Email Timeline Post-Election 2016

2000 – Hillary says to a donor: “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?”

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.

January 27, 2006 – The same foreign lobbyists and Russians tied to Trump probe, are associated with McCain during his presidential run in 2008

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)

October 18, 2008 – Podesta emails reveal Citigroup has major role in shaping and staffing Obama’s first term

Michael Froman (Credit: public domain)

“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 fromanm@citi.com, sent the following email to Obama’s advisors:

“Review Teams

“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 Politico sums 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.

In an email to John Podesta dated September 18, 2008, Froman wrote:

“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)

October 29, 2008 – Podesta emails suggest FBI denies security clearance for top Obama National Security Advisor

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)

2009 – 2010: FBI watches then acts as Russian spy moves closer to Hillary Clinton

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)

February 2009 – February 2013: It is suspected China hacked Clinton’s private email server throughout her term as Secretary of State

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 fired this 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)

December 29, 2009 – Obama issues an Executive Order making it clear, all communications with a foreign government are automatically deemed classified information

(…) “In the first year of his administration (December 29, 2009, to be exact), President Obama issued Executive Order 13526, entitled “Classified National Security Information.” It explains what information is deemed classified if its disclosure would cause “damage to the national security.” Beyond that, whether the classified information is categorized as “top secret,” “secret,” or “confidential” depends on how serious the damage would be.

With that as background, the order makes clear that there is one category of information that is automatically deemed classified: information from foreign governments. Section 1.1(d) of the executive order decrees: “The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.”

The reason for this is plain: It is not just the often sensitive nature of diplomatic communications; it is the fact that, in order to protect our national security, the United States must rely on intelligence from foreign governments; if our government does not keep that information strictly confidential, the foreign governments will be unwilling to share it – endangering American lives. As Secretary of State, Clinton not only knew this elementary rule; it was her duty to ensure that the rule was followed throughout her department.

After an artist prints out 62,000 pages of Hillary Clinton’s emails as part of an art exhibition titled “HILLARY: The Hillary Clinton Emails” in Venice, Italy, the former Democratic presidential nominee shows up and spends an hour reading them. She even poses for a picture that she posted on Twitter and jokes that someone should “alert the House GOP.” (Credit: Reuters)

As has been clear from the beginning, and is now patent after the latest disclosure of a subset of 6,000 of the emails Clinton deigned to preserve, at least 125 of which reportedly contain classified information, the emails Clinton sent, received and stored via her private server system were rife with information from foreign governments. This information was born classified. It makes no difference that these emails were not stamped “top secret”; all national security officials with security clearances know that foreign government information is deemed classified and must be handled as such. Period.

Indeed, since it is the State Department that deals most directly with foreign governments, the Secretary of State has the highest obligation and interest when it comes to assuring them that the information they share with the U.S. government is being handled with appropriate care.” (Read more: National Review, 9/01/2015)

April 2010 – Present: China reads emails of top US officials

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 April 2010, 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)

June 29, 2010 – Hillary Clinton opposes the Magnitsky Act at the same time Bill Clinton gives a speech in Moscow for Renaissance Capital

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, The Wall Street Journal reported 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 Journal report 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)

2010 – 2011: Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Cripples U.S. Spying Operations

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)

December 24, 2010 – Court forces release of Clinton Wikileaks discussion email that confirms State Dept knew about her email account

“Judicial Watch announced today that the State Department provided a previously hidden email which shows that top State Department officials used and were aware of Hillary Clinton’s email account.

On December 24, 2010, Daniel Baer, an Obama State Department deputy assistant secretary of state, writes to Michael Posner, a then-assistant secretary of state about Clinton’s private email address:

Baer: “Be careful, you just gave the secretary’s personal email address to a bunch of folks …”

Posner answers: “Should I say don’t forward? Did not notice”

Baer responds: “Yeah-I just know that she guards it pretty closely”

Mr. Posner had forwarded Clinton’s email address, which was contained in an email sent to State Department senior leadership, about WikiLeaks.

It appears the State Department produced this email in 2016 in redacted form, blacking out Clinton’s personal email address and the discussion about Clinton’s wanting to keep her email address closely guarded.

Judicial Watch sought the email after a former top Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) State Department official testified to Judicial Watch about reviewing it between late 2013 and early 2014.

The testimony and the email production comes in discovery granted to Judicial Watch on the Clinton email issue in a FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). Clinton also faces potential questioning under oath in this lawsuit.

Despite a recent court order requiring production of the email, the DOJ and State Departments only produced it 10 days ago after Judicial Watch threatened to seek a court order to compel its production.

“Judicial Watch just caught the State Department and DOJ red-handed in another email cover-up – they all knew about the Clinton email account but covered up the smoking-gun email showing this guilty knowledge for years,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 9/30/2019)

April 2011 – July 2012: Hillary’s Libya emails and several “inexplicable gaps during key times of her involvement with Libyan policy”

(Credit: Wall Street Journal Graphic)

(…) “The deteriorating security situation in Libya generally, and Benghazi specifically, was a dominant theme in the emails. Clinton defenders have sought to insulate her from criticism of inadequate security before the attacks by suggesting that decisions about security for U.S. diplomatic personnel were made well below her level. There are many reasons to be skeptical of those claims. The emails make clear that Clinton was deeply involved in virtually every aspect of Libya policy; one internal State Department email lays out the many ways she drove administration decision-making on Libya. Was Clinton a deeply engaged, hands-on manager of every aspect of Libya policy other than security?

If Clinton wasn’t involved in security decisions, the emails make clear that she should have been. Reports that Clinton received and circulated, from both official and unofficial channels, demonstrate the dire security challenges for Americans in Libya.

It’s not just Blumenthal’s emails that raise additional questions. An email sent at 9:17 a.m. on September 15, 2012—four days after the fatal attack in Benghazi—by an aide advises Clinton that Dan Pfeiffer, the director of communications at the White House, “has some sensitive items that he would like to personally show you when he arrives.” Clinton slept in and missed the meeting and wrote back later in the morning to request that Pfeiffer return to brief her. It’s possible that these “sensitive items” had nothing to do with Benghazi. But the request for a meeting came after a flurry of emails the previous evening between officials from the White House, the State Department, and various national security agencies. Those emails concerned edits to the administration’s much-discussed Benghazi “talking points” and included strong objections from the State Department’s “building leadership” to some of the language. White House officials emailed the group to assure everyone that the objections would be addressed the following morning at a meeting of the Deputies Committee.

Clinton testifies to the House Select Committee on Benghazi in January 2013. (Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/The Associated Press)

An email sent to several top administration officials, including top Clinton aide Jake Sullivan, at 11:08 that same morning is introduced this way: “Per the discussion at Deputies, here are the revised TPs for HPSCI [talking points for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence]. Let me know what you think.” The language in the revised talking points is redacted in its entirety.

Given what we know about the various iterations of the talking points, it’s unlikely that these redactions conceal anything not already known. But as that example suggests, what’s missing from the emails is often as provocative as the content. On April 8, 2011, Clinton forwarded a Blumenthal email to Sullivan. In the version of that email released by the State Department, most of Clinton’s note is redacted. It reads: “FYI. [Redacted].” But the same email was obtained and published by the New York Times before the State Department release, and in that version, the sentence is unredacted. It reads: “FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered.”

Why did the State Department—or Clinton herself—want that sentence redacted? That’s unclear. And there may well be an innocent explanation. But the note raises additional questions. Did the idea of supplying arms to the Libyan opposition through private security experts receive the consideration Clinton wanted? Did it happen? Was Blumenthal involved?

Beyond these questions, the Select Committee on Benghazi notes several “inexplicable gaps” in Clinton’s email records “during key times of her involvement with Libyan policy.” There are no emails between September 14 and October 21, 2011, five weeks surrounding Clinton’s trip to Libya. (The committee notes that this was when a “now-famous picture of Clinton on her BlackBerry was taken.”) There is another gap between October 21, 2011, and January 5, 2012, “when the State Department was extending the Benghazi mission for another year.” And a third major gap occurs between April 27 and July 4, 2012, a period of “increased security” when the U.S. compound and the British ambassador were both attacked.

It’s hardly necessary to be a conspiracy-minded conservative to be skeptical of the claim that Clinton—who, by the State Department’s own account, drove Libya policy—neither sent nor received any Libya-related emails during these long stretches of heavy Libya-related policy-making.

Perhaps the most important effect of these latest emails is the simplest one. They demolish the claim that we already know the answers to the important questions about the attacks and the administration’s response.” (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 6/08/2015 )  (Archive)

November 11, 2011 – An email between John Podesta and Chelsea Clinton reveals another private email account and possible Chinese hacking

“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!”

US Department of State, 9/3/2015)  (Wikileaks, 11/20/2011)  (Thompson Timeline, 7/26/2011)

April – May, 2012: Wikileaks proves Syria is about Iran & Israel

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 between April, 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)

April 19, 2012 – Shawn Henry, former head of the FBI’s cyber crime investigations, joins Crowdstrike, the lone source for “Russia hacked the DNC” narrative

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)

April 2012 – The memo to Clinton that helped kill a half million people in Syria

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.

The memo was sent to her shortly before Clinton joined forces with then-CIA Director David Petraeus to push for an aggressive program of rebel military aid.” (Read more: Consortium News, 1/14/2019)

2012 – 2018: FBI informant Stefan Halper is paid over $1 million during the Obama administration

Stefan Halper (Credit: public domain)

“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.

Award ID Recipient Name Start Date End Date Amount Awarding Agency
HQ003416P0148 HALPER, STEFAN 9/26/2016 3/29/2018 $411,575 Department of Defense
HQ003415C0100 HALPER, STEFAN 9/24/2015 9/27/2016 $244,960 Department of Defense
HQ003414C0076 HALPER, STEFAN 7/29/2014 7/31/2015 $204,000 Department of Defense
HQ003412C0039 HALPER, STEFAN 5/30/2012 5/29/2013 $197,626 Department of Defense

(h/t ProHeat)

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 23 Yahoo! 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) 

June 2012 – Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, is invited to the Clintons home during the final year of her secretary of state tenure

Victor Pinchuk, Leonid Kuchma, Bill Clinton, and Olena Pinchuk attend the 4th Yalta Summit in June 2007. (Credit: Pinchuk Foundation)

“Emails made public Tuesday show a Ukrainian businessman and major Clinton Foundation donor was invited to Hillary Clinton’s home during the final year of her diplomatic tenure, despite her spokesman’s insistence in 2014 that the donor never crossed paths with Clinton while she served as secretary of state.

Amid scrutiny of Clinton’s ties to Pinchuk in 2014, the Democratic nominee’s spokesman, Nick Merrill, said Pinchuk had never met with Clinton during that time. He told the New York Times that, “from Jan. 21, 2009, to Feb. 1, 2013,” the Ukrainian businessman “was never on her schedule.”

Pinchuk, who has given up to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation, appeared on the guest list that was sent between Dennis Cheng, an executive at the foundation, and Huma Abedin, then Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department, ahead of a June 2012 dinner. Abedin noted in a subsequent email that the gathering would be hosted in Clinton’s home.

Pinchuk’s dinner invitation was exposed in a series of emails obtained by Citizens United.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/24/2016)  (WSJ Archive)

2012 – 2017: DOJ Political Surveillance – From the IRS, to the FISA Court

An assembly of government reports and public records now indicates political exploitation of the NSA database, for weaponized intelligence surveillance of politicians, began mid-2012.  After an initial attempt to exploit IRS records, the legal tool used to access the NSA database was the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or FISA.

With research files on the ’15, ’16 and ’17 political surveillance program; including information from the Mueller report and information from the IG Horowitz report; in combination with the Obama-era DOJ “secret research project” (their words, not mine); we are able to overlay the Obama-era domestic IC operations & gain a full understanding of how political surveillance was conducted over a period of four to six years.

The FISA-702 database extraction process, and utilization of the protections within the smaller intelligence community, became the primary process only after a previous DOJ effort ran into trouble. The established record from the 99-page FISC opinion rendered by Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer on April 26, 2017, helps explain the details.

I would strongly urge everyone to read the FISC report because Judge Collyer outlines how the DOJ, which includes the FBI, had an “institutional lack of candor” in responses to the FISA court.  Very specifically, the court outlined how the Obama administration was continually lying to the court about both their activity and the rate of fourth amendment violations for illegal searches and seizures of U.S. persons’ private information. These violations continued for multiple years throughout Obama’s terms.

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.

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.

FISA-702(16) is a search of the system returning a U.S. person (“702”), and the “16” is a checkbox to initiate a search based on “To and From“. For example, if you put in a date and a phone number and check “16” as the search parameter the user will get the returns on everything “To and From” that identified phone number for the specific date. Calls, texts, contacts, etc. Including results for the inbound and outbound contacts.

FISA-702(17) is a search of the system returning a U.S. person (702), and the “17” is a checkbox to initiate a search based on everything “About” the search qualifier. For example, if you put a date and a phone number and check “17” as the search parameter the user will get the returns of everything about that phone. Calls, texts, contacts, geolocation (or GPS results), account information, user, service provider, etc. As a result, 702(17) can actually be used to locate where the phone (and user) was located on a specific date or sequentially over a specific period of time which is simply a matter of changing the date parameters.

And that’s just from a phone number.

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 was 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, November 2015 to April 2016.

Also, notice this very important quote:

”many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.”

This tells us the system users 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% rate of unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012.

2012 is an important date in this database abuse because a network of specific interests is assembled that also shows up in 2016/2017:

  • Who was the 2012 FBI Director? Robert Mueller.  The same Mueller selected by the FBI group to become a special prosecutor in 2017.
  • Who was Robert Mueller’s chief-of-staff? Aaron Zebley.  The same Aaron Zebley, who became one of the lead lawyers on the Mueller special counsel.
  • Who was the 2012 CIA Director? John Brennan.
  • Who was the 2012 ODNI? James Clapper.
  • Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure. Who was Defense Secretary? Ash Carter.

Now it becomes important to remember in 2016:

  • Who wanted NSA Director Mike Rogers fired? Brennan, Clapper, and Carter.
  • And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment and then lied about the use of the Steele Dossier? John Brennan, James Clapper

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 a 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 also: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“, that is important.

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 dating back to around 2012.  •The NSA 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. •The same people had multiple searches performed against their private information from November of 2015 to May of 2016, the exact time of the Republican presidential primary.

The outlined process certainly points toward a political spying and surveillance operation, and we are not the only one to think that’s what this system is being used for.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 3/09/2020)  (Archive)

August 3, 2012 – Documents confirm: Google wants to help Hillary overthrow Syria

Jared Cohen (Wikipedia)

“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)

August 12, 2012 – A DIA intelligence report reveals Obama gave “willful” aid to Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria

Lt. General Michael Flynn (Credit: public domain)

“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 2012 report 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.)

August 26, 2012 – Clinton passed along Blumenthal advice to Obama White House

“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.
(snip)

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.

On Aug. 27, Clinton responded, “I passed this on to the White House. We’ll see what happens.”  Read more: ( Read more: Politico, 1/08/2016)

September 6, 2012 – An email reveals the Clintons cozy relationship with the repressive Sultan of Brunei

“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)

September 12, 2012 – The day after the Benghazi attack in Libya, the Defense Intelligence Agency (Michael Flynn) releases a report saying the attack was planned 10 days in advance

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.]

