dada » Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:34 pm wrote:Can I ask, what is the point of the cat abuse photo? Is this making some kind of statement relevant to the topic? I admit, I'm not up on what's trendy on twitter.
Fox goes silent as its "secret society" conspiracy theory falls apart
This new narrative began on Monday night when Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) claimed on Fox News that a post-election text message exchange between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page contained the line, “Perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society.” Gowdy omitted any context to the message and offered no evidence to show that such a text, which has not been released, wouldn’t have been facetious.
Fox News went all in.
The following two days, the phrase “secret society” was aired on Fox over 100 times. The network repeatedly showed the video of Rep. Gowdy and another video of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) as Fox anchors, hosts, and guests piled on.
Blue wrote:^^^ I believe she's simply making a reference to the tinfoil hat brigade with a LOL cat pic. I agree that dressing cats in costumes is usually in and of itself torture but they're also tough as nails little critters.
FBI Deputy Director McCabe stepping down
Washington (CNN)FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has told FBI staff he is stepping down effective Monday -- a move that surprised even those expecting his March retirement, sources tell CNN.
McCabe was a central target of President Donald Trump's ire toward the FBI over its involvement in the investigation into potential collusion between his campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. He was eligible to retire in March, but with his accumulated leave, he was able to step down earlier.
Trump learned about the departure Monday morning, a White House official told CNN. The President did not answer a reporter's question at the White House about McCabe's departure. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump was not part of McCabe's choice to step down and that the White House had not been part of the decision.
Various sources described McCabe's departure as a mutual decision, while others said it was the result of pressure to step down. One source briefed on the matter said McCabe announced his decision to senior executives and portrayed it as his choice. The source disputed the characterization that McCabe was removed.
But a source familiar with the matter said FBI Director Christopher Wray told McCabe he is bringing in his own team, which he would not be a part of, and that it was McCabe's decision whether to stay at the FBI or leave. FBI Assistant Deputy Director David Bowdich has been appointed as the bureau's acting deputy director.
Nonstop pressureTrump has kept nonstop pressure on McCabe ever since he became acting director in May, using the longtime law enforcement official as a punching bag -- both publicly and privately -- to vent his frustrations about the FBI. In December, Trump tweeted "FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!"
And in July 2017, Trump flatly asked why Attorney General Jeff Sessions had not fired McCabe yet.
A list of troublesome Trump steps amid the Russia investigation
"Why didn't A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got big dollars ($700,000) for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives," Trump wrote. "Drain the Swamp!"
His issue with McCabe stems from his wife's failed run for the Virginia state Senate in 2015. The Wall Street Journal reported that Dr. Jill McCabe received six contributions totaling $467,500 from then-Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's political action committee.
In addition, campaign records show that the state Democratic Party, over which McAuliffe has great influence, made two other payments totaling $207,788 in September and October 2015. These donations all occurred before McCabe took over as deputy director of the FBI and before he would have had any oversight into the Clinton email investigation.
Three things Trump hated about ousted FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe
Written by Heather Timmons
After months of grousing publicly about deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, Donald Trump finally got what he wanted today: McCabe, a 20-year veteran of the FBI, stepped down.
According to numerous reports, McCabe was forced to resign from his position by a widespread Republican campaign to cast doubts on his objectivity in overseeing the FBI’s Russian election-meddling investigation. McCabe had been planning to retire in March, and will officially leave the agency then.
McCabe’s reputation in the bureau was a “lawyer, not a tough guy,” until he publicly testified in Congress last year about former FBI director James Comey’s firing by Trump. “McCabe today is a figure of wide admiration for standing up for the bureau when it was under political attack,” Lawfare wrote in August.
And there are a few more reasons why Trump could not wait for him to go.
The fact that McCabe did not vote for him. When they met in May, Trump reportedly asked McCabe how he voted in the 2016 presidential election—an unusual and highly sensitive question for a president to ask of a career civil servant. McCabe did not vote in the election. The conversation about it, however, could become part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
His wife’s political career. McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, a pediatrician, ran for state senate in Virginia in 2015 as a Democrat, pledging to “devote herself to ensuring that your interests come first. ”
Andrew McCabe featured in her campaign materials, a situation that some Republicans have said could violate the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from endorsing political candidates.
Jill McCabe received a $675,000 campaign donation from the state’s Democratic party and a political action committee connected to Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.
Trump has repeatedly lied about that donation in his public criticism on Twitter, saying Andrew had received the donation “from H for wife.” Those lies have been repeated by right-wing news outlets.
