Newt Gingrich: Hillary Clinton’s been getting away with unethical, illegal behavior for 40 years

The never-ending saga of Clinton corruption continues to unfold, with the latest chapter being written by former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile.

In an excerpt from her new book, Brazile finally begins to reveal to the American people what actually happened behind closed doors during the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign and uncovers new details about even more collusive activity.

Brazile describes how the Clintons covertly took over operations at the Democratic National Committee four months after Hillary announced her presidential candidacy, nearly a year before she became the party’s 2016 nominee.

According to Brazile, Hillary exploited the cash-strapped party. She agreed to pay off financial debts left by Obama’s 2012 campaign, but the cash came with a catch.

Brazile wrote that a fundraising agreement signed in August 2015 dictated that “in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan weighed in on the significance of this latest Clinton scandal on Fox News Sunday, remarking, “We’ve all said that the Clintons thought they lived above the rules, but this takes the cake. I mean, this is pretty amazing. For them to basically be running the DNC in a primary – to see such a deck stacked is really pretty jaw-dropping to me. No wonder the Democrats are ticked off, I would be too.”

Of course, Speaker Ryan is correct that this degree of clear corruption on behalf of the Clintons is ethically wrong and always on the edge of breaking the law. However, having watched the Clintons for nearly their entire political careers, the Brazile revelations did not surprise me. Hillary Clinton has been getting away with unethical, and often illegal, behavior since she first entered public life.

I was a freshman member of Congress when Hillary began her career of breaking the rules for personal enrichment and power. When the Clintons ran for President in 1992 all this began to come out.

Hillary Clinton’s first major act of corruption dates back almost 40 years, when she miraculously turned $1,000 into nearly $100,000 in 10 months during her first attempt at trading commodities – mainly cattle futures.

A month before Bill Clinton was elected governor of Arkansas in November 1978, Hillary Clinton decided to try her hand at commodities trading, which is an incredibly volatile market. As a total novice, on October 11, 1978, she opened an account with $1,000, made a short sale of 10 live-cattle contracts, then bought them back the next day – pocketing an extra $5,300.

Throughout her stint as an untrained commodities trading savant, a slew of regulatory rules were apparently ignored (or violated) on her behalf. She made a “mockery of the profession” and cashed in after earning a net profit of nearly 10,000 percent in less than a year.

This level of success is nearly unheard of, even for expert commodities traders. Typically, 80 to 95 percent of commodities traders lose money. In fact, in 1994, the Journal of Economics and Finance published a study by economists from Auburn University and the University of North Florida which concluded the odds for Hillary’s level of success during the period she was trading “were – at best – 1 in 31 trillion.”

Let’s be blunt – there’s no way Hillary could have achieved that level of success in commodities trading without breaking the law. But she got away with it – like the Clintons always do.

The history of this corrupt, illegal behavior explains a lot of Hillary’s contempt for free enterprise. When she invested, it was a rigged game she was guaranteed to win. She equates her corrupt behavior with all free enterprise.

Of course, cattle futures were just the beginning. Getting away with one act of corruption led to many more: the Whitewater land deal, Benghazi, Hillary’s illegal private email server, the Uranium One sale, and now the DNC-Clinton collusion scandal.

So, the next time a Clinton scandal breaks (and there will be a next time), we should certainly be outraged, but we shouldn’t be surprised. We should also demand that the Congress and the Justice Department hold them accountable.

Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor. A Republican, he was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich. His latest book is “Understanding Trump.”

Courtesy: Fox News

DNC gave Clinton control over campaign well before it was supposed to: docs

The 2015 deal between Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee in which the group effectively ceded immediate control to the Clinton campaign was supposed to take effect only if Clinton won the primary process – but in effect, they gave her control well before that, according to a copy of the agreement published this weekend.

The publishing of the agreement this weekend follows former DNC interim Chairwoman Donna Brazile’s bombshell accusation Thursday that the party’s 2016 presidential primary contest between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders was rigged by the DNC to hand the nomination to Clinton.

Brazile, also a onetime Clinton confidante and CNN commentator, made the claims in an  article in Politico while touting a new book.

The agreement, in the form of a memo obtained by NBC News, shows the DNC gave the Clinton campaign input on hiring and spending decisions in exchange for money to help the cash-strapped group, including an initial $1.2 million payment.

Hillary for America “personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research,” the Aug. 26, 2015, memorandum from campaign manager Robby Mook to DNC chief executive Amy Dacey states in part. “This does not include any communications related to primary debates — which will exclusively be controlled by the DNC.”

