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 surveilled: update

Her?

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes created a firestorm when he released information earlier last week which tended to confirm that members of Donald Trump’s team had been surveilled and names unmasked for political purposes. Please see my two posts about the event here and here. Sotto voce, I’d care to point out this is the same Devin Nunes who, in May of 2013, revealed, as I wrote here:

Congressman Devin Nunes: the DOJ tapped phones in the House gallery

Fornicalia Congressman Devin Nunes of the 22nd district spoke on the Hugh Hewitt show Wednesday afternoon, and revealed a bombshell: not only did the DOJ tap the phones of reporters, but Nunes indicated the DOJ tapped the telephones of the House of Representatives in the gallery area — where not only reporters use the phones, but various DC politicians.

That said, here is Chairman Nunes’s initial revelation regarding the surveillance of President Trump, made on March 22nd.

This led to various products by Crane and Summit being pounded out of Demorat and American Media Maggot sphincters nationally, initially bent because Chairman Nunes dared to do his job and notify President Trump of his findings before the rest of the committee. This did not sit well with Adam Schiff, Little Chuckie Schumer, Nancy Pelosi et al.

Simultaneously, someone began to actually pay attention to a broadcast made on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” roughly a month ago, which included a revelation so large that it had been hiding in plain sight for some time. Please listen to Evelyn Farkas, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Obama Administration, “out” that administration regarding the Trump campaign.

What she said was essentially this: the Obama administration ensured the leakage occurred and then tried to hide both the source of the leak as well as how the information was being shipped to “the hill,” otherwise known as the AMM.

There was only one purpose: political. The obvious intent was to damage the Trump campaign as much as possible and then undermine, minimize and block the president-elect’s ability to conduct the business necessary to assemble his team and move forward.

I can think of no other words than this: a conspiracy.

LifeZette.com writes:

Fmr. FBI Asst. Director: Farkas Exposed ‘Conspiracy Cabal’ on Trump Surveillance

by Brendan Kirby

Law enforcement experts say Obama official must testify on ‘unmasking,’ may have admitted crime

The discussion with MSNBC host Mika Brezinski on March 2 focused on a New York Times story that appeared the day before under the headline, “Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Hacking.”

The story quoted unnamed former government officials who described efforts to “leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.” The information included evidence passed along by U.S. allies of meetings between Russian officials and Trump’s associates, and communications — intercepted by American intelligence agencies  among Russians — among Russians discussing contacts with Trump officials.

The spice must flow and the evidence must be preserved. Why?

“It was more actually aimed at telling the [Capitol] Hill people, ‘Get as much information as you can and get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration,’ because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people who left,” she said. “So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy.”

Read this once, and then read it again, more slowly and deliberately.

“The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the staff, the Trump staff’s dealings with Russians, that they would try to compromise these sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence,” she said. “So I became very worried because not enough was coming out in the open, and I knew that there was more.”

She added, “That’s why you have the leaking. People are worried.”

She knows there’s a leak, the reason for the leak, the means of the leak and its justification. Which led to this little joust between Sean Spicer and a journalista.

Of course, this is nothing more than fetid navel-gazing on the part of the Republicans, right? The people subject to “unmasking” were no more plain civilians than Jello is a food group, right? This has nothing to do with privacy, right? Wrong.

Joseph diGenova, who served as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia under Ronald Reagan, said Farkas and the former administration officials she referred to should be questioned under oath.

“Ms. Farkas made a major blunder and, in fact … probably confessed to a crime or knowledge of people who committed a crime,” he said. “It was a remarkable interview and amazing it went unnoticed at the time.”

We can only hope; but we know that with all of the Benghazi hearings under Trey Gowdy no one was fired or breathes air behind bars today.

But here are questions that, as per normal, no one — and I mean no one — in the American Media Maggot queue is asking.

James Kallstrom, a former assistant director of the FBI, told LifeZette it is troubling that Farkas even knew about the intelligence reports that she urged officials to spread to congressional staffers.

“How does somebody who’s not even in the administration anymore, who’s in civilian life, have access to this information?” he asked. “What kind of conspiracy cabal is this?”

What indeed? Let’s go to Circa.com for this news story.

Obama’s rule changes opened door for NSA intercepts of Americans to reach political hands

by John Solomon and Sara Carter

As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned. (More on this below.)

Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

I hope you read that quite closely. Who could unmask American names? John Brennan. Loretta Lynch. Susan Rice. Remember that.

Today, the power to unmask an American’s name inside an NSA intercept — once considered a rare event in the intelligence and civil liberty communities — now resides with about 20 different officials inside the NSA alone. The FBI also has the ability to unmask Americans’ names to other intelligence professionals and policymakers.

