Fox News’ Shep Smith and Judge Andrew Napolitano on Tuesday downplayed the significance of an FBI agent’s personal political views in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference and Donald Trump’s associates.
Smith and Napolitano were discussing reports that Peter Strzok, the FBI agent removed from Mueller’s investigation for political bias, “changed a key word, or series of words, in former FBI director James Comey’s statement on the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”
Tuesday, CNN reported Strzok downgraded Comey’s characterization of Clinton’s email use from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”
“The cry is that the wording was changed, and this changes everything,” Smith said.
“Okay, we’re talking about the wording in a public statement that then-FBI Director Jim Comey made about whether or not the FBI thought Mrs. Clinton should be charged with espionage,” Napolitano explained adding that same agent “sent some texts to his girlfriend … and in those texts he was either critical of the president or praiseworthy of Mrs. Clinton.”
“Shouldn’t that matter?” Smith wondered.
“No, it should not matter,” Napolitano explained. “Because when a document is prepared, like the one from which Jim Comey read, which was of profound significance … a lot of people have their hands in there suggesting language to the director.”
“The director of the FBI doesn’t release anything other than, ‘hello, goodbye, see you tomorrow’ without a number of people looking at it because it might become scrutinized by a court someday,” the judge added.
Referring to reports that Strzok also conducted the interview of onetime Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, during which Flynn allegedly lied to the FBI, Napolitano once again denied the significance of that development.
“That interview, the transcript of that interview, was scrutinized by at least a half-dozen other agents and by the 13 lawyers in Bob Mueller’s office, and they decided it was a lie,” the judge said. “It didn’t matter who asked the question. The crime is lying to the FBI, not lying to Mother Theresa, the FBI agents don’t have to be clothed with absolute perfection in order to do their jobs.”
“So you’re saying there’s no ‘there’ there, at all?” Smith asked
“There’s no ‘there’ there,” Napolitano concurred.
Asked by Smith why Mueller reassigned Strzok, Napolitano explained, “sometimes you want to deflect criticisms before the criticism comes.”
“So this is not a thing?” Smith pressed.
“I don’t think it is,” Napolitano replied. “The question is what evidence does Bob Mueller have.”
Cory Booker planning to suspend his campaign if his fundraising does not improve: report
On Saturday, NBC News reported that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has released a campaign memo indicating he will exit the Democratic presidential primary if he is unable to raise millions of dollars within days.
"Without a fundraising surge to close out this quarter, we do not see a legitimate long-term path forward," wrote campaign manager Addisu Demissie in the memo to staff ersand supporters. "The next 10 days will determine whether Cory Booker can stay in this race."
The memo added that it is likely that only four candidates presently have enough money to stay in the race for the long haul. These candidates are likely former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who report the largest fundraising hauls.
Trump snarls a press for pursuing Ukraine phone call complaint instead of reporting on debunked Biden story
Donald Trump lashed out at the media for pursuing the story of a suppressed inspector general's report that he may have made an illegal promise to the president of Ukraine, saying they should be investigating former Vice President Joe Biden instead.
Taking to Twitter, the president wrote: "The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a..... story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine. Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!"
Science now supports the deadly serious warnings the Victorians gave about sleep
“Sleeplessness is one of the torments of our age and generation.” You might presume that this is a quote from a contemporary commentator, and no wonder: the World Health Organisation has diagnosed a global epidemic of sleeplessness, and it is difficult to escape accounts, both popular and scientific, of the dangers to health of our 24/7 lifestyle in the modern digital age. But it was actually the neurologist Sir William Broadbent who wrote these words, in 1900.
So our concerns are evidently far from new. The Victorian era experienced not only the extraordinary upheavals of the industrial revolution, but also the arrival of gas and then electric lighting, turning night into day. The creation of an international telegraph network similarly revolutionised systems of communication, establishing global connectivity and, for groups such as businessmen, financiers and politicians, a flow of telegrams at all hours.