Yesterday, we discussed Margot Cleveland’s comparison of the Mar-A-Lago raid to the Russia Hoax, noting the numerous similarities that made it impossible not to suspect the raid was another FBI-created frame-up of Trump. One way the two scenarios seem eerily similar is the cast of characters; there’s a remarkable degree of overlap. The Bureau is a pretty big place; what are the odds that the very same people would be going after Trump again, this time in Florida?
Investigative journalist Paul Sperry finds it extremely significant that the same FBI unit that ran “Crossfire Hurricane” in 2016 is running the Mar-A-Lago investigation now. In fact, this unit, the counterintelligence division, is currently under investigation by special counsel John Durham for its abuse of power and political bias during the “Russiagate” probe. How do these same individuals just keep on keepin’ on?
Wray, in his evasive testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month, did confirm that a number of agents assigned to “Crossfire Hurricane” are still employed with the FBI while undergoing disciplinary review. But the only thing they’re not allowed to work on is FISA applications. Apparently, anything else is fair game for these zealots.
As Sperry reports, some former FBI officials worry that anti-Trump agent Brian Auten will be one of the officials examining boxes seized from Mar-A-Lago to see if any of them posed a national security risk. We don’t know if he is, and I’m sorry to say the FBI can’t be trusted to be forthcoming. Recall that Auten tried to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop as “Russian disinformation” and has (supposedly) been under internal investigation since 2019, for his role in vetting the phony Steele “dossier.” According to Sperry, he’s still involved in politically sensitive investigations. Michael Biasello, a 27-year FBI veteran, commented that “it is a disgrace that Auten is still even employed by the Bureau.”
Another name to know is Jay Bratt, the top counterintelligence official in the DOJ’s national security division. Bratt traveled to Mar-A-Lago in early June with three FBI agents and personally inspected the storage area for the White House documents. He’s the one who requested that an additional lock be used. He also wanted to see security camera footage. By all accounts, Trump’s staff was cooperative. Months went by, and then...BOOM!
Federal Election Commission records show that Bratt has given exclusively to Democrats. He’s reportedly a close friend of fellow Democrat donor David Laufman, the previous top DOJ counterintelligence official. Sources have told Sperry that Laufman oversaw the “Trump-Russia” probe as well as Hillary’s email case. He signed off on the warrant to spy on Carter Page. So there’s another tie to the Russia Hoax. If we’re playing “Six Degrees of Separation,” that’s only two degrees.
According to a Senate investigator who spoke to Sperry, Laufman can take the credit for the brilliant idea of weaponizing the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to go after Trump campaign officials during Russiagate. The investigator likened it to the use of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 (which isn’t even a criminal offense) to go after Trump now. As Margot Cleveland said, it’s the same playbook being used again.
And with the same people: Laufman is at work again as a source for stories defending the Mar-A-Lago raid to reporters at CNN, the WASHINGTON POST, and other propagan---I mean, news outlets.
Sperry also spoke to Kash Patel, who said he suspects the FBI took boxes of material from Crossfire Hurricane and the Clinton email investigation that they feared would become public. They might also be trying to find something to justify their opening of Crossfire Hurricane. Echoing Cleveland, Patel said, “Tragically, the same FBI characters that were involved in Russiagate are the same counterintel guys running this ‘national security investigation’ against Trump.”
Former FBI counterintelligence official Mark Wauck is seeing the same repetition; as Yogi Berra said, “It’s deja vu all over again.”. He said, “If these people who were part of a major hoax that involved criminal activity and displays of bias and seriously flawed judgment are still involved, then that’s a major scandal.”
Friday on FOX NEWS, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley expressed concerns about FBI official Tim Thibault, who also suppressed the Hunter Biden laptop story. Thibault “started an investigation on Trump evidence of criminality and [with] Hunter Biden, he stopped the investigation,” he said. Of course, we’ve seen that Thibault is just one of many. The FBI has had no comment, and we don’t know what Thibault’s current duties are there.
When Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled that the affidavit used to get the warrant on Mar-A-Lago would have to be released --- in redacted form, of course --- some pundits (not us) took that as a win for Trump, who wants total transparency. But Chris Enloe at CONSERVATIVE REVIEW says we need to read the fine print before celebrating. As in, the footnote the DOJ included as an argument against release of the affidavit. It tells us not to expect much at all.
“The government has carefully considered whether the affidavit can be released subject to redactions,” it reads. For the reasons discussed below, the redactions necessary to mitigate harms to the integrity of the investigation would be so extensive as to render the remaining unsealed text devoid of meaningful content...”
