’s right: The office could not indict the Russians — not only political candidates or aides. Such matters were so politically fraught that such an action by the special counsel might affect the election.”

I am a bit unclear on this point in term of dates, but I may be missing something. The midterm elections were held on November 6, 2018.  On July 18, 2018, Mueller released charges against Russians. That was just over 118 days before the election. It is certainly beyond 90 days, but the indictments were released before the election. (By the way, it included the confirmation that Mueller could not find any evidence of a single Trump campaign official knowingly dealing or colluding with Russians in the operation.  That was viewed as exonerating not incriminating evidence for the Administration.) More importantly, one could argue that the Russian indictment was not bound by this informal rule but it dealt with the elections.  It was raising questions about a wide variety of groups and social media vehicles for influencing the election. That seems demonstrably different from the Clinesmith matter, which deals with the conduct of Justice Department officials.

Second, Goodman says that I misrepresented their column by saying that Clinesmith was charged for falsely stating Carter Page was not a CIA source to court, when Page was a source.

At the outset, it is worth noting that this point has nothing to do with the column that Goodman says was thoroughly misrepresented.  He juxtaposes the indictment, not his column, to claim some error. Yet, he simply repeats the position of Weissmann that the Clinesmith charge is somehow flawed because the charge “never mentions Page’s status or whether lawyer knew it.” I am still at a loss about this point.  Clinesmith pleaded guilty because he knowingly filed a false document that not only failed to tell the court that Page was an American intelligence asset or source but also claimed that he might be a Russian asset or source.  Weissmann and Goodman can claim that this is some major inherent flaw but it is not a view shared by many.

Third, again unrelated to the column, Goodman objects that “Turley tries to amplify Clinesmith’s charge, compare how he described Flynn’s charge for lying to FBI (and admitting being unregistered foreign agent): “pretty anemic” (Fox News 12/13/18) “rather anemic crime that borders on the pathetic” (Fox News 12/18/18)

This is finally something that we can agree upon. I did compare the indictments and I did view Flynn’s indictment to be anemic.  I will let you judge the comparison in the posting and column.

Fourth, again unrelated to the column, Goodman objects that “Turley goes down a familiar rabbit hole of disinformation. He writes, at length, that Flynn false statement was not material in reference to CRIMINAL investigation, but never mentions key in Flynn false statement case was ongoing COUNTERINTELLIGENCE investigation.”

Again, this ignores the finding of the Justice Department itself that there was no investigation involving Flynn by the time of the interviews by the agents. I and others have addressed this point in prior writings. Goodman again just repeated the conclusory point as fact. In December 2016, investigators had found no evidence of any crime by Flynn. They wanted to shut down the investigation; they were overruled by superiors, including FBI special agent Peter Strzok, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Director James Comey. Comey himself reportedly told Obama before the interviews that the conversations with the Russians appeared entirely “legit.” The “rabbit hole” Goodman describes is actually the finding of the Justice Department:

“[T]he Government has concluded that the interview of Mr. Flynn was untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn—a no longer justifiably predicated investigation that the FBI had, in the Bureau’s own words, prepared to close because it had yielded an “ absence of any derogatory information.” … The Government is not persuaded that the January 24, 2017 interview was conducted with a legitimate investigative basis and therefore does not believe Mr. Flynn’s statements were material even if untrue.”

Indeed, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates agreed that Comey “went rogue” in sending the agents to Flynn’s office — the same agents who later said that they did not believe Flynn intentionally lied.

Fifth, Goodman (again without context) repeatedly notes that the following people objected that I misrepresented their positions.

These are indeed some of the experts who have expounded theories that I viewed as facially unsound.  There is an insatiable appetite for theories of crimes committed by Trump or his family or campaign. The fact that such theories never panned out or were made the basis for impeachments or indictments is immaterial. They are popular and rarely supported.  It then falls to others to shoulder the unpopular task of noting that these theories are unsupported by case law or radical extensions of the criminal code.

