Footage from a 2001 report by ABC News‘ Brian Ross about a disgruntled donor shows Clinton talking about how she had chosen to avoid email for fear of a paper trail.
“As much as I’ve been investigated and all of that, you know, why would I —- I don’t even want -— why would I ever want to do e-mail?” she’s seen on tape telling Peter Paul on a home video captured at a fundraiser.
“Can you imagine?” she said.
Hillary’s largest, unreported donor, Peter Paul (www.hillcap.org), published home videos that prove Hillary knew him well and solicited illegal contributions from him while running for the Senate.
The Nation publishes a photo of McCain and Rick Davis, celebrating his seventieth birthday in Montenegro in August 2006. On the same day, the Queen K, a mega yacht owned by Oleg Deripaska, is moored in the same bay. (Credit: The Nation
(…) “In fact, McCain’s drama involved the same foreign lobbyist Paul Manafort; one of the same Russian oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska; the same Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak, and the same wily Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, that now dominate the current Trump controversy.
The FBI has said that there is no evidence to date that Trump ever met with a Russian figure banned from the United States.
McCain actually met twice with Deripaska, a Russian businessman and Putin ally whose visa was blocked by the United States amidst intelligence community concerns about his ties to Moscow. The meetings were arranged by Manafort and his lobbying firm partner Rick Davis, who later would become McCain’s campaign manager, according to interviews and documents. Deripaska, a metals magnet, is president of United Company RUSAL, and is considered to be one of the richest men in the world worth an estimated at $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.“My sense is that Davis and Manafort, who were already doing pro-Putin work against American national interests, were using potential meetings with McCain — who didn’t know this and neither did we until after the fact — as bait to secure more rubles from the oligarchs,” John Weaver, one of McCain’s top advisers at the time, told Circa in an interview this month.
Then Governor of Virginia Mark Warner, Senator John McCain, David Gergen and John Sununu are captured during the session ‘The Future of US Leadership’ at the Annual Meeting 2006 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2006. (Credit: Flickr)
(…) “In 2006, Davis and Manafort arranged two meetings with McCain and Deripaska in group settings while the senator was overseas on official congressional trips.
The first occurred in January 2006 in Davos, Switzerland, where McCain had traveled with fellow Republicans for a global economics conference.
When McCain and his other Senate colleagues, John Sununu and Saxby Chambliss, arrived at an apartment for drinks, Davis was present as a host with Deripaska by his side. A group of about three dozen then went to dinner, McCain and Deripaska included.”
(…) “Davis was McCain’s campaign manager in both 2000 and 2008. Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for a brief time, resigned in August 2016, over questions of prior work with Ukrainian political parties.
During the 2008 campaign, the Davis Manafort firm disclosed through its U.S. partner Daniel J. Edelman Inc., that it was working for the political party in Ukraine supporting Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by Putin.
“Davis Manafort International LLC is directed by a foreign political party, the Ukraine Parties of Regions, to consult on the political campaign in Ukraine,” the January2008 ForeignAgent Registration Act filing showed.
The work included developing “a communications campaign to increase Prime Minister Yanukovych’s visibility in the U.S. and Europe,” the report added, indicating that Davis and Manafort were being paid a $35,000 a month retainer for the work that began in spring 2007.” (Read more: Circa, 6/21/2017)
“According to emails released by WikiLeaks yesterday, which came from a hack of the email account of John Podesta, a co-chair of Obama’s 2008 Transition Team, we learn that despite the obvious fact that Citigroup was both corrupt and derelict in handling its own financial affairs, Barack Obama gave executives of that bank an outsized role in shaping and staffing his first term.
In an email dated Saturday, October 18, 2008, Michael Froman, using his official Citigroup email address of firstname.lastname@example.org, sent the following email to Obama’s advisors:
“Attached is the latest version of the Agency Review teams. It is a closely held document, so please treat it with the same sensitivity as ours. If you all could take a quick look at the lists for the agencies in your area, that would be helpful. I think the hope is that, while there are no guarantees, some of the people on these lists might make their way into the agencies ultimately. Our role, therefore, is to check whether there is much overlap between the names here and the names were seeing/generating for sub-cabinet positions in each agency. There doesn’t need to be total overlap, but if there is a total disconnect, it would probably be better to rectify that now vs. later.
“I hate to ask, since I just send you another long spreadsheet to check, but if you could do this tomorrow and get back to Lisa (copied here) and myself, that would be great. Thanks.”
Froman had served in the Clinton administration and moved to Citigroup along with Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin. (Rubin would collect compensation of $126 million during his decade at the bank after helping to deliver the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, legislation that had previously prevented Citigroup from owning an insured bank along with high-risk brokerage and investment banking.) According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Froman was a Managing Director of Citigroup Management Corp. from 1999 to 2009.
Obama appointed Froman to the position of U.S. Trade Representative in 2013. This is how Politicosums up how trade deals are being deliberated under his command:
“If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.
“If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.”
According to the WikiLeaks emails released yesterday, Froman began plotting who would serve in the Obama administration long before the election results came in.
“Mark Gittenstein called to say he was in the process of inserting people into all of the work streams and indicated that Ron Klain would be their representative on the Personnel Working Group. I know and like Ron and am happy to work with him. Do let me know how you’d like to handle information flow, role in decisionmaking, etc. Thanks.”
In another email dated October 15, 2008, Froman further shows he is playing a pivotal role in personnel issues. He writes to Podesta and Obama advisor Pete Rouse:
“Please see attached. Pete, need to chat with you today about a time-sensitive Treasury issue. Please call at your convenience. 917-499-[xxxx]. John, got some feedback that Blair could well be interested in DNI. Also, spent some more time with Oszag last night and think he could be enticed to the NEC. Also, spent 2 hours (!) with Gene yesterday.”
Another email suggests that Podesta allowed Froman to screen potential new hires. Podesta wrote to Froman on October 13, 2008 to inquire:
“Subject: Gerald Corrigan
“Rahm raised as possible Treasury Deputy. Said he didn’t know him, but his name had been raised by others. You probably do. Worth considering?”
Froman responded: “Yes, though quite a bit out of date.”
Froman was not the only Citigroup executive to be tapped to shape Obama’s first term. In an email dated just five days after Obama won the 2008 election, Daniel Tarullo, an Obama advisor who now sits as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and functions in the quasi-role as supervisor of the too-big-to-fail bank holding companies like Citigroup, emailed Jack Lew at Citigroup. Lew was Chief Operating Officer of the very division that toppled the bank. Tarullo tells Lew the following:
“Jack – Here’s what I wanted to speak with you about: (1) possibility of meeting in Chicago to brief BO/JRB on budget/stimulus. People have been talking about Wed, Thur, or Fri, but nothing yet firmly set to my knowledge. Assuming it goes forward, how should we present (in 90 minutes for both!) the key issues? (2) your willingness to do some oversight on what Jason is doing on budget preparation, at least until such time as we have an OMB Director designate. Dan”
Robert Rubin was also contacted on November 1, 2008 at his official Citigroup email address by Tarullo. The same email was copied to another Clinton Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, who was then at a hedge fund, DE Shaw. The email indicates that Tarullo was seeking the opinion of Rubin, Summers and others in Obama’s closely knit circle as to whether Obama should attend a G20 Summit as President Elect. (Clip on the top tab “attachments” to read the full memo.) (Read more: Wall Street On Parade, 10/11/2008)
Emails published by Wikileaks that were purportedly hacked from an account belonging to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta suggest a top national security advisor to President Obama struggled to obtain a security clearance.
Cassandra Butts and Ben Rhodes (Credit: public domain)
“An email from late October 2008 appears to show the FBI denied an interim security clearance for Ben Rhodes during the Obama administration transition period, prior to the 2009 inauguration. Rhodes now serves as the White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and has played a key role advising President Obama on national security matters, including the Iran nuclear agreement.
In an email dated October 29, 2008, Obama transition team lawyer Cassandra Butts informed Podesta that the FBI told her they were unlikely to approve a request to provide Rhodes with an interim security clearance.
“The FBI has indicated that they are inclined to decline interim security clearance for Benjamin Rhodes who is OFA senior speechwriter and national security policy person,” Butts wrote. “They have not shared an explanation as to why. If his interim status is denied, the FBI will still undertake a full-clearance process review of his application post-election and make a final determination.”
She added, “In terms of our options, we could ask the FBI for an explanation on the denial and make a determination if it is worth pushing to obtain an interim status, or we can wait for the full review post-election.”
Butts appears to have sent a follow up email to Podesta later that evening informing him the transition team had decided not to challenge the denial.
(…) She then seemingly explained that Rhodes was the only person denied a clearance out of close to 200 people who applied.
“For your information, out of the approximately 187 people who we have moved through the process Benjamin was the only person declined interim status,” the Butts email stated.” (Read more: Law & Crime, 11/03/2016)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov receives a “reset” button from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva Switzerland, March, 2009. (Credit: CNN)
“As Hillary Clinton was beginning her job as President Obama’s chief diplomat, federal agents observed as multiple arms of Vladimir Putin’s machine unleashed an influence campaign designed to win access to the new secretary of State, her husband Bill Clinton and members of their inner circle, according to interviews and once-sealed FBI records.
Some of the activities FBI agents gathered evidence about in 2009 and 2010 were covert and illegal.
A female Russian spy posing as an American accountant, for instance, used a false identity to burrow her way into the employ of a major Democratic donor in hopes of gaining intelligence on Hillary Clinton’s department, records show. The spy was arrested and deported as she moved closer to getting inside State, agents said.
Other activities were perfectly legal and sitting in plain view, such as when a subsidiary of Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company hired a Washington firm to lobby the Obama administration. At the time it was hired, the firm was providing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in pro bono support to Bill Clinton’s global charitable initiative, and it legally helped the Russian company secure federal decisions that led to billions in new U.S. commercial nuclear business, records show.
Agents were surprised by the timing and size of a $500,000 check that a Kremlin-linked bank provided Bill Clinton with for a single speech in the summer of 2010. The payday came just weeks after Hillary Clinton helped arrange for American executives to travel to Moscow to support Putin’s efforts to build his own country’s version of Silicon Valley, agents said.
There is no evidence in any of the public records that the FBI believed that the Clintons or anyone close to them did anything illegal. But there’s definitive evidence the Russians were seeking their influence with a specific eye on the State Department.
“There is not one shred of doubt from the evidence that we had that the Russians had set their sights on Hillary Clinton’s circle, because she was the quarterback of the Obama-Russian reset strategy and the assumed successor to Obama as president,” said a source familiar with the FBI’s evidence at the time, speaking only on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/22/2017)
James Comey states in a July 5, 2017 press conference, his agency will recommend the US Department of Justice (DoJ) not to press official charges against Hillary Clinton. (Credit: MSNBC)
“A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C., area hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails, two sources briefed on the matter told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Chinese firm obtained Clinton’s emails in real time as she sent and received communications and documents through her personal server, according to the sources, who said the hacking was conducted as part of an intelligence operation.
The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant “courtesy copy” for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources.
The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found that virtually all of Clinton’s emails were sent to a “foreign entity,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said at a July 12 House Committee on the Judiciary hearing. He did not reveal the entity’s identity, but said it was unrelated to Russia.
Two officials with the ICIG, investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan, met repeatedly with FBI officials to warn them of the Chinese intrusion, according to a former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues, who was briefed on the matter. He spoke anonymously, as he was not authorized to publicly address the Chinese’s role with Clinton’s server.
Among those FBI officials was Peter Strzok, who was then the bureau’s top counterintelligence official. Strzok was firedthis month following the discovery he sent anti-Trump texts to his mistress and co-worker, Lisa Page. Strzok didn’t act on the information the ICIG provided him, according to Gohmert.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/27/2018)
A secret NSA map obtained exclusively by NBC News shows the Chinese government’s massive cyber assault on all sectors of the U.S economy, including major firms like Google and Lockheed Martin, as well as the U.S. government and military. (Credit: NBC News)
“China’s cyber spies have accessed the private emails of “many” top Obama administration officials, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official and a top secret document obtained by NBC News, and have been doing so since at least April 2010.
The email grab –- first codenamed “Dancing Panda” by U.S. officials, and then “Legion Amethyst” –- was detected in April2010, according to a top secret NSA briefing from 2014. The intrusion into personal emails was still active at the time of the briefing and, according to the senior official, is still going on.
In 2011, Google disclosed that the private gmail accounts of some U.S. officials had been compromised, but the briefing shows that private email accounts from other providers were compromised as well.
The government email accounts assigned to the officials, however, were not hacked because they are more secure, says the senior U.S. intelligence official.
The senior official says the private emails of “all top national security and trade officials” were targeted.
The Chinese also harvested the email address books of targeted officials, according to the document, reconstructing and then “exploiting the(ir) social networks” by sending malware to their friends and colleagues.
The time period overlaps with Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account while Secretary of State from Jan. 21, 2009 to Feb. 1, 2013. The names and ranks of the officials whose emails were actually grabbed, however, were not disclosed in the NSA briefing nor by the intelligence official.” (Read more: NBC News, 8/10/2015)
Bill Clinton makes a cool half a million after giving a speech to Renassaince Capital on June 29, 2010. (Credit: public domain)
“In December 2015, TheWall Street Journalreported that Hillary Clinton opposed the Magnitsky Act while serving as secretary of state. Her opposition coincided with Bill Clinton giving a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank—for which he was paid $500,000. “Mr. Clinton also received a substantial payout in 2010 from Renaissance Capital, a Russian investment bank whose executives were at risk of being hurt by possible U.S. sanctions tied to a complex and controversial case of alleged corruption in Russia.
Members of Congress wrote to Mrs. Clinton in 2010 seeking to deny visas to people who had been implicated by Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who was jailed and died in prison after he uncovered evidence of a large tax-refund fraud. William Browder, a foreign investor in Russia who had hired Mr. Magnitsky, alleged that the accountant had turned up evidence that Renaissance officials, among others, participated in the fraud.” The State Department opposed the sanctions bill at the time, as did the Russian government. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pushed Hillary Clinton to oppose the legislation during a meeting in St. Petersburg in June 2012, citing that U.S.-Russia relations would suffer as a result.
The Wall Street Journalreport continued, “A few weeks later [June 29, 2010], Bill Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session at a Renaissance Capital investors conference. He was paid $500,000. After the appearance, Mr. Clinton received a personal thank-you call from Vladimir Putin, then the Russian prime minister, the government news agency TASS reported.”
A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton denied the connection between her stance against the bill and Bill Clinton’s paid speech, but the conflict of interest is undeniable. During the presidential election, the Clinton campaign even took measures to stop a story reporting the link. An email released by Wikileaks from a Clinton Campaign [staffer] and Chair John Podesta in May 2015 noted, “With the help of the research team, we killed a Bloomberg story trying to link HRC’s opposition to the Magnitsky bill to a $500,000 speech that WJC gave in Moscow.” (Read more: The Observer, 7/13/2017)
An honor guard outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Credit: Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
“The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.
Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.
But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources.
Still others were put in jail. All told, the Chinese killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 of the C.I.A.’s sources in China, according to two former senior American officials, effectively unraveling a network that had taken years to build.
Assessing the fallout from an exposed spy operation can be difficult, but the episode was considered particularly damaging. The number of American assets lost in China, officials said, rivaled those lost in the Soviet Union and Russia during the betrayals of both Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, formerly of the C.I.A. and the F.B.I., who divulged intelligence operations to Moscow for years. (New York Times, 5/20/2017)
“Another private email address surfaces in the Wikileaks Podesta emails, and it apparently belongs to Chelsea Clinton aka Anna James. Most notable in her conversation with John Podesta right before Thanksgiving, 2011, is an admission to their “technology was all compromised” during a recent visit to China.
In June 2011, Google Inc. publicly warned that hackers based in China were targeting the Gmail email accounts of senior US officials. (The Wall Street Journal, 6/2/2011
On July 26, 2011, Clinton shows awareness of the problem through a joke.
Another State Department official sends Clinton an email, and some confusion results about the official’s two email accounts.
Clinton writes, “I just checked and I do have your state but not your Gmail – so how did that happen. Must be the Chinese!”
In 2011-2012, Secretary of State Clinton was busy drumming up support for an attack on Syria, and supporting armed ‘rebel’ terrorists in Syria. (Credit: IB Times)
“Wikileaks’ exposure of Hillary Clinton’s emails reveals that US intrusion in the Syrian Civil War is really all about Iran and Israel and is part of a master plan that started with Hillary’s advice to enter the Libyan Civil War. Hillary’s War is another expensive American adventure in nation building as the US inserts itself into another civil war, ostensibly to restrain ISIS (or “ISIL” as the Obama Admin. prefers); but Obama’s manner of fighting this war supports Wikileaks‘ revelation that US involvement is all about regime change.
According to this massively revealing document pillaged from Hillary Clinton’s email archives, Obama needed to bring down Assad’s regime in order to calm Israel into accepting the eventual nuclear agreement he was working out with Iran. So, US involvement in the Syrian Civil War is even less about Assad than it is about Iran and Israel — at least in the State Department’s strategizing.
Connect the dots: First, Hillary counseled the president to establish regime change in Libya, the easiest target for such change. Then, with that success weighing on Assad’s fears, the State Department advised seeking regime change in Syria, emphasizing to the president that overthrowing the Assad regime would be essential to his establishment of a nuclear agreement with Iran. The theory was that Assad’s newfound fears from the regime change in Libya coupled with US empowered opposition in his own country, would get him to step down. Underlying the whole plan for regime change in Syria is the motive of weakening Iran, calming Israel and transforming the entire Middle East.
(Note if you look it up that the Wikileaks document shows dates that refer to when the document was unclassified, not when written. The date of the State Department’s creation of this document can be determined by its content: “the talks between the world’s major powers and Iran that began in Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May.” The switch from past tense to future tense dates the document sometime betweenApril, 2012, which is when the talks began in Istanbul, and May, 2012, when they continued in Baghdad.)
That same document provides evidence the connection between Hillary’s War in Libya and the next war in Syria clearly became a part the Department of State’s strategy under Hillary: (Note how it states that Libya was an easier case, following the wording in the advice Hillary had been given by Blumenthal about overthrowing Qaddafi as a way to make regime change in Syria more accomplishable.) (Read more: The Great Recession Blog, 10/09/2016)
Shawn Henry (Credit: Chip Somodeville/Getty Images)
“One of the FBI’s top cyber experts, Shawn Henry, has joined a new company, CrowdStrike, which bills itself as a “stealth-mode security start-up.” Amid the established field, CrowdStrike is taking a ninja approach, advertising for “kick a** coders, consultants and experts” to help companies in their “pursuit of the enemy.”
In a mission statement and video message posted on the company’s website, Henry explained his decision to retire from the FBI last month at the age of 50. He said he can “continue to hunt the adversary” from the private sector as well as he did as an FBI agent and senior executive. He also said he relishes working “with meat-eaters again, not vegetarians – not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he said.
CrowdStrike was founded by two executives from McAfee, the software security maker. Its website has a menacing look with a flying bird logo that bears a striking resemblance to the ubiquitous insignia of “The Hunger Games,” which has grossed more than $330 million since its release.” (Read more: CBS News, 4/19/2012)
FBI Deputy Assistant Director Steven Chabinsky will join the company as senior vice president for legal affairs and chief risk officer on September 6, 2012. (Read more: Reuters, 9/6/2012)
Leon E. Panetta talks with Clinton at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, April 18, 2012. (Credit: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/DOD )
A memo sent to Hillary Clinton that WikiLeaks made public in 2016 has not gotten the attention it deserves. Now is the time. After President Donald Trump tweeted that he was pulling American troops out of Syria, Clinton joined his vociferous critics who want more war in Syria.
“Actions have consequences, and whether we’re in Syria or not, the people who want to harm us are there & at war,” Clinton tweeted in response to Trump. “Isolationism is weakness. Empowering ISIS is dangerous. Playing into Russia & Iran’s hands is foolish. This President is putting our national security at grave risk.”
Actions indeed have consequences.
The memo shows the kind of advice Clinton was getting as secretary of state to plunge the U.S. deeper into the Syrian war. It takes us back to 2012 and the early phase of the conflict.
At that point, it was largely an internal affair, although Saudi arms shipments were playing a greater and greater role in bolstering rebel forces. But once the President Barack Obama eventually decided in favor of intervention, under pressure from Clinton, the conflict was quickly internationalized as thousands of holy warriors flooded in from as far away as western China.
The 1,200-word memo written by James P. Rubin, a senior diplomat in Bill Clinton’s State Department, to then-Secretary of State Clinton, which Clinton twice requested be printed out, begins with the subject of Iran, an important patron of Syria.
The memo dismisses any notion that nuclear talks will stop Iran “from improving the crucial part of any nuclear weapons program—the capability to enrich uranium.” If it does get the bomb, it goes on, Israel will suffer a strategic setback since it will no longer be able to “respond to provocations with conventional military strikes on Syria and Lebanon, as it can today.” Denied the ability to bomb at will, Israel might leave off secondary targets and strike at the main enemy instead.
Consequently, the memo argues that the U.S. should topple the Assad regime so as to weaken Iran and allay the fears of Israel, which has long regarded the Islamic republic as its primary enemy. As the memo puts it:
“Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly. Then, Israel and the United States might be able to develop a common view of when the Iranian program is so dangerous that military action could be warranted.”
This document, making the case to arm Syrian rebels, may have been largely overlooked because of confusion about its dates, which appear to be inaccurate.
The time stamp on the email is “2001-01-01 03:00” even though Clinton was still a New York senator-elect at that point. That date is also out of synch with the timeline of nuclear diplomacy with Iran.
But the body of the email gives a State Department case and document number with the date of 11/30/2015. But that’s incorrect as well because Clinton resigned as secretary of state on Feb. 1, 2013.
Central to the Great Debate
Consequently, anyone stumbling across the memo in the Wikileaks archives might be confused about how it figures in the great debate about whether to use force to bring down Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. But textual clues provide an answer. The second paragraph refers to nuclear talks with Iran “that began in Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May,” events that took place in 2012. The sixth invokes an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour conducted with then-Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak “last week.” Since the interview took place on April 19, 2012, the memo can therefore be dated to the fourth week in April.
The memo syncs with Clinton’s thinking on Syria, such as calling for Assad’s overthrow and continuing to push for a no-fly zone in her last debate with Donald Trump even after Gen. Joseph Dunford had testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that it could mean war with Russia.
“Less than a week after Stefan Halper was outed as the FBI informant who infiltrated the Trump campaign, public records reveal that the 73-year-old Oxford University professor and former U.S. government official was paid handsomely by the Obama administration starting in 2012 for various research projects.
A longtime CIA and FBI asset who once reportedly ran a spy-operation on the Jimmy Carter administration, Halper was enlisted by the FBI to spy on several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 U.S. election. Meanwhile, a search of public records reveals that between 2012 and 2018, Halper received a total of $1,058,161 from the Department of Defense.
Halper’s contracts were funded through four annual awards paid directly out of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA). Established as the DoD’s “internal think tank” in 1973 by Richard Nixon (whose administration Halper worked for), the ONA was run by foreign policy strategist Andrew Marshall from its inception until his 2015 retirement at the age of 93, after which he was succeeded by current director James H. Baker.
Halper’s most recent award was noted recently by Trump supporter Jacob Wohl, which piqued the interest of internet researchers who continued the analysis.
According to the Website USASPENDING.gov, the payments to Halper are for “RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES (2012),” “RESEARCH AND STUDIES – THE YEAR 2030, (2014)”, “RUSSIA-CHINA RELATIONSHIP STUDY. (2015),” and “INDIA AND CHINA ECON STUDY (2016).”
The most recent award to Halper for $411,575 was made in two payments, and had a start date of September 26, 2016 – three days after a September 23Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by “pissgate” dossier creator Christopher Steele. The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the unverified “pissgate” dossier as supporting evidence in a FISA warrant application for Page.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 5/21/2019)
Former U.S. Attorney to the District of Columbia, Joe diGenova, discusses the declassification of intelligence documents relating to political surveillance; and the origin of the database abuses outlined by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer.
Given last weeks visit to Main Justice by congressman Mark Meadows; and considering the visit was specifically to review unredacted Page-Strzok-McCabe messages; it could be surmised the first series of declassified documents might be those communiques. Additionally, John Solomon has stated “Bucket Five” is likely the first release prior to the IG report:
Bucket Five – Intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all exculpatory intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court. Presumably this would include the recently revealed State Dept Kavalac email; and the FBI transcripts from wiretaps of George Papadopoulos (also listed in Carter Page FISA).
Now that we have significant research files on the 2015 and 2016 political surveillance program; which includes the trail evident within the Weissmann/Mueller report; in combination with the Obama-era DOJ “secret research project” (their words, not mine); we are able to overlay the entire objective and gain a full understanding of how political surveillance was conducted over a period of approximately four to six years.
This is why there’s panic.
Working with a timeline, but also referencing origination material in 2015/2016 – CTH hopes to show how the program operated. This explains an evolution from The IRS Files in 2010 to the FISA Files in 2016.
More importantly, research indicates the modern political exploitation of the NSA database, for weaponized intelligence surveillance of politicians, began mid-2012.
The FISA-702 database extraction process, and utilization of the protections within the smaller intelligence community, was the primary process. We start by reviewing the established record from the 99-page FISC opinion rendered by presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer on; and explain the details within the FISC opinion.
I would strongly urge everyone to read the FISC report (full pdf below) because Judge Collyer outlines how the DOJ, which includes the FBI, had an “institutional lack of candor” in responses to the FISA court. In essence, the Obama administration was continually lying to the court about their activity, and the rate of fourth amendment violations for illegal searches and seizures of U.S. persons’ private information for multiple years.
Unfortunately, due to intelligence terminology Judge Collyer’s brief and ruling is not an easy read for anyone unfamiliar with the FISA processes outlined. The complexity also helps the media avoid discussing, and as a result most Americans have no idea the scale and scope of the issues. So we’ll try to break down the language. View this document on Scribd
For the sake of brevity and common understanding CTH will highlight the most pertinent segments showing just how systemic and troublesome the unlawful electronic surveillance was.
Early in 2016 NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) “About” queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication.
The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016.
While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702(17) “about query” option, and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016 (keep these dates in mind).
Here are some significant segments:
The key takeaway from these first paragraphs is how the search query results were exported from the NSA database to users who were not authorized to see the material. The FBI contractors were conducting searches and then removing, or ‘exporting’, the results. Later on, the FBI said all of the exported material was deleted.
Searching the highly classified NSA database is essentially a function of filling out search boxes to identify the user-initiated search parameter and get a return on the search result.
(…) Search an ip address “about” and read all data into that server; put in an email address and gain everything about that account. Or use the electronic address of a GPS enabled vehicle (about) and you can withdraw more electronic data and monitor in real time. Search a credit card number and get everything about the account including what was purchased, where, when, etc. Search a bank account number, get everything about transactions and electronic records etc. Just about anything and everything can be electronically searched; everything has an electronic ‘identifier’.
The search parameter is only limited by the originating field filled out. Names, places, numbers, addresses, etc. By using the “About” parameter there may be thousands or millions of returns. Imagine if you put “@realdonaldtrump” into the search parameter? You could extract all following accounts who interacted on Twitter, or Facebook etc. You are only limited by your imagination and the scale of the electronic connectivity.
As you can see below, on March 9th, 2016, internal auditors noted the FBI was sharing “raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information”.
In plain English the raw search returns were being shared with unknown entities without any attempt to “minimize” or redact the results. The person(s) attached to the results were named and obvious. There was no effort to hide their identity or protect their 4th amendment rights of privacy:
But what’s the scale here? This is where the story really lies.
Read this next excerpt carefully.
The operators were searching “U.S Persons”. The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed “eighty-five percent of those queries” were unlawful or “non compliant”.
85% !! “representing [redacted number].”
We can tell from the space of the redaction the number of searches were between 1,000 and 9,999 [five digits]. If we take the middle number of 5,000 – that means 4,250 unlawful searches out of 5,000.
The [five digit] amount (more than 1,000, less than 10,000), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period.
Also notice this very important quote: “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.” So they were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic “identifier”, or people, repeatedly over different dates. Specific people were being tracked/monitored.
Additionally, notice the last quote: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of” these non lawful searches “since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate”.
That means the 85% unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012. (Again, remember that date, 2012) Who was FBI Director? Who was his chief-of-staff? Who was CIA Director? ODNI? etc. Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure. Who was Defense Secretary? And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment?
Tens of thousands of searches over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?…. (I believe this is all political opposition use; and I’ll explain why momentarily.)
OK, that’s the stunning scale; but who was involved?
Private contractors with access to “raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s requests“:
And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.
(Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.)
None of this is conspiracy theory.
All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: “deliberate decisionmaking“:
This specific footnote, if declassified, would be key. Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”, this sentence has the potential to expose an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; that outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data.
Note: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“, that is important.
Summary of this aspect: The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/24/2019)
“While it appears that the civil war in Syria is finally winding down, it is quite apparent that Washington and the military-industrial-Congressional complex most definitely did not get the result that it had hoped for; the removal of Bashar al-Assad and the end of the Assad family regime.
Looking back and with thanks to Google and WikiLeaks, we can the see the lengths that the “Deep State” which includes America’s technology sector was willing to take to help the Obama Administration and, in particular, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, achieve one of its/her key goals in the Middle East.
Now that we have a clear understanding of why the uprising in Syria was so important (i.e. Israel needed it to assure its nuclear primacy in the region), as promised, here is one of Hillary Clinton’s emails dated August 3, 2012 which clearly shows us how Google was willing to help the Secretary achieve her goals in Syria:
The original email was from Jared Cohen, then a director at Google Ideas and now CEO at Jigsaw, the renamed Google Ideas. Here is his entire resume from the Council on Foreign Relations website where he is touted as one of the great “global thinkers” whatever that might be:
Mr. Cohen was one of the very few members of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Policy Planning Staff that remained when Hillary Clinton took over in 2009 under the Obama Administration. He left this position on September 2, 2010, taking a position with the Council on Foreign Relations and was also hired as the first director of Google Ideas (aka Jigsaw) in October 2010. For those of you who are not aware of Jigsaw, it is a technology incubator that was created by Google with the mantra that it is using its capabilities to build “tools to make the world safer.” (Read more: Russia-Insider, 3/16/2019)
“Hillary Clinton passed along to the White House advice from close personal adviser Sid Blumenthal on how President Barack Obama would do well to use a looming natural disaster as a tool for his reelection bid, despite Blumenthal’s disgraced standing with the Obama administration.
