Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/4/18: Getting Pounded On The Head To Make Us Confused About The Nunes Memo Edition

Minnesota yesterday. Unfortunately, the game is indoors…

Good morning!

1 So Depressing. I guess we have to conclude that liberals, progressives, Democrats and “the resistance” will never have any objection to rampant news manipulation and partisan bias in the news media until and unless the think it has turned against their interests.

I wonder why they don’t think a properly functioning participatory democracy supported by an informed electorate is in their interests. Oh well…

Working furiously to bolster Democratic Party efforts to throw dust, mud and static around Rep. Devin Nunes’ memo so the public gives up and moves on to other things, the Associated Press wrote that the conservative Washington Free Beacon, not the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, had paid for the Christopher Steele Trump dossier. Then MSNBC’s Katy Tur  passed the misinformation along, and (of course) so did CNN, on the air. This fake story was definitively disproved months ago. The AP’s eventual correction was also needlessly confusing:

“In a story Feb. 2 about a Republican memo on the Russia investigation, The Associated Press erroneously reported that a former British spy’s work on an opposition research project was initially funded by the conservative Washington Free Beacon. Though the former spy, Christopher Steele, was hired by a firm that was initially funded by the Washington Free Beacon, he did not begin work on the project until after Democratic groups had begun funding it.”

I cannot  find any record of a correction from CNN.  (Presumably anyone who believes Katy Tur about anything is beyond help.)

2. Keep repeating: “Acting guilty doesn’t prove guilt. Acting guilty doesn’t prove guilt…” Byron York, a hard-working and generally straight-shooting political reporter at the Washington Examiner (which I always get mixed up with the Free Beacon) correctly explains why the most frequently heard and read attacks on Nunes’ memo are part of a disinformation campaign. The main one:

Did the FBI tell the court about the Hillary Clinton campaign’s involvement in the Steele dossier? The memo says the FBI used the dossier to get a warrant on [Carter] Page, but, “Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the [Democratic National Committee], Clinton campaign, or any party/campaign in funding Steele’s efforts.”

That passage appears to be indisputably true. No one is claiming the FBI informed the court that the Clinton campaign and the DNC were behind the Steele dossier. But Democrats have still pushed back by arguing that the FBI did tell the court that the Steele information came out of a political context, that it kinda, sorta gave the court the idea that a source was politically motivated.

Exactly how the FBI did that is not clear. So far, news reports are all over the lot. The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI “did disclose Mr. Steele was being paid by a law firm working for a major political party.” The New York Times reported that the FISA application “was more forthcoming with the surveillance court than the Republicans say. The FBI told the court that the information it received from Mr. Steele was politically motivated, though the agency did not say it was financed by Democrats.” And the Washington Post reported that the court “was aware that some of the information underpinning the warrant request was paid for by a political entity, although the application did not specifically name the Democratic National Committee or the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.”

None of that disproves or contradicts what the memo said. Sources familiar with the application suggest that it noted there might have been a political motivation behind some of the information. But Republicans ask why it would be acceptable for the FBI to actively withhold from the court the fact that the Clinton campaign and the DNC specifically were behind the Steele dossier. It’s not clear what the Democratic answer to that will be in coming days.

It is emblematic of how intellectually dishonest the attempts to dismiss the import of this matter are that telling the judge that ” the information it received from Mr. Steele was politically motivated” is being claimed to be the equivalent of telling the judge “this dossier was prepared for and paid for the Clinton campaign and the DNC.” That is a major, material distinction, when the same party controls the administration the Justice Department attorneys are working for.

3. Wow, that’s hilarious, Bill! Here was a section of Bill Maher’s side-splitting rant about the Nunes memo on HBO’s “Real Time” yesterday. Interesting question: do comedians have any obligation to try to accurately portray what they are making fun of? This is res ipsa loquitur; I’m not wasting my morning ticking off the myriad factual misrepresentations, the ends justify the means rationalizations, the mind-blowing hypocrisy, and the warped reasoning here, but if you are looking for something to do this afternoon and have run out of crossword puzzles, I’d love to get a full list. At least the rant is so darn funny, it’s justifiable.

“Forget Groundhog Day. The only large, rat-like creature I’m concerned about is Devin Nunes. Of course, it’s not fair to single him out. All the Republicans these days are treasonous rats. Trump declassified this Nunes memo, which is supposed to make us think that our own top law enforcement people are crooked so Trump can get away with his Russia crimes. Problem is, Republicans talk about this memo as if it’s some smoking-gun piece of evidence they uncovered. No! They wrote it! They uncovered it in their printer! It’s not an intelligence document, it’s a Facebook post that you briefly skim before clicking ‘unfriend.’ They did not like what the FBI was finding out about Trump, so like the true patriots they are—of Russia—they attack the FBI and the Justice Department because they’re ‘biased.” Yes, because they’re in law enforcement and the Trump crime family commits crimes, so that’s what they’re supposed to do! It’s like saying the exterminator is biased against the termites. This Republican delusion that Robert Mueller, a Republican who’s there because of Trump, is conspiring with Rod Rosenstein, the acting attorney general, a Republican who’s there because of Trump, and of course Mueller’s old buddy, Jim Comey, another Republican appointed by Trump, and Trump’s attitude is, ‘Jeez, what a bunch of idiots. Who put them in charge?’”

(President Trump appointed Comey?)

141 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights

141 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/4/18: Getting Pounded On The Head To Make Us Confused About The Nunes Memo Edition

  1. adimagejim

    Anyone still think we shouldn’t worry about potential or probable open civil conflict? When facts are no longer facts and veracity is only determined by bias, what else remains? When legislators, enforcers and adjudicators also act on bias rather than law, it’s pretty much over, isn’t it?

    When I moved back to the city in December 2016 my neighbors already had Impeach Trump signs in their windows. When I pointed out you can’t impeach someone not yet in office, they grumbled a few profanities about the President-elect and Vice President-elect and walked away.

    We have at least two countries; unfortunately they are not neatly, geographically distinct.

  2. Other Bill

    Bill Maher sounds like my son. Ugh.

  3. Jack, what do you think of these comments from a Newsweek article republished on mediabiasedfactcheck.com?

    “There is no legal obligation for the FBI to provide evidence that could argue against their own warrant request. Instead several layers of Justice Department officials have to approve the request based on corroborated claims.”

    “However the Steele Dossier was funded, it wouldn’t matter because any assertions from the dossier used in the warrant request would have to have been backed up elsewhere, according to Justice Department rules”

    • It’s double talk. The FBI has a legal and ethical obligation not to deceive the court. If the Justice Departmment had evidence, after verifying relevant parts of the dossier, that would justify a warrant, then why would they use the dossier, which automatically calls the effort into question as politically motivated?

