Monday, January 28, 2019

Kim Strassel - Unable To See The "Conspiracy Theorist" Staring Back At Her In The Mirrror

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Kim Strassel in her latest WSJ column ('Mark Warner's Enablers', Jan. 25, p. A13) continues her all in balderdash that her conspiracy theory (actually ideation, since it isn't testable) is the reality and Sen, Mark Warner (and the rest of us) are pushing Trump-Russia "conspiracy theories."  As she puts it:

"Hand it to Sen. Mark Warner. Of the many Russia-collusion theorists, how many get to claim “bipartisan” credentials? That’s one question that accompanied Thursday’s supposedly big news that the Senate Intelligence Committee had subpoenaed former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify in February. If anything comes from this appearance—it would be surprising. Senate Intel is the committee Mr. Warner, as ranking Democrat, has turned into the black hole of the Russia investigation, with Republican signoff.."


What Kim means - in her blind consternation- is that committee Chairman Richard Burr has evidently suffered a "mugging" in allowing  Mark Warner's thesis to accumulate credibility - say instead of distorting it and burying it like the scumball Devin Nunes did with the House Intel investigation.   According to Kim, "Mr. Burr appears to have suffered a political mugging".  Then adopting the usual Rightie trick of trying to blame the "left" media for his taking a more principled and honest stand than Nunes.

After all, according to Kim, how could Burr not see the REAL conspiracy  (unearthed by Nunes and his sycophant Reep House cohort) staring him and the other GOP Senate Intel members in the face. As she puts it (ibid.):

"Thanks to House committees, we know the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted surveillance of the Trump team based on opposition research from Hillary Clinton's campaign. And Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee blew the lid off the FBI's feckless relationship with dossier author Christopher Steele."

Re: the House committees, we now know they were fronts set up to protect Trump by deflecting attention to the Steele dossier, the FBI and Hillary (via the 'Uranium One' and Clinton Foundation tropes). With the release of a redacted Democratic memorandum in February, we beheld just how deeply Nunes had embedded himself in Trump's orbit to become his top bootlicker and enabler. At least in the Repug House, by running interference for a traitor.  That Democratic House memo, even with redaction, boldly countered Nunes' claims that top FBI and Justice Department officials has "abused their powers in spying on Carter Page" the former Trump campaign aide. 

Kim - possibly in the throes of an MJ candy high,   vaping overdose or sporadic hormonal imbalance - also again appears not to recall the Fusion GPS oppo research was originally launched by The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news site. The relevant  WSJ editorial at the time noted it was funded by big GOP donor Paul Singer.  Singer wanted oppo research done on a two bit Queens' chiseler and lowlife he didn't trust. Singer and a group of old guard GOP donors hired Fusion GPS to do the job of digging up dirt on the Queens' grifter. Subsequently, after Trump won the Repub primary,   the material was handed off to the Clinton campaign. This was NOT in any way sinister or illegal as Strassel tries to portray.  Nor in any way conspiratorial, certainly like seeking the help of a hostile foreign power to meddle in a presidential campaign.

What was illegal was the Trump team holding more than 100 meetings - that we now know of -  with Russians, including GRU intelligence agents.  Specifically in "Trump and His Associates Had More Than 100 Contacts With Russians Before the Inauguration,"   The NY Times tracked down "more than 100 in-person meetings, phone calls, text messages, emails and private messages on Twitter," all made by "at least 17 campaign officials and advisers [who] had contacts with Russian nationals and WikiLeaks, or their intermediaries."

Further, foreign intercepts of meetings of Trump cronies, e.g. Carter Page, with Russian  (GRU) agents meant that the U.S.  FBI  had to enter the picture with its own FISA warrants, surveillance, etc. Not to do so would have violated agreements with foreign intel sources, assets, and would have amounted to dereliction of duty.   Hence, there was no evil conspiracy by the FBI, it only exists in Kim's mind.  Or perhaps in her fervid, MJ-laced dreams?

Why else spout such unhinged bollocks as:

"In recent weeks Mr. Warner has painted the lurid possibility of Trump-Russia collusion."

