Thursday, October 3, 2019

Conspiracy? YES. Coup attempt? YES.


I have to take my hat off to the good people at The Federalist and The Last Refuge.  Their investigative journalism over the Ukraine affair has been absolutely first-class, rivaling anything one can imagine from mainstream media outlets in the past.  It's thanks to them that the conspiracy behind the current brouhaha has been uncovered as far as it has;  and I've no doubt that they'll keep ferreting out more facts to piece together.

For a start, the Congressional Research Service is now implicated in the plot, for providing false and misleading interpretations of US law.

Compelling new evidence now shows that the purportedly nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) may have been weaponized to mislead members of Congress and the American people — all in the name of advancing the impeachment process against President Trump. It appears that misleading guidance about precisely how expansive the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) is was incorporated into the report just as the current whistleblower controversy began to pick up steam.

Without the CRS report obscuring certain facts about the underlying statutes, it would have been clear early on that the allegations made in the whistleblower report would not have been considered an “urgent concern” under the statute. Perhaps more surprising, without the misinformation it would have been clear that the president is not subject to the specific oversight requirements of the ICWPA at all. The CRS report facilitated a false impression that ultimately provided a false impetus for the current impeachment inquiry.

There's more at the link.

Next, the office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) has admitted to retroactively amending its forms and requirements to justify its handling of the original "whistleblower" complaint.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

On Monday, the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) admitted that it did alter its forms and policies governing whistleblower complaints, and that it did so in response to the anti-Trump complaint filed on Aug. 12, 2019 ... The ICIG also disclosed for the first time that the anti-Trump complainant filed his complaint using the previously authorized form, the guidance for which explicitly stated the ICIG’s previous requirement for firsthand evidence for credible complaints ... the ICIG’s internal changes to its own policies and guidance regarding firsthand evidence — which the ICIG admitted to in its press release on Monday — directly impacted its treatment of the anti-Trump complaint filed in August.

. . .

Because the complaint did not allege wrongdoing against a member of the intelligence community (the president of the United States is an elected constitutional officer, not an employee of a statutory agency), did not allege wrongdoing with regard to an intelligence activity (a phone call between two elected world leaders is basic diplomacy, not the execution of a statutorily required intelligence activity), and relied primarily on hearsay rather than firsthand evidence, both the director of national intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel determined that the anti-Trump complaint was not an “urgent concern” under the law and was therefore not required to be transmitted to the relevant congressional committees. In spite of those determinations, the ICIG on its own and after revising its internal guidance and policies regarding firsthand evidence decided the complaint did qualify as an “urgent concern” and forwarded the anti-Trump complaint to Congress.

. . .

In fact, the ICIG admitted in its Aug. 26 letter to the DNI that its office never even reviewed the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky prior to determining whether the complainants hearsay allegations about the phone call were credible.

Again, more at the link.

In my years in business, if I'd ever submitted such misleading information to my bosses as factual, important, and worthy of action, I'd have been fired on the spot as soon as my manipulation of the system was discovered.  In my later business years, as a director of a small company, I'd have fired any of my subordinates who did the same.  This is unconscionable.  It's nothing less than a deliberate distortion of the facts as a political weapon, and facilitating that distortion by changing policies and procedures retroactively.

Yet another blow to the credibility of the complaint:  it turns out the "whistleblower" approached Democrats in Congress before he submitted his complaint.  It's even been suggested those Democrats - and/or lawyers working for them - helped compile the actual complaint, using legalese not normally found in such documents, in order to make it more suitable as a means to impeachment.  The New York Times reports:

The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a  whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.

. . .

The C.I.A. officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the C.I.A.’s top lawyer. Concerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide. In both cases, the original accusation was vague.

The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and meet with an inspector general, with whom he could file a whistle-blower complaint. The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff.

More at the link.

Yesterday President Trump tweeted that the Democratic Party-led investigation into his telephone conversation with the President of Ukraine was nothing less than a coup attempt.  (I said the same thing last Saturday.)  It turns out we were both right.  That's exactly what this amounts to - and now the details are coming out, as illustrated above.  Seriously - what else would you call this, if not an attempt to undermine our republican government by deliberately changing and/or misinterpreting the laws, rules and regulations in order to achieve a political result?

I think Victor Davis Hanson has grasped the reasons why the Democratic Party is so hell-bent on impeachment at this time.

Aside from the emotional issue that Democrats, NeverTrumpers, and celebrities loathe Donald Trump, recently Representative Al Green (D-Texas) reminded us why the Democrats are trying to impeach the president rather than just defeat him in the 2020 general election.

“To defeat him at the polls would do history a disservice, would do our nation a disservice,” Green said.  “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach the president, he will get re-elected.”

Translated, that means Green accepts either that Trump’s record is too formidable or that the agendas of his own party’s presidential candidates are too frightening for the American people to elect one of them. And that possibility is simply not permissible. Thus, impeachment is the only mechanism left to abort an eight-year Trump presidency—on a purely partisan vote to preclude an election, and thus contrary to the outlines of impeachment as set out by the Constitution.

