“Nonzero:” On Evidence-Based Investigations and Rudy Giuliani’s Devices

After the WaPo published its 8,000-word story purporting to describe the January 6 investigation, and after I pointed out key gaps and problems with it, Carol Leonnig reached out to me to find out why I found WaPo’s silence about Rudy Guiliani’s devices so problematic.

Even after my post, Leonnig still understood the exploitation of Rudy’s devices to be limited to the FARA investigation out of SDNY. “I hear you re search of Rudy phones but to be clear that is for probe of lobbying law violations – not a plan to look at Trump orbit plot to overturn elex results,” she described.

To be clear: Her understanding was correct with regards to the known warrant used to seize Rudy’s devices. It was badly wrong with regards to the process used to review them, something that has been public for a long time.

As I first laid out over 18 months ago, after seizing Rudy’s devices, SDNY successfully requested that the Special Master process review everything on Rudy’s devices between January 1, 2018 through the date of seizure, irrespective of scope:

  • April 21, 2021 (Lisa Monaco’s first day on the job): DOJ approved a warrant for Rudy’s devices in SDNY FARA investigation
  • April 29, 2021 (the day after seizure): Citing the Michael Cohen case, SDNY asked Judge Paul Oetken to appoint Special Master
  • August 18, 2021: Special Master Barbara Jones notices a dispute about the range of privilege review, sets schedule for briefing
  • September 3, 2021: SDNY generously offers to limit Special Master review to files post-dating January 1, 2018 through date of seizure
  • September 16, 2021: Judge Oetken rules that the Special Master shall review for privilege all content between January 1, 2018 and date of seizure

Oetken’s decision pertained to more than just timeline. It made clear that the government would conduct any responsiveness review.

First, this Court appointed the Special Master for the purposes of reviewing the materials for privilege, not for responsiveness. While a general exclusion [of material that pre-dated January 1, 2018] as proposed by the Government is appropriate, the imposition of detailed date restrictions or other responsiveness criteria would risk further delay in the review process.

Second, the warrants themselves do not contemplate that an arm of the Court, rather than Government investigators, would conduct a review of the warrant materials for responsiveness, nor is the Court aware of any legal authority mandating such review. To be sure, as the Government acknowledges, the warrants must be executed according to their terms. But the fact that the Court has appointed a Special Master for privilege review in this circumstance does not dictate that such review be expanded to review for responsiveness.

Once this Special Master privilege review finished, then, any content responsive to any probable cause warrant targeting those devices would be available to the government without further privilege review.

Note, when DOJ suggested Barbara Jones to serve as Special Master in Trump’s Florida Special Master matter last September, Trump raised a specific and secret objection to her, though he had raised no such objections after her review of Michael Cohen’s devices in 2018.

Based on that series of decisions — starting with a decision made on Lisa Monaco’s first day, followed by a successful argument that prosecutors, not a Special Master, would do any scope review for responsiveness with warrants (the reverse process as used for James O’Keefe’s phone) — DOJ guaranteed that the January 6 investigation could immediately access Rudy’s content, either based off a plain view discovery of evidence pertaining to a crime (which is how the investigation into Michael Cohen evolved from a FARA investigation to include the hush money payment that is the basis of Alvin Bragg’s indictment), or later warrants obtained as the January 6 investigation progressed. If DOJ obtained a new January 6 specific warrant, Rudy — and any journalists he wanted to complain to — would get no notice, because (as happened repeatedly in the Cohen investigation) the new warrant would be served internally.

DOJ secured the availability of Rudy’s content (pending a new warrant) by September 2021, before Matthew Graves was confirmed and before Thomas Windom was brought in to head up an investigation focusing on Trump’s people, personnel changes that WaPo claims drove the renewed focus on Trump.

In its 8,000-word piece, WaPo raised legitimate concerns about evidence being deleted as DOJ investigated. But within a week of Monaco’s start date, DOJ had preserved the content of Rudy’s devices and started a process that would eventually make it easier for January 6 investigators to access it.

