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    Added news  to  , Mueller

    The House went to court a year ago to get the grand jury material.

    Well before beginning of impeachment proceedings related to allegations that President Trump held up aid to Ukraine for political reasons, as Biden claims to have done.

    At the request of the Justice Department, the high court temporarily blocked the lower court order from going into effect. 

    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Thursday to hear arguments this fall in the House Democrats' efforts to see redacted portions of report on Russian interference prepared by special prosecutor Robert Mueller. 

    The decision is a significant blow to House Democrats' efforts to see the material before the November election.

    Added news  to  , Mueller

    Although CNN and the Washington Post reported on the story of an FBI lawyer being investigated for “altering” a document related to Russiagate surveillance requests, their attempts to downplay the story tell their own tale of the “dueling investigations” in Washington: the Democrats’ impeachment probe and the Russiagate origins probe.

    A former FBI lawyer is being investigated for having possibly substantially altered a key document in the FBI’s application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court seeking a warrant to surveil Donald Trump adviser Carter Page in 2016, according to the twin stories run by the Post and CNN on Friday.

    The decision to spy on members of Trump’s election team - adviser George Papadopoulos soon followed - signaled the beginning of the Russiagate probe into whether or not Trump and his team were being helped or directed by Moscow. When the Mueller report confirmed no such collusion existed when it was published this past spring, Attorney General William Barr began a counter-probe, seeking answers as to why the Russiagate probe went forward, despite there being no evidence at all to support it.

    Srious blows have already been dealt to the credibility of the FISA application to spy on Page and the rest, but Friday’s report could be the first thread of an even greater unraveling still to come when the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on Russiagate’s origins gets published on December 9, Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear Friday. Friday’s revelation was a leak from the report.

    “I think the timing is very important. It came on the very last day of the public hearings into the Democrats’ attempt to impeach Trump,” Lauria told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou. “I’ve not been the only one to say that that impeachment was an offensive move ... by the Democrats to try to blunt what might come out of the IG report at the DoJ and the [US Attorney John] Durham investigation into the origins of Russiagate.”

    “Whoever leaked this was very smart to leak it to CNN and the Washington Post and not to Fox, for example, or Judicial Watch, or some right-wing group, because then everybody would just dismiss it.”

    “So, you’re at CNN and the Washington Post, and you’ve been pushing this Russiagate story for two and a half years, you went out on a limb, you’ve been embarrassed - although you tried to deny it - and now you get this story: what are you going to do? You're obviously very reluctant to publish this, but you cannot suppress this news. So, you have to put it out there, and both CNN and the Washington Post did put it out there in a way, as you said, Brian, to try to minimize this thing,” he continued.

    “Now the Post, in fact, removed a paragraph from their first edition, and that initial paragraph said that this lawyer was someone who worked underneath Peter Strzok,” Lauria noted. “Peter Strzok, is of course, crucial to all of this, Strzok being the one who was involved in almost every aspect of this thing, from Hillary Clinton’s email investigation to working on the Mueller team, and then had to be removed when these texts first came out a year or two ago. And, of course, he was very, very anti-Trump … he was clearly politically biased, to the point where Mueller had to remove him from the Mueller investigation into Russiagate. So if this lawyer worked for Strzok, it’s significant.”

    Lauria noted the Post initially reported this, but it was later removed. A postscript at the bottom of the article now states, “An earlier version of this story stated erroneously that the FBI employee suspected of altering a document worked beneath former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok. The employee was a low-level lawyer in the Office of General Counsel and did not report to the deputy assistant director.”

    “That’s instructive. And CNN, of course, their coverage starts with the fact that the FBI lawyer is under investigation for altering the document,” Lauria said. 

    The second paragraph of the CNN story notes that “the situation did not sway an independent Justice Department watchdog from finding the surveillance was valid.” Lauria countered that readers have no way of testing the veracity of this claim, attributed as it is to “sources.”

    Further, CNN tries to head off any potential weaponization of the story by the Trump administration by saying it’s “likely to fuel accusations … that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation of connections between Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign,” effectively dismissing those claims in advance as conspiracy theories.

    “This is potentially a felony, to mess around with the surveillance FISA application from the FISA court ... but the real question is, is this the only thing that’s going to come out of ... the IG’s report, and then the Durham investigation? I mean, this might just be the opening salvo. We’re seeing dueling investigations here: the impeachment on one side, and now this one from the Republicans,” the journalist noted. “This is getting as ugly and as contentious as can be.”

