Category Archives: GOVT CORRUPTION

The real Russian Meddle – with Bill & Hillary Clinton

A YEAR of Clinton lies about the ‘golden showers’ dossier exposed
www.dailymail.co.uk

It’s claimed that Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias and other Democrats falsely denied to reporters their involvement in the ‘dirty dossier’
Two New York Times journalists say they were lied to at every turn
It’s now established that Clinton lawyer Marc Elias arranged for the campaign and the Democratic Party to pay a dirt-digging firm to produce the dossier
‘Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,’ Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted
A Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer who launched what would become known as the anti-Trump ‘dirty dossier’ denied involvement in the project for a year as reporters pressed him for information.

Marc Elias brokered a deal between the Clinton camp, the Democratic National Committee and opposition research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on the president while he was running for office.

But a pair of New York Times reporters said Tuesday night on Twitter that Elias and others involved had lied about their ties to the arrangement.

‘Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,’ Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted after The Washington Post linked the dossier to Elias and his law firm Perkins Coie.

Kennth Vogel, another Times journalist, tweeted: ‘When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying “You (or your sources) are wrong”.’

Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc E. Elias hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to dig up dirt about Donald Trump, but falsely denied involvement to reporters

Two New York Times journalists blew up on Twitter when The Washington Post broke the story

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funneled money to Fusion GPS through Elias’s law firm.

The deal began in the spring of 2016, when Elias was approached by Fusion GPS, and lasted until right before Election Day. When Fusion approached Elias, it had already been doing research work on Trump for an unnamed client during the Republican primary.

But the dossier itself was funded entirely by Democrats, using Elias as a middle-man.

After the DNC and the Clinton campaign started paying, Fusion GPS hired former British spy Christopher Steele to do the dirt-digging. His work later resulted in the dossier.

Trump has called the material ‘phony stuff,’ and on Wednesday he portrayed himself as the aggrieved party.

Fusion GPS co-founder Peter Fritsch (left) and partner Thomas Catan (right) took the Fifth last week rather than talking to Congress.

The dossier, compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, contends that the Russian government amassed compromising information about Trump

The president posted a quote on Twitter that he attributed to Fox News: “Clinton campaign & DNC paid for research that led to the anti-Trump Fake News Dossier. The victim here is the President”.’

The FBI has worked to corroborate the document, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, questioned Steele weeks ago.

The dossier circulated in Washington last year and was turned over to the FBI for its review. It contends that Russia was engaged in a long-standing effort to aid Trump and had amassed compromising information about the Republican.

Among its wild claims was that Russian officials have videos of the president cavorting with prostitutes, filmed during Trump’s 2013 visit to a luxury Moscow hotel for the Miss Universe contest

It also contains a highly unusual and unsubstantiated report that the call girls performed a ‘golden shower’ routine that involved them urinating on a hotel bed as a sign of disgust for then-president Barack Obama.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the document as false and in recent days has questioned whether Democrats or the FBI itself had helped fund it.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly denied the dossier’s claims, including the salacious allegation that he hired prostitutes in Russia

Trump called himself a ‘victim’ of the infamous dossier that Democrats helped pay to produce

Trump also has challenged the findings of the FBI, NSA and CIA that Russia waged a large-scale influence campaign to interfere in the election.

The FBI and the CIA have said with high confidence that the effort was aimed at hurting Clinton’s candidacy and helping Trump. The NSA found the same with “moderate” confidence.

It’s unclear what Fusion GPS had dug up by the time Perkins Coie hired it in April 2016. According to a copy of the dossier published by BuzzFeed last year, the earliest report from Steele dates to June 2016.

It was not immediately known how much money Fusion was paid or how many others in the Clinton campaign or DNC were aware that the firm had been retained.

Clinton campaign officials did not immediately comment, but in a statement, a DNC spokeswoman said the party chairman, Tom Perez, was not part of the decision-making and was unaware that Perkins Coie was working with Fusion GPS.

Former Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said on Twitter that he regretted not knowing about Steele’s hiring before the election, and that had he known, ‘I would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help him.’

‘I have no idea what Fusion or Steele were paid but if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping Mueller, it will prove money well spent,’ Fallon in another tweet.

THE TRUMP-RUSSIA TIMELINE
2016

June 20: The dossier is first dated June 20 and had contained several unverifiable periodic reports made over the summer, according to Mother Jones. It was sent in dated sections from a former Western intelligence officer to the FBI and alleged Russia had enough to blackmail Trump.

It alleged that Trump had been cultivated by Russian officials ‘for at least five years.’ It also claimed that the Kremlin had compromising material related to ‘sexually perverted acts’ Trump performed at a Moscow Ritz Carlton where former President Barack Obama once stayed.

Dossier also alleged that Trump’s inner circle was accepting a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin on Hillary Clinton.

July 27: Trump asks Russian hackers to find Clinton’s 30,000 emails during a press conference.

July 31: Kremlin weighing whether to release more information about Clinton.

Late July: The FBI opens its investigation into Russia’s interference in the election, and the Trump campaign’s possible role in it.

August 27: Then-U.S. Sen. Harry Reid sent a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey and called for a full investigation and public disclosure. He wrote: ‘The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the former Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an ‘unwitting agent’ of Russia and the Kremlin.’

September 23: U.S. intelligence officials began investigating links between Trump adviser Carter Page and the Russian government, Yahoo News reported. Page had extensive business links in Russia and is a former Merrill Lynch investment banker in Moscow.

October 7: The Obama administration publicly accuses Russia of ‘directing the recent compromises of e-mails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations’ to affect the US election.

October 30: Reid sent Comey another letter demanding that Trump’s possible ties to Russia be fully investigated and he cited the existence of ‘explosive information’ that the FBI has in its possession.

November 3, 2016: Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev flies into Charlotte, North Carolina on a private plane. Trump’s plane lands on the tarmac not long after and parks next to Rybolovlev, whose plane stays in Charlotte for 22 hours afterward. Trump rallies in nearby city Concord.

November 8: Trump wins the election to become the 45th president of the United States.

November 10: President Barack Obama warns Trump during a meeting at the White House that national security advisor Michael Flynn, a former U.S. Army lieutenant general and Defense Intelligence Agency chief, is a problem.

November 18: During a security meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sen. John McCain hears about the documents and dispatches a former US official to meet the source of the documents and gather more information.

