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In a time of universal deceit, demanding actual evidence of Trump wrongdoing is a revolutionary act

In a time of universal deceit, demanding actual evidence of Trump wrongdoing is a revolutionary act

There isn’t a grain of salt large enough to take anonymously-sourced media reports on Trump

I’m so old, I remember when the breaking news was that James Comey was fired because he sought additional resources from the Department of Justice for the Russia investigation.

The New York Times broke the story on May 10, 2017, Days Before Firing, Comey Asked for More Resources for Russia Inquiry:

Days before he was fired as F.B.I. director, James B. Comey asked the Justice Department for more prosecutors and other personnel to accelerate the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

It was the first clear-cut evidence that Mr. Comey believed the bureau needed more resources to handle a sprawling and highly politicized counterintelligence investigation.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/us/politics/comey-russia-investigation-fbi.html?_r=0

The Washington Post reported the story also on May 10, 2017, so it must have been true since the two major newspapers in the country were saying it was so, Comey sought more resources for Russia probe days before he was fired by President Trump, officials say:

Last week, then-FBI Director James B. Comey requested more resources from the Justice Department for his bureau’s investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, according to two officials with knowledge of the discussion.

Comey, who was fired by President Trump on Tuesday, made the request in a meeting last week with Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, and later briefed the chair and Democratic ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, the officials said…..

The news was first reported by the New York Times.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/05/10/comey-sought-more-money-for-russia-probe-days-before-he-was-fired-officials-say/?utm_term=.3991def7c229

Reuters, NBC News, and many other major news organizations ran the story.

But it turns out the story was not true. DOJ immediately denied the story as did the Acting Director of the FBI.

That denial apparently was confirmed yesterday in closed-door testimony by Rod Rosenstein:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday that contrary to recent media reports, he wasn’t aware of any request from the FBI for additional resources on its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“I am not aware of any such request. Moreover, I consulted my staff and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and none of them recalls such a request,” Mr. Rosenstein told House members in an all-member briefing, according to prepared remarks released by the Justice Department.
Lawmakers who were in the briefing seized on Mr. Rosenstein’s testimony as proof that some of the reports surrounding the circumstances of FBI Director James B. Comey’s firing weren’t accurate.

“There was a lot of reporting … claiming, wrongfully, that Director Comey had requested additional resources from Mr. Rosenstein with regards to the Russia investigation,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York Republican. “Mr. Rosenstein said that’s not true.”

“He’s asked others at DOJ,” Mr. Zeldin said. “None of the people he spoke to have received that request from Director Comey requesting additional resources for the Russia investigation. I asked him specifically, ‘Is that unclassified?’ He said yes.

A different type of invented news was published last night by CNN, First on CNN: Comey now believes Trump was trying to influence him, source says

Former FBI Director James Comey now believes that President Donald Trump was trying to influence his judgment about the Russia probe, a person familiar with his thinking says, but whether that influence amounts to obstruction of justice remains an open question.

“You have to have intent in order to obstruct justice in the criminal sense,” the source said, adding that “intent is hard to prove.”
Comey will testify publicly before the Senate intelligence committee after Memorial Day, the panel’s leaders announced Friday.
The central question at that blockbuster hearing will be whether Comey believed the President was trying to interfere with his investigation…..

Comey’s view of Trump’s intent in their conversations is nuanced, sources say. He initially believed that he could school the new President and White House in what was appropriate during their communications.

But after his firing, the question of Trump’s intent could become more problematic, one source said. Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt in an interview that he was thinking “of the Russia thing” when he dismissed Comey.

There is so much wrong with this story, it’s hard to know where to start. First, it’s not even news. It makes no difference what Comey’s subjective impression was (and of course, if that subjective impression changed after firing, that helps Trump). Second, it’s the worst type of sourcing: Someone who knows Comey says …. CNN is just creating “news” for the sake of keeping the news cycle pressure on Trump.

