Useful, but Willful, Idiot: “Page or” “Or JD Gordon” [Updated]

Update: After years, BuzzFeed has gotten this name released. It is not about Page. It is about JD Gordon.

I wanted to draw attention to this passage in the Mueller Report:

In the section concerning whether any of Trump’s flunkies were agents of a foreign power (Flynn: Yes, but for Turkey; Manafort and Gates: Yes, for Ukraine, Manafort Maybe for Russia; Papadopoulos: Maybe for Russia and Israel) it describes the three people it considered charging as agents of Russia: along with Papadopoulos and Manafort, Page.

It then redacts, for personal privacy reasons, a sentence, that explains why — “as a result, the office did not charge [redacted] any other Trump Campaign official with violating FARA or Section 951.

The redaction — which must include a name and “or” — has to be of Page’s name, because of length. That suggests one of two things: either that, of the three people who embraced outreach from Russia, Page was the one against whom there was most evidence. Or, that because of all the publicity surrounding this question, Mueller thought it worthwhile to include one more sentence explaining what happened to Page. Though I would expect if it were the latter, the footnote describing the difference between the standard to get a FISA order and to charge someone criminally is different.

It’s not actually surprising that the office would have found the most evidence against Page. The section on Page (from 96 to 103 and 166-67) provides a lot of evidence, some of which hadn’t previously been in the public record:

  • An earlier period where Page drew down his savings to forge ties with Gazprom
  • Ties to Russian intelligence in 2008, as well as the known ties in 2013
  • The incident where, after he showed up in Evgeny Buryakov’s prosecution documents, Page sought out a Russian official to tell him he “didn’t do anything,” presumably with the FBI
  • Page’s description that his sole goal for working on the campaign was to improve ties to Russia
  • An attempt to get a position in the Administration
  • A second meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich
  • Page’s quote that, “the more immaterial non-public information I give [Russian intelligence officers], the better for this country”

In addition to all those details (and a description of how the campaign responded to the September 23, 2016 Michael Isikoff story that was itself based partly on the Steele dossier), the report revealed that “Page’s activities in Russia–as described in his emails with the Campaign–were not fully explained.”

Admittedly, much of this (particularly the details from Page’s December 2016 trip) is likely in the follow-up applications for Page’s FISA order. Still, it shows that there’s far more implicating Page than has made it into the debate about his FISA application — which may be the point (and which may be why, in spite of Trump’s claims that he’s going to declassify the FISA applications targeting his flunkies, DOJ hasn’t heard anything about that). Which is what a select few members of Congress (Sheldon Whitehouse and Trey Gowdy, among others) have said, but those reports have never broken through the propaganda surrounding this FISA order.

One more point: there’s a redacted discussion on page 194 for why someone considered for — given the redactions protect grand jury information — perjury was not charged (or if the person has been, it has been settled in some way). For a variety of reasons — name length and apparent timing, among other things — Page is a likely candidate for that redaction as well.

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. 

93 replies
  1. elk_l says:

    Carter Page has a Cheshire Cat smile that seems to say: “Most everyone’s mad here.” and “You may have noticed that I’m not all there myself.”

    • Veronica says:

      Carter Page has always been the most peculiar of all the people involved in this business, and the most likely to actually be a smart Russian-affiliated spy. He manages to seem daft enough to make you think he cannot possibly be a ‘real spy’ – why would anybody get involved with him .But that smile tells you he’s hiding something !

  2. OldTulsaDude says:

    When I see Carter Page, I’m reminded of mobster Vincent Gigante. What better cover than to be nuts?

  3. Sans-Serf says:

    Based purely on a text width analysis I don’t think that redaction refers to Page. I played around with a few different versions of Page+or and none seem to fit. You can check it out here:

    Its a bit difficult to read but the first three are “Page, or” / “Page, nor” / “Page—or” all of which are too short. I thought trying “Page—nor” (the 4th one) would work but it seems to overhang by half a character (text kerning issue?). I also tried “Manafort or” (the 5th one) and it was too long.

