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What was the role of the FBI? In the Russiagate probe, in which Special Counsel John Durham has been tasked with getting to the bottom of the Trump-Russia “collusion” farce, that is the key question. If you don’t get the bureau’s role right, you’re apt to get the most consequential things wrong.

Durham has banked his investigation on the premise that the FBI was a victim — an innocent dupe manipulated by the wily Clinton campaign. On Tuesday, this misplaced faith led to the acquittal of Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann.

The irony abounds. A Washington, DC, jury found Sussmann found not guilty of making a false statement to the bureau even though Durham’s team convincingly proved the falsity of the statement he made — namely, that in purveying derogatory information about Donald Trump, Sussmann was not representing any client, when in fact he was representing the Hillary Clinton campaign. Moreover, although the acquittal will encourage Democrats and their legacy media allies in seeking to discredit Durham’s probe, the law enforcement shenanigans uncovered by the trial illustrate that the probe is essential.

Michael Sussman
Sussman was found not guilty of lying to the FBI.
Ron Sachs – CNP

Nevertheless, the probe will come to naught, and accountability will remain a pipedream, unless Durham gets the FBI’s role right.

As I contended in “Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency,” the outrage of the Trump-Russia “collusion” farce is that the law-enforcement and intelligence apparatus of the United States government was put in the service of partisan politics — first to attempt to get Hillary Clinton elected president and, when that failed, to hamstring the Trump administration’s capacity to govern.

That is, what makes Russiagate a uniquely dangerous chapter in modern American history is the willful interference by powerful federal agencies in electoral politics. The real collusion was between the Clinton campaign and the Obama-era executive branch — particularly (but by no means exclusively), the FBI.

Hillary Clinton
Sussman failed to disclose he was a lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign when he spoke to the FBI.
Getty Images

Durham proceeded on a different theory. The culprits, by his lights, are the Clinton campaign and its operatives. We are to see the FBI not as colluding with the Clinton campaign, but as victimized by the Clinton campaign.

The false-statement case against Sussmann is one of three indictments Durham has brought in more than three years of conducting his probe. In each one, the defendant is accused of duping the FBI, not collaborating with the FBI, in an effort to portray Trump as a Kremlin asset. Besides Sussmann, Durham has charged Igor Danchenko, the principal source for the notoriously bogus Steele dossier, with lying to the bureau about his own sources of information. Remarkably, Danchenko had previously been suspected by the FBI of being a Russian agent; and the bureau did not even bother to interview him until it had used his information — without endeavoring to verify it — in apply under oath for FISA court surveillance warrants. His information was credited because it fit the predisposition of FBI headquarters that Trump was a cat’s paw of Putin.

Durham’s other prosecution was of Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI lawyer. Clinesmith falsified information to conceal that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, whom the FBI portrayed as a Russian spy, had actually been informing the CIA about his Russia contacts. To most of us, that would strongly suggest that the FBI had lost its professional detachment when it came to suspicions about Trump. Yet even here, Durham sees the FBI as the victim: Clinesmith was charged not with defrauding the FISA court on behalf of the FBI, but of lying to the FBI; and he was permitted to plead guilty despite implausibly maintaining that neither he, nor the bureau, intended to deceive anyone.

And then there’s Sussmann. The proof at trial demonstrated that what he gave the FBI was more a cover story than a false statement. If Sussmann had openly identified himself as a Clinton operative peddling opposition research, the bureau would have been seen as collaborating with the campaign by using the “oppo” as the pretext for an investigation. So Sussmann instead pretended that he was just a good citizen — a former Justice Department official who was bringing the FBI information out of patriotic concern for national security, not partisan motives.