Clinton didn’t effectively secure the party nomination until July 2016, after an unexpectedly strong challenge from Sanders, an Independent who temporarily joined the Democratic Party to run for the White House.

The memorandum also attempts to argue that nothing in the joint-fundraising agreement “shall be construed to violate the DNC’s obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the nominating process” and acknowledges the group “may enter into similar agreements with other candidates.”

President Trump and other Republicans immediately seized on the book excerpts to validate their belief that Clinton had stolen the election from Sanders. In addition, Trump has suggested the FBI and Justice Department look into the matter.

“I know Donald Trump and Republicans would like to use Hillary Clinton as a whipping boy,” Liz Smith, who was a spokeswoman for Martin O’Malley, another 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, on Saturday told Fox News’ “America’s News Headquarters.” But she’s in our past. We are moving beyond her.”

Smith also said new DNC Chairman Tom Perez has acknowledged problems with the 2016 campaign and has vowed to fix them.

Trump tweeted Friday: “The real story on Collusion is in Donna B’s new book. Crooked Hillary bought the DNC & then stole the Democratic Primary from Crazy Bernie!,” “I always felt I would be running and winning against Bernie Sanders, not Crooked H, without cheating, I was right.”

Brazile fired back on Twitter.

“Today’s lesson: Being quoted by Donald Trump means being MIS-quoted by Donald Trump. Stop trolling me,” she tweeted with the hashtag #NeverSaidHillaryRiggedElection:

She also tweeted: “Mr President, please — go back to attacking me. It’s better than having my own words scrambled and spewed out by you.”

The Washington Post reported Saturday that Brazile also says in her upcoming book that she considered replacing Clinton with then-Vice President Joe Biden when Clinton fainted during a 9/11 memorial service in New York City.

Courtesy: Fox News

Trump: DOJ must do ‘what is right and proper’ and investigate Hillary Clinton

President Trump opened up on Democrats with both Twitter barrels from high in the sky Friday, exploiting fractures in the rival party after top operative Donna Brazile revealed insiders plotted to steal last year’s presidential primary from Bernie Sanders.

“Bernie Sanders supporters have every right to be apoplectic of the complete theft of the Dem primary by Crooked Hillary!” Trump tweeted from Air Force One, as he headed off on a 13-day tour of Asian nations.

It was part of a mid-morning Twitter barrage in which Trump called for his own Justice Department to probe a range of scandals involving the Democratic Party and his vanquished 2016 presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.

“Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems,” Trump tweeted early Friday. “New Donna B book says she paid for and stole the Dem Primary. What about the deleted E-mails, Uranium, Podesta, the Server, plus, plus…”

In excerpts released Thursday from an upcoming book, Brazile, a longtime party stalwart and Clinton confidante, confirmed longstanding suspicions that the Democratic National Committee she once headed worked with Clinton to ensure she won the party’s presidential primary over Sanders, the Vermont senator who built a huge following with his blend of Democrat politics and socialism.

“I always felt I would be running and winning against Bernie Sanders, not Crooked H, without cheating, I was right,” Trump tweeted.

Brazile’s explosive charge has sent shockwaves through the party.

“I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested,” Brazile wrote in a book excerpt first published in Politico Magazine. “By Sept. 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart.”

The proof, according to Brazile, was a joint fundraising agreement document between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund and Hillary for America. It had been signed in August 2015, four months after Clinton announced her candidacy and a year before she officially secured the nomination over Sanders.

“The agreement –signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC and Robby Mook, with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised,” Brazile wrote. “Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decision on all the other staff.”

DONNA BRAZILE: I FOUND ‘PROOF’ THE DNC RIGGED THE NOMINATION FOR HILLARY CLINTON

Even before Friday morning’s tweetstorm, Trump reacted to the allegations against Clinton on Thursday night on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“It’s illegal, number one, and it’s really unfair to Bernie Sanders,” Trump said. “I’m not a Bernie Sanders fan, although I must say I got a lot of his votes when he was thrown out. Many of those people voted for me because of trade because I agreed with him on trade…But that was, I thought that was terrible.”

“Pocahontas just stated that the Democrats, lead by the legendary Crooked Hillary Clinton, rigged the Primaries! Lets go FBI & Justice Dept.,” Trump tweeted again. ‘Pocahontas,’ when used by the president, is typically in reference to Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

In an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN Thursday, Warren, D-Mass., was asked whether she believed the DNC was rigged, to which the senator simply responded, “Yes.”