    A 5-character name really seems to provide the best fit (Stone or Gates?). For the last two I tried “Stone, nor” & “Stone—or” and both appear to fit nicely.

    • Terrapin says:

      I agree. Manafort better fits the length and it is a stretch to describe Carter Page as a “campaign official.” That appellation better fits Manafort.

      [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second username. Thanks. /~Rayne]

      • Tech Support says:

        The sentence “As a result, the Office did not charge [REDACTED} any other…” screams for the word “or” in the redacted area. The paragraph itself is speaking of Page, Papadopulous, and Manafort specifically. The paragraph describes all three of those individuals as “campaign officials” regardless of how we personally feel about the appellations.

        It’s also worth noting that the “Personal Privacy” standard for redaction is the Justice Dept policy about not attacking the character of people who are not being charged. (et tu, Comey?) Footnote 1282 is all about why Page met the standard for a FISA warrant but not the standard for charging.

        Let’s not overthink this.

    • JAFive says:

      Seems like Stone would be redacted as HOM, though, given that they’ve continually redacted all references to him under HOM (and conceivably some aspect here could be disclosed at trial or so on).

  4. Rapier says:

    The run of the mill Trumpsters are probably too ignorant know that long before they hated FISA courts, when it became handy, Dick Cheney hated them on principal. I read that from W’s inauguration until 9/11 there were very few if any cases filed with the court because Dick thought they were not legit. That they usurped the power of the Executive branch, or the 4th branch, whatever. Well they are stuck with it for what, 5 more years, probably?

  5. JAFive says:

    Why redact Page’s name there, though? They’ve just given his name. At most, leaving the name unredacted there would suggest (although not prove) a connection between Page and the wholly redacted sentence(s) coming before it. But that’s not an apparently meaningful disclosure especially given the fact that the warrant on Page has already been officially disclosed.

    If the wholly redacted sentence(s) related in some way to the Page warrant, then I’d expect fn 1282 to come AFTER the redacted sentence rather than before it. Insofar as the footnote is exclusively on Page and is appended to a sentence that discusses other people as well, I’d generally expect the footnote to come after the redacted sentence if the redacted sentence was focused only on Page generally. It’s also worth pointing out that there is nothing redacted on privacy grounds in the Page section on pp. 95-103.

    I think this has to be about a different, unnamed individual. That also fits with the general grammatical structure.

    The immediately prior sentence states that they couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Papadopolous, Flynn, or Page was a Russian agent. So, I’d lean towards the next sentence indicating that a *fourth* person was not charged with a FARA violation for some other reason.

    The fourth person could, for example, be whomever was considered for a false statements charge in the fully blacked out section on p. 194 or one of the people discussed on p. 199.

    To get a bit more speculative, it does seem like the redacted person is somehow *more* culpable than others (why else single them out in this sentence?) Note that the first three are not charged because Mueller couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that that they “acted as agents of the Russian government.” It would fit conceptually if this individual acted as an agent but did not do so knowingly, and that would fit well with a privacy redaction (although you’d surely want more discussion of this and I’m not sure where that would be found elsewhere in the report).

    It also seems plausible that the fourth individual was suspected of acting on behalf of some other Russian principal (and compare “of the Russian government” in the sentence before the redaction to “with the Russian government or a Russian principal” in the sentence thereafter which might suggest this, though that’s grasping at straws).

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    In some [Mueller] team members’ view, the evidence they had gathered — especially on obstruction — was far more alarming and significant than how Barr had described it. That was perhaps to be expected, given that Barr had distilled a 448-page report into a terse, four-page memo to Congress.

    That second sentence – the “to be expected” bit – is a nice out for Barr, but it’s bullshit. Given that you can’t rake a leaf in DC without sweeping up a lawyer and coming from the WaPo, it is atrocious credulity.

