Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant

Today Representative Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, released 370 pages of Lisa Page’s testimony to a joint congressional task force investigating potential bias in the Justice Department.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today revealing some of the details of the testimony.

One of the items in the testimony was the decision not to charge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with mishandling classified information. The article reports:

Page said Comey and the FBI spoke with DOJ about a gross negligence charge for Clinton multiple times, but that the DOJ consistently pushed back on it. “We had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge. And that’s, as I said, the advice that we got from the Department was that they did not think — that it was constitutionally vague and not sustainable,” she said.

Ratcliffe asked if the decision not to charge Clinton with gross negligence was a direct order from the DOJ. “When you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: ‘You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to,’” he said.

Page responded: “That’s correct.”

Page is the former FBI lawyer who reportedly carried out an affair with FBI agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigator in the Clinton investigation. The thousands of text messages that they sent back and forth about the Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations raised questions of bias, and Mueller eventually removed Strzok from the special counsel investigation. Strzok was also fired by the FBI.

Page’s testimony raises further questions related to the decision not to charge Clinton with any crimes, including gross negligence, following a lengthy FBI investigation into her email practices that potentially put classified information at risk. After the revelation that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac in June 2016, while Hillary Clinton was running for president, Lynch refused to recuse herself from the case while also saying she would accept Comey’s decision on what charges to bring against Clinton. But Page’s testimony indicates that DOJ had shut the door on gross negligence.

The decision on to charge Secretary Clinton was a glaring example of unequal justice. Some of our military have spent time in jail for far less serious offenses. There is also the matter of destroying evidence and deleting subpoenaed documents.

As more testimonies are made public, I wonder if it will change the public perception of the abuses of power that were going on in the final days of the Obama administration.

The Tactics Are Definitely Over The Top

The internet is buzzing today with the arrest of Roger Stone, someone who evidently had contacts with the Trump campaign at various points. Nothing he did in that context was illegal, but it seems that when questioned by Congress he did not tell the entire truth. Funny, other people who have recently lied to Congress are still walking around free.

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Roger Stone’s arrest.

The article reports:

FBI agents arrested longtime Trump associate Roger Stone in a paramilitary-style raid at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., early Friday morning. A CNN producer on the scene said the arrest involved “heavy weaponry.” Stone was taken into custody without incident.

The arrest followed action by a grand jury in Washington, D.C., under Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller. On Thursday, the grand jury indicted Stone on seven counts of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstructing a congressional investigation.

Roger Stone is 66 years old. The paramilitary-style raid was an abuse of power and was dangerous. It was also a waste of money. I have no doubt they could have simply waited until after breakfast, knocked on the man’s door, and taken him into custody. This is another example of the over-the-top tactics used by Robert Mueller.

The article goes on to explain what Roger Stone is charged with. Basically it is process crimes connected to the Special Counsel’s witch hunt. I suspect his real crime was supporting President Trump.

The article continues:

All the counts stem from Stone’s Sept. 26, 2017, interview with the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russia’s attempt to influence the 2016 election and the response by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Stone is not charged with lying to or attempting to obstruct the Mueller investigation.

The special counsel’s charges involve Stone’s House testimony about WikiLeaks and its release of hacked material from the Democratic National Committee and, later, from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta during the 2016 campaign. The indictment does not say Stone communicated with Wikileaks head Julian Assange. Rather, it says Stone lied about his attempts to learn Assange’s intentions through two intermediaries: journalist and provocateur Jerome Corsi and radio host Randy Credico.

Meanwhile, crimes involving lying to a FISA court go unpunished, misuse of government agencies to spy on Americans goes unnoticed, and destruction of evidence that was subpoenaed goes unpunished.

Unless the new Attorney General is sworn in quickly and deals with the unequal justice currently being practiced in America, we will have become a banana republic.

Is This Even Legal?

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He has refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee and will not turn over the subpoenaed documents to the Committee.

The article reports:

According to multiple reports, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein has given a verbal resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly following an explosive NYT report he wanted to wear a wire and oust Trump from office.

Last week, Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), who previously filed articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, called for the Deputy Attorney General to appear before Congress under oath this week.

But today Rosenstein notified Congress he will not turn over the subpoenaed memos and will not appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday that included the following paragraphs:

Exposing the FBI/DOJ dirty deeds is a major priority for a contingent within congress and a multitude of Trump supporters – but for the office of the President, in the immediate future, not-so-much.

When you have this much leverage on someone, you don’t want them to quit. You want to use their damaged and tenuous position to your advantage. President Trump is in no hurry to fire Rosenstein (not yet), because the DAG is so weak and President Trump holds all the leverage in the relationship.