“H: FYI. In case you or Bill have use for this. Done quickly am in spirit of John Lennon (“I read the news today, oh, boy”). Sid,” Blumenthal wrote in the subject line of his email, sent Aug. 26, 2012, two days before Hurricane Isaac made landfall in Louisiana.
Blumenthal’s memo, addressed to then-White House chief of staff Jack Lew, notes that former President George W. Bush’s “popularity collapsed” at the moment Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005. Vice President Joe Biden and the director of FEMA should be “on the scene before Isaac hits,” he added, to raise his profile.
For its part, the White House viewed Blumenthal as persona non grata, rejecting him as an official national security adviser at the start of Obama’s administration. Obama aides have harbored a grudge about Blumenthal’s role during the 2008 presidential primary fight between Obama and Clinton. But that did not stop Clinton from sharing his intelligence on this or numerous other occasions.
“Among the thousand cuts Donald Trump delivered to Hillary Clinton en route to her political death was the accusation that she was cozy with the repressive Sultan of Brunei. A 2012 email released Thursday by the U.S. State Department seems to back him up.
In the message, Clinton aide Huma Abedin told the then-presidential candidate that Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, worth a reported $20 billion, wanted to see her and husband Bill for an intimate ‘family style dinner.
Brunei government officials ‘say [the] sultan sees wjc [William Jefferson Clinton] as part of his family and this is treating you in this “informal” way,’ she wrote.
The sultan’s embrace of brutal Muslim Sharia law to guide his nation’s criminal justice system made him the center of controversy two years later when Hollywood celebrities discovered that it criminalized homosexuality – and imposed a potential death penalty for ‘sodomy.
The Sultan of Brunei (left) invites Clinton to an intimate dinner in September 2012. (Credit: Agence France Presse/Getty Images)
The criminal code there also requires stoning to death for adultery, the amputation of limbs for theft, and flogging for abortion and alcohol consumption.
Former ‘Tonight’ show host Jay Leno led a group of picketers outside the Beverly Hills Hotel, which the sultan owns, saying that ‘evil flourishes when good people do nothing, and that is pretty much what this is. This is not complicated. These are not crazy left-wing wacko people.
Daytime TV host Ellen DeGeneres boycotted the hotel, and other sultan-owned properties. So did businessman Richard Branson and Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
Trump raised the issue in a June 2015 speech, saying that Clinton ‘accepted $58,000 in jewelry from the government of Brunei when she was Secretary of State – plus millions more for her foundation.
The Sultan of Brunei has pushed oppressive Sharia law, including the punishment of death by stoning for being gay. The government of Brunei also stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Hillary’s Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she would absolutely approve if given the chance.
The September 2012 email from Huma Abedin lays out the plan for Clinton to visit with the sultan in a more intimate setting than he would allow with most other world leaders.
Clinton, it emerged later, followed the ethics rules requiring her to turn the jewelry over to the federal government for its archives. But Clinton Foundation records show gifts totaling between $1 million and $5 million from the sultan.
Trump also blasted the foundation for taking ‘up to $25 million from Saudi Arabia, where being gay is also punishable by death. Hillary took millions from Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and many other countries that horribly abuse women and LGBT citizens.
Huma Abedin’s email to Clinton noted a previous ‘visit’ with the sultan by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton – and Hillary’s mother Dorothy Howell Rodham, who had died in 2011. (Read more: Daily Mail, 1/06/2017)
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton honor the victims of the Benghazi terrorist attacks at Andrews Air Force Base on September 14, 2012. (Credit: public domain)
“Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense (DOD)and the Department of State revealing that DOD almost immediately reported that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman is known as the Blind Sheikh, and is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts. The new documents also provide the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria. The documents also include an August 2012 analysis warning of the rise of ISIS and the predicted failure of the Obama policy of regime change in Syria.
(…) A Defense Department document from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), dated September 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack, details that the attack on the compound had been carefully planned by the BOCAR terrorist group “to kill as many Americans as possible.” The document was sent to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama White House National Security Council. The heavily redacted Defense Department “information report” says that the attack on the Benghazi facility “was planned and executed by The Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman (BCOAR).” The group subscribes to “AQ ideologies:”
The attack was planned ten or more days prior on approximately 01 September 2012. The intention was to attack the consulate and to kill as many Americans as possible to seek revenge for U.S. killing of Aboyahiye ((ALALIBY)) in Pakistan and in memorial of the 11 September 2001 atacks on the World Trade Center buildings.
“A violent radical,” the DIA report says, is “the leader of BCOAR is Abdul Baset ((AZUZ)), AZUZ was sent by ((ZAWARI)) to set up Al Qaeda (AQ) bases in Libya.” The group’s headquarters was set up with the approval of a “member of the Muslim brother hood movement…where they have large caches of weapons. Some of these caches are disguised by feeding troughs for livestock. They have SA-7 and SA-23/4 MANPADS…they train almost every day focusing on religious lessons and scriptures including three lessons a day of jihadist ideology.”
The Defense Department reported the group maintained written documents, in “a small rectangular room, approximately 12 meters by 6 meters…that contain information on all of the AQ activity in Libya.”
(Azuz is again blamed for the Benghazi attack in an October 2012 DIA document.)
Hillary Clinton appears before a Senate committee to testify on the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya. (Credit: Jack Gruber/USA Today)
The DOD documents also contain the first official documentation that the Obama administration knew that weapons were being shipped from the Port of Benghazi to rebel troops in Syria. An October 2012 report confirms:
Weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the Port of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The weapons shipped during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s, and 125 mm and 155mm howitzers missiles.
During the immediate aftermath of, and following the uncertainty caused by, the downfall of the ((Qaddafi)) regime in October 2011 and up until early September of 2012, weapons from the former Libya military stockpiles located in Benghazi, Libya were shipped from the port of Benghazi, Libya to the ports of Banias and the Port of Borj Islam, Syria. The Syrian ports were chosen due to the small amount of cargo traffic transiting these two ports. The ships used to transport the weapons were medium-sized and able to hold 10 or less shipping containers of cargo.
The DIA document further details:
The weapons shipped from Syria during late-August 2012 were Sniper rifles, RPG’s and 125mm and 155mm howitzers missiles. The numbers for each weapon were estimated to be: 500 Sniper rifles, 100 RPG launchers with 300 total rounds, and approximately 400 howitzers missiles [200 ea – 125mm and 200ea – 155 mm.]
“CBS News‘ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, [dated October 2012], several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”
The memo also reveals details about an “underground drug ring” was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.
Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department’s internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”
In such cases, DSS agents told the Inspector General’s investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is “very” upsetting.
“We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing,” she said.
In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.
The State Department Inspector General’s memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who “routinely ditched … his protective security detail” and inspectors suspect this was in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”
Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.
Fedenisn says “hostile intelligence services” allow such behavior to continue. “I would be very surprised if some of those entities were not aware of the activities,” she said. “So yes, it presents a serious risk to the United States government.”
A draft of the Inspector General’s report on the performance of the DSS, obtained by CBS News, states, “Hindering such cases calls into question the integrity of the investigative process, can result in counterintelligence vulnerabilities and can allow criminal behavior to continue.” (Read more: CBS News, 6/10/2013)
US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, with his wife in Brussels, was investigated over claims he solicited prostitutes and minor children. (Credit: Zuma Press)
The following day, Foreign Policy writes, “In a fast-developing story, U.S. ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman has been named as the diplomat accused of soliciting “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to State Department documents obtained by NBC News. Gutman denied the allegations, in a statement to The Cable and other outlets.
“I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press and to watch the four years I have proudly served in Belgium smeared is devastating,” he said. “At no point have I ever engaged in any improper activity.” (Read more: Foreign Policy, 6/11/2013)
On June 17, 2013, Foreign Policy writes, “The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an “intimidation” campaign to stop her.
Last week’s leaks by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department inspector general investigator, shined a light on alleged wrongdoing by U.S. officials around the globe. But her attorney Cary Schulman tells The Cable that Fedenisn has paid a steep price: “They had law enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children and attempt to incriminate herself.”
Fedenisn’s life changed dramatically last Monday after she handed over documents and statements to CBS News alleging that senior State Department officials “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off” several investigations into misconduct. The suppression of investigations was noted in an early draft of an Inspector General report, but softened in the final version.
Erich Hart, general counsel to the Inspector General, did not reply to a request for comment. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week that “we hold all employees to the highest standards. We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly.” She also announced that the department would request additional review by outside law enforcement officers on OIG inspection processes.” (Read more: Foreign Policy, 6/17/2013)
“Something that has gone unnoticed in all the talk about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails is the content of the original leak that started the entire investigation to begin with. In March of 2013, a Romanian hacker calling himself Guccifer hacked into the AOL account of Sidney Blumenthal and leaked to Russia Todayfour e-mails containing intelligence on Libya that Blumenthal sent to Hillary Clinton.
For those who haven’t been following this story, Sidney Blumenthal is a long time friend and adviser of the Clinton family who in an unofficial capacity sent many “intelligence memos” to Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. Originally displayed on RT.com in Comic Sans font on a pink background with the letter “G” clumsily drawn as a watermark, no one took these leaked e-mails particularly seriously when they came out in 2013. Now, however, we can cross reference this leak with the e-mails the State Department released to the public.
The original Blumenthal email released by Guccifer and missing from Clinton’s emails. (Credit: Guccifer)
This missing e-mail from February 16, 2013 only exists in the original leak and states that French and Libyan intelligence agencies had evidence that the In Amenas and Benghazi attacks were funded by “Sunni Islamists in Saudi Arabia.” This seems like a rather outlandish claim on the surface, and as such was only reported by conspiracy types and fringe media outlets. Now, however, we have proof that the other three e-mails in the leak were real correspondence from Blumenthal to Clinton that she not only read, but thought highly enough of to send around to others in the State Department. Guccifer speaks English as a second language and most of his writing consists of rambling conspiracies, it’s unlikely he would be able to craft such a convincing fake intelligence briefing. This means we have an e-mail from a trusted Clinton adviser that claims the Saudis funded the Benghazi attack, and not only was this not followed up on, but there is not any record of this e-mail ever existing except for the Russia Today leak.
Why is this e-mail missing? At first I assumed it must be due to some sort of cover up, but it’s much simpler than that. The e-mail in question was sent after February 1st, 2013, when John Kerry took over as Secretary of State, so it was not part of the time period being investigated. No one is trying to find a copy of this e-mail. Since Clinton wasn’t Secretary of State on February 16th, it wasn’t her job to follow up on it. (Read more: William Reynolds, 3/07/2016)
“Judicial Watch today released new documents from the U.S. Department of State showing the Podesta Group working on behalf of the pro-Russia Ukrainian political group “Party of Regions.” The new documents also show longtime Obama and Clinton counselor John Podesta lobbying on behalf of his brother’s firm.
Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department filed on November 20, 2017, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:17-cv-02489)). The lawsuit was filed after the State Department failed to respond to a September 13, 2017, FOIA request for:
All records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any principal, employee, or representative of Podesta Group, Inc.
All records produced related to any meetings or telephonic communications between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any principal, employee, or representative of Podesta Group, Inc.
All records regarding the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.
The FOIA request covers the timeframe of January 1, 2012 to the present.
A March 28, 2013, email from now-Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of the Secretary of State Baxter Hunt shows the Podesta Group, led by Tony Podesta, a Clinton bundler and brother of Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman John Podesta, represented the Party of Regions, a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine.
In the March 2013 email, to a number of officials including then-U.S. Foreign Service Officer John Tefft (who would go on to be U.S. Ambassador to Russia in 2014) and State Department director for the Office of Eastern Europe Alexander Kasanof, Hunt writes:
See below, I also stressed to them the need for GOU to take concrete steps to get new SBA with IMF and avoid PFC/loss of GSP. Podesta Group is noted among host of Ukraine lobbyists in article I’ll forward in article on low side.
Ben Chang and Mark Tavlarides of the Podesta Group, which is representing the Party of Regions, told us they were working with Klyuyev on a visit he plans to make to Washington in early May. They are working to broaden the POR’s contacts on the Hill, including setting up a meeting for Klyuyev with Chris Smith, and have advised Kyiv to stop trying to justify their actions against Tymoshenko in Washington. They also noted that during his recent meeting with former EC President Prodi, HFAC Chairman Ed Royce said that Congress would not be enacting sanctions legislation against Ukraine.
The Party of Regions served as the pro-Kremlin political base for Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia in 2014.
Like Paul Manafort, who is currently under indictment in the errant special counsel Russia investigation, the Podesta Group had to retroactively file Foreign Agent Registration Act disclosures with the Justice Department for Ukrainian-related work. The filing states that the Podesta group provided for the nonprofit European Centre for a Modern Ukraine “government relations and public relations services within the United States and Europe to promote political and economic cooperation between Ukraine and the West. The [Podesta Group] conducted outreach to congressional and executive branch offices, members of the media, nongovernmental organizations and think tanks.” Unlike Manafort and his partner Rick Gates, the Mueller special counsel operation hasn’t indicted anyone from the Podesta Group. (Read more: Judicial Watch, 5/17/2018)
Hillary Clinton proudly accepts the 2016 nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA.. (Credit: Gage Skidmore/HuffPo)
(…) “In February 2014, Former President Clinton and Hillary Clinton announced their commitment to support the “Voter Expansion Project“, the new DNC initiative announced in the winter of 2013. Beyond a short blurb on NPR, this project and its relevance to the ever-unfolding events of Hillary Clinton’s failed second run for president remains largely unexamined.
The Clintons were central to the Voter Expansion Project, which the DNC officials believed would appeal to their donor base and that, in turn, “would help the Clintons raise money to help extinguish the DNC’s nearly $16 million in debt left from its 2012 effort to re-elect President Obama”. The Clintons pledged to help retire that debt, but as it turns out, they did not. Instead, according to Donna Brazile’s book excerpt published by Politico, they used this debt as an opportunity to exploit campaign financing laws and contractually take over the operations of the DNC in August 2015, a year prior to Hillary becoming the official DNC nominee for President. When Brazile audited the DNC books, she discovered former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a staunch Clinton loyalist, continued to pay high retainer fees to consultants and firms siphoning money to people and organizations that displayed fealty to the Clintons or their neoliberal ideals.
Seth Rich (Credit: public domain)
What is important to note is the Clintons had their hands on the DNC voter data and likely began to plot Hillary’s state-by-state campaign strategy when they took over the Voter Expansion Project in February 2014. This directly contradicts her version of events that when she inherited the DNC as the nominee in late July 2016, “it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong.” And there wouldn’t have been anyone more knowledgeable about DNC data than the Voter Expansion Project’s Data Director, Seth Rich, but he was murdered on July 10, 2016, just two weeks before the DNC convention in Philly. The case still remains unsolved. Although Hillary Clinton continues to blame the condition of the DNC, in part, for her loss, none of this would prevent her from campaigning for Wasserman Schultz’s 2016 reelection bid, even after her forced resignation from the DNC, giving the appearance of “all’s good” crooked cronyism.
(…) “Despite two years of strategizing, hundreds of millions of dollars spent, the overwhelming support of liberal corporate media, and the manipulation of superdelegates, Hillary Clinton still lost to the worst candidate in U.S. history, Donald J. Trump.
When Donna Brazile’s explosive claims came out, Hillary Clinton had been enjoying her time “stumping”, as it were, to reinforce her false narrative of campaign events; all blame pointing outward – to Russia, Bernie, Seth’s data, to the DNC, to misogyny. Truth be told, Hillary Clinton is not a victim as she hopes we’ll believe, but a very wealthy, powerful, privileged woman who went to great lengths to rig the primary against Senator Bernie Sanders and to win the presidency at all costs, even at risk of a Trump presidency.” (Read more: Huffington Post, 11/07/17)
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce head office in Toronto, Ontario (Credit: public domain)
(…)”Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and TD Bank—two of the Keystone XL pipeline’s largest investors—fully or partially bankrolled eight Hillary Clinton speeches that “put more than $1.6 million in the Democratic candidate’s pocket,”
(…) “Clinton’s first swing through Canada started on March 5, 2014, with a speech that cost the Vancouver Board of Trade $275,500. While Clinton’s financial disclosure form reported the board as the payer, an invite to the event also lists “presenting sponsors” as TD Bank and Vancouver City Savings Credit Union. Following her speech, Clinton participated in a question-and-answer session hosted by TD Bank Deputy Chairman Frank McKenna.
Frank McKenna (Credit: Wikipedia)
The next day in Calgary, Clinton gave another speech reportedly paid for by tinePublic at a cost of $225,500. McKenna also came along to interview her after the speech. Martin confirmed that TD Bank also sponsored this speech.
In June, Clinton gave a speech in Toronto for a price of $150,000. The primary sponsor was TD Bank, according to an invite. Other sponsors included the Canadian Club of Toronto, Blakes Lawyers, KPMG and the Real Estate Investment Network. For the third time, McKenna interviewed Clinton after the speech.
Clinton went west to the city of Edmonton on June 18 to give another tinePublic-paid speech for a $100,000 price. The chief sponsor of this speech, according to the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, was CIBC. Victor Dodig, then senior executive vice president at CIBC, interviewed Clinton on stage after her remarks.
On Oct. 6, 2014, Clinton traveled up north again to speak at a meeting hosted by the liberal think tank Canada 2020. CIBC, which is also a funder of Canada 2020, was the primary sponsor of this $215,500 speech, according to a Canada 2020 web page for the event. Lesser sponsors included Air Canada, the Canadian Real Estate Association, Johnson & Johnson, Ernst & Young, Stampede Group and Telus. Again, Dodig, by then promoted to president and CEO, handled the Q&A session.
Over a span of two days in January, Clinton gave three more speeches — one directly paid for by CIBC and two paid by tinePublic, but sponsored by CIBC. On Jan. 21, she spoke in Winnipeg for $262,000 and then Saskatoon for $262,500. The next day she spoke at that CIBC event in Whistler for $150,000 — the only speech directly reported on her financial disclosure form as having been paid for by a Canadian bank. Dodig pitched questions to Clinton after each of these three speeches.
CIBC and TD Bank both have large energy portfolios and have pushed for the U.S. government to approve final construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would link the Canadian oil sands in Alberta through the middle of the United States to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.” (Read more: Huffington Post, 5/31/2015)
The email details how campaign operatives discussed manipulating journalists over her paid speeches to Wall Street banks and was sent on November 20, 2015. (Credit: llP/Flickr)
“Hillary Clinton did a paid speech for Deutsche Bank in 2014 that was written by a speechwriter so she had something to show if people ever asked what she said “behind closed doors for two years to all those fat cats.”
The email sent on November 20, 2015, comes from hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, which were published by WikiLeaks.
“In October 2014, HRC did a paid speech in NYC for Deutsche Bank,” speechwriter Dan Schwerin recalled. “I wrote her a long riff about economic fairness and how the financial industry has lost its way, precisely for the purpose of having something we could show people if ever asked what she was saying behind closed doors for two years to all those fat cats.”
“It’s definitely not as tough or pointed as we would write it now, but it’s much more than most people would assume she was saying in paid speeches.”
Schwerin proposed giving a full transcript of the speech to a reporter so a story would be published that would help her with her image as a pro-Wall Street politician.
“Perhaps, at some point there will be value in sharing this with a reporter and getting a story written. Upside would be that when people say she’s too close to Wall Street and has taken too much money from bankers, we can point to evidence that she wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power. Downside would be that we could then be pushed to release transcripts from all her paid speeches, which would be less helpful (although probably not disastrous).”
“In the end, I’m not sure this is worth doing, but wanted to flag it so you know it’s out there,” he wrote.
Christopher Steele (l) and Jonathan Winer (Credit: public domain)
“Judicial Watch today released 43 pages of documents from the U.S. Department of State revealing that State Department “Special Coordinator for Libya” Jonathan Winer played a key role in facilitating dossier author Christopher Steele’s access to other top government officials, prominent international business executives. Mr. Winer was even approached by a movie producer about making a movie about the Russiagate targeting of President Trump.
In an email on December 11, 2014, Winer places pressure on his colleague, Nina Miller to assist Steele by getting “O Reports” [likely Orbis] to Toria [Victoria] Nuland and Paul Jones ASAP.” Nuland at the time was the State Department Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs; Jones the European and Eurasian Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary.
From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:41:32 +0000
To: Miller, Nina A
Subject: Please get “O Reports” to Toria Nuland and Paul Jones ASAP – they are time [sp]
I know you have other burdens, but this one needs to get done if you can as soon as possible.
In a series of emails on November 20, 2014, Winer openly acts as a liaison for Steele, attempting to set up meetings for “Chris” and referencing “Three Orbis Reports” in the subject line of the email. This meeting was scheduled to be with Marialuisa Fotheringham, office manager to the principal deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian affairs and, again, Paul W. Jones.
In a series of emails on November 20, 2014, Winer negotiates a time with Ariuna Namsrai, APCO Worldwide’s senior director and managing director for Russia, CIS and Central Asia for her to meet Christopher Steele at “lunch or dinner.” APCO bills itself as one of the world’s leading advisory and advocacy communications consultancies.
In a series of emails on January 13-14, 2015, with the subject line “Morocco immediate need,” Winer introduces Steele to Marc Ginsberg, former Ambassador to Morocco under Bill Clinton, former APCO Worldwide Senior Vice President and Managing Director and former CEO of One Voice Movement Foundation.
Winer writes to Ginsberg: “Marc, Chris Steele is a friend of mine who has a very, very high end business intelligence service based in London. He formerly worked for the UK government.”
Ginsberg replies to Winer: “I spoke to Chris… complicated!”
(…) On July 13, 2015, while trying to schedule a dinner in London with Steele, Winer discloses to Steele from an unsecure BlackBerry that he is scheduled to have a Secure Video Teleconference Call [SVTC] with “higher ranked people than I am at the NSC.” Steele later confirms their dinner appointment, and says, “I shall wait for you on the park bench in the main square facing the front of the embassy building.”
In an email exchange on November 20, 2014, Winer attempts to introduce Steele to Nelson Cunningham, President of McLarty Associates, an international consulting firm co-founded by former Clinton White House Counselor Thomas ‘Mack’ McLarty. In the email to Nelson, Winer describes Steele as “An old friend of mine,” and “a former senior British intelligence officer focusing on former Soviet Union with a number of US and European private sector clients these days…”
In an email on January 12, 2017, Hollywood producer Eric Hamburg forwards an article about the Steele dossier to Winer, asking him if he would be interested in working on a movie about it.
Hamburg writes: “Dear Jonathan, I have been meaning to write to you, and just came across this article which mentions your name… Let’s do a movie about this!
I was wondering if you have decided what your next position will be after leaving government. I’d like to keep in touch and get together next time I’m in Washington. I’m currently working on a mini-series about Watergate for ABC with John Dean.”
(…) In February 2018, Winer wrote an op-ed claiming anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele and Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal approached him with separate dossiers. Winer wrote: “In the summer of 2016, Steele told me that he had learned of disturbing information regarding possible ties between Donald Trump, his campaign and senior Russian officials.” Also, “While talking about that hacking, Blumenthal and I discussed Steele’s reports. He showed me notes gathered by a journalist I did not know …”
Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr (Credit: public domain)
“Judicial Watch announced today it received 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Justice which reveal that former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant.
The records show that Ohr served as a go-between for Steele by passing along information to “his colleagues” on matters relating to Steele’s activities. Ohr also set up meetings with Steele, regularly talked to him on the telephone and provided him assistance in dealing with situations Steele was confronting with the media.
The timeframe for the requested records is January 1, 2015, to December 7, 2017.
The emails between Bruce Ohr and Steele were heavily redacted, including some of the dates they were sent and received.
Just to let you know I shall be in DC at short notice on business from this PM till Saturday eve, staying at the Mayflower Hotel. If you are in town it would be good to meet up, perhaps for breakfast tomorrow morn? Happy to see Nellie too if she’s up for it. Please let me know. Best, Chris
Ohr: Dear Chris –
Nice to hear from you! Nellie and I would be up for breakfast tomorrow and can come into town. What would be a good time for you? Bruce
Steele: Thanks Bruce.
On me at the Mayflower Hotel, Conn Ave NW at 0900 should work but I’ll confirm the time for definite this eve if I may. Looking forward to seeing you. Chris
Ohr: Sounds good, but we won’t let you pay for breakfast! I’ll wait for your confirmation on time. Bruce
Steele: Let’s do 0900 then. See you in the lobby. Chris
Ohr: Very good. See you at 900.
On Saturday, July 30, 2016, Steele sends his thanks to Bruce Ohr for the meeting, “Great to see you and Nellie this morning:”
Ohr: Great to see you and Nellie this morning Bruce. Let’s keep in touch on the substantive issues/s. Glenn [Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson] is happy to speak to you on this if it would help. Best, Chris
On Friday, September 16, 2016, Steele and Ohr begin planning a meeting in the Capital Hilton:
Steele: Dear Bruce,
I hope you are well. I am probably going to visit Washington again in the next couple of weeks on business of mutual interest. I would like to see you again in person and therefore to coordinate diaries. So when are you planning to be in town please? Thanks and Best, Chris
P.S. I don’t think I have up to date cell or landline phone numbers for you. Grateful if you could send met them.
Ohr: Hi Chris –
It would be great to see you I DC. I’ll be out of town Sept 19-21 but should be here the rest of the time. My numbers are office 202 307 2510 and cell [Redacted] Let me know what works best for you.
Steele: Dear Bruce,
I have now arrived in DC and am staying at the Capital Hilton, 1101 16th Street NW. I don’t know my client-related programme yet but am keen to meet up with you. Might we provisionally say breakfast on Friday morn or even tomorrow morn if necessary? Look forward to hearing back from you. Best, Chris
Ohr: Hi Chris
Would tomorrow for breakfast still work for you? My calendar is pretty good tomorrow morning, not so good on Friday. An early breakfast Friday, say 8 am?, would work too. Should I come to your hotel? Bruce
Steele: Thanks Bruce.
0800 on Friday would still be better for me, at the hotel. More useful to all I think, after my scheduled meetings tomorrow. Thanks, Chris
Ohr: Chris –
Perfect. I’ll see you Friday at your hotel at 8 am. Bruce
“A useful timeline in the OIG report sketches the McCabe-McAuliffe saga—a swamp tale of a particular sort. In 2014, McCabe, a rising star at the FBI, is assistant director of the bureau’s Washington, DC, field office. His wife is a pediatrician in Virginia. Terry McAuliffe is governor.
In February 2015, Dr. McCabe receives a phone call from Virginia’s lieutenant governor. Would she consider running for a state senate seat?
Less than two weeks later, in March 2015, McCabe and his wife drive to Richmond for what they thought was a meeting with a Virginia state senator to discuss Dr. McCabe’s possible run for office.
In Richmond, according to the OIG report, they are told there had been “a change of plans” and that “Governor McAuliffe wanted to speak to Dr. McCabe at the Governor’s mansion.”
It’s around this time that a veteran FBI agent’s radar might start blinking.
McCabe and his wife meet with McAuliffe for 30 to 45 minutes, according to the OIG report. Fundraising was discussed. “Governor McAuliffe said that he and the Democratic Party would support Dr. McCabe’s candidacy.” McAuliffe asked McCabe about his occupation and “McCabe told him he worked for the FBI but they did not discuss McCabe’s work or any FBI business.” McCabe later described it to an FBI official as a “surreal meeting.”
After the meeting, the couple rode to a local event with the governor, then returned to the mansion with the governor to retrieve their car.
McCabe informed FBI ethics officials and lawyers about the meeting and consulted with them about his wife’s plans. No one raised strong objections. McCabe recused himself from all public corruption cases in Virginia and Dr. McCabe jumped into the race.
Jill and Andrew McCabe in their campaign attire on March 7, 2015. (Credit: Sharyl Attkisson)
In July 2015, the FBI opened an investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email practices.
Let’s pause to note here that while the official FBI investigation was opened in July 2015, Mrs. Clinton was known to be in hot water as far back as March 2015, when the State Department inspector general revealed her widespread use of a private, non-government email server.
Swamp cats will notice that March 2015 is also when Andrew and Jill McCabe got their surprise audience with McAuliffe, the longtime Clinton money man.
The McCabe fortunes rose in the autumn of 2015. Mr. McCabe was promoted to associate deputy director of the FBI. Dr. McCabe received $675,000 from two McAuliffe-connected entities for her state senate race. They were by far the biggest donations to her campaign.
In November 2015, Dr. McCabe lost her race.
In January 2016, the FBI opened an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
On February 1, Mr. McCabe was promoted again, to deputy director of the FBI.
Despite the McAuliffe connection, the OIG report notes, there was no FBI re-evaluation of McCabe’s recusals following his promotions. Although recused from Virginia public corruption investigations, he retained a senior role in Clinton-related matters.
In May 2016, news broke that McAuliffe was under FBI investigation for campaign finance violations. CNN reported that investigators were scrutinizing “McAuliffe’s time as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative” and Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang, a U.S. permanent resident who made large donations to both the McAuliffe 2013 gubernatorial campaign and to the Clinton Foundation.
On October 23, the Wall Street Journal revealed the McAuliffe-linked donations to Dr. McCabe’s campaign. At FBI headquarters, McCabe resists pressure from senior executives to recuse himself from all Clinton-related matters.
US President Barack Obama revealed the United States’ involvement in the Ukrainian crisis from its outset and admitted that the United States “had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”
US President Barack Obama’s recent interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakiria reveals the United States’ involvement in the Ukrainian crisis from its outset and that the country worked directly with Ukrainian right-wing fascist groups, experts told Sputnik.
On Sunday, in his interview with CNN, Obama admitted that the United States “had brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.”
“Obama’s statement is reiterating something that the world public opinion already knew — the US was involved in the coup of [ex-Ukrainian President] Viktor Yanukovych from the start. History shows us that the US has overthrown numerous governments in Latin America, Asia and Africa and replaced them with leaders that ruled with a fascist ideology that proved useful for Washington’s geopolitical interests,” independent researcher and writer Timothy Alexander Guzman told Sputnik.
Yanukovych’s decision to not sign an association agreement with the European Union in late 2013 triggered a mass wave of protests across Ukraine, culminating in the February 2014 coup. Following the transition of power, Kiev forces launched military operation against those who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government.
