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Friday, April 20, 2018

Comey gets the Clinton treatment

by digby

This is exactly what Clinton is supposed to be jailed for:
At least two of the memos that former FBI Director James Comey gave to a friend outside of the government contained information that officials now consider classified, according to people familiar with the matter, prompting a review by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog.

Of those two memos, Mr. Comey himself redacted elements of one that he knew to be classified to protect secrets before he handed the documents over to his friend. He determined at the time that another memo contained no classified information, but after he left the Federal Bureau of Investigation, bureau officials upgraded it to “confidential,” the lowest level of classification.

In other words, it wasn't classified when he gave it to a friend but they later went back and classified it. This is what Clinton was accused of doing with the handful of emails that were later classified and which Comey determined was "careless."

The thing is that all this stuff is over-classified. It's ridiculous. And the the right wing using this as their cudgel even as they defend Petraeus who was the CIA director and handed his unhinged girlfriend folders full of classified memos is just precious.

Or this guy:

Around dusk on March 21, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) — head of the House Intelligence Committee and its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election — was riding in an Uber with a staff member. Suddenly, he looked at his phone and got out of the car without saying where he was going.

The next afternoon, he made a statement to reporters on Capitol Hill.

“I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition,” he said. He added, “I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked.” He meant that after people working on President Trump’s transition were included in surveillance of foreign actors (communication from them was “incidentally collected”), intelligence agencies removed the protection of anonymity that usually protects Americans when that happens.

Nunes’s allegation gave weight to an argument that Trump had been making for weeks, after the president spontaneously alleged on Twitter one Saturday morning that President Barack Obama had tapped the phones in Trump Tower. That claim wasn’t true, as intelligence officials later testified under oath. So the argument morphed into one about how the intelligence community had instead improperly focused on Trump staffers in their surveillance, an argument bolstered by Nunes’s sudden announcement.

Trump wasted no time celebrating Nunes’s allegations. Nunes spoke at about 1 p.m. on March 22; by 1:30 p.m., Trump was telling a reporter from Time to check out what Nunes had said — even before Nunes had arrived at the White House to brief the president on what he’d learned.

Two things later emerged about Nunes’s statement. The first was that there was a Trump transition team member whose communication was unmasked: Former national security adviser Michael Flynn. His conversations with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016 led to his lying to the FBI about what he’d said. Those lies led to his leaving the administration and, eventually, to pleading guilty to a charge from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team investigating Russian meddling.

The other thing that emerged was how Nunes had learned about this unmasking. When he got out of that Uber, he went to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building within the White House complex. Multiple White House officials orchestrated his visit, during which he was shown classified information about unmasked surveillance.

The GOP House ethics committee cleared him, natch. But then he didn't use emails so ...