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May 31, 2018

Mollie Hemingway and Andrew C. McCarthy Pummel Trey Gowdy's Ignorance and Blind Allegiance to College Guys With Guns

These are worth reading in full and I can only quote a little from each.

I'm giving you the sizzle, mostly, but you'll have to go to the articles for the steak. That is, Hemingway and McCarthy give chapter-and-verse citations to prove (not support-- prove) their conclusions.

But I can't quote all that. Trust me, you should read it all.

MZ Hemingway: How can Trey Gowdy spout off so categorically when he didn't even read the reports?

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) recently suggested the FBI did nothing wrong when it used at least one government informant to secretly collect information on Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Public reports indicate, however, that Gowdy never even reviewed the relevant documents on the matter subpoenaed by Congress. In fact, a spokeswoman for Gowdy told The Federalist that the congressman doesn't even know what documents and records were subpoenaed by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).

...

Although Gowdy intimated that the information he received in a briefing last week made clear the FBI did nothing wrong, numerous reports from multiple news outlets indicated that the lawmakers DOJ invited to the briefing were not given access to all of the records HPSCI subpoenaed. Other comments Gowdy made during recent television interviews raise questions about how firm a grasp he has on the investigation and concerns the investigation has raised.

...


"Sources tell me Gowdy and Nunes did not receive the documents they requested during the noon meeting at DOJ, despite pleas for openness from [White House chief of staff John] Kelly and [Trump attorney Emmett] Flood," CNN reporter Sarah Westwood wrote.

...

When asked by The Federalist whether Gowdy had seen all the documents Congress requested, a spokeswoman for Gowdy repeatedly declined to say what, if any, subpoenaed records Gowdy had reviewed during the roughly hour-long briefing.

Activists and journalists were thrilled with Gowdy's comments exonerating the FBI, claiming they "debunked" any concerns that people have about FBI behavior. CNN’s Manu Raju claimed, without providing evidence, that Gowdy had "seen the intel."


...

Gowdy's curious exoneration of the FBI caught many by surprise given his work on the previous HPSCI report that found widespread abuse of surveillance procedures targeting the Trump campaign.

...

During the interview, however, Gowdy seemed confused or mistaken about simple facts related to the investigation.

She then gets into Gowdy's confusion or ignorance or tactical ignorance over what kind of investigation this actually is.

McCarthy also gets into that as well.

Yes, the FBI Was Investigating the Trump Campaign When It Spied

By ANDREW C. MCCARTHY

May 30, 2018 9:55 PM

Trey Gowdy and Marco Rubio evidently paid little attention to testimony before their own committees on how Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.

Well, well, well.

The bipartisan Beltway establishment has apparently had its fill of this "Trump colluded with Russia" narrative -- the same narrative the same establishment has lustily peddled for nearly two years. The Obama administration recklessly chose to deploy the government's awesome counterintelligence powers to investigate -- and, more to the point, to smear -- its political opposition as a Kremlin confederate. Now that this ploy has blown up on the Justice Department and the FBI, these agencies -- the ones that went out of their way, and outside their guidelines, to announce to the world that the Trump campaign was under investigation --- want you to know the president and his campaign were not investigated at all, no siree.

What could possibly have made you imagine such a thing?

And so, to douse the controversy with cold water, dutifully stepping forward in fine bipartisan fettle are the Obama administration's top intelligence official and two influential Capitol Hill Republicans who evidently pay little attention to major testimony before their own committees.

Former National Intelligence director James Clapper was first to the scene of the blaze. Clapper concedes that, well, yes, the FBI did run an informant --- "spy" is such an icky word -- at Trump campaign officials; but you must understand that this was merely to investigate Russia. Cross his heart, it had nothing to do with the Trump campaign. No, no, no. Indeed, they only used an informant because --bet you didn't know this --doing so is the most benign, least intrusive mode of conducting an investigation.

...

I'll leave it to the reader to imagine the Democrats’ response if, say, the Bush administration had run a covert intelligence operative against Obama 2008 campaign officials, including the campaign’s co-chairman....

Sure!

Then there are Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.), General Clapper's fellow fire extinguishers.

Rubio is a member in good standing of that Washington pillar, the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has had about as much interest in scrutinizing the highly irregular actions of intelligence and law-enforcement officials in the Clinton and Russia probes as Gowdy's Benghazi committee had in revisiting Republican ardor for Obama's unprovoked war on Moammar Qaddafi. (That would be: roughly zero interest.)

Rubio told ABC News that he has seen "no evidence" that the FBI was gathering information about the Trump campaign. Rather, agents "were investigating individuals with a history of links to Russia that were concerning." The senator elaborated that "when individuals like that are in the orbit of a major political campaign in America, the FBI, who is in charge of counterintelligence investigations, should look at people like that."

Gee, senator, when you were carefully perusing the evidence of what the FBI was doing, did you ever sneak a peek at what the FBI said it was doing?

May I suggest, for example, the stunning public testimony by then-director James Comey on March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee -- perhaps Representative Gowdy, who sits on that committee, could lend you the transcript, since he appears not to be using it. Just so we're clear, this is not an obscure scrap of evidence buried within volumes of testimony. It is the testimony that launched the Mueller probe, and that sets (or, better, fails to set) the parameters of that probe -- a flaw the nation has been discussing for a year.

Comey's House testimony was breathtaking, not just because it confirmed the existence of a classified counterintelligence investigation, but because of what the bureau's then-director said about the Trump campaign (my italics):

I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia's efforts. . . .