These are just two recent examples of a flood of hyperbole and misinformation based on anonymous sourcing. Vox has (shock!) a good article on the cabal of Twitter (Louise Mensch, John Schindler, Claude Taylor) users flooding the zone with conspiracy theories, Democrats are falling for fake news about Russia

https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/19/15561842/trump-russia-louise-mensch

I don’t believe a word the mainstream media or Twitter conspiracy theorists says about Trump unless confirmed by on-the-record evidence. That’s been my point for months about the Russia-mania conspiracy theories, The fact-free Intelligence Community-Media trial of Trump by innuendo:

I don’t know whether Donald Trump or his aides had any improper contacts with Russian Intelligence officers.

Neither do you, or the media. The Intelligence Community might know, but they have provided zero facts either officially or through leaks to prove any improper, much less illegal, conduct took place.

Instead, we have trial by innuendo based on there being “contacts” between Trump campaign aides and Russian intelligence….

In this fact-free environment, imaginations and malicious intentions can run wild. We have round-the-clock media and social media speculation and frenzy throwing around terms like impeachment, treason, and so on.

It is, in some ways, worse than harmful facts, because there is no clear accusation against which to defend, and no factual basis upon which the public can judge.

It’s a point I have been making over and over again, but it’s likely to get me labeled an “anti-anti-Trumpist” by Republican NeverTrumpers.

In a time of universal deceit, demanding actual evidence is a revolutionary act.*

—————–

*As an aside, the phrase “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” usually is attributed to George Orwell, but that sourcing is questionable.

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Comments

Hey, Professor, as long as your comments section includes #NeverTrump chew toys like Rags, we’ll never be bored.

brightlights | May 20, 2017 at 11:06 am

Does John Schindler actually believe any of these? I have my doubts but I do think he knows exactly what he is doing. In his eyes, Trump ‘declared war on the intelligence community’ so he’s part of their counter attack. I think he’s got old contacts that can feed him a bit of truth that he can convert into a lot of BS. If you dare question him on it he will hide behind his ‘experience’ at the NSA. Of course that’s all classified so you have to trust him on it.

Comey can determine Trump’s intent, but not Hillary’s, even though Hillary’s was obvious but irrelevant?

    No, he can’t.

    Next?

    You must have missed Andrew Cuomo’s redefinition of who has to prove what in the eyes of the law. You don’t need evidence anymore to accuse anyone of anything nor to launch a criminal investigation. It is up to the accused to prove that the evidence doesn’t exist. If the accused fails to provide that evidence, it is now standard practice to investigate until that evidence is found.

    Even from a logical perspective, how does that end? How else CAN it end? Falsely accused and convicted by endless (and expensive to the accused and taxpayers) hounding. Where is the justice?

      I understand your point.
      Moreover, the absence of evidence is the very reason that an investigation is needed.

        Maybe I misunderstand your point but it seems like you are arguing that an investigation is needed because of the very fact that there is no evidence to investigate? Or maybe you are agreeing with me? I can’t tell.

          I should have put a sarcasm tag on my comment.
          I have heard leftists make the ridiculous argument that an investigation is needed into the Russia issue because no facts have been disclosed so far.

      DrJim77 in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 22, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Reminds me of Civil Forfeiture while policing for profit..

casualobserver | May 20, 2017 at 11:28 am

For most of the newspapers and all but Fox in the cable news world, being mostly inaccurate but still anti-Trump is a profit gold mine for now. Fox is slipping because of it, perhaps. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts, however.

At some point even the most passionate Trump-hater will get tired of all the misdirection and emotional roller coasters (hoping impeachment is about to start).

Won’t they??? We will see…..

When the special Prosecutor starts interviewing people about the leaks they will dry up.

