#MemoReleased

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Whitbane:
[snip]

Amusing that you believe pro Trump Gregg Jarrett without question but dismiss Steele because he is anti Trump.

I hope Nunes texts get subpoena and it shows Trump asked Nunes to create the memo to discredit the investigation into him.

Catnip1024:
The compiler, not the witness. Seeing how none of this is first hand information.

Second hand witness is still a witness. You can have people give testimony in a court case and report what other people told them.

They had had the chap under investigation for some time already, right? Surely, if the standards are so low, they could have found something to justify further action in their investigation?

Jesus wept, man: read the damn story, or even some of the posts in this file properly.

According to reports, the Steele dossier was just one of several pieces of of evidence submitted in support of surveillance.

Agema:
Jesus wept, man: read the damn story, or even some of the posts in this file properly.

According to reports, the Steele dossier was just one of several pieces of of evidence submitted in support of surveillance.

In which case, you could remove the dossier and still get approval, right? So why rely on said dossier at all? It is like the previously mentioned example of a court case. If you start introducing evidence of dubious quality, it undermines the case as a whole, regardless of how solid the rest is.

Catnip1024:

Agema:
Jesus wept, man: read the damn story, or even some of the posts in this file properly.

According to reports, the Steele dossier was just one of several pieces of of evidence submitted in support of surveillance.

In which case, you could remove the dossier and still get approval, right? So why rely on said dossier at all? It is like the previously mentioned example of a court case. If you start introducing evidence of dubious quality, it undermines the case as a whole, regardless of how solid the rest is.

The flaw in your argument is that the dossier isn't of "dubious quality." Which you would know, if you would do your homework.

starbear:
The flaw in your argument is that the dossier isn't of "dubious quality." Which you would know, if you would do your homework.

Except the legitimacy of such a source in this instance is down to opinion, and is not an objective fact. The fact that you are trying to make out that it is all binary true / false just shows the futility of trying to reason with you.

Catnip1024:

starbear:
The flaw in your argument is that the dossier isn't of "dubious quality." Which you would know, if you would do your homework.

Except the legitimacy of such a source in this instance is down to opinion, and is not an objective fact.

What was dubious about the dossier? Can you at least make an effort to explain that instead of merely asserting it?

The fact that you are trying to make out that it is all binary true / false just shows the futility of trying to reason with you.

How about instead of attacking me, you make a case that the dossier was of dubious quality? Have you actually read it yet?

Catnip1024:
In which case, you could remove the dossier and still get approval, right? So why rely on said dossier at all?

I don't know. Who is relying on the dossier? Isn't that your weasel word?

It is like the previously mentioned example of a court case. If you start introducing evidence of dubious quality, it undermines the case as a whole, regardless of how solid the rest is.

No, pretty much the opposite. A court case is more usually about forming a consistent and reliable whole from a large amount of individually less reliable pieces of information. In fact, that's basically how science works as well (hence things like n values). Or in fact large amounts of any basic reasoning.

Although really the main problem here seems to be that you are utterly unable to think past your assumption that the dossier is worthless, and thus cannot engage with any argument that it may be at least partially credible and accurate, or deriving from that possibility.

Catnip1024:

Kwak:
But... it wasn't fabricated.

It was accusation with no evidence to back it up, and biased by its very source. The actual dossier compiler was essentially gathering stories from various people who totally have reason to be untruthful. Character references don't make up for the fact that a guy was given X amount of money to dig up dirt, which tends to skew the fact-checking process a little, and who then went to speak to Russian intelligence contacts, who are totally going to be honest about this whole thing, right?

And if we're suddenly lapping up stories originating from the Russian intelligence community with no questioning of motive, why the fuck are we even worrying about Trump?

You should not be able to obtain a warrant based entirely on Chinese whispers. Or Russian whispers, for that matter.

The FBI already had the guy under observation. If they couldn't dig up any reason to bring him in due to that, maybe a warrant was actually not the right call.

Now be fair, MI6 has always had a smoother relationship with the KGB than the CIA ever did. Maybe this Steele fellow was a friend of the Philby family.

starbear:
What was dubious about the dossier? Can you at least make an effort to explain that instead of merely asserting it?

