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Archive for the ‘U.S. House of Representatives’ Category

Hillary Clinton reached out today using Facebook, Twitter, and email in an effort to salvage the expired Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that she helped establish as First Lady. Nine million children could be left without coverage if Congress does not reauthorize the program.

This Facebook message also appeared on her Twitter account.

There’s a lot to be frustrated by right now, to say the least. Here’s something that we should be able to fix:

The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health care for 9 million kids and has been reauthorized on a bipartisan basis every year for almost 2 decades, is hanging in limbo because Congress let it expire over 2 months ago. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans rushed to pass so-called tax reform—a giveaway for those who least need it.

It gets worse. During the campaign I warned that the Republicans would come after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and now they are. Imagine buying a Rolex and paying for it with money you saved to take care of your kids. That’s what Congress is doing with your tax dollars.

How is it that in the middle of dividing up $1.5 trillion dollars between corporations and the ultra-wealthy, Republicans can’t find the time & money to take care of children? These are perverse priorities. Congress needs to pass CHIP now, as they have every year since the 1990s.

So in these surreal times, let’s rally together and take action. Call your House and Senate members at 202-224-3121 and tell them to take care of kids now and protect our seniors, the poor, and vulnerable from future attacks. Tell them that it’s the very least they can do.

I’m going to keep tweeting and posting about this, and speaking out every chance I get, until it is fixed.

Later, she emailed the message.

Friend —

These days, bipartisanship sounds like a dream of the past, but when we first passed the Children’s Health Insurance Plan in 1997, we did so with support on both sides of the aisle — and gave millions of children, pregnant women, and families the security of knowing they had access to critical care.

We came together because we understood that the true measure of a community is how we treat our children. Whether we invest in them and give them an opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.

But then, more than 60 days ago, the Republican-controlled Congress let CHIP, which has been reauthorized on a bipartisan basis every year for the last 19 years, expire — leaving nine million children and families worried about their access to health care. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans rushed to pass so-called tax reform — a giveaway for those who least need it.

That’s unacceptable. And it gets worse. During the campaign, I warned that the Republicans would come after social security, Medicare, and Medicaid — and now they are. Imagine buying a Rolex and paying for it with money you saved to take care of your kids. That’s what Congress is doing with your tax dollars.

Today, I’m asking you to call your Representative and Senators at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to renew the Children’s Health Insurance immediately.

I’m thinking of people like Ryan Moore, who was seven when I first met him, wearing a full body brace and smiling from ear to ear. He inspired me and kept me going through the hardest moments of the fight for health reform. And like Sara Soltani, whose cochlear implant was covered under the Children’s Health Insurance Program — a fact she didn’t realize until her mother told her as she was preparing to graduate from high school and head off to college, her life full of promise and possibility.

There are countless children who got the chance to grow up, to dream big, to have the lives and the futures they deserved. Rosemary, we’ve come too far to turn back now.

Call your Representative and Senators and let them know that you’re counting on them to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program: (202) 224-3121

There’s a lot to be frustrated by right now, to say the least. Here’s something that we should be able to fix together.

Yours,

Hillary

P.S. The current enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act ends December 15th — if you or someone you love needs coverage, tell them to go to healthcare.gov and sign up now.

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Monday I posted this: #WatchThis Space: Arctic Activity.  Well you really have to watch! Things are moving fast, and there are a lot of moving parts. This, from Michael Grunwald in Politico.

Rex Tillerson Tried to Get This Rule Killed. Now Congress Is About To Do It For Him

Should oil companies disclose payments to foreign governments? The GOP, and former Exxon CEO, think not.

February 01, 2017

… back in 2010, ExxonMobil’s then-CEO, Rex Tillerson, was deeply worried about Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms, a bipartisan amendment that required drilling and mining companies to disclose any payments they make to foreign governments. So Tillerson and one of his lobbyists paid a half-hour visit to the amendment’s Republican co-author, then-Senator Richard Lugar, to try to get it killed.

Tillerson argued that forcing U.S. oil firms to reveal corporate secrets—such as paying foreign governments—would put them at a competitive disadvantage. He also explained that the provision would make it especially difficult for Exxon to do business in Russia, where, as he did not need to explain, the government takes a rather active interest in the oil industry.

SNIP

Today, seven years later, Republicans confirmed Tillerson as President Trump’s Secretary of State, despite allegations that he’s too cozy with Russia. At the same time, the GOP is preparing to try to kill the disclosure rule created under Section 1504, despite warnings from international aid groups that the move would provide a wink-and-nod blessing to hidden corporate payments to petro-thugs. The House is expected to act this afternoon, and since the move relies on a special mechanism for reversing rules enacted late in a presidential term, Senate Republicans will need a mere majority rather than a filibuster-proof 60 votes to follow suit.

