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DOJ releases DAMNING report on FBI handling of Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation

Two GOP-led House committees say that the Agency showed “questionable decision-making” in pursuing this investigation, treating Clinton probe “differently” from other such cases

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Associated Press on Thursday, June 14th, announced early in the morning that the Justice Department released its long-awaited report. Compiled by Inspector General David Horowitz, the 568 page report details the investigation into the practices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under Director James Comey in regard to the matter of Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server and her compromise of classified information through the use of a non-secure server.

Here are some of the findings:

  • The Justice Department faulted former FBI director Comey with breaking with the established protocol numerous times in his handling of the Clinton e-mail investigation. However, it also found his decisions not driven by political bias.
  • The report faulted Mr. Comey for using a person Gmail account for FBI business numerous times while warning his own employees against this practice.
  • The report criticizes Mr. Comey for not keeping AG Loretta Lynch and other Justice Dept superiors properly informed about his handling of the investigation.
  • Further, he was criticized for usurping the power of AG Lynch in his handling of the investigation.
  • The report further faulted Mr. Comey for alerting Congress days before the 2016 election that the investigation was being re-opened because of newly discovered e-mails.
  • An FBI investigator who worked on the probes into Clinton’s e-mails and into Russian interference in the 2016 election told an FBI lawyer “we’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming President.
  • The texts, between investigator Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page pointedly noted this intent. According to the report, Page texted Strzok in August 2016: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
  • The Weekly Standard made note of the attitude of two other unnamed FBI agents (also in a romantic relationship) that is quite significant:

“Agent 5 sent an instant message to Agent 1 on February 9, 2016, griping about the Midyear work she was being given to do. Agent 1 messaged back to commiserate: “Yeah, I hear you. You guys have a [expletive deleted] task, in a [expletive deleted] environment,” he wrote. “To look for something conjured in a place where you cant find it, for a case that doesnt matter and is predestined. [sic]” It’s bad enough that a lead agent on the Clinton case was convinced the outcome was “predestined,” but there’s more in Agent 1’s description of the culture they were operating in: “DOJ comes in there every once in awhile and takes a wishy-washy, political, cowardice stance. Salt meets wound. That is the environment love. Can’t sugar coat it.” At least he followed by telling his girlfriend to “do the best you can.”

That sounds like a frank and honest description of a politically skewed shop. But when asked about that message, Agent 1 had another message altogether for the IG: “I have no information that [the Clinton investigation] was a pre-determined outcome by anyone.” No, of course not.

But back in the day, Agent 1 was adamant that the fix was in. Take his January 2016 message to Agent 4 proclaiming “What we want to do and what we’re going to be allowed to do are two different things.” Asked about that quote by the IG, Agent 1 suffered a temporary bout of amnesia, unable to remember what he had been talking about. What he did know was that he had merely been “venting.”

  • Finally, the Inspector General identified a number of instances where FBI employees regularly spoke with members of the media and received a number of free perks from journalists, including meals and tickets to various events.On page XII in the report, the IG says the department “identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters.”The IG expressed “profound concerns bout the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered our review.”The contact between FBI agents and the media extended to receiving “improperly receiving benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events.In the following paragraph, the IG implied that such benefits could have encouraged various agents to leak information to the press.

“The harm caused by leaks, fear of potential leaks, and a culture of unauthorized media contacts is illustrated in Chapters Ten and Eleven of our report, where we detail the fact that these issues influenced FBI officials who were advising Comey on consequential investigative decisions in October 2016,” the report states.

The IG is unambiguous in its opinion that the problem with leaking is not “with the FBI’s policy, which we found to be clear and unambiguous.” Instead, the leaking phenomenon “appears to be a cultural attitude among many in the organization.”

At the time of this article more and more revelations continue to surface from the report that are quite damning indeed. the findings shown above are just a select first few.

So the upshot so far is that Comey himself was not faulted by the Justice Department with bias. However many people who were working on the investigation, namely Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page and our aforementioned unnamed agents 1 and 5, clearly were biased, and from the nature of their communication, that bias was strong enough to influence their actions. It also appears that they did deliberately act in a manner to carry out that bias and to, in effect, let their own personal politics influence the outcome of the investigation.

Further, the FBI itself was compromised by the cozy relationships between agents and reports, with the possibility, even likelihood, that this promoted leaking to the press when there should have been none.

The White House commented on this on Thursday afternoon, saying that the report reaffirmed the President’s “suspicions” about the conduct of former FBI Director Comey.

The findings may not seem all that damning to look at, but they are actually indicative of a compromised bureau that is far from the ideals of integrity and non-partisanship that the FBI has long claimed as its foundation.

Rush Limbaugh has often commented on this nature of the Deep State, which is evident in the findings of the IG report. He points out that such people, embedded in the government by liberal politicians, namely President Obama, do not need to actually be conspirators to be effective in controlling the actions of the government. Their own ideologies run their decision-making process, and so for them there is no need to really coordinate their efforts when they are all basically aligned the same way.

This report appears to cast some light on the reality of this statement. Strzok and Page may not have taken their angst into an active conspiracy. But they didn’t have to. All they had to so was keep operating with their bias as their driving force. And although James Comey may not have expressly chosen his actions based on his support for Hillary Clinton, he did give her unwarranted and inconsistent special treatment, granting her a pass where others have gone to jail on far less serious offenses.

A link to the full IG report from the US Justice Department is available here. The report is lengthy and extremely detailed – some 568 pages. It is likely there will be more to be discussed as the report is fully analyzed.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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Peter Strzok testifies, reveals partisan warfare (VIDEO)

Partisan bickering main event as FBI Agent Peter Strzok is used as the pawn to prove legitimacy of RussiaGate investigation

Seraphim Hanisch

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Peter Strzok appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to testify about his part in regards to the improper handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation and Robert Mueller’s RussiaGate investigation. The hearing was so contentious and partisan that it stalled at this point for quite a while.

