You are currently browsing the archives for the FBI category.


Archive for the ‘FBI’ Category

William McGurn’s column, titled “Wanted: An Honest FBI”, perfectly puts on display the difference between how Republicans see law enforcement and how Democrats talk about law enforcement.

McGurn’s column starts by talking about James Kallstrom. Kallstrom is described as coming “up through the FBI ranks, eventually becoming an assistant director and heading the bureau’s largest field office in New York. Over his career Mr. Kallstrom is credited with revolutionizing the bureau’s electronic surveillance, as well as leading big cases ranging from the probe into the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 to mob investigations such as the one that helped send the “Teflon Don”—Gambino crime boss John Gotti —to prison.”

In McGurn’s article, Kallstrom said that he doesn’t recognize the FBI he worked in for 28 years. Kallstrom said that “99% of FBI agents are dedicated professionals. But the leadership in Washington has harmed the bureau’s reputation.” That’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans have expressed clearly that they’re upset with the political leadership within the FBI and the DOJ. By comparison, Democrats have branded officers on the streets as racists:

Picture that. Gov. Dayton said that the police officer that shot Philando Castile wouldn’t have shot him if he was white. First, that’s insulting to that officer’s professionalism, training and willingness to put himself in harm’s way. Second, notice that Gov. Dayton didn’t question the police chief. He criticized an officer on the street. How disgusting.

The problem started, [Kallstrom] suggests, when Mr. Comey allowed then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch to ensure the FBI investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails would go nowhere. He rattles off a list of irregularities disturbing to any investigator: the reluctance to go to a grand jury for subpoenas, the immunity deals granted Clinton associates, the farce of an FBI interview with Mrs. Clinton that had a dozen people in the room, including Cheryl Mills, who was permitted to attend as counsel when she was a potential co-conspirator, etc.

While the Justice Department, not the FBI, makes these decisions, Mr. Kallstrom says Mr. Comey did have an option: “That was the moment he should have held a press conference, to announce his resignation—and then explain to the American people why he would not stay and preside over a sham investigation.”

Let’s be perfectly clear. There’s nothing right about not impanelling a grand jury and not insisting that materials be turned over.

Kallstrom is right. The Lynch-Comey investigation was a sham from start to finish. The political leadership of the FBI is compromised by its partisanship. Republicans have taken great pains to not question the rank-and-file investigators. They’ve focused on the top brass.

By comparison, Democrats have frequently questioned whether rank-and-file police officers are racists. If Democrats can’t stop thinking of rank-and-file police officers as racist, then we’re at a tipping point.

Betsy Woodruff’s article didn’t take long to prove that Robert Mueller isn’t interested in investigating Trump-Russian collusion. He’s interested in a fishing expedition.

In the second paragraph, Ms. Woodruff wrote “It’s been seven months since Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ordered Bob Mueller to take over the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into possible links between the Kremlin and people associated with the Trump campaign. Trump’s lawyers have long said they expected the probe to stay focused and end quickly. Instead, Mueller has assembled a team of prosecutors with expertise in handling financial investigations and white-collar crime, and obtained guilty pleas for crimes that weren’t committed during the election year.”

Here’s the question that the MSM won’t ask: If Mueller’s objective was to prevent Russian interference in our elections, why has he focused so much attention on white collar crimes from years ago? Here’s another question: Doesn’t the DOJ have prosecutors who investigate white collar crime? Finally, if that’s the case, why do we need a special counsel spending millions of dollars on a fishing expedition?

Then there’s this:

And, most importantly, he’s sent a thinly veiled warning to the White House: No one’s finances are off limits. If 2017 had the president’s inner circle sweating, 2018 could feel like a sauna.

Simply put, it’s obvious that Mueller has stopped investigating Trump-Russia collusion. This paragraph indicates why Mueller should shut its investigation down:

A superseding indictment would essentially replace the current indictment of Manafort. And in that current indictment, Mueller’s team hinted there was more to come. In particular, they hinted at potential tax charges for Manafort’s foreign financial transactions. Federal prosecutors can bring charges against any American who has money in a foreign bank account and doesn’t check a box on their tax forms disclosing it. The Manafort/Gates indictment describes financial behavior that may be liable for that kind of prosecution. And that’s an indicator that Mueller’s team may be preparing to formally charge both men with violating tax laws.

Again, Mueller is intent on finding white collar crimes. We don’t need to spend millions of extra dollars to investigate white collar crimes. This video might best be considered the Democrats’ best spin for why the Mueller fishing expedition must continue:

First, Republicans don’t have their “hair on fire.” They’re just upset that Mueller isn’t interested in investigating the things he was originally hired to investigate. Next, Democrats insisting that Mueller be allowed to finish his investigation is spin. As I’ve highlighted earlier in this article, there’s no disputing the fact that Mueller is investigating things far afield from his original mission. For all intents and purposes, Mueller’s investigation is finished. Third, isn’t it apparent that Mueller doesn’t have anything on any of Trump’s inner circle? Paul Manafort had a title but his influence was limited, at best. Gen. Flynn was NSA director for a couple weeks but he certainly wasn’t integral to the campaign.

Nothing has been found that hints that Trump’s campaign colluded with Putin’s Russia to defeat Hillary. That’s because they didn’t need Putin’s help. All they needed was for Hillary to be Hillary. You don’t need Sherlock Holmes to figure it out that Hillary was the worst candidate in recent history. Larry Holmes could’ve figured that out.

Technorati: , , , ,

The Democrats’ non-stop rumor mill is getting pretty annoying. This time, Jackie Speier is the Democrat stoking the mill, insisting that President Trump is about to fire Robert Mueller.

This past Friday, Speier told California’s KQED News “The rumor on the Hill when I left yesterday was that the president was going to make a significant speech at the end of next week. And on Dec. 22, when we are out of D.C., he was going to fire Robert Mueller.” Speier continued, saying “We can read between the lines I think. I believe this president wants all of this shut down. He wants to shut down these investigations, and he wants to fire special counsel Mueller.”

What BS. Ms. Speier doesn’t explain why President Trump would need to fire Mueller. Thus far, Mueller’s witch hunt (it isn’t an investigation) hasn’t uncovered anything remotely resembling criminal activity from the campaign. Watch this interview, then ask yourself whether it sounds like Trump is worried or whether Ms. Speier is just interested in stoking the DC Democrats’ non-stop rumor mill:

Here’s the official response from President Trump’s attorney:

“As the White House has repeatedly and emphatically said for months, there is no consideration at the White House of terminating the special counsel,” Cobb said.

Thus far, there’s no reason for President Trump to fire Mueller. Thus far, the biggest thing Mueller’s witch hunt has going for it are tons of gossip from Ms. Speier and Adam Schiff. That’s awfully thin gruel for a grand jury to consider.

Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion faces credibility difficulties thanks to Andrew Weissman and Peter Strzok.

First, Mueller’s investigation is getting criticized for Peter Strzok’s texting. According to this article, “The messages from Strzok to another FBI expert assigned to the Mueller team were discovered in the course of that internal review. The wording of the messages sent during the 2016 campaign appeared to be making fun of then-candidate Trump, and raised concerns that they could be seen as being pro-Clinton, the sources said.” Further, the article explained that “Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who was assigned to the Mueller investigation, received the messages.”

Next, it’s important to know that Strzok “oversaw the bureau’s interviews with ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn” and that he “led the investigation of the Hillary Clinton email server as the No. 2 official in the FBI’s counterintelligence division”, too. It’s noteworthy, too, that Strzok “changed former FBI Director James Comey’s early draft language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her private email server from ‘grossly negligent’ to ‘extremely careless.'”

It’s one thing to have opinions about political candidates. It’s quite another to change politically sensitive documents about a presidential candidate to help her avoid being indicted.

Then there’s the story about Andrew Weissman. Weissman sent an email to “outgoing acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she was fired in January by President Trump for refusing to defend his controversial travel ban.” Weissman wrote “I am so proud” in the email’s subject line before adding “And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects” in the email’s text.

This doesn’t excuse Gen. Flynn’s lying to the FBI. It does question whether Mueller’s investigation is capable of treating both parties fairly, though.

When the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were unsealed, people started asking questions about the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC. The Podesta Group is owned by Tony and John Podesta. Mercury LLC is run by former Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber. This AP article raises a number of questions about these men’s lobbying activities, saying “At the center of the widening probe are Tony Podesta, a longtime Democratic operative, and Vin Weber, a former GOP congressman and leader of his own high-powered lobbying firm, Mercury LLC. The two men were hired as part of a multimillion-dollar lobbying effort directed by Manafort and longtime associate Rick Gates.”