December 9: McCain meets Comey gives the FBI director the documents, The Guardian reported.

December 13: This is the last date of the memos from the dossier written by the British source.

December 29: The Obama administration issues new sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee in the summer and other efforts to interfere with the U.S. election.

2017

January 10: Obama and Trump were both given a two-page summary of the dossier, CNN reported. BuzzFeed News then reported on the dossier and published it in full about how it alleges Trump’s deep ties with Russia.

January 19: The New York Times reported that ‘intercepted communications’ between Trump associates and Russians are being investigated as part of the FBI’s inquiry into Russia’s election meddling.

January 27: Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, holds a meeting with Russian-American businessman Felix Sater and Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Artemenko to discuss a backchannel ‘peace plan’ for Russia and Ukraine.

February 13: Flynn resigns as national security adviser after reports emerge that he misled Vice President Mike Pence.

March 2: Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from the investigation into whether the Trump campaign communicated with Russia.

March 4: Without presenting evidence, Trump tweets that Obama had Trump Tower’s ‘wires tapped’ during the presidential campaign.

March 15: Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced that the committee had not found any evidence to support Trump’s wiretapping claim.

March 20: Comey said he has ‘no evidence’ to support Trump’s wiretapping claim. He confirmed that an investigation into Russia’s election-related meddling includes an examination of contacts between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign.

Late March: Flynn asks for immunity in exchange for testifying to the House and intelligence committees investigating Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.

April 1: Trump tweets: ‘It is the same Fake News Media that said there is “no path to victory for Trump” that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!’

April 3: Trump calls Putin to condemn a Saint Petersburg, Russia terrorist attack.

April 6: Nunes steps aside from the Russia investigation, because he himself is under investigation.

April 11: Page is now under investigation by the FBI who obtained court permission to monitor his communications. The U.S. believed he was acting as a Russian agent.

April 27: The Pentagon inspector general is investigating whether Flynn violated military rules by accepting foreign payments from Russia and Turkey, which is disclosed by a House committee.

May 8: Trump tweets ‘Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax’.

May 9: The president fires Comey from his position at the FBI.

May 10: Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the White House.

May 15: The Washington Post reported that Trump shared highly classified information about Islamic State with the Russian diplomats during a meeting the previous week.

May 17: Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is appointed the special counsel to take over the Justice Department’s Russia investigation.

Late May: Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is revealed to be under investigation by the FBI. According to the Post, he proposed a private back channel between the Kremlin and Trump’s transition team during a meeting in December.

June 8: Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee and answers questions related to Russia meddling into the U.S. election.

June 13: Sessions denies colluding with Russia during Senate testimony.

June 14: The Washington Post reported that Trump is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice by Mueller.

September: Several news outlets, including POLITICO and Buzzfeed, are suing under the Freedom of Information Act to get records about how the federal government tried to vet the claims in the dossier.

October 24: It’s revealed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped bankroll research that led to the ‘golden showers’ dossier on Donald Trump. Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc Elias hired research firm Fusion GPS back in April 2016 to look into allegations of Trump’s ties to Russia, according to the Washington Post.

Share or comment on this article
COMMENTS (167)

The FBI’s Political Meddling

The FBI’s Political Meddling

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, now special counsel on the Russia investigation, following a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Capitol Hill, June 21. Photo: saul loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Let’s give plausible accounts of the known facts, then explain why demands that Robert Mueller recuse himself from the Russia investigation may not be the fanciful partisan grandstanding you imagine.

Here’s a story consistent with what has been reported in the press—how reliably reported is uncertain. Democratic political opponents of Donald Trump financed a British former spook who spread money among contacts in Russia, who in turn over drinks solicited stories from their supposedly “connected” sources in Moscow. If these people were really connected in any meaningful sense, then they made sure the stories they spun were consistent with the interests of the regime, if not actually scripted by the regime.

The resulting Trump dossier then became a factor in Obama administration decisions to launch an FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign, and after the election to trumpet suspicions of Trump collusion with Russia.

We know of a second, possibly even more consequential way the FBI was effectively a vehicle for Russian meddling in U.S. politics. Authoritative news reports say FBI chief James Comey’s intervention in the Hillary Clinton email matter was prompted by a Russian intelligence document that his colleagues suspected was a Russian plant.

OK, Mr. Mueller was a former close colleague and leader but no longer part of the FBI when these events occurred. This may or may not make him a questionable person to lead a Russia-meddling investigation in which the FBI’s own actions are necessarily a concern.

But now we come to the Rosatom disclosures last week in The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress.

Here’s another story as plausible as we can make it based on credible reporting. After the Cold War, in its own interest, the U.S. wanted to build bridges to the Russian nuclear establishment. The Putin government, for national or commercial purposes, agreed and sought to expand its nuclear business in the U.S.

The purchase and consolidation of certain assets were facilitated by Canadian entrepreneurs who gave large sums to the Clinton Foundation, and perhaps arranged a Bill Clinton speech in Moscow for $500,000. A key transaction had to be approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

Now we learn that, before and during these transactions, the FBI had uncovered a bribery and kickback scheme involving Russia’s U.S. nuclear business, and also received reports of Russian officials seeking to curry favor through donations to the Clinton Foundation.

This criminal activity was apparently not disclosed to agencies vetting the 2010 transfer of U.S. commercial nuclear assets to Russia. The FBI made no move to break up the scheme until long after the transaction closed. Only five years later, the Justice Department, in 2015, disclosed a plea deal with the Russian perpetrator so quietly that its significance was missed until The Hill reported on the FBI investigation last week.

For anyone who cares to look, the real problem here is that the FBI itself is so thoroughly implicated in the Russia meddling story.

The agency, when Mr. Mueller headed it, soft-pedaled an investigation highly embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton as well as the Obama Russia reset policy. More recently, if just one of two things is true—Russia sponsored the Trump Dossier, or Russian fake intelligence prompted Mr. Comey’s email intervention—then Russian operations, via their impact on the FBI, influenced and continue to influence our politics in a way far more consequential than any Facebook ad, the preoccupation of John McCain, who apparently cannot behold a mountain if there’s a molehill anywhere nearby.

