Report: Manafort part of intelligence review of intercepted Russian communications

Report: Manafort part of intelligence review of intercepted Russian communications

Getty Images

THE HILL

American intelligence and law enforcement agencies are looking at intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of an investigation into possible ties between Donald Trump’s associates and the Kremlin, the New York Times reports.

The report, published less than 24 hours before Trump is inaugurated, is reportedly focused on examining the business dealings that some of Trump’s closest confidants and operatives have had in Russia, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, already the subject of an FBI inquiry into his dealings in Russia and Ukraine.

At least two other campaign advisors, Carter Page and Roger Stone, are also being examined, according to The Times report.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the National Security Agency, the CIA and the financial crimes unit of the Treasury Department. But it is unclear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Trump or his campaign, the Times noted. It’s also unclear whether it is related to the investigation into hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Russian attempts to interfere with the election.

Manafort told The Times that he has never had any interaction with the Russian government and called the allegations “a Democratic Party dirty trick and completely false.”

Trump has repeatedly disputed that the Kremlin tried to influence the 2016 presidential election in his favor, despite overwhelming agreement by the U.S. intelligence community on that point.

The counterintelligence investigation is not tied to an unverified 35-page dossier that’s said to show Russia has compromising information on Trump. That dossier — the subject of another FBI probe — became the subject of news reports earlier this month, when CNN reported that Trump and outgoing President Barack Obama were briefed on a summary of the memos.

MAX GREENWOOD

Irony Alert: Comey Refuses To Comment Publicly On Possible Trump-Russia Investigation

Irony Alert: Comey Refuses To Comment Publicly On Possible Trump-Russia Investigation

Screenshot

POLITICUS USA

“I would never comment on investigations  …  in an open forum,” the FBI director said, straight face intact.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday, FBI Director James Comey refused to comment on whether his agency is investigating any connection between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia.

“I would never comment on investigations  …  in an open forum,” Comey responded, straight face intact.

The remark comes amid reports that Russia has damaging financial and personal information on Trump.

The irony of the FBI director’s refusal to answer the question posed by Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden did not go unnoticed by Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine.

Video:

When King pressed Comey on why he wouldn’t answer Wyden’s initial question on whether the FBI was investigation a possible Trump campaign-Russia connection, Comey repeated himself.

“I don’t, especially in a public forum, we never confirm or deny a pending investigation,” Comey said.

King shot back, with a chuckle: “The irony of your making that statement here, I cannot avoid, but I’ll move on.”

The irony, of course, is that Comey weighed in publicly about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails twice in two weeks just before last year’s presidential election.

Luckily, Comey was called out for his clear change of heart when it comes to publicly discussing his agency’s investigations. But the American people still deserve to know whether Trump – who will formally become president in 10 days – was coordinating with a foreign state in order to win a presidential election.

PANIC MODE: TRUMP RAGES AT ‘RIGGED’ FBI

THE HUFFINGTON POST

Associated Press

Clinton Cleared… Report: Nearly Every Email Was A Duplicate!…
Hillary ‘Rolls Her Eyes, Shrugs’…
Finding Doesn’t Stop Republican Attacks…EARLIER: FBI Renegades Reportedly Trying To Sink Clinton… Kaine: ‘Absolutely Staggering’…  Franken: Comey Should Face Senate Hearings…

Fox’s Jeanine Pirro: Comey Disgraced And Politicized The FBI

CROOKS AND LIARS

Hell must have frozen over because I actually agree with something Fox’s wingnut “judge” Jeanine Pirro had to say. I disagree with her about whether or not Clinton should have been indicted, but she’s actually right when it comes to Comey politicizing the FBI.

Here’s more on her latest rant from Fox’s blog:

Saturday on Justice, Judge Jeanine Pirro said that FBI Director James Comey’s decision to send a letter to Congress notifying them of the discovery of further email evidence in the probe into Hillary Clinton’s alleged mishandling of classified information “disgraces and politicizes” the bureau.

“[This] is symptomatic of all that is wrong in Washington,” she said.

“One of the most revered agencies in our nation’s history–now seen as putting its finger on the scales of justice–should not now be front and center,” Pirro said, “You know I support Donald Trump and want him to win, but whether it’s Hillary Clinton or anyone else, Comey’s actions violate not only longstanding Justice Department policy…but the most fundamental rules of fairness and impartiality.”

Pirro discussed her own similar situation involving the DOJ: In 2006, she ran on the Republican/Conservative/Independent ticket for New York State Attorney General.

“In the home stretch of a statewide campaign, the Justice Department and the FBI violated their own policy against making public statements that could affect an election, and announced to the press they were opening an investigation of me,” she said.

“It was mean-spirited and nothing came of it, except the adverse publicity cost me at the polls.”

