Friday, January 05, 2018

"The First Amendment is not a secrecy pact!"

Some funny stuff in this article from the Federalist: "Federal Judge Obliterates Fusion GPS’ Attempt To Hide Info From Investigators - In Fusion GPS' vague telling, they've been nothing but forthright with congressional investigative committees, which came as news to those committees."


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, Fusion GPS has explicitly called for its 21 hours of sworn Congressional testimony to be unsealed and made public. But the Republican-controlled committee won't do it.

You'd think the exasperated Rep. Devin Nunes & Co. would jump at the chance to expose Fusion's un-forthright evasions, thereby bolstering their account of the investigation while adding more fuel to their anti-Mueller tiki torches. Weirdly, they have not so jumped.

Eric said...

That is such bullshit:
"Which brings us to a remarkable aspect of the op-ed: If Simpson and Fritsch have evidence of criminal or otherwise corrupt Trump-Russia contacts, why don’t they just tell us what it is. Why do they write a lengthy column caterwauling about how the Republican-controlled committees are supposedly withholding the information they’ve provided? We are not talking about classified information here; we are talking about Fusion’s own investigation. They say the Republicans refuse to release their testimony. Why wait for the Republicans? There’s nothing stopping Simpson and Fritsch from fully disclosing what their testimony was. Why don’t they tell the story instead of complaining about its not being told?"

Roger Bournival said...

I'd make a snarky comment, but it's only gonna get deleted!

Eric said...

I'm pretty sure only I can delete comments.

Anonymous said...

There’s nothing stopping Simpson and Fritsch from fully disclosing what their testimony was.

Why, of course not! Nothing at all, besides potential legal liability should their account of their sworn testimony differ in any way from the text. Which they don't have copies of. Because Congress has refused to provide them or their lawyers with transcripts.

But... who cares! Any discrepancies would probably be very minor ones. Surely Fusion can trust the same GOP Congressmen who've been leaking bits of their testimony not to overreact, or overprosecute, or overdefine what a "material" difference is.

Purely as a smart P.R. move, they should do it. Their rightwing critics would immediately back down as soon as they heard Fusion's founders say, "This is what we told Congress, take it from us."

In the same vein, what's stopping all the Mueller targets from publicly telling all, instead of whining and complaining? After all, that's exactly what any good lawyer with a catastrophic head injury would advise them to do.

Eric said...

"When faced with a subpoena from the Chairman and Ranking Member, Mr. Simpson refused to provide public testimony, using his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to negotiate for a closed-door interview," he added.

"Despite his public statements, Mr. Simpson and his attorney demanded during the interview that the transcript be kept confidential. Mr. Simpson has refused to answer dozens of questions voluntarily, and has failed to provide the Committee with documents and responses to follow-up questions after the interview," it continued.

There's really only one solution to avoid the Republicans' perfidy: testify in open session and totally embarrass those GOP persecutors! Grassley says the door is always open.

Anonymous said...

Those are bold, stark words from the Senator who could but won't release the transcript.

If only there were some way for Grassley to publicly reveal what was and wasn't said, he wouldn't be stuck sending out spokesmen to generalize about it. The door is always open, but it only swings one way.

Grassley called Mr. Simpson to testify on a voluntary basis, and now levels the charge that "Mr. Simpson has refused to answer dozens of questions voluntarily." That is damning.

Eric said...

Poor, beleaguered Simpson. He just can't say a single word for fear that Grassley will slap him with contempt of Congress if he changes a word of testimony about his phony dossier full of complete lies.

Anonymous said...

Grassley's spokesman: "Senator Grassley has always been and remains for transparency. There are, however, investigative factors that he must consider to temporarily protect certain information in the midst of an ongoing inquiry such as this one, like tainting the memory of other witnesses. ...The Committee’s invitation for Mr. Simpson to testify at a public hearing remains on the table."

Yet the Committee HAS released other witnesses' transcripts.

One emendation: Fusion has received the transcript, but cannot unilaterally release it.

Fusion's lawyer: "[Grassley] misstates the history of Mr. Simpson's cooperation with its investigation. We have consistently supported release of the transcript, so long as we would have the opportunity to review it for accuracy, and so long as the identities of Fusion’s bank and employees could be protected. Having had the opportunity to review the full transcript, Fusion GPS wants it released."

Come on, GOP truth seekers! Call that bluff!

Anonymous said...

And, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE. Senator Dianne Feinstein says a big "F.U." to Chuck Grassley, and releases the full Fusion GPS testimony by herself. Apparently she'd had enough of Grassley's very serious search for the truth, wherever that quest may lead.

And as expected by National review and others, Team Fusion is totally crapping its pants now that its phony protestations have been neutered: "Fusion GPS commends Sen. Feinstein for her courage. The transcript of Glenn Simpson’s lengthy responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning speaks for itself."

I just pray this doesn't taint the memory of any of the other witnesses.

Eric said...

Explosive stuff!

"According to the transcript, Simpson told Congress that Steele, the former British spy, stopped sharing information with the FBI just one week before the US election because of concerns that the law enforcement agency was being “manipulated” by Trump insiders.

According to Simpson, Steele “severed his relationship with the FBI” after the New York Times published a story in late October 2016 that said agents had not found “any conclusive or direct link between Mr Trump and the Russian government”.

Steele was concerned “that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people and that we didn’t really understand what was going on”.

That's how nefarious Trump was: he was swaying the FBI before he unexpectedly won the Presidency.

Anonymous said...

Nice salvage try, Viking Grassley, but selectively flogging one isolated statement doesn't work so good no more, once the full context is out there.

Neither don't it not work so good for the GOP no more. Simpson to the committee, in a very recently released statement: "It's going to be difficult [to answer your question] because it's really hard for me to answer questions where you lump in all these things that other people were doing and impute them to me."

What you've got is a dead boogieman. I'm sorry for your loss.