Tag Archives: FBI

Comey Bombshell: FBI Director’s Leaked Trump Memos Contained Classified Information, by Tyler Durden

The other shoe is dropping the Russiagate story. The first shoe, the Trump’s campaign alleged collusion with Russia, has gone nowhere. Now the other shoe: leaks of sensitive and classified material by the Obama administration, intelligence agencies, and the FBI to a complaisant press to undermine the Trump administration. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Amid the constant media outrage over everything Trump, Trump, Trump, some might have forgotten that in the political rollercoaster over the past 12 months, there were numerous other high-profile individuals involved, including not only former DOJ head Loretta Lynch, whose every interaction with the Clinton campaign is about to be probed under a Congressional microscope, but the man who some say started it all: former FBI Director James Comey.

First loved by the Democrats when he personally absolved Hillary Clinton of any sins regarding her (ab)use of her personal email server, then furiously loathed when he reopened the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton one week before the election, then finally getting into a feud with President Trump which cost his him job, Comey ultimately admitted to leaking at least one memo which contained personal recollections of his conversations with the president, in hopes of launching a special probe into the president’s alleged Russian collusion.

 

There was just one problem: according to a blockbuster report from The Hill, in addition to the leaked memos, Comey also leaked classified information in gross and direct violation of FBI rules and regulations. And just like that Comey finds himself in trouble. Only not just any trouble, but the virtually same trouble that Hillary Clinton was in in the summer of 2016… and which James Comey was tasked to investigate.

To continue reading: Comey Bombshell: FBI Director’s Leaked Trump Memos Contained Classified Information

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DNC Server: Most Critical Evidence To Proving “Russian Hacking” Is Being Withheld From Mueller, Why? by Tyler Durden

This has always been one of the gaping holes in the Russiagate story: the DNC’s refusal to turn over to the FBI the servers that were allegedly hacked by the Russians. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

If there were any actual crimes committed during the 2016 presidential election, then the origin of those crimes can be traced back to a single piece of hardware sitting at the DNC which housed the emails that were stolen and subsequently shared with WikiLeaks.  Ironically, despite the fact that they’re apparently sitting on perhaps the most critical evidence available to prove that Russia “hacked the election,” an allegation that has been hammered 24/7 on CNN for the better part of a year now despite a lack of actual tangible evidence to support the allegation, the DNC has completely refused to cooperate with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and/or Robert Mueller’s independent investigation.  Which begs one very simple question, why?

As the Washington Times points out, a cybersecurity firm called CrowdStrike, is the only organization that has been allowed by the DNC to inspect their email server…an inspection which quickly resulted in the very ‘convenient’ conclusion that Russia was the culprit of the hack…even though minimal details supporting that conclusion were ever revealed to authorities.

 It is perhaps the key piece of forensic evidence in Russia’s suspected efforts to sway the November presidential election, but federal investigators have yet to get their hands on the hacked computer server that handled email from the Democratic National Committee.

Indeed, the only cybersecurity specialists who have taken a look at the server are from CrowdStrike, the Irvine, California-based private cybersecurity company that the DNC hired to investigate the hack — but which has come under fire itself for its work.

 Some critics say CrowdStrike’s evidence for blaming Russia for the hack is thin. Members of Congress say they still believe Russia was responsible but wonder why the DNC has never allowed federal investigators to get a look at the key piece of evidence: the server. Either way, a key “witness” in the political scandal consuming the Trump administration remains beyond the reach of investigators.

 “I want to find out from the company [that] did the forensics what their full findings were,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is leading the Judiciary Committee’s inquiry, told The Washington Times.

As you may recall, CrowdStrike is the very same ‘cybersecurity’ firm that attributed the Sony hack to North Korea…

To continue reading: DNC Server: Most Critical Evidence To Proving “Russian Hacking” Is Being Withheld From Mueller, Why?

‘Soft Coup’ on Trump, Hiding in Plain Sight, by Robert Parry

The mainstream media is trying to rouse some excitement about Trump’s supposed obstruction of justice in meetings with Comey, yet they can’t be bothered asking any questions about a meeting in which Comey arguably tried to blackmail Trump. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: Official Washington is abuzz about ex-FBI Director Comey’s testimony and excited about possibly impeaching President Trump, but that misses the underlying story of a “soft coup” by the Intelligence Community, says Robert Parry.