      • Also, don’t forget that part of what they did offer as corroboration for the Steele dossier was a Yahoo News article…which was, itself, just leaked info from that same dossier. This smacks of either investigative incompetence, laziness, or additional intent to deceive.

    • Greg

      RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

      Rule 3.3 Candor Toward The Tribunal

      (d) In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.

      • So what happens next? Can they verify that the evidence used for the warrant is legit regardless of the dossier, then proceed with the “Russian meddling” investigation? If not, then will they have to scrap it entirely?

        And then there’s this: “…the FBI did tell the court that the Steele information came out of a political context, ”

        If that’s the case, than should the issuing judge be held accountable for not asking more questions ABOUT the political context?

      • Bingo. But prosecutors and government attys are seldom held to this standard.

  4. Chris

    And now we find out that Carter Page bragged about being an adviser to the Kremlin back in 2013.

    http://time.com/5132126/carter-page-russia-2013-letter/

    All this caterwauling over the FBI spying on someone who was obviously compromised, and we’re all just ignoring that Trump had a former Russian agent on his campaign staff.

    • Other Bill

      Guess we’d better spy on Bill Clinton. He spoke to Russians for a quarter million.

      • Chris

        Do I really need to explain to you why that’s a dishonest, disingenuous comparison? Or can you figure it out on your own?

        • Other Bill

          Sure. Go ahead.According to the narrative, any contact with any Russian is a suspect contact with a Russian government official, i.e., a spy. I’m friends with a Russian born and trained concert pianist who’s lived in the U.S. since ’92. There’s probably a FISA warrant watching me.

          • Other Bill

            Glad to hear from you. You’ve been MIA.

          • Chris

            No, that’s not the narrative; that’s your straw man. There was a FISA warrant against Page because he actually did have numerous contacts with actual Russian government officials, including spies. It is a known fact that a Russian spy named Victor Podobny at least attempted to recruit him. You are uninformed on this topic, and comparing this guy to yourself because you have a Russian friend and Bill Clinton because he gave a speech in Russia is mindless.

            • Joe Fowler

              -” It is a known fact that a Russian spy named Victor Podobny at least attempted to recruit him.”-
              OMG! That’s some kind of treason right there!
              Dude at a gas station tried to sell me coke last week, so I’m turning myself in right now.

              • Chris

                More strawmanning. Yawn.

                • Joe Fowler

                  Nope, it isn’t. You make that statement in support of your argument, I point out it supports nothing.
                  More Chris misunderstanding and failing to factually support his position, instead treating us to an excerpt of the latest Ted Lieu tweet.
                  Yawn.

                  • Chris

                    Can you read? I did not say that the fact that a Russian spy attempted to recruit Page was proof of “treason,” which was the word you put in my mouth. I said that the fact that a Russian spy attempted to recruit Page, along with Page’s multiple other Russian government contacts, is a material distinction from Other Bill having a Russian-born friend and Bill Clinton giving a speech in Russia.

                    Having to repeat my arguments because people purposefully misinterpret them is a waste of my time and yours. Stop purposefully misinterpreting my arguments.

            • Greg

              The FBI could not have gotten a FISA warrant in 2016 based on the 2013 letter and the contacts with the Russian spy. Those events were three years old and had already been thoroughly investigated. To justify the warrant, the FBI needed something new. If the Nunes memo is correct, the only material new thing that the FBI had was the dossier.

            • Isaac

              I have actual, REAL footage of a White House official (surely one of Trump’s minions) not only making contact with actual Russian officials, but making a secret bargain with Putin and promising favors. He doesn’t look like Carter Page, but perhaps we should wiretap him, just to be sure.

              • Heh! Chris’ll feel THAT one in the morning!

                • Chris

                  No, that was terrible. Obama was president at the time he made those comments. Negotiating with Russia was literally part of his job. Despite the fake outrage that followed, there was nothing inappropriate about that exchange at all.

                  Next dishonest comparison?

                  • Other Bill

                    A president telling Russia, “Lay off and I’ll get re-elected and then I can give you what you want.” Nothing untoward in that. No sir.

                    • Chris

                      It sounds bad because it’s an admission that politicians don’t do certain things they want to do until they know they have the political capitol to do so. That isn’t illegal. There is no comparison between this and what Page has been credibly accused of.

                    • The table needs to be cleared on equating Obama-Putin-flexibility and Trump-Putin-friendship comparisons. The argument has nothing to do with “illegality of amicability” towards Russians…it has everything to to with actual tolerance of Russians pursuing Russian aims.

                      The context of Obama’s slip was that Russia needed to back off of pursuing Russian interests until Obama was re-elected, then Russia could start pursuing more aggressively again once Obama had greater flexibility to enact his own foreign policy. The takeaway was that Putin’s behavior would directly make people LESS inclined to support Obama’s foreign policy as it would appear, distinctly, that Obama was somewhat cool with Russia pursuing it’s interests.

                      The only reason anyone reliably brings up this comparison is because it points, yet again, to Democrat double standards of “you didn’t care then about someone being friendly and tolerant towards Russian interests, why do you care now, more importantly why do you act like it’s the end of America now?”

                    • “Credibly accused of” is a totalitarian concept. In this country, you are presumed innocent, and in fact Page hasn’t been officially accused of anything. This is the Left’s new standard: no proof, no evidence, but if it feels plausible, it must be true. Trump must have said “shitholes.” He must have been callous to that Gold Star wife. Sure “Fire and Fury” is accurate. It’s all “credible”, so it’s true.

                      It’s not credible enough, Chris. Many of those Americans accused of being Communists by Joe McCarthy and HUAC could be “credibly” accused of being communist sympathizers. Once civil libertarians stood shoulder to shoulder to argue—correctly—that guilt by association wasn’t guilt at all. Funny—I thought that was part of liberal idologiy, and one of the best parts, too.

                    • Chris

                      “Credibly accused of” is a totalitarian concept. In this country, you are presumed innocent, and in fact Page hasn’t been officially accused of anything. This is the Left’s new standard: no proof, no evidence, but if it feels plausible, it must be true.

                      “The Left” did not approve the FISA warrants. Four Republican-appointed judges did.

                      It’s not credible enough, Chris.

                      It was credible enough for four Republican-appointed judges to approve a FISA warrant against Page. If you have evidence that the judges acted improperly, present it. The memo contains no such evidence.

                    • Shifting the goalposts to the conduct of the judges.

                      Nice.

                      Redirect Chris please, he’s forgetting we’re discussing the conduct of the investigators…

                    • Chris

                      The only reason anyone reliably brings up this comparison is because it points, yet again, to Democrat double standards of “you didn’t care then about someone being friendly and tolerant towards Russian interests, why do you care now, more importantly why do you act like it’s the end of America now?”

