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Trump Treason Insurance – A “Get Out of Hanging Free” Card

12 May

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FBI Agents Worry White House Will Kneecap Russia Probe

The acting FBI director may promise that the investigation into Trump-Russia connections will continue. Many agents aren’t buying it.

On Tuesday night after James Comey got fired, FBI agents tasked with thwarting Russian intelligence operations started drinking.

Two well-connected former FBI employees told The Daily Beast that counterintelligence agents working on Russia desk based at FBI headquarters in downtown Washington met for drinks in the hours after their boss’s firing and shared their concerns: that they would be moved to another division, and that their work on the Russia issue wouldn’t be a priority anymore.

These are worries that have spread through the bureau in the days since Comey was fired: that the new administration will find ways to stymie investigations that could create political problems——especially on Russia. It’s a concern the president himself exacerbated in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that aired Thursday evening.

“And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won,’” the president said, discussing his reasoning for firing Comey.

Among current and former agents who worked on Russian counterintelligence, concern about political meddling is palpable.

“It’s complete bananas,” said one FBI source. “Management in counterintelligence are insanely concerned, worried about the overreaching obstruction and political influence from the White House.”

And a former high-ranking FBI official who worked on aspects of the case said there’s “no doubt the investigation can be damaged.”

“This particular case is within HQ with pieces in other field offices,” the source continued. “Hard to stop, but definitely subvert.”

The pace of the FBI’s Russian counterintelligence effort dramatically picked in recent weeks when the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn expanded to include his company’s work for the Turkish government, and a round of subpoenas were issued by a Virginia grand jury for related business and financial records. This stems from reports out of Turkey that Flynn had at some point attempted to return money he was paid for work he didn’t end up doing. That gave investigators a money trail to follow. Flynn reportedly failed to disclose this income when he was employed by the White House.

Two sources suggested that aspects of the larger investigation are focused on whether foreign influence was or is currently being exerted at the White House. It is unclear if this is specifically related to Flynn, or other aspects or targets of the case.

“It is not just a historical investigation,” said one former intelligence official who worked aspects of the early stages of the investigation.

Andrew McCabe, the bureau’s interim director, told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning that nothing would stop the investigation. But his confidence didn’t calm many nerves, in large part because there’s a broad consensus in Washington that his days at the bureau are numbered. In that same hearing, McCabe praised Comey and directly contradicted a White House spokesperson’s assertion that the FBI rank-and-file had turned on their former boss.

 
 

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3 responses to “Trump Treason Insurance – A “Get Out of Hanging Free” Card

  1. CNu

    May 12, 2017 at 1:10 PM

    What a breathtaking paucity of imagination. Not only is the Russia probe over, finished, kaput – the DOJ under Sessions is about to be reconfigured and thoroughly weaponized for some serious swamp-draining.

    The soft spot, the least tyrant-proof part of the government, is the U.S. Department of Justice and the larger law enforcement and regulatory apparatus of the United States government. The first reason you should fear a Donald Trump presidency is what he would do to the ordinary enforcement functions of the federal government, not the most extraordinary ones…

    A prosecutor—and by extention, a tyrant president who directs that prosecutor—can harass or target almost anyone, and he can often do so without violating any law. He doesn’t actually need to indict the person, though that can be fun. He needs only open an investigation; that alone can be ruinous. The standards for doing so, criminal predication, are not high. And the fabric of American federal law—criminal and civil law alike—is so vast that a huge number of people and institutions of consequence are ripe for some sort of meddling from authorities. A template here is how former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli was able to harass climate scientists he didn’t like. This stuff is not hard to do, and you don’t even need to win to succeed.

    The Justice Department has some institutional defenses against this sort of thing, but they are far weaker than the intelligence community’s institutional defenses against abuses. They mostly do not reside in statute or in the sort of complex oversight structures that Granick complains in the case of NSA are not restrictive enough. They reside in the Levi Guidelines, in certain normative rules about contacts between the Justice Department and the White House, in norms that have developed over the years in the FBI. And they reside in the hearts of a lot of replaceable people. Ultimately, they reside in an institutional culture at the Justice Department, and that is precisely the sort of thing a tyrant leader can change.

    This is the way that Putin managed to clear out the bulk of neocon/bankster trash in Russia and begin the process of making Russia great again after it almost succumbed to its own 5th column of vermin within. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/two-dead-canaries-in-the-coal-mine/526230/

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  2. CNu

    May 12, 2017 at 1:16 PM

    You got to take that corrupt, knee-pad wearing, revolving-door abusing, neocon-banskster trash out to the curb in order to make America great again. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/world/europe/russia-alexei-ulyukayev-detained.html

    Like

     
  3. CNu

    May 12, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    lol, hell’s comin Auntie…, and it’ll all be strictly legal.

    Law and order every time!!!

    Like

     

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