JUDICIAL WATCH DUMPS EXPLOSIVE NEW FBI EMAILS FROM MCCABE’S CONFLICT REVIEW

Comey disregarded conflict of interest involving McCabe wife’s Senate campaign

Zero Hedge – NOVEMBER 22, 2017

Judicial Watch has just dumped a new treasure trove of FBI emails regarding Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s conflict check relative to the Clinton email investigation.

For those who missed it, we reviewed all of McCabe’s many scandals here: FBI Director McCabe Subject Of Three Separate Federal Inquiries Into Alleged Misconduct – Report

Ironically, this particular FOIA request was filed in October 2016 under the Obama administration but they apparently just “didn’t have time” to get to it.

Judicial Watch today released 79 pages of Justice Department documents concerning ethics issues related to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s political campaign. The documents include an email showing Mrs. McCabe was recruited for a Virginia state senate race in February 2015 by then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s office.

The news that Clinton used a private email server broke five days later, on March 2, 2015. Five days after that, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, met with the McCabes. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, Clinton/McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a July 24, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond to an October 24, 2016, FOIA request.

Among other things, the new FOIA dump reveals a panicked FBI’s efforts to enlist the support of an army of lawyers and public relations personnel to deal with the original Wall Street Journal article (see: “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife“) that first revealed McCabe’s ties to the Clintons and his simultaneous oversight of the Clinton email investigation.

But perhaps none of the newly revealed emails from Judicial Watch today are more important than the following one in which McCabe describes how FBI Director Comey was breifed on his ties to the Clintons just days before his wife announced her Senate bid (and subsequently received roughly $700,000 in political donations for Clinton-friendly PACs) and then confirmed that he “has no issue with it.”

An October 23, 2016, email shows McCabe running the response effort to a Wall Street Journal article that was published that day, titled “Clinton Ally Aided Campaign of FBI Official’s Wife.” McCabe provides Michael Kortan, the assistant director of Public Affairs, his version of a timeline of events surrounding the Clinton investigation and his wife’s campaign. McCabe said he contacted then-FBI Chief of Staff Chuck Roseburg about Jill McCabe’s candidacy and was told that “the D [Comey] has no issue with it.” (Judicial Watch earlier this month released documents showing that McCabe finally did recuse himself from the Clinton investigation only a week before last year’s presidential election.)
 
Internally, the Wall Street Journal article started a flurry of emails among Mrs. McCabe’s campaign, Kortan, Director McCabe, and the FBI’s General Counsel. Part of that exchange is an email from McCabe to someone in the General Counsel’s Office: “Sucks pretty much. Buckle in. It’s going to get rough.” The colleague responds, “I know. It’s awful. I shouldn’t be shocked by now, but I really am appalled.” McCabe also forwarded the article to Comey who responded, “Copy.”
 
On October 24, 2016, a memo was sent to all Special Agents in Charge, Assistant Directors, Executive Directors and the General Counsel’s Office regarding the Wall Street Journal article discussing campaign activities concerning Mrs. McCabe. Kortan suggested that questions could be referred to his office and he attached an “Overview of Deputy Director McCabe’s Recusal Related To Dr. McCabe’s Campaign for Political Office.” The Overview itself was previously reported by Judicial Watch.

Meanwhile, the documents also show repeated use of the official FBI email system in connection with Mrs. McCabe’s political campaign.

On March 13, 2015, Mrs. McCabe emails to her husband’s official FBI email account a draft press release announcing her run for state Senate.
 
In August 2015, McCabe uses his official FBI email account to advise a redacted recipient to visit his wife’s campaign website: “Jill has been busy as hell since she decided to run for VA state senate (long story). Check her out on Facebook as Dr. Jill McCabe for Senate.”
 
On November 2, 2015, Mrs. McCabe forwards an email to her husband – then the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Office – that accuses her opponent of extorting local businessmen. The email was sent to her husband’s official FBI account.

In summarizing these latest revelations, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said “these new documents show that the FBI leadership was politicized and compromised in its handling of the Clinton email investigation…it’s well past time for a do-over on the Clinton emails that requires a new, honest criminal investigation of her misconduct.”