Read more >>>>

As you probably could have guessed …

U.S. House Passes Resolution to Kill Extractive Anti-Graft Rule

Four years to the day since Hillary Clinton exited the State Department, Tillerson will occupy Foggy Bottom, and Congressional Republicans have blown smoke and fog over corporate payments to foreign governments. This in conjunction with the Arctic activity slips past much of the MSM while they occupy themselves with Trump thinking Frederick Douglass is still alive.

Just a reminder: The Benghazi-cum-server-cum emails Oversight Committee railed and wailed a lot in the course of their hearings about Hillary’s State Department initiatives promoting American businesses overseas.  That is part of the Secretary of State’s job, and all of those initiatives were transparent.

John Kerry’s successor enters with a cloak of invisibility ready made.

02-01-13-Z-08

Keep watching this space!  The war in Urkraine is escalating.  Remember that plank in the Republican platform that Trump had removed?

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Some of the recovered emails that the FBI investigators combed through had what could have been noticed or missed depending upon how far down a chain of emails you scrolled or how quickly your eye scanned the text. (c) To discern the marking you had first to know what it indicated and second had to read carefully and thoroughly through the email chain since the marking might have appeared in an early version of an email and might have been removed in later texts, or the marking might not have been removed when it should have been. Did you see it?  In testimony to the Oversight Committee, FBI Director James Comey stated that paragraphs or sentences bearing this mark were not offset with indentation.

(c) Now you see it.

At yesterday’s State Department press briefing, these little (c)s were the subject of a great deal of interest.  John Kirby is the State Department spokesperson.

QUESTION: Firstly, the marking of a parentheses “C” – where does that come from? What law designates a parentheses “C” as a valid classification marking?

MR KIRBY: I don’t know.

QUESTION: Can you check on that, so that we know?

MR KIRBY: I don’t know that it is governed by law, but I’ll be happy to check and see.

QUESTION: Okay. Well, if it isn’t, I would be interested to know how it’s indeed classified.

MR KIRBY: Not everything in terms of procedure is governed by legislation, Brad. But I’ll check and see where – if that’s covered in any way.

QUESTION: Well, I looked at Executive Order 13526, which seems to be – well, which proclaims to be the rule on classified national security information. And it doesn’t talk about anything about parentheses “C”s or anything like that. It talks about three valid terms – Secret, Top Secret, and Confidential. And it explicitly says any other marking is invalid. So if you could figure that out, that’d be great.

And then secondly —

MR KIRBY: I would – let me just – I will do what I can, Brad.

QUESTION: Yeah, okay.

MR KIRBY: But I mean, you’re – the issue of classification and markings is not a State Department responsibility in the government. I mean, we obviously have our responsibilities to obey the executive order, but I don’t want to set us up as the authority to speak to every issue of marking that the U.S. Government follows.

QUESTION: Well, I don’t know that the U.S. Government follows this writ large. It seems that you follow it. But I’d like to know why, or based on what.

MR KIRBY: I’ll check.

QUESTION: Secondly, on the category of classification, I think yesterday you said it was to protect the idea of a call or to not get ahead of the Secretary’s decision-making process. Again, there are strict rules, as I see them, for classification, what can be classified – WMDs and critical infrastructure, covert intelligence. Can you tell me what protecting the Secretary’s decision-making process falls under?

At this point, the email in question marked with a (c) involved the scheduling of a call sheet.  There was a proposed call to perhaps be scheduled or perhaps not to a head of state offering condolences.

MR KIRBY: I don’t have the advantage of having that document in front of me, Brad. And I’m not an expert on it; I’m not going to pretend to be or purport to be. I’m happy to further research your question.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR KIRBY: Happy to do that. But as I said yesterday, this was a – this is a fairly common practice and it’s designed to try to treat with care and prudence and not to close down decision space of the Secretary in advance of a recommended call – in case, for instance, that call doesn’t get made or it gets made under a different set of circumstances. So the degree to which it’s governed by regulation or order, I don’t know. And again, I’m happy to look. But I —

QUESTION: I have one more you might need to look into.

MR KIRBY: But – but I – but I think we need to take 10 steps back, take a deep breath, and look at this in perspective. This is a practice which many people use here as a way to try to protect what we believe is sensitive information and to try to preserve decision space for the Secretary of State in advance of, in this case, making a call. So look, I mean, we could have the debate over and over again —

QUESTION: Let me just have my last question. It also under classification rules say you have to put a specific date or event for declassification that must be stated. It doesn’t say when the Secretary decides and there’s a cognitive process inside the Secretary’s brain to make a call that that ends the classification. So can you tell me where this practice on kind of ad hoc expiration comes from as well?

MR KIRBY: I’ll ask the question, Brad.

