(Via USA Today)
WASHINGTON — In early January, news that the Justice Department’s inspector general launched an investigation into the government’s disputed handling of the Hillary Clinton email inquiry was quickly overtaken by the chaotic run-up to President Trump’s inauguration.
Nearly a year later, Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s wide-ranging review of the FBI and Justice’s work in the politically-charged Clinton case now looms as a potential landmine for Russia special counsel Robert Mueller.
For months, Horowitz’s investigation — which has amassed interviews with former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey and other key officials — had been grinding on in near anonymity. That is, until earlier this month when the inspector general acknowledged that Mueller was alerted to a cache of text messages exchanged between two FBI officials on his staff that disparaged Trump.
The communications, involving senior counter-intelligence agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page, were gathered in the course of Horowitz’s internal review of the Clinton case, which Strzok also helped oversee. Horowitz’s investigation is not examining Mueller’s operation. But the disclosures already have provided a hammer to Trump loyalists who are escalating their criticisms of the legitimacy of the special counsel’s inquiry.
Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein only highlighted the potential gravity of the inspector general’s work when they repeatedly urged Republican House committee members during separate hearings to withhold judgment about allegations of bias within the FBI until the internal Justice probe is completed.
Justice officials have indicated that a report is likely in the next few months.
“The inspector general’s investigation is very important,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., told Rosenstein at a Dec. 13 hearing. The deputy attorney general cited the probe multiple times as the reason for declining to respond to lawmakers’ questions about how the texts might affect Mueller’s probe.
“It is very encouraging to us that (Horowitz) is doing what I think is good, unbiased work,” the chairman said.
Once it’s completed, the inspector general’s review also threatens to give opponents fodder to unleash fresh criticism of the FBI – which Trump has singled out in scathing rebukes since Mueller’s indictment of former national security adviser Michael Flynn earlier this month. Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and pledged to cooperate with the special counsel, was the fourth Trump campaign official to be charged in the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
Chris Swecker, a former FBI assistant director, said the text communications unearthed by Horowitz have handed leverage to attorneys representing current and possible future defendants in the Mueller investigation, either in possible plea negotiations or at trial.
“Two star witnesses have been created for the defense,” Swecker said, referring to Strzok and Page whose communications could be introduced as evidence of an investigation biased against Trump.
Strzok was removed from the Russia investigation this summer immediately after Mueller was informed of the communications in which the agent described Trump as an “idiot” while expressing a clear preference for Clinton. Page, meanwhile, had completed her temporary assignment to the Russia inquiry and had returned to bureau headquarters when the texts were discovered.
Swecker said Mueller acted appropriately in dismissing Strzok, but fears that the damage has already been done.
“I never heard anything related to politics come out of (Mueller’s) mouth,” Swecker said, referring to his experience working closely with the special counsel when he served as FBI director.
“But none of this is good for Mueller or his reputation for fairness,” Swecker said. “Who knows what else the IG (inspector general) has.”
Mounting questions about the FBI’s continuing credibility – including Trump’s jab that the bureau’s reputation was in “tatters” – have landed hard at the agency. The FBI was sent reeling in May when Trump abruptly dismissed Comey for his handling of the Russia inquiry.
Wray, who took over in September, has publicly defended the bureau’s reputation in the wake of Trump’s attacks. He was joined late Tuesday by the FBI Agents Association, whose members issued a rare, collective defense of their own.
“Attacks on our character and demeaning comments about the FBI will not deter agents from continuing to do what we have always done – dedicate our lives to protecting the American people,” the group said in a written statement.
Pat Cotter, a former federal prosecutor, said the specter of Horowitz’s inquiry should have “zero effect on how Mueller and his team do their jobs.”
“But this is a political event, too,” Cotter added. “To the extent that this (agents’ conduct) will be used to discredit, distract or obfuscate the Mueller investigation, maybe it will work.”
For Horowitz, the Clinton email inquiry may be the most consequential investigation he has launched since his installment as Justice’s watchdog in 2012. But the former public corruption unit chief in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office has not shied from controversy in the past five years.
Months after taking office, Horowitz issued a scathing account of a botched gun-trafficking operation that allowed an estimated 2,000 firearms to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartel enforcers.
The inspetor general’s review of the so-called “Fast and Furious” operation managed by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives recommended 14 federal law enforcement officials for discipline, resulting in a dramatic shakeup in leadership at the ATF. The operation was halted when two of the weapons were found at the scene of the 2010 slaying of border patrol agent Brian Terry.
