Fox News anchor Bret Baier opened his nightly news hour on Wednesday by reporting several startling revelations, joining his colleague Brit Hume later in the evening to walk through the new information provided to him by two FBI sources with “intimate knowledge” of the relevant state of affairs. Thursday morning, I posted this useful summary of Baier’s report, furnished by Real Clear Politics. Click through for the the five key points, each of which we will re-evaluate below. Clinton defenders and Fox critics quickly declared this information “debunked” and “made up,” largely drawing on reporting from NBC’s Pete Williams, whose own sources quasi-deny the existence of an ongoing FBI probe into the Clinton Foundation:
Appearing on MSNBC’s MTP Daily [on Thursday], NBC News’ justice correspondent Pete Williams refuted much of the reporting from Wall Street Journal and Fox News regarding a likely indictment regarding an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Fox’s Bret Baier later backed off slightly, saying the indictment comment was “inartfully answered.” Speaking to host Chuck Todd, Williams claimed that via his own law enforcement sources, there doesn’t actually appear to be much of an investigation, let alone one that will result in indictments…“There really isn’t one,” Williams answered Todd regarding the status of the investigation. “Few want to call it an investigation. That’s a term of art in the FBI. There was an initial inquiry that was opened a couple months ago based largely on media reports and a book called Clinton Cash.”
I say “quasi-deny” because Williams couches his language with a number of softening caveats. There isn’t “really” an active probe, he says, adding that “few” would characterize the inquiry as an investigation. What’s really going on here? Based on publicly-available reporting, the truth seems clear — if slightly complex. There is quite obviously a deep and smoldering rift between a group of FBI agents and some of their bosses, both at the bureau and DOJ. That’s why lefty media outlets are publishing whispers about the FBI being in the tank for Trump and trying to take down Hillary, and why righty outlets like Townhall are pointing out the overwhelmingly left-leaning political donations among DOJ officials (as well as potential appearances of impropriety and conflicts of interest). These competing narratives are clashing. Hard. These sharp disagreements bubbled over into that buzzy Wall Street Journal piece late last week, with CNN later confirming that some FBI sources are angry with the higher-ups’ management of these cases.
On one side, you have agents working the Clinton cases who furiously allege that higher-ups are deliberately hamstringing and undermining their work, due to political considerations. On the other, you have officials who think those agents are overzealous, and that their case — particularly regarding the Clinton Foundation inquiry/investigation — is thin. That critique prompted another counter-leak, pointing to audio recordings that some say underscore the need for a more rigorous investigation. The response they reportedly received: Keep digging for something more solid, and then maybe we’ll talk. As many Republicans quote Baier’s original report about dual investigations and looming indictments, and many Democrats claim the whole story is bunk, let’s revisit the aforementioned five points:
(1) The Clinton Foundation probe is real, expansive, and has been active for more than a year. Line agents seem to fully believe this, griping that their bosses won’t approve essential tools for them to kick the probe into high gear. Several news outlets have referred to the Clinton Foundation inquiry in the present tense, while the New York Times suggests that it has been effectively tabled until after the election. Whether there is an “active investigation” or an “inquiry” in a holding pattern may be a matter of perspective and semantics. It does appear that Mrs. Clinton was incorrect when she flatly denied earlier this year that the FBI was probing her family’s controversial charitable organization.
(2) Despite reports of an unusual side deal, top Hillary aides’ personal computers that factored into the FBI’s email investigation were not destroyed, and in fact are still being exploited. I have seen no reporting that contradicts this new information. Baier’s sources say those devices are still intact at the bureau’s DC field office.
(3) Agents working on the reinitiated email probe have discovered new, non-duplicate emails from Clinton’s server on Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner’s personal computer. CBS News confirms this important detail, which may highlight why FBI Director James Comey decided to re-engage the dormant investigation (though not before doing due diligence to make sure there was some substance to the new alleged evidence, according to the Washington Post):
The real question for the DOJ comes down to …
is there anybody, save a janitor, at DOJ that doesn’t have a personal friend in the Clinton campaign ?