Regarding Clinton’s case, Pirro said that if Comey administered a thorough investigation, “we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

“Hillary Clinton should have been indicted a long time ago–she and Bill’s scandals have done nothing but soil our nation’s image,” she said.

By Heather

Joy Reid scorches the Comey FBI for getting ‘weaponized’ in the GOP’s ‘ugly gambit’ to stop Clinton

Joy Reid photo via Facebook

Joy Reid photo via Facebook

RAW STORY

In a Saturday editorial for the Daily Beast, MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid took the FBI and its director James Comey to task for allowing themselves to be “weaponized” by the Republican Party and used to try and hamstring a presidential candidate.

“Behind Comey’s defiance of both precedent and the guidance of his boss, the attorney general, was the subtext of intense pressure being put on the FBI and the Justice Department by Republicans, some of whom rushed Comey’s vague letter to members of the press,” Reid wrote.

Reid said that Republicans have wasted a tremendous amount of time and taxpayer money trying to “investigate” their way into blocking Hillary Clinton from the White House.

“Comey disappointed Republicans in July by not going along with what would have been a highly unusual indictment of a public official given the facts of Clinton’s email use, Republicans responded by dragging him before Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s House Oversight committee. Donald Trump called for Comey himself to be investigated,” she said.

“Republicans including Chafftez eagerly tweeted out Comey’s news Friday, and Trump supporters (and some media outlets) ran with the erroneous claim that the FBI had ‘reopened’ its Clinton email probe (it never closed it) and that the agency is revisiting its decision not to prosecute Clinton over her email server (there’s exactly zero evidence of that),” Reid said. “And since Republicans have openly signaled that they plan ‘years of investigations’ of Clinton should she win on November 8th, it’s not hard to see where this is going. They’re hoping this new ‘revelation’ sinks Clinton, but expecting to use the faux scandal to drag her down over the next four years. “

Anyone who remembers the 90s will remember this pattern and the role the Republicans played in obstructing and attempting to impeach President Bill Clinton.

“The point of the many ‘gates’ — Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater and Lewinskygate — was never to advance public policy, or to hold the president and administration accountable to the American people,” Reid said. “They were a naked grab for power by means outside the electoral process.”

“There’s simply nothing on the other side of the aisle that’s equivalent. When they took back Congress in 2006, for example, Democrats didn’t pursue probes of the Bush White House, even given the lies that led to the Iraq war, and the discovery of warrantless wiretapping and other abuses of civil liberties,” she said.

 “The abuse of congressional power for pure partisan gain has become a specialty of the GOP,” Reid wrote.
She concluded, “After the election, should this ugly gambit fail, be assured Republicans will use every ounce of their time and authority to take the meager gifts the bumbling FBI director has given them and put them to use in service of the next election. The people’s work be damned.”
David Ferguson

Trump Says Hillary’s Emails Are Worse Than Watergate, Watergate Prosecutor SHREDS Him

Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images

Mark Makela/Getty Images

ADDICTING INFO

When former President Richard Nixon’s cronies broke into DNC Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in 1972, it was a scandal so monumental and unprecedented that Nixon became the first and only president to resign from the office.

The perpetrators were trying to bug the offices and Nixon attempted to cover up the crime using government resources.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, merely used a personal server to receive and send emails as Secretary of State. While her decision to use a personal server was a bad one, it is hardly a crime and that is what the FBI declared in July when the agency declined to charge her with a crime.

Fast-forward to October and Hillary again finds herself in Republican crosshairs as Donald Trump and his deplorable supporters continue to call for her arrest after the FBI reportedly found three emails related to the email investigation on a device belonging to Anthony Weiner.

As NBC’s Pete Williams reported soon afterward, none of the emails were sent by Clinton or her campaign, nor were these emails hidden by Clinton or her campaign.

In fact, the FBI has only just begun investigating the emails and a conclusion won’t be reached until after the election and all the signs suggest the FBI will find nothing criminal about these emails either.

Yet Donald Trump continues to yammer on to his supporters about how this is an “October surprise” that should derail Hillary’s campaign and that her emails are worse than Watergate.

Yeah, he totally thinks this situation is worse than the biggest political scandal in American history.

But former U.S. Attorney Nick Akerman vehemently disagrees.

Akerman was a prosecutor who worked on the Watergate case, so if anyone can compare a scandal to Watergate he’s the one to ask.

According to a statement provided to Mic, Akerman wrote that FBI Director James Comey acted inappropriately by writing a letter to Congress informing them of the new emails because they haven’t even been reviewed yet, which means Comey didn’t even bother getting all of the facts before giving Republicans something to whine about only ten days before Election Day.

But Akerman saved the real ass-whooping for the Republican nominee and compared him to a past Republican who is just as disgraceful as Nixon.