So what were we watching in ex-FBI Director James Comey’s testimony on Thursday: an upright public servant punished for resisting a power-mad President or a participant in a political scheme to use the law as a way to overturn a U.S. presidential election?

There was a general consensus in the mainstream media that it was the first, that Comey was the noble victim and President Trump the conniving villain. And, surely, Trump could be criticized for his clumsy firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and ensuing expression of “hope” to then-FBI Director Comey that Flynn would not be punished further.

But – outside the view of the MSM – there are other troubling aspects of what is now unfolding, including the scene of FBI Director Comey informing President-elect Trump on Jan. 6 about a defamatory annex to an intelligence report detailing unproven but salacious allegations and then seeing those details leaked almost immediately to humiliate Trump in the days before his Inauguration.

In his Thursday testimony, Comey defended his role in alerting Trump to the Intelligence Community’s publication of the allegations, which summarized opposition research done to benefit Hillary Clinton’s campaign and alleging that Trump had hired Russian prostitutes to urinate on him as he lay in a bed once used by President and Mrs. Obama at the five-star Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow – while supposedly secretly videotaped by Russian intelligence.

In the testimony, Comey said that after he and other Obama’s intelligence chiefs briefed the President-elect at Trump Towers on Jan. 6 about their report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, “I remained alone with the President-elect to brief him on some personally sensitive aspects of the information assembled during the assessment.

“The I.C. leadership thought it important, for a variety of reasons, to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified. Among those reasons were: (1) we knew the media was about to publicly report the material and we believed the I.C. should not keep knowledge of the material and its imminent release from the President-elect; and (2) to the extent there was some effort to compromise an incoming President, we could blunt any such effort with a defensive briefing.

“The Director of National Intelligence asked that I personally do this portion of the briefing because I was staying in my position and because the material implicated the FBI’s counter-intelligence responsibilities. We also agreed I would do it alone to minimize potential embarrassment to the President-elect.”

 

To continue reading: ‘Soft Coup’ on Trump, Hiding in Plain Sight

The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy, by Patrick J. Buchanan

If you strike the king you must kill him, so the wisdom goes. If the conspiracy fails, and Comey’s testimony yesterday hurt more than helped, Trump’s liable to take a fearsome vengeance. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Pressed by Megyn Kelly on his ties to President Trump, an exasperated Vladimir Putin blurted out, “We had no relationship at all. … I never met him. … Have you all lost your senses over there?”

Yes, Vlad, we have.

Consider the questions that have convulsed this city since the Trump triumph, and raised talk of impeachment.

Did Trump collude with Russians to hack the DNC emails and move the goods to WikiLeaks, thus revealing the state secret that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was putting the screws to poor Bernie Sanders?

If not Trump himself, did campaign aides collude with the KGB?

Now, given that our NSA and CIA seemingly intercept everything Russians say to Americans, why is our fabled FBI, having investigated for a year, unable to give us a definitive yes or no?

The snail’s pace of the FBI investigation explains Trump’s frustration. What explains the FBI’s torpor? If J. Edgar Hoover had moved at this pace, John Dillinger would have died of old age.

We hear daily on cable TV of the “Trump-Russia” scandal. Yet, no one has been charged with collusion, and every intelligence official, past or prevent, who has spoken out has echoed ex-acting CIA Director Mike Morrell:

“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark.”

Where are the criminals? Where is the crime?

As for the meetings between Gen. Mike Flynn, Jared Kushner, Sen. Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, it appears that Trump wanted a “back channel” to Putin so he could honor his commitment to seek better relations with Russia.

Given the Russophobia rampant here, that makes sense. And while it appears amateurish that Flynn would use Russian channels of communication, what is criminal about this?

To continue reading: The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy

 

The Comey Testimony is Great for Trump, Terrible For Democrats, by Michael Krieger

Michael Krieger provides support for the SLL hypotheses floated in Powerball, Part One and Part Two. To wit: James Comey’s great-for-Trump testimony may be the beginning of the end of the Russian collusion probe, although it may die a lingering death. From Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

The unanimous very smart person take on Trump’s firing of James Comey is that it’s a political disaster which will lead to total ruin and possibly his impeachment. I disagree.

The key factor that will determine how this ultimately turns out hinges largely on whether or not there was actual coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to sway the election through hacking or other nefarious means. Personally, I don’t think there was, which is why I don’t expect Donald Trump to be removed from office. The consensus view right now is that Trump’s firing of Comey offers further circumstantial evidence that he’s trying to cover up coordination with Russia in order to end the ongoing investigation. This is certainly a possibility to consider, but it’s definitely not the only possibility, nor is it the most likely explanation.

– From last month’s post: The Consensus Echo Chamber Take on Trump Firing Comey is All Wrong

I’ve been warning incessantly for months that the Democratic Party is on the verge of blowing itself up in a mushroom cloud of Russia conspiracy theorizing. Many high profile Democrats, corporate media hacks and partisans of all shapes and sizes have spent Donald Trump’s first six months screeching about how the President is a Russian agent who conspired with Putin to rig the election against Hillary Clinton. Of course, if there is any truth to this claim Trump should justifiably be tossed from office. The problem is we haven’t seen any proof, most likely because none exists.

You can already see Democrats trying to pivot to, “but Trump tried to obstruct justice.” Sorry, but based on what I’ve seen so far, this just ain’t gonna fly. The public’s expectations have been far too intentionally and incessantly inflated by Democratic politicians and corporate media pundits. Anything less than proof of collusion between Trump and Russia to influence the 2016 Presidential election will likely be seen as a win for Trump. This is what happens when you’re really stupid strategically and decide to put all your eggs in the Russia conspiracy theory basket.

To continue reading: The Comey Testimony is Great for Trump, Terrible For Democrats

Declassified memos show FBI illegally shared spy data on Americans with private parties, by John Solomon and Sara Carter

More disclosures about illegal disclosures of data gleaned by the intelligence agencies and the FBI. From John Solomon and Sara Carter at circa.com:

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.

In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”

Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.

For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.

The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.

The court also opined aloud that it fears the violations are more extensive than already disclosed.

“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported,” the April 2017 ruling declared.

The court isn’t the only oversight body to disclose recent concerns that the FBI’s voluntary system for policing its behavior and self-disclosing mistakes hasn’t been working.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office declassified a report in 2015 that reveals the internal watchdog had concerns as early as 2012 that the FBI was submitting ‘deficient” reports indicating it had a clean record complying with spy data gathered on Americans without a warrant.

Comey Admits Under Oath That Obstructions To Investigations “Never Happened”, by Tyler Durden

This testimony from Comey undercuts the supposed game-changing memo he wrote in which he recounted that Trump had expressed the hope that the investigation of Michael Flynn could be brought to a close.

Update: Citi’s Aerin Williams notes that the USD is higher on the Comey video below:

DXY is rallying as traders pass around a CSPAN video of Comey testimony from May 3. This is not a new testimony. Under oath, he suggests that there have been no obstructions by saying that a President did not seem to be telling Comey to stop investigations for political reason.

One could imagine that the deputy Attorney General saw this testimony before appointing a special prosecutor, but it adds to the puzzle investors are trying to put together.

Bloomberg Dollar Index:

Note – 10Y Yields are not moving on this.

As we detailed earlier, next week’s James Comey hearing is certainly setting up as a ‘grab yr popcorn’ moment with Democrats lining up for their 5 minutes of fame to ask the question that ‘proves’ Trump deserves impeachment. However, it appears there is no need for the hearing as Mr. Comey already confirmed – under oath – that “he has not been pressured to close an investigation for political purposes.”

Testifying under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3rd, Comey states that he has not been pressured to close an investigation for political purposes, “not in my experience.”

COMEY: Not in my experience. Because it would be a big deal to tell the FBI to stop doing something like that — without an appropriate purpose.

I mean where oftentimes they give us opinions that we don’t see a case there and so you ought to stop investing resources in it. But I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal.

It’s not happened in my experience.

Caught on tape?