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The Russia Investigation: Trump Fires IG who Reported Whistleblower Complaint to Congress

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47 minutes ago, timschochet said:

It may be just me but this Mueller news strikes me as a major defeat for Democrats. The fact that he doesn’t want to testify publicly probably means that nothing he says is going to decisively refute Barr- even if he is eventually forced to testify it will probably be so nuanced and subject to interpretation that nobody will be sure of anything. Of course if he doesn’t testify publicly it doesn’t matter. Even a transcript released later means very little- the public won’t pay attention. 

Without a decisive public statement by Mueller that contradicts Barr, the Democrats have few good options. If they impeach Trump anyhow it will be without public support and when he is acquitted that will end this story once and for all (and could result in his re-election), or they don’t impeach, alienate their base (and possibly depress them) and look incredibly weak and political. 

I’m probably overreacting as usual. But it really doesn’t look good to me. 

I think Mueller is intent on sticking with norms. It's obvious to everyone but the types of dolts that end up on my ignore list here that he thinks Trump did crimes. But he won't come out and say it because he's an institutionalist, and if that's the case I don't want him out there refusing to give his opinion on camera, either. 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

Let’s take one example: after it was leaked to the media that Trump tried to instruct McGahn to fire Mueller, Trump then instructed McGahn to lie and say that Trump made no such instruction.

Why isn’t this a clear case of obstruction? Please explain. 

The media report was inaccurate.  The Mueller report states that McGahn agreed that the media report was not entirely accurate.  McGahn can’t fire a DOJ employee. Trump wanted McGahn to alert Rosenstein of potential conflicts that Mueller might have.  Marc Kasowitz May have provided this rationale.  Even if McGahn brought this up with Rosenstein, and Rosenstein thought there was a conflict, he simply would have talked to Mueller about it ad maybe Mueller steps aside and Rosenstein appoints another Special Counsel and everything continues on schedule.  The implication of the headline of ordering the firing of the Special Counsel makes it sound like An order to end the investigation.  That is a completely different impression given by the Times compared to what happened. Trump wanted McGahn to dispute the story, which means to he wanted him to verify that Trump never said to fire him, which is the case, according to Mueller.

so, in short, Trump wanted McGahn to dispute a news story which they both agreed was inaccurate.

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27 minutes ago, Rove! said:

The Mueller report states that McGahn agreed that the media report was not entirely accurate.  

Quote

McGahn’s attorney informed the President’s personal counsel that the Times story was accurate in reporting that the President wanted the Special Counsel removed.

 

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34 minutes ago, Rove! said:

Trump wanted McGahn to alert Rosenstein of potential conflicts that Mueller might have.

Quote

The President responded, “I never said that.”816 The President said he merely wanted McGahn to raise the conflicts issue with Rosenstein and leave it to him to decide what to do.817 McGahn told the President he did not understand the conversation that way and instead had heard, “Call Rod. There are conflicts. Mueller has to go.”

 

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35 minutes ago, Rove! said:

so, in short, Trump wanted McGahn to dispute a news story which they both agreed was inaccurate.

Quote

In response, McGahn acknowledged that he had not told the President directly that he planned to resign, but said that the story was otherwise accurate. 

 

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23 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

 

McGahn responded “What you said is ‘Call Rod, tell Rod that Mueller has conflicts and can’t be Special Counsel’”

The President said he merely wanted to raise the conflicts issue with Rosenstein and leave it to him to decide what to do.

 

in neither person’s version of events does Trump order anybody to fire Mueller, so the NYT version of events is inaccurate.

The use of the word “fire” in the press is perjorative in the sense that when Nixon fired Cox, he abolished the office of special prosecutor.  That seems wholly different from even McGahn’s version of the story.

Edited by Rove!

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1 hour ago, Rove! said:

The President said he merely wanted to raise the conflicts issue with Rosenstein and leave it to him to decide what to do.

And he was lying.

And you can know that because McGahn went under oath on it and Trump wouldn’t. 

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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7 hours ago, timschochet said:

Well...without public testimony there is no way to change public opinion.

This isn't happening either way.  Have you not paid attention to his approval ratings his entire Presidency.  People made up their minds about him about 2 months into his tenure.

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8 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

 

 

Of course...honestly I just kind of scroll by those at this point....glad to see they got the talking point to spread here in the PSF.  :lol: 

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3 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

And he was lying.

And you can know that because McGahn went under oath on it and Trump wouldn’t. 