The FBI knew exactly who Sussmann was — he’d represented the DNC when its servers were hacked, and blocked the FBI from conducting its own forensic investigation. When Sussmann purveyed supposed evidence of a Trump-Russia communications back channel, the bureau knew full well that it was getting political information from a partisan source. The evidence at trial showed that FBI headquarters concealed Sussmann’s identity from the bureau’s own investigating agents. The FBI’s investigation-opening document falsely claimed that the information had come not from Sussmann but from the Justice Department. And even when the information proved bogus, FBI headquarters directed that the agents open a full-blown counterintelligence investigation anyway. Trump’s obvious innocence made no difference.

You can’t prove a false-statements charge unless it is established that the investigating agency was fooled by the lie. In Sussmann’s trial, the proof showed that the cover story did not fool the FBI; it enabled the FBI, which was second only to the Clinton campaign in its commitment to pursuing the Trump-Russia “collusion” tale.

Powerful federal agencies interfered in a presidential election, on behalf of one candidate against the other. The public needs accountability for that. It won’t get accountability if Durham continues to portray the FBI as a witless dupe, rather than a willing collaborator.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor.


By: Ny Post

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Kourtney Kardashian uses Kopari Coconut Melt to ‘look good naked’

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Page Six may be compensated and/or receive an affiliate commission if you buy through our links.

Kourtney Kardashian’s no stranger to showing skin.

Whether the reality star’s modeling lingerie, baring it all in a bikini or packing on PDA with husband Travis Barker, she’s clearly confident about her body — and relies on a selection of tried-and-true products to keep her skin in tip-top shape.

In one of her first-ever Poosh stories, fittingly titled “How to Look Good Naked,” the 43-year-old outlines some of her body care essentials, including La Mer The Body Crème ($300), Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Body Cream ($95) and Le Labo’s Pin 12 Candle ($82) — the latter because “lighting is everything.”

But not everything on Kardashian’s list will bust your budget. She also swears by Kopari Organic Coconut Melt, which will set you back just $29 for a full-sized jar or $18 for a mini version.

“In order to achieve glowy skin, it’s important to moisturize everything — everywhere — at least once a day,” the Poosh piece reads. “Don’t forget to care for your hands and feet as well; we recommend focusing on these areas at night.”

Billed as “a deep conditioner for your bod,” the product is comprised of 100% organic, unrefined coconut oil, and Kopari suggests applying it “as soon as you step out of the shower and at the end of the day.”

What’s more, the multitasking product also works well as a hair mask, dry shave oil, bath mix-in and belly balm, per the brand.

Snag a tub for yourself below — and get ready to look fabulous in your birthday suit, too.

Kopari Organic Coconut melt
Kopari


By: Ny Post

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Carlos Carrasco’s gem, three homers propel Mets past Marlins

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MIAMI — He’s one tough Cookie these days.

Carlos Carrasco isn’t going to win any contests blowing away hitters, but the right-hander’s offspeed pitches and command — and most importantly, his health — have converged this season to give the Mets an invaluable rotation piece.

On Saturday, he gave his team 7 ²/₃ shutout innings in a 4-0 victory over the Marlins at loanDepot park. Carrasco extended his scoreless streak over his past three starts to 18 ²/₃ innings.

The win was No. 100 in Carrasco’s career, making the 35-year-old the eighth Venezuelan-born pitcher to reach the milestone. Carrasco last surrendered a run on July 9 against the Marlins at Citi Field.

The Mets (63-37) won their fifth straight and reached the 100-game mark with the franchise’s most victories since 1986.

Overall, Carrasco allowed four hits and struck out seven with two walks. Seth Lugo replaced Carrasco in the eighth inning after Charles Leblanc had doubled with two outs. But Leblanc was picked off second base by Tomas Nido, ensuring Carrasco’s scoreless streak continued.

Carlos Carrasco didn't allow a run in the Mets' 4-0 win over the Marlins.
Carlos Carrasco didn’t allow a run in the Mets’ 4-0 win over the Marlins.
AP

Lugo remained in the game to pitch a scoreless ninth inning, allowing Edwin Diaz a day off following a 10-pitch outing Friday in which he struck out the side.

The Mets will try for a three-game sweep of the reeling Marlins on Sunday with Taijuan Walker on the mound.

