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Have we mentioned lately that Paul Manafort’s been a very bad boy? Because he has. And yesterday CNN revealed that he was the subject of lengthy surveillance under orders approved by a FISA court both before and after the 2016 presidential campaign and election. (In fact, both before Donald Trump started running for president and chose Manafort as his campaign chairman, and after Trump took office!) So let’s take a hot second here and Lawsplore just what even IS a FISA, since this looks to be A THING going forward.

After J. Edgard Hoover died in 1972 and Nixon resigned in 1974, Democrats finally got control of Congress and they decided law enforcement needed to dial back all the spying on hippies, The Blacks, The Gheys, political enemies, anti-war protesters, and The Feminists. But they still wanted to keep the country safe from scary furriners what have funny names and smell like garlic. So in 1978, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, authorizing the president to collect electronic information on not-Americans to protect the country from attack or sabotage.

So far, so foreign. But sometimes when you’re a Law Man listening in to an overseas bad guy, an American comes on the line. In law talk, you have an incidental collection of a U.S. Person (USPERS). And you, Mr. Law Man, can’t just use this information willy nilly. You have to hide (aka minimize) the name of the U.S. person, and you have to dump his half of the conversation within 72 hours if there’s no evidence of a crime. If, however, it’s Paul Manafort talking to Viktor the Ukrainian Oligarch about getting dirty money wired to him in Cypress Cyprus(!!), you can hold on to that info and use it for a criminal prosecution. IF!

FUN FACT: Republicans screaming bloody murder that Obama spied on them are full of crap. Yeah, no shit Uncle Sam was listening in to your conversation with the Russian ambassador, RAND! That’s what he’s supposed to do!

But we digress!

Sometimes, you have a U.S. Person who acts like a non-U.S. Person. He might, just for example, take money from Turkey and then write editorials saying that the United State should deport cleric Fethullah Gülen a law-abiding resident of Pennsylvania, because he makes the Turkish government cry sad tears. And that U.S. Person might also have been trying to have that nice law-abiding resident of Pennsylvania KIDNAPPED! That person would be a Foreign Agent under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (And he would be Michael Flynn!)

(A) knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, which activities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;

(B) pursuant to the direction of an intelligence service or network of a foreign power, knowingly engages in any other clandestine intelligence activities for or on behalf of such foreign power, which activities involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;

In that case, the government will undertake a threat assessment and gather evidence to present to the FISA Court, a rotating panel of 11 federal judges. If the Court agrees that the target poses a threat to the United States or is acting on behalf of a foreign government, it will issue a warrant that must be renewed every 90 days. Three months later, the prosecutor has to schlep back in there and prove that she gained foreign intelligence under the wiretap, and the court will renew it.

So, how guilty is Paul Manafort? The CNN article reports that the FISA court approved a wiretap between 2014 and early 2016 (at least 5 renewals), relating to “work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine’s former ruling party.” That warrant lapsed, and a second one was issued later in 2016 regarding “ties between Trump campaign associates and suspected Russian operatives.” Here, let former prosecutor Asha Rangappa break it down for you.

That’s a lot of eavesdropping! And at a time when Manafort was in contact with Trump, Pence, Flynn, Kushner, and the entire Trumpland Goon Squad. We can’t tell you what Johnny Law overheard during all those months – at least until it is BREAKING SCOOP O’CLOCK again. But we speculate that something’s going to give since everyone in Trumpworld knows that the FBI and Robert Mueller have a record of all their communications. Things change when you realize you can’t lie anymore about what you said last year to that nice Russian hacker, if you know what we mean.

LORDY, I HOPE THERE ARE TAPES!

[CNN / Just Security]

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  • SDGeoff3

    There are many fine journalisms here at Wonkette.
    Thank you.

  • Joe Beese
    • BadKitty904

      That’s in New Mexico, right? Which is a state, right?

      ~ Donald Judas Trump

    • Joe Beese

      Because some of them, he assumes, are good people.

    • Crystalclear12

      So John Kelly is holding his phone?

    • Vincent Ricola

      He’s been hacked.

    • arglebargle

      fake news

    • OneYieldRegular

      Not the right time for Trump to tweet at Mexico. Those poor people have just been through an earthquake, and the last thing they want is Donald Trump promising to be there.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        And Mexico will pay for it, believe me.

    • Jennaratrix

      I think he just means he’ll help them rebuild. A wall.

  • Iron Monkey

    Could you speak into the lamp, Mr. Manafort?

  • BadKitty904

    Republican Treason – The Gift That Keeps on Giving…

  • Michael R
  • ManchuCandidate

    Lobbyist GOPer Soldier Spy
    The Republican Russia House
    The Little Finger Man

    21st century John LeCarre

  • BigCSouthside

    Wow I didn’t realize it had a 90 day shelf life.

