Tag Archives: FBI

‘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

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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?

Bravo! The Donald Finally Fired a Swamp Creature, by David Stockman

David Stockman applauds Trump’s firing of Comey. From Stockman at antiwar.com:

We were beginning to think the Donald’s days as the Great Disrupter were over before he even got started. So bringing the hammer down on one of the most self-righteous prigs and self-aggrandizing swamp creatures to ever inhabit the Imperial City came just in the nick of time.

After all, just in the last week Trump got rolled by the Capitol Hill porkers on the continuing resolution (CR) and conned by the GOP leadership on Obamacare repeal, which is already DBA (dead before arrival) in the Senate. At the same time, his one-page Goldman Sachs tax plan has already been laughed off the beltway stage.

He’s even being misdirected by Javanka, who are carrying water for the establishment on the Paris climate accord abomination. Rather than cancel the latter as promised repeatedly during the campaign, Jared and Ivanka are shipping Trump off to the G-7 meeting to be, presumably, enlightened on the matter by the likes of Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, and Jean-Claude Junker.

Even more ignominiously, he was given the Ron Zeigler treatment by the Deep State mole in the White House, H.R. McMaster, who passes for his national security advisor. It was bad enough that McMaster declared the Donald’s completely valid statement that the South Koreans should pay for their own defense to be “inoperative”.

Apparently, he is also bamboozling Trump with the discredited Hillary-Petraeus “surge” agenda in Afghanistan. Yet re-escalating a pointless war in the strategically barren expanses of the Hindu Kush would amount to reneging on his entire campaign platform that rejected the nation-building and empire expansion policies of the Washington establishment.

Indeed, the $25 billion per year “McMaster Plan” to revive the Afghan war by sending more US troops to the “graveyard of empires” amounts to nothing less than insanity. The fact is, after $1.5 trillion of wasted treasure and 23,000 American GI’s killed or wounded – to say nothing of hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilian casualties – more than half of the country and one-third of the population is still under Taliban control.

To continue reading: Bravo! The Donald Finally Fired a Swamp Creature

Let’s Connect the Dots, by Robert Gore

If Seth Rich was the source of the WikiLeaks’ DNC email disclosures and the FBI knew it, then the Russian hacking story was a fabrication, and James Comey was probably involved in an attempt to drive President Trump from office.

The biggest story of the entire Russiagate controversy was published Tuesday. Not the story about President Trump’s alleged statement to former FBI Director James Comey: “I hope you can let this go.” A witness is only as good as his or her credibility. If the actual big story pans out, Comey has none, which is why the mainstream media is obsessing over Trump’s alleged statement and doing everything it can to ignore and stifle the other story.

Seth Rich was on the staff of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). He was gunned down on July 10, 2016. Robbery has been speculated as a motive for the murder, but his wallet and watch were not taken. There is also speculation that Rich was the source of the DNC emails that were released by WikiLeaks twelve days later, to the consternation and embarrassment of the DNC. Fueling that speculation was WikiLeaks’ offer of a $20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s murderer. WikiLeaks has neither confirmed nor denied that Rich was its source.

The emails appeared to show a concerted DNC effort to stop Senator Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign for the Democratic nomination and led to the resignation of party chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz. After WikiLeaks’ DNC disclosure, the DNC refused to let the FBI investigate its computer servers. Instead, it allowed a cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, to investigate. It’s conclusion, subsequently undercut, was that the Russians had hacked the DNC’s server.

Fox News reported that an unnamed source, almost certainly from the FBI, has seen and read emails between Seth Rich and the late Gavin MacFadyen, a director of WikiLeaks. A FBI forensic report on Seth Rich’s computer was allegedly compiled within 96 hours of his murder. The source said there were 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between DNC leaders transferred from Rich to MacFadyen from January 2015 through May 2016.

If this is correct, then within 96 hours of Rich’s murder, or by July 14, 2016, the FBI knew that Rich had communicated with WikiLeaks and it knew what he had communicated. That means that when WikiLeaks subsequently released the DNC emails on July 22, the FBI knew that Rich, not the Russian government, was the source. That would make the entire “Russia hacked the DNC” story nothing more than a concocted fabrication. Comey, the director of the FBI, surely knew the truth, and indeed was probably the mastermind behind the fabrication. If so, the subsequent investigation has been nothing but a sham, designed to discredit Trump and drive him from office. If that is indeed the case, Comey has zero credibility and his notes, supposedly made after a conversation with Trump, have zero credibility as well. Not only is Comey’s credibility destroyed, he, and potential coconspirators Barack Obama, James Clapper (Director of National Intelligence), John Brennan (Director of the Central Intelligence Agency until January 2017), could be charged with a myriad of criminal offenses, including treason. And who knows where a rejuvenated Seth Rich murder investigation might lead.

Which is why official Washington and its media are doing everything they can to squelch this line of inquiry. Curiously, even Fox News seemed ambivalent about its bombshell. Its story was titled “Family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich blasts detective over report of WikiLeaks link,” and it led with a denunciation by the family of a private investigator it had itself hired, Rod Wheeler, for suggesting to Fox’s Sean Hannity the Rich-WikiLeaks connection. The general practice is to publish allegations and evidence, then the reactions from interested parties. The family released a statement through a spokesman, Brad Bauman.

“As we’ve seen through the past year of unsubstantiated claims, we see no facts, we have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press,” the statement said. “Even if tomorrow, an email was found, it is not a high enough bar of evidence to prove any interactions as emails can be altered and we’ve seen that those interest in pushing conspiracies will stop at nothing to do so.”

“We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers. The services of the private investigator who spoke to the press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family.”

The Fox story didn’t even report, as WikiLeaks had reported in August 2016, that Brad Bauman was “a professional Democrat crisis PR consultant with the Pastorum Group.” Note that there is no point-blank denial by the family that Rich was WikiLeaks’ source.

There is a simple way to get to the bottom of all this: release Seth Rich’s computer to carefully vetted investigators. It is probably in the custody of the FBI, although it could be with the Washington Police Department, which is also investigating the murder. Rich’s computer will have the record of his email transmissions, unless someone tampered with the computer. If the record is intact, it will offer conclusive confirmation or refutation of the Fox story. If the record is not intact, or if the computer has been lost or is otherwise unavailable, or if its files have been corrupted, the conclusion is unavoidable: Seth Rich was the source for the WikiLeaks’ DNC email disclosure and the FBI knew it. The implications are horrendous.