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 5/18/2015)

September 12, 2012 – Defense, State Dept documents reveal Obama administration knew that al Qaeda terrorists planned Benghazi attack 10 days in advance

Clinton with Libyan rebels upon her departure from Tripoli in Libya on October 18, 2011. (Credit: Reuters)

“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.

The documents were released in response to a court order in accordance with a May 15, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against both the DOD and State Department seeking communications between the two agencies and congressional leaders “on matters related to the activities of any agency or department of the U.S. government at the Special Mission Compound and/or classified annex in Benghazi” (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State(No. 1:14-cv-00812)).

Spelling and punctuation are duplicated in this release without corrections.

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.)

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.]

The heavily redacted document does not disclose who was shipping the weapons.

Another DIA report, written in August 2012 (the same time period the U.S. was monitoring weapons flows from Libya to Syria), said that the opposition in Syria was driven by al Qaeda and other extremist Muslim groups: “the Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria.” The growing sectarian direction of the war was predicted to have dire consequences for Iraq, which included the “grave danger” of the rise of ISIS:

The deterioration of the situation has dire consequences on the Iraqi situation and are as follows:

This creates the ideal atmosphere for AQI [al Qaeda Iraq] to return to its old pockets in Mosul and Ramadi, and will provide a renewed momentum under the presumption of unifying the jihad among Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the Sunnis in the Arab world against what it considers one enemy, the dissenters. ISI could also declare an Islamic state through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria, which will create grave danger in regards to unifying Iraq and the protection of its territory.

Some of the “dire consequences” are blacked out but the DIA presciently warned one such consequence would be the “renewing facilitation of terrorist elements from all over the Arab world entering into Iraqi Arena.”

From a separate lawsuit, the State Department produced a document created the morning after the Benghazi attack by Hillary Clinton’s offices, and the Operations Center in the Office of the Executive Secretariat that was sent widely through the agency, including to Joseph McManus (then-Hillary Clinton’s executive assistant).  At 6:00 am, a few hours after the attack, the top office of the State Department sent a “spot report” on the “Attack on U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” that makes no mention of videos or demonstrations:

Four COM personnel were killed and three were wounded in an attack by dozens of fighters on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi beginning approximately 1550 Eastern Time….

The State Department has yet to turn over any documents from the secret email accounts of Hillary Clinton and other top State Department officials.

“These documents are jaw-dropping. No wonder we had to file more FOIA lawsuits and wait over two years for them.  If the American people had known the truth – that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other top administration officials knew that the Benghazi attack was an al-Qaeda terrorist attack from the get-go – and yet lied and covered this fact up – Mitt Romney might very well be president. And why would the Obama administration continue to support the Muslim Brotherhood even after it knew it was tied to the Benghazi terrorist attack and to al Qaeda? These documents also point to a connection between the collapse in Libya and the ISIS war – and confirm that the U.S. knew remarkable details about the transfer of arms from Benghazi to Syrian jihadists,” stated Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch president.  “These documents show that the Benghazi cover-up has continued for years and is only unraveling through our independent lawsuits. The Benghazi scandal just got a whole lot worse for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.” (Judicial Watch, 5/18/2015)

September 29, 2012 – Judicial Watch obtains an email that proves Clinton and Jake Sullivan immediately knew the Benghazi attack was not a spontaneous response to an internet video

Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee re the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, on January 23, 2013. (Credit Saul Loeb/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

“Judicial Watch made public on Oct. 21, a 2012 email chain showing multiple senior U.S. State Department executives used then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecured private email to discuss the most sensitive details of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, died in the assault, which within hours was attributed by the Obama White House to an internet video that critically portrayed Islam and its founder, Mohammed.

(…) The first email in the long chain, dated Sept. 29, 2012, was from Jacob Sullivan, Clinton’s then-senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, to Clinton and copied to Mills.

The email was also forwarded to Philippe Reines, who was Clinton’s then-deputy assistant secretary of state for communications. The occasion for Sullivan’s email was Clinton’s need for Benghazi information to use in a forthcoming telephone call to an unidentified U.S. senator.

After first apologizing for a briefing that apparently angered Clinton, Sullivan then said “the White House and [then-White House national security adviser] Susan [Rice] were not making things up. They were going with what they were told by the IC [intelligence community].

The real story may have been obvious to you from the start (and indeed I called it an assault by heavily armed militants in my first statement), but the IC gave us very different information. They were unanimous about it.”

Sullivan’s comment that “the real story may have been obvious to you from the start” indicates Clinton suppressed her initial view that the attack had been planned beforehand and instead, for several days afterward, she publicly attributed it to “spontaneous” protests sparked by the internet video.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 10/21/2019)  (Archive)

October 2012 – A State Department investigator accuses officials of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, having sex with minors, and several investigations were influenced, manipulated or called off by senior officials

Aurelia Fedenisn ( Credit: CBS News)

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, 2013Foreign 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)

https://youtu.be/VfFXWDdLCPc

(Timeline editor’s note: The video link above was titled “NBC News: Hillary Clinton Covered Up Pedophile Ring At State Department” and has been removed by YouTube. When searching for a copy of it on the Wayback Machine, I discovered its copies have been removed as well.)

Update: A member of our team, Farzaneh, found a copy of the original NBC report.

February 16, 2013 – Missing Clinton email claims Saudis financed Benghazi attacks

“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 Today four 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 first three e-mails in the Russia Today leak from Blumenthal to Clinton all appear word for word in the State Department release. The first e-mail Clinton asks to have printed and she also forwards it to her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan. The second e-mail Clinton describes as “useful insight” and forwards it to Jake Sullivan asking him to circulate it. The third e-mail is also forwarded to Jake Sullivan. The fourth e-mail is missing from the State Department record completely.

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)

March 28, 2013 – Emails reveal Podesta Group’s work for Pro-Russia Ukrainian political party

“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)

October 30, 2013 – Ukraine president Yanukovich is pressured to join the EU by Victoria Nuland threat to extradite and imprison Dmitry Firtash

“A Vienna, Austria, court has ruled that Victoria Nuland (right), the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, attempted to pressure the President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovich (left), into accepting Ukrainian association with the European Union (EU) by threatening Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash with arrest, extradition to the US, and imprisonment on allegations of bribery several years ago in India.

The details were exposed for the first time in public in a proceeding in the Landesgerichtsstrasse Regional Court last Thursday (April 30, 2015). Austrian judge Christoph Bauer was presiding on the application by the US Government for the extradition of Firtash. The transcript of the proceeding has not yet been issued publicly, nor the official text of the judge’s ruling from the bench.

Judge Bauer rejected extradition, ruling there had been improper political interference by the US Government in the Firtash case. This is a violation, according to Bauer’s judgement, of Article 4, section 3 of the US-Austria Extradition Treaty of 1998. “Extradition shall not be granted,” the proviso declares, “if the executive authority of the Requested State determines that the request was politically motivated.” Read the treaty in full here.

A New York Times reporter, David Herszenhorn (below, left), tweeted during the proceedings against Firtash (right, centre), and then published a report of what was translated for him from the German.

The newspaper version: “Mr. Firtash’s lawyers asserted that an initial request by the United States for his arrest, on Oct. 30, 2013, was directly tied to a trip to Ukraine by an assistant secretary of state, Victoria Nuland, in which she sought to prevent Mr. Yanukovych from backing out of a promise to sign sweeping political and trade agreements with Europe. Ms. Nuland left Washington on the day the arrest request was submitted to Austria. The request was rescinded four days later, said a lawyer, Christian Hausmaninger, after Ms. Nuland came to believe she had received assurances from Mr. Yanukovych that he would sign the accords. From that point, nothing happened in the Indian bribery case, Mr. Hausmaninger [defence lawyer for Firtash] said, until Feb. 26, 2014four days after Mr. Yanukovych was ousted after months of street protests. The arrest request was renewed then, and the Austrian authorities detained Mr. Firtash two weeks later, the same day the new Ukrainian prime minister, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, was visiting President Obama at the White House.”

A different record of what was said in court can be read in Herszenhorn’s twitter feed for April 30, 2015; there were 87 separate tweets. This record reveals that Judge Bauer heard evidence that the US Government had shown political favour for Yulia Tymoshenko to replace President Victor Yanukovich; intervened to block the Firtash-supported candidacy of Vitaly Klitschko as Ukrainian president after Yanukovich’s ouster on February 22, 2014; and sought reallocation of Firtash’s assets in the gas and titanium sectors. For more on the US interest in Ukrainian titanium, read this. For the file on the US decision not to prosecute Tymoshenko for corruption, making and receiving bribes, click this.

Herszenhorn hints that the Austrian government intervened administratively to swing the outcome of the case against the US. “At least 4 lawyers arguing for #Firtash in Vienna court, more in gallery or not here. Only 1 Austria govt lawyer in support US extradition.”

The US State Department has yet to respond. “We are disappointed with the court’s ruling” Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said in an e-mailed statement to US newspapers. On the telephone to a London outlet on Friday, Carr claimed the Justice Department has “filed an appeal”.

The timeline for the US charges against Firtash was first reported here. The allegations claim bribery commenced in April 2006. Transactions identified in the published indictment are dated between April 2006 and July 2010. The Chicago grand jury investigation is dated January 2012. The official indictment, according to the Austrian documents, was not dated until June 2013. The US request to the Austrian government for the arrest of Firtash on the extradition warrant was dated October 30, 2013, then withdrawn on November 4, 2013. It was re-issued on February 27, 2014. The Austrian arrest took place on March 12, 2014.

(Credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

The US Government officials in charge of this process included Eric Holder (right), who was US Attorney-General from February 3, 2009 until April 27, 2015; Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State from January 21, 2009, until February 1, 2013; and Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State from September 18, 2013. In that same month, September 2013, there was a change of director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – Robert Mueller was replaced on September 4, 2013, by James Comey.

The FBI Chicago office conducted the investigation. At the start, the agent in charge in Chicago was Robert Grant, who was in his position from 2004 until September 2012. Grant was replaced by Cory Nelson on November 2, 2012, but he lasted only seven months until July of 2013. His temporary substitute was Robert Shields until Robert Holley took over on November 12, 2013.

The US District Attorney in charge of the Firtash grand jury was Patrick Fitzgerald (below, left), but he resigned in June of 2012. He was then succeeded temporarily by a deputy until Zachary Fardon (right) took office on October 23, 2013.

The State Department announced Nuland’s visit to Kiev for November 3 and 4, 2013. According to the US Embassy in Kiev, in a transcript of Nuland’s statement on November 4, Nuland had “a very good and very long meeting with the President.” She claimed in addition: “The President made clear in that meeting that Ukraine has made its choice and its choice is for Europe. The United States supports Ukraine’s right to choose, and we are committed to supporting Ukraine as it works to meet the remaining few requirements for an Association Agreement with the European Union and the trade benefits that come with it. We also took the opportunity tonight to congratulate Ukraine on all of the work it has already done to meet the conditions that the European Union has set forth — literally dozens of pieces of legislation. I delivered a letter this evening from Secretary Kerry to the President.”

In the wake of the revelations in the Austrian court proceeding a record of part of what Nuland and Yanukovich discussed has surfaced. Tape-recordings of Nuland’s confidential remarks in Kiev have surfaced in the past and can be read here. The following content cannot be corroborated, and its accuracy should be treated with caution:

NULAND: Mr President, we will have Firtash arrested unless you agree to sign the [EU] Association Agreement.

YANUKOVICH: Okay, I’ll sign.

In the background, a telephone rings. Audible footsteps, mumbling, as Yanukovich excuses himself to take the call. In his absence, Nuland whispers to Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

NULAND: We got the guy by the [f…… b….], huh?

PYATT: Way to go, Toria!

(Separate telephone tape, in Russian)

YANUKOVICH: You’re off the hook, Dima. The АМЕРИКАНКА fell for it.

FIRTASH: МОЛОДЕЦ! Mr President.”

According to Herszenhorn’s twitter feed, “True or not #Firtash lawyers have strung together a fascinating narrative of his legal travails rising/falling based on US State Dept goals.” (John Helmer, 5/02/2015)  (Archive)

(Republished with permission)

February 2014 – Clinton and DNC collusion began in 2014 with the Voter Expansion Project

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)

February 4-27, 2014 – The Obama administration’s involvement in the 2014 Ukrainian coup

(…) “On or shortly before Feb. 4, 2014, Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs in the Obama State Department, had a conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, which was intercepted and leaked.

In the call, Nuland and Pyatt appeared to be discussing the ouster of Yanukovych and the installation of opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk as prime minister.

Nuland favored opposition leader Yatsenyuk over his main rivals Vitali Klitschko and Oleh Tyahnybok, telling Pyatt: “I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the … what he needs is Klitschko and Tyahnybok on the outside.”

Toward the end of the conversation, then-Vice President Biden was discussed as being willing to help cement the changeover in Ukraine:

Geoffrey Pyatt: “We want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. The other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych, but we probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.”

Victoria Nuland: “So, on that piece Geoff, when I wrote the note [Biden’s national security adviser Jake] Sullivan’s come back to me VFR [direct to me], saying you need Biden, and I said probably tomorrow for an atta-boy and to get the deets [details] to stick. So Biden’s willing.”

Nuland and Pyatt met with Ukrainian opposition leaders Klitschko and Yatsenyuk, along with then-President Yanukovych, just days later on Feb. 7, 2014.

Events then moved swiftly. On Feb. 22, 2014, Yanukovych was removed as president of Ukraine and fled to Russia. On Feb. 27, 2014, Yatsenyuk, the candidate favored by Nuland, was installed as prime minister of Ukraine. Klitschko was left out. Notably, Yatsenyuk would later resign in April 2016 amid corruption accusations. (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

March 2014 – January 2015: The Clintons bag at least $3.4 million for 18 speeches funded by Keystone Pipeline banks

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)

April 2014 – March 2016: Joe Biden faces conflict of interest questions re Ukraine

“Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.

Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden’s account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day. Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s parliament obliged by ending Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired.

But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member [in April 2014].

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

Joe Biden’s last visit to Kiev, January 17, 2017. (Credit: Genya Savilov/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”

He added: “I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine” and that he couldn’t describe the evidence further.” (Read more: The Hill, 4/01/2019)

April 18, 2014 – Hunter Biden is appointed to the Burisma board, four days later Joe Biden addresses the Ukrainian Parliament offering support and money

(…) In April, Biden would get personally involved, as would his son, Hunter. On April 18, 2014, Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of directors for Burisma–one of the largest natural gas companies in Ukraine.

VP Joe Biden addresses the Ukrainian parliament, April 22, 2014. (Credit: The Associated Press)

Four days later, on April 22, 2014, Vice President Biden traveled to Ukraine, offering his political support and $50 million in aid for Yatsenyuk’s shaky new government. Poroshenko, a billionaire politician, was elected as president of Ukraine on May 25, 2014.

Biden became close to both men and helped Ukraine obtain a four-year, $17.5 billion IMF package in March 2015.

In October 2016, Foreign Policy wrote a lengthy article, “What Will Ukraine Do Without Uncle Joe,” which described Biden’s role in the removal of Ukraine’s general prosecutor, Victor Shokin. Shokin, the choice of Poroshenko, was portrayed as fumbling a major corruption case and “hindering an investigation into two high-ranking state prosecutors arrested on corruption charges.”

