No, Comey did NOT ask for more funding to expand Russia probe

(National SentinelMedia: Once again, the Washington establishment press has proven that it has a “fake news” problem.

The day after President Donald J. Trump fired James B. Comey from his position as director of the FBI, the Washington Post reported that an “anonymous source” told the paper Comey had just gone to the Justice Department seeking more funding so he could expand the probe into Russia’s [non-existant] collusion with the Trump campaign to “steal the election” from Hillary Clinton.

Like dutiful Deep State lemmings, the rest of the Washington establishment press picked that up and ran with it.

The Post claimed:

Last week, then-FBI Director James B. Comey requested more resources from the Justice Department for his bureau’s investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, according to two officials with knowledge of the discussion.

Comey, who was fired by President Trump on Tuesday, made the request in a meeting last week with Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, and later briefed the chair and Democratic ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, the officials said.

Uh, except that this is garbage.

The Department of Justice strongly refuted the story, as Fox News’ Bret Baier noted in a tweet:

And earlier today, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe was asked if the Post report was true; he said: “I strongly believe the Russia investigation is adequately resourced.” He then went on to say that asking for funding for a single investigation is highly unusual.

Only sycophantic supporters of the Democratic Party will continue to be duped by this irresponsible journalism, which is obviously not being driven by a desire to get at the truth but instead by rabid, unhinged, uncontrollable Trump hate in the ‘mainstream’ media.

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Trump to NBC News: Comey was out even without deputy AG recommendation

(National SentinelPolitics: In an interview with NBC News nightly anchor Lester Holt Thursday afternoon, President Donald J. Trump earlier breathless reporting from the rest of the discredited mainstream media that were it not for a “loss of confidence” memo from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former FBI Director James B. Comey would still have his job.

“He’s a showboat, he’s grandstander, the FBI has been in turmoil,” Trump said. “You know that, I know that. Everybody knows that. You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn’t recovered from that.”

The president also said he actually asked Comey if he was under investigation, and he said the former FBI director told him he was not. Of that exchange, NBC News observed:

It would be highly unusual for someone who might be the focus of an FBI probe to ask whether he was under investigation and to be directly told by the FBI director that he was not.

Trump also said his firing of Comey was in no way connected to a desire to quash the ongoing [false] ‘Russia collusion’ story.

“I want to find out if there was a problem in the election having to do with Russia,” he said. “If Russia did anything, I want to know that.”

But he also repeated oft-stated claims that there was no Trump campaign collusion with Russia, on any level or at any time.

“Also, the Russians did not affect the vote,” he said.

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Report: Comey called Trump ‘crazy’ over ‘wire tap’ claims

(National SentinelPolitics: In the wake of President Donald J. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, there are all manner of rumors, whispers and reports based on anonymous sources, and at this juncture, we take most of them with a grain of salt.

But this one seems a little more credible than many others. According to The New York Times, which admittedly has published its share of fake news regarding the president and his administration, Comey didn’t think very much of Trump’s claim in March that former President Obama “wire tapped” him at Trump Tower:

After President Trump accused his predecessor in March of wiretapping him, James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, was flabbergasted. The president, Mr. Comey told associates, was “outside the realm of normal,” even “crazy.”

For his part, Mr. Trump fumed when Mr. Comey publicly dismissed the sensational wiretapping claim. In the weeks that followed, he grew angrier and began talking about firing Mr. Comey. After stewing last weekend while watching Sunday talk shows at his New Jersey golf resort, Mr. Trump decided it was time. There was “something wrong with” Mr. Comey, he told aides.

“Flabbergasted?”

Even The New York Times reported the day before Trump’s inauguration that a) U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies were conducting probes into Trump’s associates, if not the president himself; b) and that “wiretapped” information had been obtained to that end. Well, the only wayto legally obtain such electronic surveillance is via a FISA court-issued surveillance warrant.

