FBI

The FBI's Systematic Dishonesty

The problems revealed by the DOJ inspector general go far beyond "errors" and "sloppiness."

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Former FBI Director James Comey initially portrayed last week's damning report on the bureau's investigation of alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia as a vindication. This week Comey admitted that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered "real sloppiness," which is "concerning."

That characterization does not begin to cover the problems described by Horowitz, which yesterday prompted a highly unusual public rebuke from the court that reviews secret warrant applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The FISA court called the FBI's conduct "antithetical to the heightened duty of candor" that applies in such cases.

The court cited Horowitz's report, which found egregious and persistent omissions and misrepresentations in applications for warrants that otherwise probably would not have been sought, let alone approved. While Comey may take comfort from the fact that Horowitz "did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI's decision" to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, the rest of us can hardly be reassured by the implication that the FBI is inept rather than corrupt.

Comey, who ran the FBI from September 2013 to May 2017, is not just self-interested but demonstrably untrustworthy on this subject. Last year he claimed information from former British spy Christopher Steele, which according to Horowitz "played a central and essential role" in the decision to surveil Page, was merely "part of a broader mosaic of facts" supporting the four warrants issued by FISA judges—"not all of it or a critical part of it."

Comey also said he had "total confidence that the FISA process was followed and that the entire case was handled in a thoughtful, responsible way by DOJ and the FBI." Yet Horowitz found that the first warrant application included "seven significant inaccuracies and omissions" that were not corrected in the three renewal applications, which were marred by "10 additional significant errors."

Those "errors" included blatant exaggerations of Steele's proven reliability, the failure to note that his work was opposition research commissioned by the Democratic National Committee even after that became clear, the omission of the fact that Steele himself was "desperate" to prevent Trump's election, and a false denial of Steele's contacts with the press. The FBI also neglected to mention that people who had worked with Steele questioned his judgment, that Steele's "primary sub-source" had directly contradicted claims in his "dossier," that Page had reported his contact with a Russian intelligence agent to the CIA, and that Page said he had never met key figures in the purported conspiracy described by Steele.

"FBI personnel fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are 'scrupulously accurate,'" Horowitz concluded. Even that assessment is charitable, especially since an FBI lawyer deliberately doctored an email to conceal Page's relationship with the CIA, which had deemed him truthful.

The pattern of these "errors" is not random, of course, since all of them served to bolster the appearance of probable cause. Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee his investigators "did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems we identified," and he allowed that they might reflect "intentionality," saying "it's fair" to "look at all of these 17 events and wonder how it could be purely incompetence."

It would be reassuring, in a sense, if the FBI's misfeasance could be explained by anti-Trump bias. But as Horowitz noted in his report, the fact that "so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations," one that "was briefed to the highest levels within the FBI" and "FBI officials expected would eventually be subjected to close scrutiny," suggests a much deeper problem involving unrestrained overzealousness, confirmation bias, tunnel vision, and groupthink—tendencies that threaten all Americans who value their privacy and reputations.

Even Comey, who claims the dishonesty described by Horowitz "does not reflect the FBI culture of compliance and candor," wonders if the failure might be "systemic," meaning there could be "problems with other cases." Too bad he was never in a position to explore that issue.

© Copyright 2019 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. “errors.”

    1. The sloppiness all biased in one direction. Comey makes the case against himself every time the smug a—–e opens his mouth.

      1. You can say asshole here.

        1. Sometimes one has to.

        2. Or even cunt. Comey is that as well.

          1. No, he’s a bass turd.

  2. I don’t know whether it was in the Inspector General’s report, but weren’t they also found to have manufactured claims about breaking up multiple terrorist sleeper cells that were actual entrapment schemes run on dimwits that were radicalized but posed no threats on their own?

    And then there was the story reported in Reason a couple of years ago that they were actually the ones hosting child pornography servers.

    In an era where budget deficits keep growing by leaps and bounds, this seems to be an agency that could be disbanded and their budget zeroed out. Maybe they did some good work in the past catching criminals like John Dillinger (who they first promoted to public enemy status, but even if you grant them that achievement, it was almost 90 years ago. It’s time to pull the plug already.

    1. “manufactured claims about breaking up multiple terrorist sleeper cells that were actual entrapment schemes run on dimwits that were radicalized but posed no threats on their own?”

      Just read through ‘terrorist plots fouled by the FBI’ on Wikipedia, and it’s pretty easy to come to the conclusion that their m.o. was: hear about some guy bitching about the government, befriend that guy to encourage his complaints, goad him into thinking about taking action, pick a target, make a plan for him, assure him you can get all the necessary weapons/supplies, and call him a pussy when he hesitates.
      Then, when he says he’s not a pussy, arrest him and claim to be a hero

      1. Hey, if you arrest everyone, then you’re sure to arrest all the criminals!

      2. While you’re on Wikipedia, you could also look up “Waco” and “Ruby Ridge”.

        1. I was about to bring that up…How fast some people forget…

          1. “How fast some people forget”

            Doesn’t that just make you furious?

            1. “Fast and furious” (albeit that was the ATF lying and cheating the system, not the FBI)

    2. The report released prior to the main report also tells of FBI instructing agents on how to avoid Brady material by not documenting exculpatory information.

      1. Brady materials (and Jenks and Giglio materials) supplied by the prosecution to the defense in the Ruby Ridge trial (exculpatory materials or impeaching the credibility of government agents) seriously undermined the charges fabricated by ATF, Marshal Service and FBI against the Weaver family.

        If you can avoid documenting exculpatory info and can fabricate incriminatory info, it’s always a win for government against people.

        As there been a federal case where at least one prosecution or defense witness has not disputed what an FBI agent wrote down in their FD-302 interview form?

        1. We will probably need a law requiring that they record all interviews to address this… because the courts will always treat the FBI version as gospel, no matter what protests are raised by the accused. The incentives to maintain the ability to fudge things said in an interview are just too great. When that 302 can become the basis for spending the rest of your life in jail for lying to federal officers, why would they forgo that privilege. That is a very powerful tool.

