“The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.”
— J. Robert Oppenheimer
HOROWITZ ON THE HILL: PT. DEUX
Yesterday, the Senate got to take its crack at IG Horowitz and his findings in the IG report related to the Hillary probe. There were several notable moments, although the experience overall was decidedly unsatisfying.
Today, I expected much more of the same. It’s the same report and the same IG, after all. But I must say, today turned out to be much more interesting than expected, as more revelations came to light and made clear that this saga is just beginning.
Let’s go down the noteworthy moments one by one.
1) Gowdy lays out the case:
House Oversight and Government Reform committee chairman/garden gnome Trey Gowdy launched into one of his trademark fiery open statements today, condemning top officials at the FBI and DOJ for acting out of bias and animus.
“This inspector general’s report should conjure anger, disappointment and sadness in everyone who reads it. This IG report lays bare the bias, the animus, the pre-judging of facts by senior FBI agents and senior attorneys,” Gowdy said.
“And attempts to minimize and mitigate this bias are so antithetical to what we want and deserve in our law enforcement officers,” he continued.
Gowdy also hammered on the “dangerous shifting of the burden” where those affected by bias have to prove how that bias negatively affected them.
He added that the conduct of these officials clearly shows bias, cos, you know, it does.
“These agents were calling her president before they were even interviewed. They were calling for the end of the Trump campaign before the investigation even began. They were calling for impeachment simply because he happened to be elected. That is bias.”
It was at that point that Gowdy laid out a case for bias so succinct and precise that even the most hardened Dim couldn’t dispute it:
“If prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it ends and prejudging the outcome of an investigation before it begins is not evidence of outcome determinative bias, for the life of me, I don’t know what would be,” Gowdy said.
It was a good speech by Gowdy, as always. The question is what he’ll do now. He and other GOP House members say they’re prepared to use “every constitutional weapon in their arsenal” to bring Fraud Rosenstein to heel and get the documents they’ve been demanding.
We shall see if he makes good on that declaration.
2) Goodlatte gets Horowitz to explain himself:
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) says the public deserves to know what the report did not include, citing Horowitz’s “refusal” to look at whether a given decision was the “most effective.”
“It is critical for the public to also hear what was not included in the report due to the IG’s refusal to question ‘whether a particular decision by the BFI and DOJ was the most effective choice,’” Goodlatte read in his opening remarks.
This includes the “questionable interpretation” by DOJ and FBI officials of the law surrounding mishandling of classified information (the one Hillary clearly violated), Comey’s draft letter exonerating Hillary weeks before he had interviewed her, “indiscretions” involving FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that were “not handled appropriately at the time FBI management learned of them,” as well as ties between top FBI officials (like Deep State McCabe and CI Chief Bill Priestap) and the Clintons.
Horowitz’s explanation: That wasn’t his job.
In his report, Horowitz said the OIG did not weigh in on a particular decision because “our role as an OIG is not to second-guess valid discretionary judgments made during the course of an investigation, and this approach is consistent with the OIG’s handling of such questions in past reviews.”
“The question we considered was not whether a particular investigative decision was the ideal choice or one that could have been handled more effectively, but whether the circumstances surrounding the decision indicated that it was based on considerations other than the merits of the investigation. If a choice made by the investigative team was among two or more reasonable alternatives, we did not find that it was improper even if we believed that an alternative decision would have been more effective,” the report says.
“Thus, a determination by the OIG that a decision was not unreasonable does not mean that the OIG has endorsed the decision or concluded that the decision was the most effective among the options considered.”
IT IS NOT “VALID” TO TURN A BLIND EYE TO THE MASS DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE.
IT IS NOT “VALID” TO ALLOW THE SUBJECTS OF THE INVESTIGATION TO SIT IN ON EACH OTHER’S INTERROGATION.
IT IS NOT “VALID” TO FAIL TO IMPANEL A GRAND JURY WHILE GRANTING IMMUNITY TO THE ENTIRE CLINTON INNER CIRCLE.
IT IS NOT “VALID” TO ALLOW THE SUBJECT OF AN INVESTIGATION TO DECIDE WHICH EVIDENCE THEY WILL HAND OVER.
Horowitz can spew his legal mumbo jumbo all he likes, but at the end of the day, he was tasked with fishing out funny business in the Hillary probe. And there was A LOT of it. To say that they couldn’t second-guess investigative decisions because they were chosen from a list of “reasonable options” is complete nonsense, because there was nothing reasonable about how Hillary was treated.
It was corrupt and shameful, period.
