Patterico's Pontifications


Well, Well, Well. . . .

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:36 pm

[guest post by JVW]

News came earlier today from the Washington Post (who apparently broke the story) that the Justice Department is granting immunity from prosecution to Bryan Pagliano, the Clinton staffer who set up her now-infamous homebrew email server. Just six months ago, Pagliano pled the Fifth when appearing before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

Reaction to the news ranges from Twitchy relaying NBC reporter Monica Alba’s tweet that the Clinton campaign is “pleased” that Pagliano is cooperating (which could mean that after six months they have schooled him on his lines and believe he is ready for the curtain to rise) to our friends at Popehat who tweeted this pithy observation:

The poor FBI and DOJ now find themselves in a pickle. The closer to the election that they choose to proceed with this case and file charges (or close the case without filing charges), the more likely they will be accused of trying to influence the outcome. Should they wait until after the November election to reach a decision, they will be accused of dragging their feet to ensure a Hillary! win (if they indict) or to boost the GOP candidate (should they decline to indict). But with the Clintons it’s always about the other guys acting in a nakedly political manner, isn’t it?


36 Responses to “Well, Well, Well. . . .”

  1. Oh, and if you read the WaPo article you can see that the reporter is happy to take four paragraphs to explain away Hillary!’s mendacity:

    Current and former officials said the conviction of retired four-star general and CIA director David H. Petraeus for mishandling classified information is casting a shadow over the email investigation.

    The officials said they think that Petraeus’s actions were more egregious than those of Clinton and her aides because he lied to the FBI, and classified information he shared with his biographer contained top secret code words, identities of covert officers, war strategy and intelligence capabilities. Prosecutors initially threatened to charge him with three felonies, including conspiracy, violating the Espionage Act and lying to the FBI. But after negotiations, Petraeus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.

    He was fined $100,000 and sentenced to two years of probation. FBI officials were angered by the deal and predicted it would affect the outcome of other cases involving classified information.

    Petraeus “was handled so lightly for his offense there isn’t a whole lot you can do,” said a former U.S. law enforcement official who oversaw counterintelligence investigations and described the email controversy as “a lesser set of circumstances.”

    Damn that warmonger Petraeus! It’s his fault that The Once and Future Inevitable Next President of the United States finds herself in such an uncomfortable explanation! Why are paleolithic men always trying to get in the way of deserving feminist women?

    JVW (9e3c77)

  2. JVW – that is hysterical. They are beyond blind to their prejudices.

    JD (fd9fdd)

  3. Paul Mirengoff at Powerline points out that the real threat to Hillary! might be if the FBI seeks to interview her. On the one hand, it would look awful for her to assert her Fifth Amendment rights and even the vassals in her press detail might wonder what she has to hide. On the other hand, if she agrees to an interview she might inadvertently wander into a perjury trap of the type that ruined Petraeus. For those who think she is way too cunning for that, recall that everyone said the same thing about her husband up until he chose to openly lie to Ken Starr. It just might be that the FBI has the goods on Hillary!, and without her advance knowledge of what they know she would be stupid to answer their questions.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  4. “The officials said they think that Petraeus’s actions were more egregious than those of Clinton and her aides because he lied to the FBI…”

    Hahahahahaha, can’t get past this without LMAO.

    Totally agree JVW, it’s Petraeus’ fault! Nailed it.

    Pons Asinorum (49e2e8)

  5. JVW, the WaPo and Hillary!/Hillary!’s government court toadies and throne sniffers really think everyone is stupid. And Hillary! has a great many such sycophants in government and recently out of government. They’re planning on benefiting if she becomes President, so they’ll say what they need to say to try to make that happens.

    Petreaus had a hard copy of his briefing book in his home, so the classified information was not vulnerable to hackers. He showed it to his mistress who had a security clearance. And it obviously involved a lot fewer classified documents. You simply can not store as many classified documents in hard copy form in your home as you can on a server in your basement.

    Had Petraeus tried to compromise as much classified information as Hillary!, somebody would have noticed the U-Haul truck parked in front of CIA HQ and Petraeus loading it with hand truck after hand truck of boxed documents.

    All that Petraeus did is, in fact a crime. I don’t want to minimize that. But any sane person knows that the comparison between what Petraeus did to Hillary!’s email server is laughable.

