“two doors,” one labeled “speak” and one labeled“conceal,” was a false dichotomy. The two doors were actually labeled “follow policy/practice” and “depart
from policy/practice.” Well said.
advice from FBI ethics officials and attorneys." /1
“should be held only for the most significant and newsworthy actions, or if a
particularly important deterrent or law enforcement purpose would be served." Must refer to Comey's presser in July, but we'll see
governed by Department policy guidance, the USAM, and FBI rules." Could this be about Chaffetz and Nunes getting info in advance?" talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/nunes-f…
government makes its sharing of information with Congress of special concern." Yup, probably.
(“August 2009 Memo”) entitled Communications with Congress. The August 2009
Memo clarified that all inquiries from congressional officials should be directed to DOJ OLA." /1
congressional staff without advance coordination with OLA.'" So, if this does turn out to refer to leaks from the FBI to Chaffetz and Nunes, that agent/those agents violated policy. /2 /END SUBTHREAD
President Bill Clinton, had a private email server in their house... for use by former President Clinton’s staff." As I said earlier, Hillary used a server secure enough for a former POTUS.
requiring former Secretary Clinton to preserve emails on her servers." Yup. This was about Benghazi, GOP bete noire. Everyone knew and no one cared about HRC's server until the GOP needed SOMETHING on her.
investigation told us that they considered it a criminal investigation from early on. " So there was disagreement on this.
and the SSA told us that he selected the 'four strongest agents' from his WFO
squad to be on the Midyear team." Um, they could've been used to investigate a foreign country attacking our election...
to confirm the existence of the investigation, but she said not to use the word
'investigation,' and instead to call it a 'matter.'" Lynch was right. Why add fuel to a fire set by GOP arsonists?
anyone involved in the investigation allowing political or other improper
considerations to impact the decisions on how best to obtain evidence." Know what this is NOT referring to? #TrumpRussia.
they erred on the side of overproducing Abedin’s emails to the State Department
and that... there was no reason to believe Abedin’s attorneys’ sort process was flawed." /1
emails because her role was administrative in nature. " Huh. I was led to believe that Huma Abedin was the root of all SCARY MOOSLIM EVIL!!!
subpoenaing witnesses before the grand jury was not controversial or unusual. FBI agents and prosecutors told us that their usual practice is to interview witnesses voluntarily..." /1
sensitive, classified information involved." /2
years, the last four of which he served as Director of the Executive Secretariat
Information Resource Management (S/ES-IRM), before he retired in 2012." /1
his knowledge of the server was to assess whether Clinton’s use of the server was
sanctioned by the State Department." /4
the interview was unproductive; however, they attributed these problems to
nervousness and fear of being found culpable." /6
clients for interviews and the culling laptops, they believed it was appropriate and in the interest of efficiency to subpoena Mills and Samuelson before the grand jury and seek a search warrant" /1
culminated in a contentious meeting chaired by McCabe a few days later..." /1
that they were trying to be 'careful' in their handling of complicated issues, and
that *McCabe responded that they should 'be careful faster.'" /2
Strzok and Page challenged the prosecutors’ laptop privilege concerns and were two of the most outspoken proponents of using compulsory process to obtain the culling laptops."
agree because anticipatory search warrants were not typically used in that fashion in their jurisdiction." /6
give us the laptops." /7
exchanges among FBI employees show, that negotiating the consent agreements
was a difficult process and, at least at the outset..." /1
and willingness to take steps that would roil the waters. In my
judgment honestly, was that that wasn’t politically motivated that’s
just the normal cowardice..." /1
- Extraordinary sense of urgency...
- As get closer to election would be more difficult to close
- Risk of perception that won’t be credible, be seen as partisan..." As I always say, James Comey takes the actions that cover his ass.
obtaining the culling testimony and laptops by compulsory process. On May 4,
2016, a few weeks before Mills and Samuelson were voluntarily interviewed
regarding the culling process and a little over a month..." /1
It’s going to be a Clinton Trump race. Unbelievable.”
8:41 p.m., Strzok: “What?!?!??”
