Happy Tax Day! Or as Dims call it: Christmas, the 4th of July and Easter all rolled into one!
Time for another news week. I wonder if it will be busy.
DEEP STATE IN DEEP POO:
The man I not-so-affectionately refer to as Deep State McCabe had the findings of the inspector general report bearing his name this weekend, and they’re not good for the ol’ chap.
McCabe was fired by Keebler Jeff last month,, ahead of the expected report. The IG began its work on the report more than a year ago, and after a way too long wait, has finally hit the Beltway.
It claims that McCabe “lacked candor” (what we normal people refer to as “lying”) on multiple occasions in conversations with the feds. You can read the full report right here or, if you prefer, just below.
The IG’s 39-page report claims that McCabe misled investigators about the FBI’s contacts with the media. Specifically, the investigation centered on whether DSM authorized the disclosure of the contents of a phone call between himself and the then-Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General to failing Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett, in what resulted in the article, “FBI in internal feud over Hillary Clinton probe” on Oct. 30, 2016. The article confirmed the existence of the FBI’s probe into the Clinton Foundation, separate from its probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server.
I wrote a piece about those leaks, in which I concluded that they were designed by McCabe to give himself an aura of objectivity after big-money connections between his wife and Clinton lackey Terry McAuliffe were revealed in the lead-up to the 2016 election. It’s fairly obvious, actually. McCabe specifically went to reporters to ensure they wrote a story about how badly he wanted to investigate the Clinton Foundation, which we know now was a joke. It’s almost insulting how transparently full of crap this guys is, minus the almost.
To my I-told-you-so satisfaction, the IG probe lays out that McCabe did indeed authorize leaks in order to counter the narrative that he was carrying Hillzdawg’s water in the FBI. In total, the report asserts McCabe “lacked candor” on four occasions.
The report begins with a summary of the statutes and policies relevant to the activities detailed in the report. It identifies two “lack of candor”offenses in FBI disciplinary policy, “Lack of Candor – No Oath,” (Offense Code 2.5) and “Lack of Candor – Under Oath” (Offense Code 2.6). The former prohibits knowingly providing false information to Bureau superiors or another government agency when “questioned about … conduct or the conduct of another person.” The latter prohibits “[k]nowingly providing false information in a verbal or written statement made under oath.” Both offenses include not just lying but also “misrepresentations, the failure to be fully forthright, or the concealment or omission of a material fact.”
It also describes the FBI’s policies in effect at the time regarding media contacts and leaks. The policy allowed only individuals in certain senior positions (including the deputy director) to speak with the media—other members of FBI leadership could do so only when requested or approved by the Office of Public Affairs. In general, Bureau policy prohibited discussion of ongoing investigations with the media, subject to some exceptions, including to protect the public interest or to solicit relevant information from the public.
Since McCabe was self-serving in his leaks, those exceptions don’t apply.
The report identifies applicable provisions of the United States Attorneys’ Manual (USAM), which also limit the circumstances under which information about an ongoing investigation can be made public. The USAM states that in the case of “matters that have already received substantial publicity … the involved investigative agency will consult and obtain approval from the United States Attorney or Department Division handling the matter prior to disseminating any information to the media.”
The OIG proceeds to lay out basic background information about Deep State’s case, including information about McCabe’s career at the FBI, the Bureau’s investigation into Hillzdawg’s private server, and the investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
It then delves into the various internal FBI communications and statements made related to the Clinton investigations and the reaction to the Oct. 23, 2016 Wall Street Journal article, which reported on the existence of the aforementioned campaign contributions made to McCabe’s wife by a political action committee run by McAuliffe. After the article was published, McCabe recused himself from the continuing Clinton email investigation following concerns raised by FBI Director James Comey and FBI General Counsel James Baker out of an “abundance of caution.”
Yeah, let the subject of an investigation delete subpoenaed evidence and then give her entire inner circle immunity, but be sure not to have any questionable conflicts of interest on the investigative team. Way to be vigilant, Leakin’ James!
Seeking to provide information to the Journal for a follow-up article, the report writes, McCabe authorized disclosure of a phone conversation between himself and the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General (PADAG) disagreeing over the handling of the Hillzdawg probes, in order to “counter the ‘incredibly damaging’ narrative” in the upcoming article about the Clinton investigations. The article was published on Oct. 30, 2016, and detailed the FBI investigations into the Clinton emails and the Clinton Foundation, as well as disputes between the Bureau and Justice Department officials on how to handle those probes.
The report then describes the subsequent investigations by the FBI’s Inspection Division (INSD) and OIG into the leak, including interviews and other communications with McCabe.
It identifies four particular instances of lying in the aftermath of McCabe’s decision to disclose information to the failing WSJ, and further describes how McCabe’s decision to provide the information was a violation of FBI policy.
FIRST TIME BUSTED LYING: Conversation with Leakin’ James – October 31, 2016
McCabe’s conversation with Comey on or about Oct. 31, 2016 is the only instance of lying that didn’t arise from statements made under oath. The report details both Comey’s and McCabe’s accounts of the conversation, and describes them as “starkly conflicting.”
According to the report, Comey stated that “McCabe ‘definitely’ did not tell Comey that he had authorized the disclosure about the PADAG call,” and that he had the “impression that McCabe had not authorized the disclosure about the PADAG call, was not involved in the disclosure, and did not know how it happened,” while McCabe “asserted that he explicitly told Comey during that conversation that he authorized the disclosure and that Comey agreed it was a ‘good’ idea.”
Ohhhhhhhh snap. So who’s lying here? Did Leakin’ James know that his buddy Andy was a leaker too? I’m gonna guess yeah. In fact I’m sure selective leaking to the media was standard operating procedure in the Comey FBI. Oddly, though, that’s not what the OIG found.
The OIG acknowledges that the “only direct evidence regarding this McCabe-Comey conversation were the recollections of the two participants,” but writes that circumstantial evidence supports Comey’s account as the more accurate version.
The report highlights Comey’s refusal to confirm the existence of the Clinton Foundation investigation to Congress; Comey’s stated concerns about the volume of leaks, particularly in light the timing of the leak so close to the election; Comey’s concerns about McCabe’s continued participation in the Clinton investigations; and the failure of others interviewed by OIG to corroborate McCabe’s version of events. The report “conclude[s] that McCabe did not tell Comey on or around October 31 (or at any other time) that he (McCabe) had authorized the disclosure,” and states that if he had, the OIG “believe[s] that Comey would have objected to the disclosure.”
Basically, the OIG is saying that Comey’s public words and concerns indicate that he would never allow something like this in private. Au contraire. I can very easily imagine Leakin’ James saying one thing in public and doing another in private.
That’s what makes him corrupt, ding-dong.
SECOND TIME BUSTED LYING: Interview with FBI’s Inspection Division – May 9 2017
The report finds that McCabe lied in an interview under oath with INSD on May 9, 2017. According to the report, in that interview, McCabe “falsely told the agents that he had not authorized the disclosure to the WSJ and did not know who did.” The report states that “McCabe told [the agents] he recalled the article, yet claimed he had “no idea where [the account of the PADAG call] came from” or “who the source was.” Yet when interviewed by OIG, “McCabe said he did not believe that he denied authorizing the disclosure of the PADAG call during the interview,” but “could not provide any alternative account about what he actually said.”
According to the report “McCabe sought to portray the discussion about the October 30 article as essentially an afterthought by the agents,” which was “flatly contradicted” by the INSD section chief’s account of the interview. The report addresses the possibility that McCabe had forgotten about authorizing the disclosure at the time of his INSD interview but writes that, because of the significance of that authorization, this was “highly implausible.” As a result, OIG “conclude[s] that McCabe violated FBI Offense Code 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath)” in the May 9 interview.
You know what happened when Mike Flynn lied to the FBI? They indicted him. And some of the agents involved didn’t even believe he’d lied.
How’s that for a double standard?
THIRD TIME BUSTED LYING: Interview with OIG Investigators – July 28, 2017
The third instance of lying by the report occurred in an audio-recorded interview under oath with OIG on July 28, 2017. In that interview,ol’ Deep State made the same assertions he made in the May 9 interview with INSD—stating “that he was not aware of [his aide] being authorized to speak to reporters around October 30” and that he did not know where the aide was or what she was doing during the relevant time period.
In a followup interview on Nov. 29, McCabe said he “misspoke” on the matter as a result of being surprised by OIG’s line of questioning.
LOL…..”I didn’t expect you to ask a tough question so I lied!”
Only a lifelong bureaucrat would even think to offer that as an excuse.
