Toilets: The FBI, Department of Justice and the Guggenheim

The FBI and DOJ

We’re still waiting for the release of the four-page memo prepared by Congressman Devin Nunes on the investigation into the FBI and DOJ’s skullduggery in the “collusion” investigation, which his colleagues who have read it describe as “troubling” “shocking” “deeply disturbing.” From what we are seeing in the publicly released communications of some of the participants, it is not far-fetched to consider that sedition charges may be in the works.

18 U.S. Code § 2384 - Seditious conspiracy
US Code
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 808; July 24, 1956, ch. 678, § 1, 70 Stat. 623; Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(N), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2148.)

It appears from what little we’ve seen that there was, in fact, a conspiracy by key officials and employees of the bureau and department to advance Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president by covering up her illegal conduct, but as well, to undermine and overthrow the elected president.

Think of the irony: Bill Clinton gets a speaking fee from the Russians for $500,000 that defies honest justification. Hillary then hired GPS/Fusion, which contacts Russian officials who promote unverified and unverifiable smears against her opponent Donald Trump, which, under her direction, the outfit disseminates to the press and the FBI to justify surveillance of himself, his family, and the campaign under the guise that he was colluding with the Russians.

The Justice Department is still withholding tens of thousands of internal communications subpoenaed by from Congressional investigators. 

Justice has decided to allow Congress to see just 4,000 to 7,000 of a total of 50,000 Strzok-Page texts -- even the larger number is slightly less than 15 percent of the total number of texts the Justice Department has now. Why is that? Justice Department officials point to a Jan. 19 letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd to Capitol Hill investigators explaining which texts would and would not be turned over.

"The department is not providing text messages that were purely personal in nature," Boyd wrote. "Furthermore, the department has redacted from some work-related text messages portions that were purely personal. The department's aim in withholding purely personal text messages and redacting personal portions of work-related text messages was primarily to facilitate the committee's access to potentially relevant text messages without having to cull through large quantities of material unrelated to either the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server or the investigation into Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election."

Finally -- and this could be significant or not -- Boyd said that "in a few instances," the Justice Department consulted with the office of Trump-Russia special prosecutor Robert Mueller and made some redactions "related to the structure, operation, and substance of the [Special Counsel's Office]'s investigation because it is ongoing." Hill investigators don't really know what that covers.

The bottom line is that the Justice Department has turned over a fairly small percentage of the Strzok-Page texts. Even assuming many of the texts would be personal -- the two were having an extramarital affair, after all -- some Hill investigators wonder whether between 43,000 and 46,000 of the 50,000 known texts were wholly personal.

As more of the communications between the participants is revealed and the Glenn Simpson testimony is made public, it is increasingly obvious that Simpson is a conspiracy nutter of the first order and his work product was seized upon by deep state players as a pretext for their conduct. His dossier cannot withstand even the merest critical examination.

The Tablet reviewed Simpson’s history as a conspiracy theorist:

Is it surprising that Russiagate would incorporate Jews into its narrative? No. There was zero chance that a conspiracy theorist like Simpson would not find a role for the Jews in his grand Trump-Russia collusion narrative. A conspiracy theory without an international cabal of un-rooted cosmopolitans exerting their influence on finance and politics in whatever society they inhabit would be like writing a symphony without a string section. You could do it, but why bother? At least one publication paid full price for orchestra seats.

In April 2017, Politico published “The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin.” How are they connected? Well, Putin is close to several Chabad supporters, as well as Chabad rabbi Berel Lazar, Russia’s chief rabbi. Trump worked with some Russian emigres who are active in Chabad, including a convicted felon, Felix Sater. In Florida, Trump hosted the wedding of the daughter of a Chabad supporter he knows to an associate of one of the Chabad supporters who is close to Putin.

What does all this tell us about the alleged relationship between Trump and Putin?

“Their respective ambitions led the two men,” writes Politico, “to build a set of close, overlapping relationships in a small world that intersects on Chabad, an international Hasidic movement most people have never heard of.”

You see -- they’re furtive. Almost no one has heard of them. The only people who appear to understand Chabad’s role in the secret Trump-Putin collusion conspiracy are the author of the story and Glenn Simpson, who came back to this insane theory again in his testimony before Congress. Yet this lunacy was evidently plausible enough to the editorial staff at Politico, whose headline is the only thing that actually connects Trump and Putin in a story insinuating a secret Jewish plot to undermine American democracy.