Which means that Mr. Mueller has the means, motive and opportunity to obfuscate and distract from matters embarrassing to the FBI, while pleasing a large part of the political spectrum. He need only confine his focus to the flimsy, disingenuous but popular (with the media) accusation that the shambolic Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.

Mr. Mueller’s tenure may not have bridged the two investigations, but James Comey’s, Rod Rosenstein’s , Andrew Weissmann’s , and Andrew McCabe’s did. Mr. Rosenstein appointed Mr. Mueller as special counsel. Mr. Weissmann now serves on Mr. Mueller’s team. Mr. McCabe remains deputy FBI director. All were involved in the nuclear racketeering matter and the Russia meddling matter.

Let’s stop here. All this needs to be sorted out, but not in a spirit of panic and hysteria. We are a prosperous, successful country, in pretty good shape right now by historical standards, even if our officials behave in the frequently dubious, self-interested way they always have.

But still: By any normal evidentiary, probative or journalistic measure, the big story here is the FBI—its politicized handling of Russian matters, and not competently so.

To put it bluntly, whatever its hip-pocket rationales along the way, the FBI would not have so much to cover up now if it had not helped give us Mrs. Clinton as Democratic nominee and then, in all likelihood, inadvertently helped Mr. Trump to the presidency.

Appeared in the October 25, 2017, print edition.

COMMENTS (386)

President Trump: With tax reform we can make it morning in America again

President Trump: With tax reform we can make it morning in America again

In a speech to the Heritage Foundation, President Trump outlined his new tax plan that he claims will mean bigger paychecks and financial independence.

President Trump

Today is the anniversary of former president Ronald Reagan signing into law the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The act was the second major law he signed to reform the tax code for the American people.

Republicans and Democrats came together to cut taxes for hardworking families in 1981, and again in 1986 to simplify the tax code, so that everyone could get a fair shake. The rest, as they say, is history.

The economy boomed, launching into one of the largest peacetime economic expansions in history. Dormant small businesses and factories sprung back to life. The famed American Worker produced at unprecedented levels. The median family income rose. And more American products than ever before reached foreign shores, stamped with those four beautiful words: “Made in the USA.”

The 1980s also saw extraordinary ideas transformed into reality by American inventors and entrepreneurs. Many of those creations dramatically improved our quality of life. Others connected us like never before and put an entire universe of information at our fingertips. Still others, like the space shuttle after its first launch in 1981, stretched the bounds of what we thought was possible for humankind.

It was a time of extraordinary optimism — it was truly “Morning in America,” an economic miracle for the middle-class.

A lot has changed since then, especially when it comes to taxes.

While our economic competitors slashed their taxes in hopes of replicating America’s success, our leaders remained complacent or, in some cases, reversed course.

We are now among the highest taxed nations in the developed world. Our tax code and laws have nearly tripled in length since the 1986 reforms. They now span 2,650 pages, with another 70,000 pages of forms, instructions, court decisions, and other guidance.

We have watched our leaders allow other countries to erode our competitive edge, take our jobs, and drain our wealth. And, for the first time in our history, Americans have feared that their children will not grow up to be better off financially than they are.

That era of economic surrender is now over.

In the nine months since I took office as president, we have removed intrusive, job-killing regulations at a record pace. We are leaving lopsided international deals that hurt America like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Paris Climate Accord. We have unleashed American energy by ending the war on coal and approving major projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. And earlier this month, I signed an executive order to take important steps to free our people from the grip of Obamacare.

And now, unemployment is at a 16-year low. Wages are rising. Manufacturing confidence is higher than it has ever been. The stock market is soaring to record levels. And GDP growth climbed to more than 3% in the second quarter.

The optimism has returned — the sun is once again rising over America.

But our economy cannot take off like it should unless we transform our outdated, complex and burdensome tax code, and that is exactly what we are proposing to do.

Revising our tax code is not just a policy discussion — it is a moral one, because we are not talking about the government’s money – we are talking about your money, your hard work.

According to the Tax Foundation, taxes cost Americans more out-of-pocket than housing, clothing, and food — combined.

Somehow, this has become “normal” in the Land of the Free, but it should not be.

American families should not have to send more money to the government than they spend on building a better life for themselves and their children. You are the ones who carry this nation on your back, and it is time for you to get the relief that you deserve.

That is why we are taking action to dramatically reduce the burden that the sprawling federal tax code has become on our citizens.

Our plan will transform the tax code so that it is once again simple, fair and easy to understand. We want you to spend your valuable time pursuing your dreams, not trapped in a tax compliance nightmare.

We will cut taxes for hardworking, middle-class families.

We will double the standard deduction, which means the first $24,000 of a family’s income will be tax-free. We will also expand the child tax credit. And we will lower rates so that families will keep more of their hard-earned money.

We will also restore our competitive edge so we can create better jobs and higher wages for American workers.

Our plan will provide tax relief to businesses of all sizes, and deliver our small and medium-sized businesses the lowest top rate in more than 80 years.

Finally, we will bring back trillions of dollars in American wealth currently parked overseas.

Today’s tax system foolishly penalizes companies that bring foreign profits back to the United States. Our plan encourages companies to bring this money home, where it can be invested in American companies, American jobs and American workers.

If Congress comes together to enact this commonsense plan, the Council of Economic Advisers estimates that it will raise the annual income of a typical, hardworking American household by an average of around $4,000.

Just imagine the possibilities.

We have the benefit of hindsight as we look back at the three decades since our country’s last major tax reform. We can see what worked and what did not. And most importantly, we can apply the lessons learned to the challenges of today.

The tax cuts and reforms of the 1980s show that when we empower the American people to pursue their dreams, they will not only achieve greatness and create prosperity beyond imagination, they will build an entirely new world.

It is time to ignite America’s middle class miracle once again.

COMMENTARY

Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States. He was elected after a Republican primary contest, beating seventeen other candidates decisively. He went on to beat the Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who failed to impress her own supporters. After winning the election, he spoke at victory rallies, explaining how he repeatedly returned to New Hampshire to secure just one precious electoral vote.

Quite the opposite in stark contrast, Hillary Clinton was in poor health, fainting and collapsing numerous times on the campaign trail, rarely making more than a single one-hour appearance per week. She was seen at least once being propped up by her nurse while her van, equipped like an ambulance, arrived to pick her up. She was seen tripping and falling numerous times like an opioid addict. Her young female physician LIED when she certified that Hillary was in “excellent health.”

