Lisa Page Confirms that the Trump Campaign Investigation Was Different than Russian Info Ops Investigation

In her interviews, Lisa Page confirms something I keep explaining, only to have people try to correct me. The Russian investigation into Trump’s campaign that got started in July 2016 did not, at first, include the GRU and Internet Research Agency activity that later got subsumed into the Mueller investigation. In her first interview, Page makes this clear in a response to John Ratcliffe insinuating, incorrectly, that reference to Obama’s interest in the FBI’s activities must be an attempt to tamper in the Clinton investigation.

Mr. Ratcliffe. Let me move on to a text message on September 2nd of 2016. It’s a series of texts that you exchanged with Agent Strzok. And at one point you text him: Yes, because POTUS wants to know everything we are doing.


Ms. Page. It’s not about the Midyear investigation, if that’s the question. It has to do with Russia. It does not have to do with the Clinton investigation at all.

Mr. Ratcliffe. Okay. It does have to do with Russia, the Russia investigation?

Ms. Page. No, not the Russia investigation. It has to do with the broader look at Russian active measures.

She again makes that distinction regarding an August 5, 2016 text Strzok sent her.

Kim: Mr. Strzok wrote to you, quote: And hi. Went well. Best we could have expected other than, redacted, comma, quote, the White House is running this. Next text you stated–

Page: Yep.

Kim: –or, sorry, next text he stated, my answer, well maybe for you they are. And in response to these texts you wrote, yeah, whatever, re the White House comment. We’ve got emails that say otherwise. Do you remember what this meeting was about?


Page: It is about — again, like the last time, it is about the broader intelligence community’s investigation of Russian active measures.

Kim: And not about the specific Russian collusion investigation?

Page: Definitely not.

In her second interview, Page was asked about whether Trump was included in the investigation during fall 2016, and Page describes the investigation at that point as “narrowly scoped.”

Kim: When we talk about the Russia collusion investigation in this timeframe, candidate Donald Trump is not the subject of that investigation, is that correct?

Page: That’s correct.


So it was a very narrowly scoped, very discrete investigation because we understood the gravity of what it was we were looking at and we were not going to take a more extreme step than we felt we could justify.

Mark Meadows tries to suggest that the White House got briefed on the Trump investigation, and she corrects him.

Meadows; I think early on, August 5th, there’s the first original what we called at that time the Russia investigation briefing that happened. Peter Strzok comes back from [London], makes it just in time for you to have that. There’s a briefing that occurs on August 8th. And there’s a briefing with Denis McDonough at the White House where Jonathan Moffa and others attended.


Page: But those were not about the Crossfire. To the best of my knowledge those were not —

Meadows: So they had nothing to do with any potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign? That was never mentioned?

Page: Not to my knowledge. It was always about the Russian active measures effort.

I keep harping on this point for several reasons. First, because when Republicans imagine — as they do here — that every negative comment Page and Peter Strzok made about a Russian investigation reflects bias against Donald Trump, they are unintentionally arguing that any criticism of Russian hacking by definition is a criticism of Trump. Meanwhile, they’re not considering why — sometime well after the Mueller investigation started — the Special Counsel had reason to subsume these other investigations.

But the problem with this misconception extends, too, to supporters of Mueller’s investigation. That’s because by conflating the larger counterintelligence investigation into Russian active measures with the more narrowly scoped (using Page’s description) investigation into Trump’s aides, the misinterpret the degree to which Mueller’s investigation stems from predicated investigations against individuals.

But don’t take my word for it. Take Lisa Page’s word for it.

As I disclosed last July, I provided information to the FBI on issues related to the Mueller investigation, so I’m going to include disclosure statements on Mueller investigation posts from here on out. I will include the disclosure whether or not the stuff I shared with the FBI pertains to the subject of the post. 

85 replies
  1. John Forde says:

    So two FBI investigations: 1. larger counterintelligence investigation into Russian active measures and 2. the more narrowly scoped investigation into Trump’s aides.
    Are the start dates for each investigation publicly known? or estimable?

    • AMG says:

      I’ve got a somewhat related question – hope you don’t mind if I roll it up into your question!

      So to confirm – there were originally two FBI investigations:
      1. larger counterintelligence investigation into Russian active measures and 2. the more narrowly scoped investigation into Trump’s aides.

      And investigation number 2 is the investigation cited by James Comey in his testimony to the HPSCI on March 20, 2017?
      “I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

      And if so, then that is the same investigation that Mueller was appointed to serve as SC for based on Order No. 3915-2017?

    • harpie says:

      Here’s an EW post and timeline that might be of help:
      June 15, 2016: Likely start date for FBI investigation into hack of DNC/DCCC (the genesis for Friday’s indictment)
      July 31, 2016: Peter Strzok opens up Operation Crossfire

  2. BobCon says:

    I’m sure some well placed Trump defenders are unintentionally conflating the two pieces — Jim Jordan is dumber than a bag of hammers.