          1. .

  3. Former FBI Director James Comey initially portrayed last week’s damning report on the bureau’s investigation of alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia as a vindicationIT WAS ,,, of the investigation.

    This week Comey admitted that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered “real sloppiness,” which is “concerning.

    Sullum sucking up to Trump again. The sloppiness was in the Carter Paide FISA warrant. Is Jacob implying the bullshit that the investigation began with Paige? If not, why else conflate the two?

    Too bad he was never in a position to explore that issue.

    He could not have explored the issue, before it was an issue. Should he be rehired?

    1. AAAK, corrected

      Former FBI Director James Comey initially portrayed last week’s damning report on the bureau’s investigation of alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia as a vindicationIT was total vindication .. of the investigation’s launch.

      This week Comey admitted that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered “real sloppiness,” which is “concerning.

      Is Sullum sucking up to Trump again. The sloppiness (17 errors) was in the Carter Paige FISA warrant. By conflating the two so sloppily … the investigation and Paige’s warrants, Trumptards see vindication of their crazy bullshit that the investigation began with the Paige warrant. Why else conflate the two?

      Too bad he was never in a position to explore that issue.

      Blame Trump for firing him before it became an issue..

      1. You’re going to die, hihn.
        Just want you to know that

        1. TRUMPTARD SUPPRESSION NOW INCLUDES THREATS OF .,.. MURDER.
          It was inevitable, from such stridently abusive authoritarians.

          MAKE MY DAY!

          1. He meant that you’re going to die very soon from senile dementia in your Medicare-funded old age home leeching off the taxpayers like the pathetic subhuman piece of shit that you are. Your family abandoned you to die alone in a state run facility Hihn. You really think strangers care enough about you to waste their ammunition?

          2. Drama queen

          3. “”TRUMPTARD SUPPRESSION NOW INCLUDES THREATS OF .,.. MURDER.””

            Spoken like a true lefty.

            Everyone who gives one shit about justice should be appalled by the FBI’s behavior with FISA.

      2. That’s a good boy Mikey. Lick those boots until they’re nice and shiny. You’re still going to die in a taxpayer funded inpatient facility begging for the scraps of Trump’s table.

        1. You mean like Manafort dying in prison?

          1. You mean the got caught doing stuff which had nothing to do with Trump?
            Are your hands tiny enough to grasp at those sorts of straws, you pathetic piece of shit?

        2. FACTS: Trump’s Collapsing Economy
          GDP growth falling … now worse than he started with.
          *Stupid trade war
          *Wrong tax cuts
          *Massive debt

          He’s running it all on a debt binge … just like a proggie, but different winners
          THE WORST PRESIDENT ON ADDING NEW 8-year DEBT … EVER. In only 3 years, he’s added as much 8-year debt as Obama did AFTER 8 years (CBO 2024 forecast) … FAIL …. ESPECIALLY when he campaigned on PAYING OFF THE ENTIRE DEBT IN 8 YEARS!!! … MEGA-FAIL. … LOSER

          FACT: Obama inherited the 3rd worst economy since the 1930s, and handed Trump the longest recovery EVER for an incoming President. Trump has pissed it all away.

          1) *** Current GDP growth is LESS than he started with. Growth was faster BEFORE the tax cuts! …. MEGA-FAIL

          2) Trump ridiculed Obama’s Labor Force Participation Rate (workers abandon job search) said Obama’s “real” unemployment rate was … 30-42% (BAT-SHIT CRAZY!) … BUT .,.. hahaha …. Trump FAILED to create eaningful improvement (started at 62.9% …. Now 63.3% …. vs 66+% before the recession) DOES THAT MAKE TRUMP’S “REAL” UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 30%? (lol)

          3) If the economy is “booming,” why have are so many STILL not even seeking a job?

          Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2019, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 percent.

          THAT’S LESS THAN THE 2.3% HE STARTED WITH! …. FAIL

          GDP Annual Growth Rate in the United States averaged 3.20 percent from 1948 until 2019 … FAIL

          **Blame the tax cuts
          a) EXACTLY OPPOSITE of every successful tax cut since WWII
          b) FUCKED his promise to restore industrial jobs, the promise that elected him.

          There have been only two postwar economic booms …from the two worst postwar economies. A Democrat, Kennedy, launched the first one. A Republican, Reagan, the second. Their tax cuts were identical … “across the board, top-to-bottom, business and corporate”… (Kennedy’s words, not Reagan’s) .

          ***WHY would Trump;’s tax cuts FAIL to repeat the ONLY two successful tax cuts in NEARLY A CENTURY ….. BECAUSE TRUMP’S GOP IS TOO STUPID ON TAXES AND THE ECONOMY … as PROVEN by Presidents from BOTH parties, Kennedy and Reagan.

          A GROWING ECONOMY IS LIKE A 3-LEGGED STOOL — CONSUMERS, EMPLOYERS AND INVESTORS MUST ALL HAVE CONFIDENCE
          *Consumers buying
          *Employers hiring
          *Investors providing the needed capital.

          IF ANY LEG LACKS CONFIDENCE, THE STOOL FALLS OVER.

          *That’s why BOTH parties are full of shit, debating supply-side vs demand -side economics.
          *ALL sides MUST be boosted
          *In a free society, government takes NO SIDES.
          (Even establishment libertarians are now suckered by supply-side bullshit.)

          Over 60% of Americans think America is HEADING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION ….. UNDER TRUMP …. THEY ARE CORRECT … HIS TAX POLICY CAN NEVER ACHIEVE THE PROMISE THAT GOT HIM ELECTED …. HE CANNOT RESTORE OUR INDUSTRIAL BASE …. THE 3-LEGGED HAS TWO LEGS MISSING.

