Friday, August 30, 2019

Russiagate: IG Horowitz Slams Comey, but Fails to Seal the Deal

As predicted, IG Horowitz's special report on former FBI Director Comey's personal possesion and leaking of his "memos" to his friends, and therefore the press is in, and there's something in it for everyone. While the IG recommended prosecution, the DOJ, presumably Robert Barr declined to press charges. Fox, James Comey violated FBI policies with memos on Trump discussions, IG report says
The 83-page document outlined a series of violations, including that he broke FBI policies and the bureau's employment agreement "by providing one of the unclassified memos that contained official FBI information, including sensitive investigative information, to his friend with instructions for the friend to share the contents of the memo with a reporter."

Further, the IG determined that Comey kept copies of four memos (out of the total seven he drafted) in a personal safe at home after his removal as director -- and in doing so "violated FBI policies and his FBI Employment Agreement by failing to notify the FBI that he had retained them." The IG said Comey again violated the rules "by providing copies ... of the four memos he had kept in his home to his three private attorneys without FBI authorization," and by failing to alert the FBI once he learned one of the memos contained sections later deemed classified at the confidential level."
Reuters, DOJ declines to prosecute Comey despite finding that he leaked info. The Peacock,  Ex-FBI Director Comey violated DOJ policies in handling Trump memos, inspector general says. Eager to put an anti-Trump spin on it, the WaPoo headline is New IG report rebukes Comey — and debunks Trump
But the report also discloses that the FBI has declined to prosecute Comey for these violations, and — notably — it says there is “no evidence” that he or his attorneys leaked classified information.

That last point is key, because Trump has accused Comey of exactly that, and repeatedly — at least 10 times over two years, according to a review of Trump’s comments.

“James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media,” Trump tweeted July 10, 2017, shortly after news broke of the leak. “That is so illegal!”

Donald J. Trump

“He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted,” he tweeted April on April 13, 2018.

“He leaked classified information,” Trump told Sean Hannity in March of this year. “Well, if somebody in our team leaked classified information, it would be years in jail.”
Katie Pavlich, Town Hall, DOJ Inspector General Report Rips James Comey For Leaking Memos For Personal and Political Gain. Too much good stuff to quote.  David Harsanyi, NYPo, James Comey is proof the ‘deep state’ is something to fear
For nearly three years now, those who promise to save us from the wicked clutches of President Donald Trump have bombarded America with lectures about the “rule of law.” Yet, over and over again, these self-styled champions of justice feel free to disregard the law whenever it suits them. The latest example is former FBI Director James Comey.

A new report by the Office of the Inspector General for the Justice Department found that Comey had written FBI memos, illicitly passed them on to a lawyer friend, who in turn leaked them to a friendly New York Times reporter who had been spreading the Russian conspiracy theory.

Why? Because Comey was interested in extracting revenge on the man who had fired him, Donald Trump.

Comey, the report found, had leaked “investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”
 Another at NYPo, A cheater’s guide to James Comey’s FBI policy breaches.

And now, on the the bloggy analysis. Stacy McCain, IG Report Confirms Comey’s ‘Deep State’ Conspiracy Against Trump citing Aaron Klein at Breitbart. Yes it does.

At Althouse, "Former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policies in his handling of memos documenting private conversations with President Donald Trump..." cites the AP, but the fun, as usual, is in the comment section.

Ace, IG Report Says Comey Leaked and Violated DOJ Regulations; DOJ Declines to Prosecute "I don't know how the DOJ plans to go to the public seeking convictions ofnon-Deep-State actors, telling juries that these are serious crimes and stuff, while meanwhile deeming them not so serious whenever one of their own breaks the law."

The Victory Girls, Inspector General’s Comey Report Shows Misconduct "Comey is either supremely arrogant or monumentally stupid. I leave it up to you people to decide which one." Why ignore the healing power of "and?"

The Last Tradition, James Comey benefits from two tier justice system "I'm thoroughly disgusted that former FBI Director James Comey is not paying a price for his misdeeds.  I though(t) we were a nation under law."