    But is there any sign that any of them are intentionally muddying the waters? I think back to the NY Times “No Direct Evidence” screwup, and I wonder whether someone was intentionally pushing a limited version of the FBI’s activities to the Times designed to lead them to sources who would downplay a Trump connection. This in turn would lead the Times to declare a lack of evidence connecting him to anything.

    • der says:

      Or a Republican Party connection, eyes only to the mucktey mucks, sending the rabid foot soldiers out half-cocked, eh Mitch?

    • Coffae says:

      So because Meadows and Jordan cannot possibly imagine that there may be two ongoing investigations at once, they obstruct justice? How quaint.

  3. Stormcrow says:

    One question that I haven’t seen answered in regards to any potential Mueller report revolves around the Russian counterintelligence investigation, and the Russia-Trump counterintelligence investigation (as distinct from the criminal Trump investigations). What must/might Mueller report about Trump in the realm of counterintelligence? We know DoJ is reluctant to talk about subjects who are not subsequently charged, and its possible this may apply to the President. But we also know his mandate includes the counterintelligence portion of this, right? So he may (should I would think) need to report on that.

      • BobCon says:

        Add me to that list. I’m also wondering if the troll farm and Guccifer 2.0 indictments are all we will see of Russian indictments, or if there will be a final set as part of the wrap up.

        Some of the evidence revealed as part of those indictments seemed to me like it was pretty sensitive — such as intercepted emails. So I don’t think revealing CI info is completely out of the question. But I don’t really know, and I’m also very unclear how much authority Trump political appointees have to force this stuff to stay under wraps.

        • Jockobadger says:

          Put me on the list, too. I was curious about veracity of the Daily Beast/Nelson Cunningham article cited below as well. I questioned it a few days ago in the comments for an earlier EW post – I was hoping that someone who IAL might chime in. Cunningham’s bona fides seem very solid, but what do I know. Bmaz?

    • Stormcrow says:

      Thanks – just read the Daily Beast linked article and it maps pretty well to what I assumed must be the case.

    • Democritus says:

      Thank you! I do much better reading than seeing people talk about information. That’s exactly what has been eating away at my subconscious.

      • Richard G says:

        Have read so many accounts of what Mueller’s “report” might or might not contain, given the Special Counsel regs. The Daily Beast and Salon articles actually add a lot, if accurate. They seem well-sourced as far as I can tell. But I wonder why insiders like Neal Katyal haven’t sketched out a two-report scenario like this, at least not that I’ve heard or read.

        thanks for the lead, Blueridge and Jockobadger.

        • Democritus says:

          I think he did, I have a venue memory of him talking looking disheveled, but someone kept talking at the same time so I half remember what I heard and I wonder if that was it.

          Check MSNBC a few days ago, look for disheveled Neil in preview?

          I heard that somewhere.

  4. Wajim says:

    From my read there have been two, perhaps three, occasions when the IC felt compelled to (if not expose) at least risk sources and methods so far: 1) publicly declaring Putin directly ordered the DNC hack/Trump “collusion” effort; 2) Exposing the Kislyak communications with Moscow; and 3) the Flynn taps (which may be the same). So, there seems to be at least some willingness to burn at least methods (if not sources), for what the IC judges a good reason (or perhaps politically/institutionally useful).

    Regarding Trump, that is, the question may come down to, for Mueller and the larger IC is what Trump has done/is doing a good reason to reveal such info in court, no? Now, all you smarty know-betters with actual experience with these issues feel free to educate me, as you will (please).

    • Boy C says:

      Not a smarty know better by any means and have no experience at all (so apologies), but I can’t imagine a scenario where the IC would burn a method, much less a source, for political/institutional reasons. My guess is if Bobby 3 Sticks revealed 1) and 2) in a report aka speaking indictments it was/would be for only for the purposes of prosecuting the particular case at hand, i.e. he had no choice.

      But this goes to the larger question of why Barr inserted himself into this mess at all. If the IC has one political philosophy it’s to not let the political winds blow its way, no matter what party is serving as the low pressure weather system in the crossfire hurricane. And the IC might be in for some stormy weather if a “report” ever gets released.

      • Democritus says:

        I think an argument can be made for it NOT being political, but rather cleaning up an active traitor, or compromised person. That would be different I would think, yes?

        But yeah, my knowledge is based off of a few oldspy novels, back awhen those were fun-not stressful, newspapers, and logic so don’t look here for answers.

  5. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    I know that this is a bit off topic but now that we are seeing the larger picture of this “Russia thing” as a long time prepared, international political coup centered on Great Britain and the United States with well funded and long worked activities in France, Austria and most of the other EU countries, we must conclude that this as an existential threat connected with and every bit as dangerous as the climate crises. With the New Zealand attack we are seeing the replaying of the world political crisis that began in 1929 and resulted in WWII. I’ve said this before but in the context of the United States I think that we are looking at a situation that threatens whether or not we are gunna have not just a peaceful but ANY kind of transfer of power in 2020. This is end stage capitalism and it’s not gunna end with a whimper.

