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But There’s No Evidence of a Political Motive

We beg to differ.

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The unequal treatment at the FBI can he seen in how a Clinton witness got immunity while those associated with Trump get charges.

According to the IG report, there was no political motive that affected the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton.

Do you remember the Clinton witness, Paul Combetta?

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Combetta wasn’t charged with anything to convince him to testify. Rather, he was given immunity. How did that work out?

Paul Manafort was actually put in prison yesterday? General Michael Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI under dodgy circumstances. No one was offered immunity.

But the IG reports says there’s no evidence of a political motive!

Andy McCarthy writes in the National Review, “The IG’s Report May Be Half-Baked.”

The IG is going to tell you that while immunity might not have been the best choice, it was a defensible choice — it enabled the FBI to get his testimony faster (i.e., to lie to them in a more timely fashion on the artificially compressed deadline they’d established for closing the case without charges). What is Horowitz not going to consider? That a hundred times out of a hundred, in cases not involving Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy, most normally aggressive federal prosecutors, including Trump-Russia prosecutor Robert Mueller, would have charged Combetta and squeezed him to roll over on his confederates.

Instead, Horowitz says it was a rational decision, so we’re done with that one. Whoa, whoa, wait a second. Was it an appropriate decision? Was it made because they were in a rush to close the case so that Clinton (their preferred candidate) could run against Trump (whom they were determined to “stop”) without the cloud of an investigation hanging over her?

The IG won’t answer that question — not without a canyon’s worth of wiggle room. Utterly biased people may have made manifestly flawed decisions, he tells us, but as long as they were not blatantly irrational decisions, we’re going to call them justifiable and move on. But were the decisions politicized? If a biased person makes a less than optimal decision, isn’t there an itty-bitty possibility that the bias clouded his judgment?

In essence, the IG answers, “Who really knows?” . . . except he says it in a way that enables the FBI to pretend he has found no evidence of bias at all. Observe this gem, from the report’s executive summary:

“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions.”

Directly affected? What does that mean? Do the FBI and Obama Justice Department have to stamp the “I’m with Her” logo on Combetta’s immunity agreement before we can say bias directly affected the decision? Could bias have indirectly affected the decision?

Who really knows, right?

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Opinion

Liz Cheney Accuses Fellow Republican of Pretending to Work on Jan 6 Committee

Yet another mess has been discovered within the already-embattled Jan. 6th committee.

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In the coming months, there is little doubt that our nation will be inundated with news coming out of the select committee on January 6th, and that the corrosive divide of our nation will once again be ramping up.

The committee, which many within the Republican Party have written off as a partisan attempt to damage Donald Trump’s chances at reelection in 2024, has already turned bold this week, forcing a vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of court, despite the former Trump adviser’s insistence that he is simply awaiting a court ruling on a claim of executive privilege before proceeding.

Now, in a bizarre twist to the tale, anti-Trump Republican Liz Cheney, who serves on the embattled committee, is now accusing Jim Banks, a fellow Republican who is no longer a part of the group, of fraudulently presenting himself as the ranking member of the select committee.

The revelation came as the House debated whether to hold Steve Bannon, a former adviser to former President Donald Trump, in criminal contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena from the select committee. As vice chairwoman of the panel, Cheney managed debate for those arguing in favor of doing so, and Banks, who is not on the committee, managed debate for those arguing against.

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After Banks’s opening statement, Cheney responded with a surprise.

“I would like to introduce into the record a number of letters to federal agencies dated Sept. 16, 2021, for example, signing his name as the ranking member of the committee he’s just informed the House he’s not on,” Cheney said.

One of the letters Cheney entered into the record, shared with the Washington Examiner, showed that Banks explained that he was not on the committee but identified himself as “ranking member” under his signature.

The news will almost certainly stoke tensions between the two parties, while also muddying the already-tainted reputation of the committee itself.

In the coming months, there is little doubt that our nation will be inundated with news coming out of the select committee on January 6th, and that the corrosive divide of our nation will once again be ramping up. The committee, which many within the Republican Party have written off as a partisan attempt to damage Donald Trump’s chances at reelection in 2024, has already turned bold this week, forcing a vote to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of court, despite the former Trump adviser’s insistence that he is simply awaiting a court ruling on a claim of executive privilege before proceeding. Now, in a bizarre twist to the tale, anti-Trump Republican Liz Cheney, who serves on the embattled committee, is now accusing Jim Banks, a fellow Republican who is no longer a part of the group, of fraudulently presenting himself as the ranking member of the select committee. The revelation came as the House debated whether to hold Steve Bannon, a former adviser to former President Donald Trump, in criminal contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena from the select committee. As vice chairwoman of the panel, Cheney managed debate for those arguing in favor of doing so, and Banks, who is not on the committee, managed debate for those arguing against. After Banks’s opening statement, Cheney responded with a surprise. “I would like to introduce into the record a number of letters to federal agencies dated Sept. 16, 2021, for example, signing his name as the ranking member of the committee he’s just informed the House he’s not on,” Cheney said. One of the letters Cheney entered into the record, shared with the Washington Examiner, showed that Banks explained that he was not on the committee but identified himself as “ranking member” under his signature. The news will…

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Opinion

SURPRISE! Several Republicans Vote to Sharpen Jan 6th Committee’s Teeth

Could this spell trouble for Donald Trump?

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Despite the constant, flimsy affirmations of bipartisanship coming from deep within the Democratically-led select committee on January 6th, there is little doubt among much of the GOP that the entire process is rigged to vilify former President Donald Trump.

They see the work of the committee as a charade, and as an attempt to conjure a re-do of Trump’s second impeachment trial, this time with Nancy Pelosi calling the shots instead of Mitch McConnell.  And, more worrisome still is the ferocity with which they’ve been taking action, attempting to hold close Trump confidantes in contempt of court.

Steve Bannon is the first such target, after he communicated his concerns that no court had yet ruled on the claims of executive privilege being made by the former President.  Nevertheless, the House of Representatives took up a vote to hold him in contempt, and the results were shocking to many members of the GOP.

There were a few Republicans Thursday who surprised observers when they voted in support of holding former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress and referring him to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution.

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Prior to the vote, four Republicans were considered a lock to approve the criminal referral, according to Capitol Hill sources: Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.

But then…

The remaining five Republicans included three who voted for impeachment — Peter Meijer of Michigan, John Katko of New York and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington — and two House Republicans who did not vote to impeach Trump: Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

The surprising results of the vote could act to embolden the already-fraught committee, and may force Trump and his other allies to bolster their defenses.

Despite the constant, flimsy affirmations of bipartisanship coming from deep within the Democratically-led select committee on January 6th, there is little doubt among much of the GOP that the entire process is rigged to vilify former President Donald Trump. They see the work of the committee as a charade, and as an attempt to conjure a re-do of Trump’s second impeachment trial, this time with Nancy Pelosi calling the shots instead of Mitch McConnell.  And, more worrisome still is the ferocity with which they’ve been taking action, attempting to hold close Trump confidantes in contempt of court. Steve Bannon is the first such target, after he communicated his concerns that no court had yet ruled on the claims of executive privilege being made by the former President.  Nevertheless, the House of Representatives took up a vote to hold him in contempt, and the results were shocking to many members of the GOP. There were a few Republicans Thursday who surprised observers when they voted in support of holding former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress and referring him to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. Prior to the vote, four Republicans were considered a lock to approve the criminal referral, according to Capitol Hill sources: Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio. But then… The remaining five Republicans included three who voted for impeachment — Peter Meijer of Michigan, John Katko of New York and Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington — and two House Republicans who did not vote to impeach Trump: Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. The surprising results of the vote could act to embolden the already-fraught committee, and may force Trump and his other allies to bolster their defenses.

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