Balkinization  

Friday, December 08, 2017

Judge Kozinski Impeachment Hearings

Gerard N. Magliocca

The story in today's Washington Post about Judge Alex Kozinski's alleged conduct towards some of his law clerks and other employees in the Ninth Circuit should trigger a formal inquiry by the House Judiciary Committee. I'll reserve judgment on whether Judge Kozinski has committed a high crime and misdemeanor under the Constitution, but the question should be reviewed by the institution with the authority to decide that question. Perhaps, in the end, the answer will be that the most appropriate sanction is some sort of censure or reprimand by the Ninth Circuit.

Comments:

If the evidence is credible, perhaps Judge Kosinski can be expected to retire; otherwise, he might taint any panel he serves on in the future.

But if sanction is called for, should it be by the Ninth Circuit?

 

Judges "shall serve their office while holding good behavior." "High crimes and misdemeanors" is language in article II.

Kosinski should be run from his position of power and influence like all the other creeps.
 


"The Genius of Hamilton and the Birth of the
Modern Theory of the Judiciary" by William M. Treanor may be of interest as the Judge Kozinski travails take place. It's part of "CAMBRIDGE COMPANION TO THE FEDERALIST" ( Jack Rakove & Colleen Sheehan eds., Cambridge University Press forthcoming 2017) available on SSRN:

https://ssrn.com/abstract=3078083

It's 53 pages in length but is a fairly quick read as it is triple-spaced. The abstract and a direct link are available at either the Legal History Blog or the Legal Theory Blog.


 

By the Bybee [expletives deleted], here's a comment of ming at a recent post by Prof. Colb at Dorf on Law:

***

Shag from Brookline said...
On an earlier thread at this Blog I queried whether the failure to timely ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) may have contributed to continuing sexual harassment/assault. Neither the poster (not Prof. Colb) nor any commenters took the bait. I made a similar query at another legal blog. Silence there as well. While the 19th A ratified in 1920 granted women the right to vote, it did not address other areas of equality with men. Here's a link:

http://www.ushistory.org/us/57c.asp

to a history of what happened to the ERA. While some federal and state statutes have addressed certain rights for women, that's not the same as an amendment to the Constitution, just as the 13th A was necessary following Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The ratification of ERA might not have resulted in eliminating sexual harassment/assault, but it might have helped diminish such. Equal pay and other workplace issues involving women might have followed by statute, reducing the power of men in the workplace over women that has contributed to sexual harassment/assault.

***

None of the usual suspects have picked up on this. Perhaps there are not enough female commenters at that blog - or at this one.

9:10 AM Delete
 

I'll be interested to see if any actual evidence is available. Barring that, I don't see any impeachment proceedings taking place.

We're in the middle of a moral panic. One of the characteristics of a moral panic is that the normal, sensible demand for evidence before accusations are believed gets tossed aside, on the basis that demanding normal procedural safeguards is "defending pedophiles", or whatever.

Feeding this is a real culture in some circles of genuine violations which had been systematically hidden. This has fed the panic like a grass fire finding a pool of gasoline; Plenty of people who don't dare contest the accusations, because they know they can be proved guilty, establish a pattern of resigning at the first accusation, which starts to be expected after a while, and even begins to look reasonable as a rule.

This makes a moral panic a great time to try to take down your enemies, since all you need is to find somebody willing to accuse them.

But eventually the panic goes after people stubborn enough to fight, and scares enough people that the safeguards start being restored, and dies down. I'm thinking this particular panic is reaching its peak, and will be burning out soon.
 

Brett, like moral panic regarding Muslims? Did Jim Crow result from moral panic that continued for more than a century? Were the 2016 GOP presidential debates a moral panic?

Brett's "I'll be interested to see if any actual evidence is available." reveals a lack of understanding as to what may constitute evidence. Perhaps what Brett means is that he doesn't believe the reports of what several individuals (females) have said.

I don't expect the Republican controlled House to impeach Kozinski for an obvious reason. (Cite: Hollywood Access tapes plus reports from more than a dozen females concerning Trump.)

I think Brett is in a panic, and its not for moral reasons.
 

Yes, Shag, I don't regard accusations as a significant category of "evidence".
 

Brett expresses "a little bit pregnant" view of evidence.

TPM closes its report today on Kozinski with this:

***

In a statement to the Post, Kozinski responded to the reporting without denying any of the allegations.

“I have been a judge for 35 years and during that time have had over 500 employees in my chambers,” he said. “I treat all of my employees as family and work very closely with most of them. I would never intentionally do anything to offend anyone and it is regrettable that a handful have been offended by something I may have said or done.”

***
Those with more time on their hands could check the Archives of this Blog for "evidence" of Brett's hypocrisy regarding his:

"Yes, Shag, I don't regard accusations as a significant category of 'evidence'."


 

An accusation is a statement by a witness, in this case the victim. If repeated under oath, it's "actual evidence".
 

Technically, they're only "the victim" if the accusation is true.
 

Mark:

As a defense attorney, I use the term complaining witness.

The term victim assumes guilt.
 

Brett: We're in the middle of a moral panic.

More like a witch hunt based on unproven allegations and innuendo.

Since when has basic due process become a dirty word in America?
 

Those with more time on their hands could check the Archives of this Blog for "evidence" of SPAM's hypocrisy regarding his:

"More like a witch hunt based on unproven allegations and innuendo.

Since when has basic due process become a dirty word in America?"

during Obama's two terms.

 

It's rich to see our conservatives sudden concern for due process for the accused. There's plenty of men and women sitting in jail today based of witness testimony. The conservative response to this has been to underfund indigent defense, read 4th, 5th and 6th Amendment rights narrowly (and complain of the 'activist judges' who don't), underfund the jails in which they serve their time, etc. But the moment wealthy white men become the target of such our conservatives fear a 'moral panic' or 'witch hunt.'

