back to article FBI slams secret Nunes memo alleging Feds spied on Team Trump for political reasons

The FBI has slammed a still-secret memo that claims the bureau was politically motivated when it requested a wiretap on a key advisor of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. In a statement released Wednesday, the law enforcement agency said it was "provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the …

  1. kain preacher Silver badge

    Sings we didnt start the fire

  2. DougS Silver badge

    The really ridiculous part of this

    Is that the surveillance on Carter Page was being renewed, he was already under scrutiny before the "dossier" was ever made available to the FBI so they can't claim that's the reason he was being investigated.

    Republicans should not pin their hopes for getting rid of Mueller on Carter Page - he is almost certain to be indicted in the near future, and then the inevitable distancing from him will begin. But that's going to be a lot harder when they are now trying to claim he was a high level member of the campaign.

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: The really ridiculous part of this

      The joke is that every suspects Carter Page of being a spy. Even Carter Page suspects Carter Page of being a spy.

      He was under surveillance long before the Steele report, and there is no reason to suppose that his continued surveillance wouldn't have happened whether his name was in that report or not.

    2. Richard Wharram

      Re: The really ridiculous part of this

      Even more critical. A renewal can only be obtained (they are required every 90 days) if useful intelligence to justify it has been obtained, via the tap, in the previous 90 days. If it hasn't then the renewal is rejected.

      Rod Rosenstein as DAG could only approve the renewal application to be put before a federal judge. He cannot approve it himself. Federal judges are not rubber stamps here. If the 50-60 pages of justification are not rock-solid they are rejected.

      So basically the FISA warrant against Page (who had been on the radar of everyone as a Russian-mark and all-around idiot for at least 3 years) was originally put in before Rosenstein was appointed (by Trump), approved by a federal judge, had already been renewed once before Rosenstein was appointed, by a federal judge, on the grounds that it had produced new intelligence, was approved again under Rosenstein this time, by a federal judge who determined it was still producing useful intel in a lawful manner.

      But somehow Rosenstein is at fault?

      Nunes is supposed to be recused from this anyway and refuses to deny that he created the memo with the WH.

      But sure, the DOJ and the FBI are the shady ones.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: The really ridiculous part of this

        You've got to admit, the FBI has long been known for spending a lot of time under the branches of shade trees pretty much since their inception. COINTELPRO, the letter to MLK Jr., Whitey Bulger, Teddy Deegan, Fast and Furious, etc. The DOJ doesn't get any slack since they sit atop both the FBI and DEA and the DEA's list of shade tree machinations would also fill quite a few burn bags. In the end, it doesn't matter if it gets released since it's unlikely to change anything. Folks who are inclined to think one way or another will only have their opinion reinforced and the rest of us who understand it's all political B.S. will say, "meh, whatev's".

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: The really ridiculous part of this

          The FBI doesn't have a squeaky clean rep, no one is arguing that. The whole reason this is being pushed is to give Trump a "reason" for firing Rosenstein. Then he hopes to appoint a toady in that slot - maybe this is why Trey Gowdy said he wouldn't run for re-election...perhaps Trump plans to appoint him in exchange for a promise to fire Mueller or otherwise shut down the investigation.

          Trump is obviously guilty of something pretty bad for him to have such a consistent pattern of trying to obstruct justice. Must be pretty serious too, if it was just "Trump talked to the Russians about getting dirt on Hillary" his supporters wouldn't care. Probably money laundering with Russian mafia, maybe he's worried if it is exposed the source of funding will dry up and since no reputable bank will loan him a dime he'd end up bankrupt.

  3. Hardrada

    Yeah, but..

    Anyone who followed Rep. Trey Gowdy's investigation into H.R. Clinton knows that the Republicans in Congress are self-serving, but for their own part US lawmen and spooks have put out some embarrassingly sketchy stuff. The Intercept did a nice piece a while ago pointing out that almost half of the Russian IPs that were used as evidence of an FSB operation against the US election system were actually Tor exit nodes:

    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/04/the-u-s-government-thinks-thousands-of-russian-hackers-are-reading-my-blog-they-arent/

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Yeah, but..