I have repeatedly stated my issues with it. Pay attention, or at least read the bits of the thread from before you decided to pop in.

Agema:
I don't know. Who is relying on the dossier? Isn't that your weasel word?

Well, by the very fact that it is part of the evidence submitted to support a warrant, it is being relied upon. If the other evidence without it is considered sufficient, it should be removed from the application.

A court case is more usually about forming a consistent and reliable whole from a large amount of individually less reliable pieces of information. In fact, that's basically how science works as well (hence things like n values). Or in fact large amounts of any basic reasoning.

If evidence in court is found to be false / incomplete / misrepresented, it risks undermining the whole case. There're more than enough examples of that happening of late. The FBI work under a legal framework, and so legal principles apply.

Although really the main problem here seems to be that you are utterly unable to think past your assumption that the dossier is worthless, and thus cannot engage with any argument that it may be at least partially credible and accurate, or deriving from that possibility.

The main problem here is that there is the potential that portions of said dossier are based on rumours from Russian intelligence sources. Which aren't really a great thing to be using in support of a legal argument. The dossier has some worth, but not as a reason for investigation. Either the FBI already had enough to continue investigation, or they didn't.

Catnip1024:

starbear:
What was dubious about the dossier? Can you at least make an effort to explain that instead of merely asserting it?

I have repeatedly stated my issues with it. Pay attention, or at least read the bits of the thread from before you decided to pop in.

All you've done in this thread is repeat talking points. Are they actually "your issues" with the dossier? Have you read it?

Pay attention, or at least read the bits of the thread where people are responding to you. They have repeatedly stated their issues with your talking points.

Catnip1024:
Well, by the very fact that it is part of the evidence submitted to support a warrant, it is being relied upon. If the other evidence without it is considered sufficient, it should be removed from the application.

No, it is being relied upon if the warrant could not be acquired without it. As we don't know whether that is the case, we should not say so.

If evidence in court is found to be false / incomplete / misrepresented, it risks undermining the whole case. There're more than enough examples of that happening of late.

Yeah well. Lawyers are well paid to assess what evidence is good enough to stand a chance in court. Opposition lawyers are well paid to cross-examine and test the strength of evidence presented in trials. Judges are well paid to make assessments of the quality of evidence in terms of warrants. All of this is conducted under well tested institutions of law and highly developed legal procedure.

You'll just have to forgive me for pointing out that this process seems a damn sight more robust than the personal whims of Catnip1024 with no apparent legal expertise.

The FBI work under a legal framework, and so legal principles apply.

But the FBI did apply for surveillance through an established legal procedure via normal legal channels.

The dossier has some worth, but not as a reason for investigation.

Says a man with basically no clue about what's in the dossier, how reliable it is, or any understanding of standards required to pass legal processes discussed. Sheesh.

Agema:
Yeah well. Lawyers are well paid to assess what evidence is good enough to stand a chance in court. Opposition lawyers are well paid to cross-examine and test the strength of evidence presented in trials. Judges are well paid to make assessments of the quality of evidence in terms of warrants. All of this is conducted under well tested institutions of law and highly developed legal procedure.

You'll just have to forgive me for pointing out that this process seems a damn sight more robust than the personal whims of Catnip1024 with no apparent legal expertise.

Yes, because everybody knows how well the FBI are with transparency of things regarding surveillance. And how they totally give people a chance to defend themselves before being snooped on, ensuring a full and fair representation of the facts. Oh, wait...

That's the second time someone's tried to shut me up on this thread by referring to expertise. Look, buddy, if we aren't allowed to question anything unless we are experts in the field, it's going to be a fucking quiet forum.

Catnip1024:

Agema:
Yeah well. Lawyers are well paid to assess what evidence is good enough to stand a chance in court. Opposition lawyers are well paid to cross-examine and test the strength of evidence presented in trials. Judges are well paid to make assessments of the quality of evidence in terms of warrants. All of this is conducted under well tested institutions of law and highly developed legal procedure.

