WSJ Asks "Was Trump's Campaign 'Set Up'?"

The Wall Street Journal continues to counter  the  liberal mainstream media's anti-Trump-ness with Kimberly Strassel leading the charge, dropping uncomfortable truth-bombs in a forum that is hard for the establishment to shrug off as 'Alt-Right' or 'Nazi' or be 'punished' by search- and social-media-giants.

Earlier in the week, with Trump now calling out the debacle as "possible bigger than Watergate," Strassel tweet-stormed some key points that everyone - leftist and right - should consider... (that's wishful thinking)...

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

4. DOJ/FBI (and its leakers) have shredded what little credibility they have in claiming they cannot comply with subpoena. They are willing to provide details to friendly media, but not Congress? Willing to risk very source they claim to need to protect?

5. Back in Dec., NYT assured us it was the Papadopoulos-Downer convo that inspired FBI to launch official counterintelligence operation on July 31, 2016. Which was convenient, since it diminished the role of the dossier. However . . .

6. Now NYT tells us FBI didn't debrief downer until August 2nd. And Nunes says no "official intelligence" from allies was delivered to FBI about that convo prior to July 31. So how did FBI get Downer details? (Political actors?) And what really did inspire the CI investigation?

7. As for whether to believe line that FBI operated soberly/carefully/judiciously in 2016, a main source for this judgment is, um . . .uh . . . Sally Yates. Who was in middle of it all. A bit like asking Putin to reassure that Russia didn't meddle in our election.

8. On that, if u r wondering who narrated this story, note paragraphs that assure everybody that hardly anybody in DOJ knew about probe. Oh, and Comey also was given few details. Nobody knew nothin'! (Cuz when u require whole story saying u behaved, it means u know you didn't.)

And now Strassel is asking "Was Trump's Campaign 'Set Up'?"

At some point, the Russia investigation became political. How early was it?

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes appeared on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday, where he provided a potentially explosive hint at what’s driving his demand to see documents related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Trump-Russia probe. “If the campaign was somehow set up,” he told the hosts, “I think that would be a problem.”

Or an understatement. Mr. Nunes is still getting stiff-armed by the Justice Department over his subpoena, but this week his efforts did force the stunning admission that the FBI had indeed spied on the Trump campaign. This came in the form of a Thursday New York Times apologia in which government “officials” acknowledged that the bureau had used “at least one” human “informant” to spy on both Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. The Times slipped this mind-bending fact into the middle of an otherwise glowing profile of the noble bureau—and dismissed it as no big deal.

But there’s more to be revealed here, and Mr. Nunes’s “set up” comment points in a certain direction. Getting to the conclusion requires thinking more broadly about events beyond the FBI’s actions.

Think of the 2016 Trump-Russia narrative as two parallel strands—one politics, one law enforcement. The political side involves the actions of Fusion GPS, the Hillary Clinton campaign and Obama officials—all of whom were focused on destroying Donald Trump. The law-enforcement strand involves the FBI—and what methods and evidence it used in its Trump investigation. At some point these strands intersected—and one crucial question is how early that happened.

What may well have kicked off both, however, is a key if overlooked moment detailed in the House Intelligence Committee’s recent Russia report.

In “late spring” of 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed White House “National Security Council Principals” that the FBI had counterintelligence concerns about the Trump campaign. Carter Page was announced as a campaign adviser on March 21, and Paul Manafort joined the campaign March 29. The briefing likely referenced both men, since both had previously been on the radar of law enforcement. But here’s what matters: With this briefing, Mr. Comey officially notified senior political operators on Team Obama that the bureau had eyes on Donald Trump and Russia. Imagine what might be done in these partisan times with such explosive information.

And what do you know? Sometime in April, the law firm Perkins Coie (on behalf the Clinton campaign) hired Fusion GPS, and Fusion turned its attention to Trump-Russia connections. The job of any good swamp operator is to gin up a fatal October surprise for the opposition candidate. And what could be more devastating than to paint a picture of Trump-Russia collusion that would provoke a full-fledged FBI investigation?