                      1. Because “Russian interests” now are a lot more hostile to our country than they were in 2012. We had not just been cyber-attacked by Russia in 2012.

                      2. Because none of the other red flags involving Trump and Russia existed with respect to Obama in 2012. You’re comparing a mountain to a molehill.

                    • Chris

                      Shifting the goalposts to the conduct of the judges.

                      Nice.

                      Redirect Chris please, he’s forgetting we’re discussing the conduct of the investigators…

                      You’re smart enough to have made the connection that if the conduct of the investigators was what you say it was, then competent judges would not have approved the warrant…

                      …and since there is no reason to assume the judges were incompetent…

                      …the conduct of the judges is relevant to analyzing the conduct of the investigators.

                      Why did you pretend to not be smart enough to make that connection?

                  • ”guilt by association wasn’t guilt at all. Funny—I thought that was part of liberal idologiy, and one of the best parts, too.”

      • ”He spoke to Russians for a quarter million.”

        OB; hopefully unintentionally, yer off by 100 %!

        Bill Clinton: 2010 –$500,000, Renaissance Capital (a Russkie concern)

        I, and perhaps I’m not alone here, expect a dutifully groveling and appropriately contrite retraction.

        And only half a rock? Others dug far deeper, did Clinton get rolled?

        http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/apr/26/peter-schweizer/fact-checking-clinton-cash-author-claim-about-bill/

    • Isaac

      “Over the past half year, I have had the privilege to serve as an informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin in preparation for their Presidency of the G-20 Summit next month, where energy issues will be a prominent point on the agenda.”

      So…bragging about advising the Kremlin on how to host a summit = “Russian agent?”

      Sounds more like a reading-comprehension problem on Chris’ end.

      • Chris

        Fine. Suspected Russian agent, according to the Nunes memo. Still concerning. Still worthy of the warrant.

      • valkygrrl

        Carter Page is not the hill you want to die on, he’s up to his eyeballs in Russian contacts, combine that with the interviews he’s given and his testimony to congress https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/carter_page_hpsci_hearing_transcript_nov_2_2017.pdf

        and you damn well expect the FBI to be watching this man.

        You very wrongly think of it was the Obama administration spying on Trump. You. Are. Wrong. It’s Trump who doesn’t know anything about anything outside of self promotion hiring someone who shouldn’t be touched with the ten foot pole.

        • Isaac

          I don’t need to die on any hill, because this is not personal to me and I don’t lose sleep regardless.

          But objectively, do you think that A) having business dealings in Russia, and therefore multiple friends and contacts there, B) being sympathetic to the Russians’ point of view on some issues due to point A, C) bragging about one’s influence in Russia, and D) having a Russian spy unsuccessfully attempt to recruit you, together justify wiretapping and spying on an American citizen? Cause that’s literally the extent of the public dirt on Page. Doesn’t seem very…liberal to support something like that. I suppose these are desperate times.

          Common sense suggests that the FBI had a lot more than THAT if they could renew their top-secret stalking warrant multiple times. That being whatever was in the Steele dossier, although I don’t rule out there being more intelligence we don’t know of.

          • Chris

            But objectively, do you think that A) having business dealings in Russia, and therefore multiple friends and contacts there, B) being sympathetic to the Russians’ point of view on some issues due to point A, C) bragging about one’s influence in Russia, and D) having a Russian spy unsuccessfully attempt to recruit you, together justify wiretapping and spying on an American citizen? Cause that’s literally the extent of the public dirt on Page.

            We don’t know that the recruitment attempt was unsuccessful. I assume the government didn’t know either, hence the spying.

            And yes, if someone sympathetic to Russia with financial dealings in Russia is being actively recruited by a Russian spy, I think that’s a very good reason to spy on them. So did four FISA court judges, all appointed by Republicans.

            But let’s just keep pretending the choice to spy on Carter Page was just part of a Democrat conspiracy.

            • Well, as long as you keep pretending that an investigation that apparently petered out producing NOTHING wasn’t then reinvigorated based on the product of a Democrat conspiracy…

              • Chris

                How did you miss “four Republican-appointed judges?” Unless you are accusing them of being part of the conspiracy?

                • The whole FISA racket is a breach of basic civil rights; it’s not just this example. Yes, the judges were also incompetent. That doesn’t excuse the ethics of the lawyers.

                  • Chris

                    Well, now that’s moving the goalposts! So now the argument is that FISA shouldn’t exist at all, and that all FISA warrants are wrong.

                    Wait, since when do you argue that bad laws should not be enforced, Jack?

                    If the existence of FISA is based on bad law, that doesn’t prove at all the accusations in the Nunes memo. Not a bit.

                    • I didn’t say that, as you know. The stats say that FISA judges grant virtually all requests for warrants. That means warrants are taken for granted, and that means that stuff like this happens, which inadequante or compromised evidence used to spy on citizens. In turn, that opens the door for genuine abuse of power, including abuse of power for political purposes.

                      Since we are talking about civil rights and protections, the opposite should be true. Judges should be skeptical. The case for warrants should be strong. Any hint of political motives should place the burden of proof on the FBI and Justice to show why their application should NOT be rejected.

                    • So you would submit that the laxness of the FISA courts is inherent incompetence, habitually made, becomes an institutionalized feature of the FISA courts…

                • So the 4 republican judges approved the warrant incompetently assuming the investigators had done their job when they put forth the product of a Democrat conspiracy?

                  I mean, that doesn’t undermine one bit my reply to you, but nice try.

                  • Chris

                    The judges decide whether the investigators have done their job, not you. The judges reviewed the FISA application, and you have not. The judges presumably know what information must be presented in order to justify the warrant, and you do not.

                    The memo made at least one false claim when describing Comey’s comments on the dossier; the claim about the dossier being the only evidence presented, and the claim that the DOJ did not reveal that the dossier was politically motivated, are both disputed. Since we haven’t seen the FISA application, we have no idea if the memo’s claims about this are true, and since the memo was itself politically motivated, we have little reason to believe they are true.

                    Assuming incompetence on the part of the judges is wishful thinking on your part. You want it to be true, but you have zero evidence that it is true. None. Nada. Zilch. Zip.

                    • You know what princess, you are ugly when you are angry.

                      Again, none of this addressed my comment that this is still about the investigators, not the judges.

                      But by all means, keep diverting.

                    • A “Father Knows Best” reference!

                    • Chris

                      You know what princess, you are ugly when you are angry.

                      I’m sorry you object to being treated with the same condescension you routinely use against others.

                      Again, none of this addressed my comment that this is still about the investigators, not the judges.

                      But by all means, keep diverting.

