Monday, July 4, 2016

Why did the FBI prevent visual coverage of the Bill Clinton - Janet Lynch meeting? - Clarice Feldman

by Clarice Feldman

Original Title: Maybe It's Time to Stop 'Thinking about Tomorrow'

As far back as January, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the evidence already on the public record made clear an indictment was warranted

With the investigation into his wife’s wrongdoings while Secretary of State drawing to a close (she was questioned yesterday for 3½ hours by the FBI, which usually is done at the end of an investigation) Bill Clinton hopped aboard a government plane on the tarmac in Phoenix. Aboard that plane was Attorney General Loretta Lynch, tasked to decide on whether to indict Hillary. The meeting stirred up a raft of speculation about the odorous half-hour discussion they held in private and her continuing role in the matter.

For example: How is it that Lynch and Bill Clinton were both in Phoenix on the tarmac at the same time? The most credible accounts I can find indicate they both flew there separately. She was in Phoenix to give a speech on the administration’s (unprecedented) intrusion into local police operations aka “community policing”. His presence there was never credibly explained. Yes, there were reports he was there to play golf but it was over 100 degrees and he is in poor health so that seems unlikely.

How did he know she was there? Again there’s been much speculation and various notions advanced, but I think the most likely account indicates they were about to depart in separate planes when his Secret Service detail learned from her FBI security team that she was on the tarmac waiting clearance to take off.

Why was there so little coverage of this? ABC’s Christopher Sign, who broke the story, was there as part of an assignment to cover luminaries coming to Phoenix and he learned of their presence, but the FBI forbade him from filming or photographing Bill Clinton’s entry into Loretta’s plane and his later departure from it or even using his cell phone. He alone broke the story and there was no visual to accompany it or other reporters at the scene.
As Daniel Greenfield notes:
When you have the FBI running around warning, no photos and no cell phones, those are specific instructions. 
That means that they had orders to prevent any evidence of the chat from coming forward and those orders would have come from Lynch or one of her aides as Bill Clinton and his people have no authority to order the FBI to do anything. Which means that Lynch knew the meeting was wrong and tried to prevent it from coming to light. And you don't do that for a chat about the grandkids.
Which means that Lynch is also lying. 
Why did the FBI agents on the tarmac ban recording the meeting and under what authority? I cannot think of an answer to this. Someone ought to ask their boss, James Comey, who is heading up the investigation into Hillary Clinton. When the FBI can ban newsmen from documenting what occurs in public and using cell phones to report the meeting we are in a strange new place. And when they are covering up for a universally condemned conflict of interest, it seems worse.

We are told that FBI agents are “livid’ about the meeting, which to our eyes signals corruption of the investigative process. 
Herridge said that, according to a well-placed FBI source, the agents are not just upset about the poor optics of the meeting.
She explained that Bill Clinton is a potential witness because the FBI is separately investigating corruption allegations against the Clinton Foundation. 
So why and on whose authority did they contrive to keep it secret? My guess is that Lynch ordered that.

What was this secret half-hour chat about? Lynch said it was “primarily” about their grandchildren and golf. If you believe this, you are one of the few who do. (By the way, Lynch has no grandchildren and she doesn't seem to be a golfer.)

What are the consequences of this? Caught out and her explanation largely discounted, Lynch first said she would “likely” accept whatever recommendation career prosecutors and the F.B.I. director make about whether to bring charges related to Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, a Justice Department official said.