When confronted on the lack of legal support for the theories, the claim (as with Goodman) is that there must be some misrepresentation. Take Professor Rangappa. I criticized her for a call to impeach Barr and earlier claims that Comey’s notes (which he took from the FBI) are really no more than a collection of “personal recollections.”  The suggested use of impeachment against Barr is absurd and sensational. It would convert policy disagreements into high crimes and misdemeanors.  Rangappa’s dismissal of the importance of removing these notes was contradicted by the FBI itself which ultimately found what I stated in these columns: these are official FBI documents and contained potential classified information. Likewise, Eliason has objected to columns criticizing his various theories of indictable acts by Trump. including a bribery theory. I testified against such a unsupportable theory in the impeachment hearing and it was not adopted by the Democrats in their ultimate articles of impeachment.  Notably, the popularity of such theories in the press is in direct contrast to their rejection in the courts. Without repeating all of these points, the reader can judge such disagreements on the merits by searching these names on the blog, which links to the underlying debates.

Finally, Goodman’s objections to my criticism was primarily focused on disagreements on the merits of the Clinesmith case, but conspicuously omitted one of the main points of the blog: that Weissmann has a conflict of interest in seeking to undermine the Durham investigation.

Once again, both Weissmann and Goodman have dismissed these investigations as political and there is a fair chance that a Biden Administration could well scuttle what is left of the investigation. However, whatever the future of these investigation, Weissmann has a professional interest in its findings. As I stated in my blog, Weissmann relied on some of the same material and sources for his investigation. While there is no evidence of any criminal or ethical violation by Weissmann, the findings of Durham could prove embarrassing to him. The Russian collusion claims appear to have been quickly and strongly contested by American intelligence, including the veracity and reliability of Christopher Steele. The findings of Durham could raise questions about the decisions made by the Mueller team and the failure to disclose information (as were raised in the Flynn case).  His labeling of these investigations as political and unethical is troubling given the overlap with his own record in the review.

In the end, I was more concerned about the suggestion that I misrepresented the column by Weissmann and Goodman. I have include a longer quote from the column and linked to this more depth discussion. However, I stand by the criticism of Weissman and the call for DOJ attorneys to refuse to assist John Durham in such indictments or pleas.

 

89 thoughts on “Justice Delayed or Justice Denied? A Response To Andrew Weissmann And Ryan Goodman”

  1. Summary:

    It appears that Mr. Weissman is more than a little worried about what Mr. Durham’s investigation has found.

    Hence, Mr. Weissman is yet another guilty dog barking.

    1. Feminazi White Shirts!

      The 19th Dumbmendment was a death sentence for America (oops, I may have left out the “Reconstitution Amendments”).

  2. Meanwhile, “Trump retweets Russian propaganda about Biden that US intel agencies say is intended to influence 2020 election”
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/17/politics/trump-retweets-known-russian-disinformation-biden-derkach/index.html

    Russia is again trying to interfere in our election.
    Our President is retweeting Russian propaganda.
    There’s a reason that Russia prefers Trump to Biden. They know that Trump is weak and will advance their interests.

    1. on the contrary. they seek to discredit our elections as such. the intention has never been to pick winners, even if they did lean towards trump, and even if they do now

      they are using judo to do this, and the ever more aggressive Democratic party offers them plenty of leverage to make more throws

      i have spent a couple years trying to explain this and either you guys just don’t get strategy from the perspective of Russian influence operations, or you dont care, because you are daily focused on scoring propaganda points for your team.

      we know its probably a little bit of both

      bottom line,. I could care less if Putin likes Trump too. I like Trump for my own reasons and I got every right to vote for him and encourage others to vote same way.
      You insult all of us by suggesting that our votes are somehow incompetent simply because Russians may prefer them

      You can bet every nation may have a preference. such is life. and we know the preference of the CCP is BIDEN

      And yet, there may be valid reasons for Americans to vote for Biden in spite of the Chinese Communist preference for him, notwithstanding.

      What you people should do is respect other Americans and quite blaming the 2016 loss on Putin Putin Putin. But you do what you like, it hasnt worked so far, and I guess we gonna find out soon enough if it s gonna work come November

      1. Kurtz, no one who knows anything about this agrees with you and that includes National Security Directors, icluding TRump appointees and the GOP controlled Senate Intelligence Committee. Why would we believe your ramblings and not their informed and obviously unvarnished and non-partisan take? Are they all part of that famous “Deep State” that handed the election to Trump?

