FBI Director James Comey spoke publicly in DC on Monday in front of the House Intelligence Committee, stating there were in fact investigations occurring with regard to Russia’s meddling in the presidential election and also between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.
It was clear to me, from the outset, that it was politics, politics, politics. Something of which Director Comey has become quite adroit in at least the past year.
The line was drawn in this fashion: Demorats wanted President Trump’s wiretap allegation smashed and derided, whilst Republicans were primarily concerned with the leaking of classified information.
Trey Gowdy begins the interaction with Director Comey and sets the foundation for his line of questioning involving FISA and safeguards.
Please note that Congressman Gowdy specifically utilizes the term “wiretap” to describe the acquisition of communications belonging to an “unnamed US citizen.” Again, Comey outs the Trump investigation but refuses to discuss anything to do with the leaks at all. Do you see my point and my resulting frustration?
FBI Director Comey refuses to deny he briefed President Obama on calls made by Michael Flynn to Russia. pic.twitter.com/cUZ5KgBSYP
— President Trump (@POTUS) March 20, 2017
I highlight this portion because of its incredible importance. Do you see?
GOWDY: Admiral Rogers said there are 20 people within the NSA that are part of the unmasking process. How many people within the FBI are part of the unmasking process?
COMEY: I don’t know for sure. As I sit here, surely more, given the nature the FBI’s work. We come into contact with U.S. persons a whole lot more than the NSA does because we may be conducting — we only conduct our operations in the United States to collect electronic surveillance — to conduct electronic surveillance, so I don’t — I can find out the exact number, I don’t know it as I sit here.
GOWDY: Well, I think, Director Comey, given the fact that you and I agree this is critical, vital, indispensable, a similar program is coming up for reauthorization this fall with a pretty strong head wind right now. It would be nice to know the universe of people who have the power to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name. Because that might provide something of a roadmap to investigate who might’ve actually disseminated a masked U.S. citizen’s name.
COMEY: Sure. The number is relevant but what I hope the U.S. — the American people realize is the number’s important, but the culture behind it is in fact even more important. The training, the rigor, the discipline. We are obsessive about FISA in the FBI for reasons I hope make sense to this committee but we are — everything that’s FISA has to be labeled in such a way to warn people this is FISA, we treat this in a special way.
So we can get you the number, but I want to assure you the culture of the FBI and the NSA around how we treat U.S. person information is obsessive and I mean that in a good way.
GOWDY: Director Comey, I am not arguing with you and I do agree that culture is important, but if there are 100 people who have the ability to unmask and the knowledge of a previously masked name, then that’s 100 different potential sources of investigation and the smaller the number is, the easier your investigation is.
So the number is relevant. I can see the culture is relevant. NSA, FBI, what other U.S. government agencies have the authority to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: I think all agencies that collect information pursuant to FISA have what are called standard minimization procedures, which are approved by the FISA court that govern how they will treat U.S. person information. So I know the NSA does, I know the CIA does, obviously the FBI does. I don’t know for sure beyond that.
GOWDY: How about the department of — how about Main Justice?
COMEY: Main Justice, I think does have standard minimization procedures.
GOWDY: All right, so that’s four. The NSA, FBI, CIA, Main Justice. Does the White House have the authority to unmask a U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: I think other elements of the government that are consumers of our products can ask the collectors to unmask. The unmasking resides with those who collected the information.
And so if Mike Rogers’s folks collected something and they sent it to me in a report and it says U.S. person number one and it’s important for the FBI to know who that is, our request will go back to them. The White House can make similar requests of the FBI or of NSA but they can’t on their — they don’t own their own collect and so they can’t on their own unmask. I got that about right?
ROGERS: No, that’s correct.
GOWDY: I guess what I’m getting at, Director Comey, is you say it’s vital, you say it’s critical, you say it’s indispensable. We both know it’s a threat to the reauthorization of 702 later on this fall. And by the way, it’s also a felony punishable by up to 10 years.
