Beware the Eephus: Washington on Edge As Durham Prepares Possible Indictments and Report

Below is my column in The Hill on recent reports of grand jury testimony in the Durham investigation. The implications of the grand jury — and the eventual report — have rattled folks in the Beltway this week . . . for good reason.

Here is the column:

This week Texas Rangers infielder Brock Holt became a baseball legend when he went to the mound and threw an “eephus,” a high-arching, off-speed pitch, in a game against the Athletics. It is believed to be the slowest pitch recorded in MLB history, and A’s batter Josh Harrison stood in disbelief as the 31 mph pitch was called a strike. Harrison just laughed in amazement.

Pirates outfielder Maurice Van Robays coined the term in the 1946 All-Star Game, explaining, “Eephus ain’t nothing, and that’s a nothing pitch.” But as Holt demonstrated, sometimes a “nothing” slow pitch can amount to a great deal.

That is equally true about the occasional criminal eephus that takes everyone by surprise. For example, U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation has been slow in coming, but on Friday, a report surfaced that he is pitching evidence to a grand jury in an investigation started back in May 2019. The Durham investigation is now longer in duration than former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, and many people long forgot that Durham — made a special counsel at the end of the Trump administration — was even still in the game.

The report in The Wall Street Journal said Durham is presenting evidence against FBI agents and possibly others in the use of false information or tips at the start of the Russia investigation in 2016. Those “others” could include a virtual who’s who of Washington politics, and even if they are not indicted, Durham could implicate some of the most powerful figures in politics in his final report, expected in the coming months.

Even for those of us who followed and wrote on the Russia investigation for five years, much has been revealed in the last year. It was disclosed in October, for instance, that President Obama was briefed by his CIA director, John Brennan, on July 28, 2016, on intelligence suggesting that Hillary Clinton planned to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” The date was significant because the Russia investigation was initiated July 31, 2016, just three days later.

Throughout the campaign, the Clinton campaign denied any involvement in the creation of the so-called Steele dossier’s allegations of Trump-Russia connections. However, weeks after the election, journalists discovered that the Clinton campaign hid payments for the dossier made to a research firm, Fusion GPS, as “legal fees” among the $5.6 million paid to the campaign’s law firm. New York Times reporter Ken Vogel said at the time that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, with the law firm of Perkins Coie, denied involvement in the anti-Trump dossier. When Vogel tried to report the story, he said, Elias “pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong.’” Times reporter Maggie Haberman declared, “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year.”

It was not just reporters who asked the Clinton campaign about its role in the Steele dossier. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, was questioned by Congress and denied categorically any contractual agreement with Fusion GPS. Sitting beside him was Elias, who reportedly said nothing to correct the misleading information given to Congress.

It was later revealed that American intelligence viewed Steele as unreliable and believed his dossier was used by Russian intelligence to plant disinformation. Later reports show that Steele shopped the information to any reporters who would listen before the election and that there was an effort to get the information to trusted figures in the Justice Department.

This cross-pollination between the campaign and the Justice Department was evident in the strange role of Bruce Ohr, a senior Justice official who was later demoted for concealing his meetings with people pushing the Steele dossier; his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS as a researcher on Trump’s purported connections to Russia. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz subsequently found that Bruce Ohr acted improperly and committed “consequential errors in judgment.”

Others are reported in some media accounts to be in Durham’s crosshairs, including an analyst at the liberal Brookings Institution, Igor Danchenko, who was a source for part of the dossier and the subject of a Durham subpoena. Danchenko has been linked to a source viewed by American intelligence as a conduit for Russian disinformation and reportedly was investigated as a possible national security threat, according to at least one news report.

Durham also is reportedly looking into information concerning Alfa Bank, a privately owned commercial bank in Russia. That information led to possible access to the Trump campaign server. The Alfa Bank controversy is likely to make a number of powerful people particularly uneasy. Clinton campaign-linked figures such as Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson allegedly pushed the debunked claim that the Trump campaign had a server linked directly to the bank, which in turn was linked to Vladimir Putin and his cronies. The Alfa Bank conspiracy reportedly was pitched to the Justice Department, including in contacts with Bruce Ohr.