At least two published reports – here and here – claim that the FBI indeed applied for and received a FISA court warrant for the purpose of conducting electronic surveillance at Trump Tower. This is done in a counterintelligence investigation; Comey – as director – didn’t know that members of a major party presidential campaign, including the candidate himself, was under investigation?

Comey confirmed the essence of Trump’s tweet in March, that indeed he and his associates were under investigation prior to the election. Comey had publicly revealed – improperly, say many experts – many details about ongoing FBI probes, so why not this?

What Comey has not said to date is who ordered the probe of Team Trump and, importantly, why it has continued for so long despite a dearth of evidence to support any allegations that Trump or his closest advisors worked with Russia to “steal the election” from Clinton.

The Trump administration has said publicly they had “lost confidence” in Comey; if the Times report is accurate, Comey had obviously had no confidence in the commander-in-chief. That was a toxic battle in the making in which Comey was never going to win.

Democrats are running around hysterically trying to claim that Trump is a tyrant for firing a political appointee, but what choice did he have if his own FBI director believed he didn’t have the mentality to be president?

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FBI’s former asst. director: Comey fired for legitimate reasons

(National SentinelExecutive Branch: In spite of official Washington’s huffing and puffing and feigned outrage over President Donald J. Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, a former assistant director said that the top cop had it coming.

What’s more, James Kallstrom told Breitbart News, Comey’s actions as director had sullied the reputation of the agency he led.

“He was fired for cause in my view,” Kallstrom said. “When the referral came to the bureau close to a year ago, Comey knew at that point, if not soon after, that the Justice Department had no interest in conducting a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton. They would never approve a grand jury and they would never approve an indictment.”

He went on to blame Comey for presiding over a “sham” investigation – a believe shared by many Republicans on Capitol Hill and tens of millions of Americans who did not vote for Clinton in November:

From granting unnecessary immunity deals to conducting an interview of Clinton not under oath to too slickly issuing a document dump the day after the Fourth of July, the FBI deviated from standard-operating procedure during the investigation of the former secretary of state’s reliance on private servers to send and receive classified material, Kalstrom says.

“He did something the FBI never does,” the former head of the FBI’s New York office said of Comey. “It never discloses the charges against an unindicted person—ever.”

“He was so out of left field—the things he did.”

More:

This included citing a lack of intent on Clinton’s part to rationalize not pursuing the case further when the relevant statute does not mention intent. “Intent does not matter at all,” Kallstrom explains to Breitbart News. “There’s no ‘intent’ in the statute. Nevertheless, in my opinion there’s a busload of intent.”

“The cause [for firing] is that he took upon himself authority he didn’t have, number one,” Kallstrom says of Comey acting as a de facto prosecutor rather than as an investigator. “Number two, he told the public that he undertook a ‘thorough’ investigation. You can’t put ‘thorough’ and lack of a grand jury in the same sentence. He threw the reputation of the FBI under the bus.”

He added: “He’s basically a good guy. I don’t think he’s done this with malice aforethought. He just lacks common sense. He just wasn’t up for the job of FBI director.”

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Trump fires Comey; Washington freaks and theorizes; Dems flip-flop

By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief

(National SentinelPolitical Intrigue: By now you’ve no doubt heard that President Donald J. Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey. Depending upon which media outlet is doing the reporting or which pundit is pontificating, the simple underlying truth behind Trump’s action is this: The White House, and the Justice Department, had lost confidence in Comey’s ability to do his job, period.

And with good reason. More on that in a moment.

Of course the establishment is outraged – outraged, once again – at something Trump has done. As with past actions he has taken, many are again claiming that his ‘legacy is set’ and his ‘presidency is over.’ The establishment’s media, in particular, which as been rabidly anti-Trump from the outset of his GOP nomination, is quoting lawmakers from the Left, Right, Middle and within the administration, anonymously, of course, who all say that the president messed up.

