Follow The Trail

The FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the entire Obama Justice
Department (Loretta Lynch etc.)  attempted to steal an election, and
when they failed, they attempted to “frame” the newly elected
president in hopes of possible impeachment, but above all, to explain
why they illegally spied on the Trump campaign.

The link below provides great insight into what occurred.  Every
American of every political persuasion should read every word. America
is under siege and that siege can be defeated legally, but only if
people make themselves heard, or at least educate themselves. It is
moderately long but really easy to understand if you take it slow.
Because I have been following this subject, it is fair for me to say,
there is nothing in the article that has not been verified by many
credible sources. It is however all organized nicely. It has a beginning, a middle, but not yet an end.

If you feel as cheated and violated by the Obama Justice Department
and the FBI as I do, above all, remember it for future reference.

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/the-politicization-of-the-fbi/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=stripes&utm_content=07122018

For those who don’t like to follow links, below you find the actual article.

Joseph E. diGenova is a founding partner of diGenova & Toensing, LLP.
He received his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati and his J.D.
from Georgetown University. He has served as United States Attorney
for the District of Columbia, Independent Counsel of the United
States, Special Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives, Chief
Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and
Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (the
Church Committee)

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on January 25, 2018,
at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional
Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., as part of the AWC Family
Foundation Lecture Series.

Over the past year, facts have emerged that suggest there was a plot
by high-ranking FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials in the
Obama administration, acting under color of law, to exonerate Hillary
Clinton of federal crimes and then, if she lost the election, to frame
Donald Trump and his campaign for colluding with Russia to steal the
presidency. This conduct was not based on mere bias, as has been
widely claimed, but rather on deeply felt animus toward Trump and his
agenda.

In the course of this plot, FBI Director James Comey, U.S. Attorney
General Loretta Lynch, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Deputy
Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok, Strzok’s paramour and
FBI lawyer Lisa Page, FBI General Counsel James Baker, and DOJ senior
official Bruce Ohr—perhaps among others—compromised federal law
enforcement to such an extent that the American public is losing
trust. A recent CBS News poll finds 48 percent of Americans believe
that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia collusion probe is
“politically motivated,” a stunning conclusion. And 63 percent of
polled voters in a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll believe that the FBI
withheld vital information from Congress about the Clinton and Russia
collusion investigations.
I spent my early legal career as a federal prosecutor. I later
supervised hundreds of prosecutors and prosecutions as a U.S. Attorney
and as an Independent Counsel. I have never witnessed investigations
so fraught with failure to fulfill the basic elements of a criminal
probe as those conducted under James Comey. Not since former Acting
FBI Director L. Patrick Gray deep-sixed evidence during Watergate has
the head of the FBI been so discredited as Comey is now.

The Case of the Clinton Emails
The Hillary Clinton email scandal began in 2013 with the U.S. House of
Representatives investigation into the attack on the American embassy
in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. It was during that
investigation that accessing Secretary of State Clinton’s emails
became an issue. But it wasn’t until The New York Times broke the
story on March 2, 2015, that Clinton had a secret, personal server
that things really took off.

Thousands of emails that the House at first requested, then
subpoenaed, conveniently disappeared—remember those reports about
BleachBit and the smashing of Clinton’s numerous phones with hammers?
Clinton and her aides were, to say the least, not forthcoming. It was
clearly time for the FBI and DOJ to act, using the legal tools at
their disposal to secure the emails and other materials the House had
subpoenaed. But that didn’t happen.

One tool at their disposal was the grand jury—the sine qua non of a
criminal investigation. Grand juries are comprised of 16 to 23
citizens who hear a prosecutor’s case against an alleged criminal. The
subject of the investigation is not present during the entire
proceeding, which can last up to a year. A grand jury provides
investigators with the authority to collect evidence by issuing
subpoenas for documents and witnesses. FBI agents and prosecutors
cannot themselves demand evidence. Only a grand jury can—or a court,
in cases where a subpoena recipient refuses a grand jury’s command to
provide documents or to testify.

Incredibly, FBI Director Comey and Attorney General Lynch refused to
convene a grand jury during the Clinton investigation. Thus
investigators had no authority to subpoena evidence or witnesses.
Lacking leverage, Comey then injudiciously granted immunity to five
Clinton aides in return for evidence that could have been obtained
with a subpoena. Even when Clinton claimed 39 times during a July 2,
2016, interview—an interview led by disgraced FBI agent Peter
Strzok—that she could not recall certain facts because of a head
injury, Comey refused the case agents’ request to subpoena her medical
records.

