Connect with us

Politics

FBI scrambled to respond to Hillary Clinton lawyer amid Weiner laptop review, newly released emails show

Published

on

FBI scrambled to respond to Hillary Clinton lawyer amid Weiner laptop review, newly released emails show

Newly released internal FBI emails showed the agency’s highest-ranking officials scrambling to answer to Hillary Clinton’s lawyer in the days prior the 2016 presidential election, on the same day then-FBI Director James Comey sent a bombshell letter to Congress announcing a new review of hundreds of thousands of potentially classified emails found on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

The trove of documents released by the FBI, in response to a lawsuit by the transparency group Judicial Watch, also included discussions by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page concerning a potential quid-pro-quo between the State Department and the FBI — in which the FBI would agree to downgrade the classification level of a Clinton email in exchange for more legal attache positions that would benefit the agency abroad. There was no indication such a quid-pro-quo ever took place.

And, in the face of mounting criticism aimed at the FBI, the documents revealed that Comey quoted the 19th century poet Ralph Waldo Emerson by assuring his subordinates, “To be great is to be misunderstood.”

The FBI did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the released emails.

On Oct. 28, 2016, Comey upended the presidential campaign by informing Congress that the FBI would quickly review the Weiner laptop. The Justice Department’s internal watchdog later faulted the FBI for failing to review the Weiner laptop through much of the fall of 2016, and suggested it was possible that now-fired FBI Agent Peter Strzok may have slow-walked the laptop analysis until other federal prosecutors pressured the FBI to review its contents.

On the afternoon of Oct. 28, Clinton lawyer David Kendall demanded answers from the FBI — and the agency jumped into action, the emails showed.

STRZOK DEMANDED DECLASSIFICATION, OTHER POWERS BEFORE BECOMING NO. 2 ON MUELLER TEAM

Many of the emails found on the computer were between Clinton and her senior adviser Huma Abedin, Weiner’s now-estranged wife — and, despite claims by top FBI officials, several of those emails were determined to contain classified information.

“I received the email below from David Kendall and I called him back,” then-FBI General Counsel James Baker wrote to the agency’s top brass, including Comey, Page and Strzok, in an email. “Before doing so I alerted DOJ via email that I would do that.”

Page and Strzok eventually were revealed to be having an extramarital affair, and Strzok was terminated after a slew of text messages surfaced in which he and Page derided Trump and his supporters using their government-issued phones. Republicans, citing some of those text messages, have accused Strzok and Page of orchestrating a coordinated leak strategy aimed at harming the president.

GOHMERT UNLOADS ON ‘SMIRKING’ STRZOK: ‘HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU LOOK SO INNOCENT INTO YOUR WIFE’S EYES AND LIE?’

Although Kendall’s email was redacted, Baker continued: “He said that our letter was ‘tantalizingly ambiguous’ and made statements that were ‘inchoate and highly ominous’ such that what we had done was worse than transparency because it allows people to make whatever they want out to make out of the letter to the prejudice of Secretary Clinton. … I told him that I could not respond to his requests at this time but that I would discuss it with others and get back to him.

“To be great is to be misunderstood.”

— Fired FBI Director James Comey, quoting Emerson

“I suggest that we have some kind of follow up meeting or phone call with this group either this evening or over the weekend to address this and probably other issues/questions that come up in the next 24 hours,” Baker concluded. “Sound reasonable?”

DOJ BLAMES SYSTEM-WIDE SOFTWARE FAILURE FOR MISSING STRZOK-PAGE TEXTS; STRZOK’S PHONE TOTALLY WIPED

In a partially redacted response, Strzok agreed to spearhead a conference call among the FBI’s top officials the next day.

Comey sent a letter to Congress in November 2016 stating agents had concluded their review of "all of the communications" to or from Clinton while she was secretary of state that appeared on the laptop, and that the review did not change his assessment that Clinton should not be prosecuted. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

Comey sent a letter to Congress in November 2016 stating agents had concluded their review of “all of the communications” to or from Clinton while she was secretary of state that appeared on the laptop, and that the review did not change his assessment that Clinton should not be prosecuted. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

On Nov. 6 — just two days before Election Day — Comey sent another letter to Congress stating that agents had concluded their review of “all of the communications” to or from Clinton while she was secretary of state that appeared on the laptop, and that the review did not change his assessment that Clinton should not be prosecuted.

