The NY Times Just Did Something Stunning At Hillary’s Request, Immediately Paid A Big Price

Feedback from fellow reporters has been less than stellar after it was revealed that the New York Times made significant edits (including changing the headline) to a story it wrote about two inspector generals’ requests that the Justice Department open a criminal investigation regarding the use of a private email server by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Politico reports that the original headline ran by the Times Thursday was “Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email.” However, that headline was changed sometime after midnight to the less damning “Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account.”

Likewise, the lead sentence was changed from saying that the probe would be “into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as secretary of state,” to “into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state.”

One of the writers of the story, Michael Schmidt, explained to Politico early Friday that the Clinton campaign had complained about the story to the Times.

“It was a response to complaints we received from the Clinton camp that we thought were reasonable, and we made them,” Schmidt said.

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, released a statement on Twitter on Friday: “Contrary to the initial story, which has already been significantly revised, she followed appropriate practices in dealing with classified materials. As has been reported on multiple occasions, any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted.”

Mediaite’s Alex Griswold points out: “What [Merrill] left off was that the story had been “significantly revised” because of pressure from the Clinton camp.”

In March at a press conference at the U.N., Clinton insisted that she was careful in her handling of sensitive information with her private account. “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email,” she said. “There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

A former senior State Department official found Clinton’s claim lacked credibility. He told the New York Times in March: “’I would assume that more than 50 percent of what the secretary of state dealt with was classified…Was every single email of the secretary of state completely unclassified? Maybe, but it’s hard to imagine.’”

On Friday, the Times finally decided to inform its readers of the change to its Thursday story.

An earlier version of this article and an earlier headline, using information from senior government officials, misstated the nature of the referral to the Justice Department regarding Hillary Clinton’s personal email account while she was secretary of state. The referral addressed the potential compromise of classified information in connection with that personal email account. It did not specifically request an investigation into Mrs. Clinton.

Mediaite chronicled the critical responses of some in the media–from both Left and Right–to the Times’ “stealth edit.”

NY Times changes Hillary Story III - Tweet 1

Perhaps the hardest hitting rebuke came from Ricochet’s Stephen Miller:

NY Times changes Hillary Story - Tweet 1As reported by Western Journalism, one of Clinton’s claims from her U.N. press conference about her emails has been shown to be false. The State Department confirmed last month that she did not turn over all her work-related emails. Select Committee on Benghazi chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said in a statement regarding the revelation: “This has implications far beyond Libya, Benghazi and our committee’s work. This conclusively shows her email arrangement with herself, which was then vetted by her own lawyers, has resulted in an incomplete public record.”

According to the Times, the Justice Department has not decided whether to open a criminal investigation into the transmission of classified material through Clinton’s private email accounts.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Finding Common Ground In The Fight For Privacy

Sen. Rand Paul’s recent effort to force reforms on the National Security Agency’s data collection practices to protect the privacy of the American people has set off a firestorm of anger among the establishment of the Republican Party. From Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), there is a large parcel of the GOP that would eagerly sacrifice liberty for security. There is, however, one major push designed to limit the power of government that has a large base of support within the Republican establishment — the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad (LEADS) Act.

A bipartisan group of Senators are working diligently to pass the LEADS Act to overturn an extraordinary abuse of power by Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Led by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Dean Heller (R-Nevada), and Chris Coons (D-Delaware), these members are trying to establish rules balancing the needs of law enforcement to obtain the contents of electronic communications with privacy protections for citizens in the digital age. Unfortunately, the clock is ticking; and unless Congress acts quickly, only the Supreme Court will be left to restore rights that were taken by the government — if they even take the pending case.

The issue stems from an investigation by the Justice Department against an Irish citizen who stored information on a cloud computing system owned by an Irish company on servers stored on the island nation. If the information requested were a piece of paper instead of a byte of data, the DOJ would be forced, by treaty obligation, to request that the Irish government obtain a warrant on their behalf to obtain the information. Such requests among allies are commonplace and are not much of a hurdle for the government to jump over.