You'll just have to forgive me for pointing out that this process seems a damn sight more robust than the personal whims of Catnip1024 with no apparent legal expertise.

Yes, because everybody knows how well the FBI are with transparency of things regarding surveillance.

I would suspect that most people do know know how well the FBI are with transparency of things regarding surveillance. Do you know? Would you care to share?

And how they totally give people a chance to defend themselves before being snooped on, ensuring a full and fair representation of the facts. Oh, wait...

Oh wait what? Do you you think law enforcement are obliged to tell someone they suspect of working with foreign governments that they are being investigated? How on earth does that make sense? Not only would you be giving them a warning to cover their tracks, you are also warning everybody they might be working with them to go into hiding.

That's the second time someone's tried to shut me up on this thread by referring to expertise. Look, buddy, if we aren't allowed to question anything unless we are experts in the field, it's going to be a fucking quiet forum.

You are welcome to say anything you like. But when you authoritatively mischaracterize both the dossier, the motivations behind the dossier, and the person behind the dossier, when you purposefully mischaracterize the contents of the dossier as mere "gossip", when you show complete ignorance of how intelligence is gathered and analysed, when you show no understanding of what the FISA courts are and what they do, then you should expect to be called out on it. You aren't questioning anything. You are repeating talking points. Where did you get your talking points from? Have you read the actual dossier?

Catnip1024:
Yes, because everybody knows how well the FBI are with transparency of things regarding surveillance. And how they totally give people a chance to defend themselves before being snooped on, ensuring a full and fair representation of the facts. Oh, wait...

Law enforcement isn't supposed to be transparent - at least beyond judicial oversight - in terms of surveillance. It rather defeats the point of surveillance to let the target know they're being surveilled.

I'm not a fan of the government having widespread surveillance powers with low oversight. But on the other hand, the laws are the law, and we can't really complain about a WAD process. That goes many time more for a legislator - one heading the House Intelligence Committee no less - who can sod right off if he's complaining because the powers he's been nurturing suddenly turn out to be useful for shining a light on the potentially shady dealings of his political allies instead.

That's the second time someone's tried to shut me up on this thread by referring to expertise. Look, buddy, if we aren't allowed to question anything unless we are experts in the field, it's going to be a fucking quiet forum.

That depends on what you're trying to argue, doesn't it?

If you really want to set yourself against a well established procedure and institutions overseen by professionals with years of experience, you have to provide an particularly good explanation for why you think you know better. After all, the baseline assumption is that they are likely to know what they are doing.

Let's face it, at core, what is the legal process if not ultimately a process of testing the validity/strength of information, from preparation to the courtroom itself? So let information be examined and tested rather than just ruled out on arbitrary guesswork.

Maybe these fuckers shouldn't be so gung-ho about increasing the surveillance powers of the state and shredding the 4th Amendment if they're going to get pissy about it being used on them.

Hypocritical fuckers.

In the clearest sign that Nunes' little stunt has failed, the House Intelligence Committee has voted unanimously to release the Democratic Memo. This comes after several Republicans, including the partial Co-Author, Rep. Trey Gowdy, said that the Nunes Memo doesn't clear Trump of the Russian Investigation.

Of course, this Memo can only become public with Trump's approval, and that's not guaranteed. In fact, because of his feud with Rep. Adam Schiff, it's most likely that he won't release it, even in a 'censored' state.

It has come out that Nunes forgot to mention a key part of the FISA warrant application in his memo, namely a footnote in which the FBI discloses the political origins of the Steele dossier to the judge. One of the key accusations leveled in the memo was that the FBI had intentionally concealed the origin of the Steele dossier from the FISA court in order to get a warrant; this is now shown to be false.

This is not surprising, because one of the reasons the declassification of this memo triggered such a ruckus is that the House considers FISA warrant applications to be extraordinarily sensitive intelligence - to the point where only one member of the House Intelligence Committee is actually allowed to read the application. Interestingly, that member wasn't Devin Nunes; it was his colleague, Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Which means Devin Nunes did not actually read the warrant application whose alleged deficiencies forms the core of the memo that he authored. He was relying on a summary of that application given to him by Gowdy, and that summary evidently failed to note a key footnote that dismantles the memo's core argument that the FBI did not disclose the dossier's origins to the court.

