FBI Director James Comey testified to Congress that Hillary Clinton lied to them.
During an extended exchange with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Comey affirmed that the FBI's investigation found information marked classified on her server even after Clinton had said that she had neither sent nor received any items marked classified.
"That is not true," Comey said. "There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents."
Asked whether Clinton's testimony that she did not email "any classified material to anyone on my email" and "there is no classified material" was true, Comey responded, "No, there was classified material emailed."
"Secretary Clinton said she used one device. Was that true?" Gowdy asked, to which Comey answered, "She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of state."
Gowdy then asked whether it was true that Clinton, as she said, returned all work-related emails to the State Department.
"No, we found work-related emails, thousands that were not returned," Comey said.
"Secretary Clinton said neither she or anyone else deleted work-related emails from her personal account. Was that true?" Gowdy asked.
"That's a harder one to answer," Comey responded. "We found traces of work-related emails in, on devices or in slack space. Whether they were deleted or whether when a server changed out something happened to them, there is no doubt that the work-related emails that were removed electronically from the email system."
Gowdy asked whether Clintons' lawyers read every one of her emails as she had said. Comey replied, "No."
Lie, after lie, after lie. This is a political trial now though, so I hope the American people are paying attention.
The decision not to charge Hillary Clinton for her "extremely careless" handling of classified information is opening a new line of defense for others who stand accused of similar misdeeds.
Mark Zaid, a defense attorney for national security whistleblowers and people accused of mishandling secrets, says he plans to ask for "the Clinton deal" in the future.
And Zaid says he probably can get it.
In 2015, shortly after former CIA Director David Petraeus received a plea deal featuring probation and a fine for sharing highly classified information with his mistress Paula Broadwell, Zaid says he called the Justice Department on behalf of a client accused of taking classified records home.
"We absolutely got on the phone to the prosecutor and said, 'We want the Petraeus sentence. We want the commensurate, parallel sentence.' And we got it!" he says, winning a $5,000 fine and a short probation term instead of possible prison for a now-retired intelligence agency employee.
It's hard to see how this decision makes America safer, and it certainly undermines the rule of law.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who is the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, cited the case of Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Kristian Saucier, who pleaded guilty last week to possession and retention of national security information for taking cellphone photos inside the classified engine room of a nuclear submarine where he worked as a mechanic.
"That person's been prosecuted and he will get five or six years and a dishonorable discharge," Issa told CNN. "There is a double standard."
FBI Director James Comey recommends no charges for Hillary Clinton. She exposed highly classified data to "hostile actors", but there's no "direct evidence" that her servers were hacked -- and none would be expected. Thousands of work-related emails were recovered that weren't turned over in 2014. Hillary was "extremely careless" with highly classified information, but the evidence doesn't show that she was intentionally trying to damage the United States. She broke the law, but "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a case against her.
Comey seems like an honorable man, and this conclusion seems reasonable to me, even though Comey is clear that there was plenty of evidence to support criminal charges. I don't understand the reasoning for not recommending charges, but it seems that Comey suggests that administrative penalties would be more appropriate. (Of course, no such administrative penalties are now possible.)
In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.
Despite the lack of criminal charges, I hope that the American public imposes political consequences on Hillary for her reckless behavior. From a political perspective, Comey's statement was probably the best possible outcome for Trump. Video of the FBI director calling Hillary "extremely careless" is powerful stuff.
My opinion is that the people who are lamenting this result are missing the subtlety of Comey's statement and decision: Hillary has been convicted as dishonorable, dishonest, and careless without the need for a trial. No endless motions, no delays, no jury tampering, no arcane court rules, no backroom deals, no plea bargain. If America wants to elect an incompetent, lying crook, then no indictment will prevent it.
Reason does a super-cut, interposing Comey and Clinton.
I've got a mother, a wife, and several daughters, so let me say up front that I'm all for empowered women. I just think it's interesting to note that the phenomenon of "power couples" didn't exist 100 years ago -- women didn't wield much public power, so marriages weren't a vehicle for amplifying power in democracies. (Of course, marriage was always a tool of power in aristocracies.)
It's not obvious to me how the incestuous corruption of these "power couples" can be reined in. Tracking all the interrelationships adds a level of complexity to the conflicts of interest -- the conflicts would be easy to analyze in a database, but how could the output be understood by a mildly interested human?
