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John Solomon’s article on Christopher Steele’s dossier asks the question of who knew what and when:

Multiple sources confirm to me that the recipient of the State Department email was Special Agent Stephen Laycock, then the FBI’s section chief for Eurasian counterintelligence and now one of the bureau’s top executives as the assistant director for intelligence under Director Christopher Wray. The email to Laycock from Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec arrived eight days before the FBI swore to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that it had no derogatory information on Steele and used his anti-Trump dossier to secure a secret surveillance warrant to investigate Trump’s possible ties to Moscow.

Officials tell me that Laycock immediately forwarded the information he received about Steele on Oct. 13, 2016, to the FBI team leading the Trump-Russia investigation, headed by then-fellow Special Agent Peter Strzok. Laycock was the normal point of contact for Kavalec on Eurasian counterintelligence matters, and he simply acted as a conduit to get the information to his colleagues supervising the Russia probe, the officials added.

This information on Steele was known well before Jim Comey signed off on the first FISA warrant application against Carter Page.

At the time, Comey “swore to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that it had no derogatory information on Steele and used his anti-Trump dossier to secure a secret surveillance warrant to investigate Trump’s possible ties to Moscow.” That’s a lie. John Solomon’s reporting, including the email from Kathleen Kavalec to Stephen Laycock, shows that the FBI knew that Steele wasn’t reliable. Comey testified the opposite. He testified that Steele was totally reliable. That testimony is discredited, to put it nicely.

If Solomon’s reporting is accurate, and thus far, it has been, Comey’s in big trouble. Lying on a FISA warrant application is bad enough. Lying on a FISA warrant application to spy on a presidential campaign is a total no-no. What’s most frightening is that, if they can do this to the president of the United States, they can do this to anyone.

Kevin Brock, the former FBI assistant director for intelligence, said the State Department’s email in October 2016 ordinarily should have triggered the FBI to reevaluate Steele as a source. “This is quite important,” Brock said. “Under normal circumstances, when you get information about the conduct of your source that gives rise to questions about their reliability or truthfulness, you usually go back and reevaluate their dependability and credibility.”

This isn’t unravelling the way Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings or Jerry Nadler hoped it would. They didn’t think that Barr would go on the offensive. They thought wrong. Finding out if the Obama administration cut corners to help Hillary get elected is the right thing to do. Now, Nadler, Cummings and Schiff are put in the position of defending the indefensible. They deserve that fate.

When it comes to legal matters, Trey Gowdy doesn’t mince words. He’s one of the most honest people to have recently served in Congress. If he says that someone is in legal jeopardy, bet on that person to start hiring attorneys. This afternoon, Mr. Gowdy stated that former CIA Director John Brennan was in hotter legal hot water than former FBI Director Jim Comey. It isn’t a secret that Jim Comey is in trouble. That’s what’s behind his constant blabfests on CNN and on speaking tours.

What’s known is that the FBI didn’t attempt to verify the Steele Dossier until after the election, which is well after Jim Comey attested to the FISA Court that it had been verified and that Christopher Steele was a trustworthy informant. Those aren’t accurate statements, which means, I suspect, that he’ll be one of the first people dragged before U.S. Attorney John Durham’s grand jury to get squeezed by Mr. Durham into turning state’s evidence against Brennan and other bad actors from the Obama administration. (Jim Clapper and Loretta Lynch pop to mind. Imagine that.)

“That’s a pretty easy thing to sort out, who insisted that the dossier or the unverified material from Chris Steele be included,” he said. “But … sometimes when you have two people, I can tell from you having been in the courtroom, sometimes when people are blaming each other, they are both right. It’s both of them. And I think it’s interesting Brennan and Comey right now, the only thing they seem to share is a hatred for Donald Trump. It’s going to be interesting if they begin to turn on one another. I’ve seen the document. I’m not going to describe it any more than that, Comey’s got a better argument than Brennan based on what I have seen.”