Nunes went on Fox & Friends to defend himself, claiming that "a footnote saying something may be political is a far cry from letting the American people know that the Democrats and the Hillary campaign paid for dirt that the FBI then used to get a warrant on an American citizen to spy on another campaign." Which...is an odd statement, because FISA applications are classified by default, so the American people wouldn't know what was in it in the first place. The criticism was that the FBI withheld information from the FISA court, not from the American people. And they didn't even do that.

And more importantly, because I find myself continually having to point this out, the Steele dossier was originally commissioned by Republicans, seeking to use something against Trump in the primaries. Saying that "the Democrats and the Hillary campaign paid for dirt" is omitting the key factor that "the Republicans also paid for that dirt, too."

Devin Nunes also took the time during his appearance on Fox to state that George Papadopoulos "never even knew who Trump was - never even met with the President," which is an astonishingly bald-faced lie because here's a photo of them meeting. But hey; the Democrats probably paid for that photo op.

Mr.Mattress:
This comes after several Republicans, including the partial Co-Author, Rep. Trey Gowdy, said that the Nunes Memo doesn't clear Trump of the Russian Investigation.

My guess is, Trey Gowdy had a friendly chat with the FBI after the memo and what he heard was enough to make him run for the hills and change his tune entirely. If I had to guess further, I'd say that Trey Gowdy had come to a conclusion about a certain abbreviation that also sounds like the first name of the main character from Just Cause series.

So does this introduce a conspiracy theory that the Nunes memo was actually an attempt by the House Committee to discredit Nunes? ;)

bastardofmelbourne:
It has come out that Nunes forgot to mention a key part of the FISA warrant application in his memo, namely a footnote in which the FBI discloses the political origins of the Steele dossier to the judge. One of the key accusations leveled in the memo was that the FBI had intentionally concealed the origin of the Steele dossier from the FISA court in order to get a warrant; this is now shown to be false.

This is not surprising, because one of the reasons the declassification of this memo triggered such a ruckus is that the House considers FISA warrant applications to be extraordinarily sensitive intelligence - to the point where only one member of the House Intelligence Committee is actually allowed to read the application. Interestingly, that member wasn't Devin Nunes; it was his colleague, Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Which means Devin Nunes did not actually read the warrant application whose alleged deficiencies forms the core of the memo that he authored. He was relying on a summary of that application given to him by Gowdy, and that summary evidently failed to note a key footnote that dismantles the memo's core argument that the FBI did not disclose the dossier's origins to the court.

Nunes went on Fox & Friends to defend himself, claiming that "a footnote saying something may be political is a far cry from letting the American people know that the Democrats and the Hillary campaign paid for dirt that the FBI then used to get a warrant on an American citizen to spy on another campaign." Which...is an odd statement, because FISA applications are classified by default, so the American people wouldn't know what was in it in the first place. The criticism was that the FBI withheld information from the FISA court, not from the American people. And they didn't even do that.

And more importantly, because I find myself continually having to point this out, the Steele dossier was originally commissioned by Republicans, seeking to use something against Trump in the primaries. Saying that "the Democrats and the Hillary campaign paid for dirt" is omitting the key factor that "the Republicans also paid for that dirt, too."

Devin Nunes also took the time during his appearance on Fox to state that George Papadopoulos "never even knew who Trump was - never even met with the President," which is an astonishingly bald-faced lie because here's a photo of them meeting. But hey; the Democrats probably paid for that photo op.

Nunes really is the shithead weasel mascot of the GOP's party before country platform which they've been building since the 2008 election with an extra dose of corruption and Trump sycophant.

bastardofmelbourne:
It has come out that Nunes forgot to mention a key part of the FISA warrant application in his memo, namely a footnote in which the FBI discloses the political origins of the Steele dossier to the judge. One of the key accusations leveled in the memo was that the FBI had intentionally concealed the origin of the Steele dossier from the FISA court in order to get a warrant; this is now shown to be false.

