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Tag: Hillary Clinton

Comey Drafted Conclusion of Clinton Probe Before He Interviewed Her

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey drafted a statement about the conclusion of the Hillary Clinton investigation months before the former secretary of state was even interviewed, according to documents released Monday. 

A vast majority of the documents were redacted and posted to the FBI’s “Vault” Freedom of Information Act reading room.

The documents confirm assertions by Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham that Comey drafted his statement ahead of the investigation’s closure.

It’s unclear whether the Comey violated any rules by drafting the statement before the interview with Clinton.

Ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner Sentenced to 21 Months in Sexting Scandal

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner, who had an obsession with sending lewd photos to women, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Manhattan to 21 months in prison for sexting a 15-year-old girl.

Weiner, 53, now could find himself on the sex offender list for the remainder of his life.

He cried as he read a statement in court  saying he hit “rock bottom’ and that he was a “a very sick man for a very long time,” reports USA Today. 

The investigation into Weiner resulted in the FBI looking at emails and decided to reopen the Hillary Clinton probe on the eve of the presidential election.

 

 

Hillary Clinton Says She’s Unsure If She Would Have Kept Comey If She Won

Hillary ClintonBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hillary Clinton said Thursday she’s unsure whether she would have kept former FBI Director James Comey if she won the 2016 presidential election. 

“If you were president today, would he still be FBI director?”  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked.

“That’s a really good question,” Clinton said. “I don’t know the answer to that, because once I wasn’t president I didn’t think about it. I didn’t analyze it at all, so, I don’t really know.”

Clinton, who has been doing interviews to promote her book, What Happened, partly blamed Comey for her loss.

Comey announced close to the election that the FBI was reopening its email server case against Clinton.

GOP Senators: Comey Drafted Letter Exonerating Clinton Long Before Probe Was Over

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About two months before Hillary Clinton was even interviewed by the FBI over her private email account, the bureau’s former director James Comey already began drafting a statement exonerating her, according to Republican senators who released partial transcripts of interviews.

The draft exoneration even came before the FBI interviewed top Clinton aides who were offered immunity in exchange for their cooperation, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday in a joint statement, Politico reports.

The senators sent a letter to new FBI Director Christopher Wray, saying the Comey’s draft statement in April or early May was premature. 

“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy,” Grassley and Graham wrote.

The senators demanded all drafts prepared by Comey.

Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee said the senators’ claims, if true, underscore Trumps concerns about Comey.

“If it is as accurate as they say it is, that would certainly give cause and reason that Jim Comey was not the right person to lead the FBI,” Sanders said.

Other Stories of Interest

Ex-U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade: ‘Trump Sees The Position of Attorney General as His Personal Lawyer’

Barbara McQuade was  the first woman to serve as the U.S. Attorney in Detroit.  She was appointed by President Barack Obama and was sworn in Jan. 4, 2010. In March, she was among the remaining 46 U.S. Attorneys in the country from the Obama administration who were forced to resign. She is currently a professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

U.S. Attorney McQuade

U.S. Attorney McQuade

By Barbara McQuade

The President’s comments disparaging the attorney general are damaging to the Department of Justice and the American public.  Regardless of whether you agree with the policies of Jeff Sessions, Trump’s efforts to insult, marginalize or push him out should be deeply concerning.

Trump’s comments that Sessions should not have recused himself from the Russia investigation suggests that Trump sees the position of attorney general as his personal lawyer.  In fact, the attorney general takes an oath to support and defend the Constitution.

By complying with DOJ ethics rules, Sessions was doing his job properly.  Trump would rather have Sessions ignore ethics rules so that he could maintain control of the Russia investigation, rather than allow that duty to fall to his deputy from Baltimore, where, as Trump says, there are not a lot of Republicans. This statement wrongly suggests that DOJ makes decisions based on politics, and undermines public confidence in its decisions.

