The inspector general report is careful in its conclusions, but damning on the facts.
That won’t be the message from Democrats and most of the press, who will focus on a few episodes they will claim cost Hillary Clinton an election. Watch for them to blame former FBI Director James Comey, whom the report faults for “a serious error of judgment,” for having “concealed information” from superiors, and for “violation of or disregard for” departmental and bureau policies.
True, the report is damning about the man who lectures Americans on “higher loyalty.” It describes how an “insubordinate” Mr. Comey was, as early as April 2016, considering how to cut his Justice Department bosses from a public statement exonerating Hillary Clinton. He hid this scheme for fear “they would instruct him not to do it”—and therefore was able to “avoid supervision.” He then “violated long-standing Department practice and protocol” by using his July 5 press conference for “criticizing Clinton’s uncharged conduct.” In October, he made public that the FBI had reopened the investigation, even though the Justice Department recommended he not do so. Mr. Comey went rogue, and President Trump had plenty of justification in firing him in May 2017.
Yet it is the report’s findings on the wider culture of the FBI and Justice Department that are most alarming. The report depicts agencies that operate outside the rules to which they hold everybody else, and that showed extraordinary bias while investigating two presidential candidates.
There’s Loretta Lynch, who felt it perfectly fine to have a long catch-up with her friend Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac and whom the inspector general slams for an “error in judgment.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Washington Post is reporting that Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election has now expanded to look into whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice. What is most notable is not the investigation of obstruction of justice. Rather it is the fact of the leak that is alarming. Former FBI Director James Comey (who followed Mueller at the Bureau and has had a long relationship with Mueller) just admitted to leaking damaging information against Trump. Comey, who was tasked with investigating leakers, became a leaker himself. Now, the Special Counsel’s office is accused by Trump’s counsel of leaking informing damaging to Trump — an office that could be asked to consider unauthorized leaks as part of its investigation. While such leaks could come from witnesses, those witnesses appear in large part high-ranking members of the Trump administration.
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[ALSO SEE – The Big Collusion Narrative Keeps Melting Down]
[VIDEO] Project Veritas: Part I: Undercover Investigation Exposes Groups Plotting Criminal Activity at Trump InaugurationPosted: January 16, 2017
This post will unpack the leak from the CIA published in the WaPo tonight.
emptywheel writes: Before I start with the substance of the story, consider this background. First, if Trump comes into office on the current trajectory, the US will let Russia help Bashar al-Assad stay in power, thwarting a 4-year effort on the part of the Saudis to remove him from power. It will also restructure the hierarchy of horrible human rights abusing allies the US has, with the Saudis losing out to other human rights abusers, potentially up to and including that other petrostate, Russia. It will also install a ton of people with ties to the US oil industry in the cabinet, meaning the US will effectively subsidize oil production in this country, which will have the perhaps inadvertent result of ensuring the US remains oil-independent even though the market can’t justify fracking right now.
The CIA is institutionally quite close with the Saudis right now, and has been in charge of their covert war against Assad.
This story came 24 days after the White House released an anonymous statement asserting, among other things, “the Federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day,” suggesting that the Russians may have been deterred.
This story was leaked within hours of the time the White House announced it was calling for an all-intelligence community review of the Russia intelligence, offered without much detail. Indeed, this story was leaked and published as an update to that story.
Which is to say, the CIA and/or people in Congress (this story seems primarily to come from Democratic Senators) leaked this, apparently in response to President Obama’s not terribly urgent call to have all intelligence agencies weigh in on the subject of Russian influence, after weeks of Democrats pressuring him to release more information. It was designed to both make the White House-ordered review more urgent and influence the outcome.
So here’s what that story says.
In September, the spooks briefed “congressional leaders” (which for a variety of reasons I wildarseguess is either a Gang of Four briefing including Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid or a briefing to SSCI plus McConnell, Reid, Jack Reed, and John McCain). Apparently, the substance of the briefing was that Russia’s intent in hacking Democratic entities was not to increase distrust of institutions, but instead to elect Trump.