To be sure, we don’t know when or how (via plain view or via a January 6 specific warrant) Rudy’s content was shared with January 6 investigators.

We do know that Special Master Jones prioritized the content on phones that were in current use in April 2021. The first 8 devices she reviewed all included content through seizure. This table shows all the content known to be seized by SDNY; the red rectangle shows the devices, clearly including Rudy’s main phone, Device 1B05, that were reviewed through seizure date.

And, to the limited extent that a sworn declaration from Rudy is reliable, we know that the devices Jones reviewed included all of Rudy’s January 6 content. According to a declaration Rudy submitted in the Ruby Freeman lawsuit, seven of those personal devices seized using a warrant obtained on Lisa Monaco’s first day included all the digital content pertaining to January 6 in his possession at the time.

Apple iPhone 11 ProMax

Apple MacBook Model A22251

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Apple iPad Model: A1709

Apple iPad Model: A2013

Blackberry Model: RGVI6ILW

Apple iPad Model: A1395


The TrustPoint One documents consist of all documents that were extracted from the electronic devices taken by the DOJ in April 2021 when the DOJ seized those devices.

The content from the first seven of devices Rudy was currently using was shared with SDNY by November 2, 2021, still before Graves was sworn in as US Attorney in DC. Jones started turning over content from what appears to be Rudy’s main phone on November 11, 2021, with the balance turned over on January 19, 2022.

Again, this information would have been turned over to SDNY, not DC USAO, and we don’t know when and via what means January 6 related content got passed on to DC. But whenever it was, it was available because of decisions made well before WaPo’s timeline, decisions that would have involved approval from people WaPo described as “slow” and “cautious.”

Whatever else it did, the way DOJ did the Special Master review of Rudy’s devices shaved nine months off any investigation pertaining to Trump’s personal lawyer, one of the most central players in Trump’s coup attempt, because whenever DC developed probable cause to access that content, the privilege review would already be done. By comparison, the privilege review for John Eastman and Jeffrey Clark’s content began on June 17, 2022, and NYT describes that privilege reviews of people like Mark Meadows and Cleta Mitchell started after July 2022.

One reason it is likely that Rudy’s content — and not just pressure generated in January 2022 from the January 6 Committee, as WaPo quotes an anonymous source claiming — drove the fake electors investigation is the focus of the investigation. The first fake elector warrants sent in May 2022 (not June, as WaPo implies) as well as those sent in June and November all included Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova. Rudy’s known interviews always list the couple as key members of his post-election team. But no one else seems to have cared or figured out what they did. After Rudy listed them in his January 6 interview, the Committee never once raised them again.

Q. Who was on your team at that point [November 5]?

A. You know, it was put out in a press release some days later. So it’s hard to know exactly who joined. Very early on, there was Jenna Ellis, Vicki Toensing, Joseph DiGenova, Boris Epshteyn. That was the main team. We were joined by Christian Bobb about 5 days later, and by — by Katherine Friess, maybe 3 or 4 days later.

So if you look at the list of the team — now, it took about — that was the original team, meaning in the first 3, 4, 5 days. Within about a week or two, I can give you all the names if you want them.

Q. Who else joined the team after that group you just mentioned, lawyers? I’m just talking about lawyers for the moment.

A. Just lawyers, okay. So Toensing, DiGenova, Bob[b], Friess, Ellis, Epshteyn.

Neither appears to have been interviewed; neither is mentioned in the final report. Nor did they get much focus in the investigation. Christina Bobb and Eric Herschmann mentioned them in passing. Sidney Powell described that they may have been at a White House meeting on November 8. Alex Cannon was asked about an urgent demand that the campaign provide Toensing with a paralegal on November 29. Jacqueline Kotkiewicz, a campaign researcher, described doing at least one project for Toensing, the only substance of which that she could remember was a fight over whether “nonzero” meant “zero” or “a number greater than zero.” Cleta Mitchell described connecting Toensing with John Eastman and admitted having, “quite a number of calls with Victoria,” but couldn’t remember the substance. According to an email Mitchell reviewed, Toensing then shared Eastman’s whack theories with state legislators.

