Monday, January 8, 2018

The FBI: Defenders Of The Republic - OR Of Republicans?

Former FBI director James Comey testifies in front of the Senate intelligence committee Thursday in Washington.
James Comey, in calm, coherent voice, exposed all of Trump's lying and chicanery in June, despite Repub efforts to distort his testimony.

Fearless, poised and articulate in the Senate Intel Hearing hot seat last June, let us pause to recall how former FBI Director Comey spoke truth to power as he meticulously delivered measured responses that exposed Donald Trump as the disreputable lying worm he truly is. And he did this in the face of several attempts by REPUBLICANS to discredit him and the FBI.   After a series of Repuke insinuations and hostile pressing, Mr. Comey responded:

"The administration chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies plain and simple."

It was after the Trump defamation of Mr. Comey and the FBI that he decided to share his memo content with a friend to give to the press. Later, when the buffoon in the White House who has admitted he is a "stable moron" (since he doesn't grasp genius)  said the FBI was "in tatters" it was Jams Comey who vigorously defended it. As he should have.

But this is exactly why the agency must retain its independence and integrity in the face of a full court press political assault by the Republicans - all slime who place their party over country. Especially to use any fell distraction to try to derail Robert Mueller's probe into the Russian intervention into the 2016 election. All the bastards ought to be ashamed of running cover for Dotard, but they aren't.

So it was we learned on Friday, that Repuke Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley asked the Justice Department to investigate whether  former MI-6 spy  Christopher Steele - who authored the Steele dossier -  may have lied to the FBI.  Of course, this is absolute rubbish. As I've noted before,  Christopher Steele is no clown, stooge or liar  like the Republicans. He is a person of dignity, a long time British civil servant who compiled the dossier from his own highly regarded sources and observations as one of MI-6 most important personnel. .  According to one Financial Times account (Feb. 16) , Steele was the "UK intelligence expert on Russia".   James Nixey, the head of Chatham House's Russia and Eurasia program, informed the AP that sections of the dossier document created by Steele "read exactly as reports from the secret services".

In other words 100 percent legit.  I've read the document in toto and find nothing amiss, nothing inconsistent with Donnie Dotard's malignant,  narcissistic character.  Even the so-called "salacious" part makes eminent sense when one reads it in context and is aware of Dotard's unhinged, malignant, sexually abusive nature. It reads as follows:

"Trump's perverted conduct in Moscow (2013) included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel. where he knew President and Mrs. Obama (whom he hated) had  stayed on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a 'golden showers'  (urination) show in front of him.   The hotel was known to be under FSB control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to."

Is it explosive like the rest? Of course! As explosive as the Nixon Watergate tapes when exposed. But is that a reason to try to impugn its author and use his dossier to attack and politically undermine the FBI? Well maybe for these Republicans like Nunes, Grassley and Graham - traitors that they are  - who would rather confect a specious investigation based on the Clinton Foundation, "Uranium One" or the Steele Dossier than the Trump - Russian connection and conspiracy to install a Russian owned  dupe as president.

Why try to derail the Mueller Probe? Well, because of the special prosecutor's high profile busts of Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos (among others) there is rapidly increasing consternation among Repukes.  They are terrified of losing their convenient little Dotard dummy puppet to push through their vicious agenda.

Despite that, the ostensible reason given in one Washington Post article  - as if to provide an excuse for the Reptile diversions- is:

 "A continued probe of Clinton could be viewed, particularly by Republicans, as the department being evenhanded in its approach to political cases."

But "evenhanded" in this investigatory context is as cockeyed  and daft as insisting historians must also examine Jewish roles in attacking Nazis if they are going to examine the Nazi extermination of the Jews at Auschwitz, Treblinka, Bergen-Belsen etc. In other words, there is no rational basis for any symmetry at all.  Because one probe is solid, led by a man of impeccable repute (Bob Mueller) doesn't mean you dredge up fictitious parallel investigations for "political balance".

Ron Hosko, a former assistant FBI director, said the bureau has been thrust into a “political minefield, with pundits criticizing its every move."  No shit, Ron.

He then added, according to a Post account:

This is where big boys earn their pay, and this is where I think you put your nose to the grind stone,”

Yes indeed. And it is also where the "big boys" put on their big boy pants and tell the pundits and the Republican rodents trying to pressure you into spurious counter investigations to go get fucked. You instead stand by your principles, the facts and your integrity which James Comey so articulately defended. You do not give the appearance Mueller's probe is a sham by cooperating in political witch hunts to satisfy the likes of Grassley, Graham and Devin Nunes.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Clinton Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian said:

Time after time, the Clinton Foundation has been subjected to politically motivated allegations, and time after time these allegations have been proven false. None of this has made us waver in our mission to help people. The Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process. There are real issues in our society needing attention that the Clinton Foundation works hard to solve every day. So we’re going to stay focused on what really matters.

