The Unremarkable Bruce Ohr 302s

Last night, Judicial Watch (and DOJ) released some of the FD-302s (FBI interview reports) between Bruce Ohr and the FBI. This post will lay out what they include.

As a reminder, Ohr is a top DOJ expert on Russian organized crime. He has known Christopher Steele since 2007 and Ohr’s wife — who is an expert on Russia — did some work for Fusion GPS during the election that was related to, but not part of, Steele’s work for Fusion. Ohr and Steele had conversations in 2016 about a range of things, including Oleg Deripaska (for whom Steele was doing work and who Steele trusted far more than he should have), Russian doping, and Trump’s ties to Russia.

Starting on July 30, 2016 and continuing through November 2017, Steele shared first his Trump-related information with Ohr, and then his concerns about how his dossier was all blowing up, including his concern for at least one of his sources. After Steele was cut off as a paid source in November 2016, FBI had Ohr communicate with a Supervisor [note, this was incorrectly reported as Bill Priestap when JW released these], who was a top counterintelligence person at FBI, whenever he spoke with Steele as a way to stay in touch with the former British intelligence officer, at first as part of vetting the dossier, and later to monitor where he was at.

This release of 302s is partial (though that’s based on Judicial Watch’s request, not FBI’s response). It doesn’t include any record of Ohr’s conversations with FBI and DOJ prior to November 22, 2016 (which include at least an early August meeting with Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page and a fall meeting with Page, Peter Strzok, Andrew Weissmann, Zainab Ahmad, and Bruce Swartz). It also doesn’t include Ohr’s communications after May 2017. Thus, it explicitly would exclude any information about how Mueller treated the dossier, details of what FBI and Steele did to try to limit Congress’ investigation into the role of the dossier, and whether and how FBI investigated possible false statements from Steele and (especially) Glenn Simpson.

In addition, while DOJ already released a lot of the backup to this (including Ohr’s communications with Steele and Simpson and some but not all of his notes), Judicial Watch has apparently not posted something DOJ already provided them, which is a file “Manafort Chronology” that JW received in an earlier lawsuit (I’ve asked JW for that file; they say they’re still processing it, even though they received it before these 302s). That document would presumably make it clear (as if the investigative team Ohr met with didn’t already) that more of what Ohr passed on to FBI from Steele before the election would pertain to Manafort, not Carter Page.

These meetings covered by the 302s seem to be broken into three groups:

  • November 22 to December 20: FBI’s review of Steele’s reporting process and collection of relevant materials
  • January 25 to February 14: Steele and Simpson express their panic in the aftermath of the dossier publication to Ohr
  • May 8 to 15: Steele’s panic about Congress increases, FBI offers to set up an FBI contact

November 22, 2016

This meeting was obviously an introductory meeting between Ohr and the Agent. He describes how he first met Steele (which partly redacted here but not redacted in his testimony to HJC/OGR). There’s a redacted comment that probably reflects Ohr’s view of Steele’s sources. That probably pertains to one or more oligarchs, because Ohr then explains his own opinion about the willingness of oligarchs to share information; this paragraph has been redacted because of an ongoing investigation, as has the paragraph describing Ohr’s summary of his meeting with Steele in July 2016 (which Ohr told McCabe about within days). There’s a reference to these notes from July (see PDF 31)

When these notes were released in December 2018, both the source for the “over a barrel” comment and Deripaska’s threats against Manafort were protected for ongoing investigation; at least in this paragraph, some of both are unsealed.

Ohr then explains what he knew about the Fusion GPS oppo research project, including that Simpson was passing the information on to “many individuals or entities.”

It’s clear that Ohr was asked about Michael Isikoff’s Yahoo article on Carter Page. Ohr described meeting with Simpson and Steele around that time, but his focus was instead on the Alfa Bank server allegation, which I’l return to.