We already know of at least one way Fusion went about that project, with wild success. It hired former British spy Christopher Steele to compile that infamous dossier. In July, Mr. Steele wrote a memo that leveled spectacular conspiracy theories against two particular Trump campaign members—Messrs. Manafort and Page. For an FBI that already had suspicions about the duo, those allegations might prove huge—right? That is, if the FBI were to ever see them. Though, lucky for Mrs. Clinton, July is when the Fusion team decided it was a matter of urgent national security for Mr. Steele to play off his credentials and to take this political opposition research to the FBI.

The question Mr. Nunes’s committee seems to be investigating is what other moments—if any—were engineered in the spring, summer or fall of 2016 to cast suspicion on Team Trump. The conservative press has produced some intriguing stories about a handful of odd invitations and meetings that were arranged for Messrs. Page and Papadopoulos starting in the spring—all emanating from the United Kingdom. On one hand, that country is home to the well-connected Mr. Steele, which could mean the political actors with whom he was working were involved. On the other hand, the Justice Department has admitted it was spying on both men, which could mean government was involved. Or maybe . . . both.

Which brings us to timing. It’s long been known that Mr. Steele went to the FBI in early July to talk about the dossier, and that’s the first known intersection of the strands. But given the oddity and timing of those U.K. interactions concerning Messrs. Page and Papadopoulos, and given the history of some of the people involved in arranging them, some wonder if the two strands were converging earlier than anyone has admitted. The Intelligence Committee subpoena is designed to sort all this out: Who was pulling the strings, and what was the goal? Information? Or entrapment?

Whatever the answer—whether it is straightforward, or whether it involves political chicanery—Congress and the public have a right to know. And a Justice Department willing to leak details of its “top secret” source to friendly media can have no excuse for not sharing with the duly elected members of Congress.

Comments

bowie28 One of We Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:04 Permalink

Trump should agree to meet with Mueller and run it something like this:

Thanks for stopping by, Bob. Before you ask me your questions I need you to answer a few of mine:

You have had a full year to investigate the allegations that my campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in our election.  Has anyone obstructed you from doing this job to the best of your ability?  If so, who have you notified of this and what corrective action have you taken or requested be taken?

Have you found any evidence that I personally committed any crime involving collusion with the Russians to interfere with the election?

Have you found any evidence that any member of my campaign committed any crime involving collusion with the Russians to interfere with the election?

Assuming the answers to all 3 are “No” (which they likely are or such evidence would have already leaked to CNN via Clapper) or if he refuses to answer, inform Muller the meeting and his investigation are over.  He is will be escorted to his office to turn over all records gathered in the investigation to the appropriate DOJ officials, debrief them on his findings and then is fired and all security clearances revoked.

Let the MSM and Dems bitch and cry all they want.  You had a year to find evidence for your phony allegations with your top investigator on the job, access to millions of documents and millions of taxpayer dollars.  You failed because there was no crime committed.  Time to move on.

Of course this is assuming the Mueller investigation is actually what it is purported to be which I have serious doubts about.  I think it’s more likely Mueller cut an immunity deal for himself when he met with Trump the day before being appointed as SC and this whole thing was nothing but a charade to keep Trump’s enemies believing Mueller is their guy.  This way they put all their attention and energy into this investigation only to have it blow up in their faces just before the midterms when Trump is fully vindicated by the guy all his enemies said was above reproach.  If that happens watch how fast they all turn on Mueller and every MSM outlet starts running hit pieces on him the next morning.

In reply to by One of We

Escrava Isaura kralizec Fri, 05/18/2018 - 17:15 Permalink

Pope aside, conservatives’ readers beware that both links are disturbing. Actually, the second link even more so, because it’ll connected all the missing dots.   

