FBI breathes a sigh of relief

Mind you, the mid-and-upper level managers aren’t. They were too busy aligning themselves and slashing at each other in order to grasp a small piece of the bottom of former FBI Director James Comey’s cape, hoping to climb over whatever corpses necessary to kiss the Comey Ring.

Now that Comey is gone, thanks to President Trump, management is in a bit of a kerfuffle to say the least. Whose ring or arse to kiss now in management? Certainly not acting-Director McCabe. He’s — well — acting director. And Andrew McCabe is rife with sufficient conflicting baggage himself that the next FBI director may just kick McCabe to the proverbial curb. Which would be quite appropriate. McCabe reeks, in my opinion, of Leftist/Demorat corruption.

Here is Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe not actively campaigning for his Demorat wife. All is well. Nothing to see here. No corruption, no conflict of interest. Just ask former FBI Director James Comey. Just don’t ask the line-level agents.

From the NYPost.com:

Comey’s firing is a gift to the FBI

by Michael Walsh

Let’s cut right to the chase: James Comey should have been fired immediately following his disastrous press briefing last July, in which he candidly laid out the case against Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information and then refused to recommend charges. Overstepping his authority while radiating sanctimony, arrogating power while clumsily intervening in the election, Comey deserved to be sacked on the spot.

Absolutely. Comey’s press conference about his decision to do nothing about Hillary Clinton was right out of Kabuki Theater if you know something about the law and its application. Or if you could simply read and understand a few paragraphs of English.

Everything since has been one long slow twist in the wind for Comey, a former US attorney in Manhattan, where his most notable accomplishment was sending Martha Stewart to jail.

Ignore for the moment Comey’s series of missteps resulting from the Clinton investigation and his increasingly erratic and unconvincing public fan dance as he sent the nation into electoral paroxysms over the past 10 months.

Precisely. And unnecessarily so. Former Director Comey set a terrible precedent for the FBI. He couldn’t keep himself out of camera lenses or shut his mouth.

Now the bureau’s tied up and bogged down in the almost certainly chimerical “Russian hacking” fantasy, which bubbled up out of the leftist fever swamp in the wake of Clinton’s loss in November, and for which there is exactly zero evidence.

So when President Trump finally put Comey out of his — and our — misery last week, it was the best merited cashiering since Truman fired a showboating MacArthur.

Now there’s an accurate analogy. Wish I’d thought of it.

The American Media Maggots insist that FBI agents are in full lacrimal duct mode after Comey’s firing. The truth is that the FBI is a tight-knit and proud organization that seldom admits to internal turbulence in public. It is anathema to the institution.

The American Media Maggots also conveniently forget this from 2016. From the UKDailyMail.com:

EXCLUSIVE: Resignation letters piling up from disaffected FBI agents, his wife urging him to admit he was wrong: Why Director Comey jumped at the chance to reopen Hillary investigation

by Ed Klein

  • James Comey revived the investigation of Clinton’s email server as he could no longer resist mounting pressure by mutinous agents, sources say
  •  The atmosphere at the FBI has been toxic ever since Jim announced last July that he wouldn’t recommend an indictment against Hillary
  •  He told his wife that he was depressed by the stack of resignation letters piling up on his desk from disaffected agents
  • Comes was also worried that Republicans would accuse him of granting Hillary political favoritism after the presidential election
  •  When new emails allegedly linked to Hillary’s personal server turned up in  Abedin and Anthony Weiner’s computer, Comey jumped at the excuse 

James Comey’s decision to revive the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server and her handling of classified material came after he could no longer resist mounting pressure by mutinous agents in the FBI, including some of his top deputies, according to a source close to the embattled FBI director.

‘The atmosphere at the FBI has been toxic ever since Jim announced last July that he wouldn’t recommend an indictment against Hillary,’ said the source, a close friend who has known Comey for nearly two decades, shares family outings with him, and accompanies him to Catholic mass every week.

‘Some people, including department heads, stopped talking to Jim, and even ignored his greetings when they passed him in the hall,’ said the source. ‘They felt that he betrayed them and brought disgrace on the bureau by letting Hillary off with a slap on the wrist.’

According to the source, Comey fretted over the problem for months and discussed it at great length with his wife, Patrice. 

He told his wife that he was depressed by the stack of resignation letters piling up on his desk from disaffected agents. The letters reminded him every day that morale in the FBI had hit rock bottom.

“Stack of resignation letters piling up on his desk.” Disaffected agents. Poor morale. Lack of confidence in leadership. Betrayal. Disgrace. Spoken to singly, the narrative of agents is different than that of the American Media Maggots.

DailyCaller.com printed quotes, following Comey’s firing, from agents who didn’t wish to be named to include “we don’t need a political hack” to “good riddance” and “It should have been expected because he was not doing a good job. He had it coming to him.”

Personnel who have spoken to me on both coasts say roughly the same thing, indicating they believed Comey was an embarrassment to the agency who started well but began seeking the limelight behind decisions that reflected political and not legal motivations.

