Saturday, October 1, 2016

FBI News Review | FBI and J. Comey - Updates: 10.1.16 - M.N.: The political attack and pressure on the FBI Director continue, mostly with regard to the (practically irrelevant at this point, I think) H. Clinton "email issues", and it looks like this attack comes from Trump himself, or is directed by him. I think that Mr. Comey stood up and defended his decision very well at the Hearing; however, the post-Hearing criticism continues also, most notably from the WSJ. This is an illustration of the pressures and dangers of politicization. So far the FBI withstood them well and it should continue its apolitical and neutral stance.

Updates:

FBI and emails - 10.11.16

FBI Director in Roseville for New Field Office Opening | FOX40
Comey and Lynch Should Be Impeached for Whitewashing Clinton’s Crimes | Observer
James Comey and Loretta Lynch Should...
How FBI’s Sheep Video Game Exposes FOIA Problems | The Daily Dot
VIDEO: Have You Seen Joe DiGenova’s Evisceration Of James Comey And The “Fake” Hillary Investigation? | The Hayride
Report: FBI Turns Against Director Comey - YouTube

FBI - 10.10.16

Articles: Only One Way for the FBI to Regain Its Lost Reputation
Inside Comey's Search For Hillary Clinton's Personal Emails | The Daily Caller
Arrested contractor may have worked for NSA’s elite cyber spy unit | intelNews.org
Another Terrorist, Another Past Connection with the FBI - WhoWhatWhy
FBI Version of NY/NJ Bombing Story Sounds Very Familiar - WhoWhatWhy
Articles: How (and When) We Entered Cold War II
Barack Hussein Obama Is a Terrible Manchurian Candidate - WhoWhatWhy
Former FBI Whistleblower Calls for New 9/11 Investigation - WhoWhatWhy


ALERT: Hillary Email Investigation Insider Drops MASSIVE Comey Bombshell We All Feared - Western Journalism

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Western Journalism



ALERT: Hillary Email Investigation Insider Drops MASSIVE Comey Bombshell We All Feared
Western Journalism
When FBI Director James Comey took to national television in July to announce his findings on the Hillary Clinton email investigation, he made a point of saying no one in the Justice Department or other level of government knew what he was going to relate.
Investigator Says 'No Agent Working The Case' Agreed With Comey's Decision to Let Clinton Off HookLawNewz
Trump: A Hillary presidency means the destruction of AmericaCainTV

all 4 news articles »


FBI, DOJ roiled by Comey, Lynch decision to let Clinton slide by on emails, says insider - Fox News

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Fox News



FBI, DOJ roiled by Comey, Lynch decision to let Clinton slide by on emails, says insider
Fox News
The decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for mishandling classified information has roiled the FBI and Department of Justice, with one person closely involved in the year-long probe telling FoxNews.com that career agents and attorneys on the ...
James Comey and Loretta Lynch Should Be Impeached for Whitewashing Clinton'sCrimesObserver

all 26 news articles »

FBI and J. Comey - 10.1.16 Update: 

M.N.: The political attack and pressure on the FBI Director continue, mostly with regard to the (practically irrelevant at this point, I think) H. Clinton "email issues", and it looks like this attack comes from Trump himself, or is directed by him. I think that Mr. Comey stood up and defended his decision very well at the Hearing; however, the post-Hearing criticism continues also, most notably from the WSJ. This is an illustration of the pressures and dangers of politicization. So far the FBI withstood them well and it should continue its apolitical and neutral stance.


FBI director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill, September 28, 2016. (Reuters photo: Joshua Roberts) - National Review Online
Sat, 01 Oct 2016 05:57:40 -0400

National Review Online



FBI director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill, September 28, 2016. (Reuters photo: Joshua Roberts)
National Review Online
In his testimony this week before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI director James Comey inveighed against critics who have slimed the Bureau as weasels over its handling of the Clinton e-mails investigation. I am not one of those people. After a ...
Comey: 'I Don't Remember' Why FBI Let Hillary Aide LieBreitbart News
The FBI's Hillary email probe is looking even more like a coverupNew York Post

all 91 news articles »

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FBI News Review In Brief

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10.1.16 
M.N.: The political attack and pressure on the FBI Director continue, mostly with regard to the (practically irrelevant at this point, I think) H. Clinton "email issues", and it looks like this attack comes from Trump himself, or is directed by him. I think that Mr. Comey stood up and defended his decision very well at the Hearing; however, the post-Hearing criticism continues also, most notably from the WSJ. This is an illustration of the pressures and dangers of politicization. So far the FBI withstood them well and it should continue its apolitical and neutral stance. 


