Tag Archives: Robert Mueller

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

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The Mueller Indictments Still Don’t Add Up to Collusion, By Aaron Maté

You can look very hard, with an electron microscope even, but you still can’t find one data point in what Robert Mueller has done so far that suggests the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. From Aaron Maté at thenation.com:

In just over one year, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia has generated five guilty pleas, 20 indictments, and more than 100 charges. None of these have anything to do with Mueller’s chief focus: the Russian government’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s suspected involvement. While it’s certainly possible that Mueller will make new indictments that go to the core of his case, what’s been revealed so far does not make a compelling brief for collusion.

The most high-level Trump campaign official to be indicted is Paul Manafort, as well as his former business partner and Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates. The charges, as a Virginia judge observed last month, “manifestly don’t have anything to do with the campaign or with Russian collusion.” Instead, Manafort and Gates are accused of financial crimes beginning in 2008, when they worked as political operatives for a Russia-leaning party in Ukraine (and for which Manafort was previously investigated, but not indicted).

There is widespread supposition that Manafort’s dealings in Ukraine make him a prime candidate for collusion with Moscow. But that stems from the mistaken belief that Manafort promoted Kremlin interests during his time in Kiev. The opposite appears to be the case. The New York Times recounts that Manafort “pressed [then–Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych to sign an agreement with the European Union that would link the country closer to the West—and lobbied for the Americans to support Ukraine’s membership.” If that picture is accurate, then Manafort’s activities in Ukraine during the period for which he has been indicted were diametrically opposed to the Kremlin’s agenda.

To continue reading: The Mueller Indictments Still Don’t Add Up to Collusion

Comey can no longer hide destruction caused at FBI, by Jonathan Turley

James Comey did many things that would justify his firing by President Trump. The Department of Justice Inspector General’s report, released yesterday, should at least take the possibility of that firing bringing an obstruction of justice charge off the table. From Jonathan Turley at thehill.com:

Comey can no longer hide destruction caused at FBI
© Getty Images

James Comey once described his position in the Clinton investigation as being the victim of a “500-year flood.” The point of the analogy was that he was unwittingly carried away by events rather than directly causing much of the damage to the FBI. His “500-year flood” just collided with the 500-page report of the Justice Department inspector general (IG) Michael Horowitz. The IG sinks Comey’s narrative with a finding that he “deviated” from Justice Department rules and acted in open insubordination.

Rather than portraying Comey as carried away by his biblical flood, the report finds that he was the destructive force behind the controversy. The import of the report can be summed up in Comeyesque terms as the distinction between flotsam and jetsam. Comey portrayed the broken rules as mere flotsam, or debris that floats away after a shipwreck. The IG report suggests that this was really a case of jetsam, or rules intentionally tossed over the side by Comey to lighten his load. Comey’s jetsam included rules protecting the integrity and professionalism of his agency, as represented by his public comments on the Clinton investigation.

The IG report concludes, “While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that 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.”

The report will leave many unsatisfied and undeterred. Comey went from a persona non grata to a patron saint for many Clinton supporters. Comey, who has made millions of dollars with a tell-all book portraying himself as the paragon of “ethical leadership,” continues to maintain that he would take precisely the same actions again.

Ironically, Comey, fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and others, by their actions, just made it more difficult for special counsel Robert Mueller to prosecute Trump for obstruction. There is now a comprehensive conclusion by career investigators that Comey violated core agency rules and undermined the integrity of the FBI. In other words, there was ample reason to fire James Comey.

To continue reading: Comey can no longer hide destruction caused at FBI

Mueller Scrambles To Limit Evidence After Indicted Russians Actually Show Up In Court, by Tyler Durden

Mueller’s indictment against Russian individuals and companies in February was a PR stunt. They weren’t actually supposed to emerge from Russian and challenge Mueller in court. One company did, however. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scrambling to limit pretrial evidence handed over to a Russian company he indicted in February over alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, according to Bloomberg.

Mueller asked a Washington federal Judge for a protective order that would prevent the delivery of copious evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, one of three Russian firms and 13 Russian nationals. The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters.

The special counsel’s office argues that the risk of the evidence leaking or falling into the hands of foreign intelligence services, especially Russia, would assist the Kremlin’s active “interference operations” against the United States.

“The substance of the government’s evidence identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in interference operations like those charged in the present indictment,” prosecutors wrote.

Improper disclosure would tip foreign intelligence services about how the U.S. operates, which would “allow foreign actors to learn of those techniques and adjust their conduct, thus undermining ongoing and future national security operations,” according to the filing.