          *TOTAL TAX BURDENS – US vs CANADA — the IGNORED facts

          CORPORATE INCOME TAX
          US = 21% (large corporations only, up to 100 shareholders loopholed out))
          CA = 15% (all corporations)

          DEPRECIATION (MFG EQUIPMENT)
          US = 8 years average
          CA = 5 years (also EVERY major trade competitor)

          TAX ON DIVIDENDS
          US = 22% (DOUBLE TAX ON CORPORATE PROFITS)
          *** CA = Zero, Nada, Zip

          CAPITAL GAINS
          Cannot compare, overall, Each country has many classes, different in each country. We’re generally lower here, except critical venture capital is higher, the source of ALL innovation and breakthroughs..

          ONE OTHER COST COMPARISON DESTROYING JOBS – CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IT IS? Answer at the end of this.

          Overall: Increasingly since 1986, ALL those tax elements have been destroying our best jobs … plus “the other one” …. THAT is why Trump is DOOMED TO FAIL on restoring our best manufacturing jobs.

          ***Even crazier, Trump is trying to offset our punishing of manufacturing investment with tariffs – paid by consumers! We lose jobs to other countries because of our PUNITIVE TAXES …. And that “other” thing.

          Can YOU guess what is that missing cost comparison? is. It guarantees Trumps FAILURE on manufacturing, or anyone else. Ready?
          Health care We not only have the world’s highest health care costs … were also the only country where it’s paid, all or most, by employers. (In Canada, employers pay only dental) That, TOO, is why progressives have been kicking our ass for decades. Winning … by default.

          WHY DID YOU LEARN THAT HERE?

          Sorry, I’m getting emails asking why so lengthy lately. These are drafts, toward publication. When this gets published. … And the video proof of Trump lying to protect violence and murder by his nazi and racist supporter …. And how Trump’s campaign tax cuts included a 60% tax cut for himself … well, remember how Nixon was forced to resign by his own party? Goldwater told him there were enough votes to remove?

          Bet me?

          Copyright 1994-2019 by Michael J Hihn and LibertyIssues.com. All rights reserved and defended.

      3. Oh by the way learn how to spell you fucking retard. It’s Page. P-A-G-E.

      4. Is this for comic relief?

      5. Still batshit insane even when corrected.

  4. Why, it was like he should have been fired or something.

  5. And the pattern continues…

    First deny the problem. Then acknowledge the problem but claim it isn’t as bad as claimed… We’re now careening towards step three, admitting the problem is as bad or worse… This is our moment where we either shrug and tell everyone to suck it up, or we stop this shit in it’s tracks.

    1. Best depiction yet, of the current Administration.

      1. Tell us more about how Trump is a Russian asset and the Mueller report will result in his impeachment and criminal prosecution, Hihn.

        1. I never said either.
          You my have pasted that here by mistake.

      2. Don’t you have a small town water authority to manage or an op-ed in the dingleberry-picker handguide?

        1. I was an elected Water Commissioner in Seattle.
          It’ s a fairly large town.
          And you’re quite childish

      3. Michael Hihn
        December.18.2019 at 7:05 am
        “Best depiction yet, of the current Administration.”

        Pretty good depiction of lefty TDS victim.
        Fuck off and die, Hihn.

        1. BLAME SEVO FOR THIS — MY DEFENSE FROM THIS THUGGISH ASSAULT … OF AT LEAST A HUNDRED … BY THE STALKING CYBER-BULLY (WITH OVER A DOZEN SOCKS, CREATING THE ILLUSION OF A MAJORITY)

          Sevo
          December.18.2019 at 12:18 pm
          Pretty good depiction of lefty TDS victim.
          Fuck off and die, Hihn

          Ready? 🙂

          FACTS: Trump’s Collapsing Economy
          GDP growth falling … now worse than he started with.
          *Stupid trade war
          *Wrong tax cuts
          *Massive debt

          He’s running it all on a debt binge … just like a proggie, but different winners
          THE WORST PRESIDENT ON ADDING NEW 8-year DEBT … EVER. In only 3 years, he’s added as much 8-year debt as Obama did AFTER 8 years (CBO 2024 forecast) … FAIL …. ESPECIALLY when he campaigned on PAYING OFF THE ENTIRE DEBT IN 8 YEARS!!! … MEGA-FAIL. … LOSER

          FACT: Obama inherited the 3rd worst economy since the 1930s, and handed Trump the longest recovery EVER for an incoming President. Trump’s GOP pissed it all away.

          1) *** Current GDP growth is LESS than he started with. Growth was faster BEFORE the tax cuts! …. MEGA-FAIL

          2) Trump ridiculed Obama’s Labor Force Participation Rate (workers abandon job search) said Obama’s “real” unemployment rate was … 30-42% (BAT-SHIT CRAZY!) … BUT .,.. hahaha …. Trump FAILED to create eaningful improvement (started at 62.9% …. Now 63.3% …. vs 66+% before the recession) DOES THAT MAKE TRUMP’S “REAL” UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 30%? (lol)

          3) If the economy is “booming,” why have are so many STILL not even seeking a job?

          Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2019, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 percent.

          THAT’S LESS THAN THE 2.3% HE STARTED WITH! …. FAIL

          GDP Annual Growth Rate in the United States averaged 3.20 percent from 1948 until 2019 … FAIL

          **Blame the tax cuts
          a) EXACTLY OPPOSITE of every successful tax cut since WWII
          b) FUCKED his promise to restore industrial jobs, the promise that elected him.

          There have been only two postwar economic booms …from the two worst postwar economies. A Democrat, Kennedy, launched the first one. A Republican, Reagan, the second. Their tax cuts were identical … “across the board, top-to-bottom, business and corporate”… (Kennedy’s words, not Reagan’s) .

          ***WHY would Trump;’s tax cuts FAIL to repeat the ONLY two successful tax cuts in NEARLY A CENTURY ….. BECAUSE TRUMP’S GOP IS TOO STUPID ON TAXES AND THE ECONOMY … as PROVEN by Presidents from BOTH parties, Kennedy and Reagan

          A GROWING ECONOMY IS LIKE A 3-LEGGED STOOL — CONSUMERS, EMPLOYERS AND INVESTORS MUST ALL HAVE CONFIDENCE
          *Consumers buying
          *Employers hiring
          *Investors providing the needed capital.

