Mid-Day Digest

Jun. 15, 2018

THE FOUNDATION

“No compact among men … can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.” —George Washington (1789)

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • Putting the DOJ’s latest report on the Clinton case in proper context.
  • The Trump salute controversy was blown way out of proportion.
  • Consumer confidence soars despite Democrats’ best efforts.
  • The importance of free trade and how that plays with Trump’s tariffs.
  • Father’s Day preview: Dads attempt to stay relevant.
  • Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

FEATURED ANALYSIS

The DoJ IG Report: Comey and His Corrupt Clinton Cronies

Mark Alexander

The first of the Trump Trilogies was released this week — to be followed by another Department of Justice IG report on the Clinton-funded collusion claim and finally Robert Mueller’s report about the false Russia collusion claims scripted by Hillary Clinton, with Barack Obama’s assist, in order to set up and take down Donald Trump.

DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, an Obama appointee, released his final report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s effort to unlawfully conceal her official communications from the public record when she was secretary of state. (You can read the executive summary and full report if you have a lot of spare time on your hands.)

Clinton undertook what then-FBI Director James Comey described as a “grossly negligent” communication subterfuge to protect her 2016 presidential aspirations from any scrutiny regarding the criminal context of those communications. Of course, her insecure closet email server was hacked by foreign entities, including classified information.

Clinton violated federal records laws, as she and her key personnel transmitted classified information through unclassified channels and, when caught, destroyed evidence, including taking hammers to cell phones and erasing computer hard drives. Comey helped by agreeing to destroy laptops of former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and ex-campaign staffer Heather Samuelson once their interviews were complete.

All the while, Obama was receiving detailed updates of the Clinton probe and undoubtedly providing her some helpful “feedback.” Recall that in 2014, 47 of the nation’s 73 inspectors general signed a letter of complaint accusing Obama of stonewalling their mission “to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”

For context, the origins of the Trump investigation are rooted in an endeavor to entrap him. That corrupt effort was orchestrated by Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan and Obama’s FBI director, James Comey (and his high-ranking co-conspirators), in collaboration with their candidate, Hillary Clinton and her corrupt campaign. This cadre of Obama’s deep-state operatives has endeavored to frame Trump for “colluding with Russia” to throw the 2016 election, or to at least create the false impression that his election was illegitimate.

The fate of that investigation, and possibly Trump’s presidency, has for a year been in the hands of Comey’s FBI predecessor, special prosecutor Robert Mueller, and his team of “hard-core Democrats.”

So, what did we learn from IG Horowitz about Comey and his corrupt Clintonistas?

According to The Washington Post, “The report is a blistering rebuke of Comey, who has spent recent months on a book tour promoting his brand of ethical leadership.”

The report derides Comey for “deviating from procedure” in the Clinton email investigation, straying “dramatically from FBI and department norms,” making “serious errors of judgment” and being “insubordinate” to his superiors. It chides his decision to close, reopen and close again the Clinton investigation.

As I noted in “Comey’s Layup for Clinton,” when he announced his re-opening of the Clinton investigation just before the election, but after absentee balloting, he did so in order to be able to, again, clear her of any wrongdoing, which was, by design, to encourage Clinton’s voter constituency.

The report notes a “troubling lack of any direct, substantive communication” between Comey and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, whose own Clinton bias became apparent after her secret meeting with Bill Clinton was exposed. Notably, that exposure positioned Comey to take direct control of the Clinton investigation and the effort to stump Trump.

However, according to the report, “While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”

Really? No “political bias”? Actually, the report is full of instances of bias, but no “smoking gun” where somebody actually admits “I am going to take these specific actions to support Clinton and sabotage Trump’s campaign.”

Recall, however, that Comey himself, in his congressional testimony, made clear his political bias toward Clinton. According to Comey: “My wife and girls marched in the Women’s March the day after Trump’s inauguration. My four daughters, probably all five of my kids, wanted Hillary Clinton to be president. I know my amazing spouse did.”

And he also revealed that he lied about leaking the fake Trump dossier to the media to set the Trump/Russia collusion trap. “Look, it’s true. … I gave an unclassified memo to my friend and asked him to give it to a reporter. That is entirely appropriate.” Only in Comey’s deluded mind was that “entirely appropriate.”

As for the conclusion that Comey’s “decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice,” that is a candidate for understatement of the year!

In his response to the report, current FBI Director Christopher Wray said, “Let’s be clear on the scope of this report. It’s focused on a specific set of events back in 2016, and a small number of FBI employees connected with those events. Nothing in the report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole, or the FBI as an institution.”

