Featured Timeline Entries

July 6, 2007 – Jeffrey Epstein’s plea deal touts his close friendship with Bill Clinton and a claim he helped conceive the Clinton Global Initiative program

Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein (Credit: public domain)

“Attorneys for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein touted his close friendship with Bill Clinton and even claimed the billionaire helped start Clinton’s controversial family foundation in a 2007 letter aimed at boosting his image during plea negotiations, FoxNews.com has learned.

The 23-page letter, written by high-powered lawyers Alan Dershowitz and Gerald Lefcourt, was apparently part of an ultimately successful bid to negotiate a plea deal before Epstein could be tried for using underage girls in a sex ring based in Palm Beach, Fla., and his private island estate on the 72-acre Virgin Islands home dubbed “Orgy Island.” Epstein spent 13 months in prison and home detention after agreeing to a plea deal in which he admitted to soliciting an underage girl for prostitution.

“Mr. Epstein was part of the original group that conceived the Clinton Global Initiative, which is described as a project ‘bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” read the July 2007 letter to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Florida. “Focuses of this initiative include poverty, climate change, global health, and religious and ethnic conflicts.”

The hedge fund magnate’s true role in creating the foundation could not be confirmed. Whether Epstein was an actual founder of the foundation or exaggerated his role in a phony effort to appear altruistic is not clear.

Epstein is not cited in official paperwork filed by the Clinton Global Initiative as a founder or director. Neither The Clinton Foundation nor Dershowitz responded to FoxNews.com’s inquiry as to the extent of Epstein’s involvement. FoxNews.com first reported that flight logs show the former president flew on Epstein’s private plane dozens of times. But Clinton has publicly credited longtime assistant Doug Band, now counselor and director of the foundation, as conceiving of the idea.” (Read more: Fox News, 7/06/2016)

March 22, 2012 – The Obama administration announces new rules that will allow millions of U.S. citizens’ government files to be copied and analyzed for terrorism clues

(…) “Within the 99-page opinion from Judge Rosemary Collyer  she noted none of this FISA-702 database abuse was accidental. In a key footnote on page 87: Collyer outlined the years of unlawful violations was the result of “deliberate decisionmaking“:

This specific footnote, is key to peeling back the onion.

Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”.  This sentence exposes an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; and outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data. Note: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“.

We feel confident we’ve now found the source of the “memorandum of understanding” that lies at the heart of the issue.

Barack Obama and Eric Holder (Credit: Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

In March 2012 the Obama administration through Attorney General Eric Holder made changes to the exploitation of intelligence databases as noted in this Wall Street Journal article later in the year:

(December 2012WSJ) Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime.

Not everyone was on board. “This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public,” Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security, argued in the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.

A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect.

The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.

Now, NCTC can copy entire government databases—flight records, casino-employee lists, the names of Americans hosting foreign-exchange students and many others. The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior. Previously, both were prohibited. Data about Americans “reasonably believed to constitute terrorism information” may be permanently retained.

The changes also allow databases of U.S. civilian information to be given to foreign governments for analysis of their own. In effect, U.S. and foreign governments would be using the information to look for clues that people might commit future crimes.  (more)

The 2012 changes, instituted by Eric Holder, permitted files of specific Americans to be generated under the auspices of potential terror threats.  The NSA databases could be exploited by the National Counterterrorism Center to extract content that would be contained within these files on targeted Americans.

Keep in mind this is early 2012, John Brennan is Deputy National Security Advisor and Asst. to President Obama for Homeland Security.

When Attorney General Eric Holder empowered the National Counterterrorism Center with this new authority, the office assigned to the data-collection was the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC).  The founder of the TTIC was John Brennan:

On 1 May 2003, the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) opened its doors. Led by its first Director, John Brennan, TTIC filled its ranks with approximately three dozen detailees from across the US Government (USG) and was mandated to integrate CT capabilities and missions across the government. (link)

Also note the date of this DOJ Memorandum is March 2012:

Under the new rules issued in March, the National Counterterrorism Center, known as NCTC, can obtain almost any database the government collects that it says is “reasonably believed” to contain “terrorism information.”  (link)

The March 2012 date is right before the IRS scandal hit the headlines.

The IRS targeting scandal is where the term “Secret Research Project” originated as a description from the Obama team. It involved the U.S. Department of Justice under Eric Holder and the FBI under Robert Mueller. It never made sense why Eric Holder requested over 1 million tax records via CD ROM, until overlaying the timeline of the FISA abuse:

The IRS sent the FBI “21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The transaction occurred in October 2010 (link)

Why disks? Why send a stack of DISKS to the DOJ and FBI when there’s a pre-existing financial crimes unit within the IRS. All of the evidence within this sketchy operation came directly to the surface in spring 2012.

Here’s how it looks:

♦ In 2010 Eric Holder asked the IRS to send him the records of 501(c) non profit groups and individuals representing conservative voters. [LINK] Lois Lerner sent the DOJ 1.1 million pages of 501(c)(4) tax filing data. Including a very specific set of “33 Schedule B attachment files”. The Schedule B’s were specific to Large Conservative 501(c)(4) groups operating and organized to oppose the agenda of President Obama. The Schedule B’s include the donor lists of specific people and sub-groups attached to the 501(c)(4).

The IRS sent the FBI “21 disks constituting a 1.1 million page database of information from 501(c)(4) tax exempt organizations, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” The transaction occurred in October 2010 (link)

♦ In 2012 Eric Holder authorizes the use of government databases to search records of Americans and assemble “files” on potential targets. [Link] “The agency has new authority to keep data about innocent U.S. citizens for up to five years, and to analyze it for suspicious patterns of behavior.”

♦ In the period of 2012 through April 2016According to FISA Judge Rosemary Collyer, there were tens of thousands of illegal (“non-compliant”) search queries of the NSA database targeting Americans.  The search results were unlawfully “extracted” to unknown entities.  Eighty-five out of every hundred searches were illegal (85% non-compliant rate).

Consider purposeful actions, as a political targeting operation, by weaponizing the systems of government.  Steps:

  • First, identify the targets (IRS Database).
  • Second, research the targets (NSA Database).
  • Third assemble files on the targets (DOJ Authorization).
  • Fourth use the files to leverage/destroy your opposition.

We now have evidence of the first three steps; and my hunch is if we apply hindsight a lot of unusual activity will now make sense.  We have been living inside the fourth step for a few years.  We noticed the consequences… but we only had suspicions, until now.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/28/2019)

***

On December 12, 2012, the Wall Street Journal publishes a timeline of events regarding the National Counterterrorism Center controversy:

Dec. 25, 2009 – On Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man, boarded a flight to Detroit from Amsterdam wearing explosives sewn into his undergarments. His bomb didn’t properly detonate. He eventually pleaded guilty to terror-related charges.

Jan. 7, 2010 – The White House issued a report about the attempted bombing, citing the need to strengthen the watchlisting process.

May 18, 2010 – The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the Christmas Day bombing concluded that “NCTC was not organized adequately to fulfill its mission.”

Feb 24, 2011 – In February 2011, Homeland Security staffers began corresponding about their concerns about the proposed NCTC guidelines, including issues with “oversight/compliance” and difficulty stripping down “what you need to focus on as the problems.”

March 4, 2011 – By March, Justice Department was on its “third round of edits” with NCTC. DHS Associate General Counsel Matthew L. Kronisch encouraged Homeland Security colleagues to submit their comments soon.

March 7, 2011 – In a heated exchange, an official at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – whose name was redacted – said that several Homeland Security comments “suggest a potential lack of understanding” and “would eviscerate the authorities” of the counterterrorism center.

March 11, 2011 – Homeland Security Associate General Counsel Matthew Kronisch expressed “little expectation of resolving our concerns” but requested a meeting with the Office of Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice.

May 12, 2011 – Homeland Security Chief Privacy Officer Mary Ellen Callahan and Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Margo Schlanger elevated their concerns to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano in a memo titled “How Best to Express the Department’s Privacy and Civil Liberties-Related Concems over Draft Guidelines Proposed by the Office of The Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center.”

June 17, 2011 – Ms. Callahan expressed frustration with the process, stating that she “non-concurred” on “operational examples,” and that the examples were “complete non-sequiturs” and “non-responsive.”

November 8, 2011 – “I’m not sure I’m totally prepared with the firestorm we’re about to create,” Margo Schlanger wrote in an e-mail to Mary Ellen Callahan in November, referring to the fact that the two wanted to push for further privacy protections in the guidelines. Others in the department were willing to agree to the counterterrorism proposal.

March 7, 2012 – Staffers for the Homeland Security Privacy and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties offices’ prepared talking points for the “Deputies Committee meeting” at the White House to discuss the guidelines.

March 22, 2012 – But right after the meeting the guidelines were finalized and quietly released with a statement from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who cited the Abdullmutallub failures. “Following the failed terrorist attack in December 2009, representatives of the counterterrorism community concluded it is vital for NCTC to be provided with a variety of datasets from various agencies that contain terrorism information,” said Clapper, “The ability to search against these datasets for up to five years on a continuing basis as these updated Guidelines permit will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively than the 2008 Guidelines allowed.”

April 2, 2012 – Homeland Security staffers began preparing the terms under which they would hand over the “six DHS datasets associated with the revised NCTC AG Guidelines.”

(Wall Street Journal, 12/12/2012)

June 2012 – The FISC report reveals the Obama administration conducted political surveillance as early as mid-2012

Former U.S. Attorney to the District of Columbia, Joe diGenova, discusses the declassification of intelligence documents relating to political surveillance; and the origin of the database abuses outlined by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer.

Given last weeks visit to Main Justice by congressman Mark Meadows; and considering the visit was specifically to review unredacted Page-Strzok-McCabe messages; it could be surmised the first series of declassified documents might be those communiques. Additionally, John Solomon has stated “Bucket Five” is likely the first release prior to the IG report:

Bucket Five – Intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all exculpatory intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court.  Presumably this would include the recently revealed State Dept Kavalac email; and the FBI transcripts from wiretaps of George Papadopoulos (also listed in Carter Page FISA).

Now that we have significant research files on the 2015 and 2016 political surveillance program; which includes the trail evident within the Weissmann/Mueller report; in combination with the Obama-era DOJ “secret research project” (their words, not mine); we are able to overlay the entire objective and gain a full understanding of how political surveillance was conducted over a period of approximately four to six years.

This is why there’s panic.

Working with a timeline, but also referencing origination material in 2015/2016 – CTH hopes to show how the program operated. This explains an evolution from The IRS Files in 2010 to the FISA Files in 2016.

More importantly, research indicates the modern political exploitation of the NSA database, for weaponized intelligence surveillance of politicians, began mid-2012.

