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The Shearing of Hair Trompf (24b)

February 5, 2018

(One more time: Why is Hair Trompf so skeered?—as if we don’t know.)

So here we sit, teetering on the brink of the hell of total subjectivity, exactly where any aspiring old autocrat and his fascist party would want us to be. They’re trying to make it a he said / he said proposition, with one he not freeing the other to speak in public. But a beaucoup of people are speaking out, including some Rs.

As Greg Sargent (not an R) wrote recently: Trump is not trying to persuade anyone of anything as much as he is trying to render reality irrelevant, and reduce the pursuit of agreement on it to just another part of the circus. He’s asserting a species of power—the power to evade constraints normally imposed by empirically verifiable facts, by expectations of consistency, and even by what reasoned inquiry deems merely credible.

Here is a contextualizing reconstruction by Marshall (TPM) of how things looked from the point of view of an FBI investigator, watching the “parade of red flags” developed in 2016 (including what probably was known by Comey when he announced the reopening of the clinton investigation but said nothing about the Russia investigation.

Here’s a partial list of realities from which the scam is intended to distract us:

But what does Page have to do with the rest of the Trump/Russia story and the investigation into it? Does Page have anything to do with Paul Manafort’s alleged money laundering? Does he have anything to do with Russia’s contacts with Papadopoulos? Does he have anything to do with Russia’s hacking into Democratic email systems to aid the Trump campaign? Does he have anything to do with Michael Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador, about which he lied to the FBI? Does he have anything to do with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Manafort’s meeting with a group of Kremlin-connected Russians to obtain dirt on Hillary Clinton? Does he have anything to do with President Trump’s firing FBI Director James B. Comey, which Trump himself admitted was done for the purpose of hindering the Russia investigation? Does he have anything to do with all the other ways Trump may have obstructed justice?

The answer to all those questions is no. Page is a peripheral figure at best. Even if the memo did depict what it sets out to depict about the surveillance of Page, it wouldn’t change a thing about the overall Russia scandal. But the memo doesn’t even do that.

Here are Sargent and Waldman on how absurdly weak the doc is (including what is coming out about the points made in the Schiff/Dem rebuttal, which the Rs have not yet agreed to set free). Here’s Terkel on what the doc doesn’t refute. And Steed (TPM) with 5 points on how the memo doesn’t add up. And Rubin sums much of the debunking.

Or as the removed FBI Director Comey put it: That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen. For what? DOJ & FBI must keep doing their jobs.

Or as Senator McCain put it: If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him.

Here’s the immediate response by the Dem Minority Membership of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee has read the FISA that Nunes didn’t read, materials (article by Matt Shuham at TPM), and asserts that the memo is “deliberately misleading.” Nadler has circulated a six-page list of talking points, to all House Dems (pub NBC: article with link to Nadler text).

As Barret, Demirjian, and Rucker put it, shortly after the memo was freed: The Rs have charge[d] senior law enforcement officials with manipulating a foreign intelligence court in order to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser. 

Moral among rank and file FBI has taken a hit.  Here’s FBI Director Wray’s post-freedom memo to rank and file:  “ ‘In the end, actions speak louder than words,’ Wray wrote. ‘Talk is cheap; the work you do is what will endure.’ ” (TPM article)

[Pages (24a) and (24c) (further responses and actions) of this episode.]


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