For many individuals, the statute of limitations may have passed on any alleged crimes. But the truth brought to light in any final report could result a public indictment of sorts.

Attorney General Merrick Garland may face some pressure to refuse to reauthorize a continuation of the Durham investigation, but he is likely to continue that support. After all, the Mueller investigation and various damaging investigations targeting Trump officials were approved and protected by his predecessor, William Barr.

The final fight may be over the report itself. Many in Congress and the media may not want it to see the light of day since it is likely to be an indictment not just of the FBI but of the establishment and an enabling media. Yet these same figures demanded “full transparency” over the Mueller report, including secret grand jury material barred from release under federal law. Even in a city that lives on political spin, reversing that narrative to demand secrecy or major redactions may be difficult to achieve in front of an increasingly distrustful public.

Thus, John Durham may be the slowest pitcher of all major league federal prosecutors — but a wide array of powerful people are afraid they may be called out at the plate by what he is about to let fly.

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

212 thoughts on “Beware the Eephus: Washington on Edge As Durham Prepares Possible Indictments and Report”

  1. I’ll believe it when I see indictments – glad you’re keeping up on it.
    Maybe the Afghanistan fiasco, which hurts nobody in DC, is a distraction from Durham?
    ???
    Naaahhh. Altho for Democrat voters, Afghan Lives Don’t Matter.

    On FBI crimes, no excitement without indictments.

    1. I believe the Afghanistan fiasco is to hide the impending election audit in Maricopa County, due this week. The Afghanistan fiasco does hurt Democrats in DC, especially Biden on the few days he’s actually in DC. Of course Biden has the luxury of not remembering the Afghanistan fiasco tomorrow unless someone reminds him. I love the notion of possible indictments but, like you, I’ll believe it when I see those responsible in cuffs and behind bars.

      1. “I believe the Afghanistan fiasco is to hide the impending election audit in Maricopa County, due this week. ”

        Too funny. I think you need another cup of coffee… — or something.

      2. Justice needs to be harsh, no escape for those who broke the law and trampled on the US Constitution.

  2. Biden’s Shame

    “[T]he Taliban is intensifying its hunt for all people who worked and collaborated with Nato and US forces.”

    “’The Taliban are arresting and/or threatening to kill or arrest family members of target individuals unless they surrender themselves to the Taliban,’ the document, seen by the BBC said.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-asia-58219963

    A group of women, at the locked gate to Kabul airport, were heard pleading:

    “Help me, please. Help me. The Taliban are coming for me.”

    Biden to all those he abandoned: “It sucks to be you.”

    1. Biden is so arrogant that he thinks HE should not be questioned and bristles at being asked anything about what HIS administration is doing. He turns his back on the media in the midst of a crisis, defiantly refusing to stand as Commander in Chief and answer a single question, before he goes back into hiding. It’s an astounding dereliction of duty. It is shameful cowardice.

      Impeachment should be forthcoming for this guy. He is a totally incompetent disgrace.

      1. Though, some have suggested that an imcompetent ‘politically neutered’ Biden is STILL a better choice for the country than a Cacklin Kamala presidency where the media work overtime to try to re-brand her as the next female Obama.

      2. Let us not forget that Biden has spent 5 decades in DC, running for president three times before being installed by fraudulent polling. Evil never dies in DC.

    2. At some point (I would hope) SOON political corruption in “The Swamp” would cease with abundant indictments sufficient to stem further ‘games’ of this sort.. Totally disgusted ….

    1. It’s never too little, too late when it comes to revealing the truth so history can hold these people accountable and the public can learn they were used as Useful Idiots.

  3. Trump’s Presidency Ended With A Violent Coup Attempt

    Yet We’re Supposed To Care About Durham’s Probe..??

    Christopher Steele was right on the money with regards to Donald Trump. Steele guessed correctly that Trump would be a major threat to the western alliance. Steele also sensed that Trump was a threat to western values. Events have vindicated Steele on almost every point. Therefore it’s a farce to pretend that Durham’s Probe could turn up anything of genuine relevance.