The report determines that, because of McCabe’s understanding of the significance of the investigation and his experience as a law enforcement officer, “his claim that his unequivocal denials under oath, on two occasions within 3 months of one another, were the result of being surprised by the questions” was not credible.
The report further finds that McCabe’s claim that he did not know about his aide’s whereabouts and activities was a #BigFat whopper. Although McCabe was away from D.C. at the time, the report notes that “FBI records show that McCabe was in frequent telephone and text communication with [the aide] during that time period and had several communications with her regarding her calls with [the WSJ reporter].”
Of course he did.
FINAL TIME BUSTED LYING: Interview with OIG Investigators – November 29, 2017
The final instance of Deep State being shady occurred in his second interview under oath with OIG investigators. The report notes that although McCabe called OIG four days after his July interview to say that he believed he may have authorized aides to work with the failing WSJ on the Oct. 30, 2016 article, when he “was given the opportunity during his November 29 OIG interview to address and acknowledge his prior false statements to the INSD and the OIG, McCabe made additional false statements.”
According to the report, during the second OIG interview, McCabe claimed that he had told Comey about his decision to authorize the disclosure and that he had not denied the disclosure in the May 9 INSD interview, and characterized the May 9 interview as an afterthought. The report finds that all these statements were #BigFat lies as the weight of the evidence supports the conclusion that they were false.
So not only did he lie during the interviews, he lied about lying in the interviews.
Deep State McCabe is a #BigFatMess.
In a statement last Friday, McCabe’s attorney Michael Bromwich disputed the OIG’s findings, saying that the rush to fire McCabe was “unprecedented, unseemly, and cruel.”
“The core weakness of the OIG report is the lack of any understandable motive for his alleged wrongdoing,” said the statement in part.
“It is undisputed that Mr. McCabe was one of three senior FBI officials authorized to share information with the media, including on sensitive investigative matters. He chose to exercise that authority in October 2016, during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of the Bureau, with the knowledge of Director Comey and other senior members of FBI management. His purpose was to protect the institutional reputation of the FBI against false claims, including that a sensitive investigation was being shut down for political reasons.”
Bromwich went on to say that they’re considering lawsuits, naturally:
“We have for some time been actively considering filing civil lawsuits against the president and senior members of the administration that would allege wrongful termination, defamation, constitutional violations and more,” Bromwich said. “The distinguished Boies Schiller law firm has recently joined us in this project. This is just the beginning.”
Cool story, bro, but here’s the thing. The FBI doesn’t need to identify a motive for lying. They only need to demonstrate that lies occurred. And in this case, they clearly did. In a perfect world, McCabe and his slimy legal team wouldn’t be fighting for a pension, but rather to keep their client out of prison. You know, like Mike Flynn’s lawyer is trying to do.
BIG PICTURE ANALYSIS:
McCabe has zero legs to stand on here. They have him pretty much dead to rights. As I mentioned, the fact that he’s fighting this at all is a joke. He should be fighting to stay out of prison. That’s the immediate analysis. Now let’s take a look from 30,000ft.
This report, while damning for McCabe, is very small in the big picture of things, which includes of 1.2 million more documents. The most important part of the report was the identification of motive for leaking the info in the first place, which as we discussed was to make himself look like he was going after Hillary.
So the real question is, why the lady doth protest too much? What was he doing that required him to go to such lengths to throw off suspicion? Sure, there were the news reports about McAuliffe, but those had been adjudicated and he was deemed safe, mostly because the Hillzdawg probe didn’t begin until his wife’s campaign had ended (she lost, thankfully).
Was McCabe simply seeking to repair his reputation, or did he have even better reason to paint a different picture for the press than was happening behind the scenes? Remember, this is the same FBI who was, at the time, running the biggest joke of an investigation in history regarding Hillzdawg’s server.
Do you really believe McCabe was yelling at his superiors behind the scenes to go after the Clinton Foundation?
Color me skeptical.
Busting McCabe for lying is swell and all, but I want to know the real core of that lying; what exactly all he was trying to hide.
Hopefully, those million documents will shed some light.
LYNCH CALLS OUT COMEY
Today, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch-Whitefolks released a statement slamming Leakin’ James Comey just hours before his big interview with little person and Clinton henchman George Stephanopoulos is set to air.
Just to give you a little backstory, Lynch-Whitefolks is pushing back against statements made by Comey in the past that she asked him to refer to the Hillzdawg investigation as a “matter,” which he said made him feel “queasy.”
He also told Congress that he regarded the infamous tarmac meeting between Lynch and Slicky Willy as “the capper,” meaning the investigation had become so corrupt that it led him to take to the cameras and outline what Hillzdawg had done, despite inexplicably determining that “no reasonable prosecutor would pursue the case.”
In her statement, Lynch essentially calls Comey a coward who never expressed misgivings about her deeds when it mattered. That’s a recurring theme with Leakin’ James; has a lot to say about the people around him long after the fact, but never at the time. In fact, for all the things he says about PDT, the truth is Comey would still be FBI Director to this day had he not been fired. He’s a disingenuous weasel.
Here is Lynch-Whitefolks’ full statement:
Over almost two decades as a federal prosecutor I have aggressively prosecuted drug dealers, violent gangs, mobsters, and money launderers, upheld the civil rights of all Americans, and fought corruption of all types –– whether by elected officials from both sides of the aisle or within organizations like FIFA. Through it all I have never hesitated to make the hard decisions, guided by the Department of Justice’s core principles or integrity, independence and above all, always doing the right thing.
The Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email investigation under my leadership was no exception. It was led by a team of non-partisan career prosecutors whose integrity cannot be overstated and whom I trusted to assess the facts and make a recommendation – one that I ultimately accepted because I thought the evidence and law warranted it.
Everyone who works for the Department of Justice has an obligation to protect the confidentiality and integrity of the work of the department. That is why, at the critical early stages of this case, I followed the departments long-standing policy of neither confirming nor denying the fact of an ongoing investigation. This policy both pre-dates my tenure in the Department and will live on long after the current debate is over. It neither misleads nor misinforms, but instead both protects investigations and guarantees equal treatment of those under scrutiny, whether well-known or unknown. Any suggestion that I invoked this bed rock policy for any other reason is simply false.
Throughout the process I did what I always do: rise above politics and uphold the law. At no time did I ever discuss any aspect of the investigation with anyone from the Clinton campaign or the DNC.
I have known James Comey almost 30 years. Throughout his time as Director we spoke regularly about some of the most sensitive issues in law enforcement and national security. If he had any concerns regarding the email investigation, classified or not, he had ample opportunities to raise them with me both privately and in meetings. He never did.
While Lynch is certainly full of crap regarding the Hillzdawg probe (the word “integrity” should be nowhere near it), I somewhat understand her critique of Comey. I can’t help but to notice all his courage to speak out now that he has a book deal.
As for the misdeeds of Lynch-Whitefolks, they’re currently under investigation. We’ll know much more in a month or two.
But she most certainly was in the pocket of Clinton, Inc., #ThatICanTellYou.
SCOOTIN’ TO FREEDOM
Ok, fine, that’s a corny headline. THEY CAN’T ALL BE WINNERS.
PDT took the extraordinary step Friday of overruling the judgment of his predecessor, George Dubya Bush, and granting a pardon to I. “Scooter” Lewis Libby Jr., who served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Scooter was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007 in connection with the leak of a CIA officer’s identity. Bush had commuted Libby’s sentence but did not issue a full pardon.
“I don’t know Mr. Libby, but for years, I have heard that he has been treated unfairly,” PDT said in a statement from the White House. “Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.’
Here’s the full statement from the White House:
“Today, President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) to I. ‘Scooter’ Lewis Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Richard Cheney, for convictions stemming from a 2007 trial. President George W. Bush commuted Mr. Libby’s sentence shortly after his conviction. Mr. Libby, nevertheless, paid a $250,000 fine, performed 400 hours of community service, and served two years of probation.
“In 2015, one of the key witnesses against Mr. Libby recanted her testimony, stating publicly that she believes the prosecutor withheld relevant information from her during interviews that would have altered significantly what she said. The next year, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated Mr. Libby to the bar, reauthorizing him to practice law. The Court agreed with the District of Columbia Disciplinary Counsel, who stated that Mr. Libby had presented ‘credible evidence’ in support of his innocence, including evidence that a key prosecution witness had ‘changed her recollection of the events in question.’
“Before his conviction, Mr. Libby had rendered more than a decade of honorable service to the Nation as a public servant at the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the White House. His record since his conviction is similarly unblemished, and he continues to be held in high regard by his colleagues and peers.
“In light of these facts, the President believes Mr. Libby is fully worthy of this pardon. ‘I don’t know Mr. Libby,’ said President Trump, ‘but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly. Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.’ “
Predictably, Democrats are having a conniption fit over the pardoning. Botox Pelosi and Ambien Schiff (even more predictably) linked the pardoning to #PutinGate. Pelosi said the pardon shows Trump is willing to pardon those who lie under oath — and that is a “threat” to the Mueller investigation “and to our democracy.”
Oh for frig’s sake. Everything is a threat to King Bob to these people. But picking the locks of American citizens at 4am isn’t a threat to democracy at all, right? These people make me nauseous.
If anything, it appears that Trump is succeeding where Bush failed, which wouldn’t be a first.
Pressed repeatedly by Shotgun Dick Cheney at the time of Libby’s conviction, Dubya asked a team of White House lawyers to examine the case. But when they concluded that the jury had substantial reason to convict, Bush told Cheney that he would not pardon Libby, prompting an angry Cheney to reply, “You are leaving a good man wounded upon the field of battle.”
In his own book, Dubya said he was taken aback by the harshness of the remark. “In eight years, I had never seen Dick like this, or even close to it. I worried that the friendship we had built was about to be severely tested.”
Indeed, according to sources, things were never the same between the two neocon lovebirds.
Scooter’s pardon won’t really change his life much. Libby was disbarred after his conviction but reinstated in 2016. In some jurisdictions, a convicted felon also loses the right to vote, but in D.C. and Maryland, felons can vote once they have served their time in prison.
A pardon grants forgiveness for a crime, not exoneration, though many see it as removing the stigma of a conviction.
Trump’s enemies see the pardon as sending another message — that he is willing to use his pardon power to reward loyalists and to punish prosecutors he sees as running amok. Frankly, I sure as hell hope so. He has to fight back against these scumbags some way or another.
Spies, Spooks and a Comey Connection:
Libby was prosecuted by Patrick Fitzgerald, a longtime career prosecutor, appointed to investigate the leak of the moonbat CIA officer’s identity by then-Deputy Attorney General……wait for it……Leakin’ James Comey.
The saga that led up to Libby’s conviction began in 2003 when Joseph Wilson, a former diplomat, wrote a failing New York Times op-ed column, contending that Cheney had deliberately ignored evidence showing that Iraq was not seeking to acquire material needed to build nukes.
Wilson’s claim, undercutting the justification for waging war against Iraq, was based on material he gathered in Niger for the CIA. To undercut Wilson’s claim, administration officials told reporters that he had been sent on the fact-finding mission at the behest of his wife, moonbat Valerie Plame, who worked at the CIA.
Publication of that leak blew her cover, which is a federal crime. Libby was not charged with disclosing a CIA officer’s identity, however. Nor was the man who actually did blow Plame’s cover, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. But Armitage readily admitted his involvement to prosecutors and a grand jury.
Libby, however, was convicted on four counts of obstruction of justice, lying to the FBI and lying to the grand jury. He maintained that the differences between his testimony and others was just a matter of a different recollection of events.
In all, eight witnesses, many of them high-ranking members of the Dubya crew, contradicted Libby’s testimony. And the judge in sentencing him called the evidence “overwhelming.”
Bush, in examining the case afterward, was willing to save Libby from going to prison by commuting his sentence, but was not willing to pardon him.
Comey’s buddy Fitzgerald, the prosecutor in the case, said in a statement that PDT’s decision to pardon Libby “purports to be premised on the notion that Libby was an innocent man convicted on the basis of inaccurate testimony caused by the prosecution. That is false. There was no impropriety in the preparation of any witness, and we did not tell witnesses what to say or withhold any information that should have been disclosed. Mr. Libby’s conviction was based upon the testimony of multiple witnesses, including the grand jury testimony of Mr. Libby himself, as well as numerous documents.”
BIG PICTURE ANALYSIS:
This is one of those cases where everyone involved was a douchebag. The Bush admin acted unethically by outing Plame, especially since they clearly did so for political reasons.
On the other hand, they were responding to a left-wing married couple who’d made it their duty to screw over the administration despite having limited access to actual intelligence. Wilson had next to no access and Plame’s access as a CIA operative was far overblown. They had personal political vendettas. The Bush crew had one of their own.
They were all wrong.
And yes, Trump probably was sending a message about pardons. And no, I don’t care. The time for Mr. Nice Guy was over when Cohen’s office got raided. It’s gonna be all hardball from here.
Get ready for a whole lot more of stuff like this.
There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.
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