But to the Republican traitors and saboteurs the  Clinton Foundation is low hanging fruit for their political wild goose chases, to keep the public's eye off the Mueller probe.  And no, it doesn't take a Mensan I.Q. to see that either.

We note here the Clinton Foundation probe dates back to 2015, when FBI agents in Los Angeles, New York, Little Rock and Washington began looking at those who had made donations to the charity, based largely on news accounts, according to people familiar with the matter. But in 2016, Justice Department prosecutors rejected a request from FBI agents to expand and intensify their work. They asked that the bureau not take any investigative steps that could become public, out of worry that could affect the impending election.  This was a fair perspective given by then the Trump-Russia complicity was also known - as conveyed by an Australian diplomat - after being informed by Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos.  If anything, the latter ought to have taken precedence given it marked a foreign intervention in our election - but the Obama DOJ didn't press for it. Perhaps a bad mistake in hindsight, but it goes to the point of trying to be evenhanded and why the Clinton Foundation probe was also off the table.

But we've since learned the investigation resumed some time after the election, with the FBI’s Little Rock office taking the lead, said one person familiar with the matter. Still, there was some skepticism inside the Justice Department that it would ever produce charges. One person familiar with the probe,, quoted in the WaPo, said.

It was never a great case, but it’s still being worked,”

Yes, being "worked" because of Republican pressure. The Republicans have long raised concerns about what they viewed as corruption and conflicts of interest at the Clinton Foundation, in particular Hillary Clinton’s dealings with its donors while she was secretary of state. GOP lawmakers had called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions in July and again in September to explore various Clinton Foundation dealings, as well as other matters, by appointing a special counsel to look into Clinton-related issues. In November, the Justice Department wrote that Sessions would direct senior prosecutors to look into the cases about which they raised concerns and hinted that some might already be under investigation.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote at the time that part of what the department would do was assess whether “any matters currently under investigation require further resources,” although he said his letter should not be construed as confirming or denying any probe. By that time, according to the people familiar with the matter, agents already were investigating the Clinton Foundation. Word of the ongoing foundation probe came shortly after Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, suggested in a Washington Examiner column Thursday that it might be time for a new attorney general. Again, these pro-Russian dupes using a fake investigation to try to steer attention from the central one.

“Let’s call this what it is: A sham,” Hillary Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said Friday in a statement, adding:

 “This is a philanthropy that does life-changing work, which Republicans have tried to turn into a political football. It began with a long-debunked project spearheaded by [former Trump adviser] Steve Bannon during the presidential campaign. It continues with Jeff Sessions doing Trump’s bidding by heeding his calls to meddle with a department that is supposed to function independently. The goal is to distract from the indictments, guilty pleas, and accusations of treason from Trump’s own people at the expense of our justice system’s integrity. It’s disgraceful, and should be concerning to all Americans.”

It should be and especially to the FBI as well, because the optics to rational Americans aren't good. They instead depict an agency attempting to appease the Republican saboteurs of the Mueller probe by pursuing  politically orchestrated witch hunts.  Why would the FBI suddenly involve itself in a specious probe into a charitable organization led by a Dem presidential candidate? Let's remind ourselves the calls for a special counsel to investigate Clinton-related matters and the FBI have intensified on the Right as the Mueller investigation, led by special counsel Robert Mueller III, has pushed into actual busts of operatives and money launderers. If a group is therefore seeking to protect these criminals for later nefarious purposes of their own (specifically to use the head criminal - Trump) then it makes sense they'd go all out to impugn everyone connected to the legit probe.

To accomplish this they'd act in collusion to throw up numerous smokescreen "probes" of their own to distract from the Mueller investigation, and also to attempt to recruit the FBI to act on their behalf in these phony probes. They'd also get their allies on Trump TV, aka FOX News, to mount an incessant line of attacks not only on the Mueller probe but the FBI.  Again, to attempt to discredit the first and place political pressure to conform on the FBI.

In other words, the Repukes are trying to establish a bogus political witch hunt to offset the Mueller investigation. They are now pressuring the FBI in assorted locations to act as their political pawns to that end. But let's be frank, that is batting on a losing wicket - and can only harm the agency in the long term.  The agency James Comey so nobly defended in his June testimony.