See also: 

9.14.16

M.N.: The coordinated political attack on the FBI Director might indicate that Mr. Trump, his camp, and the Russians lurking behind them, want to remove or neutralize Mr. Comey as the guardian of the American democratic process and free elections. In defense of Mr. Comey, not that he needs it, but out of fairness - regarding "The Case Against James Comey" - POLITICO Magazine | In Defense of Jim Comey: Politico's Bizarrely Shoddy Attack on the FBI Director - Lawfare





FBI and J. Comey - 10.1.16 Update

Comey: FBI looked 'hard' for obstruction of justice in Clinton email probe - POLITICO
Leaked FBI documents show that more than 7,000 'terrorist encounters' occurred | Daily Mail Online
comey - Google Search
News - Comey - Google Search
in defense of comey - Google Search
News - in defense of comey - Google Search
In Defense of Jim Comey: Politico's...
Did FBI Director James Comey Take Millions from the Clinton Foundation? : snopes.com

Report: U.S. Intelligence Officials Examining Trump Adviser's Russia Ties

FBI Chief Security Guru Talks...
FBI Chief Security Officer Arlette Hart Talks Fighting Insider Threats
How the FBI defends against insider threats | ZDNet
An Expert Analysis of the Cyber Threats Facing America

FBI seeking former Syrian intelligence officer reportedly hiding in Florida | intelNews.org

FBI Transcripts Reveal Orlando Gunman's Islamic Motivation
Omar Mateen blamed Pentagon air strike for 'triggering' his Orlando terror attack | Daily Mail Online
FBI probes possible hack of...
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Comey will be the sole witness Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee reviews the FBI's performance in what is likely to be the agency's final oversight hearing this year. Comey told a Senate panel Tuesday that the FBI is transparent about mistakes ... | » FBI's Comey faces more questions on extremism, Clinton email - KSNT (press release) (registration) (blog)
FBI chief: Extreme concern about fanatics from Syria, Iraq - U.S. - Stripes
The U.S. and Global Security Review: FBI chief: Extreme concern about fanatics from Syria, Iraq - U.S. - Stripes An Expert Analysis of the Cyber Threats Facing America Kerry meets Venezuela's Maduro amid vote tensions | Reuters News - clinton trump war of ads - Google Search
FBI report expected to show violent crime rise in some U.S. cities | Reuters
FBI Director calls 'stop and frisk' an important tool when used right | Reuters
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Rahimi’s Al Qaeda handler is based in Quetta: "Ahmad Khan Rahimi who was born 28 years ago n Afghanistan made several trips to his home country and Pakistan between 2011 and 2014. During those trips, he secretly visited Quetta, the capital of Pakistani Baluchistan for covert meetings with Al Qaeda and Taliban commanders,debkafile’s exclusive counterterrorism sources reveal. They also disclose that Rahimi was taken under the wing of a regular Al Qaeda controller during those visits. He was in contact with this controller, who also runs a number of sleepers in America, when he executed his three bombing attacks over the weekend in New York City and New Jersey." - DebkaFile
Britain's MI6 spy chief says Islamist terrorist threat is here to stay | Reuters
FBI impersonation of journalists can be hazardous to their health - The Washington Post

