March 22, 2018 7:15 pm -

First, Trump’s top Russiagate lawyer jumped ship:

President Trump’s lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation, John Dowd, resigned on Thursday as his strategy for cooperating with the inquiry grew increasingly at odds with Mr. Trump’s desire for a more aggressive posture.

Mr. Dowd, who took over the president’s legal team last summer and considered leaving several times, ultimately concluded that Mr. Trump was ignoring his advice, a person briefed on the matter said.

“I love the president,” Mr. Dowd said in a telephone interview. “I wish him the best of luck. I think he has a really good case.”

Of what? Dementia? Because that would explain this:

Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer tapped as President Trump’s national security adviser last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation, will resign and be replaced by John R. Bolton, a hard-line former United States ambassador to the United Nations, White House officials said Thursday.

General McMaster will retire from the military, the officials said. He has been discussing his departure with President Trump for several weeks, they said, but decided to speed up his departure, in part because questions about his status were casting a shadow over his conversations with foreign officials.

So, naturally, cable news is all over both stories — and, in all fairness, that latter story is a drastic and arguably ominous shift in the direction of foreign policy, although Bolton may well find himself at odds with Defense Secretary James Mattis and acting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The fact is, they should be all over this

Guccifer 2.0, the “lone hacker” who took credit for providing WikiLeaks with stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, was in fact an officer of Russia’s military intelligence directorate (GRU), The Daily Beast has learned. It’s an attribution that resulted from a fleeting but critical slip-up in GRU tradecraft.

That forensic determination has substantial implications for the criminal probe into potential collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia. The Daily Beast has learned that the special counsel in that investigation, Robert Mueller, has taken over the probe into Guccifer and brought the FBI agents who worked to track the persona onto his team.

… and this, from the same article.

Trump’s longtime political adviser Roger Stone admitted being in touch with Guccifer over Twitter’s direct messaging service. And in August 2016, Stone published an article on the pro-Trump-friendly Breitbart News calling on his political opponents to “Stop Blaming Russia” for the hack. “I have some news for Hillary and Democrats—I think I’ve got the real culprit,” he wrote. “It doesn’t seem to be the Russians that hacked the DNC, but instead a hacker who goes by the name of Guccifer 2.0.”

Five months later, in January 2017, the CIA, NSA, and FBI assessed “with high confidence” that “Russian military intelligence (General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU) used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and to release US victim data.” But the assessment did not directly call Guccifer a Russian intelligence officer. Nor did it provide any evidence for its assertions.

The article explains how Guccifer screwed up big-time — by making one astonishingly amateurish slip-up.

The Daily Beast‘s scoop puts recent news concerning not only Mueller’s indictment of thirteen Russians but Stone and his protégé Sam Nunberg in a very different light. Nunberg had a public, possibly alcohol-fueled public meltdown in the days leading up to his meeting with Mueller’s team. Could it have been fear of what, say, Trump’s shadier allies — or Putin’a — might do to him? His fears were likely unfounded, in that today’s Beast scoop is yet another indication that Mueller has only shown a tiny fraction of his hand — including the fact that Roger Stone was in regular contact with a Russian intelligence officer. Slick move, Rog!

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.