    The magnitude of what Hillary! did is more on the scale of Snowden or Manning.

    Sure, Hillary! didn’t share it with her mistress (well, maybe she did), she gave all those
    documents to her lawyer who didn’t have a clearance. She made it vulnerable to foreign intel
    agencies; there’s no way they didn’t take advantage of the situation. Etc. Etc.

    It’s ridiculous to say what Petraeus did was more egregious.

    But that won’t stop them from insulting our intelligence.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  6. JVW, the WaPo and Hillary!/Hillary!’s government court toadies and throne sniffers really think everyone is stupid.

    Well, in their defense Steve, more than half the nation did vote FOR Obama…wait for it…TWICE.
    So…it’s not like they don’t have good reason to think that.

    Pons Asinorum (49e2e8)

  7. 4. “The officials said they think that Petraeus’s actions were more egregious than those of Clinton and her aides because he lied to the FBI…”

    Hahahahahaha, can’t get past this without LMAO.

    Totally agree JVW, it’s Petraeus’ fault! Nailed it.

    Pons Asinorum (49e2e8) — 3/2/2016 @ 11:05 pm

    I don’t do twitter, but I do follow some people’s twitter feeds (such as Iowahawk’s) on the

    One commenter called this “reverse psychology for kindergartners.”

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  8. It’s the vast right wing conspiracy.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. The “current and former officials” who assure us that the Petraeus situation is way worse no doubt include Madeline Albright, Andrew Cuomo, Bill Daley, Donna Shalala, and Eric Holder. You know, neutral honest brokers in the matter.

    JVW (9e3c77)

  10. Lol, “reverse psychology for kindergartners.” Perfect description. Thanks Steve.

    On that note, I’m gonna get some sleep. Wake me when the primary is over or Hillary! is doing the perp walk — whichever comes first.

    Pons Asinorum (49e2e8)

  11. Ken White’s comment is very apt, but for the benefit of those who may be unfamiliar with criminal investigations and privilege and immunity:

    Pagliano’s earlier invocation of his Fifth Amendment rights can’t now be repeated. The grant of immunity means that he now faces no legal jeopardy on anything related to or arising out of the matters being investigated. No matter what he says, the government can’t prosecute him.

    So if he tries now to again plead the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, the judge will say: “Nope, there’s no risk of you incriminating yourself anymore, because you’re immune from prosecution.”

    Now if he doesn’t answer the questions, he goes directly to jail for contempt of court.

    Prosecutors only agree to grant immunity when they believe the little fish they’re promising never to hook will indeed lead them to a much bigger fish.

    Assume that Ken, a criminal defense lawyer, has a client named Guido who’s the criminal mastermind. One of Guido’s button men was Jimmy. Normally Ken and Guido can assume that hey, Jimmy doesn’t want to get himself in trouble, so he’ll plead the Fifth and refuse to rat Guido out. But once Ken finds out that Jimmy’s been granted immunity, Ken has to go to Guido and say, “Jimmy is about to be made to squeal on you, so I’m going to need a lot more money, because the prosecution has just gotten the witness it needs to convict you.”

    Beldar (fa637a)

  12. Did I get that approximately right? Others here do criminal law stuff more than I do, but I was kind of miffed when I went all the way through that tedious WaPo article looking for them to explain the significance of this announcement. And they really didn’t.

    If you understand the significance, then you also realize how phony and dishonest it is for Hillary to say, “Oh, we’re just tickled pink by all this, we have nothing to hide.”

    [This comment was fished out of moderation, where it was sent for some inexplicable reason. – JVW]

    Beldar (fa637a)

  13. It ruins a joke to explain it that way. Sorry for those who already understood it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  14. A White House review, and a policy of not indicting a candidate in an election year, could stop a n indictment of Hillary Clinton, but not of people close to her, including Bill Clinton, and also would not stop her from being named an unindicted co-conspirator.

    Sammy Finkelman (9775b0)

  15. Hope Pagliano watches his back.

    Richard Aubrey (472a6f)

  16. Actually that was helpful, Beldar.

    In the truth is stranger in fiction department,
    Obama and the Clintons really don’t like each other that much, do they?
    Has Obama ever back-stabbed a fellow Dem to further his aspirations? (Hint: Yes!)