In an email also sent Nov. 6 and unearthed by Judicial Watch, Strzok wrote to the FBI’s leadership: “[Redacted], Jon and I completed our review of all of the potential HRC work emails on the [Anthony Weiner] laptop. We found no previously unknown, potentially classified emails on the media.”

Strzok added that a team was coming in to “triple-check” his methodology and conclusions.

However, at least 18 classified emails sent from Abedin’s account were found by the FBI on the Weiner laptop. And, despite Strzok’s apparent claim, FBI officials later conceded they had not manually screened all of the nearly 700,000 emails on the laptop, but instead used computer technology to prioritize which emails to screen as Election Day rapidly approached.

ON FOUR OCCASIONS, FBI INCORRECTLY ASSURED FISA COURT THAT YAHOO ARTICLE AS INDEPENDENT REASON TO SURVEIL TRUMP AIDE

“It is big news that, just days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton’s personal lawyer pressured the top lawyer for the FBI on the infamous Weiner laptop emails,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “These documents further underscore that the fix was in for Hillary Clinton. When will the Justice Department and FBI finally do an honest investigation of the Clinton email scandal?”

An email from Lisa Page discussed an apparent attempt by the State Department to pressure the FBI to downgrade the classification level of a Clinton email. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

An email from Lisa Page discussed an apparent attempt by the State Department to pressure the FBI to downgrade the classification level of a Clinton email. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Separately, another email from Page, apparently sent in response to a Judicial Watch lawsuit, discussed an apparent attempt by the State Department to pressure the FBI to downgrade the classification level of a Clinton email.

“Jason Herring will be providing you with three 302s [witness reports] of current and former FBI employees who were interviewed during the course of the Clinton investigation,” Page wrote. “These 302s are scheduled to be released to Congress in an unredacted form at the end of the week, and produced (with redactions) pursuant to FOIA at the beginning of next week.

Page continued: “As you will see, they describe a discussion about potential quid pro quo arrangement between then-DAD in IOD [deputy assistant director in International Operations Division] and an Undersecretary at the State Department whereby IOD would get more LEGAT [legal attaché] positions if the FBI could change the basis of the FOIA withhold re a Clinton email from classified to something else.”

CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Through it all, the trove of documents suggested that top to bottom, FBI brass were convinced they were acting appropriately.

In response to a press release from Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley that criticized the FBI for failing to release unclassified information in a timely matter to Congress, Comey quoted Emerson’s 1841 essay “Self Reliance.”

“Outstanding. … I should have added that I’m proud of the way we have handled this release,” Comey wrote to his subordinates, including Strzok, on Sept. 2, 2016. “Thanks for the work on it. Just another reminder that Emerson was right when he said, ‘To be great is to be misunderstood.’ Have a great and quiet weekend.”

Page forwarded the email along to her colleagues, including Strzok, and added a smiley face.

Trump fired Comey in 2017, leading to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation after Comey leaked a series of memos he recorded while speaking with Trump privately.

Comey acknowledged in closed-door testimony in December that as of July 2016, investigators “didn’t know whether we had anything” implicating Trump in improper Russia collusion, and that “in fact, when I was fired as director [in May 2017], I still didn’t know whether there was anything to it.”

Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Politics

Washington state could become first state to allow human composting

Published

on

By

Washington state could become first state to allow human composting

Washington state lawmakers on Friday passed a bill that would allow residents take part in “natural organic reduction” of human remains, citing in part research that said careful composted human remains could be safe for use in a household garden, reports said.

The Seattle Times reported that Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s office on Friday said he did not review the final legislation. Inslee– who is running for president— has been active on Twitter since the state Senate and House of Representative passed bill 5001, but did not mention the bill in any posts. The bill reportedly passed easily and had bipartisan support.

The report pointed out that the measure has been several years in the making. There was a trial that involved six backers who agreed to organic reduction. The results were positive and “the soil smelled like soil and nothing else,” the report said.

