Advertisements

M.Z. Hemingway: The FBI’s Briefing On GOP Baseball Shooting Couldn’t Be More Bizarre

The FBI tried to claim that the shooting at the baseball field was spontaneous and had no target, despite all evidence to the contrary.

 writes: The FBI gave an utterly bizarre update on its investigation into an attempt to assassinate Republican members of Congress. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) remains in the hospital from the attempt on his life in which two police officers and a congressional staffer were also shot. The hospital upgraded his condition to “fair” and said he faces a long recovery.

Americans may know, thanks to public social media profiles, that attempted murderer James Hodgkinson was an active Democratic activist and Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer who hated Republican members of Congress. He held membership in multiple social media groups strongly opposed to Republicans, such as “The Road to Hell Is Paved With Republicans,” “Join the Resistance Worldwide,” “Donald Trump is not my President,” “Terminate the Republican Party,” “Boycott the Republican Party,” and “Expose Republican Fraud,” among dozens of other groups. He was a voracious consumer of liberal media and believed the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to secure the White House.

The FBI admits that Hodgkinson:

  • vociferously raged against Republicans in online forums,
  • had a piece of paper bearing the names of six members of Congress,
  • was reported for doing target practice outside his home in recent months before moving to Alexandria,
  • had mapped out a trip to the DC area,
  • took multiple photos of the baseball field he would later shoot up, three days after the New York Times mentioned that Republicans practiced baseball at an Alexandria baseball field with little security,
  • lived out of his van at the YMCA directly next door to the baseball field he shot up,
  • legally purchased a rifle in March 2003 and 9 mm handgun “in November 2016,”
  • modified the rifle at some point to accept a detachable magazine and replaced the original stock with a folding stock,
  • rented a storage facility to hide hundreds of rounds of ammunition and additional rifle components,
  • asked “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?” before firing on the Republicans,
  • ran a Google search for information on the “2017 Republican Convention” hours before the shooting,
  • and took photos at high-profile Washington locations, including the east front plaza of the U.S. Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office.

We know from other reporting that the list was of six Republican Freedom Caucus members, including Rep. Mo Brooks, who was present at the practice. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Police Officer ‘Stable’ After Stabbing at Michigan Airport 

A police officer has been stabbed in the back and neck at an airport in Michigan, police say.

The officer is in hospital recovering. “Please keep the officer in your prayers,” said Michigan State Police on Twitter.

The Bishop International Airport in Flint has been evacuated and additional officers have been stationed at city hall, officials say.

The officer appears to have been targeted, police tell local media.

Local media report that the officer is Lieutenant Jeff Neville, who is now in a stable condition.

One suspect is in custody.

The incident took place shortly after 09:00 local time on Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »


Flashback: Russian Ambassador Visited Obama White House 22 Times 

Oh my god! Investigate!

Matt Vespa writes: Prior to the testimony given by Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, there was a lot of chatter about his third undisclosed meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Depending on whom you read, like the LA Times or the Associated Press, Sessions denied the third meeting, while NBC News says the attorney general said it was “conceivable” a third rendezvous occurred, but he cannot recollect what happened. He did stress that nothing improper had occurred.

Sessions has been under fire for answers he gave to Sens. Al Franken (D-MN) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) about his interactions with the Russians, including two meetings that he did not disclose. At the same time, both questions were within the parameters of the 2016 campaign, not in his former capacity as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The second meeting at the RNC Convention was facilitated by an initiative from the Obama administration. To rehash, here’s what was asked of Sessions during his confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee:

FRANKEN: CNN just published a story alleging that the intelligence community provided documents to the president-elect last week, that included information that “Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.” These documents also allegedly say “there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.” Again, I’m telling you this as it’s coming out, so, you know.

[Read the full story here, at townhall.com]

But if it’s true, it’s obviously extremely serious, and if there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?

SESSIONS: Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.

FRANKEN: Very well.

[…]

[LEAHY:]  Several of the President-Elect’s nominees or senior advisers have Russian ties. Have you been in contact with anyone connected to any part of the Russian government about the 2016 election, either before or after Election Day?

[Sessions] RESPONSE: No. Read the rest of this entry »


While No One Was Looking, Congress Took A Huge Step Toward Fixing The Economy

Deregulation: Former FBI director James Comey‘s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee was the fixation of Washington on Thursday. But the big story was on the House side of Congress, which passed a bill to repeal the ruinous Dodd-Frank banking law.

The Financial Choice Act, approved in the House by a 233-to-186 vote (no Democrats voted for the bill), has generated almost zero attention. But it has the potential to be the most economically beneficial legislation Congress will consider this year.

Put simply, Dodd-Frank has been a complete failure. Signed into law by President Obama almost seven years ago in the wake of the financial crisis, this massive law was supposed to, in his words, “be good for the economy … foster innovation … stop taxpayer bailouts once and for all.”

It has lived up to zero of those promises.

Dodd-Frank’s 22,000 pages of regulations, which cost $36 billion to comply with in the first six years, has choked competition in the banking industry, made banking more expensive, harmed economic growth and, to top it off, failed to make the banking system safer or end “too-big-to-fail.”

Since Dodd-Frank became law, for example, more than 1,700 banks have disappeared — more than one a day, on average. The banking industry got more concentrated.

Left in place, Dodd-Frank will cut the nation’s GDP by nearly $900 billion by 2025, according to the American Action Forum. Read the rest of this entry »


Kurt Schlichter: From Russia With Stupidity 

Kurt Schlichter writes: That towering doofus James Comey crushed the spirits of millions of democracy-hating geebos when, trapped by his own prior testimony, he was forced to admit the truth on national television. And that truth, as those of us not caught up in the whirlpool of Menschian insanity and liberal wishcasting all know, is that the whole Russia thing is a wheelbarrow of fresh Schumer squeezed out by Hillary and her minions in order to create a narrative – any narrative – that would hide the bitter truth. We rejected her, and now we’re rejecting the Russia idiocy too.

Poor Comey, having to contort his grossly-elongated body into something like a pose of victimhood in front of the unforgiving glare of the TV lights. And all the time watched by eager, credulous resisters, taking their day off from their usual routine of sponging and posing, and gathering at mid-day to view the proceedings from lame urban bars with dorky names like “The Peculiar Muskrat & Sons,” while clutching cucumber-infused IPAs and sipping twee mixed drinks specially-formulated so that their femboy imbibers don’t start crying because they taste actual alcohol.

Where were the TREASON BOMBSHELLS OF TREASON!!!!!!!!!!! they were promised? Probably somewhere near the jobs they were promised they’d get with their degrees in Intersectional Feminist Marketing or Gender Neutral Namibian Poetry that they took out $250,000 in loans to pay for.

Comey’s opinion of his own rectitude is formidable – he’s the only honest guy there is, you know – and he loves to be seen furrowing his brow under the crushing weight of his own goodness in a way Ben Sasse no doubt envies during those moments when Senator Sanctimony isn’t busy grinning like a moron at liberal media jerks’ racial epithets. However, similarly exaggerated is Comey’s opinion of himself as a cunning bureaucratic player. He thinks he’s the King of the DC Power Gamers; instead, he’s more like that feckless Games of Thrones prince who ends up losing his Harry Reid. Read the rest of this entry »


PUNDITOCALYPSE! Alan Dershowitz: Comey Confirms that I’m Right – and All the Democratic Commentators are Wrong

nyt-newyorktimes-panic
Alan Dershowitz writes: In his testimony former FBI director James Come echoed a view that I alone have been expressing for several weeks, and that has been attacked by nearly every Democratic pundit.

