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(THREAD) BREAKING: Trump—via Trey Gowdy—is AGAIN attempting to use the House Intel Committee to END the Russia probe. Please read and share.
1/ In April, America learned that Trump secretly conspired with House Intel Committee Chair Devin Nunes to prematurely end the Russia probe.
2/ That sordid episode—and illegal behavior—is likely now part of Special Counsel Mueller's Obstruction investigation against the president.
3/ The aim of the Trump-Nunes conspiracy was to delegitimize the FBI probe by proving the evidence that birthed it was false and/or illegal.
4/ The result of the conspiracy—besides fodder for Mueller's Obstruction probe—was Nunes "recusing" himself from the Intel Committee's work.
5/ While Nunes never REALLY recused himself—he continued (crucially) overseeing the Committee's subpoenas—Trey Gowdy assumed a leading role.
6/ Gowdy now seeks—in EVERY sense like Nunes—to delegitimize the FBI probe by proving the evidence that birthed it was false and/or illegal.
7/ While HARD evidence Gowdy is coordinating with Trump remains elusive, there's enough CIRCUMSTANTIAL evidence that media MUST investigate.
8/ First, some context: as an ex-criminal investigator I can say the House Intel Committee—even post-Nunes—is running a sham investigation.
9/ The Committee hasn't interviewed more than a handful of the KEY persons of interest in the Trump-Russia affair—MANY months into its work.
10/ What KEY persons of interest the Committee HAS interviewed, it's deliberately interviewed—by prior formal agreement—in closed sessions.
11/ The result is the public never hears the testimony AND—as we saw this week—the witnesses can block Mueller from seeing their testimony.
12/ Just today, CNN reported Manafort has used his agreement with the Committee to keep his testimony from the FBI. cnn.com/2017/09/05/pol…
13/ As to secondary persons of interest—or other material witnesses of ANY kind, eyewitness/otherwise—the Committee's spoken to almost none.
14/ And yet—with only TWELVE legislative days left in 2017—the House Intel Committee is making noise about finishing all its work this year.
15/ When the Mueller probe began in May, members of the House Intel Committee tried to use it—entirely fraudulently—to end their *own* work.
16/ At the time they said the "de-confliction" process—by which the FBI/Congress ensure their probes don't harm one another—was prohibitive.
17/ As a lawyer, I observed at the time—FWIW, correctly—that de-confliction in this case should be only a MINOR issue for the Russia probes.
18/ I said it's common for investigations to overlap—intel-sharing agreements EASILY ensure government bodies can access one another's work.
19/ And here, witnesses could benefit from open sessions—as testifying in public allows a witness to tell the FBI they'll only testify once.
20/ And of course intel-sharing agreements ensure Congress asks witnesses the same sort of questions the FBI would have planned to ask them.
21/ Instead the House signed agreements for witnesses to testify in closed session without permitting their testimony to be seen by the FBI.
22/ And the House avoided interviewing any witness the FBI was likely to interview—even though Mueller *wasn't* stopping them from doing so.
23/ Now, a little context on Gowdy before I hit tonight's major news. This really is CRITICAL information to have to frame what's happening.
24/ Trey Gowdy, who once worked for the DOJ, was on Trump's *short-list* for Jeff Sessions' job (Attorney General). greenvilleonline.com/story/news/201…
25/ Gowdy was also in the running for Comey's job. (Trump's claim is this precludes someone from investigating him.) cnn.com/2017/05/15/pol…
26/ With Trump the titular head of the GOP, Gowdy was given, in June, his DREAM committee assignment—head of the House Oversight Committee.
27/ Democrats charged Gowdy with acting as a "second attorney" for Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner during his recent closed-door testimony.
28/ Gowdy is now RAISING MONEY off his purported role as Kushner's "second attorney," according to a POLITICO story. politico.com/story/2017/08/…
29/ On July 11th, Gowdy told Trump's White House in the *clearest possible terms* it needed to come clean on Russia. politico.com/story/2017/07/…
30/ But within 30 days of that extraordinary admonishment of the White House over its response to the Russia probe, Gowdy did an about-face.