I heard Carl Bernstein on CNN state Trump is involved in a coverup. What crime Trump is covering up he didn’t say. The whole panel was nodding their heads yes. Alan Dershowitz was on that panel and stated getting help from the Russians in an election is not a crime and went on discussing it as though it was a proven fact. Proof? Who needs proof? It must be true if Carl says it is.
I don’t even like Trump and find him incredibly narcissistic. His tweets are juvenile and he doesn’t have the ability not to stick his foot in his mouth while being interviewed by someone who hates him. Why do an interview with Lester Holt whose whole agenda is to destroy him? I get the feeling that Trump doesn’t take advice, then blames his staff for his screw ups. That said, I find the need to defend him from this attempt to steal the Presidency from him and his agenda for the most part I support.

    Dave in reply to Jackie. | May 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    I heard more than one Demorat talk of a cover up when they were speaking after the House had Rosenstein in to answer questions in the closed session. I really want to know what that means.

    Secondly, Donald Trump, as the president can request to be briefed on ANY intelligence or any investigation. I can’t believe he doesn’t know what’s going on, which is probably why he keeps insisting that there isn’t any there, there.

    tom swift in reply to Jackie. | May 20, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    His tweets are juvenile

    When you hear an adult speak to a young child in simple-minded terms, do you assume that the adult is simple-minded?

    Carl Bernstein is a one-trick pony, enabled by a corrupt media from day one.

    Dershowitz has about 1,000,000 times the credibility.

    Dave in reply to Jackie. | May 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t think the elitists in the government are ready for the fallout if they take his presidency away.

Well, with all due respect to the Professor, I’m so old, I can remember:

* Duplicitous Ted Kennedy’s secret “outreach” to the Soviet Union during Reagan’s first term, in which he reassured the Russians that he would help them in dealing with alleged “cowboy,” Reagan;
* The Dumb-o-crats’ long history of whitewashing the crimes and brutality of Marxist-Leninist political systems all over the world, all while lavishing praise upon brutal dictators and sadistic thugs, from Stalin to Mao to Che to Castro to Chavez;
* The Dumb-o-crats’ sanctimonious and vociferous claims that coalitions and multilateral alliances, not unilateral action or jingoistic confrontation, are the desired means of conducting foreign policy;
* St. Obama’s infantile, canned and idiotic retort to Mitt Romney during a 2012 debate, in which he crowed, in typical self-congratulatory and arrogant fashion, in response to Romney’s citing of Russia as a major geopolitical threat, “The 80’s are calling — they want their foreign policy back.”
* St. Obama’s total capitulation and dim-witted, embarrassingly ineffectual responses to brutally effective and assured Russian realpolitik, both in the Ukraine and in Syria, with St. Obama getting hustled by Putin at every occasion, like a total dunce.
* Crone Hillary’s idiotic prop “reset” button delivered in obsequious, kowtowing style to the Russian foreign minister, complete with Russian mistranslation, to complete the picture of utter incompetence at the U.S. State Department.

Several months ago I asked where the line in the sand is. I don’t recall getting a response.

But now that the subject of revolutionary acts has been brought up, can we revisit the topic?

This blog’s title is about resisting oppression legally, inside the Rule of Law.

But what if this approach fails? I’m genuinely curious – where is the line in the sand where legal and civil resistance is deemed to no longer be enough?

Or is there even such a line?

Will we go on complaining about the Establishment and Deep State as we huddle around the camp stoves?

I don’t think there is a line. I predict that if a civil and legal insurrection fails, most of us will simply retreat, surrender the field to the Left and cocoon ourselves around friends and family. Disconnect from the political sphere and enjoy the last days of the Republic. With an occasional toast that “we had a good run”.

Am I wrong, Professor? It’s a topic I wish you and your contributors would weigh in on. At what point is an illegal insurrection acceptable? Where is that line?

