1) More big breaking news, which further undercuts the Ford accusation, as well as media handling of it. A source has given me the email that WaPo reporter Emma Brown sent to Mark Judge, one person Ford claims was at the party. This email is dated Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018
2) The email wants a comment from him. The subsequent story would reveal Christine Ford's name, and give details of the supposed "assault."
3) One part of the email to Judge reads: "In addition to Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, whom she called acquaintances she knew from past socializing, she recalls that her friend Leland (last name then was Ingham, now Keyser) was at the house and a friend of the boys named PJ."
1) Breaking, and a big deal: Fourth person that Ford named as present at infamous event denies even knowing kavanaugh, much less ever attending a party where he was present.
Statement from Leland Keyser's attorney: "Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford."
So to be clear: All four people named have said this party never happened. It isn't even as if one of them is saying, "oh, i remember the party, but my memory of how things played out is different." They are saying it NEVER HAPPENED. That is powerful evidence.
1) GOP needs to do better calling BS on Democratic demands for an "FBI investigation." FBI background checks of nominees involve interviewing people, and putting results in a file. The report goes to WH/Senate, solely for guidance. FBI isn't sleuthing "crimes" in these checks.
2) As FBI has said, it has put her detailed claims in the file. (And she has been invited to testify.) That is the FBI's job done. As FBI has noted, any other "investigation" would be handled by local law enforcement--that is if statute of limitations were not long past.
3) Democrats know this, and are willfully misleading by suggesting FBI has a different role here. That is not how it works. It would in fact be wildly irregular for FBI to do anything more than it has, and would look highly political .
Actually, the mistake some are making is in placing this accusation in the same category as prior #MeToo claims. It in some ways does a disservice to them. This is a very different allegation in basic, and disturbing ways. For example:
--The accuser cannot or will not name a place, date, time, even year. This makes it impossible for Kavanaugh to provide any evidence that he was, say, elsewhere.
--the accuser made no contemporaneous allegations. No one ever heard about this until decades later. But what gave ..
..many #MeToo allegations credibility is that the victims told people at the time, which provided evidence that they weren't later reconstructing history.
--What also gave prior allegations substance was that there was a volume of accusers, who demonstrated a pattern..
1) On Feinstein's referral of a letter with an accusation against Kavanaugh to the FBI:
--This is impt enough to be sent to FBI, but not impt enough to have been raised before now? Can't be both. NYT reports she got the letter this summer.
2) --similarly, this is impt enough to be sent to FBI, but never shared with a single Republican charged with advice and consent?
--Feinstein statement explicitly acknowledges that the accuser did not want to take this further. So why is it with the FBI?
--timing here cannot be ignored. Coming only after Democrats were unable to further stall a vote.
--and just to be clear, Ds and media are now using a secret letter with a secret accusation from a secret person, to try to take down Kavanaugh. Scary.
1) On this document fight, it is pretty simple. Democrats don't get to unilaterally release documents under executive privilege. We have rules and laws. You don't get to break them just because you "don't like" Donald Trump or his nominee.
2) If they choose to move ahead anyway, they should be held fully accountable, under both Senate rules, and the law
3) Wouldn't it be lovely if the Democrats now so concerned about "hidden" and "concealed" documents showed 1/4 as much interest in the docs that DOJ/FBI won't release about its Trump-Russia investigation.
1) It is never fun to tackle fact checkers, but this one is a case study in that modern art of omitting details, stating unsupportable assertions as fact, slipping things in, manipulating a narrative. Opinion as "fact." So let's go through it. washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/…
2)"Ohr exists in a netherworld — a subject of fascination in right-leaning media". Right, though piece fails to note that is because mainstream media is more "fascinated" by Omarosa than it is the news that a high ranking DOJ official--
3)--whose wife worked for Clinton oppo-research group Fusion GPS--was feeding said oppo research to the FBI. And that the FBI was taking it even after having officially terminated Fusion employee Christopher Steele as a source, for breaking FBI rules.
Key question in Strzok hearing today: Was the FBI spying (uh, running "informants") on the Trump campaign prior to its official start of Trump probe on July 31, 2016?
Also, when did he know who was behind the dossier? (Comey claimed ignorance on this info.) What interaction, if any, did he have with Simpson and Fusion GPS? What role did Bruce/Nellie Ohr play in this?
When did that information about Papadopoulos really come in? The meeting in London was in May. FBI didn't start investigation (based on that meeting) until end of July. Did they sit on it? Only go back to it when they decided they wanted to get a FISA warrant?