The most popular theory is that Trump fired Comey to subvert the ongoing ‘Russia hacked the election to hurt Hillary Clinton’ narrative, and indeed, this did play a role in Comey’s firing. But not the way Establishment Washington is claiming. What irked Trump most is that after more than a year’s worth of investigating this alleged link, as well as the alleged collusion between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s government, there has been no evidence whatsoever to back up the claims. 

None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

And yet, this politically motivated probe has continued, which has enabled Democrats and #nevertrump Republicans to use it as justification to continue undermining Trump’s presidency – an operation that begun during the Obama administration and one that continues today, with bipartisan assistance. The Deep State cannot stomach the idea of a Trump presidency, and so it uses whatever means necessary – including bogus “investigations” to subvert this White House.

Consider: Just last week during testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, former DOJ official Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper both said there is no evidence to date to suggest there is anything at all to the Trump-Russia narrative. Democratic lawmakers have said the same thing.

So why is it continuing? What’s really at stake here?

Trump has reportedly gotten increasingly angry at the entire process, wondering when the charade would come to an end. That’s why he said what said in his letter dismissing Comey about the FBI director telling him on three separate occasions that he was not under investigation. Trump has also reportedly been pressuring staff and others to push the FBI into investigating something that it should have been looking into months ago, namely, who has been leaking all of the classified information on said investigations?

That used to be a crime. Wait…it still is. And yet, the FBI – under Director Comey – remained focused on a BS narrative created out of whole political cloth by the previous administration, of which Comey was a co-conspirator (with his non-recommendation that Hillary be prosecuted for obvious crimes of mishandling classified information).

As for the Democrats, the day before yesterday they were clamoring for Comey’s scalp, their BS narrative being that his late-election meddling – reopening Clinton’s email investigation, then closing it again – in the two weeks before the Nov. 8 election – cost her a victory.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/862135824745467905

The fact is, it didn’t – and even the reliably anti-Trump, far-Left New York Times has admitted as much. Per Newsmax:

New York Times polling whiz Nate Cohn wrote Monday there was reason to be wary of a “Comey effect” on the 2016 presidential election.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton last week said FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress indicating the agency was investigating additional emails in the case of her inappropriate use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State was a major reason for her loss to President Donald Trump on Election Day.

“Politicians, analysts and journalists are still debating whether the letter cost Mrs. Clinton the presidency. It’s certainly possible. But I am not at all sure, in part because of the final Upshot/Siena College poll in Florida,” writes Cohn.

The poll, Cohn says, shows that Clinton was weaker heading into Oct. 28 – the date Comey sent the letter – than was previously thought. She was down four percentage points in Florida, 46 percent to 42 percent, to Trump.

“Several other polls were conducted over the same period that showed Mr. Trump gaining quickly on Mrs. Clinton in the days ahead of the Comey letter,” writes Cohn. “And the timing of these polls — particularly the gap between when they were taken and when they were released — has probably helped to exaggerate the effect of Mr. Comey’s letter on the presidential race.”

Now, suddenly, the Democrats abhor Trump’s decision. Why? So they can continue pushing the false Russia narrative, but even on that note, Trump’s decision to fire Comey doesn’t stand up to the criticism. The investigation, such as it is, will continue no matter who is at the FBI helm.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/862263649821503489

Once again, the political and media establishment do not understand or get Donald J. Trump. And once again, when all of this shakes out, the country – those who are not so blinded by Trump hatred, that is – will understand the president’s decision was grounded, proper in the context, and the right thing to do.

Fact is, Comey has alternately been despised by the Left – over Hillary Clinton – and the Right – over Hillary Clinton. Comey’s very public handling of her investigation, along with his assistance in keeping the bogus Russia narrative alive, is his fault and no one else’s.

Firing Comey and getting a fresh start at the FBI, which was politicized, its credibility battered, during the Obama years, is exactly what was needed.

There is also this. The flip-flopping, feigned outrage and wild accusations surrounding Trump’s firing makes it crystal clear, again, that Washington is replete with charlatans who are far more interested in scoring political points with their base than dealing with, and taking care of, America’s myriad of problems.