    • cat herder says:

      Your house is on fire. You are standing on the curb as the fire trucks roll up. Firemen all get out, mill around, stretch, yawn, scratch themselves, they bring out an ice chest and start passing brewskis around and chatting. Some of them have found lawn chairs somewhere.

      “Hey! The fuck, guys?! House on fire! Right there! Right in front of you!”

      “Whoa whoa, Jesus! What’s up your ass, pal? Look, we’re professionals, we know what we’re doing. Why don’t you stop interfering and let us do our jobs, K? This is dangerous stuff. You have no idea what you’re talking about. We can’t just rush in without a plan that’s guaranteed to be 100% effective and a plan like that takes time.” And so on…

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        Yeah, that’s kinda what I was trying to say but I ain’t good at analogies and metaphors and such. thanx

    • Wajim says:

      That take seems a bit paranoid, edging up to a “global conspiracy,” which the 1929 financial cash, as precipitated over time, was definitely not. The people you seem to be frightened by, including Putin, et al (and who else?) are just not that powerful, coordinated or skilled, or able to control global events. They have their own unique interests, which only sometimes may coincide. Moreover, do you suggest that Trump & Co. are some of the “masterminds” engineering/coordinating all of this? Seriously? The world is far bigger than that, than us, even as we each contribute to making it go around.

      • cat herder says:

        Yeah, why was anybody ever scared of Nazis? Sure they did some bad things but it all turned out OK in the end. Nothing to be alarmed about, our system of checks and balances is robust. It could never happen here anyway because reasons.

        • cat herder says:

          “They dragged their heels, haggled, shed a few crocodile tears, but in the end the supporters of the Vichy regime resolved to shatter the sacred right of asylum and deliver to the enemy who ordained their certain death hosts of women and men, children and babies. Of course, they were just foreigners – stateless, not French. French lives were being bought with foreign ones. They were proud of it. Soon, though, they’d be buying non-Jewish French lives with French Jews. They were proud of that. Until, that is, there were no more lives left to bargain with. Then they saw that they had all been sold.”

      • somecallmetim says:

        Mebbe just another way of saying the veneer of civilization is thin, and some folks are rubbing awfully hard on this spot.

      • NorskieFlamethrower says:

        Yeah, I tend to get a bit paranoid when the president of my country works with the Russians to get elected and gives ’em counter intelligence info from an ally, calls Nazis marching down the street of one of our cities “very good people”, calls on his supporters to beat up protesters, has employees that I help pay separate children from their parents while legally trying to seek asylum and calls those same asylum seekers “invaders” who pose a threat to the country…yeah, I get a bit worried about that stuff but not as angry as I get when some mental paraplegic calls me paranoid about Nazi sympathizers takin’ over my country. Go back to sleep.

        • cat herder says:

          Yeah, the babies-in-dog-kennels thing.

          Our legal system resolved that one right quick, didn’t it? See? Nothing to worry about!

      • skua says:

        Bin Laden was probably surprised when W turned out to be a massive effect multiplier for Al Quaeda.

        Putin is probably similarly surprised that his 20 year objectives have been achieved in two.

        Neither had the power, skill or control.
        They just were comitted enough to be playing when the wheelhouse was in highly fallible hands.

  6. fpo says:

    Reading the Ohr, Strzok & Page interviews one is struck by the R’s dogged pursuit of the truth.

    Unfortunately, the truth they’re after is limited to versions that match up with “Witch hunt! No collusion!” and the dupe of the week. The degree to which they sidestep or ignore IC revelations about disturbing Russian activities – and those of the campaign/administration – leads one to question their motivation, along with just about anything they say. And now we know their demeanor is the same behind closed doors – it really isn’t an act.

    This same behavior is on display in the HR oversight hearings, compounded by the deceit, deflection and lack of cooperation on the part of administration officials. Ross’s appearance before Cummings’ committee was fubar incarnate. He needs to go, yesterday. For more reasons than I care to delineate here. OK, just one – he’s a greedy liar, too.

    On the brighter side of things, if you live in/near a state of one of the 12 Rs that stepped up to the plate on the emergency declaration vote in the Senate, let them know they did the right thing – we’re gonna need a whole lot more of that in the months to come.

    Thanks for all you’re doing, ew.

  7. Michael Keenan says:

    So no one is willing to address the “physics” involved that proves a leak verses a hack at the DNC? I thought only climate deniers rejected science.

      • Michael Keenan says:

        If there was no Russian hack but just a leak does that not prove there was at least on that end no collusion with Russians? Take it from the experts fuckwit.

