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BREAKING: The FBI Totally Screwed Hillary Clinton. Wait, You Knew That Already?
The fuck you say!
Wonkers, are you preparing your book reports on the Department of Justice's inspector general report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation? We here at Wonkette unfortunately are, and boy oh boy, despite whatever lies Donald Trump is already telling about it, it sure does make it look like the FBI (and James Comey!) really screwed the goat.
Taking the document as a whole (a whole 568 pages!), most of the investigation seems fairly routine. (We've already written about some aspects of it here. ) Some FBI agents seemed like they thought (correctly) that the investigation was kind of stupid, or at least that the "BUT HER EMAILS!" scrutiny it was receiving was a bit overboard considering what they actually were dealing with -- and what they realized they weren't dealing with, as time went on. There's more information about what was happening during the time leading up to Hillary Clinton's interview with the FBI in summer of 2016, at which point former FBI director James Comey has explained that they pretty much already knew where the investigation was heading. (Which is how investigations tend to go. You're either realizing you're uncovering MILLIONS OF CRIMES, or you're finding out there's not much "there" there.) They knew the answers to the questions they were going to ask Clinton, just like special counsel Robert Mueller knows the answers to the questions he wants to ask Donald Trump already. The only question is whether fuckers gonna lie to them and catch charges for that. Hillary Clinton didn't do that, and the investigation was closed with James Comey's famous press conference, in which he spent an hour editorializing about how careless Clinton was, then said "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a case.
There are also mildly outraging details like this:
IG found that on numerous occasions, COMEY used a personal GMail account to conduct official FBI business, accordin… https: //t.co/UMbYVFuHS3
— Kyle Cheney (@Kyle Cheney) 1528998146.0
AAAAAAAAAAAGH KILL EVERYTHING WITH FIRE! Sorry, did we say "mildly outraging?" We meant AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH KILL EVERYTHING WITH FIRE!
Hillary Clinton, please say something while we are screaming:
But my emails. https: //t.co/G7TIWDEG0p
— Hillary Clinton (@Hillary Clinton) 1529012215.0
OK, now we feel better. Sort of.
Let's move on!
Class, please turn in your IG report to page 273!
We want to direct your attention to the sections of the report dealing with what happened when the FBI found all those "new" Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner's dirty jizz laptop, how James Comey went against longstanding DOJ/FBI policy in announcing 11 DAYS BEFORE THE GODDAMN ELECTION that the Clinton email investigation was being reopened, and just how much this report vindicates Hillary Clinton, because oh man , she got screwed. If Donald Trump wasn't a liar trying to obstruct justice for his own purposes, his excuse that he fired Comey over his handling of the Clinton email investigation might make some sense. But we all know why he really fired Comey, because of how he said so, and also what a liar he is, because of everything that comes out of his mouth, so fuck the president.
As we all know, Hillary Clinton emails were discovered on Weiner's laptop in late September of 2016, but at the time, high-up FBI officials really didn't seem to grasp the general OMG-ness of what they found. (As you'll remember, what they found didn't turn out to be OMG at all!) They mostly thought, "Oh, that is interesting. We will get to that when we get to that part of our to-do list!" Indeed, Peter Strzok, the lead investigator on the "Midyear Exam" investigation (as the Hillary investigation was code-named by the FBI, because of course they made a Tracy Flick joke), told the FBI the general way they felt around September 29, when home office was learning what the New York field office had found on Weiner's laptop:
And again...there is no sense of this is going to be huge and horrible and the election is a month away, and God, are we going to say something, do we need to say something to Congress? This is just, oh, good lead and, you know, we'll get to the end of the year, next year. We'll get to it as they process through it.
Basically, all in a day's work! Also, agents who had been working on Midyear day in and day out, who were intimately familiar with the details of that (closed) investigation, were getting mighty focused on a little thing called the "Russia investigation," and the discovery of Hillary-related emails on Weiner's laptop just didn't really set off alarm bells for them. The report refers numerous times to the limited scope of the search warrant the FBI had for looking at Anthony Weiner's gross underbelly, and communications between his wife Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton were not part of that. Remember also that basically everyone in the world assumed at that point that Hillary Clinton would be elected president. They would sort it out when they sorted it out, because, as Strzok told the FBI, it wasn't a "ticking terrorist time bomb." That Russia investigation, though? Sheeeeeeeeeit !
We were consumed by these ever-increasing allegations of [Russian] contacts and coordination and trying to get operations up, and following people.... Doing a lot of stuff that was extraordinarily consuming and concerning. So this pops up, and it's like...another thing to worry about. And it's important, and we need to do it. Okay, get it handled. Come back to us, and then back to this, you know, is the government of Russia trying to get somebody elected here in the United States?"
BUT HER EMAILS! BUT HER EMAILS BUT HER EMAILS BUT MAILBENGHAZIPIZZAFILEGATEWHITEWATER!!11!!!!! WHY FBI NOT DROP EVERYTHING ELSE FOR "BUT HER EMAILS"??????