Nothing that came from the January 6 Committee explains why Toensing and DiGenova would be a persistent focus of DOJ’s fake electors investigation. But they were. (As I have noted, Boris Epshteyn and Bernie Kerik were also a focus of DOJ subpoenas before they were mentioned in J6C coverage, but unlike Toensing and DiGenova, they soon became a public focus of J6C.)

As far as is public, Toensing’s phone, which was seized in the same week as Rudy’s devices, was only reviewed for the period covered by the FARA warrants, ending in 2019 (though the content would have been preserved if DOJ ever later had an interest that post-dated that). Additionally, she belatedly invoked spousal privilege over all communications on her seized phone with DiGenova.

But Rudy’s phones — or possibly even the Sidney Powell prong of the investigation that was overt by September 2021, another thing WaPo doesn’t mention — might explain why DOJ’s fake elector investigation doesn’t look like the version that got told in the press or the one told by the January 6 Committee, starting a month later.

There’s one other thing. As I laid out here, Ruby Freeman’s lawyers are pursuing further testimony from Kerik, who served as Rudy’s chief investigator after the election. They’re contesting the privilege claims Kerik has sustained from J6C, based off an argument that Kerik’s communications were not created as work product in anticipation of litigation. As Rudy explained to J6C, his team abandoned the plan to sue to overturn the vote after about the first week post-election in favor of going to legislatures, so any work product Kerik created would have been in anticipation of legislative hearings, not litigation. As stated in emails exchanged between lawyers, Rudy is not claiming privilege over Georgia-related work product done in anticipation of sharing information with legislatures (as distinct from litigation).

The position we took was that communications and work product in connection with presenting testimony and evidence before the Georgia Legislature in December 2020 was not privileged. Not that it was privileged but that we were waiving it.


I would say that any communications or materials created in anticipation of the December 2020 Georgia Senate hearings are not privileged and should not be withheld.

Rudy had claimed similar communications were privileged in his January 6 Committee deposition given in May 2022, so this is a change in stance.

There are a lot of things that have happened since that could explain the changed posture. A different lawyer, Joe Silbey, is handling Rudy’s civil challenges. Rudy testified last August in Fani Willis’ investigation. Beryl Howell issued a ruling on the application of privilege before her on May 19 of this year (the latter of which Freeman’s lawyers cited in discussions with Kerik lawyer Tim Parlatore). But another possible explanation for Rudy’s willingness to share information on pressuring legislatures when he hadn’t before would be if the material had been deemed non-privileged in the past, perhaps one of the 56 documents on Rudy’s phone over which an initial privilege claim was either withdrawn or overridden.

To the extent it presents a coherent timeline, WaPo’s story largely tells when former FBI Assistant Director Steve D’Antuono vetoed DOJ requests and when formal investigative decisions were made. But such formal decisions always follow evidentiary collection, often by months. That’s especially true here; it’s what Merrick Garland and Lisa Monaco demanded. Even with Stewart Rhodes, whose prosecution this story makes a far more central part of January 6 than Rhodes’ actions merit, this story doesn’t talk about known evidence and cooperating witnesses that advanced the investigation (not even Joshua James, the sole witness who would play a function in WaPo’s narrative). The only mention — at all — of evidence that might drive such decisions describes J6C investigator Timothy Heaphy sharing information about Trump pressuring Pence and others.

But the January 6 fake electors investigation does not resemble the DOJ one, certainly not as to the relative import of Toensing and DiGenova.

The most obvious place that focus might have come from, and come from in time to shape the May 2022 subpoenas, would be Rudy’s phones — phones that DOJ started the process of exploiting well before J6C even started investigating.

Update: Fixed an error re: Matthew Graves’ timeline. He was confirmed on October 28, 2021 but sworn in on November 5. So SDNY started obtaining Rudy’s content before Graves was sworn in.

