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Kim Strassel’s column raises lots of legitimate questions about former FBI Director Jim Comey. Early in the article, though, Ms. Strassel wrote “Mr. Comey’s actions in the Hillary Clinton email probe are concerning enough. He made himself investigator, judge and jury, breaking the Justice Department’s chain of command. He publicly confirmed the investigation, violating the department’s principles. He announced he would not recommend prosecuting Mrs. Clinton, even as he publicly excoriated her—an extraordinary abuse of his megaphone. Then he rekindled the case only 11 days before the election.”

Later, Ms. Strassel wrote “the big development this week is a new look at how Mr. Comey may have similarly juked the probe into Donald Trump’s purported ties to Russia. The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation took a sharp and notable turn on Tuesday, as news broke that it had subpoenaed the FBI and the Justice Department for information relating to the infamous Trump ‘dossier.'”

Until now, people haven’t discussed whether there was a connection between the FBI and “the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS.” This week, the House Intelligence Committee changed directions when it subpoenaed FBI Director Wray and Attorney General Sessions to testify on whether the FBI used the dossier to justify its launching of any investigations. Trey Gowdy is one of the people looking into whether the FBI, especially while Comey was their director, improperly used the dossier. Last night, Gowdy spoke to Martha McCallum about what’s troubling him:

It’s apparent that the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian collusion isn’t taking its probe seriously. They’re more worried about looking bipartisan than they’re worried about digging into whether the FBI manipulated anything, including commissioning the dossier.

The question is when the FBI got in on the act. The Washington Post in February reported that Mr. Steele “was familiar” to the FBI, since he’d worked for the bureau before. The newspaper said Mr. Steele had reached out to a “friend” at the FBI about his Trump work as far back as July 2016. The Post even reported that Mr. Steele “reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work.” Who was Mr. Steele’s friend at the FBI? Did the bureau influence the direction of the Trump dossier? Did it give Mr. Steele material support from the start?

At this point, I don’t see how Congress can’t avoid calling Mr. Comey back in to testify on this new information. Further, I can’t see how Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation isn’t delegitimized. Mueller’s star witness has been utterly tarnished. Mr. Comey’s credibility doesn’t exist anymore.

The minute he testifies in a trial, the defense attorney will grill him about his testimony in front of Congress that he leaked information to a professor in the hopes of starting a special investigation. That defense attorney will paint Comey as deceitful and manipulative. If Mueller’s star witness is painted as deceitful and manipulative, that prosecution is all but officially over.

Jim Clapper, the former DNI, aka Director of National Intelligence, has been a political hatchet man for years. Now employed by CNN, all that’s changed is that he isn’t a hatchet man for the federal government. Instead, he’s a political hatchet man for CNN. This article highlights Mr. Clappers propensity for political shenanigans.

After Don Lemon’s anti-Trump diatribe, he continued with the theme that Trump wasn’t fit to be president, this time getting Clapper to echo Lemon’s accusations. During the interview, Dir. Clapper said “I really question his ability, his fitness to be in this office and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. Maybe he is looking for a way out. I do wonder, as well about the people that attracted to this, to this rally as others. You know, what are they thinking? Or why am I so far off base? Because I don’t understand the adulation. Of course, that’s why I think he gravitated to having this rally as ill-timed as it is.”

The first obvious question that Clapper needs to be asked is why he thinks President Trump is “looking for a way out.” Since the Russia collusion investigation pretty much collapsed, Democrat operatives starting conducting a stealth campaign questioning President Trump’s stability. At this year’s Netroots Nation gathering, DNC Vice-Chair Keith Ellison didn’t mince words. He said that President Trump was less stable than Kim Jung Un. This week, the storyline from Don Lemon and James Clapper has been that President Trump is unhinged.

To fully understand this story, let’s understand who Jim Clapper is. This is the opening paragraph of Sen. Wyden’s statement after DNI Clapper resigned:

During Director Clapper’s tenure, senior intelligence officials engaged in a deception spree regarding mass surveillance. Top officials, officials who reported to Director Clapper, repeatedly misled the American people and even lied to them.

It’s worth noting that Sen. Wyden isn’t a diehard movement conservative. He’s a liberal Democrat from Oregon. There’s more from Sen. Wyden’s official statement:

After the NSA Director declined to correct these statements, I put the question to the Director of National Intelligence in March 2013.  I wouldn’t have been doing my job if I hadn’t asked that question.  My staff and I spent weeks preparing it, and I had my staff send him the question in advance so that he would be prepared to answer it.  