      "investigation into H.R. Clinton"

      that would be 'H.R.H. Clinton'. Fixed it for ya!

    2. gbshore

      Re: Yeah, but..

      ... and the Dems, Hillary and the rest aren’t self serving? Lol

  4. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Linux

    Correction - the former FBI members of the committee to elect Hillary Clinton said......

  5. Jonathan Schwatrz
    Stop

    LOL!

    Ahem. This is why Comey had to re-open the Clinton email investigation. I'm sure the fact that McCabe's wife had received $700k from a Clinton ally to run as a Democrat in the 2015 Virginia house race raised a red falg even Comey couldn't ignore - no conflict there! Maybe that was why McCabe did not recuse himself from the Clinton email investigation.

    1. ST Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: LOL!

      [ ... ] bla-bla-bla Hillary Clinton bla-bla-bla McCabe bla-bla-bla FBI bla-bla-bla Comey bla-bla-bla recuse bla-bla-bla Democrats [ ... ]

      Apparently, Trump's lawyers read The Register.

      1. gbshore

        Re: LOL!

        CLEARLY, you are not well read in terms of the decades of Clinton shenanigans... if you think the Server, Benghazi etc are fantasy you are ignorant sir/madam...

    2. Gravis Ultrasound

      Re: LOL!

      The case was reopened because of thousands of State Department emails turning up on a computer belonging to Anthony Wiener. These emails were found independently by the NYC FBI office. NYC FBI was evidently not briefed on the 'HQ' special treatment of Clinton and her minions.

      Comey's promise to keep the Congress updated combined with the high certainty of a Cinton victory allowed for the second showcase 'investigation' and 'exoneration'.

  6. ST Silver badge
    Devil

    This is getting fun to watch ...

    <EOM>

    1. Spasticus Autisticus
      Mushroom

      Re: This is getting fun to watch ...

      I can hear those banjos again.

  7. handleoclast Silver badge

    1933 all over again

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: 1933 all over again

      Congress building is not on fire yet and Jeff Sessions is yet to draft an opening speech where he will be calling someone "An Obscure Balkan Subject".

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why I quit reading your article

    1) No mention that the Clinton's, through Fusion GPS, commissioned Steele to write the document.

    2) Research, especially research being paid for not only by an opposition, but composed by a former spy that was also doing work for the Russians at the same time, is NOT evidence.

    3) No mention of the years worth of lawsuits to attempt to suppress where the information that is being called "evidence" came from.

    Should the memo be released? likely not. Kind like a parent saying why their kid is such a great kid after being accused of pinching a girls rear. Does not excuse the omission and characterization of publicly known facts.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Why I quit reading your article

      So after the FBI publicly condemns a memo outlining top-secret surveillance of a suspected foreign agent - a memo that targets the man overseeing an investigation into foreign interference in a presidential election, and a man that White House has been pressuring to step down - your response is: But the Clintons?!

      Isn't that the equivalent of blaming Julian Assange's Swedish accusers for the NSA's mass surveillance as revealed by Snowden? i.e. ludicrous

    2. Rob D.
      FAIL

      Re: Why I quit reading your article

      Entertaining FUD but hopelessly flawed. If research provides facts that meet the tests/criteria to be called evidence, then it is evidence regardless of source - evidence is not conclusion nor is it single source. You are confusing verifiable evidence with 'alternative facts' which are far more malleable.

      For reference, the 'holy cow, look at that terrible thing the Democrat is doing' defense doesn't carry a lot of weight with the thinking population.

      1. gbshore

        Re: Why I quit reading your article

        Quite the cday Tracy sir.. we the people DO want to see and for me, I’d say same if it was Tep. I personally am an Independent so any impropriety for me is wrong no matter what side of the aisle you sit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why I quit reading your article

        No it's not. The Steele Dossier was supplied by active members of the Russian Government (according to Steele and Fusion GPS) and hence was vetted by the Russian FSB security service.