        1. Russians, Chinese, Cubans, Etc have been trying to shape politics and elections inside the United States for decades – no surprise they are doing the same now, and nothing you say or do will change or stop it. – Grow up. As far as the Senate Intelligence “Report” a careful reading will render the conclusion that they have ZERO hard evidence of anything – you will note how they word each allegation without any definitive proof – even for a summary report it is virtually meaningless, unless you are counting wasted tax payer dollars.

          1. “a careful reading will render the conclusion that they have ZERO hard evidence of anything”

            On the contrary, a careful reading includes a variety of hard evidence, including quotes of text messages, etc. In addition, a careful reader will note that some of the report is classified, and we have no idea what that evidence shows.

            For the record, foreign countries can legally try to influence politics here in some ways. The primary concern is about their illegal actions, not their legal ones.

      2. “they seek to discredit our elections as such. the intention has never been to pick winners”

        Nope. They’re aiming to do both. It’s not an either-or choice.

        “we know its probably a little bit of both”

        Glad we agree. But I’d say that it’s a lot of both.

        “You insult all of us by suggesting that our votes are somehow incompetent simply because Russians may prefer them”

        Except that I didn’t suggest that. I said / suggested nothing about voters. You inferred it, even though I didn’t suggest it.

        “You can bet every nation may have a preference.”

        I agree. But they don’t all **criminally** interfere. Russia did and is. If China is, then I want them charged too. And I don’t want either Trump or Biden or anyone else repeating Russian OR Chinese propaganda.

        1. “If China is, then I want them charged too. And I don’t want either Trump or Biden or anyone else repeating Russian OR Chinese propaganda. ”

          In light of the fact that Hunter Biden’s PE fund accepted $1,000,000,000 directly from the ChiComm’s, you should be very careful about using “Biden” and “Chinese” in the same sentence.

    2. Holy crap! Russia again! Maybe Putin will spend $50k on Facebook ads this time, and convert 100 million Biden loyalists to vote Trump! I mean, Trump has been so kind to Putin right?

  3. Someone should tell Weissman and Goodman: LIFE’S NOT FAIR. Both of them need to take an ethics course as part of their continuing legal education.

    1. Anonymous – Weissmann and Goodmann need to PASS an Ethics Course as part of the CLE

  4. Goodman and Weissman are simply TRUMP HATERS and hate anything and anybody who disagrees with them. They have severe Trump syndrome. So if you criticize them you are against them and the DEM’s.

    Weisman has ruined many lives and businesses and have been over turned by the courts. He is a terrible lawyer. He should be investigated for his work trying to frame Trump and others.

    1. Currency, I’d be willing to bet that you’re the same troll who posted below.

      In any event your assertions above have no basis in any truth. “Weisman has ruined many lives and businesses” is just a perfectly empty talking point.

  5. Goodman and Weismann then are two more names of those who failed to immediately point out collusion is not a crime. But used it to build what turned out to be a bogus case that was unusable on it’s face and it’s depths. So how much did that obvious move earn for Weismann and Goodman from the taxpayers money?

  6. Late-Breaking News:

    SENATE RELEASES REPORT ON 2016 INTERFERENCE

    A sprawling report released Tuesday by a Republican-controlled Senate panel that spent three years investigating Russia’s 2016 election interference laid out an extensive web of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russian government officials and other Russians, including some with ties to the country’s intelligence services.

    The report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, totaling nearly 1,000 pages, provided a bipartisan Senate imprimatur for an extraordinary set of facts: The Russian government undertook an extensive campaign to try to sabotage the 2016 American election to help Mr. Trump become president, and some members of Mr. Trump’s circle of advisers were open to the help from an American adversary.

    Like the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who released his findings in April 2019, the Senate report did not conclude that the Trump campaign engaged in a coordinated conspiracy with the Russian government — a fact that Republicans seized on to argue that there was “no collusion.”

    But the report showed extensive evidence of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and people tied to the Kremlin — including a longstanding associate of the onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, whom the report identifies as a “Russian intelligence officer.”

    The Senate report for the first time identified Mr. Kilimnik as an intelligence officer. Mr. Mueller’s report had labeled him as someone with ties to Russian intelligence.

    Democrats highlighted those ties in their own appendix to the report, noting that Mr. Manafort discussed campaign strategy and shared internal campaign polling data with Mr. Kilimnik, and later lied to federal investigators about his actions.

