Impeachment has begun while Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok sue the DOJ and FBI

psbsve / Flickr Internal Justice Department probe eyes McCabe...
psbsve / Flickr

This week Judiciary committee Chairman Jerold Nadler openly and verbally admits that his is in the midst of official impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

He said the Judiciary Committee will decide likely by the end of the year whether to recommend bringing articles of impeachment to the House floor.

“This is formal impeachment proceedings,” Nadler told CNN’s Erin Burnett Thursday evening. “We are investigating all the evidence, gathering the evidence. And we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment to the House floor. Or we won’t. That’s a decision that we’ll have to make. But that’s exactly the process we’re in right now.”

[…]

“The fact is, we are doing an investigation. We are investigating the facts, investigating the evidence,” Nadler said. “We are going into court to get witnesses all with a view toward deciding and recommending to the House whether to impeach the President.”

Which is a relief, but not really news since this had already been stated by the committee in their lawsuit to gain access to the Mueller grand jury information back on July 27th.  On the 28th Adam Schiff said Congress is in the “preliminary stages” of impeachment while the number of House Dems supporting an Impeachment inquiry has now reached 122.

There is still the problem of the WH subpeona and question stonewall, but the House has also finally submitted a lawsuit to compell Don McGahn to abide by the subpoena that was issued for his testimony.  Winning that lawsuit is key to breaking the logjam for testimony from any former White House employee or even Corey Lewandowski who WH lawyers would chaperone question by question just as they did with Hope Hicks and blocked over 150 questions from being answered.  Along with the contempt filings against AG Barr and Wilbur Ross, these are all significant steps but all depend on what happens in court and we won’t have much movement on any of these issues until this goes through the appeals court and reaches the SCOTUS.

However, both Congress and New York AG Letitia James have both already received piles of documents on Trump and Russia financial deals from Deutche Bank and Capitol One — even though that lawsuit and subpoena is still pending.

Also, Racism.

While this has been going with contempt charges and subponea lawsuits — both Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI Agent Peter Strzok have both sued the DOJ and FBI for wrongful termination based on their criticisms of Donald Trump.  In his suit McCabe actually used Trump’s own tweets to prove that his termination was done to retaliate against his admitting he didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. 

“Trump’s decision was motivated by his unconstitutional desire to punish Plaintiff for his refusal to pledge partisan allegiance to Trump, for Trump’s misperception of Plaintiff’s partisan affiliation, and for Plaintiff’s lawful exercise of his First Amendment-protected rights of expression and association,” McCabe alleged.

[…]

According to the lawsuit, Trump ramped up his calls for McCabe to be fired after McCabe, upon questioning by Trump, admitted to not voting for Trump in the 2016 election. The lawsuit alleged that FBI Director Chris Wray was instructed to fire McCabe as soon as Wray was sworn in.

“On or about this date, Sessions, acting at Trump’s urging, asked Defendant Wray to fire Plaintiff,” the lawsuit said. “Wray refused on the basis that he would not allow personnel decisions at the FBI to be politicized. Wray suggested that he would resign if Sessions continued to apply such pressure.”

When Sessions eventually removed McCabe, who at that point was already on pre-retirement leave from the FBI, the attorney general pointed to an inspector general report that found that McCabe had lacked candor in the inspector general’s review of a Wall Street Journal story that McCabe helped facilitate.

McCabe’s lawsuit alleged that the disciplinary proceeding that followed that report was inappropriately rushed in response to Trump’s claim that McCabe was trying to “rac[e] the clock” until his retirement benefits kicked in.

McCabe was fired by Sessions just two days before he would have become vested for his maximum retirement level, while he was riding out the last of his available vacation time and had already left his job — so we’re talking about a totally vindictive action here.

In Peter Strzok’s lawsuit he argues Trump applied pressure that overrode the disciplinary deal that he already taken and that the Inspector General violated his privacy by leaking his personal texts before his report was completed and still to this day hasn’t issued a report on the leakers who were providing inside anti-Clinton information to Rudy Giuliani through former NYC FBI Supervisory Agent James Kallstrom.

Strzok alleges that the decision to fire him — which came after an agreement he made with the FBI’s disciplinary office that would have allowed him to stay at the bureau — violated his due process rights and his right to political speech.

Under the deal he had accepted from the Office of Professional Responsibility, he would be demoted and put on a 60-day suspension, in exchange for him agreeing not to appeal the move, according to the lawsuit.

A day after the disciplinary office’s decision — and allegedly under the pressure of President Trump and his allies —Deputy Director David Bowdich overruled the deal and terminated Strzok, according to the lawsuit. Strzok was also not able to appeal Bowdich’s decision, which is normally allowed under FBI protocol for disciplinary moves, the lawsuit said.