Comey claims he negotiated the immunity deals because of his concern
about time. Yet the investigation was opened in the summer of 2015,
nearly a year before he cut these deals. Compare this to the DOJ’s
handling of four-star Marine General James E. Cartwright, who pleaded
guilty in October 2016 to a false statement about leaking classified
information to The New York Times. In that case, the DOJ bragged about
its use of subpoenas and search warrants.

Not only was there no grand jury, the FBI never issued a search
warrant—something it does when there is concern a person will destroy
evidence. Clinton deleted half her emails and then claimed, under
penalty of perjury, that she had turned over to the government all
emails that “were or potentially were” work-related. The FBI later
found email chains classified as “secret” or “confidential” that she
had not turned over. Still no search warrant was issued.
Comey’s dereliction did not stop at the failure to utilize essential
prosecutorial tools. He violated several rules that prosecutors
consider sacrosanct:

Comey allowed one lawyer to represent four material witnesses, an
arrangement ripe for the four to coordinate testimony.
After needlessly giving immunity to two lawyers representing Clinton,
Comey permitted both to sit in on her July 2, 2016, FBI interview—a
patent conflict. He claimed he could not control who sat in on the
“voluntary” interview. That’s nonsense. He could have convened a grand
jury, subpoenaed Clinton, and compelled her to appear and be
questioned without a lawyer or else plead the Fifth Amendment.
Comey authorized the destruction of laptop computers that belonged to
Clinton’s aides and were under congressional subpoena.

Comey ignored blatant evidence of culpability. It is ridiculous to the
general public and risible to those who have security clearances for
Clinton to claim she thought that “(c)” placed after paragraphs in her
emails meant the material was in alphabetical order rather than
meaning it was classified. If she thought (c) indicated alphabetical
order, where were (a) and (b) on the documents? Clinton and her
supporters touted her vast experience as a U.S. Senator and Secretary
of State, positions requiring frequent use of classified information
and presumably common sense. Yet neither experience nor common sense
informed her decisions when handling classified materials.

Comey and the FBI never questioned Clinton about her public
statements, which changed over time and were blatantly false. “I did
not email classified information to anyone” morphed into “I did not
email anything marked ‘classified,’” which morphed into the claim that
(c) did not mean what it clearly meant. False and changing statements
are presented to juries routinely by prosecutors as evidence of guilt.
Breaking DOJ protocols, violating the chain of command, and assuming
an authority he never had, Comey usurped the role of the U.S. attorney
general on July 5, 2016, when he announced that the case against
Clinton was closed. He justified his actions saying that he no longer
trusted Attorney General Lynch after her June 27, 2016, meeting with
Bill Clinton on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport. This meeting took
place at the height of the so-called investigation—just days before
Peter Strzok interviewed Clinton on July 2. Thanks to the efforts of
Judicial Watch to secure documents through the Freedom of Information
Act, we now know that Comey was already drafting a letter exonerating
Clinton in May 2016—prior to interviewing more than a dozen major
witnesses. We also know that the FBI’s reaction to the impropriety of
the tarmac meeting was not disgust, but rather anger at the person who
leaked the fact of the meeting. “We need to find that guy” and bring
him before a supervisor, stated one (name redacted) FBI agent. Another
argued that the source should be banned from working security details.
Not one email expressed concern over the meeting. An FBI director who
truly had his trust shaken would have questioned the members of
Lynch’s FBI security detail for the Arizona trip about how the meeting
came to be. Comey didn’t bother.

Comey described Clinton’s handling of classified information as
“extremely careless,” a clumsy attempt to avoid the legal language of
“gross negligence” for criminal mishandling of classified
information—and we later learned that Peter Strzok, again, was
responsible for editing this language in Comey’s statement. But
practically speaking, the terms are synonymous. Any judge would
instruct a jury to consider “gross negligence” as “extremely careless”
conduct.

Comey claimed that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring the case
against Clinton. I have spent many years investigating federal crimes,
and I can tell you that a reasonable prosecutor would have utilized a
grand jury, issued subpoenas and search warrants, and followed
standard DOJ procedures for federal prosecutions. In short, Comey
threw the case. He should have been fired long before he was.