          IF ANY LEG LACKS CONFIDENCE, THE STOOL FALLS OVER.

          *That’s why BOTH parties are full of shit, debating supply-side vs demand -side economics.
          *ALL sides MUST be boosted
          *In a free society, government takes NO SIDES. (Even establishment libertarians are now suckered by supply-side bullshit.)

          Over 60% of Americans think America is HEADING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION ….. UNDER TRUMP …. THEY ARE CORRECT … HIS TAX POLICY CAN NEVER ACHIEVE THE PROMISE THAT GOT HIM ELECTED …. HE CANNOT RESTORE OUR INDUSTRIAL BASE …. THE 3-LEGGED HAS TWO LEGS MISSING.

          *TOTAL TAX BURDENS – US vs CANADA — IGNORED by today’s “fiscally-conservative” establishment (now anti-gummint, NO LONGER pro-people)

          CORPORATE INCOME TAX
          US = 21% (large corporations only, up to 100 shareholders loopholed out))
          CA = 15% (all corporations)

          DEPRECIATION (MFG EQUIPMENT)
          US = 8 years average
          CA = 5 years (all our major trade competitors)

          TAX ON DIVIDENDS
          US = 22%
          CA = Zero, Nada, Zip

          CAPITAL GAINS
          Cannot compare, overall, Each country has many classes, different in each country. We’re generally lower here, except critical venture capital is higher and none of ours.

          ONE OTHER COST COMPARISON destroying jobs for decades – CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IT IS? Answer at the end of this. Hint: not taxes.

          Overall: Increasingly since 1986, job have been systematically destroyed by ALL THOSE TAXES … plus “the other one” (not taxes) … THAT is why Trump is GUARANTEED TO FAIL on restoring industrial jobs … says this son of the Rust Belt, the Rust Belt IGNORED for decades, by politicians of both parties. (It was the Rust Belt that won Trump’s Electoral College squeaker, based on Trump’s UNEDUCATED PROMISE of factory jobs)

          **Even crazier, Trump is trying to offset the PUNITIVE TAXES that destroy industrial jobs, by … ADDING MORE TAXES! OMG (tariffs are paid by manufactures and consumers)

          ***THAT is why Trump fights so hard to reduce immigration and imports, both falsely claimed for our lost industrial jobs, claims made by economic illiterates.

          Can YOU guess the missing, non-tax cost comparison? It FURTHER guarantees Trumps FAILURE on manufacturing jobs, and why Biden, Sanders and Warren would ALSO fail?.
          It’s Health care We not only have the world’s highest health care costs … we’re the only country where EMPLOYERS pay all or most of the cost. (In Canada, employers pay only dental, with all their “medicare” paid by their workers, who pay twice the taxes as Americans ) That, TOO, is why progressives have been kicking our ass for decades… winning by default … unchallenged.

          Sorry, I’m getting emails asking why so lengthy lately. These are drafts, toward publication. When this gets published. … And the video proof of Trump lying to protect violence and murder by his nazi and racist supporter …. And how Trump’s campaign tax cuts included a 60% tax cut for himself … well, remember how Nixon was forced to resign by his own party? Goldwater told him there were enough votes to remove him. This calls out BOTH left and right … as libertarians have TRIED for decades. NOW we win.

          Bet me.

          Then blame Sevo for this, 🙂

          Copyright 1994 by LibertyIssues.com and Michael J Hihn. All rights reserved and defended

          1. Jesus fuck.

            Offing yourself would be a fantastic turn of events.

            1. ANOTHER unproked assault triggered by in-con-veeeeeen-yent , provable facts.
              Maybe you should stick with Breitbart, Infowars and StormFront

  6. “ doctored an email” != “fabricated false evidence”

    You should really use the right words to describe things. “Doctoring” an email might include minor tweaks to make it clearer, not literally changing it to mean the exact opposite of the truth.

  7. Hey Sullum, remember how you spent literally the entire last 3.5 years defending every single action of the FBI and intelligence community? Well, everybody else does, so you can stick your pretended principles directly up your ass.

    1. Reason as a whole.

      This magazine lost its credibility supporting the police state in their blatantly unconstitutional railroading of Trump and everyone who has ever been in his circle.

      This is not a libertarian magazine. It is a propaganda outlet designed to gaslight libertarians.

      Every one of their writers are lying, statist trash.

        1. What we are seeing now is Olympic caliber backpedaling, tinged with a dishonest bit of “actually …. we were against this all along.”

  8. I’m pretty sure a complete and thorough investigation by the FBI will reveal the FBI was infiltrated by a lone bad apple who perhaps influenced a few other fine and noble agents into cutting a few corners here and there in ways that, while they had no actual effect in any meaningful way on any investigations, indicate some brushing-up on training on the procedures manual might be in order. We’re just lucky that the FBI’s self-policing caught this little problem before it became a significant problem and that there’s no evidence whatsoever that the same problem might have tainted the CIA, the NSA, the IRS, or any other government agency. We dodged a bullet here in that, in the words of a wise man, “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch, girl.”

    1. Beautiful sarcasm.

  9. Its amusing watching reason give half assed condemnation of these agencies after basically following their lead and appeals of sanctity the last 3 years. Wonder if reason will ever condemn the IC as well.

    1. “The pattern of these “errors” is not random, of course, since all of them served to bolster the appearance of probable cause. ”

      Wait… but didnt we just get told this was all simple incompetence a few days ago?

      1. “It would be reassuring, in a sense, if the FBI’s misfeasance could be explained by anti-Trump bias.”

        Reassuring huh… odd word to use.

        1. Yep. It’s bad either way but not as bad if it is just because pf anti-trump bias as opposed to systemic abuse of FISA warrants going back to 1978. Either way the FBI looks terrible.