It's also worth noting that "power couples" are the cornerstone of cross-generational "meritocracy". The first few generations of meritocracy seemed great, as the decedents of cobblers became software engineers, but those first-order effects are becoming more rare thanks to assortive mating. It seems like we're reaching a stable state, wherein the descendants of the new upper class inherit the power "earned" by their parents.
In forming perceptions about Benghazi, the Iran deal, globalization, or illegal immigration, it is sometimes hard to know who is making policy and who is reporting and analyzing such formulations -- or whether they are one and the same. National Security Advisor Susan Rice is married to former ABC television producer Ian Cameron. Ben Rhodes, who drew up the talking-points deceptions about Benghazi and seemed to boast of deceiving the public about the Iran deal, is the brother of CBS News president David Rhodes. Will 60 Minutes do one of its signature hit pieces on Ben Rhodes?
Secretary of State John Kerry -- who famously docks his yacht in Rhode Island in order to avoid paying Massachusetts taxes on it -- is married to Teresa Heinz, the billionaire widow of the late senator and catsup heir John Heinz. Former Obama press secretary Jay Carney married Claire Shipman, senior national correspondent for ABC's Good Morning America; his successor, Josh Earnest, married Natalie Wyeth, a veteran of the Treasury Department. Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's "body woman," is married to creepy sexter Anthony Weiner; perhaps she was mesmerized by his stellar political career, his feminist credentials, and his tolerant approach to deviancy? And on and on it goes.
These Christiane Amanpour/Jamie Rosen or Samantha Power/Cass Sunstein types of connections could be explored to the nth degree, especially their moth-to-the-flame progressive fixations with maximizing privilege, power, and class. But my purpose is not to suggest some conspiratorial cabal of D.C. and New York insiders, only to note that an increasing number of government and media elites are so entangled with each other, leveraging lucrative careers in politics, finance, and the media, and doubling their influence through marriage, that they have scant knowledge of and less concern for the clingers who live well beyond their coastal-corridor moats. And so when reality proves their preconceptions wrong -- from Benghazi to Brexit -- they have only outrage and disdain to fall back on.
Jonah Goldberg proposes a brilliant thought experiment: we've got a "No Fly" list, and Leftists want a "No Buy" list for guns -- how about a "No Abort" list?
I have an idea.
The federal government needs to compile a list of women who shouldn't be allowed to get abortions. The criteria for getting on the list must be flexible. If an official at, say, the NIH or FBI think that a woman should be a mother for some reason or other, he or she can block an abortion. Maybe the woman has great genes or a high IQ or the sorts of financial resources we need in parents. Let's leave that decision where it belongs: in the hands of the government.
Heck, there's really no reason even to tell women if they're on the "no abort" list. Let them find out at the clinic. And if they go in for an abortion only to discover they are among the million or more people on the list, there will be no clear process for getting off it, even if it was a bureaucratic error or case of mistaken identity.
Goldberg goes on to catalog some of the maddening contradictions that the Left's pro-abortion devotion leads to.
There's a deep and perplexing contradiction here. If abortion is just another aspect of "women's health" -- currently the preferred euphemism for the procedure -- why have higher health and safety regulations for dentists than abortionists? If abortion is just another aspect of 'women's health' -- currently the preferred euphemism for the procedure -- why have higher health and safety regulations for dentists than abortionists?
But that's just the first of many contradictions. The court allowed Whole Woman's Health to sue in the first place, even though the company has no right to an abortion, and third parties aren't supposed to have standing to sue for someone else's constitutional rights. The Left loves to say "corporations aren't people" -- unless they're suing for abortion rights. Then the new mantra is: "Corporations are people, but human fetuses aren't."
Abortion is a shameful evil that stains humanity.
Two disheartening stories -- first, California's high speed rail debacle.
Sold to the public in 2008 as a visionary plan to whisk riders along at 220 miles an hour, making the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a little over two and a half hours, the project promised to attract most of the necessary billions from private investors, to operate without ongoing subsidies and to charge fares low enough to make it competitive with cheap flights. With those assurances, 53.7 percent of voters said yes to a $9.95 billion bond referendum to get the project started. But the assurances were at best wishful thinking, at worst an elaborate con.
The total construction cost estimate has now more than doubled to $68 billion from the original $33 billion, despite trims in the routes planned. The first, easiest-to-build, segment of the system -- the "train to nowhere" through a relatively empty stretch of the Central Valley -- is running at least four years behind schedule and still hasn't acquired all the needed land. Predicted ticket prices to travel from LA to the Bay have shot from $50 to more than $80. State funding is running short. Last month's cap-and-trade auction for greenhouse gases, expected to provide $150 million for the train, yielded a mere $2.5 million. And no investors are lining up to fill the $43 billion construction-budget gap.
Now, courtesy of Los Angeles Times reporter Ralph Vartabedian, comes yet another damning revelation: When the Spanish construction company Ferrovial submitted its winning bid for a 22-mile segment, the proposal included a clear and inconvenient warning: "More than likely, the California high speed rail will require large government subsidies for years to come." Ferrovial reviewed 111 similar systems around the world and found only three that cover their operating costs.
Second, the end of scientific glass blowers.
Here in Caltech's one-man glass shop, where Gerhart transforms a researcher's doodles into intricate laboratory equipment, craftsmanship is king. No two pieces of scientific glassware are the same, and for more than two decades, students and Nobel laureates alike have begun each project with Gerhart's blessing that, yes, he can create the tools to make their experiments possible.
But Gerhart, 71, is retiring, and the search is on to find someone, anyone, who can fill his shoes. In a cost-cutting world of machines and assembly plants, few glass blowers remain with the level of mastery needed at research hubs like Caltech.
"He's a somewhat dying breed," said Sarah Reisman, who relied on Gerhart to create 20 maze-like contraptions for her synthetic organic chemistry lab. "There just aren't as many scientific glass blowers anymore, and certainly not ones that have Rick's level of experience. Even a fraction of that experience, I think, just isn't out there."
We can't build anything new, and we're even losing the ability to build many old things.
I have great respect for the FBI and confidence in their capability -- but they need to wrap up their Clinton investigation soon. I realize that the FBI shouldn't be guided by political concerns... but... but... please finish.
"I hope that this is close to being wrapped up," Clinton said on CBS's "Face the Nation" in May.
But nearly two months later, there have been no reports that an interview with the former top diplomat has taken place.
"I, like other people, am a bit surprised that it hasn't come to a resolution yet," said Douglas Cox, a professor at the City of New York School of Law.
He added that within Clinton's campaign, "I would think internally that there would have to be a little bit of concern."
Like many laws, the Texas regulations on abortion providers were intended to do accomplish something other than their ostensible purpose -- leading the SCOTUS to strike the regulations down.
The justices voted 5-3 in favor of Texas clinics that had argued the regulations were only a veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get abortions in the nation's second-most populous state.
Justice Stephen Breyer's majority opinion for the court held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman's right to an abortion.
Texas had argued that its 2013 law and subsequent regulations were needed to protect women's health. The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.
Breyer wrote that "the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an 'undue burden' on their constitutional right to do so."
There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The regulatory state should tremble in fear. There is now "no reason to believe" that additional regulations would affect wrongdoers. That means that regulations may not even be able to escape the lowest level of judicial scrutiny -- rational-basis review.
Environmentalists are quaking in their boots. Gun controllers are throwing their hands up in despair.
Financial and business regulators may as well close up shop. Wait. What's that you say? This is an abortion decision? The regulations in questions were deemed responsible for closing substandard abortion clinics?
Never mind. The regulatory state is safe. Everyone knows that the Supreme Court privileges the killing of children above all else. After all, as Justice Ginsburg has said, Roe v. Wade was motivated by "concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." The undesired have to die -- the reasoning matters not.
Kevin D. Williamson writes that the Democrats have forgotten the difference between citizens and subjects.
The bearing of arms is a sign of citizenship, which is to say, of being a full participant in government who acts through it, as opposed to subjectship, the state of being a passive being who does not act through government but who is acted upon. In that sense, it is like the ability to vote or to be eligible for service in government. Frederick Douglass understood this linkage perfectly, inasmuch as these ideas were much better understood in those more literate days. "A man's rights rest in three boxes," he said. "The ballot box, jury box, and the cartridge box. Let no man be kept from the ballot box because of his color. Let no woman be kept from the ballot box because of her sex." The militias contemplated by the Second Amendment were armed citizen volunteers who could act to use the force of arms to keep the peace in an emergency; they are entitled to act in the peacekeeping role generally reserved for the state because, being the citizens of a republic, they are the state, the very seat of its sovereignty.
Or as Charlton Heston put it: "From my cold, dead hands!"
Scott Adams says that Donald Trump doesn't wear v-neck sweaters.
You can criticize Donald Trump on many dimensions. You can say he's not really a great businessman. You can say he's offensive. You can say he lies. You can hate his position on issues. You can say he has insufficient policy details. And lots more. But I think we all agree that Melania never asks Donald to go back to the store because he's too dumb to buy the right kind of soap on the first try.