These two preaching about caution and not jumping to conclusions were speaking with certainty of Hillary Clinton's 'felonies' a few months ago.
 

BD: Since when has basic due process become a dirty word in America?"

Shag: during Obama's two terms.


A reasonable argument can be made for this proposition.

Team Obama did spy on political opponents and then illegally provided cherry picked parts of that intelligence gathering to the Democrat media for anonymous publication paired with innuendo. Genuine star chamber stuff.
 

Blogger Mista Whiskas said...It's rich to see our conservatives sudden concern for due process for the accused. There's plenty of men and women sitting in jail today based of witness testimony.

Men and women who enjoyed due process rights to compel the prosecutor to prove her case beyond a reasonable doubt, to maintain their silence or not, to cross example the complaining and other witnesses, to examine any physical evidence, to offer your own witnesses and to appeal any conviction.

Rights denied the accused in this current witch hunt.

These two preaching about caution and not jumping to conclusions were speaking with certainty of Hillary Clinton's 'felonies' a few months ago.

I was one of the leading proponents of bringing the evidence against Mrs. Clinton before a grand jury and then a trial jury, providing her with every due process right granted a criminal defendant.
 

The "good behavior" language cited in a previous comment arguably has some difference in this context than the "high crimes" etc. language but other than limited commentary the two have been applied together. OTOH, judges have been put to a stronger test of probity over the years. The limited commentary is of some interest to me.

One difference for lower courts is that there is a mechanism to keep judges from serving on the bench for at least a limited period of time by a judiciary oversight mechanism set up by the court system. The constitutionality of this was upheld in the past. It is perfectly sound practice to require due process here. And, the lead post shows there are various approaches suitable there.

The article discusses one incident:

Kozinski, according to Murphy and two others present at the time who spoke to The Post, said that if that were the case, she should work out naked. Those in the group tried to change the subject, Murphy and the others present said, but the judge kept steering the conversation toward the idea of Murphy exercising without clothes.

So, you have three people -- who since it involves a federal judge, clearly opens up a chance of them being called to testify -- making an accusation. When times come when wrongs are addressed [and conservatives have their own], there will be a lot of allegations. They need to be handled carefully.

As Mr. W. notes, some might not be the best prophets there, but the overall idea is sensible.
 

"Team Obama did spy on political opponents and then illegally provided cherry picked parts of that intelligence gathering to the Democrat media for anonymous publication paired with innuendo. Genuine star chamber stuff."

To translate for those who love country and integrity over partisanship: "During Obama's presidency federal intelligence and law enforcement came across evidence of attempts by a foreign government to interfere in our elections and of one of the two major party candidate's either being an accomplice to this or a willing beneficiary and, upon that candidate's undemocratic election some of this information was made public so said incoming administration could not cover it up."
 

"Rights denied the accused in this current witch hunt."

Except this 'witch hunt' doesn't involve criminal cases but rather decisions by politicians to step down and/or employers to let go employees, so your usual overblown rhetoric about 'star chambers' and 'witch hunts' is noted.

"I was one of the leading proponents of bringing the evidence against Mrs. Clinton before a grand jury"

Except before there is grand jury there is a law enforcement investigation. There was one here and the lifelong GOP official who led it determined that there was so much nothing there that no grand jury was warranted. This, of course, didn't stop you and Brett's 'witch hunt.'
 

Mr. W:

Please.

Team Clinton paid a opponent research troll to manufacture lies about Trump, which the Obama FBI used for some unclear purpose, likely to support a FISA warrant to spy on members Team Trump. (Of interest in this regard, a former FISA judge recused himself from the Flynn case for unstated reasons)

Furthermore, members of the Obama administration, without any apparent need for the information, requested the identity of US persons be disclosed in intelligence transcripts of foreign telecommunications well over a thousand times.

None of this involved actual evidence supporting the Democrat slander that Team Trump conspired with the Russians to fix the US election.

Why are you defending a government abusing the NSA to spy on its political opponents?
 

BD: "Rights denied the accused in this current witch hunt."

Mr. W: Except this 'witch hunt' doesn't involve criminal cases but rather decisions by politicians to step down and/or employers to let go employees, so your usual overblown rhetoric about 'star chambers' and 'witch hunts' is noted.


So you are OK with people losing their livelihoods and reputations and voters losing their elected representatives on nothing more that unfounded accusations and innuendo?

BD: "I was one of the leading proponents of bringing the evidence against Mrs. Clinton before a grand jury"

Mr. W: Except before there is grand jury there is a law enforcement investigation. There was one here and the lifelong GOP official who led it determined that there was so much nothing there that no grand jury was warranted. This, of course, didn't stop you and Brett's 'witch hunt.'


True. Unlike yourself, I do not allow corrupt refusals to enforce the law to stop my acknowledgment of the evidence.

Due process works both ways, assuring fact-finding and justice for both the accused and the people. The current witch hunt denies the accused and the Muller/Obama DOJ's refusal to enforce the law denied the people fact-finding and justice.
 

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"So you are OK with people losing their livelihoods and reputations and voters losing their elected representatives on nothing more that unfounded accusations and innuendo?"

No, you are. Conservatives like yourself are big champions of non-unionized, at-will employment, and in such situations people are fired all the time owed no process at all by their employers. You and Brett are more than fine with this most of the time, so crying 'star chamber' and 'witch hunt' here is just another laughable example of your ideology overruling your intellectual and moral integrity.

"Unlike yourself, I do not allow corrupt refusals to enforce the law to stop my acknowledgment of the evidence."

Haha, of course, for Bart, process isn't important, it's whether the 'right' decision was made all along.


