September 4, 2017

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (090417)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

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  1. The swamp knows too well how to obstruct, delay, confuse and obfuscate…and thus escape accountability for their actions.

    “Newly disclosed evidence that then-FBI Director James Comey began working on a statement to reject criminal charges against former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton months before she and other key witnesses were interviewed by the FBI shows that President Trump was right to fire Comey.

    The evidence proves that Trump and his supporters were correct to say throughout the presidential campaign that Washington operates on a “rigged” crony system that serves the interests of the powerful…”[1]

    Comey criticized for rejecting Clinton charges before he finished probe

    The new evidence is more plainly described here, just explaining how it was revealed without the interwoven campaign commentary.

    WASHINGTON
    Fired FBI director James Comey began writing his now famous statement clearing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of potential misconduct regarding her handling of State Department emails before his agency had interviewed key witnesses, two powerful Republican senators alleged Thursday.

    Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray Thursday after reviewing transcripts of interviews by the Office of Special Counsel of two FBI officials close to Comey. Grassley chairs the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and Graham is a senior committee member.

    “It appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton,” the senators state in a letter sent Wednesday to Wray.

    The senators, in a statement Thursday, described the interviews as “heavily redacted,” but their statement said it was still possible to see that “they indicate that Comey began drafting a statement to announce the conclusion of the Clinton email investigation” before “up to 17 key witnesses including former Secretary Clinton and several of her closest aides” had been interviewed.

    “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that…

    Read that last again: THE FBI should be held to a higher standard. While Comey is fired (so apparently too out-of-reach for additional repercussions, except possible abuse of office from his post-firing media leak). But the DRAFT circulated, yet not enough people in the FBI submitted the letter to an IG or Special Counsel investigation as improper command influence upon the investigators during an open investigation.

    Fortunately, SOMEONE(s) did apparently submit the letter to the proper office, IAW the No Fear Act. Because some unknown hero did that, there was an investigation started which is why there are these interviews that became available to the Senators.

    A process speculation is that, with closure of the investigation due to Comey’s firing, a standard mandatory disclosure process was started that made the investigation interviews available to one or more Senators, standard procedure for Congressional oversight. This can be inferred from (a) standard knowledge of the No Fear Acts expectation to take senior level complaints to the Special Counsel instead of the standard Human Resources complaint board and (b) the sentence in the news article with this fact: “The FBI said that its policy is that any comment on the letter would go to Grassley and Graham.”

    The swamp is a bi-partisan concern, as the article quotes a Democrat: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said Republicans were not the only people with questions about Comey’s actions.

    “As I have said before, I have serious concerns with James Comey’s decision to break department protocol by releasing derogatory investigative information about an uncharged person, and the cascade of errors that ensued,” he said.

    Reminder: It is against standard policy to make public statements UNLESS A PERSON IS ACTUAL PUBLICLY CHARGED. There were some well-written OpEds from legal people who explained this powerful point to us layman. Comey should never have been even thinking about writing an explanatory letter!!!

    It is not the FBI role to make excuses for those not charged. In fact, there’s a FOIA Exemption specifically disallowing such public disclosure for an “open investigation” and norms about not doing so after an investigation closes as well.

    A statement accompanying the Grassley-Graham letter notes states: “The draft statement also came before the Department entered into immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson where the Department agreed to a very limited review of Secretary Clinton’s emails and to destroy their laptops after review.”

    Here’s what is even worse: Comey’s draft ended up in the White House. Knowledge of this intent by Comey to let Hillary off the hook would have emboldened the lawyers of everyone still to be questioned, contributing to the atmosphere of ridicouslly generous immunity deals! See this line from the article: Another transcript, described as what appears to be an interview with Trisha Anderson, principal deputy general counsel of national security and cyberlaw for the FBI, quotes the interview subject saying, “The idea, I’m not entirely sure exactly when the idea of the public statement um first emerged. Um it was, I just, I can’t put a precise time frame on it um but [redaction]. And then I believe it was in early May of 2016 that the director himself wrote a draft of that statement.”

    Whoever is “redacted” that shared a DRAFT INTERNAL FBI Memo to anyone other than the Special Counsel can potentially be disciplined for improper handling of FBI material directly related to an Open Investigation While THat Investigatoin Was In Progress. Assuming Trisha Anderson is not the person who submitted the document to the Special Counsel, she and everyone who received that memo who is not part of the FBI should also be held accountable by Their Party for participating in misuse of the FBI for selfish partisan purpose. The Democratic voters should consider this kind of crappy terrible behavior by their so-called leaders and CLEAN HOUSE so we — both parties — can take back our country and the bureaucracies that should be protecting us from such misuse of offices.

    The closing 2 paragraphs are interesting. The senators’ letter goes on to state that “It is unclear whether the FBI agents actually investigating the case were aware that Mr. Comey had already decided on the investigation’s outcome while their work was ongoing.”

    So who did get to see the DRAFT letter, and why?

    It is slightly better if the FBI agents investigating the case were unaware of this letter. Yet, any Attorney negotiating an immunity deal could likely have verbally told them about it. “It is unclear” what the FBI agents may have heard about the memo. Seeing the actual memo would be the clear evidence, yet just its possible existence may well have damaged the agents ability to negotiate the level of immunity in order to work their way up to responsibility.

    Sad, sad, sad. Lois Lerner at the IRS, Comey at the FBI, … will anyone end up held accountable in some MEANINGFUL WAY for their misuse of office?

    The last sentence confirms there is SOMEONE(s) as a Whistleblower to thank, and thank again. “…a now closed Hatch Act investigation of Comey.” By drafting the letter, it was interpreted by one or more recipients as Comey using his office resources for “political advocacy” to violate the Hatch Act. That is especially ironic due to the standard periodic warnings by email that government employees receive about the Hatch Act. It’s always tricky if or whether to call attention to when an anonymous whisteblower may be involved.

    Submitting a complaint against such a high level is extremely stressful. I hope he or she or them are doing well. Sending Best wishes and thanks.

    1. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/09/02/comey-and-clinton-rigged-from-beginning.html
    By Steve Cortes Published September 02, 2017 Fox News

    2. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/latest-news/article170508437.html
    BY MATTHEW SCHOFIELD
    mschofield@mcclatchydc.com
    AUGUST 31, 2017 3:35 PM

    Comment by Cornfed — September 4, 2017 @ 12:51 pm

  2. All This ‘True Conservative’ Talk About ‘Principles’ Is Just Another Lie

    https://townhall.com/columnists/KurtSchlichter/2017/09/04/all-this-true-conservative-talk-about-principles-is-just-another-lie-n2376699

    Gets right to the heart of the matter.

    Comment by dscott — September 4, 2017 @ 4:15 pm

  3. Schlichter is brilliant.

    Comment by Tom — September 4, 2017 @ 7:52 pm

  4. I suspect there is a serious war going on between longtime FBIers who are impartial law enforcers and the political hacks Obama installed at the top who have not been flushed out (and may never be). I believe the former outnumber the latter, but that the latter have more power.

    Comment by Tom — September 4, 2017 @ 7:55 pm

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