The Washington Post is reporting this morning that James Comey knew the Justice Department was protecting Hillary Clinton, drafted a letter exonerating her in early May, then gave immunity to her aides who subsequentially confessed to lying and destroying evidence.
A month later, after Comey wrote the exoneration letter, Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton privately where they “talked about wedding plans”. They didn’t. The fix was in. All they needed for the show was to have Hillary be interviewed by the FBI. Bill needed assurances that the Justice Department still had her back and that Comey had already chosen to exonerate her.
Five days later, Comey interviews Hillary Clinton, with her aides who had been granted immunity allowed in the room to serve as her lawyers. Two days later, Comey goes public with his exoneration letter as though he had just come to that decision.
September 28, Comey tells Congress that he did not make his decision until after interviewing Hillary Clinton. He states emphatically that he did not make the decision until after interviewing Hillary Clinton.
Here is the Washington Post timeline:
Early March – Comey receives information from Russian sources that the Justice Department is working to ensure Hillary Clinton won’t be prosecuted. Loretta Lynch had also spoken to Comey and asked him to call the “investigation” a “matter” instead so as not to make it sound so bad.
(Sidebar: why would Russia know anything about the Justice Department’s relationship to Hillary Clinton? Perhaps because of how the Uranium One deal was covered up?)
May 2 – Comey drafts the exoneration letter
May 3 – Paul Combetta, Clinton computer specialist, admits to lying to the the FBI about knowing the emails should have been preserved and deleting them anyway. Combetta is given immunity because Comey, apparently, wanted to move up the line to get someone more important. AFTER he had already written the exoneration letter.
May 5 – The media reports that there is little evidence Clinton committed a crime
May 16 – Comey sends the draft of his exoneration around to other members in the FBI. This is before Cheryl Mills is interviewed. Part of the deal to interview Cheryl Mills becomes immunity and the destruction of her laptop, which likely contained evidence.
June 27 – Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton meet privately on his jet.
July 2 – Hillary Clinton is interviewed by the FBI for 3 1/2 hours with her aides in the room serving as her lawyers. The aides have immunity already. They can confer and make sure they get their stories straight.
July 5 – Comey exonerates Hillary Clinton.
Anyone with any sense and understanding can clearly see the fix was in. There was no way the Obama Justice Department was going to prosecute Hillary Clinton. And Comey worked with the administration to make sure it never happened. The investigation should be reopened, and prosecution of Comey, Lynch, the Clintons, Mills, Combetta, Abedeen, and Obama should be on the table for obstruction of justice and perjury.
There have been some interesting theories about why Special Investigator Robert Mueller was hired, why he has put together a legal team of Clinton donors, how fair he actually is, etc. I’d like to look at another theory, why Democrats want Mueller fired. While no Democrats have called for Mueller to be fired directly, it seems a little odd to me how the chips have fallen.
Consider this, on July 19 Trump gives an interview where he suggests that if Mueller starts investigating items outside of Russia that would be grounds for firing. July 20 headline? Mueller expands probe to Trump business transactions. Citing unnamed officials, Bloomberg says Mueller is doing exactly what Trump said would get him fired. That’s a little too convenient for me.
Special prosecutors have a history of stepping out of bounds. Patrick Fitzgerald, already knowing it was Richard Armitage who leaked Valerie Plame’s name, put Scooter Libby in jail on trumped up obstruction charges so he could try to get to Dick Cheney. Kenneth Starr turned an investigation into a shady land deal into an impeachment trial for lying under oath about sex with an intern. It’s very likely Democrats are hoping the Russia probe will turn into something similar. Or at least a back ally way to get their white whale: Trump’s tax returns.
There is a lot of pressure on a special prosecutor to find something to justify their paycheck. Mueller’s team of Clinton donors also may have some incentive to find something. But getting fired could be just as good.
Mueller getting fired would still be a win for Democrats. I’m sure we can all imagine the headlines. Trump fired Comey on the recommendations of his Department of Justice. Comey had screwed up a couple investigations, based findings on the phony Russia dossier, been unclear about Trump not being under investigation, and after being fired Comey released classified info to the media to get Mueller hired in the first place. But that didn’t stop the media from speculating about Comey’s firing being obstruction of justice.
Can you imagine the media field day if Trump fires Mueller? Every tin foil hat conspiracy theory cooked up by CNN and MSNBC over the last six months will be permanently believable even if never verified. Firing Mueller will permanently create the specter of the Nixonian President who got away with it.
For Democrats, that would be a much better result than if Mueller concluded his investigation empty handed.
After Comey’s testimony, the Russia Trump collusion story has been downgraded to Birther level controversy. Comey vindicated Trump, saying in fact that Trump was never even under investigation. Comey has also said that Russia did not alter a single vote in the US election. On the administration side, it seems as though the biggest issue is General Mike Flynn’s work with Russia and failure to disclose the payments he received. Yes Trump asked Comey to go easy on Flynn, but Trump also fired Flynn.