 

Pablo Ruizinowitz:

Trump is extremely afraid of Mueller because of three outcomes:

Trump may end up dying in prison or

Trump may end up under investigation by the feds and state authorities, thereby fighting an avalanche of serious and protracted lawsuits that will bleed him of tens or maybe even hundreds of millions of dollars through settlements and legal bills, until he dies.

And, an ancillary outcome, the threat of having all or most of his money impounded and taken away by the feds, leaving his family pretty poor when he dies.

Trump for so long has gotten away with so much—the most notable being pretty shady business deals with Russian billionaires and New Jersey mob bosses (which happened during his casino days in Atlantic City).

He also had the ability to defraud powerless and poor people, either through outright grifting, like the Trump University scandal, or through bullying and intimidation, which for the most part consisted of not paying his small-business sub-contractors by threatening to bury them under lawsuits. Because he’s rich he could afford good lawyers to either settle—the $25 million settlement in the Trump University case comes to mind—or to work out very complex transactions that shielded him from government scrutiny.

And Trump was a second-rate real estate businessman who bankrupted himself 6 times. Then a lightweight reality-TV star. In other words, he did not fit the profile of people of deep interest to the FBI, the Department of Justice, state attorneys general and the like. He was easily able afford the lawyers who could shield him from the authorities, and he had a pretty sweet and easy life slapping his name on any product or building willing to pay up and being a TV star.

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Donald-Trump-so-afraid-of-Robert-Mueller

 

Trump became unfinanceable by the New Yorker bankers after his six bankruptcies so Trump became dependent on shady cash flows, laundering money from East Europeans oligarchs from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=501&v=1bEdMuKq30I

 

In reply to by kralizec

Escrava Isaura Is-Be Sat, 05/19/2018 - 06:22 Permalink

Is-Be: Protect his allies, the Plebs.

 

You bought into the propaganda.

Trump is not for the small Americans. Just look at Trump’s record:

Tax cut: For the middleclass it expires in 2024. For the rich his tax cuts never expire.

Healthcare: Prices still going up while 3.2 million Americans lost their healthcare in 2017.

Jesus fucking Christ, do some research before posting nonsense.

 

Tax Cut: Once the proposed changes to these other taxes are taken into account, the bills’ tilt towards middle-income earners flips to become a tilt towards wealthier Americans.

Healthcare: The bulk of the jump in uninsured came from the 35-64 age bracket which is really bad news because it's the top age earning bracket…….

 

In reply to by Is-Be

paulp Escrava Isaura Sat, 05/19/2018 - 10:15 Permalink

Well spanky I guess the country is out of choices.

The dems ran crooked hillary and commie bernie.  Great choices eh?

The repubs ran nebbish bush, who would have started another war in the middle east, it's a family tradition you know!

Or lindsey grahm, ewww.  I wouldn't use him to wipe my butt.  And a whole raft of repub oddities, only one of whom may have had some principles.

And, then trump shows up.  At least he doesn't smell as bad as all the other dems and repubs, so he won.

The deep state has propped up so many presidential candidates that are complete trash that the voting public don't beleive much anything they telll us, and now we discover oboinko was spying on trump to expose him as what?

Wahsington DC is a complete loss and you think we are supposed to worry about trump being a third rate real estate investor.  Has the propessional political class really done that great a job?  Has it even done a passable job?  The dollar being debased almost 100% in the last 100 years pretty much answers that.

Why don't you go back to your closet and resume pleasuring yourself with your special ribbed model barrack obama dildo?

In reply to by Escrava Isaura

brianshell Team_Huli Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:45 Permalink

George Webb today continues to posit that Flynn was in on the uranium ratline along with untold others. It begs the question that, were all the people using the blackberries invested in the ratline? That is many many people.

Another vexing issue is the new C_A chief being in London when the trap was being set for Trump.

I, again, suppose that the delay in TMSR work is because of this nuclear ratline.