    Lawyers are professional writers, generally of nonfiction. They are constantly summarizing lengthy materials. (Given Barr’s contortions over his use of the word, “summary,” the WaPo chooses the verb “distill”.) Examples are cases, judicial arguments, statements of fact, interview notes, law review articles. They incorporate those summaries into their advice to other lawyers or in their arguments to a court. Getting the essentials wrong is incompetent and negligent. Getting them wrong intentionally is a fraud that courts and bar associations frown on.

    Lawyers of this caliber do not write “distillations” that misstate fundamental conclusions contained in a longer report. They do not do so in summaries of this national and global importance. Bill Barr’s summary was accurate for its intended purpose. In this case, that was to create a falsely favorable impression of Bob Mueller’s legal analysis of Donald Trump’s conduct.


    • BobCon says:

      The reporters/editors are trying to dodge saying the obvious thing: Barr chose the four page format because he wanted to mislead. If he didn’t want to mislead, he would have chosen a different format.

      The Post and the NY Times came out with these stories almost at the same time, and it’s pretty obvious that Barr etc. at DOJ were playing both papers against each other, knowing that neither one wanted to be scooped and would offer favorable terms on anonymity and credibility. Even then, this is not a good look for Barr, and I suspect worse is coming out soon.

    • Eureka says:

      “distilled” also piqued my word-choice gizzard.

      Instead of a fine spirit, though, Barr set that mash for pabulum. And he’s trying to array some burp cloths before it repeats on him.

  7. viget says:

    Oooh… on Marcy’s Twitter comments, someone brought up the spectre of Congress already having Mueller’s letter, and that RR might have been the source. Would be interesting timing given RR’s resignation letter coming out.

    His last sentence is so cryptic…. Could he be the Andy Dufrane of this story? Is this the beginning of the denouement to the Russia saga?

    • BobCon says:

      I don’t think RR handing the letter over the House Dems fits into what we’ve seen from Rosenstein lately, but I will also acknowledge he’s been acting wobbly. I think there are a number of possible sources, if the Democratic members do have a copy.

      I think it’s also possible that someone in the press has it, or at least knows the substance of it, and Barr leaked to the Post and Times to undercut what the other outlet was going to print or broadcast.

    • Eureka says:

      In general lately, I’ve wondered what Avattoir’s opinion would be re RR’s (~& Barr’s) (respective) shenanigans. Moreso than a conclusory note of opinion, I wonder the stories he’d tell to arrive there.

    • Jockobadger says:

      Oh Sweet Jesus I hope he’s the Andy Dufresne (sp?) of this story. Barr has turned out to be a company man, not a patriot. A tr*mp company man. How does he look in the mirror?

        • Jockobadger says:

          Touche Timbo! You are correct. A real Family Man. Thank you for the very appropriate correction!

          Listening to Barr now – let the prevarication begin!

          Lyndsey hasn’t read the report? I have and I’m just a dumb geologist. JHFC

      • viget says:

        The more I read his resignation letter, the more it just leaps out at me. “We keep the faith, follow the rules, and we always put America first,” just is begging to be his rejoinder to Trump/Barr, much as “Dear Warden, You were right. Salvation lies within.” (referring to the Bible, where a cutout nicely hid his rock hammer to prevent the guards from finding it) was Andy Dufresne’s. (sorry you are right Badger with the sp)

        I think I should make His judgement Cometh and that Right Soon my sig line. Along with Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          The Latin one is a favorite of mine.

          Long with “Illegitimi non carborundum”

    • JD12 says:

      They must have it. It can’t be a coincidence this report comes just hours ahead of Barr’s testimony. Someone wanted to make sure he gets asked the tough questions and thinks carefully before answering. It’s doubtful it was RR though, probably someone from Mueller’s team who doesn’t want their work swept under the rug.

    • Vicks says:

      I will probably get trashed for this one as well, but I saw Rosenstein’s resignation letter as a guy jumping up and down waving a big red flag at the congressional committees saying “pick me!” “pick me!”

        • viget says:

          So he’s just a stooge then? Wow, he really has no pride, huh? Where did all this 25th amendment stuff come from? Gaslighting McCabe I guess.