:wall:

The McGahn quote from the Kelly meeting pretty much corroborates Trump in that he didn’t use the word “fire” and that he didn’t order McGahn to do anything than to call Rod.  This was the big beef that Trump had with the NYT story.

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30 minutes ago, Rove! said:

The McGahn quote from the Kelly meeting pretty much corroborates Trump in that he didn’t use the word “fire” and that he didn’t order McGahn to do anything than to call Rod.  This was the big beef that Trump had with the NYT story.

Trump refused to say that under oath while McGahn said under oath that Trump did intend for RR to fire Mueller.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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1 hour ago, The Commish said:

This isn't happening either way.  Have you not paid attention to his approval ratings his entire Presidency.  People made up their minds about him about 2 months into his tenure.

I wasn’t referring to approval rating. I was talking about impeachment. You have to bring that number up to over 50%. The same number of people who right now disapprove of Trump have  to also want to see him impeached. That’s what the Democrats need. 

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10 hours ago, The Commish said:

So I decided, against my better judgment, to veer off the path and look around the internet a bit on this obstruction stuff.  Usually I stick to BBC and Reuters.  Lawyerguys, I have a question.  Does the concept of "degrees of obstruction" exist?  Is that concept supported in our laws?  Much to my amazement, there are plenty of places where people have settled on what is essentially "the things he attempted to obstruct weren't that big a deal" or "Since he didn't succeed it wasn't a full on attempt to obstruct" kinds of arguments.  Is there "first degree obstruction" or "second degree obstruction"?  I didn't think there was...it seems pretty cut/dry but I've seen it in several places so I thought I'd ask.

On a side note....it's pretty remarkable that we have gone from "absolutely nothing to see here" to "well, what you see isn't really that big a deal" with a lot of his supporters.  Sort of disappointed weebs and company haven't brought that shtick to these threads.  It's a pretty entertaining read.

As I’m sure you’ve intuited, the answer to that is no.  At least as a legal matter. As an impeachment/political matter, sure. I mean, Bill Clinton obstructed justice. But the political judgment was that it wasn’t enough to remove him from office. 

Edited by Ramsay Hunt Experience

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At this point I agree with Pelosi.  Why give Senate Republicans all the power by initiating Impeachment?  Grind Trump into the dust with it all for the next 18 months.  Make him get up in front of cameras and explain how he's not actually a raving lunatic for seven minutes.  Keep chipping away at him with the facts of the Mueller report.  Irritate him with "cover up" and "crazy uncle" and "intervention" and etc.  He's like a puppet -- you can pretty much get him to do whatever you want when you want.  As long as Dems do NOT Impeach they control the agenda and the PR.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz
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39 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Trump refused to say that under oath while McGahn said under oath that Trump did intend for RR to fire Mueller.

That may have been McGahn's interpretation, but McGahn also refused to put his version into writing. Also, as an ethics adviser, I would think that he is obligated to talk to Rosenstein about perceived conflicts even if only to rule them out.  Rosenstein has been known to threaten Congressional aides in the past.  Maybe McGahn was afraid of him.  

Edited by Rove!

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8 hours ago, dkp993 said:

Impeachment would be a mistake. Without overwhelming proof, which there isn’t, it would fail miserably.  Those on the left it would piss off to not do it certainly aren’t moving right so no real ground would be lost if they don’t.  Those in the middle, like myself, it will polarize knowing it goes no where and would be viewed as pointless (even with the standing on principle element).  This could easily push some (certainly not me but others) of them right due strictly to frustration.  The risk is to high with zero upside.  

If a voter is "polarized" by an impeachment process for obvious transgressions, then chances are pretty good that that voter was looking for any excuse he could find to vote for Donald anyway. It's the same crappy rationalization as voting for Trump "because Hilary." Donald is worse than anybody else and those voters are ok with it in the end.

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The news about Barr being able to declassify everything probably won’t have any impact UNLESS he starts prosecuting people. 

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50 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

As I’m sure you’ve intuited, the answer to that is no.  At least as a legal matter. As an impeachment/political matter, sure. I mean, Bill Clinton obstructed justice. But the political judgment was that it wasn’t enough to remove him from office. 

Wanted to make sure. The new talking point gave me pause

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31 minutes ago, timschochet said:

The news about Barr being able to declassify everything probably won’t have any impact UNLESS he starts prosecuting people. 

I disagree, this has bad implications for national security.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

I wasn’t referring to approval rating. I was talking about impeachment. You have to bring that number up to over 50%. The same number of people who right now disapprove of Trump have  to also want to see him impeached. That’s what the Democrats need. 

