The Trump Collusion Case Is Not Getting the Clinton Emails Treatment

FBI director James Comey began drafting a statement exonerating Clinton months before the investigation ended — i.e., before over a dozen key witnesses, including Clinton herself, had been interviewed.

.. Note that the lawyer for Manafort and Gates was forced to testify against her clients based on the theory that she had participated — however unwittingly — in their scheme to cover up their lobbying efforts on behalf of a Ukrainian political party.

.. Aggressively, Mueller’s team contended that even if the lawyer had not intended to help her clients mislead the government, their use of her services was intended to dupe the government. That, Mueller argued, brought their communications with the lawyer under the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege.

.. Mrs. Clinton’s lawyers were her accomplices.

.. the Justice Department refused to invoke the crime-fraud exception to explore what advice Clinton lawyers gave her information technology contractor before he supposedly took it on himself to delete and destroy her emails.

.. subjects of the .. decided which emails to surrender to the State Department and which to withhold as “private” — were permitted to act as attorneys for the principal subject of the investigation, Clinton herself.

.. decided which emails to surrender to the State Department and which to withhold as “private” — were permitted to act as attorneys for the principal subject of the investigation, Clinton herself.

.. the FBI did not seize the servers of the Democratic National Committee, even though much of the collusion case hinges on the conclusion that these servers were hacked by Russian operatives. Instead, the FBI politely requested that the servers be surrendered so the Bureau’s own renowned forensic investigators could examine them. When the DNC refused, the Justice Department did not issue a subpoena or obtain a search warrant; to the contrary, the FBI and DOJ agreed to accept the findings of CrowdStrike, a private investigative firm retained by the DNC’s (and the Clinton campaign’s) attorneys.

.. George Papadopoulos is a low-level subject of the collusion investigation who did not commit any crimes in his many contacts with Russia-connected sources. Yet Mueller induced him to plead guilty to a felony count of lying to investigators about the timing of his first meeting with such a source

.. while a number of Clinton subordinates asserted their Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions on the ground that truthful answers could incriminate them, none of them was prosecuted. Instead, the Obama Justice Department gave them immunity.

.. Mrs. Clinton claimed not to know what the designation “[C]” means in classified documents. As a longtime consumer of classified information, Clinton obviously knew it means “confidential.”

.. Clinton ludicrously told interviewing agents she thought “[C]” might have something to do with putting information in alphabetical order.

.. Often, the Justice Department is so hell-bent on making the case, it will play an intimidating game of hardball if that’s what it takes. On rare occasions, though, it works just as hard to not make the case — to see no evil.

When the White House Lies About You

Midway through the interview, Pompeo abruptly slammed The New York Times for publishing the name last month of a senior covert C.I.A. officer, calling the disclosure “unconscionable.” The line was met with audience applause. I said, “You’re talking about Phil Agee,” and then repeated the name. Pompeo replied, “I don’t know that name,” and the interview moved on.

My startled rejoinder was not a reference to the covert C.I.A. officer unmasked by The Times, but rather a fumbled attempt to refer to the law governing such disclosures. Philip Agee, as Pompeo and everyone in the audience knew, was the infamous C.I.A. officer who went rogue in the 1970s, wrote a tell-all memoir, and publicly identified the names of scores of C.I.A. officers, front companies and foreign agents.

.. What I didn’t do is disclose the name of any covert officer — nor would I have, since I disagree with The Times’s decision to publish it. So it came as a bad surprise when, the following morning, Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, tweeted that I had.

.. Nor is it new that Scavino’s attack is also part of a broader White House effort to demonize The New York Times.

.. Taken with Pompeo’s outburst and Scavino’s lie, it raises the question of whether normally apolitical figures aren’t being conscripted into Trump’s war on the press. That’s a worrying thought for institutions, like the C.I.A., that are supposed to remain above the fray to preserve public trust.

Trump Calls Out James Comey’s Classified Info Leaks: ‘So Illegal’

“My view was that the content of those unclassified, memorialization of those conversations was my recollection recorded,” Comey said in his testimony.

“But when the seven memos Comey wrote regarding his nine conversations with Trump about Russia earlier this year were shown to Congress in recent days, the FBI claimed all were, in fact, deemed to be government documents,” according to the outlet.

Team Trump’s official response to the Comey testimony — now, with context

Note the wording that Kasowitz uses: “selective and illegal leaks of classified information and privileged communications.” He’s conflating “selective” with “illegal” and “classified” with “privileged.” Comey’s was a selective leak of privileged conversation — not anything illegal. He’s lumping in Comey with those who leaked classified information, for rhetorical effect.

.. Kasowitz here makes it seem as though Comey leaked information about his conversations back in March, before he was fired — but appears to be referring to Comey describing those conversations with friends. That, too, is not illegal.

.. The net effect of this focus on leaks is, of course, to undermine Comey’s testimony.

.. The use of “was not” is important here. Comey did testify that, as of the day he was fired one month ago Friday, Trump was not personally under investigation

.. Comey also indicated that he didn’t say that publicly because that status might change.

.. Finally, it did “leak” that Trump wasn’t under investigation — Trump said it himself, publicly, in the letter firing Comey.