Archive for the ‘Jim Comey’ Category

During his interview with Maria Bartiromo this morning, Devin Nunes talked about the corruption within the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, aka the FISC. House Intelligence Committee Republicans have been questioning the FISC’s integrity. Thus far, the FISC’s replies suggest a cover-up. Rather than answering Republicans’ questions, the FISC has stonewalled and given platitudes for answers. At this point, there’s a strong chance that FISA won’t be renewed when it expires this year.

Rep. Nunes expressed his frustration with the FISC during his interview with Bartiromo:

“It’s hard to imagine a worse person the FISC could have chosen outside [James] Comey, [Andy] McCabe, or [Adam] Schiff,” Nunes said. Speaking to Fox News contributor Sara Carter, Nunes added: “It’s a ridiculous choice. The FBI lied to the FISC, and to help make sure that doesn’t happen again, the FISC chose an FBI apologist who denied and defended those lies. The FISC is setting its own credibility on fire.”

It’s important to fill in the details:

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has stunned court-watchers by selecting David Kris, a former Obama administration lawyer who has appeared on “The Rachel Maddow Show” and written extensively in support of the FBI’s surveillance practices on the left-wing blog Lawfare, to oversee the FBI’s implementation of reforms in the wake of a damning Department of Justice inspector general report last year.

The development on Friday, first reported by independent journalist Mike Cernovich, has roiled Republicans who have demanded accountability at the FBI. House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told The Daily Caller that Kris’ appointment was “shocking” and “inexplicable.”

Quite frankly, this is what’s meant by the fox meeting the henhouse. By all accounts, Kris is the personification of the Swamp. Putting the Swamp in charge of reforming the Swamp is something that only the Swamp would think is reasonable. The truth is that this truly jeopardizes FISA.

If this is how unserious the FISC is, then they shouldn’t expect support from either side of the political aisle. There’s too much trust invested in the FISC to let it be untrustworthy. In fact, a total overhaul of that institution is warranted:

Earlier this month, the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) ordered the FBI to re-verify all previous warrant applications involving the FBI attorney who falsified evidence against the former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. However, Fox News has learned the court did not order the FBI to double-check warrant applications involving other officials who made key omissions and errors in warrant applications as the bureau sought to surveil Page.

The FISC’s failure to request a comprehensive evaluation of previous submissions has stunned court-watchers who have questioned whether enough is being done to deter future misconduct by the FBI. In the past, the FISC has gone so far as to prohibit some FBI agents from appearing before the court after finding impropriety.

What’s needed is a reform-minded person to fix the FISC. In fact, I’d argue for hiring someone from outside the FISC to help with the reformation. Andy McCarthy or Trey Gowdy would be at the top of that short list, as would Michael Mukasey. This isn’t the type of thing that I’d entrust to leftists. They aren’t trustworthy. Before reforming the FISC, I’d put together a commission to determine what reforms and safeguards were needed. Mssrs. McCarthy, Gowdy and Mukasey need to serve on that commission. Ditto with Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh.

Eliminating the FISA Court likely isn’t a legitimate option. That being said, keeping it in its current structure isn’t a legitimate option, either. This needs to get fixed immediately. And I mean fixed, not tampered with.

Having Susan Rice lecture people about integrity is insulting. During her interview with Rachel Maddow, she said that the risks of killing Soleimani probably outweighed the benefits. She also said “The Obama administration was not presented with an opportunity by our intelligence community or by the U.S. military to strike Qassem Soleimani.” If they had been given that information, Rice said that what they “would have done is weigh very carefully and very deliberately the risks versus the potential rewards.”

That’s probably the only truthful thing she said in this interview:

“So, if in fact the administration can be believed that there was indeed strong intelligence of an imminent threat against the United States that’s being carried out by Soleimani and related militia then the question becomes [was] there more than one way to address that threat?” she asked Maddow. “Was the only way to deal with it to kill Soleimani? Certainly, given his history and track record, he deserves his just rewards but the question is does that serve our interests? Does that make us more secure?”

