John Durham Chose to Meet with John Ratcliffe Rather than Witnesses Necessary to His Investigation

The evidence continues to mount that John Durham has done an epically incompetent investigation. I’ll pull together all that evidence later this week.

But one that I find hilarious and shocking can’t wait.

A piece written by the Fox News propagandist who played a key role in magnifying Kash Patel’s false claims over the weekend credulously continues the Murdoch effort to jack up the frothers by claiming that — rather than letting statutes of limitation expire with no charges — Durham has instead sped up his investigation. Fox also cites a single source claiming that Durham’s investigation has been run very professionally.

Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation has “accelerated,” and more people are “cooperating” and coming before the federal grand jury than has previously been reported, a source familiar with the probe told Fox News.

The source told Fox News Monday that Durham has run his investigation “very professionally,” and, unlike Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, his activities, and witness information and cooperation status are rarely, if ever, leaked.

Fox unsurprisingly doesn’t cite the part of a recent filing that makes it clear that April Lorenzen doesn’t think it has been run professionally.

In fact, this piece demonstrates that no one who would actually know whether Durham’s investigation has been conducted professionally would talk to them:

Durham’s Feb. 11 filing says that the “FBI General Counsel” will “likely be a central witness at trial.”

Baker did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Durham also provided grand jury testimony from “the above-referenced former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence.” It is unclear to which official Durham is referring, but the title could be a reference to Bill Priestap, who served as the FBI’s assistant director for counterintelligence from 2015 to 2018.

Priestap did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Durham also lists “a former FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence.” It is unclear to whom Durham is referring.


Strzok, who was part of the original FBI investigation into whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, and later in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, was fired from the FBI in 2018 after months of scrutiny regarding anti-Trump text messages exchanged with former FBI General Counsel Lisa Page. Their anti-Trump text messages were uncovered by the Justice Department inspector general.

Fox News was unable to reach Strzok for comment.


Elias’ law firm, Perkins Coie, is the firm that the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign funded the anti-Trump dossier through. The unverified dossier was authored by ex-British Intelligence agent Christopher Steele and commissioned by opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

A spokesperson for Elias did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. [my emphasis]

But somebody who would speak with Fox News is John Ratcliffe, the former AUSA who misrepresented his record to get elected but who nevertheless got to be Director of National Intelligence for a short period because Ric Grenell was so much more unsuited to hold the position.

As DNI, Ratcliffe made false claims about Chinese intervention in the election as a way to downplay Russia’s ongoing efforts to help Trump. Ratcliffe is currently spending a lot of time denying that his politicized views (and delay of) a mandated election interference report played some role in January 6 conspiracy theories.

We now know that Ratcliffe should be happy to make those denials to the January 6 Committee directly and under oath — because he has apparently been very happy to chat with Durham’s investigators.

Meanwhile, this week, sources told Fox News that former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe met with Durham on multiple occasions and told him there was evidence in intelligence to support the indictments of “multiple people” in his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe.

Ratcliffe’s meetings with Durham are significant (beyond suggesting he may be the single source who told Fox News this isn’t a shitshow investigation) because, days before Billy Barr made Durham a Special Counsel, Ratcliffe unmasked Hillary’s identity in foreign intercepts and burned collection on Russian internal intelligence analysis in order to release a report trying to insinuate that Hillary’s fairly unsurprising decision to tie Trump to Russia is what led the FBI to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia.

At issue is a report from John Ratcliffe, sent on September 29, 2020, explaining that,

In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee. The IC does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.

The following week, presumably in an attempt to dredge up some kind of attack out of an absurd attack, Ratcliffe released the underlying reports that, he claimed in his original report, show the following:

According to his handwritten notes, former Central Intelligence Agency Director Brennan subsequently briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including the “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”

On 07 September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forward an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding “U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.”

By releasing the exhibits, Ratcliffe should raise real questions about his credibility. For example, I’m not at all sure this date, from Brennan’s notes, reads July 26 and not July 28, a critical difference for a ton of reasons.

The FBI report has a slew of boilerplate making it clear how sensitive this report was (for obvious reasons; effectively it shows that the CIA had some kind of visibility into Russian intelligence analysis), which makes it clear how utterly unprecedented this desperate declassification is. Former CIA lawyer Brian Greer discusses that in this Lawfare post.

