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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, July 07, 2016

FBI Director Comey Hearing Highlights, The Hillary Defense, 2016 Election Update

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by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. At least five congressional committees are expected to hold hearings or launch investigations into the FBI's decision to clear Hillary Clinton. Here are a few highlights from Comey's testimony this morning:
  • Hillary may be facing perjury charges. Chairman Jason Chaffetz asked Comey if Clinton lied to Congress. Comey answered, "Not to my knowledge. I don't think there's been a referral from Congress." Chaffetz replied, "You'll have one in the next few hours."
  • Comey said that the lack of criminal intent was the deciding factor in his decision to not recommend charges. Rep. Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, destroyed Comey's reasoning.

    Gowdy repeated a number of Clinton's public statements that Comey has since said were false. Then Gowdy asked Comey, "In interest of time. . . I'm not going to go through any more of the false statements. But I am going to ask you put on your old hat (as a prosecutor). False exculpatory statements, they are used for what?"

    "Either for the substantive prosecution or for evidence of intent in a criminal prosecution," Comey answered. "Exactly. Consciousness of guilt and intent," Gowdy said.
  • Yesterday, Senator Mitch McConnell called on the FBI to release transcripts of Hillary's three and a half hour interview on Saturday. Incredibly, Comey told members of Congress that the FBI did not put Clinton under oath nor did they record the interview!
The Hillary Defense
In yesterday's report, we noted that other people who mishandled intelligence information have been prosecuted for significantly less than what former Secretary of State Clinton did. For four years, Clinton violated if not the letter of the law then certainly the spirit of various aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, the Federal Records Act and the Espionage Act.

Now defense lawyers who specialize in intelligence and national security cases are saying they will raise the Clinton defense in coming cases.

"I intend to use the Hillary defense," said attorney Sean M. Bigley. "I really question how any agency can say someone is a security risk if the president of the United States did something similar."

"I'm going to use it every chance I get . . . I'm going to bring it up over and over and over," said Mark Riley, a former intelligence officer who now represents clients in national security cases. "Any other person would have had their security clearance revoked," Riley added.

Speaking of revoking clearances, Speaker Paul Ryan has asked CIA Director James Clapper to deny Clinton access to classified information "for the duration of her candidacy as president." In addition, Senators John Cornyn (TX) and Cory Gardner (CO) have introduced legislation to revoke her security clearance.

That's a good start, but I hope they are planning to take action against two of her top aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin. They were part of the conspiracy to set up the private server and evade national security laws. Undoubtedly, they would be part of any future Clinton Administration too!

2016 Election Update
Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump came to Washington, D.C., today to meet with House Republicans. At least 200 members of the GOP caucus attended, including many members who have not had a chance to meet Trump before. Afterwards, he met with Senate Republicans, and also met privately with Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Sources say Trump offered Cruz a speaking slot at the convention, which Cruz accepted, and that Cruz also agreed to help Trump in selecting judicial nominees.

Two weeks ago, Hillary Clinton held a similar meeting with congressional Democrats, many of whom had previously endorsed her. Bernie Sanders met with House Democrats yesterday. Apparently, he was booed when he declined to formally endorse Clinton. One House Democrat blasted the meeting as a "total display of self-obsession" on Sanders' part.

Today's GOP unity gathering comes on the heels of reports that a joint Trump/RNC fundraising effort raised $55 million last month. That may seem like a lot of money, but it is considerably less than the $68.5 million that Hillary and Democrats raised last month, and well short of the $106 million that Mitt Romney raised in June of 2012.

In other campaign news, both presidential contenders are continuing to hold very public auditions for potential running mates. Yesterday, Newt Gingrich campaigned with Trump in Ohio. Last week, Clinton was in Ohio campaigning with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Senators Bob Corker (TN) and Joni Ernst (IA) took themselves out of contention yesterday as possible Trump running mates. Some believe the leading contenders are down to Gingrich and Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Other say there could be a surprise choice, like retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn.

Meanwhile, the polls are tightening and the race appears to be a tossup. The latest Rasmussen poll has Trump leading by two points.

Convention Chaos?
A new Wall Street Journal report suggests that efforts to oppose Donald Trump's nomination at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland may be gaining momentum. Anti-Trump members of the Rules Committee are reportedly close to forcing a vote that could unbind the delegates on the first ballot. If that happens, there could be trouble for Trump.

The Journal reports that fewer than 900 delegates are personally loyal to Trump. That's well-short of the 1,237 he needs to win. Meanwhile, 680 delegates are believed to be opposed to his nomination, leaving about 900 delegates "in play."

As I have noted before, Donald Trump not only won, he won "bigly" -- shattering the record for the most primary votes won by any Republican candidate in history.

I don't understand how party elites can think it is a good idea to cancel the votes of millions of Republicans in order to deprive the winner of the nomination. I just don't see how that ends well or how the party thrives if it shows such disrespect to the record number of voters who participated in the process this year.

Not to mention the terrible precedent it sets. Why would anyone bother to vote in another presidential primary if the results don't matter?
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, FBI Director Comey Hearing Highlights, The Hillary Defense, 2016 Update To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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