        Thus you are claiming that if the Russian Security Services want to supply information suggesting that X is a Russian stooge, that information should be trusted ? Really ?

        The real point is that there is real collusion in evidence, and it is indeed public knowledge. The Clinton campaign (and others - DNC and the Obama Campaign) paid Fusion GPS via lawyers and claimed that it was legal expenses - another crime but we'll let that go for now. Fusion GPS paid Steele and provided extensive support to him via Nellie Ohr (wife of a very senior DOJ official, since demoted) and via Ed Baumgartner - AND - via extracts from FISA court surveillance conducted by the FBI that they were illegally allowed to access. Steele and others paid Russian officials for the information in the Dossier that was introduced to the FBI and the public via various channels including Republican and Trump hater McCain.

        Paying foreign officials for intel on ones opponents is textbook collusion. It is one of the ways that collusion is defined in the statutes in the US covering these matters, and it is defined as a crime. So there we have it - collusion, proved, by the Clinton campaign, and by illegal collusion between that campaign and the FBI via the access to classified intercepts from FISA authorized surveillance given to external contractors without security clearances.

        A review by the NSA stated that 85% of accesses to FISA authorized surveillance intercepts in 2016 were illegal, to persons not entitled or allowed such access.

        I suggest that is beyond question that the surveillance on the Trump campaign was at least in part supported by the "Steele Dossier" which was Russian supplied disinformation, was unverified when used, and that the FBI that used it was aware of its provenance (Democrat opposition research) but used it anyway. Page may have been under surveillance, note that he has not been charged and has no actual collusion been shown on his part. He has widespread contacts with Russian businessmen and officials, but if any of these involve improper activity that has yet to be demonstrated or even hinted at.

    3. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Why I quit reading your article

      Orin Kerr, at https://www.lawfareblog.com/dubious-legal-claim-behind-releasethememo offers a legal analysis that pretty much rubbishes the idea that use of the Steele "dossier" in partial justification of the surveillance warrant on Page has any merit.

      As a moderately disinterested and amused observer, I am inclined to the opinion that there really isn't much to either the "collaboration" or "Russian meddling" panic. The major US political parties each offered a poor and unworthy candidate in 2016, and it s far from clear that we got the worst of them for the long run. Now they are fighting over policy positions under the guise of national security. Little will come of it that is either good or bad. The only thing likely to clear the air is for the DoJ investigation under Mueller and the Senate investigations to go to completion without undue delay. It seems evident that there is unlikely to be a useful contribution from either the Democrats or the Republicans on the House committees.

      1. gbshore

        Re: Why I quit reading your article

        Worry about your own leadership. I am friends with several Brits and they don’t seem too happy with your mayor in London nor your PM... glass houses pal....

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Why I quit reading your article

      I'd just like to point out that, without the _ACTUAL_ _MEMO_, everything is pure speculation.

      That, and nobody else (prior to this point) mentioned anything about items 1-3 in A.C.'s post.

      What I'm hoping to see: an uncovering of serious corruption at the highest levels in gummint, followed by a corrective action that jails a few perps and puts a stop to most of that crap, along with a great deal of transparency and a really good explanation of those FISA warrants... (or an outright cancellation of them, if they're just being used to spy on certain U.S. Citizens, rival politicians, and people "they" don't like).

      What I'm currently seeing: political posturing. It's pretty meaningless without the _ACTUAL_ _MEMO_.

      1. gbshore

        Re: Why I quit reading your article

        Memo is NOT speculation... where do you people get your info????

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Why I quit reading your article

        The world is coming to an end! Not because of the Memo, nor because of the Trump Administration's War on Intelligence (both kinds), but because I had no choice but to upvote bombastic bob!

        What's next? A clear, concise posting from amanfromars1?!?

