Tag Archives: Loretta Lynch

House Judiciary Committee asks for second special prosecutor to investigate Clinton-Comey-Lynch

House Republicans are doing their utmost to bring Hillary Clinton to justice.

On July 26, 2017, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee ingeniously turned a Democrat resolution witchhunt (HRes. 446) of President Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey inside out into an amended HRes. 446 calling for an investigation into Comey’s mishandling of the FBI’s criminal investigation into then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized private email server. (See “House Republicans are going after Hillary Clinton!”)

A day later, on July 27, Rep. Bob Goodlatte and other Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee redoubled their effort by sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate matters connected to the 2016 election which are not addressed by HRes. 446 or Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, including many actions taken by Obama Administration officials like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and FBI Director James Comey.

Below is the full text of the letter:

July 27, 2017

Dear Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein:

We are writing to you to request assistance in restoring public confidence in our nation’s justice system and its investigators, specifically the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). We need to enable these agencies to perform their necessary and important law enforcement and intelligence functions fully unhindered by politics. While we presume that the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence has been subsumed into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, we are not confident that other matters related to the 2016 election and aftermath are similarly under investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. The unbalanced, uncertain, and seemingly unlimited focus of the special counsel’s investigation has led many of our constituents to see a dual standard of justice that benefits only the powerful and politically well-connected. For this reason, we call on you to appoint a second special counsel to investigate a plethora of matters connected to the 2016 election and its aftermath, including actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Many Democrats and members of the Washington media previously called for a “special prosecutor” to investigate Russian influence on the election and connections with the Trump campaign. Not surprisingly, once you actually made the decision to appoint a special counsel, the calls for further investigations by congressional committees continued, focused on allegations that have heretofore produced no evidence of criminality, despite the fact that over a year has passed since the opening of the original FBI investigation. Political gamesmanship continues to saturate anything and everything associated with reactions to President Trump’s executive decisions, and reveals the hypocrisy of those who refuse to allow the Special Counsel’s investigation to proceed without undue political influence. It is an unfortunate state of affairs.

Your stated rationale for recommending Director Comey’s termination as FBI Director was his mishandling of former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation and associated public disclosures concerning the investigation’s findings. We believe this was the correct decision. It is clear that Director Comey contributed to the politicization of the FBI’s investigations by issuing his public statement, nominating himself as judge and jury, rather than permitting career DOJ prosecutors to make the final decision. But many other questions remain unanswered, due to Mr. Comey’s premature and inappropriate decision, as well as the Obama Justice Department’s refusal to respond to legitimate Congressional oversight. Last week, the Republican Members of this Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department, asking for responses to those unanswered inquiries. These questions cannot, for history’s sake and for the preservation of an impartial system of justice, be allowed to die on the vine.

It is therefore incumbent on this Committee, in our oversight capacity, to ensure that the agencies we oversee are above reproach and that the Justice Department, in particular, remains immune to accusations of politicization. Many Congressional entities have been engaged in oversight of Russian influence on the election, but a comprehensive investigation into the 2016 Presidential campaign and its aftermath must, similarly, be free of even the suggestion of political interference. The very core of our justice system demands as much. A second, newly-appointed special counsel will not be encumbered by these considerations, and will provide real value to the American people in offering an independent perspective on these extremely sensitive matters.

Our call for a special counsel is not made lightly. We have no interest in engendering more bad feelings and less confidence in the process or governmental institutions by the American people. Rather, our call is made on their behalf. It is meant to determine whether the criminal prosecution of any individual is warranted based on the solemn obligation to follow the facts wherever they lead and applying the law to those facts.

As we referenced above, Democrats and the mainstream media called for a special counsel to be appointed to investigate any Russian influence on President Trump’s campaign. Their pleas were answered, but there are many questions that may be outside the scope of Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. This was clear following Mr. Comey’s recent testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, which ignited renewed scrutiny of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the actions she took to mislead the public concerning the investigation into the Clinton email investigation. Last year, this Committee inquired repeatedly about the circumstances surrounding that and other matters, but our inquiries were largely ignored.