The FISA-702 database extraction process, and utilization of the protections within the smaller intelligence community, was the primary process. We start by reviewing the established record from the 99-page FISC opinion rendered by presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer on; and explain the details within the FISC opinion.

I would strongly urge everyone to read the FISC report (full pdf below) because Judge Collyer outlines how the DOJ, which includes the FBI, had an “institutional lack of candor” in responses to the FISA court. In essence, the Obama administration was continually lying to the court about their activity, and the rate of fourth amendment violations for illegal searches and seizures of U.S. persons’ private information for multiple years.

Unfortunately, due to intelligence terminology Judge Collyer’s brief and ruling is not an easy read for anyone unfamiliar with the FISA processes outlined. The complexity also helps the media avoid discussing, and as a result most Americans have no idea the scale and scope of the issues. So we’ll try to break down the language. View this document on Scribd

For the sake of brevity and common understanding CTH will highlight the most pertinent segments showing just how systemic and troublesome the unlawful electronic surveillance was.

Early in 2016 NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was alerted of a significant uptick in FISA-702(17) “About” queries using the FBI/NSA database that holds all metadata records on every form of electronic communication.

The NSA compliance officer alerted Admiral Mike Rogers who then initiated a full compliance audit on/around March 9th, 2016, for the period of November 1st, 2015, through May 1st, 2016.

While the audit was ongoing, due to the severity of the results that were identified, Admiral Mike Rogers stopped anyone from using the 702(17) “about query” option, and went to the extraordinary step of blocking all FBI contractor access to the database on April 18, 2016 (keep these dates in mind).

Here are some significant segments:

The key takeaway from these first paragraphs is how the search query results were exported from the NSA database to users who were not authorized to see the material. The FBI contractors were conducting searches and then removing, or ‘exporting’, the results. Later on, the FBI said all of the exported material was deleted.

Searching the highly classified NSA database is essentially a function of filling out search boxes to identify the user-initiated search parameter and get a return on the search result.

(…) Search an ip address “about” and read all data into that server; put in an email address and gain everything about that account. Or use the electronic address of a GPS enabled vehicle (about) and you can withdraw more electronic data and monitor in real time. Search a credit card number and get everything about the account including what was purchased, where, when, etc. Search a bank account number, get everything about transactions and electronic records etc. Just about anything and everything can be electronically searched; everything has an electronic ‘identifier’.

The search parameter is only limited by the originating field filled out. Names, places, numbers, addresses, etc. By using the “About” parameter there may be thousands or millions of returns. Imagine if you put “@realdonaldtrump” into the search parameter? You could extract all following accounts who interacted on Twitter, or Facebook etc. You are only limited by your imagination and the scale of the electronic connectivity.

As you can see below, on March 9th, 2016, internal auditors noted the FBI was sharing “raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information”.

In plain English the raw search returns were being shared with unknown entities without any attempt to “minimize” or redact the results. The person(s) attached to the results were named and obvious. There was no effort to hide their identity or protect their 4th amendment rights of privacy:

But what’s the scale here? This is where the story really lies.

Read this next excerpt carefully.

The operators were searching “U.S Persons”. The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed “eighty-five percent of those queries” were unlawful or “non compliant”.

85% !! “representing [redacted number].”

We can tell from the space of the redaction the number of searches were between 1,000 and 9,999 [five digits]. If we take the middle number of 5,000 – that means 4,250 unlawful searches out of 5,000.

The [five digit] amount (more than 1,000, less than 10,000), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period.

Also notice this very important quote: “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.” So they were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic “identifier”, or people, repeatedly over different dates. Specific people were being tracked/monitored.

Additionally, notice the last quote: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of” these non lawful searches “since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

That means the 85% unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012. (Again, remember that date, 2012) Who was FBI Director? Who was his chief-of-staff? Who was CIA Director? ODNI? etc. Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure. Who was Defense Secretary? And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment?

Tens of thousands of searches over four years (since 2012), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?…. (I believe this is all political opposition use; and I’ll explain why momentarily.)

OK, that’s the stunning scale; but who was involved?

Private contractors with access to “raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s requests“:

And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.

(Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.)

None of this is conspiracy theory.

All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: “deliberate decisionmaking“:

This specific footnote, if declassified, would be key.  Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”, this sentence has the potential to expose an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; that outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data.

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

Summary of this aspect: The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/24/2019)

July 30, 2016 – Ohr meets with Steele, and within hours meets with McCabe and Page for the purpose of “passing on Steele’s info to them”

“Deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe and his legal counsel Lisa Page were in possession of the key Steele dossier allegations on Sat Jul 30 2016, one day BEFORE the FBI opened an investigation into Trump on Sun Jul 31 2016.

(…) Ohr’s testimony: “I wanted to provide the information he [Steele] had given me to the FBI”

And “I reached out to McCabe”

Page/McCabe/Ohr met on a Saturday at the office at very short notice, with Ohr coming almost straight from the Steele meeting to meet with the Deputy Director of the FBI and his legal counsel.

Sounds…unusual/urgent?

(…) Ohr’s testimony: “I went to his [McCabe’s] office to provide the information”

“Lisa Page was there”

“So I provided the information to them”

(After that Ohr is put in touch with Strzok, running the Trump/Russia case.)

The investigation was opened the next day, July 31, 2016.

Or at least it was *marked* July 31. Here’s Strzok texting to Page about exactly what “good faith date” they can put on the “LHM” (Letter Head Memo) for the opening case file for the Trump/Russia case.

(Read more: Undercover Huber, 3/10/2019)

August 4, 2016 – A few operational details of the CIA/NSA/FBI/White House counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign

Avril Haines appears on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell in August, 2018, to discuss President Trump’s abuse of power after removing former CIA director Brennan’s security clearance. (Credit: MSNBC screenshot)

(…) “In the first week of August — directly after the creation of Crossfire Hurricane — Director Brennan contacted Avril Haines via telephone, as he had received intelligence in relation to President Vladimir Putin.

An envelope which contained “eyes only” instructions was sent by courier from the Central Intelligence Agency to the White House. The contents of the envelope were shown to four people: President Barack Obama, and three of his senior aides, most likely Denis McDonough, Susan Rice and Avril Haines.

Within the envelope was a valuable source that Director Brennan had used to ascertain certain information, a source which he intentionally kept away from the Presidential Daily Brief. This was because, by 2013, the Presidential Daily Brief was being received by over 30 recipients.

“Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objects — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.” —The Washington Post

As a result of this, Director Brennan created a secret task force at the Central Intelligence Agency’s Headquarters, which was composed of several dozen analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Working Group reported to two different groups.

  • President Barack Obama and less than 14 senior United States Government officials.
  • A team of operations specialists at the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Also in early August 2016 — presumably the same week — agents at the Federal Bureau of Investigation met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, where they questioned her about a letter they had received in early March 2016 from a foreign source, supposedly written by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations regarding the Midyear Exam investigation.

During this meeting, the agents offered to give Attorney General Lynch a “defensive briefing”. Shortly after this, the Federal Bureau of Investigation concluded that the Benardo letter was an unreliable document.

President Obama ordered his aides to determine ways to retaliate or deter against the Russian Government through three steps:

  • Gain a high-confidence assessment from the United States intelligence agencies on Russia’s role and intent.
  • Check vulnerabilities in state-run election systems.
  • Seek bipartisan support from Congressional leaders for a statement condemning Moscow and urging states to accept federal assistance.

Obama meets with Kathryn Ruemmler (l), Lisa Monaco (c), and Susan Rice. (Credit: White House Flickr photo by Pete Souza)

The same week, Rice, Haines and Lisa Monaco convened meetings in the White House Situation Room, which would later be referred to as “Deputies Meetings”. These meetings were initially attended by:

  • Director John Brennan, Central Intelligence Agency
  • Director James Clapper, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
  • Director James Comey, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Attorney General Loretta Lynch, United States Department of Justice

As time passed, another Cabinet member joined the Deputies Meetings: Vice President Joe Biden.

The Deputies Meetings needed to defend against any potential leaks, and therefore followed the same protocols taken during the planning stages of the raid of Osama bin Laden.

At a later time, agendas were directly sent to Cabinet secretaries, including Secretary John Kerry and Secretary Ashton Carter. When an agenda was received, their subordinates were ordered never to open the envelopes. Further to this, some agendas were withheld until the participants had arrived in the Situation Room and sat down.

Ordinarily, a video feed from the White House Situation Room is fed into various National Security Council offices to allow senior aides to view the events with zero sound. However, during the Deputies Meetings, the video feeds were switched off.

One of these Deputies Meetings was hosted by Haines, where the attendees of the meetings argued that any deliberative attempt to strike back against Russia would become a tool of propaganda for President Vladimir Putin, while another was concerned about the potential effect any action may have on Election Day 2016.

Haines would later note she was “very concerned” during this time about the potential of Russians gaining influence within the Trump campaign, although she apparently remained unaware of the existence of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 4/29/2019)

August 16-24, 2016 – New Strzok-Page emails reveal FBI gave special treatment to Clinton’s demands for email investigation information just before election

David Kendall, (r), sits behind Hillary Clinton during a House hearing of the Select Committee on Benghazi, on October 22, 2015. (Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi/The National Law Journal)

“Judicial Watch announced today it received 218 pages of disgraced former FBI officials Peter Strzok-Lisa Page emails which show then-FBI General Counsel James Baker instructing FBI officials to expedite the release of FBI investigative material to Hillary Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall in August 2016. Kendall and the FBI’s top lawyer discussed specifically quickly obtaining the “302” report of the FBI/DOJ interview of Mrs. Clinton.

(…) On August 16, 2016, at 10:02 p.m. Baker emails then-Associate Deputy Director David Bowdich; Michael Steinbach, former executive assistant director for national security; former Acting Assistant Director Jason V. Herring; former FBI lawyer Lisa Page; former Principal Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson; Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired; James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey; and others to inform them that he “just spoke” with Clinton’s lawyer Kendall, who requested documents from the FBI. Baker says he told Kendall he would “need to submit a request.” Baker tells them, “I said we would process it expeditiously.”

“I just spoke with David Kendall … I conveyed our view that in order to obtain the documents [FBI investigative material] they are seeking they need to submit a request pursuant to the Privacy Act and FOIA. I said they could submit a letter to me covering both statutes. They will send it in the morning. I said that we would process it expeditiously. David asked us to focus first on the Secretary’s 302 [FBI interview report]. I said OK. [Redacted] We will have to focus on this issue tomorrow and get the 302 out the door as soon as possible and then focus on the rest of the stuff.”

The following day, August 17, 2016, Kendall sent a FOIA/Privacy Act request on “behalf of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton” to the FBI’s top lawyer with a request for “expeditious processing.” Baker passes this request to Bowdich, Steinbach, Herring, Page, Anderson:

In my view, we need to move as quickly as possible on this, but pursuant to David’s oral request last night, we should focus first on Secretary Clinton’s 302…. Is the end of this week out of the question for her 302?

