The Troubling Lesson Learned By The FBI From The IG Report

582px-US-FBI-ShadedSeal.svgBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the recent hearing before the Senate Judiciary on the Inspector General’s investigation into the Clinton email controversy.

Here is the column :

Watching Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Hillary Clinton email investigation, it often seemed like the Justice Department inspector general (IG) produced not one but two diametrically opposed reports. Republicans cited the finding of bias and irregularities in the investigation, while Democrats cited the failure to find any decision that was clearly caused by bias. Everyone seems to have gotten something from the report … everything but answers. As with past scandals, that is not likely to change. Indeed, the principle lesson learned from the IG report appears to be the wrong one, to ensure that the public never again gets a glimpse into how such investigations are handled.

During the hearing, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked both FBI Director Christopher Wray and IG Michael Horowitz if the FBI was looking into alleged leaks to former Trump campaign adviser and current Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani during the 2016 campaign. Wray responded that “one of the main lessons of this report” was to no longer confirm such investigations, a position that Horowitz echoed. That was a troubling conclusion that produced little response from the committee’s members.

It is often the case that Congress asks for the Justice Department to investigate serious matters of alleged misconduct. It will often hold off on pursuing such allegations further, in deference to the FBI. There is no ethical or legal reason why the Justice Department cannot confirm that it is looking into such allegations, any more than it would in the case of investigations of alleged crimes ranging from police abuse or civil rights violations to bombings. Indeed, the confirmation of an independent investigation can assure both Congress and the public that alleged crimes or misconduct by establishment figures are not given special protection.

Yet, Horowitz and Wray said the “lesson” of the report is that it would never again confirm or deny such investigations. Hopefully, they were inartfully saying that such disclosures should come from the Justice Department and not the FBI. However, there is reason to be concerned. If history is any guide, the FBI scandal could be used to avoid future disclosures rather than embracing serious reforms.

It is not true that confirmations of investigations are improper on their face. Fired FBI Director James Comey’s misconduct was not his confirmation of the investigation but his opining on uncharged conduct in a press conference and circumventing the Justice Department. In fairness to Comey, the Clinton email scandal put him and his agency in a difficult position. Congress had asked for an investigation, which was being openly discussed by both campaigns and the media. Comey promised to keep Congress informed of the progress in the investigation and Congress, in turn, deferred to his investigation in its own oversight efforts.

Comey promised to inform Congress if the investigation changed, and did so when the investigation was reopened upon the discovery of additional emails on the laptop of former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y,), husband of close Clinton aide Huma Abedin. When he did so, Comey stressed that the reopening of the investigation did not mean that the FBI believed there was evidence of criminal conduct. While I have been highly critical of many of Comey’s actions, I do not fault him on that effort. It was his conduct in the press conference and, later, during the Trump administration, that raised serious ethical and legal concerns.

It was not the disclosure to Congress but the reason for the lateness of the disclosure that was the problem. Lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok made the Clinton investigation a lower priority than the Trump investigation. This was a decision that the IG expressly found highly suspicious. Strzok also was reportedly responsible, with others, in delaying action on the Weiner discovery. Strzok just happens to be the source of some of the most disturbing emails promising that Trump would not be allowed to be president and discussing an “insurance policy” to prevent him from ever taking office.

Many people have been shocked by the disclosure of the false statements, bias and mistakes in the investigation. This includes the redaction of nonclassified material that was clearly removed because it was embarrassing to top FBI officials. It includes an array of false statements and glaring contradictions from officials in giving information to both Congress and federal investigators. It includes a long list of highly biased political statements from not just the chief investigator for the Clinton scandal but numerous other FBI agents. It includes an estimated 50 FBI officials suspected of improper media contacts, including the receipt of gifts from journalists. Yet, members have stressed that this is just one investigation and not the norm.

Of course, we do not know the extent of such misconduct in other cases because Congress rarely exercises its oversight in this way in reviewing investigations. Judging from the statements yesterday, Congress is unlikely to do so again any time soon. The FBI has long sought to insulate itself from serious oversight by claiming classified status or law enforcement privileges. Now, however, it has succeeded in making such insularity a “lesson” learned. One would think that the outrageous conduct disclosed in this report would lead to the lesson that we need more such scrutiny and transparency. Instead, the lesson is that it was transparency that caused the controversy.

That lesson has been eagerly embraced by Democrats in Congress, who used to be advocates for greater transparency and greater oversight over intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Democratic members routinely appear on television expressing outrage that anyone would question the integrity of FBI officials or demand the disclosure of documents. Some members have expressed anger at the notion that the House Intelligence Committee would enforce its oversight authority through its contempt powers after the Justice Department failed to turn over critical documents for review.

The party of Frank Church now sounds like the party of J. Edgar Hoover. This week, Comey and his fired former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, refused to testify before the Senate committee to answer the many questions following the IG report. McCabe invoked the privilege against self-incrimination, while Comey simply refused and continued his lucrative book tour discussing “ethical leadership” with himself as principle model. When Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) asked the committee to compel their appearance, ranking minority member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) withheld her needed consent.

If this stonewalling is successful, it will guarantee that the public is left with glaring contradictions in the record and few real answers. This includes diametrically opposing factual accounts by key FBI officials where someone is clearly lying. The FBI has not hesitated to charge others for misleading statements, but it seems to shrug off these conflicts in testimony by its own. For those of us who have criticized the intelligence committees as little more than paper tigers, these investigations show the value of aggressive oversight and transparency. Yet, that clearly is not the lesson learned by the FBI or many members of Congress.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

112 thoughts on “The Troubling Lesson Learned By The FBI From The IG Report”

  1. Hollywood, sometimes fringe groups provide information no one else has looked at. I don’t look at who is providing information rather I prefer to analyze the information based on what the individual said previously. You might say I am on the right which is not exactly true but for years I have listened to people that are on all sides of the aisle knowing that there can be truth in multiple positions. Today it is a bit more difficult for the extreme leftist voices have taken over the left and apparently the Democratic Party so there isn’t a platform for those on the left that I would formerly listen to.

