August - 2018
August 31, 2018 – Justice Department discloses no FISA Court hearings held on Carter Page warrants
Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.
In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:
(…) “In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.
Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.
“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 8/31/2018)
August 29, 2018 – Bruce Ohr names Andrew McCabe, FBI officials tied to Peter Strzok among his Trump dossier contacts: Reports
“Sources told Fox News that Ohr’s contacts included Peter Strzok, the former FBI agent who acknowledged meeting with Ohr in congressional testimony last month. Strzok once played a leading role in Mueller’s inquiry and was recently fired from the bureau over anti-Trump text messages he sent a colleague with whom he was having an affair.
Fox News also reported that Ohr claimed to have met with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Strzok’s onetime mistress, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and Joe Pientka, an FBI agent who reportedly interviewed former national security adviser Michael Flynn with Strzok.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., noted that Ohr additionally mentioned Andrew Weissmann, who was the chief of the DOJ’s criminal fraud division, according to the Washington Post. Fox News‘ Catherine Herridge reported Thursday that Weissmann was “kept in the loop” about the dossier, Steele, and Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commission the dossier.
During his testimony in a closed-door testimony before the joint task force of the Judiciary and Oversight committees, Ratcliffe claims Ohr said at least one of these officials signed off on a FISA warrant application seeking the authority to spy on Page. To this individual, Ratcliffe advised: “I would retain a really good lawyer.”
Of the officials who have been identified in reports, McCabe was the only one known to have signed off one of them.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/30/2018)
August 29, 2018 – The day after Ohr’s testimony, congress seeks to question his wife
“Numerous congressional sources are telling SaraACarter.com that after Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr’s explosive closed-door testimony on Tuesday, lawmakers are gearing up to call his wife, Nellie Ohr, in for questioning regarding her work with the now-embattled research firm, Fusion GPS. Congress is also seeking access to Bruce Ohr’s text messages and emails with top FBI officials.”
(…) “Nellie Ohr, a Russia expert who was hired by Fusion GPS in 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign, received multiple large sum payments from the research firm, according to a U.S. official, with direct knowledge of the payments.
The payments from the DNC and Clinton campaign were made through the law firm Perkins Coie, which represented both clients. The research firm also hired former British spy Christopher Steele, who was friends with the Ohrs and who compiled the now infamous and unverified anti-Trump dossier. Steele was not only paid by Fusion GPS for his work but according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, he was also being paid by the FBI from Jan. 1. 2016 to Nov. 1, 2016.
The U.S. official did not disclose the amount of money paid to Bruce Ohr’s wife through Simpson’s firm, but said it “was not chump change, that much I can say.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/28/2018)
August 29, 2018 – FBI Refuses To Confirm Or Deny ICIG Warned Of Clinton Server Intrusion
“The FBI refuses to disclose whether or not it met with senior members of the Intelligence Community Inspector General on the subject of foreign intrusion of former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private server.
An FBI spokeswoman refused to confirm if Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) officials — including Frank Rucker, its chief investigator — briefed top bureau officials about evidence of penetration of Clinton’s private server by a Chinese government intelligence operation. “We have no comment,” she told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Earlier Wednesday, an FBI spokesman released what appeared to be a categorical statement about the Clinton server: “The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised,” the FBI stated.
The statement does not address a central aspect of TheDCNF’s reporting, which was that the ICIG briefed top bureau officials on three separate occasions to warn the FBI of an “anomaly” they found in 30,000 in-bound and outgoing emails. The report is based on an intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter. The anomaly showed a code embedded in Clinton’s server was producing in real time a “courtesy copy” to a third party.
The third party was a Chinese state-owned company based in Northern Virginia just outside of Washington, D.C., and was part of an ongoing Chinese government intelligence operation, according to two separate sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
According to one source, the last ICIG briefing was held in June 2016 about a month before former FBI Director James Comey stated that he did not recommend any indictment of Clinton for mishandling classified materials.
August 28, 2018 – Bruce Ohr: FBI Knew About Bias Before Getting a FISA On Carter Page
“Senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr testified Tuesday that prior to obtaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page, the FBI was aware that former British spy and anti-Trump dossier author, Christopher Steele was biased against then-candidate Trump. He also stated that the FBI knew that his wife, Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS, the now-embattled research firm which was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC to compile the dossier with Steele. This, according to Congressional sources with direct knowledge of Ohr’s closed-door deposition.
