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Wray: FBI tasked with renewed background check on Kavanaugh — and that’s exactly what we did

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Democrats apparently intend to keep beating this horse just to make sure it’s well and truly dead. Christopher Wray came to Capitol Hill today to update the Senate Homeland Security Committee on security issues, but Kamala Harris had more pressing issues in mind. She used her time with Wray to try to establish that the White House had somehow limited the FBI in its supplemental background investigation into Brett Kavanaugh. Who told the FBI not to question Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford, and “the list of 40-plus witnesses”?

The FBI director explained that his investigators conducted themselves in a “standard” manner for background checks, as they were tasked to do:

“Our supplemental update to the previous background investigation was limited in scope and that … is consistent with the standard process for such investigations going back a long ways,” Wray said under questioning by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on global security threats.

“I’ve spoken with our background investigation specialists and they have assured me this was handled in a way consistent with their experience and the standard process,” the FBI director said, later adding that the inquiry was “very specific in scope—limited in scope.” …

Wray confirmed that background investigations are handled differently from other FBI probes and that the scope of inquiries into judicial nominees is dictated by the White House. However, he declined to discuss any specifics about what the White House decided should or should not be examined during the brief follow-up investigation conducted following the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

Wray did note that this background check, like any other, is necessarily “specific in scope — limited in scope.” Some are treating that as an admission that the White House dictated the terms of this check, but Wray said nothing of the sort. He tells Harris that he’s spoken to the agents in charge of the supplemental background check, who assured him that it was handled as all such requests are — as a background check, not an investigation.

Why wouldn’t the FBI have handled it as a criminal investigation? One reason is that there wasn’t a federal crime alleged, and another would be that no complaint has ever been filed. Even so, the FBI used Ford’s sworn testimony to follow up with the leads she provided after testifying that she didn’t know anyone else who might have contemporaneous corroboration. They even extended that to two others who might have been in the vicinity of a party with no fixed date or location, and none of those sources provided any corroboration. The FBI then interviewed Deborah Ramirez and followed up on her contemporaneous leads, only to come up empty on that score too.

Harris’ reference to “forty-plus” other witnesses is entirely disingenuous. Those weren’t “witnesses” to the allegations, but character references for Ford and Ramirez. All they could provide was hearsay years and decades after the alleged incident, not corroboration. That kind of hearsay isn’t useful in a criminal investigation and is even less valuable in a background check, especially when the character to which it testifies isn’t the subject of the background check.

Harris does ask one interesting question at the end, which Wray avoids:

HARRIS: Did the FBI look into allegations as to whether Judge Kavanaugh lied to Congress during his testimony?

WRAY: That’s not something I can discuss here.

First off, that would be the purview of Congress to investigate, not the FBI — and the committee has the resources to conduct such an investigation. Wray didn’t say “no,” though, even though a no wouldn’t compromise any information. If they did check out the supposed “lies,” however, the FBI report must not have mentioned it. The executive summary never even addressed the issue, but if the FBI found material contradictions to Kavanaugh’s testimony and put it in the report, Senate Democrats would have immediately announced it. It seems highly unlikely that Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, and especially Joe Manchin would have voted for confirmation under those circumstances.

So why bring it up? It wouldn’t be the first time that Senate Democrats have left a smear hanging only to find out that they had nothing to back it up. In fact, it wouldn’t even be the first time for Kamala Harris. Remember her scummy little perjury trap about Kavanaugh supposedly discussing the Robert Mueller probe with an attorney at specific law firm? It turned out Harris was bluffing then, too, earning rebukes from Politifact and the Washington Post. This line of questioning is every bit as intellectually dishonest as the rest of her work on the Kavanaugh appointment, and anyone who thinks Wray validated her suspicions today has the same problem.

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The robot dog that will murder you will also dance on your grave

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To cleanse the palate, obviously I don’t know if there’ll be “graves” as such after the robot apocalypse. I assume it’ll depend on their olfactory capabilities. If they’re not equipped to detect scent, maybe the ‘bots will just leave us where we lie to decay in the sun, our streets transformed into rivers of putrefied viscera from the sheer mass of leaking carcasses.

It’s my great privilege to share thoughts like that with you at the end of a long day.

I’m curious about what possessed Boston Dynamics to put this clip together. Could be nothing more than boredom or a creative way to show off Spot’s motor skills. But I wonder if all the freaky-deaky videos of humanoid robots demonstrating ever more impressive feats of mobility has created a strange sort of PR problem for them. They don’t want every promo they do to seem menacing, however inadvertently. Soon they’ll have people breaking into their factory, trying to stop them before they build the first T-800. Time to do something whimsical instead.