    Just look at what happened to Alan Dershowitz the famed Harvard attorney. He hasn’t changed his leftist views nor has he changed his attitude towards the law. Suddenly because he believes that some have used extreme measures to get rid of Trump he gets the silent treatment. His prior friends don’t invite him like they used to. That is what happened to anyone leaving the communist party decades ago. The day that happens you are dead to everyone you knew.

    1. I respectfully disagree with you. First, it is not extreme leftist views that have taken over the Democratic party, rather it is racist, bigoted views that have taken over the GOP. (Note the prominent departures from the party in recent months and Boehner’s remarks about the party.)
      Second, Professor Dershowitz has changed. Yes, he is still a gadfly, but he goes to extreme lengths to be one (and to dine at Mar-a-Lago).
      His relevance in the world at large was declining and he was not being asked for his opinions on anything and everything (as Turley is now). So he has decided (consciously or otherwise) to adopt extreme controversial positions so that he can get columns and screen time on which he thrives. He still wants to be the smartest kid in the class or at least to get the teacher’s attention. By offering tortured defenses of Trump and criticisms of Mueller, he gets attention.
      When you get older, you see new generations emerging and eclipsing your fame and occasionally rejecting your earlier respected views. It may be difficult to accept.
      Solution: Go on the offensive (in the case of Trump, the defensive). It’s a sad end for a respected legal mind, but one that is not entirely unexpected.
      https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-alan-dershowitz-went-from-hillary-donor-to-trumps-attack-dog-on-russia

      1. ““Obama started it”. Absurdly Trump supporters never see these contradictions.”

        Actually, you have less argument for this point of view today then you might have in another subset of years. Racism has declined over the years though there likely was a spike under the Obama administration caused by Obama. Today, it is clear. The policial Democrat has become more and more racist and tribalistic. They do not demonstrate a reduction in racism rather they demonstrate that they are willing to use racism to meet their own political ends. The whole basis behind intersectionality is racist at it core.

        “Second, Professor Dershowitz has changed.”

        Provide a substantial change in the principles behind his decisions. He hasn’t changed principles rather he was forced to change dinner companions from his prior dinner companions. He is a civil libertarian and the Democrats have spit on civil liberties. He remains as smart as ever. Apparently, you are less interested in principle than you are in party politics.

        I see you are delving into the psychology of individuals based on writers whose interests are political and have no training or knowledge in the area of psychology.

  2. “The Troubling Lesson Learned By The FBI From The IG Report”
    ____________________________________________________

    The DOJ/FBI/Intel “deep state” must not be afforded the luxury of a “lesson,” the denizens of the “7th Floor” and other principals need to be thrown in prison, as Drawing and Quartering in the public square was unfortunately outlawed a few short centuries ago. There is no penalty commensurate with their egregious crimes of high office of subverting, nullifying and holding in contempt the Constitution. What did Christopher Wray know and when did Christopher Wray know it?

    The egregious corruption stemmed from the contemporary White House.

    All roads lead to Obama.

  3. I’d like to see a detailed expense report of Mueller’s investigation. Right now it’s somewhere between $16-$20 million. There are some vague postings, but no breakdown.
    That would include what each individual investigator is charging. Especially FBI agent Strzok.

    All that’s posted is this for March 2017-2018:

    *Salaries and benefits for employees in the special counsel’s office: $874,069
    *Cost of Justice Department employees temporarily assigned to the special counsel’s office: $1.9 million
    *Travel expenses: $532,340
    *Information technology services: $226,730
    *Supplies and materials: $29,694

    This doesn’t add up

    1. What about the Benghazi expense report? The Star investigation expense report? The cost of illegally separating parents and children at our borders? (We already can surmise the cost of the nonsense wall.)

  4. The chicken and the egg report by JT is interesting. There are questions on why the FBI was divided on who was to be outed, both HRC and Trump had serious questions to be asked. The FBI office in NYC, wanted to go after HRC, and the FBI office in DC held back on Trump and the Russians.

  5. Again, Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, SJ. A ‘sociologically corrupt’ organization is one which lacks the ability with it’s own resources and officialdom to identify and expel bad apples. It’s superordinate officials are concerns not with punishing misconduct but with preventing misconduct from generating bad publicity. Christopher Wray is such an official. It would be interesting to know who recommended Wray to the White House personnel office. Our single best guess is that he’s a hollow man who is exactly the WRONG person to be leading the FBI at this moment in its history. Can. His. Ass.

  6. Good article on the FBI’s troubling desire to have it both ways — secrecy and Congressional laissez faire. Any law enforcement agency muat be accountable to the elected officials that created it elsewise you create roving commission near guaranteed to abuse its powers to curry favor. Here the director, deputy director and lead investigator on counter intelligence have proven unworthy of the task of objectivity in carrying out their jobs and resorted to rank politics and cya. In the process, they developed the hubris to think they could supplant a democratically elected leader. The only safeguard against this is democracy-killing abuse of power is oversight by elected officials and an honest IG like Horowitz — the real hero of the piece. We’ve thrown the bums out, now time for a new FBI who works for us and not Lady MacBeth in a pants suit.

  7. Amen on Corsi. He refused to show up at the Tri-Annual Vietnam Symposium at Texas Tech University to debate along side the swift boat liars against VVAW. He did phone in and got thoroughly debunked as did the swift boat liars. Oh, the swift boat liars lost, well because they lie. They are their supporters were and are thoroughly despicable “people”.