Chabad is an orthodox Jewish movement. In my reckoning you could hardly find less useful co-conspirators as they are always praying, celebrating holidays, weddings, circumcisions, doing charitable works, and comforting the bereaved in between offering advice and assistance in how to follow the religious laws. Maybe in the back of his mind, Simpson acknowledged this, because he also offered up that the National Rifle Association was in on the conspiracy. He needed a gimlet-eyed editor to excise his ravings, but there was not a single one in the many journalists and officials he peddled the dossier to.

Michael Goodwin details the current state of play:

[E]ach day brings credible reports suggesting there is a massive scandal involving the top ranks of America’s premier law enforcement agency. The reports, which feature talk among agents of a “secret society” and suddenly missing text messages, point to the existence both of a cabal dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in 2016 and of a plan to let Hillary Clinton skate free in the classified email probe.

If either one is true -- and I believe both probably are -- it would mean FBI leaders betrayed the nation by abusing their powers in a bid to pick the president.

More support for this view involves the FBI’s use of the Russian dossier on Trump that was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It is almost certain that the FBI used the dossier to get FISA court warrants to spy on Trump associates, meaning it used the opposition research of the party in power to convince a court to let it spy on the candidate of the other party -- likely without telling the court of the dossier’s political link.

Even worse, there is growing reason to believe someone in President Barack Obama’s administration turned over classified information about Trump to the Clinton campaign.

As one former federal prosecutor put it, “It doesn’t get worse than that.” That prosecutor, Joseph diGenova, believes Trump was correct when he claimed Obama aides wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower.

Goodwin continues by reviewing the records Nunes received which show unmistakably the bias against Trump by FBI agents, James Comey, Andrew McCabe (Comey’s deputy):

“Talk about irony,” writes Goodwin, “While Dems and the left-wing media already found Trump guilty of collusion before Mueller was appointed, the real scandal might be the conduct of the probers themselves.”

The Guggenheim

The FBI, Department of Justice, and the office of the Special Counsel are not the only outfits whose reputations are in the toilet this week. Due to the nasty arrogance of its anti-Trump curator, Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim Museum of Art joins them.

Tom Stoppard once said “Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.” Added to this is the tendency of those contemporary artists’ living well off rich patrons to deride materialism without which they’d be peddling their wares on street corners for pennies.

One such artist is Maurizo Cattalan, famous for having created in craftsmanship-type perfection a solid gold toilet which for a time was in the Guggenheim Museum’s public washroom. His work was highlighted this week when the first lady requested the loan of a Van Gogh painting from the Guggenheim for the White House’s private quarters. The museum’s anti-Trump curator Nancy Spector responded that it was unavailable for loan and snidely offered up Cattalan’s toilet instead.

To any reasonable person the response was unacceptable, a “sick burn” in the words of a Washington Post writer. He loved Spector’s mean-spirited response, considering it yet another form of art.

The Guggenheim has said no to the president of the United States, which is a powerful gesture in itself. But it has also presumed to offer him something “more” valuable according to the value system it imputes to him: a tawdry love of gleaming gold fixtures, common to vulgar despots all the way back to Midas himself. The subtext here is: We assume you only want the van Gogh painting as a status symbol, which we refuse to endorse; but we will give you what you really crave, which is crass gold. If he accepts the golden toilet, he confirms their view of him. If Trump declines the golden toilet, by implication he would seem to believe that there are things (such as van Gogh paintings) that transcend money and commerce. And thus, he may undermine his own worldview, in which all things have their price and anything can be exchanged for something else if the money is right.

So the artwork here is not by Cattelan, who is merely instrumental in this game. Rather it is the work of Guggenheim curator Nancy Spector, who made the offer to the White House. Curators may be talented and creative, but they are not often in the business of making art itself. But now the Guggenheim owns a new work, a Spector original, which will add if not luster at least levity to the museum’s collection. And perhaps, like all political art, a little bit of risk, too. The president is not known to suffer sick burns with a light sense of self-deprecation.

People getting rich off the rise of the markets due to Trump’s policies might consider whether they want to continue contributing to such “sick burn" artistic gestures.

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