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Comey back in hot seat over leaked memos

Comey back in hot seat over leaked memos

NY Times bombshell about Trump Jr. meeting Russian lawyer overshadowed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2rom6RyAp8

The NY Times breathlessly reported yesterday that Donald Trump, Jr. and others involved in the Trump campaign met with a Russian lawyer who got the meeting by claiming she had damaging information on Hillary Clinton. So the Trump people did what any campaign would do when promised damaging oppo research – they took the meeting.

Does anyone in their right mind think the Clinton campaign (and the media) would not have taken the meeting with such a tease of information? There is no indication that the promised information related to hacking or anything illegal. The media has been pushing the mostly (if not entirely) bogus “Dossier” on Trump, which reportedly was based on Russian sources, so the feigned outrage is hardly credible.

It turned out the Russian lawyer had no oppo research, and wanted to lobby against a law the Russians don’t like, and as to which the Russians had retaliated by halting adoptions of Russian children by Americans. So the meeting ended shortly after it began.

Michael Walsh in The NY Post writes, The Times ‘exposé’ on Donald Trump Jr. is a big yawn:

No campaign in its right mind would turn down an offer of information on their opponent. That is what opposition research is all about. You can bet Hillary wouldn’t have hung up on the person who claimed to have dirt on the Donald. After all, the Clinton campaign lobbied the comedian Tom Arnold two days before the election to release potentially embarrassing footage from Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice.” Arnold declined.

But in the end, the lawyer had nothing, gave nothing, got nothing in return, in a meeting that lasted 20 minutes. This is a scandal?

Having established the smear of “collusion,” the Times must now link every story with the word “Russia” to it in the hopes that the rubes and suckers won’t stop believing that Trump somehow cheated his way into the White House.

I had a sense that this story would not have legs when it was reported on Sunday Nightly News on NBC. They didn’t push the story as aggressively as I thought they would, and actually played it down the middle, providing the explanation offered by Trump Jr. and others.

But that NY Times “bombshell” has been drowned out by a potentially bigger bombshell — James Comey’s memos about conversations with Trump contained classified information and are viewed by the FBI as government property. That would contradict Comey’s sworn Senate testimony, and raises the possibility that the memo Comey leaked to a friend for a NY Times story contained classified information.

The Hill reported:

More than half of the memos former FBI chief James Comey wrote as personal recollections of his conversations with President Trump about the Russia investigation have been determined to contain classified information, according to interviews with officials familiar with the documents.

This revelation raises the possibility that Comey broke his own agency’s rules and ignored the same security protocol that he publicly criticized Hillary Clinton for in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election.

Comey testified last month he considered the memos to be personal documents and that he shared at least one of them with a Columbia University lawyer friend. He asked that lawyer to leak information from one memo to the news media in hopes of increasing pressure to get a special prosecutor named in the Russia case after Comey was fired as FBI director.

Trump has jumped on the reports, going one step further and accusing Comey of leaking classified information:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/884361623514656769

So now the topic of conversation is whether Comey leaked classified information and testified falsely, even if he didn’t leak the information.

It’s almost as if the media’s fervor to get Trump on Russian “collusion” always seems to backfire.

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Comments

I read through the supposedly “damning” Trump Jr. – Kushner story. I kept waiting for them to allege something that was actually illegal. It was worse than that infamous “Waiting for Godot” play.

Someone may have called and offered something but we don’t really know. Jared and Donald Jr. agreed to have lunch. A Russian woman who is not employed by the Russian Govm’t, although she might have once known Vladimir, came and had lunch with them. They made small talk. Nothing resulted of the lunch, no further meetings were scheduled, and as far as we know no further information was exchanged in either direction. The End.

And THIS is the huge “smoking gun” revelation?????

Oh, and yeah, the group that created the infamous fake memo that the dems were using to try and take down the Donald appears to have been the ones behind the scenes who set this whole thing up.

How low the NYT has sunk.

    Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | July 10, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    A Russian woman who is not employed by the Russian Govm’t, although she might have once known Vladimir,

    This point bears repeating. The lunatics are acting as if Russia were still the USSR, and every Russian must be presumed to represent the government.

“…Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.”

Hearsay. Anon sources. Rumor. But let’s run with it!

Sworn testimony in front of Congress: Comey who?? Page 10 and forget it.

    You mean like…

    “More than half of the memos former FBI chief James Comey wrote as personal recollections of his conversations with President Trump about the Russia investigation have been determined to contain classified information, according to interviews with officials familiar with the documents.”

    Let’s TRY to be consistent.

    Oh, and, again, hearsay is something we all use every day in our normal conversations. It’s only “hearsay” in the rules of evidence, which are legal fictions for use in the kabuki world of court proceedings.

      Rick in reply to Ragspierre. | July 10, 2017 at 1:28 pm

      This is a good observation. I have to watch myself from slipping into confirming my biases by automatically disregarding every unnamed-source article critical of positions I like while simultaneously disregarding the unnamed-source basis of articles that I do like.
      These days, all unnamed-source articles should be disregarded.

      Arminius in reply to Ragspierre. | July 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      Comey has admitted enough (under oath, no less) so that there is nothing “alleged” about those memos being federal records. As such it’s ridiculous on its face for Comey to insist that he considered them personal property. But it’s nice of him to incriminate himself by insisting that he considered them personal property. Any FBI agent knows that any information they develop in the course of their official duties is government property.

      They can not release that information to anyone on their own accord, even if it’s not classified. And even if he isn’t releasing the actual memorandum for the record he wrote and used for official purposes. Any FBI employee, including the director, has to get written permission from the FBI in order to release their “personal recollections.” Because they aren’t personal recollections but rather a government work product even when not quoted verbatim. Comey would never have had those recollections had he not been a salaried government employee. And Comey testified that he immediately recorded his conversations with Trump as soon as he got back to his government vehicle, on an FBI laptop. And used those memoranda as the basis of discussions/strategy sessions with his senior staff.