    DaveGinOly in reply to Fen. | May 20, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I believe “Legal Insurrection” suggests dissent channeled through civil processes, i.e. court challenges and political and other such processes established by statute. This does not mean that “violent insurrection” (more properly “rebellion”) is necessarily “illegal”, because, if launched in order to re-establish actual “law and order” and against those acting under color of law, it is perfectly lawful. The Founders claimed a right to use force to secure their liberty when legal/civil methods had failed. To deny the existence of such a right is to deny the legitimacy of the United States of America as an independent and sovereign nation, and is tantamount to claiming that, legally, we should still be British subjects.

    tom swift in reply to Fen. | May 20, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Just to speculate, I’d say … when Air Force One mysteriously “crashes”.

    It hardly means violence. Rather, it entails telling obnoxious ignorant and arrogant people – particularly the young – the shut the @#$% up and go away when they espouse their ignorance. It also involves using your wallet as a tool: don’t buy ANYTHING produced by the left, including Hollyood’s movies, tv, Google’s crap, corporations who donate to Al Sharpton, etc etc.; it includes writing Trump to tell him of your support; it includes donating to GOP candidates in opposition to GOPe candidates.

    Surrender to the left, then huddle around your family all you want – until you are separated by them by the leftist government you surrendered to.

    Everyone needs to grow a pair – and keep them on reserve.

    mariner in reply to Fen. | May 20, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I don’t know where that line is, and I doubt anyone else does either.

    I believe that at some point we’ll belatedly realize that the line has already been crossed and there’s no way back to it.

    At that point each person will need to make a decision whether to fight or just surrender the Republic.

At what point is an illegal insurrection acceptable? Where is that line?

1. When there is a total breakdown of the rule of law.

2. Or….when you can get enough people to support your cause to guarantee your success.

    rdmdawg in reply to Sanddog. | May 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Some would claim there is a total breakdown of law now, or at least complete abandonment of the Constitution as the surpreme law. We have federal judges inventing laws out of whole-cloth, and not even talk of impeaching those judges.

    I have no faith in our current government and institutions. Do you?

      tom swift in reply to rdmdawg. | May 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm

      Some would claim there is a total breakdown of law now

      There was under Obama. The fundamental lawlessness reached all the way to the top. Now, it’s still pervasive, but it stops somewhere short of the top. Of course that’s not good enough, but it’s a huge improvement.

        Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | May 21, 2017 at 5:36 am

        Yah, no, tom. You’re a bed-wetting idiot.

        While we ceased to have a functioning DOJ in several respects, Barracula was bench-slapped several times by the courts, including UNANIMOUS Supremes.

        But you do win the “hyperbolic hydration” award vis your bed.

    People don’t realize how far are in into the ‘line’ – it’s already been crossed. The left has ‘crossed the Rubicon,’ so to speak. It is a miracle we were saved by a brilliant and tough and fair man named Donald Trump, who came forth at the absolute right time in our history.

    Lois Lerner and Obama may be gone, but their cancer lives on, in the form of malignant tumors within our government that need removal.

    The idea of Hillary Clinton having won the presidency is akin to dramas that ponder the world if Germany had won WW2.

    Fascism is sneaky – it doesn’t always arise as line crossed, but gradual, as it did in Nazi Germany. People living through history don’t often see they are – they are too busy trying to rationalize or be in denial. Just ask any Jew who survived a trip to a Nazi concentration camp, who was told they were going to get a shower upon arrival.

    We were marching to the showers when Donald Trump beat the pathetic, corrupt GOPe and the pathetic, corrupt hillary clinton.

    Trump will go down in history as a great a hero of the Republic as anyone. He ain’t perfect, but either was George Washington or Abe Lincoln – or anyone else. But he did save the Republic from instant death by hillary clinton.

    Now, the rest of the work continues. The line HAS been crossed. Period.

    “She survived Hitler and wants to warn America:
    “I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We voted him in.”
    http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/on_the_front_lines_of_the_culture_wars/2011/04/she-survived-hitler-and-wants-to-warn-america.html

At what point is an illegal insurrection acceptable? Where is that line?

