CNN pushed Donna Brazile out after email leak showed Clinton coordination

CNN this month quietly dismissed Donna Brazile, the Democratic National Committee chair, from her position as a contributor more than two weeks ago, after a leaked email appeared to show she gave Hillary Clinton a question that would be asked at a presidential forum.

CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratrapas said in a Monday statement provided to the Washington Examiner that the cable channel is “completely uncomfortable” after learning that earlier this year, Brazile provided Clinton’s campaign with specific questions she would face at CNN presidential forums.

CNN indicated that those worries led Brazile to offer her resignation, which CNN accepted.

According to an article in the Daily Mail.com, “CNN has cut all ties with Interim Democratic Party Chairwoman Donna Brazile, following revelations that she shared at least two questions with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in advance of CNN-hosted Democratic debates and town hall broadcasts.”

‘We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor,’ the network’s PR department said in a statement.

Brazile’s actions were uncovered in emails released by WikiLeaks after a hacker penetrated the Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

On Monday the anti-secrecy group published a March 5 email showing Brazile tipping off Podesta and Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri about a question that an audience member would ask a day later during a debate against rival Bernie Sanders.

The event, hosted in water-poisoned Flint, Michigan, was moderated by CNN anchors Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper.

‘One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash,’ Brazile wrote. ‘Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl [people] of Flint.’

A woman named Lee-Anne Walters ended up asking the question.

‘After my family, the city of Flint and the children in D.C. were poisoned by lead, will you make a personal promise to me right now that, as president, in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States, and notification made to the citizens that have said service lines?’ Walters asked.

Republicans’ hackles shot up last month when a Wikileaks email dated March 12 showed Brazile sending Palmieri a question about death penalty politics, which an exonerated death row inmate asked her the next night — almost verbatim — during a CNN-hosted town hall.

“CNN employed Brazile as a paid commentator.” However, when “the death penalty email became public on October 14, she voluntarily ‘suspended’ her CNN contract.”

At the same time, she vehemently denied sending the March 12 email, telling Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly that she was being ‘persecuted’ over an email Russian hackers had likely inserted to embarrass her.

‘I am not going to try to validate falsified information,’ she declared.

Democrats should ask Hillary Clinton to step aside

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass writes:

Has America become so numb by the decades of lies and cynicism oozing from Clinton Inc. that it could elect Hillary Clinton as president, even after Friday’s FBI announcement that it had reopened an investigation of her emails while secretary of state?

We’ll find out soon enough.

It’s obvious the American political system is breaking down. It’s been crumbling for some time now, and the establishment elite know it and they’re properly frightened. Donald Trump, the vulgarian at their gates, is a symptom, not a cause. Hillary Clinton and husband Bill are both cause and effect.

FBI director James Comey’s announcement about the renewed Clinton email investigation is the bombshell in the presidential campaign. That he announced this so close to Election Day should tell every thinking person that what the FBI is looking at is extremely serious.

Kass continues:

If ruling Democrats hold themselves to the high moral standards they impose on the people they govern, they would follow a simple process:

They would demand that Mrs. Clinton step down, immediately, and let her vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, stand in her place.

Democrats should say, honestly, that with a new criminal investigation going on into events around her home-brew email server from the time she was secretary of state, having Clinton anywhere near the White House is just not a good idea.

Since Oct. 7, WikiLeaks has released 35,000 emails hacked from Clinton campaign boss John Podesta. Now WikiLeaks, no longer a neutral player but an active anti-Clinton agency, plans to release another 15,000 emails.

What if she is elected? Think of a nation suffering a bad economy and continuing chaos in the Middle East, and now also facing a criminal investigation of a president. Add to that congressional investigations and a public vision of Clinton as a Nixonian figure wandering the halls, wringing her hands.

The best thing would be for Democrats to ask her to step down now. It would be the most responsible thing to do, if the nation were more important to them than power. And the American news media — fairly or not firmly identified in the public mind as Mrs. Clinton’s political action committee — should begin demanding it.

Clearly:

If you take a step back from tribal politics, you’ll see that Mrs. Clinton has clearly disqualified herself from ever coming near classified information again. If she were a young person straight out of grad school hoping to land a government job, Hillary Clinton would be laughed out of Washington with her record. She’d never be hired.

As secretary of state she kept classified documents on the home-brew server in her basement, which is against the law. She lied about it to the American people. She couldn’t remember details dozens of times when questioned by the FBI. Her aides destroyed evidence by BleachBit and hammers. Her husband, Bill, met secretly on an airport tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch for about a half-hour, and all they said they talked about was golf and the grandkids.

And there was no prosecution of Hillary.

That isn’t merely wrong and unethical. It is poisonous.

Is agent mutiny behind the reopened Clinton email investigation?

Reportedly, “FBI agents tasked with destroying the laptop computers of Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and ex-campaign staffer Heather Samuelson, as part of immunity deals made during the initial investigation of Clinton’s email server,” have refused to carry out the instruction; the laptops are still at the FBI — undamaged.