And it took Trump to make it plain.

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Report: Email in Clinton probe led Obama AG Lynch to promise protection against prosecution of Clinton

(NationalSentinelCorruption: One of the most explosive revelations out of FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week was also one of the least-reported: An as-yet-undisclosed email that investigators discovered during their probe of Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information was apparently explosive enough that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch assured that the former secretary of state would never be charged.

As reported by Fox News, the FBI had found an email allegedly obtained by Russian hackers indicating that Lynch would do everything she could to protect Hillary against criminal charges. Asked by committee chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, “how and when” he came into contact with the document, who sent it, and who received it, Comey said indicated it was highly classified and thus he could not discuss it in an open forum:

 

Comey also indicated that the now infamous airport tarmac meeting between Lynch and former President Bill Clinton may also have influenced his decision to not recommend Hillary be prosecuted, which Republicans on the committee said was incredible given his detailed description of all that Clinton had done wrong. GOP members also said it was hard to understand how Hillary’s closest aide, Huma Abedin, and her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner, also were not recommended for charges given the hundreds of classified documents found on their computers as well.

As usual, The New York Times, in an “extensive” report, is blaming Hillary’s loss on Comey, as are all of the anonymous officials the paper spoke to for the story. The report also claims that Comey used a double standard when investigating Clinton and the Trump campaign, the latter of which he did not mention publicly.

Two things. Hillary’s loss came at the hands of a non-politician outsider who won because he was a much better candidate, period. To claim, as many Times readers who responded to the story did that voters who chose Trump over her because they’re stupid and misinformed is, well, stupid and misinformed. Many of those comments the Times chose to “pick” as its favorites also blithely dismiss all of Clinton’s purposefully illegal behavior using a home-brew email – which truly did endanger national security, as this story indicates – as no big deal. Clinton, to far too many Americans, should have won and gotten a pass because she’s a far-Left Democrat, and as the proves once again with its story, no Democrat can do wrong.

The second thing is, perhaps Trump did get some special treatment from Comey and the FBI. But given the massive amount of publicity surrounding Clinton’s investigation, and the obvious political chicanery taking place behind the scenes (and in public, i.e., Bill Clinton’s extremely inappropriate meeting with Lynch – where is the Leftist outrage over that?), and the obvious fact that Clinton broke numerous laws and should have been prosecuted, maybe for the good of the country Comey believes he had no choice.

There is also this: Clinton’s mishandling of classified, sensitive, nation-harming information is real; the “Russia stole the election for Trump” narrative is not real.

Either way, this entire sordid affair demonstrates that the Marxist Left – the Democratic Party, Hollywood, the fake news media – have all joined to make America as ungovernable as possible under a president they have decided is illegitimate, as if they have that right and power.

They would have never stood for such dismissal and disrespect of Obama, though he very obviously deserved it.

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FBI’s Comey made inconsistent statements about Trump ‘dossier’

(NationalSentinelPolitics: FBI Director James Comey hasn’t made too many people on either side of the political aisle very happy over the past year, and the angst has now extended into the new administration.

Much of what he has said and done has been viewed as highly political in nature – completely out of character for a federal law enforcement agency that used to pride itself on being completely independent and non-partisan. Take the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server: Comey was all over the place, laying out what appeared to be an air-tight case for prosecution in a revealing (and rare) public statement July 5, 2016, only to claim no “reasonable prosecutor” would make the case (not his call, by the way).

In any event, he’s now being scrutinized for make conflicting statements regarding the infamous “Trump dossier” that contained numerous unsubstantiated and often salacious claims about Trump and his inner campaign circle. As reported by The Daily Caller:

Ahead of a highly anticipated Senate hearing later this week, FBI Director James Comey is being accused of making inconsistent statements about the bureau’s relationship with Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy behind the Trump dossier.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, made the allegation in a letter sent to Comey on Friday.

