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Gender: Male
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Current location: Central FL
Member since: Thu Sep 16, 2004, 02:03 PM
Number of posts: 52,568

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FWIW, Can a whistleblower bypass IG/DNI and go directly to Congress? Yes, but....


That being said, there are constitutional arguments to be made for a whistleblower’s right to petition Congress directly outside of the ICWPA process; in fact, the ICWPA originally included a requirement – which did not make it into the final law – that the president must inform Intelligence Community whistleblowers of that fact, and 5 U.S.C. § 7211 specifically states that “[t]he right of employees, individually or collectively, to petition Congress or a member of Congress, or to furnish information to either House of Congress, or to a committee or member thereof, may not be interfered with or denied.”

The major pitfalls most often come when national security whistleblowers try to tell congressional staffers about their complaints. An agency may decide that even a congressional staffer with a security clearance lacks the “need-to-know” a classified whistleblower disclosure, and, according to a Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) opinion, the agency can take adverse actions against such a whistleblower, such as revoking their security clearance. In fact, just such a case led to the passage of the ICWPA.

However, unlike a staffer, a sitting member of Congress does not require a security clearance and should be considered to have the “need-to-know” anything they want to know. Executive branch lawyers dispute the latter characterization (while acknowledging the former) and argue that members of Congress “are not inherently authorized to receive all classified information, but agencies provide access as is necessary for Congress to perform its legislative functions.” But this authority is a logical and inescapable outgrowth of the very separation of powers principles the executive branch so often cites. Simply put, need-to-know is a creation of executive orders, and executive orders cannot be applied to anyone outside the executive branch, especially not members of a co-equal branch. Legally speaking, this would also apply to congressional staffers, but Congress made a decision decades ago to compromise and concede the field to the executive branch on that count, which it did so by passing rules: House Rule X(11)(e)(2) and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Rule 9.6.

The Wild West of Online Political Operatives (Ron Robinson related)


In early August, Chris Vickery, the director of risk research at the cybersecurity firm UpGuard, was browsing GitHub, an open-source software repository, for references to Cambridge Analytica. Vickery, in March of 2018, had discovered that an obscure Canadian data firm called Aggregate IQ had developed election software that Cambridge Analytica sold to political campaigns—most notably Donald Trump’s. In that case, Vickery found hundreds of pages of code. His August find was less substantial: a read.me file, written in plain English, that said, “Useful, revenue-producing data applications that Cambridge Analytica won’t suggest to you.” Its author, a California-based political operative named Ron Robinson, claimed to have worked on nearly a hundred campaigns, including efforts for Mitch McConnell, Joe (the Plumber) Wurzelbacher, and Newt Gingrich. His post, which went on to say that the actual code has been removed “for NDA privacy,” was hashtagged “#Social Engineering”, “#MAGA,” and “#Hacks.”

After some more digging, Vickery found a series of advertisements, posted by Robinson, selling what he was calling “subpoena resistant” e-mail accounts with the domain name NSAmail.us. Robinson was also offering a second e-mail service, with the domain name innoc.us, for “those who don’t want to taunt the NSA every time they send an email.” The accounts, which were intended to be beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement, had been hosted in Russia by a company called Mir Telematiki. (In fact, the National Security Agency had been surveilling Mir Telematiki’s servers since 2009.) Coincidentally, perhaps, this was the same hosting service used by WikiLeaks. On August 16th, Vickery contacted the F.B.I. “I have reason to believe that [Robinson] provided email and other online services to US political campaigns, political action committees, and related entities through servers physically located in Moscow, Russia,” Vickery wrote on the F.B.I.’s online tip portal. “It is reasonable to assume [he] knew, or should have known, the in-depth level of access Russian intelligence agencies would have to emails, files, and other data passing through servers located in Moscow.” (Robinson declined to comment for this story.)

On social media, the unmasking of Robinson quickly fed various conspiracy theories, some elaborate, some prosaic. But all of them included a suggestion that Ron Robinson was, in the words of one of Vickery’s Twitter followers, “a Kremlin asset.” All of the dots seemed to connect. Robinson, a Tea Party activist, is Facebook friends with Rhonda Rohrabacher, who is the wife of former Representative Dana Rohrabacher, popularly known as Putin’s favorite congressman. Robinson was also connected on Facebook to David Bossie, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, in 2016, as well as to a number of other prominent right-wing power brokers, including Ned Ryun, the founder and C.E.O. of American Majority, an organization that trains “liberty-minded” candidates and activists. In addition to offering “subpoena resistant” e-mails, he had been recommending that his clients forgo Google for Yandex, the Russian e-mail and search-engine company, because “it is much harder to subpoena from a foreign entity.” “Don’t ever change, Yandex,” Robinson wrote, in June, in a Facebook post that also tagged two California Tea Party officials. “Some of us trust you more than we trust certain agencies on this side of the pond. Thanks for keeping our stuff safe. We knew we made the right choice.”