The United States pushed for Shokin’s removal, and Biden led the effort by personally threatening to withhold $1 billion in loan guarantees. In an interview with The Atlantic, Biden recalled telling Poroshenko: “Petro, you’re not getting your billion dollars. It’s OK, you can keep the [prosecutor] general. Just understand—we’re not paying if you do.” Shokin was removed by Poroshenko shortly thereafter, in early 2016.

But according to reporting by The Hill, at the time of his firing, Shokin had been investigating Burisma. Shokin’s investigation into Burisma had previously been disclosed in June 2017, by Front News International.

Burisma is owned by Nikolai Zlochevsky (also known as Mykola Zlochevsky), the former minister of ecology for Ukraine. According to Front News, Zlochevsky issued a “special permit for the extraction of a third of the gas produced in Ukraine” to his own company, Burisma.

According to the Ukrainian nonprofit Anti Corruption Action Center, Zlochevsky owns 38 permits held by 14 different companies—with Burisma accounting for the majority with 33 of the permits. Zlochevsky left Ukraine after Yanukovych fled to Russia during the Ukrainian Revolution known as Euromaidan.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

April 30, 2014 – March 15, 2016: The Kolomoisky pyramid starts with Hillary Clinton and Victoria Nuland at the State Department and Christine Lagarde of the IMF

(Credit: John Helmer)

“When Igor Kolomoisky (lead image, centre) financed anti-Russian units operating with the Ukrainian Army in the Ukrainian civil war, he was a staunch ally of Petro Poroshenko’s government in Kiev and the Obama Administration’s chief Ukraine policymakers, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and her Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, Victoria Nuland (right).

They in turn dominated the voting on the board of directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by managing director Christine Lagarde. Following the US regime change which installed Poroshenko’s regime in the spring of 2014, the IMF voted massive loans for the Ukraine to replace the Russian financing on which the regime of Victor Yanukovich had depended.  More than a third of the fresh IMF money was paid out by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), the state’s central bank, into PrivatBank controlled by Kolomoisky and his partner, Gennady Bogolyubov.

At the time, investigations of Kolomoisky’s business and banking practices, and the special relationship he cultivated with the NBU, reported he was stealing the money through a pyramid of front companies lending each other the IMF cash which was not intended to be repaid. Clinton, Nuland, Lagarde and the IMF staff and board of directors ignored the evidence, as they continued to top up Kolomoisky’s pyramid. Criminal investigations by the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were also reported at the time; they were neutralized by their superiors.

A new Delaware state court filing a month ago, triggering new US media reports, appears to signal a shift in US Government policy towards Kolomoisky. Or else, as some Ukrainian policy experts believe, it is a move by US officials to put pressure on the new Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Kolomoisky supported in his successful election campaign to replace Poroshenko.

In the new court papers, front company names and the count and value of US transactions between them,  which PrivatBank has dug out of its own bank records,  is published for the first time. But the scheme itself is not new. It was fully exposed in 2014-2015 in this archive.  Nor is it news, as subsequent US media reports claim, that the FBI is investigating Kolomoisky and his US associates for criminal racketeering. The FBI investigation was first reported here.

(Credit: Steve Bell, August 28, 2014)

What is missing is an explanation of why it has taken so long for the PrivatBank case against Kolomoisky to surface in the US courts and in the US press. Also missing is a list of the accomplices and co-conspirators in the scheme. These include officials of the IMF,  the US and Canadian Governments who knowingly directed billions of dollars into the NBU,  from which, as they knew full well at the time, the money went out to Kolomoisky’s PrivatBank, the largest single Ukrainian recipient of the international cash. At the top of the list of accomplices, immediately subordinate to Clinton, Nuland and Lagarde, are David Lipton, the US deputy managing director  at the IMF, and the head of the IMF in Ukraine until 2017, Jerome Vacher.

The plaintiff in the Delaware Court of Chancery is PrivatBank; it is represented by the Quinn Emanuel law firm of New York and Washington, DC.

In addition to Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov, his business partner and co-shareholder in the bank, three other individuals are named as defendants – Mordechai Korf, Chaim Schochet, and Uriel Laber. They are based in the US where they have run the US trading, production, management and investment companies which Privat now alleges were on the receiving end of the embezzlement from the bank and the onward money-laundering chain.

The story of Kolomoisky, Korf and Schochet was first reported in April 2015 here.

Left to right: Mordechai Korf; Chaim Schochet, Korf’s brother-in-law; and Uriel Laber.  Because Korf, Schochet and Laber all live in Miami, the local newspaper has investigated some of their other schemes; here’s an investigation of the environmental damage of their manganese mine in Georgia. A catch-up investigation was reported by the Kyiv Post in May 2019.

The central allegation of the new court case is: “From at least 2006 through December 2016, the UBOs  [Ultimate Beneficial Owners – Kolomoisky, Bogolyubov] were the majority and controlling stockholders of PrivatBank, one of Ukraine’s largest privately-held commercial banks. During that time period, the UBOs used PrivatBank as their own personal piggy bank—ultimately stealing billions of dollars from PrivatBank and using United States entities to launder hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of PrivatBank’s misappropriated loan proceeds into the United States to enrich themselves and their co-conspirators.”

Gennady Bogolyubov (l) and Igor Kolomoisky (Credit: public domain)

The racket – called the Optima schemes in the court papers after the names of several of the Delaware-registered companies used as fronts for moving the money into US assets – was this: “Through the Optima Schemes, the UBOs [Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov] exploited their positions of power and trust at PrivatBank to cause PrivatBank to issue hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of illegitimate, inadequately-secured loans to corporate entities also owned and/or controlled by the UBOs and/or their affiliates (the “Optima Scheme Loans”). To facilitate and fraudulently conceal the Optima Schemes from discovery, the UBOs created and utilized a secretive business unit within PrivatBank’s operations (the “Shadow Bank”) to fund the fraudulent loans and launder those loan proceeds through a sophisticated money laundering process.”

“The stated purpose for each loan involved in the Optima Schemes was typically for financing the activities of the ostensible corporate borrower. The Optima Scheme Loans, however, were sham arrangements and the proceeds were not in fact used for that purpose. Instead, sometimes within minutes of being disbursed, the loan proceeds were cycled through dozens of UBO-controlled or affiliated bank accounts at PrivatBank’s Cyprus branch (“PrivatBank Cyprus”) before being disbursed to one of multiple Delaware limited liability companies or corporations (or other United States-based entities), all of which were [controlled by the UBOs].”

“In effect, the UBOs utilized a Ponzi-type scheme: old loans issued by PrivatBank would be ‘repaid’ (along with the accrued interest) with new loans issued by PrivatBank, and those new loans issued by PrivatBank would then be repaid with a new round of loans. The UBOs and their co-conspirators continuously carried out this process to conceal their frauds. Thus, proceeds from new PrivatBank loans were used to give the appearance that the initial PrivatBank loans (along with the accrued interest) were repaid by the borrower when in fact there was no actual repayment.”

“The proceeds from the new PrivatBank Ukraine loans were then laundered through various accounts at PrivatBank Cyprus to disguise the origin of the funds (i.e., a new loan from PrivatBank), and then used to purport to pay down the initial loans plus accrued interest. On paper, this appeared to be a repayment, but in reality, it was a sham and fraud, as PrivatBank was repaying itself and increasing its outstanding liabilities in the process. This process was carried out over and over again, over a period of many years, giving the appearance that PrivatBank’s corporate loan book was performing when, in fact, new loans were being continually issued to new UBO-controlled parties to ‘pay down’ the prior, existing loans. As a result, the size of the ‘hole’ in PrivatBank’s corporate loan book grew and grew, with each iteration of a loan plus interest being ‘repaid’ through the issuance of a new loan, which accrued interest itself before being ‘repaid’ through the issuance of yet a further new loan.

(…) Most of the fresh evidence presented in Privatbank’s court papers has been gathered from Cyprus. There, according to the bank’s case, 41 front companies were used to move money. “Even though the Laundering Entities had billions of dollars moving in and out of their accounts, in reality, the entities had no business, assets, operations, or employees and were shell entities deployed for money laundering purposes.”

When the money was moved to the US,  it was then spent on real estate – four commercial buildings in Cleveland, Ohio;  two in Dallas, Texas;  one in Harvard, Illinois – together with six ferro-alloy and steel production and trading companies operating in several US states.  The court papers report the value of the real estate at acquisition at just over $287.5 million; the value of the metals companies, $468.7 million.

In addition, there were miscellaneous financial transfers with no clear end-purpose or investment target. “Based on information analyzed to date, Defendants laundered approximately $622.8 million worth of fraudulently obtained loan proceeds into the Optima Conspirators, including $188.1 million to Optima Group, $162.3 million to Optima Ventures, $153.7 million to Optima Acquisitions, $103 million to Optima International, $9 million to Warren Steel Holdings, and $6.7 million to Felman Trading. PrivatBank received no consideration in exchange for these transfers and the loans associated with the transfers were not repaid in full.”

Grand total, $1,379 million.

(…) Lawyers for the defendants are not commenting on the Delaware allegations. It can be anticipated that Kolomoisky will argue the Privatbank loans weren’t shams, and that they were repaid to the bank.  Kolomoisky has already won counter claims against PrivatBank in courts in London and Kyiv; he is now negotiating with the Kiev government to recover a 25% stake in the bank. “We have always said that we are open to negotiations. We believe that we are the injured party, that we have been robbed,” Kolomoisky has told Reuters. “Kolomoisky calculates he is due a 25 percent stake in the bank because of the capital he had put into it. Give us then our 25 percent and keep 75, we will have a joint-stock company. There will be a 25 percent participation and 75 percent by the state, as one of the options.”

Reuters also reports the Ukrainian central bank and the IMF believe Privat “was used as a vehicle for fraud and money-laundering while Kolomoisky owned it, and said the government was forced to inject $5.6 billion of taxpayers’ money into the lender to shore up its finances.” For more detail, click to read this.

The work on the transactions detailed in the Delaware court papers was commissioned by PrivatBank and the NBU from Kroll, a due diligence firm as well known for white-washing the affairs of its clients as for investigating fraud. Kroll’s report was then leaked to Graham Stack. In his report, published on April 19, Stack concludes: “The money was moved through a PrivatBank subsidiary in Cyprus. The arrangement helped hide the fact that cash was disappearing because the National Bank of Ukraine treated the Cyprus branch of PrivatBank the same as it would domestic branches. This designation meant officials never detected that cash transferred to Cyprus was leaving Ukraine. Meanwhile, Cypriot regulators either failed to detect that the various bank transfers totalling $5.5 billion were backed by bogus contracts, or didn’t take the necessary action to stop them.”

The IMF’s staff head for Ukraine, Nikolai Gueorguiev,  claimed that in March 2015 he had ordered “a new wave of  bank diagnostics” to monitor related-party lending, liquidity and capital adequacy at PrivatBank; he was dissembling.

Graham Stack (Credit: public domain)

Stack (right) also reports Kolomoisky’s response to the Delaware case: “‘I categorically deny the allegations made by the National Bank of Ukraine,’ Kolomoisky said, adding that regulators had all the access they needed to monitor his bank’s activities. He painted the authorities’ nationalization of his lending business as an asset grab. ‘Management of the [Ukrainian central bank] had as its main purpose not the support of the country’s largest bank, but its nationalization and the expropriation of the assets provided as security, together with the persecution and pressuring of the former shareholders,’ Kolomoisky said.”

Stack is an independent researcher and reporter of Ukrainian business and politics. Anders Aslund is an employee of Victor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch with bank, media and steel interests who has long been a rival of Kolomoisky’s. Aslund, a former Swedish government official, has worked for US think-tanks funded by Pinchuk. Aslund is now at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. The council lists Pinchuk’s foundation as having giving it up to $500,000 in financing for research, including Aslund’s pay.  The US State Department, the British Foreign Office, and George Soros’s foundations are also listed as large donors.

[Anders] Aslund (left) reported on the charges on June 4. Aslund claims to be reading about the stealing scheme for the first time. “The money trail is surprisingly simple. To begin with, the ultimate beneficiary owners collect retail deposits in Ukraine by offering good conditions and service. The money then flows to their subsidiary, PrivatBank Cyprus. In Cyprus, they benefit from the services of two local law firms. Untypically, the ultimate beneficiary owners did not take the precaution to establish multiple layers of shell companies in Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, and Cayman Islands, as is common among Russians with seriously dirty money. Instead, they operated with three US individuals in Miami, who helped them to set up a large number of anonymous LLCs in the United States, mainly in Delaware, but also in Florida, New Jersey, and Oregon.”

Aslund expresses surprise that among Kolomoisy’s investments there were US ferro-alloy and steel plants and traders. “More remarkable is that Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov, according to the suit, purchased several ferroalloy companies in the United States, Felman Production Inc., in West Virginia; Felman Trading Inc. and Georgian Manganese, LLC; Warren Steel Holdings in Warren, Ohio; Steel Rolling Holdings Inc., Gibraltar, Michigan; CC Metals and Alloys, LLC, in Kentucky; Michigan Seamless Tubes, Michigan. These appear to be medium-sized companies in small places. Real people worked in these enterprises. Why didn’t anybody raise questions about the dubious owners?” (Read much more: John Helmer, 6/30/2019)  (Archive)

(Republished in part, with permission)

May 7, 2014 – September 21, 2016: Joe Biden’s influence over law enforcement in Ukraine

Google Chrome translation:

(…) “The investigation has reason to believe that, using the political and economic levers of influence already on the new Ukrainian government and manipulating the issue of providing Ukraine with financial assistance, Joe Biden actively promoted the closure of criminal cases against Zlochevsky and other representatives of Burisma Group.

Joe Biden and Nikolai Zlochevsky (Credit Forum Daily/Ukraine)

In addition, for several years he managed to actually block the activity of Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies in restoring state-owned assets appropriated by private individuals as a result of criminal activities, including other representatives of the Yanukovych regime. How can you not remember the lists of innocent persons that the US ambassador to Ukraine, according to Yury Lutsenko, passed to him?

In the course of these efforts and with the assistance of the American side in May 2014, Vitaly Kasko (a partner and one of the leaders of the law firm Arzinger) was appointed Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine. By his direct intervention, the investigation suggests that criminal cases initiated by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine (GPU) in 2014 – 2015 against those who appropriated state assets were frozen, and it was impossible to write off funds stored in Burisma Group’s arrested accounts.

These cases include:

7 of May 2014 of the GPU opened a criminal case No. 42014000000000375 on the fact of tax evasion by officials of LLC ESCO-Pivnich, LLC Pari, LLC First Ukrainian Oil and Gas Company, Research and Production Company. OOO Zond, OOO Infoks (all companies are part of the Burisma Group holding).

5 on August 2014, criminal case No. 42014000000000805 was opened on suspicion of Zlochevsky of committing a criminal offense under 3, article 368-2, of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (acquisition of property rights by a person in a particularly responsible position and authorized to perform state functions). In particular, he was accused of receiving improper income in the amount of 35 million dollars while serving as deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine from December 2013 of the year to January 2014 of the year. 10 January 2015, Zlochevsky was put on the national wanted list.

