Category Archives: Cronyism

Real Takeaway: The FBI Influenced the Election of a President, by Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren identifies the most important conclusion to emerge from Michael Horowitz’s report. From Van Buren at theamericanconservative.com:

It will be easy to miss the most important point amid the partisan bleating over what the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report on the FBI’s Clinton email investigation really means.

While each side will find the evidence they want to find proving the FBI, with James Comey as director, helped/hurt Hillary Clinton and/or maybe Donald Trump, the real takeaway is this: the FBI influenced the election of a president.

In January 2017 the Inspector General for the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz (who previously worked on the 2012 study of “Fast and Furious”), opened his probe into the FBI’s Clinton email investigation, including public statements Comey made at critical moments in the presidential campaign. Horowitz’s focus was always to be on how the FBI did its work, not to re-litigate the case against Clinton. Nor did the IG plan to look into anything regarding Russiagate.

In a damning passage, the 568 page report found it “extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors… for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.” Comey’s drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. “Lynch’s failure to recognize the appearance problem… and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment.” Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further “created public confusion and didn’t adequately address the situation.”

The report also criticizes in depth FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged texts disparaging Trump before moving from the Clinton email to the Russiagate investigation. Those texts “brought discredit” to the FBI and sowed public doubt about the investigation, including one exchange that read, “Page: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Another Strzok document stated “we know foreign actors obtained access to some Clinton emails, including at least one secret message.”

To continue reading: Real Takeaway: The FBI Influenced the Election of a President

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Bombshells Everywhere During Horowitz Day 2 Testimony, by Tyler Durden

How about that, Hillary Clinton was never under direct FBI scrutiny concerning her emails. No wonder she got off scott-free. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Inspector General Michael Horowitz returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to answer questions at a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, one day after he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

While Monday’s testimony by Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray was certainly eye-opening – Congressional Investigators uncovered several game-changing bombshells on Tuesday that will re-frame the entire discussion. Hat-tip to Paul Sperry for reporting these stunning developments in real time.

  • There were no actual subjects of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, meaning that neither Hillary nor any of her top aides – including Huma Abedin and the IT guys who set up her illegal server and then used “bleachbit” to destroy evidence (for which they received immunity) – were ever under any direct FBI scrutiny. Horowitz found this “surprising.”

To continue reading: Bombshells Everywhere During Horowitz Day 2 Testimony

Senate: Two-Tiered Justice System in FBI Clinton/Trump Investigations, by Sara A. Carter

There would have been multiple indictments against Clinton and crew if the FBI had applied the same standards that are being applied by Mueller’s team. From Sara A. Carter at saraacarter.com:

Highlights

  • Had Horowitz not discovered the anti-Trump texts between Strzok and Page, they would still be investigating the Trump campaign
  • IG confirms his office is handling investigation into Comey’s leaking of personal memos to his friend and the New York Times
  • There was a clear breakdown in the FBI culture, with senior agents being wined and dined by reporters

***DEVELOPING STORY***

Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) of the Senate Judiciary Committee outlined the stark double standard at Monday’s much anticipated hearing on the FBI’s handling of its investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for government business and the bureau’s highly partisan investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Grassley stated “justice should be blind” but contended that it was not in the case in the FBI’s handling of the Clinton and Trump investigations. He noted that based on the evidence collected in the 568-page report released by Inspector General Michael Horowitz last week, along with information and evidence collected by numerous Congressional committees, evidence of bias against Trump was insurmountable.

Grassley stressed, “most of the time, evidence of political bias is not so explicit. The details in this report confirm what the American people have suspected all along. Hillary Clinton got the kid-glove treatment.”

“I’m not buying that the Clinton email investigation is on the up and up…”

Grassley stressed, “most of the time, evidence of political bias is not so explicit. The details in this report confirm what the American people have suspected all along. Hillary Clinton got the kid-glove treatment.”

“The contrast to the Russia probe is stark,” Grassley stated. “The biggest difference, of course, is the appointment of a Special Counsel. Attorney General (Loretta) Lynch refused to appoint one. The appearance of political influence was inevitable.”

Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray were grilled by lawmakers during the hours-long hearing, which consisted of questioning regarding the use of FBI informants in investigations, the handling of the Clinton investigation, and the extraordinary bias in the FBI by senior special agents in the field.

