One thing that’s much clearer now about the FBI and Hillary Clinton

The weekend brought a few more details, but not a whole lot more clarity, about the stunning news Friday that the FBI is once again looking at Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of an unsecured, private email server while serving as secretary of state. We know now, from various reports, that the feds are looking at some 650,000 emails found on a laptop that belonged to top Clinton aide Huma Abdein and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation in a separate matter. We know there are signs (in the metadata gleaned from the computer) that a large number of these emails, though by no means all or probably even most of them, were sent to or from Clinton’s private server — although it remains unknown whether these are emails that agents have already examined.

One thing that is clear: FBI Director James Comey had no choice but to notify Congress of this development, regardless of the proximity of the election.

"I know you thought this was over, Democrats, buuuuuut ..." (AP Photo / Cliff Owen)

“I know you thought this was over, Democrats, buuuuuut …” (AP Photo / Cliff Owen)

Democrats, just months after praising Comey for his “integrity, (his) competence” (Harry Reid) and for having “the highest standards of integrity” (Tim Kaine), are now bashing him for seeming to interfere with the election. The opposite is true: Imagine Comey had known there were potentially thousands of emails that could be connected to an earlier investigation of Clinton he had declared completed — an action that came with very real electoral benefits for her — and chosen not to disclose that before the election. That’s when he would have been guilty of interfering in the election, by being dishonest about where one of the candidates stood regarding potential law-breaking. The standard for honesty in courts of law is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Why include “the whole truth”? Because, as we’ve all been told since we were children, knowingly omitting truth is the same thing as a lie. This is common sense. The fact the FBI had more work to do regarding the single biggest story about Clinton during this campaign certainly qualifies as part of “the whole truth.”

This is not the same thing as a prosecutor opening a new case during an election season, or introducing charges out of left field right before ballots are cast. This is a new development in a case that was open well before this year’s primary contests began. And, it’s worth noting, it’s a new development that came out of a series of continuing probes of Clinton and people in her political orbit, not all of which we previously knew about in full: One new bit of information to come out this weekend is from the Wall Street Journal’s report that four FBI field offices have been looking into potential corruption at the Clinton Foundation, with that investigation eventually split into two (one focusing on the foundation, another on a longtime Clinton ally, Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia).

The Journal’s story lays out in some detail the stark differences of opinion within the Department of Justice about any and all investigations concerning Clinton. One can easily conclude from reading it that senior DOJ officials were trying to make sure the probes didn’t go anywhere. Here’s one example of what I mean, from the WSJ story:

“In February, FBI officials made a presentation (about the Clinton Foundation investigation) to the Justice Department, according to these people (familiar with the matter). By all accounts, the meeting didn’t go well.

“Some said that is because the FBI didn’t present compelling evidence to justify more aggressive pursuit of the Clinton Foundation, and that the career anticorruption prosecutors in the room simply believed it wasn’t a very strong case. Others said that from the start, the Justice Department officials were stern, icy and dismissive of the case.”

Here’s another:

“According to a person familiar with the probes, on Aug. 12, a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season. Mr. McCabe said agents still had the authority to pursue the issue as long as they didn’t use overt methods requiring Justice Department approvals.

“The Justice Department official was ‘very pissed off,’ according to one person close to Mr. McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant. Others said the Justice Department was simply trying to make sure FBI agents were following longstanding policy not to make overt investigative moves that could be seen as trying to influence an election. Those rules discourage investigators from making any such moves before a primary or general election, and, at a minimum, checking with anticorruption prosecutors before doing so.

“‘Are you telling me that I need to shut down a validly predicated investigation?’ Mr. McCabe asked, according to people familiar with the conversation. After a pause, the official replied, ‘Of course not,’ these people said.”

It’s also worth noting this anecdote is presented mostly as how the events are portrayed by defenders of McCabe — who was also in the news last week due to reports his wife, when running for a state Senate seat in Virginia, received almost $500,000 from a PAC controlled by McAuliffe. There’s another side to the story that is less favorable to him, or at least to how FBI and DOJ brass in general approached the case:

“Others further down the FBI chain of command, however, said agents were given a much starker instruction on the case: ‘Stand down.’ When agents questioned why they weren’t allowed to take more aggressive steps, they said they were told the order had come from the deputy director — Mr. McCabe.”

Where all this leaves us, politically, is unknown. The race has tightened considerably over the past week, in large part because people who typically vote for Republicans have gradually “come home” to GOP nominee Donald Trump after staying away from him up until now. (Even if we assume all of Gary Johnson’s lost support in the Real Clear Politics average has gone to Trump, that would still mean undecideds are breaking for Trump over Clinton about 3-to-1.)

If nothing else, the revelation that Clinton is still very much under investigation could persuade some folks who were planning to cast a reluctant vote for her. It wouldn’t take much of a shift in the most closely contested states to produce a sizable difference in the outcome. The same goes for the Senate races that could decide the balance of power in that chamber.

