Thursday, March 30, 2017

Last Call For Russian To Judgment, Con't

Mike Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has told the Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional officials investigating the Trump campaign’s potential ties to Russia that he is willing to be interviewed in exchange for a grant of immunity from prosecution, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

As an adviser to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, and later one of Mr. Trump’s top aides in the White House, Mr. Flynn was privy to some of the most sensitive foreign-policy deliberations of the new administration and was directly involved in discussions about the possible lifting of sanctions on Russia imposed by the Obama administration.

He has made the offer to the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees through his lawyer but has so far found no takers, the officials said.

Mr. Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment.

It wasn’t clear if Mr. Flynn had offered to talk about specific aspects of his time working for Mr. Trump, but the fact that he was seeking immunity suggested Mr. Flynn feels he may be in legal jeopardy following his brief stint as the national security adviser, one official said.

Now, Flynn was let go for a reason, he's dirty as hell.  Flynn knows how this game works, and if he doesn't have anything substantial, immunity is a hell of a price for the FBI to pay considering what we know about Flynn already is enough to put him away for a very long time.  On the other hand, if he's willing to turn evidence against Trump, as National Security Adviser, he'd know where the bodies are buried (and that may not entirely be a figure of speech in this case.)

Please note the FBI has yet to take Flynn up on his offer.  I'd be extremely wary too.  Option one: It could be that the Feds already know what Flynn has to offer, in which case Mr. Flynn is going to crash and burn.  Option two: It also could be Flynn is offering more than he really knows, and the FBI doesn't want to give up the immunity card this early in the proceedings.

The third option is that Trump was never the target, but Flynn was.  Now, maybe with Flynn they can open an investigation into Trump directly, but we don't know.  All we know is Flynn wants immunity for the info he has.  Flynn at least thinks there's a bigger target on the list at this point, or he's trying to invent one to save his ass.

We'll find out sooner rather than later at this point.

High Nunes, Con't

So the NY Times did some digging and identified GOP Rep. Devin Nunes's White House sources, meaning at this point we now have a direct link between the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the regime he's supposed to be investigating.

A pair of White House officials played a role in providing Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with the intelligence reports that showed President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.

The revelation that White House officials assisted in the disclosure of the intelligence reports — which Mr. Nunes then discussed with President Trump — is likely to fuel criticism that the intelligence chairman has been too eager to do the bidding of the Trump administration while his committee is supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Russia’s meddling in the last presidential election.

Mr. Nunes has also been faulted by his congressional colleagues for sharing the information with President Trump before consulting with other members of the intelligence committee.

The congressman has refused to identify his sources, saying he needed to protect them so others would feel safe coming to the committee with sensitive information. He first disclosed the existence of the intelligence reports on March 22, and in his public comments he has described his sources as whistle-blowers trying to expose wrongdoing at great risk to themselves.

Several current American officials identified the White House officials as Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office and formerly worked on the staff of the House Intelligence Committee.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

Nunes took intelligence information from the White House and leaked it in order to blow a hole in the investigation.  What he forgot was that he was in over his head from minute one on this, and when he tried to backtrack, realizing how screwed he was, he just made it worse.

His final effort was to refuse to identify his sources, as if journalists smelling blood would simply drop the story in the name of solidarity with having to deal with confidential information.

No such luck, as the Times burned him and his sources this afternoon. 

Mr. Cohen-Watnick is a former Defense Intelligence Agency official who was originally brought to the White House by Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser. The officials said that earlier this month, shortly after Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter about being wiretapped on the orders of President Barack Obama, Mr. Cohen-Watnick began reviewing highly classified reports detailing the intercepted communications of foreign officials.

Officials said the reports consisted primarily of ambassadors and other foreign officials talking about how they were trying to develop contacts within Mr. Trump’s family and inner circle in advance of his inauguration.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the intelligence, and to avoid angering Mr. Cohen-Watnick and Mr. Ellis. Officials say that Mr. Cohen-Watnick has been reviewing the reports from his fourth-floor office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where the National Security Counsel is based.

Trump's wiretap paranoia became a "will anyone rid me of this troublesome Obama" moment, and it looks like Cohen-Watnick stepped up.  He blabbed to Nunes, who being a Trump campaign surrogate, was trustworthy.

And then Nunes told the world, expecting that his "revelations" would sink the previous president and prove Trump was somehow being stalked.  Only, well, Nunes isn't that bright.  He got info from the White order to brief the White House.

Which means Nunes was given the information in order to provide cover for Trump, period. He then lied about it, badly.  He's now been completely busted for it, because if there's one thing Washington DC cannot abide, it's a terrible liar in a position of power.

Now, the real fun begins. The bigger story remains that Trump and his campaign were picked up by FISA surveillance because they were talking to suspected foreign agents that the NSA wanted to keep an eye on, both before and after the election.

That part hasn't changed.  But we now know to what ridiculous lengths Trump will go in order to try to stonewall us from finding out why they had these conversations, and what was said.  Nunes figured this double back was going to clear Trump.

Instead it's ended up burying Nunes at the very least.

Perception As Reality In The Trump Era

The Trump regime is staggering across America like Polyphemus, the mythical cyclops blinded by Odysseus, but as damaged as the beast is, it's still quite able to harm anything in its path.  Unfortunately that includes both friend and foe as House Republicans found out last week as Trump continues to lash out at anything in reach.  For now, the White House is attempting to contain the carnage and counter the narrative by deploying loyalists to Super PAC groups that support the regime in order to turn perception into reality.

President Donald Trump is undergoing his first staff shake-up less than three months into his term, sending deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh to bolster the flagging outside groups that were meant to support his agenda, according to a Republican source close to the White House.

The move caps a rough stretch for Trump, who has seen his young administration dogged by controversy, his travel ban executive order blocked twice in court, and a health care bill he supported go down in flames.

Walsh, a close ally of chief of staff Reince Priebus, served as chief of staff at the Republican National Committee when Priebus was chairman, and she was one of a number of RNC staffers he brought with him to the White House, including press secretary Sean Spicer.

The move has the blessing of the highest ranks of the White House. “You’ve got to have somebody from the inside who has the blessing of the man himself,” said the source close to the White House.

Reality TV huckster Trump knows that if everyone starts calling him a loser, a loser he will be.  People are starting to fight back against him.  He's coming across as Darth Vader, not the Rebel Alliance he conned America into thinking he was.  Cities and states are starting to turn against him and his policies.

The city of Seattle sued U.S. President Donald Trump's administration on Wednesday over its executive order seeking to withhold federal funds from "sanctuary cities," arguing it amounted to unconstitutional federal coercion.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray told reporters the Constitution forbade the federal government from pressuring cities, “yet that is exactly what the president’s order does. Once again, this new administration has decided to bully.”

“Things like grants helping us with child sex trafficking are not connected to immigration,” Murray said, adding: "It is time for cities to stand up and ask the courts to put an end to the anxiety in our cities and the chaos in our system."

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened on Monday to strip Justice Department grants from cities and other local governments that choose to shield illegal immigrants from deportation efforts.

Trump, who made tougher immigration enforcement a cornerstone of his campaign, directed the government in his Jan. 25 executive order to cut off funding to sanctuary jurisdictions. That order has yet to be put into effect, but Sessions' announcement seemed to be the first step in doing so.

At some point the courts will give the people a victory against Trump large enough that he will have to act by force, as all tyrants eventually do.  When that happens, America will be tested like it hasn't been in 150 years.
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