Guzman claimed that during the Ukrainian conflict, Washington and its NATO allies worked directly with right-wing Ukrainian Fascist groups, including the neo-Nazi inspired Right Sector militia.International law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law Francis Boyle shares a similar opinion, also arguing also that Obama’s approach to Ukraine is no different to the neoconservative approach of former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, or political scientist Samuel Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” philosophy.
“I think he [Obama] has made it very clear that he is going to continue to take a Brzezinski hard-lined approach toward Ukraine and Russia and that there are not going to be any compromises at all, and effectively he expects President Putin to throw in a towel, capitulate, whatever, it does not appear to me there is any ground for negotiations in light of what President Obama at least said publicly,” he said in an email to Sputnik.”
Andrew McCabe (Credit: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)
“Multiple former FBI officials, along with a Congressional official, say that while there may have been internal squabbling over the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation at the time, there was allegedly another “stand-down” order by McCabe regarding the opening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email for official government business.
McCabe’s stand-down order regarding Clinton’s private email use happened after The New York Times first reported Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules in March 2015 and before the official investigation was requested by the Justice Department toward the end of July 2015.
After The New York Times publication, the FBI Washington Field Office began investigating Clinton’s use of private emails and whether she was using her personal email account to transmit classified information. According to sources, McCabe was overseas when he became aware of the investigation and sent electronic communications voicing his displeasure with the agents.
“McCabe tried to steer people off the private email investigation and that appears to be obstruction and should be investigated,” said one former FBI official with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the investigation. “Now if the information on the ‘stand-down’ order is obtained by the IG that could bring a whole lot of other troubles to McCabe.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 4/2018)
“Former Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell said that he believes some foreign intelligence agencies possess the contents of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“I think that foreign intelligence services, the good ones, have everything on any unclassified network that the government uses,” Morell said Friday in an interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show.
“I don’t think that was a very good judgment,” he added of Clinton’s decision to use the private server for official State Department business. “I don’t know who gave her that advice, but it was not good advice.”
(…) “Brian Fallon, Clinton’s campaign spokesman and a Justice Department alum, wrote in May 2015 that “DOJ folks” had tipped him off to an upcoming status hearing in a high-profile lawsuit that threatened to expose Clinton’s 30,000 work-related emails to the public.
An earlier email from an unidentified source shows someone alerted Fallon to filings in the Clinton email case.
When Fallon informed Clinton confidantes that the Justice Department “filed a briefing saying the gov’t proposes releasing HRC’s cache of work-related emails in January 2016,” Cheryl Mils, a board member at the Clinton Foundation, reacted with surprise.
Former National Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough (Credit: Getty Images)
“Two secret letters the FBI sent to the State Department have revealed for the first time that the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the classified emails sent through it, stemmed from a so-called “Section 811” referral from the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General (ICIG). The ICIG determined that classified, national security information in Clinton’s emails may have been “compromised” and shared with “a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.”
Section 811 of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 1995 “is the statutory authority that governs the coordination of counterespionage investigations between Executive Branch departments or agencies and the FBI.” A Section 811 referral is a report to the FBI about any unauthorized information that may have been disclosed to a foreign power.
A Section 811 referral “arises whenever there is a compromise of classified information — for whatever reason,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “It could include espionage, but it could also include negligence, inadvertence, or something else…. Section 811 does not assert a violation of criminal law.”
The two letters, dated October 23, 2015 and January 20, 2016, and marked “For Official Use Only,” were written by Peter Strzok and Charles H. Kable IV, the section chiefs of the FBI’s counterespionage section, and sent to Gregory B. Starr, the assistant secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. They were written while the FBI was investigating Clinton’s use of an unsecure, private email server and the dissemination of classified information.
A snippet from Peter Strzok’s letter proving he was aware Clinton’s emails may have been compromised by a foreign power.
“The potential compromise was identified when, as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request [by VICE News], the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the ICIG reviewed electronic mail (email) communications from the private email accounts previously used by a former Secretary of State during her tenure at DoS,” Kable wrote. “An initial review of this material identified emails containing national security information later determined by the US Intelligence Community to be classified up to the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information Level.”
The letters were turned over to VICE News in response to a FOIA lawsuit we filed against the FBI last year seeking, among other records, correspondence between the FBI and the State Department about Clinton’s private server and the FBI’s probe into it. The FBI had previously said that if it were to disclose the contents of these letters — even the identities of the senders and receivers — it would jeopardize its investigation.” (Read more: VICE News, 8/09/2016)(FBI Vault)
“Congressional investigators have gathered enough evidence to suggest that the FBI, under the Obama administration, ignored a major lead in the Clinton-email probe, according to transcripts of closed-door testimonies of several current and former bureau officials.
The office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General informed the FBI in 2015 that a forensic review of Hillary Clinton’s emails unearthed anomalies in the metadata of the messages. The evidence in the metadata suggested that a copy of every email Hillary Clinton sent during her tenure as the secretary of state was forwarded to a foreign third party.
The existence of the lead was first revealed during the public testimony of Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz in June last year. Horowitz acknowledged the existence of the specific lead and said he spoke about it to Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Charles McCullough. Yet, despite the alarming nature of the referral, Horowitz’s 568-page report on the FBI’s handling the Clinton-email investigation made no mention of the lead or how the bureau handled it. The omission caught the attention of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who pressed Horowitz for an explanation. Horowitz said he would get back to the committee with answers.
It’s unclear if Horowitz ever followed up on that promise. Meadows went on to question several current and former FBI officials about the lead, including Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bill Priestap, Jonathan Moffa, John Giacolone, and James Comey. In all of the interviews, transcripts of which were reviewed for this article, the officials claimed to remember nothing about the specific referral from the ICIG, suggesting that the lead was either suppressed or ignored by investigators.
During questioning, Meadows repeatedly suggested that Strzok, the former FBI official best known for being fired from the agency last year for his anti-Trump text messages, ignored the lead and never followed up with the ICIG regarding the referral. The bureau also didn’t interview anyone from the ICIG’s office, including Frank Rucker, the investigator who initially briefed the FBI team about the anomalies, according to the transcripts.
An official from the ICIG communications office didn’t respond to repeated requests for an interview with Rucker.
Meadows summed up what lawmakers have learned about the ICIG lead while questioning Comey on Dec. 17 last year. Comey served as the director of the FBI during the Clinton-email probe. He was one of the last witnesses interviewed by lawmakers shortly before the House judiciary and oversight committees wrapped up their review of actions taken and not taken by the FBI and the DOJ during the 2016 presidential election.
“Well, just to be clear, Mr. McCullough has indicated to Members of Congress that there was zero followup,” Meadows told Comey. “There are allegations they believe were largely ignored by the FBI.” (The Epoch Times, 1/29/2019)
(…) “Strzok was one of four officials briefed on the anomalies. He was transferred to FBI headquarters from the field office in Washington to work on the Clinton-email probe around two months after it was opened and, eventually, the investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. According to Meadows, Strzok called the ICIG office 10 minutes after Comey exonerated Clinton in July 2016 and asked to close out the inspector general’s referral.
The ICIG referred the Clinton-email case to the FBI on July 6, 2015, pursuant to the Intelligence Authorization Act, which requires agencies to advise the FBI “immediately of any information, regardless of its origin, which indicates that classified information is being, or may have been, disclosed in an unauthorized manner to a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” according to the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the handling of the email case. The bureau officially opened the investigation on July 10, 2015.
Meadows confronted Strzok about the metadata anomalies in Clinton’s emails during a closed-door interview on June 27 last year.
“Sir, I am — I do not recall a meeting where the IC IG made any reference to changes in the metadata,” Strzok said. “What I can tell you, Congressman, is that our technical experts, any allegation of intrusion, any review of metadata that might be indicative of an act, was pursued by our technical folks, and I am very confident that they did that thoroughly and well. I am certainly unaware of anything that we did not pursue or had not pursued.”
McCullough told The Epoch Times that he did interact with the bureau after the initial meeting when he referred the Clinton-email case. He tasked Rucker to handle day-to-day interactions with the bureau. Rucker would go on to pass information to the FBI in several tranches.
Louie Gohmert (Credit: Getty Images)
It’s unclear whether the lead on metadata anomalies was passed along during the initial referral or as part of a separate meeting. According to a version of events put forth by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) during Strzok’s public testimony in June last year, Rucker passed on the referral during a meeting with four FBI officials. Jeanette McMillian, the legal counsel for the ICIG, also attended the meeting, according to Gohmert.
According to the transcripts, three of the four FBI officials briefed by the ICIG were Strzok, then-Executive Assistant Director John Giacalone, and then-Section Chief Dean Chappell. The identity of the fourth official remains unclear. Moffa, who was a lead analyst on the Clinton-email probe, told lawmakers during a closed-door interview on Aug. 24 last year that he met the ICIG together with Counterespionage Section Chief Charles Kable. Moffa said he and Kable met the ICIG two or three times during the early days of the investigation.
Lawmakers asked at least two of the four present at the meeting, Strzok and Giacalone, about their interactions with the ICIG. Both claim to not remember being told anything about anomalies in the metadata of Clinton’s emails and the possibility that a copy of every message was sent to a foreign actor. Giacalone told lawmakers he remembers a specific country of concern being discussed during either a face-to-face meeting or other communication.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)
“Despite warnings about the consequences from senior U.S. officials, the Obama administration made a “willful decision” to support al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other jihadist terror groups in Syria, according to former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) chief Michael Flynn. That deliberate aid to Islamic terrorists battling Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad played a crucial role in the rise of the “Islamic State” (ISIS or ISIL). While multiple top U.S. officials have already admitted that Obama’s so-called anti-ISIS coalition helped create, arm, and fund ISIS, Flynn is the highest-ranking administration official to publicly discuss the U.S. role in spawning the savage terror group now slaughtering Christians and other minorities across the Middle East. Almost incredibly, the establishment press and Congress have largely ignored the explosive revelations — even as the White House steps up its military aid to jihadist “rebels” in Syria with air support and training.
Speaking during an in-depth interview on Al Jazeera, the Qatari government-sponsored broadcaster, DIA chief Flynn was asked about a 2012report produced by his agency. The document, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Judicial Watch, contained a number of revelations that should have seen a wide array of senior administration officials prosecuted under U.S. anti-terrorism laws. The secret report confirms what The New American has been reporting almost from the start of the war in Syria: The globalist-backed “revolution” against Assad was a “holy war” being led by al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other jihadist terrorists. The document also highlights the fact that the West and its Sunni Islamic dictator allies were supporting those same forces, and that they wanted to see the rise of a fundamentalist Islamic state in parts of Syria.
(…) During the Al Jazeera Head to Head interview, Lieutenant General Flynn (Ret.), who also served as a commander of the shadowy terror-war assassination squad known as the “Joint Special Operations Command” (J-SOC), confirmed the enormity of the revelations in the document. Despite attempts to downplay the 2012 document by the establishment media, Flynn said he “paid very close attention” to the report when it crossed his desk, and that “the intelligence was very clear.” He also said he had warned the administration against supporting jihadists in Syria. But the White House ignored the warnings, and instead continued providing material support — weapons, PR, communications, funding, training, international legitimacy, and more — to those officially designated terrorist organizations. An everyday U.S. citizen could face decades in prison, or worse, for doing the same actions.” (Read more: New American Magazine, 8/11/2015)
(Timeline editor’s note: The DIA report mentioned by Lt. General Flynn, lists Hillary Clinton as one of many Obama administration officials who were recipients of this report.)
“On July 30, 2015, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position within the FBI as associate deputy director and was transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok would soon be transferred to headquarters as well.
Approximately two months after the opening of the Clinton investigation, FBI leadership asked for the transfer of hand-selected agents from the Washington Field Office. Strzok was one of those chosen, and he was moved to FBI headquarters probably in September or October 2015.
According to Priestap, Coleman had “set up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through the customary other chain of command” in the Clinton email investigation. Priestap, who said he didn’t know why Coleman had “set it up,” kept the chain of command in place when he assumed Coleman’s position in January 2016.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)
Hillary Clinton delivers remarks at the Democratic National Convention on July 28, 2016. (Credit: Paul-Morigi, Wire Image/Getty Images)
“Many Democrats expressed outrage Thursday at allegations from a former party chairwoman that an agreement with the Democratic National Committee gave the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton some day-to-day control over the party early in the 2016 campaign.
Donna Brazile, a former interim chairwoman of the party, says in a forthcoming book that an August 2015 agreement gave the Clinton campaign a measure of direct influence over the party’s finances and strategy, along with a say over staff decisions and consultation rights over issues like mailings, budgets and analytics.
The control was given in exchange for a joint fundraising pledge by the Clinton campaign that helped fund the DNC through the election year, Brazile says.
“This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity,” she wrote in a book scheduled for publication next week, a portion of which was excerpted Thursday in Politico.” (Read more: Chicago Tribune, 11/02/2017)
Donna Brazile will later write: “When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.
The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.” (Read More: Politico, 11/02/2017)
“Internet researcher Katica (@GOPollAnalyst) may have found the hidden thread that unravels a much bigger story within the Uranium One-Clinton-FBI scandal.
In an otherwise innocuous FBI FOIA file Katica located a notice for preservation of documents sent by an FBI special agent to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on August 28th, 2015. What is interesting about the preservation request(s) are the recipients, their attachment to CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), and the timeline of events surrounding the agent’s notification.
(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)
The time-line here is very important as it might change the perception of exactly what the FBI was investigating as it relates to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Therefore a backdrop to understand content and context is important.
Up to now the general perception of the FBI’s involvement surrounding the Clinton emails has been against the backdrop of using a personal email server to conduct business, and the potential for unlawful transmission of classified data.
Additionally, the circumvention of official information technology protocols was the narrative most often discussed. The headlines were “Clinton used bad judgement” etc.
In essence, throughout 2015, 2016, 2017 the arguments, including FBI legal probes, were thought to center around “process“. However, Katica’s discovery re-frames that argument to focus on the subject matter “content” within the emails, and not the process.
The first notification of a Clinton email problem stemmed from the discovery that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her personal email (and server) to conduct official government business. Those initial revelations were discovered around March of 2015. [New York Times, March 2nd]
The discovery by Katica shows that on August 28th, 2015, an FBI special agent sent a notification to preserve records to: •Nuclear Regulatory Commission; •The U.S. Dept. of Treasury; •Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI James Clapper); •The National Counter Terrorism Center; and the •U.S. Department of Energy (DoE).
Each of these agencies was intricately involved in the 2010 approval of the Uranium One deal. Indeed, each of these specific agencies is involved in the CFIUS approval process for the purchase within the Uranium One deal. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State at the time.
Five Days later, on September 2nd, 2015, the FBI special agent sent another notification for preservation of records to the same agencies -beginning with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission- and adding: the National Security Agency (NSA – Admiral Mike Rogers) and the United States Secret Service (USSS).
The following day, on September 3rd, 2015, the FBI special agent submitted a supplemental notification for preservation of records to: •The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), •Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and •The Department of Defense:
Hillary speaks at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in Minneapolis, on August 29, 2015. (Credit: National Memo)
“Collusion between the Clinton campaign and the DNC allowed Hillary Clinton to buy the loyalty of 33 state Democratic parties last summer. Montana was one of those states. It sold itself for $64,100.
The Super Delegates now defying democracy with their insistent refusal to change their votes to Sanders in spite of a handful of overwhelming Clinton primary losses in their own states, were arguably part of that deal.
In August 2015, at the Democratic Party convention in Minneapolis, 33 democratic state parties made deals with the Hillary Clinton campaign and a joint fundraising entity called The Hillary Victory Fund. The deal allowed many of her core billionaire and inner circledo individual donors to run the maximum amounts of money allowed through those state parties to the Hillary Victory Fund in New York and the DNC in Washington.
The idea was to increase how much one could personally donate to Hillary by taking advantage of the Supreme Court ruling 2014, McCutcheon v FEC, that knocked down a cap on aggregate limits as to how much a donor could give to a federal campaign in a year. It thus eliminated the ceiling on amounts spent by a single donor to a presidential candidate.
In other words, a single donor, by giving $10,000 a year to each signatory state could legally give an extra $330,000 a year for two years to the Hillary Victory Fund. For each donor, this raised their individual legal cap on the Presidential campaign to $660,000 if given in both 2015 and 2016. And to one million, three hundred and 20 thousand dollars if an equal amount were also donated in their spouse’s name.
From these large amounts of money being transferred from state coffers to the Hillary Victory Fund in Washington, the Clinton campaign got the first $2,700, the DNC was to get the next $33,400, and the remainder was to be split among the 33 signatory states. With this scheme, the Hillary Victory Fund raised over $26 million for the Clinton Campaign by the end of 2015.” (Read more: CounterPunch 4/01/2016)
“Within the Inspector General report into how the DOJ and FBI handled the Clinton email investigation, on Page #164, footnote #124 the outline is laid bare for all to witness. The Clinton classified email investigation was structured to deliver a predetermined outcome.
John Spiropoulos delivers the first video in a series of reports on the Department of Justice Inspector General’s review into the investigation of Hillary Clinton. This segment focuses on DOJ’s legal interpretation that virtually assured Clinton would not be prosecuted. And that, as the IG reports states, the FBI and DOJ knew that “by September2015.″ (Conservative Treehouse,6/25/2018)
Starting in October 2015 and into the first three months of 2016:
Oct. 12, 2015: Louis Bladel was moved to the New York Field Office.
Dec. 9, 2015: Charles “Sandy” Kable was moved to the Washington Field Office.
Dec. 1, 2015: Randall Coleman, Assistant Director – head of Counterintelligence, was named as executive assistant director – Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, and was replaced by Bill Priestap.
Feb. 1, 2016: Mark Giuliano retired as Deputy FBI Director and was replaced by Andrew McCabe.
Feb. 11, 2016: John Giacalone retired as Executive Assistant Director and was replaced by Michael Steinbach.
March 2, 2016: Gerald Roberts, Jr. was moved to the Washington Field Office.
Comey was the only known involved senior FBI leadership official who remained a constant during the entirety of the Clinton email investigation.
Strzok told lawmakers last year that the Clinton Mid-Year Exam was opened out of headquarters by then-Assistant Director Coleman. Strzok also noted that Section Chief Kable was involved in that effort. The FBI investigation into the Clinton emails was formally opened on July 10, 2015.
At this time, Strzok was an Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the Washington Field Office. The Assistant Director in Charge at the Washington Field Office during this period was Andrew McCabe, a position he assumed on Sept. 14, 2014.
Notably, on the same day, John Giacalone was appointed as the executive assistant director of the National Security Branch at FBI Headquarters, a position that had been held by McCabe prior to his move to head the Washington Field Office. Giacalone became the supervisor of Priestap’s predecessor, Coleman. Also on Sept. 14, Michael Steinbach replaced Giacalone as assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division. Steinbach would later replace Giacalone as the executive assistant director of the National Security Branch on Feb. 11, 2016, when Giacalone retired. With this appointment, Steinbach became Priestap’s direct supervisor.
Strzok said the decision to open the Clinton case at FBI headquarters as opposed to the Washington Field Office was made by senior executives at the FBI—certainly at or above Assistant Director Coleman’s level. At this time, Coleman was serving as the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division—the same position Priestap would take over in January 2016.
On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI’s opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position within the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began.
Peter Strzok (Credit: Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)
Strzok would shortly rejoin his old boss. Approximately two months after opening the Clinton investigation, FBI headquarters reached out to the Washington Field Office, saying they needed greater staffing and resources “based on what they were looking at, based on some of the investigative steps that were under consideration.”
Strzok was one of the agents selected and, likely in September or early October 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters.
On Jan. 29, 2016, FBI Director Comey appointed McCabe as Deputy FBI Director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position within the FBI after having held the No. 3 position for all of six months.
Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters.
This new structure resulted in some unusual reporting lines that went outside normal chains of command. Strzok, who did not normally fall under Priestap’s oversight, was now reporting directly to him. Priestap described the structure as being established by his predecessor, Randall Coleman, during his testimony:
“I don’t know why he [Coleman] set it up, but he set up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through the customary other chain of command. And I kept that on when I assumed responsibility,” Priestap said.
Sometime around September or October 2016, Strzok was promoted to Deputy Assistant Director, a position that came under Priestap’s normal line authority. By this time the Clinton email case was formally closed and Strzok had already opened the counterintelligence investigation into then-candidate Trump on July 31, 2016.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)
“In congressional testimonies reviewed by the Epoch Times, both Bruce and Nellie Ohr testified separately to congressional investigators last year that they had minimal contact with each other about their work, which could have posed an inherent conflict of interest.
Newly released documents and emails obtained by Judicial Watch, however, show that Nellie emailed Bruce dozens of times about Russia-related topics between October 2015 and September 2016. Nellie also routinely included several other DOJ officials in these communications.
The emails also indicate that both Nellie and Bruce were in contact with Nellie’s boss, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
Bruce Ohr (l) Glenn Simpson (c) and Nellie Ohr (Credit: public domain)
Nellie told congressional investigators in her Oct. 19, 2018, closed-door testimony, that part of her work for Fusion GPS was to research the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, including campaign associate Carter Page, early campaign supporter Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, campaign manager Paul Manafort, as well as Trump’s family members, including some of his children.
In court documents filed on Dec. 12, 2017, Simpson referred to Nellie Ohr as a “former government official expert” who was hired “to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump.”
Prior to her work for Fusion GPS, Nellie had worked as an independent contractor for the CIA for as many as six years.
Email communications between her and Bruce Ohr show that she routinely sent Bruce articles on Russia—most carrying a similar negative slant.
The emails continued throughout the duration of Nellie’s employment with Fusion GPS and usually contained a brief, often one-line commentary from Nellie. An example from page 319: “Lesin’s death (This looks “fishy”…) See the 6 November notes…”
The responses Nellie received were minimal and often non-existent, but she continued to forward emails to Bruce, along with several other DOJ officials, during her employment with Fusion GPS. The result was a steady stream of negative articles, and brief commentary on Russia being fed into the DOJ through her husband that almost certainly were the result of her work for Fusion GPS.
Bruce, however, had previously testified that he and Nellie typically did not discuss details of their work with each other.
“The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.
This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.
(…) “In an interview with NBC Newsearlier this week, Veselnitskaya acknowledged her contacts with Trump Jr. and in Washington were part of a lobbying campaign to get members of Congress and American political figures to see “the real circumstances behind the Magnitsky Act.”
That work was a far cry from the narrow reason the U.S. government initially gave for allowing Veselnitskaya into the U.S. in late2015, according to federal court records.
Denis Katsyv (Credit: public domain)
During a court hearing in early January 2016, as Veselnitskaya’s permission to stay in the country was about to expire, federal prosecutors described how rare the grant of parole immigration was as Veselnitskaya pleaded for more time to remain in the United States.
“In October the government bypassed the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge during a hearing on Jan. 6, 2016.
“That’s a discretionary act that the statute allows the attorney general to do in extraordinary circumstances. In this case, we did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the country to assist,” he added.” (Read more: The Hill, 7/12/2017)
“One of the bombshell admissions from a closed-door testimony by DOJ official Bruce Ohr was that his wife, Nellie Ohr, was working for opposition research firm Fusion GPS already in late 2015.
Previously, it had been reported that Nellie Ohr was hired to find dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump in the spring of 2016.
“Ohr testified that Fusion approached his wife for a job and that she began working for the research firm in late 2015,” the Daily Caller reported.
In addition to the new time-frame for Nellie Ohr’s employment, Bruce Ohr also confirmed that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, and FBI Special Counsel Lisa Page all knew he was talking to former British MI6 spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled the now-infamous opposition research dossier on Trump, which was used as the core evidence of an application for a [Title 1] Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
More importantly, Ohr also informed Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann about his dossier-related work and interactions with Steele. Ohr made these internal disclosures before Weissmann joined special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Mueller Team has known of Ohr’s involvement with the Steele Dossier from the start of their formal investigation.
These events are likely intertwined. To understand why, we need to revisit an April 26, 2017, unsealed FISA Court Ruling, that was declassified by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
There is a staggering amount of information contained within the ruling, including these two disclosures:
“NSA estimates that approximately eighty-five percent of those queries, representing [Redacted] queries conducted by approximately [Redacted] targeted offices, were not compliant with the applicable minimization procedures.”
“The FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to a [Redacted] … is largely staffed by private contractors … the [Redacted] contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI’s requests.”
The Court said these practices had been going on since at least November 2015 and noted that “there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015-April 2016 period coincided with an unusually high error rate.”
The FISA Court also pointed out that the government could not say how, when, or where the non-compliant information was used. Once an individual had access to the information, it could no longer be traced or tracked.
What the FISA Court disclosed is alarming in its simplicity.
Illegal NSA Database searches were endemic. Private contractors, employed by the FBI, were given full access to the NSA Database. Once in their possession, the FISA Data could not be traced.
‘Unlikeable’ is the stunning, powerful exposé of Hillary Clinton and her floundering race for the White House. With unprecedented access to longtime associates of the Clintons and the Obamas, investigative reporter Edward Klein meticulously recreates conversations and details of Hillary Clinton’s behind-the-scenes plotting in Chappaqua and Whitehaven.
Klein, the former editor in chief of New York Times Magazine and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, draws a deeply troubling portrait of Hillary Rodham Clinton, a highly unlikeable presidential candidate and a woman more associated with scandal than with accomplishments, with lying than with truth, with arrogance than with compassion.”
Ben Rhodes, right, speaks as Susan Rice listens during the White House Daily Briefing on March 21, 2014. (Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
“Former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president, according to former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova.
“What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.
“The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with,” diGenova said. “In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.”
Other official sources with direct knowledge and who requested anonymity confirmed to TheDCNF diGenova’s description of surveillance reports Rice ordered one year before the 2016 presidential election.
Also on Monday, Fox News and Bloomberg News, citing multiple sources reported that Rice had requested the intelligence information that was produced in a highly organized operation. Fox said the unmasked names of Trump aides were given to officials at the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of Defense, James Clapper, President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, and John Brennan, Obama’s CIA Director.
Joining Rice in the alleged White House operations was her deputy Ben Rhodes, according to Fox.
Critics of the atmosphere prevailing throughout the Obama administration’s last year in office point to former Obama Deputy Defense Secretary Evelyn Farkas who admitted in a March 2 television interview on MSNBC that she “was urging my former colleagues,” to “get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration.”
“The Ukrainian antipathy for Trump’s team — and alignment with Clinton’s — can be traced back to late 2013. That’s when the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Manafort had been advising, abruptly backed out of a European Union pact linked to anti-corruption reforms. Instead, Yanukovych entered into a multibillion-dollar bailout agreement with Russia, sparking protests across Ukraine and prompting Yanukovych to flee the country to Russia under Putin’s protection.
In the ensuing crisis, Russian troops moved into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, and Manafort dropped off the radar.
Alexandra Chalupa (Credit: Twitter)
Manafort’s work for Yanukovych caught the attention of a veteran Democratic operative named Alexandra Chalupa, who had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration. Chalupa went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records, though she also was paid by other clients during that time, including Democratic campaigns and the DNC’s arm for engaging expatriate Democrats around the world.
A daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who maintains strong ties to the Ukrainian-American diaspora and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Chalupa, a lawyer by training, in 2014 was doing pro bono work for another client interested in the Ukrainian crisis and began researching Manafort’s role in Yanukovych’s rise, as well as his ties to the pro-Russian oligarchs who funded Yanukovych’s political party.
In an interview this month, Chalupa told Politico she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. While her consulting work at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities — including Ukrainian-Americans — she said that, when Trump’s unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump’s ties to Russia, as well.
She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, Chalupa said. In January 2016 — months before Manafort had taken any role in Trump’s campaign — Chalupa told a senior DNC official that, when it came to Trump’s campaign, “I felt there was a Russia connection,” Chalupa recalled. “And that, if there was, that we can expect Paul Manafort to be involved in this election,” said Chalupa, who at the time also was warning leaders in the Ukrainian-American community that Manafort was “Putin’s political brain for manipulating U.S. foreign policy and elections.”
Oksana Shulyar, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Ukraine.(r) (Credit: Stephen Bobb/Meridian)
(…) Andrii Telizhenko, who worked as a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy under Shulyar, said she instructed him to help Chalupa research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia. “Oksana said that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa,” recalled Telizhenko, who is now a political consultant in Kiev. “They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa,” he said, adding “Oksana was keeping it all quiet,” but “the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.
In fact, sources familiar with the effort say that Shulyar specifically called Telizhenko into a meeting with Chalupa to provide an update on an American media outlet’s ongoing investigation into Manafort.
Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September.”
(…) And in an interview this week, Manafort, who re-emerged as an informal advisor to Trump after Election Day, suggested that the ledgers were inauthentic and called their publication “a politically motivated false attack on me. My role as a paid consultant was public. There was nothing off the books, but the way that this was presented tried to make it look shady.”
He added that he felt particularly wronged by efforts to cast his work in Ukraine as pro-Russian, arguing “all my efforts were focused on helping Ukraine move into Europe and the West.” He specifically cited his work on denuclearizing the country and on the European Union trade and political pact that Yanukovych spurned before fleeing to Russia. “In no case was I ever involved in anything that would be contrary to U.S. interests,” Manafort said.” (Read much more: Politico, 1/11/2017)
“Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, made the baseless insinuation that Donald Trump compromised national security by inviting a man with Russian ties to his intelligence briefing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) sits next to retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (left), Jill Stein (right) as they attend an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of RT (Russia Today) television news channel in Moscow, Russia, December 10, 2015. (Credit: Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Reuters)
Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week,” Mook said Trump was accompanied to his first intelligence briefing on Aug. 17 by “someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin.” Mook claimed this “gentleman” — whom he did not name — “was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin” at RT’s 10th anniversary gala in December, and he demanded that Trump disclose “whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.”
Who is this mysterious, unnamed gentleman? The Clinton campaign told us Mook was referring to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who until two years ago was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama.
Flynn is not “on the payroll of the Russia Times.” He was merely one of many speakers at RT’s anniversary conference on Dec. 10, 2015, in Moscow. RT is a Russian government-funded TV station once known as Russia Today.
Mook made his misleading assertion about Flynn shortly after he claimed that “real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin.” Host George Stephanopoulos questioned Mook about that claim — which has been part of the Clinton campaign’s attacks on Trump ever since it was reported that Russia was likely behind the successful attacks on computer servers at the Democratic National Committee and the release of DNC emails.
