Comment by Jim Campbell
January 15th, 2019
Ordinarily I pay Sean Hannity little mind.
He’s become Fox New’s “Homer,” in that President Trump can do no wrong even when he has done so and those paying attention know it to be true.
This time however he has put one of his monologues into a tightly packaged monologue that is worth watching as it has become clear that heads on the left are about to roll.
The FBI continues to get away with obstructing justice by maintain that their information is secret.
Secret to whom?
If it’s being reported here as well as a lead in the NY Times it is a secret to no one following the witch hunt and dance of smoke and mirrors.
James Comey, an Obama hold over should have been asked to tender his immediate resignation the day the president was sworn into office.
For what ever reason, I’m guessing, the new administration had too many things on its plate and failed to do so.
Now the President is stuck with more of his haters making their usual crying and moaning sound which in the end will be of no consequence.
James Baker — the general counsel of the FBI during both the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations — sat for two interviews with House investigators last October.
After the sessions — one on Oct. 3, the other Oct. 18 — Republican Rep. Mark Meadows called parts of Baker’s testimony “explosive.”
Critics fear William Barr was nominated not just to run the justice department but to defend the president. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images
Two months after Donald Trump fired his original attorney general, the Senate will on Tuesday cross-examine his proposed replacement, William Barr, a Washington stalwart who served in the role under George HW Bush.
The pick has been welcomed by Republicans and even some Trump detractors, who reason that Barr is a known quantity and that Trump might have done much worse, given his extraordinary views on presidential.
Did we expect the president’s critics to say anything else?
But some Democrats, former federal prosecutors and DoJ figures are warning that Barr might not be such a known quantity after all, and that confirming him as attorney general would threaten the work of the special counsel Robert Mueller and the justice department more broadly.
Barr’s nomination has surfaced at an unusually fraught moment in Washington.
The Washington Examiner
by Byron York
January 15, 2019
Republicans intended to make the interview transcripts public.
The questioning was not conducted in a classified setting, and Baker had FBI and other lawyers with him the whole time.
But the House still had to send the transcripts to the FBI for clearance, just to make sure public release would not reveal any classified or otherwise secret information.
If Republicans hoped for a quick OK from the bureau, they were sorely disappointed. October passed.
Then November. Then December.
And now, half of January.
The FBI still has the transcripts, and there is no word on when the bureau will clear them for release.
The end is near for the FBI as they can no longer keep obstructing justice.
But now, the Baker transcripts are making news, even as they sit on FBI desks.
Two major news stories in the past few days have been based in whole or in part on what Baker told lawmakers.
Some news organizations appear to have read the transcripts, or at least significant portions of them, or had them read to reporters by someone with access.
Suddenly, the Baker transcripts are hot.
The most recent of the stories broke Tuesday.
In a letter to Justice Department prosecutors, Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan, now ranking minority on the House Judiciary Committee, revealed that Baker is the subject of a criminal leak investigation.
But of course he would be.
He now has a target on his forehead.
Please see the entire article below.
To tell the story, Jordan and Meadows included tantalizing bits of the still-secret Baker transcripts.
The excerpt began with Daniel Levin, Baker’s lawyer, cutting off House investigators as they tried to question Baker.
“You may or may not know, he’s the subject of a leak investigation which is still — a criminal leak investigation that’s still active at the Justice Department,” Levin said.
It turned out the lawmakers did not know.
“You’re saying he’s under criminal investigation?” said Meadows. “That’s why you’re not letting him answer?”
“Yes,” said Levin.
Levin told lawmakers that John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, is conducting the investigation.
It is not clear why Durham is handling the case, or whether it has anything to do with Connecticut, or whether Durham has a special assignment.
But that’s what is happening.
Jordan noted that Baker had just moments earlier discussed his interactions with Corn. No more, said Levin.
“Well, he’s talked a little bit about it, but I don’t want him talking about conversations he’s had with reporters,” Levin told Jordan.
Jordan pressed. “So he talked to me only about what Mr. Corn may have given him via information or actual documents or recordings or anything else, but he’s not allowed to talk to me about information he may have given Mr. Corn himself?”
“That’s right,” said Levin.
The Baker excerpt, revealing the criminal investigation, is a new and important part of the story of the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Release of the full transcripts could shed new light on the FBI’s use of the Trump dossier in the Russia probe.
But they remain secret — and it is the FBI that has the final word on whether and when to allow the release of information that is unflattering to the FBI.
The second big story that came in part from the Baker transcript was the New York Times piece last Friday headlined, “FBI Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.”
The story caused intense excitement in anti-Trump circles. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security,” the Times reported.
“Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”
In the piece, the bureau’s reasoning was explained by references to … the secret Baker transcripts. The paper said Baker told lawmakers that the FBI viewed President Trump’s firing of Director James Comey as a national security issue.
“Not only would it be an issue of obstructing an investigation, but the obstruction itself would hurt our ability to figure out what the Russians had done, and that is what would be the threat to national security,” Baker said in the still-secret testimony, according to the Times.
The paper said portions of the testimony “were read to The New York Times.”
Not long after, CNN published an article, “Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was ‘following directions’ of Russia.”
CNN quoted significant portions of the Baker transcripts, in which Baker said the FBI wanted to know if Trump “was acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing [Russia’s] will.”
“That was one extreme.
The other extreme is that the president is completely innocent, and we discussed that too,” Baker said in the secret transcripts, according to CNN.
“There’s a range of things this could possibly be. We need to investigate, because we don’t know whether, you know, the worst-case scenario is possibly true or the president is totally innocent and we need to get this thing over with — and so he can move forward with his agenda.”
CNN said only that it had “obtained” the transcripts.
So the Baker transcripts have made a lot of news. They might have other news in them, or they might provide important context, but the public doesn’t know what that might be.
So far, the public has had to depend on what portions of the transcripts that CNN, the New York Times, and Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows find newsworthy.
And all because the FBI has decided to keep its secret for as long as it can.
Republicans suspect they are being slow-walked as the FBI tries to protect its image. “Unfortunately, the delay may relate to a lack of eagerness by the FBI to confirm yet another investigation into official misconduct, or perhaps criminal behavior, by another one of the FBI’s top officials,” Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, a key investigator, said in a text exchange.
GOP lawmakers spent two years in a frustrating attempt to pull information out of the FBI as the House probed important aspects of the Trump-Russia investigation.
And that was when Republicans were in the majority.
Now, with the GOP in the minority, it has little clout to push the FBI to reveal secrets it should have revealed by now.
The above statement is incorrect, watch Mitch McConnell bring it to the Senate for a vote.