In late spring 2016, just weeks prior to Comey’s July 5 press
conference clearing Clinton of any crime, FBI Deputy Director Andrew
McCabe ordered FBI agents in New York to shut down their investigation
into the Clinton Foundation. Their objections were overruled. Sources
have told me that McCabe also shut down an additional Clinton
investigation. This is the McCabe who, while he was overseeing the
Clinton email investigation, had a wife running for the Virginia State
Senate and receiving more than $460,000 in campaign contributions from
a longtime Clinton loyalist, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
Moreover, it was only after the news of Clinton’s private server
became public in The New York Times that McAuliffe recruited McCabe’s
wife to run for office. McCabe eventually recused himself from the
Clinton probe, but that was one week before the 2016 election, after
the decisions to clear Clinton and to pursue the Trump-Russia
collusion investigation had already been made. So his recusal was
meaningless.

In clearing legal impediments from Clinton’s path to the Democratic
nomination, Comey and his senior staff thought they had helped Clinton
clinch the presidency. Their actions put an end to a decades-long
tradition of non-political federal law enforcement.

The Case of Trump-Russia Collusion
Rumors of collusion with Russia by Trump or the Trump campaign
surfaced during the primaries in 2015, but gained in strength soon
after Trump secured the Republican nomination in July 2016. Thanks to
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, we now know that high-level
FBI officials were involved in promoting these rumors. Among
Horowitz’s discoveries were text messages between FBI Deputy Director
of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page that
suggest an illegal plan to utilize law enforcement to frame Trump. The
most revealing exchange we know of took place on August 15, 2016.
Concerned about the outcome of the election, Strzok wrote:

I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in [Andrew
McCabe’s] office—that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected—but I’m
afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the
unlikely event you die before you’re 40.

No amount of sugar coating or post hoc explanation of this and other
texts can conceal the couple’s animus against Trump and support for
Clinton. Strzok’s messages illustrate his commitment to Clinton’s
victory and Trump’s defeat or, if Trump won, to an “insurance policy.”

The term “insurance policy” obviously refers to the Trump-Russia
collusion investigation, which to this day remains a probe with no
underlying crime. This is not the talk of professional investigators,
but of corrupt agents who have created two standards of justice based
on their political leanings. It looks like a reprise of the schemes
undertaken during an earlier era, under FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover,
that led to the creation of the Church Committee—a committee on which
I served, and which tried to reform the FBI to prevent it from
meddling in domestic politics.

At the heart of the Russia collusion scheme is the FBI’s utilization
of a document paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic
National Committee. Called the Steele Dossier because it was written
by former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele, this document
contains unsubstantiated information designed to taint Trump and his
presidency. While Clinton partisans point out that candidate Clinton
never referred to the Steele Dossier in her speeches, the fact is that
she did not have to—the FBI hierarchy was doing it for her! Indeed,
FBI General Counsel James Baker was recently reassigned because of his
having leaked information about the Steele Dossier to the magazine
Mother Jones.

Not one claim concerning Trump in the Steele Dossier has ever been
verified by the FBI, according to Andrew McCabe himself in recent
testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. The only confirmed fact
is unsurprising: former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page traveled to
Moscow on his own dime and met with various Russians—all perfectly
legal.

Comey and then-CIA Director John Brennan laundered the Steele Dossier
through the U.S. intelligence community to give it an aura of
credibility and get it to the press. It was also used by the FBI and
senior DOJ officials to secure wiretap warrants from a secret Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. Then its contents, via
court-authorized FISA warrants, were used to justify the illegal
unmasking of the identities of wiretapped Trump officials. The
contents of these National Security Agency intercepts were put on
spreadsheets and presented to members of President Obama’s National
Security Council (NSC)—specifically Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes—and
subsequently leaked to the press. According to former NSC staff,
President Obama himself read the FISA intercepts of Trump campaign
personnel. Unsurprisingly, there was no request for a leak
investigation from either the FBI or the DOJ.
In sum, the FBI and DOJ employed unverified salacious allegations
contained in a political opposition research document to obtain
court-sanctioned wiretaps, and then leaked the contents of the
wiretaps and the identities of political opponents. This was a complex
criminal plot worthy of Jason Bourne.

The Pall Over the Special Counsel and the FBI
Layered over this debacle is a special counsel investigation
unfettered by rules or law. Not surprisingly, James Comey triggered
the special counsel’s appointment—and he did so by design. According
to Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, having been
fired on May 9, 2017, he leaked official documents to his friend,
Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman, with the specific intent
that Richman would leak them to the press. Reportage on that leak is
what led Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Robert
Mueller—a former FBI director and Comey’s good friend—as special
counsel to investigate allegations of Trump-Russia collusion.

