Senators Disagree While Mueller May be Wrapping Up

Byron York at the Washington Examiner asks why Mueller is starting to hand off parts of his investigation to other areas of the justice system - like the SDNY with the case against Cohen and the case against Maria Butina farmed off to the DOJ’s National Security Division who will prosecute the case against Butina. A case which seems to revolve around her not properly registering as a foreign representative (i.e. lobbyist) for the Russian government in her attempts to win influence with groups like the NRA.

This after everyone hoping for some evidence of collusion was braying about how the Butina story was as good as it gets. So, given the broad scope of Mueller's probe, authorized by Deputy AG Rosenstein, why is he and his team doing this? According to unnamed former prosecutors, the most likely reason is that there does not seem to be any real case or backing evidence for collusion.

What there is, however, is some disagreement amongst GOP Senators over the propriety of some of the FBI and DOJ's methods - specifically the FISA court warrants on Carter Page. While Senator Lindsey Graham has denounced the warrants for being based on the "garbage" Steele dossier, Senator Rubio is all rosy-cheeked earnestness in claiming he can't see anything wrong with what the FBI and DOJ did in obtaining the warrants.

Rubio needs to back up his assertion with a more substantial assessment of the process used to obtain those warrants. This matters because it involves a possibly mendacious and at the very least incomplete filing of a request to obtain a search warrant on an American citizen who happened to do business with Russia. Is it that Rubio is concerned about institutional credibility and the frayed reputation of the FBI and DOJ, not to mention the NSA and CIA over the course of various scandals, including the FISA warrants on Carter Page?

Does Rubio think that an earnest support of the FBI's methods will do the trick? Or does he have more information that could help illustrate why the search warrants, and how they were obtained, were a legitimate exercise of the agency's authority in a question of national security? Trey Gowdy has gone from saying he saw nothing wrong with the FBI "running an informant" at people associated with the Trump campaign to now blasting the process. Which way is it Trey? And Rubio? Do you guys have privileged information, or does it depend on how you're feeling on a given day? Or do you worry people won't sufficiently respect America's intel community with people like John Brennan sounding like a crazed sidewalk preacher of doom more and more every week.

Meanwhile Deputy AG Rosenstein is busy conflating counterintelligence with criminal justice and doing so with gusto it seems. Here's a comment of his from a few days ago:

Do not underestimate the long arm of American law--or the persistence of American law enforcement. People who thought they were safely under the protection of foreign governments when they committed crimes against America sometimes later find themselves in federal prisons.

This is a fairly dramatic shift in policy, and it seems to be setting America on a course with possibly unintended consequences at some point in the future, like the danger of being a diplomat or member of the military. When you criminalize counter-intelligence operations, you encourage your adversaries to do the same or to up the ante to an even greater extent. Rosenstein even went so far as to say that those indicted by Mueller could someday be extradited by nations with extradition treaties with America. Again, this sets a dangerous precedent.

Look, to find any way to bring an Obama bin Laden or an ISIS leader back in chains or in an urn is understandable. But should America use criminal charges to combat Russian intelligence officials whose job it is to hack their way into America's systems? Aren't there better ways to achieve this without the naming and shaming which removes them from being counter-intel targets and turns them into political props?

We need counter-intel operations to protect America's electoral systems, and its infrastructure from dams to banks, and any other aspect of the country's assets that are key to national security. We don't need lots of self-justifying theatre. Keep the counter-intel. Lose the grandstanding please Mr. Rosenstein.

Posted by Keeley at July 24, 2018 11:15 AM
Comment #429394

Your article is little ado about nothing. putain does not observe the Geneva protocols. He consistently harasses our embassy’s staff.

You repeat discredited nonsense about the FISA warrant against Page, a self admitted Kremlin devotee whom trAmp named as one of his advisors, but at whose urging? The same people who installed Tillerson as their preferred SOS, as indicated by Butina.