        • vicks says:

          The “private conversation” comment was pretty obvious but if you start digging into the quotes Rosenstein chose it gets interesting. He chose one from Thomas Paine about the fatigue of supporting freedom that comes from a paper Paine wrote in 1777 which the last paragraph reads…
          “I close this paper with a short address to General Howe. You, sir, are only lingering out the period that shall bring with it your defeat. You have yet scarce began upon the war, and the further you enter, the faster will your troubles thicken. What you now enjoy is only a respite from ruin; an invitation to destruction; something that will lead on to our deliverance at your expense. We know the cause which we are engaged in, and though a passionate fondness for it may make us grieve at every injury which threatens it, yet, when the moment of concern is over, the determination to duty returns. We are not moved by the gloomy smile of a worthless king, but by the ardent glow of generous patriotism. We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in. In such a case we are sure that we are right; and we leave to you the despairing reflection of being the tool of a miserable tyrant.”

          Common Sense
          Philadelphia, Sept. 12, 1777.

  8. P J Evans says:

    Van Hollen and Ro Khanna are calling for Barr’s resignation because of his lies. And Schiff is saying that Congress still hasn’t been briefed on the counter-intelligence investigations into Tr*mp (and his campaign).

    • Eureka says:

      I heard that from Schiff (on Chris Hayes) and was alarmed there’s been nothing since the Comey firing.

      • Eureka says:

        Chris Hayes retweeted:

        southpaw: “Schiff says two things here—that the briefings stopped shortly after Comey was fired (approx. 2y ago) and that it’s been a year and a half. A committee aide tells me the former is more accurate: it has been about two years since they received a CI briefing re the investigation.”

        “Here’s part of that exchange, with my ominously ticking clock in the background. (clip) “

  9. Eureka says:

    southpaw rt’d this, lingers as profound:

    Harry Litman: “Exactly. It’s a declaration of war, as I just tried to explain on @donlemon because everybody realizes it’s a loaded bomb that could go off anytime. That’s why I said for the laconic and obedient Mueller, it’s almost like lighting yourself on fire in front of the DOJ.”


    Natasha Bertrand: “Something I’m hearing from lots of former DOJ/FBI folks tonight is just how rare & significant it is for a DOJ official, especially an institutionalist like Mueller, to “go to paper” like this. “We are conditioned not to” do that, Chuck Rosenberg told me. (links to politico article)”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Given Mueller’s history of not leaking, and that Barr made his bones working for the CIA and covering up White House messes for the DoJ, I would be wary about any attribution of this leak to Mueller. Among other things, he is still a temporary DoJ employee.

      This is the sort of leak a Miller/Bannon/Barr would attribute to Mueller to reduce his credibility and/or to get out ahead of the news. If they stick to the usual playbook, next will come rumors about drinking, illicit money or inappropriate sex. (Those would be even less credible.) Trump and this latest band of aides know no restraint. This is just getting started.

      • Eureka says:

        Agree– I didn’t think this was Mueller’s leak, but Barr’s (or affiliates). I had interpreted these tweets through that lens, that the mere writing of the letter signified substantive ‘protest.’ (I had/ven’t seen Litman’s segment on Lemon; perhaps there he argued otherwise.)

    • harpie says:

      Chuck Rosenberg on Mueller’s letter to Barr [via Maddow, video, transcript]:
      7:13 PM – 30 Apr 2019

      Chuck Rosenberg: Bob Mueller must have been pretty upset. You know, what’s so interesting to me: we always disagree about stuff at the Department of Justice, but we don’t always write letters about it. We have a phrase for it, called going to paper.
      You don’t go to paper lightly, because you don’t want to box someone in, or show them up. You go to paper when you want to make a record for the history books.
      If things turn out really bad, right? If things don’t work out the way you wanted them to, you go to paper to make that record, to paper the trail.
      And so, for Bob to do this, he must have been quite upset.
      The other reaction I have, is that the letter that Devlin Barrett read, the one that’s excerpted in the Post, is probably the second letter, because you write the first one when you’re really angry, you put it in your desk drawer, you sleep on it and you come back the next day and take out some adjectives.
      And then, you send the second one. And I’ve done that myself

      I wonder what adjectives were in Mueller’s first letter, the one he probably wrote on March 26, 2019….
      Or maybe it’s the third letter, and the first was written on March 25, 2019?