31/ So a KEY question right now is to discover what happened with, or to, Trey Gowdy between July 12th and sometime in early to mid-August.
32/ The most significant event in the House Intel investigation during that period—BY FAR—was its interrogation of Jared Kushner on July 25.
33/ Trump—almost certainly illegally—called Sen. Chuck Grassley prior to one of his sons testifying before Congress. washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-lin…
34/ So it's not conspiracy theory—just sound investigation—to ask if Trump spoke to Gowdy before ANOTHER of his sons testified to Congress.
35/ Specifically, we'd want to know if there is ANY evidence Trump spoke to Gowdy about the Russia investigation between July 11th and 25th.
36/ Please watch 60 seconds of this July 25 video, in which Gowdy seems to slip up momentarily at 3:30 in the video.
37/ On July 25, Trump had ONLY said publicly that he was angry at Sessions *over his recusal*, and had NOT said he had no confidence in him.
38/ On July 25 Gowdy said on FNC, "I think the president's frustration is *not* the recusal..." before changing his statement to "I hope..."
39/ Trey Gowdy's statement of the president's thinking—quickly "fixed"—contradicted ALL public statements of the president up to that point.
40/ Later in the interview, Gowdy stated—as fact, not supposition—that Trump had "no confidence" in Sessions, though Trump hadn't said that.
41/ You MUST hear this with one KEY fact in mind: Trey Gowdy was the runner-up for Sessions' job, and would be the TOP PICK to replace him.
42/ And on July 25th, Gowdy was (a) suggesting Sessions should quit his job, and (b) had just acted as a "second attorney" for Trump's son.
43/ And remember too that if Trump fired Mueller, Gowdy would be a top pick for THAT job and has said he *wants* it. fitsnews.com/2017/05/12/tre…
44/ Now, with all THAT in mind, read tonight's BREAKING NEWS and, I think I can fairly say, it will blow your mind. washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-hou…
45/ Just as Steele's dossier—a good deal of which has been verified—is gaining credibility nationally, Gowdy is setting out to undermine it.
46/ His MO is identical to Nunes'—when Nunes sought to undercut the FBI investigation by saying it improperly declassified witnesses' names.
47/ Just so, Gowdy says the July '16 FISA warrant the FBI got on Carter Page is an original sin that ends the legitimacy of the whole probe.
48/ Nunes' *big lie*—crafted with Administration aid—was that President Obama used illegal Trump Tower intercepts to initiate an FBI probe.
49/ Gowdy's *big lie*—which parrots Administration disinformation—is the FBI illegally used dodgy human intelligence to initiate its probe.
50/ Just as Nunes warred with the FBI by implying it acted illegally, Gowdy is *subpoenaing his investigate partner* to make the same claim.
51/ It is *absolutely extraordinary* for *one* governmental body to subpoena *another* governmental body when *both have the same mission*.
52/ It is *especially* stunning when the subpoenaing body—House Intel—has deliberately cut deals with Trump aides to hide info from the FBI.
53/ And it is a *historic* level of oddity for the subpoenaing body to have a theory of FBI misconduct based on *literally no information*.
54/ Nunes was fed disinformation by the White House. Right now it's *only* the White House that's implying Steele's sources were paid liars.
55/ Now, with all that in mind, consider that THIS is ANOTHER thing that happened between July 11th and mid-August: theguardian.com/us-news/2017/a…
56/ That's right: Trump agent Devin Nunes secretly sent his aides on an overseas trip to find Steele and question him before Congress could.
57/ This was part of a disinformation effort designed to libel Steele—focusing particularly on the question of WHO paid him and his sources.
58/ So at a time we've SOME reason to feel Trump and Gowdy discussed Russia, Trump agents were hunting for Steele to ask him about payments.
59/ Right after the effort fails, Gowdy announces—with no evidence—that he's adopted Trump's evidence-free view on Steele's funding tactics.
60/ And in doing so Gowdy declares war on the FBI just as Nunes did—with the same type of argument Nunes had—and with an equal lack of info.