In the second half of 2014, as part of an ongoing investigation, the British Anti-Fraud Authority arrested the accounts of Brociti Investments LTD (part of the Burisma Group), which held 23,5 million dollars (recall, a little earlier, in April 2014 of the year, on the board of the Burisma Group John Biden’s son entered, Hunter). Wherein The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine did not timely provide the information requested by this British agency, which could confirm the illegal origin of funds, and Zlochevsky’s lawyers provided the court with false information about the legal origin of the arrested funds. This data was confirmed in his testimony by an accomplice of Zlochevsky and his lawyer, who participated in the falsification of documents. Due to the lack of evidence in January 2015, the London court overturned the arrest of these accounts. “Frozen” funds were immediately transferred to offshore accounts in Cyprus.

Vitaly Kasko (Credit: public domain)

It should be noted that the draft request to the United Kingdom for the provision of international legal assistance and the continuation of the arrest of Brociti Investments LTD funds was waiting for Kasko to sign with December 31 2014. But he used his public office to delay the sending of this request, citing the need for its consideration and improvement. As a result, the final version of the document was sent to the British side only on January 21 2015 of the year, after a London court decided to cancel the arrest of accounts.

The former US ambassador to Ukraine, Jeffrey Payette [sic], commenting on this situation, called for an investigation into the “misconduct” of prosecutors who delayed providing data, but did not mention in a single word about the connection of the son of the US Vice President writes NYT.

In addition, in March 2015, in order to remove the issue of returning state ownership of Ukraine from the jurisdiction of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, the American side initiated the creation of an interdepartmental working group to coordinate the return to Ukraine of assets illegally obtained by former Ukrainian high-ranking officials. This group was led by Kasko. The only result of the group’s activity was the draft law “On the National Agency of Ukraine for the Identification and Management of Assets Assigned by Persons as a Result of Corruption and Other Crimes”. This document received a positive assessment of the US Department of Justice, but caused a lot of critical comments from the European Commission and Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine committees.

Despite strong criticism, this bill was passed by Parliament in November 2015. The law was signed by the President of Ukraine 9 December 2015 of the year, immediately after Joe Biden’s visit to Kiev (07-08 December 2015), which may indicate American pressure on the Ukrainian authorities.

Thus, the processes of collecting proceeds from crime were put under the control of representatives of the US State Department due to organizational and legal measures and were blocked for 2,5, which gave Zlochevsky and his foreign partners time to settle all issues with the Ukrainian authorities outside the court.

Law enforcement authorities of Ukraine under the influence of the United States

Another way to prevent the investigation of the criminal activities of former representatives of the Yanukovych regime was the creation of new law enforcement agencies to combat corruption, which are fully controlled by the American side – the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office.

In particular, the law on NABU was adopted a month before Joe Biden’s planned visit to Kiev, after which 20 million US dollars were allocated to Ukraine exclusively for anti-corruption reforms in the field of law enforcement. In addition, during negotiations with the Ukrainian government, the US Vice President assured that the Obama administration would consider allocating credit guarantees to Ukraine worth 1 billion US dollars in 2015 in the event that the creation of anti-corruption bodies was successfully completed under the conditions set by Washington.

Joe Biden also actively intervened in the process of appointing heads of established anti-corruption bodies. In particular, with the help of 16 on April 2015 of the year, Artem Sytnik, managing partner of Legal Guarantees, was appointed director of NABU. According to the information available, the main argument in favor of Sytnik was his consent to active cooperation with US government and law enforcement agencies.

In September 2017, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko accused NABU of illegally tapping 140 of Ukrainian officials from various branches of government. 24 January 2018, MP Borislav Rosenblatt, filed a lawsuit with the district administrative court of the city of Kiev with a request to invalidate Sytnik’s actions involving the involvement of FBI officers in intelligence operations in Ukraine without first concluding a relevant bilateral agreement. In addition, Sytnik was accused of initiating a criminal case against Alexander Onishchenko with the goal of removing companies under his control from the Ukrainian gas market in favor of Burisma Group.

Statements by his authorized persons, made in December 2017, about the possible termination of financial support for Ukraine by the United States in the event of Sytnik’s dismissal testify to Joe Biden’s interest in preserving Sytnik’s position as director of NABU.

After the creation of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in September 2015, Joe Biden, US Ambassador to Ukraine Jeffrey Payette [sic] and the leadership of the Ukrainian office of Transparency International openly lobbied Kasko’s appointment as head of this department, including by exerting pressure on members of the selection committee through non-governmental organizations and the media information. However, on November 30, 2015, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Viktor Shokin appointed Nazar Kholodnitsky to the post of his deputy and head of the specialized anti-corruption prosecutor’s office.

At the same time, Shokin organized and personally supervised the investigation into the facts of the corrupt activities of Zlochevsky and Joe Biden in Ukraine.

This caused Joe Biden’s sharp discontent and during his visit to Kiev 7-8 December 2015, the US Vice President in the ultimatum form demanded that the President of Ukraine dismiss Shokin, threatening to refuse to provide Ukraine credit guarantees in the amount of 1 billion dollars.

As a result, this pressure led to the resignation of Shokin in April 2016 of the year, which unblocked the processes of Ukraine receiving American financial assistance. 3 June 2016, the US government and Ukraine signed an agreement on the provision of loan guarantees in the amount of 1 billion dollars.

Moreover, Joe Biden actively used the capabilities of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies he controls to fight his political opponents in the United States. In particular, it was NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office that conducted a special information operation aimed at discrediting the head of Trump’s campaign headquarters Paul Manafort.

In the fall of 2016, in connection with the upcoming US presidential elections, and also because of his possible resignation, Joe Biden initiated activities aimed at ending the criminal prosecution of Zlochevsky and Burisma Holding Limited, since the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine achieved new arrests of the company’s assets.

First, Biden again tried to use the need of Ukraine for financial assistance. Thus, during his meeting with the President of Ukraine in the framework of the UN General Assembly (21.09.2016, New York), Biden said that the United States was ready to allocate another billion guarantees to 1. However, this proposal did not interest Kiev, since it was within the purview of the new administration of the US President, who was to be elected in less than two months.

As a result, an agreement was reached with Zlochevsky: they decided to stop criminal prosecution against him in exchange for transferring to the state budget of Ukraine part of the holding’s profit in the form of accrued additional taxes over the past years in the amount of UAH 180 million, which amounted to only a small amount of income received by the holding company in the result of criminal activity.” (Read more: Forum Daily, 3/26/3029)

May 13, 2014 – Hunter Biden joins the team of Burisma Holdings

Hunter Biden (Credit: Burisma Holdings)

R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Burisma Holdings, Mr. Alan Apter, noted: “The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.”

R. Hunter Biden is a counsel to Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, a national law firm based in New York, USA, which served in cases including “Bush vs. Gore”, and “U.S. vs. Microsoft”. He is one of the co-founders and a managing partner of the investment advisory company Rosemont Seneca Partners, as well as chairman of the board of Rosemont Seneca Advisors. He is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Masters Program in the School of Foreign Service.

Mr. Biden has experience in public service and foreign policy. He is a director for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, The Center for National Policy, and the Chairman’s Advisory Board for the National Democratic Institute. Having served as a Senior Vice President at MBNA bank, former U.S. President Bill Clinton appointed him an Executive Director of E-Commerce Policy Coordination under Secretary of Commerce William Daley. Mr. Biden served as the Honorary Co-Chair of the 2008 Obama-Biden Inaugural Committee.

Mr. Biden is a member of the bar in the State of Connecticut, and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Court of Federal Claims. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

R. Hunter Biden is also a well-known public figure. He is chairman of the Board of the World Food Programme U.S.A., together with the world’s largest humanitarian organization, theUnited Nations World Food Programme. In this capacity he offers assistance to the poor in developing countries, fighting hunger and poverty, and helping to provide food and education to 300 million malnourished children around the world.

Company Background:
Burisma Holdings is a privately-owned oil and gas company with assets in Ukraine and operating in the energy market since 2002. To date, the company holds a portfolio with permits to develop fields in the Dnieper-Donets, the Carpathian and the Azov-Kuban basins. In 2013, the daily gas production grew steadily and at year-end amounted to 11.6 thousand BOE (barrels of oil equivalent – incl. gas, condensate and crude oil), or 1.8 million m3 of natural gas. The company sells these volumes in the domestic market through traders, as well as directly to final consumers. (Burisma Holdings, 5/13/2014)

May 14, 2014 – Glenn Greenwald describes Hillary Clinton: “Banal, corrupted, principle-free, power-hungry…”

In May 2014 during a Q & A with GQ, Glenn Greenwald is asked the following question about the upcoming 2016 election, following with his reply:

How do you feel about the early presidential jockeying?

“Hillary is banal, corrupted, drained of vibrancy and passion. I mean, she’s been around forever, the Clinton circle. She’s a fucking hawk and like a neocon, practically. She’s surrounded by all these sleazy money types who are just corrupting everything everywhere. But she’s going to be the first female president, and women in America are going to be completely invested in her candidacy. Opposition to her is going to be depicted as misogynistic, like opposition to Obama has been depicted as racist. It’s going to be this completely symbolic messaging that’s going to overshadow the fact that she’ll do nothing but continue everything in pursuit of her own power. They’ll probably have a gay person after Hillary who’s just going to do the same thing.

I hope this happens so badly, because I think it’ll be so instructive in that regard. It’ll prove the point. Americans love to mock the idea of monarchy, and yet we have our own de facto monarchy. I think what these leaks did is, they demonstrated that there really is this government that just is the kind of permanent government that doesn’t get affected by election choices and that isn’t in any way accountable to any sort of democratic transparency and just creates its own world off on its own.” (GQ, 5/14/2014)

Later, in November 2014, Greenwald writes about Hillary’s forthcoming run for the Presidency. Here are some excerpts from the Intercept:

It’s easy to strike a pose of cynicism when contemplating Hillary Clinton’s inevitable (and terribly imminent) presidential campaign. As a drearily soulless, principle-free, power-hungry veteran of DC’s game of thrones, she’s about as banal of an American politician as it gets. One of the few unique aspects to her, perhaps the only one, is how the genuinely inspiring gender milestone of her election will (following the Obama model) be exploited to obscure her primary role as guardian of the status quo.

But one shouldn’t be so jaded. There is genuine and intense excitement over the prospect of (another) Clinton presidency. Many significant American factions regard her elevation to the Oval Office as an opportunity for rejuvenation, as a stirring symbol of hope and change, as the vehicle for vital policy advances. Those increasingly inspired factions include:

Wall Street

Down on Wall Street they don’t believe (Clinton’s populist rhetoric) for a minute. While the finance industry does genuinely hate Warren, the big bankers love Clinton, and by and large they badly want her to be presidentMany of the rich and powerful in the financial industry—among them, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman, Tom Nides, a powerful vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, and the heads of JPMorganChase and Bank of America—consider Clinton a pragmatic problem-solver not prone to populist rhetoric. To them, she’s someone who gets the idea that we all benefit if Wall Street and American business thrive. What about her forays into fiery rhetoric? They dismiss it quickly as political maneuvers. None of them think she really means her populism. (Read more: The Intercept, 11/14/2014)

In October 2016, candidate Donald Trump was of the same opinion:

October 2014 – Clinton Speech for Deutsche Bank was designed to give cover for Wall Street coziness

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.

Scwherin floated this idea because the campaign believed Clinton needed “more arrows” in their “quiver on Wall Street.” (Read more: Common Dreams, 10/14/16)

October 14, 2014 – The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) is formed in Ukraine, with Joe Biden and the FBI’s help

(…) “Following the successful overthrow of Yanukovych, Joe Biden had a direct hand in the formation of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), as he personally “pushed for the creation of an independent anti-corruption bureau to combat graft,” according to an Oct. 30, 2016, article by Foreign Policy.

NABU was formally established in October 2014 in response to pressure from not only the U.S. State Department and Biden, but also by the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.

FBI instructors train NABU special forces in SWAT tactics in July 2016. (Credit: public domain)

Despite the international push, the fledgling anti-corruption unit took more than a year to actually become a functioning unit. During this time, NABU officials began establishing a relationship with the FBI. In early 2016, NABU Director Sytnyk announced that his bureau was very close to signing a memorandum of cooperation with the FBI and by February 2016, the FBI had a permanent representative onsite at the NABU offices.

On June 5, 2016, Sytnyk met with U.S. Ambassador Pyatt to discuss a more formalized relationship with the FBI and, on June 30, 2016, NABU and the FBI entered into a memorandum of understanding that allowed for an FBI office onsite at NABU offices to focus on international money laundering cases. The relationship was renewed for an additional two years in June 2017.

NABU has repeatedly refused to make the memorandum of understanding with the FBI public and went to court in 2018 to prevent its release. After receiving an unfavorable opinion from the Kyiv District Administrative Court, NABU appealed the ruling, which was overturned in its favor by the Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal.

Sytnyk, along with parliamentarian Leshchenko, became the subject of an investigation in Ukraine and in December 2018, a Kyiv court ruled that both men “acted illegally when they revealed that Manafort’s surname and signature were found in the so-called black ledger of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych’s Party of Regions,” the Kyiv Post reported on Dec. 12, 2018.

The court noted the material was part of a pre-trial investigation and its release “led to interference in the electoral processes of the United States in 2016 and harmed the interests of Ukraine as a state.”

Leshchenko had publicly adopted a strong anti-Trump stance, telling the Financial Times in August 2016 that “a Trump presidency would change the pro-Ukrainian agenda in American foreign policy” and that 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.” Leschenko noted that the majority of Ukrainian politicians were “on Hillary Clinton’s side.”

In December 2017, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Lutsenko accused Sytnyk of allowing the FBI to conduct illegal operations in Ukraine, claiming that the “U.S. law enforcers were allegedly invited without the permission required and in breach of the necessary procedures.” Lutsenko continued by asking, “Who actually let the foreign special service act in Ukraine?”

Taras Chornovil, a Ukrainian political analyst, also questioned the FBI’s activities, writing that “some kind of undercover operations are being conducted in Ukraine with direct participation (or even under control) of the FBI. This means the FBI operatives could have access to classified data or confidential information.”

Lutsenko called for an audit of NABU, claiming to “possess information of interest to the auditors” and was pushing for Sytnyk’s resignation, along with that of Nazar Kholodnitskiy, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP). According to reporting by Euromaidan Press, Lutsenko’s efforts failed “thanks to the reaction from Ukraine’s American partners.”

Michael Carpenter, an adviser to Joe Biden, personally issued a public warning to Lutsenko and others pushing for Sytnyk’s removal, stating, “If the Rada votes to dismiss the head of the Anticorruption Committee and the head of the NABU, I will recommend cutting all U.S. government assistance to #Ukraine, including security assistance.”

Sytnyk remains in his position as NABU’s director.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

2014 – 2017: State Dept. official, Jonathan Winer, plays a key role in facilitating dossier author Christopher Steele’s access to other top government officials and business executives

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 …”

(Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/10/2019)

2015 – 2016: A former Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) employee, claims President Poroshenko and Clinton Foundation donor Victor Pinchuk, diverted IMF funds into Clinton 2016 campaign

During the US election campaign in 2016, the Ukrainian authorities led by President Petro Poroshenko (r), openly and actively support Hillary Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

(Timeline editor’s note: This is an excerpt from an article written by Vasily Prozorov who is a former employee of the Ukrainian security service SBU. All of his work can be found at ukr-leaks.org. We hope documents will eventually be released to further verify the story.)

