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What Happened to the FBI?
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When FBI Director James Comey announced on July 5 that the Department of Justice would not seek the indictment of Hillary Clinton for failure to safeguard state secrets related to her email use while she was secretary of state, he both jumped the gun and set in motion a series of events that surely he did not intend. Was his hand forced by the behavior of FBI agents who wouldn’t take no for an answer? Did he let the FBI become a political tool?

Here is the back story.

The FBI began investigating the Clinton email scandal in the spring of 2015, when The New York Times revealed Clinton’s use of a private email address for her official governmental work and the fact that she did not preserve the emails on State Department servers, contrary to federal law. After an initial collection of evidence and a round of interviews, agents and senior managers gathered in the summer of 2015 to discuss how to proceed. It was obvious to all that a prima-facie case could be made for espionage, theft of government property and obstruction of justice charges. The consensus was to proceed with a formal criminal investigation.

Six months later, the senior FBI agent in charge of that investigation resigned from the case and retired from the FBI because he felt the case was going “sideways”; that’s law enforcement jargon for “nowhere by design.” John Giacalone had been the chief of the New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., field offices of the FBI and, at the time of his “sideways” comment, was the chief of the FBI National Security Branch.

The reason for the “sideways” comment must have been Giacalone’s realization that DOJ and FBI senior management had decided that the investigation would not work in tandem with a federal grand jury. That is nearly fatal to any government criminal case. In criminal cases, the FBI and the DOJ cannot issue subpoenas for testimony or for tangible things; only grand juries can.

Giacalone knew that without a grand jury, the FBI would be toothless, as it would have no subpoena power. He also knew that without a grand jury, the FBI would have a hard time persuading any federal judge to issue search warrants. A judge would perceive the need for search warrants to be not acute in such a case because to a judge, the absence of a grand jury can only mean a case is “sideways” and not a serious investigation.

As the investigation dragged on in secret and Donald Trump simultaneously began to rise in the Republican presidential primaries, it became more apparent to Giacalone’s successors that the goal of the FBI was to exonerate Clinton, not determine whether there was enough evidence to indict her. In late spring of this year, agents began interviewing the Clinton inner circle.

When Clinton herself was interviewed on July 2 — for only four hours, during which the interviewers seemed to some in the bureau to lack aggression, passion and determination — some FBI agents privately came to the same conclusion as their former boss: The case was going sideways.


A few determined agents were frustrated by Clinton’s professed lack of memory during her interview and her oblique reference to a recent head injury she had suffered as the probable cause of that. They sought to obtain her medical records to verify the gravity of her injury and to determine whether she had been truthful with them. They prepared the paperwork to obtain the records, only to have their request denied by Director Comey himself on July 4.
Then some agents did the unthinkable; they reached out to colleagues in the intelligence community and asked them to obtain Clinton’s medical records so they could show them to Comey. We know that the National Security Agency can access anything that is stored digitally, including medical records. These communications took place late on July 4.

When Comey learned of these efforts, he headed them off the next morning with his now infamous news conference, in which he announced that Clinton would not be indicted because the FBI had determined that her behavior, though extremely careless, was not reckless, which is the legal standard in espionage cases. He then proceeded to recount the evidence against her. He did this, no doubt, to head off the agents who had sought the Clinton medical records, whom he suspected would leak evidence against her.

Three months later — and just weeks before Clinton will probably be elected president — we have learned that President Barack Obama regularly communicated with Clinton via her personal email servers about matters that the White House considered classified. That means that he lied when he told CBS News that he learned of the Clinton servers when the rest of us did.

We also learned this week that Andrew McCabe, Giacalone’s successor as head of the FBI Washington field office and presently the No. 3 person in the FBI, is married to a woman to whom the Clinton money machine in Virginia funneled about $675,000 in lawful campaign funds for a failed 2015 run for the Virginia Senate. Comey apparently saw no conflict or appearance of impropriety in having the person in charge of the Clinton investigation in such an ethically challenged space.

Why did this case go sideways?

Did President Obama fear being a defense witness at Hillary Clinton’s criminal trial? Did he so fear being succeeded in office by Donald Trump that he ordered the FBI to exonerate Clinton, the rule of law be damned? Did the FBI lose its reputation for fidelity to law, bravery under stress and integrity at all times?

This is not your grandfather’s FBI — or your father’s. It is the Obama FBI.

Copyright 2016 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by

• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2016 Election, Hillary Clinton 
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  1. “What happened to the FBI”.

    The answer is painfully simple :

    The commies ( Democrats) knew that they had to get as many of their comrades into it, as into the courts and edumacation systems, so they simply had to grab up enough leftist college grads with liberal arts degrees, and they then have this investigative system ( which will of course never, ever investigate their own misdeeds) in their hands for the next forty years.

    Authenticjazzman, “Mensa” Society member of forty-plus years, and pro jazz performer.

  2. Something that needs to be stopped is government employees and office holders hiding behind the 5th amendment. It’s analogous to anchor babies and citizenship. (No, really.) As anchor babies dilute the privilege of citizenship, government taking the 5th weakens public ownership of government power.

    You can take the 5th as a private citizen, but as an office holder you owe the power invested and its product to the public. An office can’t take the 5th. If you think you might need it to not incriminate yourself, don’t hold a public office.

