2016 Presidential Election

The Brennan factor (2)

Featured image Holman Jenkins finds press coverage of the origin of the FBI counterintelligence investigation wanting. Today he elaborates on this theme in his Wall Street Journal column “The press abets a coverup.” The counterintelligence investigation has been taken over by Robert Mueller. Mueller is to unravel the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the friends of Vladimir Putin. One problem, if the Steele Dossier os taken at face value: only the Clinton »

The Brennan factor

Featured image Today the New York Times has published a column by John Brennan under the headline “President Trump’s Claims of No Collusion Are Hogwash.” Brennan served as Director of the CIA until January 2017 and held the highest security clearance until yesterday. He must know what he is talking about. Looking for the goods, I turn to his column. Here is the nub of the column: The already challenging work of »

The Trump Tower meeting revisited

Featured image Anyone who bothered to read the transcript of Glenn Simpson’s testimony and absorb its contents would have been left with deep suspicions about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting of Donald Trump, Jr. and campaign officials with the connected Russian lawyer. The Russian lawyer met with Simpson before and after the meeting for some reason or other. Now Lee Smith puts the pieces of the puzzle together in an excellent »

FBI fires Peter Strzok

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the FBI has fired Peter Strzok, the anti-Trump man who assured his FBI girlfriend that “we’ll stop” Trump from being president. The FBI’s inspector general concluded that Strzok showed a “willingness to take official action” to hurt Trump’s electoral prospects. Though the inspector general went no further, there is reason to believe that Strzok acted on this “willingness.” Strzok was escorted out of the FBI »

And Ohr

Featured image Devin Nunes called in to speak from the republic of Georgia to speak with Maria Bartiromo on the Fox News Sunday Morning Futures show this morning. The interview previews the testimony of former United States associate deputy attorney general regarding his communications with Christopher Steele after the FBI had supposedly terminated its relationship with him. John Solomon and Byron York have covered the latest revelations regarding Ohr’s involvement in the »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll has a few thoughts on what WHAT TO TELL OUR DAUGHTERS ABOUT THE ELECTION. She writes: I was browsing in Walmart’s meager book department and chanced to spy a slim volume called Madam President. Bwahahaha! I skimmed it in about 15 seconds. I am affirmatively uninterested in GENERAL in voting for someone simply on the basis of the color or shape of xer skin. Specifically, I was not »

Steele, Simpson, and Ohr linked with Russian oligarch

Featured image Byron York reports: Emails in 2016 between former British spy Christopher Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr suggest Steele was deeply concerned about the legal status of a Putin-linked Russian oligarch, and at times seemed to be advocating on the oligarch’s behalf, in the same time period Steele worked on collecting the Russia-related allegations against Donald Trump that came to be known as the Trump dossier. The emails show »

Fake news from the New York Times

Featured image The New York Times breathlessly reports: “President Admits Focus of Trump Tower Meeting Was Getting Dirt on Clinton.” But in portraying this “admission” as news, the Times is playing fast and loose with the English language. In the process, it is dishing out fake news. What Trump acknowledged was that “this was a meeting to get information on an opponent.” In other words, the purpose of holding the meeting, from »

FBI continued to get info from Steele after terminating formal relationship

Featured image Because Christopher Steele, author of the bogus anti-Trump dossier, supplied confidential information to the media, the FBI formally terminated him as a source. Therefore, FBI personnel were not supposed to accept information from him. But Byron York reports that the FBI continued to use Steele as a source. In fact, it did so on 12 separate occasions: [The FBI] devis[ed] a system in which Steele spoke regularly with Bruce Ohr, »

Contra the dross of Doss (4)

Featured image The new issue of the Weekly Standard was published today. It carries no editorial explanation for the discrepancy between executive editor Fred Barnes’s excellent profile of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and the disgraceful cover story disparaging Nunes by one April Doss in the previous issue. I wrote at some length about that disgraceful cover story in part 3 of this series. Although the new issue lacks an explanation »

What the FBI didn’t tell the FISA court

Featured image The release of a heavily-redacted version of the FBI’s application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to wiretap Carter Page triggered a debate over whether the FBI gave the FISA court judges enough information to assess the anti-Trump motives of the people behind the Steele dossier. That dossier was at the core of the FBI’s application. Defenders of the FBI point to a footnote in the FISA application with »

The 2016 election revisited

Featured image The New York Times has posted an extremely detailed map of the 2016 presidential election. It reflects the results of the election by county and includes a few interactive features. Click through the link above to check it out. The map is of course overwhelmingly red, reflecting Republican dominance by area rather than population. Taking a look at blue Minnesota, for example, where Hillary Clinton narrowly defeated Donald Trump by »

Sen. Burr: Sound reasons supported approval of Page FISA warrant

Featured image Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says he believes there were “sound reasons” for judges to approve the FISA warrant on former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. Burr denies that the FISA application filed by the Justice Department “came up short.” It seems to me that there are two distinct questions raised by the FISA application. First, did it provide sufficient basis, on its face, »

The FBI disgraced

Featured image I hold with Byron York that the release of the heavily redacted FISA warrant application documents on Carter Page have vindicated Devin Nunes. By the same token, Andrew McCarthy now judges that the documents disgrace the FBI. As always, Andy knows what he is talking about. His must-read NR column is “FISA Applications Confirm: The FBI Relied on the Unverified Steele Dossier.” With the skills of a natural teacher who »

Saturday night document dump

Featured image We are familiar with the Friday afternoon document dump. It’s a standard tool of political scandal management. What are we to make of the Saturday night document dump by which the Department of Justice delivered the heavily redacted documents comprising the Carter Page FISA warrant application to the New York Times and other news organizations that had sought them under the Freedom of Information Act? Charlie Savage’s New York Times »

Against the hysteria

Featured image Michael Anton puts the “treason” hysteria occasioned by President Trump’s Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin in a larger context (in a Wall Street Journal column also posted here on Outline). Going over ground we have trod many times, Anton writes: [D]oesn’t he have good reason to be cautious about the intelligence community? There’s plenty of evidence of illicit American interference in the 2016 election, all of it to defeat »

What Putin was up to

Featured image In this Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Mukasey questioned the timing of Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians on the eve of the Helsinki summit. I discussed the matter here. In the same op-ed, Mukasey made another important point, one that has influenced my thinking on Russian interference since January 2017, when an experienced intelligence hand articulated it to me: If we know the Russians hacked the Democrats, it’s probably »