    Paulie is fuuuuuuuucked

  • BadKitty904
  • memzilla Ω

    I’m also waiting for the list of all the Trumpkins who offered to flip in exchange for immunity who the FBI told “nah, we already got that. But don’t worry, we’ll be in touch.”

    • Crystalclear12

      Yeah, yeah, you’re on the list.
      Mueller.

    • bbayliss

      I want Breitbart held to account.

    • Iron Monkey

      Don’t call us…

  • Crystalclear12

    Paul lies.
    Bob replies.
    “Not what the transcript says.”

  • ManchuCandidate

    Ian Fleming presents:
    From Russia With Cash
    Littlefinger
    The Man With The Golden Shower
    Derpraker
    Thunderballless
    You Only Steal (Elections) Twice

    • WIDTAP

      Golden-lies.
      Lie Another Day.

    • onedollarjuana

      Grab ‘Em by the Octopussy

      • SterWonk

        It was right there.

    • BigCSouthside

      The Spy Who Loved Being a Campaign Manager for a Major Party Candidate

    • TimResistit

      The Spy Who Peed On Me.

    • Cock Blockula

      Skiv and Big Lie

    • Meccalopolis

      Casino Royale flush

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Shitty, Shitty Gang Bang (a children’s book about Trump’s Vietnam years.)

  • bbayliss

    Maybe the American public should have know about this.
    Might have saved us some trouble at home not to mention our standing in the world.
    We will never be the same.

  • BadKitty904
    • weejee

      Tell me this was just fiction written by someone tripping on the notorious brown acid.

      • BadKitty904

        Sure reads like it, doesn’t it?

        THANKS, GOP!!1!

  • Vincent Ricola

    Hum. That’s a very good and easily understandable post. But I think I’m going with OBAMA AND HIS HILLARY PROXY DO WIRE TAPPS TO RAND PAUL FROM THEIR DEEP STATE HEADQUARTERS AND THAT’S PROBABLY WHY RON PAUL ISN’T SERVING HIS 5TH TERM AS POTUS!!11! RIGGED!!11!

    • SDGeoff3

      Lol. Yes, this is why we drink.

    • YoBunnyBunny

      HILARY EMAILZ ALSO TOO!!!!!

    • Jennaratrix

      FROM THE BASEMENT OF A PIZZA PLACE THAT DOESN’T HAVE A BASEMENT!

  • Iron Monkey

    I had considered the FISA court to be the ultimate rubber stamp–that the court simply OK anything that comes before it from an intelligence service since the courts give significant latitude to the government in national security matters.

    Is this an incorrect assumption?

    • Joe Beese
      • Randy Riddle

        Which could mean that it’s a rubber stamp or that the FBI doesn’t bother going through the whole procedure unless it knows it’s got something significant.

        • Joe Beese

          I do not believe that the FBI waits until it is 99.97% sure of something before trying to get a wiretap.

          • weejee

            Ya think?

          • Iron Monkey

            Uh, that’s “wiretapp” according to the Trump’s English Usage.

          • Randy Riddle

            But it ain’t got admissible evidence unless the wiretap is cleared by a court.

      • Iron Monkey

        Damn. The prosecutor who gets turned down by FISA must just email his resignation to the DOJ from the courtroom lobby. And then jump off a bridge.

      • jesterpunk

        That could just mean that 99.97% of the time they have a damn good reason for the request.

        • Joe Beese

          Unless you’re jesting, you have a much higher opinion of the FBI than I do.

    • Robert Gibson

      If they have to renew every 90 days I bet the fast majority of applications are reupping previous warrants, which would be pretty rubber stamp-like.

      I wonder what the breakdown is of fresh applications vs continuing?

  • Randy Riddle

    “BREAKING SCOOP O’CLOCK” is how I refer to my time emptying the cat litter box.

  • Bill D. Burger

    Lil’ good news…hopefully. She actually read it. Collins: “This one’s worse.”

    https://twitter.com/JakeSherman/status/910187046345560064

  • Joe Beese
  • memzilla Ω
  • clubseal

    Who can really say if the FISA court had a good reason to continue the surveillance? What is their refusal rate on surveillance requests? Something less than 1 percent, if I remember correctly. And the American public barely knows anything about what matters they consider, and why they vote the way they do (obviously there are highly sensitive matters that can’t be discussed, but that lack of accountability leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion).
    I know that liberals are just dying for evidence to support ways to remove this administration from power, but I’m not quite on board with normalizing the FISA court’s end run around Constitutional protections.

    • Rags

      Yeah – it’s because we’re libruls that we want our nation free of foreign interference in our government and electoral processes. So if that’s true, then conservatives are all over letting Russia buttfuck our country. Have I got that right?