To continue reading: Senate: Two-Tiered Justice System in FBI Clinton/Trump Investigations

The IG Report Was a Whitewash and Devastating All At Once, by Kurt Schlichter

The Inspector General’s report listed a lot of damning facts, but refused to damn anybody. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:

The IG Report Was a Whitewash and Devastating All At Once

The FBI has managed to transform its image from Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., into Special Agent Boogaloo Shrimp, and the Inspector General’s report was the bureaucratic self-policing equivalent of Breakin’ Faith 2: Electric Bamboozle.

Here’s the punchline: MC Hammered, who dropped his Glock and shot a dude whilst bustin’ a move, was one of those “top 5% of applicants” that zombie FBI Director Christopher Wray kept babbling about during his excuse conference following the report’s release. But that guy would not have even placed in competition for the title “Worst FBI Agent Ever” against the toadies, flunkies, and hacks the report highlights.

During his spin cycle news conference, Wray spent a surprising amount of time – that is, any time – boasting about the quality of his FBI honors interns. Great. Put one of them in charge. He, she, or (knowing the current liberal culture of the FBI) xe, can’t do any worse.

Wray’s ruined agency’s best n’ brightest conspired to undo the results of an election to ensure that the liberal politician who wouldn’t derail their gravy train would take office, but hey, a couple hours of diversity classes will fix that right up. I know I feel much better knowing that these bureaucratic superstars are finally going to get some training to inform them that trying to use their power as federal law enforcement agents to swing an election to their preferred political party is wrong. Apparently, that was previously unclear.

The IG report bait n’ switch was just another example of our elite shrugging in the face of indisputable evidence of its own wrongdoing. The bombshells in the IG report could justly be classified as “thermonuclear,” but remember the Comey conference back in July 2016? Its bombshells were thermonuclear too. Integrity Boy laid out an utterly devastating case against Felonia Milhous Von Pansuit, highlighting in damning detail her litany of crimes that would have consigned you, me, or anyone else not in the elite to a long tour in the stony lonesome. And then that Looming Doofus concluded his lengthy summation with, “But never mind.”

To continue reading: The IG Report Was a Whitewash and Devastating All At Once

IG Report: Peter Strzok Statements About Weiner/Abedin Laptop Conflict With FBI Claims About Weiner/Abedin Laptop… by sundance

Somebody is either lying or has their “facts” wrong. From sundance at theconservativetreehouse.com:

General David Petraeus was arrested for leaving his classified schedule on mistress Paula Broadwell’s nightstand.  Kristian Saucier was arrested for taking a classified photograph on a submarine.  Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin had dozens of classified Clinton emails on a laptop and…

There is a great deal of inconsistent application of law surrounding classified information. There is also a great deal of fatigue surrounding discussion of those inconsistent applications.  Contradictions, inconsistency and obtuse justifications are as rampant in our midst as the political narratives shaping them.  Perhaps that’s by design.

We begin reading Chapter 11 of the IG Report with a growing acceptance that not only is there a need for a special counsel, but there is a brutally obvious need for multiple special counsels; each given a specific carve-out investigation that comes directly from the content of the Inspector General report.   This issue of the handling of the Weiner/Abedin laptop screams for a special counsel investigation on that facet alone.  Why?

Well, consider this from page #388 (emphasis mine):

Midyear agents obtained a copy of the Weiner laptop from NYO immediately after the search warrant was signed on October 30.

The laptop was taken directly to Quantico where the FBI’s Operational Technology Division (OTD) began processing the laptop. The Lead Analyst told us that given the volume of emails on the laptop and the difficulty with de-duplicating the emails that “at least for the first few days, the scale of what we’re doing seem[ed] really, really big.”