  8. Ewan says:

    About the importance of the Steel dossier in both cases : Crossfire and Midyear, Lisa Pae answers Jordan p.126 she first read some of it mid September: more than a month after the start. But on July 31st, they have an information which they had not yet released at the time she was interviewed (from her own words in previous Republican questions) which would have been extremely damaging for the Trump Campaign, and which told them there probably was a Russian sell-off in the Trump Campaign. And this is why they started Crossfire. And that information has not been released yet, as far as I know.

    • Michael Keenan says:

      [Michael Keenan. I have disabled your asinine link, and that was all your offending comment contained, because it went to Lee Stranahan, Jack Posobiec and bullshit. If you ever post that kind of crap here again, you will be gone.]

      You may be already.

  9. Bay State Librul says:

    Power to Cat herder and The Flamethrower

    Authoritarians never do anything wrong;
    They can only be thwarted.
    Authoritarians never fail to overcome an obstacle, because they themselves are the obstacle.
    They are the source of a legitimate grievance to us.
    Impeach the fucker

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      I been sayin’ this for years (literally) but it’s time to call the Republicans and neoliberal Democrats fascists and NeoNazis. The argument over the meaning of both words is essential to have in order to go any further in political discourse today. And there IS a physics to politics in a democracy, there are more of us than there are of them but right now our democracy is sick. The only cure for a sick democracy is more democracy and the power of a minority of blood thirsty lunatics is in how far are the individuals willing to go when they realize that they are outnumbered and are beyond redemption. This is real folks and reality has pushed us way beyond paranoia.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Thank goodness for political analysis on blogs such as Emptywheel’s. The MSM’s horse race campaign coverage is already a waste of time. The Guardian’s is a good example.

    Beto is instantly a “winner,” as if he had just arrived from a stud farm across the Irish Sea and was three lengths ahead in the first race at Cheltenham. Joltin’ Joe Biden is “an apostle of the bipartisan spirit”. Can a 76-year old vegetarian “centrist win in the polarised age of Trump”? [] Kamala Harris: can she “win over the undecided voters ‘waiting for Biden’?” []

    No. No. And No. The Guardian has the wrong center of political gravity: it mistakes the earth and moon for the sun. And it asks the wrong questions.

    It is not Joe Biden’s age or eating habits, for example, that are his problems. He is centrist only from the perspective of Delaware’s banking and corporate secrecy communities, which Joe has lovingly cultivated for decades. He continues to be most proud of his anti-consumer bankruptcy reforms, which largely deprived middle and working class Americans of debt relief, making them, instead, debt slaves to banks, pay-day lenders and credit card companies.

    Joe’s reforms continued, however, to provide bankruptcy relief to the wealthy, with their second homes and second mortgages, and their debt-financed yachts, to big businesses, and to credit card lenders. Joe was largely absent from the debate over imposing reforms and meaningful penalties on the lenders who created the Great Recession. But a decade later, Joe is imbued with the spirit of kumbaya and wants all the little people to come together and vote for him. Say it ain’t so, Joe.

    Joe’s record might be what is needed to win a senate seat from Delaware. It is not what is needed in a Democratic president tasked with extracting America from the Grimpen Mire that is Donald Trump, McConnell and Graham, and the party and patrons who have made him and all his works their own. Delaware has many nice beach communities, Joe, you should get to know them better.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Perhaps I should have said “veteran” centrist when speaking of Joe Biden. He’s a meat and no potatoes guy, except on Fridays during Lent, not a “vegetarian”. That’s the sort of meal I had yesterday.

    • fpo says:

      LOL…thanks for that, eoh.

      Joe reminds me of the kiddie toys where you pull the string and get cute answers to your questions, or whatever. After a few pulls it rewinds and starts repeating itself. Bit like a talking ‘elf on the shelf’ – ’til the batteries run down.

      • marksb says:

        Nothing to do with Joe and the Centrists (playing at a casino near you on their summer tour) but being a geek from birth, when I was about ten I stole my sister’s Chatty Cathy doll and took it apart to see what the heck was going on in there. Seems pulling the string did two things: pulled up the needle from a plastic record (yeah, they had a tiny record player in there, only it was all physical vibrations, no electronic amplification), while winding up a small spring to play it for about four seconds. Let the string go, and the needle dropped down to the plastic disk in a random spot, the spring made the record go around, and Cathy said “Where are we going?” Using a magnifying glass you could see that the various sayings were recorded in separate spirals on the record, so there were around 8 sayings and where the random needle drop landed picked the saying. It was pretty cool tech, for the times.

        Couldn’t get it back together right, and decades later my sister has never forgiven me. There’s a life lesson there somewhere.

    • Coffae says:

      Well said Earl – Joe is a cutie, but we need leadership. Perhaps it is a little early to ask, but who is up to “extracting America from the Grimpen Mire that is Donald Trump, McConnell and Graham.” in your opinion? Do you think someone deeply knowledgeable about constitutional law? Will the constitution be our answer at this point in the game?