      • clubseal

        Point missed, I guess. It’s about past abuses by FISA, and the expectation that it somehow gets it right 100 percent of the time.
        But yes, I’m a Russian bot here to hijack the elections. I’ve been reading Wonkette for a couple years, but waited until now to strike, while the iron is hot.

        • Rags

          Point not missed. “I know that liberals are just dying for evidence to support ways to remove this administration from power”

          I didn’t say you are a bot. I said you said something deeply stupid.

          • clubseal

            You disagree that liberals aren’t chomping at the bit to take down Trump? Then you are probably deeply stupid.

            And I say that agreeing that he shouldn’t be President.

          • WotsAllThisThen

            Liberals aren’t using the FISA court to take down Trump. Go home, Newt, you’re drunk.

          • clubseal

            Simply stunning. I’m saying that liberals seem to be accepting anything that might achieve the end of removing Trump from office, and I don’t support using the rubber stamp FISA court’s actions to do so, because I consider it to be an abuse of power, and not a good means to an end.
            I’m not saying that liberals are using the court to achieve that.

          • Rags

            Look, I’m saying anybody who cares for this country should be chomping at the bit to take 4-5 down. There is no reason to single out liberals – its a cheap and stupid shot and I am done with this.

        • Fivedollarfeminist

          It’s a fair point. The FISC approved like 2995 of 3000 applications last year. The Just Security piece I linked to at the bottom addressed some of that. But, yeah. I do worry myself.

          • Rags

            I’m not disagreeing with that in the least.

          • clubseal

            That’s the hardest part for me – I think Trump is a danger to everyone, and one of the worst people I’ve ever seen in public office. But I weigh that against my concern about others abusing power/lack of accountability to achieve the desired end.
            I just can’t believe he hasn’t been impeached yet on any number of other actions he’s taken.

        • Meccalopolis

          My understanding is given the previous Investigation, the fisa warrant was approved because foreign spy’s were talking to manafort and about him doing some nefarious shit. Fisa warrants are rarely denied but this seems like a case where it may have been warranted

          • Persistent Tennessee Rain

            Maybe they aren’t often denied because they aren’t requested without serious reason.

      • Iron Monkey

        Without lube.

    • capnkrunch

      Agreed. FISA courts and domestic surveillance are way up there on the list of things I care about. Privacy violations are a bipartisan issue. Bush did it; Obama did it even worse. This case is a stopped clock moment for a system that’s fundamentally broken.

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      Then we have a fundamental problem – everyone spies. We spy on adversaries. Adversaries spy on us. Allies spy on each other. Spying and collecting intelligence is a fundamental part of foreign policy, and has been long before this country ever existed. And no one can talk about it because we don’t want anyone to know who we are spying on, when we’re doing it, and how we’re doing it. Removing the ability or subjecting it to a more open process would effectively neuter a significant portion of our foreign policy.
      Balancing Fourth Amendment protection against national security is not an easy thing.

      • clubseal

        I’m mostly concerned with domestic spying by our own government, for the record.

        • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

          That’s a reasonable worry. And that’s a robust conversation to have. It’s a hard sell when the evidence in this case seems to indicate a U.S. citizen was essentially one or two steps short of actively spying on behalf of a foreign power.

  • Cock Blockula

    OCD Editor here:
    Cyprus, not Cypress… unless you really meant that city in California.

    • Major_Major_Major

      The one with the hill?

    • Fivedollarfeminist

      Dammit!

      • Snark Tank Full of Resistance

        I was gonna mention that a good Editrix would catch stuff like that, but I don’t wanna get banhammered! Editrix Rebecca is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being in the world!

      • Cock Blockula

        I’ve got your back, $5!

      • Eileen Besse

        I miss it when editing ’cause the wrong word is spelled correctly. Shit happens….

    • weighmaster

      I have CDO, it’s like OCD, only in FREAKING ALPHABETICAL ORDER!!!

  • ibwilliamsi

    I thought that we had to look out for people who smelled like beets & vodka, not garlic. Maybe times have changed.

    • Crystalclear12

      Urine.
      Watch out for the guy that smells like urine.

      • ibwilliamsi

        That part NEVER changes!

      • Lambsendbeds

        I’ll bet Trump smells like urine, KFC, jizz, and flop sweat. No wonder Melanoma won’t sleep in the same bedroom as him.

        • Jennaratrix

          Euh. That was quite the… um, smellovision.

        • SomeBigRedDog

          He’d have to be able to get it up to smell like jizz, unless you mean Putin’s jizz.

  • BadKitty904
  • Robbertjan Brandenburg

    I am Dutch and I even didn’t need this splainin’

    edit: That doesn’t mean I don’t find the article informative, it just shouldn’t have to be written because everyone should have this basic knowledge of the law of the country they live in.

    • arglebargle

      That’s because you’re not a product of the American education system. Try knowing civics with the system we grew up with.