42 replies
  1. soundgood2 says:

    I have been a fan of Carol Leonig’s work so it is good to see her reaching out to you for clarification of your analysis.

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m a huge fan of Carol, going back to the Scooter Libby coverage, where we covered the trial together.

      The problem here, which plagues all of WaPo’s coverage of January 6 and has from the start, is that no one is doing day-to-day exclusive focus on the investigation, like NBC or the local CBS affiliate or we are (especially with Brandi Buchman’s contribution). NPR and NYT are both tracking the actual investigation more closely.

      And so while Carol is as good as anyone at getting answers from people, she didn’t know the questions to ask (and seems to have been misled by people who have real conflicts, including J6C members).

      • David F. Snyder says:

        I love Carol too, but even greats can make mistakes, especially if they only have time for a limited dive into details. Shortly after Marty Baron retired, there was a shift in WaPo’s DOJ beat, with Leonnig not on the byline as often, sometimes on pretty big stories. I’m not sure why that happened, but it was clear that Perry Stein was new on the beat. In any event, Leonnig seems to back more frequently and maybe needing to get back up to speed.

      • Capemaydave says:

        Distance from DC serves you well.

        The totality of the Trump investigations make Nixon and All The President’s Men seem quaint.

        So many powerful people potentially exposed.

        Thanks for the analysis.

  2. harpie says:

    Marcy, thank you very much for continuing to walk us through your amazing analyses.
    I am so grateful for the education I get here at emptywheel!

    [There’s a date typo here: with the balance turned over on January 19, 2021 2022.]

  3. MsJennyMD says:

    “To be locked into partisan politics doesn’t permit you to think clearly.”
    ― Rudy Giuliani

  4. EricMariposa says:

    Rudy’s Blackberry is interesting. Maybe it’s an insignificant coincidence, but:

    “The Justice Department has recently come into possession of two BlackBerry phones used by Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor who triggered the long FBI probe into President Trump and aides.”


    “In a letter to the presiding judge in the case against Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s long-time personal attorney, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York revealed today that it had obtained additional evidence for review—including a trove of messages and call logs from WhatsApp and Signal on one of two BlackBerry phones belonging to Cohen. The messages and call logs together constitute 731 pages of potential evidence.”


    Is there an actual (or rumored) advantage to using this AOL-era tech?

    • Peregrine says:

      Back in the Pleistocene era of tech, probably 2005ish, Blackberry had the best data privacy. It was part of the product’s appeal. Apple eclipsed them long ago in this regard, but Rudy’s own OS probably hasn’t updated in quite a while itself. It’s easy to guess he’s operating on an outdated assumption that his Blackberry can’t be cracked into.

  5. Michael K says:

    Thank you, this is all important and informative additional context. However, I don’t observe much or any discrepancy between this piece and the WaPo piece.

    It can be true that DOJ (thanks to a judge’s decision) was in the process of exploiting Giuliani’s phones and was on a path to eventually acquiring sufficient evidence to overcome reluctance to open a formal investigaton into fake electors. And it can be simultaneously true that other basic steps which could have taken place in parallel, like attempting to interview people closer to the top — who boasted of their roles — e.g. at the Willard Hotel, was deferred because of political fears, and unnecessarily delayed DOJs understanding of relevant facts.

    • emptywheel says:

      Alternately, you don’t understand a thing I said and WaPo doesn’t understand a thing about how evidence works.

      • emptywheel says:

        Let me say this more succinctly.

        WaPo had no evidence of caution and was oblivious to evidence of the contrary.
        WaPo took evidence that was primarily about the First Amendment and turned it into politics.
        WaPo has no understanding of this investigation or what matters.

        • Michael K says:

          Can you help me understand then?

          From helpful comments from you and others on other articles I understand that prosecutors don’t need probable cause to issue subpoenas. I’ve been told in this space that the reported subpoena’s of Trump’s financial dealing in certain countries (obviously Trump is a political figure) do not necessarily mean prosecutors have probable cause that such documents will reveal any crime. I read the standard is just that it furthers an investigation rather than a prosecutor’s separate interest.