The POS is a Russian propagandist. Christine Todd Whitman called for him to be removed from office, so why this nonsense in a column titled under the Res Publica party? They should have changed their name to the Res Privatus party a long time ago, easily and appropriately abbreviated as the Privy Party.

Posted by: Ohrealy at July 24, 2018 12:42 PM
Comment #429395

“REPORTER: Did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

PUTIN: Yes, I wanted him to win. Because he talked about bringing the U.S. Russia relationship back to normal.”
From the press conference following the meeting between Trump and Putin

“I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!”

That is a flat out lie, an obvious lie, damnable lie. He needs to be removed from office as soon as possible. Trump is treason.

Posted by: phx8 at July 24, 2018 2:16 PM
Comment #429396

President trAmp’s disgraceful performance in Helsinki, Finland, and in the days since is an indication that he is not fit to remain in office. trAmp’s 2016 “America First” platform might be more aptly named “Russia First” after the disaster that occurred last week.

trAmp’s turn toward Russia is indefensible. I am a lifelong Republican. I have campaigned and won as a member of the party, and I have served more than one Republican president. My Republican colleagues — once rightfully critical of President Obama’s engagement strategy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin — have to end their willful ignorance of the damage trAmp is doing both domestically and internationally. We must put aside the GOP label, as hard as that may be, and demonstrate the leadership our country needs by calling on the president to step down.

Posted by: Ohrealy at July 24, 2018 2:27 PM
Comment #429397

IMPECH 45!!!

Posted by: kctim at July 24, 2018 3:07 PM
Comment #429398

This country is hanging by a thin thread. We are depending on the Mueller investigation and the midterms to save us from dictatorship by the traitor. Trump has been attacking Mueller at every opportunity, and Mueller has not responded. On the one hand, it is good the investigation seems to be leak proof. On the other hand, it allows Trump to say anything at all, make any ridiculous accusation, and his supporters will eat it up and refuse to believe Mueller results, despite the pile of guilty pleas and indictments already issued. The relentless attacks against the Intelligence Community, DOJ, FBI, and the free press- virtually anyone who criticizes Trump- continues by Trump as well as his lackeys, hatertainers like Limbaugh and Hannity.

Today, AG Sessions joined a chant of ‘lock her up’ at a high school event for young conservatives. That was simply incredible. The chief law enforcement officer in the country should have shut that chant down. He did not. He joined it. That was incredibly inappropriate. Meanwhile, it is still possible Trump could fire Rosenstein and replace him with someone who would shut down the Mueller investigation.

The Russians, abetted by Trump the traitor, will do everything possible to make sure their asset stays in place. The Russians don’t need to do that much- just keep 34 obedient, spineless Republican Senators in office.

Posted by: phx8 at July 24, 2018 3:21 PM
Comment #429399

In other words, the left still feels as if they are losing the ‘cultural war’ and are going to keep with the ‘country hanging by a thread,’ ‘dictatorship’ and ‘traitor’ nonsense.

You guys have flown right by Bigfoot and straight into Reptilian territory.

Posted by: kctim at July 24, 2018 3:43 PM
Comment #429400
The Russians don’t need to do that much- just keep 34 obedient, spineless Republican Senators in office. Posted by: phx8 at July 24, 2018 3:21 PM

If they lose enough, they may decide that keeping a traitor in office isn’t worth it. The supporters of the POS are a dwindling minority in a dwindling party accounting for less than 25% of the population. The POS is destroying that party. The remnant are the sort of people who would support Caligula if he came back to life.

Stephen Miller came in with Sessions. They’re the source of the “animus” against brown immigrants. I don’t know if you saw the July 2 cover of the New Yorker:

Center for the National Interest, originally started by Nixon, got Butina to meet with Treasury and Fed officials when Torshin was still a Central Bank governor in russia.

You probably saw the whole segment on TRMS on that bank in Chicago and the people who are getting immunity to testify in the Manafort trial on his attempt to sell the office of Secretary of the Army.

