Politico Fact Bombs New York Times Over Criticism of Leak Prosecutor

The New York Times faced a stinging contradiction from Politico this week after it ran a story besmirching the lead prosecutor in the leak investigation launched under former Attorney General Bill Barr. The article relies on anonymous sources to claim that Assistant U.S. Attorney Osmar Benevenuto of the District of New Jersey was brought in by Barr as part of his “small circle of trusted aides officials.”  In reality, it appears that Benevenuto was not initially selected by Barr and does not appear to have known him.

Here is what the New York Times wrote:

“… William P. Barr revived languishing leak investigations after he became attorney general a year later. He moved a trusted prosecutor from New Jersey with little relevant experience to the main Justice Department to work on the Schiff-related case and about a half-dozen others, according to three people with knowledge of his work who did not want to be identified discussing federal investigations.

In February 2020, Mr. Barr placed the prosecutor from New Jersey, Osmar Benvenuto, into the National Security Division. His background was in gang and health care fraud prosecutions.

Mr. Benvenuto’s appointment was in keeping with Mr. Barr’s desire to keep matters of great interest to the White House in the hands of a small circle of trusted aides and officials.

However, Politico ran a story that suggests that Barr did not know Benevenuto when he selected him in February 2020. Rather, it says that Barr asked the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Craig Carpenito who told Politico:

“The attorney general told me that he wanted someone who was an experienced prosecutor and wasn’t afraid to make decisions. What he wanted to know was whether or not there was anything to these investigations, whether they should be closed or brought forward,” Carpenito said in an interview. “I told him Oz Benvenuto was someone I trusted to give him an honest answer and he has the experience to separate the wheat from the chaff. … I also told him Oz had the intestinal fortitude to give him a real answer: He would say, ‘yes or no.’”

Benevenuto is a registered Democrat and, while it is true that he did not previously conduct a leak investigation, few prosecutors have. Instead, he was an experienced prosecutor in cases that often involve heavy reliance on searches of electronic and text communications.  He was made a federal prosecutor in 2012 by Paul Fishman, U.S. Attorney in New Jersey under Barack Obama.

The Politico article is full of praise from career prosecutors and others for Benevenuto’s independence and judgment. One of his former colleagues in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey, Andrew Bruck, “scoffed at the idea that his friend was carrying out political orders for Barr. ‘The idea that Oz is or was Bill Barr’s stooge is just laughable. It’s just outrageous.’”  Even Daniel Richman (the law professor who is a close friend of former FBI Director James Comey and acted as his intermediary in passing notes to the media) praised Benevenuto for his judgment, intelligence and integrity.

So who are these three unnamed sources? It appears that career prosecutors and others (including Democrats) uniformly deny that Benevenuto was part of any inner circle or some ally of Barr’s. Indeed, there was ample reason for Barr to go outside of the Main Justice since he was seeking to launch a leak investigation that would potentially include many people inside the Trump Administration, including some political appointees.  It made a great deal of sense to find a seasoned prosecutor with no ties to Washington.

However, anonymous sources have been repeatedly used to fulfill narratives in the media. As I wrote this week in USA Today, there are compelling reasons to fully investigate the subpoenas targeting reporters and members of Congress.  However, there is already that all-too-familiar effort to frame the facts to fit a narrative.

67 thoughts on “Politico Fact Bombs New York Times Over Criticism of Leak Prosecutor”

  1. Every human “leaks”. Where and into what matters. Trump used to leak out a Whitehouse window.

  2. IF BARR IS A MAN OF INTEGRITY..

    According to “Politico”, William Barr had real integrity for hiring an experienced prosecutor appointed by Obama. .

    And one should note, that when Barr resigned in late December, he told Trump that the latter’s election claims are BS.

    Yeah, a man of integrity.

  3. Amy Klobuchar to Christopher Wray, “Related to the Trump Rally in D.C. on January 6, 2021, did you do your job, fulfill your duties and infiltrate these groups who had encrypted Chinese two-way radios?”