Director Clapper famously gave an untrue answer to that question.  So I had my intelligence staffer call his office afterward and ask them to correct the record. The Director’s office refused to correct the record. Regardless of what was going through the director’s head when he testified, failing to correct the record was a deliberate decision to lie to the American people about what their government was doing. And within a few months, of course, the truth came out.

That isn’t all that DNI Clapper did, though. Here’s more:

Former President Barack Obama’s intelligence chief issued revised procedures in 2013 that made it easier for executive branch officials to “unmask” the names of lawmakers or congressional staffers caught up in intelligence intercepts overseas, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Hill. Procedures issued by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in March 2013 formally supplanted a 1992 set of rules that made the dissemination of names of intercepted lawmakers or congressional aides an act of last resort.

The new standard allowed for a lawmaker’s or staffer’s name to be unmasked if  “an executive branch recipient of intelligence” believed that learning “the identity of the Member of Congress or the Congressional staff is necessary to understand and assess the associated intelligence and further a lawful activity of the recipient agency,” according to a memo released earlier this month by the DNI’s office with little public fanfare.

Unmasking these people’s identities wasn’t done for national security purposes. It was done for political purposes.

UPDATE: During Brian Kilmeade’s interview of Lt. Col. Tony Schaffer, Lt. Col. Schaffer highlighted the fact that former DNI Clapper got caught lying under oath. Democrats first tried delegitimizing President Trump’s victory by saying Trump colluded with Russia to win the election. When that investigation fell apart, Democrats switched to insinuating that President Trump wasn’t fit for office. Who knows what’s next?

Here’s the video of Schaffer’s interview with Kilmeade:

If there’s anything that comes through clear in Kim Strassel’s latest article, it’s that Democrats have returned to being national security appeasers. The Awan family is living proof that Democrats don’t take national security seriously.

One of the first points from Ms. Strassel’s article that’s disturbing comes when she wrote “Mr. Awan, 37, began working for House Democrats as an IT staffer in 2004. By the next year, he was working for future Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Over time he would add his wife, two brothers, a brother’s wife and a friend to the payroll—and at handsome sums. One brother, Jamal, hired in 2014 reportedly at age 20, was paid $160,000. That’s in line with what a chief of staff makes—about four times the average Capitol Hill staffer. No Democrat appears to have investigated these huge numbers or been asked to account for them.”

For the Awan family to get hired by 38 Democrats is outrageous enough. That the Awan family got hired at high salaries is more outrageous. That that isn’t the worst that the Awan family did is what’s most frightening. Ms. Strassel’s article continues, saying “The family was plenty busy elsewhere. A litany of court documents accuse them of bankruptcy fraud, life-insurance fraud, tax fraud and extortion. Abid Awan, a brother, ran up more than $1 million in debts on a failed car dealership he somehow operated while supposedly working full time on the Hill. One document ties the family to a loan from a man stripped of his Maryland medical license after false billing. Capitol Police are investigating allegations of procurement fraud and theft. The brothers filed false financial-disclosure forms, with Imran Awan claiming his wife had no income, even as she worked as a fellow House IT staffer.”

What’s cute is what Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said in defending her decision to keep Imran Awan on her staff:

Ms. Wasserman-Schultz made this foolish statement:

If there’s one thing that I’m going to make sure and maintain, it’s maintain my integrity.

That’s hilarious, especially coming from the woman who rigged the Democratic primaries to guarantee that Hillary Clinton won the nomination. The thought that Ms. Wasserman-Schultz thinks she’s got an ounce of integrity left is gut-busting laughable. This isn’t laughable:

Yes, it is weird that Ms. Wasserman Schultz continued to shield Imran Awan to the end. Yes, the amounts of money, and the ties to Pakistan, are strange. Yes, it is alarming that emails show Imran Awan knew Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s iPad password, and that the family might have had wider access to the accounts of lawmakers on the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees.

It’s sad that people elected to represent us chose to protect fraudsters.

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To say that Sen. Grassley gave Jim Comey and Chuck Schumer a tutorial in integrity is understatement. This article highlights Sen. Grassley’s speech on the Senate floor that should’ve been delivered months ago.

First, Sen. Grassley reported that “then-FBI Director James Comey briefed ranking member Dianne Feinstein and him on the Russia probe.” Sen. Grassley then said the briefing included “telling us who was, and who was not, under investigation.” Then Sen. Grassley opened both barrels and trained them on then-FBI Director Comey and Senate Minority Leader Schumer.

During his speech, Grassley said “After that meeting, I publicly called for Mr. Comey to tell the public what he had told us about whether President Trump was under investigation. The public had a right to know. Mr. Comey told me and other Congressional leaders that President Trump was not under investigation. He even told the President himself – repeatedly. But, Mr. Comey didn’t listen to my request for transparency. He didn’t listen to the President’s request. Only months later has the truth finally come out.”

With that, Sen. Schumer was exposed. Then Sen. Grassley added this:

So the media was wrong. So the Democrats were wrong. So the wild speculation and conspiracy theories ended up harming our country. They played right into Russia’s hands. And how did we all learn about this truth? In President Trump’s letter removing Mr. Comey from office.

At first most didn’t believe it. The media scoffed when they wrote what the president said in that letter. They insisted that Mr. Comey would never tell the president that he was not under investigation. Well we learned earlier this month from Mr. Comey himself that he had done exactly that. It wasn’t a surprise to me because Mr. Comey had told me the same thing.

Check out this video of Sen. Grassley’s speech:

Let’s be clear about something. Mr. Comey didn’t tell the American people that President Trump wasn’t being investigated. Further, Senate Minority Leader Schumer didn’t tell the whole truth about the FBI’s investigation when he knew that it wasn’t focusing on President Trump. Instead, Sen. Schumer stuck with the Democrats’ chanting points, pretending that President Trump was under investigation.

At this point, Sen. Schumer’s integrity doesn’t exist. What politician ignores that type of information for political gain? A: The most corrupt leader of Senate Democrats since Harry Reid. People hate politicians because they’re morally bankrupt. Sen. Schumer is the poster child of moral depravity in the Senate. As the Democrats’ leader in the Senate, Schumer should be a leader. Instead, he’s the chief obstructionist in a party without a message.

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If this article is quoting Rep. Adam Schiff right, then he’s either dumber than a sack of hair or he’s one of the shiftiest (and not in a good way) politicians in Congress.

Thursday, President Trump admitted that he didn’t tape his conversations with former FBI Director Jim Comey. Rep. Schiff issued a statement, saying “This raises a lot of questions about why he would suggest in the first place there were tapes, what he hoped to gain from that? And, moreover, why he kept the country guessing about this issue for weeks, and weeks and weeks.” He said it also raises questions about “what lengths he will go to try to intimidate people from speaking out?”

I’m betting that Rep. Schiff isn’t interested in the truth in this instance. I’m betting that he’s mostly interested in keeping this story alive. I’m betting that’s because it’s the only thing that makes him politically relevant. Further, I’m betting that he’s doing what Nancy Pelosi has told him to do. Does anyone doubt that Ms. Pelosi thinks that’s the only way to keep distracting from Trump’s agenda? Honestly, for all the talk about how the Democrats’ brand is toxic outside California, New York and universities, it’s pretty apparent that the Democratic Party is Ms. Pelosi’s party.

At the moment, here’s Ms. Pelosi’s chief wimp:

Until Democrats stand up to Ms. Pelosi, they’ll deserve to be the minority party.

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After watching U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it’s clear that the Democrats aren’t interested in investigating their claims that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government. For that matter, it’s apparent that they aren’t that interested in finding out whether President Trump obstructed justice. Finally, it’s apparent that their goal is to attempt to play a game of gotcha.

Tuesday afternoon, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden got into a testy exchange with Attorney General Sessions. Saying that Gen. Sessions got upset is understatement. The exchange started with Sen. Wyden saying “The question is that Mr. Comey said that there were matters with respect to the recusal that were problematic and that he couldn’t talk about them. What are they?” Sessions replied “Why don’t you tell me? There are none, Sen. Wyden. There are none. I can tell you tell that for absolute certainty.”

The Democrats can’t pretend anymore that President Trump colluded with Russia to defeat HRC. With Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley shooting down the Democrats’ obstruction of justice arguments, there’s nothing much left but rubble of that argument, either.

After Comey’s testimony last Thursday, he exited looking like a pathetic wimp. After Tuesday’s testimony, it’s clear that this is mostly just a show produced by the Democrats. With people getting tired of the pure partisan politics played by the Democrats, they can’t afford to play this game much longer. If they do, the Democrats will hurt themselves for 2018.

It’s clear that this investigation is mostly rubbish from the Democrats. People were initially drawn to the claims like a moth to a flame. Now that we’ve had 2 witnesses, one pathetic (Comey), the other impressive (Sessions), people are questioning the validity of the collusion/obstruction of justice scandal.

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If this article is telling the truth, some Obama administration officials likely will be facing substantial jail time.

Circa News is reporting that “More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.”