John Hinderacker at Power Line, DOJ Inspector General’s Report Blasts James Comey  "The overriding impression one gets from the IG’s report is that James Comey was a swamp creature who was dedicated to destroying President Trump. Comey regards it as a scandal that the president asked Comey to be loyal to him. In fact, Comey was disloyal. He was scheming against the president he was supposed to be serving. That is the real scandal."

The Lid, DOJ Inspector General Releases Scathing Comey Report (Full Report Included) "James Comey spent his career making charges based on politics simply to make himself look good. However, his final investigation has served to destroy what was left of his reputation."

EBL, Comey 🤡 roasted in DOJ Inspector General Report. "Comey should be prosecuted too, but AG Barr is opting not to do so (but that was decided previously and Comey still faces liability for FISA violations). Regardless of what happens on that front, James Comey remains a disgrace."

Sundance at CTH, Inspector General Report on James Comey Conduct and Memos…. Remarkably short for a sundance post...

As Capt. Ed notes, Comey is claiming vindication, Comey: When Are All My Critics Going To Apologize After My Vindication From Horowitz? CNN: This Looks Pretty Damning To Us.

 From Harry Litman at WaPoo, laundered through the Stamford Advocate, James Comey helped save democracy when he wrote his memos "A huge fire had broken out, and Horowitz is now castigating Comey for using a noncompliant fire extinguisher."

Sundance again, Hubris as A Strategy… "There appears to be a concerted media, and allies (think Lawfare), strategy to focus attention to the DOJ decision *not* to prosecute James Comey.  This generates outrage, which has a tendency to create useful backlash.  Mr. Comey also appears to be fueling this." Now this was the sundance post I expected. Long winding and detailed.


But Andy McCabe continues to draw fire. From Andy McCarthy: What Is Justice for McCabe?
I don’t pretend to be a McCabe fan. Nevertheless, I have sympathy for him. The 2016 election will define his career, but it does not fairly reflect his long years of service defending the rule of law and American national security. If we could consider his case in a vacuum, and I had my druthers, I would not want to charge him. He was fired for cause in disgrace and is slated to lose at least some of his pension. These are significant penalties. I’d like to be able to say, “Enough is enough, no need to pile on with an indictment.”

But there’s more to it than that. A lot more.

For one thing, McCabe is suing the government for wrongful termination, arguing that he was fired due to a political vendetta carried on by President Trump. I certainly agree that the president should not have commented on McCabe’s case or status. As I’ve repeatedly argued (see, e.g., here, here, and here), the president’s often-unhinged commentary makes investigations and prosecutions much more difficult to execute. It has already resulted in slap-on-the-wrist treatment for deserter Bowe Bergdahl, who should have received a stiff sentence.

That said, though, it is an audacious strategy on McCabe’s part to (a) ask the Justice Department to exercise clemency by declining to charge an eminently prosecutable false-statements case against him, while (b) simultaneously hauling the Justice Department into court on an accusation of bad faith in a case in which McCabe leaked and then provided explanations that weren’t true. If I were the attorney general, my inclination would be to say, “If he’s going to make us go to war, let’s go to war on offense — indict him.”

More significantly, we are now living in a law-enforcement world of McCabe’s making.

Again, in a better world, I’d prefer to take account of the considerable positive side of McCabe’s ledger and what he’s already suffered, especially if he exhibited some contrition. That is, I’d ordinarily be open to declining prosecution. But then, how about the positive side of General Flynn’s ledger? And why, if it would be overkill to charge McCabe was it not overkill to charge Papadopoulos? Why do Clinton, Mills, Abedin, and Combetta get a pass in a criminal investigation triggered by actual crimes, but Flynn, Papadopoulos, van der Zwaan, and Stone get hammered in an investigation predicated by no crime — just a fever dream of Trump-Russia cyberespionage conspiracy?