In a follow-up email exchange, the same day, Anderson arranged for Herring, Page, former FBI Assistant Director and head of the Office of Congressional Affairs Gregory Brower, Strzok and others to “coordinate a plan for processing and releasing” Clinton’s 302, though one official reminds others that they should process the request “consistent” with other requests.

Then, in an August 21, 2016email exchange Baker tells his people that he would “alert” Kendall shortly before Clinton’s 302 was to be posted on the FBI’s FOIA Vault webpage. On September 2, 2016, the FBI announced the release of Clinton’s interview documents.

Finally, on August 24, 2016, the acting FBI FOIA unit chief said he sees “no problem” with giving Hillary’s attorney a heads up before her records were posted to the Vault.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/03/2019)

September 2, 2016 – The FBI sends a possible honeypot posing as Stefan Halper’s research assistant, to spy on Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“The conversation at a London bar in September 2016 took a strange turn when the woman sitting across from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, asked a direct question: Was the Trump campaign working with Russia?

The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation. The F.B.I. sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.

The American government’s affiliation with the woman, who said her name was Azra Turk, is one previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a political flash point in the face of accusations by President Trump and his allies that American law enforcement and intelligence officials spied on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances. Last year, he called it “Spygate.”

Ms. Turk went to London to help oversee the politically sensitive operation, working alongside a longtime informant, the Cambridge professor Stefan A. Halper. The move was a sign that the bureau wanted in place a trained investigator for a layer of oversight, as well as someone who could gather information for or serve as a credible witness in any potential prosecution that emerged from the case.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment, as did a lawyer for Mr. Halper, Robert D. Luskin. Last year, Bill Priestap, then the bureau’s top counterintelligence agent who was deeply involved in the Russia inquiry, told Congress during a closed-door hearing that there was no F.B.I. conspiracy against Mr. Trump or his campaign.

The London operation yielded no fruitful information, but F.B.I. officials have called the bureau’s activities in the months before the election both legal and carefully considered under extraordinary circumstances. They are now under scrutiny as part of an investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general. He could make the results public in May or June, Attorney General William P. Barr has said. Some of the findings are likely to be classified.” (Read more: The New York Times, 5/02/2019)

George Papadopoulos describes in his House testimony, how undercover CIA asset/FBI informant Stefan Halper introduces him to ‘Azra Turk.’ He also suggests she may be from Turkey.

On the same day the NYT article is published, George Papadopoulos appears on the Tucker Carlson Show to respond:

(…) “Email traffic reviewed by TheDCNF shows that Papadopoulos exchanged emails with Turk, Halper and Halper’s wife.

Papadopoulos has described Turk as a “honeypot,” a spy term used to describe a situation where sex is used to lure targets of intelligence operations. Papadopoulos told TheDCNF that Turk, an attractive blonde, flirted heavily with him and attempted to make contact after the London meeting back in the States.

“I’m stunned by the come-hither tone of Azra Turk and her classic honeypot act,” Papadopoulos wrote in his tell-all, “Deep State Target.”

According to Papadopoulos, both Halper and Turk asked him whether he knew about Russian hacks of Democrats. Papadopoulos says he had knowledge of Russian hacking operations, and conveyed that to the two covert agents.

Papadopoulos says that he did not meet again with Turk, in part because he suspected she was working with foreign intelligence agencies. He has recently said he believes that Turk, who spoke little English during the London meetings, has links to the CIA and Turkish intelligence.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 5/3/2019)

September 26, 2016 – December 10, 2016 – Top Hoyer aide, Daniel Silverberg, coordinates Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier work with key State Dept officials, Victoria Nuland and Jonathan Winer

Daniel Silverberg (Credit: Flickr)

“Daniel Silverberg, then-House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer’s national security adviser, coordinated “work on Russia dossier materials provided by Christopher Steele” with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Envoy for Libya Jonathan Winer, according to newly released documents made public June 12 by Judicial Watch.

A series of emails between Sept. 26, 2016, and Dec. 10, 2016, demonstrate that Winer shared “Russia-related information” he obtained from Steele—whom he described as his “old O friend”—with Nuland, who then shared it with Silverberg.

Winer delayed a previously scheduled meeting with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) in order to share the information with Nuland, according to Judicial Watch.

Multiple references in the emails to additional telephone calls and other contacts with unnamed or redacted parties, as well as discussion of “a possible working group meeting,” suggest an active response by Silverberg to the Steele dossier information he was provided by Nuland and Winer.”

(Read more: The Epoch Times, 6/13/2019)

October 11, 2016 – DOJ and FBI officials hide a State Dept email that memorializes Christopher Steele’s political motives

“If ever there were an admission that taints the FBI’s secret warrant to surveil Donald Trump’s campaign, it sat buried for more than 2 1/2 years in the files of a high-ranking State Department official.

Kathleen Kavalec (Credit: BizPacReview)

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline.

And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia.

Steele’s client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the date of the 2016 election, Kavalec wrote in a typed summary of her meeting with Steele and Tatyana Duran, a colleague from Steele’s Orbis Security firm. The memos were unearthed a few days ago through open-records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United.

Kavalec’s notes do not appear to have been provided to the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe, according to former Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “They tried to hide a lot of documents from us during our investigation, and it usually turns out there’s a reason for it,” Nunes told me. Senate and House Judiciary investigators told me they did not know about them, even though they investigated Steele’s behavior in 2017-18.

One member of Congress transmitted the memos this week to the Department of Justice’s inspector general, fearing its investigation of FISA abuses may not have had access to them.

Nonetheless, the FBI is doing its best to keep much of Kavalec’s information secret by retroactively claiming it is classified, even though it was originally marked unclassified in 2016.

The apparent effort to hide Kavalec’s notes from her contact with Steele has persisted for some time.

State officials acknowledged a year ago they received a copy of the Steele dossier in July 2016, and got a more detailed briefing in October 2016 and referred the information to the FBI.

But what was discussed was not revealed. Sources told me more than a year ago that Kavalec had the most important (and memorialized) interaction with Steele before the FISA warrant was issued, but FBI and State officials refused to discuss it, or even confirm it.” (Read more: The Hill, 5/07/2019) (Kavalec Memo)

 

“On May 10, 2019, against the backdrop of documents from the state department, Senator Lindsey Graham sends a letter to both OIG Michael Horowitz and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking additional information about State Department contact with Christopher Steele.  (Source Link – Senate Judiciary)

Additionally, the FBI has apparently reversed course on the self-serving redactions they put in place when the Kavalec Memo was released.  A less redacted version is linked here.

Apparently the Russian “mole” in the DNC didn’t warrant the investigative curiosity of the FBI.  Instead, they took the sketchy dossier info and called Carter Page an “agent of a foreign power”….  Go figure.” (Conservative Treehouse, 5/10/2019)

October 12, 2016 – McCabe/Page texts reveal the FBI clash with the DOJ over potential ‘bias’ of source for surveillance warrant

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Just nine days before the FBI applied for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil a top Trump campaign aide, bureau officials were battling with a senior Justice Department official who had “continued concerns” about the “possible bias” of a source pivotal to the application, according to internal text messages obtained by Fox News.

The 2016 messages, sent between former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, also reveal that bureau brass circulated at least two anti-Trump blog articles, including a Lawfare blog post sent shortly after Election Day that called Trump possibly “among the major threats to the security of the country.”

Another article, sent by Page in July 2016 as the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Russian election interference was kicking off, flatly called Trump a “useful idiot” for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Page told McCabe that then-FBI Director James Comey had “surely” read that piece. Both articles were authored in whole or part by Benjamin Wittes, a Comey friend.

Further, the texts show that on Sept. 12, 2016, Page forwarded to McCabe some “unsolicited comments” calling then-GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy a “total d–k.” Gowdy, at the time, was grilling FBI congressional affairs director Jason Herring at a hearing on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

But perhaps the most significant Page-McCabe communications made plain the DOJ’s worries that the FISA application to surveil Trump aide Carter Page was based on a potentially biased source — and underscored the FBI’s desire to press on.” (Read more: Fox News, 3/22/2019)

December 12, 2016 – McCabe-Page texts reveal high-level intel meeting after 2016 election

“Newly obtained text messages between former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and bureau lawyer Lisa Page reveal a high-level meeting among senior intelligence officials was held weeks before President Trump’s inauguration – during a critical period for the Russia probe.

In a Dec. 12, 2016, text reviewed by Fox News, Page wrote to McCabe: “Btw, [Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper told Pete that he was meeting with [CIA Director John] Brennan and Cohen for dinner tonight. Just FYSA [for your situational awareness].”

Within a minute, McCabe replied, “OK.”

David Cohen (Credit: WilmerHale)

Cohen is likely then-Deputy CIA Director David Cohen. Pete is a likely reference to Peter Strzok, who played a lead role in the original Russia investigation at the FBI (and with whom Page was having an affair).

It is unclear whether the dinner meeting concerned the investigation and suspicions about Russians’ contacts with Trump advisers including incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn.

But two government sources told Fox News it was “irregular” for Clapper to be in direct contact with Strzok, who was at a much more junior level. It is not clear from the text if Strzok also attended the dinner. A lawyer for Strzok declined to comment, but did not dispute the text referred to Strzok.

(…) However, the December 2016 meeting that was apparently shared with Strzok – as documented in the text – came during a critical period for the Russia probe. Donald Trump had scored a stunning upset victory a month earlier; Flynn, around this time, was having conversations with Russia’s U.S. ambassador that caught the attention of the feds; the FBI had recently started surveillance on Trump adviser Carter Page; The New York Times was about to publish a lengthy report on Russia’s U.S. election interference; and then-FBI Director James Comey and others would soon brief Trump on allegations against him in the so-called Steele dossier.

The McCabe-Page texts also show Flynn was on their radar at the time. On Nov. 17, 2016, Page sent McCabe a Washington Post article entitled, “Trump offers retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn the job of national security adviser, a person close to the transition says.” (Read more: Fox News, 3/26/2019)

January 3, 2017 – Jay Sekulow: Obama administration’s anti-Trump actions revealed in newly disclosed documents

Jay Sekulow and Evelyn Farkas (Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“In March 2017 CTH first highlighted statements by Evelyn Farkas that described a coordinated effort from within the Obama administration to push political opposition research, gathered by the intelligence community, into the media.

Jay Sekulow now discovers documents that highlight the Obama administration’s efforts in their last days in office.  This effort backstops Farkas’s earlier statements.  First, from Sekulow:

(Via Fox Op-ed) – Stunning new information just released by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) shows that the Obama administration stepped up efforts – just days before President Trump took office – to undermine Trump and his administration.

