Assorted Ethics Observations On The Durham Report, Part I: The News Media

John Durham, the special counsel charged with investigating the Trump campaign-Russian collusion “witch hunt” (as Donald Trump calls it, with more accuracy than usual) finally released his 306 page report late yesterday. I’m still slogging through it, but I’ve read a lot of excerpts and snippets, and it’s not too early to make some judgments.

I don’t need to read the whole thing, for example, to cite the news media’s coverage of Durham’s work as a fairly revolting example of a “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” spin job. Attention should be paid, because various outlets are essentially plastering signs on their metaphorical foreheads reading, “We’re biased, pro-Democrat, anti-Trump hacks!”

At Memeorandum, for example, the useful headline aggregator much praised by Ann Althouse, the Durham report’s release isn’t even the lead story. That would be the “graphic” law suit a former assistant has filed against Rudy Giuliani alleging that he coerced her into sex, among other sensational claims. One headline above the Durham report coverage is “Rudy Giuliani made antisemitic remarks about Jews’ genitalia, mocked ‘freaking Passover’ observance, new lawsuit claims.” I think I can state with reasonable certainty that when the history of this awful period is written, the successful efforts by Democrats, the news media and the “deep state” to cripple and de-legitimize the efforts of a duly-elected U.S. President to do the job he was elected to do will be a continuing source of analysis and debate, and the accusations made in his dotage against Giuliani will be a footnote at best, even if they turn out to be true.

Buried though they are, some of the headlines Memeorandum shows of the Durham Report coverage are pretty damning—of the headline writers. Also damning is the fact that some of the headlines online were changed from what Memeorandum recorded when someone said, “Hmmm, this makes us look like we’re spinning for the anti-Trump mob”—which, of course they were.

For example, the current AP headline on one story reads, “Durham report on Trump-Russia investigation: What led to it and what happens next.” Originally it read, “Trump claimed the Durham probe would uncover the ‘crime of the century.’ Here’s what it really found” Another Associated Press story was originally headlined, “Prosecutor ends probe of FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation with harsh criticism, but no new charges.” All teed up for New York Times and Washington Post pundits to call the report a “nothingburger”! Now, however, the headline is a more straightforward (but still misleading) “Special prosecutor ends Trump-Russia investigation, saying FBI acted hastily.

The New York Times was a bit sneakier, with its headline, “Durham Finds Fault With F.B.I. Over Russia Inquiry.” “Finding fault” suggests that the report concludes the investigation could have been done a bit better. In fact, Durham shows that the investigation shouldn’t have been undertaken at all. The Times saves the AP-style spin for its sub-headline: “The special counsel’s final report nevertheless did not produce blockbuster revelations of politically motivated misconduct, as Donald J. Trump and his allies had suggested it would.” That’s disgusting, but it sure tells us everything we need to know about the Times. It manages to make Trump the object of criticism in what is supposed to be a story about how the FBI, the Clinton campaign, and the Justice Department illicitly spent three years creating a cloud over the Trump Presidency.

This is astounding, even for the Times. It immediately deflects to ‘See? Trump was lying again!‘ Durham’s report says that he couldn’t find clear evidence that the bias against Trump exhibited by the FBI was partisan or political, but it also says that the way the Trump investigation proceeded was markedly different from how the investigation of Clinton’s email machinations was handled, and that the agency accepted as a valid justification to begin an investigation against Trump a dubious piece of opposition research created by the Clinton campaign.

That sure looks like partisan bias to me.

Hey, I haven’t checked the Washington Post yet…let’s see…Oh! The Post plays it relatively straight: “Durham report sharply criticizes FBI’s 2016 Trump campaign probe. Special counsel says “extremely troublesome” failures appear to stem from bias that kept agents from carefully examining evidence.” It doesn’t start spinning until the middle of the second paragraph:

The very appointment — of an investigator to reinvestigate the investigators — led to significant criticism from current and former law enforcement officials. The report, coming almost four years to the day since Durham’s assignment began, will probably be derided by Democrats as the end of a partisan boondoggle. Republicans will have to wrestle with a much-touted investigation that has cost taxpayers more than $6.5 million and didn’t send a single person to jail, even though Trump once predicted that Durham would uncover the “crime of the century.”