      Would it require complete and radical reform from those such as AOC? IMHO, I believe that the Green New Deal is the strong platform that we can embrace as a whole nation, once it can be properly described to everyone.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I think the Dems would be wise to diffuse the focus on personalities and sharpen the focus on their platform. Who would they help and how, and who would pay the lion’s share of the cost of transitioning from here to there.

        That cost should naturally fall on the wealthier members of society and the businesses they own. They reap the most from society, yet their percentage contribution toward meeting society’s costs has shrunk while their percentage take from that society has skyrocketed. Not as a consequence of some natural law, but as a consequence of ceaseless neoliberal indoctrination and intentional government policy.

        Who benefits is the same as who loses now: everyone in flyover country, the middle and working classes, the young and the poor, the sick and the vulnerable. It may also be the one common ground shared by the Dems and Trump’s base.

        The usual retort is that if government were to make the rich pay more of the cost of the society that benefits them so much, they and their businesses would leave.

        The obvious response is that, measured by their contributions, they have already left, but continue to reap those benefits. Their government grants them all manner of immunities and tax subsidies, hires their contractors, depletes its public schools to fund their charter schools, and spends wildly on a war budget that does less for the economy than would giving everyone a basic minimum income.

        The personalities the Dems need are those who have a street-level understanding of power, but who can credibly sell those policies because they believe them and want to make them work. Gladhanders who can only raise money will be useful on the periphery, but few will vote for them. Been there, done that.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Driftglass beat me to the punch, filing this comment last Thursday: “Grandpa Joe Promises To Do Shots with Reagan Until Bipartisanship”. []

      His sampling from the MSM includes this worminess from conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin: “Even if he [Biden] is not the ultimate winner, he has the stature, the money, the name ID and the popularity to seize the party by the scruff of the neck and pull it back from the brink.”

      I assume she means the brink of commie pinko socialism of the kind described by General Jack D. Ripper. Next she’ll complain about fluoride in children’s ice cream.

      Driftglass excerpts other Gooper commentators, happy with Biden’s probable candidacy and to indulge their Machiavellian belief that, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This from Charlie Sykes, at the Bulwark, is typical:

      “It’s possible that in the end I could be a reluctant Biden voter,” he said, though stressed it was too early to make commitments. “There are no circumstances in which I would be a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren voter.”

      Strategy & Tactics 101 would suggest, then, that Republicans think they can easily beat Biden, but are genuinely afraid of Warren and Sanders. Driftglass dissects this talking point:

      “Joe Biden offers them…a way out by going along with the obvious farce that Donald Trump is the problem, and once Trump is defeated, Biden and the ghosts of Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan can get back to the glorious bipartisan days of yore….Except, as Jonathan Chait notes, the idea that Donald Trump is an aberration of an otherwise-healthy Republican Party is ludicrous. The Republican Party itself is the problem.”

      There is no mystery about why Democrats and Republicans do not see eye-to-eye. Having been fed a continuous diet of antibiotics, growth hormones, and Faux Noise, this “is their native language”: Marxist economics, climate alarmism and climate hustlers, unrestrained stupidity, army of social justice mobsters, cult, herd mentality, groupthink, phony virtue and unquestioning compliant media. It would take a psychotic to find a halfway point between that and Sanders, Warren and AOC.

  11. PSWebster says:

    Page 83. A. “I love the text messages.” ha ha…good grief the amount of time she spent…she had to spend on those messages. This is a wonderful read by a very smart FBI person. Thanks Emptywheel.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Laurie Penny makes a good point []:

    “Stop waiting for the “real Nazis” to show up. They’re here. White supremacy today doesn’t look like the organised party system of the 20th century, because it doesn’t need to. This is gig-economy fascism. Entrepreneurial white supremacy. Serving the interests of tyrants by proxy….

    “Trump doesn’t need to personally fund white supremacist organisations to benefit from what they do….All he or any despot needs to do is be relaxed about them as he clearly is. To not explicitly condemn. They’ll do the rest of the work for him.”

    Instead of acting like Donald Trump, a head of government could act like Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister. Her articulate, empathetic, and straightforward response to an unprecedented mass murder of nearly fifty of her fellow citizens has been world class. []

    The accused murderer is a 28-year old from Australia – not normally recognized as a shithole country – who used two semi-automatic weapons. He had more in his car when he was apprehended by “two “rural community cops” 36 minutes after the first emergency call was made on Friday and [he] was still an active shooter.” He had allegedly been planning the attack for years. Police in Australia and New Zealand are investigating why he was not on any watch list.

    Ardern, having elegantly responded to the immediate physical and emotional trauma of her fellow citizens, is responding to their need for good government: She is “poised to ban semi-automatic weapons.”

    Further, “it was believed the [semi-automatic] weapons used in the attack had been modified and that loopholes that allow such modifications would be closed in proposed gun reforms to be discussed by cabinet on Monday.” A four-day response time. Floridians and Texans, Californians and Nutmeg staters do not have such responsive government, but they have much more Freedom ™.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Wannabe Bond villain Rupert Murdoch has a new money spinner. His Australian pay-TV channel continues to broadcast footage from the New Zealand gunman’s filming of his own alleged crimes.