      • Mooser says:

        Those idiots are putting Mueller in a position where he will have to defend himself forcefully. He will have no choice.

    • harpie says:

      From Mueller’s March 27, 2019 letter:

      […] As we stated in our meeting of March 5 and reiterated to the Department early in the afternoon of March 24, the introductions and executive summaries of our two-volume report accurately summarizes this Office’s work and conclusions. The Summary letter the Department sent to Congress and released to the public late in the afternoon of March 24 did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance of the Office’s work and conclusions. We communicated that concern to the Department on the morning of March 25. There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations. See Department of Justice, Press Release (May 17, 2017)
      While we understand that the Department is reviewing the full report to determine what is appropriate for public release – – a process which our Office is working with you to complete – – that process need not delay release of the enclosed materials. Release at this time would alleviate the misunderstandings that have arisen and would answer Congressional and public questions about the nature and outcome of our investigation. It would also accord with the standard for public release of notification to Congress cited in your letter. See: […]

      RELEASE the phone call transcript or letter of morning of March 25, 2019!

  10. Max404 says:

    From the WaPo article:

    “Barr also gave Mueller his personal phone number and told him to call if he had future concerns, officials said.”

    But weren’t they supposed to be friends, the two couples hanging out together, barbeques and whatnot? This smells to me like a message to Congress and the People that Mueller doesn’t want to be associated with Barr in the public mind, and that he sees the reputational damage done to him by Barr must not be allowed to stand. Bombshells coming I think.

  11. fpo says:

    Well, if past is indeed prologue – and t’Rump has obviously gotten what he wanted from Barr – let the countdown begin. ‘So long, Bobby. Thanks for everything.’

    Can’t imagine Nadler, Schiff & co. tolerating Barr interfering with e.g, SDNY cases. And effin’ with Mueller was never going to end well. You’d have thought RR knew that going in – wtf was he thinking?

    • Mooser says:

      ” wtf was he thinking?”
      I have not been able to understand why anybody would risk anything for Trump. The number of people who have thrown themselves under the bus for him is amazing.

      • Jenny says:

        Lindsey’s opportunity to grandstand and talk about Clinton emails.
        New look? Has he enhanced his hair color? Looks blonder.

        • Tom says:

          Barr fiddling with very important papers. Now the bottled water (or maybe it’s shaving lotion). His body language seems very disdainful. He doesn’t have time for all this.

        • Ruthie says:

          Ahem, as an aging blond myself, I may have an explanation. For most of my adult life my hair continued to get darker, eventually landing me in the most unflattering category – “dirty blond”. Once the grey started creeping in but before it got as obvious as it now is, it just started to look lighter. Voila!

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      But, but, but he says he already “done with it.” Besides, “we” spent $25 million on it and there was No Collusion!!! Lindsey is merely following the agreed, “Nothing to see here, move along now,” script.

      Feinstein, on the other hand, is just reading her script as if she were too tired to be there. She jumped into the weeds and expects a viewing public to follow her? Not bloody likely. This is why, when it comes time to ask Barr questions, committees need to let staff counsel ask most questions in this type of hearing.

      • Tom says:

        Feinstein should have seized the initiative by asking Barr right off the bat why his 4-page letter & press conference statements contradict the actual findings of Mueller’s team re: evidence of conspiracy & obstruction.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        DiFi was making an opening statement, before Barr was sworn in. But her intro helped no one following this who was not a geek.

        • Tom says:

          Yes, I realized after that Feinstein was just making her opening statement.