“There appear to be material inconsistencies between the description of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele that you did provide in your briefing and information contained in Justice Department documents made available to the Committee only after the briefing,” Grassley wrote to Comey.

Grassley and other members of the panel will get the chance to ask Comey about his bureau’s conflicting statements.

The Judiciary Committee chief has regularly pressured the FBI director regarding reports that his department cooperated with Steele and even offered the former British spy $50,000 to continue his research on Trump, then a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

Reportedly, FBI agents met with Steele in July and again in October to talk about what he allegedly found – all of which was eventually laid out in a 35-page document that Buzzfeed published in January (Buzzfeed is now being sued by a Russian tech firm and others mentioned in the unsubstantiated dossier).

The dates July and October are noteworthy too. Earlier reporting noted that the FBI attempting to obtain a warrant from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court (FISA) to put Team Trump under electronic surveillance; the court did not grant the warrant in July, reports said, but did so in October. Aspects of this investigation are still being probed by House and Senate intelligence committees.

As for Grassley, he says he’s concerned about what kind of cooperation was going on between Steele and the FBI because the British spy was gathering Trump-related “intelligence” at the time on behalf an opposition research firm (Fusion GPS) that was in turn working for an ally of Hillary Clinton’s, The Daily Signal noted further.

“The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for President in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote in a March 6 letter to Comey.

Whether the “inconsistencies were honest mistakes or an attempt to downplay the actual extent of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele, it is essential that the FBI fully answer all of the questions from the March 6 letter and provide all the requested documents in order to resolve these and related issues,” Grassley wrote.

Many of the claims made in the dossier have been proven false, while most others have been unsubstantiated.

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House Intel chair to call Comey, Rogers in for ‘closed session’ following discovery of ‘concerning info’ in intelligence reports

(NationalSentinel) Political Intrigue: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., at an impromptu press conference earlier today, said he planned to call in FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers in for a closed session of the committee after finding “concerning information” in intelligence reports.

This comes on the heels of an earlier report that the NSA was expected to provide Nunes with “smoking gun” evidence that Team Trump, and possibly the president-elect himself, were definitely under “legal” but highly improper surveillance by the Obama administration, information that essentially vindicates President Donald J. Trump’s March 4 tweets that Obama had his “wires tapped” before the Nov. 8 election.

Nunes told reporters he wanted to discuss information with Comey and Rogers “they couldn’t answer in a public setting.”

Nunes’ full statement is here:

Nunes also revealed that President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has volunteered to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on his alleged connections to Russia.

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Interestingly, the Washington press keeps asking Nunes to reveal his sources, though you can bet had Nunes or the White House asked the media for their sources of leaked information, they’d laugh them out of the room.

The plot thickens. As we noted earlier today, if it is discovered that Comey lied to the Intelligence Committee on Monday when he said he had “no information” regarding Trump’s tweeted allegations, the president will have a decision to make about Comey’s future in government.

One caveat: Comey also said that the FBI was still in the throes of a counterintelligence probe of Team Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, but it’s looking more like that was a made-up excuse by the press and the former administration to use as “justification” for the former president to use the power of government to spy on the campaign of a rival presidential nominee.

Here is what Nunes said on Fox News Thursday night:

Meanwhile, the Obama Pretorian guard over at the Washington Post is also demanding an investigation – into Nunes. He must really be onto something.

House Intel Chair says FBI refusing to cooperate with its investigation; ‘cannot rule out’ whether Obama ordered Trump probe

(NationalSentinel) Political Intelligence: Perhaps we have discovered the source of leaks and other efforts to damage and undermine our new president and his young administration: James Comey’s FBI.

According to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Deven Nunes, R-Calif., the agency is not cooperating with the panel’s investigation into allegations that President Donald J. Trump and his inner circle somehow colluded with the Russian government to “steal the election” from Hillary Clinton.

As reported by Grabien News:

During an explosive press conference outside the White House, Nunes told reporters that communications from the Trump team were picked up and disseminated within the government during the 2016 campaign. Nunes said sources within the intelligence community presented him with the information. He spoke to the press after briefing the administration.