Of course, the agents didn’t want to be named and wished to be publicly quiet because that’s not what they do and it’s not what they believe their director should do either.

Overall, one said, it was like a big pressure valve had been opened at 935 Pennsylvania; you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief. Confidence in leadership will likely return. I personally suspect, bit by bit, you’ll begin to hear just how lacking in leadership and confidence the agency had been under James Comey.

James Kallstrom, former Assistant Director for the FBI, summarized best.

Even when things were good, they weren’t fabulous under James Comey. In three-and-a-half years of his admin , Grabien.com documented the Top 10 Scandalous Low Points for the FBI:

1. Before he bombed the Boston Marathon, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev but let him go. Russia sent the Obama Administration a second warning, but the FBI opted against investigating him again.

2. Shortly after the NSA scandal exploded in 2013, the FBI was exposed conducting its own data mining on innocent Americans; the agency, Bloomberg reported, retains that material for decades (even if no wrongdoing is found).

3. The FBI had possession of emails sent by Nidal Hasan saying he wanted to kill his fellow soldiers to protect the Taliban — but didn’t intervene, leading many critics to argue the tragedy that resulted in the death of 31 Americans at Fort Hood could have been prevented.

4. During the Obama Administration, the FBI claimed that two private jets were being used primarily for counterterrorism, when in fact they were mostly being used for Eric Holder and Robert Mueller’s business and personal travel.

5. When the FBI demanded Apple create a “backdoor” that would allow law enforcement agencies to unlock the cell phones of various suspects, the company refused, sparking a battle between the feds and America’s biggest tech company. What makes this incident indicative of Comey’s questionable management of the agency is that a) The FBI jumped the gun, as they were indeed ultimately able to crack the San Bernardino terrorist’s phone, and b) Almost every other major national security figure sided with Apple (from former CIA Director General Petraeus to former CIA Director James Woolsey to former director of the NSA, General Michael Hayden), warning that such a “crack” would inevitably wind up in the wrong hands.

6. In 2015, the FBI conducted a controversial raid on a Texas political meeting, finger printing, photographing, and seizing phones from attendees (some in the group believe in restoring Texas as an independent constitutional republic).

7. During its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified material, the FBI made an unusual deal in which Clinton aides were both given immunity and allowed to destroy their laptops.

8. The father of the radical Islamist who detonated a backpack bomb in New York City in 2016 alerted the FBI to his son’s radicalization. The FBI, however, cleared Ahmad Khan Rahami after a brief interview.

9. The FBI also investigated the terrorist who killed 49 people and wounded 53 more at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Despite a more than 10-month investigation of Omar Mateen — during which Mateen admitting lying to agents — the FBI opted against pressing further and closed its case.

10. CBS recently reported that when two terrorists sought to kill Americans attending the “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas, the FBI not only had an understanding an attack was coming,

Continuing, from the New York Post.

What’s needed now is a restoration of what should be the FBI’s primary mission, as it was in the early Hoover days: counterterrorism. Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, it’s far less important for the bureau to be chasing bank robbers in Burlington and Butte than it is for it to function as the nation’s first line of homeland security defense.

Sad but true. I made my bones on the reactive Squad 3. Those days may be over. But even with the FBI’s newest sea change, who should lead that ship in those turbulent seas following James Comey?

In a conciliatory gesture to the Demorats I believe, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s pick would be Merritt Garland. From FoxNews.com:

McConnell thinks Garland as FBI director ‘fantastic idea,’ ex-adviser says

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is behind the idea of Judge Merrick Garland, whose Supreme Court nomination McConnell squashed, becoming the next FBI director, a former adviser to the Kentucky senator said Sunday.

“I think the senate majority leader thinks that’s a fantastic idea,” former adviser Josh Holmes, who now runs the strategy firm Cavalry LLC, told “Fox News Sunday.” “He certainly thinks (Garland) will be qualified. And (McConnell) certainly thinks he would be somebody that he could support.”

Garland was former President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.

However, McConnell infuriated Democrats by declining to hold Senate confirmation hearings on Garland, saying the next president should have that choice.

The idea of Garland as the next FBI director was posed by Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee after President Trump on Tuesday fired agency Director James Comey.

Some are considering Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn as well. Politico.com writes about some serious complications, however.

If President Donald Trump selects Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn as his next FBI director it would accelerate a major shift in Republican politics with implications for both the Senate and the national GOP.

If Cornyn were to accept the position as director, it would leave a GOP leadership vacuum in the Whip position.

Further, ABCNews.com indicates there are 11 candidates in the running besides John Cornyn:

  • Rep Trey Gowdy;
  • Former Rep Mike Rogers;
  • Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly
  • Former 4th DCA Judge J Michael Luttig;
  • Former Deputy AG Larry Thompson;
  • Current FBI official Paul Abbate;
  • Former Assistant AG Alice Fisher;
  • Current Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe (worst choice);
  • Former Manhattan US Attorney Michael Garcia;
  • Former US Attorney John Suthers.

