"The FBI must be run outside of partisan political considerations — yet, examination of FBI conduct tied to questionable and deeply suspicious activities of the Clintons suggests a two tier approach", says Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel, commenting on the Judicial Watch's release of the Clinton emailgate documents.
On 11 February, Judicial Watch (JW), a conservative watchdog group, signalled that it had received 215 pages of records from the US Department of Justice.
The documents indicated that former FBI General Counsel James Baker had discussed the federal agency's Clinton email investigation with Hillary Clinton's lawyer, David Kendall. The Baker-Kendall email exchange followed then FBI chief James Comey's 28 October 2016 announcement of the discovery of new emails on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the husband of the Clinton campaign's then vice president, Huma Abedin. Kendall reached out to Baker and lashed out at the FBI for its "tantalizingly ambiguous" statement.
Earlier, Fox News turned the spotlight on Baker's testimony, which said that the former FBI general counsel had personally taken part in securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on then Donald Trump aide Carter Page. Baker admitted that the practice was "unusual".
The records obtained by JW also shed light on the apparent "quid pro quo" deal offered by the Obama administration. Former FBI attorney Lisa Page wrote on 13 October 2016 that US State Department officials had offered the FBI more legal attaché positions "if it would downgrade a redaction in an email found during the Hillary Clinton email investigation 'from classified to something else'".
"The most significant set of issues I see from the latest JW release is that certain persons may have been acting on behalf of unknown interests to limit the potential damage of an FBI investigation by offering the FBI perceived benefits (additional foreign locations for FBI staff) if the FBI agreed to downgrade the status of certain emails found on the Weiner laptop", Ortel said commenting on the issue.
He highlighted that the latest trove of documents released by JW should be examined in the context of:
1) FBI Vault files on potential mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton;
2) An FBI memo released on 3 October 2016 and saying that some 340,000 emails on the Weiner laptop contained "a significant number of emails between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton";
3) A warrant obtained 30 October 2016 to search the contents of the Weiner/Abedin laptop;
4) And, finally, US political commentator Paul Sperry's findings showing that the FBI may have only reviewed 3,077 out of hundreds of thousands of the aforementioned emails.
Citing the apparent "quid pro quo deal" between the FBI and the State Department concerning the Clinton email case, the Wall Street analyst assumed that it could be potentially be subject to three statutes, namely, 18 USC § 1510, Obstruction of a criminal Investigation; 18 USC § 1505, Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committee; and 18 USC § 1519, Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations or bankruptcy.
McCabe: 25th Amendment and Rosenstein's Wire
Meanwhile, Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI director, revealed in his interview on CBS' 60 Minutes that after ex-FBI James Comey's resignation, top administration officials seriously discussed Donald Trump's ouster, according to CBS' Scott Pelley, who shared excerpts from the conversation on 14 February.
In particular, McCabe described the meeting at the Justice Department that discussed "whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president under the 25th Amendment".
According to Pelley, this issue was discussed "more than once and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it."
In September 2018, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement saying that he "never pursued or authorized recording the President, and any suggestion that I have ever advocated for the removal of the President is absolutely false".
The McCabe interview prompted a storm of criticism from US President Donald Trump, who tweeted: "Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel' when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin' James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of ‘insurance policy' in case I won".
Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a “poor little Angel” when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax — a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of “insurance policy” in case I won….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 14 февраля 2019 г.
….Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign — he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 14 февраля 2019 г.
According to Ortel, the thickening plot requires a thorough examination of all facts of apparent collusion between Obama administration officials, the FBI and the "Clinton camp".
“Trying to use the 25th Amendment to try and circumvent the Election is a despicable act of unconstitutional power grabbing…which happens in third world countries. You have to obey the law. This is an attack on our system & Constitution.” Alan Dershowitz. @TuckerCarlson— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 15 февраля 2019 г.
"The timeline as Donald Trump surged to become the presumptive Republican nominee while concerns mounted about Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and regarding possible corruption, charity fraud, and money laundering via Clinton 'charities' needs to be fleshed out using the full resources of the FBI and other relevant investigative agencies, ideally as one or more grand juries are empaneled", the Wall Street analyst emphasised.
The views and opinions expressed by the speaker and the contributor do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.