Kash Patel Wants the Insurrection Protection Committee to Investigate Why Robert Hur Tried to Protect Past Ongoing Investigations

Matt Taibbi (aka MattyDickPics) and Kash Patel are whining about the Nunes Memo again.

As you’ll recall, in the first year of the Trump Administration, Patel wrote a misleading memo for Devin Nunes purporting that the entire Russian investigation stemmed from the Steele dossier.  When the Carter Page IG Report and FISA applications were released, it became clear how Patel spun the facts. In this post I cataloged what both Nunes and Adam Schiff, in his counterpart to the Nunes memo, got wrong.

But it’s not the Nunes Memo itself that Taibbi and Patel are whining about. They’re complaining about the circumstances of its release five years ago.

Taibbi made it the subject of his latest Twitter Files propaganda thread and related Substack — the latter of which, astoundingly, says the public has to rely on the attributions of cloud companies, something Taibbi has always refused to do when discussing the GRU attribution of the 2016 hacks targeting Democratic targets. “It’s over, you nitwits. It’s time to stow the Mueller votive candles, cop to the coverage pileup created by years of errors, and start the reconciliation process,” Taibbi says, in appealing to precisely the kind of evidence he himself has refused to credit for more than six years. I dealt with both in this thread, but the important takeaway is that Taibbi doesn’t even manage to get facts that both the Daily Beast and I were able to cover in real time, including the fact that Republicans, too, were making unsupported claims based on the Dashboard’s reporting and Russian trolls were part of — just not the biggest part — of the campaign.

[A] knowledgeable source says that Twitter’s internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

In short, according to this source, who would not speak to The Daily Beast for attribution, the retweets are coming from inside the country.

The source pointed to influential American users on the right, including Donald Trump Jr., with his 2.49 million followers, pushing the hashtag forward. It’s become a favorite of far-right Republican congressmen, including Steve King, who claimed the still-secret memo shows the FBI was behaving “worse than Watergate” in one viral tweet. Mark Meadows called it an “absolutely shocking” display of “FISA abuses,” referring to a counterintelligence process.

Rules of Engagement

There are reasons for skepticism about both the source’s claim and Alliance for Securing Democracy’s contrary findings.

Russian influence accounts did, in fact, send an outsize number of tweets about #ReleaseTheMemo—simply not enough for those accounts to reach the top of Twitter’s internal analysis.

Meanwhile, Kash Patel is outraged that Merrick Garland picked Robert Hur as Special Counsel to investigate Biden’s mishandling of classified documents because, when and after serving as a top aide to Rod Rosenstein in the early days of the Russian investigation, he opposed release of the memo.

This guy Hur needs to be the first one subpoenaed by the new Special Select Committee under Jim Jordan’s authority on the weaponization of government and do you want to know why? Because Hur — we have the receipts, Steve, and we’re going to release them later — was sending communications to the Justice Department and Rod Rosenstein’s crew arguing against the release of the Nunes memo. Saying that it would bastardize and destroy the United States national security apparatus. This guy is a swamp monster of the Tier One level, he’s a government gangster, he’s now in charge of the continued crime scene cover-up, which is why the first congressional subpoena that has to go out for the weaponization of government subcommittee is against Hur.

Remember, this committee was modified during the period when key insurrectionists were refusing to vote for Kevin McCarthy to include language authorizing the committee to investigate why the Executive Branch is permitted to conduct criminal investigations of US citizens.

the expansive role of article II authority vested in the executive branch to collect information on or otherwise investigate citizens of the United States, including ongoing criminal investigations;

It may be the intent to interfere in ongoing investigations into people like Scott Perry and Paul Gosar (who changed their votes on McCarthy later in the week, as these changes were being made) and Jordan (who will have great leeway to direct the direction of this committee). But Jordan may be surprised when he discovers that Merrick Garland will enforce the long-standing DOJ policies about providing Congress access to ongoing investigations that Jeff Sessions and Matt Whitaker and Bill Barr did not. Indeed, some precedents from the Russia investigation legally prohibit the sharing of this information with Congress.