But this was quickly walked back:
Attorney General Lynch reserves the right to overrule the recommendation of career prosecutors and the FBI in the Hillary Clinton email probe. This official says the probability she would overrule is “very, very low,” but it is not zero. In other words, Lynch is not “recusing herself,” as has been rumored, and she is not committing herself to the FBI’s recommendation. Despite the “furor,” nothing has changed. And, for the record, you can be sure that “very, very low” will be just high enough when the time comes. 
Is this straddle in accord with her responsibilities as attorney general? I have to agree with the Wall Street Journal that it is not. 
Yet her Clintonian answers show as much bad judgment as the original meeting. She is now passing the buck to career officials while still retaining the ability to overrule them. This is trying to have it both ways. She knows there will be a political price to pay no matter what the decision. Her ethical straddle allows her to say she had nothing to do with a decision not to indict while retaining the authority to overrule an FBI recommendation to indict.
Whether to indict a presumptive presidential nominee is a momentous decision that deserves to be made by officials who are accountable to the voters. Such decisions are the reason we have an Attorney General appointed by an elected President.
Ms. Lynch has only two honest choices: Do the job she was appointed to and make the decision -- or formally recuse herself from the case and delegate the decision to the next highest ranking official at Justice. 
The “job she was appointed to do” doesn’t seem a hard one legally -- only politically. As far back as January, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey said the evidence already on the public record made clear an indictment was warranted:
The FBI’s criminal investigation of messages on the server initially related solely to Mrs. Clinton’s possibly unlawful mishandling of classified information. The investigation has now metastasized to include “the possible intersection of Clinton Foundation donations, the dispensation of State Department contracts and whether regular processes were followed” as Fox News’s Catherine Herridge reported Jan. 19, quoting an intelligence source.
Which is to say, the FBI wants to know whether those messages, combined with other evidence, show that donors to the Clinton Foundation received special consideration in their dealings with the agency Mrs. Clinton headed.
Whatever the findings from that part of the probe, intelligence-community investigators believe it is nearly certain that Mrs. Clinton’s server was hacked, possibly by the Chinese or the Russians. This raises the distinct possibility that she would be subject to blackmail in connection with those transactions and whatever else was on that server by people with hostile intent against this country.
No criminality can be charged against Mrs. Clinton in connection with any of this absent proof that she had what the law regards as a guilty state of mind -- a standard that may differ from one statute to another, depending on what criminal act is charged.
Yet -- from her direction that classification rules be disregarded, to the presence on her personal email server of information at the highest level of classification, to her repeated falsehoods of a sort that juries are told every day may be treated as evidence of guilty knowledge -- it is nearly impossible to draw any conclusion other than that she knew enough to support a conviction at the least for mishandling classified information. 
How far reaching is the FBI investigation? As Mukasey notes, it has gone beyond the email controversy according to some accounts and into the corruption of the Clinton Foundation. Among other things, it concerns the charges that she and her husband bestowed favors on big donors -- including foreigners and foreign governments into the Clinton Foundation, a foundation Charles Ortel has demonstrated is a major “charity" fraud -- and then she tried to hide email evidence of this wrongdoing.  

Indeed, the entire Clinton family participated in this fraud. Chelsea Clinton, who famously said she never cares about money, is its vice chair. And this week we learned that her husband, father of Clinton’s grandchildren, might be linked not only indirectly to the foundation’s graft, but as well a recipient of confidential information about Greece’s financial situation which Hillary received as secretary of state and conveyed to him (for his hedge fund’s use) utilizing Bill as the conduit.
In 2012, Mezvinski, the husband of Chelsea Clinton, created a $325 million basket of offshore funds under the Eaglevale Partners banner through a special arrangement with investment bank Goldman Sachs. The funds have lost tens of millions of dollars predicting that bailouts of the Greek banking system would pump up the value of the country’s distressed bonds. One fund, exclusively dedicated to Greek debt, suffered near-total losses.
Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in 2013 to run for president. But newly released emails from 2012 show that she and Clinton Foundation consultant, Sidney Blumenthal, shared classified information about how German leadership viewed the prospects for a Greek bailout. Clinton also shared “protected” State Department information about Greek bonds with her husband at the same time that her son-in-law aimed his hedge fund at Greece.
That America’s top diplomat kept a sharp eye on intelligence assessing the chances of a bailout of the Greek central bank is not a problem. However, sharing such sensitive information with friends and family would have been highly improper. Federal regulations prohibit the use of nonpublic information to further private interests or the interests of others. The mere perception of a conflict of interest is unacceptable.
Through its press representative, Eaglevale declined to comment for this story. Clinton’s campaign press office did not respond to a request for comment.
A former Goldman Sachs broker himself, Mezvinsky formed Eaglevale Management with two ex-Goldman Sachs partners in October 2011. As a “global macro” firm, Eaglevale’s strategy is to seek profit opportunities in politically volatile situations. Mezvinsky set up several funds in the Cayman Islands, a secretive tax haven, with Goldman Sachs serving as Eaglevale’s prime broker and banker. The giant brokerage firm has a checkered history of manipulating the value of Greek debt to the detriment of Greece.
And it wasn’t the only known instance of Clinton using her government position to further her son-in-law’s business. 
The emails show that Clinton did at least one official favor for her son-in-law. In August 2012, she forwarded Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides an email from Mezvinsky lobbying on behalf of his former Goldman Sachs colleague, Harry Siklas.
Siklas and Goldman Sachs were invested in a deep sea mining venture called Neptune Minerals. Siklas asked Mezvinsky to broker a talk with Clinton about “current legal issues and regulations” on deep sea mining. Clinton ordered Nides to “follow up on this request.”
Nides replied, “I’ll get on it.”
Theodore Dalrymple, the penname of a British psychiatrist, explained how communist societies work and it fits the Clinton tactics of blatantly lying about their conduct and enmeshing others to become complicit in their evil.
"In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. 
Looks like Loretta Lynch, about whom to date there was no hint of scandal, has now allowed Bill Clinton to force her to “assent to obvious lies" and become just another of the Clinton’s “emasculated liars”. Will the FBI and career attorneys at the Department of Justice also join this society, or do the right thing and recommend Hillary’s indictment?

Clarice Feldman


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