8:41 p.m., Page: “You heard that right my friend.” /3
8:41 p.m., Strzok: “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE…”
8:42 p.m., Page: “It sure does. We need to talk about follow up call
tomorrow. We still never have.” /4
Analyst. However, the Lead Analyst responded, “Did he? We need to finish it welland promptly, but it’s more important that we do it well." /5
desire complete the investigation as far in advance of the elections as possible to
avoid impacting the political process... "/7
at the bottom, because lower level people generally originated the emails
containing classified information on unclassified systems and sent them to Clinton’s..." /1
[T]he natural thing to do was work your way up the chain. And I say
chain, but I also mean email chain.... And just get to the, get to the
end. " /2
which they already knew the answers."
they did not believe criminal charges were likely because they had conducted all other investigative steps and, absent a confession from Clinton..." /1
with 20+ voices for disparate information anyway. *We have nothing – shouldn’t
[sic] even be interviewing.*" No shit.
this...this case...situation.... No control and horrible decisions and
chaos on the most meaningless thing I’ve ever done with people acting
like fucking 9/11.” /2
think its continued waste of resources and time and focus....”
October 26, 2015, to Agent 5: “Its just so obvious how pointless this
exercise is. And everyone is so into it....” /3 /SUBTHREAD
investigation. Nonetheless, the implication in certain Russia-related text messages that Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact presidential candidate Trump’s electoral prospects. "/2
the earlier Midyear investigative decisions in which he was involved, and whether
he took specific actions in the Midyear investigation based on his political views." But did he? /8
Midyear team*, such as the use of grand jury subpoenas and search warrants to
obtain evidence." /10 /END SUBTHREAD
that evidence supporting a prosecution of former Secretary Clinton or her senior
aides was likely lacking... "
that the investigation likely would result in a declination. "
proving intent would be a challenge..." /1
John Giacalone on December 4, 2015, confirm that the lack of intent was the
subject of ongoing discussions." So, seven months before the interview, they knew there was nothing there. So why did they proceed?
of 2016 about how to convey a declination decision because they knew that it
would be controversial..." I'm glad I haven't taken on Sally Yates as a hero, because she was part of this ass covering too.
the Department would be unable to announce the closing of the investigation in a way that the public would find credible and objective." Just tell the fucking truth! Or lie like you did with #TrumpRussia.
told Yates that the closer they got to the political conventions, the more likely he
would be to insist that a special counsel be appointed..." /1
was the DAG appointing then U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as the special counsel to investigate the leak of the name of a covert CIA operative, Valerie Plame." Really? Comparing HEREMAILS to Plamegate?
bright line for him. " Neither do I.
investigation had been going on for some time and he had never mentioned the
need for a special counsel." Did the pressure on Comey from the NY office start sooner than we think?
complete the investigation before the political conventions." /1
wanted the investigation to be completed as soon as feasible."
announcement by Comey by [7/8/16]. On [6/30/16], Laufman was
told by another NSD supervisor, “Expect that FBI wants to announce by next
Friday.... Wed or Thurs: briefing for DOJ leadership.”
'reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s private
email account.'" Except the following pages provide no such evidence...
negligence in particular because I was concerned that it would be confusing if we used a...term that has a legal definition...if we say she’s grossly negligent, that despite the fact that we..." /2
negligence, given the fact that they thought it was unconstitutionally vague, and it had never been done, and, you know..." /3
our sense was, frankly mere negligence didn’t get it because it was not just ordinary sloppiness, it was sloppiness across a multiyear period and so there was..." /1
concerns about the use of the phrase “extremely careless” to describe former
Secretary Clinton’s conduct, as being unnecessary to the statement..." So there were internal concerns, too.
unprecedented situation...'" Yeah, so he said negative things just to look "fair."
June 2004, when he was the Deputy Attorney General, summarizing the evidence
against José Padilla, a U.S. citizen who had been designated as an enemy
combatant due to his support for al Qaeda" /1
need to kind of balance this so that people..." /2
former Secretary Clinton in Comey’s statement. He recounted hearing that FBI
employees not involved in the Midyear investigation hated former Secretary Clinton" /1
and, “[W]e’re rooting for you.” BUT THE FBI IS IN THE BAG FOR HILLARY! 13 ANGRY (AND CONFLICTED) DEMOCRATS!!!!!!!!! /2 /END SUBTHREAD
leadership about his plans to independently announce a declination because he was concerned that they would instruct him not to do it..." Um, I believe that's called "insubordination."
her from the van and 'sounded the alarm,' telling her that he just saw former
President Clinton board Lynch’s plane." This smacks of Shirley Sherrod and ACORN... We can sure be wussy sometimes.
recommendation is going to be?” ... “I can’t and I hope
someday you’ll understand why, but I can’t answer any of your questions... I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to say.'” Jesus, Lynch comes across as weak.
found but what they recommended, I just thought this was, this was
done to protect the image of the FBI.." #ComeyCYA. Again.