I wouldn’t want to be either of those gentlemen at this point. Yes, I use the term gentlemen loosely in that sentence. If I wasn’t such a gentleman, I’d probably call Comey, Clapper and Brennan losers. But I digress.

Even Rod Rosenstein is upset with Comey:

Here’s why Mr. Rosenstein is upset:

It isn’t a secret that Democrats hate President Trump to the point of developing Trump Derangement Syndrome, aka TDS. Byron York’s reporting, like in this article, has highlighted so many facts that the Democrats don’t want out.

For instance, York reports “The warrant application made a three-point argument. Point 1 was that Russia was trying to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Point 2 was that Page had a history of involvement with Russia and Russians. Point 3 was that Page was a Russian agent conspiring with powerful Russian officials to influence the election. Point 1 was true. Point 2 was true. Point 3 was not, and that is when the application went off the rails.”

Comey would’ve known that Point 3 wasn’t true if he’d taken the time to verify the Steele Dossier before using it in his FISA warrant. At the heart of this fiasco (and other fiascos) is Mr. Comey. All trails seemingly lead back to him. His sloppiness has been mortifying.

Now that he’s left office, Rod Rosenstein is speaking out against Comey:

“Now, the former director is a partisan pundit, selling books and earning speaking fees while speculating about the strength of my character and the fate of my immortal soul,” Rosenstein said. “That is disappointing. Speculating about souls is not a job for police and prosecutors. Generally, we base our opinions on eyewitness testimony.”

Rosenstein continued:

“The clearest mistake was the director’s decision to hold a press conference about an open case, reveal his recommendation and discuss details about the investigation, without the consent of the prosecutors and the attorney general,” Rosenstein said. “Then, he chose to send a letter to the Congress on the eve of the election stating that one of the candidates was under criminal investigation, expecting it to be released immediately to the public.”

What’s amazing is that Comey is totally vulnerable but seemingly unaware of his multiple vulnerabilities. If he were a water container, he’d be called a sieve. If he was a type of cheese, he’d be known as Swiss cheese.

If he was a defendant in a criminal trial, the odds are that he’d quickly be called a convict.

Saying that Jim Comey’s reputation is tarnished is understatement. Still, he’s been tarnishing his reputation since July 5, 2016. That’s when Mr. Comey pitched aside the Constitution and decided that the FBI Director had the authority to decide whether he could ignore the fact that the Attorney General could authorize the prosecution of a person.

It wasn’t Mr. Comey’s responsibility to decide whether to prosecute Hillary Clinton for illegally storing confidential information on her private email server. That was Loretta Lynch’s call. Instead, Dir. Comey decided against prosecuting Hillary. Monday, Comey denied that he had anything to do with the FBI’s sullied reputation, saying “as far as hurting the FBI’s replication, I hope not. We had to make very hard decisions in 2016. I knew we would get hurt by it. The question is, how do we reduce the damage? What I’m doing now is not what I love to do. I’d rather not be talking to you all. But somebody has to stand up and speak for the FBI and the rule of law. And I hope there’s a whole lot more somebodies out there than just me.”

That’s a steaming pile of BS. First, President Trump is right in criticizing the FBI’s political thugs, aka Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. He’s right in firing Andrew McCabe for subversion of President Trump’s administration both before and during his administration. Next, President Trump and people like Trey Gowdy are right in ridiculing him for telling Congress that he either didn’t know, didn’t recall or didn’t remember key parts of the FBI’s investigation 245 times during his first day of testimony. Greg Gutfeld got it right in this segment of The Five:

Finally, it’s stunning to see how arrogant Comey is. Nothing is his fault. In Comey’s mind, it’s President Trump’s fault for calling out Page’s, Strzok’s and McCabe’s corruption.

The FBI’s responsibility is to investigate. It isn’t the FBI’s responsibility to determine whether to prosecute. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that the FBI director know that sort of thing.

I’ve long agreed with the things that Kurt Schlichter said in this article:

Let’s stop pretending that America in 2018 has a “justice system.” It’s not a justice system. It’s a set of elite institutions that swing the law like a sledgehammer to crush threats to the ruling class’s monopoly on power. You know, threats like the people we elect to represent our interests against the elite. And we are under no moral obligation to pretend it is anything else.

This painful to admit it, but we need to grow up. There are two sets of law in America today, meaning there is no rule of law in America today. Oh, there are statutes, and there are courts, and there are agencies full of people with guns willing to enforce the will of aspiring tyrants, but there is not rule of law. There is only power, theirs and ours. Time to get woke to the undeniable fact what the Fredocons deny up and down. Justice is no longer blind. Her blindfold is off and she’s picking favorites.

Anyone looking at what happened during the Clinton ‘investigation’ knows that she got treated differently than Gen. Flynn got treated, even though she did far worse things than Gen. Flynn.

This afternoon, after his non-testimonial testimony to the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Jim Comey utterly disgraced himself, saying “Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matters, and the truth matters. Where are those Republicans today. At some point, someone has to stand up and in the fear of Fox News and fear of their base, and fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country and not slink away into retirement.”

There used to be a time when FBI directors were men of integrity, too. Unfortunately, those days are far in the rear-view mirror. Last week, Jim Comey virtually admitted that the FBI didn’t Mirandize Gen. Flynn. Approximately 14:30 into this video, Dir. Comey admitted that he sent 2 FBI agents to ‘interview’ Gen. Flynn:

Let’s understand that Dir. Comey’s agents told Gen. Flynn didn’t need a lawyer and that they just wanted to talk with him. Further, these FBI agents, one of whom was Peter Strzok, didn’t tell Gen. Flynn that he was the target of an investigation, which he clearly was.

This afternoon, Darrell Issa told Harris Faulkner that he thinks that Gen. Flynn wasn’t properly Mirandized:

If that’s true, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Judge Emmet Sullivan doesn’t accept the Mueller-Flynn plea deal. In fact, if Judge Sullivan rules that Gen. Flynn wasn’t properly Mirandized, he’d be justified in throwing the case out and ruling that double jeopardy attaches.

If the FBI ignores people’s civil rights in order to pressure people into testifying against a higher-up, then the FBI has lost their way. At that point, FBI Dir. Comey’s statements ring hollow.

Mr. Comey, part of the rule of law requires law enforcement officers to follow procedures that the Supreme Court has required. Apparently, you didn’t do that. Don’t be surprised if Judge Sullivan scolds Dir. Mueller in his ruling. He certainly deserves it.

UPDATE: Kurt Schlichter really nails it in this article.

While leftists hyperventilate about impeaching President Trump and imprisoning Paul Manafort, a powerful yet relatively unknown figure has stepped onto the stage. His name is Judge Emmet Sullivan.

While Mueller has been operating “as a law unto himself“, according to the WSJ’s Kim Strassel, the truth is that Judge Sullivan isn’t likely to let Mueller run roughshod.

Ms. Strassel wrote “agents (including the infamous Peter Strzok) showed up within two hours. They had already decided not to inform Mr. Flynn that they had transcripts of his conversations or give him the standard warning against lying to the FBI. They wanted him ‘relaxed’ and ‘unguarded.’ Former Director James Comey this weekend bragged on MSNBC that he would never have “gotten away” with such a move in a more ‘organized’ administration. The whole thing stinks of entrapment, though the curious question was how the Flynn defense team got the details.”

This interview by Kennedy of Mollie Hemingway is chilling to legitimate civil rights advocates:

Thankfully, Judge Sullivan has stepped into this situation. It’s clear that Mueller and McCabe haven’t paid attention to the Constitution or the principles of justice being blind. When the history books get written, Robert Mueller’s and Jim Comey’s legacies should be that of scofflaws who didn’t care about the Constitution.