      • Eileen Besse

        Glad I went to Cath’lic skoolz….

  • Crystalclear12

    And somewhere Paul’s lawyer is explaining how fucked he is:
    You may not avoid jail time even if you flip.
    But if you don’t give them a bigger fish the only sun you see will be in picture in your jail cell.
    Plus you need protection from the Russians.

  • Michael R
    • SayItWithWookies

      Holy fuck.

    • Zombishroom

      Shit. Is there a person in the lower left window?

    • JustPretendImNotHere

      Dual earthquakes, multiple hurricanes, wars and rumors of wars, shit’s getting Biblical around here…

  • whitroth

    You know what’s coming: “Guilty, guilty, GUILTY!” – Megaphone Mark Slackmeyer, Doonesbury

  • Michael R
    • Nockular cavity

      Yikes!

  • Mr. Blobfish

    I did not do treason on a boat
    I did not do treason with a goat
    I did not do treason for the ass
    I did treason for the cash

    • Bill D. Burger

      Remove ‘not’ and you’ve got most of the White House.

  • Khavrinen

    “Things change when you realize you can’t lie anymore about what you said last year to that nice Russian hacker, if you know what we mean.”

    Trump lies about what he said on national prime-time television, why should he care about piddly little phone conversations? He’ll lie about anything and everything, any time it suits his narcissistic whims, same as always.

    • Mr. Blobfish

      He’ll just have his “publicist” call up Page 6 to bitch about Mueller.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    Tapp tapp tapp…

    • Bill D. Burger

      (A) Who is Larry Craig?

      What did I win?

      • arglebargle

        an upfist

        • Dudleydidwrong

          Since the winning answer is “Larry Craig” just be careful with that upfist. Wide-stance Larry may enjoy such things.

          • John Thorstensen

            I believe that was the point.

        • BearDeLaOursistance

          And a slow clap!

  • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

    Is this legal?

    JUST IN: President Trump is using campaign & RNC funds to pay Russia probe legal bills – Reuters, citing sources https://t.co/r1lcPdrtxw— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) September 19, 2017

    • jesterpunk

      If its from a Super Pac it is. Colbert did a great series on super pacs and what you can and cant do with the money.

      • Vincent Ricola

        And we’re the only people who seemed to learn anything from it. :(

        • jesterpunk

          Some people learned it can be used as a personal slush fund.

    • TimResistit

      Jesus he simply cannot stop criming.

      • TimResistit

        Meh. It appears to be legal.

    • Bill D. Burger
    • jowgajen

      Yes and it’s why he’s been campaigning and fundraising so hard this early into his term. It’s also why the money from the inauguration hasn’t been given to charity. Well sort of why, we know he was never gonna do that anyway.

      • WotsAllThisThen

        So sad. Think of the portraits of himself he could have bought with that money.

    • SayItWithWookies

      If it has to do with someone’s actions during the campaign, it’s okay. You’ll know someone’s really fucked when Trump spends his own money.

    • BigCSouthside

      Lol “economically anxious” poor as shit rural trump supporters are paying the legal bills of a billionaire and they think he’s out to help them.

      Next time don’t vote with your racism boners, fuckheads.

  • SayItWithWookies

    This better be something. Seeing those idiots who occupied the Malheur Refuge, trashed it, paraded around like they were playing Red Dawn and then get off was just fucking infuriating.

  • Cogswell – In a Mirror, Darkly

    Rand Paul feels he is of enough significance to possibly require he be wiretapped.

    Ha! Haha!! Hahahahahahahahaha!!!

    • jowgajen

      Pretty sure there’s a name for that particular delusion.

      • Cogswell – In a Mirror, Darkly

        he’s not paranoid… it’s them peoplez that are after him.

        • OutOfOrbit

          the ones nobuddy can see

          • Cogswell – In a Mirror, Darkly

            They lurk in the shadows… of his mind.

    • Vincent Ricola

      Obama just wanted to know the name of his secret hair curl juice.

      • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

        No one wants Rand’s hair curl juice. No one.

    • BigCSouthside

      Maybe he has been finger banging putin too. Just wants to be one of the cool kids

      • Jennaratrix

        There’s a mental image NO ONE needed.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      The proper response to his request is, “Tell us what Russian agents you’ve been talking to and we’ll let you know if we have you on tape.”

      • arglebargle

        Exactly. Don’t start no shit won’t be no shit.

    • Edith Prickly

      Right? They’re trying to find out what Rand’s hairdresser does to make his hair look like that, so they can outlaw it?

      • Cogswell – In a Mirror, Darkly

        I thought that he was just having trouble with tribbles.

      • WotsAllThisThen
      • JustDon’tSayPeter

        Weaponize it.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        Are his hair care products the Russian pee-hooker connection that we’ve been looking for?