Attack on Comey - 9.14 - 18.16

News - James Comey - Google Search
News - FBI - Google Search
News - Riley Roberts - Google Search
The Case Against James Comey - POLITICO Magazine
In Defense of Jim Comey: Politico's Bizarrely Shoddy Attack on the FBI Director - Lawfare
Former Attorney General Speechwriter: James Comey Most Autonomous FBI Director Since J. Edgar Hoover | Techdirt
First on CNN: FBI director defends Clinton email probe, document releases - CNNPolitics.com
Don’t Let Comey Put a Criminal in the White House | Observer
FBI director says bureau probing election interference from abroad
Where Goeth the FBI? | Gilmer
Breitbart’s Ridiculous Comey Conspiracy Theory
Hillary Clinton's pneumonia cover-up...
The Case Against James Comey
Articles: Should Comey resign? Will he?
Blog: Hillary not fit to run FBI according to standard set by Bill Clinton
Comey doesn’t know Clinton’s intentions
Is Trump The Manchurian Candidate, A Mole, Or The Kremlin’s “Useful Idiot”?
Exposed: FBI Director James Comey's Clinton Foundation Connection
Chaffetz committee uncovers yet...
Ferguson effect - Google Search
harvard study of police killings new york times - Google Search
Surprising New Evidence Shows Bias in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings - The New York Times
Hillary Clinton's email Investigation - Google Search
News - James Comey - Google Search
nature of political power - Google Search
Soft power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
roots of JE Hoover power blackmail - Google Search
To thine own self be true - eNotes Shakespeare Quotes
integrity - Google Search
obstreperous - Google Search
J. Edgar Hoover - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
roots of JE Hoover power - Google Search
accountable - Google Search
relief sculpture - Google Search
hold water - Google Search
Coercion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Riley Roberts - Google Search
Colin Powell's hacked emails - Google Search
Emails show Colin Powell unloading on Clinton, Rumsfeld and Trump - POLITICO
baroque - Google Search
Dangers the next president will face and other notable commentary | New York Post
FBI director James Comey covers his webcam with TAPE and says everyone should do the same | Daily Mail Online
Is Comey Batting Cleanup for Clinton? | Frontpage Mag
Comey has shown his true self - Sun Sentinel
Homicides are spiking again in some big U.S. cities. Chicago has seen nearly half the increase. - The Washington Post

10.1.16 - Sa

Kerry said he lost argument to back Syria diplomacy with force: NYT | Reuters
Donald Trump Opens New Line of Attack on Hillary Clinton: Her Marriage - The New York Times
Curtis Roosevelt, a White House Charmer as a Child, Dies at 86 - The New York Times
Clinton leads Trump by 5 points: Reuters/Ipsos poll | Reuters
Shimon Peres did great things, but he failed in what mattered to him the most | David Grossman | Opinion | The Guardian
Capturing the rage and resilience of Russian homophobia | Reveal
Curt Schilling jumps to conclusion in Hoboken train crash: Terrorism | NJ.com
pope - Google Search
Pope Met With Disregard by Georgian Orthodox Church - WSJ
Orthodox shun pope's Mass in Tbilisi, few Catholics turn out | Reuters
Pope Francis in Georgia - Meeting with priests, religious, and pastoral workers - YouTube
Pope Francis solemnly concludes Mass amid shockingly low turnout | Daily Mail Online

9.30.16 - F

Fates of Syria, Ukraine hinge on U.S. presidential election - NonDoc
After Fatal Train Crash, Investigators Seek Answers - ABC News
USA Today says don't vote for Trump, doesn't endorse Clinton either - Business Insider
Hoboken train crash: one dead and more than 100 injured in New Jersey | US news | The Guardian
USA Today thinks Trump is so ‘unfit for the presidency’ that it just wrote a historic anti-endorsement - The Washington Post
A vote for Clinton is a vote for stability - Google Search
US election 2016: Trump berates Alicia Machado on Twitter - BBC News
U.S. considers military options in Syria - Reuters.TV
Warren questions Puerto Rico board's meeting on Wall Street | TheHill
U.S. Threatens to End Syria Talks With Russia if Aleppo Bombings Continue - NYTimes.com
Путин быстро превращает Россию в бандитское государство - The New York Times — ОстроВ
Audio Reveals What John Kerry Told Syrians Behind Closed Doors - The New York Times
Actually, a Malfunction Did Affect Donald Trump’s Voice at the Debate - The New York Times
The clear and present danger of Donald Trump - The Washington Post

Posts - 9.30.16

The U.S. and Global Security Review: A vote for Clinton is a vote for stability - Fates of Syria, Ukraine hinge on U.S. presidential election - NonDoc | » Robbie Williams' new comeback single mocks Russia's Vladimir Putin 30/09/16 08:57 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: "Party like a Russian": Putin - Google News | Политологи не нужны: почему в российской политике перестали работать прогнозы
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: RUSSIA and THE WEST
RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Russia Review by Subjects from mikenova (17 sites)

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The truth about Hillary Clinton and the FBI