    I would have loved to have seen the outcry against the fumbling bureau of idiots, AKA fbi years ago when they did everything they could to destroy the VVAW, AIM, any and all left leaning organizations that opposed the illegal, immoral, unethical war in Vietnam. Only the tip of the iceberg was revealed. Oh but the right wing loved them. Now when it appears that in at least one instance, the orange fascist investigation they are actually doing what they should have been doing, the right wing screams, hollers, lies-ok they always lie like their would be dictator, the Don.

    1. Trey Gowdy has it right. Hillary The Corrupt was under investigated because of the HATE Trump high officials at the FBI. And Trump received made up “Russian Collusion” stories from the same HATE Trump high officials. To boot, half of America sees that it’s not only Trump who is hated by these same officials but ALL AMERICANS who voted for him. Reminds me of Obama’s IRS targeting Conservatives. The real Truth is what you Socialists want is a Totalitarian Government, not a Democracy. That may very well happen but it won’t be without a Civil War.

      1. The American Revolution again tyranny never really ends. It just pauses while the tyrants regroup. We’ll win but there is always a grave cost and a spectacular benefit. Freedom’s price is high and always in the same scarlet currency.

        1. Mespo nicely said.

          The left has been using its power to obscure the criminal actions of those that have immense power in our country. There is no question of what happened at the FBI. It was an attempted coup in a way similar to the decades-old movie Seven Days in May only the acting in the movie was much better and those in the movie coup were much more honorable.

          It is not only the bad actions of the FBI that the left attempts to cover up but also the good. Look at how every announcement of good news is met with a new so-called crime of the administration. The IG report is produced and suddenly we face child abuse by our treatment at the border even though that same abuse occurred during the Obama administration which did nothing about it. In fact, the Obama administration claimed they could do nothing about it. Now that Trump signed an executive order to ameliorate the situation (which probably will eventually be stopped by the courts) they complain that is not enough even though it is a lot more than Obama did.

          When Trump pushed for negotiations with Kim of North Korea the left screamed he would cause a war. When it didn’t the left said he would give too much to the North Koreans and when he came back home they called the talks a nothing though we have seen no Korean activities either in launches or development of weapons. Kim even destroyed one site and released our prisoners.

          When it was the economy the left brought up Stormy Daniels a decade old insignificant piece of garbage used to titillate their followers and keep them from focussing on the real business of the country. Over and over again the left has been bombarding the news with all sorts of things of this nature filling empty heads with empty gossip.

          What I find amazing is that the media seems to act as one voice all shouting the same things at the same time.
          That sounds like collusion.

          The left that has taken all sides of issues trying to fight Trump is losing and now it left totally bereft of policy.

      2. When all else fails, threaten people with Civil War.

        Out of curiosity, what sort of government detains immigrant families on military bases under the auspices of the Secretary of Defense?

        1. L4D:

          All else hasn’t failed as the opinion polls show. And the Left is even more isolated as it jumps into the loony side of the pond. And civil war is no mere threat at all, just a clear-eyed analysis of American history. When one group in American society decides it has all the wisdom and seeks to impose that wisdom on others through force or coercion, there will be a push back from the rest. The Left would do well to remember that along with the fact about who has most of the guns. We are a nation of revolutionaries born of a civil war and shaped by another. The words “Don’t Tread on Me,” still has lots of currency among society’s “deplorables.”

          1. When will the long-promised indictments against the FBI/DOJ coup plotters be brought, Allan?

            1. I don’t have a timeline. Not everyone believes in indicting people thought to be innocent by the initial FBI investigation. This was seen in Mueller’s indictment of Flynn where Mueller was willing to ruin the life and reputation of a man who honorably served the United States. Mueller decided to squeeze him since Mueller had the finances in place to bankrupt the man and threaten his family. Your type lavishes in that type of behavior but I don’t so I am willing to wait.

              1. Allan,…
                – I don’t know what the odds are of criminal charges being brought against DOJ/FBI officials.
                The odds of Mueller bring those particular charges are about a million- to-one.
                There would be more predicabilty in the likelihood and timing of those potential charges if a former White House official loyal to Trump was appointed Special Counsel.
                With his mission defined to uncover illegal campaign activity on the part of DOJ/FBI officials, or catch someone lying to an investigator, the Friend of Trump Special Counsel could stack his team with dedicated, hyper-aggressive GOP loyalist.
                Sort of a mirror image, or using a pattern similar to the existing Special Counsel team.
                It should not looj suspicious if someone with a close personal and professional relationship with Trump is chosen as tge 2nd Special Counsel…that taboo has already been dismantled with the Mueller-Comey relationship.
                So certain similar conditions will have to be met for that 2nd Special Counsel in order to take an educated guess as to whether charges would be filed, and when.

                1. Right now Mueller’s main mission seems to be a holding tactic to prevent those that should be indicted from being indicted. The country is at a crossroads that started when Obama was elected President and decided to misuse the law. If we end up not acting appropriately then our government will have turned into something other than a Republic.

                  Though years ago I leaned towards opposing term limits, today I think term limits are an absolute necessity. I think Congress should be stripped of a lot of its perks and benefits. I think we have created a new class of people that are looking out for themselves and the bureaucracy because status quo means they don’t have to do very much.

                  Most of our Congressmen hate Trump or at least are afraid of him because he is rocking the boat and in the process seems to be getting things done. I don’t want Congressmen to make millions because they served the country. Many people serve because they want to do their duty. Just look at our soldiers some of which pay the ultimate price and their widows end up with almost nothing.

        2. “Out of curiosity, what sort of government detains immigrant families on military bases under the auspices of the Secretary of Defense?”

