MSM Scrambling To Minimize Importance Of Horowitz Report Criminal Referral Of FBI lawyer

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The former FBI lawyer, whose doctoring of evidence submitted to the FISA Court resulted in a criminal referral by the DOJ inspector general, has now been identified by the New York Times as Kevin Clinesmith.  That paper, like CNN, which broke the story, pretends he is a lowly functionary, barely worthy of attention:

Investigators for the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered errors and omissions in documents related to the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — including that a low-level lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap, the people said.

Just clerical errors — “errors and omissions” — you see.  Nothing to get upset about.

One of those calling BS is Sean Davis of The Federalist, referencing the initial excuses offered for the IRS targeting of conservative groups:

Another debunker of the cover-up is Jeff Carlson, who responded to a tweet by Lawfare Group member Benjamin Wittes:

The inimitable Sundance of Conservative Treehouse closely analyzes the ambiguities of the Times article, teasing out what could be concealed. For example:

The Times:

WASHINGTON — A highly anticipated report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is expected to sharply criticize lower-level F.B.I. officials as well as bureau leaders involved in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, but to absolve the top ranks of abusing their powers out of bias against President Trump, according to people briefed on a draft.


One can read that from the perspective of accountability and become frustrated.  However, notice the construction closely: “to absolve the top ranks of abusing their powers out of bias against President Trump”… or put another way, there was an “abuse of power”, but that abuse cannot specifically be attributed to bias against the President.  Key point: there was an “abuse of power”, it is in the motive for that abuse where narratives step in.

There’s a lot more.  I don’t buy into all his interpretations, but see for yourself.

Clinesmith could be looking at a lot of years in prison.  Reportedly, John Durham, tasked with uncovering the scandal around the genesis of the Russia hoax, has received the criminal referral.  Since his interest is in uncovering the entire plot, he is in a position to pressure Clinesmith into implicating higher-ups.  And he’s worked for a bunch of them in the most politically sensitive cases handled by the FBI and DOJ.  Those assignments alone make absurd the characterization of him as “low-level.”  Only highly regarded (and presumed reliable, as in omertà) sorts of people receive such plum assignments.

But if he is squeezed, will omertà keep his lips sealed?, which compiled some of his texts on Trump that demonstrate his contempt for the POTUS, took two pictures of him off his Facebook page.  Ask yourself if he looks like the kind of guy who could handle a couple of decades in the pen:

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Impeachment Frenzy: TV Networks Blast Trump With 96% Negative News!

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With virtually no chance Senate Republicans will vote to remove President Trump from office, House Democrats’ drive for impeachment is more likely aimed at creating a deluge of negative daily headlines hoping to cripple Trump going into next year’s election. If that is indeed Democrats’ goal, then the three broadcast networks are doing everything they can to help achieve this partisan objective:

■ Overwhelmingly Negative: MRC analysts have reviewed all coverage of President Trump and his administration on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts since 2017. Following the beginning of the impeachment inquiry on September 24, this coverage has been even more hostile than normal: Out of 684 evaluative comments included in these broadcasts, a whopping 96 percent have been negative, vs. a meager four percent that have been positive.

(Methodology: To determine the spin of news coverage, our analysts tallied all explicitly evaluative statements about the President or his administration from either reporters, anchors or non-partisan sources such as experts or voters. Evaluations from partisan sources, as well as neutral statements, were not included.)

■ All About Impeachment: TV’s fascination with Democrats’ impeachment push has crowded out nearly all other news about the administration. During the six weeks since Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the start of the inquiry (September 24 through November 5), the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts churned out 398 minutes of coverage to the Ukraine scandal, or more than three-fifths of all administration news during this period (645 minutes).

This nearly matches the 438 minutes of airtime these newscasts produced during the most hyper-intensive six weeks of the Russia “collusion” scandal, starting when the President fired James Comey as FBI Director on May 9, 2017 (and media talking heads began railing about Trump’s “Watergate”) through June 20 of that year — weeks that also included the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel on May 17 and Comey’s much-ballyhooed congressional testimony on June 8.

■ Secret Sources: With most of the developments behind closed doors, the majority of the networks’ impeachment coverage has been based on secret leaks from anonymous sources. Out of 172 news reports, a large majority (59%) relied on unnamed sources for their facts about the impeachment probe. This is slightly higher than when we first checked in late October, when 57 percent of impeachment stories used anonymous sources.

■ Even Negative Spin on Baghdadi Death: Only two other Trump administration topics have been granted much airtime since the inquiry began: the successful U.S. mission that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (45 minutes before it faded from the newscasts), and the earlier decision of the President to pull U.S. troops out of northern Syria (121 minutes).

The withdrawal of U.S. forces was given witheringly (98%) negative coverage on all three networks, whose journalists routinely framed it as “abandoning” an ally (the Syrian Kurds) in the fight against ISIS.

But while media coverage of the U.S. mission against al-Baghdadi was mostly positive, the President’s role in it was not. Out of nine evaluative statements about the President himself, two-thirds (67%) were negative. These focused on his refusal to brief congressional leaders, as well as his belittling description of the cruel ISIS leader’s last moments (“He died like a dog….He died like a coward….Whimpering, screaming and crying.”)

“It’s possible that President Trump’s bellicose language about the manner in which he died could actually inspire some ISIS fighters to retaliate,” NBC’s Courtney Kube speculated on the October 27 Nightly News.

■ Silent on Economic Success: Despite record highs in the stock market and a fifty-year low in the unemployment rate, the President’s handling of the economy was given a stingy 4 minutes, 6 seconds of airtime during these six weeks, or less than one percent of all Trump administration news (645 minutes).

■ Impeachment Diverting Airtime from 2020 Democrats: TV’s heavy coverage of impeachment has essentially smothered coverage of the Democratic presidential race, which drew a meager 110 minutes of coverage during these six weeks — barely a third of the airtime granted to the 2016 campaign during these same weeks in 2015 (312 minutes).  

Nearly half of this year’s campaign coverage (51 minutes) was about Joe Biden, his son and the Ukraine, leaving only 59 minutes for non-impeachment related topics. The next most-covered campaign event, Bernie Sanders’ heart attack, drew just 16 minutes of airtime.

■ Boosting Biden: But when it came his Ukraine dealings, Biden has received the best press of his campaign (71% positive), as some journalists repeated a mantra that “there is no evidence of any wrongdoing” (ABC’s Jon Karl, September 24), while others traveled to the Ukraine to make the same point. “Did you ever see any evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden,” CBS’s Roxana Saberi asked an ex-deputy prosecutor. “Never, ever,” came the reply.

Hillary Clinton Calls President Trump A ‘Corrupt Human Tornado,’ Insists ‘He’s Obsessed With Me’ ‘I Believe He Knows He’s An Illegitimate President’

Obama’s Illegitimate Presidency 1.  Barack Obama, knowing in advance the Constitutional requirements for the office of the President, ran for and won the election for President.
2.  His eligibility for that office has never been established by any Constitutionally assigned authority (which doesn’t even exist), nor by the Supreme Court, nor by Congress.  The State of Hawaii declined to certify that Obama was Constitutionally qualified to be President.

Appearing on CBS Sunday Morning this weekend to promote her new book, “The Book of Gutsy Women,” failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went on yet another Trump-stole-my-thunder tirade, called President Donald Trump a “corrupt human tornado” and an “illegitimate president,” then topped it all off by declaring, “of course, he’s obsessed with me.”

Monday on the radio program, Glenn Beck played a clip from the CBS interview and discussed the possibility that Hillary might be contemplating a 2020 comeback — or was she just joining in the Democrat’s never-ending impeachment delirium?