Saturday, November 02, 2019

Barr-barism

This is beyond corrupt. It comes from a realm where evil and insanity are as one.
Trump and Barr have also been asking other foreign governments for help in investigating the FBI, CIA and Mueller investigators. The US president has called on the Australian prime minister Scott Morrison for assistance, while the attorney general has been on similar missions to the UK and Italy.

And the information being requested has left allies astonished. One British official with knowledge of Barr’s wish list presented to London commented that “it is like nothing we have come across before, they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services”.
Even as Trump denies asking Ukraine to investigate a political opponent, he and Barr are asking the UK and Australia to investigate political opponents. Amusingly, Trump seemed genuinely shocked when he did not receive cooperation.

Barr has long and undeniable links to Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, the lawyers for the pro-Putin mega-criminal Dmitry Firtash. DiGenova and Toensing -- Fox News stalwarts and right-wing trash-talkers -- are also close associates of Giuliani and Lev Parnas.

Parnas now more-or-less admits that he was no mere "interpreter" for Firtash.
Earlier this year, Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, received a sudden windfall of money from a prominent Ukrainian oligarch who is fighting extradition to the United States and is suspected of having ties to the Russian mob, according to four sources who spoke with Parnas.

This summer, Parnas told potential business associates that his company began receiving payments from the oligarch, Dmytro Firtash, who is living in Austria while fighting bribery charges in the US, the sources told CNN.
In private conversations with would-be business associates before his arrest this month, Parnas boasted that his newfound luxurious lifestyle was bankrolled by Firtash, two sources told CNN. Beginning in mid-August, this included around-the-clock bodyguards, two luxury SUVs for his entourage, and at least six private charter flights in the past several months, according to the sources as well as documents exclusively obtained by CNN.

Giuliani was on at least one of those flights, according to the documents.
I used to live with a professional interpreter. I know that world. I knew from the start that Parnas was no mere interpreter; that claim was just a cover story.

The above-quoted article goes on to say that Firtash was using Parnas as a go-between for an elaborate gas deal involving Qatar. Lev Parnas seems, in essence, to be a lieutenant in the Firtash syndicate. Yet he has had dinner with Donald Trump in the freakin' White House.

Guess who else shows up in Firtash's orbit? Bill Barr.
Parnas also told these people he met with Firtash several times over the summer while in Vienna. In June, according to one of these sources, Parnas vouched to Firtash for two well-known Washington lawyers who later brought up Firtash's plight in a face-to-face meeting with Attorney General William Barr.
As is her wont, Marcy makes the key observation.
To be fair, we must note this:
Toensing and diGenova joined Firtash's legal team and, they later met personally with Barr and other Justice Department officials, where they asked for the criminal case against Firtash to be dropped. The Washington Post was first to report the meeting, and that Barr declined to get involved.
(Emphasis added.) That was a wise CYA move on Barr's part. But that's all it was, in my view.

Nothing can change the fact that Barr took a meeting with a known mobster and Putin ally. Firtash was mentored by Semion Mogilevich, the most vile underworld figure in world history.

Nothing can change the fact that Barr is a longtime ally of Toensing and diGenova.

Nothing can change the fact that Trump, in the course of his "perfect" chat with Zelensky, referred to Barr and Giuliani as co-equal partners in the Ukrainian "drug deal."

Nothing can change the fact that Firtash has long hated Joe Biden, because Biden's anti-corruption efforts cost him money.

Nothing can change the fact that Barr knew about the investigation of Parnas and Fruman from the start -- even before Trump invited Parnas over for dinner.

Nothing can change the fact that Firtash has been a conduit for fake/misleading documents designed to smear the Biden family. 

Nothing can change the fact -- and it is a fact -- that Firtash money has funded Rudy Giuliani. Yes, Rudy denies this claim. But Parnas funds Rudy, Firtash funds Parnas, and money is fungible -- so fuck Rudy Giuliani and his ludicrous attempts to deny the undeniable.

You may be interested to learn that Barr hired Victoria Toensing's son, Brady Toensing, who was a major player in the Vermont GOP. Brady has told associates that one of his duties will be to help pick a new Supreme Court nominee, should a vacancy pop up -- which tells me that the Federalist Society has tapped him him to be their new Don McGahn.

Here is the Federalist Society's page on diGenova, proving that an association exists between the family and the Society. The Society also has strong links to the Knights of Malta, an ultra-reactionary Catholic lay organization which has long backed fascists. The head of the Society is Leonard Leo, confirmed as belonging to both the Knights of Malta and the equally-disturbing secret society Opus Dei.

William Barr's links to the extreme right of the Catholic Church deserve study.

Perhaps this would be a good time to mention a Twitter user calling herself Venture Capital. I know little about her, although she appears to be a liberal conspiracy theorist, a category which, some would say, includes yours truly. (We're a dying breed!) She has uncovered some particularly bizarre nuggets of background information on Barr and his links to both parapolitics and the Catholic right. I have yet to double-check most this material, but if you're brave enough to travel such paths, start here and here, then go here.

Prepare for a shock: VC connects Barr to the infamous spy Robert Hanssen, who worked first for the USSR and later for Russia, between 1979 and 2001. Surprisingly, Hanssen's political sympathies actually went toward the right. Like Leonard Leo (head of the Federalist Society), Hanssen was a "daily Mass" Catholic devoted to Opus Dei.

(So why did he spy for the USSR? I'm not sure, but ever since the death of Stalin, a sector of the neo-Nazi right has -- counter-intuitively -- favored Russia. If you don't believe me, check out Kevin Coogan's fine book Dreamer of the Day. A hell of a read; you can get it through interlibrary loan.)

The Barr/Hanssen connection is a tale best saved for another time. Right now, we should concentrate on the growing evidence of a Barr/Firtash connection. Andrew S. Weiss of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace sums things up very succinctly...
Wow. AG William Barr met in July with Dmytro Firtash's lawyers dIGenova/Toensing to discuss his case. That's roughly the same timeframe when Trump/Giuliani were asking Zelenskyy to work w Barr on conspiracy theories about Ukraine's role in the 2016 election and the Bidens.

That's a disturbing level of overlap between Barr's & Giuliani's fishing expeditions. Toss in the fact that Firtash's defense team was pumping out baseless accusations about the BIdens (eg the Shokin affadavit), and it starts to look like Barr has a conflict and should recuse
Barr obviously should recuse. But he won't. If he did, he would go the way his elfin predecessor.

(Remember Jeff? God help me, but I genuinely miss him.)

Barr must be impeached. Seriously, the guy is worse than Trump. William Barr is the most dangerous man in America.
Comments:
Re: Why Robert Hanssen spied for the Soviets. I read The Spy Next Door, and I still have no idea why he did, either; seemingly, the authors of the other 5? 6? books on the case can't figure it out, either -- although I doubt they tap-dance as fast as Shannon and Blackman to try to prove his interest in DC strippers was entirely paternal...
 
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