Strzok told us that OTD was able “to do some amazing things” to “rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop, which significantly lowered the number of emails that the Midyear team would have to individually review. Strzok stated that only after that technological breakthrough did he begin to think it was “possible we might wrap up before the election.”  (pg 388)

The key takeaway here is two-fold.  First, the laptop is in the custody of the FBI; that’s important moving forward (I’ll explain later).  Also, specifically important, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigative authority in the Hillary Clinton MYE (Mid-Year-Exam), is explaining to the IG how they were able to process an exhaustive volume of emails (350,000) and Blackberry communications (344,000) in a few days; [Oct 30 to Nov 5]

To continue reading: IG Report: Peter Strzok Statements About Weiner/Abedin Laptop Conflict With FBI Claims About Weiner/Abedin Laptop…

Inspector general’s report on FBI and Clinton’s emails shows secrecy threatens democracy, by James Board

The Inspector General’s latest report has been previewed and leaked so endlessly, and its style is so bland, that it’s an anticlimax, especially for those who expecting something earth shaking. However, it its own way, it raises issues of serious concern, which James Bovard does a good job of highlighting. From Bovard at usatoday.com:

The 500-page inspector general’s report released Thursday reveals how unjustified secrecy and poor decisions helped ravage the credibility of both Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the FBI.

Yesterday’s Inspector General report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton contained plenty of bombshells, including a promise by lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok that “We’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming president. The report reveals how unjustified secrecy and squirrelly decisions helped ravage the credibility of both Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the FBI. But few commentators are recognizing the vast peril to democracy posed by the sweeping prerogatives of federal agencies.

The FBI’s investigation of Clinton was spurred by her decision to set up a private server to handle her email during her four years as secretary of state. The server in her Chappaqua, N.Y. mansion was insecure and exposed emails with classified information to detection by foreign sources and others.

Clinton effectively exempted herself from the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The State Department ignored 17 FOIA requests for her emails prior to 2014 and insisted it required 75 years to disclose emails of Clinton’s top aides. A federal judge and the State Department inspector general slammed the FOIA stonewalling.

Clinton’s private email server was not publicly disclosed until she received a congressional subpoena in 2015. A few months later, the FBI Counterintelligence Division opened a criminal investigation of the “potential unauthorized storage of classified information on an unauthorized system.”

The IG report gives the impression that the FBI treated Hillary Clinton and her coterie like royalty — or at least like personages worthy of endless deference. When Bleachbit software or hammers were used to destroy email evidence under congressional subpoena, the FBI treated it as a harmless error. The IG report “questioned whether the use of a subpoena or search warrant might have encouraged Clinton, her lawyers … or others to search harder for the missing devices [containing email], or ensured that they were being honest that they could not find them.” Instead, FBI agents worked on “rapport building” with Clinton aides.

To continue reading: Inspector general’s report on FBI and Clinton’s emails shows secrecy threatens democracy

Elon Needs More Money (Again), by Eric Peters

SLL has no particular animus towards either Elon Musk or his company, Tesla. We just think they are the perfect symbols for crony socialism in our era, so we post a lot of articles about them. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Last month, I wrote about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s contemptuous and breezy dismissal of questions asked by financial analysts about the cashflow situation at Tesla. Would the company need yet another infusion of money to remain afloat? Lame! Next question.

That was Musk’s response.

As it turns out, it’s Tesla that’s lame.  The company – Musk – just laid off several thousand employees, about 9 percent of its workforce – which is one way to raise cash (by not spending it on worker salaries) when you don’t want to admit you need another infusion from investors – or realize you might not be able to get one because those investors are becoming gun-shy about giving money to Elon.

I’ve been pointing out for years that Tesla is a net money-losing operation, despite all the crony capitalist advantages – including electric car quotas in states like California, which force other car companies to either build EVs they can’t sell (or sell at a loss) or buy “credits” from an electric car manufacturer (Tesla) which the electric car company then uses to offset its losses.

Even so, Tesla has lost something on the order of $5.4 billion dollars so far, according to most estimates. Yet – until quite recently – most media coverage of Tesla has focused on what amounts to financial Fake News of the most egregious kind, such as the hype-driven value of Tesla stock. It’s true the stock price zoomed upward like a bottle rocket on the 4th of July. But what was driving this?

Not anything of value.

Analysts refused to analyze the fact that Tesla loses money on every car it sells. That it remains in business only because of investor infusions and deposits given on cars that never seem to materialize.

Well, the electric chickens may finally be coming home to roost.

At some point, you either make money – or you don’t. If you don’t, you have to find people willing to give you more of it. When you can’t do that anymore, you are forced to scale back. You let people go in order to husband what resources you’ve still got, in the hope that maybe you’ll be able to ride it out.

Elon is running out of money. His operations aren’t sustainable.

To continue reading: Elon Needs More Money (Again)