Comey confirmed that under our Constitution, the president has the authority to direct the FBI to stop investigating any individual. I paraphrase, because the transcript is not yet available:  the president can, in theory, decide who to investigate, who to stop investigating, who to prosecute and who not to prosecute.  The president is the head of the unified executive branch of government, and the Justice Department and the FBI work under him and he may order them to do what he wishes.

As a matter of law, Comey is 100 percent correct.  As I have long argued, and as Comey confirmed in his written statement, our history shows that many presidents—from Adams to Jefferson, to Lincoln, to Roosevelt, to Kennedy, to Bush 1, and to Obama – have directed the Justice Department with regard to ongoing investigations. The history is clear, the precedents are clear, the constitutional structure is clear, and common sense is clear.

Yet virtually every Democratic pundit, in their haste to “get” President Trump, has willfully ignored these realities.  In doing so they have endangered our civil liberties and constitutional rights.

[Read the full story here, at Fox News]

Now that even former Director Comey has acknowledged that the Constitution would permit the president to direct the Justice Department and the FBI in this matter, let us put the issue of obstruction of justice behind us once and for all and focus on the political, moral, and other non-criminal aspects of President Trump’s conduct.

Comey’s testimony was devastating with regard to President Trump’s credibility – at least as Comey sees it.  He was also critical of President Trump’s failure to observe the recent tradition of FBI independence from presidential influence.  Read the rest of this entry »


Comey Admits He Orchestrated Leaks To New York Times

Kevin Daley writes: Former FBI Director James Comey acknowledged that he orchestrated the leak of a memorandum detailing his private interactions with President Donald Trump during testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Thursday morning.

“I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter,” Comey said. “I didn’t do it myself for a variety of reasons.”

He added that he did so in hopes that his account might spur the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign’s contacts with elements of the Russian government, and any subsequent cover up.

The leak to The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt appears to have come by way of Daniel Richman, a Columbia Law School professor and close friend of the former director. The New Yorker describes Richman as Comey’s “unofficial media surrogate.”

Comey told Maine GOP Sen. Collins that he transmitted the memos to TheNYT through a friend at Columbia Law School.

At the hearing’s conclusion, the president’s personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, told reporters that Comey conceded to making unauthorized disclosures to undermine the president. Read the rest of this entry »


Herridge: Comey Made A Leak In Hopes Of Changing Focus Of The Russia Investigation

Ian Schwartz reports: FOX News Chief Intelligence Correspondent Catherine Herridge reacts to former FBI director James Comey‘s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Herridge said she can not recall a time when a former FBI director deliberately leaked a memo to start an investigation or change the entire focus of an investigation going forward.

“What you can draw here from that testimony is that once he left the office of FBI director, he was not necessarily a person of principle. He made a decision to leak information on an anonymous basis in the hope of really changing the entire focus of the Russia investigation going forward.”

“I can’t remember a time ever where a former FBI director has deliberately leaked the contents of a government document so it would get to a reporter in the hopes that it would prompt a special counsel investigation,” Herridge said Thursday afternoon.

“What you can draw here from that testimony is that once he left the office of FBI director, he was not necessarily a person of principle,” Herridge said. “He made a decision to leak information on an anonymous basis in the hope of really changing the entire focus of the Russia investigation going forward.”

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS: I can’t remember a time ever where a former FBI director has deliberately leaked the contents of a government document so it would get to a reporter in the hopes that it would prompt a special counsel investigation. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Comey: Obama Administration Asked to Cover up Hillary Investigation

James Comey is delivering his first sworn testimony after being fired by the Trump administration. And several major findings have already been discussed in the first hour. One surprising moment was when Comey said that it wasn’t just the Trump administration that may have asked him to cover up an FBI investigation. It was actually Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s attorney general, who asked him to lie about the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email scandals. According to him, Lynch asked him to not call it an investigation at all — instead, she wanted him to call it a “matter.” Read the rest of this entry »


Comey Needles Media: Sources ‘Often Don’t Really Know What’s Going On’

Comey said that report was wrong and so are many reports that relate to intelligence material.

“In the main, it was not true. And again, all of you know this, many of the American people don’t. The challenge — and I’m not picking on reporters — about writing on classified information is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on. And those of us that know what’s going on aren’t talking about it. And we don’t call the press to say, ‘hey, you got that thing wrong about this sensitive topic.’ We just have to leave it there.”

more

Source: washingtonexaminer.com


Comey’s Prepared Testimony Shows Why He Deserved to Be Fired

The ‘Independent’ Mr. Comey

The Senate Intelligence Committee released James Comey’s prepared testimony a day early on Wednesday, and it looks like a test of whether Washington can apprehend reality except as another Watergate. Perhaps the defrocked FBI director has a bombshell still to drop. But far from documenting an abuse of power by President Trump, his prepared statement reveals Mr. Comey’s misunderstanding of law enforcement in a democracy.

Mr. Comey’s seven-page narrative recounts his nine encounters with the President-elect and then President, including an appearance at Trump Tower, a one-on-one White House dinner and phone calls. He describes how he briefed Mr. Trump on the Russia counterintelligence investigation and what he calls multiple attempts to “create some sort of patronage relationship.”

But at worst Mr. Comey’s account of Mr. Trump reveals a willful and naive narcissist who believes he can charm or subtly intimidate the FBI director but has no idea how Washington works. This is not new information.

bn-qa697_3comey_p_20160928180311

When you’re dining alone in the Green Room with an operator like Mr. Comey—calculating, self-protective, one of the more skilled political knife-fighters of modern times—there are better approaches than asserting “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Of course the righteous director was going to “memorialize” (his word) these conversations as political insurance.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Mr. Trump’s ham-handed demand for loyalty doesn’t seem to extend beyond the events of 2016, however. In Mr. Comey’s telling, the President is preoccupied with getting credit for the election results and resentful that the political class is delegitimizing his victory with “the cloud” of Russian interference when he believes he did nothing wrong.

Mr. Comey also confirms that on at least three occasions he told Mr. Trump that he was not a personal target of the Russia probe. But Mr. Comey wouldn’t make a public statement to the same effect, “most importantly because it would create a duty to correct” if Mr. Trump were implicated. This is odd because the real obligation is to keep quiet until an investigation is complete. Read the rest of this entry »


FORECAST PARTLY CLOUDY: Comey to Testify that Trump Sought ‘Loyalty,’ Asked to Lift Russia ‘Cloud’

Judson Berger reports: James Comey plans to testify Thursday that in the months before he was fired as FBI director, President Trump sought his “loyalty” while also pressing him to “lift the cloud” of the Russia investigation and lay off Michael Flynn, according to written testimony released ahead of his Senate committee appearance.

The prepared remarks for his opening statement, released by the Senate Intelligence Committee, also make clear that Comey repeatedly assured Trump he was not personally under investigation.

federalist-comey.jpg

Comey’s statement detailed several meetings he had with Trump dating back to January.

He extensively described a Jan. 27 dinner where he said Trump told him: “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.”

[READ COMEY’S STATEMENT]

Comey plans to say as well that Trump sought help ending any probe of former national security adviser Flynn, reiterating previously published reports about such claims.

Comey’s testimony will mark his first Capitol Hill appearance since his firing a month ago. Lawmakers are eager to hear his side, amid a raft of reports suggesting Trump had pressured Comey over investigations of Russian meddling in the election and coordination with his associates.