Snippled for space

That is truly somw hilarious shit. How can these people retain any sense of pride or integrity? Its only a matter of time till their next embarrassment though, these small respites are something to keep the mind off Brexit at least

Xsjadoblayde:

bastardofmelbourne:
It has come out that Nunes forgot to mention a key part of the FISA warrant application in his memo, namely a footnote in which the FBI discloses the political origins of the Steele dossier to the judge. One of the key accusations leveled in the memo was that the FBI had intentionally concealed the origin of the Steele dossier from the FISA court in order to get a warrant; this is now shown to be false.

Snippled for space

How can these people retain any sense of pride or integrity? Its only a matter of time till their next embarrassment

It's because the tiny amount of their base that will ever acknowledge it as having happened simply don't care. If you were to wander over to r/the_donald and try to post this, you'd be banned and have your post removed. Kellyanne wasn't describing a new phenomenon when she coined the term "alternative facts;" she was just openly acknowledging the alternate reality that much of the conservative base lives in.

Xsjadoblayde:

bastardofmelbourne:
It has come out that Nunes forgot to mention a key part of the FISA warrant application in his memo, namely a footnote in which the FBI discloses the political origins of the Steele dossier to the judge. One of the key accusations leveled in the memo was that the FBI had intentionally concealed the origin of the Steele dossier from the FISA court in order to get a warrant; this is now shown to be false.

Snippled for space

That is truly somw hilarious shit. How can these people retain any sense of pride or integrity? Its only a matter of time till their next embarrassment though, these small respites are something to keep the mind off Brexit at least

How, you ask?

Avnger:

It's because the tiny amount of their base that will ever acknowledge it as having happened simply don't care. If you were to wander over to r/the_donald and try to post this, you'd be banned and have your post removed. Kellyanne wasn't describing a new phenomenon when she coined the term "alternative facts;" she was just openly acknowledging the alternate reality that much of the conservative base lives in.

Seanchaidh:

How, you ask?

Both together make sense, sadly too much sense

Avnger:

Xsjadoblayde:

bastardofmelbourne:
It has come out that Nunes forgot to mention a key part of the FISA warrant application in his memo, namely a footnote in which the FBI discloses the political origins of the Steele dossier to the judge. One of the key accusations leveled in the memo was that the FBI had intentionally concealed the origin of the Steele dossier from the FISA court in order to get a warrant; this is now shown to be false.

Snippled for space

How can these people retain any sense of pride or integrity? Its only a matter of time till their next embarrassment

It's because the tiny amount of their base that will ever acknowledge it as having happened simply don't care. If you were to wander over to r/the_donald and try to post this, you'd be banned and have your post removed. Kellyanne wasn't describing a new phenomenon when she coined the term "alternative facts;" she was just openly acknowledging the alternate reality that much of the conservative base lives in.

Eh, not to belabor the overall point, but fairness obliges me to point out that this isn't something that falls on liberal/conservative lines. "Alternate facts" at its core is just a repackaging of cognitive biases like confirmation bias, the halo effect, fundamental attribution error, belief bias, the illusion of truth effect, illusory correlation, the misinformation effect, rosy retrospection, and simple suggestibility (and let's not get started on the influence of groupthink). And there likely hasn't been a single person on the planet who hasn't fallen victim to several of these over the course of their lives. For the sake of example, I challenge anyone to honestly tell me that they have never developed an opinion on a news article's veracity or bias by the time they finished reading the first paragraph, or that they have never developed an us vs. them mindset by the time they recognized that one of the parties was part of a group they identified with.

With all that being said, yes, you are quite right in that Trump's base is quite blatant about their cognitive biases. I just must balk at the implication that it's a partisan phenomenon as doing so makes it so much easier for us to fall victim to the same biases.

Asita:

Avnger:

Xsjadoblayde:

How can these people retain any sense of pride or integrity? Its only a matter of time till their next embarrassment

It's because the tiny amount of their base that will ever acknowledge it as having happened simply don't care. If you were to wander over to r/the_donald and try to post this, you'd be banned and have your post removed. Kellyanne wasn't describing a new phenomenon when she coined the term "alternative facts;" she was just openly acknowledging the alternate reality that much of the conservative base lives in.