Further, Circa quotes a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court document that said “Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collections under Section 702,” the unsealed court ruling declared. “The Oct. 26, 2016 notice informed the court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had been previously disclosed to the Court.”

This video is stunning:

Eventually, the FISA Court got so frustrated with the Obama administration that it rebuked them. It’s clear that Obama administration officials should be worried about their legal exposure. This time, Susan Rice’s testimony won’t be off-the-record. This time, it’ll be under penalty of perjury.

Let’s just say I’m thankful I’m not facing Ms. Rice’s situation.

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God bless Tucker Carlson for calling out Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, for saying that he knew that Russians hacked into John Podesta’s email account. During the debate, which lasted a little less than 9 minutes, Tucker asked Schiff about a letter Democrats sent to President Obama.

The letter they sent urgently requested his administration look into whether Russians hacked into Democrats’ email accounts. This is a political stunt because they know the intelligence community can’t complete that type of investigation in a month.

During the interview, Schiff repeatedly said that Russians hacked into Mr. Podesta’s email account. When pressed how he knew that, Schiff said that it was the opinion of intelligence agencies that Russians had hacked Podesta’s emails. That isn’t the same as saying Schiff had verifiable proof that Russians had hacked Podesta’s email account. Without proof, it’s just an opinion.

At another point in the debate, Carlson asked Schiff why the letter didn’t criticize the Obama administration for their lax cyber-security. Schiff said that he’d made some opening statements at committee hearings, as though that’s going to get the public’s attention. That’s a CYA move. If Schiff were truly distraught over Russians hacking into government email accounts, he should have held a press conference on the subject. Either that or he could’ve gone on national TV and made that announcement. The fact that he didn’t indicates that this is just another scam by Democrats. Here’s the video. Judge for yourself whether Schiff is a weasel:

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James Comey has notified the appropriate committees that he’s re-opening his investigation into Hillary Clinton. According to the article, “FBI Director James Comey wrote in a letter to top members of Congress Friday that the bureau has ‘learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.'”

The letter was sent to Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as well as ranking members of those committees. Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Robert Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and Sen. Charles Grassley, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also were sent this letter.

The key part of Director Comey’s letter is the second paragraph, which says “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday and I agreed that the FBI should take proper investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether these emails contain classified information, as well as assess their importance to our investigation.”

Here’s the text of Director Comey’s letter:

As much as I’d like to see the FBI recommend Hillary for prosecution, I’m still skeptical that’s what will happen. First, it’s virtually impossible for me to picture the FBI doing the right thing. Let’s be honest, too. There’s verified proof that Hillary sent classified information via her private server. Regardless of what happens with the investigation, this will have an impact on down-ticket races. Here’s a copy of the letter Marco Rubio just sent Patrick Murphy, his challenger:

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Politifact’s fact checks are notoriously questionable. This Politifact fact check is among the sloppiest fact checks they’ve ever published.

Politifact’s fact check of Trump’s claim about Syrian refugees is rated as half-true. That’s based on Mr. Trump’s statement that Hillary Clinton “has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian … refugees … despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.”

Politifact says “The 550 percent figure is correct. To say that there’s no way to screen them to find out who they are or where they come from ignores the extensive screening they undergo.” That last statement would surprise FBI Director Jim Comey and Jim Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence. This article publishes information that directly contradicts Politifact’s fact check when it says “Virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States, according to the FBI Director James Comey. The statements were made by Comey while testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about the security risks involved in taking in Syrian refugees.”

In other words, FBI Director Comey testified to the House Judiciary Committee that “virtually no database of information exists to screen Syrian refugees coming into the United States.” That directly contradicts Politifact’s published statements.

Then there’s this statement published in Politifact’s questionable fact check:

Compared to other countries, the United States has accepted very few – about 2,000 last year, for example. Half are children. Only about 2 percent are single men of combat age, the mostly likely demographic for a would-be terrorist.

That statement is directly contradicted by this information:

During the hearing, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) pointed out, according to the U.N., more than 43 million people worldwide are now displaced because of conflicts. Children constitute close to 41 percent of all refugees worldwide and women almost half.

However, the percentages are significantly different when it comes to the Syrian refugees. Of the close to 380,000 arrivals across the Mediterranean Sea from January through September of this year, 15%were children, 13% were women and 72% were men. Gohmert quoted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying, “This provides a prime opportunity for Islamic State groups to attack Western targets … It’s a disaster of biblical proportions.”

This video must be watched for verification:

Based on FBI Director Comey’s testimony and DNI Director Clapper’s statement, I rate Politifact’s fact check mostly false. It ignores congressional testimony that directly contradicts their statements.

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