Saturday, November 05, 2016

Trump Broke The FBI-- Can It Be Repaired? Will It Survive? Should It?


This has been a really bad year for Renee Ellmers. The North Carolina Republican was the first woman in Congress to endorse the misogynistic Trump. And he appreciated it-- although the folks in the 2nd congressional district, most of whom had voted for Cruz in the primary, didn't like he jumping on the Trump bandwagon. She then got locked into a horrific three-way primary of her own, the first in which Trump endorsed a candidate; and he even recorded an ad for her. It backfired badly. The final results didn't just see her lose her seat, it saw her lose any hope for a future in electoral politics:
George Holding- 16,999 (53.4%)
Renee Ellmers- 7,527 (23.6%)
Greg Bannon- 7,320 (23.0%)
She then abandoned any pretense of being a Representative for his district and became a full-time Trump surrogate, hoping, of course, for some kind of job in Trump's administration. And any time Trump was caught molesting a woman or saying something insane about women, they'd call in Congresswoman Ellmers to go on TV and defend him. Over the past couple of months, she's turned herself into a laughing stock. Maybe she thinks he'll give her a nice job at one of his hotels or casinos where there's an opportunity to make good tips.

But she's practically a Trump regular on CNN and Friday she was on with Chris Cuomo spreading the Trumpist nonsense about Hillary's "imminent"-- or even just eventual-- indictment.
Ellmers: "She is under-- facing indictment; we’re in a situation where the Clinton Foundation..."

Cuomo: "No proof she's facing indictment."

Ellmers: "There is proof."

Cuomo: "There isn't any proof."

Ellmers: "There is."

Cuomo (getting exasperated he had to deal with a delusional imbecile): "What's the proof?"

Ellmers: "The proof is the FBI investigators. This is coming out everywhere. I'm hearing about it. I don't really have all that many connections and yet I'm hearing about the investigation... You know what, people are talking. So, the investigation is moving forward. Now, I do agree with you, there is someone who is trying to put a cover up in place here. And it's at the Justice Department level. That's where it is."

Cuomo: "That's a conspiracy theory and that's fine for you to believe it. But you said she's facing indictment... [Y]ou know something that the FBI is about to do. We have no basis of proof that that is about to happen. You may want it to happen, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen."
She's insane and a practiced liar but I suppose thinks having a moron punching bag for Cuomo is good for ratings. Of course she's not the only one Kellyanne Con-Man is sending out to lie on TV. Christie may be busy trying to stay out of prison but they still have nutty old fruitcake Rudy Giuliani willing to say anything for his last opportunity to find gainful employment before becoming worm food.

The NY Times reported that Giuliani has ties with FBI moles who he uses as a conduit for the Trump campaign.
Tireless if often wildly inaccurate in his attacks on Hillary Clinton’s ethics, health and work as a United States senator and as secretary of state, Mr. Giuliani has been spending every minute in the public spotlight as a surrogate for Donald J. Trump.

His most remarkable claim is that he has a pipeline into the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that agents tell him they are “outraged” that they have not been able to bring Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to justice.
Last week he was on Fox & Friends to rally the Trump troops when he told the hosts to expect a big surprise in regard to Clinton revelations. That was 3 days before Comey did his bit to elect Trump and destroy the integrity of the FBI itself.
Since August, Mr. Giuliani has publicly claimed that F.B.I. agents were telling him that Mrs. Clinton should have been criminally charged for the email server.

“It perplexes numerous F.B.I. agents who talk to me all the time,” Mr. Giuliani said during an August interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN. “And it embarrasses some F.B.I. agents.”

Mr. Giuliani has not named the embarrassed or perplexed agents, and as Wayne Barrett noted in the Daily Beast on Thursday, it is a violation of F.B.I. policy for agents to share investigative information.

This week, Mr. Giuliani opened a new front. He attributed what might be seen as a commonplace difference of opinion about law and evidence to rampant corruption at the highest levels of the Justice Department, specifically naming the attorney general, Loretta E. Lynch, who began her career as a prosecutor in the New York area in 1990 and has obtained convictions of politically corrupt Republicans and Democrats.

Mr. Giuliani provided no substantiation of this grave accusation, but instead staked his claims on information that he said came from unnamed law enforcement sources.

