Thursday 4th of June 2020

between a rock and a hard place...


US President-elect Donald Trump has reprised his election campaign attacks on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, declaring her "guilty as hell" and deriding her supporters' criticism of how the FBI handled an investigation into her emails.

Key points:
  • The US Justice Department is investigating the actions of the FBI in influencing the election
  • Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her use of a personal email server
  • Further questions are raised over the Trump team's communication with Russian officials

The US Justice Department said on Thursday it would investigate an FBI decision to announce an inquiry into Mrs Clinton's emails shortly before the November 8 election, a move she has blamed as a factor in her defeat.

"What are Hillary Clinton's people complaining about with respect to the FBI. Based on the information they had, she should never have been allowed to run — guilty as hell," Mr Trump tweeted.

"They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states — no enthusiasm!"

Mr Trump often led crowds in chants of "lock her up!" during the 2016 election campaign, accusing Mrs Clinton of illegal conduct over her use of a private email server for official correspondence while she was secretary of state under President Barack Obama.

In a debate in October, the Republican real estate developer vowed Mrs Clinton would "be in jail" over the matter if he became president, but later said he would not pursue prosecution.

Some of the Clinton emails were determined to contain classified information, and the FBI ultimately decided not to refer her case for prosecution.

The Democrats said FBI Director James Comey's announcement of the new inquiry into the emails damaged her standing with voters right before the election, and he faced complaints that his moves were politically motivated.

Brian Fallon, Mrs Clinton's spokesman, told MSNBC on Thursday that Mr Comey's actions "cried out for an independent review".

Senator Dick Durbin, the number two Democrat in the US Senate, said Mr Comey's statements were not "fair, professional or consistent with the policies of the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

Mr Comey said the FBI would cooperate fully with the investigation.

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unfriendly act...

The US Congress passed the Magnitsky Act in 2012, which allows Washington to deny visas and free the assets of Russian officials allegedly involved in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky was arrested on tax evasion charges in November 2008. He died in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center in Moscow in November 2009 after nearly a year-long detention. His death sparked a massive public outcry. Later, US Senator Benjamin Cardin came up with the so-called "Magnitsky list" encompassing Russian officials allegedly involved in the case. In addition to Bastrykin, the new sanctions were imposed against Russian lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi, businessman Dmitry Kovtun, investigator Stanisalv Gordievsky and former bank manager Gennady Plaksin. The expansion of the Magnitsky Act added to a recent series of unfriendly gestures by Barack Obama’s administration towards Russia.

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march till your feet bleed.

This Saturday, on January 21, I'll be marking Donald Trump's first day in office by marching in Sydney to stand up against the hatred and bigotry he represents.

The Women's March on Washington was organised — predominantly on Facebook — for the day after inauguration day to protest against Mr Trump's politics and the threat he poses to the safety and autonomy of the politically vulnerable: women, religious minorities, racial minorities, LGBTI communities and people with disabilities.

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Sure... but did you consider marching against Obama selling weapons to the Saudis, weapons that have created far more distress in Yemen than in the street of Chicago? Far more distress than Donald could engenger to women around planet Earth and Venus in ten lifetimes? Or for having destroyed Libya? Or for having tried to destroy Syria? (yes I know we blame the Ruskies for this one, when Obama was squarely at the core of the "revolution")... Or marched against Obama for having been the only one who spent his entire presidency AT WAR — against anyone who did not bend the knees to the US juggernaut? Would you have marched against Hillary had she made the decision to bomb Damascus as advised by her supporters in the "elite" establishment?


Please march. March on and on... but please don't stop at Mr Trump... March even if you feet bleed...


he did not...


WASHINGTON — James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, sharply defended his rationale for notifying Congress about new emails related to the Hillary Clinton investigation less than two weeks before Election Day, saying Wednesday that any suggestion he affected the vote’s outcome made him “mildly nauseous.”

Mr. Comey’s comments at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing were his first public explanation for his actions, which roiled the presidential campaign in its final days and cast a harsh spotlight on the F.B.I. director.

Mr. Comey said he went public on Oct. 28 because he believed that the emails found by his agents might provide insight into Mrs. Clinton’s reasons for using a private server as secretary of state and might change the outcome of the investigation. Failing to inform Congress, Mr. Comey said, would have a [sic] required an “act of concealment.”

“Concealment, in my view, would have been catastrophic,” he said, adding later that he knew the decision would be “disastrous for me personally.”

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Comey, the FBI, not the Russians influenced the result of the elections. The deed of failure was set when Hillary nominated for the presidency. see:

a-miss congeniality rewrites history...


either way, he was doomed...

US President Donald Trump has abruptly fired FBI director James Comey in a move Democrats have condemned as politically motivated.