                      I explained this already. You know nothing about the conduct of the investigators except for what is claimed, with no supporting evidence, in the Nunes memo. The fact that their application was approved by the judges indicates that either a) the judges were incompetent and/or biased, or b) both the judges and the investigators acted appropriately. There is no third option where the conduct of the judges has no bearing on the conduct of the investigators. You cannot credibly accuse the investigators of illegal conduct without ALSO involving the conduct of the judges in the conversation. You don’t want to accept that because you know it reflects badly on your argument. Wah.

                    • Says, the ethicsalarms Condescender-in-Chief… this is laughable.

                      Let’s see, judge’s conduct postdates the investigators, so yeah, has no bearing on theirs and can only be use tangentially to assess the investigators, based on assumptions…which your argument makes as well.

                      Has someone said illegal, yet?

                      You’re getting a bit emotional here, I think you need to step back.

            • valkygrrl

              That’s enough for me to want him watched, at least at times when he’s dealing with foreigners but actually the FISA court requires even more than that. They require probable cause.

              FISA court judges are of course, chosen by the chief justice, FISA warrants are limited and full of protections against abuse. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/1805

              George W Bush might have been able to pull it off but a Democratic Attorney General can’t get one just for the fish, especially when the judges are chosen by a republican appointee, it’s serious business. If they got the warrant, and got it extended, they were getting useful info. Maybe if Trump had done some vetting instead of choosing who he hires based on their skill at ass-kissing, this wouldn’t have happened.

              • Yeah…because the Democrat vitriol and pursuit of removing Trump by any means possible would be assuaged if Trump had only vetted Carter Page enough to not hire him on…

                I’m not buying it.

                • Other Bill

                  Some very enlightening discussion here of FISA warrant law, as well as some important facts about Carter Page and his activities as a Russian agent (when he worked with the FBI to get a Russian spy convicted):

                  http://www.nationalreview.com/article/456093/jerrold-nadler-memo-rebuttal-weak-unpersuasive

                • Chris

                  Yeah…because the Democrat vitriol and pursuit of removing Trump by any means possible would be assuaged if Trump had only vetted Carter Page enough to not hire him on…

                  I’m not buying it.

                  Yeah…because hiring Carter Page was the only thing Trump has ever done wrong.

                  • At least you don’t deny the final desired objective anymore nor the “by any means possible”.

                  • “Maybe if Trump had done some vetting instead of choosing who he hires based on their skill at ass-kissing, this wouldn’t have happened.”

                    Just responding to the tone of valky’s comment. I wonder what the “this” is in her comment. Otherwise her comment seems incoherent given that her attitude towards Trump doesn’t imply she really cares about a single one off problem with Trump’s campaign…

                    • Chris

                      “This” clearly refers to the FISA warrant against Page. That’s what she’s talking about for her entire comment.

                    • That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever… the FISA warrant would supposedly have occurred with OR without Page’s involvement with Trump…

                      So, what is the “this” in that comment?

                    • Chris

                      That doesn’t make any sense whatsoever… the FISA warrant would supposedly have occurred with OR without Page’s involvement with Trump…

                      Why do you assume that? Many of Page’s suspicious contacts occurred when he was working for the Trump campaign, in his official capacity. Even if the warrant had happened even without his involvement in the campaign, it’s a certainty that we never would have heard about it; there’d be no Nunes memo, because Nunes isn’t concerns with exposing how FISA warrants violate civil liberties, he is concerned with shielding Trump.

                • valkygrrl

                  You are arguing in bad faith.

                  • Chris

                    Glad someone finally said it.

                  • I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. I legitimately am confused by the comment I addressed, given your tenor towards Trump-Russia all year long. Seems odd to me that you are concerned about one lil’ ole trouble for Trump and not the WHOLE mess.

                    • valkygrrl

                      You should not assume things I never said. You should be capable of taking comment in context of what they’re a reply to. You should not pretend that it is not obvious that we would not be having this fight where you pretend a FISA warrant on someone who quite obviously deserved one is anything nefarious. They tried to recruit the guy, he knew this, he then went and started meeting with Russian officials. If Trump hadn’t hired Page then either you wouldn’t care he was watched and might agree with doing it, or he wouldn’t have had an excuse to go meet with Russian officials and there wouldn’t have been a reason to check up on him.

                      I’m not big on government powers when it comes to criminal stuff. I believe it should be really hard to gather evidence and convict people. If Carter Page had been smuggling illicit kinder eggs I would not much like that there were secret warrants on him, but when it comes to what’s colloquially known as treason… Well whatever you or others might think, I’m still an American and I do love my country and that shit just don’t fly with me.

                      When it comes to national security and only national security (no using what turns up in the FISA to bust up that kinder egg smuggling ring.) yes watch him, watch him, listen in to any phone calls he makes to Russians, tail him in Moscow, don’t trust the sketchy guy. If Trump had any sense he’d never have hired the sketchy guy.

                      Are you going to act like this when Manafort goes down for money laundering, because I gotta tell ya, he’s been laundering money and it doesn’t take a FISA warrant to work that out, all that needed to happen was for him to draw enough attention to himself that someone bothered to look at what he’s been doing.

                    • “where you pretend a FISA warrant on someone who quite obviously deserved one is anything nefarious”

                      Why don’t your ethics alarms go off when you write this? It’s pure “ends justify the means” rights-rejecting law enforcement rationalization, and I have to think you kn ow that. In the US the fact that a citizen “deserves” to be surveiled, searched, arrested, charged, tried and convicted isn’t enough and shouldn’t be enough. OJ “deserved” to be convicted. Hillary “deserved” to be charged. In this system nobody deserves to have their rights breached because of who they choose to work for or their political orientation, and that’s what happens when stuff like this is brushed aside.

                    • valkygrrl

                      No Jack you don’t get to slip that in there. Because of their political orientation? Uh uh. Didn’t happen, don’t care if that’s the tlaking point of the day and if you wanted to argue against FISA that should have been your opening move not your fallback position.

                      As for ends justifying the means? If the means are a warrant supported by probably cause and the ends are you discover if someone’s spying for the Russians and only that, yeah I’m cool.

                    • That’s a direct quote. I didn’t slip anything “in there.” The evidence determines whether a subject deserves a warrant, and when the evidence is from an unrevealed source and contains dubious “facts”, it should not support a valid warrant, and is not probable cause. And the suspicion that the targeting is political is completely justifiable. Do I really have to list all the conduct by the Obama administration that calls its motives into question? Because there were a lot, and you should know them as well as I do.

  5. Off topic, but did this cross anyone else’s desk?

    The talented Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at an “Annie’s List,” conference:

    We Wear Pink Pussy Hats.”

    She must not have gotten the memo: ”Pink Pussy Hats” are NOW racist/sexist/homophobic/misogynistic…and likely a bunch of other ists, istics, and phobics to be announced.

