Saturday, March 17, 2018


I'm sure you already know about the unconscionable firing of Andrew McCabe. If you have not already seen his statement, I've give you the guts of it:
The investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI’s involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau and to make it clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in DOJ opposed.

The OIG investigation has focused on information I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As Deputy Director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the Director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter. It was the same type of exchange with the media that the Deputy Director oversees several times per week. In fact it was the same type of work that I continued to do under Director Wray, at his request. The investigation subsequently focused on who I talked to, when I talked to them, and so forth. During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me. And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.

But looking at that in isolation completely misses the big picture. The big picture is a tale of what can happen when law enforcement is politicized, public servants are attacked, and people who are supposed to cherish and protect our institutions become instruments for damaging those institutions and people.

Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey. The release of this report was accelerated only after my testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed that I would corroborate former Director Comey’s accounts of his discussions with the President. The OIG’s focus on me and this report became a part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn. The accelerated release of the report, and the punitive actions taken in response, make sense only when viewed through this lens. Thursday’s comments from the White House are just the latest example of this.

This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally. It is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation, which continue to this day. Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the Special Counsel’s work.
A few comments.

First, note that the administration's war against the FBI is purely about Trump; nobody on the right complains about anything the FBI has done in any other regard. It's not as though the GOP suddenly decided that there was a problem with the way the Bureau handles terrorism or organized crime. Trump decided that the FBI was corrupt only after he realized that the FBI might learn his secrets.

The right is calling McCabe a tool of the so-called "deep state conspiracy." At this point, the phrase "deep state" simply means "anti-Putin." The term has no other definition.

I am positive that McCabe is correct when he says that Trump is taking vengeance on him because he can corroborate Comey's version of events. Trump pretty much admitted as much in a tweet that was, even by Trumpian standards, utterly bonkers.
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
Note that Trump makes no reference to that IG report, which Trump surely has not read. In Der Donald's mind, McCabe and Comey are linked. Make no mistake: This imbroglio is all about discrediting Comey.

That fact raises (but does not "beg") an important question: Why is Trump so intent on discrediting Comey? I can think of only one answer: Trump believes that Mueller will bring obstruction charges against the president. In other words, Trump foresees an impeachment and is already planning his defense.

In a way, the firing of McCabe constitutes an admission of guilt.

We won't be able to judge the IG report until we see it, although I'm fairly certain that I'll end up filing it alongside that four-page Nunes memo. As readers know, I strongly suspect that there is kompromat on Nunes -- and I'm hardly alone in feeling that way. Could kompromat be the secret factor behind that IG report?

Keep in mind, Donald Trump has the full weight of Putin's intelligence apparat working on his behalf. Keep in mind, too, that everyone has secrets. Even good people.

The Inspector General of the Department of Justice is a man named Michael E. Horowitz. He has a remarkable resume and is considered a straight shooter; I know of no skeletons in his closet.

It may be instructive, however, to take a look at the way he is portrayed by the far right. This conspiracy site (which strongly resembles the Russian fake news sites that spread the Pizzagate myth shortly before the election) reveals that the "patriots" targeted Horowitz long ago...
And so on. These accusations are pure madness, of course -- but they prove that Horowitz was on the far right's radar long before most of the rest of us understood his importance. I wonder: Now that Horowitz has done Trump a service, will he continue to be damned as a soldier in the Great Soros Conspiracy?

Selected tweets.
Nancy Sinatra, of all people, offered the sharpest response:
You are a dirty bastard @jeffsessions How dare you take a man's pension away. A man who has served our country well for twenty years. You can't lick Andrew McCabe's shoes.
John Schindler:
What happens when a President up to his neck in dirty Kremlin ties declares open war on the FBI and its employees? We're about to find out.
Scott Dworkin:
Trump pushed Sessions to fire Andrew McCabe for no other reason than to try & use the firing to stop Mueller’s Russia probe. McCabe agrees. He just stated that his firing is part of the effort to destroy him, so Trump can stop the Mueller probe. Congress needs to #ProtectMueller.
Preet Bharara, in response to Trump's insane tweet:
This is called lawsuit Exhibit A
I'm not quite sure what Bharara means by that...

