A Hillary Clinton lawyer has been indicted for lying to the FBI in the Clinton campaign’s 2016 smear of Donald Trump.
The lawyer fed bogus information to the FBI to fuel the false allegation that Trump was colluding with Russia. The lawyer lied to the FBI by stating that he was acting purely as a private citizen, while his own firm’s billing records prove he was actually working for Hillary’s campaign.
As the current occupant of the office for which Hillary was campaigning might say in a rare lucid moment, “This is a big f*cking deal.”
Recall that the Trump-Russia collusion allegation ultimately proved baseless. A two-year, $32 million investigation by Robert Mueller and his staff of 19 Democrat partisan lawyers together with 40 FBI agents interviewed 500 witness and reviewed thousands of documents, but came up empty. They found no evidence of Russian collusion. But they did succeed in casting a cloud over the Trump administration and gifted a ratings bonanza to CNN whose viewers still remember CNN’s breathless nightly reports of the investigation, courtesy of leaks from Mueller’s team, but have forgotten the outcome.
The debunked Russia collusion story wound up not just baseless but very fishy. So fishy that after Mueller’s team finally wrapped up, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate how the story ever got started. In effect, the new special prosecutor was tasked with investigating the basis for the baseless earlier investigation.
The new special prosecutor is well-respected John Durham. Trump supporters have been frustrated at the slow pace of his investigation, but this guy takes time to get ready and carefully aim before he shoots. He embodies the adage that the wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine.
That’s shown by his 26-page indictment of Clinton’s lawyer. The first sentence grabs your attention:
“[A]pproximately one week before the 2016 U.S. Presidential election . . . multiple media outlets reported that U.S. government authorities had received and were investigating allegations concerning a purported secret channel of communications between the Trump Organization, owned by Donald J. Trump, and a particular Russian bank.”
The indictment explains that this story got in the press because the lawyer put it there. He leaked it to his news reporter buddies just before the election.
The indictment details the fact that the lawyer and his accomplices knew this information they were providing to the FBI was doubtful at best. According to the indictment, one of the accomplices said in an email, “you do realize that we will have to expose every trick we have in our bag to even make a very weak association?”
But they didn’t care if the allegations were false. What they cared about was that the allegations couldn’t possibly be shown to be false in the few days before the election.
The Clinton campaign itself was indisputably in on the smear orchestrated by their lawyers. The indictment states that the lawyer “exchanged emails with the Clinton Campaign’s campaign manager, communications director, and foreign policy advisor concerning the . . . allegations that [the lawyer] had recently shared with” the press.
What about Hillary herself? Is it possible that none of those three – Hillary’s Campaign Director, her Communication’s Director and her Foreign Policy Advisor – ever told Hillary?
It’s possible but highly unlikely. Subordinates don’t go that far out on a limb of dirty tricks without a heads-up to the boss.
It’s also possible but highly unlikely that they’ll say they didn’t tell Hillary while in fact they did. Saying they didn’t when they did would constitute another lie to the FBI for which they could get indicted.
Moreover, in weighing the odds of them lying to the FBI, note that persons interviewed by the FBI don’t know what the FBI knows. So even if the FBI doesn’t have the goods, the person being interviewed has to assume they do in order to avoid perjuring themselves.
Finally, the underlings will be motivated to toss Hillary under the bus by Durham’s offer of plea bargains if they do. Offering plea bargains in exchange for testimony incriminating the higher-ups is of course standard operating procedure for a prosecutor working his way up the chain of command in an organization, whether it’s the mafia or Public Enemies like the DNC.
A likely outcome, therefore, is that executive staff in Hillary’s campaign who reported directly to her will admit to the FBI (if they haven’t already) that they did in fact tell her about the scheme. There’s a good chance that the communication with Hillary will be in an email, and so it will be undisputable. Hillary has a habit of accidentally hammering her phones in a way that destroys the emails they contain, but the other side to the email will probably still have copies in a deleted file somewhere.
Bottom line: Durham has established that Hillary’s campaign was conducting a dirty tricks operation under the mask of its law firm. They enlisted the FBI in their dirty tricks by providing the FBI information they knew was misleading or spurious. Days before the election, with too little time for the information to be refuted by Trump, they leaked the ensuing smear to the press.
This was done through a lawyer for the campaign who falsely told the FBI he was acting on his own behalf and not on behalf of the campaign. (Query: Did the lawyer actually think the FBI would buy that? The agents must have said to one another microseconds after the interview with the lawyer was over, “Subpoena his billing records!”)
What probably comes next is that Hillary’s lieutenants will confirm that she was in on the scam. Hillary will be disgraced as a dirty trickster of the first order if she confirms she knew of this. If she denies it in an interview with the FBI, then she could well be the next indictment.
(Query: What about this lawyer’s law firm, a Seattle-based firm with aspirations? This indicted lawyer was a partner there along with another partner who appears to be the operator who drummed up the debunked Steele dossier purporting to say that germaphobe Trump engaged in pee-pee sex with Russian prostitutes. Both are gone from the firm now (the last one left hours after the indictment issued, and the other one left a few months ago) and the firm has scrubbed its website of any mention of them. But the actions of a partner are ordinarily attributed to the partnership as a whole, whether the other partners actually knew of them or not. And how could they not actually know? Surely the managing partners of the firm got periodically briefed on the firm’s representation of the Hillary campaign and the Democratic National Committee, two big-name and controversial clients of the firm.)
(Query: How much does Bill know? You know the answer. Bill knows everything.)
Glenn Beaton practiced law in the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.
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