Adding to this deliberate sideshow, Grassley recommended Friday that the Justice Department investigate Christopher Steele for possible criminal charges. This move by the conniving Reptile  head of the Senate Judiciary Committee marks a major escalation in conservatives’ challenges to the FBI’s credibility as the agency investigates whether any Trump associates committed crimes. Another Republican traitor, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined in the letter to the Justice Department. One wonders how much these two despicable rats are being paid - say by right wing billionaires like the Kochs or Mercers - to mount this offensive.

Again, all of this is an elaborate effort to put political pressure on the FBI to not only investigate the Clinton Foundation but waste time and precious resources on other wild geese (like the Steele Dossier and Uranium One)  as well. If successful these will only deflect from the central, core investigation of Bob Mueller, Worse, these traitorous rats are now demanding the FBI turn over documents germane to the Mueller investigation which - in effect- will reveal aspects of the Mueller process now underway - which the vermin can then deliver to Trump and his legal team. All of this is creating one huge stench The stench of a sustained Reeptard attack on our institutions and agencies. It ought to scare the bejeezus out of any red blooded American citizen.

The odious Grassley-Graham letter makes what is called a criminal referral to the Justice Department, suggesting it investigate Christopher Steele, for possibly lying to the FBI. (It is a crime to lie to FBI agents about a material fact relevant to an ongoing investigation.)

Their  move is rightly viewed skeptically by experts in criminal law, as well as Democrats.. Steele’s role has become a matter of increasingly heated debate, with the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill suggesting his reports were "biased", since he was hired with money that - after successive iterations- was found to  come from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  But note the original sponsors were not Democrats but hard core conservatives, e.g. from the Washington Free Beacon, determined to stop a confirmed con man and low grade Queens' real estate weasel from becoming President. When the con man and weasel won the Republican nomination the conservative side dropped out, but given that now Hillary Clinton had to face the slime ball in the general election, then her team hired Fusion GPS who had possession of the Steele document.

There was nothing, nada, criminal in this. It was genuine opposition research and aimed at the most noble objective:  to learn as much as possible about a low class, unstable real estate con man and grifter who aspired to becoming President of the U.S.- and with the help of a hostile foreign country.

Let me also point out here that Steele’s dossier has since been found not to be the proximate trigger for the FBI initial probe into Trump-Russia.  It was instead promoted by an Australian diplomat’s account of a conversation with Trump staffer Papadopoulos in a London pub. THIS is what prompted the FBI to open a counterintelligence investigation into Trump associates in July 2016, according to current and former officials.

If Grassley and Graham were accurate in their letter of criminal referral then, they'd have cited the Australian diplomat for making the initial report about the Trump-Russia associations to the FBI. This again shows their aim is to derail the whole Mueller investigation or at least to create public suspicion of any outcome they or Dotard dislike.

Lawyer for Fusion GPS, Joshua Levy, correctly said the GOOPer senators’ letter was simply another effort to discredit the Russia investigation. Which is what it was. It doesn't take a Mensa level I.Q. to see that. Levy added:

After a year of investigations into Donald Trump’s ties to Russia, the only person Republicans seek to accuse of wrongdoing is one who reported on these matters to law enforcement in the first place,.  Publicizing a criminal referral based on classified information raises serious questions about whether this letter is nothing more than another attempt to discredit government sources, in the midst of an ongoing criminal investigation. We should all be skeptical in the extreme.”

Meanwhile, veteran 17 -year federal prosecutor, Peter Zeidenberg said he had never heard of anything like the Grassley-Graham complaint and labeled it “nonsense” designed to detract from ongoing inquiries in to Russian interference in the 2016 election. He added:

“The FBI doesn’t need any prompting from politicians to prosecute people who have lied to them. They should stay in their lane,”

It is  time now for the FBI to resist  allowing itself to be pulled into politically confabulated rabbit holes to distract from the Mueller investigation - the only one of import. Former Acting Director Hoskos is correct the agency is being pulled (deliberately by the likes of Grassley- Graham and Nunes) into "political minefields by pundits", but it is up to the agency to draw the line and resist. This is even if pressure comes from the Justice Dept. which has now clearly been compromised by the Trumpites.

As the WaPo's  Philip Bump noted in a recent column, all of our institutions and agencies are currently seeing their constraints to preserve integrity under attack by the Trumpites and their congressional allies. This is fast becoming the most severe stress test ever for our Republic and democratic governance It is up to those same agencies and institutions to now dig in and fight like their lives depend on prevailing. Because they do, as does the life of this country.

See also:

No comments: