For me, the most serious issue in the entire 2016 scorched earth SPIN information war remains the corruption of top official U.S. intelligence and FBI decision-making based on politicized, spun information being fed to them by partisan sources. From following the 8 years of the Obama administration’s use and abuse of government information, from the IRS scandal weaponizing processes to target right-wing political groups to Clinton-connected lawyers feeding op dirt information into the DOJ, State Department, and FBI, there were many disturbing actions reeking of weaponizing government information for partisan purposes.
At the same time, negative Clinton campaign dirt on Trump was being fed into official Obama administration channels, the FBI, reportedly, had two open criminal investigation into the Clintons – one was Hillary’s email investigation and the other was multiple field office investigations into the Clinton Foundation on pay-to-play corruption.
At top levels of the Obama administration, it seems to me, they wanted to grasp at any wisps of dirt on Trump and build it into treasonous “Russian collusion” and at the same time, bury and dismiss real evidence of grossly negligent handling of highly classified information and Clinton Foundation corruption. The seeming two separate standards of justice disturbs me.
James Comey, former FBI director, to this day remains sketchy on explaining what he knew about the Steele dossier’s provenance. Likewise, his explanation of his decision making in recommending no charges in the Clinton email investigation, back in July 2016, makes no sense. Later still, with the DOJ IG report’s findings regarding the email investigation, Comey’s answers about the FBI leaking, for which the IG found Andrew McCabe, lacked candor and found Comey’s version more credible, don’t sit right with me.
Those McCabe leaks to the media were unauthorized and designed to counter leaks about the FBI investigation of Clinton Foundation pay-to-play corruption. McCabe leaking was initiated to silence leaks coming out of the FBI’s NY field office Those field office leaks dealt with the tens of thousands of Hillary State Dept. emails the FBI found on the Weiner family laptop, while investigating the Anthony Weiner texting scandal.
Comey’s actions juxtaposed to his explanations smell of deceit. He went along with the Clinton spin effort in July of 2016 to bury the email investigation and his clumsy effort of reopening that investigation and doing a quickie investigation of the Weiner laptop, was just an effort to quell the leaks coming out about the Clinton Foundation corruption and Weiner laptop. That quickie Weiner laptop investigation was just cover dressing for him to bury both FBI criminal investigations of the Clintons, and hopefully secure his position and standing with whom he believed would be his next boss – Hillary Clinton.
When he was fired, Comey led the media SPIN charge, by leaking FBI memos of notes (some reportedly containing classified information) that he typed up on FBI equipment, after his private meetings with President Trump. He sent these memos to a friend, who leaked them to the media. Later, after negative press about these memos, Comey declared that the friend, Daniel Richman, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, was his attorney. This move seemed to be an attempt to tie a pretty bow on a stinking heap of corrupt Comey leaking, which was designed to create a media SPIN furor over Comey’s firing and create political pressure for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Trump and his campaign on “Russian collusion”.
However, it seems to me, that in understanding our domestic spin war timeline, we need to go back to its beginnings in the 90s, and keep referring to notes from then to now. Of course there’s Team Clinton vs Team GOP ( vast, right-wing conspiracy in Hillary’s view), but in the 2008 election Team Obama emerged too and while Team Obama and Team Clinton unite on most efforts to thwart Team GOP, on some others Team Obama tries to distance itself from Team Clinton.
In early 2016, it seems to me some of Team Obama at the top were all-in for Team Clinton, while others were less enthused and at various points with these two ongoing FBI criminal investigations of the Clintons, at the very top, President Obama and his inner-circle were debating whether to throw the Clintons to the FBI hands of justice and have Vice President, Joe Biden, enter the race or help the Clinton machine bury the FBI investigations.
I believe Bill Clinton directly pressured President Obama in 2015 to make the email scandal go away. I believe that by the summer of 2016 and the email scandal still lingering, Bill Clinton was livid and I believe that is why he took matters into his own hands and orchestrated the tarmac meeting with Loretta Lynch directly, to set in motion the “for appearances sake only” 4th of July weekend FBI interview of Hillary and the orchestrated Clinton machine spin to be the end of the email investigation.
Comey decided to place his future in the hands of Team Clinton and he went along with Lynch’s corrupting the process, by refusing to recuse herself after the tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton, while abdicating her prosecutorial duties to Comey. Nothing Comey said at that July press conference made sense – especially the part about how Hillary showed no intent to break the law. He waxed on about “intent”.
Timelines matter to me, when trying to understand events. Personal connections along those timelines help create a clearer picture, at least in my mind of the story. James Comey plays clueless on what he knows about the provenance of the Steele dossier. He also plays clueless on the provenance of the Clinton private server.
Bill Clinton had that server set up in their home in the summer of 2008, after Hillary suspended her 2008 campaign.
At the moment the Attorney General is putting together a team to look at the provenance of the Trump-Russia investigation.
I haven’t sorted out the Mueller report findings in my head yet and am still reading it and mulling over the information.
Andrew McCarthy can be relied on to give fact-based analysis of legal matters and he wrote another must-read piece, The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation Was Formally Opened on False Pretenses, at National Review today.
A line in McCarthy’s excellent piece stuck out at me, because it prodded something that’s been missing in the provenance of the Clinton email investigation too and it explains that “intent” issue James Comey says was absent.
I tweeted this tweet thread this morning:
Interesting: “Downer has a history with the Clintons that includes arranging a $25 million donation to the Clinton Foundation in 2006, when he was Australia’s foreign minister and then-senator Hillary Clinton was the favorite to become U.S. president in 2008.”
Here’s an interesting Clinton Foundation fact too, from the FBI Notes released in September of 2016. Justin Cooper, Bill Clinton’s aide/IT guy, told the FBI Bill Clinton’s personal email server was set up around June 2008.
10:07 AM – 6 May 2019
(Sorry the link didn’t copy – https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-releases-documents-in-hillary-clinton-e-mail-investigation)
Bill Clinton was having a personal Clinton Foundation server installed in their home, as Hillary suspended her presidential campaign. She left the race over $22 million in debt.
She couldn’t do political fundraising as Sec of State. She merged her State Dept business with the Clinton Foundation business on the family personal email server.
Never fear, Hillary always finds a way to “power through it” :