    MD in Philly (at the moment not in Philly) (deca84)

  17. Illinois has only “transactional immunity”, whereas the Feds prefer “use immunity” a more weaselly kind. Transactional immunity is like a pardon, you cannot be prosecuted for any crime you have been coerced by the grant of immunity to talk about. Use immunity is Fifth Amendment super guarantee; nothing that you say can be used against you. Both are granted where the witness is not the preferred target of the prosecution, although not necessarily any less of a slime. In the Gotti case, for example, Giuliani’s immunized witness testified to six(?) murders he committed on Gotti’s orders. And Oliver North was immunized when the target was Reagan.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. I wonder how Huma Abedin is feeling about this announcement?

    Dana (86e864)

  19. Me too, the poor girl. First her worthless husband, now this, with her best years behind her and a kid to raise. If you don’t think the Feds won’t stoop to using people’s kids against them …

    nk (dbc370)

  20. This is a prelude to obama sticking it to the clintons good. Their relationship has never been good and obama has a long memory.

    After hillary has the nomination locked up or near being locked up she will be indicted. Rushing in to save the day for the democrat party will be biden, the hero. The general election will be biden vs Trump. hillary could not run against Trump. He is not afraid to attack her many weaknesses. Trump is the only republican that is not afraid to make those attacks. And they will stick! Notice how quickly she shut up about Trump’s alleged misogyny when he pointed she enabled her abuser husband. Hardly anyone ever called wjc an abuser before and this time it got press coverage.

    Jim (a9b7c7)

  21. I took the “increased fee deposit” as the lawyer telling the client “this just got a lot more complicated, which will mean a lot more work,” while privately telling the partners “this guy’s going down, we better get all we can up front before he’s convicted and his assets are confiscated.”

    Jenos Idanian (57de13)

  22. This is all it’s about:

    Rev. Hoagie™® (f4eb27)

  23. Well, Hoagie, that’s a possibility too,
    That it gets dragged out until after the election and since the public just elected her the argument will be made that there is nothing to be done, and our first lawless emperor is followed by our first lawless empress.

    I can only see what the possibilities are with these people, at best,
    But that is ok, I really don’t want to be able to think like they do.

    Maybe Valerie Jerret (?sp) will remain presidential chief advisor as required payment for the favor.

    MD not exactly in Philly (deca84)

  24. If an indictment is filed after her nomination but prior to the election, does not the current administration have the option of postponing the actual election while serving as caretaker
    until an election is held?

    Bar Sinister (c62a89)

  25. Not even in Zimbabwe.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. No wonder Trump is getting one-third of the vote. And we can blame neither Common Core nor No Child Left Behind.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. 22. Well, Hoagie, that’s a possibility too,
    That it gets dragged out until after the election…

    MD not exactly in Philly (deca84) — 3/3/2016 @ 6:57 am

    Yes, that’s an option. The FBI will make its recommendation to DoJ in the form of a confidential memo. And once that happens, there is no time limit on the DoJ to make a decision whether to prosecute or not. So they can pretend to be mulling over the decision for however long it takes.

    Which is precisely why I expect the FBI to take the unprecedented step of leaking that they have forwarded that memo to the DoJ. That is, assuming the investigation itself hasn’t been corrupted and they recommended prosecution. Normally you never hear about the memo. That would be the only way, really, for the FBI to light a fire under Obama administration’s @$$ and pressure them to make a decision.

    It would let them know the investigators at the FBI aren’t going to let them play any games.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  28. I should have said “the highly unusual step” of leaking about the memo. I don’t know if they’ve leaked about such things before so there may well be a precedent.

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  29. Tune in to CSPAN-1 Trump is coming up. The Governor of Maine is introducing him now.

    ropelight (4bcc7f)

  30. The governor of Maine is introducing Hillary!’s old IT guy, the one who set up her server and just got immunity from the FBI?

    Steve57 (1ace39)

  31. Why are there ZERO LA Times articles in the past 96 hours on Pagliano?

    10SCgal (18de37)

  32. The truth. Hillary is hiding so much…. But who is in her web ….We know BO is as he protects her. And the list goes on and on….

    jrt for Cruz (bc7456)

  33. The forthcoming Pagliano episode of “Madame Secretary”??

    Judy Eaton (a1a820)

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