    To whom might Lefty (Fact-Based Universe denizens won’t follow this!) owe a debt of gratitude they can’t soon repay?

    None other than ”Contributor” Regan Manwell Sowinski, who boasts a Triple Threat of endorphin-ramping credentials: “Woke Teacher, Student Advocate, Mother.” The gosh darn Trifecta, am I right?

    Quoth she: “Pink symbolizes a social construct built on a cracked foundation of the misogynistic notion that women should be sweet and passive like the color itself.

    Has no one else noticed that the majority of the world’s labia are not pink?” (bold mines)

    Don’t know about the rest of you’s, but I can’t say I have, so it’s not outside of the realm of possibility that she has a better…um…handle on this than me.

    This may be due, in part, to the fact that I’m not woke…….yet!

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wh … 64bb1e26f1

    Et tu, HuffPo?

    • John Billingsley

      I’m going to give her points for actually using the term labia. It astonishes me how many women use “vagina” to refer to every part of their “down there” when they are actually referring to the external genitalia aka pudenda. Good grief ladies, look it up on the internet if your mother didn’t teach you the proper names for your parts. Not having examined a majority of the world’s labia, I’ll take Regan’s word on the color distribution. And to think, Jack thought talking about mini-horses was strange.

      • ”every part of their ‘down there’ ”

        “Down there?”

        You comfortable with “taint” or “nether region?”

        • John Billingsley

          Years ago I had to do a general medical clinic. When a woman came in and I asked where the problem was the answer was almost always “you know, down there”. Sometimes they would use “privates” but never “taint.” I did occasionally hear “nether region” from a country woman. Funniest thing I heard in med school was when a fellow student was trying to put a urinary catheter in an old Kentucky mountain woman. After a couple of failed attempts, she kind of squinted up at him and asked, “What’s the matter sonny, ain’t you never seen one of them before?”

          • “Taint” is both archaic and an Urban Dictionary entry; the long & the short of it, am I right?

            Not to put too fine a point on it, “taint the pecker(or the name of the pink hat) and it taint the asshole.”

            What that Appalachian American gal said is hilarious. Sounds like what some of my…um…earthier kin would say. Heck, if she were from Mercer County, we may be related.

      • Not having examined a majority of the world’s labia,

        I know some male college students who would volunteer for that research project… work for free too!

  6. I cannot believe that we are discussing anything other than a President of the United States using government agencies to help hinder another candidate in the election process! Common America.

    • I can believe it. A substantial portion of the population was conditioned–propagandized—bullied—into being incapable of objective criticism of Barack Obama. There is still a substantial possibility that he knew the IRS was illegally undermining Romney’s campaign, and the Holder Justice Department didn’t investigate it while the news media used the same “nothingburger” smokescreen they are using now. Meanwhile, these same Americans have been conditioned to believe—without any evidence whatsoever, other than the fact that Clinton lost—that President Trump is a fascist crazy person who has to be brought down by any means possible, that the Mueller investigation is on the cusp of doing just that, and that any criticism of or focus on the pretty incredible incompetence, conflicts and bias exhibited by DOJ and the FBI is only an effort to avoid the inevitable downfall of the President.

      • Not to Godwin anything, but, a brief perusal of Revolutionary Russia and Weimar Germany demonstrates, in the early stages of those two nation’s histories, that the party that wants complete power ALWAYS coopts the internal security and surveillance apparatuses of their respective governments AGAINST opposition parties.

        Always.

        FBI would be one component of those apparatuses in America.

        Highly doubtful the DNC would ever take us down that dark route, but the methods are the same…hijack internal controls over the bureaucracy, fight the opposition that way.

        • This is how socialists work. It is necessary on the road to totalitarian communism, the end game of socialism.

          I think the cognitive dissonance of the Democratic party acting in a way that they have raised a generation of progressives to believe only evil conservatives and the GOP would ever act is causing short circuits in many, including progressive commenters here at EA.

  7. Other Bill

    I had one of my irony thoughts last night which goes as follows:

    The Dems allege that Trump could have been blackmailed by the contents of the Steele Dossiet and therefore needed to be spied upon to see if he was being blackmailed. And yet, the material he was to be blackmailed with was manufactured at their directions and expense.

    Reminds me of the old explanation of what “MAI” (Member, Appraisal Institute) was alleged to really mean in the real estate business: “Made After Instruction.”

    A dog chasing its own tail comes to mind. Hilarious.

  8. Chris


    According to the Nunes memo, the FBI received three 90-day extensions to monitor Page’s communications under FISA authority. This would have required the FBI to show Justice Department lawyers and the FISA court judge that Page’s intercepted communications included relevant foreign intelligence information. In fact, according to the memo, two Trump appointees at the Justice Department — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Dana Boente, who served as acting attorney general after Trump fired Sally Yates — reviewed this information and signed off on submissions to the FISA court.

    What’s more, it’s highly doubtful that the FISA court judge would not have known about Steele by the time Page’s surveillance came up for renewal, as the Nunes memo suggests. BuzzFeed published Steele’s dossier in full in January 2017.

    “Steele was out there. He was in the press at this time,” said Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. “It’s ridiculous to believe that the judge had no idea who Steele was as this is being renewed over and over again.”

    According to reports from journalists, unnamed Democrats on the committee have already begun to dispute the memo’s claim that the Steele dossier was an “essential part” of the evidentiary basis for the warrant applications.

    Jim Sciutto

    @jimsciutto
    New: Two Democratic members of House Intel tell me McCabe did not say dossier was basis of FISA warrant, disputing central claim of #NunesMemo

    10:53 AM – Feb 2, 2018
    827 827 Replies 6,036 6,036 Retweets 12,961 12,961 likes
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    But even if the dossier was a key part of the initial investigation, it wouldn’t have helped the FBI renew its warrant on three subsequent occasions.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/02/02/nunes-memo-fisa-trump-russia/

    • Because judges always read BuzzFeed….

      • Chris

        I can’t believe you just wrote that. The BuzzFeed article about the dossier was widely reported by every mainstream news organization the day after. I don’t assume judges always read BuzzFeed, but I do assume they read the news.

        • I don’t, and in court, a lawyer is not allowed to depend on that, either.

          But more important, if the initial warrant was granted based on on bad evidence and a deceptive request, then the subsequent warrants would be void as fruets of the poisonous tree. Your source is a legal ignoramus. This is the game, you see: bad warrant, allows spying to find dirt on Trump’s campaign. If nothing is found, no foul. If something is found, no indictments, just politically ruinous leaks. Nice.

          The issue is abuse of power and process, Chris. If this is allowed, then Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign can pay for a dirt expedition on any of his opponents,and get warrants to spy on them. It’s really a shame no Democrats have any integrity any more. This kind of thing would have horrified the far better party leaders and supporters of a couple of decades back, not to mention the Warren Court.