    “No, Senator,” said Christopher Wray, “we received no orders to do so from the Deep Deep State, in fact, the Deep Deep State wanted us to blame Trump.”

    “We do our best,” concluded the FBI Director.

      1. George::
        Funny, Wray sounds just like Lord Frederick North who, as PM, assured Mad King George III that the nasty “insurrection” in the colonies was well in hand and the Crown’s agents were continually looking for “better sources and information” to analyze and thus thwart those pesky American colonists and their radical militias. Tyrants like smarmy Aunt Amy and their feckless Igorish ministers like Wray don’t change much over the centuries. All governments eventually become tyrannies as Aristotle reminded us eons ago when he said “masculine republics give way to feminine democracies, and feminine democracies give way to tyrannies.” (Note the gender descriptions.) Can’t think of a better description of America right now than a doddering old aunt like Amy shushing us on our ride to the Church of Wokeness.

        Maybe we ought to grab the wheel. Death unto tyrants, I always say! Regardless of where they spring from.

  4. Amy Klobuchar to Christopher Wray, “Related to the Trump Rally in D.C. on January 6, 2021, did you do your job, fulfill your duties and infiltrate these groups who had encrypted Chinese two-way radios?”

    “No, Senator,” said Christopher Wray, “we received no orders to do so from the Deep Deep State, in fact, the Deep Deep State wanted us to blame Trump.”

    “We do our best,” concluded the FBI Director.

  5. “However, there is already that all-too-familiar effort to frame the facts to fit a narrative.” In reality, it should read: “However, there is already that all-too-familiar effort to invent the facts to fit a narrative.”

    1. In reality, it should read: “However, there is already that all-too-familiar effort to manufacture the facts to fit a narrative.”

  6. Imagine that, Anonymous the Stupid is telling another to work on his reasoning skills. Mespo has sophisticated knowledge. ATS has left-wing bullet points he does not understand. Why? He doesn’t know how to think.

  7. It’s not “MSM” but “Corporate Media.” Follow the money. Find out what entity(s) is/are financing these propagandist and expose them.

    1. George

      Never have so many waited so long for so little.

      And Durham continues to draw a paycheck while moving towards retirement (and a reward?).

      1. All that’s left to do is put a Friday night press release announcing the investigation has been concluded due to lack of evidence.

        eb

    2. The Durham investigation has already lasted longer than the fake Russian “Collusion” investigation.

  8. OT

    Speaking of Leaking

    **ARKANCIDE ALERT**

    Reporter Who Broke Story on 2016 Clinton/Lynch Tarmac Meeting Dead at 45 of Alleged Suicide

    Christopher Sign, the television anchor who broke the story that former President Bill Clinton secretly met with Loretta Lynch while the then-Attorney General investigated Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, is dead at 45. The meeting took place in 2016 when Hillary was vying with former President Donald Trump for the presidency. The Hoover, Alabama police department said the death is being investigated as an apparent suicide after Sign’s body was discovered in his home early Saturday morning. “We knew something had occurred that was a bit unusual,” Sign told “Fox & Friends” in February 2020 on the eve of the release of the book he wrote, Secret on the Tarmac, about the experience. “It was a planned meeting,” Sign said. “It was not a coincidence.” Sign told Fox his life has not been the same since he broke the story. “My family received significant death threats shortly after breaking this story,” Sign said. “Credit cards hacked.

    “You know, my children, we have code words. We have secret code words that they know what to do.”

  9. “However, there is already that all-too-familiar effort to frame the facts to fit a narrative.”

    And, to that end JT, I salute you in this opening salvo toward chipping around the edges of the fact Barr ran a shadow Justice Dept. within the Justice Dept.

    Divide and conquer!!