      Sky New Zealand, however, didn’t get the memo. It has taken the Australian affiliate off its network until it removes the offending footage. []

      “[Alleged mass murderer] Brenton Tarrant was alleged to have filmed a 17-minute Facebook video which included his drive to the mosque, his arsenal of weapons and graphic scenes of his murderous rampage. Media organisations that have used the film stopped the video as he entered the mosque.

      “Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have removed the footage but new copies are constantly being uploaded.”

      Anything for a buck Rupert. He is Donald Trump’s most active supporter.

    • fpo says:

      So long as DHS limits collection of terrorism statistics to incidents having an international nexus, we’re left with flawed information about the growing threat posed by domestic terrorist/hate groups – and a built-in mechanism for exacerbating immigrant/Islamaphobic rhetoric and diatribes – to the advantage of those that seek to leverage unspoken ‘affiliations’ while conveniently ignoring the facts and downplaying the threat.

      Sadly, on the intertwined issue of gun control and potential manufacturer liability related to domestic terror incidents, firearms manufacturers and legislators have been effectively walled off by the 2005 PLCAA (Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act) and NRA/2nd Amendment lobbying influence.

      Any and all of which would benefit from an ’emergency declaration’ of their own, in saner times.

      NRA campaign contributions (2018)

  13. InfiniteLoop says:

    Ironically, the implications of the distinction between “Russia” and “collusion” are probably Trump’s best defense against a conspiracy charge. Setting aside the legality of individual acts, it’s my understanding that parallel actions toward the same end are perfectly kosher. And Putin has been paralleling all over the place.

    It makes one wonder why Trump’s been so adamant about denying that Russian intelligence does anything more sinister than baking cookies.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      In this context, “setting aside the legality of individual acts,” is an exception that swallows the rule.

      The attribute “parallel acts” has a similar effect. Acts are not parallel, they are not independent and unconnected, if there is coordination or an agreement. There is some evidence of both.

      For a conspiracy to exist, there needs to be an agreement to pursue an illegal end and an overt act to further it. The agreement need not be in writing, and conspirators need not agree to each act of every other conspirator. In effect, conspirators enter into a partnership whereby every member is liable for the acts of every other member that further the conspiracy’s illegal end.

          • NorskieFlamethrower says:

            If this understanding is correct and if it’s part of the opening statement for a prosecutor of confraudus it would seem that getting this into a court and to a jury is the biggest hurdle Mueller faces, a conviction would be slam dunk even with Trump voters on the jury (witness the Manafort jury).

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              You’d think that, until you saw the number of police officers whom DAs never charge and whom juries routinely excuse when they shoot and kill people of color and the otherwise “unfit”.

              A Florida jury just found not guilty a SWAT officer charged with culpable neglect for shooting an autistic man playing with a toy truck, while a counselor begged him not to shoot, and was hit in the leg instead of the man. []

              • NorskieFlamethrower says:

                I am well aware of the political power of police and police violence but the power of democracy is in separating the physical power of police over citizens in the application of the law in the court room through juries. As long as there is capitalism that safe space will be threatened but it is the participation by the citizenry in the institutions of the making and application of laws that creates the possibility of justice. That participation is, of course politics. Right now we have a very sick politics.

      • InfiniteLoop says:

        EoH, as you say yourself, the overt acts to further a conspiracy need not be illegal in and of themselves, which is what I meant by the setting aside remark.

        We may never see straight-up direct evidence of a conspiracy agreement. Cohen said it during his hearing: that’s not how these guys work. It’s more like a lot of reeeeally suggestive dots that prosecutors will have to connect.

        So, it seems to me like saying, “Putin has interfered in elections around the globe. He was simply following his pattern when he stuck his fingers in our vote,” is a stronger way to introduce reasonable doubt (even if you’re guilty as sin) than “Putin would NEVER.”

        What with all the secret meetings, lies about contacts, and misrepresentations of topics discussed that make those dots look awfully connected, you’d think Trump would jump on a plausible excuse why they’re not. Why isn’t he?

    • dwfreeman says:

      To fully understand Marcy’s point here, you have to recognize there were two campaigns to elect Trump. The one Trump ran and the one the Russians ran for him and against Hillary.

      And then, there was collusion between them from the standpoint of figuring out how their quid pro quo cover deal would work. So, part of that was the Russia-Trump Tower meeting, and part of it was the polling data meeting, which was the pals part. The other part was Trump’s micro-targeting voter endgame that tied things together and led to his ability to narrow the voting gap in the Midwest and win enough electoral college votes for victory. Afterward, the Russia parliament would burst into applause, and Russian deputy prime minister Sergei Rybakov would tell Interfax News there were contacts between Russian government and the Trump campaign. This acknowledgement would be bolstered by Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov who would suggest in an AP interview that the various contacts were both “normal” and “natural,” happening with both campaigns. But Trump’s campaign then completely denies any such occurrence.

