Brett Kimberlin started his campaign of lawfare against bloggers and certain news organizations because we were writing truthful things about him, and he wanted to shut up down. His efforts backfired in one on the most extreme examples of the Streisand Effect, resulting in even more people paying attention to him and his activities. This post about Brett Kimberlin and Fake News ran three years ago today.
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BuzzFeed has a story up about about some forged documents that appear to be a part of a hoax created to cause problems for the Trump administration. BuzzFeed reports that a guy called Yoni Ariel is involved in the scheme. So is Brett Kimberlin.
Ariel recalled that he contacted Kimberlin, who then arranged for him to travel to Washington. Ariel had been sounding alarm bells about Russia’s meddling in the presidential campaign so, he said, Kimberlin wanted him to meet people on Capitol Hill. Kimberlin covered the cost of the trip, according to Ariel.
Ariel had not yet seen the documents at that time, but what he did know about them seemed like exactly the sort of thing Kimberlin was interested in digging up. When told about them, Kimberlin quickly agreed to finance Ariel’s efforts to acquire them, according to Ariel and two people with knowledge of the arrangement.
Kimberlin ultimately covered the costs for Ariel to travel to Rome three times, Ariel said. On the first trip, just before Christmas, Pasetti showed him portions of the documents; on the second trip, a price was negotiated; and on the last one Ariel actually purchased the documents. The $9,000 payment was also covered by Kimberlin, according to Ariel and the two people familiar with the arrangement.
Reached Sunday evening at his home in Maryland, Kimberlin declined to discuss the documents or his relationship with Ariel.
Read the whole thing.
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Now, who exactly was colluding with whom to do what?
The real Russiagate scandal is the damage it has done to our democratic system and media.
For more than two years, leading US political and media voices promoted a narrative that Donald Trump conspired with or was compromised by the Kremlin, and that Special Counsel Robert Mueller would prove it. In the process, they overlooked countervailing evidence and diverted anti-Trump energies into fervent speculation and prolonged anticipation. So long as Mueller was on the case, it was possible to believe that “The Walls Are Closing In” on the traitor/puppet/asset in the White House.
In the end, Mueller’s report shows that the Trump-Russia collusion narrative embraced and evangelized by the US political and media establishments to be a work of fiction. The American public was presented with a far different picture from what was expected, because leading pundits, outlets, and politicians ignored the countervailing facts and promoted maximalist interpretations of others. Anonymous officials also leaked explosive yet uncorroborated claims, leaving behind many stories that were subsequently discredited, retracted, or remain unconfirmed to this day.
It is too early to assess the damage that influential Russiagate promoters have done to their own reputations; to public confidence in our democratic system and media; and to the prospects of defeating Trump, who always stood to benefit if the all-consuming conspiracy theory ultimately collapsed. The scale of the wreckage, confirmed by Mueller’s report, may prove to be the ultimate Russiagate scandal.
Note to the Democrats and the Media (but I repeat myself): When you’ve lost The Nation, it’s time to pack it in.
Roger Kimball has a piece over at American Greatness about the criminal referrals being made by Congressman Nunes to the Department of Justice. There are eight referrals which may involve upwards of twenty persons. Five are for specific crimes such as lying to Congress or leaking classified information. Three are more open-ended: Conspiracy to lie to the FISA court, manipulation of intelligence for partisan political ends, and what Nunes calls “global leaks” of highly sensitive information (such as the contents of telephone calls between President Trump and foreign leaders). Who had access to such information?
Who used it illegally?
But who do you think makes the list? Were I a modern-day Koko, my little list would include former CIA Director John Brennan, an implacable enemy of the president and a good candidate for the title of fons et origo of the Trump-Russia investigation.
It would include the FBI’s Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former acting attorney general Sally Yates, Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie who (unbelievably) actually worked for Fusion GPS.
That other James, the oleaginous James Comey, former Director of the FBI, would certainly be on the list, as would several people in the Obama Administration: the aforementioned Susan Rice, for example, and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, who, like Rice, did a lot of unmasking in her final months in office.
There are others—quite a few others, in fact, as anyone who has been keeping up with the reporting on this unfolding scandal knows well.
Read the whole thing.
Sticking with allusions to The Mikado, let’s hope that Attorney General Barr channels the title character.
My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time—
To let the punishment fit the crime,
The punishment fit the crime …
… Greg Craig, a prominent Democratic lawyer and former White House counsel in the Obama administration, said Wednesday evening that they expect him to be indicted by federal prosecutors in a case that stems from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Craig’s lawyers say that they expect him to be charged with making false statements relating to the work he did on behalf of the government of Viktor F. Yanukovych, the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine.
Befuddled airport patrons who happened to overhear the story while waiting in a TSA line wondered aloud if this was a significant event indicating a corner had been turned in the Justice Department’s handling of the investigations related to the 2016 election.
Yesterday’s TKPOTD was about one of the connections between Brett Kimberlin and the Clintons. The TKPOTD from four years ago took note of another.
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Here’s another interesting Kimberlin connection.
One of the early donors to Velvet Revolution was Harriet Crosby. Ms. Crosby, who is not actually Kimberlin’s aunt in spite of the rumor to the contrary, has been active in leftwing causes. In 1983, she cofounded the Institute for Soviet American Relations which has now been renamed the Institute for Social Action and Renewal. She is on the board of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a not-for-profit engaged in the study and promotion of pseudoscience such as psychic abilities, psychokinesis, and alternative healing. She is on the board of Friends of the Earth, and spent five years working on environmental issue on the Clinton White House staff.
The Justice Through Music Project/Velvet Revolution office space is in a bungalow that Ms. Crosby owned and subsequently transferred to the HMC Trust. The Green Casa Maryland demonstration house is being built on a lot two doors up the street from the JMTP office. The lot is owned by the HMC Trust.
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The Gentle Reader may remember that Velvet Revolution’s name has been changed to Protect Our Elections/EMPR and that Team Kimberlin member Matt Osborne has been associated with a fake Russian bot scam.
Victor Davis Hanson has a post over at American Greatness that takes a look at how the tables have turned on at least some of the perpetrators of the Russian Collusion Hoax.
It will be difficult to unravel all of the above lying, distortion, and unethical and illegal conduct.
The motives of these bad actors are diverse, but they share a common denominator. As Washington politicos and administrative state careerists, all of them believed that Donald Trump was so abhorrent that he should be prevented from winning the 2016 election. After his stunning and shocking victory, they assumed further that either he should not be inaugurated or he should be removed from office as soon as they could arrange it.
They further reasoned that as high and esteemed unelected officials their efforts were above and beyond the law, and rightly so, given their assumed superior wisdom and morality.
Finally, if their initial efforts were predicated on winning not just exemption from the law, but even promotions and kudos from a grateful President Hillary Clinton, their subsequent energies at removing Trump and investing in the collusion hoax were preemptive and defensive. Seeding the collusion hoax was a way either of removing Trump who had the presidential power to call them all to account for their illegality, or at least causing so much media chaos and political havoc that their own crimes and misdemeanors would be forgotten by becoming submerged amid years of scandal, conspiracies, and media sensationalism.
And they were almost—but so far not quite—correct in all their assumptions.
The House Judiciary Committee has released the transcript of the second day of its recent interview with James Comey. It’s available here. I found the following exchange which begins on p. 160 interesting. (Mr. [ ] is a representative of the FBI whose name has been redacted by the Committee.)
Chairman Goodlatte. Mr. Comey did any country other than Russia attempt to influence the 2016 election?
[Discussion off the record.]
Mr. Comey. I don’t think I can answer that, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Goodlatte. And what’s the reason?
Mr. Comey. I believe that’s across the line the FBI told me to steer — stay on one side of.
Chairman Goodlatte. We need a reason why the FBI told you to steer clear of that.
Mr. [ ]. First, I think it is impacting the Special Counsel’s Office purview; and, second of all, if you’re going so far as to ask who were those investigations may be on, we —
Chairman Goodlatte. I haven’t asked that yet.
Mr. [ ]. I understand that. I just don’t want the witness to blurt something out either.
Chairman Goodlatte. He doesn’t seem disposed to blurt things out. He can answer a straightforward question of, did any country other than Russia attempt to influence the 2016 election?
Mr. Comey. So I can give you this answer. One of the things I don’t want to do is give adversaries — we’re in an unclassified setting — an idea of what we didn’t know as well as know, so the answer would be I believe so — nations other than Russia.
Chairman Goodlatte. Did the FBI have any evidence that another country was attempting to influence Hillary Clinton or hermPresidential campaign?
Mr. Comey. Mr. Chairman, I want to be careful answering that question because, again, I don’t want to give — a negative answer or a positive answer will give information to an adversary that I don’t want to give them, and so I’m sure the FBI maybe could arrange for a briefing of you on that, sir, but I don’t think I can responsibly answer that in an open setting.
So the Democrats say that they’ll be using their new control of House committees to do some investigating. We’ll see how that works out. Meanwhile, Conrad Black makes this observation over at the National Post—
Now that the president has fired the attorney general and can confirm a replacement who is not emasculated on Russian matters, the administration can proceed to the indictment of all leading members of the Clinton campaign and the Obama justice department who appear to have incriminated themselves by lying to Congress or the FISA Court, including Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, and agency heads John Brennan, James Clapper, and James Comey. This may happen anyway, but it certainly will if the Waters-Nadler-Schiff faction is unleashed. Trump has been put to extreme inconvenience by these spurious investigations and he can, if he wishes, exact a terrible vengeance. His moderation should not be presumed.
Velvet Revolution dot US (now renamed Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc) was Brett Kimberlin’s vehicle for promoting his “election integrity” campaigning. The TKPOTD from five years ago today took a look at one of his efforts.
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Brett Kimberlin achieved his third wave of fame by being publicly upset about election integrity. Episode 1 was the Speedway Bombings, and episode 2 was the story about selling dope to Dan Quayle. Episode 4 has been his anti-First-Amendment lawfare.
During the 2008, Kimberlin and his Velvet Revolution US co-founder Brad Friedman set up an 800 number for tips about voter fraud. The number is still advertised on the Velvet Revolution US home page (No, I won’t link to it.)
I called the number yesterday and got a recorded message from the 800 number reseller who owns the line offering it for lease. Velvet Revolution hasn’t been using it for a while.
I wonder why their are still promoting an tip line that doesn’t exist?
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Kimberlin has finally realized that there’s an election coming up, and he’s got a new post up at the revamped Protect Our Elections site titled Russia’s Plan to Interfere with the 2018 Election. (No, I won’t link to it.) The post claims that the Russians are going to engage in online hacking to try to throw the Florida governor’s race to the Republican candidate in order to prevent a criminal investigation of President Trump’s real estate holdings in that state. It claims that the Russians will also work online to help defeat a long list of Democrat senators who are up for reelection while supporting a list of Republicans seeking reelection to the House of Representatives. This work is supposedly being coordinated with an Israeli firm. Oh, and the Russian plan involves disinformation pushed out via Fox News and Breitbart and such alt-right outlets as Wikileaks.
And it has a Donate button.
One more thing … If the Gentle Reader does visit the Protect Our Elections site, due caution should be observed.