It turns out that the Ukraine conspiracy fabrication was the best Individual #1 and his co-conspirators could do so far. Fear not, though, they’ve got another ace up their sleeve–rehashing the 2016 election. You know, that thing they’re always accusing Democrats of doing.
The Washington Post reports that Attorney General William P. Barr has been globe trotting in a quest for information discrediting U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
There have been private meetings with officials in Great Britain, Australia, and Italy in conjunction with an investigation being conducted by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, who has been assigned the sensitive task of reviewing U.S. intelligence work surrounding the 2016 election and its aftermath.
Trump has been anything but subtle about seeing a larger purpose with this investigation: to validate his victory and to settle scores with his perceived “deep state” enemies. Back in May, the president told reporters he wanted the attorney general to scrutinize all of the countries he believes conspired against him in 2016.
He said he hopes the DOJ boss “looks at the U.K., and I hope he looks at Australia, and I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything, because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country.”
- The attorney general’s active role also underscores the degree to which a nearly three-year old election still consumes significant resources and attention inside the federal government. Current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials expressed frustration and alarm Monday that the head of the Justice Department was taking such a direct role in re-examining what they view as conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of misconduct.
— Max Burns (@themaxburns) September 30, 2019
The New York Times had details about the administration’s failed attempt to recruit Australia as a source for derogatory information.
- In making the request, Mr. Trump was in effect asking the Australian government to investigate itself. The F.B.I.’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election began after Australian officials told the bureau that the Russian government had made overtures to the Trump campaign about releasing political damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
- Australian officials shared that information after its top official in Britain met in London in May 2016 with George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who told the Australian about the Russian dirt on Mrs. Clinton.
- Mr. Papadopoulos also said that he had heard that the Russians had “thousands” of Mrs. Clinton’s emails from Joseph Mifsud, an academic. Mr. Mifsud, who was last seen working as a visiting professor in Rome, has disappeared. Trump allies, like the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, have put forth an unsubstantiated claim that Western intelligence agencies planted Mr. Mifsud to trap Mr. Papadopoulos.
"The White House restricted access to the call's transcript to a small group of the president’s aides, one of the officials said, an unusual decision that is similar to the handling of a July call with the Ukrainian president." https://t.co/k3KMn78sXX
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 30, 2019
The Wall Street Journal reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was on the July 25 call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. This was confirmed by a senior State Department official, a disclosure that ties the State Department more closely to an ongoing congressional inquiry.
To sum up, on Monday, we learned that The President, Secretary of State, Attorney General and the President’s personal attorney all conspired with foreign governments to undermine Trump’s former, current, and imaginary political rivals.
The Kremlin says that transcripts of calls between President Trump and Russian President Putin can only be published by mutual agreement. https://t.co/82B6f1vcO8
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 30, 2019
It looks like the Russians are concerned. I wonder why that could be?
I’m sure it’s no coincidence that there’s a drip-drip-drip of stories on the chief executive and his team. The State Department’s professional staff has been gutted. The Department of Justice may as well be called Trump’s tormentors. And long-time allies in the intelligence community look at the intelligence services as having been compromised.
The Inspector General’s (headed by a Trump appointee) office saw fit to issue a press release in response to the president’s whining on social media about the rules for whistleblowers being changed. Trump glomed on this claim via a conspiracy theory being pushed in far right circles.
Somewhere out there a whole bunch of pissed off people who used to think they worked in public service are dropping dimes. There won’t be a singular Deep Throat source as happened with Watergate; it’s more like a chorus.
I was listening to a podcast this weekend about the impeachment of Richard Nixon. The most common responses from GOP defending him was:
1. Nothing to see here—everyone does this stuff
2. What about Chappaquiddick?
— Nathan Fletcher (@nathanfletcher) September 30, 2019
Fast fact: Sunday was Donald Trump’s 234th day playing golf & 307th day at one of his properties out of 982 days since being sworn in.