          I wonder if Mueller is writing another letter to Barr even as we watch.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    There’s no substitute for hearing from Bob Mueller. Bill Barr’s recollections and characterizations of his words and positions are inherently unreliable.

    • harpie says:

      Sometime in May, before House Judiciary:
      7:30 AM – 1 May 2019
      [links to:] Agreement reached to have Mueller testify on Russia probe: lawmaker MAY 1, 2019 / 9:59 AM

      The Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee said on Wednesday an agreement had been reached to have Special Counsel Robert Mueller testify to Congress on his probe into Russian election interference and possible attempts by the President Donald Trump to impede the probe.
      Representative Jerry Nadler told reporters the agreement was for Mueller to testify sometime in May, but that a specific date had yet to be agreed upon.

    • bmaz says:

      Earl, this is why it was idiotic to call Barr before hearing from Mueller first. He gets yet another opportunity to dishonestly frame the picture. Maybe Dems could not have stopped Graham from doing this, but Nadler’s rush to do the same is, tactically, insane.

      • CitizenCrone says:

        But now, if Mueller gives a different version (from Barr) of the weight of the OLC opinion about not indicting a sitting Pres on his charging decision, and says he made that clear to Barr, won’t that prove how unreliable Barr has been?

        That would undercut the whole scenario that Barr painted.

        • bmaz says:

          There was no reason to allow Barr to dissemble and frame first to get that out of Mueller. It is tactically stupid.

        • RWood says:

          It’s the Dem playbook, always play defense, wait for them to do/say something first, don’t want to be rude.

          Pelosi thinks it’s a friendly game of chess or something. She’s going to lose this thing for all of us.

        • Rayne says:

          You’re not a woman, are you. That’s not a question.

          Women don’t lead like men do, especially older women who’ve survived a lot of patriarchal bullshit.

          And she’s not going to “lose this thing for us all.” This didn’t happen overnight and she’s not the only one responsible for stemming and remediating this disaster.

        • RWood says:

          Many of the woman I served with were very good leaders and would laugh at your “lead like men” remark. Either way, gender has nothing to do with it.

          I keep seeing people defend her, but I have not seen any evidence that she recognizes the situation for what it is and not as she wants it to be, something that a leader constantly does. The army drills this into you in every leadership course they have. Inaction CAN be a viable strategy, but it has to have an upside that beats all other options.

          I’m failing to see the upside of her inaction.

  13. viget says:

    Has Mueller tendered his resignation yet? I think he needs to. If he’s that upset about how this has played out, his continuing to be special counsel is just allowing the Stone case to be dragged out. Zoe Tillman says that Zelinsky and Jed, the leads for Mueller on the Stone case are now “special AUSAs” assigned to the DC USA’s office, thus they are no longer with the SCO.

    Once SCO ceases to exist, Miller’s GJ subpoena challenge is mooted. He can and should be immediately hauled before Chief Judge Howell and charged with contempt if he refuses to testify. Otherwise, he will likely still try to play run out the clock on the GJ with a Supreme Court challenge (now that DC Circuit has denied en banc hearing).

    • bmaz says:

      No, that does not necessarily moot anything. Secondly, Miller has already been found in contempt.

      • viget says:

        Ok, sorry on the mooting bit. So when can we expect Miller to report to jail if he’s already been found in contempt? It is extremely unlikely that SC will take up his case. Does DC circuit have a stay on his contempt proceedings?

        I’m just curious why the delay. Doesn’t seem to make much sense

  14. fpo says:

    ‘Not a summary…not a summary…not a summary…’

    Leads anyone with half a brain to conclude one thing – it was a bleeding SUMMARY.

    Even Grahamcracker knows that – he just called it a summary.

    Which precisely points to the over-riding issue – Barr acted (and continues to act) on behalf of the Resident in his position as AG. Period. Impeach the lying sob.

  15. Geoff says:

    Cutouts…it all comes back to cutouts. No “collusion” with “russian govt” — duh, cutouts! Firing Mueller, uh, no, Trumps not going to do it : cutouts! They really need to press more on this and make it obvious how obstruction functions with this gang.