Stephanopoulos: You’re saying he’s a puppet for the Kremlin?
Mook: Well, real questions are being raised about that. We — again, there’s a web of financial ties to the Russians that he refuses to disclose. We’ve seen over the last few week, him parroted Vladimir Putin in his own remarks. We saw the Republican Party platform changed. She saw Donald Trump talk about leaving NATO and leaving our Eastern European allies vulnerable to a Russian attack. The gentleman he brought with him to his security briefing just last week is someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin. He was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin at their 10th anniversary gala.
There are a lot of questions here. And we need Donald Trump to disclose all of his financial ties and whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.
However, Paul Manafort, who until last week was Trump’s campaign chairman, did have business dealings with Russian-aligned leaders in Ukraine, as uncovered by the New York Times. With Manafort gone, Mook redirected the campaign’s guilt-by-association attack on Trump by questioning Flynn’s associations with the Kremlin.”
(…) “In an Aug. 15 article, Flynn told the Washington Post that his speaking engagement was arranged by his speaker’s bureau and that he was paid for it. He said he was introduced to Putin, but did not speak to him.
The Clinton campaign provided no evidence that Flynn is “on the payroll” of RT or that he is “having meetings with the Kremlin,” as Mook alleged. It forwarded us a Politico story from May that said Flynn “makes semi-regular appearances on RT as an analyst.” Politico wrote that Flynn is “presumably” paid for those TV appearances, but the retired lieutenant general told the Post that he is not paid by RT or any other TV stations, because “I want to be able to speak freely about what I believe.” (Read more: FactCheck, 8/23/2016)
“Rep. Yvette Clarke’s deputy chief of staff came into the office on a Saturday in December 2015 and caught the New York Democrat’s part-time IT aide, Abid Awan, rummaging through the congresswoman’s work area with new iPods and other equipment strewn around the room, according to a House document and interviews with Hill staff.
Wendy Anderson told Abid to get out of the office, the document said. She told Capitol Hill investigators that she soon suspected Clarke’s chief of staff, Shelley Davis, was working with Abid on a theft scheme, multiple House staffers with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Caller News Foundation. They also said that Anderson pushed for Abid’s firing.”
(…) “House Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko testified in a public hearing in April that “the House IG discovered evidence of procurement fraud and irregularities [and] numerous violations of House security policies” by the Awans. The alleged procurement fraud included submitting suspicious invoices to bill equipment to House offices.”
(…) “Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong told TheDCNF the Capitol Police “requested that the shared employees be allowed to continue to use their IT credentials until February 2017 because they didn’t want to tip off the employees.”
But Anderson soon concluded that the investigation was compromised because another high-level staffer based in New York was feeding information about authorities’ activities to Abid, a House staffer Anderson spoke with in detail about the situation told TheDCNF.
“Her district office chief, a female, was actively going against Wendy,” the staffer said. “She was good friends with Omar and was feeding him information. Clarke would tell this person and the woman was backdooring stuff to Omar. She was undermining the investigation.” Anderson told that to House investigators as well, the staffer said.” (Read more: Daily Caller, 6/24/2018)
In January 2016, Alexandra informed a senior official at the Democratic National Committee about the potential connections between Trump and Russia, and warned that Paul Manafort may entangle himself in the 2016 election soon as a result. Simultaneously, Alexandra was also warning members of the Ukrainian-American community about Manafort.
On February 27, 2016, Alexandra hosted a discussion about the Ethnic Democrats for the Afric Vision Network.
On March 24, 2016, Alexandra discussed Manafort and his ties with Russian interests during a meeting at the Ukrainian Embassy with Ambassador Valeriy Chaly and his aide, Oksana Shulyar. Ambassador Chaly dismissed the discussion as he expected Trump to lose the nomination. The meeting also discussed a reception in June 2016 at an event featuring Hanna Hopko and Melanne Verveer.
Andrii Telizhenko was then ordered by Shulyar to assist Alexandra in her research of Manafort, Trump and Russia, as the Ukrainian Embassy was coordinating an investigation with the Clinton campaign. Alexandra, at the time, prepared opposition research files on Manafort.
Four days later, on March 29, 2016, the day after the announcement that Trump had hired Manafort to corral the delegates, Alexandra then briefed the communications staff of the Democratic National Committee about Manafort, Trump and Russia.
After this, Alexandra pushed for the Ukrainian Embassy staff — with encouragement from the Democratic National Committee — to arrange an interview with President Poroshenko to discuss Manafort’s ties to Yanukovych, although the Ukrainian Embassy declined the request.
However, at some point, Telizhenko was brought into a meeting with Alexandra by Shulyar as an American media organisation was conducting their own investigation into Manafort, while Alexandra wanted to push for a Congressional hearing on either Manafort or Trump for September 2016.
On March 30, 2016, Ukraine In Washington was hosted at Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, which was attended by Ambassador Chaly and David Kramer.
In the first week of April 2016, Alexandra discussed with a foreign policy legislative assistant who worked in the Office of Representative Marcy Kaptur about the potential of a Congressional investigation into Manafort.
On April 20, 2016, Alexandra received messages from the administrators of her Yahoo! e-mail account, which warned that state sponsored actors were attempting to gain access to her account.
Three days later, on April 23, 2016, Alexandra, Nancy DiNardo and Amy Dacey addressed a gathering at the Belvedere Restaurant in New Britain, CT, where she rallied Ukrainian-Americans against Manafort. The same day, EuroMaidan Art & Graphics declared Manafort as “Putin’s Trojan Horse” and called for his dismissal, and arranged a protest of Manafort as New Britain, CT was his hometown for the same day.
On April 27, 2016, Alexandra held a panel at the Library of Congress, where she met with a delegation of 68 Ukrainian investigative journalists in a program sponsored by the Open World Leadership Center. During this time, she discussed her research on Manafort. After the panel, Isikoff then escorted Alexandra to a reception hosted at the Ukrainian Embassy.
Other attendees to the event at the Library of Congress included executive director John O’Keefe, Oksana Syroid, Bohdan Futey, Richard Bennett, Myroslava Gongadze and Ambassador Chaly. The events are commonly connected to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation.
“In his address to the guests of the Embassy Ambassador of Ukraine to the US Valeriy Chaly noted that the meeting was very symbolic when all brunches of power gathered under one roof and felt united by the common goal. He urged Ukrainian delegations to take advantage of their visit to the US and disseminate the information about the situation in Ukraine in the context of counteracting Russian aggression, explore opportunities for the launch of new Ukraine-US projects as well as apply new experience and knowledge in Ukraine, in particular in the areas of reforming the justice sector, fighting corruption and ensuring transparency.” — Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
On May 3, 2016, Alexandra sent an e-mail to Luis Miranda at the Democratic National Committee, where she discussed her panel at the Library of Congress. This was in response to an e-mail from Luis, which featured a link from Politifact: “Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s top adviser, and his ties to pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine” by Aleksandra Kharchenko.
A lot more coming down the pipe. I spoke to a delegation of 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine last Wednesday at the Library of Congress — the Open World Society’s forum — they put me on the program to speak specifically about Paul Manafort and I invited Michael Isikoff whom I’ve been working with for the past few weeks and connected him to the Ukrainians. More offline tomorrow since there is a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in the next few weeks and something I’m working on you should be aware of.” — Alexandra Chalupa to Luis Miranda
Alexandra also provided a screenshot of the error to Luis.
The screenshot features two tabs — one of which is “Paul Manafort isn’t a GO…”
This is an article written by Franklin Foer of Slate, which was originally titled “Paul Manafort isn’t a GOP retread. He’s made a career of reinventing tyrants.” The article was published on April 28, 2016, the day after Alexandra’s Library of Congress visit, and its current title is “The Quiet American”.
Shortly after the e-mail was sent, a number of executives at the Democratic National Committee became concerned and concluded that the Russians were the state sponsored actors behind the recent phishing attempts. The executives then ordered for Alexandra to cease her research efforts.
“But Chalupa’s message, which had not been previously reported, stands out: It is the first indication that the reach of the hackers who penetrated the DNC has extended beyond the official accounts of committee officials to include their private email and potentially the content on their smartphones. After Chalupa sent the email to Miranda (which mentions that she had invited this reporter to a meeting with Ukrainian journalists in Washington), it triggered high-level concerns within the DNC, given the sensitive nature of her work. ‘That’s when we knew it was the Russians,’ said a Democratic Party source who has knowledge of an internal probe into the hacked emails. In order to stem the damage, the source said, ‘we told her to stop her research.’” — Michael Isikoff
Three days later, on May 6, 2016, John McCarthy sent an e-mail to Alexandra from his personal gmail account to arrange for religious leaders to stage a protest at the Republican National Convention.
On July 1, 2016, Rokas Beresniovas tweeted: “Thank you @TheDemocrats @NickSeminerio @AlexandraChalup It was a great event with @Simas44 of the WhiteHouse”.
On July 25, 2016, Isikoff published the article “Exclusive: Suspected Russian hack of DNC widens — includes personal email of staffer researching Manafort” in Yahoo! News, which featured information about Alexandra’s e-mails. The same day, Alexandra was in Philadelphia, where she introduced Senator Amy Klobuchar to the crowd.
In late July 2016, Alexandra left the Democratic National Committee in order to commit full-time to her investigations of Manafort, Trump and Russia, where she became an unofficial source for a number of journalists investigating the three.
On July 31, 2016, Andrea was interviewed by Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk about Alexandra’s e-mails being hacked.
ANDREA CHALUPA: “Yeah, well, you know, as- as- as, Nataliya, I have friends who are journalists who asked to speak with my sister, and I just keep saying ‘no’ because right now it’s just not a good time for her. Um, she is, you know, working for the DNC right now, and she has a lot on her plate with this election. It’s- it’s- it’s very much an all-hands-on-deck election, things are extremely serious. Things are very, very scary here. Um, so, but what I will say — what I’m allowed to say — because, you know, I can’t speak for my sister, um, she will speak when the time comes, um, but what I can say is that… you know… watching her work tirelessly, tirelessly, from the very beginning, many, many months ago to say: ‘Paul Manafort has just been brought in to run Donald Trump’s campaign. This is a huge deal. This is a very, very, very, very, very serious… warning bell going off, because this is who Paul Manafort is.’ He is a- a- a puppet master of some of the most vile dictators around the world, and of course, we who have focused on Ukraine know the name Paul Manafort increasibly well.”
“So my sister was- was- an instrumental voice inside the Democratic Party as has been reported to say, you know, this is someone we need to research. And she was leading that research. And… here in the U.S., you know, we have a lot of our own issues that we’re focusing on, so foreign affairs is something that is still abstract to many Americans, so doesn’t get prioritised, um, in elections as it should. But I- I just wanted to finish that point by saying it’s hilarious to me — and it’s hilarious to anyone that’s been following the situation that my sister finally got her message out there to the world in a major way thanks to the Russians. Thanks to the Russians hacking the DNC. Now everybody knows just how dangerous Paul Manafort is.”
In August 2016, Chalupa was contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where they imaged both her laptop and her smartphone as part of an investigation into the Russian cyber-attacks.
“Democrats, seizing on a potential vulnerability for Mr. Trump, are increasing their own ethnic outreach this year, an effort that has been caught up in Russian political intrigue.
The personal emails of the woman running the outreach effort, Alexandra Chalupa, were among those hacked at the Democratic National Committee, a breach American intelligence officials attribute to Russian spies. Ms. Chalupa, who is of Ukrainian descent, had been researching Mr. Manafort while consulting for the committee when the hack occurred.She has been traveling the country, talking to Democrats about what she has found.
‘I’d talk about the Russia connection and what we were seeing,’ she said in an interview. ‘People were terrified.’” — The New York Times
Now take note of the various locations she was in, and the EuroMaidan protest that was arranged on the same day she was in town.
On September 9, 2016, Alexandra attended the premiere of the Hollywood film “Snowden”, which was also attended by Bill Binney, Oliver Stone, Michael Isikoff, Representative Alan Grayson and the wife of CNN’s Jake Tapper, Jennifer Tapper.
As Election Day drew nearer, Andrea tweeted: “‘The Kremlin also has both video and audio recordings of Trump in a kompromat file.’ #TrumpSexTape”, in which she quoted an article written by Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald, “Why Vladimir Putin’s Russia Is Backing Donald Trump”.
As noted by user /u/JohnWardCinematics on November 1, 2016 on Reddit’s The_Donald, #TrumpSexTape was trending and the originator was Andrea Chalupa. While he confused Andrea and Alexandra with each other in relation to the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council, he noted the existence of Digital Maidan’s connection to two “Tweet Storms”, one of which related to #TreasonousTrump.
The website on Google which discussed the hashtag #TreasonousTrump followed the same method of social media integration used previously for Digital Maidan to transform anybody into a Maidan activist, instead this time turning anybody into a Trump resister through two planned Twitter Storms: October 20, 2016 and October 26, 2016.
This did not stop Donald Trump from becoming the next President of the United States.
On November 9, 2016, Alexandra posted a Facebook message in response to Hillary Clinton’s concession, where she discussed Russian interference initiating in May 2016, Russian hacking of election systems in over half the states of America, praise for Robby Mook, an apparent discussion between Trump and Manafort about a ‘rigged election’ talking point and Manafort’s federal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
During this message, Alexandra also mentioned that an organisation known as “The Protectors” based in Washington, DC actively assisted both the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Department of Justice as they monitored activity on November 8, 2016.
“3) Homeland Security/DOJ teamed up with a group that is part of Anonymous based in Washington, D.C. called ‘The Protectors.’ This group saw a lot of activity during Election Day from the Russians and believe that the voting results projected don’t match the internal and public polls because the voting results were manufactured in favor of Trump in heavily Republican counties in key states, and voting results may have been decreased for Clinton in key Democratic counties via malware that was placed by the Russians when they hacked the election systems of more than half our states.” — Alexandra Chalupa
The day after, on November 10, 2016, Andrea tweeted twofollow-ups in response to this:
“My sister led Trump/Russia research at DNC. US hackers protecting voting systems believe Russia hacked vote tallies.”
“All election day Anonymous hackers working w/DOJ updated my sister: they were at war w/RU hackers in our systems”.
As such, it can be concluded that “The Protectors” were in touch with Alexandra on November 8, 2016.
“Alexandra Chalupa, a former DNC consultant who during the campaign investigated links between Moscow and Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, is also participating in the attempt to secure recounts or audits.
‘The person who received the most votes free from interference or tampering needs to be in the White House,’ said Chalupa. ‘It may well be Donald Trump, but further due diligence is required to ensure that American democracy is not threatened.’” — The Guardian
(…) “The FBI relied in large part on allegations contained in the so-called Steele dossier in obtaining a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The author of the dossier, former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, as well as the company he was hired by, Fusion GPS, were both feeding information to the FBI through different channels.
A key conduit for Steele to the FBI was high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Ohr.
Asked if he was familiar with Ohr, Priestap told lawmakers, “I think I’ve seen Bruce Ohr, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a meeting with Bruce Ohr.” Priestap also said he never worked with Ohr on a counterintelligence investigation, which would include the FBI’s investigation into Trump-Russia collusion:
Ms. Shen: So you have never worked with Bruce Ohr on a counterintelligence —
Mr. Priestap: I have not, no.
Priestap appeared to be completely unaware of the role that Ohr played in the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign—or of Ohr’s meetings with the FBI.
In either late September or early October 2016, Ohr had another meeting—this time with Strzok, Page, and two or three DOJ career officials from the criminal division: Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissman (Ohr testified that he was unsure whether Weismann was at this or a later meeting).
On Nov. 21, 2016, Ohr had an additional meeting with Strzok and Page where he was introduced to FBI agent Joe Pientka, who would become Ohr’s FBI handler. Pientka was also present with Strzok during the Jan. 24, 2017, interview of then-national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
On the following day, Nov. 22, 2016, Ohr met alone with Pientka. Ohr would continue to relay his communications with Steele to Pientka. Unbeknownst to Ohr, Pientka was transmitting all the information directly to Strzok for use in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation Priestap was overseeing.” (The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)
“Newly leaked emails show that Hillary Clinton’s campaign team was advised to link Russian President Vladimir Putin with Donald Trump in an apparent bid to distract voters from Clinton’s strategy on Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
The exchange of emails between Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and Clinton ally and columnist Brent Budowsky was among the batch of around 1,000 emails from Podesta’s account released by WikiLeaks on Saturday.
In a December 21, 2015 email, Budowsky slates Clinton’s position on fighting ISIS before advising Podesta to draw Putin into her attacks on US presidential election rival Trump.
Budowsky’s email follows a discussion with Podesta on how to best position the former secretary of state on the issue of tackling ISIS.
Budowsky warns that Clinton is not coming down strongly enough on fighting ISIS and that her support for President Barack Obama’s approach is a potential “death ray to her candidacy in a general election.”
“Walk back and escape from her statement that ‘finally we are where we need to be’ against ISIS. We are not where we need to be, we are far from it, most voters do not believe it, and when the next terror attack comes in America – which it certainly will – she will be branded in hot iron with that statement,” Budowski warns.
“She will never state what I believe we need to do – at least 20,000 ground troops with 3,000 American and at least 10,000 from Sunni Muslim nations – because she is consumed with keeping Obama’s goodwill and afraid of liberal backlash.”
Podesta counters: “Her reference was not to ISIS but to going after Assad diplomatically because of UNSC resolution passed Friday. We will make that clear. She has given two major speeches about how we are NOT where we need to be on ISIS.”
“That’s good, sooner it’s clarified the better, and the stronger the better,” Budowski replies, later adding: “Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin, but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria.”
Speaking to RT after the emails were released by WikiLeaks on Saturday, Budowsky suggested that parts of the emails had been fabricated, denying that he ever wrote anything about “branding with a hot iron.”
“I don’t talk that way; I wouldn’t say that, and that was not in any of the emails,” he said. “So whoever added that, fabricated that.”
“As far as ‘slaughtering Donald Trump,’ about it, yes, I said that,” Budowsky added. “And the rest of it – fundamentally – does reflect my point of view.”
Hill columnist, Brent Budowsky, sends an email to John Podesta on December 21, 2015, titled “HRC, Obama and ISIS.” Wikileaks exposes other emails from Budowsky (and dozens of other journalists), in support of Hillary’s candidacy throughout the 2016 Democratic primary and general election.
In this Podesta email released by Wikileaks, Budowsky shares advice for Hillary Clinton on Israel, Syria, Russian president Vladimir Putin, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the United Nations and Daesh, also known as ISIL/ISIS. Last but not least, he also mentions “slaughtering Donald for his bromance with Putin.”
“Newly unredacted text messages, sent between top FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, suggest that the agency initiated an offensive counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign as early as December 2015.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released 500 pages of documents and texts on June 4, the bulk of which consists of messages between Page and Strzok. One message, which was previously redacted, shows that FBI agents were working to recruit double agents as early as Dec. 28, 2015.
According to Chris Farrell, a former counterintelligence officer who ran double-agent operations for the U.S. Army, “oconus” stands for “outside the continental United States,” while “lures” refers to people used as bait to snag a potential double agent.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 6/07/2018)
(…) “The intelligence agencies initiated reports that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia, they nurtured them and helped them grow, and then they spread the word to the press and key government officials. Reportedly, they even tried to use these reports to force Trump to step down prior to his inauguration. Although the corporate press accuses Trump of conspiring with Russia to stop Hillary Clinton, the reverse now seems to be the case: the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block “Siberian candidate” Trump.
Sir Richard Dearlove (Credit: Reuters)
The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove, Halper’s friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London’s venerable Garrick Club, according toThe Washington Post, Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous “golden showers” opposition research dossier, that Trump “reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin.”
Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn’t work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal.
Former director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan (Credit: GCHQ)
Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as “The Walrus” for his impressive girth, other participants include:
Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA.
Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat.
Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow.
Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic.
James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence.
John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst).
A few things stand out about this august group. One is its in-bred quality. After helping to run an annual confab known as the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself “The Cambridge Security Initiative.” Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt’s international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaidadvisor.
CIA director John Brennan, visits Hakluyt’s New York office in January, 2018. Hakluyt retains close ties to the British Intelligence Agencies MI6 and GCHQ, as well as the intelligence agencies of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, also known as the Five-Eyes Alliance. (Credit: public domain)
Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale. In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump’s future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd. (Read more: Consortium News, 5/31/2018)
Although the details remain complex, the structure underlying Spygate—the creation of the false narrative that candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia, and the spying on his presidential campaign—remains surprisingly simple:
John Brennan (Credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)
1. CIA Director John Brennan, with some assistance from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, gathered foreign intelligence and fed it throughout our domestic Intelligence Community.
2. The FBI became the handler of Brennan’s intelligence and engaged in the more practical elements of surveillance.
3. The Department of Justice facilitated investigations by the FBI and legal maneuverings, while providing a crucial shield of nondisclosure.
4. The Department of State became a mechanism of information dissemination and leaks.
5. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee provided funding, support, and media collusion.
6. Obama administration officials were complicit, and engaged in unmasking and intelligence gathering and dissemination.
7. The media was the most corrosive element in many respects. None of these events could have transpired without their willing participation. Stories were pushed, facts were ignored, and narratives were promoted.
Let’s start with a simple premise: The candidacy of Trump presented both an opportunity and a threat.
Initially not viewed with any real seriousness, Trump’s campaign was seen as an opportunistic wedge in the election process. At the same time, and particularly as the viability of his candidacy increased, Trump was seen as an existential threat to the established political system.
The sudden legitimacy of Trump’s candidacy was not welcomed by the U.S. political establishment. Here was a true political outsider who held no traditional allegiances. He was brash and boastful, he ignored political correctness, he couldn’t be bought, and he didn’t care what others thought of him—he trusted himself.
Governing bodies in Britain and the European Union were also worried. Candidate Trump was openly challenging monetary policy, regulations, and the power of special interests. He challenged Congress. He challenged the United Nations and the European Union. He questioned everything.
Brennan became the point man in the operation to stop a potential Trump presidency. It remains unclear whether his role was self-appointed or came from above. To embark on such a mission without direct presidential authority seems both a stretch of the imagination and particularly foolhardy.
Brennan took unofficial foreign intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates—primarily from the UK, but also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia.
Individuals in official positions in UK intelligence, such as Robert Hannigan—head of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, Britain’s equivalent of the National Security Agency)—partnered with former UK foreign intelligence members. Former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove, former Ambassador Sir Andrew Wood, and private UK intelligence firm Hakluyt all played a role.
Click on the infographic at The Epoch Times to enlarge.
“A member of the Ukrainian parliament accused in his home country of interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was identified in congressional testimony in October as a source for opposition research firm Fusion GPS.
Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS, testified on Oct. 19 that Serhiy Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist turned Ukrainian lawmaker, was a source for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign.
“I recall … they were mentioning someone named Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian,” Ohr said when asked who Fusion GPS’s sources were, according to portions of Ohr’s testimony confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Ohr, whose husband is Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, testified that she was not aware of Leshchenko’s source information, but that she knew he was providing information to Fusion GPS, where she worked between late 2015 and the 2016 election.
(…) Nellie Ohr did not describe the Leshchenko-Fusion GPS source relationship in greater detail, so it is not clear whether the Ukrainian lawmaker was paid, how he transmitted information to Fusion or with whom at the firm he maintained contact.
(…) Nellie Ohr testified that Leshchenko also provided Fusion GPS with information on Manafort.
Leshchenko, a member of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau, is widely credited with publishing a so-called “black ledger” that purported to show that Manafort received $12.7 million in illicit cash payments through 2012 from then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Manafort worked as a public relations consultant for Yanukovych and his political party from 2004 through 2014, when Yanukovych was forced out of office.
Leshchenko was a prominent media presence during and after the 2016 campaign, leveling allegations against Manafort and making it clear that he sought to portray Trump as a “pro-Russian candidate.”
“A Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy,” Leshchenko told the Financial Times days after publicizing the black ledger on Aug. 14, 2016. “For me, it was important to show not only the corruption aspect, but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world.”
Hillary Clinton (Credit: Saul Loeb/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)
“An irony of the escalating hysteria about the Trump camp’s contacts with Russians is that one presidential campaign in 2016 did exploit political dirt that supposedly came from the Kremlin and other Russian sources. Friends of that political campaign paid for this anonymous hearsay material, shared it with American journalists and urged them to publish it to gain an electoral advantage. But this campaign was not Donald Trump’s; it was Hillary Clinton’s.
And, awareness of this activity doesn’t require you to spin conspiracy theories about what may or may not have been said during some seemingly innocuous conversation. In this case, you have open admissions about how these Russian/Kremlin claims were used.
Indeed, you have the words of Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, in his opening statement at last week’s public hearing on so-called “Russia-gate.” Schiff’s seamless 15-minute narrative of the Trump campaign’s alleged collaboration with Russia followed the script prepared by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele who was hired as an opposition researcher last June to dig up derogatory information on Donald Trump.
Steele, who had worked for Britain’s MI-6 in Russia, said he tapped into ex-colleagues and unnamed sources inside Russia, including leadership figures in the Kremlin, to piece together a series of sensational reports that became the basis of the current congressional and FBI investigations into Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow.
Since he was not able to go to Russia himself, Steele based his reports mostly on multiple hearsay from anonymous Russians who claim to have heard some information from their government contacts before passing it on to Steele’s associates who then gave it to Steele who compiled this mix of rumors and alleged inside dope into “raw” intelligence reports.
The luxury Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Moscow. (Credit: public domain)
Besides the anonymous sourcing and the sources’ financial incentives to dig up dirt, Steele’s reports had numerous other problems, including the inability of a variety of investigators to confirm key elements, such as the salacious claim that several years ago Russian intelligence operatives secretly videotaped Trump having prostitutes urinate on him while he lay in the same bed in Moscow’s Ritz-Carlton used by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
That tantalizing tidbit was included in Steele’s opening report to his new clients, dated June 20, 2016. Apparently, it proved irresistible in whetting the appetite of Clinton’s mysterious benefactors who were financing Steele’s dirt digging and who have kept their identities (and the amounts paid) hidden. Also in that first report were the basic outlines of what has become the scandal that is now threatening the survival of Trump’s embattled presidency.” (Read more: Consortium News, 3/29/2017)
“Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.
GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.
Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.
The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the “Five Eyes” spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said.
Another source suggested the Dutch and the French spy agency, the General Directorate for External Security or DGSE, were contributors.
(..) “Both US and UK intelligence sources acknowledge that GCHQ played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, which began in late July 2016.
Samantha Power votes March 2, 2016 to approve the toughest sanctions on North Korea in 20 years. (Credit: Seth Wenig/The Associated Press)
(…) “It turns out that Power — the diplomat whose authority inexplicably was used to unmask hundreds of Americans’ names in secret intelligence reports during the 2016 election — engaged in similar Trump-bashing on her official government email, according to documents unearthed by an American Center for Law and Justice lawsuit. The conservative legal group is run by Trump defense attorney Jay Sekulow.
The discovery could add a new dimension — a question of political bias — to a long-running congressional investigation into why Power’s authority was used to unmask hundreds of Americans’ names in secret National Security Agency intercepts during the election. That practice of unmasking continues to grow today.
Power’s barbs toward Trump started as early as the GOP primaries, when she used her email to connect Oskar Eustis, the artistic director at the Public Theater in New York, with oft-quoted think tank scholar Norman Ornstein, the memos show.
“Oskar, Norm will explain our political system, in a way that will fleetingly make it seem rational, though maybe not after Trump and Sanders win NH,” she wrote, predicting the future president and upstart socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would win the esteemed New Hampshire primary.
After Trump stunned the world with his general election win over Hillary Clinton, the observations of Power and those emailing her on her official government account turned more vitriolic.
“I am discouraged and frightened. Electing a right-wing president is something, but such a morally repugnant bully!” read a Nov. 14, 2016, email to Power from a sender whose name the State Department redacted for privacy reasons. The email referred to former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon as “an avowed racist” and predicted, “The worst is coming.”
There is no evidence in the released documents that Power responded or chastised the sender for using government email for such political animosity.
But there is ample evidence she engaged in similar Trump-bashing.
In December 2016, for example, when sent a news story about Trump’s effort to communicate a new policy direction for the U.N., Power snarkily replied: “This reflects the lack of understanding of history.”
When Trump announced his intent to withdraw the U.S. from a global climate deal, Power emailed a colleague: “Lord help us all.”
And when a routine diplomatic issue with Japan arose in late November 2016, Power emailed another colleague: “It is unreal how the Trump dynamic has changed things.”
Perhaps most telling are Power’s efforts to arrange media interviews and speeches during her final days in office, clearly aiming to counter the incoming president’s agenda and fan the narrative that Trump might be dangerously soft on matters involving Russia and mercilessly hard on immigrants.” (Read more: The Hill, 6/26/2019)
“The Obama administration distributed thousands of intelligence reports with the unredacted names of U.S. residents during the 2016 election.
During his final year in office, President Obama’s team significantly expanded efforts to search National Security Agency intercepts for information about Americans, distributing thousands of intelligence reports across government with the unredacted names of U.S. residents during the midst of a divisive 2016 presidential election.
The data, made available this week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the clearest evidence to date of how information accidentally collected by the NSA overseas about Americans was subsequently searched and disseminated after President Obama loosened privacy protections to make such sharing easier in 2011 in the name of national security. A court affirmed his order.
The revelations are particularly sensitive since the NSA is legally forbidden from directly spying on Americans and its authority to conduct warrantless searches on foreigners is up for renewal in Congress later this year. And it comes as lawmakers investigate President Trump’s own claims that his privacy was violated by his predecessor during the 2016 election.
(…) “The searches ultimately resulted in 3,134 NSA intelligence reports with unredacted U.S. names being distributed across government in 2016, and another 3,354 reports in 2015. About half the time, U.S. identities were unredacted in the original reports while the other half were unmasked after the fact by special request of Obama administration officials.
Among those whose names were unmasked in 2016 or early 2017 were campaign or transition associates of President Trump as well as members of Congress and their staffers, according to sources with direct knowledge.
The data kept by ODNI is missing some information from one of the largest consumers of NSA intelligence, the FBI, and officials acknowledge the numbers are likely much higher when the FBI’s activity is added.” (Read more: Circa, 5/3/2017)
“A trove of emails and handwritten notes from Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr exposes the continuous contact and communication between the DOJ attorney and anti-Trump dossier author Christopher Steele, according to notes and documents obtained by SaraACarter.com. The emails and notes were written between 2016 and 2017.