First, killing a man that’s destabilized an entire region of the world for a generation is always in our best interests. Gen. Soleimani isn’t just a high-ranking military guy. He’s the man who put together the military strategy to inflame an entire region. He’s the reason why Iran is the world’s greatest exporter of terrorism. Iran wasn’t like that before Soleimani.

Next, the US got information of an attack that would have hit multiple cities throughout the region. It isn’t that taking out Soleimani doesn’t come without risks. It’s that taking out a man with his list of accomplishments and skills is worth the risks. The trick, I suspect, is take the proper precautions to protect US interests.

Finally, if I’m going to get lectured about integrity, that lecture won’t come from Susan Rice. She’s as untrustworthy as Jim Comey and John Brennan. You can’t sink lower than that. If I’m going to get lectured about integrity, I’ll enthusiastically accept it from Mark Geist. In an interview with Pete Hegseth, Geist said this:

“First off, I mean, when has a protest ever occurred at night and, I mean, most protests they don’t typically bring AK-47s, belt-fed machine guns, and RPGs. That’s somebody planning an attack and they knew it,” Geist told Hegseth.

“They knew it when she went out on the speaking circuit on Sunday,” he continued. “But, instead of telling the truth she wanted to tell lies because she had to say what the administration — at the time — wanted.”

This part must’ve stung the most:

“If President Trump had been in office during Benghazi, we wouldn’t have lost four Americans,” he concluded.

That’s true. Unlike President Obama, President Trump wouldn’t order troops to stand down during a terrorist attack.

It’s understatement to say that Devin Nunes has taken more ill-deserved grief than any other congressman in recent history. In her latest article, Kim Strassel highlights then-Chairman Nunes’ efforts to root out FISC corruption and Judge Rosemary Collyer’s inaction.

It all started with a letter from then-Chairman Nunes to Judge Collyer. In that letter, Nunes wrote “‘the Committee found that the FBI and DOJ failed to disclose the specific political actors paying for uncorroborated information’ that went to the court, “misled the FISC regarding dissemination of this information,” and ‘failed to correct these errors in the subsequent renewals.'” That letter was dated Feb. 7, 2018.

According to the article, “Mr. Nunes asked the court whether any transcripts of FISC hearings about this application existed, and if so, to provide them to the committee.” What he got for his troubles is “a dismissive letter [from Judge Collyer] that addressed only the last request. The judge observed that any such transcripts would be classified, that the court doesn’t maintain a ‘systematic record’ of proceedings and that, given ‘separation of power considerations,’ Mr. Nunes would be better off asking the Justice Department. The letter makes no reference to the Intelligence Committee findings.”

Being the persistent fact-finder that he is, Nunes “tried again in a June 13, 2018, follow-up letter.” In that letter, Nunes wrote that Congress “uncovered evidence that DOJ and FBI provided incomplete and potentially incorrect information to the Court” and that “significant relevant information was not disclosed to the Court.”

It’s worth remembering that then-Ranking Member Schiff published a competing ‘everything-is-fine’ memo. That memo has now been discredited. Here are some of the main claims from the Schiff Memo:

FBI and DOJ officials did not “abuse” the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.

In fact, the DOJ and FBI would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, someone the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government. DOJ met the rigor, transparency and evidentiary basis needed to meet FISA’s probable cause requirements.

Thanks to the DOJ IG report, we now know that FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith altered the initial email from the CIA that said Carter Page was one of their sources to say that Page wasn’t a CIA source. IG Horowitz made a criminal referral on Clinesmith. Back to Ms. Strassel’s article:

Mr. Nunes asked Judge Collyer to “initiate a thorough investigation.” To assist her, the same month he separately sent FISC “a classified summary of Congress’s findings and facts” to that point. The letter was signed by all 13 Republican members of the Intelligence Committee.