The ACLJ, where I serve as chief counsel, has obtained records that show the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, under Director James Clapper, eagerly pushed to get new procedures as part of an anti-Trump effort. The procedures increased access to raw signals intelligence before the conclusion of the Obama administration, just days before President Trump was inaugurated.

By greatly expanding access to classified information by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, the Obama administration paved the way for a shadow government to leak classified information – endangering our national security and severely jeopardizing the integrity and reputation of our critical national security apparatus – in an attempt to undermine President Trump.

The documents confirmed what we suspected: the Office of the Director of National Intelligence rushed to get the new “procedures signed by the Attorney General before the conclusion of this administration,” referring to the Obama administration.

Robert Litt (Credit: Linked In)

The documents also reveal that Robert Litt, who worked in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense’s Director of Intelligence Strategy, Policy, & Integration: “Really want to get this done … and so does the Boss.” Presumably “the Boss” is a reference to Director Clapper.

And documents the ACLJ received that were produced by the National Security Agency show that NSA officials discussed that they “could have a signature from the AG as early as this week, certainly prior to the 20th of Jan.” In other words, certainly before President Trump’s inauguration. (more from Sekulow)

Overlay Sekulow’s January 2017 documents with the statements from Evelyn Farkas and a clear picture emerges.  Here’s Farkas from March 28, 2017:

 

[TRANSCRIPT]  “I was urging my former colleagues, and, and frankly speaking the people on the Hill [Democrat politicians], it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can – get as much intelligence as you can – before President Obama leaves the administration.”

“Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left; so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy, um, that the Trump folks – if they found out HOW we knew what we knew about their, the Trump staff, dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods; meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.”

“So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that there was more.  We have very good intelligence on Russia; so then I had talked to some of my former colleagues and I knew that they were also trying to help get information to [Democrat politicians].”

With the help of MSNBC, simultaneous to her admission of first-hand specific knowledge of the administration spying on candidate and president-elect Trump, Ms. Evelyn Farkas outed herself as the key source for a March 2017 New York Times report which discussed President Obama officials leaking classified information to media.

Considerable irony jumps to the forefront when you recognize, the New York Times tried on March 1st, 2017, to protect Evelyn Farkas as the source of their reporting by stating:

“More than a half-dozen current and former officials described various aspects of the effort to preserve and distribute the intelligence, and some said they were speaking to draw attention to the material and ensure proper investigation by Congress. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified information, nearly all of which remains secret.” (link)

D’oh.”

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

(Conservative Treehouse, 6/25/2019)

May 10, 2017 – Andrew McCabe orders an obstruction of justice investigation into Trump, the next day he testifies there has been no interference to date

Candid shot of Andrew McCabe for his 60 Minutes interview. (Credit: CBS News)

“Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe says he ordered an obstruction of justice investigation into President Donald Trump [the day] after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in 2017,  to ensure the Russia probe wouldn’t “vanish in the night without a trace.”

“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that, were I removed quickly or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace,” McCabe told CBS News in a partial interview clip aired Thursday.

(…) While it had been previously reported that an obstruction of justice probe had been opened as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, McCabe’s disclosure was the first time he publicly addressed why he launched the investigation.” (Read more: US News, 2/14/2019)

The following day on May 11, 2017, McCabe testifies to the Senate Intelligence Committee and says there has been “no effort to impede our investigation to date.”

May 14, 2017 – “Onward Together” Inside Hillary’s Latest Political Tax Scandal

Clinton tweets about her new non-profit “Onward Together” on May 15,2017. (Credit: Twitter)

“Most people are aware that “Onward Together” is a political organization to raise funds for the Democratic party, but what they don’t realize, is the fact that this tax-exempt 501(c)(4) is operating ILLEGALLY, on multiple levels. IRS laws, FEC documents, and Onward Together’s tax return create one heck of a recipe, burning for an investigation. Not only does Onward Together require scrutiny, it’s partner organizations need a closer look as well.

Perhaps “Back Together” would have been more apropos, since Hillary Clinton got the band back together to form this tax-exempt political scandal. Even Huma Abedin is on the payroll. What’s most interesting is that the DNC paid nearly $2 million to Onward Together for donor list rental/acquisition produced by Hillary for America, while the DCCC paid more than $700,000 for the same list. Sure, politicians often sell “donor lists”, but Onward Together is not allowed to declare the payment as tax-exempt “royalty income,” nor does this political activity align with the lawful purpose of 501(c)(4) organizations. But it gets worse.

(…) “All it takes is a little bit of digging to see that Onward Together is operating with a political agenda, while funding partners who are also 501(c)(4)s, to fundraise for, promote, and advocate for specific candidates in elections. This breaks all IRS laws pertaining to 501(c)(4)s and their tax-exempt status. It is extremely probable that the $3 million declared as “royalty income” should have been filed under taxable income, and that those specific funds came directly from the DNC and DCCC. A big no no.

When asked about the DNC’s involvement, Financial Analyst Charles Ortel had this to say:

Clinton family has long mingled political activities with charitable activities, operating virtually all of these pursuits in evident defiance of the strict letter and intent of applicable laws and regulations.

It would not surprise me in the slightest to learn that Onward Together is yet another poorly controlled false front nonprofit whose true intent is to advance the political and personal interests of the Clintons, in the guise of being a “lawfully” organized and operated nonprofit.

This begs the question, is this another one of Clinton’s organizations that should be brought to the attention of the IRS? There was a recent case where financial investigators Larry Doyle and John Moynihan came forward as outside whistleblowers, and filed documents against the Clinton Foundation’s wrongdoing. This was covered in Arkansas Swamp Part 2.

Charles Ortel breaks this down:

The IRS (and state taxing authorities) do not have resources required to police informational returns and other public filings of organizations that are themselves exempt from income taxes, and can offer donors potential to realize income tax deductions for portions of their contributions.

Over time, a system has evolved where the IRS reviews complaints submitted by whistleblowers, and then may elect to work with relevant government authorities to prosecute charity frauds, and potentially related offenses (including Income tax evasion, money-laundering, public corruption, material false statements under oath).

As Doyle and Moynihan explained, they have submitted evidence of criminal wrongdoing to multiple government entities, in an effort to prod these public servants to protect the overburdened treasuries by assessing fines, penalties, back taxes, and interest against certain charities that do not seem to have been lawfully organized or operated.

I imagine that the IRS welcomes tips from all whistleblowers who may wish to come forward, but that it makes little sense, at this stage, to pile onto the Clinton Foundation given all the work that seems already in progress. That said, there are too many loosely controlled supposed “charities”, that do not have strong governance controls and may also choose to operate internationally in places where temptations are great for fraud, for money-laundering, and for corruption.

He couldn’t be more correct – the IRS does not have the resources required for oversight. Coincidentally, they just tweeted out an announcement about the release of their Whistleblower Program’s Annual Report, on February 7th. They seemed pretty jacked up about this, with a dozen hashtags in place.

Ironically, this report indicates that their entire staff of 36, only accounts for 12 case development and oversight employees. Let’s repeat that just in case any details were missed. The entire staff for the IRS whistleblower department, that handles ALL complaints for the entire country, is 12 individuals. And, they actually reduced that number by 1 person from 2017. Let that sink in. (Read more: Corey’s Digs, 2/14/2019)

May 16, 2017 – Opinion: Robert Mueller did interview President Trump regarding obstruction case

With a larger portion of the U.S. electorate now beginning to realize there never was a Trump Russia-Collusion-Conspiracy case to begin with; and with people now realizing almost all of Mueller investigative time was spent gathering evidence for an ‘obstruction case’; and with new revelations from Andrew McCabe, John Dowd and Mueller officials overlayed on the previous Strzok/Page texts; we can now clearly reconcile a previous issue:

The May 16, 2017, Mueller meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

There has been a great deal of flawed interpretation of the May 16th meeting between President Trump, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller.  Some people even mistakenly used that meeting as a cornerstone for a claim that Mueller and Rosenstein were working to the benefit of President Trump.  However, if you overlay the new information, there is considerable evidence that interview was for the purpose of Mueller determining if he could achieve an ‘obstruction’ goal.  Here’s how…

FBI Director James Comey was fired on Tuesday May 9th, 2017.

According to his own admissions (NBC and CBS), Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe immediately began a criminal ‘obstruction’ investigation the next day, Wednesday May 10th; and he immediately enlisted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

These McCabe statements line up with with text message conversations between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok – (same dates 5/9 and 5/10):

(text link)

It now appears that important redaction is “POTUS” or “TRUMP”.  [Yes, this is evidence that some unknown DOJ officials redacted information from these texts that would have pointed directly to the intents of the DOJ and FBI. (WARNING: Don’t get hung on it.)

The next day, Thursday May 11th, 2017, Andrew McCabe testifies to congress. With the Comey firing fresh in the headlines, Senator Marco Rubio asked McCabe: “has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?”

McCabe responded: “So there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date. Quite simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”

However, again referencing his own admissions, on Friday May 12th McCabe met with DAG Rod Rosenstein to discuss the issues, referencing the criminal ‘obstruction’ case McCabe had opened just two days before.  According to McCabe:

“[Rosenstein] asked for my thoughts about whether we needed a special counsel to oversee the Russia case. I said I thought it would help the investigation’s credibility. Later that day, I went to see Rosenstein again. This is the gist of what I said: I feel strongly that the investigation would be best served by having a special counsel.” (link)

Recap: Tuesday-Comey Fired; Wednesday-McCabe starts criminal ‘obstruction’ case; Thursday-McCabe testifies to congress “no effort to impede”; Friday-McCabe and Rosenstein discuss Special Counsel.

After the weekend, Monday May 15th, McCabe states he and Rosenstein conferred again about the Special Counsel approach. McCabe: “I brought the matter up with him again after the weekend.”

Now, overlaying what we know now that we did not know in 2018, to include the John Dowd interview and McCabe admissions, a very clear picture emerges.

On Tuesday May 16th, Rod Rosenstein takes Robert Mueller to the White House to talk with the target of the ‘obstruction’ criminal investigation, under the ruse of bringing Mueller in for a meeting about becoming FBI Director.  This meeting was quite literally advanced reconnaissance.

The next day, Wednesday May 17th, 2017, Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe go to brief the congressional “Gang-of-Eight”: Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, ¹Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.

(…) “On the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein and I sat at the end of a long conference table in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. We were there to brief the so-called Gang of Eight—the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Rosenstein had, I knew, made a decision to appoint a special counsel in the Russia case.”

(…) “After reminding the committee of how the investigation began, I told them of additional steps we had taken. Then Rod took over and announced that he had appointed a special counsel to pursue the Russia investigation, and that the special counsel was Robert Mueller.” (link)

Immediately following this May 17, 2017, Go8 briefing, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein notified the public of the special counsel appointment.