          Ask Obama. Ask all the Presidents and Congresses that didn’t fix the inadequacy of our immigration laws.

          What sort of civil society doesn’t control its borders? What type of civil society lets gang members, drug cartels and all sorts of people into its nation, leading to the death of American children or their parents. That type of craziness permanently separates families through death. What type of country confuses their immigration laws so badly that parents are willing to send their children over a thousand miles with people that represent drug cartels? On the way, those kids can be raped, die in the desert, become slaves etc.

          The solution is simple. Build a wall, end chain migration and declare only the children of US citizens can become citizens. All others have to enter the country legally and gain their citizenship based on their merit. That will leave plenty of room for those that wish to come here legally.

          1. You are being swayed by demagoguery and not considering the actual facts. Those facts include that our fertility rate is low, our population is aging, we have a lot of space, illegal immigration is down, and we really need young immigrants to help us sustain our economy. Here’s a conservative pundit discussing some of those facts. Try reading and thinking with an open mind for a change. Short summary:
            You and Trump are dead wrong.
            https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/opinion/trump-immigration-reform.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

            1. “Those facts include that our fertility rate is low,”

              Try reading with an open mind. Nowhere did I nor Trump state that we shouldn’t have immigration. Illegal immigration is something fancied by the left as are open borders. Legal immigration is a completely different story. Build the wall to make a statement and create a barrier for illegal immigrants, illegal human trafficking, illegal drugs, illegal terrorists etc. That is not a call to stop immigration.

              The New York Times has become a rag. It mixes lies, truth, opinion etc. all together and in the process, it mixes you up.

        3. What sort of government? One that attempts to dehumanize the immigrants, separate them from their kids, has no plan for reuniting them, pays nearly half a billion dollars to Southwest Key to warehouse these kids, and essentially has plans and policies that are wannabe genocidal.

          1. Learn your facts. The problem is created by the left’s open borders policy. This problem has been around for a long time and we can see the pictures of this abomination occurring under Obama who did nothing over 8 y. Trump just passed an executive order to ameliorate the problem temporarily. We need a real fix and we need to promote immigration in a lawful way that benefits America.

              1. Illegal immigration may be down from the most intolerable years but there should be no illegal immigration nor support for it. That support for illegal immigration that you and others provide is a set up for minors to travel alone long distances through dangerous areas and deserts with rapists, human traffickers, and drug dealers. In essence you are taking part in the separation of children from their families, the rape of children and the conversion of children into drug dealers and other types of criminals. It is you that is guilty of these heinous crimes along with all the bad people you have encouraged.

  8. Turley wrote, “It was not the disclosure to Congress [Comey’s letter reopening the Clinton email investigation] but the reason for the lateness of the disclosure that was the problem.”

    What a piece of work Turley is. The reason for the disclosure was reiterated frequently in Horowitz’s IG Report. Comey, McCabe, Yates and Lynch knew that the New York office of the FBI would have leaked the investigation of Huma Abedin’s laptop to the press if Comey had not sent his letter notifying Congress of the reopening of the investigation. But Turley suggests that it is the “timing” that was the problem. No. Wait. What’d he write? “The reason for the lateness of the disclosure was the problem.” Huh? What?

    Well, now, Turley also wrote, “Lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok made the Clinton investigation a lower priority than the Trump investigation.”

    Ah-ha! Strzok made the wrong “politically-motivated” decision??? Yes. That’s clear now. Turley is actually arguing that Strzok should have made the exact same “politically-motivated” decision that the New York office of the FBI, Giuliani and Trump, himself, were whipsawing Comey into making. And thus it comes to pass that Turley is opposed to politically-motivated FBI investigations if, and only if, those politically-motivated FBI investigations are contrary to Turley’s political biases.

    Thanks for teaching us all the correct lesson from the IG Report, professor Turley.

    1. I pointed out recently that reopening the Clinton email investigation in late Sepember 2016 would not have been nearly as problematic as waiting until late October, 11 days before the election.
      The reason is fairly obvious; in a fast-moving campaign, a media fixated on the story de jour, and accusations regularly flying back and forth between campaigns, a reopening of the investigation in late September and closing it in early October would have been “old news” by Nov. 8, 2016.
      It appears that Peter Strzok was instrumental in prioritizing the Trump campaign/ Russia investigation, and “sat on” the September discovery of the Abedin-Weiner laptop.
      Apparently with the hope of running out the clock, and not reopening the investigation until after the election, if ever.
      It’s clear from the emails that Strzok and McCabe both knew of the “laptop development” about the same time in late
      September.
      There does not appear to be certainty about exactly when Comey learned about this, or if he was fully kept
      “in the loop”.
      Whatever the case, and for whatever reason, Comey reopens the investigation in late October.

      Your favorite and repeated spin is that some rogue FBI agents in New York, along with Trump and Giuliani,
      twisted Comey’s arm to make this all happen ( “whipsawing Comey”, to put it in your spin-speak.)
      I will give you due credit
      for your specious arguements and distortions of what JT wrote in his column.
      The TIMING was a major
      problem in the reopening of the investigation, and whether it was primarily Strzok responsibility, or jointly a Comey/
      Strzok/McCabe decision, the fact remains that
      responsibilty for the timing
      was with the top officials of
      the FBI.
      You have a bad habit of restating, rephrasing, and mistating what JT and others write.
      I don’t plan on making a career of calling you on every one of your chicken**** stunts/ talking points.
      It would take a full-time staff to untangle the crap you post here in any case.