During his testimony, Mr. Comey referenced a meeting on the Phoenix airport tarmac between Ms. Lynch and former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Comey raised concerns about Ms. Lynch’s conduct, and questioned her independence, stating:

At one point, the attorney general had directed me not to call it an investigation, but instead to call it a matter, which confused me and concerned me. That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude, ‘I have to step away from the department if we’re to close this case credibly.’

In addition, in preparing to testify in front of Congress for a September 2015 hearing, Mr. Comey asked Ms. Lynch at the time whether she was prepared to refer to the Clinton investigation as just that, an “investigation.” Mr. Comey testified that Ms. Lynch said, “Yes, but don’t call it that, call it a matter.” Mr. Comey retorted, “Why would I do that?” Ms. Lynch answered, “Just call it a matter.” Mr. Comey stated that he acquiesced, but it gave him “a queasy feeling,” since it gave him the “impression that the attorney general was trying to align how we describe our work” with how the Clinton campaign was talking about it.

Notwithstanding the fact that the FBI is the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and not the Federal Bureau of Matters, one is hard-pressed to understand why Ms. Lynch directed then-Director Comey to call the Clinton investigation a “matter” unless she intended to use such deceptive language to help wrongly persuade the American people that former Secretary Clinton was not, in fact, the subject of a full-scale FBI investigation, or to otherwise undermine the integrity of the investigation.

Following Director Comey’s Senate Intelligence Committee testimony, Senator Dianne Feinstein was asked about the testimony while appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Senator Feinstein stated, “I would have a queasy feeling too, though, to be candid with you, I think we need to know more about that, and there’s only one way to know about it, and that’s to have the Judiciary Committee take a look at that.”

We share Senator Feinstein’s and Mr. Comey’s concerns – specifically, that during the midst of a contentious Presidential election, which was already rife with scandal arising from Secretary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information, that our nation’s chief law enforcement officer would instruct the FBI Director, her subordinate, to mislead the American public about the nature of the investigation. Following Ms. Lynch’s directive to downplay the Clinton investigation as a “matter,” Director Comey infamously terminated the Clinton investigation, stating, “[a]lthough there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

Mr. Comey’s testimony has provided new evidence that Ms. Lynch may have used her position of authority to undermine the Clinton investigation. At any other point in history this accusation would entail a shock to the conscience of law abiding Americans who expect a DOJ free of political influence. We only have, however, an investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election, including any ties to the Trump campaign. To limit our nation’s insight into just this this single component of the 2016 election will only cause the special counsel’s work to be derided as one-sided and incomplete. The special counsel’s work must begin and end unimpeded by political motivations on either side of the aisle. For these reasons, the following points must also be fully investigated – ideally, via a second special counsel. This is imperative to regain the cherished trust and confidence in our undoubtedly distressed law enforcement and political institutions.

We call on a newly appointed special counsel to investigate, consistent with appropriate regulations, the following questions, many of which were previously posed by this Committee and remain unanswered:

  1. Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation;
  2. The shadow cast over our system of justice concerning Secretary Clinton and her involvement in mishandling classified information;
  3. FBI and DOJ’s investigative decisions related to former Secretary Clinton’s email investigation, including the propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to potential Clinton co-conspirators Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, John Bentel and possibly others;
  4. The apparent failure of DOJ to empanel a grand jury to investigate allegations of mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton and her associates;
  5. The Department of State and its employees’ involvement in determining which communications of Secretary Clinton’s and her associates to turn over for public scrutiny;
  6. WikiLeaks disclosures concerning the Clinton Foundation and its potentially unlawful international dealings;
  7. Connections between the Clinton campaign, or the Clinton Foundation, and foreign entities, including those from Russia and Ukraine;
  8. Mr. Comey’s knowledge of the purchase of Uranium One¹ by the company Rosatom, whether the approval of the sale was connected to any donations made to the Clinton Foundation, and what role Secretary Clinton played in the approval of that sale that had national security ramifications;
  9. Disclosures arising from unlawful access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computer systems, including inappropriate collusion between the DNC and the Clinton campaign to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign;
  10. Post-election accusations by the President [Trump] that he was wiretapped by the previous Administration, and whether Mr. Comey and Ms. Lynch had any knowledge of efforts made by any federal agency to unlawfully monitor communications of then-candidate Trump or his associates;
  11. Selected leaks of classified information related to the unmasking of U.S. person identities incidentally collected upon by the intelligence community, including an assessment of whether anyone in the Obama Administration, including Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, Ms. Susan Rice, Ms. Samantha Power, or others, had any knowledge about the “unmasking” of individuals on then candidate-Trump’s campaign team, transition team, or both;
  12. Admitted leaks by Mr. Comey to Columbia University law professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations between Mr. Comey and President Trump, how the leaked information was purposefully released to lead to the appointment of a special counsel, and whether any classified information was included in the now infamous “Comey memos”;
  13. Mr. Comey’s and the FBI’s apparent reliance on “Fusion GPS”² in its investigation of the Trump campaign, including the company’s creation of a “dossier” of information about Mr. Trump, that dossier’s commission and dissemination in the months before and after the 2016 election, whether the FBI paid anyone connected to the dossier, and the intelligence sources of Fusion GPS or any person or company working for Fusion GPS and its affiliates; and
  14. Any and all potential leaks originated by Mr. Comey and provide to author Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.

You have the ability now to right the ship for the American people so these investigations may proceed independently and impartially. The American public has a right to know the facts – all of them – surrounding the election and its aftermath. We urge you to appoint a second special counsel to ensure these troubling, unanswered questions are not relegated to the dustbin of history.

Sincerely,

Bob Goodlatte, Chair
Jim Jordan
Lamar Smith
Matt Gaetz
Tom Marino
Steve Chabot
Blake Farenthold
Steve King
Louis Gohmert
Ted Poe
Doug Collins
Raul Labrador
Ron DeSantis
Andy Biggs
Mike Johnson
John Rutherford
Martha Roby
John Ratcliffe
Trent Franks
Karen Handel

###

Note¹: Uranium One is a uranium mining company, headquartered in Toronto,  Canada. It has operations in Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, South Africa and the United States. In January 2013, Russian state-owned enterprise Rosatom, through its subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding, purchased Uranium One for $1.3 billion. For Bill Clinton and John Podesta’s involvement in Uranium One and Rosatom, click here.

Note²: Fusion GPS is a commercial DC-based intelligence firm that conducts opposition political research on political candidates, such as on Mitt Romney. The company was hired by Planned Parenthood (PP) to investigate pro-life activists who took a series of “sting” videos showing PP selling aborted baby parts to medical researchers. In the 2016 presidential campaign, Fusion GPS was first hired by Republicans to conduct “opposition research” on Donald Trump, which ended when Trump became the GOP’s presidential nominee. Hillary Clinton then became Fusion GPS’s client to dig up dirt on Trump. Fusion GPS hired former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele to compile a dossier on Trump, which became infamous for its entirely-fake allegation that Trump had hired Russian prostitutes to urinate (“golden shower”) on a Russian hotel bed supposedly used by Obama.

Send a “thank you” to Congressman Bob Goodlatte!:

~Eowyn

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House Republicans are going after Hillary Clinton!

They’re finally going after Hillary Clinton, via former FBI Director James Comey.

And what’s brilliant about this is that House Republicans are doing this by hoisting the Democrats on their own petard (explanation below).

On July 14, 2017, Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA) introduced House Resolution 446, yet another Demonrat witch-hunt.

The resolution demands that President Trump and U.S. Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) turn over to the House all documents relating to President Trump’s firing of Comey. Please note that President Trump, as the head of the executive branch of the U.S. government, has every constitutional right to fire Comey, the FBI being a part of the Department of Justice, which is a bureaucracy within the executive branch.

HRes. 446 has 42 co-sponsors, all Democrats, which means that it has no hope of being passed by the Republican-majority House.

On the same day that Jayapal introduced HRes. 446, it was referred to the House Judicial Committee.

Yesterday, July 26, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee turned HRes. 446 inside out into a resolution for an investigation into Comey’s mishandling of the FBI’s criminal investigation into then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized private email server.

