We live in interesting times: Wingnuttia is planning—in public!—how to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Essentially it is the Saturday Night Massacre script from Watergate. Fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (because Jefferson Beauregard ‘Stonewall’ Sessions III recused himself from all things Russian investigation) and put someone new in charge to carry out the deed.
And the entire plan, as I understand it, depends upon dim bulb Rep. David Nunes secret memo being released to the public. Let’s twig through it…
The Justice Dept. went to a FISA judge in 2016 to get a warrant for surveillance of weirdo blabbermouth Carter Page; Justice believed that Page was a Russian agent (no d’uh?), so the standard procedure was to go to a FISA judge to get a warrant.
In the memo, Nunes accuses that the evidence that DOJ gave the FISA judge was the so-called Steele dossier, which as we know has a complicated, Marvel Comics-esque, origin story: it started with funding from the far-right Washington Free Beacon and it ends up as a project from the DNC. Go figure: everyone was Never Trump at somepoint, but I digress.
Nunes’ is trying to imply that Rosenstein used partisan material to get a warrant to spy on Candidate Stupid’s campaign aide. And therefore Rosenstein must be fired (or otherwise forced to spend more time with his family).
So what? The FISA Judge agreed that Page deserved observation.
Anyway, the current strategy is to release the
Kraken Memo! The DOJ is against releasing it, not because they are worried about themselves, but because the memo itself contains some classified information.
And now the fun starts:
“President Donald Trump’s frustrations with the Russia investigation boiled over on Air Force One last week when he learned that a top Justice Department official had warned against releasing a memo that could undercut the probe, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.
“Trump erupted in anger while traveling to Davos after learning that Associate Attorney General Stephen Boyd warned that it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release a classified memo written by House Republican staffers. The memo outlines alleged misdeeds at the FBI and Justice Department related to the Russia investigation.
“For Trump, the letter was yet another example of the Justice Department undermining him and stymieing Republican efforts to expose what the president sees as the politically motivated agenda behind Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
“…Trump warned Sessions and others they need to excel at their jobs or go down as the worst in history, the two people said.”
Reliable Sources picks up the thread from conservative media:
|McCabe’s departure and the expected release of the Nunes memo are being celebrated by pro-Trump TV hosts. Now they’re promising more to come. Re: the FISA abuses alleged in the secret GOP memo, Tucker Carlson said at 8pm, “These are serious allegations. They are more troubling than the underlying crime in Watergate, that’s for sure. You don’t have to be a Trump voter to understand why the political use of intelligence and law enforcement agencies can destroy a country almost faster than anything else can. Yet Democrats don’t care.”
Actually, Democrats see law enforcement being politicized right now — by Trump. Anyway, I think it’s critical to understand what Fox is telling millions of viewers, including the president, at this tumultuous time. Michael Caputo to Tucker: “Barack Obama weaponized the DOJ.” Jeanine Pirro to Hannity: McCabe “needs to be taken out in cuffs.” Joe DiGenova to Laura Ingraham: “This is the worst period in the history of the bureau.”
Seb Gorka took home the over-the-top prize. He invoked the abuses of power that provoked America’s birth — “It was about tea tax. It was about stationing troops on private property without permission” — and said “this is 100 times bigger!” He went on: “This is our government spying on political adversaries. This is federal law enforcement officials obstructing justice…”
Axios morning email thingie:
But take the known knowns — 10 undisputed facts — and the smoke clears considerably:
- At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the Trump campaign, chaired by Paul Manafort (since indicted), worked behind the scenes to weaken the party platform’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine.
- “Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting.”
- Top Trump campaign officials met at Trump Tower with sketchy Russians who had offered dirt on Hillary Clinton.
- On Air Force One, Trump helped his son, Don Jr., prepare a misleading statement about the meeting.
- Trump, contradicting what his staff had said earlier, told NBC he fired FBI Director James Comey because of “this Russia thing.”
- Michael Flynn, later Trump’s first national security adviser, talked privately about sanctions with the Russian ambassador during the transition, then denied it to Vice President Pence.
- Flynn (who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI) failed to disclose payments from Russia-linked entities. Trump has repeatedly defended Flynn.
- During the transition, Jared Kushner spoke with the Russian ambassador “about establishing a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and Moscow.”
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a U.S. senator, spoke twice the Russian ambassador, then didn’t disclose the contacts during his confirmation hearing.
- When Bob Mueller was named special counsel, Republicans widely praised him.
Be smart: No sane person looking at those known knowns would say this is a crazy investigation.
So… that’s where things stand right now; essentially it is like middle school note passing, except with very serious implications for our government and democratic institutions. We are rapidly heading not just for a Constitutional Crisis, we are headed towards becoming a banana republic with a Mango-Hued Shitgibbon in chief.
So… anyone want to wager some Quatloos about what Mueller is thinking right about now?
UPDATE 1: Sweet Jeebus!