“You have outraged F.B.I. agents that talk to me,” Mr. Giuliani said in an interview on Wednesday with Megyn Kelly on Fox News. “They are outraged at the injustice. They are outraged at being turned down by the Justice Department to open a grand jury. They are convinced that Loretta Lynch has corrupted the Justice Department.”

Asked about Mr. Giuliani’s statements, Mr. Miller said that, in fact, the former mayor had not been speaking with any active F.B.I. agents. “He has only had conversations with retired F.B.I. agents who no longer work inside the building,” Mr. Miller said.

So Mr. Giuliani was apparently basing his charges on second- or thirdhand information when he declared, “This is worse than Watergate.”

A bit much? Maybe. But he is giving Joseph McCarthy a run for his money.
Yesterday on Fox and confirming that the FBI was (illegally) giving the Trump campaign ammo, Giuliani said there are more e-mails coming that will be devastating to the Clinton campaign. The Wayne Barrett post linked to above, has led most people to conclude that the first swamp President Clinton is going to have to drain-- if Obama doesn't do it first-- is the FBI itself. It's now a useless organization that no one could possibly take at face value.
Hours after Comey’s letter about the renewed probe was leaked on Friday, Giuliani went on a radio show and attributed the director’s surprise action to “the pressure of a group of FBI agents who don’t look at it politically.”

“The other rumor that I get is that there’s a kind of revolution going on inside the FBI about the original conclusion [not to charge Clinton] being completely unjustified and almost a slap in the face to the FBI’s integrity,” said Giuliani. “I know that from former agents. I know that even from a few active agents.”

Along with Giuliani’s other connections to New York FBI agents, his former law firm, then called Bracewell Giuliani, has long been general counsel to the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), which represents 13,000 former and current agents. The group, born in the New York office in the early ’80s, was headed until Monday by Rey Tariche, an agent still working in that office. Tariche’s resignation letter from the bureau mentioned the Clinton probe, noting that “we find our work-- our integrity questioned” because of it, adding “we will not be used for political gains.”

...Back in August, during a contentious CNN interview about Comey’s July announcement clearing Hillary Clinton of criminal charges, Giuliani advertised his illicit FBI sources, who circumvented bureau guidelines to discuss a case with a public partisan. “The decision perplexes me. It perplexes Jim Kallstrom, who worked for him. It perplexes numerous FBI agents who talk to me all the time. And it embarrasses some FBI agents.”

Kallstrom is the former head of the New York FBI office, installed in that post in the ’90s by then-FBI director Louis Freeh, one of Giuliani’s longtime friends. Kallstrom has, like Giuliani, been on an anti-Comey romp for months, most often on Fox, where he’s called the Clintons as a “crime family.” He has been invoking unnamed FBI agents who contact him to complain about Comey’s exoneration of Clinton in one interview after another, positioning himself as an apolitical champion of FBI values.

...When Comey cleared Clinton this July, Kallstrom was on Fox again, declaring: “I’ve talked to about 15 different agents today—both on the job and off the job—who are basically worried about the reputation of the agency they love.” The number grew dramatically by Labor Day weekend when Comey released Clinton’s FBI interview and other documents, and Kallstrom told Kelly he was talking to “50 different people in and out of the agency, retired agents,” all of whom he said were “basically disgusted” by Comey’s latest release.

By Sept. 28, Kallstrom said he’d been contacted by hundreds of people, including “a lot of retired agents and a few on the job,” declaring the agents “involved in this thing feel like they’ve been stabbed in the back.” So, he said, “I think we’re going to see a lot more of the facts come out in the course of the next few months. That’s my prediction.”

Kallstrom, whose exchanges with active agents about particular cases are as contrary to FBI policy as Giuliani’s, formally and passionately endorsed Trump this week on Stuart Varney’s Fox Business show, adding that Clinton is a “pathological liar.”

Kallstrom, who served as a Marine before becoming an agent, didn’t mention that a charity he’d founded decades ago and that’s now called the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, was the single biggest beneficiary of Trump’s promise to raise millions for veterans when he boycotted the Iowa primary debate. A foundation official said that Trump’s million-dollar donation this May, atop $100,000 that he’d given in March, were the biggest individual grants it had ever received. The Trump Foundation had contributed another $230,000 in prior years and Trump won the organization’s top honor at its annual Waldorf Astoria gala in 2015.