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:
The notion that FBI Director James Comey took a fall to protect Hillary Clinton for political reasons is now gaining as much traction as the claim that President Obama was not born in the United States.
But as with the Obama conspiracy theory, a few simple facts undercut the claim that Mr. Comey acted improperly by not moving to indict Mrs. Clinton.
In the case of the Obama conspiracy theory, the Honolulu Advertiser ran an announcement of his birth in Hawaii at the time. Unless you believe that Obama’s parents knew in advance that he would be president of the United States and conspired to place the announcement in the Hawaii paper to legitimize his election, the announcement should have ended any claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the U.S.
Likewise in the case of the FBI’s decision not to indict Mrs. Clinton, if you believe that Mr. Comey succumbed to pressure from President Obama to let her off, you would have to ignore the fact that Mr. Comey damaged her election chances far more than if he had moved to indict her by taking the unprecedented step of releasing the details uncovered by the FBI investigation.
Calling her actions in handling classified material “extremely careless” and refuting her yearlong litany of excuses and dissembling are hardly the actions of someone who is trying to cover up for her. To the contrary, had Hillary been indicted, a trial would not have taken place for at least a year. The electorate meanwhile would have been in the dark about the damaging details of how shockingly she violated the public trust.
Jim Kallstrom, who did groundbreaking work as an FBI agent, has been on TV saying that the FBI should have recorded its interview of Hillary, that she should have been placed under oath so she could have been prosecuted for perjury if she had lied, and that she should have been given a polygraph test. But the FBI never records interviews unless a subject has been arrested and is in custody. Lying to the FBI in itself is a federal crime and thus a more direct way of dealing with perjury. And the FBI has no authority to require a polygraph test.
The fact that Mr. Comey released damaging documents from the investigation just before the Labor Day weekend has more to do with the fact that human beings typically try to finish their work before a weekend if they possibly can. Nor have the documents exactly gone unnoticed by the media.
Mr. Comey had no obligation to release the material in the first place, or, for that matter, to authorize the investigation and assign 12 agents to work on it full-time for a year.
A Wall Street Journal editorial began by claiming that, “Regular FBI practice is to get a subject on the record early then see if his story meshes with what agents find. In this case they accepted Mrs. Clinton’s I-don’t-recall defenses after the fact.”

Not true. Whether the FBI conducts an interview near the beginning or end of an investigation is a judgment call based on the case. In a complex investigation of this kind, where the subject likely would not consent to be interviewed unless she thought the FBI had already gathered extensive damaging evidence, it is more likely that the FBI would conduct an interview when all the facts had been amassed.
The Wall Street Journal editorial went on to nitpick information in the FBI’s 58-page summary of the interview. It said the agents never grilled Mrs. Clinton on her intent in setting up the server. But a memo cannot possibly encompass all the information gathered during a yearlong investigation, nor all the questions that were or were not asked in a three-and-a-half hour interview. On the question of intent, no matter how many times agents may have asked her, Mrs. Clinton was not about to admit that she had knowingly violated criminal law by storing classified information on her server.
Since Section 793(f) of the U.S. criminal code makes it a crime to treat information relating to the national defense with “gross negligence,” you would think that Hillary would have been indicted long ago. But actually convincing a jury that Mrs. Clinton should be found guilty of a crime is another matter.
Besides the absence of provable criminal intent, Mr. Comey had to consider the fact that some jurors could give Mrs. Clinton a pass simply because she is a presidential candidate. Did Mr. Comey want the FBI to be responsible for throwing the presidential election process into chaos if, in the end, the prosecution resulted in a dismissal by the court, a hung jury, or an acquittal?
For 25 years, John L. Martin was the Justice Department official in charge of prosecuting the espionage laws, including the statute in question. He never used that law without evidence of criminal intent, such as lying to the FBI.
“Comey did the right thing,” Mr. Martin tells me. “He put the facts out to let the people decide.”
• Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, is the author of “The Secrets of the FBI” (Crown Forum, 2012), and “The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents” (Crown Forum, 2015).
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‘Fat shaming’ dominated news as Comey’s defense collapsed

