Tag Archives: Clinton e-mails

IG takes former FBI boss to the woodshed

The FBI’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has laid it out there.

James Comey, the FBI director during the 2016 presidential campaign, messed up royally. He broke with Justice Department protocol by failing to consult with Attorney General Loretta Lynch when he called a press conference to say he had no hard evidence to prosecute Hillary Clinton over the use of her personal e-mail account.

That press conference in July 2016 brought out allegations of “rigged election” from Donald J. Trump.

There’s more. The IG also said Comey messed up when, 11 days from the election, he sent a letter to Congress revealing that he was looking once again at Clinton’s e-mail matter.

The Clinton camp said the latter announcement swung the election in Trump’s favor.

Oh … brother.

This investigation by Horowitz is likely to grow dozens of legs. The president no doubt is going to seize on some element of the IG’s findings to demonstrate that the FBI was biased against him.

Except that the IG has said that he found no evidence of politicization at the July 2016 news conference or when he announced in October of that year that he was looking again at the e-mail matter.

I am one American who is reluctant to say categorically that Comey’s second announcement on the cusp of Election Day was decisive in determining the outcome. However, it appears to look as though there might have been some tangible impact. Clinton’s momentum stopped dead. Journalists covering the campaign reportedly said in the moment that Comey’s letter to Congress effectively ended Clinton’s chances of winning.

In the period since that amazing, tumultuous episode, Trump has sought to turn Comey into a villain. Trump fired Comey over the “Russia thing,” and has vilified the former FBI director, calling him a liar, a showboat and everything short of being the son of Satan himself.

Of course, the president has turned his big guns on special counsel Robert Mueller, who’s looking into the Russian meddling in our electoral process.

A detailed IG report by all rights should add clarity to a complicated investigation. I fear that Michael Horowitz’s report has made it cloudier than ever.

Are the wheels flying off Trump’s ‘fine-tuned machine’?

“A fine-tuned machine” does not experience the kind of malfunctions we are witnessing within Donald J. Trump’s administration.

For instance, it doesn’t produce an FBI director asking the Justice Department to dismiss an explosive allegation coming from the president of the United States against his immediate predecessor.

FBI Director James Comey wants the Justice Department to toss out Trump’s allegation — delivered this weekend in a tweet — that Barack Obama ordered spooks to wiretap Trump’s offices in Trump Tower.

Why would they do such a thing, which they have denied doing? It would be to look for evidence that Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russian officials to interfere with the U.S. presidential election.

Trump calls it a “fact” that such a thing occurred. Comey, in an apparent act of open rebellion against the president, says, um, no it isn’t. It didn’t happen. At this moment, DOJ officials haven’t done as Comey has asked.

Ladies and gents, we are witnessing perhaps the first shots of open warfare within the Trump administration. It might be Trump v. Comey in this fight.

Ex-DNI denies wiretap allegation.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on “Meet the Press” this morning that any such order to wiretap Trump’s office would have had to come from a federal judge, who would have determined probable cause to issue such an order. The DNI, said Clapper, would be made aware of it.

Clapper said it never occurred during his time as DNI.

Comey has taken up Clapper’s side in this fight.

The “fine-tuned machine” — which is how the president described his administration during that infamous press conference a couple of weeks ago — appears set to explode in flames.

What happens now? The president might fire Comey. What do you suppose would be the public reaction to such an event?

The president, moreover, is reportedly furious at Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from an investigation into Russia’s alleged effort to influence the presidential election.

Does that sound to you like a “fine-tuned machine” that is humming along on all cylinders? Me neither.

My … goodness.


Comey’s request of the DOJ to drop this wiretap nonsense is fascinating at another level as well. The FBI director heaved that political grenade into Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign 11 days before Election Day informing her of a letter he had sent to Congress asking for a re-examination of that e-mail controversy that dogged her all along the way.

Clinton blames that letter for stopping her momentum and for giving Trump the ammo he needed to blast her presidential campaign to smithereens.

Now he turns on the individual he supposedly helped get elected?

Lock ‘n load!

Now it’s POTUS who’s flinging around information

I’m confused … apparently.

Hillary Rodham Clinton was pilloried and pounded because of her “careless” use of e-mails while served as secretary of state. Republicans wanted to “lock her up!” because she used a personal e-mail server to conduct official State Department business.

Leading the “lock her up!” chorus was none other than the guy who’d become president of the United States, Donald John Trump.

Now there’s this: Trump takes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to his glitzy Florida estate and then, allegedly, starts discussing national security matters regarding North Korea in front of unclassified estate staff. Trump reportedly has left sensitive material laying around where just about anyone can get their hands on it.

Where is the outrage over this sloppy handling of material that should be seen only by those with the highest level of security clearances.

Trump and Abe also reportedly were talking openly about how the United States and Japan should respond to North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.

Didn’t the president get some advice during his presidential security briefings about the dangers of blabbing too loosely about this kind of thing? Oh, wait! He said he didn’t need to be briefed regularly by his national security team. Maybe the spooks who advise the president on these matters never got around to telling him about that stuff.