McCabe’s refusal to pledge his loyalty. McCabe has been targeted by right-wing media who characterize him as part of a “deep state” cabal of anti-Trump government employees in the US intelligence agencies. Pro-Trump talking heads wheeled out anti-McCabe talking points this past weekend. “The management layer, the seventh floor, is riddled through with Obama-era appointees who have politicized the agency,” Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump advisor, said on Fox News.
McCabe’s stepping down and the campaign against him raised alarm bells among former justice officials. McCabe is a “dedicated public servant who has served this country well,” former attorney general Eric Holder wrote on Twitter. “Bogus attacks on the FBI and DOJ to distract attention from a legitimate criminal inquiry does long term, unnecessary damage to these foundations of our government.”
During a press conference on Monday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “The president wasn’t part of this decision-making process.”
https://qz.com/1191880/andrew-mccabe-st ... or-months/
Here are my (perhaps unconventional) thoughts on the McCabe departure today. I’m not a TV pundit but I did work @ #DOJ for 18 yrs, 15 of which I was employment counsel for DOJ. McCabe is career SES/not political. They couldn’t remove/fire him unless they all reached agreement. /1
10:59 AM - 29 Jan 2018
I suspect new General Counsel Dana Boente worked on a settlement agreement over weekend to get McCabe to resign in return for McCabe getting to use paid administrative leave + benefits so that he won’t take financial hit. McCabe would have agreed to stop work & depart early. /2
It is not unusual to reach this type of agreement with an employee you need to get out of the office. Although usually the employee would be a poor performer and usually you couldn’t pay him for not working for more than 10 days per DOJ policy. Firing McCabe would be illegal. /3
Basically, when someone is gonna depart anyway, you expedite their departure by saying don’t come back but we will pay you. Again, usually for problem employees — not McCabe type. I don’t find McCabe leaving earlier than planned as so crazy today. Not panicking. /4
As many know, I have consistently said that Chris Wray wanting a new Deputy is not unusual. At all. It is in the usual course that leadership brings in their own team, and McCabe has helped Wray transition and get his sea legs long enough. /5
Pushing out McCabe is like throwing fresh meat to the wolves. It is an easy one to do, McCabe will be fine, and if it will calm the savage beast for a time, it is a no-brainer for Team Trump. Emphasis on McCabe will be fine. I saw similar dynamic w Fast & Furious under Holder. /6
With Fast & Furious, under Holder DOJ, the White House and DOJ and Holder got hit repeatedly by the Hill Republicans, and at some point, someone had to be the fall guy. It was my friend/former colleague Jason Weinstein. Jason was a long-time career prosecutor who “resigned.” /7
The bottom line is that every thing we know about Trump and his advisors shows us that they are trying to manage him, his rage and reign him in. IMHO, they can assuage his rage & paranoia by saying to McCabe, it’ll be easier on all if you just go early. Is any of this normal? /8
Of course not. But to me this makes the most sense as to why McCabe is fall guy, & why it happened early and caught FBI and others off guard. The good news: McCabe has much more time for Mueller now. I’m not panicked. I hope you won’t be either. /END
https://twitter.com/YesMomsCan/status/9 ... 6990353408
BREAKING: All indications are that Trump—via agents in Congress—has forced the retirement of a key witness against him in an Obstruction case that could lead to impeachment. Worse, it's part of a coordinated, illegal effort to intimidate, punish, and discredit adverse witnesses.
10:43 AM - 29 Jan 2018
1/ I first wrote about this effort a week ago:Seth Abramson added,
(THREAD) The Attorney General pressuring the FBI to fire Andrew McCabe is *much* bigger news than many think. I explain why—and it's not very complicated, either—in this brief thread. Hope you'll pass it on.
2/ Then, a few days ago, Foreign Policy confirmed a wider, Trump-driven effort to illegally intimidate, punish, and discredit a small subset of FBI witnesses against Trump:
3/ Now, today, Trump has won his first major victory in his ongoing and illegal campaign to intimidate, punish, and discredit witnesses against him in a pending criminal investigation and possible impeachment inquiry:
4/ It's already been established that Nunes—the instrument of Trump's illegal campaign to destroy witnesses against him in a pending criminal investigation—is a Trump agent who coordinates his maneuvers with the White House generally and Trump specifically:
5/ Today's forcing out of McCabe should be seen as an act of criminal obstruction—the product of a carefully coordinated conspiracy to obstruct justice that includes Devin Nunes and Donald Trump—every bit as significant as the ongoing plot to fire Rod Rosenstein and Bob Mueller.