      When we get a confession to wrongdoing from the perp himself, especially under oath, there is no longer anything alleged about the wrongdoing. Comey’s actions, as described by Comey, were clearly wrong, definitely a violation of federal regulations, and quite possibly criminal.

      Even if the information Comey leaked to his friend wasn’t classified. There are all sorts of categories of information below the level of classified that no one can release without written authorization. These include UNCLAS FOUO (For Official Use Only) which is used by DoD, Law Enforcement Sensitive use by federal law enforcement agencies, and more applicable to this case FBI privileged. What Comey did may not be a violation of the Espionage Act but it appears to be a violation of 18 U.S. Code § 641 – Public money, property or records.

      “Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or KNOWINGLY CONVERTS TO HIS USE OR THE USE OF ANOTHER of another, or WITHOUT AUTHORITY, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof; or

      Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted—

      Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the value of such property in the aggregate, combining amounts from all the counts for which the defendant is convicted in a single case, does not exceed the sum of $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

      The word “value” means face, par, or market value, or cost price, either wholesale or retail, whichever is greater.”

      We know the information contained in the memoranda had considerable value whether or not it was classified. To the DoJ if it was sufficient to prove Trump committed a crime. To Comey personally as he wanted to use the information to force the DoJ to appoint a special counsel. It worked like magic. Mueller and his team of scalp hunters will cost the government millions before they’re done, and only because Comey leaked the information to the NYT via a cut-out. And the information certainly had market value as it would drive the paper’s circulation.

      I used to do this for a living, both as an active duty Naval officer and as a contractor. The statute the DoJ should have charged Clinton with violating, 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, never once mentions classified information. So she did commit a crime, not only because the information doesn’t need to be marked classified it doesn’t even need to be classified. Although she had plenty of classified on her server as well.

      Had I attempted to convert even my unclassified work products to personal use as Comey testified he did under oath I would have been in serious, probably career ending trouble. If I intended to profit by doing so, or help someone else profit, I would have expected to be prosecuted.

    Just another quick observation: the Russian story was true in the particulars, as everyone admits. It was also a big fat nothingburger with cheese in its implications.

It’s almost as if the media’s fervor to get Trump on Russian “collusion” always seems to backfire.

Straws…grasping at.

Surely our deep state overlords are not that dumb. Are they?
I hope they are, but wow, that would be an ironic way for the hoax to backfire on Comey.

inspectorudy | July 10, 2017 at 9:37 am

We all remember Comey’s infamous hillary clearing speech where he said that she had no “Intent” to release classified material. Now he claims the reason for his release of memos that had classified material in them was to create the need for a special prosecutor. That is called intent. His release was for an intended purpose and that may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Comey actually said that when he released the memos, that he was a “Private Person”. Can you imagine if that were the controlling element in who and when someone can reveal classified material? Remember the Navy SEAL who had to forfeit all of the money he made on a book he wrote? That’s because he used some very low level classified info without approval. Maybe this will be something that Mueller can look into.

    4th armored div in reply to inspectorudy. | July 10, 2017 at 11:02 am

    you mean BFF Muel-liar?
    Please Saint Comey can do NO wrong = doncha know?

    Milhouse in reply to inspectorudy. | July 10, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    his release of memos that had classified material in them

    Since when? Assuming these anonymous sources are telling the truth, they did not say that the memo (singular) that he leaked contained any classified info. That is merely Trump’s completely unfounded inference.

“Now he claims the reason for his release of memos that had classified material in them…”

You left out ALLEGEDLY HAD CLASSIFIED MATERIAL IN THEM.

Same as Der Donald, totally relying on anonymously sourced press reports in his tweet.

It’s kind of common. Which is no excuse.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | July 10, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Note the reflexive down-thumbing by the T-rumpian tribe.

    Nothing I’ve posted is untrue. It isn’t even controversial. It just isn’t sufficiently “rah-rah” for the T-rump suckers.

    murkyv in reply to Ragspierre. | July 10, 2017 at 10:44 am

    “have been determined…”

    Nothing about “allegedly”

      Ragspierre in reply to murkyv. | July 10, 2017 at 10:48 am

      The allegation comes from an unnamed (ie, anonymous) source.

      Therefore, they cannot rise above an “allegation”.

      Can they? I mean in the world of reality…

        murkyv in reply to Ragspierre. | July 10, 2017 at 11:04 am

        Fair enough.

        But past media use of “people familiar with the documents” have pretty much all turned out to be confirmed when it comes to these Comey memos.

        And it’s worth noting that The Hill have been quite cozy with the DNC, as wikileaks have proven, so for them to actually cover this, instead of covering for Comey, at least raises an eyebrow.

        4th armored div in reply to Ragspierre. | July 10, 2017 at 11:09 am

        Rags – your mania about POTUS is a serious malady and you need to see a good shrink.
        I had thought more highly of you in previous years.
        I was a #neverTrump for a long time and voted for Cruz in primaries.
        DJT is performing in a manner consistant with a PATRIOTIC American,
        Pl4ease get some help – this is not aflame of you just real concern for your mental heath and BP.

          Ragspierre in reply to 4th armored div. | July 10, 2017 at 9:31 pm

          Read up-thread.

          You’ll find nothing that supports your crazy attack on me. Not a word about T-rump except a completely true and not even controversial note that he, like so many, are crediting a story from an unnamed source.

          You’re the one who’s nuts.

        murkyv in reply to Ragspierre. | July 10, 2017 at 12:11 pm

        Oh, and Comey himself admitted during testimony that some of the memos were from classified briefings.

