Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Durham Indictment

I have been quite cynical that anything would come of this, as have others.  It seemed to be dragging out, I thought it could just be defunded and buried anyway, and despite the good reports everyone was giving about Durham, I felt I had heard all this many times before, that this guy was not like the others, this guy was a straight shooter, this guy was going to get it right.  And then those guys were like all the rest. 

I also hold the Epoch Times at arm's length, because they have such a clear bias. That's not to say they are inaccurate in any way - I really don't know much about that.  But they're only going to give you one side, so I don't tend to go there.

All that said, this was the most encouraging thing I have read since the first accusations against Trump being in cahoots with the Russians surfaced five years ago. (Hat tip: Maggie's Farm.) Durham is not going slowly, he just came on late and is doing his own work.  According to Patel, it's actually a little quick. Patel also sounds well-placed to understand these things.

For the record, when the accusations came out I thought it probable that Trump had some connections to some unsavory Russians, because in his development business he dealt with bad guys all the time, and those bad guys likely dealt with even worse guys. But I didn't think there was anything that looked at all convincing about him screwing with the election with Putin's help.  Even the allegations were a lot of hand-waving about BAD PEOPLE and DISINFORMATION without much substance. I thought it unfortunate that we might have a president who had worked with a fair number of crooks, including Russian crooks, but I worried also that a lot of exaggeration and insinuation was happening. That my cynical impression of Donnie from Queens turned out to itself be an exaggeration was good to learn as we went forward.

Incidentally, remember my repeated objection to Jonathan Haidt's assertion that conservatives use purity/degradation as a moral axis, but liberals tend not to?  Think about the Steele Dossier, and the attempt to disgust people, especially liberals, with a story that has both Obama and urine in it. Saint Barack should never be degraded in that way.  The type of accusation was carefully crafted to not only make Trump look like a bad man, but bad in a particular way. Liberals very much use the purity/degradation scale in their moral reasoning.


Zachriel said...

The allegation is that Michael Sussmann said in a meeting with FBI General Counsel Jim Baker that he was "not acting on behalf of any client."

Only two people were at the meeting, Baker and Sussman. Baker did not take notes. Notes were taken after the fact by the Assistant Director, Bill Priestap. The notes would be considered hearsay, but even if admitted in court, the notes indicate that Sussmann represented the DNC, so it wasn't a secret.

Baker testified to this in a sworn deposition before the House Oversight Committee.

Q (pg 53). Okay. So when Mr. Sussman came to you to provide some evidence, you were not specifically aware that he was representing the DNC or the Hillary Clinton campaign at the time?

Baker. I don’t recall, I don’t recall him specifically saying that at the time.

Meadows (pg 112): And you knew, generally speaking, that he had some involvement with the DNC.

Baker: Yes.


Furthermore, addressing materiality, Baker said in the same testimony that it wouldn't have made a difference how he would have handled the matter regardless of the person's political background.

Zachriel said...

Even granting that the Clinton campaign was manipulating the process for political purposes, none of this undermines what we do know concerning the Russia-Trump connection.

• Russia hacked the DNC. (Among the evidence, a failure of the VPN used by the hackers let the world momentarily see that they were located at GRU headquarters on Grizodubovoy St in Moscow. We even have the exact URL used to spoof Podesta's account.)

• Russia used the hacked emails to damage Clinton and help Trump.

• Russia used a social media army to amplify messages damaging to Clinton, helpful to Trump, and to sow discord in the U.S. polity.

• Trump's campaign manager provided internal campaign documents to a Russian agent knowing that Russia was attempting to interfere in the U.S. presidential campaign.

• The Mueller investigation found that the Trump campaign welcomed Russian interference in the campaign.

• The Mueller report outlined ten cases where the Trump campaign impeded the investigation.

• The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee investigation found that contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence services constituted a grave counterintelligence threat.

james said...

Tell me that Russia benefits from internal strife in the US and I reply that water is wet. They've been trying to stir up trouble for over a century. In fact, Putin would get (and may have gotten) more bang for his ruble by funding calls for more and more investigation.

Tell me that Russia preferred Trump to Hillary and prepare to be mocked. Money keeps them afloat, and far and away their top export is petroleum. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_exports_of_Russia Fracking is bad for them.

Zachriel said...

james: In fact, Putin would get (and may have gotten) more bang for his ruble by funding calls for more and more investigation.

"Lock her up!" (See first three bullet points above.)

Mueller Indictment Of Russian Operatives Details Playbook Of Information Warfare: "Outside a Trump campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Fla., there was a cage holding a person dressed up like Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform. In the outrageous state of the 2016 campaign, it wasn't altogether shocking to see someone at a Trump event staging the visual stunt, after the "lock her up!" chants that punctuated Trump rallies. But it's now known that this moment was set up by Russians."

Zachriel said...

james: Tell me that Russia preferred Trump to Hillary and prepare to be mocked.

Russian leaders literally cheer Trump's victory

US election 2016: Why Russia is celebrating Trump win

Sam L. said...

I have no faith in the Left, other than it/they LIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

I have no faith in Zachriel, too.

Narr said...

Thanks for your service to our country in peace and war, Director Mueller.

Now, can you show the committee, using the dolls, how the bad man obstructed your justice?

That this is still an issue boggles the mind. Are American politicians--even the amateurs like Trump who wipe the floor with the pros--to be judged by how much or little Russians like them?

And as already noted, the people in charge in Russia have been trying to manipulate foreign governments and populations since 1917. It takes a special kind of ideologue to think they have ever succeeded with anyone but lefties.

The Russian Organs inherited their subversive techniques and knowledge of US media reactions from the Soviets, and were well aware that all they had to do was get a few meetings with Trump people, and their willing accomplices in the MSNDNC would carry it the rest of the way.