At this point I think I’m safe to say that, no matter who President Trump selects, there’s going to be a fight in confirmation.

One consolation: James Comey is gone.

And the line-level agents can finally breathe.

BZ

 

Hypocrisy and hyperbole; the aftermath of Comey’s firing

If you’d been listening to the American Media Maggots the past 24 hours, you’d think the sky had indeed fallen all across the United States of America.

President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, and the world has, literally, stopped rotating on its axis.

It all started with a letter by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

May 9, 2017

MEMORANDUM FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

FROM: ROD J. ROSENSTEIN

DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL

SUBJECT: RESTORING PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has long been regarded as our nation’s premier federal investigative agency. Over the past year, however, the FBI’s reputation and credibility have suffered substantial damage, and it has affected the entire Department of Justice. That is deeply troubling to many Department employees and veterans, legislators and citizens.

The current FBI Director is an articulate and persuasive speaker about leadership and the immutable principles of the Department of Justice. He deserves our appreciation for his public service. As you and I have discussed, however, I cannot defend the Director’s handling of the conclusion of the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s emails, and I do not understand his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken. Almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes; it is one of the few issues that unites people of diverse perspectives.

The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution.

It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement. At most, the Director should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings to federal prosecutors. The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department. There is a well-established process for other officials to step in when a conflict requires the recusal of the Attorney General. On July 5, however, the Director announced his own conclusions about the nation’s most sensitive criminal investigation, without the authorization of duly appointed Justice Department leaders.

Compounding the error, the Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously. The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.

In response to skeptical question at a congressional hearing, the Director defended his remarks by saying that his “goal was to say what is true. What did we do, what did we find, what do we think about it.” But the goal of a federal criminal investigation is not to announce our thoughts at a press conference. The goal is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to justify a federal criminal prosecution, then allow a federal prosecutor who exercises authority delegated by the Attorney General to make a prosecutorial decision, and then – if prosecution is warranted – let the judge and jury determine the facts. We sometimes release information about closed investigations in appropriate ways, but the FBI does not do it.

Concerning his letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, the Director cast his decision as a choice between whether he would “speak” about the decision to investigate the newly-discovered email messages or “conceal” it. “Conceal” is a loaded term that misstates the issue. When federal agents and prosecutors quietly open a criminal investigation, we are not concealing anything; we are simply following the longstanding policy that we refrain from publicizing non-public information. In that context, silence is not concealment.

My perspective on these issues is shared by former Attorneys General and Deputy Attorneys General from different eras and both political parties. Judge Laurence Silberman, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Ford, wrote that “it is not the bureau’s responsibility to opine on whether a matter should be prosecuted.” Silberman believes that the Director’s “Performance was so inappropriate for an FBI director that [he] doubt[s] the bureau will ever completely recover.” Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton, joined with Larry Thompson, Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush, to opine that the Director had “chosen personally to restrike the balance between transparency and fairness, departing from the department’s traditions.” They concluded that the Director violated his obligation to “preserve, protect and defend” the traditions of the Department and the FBI.

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under President George W. Bush, observed the Director “stepped way outside his job in disclosing the recommendation in that fashion” because the FBI director “doesn’t make that decision.”

Alberto Gonzales, who also served as Attorney General under President George W. Bush, called the decision “an error in judgement.” Eric Holder, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton and Attorney General under President Obama, said the Director’s decision“was incorrect. It violated long-standing Justice Department policies and traditions. And it ran counter to guidance that I put in place four years ago laying out the proper way to conduct investigations during an election season.” Holder concluded that the Director “broke with these fundamental principles” and “negatively affected public trust in both the Justice Department and the FBI.”

Former Deputy Attorneys General Gorelick and Thompson described the unusual events as“real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation,” that is “antithetical to the interests of justice.”

Donald Ayer, who served as Deputy Attorney General under President H.W. Bush, along with former Justice Department officials, was“astonished and perplexed” by the decision to “break[] with longstanding practices followed by officials of both parties during past elections.” Ayer’s letter noted, “Perhaps most troubling… is the precedent set by this departure from the Department’s widely-respected, non-partisan traditions.”

We should reject the departure and return to the traditions.

Although the President has the power to remove an FBI director, the decision should not be taken lightly. I agree with the nearly unanimous opinions of former Department officials. The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.

I set out my objections to now-former Director James Comey last year with his horribly flawed reasoning for failing to forward the Hillary Clinton case to the DOJ last year, and also in this post. I was heartened to see that the bulk of my objections were quite similar to those of the Deputy Attorney General.

We all know that President William Jefferson Clinton fired his FBI Director, William Sessions, back in 1993 for essentially political reasons. That was fine with Demorats.

Many Demorats themselves were calling for the severed head of William Comey quite recently.

Yes, two words: what changed?

We all know the answer, quite obviously. Judicial Watch’s CJ Farrell had this to say from last year.

Maxine Waters at least had the guts to come out and say what every other Demorat and Leftist is thinking about the situation.