The evidence includes thousands of documents involving U.S. residents not charged with crimes who prosecutors say were unwittingly recruited by Russian defendants and co-conspirators to engage in political activity in the U.S., prosecutors wrote. –Bloomberg

Mueller also accused Concord of “knowingly and intentionally” conspiring to interfere with the election by using social media to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump.

And Concord Management decided to fight it… 

To continue reading: Mueller Scrambles To Limit Evidence After Indicted Russians Actually Show Up In Court

The Swamp Strikes Back, by J. Christian Adams

Mueller and team could find Russian collusion in the 2016 election, but they’d have to investigate the Clinton campaign. From J. Christian Adams at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The culture of the D.C. metropolitan area is one of wealth, privilege and self-proclaimed sophistication. The bureaucrats and insiders know what is best for you, best for your business, best for themselves, and they can make a nice living without being disrupted. Trump campaigned on disrupting this comfortable power perch; that is what they most hate about him.
  • The Russian collusion investigation has not found any collusion because the investigation was never about collusion. It was always about an out-of-control federal government, emboldened by the lawless age of Obama, and flexing its newfound muscle. The Russian collusion investigation is about a clash of cultures, with one culture being the culture of D.C. insiders, and the other being the folks who pay their salaries.

Each week, Robert Mueller’s Wonderlandian investigation into “Russian Collusion” appears “curiouser and curiouser”. Each week, it appears that the entire investigation never really had anything to do with Russian collusion, at least in the Trump campaign; only in the Hillary Clinton campaign, where all the investigators have been conscientiously not looking.

First, Mueller indicted General Michael Flynn for not telling the truth to an FBI squad that appeared unexpectedly at the White House to question him, when now it turns out that Peter Strzok, who interrogated him, said he had not lied. It also now turns out that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe may later have altered Strzok’s interrogation notes, and then destroyed the evidence.

Mueller then indicted Paul Manafort for allegedly laundering money through an Alexandria, Virginia, oriental rug store — a “process crime”. Notably absent from it in any indictment was mention of Russia, collusion or even elections.

To continue reading: The Swamp Strikes Back

Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all, by Mark Penn

The flimsy underpinnings of the Russiagate investigation are by now glaringly obvious to anyone who cares to look, and gale force blowback is gathering in the other direction. From Mark Penn at thehill.com:

The “deep state” is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.

At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton“matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a yearlong investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.

With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.

But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.

To continue reading: Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all

Making Excuses for Russiagate, by Daniel Lazare

Some of the loudest proponents of the Russiagate “conspiracy” and cheerleaders for Robert Mueller’s so far mostly fruitless investigation are starting to edge towards the exit. From Daniel Lazare at consortiumnews.com:

As months turn into nearly two years and no solid evidence emerges to nail Russia for nabbing Election 2016, some big Russia-gate cheerleaders are starting to cover their tracks, as Daniel Lazare explains.

The best evidence that Russia-gate is sinking beneath the waves is the way those pushing the pseudo-scandal are now busily covering their tracks.  The Guardian complains that “as the inquiry has expanded and dominated the news agenda over the last year, the real issues of people’s lives are in danger of being drowned out by obsessive cable television coverage of the Russia investigation” – as if The Guardian’s own coverage hasn’t been every bit as obsessive as anything CNN has come up with.

The Washington Post, second to none when it comes to painting Putin as a real-life Lord Voldemort, now says that Special counsel Robert Mueller “faces a particular challenge maintaining the confidence of the citizenry” as his investigation enters its second year – although it’s sticking to its guns that the problem is not the inquiry itself, but “the regular attacks he faces from President Trump, who has decried the probe as a ‘witch hunt.’”

And then there’s The New York Times, which this week devoted a 3,600-word front-page article to explain why the FBI had no choice but to launch an investigation into Trump’s alleged Russian links and how, if anything, the inquiry wasn’t aggressive enough.  As the article puts it, “Interviews with a dozen current and former government officials and a review of documents show that the FBI was even more circumspect in that case than has been previously known.”

It’s Nobody’s Fault

The result is a late-breaking media chorus to the effect that it’s not the fault of the FBI that the investigation has dragged on with so little to show for it; it’s not the fault of Mueller either, and, most of all, it’s not the fault of the corporate press, even though it’s done little over the last two years than scream about Russia.  It’s not anyone’s fault, evidently, but simply how the system works.

This is nonsense, and the gaping holes in the Times article show why.

The piece, written by Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos and entitled “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” is pretty much like everything else the Times has written on the subject, i.e. biased, misleading, and incomplete.  Its main argument is that the FBI had no option but to step in because four Trump campaign aides had “obvious or suspected Russian ties.”

To continue reading: Making Excuses for Russiagate