    5. gbshore

      Re: Why I quit reading your article

      Was with you until you said should not be released... WHY? We are in crisis... keeping a lid on corruption at the highest levels would simply allow it to perpetuate. We are in crisi of confidence in the truthfulness of our government and it needs to be exposed and include BOTH parties if Ned be. Otherwise, the PEOPLE will have MO confidence OUR rights mean anything. The Seamp in DC today is DISGUSTING

    6. 's water music Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Why I quit reading your article

      1) No mention that [...]

      All in the second half old chap :-)

    7. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Why I quit reading your article

      1) Fusion GPS was originally commissioned by the Repub establishment, who didn't want Trump to run...remember?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why I quit reading your article

        Antron, that is plain disinformation. We have public testimony about this. Fusion GPS was originally paid by the Washington Free Beacon for research on several republican contenders. That contract ended once Trump was nominated (actually a little before) and did not include any of the research by Steele that was in the Dossier.

        Steele was not employed (neither was Nellie Ohr or Ed Baumgartner) until the Clintons and the DNC (and Obama Campaign fund) paid Fusion via a law firm. Note that the payment to Fusion via Perkins Coie and lawyer Marc Elias was claimed to be for "Legal Expenses" by the Clinton campaign, which it wasn't so the spending should not have been classified as such - just another little illegality that has never attracted law enforcement attention for some reason.

  9. Youngone Silver badge

    Civil War?

    Jesus, what a way to run a country!

  10. Florida1920 Silver badge

    Fear

    The Trump Administration (I use the term ironically) and the Republican Party are obviously scared shitless by the Mueller investigation. The Nunes memo is clearly a desperate, last-ditch effort to save an already doomed ship. They know their world is about to end and they don't have the integrity to admit they're total losers. Their ultimate collapse will be wonderful to watch.

    1. Rob D.

      Re: Fear

      I admire your confidence - this concerted effort to undermine the establishment to discredit whatever comes out of the investigation could still be successful (to the extent that it is intended to prevent the situation where there is no plausible deniability that the Republican Party can continue to hide behind).

      But yes, there is a spectacle forthcoming.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Trump Administration (I use the term ironically)

      What do you think ironically means exactly?

      1. Florida1920 Silver badge

        Re: Trump Administration (I use the term ironically)

        What do you think ironically means exactly?

        I'll tell you what I meant. An administration is supposed to run things. In fact, Trump and the Nunes clique certainly are running something. They're administering a conspiracy scam to deflect attention from the Mueller investigation, and trying to destroy public confidence in the FBI.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Trump Administration (I use the term ironically)

          "They're administering a conspiracy scam to deflect attention from the Mueller investigation"

          I can't give this enough downvotes.

          The Mueller "investigation" is merely part of the swamp trying to undermine an elected president. A grand jury can indict a sandwich if it wants to. A special prosecutor can waste millions of dollars investigating something that never happened, too, particularly if the goal is really to "find ANYTHING that can be used against Trump".

          'Drain the swamp'. Sounds like a good idea. I hope Trump succeeds! And, if he DOES, then WHO is it that is REALLY being threatened???

          1. Warm Braw Silver badge

            Re: Trump Administration (I use the term ironically)

            'Drain the swamp'. Sounds like a good idea

            Be careful what you wish for. How do you think half of Florida came about?

          2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Trump Administration (I use the term ironically)

            The Mueller "investigation" is merely part of the swamp trying to undermine an elected president.

            You mean Trump and Kushner *haven't* been doing dodgy financial deals (including money laundering through condo purchases) with dodgy Eastern Europeans, and *haven't* been taking campaign funding from foreign sources?

            That's great news. Unfortunately, you can't prove it, whereas the FBI and Mueller claim to have found all kinds of evidence showing what one might term "an unhealthy relationship" with Russians.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Trump Administration (I use the term ironically)

              Yeah, I'm sure Trump told Putin he'd "have more flexibility after the election"... or something to that effect...