The decision has surprised many, not least of which Mr Comey himself, with reports indicating the director was not aware he had been fired until the dismissal letter was sent to the press.

Here's how it all unfolded.

What was the reason?

In a letter to Mr Comey, Mr Trump said the firing was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in the FBI.

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See toon at top....

a big fish in the pond...

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has accused the US administration of “political interference” for firing FBI Director James Comey while Julian Assange has invited the latter to work for WikiLeaks.

Comey was fired on Tuesday, days after he testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee about the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

READ MORE: Trump fires FBI Director James Comey

“Set aside politics: every American should condemn such political interference in the Bureau’s work,” Snowden tweeted.

Set aside politics: every American should condemn such political interference in the Bureau's work.

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 9, 2017

Many view the sudden firing as being tied to Comey’s role in the Russia investigation, although Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Comey was fired over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server during her time as secretary of state.

@Snowden He was fired because he was protecting #CrookedHillary from prosecution & he & Loretta Lynch involved in conspiracy to destroy evidence

— Jason Burack (@JasonEBurack) May 9, 2017

@JasonEBurack@Snowden See, I would agree with this if Comey didn't come out with a letter about the email scandal about a week before the election

— Anthony (@sack_attack_) May 9, 2017

“This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities,” Snowden tweeted. “If I can oppose his firing, so can you.”

This FBI Director has sought for years to jail me on account of my political activities. If I can oppose his firing, so can you.

— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) May 9, 2017

Meanwhile, Assange tweeted that: “WikiLeaks would be happy to consider hiring James Comey to help lead its DC office should he like to properly investigate the US government.”

WikiLeaks would be happy to consider hiring James Comey to help lead its DC office should he like to properly investigate the US government.

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) May 9, 2017

Assange said an FBI source had claimed the Bureau would now “start leaking like Niagara.”

“But please, FBI friends, full docs or you know the press will spin it,” he added.

FBI source says the FBI will now start leaking leaking like Niagara. But please FBI friends full docs or you know the press will spin it!

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) May 9, 2017

“Comey's firing will be an extraordinary boon for transparency as his loyalists leak and the admin counter-leaks,”Assange tweeted. “Will he run for 2020?”

Comey's firing will be an extraordinary boon for transparency as his loyalists leak and the admin counter-leaks. Will he run for 2020?

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) May 9, 2017

Assange also drew his followers’ attention back to 1993, when President Bill Clinton fired FBI chief William S Sessions, after he refused to resign on recommendation of the attorney general. Sessions, who was accused of ethical violations, was the only other FBI head to be fired.

Mr. Comey knows where many bodies are buried. Working for WikiLeaks is fulfilling. James--don't become another lobbyist for Glock or Donkin.

— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) May 10, 2017

“Mr. Comey knows where many bodies are buried,” Assange tweeted. “Working for WikiLeaks is fulfilling. James – don't become another lobbyist for Glock or Donkin.”

READ MORE: ‘Constitutional crisis’: Trump’s firing of FBI director ignites Twitter frenzy

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see toon at top...

US media discomfiture...

“Was he fired? You’re kidding!” Lavrov quipped, after NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell shouted a question about Comey at the photo-op with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. As he and Tillerson walked away, Lavrov shook his head.

This was not the first time Mitchell ran afoul of Lavrov. During Tillerson’s visit to Moscow in April, the NBC News chief foreign correspondent likewise shouted out a question before the diplomats had even sat down for a press conference, only to be berated by the Russian foreign minister for her lack of decorum.

“Who was bringing you up? Who was giving you your manners?” Lavrov asked, with the remarks making it into the official State Department transcript of the event.

Lavrov when asked by Andrea Mitchell about Comey firing wasn't making fun about Comey, he was making fun of Mitchell. Not 1st time.

— Andrew Patti (@AndrewPatti3) May 10, 2017

Following his meetings with Tillerson and Trump, Lavrov held a press conference at the Russian embassy in Washington, at one moment sighing in exasperation at repeated questions from US reporters about alleged Russian “influencing” of US presidential elections.

“The trouble is, no one has ever presented a single fact or evidence” of alleged Russian intervention to anyone, Lavrov said, adding that the issue was not discussed in his meetings in Washington.

“I can’t believe I’m being asked to answer such a question, especially in the US, where you have a sophisticated democratic political system,” he added.

“And now we go to Alaska,” Moscow’s top diplomat quipped at the end of the press conference, referring to the Arctic Council ministerial meeting on Thursday.

Putin reacts to Comey firing: "We have nothing to do with that"

— Kandy Zabka (@Kkzahu) May 10, 2017

Putin himself laughed off a question about Comey’s firing, when asked by a CBS reporter as he prepared to play a game of hockey in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

“We have nothing to do with that,” he said through a translator, adding that the question “sounds very funny.”

— American

the fox has a clinton bone to pick...