So how would you begin your investigation, assuming for the sake of argument that a U.S. citizen’s name appeared in the Washington Post and the New York Times unlawfully. Where would you begin that investigation?
COMEY: Well, I’m not gonna talk about any particular investigation…
GOWDY: That’s why I said in theory.
COMEY: You would start by figuring out, so who are the suspects? Who touched the information that you’ve concluded ended up unlawfully in the newspaper and start with that universe and then use investigative tools and techniques to see if you can eliminate people, or include people as more serious suspects.
GOWDY: Do you know whether Director Clapper knew the name of the U.S. citizen that appeared in the New York Times and Washington Post?
COMEY: I can’t say in this forum because again, I don’t wanna confirm that there was classified information in the newspaper.
GOWDY: Would he have access to an unmasked name?
COMEY: In — in some circumstances, sure, he was the director of national intelligence. But I’m not talking about the particular.
GOWDY: Would Director Brennan have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: In some circumstances, yes.
GOWDY: Would National Security Adviser Susan Rice have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: I think any — yes, in general, and any other national security adviser would, I think, as a matter of their ordinary course of their business.
GOWDY: Would former White House Advisor Ben Rhodes have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name?
COMEY: I don’t know the answer to that.
GOWDY: Would former Attorney General Loretta Lynch have access to an unmasked U.S. citizen’s name? COMEY: In general, yes, as would any attorney general.
GOWDY: So that would also include Acting AG Sally Yates?
COMEY: Same answer.
GOWDY: Did you brief President Obama on — well, I’ll just ask you. Did you brief President Obama on any calls involving Michael Flynn?
COMEY: I’m not gonna get into either that particular case that matter, or any conversations I had with the president. So I can’t answer that.
But wait. I have what I consider to be an obvious question but one I’ve not yet heard people ask. Director Comey stated the investigation has been ongoing since July of 2016. If so, wouldn’t an integral part of such an investigation be surveillance of the Trump campaign and others aligned or linked therein?
Yet Mr Comey says there was no surveillance going on. How can that be? Was the FBI conducting half an investigation? A fraction of an investigation? How otherwise can one explain the information collected regarding General Michael Flynn? How was it gathered? How was it distributed? How did it get leaked and by whom? How does one acquire telephone conversation content — on Michael Flynn or Trump’s conversations with Australia’s PM Turnbull or Mexican President Nieto for example — absent wiretapping or surveillance in the first place?
In the process of conducting said highly important investigations wouldn’t you want to use all the tools at your disposal and, furthermore, collect as much pertinent evidence as possible? Of course you would. The statement makes no sense.
Where was James Comey with regard to Obama’s aides improperly accessing the names of Americans swept up in foreign surveillance or whether they leaked classified documents to the US press? Director Comey could confirm that, well, yes, we’re closely examining President Trump’s Russian “collusion” but otherwise could not confirm there was any sort of investigation on the matters of felonious leaking by government officials (Who else could have done so?) and would not talk about it. Why not? What’s the difference?
Another very important question. By the FBI’s own account and everyone else’s, including the Russians, it was believed with certainty that Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in for the presidency. Why, then, did the Russians magically decide to assist Donald Trump — as James Comey alleges — when people were convinced Trump would lose in a spectacular manner?
It doesn’t make sense. Neither the investigation nor the assumption about the Russians.
Perhaps the biggest question is this: will the leakers be identified and, if so, will they be arrested? Or is it in the best interest of the deep state to obfuscate the matter to the point that the leakers are never found?
Because, trust me, if the leakers are prosecuted and there is federal penitentiary time attached, you’ll hear sphincters slamming shut all around DC and the warm breezes will turn cold. That’s called a chilling effect.
Also quite disturbing is this, from McClatchyDC.com:
FBI’s Russian-influence probe includes a look at far-right news sites
by Peter Stone & Greg Gordon
WASHINGTON – Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories — some fictional — that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say.
Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, these sources said.
In other words, the FBI under Comey is investigating “fake news.” What is fake news?
