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DOJ IG: ‘Comey’s Retention, Handling, and Dissemination of Certain Memos Violated’ DOJ, FBI Policies

DOJ IG: ‘Comey’s Retention, Handling, and Dissemination of Certain Memos Violated’ DOJ, FBI Policies

Comey brags on Twitter: At least I’m not going to jail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wirfLxHup0g

The Department of Justice Inspector General released his long-awaited report into former FBI director James Comey’s handling of sensitive investigative information and the way he handled certain memos.

The IG found “no evidence” that Comey or his lawyers provided the media with classified information.

However, the IG “concluded that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.”

Here is some background from The Los Angeles Times:

Comey wrote seven memos about his interactions with Trump. They started with his briefing of the president-elect at Trump Tower on Jan. 6, 2017, about the contents of a controversial and salacious dossier by a former British spy about Russia’s meddling in the election and its dealings with the business mogul.

The former FBI director said he wrote the memos after interactions with Trump because he knew he “would need a record of what had happened, not just to defend myself, but to defend the FBI.”

“It was a combination of circumstances, subject matter and the particular person,” Comey told Congress in June 2017.

Comey testified he kept the memos in a safe at his home and showed one to Richman so he could describe its contents to a New York Times reporter. The resulting article documented how Comey believed that Trump had tried to improperly pressure him in the Oval Office to drop an investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

IG Michael Horowitz had the task to investigate “allegations that Comey had mishandled classified information when he showed a copy of a memo to a longtime friend, Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor.”

Horowitz had to investigate if Comey knew “some sentences in the memos included classified information.”

The DOJ decided earlier this month not to prosecute Comey over his mishandling of the confidential memos.

Comey immediately responded on Twitter, but left out that crucial piece of information.

Comey glossed over the fact that the IG found he violated DOJ and FBI policies.

The IG pointed out that Comey told Congress in March 2017 “the FBI is very careful in how we handle information about our cases and about the people we are investigating” because they “need to protect people’s privacy.”

However, Comey kept one memo “without authorization.” He handed over that memo “to Richman with instructions to share the contents with a reporter from The New York Times.”

This memo “included information that was related to both the FBI’s ongoing investigation of Flynn and, by Comey’s own account, information that he believed and alleged constituted evidence of an attempt to obstruct the ongoing Flynn investigation.”

The NYT proceeded to publish an article on the memo on the same day.

Horowitz wrote (emphasis mine):

The responsibility to protect sensitive law enforcement information falls in large part to the employees of the FBI who have access to it through their daily duties. On occasion, some of these employees may disagree with decisions by prosecutors, judges, or higher ranking FBI and Department officials about the actions to take or not take in criminal and counterintelligence matters. They may even, in some situations, distrust the legitimacy of those supervisory, prosecutorial, or judicial decisions. But even when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information.

Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information. Comey said he was compelled to take these actions “if I love this country…and I love the Department of Justice, and I love the FBI.” However, were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director’s example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly, as Comey himself noted in his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony. Comey expressed a similar concern to President Trump, according to Memo 4, in discussing leaks of FBI information, telling Trump that the FBI’s ability to conduct its work is compromised “if people run around telling the press what we do.” This is no doubt part of the reason why Comey’s closest advisors used the words “surprised,” “stunned,” “shocked,” and “disappointment” to describe their reactions to learning what Comey had done.

Horowitz stressed that FBI employees must “adhere to Department and FBI policies,” especially when they come across “extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions.”

The IG criticized Comey for not using the “several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel.” He told the IG office that a Special Counsel “was his goal in making the disclosure.”

Horowitz reminded Comey:

What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.

Inspector General Report on James Comey by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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Comments

2smartforlibs | August 29, 2019 at 10:39 am

It violates TITLE 18! That’s not some internal policy thats FEDERAL LAW.

Comey expects an apology from those who lied about him? Really? Get in line loser, the president has much more cred on that front.

A sad day for American Justice. Comey needs to be prosecuted. Our only hope is that he won’t go down for this but will be arrested for the FISA violations.

    fishstick in reply to snapper451. | August 29, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I called this out a couple months ago

    Horowitz is also the guy investigating the FISA abuse

    my money is the IG finds many irregularities (even law breaking) but cannot recommend anyone to be prosecuted because their ‘intent’ was either unclear or justified under the law

    this guy showed his stripes with his email investigation and his opinion of Strzok being “unbiased” despite his mountain of evidence showing the contrary

    Beyond a “sad day.” It’s more like the “end” day.

    There is a two-tier justice system in the United States. This means there is no honest justice system in the United States.

how Horowitz still had his position is maddening

finds loads of misconduct but cannot tie it to the law, despite many others pointing out glaring discrepancies?

Trump had to get rid of this guy a year ago after his first IG report

2nd Ammendment Mother | August 29, 2019 at 11:03 am

Seems like the question should be – Is there a single US Citizen sitting in prison for a similar or lesser actions without the intent of committing a crime?

    not a one I can think of

    the practice of law is suppose to prosecute actions (whether unlawful or not) not intentions that led to a specific action

    ‘intentions’ is a cover term (excuse) liberals tend to use when their hand gets caught in the proverbial cookie jar

    Comey should be brought up on charges for each and every ground for this misconduct

    by merely having the said memos the IG himself stated to have found, the former direction was breaking long established procedure (aka LAW under federal guidelines)

    what Horowitz is doing is isolating what he knows Comey is clearly guilty of and excusing it under the ‘intention’ defense

    i.e. – the IG is acting like a defense lawyer here

    we shouldn’t be surprised, Horowitz used this exact same motif in his first IG report on Clinton’s emails and Strzok’s supposed ‘unbiased’ role in tanking the FBI investigation

    as long as this IG goober remains in place, no charges will ever be recommended by the OIG office

      fishstick: the practice of law is suppose to prosecute actions (whether unlawful or not) not intentions that led to a specific action

      Intention is an important aspect of criminal law, such as the distinction between manslaughter without malice aforethought and premeditated murder.