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., accused State Department officials last Friday of lying to the court in an affidavit concerning producing all of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s work-related documents and emails.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth was also “shocked” and “dumbfounded” to learn this past summer that the Justice Department had given former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills immunity during its investigation into the then-2016 Democratic presidential nominee’s use of a private email server while she was head of the State Department.

Fox News reported that in 2014 the government transparency group Judicial Watch sued the State Department after it did not respond to a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information related to the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.


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the clinton emails conspiracy with the FBI...

New documents obtained by Judicial Watch and the bombshell interview with former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe have shed new light on a double standard approach towards Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the part of high-ranking FBI officials, Wall Street analyst Сharles Ortel told Sputnik.

"The FBI must be run outside of partisan political considerations — yet, examination of FBI conduct tied to questionable and deeply suspicious activities of the Clintons suggests a two tier approach", says Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel, commenting on the Judicial Watch's release of the Clinton emailgate documents.

On 11 February, Judicial Watch (JW), a conservative watchdog group, signalled that it had received 215 pages of records from the US Department of Justice.

The documents indicated that former FBI General Counsel James Baker had discussed the federal agency's Clinton email investigation with Hillary Clinton's lawyer, David Kendall. The Baker-Kendall email exchange followed then FBI chief James Comey's 28 October 2016 announcement of the discovery of new emails on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the husband of the Clinton campaign's then vice president, Huma Abedin. Kendall reached out to Baker and lashed out at the FBI for its "tantalizingly ambiguous" statement.

"It is big news that, just days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton's personal lawyer pressured the top lawyer for the FBI on the infamous Weiner laptop emails", stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.


Earlier, Fox News turned the spotlight on Baker's testimony, which said that the former FBI general counsel had personally taken part in securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on then Donald Trump aide Carter Page. Baker admitted that the practice was "unusual".

The records obtained by JW also shed light on the apparent "quid pro quo" deal offered by the Obama administration. Former FBI attorney Lisa Page wrote on 13 October 2016 that US State Department officials had offered the FBI more legal attaché positions "if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Hillary Clinton email investigation 'from classified to something else'".

​"The most significant set of issues I see from the latest JW release is that certain persons may have been acting on behalf of unknown interests to limit the potential damage of an FBI investigation by offering the FBI perceived benefits (additional foreign locations for FBI staff) if the FBI agreed to downgrade the status of certain emails found on the Weiner laptop", Ortel said commenting on the issue.

He highlighted that the latest trove of documents released by JW should be examined in the context of:

1)      FBI Vault files on potential mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton;

2)      An FBI memo released on 3 October 2016 and saying that some 340,000 emails on the Weiner laptop contained "a significant number of emails between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton";

3)      A warrant obtained 30 October 2016 to search the contents of the Weiner/Abedin laptop;

4)      And, finally, US political commentator Paul Sperry's findings showing that the FBI may have only reviewed 3,077 out of hundreds of thousands of the aforementioned email

"What makes these revelations particularly significant is that they appear to have occurred in the heat and final moments of the 2016 general election campaign", Ortel stressed, echoing Fitton.


Citing the apparent "quid pro quo deal" between the FBI and the State Department concerning the Clinton email case, the Wall Street analyst assumed that it could be potentially be subject to three statutes, namely, 18 USC § 1510, Obstruction of a criminal Investigation; 18 USC § 1505, Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committee; and 18 USC § 1519, Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations or bankruptcy.

McCabe: 25th Amendment and Rosenstein's Wire

Meanwhile, Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI director, revealed in his interview on CBS' 60 Minutes that after ex-FBI James Comey's resignation, top administration officials seriously discussed Donald Trump's ouster, according to CBS' Scott Pelley, who shared excerpts from the conversation on 14 February.

In particular, McCabe described the meeting at the Justice Department that discussed "whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president under the 25th Amendment".

Furthermore, the journalist noted that "it was also said at a previous time that the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, offered to wear a wire into the White House to record potentially incriminating conversations with the president".


According to Pelley, this issue was discussed "more than once and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it."

In September 2018, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement saying that he "never pursued or authorized recording the President, and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false".

The McCabe interview prompted a storm of criticism from US President Donald Trump, who tweeted: "Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel' when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin' James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of ‘insurance policy' in case I won".

According to Ortel, the thickening plot requires a thorough examination of all facts of apparent collusion between Obama administration officials, the FBI and the "Clinton camp".

​"The timeline as Donald Trump surged to become the presumptive Republican nominee while concerns mounted about Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and regarding possible corruption, charity fraud, and money laundering via Clinton 'charities' needs to be fleshed out using the full resources of the FBI and other relevant investigative agencies, ideally as one or more grand juries are empaneled", the Wall Street analyst emphasised.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker and the contributor do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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