          1. If the systematic abuse has gotten so bad they now think they can utilize it against presidents for political reasons, I dont think it is worse.

            1. There’s a difference between systematic and systemic. Generally, libertarians believe the problems with government are systemic. Some people certainly seem to believe the problems are merely systematic. The idea that the FBI came up with this plan just for Trump ignores the suspicion they would do the same for anybody threatening the secret operations of the Administrative State, and perhaps have done so if you believe the Warren Commission might not have gotten quite all the facts about JFK’s assassination out in the open.

    2. +1000

  10. Can’t wait for Carter Page’s mega lawsuit to come to trial. He should be suing Comey personally.

    1. IRONIC if both Trump and Comey share the same prison cell!

    1. HAHaha! I see what you did there –
      oranGe-MAN BAD! to:
      G-Man Bad!

  11. “alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia”

    You can drop the alleged part. There were hundreds of links. Don Jr met with the Russian govt to exchange dirt for future official action in the form of removing sanctions. Paul Manafort was passing off polling data to the Russian govt. Cohen was part of a scheme to build Trump Tower in Moscow. Those are called links Jacob.

    1. That Steele was in the pay of a Russian oligarch likewise links Russia and the DNC in an attempt to affect the outcome of a US election.

      1. Do tell because I think you’re full of shit. Name the oligarch.

          1. You mean the oligarch who Moscow Mitch and Trump helped evade sanctions so he build an aluminum plant in Kentucky?

            The article you cited didn’t even claim Steele had ever taken money from that guy.

            1. Lol. Keep rationalizing dummy.

        1. Pod
          December.18.2019 at 9:34 am
          “Do tell because I think you’re full of shit.”

          Thinking so not required in your case; you get caught lying nearly every time you post, shit-bag.

    2. Every presidential candidate has foreign contacts dumbfuck. It is about whether they are colluding. Like paying a british spy to use russian agents for information on your opponent. Or asking a russian ambassador to tell putin to hold off on any crimea actions until after an election. Those types of things.

      1. You are never going to figure this world out. You’re going to die dumb and confused.

        1. Lol. You’re even dumber when angry.

  12. And in the broader world of police misconduct this Carter Page stuff is like jaywalking compared to the usual shit you will see every day of your life if you were to work in criminal justice.

    1. Guys it is okay the FBI pursued illegal warrants on Page! Some people did worse shit, so this is fine!

      1. Look, Orange Man is bad, the ends justify the means.

    2. “…is like jaywalking compared to the usual shit you will see every day of your life if you were to work in…”

      That doesn’t cut both ways.

    3. If the FBI did this to a prominent leader in the black community the dems would be having a fit. And rightly so.

      It’s a real abuse of power.

  13. This article strikes me as nothing more than Sullum attempting to soothe his own conscience, and ward off any creeping realization that the Obama administration actually did spy on the Trump campaign, they thought they would get away with it because they also thought Hillary would win, and the last three years of RUSSIAN COLLUSION!!! have been an attempted coup to prevent the truth from coming out.

    Sorry Jacob, the truth is out.

    1. ie. He is at the bargaining phase.

      1. He will never hit the acceptance phase.

    2. Had Hydrogen Hillary been elected she would have used this BS to start a war with Russia, remember she promised to put a no-fly zone over Syria, likely ended with war with Russia and Iran.

      1. The Russians weren’t even in Northern Syria at that time. The Syrian govt wasn’t attacking the Kurds there either. The US putting troops in the area was enough to keep the Russian and Syrian planes away.

        1. It is amazing how wrong you are on everything. Did you forget Obama’s deal with Russia to “destroy” chem weapons in 2015 which led to Russias entry into Syria? My god man, stop saying stupid things. From Wiki:

          “Russia has supported the incumbent Bashar al-Assad government of Syria since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011: politically, with military aid, and since 30 September 2015 also through direct military involvement. “

        2. Remember when Trump bombed the airbase? Not only did Hillary agree with it, she criticized Trump for not going far enough.

  14. And that kinda pisses me off because you have cops murdering witnesses, planting evidence, judges doing crazy crooked shit and hiding some insane thing absolute immunity and it’s this shit that sets their hair on fire? Please mfer spare me it.

    1. Pod is at the anger stage still, obviously.

      1. Pod is simply delusional.

        He’s Queeg without the precipitating stressors.

    2. How could this possibly compare to violations of the Logan act, or the emoluments clause?

      1. Or, by God, the Hatch act?

        How can we let ourselves get distracted with the FBI deceitfully wiretapping our democracy, when people out there are violating the Hatch Act?

    3. Pod
      December.18.2019 at 9:31 am
      ‘And bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit,’

      Keep throwing stuff at the wall, shitbag. Maybe *something* will stick.

      “Please mfer spare me it.”
      Please, shitbag, go and die where we can’t smell you.

  15. why is what Comey says anything? dude should be gagged by his defense attorney where’s that guy?

    1. It’s too late for that. Comey has no choice at this point but to go down with the ship.

  16. It’s quite telling how the usual suspects tried to spin this report as a “vindication.”

    1. These are not the droids you are looking for.

  17. Can’t wait for the moment when all the sophisticated brainiacs at Reason finally stop with their compulsion to assure everybody that they despise Trump and all that he stands for and start talking about the incredible and far reaching scandal that is unfolding in front of us. A scandal that should warm the hearts of every freedom thinking Libertarian (or person) in the country because the truth is finally being revealed.
    There has absolutely been a concerted effort by a large coalition of like minded people in power to literally fabricate evidence and charges against the administration starting before they even took office. That is the story that should be pursued and it should be done with as much energy and enthusiasm as was thrown into tracking down (ridiculous) stories of peeing hookers.
    We get it, you don’t like Trump. You REALLY don’t like Trump. You REALLY, REALLY don’t like Trump. But get your heads out of your trump hating asses and recognize the real story here.

    1. ^^^^^^^^^^^^ Preach it Rev!!

    2. Not going to happen. And not because the Trump hatred is too strong, but mostly because it would require admitting that Chocolate Jesus was worse than Nixon.

