John Heilemann, in public, states that he thinks that Devin Nunes is compromised. Moreover, he tells us that he has spoken to intelligence professionals who have come to the same conclusion.
I've written to Heilemann outlining what I've been able to find out about a little incident involving a yacht -- an incident which may explain why Nunes has acted in such a strange way. If you know of any other journalist who might be interested in this lead, please provide me with an email address.
SOTU. No way I'm going to watch Trumpenstein's address. Don't need another heart attack.
If you're looking for a diversion, check out the most recent episode of the X-Files, written and directed by the always-welcome Darrin Morgan. Funniest damned thing I've seen in years. Even if you don't like that show, you'll love this episode. It addresses, in part, the Trump atrocity, and the difficulty of being an old-school paranoid liberal in an age when right-wing conspiracy buffs are leading us into fascism.
McCabe's replacement. Meanwhile, you may take some solace in the fact that The Hoarse Whisperer says that the replacement for McCabe could be Trump's worst nightmare.
David Bowditch. An FBI career man. A mini-Mueller.
Bowditch isn't JUST an FBI veteran, he has the kind of pedigree Republicans would usually experience the kind of erection you have to call your urologist over. He was a police officer. He joined the FBI and was a sniper on SWAT teams. He was on the Joint Terrorism Task Force
He fought gangs and was instrumental in a history-making gang prosecution. The guy is a caricature of the kind of "Law and Order" background Trump alleges he cares about. In a word: he's unimpeachable.
Maybe so; maybe no. I would remind everyone that we now live in a country in which kompromat is king. Everyone has secrets and pressure points, even people who seem to be straight shooters.
Still, even Curmudgeonly Cannon sometimes needs a morsel of hope to get through a bad night. This looks like one of those nights.
Secret Agent Man. Someone named Brian Krassenstein, previously unfamiliar to me, tweeted the following:
BREAKING: Russian News Outlet TASS reports that the Russian Spy Chief, Sergey Naryshkin, who is under US sanctions, entered the US w/ Trump's approval. No US officials have mentioned this visit & it appears that TASS released this info to retaliate against Trump's sanctions list
Here is the actual announcement. Under normal circumstances, in a normal presidency, this visit might be excusable and understandable. But this is Trump we're talking about.
That memo. As Rachel Maddow reminded us last night, the FBI got onto Carter Page before April, 2016. The Bureau had bugged a Russian spy ring and heard them chattering on and on about what a prize catch this Page fellow was likely to be.
We are told that Nunes is going to claim that the FISA warrant to spy on Page was issued based on the Steele dossier. No. Steele did not begin his work until after April.
It's going to be very amusing to see Nunes and the Fox newsers try to attack the credibility of a FISA judge. It's going to be utterly galling and dispiriting to see those attacks succeed.
We have to be ready to respond en masse when the memo is released. Hit hard, hit often, and do not let any lies take hold.
Trump is even talking to friends about the possibility of asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting Mueller and his team.
"Here's how it would work: 'We're sorry, Mr. Mueller, you won't be able to run the federal grand jury today because he has to go testify to another federal grand jury,'" said one Trump adviser.
Paul Ryan has clearly stated that he hopes that the memo will lead to a "cleansing" of the FBI.
The fact that the Republicans won't allow the Democrats to issue their own memo in response indicates that what we are seeing is an exercise in pure propaganda. Releasing one memo -- despite the national security concerns -- while censoring the other proves that this contretemps is all about chicanery, not transparency. It's an extraordinary exercise in political theater designed to provide cover for Trump's takeover of the Justice Department. Trump plans to weaponize the FBI against his personal enemies.
Damn, these people are evil. More evil than I thought possible. I did not believe that I would live long enough to see such things happen in America.
Julia Davis, who runs the Russian Media Monitor website, reports via Twitter that Russian TV show host Olga Skabeeva on Tuesday was positively gushing about the White House’s decision to not enforce new sanctions against her country.
“Seemingly, Trump is ours again,” said Skabeeva, according to Davis’ translation. “So far, he’s being quiet and not supporting the sanctions.”
Most readers won't understand what's really being said here. The Russian word for "ours" is Nash. This is a spy term. It originated with the KGB, although I'm told that the phrase was picked up by the Americans and by other agencies. It's a way of affirming that an infiltrator or a double agent owes ultimate loyalty to one's own side: "Don't worry about him. He's nash."
I now you're talking about Trump and his motives, but let's look at the sanctions act itself.
Sanctions against Iran, who must continually be punished for abiding by the deal Obama set up with them.
Sanctions against North Korea, who have just started making peaceable cooing sounds.
Sanctions against any nation that does "significant" business with the Russian defence and energy sectors. So against China, who equip all of their fighter jets with Russian engines; against Saudi Arabia which just agreed to pay billions for Russian SAMs (& Turkey, likewise); against the EU which buys most of Russia's gas. And against the Ukraine, which this is all supposed to help, because they subsist entirely on Russian energy. America would actually be subsidising the Ukraine so they can afford Russian gas and then sanctioning them for buying it.
So I'd just as soon not see the sanctions implemented.