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Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: February 03, 2018 08:19PM

Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
By approving the release of the Nunes memo, the president undermined his own defense against allegations in the Russia investigation.
By Matt Ford
February 2, 2018
It would be easy to compare Congressman Devin Nunes’s release of a declassified memo on purported surveillance abuses to Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone’s vault. But this would be extremely unfair to Geraldo, who didn’t know ahead of time that it would be empty.

The four-page memo was drafted by House Intelligence Committee staffers with access to highly classified information about an ongoing criminal investigation into foreign interference in the last presidential election. By Nunes’s account, they uncovered evidence that officials in the FBI and Justice Department abused surveillance powers to spy on Trump campaign staffer Carter Page. “The committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes,” Nunes said. “Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies exist to defend the American people, not to be exploited to target one group on behalf of another.”
Against the wishes of his FBI director, Christopher Wray, President Donald Trump approved the release of the previously top-secret memo in the hopes that it would discredit the Russia investigation. But the much-hyped document falls far short of what its backers claimed. As the FBI and House Democrats warned, the memo is also riddled with selective omissions that distort its portrayal of events. And yet, in an ironic twist, it also confirms certain details about the investigation that undercut Trump’s defenses against the accusations he faces.
The memo alleges that former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele—who prepared the infamous dossier of damaging allegations against Trump—was biased against Trump because the consulting firm that funded the dossier, Fusion GPS, was paid for by a law firm hired by the Clinton campaign. Accordingly, the memo alleges that the FBI wrongly withheld Steele’s bias from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when, based partly on the dossier, it sought a surveillance order against former Trump foreign policy aide Carter Page. The broader, unstated implication is that the entire Russia investigation is tainted by partisanship.

It’s been reported for months that the FBI used the dossier in the investigation and initial FISA warrant application in October 2016, and that Steele’s work could be traced back to Democratic funding. But the memo largely elides two key facts. One is that Page had well-established contacts with Russian intelligence figures long before he joined the Trump campaign, making the choice to surveil him less random than it seems. The other is that the Russia investigation actually began well before Steele contacted the FBI or the FISA application targeting Page was drafted. Federal investigators started probing the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia in May 2016 after an Australian diplomat told them about troubling conversations he had with George Papadopoulos, the Trump foreign-policy staffer who signed a plea deal with Mueller last fall.
Only in the memo’s final paragraph do its authors acknowledge that Papadopoulos’s loose lips sparked the FBI probe. They also note that information from Papadopoulos also made its way into the FISA application targeting Page, but don’t explain further. Instead, the memo pivots to the texts between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, a frequent topic of chatter in conservative media. Trump-aligned outlets often describe their conversations as evidence of an internal FBI conspiracy against the president. But the Wall Street Journal reviewed more than 7,000 text messages between them and reported on Friday that it found “no evidence of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump.”
The memo then tries to criticize the FBI for relying upon a Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff about Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow in its FISA application. According to the memo, the article doesn’t corroborate the dossier because Steele was a source for both of them. “Steele’s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling—maintaining confidentiality—and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI,” the memo says.
But the memo refutes its own implications. There’s no indication that the FBI knew Steele was Isikoff’s source or that he had been talking to reporters at all when it submitted the FISA application on October 21, 2016. In fact, the memo says the FBI didn’t break off ties with Steele until after a Mother Jones article revealed his contacts with the bureau on October 31—ten days after the FISA application was filed. The memo goes on to claim Steele “improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts,” which would hardly be the FBI’s fault.
While it falls short of proving its overall case, some of the memo’s revelations could be damaging for the Justice Department. Conservative news outlets highlighted one previously unreported detail: that then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe had “testified before the committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.” But there’s already been some pushback on that claim: CNN’s Jim Sciutto reported that two Democratic committee members told him McCabe didn’t say that. Without the exact testimony at hand, it’s impossible to tell if that’s what he said. The FBI said earlier this week that it had “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” but it’s unclear if this is what they meant.

