RAY McGOVERN: DNI Nominee Intent on Getting to Bottom of Russiagate

Attorney General Bill Bar will have a new deputy sheriff to go after those responsible for Russiagate, if John Ratcliffe is confirmed as new DNI, as Ray McGovern explains.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

Shortly before President Donald Trump announced he had nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, Ratcliffe made it clear he intends to hit the deck running on the “crimes” behind Russiagate.

“What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration,” Ratcliffe told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo. Mincing few words, he claimed the Democrats “accused Donald Trump of a crime and then tried to reverse engineer a process to justify that accusation.”

It’s an extravagant claim. But it is also true, and the proof is in the pudding of which we should have a steady diet in the months to come.

Ratcliffe sounds partisan speaking of “crimes committed” under Obama. But there could well be documentary evidence to back it up. Some is classified. Trump has given Attorney General William Barr instructions to declassify what is necessary. Barr should be able to count on Ratcliffe, if he is confirmed by the Senate as DNI, to ride herd on those in the intelligence community with huge incentives to cover their tracks and those of their former bosses.

Ratcliffe: Justice will be done. (Fox News screenshot)

This may come as something of a shock to new readers of Consortium News because of the incessant drivel from corporate media “talking heads” for a full three years now. They are not likely to give up any time soon.

Ratcliffe on Where We Are Now

Ratcliffe told Bartiromo:

“The only place we can get the answers is from the Justice Department right now. The American people’s faith and trust has been shaken in our Justice Department, and the only way to get that back is for there to be real accountability with a very fair process. Again, I have supreme confidence in Bill Barr’s ability to deliver that and at the end of the day … as long as we know that the process was fair … justice will be done.”

If Ratcliffe means what he says, his remarks indicate that Barr (a former CIA official and relatively new-sheriff-back-in-town in his second stint as AG) should have in Ratcliffe a no-holds-Barred deputy sheriff, if he takes advantage of him. “Bill Barr has earned my trust already … that there will be a fair process, with John Durham and Michael Horowitz, to getting answers … and to provide accountability where it really belongs,” Ratcliffe said.

Barr has ordered John Durham, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, to investigate how Russiagate got started. And Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice Inspector General, is said to be almost ready to report on the roles of the DOJ and FBI in promoting the Trump-Putin “collusion” narrative.

Durham, however, twice essentially covered up for CIA misdeeds. The New York Times reported: “In 2008, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey assigned Mr. Durham to investigate the C.I.A.’s destruction of videotapes in 2005 showing the torture of terrorism suspects. A year later, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. expanded Mr. Durham’s mandate to also examine whether the agency broke any laws in its abuses of detainees in its custody.”

Durham: A good soldier, but with a new commander. (Wikipedia)

Abundantly clear in those days, however, was the reality that neither Mukasey nor Holder wanted Durham to deliver the goods on CIA people demonstrably involved in well documented death-by-torture of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. Good soldier Durham uttered not a peep when Holder announced that the Department of Justice “declined prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt.”

But Holder added this: “Our inquiry was limited to a determination of whether prosecutable offenses were committed and was not intended to, and does not resolve, broader questions regarding the propriety of the examined conduct.” The Times noted at the time that DOJ’s decision did not amount to “exoneration” of those involved in the prisoners’ treatment and deaths. Does that sound familiar?

Thus, judging from past experience, the question is not so much what Durham will come up with this time around when investigating folks from the same line of (intelligence) work. The more salient question is this: Will Durham’s role be limited by Deep State, gun-shy Trump, or will he be given the latitude to proceed with no-holds-Barred, so to speak.

Horowitz’s investigators, on the other hand, earlier discovered the extremely-damaging-to-the-Russia-gate-yarn text exchanges between senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and Horowitz decided to make them public in December 2017. First off the blocks the following day, the late Robert Parry, founder of this website, posted what turned out to be his last substantive article, “The Foundering Russia-gate Scandal.”

Horowitz’s investigators recently interviewed some formerly reluctant witnesses like Christopher Steele, who had been a paid informant of the FBI itself and whom the Clinton campaign later paid to assemble the infamous “dossier” on Trump’s alleged cavorting with prostitutes in Moscow and other scurrilous, since-disproven stories.

With the malleable nonentity Coats as DNI, and with top CIA officials trying to keep former CIA Director John Brennan out of jail (and shield their own derrieres), Barr has — until now — lacked a strong “deputy sheriff” with the requisite prosecutorial skills and courage to investigate the intelligence community to find out where the bodies are buried in Washington. As soon as Ratcliffe is confirmed, Barr should have what he needs to close that gap and tackle full bore the intelligence part of the Deep State’s role in Russiagate.

A Parvenu?

But how could Ratcliffe know anything, the corporate media asks, as they paint him as a newcomer, partisan ignoramus and focus on his lack of experience in foreign affairs. Sorry, Rachel Maddow, in case you haven’t noticed, the present focus is on affairs much closer to home. The “parvenu” label will not stick. Serving, as Ratcliffe has, on three key House committees —Intelligence, Judiciary, and Homeland Security — you can learn a whole lot, if you regard your responsibility as oversight, not overlook.

Brennan: Cold on Ratcliffe (White House photo)

Is there documentary evidence? Admittedly, it would seem a stretch to believe that Obama’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials — in “collusion” with the corporate media — would fabricate a Trump-in-Putin’s-pocket story line first to try to prevent Trump from being elected, and then emasculate him as incoming president. But, yes, there should be all manner of documentary evidence indicating that this is precisely what happened.

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) claimed in early April 2019, “They [the Democrats] have lied multiple times to the American people. All you have to do is look at their phony memos. They have had the full support of the media, 90 percent of the media in this country. They all have egg on their face.” The way things are now shaping up, we are likely to learn before too long whether the evidence supports Nunes’s accusations.

All the Naiveté That’s Fit to Print

The New York Times reported that many Republican Senators, who must vote on his confirmation, are “cool” to Ratcliffe:

“Democrats said on Monday that they were worried that Mr. Ratcliffe would do little to push back against the Justice Department’s review of the origins of the Russia inquiry, for which Mr. Trump gave Attorney General William P. Barr broad power to declassify relevant documents.”

Democrats don’t watch Fox News, but does the Gray Lady still harbor hope Ratcliffe might “push back” when he says he will push full steam ahead?

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, DNC-hired “opposition research,” or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Hillary Clinton would become President, at which point high-risk, illegal activities undertaken to help her win would likely bring gratitude and perhaps a promotion, not an indictment. But Clinton lost.

Hillary: She hadda win, but didn’t.

After her loss, Comey himself gave the game away in his book, “A Higher Loyalty” — which amounted to a pre-emptive move motivated by loyalty-to-self and eagerness to secure a Stay-Out-of-Jail card. Comey wrote, “I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president …” [Emphasis added.] This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on key players who may now find themselves criminally referred to the Department of Justice.

Worse still, because they all were convinced a Clinton victory was a sure thing, the plotters did not perform due diligence to hide their tracks. And that largely accounts for the fact that there should be documentary evidence — probably even on not-yet-shredded paper, as well as on computer hard drives.

Given his seats on Intelligence, Judiciary, and Homeland Security, Ratcliffe has seen a lot more of them than most Congress members. In the Sunday interview, he named some of those allegedly engaged in illegalities:  former FBI Director James Comey, senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr, and opposition research guru Glenn Simpson. Also mentioned but unnamed were the Obama officials who Ratcliffe said committed a “felony” by leaking highly classified phone transcripts to use against Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s short-lived national security adviser.

But Now Running Scared

No one has more to fear from all this than ex-CIA Director Brennan. He eagerly awaited the final report from Mueller, whom Brennan has unctuously praised. Introducing Mueller to an audience at Georgetown University in June 2014, Brennan called him “a remarkable public servant as well as a great friend, a transformative leader, an outstanding partner to CIA, and a source of wise counsel to leaders across the intelligence community.”

In his testimony to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on July 24, Mueller avoided discussing some of the chicanery that bears Brennan’s fingerprints, but he surely failed to “exonerate” him, so to speak. To suggest that the selection of Ratcliffe to become DNI was unwelcome news to Brennan is to state the obvious. Brennan got up early on Monday and at 7:11 AM sent this characteristic tweet — about integrity and subservience, of all things:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has tweeted information from “a high-level source” that it was Brennan who “insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier” be given prominent attention in the Russia-gate story.