3) Jordan calls out the DOJ for hiding info:
4) Dim lawmaker claims Fraud Rosenstein is getting canned on Friday:
In a weird outburst during the hearing, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) claimed Republicans are planning a Friday attempt to fire Fraud Rosenstein.
She made the claim after interrupting Jim Jordan‘s line of questioning with a “parliamentary inquiry” that asked whether their hearing was dealing with the inspector general’s report or if they’re just trying to be mean to King Bob:
“Is it not appropriate to raise the question as to what is the germaneness of the gentleman’s line of questioning and whether or not we are dealing with the report of Mr. Horowitz or we are dealing with the Republicans’ attempt to undermine the Mueller investigation. And as well, to fire Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, which they are planning to do on Friday,” she said.
Hmmmm….what do you know, Mrs. Jackson?
Jordan had been asking Horowitz to examine why officials, who brought the Steele pee-pee dossier to the FISA court, did not disclose who had funded the memos at the time they were looking to obtain FISA warrants on Trump campaign aides.
I think it’s a damn good question, and I think Jackson is afraid of the answer.
But her prediction about Rosenstein isn’t far-fetched. He’s on very thin ice. If he does get the boot, though, I doubt it will be this week.
5) Woah…..this is big:
So, official investigative documents may have been changed.
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, asked Horowitz to investigate the forms, known as 302s, that are used by the FBI to record investigative activity.
Basically, they serve as transcripts/summaries of official interviews.
“There is growing evidence that 302s were edited and changed and it gets back to … those particular interview sessions and those 302s. It is suggested that they were either changed to prosecute or not prosecute individuals. And that is very troubling,” Meadows told Horowitz.
“We have been getting those kinds of referrals and as often happens when we issue reports like this, we get other information coming to us. We are intending to follow-up on that,” Horowitz replied.
Reporter Sara Carter has been bringing this issue up for a while, but up to now it was little more than scuttlebutt. Now, it appears there may be something to it.
“There are indicators right now that [Deep State] McCabe may have asked FBI agents to actually change their 302s. Those are interviews with witnesses. So basically, every time an FBI agent interviews a witness they have to go back and file that report,” Carter told Sean Hannity back in January.
It doesn’t get more serious than this, folks.
All I can say is we’ll have to wait to see what comes of it, as it’s apparently being investigated.
What else is there to say? We heard much of the same from yesterday, except now we know that 302’s are under investigation for possible illegal changes and apparently the House GOP is planning to can Rosenstein before the end of the week.
Biggest takeaway: It’s all about the bias in starting the Russia probe now, mainly with Peter Strzok and his NeverTrump buddies. This thing is heating up.
Just another day in Trump world.
SPEAKING OF PETER STRZOK
I’d just gotten settled into writing when breaking news came over the wire: Peter Strzok is on the outs.
It turns out that while everyone was still busy reading the massive IG report last Friday, Strzok was being escorted out of FBI Headquarters by armed guards as part of the “ongoing disciplinary process.”
“Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process, and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks,” his attorney Aitan Goelman said in a statement today.
“Despite being put through a highly questionable process, Pete has complied with every FBI procedure, including being escorted from the building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings.”
Poor, Poor Peter had to do a Perp Walk.
There, say that 5x fast.
Goelman is playing a predictable angle, portraying Strzok as the victim of a partisan political hit job. Pretty ironic, to say the least.
“All of this seriously calls into question the impartiality of the disciplinary process, which now appears tainted by political influence. Instead of publicly calling for a long-serving FBI agent to be summarily fired, politicians should allow the disciplinary process to play out free from political pressure,” he added.
Don’t worry, bud. It’s playing out. On multiple levels.
Senate Republicans today sought to appease their liberal overlords by voicing support for an immigration bill that would end the separation of children from their parents and guardians at the border.
Senate Majority Leader Turtle McConnell said Republicans need to fix the problem through legislation, and that the fix should be narrowly tailored.
“My assumption is in order to fix this problem you can’t fix all the problems,” he told reporters.
He also noted pointedly that “all of the members of the Republican conference” support a plan that would keep children with their families, meaning the GOP is poised and ready to toss PDT under the bus on his Zero Tolerance policy.
“We need to fix the problem and it requires a legislative solution,” Turtle said during his regular Tuesday afternoon appearance before reporters just before PDT showed up to cuss his worthless ass out.
So far the leading proposal has come from Complyin’ Ted Cruz, who has been on a roll since his basketball victory over Cryin’ Jimmy Kimmel.
The Complyin’ Ted bill would require that children are kept with their family members unless a child welfare official determines it is in the best interest of the child to be separated, or if the child is believed to be a victim of human trafficking, neglect or abuse.
The measure also would provide an “expedited process” to require that immigrants with children have their asylum claims processed within 14 days; double the number of federal immigration judges from roughly 375 to 750; and authorize new family shelters for children and their parents while their asylum claims are being processed.
“Over the past few weeks, Americans have been rightly horrified by the images and videos coming from our southern border, where tearful children are being pulled away from their mothers and fathers,” Cruz said in a statement. “I hope that my Democratic colleagues can join with us to stop the crisis that is occurring at the border.”
Republicans are terrified of losing their momentum going into the November midterms, which has been substantial over the last couple months.
The fact that Turtle has shown support for a narrow bill is telling, considering the GOP have been working round the clock over the last couple weeks to arrive at a broad immigration compromise. If they’re wanting to do this separately, it means it scares them politically.
The legislation in the House, a compromise between the RINOs and the conservative Freedom Caucus, would stop DHS from separating parents from their children (despite a majority of the kids not even being with their actual parents). But it also includes various border security measures, funding for #TheWall and language that would allow Dacamanians to stay in the country legally.
The comprehensive bill is likely to take a back seat to the narrow one, given the GOP’s utter terror in the face of morally indignant communists.
The compromise bill faces a difficult road in the House, and would almost certainly be dead on arrival in the Senate, where it would need support from Democrats to overcome a filibuster. As of now, a grand total of one can be counted on for support — Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Nonetheless, the House is expected to vote on the compromise legislation and a more hard-line bill on Thursday.
If the bills fail to pass, and it likely will, it could give leverage to a narrow Senate bill, though that legislation would definitely be problematic because Dims always sneak in horrible things anytime they get the public on board for something else.
Dianne Feinstein has already proposed a “fix” that includes making it illegal to arrest any illegal within 100 miles of the border.
No, I’m not kidding.
God help us.
SCUMBAGS TAKEN DOWN
PizzaGaters are gonna love this one.
Thousands of children across the nation are a little safer after the completion of a multi-agency operation aimed at stopping child predators.
The DOJ announced the arrest of more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders during a three-month, nationwide, operation held by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces.
The task forces were able to identify 195 offenders who either produced child porn or committed child sexual abuse, and 383 children who suffered recent, ongoing, or historical sexual abuse or production of child pornography.
They could line them up and shoot them right now for all I care. These types of people don’t deserve oxygen.
Sixty-one task forces made up of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies — including Tulare and Fresno counties — agencies led the coordinated effort known as “Operation Broken Heart.”
The operation took three months to complete and took place throughout March, April and May.
During the operation, the task forces investigated more than 25,200 complaints of internet-related crimes against children. The teams spoke at more than 3,700 presentations — reaching roughly 390,000 people across the nation.
“No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse,” Jeff Sessions said. “And yet, in recent years, certain forms of modern technology have facilitated the spread of child pornography and created greater incentives for its production.”
Sessions says they’re just getting started going after these evil monsters.
“It is shocking and very sad that in this one operation, we have arrested more than 2,300 alleged child predators and investigated some 25,200 sexual abuse complaints,” he said. “Any would-be criminal should be warned: this Department will remain relentless in hunting down those who victimize our children.”
The operation targeted suspects who:
- Produce, distribute, receive and possess child porn;
- Engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes;
- Engage in the sex trafficking of children;
- Travel across state lines or to foreign countries and sexually abuse children.
A decade ago, The ICAC Task Force Program was launched to help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communication systems or computer technology to exploit children.
And a decade later, it seems that it’s finally hitting its stride.
Good job, ladies and gentlemen. Keep bringing these scumbags to justice.
I have a .45 if you ever need to borrow it.
WE’RE OUTTA THERE
Where are my fellow United Nations haters at? Folks, we have reason to celebrate,
Anyone who’s familiar with the so-called U.N. Human Rights Council knows what a joke it is, and what an insulting joke it is at that. Every year we attend their meetings condemning this or that country (usually Israel) as the most brutal dictators and other human rights offenders comprise their ranks.
But now, it ends. Trump administration officials said today the U.S. has pulled out of the UNHRC, saying that the international body is “not worthy of its name.”
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Haley announced the withdrawal alongside Secretary of State Pompeo, after the Fake News had run around panicking all day that OMG HUMAN RIGHTS ARE DEAD.
Haley blasted the council as a “protector of human rights abusers and cesspool of political bias” and accused the body of “politicizing and scapegoating countries with positive human rights records.”
You go girl!
As noted before, the withdrawal is largely due to the rabid anti-Israel bias practiced by the U.N. for pretty much all of its history, sans that time they actually created Israel.
Haley repeatedly voted against U.N. measures that were critical of Israel, rebuking the council for what she called a “chronic anti-Israel bias.”
The U.S. has pretended to flex its muscle before, mostly under former President George Dubya Bush when they boycotted the council — but rejoined in 2009 when Barry Soetoro took office. And we all know Barry never saw a U.N. council (or dictator for that matter) that he didn’t love.
It should be noted that this withdrawal is not random, nor is it a surprise.
PDT gave the U.N a full year to clean up their act, which they did not. Haley has called for reforms to the U.N. Human Rights Council, saying the group should make it easier to expel states with poor human rights records. She said the U.S. withdrawal came after the desired reforms were not fulfilled.
“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said, adding that the U.S. would be happy to rejoin the council if it is reformed.
Just to remind us of how correct we are to leave their sorry asses, the UNHRC recently called for an end to PDT’s zero tolerance policy on the border, which led Haley to break down the deal for ’em yet again:
“Once again, the United Nations shows its hypocrisy by calling out the United States while it ignores the reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own Human Rights Council,” she said.
Enjoy these days, folks. We may never have another administration slap around the U.N. like this.
Man, is it glorious.
CIA SPOOK BUSTED LEAKING
If you love Julian Assange but hate the CIA, as many of you do, you probably aren’t going to know exactly how to feel about this story.
A former CIA employee has been charged with stealing a massive amount of classified info and providing it to Wikileaks.
Joshua Adam Schulte, 29, was charged in a 13-count indictment for allegedly leaking US government hacking tools that he allegedly stole while in Virginia and elsewhere in 2016. Although the organisation in question was not named in the indictment nor the news release by the US Department of Justice, Wikileaks published the information beginning in March 2017.
Schulte had previously been charged with the receipt, possession, and transportation of child porn, but the indictment broadens the case to accuse him of illegally gathering classified information, damaging CIA computers, lying to investigators and numerous other offences.
In January 2018, lawyers in the child porn case said Schulte was the subject of an investigation into Wikileaks’ release of a trove of CIA data called “Vault 7”. It’s one of the largest unauthorised leaks of classified information in history.
The indictment states Schulte altered a CIA computer system to grant himself access to delete his activity on the system and lock other users out.
He has also been accused of lying to the FBI about his activities, theft of government property, illegal gathering of national defense information that could put citizens at risk, and transmitting a harmful computer program.
Prosecutors said charges could be brought against Schulte this July. If convicted, he could face decades in federal prison.
The US government has all but acknowledged the leak from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence, though all the details of the theft won’t be acknowledged for obvious reasons. PDT told a television host then: “I just want people to know the CIA was hacked, and a lot of things taken”.
This latest arrest is just the latest to come as a part of Trump’s promised to crack down on leaks during his time in office. Schulte is the fourth person charged with allegedly leaking classified information in the 18 months of the president’s term.
Last June, another weirdo loser who had no business with a clearance, Reality Winner, was charged with leaking a report detailing methods used by Russian government agents to target state election officials. She is set to go to trial in October.
Former FBI agent Terry Albury pleaded guilty in March to leaking a report to The Intercept about how the bureau handles informants.
And last month the former head of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee James Wolfe was charged with three counts of lying to the FBI about passing along classified info to the bimbo Failing New York Times reporter he’s been banging.
The Trump admin is coming down on the leaks, folks.
Whether one likes or dislikes the CIA (I find myself firmly in the latter camp most of the time), this leak was bad. It didn’t serve to preserve freedom. It didn’t reveal some great horror that’d been hidden from the American public. Rather, it gave some very sophisticated enemies a leg up on our collection abilities, setting us back many years from the advantages we’d worked so hard to gain.
The notion of setting the intelligence community back may appeal to some, but the fact is, body parts will be picked up on street corners as a result. The Vault 7 leak didn’t just expose offensive maneuvers, but defensive tactics that safeguard ourselves and our allies from really bad people. It makes it much harder to stay ahead of enemy tactics, which in turn makes it harder to identify and prevent potential attacks. This is the most damaging leak since St. Edward Snowden’s info dump informed ISIS of how to skirt electronic surveillance.
If one wants to be a whistleblower, go for it. But have some balls, be transparent and actually be a whistleblower. Don’t aid enemies who seek to draw American blood any way they can.
As with most other people who leak important classified info to the likes of Julian Assange, like Bradley Manning for example, Schulte is a disgusting freak seeking to compensate for his failures in other aspects of life. I hope he enjoyed impressing Julian.
People will die because of his actions; I can only hope he dies for them as well.
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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