Russia investigation

Still waiting

Featured image In her weekly Wall Street Journal column yesterday Kim Strassel wondered if the FBI would come clean about the origin of the 2016 Trump investigation. She noted that a House resolution had set yesterday “as the deadline for the Justice Department to come clean on the beginning of its investigation into the Trump campaign.” If the subpoenaed documents were produced by the end of the day, we would “find out »

In the Concord Management case

Featured image Earlier this week the pseudonymous Techno Fog posted the transcript of the June 15 hearing before Judge Dabney Friedrich in the Special Counsel prosecution of Concord Management and Consulting (“the Russian troll case,” as TF calls it). TF extracts every bit of interest from the transcript in a series of tweets beginning with the one below. I have posted the 33-page transcript itself at the bottom. New – transcript of »

Poll: Americans approve of Trump’s handling of most key domestic issues

Featured image A new poll by the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard (CAPS) and The Harris Poll places President Trump’s approval rating at 47 percent. That’s the highest the number has been in more than a year, though it isn’t great. But Trump’s approval rating on key issues and subject areas may be more consequential than his general approval rating. Why? Because if Americans like the job he’s doing on, »

Intel committee concludes…

Featured image Today comes word that the Senate Intelligence Committee has affirmed the conclusion of the intelligence community that Russia developed a “clear preference” for then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election and sought to help him win the White House. Here, for example, is the Hill’s report on the committee findings, with the note that the committee’s assessment, announced in an unclassified summary released today, “represents a direct repudiation of the »

The Brennan factor

Featured image I have followed the Trump-Russia collusion farce obsessively, but I forget the critical role played by institutions other than the FBI in the still mysterious origin of the counterintelligence investigation. In his Wall Street Journal column this past Saturday, Holman Jenkins reminds us of the role of James Comey, to be sure, but also of CIA Director John Brennan and of DNI James Clapper as well: The FBI’s Mr. Comey, »

Manafort’s Judge Blasts Special Counsel Practices

Featured image On Tuesday, Judge T.S. Ellis of the Eastern District of Virginia denied Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss the criminal charges that have been brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller. Simply put, Manafort’s argument was that the charges against him–essentially, tax evasion with regard to millions of dollars he received from the Ukraine government–long preceded, and had nothing to do with, the supposed subject of Mueller’s investigation, alleged collusion »

House Vote Adds to Pressure on DOJ

Featured image The Department of Justice has been stonewalling requests for information from both House and Senate committees for about a year, perhaps in hopes that the Democrats will win the midterm elections and all investigations will go away. The committees, which are charged with oversight over DOJ, have shown remarkable–in my view, inexplicable–patience. But that patience is running out. A little while ago, the House adopted a resolution along party lines, »

Rod Rosenstein: It ain’t me, babe

Featured image In the House Judiciary Committee hearing this morning, Rep. Jim Jordan grilled Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about information improperly withheld or redacted from documents produced to the House in the Trump-Russia collusion investigations. Rosenstein smirked and explained that it’s not his fault. Rosenstein wanted it known that he just supervised the hired hands responsible for the work (video below). That might be a reasonable response if Rosenstein could say »

In search of the origin (3)

Featured image Disgraced former FBI counterintelligence head Peter Strzok is a key witness to the origin of the investigation culminating in the Mueller Switch Project, and he is a Trump hater in the first degree. Yesterday he appeared behind closed doors for questioning by the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. It is tough to come by news of his appearance. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte ducked out briefly during the tenth »

In search of the origin (2)

Featured image Lee Smith is a keen and sober analyst of matters including the Mueller Switch Project. Having pieced together public evidence and related interviews, he speculates that the Mueller probe represents the culmination of a series of FBI stings on the Trump campaign. This is the burden of Lee’s RealClearPolitics column “Seven mysterious preludes to the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe.” It’s an important column that should remain of interest as more evidence »

In search of the origin

Featured image House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has sought documents and information bearing on the origin of the Trump-Russia counterintelligence investigation. The official origin of the probe is dated July 31, 2016, yet the FBI had its wheels in spin well before then. At RealClearPolitics Lee Smith has now set forth “The Mysterious Seven Preludes of the FBI’s Trump-Russia Probe.” The House subpoenaed relevant documents. The Department of Justice dragged its »

Mark Warner yuks it up

Featured image Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and Daniel Lippman led the daily Politico Playbook yesterday with this item under the heading: “Overheard at the DSCC retreat on Martha’s Vineyard.” They noted: SEN. MARK WARNER (D-Va.) hosted a dinner Friday night for more than 100 guests at his house on Martha’s Vineyard as part of the DSCC’S annual Majority Trust retreat. OVERHEARD: Warner, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, joking to »

Mueller mulls it over

Featured image The Mueller Switch Project has turned into a tedious farce. Thomas Lifson puts it this way: “The Mueller special counsel investigation purportedly was instigated to discover possible illicit Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election but now is backing away from the only indictments aimed at Russian entities, leaving only alleged process crimes (such as General Flynn’s alleged false statement to the FBI) and alleged crimes that occurred long before »

Poll: Public approval of Mueller is declining

Featured image A new poll conducted by CNN finds that only 41 percent of Americans approve of Robert Mueller’s handling of the Russia investigation. 39 percent disapprove. 1,012 people participated in the survey. At the start of the year, 47 percent approved of Mueller’s handling and only 33 percent disapproved. As recently as early May, the split was 44-38 in Mueller’s favor. An investigation is not a popularity contest. Nor does low »

Strzok escorted from FBI building

Featured image The FBI reportedly escorted Peter Strzok out of its building today. Strzok remains an FBI employee, pending the outcome of a disciplinary review. That’s as it should be. Strzok shouldn’t be fired without due process. However, I’m not sure why it took so long to kick him out of the building. His email messages, on their face, should have been sufficient to have him placed him on administrative leave (or »

Trey Gowdy, We’re Going to Miss You

Featured image Today the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees held a joint hearing on the DOJ Inspector General’s report on corruption in the FBI and the Department of Justice. No doubt more highlights will emerge, but for now, watch Congressman Trey Gowdy question IG Michael Horowitz. Gowdy does a beautiful job of tying together the now-familiar FBI text exchanges with the issues of bias, the effect of that bias on the Clinton »

Strzok Speaks

Featured image Or promises to, anyway. Peter Strzok’s lawyer says there is no need to subpoena him, he will testify voluntarily before the House Judiciary Committee and any other committee that will have him. And he won’t plead the Fifth, either: The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other »