    3. I’m sure reason will apologize just like all the other leftist media. Any day now.

  18. It is entirely possible that you undersell the level of dishonesty.

    Carter Page has told us that he was working with the CIA and the FBI for years. He met with the FBI about a case the day before they began investigating him. At that meeting he told them he was going to start volunteering for the Trump campaign. They ran to open an investigation the next day – with emails asking what sort of investigation should it be….

    And we know that the pretext for investigating Papadopoulos was comments at a bar to a foreign diplomat who was a spy for the FBI/CIA. But what the IG report did not investigate was…. where did Papadopoulos get the information?

    The allegation that has been circulating is that it came from a CIA agent. That has been reported for years now… and never confirmed by the government, to my knowledge.

    Can it be confirmed? I don’t know.

    But if it is….

    Then the entire thing is not “sloppy”. There is no argument about trying to protect democracy. There is no “flimsy” predicate.
    Since that one conversation is the only actual actionable thing they had…

    The entire house of cards collapses. The protestations of “no provable political motivation” falls aside.

    That is the only leg they have left to stand on. I guess we shall see how good the CIA is at covering their tracks.

    1. You seem to believe this is relevant.
      But the Page’s FISA warrant FOUND nothing of value to the Mueller report … despite all the hysteria from deranged Trumpsters … including the FALSE claim that the Page warrant launched the Russia investigation, which began 5 months earlier! … a lie REQUIRED for the hysteria, BECAUSE NOTHING from the FISA warrant (beyond it being improperly obtained).

      Scary

      1. Mueller’s entire investigation found nothing of value.

        1. (snort) 34 indictments. 12 convictions in Trump’s inner circle,
          10 instances, obstruction of justice by Trump (NONE UKRAINE). Did you miss Mueller’s testimony. Trump cannot be indicted while in office, but I wanted to gather the evidence while memories were still fresh.

          On collusion, more than half of it was redacted, so you’re bluff fails.

          Clearly you have no idea what the report said, or Mueller’s testimony, and are presumably repeating a slogan from one or more of these: Fox, Breitbart, Infowars, Daily Caller, StormFront..

  19. BLAME SEVO FOR THIS — MY DEFENSE FROM ANOTHER THUGGISH ASSAULT … OF OVER A HUNDRED … BY THE STALKING CYBER-BULLY (WITH OVER A DOZEN SOCKS, CREATING THE ILLUSION OF A MAJORITY)

    Sevo
    December.18.2019 at 12:18 pm
    Pretty good depiction of lefty TDS victim.
    Fuck off and die, Hihn

    Ready? 🙂

    FACTS: Trump’s Collapsing Economy
    GDP growth falling … now worse than he started with.
    *Stupid trade war
    *Wrong tax cuts
    *Massive debt

    He’s running it all on a debt binge … just like a proggie, but different winners
    THE WORST PRESIDENT ON ADDING NEW 8-year DEBT … EVER. In only 3 years, he’s added as much 8-year debt as Obama did AFTER 8 years (CBO 2024 forecast) … FAIL …. ESPECIALLY when he campaigned on PAYING OFF THE ENTIRE DEBT IN 8 YEARS!!! … MEGA-FAIL. … LOSER

    FACT: Obama inherited the 3rd worst economy since the 1930s, and handed Trump the longest recovery EVER for an incoming President. Trump’s GOP pissed it all away.

    1) *** Current GDP growth is LESS than he started with. Growth was faster BEFORE the tax cuts! …. MEGA-FAIL

    2) Trump ridiculed Obama’s Labor Force Participation Rate (workers abandon job search) said Obama’s “real” unemployment rate was … 30-42% (BAT-SHIT CRAZY!) … BUT .,.. hahaha …. Trump FAILED to create eaningful improvement (started at 62.9% …. Now 63.3% …. vs 66+% before the recession) DOES THAT MAKE TRUMP’S “REAL” UNEMPLOYMENT RATE 30%? (lol)

    3) If the economy is “booming,” why have are so many STILL not even seeking a job?

    Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the third quarter of 2019, according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 2.0 percent.

    THAT’S LESS THAN THE 2.3% HE STARTED WITH! …. FAIL

    GDP Annual Growth Rate in the United States averaged 3.20 percent from 1948 until 2019 … FAIL

    **Blame the tax cuts
    a) EXACTLY OPPOSITE of every successful tax cut since WWII
    b) FUCKED his promise to restore industrial jobs, the promise that elected him.

    There have been only two postwar economic booms …from the two worst postwar economies. A Democrat, Kennedy, launched the first one. A Republican, Reagan, the second. Their tax cuts were identical … “across the board, top-to-bottom, business and corporate”… (Kennedy’s words, not Reagan’s) .

    ***WHY would Trump;’s tax cuts FAIL to repeat the ONLY two successful tax cuts in NEARLY A CENTURY ….. BECAUSE TRUMP’S GOP IS TOO STUPID ON TAXES AND THE ECONOMY … as PROVEN by Presidents from BOTH parties, Kennedy and Reagan

    A GROWING ECONOMY IS LIKE A 3-LEGGED STOOL — CONSUMERS, EMPLOYERS AND INVESTORS MUST ALL HAVE CONFIDENCE
    *Consumers buying
    *Employers hiring
    *Investors providing the needed capital.

    IF ANY LEG LACKS CONFIDENCE, THE STOOL FALLS OVER.
    Reagan’s recovery began with MANUFACTURING INVESTMENT boosting GDP, creating manufacturing jobs and/or higher output on existing factory jobs. Our industry was flat on its back, with the combination of 18-year write-offs on jobs-creating manufacturing equipment …AND DOUBLE-DIGIT INFLATION DESTROYING THE VALUE OF THE LENGTHY WRITE-OFF. Reagan cut that to 7 years, ON TOP OF Kennedy’s 7% BONUS TAX CREDIT on those investments. That was enough! Until Democrats repealed BOTH Kennedy’s and Reagan’s investment incentives — progressives destroying our best-paid union jobs — to “close corporate loopholes,” of course! (Trump AIN’T the ONLY dumbfuck here; merely he nastiest)

    *That’s why BOTH parties are full of shit, debating supply-side vs demand -side economics.
    *ALL sides MUST be boosted
    *In a free society, government takes NO SIDES.
    (Even establishment libertarians are now suckered by supply-side bullshit.)