When Jim Comey testified behind closed doors, Mr. Comey frequently testified that he didn’t know the answer to the question he was asked or FBI counsel testified that he wasn’t allowed to testify per FBI rules. One such instance got fairly heated. Here it is:

Mr. Gowdy: I think the whole world has read the memo and — or most of the world. My question is whether or not Director Comey — I think he’s already answered he had no conversations with Rod Rosenstein. My question is, whether or not — and he’s entitled to his opinion — whether or not he believes that that framed a sufficient factual basis for his termination as the FBI Director.
Ms. Bessee: He is entitled to his opinion, but to the extent — because he also stated that he is also a witness in the investigation.
Mr. Gowdy: Which investigation is he a witness in?
Ms. Bessee: To the special counsel. He said he is a potential witness.
Mr. Gowdy: Well, you just said witness. Is there an obstruction of justice investigation?
Ms. Bessee: I believe there is an investigation that the special counsel is looking into.
Mr. Gowdy: Well, we all know that. Is it an obstruction of justice investigation?
Ms. Bessee: Mr. Chairman, can you rephrase the question, please?
Mr. Gowdy: Yes. Director Comey, you’re familiar with the memo drafted by Rod Rosenstein. You have not talked to Rod Rosenstein, as I understand your testimony. Do you believe the memo, just on the cold four pages of the memo, four corners of that document, do you believe it provides sufficient basis for your termination? Even if you would have done it differently, is it a basis for your termination?
Mr. Comey: I can’t answer that, Mr. Chairman, because it requires me to get into the mind of the decisionmaker, who is the President, and I’m not in a position to do that.
Mr. Gowdy: Do you have any evidence the memo was subterfuge to fire you, but not for the — but for a different reason?
Mr. Comey: I have no evidence at all about how the memo came to be created. I know that it was part of the documentation that was attached, what was sent to me, delivered to the FBI on the day I was fired. That’s the only thing I have personal knowledge of.

That’s just one of the heated exchanges between Chairman Gowdy, Director Comey and Ms. Bessee. Here’s the entire transcript:


What I found fascinating about this video is Chairman Gowdy’s statistics:

According to Chairman Gowdy, Comey replied “I don’t remember” 71 times, “I don’t know” 166 times and “I don’t recall” 8 times. That’s a pretty pathetic performance for a man leading the premier law enforcement agency in the world. These weren’t insignificant questions about things that happened long ago. They were central questions about major recent investigations that he supposedly headed.

It’s rather disgusting to hear Mr. Comey talk about transparency after hiding behind the FBI’s attorney. It’s clear that the FBI’s attorney’s mission was singular: protect Mueller. The FBI’s attorney didn’t care a whit about informing the public or the committees. She primarily cared about hiding important facts.

After hearing reports that Jim Comey wasn’t answering key questions that Republicans have asked him about, Comey didn’t seem the least bit bothered by his evasiveness. Darrell Issa spoke to reporters about Comey’s attitude, telling reporters “that some lawmakers have been frustrated with the testimony so far and that Comey didn’t seem upset about being told by his lawyers that he doesn’t have to answer certain questions.”

People shouldn’t think that Jim Comey is a man of integrity. He isn’t that. Right after the election, Comey insisted that he’d only testify in an open hearing, saying that he worried about Republicans would selectively leak portions of his answers. Comey pretended to be a warrior for transparency. That doesn’t square with his gleeful evasiveness in not answering the committees’ questions.

I hope that the transcript of the hearing is published soon. I suspect that lots of people want to read it to see which questions Mr. Comey didn’t answer. Let’s be clear about something important. The FBI’s political appointees aren’t men of integrity. Throughout his sham investigation, Robert Mueller has used tactics that people of integrity wouldn’t think of using.

“The details of what’s going on in there will remain private until after the deposition,” Issa said. “… [T]here is an amazing amount of things that reasonably the public will need to know that the Department of Justice and FBI attorney are guiding him not to answer.”