should have been made public 'because we don’t make those things public.'" So why didn't she tell him that?
statement as she watched the press conference. She stated: " And while I can’t point to specific facts in Jim [Comey]’s description, you know, narrative description there that I would say were..." /1
being laid out with much more censure than the facts as I understood
them to be and how I had been briefed on this matter." /2
got three email chains with a, you know, the small C [indicating that
the information was Confidential]." /3
on a private server." /5
following day, which he characterized as a “much more complete picture.” He
stated, “[W]hen [the prosecutors] were done talking the reaction was like oh, this is clearly a declination." /1
and 'incredibly dangerous' considering the ongoing campaign and the proximity to the election." Once again, they had months to come to a consensus solution and none of them were on the same page.
reopen the Clinton investigation if you discovered new information that was both
relevant and substantial?' Comey answered, 'It is hard for me to answer in the
we can say is...if people have new and substantial information, we would like to see it so we can make an evaluation.” /2
inconsistent with Department policy, usurped the authority of Attorney General, and did not accurately describe the legal position of the Department prosecutors."
his intentions from his superiors" Hey! I said "insubordinate" too!
a declination: her alleged instruction to call the Midyear investigation a “matter” ina meeting held on September 28, 2015..." /1
the investigation could lead to a declination in early 2016."
deleted emails during the culling process used to separate former Secretary
Clinton’s “personal” and “work-related” emails for production to the State
were deleted by former Secretary Clinton’s lawyers to conceal the presence of
classified information on former Secretary Clinton’s server... " /2
room and asked for people’s opinions to see if anyone objected to declining
prosecution." More than six months late.
the facts, the law, and past Department practice in cases involving these statutes.
We did not identify evidence of bias or improper considerations." Try telling Republicans that.
affected by bias or other improper considerations; rather, we concluded that they were based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law, and past
Department practice." /1
and attention responding to both internal and external interest in, and criticism of, the Midyear investigation." /1
about, as you know." Then SHUT UP. /2
(LCP).' Strzok, the Lead Analyst, FBI Attorney 1, and FBI Attorney 2 were cc’d
on the email." Page and Strzok were Keystone Kops.
were nine pages and largely tracked Comey’s July 5 statement and his July 7
testimony before Congress." /1
but 'it rings true to me.' We asked him if it was normal to have the agent who
oversaw an investigation directly brief the retired agents on that case." /1
(OPA) Public Affairs Advisor a 'research project.' The Public Affairs Advisor’s initial email to Kortan and Rybicki on October 14 stated," /1
email investigation stories each day and then we can figure out which ones are so
inaccurate that we need to respond in some way.” Consistent with this assignment,'" /3
highlighting critical media coverage of the Clinton email server investigation.'" /4
assignment in mid-October, but recalled more coverage of the Midyear investigation 'popped up' at this time." Sure did. Let's see what's next...
American life. '" Am I just tired, or was he rambling? /5 /END SUBTHREAD
laptop and the eventual reactivation of the Midyear investigation." Not sure I'm going to like this one... something's missing. Josh Marshall explains: talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/more-ev…
his computer to “make sure, am I, am I seeing what I think I’m seeing?” The other agent told the OIG that he “vividly” recalled what he described as the 'oh-shit moment'" /1
The other agent stated that, while he did not view the content, he believed that he did see the domain portion of the emails and remembered thinking at the time that... " /2
Weiner laptop was in a telephone call with Sweeney in late September or early
October, recalled Sweeney informing him that NYO had seized a laptop from
Anthony Weiner..." /1
we think, you know, like... " /2
'[Y]ou need to get somebody up to New York right away to take a look at what they have because it might be Clinton emails.'" OMGHEREMAILS
first time she heard about the emails on the Weiner laptop and told us that she knew little information about it. Page explained that she was 'not really that involved” in most of the October stuff.'”
why he believed Comey did not have a stronger reaction to this information and
whether this was considered a “big deal.” McCabe responded:" /1
New York and someone said to me that..." /1
Abedin at the time.” Comey told us that even if he had had known that Abedin was married to Weiner 'it wouldn’t have been [at the] top of [my] mind.'" BUTSTILLHEREMAILS /2
Midyear investigation... took any action on the Weiner laptop issue until the week of October 24, and then did so only after SDNY raised concerns about the lack of action." Coverup. Come on.