          3. Florida1920 Silver badge

            Re: Trump Administration (I use the term ironically)

            @bombastic bob

            The Mueller "investigation" is merely part of the swamp trying to undermine an elected president.
            Sure. And Trump's inauguration audience was the biggest in history. The best thing about this "president" is that he spends 1/3 of his time on the golf course.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This appears to be a highly biased report, that does not mesh well with reality. By the way is the author of this article the same chap who has written articles for the Guardian?

    1. Rob D.

      Yawn

      Impressive and illuminating analysis of the content, complete with assertion lacking any reference or evidence, and an implied ad hominem with a light sprinkling of guilt by association (which might be credible if McCarthy had written any articles for the Guardian in the last decade - not difficult to check, https://www.theguardian.com/profile/kierenmccarthy).

      And AC as well - it must be true.

  12. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Standard Response

    The feral bureau of incompetence is doing what they have always done when caught - lie. They have been doing this since the 1930s. Sometimes the lie works sometimes not.

  13. JohnFen Silver badge

    Hypocrisy about FISA

    So, the FISA court approved the FBI's actions, but Trump thinks that the FBI was up to no good? That means that Trump doesn't believe that the FISA court is engaging in effective oversight, and is really more of an indictment against the court than anything.

    Given that, why in the world did Trump sign the extension of the domestic spying law, which rests on the premise that the FISA court can provide adequate protection against abuses from agencies such as the FBI?

    Politics, indeed.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Hypocrisy about FISA

      Bingo. My exact thought. Those 5 lines should have been the entire article. The rest is filler.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Hypocrisy about FISA

        no argument here about hypocrisy and FISA. I'd be happy if it all went away. Based on appearances, it may NOT be possible to protect civil rights _AND_ have a "FISA court" that rubber stamps surveilence on a rival political candidate based on fake evidence paid for by a political candidate+party.

        Last time a sitting president authorized illegal spying on a rival political candidate, 'Watergate' happened...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those Of Us Who Have Them

    One hesitates to point out that once the report is released we can all read it and make up our own minds. Which makes this whole column - written by someone who really has no idea what is actually in the report - rather pointless, doesn't it?

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Those Of Us Who Have Them

      Good point.

      I've never understood why we have people whose job it is to go find out information and then relay it to others. Especially since we all have infinite time and endless curiosity.

      Now I must go: I need to send a message to a friend on the other side of the country and it's a hell of a drive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        whose job it is to go find out information and then relay it to others

        Are you saying you've actually read the report - that you have real information? If so, you should have put it in the article. As it is, it reads just like the political posturing you did mention.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Those Of Us Who Have Them

        I had to come back and upvote your reply. Nicely done.

    2. ST Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Those Of Us Who Have Them

      @Etatdame:

      Wheeeeee! You're back! I missed you.

      You always bring such a highly informed quality to these discussions.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Those Of Us Who Have Them

        highly informed: Agrees with me

        highly informed (Facetious): Does not agree with me

  15. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I'm thinking Machiavelli would be proud of the US government right now. All sorts of plots, sub-plots, and assorted shenanigans going on from all sides. Popcorn anyone?

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Meanwhile, Rome burns.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well the 4th one at least.

      2. tom dial Silver badge

        I estimate that over 99% of the US population is unaffected by these Washington carryings-on and knows something between nothing and very little beyond the condensed conclusions that for more than a year now have been trumpeted to them by the (mostly) coast based media.

        There may or may not be something dodgy about Carter Page, or about the Justice Department's request to the FISC for a surveillance warrant on him. That will come out in legal proceedings some time in the future. Release of the Republican memo about it, or the Democratic counter-memo, is unlikely to affect that one way or another; federal judges are not likely to be swayed by such politically motivated nonsense.

        On the other hand, the notion that all this is an existential crisis for the US government approaches insanity.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Alert

          "I estimate that over 99% of the US population is unaffected by these Washington carryings-on..."

          Considering the millions going into Washington to buy whatever laws the companies want, and the billions finding their way into corporations instead of going into services for the people, you really think the US population is unaffected?