From True Pundit, July 26, 2017:

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee voted Wednesday to request documents about former FBI director James Comey’s conversations with the Obama administration and journalists, amending and replacing a Democratic resolution that was designed to obtain documents about Comey’s firing by President Trump.

“In my district, my constituents say, hey, what’s going on with investigation of the crimes of the previous administration?” asked Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), one of the amendment’s sponsors. “When I hear talk that this contains right-wing conspiracies — well, I’ll tell you, my constituents think what’s going on in the other bill are left-wing conspiracy theories.”

The amendment was a surprise to Rep. Primala Jayapal (D-Wash.), the freshman who had proposed the Democratic resolution of inquiry, which had been expected to fail.

The Republicans’ amendment and substitution of HRes. 446 is co-sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL). Here’s the amended HRes. 446:

Substitute For the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H. Res. 446

Offered by Mr. Gaetz of Florida

Strike all that follows after the resolving clause and insert the following:

That the President is requested, and the Attorney General of the United States is directed, to transmit, respectively (in a manner appropriate to classified information, if the President or Attorney General determines appropriate), to the House of Representative, not later than 60 days after the date of adoption of this resolution, copies of any document, record, audio recording, memo, correspondence, or other communications in their possessions, or any portion of any such communication, that refers or relates to the firing of James B. Comey in the following respects:

(1) Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch directing James B. Comey to mislead the American people by stating that he should refer to the investigation into the mishandling of classified data and use of an unauthorized email server by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a “matter”, rather than a criminal “investigation”.

(2) Leaks by James B. Comey to Columbia University law professor, Daniel Richman, regarding conversations had between President Donald Trump and then-FBI Director James B. Comey, and how the leaked information was purposefully released to lead to the appointment of special counsel, Robert Mueller, a longtime friend of James B. Comey.

(3) The propriety and consequence of immunity deals given to possible Hillary Clinton co-conspirators Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, John Bentel, and potentially others, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, during the criminal investigation James B. Comey led into Hillary Clinton’s misconduct.

(4) The decision of James B. Comey to usurp the authority of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch in his unusual announcement that criminal charges would not be brought against Hillary Clinton following her unlawful use of a private email server and mishandling of classified information.

(5) James B. Comey’s knowledge and impressions of any ex-parte [one-sided] conversation between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton on January 27, 2016, at a Phoenix airport in a private jet.

(6) James B. Comey’s knowledge of the company “Fusion GPS,” including —

(A) Its creation of a “dossier” of information about Mr. Donald Trump;

(B) That dossier’s commission and dissemination in the months before and after the 2016 Presidential Election; and

(C) The intelligence sources of Fusion GPS or any person or company working for Fusion GPS or its affiliates.

[Note: Fusion GPS is a commercial DC-based intelligence firm that conducts opposition political research on political candidates, such as on Mitt Romney. The company was hired by Planned Parenthood (PP) to investigate pro-life activists who took a series of “sting” videos showing PP selling aborted baby parts to medical researchers. In the 2016 presidential campaign, Fusion GPS was first hired by Republicans to conduct “opposition research” on Donald Trump, which ended when Trump became the GOP’s presidential nominee. Hillary Clinton then became Fusion GPS’s client to dig up dirt on Trump. Fusion GPS hired former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele to compile a dossier on Trump, which became infamous for its entirely-fake allegation that Trump had hired Russian prostitutes to urinate (“golden shower”) on a Russian hotel bed supposedly used by Obama.]

(7) Any and all potential leaks originated by James B. Comey and provided to author Michael Schmidt dating back to 1993.

(8) James B. Comey’s knowledge of

(A) the purchase of majority stake in the company Uranium One by the company Rosatom;

(B) whether the approval of the sale was connected to any donations made to the Clinton Foundation;

(C) what role then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton played in the approval of that sale; and

(D) whether the sale could have affected the national security of the United States of America.

