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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Just after Mike Pompeo, a Trump loyalist, took over as CIA director in 2017, he conducted a personal review of the CIA's findings, grilling analysts on their conclusions in a challenging and at times combative interview. He ultimately found no evidence of any wrongdoing, or that the analysts had been under political pressure to produce their findings. read more


The audience at Paul McCartney's massive Dodger Stadium concert screamed when he announced during the encore a "surprise for everyone" -- the "one and only Ringo Starr!" read more


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said the government's request to switch lawyers was 'patently deficient'. "Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons,' for the substitution of counsel," Furman wrote. Furman ordered each of the attorneys to submit sworn affidavits explaining their "satisfactory reasons" for withdrawing. read more


Chicago Coalition for the Homeless: Chicago's hefty homeless population includes nearly 14,000 people who are working and more than 18,000 who have been to college -- countering common misconceptions that anyone who collects a paycheck or pursues an academic degree is immune from one of life's most desperate economic straits, a new report by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) finds. The analysis, drawn from data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau and the City of Chicago, estimates that the city's homeless population surpassed 86,000 people in 2017, the latest year for which figures are available. read more


Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta oversaw the deal for Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 when he was the top federal prosecutor in Miami. In February, a federal judge ruled that under Acosta, federal prosecutors broke the law when they concealed a plea agreement with Epstein from dozens of underage survivors of Epstein's sexual abuse. At that time 19 congressional Democrats signed a letter asking President Donald Trump to demand Acosta's resignation. read more


Comments

That is a far cry from a full DOJ investigation....

Yes it was, and that's one of the major points.

Michael Morell, the former acting CIA director, said the Justice Department is "absolutely the wrong organization to do the review."

"The Justice Department's job is to see whether a crime has been committed, not to assess the quality of intelligence analysis," said Morell, who now hosts the Intelligence Matters podcast. "They have no training or experience in that."

Mike Pompeo's job depended upon him doing what Donald Trump wanted him to do as it regards finding out if the CIA's analysis of Russian activities was based on tangible evidence or systemic political bias against Trump. The report was the then-CIA Director
ultimately found no evidence of any wrongdoing, or that the analysts had been under political pressure to produce their findings.
There are at least two incongruent lines of thought that make no logical sense based on facts that we already know. One, if Donald Trump believed that Mike Pompeo did not undertake a valid assessment of the CIA's analytical role in discerning Putin's ordered actions it's doubtful that Pompeo would have been promoted to the State Department instead of being discarded by Trump for failing to deliver what he wanted.

And two, any half-wit moron with a molecule of belief that any 'deep state' opposition to Trump's election existed, knows that the most effective way to have undercut his electoral chances would have been to publicly leak the existence of the counterintelligence investigations into his campaign's connections to Russia(ns) prior to Election Day. Considering that Hillary's email issues dominated the campaign up until its waning days, a damning acknowledgment of Trump's coordination and complicity with a foreign government's counterintelligence operations most certainly would have damned him to failure, yet this never happened. So who should then believe government institutions and individuals were lined up against Trump to the point they would criminally investigate him based upon their own desire to see him lose and not use the most logical, potent and explosive weapon against him towards that end?

"This wasn't just a briefing," said one person familiar with the episode. "This was a challenging back and forth, in which Pompeo asked the officers tough questions about their work and how they determined Putin's specific objectives." Pompeo also asked about CIA's work with the FBI on the Russia probe in 2016. Two U.S. officials further confirmed to POLITICO that the interview occurred and was robust.

Additionally, a congressional official said Pompeo and his deputies never gave any indication to lawmakers, even behind closed doors, that the CIA had acted improperly or drawn incorrect conclusions about Putin's desire to help Trump get elected. Special counsel Robert Mueller and the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee also separately reaffirmed the intelligence community's assessment of Moscow's motivations in 2016.

Still, in may AG Barr tapped John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to investigate many of these same questions.

Jeffrey Edmonds, a former CIA analyst who served as a Russia adviser on the National Security Council during both the Trump and Obama administrations, said he is "worried" that Durham's CIA inquiry "is a political attempt to undermine the intelligence community's assessment. It's telling that Pompeo walked away from [his] review agreeing with the agency's high confidence assessment" about Putin's objectives, Edmonds added.

Indeed, the congressional official said, Pompeo's own examination of the CIA's analysis "really does call into question the purpose of the entire Durham exercise."

Projection #Infinity: Trump's do-over directly in plain sight.

Don't get me wrong, I am sure that Steele was very concerned about what he was finding, but at some point animus taints any investigation regardless of subject or source.

But the only ones trying to discredit 'everything' because of perceived bias are Trump defenders. Police are biased, prosecutors are biased, judges are biased, HUMANS are biased, it's inescapable. But even when direct evidence of potential bias is uncovered, they still receive deference up until the point their bias reaches criminality. In the case of Trump, every investigator is 'biased' against him because they follow normal procedure when evidence regarding he and his staff merited looking into.

Trump and his campaign members were caught by those surveilling Russians which led investigators to look deeper into what and why they were doing what they did. Any American LEO should have been pissed that such behavior and actions - which were publicly decried as lies - were indeed factually true, regardless of their purpose. How can anyone of conscious and a believer in justice and the Constitution not become impacted by subversion in plain sight?

