Thursday, July 20, 2017

Comey

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Wait, what does that spell?

On Wednesday, during a discussion at the Code Conference, Hillary Clinton, the former presidential candidate, dismissed the investigation of her private email server as being insignificant.

“The use of my email account was turned into, you know, the biggest scandal since Lord knows when,” Clinton said when the topic of “weaponizing” technology came up in the conversation. “And, you know … I’m just using everything that anybody else said about it besides me to basically say this was the biggest nothing-burger ever.”

Clinton continued, “It was a mistake. I’ve said it was a mistake. And obviously, if I could turn the clock back, I wouldn’t have done it in the first place. But the way that it was used was very damaging.”

The executive producer of the conference, Kara Swisher, from Recode, then asked Clinton, “And you didn’t handle it — that’s a mistake on your part, or the way it was used was a mistake on your — because we’re trying to get at what you think you misjudged?”

Clinton replied, reiterating her previous stance that she wasn’t careless and didn’t break any rules.

“Doing something that others had done before was no longer acceptable in the new environment in which we found ourselves,” Clinton explained to Swisher. “And there was no law against it; there was no rule — nothing of that sort. So, I didn’t break any rule. Nobody said, don’t do this — and I was very responsible and not at all careless.”

Later during the discussion, Clinton went on to compare the coverage her email scandal received to the US’ role in the World War 2 and how Pearl Harbor was covered by the media.

“And I think it was interesting — I know you had Dean Baquet here from The New York Times yesterday. And they covered it like it was Pearl Harbor,” Clinton said. “And then, in their endorsement of me, they said, this email thing — it’s like a help desk issue. So, it was always a hard issue to put to bed; but we put it to bed in July. And then, it rose up again.”

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What's wrong with this picture?

Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz (Utah), chairman of the US House Oversight Committee, claimed on Sunday, that he has planned a private talk with James Comey, former FBI Director. According to Chaffetz, he plans on discussing several issues with Comey, including the recent claim made by one of Comey’s associates to the New York Times, that President Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Chaffetz spoke about his plans on ABC’s “This Week,” with George Stephanopoulos.

“It’s important to remember nobody’s actually seen these documents,” Chaffetz said on “This Week” in reference to the notes Comey reportedly kept of his conversations with Trump. “There’s been an awful lot written and said about it, but I don’t even know that the Department of Justice has them. Maybe Director Comey has them. I don’t know where they reside. I don’t know if there are documents. But we’re certainly pursuing them.”

Comey, who was recently dismissed by Trump, has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the committee’s chairman, Comey’s testimony will be heard after Memorial Day.

Since Comey’s dismissal on May 09, the Trump administration has faced a barrage of criticism and never-ending questions regarding the decision and whether it was made in any relation to slow down or completely halt the FBI’s investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

As of now, absolutely no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and any Russian operatives has been found. However, numerous scandals related to the decision have now surfaced; the most recent one being a claim by the New York Times on Friday, which suggested that Trump told Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister and Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the US, that Comey is crazy, a real nut job.” Trump also reportedly told both the Russians that firing Comey had “taken off” “great pressure.”

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No comment.

The White House has been rather quiet, ever since news surfaced that FBI Director James Comey has a paper trail of his conversations with President Trump. The President has also limited his activity on Twitter and went a full day without using his Twitter account to comment on any of the news memos that accuse him to trying to put an end to Comey’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Sean Spicer has reported to the media that President Trump is very eager to “get to the bottom” of the controversy surrounding his communications with Comey which has taken a toll on everyone present in the White House. “The president is confident in the events he’s maintained and that he wants the truth and these investigations to get to the bottom of this situation,” Spicer told.

Although, President Trump has not directly commented on his talks with Comey, “Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media,” he said during a commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. “No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

During a brief seven-minute session with the media, Spicer was dodging questions and refusing to answer any direct questions about whether the president wishes to see Comey testify before the Congress, or whether he intends upon waiving the executive privilege to allow both men to freely narrate their version of the events.

A comparison was made to the Watergate scandal that took down President Richard Nixon. However, he continued to refrain from making any comments.

One former campaign manager commented on the White House’s efforts to give the media some breathing space instead of giving them something that could later result in legal trouble. “You don’t want to put someone out there if there is a risk they’ll extend the news cycle,” the source said. “You expose yourself to a lot of unknowns and give the media more to cover when, in the end, they’re going to knife you anyway.”

The White House found themselves in a much similar situation after Trump’s surprising firing of Comey last week and then reports surfacing that Trump had leaked highly classified information in his meeting with Russian diplomats.

Each time the White House carefully crafts its explanations, Trump does more damage to them hours later in either television interviews or his posts on Twitter.

“Clearly they feel besieged and they have a right to, the enemy is in the building,” said Barry Bennett, a former transition adviser.

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law enforcement

There was a point in time when federal law enforcement was the standard-bearer for policing. Agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, and the Secret Service were the gold standard for professionalism and integrity that state and local agencies looked up to. This was the case when I worked closely with federal law enforcement during my tenure as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia from 1986 to 1990. But, things have changed.