Pristap also must have asked Ohr whether Steele made up his allegations, which Ohr said he did not believe Steele had done. Ohr explained that “there are always Russian conspiracy theories that come from the Kremlin.” He stated that he believed that Steele was just reporting what he heard, “but that doesn’t make that story true.”

Ohr was also asked about Jon Winer and whether he knew how Steele handled his sources, as well as for contact information for someone, probably Steele.

December 5

Several weeks after the initial meeting, Priestap interviewed Ohr again with follow-up questions about the dossier. He appears to reveal that he never was present when Steele interviewed a source (though there was a meeting he described). He says he was never present for meetings between Steele and Jon Winer. He described his wife Nellie’s research for Simpson. And he explained that Simpson directed Steele to “speak to the press as that was what Simpson was paying” him to do. The Agent apparently asked if Steele went to David Corn on his own or at the direction of Simpson, which Ohr did not know the answer to.

At that meeting, Ohr handed over the “Manafort Chronology” (which may or may not be Nellie’s work), which is the document JW may not have released yet.

December 12

Ohr met with Simpson on December 10 and obtained a copy of the dossier on thumb drive, so met with the Agent to share that and his notes from that meeting (see PDF 32).

At the meeting, Simpson told Ohr the Michael Cohen allegations (though these should and do appear to be the dated October allegations). Simpson shared gossip about some former Trump person (he thought it was Rick Wilson, but Wilson denied it yesterday) who was concerned about Trump’s ties to Russia. He raised Aleksandr Torshin’s outreach to the NRA and shared this article on it, even while noting there was disagreement on his staff about how much money Russia was funneling to the NRA. Simpson disputed NYT’s doubts about the Alfa Bank server (either the Agent or Simpson got the date of the article wrong); in response to an Ohr question about whether he thought he was safe, Simpson said someone had called and “asked him to find out where all of the Alfa Bank stories were coming from.” Simpson told Ohr he still had concerns about Sergei Millian and noted, “Looking at Millian led Simpson’s company to Cohen” (which Simpson would later share with Congress).

Simpson admitted that he asked Steele “to speak to the Mother Jones reporter as  it was Simpson’s Hail Mary attempt.” Note this means that after the Agent asked Ohr who decided to contact Corn, Ohr asked Simpson, and then passed on the answer. From this point forward, Ohr was basically providing FBI information on the Fusion effort.

Finally, Simpson appeared to suggest that much of Steele’s reporting comes from one source but “Simpson does not know his name.” This also seems to be a question Ohr posed after having been asked about it by the Agent. There are almost entirely redacted notes at PDF 33 listing “possible intermediaries” attributed to Simpson, but it’s unclear if Ohr took those notes at that meeting.

December 20

Several weeks after he said he would do so, Ohr met with the Agent and shared Nellie Ohr’s research for Fusion on a thumb drive.

January 23

On January 20, Simpson contacted Ohr in a panic about one of Steele’s sources. The following day, Ohr and Steele spoke about the concerns. The description of those concerns are treated, among other redactions, as legally classified information. The description of what appears to be the person in Ohr’s notes released last year is protected as part of an ongoing investigation (PDF 34-35). One thing Steele told Ohr, though, was that he knew the person was alive and well because he had posted on Facebook.

On the January 21 call, Steele also told Ohr he had spoken with someone in John McCain’s office sometime “prior to October 2016.” Either he’s only telling Ohr part of the story, or the date is wrong, because Steele’s known contacts related to McCain were in December.

January 25

Several days later, Ohr reached out to the Agent again to update him on what Steele had said in a followup. In that call either Steele or Ohr suggested the person might be exposed because of journalists. (PDF 36)

January 27

Several days later Ohr updated Pristap on his latest WhatsApp contact with Steele.

February 6

A few weeks later, Steele called about two things. First, the firing of Sally Yates led him to believe he needed another contact in case Ohr was fired; the Agent asked Ohr to ask Steele if he’d feel comfortable going through the FBI. He also seemed to be passing on information from someone, probably Deripaska, complaining that because of the 2016 election the FBI considered him a “criminal.” There’s a redacted section, and all this redacted information is protected as an ongoing investigation.