According to President Trump’s Attorney John Dowd, the White House was stunned by the decision. [Link] Coincidentally, AG Jeff Sessions was in the oval office for unrelated business when White House counsel Don McGahn came in and informed the group.  Jeff Sessions immediately offered his resignation, and Sessions’ chief-of-staff Jody Hunt went back to the Main Justice office to ask Rosenstein what the hell was going on.

Now, with hindsight and full understanding of exactly what the purposes and intents were for Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to bring Robert Mueller to the White House, revisit this video from June 2017:

(The Conservative Treehouse, 4/04/2019)

(Republished with permission)

September 19, 2017 – Rice tells House investigators why she unmasked senior Trump officials

Susan Rice tells Congressional investigators that she ‘unmasked’ Trump officials during the transition because they met with a prince from the United Arab Emirates, who hasn’t informed the US government of his travels. (Credit: Win McNamee/2012 Getty Images)

“Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.

The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.

The crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, arrived in New York last December in the transition period before Trump was sworn into office for a meeting with several top Trump officials, including Michael Flynn, the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his top strategist Steve Bannon, sources said.

(…) It’s unclear precisely which Trump officials Rice discussed at the House meeting. But multiple sources have confirmed to CNN that Zayed met at the time with Flynn, Kushner and Bannon. The three-hour discussion focused on a range of issues, including Iran, Yemen and the Mideast peace process, according to two sources who insisted that opening up a back-channel with Russia was not a topic of discussion.

Still, the fact that the New York meeting occurred prior to the Seychelles session and that the UAE did not notify the Obama administration about why the crown prince was coming to the United States has raised questions in the eyes of investigators on Capitol Hill.” (Read more: CNN, 9/19/2017)

October 16, 2017 – Grassley: Mueller team mischaracterizes Trump campaign emails in court filing

Mueller and team exit the Capitol in June, 2017. (Credit: Doug Mills/The New York Times)

“The special counsel’s office fed “speculation and innuendo” about possible collusion with Russia by withholding key details from emails cited in a court filing in the case of former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, a top Republican senator alleged in a newly released letter.

“The public deserves to have the full context for the information the Special Counsel chooses to release. The glaring lack of it feeds speculation and innuendo that distorts the facts,” Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote to special counsel Robert Mueller on Oct. 16, 2017.

Grassley, who then chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, was responding to a “statement of offense” released in the case against Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign adviser who entered a plea deal in the special counsel’s probe on Oct. 5, 2017.

Prosecutors quoted from several emails in a way that suggested top Trump campaign officials were eager to meet with Russians. But Grassley asserted that the full emails showed that campaign officials rebuffed the idea of meeting with Russians. The Iowa Republican took Mueller’s team to task for failing to correct news reports that cited the Papadopoulos court filings as evidence of possible collusion with Russia.

“It should be the goal of anyone interested in an accurate portrayal of the facts for the American people to correct the erroneous reporting,” he wrote in the letter, which was published Thursday by Fox News.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 4/05/2019)

October 24, 2017 – Former Podesta Group executive says Mueller team is focusing primarily on Russian access to the Obama administration, the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One deal

“Tucker Carlson gave an explosive monologue last night after a former executive of the Podesta Group contacted the Fox host with “direct personal knowledge” of a report that former FBI director Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel is investigating the Washington Lobbying firm founded by John and Tony Podesta.

The former executive who has been “extensively” interviewed by Mueller’s team, said the FBI probe is now focusing on people in Washington who have worked as de-facto operatives on behalf of Russian government and business. To that end, Carlson’s source made several shocking claims about Paul Manafort and the Podesta Group peddling Russian influence throughout Washington D.C. – focusing primarily on access to the Obama administration, and heavily involved with the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One deal.”

(…)  Details: 

  • Lobbyist and temporary Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is at the center of the Russia probe – however the scope of the investigation has broadened to include his activities prior to the 2016 election.
  • Manafort worked with the Podesta Group since at least 2011 on behalf of Russian interests, and was at the Podesta Group offices “all the time, at least once a month,” peddling Russian influence through a shell group called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU).
  • Manafort brought a “parade” of Russian oligarchs to congress for meetings with members and their staffs, however, the Russia’s “central effort” was the Obama Administration.
  • In 2013, John Podesta recommended that Tony hire David Adams, Hillary Clinton’s chief adviser at the State Department, giving them a “direct liaison” between the group’s Russian clients and Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
  • In late 2013 or early 2014, Tony Podesta and a representative for the Clinton Foundation met to discuss how to help Uranium One – the Russian owned company that controls 20 percent of American Uranium Production – and whose board members gave over $100 million to the Clinton Foundation.
  • “Tony Podesta was basically part of the Clinton Foundation.”
  • Believing she would win the 2016 election, Russia considered the Podesta Group’s connection to Hillary highly valuable.
  • Podesta Group is a nebulous organization with no board oversight and all financial decisions made by Tony Podesta. Carlson’s source said payments and kickbacks could be hard for investigators to trace, describing it as a “highly secret treasure trove.” One employee’s only official job was to manage Tony Podesta’s art collection, which could be used to conceal financial transactions.

(Read more: Zero Hedge, 10/25/2017)

April 23, 2018 – The Contradictions Surrounding Mifsud

“After the publication of Disobedient Media’s coverage of ‘eclectic scholar’ Joseph Mifsud’s unexamined ties to UK intelligence officials, this author was contacted by Chris Blackburn, a UK Political Analyst focusing on International Relations and Security, whose Twitter post instigated this writer’s research into the matter.

Chris Blackburn’s initial Tweets on the matter included of a photograph showing UK Joint Intelligence Committee member Claire Smith and Joseph Mifsud together at LINK Campus in Rome, where they collaborated on a training program involving Italian military officials. Disobedient Media was able to confirm the photograph’s authenticity, finding that the program was organized by the London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD), which Mifsud directed. The event took place in 2012 – a significant date because, at that time, Claire Smith was a member of the UK intelligence security vetting panel.

(Credit: Disobedient Media)

As Blackburn informed us, there is more to this story than is told by that single photograph, or by the October 2017 photograph of Mifsud standing with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The following discussion took place electronically.

(…) “When Joseph Mifsud’s name was leaked by The Washington Post as being the ‘professor’ named in George Papadopoulos’ court papers, bloggers and journalists took to Twitter to try to understand who he was. Everyone was looking for connections to Russia. They quickly found them. The London Centre for International Law Practice (LCILP) had been working on hosting financial sanctions workshops, and LINK Campus in Rome and the London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD) had provided a vehicle for Mifsud to make connections with Russian universities and academics.”

“Before the story broke, I had heard of the London Centre for International Law Practice (LCILP) where George Papadopoulos and Mifsud both worked. The relatively new legal firm had been trying to move into the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) sector in the UK. They had done some research into ISIS territorial gains in the Middle East and wrote a widely circulated report on the group. They also hosted a few seminars with [UK] Foreign Office types on terrorism. LCILP had also tried to reach out to a couple of Bangladeshi activists working on the Bangladesh War Crimes Tribunals. I didn’t think much of it, but I couldn’t ignore it. Why would a suspected Russian intelligence front try to engage with Bangladesh’s War Crimes Tribunal from London?”

“I quickly found that LCILP’s director Peter Dovey had been a left-wing solicitor and set up a legal entity called the Police Station Defence Service (PSDS) along with Nagi Idris, another LCILP director, and an American-Mexican called George San Martin. George San Martin had been a major figure in left-wing activism in the US. The FBI should have found that.”

“While other researchers were looking into Mifsud’s academic links to Russia, I decided to conduct a more wide-ranging investigation. The London Academy of Diplomacy was being built up in the press as a shady operation. It wasn’t. British diplomats and Foreign Office ministers often visited LAD. Sir Tony Baldry, Alok Sharma MP and former Foreign Secretary William Hague all visited LAD or spoke at their conferences.”

“The Commonwealth and various governments, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, sent their diplomats to train there. Nabil Ayad, the founding director of LAD, had built up the academy as a respectable powerhouse in London’s diplomatic community. Counter-intelligence investigators would only be concentrating on Mifsud’s high-frequency contacts and associations. They would be examining people he worked with on a regular basis. As an academic working in diplomacy, Mifsud would have thousands of contacts. FBI investigators would be looking for intelligence ties.”

“Mifsud worked with diplomats and NATO allies, so they would need to know the potential damage he had caused. I found that two of Joseph Mifsud’s closest colleagues, who the FBI would have designated as high-frequency, were Claire Smith and Gianni Pittella. They had followed him between LAD, Stirling University and LINK Campus in Rome. Claire Smith was a former member of Britain’s Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC). As a team, Smith and Mifsud trained Italian law enforcement on intelligence at LINK Campus in Rome. LINK Campus’ ties to the Italian Foreign Ministry and intelligence agencies had been quickly skimmed over by The Washington Post, The New York Times, Buzzfeed and The Guardian.”

Italian politician Gianni Pittella at Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign launch in Philadelphia, July 2016, “calling Donald Trump ‘a virus’ which needed to be stopped, while his close collaborator Mifsud was supposedly helping Trump’s campaign to conspire with Russia.” (Credit: Corriere Della Sera)

Gianni Pittella has known Mifsud for a while. They met at the European Parliament and have collaborated on numerous projects together. In July 2016Pittella gave a rousing speech at Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign launch in Philadelphia, calling Donald Trump ‘a virus’ which needed to be stopped, while his close collaborator Mifsud was supposedly helping Trump’s campaign to conspire with Russia. If the FBI had been doing a proper investigation into Joseph Mifsud, these two connections should have raised red flags immediately.”

“If Mifsud was working with western intelligence agencies that would be rather pertinent in an espionage scandal. Italian journalists have been slow to pick up the story, but they are now calling LINK Campus the ‘007 university’ because Vincenzo Scotti, a former Italian Foreign Minister, and director at LINK University, has been trying to defend himself from suggestions he’s in Russia or the CIA’s pocket.”

“The venue for the alleged acts of treachery involving Papadopoulos and Mifsud – LINK Campus Rome – should have set alarm bells ringing for the FBI’s counter-intelligence investigators. The CIA has a long history of working there. David Ignatius of The Washington Post even wrote about a CIA-sponsored event he attended at LINK Campus in 2004.” (Read more: Disobedient Media, 4/23/2018)

June 14, 2018 – FBI Director Wray commits to the institutional cover-up of gross misconduct by former and current DOJ and FBI officials

(…) “FBI Director Wray lost all credibility in June of 2018 when he participated in a structured press conference intended to diminish the IG report on the institutional issues with the FBI.   It was then obvious Wray was committed to the institutional cover-up of gross misconduct by former and current DOJ and FBI officials.