From RealClearPolitics.com:

Maxine Waters: I Don’t Support Trump Firing Comey, I Would Support Hillary Clinton Firing Comey

by Ian Schwartz

NBC’s Peter Alexander grills Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Cali.) for her displeasure at President Trump firing FBI Director James Comey after she had announced in January that he has lost all credibility after attending a classified briefing conducted by the now-former director.

In March, Waters issued a press release that read Comey “advanced Russia’s misinformation campaign.”

However, in the interview Wednesday on MSNBC, asked if she would be okay with a hypothetical President Hillary Clinton dismissing Comey from his position, Waters said yes.

“If she had won the White House, I believe that given what he did to her, and what he tried to do, she should have fired him. Yes,” the California Democrat said.

“So she should have fired him but had he shouldn’t fire him. This is why I’m confused,” Alexander said to Waters.

Honesty and clarity, for once, coming from Maxine Waters in terms of her clear bias.

But it wasn’t just politicians who became unhinged over the firing of James Comey. The so-called “celebrities” did so as well.

Steven Colbert was not amused.

Neither was our favorite moonbat, Keith Olbermann.

So what really happened in the White House? What was the final straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back? I wrote back on Tuesday that Comey’s final waffling on the number of emails found in Weiner’s laptop was the kicker. Oddly enough, Dr Sebastian Gorka highlighted that same issue.

The New York Times wrote this about the White House decision.

‘Enough was Enough’: How Festering Anger at Comey Ended in His Firing

by Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush, Michael S Schmidt and Peter Baker

WASHINGTON — By the end, neither of them thought much of the other.

After President Trump accused his predecessor in March of wiretapping him, James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, was flabbergasted. The president, Mr. Comey told associates, was “outside the realm of normal,” even “crazy.”

For his part, Mr. Trump fumed when Mr. Comey publicly dismissed the sensational wiretapping claim. In the weeks that followed, he grew angrier and began talking about firing Mr. Comey. After stewing last weekend while watching Sunday talk shows at his New Jersey golf resort, Mr. Trump decided it was time. There was “something wrong with” Mr. Comey, he told aides.

The problem, you see, was that Donald Trump waited too long. As I believed and wrote numerous times, on January 20th at noon, President Trump should have demanded Comey’s resignation letter.

The collision between president and F.B.I. director that culminated with Mr. Comey’s stunning dismissal on Tuesday had been a long time coming. To a president obsessed with loyalty, Mr. Comey was a rogue operator who could not be trusted as the F.B.I. investigated Russian ties to Mr. Trump’s campaign. To a lawman obsessed with independence, Mr. Trump was the ultimate loose cannon, making irresponsible claims on Twitter and jeopardizing the bureau’s credibility.

The other problem was that Comey wasn’t obsessed with any independence other than his own, and not that of the bureau itself. The only person who jeopardized the FBI’s credibility was James Comey.

The White House, in a series of shifting and contradictory accounts, first said Mr. Trump decided to fire Mr. Comey because the attorney general and his deputy recommended it. By Wednesday, it had amended the timeline to say that the president had actually been thinking about getting rid of the F.B.I. director as far back as November, after he won the election, and then became “strongly inclined” after Mr. Comey testified before Congress last week.

Mr. Comey’s fate was sealed by his latest testimony about the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to sway the 2016 election and the Clinton email inquiry. Mr. Trump burned as he watched, convinced that Mr. Comey was grandstanding. He was particularly irked when Mr. Comey said he was “mildly nauseous” to think that his handling of the email case had influenced the election, which Mr. Trump took to demean his own role in history.

Director Comey was grandstanding.

At that point, Mr. Trump began talking about firing him. He and his aides thought they had an opening because Mr. Comey gave an incorrect account of how Huma Abedin, a top adviser to Mrs. Clinton, transferred emails to her husband’s laptop, an account the F.B.I. later corrected.

As I wrote on Tuesday, that element was the final straw. And yes, it did provide an opening.

At first, Mr. Trump, who is fond of vetting his decisions with a wide circle of staff members, advisers and friends, kept his thinking to a small circle, venting his anger to Vice President Mike Pence; the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II; and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who all told him they generally backed dismissing Mr. Comey.

Then President Trump finally did the right thing.

But wait; hold up on that car wash. Isn’t this the same New York Times that wrote in 1993:

DEFIANT F.B.I. CHIEF REMOVED FROM JOB BY THE PRESIDENT

By DAVID JOHNSTON
Published: July 20, 1993

WASHINGTON, July 19— President Clinton today dismissed William S. Sessions, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who had stubbornly rejected an Administration ultimatum to resign six months after a harsh internal ethics report on his conduct.

Mr. Clinton said he would announce his nominee to replace Mr. Sessions on Tuesday. He was expected to pick Judge Louis J. Freeh of Federal District Court in Manhattan; officials said Judge Freeh had impressed Mr. Clinton favorably on Friday at their first meeting.