I don't really have any idea what you are trying to say at this point.  The house is 54% Dem today....they could easily move forward.  To what you quoted it's in response to your words saying we need Mueller to testify publicly to change public opinion.  My point to you is it doesn't matter if he testifies publically or not, the public has made up their mind on Trump and if you don't believe me, look at his polling numbers since he came into office.  It's the flattest line of any President I can ever remember.  

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11 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I don't really have any idea what you are trying to say at this point.  The house is 54% Dem today....they could easily move forward.  To what you quoted it's in response to your words saying we need Mueller to testify publicly to change public opinion.  My point to you is it doesn't matter if he testifies publically or not, the public has made up their mind on Trump and if you don't believe me, look at his polling numbers since he came into office.  It's the flattest line of any President I can ever remember.  

No I agree with you about his approval ratings. I’ve made the same point not a few times. 

But- while his disapproval rating is a steady 52%, the amount of Americans in favor of starting impeachment hearings is only around 29%. If I’m Nancy Pelosi I don’t start impeachment until that second number rises to meet the first number. The only possible way to do that, IMO, is public hearings with Mueller and McGahn...maybe. 

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47 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

I disagree, this has bad implications for national security.

And it’s not like Barr would ever selectively declassify info to create a false narrative.

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The latest Sam Harris Making Sense podcast with the guy from  lawfareblog really is a great summary of the report’s findings.  Good call Maurile.

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2 hours ago, roadkill1292 said:

If a voter is "polarized" by an impeachment process for obvious transgressions, then chances are pretty good that that voter was looking for any excuse he could find to vote for Donald anyway. It's the same crappy rationalization as voting for Trump "because Hilary." Donald is worse than anybody else and those voters are ok with it in the end.

Yet it happened time and time again.  Impeachment goes no where and I want to give no one any excuse to vote Trump.   

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12 hours ago, timschochet said:

Mueller wants private testimony only. 

Well...without public testimony there is no way to change public opinion. There will be no impeachment of Trump. Either he testifies publicly or it really is done. 

https://twitter.com/preetbharara/status/1131925756416806912?s=21

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I’m okay with those investigated doing private testimony with transcripts provided after.  I am not the least bit okay with private testimony for the lead investigator. I believe the paraphrased “enhanced public interest” was from his memos, that same principle applies to his testimony.  Any all clarity regarding his report must come from his mouth.  I appreciate his concern and desire to avoid such a spotlight, but it is at this point completely inescapable

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We were being asked to accept a lot on faith, and if the Trump conspiracy story wasn’t true, there were few alternative explanations that were not equally bizarre and unlikely. The only safe thing to do was to proceed with extreme caution and investigate both Trump and his accusers simultaneously, and that didn’t happen.

This is why it’s so bizarre that press figures are now claiming the Mueller report proves reporters got the story “mostly right” because they correctly reported some factual things, like that Trump did indeed ask Comey to end the investigation into Michael Flynn. 

Well, congratulations. Given that you missed the overarching fact that there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy, not screwing up lesser developments leaked directly to you, like the McGahn business, is not exactly reassuring. It’s like painting a portrait and bragging about getting a freckle right, when you forgot to paint the giant tree growing out of the subject’s head.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-was-journalist-qanon-part-40f

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7 minutes ago, ren hoek said:

We were being asked to accept a lot on faith, and if the Trump conspiracy story wasn’t true, there were few alternative explanations that were not equally bizarre and unlikely. The only safe thing to do was to proceed with extreme caution and investigate both Trump and his accusers simultaneously, and that didn’t happen.

This is why it’s so bizarre that press figures are now claiming the Mueller report proves reporters got the story “mostly right” because they correctly reported some factual things, like that Trump did indeed ask Comey to end the investigation into Michael Flynn. 

Well, congratulations. Given that you missed the overarching fact that there was no Trump–Russia conspiracy, not screwing up lesser developments leaked directly to you, like the McGahn business, is not exactly reassuring. It’s like painting a portrait and bragging about getting a freckle right, when you forgot to paint the giant tree growing out of the subject’s head.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-was-journalist-qanon-part-40f

 "This post is for paying subscribers"

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5 hours ago, joffer said:

The latest Sam Harris Making Sense podcast with the guy from  lawfareblog really is a great summary of the report’s findings.  Good call Maurile.

agreed.  good call. 

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Just curious if anyone thinks its odd that no one has connected the dots between the usa (Trumps campaign), wikileaks and Russia. 

We know they were all in constant contact, and two of them were for sure bad actors. I dont think it is a leap to suggest that is the link. Cant prove it but i dont think its grasping at straws.