Paul has also said he thinks Brennan has been “a partisan” and “abused his office in developing the Trump investigation. I think it was done under false pretenses and done for political reasons.”

Paul has been a strong advocate of investigating the origins of Mueller’s probe, including the dicey question of how witting President Obama was of the Deep State machinations during the last months of his administration. Page did tell Strzok in a Sept. 2, 2016 text that the president “wants to know everything we’re doing.”

So What DID Obama Know?

If anyone knows how much Obama knew, it is one of his closest confidants: Brennan. And it was Obama, of course, who commissioned the misnomered “Intelligence Community Assessment” of Jan. 6, 2017, which Russia-gate aficionados have long regarded as Bible truth. As readers of Consortium News know, candidate Hillary Clinton and her supporters were wrong in saying the ICA was the product of “all 17” U.S. intelligence agencies. The leaders of only three — CIA, FBI, and NSA — signed on to it, plus DNI James Clapper.

Months later, Clapper admitted it was “handpicked analysts” from those three who wrote the report. It is a safe bet that Brennan, Clapper, and perhaps Comey picked the analysts. The ICA is such a shabby piece of work that many — including me — suspect that Brennan took a direct hand in writing it.

Ratcliffe would be well advised to take a priority look into the “Excellent Adventure” of that Intelligence Community Assessment as soon as he is confirmed as Director of National Intelligence, and before Brennan, Clapper, and Comey leave town for parts unknown.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. As a CIA analyst, he served under nine CIA directors and seven presidents, for three of whom he prepared and gave the morning briefing based on The President’s Daily Brief. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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98 comments for “RAY McGOVERN: DNI Nominee Intent on Getting to Bottom of Russiagate

  1. Jim Thomas
    August 5, 2019 at 14:00

    Mr. McGovern, Thank you for another great article and for telling us the truth about matters of great importance. Thanks also to your fellow VIPS members who do the same. Do you think that there is connection between the strong statements of Rep. Ratliffe about his intent to do some real investigating about the origins of Russiagate and Trump’s decision to withdraw his nomination? I fear that the Deep State may have intimidated Trump into withdrawing the nomination and that he will now see to it that no one is held to account for the perpetration of the Russiagate fraud. I will look forward to any comments you and others may have on this matter.

    • geeyp
      August 6, 2019 at 02:30

      I also am, surprisingly, perplexed with this change of losing Ratcliffe. Idle threats involving anyone does not impress me.

  2. August 4, 2019 at 10:06

    The public evidence is out there:

    https://osociety.org/2019/08/04/seth-rich-seymour-hersh-and-russian-roulette/

    I have no idea whether anyone will actually be punished for any of this. As a general rule of thumb the current president doesn’t mess with the previous president and vice versa, at least in public. What’s that called, professional courtesy?

    Keeps people from doing serious public investigations into big matters such as LBJ and JFK, Reagan pulling his October surprise, Dubya and his fake WMD, Obama and the dogs of war named Brennan sicced on Trump…

    Call it professional courtesy or executive privilege or whatever. Ford pardons Nixon. I call it a get out of jail free card corruption and graft, but it’s the American way.

  3. August 3, 2019 at 15:41

    Given in the some (3) years of wasted energy “Russiagate” theater virtually nobody in elected federal office (of any party) in Washington, D.C., nor corporate media, has mentioned WikiLeaks published emails showing Saudi Arabia and Qatar state-sponsorship of ISIS, – it may be reasonable to suggest the masterfully-engineered, political intrigue psychological operation was, for all intents and purposes, an overwhelming 100% success.

    Julian Assange told John Pilger in an interview, since viewed by millions around the Earth, that the exposure of Saudi and Qatari government sponsorship of ISIS in WikiLeaks-published emails were “..the most substantial of them all”. What that suggests is the Russiagate years-long psychodrama was engineered precisely to distract millions or billions, and cover up the horrifically destructive, decades-long practice of covert warfare, facilitated by national governments through the use of mercenary terrorist killers, or what is termed “state-sponsored terrorism”.

    #FreeAssange.

    Peace.

  4. Fran Macadam
    August 3, 2019 at 07:59

    Six ways to Sunday to make sure it never happens.

  5. August 2, 2019 at 19:49

    Trump Drops Plans to Nominate John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/02/us/politics/trump-ratcliffe-dni.html

    • Marko
      August 2, 2019 at 23:14

      From your linked article :

      ““I like when you vet,” [Trump] told reporters, adding: “You vet for me. When I give a name, I give it out to the press, and you vet. ”

      Translation : ” You guys tell me when a candidate is a safe choice for the bipartisan Deep State. None of us want someone who will rock the boat.”

      Is Barney Fife available ? He’d pass the test.

  6. August 2, 2019 at 17:15

    All this is moot now so is Ray going to submit the same trash and just change the name of the main puppet to be nominated next, they’re bypassing the person by law that’s supposed to step up while looking for the next puppet that has barley over 90 days to be considered senior employee but is also not bipartisan, so here’s the witch hunt, find a trump loyalest not a true DNI loyalist to country and rule of law!

  7. August 2, 2019 at 15:53

    Russiagate-related:

    >>>>

    During Mueller’s testimony, Rep. Tom McClintock of Texas pushed back on the Russia-IRA connection.

    “Your report famously links Russian Internet troll farms with the Russian government,” McClintock said. “Yet, at a hearing on May 28th [2018] in the Concord Management/IRA prosecution that you initiated, the judge excoriated both you and Mr. Barr for producing no evidence to support this claim. Why did you suggest Russia was responsible for the troll farms, when, in court, you’ve been unable to produce any evidence to support it?”

    Mueller demurred. “I am not going to get into that any further than … I already have.”

    “You have left the clear impression throughout the country, through your report, that it — it was the Russian government behind the troll farms,” McClintock pressed. “And yet, when you’re called upon to provide actual evidence in court, you fail to do so.”

    The stolid Mueller did not respond.

    <<<<<

    https://www.justsecurity.org/65251/how-secrecy-undermines-mueller-and-the-defense-of-democracy/

    • robjira
      August 3, 2019 at 14:22

      Thanks Paul; the stolid SOB should have held in contempt.

    • Tim Jones
      August 5, 2019 at 00:38

      The weak-willed Congress has other Masters to answer to, and I repeat the mantra—there’s an election coming. If this investigation were properly dealt with, then the election process would be compromised. The tidal wave of money and election washes away the possibility of justice, truth, integrity and legal action. It is a Cancer which, one way or another, will be cut out.

  8. August 2, 2019 at 07:36

    … “Russia Collusion” Inquiry …
    … Now it’s the time to strike back … !

    … and he (the Attorney General) also should review the role of Sergey SKRIPAL, who worked for Chistopher Steele’s “Orbis Business Intelligence”, knew (and was going to tell publicly) about this fake “Steele / Trump Dossier” and therefore had to disappeare, garnished with “Novichok” – a big conspiracy against TRUMP by the ‘hawks’ (and their secret services) in USA and UK … !!

    • August 2, 2019 at 15:49

      Oops! Ratcliffe almost-nomination nixed, just learned. Any guesses as to why? Is it another sign that the Deep State is deeper than Trump?

      Ray McGovern

      • LarcoMarco
        August 2, 2019 at 20:12

        CBS national radio reported that some Republican senators were opposed to Ratboy’s nomination.

  9. August 2, 2019 at 07:27

    … search and ask for Sergey SKRIPAL, who still is in MI6 custody for not can tell the truth about Christopher Steele and his nice “Trump Dossier” – it he still should be alive at all …

  10. August 2, 2019 at 07:24

    To call McGovern’s article brilliant is to presume I am in a position to judge brilliance, but I really appreciate the clarity of the article, at the same time the excellent writing. I often think back to Flynn and what happened to him. It was a already weakened president who kicked him off the boat, possibly thinking, as so often happens, that the sharks are satisfied and just swim away. It just whets their appetite.

    I think the possibility also exists that the full investigation might produce risks for the White House, and although remote, it might be it that puts on the brakes. Remote, but possible.