        Particularly, the one he said he typed in his car immediately afterwards on a “classified laptop” (his words).

        Which was the one he leaked to his buddy to leak to the press

        “HEINRICH: The memos that you wrote-did you write all nine of them in a way that was designed to prevent them from needing classification?

        COMEY: No. On a few occasions, I wrote – I sent emails to my chief of staff on some of the brief phone conversations I had, The first one was a classified briefing. Though it was in a conference room at Trump Tower, it was a classified briefing. I wrote that on a classified device. The one I started typing in the car that was a classified laptop I started working on”

    Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | July 10, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    You left out ALLEGEDLY HAD CLASSIFIED MATERIAL IN THEM.

    Not even allegedly. The anonymous sources did not say this. The only person making this claim is Trump, who openly admits not having any inside info to support it.

Rags has thin skin

    Ragspierre in reply to gonzotx. | July 10, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Rags has shark skin. But what does my skin have to do with anything? Except as you attempt at ad hominem…

      Pelosi Schmelosi in reply to Ragspierre. | July 10, 2017 at 11:07 am

      Like you never EVER use ad homs.
      LOL

        One day perhaps he/she will realise that T-Rump is an Ad hominem but somehow I doubt it!

          Ragspierre in reply to Saratoga. | July 10, 2017 at 9:36 pm

          You don’t even understand the term.

          “Ad hominem” is a fallacious argument. The fallacy lying in the fact that it ignores the assertion made, never refutes it, and attacks the maker.

          Just exactly like GonzoGonzo did.

          “T-rump” is not ad hominem. It’s just good ol’ wordplay and polemics.

    mailman in reply to gonzotx. | July 10, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Allegedly has thin skin! 🙂

After all, the Clinton campaign lobbied the comedian Tom Arnold two days before the election to release potentially embarrassing footage from Trump’s TV show, “The Apprentice.” Arnold declined.

Arnold wasn’t a foreign agent possibly dealing in stolen emails.

Hours after the meeting, then-candidate Trump made his first tweet on Clinton’s ‘missing’ emails.

    murkyv in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 11:25 am

    There is STILL no evidence any emails were “stolen”.

      Earlier today, the fake news story about DNC Network being hacked by the Russians was categorically proven false.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-10/new-research-shows-guccifer-20-files-were-copied-locally-dnc-not-hacked-russians

      They were downloaded by an insider via USB drive. So they WERE stolen but not by the Russians. Probably Seth Rich but you didn’t hear that from me.

        Sure. You guys will believe anything, no matter how tenuous, as long as it confirms your preconceptions.

          murkyv in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 11:53 am

          and you guys DON’T?

          that’s a laugh

          Our position is based on the best available evidence, rather than a single report published in the last few hours accepted uncritically.

          murkyv in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 12:14 pm

          In other words, you guys will always take the word of those with the most reason to deceive the public and cover up their own crimes.

          Got it.

          murkyv: In other words, you guys will always take the word of those with the most reason to deceive the public and cover up their own crimes.

          Actually, it is the multiplicity of sources, both in the U.S. and Europe, and the consistency of this position with other Russian activities. Furthermore, much of the information is publicly available. We even know the URL used to spoof Podesta’s account.

          murkyv in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm

          Phished, NOT hacked.

          Not Trumps fault that Podesta is an idiot.

          And there is also evidence that our own NSA does this stuff all the time and mask it to look like someone else.

          Are you guys all that naive, or are you just a water carrier?

          murkyv: Phished, NOT hacked.

          Phishing is a form of hacking, that is, “using a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system”. Phishing is the most common way to gain illegal access to a computer system.

          murkyv: Not Trumps fault that Podesta is an idiot.

          Trump didn’t hack the DNC. However, he benefited from the hack.

          murkyv: And there is also evidence that our own NSA does this stuff all the time and mask it to look like someone else.

          Sure, it’s possible, however, there are too many sources confirming Russian involvement, plus it is consistent with Russian activities elsewhere, as already noted.

          Making up stuff is not evidence.

      murkyv: There is STILL no evidence any emails were “stolen”.

      Donald Trump Jr. was willing to work with Russian agents in the hope they had emails stolen from Clinton — and it turns out that the Russians did hack and release emails stolen from the DNC.

        murkyv in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 11:52 am

        Again…there is absolutely NO PROOF of anything you claim

          murkyv: Again…there is absolutely NO PROOF of anything you claim

          There is strong evidence of Russian involvement. Every major intelligence agency who have studied the issue has traced the hacks to Russian agents, and most independent cyber-security organizations have reached the same conclusion. Furthermore, the hack is consistent with Russian behavior elsewhere, such as in the Ukraine, the Baltic States, and even in Western Europe.

          murkyv in reply to murkyv. | July 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

          You haven’t been keeping up with the news, have you?

          There was ONE investigation, led by James Clapper and his 26 hand-picked investigators from THREE agencies.

          All of the other “major intelligence agencies” the Left keeps citing never investigated anything .

          And the “independent cyber-security organizations” had monetary ties to the DNC and the Clinton Foundation.

          Why didn’t the FBI or any other investigative agency demand to obtain the server, when the DNC was claiming international hacking that directly affects national security?

          murkyv: There was ONE investigation, led by James Clapper and his 26 hand-picked investigators from THREE agencies.

          That is incorrect. Various European governments and independent cyber-security organizations have reached the same conclusion. Furthermore, you are saying that denials by autocratic Russia, with a pattern of interference in the Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Western Europe, is to be believed in this one instance, just as they denied sending “little green men” into the Ukraine.

          The Russians are testing out new methods of cyber-aggression. Refusing to acknowledge the problem leaves the West undefended.

        What happened with the Russians and the DNC is being HIDDEN by the DNC, or they would have released their hacked server to the FBI, something they refused to do.
        http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/07/hacked-dnc-servers-will-government-ever-be-given-access.html

        Like criminals taking the Fifth. Very fitting for a group that put hillary clinton as their face.