    Still, I feel for you in what you have to work with.

    eb

  10. The majority of MSM has traded in their integrity, objectivity, and morals to become “journalist activists.”
    They have make a mockery of what it means to be a journalist.
    I am not surprised by the lack of real journalistic standards by the MSM, namely the NYT, WaPo, NPR, and other so-called news outlets.
    All the more reason why we need more people like Professor Turley, Greenwald, Taibbi, Weiss, Attkisson, and many, many more.

  11. “Benevenuto is a registered Democrat and, while it is true that he did not previously conduct a leak investigation, few prosecutors have. Instead, he was an experienced prosecutor in cases that often involve heavy reliance on searches of electronic and text communications. He was made a federal prosecutor in 2012 by Paul Fishman, U.S. Attorney in New Jersey under Barack Obama.”
    *********************************************
    How any lawyer who believes in the Rule of Law could be a registered Democrat bewilders me. Maybe they don’t own a TV.

    1. :How any lawyer who believes in the Rule of Law could be a registered Democrat bewilders me. Maybe they don’t own a TV (obsessively tuned into Fox and Newsmax).

      FIFY

      eb

            1. I’ll take your expertise on witlessness with all the due respect it deserves, Big Mess. I defer to your knowledge.

              eb

  12. My surprise is not that the NYT lies, but that its readers pay to be lied to and manipulated.

    Look at posters on this blog. Some like Fishwings or Natacha obviously can think and write, but their TDR is so strong that they have become angry and almost deranged.

    We almost have to admire the NYT for identifying so well a constituency that pays to be lied to.

    1. monumentcolorado:

      True Believers:

      “Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.”

      “The permanent misfits can find salvation only in a complete separation from the self; and they usually find it by losing themselves in the compact collectivity of a mass movement.”

      “Scratch an intellectual, and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the sound and the smell of common folk.”

      ~ Eric Hoffer

      1. Turley is one of the intellectuals you’re insulting, mespo, and you clearly hate Democrats, given that you can’t even name them without substituting an insult.

        1. Turley is a civil libertarian who leans left. He is quite different from the leftist intellectuals you are thinking about. Of course you don’t recognize such differences.

          1. Actually, Allan, I’m not thinking of “leftist intellectuals.” You simply want to pretend I was. You often pretend to read people’s minds because you can’t make an honest argument.

            The quote in mespo’s comment — “Scratch an intellectual, and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the sound and the smell of common folk” — does not limit itself to “leftists intellectuals.”

            Turley is an intellectual, and mespo insults him with that quote.

            1. The dictum of a leftist is once a person leaning left says anything truthful, that person no longer exists with his former status. Take note of Alan Dershowitz. In the world of intellectuals (on the left) Alan is no longer in that world. Many intellectuals of the left have prostituted themselves intellectually, so they sound more like emotional youngsters. I suggest you read the book Intellectuals and Society. I don’t know if being told one is an intellectual infers a promising quality in today’s world.

              1. Anonymous the Wise:
                Anonymous the Stupid obviously has no earthly idea what a colon is or even suggests. That or her typical reading comprehension deficits are on full display. Since I don’t talk to her or her leftist troglodytes any longer, I’ll explain it for those who could be mislead by the misinformation campaign of anonymous the stupid and her tribe of dunces or who may not be familiar with the book from whence the quotes originated. The quotes were from Eric Hoffer’s masterpiece, “True Believer” about those “permanent misfits” so wrapped up in ideology that they eschew reality. The quotes were about these soulless True Believing intellectuals who view reason with contempt and others with less education with disdain. That hardly describes JT and any attempt to paint him with that brush or to suggest that I did so Is just, well, so stupid yet typical of the sophists that frequent this board.

                1. You are a kind soul to fill the empty souls and hearts of those like Anonymous the Stupid and the Bug. Without such kind support, they would have no chance to escape the dreary lives they have created for themselves.

      2. These “intellectuals,” Peter Strzok and his FBI paramour, Lisa Page, got scratched:
        _________________________________________________________________

        “Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support….”

