The full Horowitz report is here at an official DOJ site (https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download)
The first 10-12 pages are an Executive Summary.
The FBI, which took custody of Hillary’s server, seems to have “lost the chain of custody.”
Normally, I assume incompetence, and that’s probably true here. Probably, but not certainly.
If you want to see how much the public’s trust in the FBI has declined, just ask yourself,
Somebody needs to explain.
That would include the head of the agency at the time.
That would be Robert Mueller.
My latest at Real Clear Politics (link here)
Here’s a synopsis:
Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Roy Moore abandoned by national Republicans as more women accuse him
Comment: With such a thin margin in the Senate, Republicans need the Alabama seat to pass legislation (not that they have done so, yet), but individual office holders cannot afford to back him. And they are absolutely right, ethically, to back away from this sleazebag.
Unfortunately for Republicans, Moore owes them nothing, so they have no leverage to force him out of the race.
Trump and his Press Secretary will have to answer the question, an awkward prospect.
A write-in candidacy might win, but it’s a long shot.
The New York Sun notes the precedent of the Adam Clayton Powell case, where the House refused to seat the long-time congressman in 1966 because of corruption. He took the case to the Supreme Court and won. In other words, Congress can remove people from office after giving them hearings but cannot refuse to seat them.
That would mean immediate and nasty hearings to unseat Moore, with the prospect of further public humiliation. When he contemplates that, he might decide to back out. If he does, the Governor would probably postpone the election–over strenuous Democratic objections and lawsuits.
◆ AG Sessions testifies before Congress on Russia, Clintons, Roy Moore (New York Times)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, showed selective recall on the Trump campaign’s Russia contacts.
Mr. Sessions said he had “no reason to doubt these women” who have accused the man who wants his old Senate seat, Roy S. Moore, of seeking sexual or romantic favors from them as teenagers. –New York Times
Comment: There seems to be enough smoke here to warrant a serious investigation. If so, then it should be conducted by a Special Counsel, not the DOJ for several reasons. The most important, by far, is this:
Any investigation of political opponents by law enforcement carries the heavy burden of perceived unfairness. Supporters of the opposing party (or candidate) will fear that the state’s power to investigate and punish is being used to crush opposition. That should never happen in a democracy. Even if the investigation is fair, it must be perceived as fair.
While Sessions and other political appointees could–and would–say that the task has been delegated to “career professionals,” they would have to sign off on any recommendations to charge. Again, their opponents could not be confident the process was fair and impartial.
Bottom line: Appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Uranium One, the Clinton Foundation, and the botched FBI investigation of the Clinton email server, including James Comey and Loretta Lynch’s roles.
Story #1: Huge stories about the Russian dossier and its Kremlin sources, all financed by the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee, with all the senior people denying any knowledge. The publications are normally friendly to Democrats so they cannot trash them as political opponents. Nor has the story been denied, at least not anymore. The Clinton people and their lawyer lied about it for a year. Now they are simply silent.
Story #2: Huge stories about Russian bribery and corruption surrounding the purchase of a US company, Uranium One, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. While the purchase was being attempted (and USG approval sought), Bill received large speaking fees from the Russians. Later, board members of the purchasing company gave the Clinton Foundation $140 million. Most (all?) were first-time donors.
The FBI not only kept their criminal investigation of Russian malfeasance in this purchase under wraps, they put a key inside witness under a multi-year gag order. Once the story of the gag order broke this week, pressure build for its removal amid a new Congressional investigation.
ON ALL THESE MAJOR ISSUES INVOLVING THE CLINTONS, TOTAL SILENCE FROM BILL AND HILLARY.
I assume the Clintons are now working out carefully-crafted and slippery statements with a team of lawyers. They will release a written statement once they have done so.
Don’t expect any interviews with them on Sunday Talk Shows.
Their silence during this story is striking. Frankly, given the accusations of corruption, illegality, deceit, and pay-to-play that have followed them for years, they should have clear standard operating procedures for denying everything.
The FBI and DOJ finally gave a partial release from non-disclosure to the eyewitness to the bribery and corruption associated with the Uranium One transaction. It was inexcusable that the gag order had lasted for years, with no clear law-enforcement purpose at this time.
The Trump White House apparently communicated to DOJ that they thought the witness should be allowed to speak to Congressional investigators. (Refusing that would have set up a constitutional question.)
CNN’s take, repeated multiple times during the day: This is all Trump efforts to divert attention from his possible collusion with the Russians.
Impressive to see a news organization so committed to its political spin that it actually opposes disclosure and testimony. Until now, I had never seen it.
Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Melania Trump–to her great credit–wore high heels to Texas today.