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FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House committee Sept. 28, 2016.
While establishment media seized on Donald Trump’s “fat-shaming” of Miss Universe 20 years ago, and Trump himself added fuel to the fire, there were further revelations this week in the ongoing scandal of Hillary Clinton’s use of a non-secure private email server and her handling of classified information bolstering the charge that the former secretary of state should have been prosecuted.
Early Friday morning, Trump escalated the controversy Hillary Clinton launched during the first presidential debate Monday night, sending out middle-of-the-night tweets in response to accusations he made insensitive remarks about the looks and ethnicity of Alicia Machado, a native of Venezuela who was crowned Miss Universe in 1996, when Trump was co-owner of the pageant.
Trump wrote in a tweet sent at 2:14 a.m.: “Using Alicia M in the debate as a paragon of virtue just shows that Crooked Hillary suffers from BAD JUDGEMENT! Hillary was set up by a con.”
Clinton responded: “What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?”
Meanwhile, in oversight hearings before the Senate on Tuesday and the House on Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey was confronted with evidence that he let Clinton off the hook when he chose not to refer charges to the attorney general regarding her illegal use of a non-secure email server for State Department business and her mishandling of classified information.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., argued that the federal statute concerning mishandling of classified information does not require the demonstration of intent, as Comey has insisted. Prosecutors need only to show “gross negligence,” which is how Comey described Clinton’s handling of classified information when he announced in July that he had decided not to refer charges.
But in any case, Gowdy argued that Clinton’s destruction of evidence – the deletion of emails and the wiping of the server – and her lying about having sent classified information through the private system demonstrate criminal intent.
The FBI director also was unable to defend the immunity granted to Clinton’s aides at the State Department, including chief of staff Cheryl Mills, noted the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel.
Comey argued Mills was able to extract an immunity deal, avoid answering questions and attend Clinton’s FBI interview because she had positioned herself as Clinton’s personal lawyer, granting her attorney-client privilege.
But, as Strassel pointed out, Mills was not Clinton’s personal lawyer during their service at the State Department, which ended in 2013.
Further, Mills was able to get away with claiming attorney-client privilege only because she told the FBI she didn’t know about Clinton’s server until after they had both left the State Department.
The FBI noted Mills “stated she was not even sure she knew what a server was at the time.”
But on Thursday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, pointed out that according to the FBI’s notes, Clinton IT staffer Bryan Pagliano told investigators he informed Mills of State Department concerns that the private server might pose a “federal records retention issue.” Mills, according to Pagliano, said not to worry about it, because other secretaries of state had used similar setups.
But even more damning, Strassel noted, was an email Chaffetz displayed from Mills to IT specialist Justin Cooper in 2010 that read: “hrc [Hillary Rodham Clinton] email coming back – is server okay?”
Cooper responds: “Ur funny. We are on the same server.”
Video: The Key Players in the Clinton Emails
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‘Remember that?’
Despite the gravity of Comey’s apparent inability to defend his decision not to refer criminal charges against the Democratic presidential nominee, much of the media focus this week was on Trump’s two-decade-old treatment of Miss Universe and whether or not it was now fair game for Trump to talk about Bill Clinton’s abuse of women and Hillary Clinton’s role in the vicious attacks and threats against her husband’s victims to preserve their political careers.
Trump and his surrogates contend Clinton’s mention of Machado Monday night opened the door, <a href="http://FoxNews.com" rel="nofollow">FoxNews.com</a> reported.
At a New Hampshire rally on Thursday, Trump said the American people “have had it with years and decades of Clinton corruption and scandal.”
“And impeachment for lying,” he said. “… Remember that?”
Clinton said during the debate that Trump had called Machado “Miss Piggy” for putting on considerable weight after winning the crown and referred to her as “Miss Housekeeping.”
Machado responded on Twitter to Clinton’s defense of her, writing in Spanish: “Thank you, Mrs. Clinton. Your respect for women and our differences make you great! I’m with you!”
But as the week went on, it was discovered Machado did gain more than 30 pounds within weeks of winning her title, while Trump claims he urged the pageant not to fire her.
And in 1997, CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos engaged in a little fat-shaming herself, as FoxNews.com reported, writing: “When Alicia Machado of Venezuela was named Miss Universe nine months ago, no one could accuse her of being the size of the universe. But as her universe expanded, so did she, putting on nearly 60 pounds.”
It also was reported that a Venezuelan judge once accused Machado of trying to kill him, she had a daughter with a notorious Mexican drug lord and a video showed her having sex with a male contestant on a Spanish reality TV show.
In an interview with CNN, host Anderson Cooper confronted Machado about the judge’s claim.
“He can say whatever he wants to say,” she said. “I don’t care. You know, I have my past. Of course, everybody has. Everybody has a past. And I’m not a saint girl. But that is not the point now.”
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James Comey Testimony -- FBI Defense of Clinton Interview Doesn’t Add Up