QUESTION: And then —

MR KIRBY: I have to tell you, though – I mean, I’ll ask these questions; they’re fair questions.

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR KIRBY: But again, we’re talking about people trying to do the best they can to protect some sensitive information and protect decision space for the Secretary, and we’re – and of the entire universe of documents, we’re talking about an extraordinarily small amount. So I don’t – I am – again, I’m not pushing back and I will be happy – first of all, I’m happy to admit what I don’t know, happy to go try to find out for you, but I do think it’s important to keep this whole matter in some sense of perspective here in terms of the universe of the issue.

QUESTION: I do. But here’s why I think it’s relevant, and I’ll pose this as a statement/question.

MR KIRBY: There’s a surprise.

QUESTION: We had a discussion earlier this week where you forcibly rejected the notion that there’s a lax culture when it comes to classification in this agency, and now you’re saying that there are practices here that don’t – maybe don’t ascribe to any guidelines or rules, but just are done as a matter of practice for protecting decision-making processes or what, when there are strict guidelines on how you are supposed to classify things. And I don’t quite see what’s wrong with the law, as it is for the entire government —

MR KIRBY: Well, let’s not presume —

QUESTION: — that we need this separate process.

MR KIRBY: First of all – so first of all, let me go —

QUESTION: And why —

MR KIRBY: Let me go research it —

QUESTION: Yeah, yeah.

MR KIRBY: — and we’ll find out if there’s some sort of violation here. But when I refer to questions about a lax culture, it was a broad-brush statement that was made about a lax security culture at the entire State Department – which, as I said the other day, we don’t subscribe to. We don’t share that assessment. Now, you could look at it your way and say, “Well, if we’re not following the rules, then that proves the point.” I would look at it the other way, is that you have people that are trying to take extraordinary care in a pre-decisional environment for the Secretary of State and to preserve what could be sensitive information in advance of a call that might not be taking place. That to me doesn’t connote a culture of negligence and lackadaisical disregard for sensitive information. It actually, to me, says the opposite.

So let’s just agree that I’m going to go ahead and try to see what I can do to put some fidelity on these questions, but I am – still stand by my comment the other day that a broad-brush assessment that the State Department is lax, doesn’t have a healthy security conscience here, is simply without base.

So this (c) marking is a common practice at the department, elsewhere referred to as a “standard practice,” and may simply indicate that at the moment there is a suggestion to make this call but we are not making it public unless/until the secretary decides to make or not make the call.  In other words, it may be temporary.

QUESTION: Okay, great. Second thing: Going back to the discussion that you had yesterday and just now with regard to the practice of putting a “C” on such a memo prior to a decision that has been made for the secretary to place such a call, the – one of the emails talks about having a call at 7:30 a.m. or at some other point during the course of the day. Is it your view that the decision to make the call – this is the one about the condolences to the president of Malawi. Is it your view that the decision to make the call had indeed been made when those emails were sent and you were just talking about what time it would be?

MR KIRBY: I have no idea. There’s no way for me to know that.

QUESTION: Well, if you don’t know whether the decision to make the call had been made at that point, then how do you know the information wasn’t – wasn’t not just marked classified but actually classified when the secretary sent it – when the secretary’s aide sent it?

MR KIRBY: I don’t know – I don’t know how to answer your question. What I said yesterday – I’m not going to get into litigating each and every one of these emails. What I said yesterday is oftentimes it is practice to mark them Confidential in advance of a decision to make a call, and then once the decision is made they’re made Sensitive but Unclassified and they’re provided to the Secretary in a way that he or she can then use as they’re on the phone, and that – that by all appearances, it appears to us that the remnant “C”, if you will, on this particular email call sheet was human error because it appears to me from the traffic that the secretary had been asking, had been wanting the call sheet, which would, I think, indicate that the secretary was at that time intending on making the call.

But I can’t say that for sure because I wasn’t here and I wasn’t involved in the email traffic itself. So I’m being careful about how I’m wording this because we’re making assumptions here that I simply don’t know for a fact are true. But that’s why we believe in this case it was – it was simply human error in terms of the transmission of that particular subparagraph labeled “C”.

QUESTION: Okay. So it’s your assumption that the secretary had at that point made the decision, hence the information would no longer have been classified, hence the marking was a rogue or —

MR KIRBY: A human error.

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR KIRBY: A mistake. That’s our assumption, Arshad. But again, not having been here and party to that entire exchange, I don’t know that for – to be a fact 100 percent.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: I have one more on this if people are – want to go on. I just wanted to ask if, in the event the secretary decides not to make the call, when does the classification expire?

MR KIRBY: I don’t know, Brad.

QUESTION: Well, isn’t that useful information given that there are strict rules as well on classification cannot be indefinite in this country?