An investigation calculated to bring down a U.S. President and that was the source of leaks, lies, innuendos and propaganda for most of that President’s administration is an attack on democracy, and certainly required a full investigation. Government agencies, elected officials and the news media itself frequently engage in unethical conduct that does more harm than most crimes, but that cannot be shown to have broken specific laws. Of course it was worth $6.5 million: it’s a bargain, if it prevents this from happening again. Those “current and former law enforcement officials” who opposed Durham’s work are either among the villains of this episode or their enablers.

So far, I’d rate ABC’s reporting the closest to fair, though it also highlights the fact that few criminal indictments were forthcoming “despite the expectations pushed by Trump and his allies.” That is simply not a fair prism through which to view the report, but we have no fair journalism today.

On the more typical side, we have CNN’s Jake Tapper—boy, did I make a mistake designating him as one of the few ethical broadcast journalists a few years ago!—who, after grudgingly acknowledging that Durham’s criticism of the FBI’s investigation was damning, tried to defend the FBI anyway:

“It is also true that there was a lot of smoke, right? There was that meeting between the Trump campaign, Kushner, Don Jr. and others, that whole thing about, ‘if it’s what you say it is, I love it,’ especially later in the summer. There is Manafort giving polling information to Konstantin Kilimnik. There is stuff as the Senate intelligence committee communications director points out that would raise alarms.”

What the coverage of the Durham Report shows us is why Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was “rigged” or “stolen” is not baseless, as the constantly repeated news media mantra has it. The news media’s biased reporting, and its determination to blur facts and avoid fair analysis, undermined public confidence in his Presidency from the very beginning—before the beginning, in fact. Durham didn’t investigate the news media’s part in this disaster, but its reaction to his report is self-indicting.

The Times and the Post both won Pultizers for reporting on the Russian collusion hoax, despite the fact that their reporting never uncovered the fact that it was a hoax. That’s because, like the FBI, their perception was poisoned by bias, if not a direct partisan agenda. The Durham Report should prompt both papers to return their ill-gotten honors, and they would, if either had any interest in integrity, ethical journalism and earning the public trust.

It won’t, because they don’t

25 thoughts on “Assorted Ethics Observations On The Durham Report, Part I: The News Media

  1. The Rationalizers are already out in force pointing out that an investigation into the Clintons after the revelations in “Clinton Cash” is no different from the Russian Collusion Hoax based on the Steele Dossier.

  2. Gee, shifting through the myriad mechanizations of the Democratic Party during the past decade to parse out only one ethical, if not legal, “crime of the century” would be a herculean task. Just another affirmation that the FBI needs to be restructured top to bottom and its headquarters moved to Kansas City. If you can’t drain the swamp, at least move the swamp creatures to a less prestigious habitat. Top management might even benefit from less rarified air and a good look at real America and real Americans.

    • Kansas City?

      No, how about Sydney, Nebraska. There’s a huge office building the former Cabella’s headquarters once occupied. Plus, plenty of scope-equiped unorganized militia in the area to surround the building for the next Weaver, Waco, Freemen, or Bureau of Land Management standoff.

  3. Run the report past any democrat and they’ll shrug and say something along the lines of “Yeah, but it got Trump, right? Who cares?”

  4. Jack wrote, “The Times and the Post both won Pultizers for reporting on the Russian collusion hoax, despite the fact that their reporting never uncovered the fact that it was a hoax. That’s because, like the FBI, their perception was poisoned by bias, if not a direct partisan agenda.”

    It’s clear to me that those that are purveyors of the political left’s propaganda narratives are rewarded in some way shape or form.

    Jonathan Turley wrote, “Most viewers and readers will be given few details of this report by a media that spent three years pushing this false narrative. It is part of a long pattern that raises troubling questions of a de facto state media in this country.”

    “The political left has shown its pattern of propaganda lies within their narratives so many times since 2016 that it’s beyond me why anyone would blindly accept any narrative that the political left and their lapdog media actively push?” Steve Witherspoon 2022

    I no longer trust anything coming out of a Democratic Party politician’s mouth or anything their lap dog Pravda-USA media outlets present; these people are pure propagandists and liars.

    The political left has made its bed and until they strip the sheets and clear the house of all their propagandists and liars I consider them to be an enemy of the people.

  5. What I’m taking from this is that democrats can commit whatever crimes they want without consequence. The rule of law is dead.