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In a nutshell, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department permitted Hillary Clinton’s aide Cheryl Mills — the subject of a criminal investigation, who had been given immunity from prosecution despite strong evidence that she had lied to investigators — to participate as a lawyer for Clinton, the principal subject of the same criminal investigation. This unheard-of accommodation was made in violation not only of rudimentary investigative protocols and attorney-ethics rules, but also of the federal criminal law.
Yet, the FBI and the Justice Department, the nation’s chief enforcers of the federal criminal law, tell us they were powerless to object.
Seriously?
In his testimony this week before the House Judiciary Committee, FBI director James Comey inveighed against critics who have slimed the Bureau as “weasels” over its handling of the Clinton e-mails investigation. I am not one of those people. After a quarter-century in the trenches with the Bureau as a prosecutor, I am one of those hopeless romantics who love the FBI and harbor real affection for the director himself.
I genuinely hate this case. I don’t mind disagreeing with the Bureau, a not infrequent occurrence in my former career. But I am hardwired to presume the FBI’s integrity. Thus, no matter how much irregularities in the Clinton investigation have rankled me, I’ve chalked them up to the Bureau’s being hamstrung. There was no chance on God’s green earth that President Obama and his Justice Department were ever going to permit an indictment of Hillary Clinton. Jim Comey says he didn’t make his final decision to recommend against prosecution until after Mrs. Clinton was interviewed at the end of the investigation, and that he did not coordinate that decision with his Obama-administration superiors. If he says so, that’s good enough for me. But it doesn’t mean the director made his decision detached from the dismal reality of the situation. And whatever one’s armchair-quarterback view on how he should have handled it, that reality was not of his making.
But just as Director Comey rightly objects to being regarded as a weasel, I don’t much like being regarded as an idiot . . . which is what I’d have to be to swallow some of this stuff.
The FBI absolutely has control over who may be present at an interview with a subject of an investigation. There are a variety of reasons for this, but the most basic one is that an interview never has to happen unless the FBI consents to it.
In his testimony, Comey kept stressing that Mrs. Clinton’s interview was “voluntary” — contending that since she was not required to submit to it, she could impose any conditions on her agreement to do so. That is nonsense. The interview was voluntary on both sides. The FBI is never required to indulge conditions that make a mockery of its serious business.
In this regard, Comey is like a guy who ties his own hands behind his back and then says he was powerless to defend himself. If Clinton declined to submit to an FBI interview unless Mills (or the similarly situated lawyer Heather Samuelson) was permitted to be present, the investigators could simply have handed her a grand-jury subpoena. They could then have politely directed her to a chamber where she would be compelled to answer questions — under oath and all by her lonesome, without any of her lawyer legion in attendance.
But, you see, in this investigation — unlike every other major criminal investigation in which the government tries to make the case rather than not make the case — the Justice Department declined to convene a grand jury.
Comey is like a guy who ties his own hands behind his back and then says he was powerless to defend himself.

Regarding this highly irregular dereliction, there appears to have been no FBI pushback. In fact, Director Comey told the committee that it is often easier in a complex case to acquire evidence by striking informal agreements with defense lawyers.
That is certainly true . . . but there is nothing inconsistent about impaneling a grand jury while concurrently negotiating such deals. Indeed, this is how it is generally done, precisely because it makes defense lawyers a whole lot more agreeable. It is the same principle that applies to U.S. diplomatic negotiations: They go much smoother when the other country grasps that we have the U.S. armed forces in our back pocket. When they know the alternative is a grilling of their client in the grand-jury hot seat, defense lawyers are less apt to insist on outrageous interview conditions, and the government tends not to have to extend inexplicable immunity grants to obtain evidence that is accessible by simply serving a subpoena.
As I’ve previously explained, the FBI has no authority to convene a grand jury. That is up to the Justice Department. In this case, there was no way the Obama Justice Department was going to indict Mrs. Clinton, so it clearly resisted convening a grand jury. Doing so would have underscored the gravity of offenses that the Justice Department was working energetically, and in conjunction with Team Clinton’s lawyers, to downplay.
That is how Ms. Mills ended up in the room for Mrs. Clinton’s interview as a lawyer, after having been in the interview room herself as a subject of the same investigation.
Another funny thing about that. I mentioned that Clinton had a battalion of lawyers. They included her primary lawyers from Williams & Connolly, among the finest criminal-defense attorneys in the country. Since she had plenty of top-notch representation, she certainly did not need Cheryl Mills as a lawyer. Besides, Ms. Mills does not appear to have been practicing much law at the time. She had not functioned as a lawyer in her years as Clinton’s top staffer at the State Department. It appears that, on leaving State with Clinton, she spent her time, apart from sitting on the board of the Clinton Foundation (the Hillary campaign in waiting), running the BlackIvy Group, a development company that builds business enterprises in Africa.
I don’t mean to imply that Ms. Mills is anything but an able lawyer. I’m just suggesting that she doesn’t seem to have been someone you’d have called in 2014 if, like Hillary Clinton, you’d gotten jammed up in a criminal investigation. That’s what you call Williams & Connolly for.
But you might call Cheryl Mills, who was right by your side at the State Department while you were doing those things that got you jammed up, if your goal was to envelop those things in an obstructive fog of purported attorney-client privilege.
The FBI was not required to treat a conspiracy to obstruct justice as if it were good-faith assistance of counsel. Nevertheless, co-conspirator Mills was laundered into lawyer Mills.
When Mills lied to agents about not knowing of the Clinton homebrew server while at State — a story that doesn’t pass the laugh test — this false account was shrugged off as one of those innocent, unresolvable failures of recollection.
The classified information on Mills’s private laptop was excused, according to Comey’s testimony, because it merely duplicated (for purposes of sorting through e-mails) what was on Clinton’s server — a rationalization that, even if true, is not a defense to recklessly storing classified information on a non-secure computer.
When Cheryl Mills tried to walk into Hillary Clinton’s interview, the FBI should have enforced the law.