          Even before Jan 6 2021, and moreso by Nov 2021, there was prolific public reporting (including in this space) about the connections between the Capitol Insurrection and “war room” plotting by Trump aides and loyalists at the Willard. We can quibble about probable cause, but wasn’t that plenty enough to justify furtherance of an investigation? What is the non-political purpose of refraining from issuing subpoenas or talking to the high level Trump associates known to be involved with that?

          If that would be a “1st Amendment” problem can you please explain how so? Wouldn’t the “1st Amendment” apply equally to the J6C too? Do you believe the J6C subpoenas and interviews of people who had not spoken to DOJ yet, which uncovered more details on the plotting, including at the Willard in particular, violated anyone’s 1st Amendment rights?

          Also weren’t the forged elector certificates themselves evidence of a crime and grounds for immediately opening a criminal investigation? Why was it necessary for the Michigan AG to refer Michigan’s forged elector certificate to DOJ for prosecution a year after the fact? Do you believe the following was reported incorrectly or do you believe that this is appropriate:

          “federal prosecutors in Michigan who received [AG] Nessel’s [Jan 2022] referral were waiting to hear from Monaco’s office about how Main Justice wanted to proceed.”

          • emptywheel says:

            Start with your presumption, wouldn’t 1A apply to J6C too? No. No it wouldn’t. And that’s the error in the WaPo analysis that it parrots from its sources.

            The issue when you PROSECUTE something, as opposed to investigate it for legislative reasons, is that that protection is … about protection. Preventing someone from prosecuting you for something that is protected by the Constitution.

            That the President said, “march to the Capitol and muck up the vote count” (which is more explicit than what he said) creates a legislative problem. But the bar to charging for it is very very high. Given the precedent of Hawaii, so do the fake elector certs UNTIL you have evidence it was coordinated with knowledge the docs were fraudulent, which takes finding an email Ken Chesebro sent acknowledging that.

            And INVESTIGATIVE subpoenas, as opposed to legislative ones, require a predicated investigation first, which is what D’Antuono kept balking to prevent.

            I get that you’ve been brainwashed by all the anti-Garland crap out there, of which this article is an example. But once you distinguish between Congress’ job and the FBI’s, once you think about 1A, which WaPo didn’t do, then all this becomes much easier to make sense of.

            • Michael K says:

              Thank you Marcy, that clarifies a fair amount .

              I still don’t understand the lack of a predicated investigation (“what D’Antuono kept balking to prevent”). Why weren’t the forged electoral certificates received by the National Archives sufficient predicate as of Jan 2021?

              I understand some of these decisions were apparently made before Garland was confirmed. I’m not a brainwashed Garland hater. But isn’t it fair to criticize whatever individuals were involved in making these decisions? At a minimum for not raising these to the top to be re-evaluated once Garland was confirmed, and also re-evaluated in conjunction with other new info which emerged months before the Michigan AGs referral? Here is the relevant passage from Wapo:

              “Officials at the National Archives had discovered similarities in fraudulent slates of electors for Trump that his Republican allies had submitted to Congress and the Archives. The National Archives inspector general’s office asked the Justice Department’s election crimes branch to consider investigating the seemingly coordinated effort in swing states. Citing its prosecutors’ discretion, the department told the Archives it would not pursue the topic, according to two people with knowledge of the decision.”

              • emptywheel says:

                WaPo seems to have very limited visibility into the reasons for this decision. It could very well have been Barr leave-behinds choosing not to investigate Trump.

                But as I said, given the HI precedent (and, actually, objections raised in 2016), the bar to opening an investigation JUST on the certs is quite high. That’s why I said you need the email from Chesebro saying that they knew the certs were illegal, because only with that do you have reason to believe a crime was committed.