To underscore its claims of anti-Trump bias on the part of Steele and the FBI, the memo includes a quote from Steele to Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. “In September 2016, Steele admitted to Ohr his feeling against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him being president,’” the memo says. “This clear evidence of Steele’s bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files—but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.” But Steele apparently had a good reason to think this. After all, he compiled a dossier of allegations suggesting that the Republican candidate for president collaborated with Moscow to undermine an American election because they had compromising information that could be used top blackmail him. Is it surprising that Steele didn’t want that guy to win?
It’s also unclear whether Steele’s views about Trump or the source of his funding would have been fatal to the FISA application in court. George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr noted earlier this week that the government often uses informants who don’t have impeccable credentials. “Even if the Steele research was a major part of the affidavit, whether the funding source would need to be disclosed depends on whether it critically altered the case for probable cause,” he wrote. “If the government looked into the Steele memorandum and corroborated some of its claims, it undercuts the need to disclose the funding source.”
The original FISA application is still classified, so it’s hard to evaluate how much of the Steele dossier was used to get the warrant against Page. But the memo makes an intriguing concession about the memo’s veracity. “After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within [the] FBI assessed Steele’s reporting as only minimally corroborated,” it says. The memo’s authors apparently intended to suggest that the dossier’s dramatic allegations had been debunked. But “minimally corroborated” indicates that the FBI was able to find evidence supporting at least some of the dossier’s contents.
In essence, Trump declassified a document attacking the Steele dossier that also undercuts his political defenses against it.
Matt Ford is a staff writer at The New Republic.

@fordm



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/03/2018 08:22PM by riverhousebill.

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Re: Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: February 04, 2018 05:26AM

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Op-Ed Columnist
This Is Why Um

Opinion | Op-Ed Contributor
The Memo Doesn’t Vindicate Trump. It’s More Proof of Obstruction.
By RENATO MARIOTTIFEB. 3, 2018

President Trump speaking to congressional Republicans on Friday.
Credit
Tom Brenner/The New York Times
For weeks, allies of President Trump ratcheted up pressure to “release the memo.” The impact, according to supporters, would be monumental: It would shake the F.B.I. “to its core” (Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina) or it would reveal abuses “100 times bigger” than what incited the American Revolution (Sebastian Gorka, a former White House official).
The president himself said, after the memo’s release on Friday, that it “vindicates” him in the probe.
But it does no such thing. The memo from House Republicans, led by Representative Devin Nunes, fell well short of the hype. Its main argument is that when the Justice Department sought a warrant to wiretap the former Trump adviser Carter Page, it did not reveal that Christopher Steele — the author of a controversial opposition-research dossier — was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign through a law firm.
This is actually a fairly common — and rarely effective — argument made by defendants who seek to suppress evidence obtained by a warrant.
What might be the lasting legacy of the Nunes memo is how President Trump reacted to it. According to reports, Mr. Trump suggested “the memo might give him the justification to fire [the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein] — something about which Trump has privately mused — or make other changes at the Justice Department, which he had complained was not sufficiently loyal to him.”