        – Peter Strzok
        ___________

        1. Strzok’s hatred for Trump did not impact any of his professional actions or judgments. How do we know? Because he said so. And he would never lie — he assured us of that, too.

        2. Strzok wrote that Loudoun County, Virginia, residents are “ignorant hillbillys [sic].” But we learned that Loudoun residents were wrong to take that as disparaging in any way. Strzok was simply partaking in good-natured banter involving the friendly competition between Loudoun and Fairfax County, Virginia, where Strzok lives.

        3. Strzok said he could “smell” Trump supporters at a Wal-Mart store. But we learned what he meant was that he could “see” or “hear” Trump supporters at the Wal-Mart. In reality, Strzok totally respects and honors the “millions and millions and millions of Americans … who voted for Mr. Trump.”

        4. Strzok wrote that he “loathed Congress.” But he didn’t mean that, either. It turns out he has “the utmost respect” for Congress.

        5. Strzok wrote that he and unnamed others would join to “stop” Trump from ever getting elected. That might appear to be the definition of a conspiracy — or collusion — by a top FBI official to interfere in an election. But we learned Strzok has no memory of writing those words. And, in any event, the “we” referred to the American public —not to anybody in the FBI.

        6. Strzok wrote of working with other top FBI officials to develop an “insurance policy” in case Trump were elected. But, again, we learned he would never really do such a thing.

        7. Strzok wrote of the “impeachment” of Trump before he’d interviewed a single witness in the Russia probe. But we learned he didn’t prejudge anything.

        8. We also learned a lot of important context that justified and recast Strzok’s messages. For example, when Strzok wrote that candidate “Trump is a disaster” and lamented how “destabilizing” a Trump presidency would be, it was after he heard Trump question whether the U.S. should honor its commitment to NATO. What top FBI official in his right mind wouldn’t fire off a message like that on his work phone? It was Trump’s fault for driving Strzok to write the words.

        9. We learned that the authority responsible for sorting through Strzok’s personal accounts for additional relevant messages to turn over to Congress is — well, Strzok. And we learned that the number of messages he plans to hand over is exactly zero.

        10. We learned from Strzok that all Americans are pretty much like him in terms of having deeply held political beliefs, so it’s not really possible or necessary to find more disconnected arbiters to lead the FBI’s sensitive investigations like the historic probes into 2016 presidential candidates. We learned that nobody at the FBI has ever allowed their personal beliefs to impact their job. It’s nothing more than coincidence that so many official FBI activities in which Strzok took part were very much in line with the vitriol he’d privately expressed against Trump.

        – The Hill

  13. The NYT lie….gee….tell me it ain’t so! That “Politico” will defend AG Barr and his hand picked Prosecutor against the NYT’s reporting and use of yet more anonymous sources…..means there is something hidden that Politico hopes to use for its own Leftist Agenda and slavish support of the Democrat Party. Or is it just a fight in the Media to be seen as relevant and a way to regain lost readership?

    One thing for sure….it has nothing to do with Journalistic Ethics or Conscience.

  14. The irony is that these “news” outlets incessantly bleat about the “lies” of previous Administrations while fabricating stories and basing them on phantom “sources”. They will never pay a price for it do it will continue.

  15. Sometimes I wonder if, without “anonymous sources” providing the NYT “the facts to fit a narrative,” if the NYT would be able to exist.

    1. It seems to me journalists who have any integrity at all would cease to protect the anonymity of sources who lie to them. The purpose of protecting anonymity is to encourage the flow of secret truths into the open. That purpose is undermined when journalists allow anonymous sources to lie to them with impunity. This recalls the story in the NYT based on four anonymous sources that Trump campaign officials had been in contact with Russian intelligence officers. Even Peter Strzock concluded in a contemporaneous memo to his superiors that this was false. Yet the NYT continues to this day to protect those lying sources.