Ari Melber:

Legally, tonight McCabe is alleging Sessions’ act is basically an element of obstruction of justice. A serious claim to make about a sitting A.G. (who claims to be recused).
The IG report functions as Sessions' excuse and justification.

Here's a particularly interesting exchange. Michael Flynn Jr. -- son of the indicted former Trump aide -- has this to say of McCabe:
Good. Now he needs to be prosecuted. He’s had it out for my father since his days at the DIA.
To which Natasha Bertrand responded:
Flynn was on McCabe’s radar when he was at DIA? In 2014?
I'll add this: McCabe won't be prosecuted for anything -- and Flynn has pled guilty. Further down the thread, a liberal named Dana Smith Dutra chimed in (re: Flynn):
He’s afraid of lots. Like his Russian lover spy while he was DIA. Svetlana Lokhova
Very few are paying attention to the Lokhova angle. This humble blog took a hard look at her interactions with Flynn back in December. I do not believe that Lakhova and Flynn had a romantic relationship; however, there is more than one type of honeytrap. The Lokhova trail leads back to MI6 and Cambridge Analytica -- which has been banished from Facebook. Never thought I'd say this, but...bravo, Facebook!

Rachel Maddow made a good point:
If McCabe is right that these actions against him are intended discredit him as a corroborating witness for Comey’s account of his firing, then the invective and taunting by POTUS have a purpose: make sure McCabe will be seen as having good reason to hold a grudge vs POTUS.
The same logic applies to Comey and all the other corroborating witnesses. The more they’re mistreated (unjustly maligned, randomly demoted, etc) by POTUS, the more “biased” vs the President they will be made to seem.
Finally, let's end with a somewhat hopeful tweet from Andrea Mitchell...
One suggestion from a McCabe supporter: if a friendly member of Congress hired him for a week he could possibly qualify for pension benefits by extending his service the extra days
I think this all stems from Andrew McCabe's attempts to get out in front of leaks by the "Trumpland" FBI agents given to "America's Mayor",the repulsive Rudy Giuliani, about Hillary.
Those field agents know Trump's dirty laundry but still tried to derail the Clinton campaign. Begs the question as to who's pocket FBI agents working at the New York field office are in, Trump's or Putin's and why haven't we heard about Horowitz going after them?
I especially liked this comment McCabe made about his firing... second to last sentence of his statement;

"But it will not erase the important work I was privileged to be a part of, the results of which will in the end be revealed for the country to see."

"This is called lawsuit Exhibit A"

"I'm not quite sure what Bharara means by that..."

"McCabe has retained the ex-inspector general of the Justice department to represent him."

This is going to be one hell of a lawsuit!
Pretty sure you're wrong about the IG report being like the Nunes memo. It's more analogous to the FISA warrant i.e. the IG report is legitimate, but the Trumpers have twisted it to look corrupt. Remember, the IG report is looking at the entire FBI's conduct with Hillary's emails in October 2016 not just McCabe's actions to provide a pretext for firing him.

I'm almost as anxious to read the IG report as I am to read Mueller's report. Whatever your thoughts on all the actors involved, it's clear there are a ton of unanswered questions about the FBI in this time period and that virtually none of them have been answered in the public. My opinion? Call me naive and falsely optimistic, but I think the report will finally reveal that Comey (and it turns out McCabe) were blackmailed into releasing the letter. This is because the NY FBI field office was going to leak the existence of the emails anyway, and Comey would've inevitably had to confirm their existence. In this situation Comey decided they would do the least damage if he revealed their existence himself. Unfortunately, the damage was still catastrophic.

Holy s**t do we live in tumultuous times. And it's only going to get crazier.
Another article by Carole Cadwalladr: " The Cambridge Analytica Files:‘I created Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower". "Computer-based personality judgments are more accurate than those made by humans". This is so fucking evil! Moral: don't use Facebook. Don't ever use it. If you are using it, STOP and DELETE. Some of us always knew that shit was evil.

In other news, someone threw a potato through my window. Potatoes come from South America. All potatoes are "of a type" of vegetable developed in South America. So it must have been the Peruvian state. Just as in Salisbury, if the weapon used was "of a type developed" in the USSR in the 1970s, then it must have been "the Russian state".
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