    Lauria said there are “very high stakes, not only for this administration but for those going forward, because I think they’re setting precedents here. Every administration could come under this kind of attack: by using impeachment inquiries. And now the IG has a legitimate reason to look into the Russiagate narrative that has been debunked by Mueller himself, when he could not find any evidence of collusion.”

    n pushing this Russiagate story for two and a half years, you went out on a limb, you’ve been embarrassed - although you tried to deny it - and now you get this story: what are you going to do? You're obviously very reluctant to publish this, but you cannot suppress this news. So, you have to put it out there, and both CNN and the Washington Post did put it out there in a way, as you said, Brian, to try to minimize this thing,” he continued.

    “Now the Post, in fact, removed a paragraph from their first edition, and that initial paragraph said that this lawyer was someone who worked underneath Peter Strzok,” Lauria noted. “Peter Strzok, is of course, crucial to all of this, Strzok 

    Added news  to  , Mueller

    President Trump has repeatedly stated that Robert Mueller should never have been allowed to be appointed as special counsel because “he wanted the job of FBI director and he didn’t get it.” 

    Watch Mueller Lying Under Oath - President Trump "Can't Let This Pass"

    Fox News producer - Jake Gibson: EXCLUSIVE: Multiple administration officials tell @BretBaier and myself that when Robert Mueller met with President Trump in May of 2017, Mueller was indeed pursuing the open post as the director of the FBI – something the former Russia probe special counsel denied under oath.

    Added news  to  , Mueller

    ROBERT MUELLER and his band of angry Democrats lied in their final report on operative Joseph Mifsud.

    Mifsud was NOT a Russian operative as the Mueller report claimed he was.

    Mifsud worked for Western intelligence, as confirmed by his attorney!

    Maria Bartiromo: We know that there were informants thrown at certain Trump campaign people, like George Papadopoulos. George Papadopoulos was on this show and he told me directly on this show that Mifsud was the guy they wanted him to meet in Italy… That is the individual who told him that Russia has emails on Hillary Clinton. Why is that important, John?

    John Solomon: Well, I interviewed Mr. Mifsud’s lawyer the other day, Stefan Rowe, and he told me and also provided me some deposition evidence to both Congress and myself that his client was being directed and long worked with Western intelligence. And he was being directed specifically, he was asked to connect George Papadopoulos to Russia, meaning it was an operation, some form of intelligence operation. That was the lawyer’s own words for this. If that’s the case that means the flash point the started the whole investigation was in fact manufactured from the beginning.

    Added news  to  , Mueller

    Authored by Victor Davis Hanson via,

    After decades in the FBI, the top brass came to believe they could flout the law and pursue their own political agendas.

    One of the media and beltway orthodoxies we constantly hear is that just a few bad apples under James Comey at the FBI explain why so many FBI elites have been fired, resigned, reassigned, demoted, or retired — or just left for unexplained reasons. The list is long and includes director James Comey himself, deputy director Andrew McCabe, counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, attorney Lisa Page, chief of staff James Rybicki, general counsel James Baker, assistant director for public affairs Mike Kortan, Comey’s special assistant Josh Campbell, executive assistant director James Turgal, assistant director for office of congressional affairs Greg Bower, executive assistant director Michael Steinbach, and executive assistant director John Giacalone. In short, in about every growing scandal of the past two years — FISA, illegal leaking, spying on a presidential candidate, lying under oath, obstructing justice — someone in the FBI is involved.

    We are told, however, that the FBI’s culture and institutions are exempt from the widespread wrongdoing at the top. Such caution is a fine and fitting thing, given the FBI’s more than a century of public service. Nonetheless, many of those caught up in the controversies over the Russian-collusion hoax were not recent career appointees. Rather, many came up through the ranks of the FBI. And that raises the question, for example, of where exactly Peter Strzok (22 years in the FBI) learned that he had a right to interfere in a U.S. election to damage a candidate that he opposed.

    And why would an Andrew McCabe (over 21 years in the FBI) think he had the duty to formulate an “insurance policy” to take out a presidential candidate? Or why would he even consider overseeing an FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s improper use of emails when his wife had been a recent recipient of Clinton-related PAC money? And why would McCabe contemplate leaking confidential FBI information to the press or even dream of setting up some sort of operation to remove a sitting president under the 25th Amendment? And how did someone like the old FBI vet Peter Strozk ever end up at the center of the entire mess — opening up the snooping on the Trump campaign while hiding that fact and while briefing the candidate on Russian interference in the election, interviewing Michael Flynn, preening as a top FBI investigator for Robert Mueller’s dream team, right-hand man of “Andy” McCabe, convincing Comey to change the wording of his writ in the Clinton-email-scandal investigation, softball coddling of Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, instrumental in the Papadopoulos investigation con — all the while conducting an affair with fellow FBI investigator and attorney Lisa Page and bragging about his assurance that the supposedly odious Trump would be prevented from being elected. If a group of Trump zealots were to call up the FBI tomorrow and allege that a member of Joe Biden’s family has had unethical ties with the Ukrainian or Chinese government, would that gambit “alarm” the FBI enough to prompt an investigation of Biden and his campaign? How many career-professional Peter Strozks are still at the agency?