A separate 2015 report authored by Horowitz’s staff found that U.S. Drug Enforcement Agents posted in Colombia had engaged in sex parties involving prostitutes who were supplied by local drug cartels. The review concluded that some of the 10 agents involved admitted attending the parties where a local Colombian police offer often stood guard, protecting the agents’ firearms and other property.
Less than a month after Horowitz’s report, then-DEA chief Michele Leonhart announced her retirement from the agency.
In the review of the Clinton email investigation, authorities are examining whether the Justice Department and FBI followed established “policies and procedures” when then-FBI Director Comey publicly announced that the bureau would not recommend criminal charges against Clinton related to her use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.
The inspector general is not evaluating the merits of the now-closed criminal inquiry or challenge the conclusions not to prosecute Clinton. Rather, it will focus on Justice and FBI policies that guided the probe.
Former Justice inspector general Michael Bromwich said that the office has a long established record as “a reliable and independent voice” that has held some of the most powerful institutions to account.
The disclosures of the agents’ text messages, he said, “has certainly re-focused the spotlight on investigation that many people may have forgotten about but remains an important piece of work that needs to be completed.”
More than once, Bromwich found himself at the center of a firestorm while inspector general. In 1997, Bromwich authored a damning review of the FBI’s crime laboratory on the eve of the federal trial of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. While McVeigh was ultimately convicted and executed, the lab had been heavily involved in examining evidence in that case.
“Michael (Horowitz) is a very solid guy with exactly the right background for the job. It’s a job that doesn’t make you many friends,” Bromwich said. “And I don’t think a lot of people will be happy when it’s over. But I think he is going to call it as he sees it.”
No Nation Is An Idea
The concept that “America is a timeless placeholder of ideas” is a common talking point that has been in circulation from both Conservative Inc., and the broader American Left for many years now. This saying is typically used as a divergence from addressing important policies as they pertain to mass immigration. Often, it is also used to stifle the growth of an American National Populist movement. Clearly, the unelected elites calling shots around the Western world seek to undermine valid and critical debate of the role of National Populism. Rather than emphasizing the importance of health, stable families, community, housing, and wages, our leaders have an obsession with growing GDP, doing the bidding of predatory crony capitalists who are constantly pushing to import cheap labor, and retaining power for generations to come.
The fact of the matter is, Americans (and humans in general) seek more than cheap, 4k television sets, quirky tupper-ware for last night’s leftovers, and salad shooters that break after a few uses. We are innately spiritual beings who long for community, order, and social cohesion. The United States of America is not an idea… actually, no nation is an idea. As further disorder ensues among the population, the elites have made sure to use their corporate-funded foot soldiers as a means to promote a very new, Neo-Liberal agenda. This agenda is the concept that the beautiful mountains, forests, and lakes of our Nation would mean absolutely nothing without this arbitrary term of “ideas.” The blood, sweat, and tears American workers shed producing automobiles in Michigan, the early mornings for the farmers of Iowa, and the dedicated fishermen of California, all mean nothing if this is but a plot of land where the British came to talk about the importance of small government.
Although we can appreciate the writings of philosophers like John Stuart Mill, John Locke, and Adam Smith, the “marketplace of ideas” means absolutely nothing to people who see the world completely different than you. It is apparent that the philosophy of our ancestors and founding fathers have changed the world. In an American context, the very concepts of things like liberty, freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms should be held in the highest regard. Among Conservatives and the American Right, these values are not even up for debate. Unfortunately, much of Conservative Inc. (who are just liberals who want to keep more of their money) do not recognize (or are blatantly ignorant to) the sacrifices made by the ones who came before them.
To put this into perspective, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk previously stated, “I have loyalty to ideas.” Kirk says, “Of course I love the Grand Canyon. I love the Rocky Mountains. And I love Boston. And I love Chicago. But if all that disappeared, if all I had was ideas, and we were on an island, that’s America. That’s Israel. And that’s what people have to realize, America’s just a placeholder for timeless ideas. And if you fall too in love with, oh, the specific place, and all this…that’s not what it is.” What Kirk fails to recognize is that the physical reality of a Nation is what manifests those very ideas he holds so dear.
