At NR, Andy McCarthy looks at the now declined prosecution of lyin' Jim Comey for leaking classified information in his memos from the perspective of a former federal prosecutor and concludes Barr made the right call: James Comey’s Memoranda: Bad Judgment, but Not a Crime
That said, the classified-information facet of this episode has been exaggerated. There were seven memos in all, totaling 15 pages. Our understanding is that Comey tried to avoid putting classified information in them, and believed he had succeeded. Yet after obtaining and accounting for all of them, the FBI designated two of them as “confidential,” the lowest level of classification. We do not know at this point (or, at least, I don’t know) whether the memo leaked to the Times — regarding the February 2017 Trump–Comey discussion of the investigation of former national-security adviser Michael Flynn — was one of the classified ones. But we can easily deduce that Comey neither intended it to be classified nor thought it was. At one point in the memo, Comey wrote, “NOTE: Because this is an unclassified document, I will be limited in how I describe what I said next.”But, dammit, I want his scalp anyway. And he's not out of the woods yet, Jerry Dunleavy, WaEx, Comey's legal future may hinge on Barr and other investigations
We know that Comey shared this memo with a friend (who is also a friend of mine, and who was his intermediary with the Times), and that he shared at least some of the memos with his lawyers (who are also friends of mine). From a classified-information standpoint, however, we are talking about a small number of documents, and it is unclear that Comey knew anything in them was classified. Even if he turned out to be wrong about that, it is highly unlikely that prosecutors could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was grossly negligent in mishandling them, much less that he willfully mishandled them.
To my mind, the issue here has never been criminal misconduct in connection with classified information. The relevant matters are the non-criminal but serious impropriety in the handling of non-public government information, and the failure to protect the confidentiality of communications as to which the president has a presumptive privilege — a privilege that subordinate executive officials are obliged to respect, regardless of whether they respect the president himself.
Barr is likely looking not just at FISA-related matters but at a variety of other areas, such as FBI informant and Cambridge University professor Stefan Halperreaching out to members of the Trump campaign. Barr selected U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has years of experience investigating corruption at the FBI and intelligence issues at the CIA and is widely seen as dogged and fair, as the point man for that inquiry.Fox, Rudy Giuliani: 'Inmates were running the asylum' because Mueller couldn't handle probe
Comey, who headed up the FBI during the launch of the Trump-Russia investigation, is a likely target of Barr and Durham. He signed three of the four FISA applications and renewals targeting former Trump campaign associate Carter Page, and was fired before the final FISA renewal in June 2017.
Comey defended the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier earlier this year, saying the FBI tried to see how much of the unverified information could be replicated. But he admitted the dossier wasn't verified when it was used in the three FISA filings he signed off on, saying “that work was ongoing when I was fired.”
In a column for The Hill, contributor John Solomon cited a source who said everyone involved in the Trump-Russia investigation and the use of the dossier remains under scrutiny, and noted other sources said Comey and others still face legal jeopardy from Horowitz, Barr, and Durham.
“He’s got a day of reckoning coming on leaking, but there is more ahead besides this,” Solomon said on Fox News earlier this week. “I can also report that there will be a very damning report that will shame James Comey.”
RCP, Ken Starr: IG Report Will Show How Trump Probe Began And The "House Of Cards" Will Collapse
"Bonchie" at Red State, The Washington Post Sure Looks Like A Russian Asset
Mitch McConnell has become the subject of a media onslaught in the past two weeks, starting with MSNBC labeling him “Moscow Mitch” for blocking a partisan election bill. It didn’t matter that the bill in question included unsupportable things like felons voting and federal interference into state elections. All that mattered is McConnell didn’t rubber stamp it so he must be a Russian agent.
This is the level of absurdity currently in our discourse. As I pointed out earlier in the week, Tulsi Gabbard is also now being called a Russian agent because she dared to call out Kamala Harris at a debate. No one is safe from the charge if you find yourself on the opposite side of Democrat party orthodoxy.
The silly attacks on McConnell culminated into what is a current full court press by The Washington Post. This includes a daily churn of multiple opinion pieces all saying the same thing – that the Senate Majority Leader is in hock with the Russians.
Here’s a sampling of that.
Milbank: Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset https://t.co/g3TgD4GytD— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 27, 2019
Eventually, President Trump would respond by taking a shot back at The Washington Post in defense of McConnell. This of course led to the newspaper to cry foul because they have no sense of irony.
- Washington Post:— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) July 30, 2019
“Trump is a Russian Asset”
“Mitch McConnell is a Russian Asset”
“The Republican Party is a Russian Asset”
“The Washington Post is a Russian Asset”
- Washington Post: *Triggered* pic.twitter.com/pqTKwPyB1d
But the evidence for the WaPoo being an actual agent of the Russians is actually impretty good:
Hey @Milbank, how much $ was your company paid to print this Russian propaganda ahead of '16? https://t.co/oqGt4vmQDG pic.twitter.com/2G8xLPXW9S— John Ashbrook (@JohnAshbrook) August 3, 2019
ARS Technica, FBI says “extremists” motivated by Pizzagate, QAnon are threats It's not paranoia when they really are out to get you. To wit, AP Impeachment summer? August town halls may decide next steps
Run Michael, run! The Peacock, Michael Avenatti is mulling a run for president again after declaring he would not seek nomination. What could exemplify the Democrat party better than a slimy porn lawyer accused of stealing from his clients and beating his girlfriend? John Sexton at Hot Air, Michael Avenatti Considering A Run For President Again
I think it’s probably best to view Avenatti the way you would a child actor. He had a shining moment in the sun when CNN decided to make him a household name by having him on television every day. Avenatti became such a star that he started talking about a run for the White House. But the good times didn’t last. After his shoddy handling of the allegations against Judge Kavanaugh, his appearances on TV dried up. A few months after Kavanaugh was confirmed, Avenatti announced he was not running for president. His celebrity career was on the rocks.Linked by EBL in Fay Wray: The Most Dangerous Game, Blondie: Union City Blue, Annisteen Allen and Wanda Jackson: Fujiyama Mama, Sharon Tate, The Hunt: So tell us how you really feel about us, Hollywood..., The Scottish Play: August 7, 1606, Berlin: Take My Breath Away and The Muffs: Sad Tomorrow.
And then came the charges.
Again, it’s not a perfect parallel, but you can probably think of a few child actors who wound up addicted to drugs and in and out of jail. In Avenatti’s case, the charges were attempted extortion of Nike. Alleged embezzlement from a disabled client. His private jet was seized. California moved to suspend his law license. And yet, some truly pathetic part of him still thinks he’s going to be a star again. In his mind, he’s not on the brink of going to prison, he’s still the golden child making his decision about the White House. It’s just sad at this point.
Even if Avenatti were miraculously cleared of all charges tomorrow, he’s never going to have the resistance at his back the way he did when CNN made him a star. Even if he really were innocent, there would still be the disaster of Julie Swetnick. And he would still have been abandoned by his most famous client. If Stormy Daniels can’t trust you, how can anyone else?
It’s been over for a while. Avenatti just doesn’t seem to know it yet.