At the same meeting, Ohr offered up that Kathleen Kavalec, who was briefing allies on possible Russian tampering in their elections, had also met with Steele several times before the 2016 election. Ohr said that she said Steele’s reporting was generated mainly from [redacted]; which either pertains to a named source or from a reporting source.

February 14

This was mostly a follow-up reporting on a February 11 FaceTime chat with Steele, though Steele described working for two attorneys, one of whom appears to be redacted as part of an ongoing investigation in Ohr’s notes (PDF 37).

Ohr told the FBI he had not yet asked Steele if he’d be comfortable working through an FBI agent.

Note: There are March WhatsApp texts and written notes Ohr took with no corresponding 302. They pertain to Steele’s concerns about Congressional inquiries.

May 8

Ohr reported on a May 3 WhatsApp call with Steele, in which he expressed concerns about Congress’ scrutiny of his role. Steele also told Ohr that Simpson would be heading over to the UK soon and was lawyering up. But he still offered additional information to the FBI, if it was interested. Note, this is the first 302 where a normal listing of both interviewers is used, though there are indications elsewhere that the Agent was accompanied by someone else.

May 12

Ohr reports on a May 10 WhatsApp call in which Steele tells him the Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking information. The FBI asks Ohr to ask if Steele is willing to “have a conversation” with FBI agents in the UK, and Ohr agrees to pass it on.

May 15

After meeting with the FBI on May 12, Ohr contacted Steele to find out whether he’d be willing to talk to the FBI — “nothing more than a conversation with the FBI;” three days alter he said he would.

Steele also said he had information on a conversation between two people.

Update, 12/21/19: Removed Bill Priestap’s name per DOJ IG Report.

84 replies
    • J R in WV says:

      More fabulous work!

      I do want to point out that Priestap, or Pristap, or however the person’s name is really actually spelled, is spelled differently every other mention in this article… Perhaps an edit for consistency and accuracy on this name should be done?

  1. Jenny says:

    Thanks Marcy for putting the puzzle pieces together.
    Interesting penmanship. Challenging to read.

  2. Nehoa says:

    Sometimes looking at an issue from a different perspective leads to some interesting thoughts. When I look at what Putin and his allies have been doing, I think not just about them as Russians, but as people who have a lot of dirty money to hide outside of Russia. They do not want sanctions, and they do not want scrutiny of where their wealth is located.
    Supporting Brexit through Aaron Banks was intended to keep London out of the ever-tightening control of the EU. Supporting Trump offered an opportunity to get the U.S. sanctions lifted. Trump tried as soon as he was sworn in, but Congress stopped him. One thing he has been successful at is getting rid of Russia-related organized crime people at the DOJ and FBI. Why would he be going after Our if someone hadn’t asked him to? I doubt that he would even know his name if someone did not give it to him.
    While there are many reasons Trump would be fighting investigation into Russia matters, his efforts against key law enforcement people with deep Russian crime experience has been much more focused and effective than normal for him. Just saying…

  3. Frank Probst says:

    Recurring complaint about the FBI and 302s: Record your damn interviews. At some point, the government is going to lose a big case because a jury has to rely on someone’s chicken-scratch handwritten notes instead of a recording. I’m surprised that this isn’t brought up in every single case that relies on a 302. “Where’s the tape?” “It’s against FBI policy to preserve the most basic form of evidence that we collect.” “Um, could you run that by me again, please?”

    • P J Evans says:

      True: it isn’t the 1930s, and there are multiple ways to record interviews now, so that interviewers who haven’t learned shorthand – or have poor handwriting, like so many of us – don’t lose stuff that’s important. (J Edgar died *how many* years back? They should have gotten used to technology by now. Even my parents, born around 1920, learned to use computers.)

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    News reports are that Jeffrey Epstein is dead, “by suicide,” “found unresponsive in his cell.” Presumably, the lapse of security will be thoroughly investigated.

