Deep state FBI spokesman bribed with baseball tickets?

The Daily Caller News Foundation has a Freedom of Information Act scoop about the FBI spokesman who was exposed earlier as having taken baseball tickets from a CNN reporter, something that violated the FBI's tough standards on taking gifts.

The FBI's top press officer during the Hillary Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations accepted tickets to a Washington Nationals game from a CNN correspondent and lied about it repeatedly during interviews with the Justice Department's inspector general, according to a report obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Michael Kortan, who served as assistant director of public affairs, displayed a "lack of candor" during multiple interviews under oath with the DOJ watchdog about how he obtained the tickets, who [sic] he went with, and whether he reimbursed the CNN journalist, according to the report.

Chuck Ross, who got the scoop, views it as significant that the man in question, Michael Kortan, was on duty as the Hillary Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations are ongoing.

Perhaps he is right.  But to me, two other things stand out:

One, he looks like a small fry who was an easy target for discipline even as bigger fish such as James Comey and Andrew McCabe got let off easy.  Those were the real Deep State players pulling puppet strings behind the scenes.  Kortan helped shape reporting, and CNN's was execrable, but he still seems like a little guy, raising the question that maybe he got slammed with this punishing investigation over a relatively small gift, while bigger players who did worse got no such attention.

Additionally troublesome, there is the issue of why the CNN guy was cultivating him with dangled tickets.  Why him?  Couldn't he give his unwanted tickets to less sensitive people?  It does look as though he could have wanted to get Kortan on his hook.

I looked at Kortan's LinkedIn page, though, and there are some questions about whether he's truly a Deep-Stater.  He has some fairly respected contacts such as former FBI counterintelligence chief Kevin Brock, who has criticized the Deep-State shenanigans against President Trump, and author Ron Kessler, who's generally law enforcement–positive.

It's possible the CNN tickets were a sort of payoff for scoops given, but based on the account here, it looks as though Kortan may have assumed or rationalized that the tickets were worthless, given that the CNN correspondent didn't pay for them himself and seemed to want to get rid of them.

Obviously, Kortan knew better — the documents obtained from the FOIA request said he had had ethics training pretty much every year of his service — so he probably had no real excuse.  Maybe he meant to pay the guy and didn't get around to it, or maybe his lapse was a function of the CNN guy refusing to accept payment, which was brought up.  He definitely could have muscled the CNN guy to take the cash, however, given the ethics issue there would be for him if he didn't.  The CNN guy would understand.

But still, it seems like a small thing as far as it went.

I know.  Broken windows and all that — Kortan's exit was supposedly a sign of the FBI keeping a clean house.

But against the kind of Deep-State coup-plotting seen in higher-level FBI officials such as James Comey, it's hard to believe his ditzy lapse merited a force-out while Comey got no such sanction.  I'll change my mind if more facts emerge to support the idea that this guy was leaking to CNN to take down Trump, but thus far, it looks more like the little Navy guy who got a jail sentence for a carelessly taken photo of a classified installation while secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who kept an illegal server full of easily hacked classified documents, skated, courtesy of Comey.

Here's what really bears looking at: does CNN have a policy of trying to get public officials on its hook?  Someone should ask, especially if the cameras are rolling.

And let's learn more about the bribery surrounding the big media, such as all those journalists who reportedly were paid to perform "research" (and write positive stories) for Fusion GPS.  Where are the names of those guys?  Until this is sorted out, Kortan looks mostly like a miscreant, not a big-corruption coup-plotter.

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