Monday, September 4, 2017

Beating the Labor Day traffic the Herald Editorial page way

By A.J. Liebling
Meta-Content Generator

The Labor Day weekend traffic leaving Boston for the Cape or any other bosky dell can be a bitch so if you're the Editorial Page Editor of the Boston Herald with a column to fill, what do you do?

Easy, if you're a C-level Fox News drivel repeater looking to attain the heights reached by, say, Katrina Pierson.  You excuse the Grifter-in-Chief's impeachable obstruction of justice by parroting a Fox News account of a letter sent by two GOP hacks implying that Comey cleared Hillary Clinton without regard to the "evidence" against her:
This week, high-ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee informed us that the former FBI director drafted a statement last spring exonerating Clinton — before more than a dozen key witnesses were even interviewed, including Hillary herself.
It proves two things: The political fix was in from the get-go, and Trump was right to fire Comey, no matter how controversial his ousting was spun.
Yesterday the president tweeted “Wow, looks like James Comey exonerated Hillary Clinton long before the investigation was over ... and so much more. A rigged system!”
And rigged it is.
With traffic like this, who has time to research a column?
Not Katrina Pierson wannabe Adriana Cohen
See how easy that was?  Bing, bang, boom, and you're across the Sagamore Bridge by noon.  Or perhaps you tapped it out on your phone while sitting in traffic on the Distressway.  Too bad another five minutes of research would have proven that the whole tale was utter bollocks:
The transcripts released to the Senate judiciary committee come from interviews of FBI aides to Comey, conducted as part of a personnel investigation of him by the Office of Special Counsel (which is unrelated to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.) In one exchange from the redacted transcripts, an unidentified FBI aide says that Comey first wrote a draft of the July statement in May 2016. 
"There were many iterations, at some point, there were many iterations of the draft that circulated," the unidentified aide said. 
The FBI has not responded to CNN's request for information. 
A person familiar with the matter pushed back on the notion that Comey had already reached a conclusion that affected the investigation.  The person said back in spring 2016, agents and Justice Department officials were talking about how the investigation would end and there was a belief that the evidence was going in a direction to not support bringing charges. 
This individual said by April 2016 the FBI had reviewed most of the evidence and didn't find evidence suggesting that Clinton had violated federal law. The person said the FBI wanted to interview her but didn't believe it was going to change the outcome.  The source also said Comey was not involved in the day-to-day steps of the investigation, so even if he reached a conclusion it wouldn't have affected the result of the investigation. 
A second person familiar with the matter told CNN that Comey had not already made up his mind, and that it did not influence the investigation. The second source says the FBI had already reviewed much of the evidence by spring and it was becoming more clear that it was not likely to support bringing charges.

Of course Adriana might have been able to figure this out had she asked herself or the Internet whether anything had ever been unearthed to call into question Comey's conclusion on the merits that Clinton had not violated any criminal law.  In her defense, it's so hard to think these things through when you're trying to decide whether to detour onto Morrissey to avoid a gawker blocker at the old Globe plant.

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