Comment: I normally would not comment on such trivia. But the haters in Manhattan, Cambridge, and San Francisco and their fellow travelers in the media made it a big deal on Melania’s trip earlier this week.
It was their behavior, not her’s, that was disgusting.
By wearing high heels today instead of sneaker, she effectively gave the finger to the haters. This from the NY Post:
Btw, you might not remember that the media said nothing about Michelle Obama’s shoes or outfit during the Hurricane Sandy relief.
She didn’t bother to visit.
◆ Corrupt justice? Comey wrote his “no charges against Hillary and friends” memo long before the FBI interviewed all the key witnesses
He will wriggle out of any legal trouble. He told Congress he did not make a decision until after the interviews. That now seems like perjury. But he will claim that the memo was merely a draft.
Equally damning was his decision to let two people who demanded immunity in the investigation sit in on Hillary’s interview. No prosecutors ever do that.
Comment: This whole thing stinks.
◆ California prosecutor, leading a murder trial against a gang, beaten unconscious “Buckets of blood” from her (CBS Los Angeles)
No robbery. No sexual assault. Just a beating.
Comment: Sounds like a message.
◆ Good News in Higher Ed: Turns out parents and students shy away from colleges that cave to far-left demonstrators. Mizzou and Evergreen State pay the price. (Fox News)
The University of Missouri had to temporarily close seven dormitories – renting them out for special events, such as homecoming games – and planned to cut 400 jobs. –Fox News
Bad news: The level of political correctness has reach ridiculous levels: Students at the Univ of Minnesota vote down remembrance of 9/11 out of fear it would “incite racism” and “offend Muslim students” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
Comment: The refusal of students to attend schools without robust free speech is the best sanction of all.
Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of administrators like the loss of revenue.
Meanwhile, the locust-plague of social justice warriors continues on many campuses, shutting down free speech, often with help from the university administration.
◆ Judge Richard Posner retires from senior status. Most important judge in US not on Supreme Court (Chicago Tribune)
Posner [age 78] said in a statement he has written more than 3,300 opinions in his time on the bench and is “proud to have promoted a pragmatic approach to judging.” He said he spent his career applying his view that “judicial opinions should be easy to understand and that judges should focus on the right and wrong in every case.”
Posner’s biting and often brilliant written opinions as well as his unrelenting questioning from the bench have made him an icon of the court for years.
Known as a conservative at the time of his appointment, Posner’s views skewed more libertarian through the years, and he often came down in favor of more liberal issues such as gay marriage and abortion rights. –Chicago Tribune
Comment: I have known Judge Posner for many years, as a neighbor and a colleague. And, man oh man, do the lawyers who appear before him tell stories bout his razor-sharp tongue on the bench and his penetrating questions.
In every generation, there are one or two judges not on SCOTUS who have enormous impact because of their clear thinking and writing. Judge Posner was the one of his generation. His academic impact was equally vast since he helped forge the entire field of “law and economics” (essentially the application of microeconomic logic to a wide range of legal issues).
Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple
Fired FBI Director James Comey drafted a statement to announce the conclusion in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server before the FBI interviewed key witnesses, including Hillary Clinton herself, top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee claim.
Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, reached that conclusion from transcripts of interviews with people close to Comey and provided by the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel (OSC). Those transcripts, the Republicans said in a Thursday letter to current FBI Director Chris Wray, show Comey had already drafted a conclusion for his investigation before interviewing 17 key witnesses, including Clinton, and before the DOJ had reached immunity agreements with former Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson. CBS News
The full text of Grassley and Graham’s letter to the FBI is here.
◆ Trump plans to end to DACA, perhaps on Friday (Austin Statesman)
McClatchy’s bureau in Washington, D.C., was reporting Thursday that President Donald Trump is expected to announce and end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, an Obama-era program that had temporarily deferred deportation of undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children. –Austin Statesman
Attorneys General from several states were suing to end the program as an unconstitutional overreach of Pres. Obama’s authority, something Obama himself acknowledged before actually doing it. The AGs’ suit says DACA
confers eligibility for work authorization and lawful presence without any statutory authorization from Congress –quoted in Austin Statesman
Comment: The details of Trump’s policy are crucial, and we simply won’t know them until the White House issues its decision.
Here is what is most likely.
More on this as it develops.
⇒ Btw, expect calm, reasoned responses, like this one: Killing DACA is a ‘violent white supremacist priority’ The op-ed, written by a DACA recipient, also calls the Trump Administration white supremacist. (op-ed by Belen Sisa in the Arizona Capitol Times)
◆ Oh, those Iranian mullahs. Now they have Al Qaeda affiliates mining uranium in Africa to send to them (Fox News)
◆ Meanwhile, remember how the IAEA (the Int. Atomic Energy Agency) was going to inspect the Obama deal?