I've yet to see a coherent argument of 'bias' against Trump that was manifest in the facts and details uncovered in the investigations, just smears of investigators for their private feelings which have never been connected to anything they did professionally. It's ridiculous to claim that political bias was at the root of Trump's investigations when those doing them were largely Republicans, as are the vast majority of LE for obvious reasons. They are wrongly smeared by the likely criminals whose wrongdoing they managed to uncover. Personal bias does not translate to professional bias unless you have the facts and evidence to prove such a connection.

... Steele's admission of bias, as set for above, taints the objectivity that you want an investigator to have.

As I understand it, Steele did not have any determinant anti-Trump bias when he started his investigation. He became anti-Trump when the evidence became obvious to him that Trump had been groomed/assisted by Russia for decades and that he was likely compromised and a direct threat to the US and western allies alike. His most intense ire was because he thought the American electorate should have known about the information on Trump that was already out there (but not in a coherent nor chronological manner) that would have brought people to question him more directly, especially when the FBI was playing reputational pinata with his main opponent.

And to be clear, I believe that Steele was more concerned with the ramifications of Russia having a potentially-compromised friend inside the White House as he continued to see Trumpers lie about any contacts with Russians when he documented scores of them. I feel that in this case, you're more like Trump - it wasn't personally about him or his myriad personal issues. It was about Russia first and foremost and the frightening prospect of an enemy with access to all the West's activities and secrets, especially the singular linchpin to global security.

And based upon the last 2 1/2 years, Steele wasn't wrong to be concerned about the destabilizing policy/actions undertaken by Trump. If anything he might have underestimated the tumult.

The plaintiffs in the case ― a group of states and advocacy groups ― are also seeking sanctions against the department for allegedly misleading them about the way the citizenship question was added. Furman also ordered that the lawyers who want to withdraw be available for any proceedings around that request.

It's normal for attorneys to give reasons to "come and go on cases," said Justin Levitt, a former top official in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. But it was unusual to switch out an entire team of lawyers "in overtime, with no explanation," he added.

"It's not normal for a court to deny a request to swap out an entire trial team. It's not normal for either a President or an Attorney General to promise open defiance of the Supreme Court," he said. "No part of this is normal. No part of this is even normal-adjacent."

It is "exceptionally unusual" for a judge to deny a DOJ request to switch attorneys, said Sasha Samberg-Champion, another former Justice Department attorney. "Usually DOJ lawyers are treated as pretty fungible for representation purposes," he added.
The order, Samberg-Champion said, "suggests that Judge Furman is viewing these departing lawyers as, essentially, witnesses to potential misconduct whose testimony may be relevant to a sanctions motion."

Looks like somebody ticked off Judge Furman and he's throwing the book of law at them. The affidavits should be enlightening since the attorneys who refused to carry Trump's water any further have to tell the court the reason why under penalty of sanctions or worse.

Barr is going to severely segment the DOJ pitting attorney against attorney if this goes in the direction it's looking.

The plaintiffs in the case ― a group of states and advocacy groups ― are also seeking sanctions against the department for allegedly misleading them about the way the citizenship question was added. Furman also ordered that the lawyers who want to withdraw be available for any proceedings around that request.

It's normal for attorneys to give reasons to "come and go on cases," said Justin Levitt, a former top official in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. But it was unusual to switch out an entire team of lawyers "in overtime, with no explanation," he added.

"It's not normal for a court to deny a request to swap out an entire trial team. It's not normal for either a President or an Attorney General to promise open defiance of the Supreme Court," he said. "No part of this is normal. No part of this is even normal-adjacent."

It is "exceptionally unusual" for a judge to deny a DOJ request to switch attorneys, said Sasha Samberg-Champion, another former Justice Department attorney. "Usually DOJ lawyers are treated as pretty fungible for representation purposes," he added.

The order, Samberg-Champion said, "suggests that Judge Furman is viewing these departing lawyers as, essentially, witnesses to potential misconduct whose testimony may be relevant to a sanctions motion."

Looks like somebody ticked off Judge Furman and he's throwing the book of law at them. The affidavits should be enlightening since the attorneys who refused to carry Trump's water any further have to tell the court the reason why under penalty of sanctions or worse.

Barr is going to severely segment the DOJ pitting attorney against attorney if this goes in the direction it's looking.

In his opinion, Judge Kenneth A. Marra said that not only did prosecutors violate the Crime Victims Rights Act by not telling the victims about the deal, but prosecutors also led victims to believe the FBI's case against him was ongoing. Thanks to those prosecutors, Epstein pleaded guilty in state court to two prostitution charges and served 13 months in Palm Beach County Jail.

The deal also included language that gave immunity to "any potential co-conspirators'' involved in his crimes, according to the Miami Herald. The Herald identified nearly 80 girls who said they were victims of Epstein and were anywhere from 13 to 16 years old when the abuse occurred.

This shouldn't be controversial and it shouldn't be partisan. I can think of few if any ethical lapses that have left more personal damage in their wake than this episode starring Epstein and Acosta. Taxpayers should not have to pay the salary of someone who so blatantly bent the mechanisms of justice to serve the guilty because of power, wealth and status. The facts of this case are known and not disputed as the judge has ruled that what Acosta did to Epstein's victims was unequivocally against the law.

Acosta should be gone, immediately.

#9

I like this one even better.

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