best casino bonuses australian online casino au dollars trusted online gambling internet casino download old information online us casinos las vegas best online casino craps flash casino games mac play online vegas

Get Our Newsletter


[quads id=4]

Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2018
S M T W T F S
« May   Jul »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter


[quads id=3]

Archive for June 14th, 2018

Lengel: The FBI Will Survive IG Horowitz’s Report

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Dramatic headlines in the media may suggest otherwise, but truth be told, the long-awaited report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz contains few surprises.

Yes, we already knew ex-FBI Director James Comey stepped over the line at his press conference about not charging Hillary Clinton, and yes, we already knew he violated Department of Justice protocol by sending the infamous letter to Congress about reopening the email probe shortly before the election. And we already knew Comey thought his Boy Scout image trumped (no pun intended) the bigger picture: The presidential election. And we  knew that FBI agent Peter Strzok, a key investigator in the Clinton and Russian probes,  exchanged emails that were anti-Trump.

The 500-page report, an exhaustive one at that, includes damaging emails from Strzok that will give Trump plenty fodder for his late night twitter rants. Perhaps most damning is an email from Strzok in August 2016, shortly before the election. He wrote to an FBI lawyer, saying  “we’ll stop” Trump from making it to the White House.

Trump’s “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” the lawyer, Lisa Page, wrote to Strzok, who was romantically involved with.

“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok wrote.

Ok, there was some little surprises. The report found that Comey had used his personal email for such things as sending himself a draft of a speech. The report found the practice was inconsistent with with DOJ policy, and certainly, it’s ironic considering he blasted Hillary Clinton for using personal email at the State Department. Still, it should be noted that it doesn’t appear he used personal email for classified info.

The report found that there was no evidence of bias inside the FBI to rig the Clinton investigation, which should come as a disappointment to the president and his allies, who figured that was a certainty.

Institutions like the FBI survive these things. The FBI has had its share of troubles over the decades. Ditto for agencies like ATF. That agency   has survived such messes as Waco and Operation Fast and Furious.

To show resolve shortly after the report was released, FBI agent Thomas O’Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association, issued a statement:

“FBI Special Agents put their lives on the line each and every day to protect the American public from national security and criminal threats.  The Inspector General’s (IG) report found no bias in the investigation.  It shows that Agents perform their duties with a focus on complying with the law and the Constitution.

“We support, as always, the Bureau reviewing and utilizing its policies and disciplinary processes to help ensure that we remain the world’s premier law enforcement organization.  We also reiterate that attacks on our character and demeaning comments about the FBI will not deter Agents from continuing to do what we have always done––dedicate our lives to protecting the American people.”

 It’s seldom good news when a federal law enforcement agency comes under such scrutiny. But ultimately it sends a positive message to the American people that no person or agency is beyond reproach.

In any event, this too shall pass.

Read the Full Report.

Eric Starkman: Reporters’ Conflicts of Interest, Romance And All

Eric Starkman is free-lance writer living in Los Angeles.

By Eric Starkman

Reading about Ali Watkins, the New York Times reporter romantically involved with the former Senate aide arrested for lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters, I wasn’t alone recalling the immortal words of the newspaper’s legendary editor Abe Rosenthal: “I don’t care if you f…k an elephant, just so long as you don’t cover the circus.” Rosenthal, whose tombstone says, “He kept the paper straight,” made the comment when he was asked why he fired a Times reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer after discovering she slept with one of her sources while working there.

But those who believe that sleeping with sources violates a cardinal journalism rule are clinging to an era when newsrooms were littered with Olivetti typewriters and pneumatic tubes. The practice is widespread and known and countenanced by editors for decades.  In the more than four decades I worked in media and public relations, comprised reporters and other journalistic wrongdoing was commonplace. One example is the Times editor romantically involved with a PR executive whose clients the newspaper was always magically interested in.

But don’t take my word on this.

In 2009, Gawker published this story about Times reporters involved with their sources, including former White House correspondent Todd Purdum, who married Clinton spokesperson Dee Dee Myers, and reporter Bernard Weinraub, who covered Hollywood while dating then Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal. Four years later, the Washington Post published a headlined story, “Media, administration deal with conflicts (emphasis mine),” and chronicled the pervasiveness of the Beltway’s incestuous relationships. Breitbart has published a more current list of possibly conflicted Washington reporters.

