Trump, Comey, & What America Saw

VDH is one of my favorite writers. He’s not a casual read. Every word matters. He can pack more in a sentence more than most writers can in an entire paragraph. I’d call him a poet but he’s aim isn’t feeling or beauty, it’s water for a thirty brain.

What follows is what matters since January 20th. Not the garbage the media has been feeding you. This. THIS is what matters. Had he included the unmasking scandal, this would be 100% comprehensive. As it is, it’s still a masterpiece.

Enjoy.


Beware of Narratives and Misinformation by Victor Davis Hanson
September 7, 2017 via National Review Online

Narratives surrounding the DNC hack & Antifa reveal media bias and government bureaucracy at their worst.

U.S. intelligence agencies said Russia was responsible for hacking Democratic National Committee e-mail accounts, leading to the publication of about 20,000 stolen e-mails on WikiLeaks.

But that finding was reportedly based largely on the DNC’s strange outsourcing of the investigation to a private cybersecurity firm. Rarely does the victim of a crime first hire a private investigator whose findings later form the basis of government conclusions.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is many things. But so far he has not been caught lying about the origin of the leaked documents that came into his hands. He has insisted for well over a year that the Russians did not provide him with the DNC e-mails.

When it was discovered that the e-mails had been compromised, then–DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz weirdly refused to allow forensic detectives from the FBI to examine the DNC server to probe the evidence of the theft. Why did the FBI accept that refusal?

That strange behavior was not as bizarre as Wasserman Schultz’s later frenzied efforts to protect her information-technology specialist, Imran Awan, from Capitol Police and FBI investigations. Both agencies were hot on Awan’s trail for unlawfully transferring secure data from government computers, and also for bank and federal-procurement fraud.

So far, the story of the DNC hack is not fully known, but it may eventually be revealed that it involves other actors beyond just the Russians.

There is not much left to the media myth of James Comey as dutiful FBI director, unjustly fired by a partisan and vindictive President Donald Trump. A closer look suggests that Comey may have been the most politicized, duplicitous, and out-of-control FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover.

During the 2016 election, Comey, quite improperly, was put into the role of prosecutor, judge, and jury in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state. That proved a disaster. Comey has admitted under oath to deliberately leaking his own notes — which were likely government property — to the media to prompt the appointment of a special counsel. That ploy worked like clockwork, and by a strange coincidence it soon resulted in the selection of his friend, former FBI director Robert Mueller.

Comey earlier had assured the public that his investigation of Clinton had shown no prosecutable wrongdoing (a judgment that in normal times would not be the FBI’s to make). It has since been disclosed that Comey offered that conclusion before he had even interviewed Clinton.

That inversion suggests that Comey had assumed that whatever he found out about Clinton would not change the reality that the Obama administration would probably drop the inquiry anyway — so Comey made the necessary ethical adjustments.

Comey was also less than truthful when he testified that there had been no internal FBI communications concerning the infamous meeting between Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton, and then–attorney general Loretta Lynch on an airport tarmac. In fact, there was a trail of FBI discussion about that supposedly secret rendezvous.

Before he fired Comey, Trump drafted a letter outlining the source of his anger. But it seemed to have little to do with the obstruction of justice.

Instead, Trump’s anguished letter complained about Comey’s private assurances that the president was not under FBI investigation, which were offered at about the same time a winking-and-nodding Comey would not confirm that reality to the press, thus leaving the apparently deliberate impression that a compromised president was in legal jeopardy.

There is also a media fantasy about the Antifa street protesters. Few have criticized their systematic use of violence. But when in history have youths running through the streets decked out in black with masks, clubs, and shields acted nonviolently?

Antifa rioters in Charlottesville were praised by progressives for violently confronting a few dozen creepy white supremacists, Klansmen, and neo-Nazis. The supremacists were pathetic losers without any public or political support for their odious views, and they were condemned by both political parties. Yet Antifa’s use of violence was compared perversely by some progressives to American soldiers storming the beaches on D-Day.

Later, Antifa thuggery in Boston and Berkeley against free speech and against conservative groups without ties to white supremacists confirmed that the movement was fascistic in nature.

It was recently disclosed that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security had warned the Obama administration in 2016 that Antifa was a domestic terrorist organization that aimed to incite violence during street protests. That stark assessment and Antifa’s subsequent violence make the recent nonchalance of local police departments with regard to Antifa thuggery seem like an abject dereliction of duty.

Doubts about official narratives of the DNC leaks and the errant behavior of James Comey, and misinformation about the violent extremists of Antifa, illustrate media bias — not to mention entrenched government bureaucracies that are either incompetent, ethically compromised, or completely politicized.

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FBI to NSA “Got HRC’s Rx?”