Well, it ain't just a "possibility",  Kim. Text messages, phone records, foreign intercepts, emails  - other documentation of the meetings-   point to clear conspiracy with the Russkies to alter  the 2016 election. And as former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah made clear Friday night ('All In'):

"There's just so many facts in this indictment about the coordination of the Trump campaign with Wikileaks, through Roger Stone. Remember that GRU indictment - if you go back to that- one of the objects of the conspiracy is not just hacking but hacking and disseminating.  You can't look at them alone, you have to go back to everything we know, the Trump Tower meeting, the calling out by Trump to Russia (to grab Hillary's emails)...there's just so many other things."

Rocah, in other words, has put her former federal prosecutor's finger on exactly why the reactionary Right media is able to peddle this balderdash there's "nothing there".  Because they count on massive amnesia of their readers, viewers concerning the reams of evidence that came before.  This is also what fuels The Wall Street Journal's lame editorials, e.g. 'Keystone Kops Collusion', p. A12,  Jan. 26-27)  as when this one claimed:

"Robert Mueller's indictment Friday of Roger Stone proves Donald Trump has awful judgment in political associations. What it doesn't show is Trump-Russia collusion."

Which take could have been right out of Andrew McCarthy's National Review piece, "Stone Indictment Underscores That There Was No Trump-Russia Conspiracy."
 

 But as blogger P.M. Carpenter has observed: "Mueller has never suggested that the Trump campaign's Russia collusion was smooth, slick or sophisticated. Stumblebums and poseurs are often at the center of political campaigns. "

So the WSJ editorial amounts to the classic red herring.

I have also pointed out repeatedly - and Ms. Rocah has also noted -  there is no federal statute for collusion, there is for conspiracy. And that case is nailed shut when the compendium of evidence is assembled from the Papadopolous' meeting onward - say to the Trump Tower meeting, and then Trump's invitation to the Russkies to hack Hillary's emails.

According to Robert Mueller's "GRU  indictments" cited by Rocah:


"On or about July 27, 2016, the conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts on a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton's personal office. They also targeted seventy-six email addresses at the domain for the Clinton campaign. '

Most interesting, this happened on the very same day Traitor Trump appeared in front of the media cameras and pleaded with Russia to hack Hillary's emails, e.g.

"I will tell you this, Russia if you're listening, I hope that you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. You will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let's see if that happens."


And after all, Hillary lost thanks to Trump's conspiracy with the Russians to leverage him into power. So who is really the victim here, Kim?   National Security specialist and counterinsurgency expert Malcolm Nance also reaffirmed yesterday on MSNBC the peril facing Stone and how  he was the "bridge and link for that information" passed from the Trump campaign to Russian intelligence. Adding: "This is a critical,  critical indictment. They're saying they've identified the link.", i.e. in showing the bridge and coordination between Stone,  the Trump campaign, and the Russians.    Adding: "This indictment is based not just on the hearsay or the testimony of others. Robert Mueller brings documentation to the table....And believe me there's also other information in the special counsel's office we don't know about especially from other members of the Trump team including Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn and others."

This was echoed by Georgetown Law professor Paul Butler, citing the "treasure trove" of documents, emails, phone messages, interdicted foreign wiretaps, etc. Mueller has on him.  Prof. Butler then stated Stone could "face twenty" years for his part in the conspiracy.

Strassel's other favorite target has been Christopher Steele and his dossier.  It's almost like Strassel goes to bed every night dreaming about it.  Well,  at least dreaming of novel ways to incorporate it into her conspiracy ideations.  But the facts are much less astounding. The dossier has been a frequent target of  the WSJ- FOX- Dotard Axis which seeks to heap incessant   derision upon it. But the probe into the Trump campaign originally was sparked by a separate matter that Steele never wrote about:  a tip from an Australian diplomat that a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, appeared to know Russia had obtained damaging emails on the Democrats. (Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents.) 

The dossier itself is actually several memos, based on conversations with Russian sources, that were written between June and December of 2016.   Further, in retrospect nearly all of the dossier has been substantiated or confirmed.

Strassel whines at the end of her piece that "we all want adult behavior"  and to that end "someone on the intelligence committee needs to step up and supervise Mr. Warner."  Actually, the only ones that need supervising - apart from Trump - are Kim Strassel and her coven of Wall Street Journal conspiracy spinners, "witch hunt" protesters and  Trump enablers  - especially as they seem unable to discern real conspiracies from fake ideations. 



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