Gregg Jarrett filled in for Sean Hannity, and I liked this snippet discussing the idea that Jeff Sessions had to recuse himself as Attorney General. Great refutation of a mantra.
This is an excerpt from Gregg Jarrett’s book, The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump (hardcover | paperback). It is merely for showing that Comey broke the law. This breaking of the law by Comey — unlike the “witch hunt” against our President — is clearly explicit and in violation of law. Enjoy:
COMEY’S THEFT OF GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS
For years, James Comey carefully cultivated a public portrait of himself as a grown-up Boy Scout—honest and morally straight. The truth is quite different. His actions belie the virtuous image he sought. It was all an illusion designed to mask the kind of conduct that most people find reprehensible. The record shows that he was less than honest, engaged in acts of questionable legality, and abused his power to further his ambitions.
One of the more stunning moments during Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017 occurred when he confessed that he deliberately leaked to “a friend” the contents of the presidential memorandums memorializing his conversations with Trump.59 He directed that friend, Daniel Richman of Columbia Law School, to leak the information to the New York Times with the objective that it would trigger the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the man who had just fired him. It was a devious scheme, to be sure. Comey knew the media would be more than willing to trash Trump by contorting the memos’ contents and misconstruing the law to accuse the president of obstruction of justice. Journalists and pundits did not disappoint.
The opening sentence in the Times story on May 16, 2017, did not recite facts derived from the memos, but drew an unsupported conclusion that “President Trump asked the FBI director, James Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February.”60 Ipso facto, obstruction. The headline was nearly identical to the first line. Thus, anyone who did not read past the title of the story or the opening sentence was led to believe that Trump had probably committed a crime.
Of course, this is not what happened in the February meeting, according to Comey, who testified on June 8 about his conversation with Trump, narrating the encounter from his memos. Indeed, at the congressional hearing, Comey specifically quoted Trump’s vague comments about Flynn as “hoping” he would be cleared.61 That is not the same thing as “asking to shut down” an investigation, as the Times would have its readers believe. The Times story went on to raise the specter of obstruction and, sure enough, the next day Comey’s longtime friend and ally Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. For the fired FBI director, it was mission accomplished. His media leak achieved his desired purpose.
In defense of his actions, Comey offered an explanation that was, in equal parts, erroneous and obtuse. He claimed that the seven presidential memos he took with him when he was fired were his personal property. If he believed that, he is not much of a lawyer. The FBI’s policy manual states quite clearly that documents or records generated during official duties are government property.62 The FBI Employment Agreement, to which Comey was bound, mandates that “all information acquired by me in connection with my official duties… remain the property of the United States of America.”63
Under both the Federal Records Act and the Privacy Act, any document or record composed by government employees during the course and scope of their employment is not the property of the person who authored the document, but the property of the government.64 This is especially true if the material was prepared on a government-owned computer and written during the normal work hours while the employee is on the job performing the duties of his job, as was the case with Comey’s presidential memos. His discussions with the president arose directly from his position as head of the FBI. These records laws apply to classified and unclassified documents alike. Furthermore, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017, Comey admitted that he wrote the memos so that they could be “discuss(ed) within the FBI and the government.”65 This is an admission that these documents were not his personal property. Records that are composed for government use are automatically government property.
The fact that Comey did not want to leak the memos himself, but chose a conduit or middleman to do so covertly at his behest, is substantial proof that he knew what he was doing was wrong and illegal. By using a third-party to do the dirty work, Comey was trying to circumvent the law to insulate himself from criminality. He failed.
18 U.S.C. 641 makes it a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison to give someone outside of government an unclassified, but protected, record without authorization:
Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record… of the United States or of any department or agency thereof… shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years.66
This is precisely what Comey appeared to have done “converting” to his own use and in conveying to his friend, without authorization, his presidential memos which were government records.