Auto-translated in Chrome:

(…) “Manafort is only one of the participants in the drama, called “Ukraine Gate”. Another story is related to the financial support of Hillary Clinton from Ukraine. The intrigue is that during the presidential race in the United States, official Kiev helped the Democratic candidate not only politically and informationally, but also used the money stolen from the IMF tranches, to sponsor your favorite.

So, according to the information available to me, Ukraine is currently continuing investigation of criminal proceedings regarding the theft of IMF funds received by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU).

Vasily Prozorov (Credit: public domain)

It was assumed that foreign aid would be intended to support the financial sector of Ukraine. Under this program, the NBU allocated funds to various private credit organizations of the country. Their owners transferred the received amounts to offshore companies, transferring the agreed kickbacks to the head of the NBU Valeria Gontareva and her patron Petro Poroshenko, for whom she had previously worked in the ICU investment campaign.

Such banks of Ukraine as Tavrika, Pivdenkombank, Avtokrazbank, Moscow Commercial Bank (Converse Bank), Finrostbank, Terra Bank, Kiivska Rus, Vernum Bank participated in this scheme, “Credit Dnipro”, “Delta Bank” and others. Money was transferred from the country to offshore via Austrian bank MeinlBank AG.

The largest volumes of monetary assets were received by two credit organizations – Credit Dnipro and Delta Bank. These banks are closely associated with one of the richest Ukrainian oligarchs – Victor Pinchuk, son-in-law of former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma. The Ukrainian billionaire maintained contacts with the former IMF representative in Ukraine, Jerome Wash, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF managing director, was a member of the Credit Dnipro Supervisory Board. It is hard to imagine that these distinguished gentlemen were not aware of the financial transactions of their Ukrainian friends. Therefore, it is possible that an international group was engaged in the theft of billions of foreign aid to Ukraine.

At the next stage, IMF loans went to the offshore companies MelfaGroup LTD (Belize), TandiceLimited (Cyprus), TosalanTradingLimited (Cyprus), AgaluskoInvestmentLimited (Cyprus), WintenTrading LTD (Cyprus), SilistenTradingLimited “NasternoCommercialLimited.” These offices, as it turned out, also associated with Victor Pinchuk.

But this was not the end of the financial chain. Most of the money from these foreign assets of Pinchuk went to the accounts of his main “washing machine” – The Victor Pinchuk Foundation. And already the “laundered money” was transferred to the Clinton Foundation. Since 2012, for almost five years, the family of the former US president has been listed more than 29 million dollars. Moreover, the largest tranches from the Pinchuk Foundation to the Clinton Foundation were held in 2015 and 2016. By a “coincidental” coincidence, it was at this time that Hillary fought for the post of US president.

Scheme of theft of IMF money tranches and their transfer to the Clinton fund.

Obviously, such a scheme was implemented with the direct participation of the head of the National Bank, Mrs. Gontareva, and the assistance of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.” (Read more: Ukraine Leaks/Archived, 7/26/2019) (Direct link)

January 1, 2015 – December 7, 2017: DOJ records show numerous Bruce Ohr communications with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele

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.

On Friday, July 29, 2016, Steele emails Bruce Ohr about a meeting that is to include Bruce’s wife Nellie Ohr, who then worked for Fusion GPS, at the Mayflower Hotel:

Steele: Dear Bruce,

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

(Read more:Judicial Watch, 3/07/2019)

January 2015 – May 25, 2016: There are 14,409 emails in the Wikileaks DNC email archive that are taken after Crowdstrike installs their security software

“Yesterday, Scott Ritter published a savage and thorough critique of the role of Dmitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike, who are uniquely responsible for the attribution of the DNC hack to Russia. Ritter calls it “one of the greatest cons in modern American history”.  Ritter’s article gives a fascinating account of an earlier questionable incident in which Alperovitch first rose to prominence – his attribution of the “Shady Rat” malware to the Chinese government at a time when there was a political appetite for such an attribution. Ritter portrays the DNC incident as Shady Rat 2.  Read the article.

My post today is a riff on a single point in the Ritter article, using analysis that I had in inventory but not written up.  I’ve analysed the dates of the emails in the Wikileaks DNC email archive: the pattern (to my knowledge) has never been analysed. The results are a surprise – standard descriptions of the incident are misleading.

Nov 7, 2017: story picked up by Luke Rosniak at Daily Caller here 

On April 29, DNC IT staff noticed anomalous activity and brought it to the attention of senior DNC officials: Chairwoman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, DNC’s Chief Executive, Amy Dacey, the DNC’s Technology Director, Andrew Brown, and Michael Sussman, a lawyer for Perkins Coie, a Washington, DC law firm that represented the DNC. After dithering for a few days, on May 4, the DNC (Sussman) contacted Crowdstrike (Shawn Henry), who installed their software on May 5.

Dmitri Alperovich sits before a Crowdstrike/DNC timeline published by Esquire, with one addition by an observant viewer. (Credit: Christopher Leaman/Esquire)

According to a hagiography of Crowdstrike’s detection by Thomas Rid last year, Crowdstrike detected “Russia” in  the network in the early morning of May 6:

At six o’clock on the morning of May 6, Dmitri Alperovitch woke up in a Los Angeles hotel to an alarming email. Alperovitch is the thirty-six-year-old cofounder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, and late the previous night, his company had been asked by the Democratic National Committee to investigate a possible breach of its network. A CrowdStrike security expert had sent the DNC a proprietary software package, called Falcon, that monitors the networks of its clients in real time. Falcon “lit up,” the email said, within ten seconds of being installed at the DNC: Russia was in the network.

In many accounts of the incident (e.g. Wikipedia here), it’s been reported that “both groups of intruders were successfully expelled from the systems within hours after detection”. This was not the case, as Ritter pointed out: data continued to be exfiltrated AFTER the installation of Crowdstrike software, including the emails that ultimately brought down Wasserman-Schultz:

Moreover, the performance of CrowdStrike’s other premier product, Overwatch, in the DNC breach leaves much to be desired. Was CrowdStrike aware that the hackers continued to exfiltrate data (some of which ultimately proved to be the undoing of the DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and the entire DNC staff) throughout the month of May 2016, while Overwatch was engaged?

This is an important and essentially undiscussed question.

Distribution of Dates

The DNC Leak emails are generally said to commence in January 2015 (e.g. CNN here) and continue until the Crowdstrike expulsion. In other email leak archives (e.g Podesta emails; Climategate), the number of emails per month tends to be relatively uniform (at least to one order of magnitude).  However, this is not the case for the DNC Leak as shown in the below graphic of the number of emails per day:

Figure 1. Number of emails per day in Wikileaks DNC archive from Jan 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Calculated from monthly data through March 31, 2016, then weekly until April 15, then daily. No emails after May 25, 2016.

There are only a couple of emails per month (~1/day) through 2015 and up to April 18, 2016. Nearly all of these early emails were non-confidential emails involving DNCPress or innocuous emails to/from Jordan Kaplan of the DNC.  There is a sudden change on April 19, 2016 when 425 emails in the archive. This is also the first day on which emails from hillaryclinton.com occur in the archive – a point that is undiscussed, but relevant given the ongoing controversy about security of the Clinton server (the current version of which was never examined by the FBI) The following week, the number of daily emails in the archive exceeded 1000, reaching a maximum daily rate of nearly 1500 in the third week of May. There is a pronounced weekly cycle to the archive (quieter on the week-ends).

Rid’s Esquire hagiography described a belated cleansing of the DNC computer system on June 10-12, following which Crowdstrike celebrated:

Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office. Alperovitch told me that a few people worried that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was clearinghouse. “Those poor people thought they were getting fired,” he says. For the next two days, three CrowdStrike employees worked inside DNC headquarters, replacing the software and setting up new login credentials using what Alperovitch considers to be the most secure means of choosing a password: flipping through the dictionary at random. (After this article was posted online, Alperovitch noted that the passwords included random characters in addition to the words.) The Overwatch team kept an eye on Falcon to ensure there were no new intrusions. On Sunday night, once the operation was complete, Alperovitch took his team to celebrate at the Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão.

Curiously, the last email in the archive was noon, May 25 – about 14 days before Crowdstrike changed all the passwords on the week-end of June 10-12. Two days later (June 14), the DNC arranged for a self-serving article in the Washington Post in which they announced the hack and blamed it on the Russians. Crowdstrike published a technical report purporting to support the analysis and the story went viral.

There were no fewer than 14409 emails in the Wikileaks archive dating after Crowdstrike’s installation of its security software. In fact, more emails were hacked after Crowdstrike’s discovery on May 6 than before. Whatever actions were taken by Crowdstrike on May 6, they did nothing to stem the exfiltration of emails from the DNC. (Read more: Climate Audit/Steve McIntire, 9/02/2017)

2015 – 2016: The IMF money withdrawal and laundering scheme, from Ukraine to the Clinton campaign

Translated:

(…) “In May 2016, according to the decision of the Kiev Pechersk Court, some Ukrainian credit organizations used shadow schemes for withdrawing funds through the correspondent accounts of the Austrian Meinl Bank AG, the damage from their actions amounted to more than $ 800 million.

(Credit: Kate Matberg/Mediapart)

Another “ingenious scheme” worked smoothly as follows. Ukrainian banks entered into custody and collateral agreements with a non-resident Austrian bank, in which all amounts of funds on correspondent accounts, accrued interest and any future receipts to these accounts were pledged to the foreign bank. The pledge was provided to ensure the fulfillment of obligations under the loan agreements that the non-resident bank, in turn, concluded with third parties – non-resident companies in Ukraine. The latter were associated with the owners of Ukrainian banking institutions. And the borrowers did not fulfill their loan obligations, for which Meinl Bank AG unilaterally extrajudicially charged (i.e., debited from the accounts of Ukrainian banks) all funds in its favor.

And now let’s take a closer look at the list of these Ukrainian banks and using their own reporting documents (by the way, already removed from the Internet, but still recorded by the author before this sad event), we will analyze some of their activities.

Former Ukraine Minister of Finance, Natalie Jaresko is named to manage Puerto Rico’s financial crisis on March 24, 2017. (Credit: public domain)

Of the 36 banks that were granted loans by the National Bank of Ukraine at the expense of IMF tranches, 11 were closed without returning borrowed funds (June 10, 2014 – March 15, 2018, Chairman of the Board Ms. Gontareva), 11 were closed without returning borrowed funds. It seems not so much in the framework of the “struggle for the purification and improvement of the financial and credit system of the state”.

However, the true scope, excuse my French, the scam becomes clear when it turns out that only eight credit institutions received up to 95% of this money. They strenuously pumped them through the already familiar Austrian Meinl Bank AG with a further withdrawal to private offshore companies in Cyprus and Belize. As a result, six of them have already left the orderly ranks of the banking system of Ukraine. And it happened somehow quietly, almost without ceremony, which suggests the national scale of such “Mummery”. Yes, and the ratio of the numbers 11 to 36, or 6 out of 11, not all the same – 6 out of 8 rather confirms our conjecture that Ms. N. Yaresko who held the post of Minister of Finance from February 12, 2014 to April 14, 2016 owned the situation.

It would not be superfluous to recall that Ms. N. Yaresko, a citizen of the United States treated by the highest presidential power, obtained the citizenship of Ukraine, so to speak, from the hands of Mr. Poroshenko for “special merit.” Was it only for merits to the state and what exactly were her merits?  Maybe in the ability to “correctly” distribute and divide financial flows, primarily taking care of the welfare of Mr. Poroshenko’s “team” and his inner circle?

Former IMF representative in Ukraine, Jerome Vacher (Credit: public domain)

Two more banks – participants of this scheme are PJSC “Credit Dnipro” and PJSC “Delta Bank” affiliated with it (declared insolvent in 2015, the bankruptcy procedure is not completed) continue to operate. Their owner is oligarch Pinchuk V.M. – son-in-law of the former President of Ukraine Kuchma L.D. Mr. Pinchuk maintained close ties with the former representative of the IMF in Ukraine, Mr. Jerome Vacher. In addition, the supervisory board of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the supervisory board of PJSC “Credit Dnipro”. It should also be noted that Mr. Pinchuk is the founder of the “Victor Pinchuk Foundation”, which is funded, including through some private offshore companies.

Do you think this is another final link in the chain of funds adventure allocated by the IMF? Do not hurry! Since 2012, for almost five years, only through the Pinchuk’s fund, “Clinton Foundation” received more than $ 29 million. Yes, my dear Ukrainian reader, Mr. Pinchuk, in fact, became one of the largest financial donors to the former American presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Simultaneously, Mr. Pinchuk did not forget Mr. Poroshenko, paying for his election campaign in the media. Mr. Dudnik A.P. was responsible for this truly significant event for one of the leading Ukrainian oligarchs – yes, exactly the head of the supervisory board of the PJSC “Credit Dnipro” bank.

And this already really looks like a “state level” of the highest standard, especially considering the “State Dept” past of Ms. N. Yaresko. Isn’t it a perfect mediator and “watchwoman” for all interested parties?!

Clinton Foundation mega-donor Victor Pinchuk, (l), Toomas Hendrik (c), President of the Republic of Estonia and Petro Poroshenko (r), President of Ukraine. (Credit: Pinchuk Fund)

So instead of financing own economy, the current Ukrainian government headed by Mr. Poroshenko in effect, created a corrupt scheme of international scope, replenished its personal reserves “for a rainy day” and pleased the “democrats” ruling in the USA at that time. However, the Ukrainian president is not very successful with the current American “partners”. Violating the laws of at least two countries, as well as all conceivable principles of democracy and decency (yes, they also exist in politics, to put it mildly, are peculiar, but still) the US Democratic Party actually received uncontrollable income at the expense of the world financial organization allocated to support economy of another state – Ukraine. A crime? Yes! And it is very similar to the “payoff”! (Read more: Kate Matberg/Mediapart, 4/15/2019)

(Timeline editor’s note: We hope documents will be released to further verify this information.)

February 2015 – The Strange Case of McAuliffe & McCabe

Terry McAuliffe (Credit: public domain)

“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.

Finally, on November 1—a week before the presidential election—McCabe recused from the Clinton email and Clinton Foundation investigations.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/21/2018)

February 2, 2015 – Obama admits to his coup in Ukraine and Putin being caught off balance by the Maidan protests

“US President Barack Obama’s recent interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria 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 operations 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.

An international law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law Francis Boyle shares a similar opinion, also arguing that Obama’s approach to Ukraine is no different to the neoconservative approach of former US national security advisor 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.

Boyle also stated that the United States may already be sending covert offensive military equipment to Ukraine, despite Washington’s claims that it provides Kiev only with non-lethal aid.

The expert also claimed that Obama’s ignorance of the Minsk agreements and of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proposals to negotiate the conflict peacefully indicates that Washington is going to continue with its aggressive policy in Ukraine.

“How can Russia tolerate this gang of Nazis in Kyiv [Kiev] setting up shop right there on the borders of Russia, and being armed, equipped and supplied by NATO? Of course, Russia cannot tolerate that,” Boyle concluded, adding that the United States itself would not tolerate such threats close to its borders.