Later in the article, it continues, saying “Representatives for Weber’s firm and Podesta said they are cooperating with the special counsel’s investigation. Podesta, whose brother was the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, has resigned from his firm.” This can’t be good news for Weber or Tony Podesta, especially if the AP article is right in saying “With the emphasis on the Ukrainian lobbying efforts, Mueller’s criminal probe is moving beyond investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia and is aggressively pursuing people who worked as foreign agents without registering with the Justice Department. More witnesses are expected before the grand jury in coming weeks.”

This article indicates that K Street isn’t taking a business-as-usual attitude these days:

Washington lobbyists who represent foreign powers have taken comfort for decades in the fact that the Justice Department rarely goes after them for potentially breaking the law. That all changed on Monday. The news of Tony Podesta’s resignation from his namesake firm and indictment of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates sent K Street scrambling, as lobbyists rushed to make sure they’re in compliance with the rules. The developments also renewed calls for Congress to pass legislation beefing up the Justice Department’s enforcement of the law, which lawmakers in both parties have derided for lacking teeth.

If Director Mueller’s focus has shifted to “pursuing people who worked as foreign agents without registering with the Justice Department”, then Weber’s firm might be in trouble. I can’t picture Mueller opening an investigation into Weber’s firm if he hadn’t gotten a tip that something was, at minimum, suspicious. This video suggests that something else has caught Mueller’s attention:

According to Manafort’s indictment, he and Gates “engaged in weekly and at times daily calls and emails with (company 1 and company 2) to provide them directions as to specific lobbying steps that should be taken and to receive reports back as to the results of such lobbying.” The two firms were the Podesta Group and Mercury.

Being connected with guys who’ve been indicted doesn’t mean you’re automatically guilty. It doesn’t mean you’re squeaky clean, either.

Technorati: , , , ,

It isn’t surprising that Nancy Pelosi is calling for an independent investigation to prevent Russian meddling in US elections.

In her statement, Ms. Pelosi said “Even with an accelerating Special Counsel investigation inside the Justice Department, and investigations inside the Republican Congress, we still need an outside, fully independent investigation to expose Russia’s meddling in our election and the involvement of Trump officials,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement Monday. “Defending the integrity of our democracy demands that Congress look forward to counter Russian aggression and prevent future meddling with our elections.”

This seems like stupid messaging. This morning, it was announced that Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates had been indicted. According to the indictment, some of the alleged illegal activity happened before Barack announced his candidacy for president.

Ms. Pelosi decision to call for this independent investigation steps all over the message that Manafort has been indicted. When there’s bad news coming out about your political adversary, exit the stage and let them endure the spotlight. Ms. Pelosi apparently didn’t figure it out that she should leave the stage.

Erick Erickson’s op-ed on the Manafort indictment is worth reading. In his op-ed, Erickson wrote “The Mueller team looked into the campaign, went down various rabbit holes, and wound up in Manafort’s tax returns circa 2012, well before Trump considered running for office. Therefore, they can claim, there is nothing there with the campaign.”

Judge Napolitano’s explanation might help shed light on the importance of the Manafort indictment:

At this point, there’s nothing found thus far that hints the Trump campaign worked with Putin’s administration to win the election. The thought that Putin tried meddling with the election is something that the overwhelming majority of Americans have already accepted. In terms of momentum, this isn’t a game-changer.

This isn’t surprising from the standpoint of people didn’t see this indictment coming. It’s now official. Paul Manafort has been indicted by a grand jury. (To read the indictment, follow this link). Following this summer’s early morning raid of Manafort’s home, this was expected to be the first indictment. That early morning raid told everyone that Manafort was in Special Counsel Mueller’s crosshairs.

Several things are noteworthy. On the first page of the indictment, it says “Defendants Paul J. Manafort, Jr. and Richard W. Gates III served for years as political consultants and lobbyists. Between at least 2006 and 2015, Manafort and Gates acted as unregistered agents of the government of the Ukraine… Manafort and Gates generated millions of dollars of income as a result of their Ukraine work. In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts.”

This article says “Manafort laundered more than $18 million, which the indictment says he concealed from the federal government. From 2008 to 2014, Manafort wired $12 million to be sent to vendors for personal items, including $5.4 million on home improvements in the Hamptons, $934,350 to an antique rug store in Virginia, $520,440 to a clothing store in Beverley Hills and $655,500 for landscaping in New York, according to the indictment.”

The long and short of it is that this doesn’t connect Manafort’s dealings with the Ukraine to the Trump-Russia collusion story. Ed Morrissey highlights the fact that “Manafort only served as the Trump campaign chair for two months (and for three months prior ran his delegate liaison effort), and that his scope of knowledge on the 2016 election is likely to be less than comprehensive. Two days after a security briefing to Trump in August 2016, Manafort left the campaign, leaving Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon in charge. Manafort might have some knowledge, but if so, Mueller should have been able to get it from other people without having to cut a deal with Manafort.”