The voting public was not easily fooled by lie after lie. Speaking of Democrat lies and massive cover up, mid-October 2017 broke stories of the real Russian collusion that occurred during the Obama Administration. The US Justice Department is investigating the sale of 20% of US uranium production – approved by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and signed off by President Obama. Former president Bill Clinton was paid $500, 000 for a one hour speech to Russian businesses, plus tens of millions given to the Clinton Foundation.

 

HERR MUELLER, DNC GESTAPO

Comey and known Communist Sympathizer & Muslim Apologist Jeh Johnson scheming together.

Silverglate: How Robert Mueller Tried To Entrap Me
news.wgbh.org

Is special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, appointed in mid-May to lead the investigation into suspected ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and various shady (aren’t they all?) Russian officials, the choirboy that he’s being touted to be, or is he more akin to a modern-day Tomas de Torquemada, the Castilian Dominican friar who was the first Grand Inquisitor in the 15th Century Spanish Inquisition?

Given the rampant media partisanship since the election, one would think that Mueller’s appointment would lend credibility to the hunt for violations of law by candidate, now President Trump and his minions.

But I have known Mueller during key moments of his career as a federal prosecutor. My experience has taught me to approach whatever he does in the Trump investigation with a requisite degree of skepticism or, at the very least, extreme caution.

When Mueller was the acting United States Attorney in Boston, I was defense counsel in a federal criminal case in which a rather odd fellow contacted me to tell me that he had information that could assist my client. He asked to see me, and I agreed to meet. He walked into my office wearing a striking, flowing white gauze-like shirt and sat down across from me at the conference table. He was prepared, he said, to give me an affidavit to the effect that certain real estate owned by my client was purchased with lawful currency rather than, as Mueller’s office was claiming, the proceeds of illegal drug activities.

My secretary typed up the affidavit that the witness was going to sign. Just as he picked up the pen, he looked at me and said something like: “You know, all of this is actually false, but your client is an old friend of mine and I want to help him.” As I threw the putative witness out of my office, I noticed, under the flowing white shirt, a lump on his back – he was obviously wired and recording every word between us.

Years later I ran into Mueller, and I told him of my disappointment in being the target of a sting where there was no reason to think that I would knowingly present perjured evidence to a court. Mueller, half-apologetically, told me that he never really thought that I would suborn perjury, but that he had a duty to pursue the lead given to him. (That “lead,” of course, was provided by a fellow that we lawyers, among ourselves, would indelicately refer to as a “scumbag.”)

This experience made me realize that Mueller was capable of believing, at least preliminarily, any tale of criminal wrongdoing and acting upon it, despite the palpable bad character and obviously questionable motivations of his informants and witnesses. (The lesson was particularly vivid because Mueller and I overlapped at Princeton, he in the Class of 1966 and me graduating in 1964.)

Years later, my wariness toward Mueller was bolstered in an even more revelatory way. When he led the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, I arranged in December 1990 to meet with him in Washington. I was then lead defense counsel for Dr. Jeffrey R. MacDonald, who had been convicted in federal court in North Carolina in 1979 of murdering his wife and two young children while stationed at Fort Bragg. Years after the trial, MacDonald (also at Princeton when Mueller and I were there) hired me and my colleagues to represent him and obtain a new trial based on shocking newly discovered evidence that demonstrated MacDonald had been framed in part by the connivance of military investigators and FBI agents. Over the years, MacDonald and his various lawyers and investigators had collected a large trove of such evidence.

The day of the meeting, I walked into the DOJ conference room, where around the table sat a phalanx of FBI agents. My three colleagues joined me. Mueller walked into the room, went to the head of the table, and opened the meeting with this admonition, reconstructed from my vivid and chilling memory: “Gentlemen: Criticism of the Bureau is a non-starter.” (Another lawyer attendee of the meeting remembered Mueller’s words slightly differently: “Prosecutorial misconduct is a non-starter.” Either version makes clear Mueller’s intent – he did not want to hear evidence that either the prosecutors or the FBI agents on the case misbehaved and framed an innocent man.)

Special counsel Mueller’s background indicates zealousness that we might expect in the Grand Inquisitor, not the choirboy.

Why Special Prosecutors Are A Bad Idea

The history of special counsels (called at different times either “independent counsel” or “special prosecutor”) is checkered and troubled, resulting in considerable Supreme Court litigation around the concept of a prosecutor acting outside of the normal DOJ chain of command.

The Supreme Court in 1988 approved, with a single dissent (Justice Antonin Scalia), the concept of an independent prosecutor. Still, all subsequent efforts to appoint such a prosecutor have led to enormous disagreements over whether justice was done. Consider Kenneth Starr’s obsessive four-year, $40-million pursuit of President Bill Clinton for having sex with a White House intern and then lying about it. Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s 2006 pursuit of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is not as infamous, but it should be. Fitzgerald indicted and a jury later convicted Libby, a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, for lying about leaking to the New York Times the covert identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. Subsequent revelations that there were multiple leaks and that Wilson’s CIA identity was not a secret served to discredit Libby’s indictment. Libby’s sentence was commuted. Libby’s relatively speedy reinstatement into the bar is seen by many as evidence of his unfair conviction. Considered in tandem, the campaigns against Democrat Clinton and Republican Libby raise disturbing questions about the use of special or independent prosecutors.

Yet despite the constitutional issues, the most serious problem with a special counsel is that when a prosecutor is appointed to examine closely the lives and affairs of a pre-selected group of targets, that prosecutor is almost certain to stumble across multiple actions that might be deemed criminal under the sprawling and incredibly vague federal criminal code.

In Mueller’s case, one can have a very high degree of confidence that he will uncover alleged felonies within the ranks of the inner circle of the President’s men (there are very few women to investigate in this administration). This could well include Trump himself.

I described this phenomenon long before Trump began his improbable rise, in my 2009 book “Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent” (Encounter Books, updated edition, 2011).  I explained how federal “fraud” statutes were so vague that just about any action in the daily life of a typically busy professional might be squeezed into the elastic definition of some kind of federal felony. Harvard Law Professor (and, I should note, my former professor and subsequent longtime friend and colleague) Alan Dershowitz has beaten me to the punch, making the case in a raft of articles and on TV and radio that none of the evidence thus far leaked to or adduced by investigative reporters constitute federal crimes.