On Sunday, US President Barack Obama, in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, explained that the United States “brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine.” The US President said that Russian President Vladimir Putin made his decision to legally annex Crimea “not because of some grand strategy, but essentially because he was caught off-balance by the protests in the Maidan.” (Read more: Sputnik, 2/02/2015)  (Archive)

February 2, 2015 – Obama admits he brokered a coup in Ukraine

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.”

(Read more: Sputnik News, 2/02/2015)

March – July, 2015: Did McCabe issue ‘Stand-Down’ order on FBI Clinton Email Investigation?

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)

March 15, 2015 – A Wikileaks Podesta email reveals Clinton campaign officials discussing the audacity of congressional members asking Hillary to release her emails and how to stop it

In March 2015, the Clinton campaign brass wondered whether they could recruit a friendly lawmaker to question House Benghazi investigators’ attempts to force Clinton to release her emails.

(Clinton pollster Joel Benenson writes,)

The problem? No one wanted to do it. They considered Elijah Cummings but then suggested they choose an “HRC Warrior,” as Podesta put it. “Who is her most fearsome House ally?” he wondered.

Mook suggested Nita Lowey, Steve Israel or “SJL” – apparently Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.

As it turned out, none of them seemed eager.

“After i suggested this earlier in the week i talked to few people on the Hill,” wrote Jim Margolis, another Clinton strategist. “The challenge is getting a member of congress to do it… because they think they will be called upon to make the same disclosure. I pointed out that they don’t believe private emails should be made public, so there is no hypocrisy. But there is nervousness just the same.”

“Maybe a retiring senator like Mikulski. I’ll keep working it, too,” he said. (Read more: Politico, 10/07/2016)  (Archive)

March 19, 2015 – Ukrainian oligarch, Victor Pinchuk’s ties to Serhiy Leshchenko and the Clintons

On April 11, 2019, Greg Craig, Obama’s former White House counsel and a partner at law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, was indicted for lying about and concealing his work in Ukraine. Craig, who reportedly worked closely with Manafort, was paid more than $4 million to produce an “independent” report justifying Ukraine’s trial and conviction of the former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko. Notably, Craig’s name was not included in the “Black Ledger” leak from Leshchenko and Sytnyk.

The indictment notes that “a wealthy private Ukrainian” was fully funding the report. In a recent YouTube video, Craig publicly stated that “it was Doug Schoen who brought this project to me, and he told me he was acting on behalf of Victor Pinchuk, who was a pro-western, Ukrainian businessman who helped to fund the project.”

“The Firm understood that its work was to be largely funded by Victor Pinchuk,” Skadden wrote in recent FARA filings.

Pinchuk put out a statement on Jan. 21, denying any financial involvement:

“Mr. Pinchuk was not the source of any funds used to pay fees of Skadden in producing their report into the trial and conviction of Yulia Tymoshenko. He was in no way responsible for those costs. Neither Mr. Pinchuk nor companies affiliated with him have ever been a client of Skadden. Mr. Pinchuk and his team had no role in the work done by Skadden, including in the preparation or dissemination of the Skadden report.”

Pinchuk is the founder of Interpipe, a steel pipe manufacturer. He owns Credit Dnipro Bank, several ferroalloy plants and a media empire. He is married to Elena Pinchuk, the daughter of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

Pinchuk has been accused of profiting immensely from the purchase of state-owned assets at severely below-market prices through political favoritism.

Between April 4 and April 12, 2016, Ukrainian parliamentarian Olga Bielkova had four meetings, with Samuel Charap (International Institute for Strategic Studies), Liz Zentos (National Security Council), Michael Kimmage (State Department), and David Kramer (McCain Institute).

FARA documents filed by Schoen showed that he was paid $40,000 a month by Pinchuk (page 5)—in part to arrange these meetings.

Schoen attempted to arrange another 72 meetings with congressmen and media (page 10). It’s unknown how many of these meetings, if any, took place.

In September 2013, Pinchuk pays Clinton to appear at a YES event promoting Ukrainian membership of the European Union, break with Russia, and regime change in Kiev and Moscow. (Credit: Pinchuk Foundation)

Schoen also helped Pinchuk establish ties with the Clinton Foundation. The Wall Street Journal reported on March 19, 2015, how Schoen connected Pinchuk with senior Clinton State Department staffers in order to pressure former Ukrainian President Yanukovych to release Tymoshenko–a political rival of Yanukovych–from jail. And the relationship between Pinchuk and the Clintons continued. According to the Kyiv Post:

“Clinton and her husband Bill, the 42nd U.S. president, have been paid speakers at the annual YES and other Pinchuk events. They describe themselves as friends of Pinchuk, who is known internationally as a businessman and philanthropist.”

Although exact numbers aren’t clear, reports filed by the Clinton Foundation indicate that as much as $25 million of Pinchuk’s donations went to the Clinton organization.

Pinchuk also has ties to Leshchenko, the Ukrainian MP who leaked the information on Manafort. Leshchenko had been a frequent speaker at the Ukrainian Breakfast, a traditional private event held at Davos, Switzerland, and hosted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and has also been pictured with Pinchuk at multiple other events.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 4/26/2019)

March 26, 2015 – In Paul Combetta’s preparation to delete and then transfer the rest of Hillary Clinton’s emails, he first sent them to a dummy Gmail address with a name similar to a business in China

Paul Combetta (Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

(…) “Virtually every email which was sent to and received on the Clinton-email server was forwarded to “carterheavyindustries@gmail.com,” which raised a concern that a foreign actor gained access to Clinton’s emails after an intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) investigator searched Google for “Carter Heavy Industries” and came up with  a result for Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Co., Ltd, according to the documents (pdf).

(…) Frank Rucker, the ICIG investigator, and Jeanette McMillian, an ICIG attorney, told the FBI about the anomaly on Feb. 18, 2016, at a meeting which included Peter Strzok, who had just taken over as the section chief heading the investigation. Rucker told Congress that Strzok was “aloof and dismissive” and didn’t ask many questions.

(…) McMillian told Congress that her understanding of the Carter Heavy Industries email address was that it was a “drop box” to which the emails from the Clinton server were sent in real time.

“Even if you didn’t address an email to this address, the email went to it anyway,” McMillian said.

Rucker told Congress that it appeared that the Carter Heavy Industries email was inserted into Clinton’s server “based on his reading of the metadata.” Rucker was also concerned because he reviewed an email in which Clinton aide Huma Abedin and Abedin’s husband, Anthony Weiner, discuss how Weiner’s account was possibly hacked by a political opponent who ended up receiving copies of all of his emails.

The investigator told Congress that it appears that the Carter Heavy Industries email was inserted into the routing table of Clinton’s server, but that he could only be sure if he examined the server, which he did not have access to. There could be an alternative explanation to why the email address was in virtually every message, Rucker said.

McMillian and Rucker were interviewed by the Senate Finance and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees on Dec. 4, 2018, in response to media reports that cited anonymous sources claiming that China gained access to Clinton’s emails. The committees released unclassified versions of those transcripts along with several sets of supporting documents on Aug. 14.

The documents include several emails from Clinton and her staffers with message metadata showing the Carter Heavy Industries email address as a recipient.

Inspector General’s Inquiry

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz was aware of the ICIG’s referral to the FBI but did not address it in his 568-page report on the FBI and DOJ handling of the Clinton-email inquiry. Horowitz had promised Congress a year ago to look into and report on what the FBI did to investigate the matter. The newly released documents include the results of Horowitz’s inquiry in the form of an April 9, 2019, letter to senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

In the letter, Horowitz and Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson write that the Carter Heavy Industries email account was created by Platte River Networks employee Paul Combetta, who managed Clinton’s email server. Combetta allegedly created the Carter Heavy Industries email on Aug. 20, 2012. Combetta then used the email as “dummy email” in order to transfer messages archived on Clinton’s second private server to the Platte River Networks server in early 2014.

What Combetta did with the email account between 2012 and 2014 and who else had access to it before and after the transfer remains a mystery. Neither the DOJ nor the ICIG inspector generals provide any details on whether the FBI ever examined the matter.

Combetta’s use of this email account is addressed in Horowitz’s report, although it is referred to as a “dummy email” instead of revealing the actual address. Horowitz and Atkinson do not explain how Combetta came to pick the email address. Combetta’s lawyer told Horowitz that the Carter Heavy Industries email was a made-up name and that Combetta had no connection to Shandong Carter Heavy Industry Co., Ltd.

Combetta, through an attorney, refused to be interviewed by the DOJ inspector general about the matter, according to the letter. He also said he had no documents responsive to subpoena about the issue.

Horowitz wrote that his office did not find any evidence to contradict the claims of Combetta’s lawyer.

“Accordingly, other than the similarity discussed above between the dummy email address and the name of a Chinese company identified by the former ICIG analyst and former Inspector General McCullough during a Google search, the ICIG and the DOJ OIG are unaware of any information that links Combetta or the dummy email address that he created with the Chinese government or a Chinese-owned company,” Horowitz and Atkinson wrote.

(Read more: The Epoch Times, 8/15/2019)

(Timeline editor’s note: There is a question as to whether Carter Heavy Industry is actually a Chinese owned company due to a subtitle on their website stating they are a solely owned U.S. company, so it is most likely a branch of Carter operating in Shandong. Also of note, Shandong Carter’s real business email address is not a Gmail address.)

(A snippet from Shandong Carter Heavy Industry’s website specifying they are a U.S. company.)

March 30, 2015 – Ukraine oligarch Victor Pinchuk who donated $29 million to Clinton Foundation demands a meeting with Bill Clinton to discuss the Maidan failure

“Wikileaks has just released another 1,135 John Podesta emails, bringing the total to 43,104 with seven days left until the November 8th US elections.

The latest release shows more Clinton Foundation pay-to-play arrangements, but not with Morocco kings or Saudi princes, but with a Ukraine oligarch.

Victor Pinchuk and his wife Elena Franchuk sign a $2.5 million cooperation agreement to fight AIDS in Ukraine with Bill Clinton. (Credit: public domain)

In an email from President Clinton’s Director of Foreign Policy, Amitabh Desai, to Hillary Clinton’s inner circle (including Huma Abedin and John Podesta), we see the Clinton Foundation’s biggest donor, billionaire Victor Pinchuk, push Hillary Clinton staff to either set up a “private” meeting with Bill Clinton (aka WJC), or “bring together a few western leaders to show support for Ukraine”…with WJC present at the event to show his commitment to “the county [sic] and for him [Victor Pinchuk].”

We are betting that Pinchuk was planning on leveraging Bill Clinton’s presence to display that the future President (via her husband) was fully behind the oligarch and his faltering plan to pivot west.

The email exchange paints a picture of a Ukraine oligarch “relentlessly following up” to expose his connection to the Clinton family, given that (as Desai wrote) Pinchuk “is under Putin’s heel right now, feeling a great degree of pressure and pain for his many years of nurturing stronger ties with the West.”

It’s important to note that Pinchuk was a big supporter of the Maidan coup…a foreign policy debacle that Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland (another Hillary Clinton state department protege) helped spearhead.

From 2009 up to 2013 (the year the Ukrainian coup erupted), the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, which is headquartered in Kiev.

Via Wikileaks…

(Read more: The Duran, November 2016)

April 7, 2015 – A Podesta email released by Wikileaks reveals the Clinton campaign’s ‘Pied-Piper’ strategy against Trump

Donald Trump stands with Hillary Clinton before the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y. (Credit: Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

(…) So to take Bush down, Clinton’s team drew up a plan to pump Trump up. Shortly after her kickoff, top aides organized a strategy call, whose agenda included a memo (see attachment) to the Democratic National Committee: “This memo is intended to outline the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field,” it read.

“The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right. In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party,” read the memo.

 

(A clip from the Pied-Piper strategy memo)

“Pied Piper candidates include, but aren’t limited to:
• Ted Cruz
• Donald Trump
• Ben Carson
We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to [take] them seriously.”

While the campaign also kept a close eye on Rubio, monitoring his announcement speech and tightly designing the tweeted responses to his moves, Clinton’s team in Brooklyn was delightedly puzzled by Trump’s shift into the pole position that July after attacking John McCain by declaring, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Eleven days after those comments about McCain, Clinton aides sought to push the plan even further: An agenda item for top aides’ message planning meeting read, “How do we prevent Bush from bettering himself/how do we maximize Trump and others?”

They wouldn’t have to work very hard at it though; the debates were the beginning of the end for the candidate Clinton’s team always thought she would face on Election Day. The day after the first debate in August, Clinton confidante Neera Tanden emailed Podesta her analysis: “Bush sucked. I’m glad Hillary is obsessed with the one candidate who would be easiest to beat 🙂 Besides Trump, of course.”

“Just like everybody, I thought this was a Bush against a Clinton, that’s all it was going to be,” said former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. “When I saw the first set of debates, I would turn them on in an entertainment mode to see what Donald’s going to say today. It was funny.” (Read more: Politico, 11/07/2016)  (Archive)

April 26, 2015 – Clinton’s campaign team scramble to react to allegations made about the Clinton Foundation in “Clinton Cash”

Clinton Foundation donor, George Stephanopoulos, interviews “Clinton Cash” author, Peter Schweitzer on April 26, 2015. (Credit: ABC News)

(…) Clinton’s team scrambled in the spring of 2015 to reaction to allegations made about the Clinton Foundation in “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

Emails show an elaborate response plan, even debuting a rapid-response website for grassroots supporters to get talking points.

“The biggest question for this group is if and how HRC engages on Clinton Cash this week and what are the ‘two lines’ she would deliver,” Jake Sullivan wrote on May 3 to 10 top aides, including Jennifer Palmieri, Robby Mook, Mandy Grunwald, Joel Benenson, and Jim Margolis. Benenson responded with a few lines for Clinton to say about the foundation’s “life-saving work around the world.”

“The notion that that anyone donating to the foundation was going to influence me in my job is absurd,” Benenson suggested Clinton say, to which Margolis suggested, adding “and never happened.”

Of the rapid-response website, Sullivan wrote, “John [Podesta] and I discussed yesterday and think it is important that supporters and press know that we will deal aggressively with unfair attacks, but our real focus and hers is her proactive vision. Important that we do not appear beleaguered.”

In April, the team looked for ways to have reporters thoroughly debunk “Clinton Cash” before its release. “Amy Chozick from the NYT called us to indicate she had obtained a copy of the book on her own and intends to file a separate story tomorrow. Her story will not unpack all of the book’s claims … she will do a more process-y story about the book’s existence, the fact that the publisher has approached multiple media outlets in advance of the book’s publication to spoon-feed them some of the book’s research,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon wrote to other Clinton advisers.

He added, “We think this story, though it was not originated by us, could end up being somewhat helpful in casting the book’s author as having a conservative agenda.”

When the author, Peter Schweitzer, stumbled through an awkward interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos — himself a Clinton Foundation donor — the comms team took a victory lap as they sent around the transcript.

“[G]reat work everyone. this interview is perfect. he lands nothing and everything is refuted (mostly based on our work),” wrote spokesman Jesse Ferguson.