      In this case, intention is the not crux of the issue. Comey intentionally violated FBI policy, but as there was no classified information involved, it’s an administrative issue, not a criminal matter.

        CommoChief in reply to Zachriel. | August 29, 2019 at 12:30 pm

        So as I recall there were seven memoranda the Comey wrote and retained. One of which he described to his pal in order to get the ideas contained in that memo to the NYT for publication.

        So my questions are:
        1. Have the full unredacted contents of each of these seven memos been made public?
        2. If not why? The DoJ has declined criminal prosecution related to the memos. The IG has concluded his investigation and written his report relating to the memos.

        If there were no classified information then there’s no reason the full unredacted contents of each of the seven memos shouldn’t be made public. If they have them I missed that.

        As an aside every document the DoD produces has a classification of some level. I presume the same is true for DoJ. These range from ‘TS compartmentalized code word’ at the upper level, down to an everyday ‘unclassified’ designated classification. You can guess the former type of info but the latter is mundane crap like a handout to family members at a family readiness group meeting describing the annual battalion cookout/family day event.

        Not trying to nitpick but even ‘unclassified’ is a level of classification.

          fishstick in reply to CommoChief. | August 29, 2019 at 1:08 pm

          as far as I’m aware, the memos are not in the public spotlight because they have FBI material

          the fact Comey’s memos even had redactions meant there had to be levels of classification within them

          so Horowitz coming out to make a distinction that they were only classified at the “Confidential” level is another overstep by the IG into shifting his findings towards his own personable narrative – no prosecution

          it makes you wonder at this point – what evidence would Horowitz have to find to recommend any charges?

          I guarantee you a FBI director did THIS to a Democratic president like Obama – he would be hit with 10 charges including obstruction and conspiracy

        fishstick in reply to Zachriel. | August 29, 2019 at 12:33 pm

        @Zachriel ‘intention’ is a defense standard and not usually done by the investigating body

        that is the point I am making here

        let Comey and his lawyer make THAT excuse under the court of law

        but when THAT comes from IG himself, he crosses the neutral line by trying to base his decision around that distinction

        Comey literally violated the LAW by having such FBI material on his person (classified or not) and then sharing said material with someone not of the department

        and he is under oath for doing such action to bypass the restrictions levied on him when he got canned as FBI director

        Horowitz comes to the personable decision that Comey’s ‘intent’ here is not unlawful

        it doesn’t take a genius to see the IG’s pattern here if finding clear evidence of wrongdoing then using the ‘intention’ excuse to construct a roadblock to prosecution

          artichoke in reply to fishstick. | August 29, 2019 at 2:37 pm

          Intent isn’t relevant in the criminal law of disclosing classified information. Is it relevant in department policies or whatever Horowitz had the purview to investigate as IG? I seriously doubt it.

          fishstick: @Zachriel ‘intention’ is a defense standard and not usually done by the investigating body

          That is simply not correct. It’s a critical investigative and prosecutorial decision to decide between charging someone with manslaughter without malice aforethought or premeditated murder. For instance, Michael Drejka was charged with manslaughter. To prove murder, they would have had to prove premeditation, to which there was no evidence.

          fishstick: Comey literally violated the LAW by having such FBI material on his person (classified or not) and then sharing said material with someone not of the department

          No. It’s not against the law. It’s against his employment contract. That Comey said he considered the memos his personal property was simply unreasonable.

          As for intent, Comey said he meant to write the memos without classified information, and even after further review, a small amount of the information was only considered confidential. That seems more than plausible, as there would be no reason to include classified information.

          The real problem is that Comey broke FBI protocols due to his strongly held beliefs. Lots of people have strongly held beliefs, but FBI agents can’t act on these beliefs. Comey only had access to the information due to his position in the FBI, and he was obligated to find another way to achieve his goals without violating FBI guidelines. It sets a terrible example for FBI employees, and erodes trust in the institution.

          artichoke: Intent isn’t relevant in the criminal law of disclosing classified information.

          The courts have ruled that “scienter and bad faith” are required to convict under the Espionage Act.

        You’re wrong, of course.

        You must be very proud of comey. He must be your moral equivalent.

          “Scienter” means an intent to deceive, manipulate, or defraud.

          If comey, as the head of the FBI didn’t know it was deceitful, manipulative or fraudulent to do what he did, he’s either as dumb as biden, or so ignorant that he could only have been promoted based on graft.

          TheFineReport.com: If comey, as the head of the FBI didn’t know it was deceitful, manipulative or fraudulent to do what he did, he’s either as dumb as biden, or so ignorant that he could only have been promoted based on graft.

          As we mentioned, you might be able to argue bad faith with regards to leaking the memos, which is an administrative infraction, but not with regards to classified information, which could be criminal.

      2nd Ammendment Mother in reply to fishstick. | August 29, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      This is just one story of aslip up, Trump got him pardoned:
      “Former US Navy sailor Kristian Saucier– who was sent to prison for taking photos inside a nuclear submarine — has been released from prison and put under house arrest.

      Saucier pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information and was sentenced to one year prison, 6-months of house arrest, 100 hours of community and $100 fine. He told FOX Business, based on what he did, the punishment was unfair.