“But for the intervention of the President and his political allies and their insistence on punishing Special Agent Strzok for the content of his protected speech, the FBI would have imposed the lesser discipline decided upon by Assistant Director [Candice] Will [of the Office of Professional Responsibility], and Strzok would not have been discharged,” the lawsuit said. “Defendants discharged Strzok because of his protected speech in violation of the First Amendment.”

The lawsuit also alleged that the Justice Department violated the Privacy Act by leaking Strzok’s anti-Trump texts to the media.

The Trump claim has always been that McCabe and Strzok were part of a “deep state” pack of partisan haters who were out to “get him” — however the leak that McCabe was fired for supposedly lying about was an argument he’d had with a member of the DOJ who had wanted the FBI to drop the investigation into the Clinton Foundation, but McCabe had refused and continued to investigate anyway.  The inspector General had argued that McCabe was “less than candid” when he was later asked about his involvement in this leak when he said he had nothing to do with it — however he himself voluntarily came forward to correct this statement saying that he’d simply forgotten about ordering Lisa Page to share his conversation with Devlin Barret  of the Wall Street Journal.

McCabe’s attorney has previously stated rather than deliberately trying to hide his authorization of the leak, McCabe had sent an email to james Comey admitting that he was the source for that leak which was intended to correct the false narrative that was being generated by leakers linked to Kallstrom and Giuliani.

But Michael Bromwich, McCabe’s attorney, told The Washington Postthat claims of email evidence “clearly show that Mr. McCabe advised Director Comey that he was working with colleagues at the FBI to correct inaccuracies before the stories were published, and that they remained in contact through the weekend while the interactions with the reporter continued.”

Similarly, even though the Inspector General had essentially cleared by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page of doing anything in their official capacity to defend Hillary Clinton in that investigation he was still fired.  The IG report actually says that Strzok and Page were two of the most aggressive members of the Clinton investigation specifically requesting for more subpoena and interviews than other members, while Strzok was also on record as stating his opinion of the Trump/Russia investigation that there was “no big there there.”

An FBI agent who served on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, and who has been accused by Republicans of anti-Trump bias, said in a text message prior to joining the investigation into President Donald Trump and Russia that “my gut sense and concern is there’s no big there there.”

All of Trump’s accusations of bias against McCabe and Strzok simply don’t make sense.  They may not have liked him personally or voted for him, but that doesn’t mean that they personally tilted any investigations either for or against him during the election or after.  If they had, it would have been a violation of the Hatch Act, and there have never been any substantiated allegations of that by anyone, including from the inspector General. Also the fact that nearly two years after they started their original leak investigation the IG has still said literally nothing about the orginal leaks — the ones which were given to Giuliani — which is highly strange, while there have been IG reports on both McCabe and Strzok and the IG recommended that McCabe be prosecuted for “lying.”

We do know that the FBI talked to Giuliani about the leaks, but it wasn’t a very extensive interview.

WASHINGTON ― Rudy Giuliani says FBI agents interviewed him in his room at the Trump International Hotel earlier this year regarding his 2016 remarks predicting a “surprise” in the closing days of the presidential race that would benefit then-Republican nominee Donald Trump.

“That’s all they asked about. What was I talking about in terms of ‘surprise’?” Giuliani told HuffPost Tuesday. “What was I talking about when I was talking about new information?”

[…]

Giuliani told HuffPost that he spoke with Kallstrom as well as one other former FBI official he would not identify.

But Giuliani said he told the FBI agents who interviewed him that he had neither inside knowledge of the Clinton probe’s status nor advance warning of Comey’s Oct. 28 announcement. He was merely speculating that FBI agents were so upset by Comey’s earlier decision not to charge the Democratic nominee with any crimes that they would “revolt,” either by leaking damaging information about her or by resigning en masse.

“Did I get any leaks from the FBI? I said no,” Giuliani said, adding that the “surprise” that he promised in 2016 was a 20-minute national television ad he was urging Trump to buy to deliver a speech “hitting very hard on the Comey decision.”

[….]

“They said they were satisfied,” Giuliani said of the two agents who interviewed him. “If they want to interview me all over again? They can interview me all over again. … Maybe they’ll come raid my office like Michael Cohen.”

Still, Just where the hell are Jim kallstrom’s text and email messages? Why has the IG given him and his NYC cohorts a pass but come down on McCabe and Strzok like a ton fo bricks?

It’s not exactly reassuring.

Here are the detailed events for this week in the Trump/Russia Timeline.

August 3rd —

August 4th —

August 5th —

August 6th —

August 7th —

August 8th —

August 9th —

Augus 10th —

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