But Mueller’s demonstrated zeal and ample resources virtually assure that indictments will come, even in the absence of actual crimes rather than behavior that is simply “politics as usual”. If Mueller claims that Trump or members of his entourage committed crimes, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily so. We should take Mueller and his prosecutorial team with a grain of salt. But a grain of salt seems an outmoded concept in an age when both sides – Trump and his critics – seem impervious to inconvenient facts. The most appropriate slogan for all the combatants on both sides of the Trump wars (including, alas, the reporters and their editors) might well be: “Don’t confuse me with the facts; my mind is made up.”

The Author

Harvey Silverglate, a criminal defense and First Amendment lawyer and writer, is WGBH/News’ “Freedom Watch” columnist. He practices law in an “of counsel” capacity in the Boston law firm Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLP. He is the author, most recently, of Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (New York: Encounter Books, updated edition 2011). The author thanks his research assistant, Nathan McGuire, for his invaluable work on this series.

UN: TRUMP DESTROYS SOCIALIST FAIRYTALE

Trump at the UN

Trump: ‘The Problem in Venezuela Is Not that Socialism Has Been Poorly Implemented’ but ‘Faithfully Implemented’
news.grabien.com

‘All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their well-being, including their prosperity’

Sep 19, 2017

TRUMP: “The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. (Applause) From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.

“Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their well-being, including their prosperity.”

PELOSI LOSING HER MIND

LGBT group to clap for Obama, laments ‘bulleting’ of youth – The American MirrorThe American Mirror
www.theamericanmirror.com
That question is coming up again as the House Minority Leader was seen on Saturday repeatedly telling the GLAAD audience to clap and botching simple words.
Speaking of San Francisco, Pelosi said, “Our city is blessed with a large LGBTQ community, and a strong history of legacy— of advocacy…”

A painfully awkward moment came when she had to tell the gay rights group to applaud for President Obama.

“And we were very proud of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and President Obama was so very much a part of that,” Pelosi said, inserting an applause line for Obama.

“Let’s hear it for President Obama,” Pelosi said after the silence.

“That’s an applause line,” she continued, “I’ll tell you when it’s an applause line if we’re not kind of in sync.”

Pelosi told the crowd to applaud for her efforts to “end discrimination.”

She went on to say we should “stop the bullying of LGBT youth in our schools.”

When some in the audience shouted approval, Pelosi flubbed her response, saying, “Stop the bulleting of our kids!”

“Innovation must be about inclusion,” she said, adding, “Alright, applause line!” and breaking into laughs.

What a dope…

THE IRRELEVANT DEMOCRATS

The Irrelevant Democrats
freebeacon.com

Nancy Pelosi, the iconic delusional Democrat Leader

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi / Getty Images

BY: Matthew ContinettiSeptember 1, 2017 5:00 am

Chuck Schumer is in a spirited mood. “This is going to be one of the biggest fights of the next three, four months,” the Senate minority leader said recently of the coming debate over tax cuts. “And Democrats are ready for it.”

No doubt they are. But the relevant question is: Does their readiness even matter? Last month Mitch McConnell said he planned to bring taxes to the Senate floor under the budget reconciliation procedure. That would bypass the filibuster. The bill could pass by majority vote. No Democrats required.

And Republicans are unlikely to experience the defections over taxes that doomed them on health care. The health bill was a mess, a product of Republican confusion and infighting. There is no such uncertainty toward cutting taxes.

This is not to say that a cut is a done deal. Congressional Republicans may find a way to screw up. Fumbling the ball at the one-yard line is a specialty of theirs. But the prospect that GOP incompetence may rob the Trump administration of another legislative victory only underscores the fundamental point: Chuck Schumer’s big words to the contrary notwithstanding, the Democrats are irrelevant to the power equation in Donald Trump’s Washington.

That equation consists of five variables. None is called (D).

The president, through sheer cultural weight, is the dominant figure on the world stage. Brian Stelter of CNN remarked on Thursday that Hurricane Harvey was the first story in months, perhaps years, to displace Donald Trump from the top headlines. If it takes an act of God to upstage you, you know you are famous. Trump’s every word, every gesture, becomes the subject of controversy, discussion, analysis, rebuke, approval. He sets the agenda through social media and executive power. His wounds are largely self-inflicted. But he has also to rely on allies who are not entirely reliable.

Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have helped the president with deregulation and reform of the Veterans Health Administration. But they have had difficulty with the larger questions of taxes, health care, immigration, and the budget. That is because Ryan and McConnell are traditional members of the Grand Old Party, whereas the president is the founding member of the Party of Trump. The two parties disagree over strategy, tactics, priorities, and policy.

Moreover, as Ramesh Ponnuru observes in the September 11, 2017, issue of National Review, the Grand Old Party is itself divided into 1) pro-business moderates like Ryan and McConnell, 2) Tea Party conservatives like Mark Meadows and Ted Cruz, and 3) working-class populists like Tom Cotton and Lou Barletta. For these groups to agree on a plan of action, in a way that satisfies President Trump, is a Herculean task.

The debate within the Grand Old Party, and between the GOP and the Party of Trump, is where the action is. Democrats are bystanders.

Whatever name they go by—antifa, cultural Marxists, social justice warriors, Black Lives Matter—it is the left, not the liberals, who are the most active and energetic counter-Trump force in America today. Marxists would say Trump and the left-wingers relate to one another in dialectical terms. He is the thesis, they the anti-thesis. The synthesis? Your guess is as good as mine.

Do not overlook the fact that the left is as opposed to the corporate liberals within the Democrat Party as it is to Trump. The Democrats denied the presidential nomination to Bernie Sanders and the party chairmanship to Keith Ellison. The Democrats worry about a backlash to the iconoclasm that would knock down statues of Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington in the name of anti-racism. The Democrats cavil over whether to support the single-payer health care system embraced by Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and the left. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi denounces the violence of antifa, and Dianne Feinstein is booed in San Francisco when she says that she hopes President Trump learns from his mistakes.

Reduced to its weakest position in decades, under heavy fire from its left flank, the Democratic Party has limited tools with which to respond to President Trump and the Republican majority. Its leaders Pelosi and Schumer have relied on legislative chicanery to slow down the Republicans in the Senate and verbal criticism from the sidelines. Increasingly the fight is not between Republicans and Democrats, but between the “right” symbolized by Trump and the “left” symbolized by black-shirted masked hooligans. And that is a fight Trump wins. Every time.