Trump has denied pressuring Comey as well as any collusion with Russia.

If Comey’s opening statement is any gauge, Thursday’s testimony will be explosive. Read the rest of this entry »


Some Good Questions the Former FBI Chief Prefers Not to Answer

The Private Jim Comey.

The media are pitching James Comey’s Thursday testimony as the biggest since Watergate, and the former FBI director may provide high Trump ian drama. Let’s hope Congress also challenges Mr. Comey on matters he’d rather not talk about.

The politically savvy Mr. Comey has a knack for speaking in congenial forums such as the clubby Senate Intelligence Committee he’ll address Thursday. By contrast he is refusing to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee—where he came under a grilling in May, days before he was fired—though there is no bar to him testifying more than once.

Circa News is also reporting (and we have confirmed) that Mr. Comey is refusing to answer seven questions sent to him in a letter from Judiciary on May 26. The bipartisan request is from Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein, as well as the chairman and ranking Member of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism.

The questions are aimed at discovering how the contents of Mr. Comey’s famous “memo” to himself came to be splashed across the press. This still private memo reportedly says President Trump asked Mr. Comey to back off an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and its contents surfaced in the New York Times not long after Mr. Comey was fired—courtesy of an unidentified Comey “associate.”

The Judiciary letter asks if Mr. Comey created other memos about interactions with Justice Department officials or Mr. Trump; if he shared the contents of his memos with people inside or outside the Justice Department; if he retained copies of the memos, and if so to turn them over to the committee.

We’re told Mr. Comey replied via email that he didn’t have to answer the questions because he is now a “private citizen.” But that same private citizen will be opining in front of a national TV audience before a committee investigating serious questions of law and intelligence … (read more)

Source: WSJ

Here Are The Questions James Comey Should Answer

…but probably won’t.

writes: Almost a month after President Donald Trump fired him, former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Comey will reportedly claim that the president asked for his “loyalty” but that he “demurred.” A keeper of meticulous notes, Comey will also likely testify that the president asked him to drop the Michael Flynn investigation only days after the national security advisor was fired. “I hope you can let this go,” the president purportedly told Comey. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”

One imagines that special counsel Robert Mueller would not have agreed to allow Comey to testify publicly in the middle of ongoing investigation if the content of his testimony implicated the president in a criminal offense. Comey also won’t be able to shed light on the ongoing investigations. Still, there’s lots of anticipation out there. And there are a slew of questions Comey should answer.

For instance: As the former head of the FBI, do you believe your private conversation with the president rose to the level of obstruction of justice? Was it your impression that the president was speaking extemporaneously about an investigation, offering an opinion about its prospects and your actions, or do you believe he was demanding or insisting that the FBI drop the investigation into Michael Flynn?

Do you believe the president exhibited criminal intent?

Were there any other occasions in which the president brought up Flynn, or any other ongoing investigation of his campaign or administration officials? If so, what was the substance and tone of those conversations? Read the rest of this entry »


Amazon Studios lands Monica Lewinsky-Linda Tripp Bill Clinton Movie 

reports: Amazon Studios has acquired Linda And Monica, the Black List script by Flint Wainess that details the budding friendship between D.C. pals Linda Trippand Monica Lewinsky that imploded when it led to the revelation of the scandalous relationship between the White House intern and President Bill Clinton.

The film will be produced by Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch, the Escape Artists trio that produced the Best Picture nominated Fences and the upcoming sequel to The Equalizer.

[Read the full story here, at Deadline]

Lewinsky was a 22-year old White House intern and Tripp a White House aide who secretly recorded her young pal’s revelations of sexual liasons with then President Bill Clinton in the White House. Tripp, who later said she was acting in her former friend’s best interests, leaked the tape to Kenneth Starr, the special prosecutor who was investigating Whitewater. It became a tawdry scandal complete with a subpoena of her blue semen-stained dress, and it later a congressional call for impeachment. It severely crushed the career and life of Lewinsky, and her family — I remember her father once speaking out publicly when the NBC series Law & Order took to calling a certain sex act a “Lewinsky.” Lewinsky said the notoriety made it impossible for her to find work, and she stayed out of the limelight until briefly resurfacing as an anti-bullying advocate several years ago. Read the rest of this entry »


CNN Fires Kathy Griffin From New Year’s Show After Trump Beheading Pic

 reports: CNN has fired Kathy Griffin from their annual New Year’s Eve program, which she cohosted with anchor Anderson Cooper.

The network made the announcement via Twitter Wednesday morning.

“CNN has terminated our agreement with Kathy Griffin to appear on our New Year’s Eve program,” the CNN Public Relations account tweeted.

The termination comes one day after the comedienne posted a photo and video of her holding a fake severed head of President Donald Trump. She later apologized for the photo, saying it went too far, and removed it.

Trump tweeted about the photo early on Wednesday, writing that Griffin “should be ashamed of herself.”

“My children, especially my 11-year-old son Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”

Career self-harm

CNN issued a statement on Tuesday night, condemning Griffin’s video and saying that they were evaluating New Year’s Eve plans. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] How Deregulation Gave Us FM Radio, HBO, and the iPhone


“We’ve gone to a modern [broadcast] system that has a lot of places where stuff can happen without permission,” says Thomas W. Hazlett, who’s the FCC‘s former chief economist, a professor at Clemson University, and author of the new book The Political Spectrum: The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone. “And we have seen that the smartphone revolution and some other great stuff in the wireless space has really burgeoned…That comes from deregulation.”

So-called net neutrality rules are designed to solve a non-existent problem and threaten to restrict consumer choice, Hazlett tells Reason’s Nick Gillespie. “The travesty is there’s already a regulatory scheme [to address anti-competitive behavior]—it’s called antitrust law.”

Greater autonomy and consumer freedom led to the development of cable television, the smartphone revolution, and the modern internet. While we’ve come a long way from the old days of mother-may-I pleading with the FCC to grant licenses for new technology, Hazlett says, “there’s a lot farther to go and there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s being suppressed.”

He points to the history of radio and television. Herbert Hoover and Lyndon Johnson exercised extraordinary control over spectrum allocation, which they used for their own political and financial gain. With liberalization, we now have hundreds of hours of varied television programming as compared to the big three broadcast networks of the ’60s, an abundance of choices in smartphone providers and networks as compared to the Ma Bell monopoly, and more to come. Read the rest of this entry »


The Left’s Ridiculous Double Standard on Spilling Secrets 

This occurred over what the Washington Post and the New York Times suggest was President Trump’s inadvertent disclosure of highly classified intelligence from Israel in the Oval Office when Trump received Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The disclosure, the Times quoted American officials as representing, “could expose the source of the information and the manner in which it was collected.” At one moment Wednesday, the Times had on its home page something like 18 pieces on this or related scandals.

What a contrast to, say, 2006. That’s when the Gray Lady thumbed its nose for news at President George W. Bush’s pleadings that the paper refrain from disclosing how the government, in its hunt for terrorists, was mining data of the Swift banking consortium.

The Bush administration had begged the Times not to proceed. Yet it did so. Bush called it “disgraceful,” adding that the “fact that a newspaper disclosed it makes it harder to win this war on terror.” Treasury said it would hamper the pursuit of terrorists.

Such a hullabaloo arose from long-suffering Times readers that the paper’s executive editor, then Bill Keller, issued a 1,400-word “personal response.” In it, he suggested that if conservative bloggers were so worried, they should stop calling attention to it. Read the rest of this entry »


How Many Members Of The Opposition Party Did The Previous Administration Surveil?