Posted by: Ohrealy at July 24, 2018 3:58 PM
Comment #429401

“The remnant are the sort of people who would support Caligula if he came back to life.”

Now that’s funny.

Posted by: phx8 at July 24, 2018 4:22 PM
Comment #429402

“This country is hanging by a thin thread.”

Sorry phx8, but it should read; “The Democrat Party is hanging by a thin thread.”

Do you realize that should the Democrats elect socialist to national office, they can’t take the oath of office without committing perjury? They are opposed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States.

Bernie Sanders committed perjury.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 24, 2018 4:55 PM
Comment #429407

No one on the left has any specific charge against Trump to get him impeached. Waters is simply saying what her own opinion is. She, nor anyone on the left, are naming specific charges they would have to prove, that will get Trump impeached. They are simply running off at the mouth.

Look through phx8’s comments. Has he named any specific charge against Trump? No, he hasn’t. He’s simply stating his own opinion, and we’re supposed to just fall in line with it.

Sorry, phx8. It isn’t working this time. It makes me wonder how many times a Democratic lie has worked. It actually scares me how many time it could have worked throughout the history of the last 100 years of Progressive dominance.

We’re on to the left’s shenanigans. They’re not going to be able to just repeat it over and over until the Republican under attack folds. That’s what they’re doing. They’re repeating Russia, Russia, Russia, over and over, and Mueller has been at it for 2 years trying to make it stick! Much to the chagrin of the left they can’t get the lie to stick!

We’re over it, phx8. The Democratic Party’s goose is cooked. Trump stuck a fork in it. The left needs to realize that instead of trying to get the majority of people to believe their lies.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 24, 2018 8:16 PM
Comment #429410

“Just remember, what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening. Just stick with us, don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news.”
Donald Trump

The Mueller investigation started in April of last year. In just 15 months it has charged and received guilty pleas from the National Security Advisor and the Deputy Campaign Manager, among others. The Campaign Manager is in jail. Like in the movie “The Godfather”: when asked about Paulie, Fat Clemenza said “Oh, you won’t see him no more.”

25 Russians indicted and 3 Russian companies.

The DOJ is holding a suspected Russian spy without bail. She infiltrated the NRA and GOP.

In the SDNY, the president’s personal lawyer and fixer faces a potential raft of charges. The scandal includes payments to a p*rn star and a Playboy model, and huge amounts of money showing up in the same account from the likes of Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

Posted by: phx8 at July 24, 2018 9:31 PM
Comment #429411

Mueller is handing those cases off to the various local authorities.

Mueller has nothing. He will be a nobody as soon as he can get himself out of the limelight. He’s failed to do any damage to the Trump administration.

How much good could you have done, phx8, if you would have considered even a neutral stance? The amount of energy you’ve expended must be embarrassing! Why are you still pursuing this?

Mueller is a national joke and you are dancing on the big clown shoes Mueller is wearing right now?

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 24, 2018 9:59 PM
Comment #429412

phx8, why aren’t you paying the same amount of attention to Hillbilly’s private transactions and business dealings? Why aren’t you going back years and years into Clinton’s history?

Why are you such a partisan, phx8? It’s like you’ve shut off the right side of your brain because you don’t think it’s worth using!

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 24, 2018 10:09 PM
Comment #429433

I am confident that President Trump will prevail over those who desire him to resign or be impeached. I read much from many sources and have not found any credible charges against the president that would cause either effect.

The facts are that President Trump is doing a great job despite all the daily impediments from his foes. No matter how hard the media tries, their “fake news” cycle soon results in the story being dropped as the truth comes out.

The Left is constantly disappointed by not being able to find, or manufacture, a charge against the president that will stick for more than a few news cycles.

Breaking news on trade with Europe looks good at first reading.

“Trump Secures Concessions From Europeans, EU Official Says
Europeans agree on lowering industrial tariffs, work on more U.S. LNG exports”

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 25, 2018 3:12 PM
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