Plus, Ratcliffe left out an unbelievably important part of the report: the role of Guccifer 2.0 in the Russian report. Intelligence collected in late July 2016 claimed that Hillary was going to work her alleged smear around neither the GRU (which had already been identified as the perpetrator of the DNC hack) nor WikiLeaks (which had released the DNC files, to overt celebration by the Trump campaign), but Guccifer 2.0, who looked to be a minor cut-out in late July 2016 (when this intelligence was collected), but who looked a lot more important once Roger Stone’s overt and covert communications with Guccifer 2.0 became public weeks later.

The report suggests Hillary magically predicted that days after this plot, President Trump’s rat-fucker would start a year’s long campaign running interference for Guccifer 2.0. Not only did Hillary successfully go back and trick George Papadopoulos into drunkenly bragging about Russian dangles in May 2016, then, Hillary also instantaneously tricked Stone into writing propaganda for Guccifer 2.0 days later.

The report never made any sense. As I noted at the time, to be true, it would require Hillary to have gone back in time to trick the Coffee Boy to learn of and pass on Russia’s plans. Worse still, the claim suggested that Roger Stone — whom FBI has evidence was in contact with the Guccifer 2.0 persona starting in spring 2016 — started parroting the same line the Russians were pushing, even before the FBI learned of it. In other words, read in conjunction with the actual evidence about 2016, the intelligence report on Russia actually suggested that Stone’s ties to Russian intelligence may have been far more direct than imagined.

But John Ratcliffe was too stupid to understand that, and everything we’ve seen about John Durham suggests he is too. That Durham has been repeatedly interviewing Ratcliffe suggests he buys Ratcliffe’s theory that this should have undermined the very real reason to investigate Trump. It also explains why, on the Sussmann indictment, Durham was so squishy about the July 2016 timeline: he needs this report to be more important than the fact that Trump stood up in public and asked Russia to hack some more (which is what led the researchers to look twice at this anomalous data).

Nevertheless, it appears that rather than interviewing witnesses who would be necessary to vet the charges he filed against Michael Sussmann, such as a single Hillary staffer, Durham has, instead, just kept going back to serial liars like Ratcliffe to renew his own conspiracy theories.

Ah well, this disclosure gives Michael Sussmann cause to subpoena Ratcliffe, just like this stunt has given him reason to subpoena Kash Patel. It’s increasingly clear that these addle-brained Republicans fed these conspiracies into Durham’s investigation, and now are magnifying them as Durham’s investigation gets exposed as incompetent, without disclosing that they’re the ones who provided the conspiracy theories in the first place.

109 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    What does it say about Durham and his investigation that someone putting the word out that you’re doing a very smooth professional job will not allow their own name to be used?

    • BobCon says:

      One of the signs of hack journalists (to be fair, there are a ton of them besides just Fox) is how happily they settle for background sources.

      They like the unearned suggestion of authority that comes from vague attributions.

  2. Tim says:

    Durham trying to hang on until 24? Can he milk another 1000 days of looking out the window and wondering where he’ll go for lunch?

  3. Patient Observer says:

    Is it that they are truly stupid, or that they are experts at propaganda?

    Seems to me that from the jump the Durham investigation was meant to do only what it has done and continues to do: raise flashy objects for the mob to rage about, under cover of it being official and therefore competent and meaningful.

    No one on team propaganda had any interest in a competent and meaningful investigation. They new full well that there was no damning truth to uncover. It was only ever meant to generate more shit to spray from the firehose.

    • Fortunato says:

      “more shit to spray from the firehose.”

      Sedition via Obfuscation: 101
      Feb 6 2020, Vox
      “Flood the zone with shit”: How misinformation overwhelmed our democracy’s the consequence of a deliberate strategy. It was distilled almost perfectly by Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News and chief strategist for Donald Trump. “The Democrats don’t matter,” Bannon reportedly said in 2018. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”

    • Rugger9 says:

      I’ve mentioned that the publicity is the point, not the prosecution. While Durham is shielded from consequences, Kash Patel and Ratcliffe both deliberately contributed false reports that led to Sussman being prosecuted by Durham.

      That cause and effect is probably not covered by prosecutorial immunity, indeed these reports might become false statements charges in their own right (it’s what sent Martha Stewart to jail) and I would think Sussman can get some traction on a libel suit since he clearly has a tort to pursue with his legal fees and damaged reputation.