    In sum, why did so many top FBI officials, some with long experience in the FBI, exhibit such bad judgment and display such unethical behavior, characterized by arrogance, a sense of entitlement, and a belief that they were above both the law and the Constitution itself? Were they really just rogue agents, lawyers, and administrators, or are they emblematic of an FBI culture sorely gone wrong?

    How and why would James Comey believe that as a private citizen he had the right to leak classified memos of presidential conversations that he had recorded on FBI time and on FBI machines?

    Does the FBI inculcate behavior that prompts its officials to repeatedly testify under oath that they either don’t know or can’t remember - in a fashion that would earn an indictment for most similarly interrogated private citizens? Was Strozk’s testimony to the Congress emblematic of a career FBI agent in his full? Was Comey’s? Was McCabe’s?

    To answer those questions, perhaps we can turn to an analogous example of special counsel and former FBI director Robert Mueller. We are always advised something to the effect that the admirable Vietnam War veteran and career DOJ and FBI administrator Bob Mueller has a sterling reputation, and thus we were to assume that his special-counsel investigation would be free from political bias. To suggest otherwise was to be slapped down as a rank demagogue of the worse kind.

    But how true were those beltway narratives? Mueller himself had a long checkered prosecutorial and investigative career, involving questionable decisions about the use of FBI informants in Boston, and overseeing absolutely false FBI accusations against an innocent suspect in the sensationalized anthrax case that began shortly after 9/11.

    The entire Mueller investigation did not reflect highly either on Mueller or the number of former and current DOJ and FBI personnel he brought on to his team. In a politically charged climate, Mueller foolishly hired an inordinate number of political partisans, some of whom had donated to the Clinton campaign, while others had legally defended the Clinton Foundation or various Clinton and Obama aides. Mueller’s point-man Andrew Weissman was a known Clinton zealot with his own past record of suspect prosecutorial overreach.

    Mueller did not initially disclose why FBI employees Lisa Page and Peter Strozk were taken off his investigative team, and he staggered their departures to suggest that their reassignments were normal rather than a consequence of the couple’s unprofessional personal behavior and their textual record of rank Trump hatred. Mueller’s very appointment was finessed by former FBI director and Mueller friend James Comey and was largely due to the hysteria caused by Comey’s likely felonious leaks of confidential and classified FBI memos — a fact of no interest to Mueller’s soon-to-be-expanded investigation.

    During the investigation, Mueller was quite willing to examine peripheral issues such as the scoundrelly behavior of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the inside lobbying of Paul Manafort for foreign governments. Fine. But Mueller was curiously more discriminating in his non-interest in crimes far closer to the allegations of Russian collusion. That is, he was certainly uninterested about how and when the basis for his entire investigation arose — the unverified and fallacious Steele dossier that had been deliberately seeded among the FBI, CIA, and DOJ to achieve official imprimaturs so it could then be leaked to the press to ruin the campaign, transition, and presidency of Donald Trump.

    Mueller’s team also deliberately edited a phone message from Trump counsel John Dowd to Robert Kelner, General Michael Flynn’s lawyer, to make it appear incriminating and possibly unethical or illegal. Only after a federal judge ordered the full release of the transcript did the public learn the extent of Mueller’s selective and misleading cut-and-paste of Dowd’s message.

    Mueller’s own explanations about the extent to which he was guided by the precedent of presidential exemption from indictment are at odds with his own prior statements and in conflict with what Attorney General Barr has reported from a meeting with Mueller and others. In those meetings, Mueller assured that he was after the truth and did not regard prior legal opinions about the illegality of indicting a sitting president as relevant to his own investigations. But when he essentially discovered he had no finding of collusion, he then mysteriously retreated to the previously rejected notion that he was powerless to indict Trump on a possible obstruction charge.

    Mueller displayed further contortions when he recited a number of alleged Trump wrongdoings but then backed off by concluding that, while such evidence for a variety of different reasons did not justify an indictment of Trump, nonetheless Trump should not be exonerated of obstruction of justice.