 

Again, to translate for those who love country and integrity over rank partisanship: "A conservative media outlet funded by a GOP donor paid for opposition research into GOP primary candidate Trump, research that drew in part on the work of a former M16 official with expertise in Russian matters. When Trump became the nominee for the GOP it stopped paying for that and the DNC/Clinton campaign took up the contract. That opposition research, among other things, were considered when decisions were made to further look into this serious potential breach of national security. From that research has come several formal charges and one guilty plea obtained from top level Trump campaign and cabinet officials who, after lying about it, were foreign agents working with Russia."

"Why are you defending a government abusing the NSA to spy on its political opponents?"

Why are you defending Russian agents working as part of a major party campaign to subvert our democracy?
 

I recently finished "You Don't Own Me: How Mattel v. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie's Dark Side" (pretty good) and the judge plays an important role in the story.

He is known for being a character who is at times blunt & saying things that people will not like. This includes public statements on controversial issues. Kozinksi also got in a bit of trouble for not carefully keeping a collection of sexual images he found amusing offline from public viewing. So, it is not surprising if he said things on sexual topics that bothered people. And, the rules are stricter now & that's appropriate at least up to a point in the work place.

Then, there are various things he might find amusing but cross some line, especially when dealing with subordinates. For instance, talking about not wearing clothes or something regarding female clerks. Or, again speaking merely of allegations, showing clerks [this can include conservative minded male clerks] some of his private porn & asking questions about it. He might find some of this sort of thing okay or something [the article cites the usual "if they were offended" line in response] but objectively he will find he is in dissent.
 

"From that research has come" should read "From that investigation has come"
 

One more thing, since I do want to try to focus on the specific claim here in the context of someone who I personally respect in various ways. This is so even though I disagree with his positions on various issues -- the guy was a Reagan appointee after all -- thought he would have made a good conservative president SCOTUS pick.

Here's a long quote from one of the complaining witnesses, citing but one thing, which I can totally see Kozinksi thinking was not a problem, but without being some sort of moral monster or anything at all, he would be wrong:

I was also alone the day he showed me what he called his knock chart. It was a typed piece of paper listing all the girls that he and his friends had banged while they were in college, tracking their conquests.

“Don’t tell your co-clerks about this,” he said. “It’s not something I want them to know about.”

I don’t remember everything he told me. I do remember him talking about how terrible the focus on STDs today was, because nobody was willing to just fuck anymore.

When this happened, I felt like a prey animal—as if I had to make myself small. If I did, if I never admitted to having any emotions at all, I would get through it.

Despite my best efforts, I continued to have emotions. Why was I alone? What was the purpose of not having the other clerks around? Most prevalent of all was this worry: Was it going to escalate? What could I do if it did?


The personal response is quite understandable & one thing she highlights in her account is that she was repeatedly called in alone as the "computer" clerk because of her expertise in that area. She felt, as many do, differently when dealing with him alone.

http://www.courtneymilan.com/metoo/kozinski.html

Note to his pressure on having her read certain things, which is a tad ironic given his broad libertarian approach. Again, it is important to properly vet this sort of allegation. But, with a range of allegations and his overall personality, it is quite believable. It is a sort of dark side of an appealing character that arises in other cases too and it is appropriate we are addressing it now. And, removal or resignation very well might not be necessary. This doesn't take him off the hook if the stuff is true though.
 

Ignore the headline that contradicts the body of the article.

"The Washington Free Beacon website confirmed it originally retained the political research firm Fusion GPS to scour Mr Trump's background.

The website is largely funded by Republican billionaire Paul Singer.

It insisted none of the early material it collected went on to appear in the dossier compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele which made claims of links between Mr Trump and Russia. These links are denied by Mr Trump.

In a statement the Free Beacon said: "During the 2016 election cycle we retained Fusion GPS to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary, just as we retained other firms to assist in our research into Hillary Clinton.

"The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele.""
 

BD: "So you are OK with people losing their livelihoods and reputations and voters losing their elected representatives on nothing more that unfounded accusations and innuendo?"

Mr. W: No, you are. Conservatives like yourself are big champions of non-unionized, at-will employment


I know this is difficult for a progressive to understand, but the freedom to do something and whether you should do it are two different things. For example, I enjoy the freedom to call you an ignorant assh_le, but decline to do so because my mother raised me better than that.

Again, to translate for those who love country and integrity over rank partisanship: "A conservative media outlet funded by a GOP donor paid for opposition research into GOP primary candidate Trump, research that drew in part on the work of a former M16 official with expertise in Russian matters.

The Washington Beacon was one of several customers the FusionGPS scammed with their false Russia Dossier. The Beacon had the good sense not to publish the lies.

In any case, you are offering another rotting pile of red herring to distract from the fact the Obama administration used this garbage to justify spying on political opponents.

From that research has come several formal charges and one guilty plea obtained from top level Trump campaign and cabinet officials who, after lying about it, were foreign agents working with Russia."

The Obama administration investigation partly or fully started on the false pretext created by the Russia Dossier did indeed manage to catch two opposition party operatives in perjury traps. Wonderful. Now, you are celebrating the political weaponization of law enforcement against the political opposition.

Scratch a progressive and you generally end up with a totalitarian.


 

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"In a statement the Free Beacon said"

I tell you what value should be put into anything the Free Beacon says, when the news broke of the ties between Fusion and the Clinton campaign the Free Beacon said that 'an unknown GOP source' had initially contracted Fusion when it was the Beacon itself which was that 'unknown' source!
 

"the freedom to do something and whether you should do it are two different things"

Irrelevant. The fact is that employers with at-will employees fire people for all kinds of reasons with no process whatsoever all the time and conservatives like yourself don't run around screaming 'witch hunt' and 'star chamber.' It's telling that only when the targets are seen as white men with some power that your tribal authoritarian follower tendencies kick in and the screaming starts.