Brits vote today on whether to Leave or Remain in the European Union. I really have no idea which would be better for the UK, the EU, or America -- but my mischievous side hopes that Leave wins, just to watch the smug bureaucrats who run the EU suffer.
A lot of the focus today is on the weather:
Millions of Britons have defied the wet weather to queue in torrential rain and even wade through deep water to vote in today's historic EU referendum as a final poll revealed the result is on a knife edge.
Several polling stations were closed in London because of floods as Britain was finally having its say on whether to stay in the EU or cut our ties with Brussels after a gruelling 10-week campaign.
Thundery showers caused chaos across London and the south of England overnight and could potentially push the result towards a Brexit because polling data is clear that Leave voters are less likely to be put off by the bad weather than Remain voters.
Whatever the result, I wish the absolute best for our friends and allies in the UK.
At the root of legitimacy is the belief of the people that the government can and will protect their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. During the Obama administration it has become obvious that the authorities can't or won't protect us here at home.
Personally, I have great respect for our law enforcement agencies... but they can't be expected to make up for the disaster Bush, Obama, and Hillary created in the Middle East. We decided not to fight our enemies there, so now we're fight them here.
The most disturbing aspect of recent terror attacks is that the authorities were taken by surprise each time despite advance warning. This serial failure undercuts the administration's claim to competence.
This is something the non-expert public understands. Suppose someone came to you claiming he was a brain surgeon. Even if you were not a doctor but had questions only a brain surgeon could answer correctly, you could evaluate the "brain surgeon" by giving him one exam and another to the cleaning person in the hallway. If they scored the same, you would begin to suspect the brain surgeon might be fake.
If the cleaning person continually outscored the "brain surgeon," a rational employer would consider hiring that person as head of surgery, which possibly explains the rise of Donald Trump.
The administration's demand for more gun control crucially rests on the claim of competence.
Hillary Clinton says that people under FBI investigation should have their rights preemptively curtailed. Uh, like her?
"If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links," Hillary Clinton said today in her supposedly apolitical speech, "you shouldn't be able to just go buy a gun."
If we're going to do this, let's be consistent.
If the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of your suspected illegal use of a home email server to transmit classified intelligence, you shouldn't be allowed to just go and run for president. Obviously. The idea that we would allow a person who can't be trusted with our most vital secrets to hold the most powerful office in the nation is absurd. It's just not safe.
Chick-fil-a is one of our favorite fast-food places, so it's great to see them helping out blood donors in Orlando in the aftermath of the Pulse massacre.
In a shocking move, the Orlando location at University and Rouse Road fired up its grills on Sunday. The chain is notorious for not being open, ever, on the first day of the week. Employees cooked up hundreds of their famous chicken sandwiches. They brewed dozens of gallons of sweet tea.Chick-fil-A-logo-vec
Then, instead of making a single dime, they crated the product of their labor to the One Blood donation center. The food and drinks were handed out, free of charge, to all the people who had lined up to donate blood.
So far, the only mentions of the incident have been from individuals on Facebook. They have posted photos thanking the restaurant for their thoughtfulness and generosity.
America is a generous country, and it doesn't take government arm-twisting to help those in need. Good for you, Chick-fil-a!
Despite President Obama's denunciation of our civil right as Americans to keep and bear arms, it's obvious that that Orlando murderer would have been stopped in his tracks if a few of the Pulse patrons had been armed. There's no way he could have shot 100+ people and killed 50 if anyone else inside the club had a gun.
Our prayers are with the victims and their families.
The State Department's assertion that it will take 75 years to release emails in response to a Freedom of Information Act request makes a mockery of the law and spits in the face of transparency. Interagency reviews and classifications shouldn't supersede the right of Americans to know what government officials are up to. If the reviews can't be completed in the timely manner, then they should give way to transparency requirements.
The RNC has sued the State Department under FOIA, seeking all emails to or from four aides to former Secretary Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2013.
The State Department has claimed that the result would yield roughly 1.5 million pages of documents that it and other federal agencies would need to go through page by page.
The department claimed in a court filing last week trying to kill the lawsuit that the emails are "complex" and include "classified documents and interagency communications that could have to be referred to other agencies for their review."
After discussion with the government, the RNC offered to impose some limits on the subject matter and dates of the emails of three aides, to pare the list of emails down to roughly 450,000 pages.