  9. Turley wrote, “It is not true that confirmations of investigations are improper on their face.”

    Well, then it was not improper on the face of it for Andrew McCabe to confirm the FBI investigation of The Clinton Foundation. It was wrong for some other reason hidden beneath the surface of that confirmation of that investigation. Likewise, it would not have been wrong on the face of it, according to Turley, for Comey to have confirmed the investigation of Russia’s effort at cultivating members of the Trump campaign before Tuesday, November 8th, 2016. But it might have been wrong for some other reason hidden beneath the surface of that non-confirmation of that investigation.

    Maybe someday Turley will get around to explaining why Comey was wrong to tell Clapper and Brennan that “the window of opportunity had closed” on confirming the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s effort at cultivating members of the Trump campaign before Tuesday, November 8th, 2016, for fear of being accused of interfering in that election.

  10. LET’S ADDRESS HILLARY’S EMAILS

    Under the Freedom of Information Act Hillary was supposed to preserve her emails. Why would she delete them?

    Because if you’re Hillary Clinton you know your emails are going to be subpoenaed by a Republican-led House Committee. Or Judicial Watch. And that’s a real dilemma for a Secretary of State.

    Secretaries of State discuss matters involving presidents, ambassadors and multi-national corporations. Their directives have to be clear. A secretary can’t couch their language in legalese. They must be understood.

    The Secretary may have to write, for instance, “He’s a thug, but helpful to us”. “The ambassador seeks bribes”. “Exxon wants help from the Navy”. One imagines comments like these are routine to secretaries. It’s the nature of their job.

    But frank comments can be misrepresented by political enemies. And one must note Republicans devoted several years to Benghazi. So you can bet they would have twisted Hillary’s emails. Producing narratives to paint her as the coldest witch.

    I have read that Colin Powell and Condi Rice were also leery of preserving emails. No secretary would honestly want an e-trail. Especially in situations where violence breaks out and the U.S. has to side with unsavory actors. Those discussions look terrible in transcript form.

    1. You mean like her email we had a terrorist attack in Benghazi and then publicly disclose it was anger from an sparsely watched youtube video.

    2. Peter,…
      A lot of the reforms pushing for transparency in government came in the wake of Watergate.
      There is, as you say, a risk that awkward or embarassing information might surface.
      I think that’s actually a point in favor of using the encripted official Department systems rather than a homebrew system set up to circumvent the govenment provided/ government monitored system.
      There are defenses against having to provide highly sensitive, classified material under FOIA.
      Or even by contesting delivery of subpeoned material.
      The very real risk of interception and exposure by foreign actors is heightened when using a non-governmental homebrew server, or a ( relatively) insecure Blackberry, I-phone, etc.
      Much was made of the fact that no ADDITIONAL State Dept. emails were discovered when they got around to examining the Abiden-Weiner laptop.
      But that laptop was probably an easier mark for hackers; I think the probability that the Hillary server was compromised is high, and that probabilty is even higher when it’s contents are sent to a laptop.
      These issues aside, we can’t have it both ways. That is, we can’t guarantee that nonessential but embarrassing correspondence won’t surface inappropriately under the current system of requirements for preserving documents/ correspondence performed by officials using government systems.
      I suspect that the c. 30,000 Hillary emails that were “Bleachbitted” contained some incriminating evidence, just as the 18 1/2 minutes of the Nixon tapes that were “accidently erased” would have piled on even more incriminating evidence against Nixon.
      Barring some kind of recovery of either, we’ll never know for sure.

    3. But frank comments can be misrepresented by political enemies.

      PH,
      You would do well to take your thought streams out to all possible conclusions. Ask all relevant questions, not just the ones that fit your worldview.

      To begin with, should our public officials be accountable to the people through oversight? If your kneejerk response to that is anything other than yes, then something inside you supports a government unaccountable to anyone. Why? Because when you give them the power to remove from oversight what they say is off limits, then everything will soon be off limits. So everything must be retained and available through the proper disclosure procedures.

      Secondly, in our current system Clinton doesn’t get to hide her communications because they might be used against her by political enemies. Taking that a step further, she most certainly is not allowed to conduct official government business on a private system that is not secured by our approved agencies with the appropriate records retention. She not only violates the records retention law, she exposes her communications to collection from foreign actors.

      All in all, she doesn’t get to decide the rules.

      1. PH doesn’t care about the law. All he cares about is a government that is ideologically in tune with him. He would accept any dictator that agreed with him as long as he was one of the elite.

  11. For a change of pace I recommend reading the Siberian Times once a week.

    1. Excerpted from Trump’s most recent Executive Order:

      “The Secretary of Defense shall take all legally available measures to provide to the Secretary, upon request, any existing facilities available for the housing and care of alien families, and shall construct such facilities if necessary and consistent with law. The Secretary, to the extent permitted by law, shall be responsible for reimbursement for the use of these facilities.”

      I’m no lawyer, but I think Trump just made his zero-tolerance policy subject to The Geneva Convention by putting The Secretary of Defense in charge family detention centers. If so, then The Red Cross can demand visitation at the family detention centers located on available military bases in the Southwestern States.

      Hopefully the vast majority of the children will still be alive. Hopefully the few who have already died will have been given decent burials with appropriate funerary rites performed by appropriate clergy. We wouldn’t want to violate the religious liberty of deceased immigrant children in our custody. Would we?

      1. Why didn’t you complain during the Obama administration?

        Seal the borders, build a wall and permit only legal immigration.

    2. P. S. Steve Miller will be fired from his WH post as Senior Advisor for Policy before the end of business tomorrow, Friday, June 22nd, 2018. The Summer Solstice will remain the longest day for everyone else except Miller and Trump.