Judge Collyer blew him off. Her letter on June 15, 2018, is four lines long. She informs Mr. Nunes she’s received his letter. She says she’s also received his classified information. She says she’s instructing staff to provide his info to “the judges who ruled on the referenced matters.” She thanks him for his “interest” in the court.

With Judge Collyer throwing the FBI under the bus and with the FBI feeling like it’s getting the short end of the stick from rubberstamp FISC judges, the odds of a major fight between the FISC and the FBI seems likely.

Frankly, the FISC judges seem disinterested. In fact, they don’t seem terribly interested in the details of their cases. That type of attitude is frightening to anyone who appreciates civil liberties. These FISC judges seem indifferent at best.

Finally, it’s apparent that the reputation that the Agenda Media attempted to give Devin Nunes is undeserved. Nunes, unlike Jim Comey and Adam Schiff, was vindicated.

This morning, Jim Comey appeared on Fox News Sunday, where he made news. During the interview, “Comey admitted … that the recently released Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the launch of the FBI’s Russia investigation and their use of the surveillance process showed that he was ‘overconfident’ when he defended his former agency’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).”

With that, St. Jim of the FBI just threw the FBI under the proverbial bus. The old cliché “what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive” is particularly fitting. People won’t necessarily catch the first lie but it always forces another lie and another. Eventually, the liar gets caught. It’s simply inevitable.

As for Mr. Comey being overconfident, that’s actually believable. The word confident means “sure of oneself; having no uncertainty about one’s own abilities, correctness;” It’s often said that Jim Comey is “often wrong but never in doubt.”

Let’s be clear about something. People don’t become “overconfident” when they painstakingly follow well-established procedures. Further, these weren’t just itty bitty-sized mistakes. In fact, it’s been argued that they weren’t mistakes. When 17 major omissions are made and each of them benefit the FBI’s FISA application and the Hillary campaign, the odds of that happening are beyond astronomical. For all intents and purposes, the odds of that happening are nonexistent.

Let’s remember that Comey isn’t some wet-behind-the-ears intern. He’s a former federal prosecutor. He’s the former Deputy Attorney General under President Bush 43. The DAG’s primary responsibility is the FBI.

This wasn’t a good interview for Mr. Comey. His answers still don’t add up. Picturing those replies in a John Durham grand jury investigation should put a smile on truth-loving Americans’ faces. In all likelihood, though, Mr. Comey’s attorneys will instruct their client to plead the Fifth.

Last week, the nation found out that Jonathan Turley a) voted for Hillary Clinton and b) is a man of integrity. This morning, it’s worth examining Prof. Turley’s op-ed about the Horowitz Report.

For instance, Prof. Turley wrote “Justice Department officials insisted to Horowitz that they choose not to interview campaign officials because they were unsure if the campaign was compromised and did not want to tip off the Russians. However, the inspector general report says the Russians were directly told about the allegations repeatedly by then CIA Director John Brennan and, ultimately, President Obama.”

Prof. Turley continued, saying “In the meantime, the allegations quickly fell apart. Horowitz details how all of the evidence proved exculpatory of any collusion or conspiracy with the Russians.” How can that be? Jim Comey insists that the FBI did nothing wrong. Comey saying that the FBI did nothing wrong ranks right up there with Adam Schiff saying that he’d seen evidence that was “stronger than circumstantial.”

Then there’s this:

Horowitz also finds no sharing of information with FISA judges that undermined the credibility of the dossier or Christopher Steele himself.

This won’t turn out well for Adam Schiff, who put out a report in February, 2018. In that report, which was published after Devin Nunes published “a memo with these explosive revelations that the FBI had targeted [former Trump campaign adviser] Carter Page with surveillance warrants that the dossier from a rival campaign had been the basis for that, and that the FBI had not been straight up with the FISA court.”

While Jim Comey takes a victory lap of sorts, the truth isn’t on Mr. Comey’s side. In his op-ed, Comey said “For two years, the president of the United States and his followers have loudly declared that the FBI acted unlawfully in conducting a counterintelligence investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. They repeatedly told the American people that the FBI had done all sorts of bad things, such as tapping Donald Trump’s wires during the campaign, opening an investigation without adequate cause, with the intent to damage Trump, and inserting secret informants into the Trump campaign.”

