FBI

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.”

Report: Rank-and-File FBI Agents Eager to Blow Whistle on Comey, Holder, Lynch

A new report claims that a significant number of rank-and-file FBI agents are chomping at the bit to expose Obama-era leaders, alleging corruption and even criminal violations of the law. These agents are signaling that the only way they can safely and legally blow the whistle is if Congress subpoenas them individually to provide information about their former bosses. “There are agents all over this country who love the bureau and are sickened by [James] Comey’s behavior and [Andrew] McCabe and [Eric] Holder and [Loretta] Lynch and the thugs like [John] Brennan–who despise the fact that the bureau was used as a tool of political intelligence by the Obama administration thugs,” Joe DiGenova, a former United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, told the Daily Caller. “They are just waiting for a chance to come forward and testify.” In a statement to the Daily Caller, an unnamed FBI agent claimed, “Every special agent I have spoken to in the Washington Field Office wants to see McCabe prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They feel the same way about Comey.” “All Congress needs to do is subpoena involved personnel and they will tell you what they know. These are honest people. Leadership cannot stop anyone from responding to a subpoena. Those subpoenaed also get legal counsel provided by the government to represent them,” the agent added. Former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom made similar statements when asked last December about morale at the bureau. “Well, I think there’s a lot of patriots that have had it up to here with what’s going on, and they’re going to step forward and tell people what the shenanigans have been,” Kallstrom told Fox News’ Stuart Varney. “How they shut down the Clinton Foundation investigation, how other things were done that are so anti-what the FBI and the United States and this country is about.” Paul Sperry of RealClearInvestigations reported last Thursday that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has “found ‘reasonable grounds’ for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation/s,” adding that the top watchdog official has “referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution.”

French: The Incredible Tale of a Reckless, Partisan FBI Agent and Our Partisan Bureaucracy

If the story hadn’t been verified by virtually every mainstream-media outlet in the country, you’d think it came straight from conspiratorial fever dreams of the alt-right. Yesterday, news broke that Robert Mueller had months ago asked a senior FBI agent to step down from his role investigating the Trump administration. This prince of a man was caught in an extramarital affair with an FBI lawyer. The affair itself was problematic, but so was the fact that the two were found to have exchanged anti-Trump, pro-Hillary Clinton text messages. Here’s where the story gets downright bizarre. This agent, Peter Strzok, also worked with FBI director James Comey on the Clinton email investigation. In fact, he was so deeply involved in the Clinton investigation that he is said to have interviewed Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, and to have been present when the FBI interviewed Clinton. According to CNN, he was part of the team responsible for altering the FBI’s conclusion that Clinton was “grossly negligent” in handling classified emails (a finding that could have triggered criminal liability) to “extremely careless” — a determination that allowed her to escape prosecution entirely. After the Clinton investigation concluded, Strzok signed the documents opening the investigation into Russian election interference and actually helped interview former national-security adviser Michael Flynn. In other words, it looks like a low-integrity, reckless, biased bureaucrat has played an important role in two of the most important and politically charged criminal investigations of the new century. Yes, it’s good that Mueller removed Strzok when he discovered the text messages. No, Strzok is not solely responsible for the conclusions reached in either investigation. But his mere presence hurts public confidence in the FBI, and it does so in a way that further illustrates a persistent and enduring national problem: America’s permanent bureaucracy is unacceptably partisan. Remember President Obama’s second term, when the IRS Tea Party–targeting scandal erupted? The bureaucrat at the fulcrum of the scandal, Lois Lerner, was unabashedly partisan, launching a comprehensive and unconstitutional inquiry into conservative groups even as she was “joking” that “she wanted to work for the pro-Obama group Organizing for America.” It’s hard to overstate the effect of the IRS scandal on conservative confidence in the federal government. Yes, there were some progressive groups that faced scrutiny, but the sheer scale of the attack on conservative groups was unprecedented. The IRS sought confidential donor information, passwords, and information about the political activities even of family members of those involved with some scrutinized groups. I remember. I represented dozens of these organizations. When it came time to launch a criminal investigation of the IRS, the Obama Department of Justice put an Obama donor in charge of the probe. The decision to offer her the job was inexcusable, as was her decision to accept. At a time when half the country was losing confidence in the integrity of its public servants, the Obama administration raised its hand and extended a big middle finger. While there are certainly some biased, partisan conservatives in the federal bureaucracy, the ideological imbalance in the civil service is striking. It’s not quite at university-faculty levels, but it’s getting close. For example, in the 2016 election cycle, Hillary Clinton received an astounding 95 percent of all federal-employee donations. The danger here isn’t just the kind of naked display of partisan bias that we saw in the Obama IRS. It’s also the emergence of groupthink. As we know from other liberal-dominated enclaves, such as academia and the mainstream media, ideological uniformity can lead to a startling degree of ignorance and incompetence. It’s hard to govern (or educate, or report on) an entire country when you aren’t sufficiently exposed to contrary perspectives and experiences.