Stop. That power exists within, to my estimation, roughly all 17 alphabet agencies in the American intelligence community. Because I have not yet done so, I enumerate those agencies now and here:

  1. Office of the Director of National Intelligence 
  2. Central Intelligence Agency 
  3. National Security Agency
  4. Defense Intelligence Agency
  5. Federal Bureau of Investigation
  6. Department of State – Bureau of Intelligence and Research
  7. Department of Homeland Security – Office of Intelligence and Analysis
  8. Drug Enforcement Administration – Office of National Security Intelligence
  9. Department of the Treasury – Office of Intelligence and Analysis
  10. Department of Energy – Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
  11. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
  12. National Reconnaissance Office
  13. Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
  14. Army Military Intelligence
  15. Office of Naval Intelligence
  16. Marine Corps Intelligence
  17. Coast Guard Intelligence

All that’s missing is your local dental board’s intelligence unit. “You sir, slowly put down the amalgam.” Shh. Keep that one under your hat.

The ACLU, an ally of Obama on many issues, issued a statement a few months ago warning that the president’s loosened procedures governing who could request or see unmasked American intercepts by the NSA were “grossly inadequate” and lacked “appropriate safeguards.”

Put on your thinking caps. Ask: why would Obama do this? And why only two weeks from the end of his second term?

Nunes, as well as Trump supporters, will be trying to determine if that access was warranted or a backdoor form of political espionage by an outgoing administration trying to monitor its successor on the world stage.

Any proof Obama aides were using NSA-enriched intelligence reports to monitor his transition on the world stage could embolden the new president. But perhaps the most consequential outcome of the new revelations is that it may impact the NSA’s primary authority to intercept foreigners: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is up for renewal at the end of the year.

Ah, wait. A touchy subject for the intelligence community. Because who holds the purse-strings? Congress. Circa then nails it with this revelatory paragraph.

For years, the NSA has been required to follow strict rules to protect the accidental intercepts of Americans from being consumed or misused by other government agencies. The rules required a process known as minimization, where the identity and information about an American who was intercepted is redacted or masked with generic references like “American No. 1.”

The number of senior government officials who could approve unmasking had been limited to just a few, like the NSA director himself.

Wait. This conflicts with what we know now.

And in his final days in office, Obama created the largest ever expansion of access to non-minimized NSA intercepts, creating a path for all U.S. intelligence to gain access to unmasked reports by changes encoded in a Reagan-era Executive Order 12333.

The government officials who could request or approve an exception to unmask a U.S. citizen’s identity has grown substantially. The NSA now has 20 executives who can approve the unmasking of American information inside intercepts, and the FBI has similar numbers.

And executives in 16 agencies — not just the FBI, CIA and NSA — have the right to request unmasked information.

Thank you ever so kindly, Barack Hussein Obama. Stellar decision. Smashing. Brilliant.

“This raises serious concerns that agencies that have responsibilities such as prosecuting domestic crimes, regulating our financial policy, and enforcing our immigration laws will now have access to a wealth of personal information that could be misused. Congress needs to take action to regulate and provide oversight over these activities,” ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Giuliani warned in January.

Even when an American’s name isn’t included in a report, the NSA’s intercept information could be so specific that it identifies them.

I think you see both the problems and the reasons. CNN insists, however, that Farkas revealed nothing and the GOP has nothing.

Better yet (sorry for the poor audio), Farkas takes back her words and than attributes their repetition to — you guessed it — fake news.

I frequently have to remind myself that I inhabit the planet Earth, and not Zephron.

It’s interesting to note that Fred Fleitz, a former CIA officer, said:

He also questioned why so many in Washington regard as “established fact” the conclusion of U.S. security agencies that Russia meddled in the election in order to help Trump and hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He said he does not think Russia believed Trump could win.

Fleitz pointed to reports that Russian agents tried to hack into the computer systems of both major parties but succeeded only with the Democrats.

“Maybe all they did was exploit the fact that the Democrats left the barn door open,” he said.

Fleitz said the Obama administration did little to counter cyber threats, not just from Russia but from China, as well.

Then, finally, there is this pivotal information.

FOX: Trump Surveilled Before Nomination, Agencies with Info Blocked Nunes for Weeks

by Michelle Moons

A Friday breaking Fox News report on surveillance of President Trump’s team that began before he became the Republican presidential nominee claimed a very senior intelligence official was responsible—as well as for the unmasking of the names of private U.S. citizens.

The report cited sources which also indicated that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) knew of the existence of the information in January, but one or more intelligence agencies blocked him, and there were only two locations where he could view the information that he called “very troubling.”

On Thursday, the New York Times began reporting what they claimed were the identities of two White House officials who were the sources of the information disclosed to Nunes.