    Democrats also laid out a potentially explosive detail: that investigators had uncovered information possibly tying Mr. Kilimnik to Russia’s major election interference operations conducted by the intelligence service known as the G.R.U.

    “The committee obtained some information suggesting that the Russian intelligence officer, with whom Manafort had a longstanding relationship, may have been connected to the G.R.U.’s hack-and-leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election,” Democrats wrote. “This is what collusion looks like.”

    The assertion was a sign that even though the investigation was carried out in bipartisan fashion, and Republican and Democratic senators reached broad agreement on its most significant conclusions, a partisan divide remained on some of the most politically sensitive issues.

    The Senate investigation found that two other people who met at Trump Tower in 2016 with senior members of the Trump campaign — including Mr. Manafort; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son — had “significant connections to Russian government, including the Russian intelligence services.”

    The report said that the connections between the Russian government and one of the individuals, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, “were far more extensive and concerning than what had been publicly known.”

    The report is the product of one of the few congressional investigations in recent memory that retained bipartisan support throughout. Lawmakers and committee aides interviewed more than 200 witnesses and reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents, including intelligence reports, internal F.B.I. notes and correspondence among members of the Trump campaign. The committee convened blockbuster hearings in 2017 and 2018, but much of its work took place in a secure office suite out of public view.

    The Justice Department’s independent inspector general has found that law enforcement officials had sufficient basis to open the Russia investigation and acted without political bias.

    The findings broadly echo Mr. Mueller’s conclusions. His report documented attempts by Moscow to undermine confidence in the electoral process and sway the election toward Mr. Trump by hacking and dumping Democratic emails and engaging in sophisticated manipulation campaigns using social media.

    After years of work, Mr. Mueller found dozens of contacts between Trump associates and Russian-connected actors, evidence that the Trump campaign welcomed the Kremlin’s attempts to sabotage the election and “expected it would benefit electorally” from the hacking and dumping of Democratic emails.

    Edited From: “GOP-Led Senate Panel Details Ties Between 2016 Trump Campaign And Russia”

    The New York Times, 8/18/20

    1. Thanks Seth for bring this to the Blogs attention. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Turley to acknowledge.

      1. You really ought to work on those Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels moves to allow you to see clearly

          1. Book, can you believe I got a part with Todric Hall?!?! i’m so excited!!

            the Trump trolls on here have driven me to mental breakdowns and I can’t wait to do what I do best for Todrick: twirl for pay

            1. REGARDING ABOVE:

              This gay-centric posts are not Seth Warner’s. This is the closet queen of a troll who keeps dogging this blog. He is undoubtedly a creepy deviate.

  7. Re Russian Interference: Aug. 18, 2020
    Updated 12:30 p.m. ET

    “WASHINGTON — A sprawling report released Tuesday by a Republican-controlled Senate panel that spent three years investigating Russia’s 2016 election interference laid out an extensive web of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russian government officials and other Russians, including some with ties to the country’s intelligence services.

    The report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, totaling nearly 1,000 pages, provided a bipartisan Senate imprimatur for an extraordinary set of facts: The Russian government undertook an extensive campaign to try to sabotage the 2016 American election to help Mr. Trump become president, and some members of Mr. Trump’s circle of advisers were open to the help from an American adversary.”

    Just thought you’d like to know.

  8. Thanks Prof. Turley for presenting the facts and your opinions clearly. This will help the public to be better informed about this important matter.

  9. Who does not grow weary of commenters like CTHD who appear never to have actually read the Mueller report? You know, the one that says:
    “The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation”
    and also says:
    “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
    The Russia!, Russia!, Russia! conspiracy theory is dead. Killed by Mueller. Give it a rest, for heaven’s sake!

    1. I’ve read most of the report, and reread parts of it, and quoted on this website from parts of it. Which is why I specifically noted that “did not establish” means that they couldn’t show it beyond a reasonable doubt. It does *not* mean that there was no evidence, and Mueller made that explicit in his testimony before Congress.

      The Russians interference wasn’t limited to “the IRA’s interference operation.”