Ohr stated during his hours-long testimony that the FBI failed to disclose this pertinent information to the nation’s secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when it sought an application to spy on Page. The FBI also failed to disclose that when it sought the application, it was using senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr as a cut-out for a source the bureau had terminated.
Ohr had also communicated with senior members of the FBI, including former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI attorney Lisa Page, and former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, at the bureau but stated that his superiors at the Justice Department were not aware that he was being used as a source for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign, according to sources who spoke to SaraACarter.com.
“When it comes to the dossier, the hours of testimony from Bruce Ohr only further confirm how wrong the FBI operated,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told this news outlet. Jordan would not give details on the testimony but stated that Ohr’s deposition was a necessary part of the investigation and getting to the truth.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/28/2018)
- Andrew McCabe
- August 2018
- Bruce Ohr
- Carter Page
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Department of Justice
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- Fusion GPS
- Hillary Clinton Campaign
- House Judiciary Committee
- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
- Lisa Page
- Nellie Ohr
- Peter Strzok
- political bias
- Sara Carter
- Trump campaign
- U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)
August 27, 2018 – Whistleblower Exposes Key Player in FBI Russia Probe: “It was all a Set-up”
(…) “When [Adam] Lovinger raised concerns about DoD’s misuse of Stefan Halper in 2016, he did so without any political designs or knowledge of Mr. Halper’s spying activities,” Bigley told SaraACarter.com. “Instead, Mr. Lovinger simply did what all Americans should expect of our civil servants: he reported violations of law and a gross waste of public funds to his superiors.”
And for that, Bigley said, Lovinger has paid the ultimate price in his 12-year career as a strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment. According to Bigley, shortly after Lovinger began reporting and asking questions about suspicious contracts given to Halper and others, including one person closely associated Chelsea Clinton, his security clearance was suspended. Later, on April 3, 2018, the DoD’s Washington Headquarters Services Director Barbara Westgate sent a letter to Lovinger indefinitely suspending him from duty and pay status after his clearance was removed in March. The letter stated, “The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you that I am proposing to indefinitely suspend you from duty and pay status in your position as a Foreign Affairs Specialist.”
(…) “Bigley suspects it was more than the Clinton-connected contracts adding, “Mr. Lovinger unwittingly shined a spotlight on the deep state’s secret weapon – Stefan Halper – and threatened to expose the truth about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative than being plotted: that it was all a set-up.”
Halper’s Ties to Russian Officials Raise Serious Questions
Halper has had a long career and worked in government with several GOP administrations. At 73, the elusive professor spent a career developing top-level government connections–not just through academia but also through his work with members of the intelligence apparatus.
Those contacts and the information Halper collected along the way would eventually, through apparent circumstance, become utilized by the FBI against the Trump campaign. But, it was during his time hosting the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar at the University of Cambridge where Halper shifted from a professor and former government consultant to FBI informant on the Trump campaign.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/27/2018)
August 26, 2018 – House task force interviews FBI official, Jonathan Moffa, about Clinton emails
“House lawmakers interviewed an FBI official on Friday, part of an ongoing congressional investigation into the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
A congressional source confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the Judiciary and Oversight Committees met privately with FBI official Jonathan Moffa at the end of the week — the latest in a line of interviews conducted by the joint task force looking into the FBI’s controversial handling of the inquiry into the former secretary of state’s unauthorized server.
Moffa was mentioned in an April letter sent to Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who took note of emails from February 2016 that suggested Justice Department coordination with the FBI before ex-FBI Director James Comey publicly recommend in July that no charges be brought against Clinton, who was then a candidate for president.
In the letter, first reported by Fox News, Meadows pointed to emails found on Clinton’s server with “Top Secret” information that indicated Comey may have misled Congress when he testified that there was no DOJ-FBI coordination at “crucial moments of the investigation.” One of those emails from an unidentified senior Justice Department official sent to Peter Strzok, the former FBI official who led the Clinton probe and was recently fired for his anti-Trump texting; Moffa, an official in the FBI’s criminal division and the bureau’s Office of General Counsel; and members of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia, discussed being “kept in the loop as [a] response is drafted.”