In fact, Mr. Trump’s approval of the release of the memo and his comments that releasing it could make it easier for him to fire Mr. Rosenstein could help Robert Mueller, the special counsel, prove that Mr. Trump fired James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, with a “corrupt” intent — in other words, the intent to wrongfully impede the administration of justice — as the law requires.
After all, Mr. Trump is now aware that he is under investigation for obstruction, and he knows that Mr. Comey said that Mr. Trump wanted “loyalty” from him. Mr. Mueller could argue that the president’s comments that Mr. Rosenstein was not “loyal” and his desire to fire Mr. Rosenstein suggest Mr. Trump’s unlawful intent when he fired Mr. Comey.
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The memo also offers the outlines of a broader probable cause case against Mr. Page. The Nunes memo suggests that there was substantial additional evidence, even though it avoids discussing that evidence. The memo indicates that the investigation of Mr. Page began well before the warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, was sought, and that the Russia investigation was initiated because of the statements of George Papadopoulos.
The warrant was issued and then renewed three separate times. Each time, as is standard in seeking a FISA warrant, a judge reviewed extensive information before issuing it. The fact that the warrant was renewed three times indicates that the F.B.I. obtained useful intelligence each time — a judge wouldn’t have approved a renewal if the prior warrant came up empty. That suggests that once the warrants were issued, they revealed important evidence.
In addition, the timeline set forth in the memo indicates that the FISA warrants were submitted by both the Obama and Trump administrations. The initial surveillance began before Mr. Rosenstein was deputy attorney general, and by the time he was at the Justice Department, he approved renewal applications that were based on the intelligence gathered from the earlier surveillance — not the dossier.
On the issue of bias, whenever the Justice Department seeks a warrant, they must present extensive evidence to a judge, who decides whether to issue the warrant based on that evidence. After the fact, defendants can challenge warrants by arguing that the government recklessly excluded information that would have caused the judge not to sign the warrant.
Courts have repeatedly held that even when the government omitted the criminal history of the informant or the fact that the informant was paid, it didn’t matter unless the omitted information would have caused the judge not to sign the warrant.
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The Nunes memo claims to show that the warrant was obtained unlawfully, but there is no way of knowing that without examining the extensive evidence submitted in conjunction with the warrant, which the memo does not do. Given that Mr. Steele was a former intelligence officer, not a flipper with an extensive criminal history, it will be hard to show that a judge would have believed he was lying if the source of his funding was included in the application.
Given how little substance there is to the Nunes memo, the Republicans made a misstep by pushing through its release in a partisan manner. The specter of an unreleased memo was more menacing than the thin allegations revealed in the memo itself, which are hotly disputed by congressional Democrats.
Although at least one Republican maintains that the memo shows that Mr. Rosenstein, Mr. Comey and others committed “treason,” the memo itself does not allege that the F.B.I. or Department of Justice knowingly used false information or even that the information they used was false. Because the allegations in the memo are legally irrelevant, I would be surprised if the memo was more than a short-lived publicity stunt.
This is not the result Mr. Nunes expected when his staff wrote the memo, but that could be its lasting impact.

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Re: Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: February 04, 2018 08:02PM

Scarborough: Trump is 'scared to death' of Mueller investigation

The Hill
Brandon Carter
2 days ago
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Analysis: Why the Memo Hit Its Target Even Without a Bombshell
"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough said Friday that President Trump is "scared to death" of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, knowing the former FBI director "will out-think him at every turn."

"He understands that he's not smart enough, he understands that he's not smooth enough, he understands that he's just too slow to keep up with Robert Mueller," Scarborough, a frequent Trump critic, said on MSNBC "He doesn't have the nerve."

© Provided by The Hill
"He's scared to death right now that he's going to have to actually testify in front of Robert Mueller, because he knows that Mueller will outwit him at every turn," the former Florida congressman continued.
"He knows that Mueller will outthink him at every turn. He'll know that when he's sitting in that interview across from Robert Mueller, that Mueller will be three, four, five steps ahead of him."
Trump said earlier this month that he was "looking forward" to interviewing with Mueller, but that he would defer to his attorneys for a final decision.
CNN reported Monday that Trump's lawyers are reportedly arguing that Mueller has not yet met the "bar" to interview Trump, saying that his team must prove that Trump is the only person who can provide them with the information they seek before interviewing him.
Scarborough said Trump is "frantically doing everything he can to avoid testifying" before Mueller.
"Donald Trump knows that Robert Mueller is just a lot smarter than him, a lot shrewder than him, and so he's doing all of these things," he said.
A new poll released Thursday found more than 70 percent of Americans say Trump should agree to an interview with Mueller, and 82 percent said that such an interview should be under oath.
Mueller's investigation has produced four indictments of former Trump officials, including campaign chairman Paul Manafort and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Republican lawmakers distance themselves from Trump on memo

 

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Re: Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: February 06, 2018 03:18AM

NY Times Seeks Carter Page Wiretap Records, Saying Trump Already Breached Secrecy

The public deserves a full picture for “informed debate,” the Times argues in its request.

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Re: Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: Prana ()
Date: February 06, 2018 04:13PM

Morning Joe was a congressman in whose office was found a dead young female intern.


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Re: Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: February 06, 2018 07:20PM

Yeah, I know. I can't believe RHB is quoting 'Morning Joe'. What a joke. There are so many excellent credible knowledgeable political pundits such as those who wrote the articles I've been posting. Oh, I guess the best commentators are on our side; all the other side has is "Morning Joe" "Nothingburger" and "Cherry Picking".