. . .

Be prepared for a half-dozen Christine Blasey Ford-type witnesses to pop up, and 20 or so unhinged Cory Booker-esque “I am Spartacus” performance acts, along with a whole slew of new Steele dossiers—all interspersed with breathless CNN bulletins announcing new fake news developments with “the walls are closing in” and “the end is near” prognostications. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is already reading fantasies to the House Intelligence Committee and passing them off as the text of Trump’s phone call to Ukraine’s new president. Only after he was called on such absurdities did he describe his performance as a parody.

The Left is hellbent on impeachment and the absence of a case won’t matter. They do not care if they will sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.

More at the link.

I don't believe I'm crying "Wolf!" on this.  The facts, as outlined above, speak for themselves.  We'd better all be paying attention to what is going on, and start planning to deal with the consequences if worse comes to worst.  It's that serious.

Peter

15 comments:

Poodlehorde said...

Tell me, if this call was so ordinary, why did the White House take the transcript off the computer system that was usually used to store them and placed it in a stand-alone system usually used for beyond top secret material?


Peter said...

@Poodlehorde: Because ALL such calls are now routinely stored in that matter, due to leaks of some calls early in the Trump presidency. In order to frustrate the leakers, all Presidential calls on such topics are now treated with higher security. That's been widely discussed in recent weeks, and there's no mystery about it.

Peter B said...

"Translated, that means Green accepts either that Trump’s record is too formidable or that the agendas of his own party’s presidential candidates are too frightening for the American people to elect one of them. "

Either/or? As Glenn Reynolds frequently writes, "embrace the healing power of and. Their "resistance" reminds me of the outrage of predators driven off their kill.

Their agenda is becoming increasingly open. See the current issue of Harper's. Cover story: DO WE NEED THE CONSTITUTION? Also see the attack on the Electoral College and their plans to pack the Supreme Court.

They are reacting

Aesop said...

"Play stupid games, win stupid prizes."

The game is a coup attempt disguised as impeachment.

In this case, the prizes range from a jail cell, to a rope and scaffold, or a face full of lead.

Despite that, they're still willing to try it; they're that desperate and unhinged.

The end of this thing is going to look like the hunt for Lincoln's assassination conspirators. In every respect.

Keith_Indy said...

I would also say The Epoch Times has done a good job of it as well...

For those late to the game or who haven't been paying attention:

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/08/an-unprecedented-look-into-trumps-stagecraft/535794/

AUG 3, 2017 - The Post on Thursday published full White House transcripts of two January calls—the Turnbull conversation, and another with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7517737/White-House-limiting-listen-access-President-Trumps-phone-calls.html

The restrictions over who can access and listen to such calls have been in place for more than a year after the administration suffered a number of embarrassing leaks during calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/28/susan-rice-obama-put-call-transcripts-on-top-secret-server-too/

Former national security adviser Susan Rice acknowledged last night that the Obama administration moved transcripts of conversations with foreign leaders onto the same top-secret server where the Trump administration stored his recent phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/whistleblower-complaint-conflicts-with-trump-zelensky-call-transcript_3099096.html

In the third contradiction, the whistleblower claims that one of his White House sources told him that the loading of the call transcript onto a secure system amounted to an abuse of that system, since the “the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.”

The transcript contradicts that claim. Before it was unclassified, the document was labeled “SECRET/ORCON/NOFORN.” According to classification guidelines, the label was appropriate since the call contained Trump’s views on foreign nations, including Germany, a key U.S. ally. Unauthorized disclosure of such information has the potential to harm national security.

Bob said...

I am convinced that after Trump wins the next election the kid gloves are coming off.

Heads are going to be rolling everywhere.

Bring it.

I got lots of popcorn.

Beans said...

Bob - After? Heck, I anticipate come this January you are going to see lawfare used against Trump and Republican election offices, donors, more of the people in his administration (this new whistleblower complaint is just the toe in the water, from this complaint and mistakes made with it will shape the horde of complaints coming by January on practically everyone associated with Trump.)

Active street warfare from Antifa, Moms Demand Squat, Planned Parenthood fanatics will bust out after the snows leave and open rioting weather comes to DC.

Polling places for the primaries and the general election are going to be frisky, especially in Dem strongholds (expect the Black Panthers, but worse in numbers.)

The cheating just in the primaries over the annointed candidate of the Dems (who has yet to come out in open. I believe it to be the First Wookie, maybe the First Hag, not any of the current crop as they'll all be too damaged by all the infighting - my bet really is on the First Wookie, the First Hag will just be a feint.) will pave the way for the most corrupt general election ever.

California has gone to an i-pad/tablet type voting machine, no paper backup at all, except for mail-ins and ballots collected by democrat operatives. Huge amounts of illegals (who can't show up for jury duty but have voting privileges.