      However, IANAL and it might be worth a summary at the end of the week or so regarding what Sussman can do. FWIW, I think Sussman will get his dismissal if he files for it. Whether the judge tacks on some sanctions or Kobach-style remedial training would be a bonus. Even though Durham’s 72 he doesn’t have to retire and I would suspect most lawyers would prefer to retain their Bar license for social as well as employment reasons.

    • JohnForde says:

      I know Marcy’s PhD in comparative literature is real. Her thesis was on ‘feuilleton’.
      But I am pretty sure her leqal degree referred to in this Raw Story article is only imaginary.

      • Peterr says:

        Yes. But if you read Marcy for any length of time, it is plausible to believe that she has a law degree.

        Then, on the other hand, there are more than a few lawyers that Marcy writes about where you have to ask “Did they *really* get a law degree from somewhere?”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Brookings Institution’s Benjamin Wittes is considered an expert legal commentator. He is a senior fellow at Brookings, a director of its joint program with Harvard Law School on law and national security, a director of a similar program at the Hoover Institute, and currently a lecturer at HLS. He has a BA from Oberlin.

        I would put Marcy’s knowledge of criminal and national security law and procedure well ahead of the establishment neocon’s Mr. Wittes. Her organizational and research skills I would rank much higher.

        • phred says:

          Indeed. I would argue her comparative lit degree is why she is so much better at deriving significant meaning from a close reading of detailed information than so many others, including both lawyers and journalists.

      • Leoghann says:

        There’s a lot to be said for a professional education that the person was so interested in, and so dedicated to, that they looked for and found the information, studied it, and learned it. It’s not that common anymore, but it still exists, and Marcy is proof.

      • JamesJoyce says:


        Having a law degree is a moral imperative in order to be correct on the merits while highlighting “the stupid?

        EW provides legal neutering lesson to the legal “Nutz,” loose on law like a main sheet with sail about to jibe…

        Keep you head low…
        Your Nutz, even lower..

        Who needs the thought control, children?

    • harpie says:

      In case anyone would rather read the interview, I put a TRANSCRIPT at the previous post. I’ll link here when it’s out of moderation.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      In this age of twitter, FB, and Wordle, you would think there would be something called a “word-print.” Like a fingerprint, it leaves a discernible impression which has the potential to be traced back to a source.

      Sometimes they can be confused with coincidence. But sometimes, through the slip of a tongue, a furrow in a brow, a slight nod or wink, they reveal an original source other than the current purveyor.

      And sometimes these word-prints lead right back to emptywheel. For quite some time it has been clear to me (and to other emptywheelers) that a variety of people read this blog. It is evident in their use of words and concepts. These people include members from all walks of life: news/media, entertainment, publishing, politics, law, government, etc.

      Yet, they have rarely, if ever, credited Marcy and emptywheel. It makes me wonder if they do their part in financially supporting the blog. If not, it’s never too late to start.

      So, it was rewarding to see Marcy give voice to truths in the broader setting of TV news. Thanks, Joe and Mika. Now maybe some of those other renown lurkers will start stepping up to give Marcy the credit she deserves.

      • Reader 21 says:

        Well said! I just watched the clip after reading the transcript—thanks to those who shared!—Marcy was outstanding, as per usual! Glad to see Joe and Mika give her proper credit as well, that was great and well-deserved.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        SL, you just described my career: searching for, defining, and creating individual “wordprints,” or what fiction writers (where I started) call voice. Like you, I have found traces of Dr. Wheeler’s work in others’ products–almost always uncredited. It is that latter fact that makes me crazy. I’ve been on the receiving end of such theft myself, from plagiarism to going unmentioned as a co-author. I think we need to point such instances out in comments sections (where comments are allowed) and identify Marcy Wheeler/EW as the expert whose work has been exploited.

    • arbusto says:

      Surely Marcy qualifies for The Bar via OJT (bmax certifying thereto) or at least an honorary Paralegal AA.

  4. PeterS says:

    Is there any significance to the term “full-time” in this bit of the Sussmann filing:

    “but it was not until November 2021—two months after Mr. Sussmann was indicted—that the Special Counsel bothered to interview any individual who worked full-time for that [Clinton] Campaign to determine if that allegation was true”?