  12. Ah, Palmer’s boys, as they used to be called in the days when the then-young J. Edgar Hoover was tapped to lead them. Union busting and so on…

  13. Professor Turley, You fashion yourself an expert in public interest law and constitutional law. You claim to be a scholar and one who cares deeply about such matters (when you aren’t posting nonsense about ancient mugshots). Why is it you dwell so much on nitpicking the IG’s report and ignore Trump and Sessions’ allegedly biblically supported violation of human rights at our borders? Why is it you are not concerned about the due process rights of persons seized by ICE and Border Patrol? Why is it you do not care about their right to obtain bail? Why is it you do not care about the separation of parents from their young children? Why is it you do not write about their inability to obtain effective, or any, counsel in their defense? Why is it you do not discuss the transport of children to unknown sites around the country without notice? Why is it you do not discuss the unprecedented use of JAG lawyers–yes, lawyers from our military service–to prosecute these migrants in lieu of US Attorneys from DOJ? If Trump can draft lawyers from other Government agencies to prosecute, why can’t he do something for the representation of those caught at the border? Why is it Trump can blame Democrats for the seizure and separation of minors, claim that only a law can cure the problem, then suddenly sign an excutive order that seemingly contradicts his bald-faced lies? Having done so, how can he (and you) ignore the approximately 2,300 minor children who have been seized and separated from their families and leave them no recourse? https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-government-has-no-plan-for-reuniting-the-immigrant-families-it-is-tearing-apart
    How can you, as someone who claims to care about constitutional law issues, ignore these shameful matters?

    1. Thank you Hollyood for writing here, you and enigma are wonderful people to take the time to post. Shame on the phoney Turley he prefers looking at plants and can no longer see the forest.

        1. The most likely reason that no one has yet been allowed to visit the immigrant children in our custody is that at least a few of them have already died and that those deaths could have been prevented.

          1. It might also have something to do with the fact that it is a secure facility.

      1. It’s always about shaming someone that you disagree with, isn’t it.

        Let us look at this objectively. You call Professor Turley a phony, yet you do not even post using your real name. And for that matter if the writings of Mr. Turley or the others is so unacceptable why do waste your surely as valuable time in being here? Could it be that having someone such as Professor Turley is necessary for someone such as yourself–who most likely has made no relevant audience on their own accord and reputation–to ride on his coat tails and provide you with a platform?

        Another matter for which you probably are not aware. Effective and persuasive writing requires both knowledge and skill to craft and convey with credibility well received works of writing, discussion and literature. Making bombastic insults and vacuous criticism requires nothing more than the ability to formulate a complete sentence. Just because a person shouts the loudest in protest it does not automatically elevate themselves to an equal strata of their opponent who makes sustained and substantial arguments on established facts and reasoning.

        1. Mr. Smith, there’s an high degree of probability that some the immigrant children detainees have already died in our custody. Hopefully the number of immigrant children in our custody who are still alive will be very nearly all of them. The American Red Cross must be given visitation access to the immigrant children in our custody. And the few who have already died must be given proper burials with all of the funerary rites afforded them and their families under both the First Amendment and The Geneva Convention.

          Hollywood’s use of agonistics is both relevant and proportionate to the issues at stake with Trump’s zero-tolerance policy and his EO giving the Pentagon custody of family detention centers. As such, your complaint against “shaming” is, in and of itself, “shameless.”

              1. No, YOU had better be right when you declare that there is “a high degree of probability” that these children have died.

                1. I could be wrong. But I don’t think so. There’s more than two thousand immigrant children in detention. There are credible reports that they are crying all day long until they crash to sleep from exhaustion, day after day. It takes a lot of water to keep a crying child alive. And the sleep deprivation doesn’t help matters much, either. So, if as few as two immigrant children have already died in our custody, then it will be a miracle.

                  1. You sound as if you are hoping they have died, in order to continue your manufactured outrage.

                    1. The left frequently hopes for some type of catastrophe to teach Americans a lesson. I think it was Bill Maher that was hoping for a deep recession so that Donald Trump’s popularity would fall and he could be replaced.

                    2. Damn these people are disgusting. This fake outrage over a border & immigration policy that is of the open border advocates own creation should anger every citizen and legal immigrant that desires the rule of law be enforced.

                    3. Olly, you are right. These people are disgusting and play around with people’s lives just to satisfy an artificial argument. We even have some of them on this list.

                      Build the wall and permit only legal immigration making sure it is good for America. I listen to people like Vincente Fox that have oppressed their own people to keep themselves rich and then complain about the US. I wonder what would happen in Mexico if so many of their dissatisfied people stayed in Mexico, revolution?

                    4. Allan,
                      That’s a good point about the home country. Why is the United States the designated caretaker of another country’s citizens? Would it be much different if groups of families living in the shooting range known as the south side of Chicago decide to pack up their belongings and seek “asylum” in the homes of those wealthy west side residents?

                    5. Michelle Obama would be one of the first to yell if the ghetto people moved to the affluent areas. When she had an administrative position at the U. Chicago Hospital she made sure the ghetto people ended up in the hospital down the block.

                  2. How many of the US Consulates between their home country and the US border did these roaming asylum-seekers stop at before attempting to cross into our country illegally? Certainly, if the health and safety of these crying children was their primary concern, they wouldn’t have risked such a dangerous trek to our border without seeking asylum at any one of the consulates along the way. Right?