 

In reply to by Team_Huli

Mzhen brianshell Fri, 05/18/2018 - 17:22 Permalink

You need to deprogram and realize the fact that George -- all lovable 6'8" of him -- has profound mental health issues.  And needs to fantasize some new line of spin regularly to form into youtube videos and get donations.  You need to ask yourself who is feeding Webb information, and for what purpose, and for what price.  You have already learned that much of his uranium information last year was coming from a paid FBI informant of over 20 years duration.  If you like George, accept the fact that he is merely entertainment. 

In reply to by brianshell

brianshell Mzhen Sat, 05/19/2018 - 14:20 Permalink

Show me how much of what he has reported, or even offered conjecture about, has not eventually been reported by the front bench of journalism. Remember, his information comes from other metadata. He is not a novelist.

For example, search the story of Mike Flynn working with ACU. Tell us what you find.

In reply to by Mzhen

Withdrawn Sanction CuttingEdge Fri, 05/18/2018 - 18:10 Permalink

"...leak like a sieve to their collusional media scum, but woe-betied Congress getting access."

Easily remedied, if it were wanted.  The Prez could simply order DOJ to comply.  That he doesn't do so suggests something else is afoot.  

Also, Congress w/a few exceptions, cannot be trusted.  Remember Diane Finestain's leak so everyone could get their stories straight?

In reply to by CuttingEdge

bowie28 The First Rule Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:18 Permalink

" Of course it was setup.  Rod Rosenstein & Co. have been in on this from the beginning. "

Rosenstein was appointed by Trump.   

If he is involved in a setup it's more likely it is a setup organized by Trump.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Rosenstein

President Donald Trump nominated Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice on February 1, 2017.[25][26] He was one of the 46 United States Attorneys ordered on March 10, 2017, to resign by Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Trump declined his resignation.[27] Rosenstein was confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 2017, by a vote of 94–6

In May 2017, he authored a memo which President Trump said was the basis of his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey.[5] Later that month, Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and related matters.

Ask yourself why Sessions ordered Rosenstein to resign and Trump declined his resignation?  Likely because Sessions was recused from Russia investigation and could not be told Rosenstein was working for Trump from day 1.

(Mueller also met with Trump the day before Rosenstein appointed him SC.)

Also relevant, Rosenstein is Republican and in 2007/8 was blocked from getting a seat on appeals court by Dems. Doesn't seem he would be loyal to the Obama crowd and trying to take down Trump with a phony investigation.

In 2007, President George W. Bush nominated Rosenstein to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Rosenstein was a Maryland resident at the time. Barbara Mikulski and new Democratic Maryland senator, Ben Cardin, blocked Rosenstein's confirmation, stating that he did not have strong enough Maryland legal ties,[24] and due to this Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy did not schedule a hearing on Rosenstein during the 110th Congress and the nomination lapsed. Later, Andre M. Davis was renominated to the same seat by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2009.

In reply to by The First Rule

bowie28 Kayman Fri, 05/18/2018 - 12:04 Permalink

" Rosenstein slithered in via Sessions. "

Do you even bother to look at the facts before you make a statement like this?

Rosenstein was appointed by Trump, ordered to resign by Sessions and had his resignation declined by Trump.

You will soon find out both of them are loyal to Trump.  He played his political enemies for fools and they fell for it. Again.

He is fighting a war against a cabal of ruthless and dishonest people, fully supported by a corrupt MSM.  This requires misdirection and disinformation as a key part of the strategy and his generals are guiding him in these decisions.

If this were not the case Trump would have fired both of them a long time ago.  He is not going to have the top two people in his DOJ working against him.  No way in hell.  He didn't get this far by allowing his top people to be anything but loyal, even when the plan requires that they appear to be disloyal or incompetent in public.  His twitter raging against Sessions and Rosenstein is nothing more than propaganda to make him appear weak and not in control of his DOJ while exactly the opposite is true.

Bet on it.

In reply to by Kayman