MR KIRBY: We’re – I’m not going to get into a circular argument with you here on this. I told you I will look at the regulation.

QUESTION: Yeah, okay.

MR KIRBY: I will do the best I can to answer your questions, Brad. But all I’m trying to do is put some perspective on this.

QUESTION: It was – it’s a very confusing policy. That’s why there are so many questions.

MR KIRBY: I didn’t – it’s a – I didn’t call it a policy. I said oftentimes it is standard practice —

QUESTION: Practice. It’s a very confusing practice.

MR KIRBY: — for it to be deemed Confidential in advance of the secretary making a decision – hang on, Goyal – making a decision, and then it is rendered SBU so that the secretary can use the document in an unclassified setting to make the call. And again, I am not an expert enough to debate the expiration of the classified setting, the markings on it. I will do the best I can to answer your questions. I think, again, taking a couple of steps back, look at this in broad terms – it is staff members working hard to try to protect decision space for the secretary in case that call doesn’t get made.

QUESTION: Right.

MR KIRBY: And maybe we don’t want that out there that we decided no, we’re not going to call that foreign leader, we don’t think it’s okay to send him a condolence message. And that’s not information necessarily that we want to have in the unclass environment. And so you have people that are doing the best they can to try to protect decision space for the secretary and to protect – and to protect what we still would render as sensitive information. Again, that doesn’t connote to me a culture of laxity and negligence and —

QUESTION: Oh, I mean, I didn’t ask that on this question. But if you classify something and it’s to protect the possibility that maybe the secretary doesn’t make the call, that information still has to become public at some point. Whether you don’t want it to or don’t think it should be is regardless. It’s public information after a point of declassification.

MR KIRBY: No it doesn’t.

QUESTION: That’s how it works in this country.

MR KIRBY: It doesn’t automatically become public; it becomes declassified at a certain point.

QUESTION: It becomes declassified.

MR KIRBY: That doesn’t mean it has to be put in the public domain.

QUESTION: Well, it becomes declassified at a certain point, isn’t that right?

MR KIRBY: Eventually Classified information will have an expiration on it.

QUESTION: But in this case there was no expiration, so it just kind of was undefined.

MR KIRBY: Well, you and I don’t know that, do we? Because what we have is an email that was put on the unclass side. It was taken to – put on the unclass side, and one marking on one paragraph was labeled “C,” which we believe was a human error. But you and I haven’t seen what was the actual Confidential call sheet that was prepared before it was transferred over to the unclass side, so I don’t know how you and I could know what markings were on that call sheet or what dates were put on there, if any.

QUESTION: I don’t know —

MR KIRBY: Right.

QUESTION: — but I also didn’t know that this sentence comes from a Classified – a fully Classified document. I don’t think anyone had told me that before.

MR KIRBY: I said yesterday that call sheets are generally —

QUESTION: So this sentence —

MR KIRBY: — considered Confidential, and that doesn’t mean that —

QUESTION: This sentence was lifted from a Classified document and put into an Unclassified document?

MR KIRBY: No, Brad. I mean, the call sheets are generally held at a Confidential level in advance of the secretary making a decision to make a call. Not every paragraph of that have to be Confidential. Like, you could still have a Confidential document with four paragraphs, right, and maybe three of those paragraphs are Confidential but one’s Unclassified. So, again, I haven’t seen the actual call sheet that was drafted, so I can’t tell you for sure that every paragraph in there was labeled Confidential with a “C” or Unclassified with a “U.” All I do know is that the email that was processed through FOIA and released contained one paragraph – I think it was actually a sentence; it was like the purpose of the call, I think – that was – that the “C” marking was retained when it was transmitted over an unclass system to former Secretary Clinton. Again, we believe that that was simply human error as the call sheet was moved over to a format that the secretary could use. That “C” should’ve been removed; it wasn’t, because – I mean, the line was really – it was the purpose of the call, I believe is what it was, and so you can see if that’s the document being moved over, that’s the paragraph being moved over, it should have been – the “C” marking should have been taken off.

The bottom line is that, in picking needles out of the haystack, the FBI investigators, reading tediously carefully, found a few of these (c)s  – perhaps remnant (c)s – in texts of strings of emails. None of the emails had headings using the three valid terms – Secret, Top Secret, and Confidential according to Executive Order 13526. The FBI found three emails with this mark.  The State Department as of yesterday only knew of two of the three. (To see more of yesterday’s press briefing, click here.)

Hillary’s campaign released this statement on the subject.

FBI’s Comey: Emails Reported as “Marked Classified” Were Improperly Marked and Could Be Reasonably Judged as Not Classified

In a key development at today’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, FBI Director James Comey clarified an apparent inconsistency between his remarks earlier this week and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s long-running public statements.