[Note: Uranium One is a uranium mining company, headquartered in Toronto,  Canada. It has operations in Australia, Canada, Kazakhstan, South Africa and the United States. In January 2013, Russian state-owned enterprise Rosatom, through its subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding, purchased Uranium One for $1.3 billion. For Bill Clinton and John Podesta’s involvement in Uranium One and Rosatom, click here.]

(9) James B. Comey’s refusal to investigate then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding

(A) selling access to the U.S. State Department through Clinton Foundation donations;

(B) Huma Abedin’s dual employment at the State Department and the Clinton Foundation simultaneously; or

(C) utilization of the State Department to further paid speaking opportunities for her husband.

(10) Any collusion between former FBI Director James B. Comey and special counsel Robert Mueller; including —

(A) the information James B. Comey admitted to leaking to the Columbia University law professor, being intentional such that a special counsel, his longtime friend, Robert Mueller, would be appointed to lead the investigation against the Trump administration; and

(B) any communication between Robert Mueller and James B. Comey in advance of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

(10) Whether James B. Comey had any advance knowledge of

(A) efforts made by any federal agency

(i) to monitor communications of then-candidate Donald Trump;

(ii) to assess any knowledge by James B. Comey about the “unmasking” of individuals on Donald Trump’s campaign team, transition team or both;

(iii) to assess the role that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice played in the unmasking of these individuals; or

(iv) to reveal the purpose served by unmasking any individual or individuals serving on the staff of then-candidate Donald Trump; or

(B) the dissemination of unredacted information to various intelligence agencies, and any attempts to use surveillance of then-candidate Donald Trump for the purposes of damaging the credibility of his campaign, his presidency, or both.

Here’s Rep. Matt Gaetz’s press release on the amended HRes. 446:

“On Wednesday, July 26, Congressman Matt Gaetz brought an amendment before the House Judiciary Committee, seeking answers to questions that have weighed heavily on the minds of American voters. In his amendment, which passed the House Judiciary Committee and has been reported favorably to the House, Rep. Gaetz requested documents and information from President Trump and Attorney General Sessions surrounding the firing of former FBI Director James B. Comey, and Mr. Comey’s knowledge of, and connection to, the many worrisome scandals of the previous administration.”

Read the rest of the press release here.

Congressmen Matt Gaetz, 35, and Andy Biggs, 58, you are my heroes!

Please thank Rep. Gaetz and Biggs. Here’s their contact info.:

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz: (202) 225-4136 (phone); email.
  • Rep. Andy Biggs: (202) 225-2635 (phone); email.

H/t Voat

~Eowyn

Senate opens probe into Obama’s AG Loretta Lynch’s interference in FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton

In his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on June 8, 2017, former FBI Director James B. Comey said Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch had tried to shape the way Comey described the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, to “align with” and “mirror” the way Hillary’s campaign was describing the investigation.

Stephen Dinan reports for The Washington Times, June 23, 2017, that Comey told the committee:

“At one point, [Lynch] directed me not to call it an ‘investigation’ but instead to call it a ‘matter,’ which confused me and concerned me. That was one of the bricks in the load that led me to conclude I have to step away from the department if we are to close this case credibly.”

Despite his discomfort, Comey said he agreed to the language prescribed by Lynch. Comey also hinted at Lynch’s other behaviors “which I cannot talk about yet” which led to his concerns about Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions. That was one reason why Comey, last year, bucked Justice Department tradition in making public the FBI’s findings on Hillary.

Now, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has opened a probe into exactly Loretta Lynch’s interference in the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton, the committee’s chairman Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) announced yesterday.

The probe is a bi-partisan undertaking.

Sen. Grassley said in his press release:

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The bipartisan inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director.

In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, one of which was said to be authored by a “Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.”  Chairman Grassley then requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which has failed to respond. A month later, The Washington Post reported similar facts and provided further details about individuals involved in these communications. The Post reported that the email in question, sent by then-chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t ‘go too far.’

(Note: The Open Society Foundations, formerly the Open Society Institute, is an international grantmaking network founded by George Soros.)