The notes and emails also reveal that Ohr was in communication with Glenn Simpson, the founder of the embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to hire Steele.
In one of Ohr’s handwritten notes listed as “Law enforcement Sensitive” from May 10, 2017, he writes “Call with Chris,” referencing Steele. He notes that Steele is “very concerned about Comey’s firing, afraid they will be exposed.” This call occurred months after FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Intelligence Committee and revealed for the first time that the FBI had an open counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and alleged collusion with Russia.”
(…) “The documents from March 2017, reveal how concerned Steele is with Grassley’s committee and the letter from the senator’s office seeking answers from Steele on the dossier.
In June 2017, Steele tells Ohr, “We are frustrated with how long this re-engagement with the Bureau and Mueller is taking. Anything you can do to accelerate the process would be much appreciated. There are some new, perishable, operational opportunities which we do not want to miss out on.”
In October 2017, Steele notes that he is concerned about the stories in the media about the bureau delivering information to Congress “about my work and relationship with them. Very concerned about this. People’s lives may be endangered.”
And in November 2017, Steele, who is trying to engage with Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel, writes to Ohr saying, “we were wondering if there was any response to the questions I raised last week.”
Ohr responds by saying, “I have passed on the questions (apparently to the special counsel) but haven’t gotten an answer yet.”
Steele then says, “I am presuming you’ve heard nothing back from your SC (special counsel) colleagues on the issues you kindly put to them from me. We have heard nothing from them either. To say this is disappointing would be an understatement! Certain people have been willing to risk everything to engage with them in an effort to help them reach the truth. Also, we remain in the dark as to what work has been briefed to Congress about us, our assets and previous work.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/16/2018)
“In either late 2015 or early 2016, the IC inspector general, Chuck McCullough, sent Frank Rucker and Janette McMillan to meet with the FBI in order to detail the anomaly that had been uncovered. That meeting was attended by four individuals, including Strzok, then-Executive Assistant Director John Giacalone, and then-Section Chief Dean Chappell. The identity of the fourth individual remains unknown, though Moffa, who also met with the IG at various times, is a possible candidate. Charles Kable, who also met with the ICIG at several points, is another possible candidate.
Priestap testified that he had not been briefed on the Clinton server anomaly by Strzok, noting “this would have been a big deal.”
“I am not aware of any evidence that demonstrated that. I’m also not aware of any evidence that my team or anybody reporting to me on this had advised me that there were anomalies that couldn’t be accounted for. I don’t recall that,” he said.
Priestap’s admission that this was all new information to him, prompted an observation from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) that Strzok appeared to be exercising significant investigative control:
Mr. Meadows: “It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?”
Mr. Priestap: “Peter and Jon, yeah.”
As Meadows noted during testimony, this matter still had to be officially “closed out” by the FBI before the official closing of the Clinton investigation. Strzok personally called the IC inspector general within minutes of Comey’s July 5, 2016, press conference on the Clinton investigation, telling him that the FBI would be sending a “referral to close it out.”
Meadows seemed genuinely surprised that Strzok had apparently kept this information successfully hidden from Priestap, noting, “I’m a Member from North Carolina, and you’re saying that I have better intel than you do?” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)
Matthew Axelrod (l), Andrew McCabe (c) and Sally Yates (Credit: public domain)
“Comey wrote in a January 7, 2017 email to FBI leadership that he told Trump that he was providing the briefing about the dossier because “media like CNN had [the dossier] and were looking for a news hook.”
“I said it was inflammatory stuff that they would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports,” Comey continued.
On January 8, 2017 then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote to senior FBI leadership that “CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story … The trigger for them [CNN] is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment.”
McCabe, who was Lisa Page’s boss, also emailed then-deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and then-principal deputy Attorney General Matthew Axelrod, saying, “Just an FYI, and as expected, it seems CNN is close to running a story about the sensitive reporting.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/14/2018)
“Some of the information that passed through Hillary Clinton’s private email server was so sensitive that high-level officials examining the account had to get special security clearance before they could proceed with their probe, NBC’s Ken Dilanian reported on Tuesday.
That is according to an intelligence official familiar with the probe into the former secretary of state’s “homebrew” server, which is being led by the intelligence community’s inspector general, Charles McCullough.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also been looking into whether classified material was mishandled during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department from 2009 to 2013.
SAPs are designed to safeguard information deemed more sensitive than even “top secret.”
“The special access program in question was so sensitive that McCullough and some of his aides had to receive clearance to be read in on it before viewing the sworn declaration about the Clinton emails,” Dilanian reported.” (Read more: Business Insider, 1/21/2016)
“Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 – and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration, multiple sources close to the matter told Fox News.
Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year. One source indicatedthis occurred in the final days of the Obama White House.
The details emerged ahead of an expected appearance by Power next month on Capitol Hill. She is one of several Obama administration officials facing congressional scrutiny for their role in seeking the identities of Trump associates in intelligence reports – but the interest in her actions is particularly high.
In a July 27 letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the committee had learned “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”
The “official” is widely reported to be Power.
John Brennan (l) and Trey Gowdy (Credit: CSpan)
During a public congressional hearing earlier this year, Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina pressed former CIA director John Brennan on unmasking, without mentioning Power by name.
Gowdy: Do you recall any U.S. ambassadors asking that names be unmasked?
Brennan: I don’t know. Maybe it’s ringing a vague bell but I’m not — I could not answer with any confidence.
Gowdy continued, asking: On either January 19 or up till noon on January 20, did you make any unmasking requests?
Brennan: I do not believe I did.
Gowdy: So you did not make any requests on the last day that you were employed?
Brennan: No, I was not in the agency on the last day I was employed.
Brennan later corrected the record, confirming he was at CIA headquarters on January 20. “I went there to collect some final personal materials as well as to pay my last respects to a memorial wall. But I was there for a brief period of time and just to take care of some final — final things that were important to me,” Brennan said.” (Read more: Fox News, 9/20/2017)
“Recent hackeddocuments have revealed an international network of politicians, journalists, academics, researchers and military officers, all engaged in highly deceptive covert propaganda campaigns funded by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), NATO, Facebook and hardline national security institutions.
This “network of networks”, as one document refers to them, centers around an ironically named outfit called the Integrity Initiative. And it is all overseen by a previously unknown Scotland-based think tank, the Institute for Statecraft, which has operated under a veil of secrecy.
The whole operation appears to be run by, and in conjunction with, members of British military intelligence.
Simon Bracey-Lane (Credit: AFP News)
(…) “On December 11, Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radioentered the covert propaganda mill’s neo-gothic offices. As soon as he identified himself as a journalist, he was angrily ejected by an Institute for Statecraft staffer named Simon Bracey-Lane.
“You need to leave right now!” Bracey-Lane barked at Klarenberg. “You haven’t arranged to see us! Go! Right now! Please leave immediately! Leave!”
Bracey-Lane is a 20-something British citizen with no publicly acknowledged experience in intelligence work. But as Klarenberg noted, there are some unusual details in the young staffer’s bio.
In 2016, Bracey-Lane appeared out of nowhere to work in Iowa as a field organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign for president.
“I spent a year working, saving all my money, just thought I was gonna go on a two month road trip from Seattle to New York and I thought, you know what? I’m gonna stay and work for the Bernie Sanders campaign,” Bracey-Lane told a reporter for AFP on January 27, 2016.
He said that after he decided to work for Bernie, he first went to England to “get a visa and get everything legal,” then came back to join the campaign in earnest.
Bracey-Lane also claimed to AFP, “I’m not sure there’s a place for me in British politics… I’ve never been struck by an urge to work in my own political system.”
However, a February 1, 2016profile of Bracey-Lane by Buzzfeed’s Jim Waterson said the Brit-for-Bernie “was inspired to rejoin the Labour party in September  when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday.”
It is clearly odd for Bracey-Lane to tell one reporter that he had never had any interest in British politics, while claiming to another that he had been eager to support Corbyn before he joined the Bernie campaign. What’s more, as Klarenberg reported, Bracey-Lane went on to establish a get-out-the-vote effort for various progressive politicians and parties in Britain’s 2017 general election, gaining inside access to a wide array of campaigns.
Andrew McCabe (Credit: Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
“FBI Director James B. Comey has named Andrew McCabe as the Bureau’s new deputy director. Mr. McCabe most recently served as the FBI’s associate deputy director. As deputy director, Mr. McCabe will oversee all FBI domestic and international investigative and intelligence activities and will serve as acting director in the director’s absence.
Mr. McCabe joined the FBI in 1996. He began his career in the New York Field Office, where he focused on organized crime. Throughout his career, Mr. McCabe has held leadership positions in the Counterterrorism Division, the National Security Branch, and the Washington Field Office.
“Andy’s 19 years of experience, combined with his vision, judgment, and ability to communicate make him a perfect fit for this job,” announced Director Comey.
Mr. McCabe will assume this new role on February 1, 2016, when current Deputy Director Mark Giuliano retires from the FBI after 28 years of service.” (FBI Press Release, 1/29/2019)
“Judicial Watch announced today that it has received 47 pages of records from the Department of Justice, including email exchanges between fired FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page revealing that FBI officials used unsecured devices in discussing how the U.S. could improve the sharing of sensitive data with the European Union top executive governing commission.
The documents also reveal that high-ranking FBI officials were not properly read-in to top secret programs.
(…) “The newly obtained emails came in response to a May 21order by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to the FBI to begin processing 13,000 pages of records exchanged exclusively between Strzok and Page between February 1, 2015, and December 2017. The FBI refuses to timely process the records and will not complete review and production of all the Strzok-Page materials until at least 2020.
James Baker (Credit: public domain)
In a January 30, 2016 email exchange sent entirely over unsecure devices, top former FBI officials including General Counsel Jim Baker, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok, Page, unidentified individuals from the DOJ’s National Security Division and NSA General Counsel Glenn Gerstell, discuss a draft document with the subject line: “Revised IC Safe Harbor Letter (from [redacted] using [redacted] iPad).”
Baker notes in the exchange that he is attempting to work on the document using his smartphone: “So it is not possible to read the redlines on my smartphone. If you are still at the office, can you please save the redline version as a PDF and then resend? Thanks.”
Also, in the exchange, Strzok writes to Page:
IC Safe Harbor refers to a European Commission data-sharing arrangement with the United States that allowed for the transfer of personally identifiable information from the EU to the U.S. The arrangement was invalidated by the European Court of Justice after disclosures of NSA surveillance operations by Edward Snowden. The court ordered that a new, stronger version of the arrangement be reached by January 31, 2016.
Five hundred million Yahoo! accounts reportedly were hacked in 2014. And, “a different attack in 2013 compromised more than 1 billion accounts. The two attacks are the largest known security breaches of one company’s computer network.” According to IT experts, the iPad is also notoriously insecure from hacking.
In a February 5, 2016, email Strzok indicates to Page that at least two, and possibly more, top FBI officials had not been properly “read-in” to top secret, compartmented programs. Those included McCabe and Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Bill Preistap. It is indicated Page needs some read-ins as well.
“Judicial Watch announced that it uncovered 422 pages of FBI documents showing evidence of “cover-up” discussions related to the Clinton email system within Platte River Networks, one of the vendors who managed the Clinton email system.
Witnesses, from left, Paul Combetta and Bill Thornton of Platte River Networks, and Justin Cooper are sworn in on Sept. 13, 2016, prior to testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Clinton aide, Bryan Pagliano, did not appear, empty seat at left. (Credit: Molly Riley/The Associated Press)
(…) FBI notes of an interview with an unidentified Platte River Networks official in February 2016 (almost a year after the Clinton email network was first revealed) show that Platte River “gave someone access to live HRC archive mailbox at some point.”
The same notes show that an email from December 11, 2014, exists that reads “Hillary cover up operation work ticket archive cleanup.” The interviewee said that the “cover up operation” email “probably related to change to 60 day [sic] email retention policy/backup.” The subject indicated that he didn’t “recall the prior policy.”
The notes also indicated, “[Redacted] advised [redacted] not to answer questions related to conv [conversation] w/DK [David Kendall] document 49 – based on 5th amendment.”
The subject said that “everyone @ PRN has access to client portal.”
A December 11, 2014, Platte River Networks email between redacted parties says: “Its [sic] all part of the Hillary coverup operation <smile> I’ll have to tell you about it at the party”
An August 2015email from Platte River Networks says: “So does this mean we don’t have offsite backups currently? That could be a problem if someone hacks this thing and jacks it up. We will have to be able to produce a copy of it somehow, or we’re in some deep shit. Also, what ever [sic] came from the guys at Datto about the old backups? Do they have anyway [sic] of getting those back after we were told to cut it to 30 days?”
[Redacted] is going to send over a list of recommendations for us to apply for additional security against hackers. He did say we should probably remove all Clinton files, folders, info off our servers etc. on an independent drive.
Handwritten notes that appear to be from Platte River Networks in February 2016 mention questions concerning the Clinton email system and state of back-ups
The documents show Platte River Networks’ use of BleachBit on the Clinton server. The BleachBit program was downloaded from a vendor called SourceForge at 11:42am on March 31, 2015, according to a computer event log, and over the next half hour, was used to delete the files on Hillary’s server.
The documents also contain emails and handwritten notes written in June and July 2015 from the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General discussing “concerns” over classified information. A redacted sender writes to State Department Official Margaret “Peggy” Grafeld that “inadvertent release of State Department’s equities when this collection is released in its entirety — the potential damage to the foreign relations of the United States could be significant. ICIG McCullough forwards the concern, saying: “Need you plugged in on this.”
“FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were concerned about being too tough on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during the bureau’s investigation into her email practices because she might hold it against them as president, text messages released on Thursday indicated.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley released new messages between bureau officials Page and Strzok, who were having an affair and exchanged more than 50,000 texts with each other during the election.
“One more thing: she might be our next president,” Page texted Strzok on Feb 25, 2016, in the midst of the presidential campaign, in reference to Clinton.
“The last thing you need [is] going in there loaded for bear,” she continued. “You think she’s going to remember or care that it was more [DOJ] than [FBI]?”
“As Page noted during her testimony, “there were lots and lots and lots of disagreements between the FBI and the department.” One issue of ongoing contention was Clinton’s actual email server:
“There was a great deal of discussion between the FBI and the department with respect to whether to proceed, obtain the server which housed the bulk of Secretary Clinton’s emails, pursuant to consent or pursuant to a subpoena or other compulsory process.”
Additionally, access to the laptops of Clinton’s aides and personal lawyers was an area of particular contention:
“There were, I think, months of disagreement with respect to obtaining the Mills and Samuelson laptops. So Heather Mills and—Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson were both lawyers who engaged in the sorting. Once it had been identified that Secretary Clinton had these emails—I’m guessing it’s pursuant to the FOIA request, but I don’t really know—she—well, our understanding is that she asked her two lawyers to take the bulk of the 60,000 emails and to sort out those which were work-related from those which were personal and to produce the work-related ones to the State Department.
“They did so. That 30,000 is sort of the bulk of the emails that we relied on in order to do the investigative technique, although we found other emails a jillion other places. We, the FBI, felt very strongly that we had to acquire and attempt to review the content of the Mills and Samuelson laptops because, to the extent the other 30,000 existed anywhere, that is the best place that they may have existed.”
“And notwithstanding the fact that they had been deleted, you know, we wanted at least to take a shot at using, you know, forensic recovery tools in order to try to ensure that, in fact, the sorting that occurred between—or by Mills and Samuelson was done correctly.”
According to Page, the ongoing dispute with the DOJ ran from “February/March-ish of 2016” to June of 2016. Page also noted one other critical factor in the investigation: “the FBI cannot execute a search warrant without approval from the Justice Department.”
Notably, Page, an experienced lawyer, thought the legal case could be made that the Mills and Samuelson laptops should be made available for forensic examination. As she noted, the frustration within the FBI came, in part, from the DOJ’s “unwillingness to explain their reasoning.”
Page noted that the issue regarding the laptops rose to “the head of the OEO, the Office of Enforcement Operations, which is the unit at the Justice Department that would have to approve a warrant on a lawyer—because, of course, these were all lawyer laptops. It rose to that individual, it rose to George Toscas, over the course of this three months or so.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)
“FBI agent Peter Strzok praised Hillary Clinton and said he would vote for her for president while also leading the investigation into her possible mishandling of classified information.
In March 2016, Strzok sent his mistress Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, text messages saying that “Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0.”
And asked who he would vote for in the election, Strzok told Page: “I suppose Hillary.”
Strzok and Page also sent messages disparaging Trump, calling him an “idiot.”
(…) “Strzok and Page’s politically-charged texts continued as he transitioned from the Clinton investigation to the Russia probe.
On July 27, 2016, Page wrote of Clinton, “She just has to to win now.”
“I’m not going to lie, I got a flash of nervousness yesterday about Trump,” she said.
According to various news reports, Strzok was picked to lead the Russia investigation at around the time that message was sent.
It was revealed earlier this month that Strzok is the FBI official who watered down the language in a statement prepared for Comey. Instead of using the legal term “grossly negligent” to describe Clinton’s email activities, Strzok inserted the phrase “extremely careless.”
Strzok also appears to have gone much easier on Clinton aides that he interviewed in the email probe than he did on Trump associates he met with during the Russia investigation.
Abedin and Mills, the two Clinton aides, appear to have given misleading statements in their interviews about what they knew about Clinton’s use of a private email server. But neither faced charges for the false statements.
The records show that Fusion was also paid $523,651 by the law firm BakerHostetler between March 7, 2016 and Oct. 31, 2016.
Fusion worked for BakerHostetler to investigate Bill Browder, a London-based banker who helped push through the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions law vehemently opposed by the Kremlin.
Denis Katsyv (Credit: public domain)
BakerHostetler represented Prevezon Holdings and its owner, a Russian businessman named Denis Katsyv.
Katsyv and Prevezon sought to limit the impact of the Magnitsky sanctions.
Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and Fusion GPS founding partner, compiled the research for the anti-Browder project. He worked closely with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who also showed up at the infamous Trump Tower meeting held on June 9, 2016.
Simpson’s research ended up in the Trump Tower meeting in the form of a four-page memo carried by Veselnitskaya. She also shared Simpson’s work with Yuri Chaika, the prosecutor general of Russia.
Simpson told the House Intelligence Committee earlier this week that he did not know that Veselnitskaya provided the Browder information to Chaika or to Donald Trump Jr., the Trump campaign’s point-man in the Trump Tower meeting.
Simpson testified that he did not know that Veselnitskaya had visited Trump Tower until it was reported in the press earlier this year.
“November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702(17) “About Queries”, returns from searches, were identified by NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, being conducted by the intelligence community (FBI), by “contractors” and “individuals” for reasons that:
were directly related to U.S. persons;
and had nothing to do with National Security;
and were conducted by people who did not request FISA Court Approval.
Director Mike Rogers discovered FBI contractors doing FISA-702 “About Searches” that resulted in returns providing information on Americans. Those results were passed on to people outside government.
Pg 83. “FBI gave raw Section 702–acquired information to a private entity that was not a federal agency and whose personnel were not sufficiently supervised by a federal agency for compliance minimization procedures.” (2017 FISA Court Opinion)
Someone inside the FBI was giving FISA-702 search results on U.S. individuals to a private entity that had nothing to do with government. Those 702 (American Citizen) results were not “minimized” and exposed the private data of the American citizen(s).
In addition, NSA Director Mike Rogers, who is also in charge of Cyber Command, discovered people within the intelligence community were doing “searches” of the NSA and FBI database that were returning information that had nothing to do with “Foreign Individuals”.
Rogers requested a full FISA-702 Compliance Review.
As an outcome of that review, the DOJ/FBI compliance officer noted FISA violations. Again, the FISA Court (page 84):
We do not know how many FISA-702 violations took place prior to NSA Mike Rogers initiating the full FISA-702 review in April 2016. Nor do we know who the insider FBI individuals were; or what results were passed on; or what was done with the results.
However, given the nature of what was taking place at the time (March, April, May, 2016) it appears likely this was part of the DOJ/FBI/Fusion-GPS collision to gather information on the candidacy of Donald Trump.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/14/2018)
“According to an interview granted by the lawyer for intelligence asset Joseph Mifsud to journalist John Solomon, professor Mifsud admitted to being a western intelligence asset who was part of a CIA intelligence “operation” against candidate Donald Trump in March 2016.
Solomon notes that an audio-taped deposition exists from Joseph Mifsud prior to going into hiding after the 2016 Presidential election. From the description it sounds like Mifsud anticipated his assisted suicide and recorded a deposition as leverage against his unwanted demise.
What Solomon describes would align with the CIA purposefully leaking the details about Mifsud to the Washington Post on July 1st, 2019.
In the synergy between the U.S. intelligence apparatus and their media agents, the CIA, DOJ and State Department have specific outlets assigned to public relations.
A long-tracked pattern reflects the DOJ and FBI leak their needs to the New York Times. The preferred outlet for the U.S. State Department is CNN; and the Washington Post generally comes out first with leaks in defense of the CIA agenda.
This pattern has been remarkably consistent for years.
(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)
So against a backdrop of looming revelations about the intelligence community and their activity in the 2016 election; suddenly The Washington Post, seemingly out of nowhere, pushed an article intended to diffuse the issues around western intelligence asset Joseph Mifsud.
As we noted in July, we can reasonably assume something is happening in the background that has officials in the CIA worried about exposure and their image. From the WaPointroduction we can see what part of “spygate” the CIA is concerned about:
(Wa Po) […] The Maltese-born academic has not surfaced publicly since that October 2017 interview, days after Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about details of their interactions. Among them, Papadopoulos told investigators, was an April 2016 meeting in which Mifsud alerted him that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”
The conversation between Mifsud and Papadopoulos, eventually relayed by an Australian diplomat to U.S. government officials, was cited by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as the event that set in motion the FBI probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
With Attorney General William P. Barr’s review of the counterintelligence investigation underway,the origins of the inquiry itself are now in the spotlight — and with them, the role of Mifsud, a little-known figure. (more)
The entire WaPo article is fraught with highly manipulated narrative engineering intended to cloud the fact that clear evidence exists that Professor Mifsud’s engagement with George Papadopoulos was directed by some entity other than Mifsud.
It would be intellectually dishonest not to see some other purpose and intent beyond an academic wanting to build a relationship with some obscure policy staffer for the Trump campaign.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/18/2019)
John Brennan (Credit: Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)
“John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), made a secret visit to Moscow in March, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov. The visit, he said, had nothing to do with Russia’s decision two weeks ago to begin withdrawing from Syria.
“It’s no secret that Brennan was here,” Syromolotov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying Monday. “But he didn’t visit the Foreign Ministry. I know for sure that he met with the Federal Security Service (the successor agency to the Soviet KGB), and someone else.”
It wasn’t clear why Brennan visited Moscow, but the trip appears to have coincided with President Vladimir Putin’s surprise March 14 announcement that Russia’s combat operation in Syria was ending, and Moscow would soon withdraw a portion of its forces from the country after conducting 167 air strikes.
The decision to withdraw was followed by a visit of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Moscow last week. While in Russia, Kerry met personally with Putin and his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.” (Moscow Times, 3/28/2016)
Sputnik News, quotes CIA Director of Public Affairs, Dean Boyd, as affirming that Brennan did discuss Syria during the visit. “Director Brennan,” he allegedly said, “reiterated the US government’s consistent support for a genuine political transition in Syria, and the need for Assad’s departure in order to facilitate a transition that reflects the will of the Syrian people.” (Read more: Sputnik News, 3/28/2016)
“The recently released transcript of George Papadopoulos’s congressional testimony reveals a significant fact: Papadopoulos’s introduction to Joseph Mifsud—the source of the “Russia has Hillary’s emails” tip that purportedly prompted the FBI to launch an investigation into the Trump campaign—was arranged mere days after Papadopoulos announced he was joining the Trump campaign.
Saturday evening, Papadopoulos rocked Twitter with claims that “a woman in London, who was the FBI’s legal attaché in the U.K.” encouraged him “to meet Joseph Mifsud in Rome in March 2016.” These new revelations raise fresh concerns that, with the approval of the FBI, foreign governments were meddling in the 2016 election.
Mifsud has long been a focal point of those on the right attempting to disembowel the Russia collusion hoax. The basics have been known for some time.
From court documents filed in connection to Papadopoulos’s guilty plea for lying to the FBI and from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s (HPSCI) report on “Russian Active Measures,” we know that “on March 14, 2016, George met London-based college Professor Joseph Mifsud while traveling in Italy.” During that meeting, “Mifsud, then director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, claimed connections to the Russian Government.”
A week later, on March 21, 2016, Trump publicly identified Papadopoulos as one of his foreign policy advisors. Then on March 24, 2016, Mifsud traveled to London, “where he introduced George to a young woman named Olga,” telling the newly named Trump advisor that Olga was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s niece and suggesting they could arrange meetings with high-level Russian officials.
Then, continuing throughout the summer of 2016, Papadopoulos attempted “to arrange meetings between the Russian government and campaign officials,” working with Mifsud and Mifsud’s supposed Russian connections.
On April 26, 2016, Mifsud also shared a tip with Papadopoulos over a breakfast meeting in London: Mifsud told Papadopoulos “that he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian government officials,” and had learned that “the Russians had obtained ‘dirt’ on candidate Clinton,” namely thousands of Clinton’s emails.
Papadopoulos would later repeat this conversation to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer over drinks in a London bar in May. In late July, after WikiLeakspublished a trove of stolen Democratic National Committee emails, agents at the FBI’s D.C. headquarters supposedly first learned of Papadopoulos’s statement to Downer, although it remains unclear how details of the conversation made it from Downer to the FBI.
Then, on July 31, 2016, purportedly on the basis of Papadopoulos’s advanced knowledge of Russia’s possession of the stolen emails, Peter Strzok initiated the Crossfire Hurricane federal investigation of the Trump campaign. The DOJ and FBI would later seek a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act order to surveil another Trump foreign policy advisor, Carter Page, and the FISA application reiterated the FBI’s claim that it had launched a counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016, after learning of Papadopoulos’s conversation with Downer. (Read more: The Federalist, 4/01/2019)
Newt Gingrich (Credit: Nicholas Kamm/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)
“In the summer of 2016, the FBI interview report noted, the interviewee reported that a senior staff member of the US Senate Judiciary Committee contacted him “out of concerns data from Clinton’s e-mail server might end up overseas. Specifically [name redacted] wanted to determine if there was an intrusion into Clinton’s server and, if so, whether exfiltrated data fell into the hands of a foreign power”—and whether that data could endanger the Senate staffer’s sons, who were in the military.
The interviewee told FBI investigators that he had told the Senate staffer that he would have to look for data that was “genuine, authentic and relevant” to determine that there had been a breach. But the staffer had no money to fund the research, so the project was brought to Newt Gingrich—who obtained funding for the investigation from Judicial Watch.
In March of 2016, Judicial Watch paid the contractor’s side company $32,000 for the first phase of the project—determining whether Clinton’s server had been directly attacked. “Judicial Watch awarded the contract to [name redacted] because they were confident he understood both the Deep Web and the Dark Web,” the interviewee told the FBI. The investigation also targeted data from Sidney Blumenthal’s e-mail account, but Clinton’s and Blumenthal’s actual e-mail services were off-limits for the search.
Some of Blumenthal’s files—but no e-mails—were found on a server in Romania, according to the FBI interview. The investigation also found an Excel file listing names of known or suspected jihadists in Libya—but part of that file was in Russian. “The file did not come from Blumenthal’s server, but contained a reference to an IP address range that included the IP address of Clinton’s server,” the FBI report recounts. “Upon viewing this file, [name redacted] became concerned he had found a classified document and stopped the project.”
“This appears to be the phishing email that hacked Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account. Further, The Clinton campaign’s own computer help desk thought it was real email sent by Google, even though the email address had a suspicious “googlemail.com” extension.”
The email, with the subject line “*Someone has your password,*” greeted Podesta, “Hi John” and then said, “Someone just used your password to try to sign into your Google Account email@example.com.” Then it offered a time stamp and an IP address in “Location: Ukraine.”
“Google stopped this sign-in attempt. You should change your password immediately.” And it then offered a link to change his password.
“This is a legitimate email,” Charles Delevan at the HFA help desk wrote to Podesta’s chief of staff, Sara Latham. “John needs to change his password immediately, and ensure that two-factor authentication is turned on his account.”
Delevan included the Gmail link that would be used to change a user’s password, but whoever changed Podesta’s password instead clicked on the shortened URL that was in the original phishing email. This is the same technique used to hack Colin Powell’s emails and the Democratic National Committee emails, according to the website Motherboard.” (Read more: CBS News, 10/28/2016) (Wikileaks – Podesta Emails)
On [March] 23, 2016, DOJ prosecutor Lisa Holtyn emails Bruce Ohr to see if he could connect her as well as prosecutors Joe Wheatley and Ivana Nizich with his wife, Nellie Ohr, as she could be a “great resource” for them. He replies, “I’m sure Nellie would be delighted to speak with them. I’m pretty sure there is no conflict of interest since they aren’t paying her or anything like that.” Congressman Mark Meadows suggested this email shows that Nellie Ohr “knowingly provided false testimony” to Congress she had no role in DOJ investigations.
(A snippet of Lisa Holtyn’s email and Bruce Ohr’s response)
“The Trump campaign announced it had brought on Manafort, a veteran political strategist, to help the real estate mogul prevent delegates from bolting and choosing another nominee at the Republican National Convention in July. Although Trump led the Republican field in both votes and delegates, he was still unpopular among many Republicans, and it was unclear if he would end up with the necessary delegates to prevent a floor fight at the convention. Manafort was picked in part because he was instrumental in Gerald Ford’s successful floor fight at the 1976 convention.
“Paul is a great asset and an important addition as we consolidate the tremendous support we have received in the primaries,” Trump said in a statement on March 29, 2016.
Manafort quickly got to work, ensuring the Trump campaign had a presence during the selection process and showing up to the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting in April.”
(…) “Manafort was later promoted from convention manager to campaign chairman and chief strategist. Manafort told ABC News that the Republican establishment was gathering behind Trump and acknowledging his likely nomination. “There’s a growing number of people supporting us,” he said. “They all recognize now that we definitely can win.”
