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Monday, January 29, 2018

This generation's Saturday Night Massacre has started

Trump has made clear that he refuses to enforce sanctions against Russia. He has formally declared that sanctions are not needed. (Of course, Trump would demand sanctions if it were true that Putin favored Hillary, as Trump and his paranoid legions like to pretend.) Refusal to enforce legislation passed by Congress is an impeachable offense, and yet Congress is doing nothing.  

As most of you know by now, Trump has finally managed to kick out Andrew McCable. Waiting until March was apparently intolerable, probably because Trump worries that his administration might not otherwise have last until then.

We've also learned about Trump's predictably bestial behavior when Comey was fired. As you will recall, he got the sack during a trip to Los Angeles. Trump asked McCabe why the former FBI Director was allowed to fly home in a government-funded plane; apparently, the president preferred to leave him stranded. McCabe said that he had not approved the flight but would have done so if asked.
This answer apparently didn’t sit well with the president, as according to NBC, he went “silent for a moment” and then laid into McCabe, “suggesting he ask his wife how it feels to be a loser.”
This, from a failed hotdog salesman -- which Trump literally is. (Trump Steaks also sold wieners.)

I knew Trump would be bad, but I honestly did not think that any human being could be this vile. Even Hitler had a better sense of public comportment.

Although I can't link to an article which proves the point, it seems likely to me that McCabe was deep-sixed so rapidly and brutally pursuant to a larger effort to shut down FBI cooperation with Mueller.

Here's what Comey had to say:
Special Agent Andrew McCabe stood tall over the last 8 months, when small people were trying to tear down an institution we all depend on. He served with distinction for two decades. I wish Andy well. I also wish continued strength for the rest of the FBI. America needs you.
Rosenstein is also soon to get the boot. Everyone knows it. From TPM:
The pivotal position Rosenstein occupies may help explain the determination of many Trump loyalists in and out of Congress to release the Nunes memo. Rosenstein has been facing calls since last year to step down or recuse himself from the Mueller probe — and his replacement would likely be a Trump loyalist. That means that if Rosenstein is forced out and a Trump loyalist takes his place, the move could neuter the Mueller probe.

At the heart of the issue are limits on the powers of the special counsel. Many legal scholars believe a sitting president can’t be criminally indicted, meaning that if Mueller finds evidence of crimes by Trump, his strongest recourse might well be to make a referral to Congress for potential impeachment proceedings. But some of those experts tell TPM that under the regulation governing the special counsel’s office, Mueller lacks the authority to make that referral without approval from Justice Department officials overseeing his investigation.
If Rosenstein is fired or steps down, Trump would appoint his successor. And if Rosenstein recuses himself, the ranking official in the department of justice (DOJ) would be Rachel Brand, a Republican legal operative who worked in the George W. Bush White House*. Brand then would decide whether or not to send Mueller probe’s findings against the president, if any, to the House.
John Aravosis offered a series of tweets worthy of your attenton:
BREAKING: Rep Adam Schiff just announced that the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have opened an investigation of the FBI and the Department of Justice in order to undermine Mueller’s investigation of Trump’s collusion with Russia.

The GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee refused to let the FBI come to brief them on why releasing the “Nunes memo,” written by the GOP to attack the FBI & DOJ, and undermine the Mueller probe, could compromise national security.

The republicans voted to make public their partisan memo attacking the FBI & DOJ, but refused to make public the Democratic memo defending the FBI & DOJ.

The Republican party crossed a line today. We’re in banana republic territory now. Watergate territory. And it involves not just Trump, but the entire Republican congress. We now have a full blown crisis, and I fear what comes next.

Trump and the GOP Congress forced the resignation of the #2 in the FBI today. The Nunes Memo attempts to force the resignation of the #2 at the DOJ. We are witnessing a full blown Saturday Night Massacre started by Donald Trump and enabled by the GOP Congress.

And no one in the Trump administration or the leadership of the GOP Congress cares about what Russia did to undermine our election, or continues to do to undermine our democracy. This is outrageous, un-American and treasonous behavior by the Republican party.

There is literally NO ONE in the Trump administration coordinating the response to Russia’s ongoing attempts to undermine our democracy. NO ONE. Trump is doing NOTHING to stop the Russians from attacking us. When will say “enough”?

And now the House Intelligence Committee is actively trying to kill the Mueller probe while starting a new investigation accusing the FBI and Dept of Justice of being a criminal hotbed because the FBI & DOJ are the only way we’re going to stop Russia.

Who needs Vladimir Putin when you have Donald Trump, Devin Nunes, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell undercutting our democracy and our democratic institutions, from law enforcement to the media, to protect Trump & Russia. Never has our country seen such un-American traitors.

Paul Ryan did this. Along with Trump, Nunes & McConnell. Ryan just today said that he agreed with Nunes about the false, defamatory anti-FBI memo meant to undercut the Mueller probe. Let’s make Ryan pay. Donate to Ryan’s opponent 2018 Randy Bryce & RT...