Comey was reportedly concerned that the communication would raise doubts about the investigation’s independence and began discussing plans to announce the end of the Clinton email investigation rather than simply referring it to the Department for a prosecutorial decision. Comey’s extraordinary action to announce the end of the investigation was a break from Justice Department protocol, and was later cited as justification for his removal from the FBI.

In their letters to Benardo, Open Society Foundations’ General Counsel Gail Scovell, Renteria and former Attorney General Lynch, the Senators seek details about the reported communication, copies of any related documents and whether the FBI contacted them to investigate the alleged communication.

The reports come amidst numerous allegations of political inference in controversial and high-profile investigations spanning the current and previous administrations. The Senate Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the FBI and Justice Department and is obliged to oversee any potential misconduct or inappropriate political influence at these agencies.

Full text of the letters can be found at the following links:

~Eowyn

FBI Director Comey rejects President Trump’s claim of Obama wiretapping

It is reported that on Saturday, March 4, FBI Director James Comey — whom Trump had retained from the Obama administration — asked the Department of Justice to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that, during the 2016 campaign, his phones had been illegally wiretapped by the Obama administration.

A wiretap cannot be directed at a US facility, without finding probable cause that the phone lines or internet addresses were being used by agents of a foreign power.

If the report about Comey is true, this means a rebellion by an unelected Executive branch official against a sitting President who is his superior. It also means that Trump’s presidency is effectively over.

From the New York Times, March 5, 2017:

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement.

Mr. Comey, who made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter, has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment. Sarah Isgur Flores, the spokeswoman for the Justice Department, also declined to comment.

Mr. Comey’s request is a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the position of questioning Mr. Trump’s truthfulness. The confrontation between the two is the most serious consequence of Mr. Trump’s weekend Twitter outburst, and it underscores the dangers of what the president and his aides have unleashed by accusing the former president of a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump’s young administration.

The White House showed no indication that it would back down from Mr. Trump’s claims. On Sunday, the president demanded a congressional inquiry into whether Mr. Obama had abused the power of federal law enforcement agencies before the 2016 presidential election. In a statement from his spokesman, Mr. Trump called “reports” about the wiretapping “very troubling” and said Congress should examine them as part of its investigations into Russia’s meddling in the election.

In addition to being concerned about potential attacks on the bureau’s credibility, senior F.B.I. officials are said to be worried that the notion of a court-approved wiretap will raise the public’s expectations that the federal authorities have significant evidence implicating the Trump campaign in colluding with Russia’s efforts to disrupt the presidential election.

Mr. Comey has not been dealing directly with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the matter, as Mr. Sessions announced on Thursday that he would recuse himself from any investigation of Russia’s efforts to influence the election. It had been revealed on Wednesday that Mr. Sessions had misled Congress about his meetings with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.

Mr. Comey’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering is certain to invite contrasts to his actions last year, when he spoke publicly about the Hillary Clinton email case and disregarded Justice Department entreaties not to.

It is not clear why Mr. Comey did not issue a statement himself. He is the most senior law enforcement official who was kept on the job as the Obama administration gave way to the Trump administration. And while the Justice Department applies for intelligence-gathering warrants, the F.B.I. keeps its own records and is in a position to know whether Mr. Trump’s claims are true. While intelligence officials do not normally discuss the existence or nonexistence of surveillance warrants, no law prevents Mr. Comey from issuing the statement.

In his demand for a congressional inquiry, the president, through his press secretary, Sean Spicer, issued a statement on Sunday that said, “President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.”

Yesterday, former George W. Bush administration attorney general Michael Mukasey told ABC’s “This Week” that, based on his reading of certain news reports, he believes President Trump is likely correct that there was surveillance on Trump Tower for intelligence purposes, but incorrect in accusing Obama of ordering the wiretapping. Mukasey said the wiretapping was “conducted at the behest of” Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department.

Mukasey said if there were a wiretap on Trump Tower, it would mean that there was suspicion “somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians for whatever purpose. Not necessarily the election, but for some purpose.”

Also yesterday, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced Congress will investigate President Trump’s claim that his phones were illegally tapped by the Obama administration. The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), however, was less specific, saying his panel “will follow the evidence where it leads, and we will continue to be guided by the intelligence and facts as we compile our findings.” (New York Post)

But what good would a Congressional investigation be if the FBI Director and the Justice Department already declared Trump’s accusation to be in error?