It is not a condemnation of journalists or journalism to say that most of the damage done to the Trump administration has come from negative press coverage. The media amplify Trump’s mistakes, highlight every criticism, publicize the tiniest details of the Russia investigations, dog him with tenacity not witnessed since Nixon. Of course he repays the favor. The media are not as powerful as they were during Watergate when there were only four television channels, three major papers, no Internet, and no social media. Do not doubt, though, the capacity of the press to shape public opinion and, in particular, shame elites of both parties into behaving like good liberals.

The fifth variable in our set is the most opaque, since it operates largely outside public scrutiny. It is also the most unpredictable, because its motives and objectives are unknown. And it is potentially the most important, because it has the power to reduce the strength of, if not remove altogether, one or two of the other variables. Its name is Robert Mueller.

 

FEAR-MONGER AL GORE

Who’s afraid of the big bad climate monster?
www.dailytelegraph.com.au

IN Al Gore’s latest cinematic dose of climate scaremongering, a young Asian man is crying.

“I feel so scared” he wails, before vision of solicitous uncle Al patting his hand in an attempt to soothe away his fears of the apocalypse.

Scaremongering is what Gore does best, and fear is the business model that has made him rich, though his every apocalyptic scenario has failed to materialise.

In Australia last week to spruik his upcoming movie An Inconvenient Sequel, the former US vice president tried it on again, claiming Mother Nature was “screaming” and the world would ­descend into “political disruption and chaos and diseases, stronger storms and more ­destructive floods” unless we buy his snake oil.

Silly Labor premiers bought that snake oil last week, pledging alongside the grinning Gore that Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and South Australia would embrace renewables to produce zero net emissions by 2050.

They haven’t learned the lesson from SA’s extreme green experiment with renewable energy that has produced nothing but crippling blackouts and the highest electricity prices in the world.

Any normal person with such a woeful record of accuracy as Gore would be ashamed to show his face. Eleven years after his Inconvenient Truth movie scared little kids witless, his warnings of climate armageddon have come to nothing.

Former US vice president Al Gore was recently in Sydney to promote his documentary An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

“Unless we take drastic measures the world would reach a point of no return within 10 years,” he told us then. Wrong. In fact the world has just been through almost 20 years in which there has been a hiatus in global warming, even as carbon dioxide has increased: an “inconvenient pause” as some wags put it.

Around the world people are waking up to the fact that their leaders have been crying wolf, while their electricity bills go through the roof.

Australia’s prosperity is built on the reams of cheap, abundant fossil fuel under our feet, and yet green zealots have forced us into an energy crisis.

But when Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly last week pointed out the logical fact that Australians will die because of high power bills, he was slammed as a “scaremonger” by the very people who worship at Al Gore’s feet.

Yes, cold kills, and electricity prices have doubled in the past decade, as uncertainty plagues the energy sector, and cheap coal-fired power is priced out of the market by government subsidies for unreliable renewable energy production.

The states, which bear much of the blame, continue with the fantasy that you can replace coal with wind and solar while simultaneously banning the development of onshore gas fields.

The iron-clad law of ­energy supply is that more ­renewables force out baseload power, which you need when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

Yet SA is pretending that the world’s biggest battery built at huge taxpayer expense by another global green huckster, Elon Musk, is going to save the day.

The diabolic task facing federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is to wrangle agreement on something approaching a rational energy policy out of the recently ­released Finkel Review.

Unlike Donald Trump, this government doesn’t have an electoral mandate for pulling out of the Paris treaty.

Tony Abbott was a climate sceptic yet he signed us up to the Paris renewable energy target of slashing emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2050.

That was all he could get through Senate where even mining millionaire Clive Palmer had been got at by Al Gore. So this is where we are.

Appointing Alan Finkel as chief scientist was one of Malcolm Turnbull’s first tasks after he deposed Abbott. Like Turnbull, Finkel is a climate true believer who drives an electric car and powers his South Yarra home on ­renewables.

He’s also an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur with a PhD in electrical ­engineering.

He’s smart but he has produced a report bullish on renewables and bearish on coal.

Finkel is right that wimpish investors have deserted coal in Australia and that electricity prices have soared because of the uncertainty that ensued since Labor’s vandalism from 2007.

But coal is nowhere near obsolete. As the Australian Minerals Council points out, coal is the world’s leading source of electricity and will be till at least 2040.

In our region countries are busy building new clean coal plants. In East Asia alone 1250 new plants are under construction or planned.

Yet in the past eight years in Australia not a single new baseload coal or gas generation unit has been built.

That has to change.

Turnbull has now come around to that realisation, telling the Liberal National Party state convention in Brisbane yesterday: “Those people who say coal and other fossil fuels have no ­future are delusional.” Fossil fuels are here to stay, despite Al Gore.

IS PUBLIC CANING OK NOW?

IT’S astonishing that Australia’s most prestigious law school, at Sydney University, includes a course which calls for sharia law to be recognised in our legal system.

This would include child brides, and the “exclusive” right for a man to divorce his wife. What’s next? Public canings, stoning rape victims and throwing homosexuals off rooftops?

An Indonesian man being caned for gay sex under sharia law in Banda Aceh in May.
If we aren’t careful we could end up like the UK, where dozens of sharia law courts have been established and regularly issue rulings that contradict Britain’s common law.

British Muslims have begun demanding that sharia become the only law in Muslim-majority towns, where signs declare: “You are entering a sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced”. A parallel system of justice cannot operate in our country, where one of the fundamental principles is the law applies equally to all.

TRUMP TOLD THE TRUTH, SHE IS BEAUTIFUL

EVERY day the world’s Trump-hating media gets its knickers in a twist about something the American President has said.

Even when he’s dishing out compliments it’s an outrage.

“You know, you’re in such good shape,” Trump said to the French President’s wife, Brigitte Macron, this week. “Beautiful.”

US President Donald Trump called French President Emmanuel Macron’s wife Bigitte beautiful. Cue outrage. Cue feminist apoplexy.

But it’s the truth.

Brigitte Macron is 64 and her husband is 39. She was his former high school teacher.