      “I take responsibility for what I did—I made a mistake when I was a young guy—I was 22 at the time. And I took some pictures because I was really proud of the job that I did in the military and I wanted to be able to remember it,” Saucier told Ashley Webster on Varney & Co. Friday. “I think the punishment issued out to me was a little extreme but I was willing to accept it—that’s why I plead[ed] guilty.””

      Another soldier under enemy fire was prosecuted for using the email on his personal satellite phone to request support after their communications equipment was bombed to pieces. (He did get a commendation for saving his squad, but then lost it in the court martial for disclosing their location and situation thru non-secure channels.)

        and what Comey did was 100x worse than the two listed above

        what is worse is Comey no longer had his position when he leaked his memos, as he got fired a few days prior

        so even having that material, which Horowitz even had to admit was a violation, is grounds for prosecution

The findings of the IG Reports seems to consistently be that is is established policy that there is one law for the people in charge and a different law for the rest of us.

This is, ultimately, unfortunately, consistent with the rest of the reports the IG has released.

Did I miss Comey’s tweet where he claims he was exonerated?

Comey was a politically motivated, biased director of an organization that may not survive his malfeasance. Now, let’s see who comes out of the rest of the investigations completely unscathed.

Connivin Caniff | August 29, 2019 at 11:27 am

Boy, if you’re In with the In Crowd, nothing is ever prosecuted. This is disgusting. Don’t be so quick with your “Thank you for your service” or “99% or them are hard working and honest” – They are all in on it.

“The IG found “no evidence” that Comey or his lawyers provided the media with classified information.”

Then they couldn’t have looked very hard! This is a whitewash, clear and simple.

    malclave in reply to irv. | August 29, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    As I understand it, it’s not a whitewash so much as weasel words. He didn’t leak to the media, he leaked to a friend of his who then gave the information to the media.

    I guess it depends on what the definition of “is” is.

      Milhouse in reply to malclave. | August 29, 2019 at 7:07 pm

      No, it’s saying the information he had Richman leak was not classified. Leaking it was not against the law, only against FBI policy. If he still worked for the FBI it would be a firing offense, but since he doesn’t there’s nothing that can be done to him.

      Which is pretty much what Comey said about Hillary Clinton — that DOJ policy was never to prosecute people for what she did, but that if she were still working for the government there would have been consequences.

disgusting, but not surprising

Wasnt the meno itself, that he showed his mate so it could be leaked to the media, classified information??

    stablesort in reply to mailman. | August 29, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    His ‘mate’ was an unpaid secret agent man with full access to the NSA databases. They needed FISA warrants only to justify the data they had already accessed.

    Milhouse in reply to mailman. | August 29, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Apparently not. It was information that Richman had no business seeing, but it wasn’t classified.

Colonel Travis | August 29, 2019 at 12:20 pm

America as we knew it is over.

Well, at least the DOJ nailed Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby to the wall and they can yet redeem themselves via Roger Stone.

/snark

Where does Comey go to get his reputation back.

Well does this impact his pension that he may get?

In this analysis section, we address whether Comey’s actions violated Department and FBI policies, or the terms of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement. We determined that several of his actions did. We conclude that the Memos were official FBI records, rather than Comey’s personal documents. Accordingly, after his removal as FBI Director, Comey violated applicable policies and his Employment Agreement by failing to either surrender his copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to the FBI or seek authorization to retain them; by releasing official FBI information and records to third parties without authorization; and by failing to immediately alert the FBI about his disclosures to his personal attorneys once he became aware in June 2017 that Memo 2 contained six words (four of which were names of foreign countries mentioned by the President) that the FBI had determined were classified at the “CONFIDENTIAL” level.

    artichoke in reply to MarkSmith. | August 29, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Normally Confidential isn’t such a big deal. But since we know he also broke the law in other extremely serious ways, throw the book at him. To pay this slug a pension would be a disgrace.

    Besides, what could he buy with it in prison?

i guess all nda’s can be ignored without repercussions

This does not bode well, but let’s see what happens re: the faux FISA warrants he signed.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to lc. | August 29, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Absolutely nothing will happen to him, because he is part of the Nomenklatura and he had no “intention” of being indicted and charged. Which for him is an excuse. For the rest of us . . .

    Subotai Bahadur

Sanctimonious bastard.

Sanctimonious bastard.

James Comey, James Clapper and John Brennan all misused their authority to gather intelligence and gather information on US citizens without cause. The three should be sharing a cell in Leavenworth.

Powerline Blog has concluded Comey lied under oath. He should be referred to the bar association.

Why did Horowitz have to investigate whether Comey knew the classified info he showed to Richman was classified?

It violated the law, even if he didn’t know it was classified. The law is about “disclosure” not “willful disclosure”.

Is federal or FBI procedure only about willful disclosure?

Comey didn’t give classified information to the press. He gave it to Richman who did not have a security clearance, and then Richman gave it to the press. Comey’s doing a victory lap! He needs to be perp-walked.

    artichoke: It violated the law, even if he didn’t know it was classified.