More often than not, in recent years, federal law enforcement agencies find themselves in the news not for breaking a massive, complex investigation; but defending the misdeeds of its agents or the mistakes of its leaders. Add to this the massive growth in federal criminal laws, and the inevitable bureaucracies such growth spurs, and you have a recipe for disaster.

This current decline of federal law enforcement can be traced back to at least the Clinton Administration, when the politicization of the Department of Justice reached a level not seen since the Administration of Richard Nixon.

The 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), but ultimately involving federal agencies from the FBI to the Department of Defense, was a colossal and tragic screw up resulting in the deaths of four agents and more than six dozen civilians (including many children). Yet, despite the Attorney General nominally taking the “blame” for the mess, not a single federal employee was disciplined in the aftermath. “Accountability” was just a fig leaf.

The Clinton Justice Department found itself at the center of one political firestorm after another – from the bungled investigation surrounding illegal contributions to the campaign of then-Vice President Al Gore, to the almost-comically mishandled seizure and deportation to Cuba of youngster Elian Gonzalez.

Unfortunately, things were little improved at the Justice Department during the subsequent Administration of George W. Bush. The open political pressure brought to bear on a number of U.S. Attorneys during the Bush Administration cast a pall over this group of non-partisan prosecutors. The perception of the Department as the pinnacle of respect for constitutional rights, was further diminished when Bush’s Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez testified before Congress that the “great writ of habeas corpus” was not a constitutionally-guaranteed right.

Matters would sink even lower under the Executive leadership of Barack Obama.

Symptomatic of a “Bureaucracy Gone Wild,” one of the first scandals of the Obama Administration was the ATF’s “Fast and Furious” operation, in which Department of Justice officials approved the intentional sale of firearms to known gun traffickers, then lost track of those weapons. Rather than admit its fault and hold those responsible accountable, the Department ducked and dodged all attempts by congressional investigators to find out what went wrong; continuing a tradition begun nearly two decades earlier.

Most recently, we are witnessing the impact of inept leadership at the FBI under Director James Comey. Rather than handling the twin investigations of possible “pay-to-play” allegations between the Clinton Foundation and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the improper use of e-mail accounts, as the Justice Department and the FBI historically conducted themselves – by not commenting on or allowing themselves to be drawn into divulging details of ongoing investigations – this FBI Director appears to have gone out of his way to comment and characterize ongoing investigations. In so doing, he has undercut the credibility of his agency that had been its stock-in-trade for decades.

Add to Comey’s bungled leadership the highly improper meeting between former President Bill Clinton and current Attorney General Loretta Lynch smack-dab in the middle of the FBI’s investigations, and there is little wonder why citizen respect for the government is at an all-time low.

The moral and professional failures of law enforcement officials have not been limited to the ATF, the FBI and the Office of the Attorney General. Even the Secret Service, one of the most respected of federal law enforcement agencies, has seen its stock plummet as its ranks fell victim to scandals from hookers in Colombia to drunk driving at home. Making matters worse for the Secret Service, when a high-ranking member of the House of Representatives – Jason Chaffetz – sought to investigate some of the problems plaguing the Service, it resorted to leaking potentially embarrassing information about the Congressman.

While Hollywood continues to churn out popular law enforcement programs extolling the exploits of the men and women who serve in those agencies, our next real-life president will have a much harder job rebuilding the tarnished reputation and less-than-stellar leadership of our country’s federal law enforcement system. But it is a task that truly ought to be high on the new President’s To Do List.

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fbi

The wife of the deputy director of the FBI who oversaw the Clinton email investigation was given a lot of money from this Clinton ally.

Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia Governor, is in some hot water again for helping the Clintons.

First he made it so felons could vote in the presidential election, potentially giving Hillary thousands of new voters.

Now McAuliffe is in trouble for giving the wife of the deputy director of the FBI $675,000 for her senate campaign.

Dr. Jill McCabe is the wife of the FBI deputy director, and a third of her campaign funds came from McAuliffe’s own personal Super PAC and from the Virginia Democratic Party.

McAuliffe gave $467,500 to McCabe’s campaign and the Virginia Democratic Party, which is heavily influenced by McAuliffe, gave an additional $207,788 in support.

McAuliffe said he gave because he thought McCabe would be a good state senator. Despite losing the election to Republican Dick Black, her husband still had his job to do.

Mr. McCabe became the deputy director of the FBI and was put in charge of Hillary’s email scandal.

McCabe was involved in the investigation that did not recommend criminal charges to the DOJ for Hillary’s “reckless” attention to classified information.

McCabe’s wife isn’t the only one to see a bunch of money come from the Clintons; James Comey’s brother is paid by the Clinton Foundation to audit their books.

There is no smoking gun right now proving that the FBI did something wrong, but there is a lot of money surrounding the top investigators. At the very least it seems to be a blatant case of conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest happen a lot around the Clintons.

Do you think the money was a pay off? Let us know in the comments below.

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