FBI and Justice Department officials keep telling us they grasp that there must be one standard of justice applicable to everyone, not a two-tiered system. So, here’s the question: If Andrew McCabe’s name were Michael Flynn, how much mercy could he expect from, say, Andrew Weissmann?
John Sexton at Hot Air, Andrew McCabe And The DOJ’s Clinton-Trump Dichotomy "Put another way, why does McCabe deserve the Hillary treatment when others with equally long records of public service received the Trump treatment for their mistakes?" Erik Wemple at WaPoo, CNN glimpses its future with Andrew McCabe. It is grim.
Four years of truth-squadding Trump, you might suppose, would vest CNN with a firm aversion to hiring people with credibility problems. Apparently not, however. We asked CNN if those who hired McCabe reviewed the inspector general’s report, among other inquiries. The network didn’t provide an on-the-record response.
They already crossed that line with Clapper.

John Solomon on Da Hill claims Trump can change history by declassifying three Obama-era documents
The first includes the national security assessments that the U.S. intelligence community conducted under President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clintonconcerning the Russia nuclear giant Rosatom’s effort to acquire uranium business in the United States.
. . .
A second body of documents crying out for declassification is Obama’s private correspondence with Iranian leaders — in particular, the Oct. 7, 2014, cable he penned to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, setting the terms for the controversial Washington-Tehran nuclear deal reached in early 2016.
. . .
The final Obama-era tranche that requires declassification concerns Hillary Clinton’s email controversy — a highly classified set of documents that FBI agents identified as important and necessary in the investigation into whether she violated the law by transmitting classified emails on her unsecured private server.
Meanwhile, Nice Deb, at AmGreat, reports that Office of the Director of National Intelligence Stonewalling DOJ on Trump-Russia Docs. “It was clear Coats was not acting on the president’s behalf and had been co-opted by the intelligence bureaucracy. . .” The cover up continues.

BPR, DiGenova: Horowitz found FISA warrants used to spy on Carter Page ‘were illegal from the get-go’.
“For the record, I can report categorically that the Inspector General has found that all four FISA warrants were illegal — they were based on false information supplied to the FISA Court,” diGenova said. “And that [IG] Michael Horowitz has concluded that all four FISA warrants were illegal from the get-go.”
Well, we'll see. I'd say Comey, who signed more than one, isn't off the hook yet.

Ace, IG Determined that a DOJ Deputy Assistant Attorney General Viewed Porn on Goverment Computers and Lied About It; Declines to Prosecute

Stacy McCain takes note of Lawrence O'Donnell's flub in The Smear Machine Fails (Again)
Will they never learn from their mistakes?
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell lives a secret double life performing as a drag queen in New Jersey gay bars, a source tells me. While there have long been rumors that O’Donnell enjoys dressing up in women’s clothing, evidence of his transvestite fetish has been difficult to obtain. Yet my source assures me that such evidence exists, and as for gossip about O’Donnell’s addiction to the rare narcotic Ibogaine … Well, has O’Donnell ever denied it?
You could justify reporting almost anything by the nonexistent “journalism ethics” of Lawrence O’Donnell. On live TV Tuesday night, the MSNBC host told his audience that Donald Trump had obtained loans from Deutsche Bank co-signed by “Russian billionaires with ties to Vladimir Putin.” The basis for this claim, according to O’Donnell, was “a single source close to Deutsche Bank.” O’Donnell then added an interesting caveat: “If true … ”
Yes, of course. It would be a big scoop, if true. And my exclusive reporting that O’Donnell spends his Saturday nights in drag cabaret shows, wearing high heels and fishnet stockings while twerking to Lady Gaga songs? A major bombshell, if true. As it is, however, I hesitate to vouch for my source’s assertion that the MSNBC host is an Ibogaine-addicted transvestite. . . .
Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.
Stephen Kruiser is not much nicer at PJ Media, The Morning Briefing: NBC Fake News Blues Edition
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that O'Donnell knew his story was garbage from the get-go. He's a hack's hack, prone to fits of rage and delusion. The "rigorous verification and standards process" at MSNBC is this:

  1. Is it something negative about President Trump?
  2. OK, then it meets our standards.

Had the president's attorneys not forced him to, O'Donnell would have stuck by the story as if he'd read it in the Bible.

And then he would have yelled at an intern until she cried.
OK, that's enough; if I don't stop now, I may never be able to.

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