Law Barr Assigns U.S. Attorney in Connecticut to Review Origins of Russia Inquiry -

greengrilledcheese

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  • May 13, 2019
WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that President Trump has long called for but that could anger law enforcement officials who insist that scrutiny of the Trump campaign was lawful.
John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials, including the F.B.I.’s ties to a crime boss in Boston and accusations of C.I.A. abuses of detainees.

His inquiry is the third known investigation focused on the opening of an F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign into possible ties between Russia’s election interference and Trump associates.

The department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is separately examining investigators’ use of wiretap applications and informants and whether any political bias against Mr. Trump influenced investigative decisions. And John W. Huber, the United States attorney in Utah, has been reviewing aspects of the Russia investigation. His findings have not been announced.

Additionally on Capitol Hill, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he, too, intends to review aspects of law enforcement’s work in the coming months. And Republicans conducted their own inquiries when they controlled the House, including publicizing details of the F.B.I.’s wiretap use.

Thomas Carson, a spokesman for Mr. Durham’s office, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for the Justice Department. “I do have people in the department helping me review the activities over the summer of 2016,” Mr. Barr said in congressional testimony on May 1, without elaborating.

Mr. Durham, who was nominated by Mr. Trump in 2017 and has been a Justice Department lawyer since 1982, has conducted special investigations under administrations of both parties. Attorney General Janet Reno asked Mr. Durham in 1999 to investigate the F.B.I.’s handling of a notorious informant: the organized crime leader James (Whitey) Bulger.

In 2008, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey assigned Mr. Durham to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes in 2005 showing the torture of terrorism suspects. A year later, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. expanded Mr. Durham’s mandate to also examine whether the agency broke any laws in its abuses of detainees in its custody.

Mr. Barr has signaled his concerns about the Russia investigation during congressional testimony, particularly the surveillance of Trump associates. “I think spying did occur,” he said. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”
His use of the term “spying” to describe court-authorized surveillance aimed at understanding a foreign government’s interference in the election touched off criticism that he was echoing politically charged accusations by Mr. Trump and his Republican allies that the F.B.I. unfairly targeted the Trump campaign.

Last week, the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, defended the bureau, saying he was unaware of any illegal surveillance and refused to call agents’ work “spying.” Former F.B.I. and Justice Department officials have defended the genesis of the investigation, saying it was properly predicated.

Yet Mr. Durham’s role — essentially giving him a special assignment but no special powers — also appeared aimed at sidestepping the rare appointment of another special counsel like Robert S. Mueller III, a role that allows greater day-to-day independence.

Mr. Trump and House Republicans have long pushed senior Justice Department officials to appoint one to investigate the president’s perceived political enemies and why Mr. Trump’s associates were under surveillance.

Mr. Trump’s calls to investigate the investigators have grown after the findings from Mr. Mueller were revealed last month. Mr. Mueller’s investigators cited“insufficient evidence” to determine that the president or his advisers engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia.

The Mueller report reaffirmed that the F.B.I. opened its investigation based on legitimate factors, including revelations that a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, had told a diplomat from Australia, a close American ally, that he was informed that the Russians had stolen Democratic emails.

“It would have been highly, highly inappropriate for us not to pursue it — and pursue it aggressively,” James Baker, who was the F.B.I.’s general counsel in 2016, said in an interview on Friday with the Lawfare podcast.

As part of the early Russia inquiry, the F.B.I. investigated four Trump associates: Mr. Papadopoulos; Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman; Michael T. Flynn, the president’s first national security adviser; and Carter Page, another campaign foreign policy adviser.

Mr. Flynn and Mr. Papadopoulos later pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. as part of the inquiry; Mr. Manafort was also convicted of tax fraud and other charges brought by the special counsel, who took over the investigation in May 2017, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

F.B.I. agents and federal prosecutors also obtained approval from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Mr. Page after he left the campaign. Mr. Trump’s allies have pointed to the warrant as major evidence that law enforcement officials were abusing their authority, but the investigation was opened based on separate information and the warrant was one small aspect in a sprawling inquiry that grew to include more than 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 search warrants and about 500 witness interviews.

Law enforcement officials have also drawn intense criticism for using an informant — a typical investigative step — to secretly report on Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos after they left the campaign and for relying on Democrat-funded opposition research compiled into a dossier by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who was also an F.B.I. informant.

Investigators cited the dossier in a lengthy footnote in its application for permission to wiretap Mr. Page, alerting the court that the person who commissioned Mr. Steele’s research was “likely looking for information to discredit” the Trump campaign.