"the fact the Obama administration used this garbage to justify spying on political opponents"

They didn't use just the dossier (though of course why wouldn't they use something from a widely respected, experienced intel official specializing in Russia?). Heck, everyone knew that Paul Manafort, the freaking campaign manager of the Trump campaign was a Russian foreign agent with a past history of election meddling for Russia. That fact alone justified looking more into that situation, to not do so would have been a dereliction of duty. And guess what? It's a good thing that it was looked into, because we now know that there were at least a half a dozen foreign agents in high level campaign and cabinet positions in the Trump campaign/administration.

"you are celebrating the political weaponization of law enforcement against the political opposition."

No, I'm celebrating the exposing of foreign agents in a presidential campaign/cabinet. You seem to think the only thing wrong with foreign powers interfering in our elections and foreign agents running the campaigns/cabinets of our presidents is looking into it and telling people about it when it's found.

Scratch a Trump defender and you generally wind up with a traitor I guess.
 

Correcting Bart's mistakes and mocking his hyperbole is great fun, but on to the actual topic here. I actually agree with joe in that I've long thought quite well of Kozinksi as a legal mind, so if these allegations are true it's quite disappointing. I have to say though, if the story from the clerk joe highlights is true, then quite apart from whether harassment has occurred here, who talks to an opposite sex co-worker like that in a professional setting? It seems crazy. I couldn't imagine saying or hearing that kind of talk from a co-worker in any white collar setting I've worked at...
 

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BD: "the fact the Obama administration used this garbage to justify spying on political opponents"

Mr, W: They didn't use just the dossier (though of course why wouldn't they use something from a widely respected, experienced intel official specializing in Russia?).


Then why did the Obama FBI obtain it?

Heck, everyone knew that Paul Manafort, the freaking campaign manager of the Trump campaign was a Russian foreign agent with a past history of election meddling for Russia. That fact alone justified looking more into that situation, to not do so would have been a dereliction of duty.

Working as a contractor in a foreign election is hardly out of the ordinary and certainly no reason to start a criminal investigation. See Team Obama working for Labor in the Israeli elections)

And guess what? It's a good thing that it was looked into, because we now know that there were at least a half a dozen foreign agents in high level campaign and cabinet positions in the Trump campaign/administration.

Foreign agents?

I could make the obvious Joe McCarthy reference here, but that would be unfair to the senator. At least he was correct about the FDR and Truman administrations being riddled with actual Soviet intelligence agents and sources. You are criminalizing diplomatic contact with the Russian ambassador.
 

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"Then why did the Obama FBI obtain it?"

First, it's wasn't 'the Obama FBI,' the director of the FBI was lifelong Republican Comey. Second, from what I've read Comey got the dossier via John McCain after McCain checked with British diplomat who vouched for its author's expertise. As to why Comey would take it, the obvious answer is because 1. they had many reasons to think Russia was interfering in or election and 2. that people involved in the Trump campaign were foreign agents tied to Russia and 3. the information was intel colelcted by an ex-M16 agent whose expertise was in Russia. Why wouldn't they consider this additional potential source of information? From what I've read there are reports they used the raw intelligence on Carter Page's Russia ties to argue for surveillance of Page, and guess what, that was ultimately largely confirmed.

"Working as a contractor in a foreign election is hardly out of the ordinary and certainly no reason to start a criminal investigation."

Manafort and Gates worked for an Ukranian candidate but was also being paid clandestinely (without disclosing their foreign bank accounts or paying taxes on the income) by Ukranians that were pawns of the Kremlin (the guy was literally a double foreign agent!). There's several crimes involved there *on its face* without facing the obvious questions that a campaign manager of one of the two party Presidential candidates getting millions of laundered dollars should generate. Additionally, he did not register as a foreign agent, that right there was also illegal. To top it off, he has lied about all of this. It would be dereliction of duty not to look further considering all of this.

"See Team Obama working for Labor in the Israeli elections"

Are you talking about when an NGO (OneVoiceIsrael) operating in Israel that had received a grant from the State Department was alleged to have developed certain programs, as it was directed to, but then used those created resources to work to mobilize voters against BiBi? Even were this the case note how far 'NGO that had grant from State Department' is from 'campaign manager for Presidential campaign.' But moreso, the United States Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that investigated this claim concluded "OneVoice Israel's conduct fully complied with the terms of its agreements with the State Department and governing grant guidelines" and that "the Subcommittee found no evidence that OneVoice spent grant funds to influence the 2015 Israeli elections."

"You are criminalizing diplomatic contact with the Russian ambassador."

Manafort and Gates did far more than having 'diplomatic contact with the Russian ambassador.' As for Flynn, who I guess you're referring to, he did over a half million dollars of lobbying work for the Turkish government and himself declared as a foreign agent. As to his Russia ties, it's hard to assess their scope with him lying about them so much (which seems endemic for people in the Trump administration).
 

It is interesting how National Public Radio banished accused sexual abuser Garrison Keillor and his years of wonderful work on Prairie Home Companion to a Stalinist memory hole .
 

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Mr. W:

You really need to keep up with the reporting.

“Lifelong Republican” Comey appointed one Peter Strzok as the head of the Clinton email investigation. Strzok is a Democrat partisan who convinced Comey to change his finding that Clinton was grossly negligent (and thus guilty of violating a provision of the Espionage Act) to “extremely careless.” Strzok also conducted the Flynn perjury trap interview. “Lifelong Republican” Mueller appointed Strzok to his team of Democrats until a tranche of this Trump-hating texts emerged.

None of the Russia Dossier lies have anything to do with the Democrat big lie that Trump conspired with Putin to fix the 2016 election and deny your criminal dowager queen in waiting the election.

Prior to this transparently political investigation of Team Trump, when did the FBI last dedicate a team of agents to a case of failure to register as a foreign agent or to set perjury traps for members of a president-elect’s team who speak with foreign ambassadors?