And speculation is rife “that an agent mutiny is behind the FBI’s newly reopened investigation.”:

Reports of “dismayed and disgusted” agents and Department of Justice investigators, angry over Comey’s July 5 announcement not to recommend prosecution for Clinton, had surfaced two weeks ago. A source told Fox News, “No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joe DiGenova, citing FBI sources close to the investigation, called the internal dissension “a big development,” in an interview with Hotair.

“This is a big development. This means there are some great, traditional, honest people inside the FBI and DOJ who will not let this stand, said DiGenova, who still practices law in D.C.

“They know that Comey is a dirty cop and they are disgusted. Inside the bureau I had a meeting today with a senior former FBI agent who told me this exact story. That people are starting to talk. They’re calling their former friends outside the bureau asking for help. We were asked, today, to provide legal representation for people inside the bureau and we agreed to do so. And, to former agents who want to come forward to talk.

“Comey thought this was going to go away. It is not. People inside the agency are furious. They are embarrassed. They feel they are being led by a hack. But, more than that, they think he’s a crook. They think he’s fundamentally dishonest. They have no confidence in him. The bureau, inside, right now . . .  is a mess.”

This is probably a presidential election like none before

How often have you heard pundits say, “you couldn’t write this,” or “you couldn’t make this up,” in reference to the less than ideal character-ratings of the two candidates — and the twists and turns that have taken place so far during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election on November 8?

Betcha, often enough to stand out from any previous election you can recall.

Here’s how a Washington Times opinion-piece puts it:

There’s nothing new under the sun, as Ecclesiastes reminds us, but this presidential election campaign comes close. Rarely if ever have both parties nominated candidates who invite so much anger, frustration, indifference and even contempt.

One candidate is painted by a one-party media as a depraved billionaire without an ethical core, a shady businessman, an abuser of women and a corrupter of the capitalist system that accorded him great wealth and unusual privilege. The other candidate is a creature of politics gone rotten and rancid, the ultimate “wife of,” a woman of some political accomplishment and much corruption who only barely escaped prosecution and prison for betraying the nation’s security secrets.

Nevertheless, within a fortnight one of these candidates will be elected president of the United States and become the undisputed leader of the free world. Election Day, traditionally a day of celebration of the ultimate exercise of democracy, will this year be a day of lamentation for what might have been, what should have been, what could have been.

The opinion-piece opines further:

Donald Trump, imperfect though he is, has all the right enemies: the pundits, the “social scientists,” the Beltway insiders, the academics and the righteous mongers of failed policies. Hillary Clinton has all the wrong friends — the pundits, academics and insiders hoping to hitch a ride on a new gravy train. The stink from her 30 years in politics, which a generous observer delicately calls “a thick fog of impropriety,” touches and stains everyone around her. New WikiLeaks disclosures of her email traffic reveal how it was President Obama and his Justice Department, not the FBI, who made the decision not to prosecute her, as others before her were mercilessly prosecuted for leaking security secrets.

President Obama said he learned of her private email server “from the newspapers,” but the new WikiLeaks disclosures reveal that the president himself used a private alias to send emails to Hillary, fearful that any charges filed against her would have implicated him.

Hillary Clinton has left an unbroken trail of corruption from her 16 years in Arkansas forward to the White House. Scandal after scandal has marked the trail, from firing the White House travel office staff to give their jobs to her friends, to looting the White House of furniture and furnishings on the family’s departure from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And:

Even friends who try to say something nice about her do it warily. The New York Times and The Washington Post, her chief enablers in the mainstream media, endorsed her as expected, but with telling caveats. “Mrs. Clinton’s occasional missteps, combined with attacks on her trustworthiness,” The New York Times said, “have distorted her character.” The Washington Post wrote between the lines with even darker ink: “No election is without risk. The biggest worry about a Clinton presidency, in our view, is the sphere where she does not seem to have learned the right lessons, namely openness and accountability.”

Is the FBI reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server?

In a letter to Congress, FBI director James B. Comey revealed that the bureau had learned of more emails connected to the investigation.

“I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed by on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation,” Comey wrote.

This written announcement to Congress runs contrary to Comey’s previous testimony that the investigation was closed. However, he said that “recent developments” caused him to “supplement” his testimony.

So is the investigation genuinely on again?

Here’s house oversight committee chairman Jason Chavettz’s Twitter comment:

FBI Dir just informed me, “The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.” Case reopened

You’ll no doubt remember that during his testimony to Congress, Comey, in answer to a question, stated adamantly that his decision not to recommend indictment for Hillary Clinton was supported by all the agents under him.

That statement doesn’t appear to be true:

In a New York Post article, titled, “FBI agents are ready to revolt over the cozy Clinton probe,” author, political commentator and investigative journalist Paul Sperry writes:

Veteran FBI agents say FBI Director James Comey has permanently damaged the bureau’s reputation for uncompromising investigations with his “cowardly” whitewash of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information using an unauthorized private email server.

Feeling the heat from congressional critics, Comey last week argued that the case was investigated by career FBI agents, “So if I blew it, they blew it, too.”