        Trump lawyers: Please discuss in public within earshot of a reporter.

    • shivaskeeper

      He may be. Libertarians are the enemy if society.

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Or he knows that he’s been a bad boy? AKA The Kevin Hart Defense.

  • Bill D. Burger
  • Bill D. Burger
  • Beowoof14

    Oh Oh, no wonder the republicans are trying to rush through so much shit screwing over regular people, If they think they’re on tape they think they will be out of office soon. Or even better still living off the government in a Super Max.

  • Bill D. Burger
    • JustPretendImNotHere

      Well, no shit.

      • right? last june, DJT jr sat in the middle of NY with russian spies and said ‘yes let’s mutually get dirt’ on a campaign opponent.

        i’m not sure it gets any more collude-y than that.

  • Bub, the cynical zombie
    • OutOfOrbit

      there’s no law against that, iz there?

      • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

        *snort*

      • Roadstergal

        Trump breaks all the laws. He has the best crimes. Just terrific.

    • Edith Prickly

      Oh Joy. Did you think he would use his own money? (that he got from the Russians in the first place?)

    • Wait….isn’t that like super illegal?

      • MilwaukeeKent

        From Reuters, via Political Wire:
        “While previous presidential campaigns have used these funds to pay for routine legal matters such as ballot access disputes and compliance requirements, Trump would be the first U.S. president in the modern campaign finance era to use such funds to cover the costs of responding to a criminal probe, said election law experts.”

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      I thought they were burning the hats. Are they buying the hats for burning purposes?
      Bahahahahahaha

    • miss_grundy

      What? You expect him to pay his own legal bills? You know he will never use his own money if he can use other people’s money.

  • Bill D. Burger
    • miss_grundy

      That and doing a perp walk out of the White House.

    • pfffft. those hands are way too big.

  • Bill D. Burger
    • Roadstergal

      This is my happy gif.

      • Parakeetist

        Yes

    • Persistent Tennessee Rain

      You got to move it, move it, Mueller.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson
  • Bill D. Burger

    After giving up Secret Service protection, Donny Jr. has been having a recurring nightmare…..night after night after night…..

    https://68.media.tumblr.com/ef1b0f286a76d2c01d82be3434a4e3b8/tumblr_oplbzahbmB1w4o831o1_500.gif

    • Cogswell – In a Mirror, Darkly

      If I can just make it into the sunshine I know I can lose ’em!

      • Dudleydidwrong

        Uh, Junior, the light at the end of that tunnel is from the headlights of a roadblock.

    • BadKitty904

      Good.

    • Hardly Ideal

      Yeah, sees those party lights every time he closes his…

      Urg, I can’t do it. That jittery clipping is giving me motion sickness.

  • WotsAllThisThen

    All this, because liberal women refuse to date dumb jerks.

    • Bub, the cynical zombie

      I’m going to pretend I’m a dumb jerk, and hope that some hawt liberal women will date me because they are feeling guilty about causing the rise of Trump.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        I don’t even have to pretend that I’m a dumb jerk, most of the time. Somehow, I don’t think that Trumpcare hawt date insurance is going to benefit me.

        Call me a Socialmalist but Single-Player. That’s what we need!

    • BadKitty904

      Are cootie-shots even cover by Obamacare?

      • Mehmeisterjr

        They are but after the repeal, the MGTOWs will still get coverage because having ever been looked at even sideways by an actual woman is not a preexisting condition.

        • BadKitty904

          Good point.

  • Bill D. Burger

    Uh oh! Scottie…Scottie…Scottie!!! Tsk…tsk…tsk. ___ Looks like sumbidy’ tried to fuck herself into a show at FOX…..and somebidy’ else didn’t live up to the promises. And now she’s pizzed’!

    Oh….I’m such a cynic…but that’s just me.

    https://twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/909903534555926528

    • WotsAllThisThen

      I thought “Rape & Retaliation” was the motto at Fox News?

      • BigCSouthside

        More accurate than “fair and balanced”

        • Bill D. Burger

          “Fairly Imbalanced: We Distort. You Abide”

      • Bill D. Burger

        And Scottie is such a Good Christian Conservative Wo-man’ also too…..an example of virtue to Republican girls everywhere:

        http://crooksandliars.com/files/imagecache/post_large/images/16/02/scottie_nell.png

        • Persistent Tennessee Rain

          I’m so glad she’s a supporter of traditional marriage. However, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the gheys who fucked up hers.

      • Mehmeisterjr

        It’s the new Fox News/Jane Austen mashup.

        • BearDeLaOursistance

          I thought that was “Snide and Prejudiced”?