“Donald Trump’s statement that this is bigger than Watergate is totally absurd,” Akerman wrote. “There is no evidence of any violation of law. For Trump to reach that conclusion based on a total lack of evidence is reminiscent of the innuendo spread by Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950s.”

That sound you just heard is the sound of all the heads of Trump supporters exploding.

Stephen D Foster Jr

The FBI Warns Desperate House Republicans Not To Leak Clinton Email Interview

The FBI Warns Desperate House Republicans Not To Leak Clinton Email Interview

POLITICUS USA

House Republicans are have gotten the FBI’s notes from their interview with Hillary Clinton about her email server, but law enforcement is already warning the GOP not to leak any of the information in the notes.

House Republicans are have gotten the FBI’s notes from their interview with Hillary Clinton about her email server, but law enforcement is already warning the GOP not to leak any of the information in the notes.

Here is the FBI statement:

As Donald Trump slides into oblivion and takes the Republican Party with him, the GOP-controlled House Oversight Committee is trying to revive the Clinton email scandal. House Republicans are trying to build a case for the Democratic nominee to be charged with perjury, but everyone understands what is really happening.

The ranking Democratic on the House Oversight Committee Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in a statement, “The FBI already determined unanimously that there is insufficient evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Republicans are now investigating the investigator in a desperate attempt to resuscitate this issue, keep it in the headlines, and distract from Donald Trump’s sagging poll numbers.”

Any Republican who leaks classified information from the FBI’s notes could face criminal prosecution. The fact that the FBI had to remind House Republicans not to leak all but confirms that the Republicans intend to use the information as the basis for a partisan attack against Hillary Clinton.

According to the FBI, there is no evidence that Hillary Clinton had any knowledge of, or ever intended to send classified information over her email system.

Trump is crashing and burning, so Republicans have returned to beating the dead email horse. The email story is all that Republicans have, but they better be careful. If House Republicans leak, they could be facing a world of problems with the FBI.

By

Trump Slams Clinton Over Emails

Donald Trump during an appearance in Raleigh, N.C., on July 5, 2016.

Gerry Broome—AP

TIME

Trump Slams Clinton Over Emails

Speaking in North Carolina just hours after Hillary Clinton and President Obama left the state, Donald Trump slammed the duo’s joint campaign appearance and accused Clinton of bribing Attorney General Loretta Lynch for favorable treatment in her email investigation

APTOPIX Clinton Emails

Why the FBI Didn’t Throw the Book at Clinton

FBI director James Comey found evidence laws were broken when secrets got onto Hillary Clinton’s personal server when she was Secretary of State, but the case wasn’t strong enough to go to court

CNN Reports FBI Has Found ‘No Criminal Wrongdoing’ in Hillary Clinton Email ‘Investigation’

From the desk of Donviejo

MEDIAITE

For all those Hillary Clinton opponents who have been hoping against hope that the likely Democratic presidential nominee will be indicted as a result of the FBI review of Hillary’s email server, CNN has some bad news. According to CNN correspondent Pamela Brown, the FBI is close to wrapping up the “investigation,” and thus far have found “no criminal wrongdoing”:

The interviews, we’re told, are focused on whether classified information was mishandled, and the security of the server. So far officials tell us, no, there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing at this point in the investigation, but, again, the investigation is not over.

It sounds like they’re really just waiting for Hillary Clinton to be interviewed so they can wrap things up, but if Republicans and Bernie Sanders and the media are counting on Hillary Clinton to suddenly crack under questioning, they haven’t been paying attention.

Now, I know many of you are probably wondering what makes this report different from all the other Emailgate reports that people like me dismiss, and it is a good question. The answer is in the attribution, as found in CNN’s online report, which is curiously headlined to ignore the newsworthy exculpatory finding:

Some of Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, including her longtime adviser Huma Abedin, have provided interviews to federal investigators, as the FBI probe into the security of her private email server nears completion, U.S. officials briefed on the investigation tell CNN. The investigation is still ongoing, but so far investigators haven’t found evidence to prove that Clinton willfully violated the law the U.S. officials say.

In recent weeks, multiple aides have been interviewed — some more than once, the officials said. A date for an FBI interview of Clinton has not been set, these officials said, but is expected in the coming weeks. Abedin has cooperated with the probe, the officials said. Lawyers for Abedin declined to comment. The officials say the interviews of Clinton and her aides would be a routine part of an investigation like this.

If you look at the reporting that has later been debunked, like the 147 FBI agents that were working on the case who turned out to be 12 guys and maybe some interns, the sourcing is always a thinly-veiled attribution that translates to Republican leaks. This is different. A news editor would be hard-pressed to allow a reporter to describe Republican lawmakers and aids as “US officials.”

What that means is that this is likely an agency leak, likely from the State Department, which does carry its own baggage, but which is heaps more credible than a leak from Trey Gowdy.

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