    Over 60% of Americans think America is HEADING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION ….. UNDER TRUMP …. THEY ARE CORRECT … HIS TAX POLICY CAN NEVER ACHIEVE THE PROMISE THAT GOT HIM ELECTED …. HE CANNOT RESTORE OUR INDUSTRIAL BASE …. THE 3-LEGGED HAS TWO LEGS MISSING.

    *TOTAL TAX BURDENS – US vs CANADA — IGNORED by today’s “fiscally-conservative” establishment (now anti-gummint, NO LONGER pro-people)

    CORPORATE INCOME TAX
    US = 21% (large corporations only, up to 100 shareholders loopholed out))
    CA = 15% (all corporations)

    DEPRECIATION (MFG EQUIPMENT)
    US = 8 years average
    CA = 5 years (all our major trade competitors)

    TAX ON DIVIDENDS
    US = 22%
    CA = Zero, Nada, Zip

    CAPITAL GAINS
    Cannot compare, overall, Each country has many classes, different in each country. We’re generally lower here, except critical venture capital is higher and none of ours.

    ONE OTHER COST COMPARISON destroying jobs for decades – CAN YOU GUESS WHAT IT IS? Answer at the end of this. Hint: not taxes.

    Overall: Increasingly since 1986, job have been systematically destroyed by ALL THOSE TAXES … plus “the other one” (not taxes) … THAT is why Trump is GUARANTEED TO FAIL on restoring industrial jobs … says this son of the Rust Belt, the Rust Belt IGNORED for decades, by politicians of both parties. (It was the Rust Belt that won Trump’s Electoral College squeaker, based on Trump’s UNEDUCATED PROMISE of factory jobs)

    **Even crazier, Trump is trying to offset the PUNITIVE TAXES that destroy industrial jobs, by … ADDING MORE TAXES! OMG (tariffs are paid by manufactures and consumers)

    ***THAT is why Trump fights so hard to reduce immigration and imports, both falsely claimed for our lost industrial jobs, claims made by economic illiterates.

    Can YOU guess the missing, non-tax cost comparison? It FURTHER guarantees Trumps FAILURE on manufacturing jobs, and why Biden, Sanders and Warren would ALSO fail?.
    It’s Health care We not only have the world’s highest health care costs … we’re the only country where EMPLOYERS pay all or most of the cost. (In Canada, employers pay only dental, with all their “medicare” paid by their workers, who pay twice the taxes as Americans ) That, TOO, is why progressives have been kicking our ass for decades… winning by default … unchallenged.

    Sorry, I’m getting emails asking why so lengthy lately. These are drafts, toward publication. When this gets published. … And the video proof of Trump lying to protect violence and murder by his nazi and racist supporter …. And how Trump’s campaign tax cuts included a 60% tax cut for himself … well, remember how Nixon was forced to resign by his own party? Goldwater told him there were enough votes to remove him. This calls out BOTH left and right … as libertarians have TRIED for decades. NOW we win.

    Bet me.

    Then blame Sevo for this, 🙂

    Copyright 1994 by LibertyIssues.com and Michael J Hihn. All rights reserved and defended

  20. THE CONSERVATIVE CASE FOR IMPEACHMENT — AND REMOVAL
    ‘The most heinous act in which a democratic government can engage is to use its law enforcement machinery for political ends

    This should win another Pulitzer for Brett Stephens, one of the most highly regarded CONSERVATIVE opinion journalists..

    He made his name over several decades at the Wall Street Journal.

    Then he was hired away, to add a strong conservative voice to … the New York Times …. which has caused many caterwalling goobers, on the Authoritarian Right, to proclaim Brett had become a full-blown communist, with a shrine to Lenin in his home.

    Republicans like Devin Nunes were more right about the conduct of the investigation than many of its supporters, including me, care to admit, … And Carter Page is owed an apology by anyone, including me, who cares for the presumption of innocence and objects to trial by media.

    ***But now to impeachment:

    If conservatives are right to object to the abuse of power by F.B.I. agents, shouldn’t they be far more alarmed at the abuse of investigatory and other powers for political ends by the president of the United States?

    According to the public transcript of Donald Trump’s July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, Trump said: “The server, they say Ukraine has it …. I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it.”
    Trump also said: “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.”

    The president is unambiguously proposing to employ his chief law-enforcement officer to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory that Trump hopes will burnish his political legitimacy. And he also proposes to use the attorney general in an attempt to investigate a political opponent for undeniably political ends.

    ***That Trump didn’t get away with it is a relief, not an exoneration.

    *** That he continues to insist the call was “perfect,” as he did Tuesday in his letter to Nancy Pelosi, means that he is likely to do it again.

    ***That he attempted to subvert the will of Congress by impounding congressional funds for his political ends threatens the separation of powers in ways that will haunt a future Republican Congress.

    ***That he was prepared to endanger an ally and benefit an enemy is not treason, as the Constitution defines treason, but it is a travesty, as any American ought to understand travesty.

    ***That Republican leaders are cheering him only serves to define deviancy down and debase our political norms in ways that will surely haunt a future Republican Congress.

    ***That conservative pundits claim to be outraged at the F.B.I.’s investigation of the Trump campaign — or the smearing of Carter Page — while being indifferent to Trump’s attempt to investigate Joe Biden — and the smearing of Hunter Biden — marks a fresh low in rhetorical sophistry.

    ***There are people who believe that law, morality, traditions and institutions are at least as important to the preservation of freedom as the will of the people. Such people are called conservative.

