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Archive for June 15th, 2018

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The FBI Will Survive the Inspector General 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.

Tweeting Trump Rips FBI and Comey Following Release of IG Report

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It didn’t take long for President Donald Trump to let the tweets fly following the release of Inspector General’s report.

 

FBI Agent Would Like to Meet With Denver Bar Customer He Accidentally Shot

FBI agent Chase Bishop.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI agent who accidentally shot and wounded a customer at a Denver bar while dancing, wants to meet the victim, Fox News reports.

Agent Chase Bishop, who faces a charge of  second-degree assault charge, wants to sit down with the victim when appropriate, his attorney David Goddard says.

Goddard called the shooting “an incredibly tragic event” and hopes the man makes a full and speedy recovery. The man, who was shot in the leg, was treated an released from the hospital.

The Denver County judge is allowing Bishop to travel since he lives and works in D.C.

 

Jonathan Turley: Fired FBI Director James Comey Can’t Hide the Damage He Caused the FBI

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University

Jonathan Turley (GWU photo)

By Jonathan Turley
For The Hill

James Comey once described his position in the Clinton investigation as being the victim of a “500-year flood.” The point of the analogy was that he was unwittingly carried away by events rather than directly causing much of the damage to the FBI. His “500-year flood” just collided with the 500-page report of the Justice Department inspector general (IG) Michael Horowitz. The IG sinks Comey’s narrative with a finding that he “deviated” from Justice Department rules and acted in open insubordination.

Rather than portraying Comey as carried away by his biblical flood, the report finds that he was the destructive force behind the controversy. The import of the report can be summed up in Comeyesque terms as the distinction between flotsam and jetsam. Comey portrayed the broken rules as mere flotsam, or debris that floats away after a shipwreck. The IG report suggests that this was really a case of jetsam, or rules intentionally tossed over the side by Comey to lighten his load. Comey’s jetsam included rules protecting the integrity and professionalism of his agency, as represented by his public comments on the Clinton investigation.

The report will leave many unsatisfied and undeterred. Comey went from a persona non grata to a patron saint for many Clinton supporters. Comey, who has made millions of dollars with a tell-all book portraying himself as the paragon of “ethical leadership,” continues to maintain that he would take precisely the same actions again.

To read the full column click here.

FBI Director Christopher Wray Writes: ‘IG’s Report Makes Clear That We Have Some Work To Do’

Christopher Wray has been the director of the FBI since August 2017.

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Christopher Wray
For USA Today

There has been no shortage of commentary and debate about the FBI lately, and the new report from the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General is a welcome contribution from an independent voice on events of the 2016 election season. The Bureau is entrusted with a lot of authority to carry out our mission, and with that power comes close scrutiny. That’s as it should be. Fair and independent oversight makes the FBI a stronger organization — and that, in turn, makes our country safer.

While the Inspector General didn’t find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration impacting the investigation under review, all of us at the FBI take this report seriously, and we accept its findings and recommendations. We’ve already taken steps to address many of the concerns it raises. We’ll change what we need to change and improve what can be made better and stronger, and we’ll move forward with renewed focus and determination. Because that is the essence of the FBI — we learn from the past, we get better at what we need to do, and we continually strive to be the very best we can be.

The IG’s report makes clear that we have some work to do, but I also want our fellow citizens to realize something important about the scope of this report. It’s focused on a specific set of events in 2016, and on a narrow set of employees connected to those events. Nothing in the IG’s report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole, or the FBI as an institution.

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