House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#26

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:47 am

Talking Points Memo
Lynch To DOJ IG On Ill-Fated Tarmac Meeting: Bill Clinton ‘Went On And On’

Attorney General Loretta Lynch was “devastated” by the impromptu visit former President Bill Clinton made onto her plane on an Arizona tarmac, a top Justice Department official told the DOJ inspector general.

The infamous meeting, which drove speculation of DOJ bias in the Hillary Clinton email probe, was recounted in excruciating detail in the inspector general report released Thursday, which covered Bill Clinton’s reasoning for making the trip to Lynch’s plane (“I don’t want her to think I’m afraid to shake hands with her because she’s the Attorney General”), and her own recollections of when she realized that the former President was about to overstay his welcome (Clinton moved some of her bags on the plane so he could take a seat.)

DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz found no evidence that the Clinton email probe was discussed. However, he said Lynch made an “error in judgment” in not cutting the conversation short, given its problematic appearance, and that she should have made more of an effort to clear the air publicly. ...

Meanwhile, among Lynch’s staff waiting on the tarmac in her motorcade, a panic was beginning to swell, according to the report:
The Deputy Chief of Staff said that they quickly realized that the meeting was problematic, because Clinton was not just the former President but was also the husband of someone who was under investigation. The Deputy Chief of Staff said that she felt “shocked,” and that they all “just felt completely…blindsided.” The Senior Counselor said that they immediately were aware that the meeting was ill-advised and that the “optics were not great.”
They called DOJ’s Public Affairs Director Melanie Newman and “sounded the alarm.”


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#27

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:29 am

LA Times
Comey responds to the Justice Department's report, says conclusions are 'reasonable'

Former FBI Director James Comey responded on Twitter to the Justice Department inspector general’s report about his handling of the investigation in 2016 into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The report found that Comey and others mishandled the case, including by improperly sharing information with the public. Investigators characterized Comey’s disclosure of the FBI’s findings in July 2016 as “extraordinary and insubordinate,” though not politically motivated.

“The conclusions are reasonable, even though I disagree with some,” Comey tweeted Thursday morning. Noting that he had a difficult decision to make, he added, “I pray no Director faces it again.”


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#28

Post by p0rtia » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:01 am

Feel better now, Jim? Even though you disagree a little? You fucking asshole.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#29

Post by RVInit » Fri Jun 15, 2018 2:34 pm

p0rtia wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:01 am
Feel better now, Jim? Even though you disagree a little? You fucking asshole.
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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#30

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:56 pm

The Guardian: Trump attacks FBI 'scum' as he falsely claims DoJ report exonerates him

President, in blatant mischaracterization of official justice department report, claims it found ‘total bias’ at FBI


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#31

Post by Slim Cognito » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:06 pm

Addie wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:56 pm
The Guardian: Trump attacks FBI 'scum' as he falsely claims DoJ report exonerates him

President, in blatant mischaracterization of official justice department report, claims it found ‘total bias’ at FBI
We know Trump doesn't read. I'm sure that's what Miller and Giuliani told him, and they'd never steer him wrong, right?


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#32

Post by Kendra » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:41 am

What have we here?


In light of IG's failure to look at leaking/anti-Clinton bias among agents in NYC field office, this seems quite relevant. Nunes says "good FBI agents" told him about Weiner laptop in late September 2016.



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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#33

Post by Addie » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:13 am

Talking Points Memo - Josh Marshall :thumbs:
There’s Something Fatally Wrong in the IG Report on the FBI and DOJ ...

Comey claimed that fears of leaks did not play a role in his decision. Basically all his advisors said the opposite. One of the big mysteries of the IG Report is what happened to the investigation into reports of anti-Clinton bias in the FBI Field Office in New York and claims that anti-Clinton agents had leaked the news of the laptop to Rudy Giuliani in order to restart the Clinton probe. (Reps. Elijah Cummings and John Conyers requested Inspector General Horowitz review this matter all the way back on November 4th, 2016.) I have heard suggestions that this part of the investigation will be addressed in a subsequent IG Report. But I’ve been able to find no concrete evidence of that. Even if that is the case, since the Inspector General looked so hard for anti-Trump bias in the FBI leadership in Washington, it seems odd to deal separately with possible anti-Clinton biases of those whose potential leaking that leadership team was apparently reacting to.