The Judiciary-Oversight joint task force also reportedly set up interviews with at least three other FBI officials earlier this summer, including with Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Michael Steinbach, the former head of the FBI’s national security division, and John Giacalone, who preceded Steinbach.
Despite protests from across the aisle, the GOP-led task force isn’t done yet. According to Bloomberg, lawmakers will privately interview former top FBI lawyer James Baker on Aug. 30. (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/26/2018)
August 24, 2018 – Pentagon whistleblower claims DoD official awarded investigators of his case with military medals
“A Pentagon whistleblower claims that a Department of Defense official inappropriately incentivized investigators to target him, according to documents sent to Congressional lawmakers and obtained by the Daily Caller.
The security clearance of Adam Lovinger, a Trump-supporting, 12-year Pentagon analyst, was revoked after he questioned why politically connected contractors and FBI-informant Stefan Halper, who spied on the Trump campaign for the bureau, received well-paid contracts to conduct “inherently governmental functions.”
Through a Statement of Reason (SOR) response, drawn up by his lawyer Sean Bigley, Lovinger claims Jim Baker, the Department of Defense’s Director of the Office of Net Assessment (ONA), targeted him through several tactics, one of which was recommending two military officers for prestigious military medals as motivation to look into Lovinger as the target of a classified leak probe.
One of the investigators Baker assigned to the probe, ONA Chief of Staff Cmdr. Anthony Russell (USCG), received a “Recommendation for Award of the Defense Superior Service Medal.” Russell, according to Lovinger’s SOR, was the architect of two national security inquiries targeting Lovinger.”
(,,,) “Russell’s investigation of Lovinger, however, seemed retaliatory even to Washington Headquarters Service General Counsel James Vietti, when Lovinger was up for a senior directorship at the National Security counsel and his superiors stopped the process.
Vietti told Russell in an e-mail on January 17, 2017, that his probe “could look like you’re trying to interfere with or hinder his advancement in some way—and that the e-mail would be sent after he complained (I think I’m recalling this correctly) that Mr. Baker violated the Hatch Act.”
(..) Russell was not the only military officer reporting to Baker who was instructed to investigate Lovinger and to be nominated by Baker for a military medal. Baker designated Marine Lt. Col. Brian Bruggeman as investigating officer of the probe against Lovinger back on January 12, 2017.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/24/2018)
August 18, 2018 – Judge rules the FBI must respond to FOIA request for documents that show the Steele Dossier was verified
“The FBI has been dealt a major blow after a Washington DC judge ruled that the agency must respond to a FOIA request for documents concerning the bureau’s efforts to verify the controversial Steele Dossier, before it was used as the foundation of a FISA surveillance warrant application and subsequent renewals.
US District Court Judge Amit Mehta – who in January sided with the FBI’s decision to ignore the FOIA request, said that President Trump’s release of two House Intelligence Committee documents (the “Nunes” and “Schiff” memos) changed everything.
Considering that the FBI offered Steele $50,000 to verify the Dossier’s claims yet never paid him, BuzzFeed has unsuccessfully tried to do the same to defend themselves in a dossier-related lawsuit, and a $50 million Soros-funded investigation to continue the hunt have turned up nothing that we know of – whatever documents the FBI may be forced to cough up regarding their attempts to verify the Dossier could prove highly embarrassing for the agency.
“But then the ground shifted,” writes Mehta of Trump declassifying the House memos. “As a result of the Nunes and Schiff Memos, there is now in the public domain meaningful information about how the FBI acquired the Dossier and how the agency used it to investigate Russian meddling.”
The DOJ also sought to distinguish between the Steele Dossier and a synopsis of the dossier presented to both Trump and then-President Obama in 2016, however Mehta rejected the attempt, writing “That position defies logic,” while also rejecting the government’s refusal to even say if the FBI has a copy of that synopsis.
“It remains no longer logical nor plausible for the FBI to maintain that it cannot confirm nor deny the existence of documents,” Mehta wrote.