Mueller’s reputation has been damaged by a series of decisions that
violate the ethical rules of appearances. For instance, he hired
Democratic partisans as lawyers for the probe: Andrew Weissmann, who
donated to Clinton and praised Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for
disobeying Trump’s lawful Presidential Order regarding a travel ban
for residents of certain nations that harbor terrorists; Jeannie Rhee,
who donated to Clinton and represented Ben Rhodes in the email probe
and the Clinton Foundation investigation; and Aaron Zebley, who
represented Clinton IT staffer Justin Cooper in the email server
probe.
Mueller also staged a pre-dawn raid with weapons drawn on the home of
Paul Manafort, rousing Manafort and his wife from their bed—a tactic
customarily reserved for terrorists and drug dealers. Manafort has
subsequently been indicted for financial crimes that antedate his
campaign work for Trump and that have nothing to do with Russia
collusion.

Then there’s the fact that when Mueller removed Strzok from the
investigation in July 2017, he didn’t tell anyone. The removal and its
causes were uncovered by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Why
was such vital information concealed from the public? It is not, as is
often claimed now, that Strzok was a minor figure. All the major
decisions regarding both the Clinton and the Trump-Russia collusion
investigations had been made under Strzok.

Significantly, Strzok also led the interview of General Michael Flynn
that ended in Flynn pleading guilty to making false statements to the
FBI. It is important to recall that Flynn’s FBI interview was not
conducted under the authority of the special counsel, but under that
of Comey and McCabe. It took place during Inauguration week in January
2017. Flynn had met with the same agents the day before regarding
security clearances. McCabe called Flynn and asked if agents could
come to the White House. Flynn agreed, assuming it was about
personnel. It was not.

Flynn had been overheard on a FISA wiretap talking to Russia’s
Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. There was nothing
criminal or even unusual about the fact of such discussion. Flynn was
on the Trump transition team and was a federal employee as the
President-Elect’s national security advisor. It was his job to be
talking to foreign leaders. Flynn was not charged with regard to
anything said during his conversation with Kislyak. So why was the FBI
interrogating Flynn about legal conduct? What more did the FBI need to
know? I am told by sources that when Flynn’s indictment was announced,
McCabe was on a video conference call—cheering!

Compare the FBI’s treatment of Flynn to its treatment of Paul
Combetta, the technician who used a program called BleachBit to
destroy thousands of emails on Hillary Clinton’s computer. This
destruction of evidence took place after a committee of the U.S. House
of Representatives issued letters directing that all emails be
preserved and subpoenaing them. Combetta first lied to the FBI,
claiming he did not recall deleting anything. After being rewarded
with immunity, Combetta recalled destroying the emails—but he could
not recall anyone directing him to do so.

The word in Washington is that Flynn pleaded guilty to take pressure
off his son, who was also a subject of Mueller’s investigation. Always
the soldier. But those who questioned Flynn that day did not cover
themselves with law enforcement glory. Led by Strzok, they grilled
Flynn about facts that they already knew and that they knew did not
constitute a crime. They besmirched the reputation of federal law
enforcement by their role in a scheme to destroy a duly elected
president and his appointees.

A pall hangs over Mueller, and a pall hangs over the DOJ. But the
darkest pall hangs over the FBI, America’s premier federal law
enforcement agency, which since the demise of J. Edgar Hoover has been
steadfast in steering clear of politics. Even during L. Patrick Gray’s
brief tenure as acting director during Watergate, it was not the FBI
but Gray personally who was implicated. The current scandal pervades
the Bureau. It spans from Director Comey to Deputy Director McCabe to
General Counsel Baker. It spread to counterintelligence via Peter
Strzok. When line agents complained about the misconduct, McCabe
retaliated by placing them under investigation for leaking
information.
From the outset of this scandal, I have considered Comey a dirty cop.
His unfailing commitment to himself above all else is of a pattern.
Throughout his career, Comey has continually portrayed himself as
Thomas Becket, fighting against institutional corruption—even where
none exists. Stories abound of his routine retort to anyone who
disagreed with him (not an unusual happening when lawyers gather)
during his tenure as deputy attorney general under President George W.
Bush. “Your moral compass is askew,” he would say. This
self-righteousness led agents to refer to him as “The Cardinal.” Comey
is no Thomas Becket—he is Henry II.

A great disservice has been done to the dedicated men and women of the
FBI by Comey and his seventh floor henchmen. A grand jury probe is
long overdue. Inspector General Horowitz is an honest man, but he
cannot convene a grand jury. We need one now. We need our FBI back.
——————————————————————————————-

Sometimes the professionals can say it better than me and letting someone else do the talking (or writing), also helps me to abate my anger. I only share what I believe to be true, and that which is well written or at least easily understandable.

————————————————————————————————–

God Bless America when it operates with justice and honesty,
Wayne

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