In general , when the FBI gets a credible lead about potential criminal activity, it can be appropriate to use a confidential informant to follow up on that lead. The FBI has certainly used confidential informants with respect to public officials and, in the campaign context, to target potentially illegal fundraising.
The critical unknown, though, is whether the informant sought to gain trust , expand contacts and effectively move inside the campaign for broader informational purposes. Imbedding an informant in a political campaign would obviously be troubling. In determining this issue, it would be important to assess whether attempts were made by the informant to establish communication with others in the campaign beyond initial leads.Substantial added concerns arise from the fact that this was a Presidential campaign in which the outcome could change the FBI’s own top leadership.
For these reasons, it is appropriate for Congressional authorities- with appropriate confidentiality safeguards- to drill down on the role of the informant to verify whether it was simply following up on credible leads or an infiltration.
James Comey’s emails certainly provide an unflattering portrayal of President Trump. But they present some interesting items concerning Comey himself.
In an ultimate irony, he states in the emails “I don’t leak.” And yet that statement is contained in one of the emails that Comey – through a friend – leaked to the press. This does not add to his credibility. And his public excuse for the leak – he lacked faith in the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, will not score points with DOJ or anywhere else.
Comey says he doesn’t do “sneaky things” – he is documenting every conversation with the President – in case he might need it in the future, all without informing the President.
He repeatedly praises Andy McCabe who was later fired in part for contradicting Comey about the subject of McCabe’s leaks.
Also intriguing are the references to “Confidential” and “Secret” on some memos. These were apparently declassified at some point but when?
For the Trump legal team, these emails provide a detailed road map of Comey’s statements that will help them prepare the President for his seemingly inevitable interview with Mueller’s team.
This horrifying tragedy deserves all of our sympathy and prayers. It also deserves a thorough investigation. While there should be no rush to judgment as the authorities analyze the evidence, criminal charges would be considered if laws were violated with respect the building’s compliance with fire and safety codes , or if there was criminal negligence. For example, if water sprinkler systems or fire-resistant walls and ceilings were required but not utilized, there could be consequences for the owners and others. In a U.S. case fifteen years ago, after 100 people died in a night club fire, the owner was sentenced to four years in prison for criminal negligence that contributed to the tragedy.
Read more about Kemerovo here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43552165
You may question former Trump aide, Sam Nunberg and his reliability as a witness in the Russia investigation. I believe Nunberg is still useful despite his recent outbursts.
Robert Mueller’s team can make use of whatever documents Nunberg has and shouldn’t dismiss him entirely. His behavior is unpredictable, so if the special counsel wants his cooperation, they need to advise him to get a lawyer and calm down after the multiple meltdowns he’s had so he’s a more dependable witness.
Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals today for interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. I believe this is a win for supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
There’s something for both sides in these indictments, but there’s plenty of upside here for the Trump team: a clear signal from the Mueller team that they’ve found zero campaign collusion. Director Mueller also took an important step to protect our election system for the future. The Russian meddling has to stop, and these indictments will certainly help.
The 37 page indictment alleges Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. election illegally, but nothing in the indictment points to Trump campaign collusion and there is no allegation that the operation had no impact on the results.
While Russian defendants charged today will never be extradited from Russia, there are still important consequences. This puts these defendants in the Interpol database, so they won’t be able to travel to dozens of countries with U.S. extradition treaties – they would be subject to arrest and detention at foreign airports. That hits hard. Banking and other business relations with individuals outside of Russia will become exceedingly difficult for the defendants.
While the investigation will continue concerning obstruction, I believe that the framework for examining those issues has now been transformed.