The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Change the Subject

There's an old saying among defense lawyers: "When the preponderance of evidence points to the guilt of your client, change the subject." That what the Democrats have tried with their 10 page "rebuttal" memo. Not surprisingly, they have failed, but using their well-worn obfuscation strategy, the Dems have muddied the waters by giving the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd something to talk about.

The Dem's memo can't modify clear facts that indicate: (1) the Democrats themselves funded (via Fusion GPS) a salacious and dishonest "dossier" written by an anti-Trump ex-spy (Christopher Steele); (2) that the memo was used to precipitate an FBI investigation of the Trump campaign and used as "evidence" to gain access to a FISA warrant; (3) that the FBI under Barack Obama conveniently forgot to mention to the FISA court that the dossier was funded by Trump political opponent, and (4) that all of these tactics ultimately indicate that the Dems were closer to "collusion" with the Russians than the Trump campaign ever was.

But the TDS crowd will rely on an inveterate liar, Congressman Adam Schiff, to tell us that the Dem rebuttal memo somehow invalidates the findings delineated in the original GOP memo. You might recall that it was Schiff who claimed that there was clear evidence of "Russian collusion" yet has failed to product such evidence. It was Schiff who claimed that the GOP memo would divulge methods and sources that would threaten national security when the memo did nothing of the kind. It was Schiff who predicted that the Trump administration would "redact" the Dem rebuttal memo before it was submitted, knowing full-well that the rebuttal memo was purposely seeded with security violations that would make his dishonest prediction come true. Over the past year, Schiff has lied repeatedly, making his present claims suspect on their face. He continues to lie now, but the trained hamsters in the media give him a voice.

Adam Shaw discusses some of the rebuttal memo's claims:
The rebuttal said the FBI had an "independent basis" for investigating Page's motivations, and that he had been targeted for recruitment by the Russians. It also claimed that the DOJ "repeatedly informed the Court about Steele's background, credibility, and potential bias." And it maintained that the Justice Department infomed the FISA court that Steele had been hired by "politically motivated U.S. persons and entities and that his research appeared intended for use "to discredit" Trump's campaign.

The rebuttal added that the DOJ only made "narrow use" of information from Steele's sources and that in later FISA renewals the DOJ provided "additional information obtained through multiple independent sources" that backed up Steele's reporting. It challenged the Republican assertion that the FBI authorized payment to Steele, saying that it neglected that the payment was canceled.

The memo, however, did not directly challenge the Republican assertion that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified to the House Committee that they would not have sought the Page surveillance warrant had it not been for that infamous dossier.

The new memo also asserted that the dossier had been corroborated by multiple sources. However, in June 2017 testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey said the opposite -- that three months after the warrant on Page had been granted he still considered the dossier "unverified" and "salacious" when he briefed incoming President Trump in January 2017 at Trump Tower ...

The White House called the rebuttal a "politically driven document" that fails to answer the concerns raised by the Republican memo.

"As the Majority’s memorandum stated, the FISA judge was never informed that Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded the dossier that was a basis for the Department of Justice’s FISA application," Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

"In addition, the Minority’s memo fails to even address the fact that the Deputy FBI Director told the Committee that had it not been for the dossier, no surveillance order would have been sought," she added.
Despite the Dem's claims, it's hard not to conclude that the Obama administration weaponized high ranking FBI and DoJ officials to act against Hillary Clinton's opponent—and then did everything possible to stonewall their actions and ultimately lie about them.

Byron York does an excellent job of dissecting the inconsistencies and outright falsehoods promulgated by the rebuttal memo. The Democrats base their entire argument on the misdeeds of a low level functionary, Carter Page, who if you believe the Democrats, was a combination of Benedict Arnold and Alger Hiss. It's all nonsense, but remember: ""When the preponderance of evidence points to the guilt of your client, change the subject."

UPDATE (2/26/18):

Another thoughtful and thorough dissection of the rebuttal memo has been written by Andrew McCarthy. In it, McCarthy effectively dismantles the memo's attempts to obfuscate and mislead, notes its blatant inconsistencies and convenient omissions, and after lengthy analysis, concludes with:
In sum, the Schiff memo does more to harm than to advance the Democrats’ defense of the Obama administration and the use of the FISA process by the FBI and the DOJ.
But that's only true if the trained hamsters in the media note the problems with the rebuttal memo, instead of implying that both the GOP and Dem documents are equivalent in their weight and their veracity. Of course, the hamsters will do no such thing,