Saturday, February 10, 2018

Dawn breaks

Andrew McCarthy, a former Justice Department official who is the big legal mind at National Review, has spent a lot of time over the past year throwing cold water on claims that there was skulduggery afoot at DOJ under the Obama administration. He couldn't believe or imagine his old pals would be hacks and criminals. They would never abandon integrity, would they? Not them!

Well, he's starting to figure it out:

In May 2017, as I have detailed (here), Steele was required to respond to interrogatories. He emphasized that his dossier allegations were “raw intelligence” that was “unverified” and “warranted investigation.” He further described his reports as “limited intelligence” that described mere “indications” of “possible” coordination between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. He was not in a position to vouch for the accuracy of what he’d been told, he explained; he passed it along because it needed further investigation.

Yet, far from reporting Steele’s retreat to the FISA court, Grassley and Graham report that the FBI and Justice Department continued vouching for the reliability of his allegations.

Beyond all that, we now learn through the senators’ memo, and some follow-up reporting, that two longtime Clinton cronies, Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal, fed their own anti-Trump dossier to Steele, through a State Department official, Jonathan Winer. In the fall of 2016, Steele, while working on his Clinton-funded project, reported this Clinton-crony information to the FBI.

Still, the FBI and Justice Department elected not to tell the FISA court that the Clinton campaign was paying for Steele’s unverified, unverifiable anti-Trump research.

I spent many months assuring people that nothing like this could ever happen — that the FBI and Justice Department would not countenance the provision to the FISA court of uncorroborated allegations of heinous misconduct. When Trump enthusiasts accused them of rigging the process, I countered that they probably had not even used the Steele dossier. If the Justice Department had used it in writing a FISA warrant application, I insisted that the FBI would independently verify any important facts presented to the court, make any disclosures that ought in fairness be made so the judge could evaluate the credibility of the sources, and compellingly demonstrate probable cause before alleging that an American was a foreign agent.  
I was wrong.
Yes. Yes, you were. I was, too. I'm still not crazy about many things Donald Trump does, but there's no evidence he would sink to the level of his predecessors, levels that are now amply documented, if not yet widely disclosed. To be fair, McCarthy wasn't nearly as much of a NeverTrumper as some of his colleagues at NR, but he made common cause with them. The scales have fallen from his eyes.

I continue to wait for the rest of the NeverTrumpers to understand that, in their zeal to condemn the uncouth orange haired-occupant of the Oval Office, in their bien pensant efforts to signal their own virtue, that they are in the same camp with people who spent the period of 2009-2017 wiping their asses with the Constitution. If you want to pretend you are principled, it is best you don't hang out with vipers like James Comey. They may have been your colleagues, but they were never your friends.


Gino said...

if you really believed that Trump was the next Hitler, what course would you take to stop him?

i never believed the aspiring dictator narrative that the left, along with their cronies on the right, tried to peddle. we have safeguards, both institutional and cultural, as a bulwark to such things.

we have a constitutional process that, when followed, is designed to prevent such things. these people were sworn to protect, defend and preserve that process. they did not, and now we have a real constitutional crises.

there is an old rule of internet discussion, that the loser is the first one to mention a nazi comparison. Trump won the argument when he descended the escalator at Trump tower.

these 'soldiers of the realm' are no different than soldiers in the field who commit atrocity against civilians.
they must be brought to justice, or there will never be justice again.

there are real nazi types in our govt, and we need to drive them out.

Mr. D said...

I never thought Trump was a Nazi. I did think he might be a fraud and I worried that he would be a disappointment, because I assumed he wouldn't fight and that he would cut deals with the existing devils. All the calliope music aside, he has been fighting many of the battles that need to be fought. There are three years left in his first term, and it could still all go sideways, but you have to give him credit for what he has accomplished. And if he can make progress draining the swamp this year, it will be a huge (yuge?) accomplishment.

Gino said...

I did think he might be a fraud and I worried that he would be a disappointment, because I assumed he wouldn't fight and that he would cut deals with the existing devils.

yes, we had those exchanges. I saw nothing to lose after being sold out by so many of the more polite class.
could it still go sidewise? of course, just ask to two central casting Bush POTUSs, who both failed to land sunny side up.

Petercorp said...

Trump's way too opportunistic to be almost every label that has been thrown in his direction. He never would have been able to climb as high as he has if he was most of any of them. Unless he was a part of some conspiracy. I even heard a socialist friend of my roommate say that he was put in place by the powers that be to make people think that we still have a choice. I almost choked on my dinner. I had to file it under her green hair at her age is a hint as to her being clueless, and what people have to tell themselves to cope with not getting their way