I’m starting this column with what I believe is a very telling question:
What FBI Director has been involved in more controversy in criminal investigations, with lots of allegations of corruption against him and within the ranks of the FBI – since J. Edgar Hoover’s death? (I don’t remember ANY during Hoover’s tenure.)
Is the answer James Comey? You bet it is and that, by itself, should make a reasonable man ask WHY?
Why would Comey violate the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and make prosecutorial comments, his opinions, regarding ongoing criminal investigations against Hillary Clinton?
There must be very close ties with the Clintons. Well, a little research is very revealing. Check for yourself, starting with the Marc Rich investigation by newly appointed (2001) SDNY US Attorney, James Comey!
Comey “cleared” Clinton and Comey’s career blossomed.
Follow it. It’s very telling.
I don’t want to waste my time on Comey’s close ties to the Clintons. You won’t believe me, so check for yourselves!
I don’t recall Hoover ever being accused of anything close to what Comey is accused of doing.
Comey’s First Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe, and Second, Peter Strzok, both testified under oath, that “Comey told me to leak”.
When did you ever hear that during any other FBI Director’s tenure – including Hoover?
Hoover had problems with Bobby Kennedy as AG. He told Nixon to “F”-off when Nixon said he would accept an executive position with the FBI. He did quid pro quo with adversaries when he went before appropriation committees – and usually won – for the FBI!
Hoover was never accused of leaking. Nor was he ever accused of undermining an investigation. He was accused of being too tough on communists and Martin Luther King.
After Hoover’s death, Clyde Tolson, deep throat, leaked everything he could because he wanted the director’s job, and believed he deserved it. I believe he would have killed to get it but never did get appointed.
Instead, L Patrick Gray got the job, temporarily.
By a set of circumstances, I met and spent time with Mr. Gray and his wife. Mr. Gray was very concerned with the morale of the FBI because of the way Hoover treated the employees — all employees.
Mr. and Mrs. Gray wanted to know what to do to turn that around. Mrs. Gray could not believe how poorly FBI Agents were paid and how poorly FBI executives, including her husband, were paid!
She said they could not make a living on his salary. Mr. Gray was a Federal Judge before becoming FBI Director.
My impression of Mr. Gray and of the other former judge I spent some time with, Judge William Sessions, was that neither one of them knew anything about law enforcement. They were very good people with high standards, legal scholars, but knew nothing about law enforcement.
I kept asking, “Why would they appoint only former lawmen to chief of police jobs? Appoint only former/current military men to chiefs of various military branches but appoint a judge as FBI Director?”
It’s insane, in my humble opinion and doesn’t freaking work! I have never receieved an answer that made any sense!
I can tell you why none of the other FBI Directors were in criminal, legal trouble, however. Because they did not break the law! They followed the laws, they sent people to jail for breaking. But not Comey.
He is one person who believes he is above the law!
Comey, without any doubt in my mind, wants to be president of the United States and save you and me from ourselves. He knows what’s best for us!
The difference between Comey and Obama or Lynch or Clinton is Comey doesn’t care who knows he broke the law.
He admits he leaked. He admits he knew the Steele Dossier is a phony and still signed it. He knew Hillary broke hundreds of laws, he told us, but it was “best” for us that he did those things to save us from ourselves and of course, from Trump!
If I were the FBI Director, I would charge Comey with treason right now and only cut a deal if he gave me Obama!
Comey led a coup to overthrow the president and our government and lost!
The only problem I would have winning that case is credibility — the lack of it by Comey.
So I would need Lynch at least and Hillary to lock up a conviction. And you know what, I would get both Lynch and Clinton to roll — “wanna bet”?
They would all face conspiracy to commit treason. Treason carries the death penalty and there is no statute of limitations!
Stocks reached new records and oil prices dropped Wednesday after President Donald Trump’s announcement on curtailing the conflict with Iran.
The boost came after U.S. stocks closed in the red on Tuesday, expressing investors’ concerns about conflict in the Middle East and after Iran launched more than a dozen missile against two military bases in Iraq.
On Monday, Chevron Corporation CVX announced it was evacuating all of its American oil workers from Iraq as a "precautionary measure" "for the time being."
Chevron and Exxon Mobil both reported losses on Tuesday, with Dow Jones shares declining 1.3 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.
In response to Trump’s decision to issue sanctions, stocks rallied on Wednesday, breaking two records.
The S&P 500 reached another new intraday all-time high Wednesday by nearly one point, a seven-tenths percentage point increase, and the Nasdaq Composite reached an all-time high of 0.7 percent.
While the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 percent, its increase didn’t match the all-time high record it set on Jan. 2.
Oil prices also dropped Wednesday by more than 4 percentage points after the president’s remarks, reassuring traders that tensions with Iran de-escalated.
The president announced sanctions on Iran, and said the door was open to negotiation, “toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country.”
Trump urged U.S. allies, China, and Russia, to “work together to make a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place.”
He concluded by saying, “to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future – one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”
The Center Square
Make It Legal Florida (MILF), the well-funded political action committee sponsoring a prospective November 2020 constitutional amendment seeking to legalize recreational marijuana, will spearhead a legal challenge to a new law it claims has unconstitutionally hampered the state’s citizen initiative process.
Restrictions imposed on petition-gatherers by the Republican-led Legislature during the 2019 session that went into effect July 1 “have the intent and effect of impermissibly burdening and impinging the petition rights of plaintiff and Florida voters,” MILF’s lawsuit states. “As a result, the amended law is facially invalid, as an unconstitutional alteration of the initiative petition process.”
MILF’s 57-page class-action filed lawsuit Tuesday in Leon County Circuit Court names Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee and all 67 county elections supervisors as defendants, alleging the new restrictions “lack even a rational, reasonable, or coherent justification or relation to any purported state interest” other than to prevent issues unpopular with GOP lawmakers from being presented directly to voters.
MILF seeks more time to submit petition signatures to qualify for the November 2020 ballot. State law requires petitioners present the state’s Division of Elections (DOE) with 766,320 validated signatures by Feb. 1 to qualify.
As of mid-day Thursday, 223,897 valid petition signatures had been filed with the DOE by MILF, which did not emerge until last summer and begin its petition signing campaign until the fall.
Petitioners now say, under new state rules, they’ll need at least 1.1 million signatures to ensure 766,320 are verified before Feb. 1.
MILF’s proposed constitutional amendment would allow people 21 or older to “possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason.”
Tampa-based MILF has received $3.8 million in campaign contributions largely from two national marijuana corporations – five-year-old Atlanta-based Surterra, which operates more than 30 medical marijuana dispensaries in Florida with similar operations in Texas, Nevada and Massachusetts totaling $50 million in 2018 revenues, and MedMen, founded in 2010 in Culver City, Calif., which operates nearly 100 retail sites in 12 states, including in Florida, with $39.8 million in revenues last year.
MadMen Southeastern Director of Government Affairs Nick Hansen chairs MILF.
MILF’s lawsuit maintains its initiative campaign also has been hamstrung by repeated administrative issues and technical problems in implementing the additional complexities imposed on the ballot process by House Bill 5, the controversial 2019 bill that essentially extended the state’s voter registration system for absentee ballots to petition-gathering.
Introduced as a raft of 11th hour amendments onto an unrelated bill and adopted in partisan votes by the House and Senate in the waning moments of the session, HB 5 requires every citizen initiative to have its own numbered, serialized petition, bars out-of-state entities from organizing ballot campaigns and prohibits signature gatherers from being paid.
MILF’s lawsuit claims that complying with HB 5 has “presented an enormous (if not insurmountable) barrier to the ability of sponsors, such as plaintiff MILF, to collect the requisite number of signatures for petitions and have them reviewed, validated and verified by the supervisors, and then reviewed and deemed sufficient by the secretary – all by the Feb, 1, 2020 deadline.
“It is thus substantially likely, if not certain, that initiative petitions will fail (i.e., they will not make the ballot for vote by electors in the 2020 general election),” MILF’s complaint continues, “despite the fact such initiatives would or could have succeeded if not doomed by the impairments caused to petition circulators’ ability to register and timely begin circulating and collecting signatures in support of petitions.”
MILF’s measure is one of two petition initiatives seeking to legalize adult marijuana use, and one of 26 overall, listed as “active” on the DOE’s website.
Sensible Florida, which launched its "Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol" petition campaign in 2016 and had only 92,566 signatures as of Thursday, has already announced it will not qualify for the 2020 ballot.
At least four measures will, however, meet the signature requirement to qualify for November’s election, including Florida For A Fair Wage’s “Fight For $15” proposal seeking to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026.
The others are a measure that would allow all registered voters to cast ballots in “open” primary elections for state Legislature, Governor and Cabinet, regardless of political party membership; a constitutional amendment stipulating “only,” rather than “any,” U.S. citizen can legally vote; and a proposal to allow individual customers choose energy providers or produce their own.
The Center Square