Having been fired, Comey stole government records with the intent to leak them for his benefit. In an obvious act of retribution, he wanted the documents to inculpate Trump in a special counsel investigation and, he hoped, generate a criminal charge of obstruction of justice. This scheme to benefit himself and harm the president also may have violated at least two federal regulations, including this one identified in the Code of Federal Regulations:
An employee shall not engage in a financial transaction using nonpublic information, nor allow the improper use of nonpublic information to further his own private interest or that of another, whether through advice or recommendation, or by knowing unauthorized disclosure.67
Under the law, it does not matter that Comey was an ex-employee when he leaked the documents because he maintained custody of them when he was still employed, then took them out of the FBI building to use for his own devices. This was a direct violation of FBI regulations which state, “FBI personnel must surrender all materials in their possession that contain FBI information upon FBI demand or upon separation from the FBI.”68 Comey did not do this. He converted government property to his own use, then disseminated it to the public.
Comey must have known that he was likely breaking several laws and committing felonies. As FBI director, he was legally obligated to adhere to the bureau’s standard nondisclosure contract in which all personnel promise not to disclose the very type of records and information Comey leaked. The agreement specifically warned that employees are subject to “criminal sanctions… and personal liability in a civil action at law… and the disgorging of any profits arising from any unauthorized publication or disclosure.”69 Separation upon termination did not render the contract null and void. It was a binding, enforceable, and actionable contract regardless of job status. Under the terms, Comey agreed he could be sued and face criminal prosecution. Since his firing, Comey published a book quoting from the memos he filched. This enabled him to profit handsomely from his wrongful actions, pocketing millions of dollars. If the FBI contract were to be enforced, Comey could—and should—lose earnings derived therefrom.
The Comey-composed memos themselves recited discussions with the president that were both privileged and contained information involving an ongoing FBI investigation into Flynn’s contacts with Russia. This means Comey appeared to have broken yet another law, punishable by up to ten years in prison. 18 U.S.C. 793 makes it a crime to “willfully communicate or transmit national defense information,” even though it is not necessarily classified when written.70 While the full contents of the partially redacted memos made public so far do not deal directly with national defense matters, the overall Flynn investigation did.
Comey’s chicanery was laid bare in his congressional testimony when he told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he deliberately wrote some of his memos as “unclassified” documents. Making them classified, he told the committee, “would tangle them up.”71 In other words, he manipulated the classification system to exploit the political damage his documents might cause, while concomitantly attempting to shield himself from criminal charges. But this may be a moot point if any of the seven memos Comey took with him contained classified information, regardless of how he might have labeled them or, more aptly, mislabeled them. Under law, the content dictates classification, not the markings.
Sometime in late 2017 or early 2018, the FBI advised the Senate Judiciary Committee that the majority of the memos were, in fact, “classified.”72 Chairman Charles Grassley, one of the few people who gained access to the memos, revealed that four of them were “marked classified at the ‘Secret’ or ‘Confidential’ levels,” a fact that was confirmed when the memos were released.73 Richman told Fox News that he received four of the seven memos.74 This means that Comey appears to have given his “friend” at least one “classified” document.
Giving “classified” records to an unauthorized person and/or storing them in an unsecured venue constitutes several felonies—the same crimes Hillary Clinton surely committed. For example, 18 U.S.C. 1924 states as follows:
Whoever, being an officer, employee of the United States… becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both!75
Comey appears to have done this. He admitted he knowingly removed presidential memos without authority from FBI headquarters, kept them in what must have been an unauthorized location, then conveyed at least four of them to his “friend,” Richman. As director of the FBI, he knew that at least some of their contents were both privileged and might well be classified. It would be folly for Comey to argue they were not classified since the FBI insists they are. If Comey deliberately mismarked them, he cannot use his own wrongful act to insulate himself from criminal prosecution.
In the alternative, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Comey’s handling of the documents was “grossly negligent,” instead of “knowing” or “intentional.” That would be the same crime for which Clinton should have been charged, 18 U.S.C. 793(f).76 The irony is lost on no one. Comey appears to have committed the identical felony as Clinton, and it was Comey who contorted the law to absolve her of this crime, as explained in chapter 2.