                What this story IS is a story of how Monaco did reopen the consideration of this issue, no later than November, at which point FBI first started balking, and then, with DC USAO and Thomas Windom, to find other investigative means to reopen it. Reconsidering declinations is actually a pretty big deal, which WaPo doesn’t account for.

                But the other point OF THIS STORY is that WaPo was completely oblivious to one other major thing going on–finding a way to make Rudy’s content more accessible. Outsiders are convinced the reconsideration wouldn’t have happened w/o J6C. But given the difference in focus — and the fact that DOJ’s investigative direction preceded J6C’s public one by at least a month — that doesn’t hold up.

                One possible explanation for why Monaco said they were investigating fake electors before people in DC knew about it is if it was being referred from elsewhere.

                • Michael K says:

                  Thank you for explaining all that.

                  Re: “Reconsidering declinations is actually a pretty big deal”
                  I’d love to understand that better. What is that process (apparently it was eventually reconsidered) and what is the minimum timeframe vs. the actual timeframe?

                  I gather from your “it could very well have been Barr leave-behinds” comment that you agree that the outright declination of the Archives referral was inappropriate (and seemingly delayed some areas of investigation)?

                  The obvious difference between Hawaii/1960 vs. 2020 is that in 2020 there were no judges ordering new recounts and no Governors ordering new certifications on or after the safe harbor deadline. In most if not all of the 7 relevant states, litigation was ruled upon by Dec 14 2020. Even if individual fake electors could claim ignorance as a defense, isn’t the evidence of coordination across 7 states and the many “absent” Trump electors who had to be “replaced” probable cause that SOMEONE was coordinating a conspiracy?

                  Interpreting the news in these strange times practically requires a crash course in federal law, and that’s beyond the scope of the newspaper model to deliver and also why I try to follow your writing. Thanks again.

                  • emptywheel says:

                    No one knows what happened. That’s my point about WaPo’s limited visibility.

                    It is demonstrable that WaPo has enormous knowledge gaps and what visibility it has — for example, on the decision to shoot down JP Cooney’s plan — it doesn’t have the context to understand what it learned (eg, the likely import of the Straka so-called cooperation).

                    So we simply don’t know why that investigation was declined. And without that, we don’t know how big a lift reopening the investigation would be.

                    This story is really the product of people trying to place blame, possibly in advance of some bad news about to drop or trying to blame Garland for charges that go beyond the election. Three obvious sources — Michael Sherwin, Steve D’Antuono, and sources close to J6C — were significantly responsible for delays. So this story has to be viewed in that light, especially given what I’ve laid out here and in my Straka/Shroyer post, that WaPo is utterly ignorant of key developments.

  6. BRUCE F COLE says:


    “Q. Who was on your team at that point [November 5]?

    A. You know, it was put out in a press release some days later. So it’s hard to know exactly who joined.”

  7. CoLeitrim says:

    Also, would love to know more about this in your comment on this post: (and seems to have been misled by people who have real conflicts, including J6C members). Misled about what, what are the conflicts, and what J6C folks are you talking about? Forgive me but, as I said in my first comment, I thought I was following the whole J6 investigation closely until I started reading your blog. Now I realize you’re all over this thing, and the Post is, sadly, a shadow of its former self. Or maybe it’s just that Jack Smith doesn’t have a direct leak line to them as did Ken Starr.

    • emptywheel says:

      Probably because they wrongly believed that DOJ had refused to indict Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino out of spite rather than a now vindicated analysis of whether they could get a conviction, J6C stalled the release of its transcripts 6 months beyond there was an investigative need to do so. I’ve already IDed two ways the delay did affirmative damage to the Proud Boys prosecution (and did so after Tim Kelly delayed the trial precisely to avoid that damage), but it delayed putting the transcripts into DOJ’s hands to use it as a tool to flip witnesses.

      At least two of WaPo’s sources are key J6C members who were part of that decision. So they have a conflict, in that they’re trying to blame someone else for damage they chose to cause, for a delay they are personally responsible for.

