The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is continuing its oversight of the OFC’s Hatch Act investigation of former FBI Director James Comey. As part of the investigation, the FBI produced documents that included early draft’s of Director Comey’s public statement delivered on July 5, 2016. This is when he cleared Secretary Clinton of wrongdoing in her private server usage.
The drafts had been prepared on May 2, a full two months before the FBI completed over a dozen interviews- including one with Secretary Clinton. The drafting process immunized key witnesses to the investigation. Several immunity agreements required the FBI destroy evidence on devices turned over it.
The draft was forwarded to several senior FBI employees, including Peter Strzok and a redacted employee in the Office of General Counsel. The edits change the tone and substance of Comey’s statement in three respects.
Repeated edits reduce Secretary Clinton’s culpability in mishandling classified information. Edits were made to remove reference to the Intelligence Community’s role in identifying vulnerabilities related to Secretary Clinton’s private email server.
The edits downgrade the likelihood that hostile actors had penetrated Secretary Clinton’s private server. Media reports suggest that Strzok changed the language from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” in the draft.
Strzok participated in Secretary Clinton’s interview. In his text exchange with Lisa Page in August 2016, Strzok wrote: there’s no way he [Trump] gets elected- but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…
The US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs requests the following from the FBI:
The names of all DOJ employees who comprised the mid-year review team during the FBI’s investigation into Secretary Clinton. The identification of all FBI, DOJ, and other federal employees who edited or reviewed each individual statement.
To discuss the evidence that led to Clinton’s behavior being categorized as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless”. To provide unredacted copies of Director Comey’s statement, including comment bubbles, and explain the basis for redactions in the material procured to date.
I want to remind all of you that Comey has a long long history with the Clinton cabal. He’s been involved with cases that ended favorably for them for over 20 years.
Comey, Clintons and Clemency
During the final days of his presidency, Bill Clinton opted to reduce the prison terms of the New Square offenders, and after 9/11 that sparked an investigation. As Anderson notes, “Hillary received an unexpected gift in late June when, without explanation, U.S. Attorney James B. Comey closed the New Square clemency case.”
Who were the (((new square four)))?
New Square, a Hasidic enclave 30 miles northwest of Manhattan, had voted as a bloc in previous elections and campaign workers urged Hillary urged to stop there. In New Square, four members of the Skver (Jesus Christ, that name) sect had been convicted in 1999 of bilking government aid programs for some $30 million. During her visit, Hillary denied that any pardon was discussed.
This was also tied to pardongate which happened shortly after Bill left office and Hillary was busy giving favors and pandering to get elected
Clinton’s pardon of fugitive Marc Rich also drew an investigation and Andersen finds it odd that the Bush administration would “help the Clinton’s out” by refusing to release documents related to the pardons. And “in accordance with his boss’s wishes, U.S Attorney James Comey gave Bill and Hillary a pass.”
“At Hillary’s urging,” Andersen writes, “the President granted clemency to 16 Puerto Rican terrorists who have been sentenced to prison following a wave of bombings from 1974 to 1983 that took the lives of six Americans and wounded scores of others. Incredibly, the terrorists had not even asked for clemency.” The worst attack was the January 24, 1975 bombing of Fraunces Tavern in Manhattan. The Puerto Rican FALN exploded a bomb during the lunch hour, “hurling body parts into the street and killing four people.”
The terrorists accepted President Clinton’s offer of clemency but expressed no regret for their actions. Former U.S. Attorney Joseph Di Genova went on record that “the Puerto Rican terrorists were pardoned because they were a political benefit to the president’s wife. Make no mistake about it.” As Anderson notes, FBI director Louis Freeh opposed the pardons, as did New York major Rudy Giuliani, senator Charles Schumer and former Puerto Rico governor Carlos Romero Barcelo who, says Andersen, “pleaded with the president not to release the bombers.”
But just how did he even get that position to be able to help out the Clintons?
Time reports that 20 years ago, Comey was a deputy special counsel on the Senate Whitewater Committee, looking into the conduct of then President Bill Clinton and the first lady.
Several people involved with the Whitewater corporation (including Clinton’s successor as governor) ultimately went to jail, but the Clintons never faced criminal prosecution.
Comey parlayed the Whitewater job into top posts in Virginia and New York, returning to Manhattan in 2002 to be the top federal prosecutor there. One of his first cases as a line attorney in the same office 15 years earlier had been the successful prosecution of Marc Rich, a wealthy international financier, for tax evasion. But on his last day as President in 2001, Bill Clinton pardoned Rich. “I was stunned,” Comey later told Congress. As top U.S. prosecutor in New York in 2002, appointed by George W. Bush, Comey inherited the criminal probe into the Rich pardon and 175 others Clinton had made at the 11th hour.