Nunes met with sources on White House grounds on the day before he announced to reporters striking news that he had seen new and disturbing information indicating intelligence officials under the Obama administration “unmasked” the names of Trump team members who were incidentally surveilled.

Who might this “very senior intelligence official” be? Mike Cernovich writes:

Susan Rice Requested Unmasking of Incoming Trump Administration Officials

Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, has been identified as the official who requested unmasking of incoming Trump officials, Cernovich Media can exclusively report.

The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.

Upon learning of Rice’s actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.

This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.

Who is Maggie Haberman? She is a political correspondent for the New York Times. To whom is Susan Rice married? That would be ABC Executive Producer Ian Cameron, since 1992. He left ABC in 2010. He, of course, kept his links to news and newsrooms. She was Obama’s US Ambassador to the UN and finally his National Security Advisor. She also carried Obama’s heavy water when she went of most every Sunday show possible following the Benghazi attack to claim it occurred because of a video made in the United States when, in fact, Hillary Clinton and others — as well as her daughter, Chelsea Clinton — knew and had information that was not the case at all. She knew that very night.

Here, Susan Rice speaks at length to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and both hedges and commits to nothing.

Perfect. But perhaps I should just defer to my fallback experts: Trey Gowdy and Tucker Carlson. Think ”wiretapped” vs “surveilled.”

Please note that at no point did Trey Gowdy — or has anyone trustworthy — denied that the NSA is not Hoovering every bit of digital take available in the US and abroad. If for no other reason than to make it available to certified authorities when requested.

You can’t request it if it isn’t there.

Judge Napolitano — now back on Fox News — weighs in as well.

Don’t forget, the spying of Donald Trump actually began back in 2011. Why would that be? Because Donald Trump was seriously considering running for president in 2012. Trump was causing headaches for Obama because of the birth certificate issue and became involved in opposing Obama’s policies. Trump spoke at CPAC in 2011; that’s called a clue.

The issue was so important to Barack Hussein Obama that he decided to attend the May 1st, 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner where Donald Trump would be in attendance, in lieu of monitoring the assault and capture of Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan the same night by SEAL Team 6 — of course, a singularly-important event. Obama spent most of his speech at that dinner attacking Donald Trump. Jack Posobiec indicates that Obama had, at that time, Donald Trump under surveillance as a private citizen for political purposes only; no security issues were involved.

2011 was a significant year for the Obama administration overall because he was simultaneously spying on Angela Merkel and other world leaders. This is also, 2011, when Obama changed the rules of intercept material by the US government. You see how this all ties together.

But here’s the bottom line, in my opinion. What started out in the Grand Scheme of Life under the Imperial Obama as an intent to link Trump and his assistants to Mother Russia in order to delegitimize his entire presidency and keep him from conducting the business necessary to enable his goals, Obama and his sniveling jackanapes may have inadvertently laid a path of digital and oral wreckage right back to themselves which could yield depositions, subpoenas, grand juries, indictments and perhaps even criminal prosecutions.

In other words, his little arrangement of mines and minefields may have supremely backfired.

BZ

P.S.

Michael Flynn requesting immunity? Let us not forget that he was chucked under the proverbial political bus just a few minutes ago. He’d be a DC moron not to lawyer up. Let us also not forget how many persons in the Obama Administration requested either immunity or invoked the Fifth Amendment.

First, 5 million illegals were granted immunity under Obama.

Second, how many Obama officials pleaded the Fifth in major cases? Seven?

1. Jeff Neely, the former Pacific Rim regional commissioner for the General Services Administration, pled the fifth on April 16, 2012 when Congress asked him to testify about overly-lavish spending on GSA conferences. He was eventually sentenced to prison for fraud anyway.

2. John Beale, a former official at the EPA, pled the fifth on October 1, 2013 when Congress probed into Beale’s theft of nearly $900,000 worth of salaries and bonuses from his own agency.

3. John Sepulveda, a former VA official, pled the fifth on October 30, 2013 after Congress subpoenaed him to testify as to why the department spent $6 million on conferences in Florida.

4. Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves, two senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs, each pled the fifth before Congress on November 2, 2015 when asked to testify about $400,000 they had allegedly milked out of a VA relocation expense program. They were eventually given back their jobs.

5. Greg Roseman, a deputy director of the IRS, pled the fifth on June 26, 2013, after Congress asked him to testify about why the largest contract in IRS history was awarded to a close friend of his.

6. Patrick Cunningham, chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, pled the fifth when Congress asked him to testify about Operation Fast and Furious, which trafficked more than 2,000 guns along the U.S.-Mexico border.

7. Lois Lerner, an IRS director in charge of tax-exemptions, pled the fifth numerous times during Congress’ investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

We’re supposed to assume nothing from that.

Right?