Nations are unique, with celebrations and folktales that those who inhabit the land feel relation to. Nations are made up of a people. Nations are traditions. Nations are land, resources, and landmarks. Nations are history – the good, the bad, and the ugly. No Nation is an idea.
The ‘Alt-Lite’ Has No Answers For Real Conservatives, Ask More Questions
As was with the answer to my Demographics question by Charlie Kirk on October 23rd (the third “Groyper” question of them all), insufficient, so is the entire ‘grifter right’ and gateway keepers answers on the right to legitimate concerns of Americans across the spectrum, left or right. Global, corporate, and government sponsored legal immigration, mass migration, demographic changes in Western Countries, the destruction of the Christian Religion, the Family, and the decrease in the value of labor.
— Pop Wire (@populist_wire) October 24, 2019
— Pop Wire (@populist_wire) October 24, 2019
Charlie Kirk embodies the 21st century establishment Libertarian side of the Republican party, being an ex-libertarian I can see how it’s appealing. However, as much as it is appealing it is even more destructive to our culture and politics than perhaps progressives. Giving up on key issues such as abortion, morals, religion, demographics, free trade, and open borders.
This is a fairly new hive-mind of new and old Republican talking points, however this ‘Corporate’ or ‘Conservative Inc.’ style control over the conversation on the right is leading us back into the same problems with middle of the ground “Conservative” leaders like John McCain and Mitt Romney, you can see the Alt-Lite gearing up to endorse Nikki Haley or Dan Crenshaw to be President in 2024. Attempting to usurp and hop on the Populist Wave Trump rode in on.
The same host of Never-Trumpers who now play ball as Trump supporters only to not be completely tarnished by Trump’s Populist base, are seething at the idea that the actual Conservative Right, who wishes to actually conserve Western Culture & Christian Values in America, instead of making this a “place holder” for Wood Stock and Wall-Street Culture, to continue to sacrifice the American Middle Class. This is also the same class of people who endlessly call for Wars in the Middle East at the behest of Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc, and criticize Trump on a regular basis of his “liberal” handling on the Middle East, aka withdrawing our Troops, and as Trump declares, “without a drop of blood.” Something that must really get the blood boiling of the Neo-Con Establishment.
— ZOA National (@ZOA_National) November 1, 2019
It is ever imperative we make sure this establishment force within the Republican Party is shut out and completely shunned into the corner of Politics, along with failed trade deals, endless overseas wars, bail outs of the elites, and a slew of other misguided policies. The only way to keep these sell outs on their toes is to always ask them questions that can ultimately either continually expose their hypocrisy, or open their eyes to the truth, otherwise they will attempt to continue to use the “leftist” tactics of smear campaigns, silencing you, get you fired, etc. It is not so different from the Antifa tactics that are used of the far left.
why does everyone who hates nick fuentes look like this pic.twitter.com/Vutu1dYZRx
— SNOWpai~ ⛄🎄 (@stembrandt) November 3, 2019
We’ve posted the graphic below of the continued “Groyper Wars” events and will be continuing the coverage of this:
Bill Maher Defends Kavanaugh
On his show Friday night, Bill Maher and his panel got into a heated debate over the “new” allegations about Brett Kavanaugh – yes, the ones even his accuser can’t remember. Maher even turned on his liberal comrades, adopting the position that rehashing events from when Kavanaugh was 17 years old hurt the Democrats in 2018… and could hurt them again.
Citing polling from 2018, Maher said that Democrats could have done better in the midterm elections had it not been for the Kavanaugh hearings: “People did not like going after a guy for what he did in high school. It looked bad and now Democrats are talking about impeaching him again?” Maher said.
Guest Andrew Sullivan seemed to agree. “He probably did some shitty things in high school drunk,” he said.
And when liberal guest Heather McGhee tried to jump in, asking “May the woman please speak about what this felt like?”, Sullivan shot her down immediately: “Please don’t play that card. You’re making my point.”
When Kavanaugh’s temperament was brought up, Sullivan responded: “You try maintaining a good temperament when you’re being accused of something, you had no idea it was coming at you, came at the last minute, and that happened years and years and years ago.”
As McGhee tried to make the point that being a Supreme Court justice isn’t just a “normal job”, Maher immediately fired back: “So you’re saying at 17 you have to have your fully formed character?”
He continued: “Live in reality, man! That’s who they put up. We don’t have the votes, and now we lost seats! Are we gonna do it again? Ruth Bader Ginsburg said glowing things about him… What were you like at 17?”