The spirit of Jacques Clouseau infects investigators

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Have you ever forgotten your wedding anniversary or your wife’s birthday? It happens. If you are like me, it only happens once.
I guess it can be excused. Anniversaries and birthdays, by definition, only come around once a year. We have it better than our fathers and grandfathers. We have smartphones that can be programmed to remind us of important dates.
You just have to be smart enough to enter the information into your phone.
Other things I have forgotten include appointments — like showing up on time to sing at a funeral — picking up my daughter after dance class, getting a gallon of milk on my way home from work and the reason I went to Walmart.
A friend of mine’s father once went home after completing his shopping at Walmart only to discover that he had left his wife there. I’m sure this happens more than you think.
We send out reminders to subscribers when their subscription to the newspaper is coming due. Many forget. They call us when they miss their paper for a week or two.
When I was much younger I was on stage as an actor in local productions. Occasionally I had to bumble through my lines, but I never totally forgot one.
Like you, I’m sure, I have forgotten where I placed my keys. I have left the lights on and forgotten to lock the front door or close the garage door.
More than once I have returned home from work only to discover I’d left my cell phone sitting on my desk.
But I have never forgotten the password to my cell phone.
Have you ever forgotten the password to your phone? Do you know someone who has?
That is what several members of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigatory team did. You remember them, they spent two years and $32 million investigating President Donald Trump.
Apple iPhones come with a feature that resets the phone back to factory settings — destroying all stored information — if the wrong password is entered a certain number of times. This feature guards your financial and other personal information from falling into the hands of a thief, or in this case the owner of the phone.
According to Apple’s Security Guide, it takes a minimum of 1 hour and 36 minutes to “accidentally” wipe an iPhone in this way.
Newly released Justice Department records show that more than a dozen phones used by members of Mueller’s team — issued to them by our government — were “wiped” due to forgotten passwords right before they were turned in.
I rarely use the password to enter my iPhone, preferring to use the fingerprint feature that identifies me as the owner of my phone. It’s easier and faster. But if needed, I can still enter the four-digit code.
Amazingly the incompetence does not end there. When the Justice Department inspector general’s office asked to review the devices, other phones were turned in with irreparable screen damage, reported lost, intentional deletion or, other reasons. In other words, they were smashed with a hammer or thrown out with the trash.
There are only two explanations for this. Either most of the members on Mueller’s team, including Andrew Weismann, one of the team’s top prosecutors, deliberately destroyed government property and data to hide illegal activity or they were incompetent idiots — like Inspector Clouseau.
The one difference is that inspector Jacques Clouseau, a fictional character in Blake Edwards’s farcical “The Pink Panther” series caught the bad guy despite his bumbling.
If Mueller’s team was that incompetent, he should form another team of investigators, testing each one to make sure they have a high enough IQ to remember the four-digit passwords to their phones.
Maybe then they will finally be able to discover the evidence they have been looking for to remove Trump from office.
On the other hand, they may have taken a clue from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. After all, she was never charged with obstruction of justice after having 30,000 “private” emails electronically-scrubbed from her server before turning it over to the Justice Department for investigation.
I’m sure you have heard the phrase, better to ask forgiveness than permission. This seems to be becoming a pattern with Democrats under investigation.

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