The war will be hot, to very hot in some places, before the General election. After? Well, let's just say that Mr. Remy and Mr. Ruger and Mr. Springfield will be ready at hand, oh, like they are now.

Worried? Yes. Worried we may not have a nation by mid-time next year. Worried that yet another democrat sniper will do his/her/its dirty work. (It's always leftists that assassinate, isn't it.)

tk421a said...

It would be nice if the Federalist and The Last refuge were less biased in their reporting. Together, they are more of a modern version of Pravda than a credible news source.

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-federalist/

https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-last-refuge/

Stan_qaz said...

I'd do a bit of searching on mediabiasfactcheck.com before I used them as an authority.

Peter said...

@tk421a: Consider these points.

1. Every outlet has a bias, conscious or otherwise. Sure, The Federalist and The Last Refuge are right wing: but you'll note that in the pages of this blog, I've also cited the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and other left-wing sources also. In the case of the Ukraine affair, the two I've used in this article happen to have dug the deepest and investigated most intensively - and their facts have been proved (I say again, PROVED) by documentary evidence. Therefore, their political slant is basically irrelevant to the facts.

2. There's an old adage known as "kill the messenger": if you don't like the message, disparage the person bringing it. That's why many otherwise factual reports are often disregarded, leading to awkward complications later. If you don't like the perspective of the source, it's too easy to discard what the source is saying. In this case, I'd rather investigate the facts, and find out what's accurate, whether or not I dislike the source. (You'll note that I used the NYT in this article, even though I regard them as hopelessly biased and opinionated. When they're reporting the facts, that doesn't matter.)

3. You should always check and check again. It's noteworthy that the mainstream media has studiously ignored most of the facts uncovered by The Federalist and The Last Refuge. That's not because they aren't factually correct: it's because they are factually correct, and therefore they can't be "spun" or refuted. I don't take any "fact" on its face value. I check and confirm. In this case, you're free to do so with the claims I cited in the article.

There's an old legal adage: "When the facts are against you, argue the law. When the law is against you, argue the facts. When both the facts and the law are against you, scream, shout, make a scene, and disparage the character of the witness." Does that sound familiar in the present situation?

Noname Smith said...

This is Real. Serious. Stuff.

The long-awaited IG report is due to drop shortly, followed by whatever Barr has uncovered in Italy, accompanied by Grand Jury decisions.

Trump, no dummy, has stepped up the rhetoric, probably in preparation for the report release and associated indictments. It would not surprise me at all to see Trump & Co initiate a full court press on coup participants; I wouldn't rule out a sudden and severe decrease in potential Democrat presidential candidates as Saving One's Ass becomes significantly important than Preening for Prez. I'd figure there would also be renewed efforts toward ensuring honest elections: illegal immigrant roundups, increasing the purging of voter rolls of dead and fake voters, etc. Don't rule out a large number of candidate changes; someone dealing with indictment will focus on that, not another Two Years at the Trough, and that will happen on both sides of the aisle. Trump knows you can avoid a loss with defense, but wins come from offense, and he knows how to do that. He wants - and needs - A Big Win because 2021 will be devoted to accomplishing all the things he didn't accomplish 2017-2020 because of interference and he has a burning desire to accomplish what he set out to do; Leftists and Gutless Rightists are process-driven, make sure all the boxes are checked and the blanks filled in; Trump is results-driven, screw the boxes and blanks, get it done.

I don't rule out Civil War II - at some point - because the Left won't give up, they'll lie, cheat and steal to get what they want, and we're closer to that than a lot of people realize. What's going on now is a Fight To The Death for America, even though it's not obvious to most people. Do we have a Constitutional Republic based on individual freedom, liberty and achievement or a not-so-gentle slide into Venezuela North?

A friend, who has never carried credit card debt, just put $8K on his VISA card for freeze dried food, cold weather clothing, guns and ammunition, and he's sure he's way late to the party. I told him he shouldn't begrudge the $8K, it's 30-year food, ammunition doesn't spoil, winter always comes every year, and properly maintained guns last centuries; whatever interest he pays over the next few months is just "insurance."

I really hope that's all it is. I fear that it's not.

lyn5 said...

Trump's telephone transcript was put on a secure server because of past leaks. Obama also did this. Hillary had her unsecured server in her bathroom.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Peter;

Something that isn't mentioned is; They want Trump tied up in legal issues and impeachment is that vehicle. RBG is fixing to dump her mortal coil and if Trump is tied up, he can't get a replacement nominee through. The court is where the rabid left is most focused at. Having the supreme court in their back pocket legitimizes their policies and politics.

Ray - SoCal said...

Agree with lyn5 - per Susan rice obama did this with some transcripts. Nothingburger.

Unknown said...

If you want to know what the Bidens were up to in China and Ukraine, you owe it to yourself to read Peter Schweizer's Secret Empires, 10 bucks on Amazon.

Schweizer is one of the best investigative journalists working today.


Don in Oregon