It’s a scoop of horse manure, from some unnamed source inside the FBI who is making an illegal attempt to use the bureau’s credibility—something which has been severely damaged as a result—to alter the course of a presidential election. These people have abandoned the impartiality that’s essential to the conduct of honest investigation—and that they’ve sworn to maintain—in favor of a transparently partisan political agenda.
As is usually the case, they’re doing this under the cover of a claim that they’re following some higher purpose, accusing their target of the sort of improper and illegal behavior that they themselves are engaging in. They’re not the solution to anything. They’re part of the problem.
The Trump movement seems like a magnet for this sort of garbage. It’s been one damn thing after another. I’m guessing the next will be a preelection document dump including altered or totally fabricated material. The attack may be against a broader target than Hillary Clinton or the Clinton campaign. The target of opportunity may be viewed as something much broader than a presidential election. Our national divisions may be seen as an exploitable means to sideline the United States on the geopolitical front. Who would think that way? Figure it out. It’s not a hard problem.
This should make everyone very happy. One of your archenemies concedes defeat: Five Reasons Why Trump Will Win, by Michael Moore.
@Greg: Why don’t we review a few of the things that, despite you being fantastically enthusiastically certain of, you were totally wrong about.
1. Hillary turned over all her work related emails; all those she deleted were just personal emails. Nope, wrong. Emails with official State Department business were deleted… not just deleted, but eradicated. Destroyed. Wiped out by “bleachbit”. Because Hillary didn’t want any of those yoga emails falling into the wrong hands.
2. None of Hillary’s emails contained classified information. Well, no. Not true. Not only were there emails with classified information on the, there where TONS of them. Thousands.
3. Hillary did not send or receive the emails with classified information. Oops. Send and receive she most certainly did. Sent to people without security clearances, too. Oh, naughty, naughty.
4. You believed the lie that none of the classified emails were classified when they were sent. AAAAAAA! Wrong again. 110 were marked classified when passed around the unsecured circuit.
5. You defended that the server had never been hacked. Attempted to be, perhaps, not never breached. Aww…. a clean sweep. Wrong again. The FBI is certain it was entered by 5 different entities.
Maybe one day, Greg, you’ll get one right, but your perfect record of failure is intact. This might make you think you should reevaluate your system of believing thinly veiled lies and obviously weak excuses, believing some of the most ridiculous and outlandish tales that make a mockery of a normal person’s intelligence.
@Bill… Deplorable Me: I feel so bad for Greg, I think we should send him down for food stamps!
@Bill… Deplorable Me, #4:
In fact, the FBI has found NO evidence conclusively establishing that Clinton’s server was ever hacked. They have publicly expressed the opinion that it probably was, while acknowledging that no evidence of that was discovered.
If there’s no evidence, there’s no certainty. There’s only an opinion, and that one is questionable because it’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s an ulterior political motive behind it.
An argument could be made that Clinton’s private server was probably more secure that many locked down government servers, since evidence does exist that those servers have been hacked on multiple occasions.
Over 750,000 pages of classified government documents have been published by Wikileaks. Not one of those documents appears to have been stolen from Hillary Clinton’s server. Do you think Julian Assange wouldn’t have gleefully published by now any that he could have gotten his hands on? He would consider the mass release of documents from Clinton’s server to be his crowning achievement.
The FBI seems to have more problems with unauthorized leaks of information than Hillary Clinton. The only of Clinton’s emails that have come to light are those the GOP’s investigative committees have exposed in an effort to work up a politically useful scandal, and those that Citizens United have forced into public view using the Freedom of Information Act.
The defining statement of virtually every claim the Dems make when trying to vilify an enemy, mostly Republicans.
Why would you have a problem with this? You’re party has perfected the art, and others are following suit…
But who cares what a paid troll thinks?
@Nathan Blue, #7:
Sometimes it’s all I can do not to vilify the hell out of those worse-than-useless bozos. I prefer instead simply to state my opinion, and give my reasons for holding it.
And yeah, the one defining feature that distinguishes truth from falsehood is evidence—especially when people making the damaging accusations have something to gain from lying. Anyone who is not stupid knows this, and anyone who is not a liar admits it.
If Congress were your coworker pretty much nails it. (Shall we argue about a fine point of grammar, instead of politics?)
mrs clinton can not generate a crowd of more than 100 so what does the corrupt left do….