Can you imagine how the Democrat media and you would howl if the Dubya administration was caught weaponizing the NSA and FBI in the same way against Team Obama during and after the 2008 election?
 

HI blog , là Tuấn Anh đây. Bài viết của blog rất hay. Đọc xong Tuấn Anh muốn xách balo lên và đi đến ngay địa điểm du lịch này để trải nghiệm thử
 

Apparently Comey's such a loyal Republican that he voted for Carter over Reagan. And rolled over when a Democratic AG ordered him to lie about an investigation for political purposes, (It's a "matter, not an "investigation".) but immediately resumed taking notes when a Republican took office. (He did it while Bush was in office, too.)

Which, admittedly, doesn't mean he wasn't a "Republican"; Just clarifies what sort of Republican he was.
 

Bart grabs a shovel and digs harder.

His latest attempt is to throw shade on the FBI, and it's look into the numerous foreign agents in the Trump administration/campaign and their possible ties to interference in our democratic processes by a foreign power, by simply pointing to Peter Strzok, "a Democrat partisan" being involved in FBI investigations. Note that this isn't an argument, it's barely innuendo (more like, as I said, simply pointing). First, what we know about Strzok is simply that he was removed from the Mueller investigation for sending tweets making fun of Donald Trump. Upon this basis Bart sloppily, yet, being Bart, equally confidently, labels Strzok "a Democrat partisan," because goodness knows that any person who makes fun of Donald Trump could only be a "Democrat partisan" (several times here Bart himself has made fun of Trump and even seriously called him a fascist, I guess Bart is a "Democrat partisan"). The fact that at the same time Bart mocks the reference to Comey as a lifelong Republican by putting scare quotes around the term lifelong is telling. We have records of Comey donating to GOP candidates and he was a registered Republican. So, to review, in Bart's partisan addled mind, making fun of Donald Trump makes you a "Democrat partisan" while a recorded history of donating to the GOP and being registered as a Republican doesn't make you a lifelong Republican.

Of course, that's not all, Bart usually makes several orders of error in his reasoning on any subject and that's true here as well. Even were we to jump to the conclusion at this point that Strzok is a "Democrat partisan," so what? First, of course FBI agents have political leanings, but they are also highly trained professionals.
Like all highly trained professionals they are capable of doing good work and being fair regardless of what they think politically of the the people involved in their work. This happens every day in many professions (Bart surely doesn't think all that well of many of those he represents, so can we conclude he botches their defense?). Bart likes to post articles from National Review's Andrew McCarthy here, so I'll post this one wherein McCarthy argues that so far Strzok proves pretty much nothing.

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454413/fbi-agent-peter-strzok-justice-department

And there's even more points to make! Strzok was in every case part of a *team* of agents of varying political leanings and in every case was on a team *led by a known Republican* (Comey, now Mueller). If Bart is right in his innuendo backed, implied insinuation that having a "Democrat partisan" taints the entire investigations against Republicans, then by his own 'logic' the countervailing fact that the *leaders* of those investigations are "Republican partisans" (a fact more readily proved in each case) then is evidence the investigations are actually deeply tilted *in favor* of the Republicans involved. So, on several levels, Bart has big bunch of sloppy nothing here in his continued attempts to throw shade in defense of foreign agents involved in our politics and government.


 

"Prior to this transparently political investigation of Team Trump, when did the FBI last dedicate a team of agents to a case of failure to register as a foreign agent or to set perjury traps for members of a president-elect’s team who speak with foreign ambassadors?"

This is laughable. In this instance we have proof that the foreign government which the ambassadors and agents serve interfered in our election, so of course we should dedicate federal law enforcement to look into this matter, and this is especially so given that the current administration was rife with them in it's campaign/administration and has a proven record of lying about it. This isn't even a case of where's there's smoke there's fire, it's like we're driving down one of those flame engulfed CA highways we've seen so much of lately and Bart's standing by the side of the road waving us on screaming 'nothing to see here!'
 

"Comey's such a loyal Republican that he voted for Carter over Reagan"

This would have been when he was *20,* not even old enough to buy beer. After that we have a steady adult history of being a Republican, donating to them and registering as one.

"rolled over when a Democratic AG ordered him to lie about an investigation for political purposes"

It's actually long standing FBI policy to not comment on investigations/matters at that stage (Comey gave this as his reason as to why he never mentioned publicly that Trump was being investigated for his Russia ties), so if there was any bias going on it was *against* Clinton.

"resumed taking notes when a Republican took office. (He did it while Bush was in office, too"

It's hardly surprising he took notes and was careful during the Bush administration considering the episode that happened with him Ashcroft at Gonzalez's bedside, and of course his decision to take notes with Trump is easily explained by Trump's, at the least, unprofessional interactions and at most attempt at obstruction.


 

It's interesting to see what some call the 'asymmetrical' nature of political debate these days, where conservatives and liberals seem to be operating on different levels of extremism and it's attendant hyperbole, sloppy reasoning and shifting principals in the defense of principals. People like Bart can invest so much into something like 'one member of investigative team led by Republican made comments making fun of Republican President.' Can you imagine what kind of fuss they'd kick up if the investigations were actually being *led* by officials with the history of donating and registering with one party that Mueller and Comey but in reverse? I sometimes wonder if they're aware of how terrible the optics have been *in their favor* but, still wanting to promulgate propaganda and throw shade they go into a kind of pre-emptive ji-jitsu where they literally start a harping campaign on the mote in their opponents eye in the hopes no one will see the beam in theirs.
 

"It's actually long standing FBI policy to not comment on investigations/matters at that stage"

He wasn't asked to not comment. He was asked to publicly refer to an FBI investigation as "a matter". And did so, even though by his own testimony he recognized that it was both false, and political PR.

And, yeah, it was while he was young, but he was still the sort of Republican who voted for a Democrat when Reagan was on the ballot. Which is not your typical Republican.

Moreover, my point about his note taking wasn't so much about notes during the Bush and Trump administration, as that he stopped taking notes during the Obama administration>.

And that, too, tells you what sort of Republican he was.
 

I'm willing to bet that a fair amount of current Republicans who were 20 in 1980 didn't support Reagan. This is because, while it may not be your experience, people often change as they grow up. Not only is there a ton of empirical research on this topic of people becoming more conservative and settling there as they grow out of youth, there's a very famous saying about it: "He who is not a liberal at 25 has no heart, he who when older is not a conservative has no brain."

Again, imagine that it was revealed that Comey had decades of registering as a Democrat and donating to Democratic candidates, but it was then revealed that in 1980 he voted for Reagan. Does anyone here think Brett would question what kind of Democrat he were?

"wasn't so much about notes during the Bush and Trump administration, as that he stopped taking notes during the Obama administration"

Which as I pointed out can be made perfect sense without the tired RINO invocation by the fact that he experienced two such extraordinary and no doubt troubling events during those two administrations.

Again though, let me reiterate the asymmetry here. The Democratic candidate for President was being investigated by a team *led* by a man with a history of registering as a Republican and donating to Republican candidates. That lead investigator went out of his way and broke long standing FBI policy to comment on the 're-opening' of that investigation right before the election and before he had even sought to get a warrant to look at the new evidence in question and that very likely threw the election to the Republican candidate. But Republican partisans are so extreme and so shrill it's possible *bias toward the Democrat* that's being talked about! Incredible. Democrats and liberals are wrestling with one arm tied behind their back against an opponent with brass knuckles on hand and a knife on the other and is still complaining about the ref.
 

Mr. W:

Judge Strzok by his actions. Who other than a partisan Democrat would create a legal fiction to help the Democrat POTUS candidate dodge reams of evidence of criminal acts, while setting a perjury trap for a member of team Trump based on a perfectly legal conversation he alteady possessed? Certainly no trained professional FBI agent would do these things.

Precisely what evidence do you possess that the Russian diplomatic service, or indeed any Russian, interfered with the 2016 election. Sorry, the opinion of the Dem IT contractor concerning equipment the Dems tefused to disclose to the FBI is not worth a bucket of spit and would never be admitted into a court of law.

 

There was no legal fiction but rather a long history of charging practices in light of SCOTUS precedent on the relevant statute that you've never been able to rebut. Secondly, Strzok didn't and couldn't 'create' anything, he was one member of a team, a team led by a Republican. In fact, as McCarthy notes, the evidence points to the fact that Strzok did not recommend action against Flynn, though he should have given his breaking of the law (remember when Republicans thought perjury was a major offense? Principals change so principles do as well of course), he was overruled.

"Precisely what evidence do you possess that the Russian diplomatic service, or indeed any Russian"

The firm conclusion of over a dozen of our intelligence agencies (and foreign ones, as well as numerous independent analyses, many of which have made the basis for the analysis public and some of which I've linked to here before)? You know, a lesser version of which you were willing to go to war and kill people over a few years ago? But again, principles change for some.

Face it, even the most conservative GOP congresscritters, who've met with the intel agencies and seen the classified evidence, are clear about Russian interference.
 

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Mr. W: There was no legal fiction but rather a long history of charging practices in light of SCOTUS precedent on the relevant statute that you've never been able to rebut.

The claim “no reasonable prosecutor” would charge this evidence was immediately debunked with a series military prosecutions of the Espionage Act. The fictional Clinton Defense Inone of these cases resulted in a 1 year prison sentence.

BD: "Precisely what evidence do you possess that the Russian diplomatic service, or indeed any Russian"

Mr. W: The firm conclusion of over a dozen of our intelligence agencies...


LMAO! Would this be the same intelligence community which provided a consensus at State Department’s request to rewrite the CIA report on Benghazi to support the Clinton/Obama lie this was a demonstration over a video?

Judging you by your posts, are you really this stupid or simply a partisan Democrat?
 

"was immediately debunked with a series military prosecutions of the Espionage Act."

No, you nor anyone could else could offer one. And as proof, the one you offer here is also not one:

"the fictional Clinton Defense Inone of these cases resulted in a 1 year prison sentence."

Saucier said that he knew what he was doing was wrong the entire time, so the case isn't apt. But we've been down this road before, the very fact that this was your 'go to' shows the paucity of your argument.

"Would this be the same intelligence community which provided "

It would be the same intelligence community you believed when you went off to war, heck you believed them even when years later they and then President Bush admitted they had been wrong! But I should add that in one respect it wasn't the same intelligence community, in that far more agencies were involved in concluding Russia interfered (as well as numerous foreign intel agencies and, as I said, independent reviews that I've linked to before).

Bart's just a propagandist troll, at best, and a water carrier for traitors at worst. You can tell because he makes no good faith attempt to address arguments point by point but rather tries to take one part of a part of arguments made on multiple levels and case innuendo and finger pointing much like a monkey flinging feces on a wall in the hope that something sticks.

But let's not allow his poop flinging attempts to change what's going on here: the two major investigations referenced here were led by Republican officials (not, this guy said something I don't know what that was critical of a Democrat therefore he's a partisan Democrat, but two people with a demonstrable record of registering as and donating to Republicans), and in at least one of them the official engaged in a break with policy and tradition to help elect a Republican in a tight race with a Democrat, and our resident baboons are screaming and shaking the small trees about bias *against* Republicans! This isn't simple partisan blindness combined with an amazingly obtuse chutzpah (though both are things which seem to infect so many of the conservative rank and file lately) I submit, it's conscious culture warrior propagandism.



 

Mr. W: It would be the same intelligence community you believed when you went off to war...

