Check-in 12/19/2017

It’s not exactly a daily update at this point, but just as I thought I was feeling better, I got hit with another bout of the cold.  That, combined with trying to get everything done for the holidays and working a crazy shift this month, has really been kicking my butt lately.

That being said, I wanted to talk about four stories that came out over the last few days, and how they tie to Russia.

MUELLER OBTAINS TENS OF THOUSANDS OF EMAILS FROM TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM THROUGH THE GSA.

The big story that came out this weekend was a report from Axios where they reported that Mueller’s team had gained access to the Trump Transition Team emails back in September from the GSA, the General Services Administration.  This came after a lot of chatter about Trump was looking for ways to fire Mueller.  In response, Jared’s new lawyer/PR firm sent a letter to Congress saying that what Mueller did was wrong, that they get to claim a bunch of privileges that don’t apply, and asking them to make a law to protect the Trump family.

This was a warning shot from Mueller’s team.  It says “If you try anything, you’re done.  We will destroy you and everything you know and love.”

First, a little background…

The Presidential Transition Team, or PTT, is a government functionary that works to ensure a smooth transition of power from one executive to the next, and the PTT works to help the incoming President set up their cabinet, choose appointments, set up offices, and do a bunch of other logistical stuff.

To accomplish these tasks, the PTT is given a series of government emails with the @ptt.gov domain range.  These emails, like almost all government emails accounts, are maintained by the GSA.

When logging in to a federal computer, there’s a big, obnoxious warning screen that says this is a government computer, anything done on this is public property, and don’t expect even a modicum of privacy, because the GSA will comply with any and all requests for information from law enforcement because if you’re stupid enough to do something illegal here, you deserve to get caught.

Ok, that last part was hyperbole, but it might as well say it.  There is no expectation of privacy or privilege on these machines, or with these accounts.

So, when Trump appointed an attorney from his transition team, Richard Beckler, as the GSA General Counsel, people thought it was a little fishy.  Turns out, it was White fin Tuna…really fishy.  Beckler, a partner with Rudy Giuliani’s law firm,  was appointed to stop any attempts by Law Enforcement from getting Trump’s emails, by employing whatever move he could to keep those mails from getting out.

And he would have succeeded, too, if it wasn’t for this little thing called Death.  He died of Pancreatic Cancer in late September, and left his post for a medical leave in August.

One thing he didn’t do before that was completely lock down the @ptt.gov emails.  So, when Mueller’s team rolled in to the GSA on September 1st with the proper paperwork, they handed over about 60,000 mails from at least 13 accounts related to the leadership.

Look at the date…September 1st.  This story came out December 15th.  For 3 and a half months, the Special Counselor’s office had the emails of the Presidential Transition Team, and interviewed many members of that team, using their emails against them.

Also, the response letter was laughable.  They tried to claim multiple types of privileges that counteracted each other, and that weren’t in place at the time anyway.  Plus, it was sent to Congress.  Not to the DOJ, not to the courts, but to Congress.

Finally, the last piece of irony from this story…

The same people that were cheering on the Russians and Wikileaks for releasing the stolen emails of the Democratic National Convention are now crying foul that the Special Counselor’s office used legal means to obtain emails located in the public domain.

It’s almost like they don’t want Law Enforcement to do their job.

 

FBI WARNED TRUMP TEAM THAT RUSSIANS WOULD TRY TO INFILTRATE HIS TEAM

Speaking of Law Enforcement doing their jobs, the FBI warned both the Trump and Clinton campaigns back in July 2016 that foreign adversaries, especially Russians, would try to reach out to both campaigns and try to infiltrate them.  If any Russians do contact them, they should tell the FBI immediately.

That was the message from July 2016.  Around the same time that the FBI began a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump Campaign, and their connections to Russia.

They were warned, they were informed, and they were told to disclose all of their contacts up that point, but they didn’t.  Instead, they went further into the rabbit hole.

This blows away any chance they had of saying “we didn’t know we couldn’t do that.”  The FBI told them they can’t.

And yet they persisted…

 

JILL STEIN UNDER INVESTIGATION BY SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE

Ohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboyohboy.

Jill Stein has been a very naughty lady.

First, there’s the whole Russian Asset thing where she participated in a debate on their channel and has accepted payment from RT to appear at one of their celebratory dinners and SAT AT THE SAME TABLE WITH VLADIMIR PUTIN.

Next, there’s the weird strategy she employed in her campaign.  Instead of focusing on large metropolitan areas where Progressives congregate like New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco, she instead took to the road in the swing states that were toss-ups between Trump and Clinton, like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.  All she would do in those states would be to take votes from Clinton, not Trump.

Then, she’s been VERY friendly when talking about Russia over the past couple years.  Almost as friendly as Trump is to Putin.

Finally, there’s the vote tally audit/recount debacle.  Remember who it was after the election that took up the call to lead a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania?  It wasn’t Hilary Clinton, but Jill Stein.

Jill Stein raised more than $10 million in donations to pursue the legal challenges in those states to institute a recount.  But things went sideways.

Not only did she find new and interesting ways to screw up the recount, including stopping payment halfway through the process, but she started questioning the authenticity of the whole process.

This CF lasted long enough so that no one else could have raised a challenge if they wanted to.

She cockblocked the recount, and made off with most of the money.

I wonder if anyone else will try that…

 

HOUSE REPUBLICANS READY TO END RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Why am I not surprised?

The House Intelligence Committee Republicans, lead by “Dipshit Cowpoke” Devin Nunes, and other members of the PTT (whose emails are in the possession of the Special Counselor) have stopped scheduling witnesses for the committee to interview.

It’s pretty obvious at this point that some of these people are covering their own asses.  They thought that they could get away with their crimes, but they can’t.  So, their next best attempt will be to end the investigation early.

They’re using the excuse of the end of the year as a chance to end things on their own terms, but all this is doing is signalling to Mueller that there’s some co-conspirators over in the House.

The Russian Investigation has so far produced 4 people being indicted, and 2 people being convicted of felonies.  Yet, somehow, the Republican members of the HIC can’t seem to find evidence of a crime.

 

WRAP-UP

That’s it for now.  Hopefully, I’ll be back to normal before too long.

There’s a few rumors floating around right now which caught my attention.

The first, and biggest, is the continuous talk about Trump looking to get rid of Mueller, and how he’s been throwing Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein under the bus recently to prepare the battlefield for his attempt to fire him.  There’s a chance that it could happen this Friday, the 22nd, using the Christmas Holiday to hide it.  If it does happen, expect a world of shit to unfurl.

The second rumor isn’t anything new, but a semi-confirmation of a previous rumor.  A few months ago, Louise Mensch reported that Fox News was under investigation, as an entity and several individual members, for their role in spreading Russian propaganda.  John Schindler (@20Committee) tweeted that multiple outlets were under investigation, not just Fox News.  It’s still not enough to expect WaPo to run with a story about it tomorrow, but don’t be surprised if by May we start seeing this in the news.

I have a few stories I want to write before the end of the year, including how screwed up 2017 has been, and all of the things I’ve done this year that I never thought I’d do.  I’m not a fan of clip shows or rehash posts, so don’t expect a “Best Of”, but I also want to update the Russian Hypothesis article as well with updated information.  Also on the queue is why I think that Bill Browder is a great man who will inevitably lead the world into war with Russia.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

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