Rudy Giuliani’s name literally is not mentioned once in the report. But there is substantial evidence that he was leaked information about the Weiner laptop which he then took to Fox News. In April 2018, in expectation of this question beyond addressed in the IG Report, Reuters reported that “law enforcement officials previously told Reuters the information was leaked to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an adviser to the Trump campaign who subsequently discussed the contents on Fox News.”

Indeed, there are other hints in the report that FBI leadership was wary of hostility toward Clinton and the disposition of the email investigation both from within the ranks and from retired agents. On October 7th, 2016, for instance, the President of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI sent an email to Associate Deputy Director David Bowdich telling him that he continued to “hear negative comments about the Bureau’s handling of the Clinton email controversy from former agents. This is after a period where things seemed to quiet and comments mellowed. The renewed negative comments appeared to be timed with the release of additional emails in the Clinton situation and with the Director’s recent congressional testimony.”

On October 21st, Strzok briefed a group of retired FBI personnel in a conference call to try to calm the clamor over how the investigation was handled. Lisa Page recalled “[W]e got a ton of criticism from the formers about the, why we let her off the hook, and why she should have been prosecuted, and why if she had, if they had done this, they would have prosecuted, all those sort of criticism that you have surely heard.”

These are just a few examples from the report itself. It’s clear that lots of former special agents were very upset that Clinton hadn’t been indicted and FBI leadership was trying to explain their decision-making and calm the clamor. In this context, note that when Giuliani was pressed on how he’d known about the restarting of the Clinton investigation he claimed that he’d only been in contact with retired agents, notwithstanding Reuters law enforcement sources who said he’d been leaked the information directly.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#34

Post by bob » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:59 pm

Cf.: The Federalist: IG Report Shows Obama Lied When He Said He Knew Nothing About Hillary’s Secret E-mail Scheme:
'The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency,' Obama told CBS News during the same interview in which he lied.

In 2015, President Obama told America he only learned that his secretary of state Hillary Clinton was illegally using a private email server to conduct public business after The New York Times published a story saying so. Today’s release of a Department of Justice inspector general report shows that was a lie.

“FBI analysts and Prosecutor 2 told us that former President Barack Obama was one of the 13 individuals with whom Clinton had direct contact using her clintonemail.com account,” the report says in a footnote on page 89. “Obama, like other high level government officials, used a pseudonym for his username on his official government email account.”

The report also says Obama Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey knew that Obama had lied. It was in 2015 that Obama had disclaimed knowledge that Clinton used a private, rather than government, email address. In 2016, while drafting a public statement explaining why the FBI wouldn’t prosecute Clinton during her run for the presidency, Comey changed the statement’s wording to hide that Obama had communicated with Clinton through her private email address, the report says.

“A paragraph [in Comey’s statement] summarizing the factors that led the FBI to assess that it was possible that hostile actors accessed Clinton’s server was added, and at one point referenced Clinton’s use of her private email for an exchange with then President Obama while in the territory of a foreign adversary,” the IG report says. “This reference later was changed to ‘another senior government official,’ and ultimately was omitted.”


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#35

Post by tek » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:57 pm

okay, waitaminnit..

It is not the POTUS' job to ponder over email addresses.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#36

Post by Addie » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:23 pm

WaPo
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says he’s willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney said in a letter made public Sunday.

Peter Strzok, who was singled out in a recent Justice Department inspector general report for the politically charged messages, would be willing to testify without immunity, and he would not invoke his Fifth Amendment rights in response to any question, his attorney, Aitan Goelman, said in an interview Sunday. Strzok has become a special target of President Trump, who has used the texts to question the Russia investigation.

Goelman said Strzok “wants the chance to clear his name and tell his story.”

“He thinks that his position, character and actions have all been misrepresented and caricatured, and he wants an opportunity to remedy that,” the lawyer said.

If Strzok were to testify publicly, the hearing could be explosive, perhaps exposing new details about investigators’ thinking on some of the FBI’s most high-profile probes.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#37

Post by Addie » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:51 pm

Talking Points Memo
Schiff: Nunes Didn’t Share FBI Agents’ Tip About Clinton Emails On Weiner Laptop

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Sunday he hadn’t heard at the time that FBI agents had tipped off committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) about finding Clinton emails on disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

“This is the first that we’ve heard about it,” Schiff told NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. ...

On Friday, Nunes told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham “we had whistle blowers that came to us in late September of 2016, who talked to us about this laptop sitting up in New York that had additional emails on it. The House Intelligence Committee, we had that, but we couldn’t do anything with it.”

“Good FBI agents brought this to our attention, but what could we do with it?” he added.

