Thursday, August 29, 2019

Russiagate: Does Comey's Comeuppance Cometh?

The Comey report is separate from a larger inspector general report on the DOJ's handling of the Trump-Russia probe. That report, sometimes referred to by Republicans as an investigation into "FISA abuse," is expected to be released later.

It is not clear why the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, chose to write a separate report on Comey.

Among other things, Comey has been under investigation for his handling of several memos he wrote memorializing conversations with President Trump. The memos began in January 2017, when Trump was still president-elect, and continued until April 2017, the month before Trump summarily fired the FBI director.

Comey's memos were, at the least, confidential FBI documents, and at most, in some cases, classified. Comey told Congress that he sent some of the memos to a friend for the purpose of being leaked to the New York Times. Comey hoped media reports would set off a firestorm that would ultimately result in the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Trump-Russia matter.
Sundance at CTH discusses it in Byron York: IG Report on James Comey Conduct Anticipated Soon…  and has the video, Joe diGenova Discusses Upcoming IG Report on James Comey…

Nice Deb at PJ Media, 'Damning' DOJ Inspector General Report on Comey Expected to Be Released as Soon as Thursday. Hey, that's today! "without a doubt Comey should be sweating a lot tonight about what might be in those reports."

Capt. Ed at Hot air, Hmmm: DoJ Inspector General To Report On Comey’s Conduct In Separate Report
Why not just include this episode in the larger review of Operation Crossfire Hurricane? The simplest explanation might be that it’s really not part of that investigation. It’s related to it, but the issues with the memos stand on their own. Horowitz might have decided not to distract from the core mission by including the Comey matter, regardless of his thoughts on it. Two investigations, Horowitz might have decided, require two separate reports. Fair enough!
Not Ace's deepest insight ever, IG Horowitz Filing a Separate Report Focusing Only On Everyone's Favorite Pine-Scented Druid Philosopher, James Comey
It could mean that he needs a special report to cook the former FBI director for weaponzing the department for political ends.

It could mean he needs a special report to explain his "there's no intent I can prove" reasoning for whitewashing Comey.

But either way, something.
Meanwhile, speculation continues to build as to Andy McCabe's fate. Daniel Chaitin, WaEx, Comey friend expects criminal charges against McCabe 'any day' now
Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of Lawfare, wrote in a blog post that he was shocked by a New York Times report Monday that revealed McCabe's lawyers met with top Justice Department officials in recent weeks.

"Such meetings generally take place when indictment is imminent; they happen when the government plans to bring charges," Wittes said on Tuesday. "You should thus expect charges against McCabe to be forthcoming any day. And if such charges don’t happen, that doesn’t mean they weren’t planned but, rather, that some extrinsic event has intervened."
Instt,  HMM: Lawfare Expects McCabe Arrest – That Explains Why CNN Hired Him…. “McCabe’s pretty obviously dirty here, but maybe not obvious enough for CNN to shy away from him. I mean, this is CNN.” Rick Hayes at AmThink, CNN's McCabe Hire Says a Lot about Our Justice System and more about our media.
Even though the FBI fired former deputy director Andrew McCabe for "lack of candor," one of the single worst charges that can be made against a member of the bureau, and even though McCabe may face charges by the DOJ, CNN hired him as a commentator. To consummate such a widely publicized hiring, by a news agency with someone believed to have one foot on a banana peel and the other in the federal prison system, one of two things is going on with the folks behind the scenes at CNN. Either CNN has wholly forgotten the credibility problems and legal peril McCabe faces, or it has an insight about the upcoming investigation outcomes and lack of justice in America, as Hillary and Comey have.
Paul Sperry, RCI, U.S. Intel Gatekeeper Dragging Feet on Trump-Russia Files, Insiders Say, in case you thought it was just sundance at CTH being a crank about this. It's time for Barr to make an omelette out of some of these guys.
Sources who have seen the documents generally described their contents to RealClearInvestigations. They said the material still under wraps includes:
  • Evidence that President Obama’s CIA, FBI, and Justice Department illegally eavesdropped on the Trump campaign --- cases separate from the FBI’s disputed FISA court-approved surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
  • An August 2016 briefing CIA Director John Brennan hand-delivered in a sealed envelope to Obama, containing information from what Brennan claimed was "a critical informant close to Putin." The informant is believed to have actually been a Russian source recycled from the largely debunked dossier compiled by ex-British agent Christopher Steele for the Hillary Clinton campaign.
  • An email exchange from December 2016 between Brennan and FBI Director James Comey, in which Brennan is said to have argued for using the dossier in early drafts of the task force’s much-hyped January 2017 intelligence assessment. That spread the narrative that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the alleged Clinton campaign hacking to steal the election for Trump.
  • Copies of all FBI, CIA and State Department records related to Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor whose statements regarding Papadopoulos allegedly triggered the original Russia-collusion probe.
  • Transcripts of 53 closed-door interviews of FBI and Justice Department officials and other witnesses conducted by the House Intelligence Committee. The files were sent to the agency last November.
The transcripts “demonstrate who was lying and expose the bias that existed against Trump before and after his election,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) of the House Judiciary Committee. They also reportedly contain evidence of a Democratic National Committee attorney maintaining Russia-related contacts with the CIA during the 2016 campaign.
One other flash-in-the-pan story as  Lawrence O’Donnell Reports Russian Oligarchs Co-Signed Trump’s Deutsche Bank Loan (Mediaite). Capt. Ed,  MSNBC: Guess Who Co-Signed Trump’s Loans With Deutsche Bank? Update: Source “Has Not Seen The Bank Records”. AllahOundit, Hot Air, Trump Lawyer To O’Donnell And MSNBC: Your Claim About Russians Co-Signing His Loans Is Defamatory; Update: I Made An Error, Says O’Donnell. Ace, MSNBC's Larry O'Donnell Claims, Without Evidence, That Putin Co-Signed for Trump's Loans - Update: Larry O'Donnell Apologizes. Sundance: MSNBC Lawrence O’Donnell Peddles Fake Russia Conspiracy News – Trump Lawyers Respond – O’Donnell Retracts… "Just another day in the mainstream media…."

Insty: FAKE NEWS: NBC News Can’t Confirm O’Donnell’s Bombshell Trump-Russia Report: ‘This has not been confirmed by NBC News, I have not seen any documentation… that supports this.’
“MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell issued an on-air clarification Tuesday after making shocking claims about President Donald Trump’s ties to Russian oligarchs that had not been vetted by NBC News. . . . But closing out the hour, O’Donnell awkwardly returned to the topic and clarified that the network could not confirm his reporting. . . . MSNBC booking producer Michael Del Moro tweeted the following morning that not only has O’Donnell never seen the relevant documents, neither has his source.” Can you say “reckless disregard?”

Also, come on, Lawrence. The NYT has already told us that Russian collusion is dead, and the new strategy is to call Trump a racist. What is this, 2018?

Plus: Lawrence O’Donnell is still on the air? Who knew?
  That was fast even by modern media standards.

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