Rather than make such a request, the DOJ subpoenaed Microsoft and demanded they turn over the information because the Irish company is a subsidiary of Microsoft. Microsoft, in an effort to protect the privacy rights of their users, has rightfully refused to comply and filed a lawsuit against the government.

A federal district court in New York ruled for the government, suggesting that as an American company that wholly owns the Irish subsidiary, a simple domestic warrant is enough. Last July, the 2nd Circuit Appeals Court agreed; and in September, Microsoft asked to be held in contempt of the court so it could progress to the Supreme Court.

The ramifications of these decisions are critical for privacy rights, jurisdictional limitations of government power, and the ability of American companies to compete abroad.

Unless overturned by the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice’s argument that most anything stored on the cloud-based computer systems–even by foreign nationals on servers stored outside the United States–falls under their power will stand. Hence, the LEADS Act was introduced.

Support for the LEADs Act provides a perfect opportunity for members of the GOP to demonstrate support for privacy rights while limiting the power of the federal government.

From threatening to indict reporters who refuse to release their sources to Holder’s Department of Justice seizing two months worth of phone records from Associated Press reporters, the Obama administration will go down in history with one of the worst records for domestic civil liberties. The effort to grab control of the cloud computing systems is just the latest chapter in a sad era of the widespread violation of American constitutional liberties.

This is not a partisan issue. It is an issue with profound implications for the Bill of Rights, specifically the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. No matter who is in power, this legislation is a great way to clarify how the United States government wants Americans’ phone records to be treated by foreign nations. The natural right of privacy, and the right to police against law-breaking, are two interests that can be balanced in a way that makes sense and protects all Americans.

Privacy from government intrusion should be a conservative principle. Too many members of the GOP are willing to trust their privacy rights to bureaucrats in the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI. The LEADs Act is a small step in the right direction and creates a unique opportunity for the Republican Party to help restore some of the rights that have been trampled on by big government.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Exposed: Obama Is Bypassing Congress To Deliver A Major Blow To The Constitution

The Obama administration is once again planning to do by executive action what it could not accomplish legislatively through Congress.

The Hill reports that the Justice Department will move forward with more than a dozen gun-related regulations. The first round is expected to be finalized by November, with the rest implemented by the end of Obama’s term in office.

“It’s clear President Obama is beginning his final assault on our Second Amendment rights by forcing his anti-gun agenda on honest law-abiding citizens through executive force,” said Luke O’Dell, vice president of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights.

Many of the changes were called for following the Sandy Hook shooting three years ago. Gun control advocates made a major push in Congress to place new restrictions on the sale and ownership of guns, including the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. The measures were defeated in the Senate and never had a vote in the House.

Following the Sandy Hook shooting, Obama issued 23 executive actions intended to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous people.

One of the changes the administration now seeks to enact is denying gun ownership to those who have been guilty of any type of domestic abuse.

“That could be a person who spanked his kid, or yelled at his wife, or slapped her husband,” Michael Hammond, legislative counsel for the Gun Owners of America, warned in a statement.

The ATF is also looking to prohibit the mentally ill from owning firearms, which gun rights’ groups oppose.

“The Obama administration is trying very hard to disqualify people from owning a gun on the basis that they are seeing a psychologist,” Hammond argued.

The NRA in statement earlier this spring noted: “A person who experienced a temporary reaction to a traumatic event or who has trouble handling household finances may well be treated the same as a violent psychopath. Not only is this unjust and stigmatizing, it creates disincentives for those who need mental health treatment to seek it, increasing whatever risks are associated with untreated mental illness.”

Other proposed regulations include the ownership of high-powered handguns and gun storage requirements.

“The Obama administration hates the Second Amendment, and it’s clear that every place where it can push, it will,” said Hammond.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Baltimore, Black, White, And Central Power

Recently, Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Justice Department will investigate the Baltimore Police Department, an investigation that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore requested. So it seems she is calling for an examination into her own failings.

