“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, January 21, 2018

More FBI Corruption or Incompetence, likely both

Byron York: Congress seeks answers after FBI claims texts missing in Trump-Russia probe

FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump sits with Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va. Trump's White House counsel personally lobbied Attorney General Jeff Sessions to not recuse himself from the Justice Department's investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump sits with Attorney General Jeff Sessions during the FBI National Academy graduation ceremony in Quantico, Va. Trump's White House counsel personally lobbied Attorney General Jeff Sessions to not recuse himself from the Justice Department's investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Investigators in both House and Senate were stunned late Friday when, receiving a batch of newly-released texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, they also received notice from the bureau that the FBI "failed to preserve" Strzok-Page messages from December 14, 2016 through May 17, 2017.

Given the amount of texting that went on between Strzok and Page, who were having an extramarital affair, that probably meant thousands of missing documents.

A number of critical events in the Trump-Russia affair occurred between December 2016 and May 2017, including:
  • Conversations between Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
  • The completion and publication of the intelligence community assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  • The briefing in which FBI director James Comey told President-elect Donald Trump about the Trump dossier.
  • The president's inauguration.
  • The nomination and confirmation of new Justice Department leadership.
  • Flynn's interview with the FBI (conducted by Strzok).
  • Comey's assurances to Trump that he, Trump, was not under investigation.
  • A variety of revelations, mostly in the Washington Post and New York Times, about various Trump figures under investigation.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russia probe.
  • The firing of top Obama Justice Department holdover Sally Yates.
  • Trump's tweet alleging he was wiretapped.
  • Trump's firing of Comey.
  • And, finally, on May 17, 2017 — the final day of the missing texts — the appointment of Trump-Russia special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Strzok and Page had a lot to talk about.

In a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs chairman Ron Johnson, the Justice Department claimed the Strzok-Page texts were not recorded because of glitches in a changeover between models of FBI-issued Samsung Galaxy phones.

"Data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected," the Justice Department said.

The FBI did send Johnson, along with Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, hundreds of Strzok-Page texts that were successfully recorded. Some of those might prove as troubling as the first batch of texts, one of which discussed a mysterious FBI "insurance policy" in case of a Trump victory in the 2016 election.

In the newly-released texts, Strzok and Page discussed Trump winning the Republican presidential nomination, which they said would create "pressure" on the FBI to quickly finish up the Hillary Clinton email investigation, known inside the bureau as the "midyear exam," or MYE.

"And holy shit Cruz just dropped out of the race," Page texted Strzok on May 4, 2016. "It's going to be a Clinton Trump race. Unbelievable."
"What?!?!??" responded Strzok.
"You heard it right my friend," said Page.
"I saw Trump won, figured it would be a bit," Strzok said. "Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE."
"It sure does," Page responded.

Earlier, in February 2016, Page texted Strzok that candidate Trump "simply can not be president."

Senate and House investigators are scrambling to come up with a response to news of the missing texts. Part of that response will be consultation with Justice Department inspector General Michael Horowitz, who has been investigating the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation. Does Horowitz have those missing texts? Does anyone else?

The Senate and House will also be asking: Does the FBI's explanation make sense? Is there evidence to support it? Were other Samsung phones not recorded as a result of technical problems between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017?
And if the FBI's story checks out, is there still a way to find the missing texts? Who would have the power to do so? Horowitz's investigation is an administrative review, not a criminal probe, and does not have the authority to compel production of some information.

On Saturday, Sen. Johnson sent a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray with a series of questions about the missing texts. Does the FBI have records of any other communications between Strzok and Page? What texts has the FBI produced to the inspector general? How extensive was the alleged glitch that allegedly resulted in the lost texts?

Johnson also asked whether the FBI has "conducted searches of Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page's non-FBI-issued communications devices or accounts to determine whether federal records exist on those nonofficial accounts."

That is an apparent reference to instances in the texts in which Strzok and Page told each other that they were switching to iMessage for further conversation, suggesting they might have moved their discussion of sensitive topics from their government-issued Samsung devices to private Apple devices.

Underlying all the questions is a diminished level of trust between some quarters of Congress and the FBI.

"Very suspicious," said one investigator about the news. "Hard to believe," said another.

When asked to rate his trust of the FBI on a scale from 1 to 10, the investigator quickly answered, "Zero."


  1. Strzok, who was detailed from the FBI to Mueller’s Russia investigation, was “immediately” removed from the team and sent to FBI’s human resources office.

    After the review of the texts, the IG expanded its request to the FBI for text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page for the period Nov. 30, 2016 and July 28, 2017. The FBI handed over those records on Aug. 10.

    Strzok’s dismissal was reported several days later, but the FBI, DOJ and Mueller’s office refused to say what happened. The existence of the text messages wasn’t reported until four months later, at the beginning of last month.

  2. Screw you Congress!

    Now do as we say!

  3. New texts from FBI official removed from Mueller probe delivered to Congress

    Hillarious CNN article goes on about what was delivered, at the bottom of the article, they whisper this:

    "Johnson additionally asked Wray in Saturday's letter whether the FBI has any records of messages exchanged between Strzok and Page from December 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017, which the Justice Department said were not preserved due to a technical glitch.

    "The loss of records from this period is concerning because it is apparent from other records that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page communicated frequently about the investigation," Johnson wrote."

    Lotsa glitches in the Obama Era.

    No harm, no foul.

  4. Damn

    Merkel Lives! Center-left backs formal coalition talks...DRUDGE


  5. When asked to rate his trust of the FBI on a scale from 1 to 10, the investigator quickly answered, "Zero."

    And he didn't really have to think about it - 'the investigator quickly answered'

    Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely

  6. Malia Obama is going out with a cracker.

    Many black racists are pissed.

    January 22, 2018
    Black racists enraged by Malia Obama's white boyfriend
    By Ed Straker

    Malia Obama, who is studying at Harvard University, has boyfriend! But some black people on Twitter have questioned her choice in men, because Malia's new homey, Rory Farquharson, is white.

    This racism on the part of some in the black community, who are bruddas and sistas to us all, is very sad. Most white people want us to grow together as a community. I just wish everyone of all races felt the same way.

    Questions for discussion:

    After years of Obama's race baiting, President Trump is the first "post-racial" president to follow him. What do you think President Trump could do to begin the healing process? Is this a "teachable moment" that President Trump could use to get the Democrats to disavow black racism? How do we get all black people to value the diversity of boyfriends and girlfriends as much as we do?

    Read more:

    1. .

      Damn, Bob, you are dumb as a rock boy.


    2. .

      Damn, Bob, you are dumb as a rock, boy.


    3. ?
      Huh ?

      I haven't even made a comment.

      You just don't like me.

    4. For Quirk

      ** Turkey: 90,000 mosques pray Qur’anic “conquest” prayers calling on Muslims to be
      “ruthless against unbelievers”
      By Robert Spencer on Jan 21, 2018 12:14 pm

      Surah al-Fath is the 48th chapter of the Qur’an. It promises Muslims who wage jihad
      much material reward: “Allah has promised you much booty that you will take and has
      hastened for you this and withheld the hands of people from you – that it may be a
      sign for the believers and He may […]
      Read in browser »

      And, the Turks have been on the offensive against the Kurds today.

      The Donald ought to at least send the Kurds some meaningful weapons, like artillery and anti-tank weapons.

      I am very disappointed by The Donald on this issue.

    5. “ruthless against unbelievers”

      That's YOU Quirk, an unbeliever in their eyes.

    6. Damn, Quirk, you are dumb as a rock, boy.

    7. Damn, Quirk, you are dumb as a rock, boy.

    8. I like ya even though you are a nitwit.

    9. Oh, By The Way… Turkey Just Invaded Syria
      JAZZ SHAWPosted at 9:31 am on January 21, 2018

      It’s rather amazing how much news you can miss when the entire media machine is focused on something like the government shutdown. For just one minor example, did you know that Turkey invaded Syria yesterday? That probably sounds a bit dramatic (and to be honest, it wasn’t that much of an invasion) but it’s certainly accurate. Making good on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s earlier promise, Turkey launched a blistering wave of air strikes on U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Afrin province and crossed the border with troops and artillery. Details are sketchy, but at least for the moment the Kurds claim to have beaten back the attack.


    10. You just figured out Robert "Unstable Ignoramus" Peterson that the Turks are attacking the US proxy in Syria.

      That the Kurds are being decimated ...
      While Donald Trump golfs?
      He ought to try playing the fiddle, while the US Imperium burns


    11. Winning . so . much . winning

    12. Psycho Jack

  7. Texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page: AG Lynch knew how the Clinton email case would end
    JOHN SEXTON Jan 21, 2018 5:01 PM

    “…she knows no charges will be brought.”

    We really need a special Federal Prison for all these folks where people can come and view them like at a zoo.

  8. Does This Man Know More Than Robert Mueller?
    Glenn Greenwald’s war on the Russia investigation.

    By Simon van Zuylen-Wood

    Photograph by Sebastian Palmer

    January 21, 2018
    9:06 am

    It’s 10:45 p.m. Rio de Janeiro time. Glenn Greenwald and I are finishing dinner at a deserted bistro in Ipanema. The restaurant, which serves its sweating beer bottles in metal buckets and goes heavy on the protein, is almost aggressively unremarkable (English menus on the table, a bossa-nova version of “Hey Jude” on the stereo). Greenwald avoids both meat and alcohol but seems to enjoy dining here. “I really believe that if I still lived in New York, the vast majority of my friends would be New York and Washington media people and I would kind of be implicitly co-opted.” He eats a panko-crusted shrimp. “It just gives me this huge buffer. You’ve seen how I live, right? When I leave my computer, that world disappears.”