“This is therapeutic to watch. George is cool as a cucumber, doesn’t rush into it, but just destroys him slowly but surely over the course of the interview,” chimes in Nick Merrill.” (Read more: Politico, 10/07/2016)  (Archive)

April 30, 2015 – The DOJ receives a scathing legal judgment from an Austrian high court, for the politically motivated arrest and attempted extradition of titanium giant, Dmitry Firtash

“It’s not often that private individuals take on the entire State Department and win resounding victories in courts. It’s even rarer for the Justice Department to receive scathing legal judgments issued against it that openly accuse top-level employees of orchestrating politically motivated trials on sham charges. Yet this is exactly what happened last month when an Austrian High Court judge refused to hand over to the FBI one Dmitry Firtash, Ukrainian billionaire, after finding that there had been improper political interference from the US in the matter.

Essentially, the case revolves around supposed bribes given in 2006 by Firtash and his associates to Indian officials to launch a titanium project – a project that never materialized. After a grueling 13 hour hearing, Judge Christoph Bauer argued in his final decision that the case was “politically motivated” and rested solely on the testimony of two anonymous witnesses that the FBI refused to show before the court (the Judge questioned if those individuals were even real). He then accepted the line of defense put forth by Firtash, and acknowledged that the United States “attempted to pressure the President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovich, into accepting Ukrainian association with the European Union” and that “America obviously saw Firtash as somebody who was threatening their economic interests”, according to the New York Times.

(…) Behind the scenes and across the aisle, Republicans and Democrats joined hands to pressure the Yanukovych government, first into signing the Association Agreement with the European Union and snub Russia, before blackmailing the President to step down unconditionally. Make no mistake, this is not your run of the mill the-American-government-is-bad argument; this is lifted straight from the takedown administered by Judge Christoph Bauer in the Firtash case.

An Austrian court has refused to extradite Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash (far right) to the US. He is wanted on bribery charges but the court said political motivations lay behind the US move. (Credit: H.P. Bader/Reuters)

Indeed, the Judge saw the causation behind the correlation of events that led to Yanukovych’s fall and Firtash’s arrest. An initial warrant for his arrest was issued in October 2013, at the same time Nuland went to Ukraine to persuade Yanukovych to sign the EU deal. The request was rescinded four days later, signaling that the Undersecretary of State had obtained assurances from the Ukrainian president. It was only four days after the ouster of Yanukovych that the arrest request was renewed leading to Firtash’s arrest the same day the new Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatseniuk, was visiting Washington.

Chillingly, even after the painful naming and shaming the US Department of Justice received from Austria, a country whose justice system is beyond reproach, Geoffrey Pyatt, our Ambassador to Ukraine renewed calls for Firtash’s arrest and extradition because “he must be brought to justice”. It’s worth noting that Firtash is not accused of any crimes and that Judge Bauer will most probably reject the appeal by US authorities.” (Read more: Foreign Policy Journal, 6/12/2015)  (Archive)

May 15, 2015 – Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell: Foreign governments have Hillary’s email

Michael Morell (Credit: Glenn Fawcett/DoD)

“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.”

“She’s paying a price for it now,” Morell said of the server. “It was not good.” (Read more: Politico, 5/15/2015)

May 19, 2015 – Emails suggest the Justice Department communicates with Hillary Clinton’s campaign as the administration deals with fallout from her use of a private server

(…) “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.

The conversation is one of many that shed light on the Clinton campaign’s efforts to stay ahead of a controversy that progressed rapidly during the early months of her White House bid.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 10/11/2016)

July 6, 2015 – The Intel Community IG determines the classified national security information in Clinton’s emails may have been “compromised” and shared with a foreign power

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)

July 6, 2015 – IC IG McCullough issues an 811 referral on possible compromise of Clinton’s private server and the FBI ignores it

“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)

July 10, 2015 – The FBI opens an official counterespionage investigation regarding the “potential compromise of classified information” on Clinton’s private server

(…) “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)

July 27, 2015 – Emails reveal Clinton campaign is coordinating with supposed nonprofit watchdog, Media Matters and Correct the Record

A July, 2015 memorandum is prepared for Clinton by her senior campaign staffers entitled “Strategy memo for primary campaign” and it includes a section called “Muddy the Waters on GOP Candidates.” It suggests the Clinton campaign work with Media Matters for America (MMFA),  a nonprofit media watchdog group owned and operated by Clinton ally, David Brock.

(A clipping from the memorandum in an attachment at Wikileaks link below.)

Nonprofits are prohibited from engaging in political campaigns, yet the memo states, “Work with MMFA to highlight examples of when the press won’t cover the same issues with Republicans.” (Wikileaks, 11/02/2016)

Several months later, on January 4, 2016, Clinton’s traveling press secretary Nick Merrill writes an email to several senior campaign staff members, expressing a concern that a Vanity Fair story soon to be published, may be less than complimentary of senior Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.

Merrill writes, “They are now going to put the Huma piece on the website on Wednesday morning [January 6, 2016] and it will hit newsstands on the 12th. I think we should do a call about this and figure out how we’re going to rally the troops to defend whatever nonsense is in there. We will need to engage CtR [Correct the Record] and Media Matters as well. If the primary focus of the piece is the Muslim Brotherhood nonsense, then we can more easily line up women MoC’s to go after VF and defend Huma pretty aggressively I’d imagine. If the Teneo/SGE stuff has anything new or noteworthy in it, that will make life a little more difficult, and will require a little more hand to hand combat5,  with press.” (Wikileaks, 11/03/2016)

The following evening, Merrill follows up with another email stating that Media Matters and Correct the Record are ready to push back now that Vanity Fair has published the article.

Merrill then includes a list of “Surrogate Talking Points for Vanity Fair” and suggests, “Vanity Fair is no stranger to provocative, hyperbolic stories, and this is no exception.” (Wikileaks, 10/22/2016)

A day later, on Jan. 6, 2016, Media Matters publishes a post titled, “Vanity Fair’s Huma Abedin Hit Piece by the Numbers: More Than 500 Words On Whether She Is A Muslim Brotherhood Operative (She Isn’t).” (Media Matters, 01/06/2016)

Correct the Record published a piece in April 2016, stating, “Task force will help Clinton supporters push back on online harassment and thank superdelegates”  (Correct the Record, 4/21/2016)

(Read more: The Daily Caller, 11/04/2016)  (Archive)

July 30, 2015 – McCabe is promoted to an associate deputy director at the FBI and moves to FBI headquarters

“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)

Aug. 26, 2015 – Donna Brazile: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

(Credit: Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

Donna Brazile is the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee. Excerpted from the book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House to be published on November 7, 2017, by Hachette Books, a division of Hachette Book Group. Copyright 2017 Donna Brazile.

(…) “I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.

So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.

Debbie was not a good manager. She hadn’t been very interested in controlling the party—she let Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn do as it desired so she didn’t have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was. How much control Brooklyn had and for how long was still something I had been trying to uncover for the last few weeks.

By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart.

***

The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.

“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”

That wasn’t true, he said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign—and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.

If I didn’t know about this, I assumed that none of the other officers knew about it, either. That was just Debbie’s way. In my experience, she didn’t come to the officers of the DNC for advice and counsel. She seemed to make decisions on her own and let us know at the last minute what she had decided, as she had done when she told us about the hacking only minutes before the Washington Post broke the news.

On the phone, Gary told me the DNC had needed a $2 million loan, which the campaign had arranged.

“No! That can’t be true!” I said. “The party cannot take out a loan without the unanimous agreement of all of the officers.”

“Gary, how did they do this without me knowing?” I asked. “I don’t know how Debbie relates to the officers,” Gary said. He described the party as fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.

Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund—that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement—$320,000—and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.

“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

“That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie,” he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. “It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election.”

“What’s the burn rate, Gary?” I asked. “How much money do we need every month to fund the party?”

The burn rate was $3.5 million to $4 million a month, he said.

I gasped. I had a pretty good sense of the DNC’s operations after having served as interim chair five years earlier. Back then the monthly expenses were half that. What had happened? The party chair usually shrinks the staff between presidential election campaigns, but Debbie had chosen not to do that. She had stuck lots of consultants on the DNC payroll, and Obama’s consultants were being financed by the DNC, too.

When we hung up, I was livid. Not at Gary, but at this mess I had inherited. I knew that Debbie had outsourced a lot of the management of the party and had not been the greatest at fundraising. I would not be that kind of chair, even if I was only an interim chair. Did they think I would just be a surrogate for them, get on the road and rouse up the crowds? I was going to manage this party the best I could and try to make it better, even if Brooklyn did not like this. It would be weeks before I would fully understand the financial shenanigans that were keeping the party on life support.” (Read more: Politico, 11/07/2017)

NPR reports having seen a copy of the agreement dated August 26, 2015, that Clinton made with the DNC and transcribes it here.

August 26, 2015 – Clinton signs an agreement and takes control of the DNC finances and strategies

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)

Copy of Agreement:

August 28, 2015 – Internet researcher Katica discovers the FBI sent a notification for preservation of documents to members of the CFIUS Committee

“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]

Sometime around August 3rd, 2015, we discovered the FBI inquiry was actually a “criminal probe“.  [USA Today August 4th] – [Washington Post August 3rd] – [New York Post, August 5th, 2015]  The media reporting in early August of 2015 showed the FBI investigation was actually a criminal probe.   The dates here are important.

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).

(Page #7 – FBI Clinton Documents – Part 15 LINK)

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).

(Page #13 – FBI Clinton Documents – Part 15 LINK) 

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:

(Page #15 – FBI Clinton Documents – Part 15 LINK)

Taken in their totality those FBI special agent notifications now encompassed every member of the CFIUS group who “signed off” on approval of the Uranium One deal.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 11/03/2017)

August 29, 2015 – How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties

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)

September 15, 2015 – 2017: Robert Mueller’s report did not disclose that Felix Sater is a FBI informant and was possibly used to entrap Trump

Felix Sater tweets to Bill Clinton on August 28, 2018,  a photo of them at a party in the Hamptons . (Credit: Felix Sater/Twitter)

(…) Robert Mueller did not disclose that Sater was an FBI Informant. Mueller did not disclose that Sater was deliberately used starting in September 2015 to entrap Donald Trump. I am revisiting this issue because  Sater’s work for the Feds was unsealed last Friday by Judge Glasser in New York. According to the Wall Street Journal:

Felix Sater, a former business associate of President Trump, began working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998, after he was caught in a stock-fraud scheme. As he pleaded guilty, Mr. Sater turned on his co-conspirators, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn wrote in an Aug. 27, 2009, letter, unsealed Friday, to U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser, who was overseeing the case. He had gone on to assist various agencies in different areas of law enforcement for years, they wrote.

“Sater went above and beyond what is expected of most cooperators and placed himself in great jeopardy in doing so,” the prosecutors wrote in pushing for him to get a lighter sentence. On the strength of his continuing cooperation, they had put off his sentencing for more than a decade, an unusually long period for such arrangements.

As I tried to unpeel the onion that is the layered life of Felix Sater, I came across an excellent article by Newsweek reporter Bill Powell, Donald Trump Associate Felix Sater Is Linked to the Mob and the CIA—What’s His Role in the Russia Investigation?. It is worth your time. One of the surprising revelations from Powell is that Felix Sater was a childhood friend of Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer. Let that sink in for a moment. The FBI informant, Felix Sater, was a long-time friend of Cohen. This now provides another explanation for how Michael Cohen became part of the Trump orbit. Did Felix Sater, while an active FBI informant, introduce Cohen to Trump? (Sater and his company, Bayrock, started working with Trump in 2003 while Cohen did not start working for Trump until 2006).

(…) One of the very first reports provided by Christopher Steele insists that the Russians were working overtime to get Trump in bed with them on “lucrative real estate deals.” The Steele report dated 20 June 2016 makes the following claims:

Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years. . . .

In terms of specifics, Source A confided that the Kremlin had been feeding TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, for several years (see more below). . . .

The Kremlin’s cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in  relation  to  the  ongoing  2018 World Cup soccer tournament. How ever, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.

Steele’s claim that the “Kremlin,” as part of a broader scheme to recruit Trump as a Russian asset, was “offering him various lucrative real development” deals in Russia, is refuted by the article by Newsweek’s Bill Powell and by Robert Mueller’s report.

Bill Powell reported the following in Newsweek:

[Felix Sater] and his childhood friend, Michael Cohen—then a lawyer and dealmaker for the Trump Organization—had been working for more than a decade, on and off, to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The New York real estate mogul had long wanted to see his name on a glitzy building in the Russian capital, but the project had never materialized.

Where are all of those “lucrative deals” the Kremlin was supposedly offering up? Nowhere. It was a lie.

Felix Sater was the one telling Trump to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. Sater, according to Newsweek’s Powell, was not a close confidant of Trump:

In [2003], Sater says he met Trump, thanks to his work for Bayrock, the real estate company. . . Sater raised money for Bayrock from, among others, a wealthy businessman from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, and he persuaded people in Trump’s orbit—including Cohen, his old friend—to bring his deals before the boss. Two of the ideas worked out. Sater and the New York real estate mogul eventually worked on the Trump SoHo in Manhattan and a hotel and condo project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which failed after the 2008 economic crisis. He and Trump, Sater claims, were friendly but not particularly close.

Powell does not report the Russians offering up any “lucrative” real estate deal.

Powell’s account is consistent with the information present by Robert Mueller in the Charging Indictment of Michael Cohen. While the Steele Dossier makes the claim that the Russian Government was offering up “lucrative projects” to the Trump organization, Michael Cohen never made such a claim. The details in the charging document show otherwise; i.e., that Felix Sater was pushing the projects:

The Moscow Project was discussed multiple times within the Company and did not end in January 2016. Instead, as late as approximately June 2016, COHEN and Individual 2 discussed efforts to obtain Russian governmental approval for the Moscow Project.

Why does the Trump organization need to “obtain Russian governmental approval” if, per the Steele Dossier, the Russians are offering up a slew of “lucrative” deals?

The charging document provides further details on Cohen and Sater’s interaction with Russian officials. In early January 2016, Michael Cohen sent an email to Vladimir Putin’s Press Secretary. The Secretary responded:

On or about January 14, 2016, COHEN emailed Russian Official 1’s office asking for assistance in connection with the Moscow Project.

On or about January 20, 2016, COHEN received an email from the personal assistant to Russian Official 1 (“Assistant 1”), stating that she had been trying to reach COHEN and requesting that he call her using a Moscow-based phone number she provided.

Shortly after receiving the email, COHEN called Assistant 1 and spoke to her for approximately 20 minutes. On that call, COHEN described his position at the Company and outlined the proposed Moscow Project, including the Russian development company with which the Company had partnered. COHEN requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction. Assistant 1 asked detailed questions and took notes, stating that she would follow up with others in Russia.

Notwithstanding these communications, the Moscow project was terminated in June 2016. And it was Felix Sater aka “Individual 2”, not the Russians, pushing for going to Russia and making a deal. No evidence of Russians offering up “lucrative deals.”

From on or about June 9 to June 14, 2016, Individual 2 sent numerous messages to COHEN about the travel, including forms for COHEN to complete. However, on or about June 14, 2016, COHEN met Individual 2 in the lobby of the Company’s headquarters to inform Individual 2 he would not be traveling at that time.

If the Steele Dossier was true, Trump should have had multiple projects going on in Russia, especially Moscow. Steele paints a picture of Putin’s people feeding Trump information and opportunity. So where is the evidence of such activity? There is none.