    1. Turley has shown almost no interest in the various attempts by Trump to ignore or overcome the law during his term, including the attempt at overturning our election at the end. From Congressional subpoenas to a direct attempt to overcome the congressional power of the purse – military funds for his “wall” – Turley has been a reliable no comment, but somehow we are supposed to think he is a serious observer of legal matters with a concern for our constitution?

      I don’t think so.

    2. “Steele guessed correctly that Trump would be a major threat to the western alliance. Steele also sensed that Trump was a threat to western values. Events have vindicated Steele on almost every point.”
      ************************
      “The latest evidence comes from Friday’s declassification via the Senate Judiciary Committee of the FBI’s interviews, over three days in January 2017, with the primary source for the infamous Steele dossier. The bureau used the dossier’s accusations as the basis for four warrants to surveil Trump aide Carter Page during the 2016 campaign and early months of the Trump Presidency. The 57 pages of notes from the source interviews make clear that the FBI knew the dossier was junk as early as January 2017.”
      ~ WSJ 7/17/20
      https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-fbis-dossier-deceit-11595027626

      Okay now for the big question for you: Is it bong or bottle?

      1. Mespo, Trump’s coup attempt was a fluke Steele couldn’t have foreseen?? No, it was exactly the type of stunt Steele predicted.

        1. So, wanting to verify that the election was fair and above board, which it wasn’t, is an attempted coup??? Yet the massive evidence of fraud is HO-HUM???
          Steele is a communist agent that did everything he could to get a LEAGALY elected president out of office.
          Oh, and you are suffering from a bad case of TDS.

    3. “”Anonymous says:
      August 18, 2021 at 2:14 PM

      Trump’s Presidency Ended With A Violent Coup Attempt “””

      PH U, U American Hating piece of Trash!!!,

      Release all the 14000 plus capital videos of 1/6, why are you stalling creeps, You’re Caught. The ones, videos, that have already been release show peaceful Flag waving Americans asking for the US Senate to US Constitutionally investigate the Massive Election fraud we all know of now & out of the One Million Plus Peace Protesters there were among them Pelosis, Schumor, McConnell, McCathy, Dem/Rinos/FBI/US Intel & their Pantifa/BLM/Q Evil PhTards.

      You People are so Busted!!!

    4. Seriously, you think President Trump was committing a coup? Typical Leftist you are, always accusing non-Lefists for what Leftists are actually doing. There was a coup, it started when President Trump was elected and culminated in the fraudulent, manipulated 2020 elections and beyond by Pelosi and Milley when Pelosi caused the January 6th Capital riot to stop the 12th Amendment proceeding that was taking place that day. Only morons, or at those who are complicit choose not to see it or to hide it through the Leftist controlled media and Big Tech entities. Do some research and stop parroting the leftists lies. REMEMBER THE STEAL! Rememberthesteal.com

  4. “ Thus, John Durham may be the slowest pitcher of all major league federal prosecutors — but a wide array of powerful people are afraid they may be called out at the plate by what he is about to let fly.”

    That’s a lot of assuming since there is still no guarantee that it will end up a strike. Turley’s argument assumes the baseball analogy with the certitude that it will be called a strike long before any concrete evidence is presented. It can just as easily end up a dud and when it does the blame will be on the umpire.

  5. Who is John Durham? The DOJ created Durham as the first totally believable synthetic prosecutor. Although Durham has appeared in the news from time to time, nobody has actually seen Durham in person. Some people actually think of Durham as a real person, thanks to modern technology. Every now and then, the DOJ leaks a story that Durham’s Report is about to be released any day now. Of course, there is no report forthcoming because there is no actual such person as Durham. But to maintain the illusion that Durham exists, every now and then the DOJ announces that Durham has successfully prosecuted somebody who agrees to go along with the scam and pretends to plead guilty. And then the person is released without so much as a slap on the wrist. I just wish the DOJ would come up with a new image for their synthetic prosecutor. The beard thing is growing tiresome.

