Ex-FBI Asst. Director Says Upcoming Inspector General Report Is “Pure TNT”

Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker said today that a highly anticipated report from the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz will contain “some pure TNT.” Horowitz has been investigating the conduct of the FBI’s top brass surrounding the 2016 election for over a year. He also uncovered over 50,000 text messages between two anti-Trump / pro-Clinton FBI employees directly involved in the exoneration of Clinton and the counterintelligence operation launched against the Trump campaign. 

Swecker: “The behavior if it’s manifested in the action with your thumb on the scale of a particular investigation, one way or the other, that’s borderline criminal behavior — manipulating an investigation. I think this IG report is going to be particularly impactful, more so than any of these useless congressional investigations. I think you’re going to see some pure TNT come out in this IG report.”

The Inspector General’s report is thought to include evidence of outgoing Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe ordering agents to alter “302” forms – the paperwork an agent files after interviewing someone.

Horowitz is also reportedly homing in on McCabe’s handling of the Anthony Weiner laptop after reports emerged that he wanted to avoid taking action on the FBI’s findings until after the 2016 election. 

The inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, has been asking witnesses why FBI leadership seemed unwilling to move forward on the examination of emails found on the laptop of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.)until late October — about three weeks after first being alerted to the issue, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter. A key question of the internal investigation is whether McCabe or anyone else at the FBI wanted to avoid taking action on the laptop findings until after the Nov. 8 election, these people said. It is unclear whether the inspector general has reached any conclusions on that point. –WaPo

In January, Fox’s Sean Hannity sat down with journalist Sara Carter – who shed light on the McCabe situation, saying that FBI Director Christopher Wray was “shocked to his core” after reading the GOP-authored “FISA” memo describing FBI malfeasance surrounding the 2016 U.S. election:

Carter: What we know tonight is that FBI Director Christopher Wray went Sunday and reviewed the four-page FISA memo. The very next day, Andrew McCabe was asked to resign. Remember Sean, he was planning on resigning in March – that already came out in December. This time they asked him to go right away. You’re not coming into the office. I’ve heard rep[orts he didn’t even come in for the morning meeting – that he didn’t show up.

Hannity: A source of mine told me tonight that when Wray read this, it shocked him to his core.

Sara Carter: Shocked him to his core, and not only that, the Inspector General’s report – I have been told tonight by a number of sources, there’s indicators right now that McCabe may have asked FBI agents to actually change their 302’s – those are their interviews with witnesses. So basically every time an FBI agent interviews a witness, they have to go back and file a report. 

Hannity: Changes? So that would be obstruction of justice? 

Carter: Exactly. This is something the Inspector General is investigating. If this is true and not alleged, McCabe will be fired. I heard they are considering firing him within the next few days if this turns out to be true

Meanwhile, several Republican Senators are asking the Department of Justice (DOJ) to order a special counsel to probe the FBI’s conduct during its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election – including the use of the “Steele dossier” in seeking a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against former Trump Campaign advisor Carter Page. The letter marks the second formal request by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The request comes amid controversy over Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s pension – which is in jeopardy after the Department of Justice’s internal watchdog found enough evidence of malfeasance to recommend firing McCabe immediately. 

The letter also notes that Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who they have the “utmost confidence” in, “does not have the tools that a prosecutor would to gather all the facts, such as the ability to obtain testimony from essential witnesses who are not current DOJ employees.” 

Senators Chuck Grassley Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and John Cornyn (Texas), signed a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions as well as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to name a special counsel who can “gather all the facts.”

“We believe that a special counsel is needed to work with the Inspector General to independently gather the facts and make prosecutorial decisions, if any are merited. The Justice Department cannot credibly investigate itself without these enhanced measures of independence,” wrote the senators. 

See the letter below, and click on the tweet for more background on the ongoing investigation from Nick Short of the Security Studies Group. 

As Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller points out, the letter also “broke a bit of news”:

It reveals that Bruce Ohr, the former deputy assistant attorney general, was interviewed 12 separate times by the FBI in 2016 and 2017.

