The war against Trump

See also:
War against Trump: political front
War against Trump: intelligence front

A Soft Coup, or Preserving Our Democracy?
by Philip Giraldi
The American Conservative, 2017-03-14


Coup or legitimate political pushback depends on
which side of the fence one is standing on.
There are two competing narratives to choose from
and there is inevitably considerable gray area in between
depending on what turns out to be true.

One narrative, coming from the Trump camp, is that
President Obama used the nation’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies
plus judicious leaks of classified information and innuendo to the media
to sabotage Trump during and after the campaign.
This was largely done by
spreading malicious claims about the campaign’s associates,
linking them to criminal activity and even
suggesting that they had been subverted to support Russian interests.
As of this date,
none of the “Manchurian candidate” allegations have been supported by evidence
because they are not true.
The intention of the Obama/Clinton campaign
is to explain the election loss in terms acceptable to the Democratic Party,
to hamstring and delegitimize the new administration coming in,
and to bring about the resignation or impeachment of Donald Trump.
It is in all intents and purposes a coup,
though without military intervention,
as it seeks to overturn a completely legal and constitutional election.

The contrary viewpoint is that
team Trump’s ties to Russia constitute
an existential national security threat,
that the Russians did steal information relevant to the campaign,
did directly involve themselves in the election
to discredit U.S. democracy and elect Trump,
and will now benefit from the process,
thereby doing grave damage to our country and its interests.
Adversarial activity undertaken since the election is necessary,
designed to make sure
the new president does not alter or eliminate
the documentary record in intelligence files
regarding what took place
and to limit Trump’s ability to make serious errors
in any recalibration with Moscow.
In short, Trump is a dangerous man
who might be in bed with an enemy power
and has to be watched closely and restrained.
Doing so is necessary to preserve our democratic system.


Trump has a point about being “tapped” because
the NSA basically records nearly everything.


"A Soft Coup, or Preserving Our Democracy?" by Giraldi
by Patrick Lang
SST, 2017-03-18

[This is Lang's comment on the above post by Giraldi.
Three days later, on Tuesday 2017-03-21, it had 253 comments!]

This article is a balanced view of the political disaster emerging in the US. As such it may suffer from the basic flaw often contained in "balanced" views. The two partisan views are mutually exclusive. Either the Obama Administration sought information useful to HC's campaign or they did not. Either civilian career employees conspired to destroy Trump's candidacy or they did not. Either the IC chiefs conspired to get GCHQ to produce "evidence" against Trump or they did not.

Trump is certainly a less than optimal president. Impetuous, ignorant of other than his narrow business interests, grossly vain, ridiculous haircut, gold plated apartment in a building named for him. Yes! He is bloody awful in many ways, but he IS president of the United States and if he is removed from office by what will be seen by the "Deplorables" as an agitprop driven conspiracy of the bi-coastal elites, the long term political stability of the United States will be damaged. The question Mika raised by saying on national TV that it is the job of the MSM to dictate the content of the collective national mind will be answered in the negative by many.

And then there was the performance of the Germans at the White House presser. The presumption and arrogance displayed by German journalists in daring to lecture the President of the United States was breath-taking. I am not a big fan of NATO, and have not been since the fall of the Soviet Union. I certainly have been opposed to the eastward expansion of NATO to Russia's doorstep. This expansion seems to me to be driven by a mindless jingoism that seeks an enemy. Angela Merkel does not seem to share my opinion. She stated clearly in her prepared remarks that NATO is very important to Germany, but at the same time she told us all that Germany, a rich country, will not be able to reach a 2% of GDP level of expenditure on its own defense until 2025. Say what?

I suppose the left and the foreign policy Borg imagines that President Pence will be manageable. Perhaps he will be. Or perhaps he won't be. Both statements cannot be true. pl

Why Was Comey Fired?
The simplest explanation is that Trump doesn’t like him much and doesn’t trust him at all.
By Philip Giraldi
The American Conservative, 2017-05-10

Watergate Redux or ‘Deep State’ Coup?
by Robert Parry
Consortiumnews.com, 2017-05-10

President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday reflected a growing concern inside the White House that the long-rumored scheme by “deep state” operatives to overturn the results of the 2016 election may have been more than just rumors.

The fear grew that Comey and other senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community had concluded last year that neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump was a suitable future president, albeit for different reasons. I’m told that Clinton was seen as dangerously hawkish and Trump as dangerously unqualified, opinions privately shared by then-President Barack Obama.

So, according to this account, plans were made last summer to damage both Clinton and Trump, with the hope of putting a more stable and less risky person in the Oval Office – with key roles in this scheme played by Comey, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

When I first heard about this supposed cabal in the middle of last year, I dismissed it as something more fitting a Jason Bourne movie than the real world. But – to my amazement – the U.S. intelligence community then began intervening in the presidential campaign in unprecedented ways.