  6. Typically, Turley is factually wrong in his attempts to downplay Trump ,malfeasance while attacking Democrats.

    This quote is verbatim from the Senate Intel Comm report – issued one year ago by the GOP controlled committee. Clearly, the Russian attempt to help Trump by interfering in the 2016 election and the Trump campaigns encouragement and attempts to benefit from it are not a “hoax”. Turley must get his news from Fox.

    “Hack and Leak
    (U) The Committee found that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian
    effort to hack computer networks and accounts affiliated with the Democratic Party and leak
    information damaging to Hillary Clinton and her campaign for president. Moscow’s intent was
    to harm the Clinton Campaign, tarnish an expected Clinton presidential administration, help the
    Trump Campaign after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, and undermine the
    U.S. democratic process.
    -WikiLeaks actively sought, and played, a key role in the Russian
    influen~ery likely knew it was assistin a Russian intelli ence influence
    effort. The Committee found si nificant indications tha
    At the time of the
    first WikiLeaks releases, the U.S. Government had not yet declared WikiLeaks a hostile
    organization and many treated itas a journalistic entity.
    (U) While the GRU and WikiLeaks were releasing hacked documents, the Trump
    Campaign sought to maximize the impact of those leaks to aid Trump’s electoral
    prospects. Staff on the Trump Campaign sought advance notice about WikiLeaks releases,
    created messaging strategies to promote and share the materials in anticipation of and following
    thdr release, and encouraged further leaks. The Trump Campaign publicly undermined the
    attribution of the hack-and-leak campaign to Russia and was indifferent to whether it and
    WikiLeaks were furthering a Russian election interference effort. The Committee found no
    evidence that Campaign officials received an authoritative government notification that the hack
    was perpetrated by the Russian government before October 7, 2016, when the ODNI and DHS
    issued a joint statement to that effect. However, the Campaign was aware of the extensive media
    reporting and other private sector attribution of the hack to Russian actors prior to that point.
    (U) Trump and senior Campaign offici.als sought to obtain advance information about
    WikiLeaks’s planned releases through Roger Stone. At their direction, Stone took action to gain
    vii
    COMMITTEE SENSITIVE~ RUSSIA INVESTIGATION ONLY
    inside knowledge for the Campaign and shared his purported knowledge directly with Trump
    and senior Campaign offictals on multiple occasions. Trump and the Campaign believed that
    Stone had inside information and expressed satisfaction that Stone’s information suggested more
    releases would be forthcoming. The Committee could not reliably determine the extent.of
    authentic, non-public knowledge about WikiLeaks that Stone obtained and shared with the
    Campaign.

    https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/report_volume5.pdf

      1. Anyone who cites Breitbart is clueless.

        The senate Intel Comm report was released by a GOP controlled majority

        1. Those people that have been charged with spitting out canned talking points always go back to the meanlngless trope that “even these republicans…”
          That ignores ‘never Trumpers’ Those pathetic squishes like Chrytstal, George Conway. You also have no clue WHY President was fought so hard.
          The Senate intel committee is corrupt. The intel committee got caught leaking lies to the propaganda media. Helping to set the phony narrative.

          The evidence tells me those that would use the Senate Intel committee as a source of facts, are most likely emotionally drtiven snowflakes, hard leftists, or garden variety internet troll, too inept to engage in actual analysis.

          1. Was it the Senate Intel Committee that did not hold Clapper or anyone else accountable for the lies about NSA surveillance of all Americans (not to mention holding them accountable for the unconstitutional surveillance)?

      2. Thank you for the links Winston. the realclearinvestigations link is particularly revealing about the Senate Intel report.

        Although the Senate report has been widely interpreted as a bipartisan endorsement of the Trump-Russia collusion theory, that picture is misleading. Six Republican members state unequivocally in an addendum that the investigation “found no evidence” that the Trump campaign “colluded with the Russian government” in 2016. In early 2019, as the investigation neared its end, a Democratic aide on the committee acknowledged to CNN that it had “not uncovered direct evidence of collusion.”

        swamp thing (aka; bythebook has been clinging to the report’s innuendos and the fact it was produced from a Republican-led Senate Intel committee like flotsam after the Mueller probe sank.

