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Tag: politics

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. 

CIA, FBI Disagree on Veracity of Claims That Russia Hacked Emails to Help Trump Win

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The CIA and FBI have contrasting opinions about the veracity of claims that Russia was involved in the hacking of emails of the Democratic National Committee.

CIA officials told reporters that the intelligence agency is fairly certain that Russia’s motives were to help Donald Trump win the election. But the FBI is less certain and said there hasn’t been conclusive evidence about the motive, CNN reports.

“At this point, there appears to have been a combination of motivations,” one US law enforcement official said. “They wanted to sow discord and undermine our systems. It’s clear not even the Russians thought he would win.”

Democrats and Republicans are using the evidence – or lack of evidence – to make partisan points.

“The certainty with which it is being portrayed that the intelligence community fingered Russia and revealed multiple attacks — those are being overblown and put forward with a certainty that doesn’t exist,” said one Republican congressional aide familiar with discussion among top leadership and committee members. “Absolute work of fiction by whoever is leaking this information to the press.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday that the lack of consensus between the two agencies is reason enough to investigate.

“The fact the CIA and FBI disagree shows the need for a bipartisan investigation to get to the bottom of this. The investigation should be tough, strong, bipartisan and have access to all materials, classified and not,” Schumer said.

FBI Agent: Informant Says He Was Discouraged from Investigating Republicans in PA Probe

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

Harrisburg Capitol Building in Pennsylvania.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent said an informant in a statehouse sting in Pennsylvania notified him that he was pressured to only target Democrats.

The case has snagged five Democrats and no Republicans.

FBI Special Agent Richard Haag made the comments in a defense filing for Democratic state Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

State investigators denied any partisan motive.

“Never, ever was he told to steer towards one party or another,” former state prosecutor Frank Fina told the newspaper, speaking of informant Tyron Ali.

The informant’s cooperation began in 2010 to gain leniency in a state fraud case. In a 2013 email, Haag wrote that Ali asserted that he had been “reprimanded” for questioning Republicans and was told “not to make any initiative in contacting Republicans in the future.”

Trump’s Former Campaign Manager: Clinton Lost Because of FBI Announcement

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s former presidential campaign manager said Hillary Clinton lost the race because of the FBI’s renewed investigation of her private email server.

“With 11 days to go, something amazing happened,” Corey Lewandowski said late Wednesday, referring to the final days of the 2016 race, according to The Telegraph.

“The FBI’s director James [Comey] came out on a Friday and he said they may be reopening the investigation into ‘Crooked Hillary’s’ emails,” he said. “What that did was remind people that there are two different rules in Washington – those of the elites and the privileged, and those for everybody else.”

Lewandowski said Comey’s controversial announcement resulted in an upset.

“When Comey moved forward with that investigation…it allowed the campaign a little spring in their step, and for them to redouble their efforts,” he said.

“In those last eleven days, Mr. Trump was exceptionally disciplined. He used a teleprompter, and he did less media. The team used social media like no campaign in history. And then, Donald Trump won the election campaign by the largest majority since [former President] Ronald Reagan in 1984.”

Trump Advisers Mulling Whether to Call for FBI Director Comey’s Resignation

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey has indicated he wants to serve the rest of his 10-year term, but President-elect Donald Trump may have other ideas.

NPR reports that advisers to Trump are mulling whether to retain Comey, who played a central role in the investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Although Comey has nearly seven years left in his term, Trump and his advisers may pressure the director to leave.

Before the Clinton investigation, Comey earned a reputation as non-partisan.

“If Trump chooses [to] replace Comey with a sycophantic yes-man, or if he permits Comey to resign over law or principle, that will be a clear bellwether to both the national security and civil libertarian communities that things are going terribly wrong,” national security scholars Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes wrote on their Lawfare blog.

Former Gov. Huckabee Makes Racist Remark about Clinton Maid Running CIA

Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee

Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee just couldn’t resist making a racist remark on Election night.

Before the votes were counted, Huckabee tweeted that Hillary Clinton, if elected, would “appoint her Filipino maid” as head of the CIA, Huffington Post reports. 

It appears to be a reference to Marina Santos, Clinton’s maid, who was responsible for printing some of Clinton’s emails at her home. None of those e-mails contained classified information.

Nevertheless, Huckabee targeted Clinton’s maid as an apparent joke, albeit an offensive one.

Other Stories of Interest

Boston Globe: Lawmakers Should Scrutinize FBI After Election Day

Director James B. Comey

Director James B. Comey

By Editorial Board
Boston Globe

At least the FBI got the last act of its October fiasco right. On Sunday afternoon, two days before Election Day, director James B. Comey wrote in a letter to Congress that the bureau had finished its review of thousands upon thousands of e-mails related to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s server, and that no criminal charges would be recommended. The bureau does deserve credit for working so rapidly, and giving the American people a bit more clarity after it cryptically disclosed the new inquiry a little over a week ago.

The bottom line: Comey’s conclusion from an earlier investigation stands. Clinton should not have used her own server while Secretary of State, which made her communications vulnerable to hacking, but her mistakes were not criminal. There is no evidence that national secrets were stolen, or that anyone was harmed as a result of her e-mail setup. She has still rightly apologized for her actions.

So things stand where they were in July, when Comey said that because there was no evidence of criminal intent, no reasonable prosecutor would charge Clinton in the case. The hyperventilating from Republican nominee Donald J. Trump aside, it could not be clearer that Clinton’s e-mail practices do not disqualify her for the presidency, then or now.

But the bureau’s diligence over the last week doesn’t erase serious questions about its conduct, which should come under greater scrutiny from lawmakers after the election. There are plausible suggestions that at least some members of the bureau acted out of partisan motivations that have no place in law enforcement, and that Comey made an error in judgment disclosing the new review’s existence in a letter noteworthy for its vagueness and innuendo. Comey’s communique was one that — by virtue of its timing alone — demanded clarity, and his effort was anything but.

To read more click here. 

FBI Director James Comey’s Future is Uncertain After Election

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Whoever wins Tuesday’s election, it’s not going to be an easy time for FBI Director James Comey.

Comey has managed to enrage both presidential candidates and lawmakers.

It goes without saying that the 55-year-old former prosecutor’s future is uncertain.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

On Sunday, Comey took the extraordinary step of reaffirming his agency’s July conclusion that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted over her handling of classified material while serving as secretary of State. That was barely a week after he rocked the 2016 presidential race by announcing that the bureau would investigate newly discovered emails possibly related to the private email server she used.

His actions, so close to Tuesday’s vote, frustrated liberals and conservatives alike. Democrats said Comey should have gathered more facts about the new emails before making a public announcement; most of the emails on a computer used by Clinton aide Huma Abedin turned out to be duplicates or unrelated to the investigation. Republicans, who heralded Comey for launching the new inquiry, quickly changed course and accused him of buckling under pressure.

By alienating both sides, Comey may be able to neutralize some of the growing concerns about whether his agency is the latest Washington institution to fall victim to partisanship. But it also raises questions about what kind of relationship Comey will have with the next president, no matter who wins.

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