The only way to stop these people, short of revolution, is at the ballot box this November. We have to DESTROY the GOP in the Fall elections. And let’s start with Paul Ryan, who may actually lose his seat.
Adam Khan has made a catch which everyone else seems to have missed:
Side effect of Trump hollowing out DoJ, chasing out career professionals and replacing them with partisan hacks - reduced enforcement of big financial crimes, laying off big banks and mega donors.
General counsel for Steven Cohen–who was fined record $1.8 billion for biggest insider trading scandal in history–picked Trump DoJ staff!
Comments:
Not surprised. Trump, a scumbag who is completely owned by much worse -- Putin and his crowd, is really just a sideshow.

The main event is that Putin, Mercer and Koch etc, who share so many financial interests, also completely own the entire GOP, significant Dems, conservative media and large portions of what we laughingly refer to as the judiciary, law enforcement and the IC. Not everyone is compromised by that gang, but many are.

Though the stab-in-thr-back theory of political decline has a filthy history, the silenceof the Democrats in this crisis looks like one
The solid GOP defense of Trump is really of themselves. Trump will sooner or later be caught looking and smelling so bad that he will have to go, but the gang will remain, looking all that much better for Trump being gone.

And by appearances now the Dems will follow along in the name of comity.

Here's hoping we can beat 'em before it comes to that.
 
Diebold ATMS have been jackpotting. If ATMS can be hacked, why not voting machined?
 
Thanks as always for your insights. Let’s throw right wing conspiracy theorists a bone. Dutch intel agencies hacked Russian hackers’ screens from 2014-2017, sharing info on U.S. findings w/ the FBI (e.g. election interference; a trail of int’l money laundering leading to Alfa Bank NYC). Dutch intel from pre-2016 likely underpins FBI Trump Tower FISA warrants to monitor Alfa Bank activities which unexpectedly turned up Trump team communications w/ Russia.

In a transactional world, what matters is the expedient solution in the present moment. POTUS itches to discredit the FBI’s Russia investigation, ignoring evidence allies compiled and shared w/ the FBI that reveals how Russian hackers and money interfered in the U.S. election and how oligarchs laundered money across int’l borders by investing in U.S. assets. No Nunes memo will erase the Dutch record of what they shared w/ the FBI and the FBI filing w/ the FISA court to unmask Americans in Trump Tower in covert transactions w/ Russians.

Who is investigating the millions Russian Central Bank Governor Torshin allegedly funneled to Republican campaigns through the NRA over period of years? Not Congress. Is this why Nunes jumps to discredit U.S. security agencies?

Rumor has it the long-running, fruitful Dutch counter-intel operation that hacked Russian hackers was unmasked by the U.S. (Nunes? Trump?) and the Dutch are furious w/ us. In December, high level Russian intel officers were hauled off by the FSB on suspicion of treason and the Dutch raided Alfa Bank Netherlands. No wonder POTUS had to crash Davos!

Because Nunes claims he used excerpts from “classified” docs to implicate McCabe and Mueller in FBI corruption, the memo can’t be fact checked or refuted. Republicans want to use it to clean house at the DOJ/FBI. McCabe, tarred w/ “facts” Nunes cherry-picks out of context, can’t access FBI/DOJ resources to clear the record. He and Mueller are painted into a corner as unreliable witnesses, discrediting FBI FISA warrants and obstruction of justice cases. The goldfish-swallower-in-chief is smug, vindicated.

Dutch hack the hackers intel (2014-2017) predates the Steele dossier. McCabe's tenure as FBI Dep. Dir. runs from 2016 to 1/29/18, spanning the Clinton email investigation and fake “evidence” dug up to justify re-opening the FBI’s Clinton email investigation (roll over, Machiavelli). McCabe presided over FBI investigations of the Russian hacks of the DNC, RNC, and U.S. election, Comey’s firing, Sessions’ recusal, Mueller’s investigation, Nunes’ repeated WH security breaches. Discrediting McCabe is critical to defend Trump and Nunes against obstruction of justice and prevent revelations that started with the Dutch sharing intel on oligarch money laundering and led to Trump staffers in Trump Tower.

Dutch AIVD “hack the hackers” intel includes video: by taking control of Russian security cameras, the Dutch ID’d Russian agents interfering in the US election. Russians hacked both RNC and DNC data, but only trafficked DNC data to aid Trump. Hacked data is traceable.
Trump Republicans unmasking allies’ cyber intel ops is a bridge too far. Early Russian hacks to penetrate servers & accounts in the State Dept, FBI, and White House were blocked after the Dutch shared info w/ U.S. intel.

In a Russian dream world, refusing to re-sanction Russia is equivalent to leaving U.S. Nat Security, Justice, and the White House unlocked.
Dataflo
https://nos.nl/nieuwsuur/artikel/2213767-dutch-intelligence-first-to-alert-u-s-about-russian-hack-of-democratic-party.html; https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/01/dutch-intelligence-hacked-video-cameras-in-office-of-russians-who-hacked-dnc/; https://www.gq.com/story/us-russia-spy-arrested-trump-putin ; http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/211152/trump-data-analytics-russian-access ; https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2017/10/16/ukraines-most-wanted-oligarch-dmitry-firtash/#777e2f451ba5
 
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