What did Russia do then? Russia did not collude with the administration. Russia did not change the votes. They did not hack the electronic voting machines. Apparently it’s possible that Russia released Podesta’s emails, but the incriminating statements there came directly from Podesta and other DNC staffers. At this point, it appears that Russia’s biggest sin was printing negative press and sometimes fake news about Hillary Clinton.
Russia did not print negative news about Hillary Clinton in order to elect Trump. Unlike the Clinton’s campaign work to influence the GOP primary and make sure Trump won, Russia simply didn’t like Hillary Clinton.
Russia’s actions have been called an act of war. Even some on the GOP side have called Russia’s actions an attempt to destroy our constitutional process and democracy. Is this a valid accusation? Does foreign media printing negative stories equate to election hacking? Should we be sanctioning Russia because they printed negative stories about Hillary Clinton?
Let’s talk about Germany. Harvard recently performed a study on various news outlets to see whether Trump was getting fair coverage. The result is that Trump is getting more negative coverage than any of his predecessors. Remember, negative press from foreign sources equals an act of war and destruction of our constitutional process. So we should probably be concerned about Germany’s ARD news network’s 98% negative reporting rate on Trump.
Britain is another hacking nation that has declared war on the US through their media outlets. Financial Times was negative about Trump 84% of the time, BBC 74% of the time. When it comes to using media to influence US opinion, both Britain and Germany are just as guilty as Russia.
There’s one other problem worth mentioning. The assault on the US and our constitutional processes is not being led by Russia or Germany. It’s being led by the US. If unbalanced coverage and fake news equals everything the left and John McCain say it does, then we should be more concerned about CNN and NBC reporting negatively about Trump 93% of the time. CBS was 91%, New York Times 87%, Washington Post 83%. Comey’s testimony discredited all of these US news outlets, forcing them to print retractions of fake news they had recently reported.
If the whole Russia thing boils down to their state media operations, I hope we can find a way to laugh at ourselves and move on with our lives. And to think, Obama kicked the Russian ambassadors out of our country over this.
The question has been asked and answered several times. In an attempt at self-diagnosis, the media has theorized about why the perfect, most qualified candidate in history lost to a racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic deplorable. They are still missing the correct answers. Here are five facts and perceptions the media continues to overlook.
The Black Vote
One of the biggest aspects of Hillary Clinton’s loss that the media is only now recognizing is the million or so African Americans who stayed home. Barack Obama won 93% of the black vote in 2012, Hillary received 88%. That was the lowest percent in this demographic since the last white Democrat to run and lose in 2004. An inconvenient truth for the DNC is that after losing two elections in a row against Bush, about 1 million new African American voters came out to vote for the first African American candidate. Then they disappeared. It was the largest demographic shift from 2012 to 2016. Nothing significant has changed in the DNC platform in 20 years. Obama successfully played the race card, Clinton had no such luck with the gender card.
A Flawed Candidate
Part of the reason the gender card did not work is that Hillary Clinton was not what many women wanted to be representative of the historical first female President. Clinton was flawed from the start. Anyone looking at the email scandal could see that she had violated the law. Democrats could justify voting for Clinton because the FBI refused to recommend an indictment, but even then Comey’s statement was basically that Clinton was too incompetent to be a criminal or hold a government job.
Clinton was the chosen one. But unlike Obama, she knew it and ran on it. Obama at least bothered to have a message. Even during the debates, Hillary seemed to be scared to stray from memorized platitudes and applause lines. It didn’t help when she experienced public health issues or lashed out at critics. Throughout the whole thing she acted as though she was entitled to the Presidency and offended if anyone didn’t agree.
Of course, most people who would be discouraged to vote for her because of her criminality or entitlement were already #neverhillary. Cheating in the primary, controlling the media, and all of the filth that came out of the Podesta emails swayed independents more than the blind DNC is willing to admit. Even when Sanders came out and endorsed Clinton, it was not enough to change the fact that she had canceled the revolution. More people stayed home in 2016 than voted. The crowds that belonged to Bernie Sanders did not follow Hillary Clinton.
Third Parties Failed
The Clinton campaign has lashed out at third party voters since the end of the campaign. But Gary Johnson voters did not have a significant effect on the election. If you think Gary Johnson’s 3% was anything significant, I would remind you that third party votes have been 2-3% since the last Clinton era when third parties took 10% in ’96 and almost 20% in ’92. 2016 should have been the best opportunity for a third party to make an impact because nobody liked the two main choices. Consistently in polls, Gary Johnson pulled from both parties.
Gary Johnson was a flawed candidate. A liberal Republican pretending to be a Libertarian, Johnson was joined by liberal Republican Bill Weld who spent more time praising and defending Clinton than advancing Johnson.