But agents say Comey tied investigators’ hands by agreeing to unheard-of ground rules and other demands by the lawyers for Clinton and her aides that limited their investigation.

“In my 25 years with the bureau, I never had any ground rules in my interviews,” said retired agent Dennis V. Hughes, the first chief of the FBI’s computer investigations unit.

Instead of going to prosecutors and insisting on using grand jury leverage to compel testimony and seize evidence, Comey allowed immunity for several key witnesses, including potential targets.

The immunity agreements came with outrageous side deals, including preventing agents from searching for any documents on a Dell laptop owned by former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills generated after Jan. 31, 2015, when she communicated with the server administrator who destroyed subpoenaed emails.

Comey also agreed to have Mills’ laptop destroyed after the restricted search, denying Congress the chance to look at it and making the FBI an accomplice to the destruction of evidence.

Comey’s immunized witnesses nonetheless suffered chronic lapses in memory, made unsubstantiated claims of attorney-client privilege upon tougher questioning and at least two gave demonstrably false statements. And yet Comey indulged it all.

What’s more, Comey cut a deal to give Clinton a “voluntary” witness interview on a major holiday, and even let her ex-chief of staff sit in on the interview as a lawyer, even though she, too, was under investigation.

The above raises two obvious questions:

1. Is Comey beginning to buckle under the weight of criticism that is being heaped on him and merely looking for a way out of the morass he is caught in?

2. Is the investigation not only on again, but if so, will it be carried out diligently to its logical conclusion in a manner that is above reproach?

Let’s wait and see.

Update from The New York Times:

Federal law enforcement officials said Friday that the new emails uncovered in the closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server were discovered after the F.B.I. seized electronic devices belonging to Huma Abedin, a top aide to Mrs. Clinton, and her husband, Anthony D. Weiner.

The F.B.I. is investigating illicit text messages that Mr. Weiner sent to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. The bureau told Congress on Friday that it had uncovered new emails related to the Clinton case — one federal official said they numbered in the thousands — potentially reigniting an issue that has weighed on the presidential campaign and offering a lifeline to Donald J. Trump less than two weeks before the election.

Will this new evidence turn out to be beyond anyone’s power to suppress?

Again, let’s wait and see.

By the way, a line I read somewhere comes to mind regarding the Clinton campaign’s strategists, who must be tearing their hair out right now.

It goes like this:

“Plan till you’re blue in the face — and things just happen.”

Trump will win the election and is more popular than Obama in 2008, AI system finds

An artificial intelligence system that correctly predicted the last three U.S. presidential elections puts Republican nominee Donald Trump ahead of Democrat rival Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House.

MogIA was developed by Sanjiv Rai, founder of Indian start-up Genic.ai. It takes in 20 million data points from public platforms including Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the U.S. and then analyzes the information to create predictions.

The AI system was created in 2004, so it has been getting smarter all the time. It had already correctly predicted the results of the Democratic and Republican Primaries.

Data such as engagement with tweets or Facebook Live videos have been taken into account. The result is that Trump has overtaken the engagement numbers of Barack Obama’s peak in 2008 — the year he was elected president — by 25 percent.

Rai said that his AI system shows that the candidate in each election who had leading engagement data ended up winning the election.

“If Trump loses, it will defy the data trend for the first time in the last 12 years since Internet engagement began in full earnest,” Rai wrote in a report sent to CNBC.

Choosing between the presidential devil and the senatorial deep blue sea

Is Elizabeth Warren fixing to co-run the government from Capitol Hill?

Absolutely.

Deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page Daniel Henninger writes:

The useful cliché that is pounding like a bad headache through the frontal lobe of millions of voters is the one about choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The presidential devil vote may already be over. But choosing the deep blue sea — also known as the U.S. Senate — is very much in play.

That fact may be found by scrolling down to question 11A in the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:

“Thinking more about the election for U.S. Congress, would you be more likely to vote for a Republican candidate who will be a check-and-balance to Hillary Clinton . . . or a Democratic candidate who will help Hillary Clinton and Congressional Democrats pass their agenda?”

A Republican: 53%

A Democrat: 40%

From that 13-point gap an obvious question flows: If Democrats regain control of the Senate, would you be happy with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as co-presidents of the United States? Ignore the Senate and voters will pay a price even bigger than a Clinton presidency.

Do not for a moment think Elizabeth Warren is barnstorming the country now only to elect Hillary Clinton. She’s getting out the vote to make sure Elizabeth Warren is in position next year to co-run the government from Capitol Hill.

In 2008, Barack Obama was able to defeat what was considered an unbeatable Clinton machine only because “progressives didn’t like what they believed the Clintons represented — cynical centrism — and they don’t like it now. There is no way the left now lets the Clinton Foundation and the politics it embodies recapture control of the party.”

Bet you a dollar to a pinch of sand, “Elizabeth Warren, the Democrats’ Madame Defarge, and Bernie Sanders, winner of 22 millennial-fueled primaries, are going to guarantee the revolution’s purity in any Clinton presidency.”