  11. August 2, 2019 at 01:48

    Nunes: “I would say the only one who has questions to answer is John Brennan, because we now know that John Brennan briefed Harry Reid on the dossier in August 2016. At the same time he never briefed me or Paul Ryan who was the speaker of the House at the time.”

    https://saraacarter.com/nunes-the-fbi-and-cias-actions-overseas-must-be-investigated/

  12. O Society
    August 1, 2019 at 21:34

    Y’all know Ray MCGovern might be on to something, right? Maybe it’s just a coincidence the Consortium News site is constantly attacked this week, but I think we done pissed somebody off.

    For example, bots called –> ROBINSON BUCKLER <– are all over the comments section

    Which may (or may not) mean Ray and the rest of the Scooby Doo gang are on to something…

  13. neal
    August 1, 2019 at 19:50

    This is why I don’t like Ray McGovern

  14. August 1, 2019 at 18:09

    This is gonna be great! Finally, the true traitors to the Amerucan people are to be held accountable.

  15. Realist
    August 1, 2019 at 17:13

    The president’s prerogative to grant pardons for infractions of federal law is absolute, is it not? If a Dem is elected president next year I suspect his or her first order of business will be to pardon all the convicted malefactors in this caper, saying the litigation was politically-motivated. However, if that litigation is still ongoing with no convictions yet realised, I suspect the new AG will simply drop all the charges for the same reason. This is what Senior Bush did to help the biggest criminals in the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan administration. He did it in the last days of his administration, just as the wheels of justice were finally about to send the worst perps off to prison. In so doing he protected his own kiester against future investigations, charges and potential perjury allegations… for being “out of the loop.”

    Pardoned by Bush, just in a knick of time, were Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger, National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, Assistant Secretary of State Eliott Abrams, Senior CIA Official Duane Clarridge, Chief of CIA Covert Operations Clair George, and Chief of CIA’s Central American Task Force Alan Fiers. So, you can see that Evil can still prevail even when it seems to have lost, and even when it has been the prolonged focus of attention in a lengthy scandal litigated over the course of six or seven years, which included non-sworn testimony by the then sitting president and vice-president (Reagan who copped to poor recollection, and Bush who claimed to be “out of the loop”–no Cheney he*). And don’t forget, the media was nowhere near as compromised and partisan as it is today: the public could still get a fairly objective report of the proceedings in Congress and the Courts. We are still a long way from realising such stern application of justice in Russiagate, which becomes entirely remote if a Dem is given the keys to the Justice Department, especially if that Dem is himself a perp, like Smilin’ Joe Biden. Hey, maybe that’s the main reason he’s running for the office though pushing 80.

    *Bushdaddy may have very well planted the seeds for a powerfully-connected consummate insider Veep like Cheney in the mind of Bushbaby through his own role in the Reagan administration. He ran the CIA for goodness sake, knew where all the bodies were buried (probably shoveling dirt himself on occasion), commanded the loyalty of all those operatives willing to lie, cheat and steal at his behest, and came through with pardons for each of them when all else failed to protect them. He made possible the creation of characters like “Teddy” in the drama “Snowfall,” which relates how the funding was raised through drug-running to dispense crack cocaine throughout American cities like Los Angeles. Basically, Bushdaddy created the ISIS of his day to effect the desired US foreign policy. The migrant crisis from Central America taking place at the Mexican border is still some of the blowback from stunts like this. The little people involved suffered all the consequences, whether we’re talking about the street pushers, the addicts, the smugglers like Barry Seal, the whistle blowers and dedicated media reporters who purportedly committed “suicide,” while the spooks and honchos in the federal government skated. Moreover, there was never a GOPer/Dem dichotomy at play in this devil’s workshop. After Reagan and Bush, the baton was passed straight to the Slick Willy, then Cheney, and then Hillary who continued micromanipulating life in Central America the way the Israelis have done in Palestine… ruthlessly, without a shred of compassion for the natives. The thing is, keeping matters like these looking partisan pretty much ensures keeping half of brain-dead Americans on the side of whatever thuggery is being perpetrated, since Americans are loathe to “betray” their “own side.” What else accounts for so many fools still embracing Hillary and all her lies?

    • Skip Scott
      August 2, 2019 at 07:19

      Great comment Realist. We “old folk” have the advantage of “historical perspective”. As Mark Twain purported said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does often rhyme.”

    • vinnieoh
      August 2, 2019 at 09:43

      After composing a comment on the “Progressives Guide…” article last night something came to mind that I thought was very fitting. I admit to being too much of a Trekkie, but that’s neither here nor there. There was a line of dialogue by the Klingon Kang from the first Star Trek series that I’ve always liked: “Only a fool fights in a burning house.” I thought to use that to rebut those that slam Sanders for capitulating after the WikiLeaks revelations – Sanders could see that the leadership was burning down its own house and decided to withdraw.

      Then I got to thinking about that whole episode. An alien entity had taken over the Enterprise and arranged to have an equal number of Star Fleet and Klingons fight endlessly while the ship careened to the edge of the galaxy and oblivion. The entity derived it’s life force from the hatred of the warring parties and the warring parties just absorbed more reasons to hate the other side as they sped to their demise. Just as the professional political class of the duopoly play the partisan faithful of the US.

      That TV show was always a modern rendition of a morality play, as Nichelle Nichols observed, and indeed as so much of the serialized offerings from the 50’s thru the ? Too long ago to try to figure out which part of US culture the writers were parodying then, but I think it’s a fitting analogy to what you said.

      An interesting speculation about Biden’s reason for being there. But I tend to believe that it’s just because the D leadership is morally, ethically, and ideologically bankrupt. However, they being so absolutely corrupt, you may in fact be correct. But Biden couldn’t even make it to the finals in all his previous attempts, and now they think they can push that steaming POS over the finish line this time? Hilarious. Delusional. Brain-dead. Sorry; I know you’re not into this partisan charade, but I just couldn’t help myself.

      • Realist
        August 2, 2019 at 18:26

        If Hillary ever reads the comments on this and other indy media forums she must go into one of those fits we’ve seen. Maybe she needs a good exorcism.

        Biden? He reminds me of Fredo. Better say his prayers if he ever goes out fishing.

        What comedian said (of the NY subway), “there’s a show in every car?” Same deal with the Dems.

  16. Rob
    August 1, 2019 at 14:45

    Anything that weakens the Deep State is fine with me, but we must remember that anyone threatening the DS runs the risk of becoming the target of withering counterattacks. Those A-holes have dirt on just about everyone, and if they don’t already have dirt, they can usually create some. Hence, witnesses may not be as forthcoming as one would hope.

    OTOH, the thought that the Democrats brought this upon themselves sickens me. If Trump wins in 2020, they will have no one to blame than themselves. Oh, wait, the Democratic Party leadership never accepts blame for their own incompetence and malfeasance. Next time, it will be the “Socialists” fault.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 1, 2019 at 18:24

      The winning and losing between the duopoly is a show. “Majorities” in the House or Senate and which “party” “controls” the White House is just a shell game to deceive the electorate into thinking there is some kind of competition of ideas or policies. I think this present reality was trending by the late 70’s and now has become wholly manifest. We’ve reached “inverted totalitarianism” described by Sheldon Wolin, American political theorist.
      I guarantee Nancy and Chuck prefer Trump to say, Sanders. It’s easier for them to have a fake foil to “rail against” than it would be to play the game of why our nation isn’t “ready” for Medicare-for-All or can’t “afford” education and infrastructure.
      We keep getting “bipartisan” votes for war and bloated budget increases for the “defense” from contrived threats. The “bipartisan” Establishment continues to vote for tax reductions for the wealthy. Obamacare is rightwing bullshit…and on and on. And the Congress critters stuff their pockets and portfolios all the while—they never “lose”. But we do.

      • Skip Scott
        August 2, 2019 at 13:01

        Great comment Gregory, and spot-on.

