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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "wray"

Pelosi on Trump saying he’d accept foreign dirt: It’s more evidence that he doesn’t know right from wrong

Westlake Legal Group np Pelosi on Trump saying he’d accept foreign dirt: It’s more evidence that he doesn’t know right from wrong wray Trump The Blog Russia Research pelosi opposition oppo foreign Federal Bureau of Investigation dirt crime

Before you ask, no, this doesn’t mean she’s any closer to impeaching him. As Greg Pollowitz said earlier on Twitter today, Pelosi has now adopted her own version of Trump’s famous comment from the 2016 campaign. He could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and she still wouldn’t impeach him for it.

Depending on the day, my reaction to the claim that Trump doesn’t know right from wrong would be either “Well, yes, obviously” or “Well, yes, obviously, but that’s true of a lot of people in Washington.” (If you want to counter that it’s less a matter of them not knowing than not caring, fine.) The Trump fans who responded to last night’s unpleasantness by noting that Hillary sought dirt on him from foreign individuals via the Steele dossier are right, of course. Ed Morrissey was also right, and drew a better analogy to the collusion question at the heart of Russiagate, when he pointed out in this morning’s post that Team Hillary received some help on their Trump oppo effort from Ukrainian government officials. There’s a material difference, I think, between pressing foreign randos on what they know about your opponent and accepting dirt that’s volunteered by a foreign government. A foreign government will have a political agenda in offering information, may be more willing to lie in the name of advancing that agenda, and will certainly have more sophisticated means of fabricating information than the average person will. Use their oppo and you’re handing a possibly/probably unethical foreign regime influence over the outcome of an American election.

And you’ll owe them for it.

That’s why the Hillary/Ukraine relationship is more troubling than the Hillary/Steele one. Although you don’t need a 2016 analogue if you’re looking to let Trump off the hook for his comments in the ABC interview. Is it really true that Team Biden would instantly call the FBI if Chinese officials reached out to say that Trump spent decades laundering money for the Russian government and they’ve obtained the paperwork that proves it? Some Biden aides might want to, but others would inevitably argue that if evidence exists proving that the president is corrupt, they have a patriotic duty to see that that evidence is laid before voters. It’s not just a matter of electoral advantage, it’s a matter of making sure that someone who’s compromised doesn’t assume the presidency and find him- or herself subject to blackmail.

Which is precisely what Team Trump would say about their interest in hearing out the Russian lawyer at that meeting in Trump Tower in 2016.

David Frum makes another point to distinguish oppo research, which is what the Steele dossier was, from the sort of dirt that the Trump campaign was interested in three years ago. One was the product of a crime committed against Americans, the other was not.

Frum’s kidding himself if he thinks “nobody” would have objected to Team Trump putting people on the ground in Russia to sniff around about Uranium One, but never mind that. It’s true that the campaign gleefully promoted the hacked DNC/Podesta emails that were released through Wikileaks, but that wasn’t what was offered to Don Jr before the Trump Tower meeting. Rob Goldstone told Junior that it involved “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.” POTUS told Stephanopoulos last night that “maybe” he’d go to the FBI “if I thought there was something wrong” with dirt on an opponent offered by foreigners. Trump being Trump, he wouldn’t, but that was his concession that it’d be shifty to use illegally obtained information — never mind that he cheerled for publication of the hacked emails in 2016.

If China hacked Trump’s financial records and put them on the Internet next year, would *no* Democrat ever so much as reference them? C’mon.

Hair-splitting about the dossier, the help Hillary got from Ukraine, and the hacked emails misses the core point, though, which is that the president shouldn’t be on television winking at foreigners that he might take dirt on his opponent from them in 2020. He’s incentivizing foreign interference in the next election. NBC reported just a few days ago that officials from at least 22 different countries have spent money at Trump properties since he became president, never mind the implications that may have for the Emoluments Clause. Diplomats have been flocking to the Trump Hotel in Washington since before he was inaugurated. Everyone understands the value of doing a favor for this president, financial or otherwise. So here he is on ABC telling the world he’s amenable to favors in the form of oppo on Democrats seemingly without much care about what forms that oppo might take. It’s a green light to hack. The argument for electing him instead of Clinton in 2016 was that Hillary was an amoral reptile who embodied the swamp and America needed to be better than that to be great again. The argument for defending Trump now on what he said to Stephanopoulos is “Well, he’s really no worse than Hillary.” Congratulations.

Exit question via Marco Rubio: If the Chinese government sends proof of Trump’s criminal activity to the New York Times instead of to the Biden campaign, will the Times call the FBI? If the concern here is about letting a hostile power influence a presidential election with dirt obtained through scurrilous means, laundering oppo through the media will do the job just as well as handing it off to a candidate will. So, again, will the Times call the FBI?