Clinton has long stated that none of the emails she sent or received were marked classified at the time. Comey, however, said Monday that there was a “very small number” of emails that bore markings.

Moments ago, Comey reconciled this apparent contradiction. He acknowledged for the first time that there were only three such emails, and that in each case the emails contained only “partial” markings — meaning, he acknowledged, that they were improperly marked and that as a result, the materials could have been reasonably judged as not classified.

Comey’s statements add to the findings announced by the State Department yesterday. At a press briefing, a State Department spokesman said the markings on these emails were the result of “human error” and did not belong in these emails, as the underlying contents were not classified.

Below is the full exchange just now between Director Comey and Rep. Matt Cartwright:

KEY EXCHANGE WITH DIRECTOR COMEY AND REP. CARTWRIGHT

MATT CARTWRIGHT: You were asked about markings on a few documents, I have the manual here, marking national classified security information. And I don’t think you were given a full chance to talk about those three documents with the little c’s on them. Were they properly documented? Were they properly marked according to the manual?

JAMES COMEY: No.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: According to the manual, and I ask unanimous consent to enter this into the record Mr. Chairman

CHAIRMAN: Without objection so ordered.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: According to the manual, if you’re going to classify something, there has to be a header on the document? Right?

JAMES COMEY: Correct.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: Was there a header on the three documents that we’ve discussed today that had the little c in the text someplace?

JAMES COMEY: No. There were three e-mails, the c was in the body, in the text, but there was no header on the email or in the text.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: So if Secretary Clinton really were an expert about what’s classified and what’s not classified and we’re following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?

 JAMES COMEY: That would be a reasonable inference.

Last night, several readers contacted me concerned about the news that the State Department has reopened its investigation into the matter of the emails and the server.  This is an internal inquiry that was underway and was suspended while the FBI investigation was ongoing.  It is set to continue, as it was expected to, now that the FBI investigation is complete and Justice Department has issued its decision.
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Hillary’s campaign released a statement regarding FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee today.

Hillary for America Statement on FBI Director Comey’s Testimony Before House Committee

Hillary for America National Press Secretary Brian Fallon released the following statement Thursday following FBI Director James Comey’s appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: “Despite the partisan motivations of this hearing, we are glad it took place and that Director Comey had the opportunity to expand upon his remarks from earlier this week. Director Comey’s testimony clearly knocked down a number of false Republican talking points and reconciled apparent contradictions between his previous remarks and Hillary Clinton’s public statements. The Director’s explanations shut the door on any remaining conspiracy theories once and for all. While Republicans may try to keep this issue alive, this hearing proved those efforts will only backfire.”

15 Facts From Comey

FBI Director’s Testimony Backs Up Clinton, Debunks Republican Conspiracy Theories

Today, House Republicans brought FBI Director James Comey in to testify – after the conclusion of a year-long investigation – in hopes of uncovering new details to damage Hillary Clinton. Instead, Comey’s testimony only debunked GOP talking points and further substantiated Clinton’s case.

Here are 15 key takeaways:

  1.  Emails reported as “marked classified” were improperly marked.

MATT CARTWRIGHT:  I don’t think you were given a full chance to talk about those three documents with the little ‘C’s’ on them. Were they properly documented? Were they properly marked according to the manual? COMEY: No.

  1. And those emails could be reasonably judged as not classified.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: If Secretary Clinton were an expert about what’s classified and not classified and we’re following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?  |  COMEY: That would be a reasonable inference.

  1. There’s no evidence Clinton ever knew she had received classified information or intended to retain it on her server.

COMEY: There is in my view not evidence beyond certainly probable cause, not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt she knew she was receiving classified information or she intended to retain it on her server.

  1. Guccifer admitted his claim he had hacked Clinton’s server was a lie.

BLAKE FARENTHOLD: And [Guccifer] claimed he gained access to Sid Blumenthal’s e-mail account and traced him back to Secretary Clinton’s private server. Can you confirm that Guccifer never gained access to her server.  |  COMEY: He admitted that was a lie.

  1. And there is no evidence that Clinton’s server has ever been successfully hacked.

COMEY: We were not able to conclude [any hacking attempts] were successful.

  1. The FBI’s investigation was not influenced by outside officials.

COMEY: “They didn’t influence it in any way.”

  1. Clinton’s case is nothing like the case of General David Petraeus.

COMEY: The Petraeus case to my mind illustrates perfectly the kind of cases the Department of Justice is willing to prosecute. Even there, they prosecuted him for a misdemeanor. In that case, you had vast quantities of highly classified information, including special sensitive compartmented information, that’s the reference to code words. Vast quantity of it not only shared with someone without authority to have it but we found it in a search warrant hidden under the insulation in his attic and then he lied to us about it during the investigation. So you have obstruction of justice, you have intentional misconduct, and a vast quantity of information. He admitted he knew that was the wrong thing to do. That is a perfect illustration of the kind of cases that get prosecuted. In my mind, it illustrates importantly the distinction to this case.