Then, when case agents sensibly wanted to scrutinize the laptop, the Justice Department gave Mills immunity in exchange for this item whose production could have been compelled by a subpoena. On this, Director Comey’s account, again, is puzzling. He rationalizes the immunity grant as an appropriate way to deal with the complications of searching a lawyer’s computer, which is bound to contain privileged communications with many clients. But quite apart from the fact that Mills these days seems to have only a single “client,” the director is mixing apples and oranges. Immunity is conferred to shield a suspect from criminal liability, not to shield a lawyer’s clients from government intrusion into their privileged legal communications. There are other protective procedures for the latter situation.
Moreover, Comey kept telling lawmakers that Mills had gotten only limited “act of production” immunity. This is simply wrong. As I explained last week, act of production immunity covers only the testimonial aspects of the act of surrendering an object one is being compelled (usually by grand-jury subpoena) to produce. It means the government may not use your production of the object as proof that you (a) possessed something that is potentially incriminating and (b), by handing it over, implicitly admitted it was the object described in the subpoena. Pace Comey, act-of-production immunity does not prevent the government from using the contents of the object against the person who surrenders it. But under the immunity grant to Mills, prosecutors forfeited exactly this right. That is not “limited immunity”; that is the gratuitous enlargement of gratuitously granted immunity.
The FBI relies on this airbrushing of Mills to suggest that she wasn’t really much of a suspect; therefore, we’re to believe, the fact that she sat in on Clinton’s interview, though perhaps a bit irregular, is no big deal.
But it is a very big deal for at least three reasons.
First, Comey says he didn’t decide not to seek an indictment of Clinton until after Clinton’s interview. If that is so, then the FBI had to know that allowing Mills to be present at the interview could have jeopardized any eventual prosecution of Clinton. In such a prosecution, Mills would have been a key witness. But Clinton’s lawyers would have claimed that the FBI let Mills sit in on Clinton’s interview to help Mills get her story straight. They would have accused prosecutors of exploiting Mills, a former member of the Clinton legal team, to pry into Clinton’s privileged strategic communications with her other lawyers.
Second, though Comey says the FBI is in no position to enforce attorney ethical rules that barred Mills from representing Clinton at the interview, this was not just an FBI interview. According to the director, several Justice Department lawyers also participated. Those lawyers, too, are bound by the ethical rules. They had an obligation to object to this unseemly arrangement and to do what was in their considerable power to prevent it.
Finally, as Shannen Coffin has pointed out, Mills was not just violating an ethical rule. Her representation of Clinton runs afoul of federal law. Section 207 of the penal code makes it a crime for a former government official to attempt to influence the government on behalf of another person in a matter in which the former official was heavily involved while working for the government. It was against the law for Mills, as an attorney, to attempt to influence the Justice Department’s consideration of the case against Clinton.
I couldn’t agree more with Director Comey that the FBI is the world’s greatest law-enforcement agency. I just think that when Cheryl Mills tried to walk into Hillary Clinton’s interview, the FBI should have enforced the law.
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.
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Jim Comey’s Blind Eye - WSJ