It’s unclear who Nunes meant when he said “the House Intelligence Committee, we had that.” Schiff, for one, said Sunday he wasn’t told about the leak.

“It is deeply disturbing, because if this was shared by New York field agents with Devin Nunes, was it also shared with Rudy Giuliani?” he said. “Or did Devin Nunes do something which we have seen subsequently, which is coordinate with the Trump team? Was this information shared by the committee with Rudy Giuliani, or shared directly with him?”

“We don’t know the answer, but we hope the inspector general will find out.”


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#38

Post by Addie » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:52 pm

The Hill
Schiff: ‘Deeply disturbing’ that FBI gave Nunes confidential info on Clinton's emails

The House Intelligence Committee's top Democrat, Adam Schiff (Calif.), said Sunday it was “deeply disturbing” that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) received classified information about Hillary Clinton’s emails from FBI field agents in 2016.

“This is the first that we've heard about it, and it is deeply disturbing because if this was shared by New York field agents with Devin Nunes, was it also shared with Rudy Giuliani? Or did Devin Nunes do something, which we have seen subsequently, which is coordinated with the Trump team?” Schiff said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Was this information shared by the committee with Rudy Giuliani or shared directly with them? We don't know the answer but we hope the inspector general will find out,” Schiff added. ...

Schiff has frequently criticized Nunes, particularly for his handling of the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#39

Post by Addie » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:27 am

Talking Points Memo - Josh Marshall
“A Deep and Visceral Hatred”, The Timeline

Over recent days I’ve been noting abundant evidence from the DOJ Inspector General’s report, Rep. Devin Nunes and other sources of clear anti-Clinton animus on the part of senior FBI Agents in the New York FBI Field Office and among retired agents with whom they were apparently in contact. It seems clear that members of that office leaked word of Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop more or less immediately to Capitol Hill Republicans and at least one top Trump campaign surrogate, Rudy Giuliani, to create pressure to reopen the Clinton probe.

It further seems clear that fear of such leaks was a major or even the primary reason why James Comey sent his letter to Congress on October 28th, 2016. In other words, there was not just bias – Comey himself reportedly called it a “deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton”. That bias lead to specific and repeated actions which at least violated FBI regulations and possibly violated the law. Those violations triggered a chain of events which likely changed the outcome of the election. That is a very big deal. And yet, these basic facts, which seem all but beyond dispute receive no clear examination in the IG Report.

To capture this, I wanted to assemble the information together in a timeline which I think captures the story in a way a mere discussion of it cannot. We should note that there is every reason to think that this pattern of bias played a role not only during the last six weeks of the campaign but indeed through the entire course of the two year investigation.

September 26th-27th, 2016: FBI Agent in New York first discovers the existence of Abedin/Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. The unnamed agent says he found the emails on either the evening of the 26th or morning of the 27th.
Adding:
Mother Jones - Kevin Drum: The FBI’s New York Office Really Hated Hillary Clinton
Salon - Digby: Here’s what’s buried beneath that FBI report: How rogue agents sabotaged the Clinton campaign
Washington Monthly: How Rogue Agents at the FBI Influenced the Election


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#40

Post by Addie » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:45 pm

C-Span live hearing
June 18, 2018
Justice Department OIG Report on Clinton Email Probe

The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, testified on his first report on how the Justice Department and FBI handled investigations ahead of the 2016 elections.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#41

Post by Fortinbras » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:41 pm

The live hearing was interesting. You could guess each Senator's party affiliation by the questions asked.

The Republicans kept asking about why the FBI pulled up short (apparently) on investigating the business about Hillary Clinton's emails, and had inter-office communications indicating an expectation/desire that Trump would lose the election.

The Democrats hammered on the fact that there was a simultaneous FBI investigation actually going on in 2016 about Trump's dealings with Russia, but unlike Clinton's email investigation nobody whispered a word about it. Also, Rudy Guiliani seemed to have some inside info on the revival of the FBI investigation of the Clinton emails, and why all the official publicity - with the Director (Comey) even going on TV - about Clinton's emails even before any conclusions had been drawn, which was Extremely Abnormal for the FBI. For all of these questions, the current FBI Director drew a blank, promised to get back with answers. Don't hold your breath.



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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#42

Post by kate520 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:16 pm

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Salon’s mobile platform is soglitchy and sucky I can barely read Digby’s piece :twisted: . I dread links there. Why is it so awful on an iPad? Or is it me?