Rosenthal declared his edict when the Times reigned supreme and competition was considerably more limited. In his day, being right was a bigger priority than being first, and the Times was careful to print only information that it had independently verified. The Times rarely exceled on the first day of a breaking story, but its second-day reporting ran circles around the competition. Hence the moniker, “The newspaper of record.”

Read more »

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: FBI Is Redacting Documents Without Credible Justification

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray

By the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray want Congress to trust them about the FBI’s actions in 2016. That would be easier if not for daily proof that they continue to play games when redacting documents.

Senate oversight Chairman Ron Johnson exposed the latest unjustified blackouts in a June 8 letter to Mr. Wray. The Wisconsin Republican is one of several Chairmen objecting to the FBI’s excessive redactions and its refusal to even supply the standard “log” with justifications for each redaction. Under pressure, Justice grudgingly invited Johnson staffers to review some documents in late May.

Those sessions revealed that the bureau is redacting in a way that stymies Congress’s ability to run down leads in its oversight of the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump investigations. Notably, Justice and the FBI have been redacting names or initials of employees involved in handling those cases. This frustrates Congress’s ability to seek more information or interviews with those individuals.

Read complete editorial.

Washington Post Editorial: Reputation of Justice Department ‘Is Now More In Danger Than It Has Been Since Watergate’

President Donald Trump

By The Washington Post Editorial Board

THURSDAY BROUGHT a sad moment for the Justice Department. The department filed a brief in a frivolous legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. But instead of following nearly all past practice, the department sided with the challengers. Defending major, duly passed federal statutes is a core Justice Department responsibility. If it defended only laws the president liked, uncertainty about the permanence of many laws would reign, particularly as the presidency changed hands.

There is some precedent for the Justice Department’s move. During the Obama presidency, the department declined to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that, though noxious, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed. Government lawyers should have defended it up to the point at which the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. By declining to do so, they inadvertently gave the department’s current leadership some cover to refuse to defend Obamacare.

Yet there are big differences. The Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to legally united same-sex couples, was so obviously rooted in prejudice that it posed a major threat to important constitutional principles. The challengers to that law had by leaps and bounds the better side of the argument. The latest challenge to Obamacare, by contrast, is harebrained.

The editorial concludes:

The nation’s premier law enforcement agency built a reputation for evenhandedness and independence over the course of decades. That reputation is now more in danger than it has been since Watergate. The threat derives not from self-serving accusations that Justice officials conspired against Mr. Trump but from Mr. Trump and his enablers politicizing the department.

To read the full editorial click here.

Attorney For Ex-Hill Staffer Accuses Trump, DOJ of Making Inappropriate Comments About Criminal Case

Attorney Preston Burton

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The lawyer for a former top staff member of the Senate Intelligence Committee charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with reporters, alleged Wednesday that the Justice Department and President Donald Trump have made inappropriate comments about the case that could poison the jury pool, the New York Times reports.

Attorney Preston Burton made the remarks on Wednesday as his client, James A. Wolfe, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Burton alleged that government officials, including President Trump, made statements that impugned his client’s character by implying that Wolf  had illegally leaked national security secrets.

The Times reports:

Two of the three charges against Mr. Wolfe related to allegations that he told reporters nonpublic information that he had learned as a result of his role as a staff member of the Intelligence Committee. But none of the false statement charges accuse Mr. Wolfe of leaking classified information.

Mr. Burton pointed to a Justice Department news release about the case, which framed Mr. Wolfe’s purported false statements as arising in “the course of an investigation into the unlawful disclosure of classified information.” He also criticized as “glib” comments made by Mr. Trump on Friday when the president spoke to reporters about the case.

 

 

Sessions Says There Could Be More Firings in Wake of IG Report on FBI

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions hints that there could be more firings after the release of a Justice Department inspector general report on missteps during ex-FBI Director James Comey’s era, The Hill reports.

Sessions told The Hill’s new morning show “Rising” that the IG report will better help the agency improve from past mistakes that led to Comey’s firing last year.

“If anyone else shows up in this report to have done something that requires termination we will do so,” he said.

 

[quads id=1]