My war was Persian Gulf. My brother served in the Iraq War.

As for your false analogy between Iraq and Benghazi/Russia...

The Bush administration publicly disclosed much of the evidence the intelligence communities (ours and others) possessed concerning Iraqi WMD programs and provided all of it to the congressional intelligence committees.

The Obama administration produced no evidence to support the demonstrated lie that Benghazi was a demonstration caused by a video or the claim the Russians hacked the DNC/Clinton campaign and provided Democrat documents to Wikileaks, and then stonewalled Congress's requests for that evidence. This is why you are reduced to citing an "intelligence community consensus" rather than the actual evidence I requested above.

We are not at war with Russia and doing business or conducting diplomacy with Russia is not a crime. Your slander that Team Trump committed treason is reprehensible.

Bush did later admit the intelligence estimates were mistaken, while you Democrats continue to lie about Benghazi and Russia.

Have you no honor?
 

In SPAM's case it is not questionable: SPAM has no honor. SPAM continues to display his selfishness over selflessness. But it is an honor that SPAM will not pass on his genes.
 

"As for your false analogy between Iraq and Benghazi/Russia"

As I said, it's not quite apt because there's far more widespread agreement about Russian interference than there was about Iraq.

"The Bush administration publicly disclosed much of the evidence the intelligence communities"

The cherry picked, selectively chosen and in some cases fabricated evidence? I've already posted the bi-partisan findings on all of this enough here.

"This is why you are reduced to citing an "intelligence community consensus"

I've linked before to independent discussions of and reviews of the evidence. As to the intelligence community consensus, do you think all 17 of our US agencies as well as many foreign agencies are in on some conspiracy?

And let's be clear: this is only on the specific claim of Russian hacks of the DNC. The interference in our elections by Russia has multiple aspects, including buying ad time on various media outlets and planting fake news stories (confirmed by many of the various outlets themselves). Heck, Donald Trump Jr. himself has confirmed that the Russians approached him with an attempt to interfere. Is he in on the conspiracy too?

You are pushing a nutty conspiracy theory in your attempt to carry water for traitors.
 

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Have you no honor?
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma : 1:10 PM


Lol. The worst lying piece of shit that I have ever encountered is blustering about honor? Hahahaha

Fuck you and the child molesters that you support.

 

Trump's own ambassador to Russia has said ""There is no question, underline no question, that the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election last year." His CIA director has said that Russia intervened working through Russia Today, with Wikileaks, and, while he said the meddling didn't tip the election he confirmed the intelligence communty's wide consensus on the matter.
 

I guess they're in on the conspiracy (along with every GOP member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who, after seeing the evidence of interference including that which can't be shared with the public, affirmed the meddling).
 

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Mr. W: I've linked before to independent discussions of and reviews of the evidence.

Not hardly.

The only known basis for the allegation the Russians "interfered" with the 2016 election was the Democrat claim Russia hacked and provided their emails and other documents to Wikileaks, supported only by the opinion of the Democrat IT contractor, without physical evidence from the computers concealed by the Democrats.

I was the one who posted the contractor's article for the purpose of shredding it.

The opinion of the "intelligence community" based entirely on the opinion of the Democrat IT contractor only proves the partisan bias of the "intelligence community."

FWIW, over a year ago, the Obama administration claimed Russia unsuccessfully attempted to hack some computerized state voter lists in order to justify a request to supervise those computers. Most states told the Obama administration to take a hike.
 

Mr. W: I guess they're in on the conspiracy (along with every GOP member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who, after seeing the evidence of interference including that which can't be shared with the public, affirmed the meddling).

Now its evidence which cannot be shared with the public?

Evidence of what exactly?

Is this akin to double secret probation?
 

"The only known basis for the allegation the Russians "interfered" with the 2016 election was the Democrat claim Russia hacked and provided their emails and other documents to Wikileaks"

Only known basis?
Russia Today?
Ads paid for on social media?
Fake twitter accounts and trolls?
Meeting and offering to meet to share intelligence with the Trump campaign and its surrogates?

"supported only by the opinion of the Democrat IT contractor"

Yes, of course the over a dozen intelligence agencies that concluded so only used the 'opinion of the Democrat IT contractor' and this is what convinced every GOP Senator on the Intelligence Committee, Trump's own ambassador to Russia and his own CIA director...If only they would have thought to suspect the conclusions of the Democrat IT contractor they were so obviously only based on! Do you you read the nonsense you write before hitting publish?

More to the point: "Cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, and ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, stated the leak was part of a series of cyberattacks on the DNC committed by two Russian intelligence groups." The Ars Technica discussion of the evidence and their conclusions, which I've published before, can be found here:

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/06/guccifer-leak-of-dnc-trump-research-has-a-russians-fingerprints-on-it/

"over a year ago, the Obama administration claimed Russia unsuccessfully attempted to hack some computerized state voter lists"

Actually, *Trump's own Department of Homeland Security* told of Russian attacks on these things just a few months ago.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/09/22/wisconsin-one-20-states-targeted-russian-hacking-elections-systems-2016/694719001/








 

"Now its evidence which cannot be shared with the public?"

You act like it's remarkable that evidence in an espionage investigation might be classified and therefore cannot be released to the public. Were you dropped on your head as a child?

After meeting with intelligence agencies where some of this classified information can be shared, GOP Senator and chair of the Intelligence Committee (with a 88% lifetime Conservative Union rating) said "“There is consensus among members and staff that we trust the conclusions of the ICA...You can't walk away from this and believe Russia's not currently active in trying to create chaos in our election process...the overall theme of the Russian involvement was to create chaos at every level."

I guess they're all in on the conspiracy too?
 

Mr. W:

News and social media is now interference with elections? So when the WP publishes or I post something about a foreign election, the United States is interfering with that election?