      After the August polling data meeting, several critical things happened. Stone supposedly left the campaign as an active advisor but then tells friends in Florida that he has communicated with Assange, whom Manafort allegedly met three times before joining the campaign himself, most recently in late February, but later denies having ever done so.

      The Trump campaign receives an intelligence warning about the active measures the Russians were running. Days later, Manafort and Gates allegedly depart the campaign immediately after media exposure of their previous dirty work for Russia-aligned former Ukraine president Victor Yunukovych and his Party of Regions for $12.7 million in payments.

      On or about the same day, Brietbart head and Cambridge Analytica board member, Steve Bannon, and polling expert, KellyAnne Conway are brought on to run Trump’s flagging campaign. They are apparently recommended to take over for Manafort and Gates by CA investor Rebekah Mercer during an Aug. 14 Long Island fundraiser at Jet owner Woody Johnson’s place. This rendition of Bannon and Conway’s hiring is reported by Vanity Fair and the NY Times.

      But the hiring also neatly fits into what the Russians have been doing for Trump’s campaign during that period and what comes next, that the idea that it was only planned because Manafort and Gates were forced to leave, seems in retrospect, questionable at best. Because none of the principals who were engaged as advisors ever stop working in that capacity for the campaign either in connection with troll farm-stolen mail messaging and Wikileaks distribution efforts (Stone) or (Manafort-Gates) quid pro quo stuff.

      Whenever, Stone, Manafort and Gates talked with the Russians except for one known meeting was when they were allegedly not part of Trump’s campaign orbit. The troll farm and hacking activity were farmed out and GRU operations started in Moscow and controlled by events in the US. The subject matter that formed the messaging basis of both Trump campaigns, his own and the Russians, were meshed, either by design or direction. But they were aimed at dividing a targeted electorate along racial, national, cultural and economic themes, issues and incidents.

      So, “Russia, if your listening,” Trump’s public clarion call to arms on July, 27 sets off both the Russians to step-up their meddling activity and FBI to begin investigating Papadopoulos April contacts with a Russian operative suggesting a possible meeting with Trump campaign officials. By the end of August, the US was well aware

      Putin had active measures going even before Trump’s presidential campaign in 2015 was barely a glimmer.

      Lukoil began prepping with Cambridge Analytica before then for the 2016 race to figure out the best messaging to target American voters. The troll farm activity was part of ongoing Putin disinformation effort and the stolen emails were designed to help Trump with opposition research against Hillary and punish her for her prior work and anti-Putin and Russian policy positions and statements going back to 2011 and before as US secretary of state.

      There were two key junctures on the political calendar in 2016: late February and March, and then August and September. Other key events occurred, of course. But things really spiked after Manafort was brought on board and then wound down after he unofficially left in August. Exposure was always the issue for Trump at every turn. Whether he would be exposed for the linking of his Moscow Tower deal or the known direct help and backing he received from Putin’s oligarch pals and government. And he was warned even before Obama finally told Putin to cut it out. By then, of course, it was way too late.

  14. Savage Librarian says:

    Not to put all my eggs in one basket, when fear becomes an obstacle, I try to look elsewhere. For example, Andrew Gillum made some great comments when he was speaking with Bill Maher, recently. Stacey Abrams is doing great things, too. So, time is on our side. We have AOC, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley, Abrams, Gillum. And all their supporters and networks. Very bad things are all around us. But very good things are, too. And all of us on the good side are building momentum with the will and wit to win.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Gotta hand it to driftglass: always understated and always steals from the best:

    “The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice.”

    -Voltaire, a writer


  16. Reader 21 says:

    Thanks for posting that conspiracy law write up, I thought it was great, too—IANAPL so it was heartening to see bmaz’s affirmation. Q: if conspirators are liable for all the subsequent crimes along the way—(ie, cop gets killed thwarting a bank robbery, all are on the hook for her death, even if the driver says wait I only agreed to rob the bank, not cop kill)—the mind wanders to all those subsequent dead Russian men (USA Today has a good writeup, search Putin+dead Russian men/dead Russian ambassadors)—so hypothetically, if we assume that at least some had knowledge if not were downright American assets—might an anonymous co-conspirator be on the hook for the untimely death(s) of said American assets as well? Hypothetically speaking, of course.

  17. Margo Schulter says:

    While an attorney might better address your hypothetical, Reader 21, I can give my layperson’s first impression as someone who has researched the felony-murder rule in connection with death penalty law and its evolution.

    Interestingly, the felony-murder was widely debated in the first years of our Republic, with one Virginia proposal for reform reported in 1793 asserting that a killing in the course of a felony would be “murder only if murder were meant, and manslaughter only if manslaughter were meant” (close paraphrase). It wasn’t adopted, but shows that then, as now, there were mixed feelings about the rule (also debated in 18th-century English sources) as there are about related doctrines such as the Texas law of parties.