Obama, Trump and Surveillance

 reports: Another day brings another series of tweets from President Trump that have his opponents—and even some of his allies—expressing shock and outrage. In one particularly incendiary missive this morning Mr. Trump wrote, “ James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” It’s no surprise that Mr. Trump is once again dominating the news via Twitter, but reporters might also want to pay attention to presidential use of a much more powerful set of electronic tools.

Mr. Trump’s political skills have been repeatedly underestimated, including by your humble correspondent. But at the risk of being proven wrong again, the prediction here is that Mr. Trump will fail if he thinks he’s going to prevent the former FBI director from conducting effective media relations. This is Mr. Comey’s core competency.

On the other hand, Mr. Trump’s morning tweet has triggered more negative press for the President. The New York Times writes:

Democrats expressed shock. “For a president who baselessly accused his predecessor of illegally wiretapping him, that Mr. Trump would suggest that he, himself, may have engaged in such conduct is staggering,” said Representative Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “The president should immediately provide any such recordings to Congress or admit, once again, to have made a deliberately misleading — and in this case threatening — statement.”

Mr. Schiff also took to Twitter on Friday to add: “Mr. President, if there are ‘tapes’ relevant to the Comey firing, it’s because you made them and they should be provided to Congress.”

So the ranking Democrat on the House intel committee clearly seems to be concerned about the possibility that a president would record the conversations of a subordinate in the executive branch. Rep. Schiff also spent years in Congress professing to be deeply concerned about government collection of telephone metadata, which did not even include the content of any conversations. So it would clearly follow that if the executive branch were spying on the Congress and a president’s political opposition, Mr. Schiff would be horrified.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Yet Mr. Schiff’s Twitter followers are still awaiting comment on yesterday’s report from a congressional colleague suggesting that’s exactly what happened. Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) appeared on Fox News Thursday afternoon and said that a Senate colleague “confided to me that he was surveilled by the Obama Administration, including his phone calls.” Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES HE DID: President Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

Jonathan Karl,Meghan Kenally and Justin Fishel report: FBI Director James Comey has been fired, according to the White House.

“Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office,” the White House statement reads.

“President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” the statement said.

pinkslip.jpg

President Trump has previously been critical of Comey, suggesting that his actions helped Hillary Clinton during the campaign, while Clinton blamed Comey and his late announcement about the FBI’s investigation into her email server contributed to her electoral college loss. Read the rest of this entry »


Hemingway: Did The FBI Use Garbage Opposition Research To Spy On An American?

The FBI spied on a Trump associate. Do they have evidence that Trump colluded with Russians, or was this a rampant abuse of power?

These latest leaks of classified information appear to be in response to Sen. Charles Grassley’s inquiry to FBI Director James Comey on behalf of the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs. Grassley noted a February 28 Washington Post report, which used anonymous sources to report the FBI had made plans to pay dossier author Christopher Steele to continue investigating Trump before the election.

fbi_getty

Paying an opposition researcher to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election “raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote.

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

Grassley demanded that the FBI turn over all records relating to the agreement, interviews of Steele, information on any government officials outside the FBI discussing the agreement with Steele, information on how the FBI obtained the dossier, any official reports that used Steele-collected information, any indication the FBI used the information before verifying it, and various other information, including:

9. Has the FBI relied on or otherwise referenced the memos or any information in the memos in seeking a FISA warrant, other search warrant, or any other judicial process? Did the FBI rely on or otherwise reference the memos in relation to any National Security Letters? If so, please include copies of all relevant applications and other documents.

These latest leaks answer that question. And the leaks about what intelligence agencies were doing during the presidential campaign begin to answer questions about whether the U.S. government has hard evidence that the Trump campaign had foreknowledge of Russian meddling and coordinated with Russians about that meddling, or whether there was rampant abuse of power in stripping an innocent U.S. citizen of his right not to be surveilled by his own government. Read the rest of this entry »


Lawmakers Say Intelligence Agencies Stonewalling on Surveillance Probe

Adam Housley and Malia Zimmerman report: Lawmakers probing the surveillance of key officials in the Trump campaign and administration say the intelligence agencies now nominally under the president’s control are stonewalling efforts to get to the bottom of who revealed names and leaked protected information to the press.

“Our requests are simply not being answered.”

House Intelligence Committee source

The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are currently investigating allegations the Obama administration spied on Trump associates – and possibly Trump himself – for as long as the year preceding his inauguration. And while former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice has been implicated as at least one of the officials who sought redacted names from surveillance transcripts, multiple lawmakers and investigators for the panel told Fox News the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency – all agencies in position to aid the probe – are not cooperating.

“Our requests are simply not being answered,” said one House Intelligence committee source about the lack of responsiveness. “The agencies are not really helping at all and there is truly a massive web for us to try and wade through.”

A Senate Intelligence Committee source said the upper chamber had the same experience.

“Any information that will help find the wide extent on the unmasking and surveillance is purposely not being provided,” said the Senate source.

An FBI spokesperson said the bureau is working in good faith. Read the rest of this entry »


Barack Obama Changed How NSA Intercepts of Americans Could Be Shared

John Solomon and Sara Carter reports: As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.

Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures’ perceptions of the incoming president and his administration. Intercepts involving congressional figures also have been unmasked occasionally for some time. Read the rest of this entry »


Potential ‘Smoking Gun’ Showing Obama Admin Spied on Trump Team, Source Says

Nunes’ Trump surveillance claims raise more even questions.

James Rosen reports: Republican congressional investigators expect a potential “smoking gun” establishing that the Obama administration spied on the Trump transition team, and possibly the president-elect himself, will be produced to the House Intelligence Committee this week, a source told Fox News.

Classified intelligence showing incidental collection of Trump team communications, purportedly seen by committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and described by him in vague terms at a bombshell Wednesday afternoon news conference, came from multiple sources, Capitol Hill sources told Fox News. The intelligence corroborated information about surveillance of the Trump team that was known to Nunes, sources said, even before President Trump accused his predecessor of having wiretappedhim in a series of now-infamous tweets posted on March 4.

The intelligence is said to leave no doubt the Obama administration, in its closing days, was using the cover of legitimate surveillance on foreign targets to spy on President-elect Trump, according to sources.

The key to that conclusion is the unmasking of selected U.S. persons whose names appeared in the intelligence, the sources said, adding that the paper trail leaves no other plausible purpose for the unmasking other than to damage the incoming Trump administration.

The FBI hasn’t been responsive to the House Intelligence Committee’s request for documents, but the National Security Agency is expected to produce documents to the committee by Friday. The NSA document production is expected to produce more intelligence than Nunes has so far seen or described – including what one source described as a potential “smoking gun” establishing the spying.

[Order James Rosen’s book “A Torch Kept Lit: Great Lives of the Twentieth Century” from Amazon.com ]

Some time will be needed to properly assess the materials, with the likely result being that congressional investigators and attorneys won’t have a solid handle on the contents of the documents – and their implications – until next week.

Because Nunes’s intelligence came from multiple sources during a span of several weeks, and he has not shared the actual materials with his committee colleagues, he will be the only member of the panel in a position to know whether the NSA has turned over some or all of the intelligence he is citing. However, Fox News was told Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., had been briefed on the basic contents of the intelligence described by Nunes. Read the rest of this entry »


John Fund & Hans von Spakovsky: Obama’s ‘Scandal-Free Administration’ Is a Myth 

obama-oval-solo

Even a prominent Trump adviser accepts the false premise that there has been no ‘ethical shadiness.’