After scuffling at the plate for seven innings, the Mets gave Carrasco breathing room in the eighth when Francisco Lindor and J.D. Davis each blasted a solo homer to give the Mets a 4-0 lead. Davis’ homer, in a pinch-hitting appearance, came as the Mets are searching on the trade market for a right-handed bat to solidify the DH spot.

The Mets have traded for two lefty bats in the last week-plus to bolster the other half of the DH equation. One of those additions, Tyler Naquin, debuted for the Mets on Saturday in left field and went 0-for-4. Daniel Vogelbach started at DH and drew a walk in four plate appearances.

Carrasco’s gem was the latest strong performance by a Mets starting pitcher. Entering play, the Mets had a 2.45 ERA from the starting rotation in July, which ranked second in the major leagues. Chris Bassitt had a rare flat start for the Mets a night earlier, when he allowed four earned runs over six innings.

Jeff McNeil hit a solo homer in the third against rookie Nick Neidert to give the Mets their first run. The homer was the first since June 14 for McNeil, who entered the day with a .162/.240/.191 slash line in July.

The Mets weren’t finished in the inning: Nido, Brandon Nimmo and Lindor all singled. Lindor’s hit extended the Mets’ lead to 2-0 and gave the shortstop 68 RBIs for the season before he reached 69 with his blast later.

Carrasco was challenged in the first inning, when he allowed a single to Miguel Rojas and walk to Jesus Aguilar before retiring JJ Bleday for the final out. In the fourth, Carrasco surrendered a leadoff single, but he escaped the inning when he got Bleday to ground into a double-play.


By: Ny Post

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Career NYC criminal tries to steal moped from NYPD station

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A brazen career criminal with more than 50 arrests on his rap sheet, including rape, was busted for trying to steal a moped from outside a lower Manhattan police station.

Jon Matos was caught red-handed approaching the $1,200 bike outside the 5th Precinct, sources said.

He was allegedly using a set of burglary tools Friday to try to bust the lock of the bike, which was vouchered property, cops and sources said.

Matos, a homeless father of three, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of attempted grand larceny and possession of burglary tools.

The proceeding was delayed for hours, sources said, after Matos allegedly became angry with a cellmate who used the facilities — but didn’t courtesy flush.

“I was just f–king with it. It’s not my tools,” he allegedly told an NYPD detective, said Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Megan Mers during the court proceeding.

Judge Valentina Morales Saturday agreed to give Matos supervised release in the moped case.

“Thank you, your honor,” Matos told Morales.

But instead of hitting the streets once again, Matos was held on outstanding charges from the 23rd Precinct in an unrelated case, authorities said.

It was his second appearance before a judge in a week: Matos was in court days earlier, charged with grand larceny, petit larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property and was released in yet another incident.

Matos has racked up dozens of busts for burglary, robbery, fare evasion — including the 1999 rape of a 14-year-old girl.

Crime is up in six of the seven major crimes measured by the department contributed to the increase — though the seventh category, murders, dropped a noticeable 31.6% last month in comparison to numbers compiled in June 2021, according to the NYPD’s preliminary statistics.

Grand larceny spiked 41%, robbery rose 36.1% and burglary went up 33.8%.

When addressing the crime spike last month, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the department was arresting the same people for crimes “over and over again.”

Other recent and brazen repeat offenders include veteran shoplifter Isaac “Man of Steal” Rodriguez, who was finally locked up in January after dozens of arrests for stealing to support his drug habit.

Laron Mack, whose catchphrase is “I steal for a living,” has been arrested more than 50 times. Another serial stealer, James Connelly, was busted in December for involvement in 28 separate incidents over three months.

Last month, accused serial shoplifter Lorenzo McLucas, 34, was nabbed for stealing from the cosmetics counter at a Duane Reade on Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, according to cops and court documents.

McLucas, who was released on his own recognizance, has notched 122 prior arrests.


By: Ny Post

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