There was more. Vickery discovered that Robinson had uploaded a screen shot of his digital-activist-training work files, which included mentions of a popular hacking tool called Metasploit, as well as a cryptocurrency tracker. (Cryptocurrency can be an untraceable way to move money.) Screenshots taken by Vickery showed that Robinson had provided e-mail services for the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, leading Vickery to wonder if those services—or the ones he provided for numerous down-ballot Tea Party and Republican candidates—were being routed through or stored in Russia. (McConnell’s campaign, for its part, said that Robinson “doesn’t work for us.”) As Twitter sleuths mined the Internet for other nuggets of evidence proving that Robinson, a computer programmer in his sixties with an affection for guns and an abiding distrust of the government, was working for the Russians, they seemed to have missed the central irony: Robinson was promoting Yandex and other offshore services because, he said in a YouTube video from April, 2018, “I’m a conservative and we know that conservatives are under attack from all directions online.”

Much more at link

It was just reported that Jared Kushner was using a THIRD private email, separate from official government emails

Wonder if any of them fell under one of these domains?

So. Pompeo just visited the Holy See? Guess who else had before?


Chris Vickery

I’m going to let you in on something in three words. These three words illustrate how far reaching the tendrils of the election manipulation cabal are (of which Cambridge Analytica was/is a node):

“The Holy See”

(details in time)

White House Refuses to Cooperate With Impeachment Probe

White House Refuses to Cooperate With Impeachment Probe

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is preparing to formally object to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as soon as Friday, saying it won’t cooperate with the probe because it was initiated without a vote of the House.

The White House Counsel’s Office was preparing to send a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi objecting to the form of the impeachment investigation, a person familiar with the matter said late Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the letter before its dissemination.


Where courts have generally required congressional oversight requests to demonstrate a legitimate legislative purpose, impeachment requests could be wide-ranging.

It is unclear if Democrats would wade into a lengthy legal fight with the administration over documents and testimony letter, or if they would move straight to considering articles of impeachment.



BREAKING - Adam Schiff releases info on key documents (texts) tonight!


Adam Schiff

After receiving a trove of important documents from the first of the state department witnesses, my fellow chairs and I highlight some of those deserving of the most attention and what is at stake.


And the award for Best Supporting Grifter goes to...

#RudyColludy deserves this year’s Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and People’s Choice Award for Best Supporting #Grifter


Michael Del Moro

Giuliani tells WSJ outright that Yovanovitch was seen "as an obstacle to efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and his son, Hunter."
Rebecca Ballhaus

NEW: Trump ordered the removal of the ambassador to Ukraine after months of complaints from allies, including Rudy Giuliani, that she was undermining him abroad and obstructing efforts to persuade Kyiv to investigate Biden. w/@[email protected]

rump's 2020 Campaign Caught Using STOLEN Photos Of Black People With Photoshopped MAGA Hats

Trump’s 2020 Campaign Caught Using STOLEN Photos Of Black People With Photoshopped MAGA Hats
September 16, 2019

Rykard Jenkins is mostly known for his appearance on the U.K. reality show Love Island but he has recently been getting attention for something else.

Rykard shared a picture of himself wearing a Trump 2020 baseball cap that had obviously been photoshopped. The hat he had originally been wearing in the picture (an advertisement for the FXB brand), had been edited to look like a Trump 2020 cap.

Woke up this morning to know I’m the new face for the 2020
campaign 🇺🇸 ?

Jenkins, who lives in the UK, seems to have a sense of humor about the situation but while he may find the photo amusing, some people are seeing a pattern of Trump’s team taking images of people of color and photoshopping them to promote himself.

Rudy's docs he gave to State IG?? Included docs from...John Solomon!! Ah ha ha ha ha


Might as well have been from Alex Jones!

These abject morons were chasing down the barest of threads of conspiracy theories!

Noah Shachtman

EXCLUSIVE: The Ukraine 'misinformation' file delivered to Congress today contains correspondence between conservative journo John Solomon and top Giuliani allies. https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-ukraine-dirt-file-has-private-email-between-john-solomon-and-rudy-allies

Note: Solomon was just fired from The Hill for being such an idiot and writing false and fact-free articles

A controversial right-leaning reporter at the center of the Trump-Ukraine scandal apparently emailed a copy of one of his stories—seemingly before it was published—to a top ally of Rudy Giuliani, as well as two pro-Trump investigators attempting to dig up negative information on the Biden family.

In March, The Hill's investigative reporter John Solomon published a story claiming that the U.S. government had pressured Ukrainian prosecutors to drop a probe of a group funded by the Obama administration and liberal billionaire George Soros. The story appears to have been published at 6 p.m., according to a timestamp on paper’s website. Solomon himself didn’t share it on his twitter account until 6:56 pm that night. The earliest cache of the story in the Internet Archive is from 7:42 pm. eastern time.

But hours before that, at 12:52 pm eastern time, Solomon appears to have sent a version of the article to Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas and the Trumpworld lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing. The email was titled “Outline of Soros reporting, including embedded documents” and included the headline and the text of his piece.

Two congressional sources confirmed to The Daily Beast that Solomon’s email was part of a roughly 50-page package of material that was turned over to lawmakers on Wednesday by the State Department’s Inspector General’s office. Reuters was the first to report the email’s inclusion in the packet.

All the right wing distraction and desperate attempts reminds me of one thing...

They’ve tried the form was changed in August re: first hand or second hand. Lie
They’ve tried saying no pressure or no quid pro quo. Lie
Now they’re saying Schiff helped write the complaint. Lie

This all reminds me of the Iraq War when cache after cache of weapons were found and they’d claim, “We found the WMDs” but it would be crap years old that was inert or weren’t close to being WMDs
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