Felonies Were Committed, What Happens Next?

The Hill posted an article yesterday about Ex-FBI Director James Comey’s original statement closing out the probe into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server.

The article reports:

…(the statement) was edited by subordinates to remove five separate references to terms like “grossly negligent” and to delete mention of evidence supporting felony and misdemeanor violations, according to copies of the full document.

…The full draft, with edits, leaves little doubt that Comey originally wrote on May 2, 2016 that there was evidence that Clinton and top aides may have violated both felony and misdemeanor statutes, though he did not believe he could prove intent before a jury.

“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statute proscribing gross negligence in the handling of classified information and of the statute proscribing misdemeanor mishandling, my judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” Comey originally penned.

That passage, however, was edited to remove the references to “gross negligence” and “misdemeanor mishandling,” leaving a much more generic reference to “potential violations of the statutes.”

The FBI has told Congress the edits were made by subordinates to Comey and then accepted by the then-director before he made his final announcement July 5, 2016 that he would not pursue criminal charges against Clinton.

This is disturbing.

The article further notes:

“The edits to Director Comey’s public statement, made months prior to the conclusion of the FBI’s investigation of Secretary Clinton’s conduct, had a significant impact on the FBI’s public evaluation of the implications of her actions,” Johnson (Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wrote, noting recently released text messages show some senior FBI officials involved in the case harbored political hatred for Trump or preference for Clinton.

“This effort, seen in light of the personal animus toward then-candidate Trump by senior agents leading the Clinton investigation and their apparent desire to create an ‘insurance policy’ against Mr. Trump’s election, raise profound questions about the FBI’s role and possible interference in the 2016 presidential election,” Johnson wrote.

One edit that concerned Johnson was a decision to delete from Comey’s original draft a reference to the FBI working on a joint assessment with the intelligence community about possible national security damage from the classified information that passed through Clinton’s nonsecure email servers.

“We have done extensive work with the assistance of our colleagues elsewhere in the Intelligence Community to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the private email operation,” Comey originally wrote.

The reference to the rest of the intelligence community was edited out, the memos show.

One of the main problems with this nonsecure server is the impact it may have had on the national security of the country. It is widely believed that Hillary Clinton’s private server was easily hacked by unfriendly intelligence services. That is a threat to national security. That is the true problem with the server, other than the question of what was being hidden by the destruction of evidence and the use of a private server.

As I have previously stated, I do not want to see Hillary Clinton go to jail, although I do remember that Charles Colson went to jail after Watergate. Mr. Colson’s time in jail actually had a very positive impact on his life–it changed him from a self-centered, ruthless politician to a man who genuinely cared for the well being of other people. Hmmm.

This Really Does Not Sound Safe

On Thursday, Fox News reported some changes President Obama made to the Visa Waiver Program.

The article reports:

The Obama administration on Thursday eased visa rules for certain European travelers who have visited terror hotspots in the Middle East and Africa, triggering a backlash from congressional lawmakers who sought the restrictions for security reasons. 

Moments after the announcement, two key Republicans declared the administration is “blatantly breaking the law” – a law that President Obama signed – by implementing the changes.

“This is not a difference of opinion over statutory interpretation, it is a clear contradiction of the law and the agreement we reached with the White House,” House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., author of the bill, said in a statement. 

The revised requirements announced Thursday pertain to changes passed by Congress in the Visa Waiver Program.

Lawmakers had sought new restrictions to tighten up the program – which allows visa-free travel for residents of eligible countries — in order to prevent Europeans who have joined ISIS from entering the United States. Under the newly passed Visa Waiver Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Sudan as well as other travelers who have visited those countries since Mar. 1, 2011 now must apply for a visa in order to travel to the U.S.

So what is this about? The article explains:

The new restrictions had previously been criticized by the Iranian government which suggested the U.S. might be violating the nuclear deal by penalizing legitimate business travel to the country. 

At some point, the executive branch of our government needs to realize that one of the major supporters and sponsors of terrorism is Iran. To allow people who have visited Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan visa-free travel to America is simply not smart. If this policy stands, we will see increased incidents of terrorism in America. This is not about business travel.

If The People Negotiating Are Not Being Honest With Americans, Who Can We Trust?

CNS News posted a story today about claims made by the Obama Administration about the interim agreement with Iran. During the State of the Union Address, the President stated, we have “halted the progress of its nuclear program.” President Obama repeated the claim in his National Security Strategy Report issued on Friday. I would love for that statement to be true, but it seems that I am not the only one with doubts.

The article reports:

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column examined Obama’s SOTU claim, and determined that it earned him “three Pinocchios.” (On a scale of one to four Pinocchios, three are handed out for statements deemed to entail “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”)

Obama claimed that progress in Iran’s program had been “halted” as a result of the JPOA. But Post columnist Glenn Kessler, citing non-proliferation experts, said that the amount of nuclear material in Iran’s possession that could eventually be converted for bomb-making had in fact continued to increase over the 2013-2014 period.

It gets worse.

The article reports:

Instead of his SOTU address claim that “we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material,” Kessler concluded that Obama could have said, “We’ve slowed the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of the most dangerous nuclear material.”

“But instead he choose to make sweeping claims for which there is little basis. Thus he earns Three Pinocchios.”

Hours after the White House released the NSS on Friday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice repeated the claim in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

A little honesty would be nice.