That is an unambiguous declaration that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign. That is why, for nearly two years, Washington has been entranced by the specter of "Trump collusion with Russia," not "Papadopoulos collusion with Russia."

...

Gowdy's fire truck pulled into Fox News Tuesday night for an interview by Martha MacCallum. An able lawyer, the congressman is suddenly on a mission to protect the Justice Department and the FBI from further criticism. So, when Ms. MacCallum posed the question about the FBI spying on the Trump campaign, Gowdy deftly changed the subject: Rather than address the campaign, he repeatedly insisted that Donald Trump personally was never the "target" of the FBI's investigation. The only "target," Gowdy maintains, was Russia.

...

Second, if Gowdy has been paying attention, he must know that, precisely because the Trump campaign was under investigation, top FBI officials had qualms of conscience over Comey's plan to give Trump a misleading assurance that he personally was not under investigation. If this has slipped Gowdy mind, perhaps Rubio could lend him the transcript of Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee -- in particular, a section Rubio seems not to remember, either.

A little background. On January 6, 2017, Comey, Clapper, CIA director John Brennan, and NSA chief Michael Rogers visited President-elect Trump in New York to brief him on the Russia investigation. Just one day earlier, at the White House, Comey and then–acting attorney general Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration -- President Obama, Vice President Biden, and national-security adviser Susan Rice -- to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.

...

It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign -- not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign -- was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe...

Clearly, the Obama officials did not want Trump to know the full scope of their investigation of his campaign. But just as important, they wanted the investigation -- an "insurance policy" that promised to hamstring Trump’s presidency -- to continue.

So, how to accomplish these objectives? Plainly, the plan called for Comey to put the new president at ease by telling him he was not a suspect. This would not have been a credible assurance if Comey had informed Trump that his campaign had been under investigation for months, suspected of coordinating in Russia's cyber-espionage operation. So, information would be withheld. The intelligence chiefs would tell Trump only about Russia’s espionage, not about the Trump campaign’s suspected "coordination" with the Kremlin. Then, Comey would apprise Trump about only a sliver of the Steele dossier -- just the lurid story about peeing prostitutes, not the dossier’s principal allegations of a traitorous Trump-Russia conspiracy.

As I've previously recounted, this did not sit well with everyone at the FBI. Shortly before he met with Trump, Comey consulted his top FBI advisers about the plan to tell Trump he was not a suspect. There was an objection from one of Comey's top advisers -- we don’t know which one. Comey recounted this disagreement for the Senate Intelligence Committee (my italics):

One of the members of the leadership team had a view that, although it was technically true [that] we did not have a counterintelligence file case open on then-President-elect Trump[,] . . . because we're looking at the potential . . . coordination between the campaign and Russia, because it was . . . President-elect Trump's campaign, this person's view was, inevitably, [Trump’s] behavior, [Trump's] conduct will fall within the scope of that work.

Representative Gowdy and Senator Rubio might want to read that testimony over a few times.

Well, I guess I quoted a lot of that piece. But there's a lot more left behind.

Now, with Hemingway and McCarthy pointing out actual facts that undermine Gowdy's (as well as Rubio's) spin, of course it's time for Deep State Dick-Rider David French to deliver a drooljob to Trey Gowdy and the College Boys With Guns he loves so much.

Trey Gowdy, A Voice of Responsibility and Reason

By DAVID FRENCH

Representative Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) was a guest on CBS This Morning earlier today, and -- quite frankly --he was exactly the voice of responsibility and reason the GOP needs. The Republican counterattacks on the Russia investigation have grown increasingly frenzied and unhinged, growing from legitimate concerns about FISA applications into "worse-than-Watergate”"presumptions that the entire investigation is nothing but a deep-state effort to reverse a presidential election. The phrase "spygate" has taken on a life of its own, far out of proportion to the known facts.

Gowdy was one of a handful of lawmakers who attended a classified briefing last week about the use of an FBI informant (the "spy") to gather information from individuals in the Trump campaign. Gowdy has thus seen more of the relevant information than any of the talking heads you’ll see discuss the matter on cable news, and (critically) he has reputation for fairness and integrity. That combination makes him a uniquely credible voice.

Note that French doesn't cite -- or give any awareness he even knows about -- the fact that Gowdy didn't actually see the documents in question, nor that Comey has in fact testified that Trump was indeed a subject of the investigation and therefore this spy was targeting Trump, and not Russia. (If they were just worried about Russia -- why not give Trump a warning about attempts to infiltrate his campaign? Because, obviously: the Deep State was looking to arrest Trump.)

French, as usual, has no idea what the fuck he's talking about, but he's quite pompous and righteous in babbling nonsense.

Did you guys see when French attempted to rebut McCarthy's chapter-and-verse article noting that the law does not permit a special counsel for an counterintelligence investigation? It was embarrassing. This lawyer, Constitutionalist, and Man of Principle basically just argued, "I don't want to hear about 'facts' and 'statutes,' Poindexter."

(Can anyone find that exchange? I've searched but have come up empty.)

French seems to think he doesn't need to know the actual facts of the matters he's pontificating about because his Blazing Moral Righteousness pierces spears of light through the darkness of his own ignorance.

French strikes me as the kind of "Christian" who sits awake at night waiting for Jesus to pray to him for guidance.

Read a fucking transcript and open the US Code, dummy.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:33 PM

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