    Epstein was a debauched friend of the great and good for decades. He sold himself as knowing a lot about their money and how they could avoid paying taxes on it.

    A Talking Epstein would have been nobody’s friend. I would like to think that’s unrelated to a death as convenient as Frank Pentangeli’s.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The MSM is breathlessly normalizing over Epstein’s “suicide.” Death was called sometime after 7.00 am today. Neither the autopsy nor the investigation have been done. Medical and legal conclusions about cause of death are premature.

      Scores of the world’s rich, famous, and powerful had much to fear from a talking Jeffrey Epstein. His death was a godsend to them.

      Epstein’s criminal prosecution dies along with him. But the investigation will already have disclosed leads about many other crimes. Those should be investigated.

      And as Lisa Bloom says on MSNBC, legitimate civil suits against Epstein’s estate are still viable.

      • Bobby Gladd says:

        In a sign of reverent respect, Trump has ordered the flags at all 18 greens at Doral and the clubhouse at Mar a Lago flown at half-staff in the wake of the Epstein Suicide.

      • Democritus says:

        Agree the investigations *must* continue.

        And while it is fishy timing at the same time all of Epstein’s crimes, lies, and fantasies of grandeur, with his own Epstein race bred in NM, finally caught up to him yesterday when everything started getting released. I hope they investigate how he was able to do this also.

        Tons of Crazy shit was in the stuff that was released yesterday, I read through enough of it to know that at least. Exhibit OO in particular I think? Anyway I didn’t need to read through the rest of it for my own mental health.

        I’ll leave that to the experts.

      • Democritus says:

        I’d forgotten about how Barr, *in contrivance of normal procedure*, intervened In where Epstein was being held. But, yeah this smells a bit more fishy to me now.

        “I’m not going to jump into the conspiracy theories already flying, but it’s worthwhile pointing out that the cabinet official ultimately responsible for the custody of Jeffrey Epstein was William Barr.”

        • Jenny says:

          The stinky plot thickens. So much more to be revealed …

          “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.” — Donald J. Trump, speaking of his good friend Jeffrey Epstein, 2002.

  5. Savage Librarian says:

    DT, a DT

    D for Donald time
    O for Organized crime
    M for McConnell’s mime
    E for Evasive grime
    S for Stealing your dime
    T for Trump on prime
    I for Icing and lime
    C for Corrosive slime

    T for Tweeting scorn
    E for Everything shorn
    R for Revealing porn
    R for Russian warn
    O for Obstruct, suborn
    R for Rights once sworn
    I for Independence torn
    S for Subpoenas’ thorn
    T for Totality forlorn

    • bmaz says:

      Just a reminder that there is no such crime, and there is no need for there to be one. The criminal law is plenty sufficient already.

      • Democritus says:

        Hey, your up! I have NO knowledge of criminal procedures, jail and so forth.

        How often are high value targets/witnesses able to kill themselves?

        Is it unusual?

        My first thought was just to be glad for his victims that may be just a little less afraid, a little more at peace, but my second thought was how is this going to impact their search for justice and to bring the other people who traffic them to account.

        • bmaz says:

          Unusual? Yes. Unheard of? Nope. It happens. There was certainly a breakdown in the preventative measures at MCC though.

          For all those imagineering conspiracy theories though, I would hold off.

          • Stephen says:

            The one thing that smells fishy about this particular suicide is that the man had made an earlier attempt within the last 3 weeks. After an inmate attempts suicide, s/he is an obvious risk and is routinely put on some form of suicide watch. This can mean isolation with no means in the cell, 24/7 observation, or rooming with a stable “buddy” combined with camera observation. I’m sure there are many cases where precautions aren’t taken seriously enough, but that isn’t going to happen with a prominent citizen in a high-profile case. Not saying he was “offed,” or that the prison authorities opted to leave him to his own devices in “hope” that he would end it, but at minimum somebody dropped a very big ball.