The Mueller report reinforces the fact that Felix Sater was the one proposing doing the deal in Moscow and talking to the Russians. The proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow,according to Mueller’s report, originated with an FBI Informant–Felix Sater. Here’s what the Mueller Report states:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov’s purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Mueller, as I have noted previously, is downright dishonest in failing to identify Sater as an FBI informant. Sater was not just a private entrepreneur looking to make some coin. We now know without a doubt that Sater was a fully signed up FBI informant. Sater’s status as an FBI snitch was first exposed in 2012 (you can read the letter confirming Sater’s status as an FBI snitch here). Another inconvenient fact excluded from the Mueller report is that one of Mueller’s Chief Prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, signed the deal with Felix Sater in December 1998 that put Sater into the FBI Informant business.

All suggestions for meeting with the Russian Government, including Putin, originated with Felix Sater. The use of Sater on this particular project started in September 2015.

All of this raises very troubling issues about FBI misconduct. Under what authority did The FBI initiate the “Moscow Tower” play in September 2015? We are supposed to believe that the FBI counter intelligence investigation, aka Crossfire Hurricane, only began the end of July 2016 because of an alarming report from an Australian diplomat. We now know that is a lie.

The revelations about Sater add to the urgency to expose the FBI’s criminality and malevolence. (Read more: Larry C. Johnson, 8/23/2019)

September 2015 – The FBI structures the email investigation to deliver a predetermined outcome

“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)

“The Fix Was In”

October 11, 2015 – In the midst of a FBI criminal investigation into Clinton’s emails, Obama claims on 60 Minutes that Hillary made a mistake and it was not a threat to national security

TRANSCRIPT:

“After a short break for a few sips of water, our interview with President Obama resumed turning to politics, Hillary Clinton’s emails and the president’s thoughts about his last 15 months in office.

President Barack Obama: What else you got?

Steve Kroft: OK. Mr. President, there are a lot of serious problems with the world right now, but I want to ask you a few questions about politics.

President Barack Obama: Yeah, go ahead.

Steve Kroft: Did you know about Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server–

President Barack Obama: No.

Steve Kroft: –while she was Secretary of State?

President Barack Obama: No.

Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?

President Barack Obama: I don’t think it posed a national security problem. I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and– you know, as a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data. And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it’s been ginned-up is in part because of– in part– because of politics. And I think she’d be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. But–

Steve Kroft: What was your reaction when you found out about it?

President Barack Obama: This is one of those issues that I think is legitimate, but the fact that for the last three months this is all that’s been spoken about is an indication that we’re in a presidential political season.

Steve Kroft: Do you agree with what President Clinton has said and Secretary Clinton has said, that this is not– not that big a deal. Do you agree with that?

President Barack Obama: Well, I’m not going to comment on–

Steve Kroft: You think it’s not that big a deal–

President Barack Obama: What I think is that it is important for her to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the American public. And they can make their own judgment. I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.

Steve Kroft: This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.

President Barack Obama: Well, I– there’s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely efforts– on– in– to hide something or to squirrel away information. But again, I’m gonna leave it to–

Steve Kroft: If she had come to you.

President Barack Obama: I’m going to leave it to Hillary when she has an interview with you to address all these questions.

(60 Minutes, 10/11/2015) (Video archived) 

October 12, 2015 – March 2, 2016: Comey makes a series of high profile reassignments resulting in a complete upper-echelon turnover of the FBI Team working on the Clinton email investigation

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)

October, 2015 – September 2016: Nellie Ohr sought job at Fusion GPS and frequently sent Russia research to Bruce Ohr and other DOJ officials

“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.

Russia-related Emails

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.

Nellie also provided her husband with a USB stick containing all her research from her time at Fusion GPS to pass on to the FBI in late 2016 after she officially left the firm in September 2016.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 3/20/2019)

Late October, 2015 – Natalia Veselnitskaya is granted special permission by Loretta Lynch to bypass a visa and enter the United States

Loretta Lynch (Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

“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 News earlier 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 late 2015, 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)

November 2015 – Employment of Nellie Ohr by Fusion GPS Raises New Questions

Bruce and Nellie Ohr (Credit: public domain)

“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, 2017unsealed 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.

Which brings us back to the original question: What was Nellie Ohr doing in 2015? And who were the FBI’s private contractors? (Much more: themarketswork, 9/02/2018)

November 24, 2015 – Edward Klein – ‘Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary’

‘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.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=4Q7HDewUG6A

November, 2015 – Former US Attorney: Susan Rice orders spy agencies to produce ‘detailed spreadsheets’ involving Trump

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.”

Farkas sought to walk back her comments in the weeks following: “I didn’t give anybody anything except advice.” (Read more: Daily Caller, 4/03/2017)

On April 4, 2017, “former national security adviser Susan Rice told MSNBC on Tuesday that allegations she “unmasked” associates of Donald Trump for political reasons while she served in the Obama administration were “absolutely false.” (Read more: Business Insider, 4/04/2017)

December 2015 – Hillary Clinton, the DNC, Alexandra Chalupa and the Ukrainian government try to sabotage Trump campaign

“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)

December 2, 2015 – Viktor Shokin says Ukraine’s Azov Battalion was used to intimidate and threaten titanium oligarch, Dmitry Firtash

John Solomon releases documents that highlight Joe Biden engaging in a pressure and influence campaign on the government of Ukraine. One of the documents is a sworn affidavit by former Ukrainian Prosecutor Viktor Shokin (pdf here). Pages 1-3 of his statement are presented below and describe Arsen Avakov and the ultra-right Azov battalion who are used to intimidate and threaten Ukraine oligarch, Dmitry Firtash (DF), should he decide to return home.

A photograph of armed men at Ukraine’s Borispol airport is posted on Arsen Avakov’s Facebook page.

(Part of the sworn statement of former Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, 9/04/2019)

December 9, 2015 – The reported hearsay whistleblower meets with a Soros-backed Ukrainian official Daria Kaleniuk and DOJ official Catherine Newcombe

Catherine Newcombe (Credit: public domain)

“On December 9, 2015, the reported whistleblower Eric Ciaramella held a meeting in Room 236 of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with Daria Kaleniuk, executive director of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Action Center, which was 59%-funded by Barack Obama’s State Department and the International Renaissance Foundation, a George Soros organization.

Also attending that meeting was Catherine Newcombe, an attorney in the Criminal Division, Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, with the U.S. Department of Justice, where, among other duties, she oversaw the Department’s legal assistance programs to Ukraine.” (Read more: American Thinker, 12/06/2019)

This video reveals Daria Kaleniuk leading a protest in Ukraine calling for Victor Shokin’s resignation in March 2016. Shokin was investigating $4.4 million from the U.S. intended for Russia but was diverted into the Soros group AntAC. The Obama administration had the U.S. embassy in Kiev put pressure on Ukraine to drop this investigation, days after Shokin was fired.

December 10, 2015 – Admiral Michael Flynn is one of several guest speakers at Russia Today’s (RT) 10th anniversary gala in Moscow

“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)

December 2015 – Dem Chief of Staff tries to expose suspected theft ring on Capitol Hill, was met with resistance

Wendy Anderson (Credit: public domain)

“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)

December 19, 2015 – November 8, 2016: An Alexandra Chalupa timeline

Alexandra Chalupa (Credit: public domain)

In late 2015, as the Trump campaign started to become more popular, Alexandra changed gears and focused more on her research, which included an expanse into Trump’s alleged connections with Russia.

On December 19, 2015, Alexandra represented the Ethnic Dems as she hosted a speech in Manchester, NH.

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.

Alexandra also began working with Yahoo! News journalist Michael Isikoff, who had a prior relationship with Glenn Simpson as they considered writing a book together titled “All the President’s Women” in 1997. Alexandra also reached out to her connections in both Washington and Kiev, and circulated memos and e-mails about Manafort across the Democratic National Committee.

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 25, 2016, Isikoff published the article “Trump’s campaign chief is questioned about ties to Russian billionaire” in Yahoo! News.

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 June 20, 2016, Alexandra received her final pay cheque for $25,000.00 from the Democratic National Committee. Coincidentally, this was the same day as the authorship of the first Steele memo.

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.

On August 4, 2016, Ambassador Chaly published the opinion piece “Ukraine’s ambassador: Trump’s comments send wrong message to world” in The Hill.

On August 19, 2016, Andrea Chalupa sent out an e-mail, where she celebrated the dismissal of Paul Manafort from the Trump campaign and the potential investigation into him for FARA violations.

On August 22, 2016, Sheryl Gay Stolberg published the article “Ukrainian-Americans, Long Fond of the G.O.P., Greet Donald Trump With Despair” in The New York Times, which featured some time dedicated to Alexandra.

“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.

On October 24, 2016, Isikoff published the article “16 people who shaped the 2016 election”, which included Alexandra.

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 two follow-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

(Read more: The War Economy, 3/04/2019)

December 19, 2015 – Hillary Clinton’s Ukrainian connection is a question worth exploring

Hillary Clinton meets with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko on September 19, 2016 in New York City. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“The latest news headlines indicate that the Russia 2016 election-meddling investigation is ramping up. Connected with this probe is the now-infamous meeting President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., had with Russian officials last June. While we are still trying to ascertain who all was in that meeting and what, if any, information was shared that could have helped Trump’s presidential campaign, we cannot ignore another meeting with a foreign government — one where we have proof serious campaign violations were committed.

Back in January of this year, Politico reported that Democratic officials met with Ukrainian officials to get information on the Trump campaign in an effort to boost Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. While it didn’t get nearly the mainstream media scrutiny that Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting is getting, it did prompt President Trump to correctly ask why it was being swept under the rug.

In a tweet last month, Trump said “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign — ‘quietly working to boost Clinton.’ So where is the investigation A.G.” It even prompted a Ukraine member of parliament, Andre Derkah, to send a letter last month to Ukraine’s prosecutor general requesting “that authorities launch a pretrial investigation into ‘illegal interference in the election of President of the United States organized by a criminal investigation.’” It also raised some very serious concerns for our organization, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).

This month, FACT filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and its Ukrainian-American consultant, Alexandra Chalupa, for knowingly soliciting and accepting illegal, in-kind contributions from the Ukrainian government.

Specifically, the complaint contends that last year, Ukrainian-American operative and DNC consultant, Alexandra Chalupa met with Ukrainian government officials to get information in an effort to expose ties between Trump, his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russia. As reported, a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy was instructed to help Chalupa conduct research on connections between Trump, Manafort, and Russia. The DNC subsequently acknowledged that it had knowledge of the research.

First, according to federal law, an in-kind contribution consists of “anything of value, including information and leads, the fruits of paid research, or similar investigatory activity, to a political committee.” Second, federal law also prohibits accepting or receiving anything of value from foreign nationals and the Ukrainian government officials are foreign nationals.

Since Chalupa allegedly engaged in both activities as a DNC staffer, this collusion would constitute an illegal, in-kind contribution. And, even though the DNC claimed it “did not incorporate [Chalupa’s] findings in its dossiers on the subjects,” that would be irrelevant as the DNC solicited and received valuable opposition research.

Given what we know today about both situations, it’s clear they both merit serious investigation.” (Read more: The Hill, 8/30/2017)

December 21, 2015 – Bill Priestap is unaware a key conduit for Steele to the FBI is DOJ official, Bruce Ohr

(…) “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.

On July 30, 2016, Ohr had a breakfast meeting with Steele. In the days immediately following this meeting, Ohr met with McCabe and Page in McCabe’s FBI office.

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)

December 21, 2015 – Brent Budowsky advises John Podesta that Clinton should link Putin with Donald Trump in an apparent bid to distract voters from her strategy on ISIS in Syria

“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.”

(Read more: Russia Today, 10/24/2016) (Podesta Email)

December 21, 2015 – Hill columnist, Brent Budowsky, emails John Podesta with advice for Clinton about Obama, Syria, ISIS and to “slaughter Donald for his bromance w/Putin”

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.”

(Original copy)

December 28, 2015 – A text message between Strzok and Page seeks approval for double agents

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)

Late December 2015 – The key foreign intelligence players behind Spygate

(…) “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 unpaid advisor.

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)

December 2015 – January 2017: Spygate, the true story of collusion – how America’s most powerful agencies were weaponized against Trump

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.

(Read much more: The Epoch Times, 10/12/2018)

December 2015-2016: The various UK and Australian intelligence officials involved in Spygate and Russiagate

“Luke Harding, a journalist for The Guardian, reported on the early involvement of UK intelligence, noting that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was engaged in collecting information and transmitting it to the United States beginning in late 2015.

Additionally, in the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, then-head of GCHQ, traveled to Washington to personally meet with then-CIA Director John Brennan. The BBC reported that Brennan’s involvement may have gone back to April 2016.

 

Robert Hannigan, Richard Dearlove and Andrew Wood

Brennan appears to have used the foreign intelligence to launch an interagency investigation of the Trump campaign. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper personally confirmed foreign intelligence involvement during congressional testimony on May 18, 2017.

Steele reportedly met with a number of UK officials regarding his dossier and investigation of Trump, including former MI6 head Richard Dearlove, who is also Steele’s former boss, and Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia.

Chris Burrows, Alex Younger and Andrew Parker

Dearlove advised Steele and his partner, Chris Burrows, to work with a “top British government official” to pass information to the FBI.

The Telegraph reported that Steele met with Charles Farr, the former chairman of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee, on two separate occasions to inform him of the events and information contained within his dossier. The two men, both former MI6 agents, had known each other for decades. The first meeting was reported as being in mid-November 2016, one week after the 2016 presidential election.

Alex Younger, the MI6 chief, and Andrew Parker, the MI5 director general, were then briefed about the dossier—before Trump was made aware of its existence by Comey.

Additionally, Alexander Downer, the Australian diplomat, met with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in May 2016, in a meeting established through a chain of two intermediaries.

Charles Farr, Christopher Steele and Alexander Downer

Information allegedly relayed by Papadopoulos during the meeting—that the Russians had damaging information on Hillary Clinton—appears nearly identical to information later contained in the first memo from Steele that the FBI obtained in early July 2016.

Downer’s conversation with Papadopoulos was reportedly disclosed to the FBI on July 22, 2016, through channels with the Australian government. Details from the conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos were then used by the FBI to open its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016.” (Read more: themarketswork, 7/06/2019)  (Archive)

December 2015 – November 2016: Ukrainian lawmaker, Serhiy Leshchenko, is a Fusion GPS source during the 2016 campaign

Serhiy Leshchenko (Credit: The Associated Press)

“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.”

Ironically, given Fusion GPS’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election, Leshchenko himself was found to have illegally interfered in the 2016 election. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 2/06/2019)

Late December 2015 – Robert Parry: The Sleazy Origins of Russia-gate

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.

Lewd Allegations

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)

Late December, 2015 – British spy agency GCHQ tips off CIA director John Brennan that Putin was seeking to financially support Trump in the coming election

GCHQ headquarters in Cheltenham (Credit: BBC)

“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.

One source called the British eavesdropping agency the “principal whistleblower.” (Read more: The Guardian, 4/13/2017)

January 1, 2016 – January 1, 2017: ‘Unmasker in Chief’ Samantha Power writes and receives anti-Trump bias in government emails

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)

2016 – 2017: President Obama’s team sought NSA intel on thousands of Americans during the 2016 election

(Credit: Esquire)

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)

2016 – 2017: Bruce Ohr’s texts and emails reveal Steele’s deep ties to DOJ, FBI

“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)

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