  10. So, after two days JT finally addresses Goodman and Wesiman’s actual column, instead of the imagined one he first responded to. Unfortunately, his primary reconsidered objection i- he ignored it in his first column – is that the Durham investigation is not political, even though it is being used as such even before the 1st indictment by the President on down to inconsequential posters here. Maybe if he actually read their column before typing a nonsensical response 2 days ago, he might have made more sense then and now.

    1. I hope Turley reads the latest bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee. Maybe he’ll stop claiming that Trump campaign officials didn’t knowingly deal with Russians.

      As for Turley’s claim that “Clinesmith pleaded guilty because he knowingly filed a false document that not only failed to tell the court that Page was an American intelligence asset or source,” that’s nonsense. The charging document says that Clinesmith added “and not a ‘source’” after “My recollection is that [Individual #1] was or is ‘[digraph]’ — and “[digraph]” is an operational contact, per the Horowitz Report. Moreover, my understanding (perhaps incorrect) is that Clinesmith himself didn’t file anything with the court; rather, he sent this to the SSA2 who wrote the FISA warrant application.

      The Horowitz Report said:
      “According to the other U.S. government agency, ‘operational contact,’ as that term is used in the memorandum about Page, provides ‘Contact Approval,’ which allows the other agency to contact and discuss sensitive information with a U.S. person and to collect information from that person via ‘passive debriefing,’ or debriefing a person of information that is within the knowledge of an individual and has been acquired through the normal course of that individual’s activities,” and “As noted earlier in this chapter, according to the U.S. government agency that approved Page as an operational contact, the approval did not allow for the operational use or tasking of Page.” So Page wasn’t a source: someone who could be tasked with seeking out specific info, only someone who could be passively debriefed.

      1. battle of lies continues….Democrat schemers and their petty cheerleaders on down the line to here, rub hands with glee as they come to believe that their lies are convincing to the right people

        everywhere power grows, by identifying rivals, adversaries, and blockers, and neutralizing them

        current Democrat party leadership, cravers of ever more power, do grow more powerful, as normal people continue to fail to appreciate the underlying reality of ongoing biological resource competition and perpetual “will to power”

        but. this is a dynamic on which they hold no monopoly. 2020 has a lot more magic up its sleeve, you can bet on that

  11. Turley says “it included the confirmation that Mueller could not find any evidence of a single Trump campaign official knowingly dealing or colluding with Russians in the operation”

    That’s false. The Mueller Report said that they could not establish a conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt and so did not charge anyone with conspiracy, but the report absolutely includes evidence of members of the Trump campaign “knowingly dealing” with Russians (e.g., the Trump Tower meeting).

    And just today, the last installment of the Senate Intelligence Committee report was released — a bipartisan report that’s more detailed than the Mueller Report: https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/report_volume5.pdf

    Kyle Cheney (congressional reporter for Politico): “Per Senate Intellgence Committee, Konstantin KILIMNIK — who Manafort provided internal Trump campaign polling data to — is ‘a Russian intelligence officer.'”
    twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1295711366712627200 [has an image of the page of the report on which this appears, see the rest of Cheney’s thread for more from the report]

    “Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked closely with a Russian intelligence officer who may have been involved in the hack and release of Democratic emails during the election, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in a bipartisan report released Tuesday. It’s the furthest U.S. officials have gone in describing Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime Manafort business associate, as an agent of the Russian government. The disclosure was part of the committee’s fifth and final installment of its report on the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. …
    “Tuesday’s report, the product of a three-year bipartisan probe by the committee, focuses on counterintelligence aspects of the U.S. government’s Russia investigation, including allegations that Trump campaign officials coordinated with Russian operatives. It outlines in exhaustive detail the extent of Trump campaign officials’ contacts with Russians, though it stops short of alleging a direct coordination effort. …”
    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/18/manafort-worked-with-russian-intel-officer-who-may-have-been-involved-in-dnc-hack-senate-panel-says-397597

    1. Committed, I’m sorry to have to tell you, but Mrs. Clinton lost and Mr. Trump won. Stomp your feet and hold your breath all you want, but Mr. Trump is the President. I know from past encounters this jolt of factual truth won’t have any impact whatsoever on your impenetrable shield of sticking your rhetorical fingers into your factually challenged ears, but yet here it is.

