The Weaponized Administrative State is Protecting Itself
A report from Reuters highlights the DOJ and FBI refusing to hand over documents related to the Steele Dossier on candidate Donald Trump, and the FBI (Via James Comey) involvement in assembling the content therein. However, the lede is buried in paragraph four of the article.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department and the FBI are resisting demands from a Republican lawmaker to hand over documents about a former British spy’s dossier on purported Russian support for Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, because the FBI has its own open criminal investigation, officials said.
The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas in August seeking “any and all documents” about both agencies’ dealings with former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, according to a letter seen by Reuters from committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Trump supporter.
Steele compiled the so-called Trump dossier, which Trump was told by FBI director James Comey contained salacious material about the businessman-turned president. Trump and his associates have said the dossier’s contents were false.
Law enforcement and congressional officials said that the Justice Department and the FBI were reluctant to comply with the demand for documents as the FBI had its own probe, under the supervision of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, into U.S. allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign to tilt the November election in Trump’s favor. (read more)
This is genuinely much more alarming that might initially appear on first review. In essence the FBI is protecting itself from inquiry into unlawful conduct of the FBI.
People often talk about ‘conflict of interest’ in matters of personal or organizational conduct when the investigative apparatus itself is a participating entity into the originating issue. However, the FBI refusing to allow investigative oversight into actions taken by the FBI takes ‘conflicted interest’ concerns into stratospheric levels.
If the issue was simply a one-time request by the FBI to delay inquiry it might not hold the same level of consequence it does right now.
But when you combine this intentional action by Robert Mueller to block oversight into the potentially illegal action of a rogue agency with the previous actions within the DOJ as they relate to the IRS targeting, well, what you get is a stunning picture of a weaponized FBI apparatus attempting to avoid accountability.
A reminder on the IRS and FBI collusion, and the refusal of the DOJ to prosecute the IRS officials engaged in illegal targeting:
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the Department of Justice’s decision not to bring charges against Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, whose own emails place her at the heart of the politicization of the IRS for the targeting of conservative groups:
I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.
Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public. An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations. The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.
The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report that said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. The new documents reveal that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.” (read more)
In October 2015 the DOJ announced it was dropping the investigation into the IRS, Lois Lerner, and the unlawful sharing of taxpayer data in the IRS targeting investigation surrounding True The Vote et al.
In essence, not only did the DOJ drop an investigation into the IRS – it also dropped an investigation into itself. The DOJ, via FBI, was part of the entire IRS targeting enterprise. Yeah, there’s a massive conflict there.
CTH stumbled onto the DOJ trail of evidence back in June 2014 when we reviewed one of very few disclosures given by Lois Lerner’s attorney William Taylor III. In a moment of clarity, which was not caught by the interviewer, William Taylor responded to questioning by stating that his client, Lois Lerner, was merely responding to a request from the Department of Justice, when she sent confidential tax files to the DOJ.
Taylor said Lerner didn’t know and sent them because Justice requested the documents: “She [understood] the donor information on Schedule B had been removed. In some cases, we later learned, it may not have been.” (link)
Lois Lerner sent the DOJ 1.1 million pages of 501(c)(4) tax filing data. Including a very specific set of “33 Schedule B attachment files”. The Schedule B’s were specific to Large Conservative 501(c)(4) groups operating and organized to oppose the agenda of President Obama.
The Schedule B’s include the donor lists of specific people and sub-groups attached to the 501(c)(4).
In essence the donor group or names of every person who supported the larger conservative group. These would have been “the opponents” President Obama outlined in the controversial “citizens united” Supreme Court decision.
For obvious reasons it is illegal to distribute that taxpayer data. It is primarily illegal because such information could be used to create a list of people in opposition to the executive branch; that is exactly what happened.
Lois Lerner sent the data to the DOJ just before 2010 mid-terms. The DOJ hid the connection for three years and did not admit the submission until 2013 when congress was about to find out through one of their IRS subpoenas.
The DOJ then claimed it was some form of miscommunication, merely a mistake. The DOJ claimed they did not expect to get the Schedule B information, and therefore never noticed it until the House investigation began.
However, Lois Lerner’s attorney, William Taylor, is clearly refuting such deniability. He said it was not a mistake, it was his client, Lois Lerner, fulfilling a specific request.
Hence, it became obvious, the House Oversight Committee was actually investigating only ONE aspect of the overall scheme. The larger scheme is actually within the investigating body, the DOJ itself, and where they came up with the idea.
Which brings us back to the conflict of interest issue: How can the DOJ conduct an investigation into unlawful aspects of the IRS targeting of specific 501(c)(4) groups, when the DOJ was the initiating body for the illegality they were seeking to investigate?
See the problem?
There’s a pattern here.
Today in their intentional refusal of the FBI/DOJ to release records of their involvement with the “Steele Dossier”, Robert Mueller is following a pattern of FBI and DOJ action to hide the unlawful behavior of FBI and DOJ leadership.
And Attorney General Jeff Sessions is doing what?…