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FBI: why James Comey was right to disclose the investigation

The criticisms which are being made of FBI Director James Comey for disclosing the latest investigation do not bear scrutiny. The FBI did not violate the terms of the Hatch Act and far from acting contrary to due process the FBI has been careful to follow it.

Alexander Mercouris

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Hillary Clinton’s response to the revelation that the FBI is investigating the emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer is all that might be expected from someone of her personality.

Whilst a secure and confident person would welcome the FBI investigation, say they had nothing to  hide, and offer assistance, Hillary Clinton’s reaction and that of her campaign team is to release the attack dogs.

Thus over the last two days we have seen an obviously orchestrated storm of criticism of FBI Director James Comey, with claims that he is trying to influence the election, is breaching protocols, and may even have broken federal law, by informing Congress of the new investigation before the election has taken place.

Is there any basis to this?

I am not an expert on the Hatch Act 1939, the federal law which is being spoken about.  However a brief perusal of the legal guidance provided to federal employees by the US Office of Special Counsel concerning its provisions hardly seems to bear out the claims Comey has violated it.

It seems to me that Comey is simply doing his job.  The FBI has been provided with sufficient information to investigate a case.  Comey has simply informed Congress of the fact, as apparently – given the political sensitivity of the case – he had previously promised to do.  It was not Comey’s doing that this information only came to light recently, on the eve of the election, and he is not to blame for that. 

I cannot see how by doing his job and telling Congress about it Comey is doing any of the things the legal guidance says the Hatch Act 1939 prohibits.

What of the claim that because of the proximity of the election Comey and the FBI should have kept the fact of the investigation secret until the election was out of the way?  Apparently that was the advice to Comey of the Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  Is Comey to blame because he did not heed Loretta Lynch’s advice, which seems incidentally to have been political advice rather than legal advice?

Two points can be make about this.

Firstly, in a democracy the people in an election should be given all the available information about a candidate necessary for them to cast an informed vote.  The fact that one of the candidates is under potential investigation by the police is such information. 

No one is saying that the FBI should keep such an investigation secret at any other time, and for that reason it is wrong that it should be kept secret now.  The fact that an election is underway is not a reason for secrecy; in a democracy it is a reason for openness.  I find it strange that there are some people who don’t seem to understand this.

What would of course be fully appropriate would be for Hillary Clinton’s supporters to remind everyone of the presumption of innocence, to which Hillary Clinton is obviously entitled since no charges have been brought against her, and because she was cleared when the email question was investigated previously.  I find it  strange that Hillary Clinton’s supporters don’t talk about this issue in this way.

Secondly, to ask the FBI to keep an investigation like this secret because an election is underway is to ask the impossible.

To think that an FBI investigation of this sort can be kept secret for long in the Washington village is naive.  Besides the FBI needed to obtain a warrant from a court to look at the emails.  That is a legal process which in a democracy is supposed to be carried out openly.  A search warrant is after all a form of court order, which is an official document of public record.  Had Comey tried to keep the investigation secret rumours about it would have quickly spread, and it would have been only a short time before the existence of the court order came to light.  At that point there would have been an even bigger scandal than the one we have now.

In truth what Comey’s critics are really saying is that he should have sat on the investigation and prevented it going forward until after the election.

That of course violates the principle that the police investigate a crime when they learn of it.  Again I find it strange that some of the people who have been talking loudly about Comey’s supposed breach of due process seem unaware of this fact.

Ultimately it seems to me that Hillary Clinton and her supporters are suffering from a bad case of BSE (‘Blame Someone Else’).

The reason an investigation is underway is not because James Comey is trying to swing the election to Donald Trump.  On the contrary in July he bent over backwards to try to help Hillary Clinton – supposedly to the dismay of many people who work for FBI – gaining in the process the lavish praise of Hillary Clinton’s supporters, who praised him to the skies for his staunchness and integrity.

The reason an investigation is underway is because Hillary Clinton broke the terms of a federal law by holding classified material on a private server. 

As I said in my previous article, most people who know about such things think Hillary Clinton was very privileged or very lucky not to have been prosecuted for it when this when she was investigated for this before. 

If she now risks being investigated again less than 2 weeks before the election because new evidence – which should have been disclosed previously – has only now come to light, then she has no-one to blame but herself. 

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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