    • John Paul Jones says:

      I think all it means is that the one person whom they did interview happened to be a full-time staff member. In other words, it underlines the “one,” not the linkage to the campaign per se.

      • Peterr says:

        Sussman’s team is making the point that if you were investigating this as a broad conspiracy developed by the Clinton campaign as a matter of official (if illegal) campaign strategy, a reasonable investigator would interview a bunch of the full-time official staffers of that campaign.

        And a reasonable investigator would do so in a timely manner.

        • PeterS says:

          Oh, absolutely. I was just curious if we knew no part time staffers had previously been interviewed (I’m not sure if part time staffers are even a thing).

  5. earthworm says:

    How does it work if the tfg makes claims “these people should be put to death,” and a RWNJ takes that as a literal “order” and assassinates one or more of them?
    how is the tfg guilty or culpable? can he just go around spewing like that without consequences?
    do any of these people, who now become targets, get police protection?
    How do roger stone/ABJ, and the Palin libel case against NYT, relate to this?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      C&L’s Susie Madrak, of all people, needs to stop referring to Dr. Wheeler as a “blogger” and start calling her a journalist. Period. Thanks very much.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Absolutely, Earl. But I would push harder: yes, she *is* a journalist, but she is also a national security expert. Few of us journos can boast a depth of expertise in specific subject matter. Those who can are typically recognized as such (e.g., Julia Ioffe, Nate Silver, Radley Balko).

  6. Thegazpachopolice says:

    Take a look at the prosecutor signing the filings. Andrew DeFilippis is a FedSoc guy and ardent Trump supporter and Hillary hater. He also ran that SDNY prosecution that resulted in a court-ordered investigation into prosecutorial misconduct before leaving to work on his wet dream of taking down Hillary Clinton.

  7. Duke says:

    Trump and the minions may indeed be very stupid but, their ill intent surpasses their stupidity.

    Trump was a minion himself until he went rogue.

  8. mospeck says:

    Marcy, you were great on Joe. Also, hilarious :) Steele had to get serious for his seg, but he could not stop laughing. How do hacks like Durham get to be JD prosecutors to begin with?

    • J R in WV says:

      “How do hacks like Durham get to be JD [DoJ] prosecutors to begin with?”

      Hired by other previously appointed RWNJ hacks in senior positions would be my guess…

  9. harpie says:

    Six new subpoenas from J6 Committee:
    4:48 PM · Feb 15, 2022

    The Select Committee demands info on efforts to send false “alternate electors” and otherwise interfere with election certification.

    The Select Committee issued 6 subpoenas:
    •Michael A. Roman // •Gary Michael Brown // •Douglas V. Mastriano // •Laura Cox // •Mark W. Finchem // •Kelli Ward

    • P J Evans says:

      I recognize three of those names. Those who are elected officials should be reconsidering their career choices.

    • BobCon says:

      I hope one of the lessons that the Mazars conveys to these dopes is that stonewalling on Trump’s behalf does you no favors.

      And on top of that, it should be clearer to them that good investigators don’t issue subpoenas until doors are about to close for you, and they may well have lost a lot of bargaining power they thought they had.

      The prisoner’s dilemma gets a lot more fraught with six people in the mix. They had better hope their attorneys aren’t Toensing types with their own agendas.

    • Eureka says:

      Michael Roman appears to be a long-time high-grade rat-effer (in the middle on a scale of Stone to McGahn) who’s slipping under the radar some. [Unless CH did a follow-up thread, there’s no info on him there.]

      Belatedly trying to get this in quickly before this page closes. Info sources on the Philadelphia native:

      (1) @mrspanstreppon — been at it for years, see up and down this older thread but put a pin in this one/adjacent re Canadian activities (too!):

      (2) Will Bunch — article October 13, 2020. Via a current 2/15/2022 thread:

      (3) check out this selfie (and cf. link #1)

      [hashtag I am omitting; two photos: first with, second of, a truck rig with a Quebec license plate]
      6:59 AM · Feb 15, 2022

      • Eureka says:

        A voter-fraud-alleging careerist, if you will, he’s been involved with serious US election events back to 1993; 2008 re the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia, which helped to set Trump’s narrative (and plot points; all the familiar elements pop up) for 2016, 2020. He also worked on Rudy’s campaign in 2004 (beside’s W’s and McCain’s). [See Bunch 2020 for details.]