Kim Strassel, though, sticks with the facts in a series of tweets that are best titled “Horowitz findings of facts.” In the first tweet, she wrote “Yup, IG said FBI hit threshold for opening an investigation. But also goes out of its way to note what a “low threshold” this is. Durham’s statement made clear he will provide more info for Americans to make a judgment on reasonableness.”


Ms. Strassel’s third tweet is especially sweet:

4)In fact, IG report says dossier played “central and essential role” in getting FISA warrants. Schiff had access to same documents as Nunes, yet chose to misinform the public. This is the guy who just ran impeachment proceedings.

In other words, Schiff lied while Devin Nunes got it right. That’s the inescapable truth.

Yes, Mr. Holier-Than-Thou (Mr. Comey, not Schiff), President Trump’s well-informed followers have said “that the FBI acted unlawfully in conducting a counterintelligence investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.” Let’s talk about that a little. The Horowitz Report emphatically stated that “6)IG finds 17 separate problems with FISA court submissions, including FBI’s overstatement of Steele’s credentials. Also the failure to provide court with exculpatory evidence and issues with Steele’s sources and additional info it got about Steele’s credibility.”

Mr. Comey, if you think that vindicates the FBI, then you’re as delusional as Adam Schiff. In fact, it’s difficult determining who looks worse after reading the report’s findings. Let’s just call it a tie — for last place in the gutter.

10)Overall, IG was so concerned by these “extensive compliance failures” that is has now initiated additional “oversight” to assess how FBI in general complies with “policies that seek to protect the civil liberties of U.S. persons.”

Does Mr. Comey think that the inspector general adding additional oversight “to assess how FBI in general complies with ‘policies that seek to protect the civil liberties of U.S. persons'” is vindication for the FBI?

When the dust finally settles, the FISA warrant application process will be significantly changed to protect against the FBI’s abuses of the system. Those abuses started happening on Mr. Comey’s watch. Whether Mr. Comey or others in the upper echelons of the FBI committed crimes hasn’t been determined. That’s for Mr. Durham to determine. What’s been determined, though, is that Mr. Comey’s FBI made a series of mistakes (is it a mistake if it’s intentional?) that kept the surveillance on Carter Page intact.

What’s been determined is that the Horowitz Report vindicates Devin Nunes, the man that Democrats and Mr. Comey criticized from pillar to post. Unlike Mr. Schiff, Mr. Nunes didn’t just see what he wanted to see. Mr. Nunes saw what was actually there.

Last night, word leaked out that a former FBI lawyer had altered a document. This morning, Katie Pavlich wrote “CNN legal analyst and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, who was fired by President Trump in 2017, says the news that former FBI agent Peter Strzok altered or forged a FISA warrant application used against Trump campaign associate Carter Page is ‘alarming.’ ‘That’s kind of an alarming bit of news,’ Bharara said. ‘If there was an FBI agent sworn to uphold the constitution who can be proven to have altered a document in connection with a legal proceeding, including the obtaining of a FISA warrant, that’s really serious. It doesn’t get more serious on that.'”

If Ms. Pavlich’s reporting is right, which I suspect it is, then this is a major shift in the impeachment storyline. If the underlying investigation was corrupt, why would people think that the final work product be worth anything?

The counter-intelligence investigation started during the Obama administration in an attempt by Democrats to surveil the Trump campaign. If Strzok altered the FISA warrant application in order to get the warrant, then Mr. Strzok is in serious legal trouble. Further, once corruption is detected at the FBI, John Durham’s investigation will get expanded again. Durham’s investigation expanded from a review to a full-fledged criminal investigation a month ago. With this, the scope of Durham’s investigation just got wider.

At minimum, Andy McCabe and Jim Comey should start getting worried. FISA warrants aren’t just signed off on by agents. The agent collects the information but he/she needs the boss’s approval, too.