Ohr was in contact with Steele prior to the 2016 election. And shortly after the election, Ohr was in contact with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired Steele to investigate Trump.

Ohr’s wife, a Russia expert named Nellie Ohr, also happened to be working as a contractor for Fusion GPS for its Trump investigation.

Senate Judiciary Republicans want to know whether the FBI and DOJ were aware of that relationship.

The committee letter lists all of Ohr’s FBI interviews, which were summarized on what’s known as a FD-302 document. The first interview with Ohr was conducted on November, 22, 2016. The most recent occurred on May 15, 2017. –Daily Caller

The DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced in January that it was opening a probe of the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. Meanwhile, Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked the OIG to explore whether FBI officials abused their authority when they used an unverified and salacious dossier from Fusion GPS to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page. 

That said, Sessions has resisted repeated calls for a second Special Counsel. 

Graham and Grassley also asked the OIG to look into the FBI’s conduct while handling the Russia probe, writing in a February letter: 

“We respectfully request that you conduct a comprehensive review of potential improper political influence, misconduct, or mismanagement in the conduct of the counterintelligence and criminal investigations related to Russia and individuals associated with (1) the Trump campaign, (2) the Presidential transition, or (3) the administration prior to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.” 

The Senators also noted in their Thursday letter that if the DOJ declines to appoint a second special counsel, they want “a detailed reply explaining why not.” 

Trump Slams “Sanctimonious Comey” After Sessions Fires FBI’s McCabe A Day Before Retirement

Update: President Trump tweets that McCabe’s firing “is a great day for the hard working men and women of The FBI… and  democracy,” then lashes out at “sanctimonious” former FBI Director Comey’s “lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI” indicating that his actions made McCabe “look like a choirboy.”

Perhaps this means Trump will lay off the constant trolling of Sessions for a while?

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As we detailed earlier, after a long day of what seemed like the swamp protecting one of their dirtiest creatures, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, just over 24 hours before he was set to retire and claim his full pension benefits.

McCabe turns 50 on Sunday – the earliest he would have been eligible for his full retirement benefits.

Sessions noted that both the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz as well as the FBI’s disciplinary office had found “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.” 

So, McCabe was involved in leaks and he lied under oath. 

Horowitz found that McCabe had authorized two FBI officials to talk to then-Wall Street Journal reporter Devlin Barrett for a story about the case and another investigation into Clinton’s family foundation. Barrett now works for The Washington Post. –WaPo

I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” said Sessions, who said he based his decision on the findings. 

While the move will probably cost McCabe a significant portion of his retirement benefits, he could challenge it in court.

Former FBI officials tell CNN that McCabe could also lose out on future health care coverage in his retirement,  but the “most significant ‘damage’ to a separated FBI employee is: loss of lifetime medical benefits for self and family,” tweeted CNN law enforcement analyst James A. Gagliano, a retired FBI supervisory special agent.

On Thursday he spent almost four hours at the DOJ to beg for his full retirement. 

Full statement from AG Sessions:

The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.

The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, “all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.”

Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.

McCabe responded to his ouster, saying that his firing, along with negative comments by President Trump were meant to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, reported the New York Times.

“The idea that I was dishonest is just wrong,” said McCabe, adding, “This is part of an effort to discredit me as a witness.

Mr. McCabe was among the first at the F.B.I. to scrutinize possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. And he is a potential witness to the question of whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct justice. Mr. Trump has taunted Mr. McCabe both publicly and privately, and Republican allies have cast him as the center of a “deep state” effort to undermine the Trump presidency. –NYT

While McCabe’s firing is directly related to the disclosure of sensitive information to the media about the Clinton email investigation, the former Deputy Director took a leave of absence in January amid a heated controversy over the FBI’s conduct surrounding the 2016 election.

In December, The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has discovered that edits made to former FBI Director James Comey’s statement exonerating Hillary Clinton for transmitting classified info over an unsecured, private email server went far beyond what was previously known – as special agents operating under McCabe changed various language which effectively decriminalized Clinton’s behavior. 