Two More Women Accuse Sen. Al Franken Of Inappropriate Touching ‘SERIAL GROPER’…

One woman told HuffPost that Franken had grabbed her backside at an event honoring women.

By Jenavieve Hatch and Zachary Roth

Two more women have told HuffPost that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) touched their butts in separate incidents. These are the third and fourth such allegations against Franken in the past week. Leeann Tweeden, a radio host, wrote last week that Franken had kissed and groped her without her consent during a 2006 USO tour. On Monday, Lindsay Menz accused Franken of groping her at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.

The two additional women, who said they were not familiar with each others’ stories, both spoke on condition of anonymity. But their stories, which describe events during Franken’s first campaign for the Senate, are remarkably similar — and both women have been telling them privately for years.

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In a statement to HuffPost, Franken said, “It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.”

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The first woman, who spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity because she’s worried she’ll be harassed online for making the allegation, said Franken groped her when they posed for a photo after a June 25, 2007, event hosted by the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus in Minneapolis.

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“My story is eerily similar to Lindsay Menz’s story,” the first woman said. “He grabbed my buttocks during a photo op.”

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The second woman told HuffPost that Franken cupped her butt with his hand at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis, then suggested the two visit the bathroom together. She spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear that the allegation could affect her position at work.

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“My immediate reaction was disgust,” the second woman said. “But my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’”

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“I can categorically say that I did not proposition anyone to join me in any bathroom,” Franken told HuffPost.

‘We Stood Next To Each Other … And Down His Hand Went’

The first woman, a 38-year-old book editor who was living in Minneapolis at the time, told HuffPost that she had just finished performing with a feminist choir at the Women’s Political Caucus event, which Franken and his wife, Franni Bryson, attended. After the ceremony, she and other members of the choir approached him for photos.

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“My mother loves Al Franken. She listened to Air America [on which Franken had a radio show] every day,” the first woman said. ”I saw him and asked if we could take a photo together for my mother, and we stood next to each other … and down his hand went.”

HuffPost spoke to two sources close to the first woman who corroborated her account.

One fellow choir member, Sarah, remembers not only being there for the groping incident but hearing another choir member say that Franken wouldn’t stop looking at her chest.

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Ten years ago, it was easier to shrug off predatory behavior as “boys being boys,” Sarah said, especially when that predatory behavior came from a political ally.

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“At the time … people weren’t as willing to speak against people they felt like were on their side,” Sarah said.  “It’s really disappointing. And it’s crappy. Ten years ago we were also at an age where there was still a feeling of powerlessness, or that boys will be boys.”

Capture

The first woman’s best friend, who likewise wished to remain anonymous, remembers hearing about the groping incident the day after it happened.

“She was in this all-women’s choir and he was at an event where she performed, and she told me that he basically grabbed her ass,” the best friend said. “It was a ‘Can you believe this happened to me?’ kind of thing.”

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The first woman wanted to tell her story because Franken is “a serial groper,” she said.

“Only two people have come forward, and people are saying that this is a right-wing conspiracy,” she said. “It’s not. I’m a liberal person. … I voted for him after this happened.”

‘I Was Completely Mortified’

The second woman, who said she was groped at a fundraiser, told HuffPost it took place in the fall of 2008 at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. She was excited about attending the event and meeting someone she wanted to support.

“I had never attended anything like that,” she said.

She and her friends found Franken and introduced themselves to him.

“I shook his hand, and he put his arm around my waist and held it there,” the second woman said. “Then he moved it lower and cupped my butt.”

“I was completely mortified,” she added.

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In order to escape the situation, the woman excused herself to go to the bathroom. At that point, she said, Franken leaned in and suggested that he accompany her. She grabbed her friend and fled to the bathroom without him.

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The second woman told several people ― including one of the reporters for this story, Zachary Roth ― about the incident some years ago, but didn’t want it reported then. She said she didn’t tell anyone at the time of the incident because inappropriate behavior from men was not that unusual to her or her friends.

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“Sexual harassment happens so often, you have to learn how to move on,” she said, describing her thinking at the time.

Several other factors also left her feeling powerless.

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“I felt like I didn’t have a voice,” she said. “This man had all of the power, all of the authority. In addition, he is a white man and I am a woman of color. I was 21 years old. And I was afraid that he would use all of those privileges to discredit me, to make me feel even smaller than I already felt.”