...Despite his ties to Pataki, Limbaugh, and Trump, Kallstrom says he’s apolitical and has never been involved in a campaign, including Trump’s now. He says he’s a registered independent, and that the people he’s known in the FBI over all his years are as nonpartisan as he is.

But, as quiet as it’s kept, no Democrat has ever been appointed FBI director. Four Democratic presidents, starting with FDR’s selection of J. Edgar Hoover in 1935, have instead picked Republicans, including Obama’s 2013 nomination of Comey, who was confirmed 93 to 1. This tally does not include the seven acting directors, who were named for brief periods over the last 81 years. For the first time in FBI history, the agency is now run by a director who isn’t a Republican, since Comey announced in a congressional hearing this year that though a lifelong Republican, having donated to John McCain and Mitt Romney, he had recently changed his registration (he did not say how he is currently registered).

Six months into his first term in 1993, President Bill Clinton tapped Freeh, a onetime FBI agent who’d worked under Kallstrom, and Freeh spent much of his eight years at the bureau’s helm trying to put Clinton in jail, even dispatching agents to a White House side room to get the president’s DNA during a formal dinner. When Freeh stepped down in 2001, shortly after George Bush replaced Clinton, he went to work for credit-card company MBNA, a giant Republican donor where Kallstrom and another top Freeh FBI appointee were already working. He’s still hunting for the Clintons, though-- delivering a speech assailing them at an annual FBI office event in New York last year.

It’s not just the man at the top who’s invariably a Republican. Like most law enforcement agencies, the FBI hierarchy and line staff has a Republican bent-- it’s a white, male, usually Catholic, and conservative culture.

Giuliani and Kallstrom claim that the agents revolting against Comey’s handling of Hillary Clinton were doing it because they want apoltical investigations, with all targets treated the same. But neither of them, much less FBI brass or agents, were publicly upset when the worst Justice Department scandal in modern history exploded in 2007, with Karl Rove, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and the Bush White House swamped by allegations that they’d tried to force out nine U.S. attorneys and replace them with “loyal Bushies,” as Gonzales’s chief of staff put it. Democratic officials, candidates and fundraisers were five times as likely to be prosecuted by Bush’s justice than Republicans.

Then at the top of the polls in the 2008 presidential race, Giuliani had to answer questions about it and said that he thought Gonzales should get “the benefit of the doubt,” calling him “a decent man” a few months before he resigned. “We should try to remove on both sides as much of the partisanship as possible,” lectured Giuliani. He recalled that strict rules were put into place while he was at the top levels of justice in the aftermath of Watergate limiting contact between law enforcement and political figures, a particular irony in view of the fact that he talks freely today about engaging in just such conversations on national television, oblivious to the fact that he is now a “political figure.”

Giuliani’s mentor, Michael Mukasey, who succeeded Gonzales as attorney general, appointed a special investigator to examine the U.S. attorney scandal and she concluded that no laws had been broken. It was later reported that four days before Mukasey named this special prosecutor, a federal appeals court vacated seven of eight convictions in a case she supervised in Connecticut, ruling that the team suppressed exculpatory evidence, including the notes of an FBI agent. Kallstrom contends he didn’t say anything about the blatant partisan interference then because he was “never asked to comment,” though he had been a law enforcement consultant for CBS News in about the same time frame. How he became a frequent Fox commentator now is unclear.

It’s clear enough, though, why when Comey sent a note to FBI staff on Friday explaining his decision to inform Congress about the renewed Clinton probe, the scoop about that internal memo went to Fox News. Why Kallstrom gets booked to talked about the Clintons a “crime family.” Why Clinton Cash author Peter Schweitzer, caught in a web of Breitbart and Trump conflicts, would announce on Fox that he was asked in August to sit down with New York office FBI agents investigating the Clinton Foundation (with the New York Times reporting this week that the agents were relying largely on his discredited work when they pitched a fullscale probe).

Fox is the pipeline for the fifth column inside the bureau, a battalion that says it’s doing God’s work, chasing justice against those who are obstructing it, while, in fact, it’s doing GOP work, even on the eve of a presidential election.

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