Trump is not one to ignore the elephant in the room, and his candour is refreshing. And, since the age difference between him and Melania is about the same in the other direction, he might even have been looking for tips.

COMMENT – America live in a lie-bubble during the eight years before President Trump.  “Michelle Obama is gorgeous, beautiful…” WHAT? HOW? How do you rationalize that Cape Buffalos are “gorgeous, beautiful?”

OBAMA STATE DEPT & RUSSIAN COLLUSION

Exclusive: DOJ let Russian lawyer into US before she met with Trump team
thehill.com

The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews. This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.

Later, a series of events between an intermediary for the attorney and the Trump campaign ultimately led to the controversy surrounding the president’s eldest son.

Just five days after meeting in June 2016 at Trump Tower with Donald Trump Jr., presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and then Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Moscow attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya showed up in Washington in the front row of a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia policy, video footage of the hearing shows.

She also helped arrange an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. where pro-Russian supporters showed a movie that challenged the underpinnings of the U.S. human rights law known as the Magnitysky Act, which Russian leader Vladimir Putin has reviled and tried to reverse. The Magnitsky Act imposed financial and other sanctions on Russia for alleged human rights violations connected to the death of a Russian lawyer who claimed to uncover fraud during Putin’s reign. Russia retaliated after the law was passed in 2012 by suspending Americans’ ability to adopt Russian children. At least five congressional staffers and State Department officials attended that movie showing, according to a Foreign Agent Registration Act complaint filed with the Justice Department about Veselnitskaya’s efforts. And Veselnitskaya also attended a dinner with the chairman of the House subcommittee overseeing Russia policy, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and roughly 20 other guests at a dinner club frequented by Republicans. In an interview with The Hill on Wednesday, Rohrabacher said, “There was a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club here with about 20 people. I think I was the only congressman there. They were talking about the Magnitysky case. But that wasn’t just the topic. There was a lot of other things going on. So I think she was there but I don’t remember any type of conversation with her between us. But I understand she was at the table.” Rohrabacher said he believed Veselnitskaya and her U.S. colleagues, which included former Democratic Congressman Ronald Dellums, were lobbying other lawmakers to reverse the Magnitysky Act and restore the ability of Americans to adopt Russian children that Moscow had suspended. “I don’t think this was very heavily lobbied at all compared with the other issues we deal with,” he said. As for his former congressional colleague Dellums, Rohrabacher said he recalled having a conversation about the Magnitsky Act and the adoption issue, “Ron and I like each other … I have to believe he was hired a lobbyist but I don’t know.” Veselnitskaya did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday at her Moscow office. Dellums also did not return a call to his office seeking comment. But in an interview with NBC News earlier this week, Veselnitskaya acknowledged her contacts with Donald Trump Jr. and in Washington were part of a lobbying campaign to get members of Congress and American political figures to see “the real circumstances behind the Magnitsky Act.” That work was a far cry from the narrow reason the U.S. government initially gave for allowing Veselnitskaya into the U.S. in late 2015, according to federal court records. The Moscow lawyer had been turned down for a visa to enter the U.S. lawfully but then was granted special immigration parole by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch for the limited purpose of helping a company owned by Russian businessman Denis Katsyv, her client, defend itself against a Justice Department asset forfeiture case in federal court in New York City. During a court hearing in early January 2016 as Veselnitskaya’s permission to stay in the country was about to expire, federal prosecutors described how rare the grant of parole immigration was as Veselnitskaya pleaded for more time to remain in the United States. “In October the government bypassed 
the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary 
permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge during a hearing Jan. 6, 2016. “That’s a discretionary act that the statute allows the Attorney 
General to do in extraordinary circumstances. In this case, we 
did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the 
further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the 
country to assist,” he added. The prosecutor said Justice was willing to allow the Russian lawyer to enter the United States again as the trial in the case approached so she could help prepare and attend the proceedings. The court record indicates the presiding judge asked the Justice Department to extend Veselnitskaya’s immigration parole another week until he decided motions in the case. There are no other records in the court file indicating what happened with that request or how Veselnitskaya appeared in the country later that spring. The U.S. Attorney’s office in New York confirmed Wednesday to The Hill that it let Veselnitskaya into the country on a grant of immigration parole from October 2015 to early January 2016. Justice Department and State Department officials could not immediately explain how the Russian lawyer was still in the country in June for the meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and the events in Washington D.C.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has demanded the U.S. government provide him all records on how Veselnitskaya entered and traveled in the U.S., a request that could shed additional light on her activities. Interviews with a half dozen Americans who came in contact with Veselnitskaya or monitored her U.S. activities in 2016 make clear that one of her primary goals was to see if the Congress and/or other political leaders would be interested in repealing the 2012 Magnitsky Act punishing Russia or at least ensure the Magnitsky name would not be used on a new law working its way through Congress in 2016 to punish human rights violators across the globe. “There’s zero doubt that she and her U.S. colleagues were lobbying to repeal Magnitsky or at least ensure his name was removed from the global law Congress was considering,” said U.S. businessman William Browder, who was the main proponent for the Magnitsky Act and who filed a FARA complaint against Veselnitskaya, Dellums and other U.S. officials claiming they should have registered as foreign agent lobbyists because of the work. The 2012 law punished Russia for the prison death of Moscow lawyer/accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who U.S. authorities allege uncovered a massive $230 million money laundering scheme involving Russian government official that hurt U.S. companies. Magnitsky became a cause celeb in the United States after his mysterious death in a Russian prison, but Russian officials have disputed his version of events and in 2011 posthumously convicted him of fraud in Russia. It is that alternate theory of the Magnitsky fraud cause that Veselnitskaya and her U.S. allies tried to get into the hands of American officials, including Rohrabacher, the Trump team and other leaders. Browder’s complaint, which alleges that Washington lobbyists working with Veselnitskaya failed to register as foreign agents, is still pending at the Justice Department. It identified several events in Washington that Veselnitskaya and her allies attended or staged in June 2016. All of them occurred in the days immediately after the Russian lawyer used a music promoter friend to get an audience June 9 with Trump’s eldest son promising dirt on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and instead using the meeting to talk about Magnitsky and the adoption issue, according to Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya. On June 13, Veselnitskaya attended the screening of an anti-Magnitsky movie at the Newseum, which drew a handful of congressional staffers and State Department officials, according to Browder’s complaint. The next day, she appeared in the front row of a hearing chaired by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), sitting right behind a former U.S. ambassador who testified on the future of U.S-Russia policy. Rohrabacher said he recalled around the same time a conversation with Dellums about Magnitsky and the adoption issue and then attending a dinner that included Veselnitskaya at the Capitol Hill Club with about 20 people. Sources close to the lobbying effort to rename the Magnisky Act, conducted over the summer of 2016, said it fizzled after only a month or two. They described Veselnitskaya, who does not speak English, as a mysterious and shadowy figure. They said they were confused as to whether she had an official role in the lobbying campaign, although she was present for several meetings. The sources also described their interactions with Veselnitskaya in the same way that Trump Jr. did. They claimed not to know who she worked for or what her motives were. “Natalia didn’t speak a word of English,” said one source. “Don’t let anyone tell you this was a sophisticated lobbying effort. It was the least professional campaign I’ve ever seen. If she’s the cream of the Moscow intelligence community then we have nothing to worry about.” The sources added they met with Veselnitksaya only once or twice over the course of the lobbying campaign, which culminated with airing of a Russian documentary that challenged the notion that Magnitsky was beaten to death in a Russian prison About 80 people, including congressional staffers and State Department employees attended the viewing at the Newseum.