          • P J Evans says:

            Elseweb someone said he’d been taken *off* suicide watch. But no source was given.
            That kind of action should involve documentation, including an evaluation by doctors.

            • J R in WV says:

              Doctors, now?!!!

              Free health care for alleged criminals, now??? Soon it will be for everyone, and we can’t have that, can we????

              Prison shouldn’t be socialist turf is all I’m sayin’!


          • Democritus says:

            Thanks, I was also trying to determine that. I’ll save my energies for elsewhere.

            This is going to need to be a matter where we walk and chew gum at the same time, and we don’t let the Epstein take over and shadow trump’s crimes that call for impeachment, or Trumps incitement of violence against minority Americans.

            Impeachment MUST be our first priority.

            I will say I didn’t realize until know the George Mitchell was who he was, and his vulnerability to blackmail raises concerns for me after seeing his wiki.


            BC saying 1 person is saying he was just taken off suicide watch.

          • BobCon says:

            For all we know it was just a baked in bias by prison officials that white collar guys like Epstein don’t need watching.

      • BobCon says:

        The feds have a lot of power to investigate now, but they’re spending enormous resources instead pretending Black Lives Matter activists are the problem.

        I’m also extremely wary of the possibility that labelling white supremacists as domestic terrorists is a wedge to shifting the media focus to amorphous talk about domestic terrorism in general.

        That kind of focus always gets turned against peaceful liberal activists and somehow heavily armed thugs slip by.

      • HanTran says:

        bmaz. As I understand it the tools the FBI has to investigate foreign-linked terrorism are stronger (more invasive in terms of privacy protection) than those available for domestic terrorism. It is arguable that there may be a need for “such a crime”. Or conversely the privacy invasion available for foreign-linked terrorism should perhaps be weakened…which did you mean?

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nycsouthpaw notes that the MSM disagrees over whether Epstein was on suicide watch. CBS says he was, NBC says not. []

    Former fed prosecutor Cynthia Kouril notes that if Epstein was in a Special Housing Unit (SHU), he would Not have been on suicide watch. The protocol in federal prisons is to place an inmate on suicide watch in a special cell. []

    Kouril also asks a good question: “Wouldn’t they put him back on suicide watch on the day the sealed documents are released and he is humiliated worldwide?”

    One would think. For that and an obvious concern we’ve talked about here. Scores of the high and mighty worldwide had reason to feel threatened by Epstein in prison and willing to talk to the feds. It seems likely Epstein would have feared that some of them had the means, motive and opportunity to attack him anywhere.

    Apart from royalty, presidents, and billionaires, for example, other unsavory former clients included African dictators. Epstein apparently sometimes worked for them, trying to trace large amounts embezzled by their predecessors and placed in offshore secrecy/tax havens. As a “high-level bounty hunter,”

    Sometimes…he worked…to recover money looted by African dictators. Other times those dictators hired him to help them hide their stolen money.


    That Paul Manafort-like exposure to former clients would put many people in reasonable fear for their life, and force them to consider an easier way out. It is one more reason that Epstein should have been on suicide watch.

  7. Jenny says:

    NEW: AG Barr statement on #Epstein

    Statement for Attorney General William P. Barr On the Death of Jeffrey Epstein

    WASHINGTON – Attorney General issued the following statement:
    “I was appalled to learn Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody. Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered. In addition to the FBI’s investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein’s death.”

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, that may or may not be right. In a designated suicide watch cell, maybe. Back in regular SHU, not so sure of that. Definitely hallway and control video, which would show the status checks, but maybe not consistent cell video.

    • Jenny says:

      Sen Ben Sasse write letter to Barr

      Sasse tells AG that ‘heads must roll’ over Epstein treatment in federal custody

      “Every single person in the Justice Department — from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer — knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him,” he added.

      “Given Epstein’s previous attempted suicide, he should have been locked in a padded room under unbroken, 24/7, constant surveillance. Obviously, heads must roll,” he wrote.