The inspector general is said to be examining whether law enforcement officials intentionally misled the intelligence court, which also approved three renewals of the warrant. The last application in June 2017 was signed by Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, who defended the decision last month in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Horowitz is also said to be scrutinizing how the F.B.I. handled Mr. Steele and another informant, Stefan A. Halper, an American academic who taught in Britain. Agents asked Mr. Halper to determine whether Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos were in contact with Russians. Mr. Barr has said the inspector general could finish his inquiry in May or June.

Mr. Durham is also investigating whether Mr. Baker made unauthorized disclosures to the news media, according to two House Republicans closely allied with Mr. Trump, Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who disclosed in a letter to Mr. Durham in January that they had learned of that inquiry.

While they implied that it was related to the Russia investigation, another witness in Mr. Durham’s inquiry into Mr. Baker, Robert Litt, the former general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, came forward to say that he had been interviewed and that the investigation has nothing to do with Russia. Mr. Baker said last week that he was confident he had done nothing wrong and would be exonerated.
 

thismanlies

The Funnest Part of Gaming is Looting Corpses.
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The New York Times said:
Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that President Trump has long called for but that could anger law enforcement officials who insist that scrutiny of the Trump campaign was lawful.
One sentence in and they're full of shit. The evidence they took in front of the FISA court was dirty as hell and they fucking knew it.
 

It's HK-47

Meatbag's Bounty of Bodies
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This makes me feel :optimistic: :optimistic: :optimistic: :optimistic: :optimistic: :optimistic: :optimistic: :optimistic: :optimistic: .

Also where is @It's HK-47 on this? I expect more precision from our political robot assassin...
I already said quite awhile ago that after the Mueller report was harmlessly tucked away that they'd be going on the offensive next. All we're going to see now is a slow, gradual march through the public eye to make sure a significant percentage of the population is "up to speed" before the hammer really starts to drop. Don't expect that anytime too soon, though. We probably won't see indictments and convictions until after the 2020 election.

All of the information and investigations for "Russia/Spygate" have already finished a long time ago, it just needs to be IV-dripped into the general population now so it doesn't look like the Mueller report concluded and then immediately everyone on Team B gets thrown in the slammer. That's a great way to cause a panic in the voter blocs moving into 2020. It's much better to slowly roll these things out to make the opposition look like a bunch of tyrannical, power-abusing maniacs, especially if they were actually acting like tyrannical, power-abusing maniacs.

It is interesting though that yet again someone's cropped up who has a history of taking a hammer to the mob and corrupt government officials, and hasn't been the least bit shy to throw punches at the fucking CIA and FBI in the courtroom, and win. It really does feel like the "old team" is getting back together again with every new name that ends up dropping. Neat.
 
I already said quite awhile ago that after the Mueller report was harmlessly tucked away that they'd be going on the offensive next. All we're going to see now is a slow, gradual march through the public eye to make sure a significant percentage of the population is "up to speed" before the hammer really starts to drop. Don't expect that anytime too soon, though. We probably won't see indictments and convictions until after the 2020 election.

All of the information and investigations for "Russia/Spygate" have already finished a long time ago, it just needs to be IV-dripped into the general population now so it doesn't look like the Mueller report concluded and then immediately everyone on Team B gets thrown in the slammer. That's a great way to cause a panic in the voter blocs moving into 2020. It's much better to slowly roll these things out to make the opposition look like a bunch of tyrannical, power-abusing maniacs, especially if they were actually acting like tyrannical, power-abusing maniacs.

It is interesting though that yet again someone's cropped up who has a history of taking a hammer to the mob and corrupt government officials, and hasn't been the least bit shy to throw punches at the fucking CIA and FBI in the courtroom, and win. It really does feel like the "old team" is getting back together again with every new name that ends up dropping. Neat.
I suppose that's logical and sensible if one assumes the events of the 2020 elections won't hijack these investigations. I also don't like the idea that I have to give Trump a second term to see this through, although I will vote for him anyway...

Plus I want something to happen now, not years from now.

But thanks for the sober take on the subject.
 

Sprig of Parsley

kiwifarms.net
So at the risk of being a huge wet blanket... is it possible in any way that the shaky ground on which the 4th currently stands due to things like the PATRIOT Act would basically smother anything tied to wiretaps or similar in the crib? I was under the very-hazy impression that the PATRIOT Act was basically a carte-blanche "I do what I want" from any sort of governmental agency engaged in such behavior.
 

ICametoLurk

SCREW YOUR OPTICS, I'M GOING IN
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This is a substitution to reality, to make it conform with idealogical biases, and it certainly isn't useless, it functions very well as mental crutch to avoid having to deal with the realities of having lost to trump, of having to deal with the consequences of "pragmatic politics" where "the deplorables" can be sacrificed, for the "better people."

Russia-gate isn't really about Russia, it's a placeholder for a indirect political discourse, Putin is almost a mythological character at this point. You know there are other indirect political discourses for example the stuff about Aliens, Lizard-people.