“We don’t actually know yet officially what happened to General Flynn,” Nunes said of how communications from Gen. Flynn’s calls were leaked to the press. “We just know that his name leaked out but we don’t know how it was picked up yet. That was one of the things that we asked for in the March 15th letter, was for the NSA, CIA, and FBI to get us all the unmasking that was done.”

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“And I’ll tell you, NSA is being cooperative,” Nunes continued, “but so far the FBI has not told us whether or not they’re going to respond to our March 15th letter, which is now a couple of weeks old.”

Nunes also said – and this is vitally important – that he “cannot rule out” whether former President Obama ordered the surveillance, which is plausible and legally possible under U.S.C. 50, Section 1802. And if that happened, it means a former president took the highly improper step of using the incredible might of the U.S. intelligence apparatus to spy on the presidential campaign of a political rival.

What’s also telling is that Nunes told reporters the surveillance he is talking about – which appears to lend credibility to Trump’s original tweeted claim that he and his team were under surveillance by the Obama administration – has nothing to do with the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Team Trump and Russia that Comey oddly announced earlier this week when he testified before Nunes’ committee.

Comey’s FBI appears to have taken on a life of its own under the former administration, which, by the way, also politicized the Justice Department and the IRS to use as weapons against political opponents.

Image: Fox News screen grab

WSJ: Comey ‘took revenge’ on Trump for his wiretap tweet

(NationalSentinel) Political Intrigue: Reasoned conservatives and constitutionalists concluded long ago – when he refused to recommend Hillary Clinton be prosecuted for mishandling classified information after laying out the case for why he should have – that FBI Director James Comey should not be permitted to continue serving the new president, Donald J. Trump.

Now, The Wall Street Journal has laid out another reason why: A vengeful Comey may have just purposely sabotaged the president. As reported by The Daily Caller:

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board claimed that FBI director James Comey “took revenge” on President Trump for claiming Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower by publicly discrediting the claim in his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday.

The editors also argued that Trump “blundered” by keeping Comey on as FBI director after the election.

The suggestion as to Comey’s motives came in a column, which will run in Wednesday’s paper, that hammered Trump for making the unsupported claim.

“He has offered no evidence for his claim, and a parade of intelligence officials, senior Republicans and Democrats have since said they have seen no such evidence,” the editors write.

“Yet the President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle, rolling out his press spokesman to make more dubious claims. Sean Spicer—who doesn’t deserve this treatment—was dispatched last week to repeat an assertion by a Fox News commentator that perhaps the Obama Administration had subcontracted the wiretap to British intelligence,” they continue.

“FBI director James Comey also took revenge on Monday by joining the queue of those saying the bureau has no evidence to back up the wiretap tweet. Mr. Comey even took the unusual step of confirming that the FBI is investigating ties between the Trump election campaign and Russia,” the editors go on to say.

“Mr. Comey said he could make such a public admission only in ‘unusual circumstances,’ but why now? Could the wiretap tweet have made Mr. Comey angry because it implied the FBI was involved in illegal surveillance? Mr. Trump blundered in keeping Mr. Comey in the job after the election, but now the President can’t fire the man leading an investigation into his campaign even if he wants to.”

As we have pointed out, someone is lying about the so-called “wire taps” that Trump accused President Obama of ordering. Comey confirmed during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee this week that elements of the Trump campaign were, and still are, under counterintelligence investigation, for alleged ties to Mother Russia. That kind of investigation most often requires electronic surveillance (“wire taps”) and a FISA court warrant (paper trail).

Media reports have noted that the FBI indeed got FISA court warrants to conduct electronic surveillance (on a server at Trump Tower – just like the president claimed). CNN hereThe Washington Post, reporting that a “broad investigation” into Trump-Russia ties, reported here on “intercepted communications and financial data.” The New York Times here and here – the second report even used the word “wiretap” in the print version of the paper.