    • Jenny says:

      Statement Of Manhattan U.S. Attorney On The Death Of Defendant Jeffrey Epstein
      Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Earlier this morning, the Manhattan Correctional Center confirmed that Jeffrey Epstein, who faced charges brought by this Office of engaging in the sex trafficking of minors, had been found unresponsive in his cell and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter of an apparent suicide. Today’s events are disturbing, and we are deeply aware of their potential to present yet another hurdle to giving Epstein’s many victims their day in Court. To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment – which included a conspiracy count – remains ongoing.
      We continue to urge anyone who feels they may be a victim or have information related to the conduct in this case to please contact 1-800- CALL FBI.”

      • Democritus says:

        Good. If I am remembering correcting I was impressed with him, but especially the FBI agent that was there. THAT guy I just want to find and let him know he is damn good man. Rarely have I heard people stick up for victims like that, explaining that often victims of such crimes can have troubles later but that in no way lessens the offenses against them.

        That guy I remember. What a fucking insane timeline.

      • bmaz says:

        Heh, sure Geoff.

        Seriously, the premature shit getting thrown around is insane. Berman’s press release, that he almost certainly did not even write, does not mean squat.

        People need to slow the roll quite a bit and wait for more complete facts. Almost nobody clacking knows shit about detention facilities, their special management/segregated protocols, or anything else, much less the facts from the autopsy, control log evidence, medical logs and any video monitoring.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          As you said on social media, the idea that friends and acquaintances of Jeffrey Epstein are going to come out of the woodwork in hopes of testifying or going on the record about his alleged crimes is nutz

          They are going to stay in the woodwork, as far under the radar as possible. They will go on about their business as if he had never existed.

          The high and mighty, with a sigh of relief and unchanged habits. The working stiffs, glad not to be further exposed. Epstein can’t hurt them now (although his records might). But he was not the only spider in the web, and he might have been among the least venomous.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              “It’s out there,” Cokie Roberts would argue. In her view, that makes repeating the canard fair game, not acting irresponsibly, which is what it is. Plus, it doesn’t say much about the competence of Trump’s White DoJ or its BoP.

              Trump will put anything in the water to muddy it up. (Always good to assume it’s not ice in a Trump punchbowl.) Time to worry is when Bill Barr assigns a prosecutor to look into it.

                  • klynn says:

                    I’m “alleging” that his unfortunate views on justice just happen to have dropped publicly the day before the first round of documents on Epstein and 2 days before his suicide. His views overlaid on these events make me skeptical that he’s even remotely interested in pursuing the rights of the victims because “his” kind of justice is essentially complete no matter what caused Epstein’s death. He’s the AG and he should never have dropped those pop culture viewpoints as a near approving endorsement of carrying out personal vengeance as an approving form of carrying out justice. Now the interview, for me personally, has a “confessional” quality when I listened a second time. Additionally, he should recuse himself from all things Epstein. After reading a number of interviews of former students, his dad’s career sounds like it was negatively impacted by Ep.

  8. rattlemullet says:

    Social media, facebook and twitter, spreads lies faster than a wind blown range fire. To me they seem to encourage and facilitate lies that become hard to beat back into a fact driven conversation. I assume there is no way to control the disinformation that they spread. It would not surprise me one bit to think that just a massive ad purchase spreading known lies by any political group with enough cash could swing enough votes to turn an election in a closing divided society of low information voters.

    • Rayne says:

      Wow, you are going to be surprised when you get around to reading the Special Counsel’s indictment of the Russian Internet Research Agency.

    • harpie says:

      Social media, facebook and twitter, DON’T spread lies.
      People who abuse social media, facebook and twitter spread lies.

      • rattlemullet says:

        Just like guns don’t kill people, people who use guns kill people. Gee, I wonder about the common denominator

        • P J Evans says:

          Right-wing political views. And many fewer guns would be an excellent start to fixing the problems.