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Today, she said, she feels more confident, in part thanks to the flood of women who have come forward over the last month to share stories of sexual harassment by powerful men.

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“I couldn’t see all these other women come forward and not walk the walk myself,” she said. “I wanted my report to be a way for other women to say, ‘Yes, that happened to me and I don’t have to be afraid.’”

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Like the second woman, the first woman waited years before deciding to go public with her story.

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She laughed off the incident at the time, she said, even telling other people about it as a sort of “party trick.” It wasn’t until recently, she said, that she felt safe talking about how uncomfortable she’d felt.

 

 

Professor conducted back-alley herpes vaccine trial at Illinois hotels – report

A US researcher aiming to develop a herpes vaccine conducted illegal trials during which he injected people in hotel rooms and at a house on the island of St. Kitts, according to a new investigation.

William Halford, a former associate professor at Southern Illinois University (SIU), began his first “trial” in 2013. But the setting wasn’t a university laboratory or a room at a hospital – it was a Holiday Inn Express and a Crowne Plaza Hotel located 15 minutes away from the college, according to an investigation by Kaiser Health News.

Halford, who died of cancer in June, administered his experimental shots to at least eight herpes patients on four different occasions in the summer and fall of 2013. The volunteers were injected with a virus he had created, according to emails from seven participants and interviews with one participant.

In multiple email exchanges between Halford and the participants, seen by Kaiser, he asked them to send photographs of rashes, blisters and other reactions they might have received as a result of the injections.

Halford, who was a microbiologist rather than a physician, apparently knew that his makeshift trial was a violation of US law, as he stated the need for secrecy in one of his emails. He said it would be “suicide” if it became too public about how he was conducting his research.

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He described his methods in some of his emails, as well as the number of injections given.

“Just wanted to pass along that I immunized someone with the higher dose of the HSV-2 vaccine on Monday, and I attach the photos of the injection site at 48 hours to give you and everyone else an idea of what to expect…,” he wrote in September 2013. “This individual requested that I give him two immunizations to double the effect…one immunization per leg.”

Four days later, Halford wrote that “everyone’s vaccines contained ~150 million infectious units of the HSV-2 vaccine strain,” noting that the first injection of the group represented about a 30- to 40-fold increase over what others received in August 2013. In the same email, the microbiologist wrote that he believed the trials were important.

“Saturday Sept. 21 definitely represents a milestone in my career,” he wrote. “Don’t know how it will turn out, but I undoubtedly feel like this was a real test of the (a) safety / tolerability of the HSV-2 vaccine and (b) an opportunity to see if it has any therapeutic potential…I am indebted to all of you.”

In an email dated October 2, 2013, Halford told a participant that his hypothesis of the injection’s outcome was “nothing more than an education guess.” He added that “the proof is in the pudding…let’s see if your problems with outbreaks dial back or not.”

In addition to the trial being blatantly illegal, the microbiologist also did not obtain written informed consent from the participants, which is required by US law when testing a live virus on humans. Moreover, medical researchers are not allowed to inject people without a physician or nurse practitioner being present, Jonathan Zenilman, a doctor and expert on sexually transmitted diseases at Johns Hopkins University, told Kaiser.

Meanwhile, a man from Texas who said he received the injections said he fears the vaccine may have given him genital herpes (HSV-2), when he previously only had HSV-1, which usually emerges as sores on the face.

The Texan wrote in an email on February 24, 2014, that he was frightened after his second shot. “I got a large rash on my leg and it burned and swelled,” he wrote. “Then a blister popped up.”

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Responding to his concern in an email, Halford said: “I did not think the HSV-2 vaccine strain would be capable of reactivation, but perhaps I will have to reconsider that.” Experts who reviewed the man’s medical details for Kaiser said such a scenario was possible.

“It makes me angry that Halford went ahead with the offshore trial anyway,” the Texas man said. “I hope more people weren’t hurt.”

Another woman, however, claims to have been cured from Halford’s vaccine. She went on to help him recruit patients and organize injections.

The Texas man said he did not know how the trial was paid for, noting that Halford would not accept money from the participants and told them “it would get him in more trouble if he was ever caught.”