    The courts have ruled that “scienter and bad faith” are required to convict under the Espionage Act.

      fishstick in reply to Zachriel. | August 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      but, why else would Comey take such an action?

      if it wasn’t in bad faith

      besides, Horowitz is not the court

      he is suppose to be the “prosecutor” and the investigating body to hold such overreach accountable under the law

      Twice now – Horowitz has put his own personable opinion above the cold, hard facts in his own report

      it is not the OIG’s jobs to give excuses for Comey’s ill behavior

      it is only to discover what said ill behavior is then tie it to the law

      Horowitz is doing the former in having his office just be an impediment to the entire process of discovery and interpretation

      what AG Barr should do (but won’t) is file charges against Comey anyways for each and every violation in the IG’s report on this matter

      have Comey be under oath trying to use his lame intention excuse

      don’t let Horowitz give him a pass on his ill behavior

        fishstick: but, why else would Comey take such an action? if it wasn’t in bad faith

        You could argue that leaking the memos was in bad faith, but that’s an administrative infraction. The evidence is that Comey didn’t intend to release classified information, purposefully crafting the memos to do so. To convict him, you would have to show that he released information he knew was relating to the national defense.

        fishstick: he is suppose to be the “prosecutor” and the investigating body to hold such overreach accountable under the law

        The inspector general can’t recommend charges unless he thinks there is a probable cause, which the facts do not support.

          fishstick in reply to Zachriel. | August 29, 2019 at 5:07 pm

          But the very info that was leaked, was a legal infraction

          Comey (at that time) no longer had the authority to even hold those memos, let alone from sources I’ve read, show them to another that did not even meet baseline US security clearance

          Comey’s stance that his memos were his personal property is false under federal guidelines

          Horowitz even has to admit that in his report

          so how could any action done with said memos be not an infraction against the state?

          if Comey was still FBI head at the time, he might have a case to state he had the authority to undertake such an action

          but not when his arse was fired just a few days prior

          AND that also shows the minimal amount of ‘bad faith’ to warrant a hearing in a courtroom or before a judge

          Horowitz just once again, kicks the proverbial can down the street because HE cannot be bothered to give a damn about it

          IT is at a point right now to what Horowitz can find that he does find ‘prosecutable’

          because it sure does seem his opinion sides with (in these reports) the accused, in spite the evidence of wrongdoing

          fishstick: But the very info that was leaked, was a legal infraction

          That is incorrect. It was a breach of FBI regulations, and in violation of his employment contract, but was not a crime, as the Inspector General determined.

          fishstick in reply to Zachriel. | August 30, 2019 at 6:45 am

          @Zachriel wrong on a couple levels

          first Comey was NO longer employed with the FBI when this ‘infraction’ occurred

          under the law – Comey was no different than I was in being able to selectively leak this level of information

          and second, breaking federal ordinance still falls in the “illegal” category

          why else would a guy who took a picture in a submarine be subject to a federal crime?

          Comey violated a statute even worse than the “confidentiality” that poor chap plead guilty to

          your argument is rooted towards a biased outcome just like Horowitz’s in trying to say an orange is a tangerine when they are both citrus fruit

          the IG could have easily recommended prosecutorial charges, such as perjury and the mishandling of classified information, with the very same information gleamed in his own report

          the fact is – Horowitz came to his own conclusion in not doing so

          AG Barr should (but won’t) just take this particular report and file multiple charges for each infraction Horowitz refused to

          fishstick: first Comey was NO longer employed with the FBI when this ‘infraction’ occurred

          That’s right, which means he is probably beyond administrative punishment.

          fishstick: under the law – Comey was no different than I was in being able to selectively leak this level of information

          It depends on how you acquired the information. If you broke into an office or computer system, or encouraged someone else to do so, then that would be a felony. Comey didn’t steal the information. He actually created the memos himself.

          fishstick: and second, breaking federal ordinance still falls in the “illegal” category

          It’s not an ordinance, but a policy. Even the fact that information is classified doesn’t make leaking it a crime, because that would be giving the government power to control any and all information. To be a crime, it has to be shown that the information is relating to the national defence.

          fishstick: why else would a guy who took a picture in a submarine be subject to a federal crime?

          Because Saucier knew the information was highly classified, and he took it anyway. He probably wouldn’t have been criminally charged if he had immediately admitted his mistake. Instead, he destroyed evidence in an attempt to obstruct the investigation. Saucier has admitted his guilt.

          fishstick: Comey violated a statute even worse than the “confidentiality” that poor chap plead guilty to

          What statute is that?

          fishstick: the IG could have easily recommended prosecutorial charges, such as perjury and the mishandling of classified information, with the very same information gleamed in his own report

          There’s no prosecutable case.

          We may have messed up which comment to which we were replying. But the arguments are the same on both sub-threads.

          Z: Because Saucier knew the information was highly classified, …

          And the government could prove Saucier knew the information was “relating to the national defence”.

          fishstick in reply to Zachriel. | August 30, 2019 at 9:31 am

          Zachriel: That’s right, which means he is probably beyond administrative punishment.

          but you are forgetting that said memos were government property

          Horowitz even has to admit this in his report

          when something is government property and then illegally handled, it is no longer an administrative problem but a legal one

          under various law codes – Comey could have been charged with a crime here

          Zachriel: It depends on how you acquired the information. If you broke into an office or computer system, or encouraged someone else to do so, then that would be a felony. Comey didn’t steal the information. He actually created the memos himself.

          the fact that Comey wrote them is totally irrelevant because said memos were still handled without proper procedure

          Horowitz, in his report, had to admit this

          thus in this particular case – Comey could be charged for mishandling classified information

          you missing the fact Horowitz just doesn’t want to by giving a variant of an ‘intent’ excuse

          Zachriel: It’s not an ordinance, but a policy. Even the fact that information is classified doesn’t make leaking it a crime, because that would be giving the government power to control any and all information. To be a crime, it has to be shown that the information is relating to the national defence.

          but nearly all federal policy is under some kind of federal ordinance in some way shape or form under the law

          otherwise, there would be no reason to NOT do what you just described in that paragraph if the only possible punishment was ‘loss of job’

          my cousin’s wife used to work for some Pentagon agency and she literally described any particulars of her job as “I work in DC”

          so what do you do? “I work in DC”

          you work in DC? “I work in DC”

          any specific agency? “I work in DC”

          when asked why she can’t talk about her job – “I can literally go to jail if I tell you anything specific”

          this was due to various ordinances her office worked under and violating any one of them was a virtual death wish for her career

          now do you really think the HEAD of the FBI is held to some lax standard?