          TheFineReport: What happened with the Russians and the DNC is being HIDDEN by the DNC, or they would have released their hacked server to the FBI, something they refused to do.

          The FBI never contacted senior officials at the DNC.

          “Her {Debbie Wasserman Schultz} questions, which were described by the lawmaker to CNN as ‘confrontational,’ focused on why the FBI didn’t reach out directly to her, or any of the committee’s senior leadership, when it became aware of the hacks.”

          You’re citing CNN and Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

          just….wow!

          And why didn’t the FBI want to have a look.

          The DNC was claiming international crimes that effected our election.

          That takes it out of the “private organization” excuse.

          murkyv: You’re citing CNN and Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

          We’re citing a report concerning a confrontation between Wasserman Schultz and Comey, the result of which establishes that the FBI did not contact the chair of the DNC. That indicates a lack of communication, not a lack of coooperation, between the DNC and the FBI.

          Facts don’t go away because you don’t like the source.

          Facts don’t go away because you don’t like the source.

          Exactly. That’s completely true, and precisely the point you are disputing when you claim that the DNC and Podesta emails, or whatever information the Trump people hoped this lawyer could provide, were somehow “tainted” by their source, that it was wrong to use them in campaigning (or to hope to do so), and that an election victory based on them would somehow be less legitimate.

          Milhouse: Exactly. That’s completely true, and precisely the point you are disputing

          Are you in the right sub-thread? You are responding concerning whether the FBI communicated to the chair of the DNC.

          Yes, I’m in the right sub-thread. Indeed facts don’t go away because you don’t like the source, and yet that is precisely what you are claiming they do when you complain about the DNC and Podesta emails being revealed and perhaps swinging the election. Those emails and their contents are facts, regardless of where they came from. Therefore if they influenced voters that is a good thing, not a crime, and cannot possibly make the result less legitimate.

          Milhouse: Indeed facts don’t go away because you don’t like the source

          That’s right. Facts are fact, however, some things are private information. In this case, strategies and internal discussions having to do with a political campaign, which were stolen by a foreign power, then released in order to interfere with the U.S. election.

          There’s no excuse in excusing this sort of behavior. It’s a violation of privacy, a violation of law, and a violation of sovereignty.

        Joe-dallas in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 6:08 pm

        A little intellectual consistency would be appropriate from Zach – where was he when discussions of Hillary unsecured email server arose

          murkyv in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 10, 2017 at 10:41 pm

          Still working for the Clinton/Kaine campaign

          Joe-dallas: A little intellectual consistency would be appropriate from Zach – where was he when discussions of Hillary unsecured email server arose

          Right here, correctly explaining why an indictment was unlikely based on the publicly available information.

          Joe-dallas in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 11, 2017 at 11:19 am

          Zach –
          Joe-dallas: A little intellectual consistency would be appropriate from Zach – where was he when discussions of Hillary unsecured email server arose

          Right here, correctly explaining why an indictment was unlikely based on the publicly available information.

          Like publicly available info such as Lynch wasn’t going to indict no matter how blantant.

          Joe-dallas in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm

          Zach would also be a little more intellectually consistent if he had condemned Hillary for the bribes related to the russian uranium one deal while sec of state.

          Joe-dallas: Like publicly available info such as Lynch wasn’t going to indict no matter how blantant.

          There was no evidence of intent, which the courts have found is required for successful prosecution. Being sloppy is not a crime. Oddly enough, her emails have never turned up as having been hacked.

          Joe-dallas: if he had condemned Hillary for the bribes related to the russian uranium one deal while sec of state.

          Squirrel!

          There is no evidence that Clinton either had a hand in approving the uranium deal, or that she personally benefited.

          Milhouse in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 11, 2017 at 1:39 pm

          Zach would also be a little more intellectually consistent if he had condemned Hillary for the bribes related to the russian uranium one deal while sec of state.

          There were no bribes, nor would it have made any sense for anyone to bribe Clinton, since she played no role at all in that deal. If anyone involved in that wanted to bribe someone, the obvious person would be 0bama, since approving it was entirely up to him.

          Joe-dallas in reply to Joe-dallas. | July 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm

          Joe-dallas: Like publicly available info such as Lynch wasn’t going to indict no matter how blantant.

          There was no evidence of intent, which the courts have found is required for successful prosecution. Being sloppy is not a crime. Oddly enough, her emails have never turned up as having been hacked.

          Joe-dallas: if he had condemned Hillary for the bribes related to the russian uranium one deal while sec of state.

          Squirrel!

          There is no evidence that Clinton either had a hand in approving the uranium deal, or that she personally benefited.

          Zach – intellectual consistency is obviously not your forte

    Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Arnold wasn’t a foreign agent possibly dealing in stolen emails.

    This lawyer wasn’t a foreign agent either. A foreigner, not a foreign agent. Not that it matters anyway, since there’s nothing wrong with obtaining such information even from known foreign agents.

    But Arnold certainly would have been dealing in stolen material, had he acceded to the Clinton campaign’s request.

      Milhouse: Not that it matters anyway, since there’s nothing wrong with obtaining such information even from known foreign agents.

      Not wrong? It’s reprehensible, especially when the country involved is engaged in widespread efforts, including the use of cyber attacks, to politically destabilize the U.S. and its allies.

        clintack in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 4:21 pm

        So, do you agree that the dossier about Trump was reprehensible? The dossier that triggered this whole farcical investigation?

        That dossier was assembled by a British ex-spy on the basis of his contacts in Russia.

        Can we agree that the commissioning and acquiring of that dossier was reprehensible?

          clintack: So, do you agree that the dossier about Trump was reprehensible?