Whatever the outcome, Democrats have no one but themselves to blame for this. They voted for Clinton while she was still actively under investigation, so they chose her knowing what they might get with her. They shouldn’t act so shocked that they’re getting it.

***

More on Hillary and honesty:

 

Reader Comments 0

185 comments
Signalred
Signalred

Wasn't that about the same time Chump was talking him down?  Now he's his best friend.  Flip flop works both ways, except if it involves the GOPers.

hnbc
hnbc

And yet you Republicans choose deplorable Donakd-bully/boy and gleefully embraced as your candidate. Why don't you talk about that Kyle right-wing talking head Wingfield?

lvg
lvg

@hnbc Here are the possible high crimes and misdemeanors Trump could be charge with if elected:


1. Charity fraud and misuse of funds for personal gain;

2. Rape of a minor;

3. Sexual harrassment;

4. sexual assault;

5. Consumer fraud;

6. Tax fraud

7. employing a Russian dual agent 


Besides that he is highly qualified.


BinderLady
BinderLady

@lvg @hnbc  Add this one...insurance fraud with his Mar-a-logo beach house in Florida in which he was paid $17 million by the insurance company for damages and he only had approximately $5,000 worth of damage.

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

Here's a novel concept. Why not ONLY make public findings of an investigation AFTER its complete. Now that that public knows, we are getting leaks on a daily basis when MOST of the time, they hardly turn out to be true.

Signalred
Signalred

@McGarnagle That is a novel concept.  How many (7) times was Hillary investigated for Benghazi by a GOPer-led committee only to find no intentional wrong-doing 7 times?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Well one of the lib favorite talking points just hit the trash. Galloway, reports on a  NYT story that says the FBI can't find any evidence that Trump or his campaign team have had any relations with the Russians or their alleged hacking of Democrat email. Sorry, Lvg.

lvg
lvg

@SGTGrit Pure BS----- Comey just being a Putin apologist like rest of the Cons:


"FBI Director James B. Comey advised against the Obama administration publicly accusing Russia of hacking political organizations on the grounds that it would make the administration appear unduly partisan too close to the Nov. 8 election, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.

But he supported the administration’s formal denunciation last month as long as it did not have the FBI’s name on it, they said. Comey was sensitive not only to his agency appearing to influence the election but also to seeming biased while it was conducting an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

At the same time, the bureau works with Russian services on a variety of terrorism and criminal matters."""


Washington Post today.


Hatch Act applies for Comey if FBI and 17 other agencies are exposing a traitor running as GOP nominee but not if you are trying to make unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations of obstruction of  Justice against Hillary's top Aide and Hillary - no problem!!!!

lvg
lvg

@SGTGrit @lvg Which investigation did Comey violate protocol and issue a public letter to assist his buddies in the House with their  ongoing waste of taxpayers money trying to prevent Hillary from being President?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@lvg @SGTGrit 

Two sources that I would think you believe are creditable. Obama, says he doesn't think Comey, is trying to influence the election and the New York Times reporting that the investigation of Donald Trump and his campaign of colluding with the Russians, haven't turned up any evidence of such activity.  They've been investigating since this past summer.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Next up . . . Dem attack on the FBI.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

You would think that DOS, email from Clinton's server showing up on Abedin and Wieners laptop would in its self constitute "Gross Negligence". Of all the Clinton many scandals this tops the list because of Hillary's gross neglect in handling government documents that included classified information. I can't see how anyone who supports this individual could be a patriotic American.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@hnbc 

Sorry, but you'll have to find better sources for your information. The FBI found DOS email on the laptop and that's what prompted  the reopening of the Clinton email investigation. Why do you think they reopened the investigation of Clinton's email if the emails didn't come from her server? Drop another quarter in and try again.

hnbc
hnbc

You're making a few assumptions but that rarely stops right-wingers. No one knows what the email is about except that it does not appear to have come from her Server. Don't let the facts get in the way of your beliefs.

Stephenson_Billings
Stephenson_Billings

Influence peddling, acting for Putin's ally, hiding classified secrets and sexting - how FIVE separate FBI cases are probing virtually every one of Clinton's inner circle and their families

  • Scale of FBI investigations into Clinton's closest aides and friends is becoming clear 
  • Besides Huma Abedin,  a swathe of long-time loyalists are at the center of investigations including Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe 
  • John Podesta ran the Clinton Foundation which is under investigation while his brother Tony is also focus of a probe about foreign corruption 
  • Cheryl Mills already received limited FBI immunity during Clinton email investigation - and is key Clinton fixer
  • String of other names are being looked at or have been caught up in earlier scandals  
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3889994/Influence-peddling-acting-Putin-s-ally-hiding-classified-secrets-sexting-FIVE-separate-FBI-cases-probing-virtually-one-Clinton-s-inner-circle-families.html

lvg
lvg

So Comey did not think Russian hacking of DNC and Podesta computers was worth investigating and disagreed with conclusions of other agencies  . Clearly Comey is  a Republican hack who has a vendetta against the Clintons after coming up with nothing in four prior investigations. He acts like his sole obligation is to the lynch mob in the House wasting millions and going nowhere.  I guess Hillary being way ahead in the polls really got him to act.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

Make no mistake, this is the way leaders operate in a socialist State. Think APS, on steroids.