McCabe’s team also conducted a counterintelligence operation to investigate the Trump campaign, in which they used an unverified dossier and were not forthright with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) over its political origins, in violation of FBI policy. 

As revelations of FBI misconduct spiraled out of control last year, President Trump noted that McCabe was “racing the clock to retire with full benefits.”

On Thursday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said “We do think that it is well documented that he has had some very troubling behavior and by most accounts a bad actor.

While “background conversations with reporters are commonplace in Washington,” notes the Washington Post,McCabe’s authorizing such a talk was viewed as inappropriate because the matter being discussed was an ongoing criminal investigation.”

One wonders how long before McCabe writes his multi-million-dollar ‘tell-all’ book… or when he will start his new job? We hear the offers are pouring in…

Mapping The Countries With The Most Billionaires

There are roughly 36 million millionaires in the world.

That means if you meet someone from the global population at random, there’s a 1 in 200 chance that they could be a millionaire – this makes for surprisingly good odds.

However, as VisualCapitalist’s Jeff Desjardins notes, the billionaire on the other hand is a much rarer breed. According to Forbes, there are just over 2,000 billionaires in existence, making up just 0.00003% of the global population.

Where do these people live, and what countries have the highest concentrations of them as citizens?

25 COUNTRIES THAT ARE RICH IN BILLIONAIRES

Today’s infographic comes to us from TitleMax, and it shows the 25 countries with the most billionaires in them. It also covers the richest person in each of these countries, as well.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist

Here is the list of countries, sorted by the number of billionaires:

The United States has the most billionaires in total with 565.

In second place is China (319) – a country that is adding billionaires at a rapid pace, but also losing some of its ultra-rich population to capital flight.

BILLIONAIRE CONCENTRATION

Although the United States has the most billionaires by a large margin, the country ranks 6th in terms of billionaire concentration.

In the U.S., there is one billionaire for every 571,858 people, but it is beat out in this measurement by Hong Kong (110k), Switzerland (233k), Singapore (267k), Sweden (319k), and Israel (475k).

Hong Kong, which has the highest rate of billionaires in the world, boasts 67 billionaires in just one city of roughly seven million.

For comparison’s sake, if Mainland China could somehow have the same rate of billionaire occurrences as Hong Kong, the country would amass 12,575 billionaires – more than six times the total amount in the world that currently exist!

LOWEST BILLIONAIRE CONCENTRATIONS

With only roughly 2,000 billionaires scattered throughout the world, it’s estimated that there are over 100+ countries and dependencies that actually have zero billionaires as citizens. For example, Haiti, Lithuania, Ethiopia, Belarus, and Andorra are just a few places that have millionaires, but no billionaires.

As for countries that made the above list, India and Indonesia are pretty scarce in terms of their billionaire concentrations – if you were to hit the street in these countries, the odds are 1 in 13 million that a random person would be a billionaire.

Stephen Hawking – Doomsday Prophet’s Top Five Predictions

Via GoldCore.com,

Stephen Hawking, the visionary physicist who passed away this week at the age of 76, made five predictions about how and when mankind will face its doom.

In a week when geo-political tensions between the world’s two leading nuclear powers, Russia and the U.S. are worsening with the UK and U.S. accusing Russia of a nerve agent attack and imposing sanctions on Russia, it is a good time to consider and heed Hawking’s doomsday predictions or warnings, especially about nuclear war.

Below is an interesting article which looks at five of Hawking’s doomsday predictions as collated by Qt.com.au:

WE NEED an exit strategy. Fast.

From global warming to artificial intelligence, Professor Stephen Hawking made a number of terrifying predictions about the apocalyptic threats facing humanity.

The celebrated late scientist said humanity is at a “tipping point”, and that our best bet will be to leave Earth completely.

Here are five main factors he said are contributing to the end of the world.

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY

In 2007, Prof Hawking fronted a campaign to cancel Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons deterrent.

“Nuclear war remains the greatest danger to the survival of the human race,” he said.

“To replace Trident would make it more difficult to get arms reduction, and increase the risk.