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#43

Post by tek » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:24 pm

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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#44

Post by Addie » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:55 pm

WaPo - Paul Waldman
There may have been an FBI conspiracy involving the 2016 election. But not the one you think. ...

In contrast, a group of FBI agents in the bureau’s New York office seems to have been doing everything it could in the fall of 2016 to make sure Clinton wouldn’t become president. We don’t know their names. We haven’t read their texts. We may eventually learn the full extent of the actions they took, since the inspector general is conducting a separate investigation that involves them. But to this point, it has been something only the most dedicated aficionados of the story of how James B. Comey all but handed Trump the election knew anything about.

Let’s begin with the fact that during 2016, the FBI’s New York office was by numerous accounts the epicenter of an effort to undermine Clinton through leaks to the media and prominent Republicans. As one report put it just before the election, “Deep antipathy to Hillary Clinton exists within the FBI, multiple bureau sources have told the Guardian, spurring a rapid series of leaks damaging to her campaign just days before the election.” As one agent put it, “The FBI is Trumpland.” A former Justice Department official told Vanity Fair in 2017, “It was widely understood that there was a faction in [the New York] office that couldn’t stand her and was out to get her.”

Their efforts became critical when the office, in the course of its investigation of Anthony Weiner, husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, acquired Weiner’s laptop on Sept. 26, 2016, and found on it thousands of emails to and from Clinton. Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Trump’s most slavish water carrier, said last week: “We had whistleblowers that came to us in late September of 2016 who talked to us about this laptop sitting up in New York that had additional emails on it. So good F.B.I. agents brought this to our attention.” It’s a bit curious to characterize FBI agents who rushed to tell a Republican congressman about Weiner’s laptop within just a few days of its discovery, and before they had gone through the emails to see whether there was anything problematic about them (which, it turned out, there wasn’t), as “whistleblowers.” Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said yesterday that Nunes never told him at the time.

At the same time, there were agents leaking information about investigations into the Clinton Foundation to none other than Rudy Giuliani, who would then go and air the charges on Fox News. Two days before Comey would tell Congress that the bureau had reopened the investigation into Clinton’s emails — a blockbuster announcement that may well have thrown the election to Trump — Giuliani said on Fox News, “I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton finally are beginning to have an impact. He’s got a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next two days.”

To give you one more example, just days before the election, an FBI source told Fox News’s Bret Baier that Clinton’s email had been hacked and she would soon be indicted — a false story that Baier later apologized for airing. But of course by then the damage had been done, and the picture of Clinton as an impossibly corrupt figure who would be locked up any day was firmly entrenched in the public’s mind.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#45

Post by Addie » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:19 pm

Talking Points Memo
DOJ IG Responds To Trump Claims Of Exoneration: ‘We Don’t Address’ Russia

The House Oversight Committee’s top Democrat on Tuesday grilled Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on whether the President is correct in claiming that a report issued by Horowitz’s office vindicated him in the federal probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

The short answer: no.

Pointing to a quote in which President Trump said he was “totally exonerated” by the IG report on how top FBI officials handled investigations during the campaign, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said, “My copy of your report must be missing a page, a few pages.”

“Did your investigation examine whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to impact the election, or whether the president obstructed an FBI investigation?” Cummings asked.

“Our report was focused on the Clinton email investigation, and the only place where it touches the Russia matter is with regard to the [FBI agents’] text messages and then the October decision about the Weiner laptop,” Horowitz replied.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#46

Post by vic » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:03 pm

Addie wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:19 pm
Talking Points Memo
DOJ IG Responds To Trump Claims Of Exoneration: ‘We Don’t Address’ Russia

The House Oversight Committee’s top Democrat on Tuesday grilled Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on whether the President is correct in claiming that a report issued by Horowitz’s office vindicated him in the federal probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

The short answer: no.

Pointing to a quote in which President Trump said he was “totally exonerated” by the IG report on how top FBI officials handled investigations during the campaign, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said, “My copy of your report must be missing a page, a few pages.”

“Did your investigation examine whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to impact the election, or whether the president obstructed an FBI investigation?” Cummings asked.

“Our report was focused on the Clinton email investigation, and the only place where it touches the Russia matter is with regard to the [FBI agents’] text messages and then the October decision about the Weiner laptop,” Horowitz replied.
FOX will just say that the IG doesn't understand the report they wrote.
Off Topic
I was in a meeting once where a programmer ("Jane" *) was claiming that the rest of us didn't understand the specification. One of the attendees ("Bob") was patiently explaining what it meant, but she insisted he didn't understand. I couldn't stand it after a while and asked, knowing the answer, who wrote the specification. Yes, it was Bob. Jane still insisted that Bob's explanation was wrong - she insisted that the client, with whom Bob had worked for weeks before writing the specification, would surely read the specification the same way as Jane had.