          There’s nothing inherently wrong with opposition research. The dossier was originally commissioned by Republicans, then later picked up by Democrats. Because most of the information in the dossier couldn’t be independently verified, news organizations didn’t report on it. CNN then reported that the FBI had briefed Trump on its existence. A few days later, the dossier was dumped on the internet by BuzzFeed. Most news organizations have still not reported on its contents.

          Notably, the dossier was never used by any political campaign.

          Milhouse in reply to clintack. | July 10, 2017 at 6:40 pm

          The dossier was never used because it was unreliable, and campaigns were afraid it would blow up in their faces. No campaign rejected its use out of disdain for the characters of the people who compiled it, or for the methods allegedly used to obtain its information.

        Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 6:38 pm

        Not wrong? It’s reprehensible, especially when the country involved is engaged in widespread efforts, including the use of cyber attacks, to politically destabilize the U.S. and its allies.

        How is that relevant? What difference does it make how reprehensible the information’s source is? What difference does it make how many crimes the source has committed to obtain it? Does any of that make it less true? And if it is true, why on earth should one not make proper use of it? What kind of idiot would ignore true and reliable information simply because it came from a rogue?

        You write as if you believe the “exclusionary rule” that the US courts invented for their own proceedings less than a century ago is some sort of natural or moral rule, that ought to be observed by everyone, everywhere, and for all time. The US courts had good practical reason to invent this rule for themselves, but it is an artificial rule, and the courts openly acknowledge that the loss of good evidence is a cost, not a benefit — a bad thing, not a good one; they adopted it despite this cost, not because of it, because they decided (correctly IMHO) that it was outweighed by the cost of not adopting it. In most other contexts this is not true, and there’s no reason to adopt a similar rule.

          Milhouse: The dossier was never used because it was unreliable, and campaigns were afraid it would blow up in their faces.

          Working with the foreign adversaries to use information they gathered through illegal hacking is reprehensible, and possibly illegal. If there was discussion of sanctions in relation to the release of the information, then such a quid pro quo would be illegal.

          Milhouse: How is that relevant?

          You said it wasn’t wrong. It is reprehensible that someone would work with a foreign adversary concerning stolen documents for political purposes. It’s like the Watergate break-in, only with Russians instead of Nixon’s plumbers.

          Milhouse: And if it is true, why on earth should one not make proper use of it?

          It’s hard to believe that you justify the Russian stealing private information, then working with the Trump campaign to interfere with the U.S. election. The Russians are using similar tactics in Europe, including against less-established democracies. It’s an attack on sovereignty and highly destabilizing. And it’s only the leading edge of Russian attempts at cyber-warfare.

          Do you always strain at gnats, but swallow camels?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 11, 2017 at 1:53 pm

          Working with the foreign adversaries to use information they gathered through illegal hacking is reprehensible, and possibly illegal

          By what standard is it reprehensible? Why? Because you don’t like it?!

          and possibly illegal

          Bulldust. There is certainly nothing even possibly illegal about it. You’re just making that up.

          If there was discussion of sanctions in relation to the release of the information, then such a quid pro quo would be illegal.

          Sure. And if there was a heroin sale involved, or a plan to assassinate someone, that would also be illegal. But there’s not even the slightest hint of a shadow of a basis for supposing such a thing happened. It’s pure wishful thinking on your part, rather like Harry Reid’s claim that Romney hadn’t paid any taxes from 2002-2012, or my own wild guess that Reid had butchered three girls and buried them in his basement, for which I had exactly as much evidence as he did.

          It is reprehensible that someone would work with a foreign adversary concerning stolen documents for political purposes.

          Again, so you say. On what basis? What makes it reprehensible? As you stated above, facts are facts regardless of their source.

          It’s like the Watergate break-in, only with Russians instead of Nixon’s plumbers.

          And that’s a flat-out lie. Had some private person broken into the Watergate and recorded a DNC meeting, and then given it to the Nixon campaign, would there have been anything wrong with them using it? Of course not. Refer to your earlier quote.

          It’s hard to believe that you justify the Russian stealing private information

          When did I do that? When have I ever done that? Now you’ve slandered me, and I demand an apology.

          then working with the Trump campaign to interfere with the U.S. election.

          Why shouldn’t they do that? Why is it OK for us to try to influence foreign voters in their elections, but not OK for foreigners to try to influence us in ours?

          It’s an attack on sovereignty

          How so? You seem to have a peculiar view of sovereignty if you think it includes a right to keep ones own people in the dark.

          Milhouse: By what standard is it reprehensible?

          Seriously? You really don’t think it’s a problem for a U.S. politician to work with a foreign government which is illegally hacking your political opponent, i.e. spying?

          Milhouse: But there’s not even the slightest hint of a shadow of a basis for supposing such a thing happened.

          Sure there is. Trump Jr. went to a meeting because he thought the Russian government wanted to help his campaign. Along with dirt on Clinton, they also discussed sanctions against Russia. That is more than sufficient to form a basis for supposing such a thing. Indeed, it is almost certainly being investigated by the Special Counsel.

          Milhouse: As you stated above, facts are facts regardless of their source.

          Yes, and a dollar is a dollar whether it is in your pocket or the pickpocket’s pocket.

          Milhouse: would there have been anything wrong with them using it?

          Yes. It would be highly unethical, but that wouldn’t have stopped Nixon. And in this case, you have Nixonian operatives sitting down with the thieves to discuss dirt and sanctions. You even have Nixon publicly calling for the thieves to use the stolen property, rather than the ethical response, a call for its return to its rightful owner.

          Where the heck did you learn ethics?

          Milhouse: Why is it OK for us to try to influence foreign voters in their elections, but not OK for foreigners to try to influence us in ours?