        He has a history of Koch-backed work, transitioning from their payroll (to Trump 2016 campaign) to ours. (Back on Election Day 2020, I shared that Koch-affiliated operatives were pushing stopthesteal live on the ground in Philadelphia and via the hashtag. I don’t have that thread handy atm but as much as sts is a nationwide ratfuck, on that day they used Philadelphia as their virality center/ booster topic.)

      • Eureka says:

        (4) On his mystery/loyalist job reporting to Don McGahn during early 45. His office was in the *Eisenhower Executive Office Building; we paid him 115k/y:

        The mysterious oppo researcher working in the White House lawyer’s office
        Michael Roman, best known as a shadowy operative who oversaw a research unit for the Koch network, now occupies an unusual and undefined role in the Trump administration.
        By NANCY COOK 02/11/2018 06:04 PM EST Updated 02/11/2018 10:15 PM EST

        “Within the research world, he cultivates this ‘man of the world’ mystery,” said one former administration official. “Like, he was the guy who you would talk to if you want to find a Hungarian hacker in Hong Kong.”


        Election monitoring, concerns about voter fraud and Election Day poll monitoring have long been a passion of Roman’s and the primary focus of his blog, with entries dating as far back as 2008. “If an election is worth winning, then there is someone willing to steal it,” Roman wrote in one introductory post.

        Roman also attracted notice a decade ago for disseminating a 2008 YouTube video showing two members of the New Black Panther Party, dressed in black with berets and one carrying a nightstick, milling around a North Philadelphia polling station — a video that ended up being played on a loop on the Fox News Network that year, personifying conservative fears about voter intimidation.

        “The video was certainly used by political operatives to create this false impression of voter intimidation and fraud being a major problem,” said Rick Hasen, a professor who specializes in election law at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. “Even today, people will say, ‘What about the New Black Panthers?’ They really are a nonentity.”

        *mention this coincidence because of Kash Patel’s overly-specific claims about this building:

        • Eureka says:

          Immediately preceding the Hungarian hacker in Hong Kong para. quote, on his apparently unusual role:

          Some said Roman is vetting special appointees by checking their social media footprints and financial backgrounds. A handful of people described Roman as McGahn’s researcher, while one described him as a “loyal soldier” to McGahn. Another characterized his work in the office as opposition research, but could not specify what precisely that entailed. One White House official said he was heavily involved in extensively researching the background of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was selected a year ago.

  10. Spencer Dawkins says:

    “But one that I find hilarious and shocking can’t wait.”

    Dr. Wheeler, you absolutely deserved the chance to write this post immediately.

    Thank you for sharing your enjoyment with the rest of us.

    • Reader 21 says:

      Well said! I just watched the clip after reading the transcript—thanks to those who shared!—Marcy was outstanding, as per usual! Glad to see Joe and Mika give her proper credit as well, that was great and well-deserved.

      • Reader 21 says:

        Apologies, meant to post up thread as thanks for sharing the Joe and Mika clip, and transcript —my bad.

  11. Ed Walker says:

    It’s sad but true that Marcy controlled the notorious potty mouth, but the steady refrain of “Trump wants people killed” was a fabulous replacement.

  12. Leoghann says:

    As if today’s video appearance wasn’t enough (and it’s not, really), Marcy has also been getting mentions in print media, including in two pieces this week in the Washington Post.

    Yesterday, Philip Bump gave a very clear and accurate explanation of the current state of the Durham mess, in “Why Trump Is Once Again Claiming that He Was Spied Upon in 2016.” He credits Marcy by name, twice, and links to two separate posts here.