    • BigCSouthside

      I mean it is Fox. This is definitely something to put in the “highly likely” bucket

    • Bill D. Burger

      From the article: ” She said that over the next TWO YEARS she was forced to engage in a sexual relationship with Mr. Payne. In exchange, she said, she received career opportunities, including increased appearances on Fox News and Fox Business and the promise that Mr. Payne would help her land a contributor contract, a job that can pay several hundred thousand dollars a year. Ms. Hughes never became a paid contributor at either channel.”

      Like Scarlett O’Hara said as she brushed the Tarleton twins aside, and with all the same sincerity, “Why…I’ll just cry into my pillow all night.”

      • BigCSouthside

        She has husband and kids, no?

        • Bill D. Burger

          Yup! ___ And she proved herself a soulless and ruthless lying hypocritical bitch extraordinaire over, and over, and over again during the campaigns.
          I have less-than-zero compassion for her.

          • BigCSouthside

            2 years of quid pro quo fucking seems more like an affair to me.

            I hate to be a cynic

        • Bill D. Burger
          • dirkmcquickly

            Family values for adulteresses that sleep with men for financial gain. “But honey, i fucked him for the kids!”

            But god forbid “teh (sic) Gay” are allowed to marry. That would be End Times.

      • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist
      • House0fTheBlueLights

        See, what you’re doing is what people always do to women in situations like these. Assuming that she had power to stop it. I have little sympathy for her, as she’s a hypocrite who actively worked to undermine the rights of women, people who are poor, and people of color, but on the other hand, I hope she nails these bastards to the wall.

        • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

          Well, it is Fox.

        • She slept with the guy for 2 years for career opportunities at Fox.
          That is not “did not have power”
          That is “Prostitution”

          • And I also hope she nails them

          • Mehmeisterjr

            It’s The Invisible Hand of the Market (aka Roger Ailes) at work.

            The ideal solution: She nails Fox News to the wall so bad that they cease business forever. And all the money goes to a rape crisis center.

            The actual result: She nails Fox News to the wall so bad that they pay her a whole lot of money to go away, their racket goes on as usual, and gets some kind of “look how funny and formerly crooked I am” cameo at an awards show.

          • miss_grundy

            And a book contract out of it.

          • House0fTheBlueLights

            Prostitution is also something that has the appearance of agency, when in fact it is a wildly uneven power relationship. Back to Feminism 101 for you.

        • Resistance Fighter Astraea

          Yeah it has been really frustrating to read a bunch of apologism for sexual harassment because it’s a woman we don’t like.

          • Persistent Tennessee Rain

            I would agree with you normally, but she slept with him for 2 years because he promised her a job. That’s not rape.

          • House0fTheBlueLights

            Not enough upfists for this.

      • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

        Play for Pay… Or Teresa Guidice sez it betterer.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOVSvnaxe4k

        • dirkmcquickly

          Prostitution whore!

      • So basically, she went along with it for financial gain and when they tired of her….now sues them?
        Fuckin hell. Not sure what to think of this one.

      • Persistent Tennessee Rain

        So, essentially, she’s pissed off that she fucked the guy for two years and didn’t get anything in return for whoring herself out. Yeah, no.

    • SeeTrain65

      Yeah, but if Charles Payne goes down, I won’t cry any tears. Not a one.

  • PigDootsMolloy
    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Just reported, 42 dead so far.

  • Cock Blockula

    More appropriate now than when it was first written.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZx_TokIHdI

    “How was I supposed to know she was with the Russians too?

    • Mike Steele

      TYVM – that NEVER gets old!

    • Brian Fowler

      Stupid question, but did anyone remember hearing “the shit has hit the fan” before this song came out?
      Because I could never understand how such a ghastly expression was invented and I really need to believe Mr. Zevon just came up with it.

      • Cock Blockula

        No, it’s an old expression. I remember the word getting bleeped out on the radio though when the song was played.

      • george lastrapes

        Ah yes. Probably invented a microsecond after electric rotary fans were invented in the 1800’s. Shit, on the other hand, was invented long before.

    • i miss him.

    • BrianW

      Almost any Zevon song would get an upfist,but for this one at this time, I would give many more if I could.

      • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

        Same here.

  • CATMAN

    Manafort got $17 million for “consulting” from the Ukrainians/Russians, so either he was laundering money or charging by the syllable for his sage advice

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      Protip: If you’re being paid millions of dollars in consulting fees, you’re probably doing something illegal.

    • mancityRed6

      it sure as hell wasn’t by the brain cell.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Well, I would suggest that you…

      That will be $7million. The rest will cost you $10 million.

      Man, this consultancy racket is a real money maker. I should have been doing this for years!

      (Well, OK, the midnight no-knock raids where they take pictures of my old, threadbare suits might be a disincentive.

      • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

        Even better, they got permission to pick his locks and break in to make sure nothing was shredded!

  • Gemz

    Manafort and son and his business colleagues could all be looking at espionage and RICO act and this started even before Trump was running.

