Diverse — Drokles on June 1, 2018 at 9:40 pm

Det meget seriøse medlem af Repræsentanternes Hus, Republikaneren Trey Gowdy, har løftet lidt af låget for, hvad ‘man’ ved om hvor meget FBIs efterforskningen af russiske forbindelser i trumps stab kammede over i politisk spionage for den siddende regering. Som formand for Kongressens Sikkerhedsudvalg har Gowdy første parket til alt, som efterretningstjenesterne er villige til at afsløre bag lukkede døre. Og Gowdy ser ingen tegn på at Trump og hans stab skulle have været ofre for spionage på FBIs vegne.

Townhalls Guy Benson ser Gowdys vurdering, som en bekræftelse på, at teorierne om ’spygate’ stammer fra overdrevet. Han hæfter sig ved at både Carter Page og George Pappadopoulos, der arbejdede for Trumps kampagne, allerede var i FBIs søgelys længe før Trump annoncerede sit kandidatur, at Trump havde fortalt tidligere FBI direktør Kames Comey og at han mere end nogen, hellere end gerne ville vide om nogen i hans stab, arbejde for russiske interesser. Og derpå spekulerer Benson

Even if the feds were examining the conduct and associations of a small number of individuals “loosely connected to” the Trump campaign as part of a broader probe, the FBI’s focus and targets had “nothing to do with Donald Trump,” he said.  Either the South Carolinian has an extremely strong poker face and somehow has it in for the president, or he’s seen enough material about the provenance and progress of the investigation that he’s convinced Trump is not a target and is not in any serious peril.  My suspicion that the latter is true is only deepened by Gowdy’s advice that Trump ought to talk to Robert Mueller (within reasonably confined parameters, he adds) in order to formally assert his innocence on alleged “collusion.”


What Gowdy et al appear to be signaling is that there was enough ’smoke’ to justify the feds’ use of an informant within the Trump campaign, which is not tantamount to spying on Team Trump in order to harm the campaign.  I’ll say it again: The easiest way the “deep state” could have devastated Trump’s (already thin-seeming) electoral chances would have been to leak the existence of a multi-pronged federal counter-intelligence investigation into Trump campaign figures, circa October 2016.

Altså har hverken Trump eller hans ‘kampagne’ været under FBIs lup, blot enkelte medlemmer der uafhængigt havde tiltrukket sig opmærksomhed. Benson citerer en underspillet Gowdy for at fortælle Fox: “Those who have not seen the information?  I don’t know what informs their perspective.” National Review ledte an i de konservatives ‘Never Trump’ kampagne og derfor er det ironisk at Andrew McCarthy holder ved at argumentere for ‘Spygate’. Uanfægtet af Gowdys priviligerede første parket til virkeligheden, svarer han “Gee, senator, when you were carefully perusing the evidence of what the FBI was doing, did you ever sneak a peek at what the FBI said it was doing?

McCarthy hæfter sig ved, hvad alle har adgang til, nemlig Comeys vidneudsagn til Kongressen, hvori han slog fast at hans job var at finde ud af, om der var nogen som helst forbindelse mellem Trumps kampagne og ‘russerne’. “Comey went to extraordinary lengths to announce that the FBI was not merely zeroing in on individuals of varying ranks in the campaign; the main question was whether the Trump campaign itself — the entity — had “coordinated” in Russia’s espionage operation.”

It is a diversion for Gowdy to prattle on about how Trump himself was not a “target” of the Russia investigation. As we’ve repeatedly observed (and as Gowdy acknowledged in the interview), the Trump-Russia probe is a counterintelligence investigation. An accomplished prosecutor, Gowdy well knows that “target” is a term of art in criminal investigations, denoting a suspect who is likely to be indicted. The term is inapposite to counterintelligence investigations, which are not about building criminal cases but about divining and thwarting the provocative schemes of hostile foreign powers. In that sense, and in no other, the foreign power at issue — here, Russia — is always the “target” of a counterintelligence probe; but it is never a “target” in the technical criminal-investigation sense in which Gowdy used the term . . . unless you think we are going to indict a country.


So, apart from the fact that Gowdy is dodging the question about whether the Trump campaign was being investigated, his digression about “targets” is gibberish. Since the Obama administration was using its counterintelligence powers (FISA surveillance, national-security letters, unmasking identities in intelligence reporting, all bolstered by the use of at least one covert informant), the political-spying issue boils down to whether the Trump campaign was being monitored. Whether Trump himself was apt to be indicted, and whether threats posed by Russia were the FBI’s focus, are beside the point; in a counterintelligence case, an indictment is never the objective, and a foreign power is always the focus.

Second, if Gowdy has been paying attention, he must know that, precisely because the Trump campaign was under investigation, top FBI officials had qualms of conscience over Comey’s plan to give Trump a misleading assurance that he personally was not under investigation.

Det er en af McCarthys mest gennemgående pointer at skelne mellem kontraspionage og efterforskning af kriminelle forhold. Det første skal ikke ende i en retssag, men i at indsamle viden om fjendens aktiviteter uden at denne opdager det. Derfor giver det mening at “Comey and then–acting attorney general Sally Yates had met with the political leadership of the Obama administration — President Obama, Vice President Biden, and national-security adviser Susan Rice — to discuss withholding information about the Russia investigation from the incoming Trump administration.”

It is easy to understand why Obama officials needed to discuss withholding information from Trump. They knew that the Trump campaign — not just some individuals tangentially connected to the campaign — was the subject of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence probe. Indeed, we now know that Obama’s Justice Department had already commenced FISA surveillance on Trump campaign figures, and that it was preparing to return to the FISA court to seek renewal of the surveillance warrants. We also know that at least one informant was still deployed. And we know that the FBI withheld information about the investigation from the congressional “Gang of Eight” during quarterly briefings from July 2106 through early March 2017. (See Comey testimony March 20, 2017, questioning by Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.).) Director Comey said Congress’s most trusted leaders were not apprised of the investigation because “it was a matter of such sensitivity.” Putting aside that the need to alert Congress to sensitive matters is exactly why there is a Gang of Eight, the palpable reason why the matter was deemed too “sensitive” for disclosure was that it involved the incumbent administration’s investigation of the opposition campaign.


Comey’s unidentified adviser connected the dots: Because (a) the FBI’s investigation was about the campaign, and (b) the campaign was Trump’s campaign, it was necessarily true that (c) Trump’s own conduct was under FBI scrutiny.

“Obama officials made the Trump campaign the subject of a counterintelligence investigation.” Alligevel bad Trump om at få det for en dag om nogen i hans stab havde arbejdet for ‘russerne’? “Such a specious argument” fortsætter McCarthy og pointerer at Trump først fremsatte det ønske lang tid efter at ‘informanter’ havde infiltreret hans organisation, efter at Comey allerede havde ladet Trumpo vide at de vidste hvem der tissede i hvilke senge i Moskva uden dog at fortælle hvorfra denne “viden” stammede fra (fra modstanderen Hillary Clinton) og at hans nylige præsidentskab var født ind i mediernes  beskyldninger om russiske forbindelser.

Alle træerne tegner en skov.

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