This thing is set to go on sale next year, by the way. Not to everyday consumers; the price tag will likely ensure that it remains a corporate plaything. But you’ll be seeing them around sooner than you think. Plus, some ultra-rich tech bros are destined to buy them and show them off as look-what-I-got novelties. We all know who the first one will be.

Weird but true: In a few decades’ time, this thing shaking its ass in your face as it does a victory twerk might be the last thing you ever see.

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WOW! Claire McCaskill Speaks Out After Project Veritas Reveals She’s a Complete Fraud — Lies and Blames Hawley (VIDEO)

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James O’Keefe strikes again!

On Monday evening, Project Veritas released an undercover video of endangered Missouri Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill admitting to being deceptive about her stance on firearms and immigration policies.

McCaskill is a red-state Democrat Senator so she has to appear pro 2nd Amendment to her constituents because Missourians love their guns.

Claire McCaskill’s staffers were also caught on video saying she puts on a moderate front to get the Republican votes.

The top staffer then continued saying McCaskill believes everything Obama does.

THIS WAS A DEVASTATING VIDEO! Claire McCaskill was COMPLETELY EXPOSED!

Senator McCaskill’s staffers admitted she is pro-DACA, pro-DREAMERS and against the border wall even though she runs ads to the contrary claiming she is strong on border security.
The Project Veritas Video has been viewed over 267,000 times so far!

On Tuesday morning Claire McCaskill responded to the stunning revelations.
McCaskill went on Ozarks First to try to dig herself out of this deep hole.


Claire lied some more, blamed Josh Hawley for the undercover video.

Senator McCaskill: I’ve been very up front about all my positions. I remember this person was trying to get me to say something different than what my positions are… It is startling that Josh Hawley would be part of fraudulently embedding something in my campaign.

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Coincidence or corruption? In Andrew Cuomo’s government it’s hard to tell

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Given the parade of people in the orbit of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who have recently either been shipped off to jail or come under investigation, it’s amazing that none of the dirt ever sticks to Cuomo himself. How does he account for the various people who funneled money toward his campaign, and then were later discovered to have benefitted from state government “generosity” and wound up in handcuffs? It’s all just a coincidence.

Today we’re hearing news of yet another of these amazing coincidences. This story starts with a situation we first covered more than a year ago and it dealt with some donors who helped Cuomo out during his 2014 campaign. A medical corporation named Crystal Run Healthcare was run by a few people who had funneled more than $400K to Cuomo’s campaigns over the previous four years. When the “Buffalo Billion” was announced (a plan to invest a billion dollars of taxpayer money into projects creating jobs in the western, upstate region) Crytal Run was at the front of the line. They wound up receiving more than $25M dollars for two new medical centers.

But there were some fishy elements to the story. First of all, they had actually broken ground on both of those new projects six months before the grants were even announced or applications were being taken. It’s almost as if they knew they had the money coming from somewhere. Then we found out that the Crystal Run had coughed up a flurry of maximum donations only weeks before the checks to them were cut. In addition to that, there was a meeting held less than two weeks after the announcement of the grants where Crystal Run executives met with state officials, including a top aide from inside Cuomo’s office.

How did Cuomo explain it? It was all just a happy coincidence and the meeting didn’t matter because they didn’t even talk about the grants. The meeting was about Medicaid.

But now the local press has gotten hold of emails from Crystal Run showing that they did indeed discuss their two new developments and the grants, and that the state representatives at the meeting were “very receptive” to their requests. (NY Post)

Now, despite earlier denials from everyone involved, it turns out company execs got a private sitdown with top state officials in 2015, just 12 days after Albany started seeking applications for $1.2 billion in development grants. Crystal Run wound up with $25.4 million of that (the only for-profit company to qualify) for two projects.

Team Cuomo insists those projects never even got mentioned at the meeting, saying it was only about Medicaid. Yet the Albany Times Union reports that an e-mail sent two weeks later by Crystal Run’s chief legal officer stressed that company execs had “shared our vision for growth,” including the two “expansions,” with the health commissioner and a top aide who worked in Cuomo’s office.

Both officials, the e-mail noted, “were, obviously, supportive, as we are bringing real jobs to real people” — and had agreed that “further discussion was warranted” with the state economic-development agency “at the highest levels.”

How much more evidence do we need at this point? Cuomo’s spokespeople obviously lied about what went on at that meeting. They have records from the company who benefitted from it after making massive contributions. (Two of the people involved in organizing these meetings, donations, and windfalls have already been convicted or indicted on related charges.) And yet Andrew Cuomo continues to insist that all the grants were handled fairly and above board. These are all just amazing coincidences. And somehow, while his closest aides head off to the crowbar motel, Cuomo floats along and prosecutors can’t seem to lay a glove on him. On top of that, he’s on track to cruise to electoral victory for another four years in office.

I guess that’s just a happy coincidence too, eh?

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