@Greg: Well, Greg, there is NOTHING that PROVES Trump is a racist, but you believe he is. There is NOTHING that PROVES Trump is anti-immigrant, but you believe he is. There is NOTHING that PROVES Trump is supportive of the KKK, but you believe he is. There is NOTHING that PROVES Trump cheated on his taxes, but you believe he has. There is NOTHING that PROVES Trump abuses women, but you believe he does.
Yet, there is PROOF…. VIDEO PROOF… Hillary has committed perjury, lying before Congress about the crimes she committed exposing national security to foreign intelligence agencies. But, you WON’T believe that.
You are screwed up, Greg.
When the FBI says they are 99% certain Hillary’s emails were hacked by 5 different foreign entities, what do you think that mean? To reinforce your willful ignorance until that 1% is proven? You are going to vote for a 1% doubt when you already have definitive proof of lying under oath before Congress?
You know there’s no evidence the Russians have been doing the hacking, don’t you? So, since there is no certainty, why do you keep parroting that fallacy? There’s no evidence voter ID has restricted anyone’s vote, so since there is no certainty, why do you keep trafficking that lie? You seem to only want proof under certain circumstances. That’s not a desire for truth; that’s looking for excuses.
@July 4th American: When Hillary came out on stage, the concert goers headed for the exits.
First, Assange does not hack. He GETS the hacks sent to him. Second, the classified information hacked from Hillary is more valuable NOT revealed than used against Hillary’s campaign. This is why, Greg, hackers do not sign their work; they don’t want you to know that HAVE your information for if you do, you would make adjustments.
I’m surprised you don’t understand this.
@Bill… Deplorable Me:
I believe this is problematic for both mrs clinton and the boner in chief. This obviously shows collusion and culpability for both. I think one should be leery one way or another with respect to post election pardons. The boner in chief is likely to pardon mrs Clinton win or lose to obviously protect himself. His preference is for her to win, he can pardon her and then she can pardon him, putting a cabash on everything…..
Not the least bit surprising, the concert goers did not come to see her, just like the Berlin speech 8+ years ago, they came not to see the obama, they came for the free beer….
@July 4th American: Well, liberals don’t mind lies. Liberals realize that lying is a vital part of the liberal ideology because so much of that ideology fails. So, liberals expect lies and can only respect a politician that lies, lies a lot and tells easily detected lies, showing how little they respect the truth.
Under normal circumstances, when you prove to people their candidate not only lies, but the lies are about activities that harm the nation, it would harm their electoral chances. But with liberals, who feel that everything that makes the nation successful and safe is oppressive, harm to the nation and lies is what they look for in a candidate. So, what repulses patriotic Americans appeals to radical liberals.
Yesterday in the Dallas Morning News, there was not one mention of the Assistant Attorney General feeding inside information about investigations to the Clinton campaign, the deepening investigations into the Clinton Foundation, the emails discussing how to try and lie their way out of the email scandal. Information about how corrupt the Democrats are is kept from anyone in the public that might be discerning about electing criminals.
@Bill… Deplorable Me:
Getting one’s hands on stolen documents doesn’t imply that you performed the theft yourself. If you’re known to be in the market for stolen classified documents to expose through your distribution network, however, you are very much part of the criminal process.
The second point makes no sense. It boils down to a claim that An absence of classified documents coming forth from Clinton’s server is proof that such documents were in fact stolen from it.
The primary objective of anyone holding such documents at this point would be to prevent the election of Hillary Clinton. That objective would be viewed as a means of facilitating all sorts of plays that would come afterward. If somebody had a load of classified documents taken from Clinton’s server, now would be the point at which they would be using them to fullest advantage. Any classified material they might have gleaned from hacking her server would have a relatively short shelf-life, and would be getting very stale already. It’s not like she would have been emailing messages with hydrogen bomb plans as attached photographs. Nor would she have been emailing information that could be used to gain leverage over her as president. The woman is not stupid. Maintaining confidentiality and control over private communications was the reason she utilized a private server to begin with. She didn’t do it to increase the likelihood of public exposure.
