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Nunes Discusses Blackmail Efforts By DoJ/FBI; Lavrov's Warning
Not long ago we took note of the revelation that the DoJ and FBI had opened full investigations on two of Devin Nunes’ top aides (including Kash Patel) and had used Grand Jury subpoenas to obtain personal data regarding these important aides. The significance of this revelation is that this all occurred toward the end of 2018—obviously during the Trump administration—when Nunes was Chairman of HPSCI and was leading the investigation into the FBI and DoJ’s involvement in the Russia Hoax. Further, this occurred in the context of acrimonious—even hysterical—pushback against Nunes’ requests for FBI/DoJ documents by DAG Rod Rosenstein, backed by FBI Director Chris Wray. Specifically, Nunes was pursuing the matter of the fraudulent FISAs against Carter Page. Recall that, during this time period, Rosenstein presided over all aspects of the Russia Hoax investigations—including the Mueller Witchhunt—due to the recusal by feckless AG Jeff Sessions.
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As we wrote, all of this was quite extraordinary, especially because such investigations require that responsible members of both Congress and the White House should be informed. That means, in Congress, Speaker Paul Ryan and, in the White House, somebody close to President Trump—possibly the White House Counsel Office, since this involved legal matters. Moreover, since Nunes was, by virtue of his chairmanship of HPSCI, a member of the 8 man Gang of Eight, one would have to assume that the other members of the Gang of Eight were also informed—Majority and Minority leaders in the House and Senate and Majority and Minority heads of the respective intelligence committees. And yet, we now know for certain that Devin Nunes himself was never informed. Was Trump? After all, Nunes was perhaps Trump’s most important ally in the House. My guess is that Trump was NOT informed, but that Mitch McConnell and the other Gang of Eight members were. There is also the question of what action, if any, Bluto Barr took when he became AG—a matter of a few months after the investigation was initiated.
The very obvious point to the investigation was for DoJ/FBI to obtain sensitive personal information about Nunes’ aides to embarrass Nunes and pressure him to back off his Russia Hoax investigation. The problem is that such motives offer no predication for launching a full criminal investigation, complete with grand jury powers. So that’s the background to Nunes’ remarks to The Epoch Times yesterday:
To his credit, Nunes uses the “B” word: Blackmail. Unfortunately, he backs away from using the “R” word—or the “G” acronym or the “U” word: Republican, GOP, Uniparty. Still, use of the “B” word is progress, because it clearly flags the investigation as totally illegal, and that exposes the abusive nature of the DC political establishment, its willingness to take any measures to preserve its power.
First, Nunes sets the context:
Devin Nunes subpoenaed the DOJ and FBI for documents related to their involvement with the Russia collusion hoax when he was a congressman and chair of the House Intelligence Committee. In response, the DOJ engaged in “reverse spying” to try and stop the investigation, Nunes alleged in an interview that aired on Newsmakers by NTD and The Epoch Times on Dec. 21.
“It’s all common knowledge now that the FBI, DOJ, the Democrat National Party, they were all in cahoots together, taking made-up, phony dirt and taking it before a FISA court,” said Nunes, who was chair of the intelligence committee from 2015–2019.
Next Nunes states flatly that the motivation for the DoJ/FBI investigations was blackmail:
Nunes stated that to suppress the investigation, the FBI and the DOJ purposefully tried to find “blackmail” to use against Nunes’ staff.
“It wasn’t like they were in search of some crime. What they were really after was intelligence, and potentially blackmail, to figure out how they could stop the information,” Nunes alleged.
Then Nunes moves on to point out the lack of predication and the procedural irregularities behind the investigations of his staff:
According to Nunes, if the DOJ was acting in compliance with the law, it should have informed Nunes when it demanded Google turn over personal email and phone data from at least two senior intelligence members of Nunes’ team. Nunes specified that the team members were working on the congressional probe into the Russia hoax.
“Look, it’s a serious issue if I’ve got staff that work for me that are handling the nation’s highest secrets. If I have staff that are somehow doing something wrong, [the DOJ] should have come to me and told me.”
Nunes said that the only way for the DOJ to get around that requirement is to use the National Security Division and “essentially accuse” Nunes and his team of being “agents of Putin.”
Please note what Nunes just said. It suggests that Nunes himself was also a subject of the investigation. If he had not been a subject, if the only targets were his staffers, then DoJ/FBI were required to inform him.
“There’s no other way around [informing me]. They have a duty and a responsibility if there are staffers that are involved in some shenanigans or nefarious activity, they should have come to me immediately,” Nunes states.
But, Nunes said, the DOJ never informed him of a potential issue with his staffers. And the reason is the DOJ was acting outside of a “valid predicate” and instead acting on a “lie.” Nunes stated unequivocally that there was never evidence to suggest that his staff were Russian agents.
To me this is a very big deal. This is not about a DoJ/FBI that was out of control. These—Rosenstein and Wray—were life lawyers and top level prosecutors who just didn’t give a sh*t about the rule of law. What they did here—with the collusion of the top political leaderhship of both parties in DC—went well beyond “pushing the envelope.” Unfortunately, this story will probably not get the attention it deserves, even among conservatives, due to the focus on the equally egregious involvement of the federal government—led by the FBI—in censorship and domestic spying. It’s all of a piece. Professor Turley is right. The only way to get to the bottom of this would be a modern day version of the Church Commission. Sadly, the political establishment has too much they need to keep hidden. If even Nunes pulled some punches—not calling out Paul Ryan, for example—then you know how bad it is.