One month later, Manafort’s influence within the campaign appeared even more cemented after Trump fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, with whom Manafort had a well-documented power struggle.” (Fortune, 3/22/2017)
Daniel Jones appears in an interview with the Guardian on September 9, 2016. (Credit: The Guardian)
Deripaska then described an unusual meeting that took place on March 16, 2017, between his lawyer and a former intelligence staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) named Dan Jones:
“Daniel Jones—himself a team member of Fusion GPS, self-described former FBI agent and, as we now know from the media, an ex-Feinstein staffer—met with my lawyer, Adam Waldman, and described Fusion as a ‘shadow media organization helping the government,’ funded by a ‘group of Silicon Valley billionaires and George Soros.’”
At the time, Deripaska’s op-ed was largely ignored, or at least not viewed with great sincerity. Political commentary from Russian oligarchs isn’t in the greatest demand, domestically.
But just one week later, the House final report on Russia was made public. On page 112 of the report, there is a reference to “post-election anti-Trump research by Steele and/or Fusion GPS” along with a footnote. Contained in the footnote on page 113, is the following:
“In late March 2017, Jones met with FBI regarding PQG [Penn Quarter Group], which he described as ‘exposing foreign influence in Western elections.’ [redacted—likely Jones] told FBI that PQG was being funded by 7 to 10 wealthy donors located primarily in New York and California, who provided approximately $50 million. [redacted—likely Jones] further stated that PQG had secured the services of Steele, his associate [redacted—likely Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson], and Fusion GPS to continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.”
This footnote, and its potential significance, was first highlighted in an April 27 article by The Federalist.
Jones, who had previously worked as a senior intelligence staffer for Feinstein, founded PQG in the spring of 2016.
In his interview with the FBI, Jones made mention of “7 to 10 wealthy donors located primarily in New York and California, who provided approximately $50 million” in funding to PQG. But unlike Deripaska, Jones makes no known reference to financial involvement from George Soros.
However, a recentarticle in the Washington Postrevealed that at least some of the money received by Jones’ PQG did come from Soros through an intermediary. Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, disclosed to Washington Post reporter David Ignatius that Soros had made a grant to the Democracy Integrity Project which, in turn, used Fusion GPS as a contractor.
Jones isn’t referred to by name in the article—he is described only as “an associate of Fusion.” Nor is the underlying identity of Democracy Integrity Project disclosed in the Washington Post article.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 10/01/2018)
Clinton accepts the Democratic nomination for the presidency on July 27, 2017. (Credit: Thomson Reuters)
“There has been much confusion in the media — and thereby, the public — about who funded the infamous Trump dossier. Some outlets have incorrectly reported that Republicans began financing the dossier before the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee took over last Spring.
But that is incorrect. Democrats are solely responsible for the dossier, which was passed around by their research firm, Fusion GPS, to Beltway reporters and select lawmakers during the heat of the presidential campaign.
Here is the definitive timeline of how it all transpired.
Oct. 2015: It was reported late Friday that the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump. Free Beacon’s editor said Friday that the research was standard opposition research and that it was not tied to the dossier work that would follow several months later. It is not clear what, if anything, Singer knew about Free Beacon’s hiring of Fusion. The hedge fund manager was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s biggest backer.
Feb. 20, 2016: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush drops from the Republican primary.
Early March: Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie, the law firm for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. Perkins Coie general counsel revealed this week that Fusion offered to continue Trump opposition research it had started while working for a Republican candidate.
March 15: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio drops from the Republican primary after losing to Trump in his home state.
April: Perkins Coie, using money from the Clinton campaign and DNC, hires Fusion GPS. Marc Elias, a Perkins Coie partner and general counsel for both the campaign and DNC, would serve as the bagman.
That month, Federal Election Commission records show that the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie a total of $150,000 for legal services. The DNC paid the firm around $107,000. It is unclear how much of that went to Fusion GPS. Both the campaign and DNC would pay Perkins Coie hundreds of thousands more dollars throughout the campaign. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 10/28/2017)(Perkins Coie Letter, 10/24/2017)
“In anticipation of voting in the April 19, 2016, presidential primary in New York, Kathleen Menegozzi checked her registration online. The Brooklyn resident, a registered Democrat since 2008, learned three weeks before the election that she had been struck from the rolls. Another Brooklyn Democrat, Casey James Diskin, who first joined the party in 2012, discovered five days before the primary that he was not registered at all.
In Manhattan, Michael Hubbard, a Democrat since 2015, checked his status online 17 days before planning to vote, only to find that he too was no longer registered. Meanwhile, in Queens, Benjamin Leo Gersh, who also had been a registered Democrat since 2015, checked on his voter status, and saw two weeks before the primary that he too had been purged.
Then-New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would eventually reveal that they were among 200,000 New York City voters who had been illegally wiped off the rolls and prevented from voting in the presidential primary. But by January of 2017, when Schneiderman announced that he would intervene in a federal lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, the news fell on deaf ears.
The announcement had come just seven days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Although it was the first time the total number of purged voters had been disclosed, the media was consumed with a different statistic: the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration. At the same time, a snowballing narrative that Russia had hacked the U.S. election would overshadow the indisputable fact that a domestic government agency had committed election fraud.
The lack of media attention was in stark contrast to the recent barrage of headlines about a right-wing push to purge eligible voters from the rolls. Much of the media ignored New York’s proven case of election fraud, perhaps because it had been facilitated by Democrats, and not by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican with a national profile for championing stricter voter ID legislation.
Schneiderman’s lawsuit, which was initially launched by a coalition of three voter rights groups, never went to trial – the New York City Board of Elections didn’t even try to dispute the attorney general’s findings. “The New York City Board of Elections got caught with their hand in the cookie jar,” said Jose Perez, general counsel for one of the plaintiffs, Latino Justice PRLDEF.
In October of 2017, the city’s elections board quietly settled the lawsuit by admitting it broke federal and state election laws. It agreed to a vague list of reforms in a consent decree, including that it “overhaul its voter registration and list maintenance procedures, adequately train relevant staff, submit to regular monitoring of its voter registration and list maintenance activities, and review every registration cancelled since July, 1, 2013.” (Read more: City & State New York, 11/06/2018)
“In an April 12, 2016, email exchange initiated by an email from Strzok to [Redacted] within the Justice Department’s National Security Division (NSD), Strzok asks the NSD official if he’d like to add anything to the agenda of a meeting to occur three days later between FBI and DOJ attorneys.
[Redacted] NSD official responds: Would like to see what you have on your agenda so we could see what we might want to add on our end. I will mention to [Redacted]. Also interested in understanding FBI OGC’s analysis of the privilege and ethics issues we are facing.
Strzok forwards to Page: Pretty nonresponsive.…
Page responds: Why provide them an agenda? I wouldn’t do that until you have a sense of how Andy [McCabe] wants to go. So no. We’ll talk about what we’re going to talk about and then they can talk about what they want to talk about. Also, seriously Pete. F him. OGC needs to provide an analysis? We haven’t done one. But they seem to be categorical that it’s just impossible, I’d just like to know why.
And now I’m angry before bed again.?
Total indulgence, there’s a TV in here. Here’s hoping I can find something to sufficiently melt my brain???
Strzok replies: Because I want to make this productive! Why NOT provide them an agenda!?!? We all talk about what we want to talk about and that’s a waste of time.
They haven’t done one either (legal analysis)
Assume noble intent.
How do we maximize this use of time?
Page writes: I’m ignoring all this and going to bed.
Strzok and Page were discussing a meeting that the Justice Department and FBI were about to have concerning, among other things, “privilege and ethics issues we are facing.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 2/15/2019)
(…) “In March of 2016, NSA Director Rogers became aware of improper access to raw FISA data (Page 83 of Court Ruling).
In April of 2016, Rogers directed the NSA’s Office of Compliance to conduct a “fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702” (Senate testimony & Page 83-84 of Court Ruling).
On April 18, 2016, Rogers shut down all outside contractor access to raw FISA information – specifically outside contractors working for the FBI. The discovery that outside contractors were accessing raw FISA data is probably the event that precipitated Rogers ordering a full compliance review (Page 84 of Court Ruling).
On April 18, 2016, both the FBI and DOJ’s NSD become aware of Rogers’ compliance review. They may have known earlier but they were certainly aware after outside contractor access was halted. (Read more: themarketswork.com, 4/05/2018)
“Former president Barack Obama’s official campaign organization has directed nearly a million dollars to the same law firm that funneled money to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the infamous Steele dossier. Since April of 2016, Obama For America (OFA) has paid over $972,000 to Perkins Coie, records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.
The Washington Post reported last week that Perkins Coie, an international law firm, was directed by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to retain Fusion GPS in April of 2016 to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to compile a dossier of allegations that Trump and his campaign actively colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Though many of the claims in the dossier have been directly refuted, none of the dossier’s allegations of collusion have been independently verified. Lawyers for Steele admitted in court filings last April that his work was not verified and was never meant to be made public.
OFA, Obama’s official campaign arm in 2016, paid nearly $800,000 to Perkins Coie in 2016 alone, according to FEC records. The first 2016 payments to Perkins Coie, classified only as “Legal Services,” were made April 25-26, 2016, and totaled $98,047. A second batch of payments, also classified as “Legal Services,” were disbursed to the law firm on September 29, 2016, and totaled exactly $700,000. Payments from OFA to Perkins Coie in 2017 totaled $174,725 through August 22, 2017.
FEC records as well as federal court records show that Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer whom the Washington Post reported was responsible for the payments to Fusion GPS on behalf of Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, also previously served as a counsel for OFA. In Shamblin v. Obama for America, a 2013 case in federal court in Florida, federal court records list Elias as simultaneously serving as lead attorney for both OFA and the DNC.” (Read more: The Federalist, 10/29/2017)
The Washington Post reports that Michael Sussman, a partner with Perkins Coie and who represents the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, is responsible for hiring Crowdstrike.
“DNC leaders were tipped to the hack in late April. Chief executive Amy Dacey got a call from her operations chief saying that their information technology team had noticed some unusual network activity.
“It’s never a call any executive wants to get, but the IT team knew something was awry,” Dacey said. And they knew it was serious enough that they wanted experts to investigate.
That evening, she spoke with Michael Sussmann, a DNC lawyer who is a partner with Perkins Coie in Washington. Soon after, Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who handled computer crime cases, called Henry, whom he has known for many years.
Within 24 hours, CrowdStrike had installed software on the DNC’s computers so that it could analyze data that could indicate who had gained access, when and how. (Read more: Washington Post, 6/14/2016)
Hillary Clinton makes a stop at Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s campaign office on August 9, 2016. (Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
“The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.
Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
James Comey (Credit: Michael Reynolds/European Press Agency)
“Transcripts reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveal that former FBI Director James Comey began drafting an exoneration statement in the Clinton email investigation before the FBI had interviewed key witnesses. Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, requested all records relating to the drafting of the statement as the committee continues to review the circumstances surrounding Comey’s removal from the Bureau.
“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy,” the senators wrote in a letter today to the FBI.
Last fall, following allegations from Democrats in Congress, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) began investigating whether Comey’s actions in the Clinton email investigation violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using their official position to influence an election. In the course of that investigation, OSC interviewed two FBI officials close to Comey: James Rybicki, Comey’s Chief of Staff, and Trisha Anderson, the Principal Deputy General Counsel of National Security and Cyberlaw. OSC provided transcripts of those interviews at Grassley’s request after it closed the investigation due to Comey’s termination.
Both transcripts are heavily redacted without explanation. However, they indicate that Comey began drafting a statement to announce the conclusion of the Clinton email investigation in April or May of 2016, before the FBI interviewed up to 17 key witnesses including former Secretary Clinton and several of her closest aides. The draft statement also came before the Department entered into immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson where the Department agreed to a very limited review of Secretary Clinton’s emails and to destroy their laptops after review. In an extraordinary July announcement, Comey exonerated Clinton despite noting “there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information.”
In their letter, the two chairmen requested all drafts of Comey’s statement closing the Clinton investigation, all related emails and any records previously provided to OSC in the course of its investigation.
OSC is the permanent, independent investigative agency for personnel matters in the federal government and is not related to Robert Mueller’s temporary prosecutorial office within the Justice Department.
Hillary wins the Democratic party’s nomination for president. (Source: Times of Israel)
“In the days before Hillary Clinton launched an unprecedented big-money fundraising vehicle with state parties last summer, she vowed “to rebuild our party from the ground up,” proclaiming “when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.”
But less than 1 percent of the $61 million raised by that effort has stayed in the state parties’ coffers, according to a Politico analysis of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.
The venture, the Hillary Victory Fund, is a so-called joint fundraising committee comprised of Clinton’s presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee and 32 state party committees. The setup allows Clinton to solicit checks of $350,000 or more from her super-rich supporters at extravagant fundraisers including a dinner at George Clooney’s house and a concert at Radio City Music Hall featuring Katy Perry and Elton John.
The victory fund has transferred $3.8 million to the state parties, but almost all of that cash ($3.3 million, or 88 percent) was quickly transferred to the DNC, usually within a day or two, by the Clinton staffer who controls the committee, Politico’s analysis of the FEC records found.” (Read more: Politico, 05/02/2016)
From a Wikileaks email sent by Alexandra Chalupa to Luis Miranda, Communications Director of the DNC:
Open World is a supposedly non-partisan Congressional agency.
Michael Isikoff is the same journalist Christopher Steele leaked to in September 2016:
The Carter Page FISA application extensively cited a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focused on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This information was used to corroborate the Steele Dossier.
Steele leaked to Isikoff who wrote the article for Yahoo News. The Isikoff article was then used to help obtain a Title I FISA grant to gather information on Page. This search was then leaked by Steele to David Corn at Mother Jones.
Isikoff accompanied Chalupa to a reception at the Ukrainian Embassy immediately after the Library of Congress event.
Remember when we learned last week that Michael Isikoff’s Fusion GPS-supplied “reporting” was used as evidence to confirm supposed veracity of TrumpRussia dossier?
He was simultaneously recruited by DNC/Clinton to dig up anti-Trump dirt.
“The New York Times provided us an introduction to FBI reasoning in launching the Trump-Russia Inquiry – drunken comments from George Papadopoulos:
During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Alexander Downer (Credit: The Australian)
About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.
The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year: What so alarmed American officials to provoke the F.B.I. to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign months before the presidential election?
The Papadopoulos/Downer meeting has been portrayed as a chance encounter in a bar. That does not appear to be the case. Papadopoulos was introduced to Downer through a chain of two intermediaries. Papadopoulos knew an Israeli embassy official in London named Christian Cantor who introduced Papadopoulos to Erika Thompson. Thompson was a counselor to Downer and served in Australia’s London embassy.
On May 4, 2016, Papadopoulos gave an interview to the London Times in which he stated then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize to Trump for negative comments. The interview was not well-received. According to the Daily Caller, Thompson reached out to Papadopoulos two days after the story appeared and said Downer wanted to meet with Papadopoulos. The meeting between Papadopoulos and Downer took place on May 10, 2016. Downer reportedly told Papadopoulos to “leave David Cameron alone.”
We know Papadopoulos mentioned “thousands of emails” in his FBI Interview regarding his April 26, 2016 meeting with Mifsud. That comment is noted in the July 28, 2017Affidavit and the October 5, 2017Statement of the Offense. However, there is nothing regarding comments made to Alexander Downer in either document.
What does Alexander Downer have to say about the May 10, 2016 meeting. From a news.com.au article:
“We had a drink and he (Papadopoulos) talked about what Trump’s foreign policy would be like if Trump won the election.”
He (Trump) hadn’t got the nomination at that stage. During that conversation he (Papadopoulos) mentioned the Russians might use material that they have on Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the election, which may be damaging.
On April 28, 2018, Downer gave an interview toThe Australian. The story, which I’ve read, is behind a paywall – but the Daily Caller provides some details:
“We didn’t know anything about Trump and Russia and we had no particular focus on that,’’ Downer says of the Papadopoulos meeting. “For us we were more interested in what Trump would do in Asia” Downer told The Australian. “He [Papadopoulos] didn’t say dirt; he said material that could be damaging to her. No, he said it would be damaging. He didn’t say what it was.”
“By the way, nothing [Papadopoulos] said in that conversation indicated Trump himself had been conspiring with the Russians to collect information on Hillary Clinton. It was just that this guy, [Papadopoulos], clearly knew that the Russians did have material on Hillary Clinton — but whether Trump knew or not? He didn’t say Trump knew or that Trump was in any way involved in this. He said it was about Russians and Hillary Clinton; it wasn’t about Trump.”
Interestingly, the Schiff Memo appears to back this account up. From page two:
“Papadopoulos’ disclosure occurred against the backdrop of Russia’s aggressive covert campaign to influence our elections, which the FBI was already monitoring. We would later learn in Papadopoulos’ plea that the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing were thousands of Hillary Clinton emails.”
Despite initial reporting to the contrary, it appears neither “political dirt” nor Clinton emails were ever mentioned at the Papadopoulos/Downer meeting. Notably, Papadopoulos didn’t mention anything to indicate Trump knew of the Clinton information, or had any role in its collection or potential distribution.
There’s been some confusion over how Papadopoulos’ comments made their way to the FBI. Downer stated in his interview that he reported the conversation back to Australia almost immediately…” (Read much more: themarketswork.com, 8/15/2018)
“On May 15, 2016, James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey, sends FBI General Counsel James Baker; Bill Priestap, former assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division; McCabe; Page; and others an email with the subject line “Request from the Director.”
James Rybicki (Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)
Rybicki writes: By NLT [no later than] next Monday, the Director would like to see a list of all cases charged in the last 20 years where the gravamen of the charge was mishandling classified information.
It should be in chart form with: (1) case name, (2) a short summary for content (3) charges brought, and (4) charge of conviction.
If need be, we can get it from NSD [National Security Division] and let them know that the Director asked for this personally.
Please let me know who can take the lead on this.
Page forwards to Strzok: FYSA [For your situational awareness]
Strzok replies to Page: I’ll take the lead, of course – sounds like an espionage section question… Or do you think OGC [Office of the General Counsel] should?
And the more reason for us to get feedback to Rybicki, as we all identified this as an issue/question over a week ago.
Hillary Clinton and Peter Strzok (Credit: Getty Images)
“Foreign actors” obtained access to some of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails — including at least one email classified as “secret” — according to a new memo from two GOP-led House committees and an internal FBI email.”
(…) “The House committees, which conducted a joint probe into decisions made by the DOJ in 2016 and 2017, addressed a range of issues in their memo including Clinton’s email security.
“Documents provided to the Committees show foreign actors obtained access to some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails — including at least one email classified ‘Secret,'” the memo says, adding that foreign actors also accessed the private accounts of some Clinton staffers.
The memo does not say who the foreign actors are, or what material was obtained, but it notes that secret information is defined as information that, if disclosed, could “reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.”
The committees say that no one appears to have been held accountable either criminally or administratively.
Relatedly, Fox News has obtained a May 2016 email from FBI investigator Peter Strzok — who also is criticized in the House memo for his anti-Trump texts with colleague Lisa Page. The email says that “we know foreign actors obtained access” to some Clinton emails, including at least one “secret” message “via compromises of the private email accounts” of Clinton staffers.” (Strzok Email, 5/17/2016)(Read more: Fox News, 6/14/2018)
“Clinton operatives pushed a dossier during the 2016 presidential campaign that appeared to be a classic “rope-a-dope” scheme being peddled by purported Russian spies, according to a person who was briefed on the documents by one of the Clinton insiders during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The dossier in question was written by Cody Shearer, a notorious Clinton fixer. It was passed to the Department of State by Sidney Blumenthal, a friend of Shearer’s and another Clinton operative.
The eight-page document eventually made its way to the FBI through Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote a dossier of his own.
While the FBI is reportedly investigating the claims made in the Shearer memos, one person who discussed the document with Shearer during the campaign says it appeared at the time to be a ruse.
According to the source, who spoke to The Daily Caller News Foundation on condition of anonymity, Shearer claimed that members of Russia’s spy service, the FSB, had video tape of Trump engaged in sexually compromising acts.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 5/01/2018)
“FBI official Peter Strzok testified Thursday that he can’t recall using his work computer to soften the wording of a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton of mishandling classified information.
Strzok conceded during a joint hearing of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees that metadata indicates his computer made the change, but said he can’t remember doing it.
The June 2016 edit changed “grossly negligent,” a term that carries legal liability under the Espionage Act, to “extremely careless.
(…) “My recollection, sir, is that somebody within our office of general counsel did, it was one of the attorneys, I don’t remember which one,” Strzok said. “It was a legal issue that one of the attorneys brought up.”
After a meeting, the change was made on Strzok’s computer.
“I don’t recall specifically when it happened,” he testified.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., noted that metadata indicated that Strzok’s computer made the change.
“I am aware as well of that metadata,” Strzok said. “My recollection is of working on the draft with a group of us in my office because it was the largest office and taking the inputs of probably five or ten different people.”
Sensenbrenner asked Strzok to confirm that his computer made the change.
“Based on my subsequent review of that metadata, I believe that to be true,” Strzok said.”
“Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.
Contrary to earlier reporting in the New York Times, which cited FBI sources as saying that the agency did not believe that the private server in Donald Trump’s Trump Tower which was connected to a Russian bank had any nefarious purpose, the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request around possible financial and banking offenses related to the server. The first request, which, sources say, named Trump, was denied back in June, but the second was drawn more narrowly and was granted in October after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank. While the Times story speaks of metadata, sources suggest that a FISA warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.
The FBI agents who talked to the New York Times, and rubbished the ground-breaking stories of Slate ( Franklin Foer) and Mother Jones (David Corn) may not have known about the FISA warrant, sources say, because the counter-intelligence and criminal sides of the FBI often work independently of each other employing the principle of ‘compartmentalization’.
The FISA warrant was granted in connection with the investigation of suspected activity between the server and two banks, SVB Bank and Alfa Bank. However, it is thought in the intelligence community that the warrant covers any ‘US person’ connected to this investigation, and thus covers Donald Trump and at least three further men who have either formed part of his campaign or acted as his media surrogates. The warrant was sought, they say, because actionable intelligence on the matter provided by friendly foreign agencies could not properly be examined without a warrant by US intelligence as it involves ‘US Persons’ who come under the remit of the FBI and not the CIA. Should a counter-intelligence investigation lead to criminal prosecutions, sources say, the Justice Department is concerned that the chain of evidence have a basis in a clear warrant.
In June, when the first FISA warrant was denied, the FBI was reportedly alarmed at Carter Page’s trip to Moscow and meetings with Russian officials, one week before the DNC was hacked. Counter intelligence agencies later reported to both Presidential candidates that Russia had carried out this hack; Donald Trump said publicly in the third debate that ‘our country has no idea’ if Russia did the hacking. The discovery of the Trump Tower private Russian server, however, communicating with Alfa Bank, changed matters, sources report. (Read more: Heat Street, 11/07/2016)
(Timeline editor’s note: We do not consider Louise Mensch to be a credible source, however, we do find it interesting she was the first “journalist” to report on the FISA warrant, the day before the 2016 election.)
Former CIA director John Brennan testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017. (Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
“Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was – allegedly – a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign.
It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.
The taskforce included six agencies or departments of government. Dealing with the domestic, US, side of the inquiry, were the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. For the foreign and intelligence aspects of the investigation, there were another three agencies: the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic spying.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the FISA court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.
Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.” (Read more: BBC, 1/12/2017)
“Before Trump Jr. was set to meet with the Russian lawyer as his father campaigned for the presidency, Trump Jr. was told Veselnitskaya’s potentially damning information about Clinton was from the Kremlin, according to emails he released.
Trump Jr. has maintained that Veselnitskaya did not have any information to share and instead wanted to discuss other matters, such as the Magnitsky Act which enacts sanctions on certain Russian officials as punishment for human rights violations.
“After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Ms. Clinton,” Trump Jr. said in a statement.
“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered,” Trump Jr. continued.
Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended the meeting, along with a translator.
Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who set up the meeting, was also in attendance, as well as Rinat Akhmetshin, a prominent Russian-American lobbyist, Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow-based developer and a translator.
A spokesperson for Trump’s outside legal team said Trump “was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.” Trump Jr. said he “wouldn’t have wasted his time” by telling him about the meeting. (Read more: Fox News, 5/16/2018)
Glenn Simpson (Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press)
“The co-founder of Fusion GPS, the firm behind the unverified Trump dossier, met with a Russian lawyer before and after a key meeting she had last year with Trump’s son, Fox News has learned. The contacts shed new light on how closely tied the firm was to Russian interests, at a time when it was financing research to discredit then-candidate Donald Trump.”
(…) “The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya occurred during a critical period. At that time, Fox News has learned that bank records show Fusion GPS was paid by a law firm for work on behalf of a Kremlin-linked oligarch while paying former British spy Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on Trump through his Russian contacts.
But hours before the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, Fusion co-founder and ex-Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson was with Veselnitskaya in a Manhattan federal courtroom, a confidential source told Fox News. Court records reviewed by Fox News, email correspondence and published reports corroborate their presence together. The source told Fox News they also were together after the Trump Tower meeting.”
(…) “NBC News first reported that Veselnitskaya and Simpson were both at a hearing centered around another Fusion client, Russian oligarch Denis Katsyv. His company, Prevezon Holdings, was sanctioned against doing business in the U.S. for its alleged role in laundering more than $230 million. Fox News obtained audio records from that hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The wrongdoing had been uncovered by Russian lawyer and whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, who was beaten to death in a Russian prison in 2009 after being arrested for probing Prevezon and other companies with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In December 2012, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was passed into U.S. law, freezing Russian assets and banning visas for sanctioned individuals. Fusion’s Simpson is believed to have been working with Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet counter-intelligence officer turned Russian-American lobbyist, to overturn the sanctions.” (Read more: Fox News, 11/7/2017)
Texas attorney Ty Clevenger (Credit: Dallas Morning News)
A recent FOIA request by attorney Ty Clevenger resulted in the release of a letter (pdf pgs 12-16), dated October 5, 2016, written by Senator Grassley and co-signed by three members of congress. It is addressed to AG Loretta Lynch, and reveals how the DOJ/FBI and Cheryl Mill’s attorney, Beth Wilkinson, wrote and agreed to the rules that grossly limited the scope of the Clinton email investigation.
Here are some of the concerns listed by Senator Grassley and congress members Jason Chaffetz, Devin Nunes and Bob Goodlatte. They also have questions for AG Lynch at the end of the letter and they can be found at the source link provided above and below:
1. There were two letters addressed to the DOJ from attorney Beth Wilkinson on behalf of her client Cheryl Mills, that were made available for an in camera review by our committees.
2. The Wilkinson letters are both dated June 10, 2016 and incorporated by reference into the immunity agreements for Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson that was related to the FBI criminal investigation into Clinton’s email server.
3. The letters set out the precise manner in which the Department and the FBI would access and use federal records and other information stored on .PST and .OST email archives from Ms. Mills’ and Ms. Samuelson’s laptops.
4. Ms. Wilkinson and lawyers from the Justice Department drafted the letters jointly before they were sent them to DOJ.
5. They express concerns about “the process by which Congress was allowed to view the Wilkinson letters, that the letters inappropriately restrict the scope of the FBI’s investigation, and that the FBI inexplicably agreed to destroy the laptops knowing that the contents were the subject of Congressional subpoenas and preservation letters.”
6. The viewing restrictions imposed on congress as a condition of cooperating voluntarily, the DoJ limited access to the letters to only members of certain committees and one or two staff, prohibited members and staff from “taking notes or photos, or otherwise seeking to record the information contained in the memos,” and redacted the names of all DOJ and FBI personnel on the documents.
7. The Wilkinson letters only permitted the FBI to review email archives from Platte River Networks created after June 1, 2014, and before February 1, 2015, that included emails sent or received from Secretary Clinton’s four email addresses during her tenure as Secretary of State. Limitations would necessarily have excluded, for example, any emails from Cheryl Mills to Paul Combetta in late 2014 or early 2015 directing the destruction or concealment of federal records. Similarly, these limitations would have excluded any email sent or received by Secretary Clinton if it was not sent or received by one of the four email addresses listed, or the email address was altered. Notably, in December 2014, Mr. Combetta deleted all Clinton emails older than 60 days, which was in effect all of Secretary Clinton’s emails from January 2009 to October 2014. He admitted this “change in retention policy” during his second FBI interview in February 2016.
8. In March 2015, Mr. Combetta had two conference calls with David Kendall, attorney for Secretary Clinton, and Ms. Mills. Mr. Combetta admitted to the FBI in his third interview in May 2016 that after the second conference call on March 31, 2015, he used BleachBit to destroy any remaining copies of Clinton’s emails and PST files that he was able to locate. Per the agreement with Ms. Wilkinson, emails from around the time of the conference calls (and subsequent deletion of records) would not have been covered by the FBI’s review of Ms. Mills’ and Ms. Samuelson’s laptops. Importantly, before the FBI agreed to the Wilkinson letters in June 2016, it already knew of the conference calls between Secretary Clinton’s attorneys and Mr. Combetta, his use of BleachBit, and the resulting deletions, further casting doubt on why the FBI would enter into such a limited evidentiary scope of review with respect to the laptops.
The Wilkinson letters went on to provide that the FBI would destroy any records which it retrieved that were not turned over to the investigatory team, meaning the FBI might proceed to delete such an email, after determining it should not be sent to the investigatory team. Further, the Wilkinson letters memorialized the FBI’s agreement to destroy the laptops. This is simply astonishing given the likelihood that evidence on the laptops would be of interest to congressional investigators.
9. The Wilkinson letters raise serious questions about why DOJ would consent to such substantial limitations on the scope of its investigation, and how Director Comey’s statements on the scope of the investigation comport with the reality of what the FBI was permitted to investigate.
10. The Committees requested unredacted copies of Wilkinson letters; the two immunity agreements for Mr. Bryan Pagliano; the immunity agreement for Mr. Paul Combetta; the immunity agreement for Mr. John Bentel; the immunity agreement for Ms. Cheryl Mills; and the immunity agreement for Ms. Heather Samuelson.
“The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), has just obtained previously unreleased documents related to the Clinton investigation and immunity agreements given to top Clinton aids by the Obama DOJ.
At the ACLJ we have been busy litigating multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Deep State and Obama-era holdovers in various agencies in Washington, D.C.
In one of those FOIA lawsuits, the ACLJ took the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to court to force production of various records surrounding former FBI Director James Comey’s sham investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers and mishandling of classified information.