That’s not what I said or implied. However, your point that the absence of the release of any stolen emails proves they weren’t stolen is absurd, as releasing the information would negate the value of having the information. What the fact is, is that all the information Hillary illegally had on her server should be deemed compromised and appropriate actions taken on that assumption. This will cost billions of dollars and Hillary is fully to blame. Her and her obsession with her personal secrecy due to her criminal activities.
@July 4th American: Both Obama and Hillary were more worried about their personal political fortunes than the lives of Americans. They knew that, with the corrupt media at their side, they could lie their way out of anything. Thus, they didn’t even try to fabricate a solid lie to cover their failures; they selected the weak and stupid “video” excuse.
@Bill… Deplorable Me:
Yes, quite correct. The 2012 election was at stake.
“What difference at this point does it make?”
@Bill… Deplorable Me, #16:
What classified information? You don’t have a clue what the classified information consisted of. There well may have been nothing having any long-term significance whatsoever.
The GOP’s politically motivated investigations and Citizens United’s Freedom of Information Act requests have probably provided far more documents and data to foreign intelligence services for meta-analysis than they ever got by hacking Clinton’s server—particularly in light of the fact that the hacking itself is purely hypothetical, without a shred of solid evidence suggesting that it ever actually happened. These frickin’ idiots have forced thousands of internal State Department communications to be hung out on a line for the entire world to see—all to try to bring down a political adversary. That’s how self-serving, opportunistic, irresponsible, and stupid they are. And all of that while, they haven’t accomplished a single useful thing to earn their keep.
ALL the classified information. All the classified information on the thousands of emails the FBI said contained it. Your ideological masters are keeping you ignorant, Greg, and it makes you look foolish to those paying attention.
An email revealing a years-past travel schedule could have been considered properly classified at the time it was sent. We already know that emails were considered classified that only cited information which had already appeared in newspapers at the time the emails were sent. As pointed out, there were no Top Secret atomic bomb plans attached to emails about a Girl Scout cookie sale—except, of course, in the imaginations of those writing for the right-wing propaganda media. They assert such idiocy took place under cover of the fact that no one can see the classified references in question to prove otherwise.
A successful anti-Clinton smear campaign based on such nonsense would be bad enough, without the special bonus prize of putting a clearly unbalanced, totally clueless person in the White House. It’s that which makes me wonder if mainstream republican leaders have totally lost their minds.
On its face that statement is laughable, but sadly at the same time shows your dysfunctional approach to what is known. mrs clinton is a criminal, a liar and perhaps most despicable, a traitor.
Your plausible denial sounds like the o’boner in chief. “I first learned about ____ like you, I read it in the papers”.
You should consider just how embarrassing you have become trying futilely to defend the woman candidate….
@Greg: 110 emails marked classified at the time they were sent, some HIGHLY classified, were sent by Hillary on her unsecured, 99% certain to have been hacked 5 times, server, according to the evidence gathered by the FBI.
Classified emails found among those deleted. Not yoga routines, not wedding plans, not funeral plans. State Department business Hillary wanted to purge out of reach of the government.
We don’t know there weren’t any weapons information among the emails; some are too classified to even be viewed by those doing the investigating.
If the secret, private, unsecured email server was so innocuous, why did Obama choose to use an alias when communicating via that server? Why did he choose to lie about knowing of it? If everything is legal, honest and transparent, why lie? Why don’t YOU ask those questions, Greg, instead of blindly voting for corruption?
Hillary provides the anti-Clinton fodder. Clinton is anti-American. Clinton is corrupt and a liar and she is a money-whore who will sell out anything and everything for her own personal gain.
@Bill… Deplorable Me:
Herein lies the conundrum. The o’boner in chief is culpable in committing treason. The door on this thing is wide open and is not defensible by any rational argument. Our resident democrat typist(greg) has not been able to muster even a half believable argument to explain the voluminous evidence that points to the criminality that has occurred over the past 7 1/2 years. Much damage has been done to this Country and it is patriots who love this Country that will be the ones to begin the process of the restoration of the Constitutional Republic…..
@July 4th American: On another topic, I asked Greg to answer some questions about Hillary’s scandals. To date, he hasn’t but has, I noticed, reverted back to claiming Hillary sent no classified information. Damn, I’m glad I don’t have to defend that trash. Skankles needs to be held responsible for her actions to the fullest extent of the law.