    Last year, Durham unveiled an indictment against an attorney named Michael Sussman centered on the Alfa Bank rumor. Durham claimed that Sussman had lied to an FBI official in September 2016 when trying to get the FBI to investigate the connection, saying he was not working for a specific client as he offered the tip. The allegation is that this was a false statement of the sort that tripped up various Trump allies during the Russia probe: that Sussman was, in fact, working for the campaign of Hillary Clinton. As journalist Marcy Wheeler has written, the criminal case is not terribly strong.
    The theory behind the Alfa Bank rumor is complicated. Sussman’s law firm, Perkins Coie, had been retained by Clinton’s campaign (leading it, separately, to engage the investigative firm Fusion GPS that later generated the infamous dossier of reports alleging a more robust connection between Russia and Trump’s team). An unidentified individual first noticed traffic between the Trump server and the Russian bank and brought it to an executive at a technology firm who had retained Perkins Coie and was working with Sussman. (Wheeler has an excellent timeline of all of this.) That triggered an effort to examine the scope of those connections, one that at least some of those involved in the research apparently understood to be an effort to create a jumping-off point for further research that could bolster a Trump-Russia narrative. (The tech executive, I’ll note, wasn’t sold on the Alfa-Trump link even back in August 2016.) Durham’s filing ties the campaign to Sussman and Sussman to the executive, but it’s not explicitly argued that the probe flowed down from Clinton’s team — or up to it.

    And today (15 February), in a Fact Checker analysis by Glenn Kessler, “Here’s why Trump once again is claiming ‘spying’ by Democrats,” he sends readers to emptywheel in his wrap-up paragraph.

    What is also noteworthy is that Durham raised this allegation in a filing dated Feb. 11. That means, as national security writer Marcy Wheeler first noted, the five-year statute of limitations for charging a crime in connection with the CIA meeting had expired two days earlier.

    You’ll also notice that none of those mentions describes her as a blogger, but as a journalist.

  13. harpie says:


    Jan. 6 panel seeks phone records of security official employed by Alex Jones
    The broadcaster is claiming that it is a backhanded way to get his records.
    KYLE CHENEY 02/15/2022 11:11 PM

    […] In a court filing late Tuesday [2/15/22], Jones revealed that Timothy Enlow, a security official employed by Jones’ firm Free Speech Systems LLC, was notified by AT&T on Feb. 9 that the select committee had subpoenaed his phone records. Enlow, who has worked for Jones since 2018, accompanied Jones in Washington on Jan. 6, when Jones marched from the Ellipse — where Trump held a rally calling for the election results not to be certified — to the Capitol. One of Jones’ other associates, Owen Shroyer, was charged for his conduct outside the Capitol.
    [Filing]: […]

    • harpie says:

      Noting this POLITICO article, CapitolHunters links to this THREAD about ENLOW from October 2021: 1
      1:01 PM · Oct 5, 2021

      [THREAD] Alex’s bodyguards, many ex-Blackwater, wrap up the day with a rooftop photograph. We marked Tim Enlow – he’s a public figure as the first TX policeman ever fired for racial profiling. Ex-Army, + 8 years as a “security contractor” in Iraq & Afghanistan. 12/ [PHOTO]

      Enlow has a long paper trail, not just the Austin firing. He left Blackwater (now Academi) shortly after being named in a federal lawsuit by whistleblowers fired for reporting that Enlow was falsifying firearms training test results. See Wired article. 13/ [link]

      Alex’s men are proud to show their Blackwater connection. Here they are on Jan 5th in the Willard Hotel posing with ex-Blackwater guard Paul Slough, convicted for killing Iraqi civilians, then pardoned by Trump on Dec. 22, just 2 weeks before. 14/ [PHOTO] [THREAD]

  14. skua says:

    I’m seeing the “Mueller is just running up billable hours” crap, being used against Durham. This style of meme fits with the “everyone in government is just trying to rip off the taxpayers” propaganda by “pro-small goverment” actors and those aiming to increase distrust and weaken American society. This propaganda helps keep the IRS underfunded and ineffective against the super-rich.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Whatever possessed Joe Biden to volunteer – in a manner only Inspector Clouseau could love – that as a young politician in local government in his 20’s, he responded to a call about a dead dog on a Republican woman’s front lawn by moving the pooch to her front porch?

    It’s a story one might tell among friends in the clubhouse locker room, who know how you’ve matured beyond juvenile pranks. For everyone else, the self-deprecating humor will be lost, leaving Faux Noise to run with, “Ghoulish Biden is coming for your pets – and then you!” In the scheme of things, it’s a minor own goal, but it’s a missed step and lost opportunity that invites claims of insensitivity and senility.

  16. Eureka says:

    With all this going on, don’t miss distinguished former White House photographer Pete Souza’s pointed campaign to illuminate Dr. Feelgood. Topics range from Ronny Jackson’s covidiocy, innumeracy, and potential -isms to, well, see below. Being visually oriented, Souza two evenings ago also started quote-tweeting Jackson via upside-down screenshots. Clever.