John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky write: You often hear that the Obama administration, whatever its other failings, has been “scandal-free.” Valerie Jarrett, the president’s closest adviser, has said he “prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn’t had a scandal and he hasn’t done something to embarrass himself.”

Even Trump adviser Peter Thiel seems to agree. When the New York Times’s Maureen Dowd observed during an interview that Mr. Obama’s administration was “without any ethical shadiness,” Mr. Thiel accepted the premise, saying: “But there’s a point where no corruption can be a bad thing. It can mean that things are too boring.”

In reality, Mr. Obama has presided over some of the worst scandals of any president in recent decades. Here’s a partial list:

• State Department email. In an effort to evade federal open-records laws, Mr. Obama’s first secretary of state set up a private server, which she used exclusively to conduct official business, including communications withobama-BW the president and the transmission of classified material. A federal criminal investigation produced no charges, but FBI Director James Comey reported that the secretary and her colleagues “were extremely careless” in handling national secrets.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

• Operation Fast and Furious. The Obama Justice Department lost track of thousands of guns it had allowed to pass into the hands of suspected smugglers, in the hope of tracing them to Mexican drug cartels. One of the guns was used in the fatal 2010 shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Congress held then-Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt when he refused to turn over documents about the operation.

• IRS abuses. Mr. Obama’s Internal Revenue Service did something Richard Nixononly dreamed of doing: It successfully targeted political opponents. The Justice Department then refused to enforce Congress’s contempt citation against the IRS’s Lois Lerner, who refused to answer questions about her agency’s misconduct. Read the rest of this entry »


KOMPROMATAGEDDON

russia-trump

Russia Says ‘Нет, у нас нет никаких компрометирующих материалов на Трампа’

Russia has denied such accusations and described them as unsubstantiated and an attempt by U.S. politicians to distract attention from domestic issues.

Laura Mills writes: Russia on Wednesday denied it has compromising material on Donald Trump, calling a dossier of unverified allegations an “absolute fabrication” and an attempt to damage U.S.-Russian relations.

“Among the allegations, contained in a set of confidential memos written by the former official, are that Mr. Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, met with Kremlin officials and discussed how to arrange cash payments to hackers working under Moscow’s direction against the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.” 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the report, which claimed that Russia has material that could be used to blackmail Mr. Trump, as “pulp fiction,” according to Russian news agencies.

“The FBI has found no evidence that he traveled to the Czech Republic, where the meeting allegedly took place in August of last year, officials said.”

“This is a clear attempt to damage our bilateral relations,” he said. “Truly, there are those who whip up this hysteria, who will break their necks to support this ‘witch hunt’”

Mr. Peskov said that the Kremlin wasn’t involved in collecting compromising information on anyone, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Putin-DailyMailUK

His comments come a day after it emerged that U.S. intelligence agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have spent months trying to substantiate explosive claims, compiled by a former Western intelligence official, that Russian government operatives engaged in an extensive conspiracy with advisers to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and employees of his company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. intelligence community and top officials have repeatedly accused Russia of trying to influence the 2016 presidential election, releasing a report last week that leveled broad accusations against Moscow, including cyberattacks meant to undermine the election and skewed coverage by state-funded Russian media.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

Russia has denied such accusations and described them as unsubstantiated and an attempt by U.S. politicians to distract attention from domestic issues.

The latest claims were deemed sufficiently significant by senior intelligence officials to summarize them in a two-page addendum to the classified briefing President-elect Trump received last Friday about Russian efforts to influence the U.S. presidential campaign, the people said.

trump-rump

“FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” Mr. Trump tweeted after the allegations surfaced publicly Tuesday evening.

U.S. officials confirmed that a summary of the information had been given to Mr. Trump. They said sharing of such unverified information was taken out of an abundance of caution that the incoming president should be aware of allegations being made against him that could become public—a decision intelligence experts backed. President Barack Obama received the same information, officials said. Read the rest of this entry »


#HandsUpFakeNews

cnn-handsupfakenews

Don’t Kid Yourself — Liberals Are Just As Susceptible To Fake News. Their brand may be more sophisticated, but it’s no less harmful.


Democrats Are Losing the Culture Wars

Party leaders are moving leftward, naively assuming they can win over working-class voters with a socialist-minded message.

Josh Kraushaar writes: In the af­ter­math of the elec­tion, shell-shocked Demo­crats struggled to pin­point a reas­on be­hind their stun­ning loss to Don­ald Trump. Hil­lary Clin­ton blamed FBI Dir­ect­or James Comey. Demo­crat­ic op­er­at­ives cri­ti­cized the Clin­ton cam­paign team for tak­ing the Rust Belt for gran­ted. Bernie Sanders and his as­cend­ant left-wing flank of the party blames the party’s close­ness to Wall Street.

“On is­sues ran­ging from the pres­id­ent’s hes­it­ance to la­bel ter­ror­ism by its name to an un­will­ing­ness to cri­ti­cize ex­trem­ist ele­ments of protest groups like Black Lives Mat­ter to ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders man­dat­ing trans­gender bath­rooms, the ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fen­ded the sens­ib­il­it­ies of the Amer­ic­an pub­lic.”

No one is point­ing a fin­ger at the most glar­ing vul­ner­ab­il­ity—the party’s cul­tur­al dis­con­nect from much of the coun­try. On is­sues ran­ging from the pres­id­ent’s hes­it­ance to la­bel ter­ror­ism by its name to an un­will­ing­ness to cri­ti­cize ex­trem­ist ele­ments of protest groups like Black Lives Mat­ter to ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders man­dat­ing trans­gender bath­rooms, the ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fen­ded the sens­ib­il­it­ies of the Amer­ic­an pub­lic.

[Read the full story here, at nationaljournal.com]

Among lib­er­al-minded mil­len­ni­als, Pres­id­ent Obama’s ac­tions were a sign that he was chart­ing “an arc of his­tory that bends to­wards justice.” But to older, more-con­ser­vat­ive Amer­ic­ans, it was a sign that the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s views were well out­side the Amer­ic­an main­stream.

cxxkhafucaabqc2

“Among lib­er­al-minded mil­len­ni­als, Pres­id­ent Obama’s ac­tions were a sign that he was chart­ing ‘an arc of his­tory that bends to­wards justice.’ But to older, more-con­ser­vat­ive Amer­ic­ans, it was a sign that the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s views were well out­side the Amer­ic­an main­stream.”

Clin­ton tried to win over mod­er­ates by rais­ing red flags about Trump’s for­eign policy and his ra­cially charged, miso­gyn­ist­ic rhet­or­ic. But she didn’t have a Sis­ter Soul­jah mo­ment to cri­ti­cize the ex­cesses of the Left—as Bill Clin­ton fam­ously did dur­ing the 1992 cam­paign—for fear of ali­en­at­ing the Obama co­ali­tion. In fact, her line that “im­pli­cit [ra­cial] bi­as is a prob­lem for every­one” dur­ing the first de­bate was a mo­ment that couldn’t have been more re­pel­lent to those white Rust Belt voters who deser­ted the Demo­crats this year.

latino

“Demo­crats will be spend­ing their time in the polit­ic­al wil­der­ness fig­ur­ing out how to re­build a shattered party. But early in­dic­a­tions sug­gest that party lead­ers are veer­ing even fur­ther to the left in­stead of mod­er­at­ing their rhet­or­ic.”