  1. Clinton’s case is nothing like the case of CIA Director John Deutch.

COMEY: The Deutch case illustrates [the difference between Clinton’s case and others who were prosecuted] perfectly. I mean he took huge amount of documents. Almost all at the TSSC I level. Had them in hard copy in his house, had them on an unclassified system connected to the internet, attempted to destroy some when he got caught. Admitted I knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing this. You have clear intent, huge amounts of documents, obstruction of justice. Those are the kinds of cases that get prosecuted. That’s what I said. I meant it when I said it. In my experience which is three decades no reasonable prosecutor would bring this case. I know that frustrates people but that’s the way the law is and that’s the way the practice is at the Department of Justice.

9. Clinton’s case is nothing like the case of Navy Commander Bryan Nishimura

COMEY: Nishimura was prosecuted under the misdemeanor statute 1924 on facts that are very different. If you want me to go through them, I’ll go through them but they are very different.

  1. The FBI’s conclusion that there was no case against Clinton was unanimous.

WILL HURD: Was this unanimous opinion within the FBI on your decision?  |  COMEY: Well the whole F.B.I. wasn’t involved but the team of agents, investigators, analysts, technologists — yes.

  1. Clinton’s email setup was, as she has always said, a matter of convenience.

COMEY: Our best information is she set it up as a matter of convenience. It was an already existing system that her husband had and she decided to have a domain on that system.

  1. Clinton did not instruct lawyers who performed the sorting of her emails.

JIM JORDAN: Did Secretary Clinton know her legal team deleted those emails they kept from us?  |  COMEY: I don’t believe so. | JORDAN: Did Secretary Clinton approve those emails being deleted?  |  COMEY: I don’t think there was any specific instruction or conversation between the Secretary and her lawyers about that.  |  JORDAN: Did you ask that question?  |  COMEY: Yes.  |  JORDAN: Did Secretary Clinton know her lawyers cleaned devices in such a way as to preclude forensic discovery?  |  COMEY: I don’t think she did.  |  JORDAN: Did you ask that question?  |  COMEY: Yes.

  1. Hillary Clinton did not lie to the FBI.

COMEY: We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI.

  1. Clinton was not even evasive with the FBI.

COMEY: I don’t think the [FBI] agents assessed she was evasive [in their 3.5 hour interview with Hillary Clinton.]

  1. There is no truth to the idea that others are prosecuted for what Clinton did.

COMEY: There’s all kinds of folks watching this at home who are being told, ‘well, lots of other cases were prosecuted and she wasn’t.’ I want them to know, that’s not true!

The Republicans on that committee have been gunning for Hillary Clinton for years.  Time and again they have proven themselves to be the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

Flashback: Chaffetz and Gowdy Disclosed Sensitive Information, Outed a CIA Source

Chaffetz Flagrantly Used Personal Email

  • ABC News: Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s Business Card Lists His Gmail Address: “Hillary Clinton isn’t the only official who uses a non-government email address. A business card obtained by ABC News shows that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, lists his Gmail address on his official House card.”

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On Multiple Occasions, Chaffetz Inappropriately Disclosed Sensitive Information

  • Washington Post, 7/15/11: Homeland Security to Chaffetz: Stop the leaks of sensitive information “The Department of Homeland Security has complained to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) about what it says was an inappropriate disclosure of sensitive security information to the press by the House transportation panel that he chairs….a clearly miffed Department of Homeland Security Deputy Counsel Joseph B. Maher told Chaffetz that “sensitive security information” provided to his subcommittee by the Transportation Security Administration was illegally disclosed to the press.”

  • Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, 10/10/12: Chaffetz Revealed CIA Information During A Televised Congressional Hearing: “When House Republicans called a hearing in the middle of their long recess, you knew it would be something big, and indeed it was: They accidentally blew the CIA’s cover. […] Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was the first to unmask the spooks.

    “Now that Chaffetz had alerted potential bad guys that something valuable was in the photo, the chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), attempted to lock the barn door through which the horse had just bolted. ‘I would direct that that chart be taken down,’ he said, although it already had been on C-SPAN. ‘In this hearing room, we’re not going to point out details of what may still in fact be a facility of the United States government or more facilities.’ May still be a facility? The plot thickened — and Chaffetz gave more hints. ‘I believe that the markings on that map were terribly inappropriate,” he said, adding that “the activities there could cost lives.'”