This is a STUNNING article. It is the backstory on what led to FBI Director Comey’s surreafbi_badge__gunl news conference non-indicting-indicting Hillary Clinton. The day before, the 4th of July (poetically), the FBI asked the NSA “Hey, you guys got Felony Grandma’s medical records? Can we have a look-see? Girlfriend says ‘I can’t recall due to my head injury’ so we want proof she’s full of it.” Comey intervened, said “Don’t you dare,” then 24 hours later, the surreal news conference. Enjoy.


What Happened to the FBI? It’s Been Corrupted by Obama and his Team
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Published October 27, 2016

Napolitano: What’s happened to the FBI?

When FBI Director James Comey announced on July 5 that the Department of Justice would not seek the indictment of Hillary Clinton for failure to safeguard state secrets related to her email use while she was secretary of state, he both jumped the gun and set in motion a series of events that surely he did not intend. Was his hand forced by the behavior of FBI agents who wouldn’t take no for an answer? Did he let the FBI become a political tool?

Here is the back story.

The FBI began investigating the Clinton email scandal in the spring of 2015, when The New York Times revealed Clinton’s use of a private email address for her official governmental work and the fact that she did not preserve the emails on State Department servers, contrary to federal law. After an initial collection of evidence and a round of interviews, agents and senior managers gathered in the summer of 2015 to discuss how to proceed. It was obvious to all that a prima-facie case could be made for espionage, theft of government property and obstruction of justice charges. The consensus was to proceed with a formal criminal investigation.

Six months later, the senior FBI agent in charge of that investigation resigned from the case and retired from the FBI because he felt the case was going “sideways”; that’s law enforcement jargon for “nowhere by design.” John Giacalone had been the chief of the New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., field offices of the FBI and, at the time of his “sideways” comment, was the chief of the FBI National Security Branch.

The reason for the “sideways” comment must have been Giacalone’s realization that DOJ and FBI senior management had decided that the investigation would not work in tandem with a federal grand jury. That is nearly fatal to any government criminal case. In criminal cases, the FBI and the DOJ cannot issue subpoenas for testimony or for tangible things; only grand juries can.

Giacalone knew that without a grand jury, the FBI would be toothless, as it would have no subpoena power. He also knew that without a grand jury, the FBI would have a hard time persuading any federal judge to issue search warrants. A judge would perceive the need for search warrants to be not acute in such a case because to a judge, the absence of a grand jury can only mean a case is “sideways” and not a serious investigation.

As the investigation dragged on in secret and Donald Trump simultaneously began to rise in the Republican presidential primaries, it became more apparent to Giacalone’s successors that the goal of the FBI was to exonerate Clinton, not determine whether there was enough evidence to indict her. In late spring of this year, agents began interviewing the Clinton inner circle.

When Clinton herself was interviewed on July 2 — for only four hours, during which the interviewers seemed to some in the bureau to lack aggression, passion and determination — some FBI agents privately came to the same conclusion as their former boss: The case was going sideways.

A few determined agents were frustrated by Clinton’s professed lack of memory during her interview and her oblique reference to a recent head injury she had suffered as the probable cause of that. They sought to obtain her medical records to verify the gravity of her injury and to determine whether she had been truthful with them. They prepared the paperwork to obtain the records, only to have their request denied by Director Comey himself on July 4.

Then some agents did the unthinkable; they reached out to colleagues in the intelligence community and asked them to obtain Clinton’s medical records so they could show them to Comey. We know that the National Security Agency can access anything that is stored digitally, including medical records. These communications took place late on July 4.

When Comey learned of these efforts, he headed them off the next morning with his now infamous news conference, in which he announced that Clinton would not be indicted because the FBI had determined that her behavior, though extremely careless, was not reckless, which is the legal standard in espionage cases. He then proceeded to recount the evidence against her. He did this, no doubt, to head off the agents who had sought the Clinton medical records, whom he suspected would leak evidence against her.

Three months later — and just weeks before Clinton will probably be elected president — we have learned that President Barack Obama regularly communicated with Clinton via her personal email servers about matters that the White House considered classified. That means that he lied when he told CBS News that he learned of the Clinton servers when the rest of us did.

We also learned this week that Andrew McCabe, Giacalone’s successor as head of the FBI Washington field office and presently the No. 3 person in the FBI, is married to a woman to whom the Clinton money machine in Virginia funneled about $675,000 in lawful campaign funds for a failed 2015 run for the Virginia Senate. Comey apparently saw no conflict or appearance of impropriety in having the person in charge of the Clinton investigation in such an ethically challenged space.

Why did this case go sideways?

Did President Obama fear being a defense witness at Hillary Clinton’s criminal trial? Did he so fear being succeeded in office by Donald Trump that he ordered the FBI to exonerate Clinton, the rule of law be damned? Did the FBI lose its reputation for fidelity to law, bravery under stress and integrity at all times?

This is not your grandfather’s FBI — or your father’s. It is the Obama FBI.

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel.

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