The post Pelosi on Trump saying he’d accept foreign dirt: It’s more evidence that he doesn’t know right from wrong appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group np-300x159 Pelosi on Trump saying he’d accept foreign dirt: It’s more evidence that he doesn’t know right from wrong wray Trump The Blog Russia Research pelosi opposition oppo foreign Federal Bureau of Investigation dirt crime   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Chris Wray: I don’t personally have evidence of illegal surveillance into any political campaigns

Westlake Legal Group chris-wray-i-dont-personally-have-evidence-of-illegal-surveillance-into-any-political-campaigns Chris Wray: I don’t personally have evidence of illegal surveillance into any political campaigns wray turk Trump The Blog surveillance spying russiagate Russia halper Federal Bureau of Investigation christopher chris 2016

Westlake Legal Group w Chris Wray: I don’t personally have evidence of illegal surveillance into any political campaigns wray turk Trump The Blog surveillance spying russiagate Russia halper Federal Bureau of Investigation christopher chris 2016

What odds can I get in Vegas that the eventual IG report about this will find that (a) nothing illegal happened in 2016 but (b) having one party’s presidential nominee investigated by a DOJ run by the other party is “problematic,” to put it mildly, and creates an appearance of impropriety that undermines public confidence in the justice system?

Double or nothing that it comes with a recommendation for Congress to establish new guidelines for how the Department should handle counterintelligence probes that involve political campaigns in the future.

Anyway, an interesting answer here by Chris Wray at this morning’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to a question about “spying” on the Trump campaign in 2016. The bottom line in his response — no, he hasn’t seen evidence of illegal surveillance — doesn’t quite capture the tenor of his full reply.

“Thank you,” said [Jeanne] Shaheen. “Do you believe, Director Wray, that the FBI and its agents spied into the 2016 presidential campaign operation?”

“Well again, I want to be careful how I answer that question here, because there is an ongoing Inspector General investigation,” said Wray. “I have my own thoughts based on the limited information I’ve seen so far, but I don’t think it would be right or appropriate for me to share those at this stage, because I really do think it’s important for everybody to respect the independent Inspector General’s investigation, which I think this question start — this line of questioning starts to implicate, and I think it’s very important for everybody to have full confidence in his review.”

When Shaheen followed up by asking him if he had evidence of illegal surveillance, he responded with “I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort.” The fact that he was willing to say he “personally” didn’t have info but was unwilling to state his opinion on whether there was any FBI spying seems notable to me, as if Wray has reason to believe that something untoward happened but doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of it. Did word trickle down to him somehow about the IG’s preliminary findings? Remember that Barr famously seemed credulous about “spying” too when he testified last month.

Wray’s predecessor was asked recently about last week’s bombshell NYT report claiming that an undercover female operative met George Papadopoulos in 2016 to feel him out about campaign connections to Russia. Was that spying, Comey was asked? He was less placid than Wray in answering:

“Really? What would you have the FBI do? We discover in the middle of June of 2016 that the Russians were engaged in a massive effort to mess with this democracy to interfere in the election. We’re focused on that and at the end of July we learn that a Trump campaign adviser — two months earlier, before any of this was public — had talked to a Russian representative about the fact that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton and wanted to arrange to share it with the Trump campaign,” Comey said…

“What should the FBI do when it gets that information? It should investigate to figure out whether any Americans are hooked up with this massive interference effort. And that’s what we did.” Comey said.

How many more undercover agents were used to sting members of Trump’s campaign, wondered Byron York in a column today. That’s a key question for the IG report: Did the FBI adjust its counterintelligence protocols in any way in light of the political sensitivity of surveilling a presidential campaign or did it treat Team Trump as any other outfit whom it suspected might be mixed up with Russia? Should it have adjusted those protocols and given the campaign special treatment that any other organization wouldn’t have received? Was there any political pressure from higher-ups in the Obama administration to launch the investigation or use tactics that the FBI was reluctant to use?

If there was and this was all essentially a political sting on Trump, why didn’t Obama make a bigger deal of Russian interference before Election Day, hoping that Hillary might benefit?

You’ll find Wray here more uncomfortable with the term “spying” than Barr was during his own testimony, which I understand. “Spying” typically refers to surveillance that’s unlawful and/or conducted by the enemy. Never in my lifetime of watching true-crime shows have I heard police surveillance of the bad guy described as “spying,” even when it involves wiretaps. “Spying” is what you say when you want to emphasize that surveillance is improper. Barr obviously knows that yet made a point of using that word before quickly retreating when he was called on it, insisting that he has no knowledge of impropriety at this point. Again, was that because he got some sort of preview from the IG’s office that the FBI broke the law in surveilling Team Trump or was he just spinning for POTUS by recycling his narrative that all surveillance of his campaign was bad and therefore “spying”?

The post Chris Wray: I don’t personally have evidence of illegal surveillance into any political campaigns appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group w-300x159 Chris Wray: I don’t personally have evidence of illegal surveillance into any political campaigns wray turk Trump The Blog surveillance spying russiagate Russia halper Federal Bureau of Investigation christopher chris 2016   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com