6/ People forget that Rod Rosenstein is a key witness in the Obstruction case against Trump—just as McCabe is. So the secret Trump- and Nunes-led effort to fire Rosenstein via the so-called "Nunes Memo" is part and parcel of the effort to intimidate, punish, and discredit McCabe.
7/ This type of conduct caused Nixon to resign and would've gotten him impeached had he not resigned. Trump has identified witnesses against him in an Obstruction investigation that could get him impeached—Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, others—and is executing a plan to destroy them.
8/ Trump allies have pushed for Comey to be charged with crimes; pushed McCabe out at the FBI; pushed through the criminal referral of a Comey sources (Steele); are now pushing for Rosenstein's firing; and have worked for months to discredit Sessions—another Obstruction witness.
9/ Criminal conspiracies are banal, not exciting. What America is seeing now is a run-of-the-mill criminal conspiracy to intimidate, punish, and discredit key witnesses in a federal investigation into High Crimes that could impeach a president and—perhaps, eventually—convict him.
10/ This criminal conspiracy is ongoing and won't end anytime soon. Its next target is the Acting Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein. Then the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. And the effort against Comey and Baker is ongoing. All key witnesses. Congress must act to stop this. /end
PS/ Reports indicate McCabe planned to retire in March and had *no* plans to step back from the FBI early. This news is apparently a shock to those in the Bureau, and looks to be directly related to Trump allies' threats to release the so-called "Nunes Memo" to discredit the FBI.
PS2/ McCabe *can* still testify against Trump, and *will* should Trump face impeachment.
Trump's plan is to tarnish McCabe's value as a witness by being able to say he left the FBI due to pro-Clinton, anti-Trump bias. Wray was—until today—blocking that. Then something happened.
PS3/ McCabe is still retiring in March; he has enough accumulated leave that he can resign his position now and—per CNN—still retire with a full pension. But Trump and his allies will now be able to claim—in future proceedings—that McCabe had to leave early due to "controversy."
PS4/ There can be no doubt that, if not for the pressure from Trump (tweets attacking him, a promise to release the Nunes Memo even without DOJ approval or oversight) McCabe would *not* be resigning his position—as he'd told his subordinates he'd be staying on through March 2018.
PS5/ The NEW YORK TIMES is now confirming that, with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe out of the way, the next Obstruction witness that Trump and his stooges in Congress plan to terrorize and discredit is Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein:
https://twitter.com/SethAbramson/status ... 7790687232
Jerome Corsi: When ‘The Storm’ Breaks, We’ll See Films Of ‘Global Elites’ Butchering Children
By Kyle Mantyla | January 29, 2018 3:33 pm
Last week, Jerome Corsi, a right-wing “journalist” for the conspiracy theory website Infowars, appeared on “Lionel Nation” to discuss his efforts to decode the cryptic postings of an anonymous internet user known only as “Q” and their supposed relevance to the coming “storm.”
As we have noted before, Corsi, who was behind the bogus “Swift Boat” attacks on John Kerry and the equally bogus birther attacks on Barack Obama, has recently become obsessed with “The Storm,” a fringe right-wing conspiracy theory alleging that the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is really a cover for President Trump’s efforts to take down thousands of corrupt political, business and entertainment leaders who are part of a massive satanic pedophile ring.
Those who traffic in this conspiracy theory rely almost entirely on 8chan forum board posts penned by a figure known only as “Q,” whom they believe is actually a high-ranking official within the Trump administration—or possibly even Trump himself. The cryptic warnings and messages posted by Q, Corsi stated, are designed to prepare Americans for the horrible truth that is soon to be revealed once Trump unleashes a wave of arrests.
“This is the beginning of the end for the Clintons,” Corsi said, citing Q’s posts asserting that member of Hillary Clinton’s campaign “were engaged in human sacrifices [and] trafficking,” as alleged in the “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory.
“I’ve been warning people,” Corsi said, “when this next round comes, we’re going to get released things—I’ve seen the very beginning of it—that the normal person shouldn’t watch. Because we’re going to be seeing these global elites, I mean, do you really want to watch films of innocent children pleading for their lives while people are butchering them?”
House Intelligence Committee opens investigation into DOJ, FBI
by Kelly Cohen | Jan 29, 2018, 7:23 PM
The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has opened a new investigation into both the Department of Justice and the FBI.