But on Friday, Trump took the opportunity to add the Brazile bombshell to a list of allegations and situations that he wants his Justice Department to investigate, including her “deleted E-mails” and “the Server,” pointing back to the months-long Clinton email investigation.

Trump also referred to “Uranium,” alluding to the controversial Obama-era Uranium One deal. The 2010 deal concerns the sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to Russia’s Rosatom nuclear company. The U.S. was involved because the sale gave the Russians control of part of the uranium supply in the U.S. Clinton, at the time, was secretary of state.

TRUMP CALLS DNC PRIMARY-RIGGING ‘ILLEGAL,’ SLAMS ‘FAKE’ DOSSIER IN FOX NEWS INTERVIEW

Trump also referred to “Podesta,” though it is unclear if he was referring to Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta, or his brother, Clinton’s longtime confidante and 2016 campaign manager John Podesta.

This week, Tony Podesta stepped down from his lobbying firm, which was co-founded with his brother John, in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe expanding to question Podesta’s Foreign Agent Registration (FARA) filings, and whether he was in violation of that law.

A spokesperson for Podesta told Fox News that they were compliant with their FARA filings and were “fully” cooperating with Mueller’s team.

The president tweeted again, moments later, underscoring the need for a federal probe.

“….People are angry. At some point the Justice Department, and the FBI, must do what is right and proper. The American public deserves it!” Trump tweeted.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

Courtesy: Fox News

Fusion GPS fallout: DNC, Clinton, FBI take heat after bombshell that Dems funded Trump dossier

The bombshell revelation that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund the controversial anti-Trump dossier last year has lawmakers and the media asking tough questions about how the dubious document was used by the highest levels of U.S. law enforcement – and why Democrats “lied” about its origins.

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In the midst of a court case that threatened to reveal the dossier’s funding, it emerged overnight that political consulting firm Fusion GPS was retained last year by Marc E. Elias, an attorney representing the DNC and the Clinton campaign. The firm then hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to write the now-infamous dossier.

The Washington Post first reported on the connections, which were confirmed by Fox News.

Not only did the Clinton campaign and DNC fund the firm through the end of October 2016, but the FBI reportedly arranged to pay Steele to proceed with intelligence gathering on Donald Trump and Russia after Trump’s election. That deal was later nixed after the former intelligence officer was identified in news reports.

CLINTON CAMP, DNC HELPED FUND RESEARCH THAT LED TO TRUMP DOSSIER

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Wednesday that his biggest questions concern to what extent the FBI relied on that document to launch its Russia probe.

“My focus has always been whether or not the Department of Justice and the FBI relied upon an unsourced CI document to launch a counterintelligence investigation,” he told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “I want to know whether the nation’s premier law enforcement agency relied on a document that looks like the National Enquirer prepared it. … And if they relied upon an unsourced, un-vetted document to launch a really important investigation … then I think our country is big enough to handle that truth.”

He noted that representatives with Fusion GPS pleaded the Fifth in a Capitol Hill appearance last week.

“Usually people plead the Fifth when they think the answer’s going to get them in trouble,” he said.

Hillary Clinton holds her book "It Takes A Village" as she sits on stage at the Warner Theatre in Washington, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, during a book tour event for her new book "What Happened" hosted by the Politics and Prose Bookstore. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Hillary Clinton’s campaign helped fund the company behind the Trump dossier.  (AP)

Further, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said at a Washington, D.C., event on Wednesday that the FBI has been “stonewalling” Congress’ request for documents, voicing frustration about learning this information through the media.

“The FBI needs to comply with the documents request that Congress has on their desk right now and they need to do it immediately,” Ryan said.

The controversial dossier contained unverified and lurid allegations about dirt the Russians had on Trump and his campaign’s possible connections to Moscow.

Perkins Coie was paid $5.6 million in legal fees by the Clinton campaign in a time period ranging from June 2015 to December 2016, The Post reported, citing campaign finance records. The DNC also paid the firm $3.6 million for “legal and compliance consulting” going back to November 2015.

Sources told The Post that neither the Clinton campaign nor the DNC specifically directed Steele’s work, labeling the intelligence officer simply as a Fusion GPS subcontractor.

But after the Post story broke, reporters with The New York Times blasted Elias and others on Twitter, accusing them of denying the connection for months.

“When I tried to report this story, Clinton campaign lawyer @marceelias pushed back vigorously, saying ‘You (or your sources) are wrong,’” New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel tweeted.

“Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,” Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted.