  6. Churning through it now…. Some of it is unsurprising, but it’s nice to see put in language as clear as he used.

    Page 11 (On the Steele Dossier)

    “Our investigation determined that the Crossfire Hurricane investigators did not and could not corroborate any of the substantive allegations contained in the Steele reporting. Nor was Steele able to produce corroboration for any of the reported allegations, even after being offered $1 million or more by the FBI for such corroboration. Further, when interviewed by the FBI in January 2017, Danchenko also was unable to corroborate any of the substantive allegations in the Reports. Rather, Danchenko characterized the information he provided to Steele as rumor and speculation and the product of casual conversation.”

    Page 60 (On opening Crossfire Hurricane)

    “As it relates to predication for opening Crossfire Hurricane as a full investigation, after Strzok and Supervisory Special Agent-1 had traveled to London and interviewed the Australian diplomats on August2, 2016, the following Lync exchange between UKALAT-1 and Supervisory Special Agent – 1 on August 11, 2016 is instructive:

    UKALAT- : Dude, are we telling them [British Intelligence Service] everything we know, or is there more to this?
    Supervisory Special Agent – 1: that’s all we have
    Supervisory Special Agent – 1: not holding anything back
    UKALAT- 1 : Damn that’s thin
    Supervisory Special Agent- 1: I know
    Supervisory Special Agent-1: it sucks

    UK ALAT – 1 went on to tell the Inspection Division that in discussing the matter with a senior British Intelligence Service – 1 official, the official was openly skeptical , said the FBI’s plan for an operation made no sense, and asked UK ALAT- 1 why the FBI did not just go to Papadopoulos and ask him what they wanted to know, a sentiment UK ALAT- 1 told investigators that he shared.

    Later in the Fall of 2016 , UKALAT- 1 was at FBI Headquarters with some of his British Intelligence Service- counterparts . While there , members of the Crossfire Hurricane team played the audio /visual recordings of CHS- 1’s August 20, 2016 meeting with Carter Page . UKALAT – 1 said the effect on the British Intelligence Service – personnel was not positive because of the lack of any evidence coming out of the conversation.266 UKALAT – 1 told the OIG that after watching the video one of his British colleagues said, “For [expletive ] sake , man. You went through a lot of trouble to get him to say nothing.” At a later point in time, after the Mueller Special Counsel team was in place, UKALAT – 1 said that the Brits finally had enough, and in response to a request for some assistance [a British Intelligence Serviceperson] basically said there was “no [expletive] way in hell they were going to do it.””

    What I was surprised about in this passage was how willing the FBI was to burn bridges to get Trump. They knew it was thin, they knew what they were doing was professionally embarrassing, they alienated foreign allies…. But “Muh Norms” and “It’s important how the world views us”.

    Another line I thought of while I was reading through this, I’m at page 74 now, is how Clinton’s Campaign started this – The Campaign hired Steele to get dirt on Trump, but I don’t think even they understood how far it was going to go. This situation snowballed from there due to the overwhelming bias of everyone involved. This crystallized while reading the differences between how Clinton and Trump were treated in regards to defensive briefings:

    Page 72:

    “How these observations can be reconciled with the defensive briefings previously provided to Clinton and others is unclear. The FBI’s decision to conduct defensive briefings in the investigation of Foreign Government-2’s foreign influence efforts is curious given that defensive briefings could reduce the likelihood of success of any investigation into the foreign influence allegations and that candidates and public officials might then be less likely to interact with representatives of Foreign Government 2. The decision to provide defensive briefings to Clinton and others seems to conflict directly with McCabe’s notion that providing a defensive briefing to the Trump campaign could . . eliminate or reduce your ability to get to the bottom of the threat.”

    Ceiling down, or floor up? Should Clinton (and others) not have received defensive briefings, or should Trump have? The difference in standard is irreconcilable.

    Page 80:

    “Once again, the investigative actions taken by FBI Headquarters in the Foundation matters contrast with those taken in Crossfire Hurricane. As an initial matter, the NYFO and investigations appear to have been opened as preliminary investigations due to the political sensitivity and their reliance on unvetted hearsay information (the Clinton Cash book) and CHS reporting. By contrast, the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was immediately opened as a full investigation despite the fact that it was similarly predicated on unvetted hearsay information. Furthermore, while the Department appears to have had legitimate concerns about the Foundation investigation occurring so close to a presidential election, it does not appear that similar concerns were expressed by the Department or FBI regarding the Crossfire Hurricane
    investigation. Indeed, in short order after opening the Crossfire Hurricane file and its four sub files, the FBI was having one of its long-time CHSs meet not with just one Trump campaign associate, but meet and record conversations with three such insiders. And a little more than a month after opening the Crossfire Hurricane file on Page, a senior U.S. law enforcement official was publicly reported as confirming for Michael Isikoff and Yahoo! News that the FBI had Page on its radar screen.