At the conclusion of that June 14, 2018press conference an earlier unscheduled meeting on January 3rd, 2018, between Christopher Wray, Rod Rosenstein and House Speaker Paul Ryan then began to make a lot more sense.

During that January 2018 meeting FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and House Speaker Paul Ryan formed an alliance against HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes.

January 3rd, 2018 – WASHINGTON DC – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray made an unannounced visit to Speaker Paul Ryan’s office Wednesday as the Justice Department grapples with an increasingly hostile faction of House Republicans demanding documents related to the bureau’s Russia probe.

Rosenstein was spotted entering Ryan’s office, and a spokesman for the speaker confirmed that Rosenstein and Wray had requested the meeting. A second person familiar with the meeting said it was related to a document request issued over the summer by House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes. (more)

(Credit: Eric Gay/The Associated Press)

(OIG Report on FBI)

(Read more: The Conservative Treehouse, 5/08/2019)

June 27, 2018 – Strzok testimony reveals DOJ and Clinton lawyers struck secret deal to block FBI access to Clinton Foundation Emails

Bill and Hillary Clinton (Credit: public domain)

“The Justice Department and Hillary Clinton’s legal team “negotiated” an agreement that blocked the FBI from accessing emails on Clinton’s homebrew server related to the Clinton Foundation, according to a transcript of recently released testimony from last summer by former FBI special agent Peter Strzok.

“Under questioning from Judiciary Committee General Counsel Zachary Somers, Strzok acknowledged that Clinton’s private personal email servers contained a mixture of emails related to the Clinton Foundation, her work as secretary of state and other matters.

Were you given access to [Clinton Foundation-related] emails as part of the investigation?” Somers asked

We were not. We did not have access,” Strzok responded. “My recollection is that the access to those emails were based on consent that was negotiated between the Department of Justice attorneys and counsel for Clinton.” – Fox News

Strzok added that “a significant filter team” was employed at the FBI to “work through the various terms of the various consent agreements.”

“According to the attorneys, we lacked probable cause to get a search warrant for those servers and projected that either it would take a very long time and/or it would be impossible to get to the point where we could obtain probable cause to get a warrant,” said Strzok.

(…) Later in his testimony last summer, Strzok said that agents were able to access “the entire universe” of information on the servers by using search terms to probe their contents – saying “we had it voluntarily.”

“What’s bizarre about this, is in any other situation, there’s no possible way they would allow the potential perpetrator to self-select what the FBI gets to see,” said former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz – former chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee until 2017 and current contributor to Fox News. “The FBI should be the one to sort through those emails — not the Clinton attorneys.

Chaffetz suggested that the goal of the DOJ was to “make sure they hear no evil, see no evil — they had no interest in pursuing the truth.”

“The Clinton Foundation isn’t supposed to be communicating with the State Department anyway,” said Chaffetz. “The foundation — with her name on it — is not supposed to be communicating with the senior officials at the State Department.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 3/15/2019)  (Strzok Transcript)

June 27, 2018 – Peter Strzok deleted ‘personal’ communications with Lisa Page

Peter Strzok (Credit: public domain)

“Former FBI official Peter Strzok told Congress in 2018 that he deleted “personal” communications he had with his mistress, former FBI attorney Lisa Page.

“As a fact of the matter, following the — at some point, I — you know, it was related to personal reasons — deleted all those,” Strzok told lawmakers on June 27, 2018, according to a transcript of the testimony released Thursday.

“But they were the personal communications, not the work ones,” added Strzok, who acknowledged having an extramarital affair with Page.

Aitan Goelman, an attorney for Strzok, told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday that Strzok deleted the messages before he was removed from the Mueller team.

“Pete deleted personal communications from his personal iPhone before and unrelated to these investigations,” said Goelman, who added in a follow-up comment that the deletions were made prior to July 27, 2017, when Strzok was kicked off the Mueller probe.

Goelman did not provide a specific date for the deletions.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 3/14/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page discusses the DOJ influence over the FBI’s Clinton email investigation

(Credit: State of the Nation)

(…) “Page also repeatedly noted a tension between the FBI and DOJ, noting that the DOJ was far more cautious in their approach to matters and was ultimately responsible for the decision not to prosecute in the Clinton case.

Another aspect that developed in the dynamic between the DOJ and the FBI was pressure from the department to place additional people into the FBI’s investigation. Page noted that “as soon as the planning started to begin to interview some of the more high-profile witness, not just Mrs. Clinton but also Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and her sort of core team, the department wanted to change the sort of structure and the number of people who were involved.”

In particular, David Laufman, a deputy assistant attorney general and head of counterintelligence for the DOJ’s National Security Division at the time, pushed extensively to be present for the higher profile interviews. As Page noted, this quickly spiraled into a problem for the FBI:

“Once we started talking about including David, then the U.S. Attorney’s Office also wanted to participate in the interviews, although they had participated in virtually none by that point. And so, then the U.S. Attorney’s Office was pushing to have the AUSAs [Assistant U.S. Attorney], who were participating in the Clinton investigation, also participate.”

“And so now, all of a sudden, we were going from our standard two and two to this burgeoning number of people.”

Apparently, Laufman felt so strongly that he went to his boss, George Toscas, the deputy assistant attorney general in the National Security Division, who then approached McCabe directly.

The DOJ’s ongoing influence was felt in other ways as well. Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, both fact witnesses, were allowed to attend Clinton’s interview as her attorneys. As Page admitted, “I would agree with you, that it is not typically appropriate or operationally necessary to have fact witnesses attend the interview.”

The decision to allow attendance of fact witnesses during Clinton’s interview came from the DOJ, although Page said she wasn’t certain who had made the decision. She noted that the FBI protested the move but were overridden, so the decision must have come from a senior level within the DOJ.” (The Epoch Times, 1/21/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page admits Obama DOJ ordered stand-down on Clinton email prosecution

“Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted under questioning from Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe last summer that “the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information,” the congressman alleged in a social media post late Tuesday, citing a newly unearthed transcript of Page’s closed-door testimony.

(Credit: Twitter)

Page and since-fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who were romantically involved, exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, and Republicans have long accused the bureau of political bias. But Page’s testimony was perhaps the most salient evidence yet that the Justice Department improperly interfered with the FBI’s supposedly independent conclusions on Clinton’s criminal culpability, Ratcliffe alleged.

“So let me if I can, I know I’m testing your memory,” Ratcliffe began as he questioned Page under oath, according to a transcript excerpt he posted on Twitter. “But when you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to —”

Page interrupted: “That is correct,” as Ratcliffe finished his sentence, ” — bring a case based on that.” (Read more: Fox News, 3/13/2019)

Oct. 31, 2018 – The FBI learned Information ‘that might bear’ on Christopher Steele’s credibility, lawyer told Congress

The recently released redacted version of the Mueller Report. (Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“A former FBI attorney who worked on the Russia investigation told Congress last year the bureau learned information about dossier author Christopher Steele “that might bear on his credibility as a source.”

Trisha Anderson, the former principal deputy general counsel, said in a closed-door interview that meetings were held at the FBI with then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the team working on the investigation to discuss Steele, a former MI6 officer who investigated President Donald Trump on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Steele provided information from his dossier to the FBI, State Department and members of the press.

“There were meetings with Mr. McCabe about the Russia investigation that involved discussions of the various reports that were generated by Chris Steele that we had received, both with respect to the content of the reports as well as what we had learned about Christopher — we, I’m sorry — the FBI investigative team had learned about facts that might bear on his credibility as a source,” Anderson said in the Oct. 31, 2018 interview, a transcript of which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“And what were those facts? You had mentioned the contents. More specifically, what were these discussions about? But start with the credibility issues,” a congressional staffer asked Anderson.

Anderson did not say when the meetings occurred. Nor did she say what the possible credibility issues might have been.

When asked for further details, an FBI attorney intervened to say that Anderson could not answer more questions because they “pertain to matters that are being looked at by the special counsel and its investigation.”

At some point after relying on Steele as a confidential source, FBI officials were told that Steele was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate Trump. The former British spy had been hired in June 2016 by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm.

(…) The Justice Department’s office of the inspector general is reportedly investigating the FBI’s use of Steele as a source as part of a broader probe into possible abuse of the FISA system. The New York Times reported on Friday that intelligence community officials determined at some point in 2017 that some of Steele’s allegations were either likely wrong, or based on exaggeration by Steele’s sub-sources.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 4/26/2019)

December 19, 2018 – Lynch testimony reveals bias and intent for failing to give Trump defensive briefing

Loretta Lynch (Credit: Moriah Ratner/The Hill)

“The defensive briefing, after all, is a procedure that is often given to presidential candidates, elected officials and even U.S. businesses that have either been unwittingly approached by foreign actors attempting to gain trust and befriend those in position of influence.

The briefing allows the government to protect the candidates, specifically if there is substantial information or knowledge to suggest that someone has targeted an unwitting American for information. If the FBI or intelligence agencies suspect foreign adversaries may be trying to penetrate a presidential campaign, as those FBI and DOJ sources suggested in testimony to lawmakers, it would then be required to warn those affected, a senior former intelligence official told SaraACarter.com.

Why? Because foreign adversaries like China and Russia for example, and even allies, will attempt to glean information – or favor – from unwitting persons with access to senior level officials. The access can assist those nation’s own national interest or provide access for intelligence collection.

In the case of Trump, the FBI gave only a general counterintelligence briefing but did not provide information to the campaign that the FBI believed there were specific counterintelligence threats. For example, the FBI’s concern over campaign advisors George Papadopolous, Carter Page and then concerns over former national security advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.“It is an essential task of the FBI and the intelligence community to give a defensive briefing to a presidential candidate when a foreign adversary is attempting to penetrate or make contact with someone in the campaign,” said a former senior intelligence official. “If the FBI and DOJ were so concerned about Carter Page and (George) Papadopolous why didn’t they brief Trump when he became a candidate? The fact that they didn’t is very revealing. If they gave defensive briefing to the Clinton campaign then I think we have the answer.

Bruce Ohr’s 268-page testimony, released last week by Georgia Rep. Doug Collins reveals the machinations of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign and the players involved. Ohr’s testimony coupled with testimony provided by former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, which has not been released but reviewed by this reporter, along with former FBI General Counsel James Baker’s testimony reveals a startling fact: everyone appeared to say they were concerned the Russian’s were penetrating the Trump campaign but no one at the DOJ or FBI authorized a defensive briefing.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 3/14/2019)

March 21, 2019 – Judicial Watch uncovers more classified emails on Clinton’s unsecure server

Clinton speaks to a CNN reporter during a 2016 primary campaign event. (Credit: CNN)

“Judicial Watch today announced it received 756 pages of newly uncovered emails that were among the materials former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to delete or destroy, several of which were classified and were transmitted over her unsecure, non-“state.gov” email system.