“It would also be a complete waste of money because there are no circumstances in which we would use it independently.”

Prof Hawking has also identified “aggression” as the human trait will destroy us all.

He warned it could lead to irrational actions, like sparking nuclear war.

Prof Hawking said nuclear war remains the ‘greatest danger’ to humanity’s survival.

“I fear evolution has in-built greed and aggression to the human genome,” he told the BBC. “There is no sign of conflict lessening, and the development of militarised technology and weapons of mass destruction could make that disastrous. The best hope for the survival of the human race might be independent colonies in space.”

DONALD TRUMP

Prof Hawking made it clear he was not a fan of Donald Trump.

He was particularly critical of the US President after he vowed not to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change.

“Climate change is one of the great dangers we face and it’s one we can prevent if we act now,” he told the BBC. “By denying the evidence for climate change and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children.”

In a Skype talk delivered at the Starmus science and arts festival last year, he made his case more urgent.

“Unlike Donald Trump, who may just have taken the most serious and wrong decision on climate this world has seen, I am arguing for the future of humanity and a long-term strategy to achieve this,” Prof Hawking said.

“We have given our planet the disastrous gift of climate change … When we have reached similar crises there has usually been somewhere else to colonise … But there is no new world, no utopia around the corner. We are running out of space, and the only places to go to are other worlds.”

On ITV’S Good Morning Britain, Prof Hawking was asked to explain Mr Trump’s ascendancy to the White House.

“I can’t,” he responded. “He is a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

In recent years, Prof Hawking had raised the alarm about the potential threat of artificial intelligence.

Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon in November, the famous physicist said AI has the potential to be the best or worst thing humanity has ever seen and the scary reality is we just don’t know which yet.

“We cannot know if we will be infinitely helped by AI or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it,” he said.

While AI could be hugely beneficial for reducing poverty, disease and restoring the natural environment, it’s impossible to predict “what we might achieve when our own minds are amplified by AI”.

“AI could be the worst invention of the history of our civilisation, that brings dangers like powerful autonomous weapons or new ways for the few to oppress the many.

“AI could develop a will of its own, a will that is in conflict with ours and which could destroy us. In short, the rise of powerful AI will be either the best, or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity.”

Hawking warned scientists and global governments needed to focus on maximising benefits for society rather than pure capability.

“We need to employ effective management in all areas of its development,” he said. “We stand on a threshold of a brave new world. It is an exciting, if precarious, place to be and you are the pioneers.”

DEATH BY FIREBALL

Overpopulation is going to turn our planet into a red-hot fireball.

Prof Hawking warned the Earth will be reduced to a ball of fire within 600 years when our energy consumption overloads.

In a video appearance at the 2017 Tencent WE Summit in Beijing, he said: “By the year 2600, the world’s population would be standing shoulder to shoulder, and the electricity consumption would make the Earth glow red-hot.”

To save ourselves, he said we must take a leaf out of Star Trek and “boldly go where no one has gone before”.The planet is eventually going to become one big, red-hot fireball.

He has also warned that over the next 100 years, we need to look to colonise Mars and other planets.

Speaking at the Starmus science festival in Norway last year, he said the Moon and Mars would be the best sites to begin new colonies, and said we could establish outposts on these sites within 30 and 50 years respectively, The Telegraph reported.

ASTEROID STRIKES

Prof Hawking has warned that if global warming doesn’t wipe us out, an asteroid strike will.

At the Starmus festival, he said it was only a matter of time before the Earth would be destroyed by either an asteroid, soaring temperatures or overpopulation.

“This is not science fiction. It is guaranteed by the laws of physics and probability,” he said.

“To stay risks being annihilated.

“Spreading out into space will completely change the future of humanity. It may also determine whether we have any future at all.”Prof Hawking warned that becoming a “cosmic sloth” was not an option.

“Wherever we go we will need to build a civilisation, we will need to take the practical means of establishing a whole new ecosystem that will survive in an environment that we know very little about and we will need to consider transporting several thousands of people, animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and insects.”

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R.I.P.

Source @MitchellToy