Eh, not to belabor the overall point, but fairness obliges me to point out that this isn't something that falls on liberal/conservative lines. "Alternate facts" at its core is just a repackaging of cognitive biases like confirmation bias, the halo effect, fundamental attribution error, belief bias, the illusion of truth effect, illusory correlation, the misinformation effect, rosy retrospection, and simple suggestibility (and let's not get started on the influence of groupthink). And there likely hasn't been a single person on the planet who hasn't fallen victim to several of these over the course of their lives. For the sake of example, I challenge anyone to honestly tell me that they have never developed an opinion on a news article's veracity or bias by the time they finished reading the first paragraph, or that they have never developed an us vs. them mindset by the time they recognized that one of the parties was part of a group they identified with.

With all that being said, yes, you are quite right in that Trump's base is quite blatant about their cognitive biases. I just must balk at the implication that it's a partisan phenomenon as doing so makes it so much easier for us to fall victim to the same biases.

Fair enough. There is certainly a chunk of ideologues on both sides who confirm to that bias. However, the prominence of it (or at least how open and publicly on display it is) has been steadily increasing on the conservative side of politics particularly displayed by elected officials since the early/mid 90s and Gingrich's play-to-the-base strategy. Liberals can be just as bad, but there are very few that have the same type of platform as their conservative counterparts.

Have you seen Sean Hannity commit espionage in service of Kremlin on his last show? And all for a "scandal" that would last less than an hour. He also may have endangered the life of a cooperating witness. He's so fucked.

Adam Jensen:
Have you seen Sean Hannity commit espionage in service of Kremlin on his last show? And all for a "scandal" that would last less than an hour. He also may have endangered the life of a cooperating witness. He's so fucked.

As in consequences he's bound to face, or just morally? Hoping the former.

Kwak:

Adam Jensen:
Have you seen Sean Hannity commit espionage in service of Kremlin on his last show? And all for a "scandal" that would last less than an hour. He also may have endangered the life of a cooperating witness. He's so fucked.

As in consequences he's bound to face, or just morally? Hoping the former.

Of course it's the former. Morality means precisely jack shit to Hannity and 99% of Fox News. I'm not even sure if Shep Smith is a white hat or if they're just using him so they could say that they're not doing Kremlin's bidding.

Adam Jensen:
Have you seen Sean Hannity commit espionage in service of Kremlin on his last show? And all for a "scandal" that would last less than an hour. He also may have endangered the life of a cooperating witness. He's so fucked.

Sorry, can you explain this for someone who isn't really in the know as to who Hannity is or why he's important/what he's done?

TrulyBritish:
Sorry, can you explain this for someone who isn't really in the know as to who Hannity is or why he's important/what he's done?

About two weeks ago, some woman had impersonated Sean Hannity and she got in touch with Julian Assange, who's now recognized by US intelligence as a hostile foreign agent. The content of her conversation with Assange had revealed that Sean Hannity (a talk show host on Fox News, or more accurately a propagandist for the GOP) is in regular contact with Assange and that they talk through "other channels".
https://www.thedailybeast.com/julian-assange-thought-he-was-messaging-sean-hannity-when-he-offered-news-on-democrat-investigating-trump-russia

In this conversation Assange had said that he'll have something on Senator Warner soon. And ten days later, voila! Fox News suddenly has a story about some texts from Senator Warner.

The official explanation given by Fox News is that their info comes from a "Republican source". The problem with that explanation is this:
1. Republicans already knew about those texts because Warner told them and they were aware of the full context. It wasn't an issue. In fact, Republicans are the ones who shot down this story not a full hour after Fox decided to run it. They did that so fast because they didn't want anyone to even consider for a second that the info came from them. Because the only way to have access to actual texts is through an illegal activity like hacking, stealing etc. In a nutshell - political espionage. So the info couldn't have come from Republicans.