The Democrat IT firm at least claimed to examine the computers the Democrats kept from law enforcement. What precisely did these other firms examine to form their opinions?

Do you realize how nuts these defenses are?

 

We all realize how nuts SPAM and his questions are with his squirreled claims.
 

"News and social media is now interference with elections?"

You are becoming more pathetic with each post.

Of course paying for ads and trolls to push issues/candidates in an election is interference with elections, as surely as if the Kremlin paid for tv ads or paid people to go to town meetings which pushed for issues/candidates. Duh.


"What precisely did these other firms examine to form their opinions?"

You are not an expert in cybersecurity and therefore would have at best a layperson's idea of how such firms would go about doing that. You have no idea, but from that point of no idea you reach a conclusion that these firms could not have done what they said they did.

Are they all in on the conspiracy Bart? The one that all the GOP Senators are in on, that Trump Jr. is in on, that Trump's own Russian ambassador and CIA director are in on, that all our intelligence agencies are in on, that so many foreign intelligence agencies is in on, that all of the social media outlet companies who have testified that the Russians paid for ads and trolls on their outlets are in on?

And you can ask someone if they realize how nuts what they are talking about sounds?


 

BD: "Now its evidence which cannot be shared with the public?"

Mr. W: You act like it's remarkable that evidence in an espionage investigation might be classified and therefore cannot be released to the public. Were you dropped on your head as a child?


Once again, evidence of WHAT?

To genuinely interfere with an election, the Russians had to add, subtract or change votes. If there is a good reason to classify the means and methods Russians used to accomplish one or more of these acts, then so be it. But which one or more of these acts do you claim the Russians accomplished?

Obama repeatedly stated the Russians did not accomplish any of these and, for once, there is no reason to beleive he is lying.

This means the “intelligence community” is discussing something else entirely when referring to “interference” with the 2016 election. Given the IC leaks like a seive to the Democrat media, there is likely nothing more than the nonsense published to date - the alleged DNC hack and the media publications you noted so far.

 

Let's also remember some recent news. As we know, Wikileaks published hacked DNC emails. Now we know that Wikileaks and Trump Jr. exchanged direct messages on Wikileak email releases and the Trump campaign even soon after exchange hyped the release of emails (at this very time VP Mike Pence said when asked if someone on the Trump campaign was in touch with Wikileaks "Nothing could be further from the truth").

We also now know that Trump's foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos was approached by a foreigner who has bragged about his high level Russian connections who offered Papadopoulos that Russia had 'thousands of emails' of 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos engaged in subsequent attempts to broker meetings between higher level people in the campaign and the Kremlin. Papadopoulos lied about all of this, and pled guilty to doing so recently.

This all would smell mighty fishy to anyone that wasn't holding their nose tightly (while covering their eyes and ears, though unfortunately not their mouth).
 

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"evidence of WHAT"

Of Russia directing efforts to hack the DNC, take the emails, partner with Wikileaks to have them released in a coordinated way, approach Trump campaign officials and offer them to them.

Of Russia attempting to hack state voter lists and machines.

Of Russia clandestinely paying for social media ads pushing issues/candidates.

Of Russia clandestinely organizing social media 'trolls' to troll US websites pushing issues/candidates.

To launch English language outlets aimed at US audiences pushing issues/candidates.

"To genuinely interfere with an election, the Russians had to add, subtract or change votes. "

This is monumentally stupid. Even an attempt to interfere in another nation's elections in the way I've described is an assault on that nation's self-governance. A thief is not absolved if, after trying to pick a lock for hours, he is unsuccessful. Another hypo example, if a man tries to ruin your marriage by spreading rumors you cheat on your spouse with a goat, he has no less assaulted your marriage and reputation because his efforts were never believed by your wife. If someone in your family colluded with that person in any way, then they would have betrayed you even if your wife wasn't persuaded. Secondly, it's daft to think that all that effort had *no* effect whatsoever. It flies in the face of everything we know about advertising, human nature, elections, etc. The Russians may be evil, but they're not stupid, they weren't spending that time and effort for nothing.
 

I'd like to tie this into the OP (believe it or not!). The OP is about allegations of misconduct by Judge K, but it, like similar discussions of such conduct, become discussions of 'what can be believed, how and when?'

For a while conservatives have been pushing and nursing a victimization narrative where various information sources are biased against them in a conspiracy. They've relied on this narrative so much and so often we now have a large cadre of conservatives who really will resist any consensus, no matter how large, no matter how big of a nutty conspiracy theory they have to spin to sustain the resistance, as long as it has a negative connotation for their ideology or partisan position. It's not just academe or the 'MSM' (they say, unironically, as they watch the number one news channel and read the number one newspaper). It can be the intelligence community (the same one they told us had to be listened to to support their last war folly), it can be law enforcement agencies (traditionally revered by conservatives). It doesn't matter. These people aren't just building a wall within which they will have their own truth, they're putting a roof on it.
 

BD: "To genuinely interfere with an election, the Russians had to add, subtract or change votes. "

Mr. W: This is monumentally stupid. Even an attempt to interfere in another nation's elections in the way I've described is an assault on that nation's self-governance.


If the effort does not and indeed cannot add, subtract or change votes, how does the act interfere with an election? And if the act does not interfere with an election, how does it "assault" the nation's self-governance.

For example, is there any evidence Russian news and social media added, subtracted or changed a single American vote? Let's reverse the question. Is there any evidence American news and social media added, subtracted or changed a single foreign vote, say in our assault on British self-governance before the Brexit vote?

Mr W: As we know, Wikileaks published hacked DNC emails....Of Russia directing efforts to hack the DNC, take the emails, partner with Wikileaks to have them released in a coordinated way,

We do not know the Russians provided these documents to Wikileaks. The public evidence instead suggests someone with physical access to the DNC computers provided the documents to Wikileaks.
 

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