Former Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon boasted on Twitter that, while he didn’t know about Steele’s hiring before the election, “If I had, I would have volunteered to go to Europe and try to help him.”

He added, “I have no idea what Fusion or Steele were paid but if even a shred of that dossier ends up helping Mueller, it will prove money well spent.”

But he defended Elias on the issue of whether he denied the funding connection, tweeting: “Dont know what Elias may have said but if he was coy, he was prob just being a good lawyer honoring confidentiality.”

Haberman countered: “’coy’ is not responding at all. ‘Your sources are wrong’ is a bit different.”

The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, stressed that the current leadership was not involved in the arrangement.

“Tom Perez and the new leadership of the DNC were not involved in any decision-making regarding Fusion GPS, nor were they aware that Perkins Coie was working with the organization,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said in a statement. “But let’s be clear, there is a serious federal investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and the American public deserves to know what happened.”

A spokesman for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who led the DNC at the time, told Fox News on Wednesday that, “She did not have any knowledge of this arrangement.”

Fox News’ Judson Berger and Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 

Courtesy: Fox News

White House tries to shift discussion amid FBI director’s testimony

Hunter Walker

National Correspondent
Yahoo NewsMarch 20, 2017
Joaquin Castro defends questioning James Comey on Russian dossier
Joaquin Castro defends questioning James Comey on Russian dossier
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WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sean Spicer, reacting to news from the first day of House Intelligence Committee hearings into the 2016 election, tried to steer reporters away from questions about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials — and onto the administration’s preferred topic, news media leaks about intercepted conversations involving fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Spicer’s customary daily press briefing took place in the afternoon as FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency head Mike Rogers were still testifying. Earlier in the day, Comey said he had “no information” to support Trump’s claim that his predecessor, President Obama, wiretapped his campaign — a widely anticipated statement that did not lead to a retraction by the White House.

Trump’s press secretary minimized reports of contact between Russian officials and Trump campaign figures, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was described by Spicer as having played “a very limited role for a very limited amount of time.”

Spicer began the briefing with a statement noting Comey’s confirmation that the FBI is investigating Russia’s role in the presidential election. The U.S. intelligence community has alleged that Russia interfered in the race in an effort to boost Trump’s campaign. Spicer said the president “is happy that they’re pursuing the facts on this” and pointed out that no official has said there is evidence Trump’s campaign was part of these efforts.

“Following this testimony, it’s clear that nothing has changed. Senior Obama intelligence officials have gone on record to confirm that there is no evidence of a Trump-Russia collusion,” Spicer said.

Spicer added that there was “new information that came from the hearing that we believe is newsworthy,” referring to “the unmasking of Americans identified in intelligence reports and the illegal leak of such unmasked individuals.” He described this as a “federal crime.”

The issue concerns leaks of information to the Washington Post and other media outlets about the substance of conversations between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. Flynn misled administration officials about the contacts, which led to his resignation after only a few weeks in office.

American surveillance of foreign officials such as Kislyak is routine, but the identities of U.S. citizens who are monitored as part of those efforts are supposed to remain classified, or “masked.” Spicer noted that Comey said “certain political appointees in the Obama administration had access to the names of unmasked U.S. citizens.”

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White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington on March 20, 2017. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)
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“Before President Obama left office, Michael Flynn was unmasked, and then, illegally, his identity was leaked to media outlets,” Spicer said.

The Trump administration has repeatedly suggested that officials from the Obama administration may be attempting to undermine Trump. The issue of the leaks, however, is unrelated to Trump’s allegation that Obama wiretapped offices in Trump Tower.

The first question Spicer faced came from ABC’s Jon Karl, who turned the focus back to the president’s unsupported wiretapping claim. Karl pointed out that Comey said there he had no information that backed up that accusation, and he asked Spicer whether Trump is prepared to “withdraw that allegation and apologize” to Obama.

“No,” Spicer said flatly.

Spicer went on to note that the hearings are still “ongoing” and suggested further information might emerge. Trump has also claimed that additional revelations will support his allegation.

Karl continued by pointing out that Comey said the FBI is investigating potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“I don’t think that’s what he said,” Spicer declared.

Comey did, indeed, say the FBI is probing whether there was “cooperation” between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Spicer noted that “investigating it and having proof of it are two different things.” He cited numerous officials who have said they have seen no evidence that such collusion occurred.

“There’s a point at which you continue to search for something that everybody who’s been briefed hasn’t seen or found — I think it’s fine to look into it, but at the end of the day, they’re going to come to the same conclusion that everybody else has had,” said Spicer. “So, you can continue to look for something, but continuing to look for something that doesn’t exist doesn’t matter.”

Spicer also dismissed reports that have emerged about Trump associates who did have connections with Russia. He suggested these were all people who did not have a real connection to the campaign.

“There is a discussion, I heard some names thrown around before that were hangers-on or on the campaign,” Spicer said. He added, “Some of those names, the greatest amount of interaction that they’ve had is cease-and-desist letters sent to them.”

In response to another question by Karl, Spicer acknowledged that he was referring to Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidant and early adviser who left the campaign in August 2015, and Carter Page, who was for a time a foreign policy adviser to the campaign. Spicer also noted that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort had ties to Russia, but he minimized Manafort’s role in the campaign.

“Obviously, there’s been discussion of Paul Manafort, who played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time,” Spicer said.

“Paul Manafort didn’t play a limited role!” Karl interjected incredulously.

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Donald Trump gave a thumbs-up at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016 as his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and daughter, Ivanka, looked on. (Photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters)
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In fact, Manafort was involved with the Trump campaign for about five months, including about two as the campaign’s top official. Manafort eventually quit Trump’s campaign last August as Trump’s poll numbers were falling and amid growing controversy about his links to Russia.

Yahoo News texted Manafort to ask whether he agreed with Spicer’s characterization of his “very limited role.” Manafort did not respond, but he later released a statement reading, in part:

“I had no role or involvement in the cyberattack on the DNC or the subsequent release of information gained from the attack, and I have never spoken with any Russian Government officials or anyone who claimed to have been involved in the attack. … Despite the constant scrutiny and innuendo, there are no facts or evidence supporting these allegations, nor will there be.”

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What we learned from the testimony of FBI Director James Comey

On Monday, March 20, 2017, Yahoo News an Finance Anchor Bianna Golodryga talks with Yahoo News Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff regarding the testimony of FBI Director James Comey before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee. Comey was questioned regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election but touched on several other subjects as well.

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Moral outrage shrouds reality of Russian hacking case

Moral outrage shrouds reality of Russian hacking case
© Getty

In a time of virtually complete political polarization, there is one point upon which both parties appear to agree: moral outrage at the notion of Russian attempts to influence our election.

There are bipartisan demands for a special prosecutor and a full criminal investigation.  However, while the outrage is most evident, the alleged crime is more difficult to discern.  Before we order a massive independent investigation, it might be useful to examine both the basis for the self-evident outrage and the less-than-evident crime.

Moral outrage as political necessity

As our politicians went on the air to vent their disgust over Russians trying to influence our election, there was an interesting study published this month on moral outrage in an academic journal, Motivation and Emotion.  The researchers found that moral outrage is rooted, not in altruism, but self-interest — often to affirm one’s own status and avoiding responsibilities or guilt.

“Individuals,” the study notes, “respond to reminders of their group’s moral culpability with feelings of outrage at third-party harm-doing.”  The most astonishing aspect of this study is that it was not done entirely on Capitol Hill.

Many other countries can be forgiven if they are a bit confused by the expressions of outrage at the notion that Russia hacked emails or tried to influence our election.  The United States objecting to hacking or influencing elections is akin to Bernie Sanders expressing disgust over accounting irregularities.

The United States has not only extensively engaged in surveillance in other countries but hacked the accounts of our closest allies, including the personal communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Moreover, our country has a long history of direct interference in foreign elections from overthrowing governments to funding opposition movements.

One study found 81 different instances of the United States interfering with the elections of other countries between 1946 and 2000. We learned from the best; foreign interference in our country goes back to 1700s when France and Britain actively sought to influence our early governments.

Democratic leadership have a particular interest in expressing moral outrage over the election. The extent to which the election becomes an example of “third-party harm-doing,” the less attention will be drawn toward the party establishment which virtually anointed Hillary Clinton as their candidate despite polls showing that voters wanted someone outside of the establishment.

Not only did they select the single greatest establishment figure, but someone with record negative polling.  “The Russians did it” is a much better narrative.

Of course, the Russians did not “hack the election.”  No votes were fabricated.  Indeed, there is no proof of emails being fabricated (despite the claims of some Democratic leaders like Donna Brazile at the time).  The reason the public has not risen up in anger is that it is hard to get the public outraged over being shown the duplicitous and dishonest character of their leaders — even if the release was clearly one-sided against Democrats.

The public has every right to be outraged, but the outrage of our government officials would make Claude Reins blush.

Moral outrage in search of a crime

In the end, Russian attempts to influence our election should be a matter of national concern and investigation, though we would be in a far superior position if we acknowledged our own checkered past in such efforts.  However, the call for a “Special Counsel” or “independent prosecutor” seems a bit premature since we do not have a clear crime other than the hacking itself (which has already been confirmed).

Clearly the Russians hacked DNC emails but we do not need a special counsel to confirm extensive hacking operations by a host of different countries. It is like complaining about the weather.

Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (and the acting deputy attorney general), could determine that an investigation by the Justice Department would still present a conflict of interest even after the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  The process for the appointment of special counsels through the courts lapsed in 1999.  Thus, the current standard would involve Boente determining that the “criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted” and must be done outside of the Department.  But what is the crime under investigation?

The suggestions that Sessions committed perjury are far-fetched and unsupported.

Some have suggested violations of the Logan Act. However, that 1799 law concerns calls for the fine or imprisonment of private citizens who attempt to intervene in disputes or controversies between the United States and foreign governments.  It has never been used to convict a United States citizen and does not appear material to these allegations.  If there were monetary payments to influence the election, that would constitute a crime but there has yet to be evidence such crimes.

Finally, there do appear to have been criminal leaks during and after the election.  However, those are insular, conventional matters for investigation by the Justice Department.

We generally do not start special counsel investigations absent a clear articulated and supportable criminal allegation.  There are a host of obvious political or policy concerns that could be the subject of an independent investigation by a commission or joint legislative/executive effort.  There are real concerns over conflicts in the current administration given the focus on the presidential election.

Yet, we are simply likely to confirm much of what we know: we were hacked.  We are also likely to confront what many do not want to discuss: we have hacked others for years.

Until there is more evidence of a crime by United States citizens, there is little reason for a special counsel as opposed to the current investigations.  We should investigate the hacking and efforts to influence our elections, certainly. But our politicians may want to leave the moral outrage and hypocrisy behind.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and teaches a course on the Constitution and the Supreme Court.


The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.

#Vault7: How the CIA steals hacking fingerprints to cover its tracks

#Vault7: How the CIA steals hacking fingerprints to cover its tracks
The CIA can hide its own fingerprints from its hacking exploits and attribute blame to others, such as Russia and China, according to WikiLeaks’ Year Zero confidential data release.

READ MORE: WikiLeaks publishes ‘entire hacking capacity of the CIA’

Every hacking technique leaves a “fingerprint” which, when collated, can be used to connect different attacks and tie them to the same culprit.

The CIA’s Remote Development Branch (RDB)’s Umbrage sub-group collects an archive of hacking exploits created by other actors, like Russia and other hackers, and leaves this false trace for others to detect.

, a group within the CIA’s Remote Devices Branch, collects stolen malware & uses it to hide its own hacking fingerprints

Umbrage captures and collects keyloggers, passwords, webcam captures, data destruction, persistence, privilege escalation, stealth, anti-virus (PSP) avoidance and survey techniques.

This allows the CIA to not only steal other’s hack techniques, but falsely apportion blame to those actors.

CIA uses techniques to make cyber attacks look like they originated from enemy state. It turns DNC/Russia hack allegation by CIA into a JOKE

Hacking Team

An Umbrage document shows how the agency mined information from a breach of Italian “offensive security” vendor Hacking Team, that boasts governmental and law enforcement clients.

Some 400GB of data including “browser credential stealing” and “six different zero-day exploits” was released in the breach, which Umbrage studied and added to its repository.

DNC hack

In the case of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack, which reports have connected to Russia, the fingerprints used to link blame to Russian hackers may have been manipulated.

READ MORE: ‘Propaganda intended to incite Americans’: John McAfee to RT on ‘Russian hacking’ claims

Crowdstrike, a private security firm linked to the Atlantic Council, found the hackers who accessed the DNC emails (and those of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta) left “clues,” which Crowdstrike attributed to Russian hackers.

Malware dug into the DNC computers was found to be programmed to communicate with IP addresses associated with Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear – hacking groups that Crowdstrike says are controlled by Russian intelligence.

Metadata found in a file contained modifications by a user using Cyrillic text and a codename Felix Edmundovich.

– there goes the whole CIA narrative about Russian hacking of the 2016 election. https://wikileaks.org/ciav7p1/ 

While the documents released don’t tie Crowdstrike to the CIA’s Umbrage program, the data demonstrates how easily fingerprints can be manipulated, and how the CIA’s vast collection of existing malware can be employed to disguise its own actions.

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