See what I mean? Whatever they give us next Thursday likely WILL be devoid of meaningful content. By design. Also, please spare us any more repetitions of the phrase “the integrity of the investigation.”
Tom Fitton at Judicial Watch, however, is taking it as a win. “We’re pleased that our legal pressure forced the partial release of warrant materials,” he said in a press release. Of course, he anticipates a fight ahead on the redactions: “The battle for transparency and accountability will continue and require much heavy lifting by your Judicial Watch team.”
Matt Margolis has a good piece at PJ MEDIA that offers five ways to tell the Biden administration is engaging in a cover-up on the Mar-A-Lago raid. It’s “VIP,” so I’ll provide the link but also quickly summarize. Here are his five reasons, in a nutshell:
1. They’re distancing key players from the raid. (Especially Biden!)
2. They keep changing the justification. (Margot Cleveland made the same observation.)
3. They used a false narrative about the scope of the warrant. (It is NOT “narrowly focused.”)
4. They wouldn’t release the affidavit. (And now they have a week to redact most of it.)
5. They’re inconsistent about the raid’s urgency. (It was an imminent threat to national security that they deliberated over for weeks.)
Jonathan Turley has a commentary about the lawfare embraced by Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe, who, as Turley says, “appears intent upon running through the entire criminal code” when it comes to Trump. Tribe says the evidence supports criminal charges of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, election violations, Logan Act violations, extortion, attempted murder (of Mike Pence on January 6; I am not kidding), and treason by Trump and/or his family.
For the purposes of discussion, Turley narrows the topic down to the raid on Mar-A-Lago. Tribe sides with the DOJ against Trump (surprise!) and says none of the affidavit should be released. Not even a little bit. It seems amazing that Tribe himself isn’t down at the ‘Justice’ Department, working overtime to help them “get” Trump.. What fulfilling work that would be! But maybe they figure they don’t need him with Lisa Monaco there.
Matt Margolis at PJ MEDIA would certainly disagree with Tribe. “Since when is a Presidential Records Act ‘espionage’?” he asks, turning for answers to to a NEWSWEEK opinion column written by Mike Davis, who clerked for Justice Neil Gorsuch and is the former chief counsel for nominations to then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Davis spells out the policy regarding presidential records, explaining why it means the documents taken to Mar-A-Lago are declassified if the President says the are. He also finds it suspicious that Attorney General Merrick Garland failed to seek a legal opinion from the ‘Justice’ Department’s Office of Legal Counsel before approving the raid on Trump’s house. Did Garland perhaps think he wouldn’t get the answer he wanted?
Regarding the use of the word “espionage,” Davis wonders, “Does the Biden administration actually believe Trump is giving American secrets to our enemies?” (That’s a tough one --- some are so deranged, they MIGHT believe it.) They use the word “espionage” because it sounds bad, like “treason” and “insurrection.”
Davis believes that when the GOP retakes the House, they must impeach both Garland and Wray, for “their unprecedented and destructive politicization of the ‘Justice’ Department.” And to make sure raids like this never happen again, he calls for a longterm plan to “dismantle and rebuild the FBI.”
Matt Vespa at TOWNHALL has a similar analysis, with additional details.
And here’s Mike Davis’s original column in NEWSWEEK (of all places) --- a must-read! “We cannot allow our law enforcement agencies to become third-world political hit squads,” he says.
RELATED NEWS: Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of tax evasion and fraud and, as part of the deal, agreed to testify against the company in a trial that starts October 24. He’ll remain free on bail until that testimony is complete, and then he’ll be sent to RIKERS ISLAND for five months (!). He’ll also pay nearly $2 million in fines and penalties and be on probation for five years. Weisselberg is 75.
The AP reports: “The company is accused of helping Weisselberg and other executives avoid income taxes by failing to report their full compensation accurately to the government. Trump himself is not charged in the case.”
The NEW YORK TIMES reports: “The plea deal does not require Mr. Weisselberg to cooperate with the district attorney’s broader criminal investigation of Mr. Trump, and his admissions will not implicate the former President.”
Certainly Weisselberg has been under pressure to “crack” and say what they wanted to hear about his boss, as we saw with Paul Manafort. He’ll testify truthfully about what some at the Trump Organization did, but his testimony doesn’t involve President Trump at all. This case against the Trump Organization was opened by Trump-deranged Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance in an obvious attempt to “get” Trump on criminal charges. He’ll have to be satisfied with imprisoning a different man in his mid-70s.