The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News, the sources said. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the bot attacks are part of an FBI-led investigation into a multifaceted Russian operation to influence last year’s elections.
For every individual arguing that InfoWars or Breitbart is fake news, I can provide a great deal of documentation indicating, over numerous years, that what people term the mainstream media such as ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and many others are equally or more fake than those two named above, and have been specifically colluding with the Democrats and Leftist-themed ideologues for a lengthy period of time.
The FBI investigating “fake news” is indeed disturbing. It is no less true now than any time prior that one must be an enlightened consumer of news and, as an adult, know enough about your country, your surroundings and your world in order to make the best informed decision regarding the portrayal of information to you by various news organizations. In other words, it blows to be stupid and there are penalties for being so, though we know that a “sucker is born every minute.”
Perhaps we should ask what there was to learn from the hearing today with FBI Director James Comey. I conclude below with the real lesson to be intuited from the hearing, but in terms of hard facts we discovered there are, well, no real hard facts. There is still no evidence that Russia hacked the election or somehow influenced the presidential election despite what the American Media Maggots emphatically say. There is still no evidence that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign or his staffers. We learned that James Comey is rather selective in terms of the political topics he’s willing to address.
We learned that no evidence was provided that indicated Obama wiretapped Trump. But if that were true, then why has Fox News summarily fired Judge Napolitano for saying this?
House Intel Chair Devin Nunes weighed in, and he wasn’t terribly happy.
Did you notice Director Comey was a bit nonplussed at her direct first question? I did. She has taken Comey aback. He did not anticipate such pointed and informed questions from a neophyte. When Comey said he didn’t have a DNI, that was bullshit. He did. It was James Clapper. The lying James Clapper. The lying under oath James Clapper. You know. That guy.
Did you also hear James Comey admit to Rep. Stefanik that, along with the Demorats and DNC, the Republicans were tapped as well? He stated so. But what was the difference between the GOP being tapped and the DNC being tapped? That’s right. The lack of corruption in the content of the emails and information.
But let me say this. Elise Stefanik has a great career ahead of her because she appears fearless, resolute, and unimpressed by dark, carved wood. You get my drift. “When did you notify the White House?” Boom. Done. Owned.
Let us transition.
“I am a faithful servant to the Constitution.” So said Judge Neal Gorsuch in his opening statement with regard to his SCOTUS nomination, on Monday. The actual flames and grilling begin Tuesday morning at 9:30. First, here’s the Demorat take on Gorsuch, from CBS.
Then there are the actual words of Judge Gorsuch himself as he makes his opening statement.
Bottom line regarding Neil Gorsuch? He will be confirmed. I also predict the Demorats will not choose to use their filibuster against him. You’re dealing with an individual who
- Presided over 2,750 case on the 10th Circuit;
- Wrote 175 majority opinions;
- Wrote 65 concurrences or dissents;
- Had 72 in-person meetings with US Senators
Charles Krauthammer may have jinxed things when, on Monday, he said: “Too stupid. Even the Democrats won’t do it.”
But never minimize the ability of Demorats and Leftists to see racists and sexists everywhere. Joe Dinkin, National Communications Director for the Working Families Party (yes, that is a party) states that Neil Gorsuch is a white supremacist and nationalist because Gorsuch hasn’t overtly and publicly disavowed President Trump’s travel ban. It’s a Muslim ban, you see. So Gorsuch wears a white robe and a pointy hat. Insanity.
In conclusion, do not doubt that there is a message to be acquired from Comey’s hearing today, and the message to President Trump as well as his advisors, staff and assistants comes from not just Director James Comey, the Demorats and a portion of the GOP, but much of the embedded deep state as well.
The message is: back off. Leave the DC swamp as it is. Undrained. The creatures prefer it unmolested. If you fail to heed our warning, we’ll destroy you at all costs and by any means necessary.
If you were President Trump you’d have to be asking yourself: whom can you trust?
That potential pool is dwindling by the day.
You should now be asking yourself: is FBI Director James Comey the source of the leaks?