  17. Samantha payet
    August 1, 2019 at 14:29

    I was going through an article and found out about a man called ROBINSON BUCKLER. In my life i never thought there is such thing as spiritual intercession. My problem started eight months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, i never knew he was having an affair outside our matrimonial home. It dawn on me on that faithful day when he came to the house to pick his things that was when i knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which i have built for over five years, i was confused and dumbfounded i called on family and friends but to no avail. But i stayed positive and believe i could have him back and make him stay. lo and behold ROBINSON BUCKLER helped me and we are living happily now. ROBINSON BUCKLER is such a nice man, he also helped me stop my cardiac problem. Thanks to him and thanks to God for the gift given to him. If you have any problem whatsoever, contact him on this Email him at….ROBINSONBUCKLER (@HOTMAIL.) COM
    May Love Lead The Way…
    All The Way…????????????

  18. Shannon Carnevale
    August 1, 2019 at 14:22

    Contact him if you need urgent help to get your Ex Lover back, it’s guaranteed that he will help you. Email him Robinsonbuckler@ hotmail. com…………….. ???

  19. Eva Escobedo
    August 1, 2019 at 14:19

    I was going through an article and found out about a man called ROBINSON BUCKLER. In my life i never thought there is such thing as spiritual intercession. My problem started eight months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, i never knew he was having an affair outside our matrimonial home. It dawn on me on that faithful day when he came to the house to pick his things that was when i knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which i have built for over five years, i was confused and dumbfounded i called on family and friends but to no avail. But i stayed positive and believe i could have him back and make him stay. lo and behold ROBINSON BUCKLER helped me and we are living happily now. ROBINSON BUCKLER is such a nice man, he also helped me stop my cardiac problem. Thanks to him and thanks to God for the gift given to him. If you have any problem whatsoever, contact him on this Email him at….ROBINSONBUCKLER (@HOTMAIL.) COM

  20. Diane Rejman
    August 1, 2019 at 13:56

    I agree with Ray’s assessment of this. I also believe there are much bigger issues in our country that could be investigated, that would have much more practical value to Americans. How did Flint’s water get so bad? Who is responsible for our overall failing infrastructure? How did a society like ours end up with so many people homeless, working multiple jobs, and still living in their cars? There are all kinds of issues way more important than, “Who started Russiagate?” I could go on and on…..

    • August 1, 2019 at 18:12

      Oh no… we need at least 3 years of incessant investigations into each and every Democrat involved in this conspiracy. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…

    • Chris
      August 1, 2019 at 23:10

      I disagree. The last thing in the world we want is our intelligence services playing kingmaker. It’s hard to imagine anything as destructive to a democracy as that.

  21. August 1, 2019 at 13:43

    I appreciated this cogent and interesting report.

  22. August 1, 2019 at 13:36

    “Introducing Mueller to an audience at Georgetown University in June 2014, Brennan called him “a remarkable public servant as well as a great friend, a transformative leader, an outstanding partner to CIA, and a source of wise counsel to leaders across the intelligence community.””

    When those in authority celebrate incompetence, Does that lead to more or less competence?

    See “13 Shocking Facts About Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller” by George Washington (https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-11-02/13-shocking-facts-about-special-prosecutor-robert-mueller)

  23. August 1, 2019 at 13:26

    “House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) claimed in early April 2019, “They [the Democrats] have lied multiple times to the American people. All you have to do is look at their phony memos. They have had the full support of the media, 90 percent of the media in this country. They all have egg on their face.””

    Maybe this individual, Nunes, could exert some pressure on his government to, I don’t know, QUIT its attack on free speech. Maybe he could point out that the corporate media is a much more serious source of fake news than the alternative media (which includes the progressive/alternative media).

  24. phree
    August 1, 2019 at 12:38

    Uhhhh, Ray, maybe you’re just going a bit overboard here? I know “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” approach is tempting, but do you really think appointing a political hack with no executive or intelligence experience is going to end well? Will it encourage unbiased, depoliticized intelligence gathering and analysis? I have strong doubts, even though I accept that there are many things about Russiagate that stink to high heaven.

    But no-one can deny that Trump and his minions lied through their teeth multiple times in denying any contacts with Russians. Why? Why were they lying so much about it? Add that to the collusion in plain sight (the ask for Russia to get Hillary’s emails) and the Trump tower meeting, do you REALLY think there was nothing to investigate here? REALLY?

    Whether lines were crossed in pursuing that investigation is certainly worthy of concern and investigation, but appointing a partisan, political hack to DNI is, in my opinion, not the answer. Even if you want an outsider (not an unreasonable position), at least appoint someone who isn’t a partisan hack.

    • Victor Sorribes
      August 1, 2019 at 16:40

      phree… specifically, what “contacts” with “Russians?”
      Let’s see:
      -Papadopoulous met MALTESE professor Mifsud, who, according to Papa (according to Mueller) said he was a Russian agent. Was/is he? If so, why was Mifsud not arrested?!
      -Manafort gave internal polling data to his UKRANIAN associate, who Mueller alleges has ties to the GRU, but we now know is a State Dept. asset. No-one has provided any proof of ties to Russia, it’s just Mueller dixit – based on press reports, based on anonymous leaks from the intel community. See how that works?
      -Cohen emailed a general inbox at the Kremlin, a secretary called him back to tell him no, we can’t help you build a commercial tower. Cue Adam Schiff grandstanding about “communication with the Kremlin” – what a sad pantomime he is.
      -Don jr. was approached by a BRITISH music publicist, Rob Goldstone, about Russia wanting to give the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary. Soooo… was Goldstone indicted? -Should tell you everything you need to know about the veracity of that offer.
      -Don jr., Manaford and Kushner met with RUSSIAN lawyer Vesilnitskaya, the same lawyer who met with Fusion GPS (of Steele Dossier infamy) before AND after the Trump tower meeting. Sure, nothing to see here. Move along. And btw, even Mueller had to concede nothing came of that meeting.
      -Mike Flynn met with the RUSSIAN ambassador. “Breaking News: Incoming administration does diplomacy!” The Horror.
      -Kushner tried to convince the RUSSIAN embassy to set up secret back door communications after the election. Suspect as that is, the key operating word here is AFTER. As in, if they were colluding, wouldn’t they have had to set up a back channel BEFORE? Kinda hard to collude without communicating, no? (And how do we even know about this? Hint: The Russian embassy sent unsecured cables to Moscow detailing Kushner’s offer knowing full well the NSA would intercept. What does that tell you? Collusion?!?)
      -“Hey Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” Translation: “Hey Hillary, if you’re listening, this is how much I don’t give a damn about your Russia-hacked-the-DNC-to-help-Trump-hoax-narrative. Suck it!”

      As to why they lied…? Were you conscious during the height of the Russia hoax witch hunt? (Don’t answer that…)
      Given how ridiculously the above examples I listed were blown out of proportion, is it all that difficult to understand why someone might want to downplay any “contact” with “Russians?”

      “Where there’s smoke there is fire!”
      -Not when it’s all smoke and mirrors…

    • August 1, 2019 at 21:47

      @ “But no-one can deny that Trump and his minions lied through their teeth multiple times in denying any contacts with Russians. Why? Why were they lying so much about it? Add that to the collusion in plain sight (the ask for Russia to get Hillary’s emails) and the Trump tower meeting, do you REALLY think there was nothing to investigate here? REALLY?”

      Diagnosis: Acute Russia-Gate withdrawal syndrome. I recommend patience. After a prolonged psychotic episode, it takes time to fully reestablish contact with reality. Checking strong opinions for evidence supporting them will speed the process.

    • August 1, 2019 at 23:55

      All appointees have their biases, why not appoint an ally? You still believe in the collusion hoax even after Mueller said there was none period. Why don’t you guys just try to win an election and stop whining.

  25. Vera Gottlieb
    August 1, 2019 at 12:28

    Frankly…it is getting more than annoying…this Russiagate thing. On and on and on…how much longer? Or is this to keep people’s attention away from what really should matter? A diversionary tactic?

  26. hetro
    August 1, 2019 at 12:20

    It interests me, in the face of all the pessimism here, that Ray McGovern continues his optimism article after article (and on CN Live). Ray is no fool, that’s certain. Perhaps he is “reading the handwriting on the wall” somehow. Maybe he’s not telling us everything. The big question is how are we going to pry the smothering propaganda lid off the populace, in the same way it’s been pried off the JFK assassination, for example, and off the 03 WMD, etc. There is a gathering mood of rebellion . . .