    Yes, the FBI is bent, same as the DoJ. Obama didn’t start that, although he may have perfected it. Government has freed itself from the restraints of morality and has become a privatized looting scheme that feels no obligation to this country.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  3. woodNfish says:

    Welcome to the amerikan banana republic.

    • Replies: @mtn cur
  4. All I can do is laugh (ruefully of course) when I hear supposedly intelligent people opine on how the transition of power from Obama to whomever will be a smooth process. The likelihood of Obama not even leaving office is not small. Every single Federal institution in the US is corrupt from top to bottom.

  5. Alden says:

    Authenticjazzman is absolutely right. I was there when the 1968 affirmative action civil rights law destroyed the merit civil system for virtually every city, town, county state and federal job.

    The ostensible reason for affirmative action is to ban normal functional Whites from civil service and replace them with non Whites even if the non Whites arrived from China last week and speak not a word of English.

    But an deeper reason was to fill civil service with the White red diaper babies and the younger people now in their 30’s 40s and 50s who were brainwashed into anti White racism and liberalism since nursery school.

    When Bernadette Dohrn and Bill Ayers were on the run from the east coast bank robbery and murder they came to San Francisco. They both got jobs in War on Poverty do gooder agencies.
    Dohrn went to work for Services to Children of Prisoners. She used a false name. Of course it was a lot easier to work under false names and SS numbers in those days. The person who headed the agency is a member of the family that owns Seagrams. While in San Francisco Dohrn bombed a police station and killed one and blinded another officer. She and Ayers also were involved in the invasion of Inglewood police station and murder of a clerk by black panthers

    They couldn’t get into civil service and take over government by the merit exam system, so they destroyed that and got in by other means.


  6. mari says:

    I have a nephew who is a navy nuclear engineer. He has followed the email scandal closely. He says that if any sailor in whatever job classification had done what Hildabeast did he or she would be in prison for 20 years or maybe even life.

    What is interesting is how she was able to overwhelm and takeover the State Department. State is one department that sees political appointee ambassadors, Secretaries and assistant Secretaries come and go. Generally the department just carries on its mission while the political appointees float on top having little effect on the actual work.

    But it appears she and her horde of assistants and deputies and assistant deputies just blasted in and the professionals just submitted. Perhaps Hidabeast used the standard threats of accusing State employees of racism sexism heteroism etc.

    But Id like to know how a department known for its independence from political appointees just submitted.

  7. It seems that some elements of the FBI thought they could prosecute someone who is above the law. Perhaps they were blinded by their own high opinion of themselves. Law officers can play God among the proles. But they are mere tools of the ruling class.

  8. Anonymous [AKA "stosh"] says:

    There’s been something bothering me about the dance around HRC’s emails. Isn’t it more likely that HRC’s server was purposely set up to be hackable? Enough daily chatter to appear and be the only source of email activity of office, but constantly monitored for hackers . I would guess that the state’s secrets being protected are more about the direct disinformation that is in them than any real state secret. The FBI was seeing crime before they got let in on the truth. Now they have to exonerate HRC to cover up their blunder. I think it must be that the state secrets that got hacked were very important for the hackers to believe, and the subterfuge must not be suspected.

    • Replies: @boogerbently
  9. Pontius says:

    Perhaps charges are Beng delayed to prevent a presidential pardon from Obama. It would be doubly humiliating for Clinton to be brought down after becoming President.

  10. mtn cur says:

    This morning a private contractor confirmed that numerous FBI agents eligible for their pension are retiring in response to the Clinton e-mail cover up.

  11. mtn cur says:

    I keep telling you guys it is too cold to grow bananas here. How bout moonshine republic. All the ethanol is toxic to both man and machine and is a boondoggle either way.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  12. KenH says:

    Did the FBI lose its reputation for fidelity to law, bravery under stress and integrity at all times?

    This is not your grandfather’s FBI — or your father’s. It is the Obama FBI.

    JFK said the CIA should be shattered into a million pieces, but so should the FBI and this is a clear case of a political cover up to protect a high ranking Democrat. And I believe that it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The FBI’s Stasi like tactics and paramilitary thuggery have no place in this society and increasingly the FBI director and the top brass are influence peddlers and political whores who are setting themselves up for lucrative post government gigs just like congressman and senators do.

    This is banana republicanism on full display and I hope Comey is proud of himself.

  13. Anonymous [AKA "Joe Blowe"] says:
    @YT Wurlitzer

    Congress has the power of Inherent Contempt. They can jail anyone for lying or refusing to testify to Congress. The Executive and Judiciary have no say in the matter and the 5th Amendment is no defense. CONgress has refused to use this power for 80 years. The Democrat/GOP Establishment Uniparty doesn’t want the idea to get around that they have the power to stop the corruption in government because a.) they don’t want to be held responsible for failing to stop the corruption and b.) they and their paymasters are in on the corruption.

  14. @Anonymous

    And all the talk about Huma “not knowing how those e-mails got there”.
    Isn’t it more likely that it’s Huma’s laptop ? Weiner just agreed to take the wrap in exchange for leniency in his upcoming underage sex scandal and divorce/support/visitation battle.

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