          If you mean speaking out publicly on issues, that is considered rude, but using nefarious means is a violation of sovereignty, and is universally rejected (Trump excepted) by all nations.

          Milhouse: You seem to have a peculiar view of sovereignty if you think it includes a right to keep ones own people in the dark.

          Privacy is fundamental to liberty. Thievery is wrong. Encouraging theft is conspiracy. Agreeing with an adversarial nation to trade sanctions for dirt on your political opponent is tantamount to treason.

          Are you actually claiming that political parties don’t have the right to internal discussions?

OleDirtyBarrister | July 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Does anyone know if the Russian lawyer is still alive?

People claiming to or actually having damaging info on Hillary Clinton have a peculiar habit of dying in strange and coincidental manners.

Bottom line: clinton lost, WE and The Donald won, and this is all a pile of crap to be ignored, along with most of what is reported by the likes of the ny slimes, except perhaps sports scores. And even that…

    The Russians are testing out new methods of cyber-aggression. Refusing to acknowledge the problem leaves the West undefended.

      No evidence of any “collusion” or Russian “interference” with USA elections.

      AT ALL…

      Oh, by the way, the USA people elected Trump… not Russia.

        Ragspierre in reply to LisaGinNZ. | July 10, 2017 at 10:25 pm

        So WTF was T-rump “pressing” Putin about for 40 minutes…???

        Hmmm…???

        LisaGinNZ: No evidence of any “collusion” or Russian “interference” with USA elections.

        The meeting was about “adoptions”. No, it was about sanctions. No, it was about getting dirt on Clinton, but Trump Jr. didn’t know the person. The latest report is that Trump Jr. was told it was a person working with the Russian government. If this report is confirmed, then that is direct evidence of collusion; that is, a U.S. citizen working with a foreign government to acquire stolen information, while discussing mitigating sanctions against that foreign government.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 11, 2017 at 2:02 pm

          The latest report is that Trump Jr. was told it was a person working with the Russian government. If this report is confirmed, then that is direct evidence of collusion; that is, a U.S. citizen working with a foreign government to acquire stolen information, while discussing mitigating sanctions against that foreign government.

          More BS.
          (1) There was no suggestion that the information to be obtained was stolen, and no reason to suppose such a thing.
          (2) However, even had there been, indeed even had this been made explicit, so what? Why would that have meant the campaign ought not to seek it out and use it?
          (3) There was no discussion of mitigating sanctions, let alone in return for any information. When the lawyer showed up at lunch all she wanted to talk about was Russia’s sanctions against the US, and how those might be lifted in return for lifting US sanctions against Russia. There would be nothing at all wrong with having that discussion, but Trump Jr had no interest in it; that wasn’t what he had come for, and it had no relevance to his job at the time, which was getting his father elected.

          Milhouse: (1) There was no suggestion that the information to be obtained was stolen, and no reason to suppose such a thing.

          Sure. Because the Russians just came across a folder of information left in the bushes.

          Milhouse: (2) However, even had there been, indeed even had this been made explicit, so what? Why would that have meant the campaign ought not to seek it out and use it?

          That’s right. It’s unethical to use the DNC’s stolen internal documents. It’s dangerous to even consider using them when provided by the Russian government.

          Milhouse: (3) There was no discussion of mitigating sanctions, let alone in return for any information. When the lawyer showed up at lunch all she wanted to talk about was Russia’s sanctions against the US, and how those might be lifted in return for lifting US sanctions against Russia.

          Gee whiz. Sure. You didn’t pay for the drugs. You just gave the dealer some money, and the dealer gave you some drugs. A gift!

          Milhouse: but Trump Jr had no interest in it

          According to Trump Jr., who is hardly trustworthy in this case, having already made misleading statements.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 12, 2017 at 4:13 am

          Milhouse: (1) There was no suggestion that the information to be obtained was stolen, and no reason to suppose such a thing.

          Sure. Because the Russians just came across a folder of information left in the bushes.

          Are you really this thick, or just pretending? The Russian government has a ton of information on Hillary Clinton — and on Donald Trump, and on pretty much every other significant person in the world — obtained in perfectly legitimate ways. So does the US government and many others. Only some of this information is stolen.

          In this case Trump Jr was led to expect to be offered “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia”. By definition that, had it actually existed, would not have been stolen.

          For instance, suppose the whole “uranium bribe” story were true. Don’t you think the Russian government would have had records of it? Records obtained 100% legitimately? Would there have been anything wrong with them disclosing this to the Trump people, or with the Trump people using it?

          It’s unethical to use the DNC’s stolen internal documents.

          You keep saying this, but I don’t think even you actually believe it.

          For instance, the infamous tape of Trump engaged in extremely vulgar bragging was the property of NBC. Whoever sent it to the WaPo stole it. Was the WaPo wrong to publish the story based on it? Was Clinton wrong to use it? Had it been sent directly to Clinton would she have been wrong to use it? (Why would her ethical position be different from the WaPo’s?)

          Gee whiz. Sure. You didn’t pay for the drugs. You just gave the dealer some money, and the dealer gave you some drugs. A gift!

          There were no drugs being dealt. It would have been absolutely legitimate for a Trump (or Clinton) campaign member to discuss the possibility of mutual relaxation of sanctions in the event his or her candidate were to be elected, just as it would be to discuss any other policy matter. But there was no such discussion because that’s not what Trump Jr had been led to believe would be the topic, and he had no interest in it. Meanwhile the lawyer had been led to believe this would be the topic, she had no idea the other side were there to talk about opposition research on Clinton, and she had no interest in discussing it. She didn’t even represent the Russian government, so she’d have had no access to such information, nor any reason to share that government’s goal (if indeed it was one) of supporting Trump.

There is no indication that the promised information related to hacking or anything illegal.