As we now know, not much action was taken on the "new" Hillary Clinton emails until a flurry of activity happened in the last two weeks of the election season, which culminated in James Comey saying 11 DAYS BEFORE THE FUCKING ELECTION, just as news reports were starting to surface on the very weird connections between Donald Trump and Russia, that there was new Hillary email catnip for Republicans to trip balls on. It appears to have been precipitated by a late October call between the New York FBI office, the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and home office, where the principals on the Midyear investigation learned that the Weiner laptop might contain the so-called "missing emails" from Hillary Clinton, which were sent during her first three months as secretary of State and later deleted. That was the moment where they said "oh shit, maybe this is a thing." (It was not a thing, but you know how those conspiracy-mongers at Fox News view the "missing emails." THEY WAZ BLEACHED! THAT'S WHERE HILLARY ADMITTED DOING BENGHAZI WITH HUMA IN THE BATH TUB! THEY WAZ NAKED!")
Because Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and then FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were all very Deep State and #InTheTank for Hillary Clinton, they agreed that this new evidence was important enough they should get a warrant specifically to look at these "new" emails. Also, because news reporting was coming out about Andrew McCabe's wife's political run and its connection to the Clintons, James Comey kicked McCabe off the case around October 27, which led to an official recusal from McCabe. (DEEP STATE!)
And then (ugh) James Comey went to Congress.
The inspector general finds a lot of goats were boned between the initial discovery of these emails and Comey's decision to blab to Congress, which the inspector general also believes to be a fuckup of monumental proportions. (Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page agreed! So did pretty much all of the Department of Justice! However, Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates did not order him to stand down, so he didn't.)
But there are important details in the report about the FBI's knowledge that if Comey didn't come forward, shit would leak.
We all remember that whole thing -- after Comey's announcement to Congress, but before the FBI concluded its review of the "new" emails and Comey said "MY BAD!" -- when rogue agents in the FBI New York field office seemed to be leaking to Rudy Giuliani and to Erik Prince that there were these GROSS TERRIBLE HILLARY EMAILS. They were all over the TV and the radio talking about how the FBI had probably just found the smoking gun that proved #PizzaGate true (or whatever they were saying, we have repressed the memory), and that was part of why Comey wanted to try to get in front of all of that by disclosing to Congress 11 DAYS BEFORE THE GODDAMN ELECTION the existence of the "new" emails.
Comey says he didn't make his decision based on the inevitability of leaks, but it was on his mind:
Comey told us, "I kind of consoled myself, this was a hard call and you're going to get the crap beat out of you for it, but it would have come out anyway." He reiterated, however, "I [don't] want to leave you with the impression that I sent the letter to Congress because I thought it was going to leak otherwise."
Peter Strzok says James Comey is full of shit:
Strzok stated that the fear of leaks played a role in the ultimate decision. Strzok explained that the decision to seek a search warrant for the Weiner laptop was known to many people beyond the Midyear team and this raised a concern that the information could leak. Draft talking points that were circulated to FBI senior management on October 31 regarding the decision to send the letter to Congress, which incorporated comments by Strzok, the Lead Analyst, and Page, included the following bullet point: "It's important to note the [sic] I notified Congress before moving forward with additional investigative steps in this investigation, because of my commitment to transparency and because I wanted Conrgess [sic] to hear it from me first."
And where were those concerns coming from? OOH, PICK WONKETTE, PICK WONKETTE! WERE THEY WORRIED THAT THE NEW YORK FIELD OFFICE HAD GONE ROGUE?
[Lisa] Page told us that her "personal belief" was that there was "a substantial and legitimate fear that when we went to seek the warrant in order to get access to the Weiner laptop, that the fact of that would leak."Page said that this concern related to the suspicion that NYO personnel had been leaking negative Clinton Foundation stories.
To be clear, the IG report doesn't mention Rudy Giuliani's name, but this whole section just smells like his dirty cheatin' ass. And according to a "source," we will be hearing more about that in the coming days:
Source briefed on the IG report says issue of alleged leaks to Rudy about Clinton investigation info isn't limited to what's in this report. More info to come on that later.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 14, 2018
OOH, NOW THAT IS THE SHIT WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT! LOCK HIM UP! LOCK HIM UP!
Or at least maybe it is time for Rudy Giuliani to respectfully bow out of representing Donald Trump, since it sounds to us like he's conflicted as holy FUCK as regards this biz'ness.
Anyway, BUT HER EMAILS!
To close this post, here, for no reason in particular, is a tweet that reminds us of the mindblowing #SCANDAL of Hillary Clinton's email server, and what America should have learned about her when it got the chance to pore over all her emails:
For no particular reason I found myself thinking tonight about the time we got access to Hillary‘s private emails a… https: //t.co/IajY6NUCgO
— Rebecca Ingber (@Rebecca Ingber) 1528941290.0
That fucking monster.
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[ DOJ IG report ]