    In the end, the perceived difference between the approaches taken and mindsets of FBI personnel central to both the Clinton and Trump matters is well-captured in a February24, 2016 email between McCabe’s Special Assistant Lisa Page and Strzok. Prior to the FBI’s interview of Clinton in the investigation of her use of a private email server while she was serving as Secretary of State, the following exchange took place:

    Page: One more thing: [Clinton] may be our next president. The last thing you need [is] going in there loaded for bear. You think she’s going to remember or care that it was more doj than fbi?

    Strzok: Agreed”

    Page 82 (On the Clinton Campaign’s Contributions to Crossfire Hurricane):

    “Second, the Clinton Plan intelligence was also highly relevant to the Office’s review and investigation because it was part of the mosaic of information that became known to certain U.S. officials at or before the time they made critical decisions in the Crossfire Hurricane case and in related law enforcement and intelligence efforts . Because these officials relied, at least in part, on materials provided or funded by the Clinton campaign and/or the DNC when seeking FISA warrants against a U.S. citizen (i.e., the Steele Dossier reports ) and taking other investigative steps , the Clinton Plan intelligence had potential bearing on the reliability and credibility of those materials . Put another way , this intelligence taken at face value was arguably highly relevant and exculpatory because it could be read in fuller context , and in combination with other facts , to suggest that materials such as the Steele Dossier reports and the Alfa Bank allegations (discussed below and in greater detail in Section IV.E.1) were part of a political effort to smear a political opponent and to use the resources of the federal government’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies in support of a political objective . The Office therefore examined whether, and
    precisely when , U.S. law enforcement and intelligence officials became aware of the Clinton Plan intelligence ; whether they vetted and analyzed the intelligence to understand its potential significance; and whether those officials, in turn, incorporated the intelligence into their decision-making regarding the investigation of individuals who were part of the Trump campaign and had possible ties to Russian election interference efforts.”

    I never want to hear a Democrat talk about the origins of Hunter’s Laptop ever again.

    And they knew what they were doing was wrong…. If you think what you’re doing is right, you don’t tell your analysts not to record or analyze.

    Page 108 (On the CYA following the Page FISA apps):

    A meeting was then held with Assistant Director Priestap and others . During that meeting, the review team was told to be careful about what they were writing down because issues relating to Steele were under intense scrutiny. Two weeks later, the Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence , Dina Corsi, met with the review team and directed them not to document any recommendations , context , or analysis in the memorandum they were preparing . The instructions , which Headquarters Analyst-3 described as highly unusual concerned the team because analysis is what analysts do. Although the team did not fully adhere to that instruction because of the need to provide context to the team’s findings , they
    did tone down their conclusions in the final memorandum . Headquarters Analyst -3 recalled that a separate briefing on the review was eventually provided by the team in the Deputy Director’s conference room, although Headquarters Analyst-3 could not recall if Deputy Director David Bowdich attended the briefing . Headquarters Analyst-3 did know that Bowdich was aware of the review itself. In this same regard, for a period of time, an FBIOGC attorney( OGC Attorney-1 ) was part of the review team and was present for the meeting with Corsi. He confirmed that the team was told not to write any more memoranda or analytical pieces and to provide their findings orally OGCAttorney – 1 remembered being shocked by the directive from Corsi. OGC Attorney-1 recollection was that Corsi was speaking for FBI leadership, but that she did not say exactly who provided the directive. OGC Attorney-1 advised the Office that what Corsi said was not right in any circumstance, and it was the most inappropriate operational or professional statement he had ever heard at the FBI. OGCAttorney-1 stated that the directive from Corsi was really, really shocking to him and that he was appalled by it. As a result of the incident he ended up walking away from further participation in the review. OGC Attorney-1 said he felt
    guilty about leaving, but he felt he had to do it.”

    What a slog. They’re basically going line by line through the Steele dossier and debunking it. It’s amazing to me how many times Danchenko (Steele’s primary source) did things like say that he was in a place to hear a thing when he wasn’t even in the right country, and Steele (and the FBI) took it all in uncritically.