Gary Johnson himself was a clown who demonstrated often that he had no foreign policy intelligence and was probably high during the entire campaign. Libertarians selected Johnson and pressed forward with no intention of winning, but hoping and praying that someone would realize they existed. 2020 may change their fortunes, but 2016 can objectively be seen as nothing other than a massive failure. They gave it a Ralph Nader effort and walked away with the same result.
Not All Republicans Are Alt-Right
When Hillary Clinton labeled a large portion of Republicans as “deplorables”, I called that her “47%” moment. Democrats made a huge miscalculation when they tried to substitute substance with sectarian attacks. The problem is most Republicans do not believe that they are racist, sexist, bigoted, and many do not even consider themselves homophobic. That is probably because they aren’t. Sure, some are. The KKK, who Trump denounced 14 times, are all those things. But the vast majority of Republicans view the KKK through the historical lens of their past involvement with the Democrat party. The vast majority of Republicans feel no connection to the KKK and are offended when they are lumped together.
The vast majority of Republicans are also smarter than the media thought. When Trump said Mexico was sending rapists and murderers, Republicans understood that he was talking about illegal immigrants and simply making the point that scientists, doctors and engineers are not crossing our border illegally. Republicans also read through his poor communication skills to understand that he was talking about illegal immigrants and not Mexicans in general. When celebrities called Trump Hitler, many Republicans rolled their eyes remembering they said the same thing about Romney, Bush, and others. Trump was the beneficiary of generation so over inundated by superlatives and hyperbole that it has lost any affect.
When Democrats even today toss out insane metaphors and analogies, most recently how Trump’s cabinet selection has been Stalin-esque, sane people roll their eyes. That is a big part of why Trump won.
The “Alt-Left” and Right Anger
What do you call it when someone refuses services to a particular group based on their beliefs? What do you call it when one group that hates another group takes to the streets and destroys private property whenever they don’t get their way? What do you call it when it is OK for one group to discriminate, but not the other? These are the perceptions that drove the angry vote. When celebrities, professors, and Wall Street try to marginalize conservatives or label them as dangerous, that drives conservatives to the polls.
The anger vote has been a narrative in the media since Trump won the primary. The anger vote was significant, but the causes have been misdiagnosed. The media narrative seemed to equate the anger vote with white supremacists and fringe members of the Right. Even now, leftists like Jon Stewart and Michael Moore are correcting the Left’s perception on what drove rightwing anger. It wasn’t simply a case of a bunch of racists not wanting a black or female President. It had very little to do with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage. It had far more to do with reaction to destructive policies hurting our country and the “Alt-Left”, AKA SJWs.
Republicans voted for Trump mainly because of failed policies. Obamacare drove insurance rates through the roof. After 8 years of reported national recovery, people were still waiting for their own recovery. Hillary Clinton listed two litmus tests for Supreme Court justices. They amounted to invalidating the 2nd amendment and legalizing all forms of abortion at all stages of a pregnancy. We lost ground in every foreign engagement we involved ourselves in, including making ridiculous deals and ransom payments to Iran, consistently being embarrassed by Russia and China, losing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and rushing head first into messy entanglements in Syria, Libya, Egypt, and wherever else we could arm terrorists.
Perhaps the most Republican anger came at SJWs (Social Justice Warriors). Again, these are just observations of the sentiments that were expressed by the Right. The feeling was that professors created safe spaces to protect primarily liberal students from primarily conservatives students. Conservative views were oppressed in Universities in demonstrable ways. Anyone who disagreed with Obama or Clinton were too quickly labeled racist. Eventually, the term “Alt-Right” was coined and used as a catch all to quickly dismiss anyone who was angry at the Left.
For every 100 sincere Black Lives Matters protesters attempting to bring light to police brutality, there were another 100 paid by George Soros to smash windows and set cars on fire. In fact, many BLM protesters turned out to be Occupy Wall Street protesters recycled.
It seemed as though the entire race war was scripted. While black protesters hugged police officers in the streets and people sought healing, bussed in groups of community organizers chanted “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” and called for violence against police. The angry Republicans were the ones sitting in their cars stopped on the highway by Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter protesters. Angry voters were driven by what should have been a charge of indifference, but was instead over-inflated into a charge of all historical racial and financial injustice.
Occupy Wall Street, the original Soros funded mob, was no better. Americans across the country who still believe in the American Dream were being accused of hoarding and oppressing these liberal tent dwellers. Yet the movement collapsed in on itself and the DNC put forward a candidate who made $500,000 an hour giving speeches to Wall Street. It is no wonder American workers voted for Trump.
In the end, the election came down to two candidates who were so scary that neither side could afford to back down. Trump didn’t win because half the country is racist. He won because half the country was scared of Hillary Clinton, scared of her policies, and scared of how the SJWs already viewed them. Desiring everything Hillary Clinton did not represent, and regardless of what Trump did represent, half the country voted #neverhillary and for the only viable alternative they had. Trump wasn’t a great communicator. He didn’t have to be. All he had to say was “I’m going to make America great again, and I’m not Hillary Clinton”.