  27. Deniz
    August 1, 2019 at 12:08

    The dearth of critical thinking by the intellectual left on Russiagate has exposed prestigious US colleges as a class system that asks its students to regurgitate conformist dogma rather than actually think deeply about the most important issues of our day. At a quarter-million dollar + price tag for their degrees, it’s incredible that our best and brightest can be so easily bamboozled by the branding of charlatan Hipster Rachel Maddow, Cool Multicultural Obamas and Feminist Hillary.

    CN should not have been a lone voice in the wilderness discussing the many fallacies of Russiagate.

    • August 1, 2019 at 18:14

      Oh no… we need at least 3 years of incessant investigations into each and every Democrat involved in this conspiracy. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander…

    • Paora
      August 2, 2019 at 06:37

      This is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the whole Russiagate mess. It used to be a truism on the Left that ‘Bourgeois Democracy’ has unspoken limits, and that even if an outsider candidate managed to get elected the ruling class would use its control of the State Apparatus, the mainstream media etc to neutralise the threat.

      But when we see exactly this happening, what passes for the ‘Left’ in the US (and across the Western core of its Empire) responds by running into the arms of these ruling class institutions! Granted, it is disorienting to see this happening to a Rightist president instead of a Leftist political force, but it goes to show just how extreme the demands of Empire have become that a Right wing, billionaire Capitalist is not seen as an appropriate steward.

      Even in the much more traditional case of Jeremy Corbyn, a reformist Leftist on the brink of power weighed down by ridiculous allegations of antisemitism and not so subtle threats from the military brass and bureaucracy, the Left has failed to rise to the challenge. For all their very real differences, both Trump and Corbyn have both transgressed against the Empire’s most sacred dogmas: economic globalisation and military expansionism.

      It is a sign of the so-called Left’s weakness that it cannot differentiate between defending Trump and attacking the Deep State. It has no strong institutions of its own, such as unions able to cause massive economic disruption, or a Labor party in power at the local, state or congressional levels. Lacking these institutions that could actually oppose the most regressive aspects of Trump’s agenda, and ‘triggered’ by Trumps’s over-the-top use of bigoted language, they hide beneath the petticoats of the Deep State (now that it has mastered the language of ‘diversity’).

      This concern with language to the detriment of organisation and analysis of material conditions is the crowning achievement of the US university system. By creating a petty, claustrophobic atmosphere where policing language is more important than speaking truth to power, they have done their part in discrediting the very idea of the Left.

      • Deniz
        August 7, 2019 at 00:36

        I often struggle with the question of who deserves to be in the lower level of hell, the racists or the hypocrites.

  28. trhys
    August 1, 2019 at 11:33

    Well, call me cynical but,

    I fear this waiting on the IG report and Huber’s recommendations and bulldog Durham’s recommendations is going to be like the waiting for the long-anticipated Mueller report.

    I suspect the failure to indict Comey shows the pattern for what is to come. Not sufficient evidence, mistakes were made, faulty judgements made in good faith. Perhaps some convictions with later pardons (think Iran-Contra).

    I believe Barr began his career at the CIA. He’s been an insider all of his life. Don’t such guys almost always protect each other and even more their institution?

    Trump has all that he needs to bludgeon the Democrats all the way to the 2020 election. Whether there are indictments or not, he just needs enough formerly classified information to come out to flesh out the pattern of the conspiracy. On election day the independents will stay home, Trump partisans will come out in droves, and the core of DNC democrats will cast their insufficient votes.

    I hope I am wrong.

    On another topic, I see where Epstein’s trial won’t be until next June. Will he live to see that day? Will the remaining evidence be sealed?

    • Marko
      August 1, 2019 at 16:37

      “I believe Barr began his career at the CIA. He’s been an insider all of his life. Don’t such guys almost always protect each other and even more their institution?”

      Yes , they do. Barr is another Mueller , only he has a stronger preference for Republicans. He’s every bit the swamp dweller , however.

      Ray is not a betting man , apparently , as his optimistic outlook faces extraordinary odds.

    • Johnmichael2
      August 1, 2019 at 23:05

      With Trump, Clinton and others shivering in their boots by Epstein’s possible testimony and evidential releases, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Mr. Epstein suffers an unfortunate massive heart attack and the subsequent sealing or destruction of any associated files. The corruption in this matter, including Acosta and other, stinks to high heaven. It’s not DS, it’s the SWAMP, the fetid corruption of power that Trump so famously swore to drain, until he and his minions deepened the morass.

      IMHO, worse than anything Ray may believe exists in the Russiagate matter.

      • Skip Scott
        August 3, 2019 at 07:57

        It is both the DS and the swamp. Intelligence agencies have been using “honey traps” for decades to control politicians and make them toe the line on foreign policy. I am still waiting for part III, but there is a terrific series on Mint Press regarding all this called “Too Big To Fail” by Whitney Webb.

  29. Bob In Portland
    August 1, 2019 at 11:24

    I like to pan out of the smaller picture.

    First, Russiagate had the feeling of a CIA psyop. It still does. And back in 2016 I was sure that the CIA was backing Clinton. There was certainly a lot of evidence where the CIA seemed to be.

    Now I wonder if this whole okeydoke was in fact deeper. That is, the purpose was to rally Democratic voters opposed to Trump based on the false Russiagate narrative while setting up Trump for a second term.

  30. August 1, 2019 at 11:19

    Russsiagate related:

    Federal District Court Judge John G. Koeltl has dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Democratic National Committee against the Russian Federation, Wikileaks, and a bunch of Trumpsters. The dismissal is “with prejudice,” which means that the DNC’s only recourse at this point is an appeal. https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6225724/DNC-Trump-7-30-19.pdf

    The judge’s First Amendment ruling gives us a preview of Julian Assange’s First Amendment defense if he is extradited to the U.S.
    The Court declined to consider the Mueller Report because the DNC had already briefed the motion to dismiss. pp. 19-20 FN. 9.

    Russian Federation has sovereign immunity from suit in the U.S. pp. 22-29.

    All other defendants are entitled to First Amendment protection from
    suit as alleged publishers because there was no allegation that they
    took part in the theft of the emails. pp. 30-50.

    RICO claims dismissed, pp. 50-68.

    Wiretap Act claims fail, pp. 68-81.

    Trade secret statutes violation claims fail, pp. 72-75.

    Trespass to chattels fails because no defendants other than Russian
    Federation allegedly trespassed, pp. 75-76.

    Virginia Computer Crimes Act violation fails, pp. 76-77.

    Sanctions against DNC denied, pp. 78-80.

    Dismissal with prejudice, pg. 81.

  31. George JAMES
    August 1, 2019 at 10:54

    Getting to the bottom of Russiagate must include an independent inspection of the DNC server, which Comey should have done but did not, to find the truth on whether Russia hacked it or whether the Clinton e-mails were downloaded by an insider and passed on to Wikileaks. It seems to have become an article of faith in the U.S. political establishment and the Western corporate media that Russia hacked the server whereas former NSA staffer, William Binney, categorically stated that the speed of the download was so high that it could not been done from a remote location and, hence, could only have been done by someone within the DNC. It must also include an investigation into whether Russia used Internet Research Agency to meddle in the 2016 elections through the use Facebook. The public deserves to know the truth with regard to these 2 issues in the absence of which it would not be of much use for Ratcliffe to dig further into Russiagate since Muellet has already admitted that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    • mj-
      August 2, 2019 at 02:46

      Assage’s assistant already said Seth Rich [who worked for DNC and supported Bernie in ‘16] and brother Aaron copied DNC files on a thumb drive and gave to Wiki.

  32. Robert Emmett
    August 1, 2019 at 09:19

    For some reason that famous quote from Babbling Babs, the mother B, about not wasting her beautiful mind fretting about the body bags coming back home from Iraq, popped into my head while reading this.

    Sorry to say, I’m with those who are convinced that despite any true findings of the origins of *RussiaGate* that might be unearthed, a substantial portion of people (among those who have paid any attention at all) will remain *true believers*. That’s not to say the effort to ferret out the truth and to get it on record somehow, somewhere is not incredibly important. It just doesn’t help that the people being relied on to do that, such as Mr. Durham, are such, well, ferrets.