          1. tom dial Silver badge

            First, lobbying (the technically correct term for most of the activities bought by "the millions going into Washington") is both lawful and constitutionally protected (first amendment, third clause). Bribery, for which some of it might be spent, is not protected, not lawful, sometimes prosecuted, occasionally with success.

            Second, a good deal of the "billions finding their way into corporations" do, in fact, buy domestic services and supplies, pay salaries and taxes, and otherwise contribute to the general welfare. The fraction may be too small for many people's taste, but it is a rare corporation that does not spend around 80% of its gross revenue for such things. Those, like Google and Uber, that have no tangible product probably are the most notable exceptions.

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      "I do not wish to leave out an important branch of this subject, for it is a danger from which princes are with difficulty preserved, unless they are very careful and discriminating. It is that of flatterers, of whom courts are full, because men are so self-complacent in their own affairs, and in a way so deceived in them, that they are preserved with difficulty from this pest, and if they wish to defend themselves they run the danger of falling into contempt, and popcorn being passed."

    3. aelfheld

      I would have said Talleyrand.

  16. Gravis Ultrasound

    Not paying $5.99 for fast access to TheReg....everything as normal?!?!?!

    Impressive 'analysis', paragraph after paragraph running slalom between the numerous facts not in line with the conclusion ('Trump is Eviloooous'). No wonder left-wing people in the US are substantially more ignorant about the other side's arguments than right-wing people.

    Misuse of the security apparatus in order to attack the political opposition ought to be something everybody want to expose and stamp out at the first hint of this happening.

    DOJ/FBI has for many months obstructed Congressional oversight efforts .. long before the publication of of any memos. Sad to see The Reg, otherwise so in favour of intelligence services oversight, parroting bad excuses for non-transparency.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: Not paying $5.99 for fast access to TheReg....everything as normal?!?!?!

      There is a debate to be had about the extraordinary spying powers afforded the intelligence services.

      Unfortunately the exact same people pushing this memo are the same ones that actively prevented that debate from happening. This month in fact.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        TheReg does not seem to be Gekauften Journalisten

        But as for all the others . . .

        The book, which is similarly just an insider opinion, was published in English , briefly, last year and is now ‘dissapeared’

  17. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    FAIL

    2+2=russian_collusion

    If Trump had nothing to hide he would have nothing to fear.

    So why is he trying to stop Mueller's investigation?

    Why have all Trump's pals had dealing with the Russians?

    1. Inachu

      Re: 2+2=russian_collusion

      Releasing the memo is proof that he has nothing to hide.

      1. FrozenShamrock

        Re: 2+2=russian_collusion

        The memo is part of the effort to hide the facts being developed by a highly qualified, independent investigator. Everything done to undermine the investigation, the FBI, the DoJ hurts not only the investigation but the country in general. Those agencies do not serve a single narcissi; they serve the country regardless of who is currently in office. Hold them accountable but don't cherry pick data to create a memo while hiding other facts that don't serve your narrow interest.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2+2=russian_collusion

      Nothing to fear ? Mueller can invent anything and since he is in total control of a DC grand jury could, as the saying goes, indict a ham sandwich regardless of any evidence.

      If there's a conspiracy amongst senior members of the FBI and DOJ, then the whole country has a lot to fear. The fact that at least 3 senior members of the FBI and DOJ have been removed from the Mueller team for bias (Strzok, Page, Ohr) suggests that there may well be something of substance. Plus McCabe's sudden premature "resignation".

      Those who don't want the memo released are those who seem to think that our "betters" should all handle this behind closed doors because none of us are capable of assessing this properly. Sunlight is an excellent disinfectant, and if there really is some form of conspiracy - and there may well be - then this is a situation that far exceeds Watergate in its threat to US democracy. Regardless of what one thinks of Trump, that the Government Bureaucracy especially the security services are basically non-partisan and independent is an absolute requirement for a healthy society. These things must be exposed to open scrutiny.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: 2+2=russian_collusion

        "as the saying goes, indict a ham sandwich regardless of any evidence"

        Not regardless of evidence. Remember, a grand jury's job is not to determine guilt or innocence. Their job is to determine if the prosecution has enough evidence that it is worth taking the case to court.