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Re: Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: February 06, 2018 10:18PM

Quote Jennifer-Yeah, I know. I can't believe RHB is quoting 'Morning Joe'. What a joke.


Oxford says the jokes on you my dear. I know its not a reliable source like Fox Moo.s


Trump supporters and extreme conservatives consume and share more “junk news” on social media than every other political group combined, a University of Oxford study has found.
The three-month study, published Tuesday as part of the school’s Computational Propaganda Research Project, scrutinized the habits of 13,477 politically active U.S. Twitter users and 47,719 public Facebook pages in the months leading up to the State of the Union address late last month.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2018 10:34PM by riverhousebill.

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Re: Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: Jennifer ()
Date: February 07, 2018 09:56PM

Quote
riverhousebill
Quote Jennifer-Yeah, I know. I can't believe RHB is quoting 'Morning Joe'. What a joke.

Oxford says the jokes on you my dear. I know its not a reliable source like Fox Moo.s

Trump supporters and extreme conservatives consume and share more “junk news” on social media than every other political group combined, a University of Oxford study has found.
The three-month study, published Tuesday as part of the school’s Computational Propaganda Research Project, scrutinized the habits of 13,477 politically active U.S. Twitter users and 47,719 public Facebook pages in the months leading up to the State of the Union address late last month.




What the hell are 'extreme conservatives'? Maybe 'Conservatives' are extreme Republicans and 'Liberals' are extreme Democrats. I'll give you that.

And "junk news" is subjective - To the Extreme Liberals it's 'junk news', to regular people it's relevant factual news and thoughtful commentary.

Like all Universities, the University of Oxford is crawling with Libs, filled with Lib Professors, and the public paid for that bogus study.

**********

Oxford University Study Smears Conservative News Sites As ‘Junk News’

[www.newsbusters.org]

"Liberal media will go a long way to portray conservatives as liars -- all the way to England.

A new study on “Junk News Consumption” was released on February 6 from the University of Oxford as part of the Computational Propaganda Research Project. In the list of sources targeted and researched as “junk news,” conservative sites such as Drudge Report, NewsBusters, CNSNews, MRCTV, Breitbart, the Daily Caller, Free Beacon, LifeNews, National Review, the Red State, and the Federalist were smeared as “unprofessional,” “counterfeit,” “biased,” and “emotionally driven.” "

*********

University Of Oxford Study Says Conservatives Share More Junk News Than Leftists

[www.dailywire.com]#

The study’s results suggest that the authors might have had a tiny bit of bias; the study stated, “On Twitter, the Trump Support Group shares 95% of the junk news sites on the watch list, and accounted for 55% of junk news traffic in the sample. Other kinds of audiences shared content from these junk news sources, but at much lower levels. On Facebook, the Hard Conservative Group shares 91% of the junk news sites on the watch list, and accounted for 58% of junk news traffic in the sample.”

*********

(So to conduct the 'study', the Libs at Oxford listed a bunch of 'right-wing' news and opinion websites on a' watchlist' and declared them to be 'junk news sources' and then determined that the traffic to these news sources on the 'watchlist' were mostly Conservative. Duh!)

I'm going to conduct a study of propaganda. I'm going to list a bunch of Lib news sources and websites and then monitor which political persuasion frequents those Lib sites - the Hard Lib Group or Conservatives. How much you want to bet it's the 'Extreme Libs' who frequent the Lib websites...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2018 09:58PM by Jennifer.

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Re: Trump Just Shot Himself in the Foot
Posted by: riverhousebill ()
Date: February 07, 2018 10:46PM

- Quote -Jennifer I'm going to conduct a study of propaganda.



Maybe you could get a grant from the University Of FOXMOO.s
to fund your study.

I bet your study would show that Obama, and His father Malcom X started propaganda by connecting the dots,- Paint by number.

Grant suckers are not the worst in the world


Jennifer your study would be a waste of time that could be better spent watching Fox Moo.s just review studys
what to look at a good study start here-
Computational Propaganda Research Project, Oxford. Many others have already compiled data that shows Trumpkins are the biggest consumer of junk news.





Hey Jennifer, How abut a book burning party after Bone Spur Trumps Military Parade of golf carts.

Are you watching the elections my dear seeing a shift at all?

That M state

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