After months of litigation, the ACLJ’s diligence and persistence is paying off.
Heather Samuelson (l) and Cheryl Mills (Credit: YouTube)
The ACLJ has obtained the DOJ’s infamous immunity agreements with Hillary Clinton’s top aides Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson – documents previously unreleased to the public.
These documents were directly responsive to a FOIA request the ACLJ had submitted to the DOJ and FBI awhile back, and we were forced to file a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C., to get them. Our FOIA request sought:
All records concerning the immunity agreements entered into between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and witnesses and/or subjects of the FBI’s Clinton investigation, including but not limited to Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, and all other such agreements whereby the DOJ agreed to destroy any records retrieved.
Forced to comply under the court’s supervision in our lawsuit, in March 2019, DOJ produced to the ACLJ a set of records which the FBI had sent to the DOJ “for processing and direct response to you [the ACLJ].” These records consisted of the immunity agreements reached between the DOJ National Security Division (NSD) and both Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson. According to the DOJ’s immunity agreement with Mills:
As we have advised you, we consider Cheryl Mills to be a witness based on the information gathered to date in this investigation. We understand that Cheryl Mills is willing to voluntarily provide the Mills Laptop to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, if the United States agrees not to use any information directly obtained from the Mills Laptop in any prosecution of Cheryl Mills for the mishandling of classified information and/or the removal or destruction of records as described below.
That, subject to the terms of consent set forth in a separate letter to the Department of Justice dated June 10, 2016, Cheryl Mills will voluntarily produce the Mills Laptop to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its review and analysis.
That no information directly obtained from the Mills Laptop will be used against your client in any prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 793(e) and/or (f); 18 U.S.C. § 1924; and/or 18 U.S.C. § 2071.
That no other promises, agreements, or understandings exist between the parties except as set forth in this agreement, and no modification of this agreement shall have effect unless executed in writing by the parties.
The agreement was then executed by Cheryl Mills.
The immunity agreement with Samuelson reads the same.
Importantly, in item #1 of both the Mills and Samuelson immunity agreements we obtained, the DOJ NSD referenced and incorporated the terms of a “separate letter” of the same date (June 10, 2016) containing the “terms of consent” to which the FBI/DOJ agreed to comply.
We are pleased to report that, as a result of our continued negotiations and efforts in this case, we have now secured assurances that the DOJ will produce to us those two separate letters the DOJ has thus far withheld from production.
These documents are especially relevant given “the thousands of pages of testimony” released by congressional committees in the past few months “about how the bureau handled the probe into Clinton’s use of a private server to send classified government emails” – and the recent headlines that testimony is generating. Portions of that testimony reveal “the intricate role of the DOJ in attempting to limit the FBI’s ability to gain access to laptops belonging to two Clinton confidants Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson.”
The documents we received, and the ones we have now secured an agreement to receive, confirm our earlier report – more than a year ago – that, based on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation and interviews:
The DOJ entered into “highly unusual” immunity agreements with key witnesses in the investigation, including Cheryl Mills (Clinton’s top aide) and Heather Samuelson (the aide tasked with going through the Clinton emails and deciding which should be made public and which deleted). It is reported that Mills and Samuelson agreed to allow the agency access to their computers in exchange for immunity – i.e. DOJ’s assurances that the findings of those searches would not be used against them.
(…) “Peter Strzok, a former deputy to the assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, also was confirmed to have changed former FBI Director James Comey’s early draft language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her private email server from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”
The language being edited was important because classified material that’s been mishandled for “gross negligence” calls for criminal consequences, analysts point out.”
(…) “The wording change came to light last month after newly reported memos to Congress showed that a May 2016 draft of Comey’s statement closing out the email investigation accused the former secretary of state of being “grossly negligent.” A June 2016 draft stated Clinton had been “extremely careless.”
The modified language was final when Comey announced in July 2016 that Clinton wouldn’t face any charges in the email investigation.” (Read more: Fox News, 12/4/2017)
Clinton’s email deleting attorneys David Kendall (l), Cheryl Mills (c) and Heather Samuelson (r). (Credit: public domain)
“Judicial Watch announced today [6/28/2019] that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s White House Liaison at the State Department, and later Clinton’s personal lawyer, Heather Samuelson, admitted under oath that she was granted immunity by the U.S. Department of Justice in June 2016:
Samuelson: I was provided limited production immunity by the Department of Justice.
Judicial Watch: And when was that?
Samuelson: My recollection, it was June 2015 [later corrected to 2016].
A complete copy of her deposition transcript is available here. Samuelson also revealed that, contrary to what she told the FBI in 2016, she was, in fact, aware that Sec. Clinton used a private email account while secretary of state:
Judicial Watch: Ms. Samuelson, when did you first become aware that Secretary Clinton used the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org while she was at the State Department?
Samuelson: I believe I first became aware when either she e-mailed me on personal matters, such as wishing me happy birthday, or when I infrequently would receive e-mails forwarded to me from others at the department that had that e-mail address listed elsewhere in the document.
Judicial Watch: Okay. And who were the State Department officials?
Samuelson: I recall Cheryl Mills, but it could have been others.
Samuel’s admission to Judicial Watch that she became aware of Clinton’s non-State.gov emails during her service in the Clinton State Department White House Liaison Office during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state (January 2009 – February 2013) contradicts the notation in the FBI’s May 24, 2016 302 report on Samuelson’s interview with FBI agents:
Samuelson did not become aware of Clinton’s use of a private email account and server until she was serving as Clinton’s personal attorney.
After Clinton left office, Samuelson worked for a year in the office of the White House Counsel before becoming Clinton’s personal attorney, where, in 2014, she was primarily responsible for conducting the review of Clinton emails and sorting out “personal” emails from government emails, which were returned to the State Department under the direction of Cheryl Mills and Clinton lawyer David Kendall. After the emails were returned to State, Clinton deleted the rest of the “personal” emails from her server, wiping it clean. Samuelson conducted the review of emails on her laptop, using Clinton server files downloaded from Platte River Networks, which housed the Clinton email server. Judicial Watch questioned her about a “gap” in the emails she discovered:
Judicial Watch: I believe you, during your interview with the FBI, you were asked about a gap in e-mails that you noticed in Secretary Clinton’s e-mails from January 2009 to March of 2009. Do you recall that?
Samuelson: I do.
Judicial Watch: Okay. Can you explain to me what that gap was?
Samuelson: My understanding is — well, I’m sorry. I should say my recollection is when we received the documents — the file from Platte River Networks, there was a period of time that was missing in her e-mails. And that period of time was January 2009 to March 2009.
Judicial Watch: And what did you do as the result of discovering this gap in the e-mails from January 2009 to March 2009?
Samuelson: I asked Platte River why we did not have — why they did not provide those.
Judicial Watch: And what did they tell you?
Samuelson: They said they did not have that information.
Judicial Watch: Did Platte River have access during to the server that housed Secretary Clinton’s e-mails to her Clintonemail.com account –
– and was there any discussion as to whether they could obtain Secretary Clinton’s e-mails from that server from January 2009 to March 2009?
Samuelson: I did ask them, and they said they did not have any e-mails from that period.
Samuelson also testified in her deposition that she created an “after action memo” in or around December 2014 to memorialize the email search. Samuelson’s lawyer directed her not to answer questions about this memo.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/28/2019)
“In his final report in a three-part series, Guccifer 2’s West Coast Fingerprint, the Forensicator discovers evidence that at least one operator behind the Guccifer 2.0 persona worked from the West Coast of the United States.
The Forensicator’s earlier findings stated that Guccifer 2.0’s NGP-VAN files were accessed locally on the East Coast, and in another analysis they suggested that a file published by Guccifer 2.0 was created in the Central time zone of the United States. Most recently, a former DNC official refuted the DNC’s initial allegations that Trump opposition files had been ex-filtrated from the DNC by Russian state-sponsored operatives.
So, if Guccifer 2.0’s role was negated by the statements of the DNC’s own former “official” in a 2017report by the Associated Press, why do we now return our attention to the Guccifer 2.0 persona, as we reflect on the last section of new findings from the Forensicator?
The answer: Despite almost two years having passed since the appearance of the Guccifer 2.0 persona, legacy media is still trotting out the shambling corpse of Guccifer 2.0 to revive the legitimacy of the Russian hacking narrative. In other words, it is necessary to hammer the final nail into the coffin of the Guccifer 2.0 persona.
As previously noted, In his final report in a three-part series, the Forensicator discusses concrete evidence that at least one operator behind the Guccifer 2.0 persona worked from the West Coast of the United States. He writes:
“Finally, we look at one particular Word document that Guccifer 2 uploaded, which had “track changes” enabled. From the tracking metadata we deduce the timezone offset in effect when Guccifer 2 made that change — we reach a surprising conclusion: The document was likely saved by Guccifer 2 on the West Coast, US.”
The Forensicator spends the first part of his report evaluating indications that Guccifer 2.0 may have operated out of Russia. Ultimately, the Forensicator discards those tentative results. He emphatically notes:
“The PDT finding draws into question the premise that Guccifer 2 was operating out of Russia, or any other region that would have had GMT+3 timezone offsets in force. Essentially, the Pacific Timezone finding invalidates the GMT+3 timezone findings previously described.”
The Forensicator’s new West Coast finding is not the first evidence to indicate that operators behind the Guccifer 2.0 persona were based in the US. Nine months ago, Disobedient Mediareported on the Forensicator’s analysis, which showed (among other things) that Guccifer 2.0’s “ngpvan” archive was created on the East Coast. While that report received the vast majority of attention from the public and legacy media, Disobedient Media later reported on another analysis done by the Forensicator, which found that a file published by Guccifer 2.0 (on a different occasion) was probably created in the Central Timezone of the US.
Adding to all of this, UK based analyst and independent journalist Adam Carter presented his own analysis which also showed that the Guccifer 2.0 Twitter persona interacted on a schedule which was best explained by having been based within the United States.” (Read more: Disobedient Media, 5/29/2018)
We have been told by mainstream press (citing anonymous intelligence officials) that Guccifer 2.0 was a GRU officer. We have also seen this asserted in an indictment that emerged in July 2018.
However, there are many reasons why this attribution remains doubtful, and, unlike the attribution, these reasons are based on verifiable evidence that is already in the public domain.
This project (“Guccifer 2.0: Game Over”) was built upon a simple, yet effective principle:
In order to even begin to understand who Guccifer 2.0 could have been, it was imperative to first understand WHAT Guccifer 2.0 was.
This site links to evidence and discoveries made during the past two years that help to explain what Guccifer 2.0 was. Much of the evidence has been disregarded by the mainstream press and is routinely omitted in their reportage despite the volume of evidence and how comprehensive and detailed some of the analysis has been (especially with regard to studies published by third parties). (See Guccifer 2.0 Timeline, 1/12/2019)
Franco Roberti, (l) Italy’s chief anti-mafia and anti-terrorism prosecutor, and Michael Gaeta, (r) an FBI agent and current Assistant Legal Attaché at the US Embassy, for “A Roundtable Discussion: The Challenges of Transnational Organized Crime Today” on October 25, 2016. (Credit: John Cabot.edu)
“A little-known FBI unit played an outsized role in allowing controversial claims by a former British MI6 spy about Donald Trump to reach the highest levels of the FBI and State Department.
The Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which was headed by Michael Gaeta at the time, specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.
Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, has known the former spy, Christopher Steele—who authored the controversial dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump—since at least 2010, when Steele provided assistance in the FBI’s investigation into the FIFA corruption scandal, over concern that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup.
(…) Steele would complete his first memo on June 20, 2016, and send it to Fusion via enciphered mail.
It is at this point that Steele reportedly began to reconnect with his old FBI contacts from the Eurasian serious-crime division:
“In June, Steele flew to Rome to brief the FBI contact with whom he had cooperated over FIFA,” The Guardian reported. “His information started to reach the bureau in Washington.”
It’s not entirely clear if Steele met with the head of the Eurasian division, Gaeta, or another FBI agent. Either way, Steele met with Gaeta shortly thereafter in London.
The purpose of the London visit was clear. Steele was personally handing the first memo in his dossier to Gaeta for ultimate transmission back to the FBI and the State Department.
Victoria Nuland (Credit: CBS, Face the Nation)
For this visit, the FBI sought permission from the office of Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland, who had been the recipient of many of Steele’s reports, gave permission for the more formal meeting. On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the office’s of Steele’s firm, Orbis.
Nuland provided this version of events during a Feb. 4, 2018, appearance on Face the Nation:
“In the middle of July, when he [Steele] was doing this other work and became concerned, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate.”
In September 2016, Steel would travel back to Rome to meet with the FBI Eurasian squad once again. It’s likely that the meeting contained several other FBI officials as well:
“In September, Steele went back to Rome. There, he met with an FBI team. Their response was one of ‘shock and horror,’ Steele said,” according to The Guardian. “The bureau asked him to explain how he had compiled his reports, and to give background on his sources. It asked him to send future copies.”
There’s one other central figure in the Trump–Russia investigation who had meaningful overlap with the FBI’s Eurasian squad: former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe:
“McCabe began his career as a special agent with the FBI in 1996,” the FBI states on its website. “He first reported to the New York division, where he investigated a variety of organized crime matters. In 2003, he became the supervisory special agent of the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force.”
“Christopher Steele completes the first of 16 “pre-election reports,” submitting it to Fusion GPSFusion GPSA Washington-based private intelligence firm founded in 2009 by former journalists. The firm was hired first by the Free Beacon, a conservative publication, and then by Perkins Coie, a law firm representing Hillary Clinton’s campaign, to do research on Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign. a few days later. The first report alleges that Russia has been cultivating Trump for five years and has compromising material from the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow. These 16 reports, plus one more written in December 2016, would come to be known as the Steele dossier.” (Daily Caller, 10/27/2017)
In Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on August 22, 2017, he claims the first “pre-election report” is useless and not believable. Yet it remains a part of the overall dossier. (Clinton Foundation Timeline, 6/20/2016)
Bloomberg News reports, “If the Democrats can show the hidden hand of Russian intelligence agencies, they believe that voter outrage will probably outweigh any embarrassing revelations [in Wikileaks pending release of DNC and Podesta emails], a person familiar with the party’s thinking said.”
In the same article, Clinton spokesperson Glen Caplin refuses to comment on details about recent hacking attacks or confirm if any of Clinton’s campaign staff got successfully hacked. However, Caplin does say, “What appears evident is that the Russian groups responsible for the DNC hack are intent on attempting to influence the outcome of this election.”
The DNC [Democratic National Committee] similarly won’t comment on details or confirm reports of successful attacks. However, the DNC issues a written statement that it believes recent leaks by Guccifer 2.0 are “part of a disinformation campaign by the Russians.”
“On June 24, 2016, Steele’s fifty-second birthday, Simpson called, asking him to submit the dossier. The previous day, the U.K. had voted to withdraw from the E.U., and Steele was feeling wretched about it. Few had thought that Brexit was possible. An upset victory by Trump no longer seemed out of the question. Steele was so nervous about maintaining secrecy and protecting his sources that he sent a courier by plane to Washington to hand-deliver a copy of the dossier. The courier’s copy left the sources redacted, providing instead descriptions of them that enabled Fusion to assess their basic credibility. Steele feared that, for some of his Russian sources, exposure would be a death sentence.
Steele also felt a duty to get the information to the F.B.I. Although Trump has tweeted that the dossier was “all cooked up by Hillary Clinton,” Steele approached the Bureau on his own. According to Simpson’s sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Steele told him in June, 2016, that he wanted to alert the U.S. government, and explained, “I’m a former intelligence officer, and we’re your closest ally.” Simpson testified that he asked to think about it for a few days; when Steele brought it up again, Simpson relented. As Simpson told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “Let’s be clear. This was not considered by me to be part of the work we were doing. This was like you’re driving to work and you see something happen and you call 911.” Steele, he said, felt “professionally obligated to do it.” Simpson went along, he testified, because Steele was the “national-security expert,” whereas he was merely “an ex-journalist.” (Read more: The New Yorker, 3/12/2018)
“In 2016, Lynch — the U.S. attorney general under Barack Obama — secretly met for 30 minutes with Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Arizona. At the time, then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was being investigated by the FBI over her 30,000 deleted emails and her destroyed government-issued phones, which she and her team smashed with hammers.
Several days after the tarmac meeting, the DOJ (which was headed by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch) decided not to file any charges against Hillary for her unauthorized use of an unsecured, private email server to conduct government business and her mass-deletion of 30,000 emails.
Page 203 of the IG report suggests that Bill Clinton’s Secret Service detail had contacted Lynch’s FBI detail to set up the meeting when their planes were on the tarmac:
(Credit: DOJ OIG Report, June 2018)
As BizPac Review has reported, Lynch and Clinton claimed they only discussed grandchildren and golf during their rendezvous.
(Credit: New York Post)
(…) Furthermore, page 209 of the IG Report suggests that people nearby were instructed not to take any photos of the tarmac meeting: “The OPA Supervisor said that there was a photographer outside, and he recalled telling the photographer that Lynch would not be taking pictures. The OPA Supervisor said that he remembered telling the photographer that he (the photographer) needed to go back in his car.”
And page 210 of the IG report states:
“The Senior Counselor said that when she tried to go back on the plane, she was stopped by the head of Lynch’s security detail, who was at the door of the plane.
The Senior Counselor said that she told him that Lynch’s meeting with former President Clinton was not a good idea, and that she needed to get back on the plane, but he still would not let her on.”
Less than a week after the Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting, then-FBI Director James Comey (whose boss was Loretta Lynch) announced that the FBI would not recommend an indictment against Hillary. Coincidence? (Read more: BizPac Review, 7/01/2018)
“In today’s story, we expose Hillary Clinton’s email scandal, when Former aide Justin Cooper said in a Judicial Watch deposition that he worked with Huma Abedin in 2009 to set up the unsecured private email account used by the former secretary of state.
Cooper’s statement contradicts Abedin’s claim in a 2016 deposition as she made a statement saying something completely different.” (The Epoch Times, 6/21/2019)
“Judicial Watch today released 16 pages of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents related to the June 2016 tarmac meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton showing involvement of the FBI’s former Chief of Counterespionage Peter Strzok.”
(…) “In a previously unseen email, on July 1, 2016, Strzok forwarded to Bill Priestap, assistant director of FBI counterintelligence, and other FBI officials an article in The New York Times titled then “ Lynch to Remove Herself From Decision Over Clinton Emails, Official Says.” Priestap comments on it, saying: “The meeting in PX is all over CNN TV news this morning …” Strzok replies: “Timing’s not ideal in that it falsely adds to those seeking the ‘this is all choreographed’ narrative. But I don’t think it’s worth changing … later won’t be better.” Priestap responds “Agreed.”
In November 2017, Judicial Watch revealed 29 pages of FBI documents showing officials were concerned about a leak that Bill Clinton delayed his aircraft taking off in order to “maneuver” a meeting with the attorney general. The resulting story in the Observer was discussed in this production of documents. The Strzok email was absent from this production.
Another Strzok email suggest the decision on the Clinton email matter has been under discussion since April 2016—three months before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he would recommend no prosecution.
On July 3, 2016, an email with the subject line “Must Read Security Article” someone from the FBI’s Security Division (SECD) forwards the article in the Observer and reveals concern:
I believe that the source quoted in the article is one of the local Phoenix LEO’s [law enforcement officers]. Needless to say that I have contacted the Phoenix office and will contact the local’s [sic] who assisted in an attempt to stem any further damage. This is exactly why our Discretion and Judgement are the foundation of the AG’s trust in our team, which is why we can never violate that trust, like the source did in this article.” [Emphasis in original]
A July 1, 2016,email from an unidentified official in the FBI Security Division sent to officials m in several FBI offices with the subject line “Media Reports***Not for Dissemination***”, sent in the wake of the tarmac meeting, an FBI official warns his colleagues (with emphasis) “Our job is to protect the boss from harm and embarrassment.” [Emphasis in original] He emphasizes that FBI officials should ask themselves “What issues are currently being reported in the media? And what actions/interactions/situations that the Director may be in could impact them.” The official then cites an example of a public relations disaster near-miss when Comey’s plane “literally just missed Clinton’s plane” when they flew into the White Plains, NY airport (HPN) a few months earlier, and saying, “Imagine the optics and the awkward situation we would have put the Director in we would have been at the FBO at the same time as Secretary Clinton.”
In a July 1, 2016email exchange FBI Section Chief Rachel Rojas warns a colleague to “stay away” from discussion of the Clinton Lynch tarmac meeting following publication of the meeting, unless they hear from a “higher up”. The colleague responds the next day, telling Rojas not to worry because, “I know better <winking.>” He/she adds that “it was DOJ opa [Office of Public Affairs] who threw us under the bus.” Rojas replies “Doj is likely overwhelmed so in [sic] hoping it wasn’t intentional. I know it wasn’t you guys because I know you have great judgement. Nothing good would come from that. Her staff should have avoided that scenario. The bu[reau] will be fine but obviously disappointed on how this is happening. Unfortunately, she’s taking heat from all over the place and I feel bad for her. I know she didn’t want this on her plate or for this to happen.” The colleague then concludes by saying that he/she thought the leaker was “a Phoenix cop assisting with the motorcade.”
“These emails are astonishing, no wonder the FBI hid them from Judicial Watch and the court,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “They show anti-Trump, pro-Clinton FBI Agent Peter Strzok admitting the decision not to prosecute the Clinton email issue was made back in April 2016 – long before even Hillary Clinton was interviewed. And the new emails show that the FBI security had the political objective of protecting then-Director Comey from ‘embarrassment’—which is, frankly, disturbing.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/07/2018)
“Judicial Watch today released 16 pages of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) documents related to the June 2016 tarmac meeting between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton showing involvement of the FBI’s former Chief of Counterespionage Peter Strzok.
The FBI originally informed Judicial Watch they could not locate any records related to the tarmac meeting. However, in a related FOIA lawsuit, the Justice Department located emails in which Justice Department officials communicated with the FBI and wrote that they had communicated with the FBI. As a result, by letter dated August 10, 2017, the FBI stated, “Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist. As a result, your [FOIA] request has been reopened …” This is the second batch of documents the FBI produced since telling Judicial Watch they had no tarmac-related records.
(…) “On July 3, 2016, an email with the subject line “Must Read Security Article” someone from the FBI’s Security Division (SECD) forwards the article in the Observer and reveals concern:
A July 1, 2016, email from an unidentified official in the FBI Security Division sent to officials in several FBI offices with the subject line “Media Reports***Not for Dissemination***”, sent in the wake of the tarmac meeting, an FBI official warns his colleagues (with emphasis) “Our job is to protect the boss from harm and embarrassment.” [Emphasis in original] He emphasizes that FBI officials should ask themselves “What issues are currently being reported in the media? And what actions/interactions/situations that the Director may be in could impact them.” The official then cites an example of a public relations disaster near-miss when Comey’s plane “literally just missed Clinton’s plane” when they flew into the White Plains, NY airport (HPN) a few months earlier, and saying, “Imagine the optics and the awkward situation we would have put the Director in we would have been at the FBO at the same time as Secretary Clinton.”
Rachel Rojas (Credit: YouTube)
In a July 1, 2016email exchange FBI Section Chief Rachel Rojas warns a colleague to “stay away” from discussion of the Clinton Lynch tarmac meeting following publication of the meeting, unless they hear from a “higher up”. The colleague responds the next day, telling Rojas not to worry because, “I know better <winking.>” He/she adds that “it was DOJ opa [Office of Public Affairs] who threw us under the bus.” Rojas replies “Doj is likely overwhelmed so in [sic] hoping it wasn’t intentional. I know it wasn’t you guys because I know you have great judgement. Nothing good would come from that. Her staff should have avoided that scenario. The bu[reau] will be fine but obviously disappointed on how this is happening. Unfortunately, she’s taking heat from all over the place and I feel bad for her. I know she didn’t want this on her plate or for this to happen.” The colleague then concludes by saying that he/she thought the leaker was “a Phoenix cop assisting with the motorcade.”
(…) “These emails are astonishing, no wonder the FBI hid them from Judicial Watch and the court,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.” “…the new emails show that the FBI security had the political objective of protecting then-Director Comey from ‘embarrassment’—which is, frankly, disturbing.” (Read more:Judicial Watch, 6/07/2018)
Bruce Ohr (l) and Christopher Steele (Credit: public domain)
“The then-No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.
Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.
At the time, Ohr was the associate attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtained from a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.
Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.” (Read more: The Hill, 1/16/2019)
CNN Transcript: […] “New this morning, lawmakers on Capitol Hill getting their hands on a new batch of text messages between two FBI officials who worked, albeit briefly, for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. We’re talking about 400 pages of text.
[10:50:09] Joining me now, CNN justice reporter Jessica Schneider. Jessica, what are you learning?
Jessica Schneider (Credit: CNN)
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Yes, John, well, these texts of course have become — they’ve become the focus for Republican lawmakers who have repeatedly criticized the FBI. So this latest batch was partially released over the weekend by Homeland Security chair Ron Johnson. They’re texts between FBI agent Peter Strzok, who worked on the Clinton e-mail server investigation and then the Russia probe until he was pulled off this summer for anti-Trump texts. And they were between him and an FBI lawyer Lisa Page with whom Strzok was having a romantic relationship.
So in that handful of texts that were released this weekend, there is this one from July 1st, 2016. It was about then Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s decision to accept the FBI’s decision on the Clinton matter when she essentially recused herself after she met with Bill Clinton on board her plane.
So here it is. You see Peter Strzok, he texts, “The timing looks like hell, will appear to be choreographed.” That’s when the attorney for the FBI, Lisa Page, she eventually texted back, “And, yes, it’s a real profile in courage since she knows no charges will be brought.”
So in releasing that text message, Senator Johnson, he wrote to the DOJ in response, he said it appears by those texts that Attorney General Lynch knew that no charges would be brought when she made her announcement to let the FBI handle the investigation. (CNN, 1/22/2018)
“Christopher Steele, a former British MI-6 intelligence officer who specialized in Russian operations, had been hired as an investigator by an opposition research firm. According to one of the sources, it was Steele who first alerted FBI agents on July 5 to evidence he had compiled that advisers to the Trump campaign and Kremlin officials were in contact about the 2016 election.”
James Comey (Credit: Jim Watson/Agence France Presse/Getty Images
(…) “The early contact between Steele and the bureau now appears to have set in motion a chain of events that led to Monday’s extraordinary testimony by Comey that the bureau has been actively investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin since “late July” — or more than three months before Election Day.
“I’ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Comey told members of the House Intelligence Committee in a prepared opening statement. “That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
(…) “It is not a cloud that is likely to be lifted any time soon. Comey said there was no timetable on the probe, that he couldn’t predict how long it would take, and wouldn’t commit to giving any “updates” to the Congress about the status of the probe. When asked directly by Rep. Teri Sewell, D-Ala., “Was Donald Trump under investigation during the campaign?” Comey responded: “I’m not going to answer that.” He added quickly that the members shouldn’t draw any “inferences” from his answer.” (Read more: Yahoo News, 3/20/2017)
Lisa Page references Christopher Steele’s FBI handler during her testimony July 13, 2018:
An Orbis Business Intelligence ad that states, “”We provide strategic advice, mount intelligence-gathering operations and conduct complex, often cross-border investigations.” (Credit: public domain)
“When the FBI first receives the reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016 at that time, we do not know who—we don’t know why these reports have been generated.”
Steele’s handler is almost certainly Michael Gaeta, head of the FBI’s Eurasian Crime Squad. Gaeta, an FBI agent and also assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, has known the former MI6 spy since at least 2010, when Steele provided assistance in the FBI’s investigation into the FIFA corruption scandal over concern that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup.
On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele’s firm, Orbis. For this visit, the FBI sought permission from the office of Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland, who had been the recipient of many of Steele’s reports, gave permission for the more formal meeting.
Nuland provided this version of events during a Feb. 4, 2018, appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation”:
“In the middle of July, when he [Steele] was doing this other work and became concerned, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate.”
In September 2016, Steele would travel back to Rome to meet with the FBI Eurasian squad again. It was at this meeting that Steele gave a copy of his dossier—what there was of it at that time—to the FBI counterintelligence team investigators.
One individual who had previous involvement with the Eurasian Crime Squad was former FBI Deputy Director McCabe:
“McCabe began his career as a special agent with the FBI in 1996,” the FBI states on its website. “He first reported to the New York division, where he investigated a variety of organized crime matters. In 2003, he became the supervisory special agent of the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force.”
McCabe remained with the Eurasian squad until 2006, when he was moved to FBI headquarters in Washington.
The question that has yet to be answered was who, exactly, did Gaeta give the dossier to and when. Was it transmitted to FBI leadership? If so, why did the counterintelligence team have to travel to Rome in September to get their first copy from Steele?
And finally, potentially the biggest question: Did Brennan receive a copy of the dossier via Gaeta—or whomever he transmitted a copy to—in the summer of 2016 following Gaeta’s return?” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)
“Jason Chaffetz, Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asked the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, Charles McCullough, “Can you provide this committee, in a secure format, the classified emails?”
“I cannot provide a certain segment of them because the agency that owns the information for those emails has limited the distribution on those,” McCullough explained. “They are characterizing them as OrCon, ‘originator control,’ so I can’t give them to even Congress without getting the agency’s permission to provide them.”
“Which agency?” Chaffetz interjected.
“I can’t say that in an open hearing sir,” McCullough replied.
Chaffetz, in disbelief, responded, “So you can’t even tell me which agency won’t allow us, as members of Congress, to see something that Hillary Clinton allowed somebody without a security clearance, in a non-protected format to see. That’s correct?”
The chairman then asked McCullough if he can generally tell the committee what the emails were about.
“We shouldn’t get into the details of these emails in an open hearing,” McCullough responded.
“I don’t want to violate that but the concern is it was already violated by Hillary Clinton,” Chaffetz told the IG. “It was her choice and she set it up and she created this problem and she created this mess. We shouldn’t have to go through this, but she did that.”
McCullough responded with the final nail into how serious these emails were, telling the congressional committee that, “This is the segment of emails that I had to have people in my office read-in to particular programs to even see these emails. We didn’t posses the required clearances.“
“So even the Inspector General for ODNI [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] didn’t have the requisite security clearances?” Chaffetz clarified.
“That’s correct. I had to get read-ins for them,” McCullough said.