But the story of Comey’s machinations does not end there. Days after the presidential memos were released to the public, it was learned that Richman had worked for Comey at the FBI as an unpaid “special government employee.”77 Comey concealed this important information from Congress during his June 2017 testimony, later dismissing this fact as “irrelevant.”78 Moreover, Comey failed to disclose that another person, Patrick Fitzgerald, also reportedly received memos.79 Fitzgerald is a former U.S. Attorney and special counsel who, like Richman, is a friend of Comey. Both Richman and Fitzgerald have since been hired by Comey as his lawyers.80 And so, too, has another lawyer, David Kelly, to whom Comey gave one or more memos.81 This means that the fired director can invoke the attorney-client privilege to try to protect some or all of their communications about the memos.
The FBI was sufficiently concerned about Comey’s dissemination of classified information that agents conducted a search of Richman’s office to retrieve documents and contain the leak.82 It is unknown whether the same “spillage clean-up” occurred at Fitz gerald’s office and, perhaps, Kelly’s, as well. These corrective actions by the FBI suggest that classified information may well have been shared by Comey in violation of federal law.
When Comey was questioned by senators in a June 2017 hearing before the Intelligence Committee, he omitted these relevant and important details in his answers about his leak of the memos. Under 18 U.S.C. 1001, it is a crime to give false or misleading statements in a legislative proceeding.”83 Concealing material facts” in response to questions under oath before Congress would constitute misleading statements in violation of that statute.
Congress has been investigating Comey for a series of other suspected deceptions made during testimony before various congressional committees. In one instance, he told the House Judiciary Committee, under oath, that he decided not to refer criminal prosecution of Clinton only after she was interviewed.84 Yet, documents uncovered later indicated he made the decision well before the interview.85
Comey insisted that Loretta Lynch, the attorney general, never knew of his decision to clear Clinton in advance of his public announcement.86 Yet, text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggested that Lynch had been apprised in advance.87 Comey also testified that, while FBI director, he never authorized leaks to the media about the two presidential candidates.88 Yet, a subsequent statement by his deputy director, Andrew McCabe, appeared to contradict Comey.89
Finally, the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general accusing Comey of “apparent material discrepancies” in his testimony about the FISA warrant applications, asking whether this was “a deliberate attempt to mislead.”90
There is substantial evidence that Comey did not tell the truth on several occasions and may have violated numerous federal statutes governing the theft of government documents, including classified material. He may also have obstructed justice in the Hillary Clinton email case and violated the law by deceiving the FISA court in a warrant to spy on an American citizen.
Days after Comey published his book and commenced his publicity tour, it was learned that the inspector general at the Department of Justice was investigating whether Comey mishandled classified information contained in the presidential memos he gave to his “friend” that was then leaked to the media.91 If he broke the law, he should be held accountable.
Former independent counsel and U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova was blunt in his assessment of Comey:
I don’t think there’s any doubt that Comey committed multiple crimes. If the Justice Department wants to pursue them vigorously and fairly like they would with any other citizen, he should be indicted for his false testimony on Capitol Hill and for his obstruction of an investigation.92
Far from the image of an honest and honorable Boy Scout, the evidence is compelling that James Comey sought to mislead, deflect, and deceive. He also appears to have abused the powers of his office to exact punishment on the president who fired him. His plan to convert presidential memos for his own use, then leak them to the media to damage Trump suggests a willingness to defy rules, regulations, and federal laws with impunity.
Perhaps Comey felt he could get away with it because he successfully engineered the appointment of his close friend Robert Mueller as special counsel to pursue potential charges against the president.
61. James B. Comey, “Statement for the Record,” Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, p. 5, June 8, 2017; Politico Staff, “Full Text: James Comey Testimony Transcript on Trump and Russia,” Politico, June 8, 2017.
62. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Manual of Investigative Operations and Guidelines (MIOG),” available at …
81. Transcript of “James Comey on Clinton Probe, Russia Investigation,” Fox News, “Special Report With Bret Baier.” April 26, 2018; available at …
90. Letter from Sen. Charles E. Grassley and Sen. Lindsey 0. Graham, Judiciary Committee, to Michael Horowitz, Inspector General, Department of Justice, February 28, 2018, available at ….
91. Byron Tau and Aruna Viswanatha, “Justice Department Watchdog Probes Comey Memos Over Classified Information,” Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2018.
92. Interview with Joseph diGenova, former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and former independent counsel, January 26, 2018.
- Gregg Jarrett, The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump (New York, NY: Broadside Books, 2018), 244-254, 325-327.
These are two separate interviews (May 8th and May 9th) with John Solomon regarding some documents and information being made public through the freedom of information act (and other sources). Yes, you have to sit through the screeds of Sean Hannity, but the legal acumen of Gregg Jarrett (part of the May 8th interview) and the investigative reporting of Mr. Solomon, make for a worthy 30-minutes.
- Steele’s Stunning Pre-FISA Confession: Informant Needed to Air Trump Dirt Before Election (THE HILL)
- FBI’s Steele Story Falls Apart: False Intel and Media Contacts Were Flagged Before FISA (THE HILL)
Also, Jim Jordan’s recap the other day is worth watching:
Sean Hannity had Gregg Jarrett on to break down the McCabe/60-Minutes interview and gets to break down portions of his book for the audience. This is a great book BTW (“The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump“).
- Seven Days in May was a movie about a fictional military coup, Eight Days In May is about the DOJ attempt to remove Trump after Comey firing (LEGAL INSURRECTION)
Gregg Jarrett: Rod Rosenstein WILL NOT ALLOW Gen. Flynn Interrogator Joe Pientka To Testify. Hmmm, I wonder why?
GATEWAY PUNDIT has some good stuff on this:
As GATEWAY further notes… Joe Pientka’s name was redacted in the newly released 302s:
As noted above, Special Agent, Joe Pientka, who was present during the interrogation of General Flynn. He has been ready to give testimony regarding circumstances surrounding the ambush interview (GATEWAY PUNDIT | SARA CARTER). Investigative reporter, Sara Carter says Pientka, if issued a subpoena, will discuss how forthcoming Flynn was about very specific sensitive information that Flynn could not have possibly known the investigators already knew, which may give additional insight into Flynn’s veracity and willingness to tell the truth.
SARA CARTER notes that with these new revealed documents, that some internal document discrepancies are noted… and it is because of the changed 302 we know Strzok had written:
JOHN SOLOMON also is in the mix as he dropped a bombshell of information:
As the NATIONAL SENTINEL continues in their posting, we see the Judge in Flynn’s case
DAN BONGINO also joins the fun by letting us know about the destruction of key evidence to another investigation (seperate from Mueller’s of course) that hints at something damning is being hidden:
I guess they were learning from Hillary Clinton? As Trey Gowdy noted about the HIllary:
BTW, to be clear, I am neither a fan or Corsi or Stone. I think both men are wacko conspiracy guys (one of my stated issues with Trump and his going on the Alex Jones Show). But that aside, we will see in the end where Corsi’s refusals lead… to the truth? This upload may disappear at some point (not because of a conspiracy, but because of copyright issues.) Good analysis starts at the 30-minute mark.
John Solomon, Sara Carter, and Gregg Jarrett were on Hannity’s radio show yesterday and the latest news about Rod Rosenstein wearing a wire to record the President is the topic de-jure. There seems to be more-and-more damaging information coming out that lays bear just how political the FBI and DOJ have gotten. I INCLUDE the segment from FOX NEWS at the end of the audio from the radio program.
- John Solomon’s latest can be found HERE
- Sara Carter’s latest article is HERE
- Gregg Jarrett’s book is HERE
“THE LAST REFUGE” has an excellent article on the subject. Here is the latest from GATEWAY PUNDIT (and remember, those two sites aren’t necessarily my favorite… but these two posts fill in some blanks):
“He will have the full authority of a federal prosecutor,” said Richard Painter, former chief ethics attorney for President George W. Bush. “If he looks at this and finds someone in the DOJ lied to a government official, he would be able to convene a grand jury, compel testimony and even prosecute them.”