Agreed…and well said, David.  Attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French is responsible for that piece.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

FBI: Over Four Times More People Stabbed to Death Than Killed with Rifles of Any Kind

The FBI Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for 2016 shows more than four times as many people were stabbed to death than were killed with rifles of any kind. And because the category of rifles covers every type of rifle, this means there would be an even greater divide between the number of people stabbed to death versus those shot to death with an AR-15 or similar rifle. According to FBI: UCR Table 12, there were approximately 374 people shot and killed with rifles of any kind. There were 1,604 people killed with “knives or cutting instruments.” Table 12 also shows that more people were killed via the use of “hands, fists, feet, etc.,” than were killed by rifles of any kind. In fact, the tally shows that the death numbers were not even close. While approximately 374 people were shot and killed with rifles, roughly 656 people were beaten to death with “hands, fists, feet, etc.” On September 26, 2016, Breitbart News reported similar gaps between rifle/shotgun homicides and stabbing homicides. UCR figures showed the number of people killed with rifles and shotguns combined in 2015 was approximately 548. Nearly three times that many — approximately 1,573 people — were stabbed or hacked to death. This is not to diminish the deaths of those who did die via a rifle. But it does show that the Democrats’ relentless focus on banning “assault weapons” is a focus on something that is not used for homicide with anywhere near the frequency of knives and/or fists and feet.

Facts ARE stubborn things, indeed…

Report: FBI Uncovers Confirmation of Hillary Clinton’s Corrupt Uranium Deal with Russia

New evidence has emerged to confirm Peter Schweizer’s account in his bestselling book Clinton Cash about the corrupt tactics behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approval of Russia’s purchase of 20 percent of U.S. uranium. Josh Solomon and Alison Spann report in The Hill: “Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews. Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show. They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill. The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later. Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefitting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.” As Breitbart News has previously reported, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was one of eight agencies to review and sign off on the sale of U.S. uranium to Russia. However, the then-Secretary of State Clinton was the only agency head whose family foundation received $145 million in donations from multiple people connected to the uranium deal, as reported by the New York Times.

Wow!!  This is HUGE!!  The next time you hear some Democrat or some tool in the dominantly liberal mainstream media utter the phony phrase, “Trump-Russia collusion,”…bring this up.  There is NO evidence whatsoever that Trump, or anyone in his campaign, “colluded” with Russia to affect the outcome of the last election.  No evidence whatsoever.  BUT, we DO know that Hillary “colluded” with Vlad the Bully regarding our uranium.  Google “uranium one” to learn more.  It’s WAY past time that Hillary and others in her inner circle were held to account for all of this.  We’re pretty sure this is just the beginning.  So, stay tuned!!

Comey drafted letter on Clinton email investigation before completing interviews, FBI confirms

The FBI released documents Monday proving former FBI Director James Comey began drafting a letter regarding Hillary Clinton’s email investigation months before conducting several key interviews, including speaking to Clinton herself. The document release was titled “Drafts of Director Comeys July 5, 2016 Statement Regarding Email Server Investigation Part 01 of 01.” The contents of the email were largely unclear as nearly all of it was redacted. The now-public records show the email titled “Midyear Exam — UNCLASSIFIED” was sent by Comey on May 2, 2016, to Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, general counsel James Baker and chief of staff and senior counselor James Rybicki. On May 16, the documents showed a response email from Rybicki, saying “Please send me any comments on this statement so we may roll into a master doc for discussion with the Director at a future date. Thanks, Jim.” The existence of the documents, reported by Newsweek, were first brought to light by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also a member of the committee, after they reviewed transcripts of interviews with top Comey aides who alluded to the email’s existence. The Senate Judiciary Committee is investigating Comey in his role as FBI director and President Trump’s decision to fire him in May. The senators penned a letter on Aug. 30 to newly-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray noting their findings, saying that “it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton. That was long before FBI agents finished their work,” the letter said. “The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts.” Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, was investigated by the FBI for using a private email address and server to handle classified information while serving as secretary of state. In July 2016, Comey famously called Clinton’s email arrangement “extremely careless” though he decided against recommending criminal charges. The existence of such an email draft raised questions about Comey’s Senate testimony in June 2017 regarding his decision to go public with findings in the Clinton email investigation. At the time, Comey testified that he was inclined to publicly announce the results of the probe to “protect the credibility of the investigation,” after then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton had an unscheduled meeting on a tarmac in Arizona. He also said “other things” encouraged him to make the announcement, including Lynch allegedly urging him to refer to the email scandal as a “matter” and not an “investigation.” “That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department” in order to close the case “credibly,” he said. Calls for Comey to return to Capitol Hill for questioning have mounted, including from Graham who said he would subpoena Comey if he had to. “He’s coming one way or the other,” Graham said..

