SEMI-NEWS: A Satire of Recent News
|SEMI-NEWS/SEMI-SATIRE: June 17, 2018 Edition
Comey Says IG Report Exonerates Him
After a thorough reading of the summary section of the Department of Justice Inspector General's Report, former FBI Director James Comey announced that "it clears me of all potential charges. I respect the DOJ IG office, which is why I urged them to do this review."
"I think with the passage of time historians and the general public will gain an appreciation for the unprecedented situation the FBI had to face," Comey added. "On the one hand, we had a presidential candidate who played fast-and-loose with a number of federal rules and regulations presenting us in the FBI with a daunting conundrum. On the other hand, the most dangerous person to ever seek the presidency was contesting her right to take her turn as president. The pressure on me was extraordinary."
"I did the best I could to try to remedy the dilemma," Comey continued. "My artful characterization of the violations committed by Secretary Clinton removed the risk that her campaign would be derailed by a criminal indictment. I thought the insertion of informants into the Trump campaign and stepped up surveillance would be sufficient to ensure his defeat. All the polls showed that he would be defeated. But there were more deplorable voters than anyone imagined and they were located in enough strategic states for Trump to win."
"Even after the shocking election outcome I didn't give up," Comey boasted. "My leak of classified info to the media opened the door for the appointment of a Special Counsel to carry on the fight. I was pleased to see that my good friend Robert Mueller was named to the job. He's one bad hombre and totally dedicated to the FBI. One time he let four innocent men spend more than a decade in jail just to protect the identity of an important FBI informant. I'm confident he'll do whatever it takes to undo the election of the usurper."
DOJ IG Report Confirms FBI Crimes
The long awaited Department of Justice Inspector General's report was released this week. The content of the report revealed FBI actions that cast a dark stain on the Agency's reputation. The primary focus of the report was the original investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's unauthorized use of a non-secure personal email system to conduct official government business. While that investigation uncovered numerous violations of federal laws and regulations—including transmitting classified material, deleting government records, destroying subpoenaed evidence, and lying to the FBI—the then FBI Director, James Comey, declined to forward the case for possible prosecution because "tainting the reputation of the person who was going to be our next president would have done irreparable damage to the country."
The IG Report included a number of text messages from FBI agents to each other denigrating Trump and his supporters as "ignorant low-lifes" and vowing to prevent these people from "overthrowing our government." Not only did FBI agents voice political opinions opposed to the election of Trump, they were also engaged in a covert operation to sabotage his candidacy by infiltrating spies into his campaign and using a bogus "dossier" to dupe the FISA Court into okaying an unprecedented surveillance of a presidential candidate during an election. Nevertheless, the IG declared "there was no evidence that bias influenced the FBI's actions."
IG Michael Horowitz explained that "considering that the Agency could have simply assassinated Mr. Trump, yet neglected to take that option showed a degree of restraint that contradicted the verbal animosity displayed in the text messages. I think the ineffectiveness of the strategies they did take to try to prevent Trump's election pushes their meddling into the 'no harm, no foul' category. The real damage done to the FBI's reputation stems from the extensive trail of communications detailing the scheme. That's why we've recommended that all DOJ personnel go through more intensive training to learn how to better conceal their biases when writing texts and emails."
Current FBI Director Christopher Wray accepted the recommendation for bias training, but hastened to point out that "the FBI's unprofessional behavior over the past two years has come at a time of unusual stress. Yes, Comey and McCabe lied under oath. Yes, Rosenstein signed off on the surveillance initiated via the unverified dossier. Technically, what they did is not strictly legal and falls outside of normal Agency procedures. But as my guys told Congressman Gowdy last week, it was the proper thing to do, it was what the American people would've wanted the FBI to do if they had access to the same information we did. Not only do the American people owe these men a debt of gratitude, they also owe them the benefit of the doubt for any missteps they may have made along the way."
The IG Report also indicated that there were 300 documented instances of illegal leaks by FBI personnel. In a number of these instances the leakers received bribes from favored media outlets in exchange for the leaked information. Wray asserted that "the implication that vital confidential information was sold to the highest bidders wasn't always the case. Many of these leaks were aimed at inducing the media to report false or misleading stories. This is a standard FBI practice to help throw enemies off the trail of truly vital and confidential information. Accepting a bribe helps convince the leak recipients that the leaked material is genuine."
Meanwhile, Clinton denounced Comey's hypocrisy after learning from the IG Report that he also had an unauthorized private email system that he used for some FBI communications. "The double-standards of this man are truly disgusting," she fumed. "That he would publicly ding me as 'extraordinarily careless' for doing the same thing he was doing was so unfair. I suppose he will claim that he didn't intend to break the law. How credible is that? He's been a US Attorney for Christ's sake. Shouldn't he be held to a higher standard?"
In related news, it turns out that Clinton's destruction of documentary evidence may have been part of a wider pattern during the Obama Administration. National Archives librarian David Ferriero recently discovered that tens of thousands of government records are missing. Ferriero named former President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Lynch and several EPA officials as the most frequent offenders.
Mueller Seeks to Withhold Evidence
One of the basic foundations of justice is that the accused has the right to see the evidence against him. One of the subterfuges of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was his indictment of 13 foreign entities reputed to have used the Internet to inject anti-Clinton memes into the campaign. Lawyers for one of these entities showed up to answer the indictment and demanded to see the evidence against their client.
Initially, Mueller pleaded for more time. The presiding judge denied an extension under the grounds that "an indictment surely wouldn't be filed without some evidence against the defendant who is entitled to see what crime he is being accused of commiting." Mueller now claims that revealing the evidence "poses a serious risk to national security."
"The norms arising from the Bill of Rights need to be balanced against the more important objective of protecting the United States from hostile foreign actors," Mueller said. "This is especially the case when the accused is not an American citizen. The leverage we hold over all the defendants in these 13 indictments would be undermined if we are forced to show our evidence before we have their signed confessions. The matter of guilt is not an issue. The defendants know better than we do what they did. The sooner they admit their crimes, the sooner we can resolve this case."
In his argument for withholding evidence, Mueller pointed out that "in Russia untold numbers of defendants have been convicted, imprisoned, or even executed using secret evidence. Since the defendants I have indicted are based in Russia I see no reason why that country's standards should not be applied to them in my case."
Foreigners meddling in another country's elections is not a rare phenomenon. The CIA has meddled in more than 80 foreign elections since the end of World War II. In the March 2015 Israeli election President Obama sent $350,000 of US taxpayers' money to groups opposing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Since the meddling Mueller is alleging here involved Internet posts that could, and likely were, initiated from outside the US, the practicality of attempting to prosecute the "meddlers" seems dubious. Likewise, distinguishing between meddling and protected freedom of speech (which also applies to non-citizens) might be impossible.
Celebs Assail Trump
This week actor Robert De Niro wowed the audience at the annual Tony Awards with what many are characterizing as "the most powerful, elegant, and irrefutable argument against the Trump agenda ever uttered by anyone." De Niro's brief message consisted of two simple words: "F*ck Trump." The audience gave him a standing ovation.
Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee called De Niro's statement "simple, but remarkably brilliant. I don't know why no one else thought of it before now. If we had used this insight back in the 2016 campaign the horrible outcome could've been averted. All is not lost, though. If we can work this thought into our 2018 election message I believe we can take back the majority in Congress."
Meanwhile, fellow celebrity genius Alec Baldwin predicted he will defeat Trump in the 2020 presidential race. "Everyone tells me my impression of Trump is spot on," Baldwin bragged. "Given a choice between a TV reality show Trump and a Trump portrayed by a highly skilled actor like myself I'm confident that most of the boobs that voted for Trump in 2016 will switch to vote for me in 2020."
Unfortunately for Baldwin, former President Barack Obama neglected to include him in the roster of contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination. "The flaw in Alec's logic is that by the time 2020 rolls around the whole country will be so sick of Trump that even his impersonators will be persona au gratin to the average voter," Obama said. "The Party needs a fresh face with new ideas. Of the nine potential nominees I've examined so far, the one that stands out is Sen. Warren. Her 'eat the rich' proposal evinces the kind of revolutionary zeal required to carry on the transformation I envision for America."
Dems May Try to Acquire Nukes
Saying she was impressed with "Kim's ability to wrap Trump around his finger," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attributed it to "having a nuclear bomb in his pocket," and vowed that the Democratic Party will "seek ways of acquiring one or more similar devices to give us more punch in our negotiations with the President."
Characterizing the recent Singapore summit between Kim and Trump as "as horrible a 'deal' as one could imagine," Pelosi ticked-off the highlights of what she insisted was "a net loss for America and the world. First, Trump shook Kim's hand. This show of manners to a brutal dictator was totally uncalled for. Second, the US and Korean flags were standing side-by-side—implying a repulsive equality that no previous president would ever have tolerated. Third, Trump discontinued US and South Korean military maneuvers for the time being. Fourth, Trump promised to assist North Korea improve its economy in exchange for denuclearization."
The Minority Leader expressed pessimism over the ultimate results of Trump's negotiation with Kim contending that "its deviation from the bribery policy that has worked so well since the 1990s is a serious error that could prove costly. Nonetheless, though America may suffer from Trump's blunder it has opened our eyes to the best way for dealing with Trump. We have some contacts with Uranium One and may be able to work out an arrangement with Iran—another ally cultivated by President Obama—to develop ore into a viable weapon for us to use against Trump going forward."
Pelosi wasn't the only one to find fault with Trump's summit behavior. CNN's Jim Acosta was so upset over being excluded from the one-on-one meeting between Trump and Kim that he had a fit in which he maniacally screeched and threw his own feces at the two leaders. Acosta later told his network colleagues "if they're not going to let me in the f*cking meeting I had to do something to show them how I felt about that." Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said "we'd pull his credentials if seeing him make a fool of himself weren't so funny."