Lawfare Group

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Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare, associated with the Brookings Institution, has been in the forefront of the political weaponization of Law providing the sketchy legal theories under which both the 2017 Deep State coup and the 2019 impeachment inquiry were carried out.

Lawfare Group is a radical group of leftist lawyers in Washington, D.C. that, according to its website, operate in "that nebulous zone in which actions taken or contemplated to protect the nation interact with the nation’s laws and legal institutions."[1] Its founder is Benjamin Wittes and is associated with the Brookings Institution. It sends out a daily newsletter called the Lawfareblog.

During the Obama administration the Lawfare group:[2]

After the 2016 presidential election the Lawfare group immediately sought to:

Lawfare Alliance

The center of the Lawfare Alliance influence is the Department of Justice National Security Division, DOJ-NSD. It was the DOJ-NSD running the Main Justice side of the 2016 operations to support Operation Crossfire Hurricane and FBI agent Peter Strzok. It was also the DOJ-NSD where the sketchy legal theories around FARA violations (Sec. 901) originated.

The DOJ-NSD was purposefully under no IG oversight. In the Summer of 2015 as the 2016 presidential election heated up, the OIG requested oversight and it was Sally Yates who denied the request.[4] All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the NSD.

The Lawfare alliance [5] includes: James Comey, former FBI legal counsel James Baker (DOJ),[6] Comey’s leaking buddie Daniel Richman; former DOJ-NSD lawyer David Laufman (who also represented Monica McLean, Christine Blasey Ford’s FBI bestie and narrative engineer friend), Deputy AG Sally Yates, FBI lead agent Peter Strzok, FBI counsel Lisa Page; Obama administration lawyer Norm Eisen; criminal defense attorney Barry Berke; former SDNY U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman; Mueller lead Andrew Weissmann and the Mueller team of lawyers, all of them - and more - are connected to the Lawfare group; and this network provides the sounding board for all of the weaponized approaches, including the various new legal theories outlined within the Weissmann-Mueller Report, and a host of current and former FBI and DOJ foot-soldiers.

Fusion GPS is part of the Lawfare network as a distribution hub for research information needed by the journalists who are writing on behalf of the Lawfare need. Ezra Klein’s “Journo-List”; the email group of 400+ reporters for multiple media outlets who collectively collaborated on stories.

The insurance policy

Benjamin Wittes was the first published reference to an "insurance policy" to subvert the Trump presidency, should he win. Wittes published it after Strzok first used the term to explain the reason for FISA abuse to Lisa Page. Wittes wrote,
...our democracy needs a health insurance policy. Indeed, it’s not enough to imagine how the Coalition of All Democratic Forces, which I posited last Monday, might respond to a Clinton victory, a subject which I discussed discussed on Tuesday.

We need to imagine as well how such a coalition should respond to the unthinkable: What if Trump wins?

...The Coalition of All Democratic Forces should certainly see what kind of use it might make of the legislature, but realistically, we should probably expect that the coalition’s job in Congress will be to prevent Trump from passing anti-democratic legislation. That is, the task in Congress will be a negative one of denying Trump the use of the Article I powers, not the positive one of the coalition’s using them itself. That leaves the tool that will certainly be available: the courts....

If I wake up on November 9 to find that Trump has been elected president, I plan to spend the next two months building such a network....The goal will not be to challenge everything a Trump administration does, some of which will be lawful, after all, and some of which may be debatably lawful among reasonable people."[7]

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were regular readers of the Lawfareblog. On July 28, 2016 Strzok and Lisa Page had this exchange:[8]

Lisa Page: Ha. First line made me smile. What Does the US Government Know About Russia and the DNC Hack?

The first line of the Lawfareblog article reads, "Potentially unpleasant news for Jim Comey: We need you to intervene in the 2016 election again," three weeks after Comey mishandled the Clinton email investigation[9] and three days before Strzok officially opened a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign,

Strzok: Interesting. Good comments about Comey, too. Trump and the Powers of the American Presidency, Part III.[10]

Nadler impeachment probe

After the 2018 Midterm elections, and in preparation for the “impeachment” strategy, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler hired Lawfare Group members to become committee staff.