This is where we are as a nation on the domestic political front—a sobering thought. But rather than dealing with this crisis in our constitutional order, most of the DC establishment is intent on pursuing its mad war on Russia. The latest madness, already noted a few days ago, featured Lindsey! calling for some anonymous actor on the world stage to “take out” President Putin of Russia. That followed a Newsweek article that cited anonymous “military sources” in the US who stated that the US is contemplating a “decapitation strike” against Russia—presumably a strike at the Kremlin that would kill Russia’s top leadership.
Russia was not amused:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday lashed out at what he described as threats coming out of the US to assassinate President Vladimir Putin, apparently in response to a slew of anonymously sourced reports.
"There are some 'anonymous officials' from the Pentagon who have actually enunciated threats to deliver a 'decapitating strike' on the Kremlin, which is in fact an assassination threat against the Russian president," Lavrov said, according to TASS.
"If someone really has such ideas, then this someone should think long and hard about the possible consequences of such plans," the top Russian diplomat warned.
The condemnation also came less than a week after Senator Lindsey Graham called for someone to "take out" the Russian president for the war in Ukraine to end.
But it appears Lavrov specifically had in mind a September report published in Newsweek which relied on anonymous US defense officials describing that the Biden administration was mulling plans for a "decapitation strike to kill Putin in the heart of the Kremlin."
Below is the relevant section from that September 29 Newsweek article:
Details about what "decisively" means have not been publicly revealed. The military sources tell Newsweek that there are subtle moves being made with regard to nuclear threats, including moving submarines and aircraft and drilling B-52 bombers. But they stress that non-nuclear military options—the use of conventional weapons and special operations, as well as cyber and space attack—are front and center, to include a decapitation strike to kill Putin in the heart of the Kremlin.
Presumably these are the same geniuses who thought that taking out leading figures in the Taliban or al Qaeda or other such organizations would somehow cripple those outfits and end the wars. It didn’t work then, and it certainly won’t work with Russia. Lavrov’s warning of blowback is one that should be taken very seriously, and the fact that the US is making such threats—even through anonymous sources—could influence Russia’s actions going forward. These mad threats are of a piece with this story, which we also discussed previously:
This notion that the US can treat Russia, with impunity, as if its military capacity doesn’t constitute a real threat—it’s delusional. And yet what political figure of any stature is calling this out?
This morning at The Saker, in the context of a much longer article which included a video (with English subtitles) of President Putin’s address to the Russian Defense Ministry Board:
framed the current global war in stark terms:
Looks like we will make it to Dec 31, 2022. Will we make it to December 31, 2023?
This question is not hyperbole. I would even argue that this is the single most important question for at least the entire northern hemisphere.
I have been warning that Russia is preparing for a fullscale war since at least 2014. Putin basically said just that in his recent speech before the Russian Defense Ministry Board. If you have not seen this video, you really should watch it, it it will give you a direct insight into how the Kremlin thinks and what it is preparing for.
For Russia this war is clearly, undeniably and officially an existential one. To dismiss this reality would be the height of folly. When the strongest nuclear power on the planet declares, repeatedly, that this is an existential war everybody ought to really take it seriously and not go into deep denial.
For the US Neocons this is also an existential war: if Russia wins, then NATO loses and, therefore, the US loses too. Which means that all those SOBs who for months fed everybody nonsense about Russia losing the war to the general public will be held responsible for the inevitable disaster.
So much will depend on whether US Americans, especially those in power, are willing to die in solidarity with the “crazies in the basement” or not. Right now it sure looks like they are. ...
Which might explain Medvedev’s recent words “Alas, there is nobody in the West we could deal with about anything for any reason (..) is the last warning to all nations: there can be no business with the Anglo-Saxon world because it is a thief, a swindler, a card-sharp that could do anything.”
Russia can do many things, but it cannot liberate the USA from the grip of the Neocons. That is something which only US Americans can do.
The US political system is most unlikely to be effectively challenged from within, big money runs everything, including the most advanced propaganda system in history (aka the “free media”) and the population is kept uninformed and brainwashed. ...
There are, of course, plenty of US Americans who fully understand that. But how many of them are in a real position of power to influence US decision-making and outcomes? The real question is whether there still are enough patriotic forces in the Pentagon, or the letter soup agencies, to send the Neocons back down into the basement they crawled out of after the 9/11 false flag or not?
Right now it sure looks like all the positions of power in the US are held by Neolibs, Neocons, RINOs and other ugly creatures, …
I submit that the fact that the US ruling class is seriously contemplating both a “limited” use of “tactical” nukes and “decapitating strikes” is a very good indicator of the fact that the US is running out of Wunderwaffen and that the Neocons are desperate.
And to those who might be tempted to accuse me of hyperbole or paranoid delusions I will say the following:
This war is NOT, repeat, NOT about the Ukraine (or Poland or the three Baltic statelets). At its absolute minimum this is a war about the future of Europe. Fundamentally it is a war about the complete reorganization of our planet’s international order. I would even argue that the outcome of this war will have a bigger impact that either WWI or WWII. The Russians clearly understand this (see video above if you doubt that).
And so do the Neocons, even if they don’t speak about it.
We need to pay attention. More to the point, someone in a leadership position has to speak up.