“The leaks that have been coming out of the FBI and DOJ since 2016 are unconscionable,” said retired FBI supervisory special agent James Gagliano. “There’s a difference between whistleblowing and leaking for self-serving or partisan purposes.”
“Former Obama officials and their press allies can call it a ‘conspiracy theory’ or whatever they want,” a senior U.S. official — familiar with how Obama holdovers and the media jointly targeted Trump figures — told RCI. “But they can’t say it’s not true that former Obama officials were furiously leaking to keep people close to Trump out of the White House.”
People forget that there is a Grand Jury in session and they are hearing about all this (and more) that will surely kick off a second Special Council where criminal proceedings against James Comey, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, and others will filter out. AMERICAN THINKER describes the below video thus:
- The former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Joe DiGenova, knows what he is talking about when it comes to legal liability, and he has the guts to lay out in straight talk what really happened with the conspiracy to swing a presidential election, cover up the effort, and take out a duly elected president.
Back in April THE HILL noted this:
We will also know that when John Huber speaks with Bruce Ohr, the noose will be ready for a grand jury. Here is the latest per Joe diGenova:
Remember, both WOODWARD AND STARR said they have not seen COLLUSION in all the evidence and investigating they have done. Also, there is as of yet no evidence of OBSTRUCTION either. Here is CNN and Kenn Starr:
So, still no there “there” yet… but damning info comes out almost daily on the DOJ and FBI’s interactions with trying to throw an election. And the MANFORT plea deal is bad news for Republican and Democrat super lobbying machines. THE SWAMP IS GETTING CLEARED A BIT:
I will admit, if Podesta is brought into Mueller’s grasp, my thinking about Mueller will change. BUT BACK TO the topic at hand… new text messages released show collusion between the DOJ/FBI and the media to change the outcome of an election and presidency:
SEE CONSERVATIVE TREEHOUSE’S latest post for more:
I think it was Prager or Elder… but they were saying that it is only Justices put on the court by Republicans that slide Left. A Justice put on the court by a Democrat typically stays reliably Left. So, I am worried about Kavanaugh. Mark Levin doesn’t like him. Neither does Ben Shapiro. But these two, while right on on a lot of things, are not my favorite shot-callers. NATIONAL REVIEW has a good response to Shapiro.
Here are some headlines that make me happy (from NEWSBUSTERS):
- ABC Knocks Kavanaugh as ‘Not a Slam Dunk’ Will Cause ‘Battle Royale’
- MSNBC Immediately Freaks Over ‘Right-Wing,’ ‘Conservative’ Kavanaugh
- CNN Host Badgers Trump SCOTUS Adviser, Picking ‘Right-Wing Extremists’
- Celebrities, Media Melt Down Over ‘Cruelly Regressive’ Brett Kavanaugh
However, Trump seems to be on a roll… so why should I doubt his pick before taking seminal cases on the Court?
POWERLINE still has reservations like we all do:
The FEDERALIST makes us think twice as well!
BREITBART however notes the solid reasoning that most likely pushed Trump in Kavanaugh’s direction:
Here is the new revelations via the SARA CARTER article Hannity was referring to.
Here is a partial of a DAILY CALLER article:
Gregg Jarrett: If you look at the special counsel statute it says you cannot serve as special counsel if you have a personal relationship with someone who is central to the case. If this Washington Post story is true, it’s now Trump against Comey. Comey is now the star witness, the key witness against Trump. Well, guess what? Comey and Mueller are longtime close personal friends, partners, allies. They were joined at the hip at the DOJ and FBI. It’s a mentor-protege relationship. How is this fair to Donald Trump because Mueller is now going to decide whether to believe his good friend or the man who fired his good friend…This is the kind of stuff over which lawyers get disbarred. (GATEWAY PUNDIT)