    Page 154:

    When Steele was interviewed by the FBI in September 2017, he stated, in sum, that Danchenko told him that he (Danchenko) had learned of the Kalugin information after bumping into Kalugin on a Moscow street in August 2016 which was the same time that Dolan received the email from Kalugin indicating that he was leaving for Moscow and being replaced by Andrey Bondarev. However, the Office’s investigation has revealed that Danchenko was present in the United States during the entire month of August 2016.”

    The reality was that he made it up.

    On page 190 now…. None of this shows much of the FBI in a positive light, and while none of it is interesting in laying out how the sausage was made, not much of what happened is new or surprises. I’m learning a few new names though, and the decision not to even interview Dolan stands out.

    There are parts of it that humanize individual agents, I fully empathize with this excerpt from page 197:

    “On October 13, 2016, one week before the initial Page FISA application was submitted to the FISC, two Crossfire Hurricane investigators, Case Agent – 1 (a principal source of information for the Page FISA application) and Special Agent- 2, had the following exchange:

    Case Agent-1: It looks like Mgmt doesn’t want us to do an interview, right now.

    SpecialAgent-2: of course not, that would make too much sense…

    Case Agent-1: Yeah, exactly. We were told by [Supervisory Special Agent- 1] that mgmt wants to see what we get from his meeting with CHS (Monday) and what we see in the FISA.

    Shortly thereafter, the following exchange occurred between Special Agent-2 and Supervisory Special Agent- 1:

    Special Agent- 2 : Yeah Case Agent- 1] says no appetite to interview [Page] either. thats [sic] stupid.

    Supervisory Special Agent- 1: yeah- dude i dont [sic] know why we are even here”

    You and me both, buddy. The footnote to that is wild as well:

    FBI-AAA-EC-00000365 (Lync message exchange between Special Agent – 2 and Supervisory
    Special Agent on 10/13/2016) . FBI records make clear that the decision not to interview Page
    was being driven by the top-echelon of the FBI, including Comey and McCabe. Six months
    later, the following exchanges occurred between Crossfire Hurricane personnel:

    Special Agent- 3 to Supervisory Special Agent- 3 : What’s the over/under on getting the
    approval today from the DD[Deputy Director] ?

    Supervisory Special Agent-3 to Special Agent-3 : I bet you one cocktail of choice the
    approval does NOT come today.

    Case Agent – 1 to Supervisory Special Agent- 3 : Do you think this happens today?

    Supervisory Special Agent – 3 to Case Agent- 1: I already bet [ Special Agent- first name]
    one cocktail of choice the DD sits on it.

    Case Agent toSupervisorySpecialAgent-3 : Question, what’s the hold up with the DD?

    Supervisory Special Agent- 3 to Case Agent- 1: It’s the political sensitivities and the whole
    timing of everything.”

    Page 234… I think I’m getting numb to it all… There are too many snippets of “departure from best practices”, “information was omitted”, “complete fabrication”,

    I mean, back to “useful to have something put so directly” – Page 236:

    “Notably, not one of the damning allegations contained in the Steele reporting was ever corroborated: not the salacious allegations of events at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow, not the allegation of there being a well-developed conspiracy of co-operation between Trump and the Russians, not the allegations of secret meetings involving Page and certain sanctioned Russians(namely, Igor Sechin and Igor Divyekin), and not the allegation of Page serving as Manafort’s conduit for information between the Russians and the Trump campaign. This is true even after the FBI had offered Steele $ 1 million or more for such corroboration and after Danchenko was signed up as an FBI CHS and paid more than $ 220,000 for information on other matters.

    How many fights did we have here where people-who-will-remain-nameless (Chris) fought balls to the wall saying that some of the dossier was true?

    Page 271 (I remember this clown)

    “Sussmann’s congressional testimony concealed and obscured the origins and political nature of his work on the Alfa Bank allegations. Moreover, Sussmann’s testimony was also misleading in that it conveyed the impression to Congress that Sussmann’s only client for the Alfa Bank allegations was Joffe, when in fact he was billing the work to the Clinton campaign. Indeed, during points in the testimony not quoted above, Sussmann was specifically asked if Fusion GPS was his client in these matters. Sussmann’s answer failed to disclose or volunteer that Fusion, in fact, had drafted one of the white papers that Sussmann gave to the FBI. Sussmann also failed to mention that the only client billed for Sussmann’s pre-election work on those allegations was the Clinton campaign.”