Chairman Schiff hired former SDNY U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman (link), and Chairman Nadler hired Obama administration lawyer Norm Eisen and criminal defense attorney Barry Berke, all are within the Lawfare network.[11]

McCabe defense

NYT leak

In September 2019 The Daily Caller's Chuck Ross reported, *Chuck Ross: Andrew McCabe’s Lawyer Wants To Find Out What The Grand Jury Is Up To.[12] McCabe’s defense attorney, Michael Bromwich (also the attorney for Christine Blasey Ford in the Kavanaugh smear hearings), leaked his communication with U.S. Attorney for DC, Jessie Liu, to the New York Times.[13] The purpose of Bromwich's letter to Jessie Liu was to push information gained within the Lawfare network into the media narrative. It was transparently obvious that Lawfare allied lawyers who left the U.S. Attorneys Office in DC were leaking what they know to the Lawfare allied members on former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe’s defense. Bromwich could not directly say he was aware of Grand Jury evidence, because such information would be illegal to acquire. However, current and former DOJ officials leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post, and Bromwich could then cite the reporting on those leaks.

Pushing this information into the public sphere supports the objective of the defense; however, the Lawfare alliance cannot admit how they gained that information -leaks from allies inside the DOJ- because that would be illegal.

Leaks to the NYT and WaPo are how the Lawfare alliance push their narrative. These are the same DOJ/FBI officials who leaked to the same media when constructing the Russia collusion hoax narrative around the 2016 Trump campaign. The same exact people.[14]

Politico leak

A leak from McCabe’s legal team to a Lawfare ally at Politico, Natasha Bertrand, ended with a spectacular fail. Andrew McCabe’s legal team told Bertrand that Obama officials were lined up to speak as character witnesses in his defense. To support their claim team McCabe leaked an email written to the DOJ:

"A cavalcade of Obama-era national security leaders have committed to testify on behalf of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should he face trial over allegations that he misled officials about leaks to the media.

...If McCabe ultimately does face charges, he’ll have some big names lined up as character witnesses. The high-ranking ex-officials who have committed to defending him include former Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former national security adviser Susan Rice.

Mary McCord (DOJ), a career DOJ attorney who oversaw the government’s Russia probe as acting head of the DOJ’s National Security Division, and David Cohen, the No. 2 at the CIA from 2015 to 2017, are also lined up to speak on McCabe’s behalf.[15]

The people outlined by McCabe’s lawyers are notoriously well known public fibbers themselves including: CIA Director John Brennan (who lied to congress about spying on the Senate intelligence committee);[16] DNI James Clapper (who lied about the NSA gathering metadata on Americans);[17] former AG Eric Holder (who was held in contempt of congress for lying);[18] and Susan Rice (infamous for lying about the Benghazi massacre YouTube video).[19] A few hours later, Bertrand walked-back the entire premise of her article:

"It would appear the claims made by Andrew McCabe; which were based on communications also shared with potential DOJ prosecutors; were made without ever contacting Brennan, Clapper, Holder and Rice for their consent.[20]

McCabe, who is being accused of lying under oath, lied about the production of character witnesses who the defense claimed were going to speak about McCabe’s integrity. In essence, he lied about the character witnesses.

See also

References

  1. https://www.lawfareblog.com/about-lawfare-brief-history-term-and-site
  2. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/09/15/lawfare-group-begins-delegitimizing-supreme-court/
  3. https://t.co/fd7sTncm3Z
  4. https://www.ignet.gov/sites/default/files/files/OLC%20IG%20Act%20Opinion%20-%207-20-15%20.pdf
  5. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/09/13/mccabes-lawfare-alliance-working-with-media-allies-to-frame-defense/
  6. Multiple references:
    *https://clintonfoundationtimeline.com/tags/james-baker/
    *https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/former-fbi-lawyer-james-baker-cooperating-with-doj-inspector-generals-fisa-abuse-investigation
    *https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-11/top-obama-fbi-lawyer-james-baker-nervous-about-doj-inspector-general
  7. https://www.lawfareblog.com/coalition-all-democratic-forces-part-iii-what-if-trump-wins
  8. https://www.archive.org/stream/StrzokPageTexts/FBI-texts_djvu.txt
  9. https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-inspector-general-comey-20180614-story.html
  10. https://www.lawfareblog.com/trump-and-powers-american-presidency-part-iii
  11. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/06/27/details-emerging-of-coordinated-mueller-testimony-with-congressional-democrats/
  12. https://dailycaller.com/2019/09/13/andrew-mccabe-email-grand-jury-indictment/
  13. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/13/us/politics/andrew-mccabe-grand-jury.html
  14. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/09/13/mccabes-lawfare-alliance-working-with-media-allies-to-frame-defense/
  15. https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/16/obamas-team-defends-andrew-mccabe-trial-1498129
  16. https://archive.is/H31EB
  17. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/16/nsa-violated-privacy-rules-audit
  18. https://archive.is/PkTgm
  19. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/officials-on-benghazi-we-made-mistakes-but-without-malice/
  20. https://twitter.com/NatashaBertrand/status/1173708090623107074

External links