    Burden of poof

    They only speak of propriety
    in towers of polite society
    where beautiful minds
    of collusion in-kind
    are wasted
    on their own notoriety.

    To rely on the un-re-lie-able
    is to grasp in your hand the buy-able
    and to swear holy oaths
    of testimonial tropes
    puffed-up to be later deniable.

    He who would shoulder
    the burden of proof
    in a play set-up
    as a spoof
    is like a technician
    in the role of magician
    who makes what is damning
    go poof.

    “I shot the Sheriff/ but I didn’t shoot no Deputy…” (B. Marley)

    • Tim Jones
      August 1, 2019 at 21:31

      Great poetry and to the point!

  33. Tim Jones
    August 1, 2019 at 09:06

    Spot on Ray. Is there an echo? When important guilty people created a lie and colluded about Iraq, there was no prosecution, and an election coming. You were thrown out of Conyers office by police. Now at the critical moment, when important guilty parties could be prosecuted, there’s an election. The will to tell the truth would cause many a spoilt reputation. The web of guilt is so widespread, with so many infected, any thorough prosecution would cause our political system to unravel.

  34. Christie Hakim
    August 1, 2019 at 08:56

    My sympathies to all who’ve felt family animosity over Russiagate. I tried getting two generations of family members to at least watch clip of Comey stating in Senate hearing that he wasn’t granted access to the DNC’s email server, and they had a meltdown. This was in fall of 2017.

    Neither generation has TV so I couldn’t blame it on Rachel Maddow. But they read the New Yorker, the Guardian, Common Dreams, and Mother Jones. And they listen to NPR in the car.

    It seems that for many Dems the election of Trump was a shock as bad as 9/11. It set off a fear so deep in the brain that once the Russiagate meme was planted, nothing else could enter.

    Thank the heavens for Consortium News!

    I hope Ray is right that the origins of Russiagate will be investigated and that Ratcliff will be a good “deputy.” There’s plenty of documentary evidence to go on.

    But in light of the Abel Danger article below, Ratcliff may have other priorities. Should DNI cyber-security be turned over to Israel?

    As Dan Lazare implied in his ‘War Party’ article, maybe the issue is whether we are to go to war with Russia first, or with Iran. Avid Russiagater he may be, Dan Coates apparently didn’t have sufficient aversion to Iran’s nuclear program.

    https://www.abeldanger.org/ratcliffes-cybersecurity-initiative-feeding-the-bird/

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/orthodox-jewish-woman-named-cybersecurity-chief-for-us-spy-agency/

  35. Skip Scott
    August 1, 2019 at 07:17

    I wish I could be as optimistic as Ray McGovern appears to be. The crux of the problem is that there is no one in Washington who can escape being blackmailed into submission. Tom Kath eludes to the possible role the Epstein investigation could play in uncovering the use of “honey traps” to control our politicians for decades. I would bet dollars to donuts that there will be some untimely, mysterious deaths in our near future; and that a new war will take up the news cycle while all of this flushes down the”memory hole”. The script writers are probably working feverishly this very minute.

    I think Bill Binney has it right and it would take a few thousand Samurai to fix what’s wrong with Washington.

    • Tim Jones
      August 1, 2019 at 09:18

      Yes, the Epstein angle. Epstein would never be allowed to spill the dirt somehow. Our taxpayer dollars are hard at work so that scumbag wealthy lawyers and CIA assets will turn their tricks to control the damage.

    • Jacquelynn Booth
      August 1, 2019 at 12:23

      I agree. Looking further from the center of this assault on American law, one notes that federal courts in DC and NYC have actions pending relating to the Republicans great scandal implemented in the 21st century; that is, the attacks and murders of 9/11/2001.
      Great frauds (in my opinion) have been perpetrated on loyal citizens of America and on all peoples of the world. Deaths resulted from both the 9/11 conspiracy and the “Russiarussiarussia “ narrative. Remember one “unimportant” woman in England died supposedly from Novichok – how she died is questionable but all agree she is dead. And where are the Skripals? Where they cannot testify.
      Will America survive these scandals? Her government should not survive — it has proven to be no safeguard of liberty or even simple honesty. I hope for a return (miraculously) to a Constitution-based Government, absent that relic of Privilege, the electoral college. Restore trial protections and the freedoms of the First Amendment. But I have never been much of a realist. Quoting from a song by The Who, “Meet the new Boss; same as the old Boss!” (Won’t Be Fooled Again)

  36. Realist
    August 1, 2019 at 06:38

    William Barr doesn’t seem all that interested in pursuing prosecution of Russiagate hoaxers.

  37. Carol B.
    August 1, 2019 at 06:35

    Given our nation’s history of covering up, I don’t hope for anything to come of this, either. They all CYA for each other in exchange for their particular price. Washington is for sale and Trump worships money.

  38. August 1, 2019 at 05:57

    Sorry, itb just won’t happen.

    I think we already know, in broad strokes, who is responsible for Russiagate.

    But they’re really big names in the American political establishment.

    It’s almost childish, wishful thinking any of them will be held accountable. The kind of thinking Trump indulges in.

    How many other, far greater corrupt events than Russiagate have occurred in America with no accountability?

    Kennedy Assassination? 9/11? TWA 800? Vietnam? Iraq? And on and on.

    It’s a vast, brutal empire, one run by powerful and almost unaccountable people of both parties who disagree in almost no essential details, not a fairy-story republic from 1776.

    • August 1, 2019 at 18:20

      Ok… let’s just let democracy and justice die. Where shall we move to now?

  39. Seer
    August 1, 2019 at 04:06

    Russiagate will be continued in order to defeat the true progressives. The corporate Dems, whose mission is to keep the neolib machine running, will gladly take Trump over any progressive in Dem’s clothing. This all has the feel of the 1972 elections that saw George McGovern get undercut by the Dems. At this point I don’t think that Sanders will be able to separate himself from the Russiagate fiasco.

    One can only imagine a world in which folks like Ray McGovern would be mainstream. Thank you, Ray, for your TRUE devotion to “truth” (facts) and justice.

  40. Joe
    August 1, 2019 at 00:08

    Comey has been caught leaking classified material to the press after his firing, and Justice has decided not to prosecute him because he did not have the requisite criminal intent? Sound familiar? I have no faith that the Trump administration is going to get to the bottom of phony Russiagate, and make the players pay as they should for their crimes. These people all populate the same strata of society, and have no interest in putting each other in jail. In the end the Republicans and the Neoliberal Democrats are all on the same side. Thank God for the progressive independent media who already have shown Russiagate to be a scam.

    I’m an attorney. Appoint me as special prosecutor, let me pick my own staff, and I’ll nail all these clowns to the wall. Fat chance of letting that happen.

    • ML
      August 1, 2019 at 10:10

      Would that you were our special prosecutor Joe, though you’d need a protective vest and a non-hackable car to drive around in… “These people all populate the same strata of society, and have no interest in putting each other in jail.” Exactly right! And it’s one aspect of the scam that keeps this whole crazy state apparatus going- people get too partisan and they believe in their own chosen politician with WAY too much ardor. Once our critical thinking skills get decimated and the state’s propaganda grinder is pumping out mendacity non-stop, we are toast. Or rather toast crumbs to be swept away.

  41. zhenry
    July 31, 2019 at 23:15

    It seems to me once a CIA agent it’s hard to get the arial view of the rabbit warren below.
    I appreciate much of what you write RM ie the download from the DNC computers, not the hack, and much more, but it seems clear to me the following:
    *The Meuller Report is not worth the paper it is written on, however to me it does reveal malpractice. It’s a study in avoidance of what a ‘no holds bar’ investigation should be.
    *Its clear to me a proper investigation of Trump would reveal serious issues, in fact impeachment investigation, even though no impeachment would occur – it would help make the public more aware, even via a biased media.
    *Collusion with Russia is hard to prove but it’s fairly clear Russian involvement in election is severely limited.
    *The DNC need to drop the whole ‘Russia Thing’.
    * I am not convinced the political machinations of the DNC, Clinton, exCIA people and a further Barr investigation is worth it.
    Seems to me the present Trump actions (unconstitutional) are the important issue and what the Meuller report pointed to but did not follow through with.