Mr. Clinton, explaining his reasons for removing Mr. Sessions, effective immediately, said, “We cannot have a leadership vacuum at an agency as important to the United States as the F.B.I. It is time that this difficult chapter in the agency’s history is brought to a close.”

But in a parting news conference at F.B.I. headquarters after Mr. Clinton’s announcement, a defiant Mr. Sessions — his right arm in a sling as a result of a weekend fall — railed at what he called the unfairness of his removal, which comes nearly six years into his 10-year term.

“Because of the scurrilous attacks on me and my wife of 42 years, it has been decided by others that I can no longer be as forceful as I need to be in leading the F.B.I. and carrying out my responsibilities to the bureau and the nation,” he said. “It is because I believe in the principle of an independent F.B.I. that I have refused to voluntarily resign.”

It appears, according to the New York Times, that President William Clinton, a Demorat, was perfectly well within his rights and abilities to fire Director Sessions who insisted that the FBI be independent. That same newspaper now states that President Donald Trump, a Republican, is not perfectly well within his rights and abilities to fire Director Comey who insisted that the FBI be independent.

The difference? Political parties. Simply that.

James Comey, in a letter to his office the day after his firing, said the president was within his authority to fire a sitting FBI director. From TheHill.com:

Comey farewell: ‘A president can fire an FBI director for any reason’

Former FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday sent a letter to agents and friends following President Trump firing him the previous day.

“I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI director for any reason, or for no reason at all,” he wrote, according to CNN. “I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed.”

Leftist attorney and professor Alan Dershowitz came in on the side of President Trump. From Breitbart.com:

Dershowitz: Comey Firing ‘Appropriate,’ No Special Prosecutor

by Joel B Pollak

Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday night that President Donald Trump was well within his rights to fire former FBI director James Comey, and that there was no need for a special prosecutor in the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Dershowitz appeared next to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, who was apoplectic. “The fact that he did this will disgrace his memory for as long as this presidency is remembered. There is only one date that will be remembered after Januarth 20th so far in the Trump presidency, and it is the day of the ‘Tuesday Night Massacre,’” Toobin said, referencing President Richard Nixon’s firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal.

Toobin had also told CNN’s Anderson Cooper earlier that Trump would likely name a “campaign stooge” as Comey’s replacement at the FBI.

But Dershowitz disagreed.

“Should Comey be the director of the FBI? The answer to that is no,” he said, noting that he had called earlier for Comey to resign. “He lost his credibility. … A lot of this is his fault.”

When Toobin objected that Trump had fired former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara as well as Comey, “all three of whom had the potential to investigate and trouble the Trump presidency,” Dershowitz argued that they were all Democrat appointees and had all been dismissed appropriately by a Republican president.

Perquisites of the job that have been replicated time and again by Demorat presidents.

Where is John McCain on this because, after all, when the story appears to be about someone else, well, it’s really about John McCain, isn’t it? From the WashingtonPost.com:

John McCain on Comey firing: ‘There will be more shoes to drop’

by Josh Rogin

President Trump’s sudden firing of FBI Director James B. Comey is bad for the country and will not be the end of the Trump-Russia affair, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told a group of foreign diplomats and experts Tuesday night.

Although McCain did not directly accuse the White House of firing Comey to thwart the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible Russia ties, he did say that if that was the intention, it would fail.

Again, news about truth isn’t news. News about specious insinuation is news.

“This scandal is going to go on. I’ve seen it before,” McCain told a meeting of the Munich Security Conference core group. “This is a centipede. I guarantee you there will be more shoes to drop, I can just guarantee it. There’s just too much information that we don’t have that will be coming out.”

He called Trump’s actions against Comey “unprecedented” and said the position of FBI director has held special meaning in American public life dating back decades.

Ooooh, scary, John, very scary.

“Probably the most respected individual in all of the American government is probably the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” McCain said. “I’m very sorry that this has happened.”

The event was off the record, but McCain gave me permission to place his comments on the record. He said that Trump had the legal basis to fire Comey but that his decision would have long-term negative consequences.

“I regret it, I think it’s unfortunate,” McCain said. “The president does have that constitutional authority. But I can’t help but think that this is not a good thing for America.”

I refer to this article solely to illustrate how terribly out-of-touch is John McCain with the law and with reality. However, even McCain isn’t yet sufficiently addled to refute the authority of a president to fire an FBI director.

Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom weighs in on the Comey situation and likewise concludes that President Trump acted appropriately. “I’m glad it happened.”

As I’ve said, I still have law enforcement contacts across the fruited plain and I know that the bulk of line-level agents, not necessarily supervisors or managers, were relieved to see the dismissal of William Comey. Judge Andrew Napolitano confirms this.

Newt Gingrich also weighs in on the issue with Sean Hannity.

Let us not forget the 10 major scandals that occurred on the 3.5-year watch of Director Comey.

The bottom line is this: former FBI Director James Comey made quite a number of flawed decisions based not upon the law but instead on politics. He placed himself in front of cameras frequently as he enjoyed the limelight. He did so for self-aggrandizing reasons. Having a self-righteous and poor decision-maker in charge of the FBI is not a formula for success or for ensuring confidence in the bureau.