          • The retort will always be: But if Trump has committed a crime, we HAVE TO FIND OUT!

            And that’s one of the essential *faith* claims of Democrats right now..

            “we all just know that Trump had to have done something!”

            Because no one is fooled that the “earnest” pursuit of Page isn’t just another vicarious attempt to get something directly on Trump.

          • Chris

            But more important, if the initial warrant was granted based on on bad evidence and a deceptive request,

            Certainly. But that’s a big “if.” The Nunes memo presented no evidence that this was the case, only assertions. So release the FISA warrant.

            • By definition it was based on bad evidence. The dossier is bad evidence, and creates the appearance of impropriety by being used at all.

              • Chris

                Neither the intelligence community nor the FISA court seems to think the dossier is bad evidence. It is very likely the investigators provided corroborating evidence when getting the warrant, which would add to the dossier’s credibility.

                There’s no appearance of impropriety; where do you think a lot of evidence against this type of suspect usually comes from? It comes from people who dislike the suspect. People with an axe to grind. If the fact that an accusation came from someone who hated the accused automatically invalidated evidence, police would never be able to get a warrant against anyone.

                • It is per se appearance of propriety for an administration’s Justice Department to seek authority to spy on a member of the inner circle of the opposition’s Presidential candidate using as justification, whether in whole or in part, “opposition research” created by the party and its candidate. It fosters distrust and suspicion, and should. anyone in government should know that, and does. They just thought they would get away with it anyway.

                  • Chris

                    They didn’t “create” the research, they paid for it. “Create” implies fabrication. But think about what you’re saying: if Steele had found a videotape showing Don Jr. walking into SVR headquarters in Moscow, it would have been wrong for the DOJ to use that to ask for a warrant against him simply because that evidence was obtained by a political rival? And then you’d expect us all to be more concerned with the bias of the DOJ then Don Jr. walking into the SVR headquarters? That can’t be right.

                    Here’s what happened: the Clinton campaign paid for oppo research on a campaign made up of people so shady they made the Clinton campaign seem pristine. Then their investigator, a highly trusted MI-6 agent, found extremely troubling stuff, including stuff about Carter Page, a man who had previously been under suspicion because of his suspicious Russian contacts who was continuing to have suspicious Russian contacts, because he’s a moron or something. So they took it to the relevant authorities. The authorities honored their request.

                    This is proof of corruption? Come. On.

                    • Opposition research isn’t looking for general intel, but dirt. That’s inherently biased, inherently adversarial, inherently slanted research. That’s advocacy. Steele was paid to find bad stuff, or stuff that could be made to look bad. Come on yourself. As an expert, I tell clients that I won’t guarantee any conclusion. And those looking to pay for a result they can use as advocacy don’t hire me. You think Steele, who said he hated Trump, began with that promise? Or would have turned in a report that said, “He’s a hell of a guy!”?

                    • Chris

                      Opposition research isn’t looking for general intel, but dirt. That’s inherently biased, inherently adversarial, inherently slanted research.

                      …Yes? I just said that. I don’t know why you think repeating that contradicts what I said, which is that the results of biased, slanted research aren’t necessarily bad, and shouldn’t be off-limits to federal investigators or the court system.

                    • They are necessarily biased, and unreliable. When their nature as opposition research and the parties paying for particular results are not fully disclosed, then their reliability cannot be reasonably assessed. And that is exactly why the court was not fully informed. Why else? That alone makes the process invalid. This is about both substance, form, process, and appearances. All the spinning in the world can’t make it acceptable, and those who try to argue make it look other than it is expose themselves as willing to undermine due process and civil rights in pursuit of a political agenda, pure “ends justify the means.” It is a sueful episode for identifying just how hypocritical and corrupt the Left has become.

                    • Chris

                      hey are necessarily biased, and unreliable. When their nature as opposition research and the parties paying for particular results are not fully disclosed, then their reliability cannot be reasonably assessed. And that is exactly why the court was not fully informed.

                      You don’t even know that. The Nunes memo just asserts it. Where is your desire to see the evidence? The New York Times beat you to asking for the full FISA warrant application; do they get any credit for that?

                      We already know that the application did point out that the dossier was paid for by a political operation of some kind. So the court was informed that there was a political bias at work here. They still approved the warrant. That leads me to believe that either a) the Republican-appointed judges were as corrupt as you claim the investigators were, or b) your understanding of the law here is wrong.

                      Let’s pretend you’re the judge here. You hear one of the two following things:

                      “The dossier you’re about to see was paid for by a political campaign.”

                      “The dossier you’re about to see was paid for by the Clinton campaign.”

                      Is your reaction different depending on which of the two above statements is made? If not, then there is no material distinction between the two statements.

                      Why else? That alone makes the process invalid. This is about both substance, form, process, and appearances. All the spinning in the world can’t make it acceptable, and those who try to argue make it look other than it is expose themselves as willing to undermine due process and civil rights in pursuit of a political agenda, pure “ends justify the means.” It is a sueful episode for identifying just how hypocritical and corrupt the Left has become.

                      No, that does not make the process invalid, and no, it does not undermine due process or civil rights.

                    • Not true. The Washington Post and many other sources have stated that the judges were not told the party or the campaign that paid for the dossier, just that it has some kind of political origin. It could have been a GOP rival’s project, for example. The memo from Nunes is not alone in this by any means; even the Democrats don’t argue that the origins of the dossier were clearly revealed to the judges.

                    • Chris

                      Again: Explain why that matters. The judges knew it was politically biased. They still approved the warrant. Ergo, either the fact that the dossier was politically biased doesn’t matter to the validity of the evidence when it came to getting a warrant, or the judges are as incompetent and/or biased as the investigators.

                    • Hmmm. Let me think. A government agency under a government department in an administration that is overtly political seeks a warrant that will allow it to spy on a member of the opposing party’s Presidential candidate running against the same administration’s previous Secretary of State. This calls the motives and methods behind the request into question. If I were the judge, my response would be “You’re kidding, right? You know how this looks?”

                    • Chris

                      Hmmm. Let me think. A government agency under a government department in an administration that is overtly political seeks a warrant that will allow it to spy on a member of the opposing party’s Presidential candidate running against the same administration’s previous Secretary of State. This calls the motives and methods behind the request into question. If I were the judge, my response would be “You’re kidding, right? You know how this looks?”

                      Perhaps that was the reaction of one or all four judges. Perhaps they then looked at the evidence anyway, and then said “Holy shit, this guy needs to be watched.” You still haven’t answered my question from earlier: If Steele had found video of Don Jr. walking into SVR, should the Obama DOJ have refused to try to get a warrant for him because it would “look bad?”