COMMENT

FMR FBI DIR COMEY: CRIMINAL LEAKER!

Comey’s private memos on Trump conversations contained classified material
thehill.com

More than half of the memos former FBI chief James Comey wrote as personal recollections of his conversations with President Trump about the Russia investigation have been determined to contain classified information, according to interviews with officials familiar with the documents.

This revelation raises the possibility that Comey broke his own agency’s rules and ignored the same security protocol that he publicly criticized Hillary Clinton for in the waning days of the 2016 presidential election.

Comey testified last month he considered the memos to be personal documents and that he shared at least one of them with a Columbia University lawyer friend. He asked that lawyer to leak information from one memo to the news media in hopes of increasing pressure to get a special prosecutor named in the Russia case after Comey was fired as FBI director.

“So you didn’t consider your memo or your sense of that conversation to be a government document?,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) asked Comey on June 8.  “You considered it to be, somehow, your own personal document that you could share to the media as you wanted through a friend?”
“Correct,” Comey answered. “I understood this to be my recollection recorded of my conversation with the president. As a private citizen, I thought it important to get it out.”

Comey insisted in his testimony he believed his personal memos were unclassified, though he hinted one or two documents he created might have been contained classified information.

“I immediately prepared an unclassified memo of the conversation about Flynn and discussed the matter with FBI senior leadership,” he testified about the one memo he later leaked about former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

He added, “My view was that the content of those unclassified, memorialization of those conversations was my recollection recorded.”

But when the seven memos Comey wrote regarding his nine conversations with Trump about Russia earlier this year were shown to Congress in recent days, the FBI claimed all were, in fact, deemed to be government documents.

While the Comey memos have been previously reported, this is the first time there has been a number connected to the amount of the memos the ex-FBI chief wrote.

Four of the memos had markings making clear they contained information classified at the “secret” or “confidential” level, according to officials directly familiar with the matter.

A spokesman for the FBI on Sunday declined to comment.

FBI policy forbids any agent from releasing classified information or any information from ongoing investigations or sensitive operations without prior written permission, and mandates that all records created during official duties are considered to be government property.

“Unauthorized disclosure, misuse, or negligent handling of information contained in the files, electronic or paper, of the FBI or which I may acquire as an employee of the FBI could impair national security, place human life in jeopardy, result in the denial of due process, prevent the FBI from effectively discharging its responsibilities, or violate federal law,” states the agreement all FBI agents sign.

It adds that “all information acquired by me in connection with my official duties with the FBI and all official material to which I have access remain the property of the United States of America” and that an agent “will not reveal, by any means, any information or material from or related to FBI files or any other information acquired by virtue of my official employment to any unauthorized recipient without prior official written authorization by the FBI.”

Comey indicated in his testimony the memos were in his possession when he left the bureau, leaving him in a position to leak one of them through his lawyer friend to the media. But he testified that he has since turned them over to Robert Mueller, a former FBI chief and now spearheading the investigation about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

It is not clear whether Comey as director signed the same agreement as his agents, but the contract is considered the official policy of the bureau. It was also unclear when the documents were shown to Congress whether the information deemed “secret” or “confidential” was classified at the time Comey wrote the memos or determined so afterwards, the sources said.

Congressional investigators had already begun examining whether Comey’s creation, storage and sharing of the memos violated FBI rules, but the revelation that four of the seven memos included some sort of classified information opens a new door of inquiry into whether classified information was mishandled, improperly stored or improperly shared.

Ironically, that was the same issue the FBI investigated in 2015-16 under Comey about Clinton’s private email server, where as secretary of State she and top aides moved classified information through insecure channels.

Comey ultimately concluded in July 2016 that Clinton’s email practices were reckless, but that he could not recommend prosecution because FBI agents had failed to find enough evidence that she intended to violate felony statutes prohibiting the transmission of classified information through insecure practices.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of the classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” he said in a decision panned by Republicans and embraced by Democrats.

Now,congressional investigators are likely to turn their attention to the same issues to determine if Comey mishandled any classified information in his personal memos.

In order to make an assessment, congressional investigators will have to tackle key questions, such as:

Where and how were the memos were created, such as whether they were written on an insecure computer or notepad.

Where and how the memos were stored, such as inside his home, his briefcase or an insecure laptop.

Were any memos shown to private individuals without a security clearance and did those memos contain any classified information.

When was it determined by the government that the memos contained classified information, before Comey took them and shared one or after.

One avenue for answering those questions is for a panel like Senate Intelligence, House Intelligence or Senate Judiciary to refer the matter to the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, the inspector general, or to the Director of National Intelligence and its inspector general, aides said.

COMMENT – Former FBI Director James Comey’s odd and risky behavior,  complete with a trail of written leaks of classified material found in his “memos” warrant a full FBI CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION. The level of corruption throughout practically every government agency is a testament to the success of Obama’s deep-state goal of subverting the United States from before he took office.

Obama’s tenure in the White House should also be fully investigated for the sake of the republic.