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House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff made some horrifying comments in an interview yesterday with the Washington Post's Greg Sargent. It came as news was breaking that Schiff and his Republican counterpart, ranking member Devin "Cow Stuff" Nunes, jointly subpoenaed the FBI for the full, unredacted Mueller report, and also all the underlying evidence and intelligence Mueller uncovered. They specifically are demanding Rule 6(e) grand jury information, citing an exception in the law that says they are entitled to see that information -- no court order necessary! -- because as members of the House Intelligence Committee, they are officers who need to know "any grand-jury matter involving foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, or foreign intelligence information," as well as matters relating to "clandestine intelligence gathering activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power." The entire Trump-Russia question would seem to fall under that exception, wouldn't it!

Schiff wants us to know the FBI is specifically withholding Mueller investigation counter-intel findings from the House Intelligence Committee -- which by law they are supposed to get, because they are the intelligence committee, for God's sake -- and that he thinks Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump are personally putting their thumbs on the scale to keep it that way:


These counterintelligence findings are a big missing piece of the puzzle. As Ryan Goodman noted, we still don't know what the special counsel and/or the FBI have determined "with respect to whether Trump associates engaged in reciprocal efforts with Russian agents without entering a criminal agreement to do so, whether Americans have been witting or unwitting Russian assets, and what leverage or influence Moscow may have over particular individuals."

Schiff confirmed to me that this information is being withheld, and noted that on this matter, there may be a divide among intelligence professionals on one side, and Barr and the White House on the other.

"I think the FBI is willing to be more forthcoming," Schiff said. "I think the FBI and intelligence community are mindful of their statutory obligations, and they're caught between a rock and a hard place with the combative posture that Bill Barr has taken."

"I think this is being driven by the White House, and I think Bill Barr is acting as the president's lieutenant," Schiff added.

We knew they were being pissy and stonewalling on turning over the full Mueller Report, just like everybody in Trump's orbit is being disgusting and criminal about cooperating with any and all congressional oversight. But we weren't quite sure the full extent of it. Schiff is telling us a lot here. The point is this:

WE. STILL. DON'T. KNOW. IF. TRUMP. IS. A. RUSSIAN. ASSET.

Did you get that?

WE. STILL. DON'T. KNOW. IF. TRUMP. IS. A. RUSSIAN. ASSET.

Know how, over the course of Robert Mueller's investigation, there were FBI agents embedded at the Special Counsel's, theoretically there to transmit counterintelligence information Mueller's probe uncovered to the appropriate places in the FBI, so that it could be investigated properly? Know how there was zero classified information in the report Mueller prepared for Congress? Know how it's precisely that counter-intel that would help to answer the larger questions at hand, like for instance is Donald Trump compromised by Russia? What about his family and associates and all the other people in the White House with improper security clearances? Is Donald Trump literally a Russian agent, either witting or unwitting?

That's the shit they're withholding.

People like Donald Trump and Glenn Greenwald have been lying ever since the end of the Mueller probe, saying that because Mueller was unable to establish a specific charge-able criminal conspiracy between Trump people and Russians in either of the Russian active measures ops to ratfuck the 2016 election, ergo ipso facto that means NO COLLUSION and that the whole thing was a hoax. As the scandal developed, it's become clearer and clearer that there seemed to be some sort of tacit agreement or understanding -- even a very loose one, which for Trump basically amounts to "PUTIN MY FRIEND, I DO REACHAROUNDS FOR PUTIN, HE DO REACHAROUNDS FOR ME!" -- between Trump people and Russians involving sanctions relief in exchange for Electoral College relief. And in a broader sense, especially as we've watched Trump govern, disturbing questions have come up about whether Trump is literally a puppet of the Kremlin -- again, whether or not he knows it.

This is why the FBI opened a specific investigation into the question of "Is Trump an actual fucking Russian agent?" not long before Mueller was appointed. Considering how the FBI is refusing to keep Schiff's committee in the loop on the investigation's counter-intel findings, one is led to suspect that Trump didn't come off looking like a daisy where those questions are concerned. At least not an American daisy.

One is also led to believe Bill Barr may be performing a cover-up job for Trump that's far vaster than anything we can see out in the open. Here are a few questions Wonkette laid out recently, to which we still don't have the answers:

1. Why did Donald Trump jizz classified information all over the Russian foreign minister the day after he fired James Comey?

2. Why does he roll over like a Pomeranian every time Vladimir Putin walks into a room?

3. Why does he constantly do Putin's bidding and seem to see foreign policy through an acutely Kremlin-infected lens?

4. Where's the part of the Mueller Report about why Moscow's Alfa Bank was communicating almost solely with a Trump Organization server during the campaign? And whose bidding exactly was Cambridge Analytica doing?

That's just a few of the very good questions we have.

And wouldn't you know it, but Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have a few good questions too (60 of them!), which they laid out this week in a letter to their chairman Lindsey Graham, things they really need to get Robert Mueller in front of them to answer, since Bill Barr and Trump seem hellbent on covering everything up.

Their questions really get at the heart of the unanswered questions between the lines in the Mueller Report itself. A few examples:

"To what degree was your investigation able to determine whether the Trump Tower Moscow project was part of an effort to gain influence over Donald Trump?"

"In what specific ways did the non-cooperation of witnesses, including efforts to conceal or destroy evidence, impact your ability to assess [Paul] Manafort's interactions with [Russian spy guy Konstantin] Kilimnik -- including the purpose of sharing campaign information and pro-Russia plans, and what was done with the information and documents that were shared?"

"In what specific ways did the non-cooperation of witnesses, including efforts to conceal or destroy evidence, impact your ability to assess the Trump campaign and Russian government efforts to communicate via back channels, including the purpose of the back channels, the content of the communications, and who was aware of the communications?"

"To what degree did your investigation examine the role of Cambridge Analytica, AggregateIQ (AIQ), or SCL Group in the 2016 election? Did your investigation examine the possibility that US election or Trump campaign information was shared with Russia through these entities?"

AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. They also have a fuckton of obstruction of justice questions.

Here's the full letter. You should read it and be an informed American.

We are not sure, but we are guessing the answers to these questions would tell us a lot about why Trump is losing his shit about everything related to Mueller's investigation, and why Bill Barr, Trump's dutiful shitmouthed servant, is working so hard to bury the truth.

Time for Mueller to testify!

[Washington Post]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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