As New York Times colum­nist Ross Douthat pres­ci­ently wrote in Septem­ber: “The new cul­tur­al or­tho­doxy is suf­fi­ciently stifling to leave many Amer­ic­ans look­ing to the vot­ing booth as a way to re­gister dis­sent.” Op­pos­ing polit­ic­al cor­rect­ness was one con­sist­ent theme in Trump’s very muddled cam­paign mes­sage.

Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian Dick and Gloria Shafer, pictured with their 9-year-old son, John, run an excavation business in Elgin. They are so frightened of drug violence, especially after a triple homicide at their town, that they say they sleep with handguns close at hand. Gloria Shafer keeps her 9 mm gun under her pillow.

“They’ve con­cluded—with the as­sist­ance of Sanders, Eliza­beth War­ren, and po­lemi­cist Mi­chael Moore—that they would have per­formed bet­ter with work­ing-class white voters if they only ar­tic­u­lated a more pop­u­list eco­nom­ic mes­sage. They’ve shown no in­clin­a­tion to re­ject Clin­ton’s con­tro­ver­sial no­tion that half of Trump’s sup­port­ers were de­plor­able and ir­re­deem­able.”

Demo­crats will be spend­ing their time in the polit­ic­al wil­der­ness fig­ur­ing out how to re­build a shattered party. But early in­dic­a­tions sug­gest that party lead­ers are veer­ing even fur­ther to the left in­stead of mod­er­at­ing their rhet­or­ic. Read the rest of this entry »


America’s Emerging Nationalism Crisis

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Protesters pass through a tunnel as the march in reaction to the upset election of Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the race for President of the United States on November 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California, United States. Hundreds of Angelenos have been arrested in recent days and some have vandalized property but the vast majority of the thousands of protesters have remain peaceful. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The United States has entered the era of ethnic nationalism replacing ideology in our politics—and there’s no going back.

 writes: The election of Donald Trump as our next president heralds a new political epoch for the United States. Whatever his shortcomings as a candidate, the Republican nominee, a political neophyte, slayed both of the political dynasties that had more or less run our national life for the last three decades. There won’t be anyone named Bush or Clinton around the White House for a good long while now. This is no mean feat, not to mention something for which all Americans who dislike dynasties should be grateful.

Clinton-plane

“Whatever one thinks of James Comey, who has managed to offend both right and left in recent months, the notion that his investigation of Hillary’s emails, rather than her own mistakes as secretary of state—the steadfast refusal to use government email for government work, her ‘private’ server of bathroom infamy, all the highly classified information that wound up in her ‘unclassified’ emails, not to mention her innumerable lies about it all—constituted the real problem in EmailGate reeks of the purest Clintonism.”

How Trump did it is being hotly debated. True to form, Hillary Clinton has announced that her loss is all the fault of the FBI and its director, whose eleventh-hour reopening of her email scandal sank her at the ballot box. Whatever one thinks of James Comey, who has managed to offend both right and left in recent months, the notion that his investigation of Hillary’s emails, rather than her own mistakes as secretary of state—the steadfast refusal to use government email for government work, her “private” server of bathroom infamy, all the highly classified information that wound up in her “unclassified” emails, not to mention her innumerable lies about it all—constituted the real problem in EmailGate reeks of the purest Clintonism.

keep-calm-carry-guns-wsj

“This was more of the Marxistoid ‘right side of History’ blather that Team Obama has indulged in for the last eight years—and it was utterly wrong. To the surprise of no one who understands human nature, many whites didn’t appreciate being told that they had to die off for ‘progress’ to be achieved.”

Democrats are also pointing a finger at Moscow, claiming that its secret ties to the Trump campaign plus the clandestine help of Wikileaks, whose massive dumps of Democratic emails painted Team Hillary in a highly unfavorable light, ultimately did in Clinton, Inc. Here they’re on somewhat firmer ground. Kremlin interference played a role in the campaign—exactly how much will be debated for decades—in a manner that should trouble all Americans.

flag-4th

“They didn’t like being derided by their betters as ‘bitter clingers’ with their guns and Bibles, and they especially didn’t like being termed ‘deplorables’ unworthy of compassion or consideration.”

That said, there’s not much to deny here, since Moscow has now admitted its previously hush-hush ties to Wikileaks and its contacts with members of the Trump campaign. Moreover, those who are now so eager to find Russians under every bed in Washington are the same people who pooh-poohed warnings about Wikileaks and the Kremlin—I was issuing them years ago—as scaremongering. It’s too late now, the election’s over. Time to move on, learn lessons, and accept the people’s verdict.

[Read the full text here, at Observer]

Some Americans are clearly not ready to move on. Their radical fringe has been fighting in the streets, rioting and burning trees to show their displeasure, thereby proving true all the nasty things that Trump has said about the nut-left. The ugly nature of these outbursts has many wondering what has happened to the country. However, when Democratic leaders publicly denounce Trump and the Republicans as the party of “hate” it’s not surprising that the country’s perennially aggrieved lumpenriot contingent takes action.

Welcome to the Al-Sharptonization of the Democratic Party

Welcome to the Al-Sharptonization of the Democratic Party

“It cannot be denied that ethno-racial concerns played a role here—and that it was the Democrats who opened that can of worms.”

At a certain level, how Trump won is so simple that most pundits—the same people who gave the president-elect no chance of winning—can’t see it. The Republican nominee got enough white votes—especially among the working class, particularly in the upper Mid-West—to offset huge Democratic advantages among minorities and white professionals. This was the Sailer Strategy, named after the insightful blogger who coined the notion back in 2000. Steve Sailer’s essential idea, that the GOP needed to max out the white vote to keep winning national elections in the face of changing demographics, was rejected by most Republicans as smacking of racism.

[Read the full story here, at Observer]

It cannot be stated too many times that the GOP establishment repeatedly rejected Sailerism. Indeed, leading Republicans often seemed to run in the other direction from its commonsense logic. The facts are clear: that Mitt Romney failed to get many votes from working-class whites in the very places where Trump just attracted them in droves caused the GOP to lose the White House in 2012.
Read the rest of this entry »


Presidential Election 2016: A New Yorker Magazine Editor’s Tragedy

crying-baby

‘The electorate has, in its plurality, decided to live in Trump’s world of vanity, hate, arrogance, untruth, and recklessness’

newyorkertears

There are, inevitably, miseries to come: an increasingly reactionary Supreme Court; an emboldened right-wing Congress; a President whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact, to say nothing of simple decency, has been repeatedly demonstrated. Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted.

new_yorker_flyover_country_cover_1-15-16

[Read the entire, self-serving, vicious, inflated, bloated, painful, ridiculous, hysterical, ignorant, hateful rant here, at The New Yorker]

The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other. The most hopeful way to look at this grievous event—and it’s a stretch—is that this election and the years to follow will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve.

obama-cry

Early on Election Day, the polls held out cause for concern, but they provided sufficiently promising news for Democrats in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and even Florida that there was every reason to think about celebrating the fulfillment of Seneca Falls, the election of the first woman to the White House. Potential victories in states like Georgia disappeared, little more than a week ago, with the F.B.I. director’s heedless and damaging letter to Congress about reopening his investigation and the reappearance of damaging buzzwords like “e-mails,” “Anthony Weiner,” and “fifteen-year-old girl.” But the odds were still with Hillary Clinton.

132189-crying-baby

All along, Trump seemed like a twisted caricature of every rotten reflex of the radical right. That he has prevailed, that he has won this election, is a crushing blow to the spirit; it is an event that will likely cast the country into a period of economic, political, and social uncertainty that we cannot yet imagine. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: James Comey says ‘We have not changed our conclusions’ from July

fbi

Read more here….


