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Tag: Hillary Clinton

Comey May Have Wanted to Stay Out of Politics, But He Shaped the Election — N.Y. Times

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A New York Times examination of the 2016 election concludes that while FBI Director James Comey insisted on avoiding politics, he ended up shaping the election.

Reporters Matt Apuzzo, Michael Schmidt, Adam Goldman and Eric Lichblau of the New York Times write about the Hillary Clinton email probe:

But with polls showing Mrs. Clinton holding a comfortable lead, Mr. Comey ended up plunging the F.B.I. into the molten center of a bitter election. Fearing the backlash that would come if it were revealed after the election that the F.B.I. had been investigating the next president and had kept it a secret, Mr. Comey sent a letter informing Congress that the case was reopened.

What he did not say was that the F.B.I. was also investigating the campaign of Donald J. Trump. Just weeks before, Mr. Comey had declined to answer a question from Congress about whether there was such an investigation. Only in March, long after the election, did Mr. Comey confirm that there was one.

The paper goes on to write:

An examination by The New York Times, based on interviews with more than 30 current and former law enforcement, congressional and other government officials, found that while partisanship was not a factor in Mr. Comey’s approach to the two investigations, he handled them in starkly different ways. In the case of Mrs. Clinton, he rewrote the script, partly based on the F.B.I.’s expectation that she would win and fearing the bureau would be accused of helping her. In the case of Mr. Trump, he conducted the investigation by the book, with the F.B.I.’s traditional secrecy. Many of the officials discussed the investigations on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

 

Poll: Public Largely Supports FBI Investigation into Russian Interference of Election

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The public is largely supportive of the FBI investigation into the possible links between Donald Trump’s campaign team and the Russian government.

The Huffington Post/YouGov poll found that Americans support an investigation by a 17-point margin, 48% to 31%.

The poll also found that about half of Americans believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election, but only about a third believe the intent was to help Trump win.

Opinions on the investigation are largely determined by whom voters supported in the presidential election. More than 80% of Clinton supporters believe the Russia story is a legitimate issue, while Trump voters disagree, 65% to 22%.

FBI Investigates Threats Against Pizza Shop Following Fake News about Sex Slaves

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s investigation into Russian interference during the U.S. presidential election has widened to include reviewing continuing threats against a Washington D.C. pizza shop that has been targeted by right-wing conspiracy theorists.

Comet Ping Pong Pizza has been accused, with no evidence, of operating a child sex ring out of the nonexistent basement with the help of senior members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Tweets alleging that Comet Ping Pong Pizza ran a sex ring – called Pizzagate – were sent out by anonymous online bots. As a result, a 28-year-old North Carolina man entered the shop with a loaded automatic rifle and shot three rounds as he searched for a nonexistent basement sex chamber.

The suspect, Edgar Madison Welch, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Podesta: ‘Forces within the FBI’ Worked Against Clinton During the Presidential Election

John Podesta

John Podesta

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta claimed Monday that “forces within the FBI” worked against the Democratic presidential nominee.

“There are at least forces within the FBI that wanted her to lose,” Podesta said in a taped NewCo. Shift discussion with John Heilemann.

“I’m not sure they really understood the alternative, but they wanted her to lose. I think that’s one possibility.”

Still, Pedesta offered no new evidence to back up his claim. He said FBI Director James Comey used “bad judgment” by notifying Congress just 11 days before the election that the FBI was reviewing emails that may have been related to Clinton’s use a private email server.

Comey “ended up dropping this bombshell in the middle of the election against the advice of the Justice Department, against the long-term practice of Democratic and Republican administrations,” Podesta said.

He added: “If you look at the polling at that period time, that’s when the race began to tighten in that week.”

Things Just Keep Getting More Interesting: Inspector General to Investigate FBI’s Dealings With Hillary Clinton Emails

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

These days, Washington is anything but dull. President elect-Donald Trump just had his first press conference  since the election. The Senate is conducting confirmation hearings for Trump appointees. And now this.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced Thursday, as a result of requests from politicians and organizations,  that his office will examine the way the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton email scandal.