    Souza’s also telling tales and bringing receipts. For ex.:

    “Hey Ronny, I didn’t know you were a liar when you sat next to me in the spare limousine, but i could tell you were often hung over on foreign trips. I have photos in the archive to prove it (since we preserved all Presidential records). @RonnyJacksonTX [screenshot of Jackson tweet attacking Biden’s mental capacity/dems]”
    7:30 PM · Feb 8, 2022

    To be continued …

    • Eureka says:


      “Hey Ronny, remember that story you liked to tell about sewing up your own scrotum after it was ripped open? Made me wonder about your mental fitness when I heard you repeat it at least 10 times in mixed company. You should tell it on Fox News. @RonnyJacksonTX [screenshot of a Jackson tweet attacking Biden re cognitive fitness]”
      10:43 PM · Feb 9, 2022

      A receipt for 8 Feb:

      “Hey Ronny, all your tweets about cognitive tests makes me wonder whether being hungover while the on-duty doctor for the President of the United States says anything about your mental acuity. @RonnyJacksonTX [photo of Jackson apparently Not Feeling Good]”
      9:11 PM · Feb 11, 2022

      with others resting in the archives (Presidential and Souza’s memory). For now…

  17. harpie says:

    Zoe Tillman is live tweeting the RHODES detention hearing:
    2:02 PM · Feb 16, 2022

    Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes is due in court (virtually) in an hour to try again at getting out of jail pending trial. […]

    2:58 PM · Feb 16, 2022 Hello from Judge Amit Mehta’s virtual courtroom, where a detention challenge hearing in the seditious conspiracy case against Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes is about to get underway. [THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      Zoe’s colleague:
      3:31 PM · Feb 16, 2022

      […] A key component of Rhodes’ defense has centered on the idea that he anticipated Rhodes would invoke the insurrection act, giving him the green light to call in the QRF. Since that never happened, they claim, he didn’t call them in.

      Rakoczy claims otherwise. In court she quotes text messages (that haven’t previously been public) sent by Rhodes where he indicates he didn’t expect Trump to invoke the insurrection act.

      “If he doesn’t then we need to accept reality…and prepare to walk the founders’ path.”

      3:34 PM · Feb 16, 2022 Mehta wants to know if the govt’s theory is that the charged seditious conspiracy didn’t end on Jan 6 but in fact extended beyond that date. “Correct your honor” the prosecutor responds. [THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      This is one of the messages RHODES sent on Signal on 1/6/21 we have known about:

      7:41 PM RHODES to LEADERS Signal: The founding generation Sons of Liberty stormed the mansion of the corrupt Royal Governor of Massachusetts, and trashed the place. They also jumped on board a ship carrying East India Tea, and dumped it in the harbor. We are actually in a far more deadly situation given the FACT that enemies foreign and domestic have subverted, infiltrated, and taken over near every single office and level of power in this nation. We have one FINAL chance to get Trump to do his job and his duty. Patriots entering their own Capitol to send a message to the traitors is NOTHING compared to what’s coming if Trump doesn’t take decisive action right now. It helped to send that message to HIM. He was the most important audience today. I hope he got the message.

    • harpie says:


      3:49 PM · Feb 16, 2022
      Mehta: Your view is that if the President had invoked the Insurrection Act, private militias could have taken up arms, for want of a better term, to protect the President?

      He’s the POTUS…WHY does he need OATH KEEPERS?

      Guess I’m not alone…

      Mehta sounds pretty flabbergasted that the OK are taking the position that they could have legally responded to the Insurrection Act.

      • harpie says:


        3:53 PM · Feb 16, 2022 Mehta is spending a little time parsing this Insurrection Act theory, calling it an “interesting concept” (with a tone that suggests a heavy amount of skepticism) that the president could call up what is essentially a private militia to act in violation of the law

      • harpie says:


        3:49 PM · Feb 16, 2022 Mehta stops him. I’m not a scholar, he says, but “your view is that if Trump invoked the insurrection act, private groups using arms to protect him” would not be violating the law (including DC’s blanket prohibition on most firearms)?

        “Do the Oath Keepers consider themselves a militia of any state?” Mehta asks, referencing language in the Insurrection Act.

        Rhodes’ attorney says that the came from various states. Mehta seems unimpressed by that argument.

        “Whether or not it was or wasn’t rational to look at that and agree with their interpretation of the federal statute,” the lawyer [BRIGHT] says, it is clear from the evidence that there were no specific acts or “any other overt things that would” speak to their danger.

    • harpie says:

      RHODES offers to testify.

      4:05 PM · Feb 16, 2022 Stewie wants to testify.
      Mehta says “that may not be the wisest choice at this stage.”
      Stewie’s lawyer agrees.

    • harpie says:

      ew 4:43 PM:

      Rhodes is proposing a scheme like the one Ethan Nordean unsuccessfully pitched, in which he would live in a separate house that had not Internet.
      In both these cases it seems fishy.

      ZT 4:46 PM:

      Rhodes’ atty starts to talk about possibility of Rhodes working for cousin’s husband, Mehta cuts it off, saying if he did let Rhodes out of jail, it’d be strict house arrest, no ability to leave for work, no internet — “about as strict as it gets without being behind bars”

      KB 4:47 PM:

      Then Rhodes himself chimes in and sort of suggests he’d be living with his cousin, rather than in her back house, which prompts Mehta to say that would require more interviews with everyone in that house. He notes it’s not what the attorneys had proposed.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        Thank you, harpie! This reads like latter-day Mamet–if he’d gotten lazy and decided to posit stereotypes as main characters. Can’t wait for the big reveal, when we learn that Commandant Rhodes’ real name is Elmer. (Just like Elmer Paul Revere.)

        How is he allowed to interrupt everyone?

    • harpie says:

      Everyone’s getting together again on Friday at 1 PM for Mehta’s detention decision.
      In the meantime, detention services will interview the relatives.

    • harpie says:

      Marcy’s got a post up about this hearing:

      JJMacNab wrote a THREAD about the Rolling Stone article about RHODES:
      6:11 PM · Feb 15, 2022

      Man Who Stockpiled Arms for ‘Bloody’ Battle on Jan. 6 Insists He’s No Danger to the Public [RS link]

      Technically, he’s not a danger to the public. As an anti-gov extremist leader, he’s a danger to elected officials and law enforcement. [THREAD]

      • harpie says:

        JJM describes what she calls the “Vampire trope” [vampires must be invited into a home…a threshold being a magical barrier], and give an example of RHODES previously asking for an invitation in June 2020:

        The Oath Keepers is asking Trump to federalize the national guard and to call on the OK and III% as the country’s militia to go in and shut down CHAZ in Seattle and Portland. [VIDEO]

        Moving on, she says that

        Rhodes, like just about everyone on the militia movement, erroneously believes that just because you call yourselves a militia that you are The Militia.

        The Militia Act of 1903 begs to differ.
        It divides “militia” into two groups:
        1) Organized (National Guard, Naval Militia, State Defense Forces)
        2) Unorganized – able-bodied men who, depending on state law, may be called up under the command of the Governor.

        A private group of armed guys who appoint their own commanders and practice drills in the forest do not qualify. […]
        On January 6th, they gave up waiting for Trump to say the magic words, and, as they had been priming their members for weeks, they would have to “prepare to walk the Founders’ path” and engage in a “bloody revolution” without Trump inviting the vampire across the threshold.

  18. SteveR says:

    I may be overthinking (maybe underthinking) this, but this FoxNews article seems to have been written with remarkable care. Pretty much every sentence appears to be demonstrably factual–I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before on a “hot topic” the FoxNews crew is pumping.

    If FoxNews gets dragged into another lawsuit over it’s Durham coverage, I suspect this article may feature prominently in their defense. Just honest journalists playing it right down the center ….

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Perhaps my snark meter is a little worn out, but if this article is as you describe, the only place it belongs is in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

      • SteveR says:

        Oh, I’m not for a moment suggesting it’s “fair and balanced.” Just that it’s technically accurate. I could have missed it, but I didn’t find anything that was inaccurate. That’s downright amazing for a FoxNews article.

        Lot’s and lot’s of intentionally misleading BS, but always presented as “Durham’s filing said ‘X,'” or some alternate construction that avoided telling a lie even as it spun the story. To me, it sounded more like it was written by the FoxNews legal team.

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