Hillary Clinton repeatedly stated that the 55,000 pages of documents she turned over to the State Department in December 2014 included all of her work-related emails. In response to a court order in another Judicial Watch case, she declared under penalty of perjury in 2015 that she had “directed that all my emails on clintonemail.com in my custody that were or are potentially federal records be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.”

In 2017, the FBI uncovered 72,000 pages of documents Clinton attempted to delete or did not otherwise disclose. Until the court intervened and established a new deadline, the State Department had been slow-walking the release of those documents at a rate that would have required Judicial Watch and the American people to wait until at least 2020 to see all the releasable Clinton material. The production of documents in this case is now concluded with the FBI being only able to recover or find approximately 5,000 of the 33,000 government emails Hillary Clinton took and tried to destroy.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on May 6, 2015, after the State Department failed to respond to a March 4, 2015, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00687)) seeking:

All emails sent and received by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her official capacity as Secretary of State, as well as all emails by other State Department employees to Secretary Clinton regarding her non-“state.gov” email address.

This final batch of Clinton emails includes five new classified emails and communications with controversial figures Lanny Davis and Sidney Blumenthal.

On April 27, 2011, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent classified information discussing Palestinian issues to Clinton’s personal unsecure email account.

On May 19, 2011, Blair again sent classified information to Clinton’s personal unsecure email account discussing a “speech.”

A classified email exchange between Blair and Clinton took place from January 16, 2009 (while George W. Bush was still president) and January 24, 2009. The subject line is “Re: Gaza.” Blair on January 16, 2009, relayed information he learned from Middle East leaders and noted that he wanted to get something “resolved before Tuesday” (when Obama would be sworn in as president). Clinton responded to Blair on January 19, 2009, writing “Tony – We are finally moving and I am looking forward to talking w you as soon as I’m confirmed, tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest. Your emails are very helpful so pls continue to use this address,” hr15@att.blackberry.net. Blair followed up by saying “It would be great if we could talk before any announcements are made.”

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane sent Clinton classified information, apparently during early 2009. The subject line of the email is redacted, but the text appears to show a discussion on information about Iraq.

In September 2, 2010, email exchange marked classified, longtime Clinton confidante Lanny Davis tells Secretary Clinton that he could serve as a private channel for her to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he had a “private and highly trusted communication line, unofficial and personal, to PM N[etanyahu].” Davis goes on to say “[N]o one on the planet (other than your wonderful husband) can get this done as well as you.…” Secretary Clinton responds with classified information, saying “I will reach out to you directly and hope you will continue to do the same w me. The most important issue now is [Redacted B1].” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 3/21/2019)

March 25, 2019 – Former CIA director John Brennan admits he received “bad information” that lead to conspiracy indictments

“Former CIA Director John Brennan’s recent admission he received “bad information” that led him to inaccurately predict conspiracy indictments in the Mueller probe is raising questions about claims he made to Congress about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians.

Brennan told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in May 2017 the CIA provided the FBI with information on contacts between Russian officials and Trump campaign figures.

Brennan said he was “concerned” about the contacts because of known Russian efforts to “suborn” Trump campaign associates.

“It raised questions in my mind … whether or not the Russians were ever able to gain cooperation of those individuals,” Brennan said in the May 23, 2017 testimony.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” he added, noting he had not seen evidence of collusion between the Trump associates and Russians.

Brennan did not identify the Trump officials or add any other details about the alleged contacts, other than that they occurred in 2016.

Whatever contacts there might have been did not involve a conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election, as special counsel Robert Mueller has determined.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 3/27/2019)

Brennan was selling collusion from both inside the White House and out.

March 24, 2019 – A review of the Barr “Principal Conclusion” Notification Letter

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

CTH is going to break down the AG Barr Principal Conclusion notification letter against more than three years of background research.  Yes, more than “three years“, is the correct time-frame here.  The origin of the DOJ/FBI operation against Donald Trump goes back to 2015; the Mueller probe was a 2017 concluding chapter in the seditious conspiracy effort.

I’m going to cite as much background as possible; however, this review encompasses so much granular history that some parts might be too complex for a person who only recently jumped into the story.  Disclaimer: this outline does not fit the narrative from those who claim Mueller and Rosenstein are honorable men.  They ain’t.

The first part that matters is a few paragraphs into the letter.  Here we find the scale of the investigative group, and a description of some of the investigative paths they traveled:


There are several takeaways that are worthy of notation.

♦ First, the team of 19 lawyers and 40 FBI agents is more than the original Crossfire Hurricane investigative team (lawyers added), but includes the exact same group of FBI and DOJ staff level investigative officials that originated the Trump operation long before Robert Mueller was selected to lead them.

The transferring team assembly has been missed by media; and also missed by those who have researched the investigators. It is an important point, yet completely overlooked.

The same career staff unit that originated the unlawful activity to weaponize the DOJ and FBI is the same team that transferred into the Mueller probe.  Their supervising officials changed, Comey, McCabe, Baker, Lynch and Yates (et al) were fired; however, the career investigative officials within the process are identical.

The FBI agents transferred from Operation Crossfire Hurricane into the Mueller Special Counsel.  This is a key, heck, critical point, that is continually missed and glossed over.

The Mueller Special Counsel in May 2017 did not start from a clean slate of investigators.  Yes, new additional lawyers were added, but the investigators who conducted the Mueller probe were the same investigators who were carrying out the 2016 unlawful and illegal surveillance activity.

Initially Lisa Page and Peter Strzok also transferred to the Mueller team; but they had to be removed in July 2017 due to the discovery of their paper trail.  If their paper trail had never been discovered they would have remained with their comrades.

And that takes us to an important SIDEBAR that everyone forgets.  Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were removed because Inspector General Horowitz accidentally stumbled upon their communication.  Originally Horowitz was looking at “media leaks”, and that led him to question Deputy FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.  McCabe denied the leaks, but when the IG questioned Lisa Page about media contacts she said McCabe told her to give stories to the media.  McCabe and Page were contradicting each-other.

The IG asked Page if she could prove her side of the story, Page said she had texts from McCabe and gave her phone to INSD investigators…. the rest is history.  Those IG investigators, while validating the instructions from McCabe (showing he lied), uncovered the Peter Strzok and Lisa Page bias and communication that set the ground work for “spygate”.  The IG then had to inform Mueller of the compromised position.

♦The second point that needs to be noted from these paragraphs, is the scale of tools used by the Special Counsel (paragraphs reposted for additional review):

Remember, Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein re-authorized and re-submitted the third renewal of the Carter Page Title-1 (not title-3) FISA warrant in mid-July 2017.

That Carter Page Title-1 warrant did not expire until mid-October 2017.  So when we look at search warrants, subpoenas, and specifically “50 authorized pen registers“, we should note most of them were generally not needed while the Page FISA warrant was active.

When Mueller’s team began; and remember this is the same operational team – just using a new leader; they had the legal authority to conduct active electronic surveillance on any individual who was within two hops of Carter Page.  [So anyone who was in direct contact with Carter Page, and anyone that person was in contact with, and anyone that second person was in contact with.]  All of those officials were under surveillance.  A typical two-hop Title-1 warrant ends up hitting a network between 900 to 2,500 people.

The “pen registers” are ‘trap and trace warrants’ [SEE HERE], essentially another form of electronic surveillance (phone, email, etc) and extraction.  They would not have been needed for anyone within the Carter Page orbit (the Trump campaign), until the Title-1 FISA warrant expired (October 2017).  The pen registers fall under Title-3, ordinary domestic, non-FISA related, DOJ suspect searches and inquires, ie. “phone taps”.

Between the Title-1 FISA warrant (entire trump orbit captured) and the 50 pen registers (unknown orbit) and 500 search warrants (also Title-3), there was a massive dragnet of active surveillance and extraction of electronic files from all targets.  Active wire-taps, or “listening bugs”, would also fall under the FISA warrant and/or the Title-3 pen registers.

This gives us the scale of reach for those 40 active and assigned FBI agents.

Understanding that President Trump was a defined initial target of the investigation (as also noted in the Barr letter), those wire-taps, electronic surveillance, phone intercepts and listening “bugs” would have applied directly to President Trump and the White House.

[Insert “by the booknotation from President Obama here.]

Do you think we’ll ever hear about how Team Mueller took over active bugs within the White House?… I digress.

Again, I’m going to repeat…. The same investigators who initiated the Trump operation in late 2015, through spygate, and into Crossfire Hurricane (July 2016), were the same investigators in May 2017 when Mueller became their boss.   That’s three years of active electronic surveillance, intercepts and extraction.   Think about it.

♦ Next we move on to Page Two.  Here AG Barr tells us the Mueller report has two elements. Russian interference, including Trump’s potential collusion with Russians; and the second element is the Obstruction investigation:

The key point on the Russian collusion/conspiracy aspect is not actually within Barr’s letter, but is really the unwritten 800lb gorilla in the corner of the letter.  There was NO actual Russian election interference to speak of.   The entire premise was/is absurd.

A Macedonian content farm producing shit memes on social media isn’t exactly a vast Russian election conspiracy. So it is absurd that the predicate for the Special Counsel was to see if Trump was coordinating with irrelevant shit-posting meme providers etc.

The lack of evidence, for a premise that doesn’t exist, leads Robert Mueller to quote in his report: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities”. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 3/25/2019)

March 27, 2019 – Opinion: Stephen Cohen – The Real Costs of Russiagate

Rachel Maddow (Credit: The Nation)

(…) “Contrary to a number of major media outlets, from Bloomberg to The Wall Street Journal, nor does Mueller’s exculpatory finding actually mean that “Russiagate . . . is dead” and indeed that “it expired in an instant.” Such conclusions reveal a lack of historical and political understanding. Nearly three years of Russiagate’s toxic allegations have entered the American political-media elite bloodstream and they almost certainly will reappear again and again in one form of another.

This is an exceedingly grave danger because the real costs of Russiagate are not the estimated $25 to $40 million spent on the Mueller investigation but the corrosive damage it has already done to the institutions of American democracy—damage done not by an alleged “Trump-Putin axis” but by Russsigate’s perpetrators themselves. Having examined this collateral damage in my recently published book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, I will only note them here.

— Clamorous allegations that the Kremlin “attacked our elections” and thereby put Trump in the White House, despite the lack of any evidence, cast doubt on the legitimacy of American elections everywhere—national, state, and local. If true, or even suspected, how can voters have confidence in the electoral foundations of American democracy? Persistent demands to “secure our elections from hostile powers”— a politically and financially profitable mania, it seems—can only further abet and perpetuate declining confidence in the entire electoral process. Still more, if some crude Russian social media outputs could so dupe voters, what does this tell us about what US elites, which originated these allegations, really think of those voters, of the American people?