It’s time for the DOJ to stop protecting Comey and the other rats that have infiltrated, then ruined, the FBI. There’s nothing worthwhile about a law enforcement agency that has the ability to destroy its political enemies. Further, there’s nothing worthwhile about an agency that’s willing to turn a blind eye towards the FBI leadership. It’s time to dump the FBI’s leadership so the FBI can start restoring the trust it’s lost over the past 8+ years.

ISSA QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You’re not going to accept the answers as the answers that a forthright individual would give.”

I want to thank Congressman Issa for exposing Dir. Comey’s evasive testimony. It’s now difficult to believe that Mr. Comey is interested in transparency. It’s also impossible to think that the FBI isn’t attempting to hide lots of embarrassing pieces of information, information that’d likely show how corrupt that organization is.

UPDATE: What chutzpah:

If I got paid $10 for each article I’ve read, pundit I’ve heard and montage I’ve watched that’s predicted Mueller was on the verge of slamming the jail cell on President Trump, I’d be rich. This article is just the most recent I’ve seen.

Jill Abramson’s article starts by saying “The rogues’ gallery exposed in Robert Mueller’s court filings last week make the Watergate burglars look positively classy. Even veteran lawyers who were involved in the investigations of Richard Nixon say they’ve never seen this level of chicanery. Most importantly, last week’s events showed that Special Counsel Mueller is getting closer to exposing the scope and depth of it all. His most recent filings make clear that considerable evidence touches the president himself.”

There’s no doubt that some of the people who’ve been investigated (I’m thinking Manafort and Stone mostly) are worthy of society’s disdain. To be blunt, they’re skunks. If both rot in jail the next 50 years, I won’t lose a split-second of sleep over it.

That being said, that being said, neither lead to the promised land. Neither connect President Trump to anything corrupt or criminal. Without proof that President Trump engaged in criminal activity, Mueller’s glass isn’t half-empty or half-full. It’s just empty. As he frequently does, Newt Gingrich nails it with his analysis:

There’s no doubt that Ms. Abramson wishes for Mueller to nail President Trump. Notice how she slithers her opinions into the article as verified fact:

As a candidate, Trump repeatedly reassured voters that he had no business dealings in Russia. But as he uttered those lies, he knew Cohen was planning to sell Russian kleptocrats $250m units in a future Trump Tower Moscow by luring Putin into the project with a free $50m spread. This was all unfolding as emails from Democratic officials, hacked by the Russians, disrupted the Democratic convention and the Republican party was making its party platform much kinder to Russia.

I’d love seeing the documentation or text messages that shows Trump knew what Cohen was doing. Until they have that, they’ve got nothing. Period. Hatred of a person isn’t proof of a crime getting committed.

At some point, the Mueller ‘investigation’ will end. At that time, those of us who appreciate integrity will start telling historians who will listen that Mr. Mueller is a skunk who doesn’t have an ounce of integrity. He’s just a malicious man who’s upset that he wasn’t hired when Jim Comey got fired.

Last week, Democrats insisted that then-Judge Kavanaugh’s emotional defense of his family and his professional reputation proved that he didn’t have the right temperament to be a Supreme Court justice. This past weekend, Jerrold Nadler told the NYTimes that the Senate Judiciary Committee and the FBI didn’t perform a proper investigation of Justice Kavanaugh so the House Judiciary Committee would perform one if Democrats retake the majority in the House.

Now Juan Williams insists in his latest column that Republicans can’t govern, asking “Can anyone unite the bitter, dysfunctional GOP House conference, which remains at the heart of the federal government dysfunction and has the lowest public approval rating of any branch of government?”

For a reporter, Williams certainly hasn’t noticed that the government got funded on time, they passed a bill to deal with the opioid crisis and that the economy is humming along thanks to the bills that they’ve passed. Other than that, they haven’t gotten anything done.

This is proof that the Democrats’ excuses keep getting more ridiculous each day. What a sad bunch. Here’s Juan Williams telling the FBI how to do its job:

Perhaps, he should work harder at his craft and trust the FBI more.