Ranking Member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters the Democratic minority was informed of the apparently new investigations Monday night “for the first time.”
According to committee rules, the majority has to consult with the minority before opening an investigation.
Schiff said Monday night there was no such consultation.
“We learned about that for the first time here today,” Schiff said. “Now it has been publicly reported from time to time that there was a subset of the majority working on some kind of an investigation or inquiry into the Department of Justice and FBI, but apparently [Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif.,] made it formal today, according to the majority, the FBI’s under investigation and so is the Department ofJustice.”
Schiff called the investigations “a wholesale broadside” against the Justice Department and FBI.
According to a spokesperson for Nunes, the lawmaker made the investigation public “months ago” in a Fox News interview.
The spokesperson also noted that the committee-issued subpoenas to the Justice Department and FBI in August for documents relating to the controversial dossier linking President Trump to Russia were a “strong sign” of the inquiry into the Justice Department and FBI.
Politico reported in December a small group of GOP members on the committee had been meeting secretly to investigate the Justice Department and FBI’s handling of the dossier and hoped to release a detailed report of their findings in early 2018.
Pro-Trump Prophet: God Chose Trump To Establish A ‘Blood Right’ To Allow The Church To Rule America
By Kyle Mantyla | January 30, 2018
During the recent episode of the “It’s Supernatural” program in which host Sid Roth interviewed several “prophets” about what to expect in 2018, Hank Kunneman of One Voice Ministries in Omaha, Nebraska, declared that the election of President Trump was a divine work of God intended to establish a “blood right” so that the glory of God can spread across the nation.
After Roth asserted that Trump has been forgiven for the things he did “before he was a believer in Jesus,” Kunneman, who claims that he is “known for a strong prophetic anointing as he preaches,” explained that it is no coincidence that God chose Trump to be president because he is from New York.
“That is why we have a president, right now, from New York,” he said. “It’s no coincidence. People, you can hate it if you want, but you are going to go against certain things that God has chosen to put His hand on.”
“New York City, the reason why—9/11, our nation was pierced, this nation has never been the same, the nations of the earth have never been the same, God is trying to re-establish a blood right,” Kunneman said. “It’s no coincidence the president is from New York, that is where the towers fell. He also is part of Trump Tower—the towers fell. He is part of world trade—the World Trade Center. God is revisiting this nation to establish a blood right. Who ever gets the blood right gets the legal right to rule.”
“Why do we have rights as Christians to bind and loose?” he asked. “Because of the blood right that Jesus provided.”
“This is more than just about who’s president, it’s about a blood right being established by God so that His glory can come,” Kunneman declared. “The enemy was working real hard to get the blood right, that is why it wants to keep aborting children, that is why it wants to continue its agenda so that it has the legal right to rule and to push the church out. God is coming. Nobody is going to remove His church.”
Jerome Corsi Says Sean Hannity Was Sending Out A Coded Message Before The Deep State Took Down His Twitter Account
By Kyle Mantyla | January 30, 2018 3:40 pm
Jerome Corsi, a right-wing “journalist” for the conspiracy theory website Infowars, has recently dedicated himself to decoding the cryptic postings of an anonymous internet user known as “QAnon” and their supposed relevance to the fringe right-wing conspiracy theory known as “The Storm,” which alleges that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is really a cover for President Trump’s efforts to take down thousands of corrupt political, business and entertainment leaders who are part of a massive satanic pedophile ring.
Over the weekend, Corsi posted a video in which he claimed that the recent disappearance of Sean Hannity’s Twitter account was the work of the “deep state,” which was trying to conceal a coded message that Hannity was sending that would have revealed that Trump is about to launch a “counterattack” against those who have been working to undermine his presidency.
On Sunday, Hannity’s Twitter account sent out a mysterious message that said simply “Form Submission 1649” before the account disappeared. It was restored a few hours later, but Corsi, relying on posts from QAnon, said that Hannity’s final message actually carried a secret message.
“What 1649 is, that is the year in which Charles I in Great Britain was beheaded in a treasonous plot,” Corsi said. “Those posts that were coming out from Hannity were suggesting that we are moving into a phase in which it is going to be more clearly said that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were involved in treason.”
“When Hannity posted the 1649 and his Twitter account was attacked,” he continued, “the deep state does not want the message coming out that we are now about to experience, I believe, a Trump counterattack against this Mueller effort. This first effort of the deep state Obama/Clinton planners to remove Trump from office has failed and now Trump has the forces together and assembled and is ready to go into action, to battle with a counter attack.”