          Comey had to violate any number of laws on the books (and there are many) with the release of memos he did not “own” and memos that Horowitz had to admit contained “classified” information

          it doesn’t matter that Comey’s intent was supposedly limited or he didn’t mean to do such a thing

          the only thing that matters in this case is he DID it

          what you are trying to describe Zachriel is best saved for a courtroom, not an indictment

          Zachriel: Because Saucier knew the information was highly classified, and he took it anyway. He probably wouldn’t have been criminally charged if he had immediately admitted his mistake. Instead, he destroyed evidence in an attempt to obstruct the investigation. Saucier has admitted his guilt.

          Saucier took a stillshot photo, it wasn’t a real and highly classified document by any stretch of the imagination

          and he still would have been criminally charged due to the code (not law) he knew he had broken by doing so

          remember – there is no law on the books that says ‘photographs on submarines are prohibited

          Saucier violated a federal ordinance, not a state or federal law on the books, that mostly deal with regulation breaking which his ‘crime’ had been due to the ridiculous nature of what is considered a state secret

          so Saucier takes a “photo” and that is somehow worth prosecuting to the full extent of the law

          but Comey mishandles federal documents (NOT his own) and that is somehow above prosecution?

          I call bullshit on that one

          and lest we not forget possible perjury charges that could be levied due to Comey’s misleading statements to the president-elect then president Trump that also tie into the faux investigation into his campaign and transition

          which also ties back to these memos

          another thing Horowitz conveniently decided to overlook

          Zachriel: What statute is that?

          lets just start with one – the FBI federal guidelines

          I’ve never read a compilation of it myself but I’m pretty confident it would make for a pretty big book

          Zachriel: There’s no prosecutable case.

          Of course there is, if we had a OIG office that was actually interested in building a case

          Horowitz’s own report is a visible roadmap pointing to Comey’s guilt

          the difference is the IG went way out of his way to try and make a defense that Comey can’t be reasonably charged due to there being no definitive way to prove his ill intent

          however I (and many others) would argue that was never Horowitz’s job as a prosecutor to make that case for Comey because that makes the IG look entirely complicit in his subject of his reports repeated bad (and illegal) behavior

          the conclusion Horowitz draws is – “yeah I found a load of evidence showing Comey did all manner of illicit infractions against the department, but I may not be able to prove him guilty due to this and that, so I can’t recommend any charges.”

          again – that’s just pure unadulterated bullshit

          See reply below.

Rule of law death confirmed again.
Two tier justice affirmed …again.
Corruption in government confirmed…again.
The boarding school elites hold the levers of power and will never hurt their own seditious popinjays.

    artichoke in reply to Chieftain. | August 29, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    popinjay, I had to look that up since I haven’t seen it in decades. But it’s the perfect word for these scum.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | August 29, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Comey brags on Twitter: At least I’m not going to jail. YET.

FIFY Commie.

So… Comey claims his lack of ‘intent’ makes this a non-crime, but refuses to admit that accusations of Trump’s supposed obstruction of justice charges *require* a degree of mens rea in order to prosecute.

Obviously, Comey has changed his voter registration to Democrat, in order to avoid prosecution. (/snark)

“Mistakes were made,” but gosh, he lacked intent (or says he did), so what can anyone do? Gotta let the nice man skate. If you don’t, then who’s next? Comrade Brennan?

Guilty as sin.
Free as a bird.

we are no longer a nation of laws.

    CDR D in reply to redc1c4. | August 29, 2019 at 5:48 pm

    “guilty as sin, free as a bird”…wasn’t that a quote from Obama’s buddy Bill Ayers?

    In any case, this country cannot stand for long with a two tiered justice system. All we can do now is try to get seated on juries and demolish the whole corrupt system.

Folks don’t fret about Comey trying to spin this IG report into something that exonerated him. Clearly it does not. This is a narrow part of the larger probe. It was intentionally split off by the IG, supposedly after DoJ had already declined criminal prosecution about the memos.

The forthcoming IG report and decisions regarding criminal referral related to the possible FISA applications abuses is the one to watch.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to CommoChief. | August 29, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    You have far more faith in the existence of any integrity in the DOJ than I and others do.

    Subotai Bahadur

      CommoChief in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | August 29, 2019 at 11:21 pm

      Subotai,

      My hope is that they let this memo issue go like a fisherman who has two lines in the water with a much larger fish on the second line; FISA applications.

      Faith in DoJ leadership is strained at best……

The problem with the Horowitz report, is that the build-up led to disappointment. People expected this to be startling revelation, as worst and lead to criminal charges, at best. Of course, it did none of those thing.

Could Comey have been charged or indicted based upon his handling of the “memos”? Yes. he removed documents, which can strongly argued to be the property of the government, from government control. He released one or more of these documents, without the legal authority to do so, as he was no longer employed by the government. And, as he was the ultimate classification authority for the FBI, he knew, or should have known, that these memos contained information which should have been classified as either sensitive, confidential or secret. And disseminating such information would be a violation of federal law.

Now, the question becomes, should thee DOJ charge or indict Comey? Maybe, maybe not. However, considering the popular politics involved, a rush to decide no prosecution will occur, is a little premature, in my opinion. There is no reason, which I can see, to take any pressure off of Comey, with the FISA mess and the Crossfire Hurricane fabrication hanging fire. But, now, it is impossible to change their minds and prosecute.

    Mac45: Yes. he removed documents, which can strongly argued to be the property of the government, from government control. He released one or more of these documents, without the legal authority to do so, as he was no longer employed by the government.