    • michael
      August 1, 2019 at 09:20

      The only major unconstitutional action of Trump was stealing $5-10 billion from the military budget (seat cushion money) to build his stupid Wall, thus bypassing Congress who supposedly does the funding. However Bill Clinton did exactly the same after Congress refused to authorize money to bail out the Mexican banks after they failed due to NAFTA. Rather than letting the IMF or World Bank deal with the issue as suggested by Congress, Clinton stole $20 billion and gave those banks to Wall Street.
      DACA is an executive order that should have expired when Obama left office, but was kept alive over Trump’s objections by an activist Federal judge (John Bates, who is also on the FISA court). While I am in favor of the Dreamers Act, it is unconstitutional to have executive orders that cannot be overturned when the old executive leaves office and a new administration comes in. Essentially DACA is a law without going through Congress (who cannot find their collective butt with both hands, and refuses to legislate).
      The citizenship question on the Census was not decided on merit by SCOTUS, but they ruled 5-4 that the request was “pretextual”, but upheld other aspects as constitutional, and left it open if better rationale was presented. With 20+ million illegal aliens in the US, as many as the median population of four states, the issue will not go away.
      Trump’s immigration rulings were not much different than Obama’s (who eliminated NSEERs his last month in office, thus eliminating continual domestic vetting of immigrants from war-torn nations). Almost all activist Federal judges’ rulings on Trump’s immigration policies have been overturned in SCOTUS, and seemed mostly for partisan delay. (and since Trump has packed the judiciary with Conservatives, one can expect similar partisan rulings from them in the future).
      Mueller’s report found no criminal interactions between Trump and Russians. As pundits have noted, obstruction of justice with no underlying crime is essentially like resisting arrest when no crime is charged. The Democrat #Resistance should admit that Russiagate is a disproven conspiracy theory and get their act together to defeat Trump in 2020.

      • August 1, 2019 at 21:52

        @ “The Democrat #Resistance should admit that Russiagate is a disproven conspiracy theory and get their act together to defeat Trump in 2020.”

        Won’t happen. They apparently expect that the public will just forget about their two-year binge of russiarussiarussia.

        I intend to call them on it every chance I get. It was psychotic behavior worthy of disqualifying them from leadership positions.

      • Realist
        August 2, 2019 at 02:03

        Though I am philosophically a liberal and voted for Democrats all my life, I agree with your last two sentences one hundred percent. Sadly, the Democrats are no longer liberals (or progressives), at least not since FDR. They are phonies who have not practiced what they preached for at least two or three generations. The party faithful vote them in to enact progressive legislation and to stop the constant warmongering, yet they deliver nothing but neoliberal economic and neoconservative foreign policy. They need to spend at least another decade in the wilderness and not regain power until a new generation replaces the old sinners, who like Nosferatu refuse to die.

      • zhenry
        August 2, 2019 at 23:33

        Micheal: Your probably right legally on those issues but they are confined issues, you don’t mention the Trump tax issue, mixing his personal business with US foreign policy and the many executive orders ignored by Trump.
        I refer you to Robert Reichs article that Trump should be impeached and why, (re constitutional matters and malpractice).
        You are probably GOP, however I consider Reich’s commentary essential to political and economic matters.
        I have to vehemently disagree with you that it was a DNC Hi Court and it is now a GOP group of judges. The present Trump nominations are not mainstream GOP they are far right; for corporation rights and opposed to individual rights; no society benefit can come of such corporate dominance. Such conditions will lead to an all powerful oligarchy enforced by military Police to contain the destitute 99% cordoned off Gaza like living areas.
        Thats maybe what you want.
        The DNC deserves all the criticism it gets and more but it is still not as destructive as the GOP. Until a third party is formed we should recognize the progressive movement is essentially middle ground and understandably at odds with the corporate backed DNC which the poles suggest is not what the majority of US citizens want.
        You would expect such a clash to be messy, it’s an interesting time as the corporate and majority are more clearly delineated; and a changing of the guard occurs, hopefully.
        Will it be a reformed DNC, a third party?
        But let’s not throw a petulant panic unless you want an oligarchy type I describe above.

  42. U
    July 31, 2019 at 22:30

    Y

  43. Joe Tedesky
    July 31, 2019 at 22:18

    These Russia Gate counter investigations being initiated by the Trump DOJ will in my opinion only escalate into the 2020 Presidential campaign season. The Hillary inspired Russia Gate distraction will be remembered as the moment in time the Democratic Party strayed away from the pressing issues of the day only to fall flat on the Donkey ass as reality replaces creative politicking.

  44. Tom Kath
    July 31, 2019 at 21:42

    I live in a different part of the world and may be just displaying my ignorance, but could this Epstein bloke play a part in exposing corruption within, and public loss of faith in, the INTELLIGENCE agencies?

    • Marko
      August 1, 2019 at 02:28

      Epstein could expose massive criminality among the elites and agencies of both parties , which is why he’ll never get the chance. Either he dies before trial , or his death is faked and he’s spirited away to live a life of luxury in Israel , or the trial process itself is a total clusterfreak , allowing him to skate on a technicality without ever revealing anything of substance.

    • Gregory Herr
      August 1, 2019 at 06:11

      Whitney Webb has put together a three-part investigative report at Mint Press News you may find interesting. For an interview, check here:

      https://aroundtheempire.libsyn.com/ep-115-epstein-trafficking-blackmail-feat-whitney-webb

  45. David G
    July 31, 2019 at 21:04

    I didn’t realize John Durham already has a track record of assisting the CIA get away with crimes like torture and destruction of evidence. That’s a remarkable choice for Trump to have made to uncover the apparent intelligence-community roots of Russia-gate.

    Okay, now Durham is working for a president who may want to expose any official sabotage to the Trump campaign, but then at best Durham will prove himself to be a spineless worm who in this case was bent in the direction of truth.

    A defining feature of Trump is that he will eventually betray every person who puts their trust in him – that’s been a constant in his personal, business, and now political life.

    The question is whether that iron law of perfidy is strong enough to extend even to those like Ray McGovern who are counting on Trump – the actual incumbent president of the United States – to blow open a plot by elements of the federal government aimed at Trump himself.

  46. Victor Sorribes
    July 31, 2019 at 20:41

    Thank you Ray, thank you for your courageous and thoughtful reporting throughout this whole debacle. Your clarity and sanity has been a beacon in these dark and troubling times. I am so grateful I found Consortium News in the run-up to the 2016 election. An outlet that peddles the truth, party-politics be damned, in this era of hive-mind mass-delusion?!

    I can’t even name all the people and outlets that have completely let me (and all of us, really) down. Forget the 24hr cable “news” shows, they were always garbage. NYT and WaPo at least had a veneer of respectability, but they too have been exposed as the Fake News that they are. NPR has become a joke. But what happened to Democracy Now!? TYT? Why are progressives jumping in bed with genocidal maniacs like Brennan, Clapper, Mueller et al.? I will never forget, never forgive.

    I think Trump is completely unacceptable on almost every conceivable level. He shouldn’t be in charge of tying his own shoes, let alone hold the most powerful office in the world. Except he got elected fair and square, and no matter how horrible you think that fact is, wiping your @ss with the constitution to get rid of him is not “fighting fascism” – it IS fascism.

    Principles matter. Thank you again Ray for your principled, fact-based stance. Along with the likes of Bill Binney, the great late Mr. Parry, Daniel Lazare, Aaron Mate, Glenn Greenwald, Jimmy Dore, Caitlin Johnstone and sadly not many more, you kept me sane as I watched the world descend into collective insanity.

    I do hope there’s some reckoning in the future, but I won’t hold my breath. I need it to scream out loud…

    • Nathan Mulcahy
      July 31, 2019 at 22:15

      I never bought into TYT. As for NPR, I had started having doubts about it after 2003, but dumped it completely after the Snowden affair.

      Democracy Now is a personal tragedy because after 911 it used to be my go to place that I had recommended to anyone who’d listen to me. Then something strange happened. It started having Prof. Juan Cole (of Informed Comment), who had exposed himself as a dangerous leftist hawk in the run up to the Libyan fiasco. To make matters worse, Democracy Now started peddling the white helmets. That’s when I stopped listening to and sending donations to DN.