    Mueller thereby established a new but lunatic precedent in American jurisprudence in which a prosecutor who fails to find sufficient cause to indict a suspect nonetheless releases supposedly incriminating evidence, with a wink that the now-besmirched suspect cannot be exonerated of the alleged crimes. Think what Mueller’s precedent of not-not-guilty would do to the American criminal-justice system, as zealous prosecutors might fish for just enough dirt on a suspect to ruin his reputation, but not find enough for an indictment, thereby exonerating their own prosecutorial failure by defaming a “guilty until proven innocent” suspect.

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that Mueller’s team knew early on in their investigation that his lead investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page had been correct in their belief that there was “no there there” in the charges of collusion — again the raison d’être of their entire investigation.

    Yet Mueller’s team continued the investigation, aggregating more than 200 pages of unverified or uncorroborated news accounts, online essays, and testimonies describing all sorts of alleged unethical behavior and infelicities by Trump and his associates, apparently in hopes of compiling their own version of something like the Steele dossier. Mueller sought to publish a compendium of Trump bad behavior that fell below the standard of criminal offense but that would nonetheless provide useful fodder for media sensationalism and congressional partisan efforts to impeach the now supposedly not-not guilty president.

    Note again, at no time did Muller ever investigate the Steele dossier that had helped to create his existence as special counsel, much less whether members of the FBI and DOJ had misled a FISA court by hiding critical information about the dossier to obtain wiretaps of American citizens, texts that Mueller himself would then use in his effort to find criminal culpability.

    We were told throughout the 22-month investigation that “Bob Mueller does not leak.” But almost on a weekly schedule, left-wing cable news serially announced in formulaic fashion that “the walls were closing in on” and the “noose was tightening around” Trump as another “bombshell” disclosure was anticipated, according to “sources close to the Mueller investigation,” “unnamed sources,” and “sources who chose to remain unidentified.” On one occasion, CNN reporters mysteriously showed up in advance at the home of a Mueller target, to capture on camera the arrival of paramilitary-like arresting officers.

    When it is established beyond a doubt that foreign surveillance of and contact with George Papadopoulos was used to entrap a minor Trump aide as a means of providing an ex post facto justification for the earlier illegal FBI and CIA surveillance of the Trump campaign, and when it is shown without doubt that Steele had little if any corroborating evidence for his dirty dossier, Mueller’s reputation unfortunately will be further eroded.

    Yet the question is not merely whether a Comey, McCabe, or Mueller is atypical of the FBI. Rather, where in the world, if not from the culture of the FBI, did these elite legal investigators absorb the dangerous idea that FBI lawyers and investigators could flout the law and in such arrogant fashion use their vast powers of the government to pursue their own political agendas? And why was there no internal pushback at a supercilious leadership that demonstrably had gone rogue? Certainly, the vast corpus of the Strzok-Page correspondence does reflect a unprofessional, out-of-control culture at the FBI.

    Just imagine: If an agent Peter Strozk interviewed you and overstepped his purview, would you, the aggrieved, then appeal to his boss, Andrew McCabe? And if Andrew McCabe ignored your complaint, would you, the wronged, then seek higher justice from a James Comey, who in turn might rely on a legal opinion from a Lisa Page or a brief from a James Baker? And failing that, might a Robert Mueller as an outside auditor rectify prior FBI misconduct?

    Fairly or not, the current FBI tragedy is that an American citizen should be duly worried about his constitutional rights any time he is approached by such senior FBI officials. That is not a slur on the rank and file, but the legacy of the supposed best and brightest of the agency and their distortions of the bureau’s once professional creed.

    *  *  *

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    Added news  to  , Mueller

    Rank-and-file Democrats made clear Tuesday they believe Mueller must testify publicly given the gravity of the investigation. 

    Mueller had been expected to testify on May 15, but that date came and went without an appearance by the special counsel. Because he remains in his job with no set date for when he will step down, he remains a subordinate of Attorney General William Barr. But Barr denied that he had secretly blocked Mueller from testifying, according to a report by The Hill.

    Attorney General Bill Barr told The Wall Street Journal last week: "It's Bob's call whether he wants to testify."

    House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, has repeatedly said that Mueller must appear, and he will subpoena Mueller if necessary.

    Adam Schiff Says Time’s Up On Trump Delaying Mueller’s Testimony. 

    There is very little chance that Mueller will testify as he will be required to answer some uneasy questions about the scope of his investigation which could have significant impact down the road, as President Trump declassifies documentation relating to the Muller investigation in the coming weeks.  

    Robert Mueller Fears He’ll Be ‘Trashed By Republicans’ 

    Special counsel spokesman Peter Carr and the Justice Department declined to comment on the current status of negotiations.