I’m now waiting to hear from previously outraged Republicans about whether the president of the United States of America is doing something far worse than the things they accused his 2016 campaign opponent of doing.

IG takes aim at FBI boss

James Comey is under the microscope yet again.

The Justice Department’s inspector general is launching an investigation into the FBI director’s conduct in the days immediately preceding the 2016 presidential election.

At issue is whether Comey’s 11th-hour letter to Congress about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail controversy had a direct impact on the election outcome.

Clinton believes it did. Donald Trump, who won, is dismissing the impact of the letter. Wow! Imagine that.


What gives this upcoming probe its legs is that the IG works also for the Justice Department, the same agency that employs the FBI director.

Comey’s letter is believed by many to have stalled Clinton’s momentum in the final days of the campaign. Trump’s team contends that their guy was gaining momentum anyway and would have won with our without Comey’s intervention.

Of course, it should be noted that Comey said a few days after announcing he had sent the letter to Congress that his agency determined — as it had done in the summer of 2016 — that Clinton didn’t commit a crime in her handling of the e-mails.

The Clinton team, though, believes the damage had been done.

Comey has drawn intense and angry fire from congressional Democrats who believe his letter — which he revealed 11 days before the election — was directly responsible for Trump’s victory.

My hope for this probe is that Trump will let it go forward. If he calls off the DOJ dogs — or fires Comey — after he takes office, the president-elect will unleash yet another storm of suspicion that he has something to hide.

Let’s answer the question: Did the FBI director act improperly when he injected himself and his agency directly into an intense campaign for the presidency of the United States?

This inquiring mind wants to know. I am quite certain I am not alone.

Do the e-mails mean anything … or not?


FBI Director James Comey is going to have a busy week.

He’s going to face immense pressure from Democrats who are incensed at the letter he sent to Congress declaring that he might have some damaging information regarding Hillary Clinton’s e-mail controversy.

Does he have the goods or not? He’s not saying. All he’s saying is that he has found more missing e-mails.

B … F … D!

I get that Comey might be constrained to reveal the details of an ongoing investigation. What I do not get is why this fellow decided on the eve of a presidential election to reveal the existence of the e-mails — that well might contain no new information regarding Clinton’s use of a personal server while she was working as secretary of state.

He’s made a mess of it, man.

What’s more, he has given Donald J. Trump license to convict Clinton of “crimes” and “corruption” on the campaign stump — while not being privy to a single shred of evidence that the Democratic presidential candidate has done anything wrong, let alone illegal.

Oh, and one more point: Comey isn’t “reopening an investigation” of Clinton, which is another lie that Trump has proffered while trying to rescue his floundering presidential campaign.

For that matter, none of us knows what Comey has discovered.

He might be unable to pore through all the contents, but at the very least he now owes it to the public to explain whether he has found anything that might contradict his earlier finding that “no reasonable prosecutor” would call for an indictment against Clinton over her use of the personal server.

We’ve got a week and a day before we go to the polls, Mr. FBI Director.

Let’s clear the air … immediately!

Here come those ‘damn e-mails’ again


I have been trying for weeks to grasp the significance of the e-mail controversy that keeps swirling around Hillary Rodham Clinton’s quest for the presidency.

Her one-time Democratic presidential primary opponent Bernie Sanders said he was tired of “hearing about your damn e-mails.” Me, too, senator.

But … here they come again, courtesy of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and — more than likely — the former head of the Soviet KGB spy agency and current president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

They’re leaking these e-mails near the end of a bitter and ugly presidential campaign between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald J. Trump.

Their intent clearly and without equivocation is to embarrass and undermine Clinton’s bid to become president of the United States. They contain communication on a whole array of issues, from her speeches to well-heeled groups and backers, the LGBT response to Clinton’s reaction to the death of former first lady Nancy Reagan and her thoughts on how U.S. policy should deal with the crisis in Syria.


I get the intent, which is my clearest takeaway from it all. Indeed, Clinton hasn’t been very forthcoming on explaining many of these issues raised by the e-mails.

She and Trump are squaring off this week for the third and final (thank God in heaven) joint appearance. I’d bet real American money that moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News is going to ask her some tough questions about the e-mail dump and what it all means about the way she would govern as president.

I’m also willing to bet some serious greenbacks she’ll be ready to respond. Trump? Well, time tell us very soon how he intends to respond to her response.

Perhaps a follow-up question for Trump from Wallace might go something like this: Mr. Trump? You all but invited the Russian government to deliver us the content of those “missing” e-mails. Is this what you had in mind?

Oh, and another one could go this way: You’ve been critical of our intelligence operation and our military. Intelligence officials now seem to believe that President Putin — about whom you’ve spoken quite highly and who has returned the compliment — is responsible for the e-mail dump in these waning days of the campaign. Are they wrong, sir?

E-mail story is getting more convoluted


I am willing to admit the obvious, which is that sometimes I am a bit slow on the uptake.

Things can and do get past me. The swirl of news events at times overwhelms me to the point that I cannot keep straight the particulars of this or that controversy/scandal.

The Hillary Rodham Clinton e-mail matter provides a case in point.

She used her personal server while leading the State Department. The question then became whether she distributed classified or “highly classified” information on this server.