It’s virtually impossible to take Jim Clapper or Jim Comey seriously. A day after Michael Horowitz’s DOJ IG report excoriated Comey, Jim Clapper attempted to come to Comey’s rescue saying “I think he did what he thought was the right thing. Yeah, it violated the standard protocols and procedures of the FBI. I don’t think there’s a rule book, though, for this extraordinary situation involving potential, and emphasize potential, criminality of a president.”

That’s BS from Clapper and he knows it. It’s sanctimoniousness, too. Pretending that the counterintelligence investigation was legitimate doesn’t fly. People understand that the thing that got it started, the Steele Dossier, was utterly discredited over a year ago. That thing is a dead horse and there’s no way to revive it like Jesus revived Lazarus. This is BS, too:

“So Jim did what he thought was the right thing to do for the country. Now, one man’s leaker is another man’s whistleblower. And in this case, I think he was whistle-blowing to the public. We would not have known what we’ve since learned, I think, were it not for the action that Jim took,” he added.

Clapper knows that there’s a procedure that whistleblowers follow. It’s actually a pretty well-designed system. This is key to understanding whistleblower status:

Under this framework, intelligence community whistleblowers are not protected from retaliation if they raise “differences of opinions concerning public policy matters,” but are protected if they raise violations of laws, rules, or regulations.

That’s a pretty wide gulf between what’s protected and what isn’t protected. If Comey thought that President Trump was violating the law, then it’s Comey’s obligation to invoke whistleblower status.

It’s clear that Comey’s complaints fit into the “differences of opinion” category. Therefore, Clapper’s statement doesn’t pass the laugh test. Further, Clapper knew that the Dossier was trash. Anything built with that as a foundation was junk. This is mostly about people simply hating Trump on a deep personal level. This has nothing to do with saving the nation from a madman.

What wooden stakes are to vampires, the Mueller hearings, especially the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing, is to impeachment. When John Ratcliffe asked Special Counsel Mueller what other person (besides President Trump) had the burden of proving themselves innocent, Mueller replied that nobody has had that burden imposed on them. Rep. Ratcliffe asked that in reference to Andrew Weissmann’s statement that, while they didn’t indict President Trump, they didn’t exonerate him, either.

Each time Special Counsel Mueller couldn’t (or wouldn’t) answer key questions about Weissmann’s investigation, a little impeachment momentum disappeared into the ether. Once it’s gone, it isn’t returning. While Speaker Pelosi tries propping up her chairmen, she knows that impeachment is dead. She can put tons of perfume on that pig, it’s still just a pig. Here’s how Pelosi tried propping up Chairman Schiff and Chairman Nadler:

“The American people now realize more fully the crimes that were committed against our Constitution,” Pelosi said in the Capitol of Mueller’s testimony. “It is a crossing of a threshold in terms of the public awareness of what happened,” she later said during a news conference following Mueller’s testimony.

With little due respect to the Botox lady by the Bay, the hearings had the same effect on articles of impeachment that cold water has on campfires. If you want to watch Ms. Pelosi’s nauseating press conference, you can watch it here:

It’s easy to pile on Robert Mueller this morning. I’ve already done that in other posts so I won’t continue with that. That being said, the real villains in this travesty are the activists in the Resist Movement, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and other Democrats, Rod Rosenstein (who never should’ve offered Mueller the position), the FBI lovebirds (Strzok and Page), Andrew McCabe, Andrew Weissman and Jim Comey.

Without these disgusting people, there wouldn’t have been a special counsel appointment. But I digress. Another thing that needs to be highlighted is the discipline that Republican members of the Judiciary and Intel committees showed yesterday. They shined like I’ve never seen them shine before.