On this point, he is correct.

However, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, responding to Wray, declared, “The consequences are that your fellow citizens question whether or not they can have confidence in the world’s premier law enforcement agency, and that’s coming from someone who has defended them a lot throughout his career. This was a bitterly disappointing report.”

Unfortunately, rank-and-file FBI line agents and investigators, the vast majority of whom honorably abide by their oaths “to support and defend” our Constitution, now have the corrupt mud of Comey and a few of his key investigators dumped on their integrity. And an interesting note in the report — most of the agents interviewed in the IG investigation believed they would have been prosecuted for the actions of their superiors.

Notably, Donald Trump cited Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation as a primary reason he fired Comey. That is now looking more credible than ever.

For his part regarding the clearing of Clinton twice ahead of the election, Comey told IG investigators, “I could see two doors and they were both actions. One was labeled ‘speak’ and the other was labeled ‘conceal.’” But Horowitz skewered Comey, insisting that was a “false dichotomy,” noting, “The two doors were actually labeled ‘follow policy/practice’ and ‘depart from policy/practice.’”

Comey responded to the report in his now apparent chemically induced calm: “I do not agree with all of the inspector general’s conclusions, but I respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism.” Not a hint of any apology or admission of wrongdoing on his part — which might hurt his book sales.

So what did we learn from Horowitz about the bias of Comey’s top investigators?

According to the report, “We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed. [But] the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation. … The suggestion in certain Russia-related text messages in August 2016 that Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact presidential candidate Trump’s electoral prospects caused us to question the earlier Midyear investigative decisions in which Strzok was involved, and whether he took specific actions in the Midyear investigation based on his political views.”

This is a reference to the common denominator in the Clinton email and Trump dossier investigations, Peter Strzok. He was Comey’s lead investigator in the Clinton email investigation and helped Comey write up his exoneration of Clinton before her softball FBI interview. The original draft noted that “classified information was compromised by unauthorized individuals to include foreign governments or intelligence services via cyber intrusion,” but Strzok and Comey removed that condemnation from their report.

After Trump’s surprise election, Strzok was then positioned by Comey as a top investigator for Robert Mueller’s investigation — until his abject bias was discovered and he was removed.

Both Strzok and and his workplace dalliance, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, reported to corrupt former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Recall that McCabe’s wife received $675,288 from Democrat PACs.

The report notes, “When one senior FBI official, [Peter] Strzok, who was helping to lead the Russia investigation at the time, conveys in a text message to another senior FBI official, [Lisa] Page, that ‘we’ll stop’ candidate Trump from being elected — after other extensive text messages between the two disparaging candidate Trump — it is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.”

What did Strzok do that the IG found so egregious?

As WaPo summarized it, “Some senior bureau officials, the report found, exhibited a disturbing ‘willingness to take official action’ to hurt Trump’s chances to become president.”

In August 2016, Strzok assured Page, “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in [McCabe’s] office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…”

In previously redacted messages between Strzok and Page, Page wrote, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Strzok responded, “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

Again, “It’s like an insurance policy…” and “We’ll stop it.”

National Review’s David French inquires, “Is there a remotely good explanation as to why the ‘We’ll stop it’ text was apparently withheld from congressional investigators? What is the conceivable excuse that the IG had it but Congress didn’t?”

According to the report: “When asked about this text message, Strzok stated that he did not specifically recall sending it, but that he believed that it was intended to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected, not to suggest that he would do something to impact the investigation. Strzok told the OIG that he did not take any steps to try to affect the outcome of the presidential election, in either the Midyear investigation or the Russia investigation. Strzok stated that had he — or the FBI in general — actually wanted to prevent Trump from being elected, they would not have maintained the confidentiality of the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and members of the Trump campaign in the months before the election.”

The IG concludes, “Our review did not find evidence to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed.” But as noted above, there is no smoking gun here — just an avalanche of circumstantial evidence. Strzok certainly was smart enough to avoid clear self-incrimination.

Of course, the prevailing assumption was that Clinton would be the victor. In fact, in July of 2016, some of the FBI interviewers refer to Clinton as “The President.”

Once Trump was elected, Comey did leak his memos on the investigation to the press, and by his own admission he did so in order to hamstring Trump’s presidency with a special counsel. Comey testified, “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. … I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

Worked like a charm!

In Gowdy’s reply to the IG report, he wrote: “I am alarmed, angered, and deeply disappointed by the Inspector General’s finding of numerous failures by DOJ and FBI in investigating potential Espionage Act violations by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This is not the FBI I know. This is not the FBI our country needs. This is not the FBI citizens and suspects alike deserve.”

Gowdy concluded: “The report also conclusively shows an alarming and destructive level of animus [against Donald Trump] displayed by top officials at the FBI. Peter Strzok’s manifest bias trending toward animus casts a pall on this investigation. Bias is so pernicious and malignant as to both taint the process, the result, and the ability to have confidence in either. His bias was so persuasive and toxic as to call into question any other investigations he was part of, including his role in the investigation of what Russia did in 2016. His bias impacted his decision-making and he assigned to himself the role of stopping the Trump campaign or ending a Trump Presidency.”

“Alarming and destructive,” indeed.

Stay tuned…

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Top Headlines

  • FBI agent said he’d make sure Trump was never president, texted “we’ll stop it” (The Daily Wire)
  • Comey was “insubordinate” in Clinton probe, but — hahahaha — “free of bias” (Bloomberg)
  • Obama had direct contact with Clinton on private email server: IG report (Fox News)
  • Trump: I’m not signing the compromise House immigration bill (Hot Air)
  • Dem rep sponsoring Trump tax cut repeal paid no taxes for five years (The Washington Free Beacon)
  • Trump to slap 25% tariffs on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods; China says it will retaliate (CNBC)
  • One year after being shot, Steve Scalise makes play on first pitch of congressional baseball game. Teammates go wild. (The Daily Wire)
  • SCOTUS rules 7-2 against state law banning “political” attire at polling places (Reason)
  • Billionaire progressive activist Tom Steyer announces NextGen America’s “Blue Wave” program (ABC News)
  • Study: People of faith live four years longer than nonreligious (The Daily Wire)
  • Policy: Asylum laws must remain focused on the persecuted (The Daily Signal)
  • Policy: The importance of dads in an increasingly fatherless America (The Daily Signal)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

OPINION IN BRIEF

David Harsanyi: “One reason the United States is running a trade deficit is that we are wealthy and larger and can spend more on foreign-made goods and services than others can spend on U.S.-made goods and services. For example, China … boasts of a $6,894 gross domestic product per capita, compared with our $52,194. [Trump adviser Peter] Navarro correctly claims that cars made in Germany and elsewhere in the European Union are subject to a 2.5 percent tariff, while the EU tariff on American cars is four times as high. … Well, once we consider that Germany has a population of about 83 million and ours is more than three times that number, it makes a lot more sense. … There isn’t even a good fake economic argument for steel tariffs. A vast number of industries and workers rely on steel, while few work in the steel-making industry. … Many voters blame international trade agreements for trends that are largely a product of automation or increased production. It’s a story as old as the division of labor. Politicians pretend to show their empathy for the victims of creative destruction by demanding ‘fairness.’ Instead, we end up distorting markets, killing new jobs and ignoring reality. On top of it all, protectionism is cronyism. It’s top-down control. It’s the state picking winners and losers. It’s a tax on the vast majority of Americans. Tariffs are all the things conservatives used to claim to be against.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Character is higher than intellect… A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

For the record: “In California, the law requires a 12-year-old girl to get her parents’ signature to pierce her ears. But that same 12-year-old can walk into any California abortion clinic and get an abortion without her parents’ knowledge or consent.” —Live Action president Lila Rose

Non Compos Mentis: “Leadership in America is coming from high school students, from Dreamers, from teachers — teachers striking on behalf of their students all across this country. Leadership is coming from everyone who’s fighting for a country where we lift everyone up and no one falls through the cracks. And you better believe leadership is coming from millions of women in this country, the most potent political force in America.” —former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards

Not satire: “Cecile Richards, the woman who spent a career stripping the civil rights of unborn children straight from their mothers’ wombs, received a lifetime achievement award from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).” —The Daily Wire’s Paul Bois

Braying Jenny: “Using terminology like ‘illegal aliens illegally entering the country’ is just not viewed as constructive.” —Nancy Pelosi

Spiking the football: “The IG Report is a total disaster for Comey, his minions and sadly, the FBI. Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI. I did a great service to the people in firing him. Good Instincts. Christopher Wray will bring it proudly back!” —Donald Trump

And last… “[The Peter] Strzok text is extraordinary evidence of attempted targeting — and the DOJ’s refusal to turn it over to Congress is just as extraordinary. The American public are right to be deeply skeptical of this investigation. Mueller had better have something incredible.” —Ben Shapiro

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

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