But Kash’s complaint (back atcha with the rap gangsta alliteration, Kash!) is a bellybutton moment in which he attempts to villainize Hur’s past commitment to those long-standing DOJ (and intelligence community, including the NSA that conduct much FISA surveillance) policies. Consider the things the memo revealed, many of which had never before been released publicly.

  • Details about the dates and approvals for four FISA orders
  • Financial details involving private individuals, including US citizens
  • Contents of the FISA memo (but not their true context)
  • A reference to a Mike Isikoff article that appeared in the Carter Page applications; Kash was outraged when his own public article was included in the warrant affidavit targeting Trump
  • Details from a Confidential Human Source file
  • Misrepresentations about both Bruce Ohr and his spouse, the latter of whom was a private citizen whose work was shared with the FBI as part of the effort to vet the dossier
  • Direct communications with the President-elect the likes of which Trump claimed were covered by Executive Privilege in the Mueller investigation
  • False claims about the texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that are currently the subject of two Privacy Act lawsuits; even aside from the privacy implications, at the time it was virtually unprecedented for texts between FBI officials to be released, even in criminal discovery (and many of these released, including some misrepresented in the memo, pertained to work matters unrelated to the Russian investigation)

In other words, Kash Patel wants to investigate Hur’s comments, made either at the time he was the key overseer of the Mueller investigation or during a transition period as he awaited confirmation to be US Attorney, advocating that DOJ protect informants, FISA materials, details about private citizens, and work texts between FBI officials.

The very first thing Kash wants the Insurrection Protection Committee to investigate is why, five years ago, a senior DOJ official advocated following long-standing DOJ policy.

28 replies
  1. daelv says:

    Yevgeny Prigozhin and the bot farm revealed in Pravda HaHa. by Rory MacLean Great on the ground coverage of politics in the region before invasion of Ukraine.

  2. Rugger_9 says:

    It’s about generating content for Gym Jordan’s Snipe Hunt J6_2.0 to chew on so they can bypass any look at the actual evidence implicating themselves, the rest of the Sedition Caucus and Individual-1. The more content, the more time chewed up which will of course leave none for rebuttals. Content, not information because as the post points out quite well it is dreck.

    The question is whether the media will fall for it. Again.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      They are already falling for it. WaPo is trying to gin up clickbait by claiming that Biden is now in political trouble over documents, inventing a both-sides narrative to sustain reader interest. I didn’t even read the Times’ entry; based on headline (which I know can be misleading), I decided they were entering into the competition and chose not to engage.

    • BruceF says:

      Jim Jordan, isn’t he the guy who defied a legal subpoena from Congress and later asked for a pardon for planning an insurrection? He now leads an investigation into others? I heard today he demanded “complete cooperation” from another branch of our government. Comical after he refused to provide any level of cooperation to the branch he belongs!

  3. Sloth Sloman says:

    I’m amazed even Trump takes Kash Patel seriously. The guy is a cartoon character.

    Edit: Sorry, Mr. Patel, I forgot it is K$H. I’ve corrected the record.

  4. higgs boson says:

    Sorry, this isn’t really a big deal, but I’m wondering if something got left out of the eighth paragraph:

    Hur’s past commitment to those long-standing DOJ (and intelligence community, including ) policies.

    Was there anything after “including”?

    Thanks again for all you do.

    • giorgino says:

      “and intelligence community” included (not “, including”)? Not great sentence structure, but…

      And yes, kudos to the MTWheel team!

    • David F. Snyder says:

      This seems an appropriate time to ask what the rules are for the House intervening in ongoing investigations and their powers of SC oversight. Can they tank the Trump cases? We already know it’s a delicate situation due to all of the lawyers dickhead (our household name for the former guy) involved.

      • Silly but True says:

        There are generally a number of long-simmering competitive pressures.

        There’s Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure “6e” — the “Grand Jury law@ — which prohibits “an attorney for the US government to disclose grand jury matters.”

        McKeever clarified things for federal courts: McKeever determined that federal courts “lack inherent authority” to authorize disclosure of grand jury matters.

        Congress, for its part maintains the long-standing position that it holds its own independent and inherent Constitutional authority to view grand jury information. And in fact, on a number of occasions has won on that argument to compel Executive Branch to turn it over.

        In all of this, a shenanigan-minded Congress can do some damage.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Oh, Mr. Patel was vastly unqualified for his past government posts. But he does seem to be an unusually useful idiot for patron(s) with a lot of juice, a role that inevitably leads to an immensely large ego.

  5. Cheez Whiz says:

    May as well get used to this. Hyperventilating about imaginary persecution is the only move the Gonzo Old Party has left. The performative outrage and resentment resonates strongly with their base, which is all they care about. They will double down on this until it stops working for them, which may take a while. Even throwing all the Trump enablers in prison will only slow them down, there are more Believers waiting to run, and the prisoners will send fundraising emails from their cells. Stopping this requires breaking the stranglehold feelings has on the Republican base, the resentment of being repressed/ignored, the joy of righteous anger in a holy war against Evil. Their privileged feelings is the engine driving this puppet show. Basically, they need an intervention.

    • Knowatall says:

      You’ve hit the nail on the head; it’s a generational issue, and the doubling-down rear guard isn’t dead yet. This is a demographic issue, as much as anything else. We are in a (possibly already finished) race against the destruction of what we thought was a civilized society. I understand Rayne’s (et al) perspective; I’m not quitting, but I am recognizing that remaining in the fight is a moral choice, not a practical one.

    • FL Resister says:

      The Daily Dot political reporter Claire Goforth was on Wednesday’s Fever Dreams podcast (Daily Beast).
      Goforth (and prosper!), like the hosts, goes inside radical right wing conspiracies territory and reports back. Her conclusion at the end of describing the madness is that better social services would help reduce the number of people who fall prey to disinformation warfare.

  6. Nathan says:

    It’s always projection. They call us snowflakes, they say fuck your feelings. It’s so pathetic and no one can do an intervention.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. This is your second username as well; your first comment was published as “Myteri0s0.” I recommend reverting to that name as it is both unique and meets the 8-letter minimum. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  7. WilliamOckham says:

    Matt Taibbi and Kash Patel … Are those guys trying to qualify for the “Believing way too much of your own bullshit” Olympic team?

  8. Zinsky123 says:

    Thanks again, Marcy, for keeping all of this historical information intact and properly contextualized. Outstanding work. BTW – I also heard you on Michaelangelo Signorile’s Sirius XM show last week and you were fantastic! Such a sharp intellect and command of the facts! Anyway, my one comment about this whole topic area is I have always found it humorous how ardently the right-wing defends Carter Page and how aggrieved they are that a FISA warrant was issued for this buffoon! The man is a loud-mouthed braggart who says stupid things in stupid venues. He was running his mouth about all his contacts in Russia during the Obama years and attending oil and gas conferences in Russia and hobnobbing with Putin and other oligarchs. Is it any wonder this clown was being surveilled? For Gods sake, pick your battles more prudently, right-wingers!

  9. Fancy Chicken says:

    Man, I don’t know what it is about that picture of Ka$h (excuse me while I throw up in my mouth a little) you use when he’s the subject of a post, maybe his smugness, but it just makes me want to punch him in the face. I mean I’m a peacenik but by the time I start reading the post to find out what fresh hell he’s trying to uncork Ijust want to throttle that guy.

    After Individual 1 I want him more than any other character wearing orange and not in a country club prison.

    That is all.

  10. Nick Barnes says:

    What is a “bellybutton moment”?
    Genuine question. The kids are talking slang I don’t pretend to understand. I’ll be over here shouting at clouds.

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