Rod Rosenstein knows what he did wrong; and President Trump knows what Rosenstein did wrong. Though it could change based on new discoveries of how far the DAG went along within the soft-coup process, President Trump isn’t likely to let Rosenstein go until everyone else knows what Rosenstein did wrong.

My question amid all of this palace intrigue is, “Does Congress have legal recourse to get the documents they want and to force Rosenstein to appear?” Can the Democrats run out the clock in the hopes of taking control of Congress?  If they are successful in doing that, we can expect more corruption and politicization of these agencies in the future. We can expect Republicans and conservatives to be under constant surveillance and attack. I don’t think that is what American voters want. Stay tuned, this is going to get interesting.

 

The Next Step

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the upcoming testimony of FBI agent Strzok before Congress.

The article reports:

The House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Bob Goodlatte, has issued a subpoena for FBI Agent Peter Strzok to appear for testimony on Wednesday, June 27 at 10:00am.

However, a June 17th article at The Conservative Treehouse points out:

However, don’t get too excited…. remember, Peter Strzok is the primary witness in both the Trump-Russia investigation (ongoing Mueller probe), and the more recent OIG FISA Abuse/Campaign Spying investigation initiated by Michael Horowitz.

As such, dontchaknow, Mr Peter Strzok would have to politely refuse to answer questions about “ongoing investigations”, and could only testify issues specifically related to the Clinton-email probe which was the subject of the most recent IG report release.

And the administrative state, both inside government and outside government, have had over a year to assist Mr. Strzok in the coordination of his narrative and talking points.

We need to remember what the game is here. Donald Trump was not supposed to be elected, and all of the wrongdoing by the FBI and DOJ during the campaign and transistion of power was supposed to be buried by the Hillary Clinton administration. Since that did not happen, the new playbook is to stall the investigation until either the public gets so bored with it that no one is paying attention or until the Democrats can take over Congress and bury the investigation. Those are the primary goals right now. If the Democrats can take over Congress, they can impeach President Trump for whatever reason and make sure all records of FBI and DOJ activities in the 2016 election campaign and transition team are buried. At that point, we will no longer be a representative republic–we will be a banana republic.

If All Of These People Are Innocent, Why Are They Refusing To Testify?

Yesterday, John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line about the Senate hearings and investigations resulting from the Inspector General’s Report.

The article reports:

Former FBI director James Comey is under investigation for mishandling classified information, DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz revealed Monday.

He is specifically under investigation for his handling of memos he wrote about interactions with President Trump while FBI director.
***
“Question number one, Mr. Horowitz, are you investigating the handling of his memo and does that include the classification issues, and should Mr. Comey expect a report when it’s complete?” Grassley asked.

“We received a referral on that from the FBI. We are handling that referral and we will issue a report when the matter is complete, consistent with the law and rules that are — a report that’s consistent and takes those into account,” Horowitz responded.

This is a public acknowledgement given by the Inspector General that James Comey mishandled classified information. It will be interesting to see whether Mr. Comey is held to the same legal standard that any other American would be held to.

The article also notes in an update:

More news from today’s Judiciary Committee hearing. James Comey declined to appear to testify, and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, asserted his privilege against self-incrimination in refusing to testify. Loretta Lynch also refused to appear before the committee.

Senator Grassley said that he wanted to issue subpoenas to compel the testimony of these three witnesses, but was blocked from doing so, under Senate rules, by ranking member Dianne Feinstein. The Democrats are furiously sticking their fingers into holes in their dyke.

Sometimes when you pull a thread on a sweater, the entire sweater unravels. One can only hope that is what is happening here. I think it is very telling that the Democrats prevented the issuing of subpoenas which would have forced the testimony of James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Loretta Lynch. Once someone in authority begins to pull the right thread, we will find out exactly how corrupt the FBI and the DOJ have become in recent years.

How In The World Do We Fix This?

I am one disappointed granny right now. At one point in my working career I held a security clearance. I am married to someone who at various points in his career held a security clearance. The rules were explained to us. We were expected to follow them. Excuses for not following the rules were not acceptable. So why isn’t Hillary Clinton at least charged with one of the crimes she is guilty of? Could anyone else destroy subpoenaed evidence and still be walking around? Did anyone in the Obama administration have any respect for classified documents and government archives?

Here is one excerpt from the Inspector General’s (IG) Report (from page xii):

As we also describe in Chapter Twelve, we learned during the course of our review that Comey, Strzok, and Page used their personal email accounts to conduct FBI business.

We identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account to conduct unclassified FBI business. We found that, given the absence of exigent circumstances and the frequency with which the use of personal email occurred, Comey’s use of a personal email account for unclassified FBI business to be inconsistent with Department policy.

We found that Strzok used his personal email accounts for official government business on several occasions, including forwarding an email from his FBI account to his personal email account about the proposed search warrant the Midyear team was seeking on the Weiner laptop. This email included a draft of the search warrant affidavit, which contained information from the Weiner investigation that appears to have been under seal at the time in the Southern District of New York and information obtained pursuant to a grand jury subpoena issued in the Eastern District of Virginia in the Midyear investigation. We refer to the FBI the issue of whether Strzok’s use of personal email accounts violated FBI and Department policies.

The law requires the use of government email accounts in order for records to be archived. It seems as if a number of people in the Obama administration chose not to comply with that law.

The IG Report also sheds some light on the leaking from the FBI:

We identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters. Attached to this report as Attachments E and F are two link charts that reflect the volume of communications that we identified between FBI employees and media representatives in April/May and October 2016. We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review.

In addition, we identified instances where FBI employees improperly received benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events. We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy.

The harm caused by leaks, fear of potential leaks, and a culture of unauthorized media contacts is illustrated in Chapters Ten and Eleven of our report, where we detail the fact that these issues influenced FBI officials who were advising Comey on consequential investigative decisions in October 2016. The FBI updated its media policy in November 2017, restating its strict guidelines concerning media contacts, and identifying who is required to obtain authority before engaging members of the media, and when and where to report media contact. We do not believe the problem is with the FBI’s policy, which we found to be clear and unambiguous. Rather, we concluded that these leaks highlight the need to change what appears to be a cultural attitude among many in the organization.

It is obvious from the text messages in the IG Report that the political culture of the FBI was very biased toward Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump. Does anyone believe that anything was leaked to the press that would have hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign and helped the Trump campaign?

The disclosures in the IG Report are a disgrace, and yet the report does not really go far enough.

On Page xi, the IG Report states:

We were deeply troubled by text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations. Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review. Nonetheless, when one senior FBI official, Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, Page, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it” in response to her question “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”, it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

So what are you going to do about it? In an interview last night Devin Nunes pointed out that the IG Report was the first time he had seen the above text message. Why was this message not included with documents requested by the House Committee?

As I said, I am one discouraged granny. I want to believe that all Americans receive equal justice under the law, but looking at the IG Report and the people who are not currently facing jail time, I really wonder.

This Really Isn’t A Surprise

One of the things that pundits who understand the politicization of the FBI and DOJ during the Obama administration have stated is that the corruption in the upper levels has not spread to the lower levels of the FBI. That is becoming obvious. On Tuesday The Daily Caller posted an article about some recent rumblings within the ranks of the FBI.

The article reports:

  • Sources tell The Daily Caller several FBI agents want congressional subpoenas to testify about the agency’s problems.
  • The sources claim there is a demand within the agency to prosecute former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. They also say the bureau has become totally politicized.
  • The subpoenas are desired by the FBI agents because it requires Congress to pay for their legal fees and protects them from agency retribution. 

…These agents prefer to be subpoenaed to becoming an official government whistleblower, since they fear political and professional backlash, the former Trump administration official explained to TheDC.

The subpoena is preferred, he said, “because when you are subpoenaed, Congress then pays…for your legal counsel and the subpoena protects [the agent] from any organizational retaliation…. they are on their own as whistleblowers, they get no legal protection and there will be organizational retaliation against them.”

DiGenova (former federal prosecutor Joe DiGenova) — who along with his wife, Victoria Toensing, has represented government whistleblowers in the past — agreed, telling TheDC, “It’s an intelligent approach to the situation given the vindictive nature of the bureau under Comey and McCabe. I have no idea how to read Chris Wray, who is not a leader and who has disappeared from the public eye during this entire crisis. You know, he may be cleaning house but if he’s doing so, he’s doing it very quietly.”

Let’s hope those subpoenas are issued soon. We need to drain the swamp that the FBI and DOJ have become and get on with dealing with our economy and the national security threats that were allowed to develop during the past administrations.

Sometimes Lying Just Gets Old

Yesterday CNN posted the transcript of an interview of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by Brianna Keilar, CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent.

The is part of the transcript:

KEILAR:  One of the issues that has eroded some trust that we’ve seen is the issue of your email practices while you were secretary of state.  I think there’s a lot of people who don’t understand what your thought process was on that.

Can you tell me the story of how you decided to delete 33,000 emails and how that deletion was executed?

CLINTON:  Well, let’s start from the beginning.  Everything I did was permitted.  There was no law.  There was no regulation.  There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate.  Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing.  And people across the government knew that I used one device – maybe it was because I am not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it as easy as possible.