    Taking and releasing the memos is against FBI policy, and a violation of Comey’s employment contract, but it is not illegal.

    Mac45: And, as he was the ultimate classification authority for the FBI, he knew, or should have known, that these memos contained information which should have been classified as either sensitive, confidential or secret.

    Comey drafted the memos specifically to exclude any classified information. That the government later determined some information was classified at the lowest level would not support a criminal charge, which requires “scienter and bad faith”, as well convincing a jury the information was relating to the national defence. Such a prosecution would be very difficult for the very reason you state: If he is an authority of classification, and drafted the memos to exclude classified information, then there is no intention of leaking classified information, and whether the information should be classified is disputable. In any case, the confidential information was never made public, because that portion was only provided to Comey’s attorney.

      fishstick in reply to Zachriel. | August 30, 2019 at 6:59 am

      Zachriel: Taking and releasing the memos is against FBI policy, and a violation of Comey’s employment contract, but it is not illegal.

      first off – Comey was no longer an employee of the FBI when he released his memos

      second – it still violates a federal ordinance and falls under the same prosecutorial category any regular civilian would suffer penalty to if they had leaked such classified information

      Zachriel: Comey drafted the memos specifically to exclude any classified information. That the government later determined some information was classified at the lowest level would not support a criminal charge, which requires “scienter and bad faith”, as well convincing a jury the information was relating to the national defence.

      first off – Comey’s published content was concluded to have such “classified information”, thus breaking a federal ordinance and thus prosecutable under the law

      Horowitz even had to admit this in his own report

      second – “bad faith” is chargable due to Comey’s actions in releasing such classified documents without supervision or proper clearance, which he no longer had due to his firing 3 days prior

      Zachriel: Such a prosecution would be very difficult for the very reason you state: If he is an authority of classification, and drafted the memos to exclude classified information, then there is no intention of leaking classified information, and whether the information should be classified is disputable. In any case, the confidential information was never made public, because that portion was only provided to Comey’s attorney.

      first off – Horowitz’s job to try and clear Comey of charges due to a reason as flimsy as “well we can’t prove bad faith”

      it is only his determination whether Comey’s actions that bare requirement, which can easily be done

      Horowitz made a personable decision (twice now) that sides with the people he is actually investigating

      THAT is highly odd

      and second – the FACT you glossed over in Comey handing out such confidential information to a person not of proper security clearance is another crime in of itself, regardless of how that information formally hit the public spotlight

      it doesn’t matter that the “confidential” information Comey had in his memos never became public knowledge

      the only fact that should have mattered to Horowitz is that they were there

      Mac45 in reply to Zachriel. | August 30, 2019 at 2:56 pm

      “Taking and releasing the memos is against FBI policy, and a violation of Comey’s employment contract, but it is not illegal.”

      Not accurate. The memos would constitute government property. By removing them from the custody of the FBI, without copies on file, he committed theft of government property. It would be the same as if he had removed 302 forms from the files. He can, and is , using the defense that HE thought the memos were private documents, even though he produced them on company time, on a company machine, and used them to further an investigation. So, he could still be charged and he could present his defense.

      “Comey drafted the memos specifically to exclude any classified information. That the government later determined some information was classified at the lowest level would not support a criminal charge, which requires “scienter and bad faith”, as well convincing a jury the information was relating to the national defence. Such a prosecution would be very difficult for the very reason you state: If he is an authority of classification, and drafted the memos to exclude classified information, then there is no intention of leaking classified information, and whether the information should be classified is disputable. In any case, the confidential information was never made public, because that portion was only provided to Comey’s attorney.”

      Now, Comey’s DEFENSE, to a charge of releasing classified material, is that he specifically wrote the memos so as to preclude the incorporation of material which would have been classified. However, upon the acquisition of the memos, by the FBI, certain information in the memos, in Comey’s possession, were classified and not released. And, this was done by confederates of Comey, such as McCabe, who would be expected to by sympathetic to him. Now, being the head of the agency, Comey should have known that the material, in question, was at least sensitive, if not confidential or secret. That he released this material to his attorney, for release to the media, is irrelevant, as his attorney was not cleared for possession of the material nor was Comey authorized to declassify any material following his termination. And, Comey testified that he released this material for public consumption in order to further an official investigation.

      Conviction would be an uphill battle, but there is sufficient probable cause to file criminal charges. And, I see NO reason for the DOJ to rush out and decide that it is not going to attempt to prosecute Comey. I would have said that the matter was being taken under advisement and left it at that, allowing Comey to sweat. Except the fix was already in.

        fishstick in reply to Mac45. | August 30, 2019 at 3:22 pm

        great summation here of how the individual aspects of Comey’s behavior relates to the whole

        I’ve given up trying to talk sense to this guy Zachriel because he just doesn’t seem to see the forest for the trees

        what Zachriel does not want to admit is Comey could easily be charged with a plethora of infractions

        but the main reason why is NOT because Comey hasn’t done anything wrong but because Horowitz overstepped in trying frame the clear evidence of his wrongdoing in a political spectrum of – he can’t be charged just because we can’t definitively prove this and that

        but that us not Horowitz’s job

        Comey’s actions met the bare threshold of getting his ass in a courtroom and before a judge

          Barry in reply to fishstick. | August 30, 2019 at 11:41 pm

          “I’ve given up trying to talk sense to this guy Zachriel…”

          He’s a paid commie, paid to do precisely what he is doing, with talking points in hand.