    But for your question, Reader 21, the felony-murder rule itself might suggest one analogy at least to me where I’d welcome comment or correction from others. The rule as usually interpreted does impose strict liability on felons for any killing during the commission of a felony or in the course of flight immediately after the crime until the felons reach a place of safety (e.g. if the getaway car is involved in a fatal traffic accident). There are fine points that can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, like whether a felon is liable for the killing of a partner in the crime by the police which is ruled a justifiable homicide. But it’s pretty sweeping strict liability.

    However, suppose one is the getaway car driver, or even a gun-toting robber, in a robbery where no one is hurt and there’s a clean escape from the scene. Then, some months later, all the felons (including the getaway driver) are caught. One of them, without letting any of the others know, manages to arrange for the murder for hire of a witness scheduled to testify about the robbery. Here, my intuition is that this murder is sufficiently independent in time and space from the robbery that the other felons wouldn’t be liable — even though it could be argued philosophically that but for the robbery, and the victim’s witnessing of it, there wouldn’t have been any occasion for the murder.

    In short, it’s a question of how proximity causality has to be. And this is isn’t always so hypothetical when we remember that in the Rosenberg case, Judge Kaufman in his sentencing speech held Ethel and Julius Rosenberg responsible by reason of their espionage for the Korean War, one factor that may have influenced his decision to impose the death sentence. (He also referred to their crime as “treason,” showing how federal jurists sometimes may not have an adequate understanding of the Treason Clause, at least if they mean what they say, as one might expect when a judge is imposing the death penalty).

    Again, I’d welcome comments from any attorneys.

  18. Margo Schulter says:

    Sorry, that should be “the felony-murder rule was widely debated” in my paragraph 2, and “it’s a question of how proximate causality has to be” in my last paragraph.

    • Reader 21 says:

      @Margo S—as I said, not a PL but appreciate your response; taking me back to bar exam days so, with that caveat, IIRC it is only the inherently violent felonies (the “BARRK” (burglary, arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping) for which the felony murder rule typically applies (so agree with the hypothetical you lay out—seems too attenuated for the others to be criminally liable for that act).

      Here, while conspiring (with our nation’s most implacable, hostile adversary) to defraud the United States of America may not seem on its face to be “inherently violent”, I question whether that premise holds up under scrutiny. Here, Individual-1, who’d been doing business with Russia for decades, had to know the proclivities of The Poisoner and Mogi, his ruthless, human-, narco-and weapons-trafficking backer. As stated, searching Putin+suspicious deaths=tons o’ hits.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Congratulations to Wales on winning the Six Nations Rugby Grand Slam.

    England in second place, something it should get used to post-Brexit. []

    • Valley girl says:

      I was just catching up on your earlier comments above, and putting them together when I saw the comment immediately above. Once upon a time I went to many matches at Cardiff Arms Park. In the time of Gareth Edwards and JPR Williams. I had to check that what I was watching was Rugby Union and not Rugby League matches.

      Of couse it was great to see England defeated (living with a Welshman, and a Cardiff Arms Park debenture holder at that).

      But maybe /probably what you said about England getting used to being in second place was a sideways comment. Maybe/likely the literal part of my mind was taking what you said TOO literally. Doesn’t Wales have every bit as much to suffer as does England post-Brexit? And, is Brexit actually going to happen? Ever?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I was thinking about the great Welsh fullback, J.P.R. Williams, as Wales beat Ireland. It’s almost ironic that he is an orthopaedic surgeon. From his years on the pitch at the top of the game, few would know better the pain of broken and bent bones and their attachments.

        As for England getting used to being second, I meant that in a hundred years, the UK has gone from ruling half the globe to being a small island on the border of Europe. It prized its “special relationship” with the US, which was sadly as one-sided as a Trump promise. After de Gaulle’s death, the UK belatedly joined Europe.

        Several decades later, a neoliberal core of Tories decided that it can prosper more from the chaos of leaving the EU than staying in it and going the distance. From Carole Cadwalladr’s reporting for the Guardian, their campaign was as illicit and as illegally foreign-assisted as Trump’s campaign.

        In the EU, Britain was a major power and part of a global bloc, if roughly third in line behind Germany and France. Outside of it, it will again be a small island on the border of Europe having trouble keeping Scotland and perhaps Wales in the family.

        The Brits have no idea what’s in store for them as they head out to sea in a single ship, without their usual convoy and destroyer escort. Their politicians and their press have kept them ignorant, preferring to trade in Unicorn futures instead. In the sea, there be monsters, they be hungry, and they smell opportunity.

  20. pseudonymous in nc says:

    I’m late to this, but Mark Meadows’ insistence on addressing her as “Lisa” chafes my arse. What a dickbag.

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