KEILAR:  But you said they – that they did the same thing, that they used a personal server and –

KEILAR:  – subpoena deleted emails from them?

CLINTON:  You know, you’re starting with so many assumptions that are – I’ve never had a subpoena.  There is – again, let’s take a deep breath here.  Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation.  I had one device.  When I mailed anybody in the government, it would go into the government system.

Now I didn’t have to turn over anything.  I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system.

And now I think it’s kind of fun.  People get a real-time behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about and what I was communicating about.

KEILAR:  Wearing warm socks, you said to John Podesta.

CLINTON:  Exactly and – or, you know –

KEILAR:  Working a fax machine

CLINTON:  – yes, a secure fax machine, which is harder to work than the regular.

So yes, this is being blown up with no basis in law or in fact.  That’s fine.  I get it.  This is being, in effect, used by the Republicans in the Congress, OK.  But I want people to understand what the truth is.  And the truth is everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what anybody could have expected in making sure that if the State Department didn’t capture something, I made a real effort to get it to them.

And I had no obligation to do any of that.  So let’s set the record straight.  And those 55,000 pages, they will be released over the course of this year.  People  can, again, make their own judgments.

I know you say you were permitted.  I just am trying to understand some of the thought process behind it.  One former state attorney general, a Democrat, told CNN that they know of no lawyer who would advise someone, a client, facing the kind of scrutiny that you’ve been facing to wipe their server.

I mean, what do you say to that?

CLINTON:  Well, what I say to that is turned over everything I was obligated to turn over.  And then I moved on.  People delete their personal emails, their work-related emails, whatever emails they have on a regular basis.  I turned over everything that I could imagine.

I added the underlines and italics.

So what are the facts? The National Journal posted a picture of the subpoena that Hillary Clinton says she never got. The subpoena was sent to her in March:

SubpoenaOfHillaryClintonThe National Journal reports:

That (Hillary Clinton’s statement that she had never had a subpoena) drew a rebuke from Trey Gowdy, the GOP chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, who said the need to “correct the inaccuracy” led him to break with his practice of not releasing subpoenas the panel has issued.

“The committee immediately subpoenaed Clinton personally after learning the full extent of her unusual email arrangement with herself, and would have done so earlier if the State Department or Clinton had been forthcoming that State did not maintain custody of her records and only Secretary Clinton herself had her records when Congress first requested them,” Gowdy said in a statement.

The subpoena sought Clinton’s messages from 2011 and 2012 related to Libya and the 2012 attack on a diplomatic compound and CIA facility in Benghazi that killed four Americans.

Very few people have honorable reasons for wiping a computer hard disk clean–particularly after they have been subpoenaed.

On March 3, 2015, The Atlantic reported:

On January 13, 2009, Hillary Clinton attended her first confirmation hearing as a Secretary of State nominee. The same day, with Bush officials still under fire for using private email accounts to circumvent public records laws, someone registered Clintonemail.com, a domain that now appears to be at the center of a scandal. “Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department,” The New York Times reported in a story published late Monday. “Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.”

This was willful, flagrant disregard for public records rules.

Why does this matter? Other than the disregard for the Federal Records Act, it means that we will never have an accurate record of Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. The record we do have will have omissions and changes, and we will have no way of knowing what is missing or what is edited. Evidently Mrs. Clinton did not feel that the law applied to her.

 

When Lawlessness Becomes A Pattern

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about the number of emails missing or destroyed in various agencies of the Obama Administration. Federal regulations require that emails of federal agencies be retained for certain periods of time. It is becoming very obvious that the federal agencies in the executive branch of the Obama Administration have chosen to ignore that regulation.

The article reports:

The latest example comes from the Department of Health and Human Services, which admitted Wednesday that hundreds of Obamacare emails subpoenaed in 2013 by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform were destroyed months ago.

Subpoena, what subpoena??!!

The article concludes:

And it’s not just emails. As Christopher Horner wrote earlier this week in the Washington Examiner, Environmental Protection Agency officials routinely destroy official text messages, contrary to law. And let’s not forget those fake EPA email names like “Richard Windsor.”

And there’s this: 47 inspectors-general told Congress in a letter this week that their investigations are often obstructed, delayed or otherwise impeded by top agency officials.

It became abundantly clear several years ago that the Obama administration was waging a campaign of massive resistance to legitimate congressional oversight.

That campaign — and a parallel one against aggressive journalism — has made an utter mockery of Obama’s opening-day promise of the “most transparent administration in history.”

So what is it these people are so desperate to cover up?

Richard Nixon and Rosemary Woods would be green with envy.