Thursday, October 27, 2016

FBI Sideways

There will be no isolation
In our secret separation
--The Fixx

Judge Nap recounts the backstory as we currently know it about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton. Some of the important dates on the timeline:

Spring 2015. FBI begins investigation into Clinton's use of private email server while serving as Secretary of State and her failure to preserve emails on State Dept servers contrary to federal law.

Summer 2015. After three months of evidence collection and initial interviews, FBI agents and senior managers meet and decide that there is enough evidence to suggest a prima-facie case for espionage, theft of government property, and obstruction of justice. A formal criminal investigation was therefore initiated.

January 2016. The senior FBI agent in charge of the investigation, John Giacalone, resigns from the case and retires from the FBI because he felt the case was going 'sideways'--Bureau-speak for 'going nowhere by design.' His motivation likely included the fact that DOJ and FBI management had decided that the investigation would not employ a federal grand jury. In criminal cases, federal grand juries are the only entities authorized to issue subpoenas for testimony and tangible things. Without a grand jury, Giacalone knew the investigation was toothless.

Spring 2016. It becomes evident to Giacalone's successors that the goal of the FBI was to exonerate Clinton--not to determine that there was enough evidence to indict her.

July 2. Clinton is interviewed following weeks of interviews with others in her inner circle. The interview lasts only four hours and, according to some FBI agents, lacked the aggression, passion, and determination by those conducting the interview that typically accompanies investigations at this level. At this point, several agents conclude similarly to their former boss John Giacolone: the case was going sideways.

July 4. A few frustrated agents contacted the NSA to obtain Hillary Clinton's medial records to verify the gravity of a head injury Clinton claimed limited her ability to recall things during her testimony. After preparing to necessary paperwork to access those records, the agents' request was denied by FBI Director James Comey himself.

July 5. One day after his denial, and in an apparent effort to head off further behind the scenes efforts by frustrated agents, Comey conducts his now famous press conference to announce that Clinton would not be indicted.

October 2016. Wikileaks documents indicate that President Barack Obama regularly communicated with Clinton via her private email server using a pseudonym. Many of these matters were classified. This means that Obama lied when he previously told CBS that he learned about Clinton's servers when the general public did.

This past week. More leaked documents indicate that Andrew McCabe, Giacalone's successor in the investigation and currently No. 3 man at the FBI, is married to a woman who received $675,000 in campaign funds from Clinton sources for a failed 2015 run for the Virginia Senate. James Comey apparently saw no conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety in having a person in charge of the Clinton investigation with that historical relationship.

While more information will hopefully come to light, the picture is already getting pretty clear.

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