Because the State Department expected that it could process roughly 500 pages per month, processing all 450,000 pages would take 900 months, or 75 years.
Sanders knows at this point that he can't win the nomination outright from Hillary, so why does he keep fighting? Why does he promise to go all the way to the convention? Because he wants to make sure that when Hillary withdraws he's in position to take her place.
Meanwhile, former Bill Clinton advisor and pollster Douglas Schoen gave the strongest signal yet in a Wall Street Journal op-ed this week ("Clinton may not be the nominee") that worried backstage huddles in the Democratic party establishment are reaching fever pitch. The article's floating of the idea of a Joe Biden-Elizabeth Warren substitute ticket (which I've been privately predicting to friends all year) is so evenly and magisterially phrased that I wondered if the text had been vetted by an approving White House. So this may be why Bernie Sanders (my candidate) has gone into overdrive--not to damage Hillary, as her acolytes spitefully claim, but to fight off the tactical insertion of Biden at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. Sanders could rightly claim, on the basis of his long and strenuous primary campaign, that if anyone deserves the nomination vacated by a tarnished Hillary, it is he. If Sanders does defer to Biden, it will only be via enormous concessions, beginning with the unceremonious removal of devious DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
It seems likely to me that after the California vote next Tuesday and before the convention, the major players will negotiate some kind of arrangement that accomplishes the following:
- Hillary drops out
- Hillary gets a pardon "for the good of the country"
- Sanders drops out in exchange for "enormous concessions"
- Joe Biden swoops in
The real question is, though, why would Sanders drop out for anything? Presumably the Dems have tried to blackmail him by now and have failed. What concessions would really be worth giving up a chance at the presidency?
Devin Watkins says that Karl Racine, the Washington, D.C., attorney general, has instructed police officers not to issue concealed carry permits, in violation of a court order. But don't these police officers have individual liability for refusing to follow a court order? Can't they be sued for civil rights infringement, regardless of what the attorney general says? Or does the instruction from the attorney general somehow insulate the police from liability?
After the order, I went to apply for a concealed-carry permit in the District of Columbia. The police officers there told me the D.C. attorney general's office had ordered them to ignore the court order and continue to deny applications. Thinking there might be some kind of mistake, I contacted the AG's office, which explicitly told me if I had a complaint about what they did I could file that complaint online.
The number of Latinos who support Donald Trump is greater than zero. The Left and media are trying very hard to paint Trump as a racist, when really he is more of a nationalist. Nationalism has ugliness in its own history, but is distinct from racism.
Taking Trump at his word, he wants to put "America first" -- which means ahead of Mexico and Mexican citizens, but not to the detriment of American Latinos. I can't recall Trump ever speaking negatively about Latinos, although he has denigrated Mexicans and Mexico. (I completely disavow Trump and his anti-Mexican sentiments.)
Is this distinction between ethnicity and nationality a needle Trump can thread? Trump is not known for his subtlety and finesse. However, if he is able to capture even slightly more Latinos (and blacks) than Romney did in 2012 he will pull the rug out from Hillary. He doesn't need to win every Latino, or even a plurality, to win the presidency.
"My name is Angelo Gomez and I have something very clear to say to the liberal media and Hillary Clinton: yes, I'm an American Latino who supports Donald Trump.
"Yes, I come from a family rooted in immigrants and I support Donald J. Trump to be the next president of the United States.
"I support Donald Trump with every ounce of my being," Gomez says, "for the very reasons that this country, that the Constitution, that this flag behind me was founded upon and that's putting the American people first. That's putting this country first."
He adds, "Hillary Clinton is the face of an incompetent politician who has lied to, who has cheated, and who has gotten Americans killed.
"If we get this wrong, our country will no longer be here for the future generations," Gomez says.
The video shows dozens of Latinos at rallies and around the country supporting Trump.
"Honestly, do you think the White House has spent more time in the past 90 days managing its school bathroom mandate for transgender students or trying figuring out how to make TSA security lines work with adequate efficiency this travel season? The answer is obvious."
Denial is rampant in this administration. Its approach to management is to deny problems exist and to shift focus to one left-wing cause or another. I have no doubt the TSA strategy will be to shift blame, whine about funding shortages and deny that things are as bad as they are. I suspect after a congressional probe, we will actually find that much of the TSA problems in the summer of 2016 were made worse by the Obama administration's obsession with regulations, grievances and union rules that took precedence over efficiency, customer service and getting a job done.
What's the point of a technocrat who can't run things efficiently?