Louise Mensch, writing at Heat Street, says a FISA warrant was issued to the FBI; if true, Rep. Schiff, how can Comey legitimately deny it?

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And oh, by the way, reporters Sara Carter and John Solomon, writing at Circa News, say the FBI certainly did obtain a FISA warrant to conduct electronic surveillance (old version: wiretap) of an Internet server at Trump Tower as part of an investigation into illicit Russian activity.

Is it plausible, then, that Comey could have thrown the president under the bus – the same guy who couldn’t find it in his conscience to allow the chips to fall where they may and recommend an obviously guilty Clinton to be prosecuted?

Of course it is.

The WSJ is right; Comey needs to go.

Comey confirmed the essence of Trump’s claim that the Obama administration was investigating him

By J. D. Heyes

(NationalSentinel) Intelligence: Whether it was done to provide the president with some political cover or had some nefarious purpose, FBI Director James Comey took the unusual step this morning of publicly confirming an investigation – into Trump campaign associates’ possible unsavory ties to Russia.

Per the Washington Post:

Comey … acknowledged the existence of a counterintelligence investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, and said that probe extends to the nature of any links between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government.

That means the core element of President Donald J. Trump’s allegation two weeks ago that President Obama “wire tapped” him are true: There is an FBI (and likely U.S. intelligence) investigation into him and his campaign associates.

With that said, there are a couple of things to note regarding Comey’s testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence earlier in the day:

— He said his agency has “no information” that supports Trump’s tweets earlier this month accusing Obama of “wire tapping” him. But that’s not the same as saying, flat out, “Neither President Obama nor anyone else ever ordered surveillance on Trump Tower.”

— At least two published reports – here and here – claim that the FBI indeed applied for and received a FISA court warrant for the purpose of conducting electronic surveillance at Trump Tower.

— No less than The New York Times reported the day before Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration (timing!) that a) U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies were conducting probes into Trump’s associates, if not the president himself; b) and that “wiretapped” information had been obtained to that end. Well, the only way to legally obtain such electronic surveillance is via a FISA court-issued surveillance warrant.

— Comey did confirm the essence of Trump’s tweeted allegations – that indeed he and his associates have been under investigation. Okay, someone had to order it; who was it?

What Comey did not say and was not asked was whether or not former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch might have ordered electronic surveillance against Trump and/or Trump campaign associates, which former AG Michael Mukasey has noted is possible.

Also, Comey was not asked whether any such surveillance was ordered by Obama under provisions  of “50 USC 1802: Electronic surveillance authorization without court order; certification by Attorney General; reports to Congressional committees; transmittal under seal; duties and compensation of communication common carrier; applications; jurisdiction of court.” The statute states plainly:

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that-

(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at-

(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801(a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or

(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801(a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;

(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and

(C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801(h) of this title; and

if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at least thirty days prior to their effective date, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately.

What about the information regarding conversations between former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn that were leaked (illegally) to the media? Flynn may have been caught up in normal U.S. intelligence surveillance of Russia diplomats, which likely would not have been requested by Obama and authorized by Lynch – it would have been requested by a U.S. intelligence agency – the CIA or the NSA or both – and summarily authorized by the FISA court. But if there the case, how likely is it that Obama, Lynch and top intelligence officials would not have known?

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It needs to be said that Flynn should not have been “identified” publicly because he was a private citizen at the time and private American citizens are not subject to FISA surveillance – except when they are…but they have to be suspected of being a foreign agent. Does anyone seriously believe that the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (that would be Flynn) is a Russian dupe? Or any of Trump’s associates?

There is a lot that remains unsaid and unproven after Comey’s testimony today. We intend to keep at it until all stones are overturned, but suffice to say, as far as we’re concerned, Obama & Co. are not yet off the hook. Trump’s underlying accusation – that he was under surveillance – has just been confirmed by the FBI director, though, and that’s a first step to finding out who was ultimately behind ordering it.