The FBI investigated it. So did the U.S. House Government Oversight Committee.

The FBI concluded that it couldn’t find a reason to prosecute Clinton for any illegal activity. FBI Director James Comey, though, did provide a pile of critical analysis of Clinton’s handling of the e-mails, calling it “reckless,” and “careless.”

Now, though, Donald J. Trump is accusing Clinton of “illegal” use of her personal e-mail server.

Didn’t the feds determine already that she didn’t break the law, or that they couldn’t find reasonable grounds to recommend an indictment?

Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has goaded Russia into looking for 30,000-something missing e-mails. The House Oversight and Judiciary committees are looking for proof that Clinton committed perjury when she testified before Congress.

Then we hear about 15,000 more e-mails that have surfaced. What does that mean? Anything?

The Democratic presidential nominee has endured a serious media and political scrubbing over all of this.

She hasn’t been accused formally of a single criminal act.

And yet …

Republicans keep calling her a criminal. They want to “lock her up!”

My head is spinning.

I need help.

E-mail story will never die … never!

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at Syracuse Universitys S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications presentation of the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

I’ve concluded that the Hillary Rodham Clinton e-mail controversy has as many lives as, say, the JFK assassination conspiracy theories and the notion that men didn’t really walk on the moon.

Congressional Republicans now are examining whether Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton committed perjury during her testimonial marathon in 2015.


They have put forward a case that Clinton lied while testifying when questioned by lawmakers about whether she sent out classified material using her personal e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

The hearing ended. The FBI then concluded that it had no credible evidence to prosecute Clinton over her use of the e-mail server. Sure, FBI Director James Comey had some harsh words for Clinton, saying she was “extremely careless” in handling those e-mails.

Was there criminality involved? None, said Comey.

That should end it, right?

Oh, no.

Now, the chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees are wanting to prove that Clinton committed perjury while testifying about her e-mail use.

Clinton said she didn’t send classified information on her e-mails; Comey said that is an untrue statement. Clinton said her staff reviewed all e-mails to identify work-related messages; Comey said the staffers didn’t read them entirely. Clinton said she used on e-mail server; Comey said she used several.

Does this constitute perjury? Did she deliberately deceive congressional interrogators?

I keep returning to Comey’s final report. He said “no reasonable prosecutor” would find reasons to indict Clinton over the e-mail matter. Did he say during his lengthy dissertation that she committed perjury? No.

The FBI director himself is a former federal prosecutor. He’s a thorough lawyer steeped in these the nuts and bolts of intense federal investigations.

Oh, but there’s this other matter.

Hillary Clinton is running for president of the United States and at this moment is the odds-on favorite to be elected to the highest office in the land.

Might there be a political motive in bringing this perjury investigation forward?

Hmmm. Maybe?

Trump keeps straying over ‘the line’


I’m trying to process this latest bit of news regarding the Republican Party’s nominee for president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump — if I understand this correctly — has called on Russia to locate some missing e-mails belonging to his Democratic Party opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton. He has suggested the Russians should hack into her e-mails, those that were deleted from her personal account while she was serving as secretary of state.

If they do, Trump said, they would be rewarded by the American media.

I’m left to wonder: Has a major-party presidential nominee just asked a major geopolitical foe of this country — of his country — to put our national security into potential jeopardy?

Aren’t there charges that could be filed in relation to such utterly reckless and dangerous rhetoric coming from someone who’s about to start receiving classified briefings from the president’s National Security Council?


If the Russians were to hack into some cyber storage area where those e-mails might be kept, what on Earth else would they be able to find?

Clinton and the Democrats are calling Trump a “dangerous” individual. They are echoing the language uttered during the primary season by his Republican foes.

This irresponsible suggestion by the GOP presidential nominee only demonstrates the grave danger he would pose as our head of government.


Clinton needs to steel herself over server

Hillary Rodham Clinton is getting the third, fourth and maybe the fifth degrees over this server business.

The Democrats’ presidential frontrunner is under fire over the way she handled e-mail communications while she was serving as secretary of state and her use of a personal e-mail server to conduct State Department business.

She cut off a press conference when the question kept coming about the server issue and whether she destroyed information that belongs to the public.

At one level, this continuing investigation has partisan politics written all over it. Republicans do not want her to become the 45th president of the United States; thus, it’s understandable that they would do whatever they can to deny her the office.

The e-mail controversy — and I refuse to call it a “scandal” — has given them a quiver full of ammo to fire at former secretary of state.

She said today she did everything that is prescribed by law and insisted she broke no laws.

On a human level, I understand her continuing frustration over the continuing coverage of this matter.

On another level, though, I want this matter settled. She has turned her server over to the Department of Justice. My hope is that Clinton will answer all the questions posed to her.

At some point it will have to become as obvious to the rest of the country — as it is to Clinton — that the investigations into the e-mail matter will produce zero criminal culpability.

Therefore, all the politicians involved in seeking to undermine her candidacy will realize they are doing more damage to themselves than they are to her.

First things first, though. Hillary Clinton needs to deliver all the goods about this e-mail business for thorough public inspection.