    ***What Republicans are now doing with their lock step opposition to impeachment — and with their indifference to the behavior that brought impeachment about — is not conservative. It is the abdication of principle to power.

    ***I might think differently about impeachment if Trump had shown any sense of contrition. Or if Republicans had shown any inclination to censure him. But Trump hasn’t, and they haven’t.

    ***Whatever the political ramifications of impeachment now, history will judge members of this Congress harshly if they fail to state their revulsion at the president’s behavior in the strongest terms they can. Impeach and convict.

    Nixon resigned when a REAL CONSERVATIVE, Barry Goldwater, told him to .. because REPUBLICANS had turned against him, and would vote to remove.,
    Brett just told the Republican Senate THEIR future … by weaponizing Democrats (who have blown it). There’s a name for this … ummm. …. err …. moral courage,

    Reagan once said that libertarianism is the core of conservatism — meaning classical liberalism. It was Reagan who personally crushed the nationwide anti-gay Anita Bryant Crusade, just before announcing his winning 1980 campaign. It was Goldwater and Reagan aggressively defending homosexuals (especially in our military and as teachers) … in the 1970s … two decades before Clinton shamelessly signed DOMA and DADT … and nearly four decades before Obama “evolved.”

    Classical liberalism exists as a faction, on both the left and the right. And when libertarianism, was pro-people … not anti-government, now even sneering Consent of the Governed, as authoritarians.are wont to do.

  21. I won’t be satisfied until I see that slimeball Comey and that asshole McCabe sitting in a prison cell. Strozok can join them.

    1. I’m betting that Comey will be the first one in prison.

  22. From one of America’s most conservative pollsters: If the 2020 election was held today
    EVEN MICHELLE OBAMA WOULD BEAT TRUMP!

    Along with all top five Dem candidates (many other pollsters)

      1. (smirk) She won the popular vote. Pollsters cannot deal with Electoral votes.

        Trumps Electoral College margin was 39,000 voters, in 3 states combined.
        So how much influence was NEEDED by the Russian government, Wikileaks and Comey.

        Pasting links is no match for knowledge. Just sayin’

  23. Systematic and systemic dishonesty.
    No moderate or conservative should ever trust the FBI again. You should assume everything they produce has a leftist spin applied to it.

    1. No moderate or conservative one should ever trust the FBI again.

      Fixed it.

      1. Yeah, four agents and a dishonest lawyer.
        Compared with over 15,000 lies by Trump?
        And he disgraced his office … by LYING who started the mass assaults in Charlottesville — to defend his New-Nazi and White Supremacist supporters
        Your hysteria is showing

        1. Please fire a nail gun into your eye socket. Thank you.

          1. SHAME ON ANYONE who LIES about the truth, to defend a morally debased President, over country and honor.

            Please fire a nail gun into your eye socket. Thank you.

            You demand undeniable proof, so here it is. Two parts.

            1) Video proof that Trump lied, so shamelessly.
            2) Four criminal convictions, for launching mass assaults and murder in Charlottesvile … of vile racists … that your President claims were the victims. Who are the greater scum, violent racists, Donald J Trump, or you?

            UNDENIABLE VIDEO PROOF. TRUMP LIED TO DEFEND HIS NAZI AND RACIST SUPPORTERS
            The initial assault. … (Private video found on an alternate news twitter feed)

            *”Alt-Left” standing peacefully, no visible clubs or bats.
            *Alt-Right Fascists/Racists charge en-mass, swinging clubs.
            *Fascists carrying police-style riot shields.
            Trump’s assholes CAME for violence.

            TRUMP LIE: Alt-left led the assault
            PROOF: Alt-RIGHT did that

            TRUMP LIE: Alt-left attacked swinging clubs.
            PROOF: ALT-RIGHT Had the ONLY clubs. Alt-LEFT standing peacefully, arms locked (like the 60s), not possible to carry ANYTHING

            TRUMP LIE: Alt-left wearing black helmets
            PROOF: Alt-RIGHT wearing black (NAZI) helmets, carrying NAZI flags,

            SHAME ON ANYONE who LIES about the truth, to defend a morally debased President, over country and honor.

            NEXT: THE SMOKING GUN … TRUMP MUST BE REMOVED … FOR ABUSE OF POWER (to defend his supporters) … AND DISGRACING THE PRESIDENCY AND ALL OF AMERICA,

            And you’re no better. (sneer)

          2. Part two: KAPOW to Trump’s puss: 4 men found guilty in violent Charlottesville rally described as ‘serial rioters’ …. by Trump’s own DOJ!!! (snort)

            Three members of a white supremacist group were sentenced to prison Friday for kicking, choking and punching multiple people during the 2017 “United the Right” rally in Charlottesville and other rallies in California. The three were members of the California-based militant white supremacist organization “Rise Above Movement.”

            A fourth defendant, Cole Evan White, will be sentenced at a later date, the attorney’s office said.

            “These defendants, motivated by hateful ideology, incited and committed acts of violence in Charlottesville, as well at other purported political rallies in California,” U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen said.

            “They were not interested in peaceful protest or lawful First Amendment expression; instead, they intended to provoke and engage in street battles with those that they perceived as their enemies.”

            This has been converted to a Press Release, sent to all major media outlets, with all evidence … and to the House impeachment committees … when the timing seems optimal.

            Watch this thread. I shall be punished for this. Trump’s not the only psycho on the alt-right. They cannot challenge PROOF … so lots of screeching, yelling and infantile assaults … just like Trump.

            Anything else?

  24. The whole good cop/bad cop question can be disposed of much more decisively. We need not enumerate what proportion of cops appears to be good or listen to someone’s anecdote about his Uncle Charlie, an allegedly good cop. We need only consider the following: (1) a cop’s job is to enforce the laws, all of them; (2) many of the laws are manifestly unjust, and some are even cruel and wicked; (3) therefore every cop has agreed to act as an enforcer for laws that are manifestly unjust or even cruel and wicked. There are no good cops.” ~Robert Higgs

    “Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves.” Herbert Marcuse

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