          • rattlemullet says:

            Yes, I agree whole heartedly about the guns! Also if a lot less people used twitter and facebook, I do not use either, they may become a better quality venue of communication. Sadly, it will not, the RWNJ, are very angry prone to screaming and shooting. Hence the CAPS.

  9. Democritus says:

    Thread on Epstein connections,( sorry if it’s already been shared here lately Ive reading around so much I have a hard time tracking what’s been where)

    Here is something with Ivanka:

    That feed also linked this


    “In case you missed Part One in this unexpected series, I got into how Epstein & Trump shared a mentor & personal financier, respectively.
    Al “Ace” Greenberg, Chairman of Bear Stearns.
    He poured 100s of millions into Trump Org starting back in the ’80s.”

  10. mospeck says:

    As bad as this stuff is–and it is really bad–with Epstein sex trafficking young girls both to himself and the upper crust oligarchs who just had him whacked.. and the horror show of wackos with assault rifles regularly killing unarmed civvies ..Trump trying to get rid of all the George Smileys in US Intel (the Gordons, Orrs, Strocks..) Those low key folks who are chasing the money, making the perp boards and checking on the Russians– is way worse. I could be wrong, but way I figure is that modern times has got us into some sort of a 3 card monte.
    btw if you’ve never played one or watched one, they’re a lot of fun :)

    • mospeck says:

      trust you guys (EW, bmaz, Rayne) to tell me what I’m doing wrong. Obviously, you know that I’m mainly all in with the NatSec.

      • P J Evans says:

        There are a lot of people who prefer CT to reality in this case. It’s much more comforting, or something.

        • mospeck says:

          sry, it’s not much more comforting to me. Was just an odds calc. Should not have said anything about the Epstein case. Not a lawyer and don’t know what I’m talking about concerning that. My point was not well made. Mainly worried about the why and wherefore of Sue Gordon getting the ax.

          • Rayne says:

            That. Enough power to knock off a so-called billionaire pedo in jail but not enough power to swing 10K votes in Michigan.


            • Democritus says:

              That. Same thing with Strozk and the fbi what there was some huge conspiracy to take out trump?

              Um no, if they wanted to take out Trump all they had to do is go talk to the press and mention the investigation- these people have no sense.


        • AitchD says:

          Has Epstein been spotted at Graceland yet?

          I first spotted him in Woody Allen’s (and Marshall Brickman’s) Annie Hall (1977), the Tony Roberts character, who brags, “Sixteen-year-old twins…. “Imagine the mathematical possibilities”.

          If this past December’s story is truthful (, it happens that the 17-year-old Dalton School senior Tracy character in Allen’s (and Brickman’s) Manhattan (1979) corresponds to an actual aspiring model or a composite of his liaisons, a Tracy type, one who became Epstein’s personal assistant after the affair had ended.

          Many years later he shows up in Eyes Wide Shut (1998).

          Dershowitz has his defense if he needs it, an open and shut case of mistaken identity.

  11. Democritus says:

    Why the Left Can’t Stand The New York Times

    “Recently, however, Fukuyamism has taken a serious blow. The past presidential election was a shock to nearly everyone whose job it was to predict its outcome, and both the Bernie and Trump upsets prove that we have not, as Fukuyama predicted, reached “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution.” The idea of the “End of History” lost credibility with anyone paying attention to skyrocketing wealth inequality and political unrest, and it’s pretty clear that the world remains a raging battle between the haves and have-nots. Karl Marx knew it, your average Detroit autoworker certainly knows it, and Edward Luce of FT knows it. Even Fukuyama himself acknowledges the instability of the American liberal political trajectory, proclaiming, “Socialism ought to come back.” David Brooks, on the other hand. . .”

    Thought I’d share, though I wish 5he article was a wee less Bernie centered, but the ideas were interesting none the less.

  12. CD54 says:

    Re: Epstein: Oh come on! Anybody who’s seen movies knows the way to “get rid” of a problem is to pull back the monitors and let the guy go through with it. Total set-up.

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