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Two revealing, if largely unnoticed, moments came in the middle of FBI Director Jim Comey’s Wednesday testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. When combined, these moments prove that Mr. Comey gave Hillary Clinton a pass.
Congress hauled Mr. Comey in to account for the explosive revelation that the government granted immunity to Clinton staffers Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson as part of its investigation into whether Mrs. Clinton had mishandled classified information. Rep. Tom Marino (R., Pa.), who was once a Justice Department prosecutor and knows how these investigations roll, provided the first moment. He asked Mr. Comey why Ms. Mills was so courteously offered immunity in return for her laptop—a laptop that Mr. Comey admitted investigators were very keen to obtain. Why not simply impanel a grand jury, get a subpoena, and seize the evidence?
Mr. Comey’s answer was enlightening: “It’s a reasonable question. . . . Any time you are talking about the prospect of subpoenaing a computer from a lawyer—that involves the lawyer’s practice of law—you know you are getting into a big megillah.” Pressed further, he added: “In general, you can often do things faster with informal agreements, especially when you are interacting with lawyers.”
The key words: “The lawyer’s practice of law.” What Mr. Comey was referencing here is attorney-client privilege. Ms. Mills was able to extract an immunity deal, avoid answering questions, and sit in on Mrs. Clinton’s FBI interview because she has positioned herself as Hillary’s personal lawyer. Ms. Mills could therefore claim that any conversations or interactions she had with Mrs. Clinton about the private server were protected by attorney-client privilege.
Only here’s the rub: When Ms. Mills worked at the State Department she was not acting as Mrs. Clinton’s personal lawyer. She was the secretary's chief of staff. Any interaction with Mrs. Clinton about her server, or any evidence from that time, should have been fair game for the FBI and the Justice Department.
Ms. Mills was allowed to get away with this “attorney-client privilege” nonsense only because she claimed that she did not know about Mrs. Clinton’s server until after they had both left the State Department. Ergo, no questions about the server.
The FBI has deliberately chosen to accept this lie. The notes of its interview with Ms. Mills credulously states: “Mills did not learn Clinton was using a private email server until after Clinton’stenure” at State. It added: “Mills stated she was not even sure she knew what a server was at the time.”
Which brings us to the hearing’s second revealing moment. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) pointed out that the FBI’s notes from its interview with Clinton IT staffer Bryan Pagliano expose this lie. In late 2009 or early 2010, Mr. Pagliano told investigators, he approached Ms. Mills to relay State Department concerns that the private server might pose a “federal records retention issue.” According to Mr. Pagliano, Ms. Mills told him not to worry about it, because other secretaries of state had used similar setups.
More damning, Mr. Chaffetz held up an email that Ms. Mills sent in 2010 to Justin Cooper, whom the Clintons personally employed to help maintain the server. The email reads: “hrc email coming back—is server okay?” Mr. Cooper responds: “Ur funny. We are on the same server.”
To be clear: When Mrs. Clinton had an email problem, Ms. Mills didn’t call the State Department’s help desk. She didn’t call Yahoo YHOO 1.25 % customer service. She called a privately employed Clinton aide and asked specifically about Mrs. Clinton’s “server.” She did this as chief of staff at the State Department. Mr. Chaffetz asked Mr. Comey why the FBI wrote that Ms. Mills was ignorant about the server until later.
Mr. Comey suddenly sounded like a man with something to hide. “I don’t remember exactly, sitting here,” he said, in what can only be called the FBI version of “I don’t recall.” He then mumbled that “Having done many investigations myself, there’s always conflicting recollections of facts, some of which are central, some of which are peripheral. I don’t remember, sitting here, about that one.”
Really? Only a few minutes before he had explained that the Justice Department was forced to issue immunity to Ms. Mills because she had asserted attorney-client privilege. Yet he couldn’t remember all the glaring evidence proving she had no such privilege? Usually, the FBI takes a dim view of witnesses who lie. Had the FBI pursued perjury charges against Ms. Mills—as it would have done against anyone else—it would have had extraordinary leverage to force her to speak about all of her communications regarding the server. It might have even threatened to build a case that Ms. Mills was part of a criminal scheme. Then it could have offered immunity in return for the real goods on Hillary.
But going that route would have required grand juries, subpoenas, warrants and indictments—all things that Mr. Comey clearly wanted to avoid in this politically sensitive investigation. Much easier to turn a blind eye to Ms. Mills’s fiction. And to therefore give Mrs. Clinton a pass.
Write to <a href="mailto:kim@wsj.com">kim@wsj.com</a>.
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