                  • Jack said: “When their nature as opposition research and the parties paying for particular results are not fully disclosed, then their reliability cannot be reasonably assessed. And that is exactly why the court was not fully informed. Why else?”

                    Precisely. Why beat around the bush with vague phrases like “had a political component” or “was politically motivated” when nothing prevented them from simply stating the exact nature of the dossier’s genesis? People usually do that sort of obfuscating when they have an inkling that “the whole truth” might not be well received, and are trying to slip something past their audience.

                    • valkygrrl

                      The whole point of paying for oppo is that it’s true. If you don’t care if it’s true you can save a lot of money by making something up yourself.

                    • valkygrrl “The whole point of paying for oppo is that it’s true. If you don’t care if it’s true you can save a lot of money by making something up yourself.

                      Not necessarily; you may only care that it appears authentic, or at least seems detached from its true source (like when the FBI muddied the waters in presenting it to the FISA courts). “Look, this isn’t stuff we made up; an experienced former British intelligence agent researched and put together this dossier!”

                      Interestingly, it has been revealed in the past day or so that info was not only fed directly to Steele by the Russians, but also from the Russians through Hillary operatives in the Obama State Department, and then to Steele. So, you might well ask them why they would pay someone for information they already had.

          • If this is allowed, then Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign can pay for a dirt expedition on any of his opponents,and get warrants to spy on them.

            This is exactly what my formerly principled ‘alt right’ friends are saying. They have made serious hay using progressive tactics against progressives: this is now on the table.

            The ‘rage’ of people accepted a ‘color-blind’ society only to have the tables turned (when we hear that whites need to be killed, or that their opinions don’t matter, and so on) is going to be slaked in unethical reprisal.

            Things are coming apart fast, our here in rural America. Taylor is not the first nor the last I have heard mention such sentiments regarding Civil War.

            • Chris

              Yes, Jack, of course Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign could pay for a dirt expedition on any of his opponents, and get warrants to spy on them if a FISA court believed the dirt was worth a FISA warrant.

              • …You don’t know Jack… since I am slickwilly. 🙂

                Your answer is res ipsa loquitur

              • Trump’s campaign could get warrants to spy on opposition. Good lord. The fact that you can make that comment without pause demonstrates a terrifying comfort with a campaign of a sitting politician being wedded with the governmental power that politician can wield being wielded against opposition.

                Wow.

                Dark days these.

                • Chris

                  You left out “ if a FISA court believed the dirt was worth a FISA warrant,” but you’re free to tell me how I’m wrong on the law.

                  I’m not, of course.

                  • “Yes, Jack, of course Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign could pay for a dirt expedition on any of his opponents, and get warrants to spy on them if a FISA court believed the dirt was worth a FISA warrant.”

                    “Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign could pay for a dirt expedition on any of his opponents.”

                    “Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign could get warrants to spy on [his opponents] in a FISA court believed the dirt was worth a FISA warrant.

                    I think that is broken down accurately.

                    The Noun and Object in your compound sentence is pretty evident. The permission granted by a FISA court for the sitting politician to go about conducting an investigation into someone, simultaneously his opposition, is not even considered in an official capacity. You’ve comfortably tied it in with normal operations of a campaign, seamlessly.

                    I’m not telling you about your ignorance of the law. I’m telling you about what looks like an unnerving comfort with cesspool politics bordering on totalitarianism in what you said.

                    I mean, maybe you weren’t clear or maybe you had some suppressed propositions in there somewhere that we were supposed to assume you included… not sure. But the plain reading of this sentence, is as slickwilly calls it: res ipsa loquitur

                    • Chris

                      I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to say.

                    • Pretending stupidity doesn’t save you here. Of course you know what I’m saying.

                    • Chris

                      Nah, I’ve had a couple. Are you saying my sentence structure made it seem like I was saying the campaign *itself* would be allowed to spy on their opponents if the FISA court granted a warrant? If so, then good job noticing the flaw in my sentence structure, but I’m fairly certain you knew what I meant.

                  • A useful perspective on watrants, and what’s wrong with something like the dossier being used to get a FISA warrant:
                    https://pjmedia.com/trending/wrote-hundreds-warrants-heres-nunez-memo-troubling/

                    The end is well-said:

                    When writing an affidavit for a warrant, the affiant must take care to provide enough detail to persuade a magistrate that the information provided is accurate, but not enough to allow the target to deduce the informant’s identity. A certain amount of obfuscating language is called for and expected, for the affiant knows the warrant will be discovered and challenged in court if it results in charges being filed.

                    But in the case of a FISA warrant, there is no expectation of a court challenge.

                    Indeed, there is no expectation that the warrant’s very existence will be known to anyone outside a small circle in the FBI and the Justice Department. There was thus no need to use obfuscating terms like “political entity” in describing the origins of the Steele dossier, unless people in the FBI and the Justice Department were concerned that the warrant would not be granted if the full truth about its underlying information were known to the judge.

                    Perhaps the full warrant application will be made public one day, in which case there may still be conflicting opinions on whether the government’s burden to show probable cause was met. But what is already known about the case — when added to the Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch meeting on the tarmac on Phoenix, James Comey’s sophomoric tweets, and the FBI’s and DOJ’s intellectual and legal contortions in declining to prosecute Hillary Clinton for the reckless handling of her email — suggest an FBI and Justice Department with their thumbs on the scale of justice.

                    You don’t have to wear a MAGA hat to find all of this troubling.

                    Or shouldn’t have to, if one is capable of objective thought.

                    • What’s troubling is the circumstances and language of some of those involved suggest there was considerable cooperation and information flow in BOTH directions between the Hillary campaign and the Obama government.

      • I think it would be helpful, for a timeline of all events Trump-Russia be published here.

        I’m baffled how a January 2017 publishing in Buzzfeed of the Steele Dossier has relevance to Chris’ analysis regarding a warrant issued in 2016…?

        I mean, I’m no traveller, but…

        I mean, I get the key argument by the anti-anti-Trump hysterics is that the only new piece of information we know came before the FISA court was the Steele Dossier and that the new key argument by the anti-Trump hysterics is that Steele, already discredited, could not have influenced the renewal…so there must have been some other mystery bit of information the judges saw that prompted their approval of the renewal that Nunes wasn’t privy too, but because he’s just a partisan hack we know he can’t be trusted.

        But if Steele was already discredited at this point, why on earth did the investigators include him at all…?

        This is like watching the homoousious and homoiousious debate in the Early Church…

        • Chris

          I’m baffled how a January 2017 publishing in Buzzfeed of the Steele Dossier has relevance to Chris’ analysis regarding a warrant issued in 2016…?

          You misread. The Intercept article referenced the Buzzfeed article in reference to the *renewal* of the warrant, not the initial warrant itself. The dossier itself couldn’t have been enough to renew the warrant; the investigators would have had to show that they were getting something out of their wiretaps in order to renew.