Please take note that this investigation is distinguished from a separate civil rights probe which the Attorney General’s Office has already begun in relation to the death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.

Consider the following facts with regard to Baltimore: Black people riot; in the process, they destroy black business; all of this occurs after a black guy dies in police custody at the hands of three black officers who are part of a police department that is 43% black and led by a black Chief, under a black female Mayor, with a black female State Attorney, in a city ruled by the president’s own Democratic Party for over 50 years.

And the result is: The first black female US Attorney General, who is appointed by the first black president, attributes…prejudice against black Americans.

This all coming on the heels of last week’s announcement from Obama that he’s dispatching federal civil-rights officials to retrain cops in “every city and jurisdiction around the country” to be more culturally sensitive to urban blacks. Already, Fort Worth, Texas; Gary, Indiana; Stockton, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have received grants to implement a new DOJ program titled the “National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice”

I live very near to Baltimore and understand the chaos firsthand. The fear, confusion, and anarchy that has taken place is nothing short of overwhelming. This led me to ponder the Constitution, the Law of this nation, and the rules of Federal Government agencies like the Attorney General’s office. I sought the entire document to see what type of jurisdiction the Federal Government has in local law enforcement matters.

The answer is none!

(The closest statement I can find is in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12, which involves the authority of Congress–not the President–to raise and support armies for no more than a two-year term; and this is not to be done during peacetime.)

So why is this administration so interested in what some call “federalizing local law enforcement agencies”?

Should you be alarmed?

You see, although the Constitution is the supreme law of our land and provides limits on the powers and authorities of our federal, state, and local governments, its words cannot, and will not, leap off the page and enforce themselves.

The greatest threat to the people’s liberties has always been the centralized power of civil government. It is strikingly apparent now that the agenda coming from both Democrats and Republicans in Washington, DC, represent an attempt to centralize and extend the control of the few over the many.

In an amazingly short period of time, the central government has nationalized the banks, the insurance industry, the automobile industry, and the health care industry–and now local police forces.  All this is illegal. And while this has been occurring at unprecedented speed, the president has been insisting that he is NOT doing exactly what he IS doing.

Unless the people and their state and local officials – like the Governor, local police, and judges — renounce the criminal behavior displayed by the federal executive through federal agencies and reaffirm their allegiance to their loved ones, their families, and their communities, these united States of America are in grave danger of disappearing.

 

Learn more about your Constitution with Jake MacAulay and the Institute on the Constitution and receive your free gift.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Justice Department To Investigate Baltimore Police For Civil Rights Violations

Loretta Lynch confirmed Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice will conduct a review of the practices of the Baltimore Police Department in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old was killed while in police custody last month.

“[R]ather than examining whether the police department violated good policies, we will now examine whether they violated the Constitution and the community’s civil rights,” Lynch said in Washington.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division has conducted dozens of these pattern or practice investigations, and we have seen from our work in jurisdictions across the country that communities that have gone through this process are experiencing improved policing practices and increased trust between the police and the community.

The recently confirmed attorney general said the investigation would begin “immediately,” Newsweek reported.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby charged six officers involved in Gray’s transport and arrest last month. One has been charged with second degree murder, three have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and two with second-degree-assault, the Associated Press reported.

According to police, about 500 people have been arrested since April 23; and more than 100 police officers have been injured in the protests. Since rioting began, most of the protests throughout Baltimore have been peaceful.

The rioting caused the Orioles baseball team to postpone their first two games against the Chicago White Sox. Both games have been rescheduled for a single-admission doubleheader on May 28.

The third game of the series was played last Wednesday, but was closed to paying customers. Only allowed into Oriole Park at Camden Yards were media and professional scouts. The closed-door game was believed to be the first of its kind in which fans were not allowed to enter a Major League Baseball stadium in the league’s 145-year history.

h/t: Fox News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth