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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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WillDippel

One of James Comey’s greatest concerns was the emails found in October 2016 on Huma Abedin’s spouses computer and whether or not they broke the law. As such, here is an interesting look at some of the emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2018/01/the-anthony-weiner-connection-to.html

Ironically, the contents of some of the emails that had no security classification whatsoever are still deemed, at least by the State Department, as too sensitive for the sweaty voting masses.

AM Hants
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AM Hants

Wonder if the Trump Team had done the same, using the intelligence services, if they would be so generous, with apportioning blame?

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US continues to try to corner Russia with silence on Nukes

Moscow continues to be patient in what appears to be an ever more lopsided, intentional stonewalling situation provoked by the Americans.

Seraphim Hanisch

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TASS reported on March 17th that despite Russian readiness to discuss the present problem of strategic weapons deployments and disarmament with its counterparts in the United States, the Americans have not offered Russia any proposals to conduct such talks.

The Kremlin has not yet received any particular proposals on the talks over issues of strategic stability and disarmament from Washington, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Sunday when commenting on the statement made by US National Security Adviser John Bolton who did not rule out that such talks could be held with Russia and China.

“No intelligible proposals has been received [from the US] so far,” Peskov said.

Earlier Bolton said in an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis aired on Sunday that he considers it reasonable to include China in the negotiation on those issues with Russia as well.

“China is building up its nuclear capacity now. It’s one of the reasons why we’re looking at strengthening our national missile defense system here in the United States. And it’s one reason why, if we’re going to have another arms control negotiation, for example, with the Russians, it may make sense to include China in that discussion as well,” he said.

Mr. Bolton’s sense about this particular aspect of any arms discussions is correct, as China was not formerly a player in geopolitical affairs the way it is now. The now all-but-scrapped Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, was a treaty concluded by the US and the USSR leaders Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, back in 1987. However, for in succeeding decades, most notably since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US has been gradually building up weaponry in what appears to be an attempt to create a ring around the Russian Federation, a situation which is understandably increasingly untenable to the Russian government.

Both sides have accused one another of violating this treaty, and the mutual violations and recriminations on top of a host of other (largely fabricated) allegations against the Russian government’s activities led US President Donald Trump to announce his nation’s withdrawal from the treaty, formally suspending it on 1 February. Russian President Vladimir Putin followed suit by suspending it the very next day.

The INF eliminated all of both nations’ land based ballistic and cruise missiles that had a range between 500 and 1000 kilometers (310-620 miles) and also those that had ranges between 1000 and 5500 km (620-3420 miles) and their launchers.

This meant that basically all the missiles on both sides were withdrawn from Europe’s eastern regions – in fact, much, if not most, of Europe was missile-free as the result of this treaty. That is no longer the case today, and both nations’ accusations have provoked re-development of much more advanced systems than ever before, especially true considering the Russian progress into hypersonic and nuclear powered weapons that offer unlimited range.

This situation generates great concern in Europe, such that the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on both Moscow and Washington to salvage the INF and extend the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, or the New START as it is known.

“I call on the parties to the INF Treaty to use the time remaining to engage in sincere dialogue on the various issues that have been raised. It is very important that this treaty is preserved,” Guterres said at a session of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Monday.

He stressed that the demise of that accord would make the world more insecure and unstable, which “will be keenly felt in Europe.” “We simply cannot afford to return to the unrestrained nuclear competition of the darkest days of the Cold War,” he said.

Guterres also urged the US and Russia to extend the START Treaty, which expires in 2021, and explore the possibility of further reducing their nuclear arsenals. “I also call on the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the so-called New START Treaty before it expires in 2021,” he said.

The UN chief recalled that the treaty “is the only international legal instrument limiting the size of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals” and that its inspection provisions “represent important confidence-building measures that benefit the entire world.”

Guterres recalled that the bilateral arms control process between Russia and the US “has been one of the hallmarks of international security for fifty years.”

“Thanks to their efforts, global stockpiles of nuclear weapons are now less than one-sixth of what they were in 1985,” the UN secretary-general pointed out.

The Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (the New START Treaty) entered into force on February 5, 2011. The document stipulates that seven years after its entry into effect each party should have no more than a total of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) and strategic bombers, as well as no more than 1,550 warheads on deployed ICBMs, deployed SLBMs and strategic bombers, and a total of 800 deployed and non-deployed ICBM launchers, SLBM launchers and strategic bombers. The new START Treaty obliges the parties to exchange information on the number of warheads and carriers twice a year.

The new START Treaty will remain in force during 10 years until 2021, unless superseded by a subsequent agreement. It may be extended for a period of no more than five years (that is, until 2026) upon the parties’ mutual consent. Moscow has repeatedly called on Washington not to delay the issue of extending the Treaty.

 

 

 

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Trudeau’s Top Bureaucrat Unexpectedly Quits Amid Growing Corruption Scandal

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

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Via Zerohedge


Since it was exposed by a report in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper earlier this month, the scandal that’s become known as the SNC-Lavalin affair has already led to the firing of several of Trudeau’s close advisors and raised serious questions about whether the prime minister was complicit in pressuring the attorney general to offer a deferred prosecution agreement with a large, Quebec-based engineering firm.