    • Mark
      August 1, 2019 at 10:10

      You left out The New Yorker as a great publication that lost all credibility with anti-Trump fantasies, that is, whatever credibility remained after supporting W in invading Iraq “pre-emptively”.

    • Rosanna
      August 1, 2019 at 11:52

      I would like to know more about how Trump is “unacceptable on almost every conceivable level”, for example, in comparison to the last 3 or 4 chief executives, as well as all the folks he defeated in the primary and general elections. Perhaps I have a different view of him, having not followed his career on TV or in the local real estate development biz in NY. So far, to the best of my knowledge, Trump has not screwed interns in the Oval Office, lied us into a trillion-dollar war in the Middle East, destroyed an entire country and chortled over the death of the leader, or any other personal and political horrors we could all agree on from the Washington “crowd” of the past 25 or so years. By comparison, Trump says crude things, and has been divorced twice, probably went to hookers (spare me the pearl-clutching) and won’t release his tax returns. Do we have to believe we are electing a saint or at least a paragon (by our personal definition) of virtue, otherwise we are endorsing the Devil incarnate? The Founding Fathers debated this issue and decided that there could not be a moral test for high office, having realized by studying history that there was no relationship between good leadership and good moral character.

      • RnM
        August 1, 2019 at 16:56

        It’s an American flaw to equate “morality,” “niceness,” “suave,” etc. with leadership. “Darkest Hour” is a biopic about Churchill’s early days as Prime Minister. He was considered to be no rose by his contemporaries in the Establishment. He turned out very apt, indeed. Then was turned out by the same mediocre people in the same Establishment, whose arses he saved from that little German mass murderer. Sometimes, a people need a not-so-nice leader for not-so-nice times (usually brought about by some “nice-guy” leader. Neville Chamberlain, for the pre-Churchill timeframe.)

      • geeyp
        August 2, 2019 at 01:04

        Great comment, Rosanna. I agree, and laugh at those “holier-than-thou” critics who complain and nit pick and never see the forest/trees at all. And that comment that you have in quotes is one of the stupidest and one of the most common of all of them.

  47. bjd
    July 31, 2019 at 20:14

    A man who writes as good as Ray McGovern is dangerous.
    I for one am glad he is on the side of truth.

  48. JWalters
    July 31, 2019 at 19:22

    I recall seeing part of Brennan’s confirmation hearing as CIA director. He very specifically said he had been instructed by Obama to remove all drone programs from the CIA, and move them over to the military, and that he would be doing that. This order echoed President Kennedy’s order to move all CIA covert operations over to the military, effectively taking the CIA out of the military operations business. Colonel J. Fletcher Prouty, top military liasson to the CIA at that time, has discussed this in some detail. Kennedy was killed shortly after issuing this order. Obama’s order was never carried out by Brennan, who later cited logistic problems, and the CIA retained its drone operations.

  49. Gregory Herr
    July 31, 2019 at 18:15

    Ray, you had me LOL twice in a matter of minutes—when you said Mueller “surely failed to exonerate” Brennan in his July 24 testimony, and again when you suspect Brennan took a direct hand in writing the ICA because it is such a “shabby piece of work”.

    Let’s hope we get the “no-holds Barred”. Thanks for a great (and entertaining) report.

  50. Drew Hunkins
    July 31, 2019 at 18:07

    No matter what Ratcliffe may overturn it simply won’t matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. One can write the most thought-out and well documented academic-like essays, articles and reports and the true believers in Russiagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of their wrist. The mockery and scorn directed towards those of us who knew the score from day one won’t relent. They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in ‘16, and they’d all throw up their hands and say, “aha! So, God’s in on this too!”

    This is the most pervasive and hardcore groupthink I’ve ever witnessed. In some quarters it’s even strained friendships and family relations. It’s the biggest b.s. story of my lifetime. Just last week I was assured by an acquaintance in all-knowing condescension that I’m delusional, naive and borderline imbecilic when I claim there was no Kremlin effort to “hack” or interfere in the ’16 election.
    It’s the great lie that won’t die. I get the same mockery and ridicule as when I insisted in 2002/’03 during the run-up to the Iraq bloodbath that Washington and the Zio-cons had absolutely no business waging war on that relatively harmless nation.

    Cog-dis is too much

    I hate to say it, but corporate Democrats along with those who Maddow et al have totally brainwashed are still true believers in the entire canard. You cannot get through to these people, they will not come to terms with the fact that they’ve been hoodwinked and bamboozled for the last three years. They read it in WaPo and the NYTimes and heard it on NPR or saw it on PBS News so it’s sacrosanct. The cog-dis is simply too much for them to stomach.

    Regardless of any smoking gun Barr or Ratcliffe may unearth over the next 40 years the true believers in Russiagate will be writing essays, books and giving talks about how the evil Russians in Moscow interfered in our democracy [sic] to elect their preferred president. It’s infuriating and perhaps beyond hope.

    • July 31, 2019 at 19:39

      Dear Drew Hunkins,

      Thanks, I really needed that!

      “They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in ‘16, and they’d all throw up their hands and say, “aha! So, God’s in on this too!”

      I’m not so sure God herself would be so clear on this, with John McCain having had several months to convince her that Putin was guilty of “an act of war” with the putinative “hacking” of the DNC. But perhaps you’re right. Maybe God can’t hear McCain from where is is now. Ray

      • Drew Hunkins
        July 31, 2019 at 21:37

        Haha! McCain is indeed probably haranguing her as of this very moment; though we’re presuming he’s there and not burning down below. Remember, one thing his North Vietnamese captors remarked on was his disturbing sociopathic tendency to completely detach from the death and destruction he rained down on them from his fighter jet.

        Wishing you well Mr. McGovern. Keep up the magnificent work.

    • michael
      July 31, 2019 at 21:34

      In all peoples there is is a part of the brain that accepts uncritically faith-based, evidence-free narratives as truth. People have fought wars based on these religious beliefs and have burnt at the stake rather than recant. Russiagate is the new religion. Unshakeable. Since evidence-free and faith-base, these people will go to their graves believing Trump was working on Putin’s behalf just because Hillary (and the Establishment) said Trump was in Putin’s pocket.
      The same people deride intelligence involvement in 9/11, multiple gunmen in JFK’s assassination, UFOs, Seth Rich’s involvement in DNC’s ‘hacking’, etc as conspiracy theories,refusing to even consider any evidence.
      It keeps their world pure and partisan.

    • July 31, 2019 at 22:36

      Great post Drew! Thanks.

    • AnneR
      August 1, 2019 at 09:20

      Drew – all so true. As I sure you (and Mr McGovern) know, the Russiagate believers will dismiss – loudly and longly – *any* proof/evidence, any findings by Barr et al as (not a pun, I don’t think) “trumped up,” as “manufactured,” as “full of holes.”

      One can – as I imagine you (and Mr McGovern) and most CN writers and readers/commenters do, and myself – loathe and detest the Strumpet while at the same time abhor this whole (expensive) sleight of hand farrago that has been and continues on as “Russia (Putin) did it.” But for the true believers in Russiagate (and apparently in HRC, a bloodthirsty, blood curdling person if ever, as the “rightful” WH occupant), argue against the Russophobia, decry the apparent “progressive” adulation of the FBI/CIA (??? I still cannot wrap my brain round that aspect of any of it) – and you are immediately denounced as one of the “deplorables.” Or not spoken to. Shunned.

      This whole business strikes me – putting aside any of the 2016 electoral political machinations – as a very useful distraction tool for the Congressional blue head of the Janus party. With all the focus and noise being concentrated on Russiagate, then such things as many Dems voting for that big tax cut for the ultra rich and simply rich, and many Dems voting to boost yet further the Pentagon/MIC budget even more could slip by barely noticed. And the Dems in the House can fritter their time away looking as though they are doing something about “democracy” even as they do nothing about the Electoral College; even as they do even less about the corruption at the heart of this political system – the overpowering influence that money has on what DC does and for whom.

      • August 2, 2019 at 16:36

        @ “… Congressional blue head of the Janus party …”

        ?????

  51. Jeff Harrison
    July 31, 2019 at 17:50

    Yes. The incipient praetorian guard that has developed in DC needs to be crushed before it can do any more damage to our institutions.

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