Saturday, September 12, 2020

Resignations and Rudy

Does yesterday count as a Friday Night massacre? Tough call. In the immortal words of George Dubya, that was some weird shit.

Nora Dannehy was the lead person in the John Durham probe -- the one which William "Roy Cohn" Barr hopes to use as a cudgel against Trump's enemies. Now she has resigned. (Also see here.) The Hartford Courant is doing the most important work on this story.

Why did she resign? (I just re-watched the first episode of The Prisoner, so forgive me if that question makes me grin.) Apparently, she's worried that "the investigative team is being pressed for political reasons to produce a report before its work is done."

What Barr is doing is purely political. Prosecutors do not issue public reports -- at least not in this country. If the matter leads to indictment, the Complaint is the report. If there's no indictment, then Barr and Durham are obviously engaging in a smear.

Moreover, this investigation flouts Justice Department policy. Traditionally, in the two months before a national election, the DOJ does not engage in any activity that might impact the vote. As long as we're tossing out longstanding policies, why not hurl out the "let's not indict a sitting president" policy?

As always, I'm left wondering: What sort of kompromat is being used to manipulate Durham? He used to have a good reputation.

Morell. Elsewhere, we have this resignation:
Deputy assistant AG David Morell — a member of the DOJ legal teams handling Bolton lawsuit, Census matters, Portland protest issues and more — has announced he is leaving DOJ today, withdrawing from all those cases.
Once again, our number one question is the Number 6 question: "Why did you resign?"

Some worry that those who resign out of conscience will inevitably be replaced by the conscience-free. I understand the concern, but we cannot ask people like Morell and Dannehy to act against their values.

And on the same gloriously strange day...

Rudy's partner in crime exposed.
As you know, former NYC mayor Rudolf Haroldovitch Giulianski (corrected spelling) has been working on an October Surprise of his very own. I never expected this one to come to much; apparently, he still has some droll notion of playing the Ukraine angle. It was marvelously satisfying to see the Treasury Department expose Rudy's source of information, Andriy Derkach, as "an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services."

If the Russia/Trump connection is a "hoax," as the Orange One frequently proclaims, why have so many of his toadies hooked up with Putin's spooks?

When the NYT confronted him with the news, Rudy offered a hilarious response:
While he acknowledged that he “didn’t do much investigation” of Mr. Derkach, Mr. Giuliani said: “I have no reason to believe he is a Russian agent. There is nothing I saw that said he was a Russian agent. There is nothing he gave me that seemed to come from Russia at all.” But he added, “How the hell would I know?”
As I've said many times in the past, strained rationalization is the highest form of humor. This administration must be the wittiest on record.

Shallowfake. Incidentally, Rudy's forthcoming smear apparently had something to do with tapes edited to give the impression that Joe Biden was up to no good in Ukraine. The exact same tactic was used by Bibi Netanyahu to turn Donald Trump against Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Although that editing job was, by all reports, piss-poor, it was good enough to fool Donnie the Dumb.

Perhaps we should call Bibi's contribution to this genre a "shallowfake."

I predict that we'll see and hear more fake recordings before election day. Specifically, I think we'll see one that has something to do with Epstein. And that one will be a competent job. Fortunately, Microsoft recently announced that it has developed new tech to detect deepfakes. This announcement was, I think, very well-timed: Anyone who had planned to launch a deepfake deception in October must now think very carefully.

Microsoft, if you can manage to save this Republic, you are officially forgiven for Windows 8. It would take something really big to make me forgive Windows 8, but that'd do it.

Let's get back to Rudy. The heartening news here is that someone in the Treasury Department knew full well what Giulianski was up to. Whoever this someone might be, he or she chose the right time and the right way to upend the scheme.

Similarly, I was overjoyed to see that Barr's corrupted DOJ still has some within it who can no longer tolerate these blatant attempts to use the American justice system as a mudslinging machine.

How many more mud pies have the Trumpers prepared? How many more DOJ insiders are willing to quit? Now that Dannehy and Morell are free to talk, what beans will they spill?

Some have theorized that these three actions are linked somehow. Wishful thinking or pattern recognition? As James Bond used to say: "Twice is coincidence; three times is enemy action." That's three -- in just one day.

More Rudy skullduggery. Wendy Siegelman has done some digging into Giulianski's secrets. I'm not sure if this trail will lead to someplace important, but you never know. Here is her Twitter thread...

You may recall the Rudy was paid a lot of money last year by Lev Parnas, the shady character who played a central role in Ukrainegate. In recent tweets, Lev (who describes himself as "Post-cult of Trump") has strongly hinted that he has a few anti-Trump October Surprises of his own. (Or maybe September surprises?)


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who gets angry when a new book about Dump comes out? Do really people need someone to tell them what he is. Anything I needed to know about him already learned decades ago, and just by following the news and hearing him talk. That's was enough. I have no problem with people making money but this just not helping. His family is a different story.

Anonymous said...

Evidence is important. And for that reason these books are important.

I am making offerings to Clio, the muse of history, that some data trove containing Trump financial evidence will find its way soon out into the open.