It's funny if Her Turn lost because of some posts on the Internet. I mean, if Hillary lost because of the Free Market of Ideas...doesn't that mean that people didn't want it?
 

TowinKarz

Thoroughly Unimpressed
kiwifarms.net
One sentence in and they're full of shit. The evidence they took in front of the FISA court was dirty as hell and they fucking knew it.
It's why nobody in the DOJ will fess up to having read the application before mailing it in.... they KNEW it was garbage, but they honestly thought it would dig up dirt on Trump so bad that everyone would overlook HOW it got dug up.... They probably thought there'd be a bit of humorous irony in the fact that all Trump's illegal dealings, the ones that would surely get him impeached, would be noted in the history books to be the result of a "good faith" investigation that was jump-started on a lie, er "informant tip that was never fully verified", yeah, that's it.

The big fish they'd bring back would make the fact the fishing license was paid for with a bounced check silly and inconsequential.

So SURE were they their enemy was corrupt, they felt it was "only fair" to be just as corrupt in pursuit of them, since they were out for the greater good and on the right side of history and all that...... they'd be vindicated when things TEN TIMES WORSE were turned up. Except it didn't happen and now all the things they did wrong have no justification at all to stave off inevitable prosecution and/or firing.

Shades of Watergate, but instead of burglarizing the place at night, they lied to the Judge to get a warrant to toss it in broad daylight...... they promised the public they'd be bringing out laundered money by the wheelbarrow load and six live Russian agents in chains.... and all they got was, a fire code violation for a box left too close to a door.....
 
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crocodilian

K. K. K. Rool
kiwifarms.net
I already said quite awhile ago that after the Mueller report was harmlessly tucked away that they'd be going on the offensive next. All we're going to see now is a slow, gradual march through the public eye to make sure a significant percentage of the population is "up to speed" before the hammer really starts to drop.
As much as I would enjoy that, I'm not sure you realize just who this particular trail of bread crumbs would implicate if any foul play is confirmed.

At best you might see some Democrat patsy literally-who get the book thrown at him for "the Russian Collusion scandal", as if they alone were responsible. But I'm pretty confident any attempts to dig deeper, or bring about some actual justice, would result in another generation of Americans seeing their president shot live on-air.
 

PantsFreeZone

Smartest monkey on the spinning space rock
kiwifarms.net
As much as I would enjoy that, I'm not sure you realize just who this particular trail of bread crumbs would implicate if any foul play is confirmed.

At best you might see some Democrat patsy literally-who get the book thrown at him for "the Russian Collusion scandal", as if they alone were responsible. But I'm pretty confident any attempts to dig deeper, or bring about some actual justice, would result in another generation of Americans seeing their president shot live on-air.
It's been speculated that Trump replaced all of his security and security operations staff on day one with a bunch of JSOC badasses who even the old guard Secret Service have to report to and might be responsible for having thwarted attempts (one was when he didn't go to the tomb in France during a heavy rain) already.

And if the same people trying to kill him are the ones that ran the post-Hillary coup, he'll be fine.
 

It's HK-47

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As much as I would enjoy that, I'm not sure you realize just who this particular trail of bread crumbs would implicate if any foul play is confirmed.

At best you might see some Democrat patsy literally-who get the book thrown at him for "the Russian Collusion scandal", as if they alone were responsible. But I'm pretty confident any attempts to dig deeper, or bring about some actual justice, would result in another generation of Americans seeing their president shot live on-air.
Your Imgur link is broken but I still know exactly whose picture it is, and yes I'm completely aware of who was at the "top of the ladder." But between the meeting with Strzok and Page, the email left by Susan Rice and the recent revelation that his administration knew about the unsecured Clinton server much longer than they'd originally let on: He wasn't smart enough to not leave a paper trail behind. He's directly implicated in this.
 

GrungyLawnChlorinate

confirmed hairless and stable
kiwifarms.net
Your Imgur link is broken but I still know exactly whose picture it is, and yes I'm completely aware of who was at the "top of the ladder." But between the meeting with Strzok and Page, the email left by Susan Rice and the recent revelation that his administration knew about the unsecured Clinton server much longer than they'd originally let on: He wasn't smart enough to not leave a paper trail behind. He's directly implicated in this.
Remove the i. from the link and it works.

the insurance policy.jpg
 

It's HK-47

Meatbag's Bounty of Bodies
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
e701d0c7eab3a55850d6ce6bb2bb31ed.png


And just like that, out come all the usual suspects to scream bloody murder over a prosecutor with an immaculate record the second that he's appointed to do something that they don't like. None of these people had any fucking clue who Durham even was before yesterday, and I'd bet good money that even fewer of them could tell you who Whitey Bulger was, or how Durham was even important to that investigation.
 
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