The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
The difference between this story and other public assessments is that it seems to identify the people — who sound like people with ties to the Russian government but not necessarily part of it — who funneled documents from Russia’s GRU to Wikileaks.
Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.
[I]ntelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said. Those actors, according to the official, were “one step” removed from the Russian government, rather than government employees.
This is the part that has always been missing in the past: how the documents got from GRU, which hacked the DNC and John Podesta, to Wikileaks, which released them. It appears that CIA now thinks they know the answer: some people one step removed from the Russian government, funneling the documents from GRU hackers (presumably) to Wikileaks to be leaked, with the intent of electing Trump.
Not everyone buys this story. Mitch McConnell doesn’t buy the intelligence. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] REWIND: Unprecedented? Clinton/Gore ’92 Seized On Law Enforcement Revelation 4 Days Before ElectionPosted: October 30, 2016
[VIDEO] ‘You Are Hereby Served’: Representative Jason Chaffetz Grills Panel on Hillary’s Classified Emails, September 12, 2016Posted: September 13, 2016
Cortney O’Brien reports: “Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the U.S. that is anywhere near as law-abiding” as concealed carry permit holders. So concluded the Crime Prevention Research Center following its new report, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States 2016.”
“With about 685,464 full-time police officers in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, we find that there were about 103 crimes per hundred thousand officers. For the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher—3,813 per hundred thousand people.”
The center studied the rate of criminal offenses among concealed carry holders in Florida and Texas when coming to its conclusion.
The findings speak for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
OH YES SHE DID: Teacher ‘Baby Boo’ Sara Domres Admits to Sex with 16-Year-Old, Sent Him Selfies During Her HoneymoonPosted: August 5, 2016
WAUKESHA COUNTY, Wis. – A former high school teacher has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a student while working at New Berlin West High School in Wisconsin.
“Investigators found evidence on Domres’ phone of the two referring to each other as ‘baby boo.”
Sara Domres, 28, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of sexual assault of a student by school staff, both felony charges. She will be sentenced on September 30.
According to court documents, the relationship between Domres and the 16-year-old male student began during the 2014-2015 school year. A criminal complaint states that the victim was in an English class taught by Domres, and the two “became friends and began to text each other a lot.”
“On the same day that her husband had his bachelor party during the 2015-2016 school year, Domres had sex with the boy at the Motel 6.”
Investigators found evidence on Domres’ phone of the two referring to each other as “baby boo.” Texts read, “I love you!” and, “You’re extremely attractive to me!!!”
“The two also allegedly had sex at the Park and Ride on Moorland Road in New Berlin in July 2015.”
On the same day that her husband had his bachelor party during the 2015-2016 school year, Domres had sex with the boy at the Motel 6 off of Bluemound Road in the Town of Brookfield, according to court documents.
The two also allegedly had sex at the Park and Ride on Moorland Road in New Berlin in July 2015.
Investigators were able to confirm the victim’s phone had been connected to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, and Domres “paid cash” for the room. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Clinton Refuses to Say Whether or Not She Wiped the Server: ‘That’s for the Investigators to Find Out’Posted: August 18, 2015
Police in Beverly Hills were investigating a possible murder-suicide on Wednesday night after a man and woman were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds.
Officers received a call around 4:24 p.m. from a residence in the 300 block of S. Elm Drive, according to Lt. Lincoln Hoshino with the Beverly Hills Police Department.
When they arrived, officers discovered the bodies of a man and a woman, Hoshino said.
Both victims had been shot.
No other information had been released.
No Charges for Detroit Cop who Snatched Phone from Reporter, Stole SIM Card, so it Could “Not be Used as a Weapon”Posted: August 26, 2013
By Carlos Miller
The Detroit cop who snatched a reporter’s smartphone so it could “not be used as a weapon” as she video recorded an arrest last month, returning it to her without a SIM card after a six-hour detainment, will not be criminally charged.
But the Detroit Police Department assures us it is conducting its own investigation.
However, it’s been more than a month and all it takes is 35 seconds in the video to see Lamar Penn clearly violated her Constitutional rights.
So we can pretty much expect him to be promoted soon.