Yesterday, news broke that the FBI had investigated former Sheriff David Clarke after he had officers detain a man who had disrespected Clarke on an airplane. Clarke showed up on Fox News last night and got a friendly opportunity to lie about what happened.
Although the news of an FBI search warrant for Clarke hit the Twitterverse after it was filed yesterday, the warrant is dated March 7, 2017. It's not clear why the filing was made yesterday. What we do know, according to an extensive report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is the warrant was in response to a claim by a man named Dan Black who was hassled and detained by Clarke’s deputies after Black briefly and nonviolently confronted Clarke on an airplane while he was still sheriff of Milwaukee County.
After Black filed his complaint of harassment, Clarke viciously threatened and taunted him. For example, Clarke posted on his county Facebook page a photo of Black with the caption: "CHEER UP SNOWFLAKE... IF SHERIFF CLARKE WERE TO REALLY HARASS YOU, YOU WOULDN'T BE AROUND TO WHINE ABOUT IT."
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in January:
Earlier this week, Clarke issued a statement saying Black and others like him may be “knocked out” if they hassle him on a plane: “The sheriff said he does not have to wait for some goof to assault him. He reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.”
Black also filed a civil suit against Clarke in February.
The Department of Justice decided not to prosecute Clarke in a decision it said was “not meant to affirm the wisdom or propriety of what occurred” but “reflects only our belief that it would be difficult or impossible to prove a violation of the only federal statute likely available to us, 18 U.S.C. § 242, beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Hardly an exoneration.
But that’s what Jason Chaffetz disingenuously called it as he guest hosted The Ingraham Angle last night and asked for Clarke’s “reaction” to the news about the FBI warrant and Black’s civil suit.
That set Clarke off on a rant in which he whined about “fake news.”
CLARKE: Well, it’s a frivolous lawsuit and it has yet to be adjudicated so I can’t say too much but this is a fake news story. I now know how Donald Trump feels to be the subject of fake news from the liberal media as you indicated. I sent you the letter. They found no wrongdoing. That case is closed and I was informed of that last May so here we are in December and they’re trying to re-dig this story, rehash it, with lies interwoven in between it to make it seem like this is something new. There was no wrongdoing. I was doing good police work at the time and I think the United States Attorney’s office recognized that. And that’s why they said there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. It’s a big, fat nothingburger.
Again, that is not at all what the U.S. Attorney said, even assuming that yesterday's filing of the warrant represented no new action on the FBI's part.
Even worse for Clarke is that the affidavit in support of the warrant stated that local investigators had found Clarke had abused his authority. From HuffPost:
[A]ccording to the affidavit, filed in March, investigators for the Audit Services Division of the Milwaukee County controller’s office determined as part of its own investigation that Clarke had “used his official position as sheriff of Milwaukee County in excess of his lawful authority to direct his deputies to stop and question Black without legal justification.”
Chaffetz, did not mention that bit of non-exoneration. He merely said, “Sheriff, I appreciate you being here,” to close the segment.
Watch Clarke and Chaffetz spread fake news about a real investigation below, from the December 29, 2017 The Ingraham Angle.