        All a grand jury indictment means is that a court case can begin, nothing more. If a person is wealthy, innocent, in the public eye, and cares about public opinion of them, they should welcome a court case as an opportunity to lift the cloud of suspicion.

  18. ChubbyBehemoth
    Pint

    Alternate States

    Obviously the political fight is going into overdrive with the GOP for the past half year instigating a smear campaign against the institutes they so generously larded with surveillance powers in the past few years. Though to any non-US citizen it is obvious that the US has become dysfunctional in any of the institutes of government the GOP has a majority in and the current idiot in chief has managed to destroy whatever goodwill the previous one had managed to rebuild, they seem to be unable to get out of their little information bubbles either focused on Fox or MSNBC (I consider those to be about equally astray from reality). Now as far as I can see, the one thing that can come out of this whole mess is that the outcome of it all is that the whole WH is infested with Ruski moles and useful idots. If anything it might convince right wing Yanks that Russia isn't communist any more, but a good fascistic cleptocratic ally for the future. Meanwhile the evangelicals can hope to finally see the apocalypse happen in their time and have one of the crackpots be right for a change. And if not, the left wing radicals may try a desperate attempt to stop it all and get rid of both Pence (who I deem scarier even than the D) and Trump, leaving general Kelly as the next in line. Hmm,.. it sounds almost attractive.

    Make America Greatly Amusing!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternate States

      There seems to be a popular delusion that Trump is somehow a Russian puppet or somehow better for Russia.

      Just consider this, economically Russia is very heavily dependent on Oil and Gas revenues. Currently Oil and Gas prices are at relatively low levels for one main reason - the resurgence of the USA as a major producer through fracking techniques. Which of the two candidates in 2016 would have been most likely to promote fracking and which would have mostly opposed it ?

      There seems no doubt that in economic matters at least, Trump is far worse for Russia, and given the current economic woes the Russians have because of low O&G revenues, I think that would be an important consideration. Global political consideration may be important, but if your state is under significant budget stress, wielding any external power can be problematic. The US wields extensive power not just because it has a large and mostly competent military but also because it can afford one and afford to deploy it.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I must be missing something

    Article cites recent examples of politically motivated action by the FBI (reopening Clinton case, ex) then goes on to state that the FBI does not let politics interfere with its investigations.

    as we all "know" that Flynn was being wiretapped so he could be investigated about collusion allegations later, what was the initial case and judge sign-off on installing the wiretaps in the first place?

    Bottom line is, we have a known history of the FBI playing serious politics, recently and even farther back, (think some of the politically motivated "communist" witch hunts) but the article is going to claim that, well, this time, its totally cannot be political? Its like the only difference is the Party of the target has changed to change the story.

    I think I hear some more Bay Area Bubble again.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What we know...

    ...is that the FBI, the Dems and the Dumbs conspired and continue to conspired to smear Trump while protection Killary from prosecution. When the B.S. stops Trump will be exonerated and Killary will be convicted. Numerous FBI and other criminals will also be convicted as will some of the media who conspired to spread FUD to convince the gullible minions that Trump had some inappropriate Russian connection - which he does not.

  21. aelfheld

    "The claim of a politically motivated investigation doesn't appear to gel with the facts: we now know that US intelligence agents were warned repeatedly about concerns over Donald Trump and his team's connections to Russia by other spy agencies across the globe: from Germany, Holland, and the UK.

    The claim of a politically motivated investigation does gel with the facts. The wiretapping was, by all accounts, largely justified by the Steele/Fusion GPS dossier which has been shown to be a large steaming pile seasoned with a few sparse grains of truth.

    There are certain standards that are supposed to be met to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on an American citizen. The evidence to date indicates the FBI didn't meet those standards.

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