          The best thing you can do is call him a commie and other names. No point in wasting your time with anything else.

        fishstick in reply to Mac45. | August 30, 2019 at 3:28 pm

        Another thing to not, which is highly odd, is Comey’s defense which Mac45 here goes over was made by the head of the investigating body

        I don’t know a whole bunch about legalese but… is THAT not something usually done by defense lawyers in a courtroom?

        to hear it come out of the Horowitz camp, who is suppose to be investigating them of wrongdoing, well let me just say it hardly seems partisan

        Mac45: The memos would constitute government property. By removing them from the custody of the FBI, without copies on file, he committed theft of government property.

        That’s awfully thin gruel. Under Morison, it’s doubtful the memos would qualify as property of value. And while the original memos were produced with government resources, the FBI was well-aware that Comey had the memos and was using them to prepare for Congressional testimony. He returned the originals when asked.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Zachriel. | August 30, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      “Taking and releasing the memos is against FBI policy, and a violation of Comey’s employment contract, but it is not illegal.”

      No, it’s theft. Comey made the memos based on conversations he had (and would not have had any other way) in his official capacity. It is typical FBI procedure to memorialize conversation this way. Both because they were made about conversations in his official capacity and because the memos were SOP, the memos were obviously FBI property. (Do you think line agents are permitted to determine which of the notes made in the course of their work belongs to the government, and which to themselves?)

      How did Comey, the civilian, end up with possession of FBI property? He took them without authorization. Which is a polite way of saying he stole them. It doesn’t matter that he created the memos, because you are talking about two entities here – the FBI employee who created the memos and the civilian who stole them.

      You have made the point numerous times that some of Comey’s actions violated DOJ/FBI policy, not laws. And you are correct as far as that goes. But when fired Comey retained government property to which he had no claim, that was theft, because, as you keep writing, he was at that point no longer beholden to the rules of his employment. Those rules permitted him to have possession of the memos while an employee. Having been released from those rules, he became subject to other rules (aka “the law,” to which are subject any other citizen in unauthorized possession of government property), having lost his right (or rather the privilege through his employment) to possess the memos.

        DaveGinOly: No, it’s theft.

        Under Morison, it’s doubtful the memos would qualify as property of value. And while the original memos were produced with government resources, the FBI was well-aware that Comey had possession of the memos. He returned the originals when asked.

fishstick: Comey’s published content was concluded to have such “classified information”, thus breaking a federal ordinance and thus prosecutable under the law

If Comey had intentionally released information relating to the national defence, then it would be a prosecutable offense under the Espionage Act. But that is not the case, as we just explained.

fishstick: “bad faith” is chargable due to Comey’s actions in releasing such classified documents without supervision or proper clearance, which he no longer had due to his firing 3 days prior

If Comey had intentionally released information relating to the national defence, then it would be a prosecutable offense under the Espionage Act. But that is not the case, as we just explained.

To review: To be prosecutable, the information has to be “relating to the national defence” and there has to be “scienter and bad faith”. While you could argue that releasing the memos was in bad faith, Comey purposefully drafted the memos to exclude classified information. That indicates there was no “scienter and bad faith” with regards to the release of the classified information. There was no reason for Comey to release classified information, and the information was never made public. The classification was retroactive at the lowest level of classification, so whether the information is really “related to the national defence” is probably disputable.

    fishstick in reply to Zachriel. | August 30, 2019 at 9:42 am

    Zachriel: If Comey had intentionally released information relating to the national defence, then it would be a prosecutable offense under the Espionage Act. But that is not the case, as we just explained.

    the case of “intent” is for a courtroom

    this is whether or not Comey met the threshold for prosecution which he clearly did

    the Espionage Act has nothing to do with what Comey did

    it is all about the mishandling of “classified” information outside his perview

    Zachriel: To review: To be prosecutable, the information has to be “relating to the national defence” and there has to be “scienter and bad faith”. While you could argue that releasing the memos was in bad faith, Comey purposefully drafted the memos to exclude classified information. That indicates there was no “scienter and bad faith” with regards to the release of the classified information. There was no reason for Comey to release classified information, and the information was never made public. The classification was retroactive at the lowest level of classification, so whether the information is really “related to the national defence” is probably disputable.

    To review: THIS has nothing to do with the Espionage Act

    “scienter and bad faith” can be easily explained due to Comey’s actions which Horowitz even has to admit in his report – fell far below his station and responsibility

    THAT proves “bad faith”

    Comey’s misleading statements proves “scienter”

    maybe not enough to score convictions in a DC courtroom but more than above the threshold to hold Comey accountable in a court of law

    instead Horowitz decided to kick the can because HE too is part of the problem that comes from holding anyone involved in this entire fiasco accountable for their illicit (and I would argue illegal) actions

    again – the dispute is not really about “national defense”

    it is about Comey going above and beyond his own station in mishandling said memos

    due to how he wrote them, he no longer had the authority as an ex-FBI director, to show them to people that operate outside the US security clearances

    ie – that is mishandling of government material and highly prosecutable under probably dozens of statutes

Is Epstein’s cell empty?

fishstick: but you are forgetting that said memos were government property

That doesn’t make it a crime to possess a copy.

fishstick: when something is government property and then illegally handled, it is no longer an administrative problem but a legal one

Possessing a copy of something is not a crime, unless it is unauthorized information “relating to the national defence”.

fishstick: under various law codes – Comey could have been charged with a crime here

Then you won’t mind citing the statute(s).

fishstick: the fact that Comey wrote them is totally irrelevant because said memos were still handled without proper procedure

That’s right. Comey didn’t follow proper procedure. He violated FBI policy.

fishstick: thus in this particular case – Comey could be charged for mishandling classified information

No. Because you can’t show “scienter and bad faith” and would probably have trouble showing that the information is “relating to the national defence”.