Even though Halford was apparently aware of the potential “suicide” that could occur if his under-the-radar trial became public, he launched a similar trial in 2016 at a house in St. Kitts, once again failing to notify US or local authorities. News of that trial was made public earlier this year.  A woman from Colorado who took part in that trial has also reported possible side effects from the injections.

Was the university aware?

SIU has refused to comment to Kaiser about Halford’s 2013 trials. However, many exchanges between Halford and the participants in 2013 were sent from his university email account. He also used the university telephone for communication and referred to a graduate student as assisting in the trial and to using a laboratory on campus.

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“My lab currently consists of myself and 1 graduate student and anything I do with you guys or your blood is extra and on top of what I get paid to do …” he wrote in a November 3, 2013, email.

After a Kaiser report stated that Halford completed the 2016 trial with no independent safety or oversight, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demanded a response from SIU. In an initial response to federal authorities, the university said it found “serious non-compliance with regulatory requirements and institutional policies and procedures.”

“If deemed necessary, SIU will develop an effective corrective action plan,” the dean of SIU’s medical school, Jerry Kruse,  wrote in a letter to the HHS, which was obtained by Kaiser under the Freedom of Information Act.

The university previously said it had no role, responsibility, or knowledge of the 2016 trial on St. Kitts, because Halford pursued it through Rational Vaccines, a company he co-founded in 2015. Its sole purposed was to market and research the herpes vaccine.

However, SIU shared a patent on the herpes injection with the company, and promoted Halford’s research on its website. Furthermore, when a company owned by entrepreneur and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel invested millions of dollars into the research in April, SIU publicly hailed Halford and Rational Vaccines.

Several of the participants of both trials have told Kaiser that they asked SIU for help. The Colorado woman called the university “dismissive,” while a participant from California said he wanted the university to continue the vaccine research with safety oversight while “taking responsibility.” When SIU did not provide him with an adequate response, he said “it was obvious they want nothing to do with us.”

READ MORE: Condom that attacks HIV, herpes to hit Australian stores in months

Meanwhile, the surviving co-founder of Rational Vaccines, Hollywood filmmaker Agustín Fernández III, has said he considers the 2016 trial a success, and vowed to continue the research. He said that he was not involved with Halford’s work before the company was formed (meaning he had no part in the 2013 trial), but said he is aware of “individuals who experienced positive outcomes from the vaccine.”

Previously Deported Gang Member, Child Sex Offenders Busted Crossing Border

by BOB PRICE 22 Nov 2017

Border Patrol agents assigned to the Tucson Sector arrested two previously deported child sex offenders and a member of the Sureño 13 street gang illegally re-entering the U.S.

The arrests began on Saturday afternoon when agents working from the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station captured a man illegally crossing the border near Naco, Arizona. Agents arrested and transported him to the station for processing. During a background investigation, the agents learned that 34-year-old Abigael Calvo-Calvo, a Mexican national, has a criminal history that includes a conviction in San Mateo County, California, for “Lewd and Lascivious Acts with a Child Under 14.” The conviction occurred in 2012, according to information provided to Breitbart Texas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman Rob Daniels.

Calvo-Calvo now faces new criminal charges for felony re-entry after being deported as a registered sex offender.

The following evening, Agents from the Douglas Station found another man crossing west of Douglas, Arizona. During processing, the agents determined the identity of 33-year-old Juan Herrera-Gameros, a Mexican national. A records check revealed a 2005 conviction in Cochise County Superior Court for “Sexual Conduct with a Child,” officials stated. Herrera-Gameros also faces charges of re-entry after being deported as a sex offender.

Brian A. Terry Station agents also stopped another potentially violent illegal immigrant from re-entering the U.S. The agents arrested 28-year-old Pedro Castro-Guillen, a Mexican national, after he crossed west of Naco. A records check uncovered a prior deportation due to his membership in the Sureño 13 street gang. Officials stated that Castro-Guillen will face criminal charges for immigration violations.

The Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station is named in honor of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry who was killed by a Mexican “rip crew” in southern Arizona on December 14, 2010. Agent Terry’s murder led to the disclosure of the Obama Administration’s Fast and Furious gun running scheme that put thousands of guns in the hands of Mexican criminals.