The firing of James Comey was long overdue.

BZ

 

TRUMP FIRES FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY

From the AssociatedPress.com:

TRUMP FIRES FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.

In a statement, Trump says Comey’s firing “will mark a new beginning” for the FBI. The White House says the search for a new FBI director will begin immediately.

Comey’s firing comes days after he testified on Capitol Hill about the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling and possible connections between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Why were the lines included about the “three separate occasions”? In my opinion, it’s because Comey, instead, went out of his way to inform America that he was in fact investigating President Trump yet, that same day in March of this year, refused to indicate he was investigating the leakers of important classified information. Trump once again proves he broadcasts little about his future moves.

Kimberly Guilfoyle weighs in.

Demorats are, of course, calling this action “Nixonian.” Chuck Schumer, for one. What of these previous quotes from Mr Schumer regarding Comey?

I should remind all those applicable Demorats of this, from the PortlandPressHerald.com:

Democrats call for FBI director to step down

by Karoun Demirjian

They say James Comey stonewalled them when asked if the agency is probing a Russian link to Trump.

WASHINGTON — More Democrats are calling for FBI Director James Comey’s resignation after a closed-door briefing on the intelligence community’s Russian hacking report Friday, during which members say Comey stonewalled them about whether the FBI is investigating alleged links between President-elect Donald Trump and the Russian government.

Democrats accused Comey of being “inconsistent” for refusing to confirm or deny whether the FBI was investigating alleged links between Trump and the Kremlin, despite his willingness to frequently update Congress on the status of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

They described the exchange with Comey as “contentious” and even “combative,” while leaders accused him of using a double standard.

My guess? Advisers to President Trump took him aside and, with Comey’s most recent waffling about the number of Clinton emails, it became the straw that broke a political back. President Trump had finally lost confidence in Comey.

Certainly, Comey was deeply polarizing in the FBI building itself. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was a polarizing figure as well. In 2015, Dr Jill McCabe, wife of the Deputy Director, ran for state senate in Virginia and in the process took in excess of $700,000 from state Demorats, including a PAC run by long-time Clinton ally, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. The FBI concluded that there was no conflict of interest for Deputy Director McCabe to stay involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. That decision was made by James Comey. Many agents finally concluded that the FBI was completely broken.

This announcement on July 5th of last year regarding Comey’s decision not to forward a case against Hillary Clinton to the DOJ was flawed in the extreme and the beginning of the end for Director Comey.

Judge Andrew Napolitano said this about James Comey back in November of last year.

Judge Napolitano compared James Comey to J. Edgar Hoover — but with much more power than Hoover because of today’s technology. Comey was eccentric and concentrated too much power into an entirely unelected individual.

Just last week, former US Attorney Joe Digenova made the case for the outright firing of FBI Director James Comey to Tucker Carlson.

This is only the second FBI Director to be fired in my recent memory. Then-President Bill Clinton fired William Sessions in 1993.

Trust me, within the FBI building, line-level agents are breathing a collective sigh.

Comey continued to inject himself into politics time and again. His face was in front of TV cameras time and again. He was self-serving time and again. And his firing should have occurred some time ago. He made the FBI everything but apolitical. He was self-indulgent, self-righteous, and became at different points both the Attorney General and the President.

His firing was long overdue.

BZ

“Lordy, that would be really bad”

Truer words, as above, have not recently been written. It’s all about James Comey.

And the testimony of FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday before the US Senate Judiciary Committee on FBI Oversight only serves to underline and prove one thing: Mr Comey needs to be forced to resign, and immediately.

Certainly Hillary Clinton thinks so. It was Comey and the Russians who did her in despite saying she is taking “absolute personal full responsibility” for her loss. Uh, no. She doesn’t take full responsibility. She spoke to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York.

“I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had,” Clinton said, before adding that she was “on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off.”

This is the same Hillary Clinton who was enraged that the election wasn’t simply handed over to her as required by us underlings, proles. commoners, serfs and unwashed rabble.

[It’s interesting to note that Hillary Clinton is writing a book about her loss, Huma Abedin is writing a book and Barack Hussein Obama is making $400,000 speeches to Wall Street.]

The very next day following Clinton’s fuzzy softball interview, Director Comey’s testimony in the Senate was jam-gepacked with bursting volumes of self-serving and contradictory statements. (The full testimony can be read here. Full video is here.) Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley originally called the Wednesday oversight hearing of the FBI to examine what the agency knows about a 2015 terrorist attack in Garland, Texas. Things got a bit off-topic, however.

To what am I referring? From Breitbart.com:

Comey: Anthony Weiner Received Classified Clinton Emails

by Kristina Wong

FBI Director James Comey hit back Wednesday against Democratic criticism of his decision to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails 11 days before the 2016 election.

He said although it made him “mildly nauseous” to think he could have had some impact on the election, he believes he did the right thing and to this day, would not change his mind.