Carter Page was not the only Trump campaign adviser invited to a July 2016 event at the University of Cambridge, the storied British institution where “Spygate” is believed to have originated.
The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned that an invitation to attend the campaign-themed event was extended to Stephen Miller, another Trump campaign adviser who currently serves in the White House. Miller did not attend the event, which featured former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as a keynote speaker.
J. D. Gordon, the director of the campaign’s national security advisory committee, told TheDCNF he believes the invitation from Cambridge to Miller was sent in May 2016. That’s a month before a graduate assistant of FBI informant Stefan Halper sent an invitation to Page to visit the campus.
“The invitation was to Stephen Miller who could not attend,” Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman, told TheDCNF. “In the midst of our policy office search for a surrogate, Carter Page informed me that he had also been invited and would like to attend.”
Gordon said he told Page the campaign preferred he did not attend the Cambridge conclave.
“Though since he wasn’t planning to make public remarks, conduct media interviews or otherwise represent the campaign, he was not required to fill in one of our request forms.”
Gordon said Miller, a former Senate aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, passed the Cambridge request to John Mashburn, a campaign policy adviser. Mashburn gave it to Gordon.
The three-day Cambridge conclave was where Page first met Halper, a former Cambridge professor who turns out to have also been working for the FBI as part of a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.
Page, an energy consultant, has said Halper, a veteran of three Republican administrations, offered advice about the campaign during a brief chat on the sidelines of the event.
The pair met numerous times over the course of the next 14 months, Page told TheDCNF. He visited Halper’s farm in Virginia and met with the 73-year-old academic in Washington, D.C. They stayed in contact through September 2017, the same month the U.S. government’s surveillance warrants against Page expired.
During a congressional hearing looking into the Hillary Clinton email investigation, Congressman Trey Gowdy finds out from the Inspector General of the State Department that Hillary Clinton declined to be interviewed by him.
“Three days after then-FBI Director James Comey’s press conference announcing that he would not recommend a prosecution of Mrs. Clinton, a July 8, 2016email chain shows that, the Special Counsel to the FBI’s executive assistant director in charge of the National Security Branch, whose name is redacted, wrote to Strzok and others that he was producing a “chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation [of Clinton’s server], and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute…”
[Redacted] writes: I am still working on an additional page for these TPs that consist of a chart of the statutory violations considered during the investigation, and the reasons for the recommendation not to prosecute, hopefully in non-lawyer friendly terms.
Strzok forwards to Page, Jonathan Moffa and others: I have redlined some points. Broadly, I have some concerns about asking some our [sic] senior field folks to get into the business of briefing this case, particularly when we have the D’s [Comey’s] statement as a kind of stand alone document. In my opinion, there’s too much nuance, detail, and potential for missteps. But I get they may likely be asked for comment.
[Redacted] writes to Strzok, Page and others: The DD [Andrew McCabe] will need to approve these before they are pushed out to anyone. At the end of last week, he wasn’t inclined to send them to anyone. But, it’s great to have them on the shelf in case they’re needed.
[Redacted] writes to Strzok and Page: I’m really not sure why they continued working on these [talking points]. In the morning, I’ll make sure Andy [McCabe] tells Mike [Kortan] to keep these in his pocket. I guess Andy just didn’t ever have a moment to turn these off with Mike like he said he would.
Page replies: Yes, agree that this is not a good idea.
Neither these talking points nor the chart of potential violations committed by Clinton and her associates have been released.”
Steven Schrage (l) moderates panel with former Minnesota Rep. Vin Weber and former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright, at University of Cambridge, July 11, 2016. (Credit: University of Cambridge/YouTube)
(…) A former State Department official who advised Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, Steven Schrage invited Page to Cambridge. While the invitation has previously been reported, Page told the Daily Caller News Foundation he and Schrage remained in contact until after the 2016 election. They met at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and in the Washington, D.C., area, Page said in an exclusive phone interview this week.
It is unclear if Schrage played a role in the Trump-Russia investigation or if he was aware that Halper was an FBI informant. Page said he saw nothing during his encounters with Schrage that made him suspect he was involved in the government’s investigation of him.
“I never saw anything suspicious,” Page said of Schrage, noting he is reluctant to “point fingers” at anyone because of his own experience facing what he says are false accusations of being a Russian agent.
California Rep. Devin Nunes is not so reserved.
Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, dropped Schrage’s name out of the clear blue during his opening statement at the July 24 hearing with former special counsel Robert Mueller. When Nunes asked Mueller whether the special counsel’s office interviewed Schrage, the former FBI director replied, “In those areas, I am going to stay away from.”
Nunes said in a Fox News interview Sunday that he wants to know why Schrage invited Page to Cambridge and whether his contacts with the former Trump adviser were linked to the FBI’s own interests in the Trump campaign.
“What we’re trying to figure out is when did the FBI really start to run the investigation, what types of processes did they use, what was the predicate. Because, look, it really appears like they were spying on the Trump campaign,” Nunes said.
“Maybe [Schrage] was just a guy working for minimum wage sweeping the floors around Cambridge. I highly doubt it,” the Republican added. “And the fact that he hasn’t come forward in two-and-a-half years is highly suspect.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/01/2019)
“On July 12, 2016, Eugene Kiely, the director of FactCheck.org, emailed the FBI about inconsistencies he’d identified between Comey’s congressional testimony and statements by Clinton and her campaign about her deletion of emails. Kiely noted that Comey testified to the House that Clinton did not give her lawyers any instructions on which of her emails to delete, whereas Clinton herself told the press that she made the decision on which emails should be deleted. Kiely also pointed out that Comey said in his testimony that there were three Clinton emails containing classification “portion markings,” whereas the State Department had said there were only two Clinton emails with classification markings. Kiely’s inquiry set off an internal discussion at the top of the FBI on how to respond to his questions.
Strzok writes: “We’re looking into it and will get back to you this afternoon; the answer may require some tweaking, the question is whether this is the forum to do it.” The email is addressed to FBI intelligence analyst Moffa; Rybicki; Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired; Lisa Page and others.
Strzok’s suggested press response is fully redacted, but included is his deferral to the “7th floor as to whether to release to this reporter or in another manner.”
When asked “should we provide any additional information to FactCheck.org or would any updates more appropriately be give [sic] directly to Congress?” Strzok defers to “Jim/Lisa [Page]” and [Redacted].” (Read more: Judicial Watch: 2/15/2019)
“A former FBI chief told the New York Post that such a requirement is “very, very unusual.”
While FBI agents are typically required to sign vanilla non-disclosure agreements as part of their security clearances, law enforcement sources say they’ve never heard of a “Case Briefing Acknowledgment,” the agreement agents investigating Clinton were reportedly required to sign.
Victoria Nuland, Jonathan Winer and Elizabeth Dibble (Credit: public domain)
(…) “State Department officials obtained and reviewed parts of the infamous Steele dossier by mid-July2016, well before FBI headquarters had access to the document. The U.S. embassy in London was also anearly recipient of information about former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos that the FBI would use to justify opening its counterintelligence investigation in late July2016. And in a little-noticed Senate hearing on Wednesday, it was revealed that dossier author Christopher Steele briefed State Department officials at Foggy Bottom in October 2016.”
(…)”Three diplomats — Victoria Nuland, Jonathan Winer and Elizabeth Dibble — appear to be key to the State Department’s role in handling Trump-related Russia information.
The State Department’s involvement in the Russia matter first came to light only in December 2017, nearly a year after the publication of the Steele dossier.
That’s because Winer, a former Senate aide to former Secretary of State John Kerry, disclosed in a little-noticed MSNBC documentary that he met with Steele during the summer of 2016.
Nuland came forward to acknowledge that she received and handled information from Steele in an interview on Feb. 4. Winer then wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post on Feb. 8 asserting that he was being unfairly targeted by Nunes.
Winer and Nuland suggested in their disclosures that they determined Steele’s reports were too hot for the State Department to handle. They have both claimed they referred the information to the FBI, which was better suited to verify Steele’s still-unverified allegations.
But there is plenty of evidence that the State Department did not merely refer Trump-Russia information to the FBI.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr revealed in a hearing on Wednesday that State Department visitor logs showed Steele visited Foggy Bottom just weeks before the 2016 election.” (Read more: Daily Caller, 6/22/2018)
The New York Times begins a mainstream media effort to paint Trump as a Manchurian Candidate on July 22, 2016. Paul Krugman cutely disguises the slur with “Siberian Candidate” instead.
“If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House? This should be a ludicrous, outrageous question. After all, he must be a patriot — he even wears hats promising to make America great again.
But we’re talking about a ludicrous, outrageous candidate. And the Trump campaign’s recent behavior has quite a few foreign policy experts wondering just what kind of hold Mr. Putin has over the Republican nominee, and whether that influence will continue if he wins.”
A few weeks later, on August 21, 2016, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, suggested that Donald Trump may be a “puppet” for Russia in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
Mook told host George Stephanopoulos, “We need Donald Trump to explain to us the extent to which the hand of the Kremlin is at the core of his campaign,” and “There are real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race.”
“Last week, Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, said we should ask “real questions” about whether Donald Trump “is just a puppet for the Kremlin.” By that time, Audible.com was already giving away free audiobooks of “The Manchurian Candidate,” Richard Condon’s 1959 book (transformed into a classic thriller starring Angela Lansbury and Frank Sinatra in 1962 and a worse remake with Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep in 2004) about communists controlling an American presidential candidate.”
(Credit: Salon, 8/26/2016)
Precisely a month before Election day, 2016, The Atlantic publishes an article meant to discredit Trump and present him as a “Modern Manchurian candidate serving the interests of the Kremlin.” Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta suggests Trump represents a threat to national security.
The Atlantic – October 8, 2016
Last but not least, a week to the day before the 2016 Election, Vanity Fair publishes this article on November 1, 2016:
“A July 22, 2016, email exchange, among Strzok, Page, Moffa and other unidentified FBI and DOJ officials, shows that Beth Wilkinson, an attorney for several top Clinton aides during the server investigation, wanted a conference call with the DOJ/FBI and that she was “haranguing” the FBI/DOJ about the return of laptops in the FBI’s possession:
A Wilkinson Walsh attorney, emails [Redacted] FBI National Security Division Officials: We wanted to follow up on our conversation from a few days ago. We would like to schedule a time to speak with both you and [Redacted] early next week. Is there a time on Monday or Tuesday that could work on your end?
[Redacted] FBI National Security Division official emails: See below. I am flexible on Monday and Tuesday. [Redacted] can chime in with her availability. It is my understanding that Toscas [George Toscas], who helped lead Midyear Exam may have called over to Jim or Trisha [former Principal Deputy General Counsel [Trisha Anderson] regarding some high-level participation for at least the first few such calls. I am happy to discuss further but wanted to send you this so you could raise within the OGC [Office of the General Counsel] and give me a sense of scheduling options. I am around if you want to talk.
[Redacted] FBI National Security Division official writes: In the meantime, I’ll tell Hal that we will certainly schedule a call and will get back to him as to timing. Since he knows Beth [Wilkinson] personally, it could be useful to have Jim on the phone if she is going to be haranguing us re: the laptops.
[Redacted] FBI Office of the General Counsel writes: More…I guess this is [Redacted’s] rationale for why we need to have the GC on the call to discuss the fact that we will be following all of our legal obligations and FBI policies/procedures with regard to the disposition of the materials in this case.
Strzok writes: You are perfectly competent to speak to the legal obligations and FBI policy/procedures. We should NOT be treating opposing counsel this way. We would not in any other case.
“On April 19th, a judge in New York grudgingly agreed that someone may have tampered with Alba Guerrero’s voter registration. Judge Ira Margulis changed his decision from moments earlier that Guerrero would be denied the right to vote in New York’s Democratic primary, after evidence emerged that Guerrero’s signature had been forged, switching her to Republican without her knowledge or consent. Had she not been willing to take several hours to appear before a judge that day, Alba would not have been able to vote for Senator Bernie Sanders. Video evidence available online confirms the forgery.
Ms. Guerrero states: “It just boggles my mind that it could happen that easily to so many people and without them even knowing that they are being manipulated like that…I never would have thought something like that could happen.” Guerrero was more than willing to have her story included in Democracy Lost. She added, “This is a problem that obviously has gone for too long and with no consequence.”
A forged legal document cannot be attributed to an unfortunate mistake or a clerical error. Someone intentionally tampered with Alba Guerrero’s voter registration.
Another New York resident, Chloe Pecorino, attempted to register as a first-time voter by submitting the relevant paperwork to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Brooklyn more than a week before the March 25th, 2016 deadline. Attempts to verify her registration status online were unsuccessful. On the day of New York’s presidential primary, Chloe still had not been registered as a Democrat, despite persistent efforts, including more than a dozen calls and emails, the evidence of which spans fifteen pages in Exhibit A of Election Justice USA’s initial New York lawsuit. On the day of the primary, Chloe took several hours to appear before a judge in an attempt to vote normally. Despite ample evidence of attempts to register before the deadline in good faith, the judge denied her request. As a consequence, Chloe was forced to cast her vote for Senator Sanders using an affidavit ballot. As can be seen immediately below, Chloe’s affidavit ballot was declared invalid, like so many others.”
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s emails, the bureau announced Monday.
“The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter,” the agency said in a statement. “A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”
The publication of the approximately 20,000 emails showed a DNC favorable to Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, leading Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to announce her resignation on Sunday, effective at the end of the party’s convention this week.” (Read more: Politico, 7/25/2016)
The 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses were a series of electoral contests organized by the Democratic Party to select the 4,051 delegates to the Democratic National Convention held July 25–28 and determine the nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The elections took place within all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories and occurred between February 1 and June 14, 2016. (Wikipedia)
Protesters at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (Credit: Michael Nigro / Truthdig)
Highlights of the 2016 Democratic National Convention:
Jennifer Palmieri and Hillary Clinton (Credit: The Associated Press)
“At the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last summer, Jake Sullivan and I took to our golf carts one afternoon to make the rounds of the television networks’ tents in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center. It is standard for presidential campaign staffers to brief networks on what to expect during that night’s session. But on this day, we were on a mission to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.
(…) “Now that Trump is president, though, the stakes are higher, because the Russian plot succeeded. The lessons we campaign officials learned in trying to turn the Russia story against Trump can help other Democrats (and all Americans) figure out how to treat this interference no longer as a matter of electoral politics but as the threat to the republic that it really is.
(…) “Without anyone knowing about the FBI’s interest, it was difficult to bring appropriate attention to the Russia issue and Trump’s curious pro-Putin bent. The week after the convention, we sought out credible national security voices to sound alarms. I was surprised by the enthusiasm with which some, such as former acting CIA director Michael Morell, jumped into the fray. When I worked in the Obama White House, people in national security positions had been uneasy making broad public arguments, particularly about political matters. Not this time. They were so concerned about the situation that, to me, the language they used to describe the threat they believed Russia and Trump posed was shocking. I remember my jaw dropping as I sat in our Brooklyn campaign headquarters and read the op-ed Morell submitted to the New York Times in early August, in which he shared his view that Russia had probably undertaken an effort to “recruit” Trump and that the Republican nominee had become an “unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
(…) “We sought moments for Clinton and Tim Kaine, her running mate, to talk about Russia when we knew they would be on live television and couldn’t be edited. The debates offered the best opportunity, and Clinton took advantage, culminating with her famous line calling Trump Putin’s “puppet ” in the third one. It was tough deciding how much of her time to devote to the issue. We were in a Catch-22: We didn’t want her to talk too much about Russia because it wasn’t what voters were telling us they cared about — and, frankly, it sounded kind of wacky. At the same time, we understood the issue would never rise to the front of voters’ minds if we weren’t driving attention to it. It was already pretty clear they weren’t going to hear much about it in the press.
On Oct. 7, I thought the Russia story would finally break through. We were at a debate prep session in Westchester County, N.Y., when the director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security put out a joint statement saying that the U.S. intelligence community was “confident” that not only had the Russian government hacked Democrats’ emails, but “Russia’s senior-most officials” were probably directing their release to influence the election. Incredible. Finally, here was the break we had been waiting for. I was on a conference call with my colleagues to discuss our response when someone said: “Hey, Palmieri. There’s an ‘Access Hollywood’ video that just got released.” Literally minutes later, WikiLeaks put out the first batch of John Podesta’s stolen Gmail. And that was that. The rest is history.” (Read more: The Washington Post, 3/24/2017)
“Leaked emails show the Democratic National Committee scrambled this spring to conceal the details of a joint fundraising arrangement with Hillary Clinton that funneled money through state Democratic parties.
But during the three-month period when the DNC was working to spin the situation, state parties kept less than one half of one percent of the $82 million raised through the arrangement — validating concerns raised by campaign finance watchdogs, state party allies and Bernie Sanders supporters.
The arrangement, called the Hillary Victory Fund, allowed the Clinton campaign to seek contributions of hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend extravagant fundraisers including a dinner at George Clooney’s house and a concert at Radio City Music Hall featuring Katy Perry and Elton John. That’s resulted in criticism for Clinton, who has made opposition to big money in politics a key plank in her campaign platform.
Clinton’s allies have responded publicly by arguing that the fund is raising big money to boost down-ballot Democratic candidates by helping the 40 state parties that are now participating in the fund.
But privately, officials at the DNC and on Clinton’s campaign worked to parry questions raised by reporters, as well as Sanders’ since-aborted campaign, about the distribution of the money, according to a cache of hacked emails made public late last week by WikiLeaks.” (Read more: Politico, July 26, 2016)
“On July 26, 2016, after WikiLeaks disseminated the D.N.C. e-mails, Steele filed yet another memo, this time claiming that the Kremlin was “behind” the hacking, which was part of a Russian cyber war against Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Many of the details seemed far-fetched: Steele’s sources claimed that the digital attack involved agents “within the Democratic Party structure itself,” as well as Russian émigrés in the U.S. and “associated offensive cyber operators.”
Neither of these claims has been substantiated, and it’s hard to imagine that they will be. But one of the dossier’s other seemingly outlandish assertions—that the hack involved “state-sponsored cyber operatives working in Russia”—has been buttressed. According to Special Counsel Mueller’s recent indictment of thirteen Russian nationals, Kremlin-backed operatives, hiding behind fake and stolen identities, posed as Americans on Facebook and Twitter, spreading lies and fanning ethnic and religious hatred with the aim of damaging Clinton and helping Trump. The Kremlin apparently spent about a million dollars a month to fund Internet trolls working round-the-clock shifts in a run-down office building in St. Petersburg. Their tactics were similar to those outlined in Steele’s Charlemagne investigation, including spreading falsehoods designed to turn voters toward extremism. The Russian operation also involved political activism inside the U.S., including the organizing of bogus pro-Trump rallies.” (Read more: The New Yorker, 3/12/2018)
Donald Trump addresses a news conference in Miami, FL on July 27, 2016. (Credit: CNBC)
“Former CIA Director Leon Panetta blasted Donald Trump Wednesday night from the stage of the Democratic National Convention, calling his recent comment that Russia should “find” Hillary Clinton’s emails “irresponsible” and “inconceivable.”
Panetta’s comments were largely disrupted by the crowd chanting “No more war,” but he continued his remarks.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump urged Russian agents to “find” Clinton’s emails and release them, an unprecedented move by a candidate for president encouraging such a foreign breach.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the GOP presidential nominee said at a news conference in Miami on Wednesday. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Trump was referring to the ongoing controversy surrounding the private server Clinton used while secretary of state.” (Read more: NPR, 7/27/2016)
The following day, the New York Times reports Trump was encouraging Russia and “essentially urging a foreign adversary to conduct cyberespionage against a former secretary of state.” (Read more: New York Times, 7/28/2016)
(…) “Page contradicts Ohr’s testimony regarding when she first knew about former British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier. She claims in her testimony that she did not know about the dossier in August 2016, however, Ohr’s testimony reveals that he delivered Steele’s information to the bureau shortly after meeting with Steele. In fact, he met with former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and specifically, Page at the bureau to deliver the information.
(Clipped from Lisa Page testimony to the House Oversight Committee on July 13, 2018)
Ohr reveals this during an exchange with then-Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Trey Gowdy, R-SC.
“Why? Why did you meet with them,” asks Gowdy.
“To pass the latest information that I had received,” Ohr responds.
“How did you find out who to meet with? Who did you call to find out,” questions Gowdy.
Ohr explains that prior to that meeting with McCabe and Page he had met with Steele on July 30, 2016.
“After the July 30th meeting with Chris Steele, I wanted to provide the information he had given me to the FBI. I reached out for Andrew McCabe, at that time, Deputy Director of the FBI and somebody who had previously led the organized crime, Russian organized crime squad in New York and who I had worked with in the past, and asked if he could meet with me,” he said. “I went to his office to provide the information, and Lisa Page was there. So I provided the information to them. And some point after that, I think, I was given Peter Strzok, or somehow put in contact with Peter Strzok.”
Gowdy then asks when exactly did Ohr meet Strzok and Page.
An independent researcher on Twitter who goes by the pseudonym, UndercoverHuber, went a step further and read Strzok and Page’s text messages on July 30, 2016, just a few hours after Page and McCabe met with Ohr and received the first bit of information from Christopher Steele on the Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier:
(…) Ohr’s testimony: “I went to his [McCabe’s] office to provide the information”
“Lisa Page was there”
“So I provided the information to them”
(After that Ohr is put in touch with Strzok, running the Trump/Russia case.)
The investigation was opened the next day, July 31, 2016.
Or at least it was *marked* July 31. Here’s Strzok texting to Page about exactly what “good faith date” they can put on the “LHM” (Letter Head Memo) for the opening case file for the Trump/Russia case.
Bruce Swartz (l) Andrew Weissmann (c) and Zainab Ahmad (Credit: Flickr/Jeff Mitchell, Reuters/public domain)
“Details about Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s meetings with the author of the salacious anti-Trump dossier were shared by Ohr with his expansive circle of contacts inside the department — including senior FBI leadership and officials now assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Ohr gave a closed-door transcribed interview last August  sharing details of his 2016 meetings with British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier later used to secure a surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign aide. The interview was part of the Republican-led House Oversight and Judiciary Committee probes.
In a series of questions about his meetings with Steele, including one on July 30, 2016, and who he shared the information with, Fox News has confirmed the Ohr transcript stated: “Andy McCabe, yes and met with him and Lisa Page and provided information to him. I subsequently met with Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, and eventually (an FBI agent). And I also provided this information to people in the criminal division specifically Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, Andrew Weissmann.” (Read more: Fox News, 1/16/2019)
“Within the massive assembly of documents, emails, text messages, congressional testimony and portions of media reports a clear timeline emerged. Part of that timeline was based on the fact that certain events had to have taken place – at specific times – in order to reconcile the downstream activity.
The key point of the graphic, which ran counter to all MSM reporting, was a trail of circumstantial evidence showing Bruce Ohr had to have been in contact with Christopher Steele much earlier than anyone realized. SEE BELOW:
A new report today from John Solomon backs up this timeline with the first-hand testimony of DOJ Official Bruce Ohr.
(…) “For much of the past year, many in Congress have labored under the notion that Ohr, then the No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official, began assisting the FBI’s probe into Russia election collusion only after Trump won the 2016 election.
Lawmakers’ belief was rooted in reports showing Ohr’s first documented interview with FBI agents occurred in November 2016, and in testimony from Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who mentioned Ohr’s involvement in the probe as starting after Thanksgiving 2016.
But now, based on Ohr’s own account in a closed-door congressional interview and other contemporaneous documents, congressional investigators have learned that Ohr made his first contact with the FBI about Trump-Russia collusion evidence in late July and early August 2016. And his approach was prompted by information he got from his friend, the former British intelligence agent Steele.
Ohr’s account to Congress and his contemporaneous notes show he had multiple contacts with Steele in July 2016. One occurred just before Steele visited the FBI in Rome, another right after Steele made the contact.
A third contact occurred July 30, 2016, exactly one day before the FBI and its counterintelligence official, Peter Strzok, opened the Trump probe officially.
Steele met with Ohr and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, in a Washington hotel restaurant for breakfast. At the time, Nellie Ohr and Steele worked for the same employer, Simpson’s Fusion GPS opposition research firm, and on the same project to uncover Russia dirt on Trump, according to prior testimony to Congress.
(…) “According to my sources, Ohr called then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabethe same day as his Steele breakfast and met with McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Aug. 3 to discuss the concerns about Russia-Trump collusion that Steele had relayed.
Ohr disclosed to lawmakers that he made another contact with the FBI on Aug. 15, 2016, talking directly to Strzok.
Within a month of Ohr passing along Steele’s dirt, the FBI scheduled a follow-up meeting with the British intelligence operative — and the path was laid for the Steele dossier to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Just as important, Ohr told Congress he understood Steele’s information to be raw and uncorroborated hearsay, the sort of information that isn’t admissible in court. And he told FBI agents that Steele appeared to be motivated by a “desperate” desire to keep Trump from becoming president.” (Read more:The Hill, 9/6/2018)
This account by congressional sources to Solomon about the testimony of Bruce Ohr matches our prior research. It was the initial chapters of the Steele Dossier, a work product of both Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele, that were given to Bruce Ohr, who then subsequently relayed that information to the FBI (McCabe, Page and Strzok) without disclosing the conflict within the source material coming from his wife.
♦Here’s how it comes together: Nellie Ohr started working for Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS) in/around October or November of 2015. Nellie Ohr had “contractor access” to the FISA database (NSA and FBI) as a result of her prior and ongoing clearance relationship with the CIA and open source research group.
It was Nellie’s original 2015 political opposition research that Glenn Simpson was pitching and selling as political opposition research to any interested purchaser.
Several months later, when it became clear that Donald Trump was the likely GOP candidate who would win the primary (March/April 2016), Hillary Clinton signed-on to purchase the opposition research from Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS.
Keep in mind, simultaneous to this moment in March and April 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers intervened to stop contractor access to the FISA-702(16)(17) database. From the time Nellie Ohr began working for Fusion GPS in November 2015, through April 2016 there were thousands of unlawful database queries and extractions; 85% of them were unlawful.
Now, Nellie and Glenn Simpson had a problem. They needed to have a way to launder unlawfully extracted FISA search results. Nellie Ohr was familiar with Christopher Steele from her husband Bruce’s prior working relationship with Steele in the FIFA corruption case.
So Fusion GPS (Glenn Simpson and Nellie Ohr) reached out to Christopher Steele. As a former intelligence officer, and conveniently not in the U.S. (plausible deniability improves), Steele could then receive the Nellie research, wash it with his own research from ongoing relationships with Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska,… here comes the hookers and pee tapes….and begin packaging it as the “dossier”.
When you understand what was going on, some of the irreconcilable issues surrounding the dossier make sense. [Example Here] This is the Big Effen Deal.
The unlawful FISA extracted intelligence/research was laundered through the use of the dossier. The information was then cycled back to Bruce Ohr, thereby using Christopher Steele to remove Nellie’s fingerprints from the origination. That’s why Bruce Ohr never initially told the FBI -the end user of the dossier- about his wife working for Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson.
Bruce Ohr meets with Christopher Steele, receives the laundered intelligence product within the dossier, informs Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page and then passes the intelligence information along to FBI Agent Peter Strzok.
Does this explain now why Glenn Simpson, Chris Steele, Nellie Ohr and Bruce Ohr were having breakfast together on July 30th, 2016?
Through this process, what few recognize is that much of the material inside the Steele Dossier is actually research intelligence material unlawfully extracted from the FBI and NSA database; most likely in majority an assembly by Nellie Ohr.
This explains why Paul Wood said: “I have spoken to one intelligence source who says Mueller is examining ‘electronic records’ that would place Cohen in Prague.” Likely Mueller has Nellie’s database research mistake on Michael Cohen, and he got it from Christopher Steele.
Remember the New York Times article, right before the testimony by Bruce Ohr, where the intelligence community was trying to say that Nellie Ohr had nothing to do with the Dossier? (screen grab below)
Remember that ridiculous attempt to distance Nellie Ohr from the dossier?
Now do you see why the intelligence community needed to try, via their buddies in the New York Times, to cloud the importance of Nellie Ohr?
Kim Strassel – (…) Congressional sources tell me that Mr. Ohr revealed Tuesday that he verbally warned the FBI that its source had a credibility problem … Mr. Ohr said, moreover, that he delivered this information before the FBI’s first application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant against Trump aide Carter Page, in October 2016. (Wall Street Journal, 8/30/2018)
Of course Bruce Ohr delivered it before October 21st, 2016. He gained the foundational material from Chris Steele in June and July 2016, passed it along to Peter Strzok, and his wife was key in providing Steele the source information.
This is also why Bruce Ohr never put his wife’s income source on his annual compliance forms. Nellie Ohr’s income was an outcome of her database access.
“Deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe and his legal counsel Lisa Page were in possession of the key Steele dossier allegations on Sat Jul 30 2016, one day BEFORE the FBI opened an investigation into Trump on Sun Jul 31 2016.
(…) Ohr’s testimony: “I wanted to provide the information he [Steele] had given me to the FBI”
And “I reached out to McCabe”
Page/McCabe/Ohr met on a Saturday at the office at very short notice, with Ohr coming almost straight from the Steele meeting to meet with the Deputy Director of the FBI and his legal counsel.
(…) Ohr’s testimony: “I went to his [McCabe’s] office to provide the information”
“Lisa Page was there”
“So I provided the information to them”
(After that Ohr is put in touch with Strzok, running the Trump/Russia case.)
The investigation was opened the next day, July 31, 2016.
Or at least it was *marked* July 31. Here’s Strzok texting to Page about exactly what “good faith date” they can put on the “LHM” (Letter Head Memo) for the opening case file for the Trump/Russia case.
“On July 30, 2016, Bruce and Nellie Ohr met with Steele and an unknown associate of Steele’s. Almost immediately, Ohr would initiate a meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to detail his conversation with Steele. Also present at the meeting was McCabe’s counsel, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who would play a key role in the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.” (The Epoch Times, 1/14/2019)
“After news broke that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked, a group of prominent computer scientists went on alert. The group of individuals, led by a Hillary supporter, started snooping around the Trump Tower computers to allegedly see if these servers had also been hacked.
This group was led by Indiana University professor, Jean Camp. Professor Camp, according to Circa, was a staunch Hillary supporter:
(…) Some techies uncovered that the the Trump Tower servers began to be bombarded with the same exact invalid look-up requests t