    1. RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA. THERE WAS NO RUSSIA HACK. Putin didn’t have anything to do with what happened here. The entire affair was unsurprisingly brought about by Hillary’s own people — from her own campaign — to avenge her dirty tricks against Bernie. Hillary, Podesta & Co .were very deservedly B slapped by the infamous (and heroic) Seth Rich, with the expert technical help of his brother Aaron Rich. When Hillary’s files came into the light of day the public was disgusted, and Hillary was humiliated. Then she blamed a Donald Trump Russia conspiracy that didn’t exist, and the FBI went right to work to help her make it stick.

      It’s an established in federal court in DC, as of December 2020 (check lawsuit re: Ty Clevenger) that Seth Rich stole all the files by copying them to thumb drives. It’s now a matter of public record, through direct testimony, that the FBI, by there own admission, and their subsequent acknowledgment of perjury, possessed all the evidence/files contained on Rich’s computer(s) (WHICH IS STILL IN THEIR CUSTODY) and that Seth Rich was the source. HE was in direct WRITTEN CONTACT with Assange and made all the arrangements to give the files to him/WikiLeaks. The Rich brothers DOWNLOADED the files onto flash drives, and delivered them to WikiLeaks intermediaries. The FBI has possessed the evidence ever since Seth Rich was murdered in DC in. July 2016. It opened an investigation at that time and over the course of which thousands of pages of case documents were accumulated. The FBI denied having an investigation or evidence from Seth Rich murder SINCE THE DAY RICH WAS MURDERED. HAD THE FBI MADE THE RICH EVIDENCE PUBLIC WHEN THEY RECEIVED IT, THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION WOULD HAVE NEVER OCCURRED.

      The FBI knew the whole time that Russia had nothing to do with this.

  7. If there is anything really….damning. It will only be broadcast on Fox News. And then only by the 3 evening-time show hosts. The other propaganda networks will either not report it or it will be mentioned once for 15 seconds, have some startling news story after it…….and all will be forgotten. As if it never even occurred.

  8. we will see if it is just more “bread and circuses”. I really don’t believe anyone will be held responsible.

  9. EXHIBIT A

    Trump sides with Putin against U.S. Intelligence agencies onstage in Helsinki Finland.

    It doesn’t get more obvious than this. Here we had a U.S. President deferring to a foreign adversary as the whole world looked on. This one moment alone justified the Mueller Probe. No President with an ounce of common sense would walk into this trap.

    https://youtu.be/mBtsNNXjBPw

    1. EXHIBIT B

      Trump calls on Russia to ‘find Hillary’s emails’.

      Here we had the Republican nominee for president calling on a hostile foreign power to hack his opponent. The Wikileaks trove was announced shortly thereafter.

      https://youtu.be/UutkJGJaMxE

      1. Typical liberal can’t tell when someone is showing how absurd something is by using absurdity.

    2. Should NBC and its reporting be believed? The history between the United States during the President Trumps time and Russia were at best tenuous. Again more nonsense from a Liberal Democrat. As George Orwell wrote in Shooting an Elephant “Politics and the English Language” “Political language-and with variations this is true of all political parties,…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

    3. President Trump was right. The IC cannot be trusted. Brennen and Clapper were on National TV calling the sitting President an asset for Russia. Witting or unwitting. So take you indignation and stuff it. Understand when they were on TV making that claim, they had already admitted they had found no derogatory intel on President Trump etal.

      Asking Russia if they had copies of Clinton’s wife e mails, was a slam against the media narrative, that it was no big deal. It’s a joke. The Secretary of State used a private unsecured email server to conduct State Dept Business. The joke was, if Clinton followed the law, no emails would be “lost”.

      But you told me, Popodopoulus, the one person Mueller never interviewed was the whole reason for the witch hunt. Now you’re shifting gears to disagreeing with the President of the United Stated exercising plenary constitutional powers. Weak broth.