It's 4 am in New York. Federal agents in tactical gear confront the police department's mayoral security detail outside Manhattan's Gracie Mansion. After a tense standoff, the NYPD stands down and steps aside as the bedraggled mayor is removed in handcuffs. Across the nation, carefully coordinated pre-dawn raids sweep up the mayors of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle, and the governor of California. Two hours later, President Trump tweets victory.
Paranoid conspiracy thriller? Feverish dystopian fantasy? Hardly. This is a plan that the Trump administration is actively considering. On January 16, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen told the Senate Judiciary Committee that, at her department's request, federal prosecutors are "reviewing what avenues might be available" to arrest and prosecute mayors of sanctuary cities for harboring unauthorized immigrants.
Nielsen's testimony wasn't even the first time in January that the administration floated the idea of arresting mayors and governors. Two weeks earlier, Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan told a Fox News host, "We gotta start charging some of these politicians with crimes."
This is dangerous, dangerous talk.
It's important to understand what a sanctuary city (or state) status means. While local policies vary and there is no universal definition of the term, in sanctuary cities, local police stick to enforcing local and state law, not federal immigration law. That frustrates federal authorities, but it's not obstruction, let alone nullification. Federal officers can still enforce federal immigration law. They just have to do it on their own.
The question here is not whether sanctuary policies are wise. The question here is whether our constitutional democracy can survive mass roundups of mayors and governors for refusing to use local resources to help enforce federal immigration.
To be sure, elected officials are not immune from the law. Many have spent time in the federal penitentiary for corruption. And elected officials who deliberately violate court orders can be subject to criminal contempt of court. For example, in the 1960s, Mississippi's governor was charged with criminal contempt for defying a court order to desegregate the University of Mississippi. And former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio was convicted for disobeying a court order to stop unconstitutional policing practices. (President Trump pardoned him, but that pardon is the subject of ongoing and potential future litigation.)
It's possible that administration officials are performing elaborate theater for an audience of one -- the president. Trump himself often says "We're looking into it" as a way to dodge an awkward question.
Or perhaps the Department of Justice chuckled at the request for criminal prosecution of mayors, but is considering narrower options to punish sanctuary cities. There aren't many, partly because most sanctuary policies don't even violate any federal statute. More importantly, as the late Justice Antonin Scalia explained in 1997, the Constitution prohibits the federal government from "commandeering" local law enforcement to enforce federal law. Even Congress's power to condition federal funds is limited; as Chief Justice John Roberts explained in 2012, Congress cannot use its spending power to "coerce" a state "to adopt a federal regulatory system as its own." That's partly why a federal judge issued a permanent injunction against Trump's earlier attempt to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities.
But let's not lose the forest for the trees: The United States government is contemplating a mass arrest of US mayors and governors for refusing to help the president's agenda.
We've seen this before in other countries. Mass purges of dissident local officials are moves from Putin's Russia (if not Stalin's) or Erdoğan's Turkey. But nothing in our own history has prepared us for this moment.
Is this a red flag for autocracy? Some take comfort in Trump's disorganization and distraction. On this theory, breaking the republic is a full-time job, not something you squeeze in between golf and live-tweeting morning television. But as longtime Putin critic Masha Gessen notes, the first rule for survival in an autocracy is to "believe the autocrat. He means what he says." And even if Trump himself doesn't know how to achieve his goals, the people running the president's immigration enforcement policy -- Secretary Nielsen, Acting Director Homan and, of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions -- know what they are doing, and how to achieve what they and the president want.
Maybe it won't happen. Maybe cooler heads will prevail. But we should reflect on the chilling fact that President Trump's handpicked appointees to run immigration enforcement openly discuss prosecuting the mayors of US cities. We must prepare for the day when the administration makes good on its threat.
We may not get a second chance.
But Trump — who trusts no one, or at least no one for long — has now decided that he must have an alternative strategy that does not involve having Justice Department officials fire Mueller.
"I think he's been convinced that firing Mueller would not only create a firestorm, it would play right into Mueller's hands," said another friend, "because it would give Mueller the moral high ground."
Instead, as is now becoming plain, the Trump strategy is to discredit the investigation and the FBI without officially removing the leadership. Trump is even talking to friends about the possibility of asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to consider prosecuting Mueller and his team.
"Here's how it would work: 'We're sorry, Mr. Mueller, you won't be able to run the federal grand jury today because he has to go testify to another federal grand jury,'" said one Trump adviser.
https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/2018- ... er-n842501
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