It wouldn’t have mattered if there had been, or even if she’d explicitly told them it did. There’s no exclusionary rule in politics.

    Milhouse: There’s no exclusionary rule in politics.

    There is if there is an offer of an exchange, such as consideration on sanctions.

    We know they’ve been lying about their contacts with the Russians, including about this meeting. They can’t keep their stories straight.

      Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      1. There’s no basis for supposing any such offer was made.

      2. Even if one had been, which would be wrong and perhaps criminal, there is still no exclusionary rule. Information obtained by criminal means does not somehow become “criminal information”, and there’s no reason to pretend not to know it.

      3. We do not know they’ve been lying. No lies have yet been found, and there’s no reason to suppose any ever will be found. You’re just guessing at random, on the apparent basis that since you think these are reprehensible characters they simply must have told some lies at some point.

        Milhouse: 1. There’s no basis for supposing any such offer was made.

        Trump Jr. said it was about adoptions. Then he said they discussed sanctions. Then he said they discussed dirt on Clinton, but he didn’t know the person. Now, reports are that Trump Jr. knew it was someone working with the Russian government. In other words, we do have the basis, all the elements, of such an offer.

        Milhouse: 2. Even if one had been, which would be wrong and perhaps criminal, there is still no exclusionary rule.

        If the information is made public, then there is nothing stopping anyone from further disseminating it. However, those who were complicit are nonetheless accountable. In this case, it appears they sold out their country — and their country’s allies — for a pot of silver.

        Milhouse: 3. We do not know they’ve been lying.

        Of course they’ve lied, repeatedly.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 11, 2017 at 2:09 pm

          Adoptions are sanctions, you idiot. Russian sanctions against us, in retaliation for our sanctions against them.

          He never said they had discussed dirt on Clinton. He said that’s what he had expected to discuss, since it was the basis for setting up the meeting in the first place, and when it turned out all she wanted to talk about were sanctions he had no interest.

          If the information is made public, then there is nothing stopping anyone from further disseminating it.

          Why this distinction? If the information is somehow “unclean”, how does it lose that simply by being published for the first time?

          However, those who were complicit are nonetheless accountable.

          Complicit in what? Publishing it for the first time? The second time? The nth time?

          Of course they’ve lied, repeatedly.

          Such as?

          Milhouse: Adoptions are sanctions

          That’s right. Stopping adoptions was retaliation for U.S. sanctions. The topic concerns the Magnitsky Act, which was an attempt to punish those involved in the death of a tax lawyer who uncovered a high-level fraud.

          Milhouse: He never said they had discussed dirt on Clinton. He said that’s what he had expected to discuss

          That’s right. Trump Jr. said he ‘loved’ the idea of colluding with the Russians because he thought they had dirt on Clinton. Shortly thereafter, the leaks of DNC documents stolen by Russian agents began.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 12, 2017 at 3:47 am

          That’s right. Stopping adoptions was retaliation for U.S. sanctions. So you finally understand this. When Trump Jr said variously that the meeting ended up being about adoptions or about sanctions he was not contradicting himself, he was saying exactly the same thing. The lawyer was there on the understanding that this was what the meeting was to be about, while Trump was there on the understanding that it was to be about incriminating information about Clinton. Thus there was no possibility that it would be successful from either one’s POV.

          Trump Jr. said he ‘loved’ the idea of colluding with the Russians because he thought they had dirt on Clinton.

          Of course he did. Who wouldn’t love such an idea? If you were to claim Clinton or anyone on her campaign would not have jumped at such an opportunity you’d be lying. In fact I don’t believe you would have turned down such an opportunity, whether in a political campaign or in a business transaction. There would have been absolutely no ethical (let alone legal) reason to do so.

          Where do you think opposition research ever comes from? Who do you think supplies it? Suppose you were working for Clinton and some mobster offered you evidence that Trump was involved with organized crime; it seems to be that to turn it down would actually be unethical, because it would break your fiduciary duty to your candidate. The fact that the informant is a lowlife would be irrelevant.

          Shortly thereafter, the leaks of DNC documents stolen by Russian agents began.

          And this is relevant how, exactly?

    Milhouse: There’s no exclusionary rule in politics.

    America Trump First!

    during the 2000 presidential campaign when debate preparation materials from the campaign of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) were mysteriously mailed to the campaign of his Democratic opponent, then-Vice President Al Gore. Thomas Downey, Gore’s debate coach, contacted the FBI when he realized the package contained leaked information from Bush’s campaign.

      Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 10, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      That didn’t stop him from using the information.

        Notably, the recipient was not conspiring with the thief. Even then, it would be unethical to use the stolen documents.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 11, 2017 at 2:11 pm

          Since when? Where did you come up with this bizarre standard, and when has anyone ever complied with it? Why would they?

          Oh, and while you’re at it please explain why Trump Jr should have supposed that the information he thought he’d be offered at the meeting was stolen.

          Milhouse,

          No. You can’t ethically keep the stolen property, even if you really did just find it out on the curb. In this case, however, Trump Jr. was working directly with the thieves. All the elements for a quid pro quo were in place, though that is still undetermined as yet.

          Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | July 12, 2017 at 3:34 am

          Again, says who? Information is not property. If you found actual stolen documents, you would have to return them to their owner; but nothing would prevent you from reading them first and using the information they contained. Since we’re not discussing physical documents here this is irrelevant.

          Nor are we even discussing stolen information, for that matter. There was no reason for Trump Jr to suppose that the information this lawyer was supposedly going to offer him was stolen.

          Milhouse: If you found actual stolen documents, you would have to return them to their owner; but nothing would prevent you from reading them first and using the information they contained.

          Just ethics. That’s all.

          Milhouse: There was no reason for Trump Jr to suppose that the information this lawyer was supposedly going to offer him was stolen.