      1. Iowan, your lame excuse strains for credibility. Like everything else with Trump, it’s leveraged on ‘deep state’ conspiracies.

        1. leveraged on ‘deep state’ conspiracies.
          Citing facts is now conspiracies? Clinton’s wife did violate the law by conducting state dept business on her private, unsecured, Unapproved by the United States Govt e mail server.
          Brenner a Clapper did lie on TV about President Trump being an asset of Russia. Something their own agencies had investigated and knew to be false.
          The President of the United States has plenary power to conduct foreign affairs. You can disagree, but it is not a crime.
          (fun fact, a “criminal” investigation was never launched. everything was labeled counter Intel. Because that allowed snooping and spying not allowed without a warrant issued by a real judge, not the rubber stamps at FISA)

          1. Iowan, Trump repeatedly used an unsecured phone. Why is that less offensive than Hillary’s email server???

            1. Cite the law and I’ll look into it. Lacking such a cite, you are again deflecting. What is classified communication? What ever the President of the United States says it is.
              Much like the lie the leftists started a couple of weeks ago. They tried to claim the President was having unauthorized communications with people inside the DoJ. Like somehow the President is restricted to who he can talk to. Plenary power.

              Look up the word Plenary.

            2. Come on Man! Everyone die-hard dem knows President Trump was given a phone by Fischer-Price. And, that the deletion of 30,000 emails is not unusual for the mother of a bride. According to a made-up piece in Bride Magazine, the amount of regrets pouring in from former Foundation donors was so overwhelming she needed help from staff to respond.

              On a serious note, we are all sinners, and while God’s grace is available to all, some realize that it is a conflict of interest.

      2. Iowan, your lame excuse of a response relies on all that ‘deep state’ nonsense. And that was the whole problem with Trump: every shortcoming of his relied on deep state conspiracies.

        1. I never mentioned deep state. All I have done is stated facts. You are the one bound to conspiracies.

          Go read the articles of impeachment. Never a mention of Russia. Even the Democrats were not so stupid as to paint themselves into a corner, defending something lacking factual foundation.

      3. Whatever happened to Profs. Mifsud and Halper? Weren’t they involved in a plot to falsely present Popodopoulus as a link between the FSB and the Trump campaign? Carter Page was also a victim of another type of chicanery in which doing ordinary business with Russia was misrepresented as a crime.

    4. You are the typical wet fart in America today…..not only do you not get what it was…..you still run down Americas leg ….. you are wholly partisan and it shows/smells.

    5. But, he was right about the intelligence agencies, wasn’t he? The Russia, Russia, Russia lie was instigated by the Clinton campaigne and amplified by the FBI, Te intelligence agencies and the media. But, don’t hold your breath, nothing will come of it.

  10. Professor Turley writes:

    Hillary Clinton planned to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
    ………………………………………………………………….

    At least half the public would say that Trump’s Russian ties were more disturbing than Hillary’s email server. So here again Turley reveals himself as a permanent resident of the rightwing bubble.

  11. Pitchforks and Lanterns. No more “vote them out”, it’s time for brutal consequences ON the political class.

  12. Since the main subject of this post has drifted to include Afghanistan I quote from — War Poems 1919 “Aftermath”
    “But the past is just the same,-and War’s a bloody game…
    Have you forgotten yet?’
    Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget”.

  13. Clinesmith intentionally altered FISA documents. Without his crime, there would not have been an investigation into Carter Page. He was sentenced to NO jail time. What can we reasonably expect from these potential indictments from Durham? This was a coup attempt being reduced to leaks, misstatements, and security violations.

  14. I noticed today that many in the boot-licking corporate media have turned on Biden.

    That would not have happened if they didn’t know that even their best, solid-platinum lies can’t cover the stink of Afghanistan.

    It comes as no surprise to those of us here who have been saying Biden acts senile and his administration is incompetent and corrupt. I wonder if Hunter is really in charge?

    China is threatening Taiwan and saying the US military won’t help. Probably true with this administration. Even if it does the navy will sail in flying rainbow flags and colliding with each other while the crews sit in diversity, inclusion and white fragility classes.