  16. Jenny says:

    Bill Safire dubbed Barr “Cover-Up General” years ago. The title still stands. Barr was hired to cover things up, he has covered things up.

  17. CitizenCrone says:

    OT, but

    Barr just replied to Sen Durbin, No, we haven’t waived executive privilege. That “we”…

    Does Barr represent the Pres on Ex Priv claims? The question was on McGahn (sp?), who has already testified extensively to Mueller with no claim of exec priv.

    • RWood says:

      I caught that too, plus the grimace on his face right after he said it.

      If you watch closely you’ll see him purse his lips before every lie.

      • CitizenCrone says:

        Agreed, but the biggest and most obvious tell was with Sen Grassley. I have to re-watch that and get a clip.

  18. Jockobadger says:

    In north Idaho we have a species of toad Bufo Boreas that is typified by a stereotypical “toad” body form (a relatively squat body with short legs and rough bumpy skin due to poison glands.)

    Barr looks just like one. Sitting there in his f-ing smug, self-satisfied way, waiting for a black fly to happen by. This toady seems shockingly happy to sit up there, under oath, and lie to protect tr*mp. It’s hard to believe this is real.

  19. klynn says:

    Just to restate a note I made in 2016 when Carter Page joined the Trump Campaign. Carter Page translated into Russian means “carrier-henchman” ironically.

  20. CitizenCrone says:

    Sen Grassley’s questioning worth a look–watch Barr outright lie (imho) and go off down the rabbit hole.

    Leahy–Does it bother you that Trump campaign never reported Russian contacts to FBI? Barr–What would they have reported?

    Cornyn–Why didn’t Obama do anything? and…
    Now we know no Trump people conspired with Russians, we need to find out what the Obama FBI, DOJ and Intelligence Services may have done to help one campaign over the other. [Yeah, like how Comey helped Clinton so much]

    NB, my reporting isn’t verbatim.

    • P J Evans says:

      I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to make Grassley look good. But Cornyn is managing it.

  21. RWood says:

    Ryan Goodman at Just Security has an interesting take on Barr’s opening statement:

    “Attorney General William Barr’s prepared statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee appears to mark out a framework that basically says a sitting President is not immune from federal prosecutors making a determination that the President committed an indictable offense.

    Whether or not Barr articulated this legal framework to justify his decision in the Mueller investigation, it has two significant implications. First, it would mean that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may now be able to say on the record whether he believes President Donald Trump committed the crime of obstruction. Mueller should have the opportunity to do so in congressional testimony soon. Second, it would mean that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York may make that formal determination as well if federal prosecutors conclude Trump engaged in a criminal conspiracy to make hush money payments in violation of federal campaign finance laws or committed tax and other financial crimes.”

  22. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Bill Barr may be the US Attorney General, but my recollection is that he was in the DoJ for four years during the Bush Sr administration (nearly thirty years ago) and now for a few months in the Trump administration. Otherwise, his employment was with the CIA, the WH, and the private corporate bar – either for a law firm or as corporate in-house counsel. I don’t see how that makes him the expert on criminal law that his delivery presents himself as being

  23. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Sen. Blackburn and Mr. Barr seem to be sharing the same set of kneepads, purchased in bulk from the TrumpStore.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    How telling that Barr hesitates and then says, “No,” when Sen. Blackburn asks him whether Mueller’s team was the best and the brightest.

  25. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Under questioning by Booker, Barr confuses conduct that he claims is not criminal with whether that conduct generated a benefit. Barr is playing God. It’s what his patrons expect of him and he delivers.

  26. Michael Keenan says:

    So what about Carter Page being a UCE or undercover employee? Along with “or” meaning who else is a UCE?

    • Rayne says:

      Expand on this. Explain your theory for the class with citations.

      Your history here has not been particularly good to date; flinging what looks to be a conspiracy theory up on the walls here with scant rationale isn’t going to fly.

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