          Russia is a kleptocracy, led by an autocrat who has imprisoned and murdered journalists, whistle-blowers, and dissidents. They have engaged in aggressive cyber-warfare against other nations, so there is every reason to believe they would do the same to the United States — which they did.

OleDirtyBarrister | July 10, 2017 at 2:28 pm

If Trump and Sessions do not put him before a grand jury, they have the stones of a field mouse. Or Comey has something on them and they do not want to push it.

OleDirtyBarrister | July 10, 2017 at 2:30 pm

I do not know how valuable or accurate it it, but a report just published by TheForesicator states that the leaked Guccifer 2 files were copied locally and leaked, not hacked. More grist for the mill, in any event.

https://theforensicator.wordpress.com/

Someone needs to squash the progressive fascist’s argument the documents are classified retro-actively. This makes it seem like someone arbitrarily decided to classify it. The truth is that there are rule about what is classified and those who have access to classified info are trained to know what is classified info and what is not. They are responsible for treating every document that has classified info correctly.

No. Hardly a “bombshell”. At. All……..

#LanguageMatters

Based on “interviews with officials familiar with the documents,” The Hill is reporting that more than half of the memoranda former FBI director James Comey made regarding his conversations with president-elect and then President Trump contain classified information.

The FBI, moreover, has determined that all of the memos are government documents. This will come as a surprise to no one who has been following this story on National Review. In a column on Comey’s memos a month ago, I explained that there was no doubt the memos were government documents (regardless of the former director’s suggestion that they were his personal property, memorializing his “recollection recorded” of his conversations with the president).

I further explained that, while Comey’s judgment that the memos were not classified was entitled to considerable weight, we could not make a conclusive judgment on this because (a) we had not seen them and (b) they had not yet been subjected to “a classification review . . . by the White House or the Justice Department.”

I was inclined to give Comey the benefit of the doubt on the classification question. If The Hill’s report is accurate, however, a classification review has now happened, and it has been determined that more than half of the memos contain classified information.

Comey has stated in congressional testimony that he made seven memos of the nine conversations he recalls having with Trump. In another intemperate tweet this morning, President Trump asserted, “James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!” In reality, we do not yet know whether this is the case.

For starters, The Hill’s report is based on leaks (which, I’d note, the president is not complaining about this time). The government has not taken a formal public position on the memos yet. Second, even if we assume the report is accurate (as I am inclined to do), it indicates that at least four of the seven memos contain classified information — not that all of them do.

Comey testified that he gave at least one memo to an intermediary, a law professor at Columbia. (Full disclosure: The professor is a friend and former colleague of mine. I have not discussed the Comey memos with him.)

The intermediary disclosed at least a portion of the memo to the New York Times. Thus, we do not know whether Comey gave all, some, or just one of the memos to the intermediary; we do not know whether the one memo we can be sure the intermediary got contained classified information; and we do not know whether the portion the intermediary shared with the Times was classified. It is certainly possible that classified information was transmitted to persons not authorized to have it. But at this point, that has not been established.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449352/comey-memos-reportedly-contained-classified-info-what-means

Yep. As I noted long ago, mere allegations.

AND from anOTHER ‘leaker’.

    murkyv in reply to Ragspierre. | July 11, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    It appears McCarthy believes the report is true.

    Surprised you used that to claim it may not be

      Ragspierre in reply to murkyv. | July 11, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      WHAT report? As he clearly delineates, there is no certainty here to be had.

      Did you miss that?

      It’s all assertions based on a leaked, unnamed source.

        murkyv in reply to Ragspierre. | July 11, 2017 at 4:39 pm

        I reckon I got it from the article. Meaning …”The Hill ” reporting.

        “even if we assume the report is accurate (as I am inclined to do)”

        While McCarthy acknowledges the lack of sourcing, it sounds like he also acknowledges other facts already in evidence that there was classified information on Comeys memos

          Ragspierre in reply to murkyv. | July 11, 2017 at 6:40 pm

          The intermediary disclosed at least a portion of the memo to the New York Times. Thus, we do not know whether Comey gave all, some, or just one of the memos to the intermediary; we do not know whether the one memo we can be sure the intermediary got contained classified information; and we do not know whether the portion the intermediary shared with the Times was classified. It is certainly possible that classified information was transmitted to persons not authorized to have it.

          ****But at this point, that has not been established.****

          See? Why is this so hard?

          murkyv in reply to murkyv. | July 11, 2017 at 11:49 pm

          Not hard at all.

          There was classified info on the memos.

          And we don’t know how much of the memos Comey leaked.

          You know, we can both be right without the other being wrong

          Milhouse in reply to murkyv. | July 12, 2017 at 3:27 am

          The anonymous story, which McCarthy finds plausible but not proven, is that there was classified info in some of the memos, not all of them. It was Trump and only Trump who jumped to the unjustified conclusion that Comey leaked classified info to Richman. Even if the anonymous story is true, we simply don’t know that yet.

          (Of course Richman’s statement that nothing he saw was marked classified is irrelevant; markings don’t make something classified, their absence doesn’t make it unclassified, and he — unlike Comey — can’t be expected to recognize on sight whether something is classified or not. His very statement that he assumes the absence of markings is determinative shows his inexpertise at this, which is of course to be expected since it isn’t his job.)

          Ragspierre in reply to murkyv. | July 12, 2017 at 6:51 am

          “There was classified info on the memos.”

          According to one or more anonymous leakers.

          Who may or may not know what they’re talking about, be lying, or not even exist.

I use Mobile 1 in my bike.

It’s interesting watching “conservative’s” shifting justifications. There were no contacts with the Russians. There were contacts, but there was no collusion. There was collusion, but it wasn’t illegal.

Trump Jr. clearly stated he would “love” to accept help in the election from a foreign adversarial government.

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