Remember former senior Clinton advisor (((Sandy Berger)))?
On July 19, 2004, it was revealed that the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating Berger for unauthorized removal of classified documents in October 2003 from a National Archives reading room prior to testifying before the 9/11 Commission. The documents were five classified copies of a single report commissioned from Richard Clarke covering internal assessments of the Clinton Administration’s handling of the unsuccessful 2000 millennium attack plots. An associate of Berger said Berger took one copy in September 2003 and four copies in October 2003, allegedly by stuffing the documents into his socks and pants. Berger subsequently lied to investigators when questioned about the removal of the documents.
Well turns out Comey had a big hand in that investigation too :
Deputy Attorney General James Comey told reporters Tuesday he could not comment on the Berger investigation but did address the general issue of mishandling classified documents.
According to The Hill, this is not the first time Comey has dealt with the mishandling of classified information. In 2004, Comey played a large role in investigating Sandy Berger, former President Bill Clinton’s national security adviser.
“As a general matter, we take issues of classified information very seriously,” Comey said in response to a reporter’s question about the Berger bind, adding that the department has prosecuted and sought administrative sanctions against people for mishandling classified information.
“It’s our lifeblood, those secrets,” Comey continued.
My feeling is he was specifically put in place because the Obama team knew they would constantly need to cover for Hillary who was always up to her eyeballs in dirt. Who better than someone with his track record. Plus they helped pay him off right before he assumed his role :
Boeing was one of three companies that helped deliver money personally to Bill Clinton while benefiting from weapons authorizations issued by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. The others were Lockheed and the financial giant Goldman Sachs.
Lockheed is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt, which paid Bill Clinton $250,000 to speak at an event in 2010. Three days before the speech, Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved two weapons export deals in which Lockheed was listed as the prime contractor. Over the course of 2010, Lockheed was a contractor on 17 Pentagon-brokered deals that won approval from the State Department. Lockheed told IBTimes that its support for the Clinton Foundation started in 2010, while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
“Lockheed Martin has periodically supported one individual membership in the Clinton Global Initiative since 2010,” said company spokesperson Katherine Trinidad. “Membership benefits included attendance at CGI annual meetings, where we participated in working groups focused on STEM, workforce development and advanced manufacturing.”
Federal records show that ethics staffers at the State Department approved the payments to Bill Clinton from Goldman Sachs, and the Lockheed- and Boeing-sponsored groups without objection, even though the firms had major stakes in the agency’s weapons export decisions.
Stephen Walt, a Harvard University professor of international affairs, told IBTimes that the intertwining financial relationships between the Clintons, defense contractors and foreign governments seeking weapons approvals is “a vivid example of a very big problem – the degree to which conflicts of interest have become endemic.”
James Comey Lockheed Martin General Counsel and Senior VP (2005-10)
employment history :
Summary of edits. Original draft in quoted text, edit with “*”.
The original draft of Comey’s remarks included a statement that could be read as a finding of criminality in Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified material. Gross negligence is a legal threshold for mishandling classified material, it was replaced with “extremely careless”.
The original draft connected the volume of classified material on Secretary Clinton’s private server with a finding of criminality. It was deemphasized in the draft.
There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the private email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information. Similarly, the sheer volume of information that was properly classified as Secret at the time it was discussed on email (that is, excluding the “up classified” emails) supports an inference that the participants were grossly negligent in their handling of that information.
*Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information. In addition to this highly sensitive information, we also found information that was properly classified as Secret by the US Intelligence Community at the time it was discussed on email (that is, excluding the ‘up classified emails).
The original draft stated that the FBI had found evidence of potential violations of the gross negligence statute and the statute governing misdemeanor mishandling of classified information. The edit removed specific reference to potential violations.
Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statute proscribing gross negligence in the handling of classified information and of the statute proscribing misdemeanor mishandling, my judgement is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. At the ouset, we are not aware of a case where anyone has been charged solely based on the “gross negligence” prohibition in the statute.
*Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, my judgement is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.
Here, the FBI staff remove the reference to working with the intelligence community.
We have done extensive work with the assistance of our colleagues elsewhere in the Intelligence Community to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the private email operation.
*We have done extensive work to understand what indications there might be of compromise by hostile actors in connection with the personal e-mail operation.
Director Comey’s original statement included a conclusion that it was “reasonably likely” that hostile actors had penetrated Secretary Clinton’s private server. This assessment was downgraded to “possible”.
With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal email system, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private email accounts of individuals with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her private accound. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a private email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. Given the combination of factors, we assess it is reasonably likely that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s private email account.
*With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors, we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal email system, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked. But, given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her private account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent. She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.
Thanks to Shadow332 for sharing this information