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The Republicans went one way with this, and the Democrats went the other. All the while, Agent Strzok sat there as all this happened. Representative Bob Goodlatte was furious with the situation, as one can see.

Vox News reported on this as well, calling the event a “ridiculous circus.” 

FBI agent Peter Strzok’s testimony before Congress on Thursday collapsed into a full-on partisan circus, with Republican and Democratic members shouting at each other, House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte threatening to hold Strzok in contempt, and Democrats staging an over-the-top political stunt…

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Strzok exchanged a series of text messages with Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair, that were critical of Trump. In one particularly controversial exchange, Page texted Strzok that she was worried Trump might win. “No. No, he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok reassured her.

Trump and many of his Republican allies have seized on these text messages as proof of anti-Trump bias in the FBI and to discredit the Mueller probe — the investigation Trump calls a “Rigged Witch Hunt.”

His appearance before a joint session of the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on Thursday was the first time he had publicly testified before Congress since the revelations about his texts.

It was bound to be a contentious hearing — and so far, it has been.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, immediately accused Reps. Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chair of the House Oversight Committee, of deliberately trying to interfere with the special counsel investigation after Mueller obtained five guilty pleas from people associated with the Trump campaign in recent months.

And Cummings brought along some pretty spectacular signs to make the point.

As he spoke, Democratic staffers held huge signs with the names and photos of the five people affiliated with the Trump campaign who have already pleaded guilty in the Mueller probe: former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, London lawyer Alexander van der Zwaan, and Richard Pinedo, a California man who committed identity theft as part of the Russian election interference campaign.

Republicans first objected to the sign-holding, but seemed to back off when Democrats asked them to cite which rules the signs violated. The signs stayed up as Cummings listed what Flynn et al had pleaded guilty to and slammed Republicans for interfering with the advancement of the Trump-Russia probe.

As the hearing continued, lawmakers fought over what kinds of questions Strzok should be obligated to answer.

Gowdy’s very first question for Strzok — about how many witnesses he had interviewed in the opening days of Russia probesparked a huge debate. Strzok responded that he was not permitted to answer the question based on instructions from the FBI. Then Goodlatte threatened to hold Strzok in contempt for not answering the question.

“Mr. Strzok, you are under subpoena and are required to answer the question,” Goodlatte said.

Democratic lawmakers interrupted Goodlatte and objected loudly in defense of Strzok.

“This demand puts Mr. Strzok in an impossible position,” Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, responded. “If we have a problem with this policy we should take it up with the FBI, not badger Mr. Strzok.”

Strzok then asked to speak to the FBI general counsel before answering the question.

When Goodlatte responded that Strzok could only consult “with your own counsel,” that set off another testy exchange. Per CNN:

At one point, Strzok suggested that his removal from the special counsel’s Russia investigation was driven by optics. “It is not my understanding that he kicked me off because of any bias … it was done based on the appearance,” Strzok said, adding that he “didn’t appreciate” the way Gowdy was framing the issue.

Gowdy replied, “I don’t give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok.”

“I don’t appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations during 2016,” Gowdy added.

The stakes are high here, which may explain the tense nature of the hearing. If Strzok’s defense of his past actions is received well by the public, he could potentially deal a serious blow to the power of right-wing narratives about FBI corruption.

But if he comes off looking bad it will do damage to the credibility of the Mueller probe — and Mueller’s ability to investigate the full extent of Trumpworld’s relationship with Russia.

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COLLUSION: Peter Strzok reveals THREE different versions of the ‘Trump Dossier’

FBI Special agent caught hiding fact of multiple versions of dossier during questioning by House Judiciary Committee

Seraphim Hanisch

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The salacious “Trump Dossier” that was spread as an amazing example of “fake news” being treated as real, received a further blow to its own credibility by none other than FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok on Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee hearing. Fox News notes that Mr. Strzok indicated that there was not one dossier, but three variations of this document – one held by Senator John McCain, a second by Mother Jones writer David Corn, and Fusion GPS owner Glenn Simpson.

Fox goes on to say:

Rudy Giuliani on Thursday slammed the “totally phony” Russia probe after anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok refused to identify the individuals who apparently handed the bureau three different copies of the salacious Trump dossier.

“Isn’t that called collusion or conspiracy to gin up a totally inappropriate, totally illegally wire based on national security? And doesn’t it taint the entire Russian probe?” Giuliani told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“That’s a disgrace, [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller should be ashamed of himself. Those Democrats trying to protect that liar, Strzok, should be ashamed of themselves. And every FBI agent I know wants to see this guy drummed out of the bureau,” he said.

Giuliani said the dossier led to fake news and the “national intelligence wiretap” of the Trump campaign officials.

“So how much of it is infecting the investigation today? We may never know, which is why I think the investigation is totally phony,” he added.

The inquiry into the dossier occurred during a fiery exchange earlier between Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Strzok, who appeared before a joint House committee about his role in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Jordan pressed Strzok about an email he sent to his colleagues, including FBI lawyer Lisa Page with whom he had an extramarital affair, indicating that he has seen different versions of the infamous Trump dossier from three different sources.

Jordan said he had the email the he sent to Page and several others with the subject: “BuzzFeed is about to accomplish the dossier.”

“It says this, ‘Comparing now the set is only identical to what (Sen. John) McCain had, parentheses, it has differences from what was given to us by (Mother Jones’ David) Corn and (Fusion GPS founder Glenn) Simpson.’ Did you write all that?” Jordan asked.

Strzok refused to answer and declined to confirm whether there were three copies of the dossier the FBI had its hands on, saying he can’t answer under the directive of the bureau.

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