fishstick: but nearly all federal policy is under some kind of federal ordinance in some way shape or form under the law

No, it’s not. The vast majority of policies do not have the force of law. If the FBI policy says you have to file a report by the third working day, that doesn’t mean you can be criminally charged if you fail in your duty. You can be demoted, transferred, fired. There’s policies for that too.

fishstick: there would be no reason to NOT do what you just described in that paragraph if the only possible punishment was ‘loss of job’

Being fired is a very big punishment for career employees. Or being reassigned to Nome.

fishstick: this was due to various ordinances her office worked under and violating any one of them was a virtual death wish for her career

That’s right. Her career.

fishstick: Comey had to violate any number of laws on the books (and there are many) with the release of memos he did not “own” …

That’s not a crime.

fishstick: and memos that Horowitz had to admit contained “classified” information

The information that was retroactively classified was never publicly released.

fishstick: it doesn’t matter that Comey’s intent was supposedly limited or he didn’t mean to do such a thing

Of course it matters, because the government has to show “scienter and bad faith”, as well as the information is “relating to the national defence”.

fishstick: Saucier took a stillshot photo, it wasn’t a real and highly classified document by any stretch of the imagination

He took a number of stillshots of attack submarine equipment he knew was highly classified, then lied about it, then destroyed evidence.

fishstick: and he still would have been criminally charged due to the code (not law) he knew he had broken by doing so

If the government could not prove he knew it was “relating to the national defence”, then they couldn’t charge him, because that is what they have to show in court. That he lied and destroyed evidence is prima facie evidence that he did know. That’s why he pleaded guilty.

fishstick: there is no law on the books that says ‘photographs on submarines are prohibited

There is a law on the books that makes the unauthorized taking or retaining information you know to be “relating to the national defence” a crime.

fishstick: Saucier violated a federal ordinance, not a state or federal law on the books

Uh, no. Saucier pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized retention of defense information, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) and one count of obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519.

fishstick: and lest we not forget possible perjury charges that could be levied due to Comey’s misleading statements to the president-elect then president Trump

Even if true, that’s not perjury under the statute.

2nd Ammendment Mother | August 30, 2019 at 1:49 pm

Saucier only possessed the submarine photos, he did not publish or arrange for them to be published. He acknowledged he had made a careless mistake as a young man – however, he was zealously prosecuted and went to prison as well as having his reputation destroyed and a blot on his military record making him virtually unable to gain employment in his field.

Comey planned to possess those memo’s with the intent of making them public for malicious (and as we’ve learned) false reasons. As a career fed and the head of the FBI, he cannot claim to unaware of the consequences.

    2nd Ammendment Mother: Saucier only possessed the submarine photos, he did not publish or arrange for them to be published.

    Other sailors who had taken such photos had generally been subject only to administrative action. But Saucier knew the information was “relating to the national defence”, lied about it, and tried to destroy the evidence.

    2nd Ammendment Mother: Comey planned to possess those memo’s with the intent of making them public for malicious (and as we’ve learned) false reasons.

    The information deemed classified was never made public. There was never any intent to release information “relating to the national defence”.

“If Comey had intentionally released information relating to the national defence, then it would be a prosecutable offense under the Espionage Act. But that is not the case, as we just explained.”

You keep referring to the Espionage Act and to scienter and bad faith. Yet the submariner was tried for a negligent release of classified information that was neither intentional nor in bad faith. Months ago, you made this same claim in defense of Hillary Clinton. But unintentional release of classified information by someone who knew, or had a duty to know, it was classified and who had a duty to prevent its release and fails in that duty can be tried for the negligence</b. "Intent" is not necessary when the subject has a duty or responsibility to safeguard classified information.

Saucier and Clinton both knew, or should have known, and had a duty to know, they were dealing with classified information. (Saucier knew, or had a duty to know, that the instrument panels captured in his photos were classified. The Secretary of State couldn't possibly have believed that she could conduct the business of her office without receiving, sending, and storing classified information. She certainly knew, or should have known, and had a duty to know, that she was dealing with classified information regularly, and therefore must have been using her private, unsecured email to do so.) They both handled classified material negligently. So did Comey (when he retained it after his employment by the FBI ended – I’ve already made the argument for theft in an earlier post). And that’s a crime. If it’s not, what was Saucier tried for without the scienter and bad faith you keep saying are essential for an espionage conviction? In fact you are correct, they are essential to an espionage conviction. But they are not essential to a charge of negligence.

    DaveGinOly: Yet the submariner was tried for a negligent release of classified information that was neither intentional nor in bad faith.

    If you are referring to Saucier, there was nothing negligent about his actions. He knew the information was relating to the national defence, and took possession of it anyway. More important, when caught, he did not surrender it back to the proper authorities, but tried to destroy the evidence of the original crime. You might argue—against the evidence—that Saucier did not know when he took the pictures that the information was relating to the national defence (gee whiz, it was of instruments on a nuclear-powered attack submarine), however, he certainly knew it when he lied about it and tried to destroy the evidence. He pleaded guilty, not to taking the information, but for retaining it and obstructing justice.

    DaveGinOly: But unintentional release of classified information by someone who knew, or had a duty to know, it was classified and who had a duty to prevent its release and fails in that duty can be tried for the negligence</b. "Intent" is not necessary when the subject has a duty or responsibility to safeguard classified information.

    That is not correct, per the courts and per precedent. There has to be elements of “scienter and bad faith”.

One more time, Zach is a paid commie. It is paid to go on websites like LI and spread the prog propaganda and talking points of the day.

It’s one of thousands. Yes thousands.

You’re wasting your time doing anything more than calling it names.

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