    Was it worth stealing an election to get this?

    1. Yahoo TV
      Former ambassador to Afghanistan blames Taliban surge on Trump ‘delegitimizing’ Afghan government
      Stephen Proctor
      Fri, August 13, 2021, 3:59 AM

      Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker appeared Thursday on Anderson Cooper 360, where he blamed former President Trump for the Taliban’s recent surge in the country. Trump had planned to meet with Taliban leaders and the Afghan president at Camp David in 2019. After the meeting was canceled, a U.S. representative for Afghanistan met with Taliban leaders in Qatar in February 2020, where both sides signed a peace agreement. It’s at that meeting that Crocker believes the current situation in Afghanistan was born. Not only were there no representatives from the Afghan government present at the meeting, but Afghanistan was asked to make certain concessions to the Taliban.

      “In my view, we bear a major responsibility for this. Began under President Trump when he authorized negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban without the Afghan government in the room. That was a key Taliban demand. We acceded to it, and it was a huge demoralizing factor for the Afghan government and its security forces,” Crocker said. “We pressed them to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners. Eventually they did it, and watched them go back into the fight against the people who released them. So this is a year and a half worth of demoralization.”

      You want to know why people like me do not respect people like you? You keep repeating the Big Lie, and no amount of evidence will shake you–not multiple recounts, not certification by 50 Secretaries of State, most of whom are Republicans, not 60+ courts dismissing the case, not every poll predicting Trump’s loss, not 4 years worth of less than 50% approval ratings–nothing, because you have placed your faith in a malignant narcissist, a constant, proven liar. What does that say about you as a person?

      Your attacks on Biden are unhinged: you claim that “corporate media” engage in “solid platinum” lies to cover for Biden, ignoring the fact that Biden inherited a bad agreement struck by Trump [the “master deal maker”], part of which was to release 5,000 Taliban in advance of US withdrawal, and who didn’t include the Afghan government in negotiations with the Taliban, but instead agreeing to concessions by the Afghans, resulting in their feeling demoralized. So, they stopped paying their soldiers. And, they accepted bribes from the Taliban to stand down, all of which is supposed to be Biden’s fault. Biden followed the recommendations of our intelligence, who predicted stability for about 18 months before the Taliban took over, but their estimates were wrong. Did Biden blame Trump, or US intelligence, or even the Afghan government? No, he didn’t. He said the buck stops with him, but you still accuse Biden of being incompetent and corrupt, as well as senile. What, exactly, did Biden personally do wrong? How is he “corrupt”? Name something. We all know what Trump’s failures were vis-a vis the Taliban, but what are Biden’s flaws–something he did or failed to do–be specific. You even have the gall to question whether Hunter is running the US. You are a moron, sir. You have your head so deeply inserted into Trump’s rectal cavity that you cannot see character or integrity.

      1. “He said the buck stops with him, but you still accuse Biden of being incompetent and corrupt, as well as senile.”

        It doesn’t. He is. He is. He is.

      2. Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker called some of President Biden’s speech yesterday, “appalling.” Crocker also called Biden’s execution of the exit, “a debacle” and questioned Biden’s “ability to lead”.

        1. Maybe Biden can be removed from office because he is not mentally competent and Queen Harris can take over the reigns of government. That should be interesting.

      3. Rumor is that Joe’s VP, Kamala Harris refused to stand with him as he delivered his speech at the White House yesterday. Imagine that, Kamala refused to stand beside the President in his darkest hour thus far in his presidency. Talk about disloyal.

        1. Rumor is that Joe’s VP, Kamala Harris refused to stand with him

          An interesting tidbit from Insty. via someone else who I can’t remember.

          Democrats have painted themself into a corner. Biden cant resign, because when Kamala takes over, the Senate is still a 50/50 split. Kamala cant get a new VP because Republican can block. No VP no tie breaker, and Republicans can stall until the mid terms

      4. Today we learned that President Biden has not spoken to ANY world leaders since Kabul fell and the US Embassy was forced to flee from the Taliban takeover. His VP refused to stand with him as he delivered his speech to the world. We also heard Biden’s team say that Americans cannot be guaranteed safe passage out.