Similarly, Trey Gowdy Released The Name Of A CIA Source During The Benghazi Committee

  • POLITICO, 10/19/15: Gowdy appears to accidentally release CIA source’s name: “House Benghazi Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy appears to have accidentally released the name of a CIA source in the midst of a back-and-forth with Democrats about how sensitive the information was and whether its presence in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email account constituted a security breach.”

  • New Republic’s Brian Beutler, 10/9/15: Rep. Gowdy engaged in “flagrant misconduct” when he “fabricated a redaction in Clinton’s emails to make it look like she’d endangered a spy.”

  • Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, 10/20/15: Rep. Gowdy “made the sensational allegation” that Hillary Clinton burned a CIA Source, then completed the “comedy of errors” by publicly releasing the person’s name.

I remember that October 10, 2012 session so well. Chaffetz and the Republicans were lording it over the Dems on the committee because they had gone on a junket to Libya that they not only did not invite the Dems to, they didn’t even tell them they were going.  Showing off for having been there,  Chaffetz made a big scene when an aerial photo of “the annex” was shown.  He started saying that when he was there he was told never, never to discuss that building, and, in his flash of hubris, the world knew that “the annex” was actually a CIA operations base.  In exposing that information, Chaffetz clumsily shot himself and his party in the foot.  Their incessant cry asking why the Benghazi consulate remained open when other consulates had closed was answered with three letters.  There was also an active CIA operation in Benghazi.

Perusing the #ComeyHearing on Twitter, I saw Watergate come up in a few tweets.  To be clear, the only commonality between Watergate and this Benghazi come emails come server expedition is this: both the break-in at the DNC Watergate headquarters and the Republican Oversight Committee fishing expedition were Republican efforts to influence a presidential election.

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Seven days late and seven million dollars short, the Republicans of the Select Committee on Benghazi released their report today.  No Democrats on the Committee were involved in crafting the 800-page Republican report.  They released a report of their own yesterday.

To the surprise of no one, the Republican report contains no new evidence that Hillary Clinton did anything wrong, slept through the 3 a.m. phone call, gave any stand-down command, or that she blamed the attack on a video – which did exist – but she never cited that video as the motivation behind the attack.  Neither did any “Clinton administration” have anything to do with these attacks. One ended in 2001 and the other doesn’t begin until 2017.  Trey Gowdy’s slips of the tongue really say it all.

Nothing has been so wasteful in time and tax dollars as this so-called investigation.

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Hillary’s defense team was quick to respond to the Republican move.

“New Revelations” From Benghazi Report Notably Old

Republican efforts to exploit the Benghazi tragedy to score political points against Hillary Clinton has been both disturbing and fruitless.

Two years and $7 million after its inception, the taxpayer-funded partisan witch hunt known as the Benghazi Committee concluded quite fittingly: Republican members, who insisted in breaking precedent and releasing their own report rather than a bipartisan one from the committee, selectively leaked out portions of their report in the middle of the night.

As objective viewers quickly determined, the report offers no new evidence of wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton. So, having once again failed in their efforts to uncover a smoking gun, committee Republicans have opted to repackage previously known information and present it as new. Here are a few examples:

“NEW REVELATION” – A team of Marines was delayed on a runway in Spain as there were deliberations over what uniforms they should wear.

Benghazi Republicans Report Summary: “The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part I… A Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) sat on a plane in Rota, Spain, for three hours, and changed in and out of their uniforms four times.”

FACT – The uniform issue was revealed in 2013. It was again confirmed by Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee in 2014. Moreover, it had zero impact on the mission, and safety was the driving concern.

Fox News, 1/22/2013: “Fox News has learned that U.S. Marines who were part of a FAST (Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team) responding to Libya were told by the State Department to deplane, change out of their U.S. military uniforms and put on civilian clothes before flying to Tripoli… Defense Department spokesman George Little says that the FAST team would not have been in Libya in time to save any lives, and any delays to change out of military uniforms likely did not make a difference since all surviving State Department personnel left the consulate for the CIA Annex about an hour and 45 minutes after the attack began”

GOP Armed Services Committee Report on Benghazi, 2/2014: “Presumably, warfighters changed out of uniform because of concerns that the arrival of combat-ready troops might unduly alarm or inflame Libyan observers.  Although General Dempsey acknowledged to the Senate that this action delayed the platoon’s arrival in Libya, he said it was not enough to prevent it from getting to Benghazi before attack survivors departed.”

Select Committee on Benghazi Interview of Marine FAST Commander, 9/2/2015: QUESTION: And you mentioned that, even had you had aircraft collocated and loaded up within an hour, you could not have made it to Benghazi prior to the second attack. Is that right?

FAST COMMANDER: That is correct, ma’am. And as per FAST mission, we are not designed as a hostage rescue force. We are not—what was happening on the deck on the evening of the 11th to the morning of the 12th is not within the parameters of FAST mission. […]

QUESTION: And you mentioned in the last hour even the confusion you had over the uniforms did not make a difference in your ability to complete your mission. Is that right?