Was CIA Director Brennan the “Russian hacker?”
by Ray McGovern
raymcgovern.com, 2017-05-12

The ‘Soft Coup’ of Russia-gate
by Robert Parry
Consortiumnews.com, 2017-05-13

How Did Russiagate Start?
Amid the chaos of James Comey's firing, new questions about the timeline of his fateful investigation
by Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone, 2017-05-15

Are They Really Out to Get Trump?
Sometimes paranoia is justified
by Philip Giraldi
Unz Review, 2017-05-16

The damaging case against James Comey
By Jonathan Turley
The Hill, 2017-06-09

The testimony of James Comey proved long on atmospherics and sort on ethics. While many were riveted by Comey’s discussion of his discomfort in meetings with President Trump, most seemed to miss the fact that Comey was describing his own conduct in strikingly unethical terms. The greatest irony is that Trump succeeded in baiting Comey to a degree that even Trump could not have imagined. After calling Comey a “showboat” and poor director, Comey proceeded to commit an unethical and unprofessional act in leaking damaging memos against Trump.


Comey said that he took these actions days after his termination, when he said that he woke up in the middle of the night and realized suddenly that the memos could be used to contradict Trump. It was a bizarrely casual treatment of material that would be viewed by many as clearly FBI information. He did not confer with the FBI or the Justice Department. He did not ask for any classification review despite one of the parties described being the president of the United States. He simply sent the memos to a law professor to serve as a conduit to the media.

As a threshold matter, Comey asked a question with regard to Trump that he should now answer with regard to his own conduct. Comey asked why Trump would ask everyone to leave the Oval Office to speak with Comey unless he was doing something improper. Yet, Trump could ask why Comey would use a third party to leak these memos if they were his property and there was nothing improper in their public release.

In fact, there was a great deal wrong with their release, and Comey likely knew it. These were documents prepared on an FBI computer addressing a highly sensitive investigation on facts that he considered material to that investigation. Indeed, he conveyed that information confidentially to his top aides and later said that he wanted the information to be given to the special counsel because it was important to the investigation.

Many in the media have tried to spin this as not a “leak” because leaks by definition only involve classified information. That is entirely untrue as shown by history. Leaks involve the release of unauthorized information — not only classified information. Many of the most important leaks historically have involved pictures and facts not classified but embarrassing to a government. More importantly, federal regulations refer to unauthorized disclosures not just classified information.

Comey’s position would effectively gut a host of federal rules and regulations. He is suggesting that any federal employee effectively owns documents created during federal employment in relation to an ongoing investigation so long as they address the information to themselves. FBI agents routinely write such memos in investigations. They are called 302s to memorialize field interviews or fact acquisitions. They are treated as FBI information.

The Justice Department routinely claims such memos as privileged and covered by the deliberative process privilege and other privileges. Indeed, if this information were sought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) it would likely have been denied. Among other things, the Justice Department and FBI routinely claim privilege “inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency.”

Of course, Comey did not know if there was a privilege or classification claim by either the Justice Department or the White House because he never asked for review. He just woke up in the middle of night upset about Trump’s name calling and released the damaging information. In doing so, he used these memos not as a shield but a sword.


The greatest value of the memos would be to question Trump and other potential targets without their knowing of their existence. The memos could then have been used to establish false statements and pressure cooperation. Instead, Comey told possible targets, including Trump, about the evidence against them in the memos.

Donald Trump continues to show a remarkable ability to bring out the worst in people — supporters and critics alike. In this case, he was able to bait Comey with his tweets and cause Comey to diminish his own credibility. If the comments of Trump were grossly inappropriate, Comey’s response to those comments were equally inappropriate.

Are We Nearing Civil War?
by Patrick Buchanan
buchanan.org, 2017-06-12


That the objective of this city
is to bring Trump down via a deep state-media coup
is no secret. Few deny it.


As Newt Gingrich said Sunday:
“Look at who Mueller’s starting to hire. …
(T)hese are people that … look to me like they’re … setting up to go after Trump …
including people, by the way, who have been reprimanded for
hiding from the defense information into major cases. …
“This is going to be a witch hunt.”


According to Daily Kos, Trump planned a swift lifting of sanctions on Russia after inauguration and a summit meeting with Vladimir Putin to prevent a second Cold War.

The State Department was tasked with working out the details.

Instead, says Daniel Fried, the coordinator for sanctions policy, he received “panicky” calls of “Please, my God, can you stop this?”

Operatives at State, disloyal to the president and hostile to the Russia policy on which he had been elected, collaborated with elements in Congress to sabotage any detente. They succeeded.

“It would have been a win-win for Moscow,” said Tom Malinowski of State, who boasted last week of his role in blocking a rapprochement with Russia. State employees sabotaged one of the principal policies for which Americans had voted, and they substituted their own.

Not in memory have there been so many leaks to injure a president from within his own government, and not just political leaks, but leaks of confidential, classified and secret documents. The leaks are coming out of the supposedly secure investigative and intelligence agencies of the U.S. government.

The media, the beneficiaries of these leaks, are giving cover to those breaking the law. The real criminal “collusion” in Washington is between Big Media and the deep state, colluding to destroy a president they detest and to sink the policies they oppose.


What he and his White House need to understand is that this is not going to end, that this is a fight to the finish, that his enemies will not relent until they see him impeached or resigning in disgrace.

To prevail, Trump will have to campaign across this country and wage guerrilla war in this capital, using the legal and political weapons at his disposal to ferret out the enemies within his own government.

Not only is this battle essential, if Trump hopes to realize his agenda, it is winnable. For the people sense that the Beltway elites are cynically engaged in preserving their own privileges, positions and power.

If the president cannot rewrite Obamacare or achieve tax reform, he should not go around the country in 2018 wailing about Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. They are not the real adversaries. They are but interchangeable parts.

He should campaign against the real enemies of America First by promising to purge the deep state and flog its media collaborators.

Time to burn down the Bastille.


What Bruce Ohr Told the FBI
The Justice Department official’s testimony raises new doubts about the bureau’s honesty.
by Kimberley A. Strassel
Wall Street Journal, 2019-01-18

Everybody knew. Everybody of consequence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department understood fully in the middle of 2016—as the FBI embarked on its counterintelligence probe of Donald Trump—that it was doing so based on disinformation provided by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That’s the big revelation from the transcript of the testimony Justice Department official Bruce Ohr gave Congress in August. The transcripts haven’t been released, but parts were confirmed for me by congressional sources.

Mr. Ohr testified that he sat down with dossier author Christopher Steele on July 30, 2016, and received salacious information the opposition researcher had compiled on Mr. Trump. Mr. Ohr immediately took that to the FBI’s then-Deputy Director Andy McCabe and lawyer Lisa Page. In August he took it to Peter Strzok, the bureau’s lead investigator. In the same month, Mr. Ohr believes, he briefed senior personnel in the Justice Department’s criminal division: Deputy Assistant Attorney General Bruce Swartz, lawyer Zainab Ahmad and fraud unit head Andrew Weissman. The last two now work for special counsel Robert Mueller.

More important, Mr. Ohr told this team the information came from the Clinton camp and warned that it was likely biased, certainly unproven. “When I provided [the Steele information] to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information,” he testified. “I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware. These guys were hired by somebody relating to—who’s related to the Clinton campaign, and be aware.”

He said he told them that Mr. Steele was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected,” and that his own wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, which compiled the dossier. He confirmed sounding all these warnings before the FBI filed its October application for a surveillance warrant against Carter Page. We broke some of this in August, though the transcript provides new detail.

The FBI and Justice Department have gone to extraordinary lengths to muddy these details, with cover from Democrats and friendly journalists. A January 2017 memo from Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, flatly (and incorrectly) insisted “the FBI’s closely-held investigative team only received Steele’s reporting in mid-September.” A May 2018 New York Times report repeated that claim, saying Mr. Steele’s reports didn’t reach the “Crossfire Hurricane team,” which ran the counterintelligence investigation, until “mid-September.”

This line was essential for upholding the claim that the dossier played no role in the unprecedented July 31, 2016, decision to investigate a presidential campaign. Former officials have insisted they rushed to take this dramatic step on the basis of a conversation involving a low-level campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, which took place in May, before the dossier officially came into the picture. And maybe that is the case. Yet now Mr. Ohr has testified that top personnel had dossier details around the time they opened the probe.

The Ohr testimony is also further evidence that the FBI misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in its Page warrant application. We already knew the bureau failed to inform the court it knew the dossier had come from a rival campaign. But the FISA application additionally claimed the FBI was “unaware of any derogatory information pertaining” to Mr. Steele, that he was “reliable,” that his “reporting” in this case was “credible.” and that the FBI only “speculates” that Mr. Steele’s bosses “likely” wanted to “discredit” Mr. Trump.

Speculates? Likely? Mr. Ohr makes clear FBI and Justice officials knew from the earliest days that Mr. Steele was working for the Clinton campaign, which had an obvious desire to discredit Mr. Trump. And Mr. Ohr specifically told investigators that they had every reason to worry Mr. Steele’s work product was tainted.

This testimony has two other implications. First, it further demonstrates the accuracy of the House Intelligence Committee Republicans’ memo of 2018—which noted Mr. Ohr’s role and pointed out that the FBI had not been honest about its knowledge of the dossier and failed to inform the court of Mrs. Ohr’s employment at Fusion GPS. The testimony also destroys any remaining credibility of the Democratic response, in which Mr. Schiff and his colleagues claimed Mr. Ohr hadn’t met with the FBI or told them anything about his wife or about Mr. Steele’s bias until after the election.

Second, the testimony raises new concerns about Mr. Mueller’s team. Critics have noted Mr. Weissman’s donations to Mrs. Clinton and his unseemly support of former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’s obstruction of Trump orders. It now turns out that senior Mueller players were central to the dossier scandal. The conflicts of interest boggle the mind.

The Ohr testimony is evidence the FBI itself knows how seriously it erred. The FBI has been hiding and twisting facts from the start.