In explaining his decision to reopen the investigation, he said investigators found metadata on the seized laptop of Anthony Weiner — top Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s husband — that showed there were “thousands” of Clinton’s emails on the device, including classified information.

Investigators believed the emails could include emails missing from her first three months as secretary of state.

Comey said after repeatedly telling members of Congress that the FBI had concluded its investigation into Clinton, the only right thing to do was to let Congress know the case was reopened.

“I could see two doors and they were both actions. One was labeled ‘speak,’ the other was labeled ‘conceal,’” he said.

But wait. Was classified information really involved in any of those emails?

He said Abedin forwarded “hundreds of thousands” of emails to Weiner, 40,000 of which they reviewed. Three thousand of those were work-related, and 12 of them contained classified information, he said.

But he said Abedin and Weiner were not charged with any wrongdoing since investigators did not find a general sense of criminal intent — a decision that Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) scoffed at.

The hearing conducted on Wednesday featured Senator Diane Feinstein asking a question that, in retrospect, she wished she never touched.

She received a lot more information, damning information, than she wanted. She opened the door and FBI Director James Comey walked right through it. I suspect she was hoping Comey would simply reply that the information was classified. Sorry, senator. Feinstein was just pissed, regarding 702 data**, that her Demorat ox got gored.

But what really happened here? Again, just like July of 2016, Comey makes an argument for prosecution — first, against Hillary Clinton now, here, against Huma Abedin — and then does nothing about it. How did Weiner come to be in possession of classified information? Huma Abedin sent it to him. This is a violation of 18 USC 793 — Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information, to wit:

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

As I wrote in July of last year regarding Director Comey’s decision to refuse sending the Hillary Clinton case on to DOJ:

To me it is quite clear that FBI Director James Comey, about whose probity I wrote quite a number of times on the blog, has dishonored his law enforcement oath, showing that he has no fidelity, no bravery and no integrity with regard to his decision to not recommend prosecution of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But in today’s hearing with Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz as documented at Politico, James Comey revealed his flawed and craven, cowardly political thinking when one is familiar with law enforcement prosecutorial thresholds as I am.

Director Comey determined a manner in which to weasel his way out of recommending the prosecution of Clinton.  At Thursday’s hearing he went out of his way — again, just like Wednesday — to make his own case and then fall back on a position/decision that isn’t his to make.

But the most insightful part has arrived.  Comey outs himself:

Chaffetz then asked whether it was that he was just not able to prosecute it or that Clinton broke the law.

“Well, I don’t want to give an overly lawyerly answer,” Comey said. “The question I always look at is there evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that somebody engaged in conduct that violated a criminal statute, and my judgment here is there is not. “

And this is how James Comey attempts to rationalize his decision.  He states he does not believe his case established guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

NEWSFLASH: It is not UP to YOU, Director Comey, to assemble a case that yields a determination of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  That threshold is up to the DOJ or more pointedly a Grand Jury, not you or your organization.  All you need to compile a case for submission is “probable cause.”  That’s what real cops and real DAs in America do.  Their jobs.  They stay in their lanes and do their jobs.

As noted about Comey’s wrong-headed decision to give a pass to Hillary Clinton regarding the classified information on her server and in her emails, there are crimes of specific intent and general intent. Comey insists he must have specific intent before forwarding a case to DOJ. That’s wrong. There are sections, as above, that demand no such thing. Watch:

“She had no sense that what she was doing was a violation of the law.” Really, Mr Comey? “We couldn’t prove any sort of criminal intent.” You might try reading the law, Mr Comey. Federal law. The law you’re tasked with following and upholding.

Senator Ted Cruz had questions.

The fact patterns in Hillary Clinton’s case and Huma Abedin’s case do violate federal law as indicated by Senator Cruz above and common sense.

Director Comey’s job is not to be the attorney, but to be the compiler, and assembler of cases and, then, submitting a case to the Department of Justice. He essentially has and is usurping the function of prosecutors by withholding cases from the DOJ.

Tucker Carlson, below, interviews Democrat Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio and, more pointedly, former US Attorney Jim Digenova. Listen to Digenova’s clear and cogent case against FBI Director James Comey.

On Wednesday, for good measure, Director Comey decided to throw former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch under the bus — deservedly but quite willingly.

Now there is information from RightScoop.com, announced by Catherine Herridge of Fox News:

REVEALED: FBI found email that Lynch would do everything she could to protect Hillary from CRIMINAL CHARGES

Fox News reporter Catherine Herridge says this is one of the biggest headlines out of the hearing today with the FBI director, pointing out that the FBI had found an email was obtained by Russian hackers that indicated that former DOJ hack Loretta Lynch would do everything she could to protect Hillary from prosecution:

 

This was the story from Wednesday. And who covered it? Anyone but Fox?

Note how Director Comey refuses to answer. The fix was in. Comey is a disreputable political hack and has proven himself time and again to be so.

FBI Director James Comey must go. He is too self-centered, too much the political animal and, frankly, too narcissistic to continue in his current position. He insists he is apolitical but every movement he makes and statement he gives proves otherwise.

