First, the FBI might actually have outdone itself on the overreach, and in a case that isn’t even political. After misleading a judge –- another magistrate judge, incidentally –- 18 months ago about what their warrant would entail, they broke into 1,400 safe deposit boxes at the U.S. Private Vaults Store in Beverly Hills.
They drilled them open and apparently confiscated everything. “Agents took photos and videos of pay stubs, password lists, credit cards, a prenuptual agreement, immigration and vaccination records, bank statements and a will… In one box, agents found cremated remains.” Agents had simply presumed “that hundreds of box holders were all storing assets somehow tied to unknown crimes.” So they confiscated and opened them ALL. Truly astounding. When you have time, read this wild story...
Katie Pavlich has a good (shorter) commentary.
Last week, President Trump said to Sean Hannity that, as President, he could declassify documents “just by thinking about it.” Even though the media had a field day, he might have hit it just about right.
Recall the ruling about audio recordings kept in a sock drawer by former President Bill Clinton. Obama appointee Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that “Under the statutory scheme established by the PRA [Presidential Records Act], the decision to segregate personal materials from Presidential records is made by the President, during the President’s term and in his sole discretion...” Also, if the Archives wants to issue a challenge, it’s a civil matter –- no criminal charge.
As for decisions about classification, we know Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama both signed executive orders giving Presidents “sweeping authority” to declassify, with no particular procedures. Alan Dershowitz, speaking with Hannity Monday night, said that even if the President really was supposed to follow certain guidelines, it STILL should not lead to criminal proceedings. “This is one of the most complex and disputed areas of law,” he said, adding that specific intent has to be proved to make it a crime. “Even the Democrats can’t agree on what the statutes provide,” he said. “...When you have disagreement, the one thing that’s clear, and every liberal and civil libertarian should support me and you on this, you cannot have criminal charges without the kind of certainty that’s lacking in this area.” That is “not up for dispute,” he said.
Oh, but if you’re President Trump, they don't need certainty about the law to send a SWAT team to raid your home.
George W.’s White House lost 22 million emails, according to NEWSWEEK. And letters reveal that Obama and his foundation kept classified documents in a furniture warehouse inside a mall –- which was never raided to our knowledge, and we follow the news pretty closely. As for Hillary’s emails, I think it’s all been said, yet she’s still walking around after deliberately destroying subpoenaed evidence, free to attend events where she denigrates Trump supporters as Nazis.
Gregg Jarrett read from Jackson’s ruling, which also applies to classification: “The National Archives does not have the authority to designate material as presidential records. It lacks any right, duty or means to seize control of them.” It’s ENTIRELY up to a former President what documents he’s keeping. And there are no “rules, laws or regulations” about the process for declassification. (Why, it almost sounds as if the President could declassify documents...just by thinking about it.)
“This was a lawless action by Merrick Garland’s Department of ‘Justice’ and Christopher Wray’s FBI,” Jarrett said.
So why did they raid Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home? “Because his last name is Trump,” Jarrett said. “If it were Obama or Clinton, it would be perfectly fine.
As Solomon writes, “The agent said when he suggested alternatives for arresting suspects in minor Jan. 6 cases, one of his bosses "told me that FBI executive management considered all potential alternatives and determined the SWAT takedown was the appropriate course of action.”
The amazing new allegation is this: Friend says agents in field offices around the country have told him that they’re mysteriously listed as case agents for search and arrest warrants on cases for which they’ve never done any investigative work. Let that sink on.
Not only is information being added to reports, but it’s also allegedly being removed. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office received whistleblower allegations that a special advisory committee made up of field agents from around the country raised concerns with FBI Director Christopher Wray that politics had infected the Bureau’s investigative decision-making. Those concerns, they told him, were edited out of the final report.
With so many FBI agents coming forward to blow the whistle on the abuse of power there, Miranda Devine at the NEW YORK POST reports that Facebook is suppressing content related to Steve Friend. And it seems they’re doing this by monitoring PRIVATE MESSAGES. It was only a matter of time, right?
Jury selection in the trial of J6 defendant Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers, and four of his co-defendants is scheduled to start today, Tuesday. They’re being tried for (yes) seditious conspiracy. What’s especially significant about this is that testimony from FBI informants (“confidential human sources”) may show how long the government was working 'inside' Oath Keepers, and what their role was in the events of January 6.
We learn the FBI had informants there from a September 21 motion that says, “At trial, the government or defense may call to testify certain CHSes who were either involved in the investigation that led to prosecution of the defendants, or who became CHSes subsequent to the initiation of the instant investigation.” It goes on to request that these informants, under questioning, not be asked about anything else they’re investigating.
Important details are here. We’ll update on the Rhodes trial as it gets underway.
Finally, the early-morning SWAT-team raid on the home of pro-life activist Mark Houck, involving 25-30 armed agents and 15 vehicles, is gaining attention for its outrageous overzealousness. This was the sort of case that would normally be handled locally, and indeed IT WAS, with the charges dropped due to lack of evidence and a civil case dismissed. In a sane world, that would be the end of it, but the FBI roared in. Just add a few tanks, and you’d have Tiananmen Square.
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley has written to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking “why Biden’s DOJ is arresting Catholic protesters like terrorists – complete with SWAT-style tactics – while letting actual terrorist acts like firebombings go unpunished.”