                    1. Olly,…
                      Your comment reminded me to try to learn about Mexico’s immigration policies when I have time.
                      I don’t know what percentage of illegal entries into the U.S. involve non-Mexican Hispanics fleeing Central American countries.
                      Because of language and other cultural similarities, those ostensibly fleeing violence from Central American countries might find integration into Mexican society easier, at least in some respects.
                      If there is a perceived obligation to accept those who cross illegally into the U.S. as we would those who stand in line and cross legally, we could transport busloads or planeloads of them directly from their native countries to the U.S., in order to save them the trek through Mexico.😒
                      Their are, additionally, poverty-striken and war/ violence-plagued countries all over the globe…..once we’ve absorbed those who need to flee to America from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico itself, etc., we can open up the door to South America, especially Venezuelans and the other most distressed countries.
                      Or has been suggested elsewhere, we can more aggressively intervene in these countries internal turmoil to encourage them to stay put.
                      I guarantee you that anything that goes wrong with that effort will be front page news about Yankee imperialism/ colonialism.
                      I think the immigration issue, particularly when discussing illegal immigration, largely comes down to the perception of what America is obligated to do, how far we need to go in assisting those from (more) troubled societies.
                      It’s not a new debate, but historically it seems that after a protracted period of allowing mass wave immigration, it’s followed by a period of more restrictive immigration policy.
                      I don’t see a real consensus among Americans at this point, so I’m not optimistic about any real immigration reform bill getting passed in the foreseeable future.

                    2. I don’t see a real consensus among Americans at this point, so I’m not optimistic about any real immigration reform bill getting passed in the foreseeable future.

                      Tom,
                      As we saw yesterday after President Trump signed that EO, not even that was acceptable to those calling for him to take exactly that action. The call is for no detention. Catch and release. Effectively no borders.

                      A permanent fix requires congress to act. And just like with their Article I authority to declare war, they will not take ownership of their constitutional duties as long as they get away with making this the problem of the executive branch. This won’t get fixed until members of congress begin losing elections as a result of them dodging their constitutional responsibility.

                    3. Olly,…
                      – From certain areas, promoting sanctuary cities will get you elected.
                      From other areas, emphasizing “The Wall” being built and “turn ’em all back at the border” will get you elected.
                      I don’t see a turning point with a compromise in sight, because too many Senators and Representatives are playing to their constituancies’ demands that they represent a partisan, rigid stand one way or the other on the immigration issues.
                      So the path of least resistance for Congress is to demogogue the issue to death and kick the can down the rode.
                      This comments forum isn’t a perfect microcausum of American public opinion, but I think just reading these comments can paint a fairly accurate picture of the prevelance of highly partisan, entrenched positions.

          1. I strongly believe a good number of kids died on their way to our borders or were raped by those involved in human trafficking that those on the left have encouraged with their policies. I don’t know of any deaths due to the neglect of those in charge. I also know of American families who have been separated permanently as members have been killed by gangs and thugs that entered our borders illegally due to the leftist promotion of open borders.

            1. Allan,…
              I remember one veteran journalist remarking that media coverage saturation was often influenced by the availability of nearby 4 or 5 Star Hotels and Restaurants.😄
              The U.S. detention facilities likely have those facilities nearby, but “on the road” reporting…..the hazards and causualties involved in illegally getting here….gets relatively little coverage.

    2. Guess you forgot when that busload of Illegal Immigrants with Children were about to enter a city where the citizens stopped it and the bus turned around. After that, Obama gave instructions that destinations of these Illegal Immigrants would no longer be given out. Approximately 3 million ILLEGAL ALIENS came into America under Obama’ Administration. How long do you think that American Tax Payers can afford this SURGE before our economy collapses, schools collapse and what’s left of law and order collapses? At some point taxpayers are going to revolt if ILLEGAL ALIENS continue to receive more benefits, Federal and State Assistance than AMERICAN CITIZENS!

      1. How much water does it take to keep a child alive who is crying around the clock?

        How many immigrant children did not receive sufficient water to keep them alive while they were crying around the clock?

        Might water for crying children be the sort of taxpayer funded benefits that will crash the US economy that Trump keeps bragging about?

        Will you really start a Civil War to prevent paying taxes for water to keep children alive?

        1. “Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children??!!!”

          L4D parrots the assigned talking points perfectly.

          “children crying around the clock”
          FFS.

          1. FFSierra, …
            – Helen Lovejoy does not post under her own name here.😉
            She uses a variety of different user names when she’s playing the children card.

        2. L4D asked, “How much water does it take to keep a child alive who is crying around the clock?”

          The only available answer to L4D’s question that L4D has found thus far is that if a child is crying without shedding any tears, then a medical doctor must determine the proper rate of rehydration which cannot be too rapid without triggering a whole host of life-threatening or debilitating medical conditions. IOW, too much water too quickly can either kill or debilitate a severely dehydrated child. The main treatment for constant crying is to console the child so that the crying stops.

          1. “The main treatment for constant crying is to console the child so that the crying stops.”

            The main treatment is to pass legislation so that children enter our doors in a legal fashion. You see only the crying of some children that have some care but you close your eyes to the rape of those same children along with all the other abuses and even death as they travel to our borders with the intent of entering illegally. That can easily be stopped but for your Stalinist views of the world.

    3. Why is the man supposed to write about an immigration matter in an article that is not about an immigration matter? He didn’t write about the war in Yemen in this article either. Is that supposed to be his fault as well?

  14. The most eloquent, smartest, and most unique comments extant so far, in reply to the IG report. Brava!

        1. O Bother. That Comey’s October 5th email to Brennan explaining why it’s too late publically to disclose the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s effort at cultivating members of the Trump campaign.

          1. The memo does not mention “Russia’s effort at cultivating members of the Trump campaign”.
            It does not discuss the nature of or the contents of what an ” official statement” would be.
            Comey said recently that “it was possible that Russia had compromising information” on Trump.
            This was in an interview this spring as he was promoting his book…the memo does not address specifically what the “official statement” would be in October of 2016.
            Whatever Comey might have learned in the 6-7 additional months that Comey remained as FBI Director, he does not go beyond “it’s possible”.
            In October 2016, Comey’s conviction that their was “Russian dirt” on Trump would not have been any stronger than it was in May of 2017 ( when he was fired), or in April 2018 on his book promotion tour.
            There was a reason why every established media outlet refused to publish ( before the election) the allegations Steele was feeding them from his Russian Dossier.
            And Comey would have been leery of opening up a ( still) unverified can of worms a few months into the investigation.