    Greenwald, now 50, has seemed to live in his own bubble in Rio for years, since well before he published Edward Snowden’s leaks and broke the domestic-spying story in 2013 — landing himself a Pulitzer Prize, a book deal, and, in time, the backing of a billionaire (that’s Pierre Omidyar) to start a muckraking, shit-stirring media empire (that’s First Look Media, home to the Intercept, though its ambitions have been downgraded over time). But he seems even more on his own since the election, just as the agitated left has regained the momentum it lost in the Obama years.

    The reason is Russia. For the better part of two years, Greenwald has resisted the nagging bipartisan suspicion that Trumpworld is in one way or another compromised by a meddling foreign power. If there’s a conspiracy, he suspects, it’s one against the president; where others see collusion, he sees “McCarthyism.” Greenwald is predisposed to righteous posturing and contrarian eye-poking — and reflexively more skeptical of the U.S. intelligence community than of those it tells us to see as “enemies.”

    And even if claims about Russian meddling are corroborated by Robert Mueller’s investigation, Greenwald’s not sure it adds up to much — some hacked emails changing hands, none all that damaging in their content, maybe some malevolent Twitter bots. In his eyes, the Russia-Trump story is a shiny red herring — one that distracts from the failures, corruption, and malice of the very Establishment so invested in promoting it. And when in January, as “Journalism Twitter” was chastising the president for one outrage or another, Congress quietly passed a bipartisan bill to reauthorize sweeping NSA surveillance, you had to admit Greenwald might have been onto something.....

  9. Watch out, that oyster may be filming you -

    Spy oysters, night-vision goggles: France fights gourmet heists...

    Spy oysters and night-vision goggles: How France is fighting back against food thieves

  10. It's Philly v New England

    That's one to watch !

    1. You're no longer boycotting the NFL, Robert "Identity Thief" Peterson?

      You have already given up the fight to Make America Great?

      Making America Weak, that's your new mantra?

      You really are an embarrassment.


    2. NFL, NFL, NFL ...

      NFL FOOTBALL still America's Game!!!

    3. Psycho Jack

  11. California is going to allow anyone with a Cal. Driver's License to vote.

    California gives driver licenses to legal immigrants and illegal immigrants.

    The country is becoming dysfunctional.


    1. The requirements for voting has always been a States Rights issue.

      Seems it still is.

      If you want to enforce a National Standard, it'd require a Constitutional Amendment.

      Get on it, Robert "Identity Thief" Peterson, sounds like a project worthy of your unstable ignorance.

    2. Psycho Jack

  12. The Incredible B-52

    Love 'em.

    1. Yeah, Robert "Identity Thief" Peterson, the B-52 is a great old war horse ...

      But it doesn't hold a candle to the F-52s that Mr Trump is selling to Norway.

      The F-52 is the greatest, bestest airplane the US has never produced.

      Makes one wonder why Mr Trump was touting the sale of that model to the Norwegians.

    2. Psycho Jack

  13. The blog's tormented psychotic, Jack, is back.


    1. That YOU have abandoned the Trump Doctrine and embraced the NFL, Robert "Identity Thief" Peterson, is a remakable piece on News.

      I am not sure it makes you psychotic, but it is emblematic of a weak mind and low character.

      You could not even boycott the NFL for 90 days.

      bobbie doesn't suffer low testosterone, he has ...


    2. bobbie "Take a Knee" Peterson.

      Yeah, that's the ticket for 2018


      ... still

      Har de har har

    3. Psycho Jack


    4. bobbie NO "T" Peterson just can't man up


  14. Making America Great in the ...
    Age of Trump

    Same-sex active-duty couple marries at West Point

    Captains Daniel Hall, 30, and Vincent Franchino, 26, both Apache helicopter pilots stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, were married at West Point's Cadet Chapel on Jan. 13, 2018.

    Another 'First' for the Trump Administration!

  15. Why can't you, Robert "Take a Knee" Peterson, just man up?

    We all know you have a testosterone challenge, but there are treatments available for that.

    Your lack of self-confidence is self evident, man up, sign on

    Or admit, at least to yourself, that deep down at your core, you are a pussy

  16. I wish Deuce would shut Psycho-Jack up, and good.

    Nobody would want him in a restaurant, bar or church, or anywhere.

  17. Jack never says anything he hasn't said 10K times before and it's all bull shit. Gets really old.


    1. Go take a knee with Draft Dodger Peterson, fellas ...

      He's who you should see when any of you look in a mirror.

      And bobbie, get off your knee and sin in, before Deuce shuts that optuon down.

      Something he COULD and probably should do, quite easily.

  18. Howdy all!

    Congratulations to the Philly Phans!

    The Vikings had a helluva Year but the defense didn't show up for the game.

    1. Some say defense wins championships.

      Others that a good offense is the best defense

      The former seem to dominate.