    Trump was a willing puppet of Manafort and Putin and Turkey to get the sanctions removed and approve oil deals and Kushner and Don Jr. were helping Manafort pull Dad’s strings in return for under the table loans to their businesses.

    I am afraid that Trump has promised them pardon’s if they keep their mouths shut which would be bribery and probably nullify the pardons if it was exposed.

    Want to guess what McGahn has hidden in the white house safe?

    • mancityRed6

      a copy of the pee hooker tape?
      seriously, pardons. which, especially after he played his hand with Arpaio, Mueller would know they were coming. which is why he’s working with NY for state charges.

      • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

        And VA, allegedly.

      • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

        the pee hooker tape is nothing. Seriously. I’m thinking criminal money laundering, accessory to serious crime (murder), maybe even child sex trafficking.

    • Rags

      RICO prosecution would be extreeeeemly entertaining.

      • Stulexington

        Especially if it was done at a state level with Donny having to be told every hour “you can’t pardon a state level offence”

    • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

      Gift certificates to the TRMP hotel bar?

    • Mehmeisterjr

      Well, it isn’t as if that document falls under attorney-client privilege. The Donald’s own crack legal team conceded as much.

    • Red Bird

      An original copy of Abbey Road?

    • Toledo Window Box

      Manafort was one of the primary contacts between Trump and Putin.

      He’s a goner.

    • miss_grundy

      Wouldn’t it also be obstruction of justice????

    • President in Exile Firefly

      Severed heads?

    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

      Obama’s birth certificate?

    • phoenix00

      Whore diamonds?

  • therealpuredog

    drip. . .drip. . .drip. . .

  • shivaskeeper

    Excellent write up $5F.

    Two things I would add. The judges on the FISA court get to see the actual intelligence gathered. The government does not get to say, “it’s classified, but you can trust me”. All the evidence has to be laid out.

    Also, the analysts who do the collection are not going to fuck around with anything that would be illegal or against rules and procedures. They are not rock star Generals or senior staffers that will get a slap on the wrist for playing fast and loose. They will go to jail. For a long time. They tend to be extremely scrupulous and conscientious about what they are doing. If they raise a red flag it is warranted.

    • Fivedollarfeminist

      Thanks for fleshing it out!

      • shivaskeeper

        Very welcome. Those are just more data points to counter the inevitable RWNJ onslaught of bullshit.

  • Ω cynmac’s reclaiming her time

    Not tapes. MP3s. Because those are easier to “leak” and “share”.

  • Bitter Scribe

    5DF, you totally rock. Your posts are clear, comprehensive, informed and funny as hell.

    • Mehmeisterjr

      And so say all of us.

    • Eileen Besse

      DITTO!!!11!

    • Fivedollarfeminist

      OMG you guys!! 🤗

      • The Militant Homosexual Agenda

        Yes. But do you keep an organized spice rack, hmm?

        • BearDeLaOursistance

          She does. And it contains flavor after flavor of Votes.

          • Fivedollarfeminist

            Alphabetically.

          • MarciaCAdkisson

            Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            !si294d:
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  • The Militant Homosexual Agenda

    Right now, I wouldn’t mind if Lady Justice were a Gorgon.

  • canes_pugnaces

    Meanwhile, on the Bannon death star, the frothing masses are chanting vindication for the human stain. See, they say, Obama did wire-thingy Trump, which proves in a supreme-court-like way, that Benghazi emails Soros. So there.

    • Cat Cafe for the Prosecution

      But they’re just stupid morons, so I’d honestly like to just start discounting them. And they aren’t “masses,” they’re a few basement-dwellers whose voice has been ridiculously amplified by Putin’s troll army. I’m so sick of them.

      • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

        Masses? No. At best, massive.

    • TundraGrifter

      So the Russian Bots are on board. Good to know! I was very worried about that.

    • Toledo Window Box

      And half the idiots there claim you can wiretap somebody with a subpoena, because reasons.

      • merl1

        they also think that the FBI can indict someone.

    • Johnny Appleseed

      Except Trump’s own DOJ just declared Obama never did Trump…on the wire.

      • H0mer0

        Now THERE’S a visual I never want to see evah.

  • SeeTrain65

    Dear Rand Paul:

    NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU, YOU STUPID FUCK.

    To quote EQ, “No love.”

    ST

  • bluicebank

    “No! Please! I’ll tell you whatever you want to know!” [Manafort] yelled.
    “Really?” said [Mueller]. “What’s the orbital velocity of the moon?”
    “What?”
    “Oh, you’d like something simpler?”


    Terry Pratchett,

    Night Watch

    • CovfefeOfTheThoughtlessMind

      Not to mention the average air speed of a swallow.

      • Alternative Dog

        Laden or unladen?

        • Occupied Territory of Kavefish

          Bin Laden, obvs.

        • CovfefeOfTheThoughtlessMind

          What? I don’t know …. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggghhh!

      • bluicebank

        Upfist for Monty Python reference!

      • Can you be more specific?

        In the 1920s, the Swallow Airplane Manufacturing Company had a number of different models. Their “Dallas Spirit”, a custom built racer, had a top speed of 126 mph.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_Spirit

        In its fighter variant, the Messerschmitt Me-262 was nicknamed the “Swallow”. The first operational jet fighter in the world, the A-1a variant had a top rated speed of 559 mph.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messerschmitt_Me_262

        In 1945, the de Havilland Company designed the DH 108 to test a swept-wing design for jet aircraft. The third prototype, the VW120, was rated for a top speed of 677 mph. To be fair, all three prototypes were destroyed in crashes.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_DH_108

        I got tired of Monty Python fans asking the question, so I researched the answers.

        By the way, most members of the Hirundinidae (swallows and swifts) family have a top speed of around 25 mph.

        • mfp, all 6s&7s&9s

          impressive

  • shoeflyin

    CNN just dropped a new story saying the feds are looking at Manafort going back to at least 2008…so “guilty, guilty, guilty!”

  • Viktor

    So Obama wasn’t spying via microwave ovens? Damn, I sold my microwave oven for nothing.

    • meh. just remember they only last about one administration anyway.

      • mfp, all 6s&7s&9s

        microwave libelz!!1!1!….our clintonian sanyo mic is still cranking (and i use the shit out of it–No Popcorn!)– AND, i have an amana radarange cookmatic (possibly nixonian, with the 2 big dials and no turntable, weighs about 60lbs) out in the garage that still works–yippeeeee!

        • H0mer0

          does everyone else have a “boneyard” of used coffee/cappuccino makers, computer keyboards and mice with the old connectors and old CPUs? I keep meaning to wipe the memory once I figure out how to do it and give them to the city reuse programs but inertial forces are overwhelming…

          • mfp, all 6s&7s&9s

            gaaahh!….the coffeemakers…about 4 of them, 3 which i hated and will eventually give away, and one little 4-cupper that made the best coffee in about 40 seconds–but finally quit after about twenty yrs…i cried, and keep hoping one day i’ll plug it in and it will magically resurrect

          • H0mer0

            I had a Black and Decker or something like that (I don’t think it was Braun or Krups one coffee cup at a time device and my mom washed it when she was visiting and it no longer worked after that. The Keurig is just not the same.

          • Opiwan

            Well, some of us are still using the same machine we built ourselves from parts almost 10 years ago… HEY IT WAS TOP OF THE LINE THEN! *runs away crying*

          • H0mer0

            Opi, there is no shame in using an old computer especially if you built it yourself and it was “top of the line” once.

          • Tom Piper

            I don’t think you have to worry about memory on any of the devices you mentioned.

            Hard drives need to be degaussed, which is magnetic pulse(s), to fully erase. A strong magnet can usually do the trick.

          • sgt. jmk of the résistance

            Yup. I have a stack of old keyboards in the linen closet. The beloved usually takes care of my old laptops and such… at least until I forget the passwords for them and then they just take up space.

        • I am very impressed. Mine have been very disappointing. I have told them so.

          • mfp, all 6s&7s&9s

            i…i’m so sorry…my condolences

    • CovfefeOfTheThoughtlessMind

      You didn’t get your chicks for free?

  • SisterArtemis

    Good law ‘splainin’ 5$F!! Thanks!

  • Sakonyachen

    “But they still wanted to keep the country safe from scary furriners what have funny names and smell like garlic”

    We all smell like garlic now. Damn furriners and their tasty tasty food!

  • phoenix00

    > I have formally requested from the WH and the Intel Committees info on whether I used enough shaving cream in the morning.

  • FISA RARELY says no! Infact, after GWBadmin broke law, not going to FISA, was made public how EASILY it would of them to get the ok f/ #FISA

  • Zyxomma

    Thanks, $5F. You can lawsplain with the best of them, and in the inimitable style of Wonkette.

  • Tom Piper

    The NSA captures and records EVERY communication originating from within the United States and all incoming communications as well. They even capture and record communications in many other countries.

    However, they don’t listen to those communications unless there’s a trigger like the person(s) involved. Those recorded communications would be challenged in court as being improperly obtained if presented as evidence in a criminal case, so they won’t be.

    Communications captured under a FISA warrant CAN be used as evidence so what usually happens in cases like this is NSA picked up something and notified the appropriate agencies of these communications. The information in those communications are then used as “evidence” before a FISA judge to obtain the FISA warrant in the hopes of gaining communications that CAN be used as evidence in a criminal case.

    Everything that was communicated between Manafort and whoever is known and available but some of it may not be used as evidence. (Too much detail?)

  • MsLoveHangover

    WOW!

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