The Morning Briefing: A Strange Whistleblower Raid and Much, Much More
Good Thursday morning.
Here is what's on the president's agenda today:
- The president receives his intelligence briefing
- President Trump has lunch with the secretary of Education
- The president delivers remarks at two Hanukkah receptions
'Sup wit dis FBI whistleblower raid?
I'm not the only one asking. Last month, the FBI raided the home of an official whistleblower. What was he blowing the whistle on? "Reported potential wrongdoing surrounding the Clinton Foundation, the Uranium One deal and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton," reports Richard Pollack at the Daily Caller. Well, well.
The Daily Caller News Foundation, in a bombshell report, detailed how 16 FBI agents raided the home of Dennis Cain, a former employee of an FBI contractor, on Nov. 19. They rummaged through his home for six hours even though he told them that Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz awarded him whistleblower status, according to Cain’s lawyer, Michael Socarras.
Now Mr. Cain should not be treated like this since he has some whistleblower protections.
So who ordered the raid and why did it happen? “I really do question the need for this raid at all,” said Nick Schwellenbach, the investigations director for the Project on Government Oversight. “On its face it doesn’t seem like it was necessary.”
“This isn’t how we should be treating whistleblowers who are coming forward with information about high level wrongdoing,” he told TheDCNF. “It sends a very strong message that you will be treated as a criminal even though what you’re trying to do is expose crime or a potential crime.”
Here are what documents Cain had:
The documents Cain possessed, which he gave to the special agent leading the search, show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity pertaining to Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the Russian company that purchased Uranium One, according to a document TheDCNF reviewed.
Wow. We need to find out who ordered the raid but as of now, the documents are sealed. I wonder if the feds asking for the raid warrant informed the court it was for a whistleblower. (Withholding information from a court? Is this sounding crazy familiar to you?!)
Senator Chuck Grassley isn't having any of it. He sent a letter FBI honcho Chris Wray asking if the FBI was “aware at the time of the raid that Mr. Cain had made what appeared to be lawful disclosures to the Inspector General?”
Stay tuned, this story is developing.
Prosecutors looking at Podesta posse
According to the AP, prosecutors are looking at some firms related to Paul Manafort's foreign financial hanky-panky.
But in a flurry of new activity, Justice Department prosecutors in the last several weeks have begun interviewing witnesses and contacting lawyers to schedule additional questioning related to the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs, the people familiar with the inquiry said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing work.
So who is in the crosshairs?
In New York, Mueller’s referral prompted a fresh look at the lobbying firms of Washington insiders Tony Podesta and Vin Weber, who have faced scrutiny for their decisions not to register as foreign agents for Ukrainian lobbying work directed by Manafort.
Podesta is a longtime Democratic operative whose brother, John Podesta, ran Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign; Weber is a former Republican congressman from Minnesota. Neither man has been charged with any crimes. Their firms have defended the decisions by saying they relied on the advice of outside attorneys.
Mueller’s referral also involved Greg Craig, a former White House counsel for President Barack Obama. Craig supervised a report authored on behalf of the Ukrainian government, and Mueller’s team has said Manafort helped Ukraine hide that it paid more than $4 million for the work. CNN reported in September that prosecutors were weighing charges against Craig.
Will anything come of this? Perhaps, but the media won't cover it since it's not useful to bash Trump.
Historical picture of the day:
Only if you are obsessed with Trump Bush's Funeral Wasn't About Trump. But Of Course It Was.
And that's all I've got, now go beat back the angry mob!