        Hey World! America is Back! Diplomacy is Back!

      5. nastycha…….are you even real…let alone sane ?. Your spewed bile is total sewage and virtually meaningless partisan drivel. You are the perfect baizou biden supporter. Fake Reality , insanity , minced words , fraud news and backstabbing America are your religion.You are the imam of duh.

      6. What’s going on in Afghanistan is the absolute height of incompetence. Right now there are thousands of American citizens left behind in taliban controlled areas. Yeah, Biden knows what he’s doing. Let’s talk about covid. Anyone who believes that Joe Biden knows what’s going on in the world around him is about as coherent as he is.

    2. How many of Trump’s policies did Biden unwind within weeks of taking office? And for some reason, this allegedly terrible agreement with the Taliban was the one the Biden administration decided to leave in place? Right. Did Trump also leave behind instructions for leaving Afghanistan that told Biden to take out our military personnel first, leave behind weapons of war, and trust the Taliban to not take Kabul until September 11th? This is debacle falls squarely on the shoulders of the commander-in-chief. If Biden isn’t taking ownership, then someone else in his orbit is the acting CinC.

      1. this allegedly terrible agreement with the Taliban was the one the Biden administration decided to leave in place?

        The left is going crazy trying to deflect. But Joe’s being a problem. Joe says, yes I ended this perpetual war. That’s exactly what President Trump wanted. That’s exactly what 70% of the population wants.

        The debacle is the execution. The planning is no horrendous, it seems like its been sabotaged.

        1. Exactly. The Taliban, Al Qaeda and Islamic State must be licking their chops that tables have turned with the US government as the JV team.

      2. Here’s a tweet that lays out the steps. Did they override the military advice every step of the way? Biden blew it so badly that you have to wonder if this was utter incompetence or intentional diminishment of America’s standing in the world like Obama’s managed decline….

        ———————————————–

        “Correct order of operations:

        1. Shred sensitive documents.
        2. Evacuate civilians and allies.
        3. Pull out military.
        4. Announce end of fighting.

        Not the opposite”.

        @DavidSacks

        1. Sadly, I pray it was incompetence. The other option means this administration is an enemy of the people.

          1. Trump announced US departure from Afghanistan by May, 2021. Trump drew down troops from 14,000 to 2,500. Trump struck a deal with the Taliban to release 5,000 of them from prison and agreed to concessions by the Afghan government without even asking the Afghan government or allowing them to be a party to negotiations. Did you forget these facts, or are you still ignoring his faults and lack of leadership skills? Trump bears most of the blame for the issues with withdrawal from Afghanistan.

            1. Natacha,

              People like you should really leave the US & move to Afghanistan where you can truly be happy with preaching your type of proper transgender pedo fagiitiry pronouns & Red High Heals will be properly be appreciated by the Islamic Taliban & all Enemies of Liberty, Freedom lovin Americas.

              BTW: Great Job Biden, Harris, Pelosi. Schumer. the Rinos McConnell, McCarthy & Staff, etc.., , Gen Milley, Gen Austin & Rt Gen Honore, Etc Mil/Intel, thank for your seppuku.

        2. You left out an important step
          “Correct order of operations:

          1. Shred sensitive documents.
          2. Evacuate civilians and allies.
          3. Pull out or destroy all military equipment.
          4. Pull out military.
          5. Announce end of fighting.

      3. What’s going on in Afghanistan blows away the stupidity of what’s going on at our southern border. I hope Vice President Harris steps in and saves the day. We really need her now. My God, this is the twilight zone.

        1. Yikes, I don’t have any confidence the backup quarterback on the freshman squad will improve a $hitty game plan.

        2. #4A OR LAST Order of Operations: DO NOT CLOSE BAGRAM AIRBASE UNTIL EVERYTHING ELSE IS ACCOMPLISHED. But President Mr.Magoo forgot that part as he is prone to do, I’m NOT SURPRISED people are you?

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