Rowing the Cover Up Narrative with a Broken Ohr


Not to repeat myself repeat myself, but we really are living in different worlds, these days.

Early this morning, Rhode Island TV reporter Sean Daly tweeted the following in (123):

NBC’s Chuck Todd had some advice for journalists on Thursday: Don’t skip work on Friday, or you could miss a potential bombshell. “Here’s what I’ve learned about Bob Mueller,” Todd said.

“Not a single person that has known him, been with him, worked with him, wouldn’t say that he would have ended this investigation if there was no collusion. He would have already ended this investigation.”

Todd then added he believes Mueller will likely keep quiet between Labor Day-Election Day. Which led the MTP host to this conclusion: “I’m not missing work tomorrow. I wouldn’t miss work tomorrow. Tomorrow is the last business day of the pre-Labor Day to Election Day window.”

The insinuation is that some big shoe will drop today moving the Trump-Russia collusion case toward the president, if not all the way to his door.  Of course, the day isn’t over, yet, but it won’t change my understanding of the universe if Mueller does just that.  I also won’t find it Earth-shattering if Mueller takes action during this supposed indictment-free period prior to the election.  And I won’t find my world upside down if (as I suspect) no collusion charges are ever substantiated.

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I’m not sure, however, that the same is true for those who are convinced that there’s something to the allegations.  For them, there has to be a there there.  The alternative goes against everything they’ve come to believe.

And to be fair, that’s not entirely their fault.  The news media — yes, “fake news” — has been denying them the context by which to really understand what’s going on.  Take as my case in point an AP article headlined in the Fall River Herald with, “Lawyer was told Russia had ‘Trump over a barrel’.”  The lawyer in question is Bruce Ohr of the Justice Department, whose name will set off alarms for anybody who’s been following this story.

A senior Justice Department lawyer says a former British spy told him at a breakfast meeting two years ago that Russian intelligence believed it had Donald Trump “over a barrel,” according to multiple people familiar with the encounter.

The lawyer, Bruce Ohr, also says he learned that a Trump campaign aide had met with higher-level Russian officials than the aide had acknowledged, the people said.

The previously unreported details of the July 30, 2016, breakfast with Christopher Steele, which Ohr described to lawmakers this week in a private interview, reveal an exchange of potentially explosive information about Trump between two men the president has relentlessly sought to discredit.

One can only marvel at the audacity of this story to claim that this information “add[s] to the public understanding of those pivotal summer months as the FBI and intelligence community scrambled to untangle possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.”  Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS, which the Clinton campaign and Democrat National Committee funded for opposition research against Trump and which hired Christopher Steele to find dirt.

In short, “multiple” anonymous sources leaked select details from a private meeting about what a compromised government lawyer claims to have been told by a spy-for-hire and his wife’s employer, which was being paid to tar the now-president.  Except as evidence of collusion between the Obama administration and the Clinton campaign, this is garbage, and the obviousness that this is garbage may be the reason that this is the extent to which the relationships are explained in the article:

One of the meetings described to House lawmakers Tuesday was a Washington breakfast attended by Steele, an associate of his and Ohr. Ohr’s wife, Nellie, who worked for the political research firm, Fusion GPS, that hired Steele, attended at least part of the breakfast.

Really, this is getting to be too much to take.  I don’t put much stock in Trump’s character, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he is proven to have crossed lines in his campaign, although I don’t think the evidence so far supports the collusion accusations and, frankly, I subscribe to the school of thought that suspects he didn’t really want to win, in the first place, which may explain why he didn’t cross that line, if indeed he didn’t.

However, it is clearer and clearer that the prior president and another former president’s wife conspired with their party as well as foreign nationals to manipulate the election, not only in the Democrat primary, but also in the general.  It is also clearer and clearer that the mainstream news media is doing its best to be part of the cover up whether because they are really just partisan activists or are true believers.

  • Merle The Monster

    I found this interesting:

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Not mentioned in that article, but frequently made obvious, is that the way to bribe a public official is to hire the wife. Consider Obama’s wife employed as a “diversity coordinator” at $350,000 per year.

      The sad thing, considering the lack of tangible evidence, is that 40% of Americans are sure that “something happened with the Russians”.

      • Merle The Monster

        I will wait for Mueller to finish the investigation and not speculate about the outcome. Mueller has had former Trump campaign officials plead guilty as this investigation continues. We’ve had the Attorney General recuse himself from the investigation because of his contact with the Russian Ambassador and not revealing that information at his Senate confirmation hearing. Add to what we know now the entire national security community is convinced that the Russians were intent on influencing the 2016 Presidential election

        Also you may need to support your comment about the former First Lady.

  • Mario

    We already know how this will end up, at least abstractly. The report will be released full of scandalous details, but Trump himself will not be indicted because that would run counter to Justice Department policy. So his supporters will take the lack of an indictment, even though it was built-in from the beginning, as evidence that he was innocent, evidence notwithstanding. “He wasn’t personally indicted” will be a fun, common phrase, along with “clearly Mueller didn’t think he did anything wrong.” Both will be first order nonsense, but there you go.

    • Justin Katz

      Or… the report will be released with nothing substantive, but a lot of details phrased as if they are scandalous. The news media paroxysms and demands for resignation/impeachment/coup will be painful, although fun to watch, for some, but mostly tiresome following years of the same. It will be nonsense, but there you go.

    • Justin Katz

      Oh, and don’t forget that information not included in the report will come out further illustrating scandalous behavior by the Obama administration, the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and the news media, but all of those parties will yawn and tell us to move on, because none of that is newsworthy.

      • Mario

        That’s a good point, I forgot to account for the distraction attempts that will come out to coincide with the report. Whenever things look bad for our guys, you can always trust Fox News, RT, and Wikileaks to let us in on the real story, amiright?

        • Justin Katz

          This exchange is an excellent encapsulation of what I’ve been saying. Our country has split into two different universes. One important difference, though, is that I wouldn’t claim to be 100% sure of which is correct, although one seems more plausible to me. You, on the other hand, appear to have invested so much certainty into the opposing possibility, that I suspect you won’t be able to let it go no matter what happens.

          • Mike678

            So true. We live in a post-modern world where there is “broad skepticism, subjectivism, or relativism; a general suspicion of reason; and an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining political and economic power.” Last week one of the posters bemoaned McCabe’s firing and loss of pension. Did he read the IG report? Is bad behavior supposed to be rewarded?

        • Justin Katz

          I’m genuinely curious, though: How do you fit the Ohrs into your view that complaints about bureaucratic corruption are simply distractions?

          • Mario

            Oh “The Ohrs.” Trump attacked and maligned a government employee and his wife. I don’t now the real reason. The fact that you are so willing to accept that there is a massive government conspiracy focused on him personally goes right back to what I said above and what I said months ago — you are getting your news from terrible sources. I can’t fix that, all I can tell you is to be more judicious. Pay more attention to the sources that he calls out as “fake,” rather than less, because those are the more important ones. If you find yourself distrusting NATO, back out fast, because you’re neck deep in Russian propaganda.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            If you find yourself distrusting NATO,

            It is U.S. military gospel that in the event of war, the best thing NATO could do is get out of the way. German troops are practicing with broomsticks, because they don’t have enough guns. Smaller nations, Norway, Hungary, seem to take it a little more seriously.

          • Merle The Monster

            I started this thread with an article that from the NYT That paper is not perfect but in an age when reliable news is essential I think the Times and the Washington Post are my go to sources along with NPR. Put editorial content to the side. I think Katz is correct about the huge gulf between Trump fans and the rest of us. Some of the ‘us’ are Republican politicians who for now, support Trump because they got their donors tax cuts and judicial nominees but I guarantee they read those newspapers. And Mario is also correct in pointing out that Katz for an intelligent person is a victim of the news he consumes if the sources he regularly uses on this site are the ones he uses to inform himself.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            Any study of American history will show that “Bureaucratic corruption” has been a problem since the formation of the republic. Why are we still surprised when it surfaces? It might be fairer to say that corruption is endemic to governments everywhere. Read Gibbons. I remember history classes from my early years, perhaps the 7th grade, discussing “profiteers” in the war between the states. Read a close history of Jefferson’s administration, when the runner up Presidential candidate became Vice-President. The plots were wide spread and enormous. Justin is not engaging in fantasy. I suspect many bureaucrats see “never Trump” as their salvation. I do not agree with everything Trump is doing, but I favor dumping the FBI, the IRS, Dept. of Education, perhaps EPA. Start over, sever the avenues of corruption.

          • Mike678

            Perhaps a bit extreme. The leadership of these organizations are the problem, less so the rank and file. Wait and see.

          • Rhett Hardwick

            I expect many of the “rank and file” are “included out”. Those selected to advance will have opportunity to explore the avenues of power. Basically, precedents that “have worked’. I don’t believe that everyone who enters the FBI, or the DOJ, has the intent to do evil. I suspect they are groomed. But even among the “rank and file”, look at the number from just the Boston office, that now have a Federal Prison I.D. number. At least one is doing time for the murder of one of my clients. Richard Castucci, if you want to Google it.

          • Mike678