Then there’s this:

Based on this indictment, there’s no question that Manafort and Gates are accused of committing some serious crimes. That being said, I predict that the word leverage will quickly become the hyperventilating media’s favorite new word by week’s end.

Based on this indictment, Mueller is no closer to proving Trump-Russia collusion than he was the day he was named special counsel. That being said, the hyperventilating media will do their best to make it sound like Mueller is closing in on President Trump. The other thing that liberal blowhards have already started doing is speculating on whether President Trump will fire Mueller. (He won’t.)

Finally, it’s important to note that an indictment is just the prosecution’s side of the story. It doesn’t include the defense’s cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses or the presenting of their case.

If I were king for a day, one of the things high on my to-do list would be to officially end the fishing expeditions investigations into Russian collusion. I’d finish them because they’re a waste of time. I’d finish them because senators of both parties have admitted that, after a 9-month-long fishing expeditions investigation, they still haven’t found a single piece of evidence that shows President Trump colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Greg Jarrett’s article highlights the fact that “Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), have said they have seen no evidence of Trump- Russian collaboration. Both sit on the Senate Intelligence Committee.” Jarrett then adds that “even more compelling are the statements of senior Obama administration intelligence officials who were privy to all the information gathered by both the FBI and the alphabet soup of intel agencies which began investigating the matter more than a year ago. Take a gander at what they have said. James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, has twice confirmed that he has seen no evidence of collusion. As the basis for his conclusion, he cited reports from the NSA, FBI and CIA. John Brennan, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has said the same thing –no sign of ‘collusion.’ And then there is James Comey. When asked if Clapper’s assessment was correct, the fired FBI Director testified that Clapper was ‘right,’ there is no known evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.”

At this point, it’s pretty clear that Mueller won’t find anything. He won’t because there’s nothing to find on the Trump-Russian collusion topic. It’s time to wrap that up rather than continue to waste taxpayers’ money on a fishing expedition.

Let’s be honest, too. If nobody has proof that Trump and Putin colluded to steal the election from Hillary after 9 months of looking, it doesn’t exist. Let’s remember that the NSA, the FBI and the CIA haven’t found proof of Trump-Putin collusion. If that trio can’t find proof of it, then it doesn’t exist. There’s a better chance that I’ll see the Northern Lights on a foggy night than finding proof of collusion.

This was underscored by the Senate Intelligence Committee when it disclosed that it had conducted in excess of 100 interviews over 250 hours, held 11 open hearings, produced more than 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed some 100,000 documents. Every intel official who drafted the report on Russian election meddling was interviewed, as were all relevant Obama administration officials.

That sounds pretty thorough. If these professional investigators didn’t find anything, it doesn’t exist.

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.

Steve Cortes’ article doesn’t pull punches. It should be seen for what it is: an in-your-face put-down of former FBI Director Comey and Washington, DC’s rigged system.

Cortes lays out the evidence immediately, saying “As evidence of the rigged system, voters sided with Trump during the campaign in often citing Clinton’s apparent immunity from consequences regarding her unsavory acts as secretary of state, especially her hidden emails on a private server, as well as corrupt Clinton Foundation dealings.”

Cortes cites Comey’s letter, written in late April or early May, that essentially said the FBI’s investigation was rigged. Cortes highlights the fact that Sen. Grassley and Sen. Graham sent this letter to FBI Director Robert Wray. One of the key parts of that letter is when Grassley and Graham write “According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton. That was long before FBI agents finished their work. Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership. The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts.”

In fact, after Comey wrote his “nothing to see here” draft absolving Clinton of wrongdoing, the FBI still interviewed a total of 17 key officials.

It’s impossible to find what you refuse to look for. Let’s be clear about something. What Comey did in predetermining the outcome of his investigation is every bit as corrupt as Loretta Lynch meeting with Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac. Then there’s this:

How is it possible that Comey had ascertained, at such an early date, that the evidence would not incriminate Hillary Clinton?

There’s a simple answer to that question. Comey wasn’t interested in finding out the truth. Apparently, he had picked a destination long before his agents had done the heavy lifting.

Finally, what isn’t being discussed is the Democratic Party’s depravity in nominating a woman who was exceptionally corrupt. What type of political party nominates someone who should’ve gotten indicted and prosecuted?