In a statement, Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis denied that Obama or the White House had ordered any such surveillance:

“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

trump-wings

Please pray for President Trump.

Please pray for America.

See also “Former AG Loretta Lynch and Senate Democrats call for subverting President Trump with marches, blood, and death“.

~Eowyn

Former AG Loretta Lynch and Senate Democrats call for subverting President Trump with marches, blood, and death

18 U.S. Code § 2383 defines “sedition” as “Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto”.

Five days ago, on February 28, 2017, United States Senate Democrats posted on their Facebook page, an extraordinary video of former Obama Administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling on — inciting — Democrats to effectively commit sedition by resisting and overthrowing President Trump, a duly-elected President of the U.S.A., with marches, blood, and death.

Here’s the video, followed by my transcript:

“I know that this is a time of great fear and uncertainty for so many people. I know this is a time of concern for people who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on, and even being rolled back.

I know that this is difficult, but I remind you that this has never been easy. We have always had to work to move this country forward to achieve the great ideals of our founding fathers, and that it has been people — individuals who have banded together — ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They marched, they bled. Yes, some of them have died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.

If President Trump and AG Jeff Sessions do not put an end to these calls to sedition by arresting Loretta Lynch and Senate Democrats (who give their imprimatur and approval by posting Lynch’s video call to sedition on their Facebook page), then Trump can bid his presidency farewell.

H/t Hadenoughalready

~Eowyn

State Department tried to bribe FBI to unclassify Clinton emails

And yet I’m sure nothing will become of this. Corruption is the new norm in DC.

Hillary Clinton what difference does it make

Via NY Post: A top State Department official offered a bribe — a “quid pro quo” — to an FBI official in an attempt to declassify certain emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server that were previously deemed classified, according to FBI documents released Monday.

The documents allege Patrick Kennedy proposed the deal in exchange for the FBI being allowed to operate in countries where it’s currently banned.

Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy

“[Redacted] indicated he had been contacted by PATRICK KENNEDY, Undersecretary of State, who had asked his assistance in altering the email’s classification in exchange for a ‘quid pro quo,’” states the FBI document, a summary of an interview the agency conducted in investing Clinton’s email server.

“[Redacted] advised that in exchange for marking the email unclassified, STATE would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden,” the document adds.

The redactions in the FBI documents strike the name of the official who was talking with Kennedy.

During a later meeting with the FBI, CIA and other agencies, Kennedy was asked whether any of the emails in question were classified. “Making eye contact with [redacted] KENNEDY remarked, ‘Well, we’ll see,’” Kennedy responded.

Donald Trump’s campaign pointed to the new documents as proof that the State Department and FBI worked together to protect Clinton. “These FBI documents provide undeniable proof that Hillary Clinton colluded with the FBI, DOJ and State Department to cover up criminal activity at the highest levels. Hillary Clinton has recklessly put our national security at extreme risk,” Trump surrogate Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn said in a statement to the press.

We have men and women putting their lives on the line for this country. If any person had done a fraction of what she has done with our sensitive information, they would be criminally charged and those in our military would be court-martialed. Hillary Clinton acts as though she is above the law and therefore, she is not fit to serve as commander in chief,” Flynn added.

The FBI documents come from the more than year-long FBI investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified information on her private email server.

FBI Director James Comey announced in July that he would recommend the Justice Department not pursue criminal charges against Clinton.

It's good to be a demorat...

It’s good to be a demorat…

Days later, Attorney General Loretta Lynch released a statement saying she agreed with Comey’s assessment — and that charges against Clinton would not be filed.

DCG

Report: FBI agreed to ‘destroy’ Hillary associates’ laptops after inspection

From @ShannonBream: “BREAKING from Catherine Herridge: FBI made side deals with 2 HRC associates to “destroy” their laptops after inspecting them

Read the portion of @RepGoodlatte letter to AGLynch re: FBI agreement to destroy laptops here.

h/t Twitchy

DCG