MotocrossSurvivor
MotocrossSurvivor

Apparently, I have been locked out of Bookman's page as far as commenting.   Too many facts presented.  The Klintooners can't take it.  They must have kicked and screamed to have me fenced out. LOL.  Funny, none of my posts were threatening, vulgar, nothing that violates the rules.  However, other pro Klintoon posters are still going full stink, sometimes with foul language that gets sneaked in.  LOL, another day with the Klintoon media monkey show.

PJ25
PJ25

@MotocrossSurvivor  The liberal op-eds on here can't stand anyone who doesn't agree with their delusional views of the world.  

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@MotocrossSurvivor 

Take it as a badge of honor if you're a banned conservative poster. The slime over there gets protection because they leverage their participation that Bookman, needs to just stay alive. If all of the conservative posters pulled out and came over here or stopped posting on the AJC, Bookman, would be out delivering papers just to stay alive.

bu2
bu2

@MotocrossSurvivor Bookman sold his soul and integrity to the devil and jumped the shark a few months ago.  Nothing to see over there.  You can just get the propaganda straight from the DNC.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@bu2 @MotocrossSurvivor Bookman’s blog titles pretty much betray his state of mind.The NY Post’s got nothing on the ajc’s prince of progressive hyperbole.


About twice a year, he pens an article lamenting our nation’s fractured political state - why can’t we get along?A rhetorical question to be sure.No doubt Bookman blames hateful conservatives who just don’t “get” our coolest POTUS ever and his sweeping agenda for change.


Then the little person on Bookman’s left shoulder pokes a Qtip in his ear to remind him of what pays for cable TV and the righteous bud he buys off his yard guy. An  uninterrupted skein of Bookman polemics gets him back in rhythm every time.

MotocrossSurvivor
MotocrossSurvivor

Did you know this:  Chelsea Klintoon is the daughter of Webster Hubbell.   She looks nothing like BJ, which she is probably glad about.  BJ is even uglier than old jailbird Webster

MotocrossSurvivor
MotocrossSurvivor

If this demon is elected, expect more of the same.  The depravity, criminal behavior and incompetence will be endless.  Might actually be fun to watch.

lvg
lvg

Nobody has heard from the Weiner man or his attorney have they?



Probably he secretly stashed all the e-mails from Hillary's server using Huma's password as insurance against his prosecution and now is working out an immunity deal or a plea. Comey will  probably drop that shoe after the election.


That is why Huma has not been arrested yet for obstruction of justice by not turning over the e-mails previously.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@lvg Gee, they can't get anything past you, can they?


Will obozo pardon the perv? Not.

JerroldT
JerroldT

650,000 emails? The average email is 75KB. So that would be 45GB total, just for emails. That is a helluva laptop!

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@STHornet1990 @IReportYouWhine @JerroldT


At the Flash Memory Summit in California, Samsung has unveiled what appears to be the world's largest hard drive—and somewhat surprisingly, it uses NAND flash chips rather than spinning platters. The rather boringly named PM1633a, which is being targeted at the enterprise market, manages to cram almost 16 terabytes into a 2.5-inch SSD package.



http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/08/samsung-unveils-2-5-inch-16tb-ssd-the-worlds-largest-hard-drive/



What size is the internal hard drive of a laptop, stooge?



Deal with it.

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

@JerroldT They have 16 TERRABYTE hard drives available now, which could probably hold 65 million emails.


You went to college, didn't you?

IReportYouWhine
IReportYouWhine

No one has come around to the concept that Abedin was stashing hillary's emails on weiner's computer because she knew what a fork tongued snake in the grass hillary is and wanted evidence to cover her own posterior. And sure enough, now we have clinton out there calling her surrogate daughter, her closest confidant, "one of my aides." 


At least Huma is getting dragged by the bus instead of being run over by it.


So.


Disgusting. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

Imagine Comey had known there were potentially thousands of emails that could be connected to an earlier investigation of Clinton he had declared completed — an action that came with very real electoral benefits for her — and chosen not to disclose that before the election. That’s when he would have been guilty of interfering in the election, by being dishonest about where one of the candidates stood regarding potential law-breaking.

While this is a minor point in the matter discussed, I am amazed that the host of this blog, Kyle Wingfield, would submit the above perversion of logic.

Walter_White
Walter_White

The timing of the "re-opening" of the email case is suspicious and creates nothing but new fodder for the right wing conspiracies. Nothing of substance will be revealed in the days before the election, so why did Comey, against all advice from the Department of Justice, write his letter to Congress? Much ado about nothing (except to influence the outcome of several elections).

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

CNN fires Donna Brazile for cheating and then lying about it.  


She is a Democrat, what did they expect? 

Starik
Starik

@IReportYouWhine Many of these people should have been citizens years ago. They're here, have a stake in the election, and are productive people whether or not they have the paperwork. .