  8. Savage Librarian says:

    On the First Day of Monaco

    On the First Day of Monaco
    a coup glove gave to thee
    a crossbridge to a lair tree

    On the second day of Monaco
    a coup glove gave to thee
    Two thermal thugs
    and a crossbridge to a lair tree

    On the third day of Monaco
    a coup glove gave to thee
    Three henchmen
    Two thermal thugs
    and a crossbridge to a lair tree

    [Subsequent verses, or make up some of your own choosing!]

    Four calling curs
    Five stolen things
    Six cheats naysaying
    Seven cons a-skimming
    Eight aides a-bilking
    Nine crazies planning
    Ten records creeping
    Eleven gripers griping
    Twelve plumbers plumbing

    • tje.esq@23 says:

      …would not improve your clever prose, but seems like from 6 to 11 you could insert “lawyers” as the actor(s), and robustly depict the misdeeds of many (most?) responsible parties, whose actions reveal a profession in need of a reckoning!

      and rid you of syllable-adder ‘a-…’ in seven and eight! :)

      • Savage Librarian says:

        My hope was to credit Lisa Monaco with getting the whole ball rolling in managing to adroitly handle privilege issues relative to the exploitation of Rudy’s devices. Now we have reached the snowball effect and Rudy may finally be flipping! Will we have a Christmas in July?

        While I understand your sentiments, I wanted to hew closely to the sounds and rhythms of the words in the original song:


        “The Twelve Days Of Christmas”

  9. SonofaWW2Marine says:

    On evidence & Rudy Giuliani, at 12:24 pm today, the NY Times posted an article by Ben Protess, Alan Feuer, & Maggie Haberman saying that the special counsel’s office interviewed Giuliani under a proffer letter. That’s the first step to a cooperation guilty plea, if they can corroborate the facts that Giuliani proffers. They may be in, or at least close to, Trump’s inner circle.

        • Rayne says:

          Links to major news outlets aren’t a problem so long as any tracking in the URL has been removed.

          • SonofaWW2Marine says:

            Rayne, many thanks, & if you’ll forgive an occasionally tech-challenged retired fed, how do I make sure I’ve removed any tracking from a URL?

            • Rayne says:

              It’s okay. For others who are reading and likewise curious, I’ll use an easy example — Forbes magazine online.

              I typed “forbes.com” into my browser’s address/URL line and this is what showed up after a brief hesitation:

              https:// www. forbes. com/ ?sh=fc4ccf52254c

              I’ve “broken” that URL by adding blank spaces so that it’s not active. The site issues a session ID — the number appearing after the ? — to each visitor while its server also notes where the user has come from, what kind of device they’re using, and what browser. The latter three items are nearly universal across all internet server as they’re recorded in a basic traffic log — what came in and when — but in most cases the server doesn’t record anything more personally identifying.

              A session ID, though, links as a bundle all the information collected about that user. Not only the basic traffic data but which pages that session visited, what link brought them in, and whether this user has been at the site before.

              If a bunch of users came from this site, you can imagine the kind of analysis which happens after that.

              Some folks here like to provide guest links for free access which is great, but I’d prefer those links were broken at the ?, copied and pasted into a new tab to protect both the privacy of the gifter, this site, and the users who avail themselves of the gift.

  10. Savage Librarian says:

    Mystic Smile

    Monaco,Lisa…Monaco, Lisa,
    they’ve disclaimed you,
    But you’re like the lady
    with the mystic smile,
    Was it some phony baloney
    who has blamed you,
    For that Monaco, Lisa flair
    that’s your style?

    You compiled pre-empted cover,
    Monaco, Lisa,
    It’s such a fine way
    to hide a work of art.

    Many schemes have been brought
    to your doorstep,
    People lie there, stratify there,
    That’s their norm,
    It’s so real, Monaco, Lisa,
    but you’ve been bold,
    the only way right from the start!


    “Jerry Lee Lewis – Mona Lisa. Live in London England 1983”



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