Specifically, his office will look into:

  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection
  • Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection
    with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on
    July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016,
    and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations
  • Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in
    certain investigative matters;
  • Allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs
    improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have
    been recused from participating in certain matters;
  •  Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public
    information; and
  •  Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of
    Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a
    Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.

Records: FBI Had No Evidence of Wrongdoing Against Clinton in Computer Search

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI had no evidence of wrongdoing when the bureau asked a judge for a warrant to search a computer that contained correspondence between Hillary Clinton and top aide Huma Abedin.

The newly released documents shed more light on the FBI’s revelation that it was resuming the Clinton investigation less than two weeks before the election, the Washington Post reports. 

The search warrant was for a computer that belonged to former congressman Anthony Weiner, who is Abedin’s estranged husband.

“The affidavit concedes that the FBI had no basis to conclude whether these e-mails were even pertinent to that closed investigation, were significant, or whether they had, in fact, already been reviewed prior to the closing of the investigation,” said David E. Kendall, Clinton’s lawyer. “What does become unassailably clear, however, is that as the sole basis for this warrant, the FBI put forward the same evidence the Bureau concluded in July was not sufficient to bring a case — the affidavit offered no additional evidence to support any different conclusion.”

The Washington Post wrote:

Looking at just the header information of emails, agents found on Weiner’s device thousands of Abedin emails, including what seemed to be “regular” correspondence with Clinton and some messages that appeared to have been sent while Clinton was secretary of state. Based on that — and because Clinton and Abedin were previously on email chains in which classified information was discussed — they argued to a judge there was probable cause for their search. They had not at the time reviewed the content of any Abedin emails, according to the documents unsealed Tuesday.

Clinton Aide John Podesta Unleashes on FBI, Calling It ‘Deeply Broken’

John Podesta

John Podesta

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

John Pedesta, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, said the FBI’s response to Russia tampering with the presidential election reveals a “deep broken” bureau.

“The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets,” Podesta wrote in a Washington Post op-ed Thursday.

Pedestal questioned the FBI’s priorities by focusing on Clinton’s private email server.

“As the former chair of the Clinton campaign and a direct target of Russian hacking, I understand just how serious this is. So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials,” he wrote.

“What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.”

“Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI,” Podesta added.

Podestà said Congress should investigate Russian meddling in the election.

“The election is over and the damage is done, but the threat from Russia and other potential aggressors remains urgent and demands a serious and sustained response. Congress should authorize a far-reaching, bipartisan independent investigation modeled on the 9/11 commission,” he wrote. 

Vice News Files FOIA Suit Against FBI for Information about Clintons, Trump, Breitbart

foiaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Vice News filed a FOIA lawsuit against the FBI, demanding records that may shed light on the bureau’s disclosures, actions and apparent leaks just days before the presidential election.

Vice News hopes to get a better understanding of the timing of the disclosures and apparent leaks that many observers believe helped Donald Trump win the election. 

The FOIA lawsuit demands the release of records about:

  • ŸŸAllegations of the FBI violating the Hatch Act by allegedly using its authority to influence the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential election
  • ŸŸInternal discontent at the FBI regarding the bureau’s Hillary Clinton investigations
  • ŸŸAll leaks of information by the FBI to the media and political operatives about FBI investigations of Clinton
  • All FBI communications with Breitbart News; Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon, who Trump named his chief strategist and White House counselor after Bannon served as his campaign CEO; former Trump campaign manager Corey R. Lewandowski, Fox News, and Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Sean Hannity; former New York City mayor and Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani; and Republican strategist and Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone
  • ŸŸWhite nationalist Richard Spencer, his National Policy Institute, and the “alt-right.”

The lawsuit “seeks public disclosure of specified government records to make sense of the pivotal role of the FBI, as well as of other agencies, in perhaps the most controversial presidential election in modern U.S. history,” says Vice’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by FOIA attorney Jeffrey Light.

“Despite subsequent disclosures of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, since its inception, the FBI staunchly maintained it was a purely apolitical entity,” the complaint notes. “However, numerous leading political and news media figures from across the political spectrum explicitly assert the FBI repeatedly and with significant impact affected the outcome of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.”