Assuming this is all true, Pres. Trump was exactly right in firing then Director Comey.  And, again, if this is all true..  Comey has much to answer for, including the fact that he lied under oath.  This story is developing…

FBI cites black extremists as new domestic terrorist threat

The 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has spawned a violent domestic threat from “black identity extremists” who have stepped up attacks on police, according to an explosive new report by the FBI’s counterterrorism division. The warning, first reported by Foreign Policy magazine, says that “it is very likely BIEs proactively target police and openly identify and justify their actions with social-political agendas commensurate with their perceived injustices against African Americans …” Brown, an African-American 18-year-old, was shot in August 2014 after struggling with white police officer Darren Wilson. Although Brown’s supporters claimed it was a deadly case of police brutality, Wilson was cleared of wrongdoing and resigned in November 2014. Police officials said that Wilson stopped Brown after getting a call about a robbery at a convenience store in which the clerk was strong-armed after the suspect – with whom Brown was a match — attempted to leave. Wilson and Brown got into a scuffle as Brown reportedly reached for the police officer’s gun, and Wilson then gave chase, shooting him. Brown’s family said he had his hands up when he was shot, police said it was untrue. The shooting led to protests in Ferguson that then spread to other parts of the country. It gained added momentum after subsequent racially charged police shootings, spurred on via social media and the group Black Lives Matter. The FBI report said that the agency previously had analyzed the potential for violence of black identity extremism, a term that was unfamiliar before it appeared in the document. What has changed, according to the report, is that violence has now actually occurred and is ‘likely” to continue. “It is very likely that BIEs’ perceptions of unjust treatment of African-Americans and the perceived unchallenged illegitimate actions of law enforcement will inspire premeditated attacks against law enforcement over the next year,” the report said. “It is very likely additional controversial police shootings of African-Americans and the associated legal proceedings will continue to serve as drivers for violence against law enforcement.” Attacks in which police officers are targeted have been on the rise in recent years. The most high-profile such incident occurred last year in Dallas, when a gunman named Micah Johnson hid in a parking garage and fired on 11 police officers, killing five of them, during a protest against officer-involved shootings. The FBI report noted that Johnson referred to anger over police shootings and toward whites as what drove him to kill the five police officers. The FBI report drew accusations of racial profiling. DeRay Mckesson of Black Lives Matter told The Guardian the terrorism report echoes the days when the FBI tracked activist groups including the NAACP and those that opposed wars. “We knew that we were likely being watched,” said Mckesson, a longtime critic of government monitoriing of protest groups. “This is confirmation that the work of social justice continues to threaten those in power.” The Guardian also quoted an unnamed source it described only as a former senior official from the Department of Homeland Security saying that the category “black identity extremist” was troubling. “This is a new umbrella designation that has no basis,” the source is quoted as saying. “There are civil rights and privacy issues all over this.” But others say that the FBI is correctly sounding an alarm about a serious trend. “It’s not racial profiling, it’s violence profiling,” Scott Walter, president of Capital Research Center, a conservative think tank, told Fox News. “Identity politics can kill, whether it’s white identity politics, which killed in Charlottesville, or black identity politics, which kills cops.” “We have to be able to distinguish between free speech and violence,” Walter said. “[Many] longtime [black] activist groups were not obsessed with violence.” Randy Sutton, a former Las Vegas law enforcement official who now is the national spokesman for Blue Lives Matter, told Fox News that the FBI report makes official what he and others in police work have been observing in recent years. “Nobody is saying anything negative about protests,” Sutton said, “Protesting is everyone’s right. This is about commiting acts of violence. Many Black Lives Matter protests call for violence against police, with chants like ‘What do we want?’ and ‘Dead cops!’ It’s terrorism, and it’s no different than Islamic terrorism.” Sutton said the rising number of ambush attacks on police has had a chilling effect on how they do their jobs. “Police are not being as aggressive because of the political climate,” he said. “There’s been a dramatic decrease in proactive policing.”

Of course! ..  In large part because they don’t want to be on the evening news, and then brought up on charges the next day…for doing their jobs.  That climate is thanks to Obama, former AG Eric Holder, and others in the last administration that coddled the race hustlers.  And, now that has come back to bite us all in the butt.   There is absolutely ZERO question that Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a domestic terrorist organization.  If you doubt that, just Google some videos of them marching and calling for death to cops and so on.  It’s not even moot.  The FBI is simply reporting on a trend that started about 7 years ago, and has only gotten worse.  So, kudos to the FBI for issuing this report, and not sweeping it under the rug.  It’s a starting point.  Now, what to do about it?