      Perhaps the real world wouldn’t be such a scary place if only you put your animosity and bitterness onto the back burner? Again, I know I’m talking to a verbally-flatulent fence post, but I had to try. Just one more time.

      Water is wet.
      Epstein didn’t kill himself.
      There was no collusion.

      1. None of which has anything to do with what I actually wrote.
        I guess it’s too hard for you to deal with my actual claims, and you get off on insults.

        1. Sucks trying to engage someone who refuses to write a substantive, focused post, doesn’t it?

          It’s sad, really: The undeniable obsession you, Mr. Warner, FishWings, Natacha, Book, et al. have with your continued contributions (well, after a fashion) to Mr. Turley’s blog, the content with which you have never agreed, speaks volumes about you. Engaging in discourse is a noble goal. Too bad that is *never* your intention. Ever. Not even once.

          Every frequent visitor to Mr. Turley’s blog gets it: you don’t agree with the author. They also understand that your cabal of nitwits add somehow, amazingly, less than zero to any discussion you wade in to. Perhaps you can start your own blog where you can categorize everything and everybody with whom you disagree, cross referenced by whatever criteria suits you. From there you could either A) make it a private, invitation-only little piece of digital real estate where no original thoughts or truths can invade, or B) showcase both your astounding ability to be completely unencumbered by facts, and your incredible disregard for intellectual honesty.

          I’m sure many would find the latter a much-welcomed break from normality and saneness. Indeed, it would be downright entertaining! Please post a link to it here on Res ipsa loquitur so we can all stand in awe of your mighty … … whatever. Heck, I’d even kick in a few bucks on Patreon for you if it meant being able to see what grownups have to say about Turley’s writings without wading through your mental manure on a constant basis.

          1. Kydave, obviously you really don’t understand at all what CTHD is pointing out. Going off on a poor attempt at “intellectual word salad” justification about why you don’t get it speaks volumes about your ignorance.

            Nobody on this blog has actually effectively refuted CTHD’s arguments. She knows what she is doing and competently without insults or obfuscation. Turley IS guilty of mischaracterizations and falsehoods. The easiest way to prove it is by how long Turley’s rationalizing is over a basic point. For example Turley went on a good three paragraphs trying to avoid recognizing that he continued to call it a criminal investigation when it is in fact a counterintelligence investigation. They both have very different rules, but Turley is conflating the rules of the two to make an argument. He’s being disingenuous at best while going on long winded “rationalizations” about his arguments after being called out.

            1. Svelaz — Thanks for reminding me to add you to the Nitwit Cabal (TM). I apologize for having left you off the list.

              I really do understand what CTHD was pointing out. I just don’t care what its point was because I’m more than a little tired of reading the mental manure you and the Nitwits try to spread with perfect aplomb.

              The shtick is not just old, it grates on the nerves of any reasonable person. Your group’s arguments and worn, unimaginative, and eminently predictable. To borrow the phrase from Andy Dufresne: “you’re being obtuse.” I would point out that you and the crew are purposefully, perpetually, and perfidiously obtuse. There are countless examples of people “on this blog [] actually effectively refut[ing]” every single point ever raised by you, Committed, Mr. Warner, FishWings, Natacha, Book, and the entire Team Imbecile (TM). In each example, you each seem driven to prove yourselves rhetorically blind, logically inept, and tragically disingenuous. The sustained effort you each put into such demonstrations may quite easily be taken as symptoms of mild- to severe mental disorders, brain damage, and/or psychological abuses over the course of your lives. If it weren’t so consistently sustained, it gives all the outward appearances of being psychotic episodes.

              There is no reasoning with any of you, and attempting to do so only perpetuates the nerve-grating. As the old phrase says: bugger off then, eh? However, the offer to sponsor you all on Patreon still stands. It would absolutely be money well spent to be rid of you.

              1. Kydave,

                “ The shtick is not just old, it grates on the nerves of any reasonable person. Your group’s arguments and worn, unimaginative, and eminently predictable. To borrow the phrase from Andy Dufresne: “you’re being obtuse.”

                Huge problem there fella, any reasonable person would produce a counter argument with the same substance and facts which have never been disputed. The irony here is you’re accusing others of being obtuse while exhibiting that very mentality by complaining and throwing petty insults.