———

I don’t know, but I suspect I’ll know it when I see it. I do not think it will happen but one must still be prepared both physically and mentally.

I noticed a change in myself about 4 years ago. I used to look away or pull back when people were behaving badly in public. Someone arguing on the rail line home one day just flipped a switch inside of me. I watched some woman start an argument with another woman over nothing and I just couldn’t take anymore.

I’ve stared down punks at the station that were harassing other people. Just that look that tells them ‘I see you and I’m not looking away’ and they move on. I figure someday they won’t move on but that’s ok. I won’t be looking for trouble but will no longer turn my back on it.

Give me a righteous cause, even if doomed to failure, and I’ll resist.

Is Trump proposing transformative change?

What is the motive of an acutely phobic response, from left, right, and center, to his candidacy, election, and administration?

“by CNN, First on CNN: Comey now believes Trump was trying to influence him, source says”

First, the number of anonymous sources on CNN with dirt on the Trump campaign that turned out to be fake… it’s Yuge.

Second, even if Comey really believed this, and is stupid enough to put it out into the public himself, it’s a moot point. The chain of events is: Trump talked to him, Comey testified nobody had ever pressured him into dropping an investigation, he was fired… and ex post facto decides the talk was an illegal attempt to influence the investigation? Not even CNN can believe that.

    They don’t. It has nothing to do with ‘belief,’ but everything to do with retaining power over the rest of us.

    This is fascism at work.

    May seem benign to many of us, but when Obama advisor Dumb Anita Dunn announces to the world in 2008 that Mao is her favorite political figure, and Obama advisor Moving Van Jones announces to the world he is a communist, but the likes of Charles Krauthammer still admit to ‘not understanding who Obama is,’ and the GOPe though the likes of boehner completely enabling obama – and a sick bastard like john mccain still living through Stockholm Syndrome (but being a ‘senior leader’ of the GOPe) – what more does anyone need to see- nor still 8 years later??

    Jesus, man: wake the @#$% up.

The democrat media is like the GOPe: all front, low base. (In the latter, it’s zero base.)

So actual evidence of Trump wrongdoing is a revolutionary act only within the minds of a minority of very corrupt, very threatened elites hogging the leadership positions of our government.

Vote them out. Primary-out every GOPe rat in sight.

Professor Jacobson,

Thank you both for the post, and for sparing us a “I don’t like Trump and didn’t vote for him” apology.

Kemberlee Kaye,

This is how it’s done. I hope you’ll consider it as a good example.

    Ragspierre in reply to mariner. | May 21, 2017 at 9:21 am

    What, did she DARE utter a word against the Great God Cheeto…!?!?!?

    That HARLOT. BURN HER.

“Comey believes Trump tried to influence him.” Comey’s main job is to be influenced by Trump. He is supposed to be Trump’s agent, doing Trump’s will at FBI, the same as any other executive dept. head. That Comey apparently thought he was supposed to have independent power is why he should have been removed on inauguration day.

    Dave in reply to AlecRawls. | May 21, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    As Alan Dershowitz said, Trump has the unreviewable power to fire Comey for any reason or no reason. Unreviewable.

    Trump is correct, Comey is without question a grandstanding showboat, as his repeated revelations in front of TV cameras and testimony to Congress regarding ongoing investigations confirm.

    He acted improperly in declining to prosecute Hillary Clinton after overseeing a Potemkin investigation that gave out improper immunity agreements, allowed the destruction of evidence, acceded to witnesses declarations as attorneys in fact and failed to impanel a grand jury – the most basic tool of a real investigation in use today.

    Given the aforementioned, and backed up by Comey’s improper revelations while testifying to Congress, how could PDT do anything but fire the man? Why let Comey decide to hold a press conference at the end of the Russia “collusion” investigation when you are sure the man will act improperly?

    PDT was absolutely correct in firing the man.

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