Usually, politicians participating in high profile hearings specialize in grandstanding. That didn’t happen Wednesday. Each member focused like a laser on a specific topic in their attempt to elicit new information. That’s the new model that Republicans should adopt for high profile hearings from now on.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler also said his committee would go to court Thursday to seek access to grand jury material in the Mueller report and to enforce a subpoena against former White House Counsel Don McGahn to try to get him to testify. “Today was a watershed day in telling the facts to the American people. With those facts we can proceed,” Nadler said — although he, too, stopped short of calling for impeachment.

Stick a wooden stake in that impeachment vampire. It’s dead. CPR won’t resuscitate this patient, either. Fill our the toe tag for impeachment. Unless Democrats want to lose the House again in a landslide.

Robert Mueller has a big problem that he can’t get rid of. When I say big, I’m talking about 6’8″ of a problem. His name is Jim Comey and, if Republicans choose to go this direction, Robert Mueller will have lots of uncomfortable explaining to do tomorrow. It isn’t that Comey is in Mueller’s report — except in Mueller’s footnotes.

Eric Felten of RealClearInvestigations, aka RCI, painstakingly reviewed the Mueller Report. What he found is especially noteworthy:

One of the bedrock decisions investigators must make in complex probes filled with incomplete and contradictory accounts is whom to believe. Dozens of footnotes in the Mueller report make it clear that the special counsel placed absolute faith in former FBI Director James Comey.

Dozens of the footnotes refer to memos Comey wrote recording his account of meetings and phone calls with President Trump. These include memos dated Jan. 7 and Jan. 28, 2017, as well as notes from Feb. 14, March 30 and April 11. Those memoranda were treated as the evidentiary gold standard by Mueller. Long stretches of the special counsel’s report hang almost exclusively on Comey’s say-so. One or another of Comey’s memos are cited some three dozen times in Volume II alone, which addresses possible obstruction by Trump. Mueller relies on Comey memos in footnotes 109, 110, 111, and 112, and then in footnotes 172, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182 and so on. Comey was also interviewed by the FBI and numerous are the footnotes — 68, 108, 109-112, 176-78, 180-82 and more, anchoring the narrative in his testimony.

If Comey is the verification anchor of Mueller’s report, then Comey isn’t an anchor. He’s a millstone — around Mueller’s neck. Here’s why:

Mueller relied so heavily on Comey’s memos that he felt the need to argue the superior believability of the former FBI head’s version of events. He uses legal citations that “contemporaneous written notes can provide strong corroborating evidence” and that “a witness’s recitation of his account before he had any motive to fabricate also supports the witness’s credibility.” Perhaps. But Comey was not a disinterested observer. As Paul Sperry reports for RealClearInvestigations, citing sources familiar with an internal Justice Department review, the FBI director Trump inherited was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president.

Which means that Comey was writing his memos with an eye to swaying future legal and public opinion. Upon finishing a memo, he would run it by his top deputies (see footnotes 187 and 188 in Volume II) to make sure it served its purpose. Comey’s memos may or may not be the “strong corroborating evidence” Mueller claims, but Comey surely intended for those memoranda to establish his version of events.

Contemporaneous notes aren’t corroborative in and of themselves. If the ‘corroboration’ comes from a liar and a demagogue, they’d quickly turn into the aforementioned millstone. Put another way, GIGO, aka Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Put yet another way, trusting Comey’s insights of an investigation into the man who fired him is as foolish as relying on Michael Cohen’s testimony. The only person stupid enough to trust Comey or Cohen are people with a gun to their proverbial head. Add into that the fact that it was just discovered that Comey lied to President Trump while targeting President Trump:

Two U.S. officials briefed on the inspector general’s investigation of possible FBI misconduct said Comey was essentially “running a covert operation against” the president, starting with a private “defensive briefing” he gave Trump just weeks before his inauguration. They said Horowitz has examined high-level FBI text messages and other communications indicating Comey was actually conducting a “counterintelligence assessment” of Trump during that January 2017 meeting in New York.

If this is accurate, then what little was left of Comey’s credibility is gone. Subsequently, the credibility of Mueller’s report would likely evaporate. Mueller should’ve just left well enough alone: