Join Jim and Greg as they are glad to see a new poll showing the Ohio Senate race narrowly favoring the GOP. They also grimace as the Fed expects inflation to stay stubbornly high for awhile – even with persistent interest rate hikes. And they fire back at former NSA and CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden for absurdly agreeing that Republicans in the U.S. are the most “nihilistic, dangerous, and contemptible group” recently seen anywhere in the world.
No bad martinis in sight today. Nope, we’ve got all crazy ones for you! Today, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America shake their heads as outspoken liberal Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr suddenly has no opinion on China throwing a fit over one pro-Hong Kong tweet from a general manager in the league. They also roll their eyes as CBS announces it will be making a miniseries out of former FBI Director James Comey’s book about his career. And they react to the very different opinions of GOP Trump challengers Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford, as Walsh demands impeachment and Sanford says he will probably vote for Trump if the president wins the GOP nomination next year.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz blasted former FBI Director James Comey Thursday, accusing him of violating FBI policies and his own employment agreement in an effort to launch a special counsel investigation of President Trump.
The report blasts Comey for keeping personal memos after meeting with President Trump in his capacity as FBI director and then leaking memos to the media after Trump fired him as part of Comey’s effort to trigger a special counsel probe. Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tapped former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III for the job just days after Trump fired Comey.
Former Justice Department official Victoria Toensing, a longtime Comey critic, says this condemnation in the IG report comes as no surprise.
“We knew that there was a recommendation for prosecution, so it wasn’t going to be wine and roses from the IG,” said Toensing.
The Justice Department ultimately decided not to prosecute Comey.
However, Thursday’s report is far from the end for Comey and ongoing review of how the Trump-Russia probe began. In particular, Toensing is looking forward to the next offering from Inspector General Horowitz.
“I’m look for the IG report on the FISA abuse, and certainly Comey was part of that,” said Toensing. “James Comey signed an application to the FISA court that said ‘all the material in here has been verified.’
“We know from (The Hill columnist) John Solomon’s reporting that the FBI had a diagram of a chart of all the accusations and 90 percent was not verifiable,” said Toensing.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Toensing explain why she thinks the Justice Department was absolutely right not to prosecute Comey for mishandling documents and leaking them to the media and why she believes the government must prosecute former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
She also reacts to Comey’s contention that the IG report exonerates him.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss reports that the Justice Department’s Inspector General plans to allege former FBI Director James Comey lied to Trump about the Russia investigation and even spied on him. They also relish Bernie Sanders acknowledging reality as he bumps up staffers’ hourly pay by cutting back on their hours. And they debate Wendy Davis’ electoral prospects in Texas as she launches a run for Congress.
During an interview with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer on Friday morning, United States Attorney General William Barr offered more insight into his order for an internal probe into the Justice Department’s handling of the Russian investigation. Barr selected FBI prosecutor John Durham to examine the origins of the FBI and DoJ’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016, citing “strange developments” over the course of time between the 2016 election and the inauguration of Donald Trump.
Former FBI Director James Comey is busy writing opinion columns and appearing on cable news town halls about the Mueller report, but a former top official at the bureau says Comey has three very good reasons to be worried as the Department of Justice examines how the Trump-Russia probe started in the first place.
Kevin Brock served 24 years in the FBI, including a stint as deputy director for intelligence. He was also principal deputy director at the National Counterterrorism Center. Brock is now head of NewStreet Global Solutions. He says Comey’s first problem is providing evidence that an investigation was warranted in the first place and Mueller’s report makes the case harder to make.
“If there no findings of any type of collusion as they say between the Russians and the Trump campaign, what was the FBI going on in the first place to initiate the case?” asked Brock.
During last week’s Senate testimony, Attorney General William Barr also wondered aloud why the FBI didn’t just contact the Trump campaign about any figures feared to be conspiring with Russia – or the suspicious campaign officials themselves.
Brock says launching a surveillance effort on American citizens without first going to them is highly unusual. According to Brock, under a preliminary investigation, the standard protocol is to warn Americans about who their foreign contacts really are and to encourage cooperation with the FBI.
And he says there are specific things you cannot do during a “PI.”
“You may not cast existing sources or start new sources and target that U.S. person. You may not appeal to the FISA court to get a warrant to intercept the communications of that person. You may not pull their financial records. It’s very limited in scope,” said Brock.
Brock says probing the the basis for a FISA warrant will also put the heat on Comey.
“Electronic surveillance of a U.S person is an incredibly invasive, investigative technique. I’ve referred to it as the nuclear option of intelligence collection. There is nothing that is more invasive of privacy than a FISA court-ordered warrant to monitor all of your communications,” said Brock.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified to Congress that the Steele dossier was a major component of the request for a FISA warrant. Brock says that premise was very flimsy.
“They relied heavily on this dossier that is clearly a political document. It should not have been the foundation of any warrant for intercepting an American citizen. That appears to be clear,” said Brock.
Listen to the full podcast as Brock also explains the evidence suggesting Comey knew full well he was part of a political operation rather than one focused on criminal justice and what he expects to learn in the forthcoming report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says there were meetings at the Justice Department in the days after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey over whether to invoke the 25th amendment against Trump.
According to McCabe’s new book and his interview with Scott Pelley of ’60 Minutes,” department officials surmised which cabinet officials would support Trump and which would deem him unfit for office. McCabe also says they discussed having Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wear a wire when meeting with Trump.
Rosenstein has pushed back vigorously if not specifically. He says there was no serious discussion of wearing a wire and that he sees no reason to invoke the 25th amendment against Trump.
So who, if either of them, is telling the truth? What does it say about the Justice Department at the time of Comey’s firing? And what does it tell us about the larger Trump investigation?
We discuss all of those questions and more with former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, who is now a contributing editor and columnist at National Review Online and a Fox News Channel contributor. McCarthy also offers his reaction to Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee concluding there is no direct evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 campaign.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate another free speech victory coming out of the Supreme Court as it ruled against a Minnesota law that banned political apparel at the polls. They also remain confused at President Donald Trump’s praise for the murderous North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un. And they look at the initial details of the long-anticipated Inspector’s General report about Comey, Lynch, and the Hillary Clinton private server investigation.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America celebrate the liberation of Mosul from ISIS control and the tightening of the noose around ISIS in Syria as well. They also discuss reports that former FBI Director James Comey’s memos on conversations with President Trump contain classified information. And they lightheartedly critique Donald Trump Jr.’s account of a fruitless meeting between top Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton but really wanted to talk about adoption policy.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi feeling the heat from members of her own party after Tuesday’s loss in Georgia, but they are excited to see her determined to keep her job despite being a drag on the party. They also express concern over the new Senate Republican health care bill, which Democrats were already protesting and has some Republicans on edge as well. And they speculate on President Trump admitting he knows of no tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.