    Page 303 – He fed the OIG their own asses:

    “The OIG Review of Crossfire Hurricane says that [we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page. It also says that [w] hile we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the [FBI personnel] , we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems we identified .” David Kris has catalogued statements in the OIG Review like those above and discussed the tension between the statements about the lack of evident bias and the lack
    of explanation for the problems found.

    In this report we have referred to the possible impact of confirmation bias on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Confirmation bias is widely understood as a phenomenon describing how information is processed by individuals and groups . It stands for the general proposition that there is a common human tendency mostly unintentional for people to accept information and evidence that is consistent with what they believe to be true, while ignoring or rejecting information that challenges those beliefs . In short, people tend to give more credence to information that supports what they already believe . The effects of confirmation bias can be amplified in groups operating in situations high stress and under time pressures .

    Throughout the duration of Crossfire Hurricane , facts and circumstances that were inconsistent with the premise that Trump and/ or persons associated with the Trump campaign were involved in a collusive or conspiratorial relationship with the Russian government were ignored or simply assessed away . Indeed, as set forth in Sections IVA.2 and 3 , from even before the opening of Crossfire Hurricane , some of those most directly involved in the subsequent investigation had ( i) expressed their open disdain for Trump , (ii) asked about when they would open an investigation on Trump , and (iii) asserted that they would prevent Trump from becoming President . As discussed throughout this report, our investigation revealed that the
    stated basis for opening a full investigation to determine whether individual (s) associated with the Trump campaign [were] witting of and/ or coordinating activities with the Government of Russia” was seriously flawed . Again, the FBI’s failure to critically analyze information that ran counter to the narrative of a Trump/ Russia collusive relationship exhibited throughout Crossfire Hurricane is extremely troublesome . The evidence of the FBI’s confirmation bias in the matter, includes, at a minimum, the following information that was simply ignored or in some fashion rationalized away:”

    There is a huge list. Unsurprisingly.

    Having slogged through the whole thing… I’m coming away with a few surprising implications.

    I have the impression that not only does Durham believe that Trump was done dirty, but that he isn’t even convinced that the people involved in things like the DNC leak were Russian State actors. The public line is that intelligence officials believe that the hacks were Russian, but no one really knows. This flies in the face of that.

    I understand why the Democrats are downplaying this, there’s nothing good in it for them…. But they don’t have to. There’s a timeliness issue in play here. It’s a lot of very dry material. This isn’t going to change minds. It’s not going to be easily understood. It didn’t have any bombshell revelations. It will not have legs.

    • And sorry for the formatting…. My PDF to Text program struggled with this, I fixed most of it, but what isn’t stands out.

      I’m of the opinion that documents like this should be shared in a searchable, copy/pasteable format, but it’s like no government on Earth agrees with me. If you’re going to search the doc, I’d suggest using single words because the program I used cut out all the spaces. If you have to search multiple words, I’d suggest trying with and without spaces.

        • What was it about a possible Trump administration that sent all these government employees completely around the bend? Are there compromising photos of all of them floating around? I just don’t get it. Sure, they don’t want a stranger running their sand box, but come on, guys. Couldn’t you possibly play nice. Are you running that crooked an operation? Maybe so. And that’s scary. What else are they up to?

          • Nope. No compromising photos. Trump was a threat to the administrative and bureaucratic states. He came into town and told them what HIS foreign policy would be; they would not abide some two-bit reality TV host telling them what the official position on China trade policy or African economic assistance or Latin American drug problems would be. Nope. It’s their policy and Trump needed to get in line. Same with taxes and affirmative action and a host of other big government programs. As a result, he needed to know his place or, as Sen Schumer stated, “”the intelligence community [has] six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,”

            jvb

            • I’ve thought all that, John, but Jeeze, they went absolutely bananas. How many dirty operations are the FBI and CIA running with the knowledge and concurrence of the DOJ? This is shadow government stuff.

              • Maybe we’re supposed to be fine with it because people like Page and Strozek are “experts.” Sheesh. They’re Chicken Littles.

              • It is nuts but the evidence suggests that Trump was way too disruptive to the bureaucratic fiefdom and had to be neutralized. The prosecutions against him are supposed to knee cap him, too.

                jvb

                • Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, I guess. As I’ve said before, I guess not everybody can grow up to be president.

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