And according to the first round of polls released since the affair exploded into public view…

…it could cost Trudeau his position as prime minister and return control to the conservatives, according to the CBC.

Campaign Research showed the Conservatives ahead with 37% to 32% for the Liberals, while both Ipsos and Léger put the margin at 36% to 34% in the Conservatives’ favour.Since December, when both polling firms were last in the field, the Liberals have lost one point in Campaign Research’s polling and four percentage points in the Ipsos poll, while the party is down five points since November in the Léger poll.

Meanwhile, as the noose tightens around Trudeau, on Monday another of the key Canadian government officials at the center of the SNC-Lavalin scandal has quit his post.

Michael Wernick, clerk of the privy council, the highest-ranking position in Canada’s civil service and a key aide to Justin Trudeau, announced his retirement Monday. Trudeau named Ian Shugart, currently deputy minister of foreign affairs, to replace him.

In a scathing letter to Trudeau, Wernick said that “recent events” led him to conclude he couldn’t hold his post during the election campaign this fall.

“It is now apparent that there is no path for me to have a relationship of mutual trust and respect with the leaders of the opposition parties,” he said, citing the need for impartiality on the issue of potential foreign interference. According to Bloomberg, the exact date of his departure is unclear.

As we reported in February, Canada’s former justice minister and attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, quit following allegations that several key Trudeau government figures pressured her to intervene to end a criminal prosecution against Montreal-based construction giant SNC. Wernick was among those she named in saying the prime minister’s office wanted her to pursue a negotiated settlement.

Wernick has since twice spoken to a committee of lawmakers investigating the case, and during that testimony both defended his actions on the SNC file and warned about the risk of foreign election interference, as “blame Putin” has become traditional Plan B plan for most politicians seeing their careers go up in flames.

“I’m deeply concerned about my country right now, its politics and where it’s headed. I worry about foreign interference in the upcoming election,” he said in his first appearance before the House of Commons justice committee, before repeating the warning a second time this month. “If that was seen as alarmist, so be it. I was pulling the alarm. We need a public debate about foreign interference.”

Because somehow foreign interference has something to do with Wenick’s alleged corruption.

Incidentally, as we wonder what the real reason is behind Wernick’s swift departure, we are confident we will know soon enough.

Anyway, back to the now former clerk, who is meant to be non-partisan in service of the government of the day, also criticized comments by a Conservative senator and praised one of Trudeau’s cabinet ministers.

Wernick’s testimony was criticized as overly cozy with the ruling Liberals. Murray Rankin, a New Democratic Party lawmaker, asked the clerk how lawmakers could “do anything but conclude that you have in fact crossed the line into partisan activity?” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said he seemed “willing to interfere in partisan fashion for whoever is in power.”

Whatever Wernick’s true motives, he is the latest but not last in what will be a long line of cabinet departures as the SNC scandal exposes even more corruption in Trudeau’s cabinet (some have ironically pointed out that Canada’s “beloved” prime minister could be gone for actual corruption long before Trump). Trudeau had already lost a top political aide, Gerald Butts, to the scandal. A second minister, Jane Philpott, followed Wilson-Raybould in quitting cabinet.

Separately, on Monday, Trudeau appointed a former deputy prime minister in a Liberal government, Anne McLellan, as a special adviser to investigate some of the legal questions raised by the controversy. They include how governments should interact with the attorney general and whether that role should continue to be held by the justice minister.

As Bloomberg notes, the increasingly shaky Liberal government hasn’t ruled out helping SNC by ordering a deferred prosecution agreement in the corruption and bribery case, which centers around the company’s work in Moammar Qaddafi’s Libya. Doing so would allow the company to pay a fine and avoid any ban on receiving government contracts. That decision is up to the current attorney general, David Lametti; of course, such an action would only raise tensions amid speculation that the government is pushing for a specific political, and favorable for Trudeau, outcome.

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France To Ban Yellow Vest Protests In Neighborhoods With “Ultra” Radicals

Philippe added that he has asked the State Judicial Agent to “systematically seek the financial responsibility of troublemakers.”

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Via Zerohedge


France is cracking down on “yellow vest” protesters following a weekend of renewed violence – as the Macron administration announced on Monday that it would ban demonstration in several areas of france – including the Champs Elysees in Paris, if “ultra elements” are present, according to Interior Minister Edouard Philippe.

‘We will ban demonstrations if ultra elements’ are present, said Philippe, according to CNEWS.

The ban will apply to “neighborhoods that have been most affected as soon as we have knowledge of” the “ultras.”

“I am thinking of course the Champs-Elysees in Paris, the place Pey-Berland in Bordeaux, the Capitol Square in Toulouse”, Philippe added, where “we will proceed to the immediate dispersal of all groups.

Philippe added that he has asked the State Judicial Agent to “systematically seek the financial responsibility of troublemakers.”

Saturday marked a significant escalation in violence during the group’s 18th straight week of protests – which began as a revolt against a climate-change gas tax and expanded into a general anti-government movement.

As we noted on Sunday, the riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

Sounds like things are about to get a lot more violent in Gay Paree.

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