            1. Papadopoulos, Manafort and Page were all subjects of the FBI’s investigation before October 5th, 2016.

              Besides, the point remains that the FBI did not confirm their investigation for fear of being accused of interfering in the 2016 election in favor of Clinton and against Trump.

              1. Manafort and I think Carter Page as well had been under FBI investigation long before Oct. 5, 2016.
                Should the FBI have announced these investigations in 2015, or during the GOP primaries, save it for October 2016, or wait until the investigations were concluded?
                The DOJ IG report makes it clear that Peter Strzok prioritized the Trump/Russia investigation over the resumption of the Clinton email investigation ( which could have started in September 2016, not 11 days before the election.
                Yet you said that the FBI was “intimidated” in pursuing the Trump/ Russia investigation.
                I don’t think they “held back” investigating the Trump campaign because of “intimidation; but even if that were true, that’s even more of an explanation as to why the FBI wasn’t confident enough ( with the information they had at that point) to issue public statements.
                U.S. intel agencies, especially Homeland Security and Dir. of NationalIntelligence, did sign on to the Crowdstrike conclusion that the Russians hacked the DNC emais.
                That WAS published a 2-3 weeks before the election.
                My point previously ( and currently) is that it’s not reasonable to expect detailed official statements in the earliest stages of an investigation.
                Your suggestion that the FBI did not aggresively pursue the Trump Campaign/ Russia investigation because of “intimidation” would suggest that the FBI was even less far along in the investigative process in October 2016.

                1. Ptom Gnash, you’re the seventh most frequent commenter on the Turley blawg, now. I’m starting to feel sorry for you, Ptom. Have you considered the possibility that people other than L4D might actually be reading your posts? I’d be happy to string you along all the way down to the skinniest indentations, if you’d like. But it’s not going to change the simple fact that the FBI and DOJ did nothing whatsoever to prevent Trump from being elected because the FBI and DOJ were downright mortified at the prospect of being accused of trying to prevent Trump from being elected. Now, in case you’ve forgot, allow me to remind you that Trump has repeatedly claimed the FBI and DOJ conspired to prevent Trump from being elected. This necessarily means that Trump is just-plain flat-out wrong about the supposed FBI/DOJ plot to prevent Trump from being elected. There simply is no way remaining that Trump’s oft-repeated claim that the election was rigged against Trump could possibly be true. I’m beginning to suspect that both Trump and his supporters secretly wish that the election had been rigged against Trump. Why else would Trump and his supporters keep on incessantly repeating the known-to-be-false claim that the election was rigged against Trump?

                  1. I don’t have time to cover all of the points you raised in your comments/ column you just posted.
                    In response to your first point, I do have an inclination to sometimes challenged the most egregious and prolofic bull****ers, so if that count is accurate in the number of posts I supposedly made, much of the credit goes to you for giving me so many targets,

                    1. I did want to thank you for continuing to allow space for JT’s comments in your daily columns.

                    2. Paul C Schulte

                      June 18, 2018 at 12:52 AM

                      Had the FBI not been trying to keep Trump from being elected President, none of these people would be in this position. Let’s put the blame squarely where it belongs.

  15. Re Comey and McCabe’s refusal to testify before the Senate Committee……McCabe testified before a House committee, in closed session, in December 2017.
    It was within a couple of days after that testimony that we found out that McCabe was going to take his early retirement.
    It appears that, even before the IG Report criticizing McCabe came out, his Congressional testimony influenced his decision to retire.
    I haven’t seen info leaked about McCabe’s December testimony, but I hope that at some point it will be made public.

    1. That’s because Nunes refused to release the transcript, instead preferring his “version” of what McCabe testified to.

  16. Since the professor on more than one occasion has alluded to movies for his insight, if not his explication, I offer the accurate meaning of A Review Of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election (so-called I.G.R.) and any Congressional oversight:

    https://youtu.be/GO_xfR64qSk

    dennis hanna

  17. I am still having a problem with how someone can have “classified” information on an unsecured server and not face an indictment. Clearly a different standard was afforded Hillary Clinton. I now know that it’s more important who you are than what evidence of wrongdoing may exist.

    1. How can Trump inform Russians in the Oval Office of the highest class of confidential information obtained from the Israeli intelligence service, jeopardizing methods and sources?

    2. Powell and Rice did the same thing under Dubya, The question is, why was it not a problem before?

      1. Because the records preservation protocols were still in flux, they didn’t set up a toilet server in their home to avoid FOIA requests, and they didn’t have a tech use Bleachbit and hammers to avoid turning over documentation under subpoena. This isn’t that difficult.

  18. There were many takeaways from the OIG report and from the IG’s responses to the committee members. We finally got the names of two more subjects, there is a lot of stuff on Huma’s laptop that should be gone over with a fine-tooth comb, and Horowitz thinks there was bias. Oh, and the Democrats had to weaponize the children in the border holding centers to deflect from the hearing.

    Still, it opened more doors for Judicial Watch and Huber. Don’t see the OIG report as an end-game, see it as the beginning of the end.

    1. Your one of the same folks who claimed the IG’s report was going to result in indictments, convictions and incarcerations of Hillary, Comey, et al. Now, you plant your hopes with Huber. What next? The Illuminati?

      1. Why don’t you document the first lie you saw in the video above. I’ll answer. You can’t. All we see of you is a broad opinion that is absent knowledge. You don’t have to listen to the whole video because if Corsi is such a liar you will see something right away.

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