FAST COMMANDER: Absolutely not.

Pentagon Joint Staff Director For Operations Admiral Kurt Tidd, Interview with Select Committee on Benghazi, 4/4/2016: “It was from a security perspective that, I think, they were thinking of not moving uniformed marines at night in buses through the—you know—or, actually, in the early hours of the morning through downtown Tripoli to the embassy.”

“NEW REVELATION” – Clinton had planned to visit Libya at the end of 2012, and witness testimony asserted that she wanted the Benghazi post made permanent.

Benghazi Republicans Report Summary: “The following facts are among the many new revelations in Part III… Emails indicate senior State Department officials, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin were preparing for a trip by the Secretary of State to Libya in October 2012. According to testimony, Chris Stevens wanted to have a “deliverable” for the Secretary for her trip to Libya, and that “deliverable” would be making the Mission in Benghazi a permanent Consulate.”

WaPo: House Benghazi report: Clinton was planning a trip to Libya before the attacks

The Hill: “Among the report’s new revelations is the notion that Ambassador Chris Stevens, one of the Americans killed, was in Benghazi with the aim of erecting a permanent diplomatic post, to replace the temporary one that came under fire.”

FACT – In 2013, Gregory Hicks, the Deputy Chief of Mission to Libya, publicly testified that Clinton had wanted the Benghazi post made permanent and had planned to visit Tripoli.

House Oversight Committee Hearing, 5/8/2013: REP. THOMAS MASSIE [R-KY]: Did you tell the Accountability Review Board about Secretary Clinton’s interest in establishing a permanent presence in Benghazi? […]

GREGORY HICKS: Yes, I did tell the Accountability Review Board that Secretary Clinton wanted the post made permanent. Ambassador Pickering looked surprised. He looked both ways on the — to the members of the board, saying, “Does the 7th floor know about this?” And another factor was our understanding that Secretary Clinton intended to visit Tripoli in December.

 

“NEW REVELATION” – Hillary Clinton attended a video conference that was held on the night of the attacks.

NBC News: “In a newly revealed two-hour secure video conference on the night of the attacks led by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and attended by Clinton and others…”

FACT – The video conference was previously known about; Hillary Clinton even wrote about it in her own book, ‘Hard Choices’.

Hillary Clinton, Hard Choices, pg. 327: “I headed to the Operations Center for a secure videoconference between various government agencies and the White House Situation Room, officials from the National Security Council, the CIA, the Department of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other agencies. This was a Deputies meeting that did not include Principals, but protocol was the last thing on my mind. I downloaded to the group my discussions with Greg and President Magariaf, and I stressed how critical it was to get our people out of Benghazi as quickly and safely as possible.”

Hillary chimed in briefly from the campaign trail in Denver where she unveiled a technology and innovation agenda.

Time to move on and worry about the almost 33,000 gun-related deaths a year in the United States.
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Last week, the Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi failed to meet their own self-imposed deadline for issuing a report. Democrats on that committee, mindful of their accountability to the American people who employ them, have proactively issued a report of their own with recommendations for better security at diplomatic missions.

The committee, established pursuant to H. Res. 567 passed on May 8, 2014, has spent two years chasing its own tail in efforts to bring down the then potential candidacy of Hillary Clinton who testified before the committee in an astounding 11-hour marathon on October 22, 2015 and essentially wore the adversarial Republicans down and out.

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No committee has been more transparently and abusively political except the House UnAmerican Actitives Committee (HUAC) which functioned from 1938 to 1975 and investigated alleged disloyalty and subversive activities of private citizens for the stated purpose of combating communism in government, education, entertainment and other aspects of American life.  Many innocent lives were scarred.

The Democratic report, just under 340 pages, heavy with documented testimony, and broad in scope, takes explicit and direct aim at the Republican political agenda and misuse of the committee and the information sought and gathered.  It is not Janet Evanovich,  Mary Higgins Clark or Dan Brown, but it is recommended summer reading that is sure to figure in the debates.

Read the report here >>>>

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Hillary paid a visit to Capitol Hill this morning before leaving for Raleigh to deliver a speech on the economy.

APTOPIX DEM 2016 Clinton

APTOPIX DEM 2016 Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton walks with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. as they arrive for a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus, Wednesday, June 22, 2016, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

After she left, House Democrats commenced a sit-in in the House chamber that is ongoing.  The purpose is to force a vote on gun legislation.  House cameras and mics have been turned off, but C-SPAN is streaming Periscope video from Scott Peters.

You can locate your representative here >>>>

Call 1-202-224-3121  #NoBillNoBreak on Twitter

Demand Congressional Republicans Pass Common-Sense Gun Laws!

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