Trump’s comments about investigating Hillary Clinton are also deeply troubling.  The case was declined last summer.  To suggest reopening it now creates the impression that Trump is seeking to use the Department of Justice to punish his political enemies.  It is critically important that the Department of Justice act with independence in bringing criminal cases, and that it not become the machinery of partisan politics.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

I also think that Trump’s comments about the attorney general are demoralizing to the rank and file employees of the Department of Justice. They need a leader who is advocating for them and their priorities in the President’s cabinet. To see their leader disparaged by the President diminishes the stature of the office of attorney general and the Department of Justice.  The men and women who have dedicated their talents in careers to seeking justice and serving the public deserve much better.

It may be that the President is trying to coerce sessions into resigning.  If Sessions resigns rather than is fired, Trump has more options available to replacing him, including appointing an acting attorney general from among any of his already confirmed appointees, without any additional Senate confirmation.

Ex-Soviet Intel Officer Also Met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Russian attorney who pledged to share dirt on Hillary Clinton during a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. last year was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist who previously worked in Soviet counterintelligence, according to NBC News.

The Russian-born lobbyist, who was unnamed, served in the military before emigrating to the U.S., where he has dual citizenship. Some U.S. officials believe he still has ties to Russian spy agencies.

The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, previously acknowledged she attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with at least one other man, whom she declined to identify. But Veselnitskaya denied she was working on Moscow’s behalf and told NBC that she met with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to discuss sanctions.

Emails released by Trump Jr. suggest Veselnitskaya wanted to share damaging information about Clinton as part of a Russian plot to interfere with the presidential election.

After releasing the emails, Trump Jr. conceded he “probably would have done things a little differently.”

President Trump defended his son, saying “most people would have taken that meeting.”

“My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer but a Russian lawyer,” Trump said Thursday in a joint press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron. “From a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research or research into your opponent.”

Read the Damning Emails Between Trump Jr. And Rob Goldstone

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Following the explosive report that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-backed attorney for compromising information on Hillary Clinton, the president’s eldest son released damning emails that show he was tickled to get information that could harm the Democratic presidential candidate.

Here are the full emails:

June 3, 2016:

Emin (Agalarov, a real estate tycoon and Russian pop star represented by Goldstone) just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras (a Moscow-based developer with close ties to Putin) this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.

What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?

I can also send this info to your father via Rhona [presumably Rhona Graff, Trump’s longtime executive assistant], but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.

Trump Jr’s response to Goldstone:

Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?

June 6, 2016, Goldstone to Trump:

Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info – you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day. Best to you and your family.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone:

Rob could we speak now?

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Let me track him down in Moscow. What number he could call?

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

He’s on stage in Moscow but should be off within 20 minutes so I am sure can call.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone:

Rob thanks for the help.

June 6, 2016, Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Hope all is well. Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and the Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday. I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you? I assume it would be at your office.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone:

How about 3 at our offices? Thanks Rob appreciate you helping set it up.

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Perfect … I won’t sit in on the meeting, but will bring them at 3pm and introduce you etc. I will send the names of the two people meeting with you for security when I have them later today.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone

Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law [Jared Kushner] and me. 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.

June 8, 2016, Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

Good morning. Would it be possible to move tomorrow meeting to 4pm as the Russian attorney is in court until 3 I was just informed.

Trump Jr. to Goldstone:

Yes Rob I could do that unless they wanted to do 3 today instead … just let me know and I’ll lock it in either way.

Goldstone to Trump Jr.:

They can’t do today as she hasn’t landed from Moscow. 4pm is great tomorrow.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Probe Political Influence of FBI Investigations

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to investigate attempts to influence FBI investigations under the Trump and Obama administrations.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, called for the congressional probe to explore why President Trump really fired former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and whether anyone in Obama’s administration tried to influence the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Grassley’s call for a wide-ranging investigation comes in response to Democrats requesting to investigate whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, Politico reports. 

“The Judiciary Committee has an obligation to fully investigate any alleged improper partisan interference in law enforcement investigations,” Grassley wrote to his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. “It is my view that fully investigating the facts, circumstances, and rationale for Mr. Comey’s removal will provide us the opportunity to do that on a cooperative, bipartisan basis.”

Grassley believes an investigation into the handling of Clinton’s use of a private email service is called for after Comey testified last week that he was concerned the Justice Department “could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system.”