Well, they aren’t doing it.
The bill would bar states from blocking autonomous vehicles and
would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year, a cap that would rise to 100,000 vehicles annually over three years.–Reuters
Comment: The coming changes in transportation will be enormous, the biggest since the introduction of cars.
Take public transportation, for instance, where about three-quarters of the costs are wages, much of it for drivers (some for mechanics, who will still be needed). The cost of bus drivers is why the vehicles are large; you need fewer drivers that way. If driver wages are eliminated, the buses can be smaller and arrive more frequently. They can also serve less traveled routes.
Ultimately, the biggest question is whether lots of drivers will switch out of car ownership and take self-driving Ubers in urban areas.
Hat tip to Clarice Feldman for the text of the Grassley-Graham memo and to Tom Elia for highlighting this latest Comey contretemps.
Articles chosen with care. Comments welcomed. Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Healthcare bill:
The conventional wisdom is that the R’s cannot get it through the Senate and that the D’s will escape all blame from voters.
Comment: I don’t think the Democrats are home free on this.
The Republicans will get a lot of the blame, to be sure, if they can’t pass a bill. They should. They have both Houses and the Presidency.
But the Democrats’ entire strategy on everything in both Houses and in the streets is to resist and obstruct.
It remains to be seen if voters will endorse that. I don’t think it appeals beyond the base in NY, CA, and university towns.
Republicans will surely say, “It’s our bill versus Obamacare. The Democrats love Obamacare and won’t do anything but small changes. So now we’re all stuck with it.”
That stance is reinforced by former Pres. Obama coming out so forcefully against the Republican bill.
What happens when voters get the bad news from insurance companies in November about next year?
Ultimately, the electoral question comes down to this: Which do you hate more? Obamacare or the Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace it?
The [Saudi Interior] ministry did not name the group involved in the attack. The ultraconservative Sunni kingdom battled an al-Qaida insurgency for years and more recently has faced attacks from a local branch of the Islamic State group.
Neither group immediately claimed those arrested, though Islamic State sympathizers online have urged more attacks as an offensive in Iraq slowly squeezes the extremists out of Mosul and their de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria comes under daily bombing from a U.S.-led coalition. –Washington Post
Comment: Remember, bringing down Saudi Arabia was the major goal of Al Qaeda all along. So far, not much progress.
My guess is that the real political risk is related to Saudi efforts to liberalize the economy, which requires freer information and freer women.
◆ Loretta Lynch, Attorney General in Obama’s final years, is now being investigated by the Senate. Hacked emails from a Democratic campaign official said Lynch “would not to let the Clinton investigation go too far.” That doesn’t look good. Nor does Comey’s testimony that Lynch ordered him to falsely characterize the investigation in public. (USA Today story here)
Another email, now public,
indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t “go too far.” –USA Today
The Congressional letter asking Lynch to provide documents was bipartisan, and Lynch has promised to cooperate.
Comment: First, the Senate has to determine if these emails are real or fake. If they are real, Ms. Lynch may be be able to dance around them. For example, “I only meant I didn’t want it to go too far afield” or that she was simply guessing what the FBI would do. (Why would she be talking about such a secret matter to staffers for the person being investigated?) Or that the staffer misunderstood, etc.
The fact that Democrats signed the letter to Lynch indicates the Senate committee, led by Grassley and Feinstein, is operating in a bipartisanship fashion, although it could also indicate that Lynch has reassured Democrats she can defend her position.
Still, the documents now publicly available reek of political interference in a criminal investigation if they are real, not faked by the Russians. As this investigation moves forward, remember, the Democrats refused to allow the FBI to look into their computers after the Russian hack. They haven’t said why.
◆ When corruption stinks. Literally. The White Plains, NY, city council gave a $175k judgeship to someone who cannot work because she is too fat to climb the three steps to the bench (Daily Caller) Judge Eliz. Shollenberger is chair of the local Democratic Party and all council members are Democrats.
It actually gets worse. Judge Shollenberger comes to the court house with what we will delicately call “gastrointestinal issues,” which leave the place looking and smelling terrible.
Shollenberger further dismayed her colleagues by displaying “complete arrogance” following the embarrassing incidents.
“She would just say, ‘There is a mess over there. I think someone should clean it up,’” a court source told the NY Post. –NY Post, quoted in the Daily Caller
Comment: The over/under on how long it takes for Judge Shollenberger to play the victim here: 2 minutes. “I’m sick” “This is fat shaming.” Etc.
Meanwhile, the public has to pay for a non-working judge and a hard-working janitorial crew.