1) Don't believe anyone who claims Horowitz didn't find bias. He very carefully says that he found no "documentary" evidence that bias produced "specific investigatory decisions." That's different #IGReport
2) It means he didn't catch anyone doing anything so dumb as writing down that they took a specific step to aid a candidate. You know, like: "Let's give out this Combetta immunity deal so nothing comes out that will derail Hillary for President." #IGReport
3) But he in fact finds bias everywhere. The examples are shocking and concerning, and he devotes entire sections to them. And he very specifically says in the summary that they "cast a cloud" on the entire "investigation's credibility." That's pretty damning. #IGReport
1) The fallacy here--stated by Sally Yates--is that the "investigators" are beyond reproach. The Founders rightly believed the public would/should be skeptical of power, and gave tools (checks/balances) to bring to light.
2) The notion that the most powerful people in the land--law enforcement and intelligence services--should never be questioned, that their version should be accepted as fact, is antithetical to our system.
3) And especially knowing the facts we do--FISA warrants, spies/informants, dossiers paid for by a rival campaign--we should absolutely ask the investigators questions. The notion that the White House can't do this, because it was the target of said investigators, is nonsense.
1. So a few important points on that new NYT "Hurricane Crossfire" piece. A story that, BTW, all of us following this knew had to be coming. This is DOJ/FBI leakers' attempt to get in front of the facts Nunes is forcing out, to make it not sound so bad. Don't buy it. It's bad.
2. Biggest takeaway: Govt "sources" admit that, indeed, the Obama DOJ and FBI spied on the Trump campaign. Spied. (Tho NYT kindly calls spy an "informant.") NYT slips in confirmation far down in story, and makes it out like it isn't a big deal. It is a very big deal.
3. In self-serving desire to get a sympathetic story about its actions, DOJ/FBI leakers are willing to provide yet more details about that "top secret" source (namely, that spying was aimed at Page/Papadopoulos)--making all more likely/certain source will be outed. That's on them
2) You've surely now read the Strzok-Page texts. Is this appropriate FBI behavior? Is this common FBI behavior? Can or how should the American public have confidence in a bureau that employs senior players with that behave in such a way?
3) What was the "insurance policy" to which Strzok and Page referred? Anonymous sources claim it meant simply the need to aggressively probe Russia, but it could also be read as a plan to harm Candidate Trump. Was it?
1)A few questions @Comey should have been asked--but wasn't:
2)You repeatedly note the "source" of the dossier (Steele) was "credible." Does the FBI routinely view as "credible" sources hired by political operatives? You say Steele had a "track record" but did fact he was now working for politicals--in an election year--not concern you?
3)Did you know Mr. Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS? Did FBI do any due diligence on Fusion, and discover its long record of being hired to dirty the reputations of its clients' political foes? If not, why not?
1/ Mr. Eisen, actually, no. Wrong on all counts.
Pruitt travel/security costs for 2017: $160k
Gina McCarthy travel/security costs for 2013-16: $630k
Lisa Jackson travel/security costs for 2009-12: $332k
Coming up next, the breakout for their trips...
1) Whoops. Just saw some typos! Retweeting for clarity.
1) One obvious takeaway from the Grassley referral: The FBI got utterly USED by the Clinton campaign. Steele and Fusion had barely handed off the dossier before they were out flagging the FBI's work to the media, ginning up headlines helpful to their client (Clinton campaign).
2) This is beyond dispute; Steele and Simpson have admitted to the media briefings. It's an embarrassment for the agency, and i'd wager that even those agents that support the overall investigation can't be happy their leadership allowed the FBI to be a pawn for a campaign.
1) I've covered politics a long time. I've never--never--seen anything approaching the desperations Ds have to keep this memo quiet. And as we know that worry about law enforcement (Snowden/Manning) is not their biggest worry, this memo must be damning to the core.
2)Have been in journalism all my life. Have never--never--seen the press corps fight so hard against transparency. Same media that after election wondered if it was out of touch with avg Americans, now ignoring the legit worries so many have about govt. accountability.
3) Every journo should be asked if they'd be fighting this hard against disclosure if it was a Bush DOJ/FBI accused of wiretapping abuses. Of course not. They'd be leading the charge to put it all out. 4th estate is supposed to enlighten the people. Not cover for govt. officials
Another thought on Simpson testimony: 1. Testimony stands or falls on witness credibility. 2. With that in mind, go read page 44, in which Simpson accuses a target, Bill Browder, of dodging Russia questions, and describes his own efforts to force said testimony in heroic terms
3. With that mind, remember that Simpson dodged two invitations to testify in public setting next to Browder. And after Simpson was subpoenaed, responded that he'd plead the 5th to every question rather than testify in a public setting.
4. Now remember that Browder himself did accept the Committee's invitation, and answered all their questions, under oath, in public. So who is hiding and who is dodging? 5. And with all THAT, now reread the Simpson transcript--with that sense of his credibility in mind.