Breitbart News Executive Chairman and former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon spoke at a banquet honoring Agent Terry on Saturday, Breitbart News’ Michelle Moons reported.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that he will lay down his life for his friend,” Bannon told attendees of the annual Brian Terry Foundation Courage Awards Dinner. “Brian Terry laid down his life for his friends, his family, his community, and his country. I don’t think you’ll meet a braver man.”

Bannon told Terry’s family and friends that his murder helped make border security a major issue for the 2016 presidential campaign.

“I can tell you, [Donald Trump] wouldn’t be President of the United States if [not for] the incident that happened here,” Bannon said. “Brian Terry will live in history as a historical figure and the reason was, he brought to the attention of the American people, he put a human face on it, he put a hero’s face on it, of what is exactly at risk on the southern border of our country.”

U.S. Rep. apologizes for graphic online photo…

 

Texas Congressman Joe Barton released a statement Wednesday apologizing for a graphic nude photo of him that circulated on social media earlier this week. He announced his re-election bid earlier this month. 

“While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women,” he said. “Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended. I am sorry I did not use better judgment during those days. I am sorry that I let my constituents down.” 

It is still unclear how the photo got onto social media, who put it there, or whether its posting would constitute revenge porn, which is illegal under Texas law.

Barton, who announced his re-election bid earlier this month, is navigating in a political environment charged with emerging stories of sexual misbehavior in politics, in business, and in the media. The photo, which appeared on an anonymous Twitter account, set off speculation within Texas GOP circles about his political future.

In a phone interview with The Texas Tribune on Tuesday, Barton said he was deliberating that.

“You’re as aware of what was posted as I am,” he said. “I am talking to a number of people, all of whom I have faith in and am deciding how to respond, quite frankly.”

A spokeswoman said Wednesday he had no plans to resign and had filed for re-election.

Texas passed legislation in 2015 making revenge porn a class A misdemeanor, defining the crime as posting sexual or nude images or videos of non-consenting adults. Images taken by consenting adults with a “reasonable expectation of privacy” constitute “revenge porn” when distributed without the subject’s consent, according to a blog post by Houston lawyer Brett Podolsky. Even threatening to distribute the material is illegal under state law.

Shannon Edmonds, a staff attorney with the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, said too many details of Barton’s specific case were unknown to determine whether the leaked photo might constitute revenge porn under Texas law.

“What I can say is that the law was created in 2015 in part to kind of address situations like this, where an image that was taken during the course of a consensual relationship is later aired in public after that relationship has ended, usually ended badly,” Edmonds said. “That’s exactly the kind of situation that brought about the new law.”

Currently, there are no federal laws explicitly addressing revenge porn.

Barton, the former chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce committee, joined the House in 1985 and is the longest-serving member of Congress from Texas.

If Barton were to choose not to run for re-election, it would be sure to set off a frantic race to replace him. His 6th district, stretching from the Dallas-Fort Worth area into East Texas, is heavily Republican territory, so the GOP primary would be the battlefield. The filing deadline for the 2018 primaries is Dec. 11.

Soon after the news broke Wednesday, state Sen. Konni Burton, a Fort Worth Republican whose district overlaps with Barton’s congressional district, batted down rumors that she might consider the seat.

“To supporters & donors who are asking me to make a congressional run & to those who are hearing the rumors, I thank you for thinking of me,” Burton tweeted. “However, I am totally committed to SD10!”

Jana Lynne Sanchez, a Democrat running for Barton’s seat, said in a statement that there was a “larger issue” at play than Barton’s personal life.

“Texans, just like all American people, are tired of poor behavior of elected officials distracting us from the real issues affecting us – the unbearable cost of healthcare, the poor and sliding quality of public education and the lack of good jobs for our high school graduates,” Sanchez said. “No matter who the Republican nominee is, I look forward to a civil and respectful campaign on the issues – not one sullied by personal attacks.”

Barton’s apology came near the end of what has already been a difficult year for him. As the manager of one of the congressional baseball teams, Barton and his two sons were on the field during practice in June when a gunman began firing. Barton recalled that his sons took cover during the shooting, one under an SUV and the other in the batting cage. He attributed his safety to the Capitol and Arlington police officers on duty that day.

Patrick Svitek and Matthew Choi contributed to this report.