      1. Daniel, do you accept that Trump’s campaign chair, Paul Manafort, not only had contact with a Russian intelligence officer, Konstantin Kilimnik, but passed campaign polling data along to Kilimnik?

        1. Kilimnik has not been shown to have been a Russian intelligence officer, or otherwise to have been working for the Russian government. Don’t you think Strzock would have been aware of that? Strzock was, after all, a senior counterintelligence officer with the FBI.

          1. Mueller Report established he was Russian intelligence. And the intelligence Committee Report backed that up last summer.

            eb

            1. No report has “established” any such thing. And the Treasury statement cited merely says he is a “known” Russian agent. That is not evidence of anything. Known by whom and on what basis?

              1. Known by the government on the basis of evidence, much of which is classified.

                For example, the bipartisan SSCI report stated more than once that “Kilimnik is a Russian intelligence officer.” Some of the relevant evidence is discussed in Vol. 5, Sec. III., A.8.ii, starting on p. 158, but a lot of it is redacted.

                Do you believe that this bipartisan committee lied in its report?

                1. Hmmm. with all this talk you make me ask the question, why was Kilimnik dealing with the Obama State Department?

                2. I don’t trust that they reached a correct conclusion based on evidence. Mueller, who most likely had access to the same information, never reached that conclusion. And, as you quoted, neither did Treasury. Kilimnik had been a trusted source of the US Government for many years. Gates, who cooperated with Mueller, did not say he worked for Russian intelligence. Kilimnik has denied it repeatedly, as described in detailed articles by Aaron Mate. His meetings with Manafort, and the sharing by Manafort with him of polling information, were said by Manafort, Kilimnik and Gates, to have been for the purpose of impressing current and potential clients of their business, which makes perfect sense. The polling information itself appears not to have been very sensitive in any event. Not charges were brought against any of them for any of this.

                3. Do you believe that this bipartisan committee lied in its report?
                  Yes.
                  I dont know what Warner has on Burr but Warner was the one running the committee

                  1. So you have no evidence, but you believe it anyway.

                    And what’s your explanation for all of the other Republicans on the SSCI signing onto the report?

          2. Maybe you missed the Treasury Dept.’s announcement in April: “Konstantin Kilimnik (Kilimnik) is a Russian and Ukrainian political consultant and known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf.” (home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0126)

            Do you deny that the Treasury Dept. identifies Kilimnik as a “Russian Intelligence Services agent “?

      2. I agree, Daniel. That is why the NYT and WaPo should never be trusted.

        The left holds onto these anonymous lies forever, and even after they are proven wrong, they will find a tiny fragment to justify the lies that they believed.

      3. It seems to me journalists who have any integrity at all would cease to protect the anonymity of sources who lie to them.

        This. The biggest tell. Who would protect an anonymous source that lies? It’s like its nothing but a game and all the leftists are in on it.

    2. if you’d even attempted to read the journalistic guidelines for the NYT that I’ve linked in posts to you over time you’d know how wrong you truly are. Well, sidebar, I’m not sure you’d understand much even if you read them. So there’s that.

      eb

      1. Project Veritas has demonstrated on video that the NYT doesn’t follow its own guidelines.

        People frequently write rules they don’t follow. That is typical of politicians, especially on the left. Take note of just one of many, Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done during Covid. Look at how leftist governors from Michigan, NY etc., acted. Pay special attention to Cuomo and Newsom. Also, look at CNN’s ‘hands on’ Jeffery Toobin or Chris Cuomo. We can go on and on, but you will continue to say they have rules. LOL.

        SM

          1. The PV video has nothing to do with me. It so happens to be an actual recording of what took place. You hate seeing videos because they prove you are Anonymous the Stupid.

  16. Yet again the NYT actively and knowingly, maliciously defames a good person in furtherance if their own political agenda. This is not the exception, it is their normal mode of operation.

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