          And the Steele dossier was never discredited.

          • “The Intercept article referenced the Buzzfeed article in reference to the *renewal* of the warrant, not the initial warrant itself.”

            Pretzels.

            “The dossier itself couldn’t have been enough to renew the warrant; the investigators would have had to show that they were getting something out of their wiretaps in order to renew.”

            Your key assumption. We get it. Irrelevant. It’s already been demonstrated that an errantly obtained warrant must not be continuously renewed. Not sure why you keep up this line of argument.

            “And the Steele dossier was never discredited.”

            Yes, it was.

            • valkygrrl

              No. No it wasn’t.

              • COME ON! REALLY?

                Trump hired hookers to pee on a bed the Obamas slept in?!?

                • Chris

                  COME ON! REALLY?

                  Trump hired hookers to pee on a bed the Obamas slept in?!?

                  Has this been discredited?

                  • Has it been discredited that you beat your fiancee in fits of anger?

                    See, I have a dossier from a trusted source that says you do…(and don’t mind that that trusted source in on the record as “passionate about you not being a teacher” and has been paid for by an organization that wants to replace you with someone else)…

                    Also, I used that dossier to convince a judge to wiretap you. Hope you don’t mind.

                    • Chris

                      Interesting. Was your source an MI-6 agent who has been relied on by governments in the past? Not sure how one would go about getting a wiretap for a domestic abuse allegation. But of course I’ll cooperate with any investigation.

                    • It’s cute that you continue to rely on his MI-6 creds. I don’t care how credible a source HAS been, if they start out their job with an explicit statement that they want a certain outcome, they lose all objectivity and credibility.

                      That you don’t see this is only because of your own Trump-hate you wear that nullify any chance of objectivity from your angle.

                      And yes, my source is an MI-6 agent, of course his sources are from a nefarious group that also wants to sow discord into your career path (sources that you even acknowledge are trying to sow discord into your career path).

                    • Chris

                      It’s cute that you continue to rely on his MI-6 creds. I don’t care how credible a source HAS been, if they start out their job with an explicit statement that they want a certain outcome, they lose all objectivity and credibility.

                      I’d like to see evidence that this is an actual legal standard for the purposes we’re discussing here.

                      And yes, my source is an MI-6 agent, of course his sources are from a nefarious group that also wants to sow discord into your career path (sources that you even acknowledge are trying to sow discord into your career path).

                      Cool story, bro. I can’t imagine what I did to land on the intelligence community’s radar. Can you imagine how Carter Page did?

                    • Evidently no wrongdoing that several years of investigation have revealed, yet somehow the inclusion of the Steele Dossier was sufficient to renew surveillance…during a time of heightened partisan witch hunting, in which members of the FBI are known to be actively finding ways to get Trump out.

                      But, by all means, pretend like this is just routine business.

                      Jack has already demonstrated how the FISA courts literally approve anything brought before them.

  9. Has it been verified?

    Name one part of the dossier that has been verified?

      • Newsweek literally doesn’t count. The publication is being indicted for fraud, and it just fired all its editors. It sent out an issue announcing the Hillary had been elected. If you want something that makes the Russian dossier seem credible by comparison, Newsweek is an excellent choice.

        • Chris

          All of the claims in that article are backed up by other sources. In addition, Google is not hard. Anyone who genuinely wants to know which claims in the dossier have been confirmed can easily find out.

          • Just like the dossier itself was back up as a source by a Yahoo story… that came from the guy who wrote the dossier.

            Chris, much of that information came from the RUSSIANS. You now trust them after the past year of talking about how eeevvuull they are?

            Keep spinning: there is NO verification of the dossier.

            And Hillary paid for it.

            And Obama’s Admin deceived a FISA judge using it.

            And a political opponent was spied on illegally for political gain.

            And a Special Prosecutor Investigation was started based on these fraudulent foundations, which itself has found NOTHING in a year.

            That you defend this is signature significance of a totalitarian mindset. You are ASKING for this to become the status quo for American politics.

            If the parties were reversed, would you feel the same? Well, it may happen if this is allowed.

            Progressive idiots.

            • Chris

              Just like the dossier itself was back up as a source by a Yahoo story… that came from the guy who wrote the dossier.

              You don’t know that. That’s what’s claimed in the memo, but without the warrant application itself, that can’t be confirmed. Why aren’t any of you asking to see the application?

              Chris, much of that information came from the RUSSIANS. You now trust them after the past year of talking about how eeevvuull they are?

              It came from Russian informants whose intel harmed their own government.

              Keep spinning: there is NO verification of the dossier.

              I just showed you which claims have been verified.

              And Hillary paid for it.

              So?

              And Obama’s Admin deceived a FISA judge using it.

              Again, you don’t know this, and can’t until you see the application. The “deception” being alleged is that they told the judge the dossier was paid for a “political entity” and not the DNC. That doesn’t pass the smell test—either the judge is just as incompetent or biased for not inquiring further, or it simply didn’t matter where it came from.

              And a political opponent was spied on illegally for political gain.

              Completely unproven.

              And a Special Prosecutor Investigation was started based on these fraudulent foundations, which itself has found NOTHING in a year.

              You don’t know what they’ve found.

              • This is going to be a long year for you, Chris. Whatever you need to tell yourself to sleep at night, I guess.

                • Chris

                  But wait, there’s more!

                  And a Special Prosecutor Investigation was started based on these fraudulent foundations, which itself has found NOTHING in a year.

                  The claim that the investigation was based solely on the dossier has been debunked over and over. It isn’t true. The investigation is based on multiple red flags that have sprung up around people on Trump’s campaign for years.

                  That you defend this is signature significance of a totalitarian mindset. You are ASKING for this to become the status quo for American politics.

                  As soon as I see you criticizing our totalitarian president for accusing his opponents of “treason” for not clapping, I’ll take you more seriously.

                  If the parties were reversed, would you feel the same? Well, it may happen if this is allowed.

                  I already explained exactly how I would feel the same.

        • Jack, just for giggles you really should take a glance at the Newsweek thing, if you haven’t already. It’s an overblown bit of sensationalized nonsense that delivers nothing. Their “verified” information amounts to three things:

          1) Carter Page met with some Russian businessmen.
          2) Russians planted internet misinformation that targeted both Republicans and Democrats.
          3) Trump is still friends with an Azerbaijan businessman he has know for years, and with whom he worked on the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

          All the rest is a flurry of “supposedly” and “allegedly” sprinkled innuendo.

  10. That hack story is a nothingburger. The claims are inflated, exaggerated, or outright lies.

    None of the claimed rumors in the dossier are ‘verified’ at all.

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