“It is simply not plausible to believe that, to whatever extent the FBI has made efforts to verify Steele’s reporting, some portion of that work has not been devoted to allegations that made their way into the synopsis. After all, if the reporting was important enough to brief the President-elect, then surely the FBI thought enough of those key charges to attempt to verify their accuracy. It will be up to the FBI to determine which of the records in its possession relating to the reliability of the Dossier concerns Steele’s reporting as discussed in the synopsis.”
“This ruling represents another incremental step in revealing just how much the FBI has been able to verify or discredit the rather personal allegations contained in that synopsis derived from the Steele dossier,” said Brad Moss, a lawyer pressing the lawsuit for the pro-transparency group, the James Madison Project. “It will be rather ironic if the president’s peripheral actions that resulted in this ruling wind up disclosing that the FBI has been able to corroborate any of the ‘salacious’ allegations.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 8/18/2018)
August 16, 2018 – Judicial Watch releases newly uncovered Clinton emails, 5 contain classified information
“Judicial Watch today released two batches, 184 pages and 45 pages, of newly uncovered emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from the U.S. Department of State sent and received over her unsecure, non-“state.gov” email system. Five emails contain classified information.
(…) “The documents are part of the accelerated schedule of production ordered by U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg, which requires the State Department to complete processing by September 28, 2018, the remaining documents of the 72,000 pages recovered by the FBI in its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server. These new classified and other emails appear to be among those that Clinton had attempted to delete or had otherwise failed to disclose.
- On June 7, 2011, Clinton received classified information on her non-secure email account from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, which Blair also forwarded to Jake Sullivan, about Blair’s Middle East negotiations with Israel, the Palestinians and the French
- On January 26, 2010, Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan sent classified information via his unsecure Blackberry to Huma Abedin’s State Department email account that he’d earlier sent to Clinton’s and Abedin’s non-secure @clintonemail.com email accounts about U.K. negotiations with Northern Ireland.
- On October 28, 2010, Clinton exchanges information with her friend Marty Torrey – a congressional aide – who asks Clinton in an email if she would advise that Torrey meet with former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Clinton responds through her non-secure email account approving the meeting and notes that she is emailing him from Hanoi, Vietnam.
- An email chain dated April 8, 2010, which contains a memo from Sid Blumenthal to Hillary Clinton related to the change of government in Kyrgyzstan, contains information classified “confidential” and is redacted as “foreign government information” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.” Blumenthal urges Clinton to “develop relations” with the new government in Kyrgyzstan.
All of this suggests to me the necessity for the State Department to assert itself and take the lead in developing relations with the new government.
- A January 26, 2010, email to Hillary Clinton from her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan, is classified “confidential” and contains a “call sheet” that Clinton received prior to placing a call to Northern Ireland political leaders. It appears that the redacted portions contain the names of particular members of Sinn Fein who were invited to a particular meeting and the expectations of either themselves or other foreign ministers for the outcomes of that meeting.
- A June 13, 2009, email to Clinton from Sullivan with the subject line “Northern Ireland” is classified “confidential” and nearly completely redacted. The particular subject details are unclear.
- Abedin emails Clinton about “Invites for the week” in an undated email (but apparently written before November 1, 2011, the day Clinton’s mother died, because her mother is one of the invitees – probably written in early 2009, based on the period most of these emails seem to have been written), and notes that she (Clinton) has a “George Soros lunch from 1-3 in Southampton.”
- On October 20, 2010, lawyer Lanny Davis writes Clinton an email saying, “Thank you H for who you are and what you do,” followed in the exchange by another with “PS. I swear you look younger and better every time I see you, Good night dear Hillary. Lanny.” Mr. Davis is currently a lawyer for Michael Cohen.
- In an undated email, Blumenthal emails Clinton about State Department management issues suggests that Joseph C. Wilson “should be spoken with for his view of dept, personnel…is shrewd.” Wilson is a former ambassador to Gabon who went on to become an Africa consultant and deal-maker.
“These classified Hillary Clinton emails that she tried to hide or destroy show why it is urgent that the DOJ finally undertake an honest criminal investigation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These emails show how the prior sham investigation by the Comey-Strzok-McCabe-Lynch crowd was a joke. It is past time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to order a new investigation of the Hillary Clinton email scandal.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 8/16/2018)