[VIDEO] Dr K: Clinton Investigation ‘Revives Everything That Had Been Buried & Banished’ 

Asked about polling numbers that show major problems for Hillary Clinton’s trustworthiness, Charles Krauthammer argued that the renewed FBI investigation contributes to that, but that it probably will not be enough to swing the election.

That’s all a reflection of the Comey recount. I mean, this is all the aftereffects of that bomb. A lot — some of it is WikiLeaks, but I don’t think Wikileaks had a dramatic affect. There’s also the Obamacare rise in the premiums really affecting people with their wallets. It was the fact that the charge is now revived. She’s under investigation. Criminal investigation. Here she is. In the ads, Trump is saying she’s under criminal investigation.

On Capitol Hill, Directors James Comey of the F.B.I., John O. Brennan of the C.I.A. and James R. Clapper Jr. of national intelligence. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Capitol Hill, Directors James Comey of the F.B.I., John O. Brennan of the C.I.A. and James R. Clapper Jr. of national intelligence. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

That revives everything that had been buried and banished when he gave her this sort of semi-exoneration in July. That’s what we’re seeing. Look, all you have do is to say that if nationally — if everywhere he loses a point or two or three, which he certainly has and probably more, nationwide that shifts a whole bunch of states into different categories. That accounts for what we’re seeing. I suspect the effect of that is now attenuated. This is not a growing influence on the campaign. It’s probably spent so that unless there is another revelation, another shocking WikiLeak, it could stabilize it right where it is and we end up with your scenario, which is a Clinton squeaker.

Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: Hillary Clinton Staffers Knew Weiner Was Talking to Underage Girl Five Years Ago; Did Nothing

liberals-in-shock-590

John Podesta and Neera Tanden, another adviser, were forwarded news of an investigation into Weiner’s online contact with a 17-year-old Delaware high school student by Jennifer Palmieri, the current campaign communications director, in June 2011.

Hillary Clinton’s staffers knew as early as 2011 that Anthony Weiner had been messaging an underage girl, but they did nothing about it, according to WikiLeaks emailspublished Monday.

John Podesta – now chair of Clinton’s presidential campaign – and Neera Tanden, another adviser, were forwarded news of an investigation into Weiner’s online contact with a 17-year-old Delaware high school liberal-huhstudent by Jennifer Palmieri, the current campaign communications director, in June 2011.

“Back in April 2011, the then-teenager openly expressed her love for Weiner, who followed her on Twitter. Palmieri forwarded the news article to Podesta and Tanden with the comment, ‘Oof’.”

At the time he was married to Huma Abedin, another member of Clinton’s inner circle, who is now at the center of fresh FBI investigation into the handling of classified material while Clinton was in office.

The email detailed lurid claims of private messages to an underage girl being investigated by police – and was met with the response ‘oof’ by Podesta.

‘Police on Friday afternoon came to the home of a 17-year-old high school junior to ask her about direct online communications she has had with Rep. Anthony Weiner,’ email read, quoting a Fox News article from the same time.

‘Two officers from the New Castle County Police Department arrived at the girl’s home around 4:30 p.m. and asked to speak with the girl’s mother about the daughter’s contact with Weiner. Another officer appeared at the home a short time later.’

Palmieri forwarded the news article to Podesta and Tanden.

Six days later, on June 16, 2011, Weiner announced his resignation after accidentally tweeting a photo of himself in bulging briefs to all of his followers.

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton's current campaign communications director, forwarded news of  an investigation into Weiner's contacts with a 17-year-old Delaware girl to John Podesta and Neera Tanden (pictured left and center, respectively, with Clinton) in 2011

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s current campaign communications director, forwarded news of an investigation into Weiner’s contacts with a 17-year-old Delaware girl to John Podesta and Neera Tanden (pictured left and center, respectively, with Clinton) in 2011

Despite that Abedin stood by him.

Sources close to the 17-year-old at the time told Fox News that the girl and Weiner had direct-messaged each other on Twitter.

Back in April 2011, the then-teenager openly expressed her love for Weiner, who followed her on Twitter.Palmieri forwarded the news article to Podesta and Tanden with the comment, 'Oof'

Palmieri forwarded the news article to Podesta and Tanden with the comment, ‘Oof’

In her feed, she expressed her love of married men, according to Patterico.com.

At one point she said: ‘HE IS MINE ALL MINE HE LOVES ME AND NO ONE ELSE ILY ILY ILY!!!’ and added ‘@RepWeiner I’m in love with you’ two days later.

At the time Weiner admitted that he had contact with the girl, but denied sending inappropriate messages, according to Politico.

The FBI sensationally announced on Friday that it was investigating thousands of emails that might be related to the former secretary of state’s private server. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Trey Gowdy: Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail Scandal Erodes Trust in the FBI 

gowdy-getty

Paul Crookston writes:

…Gowdy laying out the ways in which all the grounds for prosecuting Clinton were there:

Intent is awfully hard to prove. Very rarely do defendants announce ahead of time, “I intend to commit this crime on this date, go ahead and check the code section — I’m going to do it.” That rarely happens. So you have to prove it by circumstantial evidence, such as whether or not the person intended to set up an e-mail system outside the State Department. Such as whether or not the person knew or should have known that his or her job involved handling classified information. Whether or not the person was truthful about the use of multiple devices.

I think you would agree with this, Director: False exculpatory statements are gold in a courtroom. I would rather have a false exculpatory statement than a confession. I would rather have someone lie about something — and it be provable that that is a lie — such as, that “I neither sent or received classified information.” Such as that “I turned over all my work-related e-mails.” All of that, to me, goes to the issue of intent.

[Read the full story here, at National Review]

For those who may have to prosecute these cases in the future — what would she have had to do to warrant your recommendation of a prosecution?

bill-clinton-hillary-clinton-getty-images

Comey defended his definition of intent, and added another protection against Clinton that the lack of previous prosecutions somehow absolves Clinton of violating the statute:

We’d have to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a general awareness of the unlawfulness of your conduct — you knew you were doing something you shouldn’t do. Obviously that is on the face of the statute itself. Then you need to consider who else has been prosecuted in what circumstances, because it is all about prosecutorial judgment. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Dr. Charles Krauthammer: FBI ‘Were Not Going to Indict the Democratic Candidate for the Presidency’ 

Impressed by the lack of a prosecution in the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal, Charles Krauthammer contended that the FBI had an understanding that they could not indict the Democratic nominee, and he also said that it is possible Obama will pardon all those remaining who were involved.

“It looks awful. Normally you give immunity so you can prosecute. You may lose the case but at least you prosecute. There’s not even a prosecution. The impression left is — and we probably will never know — it was understood. Not said, not written, not e-mailed, but it was understood: We were not going to indict the Democratic candidate for the presidency, and thus everything else followed.”

hillary-clinton-cheryl-mills.jpg

“And the close aides are getting immunity as well. It looks very suspicious. I credit Comey’s sincerity, but I don’t know what role he played.” 

JamesComey

“The one thing I would say is that if she wins I think it is possible that Obama will pardon the remaining high officials who are going to end up in office with her, as a way out of this, because otherwise this could pursue her and  pursue them into her presidency. Remember Watergate came after, long after reelection. There’s a fuse here that I think will remain lit otherwise.”

Source: The Corner


‘Comey’s Agents Were Forgiving About Some Incriminating Evidence’

blind-comey

The FBI’s Blind Clinton Trust.

The closer we look at the FBI’s investigative file on Hillary Clinton’s emails, the more we wonder if Director James Comey always intended to let her off the hook. The calculated release before the long Labor Day weekend suggests political favoritism, and the report shows the FBI didn’t pursue evidence of potential false statements, obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence.

“The notes also show the G-men never did grill Mrs. Clinton on her “intent” in setting up her server. Instead they bought her explanation that it was for personal convenience. This helped Mr. Comey avoid concluding that her purpose was to evade statutes like the Federal Records Act. Mr. Comey also told Congress that indicting her without criminal intent would pose a constitutional problem.”

Mr. Comey’s concessions start with his decision not to interview Mrs. Clinton until the end of his investigation, a mere three days before he announced his conclusions. Regular FBI practice is to get a subject on the record early then see if his story meshes with what agents find. In this case they accepted Mrs. Clinton’s I-don’t-recall defenses after the fact.

ClintonMills

“Ms. Mills has a particular reason for denying early knowledge of the server: She became Mrs. Clinton’s personal lawyer after they both left State. If Ms. Mills knew about the server while at State, she’d be subject to questions about the server. But if she didn’t know about the server until leaving State, she can argue that conversations with Mrs. Clinton are protected by attorney-client privilege. The FBI ignored all this, and it even allowed Ms. Mills to accompany Mrs. Clinton to her FBI interview as Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer.”

The notes also show the G-men never did grill Mrs. Clinton on her “intent” in setting up her server. Instead they bought her explanation that it was for personal convenience. This helped Mr. Comey avoid concluding that her purpose was to evade statutes like the Federal Records Act. Mr. Comey also told Congress that indicting her without criminal intent would pose a constitutional problem. But Congress has written many laws that don’t require criminal intent, and negligent homicide (for example) has never been unconstitutional.

fbi_getty

The FBI notes also blow past evidence that Clinton advisers may have engaged in a cover-up. Consider page 10 of the FBI report: “Clinton’s immediate aides, to include [Huma] Abedin, [Cheryl] Mills, Jacob Sullivan, and [redacted] told the FBI they were unaware of the existence of the private server until after Clinton’s tenure at State or when it became public knowledge.”

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

That’s amazing given that Ms. Abedin had her own email account on the private server. It is also contradicted by page 3: “At the recommendation of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s long-time aide and later Deputy Chief of Staff at State, in or around fall 2008, [ Bill Clinton aide Justin] Cooper contacted Bryan Pagliano . . . to build the new server system and to assist Cooper with the administration of the new server system.”

The FBI must also have ignored two emails referred to by the State Inspector General showing Ms. Mills and Ms. Abedin discussing the server while they worked at State: “hrc email coming back—is server okay?” Ms. Mills asked Ms. Abedin and Mr. Cooper in a Feb. 27, 2010 email. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Disgraced FBI Director James Comey Gets Defensive About Timing of Clinton Investigation Labor Day Document Dump 

baloney-fbi-laborday-friday

FBI Director James Comey is defending the bureau’s Friday afternoon release of documents from the Hillary Clinton email investigation, saying “we don’t play games” and that the documents were put out when ready.

…Comey said he briefly considered holding the documents until after the Labor Day holiday, knowing that the Friday afternoon release would likely prompt criticism. He also said more document releases are coming.

JamesComey

We don’t play games. So we released it Friday. We are continuing to process more material and will release batches of documents as they are ready, no matter the day of the week,” Comey said.

[Read Comey’s full memo]

He concluded the memo by writing, “Those suggesting that we are ‘political’ or part of some ‘fix’ either don’t know us, or they are full of baloney (and maybe some of both).

[Read the full text here, at CNNPolitics.com]

On Tuesday, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan criticized the FBI’s handling of the matter, accusing the bureau of playing politics with the release. Read the rest of this entry »


A Rotting Banana Republic 

bill-clinton-hillary-clinton-getty-images

Jed Babbin writes:

“…The defining characteristics of banana republics are a matter of history. First, the law is not enforced against a chosen class in a banana reps…blic, usually the allies of the autocrat in charge. Second, foreign policy is always performed in the autocrat’s interests and often in disregard of the nation’s actual interests. This describes how
America functions in the era of President Obama.

The newly-released FBI documents on the investigation of Hillary Clinton make it clear beyond argument that the fix was in and that the FBI never had any intention of recommending that she should be prosecuted for her crimes.

obama-oval-solo

That is very hard to write. I have had very good friends among the agents of the FBI, men of unshakeable dedication to the fair enforcement of the law. But that is no longer the FBI’s goal, as just a few references to the documents published last week reveal. Read the rest of this entry »


OH YES THEY DID: FBI Releases Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Documents

hillary-blackberry-narrow-horiz

The materials include what appears to be a summary of Clinton’s interview with agents.

Matt Zapotosky and Rosalind S. Helderman report: The FBI on Friday released a detailed report on its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, as well as what appears to be a summary of her interview with agents, providing the most thorough look yet at the probe that has dogged the campaign of the Democratic presidential nominee.

“The FBI’s investigation and forensic analysis did not find evidence confirming that Clinton’s e-mail accounts or mobile devices were compromised by cyber means. However, investigative limitations, including the FBI’s inability to obtain all mobile devices and various computer components associated with Clinton’s personal e-mail systems, prevented the FBI from conclusively determining whether the classified information transmitted and stored on Clinton’s personal server systems was compromised via cyber intrusion or other means.”

The documents, which total 58 pages, do not seem to provide any major revelations about Clinton’s actions — though they paint her and her staff as either unaware of or unconcerned with State Department policies on email use. The materials also show that the FBI was unable to track down all of Clinton’s devices, including phones, it sought, and that made it impossible for agents to definitively answer every question they had, including whether Clinton’s emails were hacked.

wphill

“The FBI’s investigation and forensic analysis did not find evidence confirming that Clinton’s e-mail accounts or mobile devices were compromised by cyber means,” the author of the report wrote. “However, investigative limitations, including the FBI’s 12-hillary-clinton-email.w245.h368inability to obtain all mobile devices and various computer components associated with Clinton’s personal e-mail systems, prevented the FBI from conclusively determining whether the classified information transmitted and stored on Clinton’s personal server systems was compromised via cyber intrusion or other means.”

[Read the full story here, at The Washington Post]

FBI Director James B. Comey announced in July that his agency would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton for her use of a private email server. Comey said that Clinton and her staffers were “extremely careless” in how they treated classified information, but investigators did not find they intended to mishandle such material. Nor did investigators uncover exacerbating factors — such as efforts to obstruct justice — that often lead to charges in similar cases, Comey said.

The FBI turned over to several congressional committees documents related to the probe and required that they be viewed only by those with appropriate security clearances, even though not all of the material was classified, legislators and their staffers have said.

Those documents included an investigative report and summaries of interviews with more than a dozen senior Clinton staffers, other State Department officials, former secretary of state Colin Powell and at least one other person. The documents released Friday represent but a fraction of those.

HILLARY-CARELESS

A summary prepared by FBI agents of their hours-long interview with Clinton in July shows that Clinton’s account to law enforcement was generally consistent with what she has said about her email situation publicly, though she repeatedly told agents she could not recall important details or specific emails she was questioned about.

She told the agents that she began using the private server as a matter of convenience and denied the set-up was intended to help evade public records laws. She indicated she never sought nor received permission to use a private server and said she largely turned over the set-up of the system to aides. Read the rest of this entry »