Real Clear Investigations: Justice Dept. Watchdog Has Evidence Comey Probed Trump, on the Sly

It is one of the most enduring and consequential mysteries of the Trump-Russia investigation: Why did former FBI Director James Comey refuse to say publicly what he was telling President Trump in private — that Trump was not the target of an ongoing probe?

That refusal ignited a chain of events that has consumed Washington for more than two years – including Comey’s firing by Trump, the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and ongoing claims that Trump obstructed justice.

Now an answer is emerging. Sources tell RealClearInvestigations that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will soon file a report with evidence indicating that Comey was misleading the president. Even as he repeatedly assured Trump that he was not a target, the former director was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president, while at times acting as an investigative agent.

Two U.S. officials briefed on the inspector general’s investigation of possible FBI misconduct said Comey was essentially “running a covert operation against” the president, starting with a private “defensive briefing” he gave Trump just weeks before his inauguration. They said Horowitz has examined high-level FBI text messages and other communications indicating Comey was actually conducting a “counterintelligence assessment” of Trump during that January 2017 meeting in New York.

Source: Justice Dept. Watchdog Has Evidence Comey Probed Trump, on the Sly | RealClearInvestigations

Real Clear Investigations: Anti-Christian Attacks in France Quietly Quadrupled. Why?

Late one night a few months ago, two teenage boys crept into the massive 13th century Cathedral of Saint-Alain in Lavaur, a postcard town in southwest France. There, they set fire to an altar, turned a crucifix upside down, threw another one into the nearby Agout River, and deformed a statue of Jesus into what the town’s mayor called “a grotesque pose.”

Townspeople were shocked that two local boys could commit an act of such gratuitous vandalism against, of all things, their town’s most historic and treasured site, a towering, massive, Gothic structure that has stood at the center of Lavaur’s collective life for 700 years.

But there is nothing at all unusual about an attack on a Christian religious site these days in France, or, for that matter, elsewhere in Europe. The French police recorded 129 thefts and 877 acts of vandalism at Catholic sites – mostly churches and cemeteries – in 2018, and there has been no respite this year. The Conference of French Bishops reported 228 “violent anti-Christian acts” in France in the first three months of 2019 alone, taking place in every region of the country – 45 here in the southwest.

In all, according to the French Ministry of the Interior (which counted 875 anti-Christian incidents in 2018, slightly less than the tally by the police), the attacks on Christian sites quadrupled between 2008 and 2019. This has stirred a deep alarm among many Catholics and non-Catholics alike, worried that a powerful hostility to Catholicism – what they call “Christianophobia” – is sweeping their country.

Source: Anti-Christian Attacks in France Quietly Quadrupled. Why? | RealClearInvestigations

Real Clear Investigations: CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims

Barr’s ongoing review, and Mueller’s pending appearance before Congress, offer fresh opportunities to re-examine the affair’s fundamental inconsistencies. Authorized by the president to declassify documents, Barr could shed light on the role that CrowdStrike and other sources played in informing Mueller and the Brennan-directed ICA’s claims of a Russian interference campaign. When he appears before lawmakers, Mueller will likely face questions on other matters: from Democrats, his decision to punt on obstruction; from Republicans, his decision to carry out a prolonged investigation of Trump-Russia collusion despite likely knowing quite early on that there was no such case to make.

If the U.S. government does not have a solid case to make against Russia, then the origins of Russiagate, and its subsequent predominance of U.S. political and media focus, are potentially even more suspect. Given that allegation’s importance, and Mueller’s own uncertainty and inconsistencies, the special counsel and his aides deserve scrutiny for making a “central allegation” that they have yet to substantiate.

Source: CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims | RealClearInvestigations

It’s a long read, but well worth your time.