61/ But it gets better! Because Gowdy has subpoenaed SESSIONS and is going to demand SESSIONS come testify before Congress. Which he CAN'T.
62/ Sessions is a) a witness in Trump's Obstruction case, b) facing (even Gowdy implies it) perjury charges and c) can't speak about Russia.
63/ Remember, Sessions recused himself due to a legal "conflict of interest." If he answers Gowdy's subpoena, he could *face new charges*.
64/ Gowdy's subpoena for Sessions to testify could force Sessions to resign—which both Trump/Gowdy want (some same, some different reasons).
65/ And if Sessions instead answers the subpoena and testifies, it'd be such a violation of his Oath, he'd have to resign (so, same result).
66/ The mere *sending* of the subpoena (a) undermines the Mueller probe, (b) libels key evidence without proof and (c) wastes FBI resources.
67/ I can't imagine any criminal lawyer/investigator not thinking, on hearing these facts, that Gowdy is acting on bad faith—and WITH Trump.
68/ And he's doing it at a time Trump is loading Congress up with so much work, baggage, and nonsense the Russia probes will HAVE to suffer.
69/ He's doing it knowing that if Congressional probes can't be effective by the time midterm campaigning starts, those probes will sputter.
70/ He's doing it know he'll—given Trump's past short-lists for these positions— possibly be offered a job if either Sessions OR Mueller go.
71/ He does it amidst HORRIFIC news about Trump/Russia—including proof Trump was negotiating business deals with the Russians while running.
72/ He does it as the "salacious" claims in Steele's dossier are closer than ever to being proven—with witnesses coming out of the woodwork.
73/ He does it as *he himself is running* one of the sloppiest, most lackadaisical criminal investigations I've EVER seen from a prosecutor.
74/ So maybe Trump can't fire Mueller directly—but he can use Gowdy as he did Nunes to slander the FBI and seek an end to the Russia probe.
75/ The media MUST report this effort AND the context within which it occurs—as it helps prove intent, design, and, yes, a conspiracy. {end}
PS/ So in June, the GOP mantra was, "do NOTHING to interfere with Mueller." Now, it's "either Mueller gives us ALL WE WANT or we sue him."
PS2/ This may also be the first time in American history Congress has attempted to challenge a warrant the FBI received from a secret court.
PS3/ This may also be the first time an Intel committee has exercised a dilatory Oversight committee function on an *in-progress* FBI probe.
PS4/ Note, too, that Gowdy wrongly calls the dossier the "origin" of the FBI probe, when in fact there were *many* things that prompted it.
PS5/ And Gowdy's claim his committee—not Rod Rosenstein—"sets the boundaries of [Mueller's] jurisdiction" is in this context entirely false.
PS6/ If Gowdy controls Mueller's jurisdiction, it means he controls the probe—and can end it on Trump's behalf basically whenever he wants.
PS7/ Moreover, if Gowdy focuses the House Intel Committee on FBI processes and the province of Steele's HUMINT it is NOT meeting ITS charge.
PS8/ If Trump believes Mueller having interviewed for Comey's job disqualifies him from investigating Russia, he MUST say the same of Gowdy.
PS9/ And if Gowdy has information suggesting Steele's top-shelf MI6-derived Russian sources were paid liars, it's not classified—release it.
PS10/ It's a defense lawyer's job to challenge warrants—not government officials whose role is to focus on the quality of evidence produced.
PS11/ So Adam Schiff's claim Gowdy is acting as a Trump "defense attorney" can be restated in this thread as fact rather than partisan talk.
PS12/ If Gowdy wanted to test the quality of the dossier, he'd ask Steele to testify publicly before Congress. But he wouldn't dare do that.
PS13/ Trump, Nunes, and Gowdy share the M.O. of trying to discredit the dossier while *preventing* Steele from testifying publicly about it.
PS14/ Maybe they're terrified of giving the dossier a public airing because of items like THIS from BBC World News correspondent Paul Wood:
PS15/ Maybe it's Wood discussing *two* BBC sources *plus* "multiple" hotel witnesses that has Trump and Gowdy *so* terrified of the dossier:
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