October and the lack of activity on the Weiner laptop, he stated:
'During that period in between, you know, I expected that we were
making progress on it.'" /1
the apparent inactivity on the Weiner laptop during this period." Their stories aren't straight...
laptop and told Prosecutor 1 to call Strzok. Prosecutor 1 stated that he did not
'recall getting much detail' from Toscas." More bad memory...
October 24 while McCabe was giving him a ride home... McCabe told us that he had no recollection of this phone call." Goddammit. This chapter sucks.
phone call in late October, though neither could recall the specific date.... we believe October 25 is the date on which this conversation occurred." Why do I remember these days so vividly and they don't?
what had been discovered. For example, Sweeney said that he *did not recall*..." I can't even examine the substance of this at this point. @joshtpm, this is even worse than you said.
laptop." There's that October memory fog again.
stated: 'I don’t think so. I don’t remember...'" THIS WAS THE DAY BEFORE HE WROTE THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL LETTER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!!!!
emails were 'two highly significant facts' and that the presence of the BlackBerry
emails in particular 'weighed very heavily on me.'" He works in intelligence? He keeps focusing on the wrong things!
search warrant for the Weiner laptop 'was an easy decision' and that there was no controversy over this decision." How could there be no controversy about waiting ten days for something that isn't urgent?
finally prompted the FBI to take action was not new information about what was on the Weiner laptop but rather the inquiries from the SDNY prosecutors and then from the Department." /1
we may be finding the golden missing emails that would change this
case." As of almost a year before NO ONE thought any such thing existed.
FBI was seeking a search warrant for the Weiner laptop in the Midyear investigation because the email discovery was potentially very significant and that made Comey’s prior testimony no longer true." /1
back to them if I learned new evidence. I have read some of that in
the open source; people saying the reason he did it is he had made a
promise to Congress that he would supplement the record." /2
investigation with a 'no comment.'" Isn't that exactly what he was supposed to do?
to tell Congress that we’re restarting this, not in some frivolous way, in a hugely
significant way.'" If HRC's entire e-mail server got you nothing, how is Anthony Weiner's laptop suddenly significant?
new information, it could be accused of attempting to help Clinton get elected." #CYAComey. Though after the last two chapters I'm starting to move away from the idea that he was just covering his ass.
to be transparent.'" After reading this report, I have no sense that Comey is a person who values transparency.
Clinton presidency that would follow from a failure to make the October 28
disclosure." The Republicans had already said they were going to start impeachment hearings from day one.
impacted the decision to notify Congress. Comey told us that he “didn’t make this decision because [he] thought it would leak otherwise.” Except it's easily the best explanation given the facts.
remembering the context, he recalled the issue of leaks being raised during these
discussions. Strzok stated that the fear of leaks played a role in the ultimate
the letter to Congress. "
Trump campaign in the fall of 2016, none of the participants in the FBI’s internal
discussions about the October 28 notification to Congress recalled any mention of the Russia investigation."
to Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan and Director of National
Intelligence James Clapper. Comey stated, in part: /1
statement, with 4 weeks until a presidential election. I think the
marginal incremental disruption/inoculation impact of the statement
would be hugely outweighed..." /2
I could be wrong (and frequently am) but Americans already “know”
the Russians are monkeying around on behalf of one candidate." Most Americans STILL don't believe it.
around mid-day on 10/27. Various discussions between FBI and Department
personnel occurred over the next 24 hours... Notably, Comey never spoke
directly with either Lynch or Yates about the notification."
(A) We had a very low expectation that, that the substance of what
this [the laptop] might include would be anything novel" /1
findings and analysis and recommendations we had already made.'" In other words, NO GOLDEN E-MAILS.
sense.' Prosecutor 1 told us that given Abedin’s role and the evidence they had
previously reviewed there was little 'likelihood of finding anything of import in
even considering notifying Congress about this development. Prosecutor 2 said
that she did not necessarily view the Weiner laptop as a significant development in the Midyear investigation."
arguments they put forth. She stated, “[T]here’s a defeated feeling at this point
that like [Strzok] was given the task of like pretend to DOJ that you’re hearing
information would leak if no notification was made."
'was not going to change anything based upon the discussions that [Axelrod] was having with Rybicki.'"
ignored the feedback that he received. Comey told us, “I thought the better view
of it was that we had to. They were leaving it to me essentially and I took it." He sure did.
'awkward' since the Department 'oppose[d] every aspect of this.'"
decisionmaking based on his personal views even if it meant rejecting longstanding Department policy or practice."
case-specific outcomes and risks. Rather, the burden was on him to justify an
extraordinary departure from these established norms, policies, and precedent."
assess risks evenhandedly."