Edited by Run It Up

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8 hours ago, joffer said:

The latest Sam Harris Making Sense podcast with the guy from  lawfareblog really is a great summary of the report’s findings.  Good call Maurile.

It was a great listen, the shame is, no Trump supporters will honestly take his advice at the end of it.

Substitute Trump's name in that report for Clinton, Obama, Biden... pick a Dem, and tell me a Trump supporter wouldn't be calling for their heads.  It's damning, whether a crime was charged or not.

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9 hours ago, timschochet said:

No I agree with you about his approval ratings. I’ve made the same point not a few times. 

But- while his disapproval rating is a steady 52%, the amount of Americans in favor of starting impeachment hearings is only around 29%. If I’m Nancy Pelosi I don’t start impeachment until that second number rises to meet the first number. The only possible way to do that, IMO, is public hearings with Mueller and McGahn...maybe. 

i'm inclined to believe that impeachment charges beg the question of "for what exactly?" because obstruction of justice is overly broad in many people's minds. without specifics - hence the need for the full MR and/or other documents related to Trump - then people see it as a political vendetta instead of something more genuine. 

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Was it mentioned that Mr. T gave Barr full declassification authority in campaign spying probe?  

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1 hour ago, tonydead said:

Was it mentioned that Mr. T gave Barr full declassification authority in campaign spying probe?  

It has already been investigated.  Nothing to hide.

The whole exercise again is to say their is an investigation.  Not find anything.

 

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1 hour ago, tonydead said:

Was it mentioned that Mr. T gave Barr full declassification authority in campaign spying probe?  

I pity that fool. 

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7 hours ago, Run It Up said:

Just curious if anyone thinks its odd that no one has connected the dots between the usa (Trumps campaign), wikileaks and Russia. 

We know they were all in constant contact, and two of them were for sure bad actors. I dont think it is a leap to suggest that is the link. Cant prove it but i dont think its grasping at straws.

they're saving this for the season 3 finale IMO

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6 hours ago, Daywalker said:

It has already been investigated.  Nothing to hide.

The whole exercise again is to say their is an investigation.  Not find anything.

 

Some people call this a re-do.

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10 hours ago, tonydead said:

Was it mentioned that Mr. T gave Barr full declassification authority in campaign spying probe?  

Twice, at least.

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On 5/23/2019 at 3:05 PM, moleculo said:

$20B to keep Maria in Mexico does not sound like it's worth it to me.  

Besides, without Maria, how will we ever get a taco truck on every corner?

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>>One official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said previously that Mr. Barr wanted to know more about what foreign assets the C.I.A. had in Russia in 2016 and what those informants were telling the agency about how President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 election.

The C.I.A. on Thursday referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A spokeswoman for the office did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The directive is likely to irk the intelligence community, which has long prized its ability to determine what information about its operations can be released to the public. During the investigations of the C.I.A.’s enhanced interrogation programs, the agency stymied investigators by refusing to declassify documents.

There could be other implications for the intelligence agencies. The C.I.A. considers confidential sources its most highly classified and most protected assets, and any investigation that could possibly force it to reveal those identities is likely to create a standoff. Last year, the agency lost trust in the Justice Department’s ability to keep the names of informants and sources secret after the identity of an F.B.I. informant who interacted with two Trump campaign officials under investigation, Stefan Halper, was revealed as part of congressional inquiries, according to former intelligence officials.<<

- NYT.

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4 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

>>One official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said previously that Mr. Barr wanted to know more about what foreign assets the C.I.A. had in Russia in 2016 and what those informants were telling the agency about how President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 election.

The C.I.A. on Thursday referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A spokeswoman for the office did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The directive is likely to irk the intelligence community, which has long prized its ability to determine what information about its operations can be released to the public. During the investigations of the C.I.A.’s enhanced interrogation programs, the agency stymied investigators by refusing to declassify documents.

There could be other implications for the intelligence agencies. The C.I.A. considers confidential sources its most highly classified and most protected assets, and any investigation that could possibly force it to reveal those identities is likely to create a standoff. Last year, the agency lost trust in the Justice Department’s ability to keep the names of informants and sources secret after the identity of an F.B.I. informant who interacted with two Trump campaign officials under investigation, Stefan Halper, was revealed as part of congressional inquiries, according to former intelligence officials.<<

- NYT.

I’m guessing every contact in Russia has, or is planning, their exit.

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35 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

>>One official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said previously that Mr. Barr wanted to know more about what foreign assets the C.I.A. had in Russia in 2016 and what those informants were telling the agency about how President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 election.

The C.I.A. on Thursday referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A spokeswoman for the office did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The directive is likely to irk the intelligence community, which has long prized its ability to determine what information about its operations can be released to the public. During the investigations of the C.I.A.’s enhanced interrogation programs, the agency stymied investigators by refusing to declassify documents.

There could be other implications for the intelligence agencies. The C.I.A. considers confidential sources its most highly classified and most protected assets, and any investigation that could possibly force it to reveal those identities is likely to create a standoff. Last year, the agency lost trust in the Justice Department’s ability to keep the names of informants and sources secret after the identity of an F.B.I. informant who interacted with two Trump campaign officials under investigation, Stefan Halper, was revealed as part of congressional inquiries, according to former intelligence officials.<<

- NYT.

What in the hell. No collusion amIright?  Jesus, start the impeachment proceedings. 

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47 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

>>One official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said previously that Mr. Barr wanted to know more about what foreign assets the C.I.A. had in Russia in 2016 and what those informants were telling the agency about how President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 election.

The C.I.A. on Thursday referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A spokeswoman for the office did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The directive is likely to irk the intelligence community, which has long prized its ability to determine what information about its operations can be released to the public. During the investigations of the C.I.A.’s enhanced interrogation programs, the agency stymied investigators by refusing to declassify documents.

There could be other implications for the intelligence agencies. The C.I.A. considers confidential sources its most highly classified and most protected assets, and any investigation that could possibly force it to reveal those identities is likely to create a standoff. Last year, the agency lost trust in the Justice Department’s ability to keep the names of informants and sources secret after the identity of an F.B.I. informant who interacted with two Trump campaign officials under investigation, Stefan Halper, was revealed as part of congressional inquiries, according to former intelligence officials.<<

- NYT.

First of all, they should have thought about this before pushing a false conspiracy theory.  

Second of all, Stefan Halper was outed decades ago during the Reagan era.  By the NYT for christ's sake.  He was fine.  

Enough national security claptrap.  Enough of the surveillance state's precious sensibilities.  If their predicate was as bogus as it looks, they deserve all the scorn that's about to get chucked their way. 

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2 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

>>One official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said previously that Mr. Barr wanted to know more about what foreign assets the C.I.A. had in Russia in 2016 and what those informants were telling the agency about how President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sought to meddle in the 2016 election.

The C.I.A. on Thursday referred questions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A spokeswoman for the office did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The directive is likely to irk the intelligence community, which has long prized its ability to determine what information about its operations can be released to the public. During the investigations of the C.I.A.’s enhanced interrogation programs, the agency stymied investigators by refusing to declassify documents.

There could be other implications for the intelligence agencies. The C.I.A. considers confidential sources its most highly classified and most protected assets, and any investigation that could possibly force it to reveal those identities is likely to create a standoff. Last year, the agency lost trust in the Justice Department’s ability to keep the names of informants and sources secret after the identity of an F.B.I. informant who interacted with two Trump campaign officials under investigation, Stefan Halper, was revealed as part of congressional inquiries, according to former intelligence officials.<<

- NYT.

Yep.  This has been Trump's MO for a while now.  And it makes us less safe.

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Raise your hand if you know how many outed "assets" have been killed.

Raise your hand if you know how many "assets" have been outed.

Raise your hand if you know how many stars are missing from the wall at the CIA because they were so deep in #### that simply putting up an anonymous star was too risky.

This is probably the ONE place where anecdotes are absolutely, completely, without question, useless.

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19 hours ago, Daywalker said:

It has already been investigated.  Nothing to hide.

The whole exercise again is to say their is an investigation.  Not find anything.

 

Sounds familiar. 

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16 hours ago, ren hoek said:

Second of all, Stefan Halper was outed decades ago during the Reagan era.  By the NYT for christ's sake.  He was fine.  

Enough national security claptrap.  Enough of the surveillance state's precious sensibilities. 

>>The most prominent of the C.I.A.’s sources of intelligence on Russia’s election interference was a person close to Mr. Putin who provided information about his involvement, former officials have said. The source turned over evidence for one of the last major intelligence conclusions that President Barack Obama made public before leaving office: that Mr. Putin himself was behind the Russia hack.

Long nurtured by the C.I.A., the source rose to a position that enabled the informant to provide key information in 2016 about the Russian leadership’s role in the interference campaign, the officials said.<<

NYT

- This would only benefit one person, and it ain’t Trump.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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