It’s all about James Comey.

BZ

NOTE:

** 702 data, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978:

Section 702 permits the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence to jointly authorize targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States, but is limited to targeting non-U.S. persons. Once authorized, such acquisitions may last for periods of up to one year.

Under subsection 702(b) of the FISA Amendments Act, such an acquisition is also subject to several limitations. Specifically, an acquisition:

  • May not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States;
  • May not intentionally target a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States if the purpose of such acquisition is to target a particular, known person reasonably believed to be in the United States;
  • May not intentionally target a U.S. person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States;
  • May not intentionally acquire any communication as to which the sender and all intended recipients are known at the time of the acquisition to be located in the United States;
  • Must be conducted in a manner consistent with the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.[10]

 

Jason Chaffetz reveals: FBI doesn’t follow the law

And, further, it doesn’t wish to be accountable.

First, the background information from FCW.com:

House seeks clarity on FBI facial recognition database

by Matt Leonard

The FBI has expanded its access to photo databases and facial recognition technology to support its investigations. Lawmakers, however, have voiced a deep mistrust in the bureau’s ability to protect those images of millions of American citizens and properly follow regulations relating to transparency.

Kimberly Del Greco, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, faced tough questioning from both sides of the aisle at a March 22 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Stop. This is the same privacy issue I have with the utilization of LPR (License Plate Recognition) technology by law enforcement agencies locally and nationally. LPR systems, mounted on the roofs of enforcement vehicles, rapidly collect and analyze visual information, the license plates of vehicles, in order to determine their status, either stolen or wanted due to criminal activity. In essence, there is yet no limitation on what can or must be done with this information. It can and is shared with abandon between agencies — not just law enforcement — and the technology has the ability to track vehicles and place them at certain locations at precise times. Though you, the driver, have committed no crime.

With more LPR systems installed on law enforcement vehicles, the issue of privacy becomes even more impacted. At present there is policy, not law, regarding LPR collection.

The FBI’s use of facial recognition technology was called into question last year after the Government Accountability Office issued a report saying the bureau had not updated its privacy impact assessment when the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System “underwent significant changes.”

Now that you have an idea of the issue at hand, please watch the video in which Jason Chaffetz attempts to acquire some sort of cooperation or sense from Del Greco.

“So here’s the problem,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee chairman. “You’re required by law to put out a privacy statement and you didn’t and now we’re supposed to trust you with hundreds of millions of people’s faces.”

The FBI’s NGI-IPS allows law enforcement agencies to search a database of over 30 million photos to support criminal investigations. The bureau can also access an internal unit called Facial Analysis, Comparison and Evaluation, which can tap other federal photo repositories and databases in 16 states that can include driver’s license photos. Through these databases, the FBI has access to more than 411 million photos of Americans, many of whom have never been convicted of a crime.

Fingerprints, DNA, photographs, license plates. All ways that law enforcement can identify, follow and track you. All of them impacting your privacy.

Jason Chaffetz also revealed a vitally-important aspect of technological programs that collect massive amounts of information: social media. Will it collect from that?

More importantly, who answers when the information becomes corrupted, is erroneous, provides incorrect analysis or becomes hacked, compromised or distributed itself?

The GAO report said the FBI was not testing the accuracy of its system on a regular basis and has not done testing to ensure that the system provides accurate results for “all allowable candidate list sizes.”

Multiple witnesses, including Jennifer Lynch, the senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Alvaro Bedoya, executive director at the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, said that facial recognition technologies have provided false positives more regularly for women, younger individuals and people of color.

“That is due to the training data that is used in facial recognition systems,” Lynch said. “Most facial recognition systems are developed using pretty homogeneous images of people’s faces, so that means mostly whites and men.”

Perfect. A racist system that violates your privacy as well.

The point of displaying the video here on the blog is so that you formulate an idea of how difficult it is to acquire anything even remotely resembling the truth from government agencies and, in this case, the FBI, which is an arm of the Department of Justice. Remember what Jason Chaffetz said:

The FBI’s failure to update the privacy impact assessment, Chaffetz added, was yet another reason not to trust the agency with ordinary Americans’ personal information.

The federal government continually says that its citizens must trust it or there will be a gap of confidence. It implores America to have faith and belief. Yet it does nothing whatsoever to discourage citizens from thinking this way or disabuse us from questioning most everything it does.

What do you truly have as a country when the FBI proves it does not obey the law and, by dint of that, the Department of Justice? The FBI and the rest of the alphabet agencies continue to prove they cannot be trusted as they serially dissemble, dodge, evade, withhold, distract, lie and, moreover, politicize every aspect of their activities.

Then deny it all.

We are coming to a tipping point, ladies and gentlemen, not just here in America but throughout the rest of the world, with regard to big government. We have a trust crisis, a budget crisis and even a crisis of legitimacy.

Government fails to understand the criticality.

Who watches the watchers?

No one.

BZ