* names changed to protect the stupid.
Edit: changed from spoiler to offtopic



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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#47

Post by Volkonski » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:22 pm


The Hill

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#BREAKING: Peter Strzok escorted out of FBI building http://hill.cm/TwFPTJt

4:00 PM - 19 Jun 2018
Strzok, who had a central role in the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State, was reportedly escorted from the FBI building on Friday amid an internal review of his conduct.

"Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process, and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks," his attorney Aitan Goelman said in a statement.

The FBI agent became the subject of ire among President Trump and conservatives after it was discovered that he had exchanged private text messages with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page that disparaged Trump and other political figures.

"Despite being put through a highly questionable process, Pete has complied with every FBI procedure, including being escorted from the building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings," Goelman said in his statement Tuesday.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#48

Post by Addie » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:40 pm

Talking Points Memo
DOJ IG: We Did Not Review New York FBI Office For Anti-Clinton Bias

The Justice Department Inspector General testified Tuesday that his office’s most recent report did not include a comprehensive review of agents at the FBI’s New York field office looking for evidence that they opposed Hillary Clinton and leaked damaging information about her during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, cited a section from the IG’s report in which former Attorney General Loretta Lynch claimed to be quoting former FBI Director James Comey about the “deep and visceral hatred” of Clinton among a “cadre of senior people in New York.”

“Is there evidence and, in fact, there were people in the FBI office in New York who were very — who had a hatred of Secretary Clinton?” Nadler asked.

“We looked at individuals connected to the Midyear review, and we were not out there looking at every single FBI agent’s personal devices, text messages, who had no role in the Midyear investigation,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz replied.

As the IG report showed, multiple senior FBI officials believed a fear of leaks from anti-Clinton FBI agents in New York prompted Comey to break from precedent and publicly announce the reopening of the Clinton email investigation days before the election.
Adding:
Business Insider: DOJ officials struck down Trump's biggest claim about the inspector general's brutal report on the FBI and the Clinton probe


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#49

Post by RVInit » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:08 pm

We will see if Wray does the right thing and demands a thorough investigation of the New York field office. It is clear that this office played a central role in Comey's decision to bypass normal procedures. If that isn't reason enough for an investigation, nothing is.


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Re: House Judiciary & Oversight: FBI's Handling of Clinton Investigation

#50

Post by Hercule Parrot » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:10 am

Are there times, in the dead of night, just after Donald Trump has appalled the world with some newly horrific act, when James Comey is gripped by the dreaded thought: It was me who put that man in power? The answer Comey gives is unexpectedly swift and direct. “Yes, actually. Mostly because people say that to me all the time. So I hear that quite a bit.” And what does he do with that thought? “It’s very painful. And I sometimes wonder, if I could go back in time, would I do something deeply unprincipled? I wouldn’t. All it does is make it painful, [because] I think Donald Trump is doing – and will do – great damage to my country. But that just adds to the pain.”

Some of Comey’s detractors believe his motives were much less high-minded, that he kept inserting himself into the 2016 campaign not solely to maintain the integrity of the FBI, but for his own self-preservation. The inspector general hints at that when he writes that Comey based his decisions on “what he believed was in the FBI’s institutional interests and would enable him to continue to effectively lead the FBI as its director”. So: did ego play a part? “The honest answer is I don’t think so, in part because I knew how much this was going to suck for me. And I knew by choosing especially to speak that it was going to be bad for me personally. I think that’s a pretty good indication that it wasn’t about protecting myself. The knowledge that I was screwed, I think, is a pretty good indicator that wasn’t the case.”

Our time is nearly up. In our last minute together, I say that, if I were in his shoes, I would spend every waking hour scouring polling data and the like, searching for evidence that it wasn’t my fault that Hillary Clinton lost. I would need that. He wasn’t like that in the immediate aftermath of the election, he says. “I was just trying to block it out at the time. I think I felt a certain sense of numbness. Since then, I’ve actually delegated all that to my wife – she was a strong Hillary Clinton supporter – because she’s very keen to find evidence that it wasn’t me. She would very much like to find some definitive study that it wasn’t me.” And has she found it? “Not yet.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... in-america



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