2. Why bother emphasizing that you got the texts from a "Republican source"? The only reason to do that is if you want to hide your real source because it has been revealed 10 days earlier when the story about fake Sean Hannity and very real Julian Assange dropped.

3. There's another reason why Republicans wouldn't dare to push this story, aside from the obvious fact that hacking would be illegal and that in this case there would be nothing to gain from it and so much to lose. But I'll come back to that later.

But essentially, Fox News collaborated with a known hostile foreign agent to interfere with an ongoing investigation and to potentially interfere with the upcoming midterm elections. They received information about a sitting senator that they knew could have been illegally obtained, and instead of notifying the FBI, they decided to run with it. That's where espionage comes into play.

Now as I promised, the third reason why nobody sane would leak this story: the content of those texts seems to confirm that the other person (Waldman) is a confidential witness in the Russia probe. As in, someone who's identity should remain secret, otherwise his cover might be blown and his life could be in danger. Russians don't fuck around. Around 20 people have already been killed after it was revealed that Russians interfered in the 2016 election. They're cleaning house.

Now, Waldman is a lobbyist who works for Oleg Deripaska, a very important Russian oligarch in the Trump/Russia investigation. He knows a lot, and he probably flipped. If Fox News knew that Waldman is a confidential witness, then everyone at Fox who approved of this story will go to prison for a very long time. If they didn't know, they'll go down at least for espionage.

The fact that they're still around doing their thing confirms one of the previous reports that Fox News has been under a counterintelligence investigation for some time now.

Adam Jensen:
snip

It's an exaggeration to call that espionage, but the confirmation that Sean Hannity is getting news tips straight from Wikileaks is not surprising. It is damning though, because at this point, Assange is an extremely unreliable news source. Whatever credibility he had as an avatar of government transparency evaporated in 2016. Anyone who takes information from Assange but condemns information from a guy like Christopher Steele is playing a game of silly buggers with the truth.

Julian Assange really has pulled off a remarkable about-face from "traitor who needs to be punished" to "valuable and discreet source" in the eyes of Republican news media. I can't imagine why.

bastardofmelbourne:
It's an exaggeration to call that espionage

Not at all. Knowingly colluding with a hostile foreign agent for explicit purpose of getting illegally obtained intel on a sitting senator and using it for political purposes is 100% espionage. Just getting the intel from Assange and sitting on it without notifying the FBI would count as espionage.

Annnd, in other news: Donald Trump has refused to release the Schiff counter-memo - which was authorised for release by unanimous vote of the House Intelligence Committee - on the grounds that it is "too political."

Stay classy, Don.

Adam Jensen:
Not at all. Knowingly colluding with a hostile foreign agent for explicit purpose of getting illegally obtained intel on a sitting senator and using it for political purposes is 100% espionage. Just getting the intel from Assange and sitting on it without notifying the FBI would count as espionage.

I'm not saying one couldn't wrangle an espionage charge out of it, I'm saying that it would be a stretch to do so. It's not even desirable, in my opinion. One of the problems with espionage laws in most jurisdictions is that it's a very vague crime that is open to abuse by any state actor who seeks to control politically damaging information.

I mean, think about it. The Steele dossier was literally espionage, being conducted by a professional intelligence agent, and it was leaked by Buzzfeed. So if the editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed lands in Moscow sometime, would you be okay with Putin arresting him on espionage charges? Fuck no. That'd be unjust.

The government prosecution of news organisations is a very difficult and dangerous path to go down. I hate Sean Hannity and I think he's a lying sack of shit, but I don't want to see him arrested by the FBI and thrown in jail for getting tips from Wikileaks. I would prefer a US where Sean Hannity is free to speak his bullshit to a US where journalists are treated like they are in Russia.

bastardofmelbourne:
snip

It's not the same. We don't even know if Steele had broken any laws to obtain the intel. But by all accounts he didn't because the information about Trump was just floating out there. He didn't have to hack anyone to get info on Trump, least of all Trump himself. Trump's antics weren't even a secret in Russia. Also Steele had presented his findings to the FBI, which is the correct procedure. He was very concerned with what he had discovered.

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