                It grates on the nerves precisely because you cannot directly refute the points being made. Others resign themselves to going off on unrelated subjects and hurling insults.

                You say there is no reasoning with the likes of CTHD. That’s because she provides a much deeper understanding of the subject meaning she will get into the nitty little details that are very relevant to the argument. I’ve noticed that most of the arguments defending trump or his enablers fall apart when details are really debated. Many don’t want to delve into the details because deep down they know they will arrive at the sane conclusion CTHD and the others point out. You don’t want to go that far because it conflicts with your predetermined conclusion. You’re stuck in a perpetual cycle of denial and every new detail chips away at it and it makes for an uncomfortable reality you don’t want to accept.

                1. No, it grates on the nerves because the Nitwit Cabal has a long, unbroken history of presenting opinions as facts, projecting their fears and insecurities, and refusing to acknowledge complete refutations to their every utterance. If it was an occasionally occurrence, then maybe I’d be wrong. But it is, in point of fact, the Cabal’s lone, single, and solitary modus operandi–without fail or exception.

                  The collective rhetoric abilities on the Nitwit Cabal are roughly equivalent to an online Lorem Ipsum generator (and not even one of the funnier ones, like those listed at https://www.shopify.com/partners/blog/79940998-15-funny-lorem-ipsum-generators-to-shake-up-your-design-mockups).

                  Now then, bugger off and good day.

              2. kydave mistakes mental illness. there is no mental illness, there is only a coordinated effort to advance their team agenda by endless repetition of the same talking points, to whatever degree of falsehood or not. oh and a lot of trolling, getting you wound up and wasting time talking about THEIR stuff and not YOURS

                don’t mistake psychological intensity for mental illness

                  1. well kydave i guess it’s possible. of course bipolar can give the person who has it amazing powers of energy and verbal flow when they are in a mania. also it makes them good at lying, risk taking, etc. but I am not the one to diagnose anybody, not a doctor

                  2. kydave, I think i am going to stop wasting energy talking about Russiagate because i kind of think McCabe should have been indicted. This little fish Klinesmith does not impress me. We got about 2 weeks to go and unless Durham comes up with something then we have to come to the sad conclusion that Barr is not what we hoped, he created the illusion that he was going after the perpetrators of this illegal conduct at FBI spying on a campaign, and he was not.

                    See the 2 weeks that would take us up to 60 days before the election is a deadline but there’s a bigger deadline looming out there. I think some of the potential charges against the schemers are under a 5 year statute of limitations. we are gonna be in the last year and i seriously doubt if nothing drops in the next 2 weeks, probably nothing much will come after even if Trump wins. Definitely, if he does not, it wont.

                    We heard from Barr once in the past month or so, Obama and Biden were not going to be targets of investigation., This did not surprise me at the time but i have though that over. Why not? if the evidence points to them– they should not be off limits

                    There are leaks coming out of DOJ that in fact, Barr meant exactly what he said. Obama and Biden are off limits. No matter what. Don’t go there is the order to investigators.

                    Now imagine if Nixon could have relied on that kind of de facto immunity. He never would have resigned, that’s for sure.

                    Say did you know Stztrok’s daddy worked at CIA? Well, may have. He was in the army, an engineer, working in middle east (iran) and africa. Little Petey Sztroke went to the “American school” in Tehran growing up

                    https://heavy.com/news/2018/07/peter-strzok-father-paul-iran-bio/

                    kind of makes you wonder, does Barr, old CIA guy himself, know little Petey’s dad? i hear the word omerta in my head, but i dare not say. oops, i did

                    so understand this folks. 2 weeks we will know, because if not in the next 2 weeks, the SOLs will likely time it out .

                    todays’ little news about Bannon getting a kick in the pants, this strange news, certainly indicates that we should not be expecting too much from Barr.

  12. Let’s see…for example, now if Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, had told DOJ officials not to cooperate with the Muller investigation, that would now be OK with Goodman and Weissman? Just sayin’…

  13. Whiteman (Weissman in German) and Badman (Goodman in California) are both different folks.

  14. I may not agree with every opinion of Prof Turley, but (as a lawyer) I am always impressed by his thoroughness, fairness, and persuasive abilities.

  15. You’re over the target. Countdown to complaints from the Correct-the-Record crew.

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