Troy Hottle, a fellow at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, told the paper that the method is as “close to the natural process of decomposition [as] you’d assume a body would undergo before we had an industrialized society.”

An NBC News report last year said the procedure could cost $5,500.

GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“People from all over the state who wrote to me are very excited about the prospect of becoming a tree or having a different alternative for themselves,” Democratic state Sen. Jamie Pedersen told NBC.

Continue Reading

Politics

Ben Carson explains benefits of investing in ‘Opportunity Zones’ for areas facing economic challenges

Published

on

By

Ben Carson explains benefits of investing in 'Opportunity Zones' for areas facing economic challenges

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson spoke on “The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton” in an interview that aired Sunday about proposed new regulations aimed at making it easier for investors to take advantage of tax breaks for investing in “Opportunity Zones” in low-income areas.

“Policies have been pretty much aimed at putting people into programs,” Carson said, and now the Trump administration is trying to get poor Americans “out of the programs and self-sufficient.”

President Trump said last week that 8,700 neighborhoods across all 50 states and U.S. territories have received the Opportunity Zone designation and would be eligible for the federal tax incentives he’s proposed.

“The entire island of Puerto Rico is an opportunity zone,” Carson said.

“We are very concerned about the rural areas, too,” he added.

Trump’s proposed regulations were issued by the Treasury Department. They sought to clear up questions that were keeping some investors from using the incentives.

AOC IMPERSONATOR, 8, TAKES ON GREEN NEW DEAL, SOCIALISM IN VIRAL VIDEO

The program was included in the $1.5 trillion tax cut legislation that Trump pushed through Congress in 2017.

The new Opportunity Zones were set up to enable private investors to re-invest profits into designated areas.

“They are going to invest that money somewhere,” Carson said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

He noted private investors would do what they do because they “want to be successful.”

As White House officials have explained, investors in Opportunity Zones could get tax benefits by deferring their capital gains taxes invested in the zones until 2026. They also could receive discounts of up to 15 percent on capital-gains profits invested in the zones and would pay no capital-gains taxes on investments in the zones held for at least 10 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Politics

Tulsi Gabbard: Mueller report found ‘no collusion took place,’ Dems shouldn’t push to impeach Trump

Published

on

By

Tulsi Gabbard: Mueller report found 'no collusion took place,' Dems shouldn't push to impeach Trump

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a 2020 candidate for president, told Fox News on Sunday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election found “no collusion” between President Trump and Russia — and that it’s time for the country to focus on the issues that matter most to Americans.

Gabbard, a Democrat, told “America’s News HQ” that while she supported the Mueller investigation, “the conclusion that came from that Mueller report was that no collusion took place. Now is the time for us to come together as a country to put the issues and the interests and the concerns that the American people have at the forefront, to take action to bring about real solutions for them.”

She continued, “I don’t think that we should defeat Donald Trump through impeachment. I think it’s really important for us, in this country, to come together and have the American people vote to take Donald Trump out of office in 2020.”

Gabbard’s position came in direct contrast to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who last Friday called on the House of Representatives to start impeachment proceedings. Warren explained Saturday at an event in New Hampshire, “I know people say this is politically charged and we shouldn’t go there, and that there is an election coming up, but there are some things that are bigger than politics.”

GABBARD SAYS U.S. UNDERMINING NORTH KOREA PEACE BID WITH IRAN, VENEZUELA POLICIES

Also Friday, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, another 2020 candidate, said launching impeachment proceedings would be “perfectly reasonable.”

Gabbard countered, “What I am worried about is the continued divisiveness and putting partisan political interests ahead of the interest of the people,” citing a voter’s concerns about making ends meet while struggling with the costs of health care.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller’s report last Thursday. Mueller wrote that he found no proof of collusion between Trump and Russia, and did not draw a conclusion over accusations the president may have obstructed justice.

For his part, President Trump tweeted on Sunday, “Despite No Collusion, No Obstruction, The Radical Left Democrats do not want to go on to Legislate for the good of the people, but only to Investigate and waste time. This is costing our Country greatly, and will cost the Dems big time in 2020!”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Leland Vittert contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Categories

Recent Posts

Like Us On Facebook

Trending