inchmeal: by inches; little by little
FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today. Open, public testimony is less informative than closed testimony, but they aren’t completely uninformative.
- Comey confirmed that there’s an ongoing investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government.
- Comey reiterated that there was no surveillance of the Trump campaign (a reference to Trump’s wiretapping tweets).
- Comey refused to answer any questions about Carter Page.
- Comey agreed with Graham that Russia is “still involved” in US politics and is engaging in similar interference around the world. This interference presents “the greatest threat of any nation on earth” to democracy in America. However, Russia did NOT change vote tallies.
- Wikileaks is a Russian front.
- Asked about Rudy Giuliani and former FBI official Jim Kalstrom’s that FBI agents were talking to them, Comey says they’re looking into it.
Susan Rice has reportedly declined to testify before the committee. The request, however, came from Lindsey Graham, not the committee. He can’t compel her to testify, the committee can. Graham is likely to be just playing politics. Rice’s lawyer wrote in a letter to Whitehouse obtained by CNN, “Senator [Sheldon] Whitehouse [D-R.I.] has informed us by letter not to agree to Chairman Graham’s invitation to Ambassador Rice, a significant departure from the bipartisan investigations extended to other witnesses.”
Lawfare, a blog that covers national security and the law has Seven Theories of the Case in which they review available public evidence and media reports and ask, “What does it all mean? What possible explanations might make sense of the bewildering facts that have been reported? Are we dealing with Fake News or a Manchurian President—or something in between?” If you’re interested in what the Russian connection, this article for a blog written by lawyers with expertise in national security is a good place to catch up.
Grain of Salt Section
In the world of Twitter, there are some interesting rumors floating around. Claude Taylor worked for the Clinton White House has a few worth looking at.
1. Claude Taylor tweets: IC source: They have Trump on tape talking about trying to shut down investigation. My source wouldn’t be held to more specifics.
2. Taylor also says he has, Two sources within legal community confirming that a D.C. area judge has signed 2 warrants related to Comey’s Trump investigation.
3. There are allegedly two grand juries are looking into Trump Russia: 1) a RICO case 2) a Foreign Agent Registration Act case. The two alleged cases are connected and involve Russians, Trump Tower, and money laundering. He tweeted this afternoon that Comey’s testimony corroborated his tweets.
It would not be a big surprise if a grand jury was convened to address General Michael Flynn’s apparent crimes. The public evidence is extremely damning.
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates will testify before the senate committee on Monday. She’s expected to tell the committee that she warned the White House very early on that Flynn was a security risk. Since Vice President Pence was involved in Flynn’s vetting, he could be in some hot water.
Jason Chaffetz announcement that he won’t run again, and his abrupt departure for a foot operation are strange. It’s early for him to announce he won’t run again. It’s extremely odd for him to say that he may not finish his term. He’s the guy who leaked Comey’s letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee about Anthony Weiner’s computer. He’s being investigated for an ethics violation regarding the leak.
And inquiring minds want to know why Devin Nunes went through the charade of pretending he’d seen evidence of Obama wiretapping Trump. Everyone else who has viewed the info says there’s nothing to see.