Dept of Justice

Editorial: Yes, There Was FBI Bias

There is much to admire in Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s highly anticipated report on the FBI’s Clinton-emails investigation. Horowitz’s 568-page analysis is comprehensive, fact-intensive, and cautious to a fault. It is also, nonetheless, an incomplete exercise — it omits half the story, the Russia investigation — and it flinches from following the facts to their logical conclusion. The media and the Left are spinning the report as a vindication of the FBI from the charge of bias, when the opposite is the truth. The IG extensively takes on numerous issues related to the decision not to charge former secretary of state Hillary Clinton for, primarily, causing the retention and transmission of classified information on the non-secure “homebrew” server system through which she improperly and systematically conducted government business. If there is a single theme that ties the sprawling report together, however, it is bias. Or, as the report put it, “the question of bias.” It should not really be a question, because the evidence of anti-Trump bias on the part of the agents who steered the Clinton probe — which was run out of headquarters, highly unusual for a criminal investigation — is immense. In fact, the most hair-raising section of the report, an entire chapter, is devoted to communications among several FBI officials (not just the infamous duo of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page), which overflow with abhorrence for Trump (“loathsome,” “an idiot,” “awful,” “an enormous d**che,” “f**k Trump”) and his core supporters (“retarded,” “the crazies,” one could “smell” them). More alarmingly, the agents express a determination to stop Trump from becoming president (e.g., Strzok, on being asked if Trump would become president, says “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it”; and on being assured that his election is highly unlikely, opines that “we can’t take that risk” and that the bureau needs “an insurance policy” against him). Yet despite marshaling this damning proof of bias, Horowitz spends much of his report discounting it with respect to individual investigative decisions. His approach obscures more than it illuminates. The IG says it is not his burden to second-guess “discretionary” investigative decisions unless they were irrational. Thus, even if agents exhibited bias, he presumes that such decisions as granting immunity, declining to seek relevant evidence, or forgoing subpoenas are defensible as long as some government policy arguably supports them — even if other, better options were available. FBI director Christopher Wray has pounced on this, disingenuously arguing that the IG “did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations impacting the investigation.” It is a misleading comment: The IG found overwhelming evidence of bias and merely withheld judgment on whether it affected the investigation at key points. Of course, what principally drove decisions in the Clinton-emails investigation (or “matter,” as Obama attorney general Loretta Lynch, like the Clinton campaign, insisted it be called) was the certainty that President Obama and his Justice Department were never going to permit Secretary Clinton to be charged with a crime, notwithstanding the abundant evidence. (Without a hint of irony, the report’s executive summary speaks of the supposed difficulty of proving Clinton’s knowledge of the hundreds of classified emails inevitably on her system, and then explains that the FBI abjured use of the grand jury because it would have required exposing prodigious amounts of classified information.) That is, regardless of whether individual decisions were driven by pro-Clinton bias, the predetermined outcome surely was. That’s why then-director James Comey was drafting his exoneration remarks months before critical evidence was obtained, and before Clinton and other key witnesses were interviewed. A comparison between the handling of the Clinton emails and that of the Trump-Russia probes would almost certainly illustrate the influence of this bias, but that is exactly what the IG report lacks. The report’s fans will say this is strictly a matter of timing: The IG’s Clinton-emails report has been 18 months in the making; it may take the IG even longer to complete the Trump-Russia review, and it would be unreasonable to delay any reckoning that long. But the fact that the IG’s inquiries into the two probes are on different tracks does not alter the more essential fact that the two are inextricably linked. They were conducted at the same time, by the same sets of top FBI agents and Justice Department officials, in the operating environment of the same event — the 2016 election. They were, moreover, perceived as interrelated by the agents themselves. Strzok’s first reaction, upon hearing that Ted Cruz had withdrawn from the GOP race, leaving Trump as the de facto nominee, was that this meant the Clinton-emails probe had to be wrapped up (i.e., formally closed without charges). When the Trump-Russia investigation got rolling, Strzok commented that, compared to the Clinton-emails probe, this was the investigation that really “MATTERS” (emphasis in original). And here is Strzok the day after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel, on the opportunity to join his investigation of now-president Trump: ” For me, and this case, I personally have a sense of unfinished business. I unleashed it with MYE [Mid Year Exam — the FBI’s codeword for the Clinton Emails investigation]. Now I need to fix it and finish it.” Later in the same exchange he adds that this is a choice of whether he wants to be just another FBI assistant director or participate in an “investigation leading to impeachment.” It’s only Horowitz’s extremely forgiving standard for judging investigative decisions that allows him to say that the impact of bias on the Clinton investigation is inconclusive. This is not to dismiss the usefulness of the IG’s report. It reaffirms that the president had ample legitimate grounds to dismiss Director Comey, who is shown to be insubordinate and deceptive, a self-absorbed law unto himself. Furthermore, the IG’s equivocation about the role of bias does not detract from his powerful condemnation of the disrepute rogue agents have brought on the bureau. Still, there is important work left to be done in fully accounting for the decisions of an FBI whose reputation won’t soon recover from its performance in 2016.

Indeed..  Thanks to the editors of National Review for this excellent analysis.  It’s important to note that National Review is NOT part of the “Trump Train.”  In fact, they are just the opposite and even went so far as to put out a special edition critical of the very idea of a Trump presidency after the election had already been decided, but before he took office.  So, what you just read was from a bunch of inside-the-beltway, swamp, “never Trumpers.”

AG Sessions unleashes organized crime task force on MS-13

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that he’s designated the MS-13 street gang as a priority for the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces — enabling authorities to target the gang with a broader array of federal resources. “Now they will go after MS-13 with a renewed vigor and a sharpened focus,” Mr. Sessions said Monday as he addressed the International Association of Chiefs of police conference in Philadelphia. “Just like we took Al Capone off the streets with our tax laws, we will use whatever laws we have to get MS-13 off of our streets.” The priority designation will instruct federal agencies such as the IRS, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to target the El Salvador-based gang not just with drug laws but also tax, racketeering and firearms laws. Prior to this year, the task force was only able to get involved in cases when they involved the drug trade or money laundering. But changes to the task force’s authority in this year’s budget allow the Justice Department to directly name an organization as a priority. The change will mean that the task force can now get involved in a broad range of cases involving MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, including anything from murder prosecutions to firearms violations. Mr. Sessions has singled out MS-13’s involvement in the drug trade as a priority as his department has sought to combat both illegal immigration and an influx of drugs brought in the country from overseas. “Drugs are killing more Americans than ever before in large part thanks to powerful cartels and international gangs and deadly new synthetic opioids like fentanyl,” Mr. Sessions said.

Justice Department fights restrictions on freedom of thought and speech at public colleges

The Trump administration thrust itself into the midst of the battle over free speech on college campuses Tuesday, siding with activists in a case challenging a Georgia school’s strict limits on where and how students can express themselves. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned that freedom of thought and speech are “under attack” on college campuses, and he called on university officials to “boldly and unequivocally” defend free expression rather than stifle it. “The American university was once the center of academic freedom — a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas,” Mr. Sessions said as he spoke to students at Georgetown Law School in Washington. “But it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos.” While the attorney general said the problems concern all sides of the political spectrum, the case in which the Justice Department sought to intervene involved a Christian student who challenged Georgia Gwinnett College’s “free speech zone” policy. Chike Uzuegbunam said the school violated his First Amendment rights when officials told him he could not distribute flyers about his Christian faith unless he did so in one of the school’s two “free speech expression areas,” and even then he would be required to get advance approval. The Justice Department filed a statement of interest in the case, which allows government attorneys to weigh in on legal matters presented without being party to the lawsuit. The department said the college’s speech policies “were not content-neutral, established an impermissible heckler’s veto, and were not narrowly tailored to achieve a compelling government interest.”

Obama’s Justice Department refused to hire military veterans for jobs

The Obama Justice Department discriminated against military veterans, trying to force them to withdraw their applications for two job postings — then canceling the postings altogether and rewriting the jobs to prevent the veterans from qualifying, a government watchdog said Wednesday. Under federal law, veterans should have gotten preferential consideration for the two positions in the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. But Justice officials had their eye on non-veterans, and scheduled meetings off-site to try to force the veteran candidates to withdraw their applications, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said. The veterans refused to withdraw and human resources told the ICITAP hiring officials that they had to hire the veterans. Intent on avoiding that, the ICITAP then canceled the initial job-postings and re-listed the jobs a year later, in 2016, with new qualifications that excluded the veterans, the OSC’s investigative report said. The OSC said it was illegal to try to force the veterans to pull out of the job search. “OSC found hiring violations for two positions at DOJ where officials sought to encourage preference eligible veterans to withdraw their applications,” the watchdog agency said. “DOJ wanted to hire a non-veteran candidate. When the veterans declined to withdraw, DOJ selected the non-veteran candidate, despite rules mandating that veterans receive priority in hiring over non-veterans in certain circumstances.” The ICITAP officials told investigators they didn’t try to pressure the veterans, but instead explained why they should withdraw. OSC investigators said even if that was what happened, it still violated the law.

This is the kind of story that makes me want to vomit..   But, it was Obama’s administration, and Obama made it no secret that he despised the U.S. military…which he was the Commander in Chief of for 8 years.  So, we shouldn’t be surprised to hear stories like this.  Obama was very open about saying how he thought that the U.S. military was what was wrong in the world.  And, it was that view that lead him into foolishly, unilaterally, suddenly pulling all U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2010, against the advice of virtually every general officer both on active duty at the time, and retired.  That action, of course, caused the power vacuum which lead to the creation of ISIS/ISIL.  So, that awful U.S. military that Obama hated, kept things stable in an otherwise unstable part of the world.  But, it was Obama’s extreme liberal agenda-driven action to just pull out all U.S. troops in 2010 (again, against the advice of, well, everyone)  that lead to the creation of ISIS, which in turn has committed genocide of Christians in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere across the middle east.  And the media wonders why Christians overwhelmingly voted for Trump…

DOJ Moves to Shield Immigration Records of Illegals Improperly Granted Exec. Amnesty

The Obama administration is pushing back against a federal judge’s order sanctioning government lawyers for misleading the court about the implementation dates for executive amnesty. In a court filing Tuesday, the Justice Department argued that District Court Judge Andrew Hanen “far exceed the bounds of appropriate remedies for what this Court concluded were intentional misrepresentations” when he ordered government lawyers to undergo ethics training and turn over the immigration records of the illegal immigrants who benefited from the government’s implementation snafu. Writing that they “emphatically disagree” with the order, Obama administration lawyers in their filing requested a stay of the order and announced an intention to appeal. Hanen’s May 19 order was a response to DOJ lawyers’ assertions before his court that the executive amnesty programs Obama announced in 2014 — Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — would not start until February 18, 2015. The government, however, began approving expanded DACA applications prior to the implementation date and even after Hanen issued his initial order blocking the programs. DOJ lawyers, meanwhile, assured the court of compliance. “The misconduct in this case was intentional, serious and material,” Hanen wrote in his May 19 order. “In fact, it is hard to imagine a more serious, more calculated plan of unethical conduct.” Hanen is the Texas judge who first blocked the administration’s executive amnesty programs in the case now before the Supreme court. According to the Justice Department the judge’s order would require the government to turn over the “sensitive personal information” of some 50,000 illegal immigrants who were granted expanded DACA. “With respect to public trust, even though the information is to be provided under seal, the production of sensitive personal information in such large quantities would be very likely to undermine individuals’ trust in DHS’s ability to maintain the confidentiality of personal information provided to it, a trust that is essential to its mission,” the government argued in its filing. Government lawyers argued additionally that the judges’ mandate that DOJ lawyers who appear in any of the 26 plaintiff states’ courts regularly should undergo ethics training would affect some 3,000 lawyers and “irreparably” harm DOJ both in terms of lost productivity and funding. “The estimated cost to the Department (and in turn, to the American taxpayer) in terms of direct expenditures and lost productivity would be between approximately $1 million and $1.5 million this year alone,” the filing reads, adding that the cost over five years could reach $8 million.

And yet, even ASSuming that figure is accurate (which I doubt it is), this same Obama administration has NO problem wasting hundreds of millions of tax-payer dollars on liberal agenda boondoggle things like the failed Solyndra project. And, that’s not even taking into account the HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of tax-payer dollars that Obama sent Iran, an enemy terrorist state, recently. Seems to me that the corrupt and out-of-control Dept of Justice could use a little ethics training. So, we definitely, wholeheartedly, concur with Judge Hanen’s orders. Hopefully they will be upheld on appeal.

Judge orders ethics classes for ‘deceptive’ DOJ attorneys

A federal judge has ordered annual ethics classes for Justice Department attorneys as a punishment for being “intentionally deceptive” during litigation over President Obama’s executive immigration orders. “Such conduct is certainly not worthy of any department whose name includes the word ‘Justice,'” U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen wrote in a withering order released Thursday. Justice Department attorneys misled the court about when the Department of Homeland Security would begin implementing President Obama’s executive order granting “deferred action” to illegal immigrants whose children are citizens. In doing so, they tricked the 26 states who filed a lawsuit into “foregoing a request for a temporary restraining order,” according to the judge. The facts of the deception are not in doubt, Hanen emphasized. “[DOJ] has now admitted making statements that clearly did not match the facts,” he said in the May 19 opinion, first noted by the National Law Journal. “It has admitted that the lawyers who made these statements had knowledge of the truth when they made these misstatements … This court would be remiss if it left such unseemly and unprofessional conduct unaddressed.” As punishment, Justice Department attorneys who wish to appear in any state or federal court within the 26 states that brought the lawsuit have to undergo annual ethics training. “At a minimum, this course (or courses) shall total at least three hours of ethics training per year,” he wrote.

Wow..  This is SO rich!!  Kudos to Judge Hanen for b_tch-slapping these out-of-control, and deceitful Obama Justice Department lawyers upside the head!  It was WAY overdue.  To read the rest of this smackdown, click on the text above.  Outstanding!!!    🙂

Obama to nominate US Attorney Loretta Lynch to replace Holder as AG

President Obama has chosen Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., as his nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder — ending widespread speculation over who might fill Holder’s shoes and teeing up a nomination debate during the lame-duck session.

As we’ve noted here at The Daily Buzz on numerous occasions, race is EVERYTHING to Obama.  So, hope you’ll forgive my cynicism over this selection.  But, that aside..  I think another BIG reason that Loretta Lynch was selected by Obama was because she has a career built on working with the likes of Al Sharpton and going after (i.e. prosecuting) cops for this or that.  Don’t misunderstand.  I’m sure that many of those cops were guilty of what they were prosecuted by Loretta for.  But, an examination of her career shows that she focused on that quite a bit; going after cops.  As someone originally from St. Louis, its not lost on a lot of us what the not-so-subtle implications of this nomination signify.  Something to definitely keep an eye on…