— Defamatory Russsiagate allegations that Trump was a “Kremlin puppet” and thus “illegitimate” were aimed at the president but hit the presidency itself, degrading the institution, bringing it under suspicion, casting doubt on its legitimacy. And if an “agent of a hostile foreign power” could occupy the White House once, a “Manchurian candidate,” why not again? Will Republicans be able to resist making such allegations against a future Democratic president? In any event, Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign manager, Robby Mook, has already told us that there will be a “next time.” (Read more: The Nation, 3/27/2019)

Tales of the New Cold War: 1 of 2: The Russiagate damage comes home to America. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

Tales of the New Cold War: 2 of 2: The Russiagate damage comes home to America. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

March 28, 2019 – The Corruption and Influence of Jessie K Liu

“What do the following four points have in common?

  • The manipulated DC legal case surrounding the Awan brothers; and how they escaped full accountability, likely due to need to protect politicians. (House of Representatives)  The sweetheart plea deal.
  • The manipulated DC legal case surrounding SSCI Security Director James Wolfe; and how he was allowed to plea only to lying to investigators when the evidence was clear from the outset how he leaked classified information to his journalist concubine. Again, likely due to the need to protect politicians. (SSCI, Senate) The sweetheart plea deal.
  • The manipulated DC legal case surrounding Obama lawyer Greg Craig; and how he escaped accountability for FARA violations by running out the statute of limitations and burying Mueller’s evidence for 18 months.  Again, likely due to the need to protect politicians (Obama White House).  Sweetheart double standards.
  • The manipulated DC legal case, a non-filing, surrounding former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for lying to INSD investigators about his media leaks.  Again, likely due to the need to protect the administrative state.  Criminal referral (April 19, 2018); grand jury (Approx. July 2018); Status?… Oh, wait for it….

Jessie Liu (Credit: Jabin Bosford/WaPo)

If you note the common thread is: U.S. Attorney for DC, Jessie K Liu, well, you would be entirely accurate.  Oh, but wait, we’ve only just begun.

Pay attention to the timelines.

While newly confirmed Attorney General William Barr was/is “getting his arms” around ongoing corruption within the organization he is now attempting to lead, there was an announcement on March 5th, about U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu becoming the #3 official at the DOJ.

Three weeks later, on March 28th, there was an announcement about a change of plans, and U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu’s name was withdrawn from consideration.

In addition to AG Bill Barr “getting his arms around” issues within the department, what else happened between March 5th and March 28th that would so drastically change plans for Ms. Liu?:

On March 21st Representatives Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows send a letter (full pdf available here) to Attorney General William Barr wanting to know what is the status of the year-old (April 19th, 2018) criminal referral for fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. (link)

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 4/14/2019)

April 8, 2019 – Court filings indicate there are additional Comey memos that memorialize the entire anti-Trump operation

(Credit: Lazaro Gamio/Axios)

“In a very revealing filing last night (full pdf below) the lead FBI investigator for the Mueller special counsel, David W. Archey, informs the court that with the ending of the special counsel some of the memo material can be released, such as their existence; however, Archey also states much of the memo content and sealed background material from the FBI must continue to remain sealed and redacted.

The FBI will file a further declaration on or before April 15, 2019, to explain why the remaining redactions to the Third Archey Declaration continue to be necessary. (page 2)

Within the filing we discover the lead FBI agent was David W. Archey (background here). Archey was selected by Robert Mueller when the special counsel took over the counterintelligence investigation from Special Agent Peter Strzok. According to ABC: “Agent David Archey is described by colleagues as a utility man of sorts within the FBI”. However, until now his exact role was not known.

Following the conclusion of the Mueller probe, David Archey was moved.  Effective March 8, 2019, Archey became head of the Richmond, VA, FBI field office. (link) Due to the corrupt nature of the special counsel, this is somewhat concerning. I digress…

The first three pages of the filing consist of David Archey explaining to the court that some of the material can be released, but other material must be withheld.  He then goes on to reference two prior sealed attachments outlined as “Exhibit A” and “Exhibit B”.

“Exhibit A” is a filing from the FBI on January 31st, 2018, essentially supporting an earlier “in camera ex parte declaration” requesting continuance of a prior court order to keep the background material sealed from public view.  In essence, the FBI didn’t want the public to know what was/is contained within the Comey memos (including the scale thereof).

“Exhibit B” is where the action is.

This is the original declaration outlining to the court on October 13th, 2017, why the Comey memos must be sealed.  It is inside this exhibit where we discover there are many more memos than previously understood, and the content of those memos is far more exhaustive because James Comey documented the FBI investigation.

In essence Comey created these memos to cover his ass. (pg 13):

FBI Agent Archey then goes on to explain what is inside the memos: It is in this section where we discover that Comey made notes of his meetings and conversations with investigators.

Along with writing notes of the meetings and conversations, apparently Comey also made notes of the sources and methods associated with the investigation.  Why would Comey generate classified information in these notes (sources and methods) unless he was just covering his ass because he knew the investigation itself was a risk…

The content of the memos seems rather exhaustive; it appears Comey is keeping a diary for use in the event this operation went sideways. (page #14, exhibit B)

(…) This is an October 2017 filing, Comey was fired May 9th. FBI Agent Archey is outlining Trump as the target who might adjust his testimony. Again, more evidence of the special counsel focus being motivated by the obstruction case they were hoping to build. [Reminder, Comey was still FBI director at the time these memos were written]

The next section gets to the heart of why the FBI wants to keep the Comey memos hidden and not released.

In this section Archey outlines how FBI Director James Comey wrote down who the sources were; what code-names were assigned; how those confidential sources engaged with FISA coverage initiated by the FBI; what foreign governments were assisting with their effort; and what the plans were for the investigation.”

(Read more: The Conservative Treehouse, 4/09/2019)

April 18, 2019 – Mueller’s own report undercuts its core Russia-meddling claims

(Credit: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

“While the 448-page Mueller report found no conspiracy between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, it offered voluminous details to support the sweeping conclusion that the Kremlin worked to secure Trump’s victory. The report claims that the interference operation occurred “principally” on two fronts: Russian military intelligence officers hacked and leaked embarrassing Democratic Party documents, and a government-linked troll farm orchestrated a sophisticated and far-reaching social media campaign that denigrated Hillary Clinton and promoted Trump.

But a close examination of the report shows that none of those headline assertions are supported by the report’s evidence or other publicly available sources. They are further undercut by investigative shortcomings and the conflicts of interest of key players involved:

  • The report uses qualified and vague language to describe key events, indicating that Mueller and his investigators do not actually know for certain whether Russian intelligence officers stole Democratic Party emails, or how those emails were transferred to WikiLeaks.
  • The report’s timeline of events appears to defy logic. According to its narrative, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced the publication of Democratic Party emails not only before he received the documents but before he even communicated with the source that provided them.
  • There is strong reason to doubt Mueller’s suggestion that an alleged Russian cutout called Guccifer 2.0 supplied the stolen emails to Assange.
  • Mueller’s decision not to interview Assange – a central figure who claims Russia was not behind the hack – suggests an unwillingness to explore avenues of evidence on fundamental questions.
  • U.S. intelligence officials cannot make definitive conclusions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee computer servers because they did not analyze those servers themselves. Instead, they relied on the forensics of CrowdStrike, a private contractor for the DNC that was not a neutral party, much as “Russian dossier” compiler Christopher Steele, also a DNC contractor, was not a neutral party. This puts two Democrat-hired contractors squarely behind underlying allegations in the affair – a key circumstance that Mueller ignores.
  • Further, the government allowed CrowdStrike and the Democratic Party’s legal counsel to submit redacted records, meaning CrowdStrike and not the government decided what could be revealed or not regarding evidence of hacking.
  • Mueller’s report conspicuously does not allege that the Russian government carried out the social media campaign. Instead it blames, as Mueller said in his closing remarks, “a private Russian entity” known as the Internet Research Agency (IRA).
  • Mueller also falls far short of proving that the Russian social campaign was sophisticated, or even more than minimally related to the 2016 election. As with the collusion and Russian hacking allegations, Democratic officials had a central and overlooked hand in generating the alarm about Russian social media activity.
  • John Brennan, then director of the CIA, played a seminal and overlooked role in all facets of what became Mueller’s investigation: the suspicions that triggered the initial collusion probe; the allegations of Russian interference; and the intelligence assessment that purported to validate the interference allegations that Brennan himself helped generate. Yet Brennan has since revealed himself to be, like CrowdStrike and Steele, hardly a neutral party — in fact a partisan with a deep animus toward Trump.

Uncertainty Over Who Stole the Emails

The Mueller report’s narrative of Russian hacking and leaking was initially laid out in a July 2018 indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers and is detailed further in the report.  According to Mueller, operatives at Russia’s main intelligence agency, the GRU, broke into Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta’s emails in March 2016. The hackers infiltrated Podesta’s account with a common tactic called spear-phishing, duping him with a phony security alert that led him to enter his password. The GRU then used stolen Democratic Party credentials to hack into the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) servers beginning in April 2016. Beginning in June 2016, the report claims, the GRU created two online personas, “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0,” to begin releasing the stolen material. After making contact later that month, Guccifer 2.0 apparently transferred the DNC emails to the whistleblowing, anti-secrecy publisher WikiLeaks, which released the first batch on July 22 ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

The report presents this narrative with remarkable specificity: It describes in detail how GRU officers installed malware, leased U.S.-based computers, and used cryptocurrencies to carry out their hacking operation. The intelligence that caught the GRU hackers is portrayed as so invasive and precise that it even captured the keystrokes of individual Russian officers, including their use of search engines.

In fact, the report contains crucial gaps in the evidence that might support that authoritative account. Here is how it describes the core crime under investigation, the alleged GRU theft of DNC emails:

Between approximately May 25, 2016 and June 1, 2016, GRU officers accessed the DNC’s mail server from a GRU-controlled computer leased inside the United States. During these connections, Unit 26165 officers appear to have stolen thousands of emails and attachments, which were later released by WikiLeaks in July 2016. [Italics added for emphasis.]

Mueller Report, March 2019, p. 41.

The report’s use of that one word, “appear,” undercuts its suggestions that Mueller possesses convincing evidence that GRU officers stole “thousands of emails and attachments” from DNC servers. It is a departure from the language used in his July 2018 indictment, which contained no such qualifier:

Netyksho/GRU Indictment, July 2018, p. 11.

“It’s certainly curious as to why this discrepancy exists between the language of Mueller’s indictment and the extra wiggle room inserted into his report a year later,” says former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley. “It may be an example of this and other existing gaps that are inherent with the use of circumstantial information.  With Mueller’s exercise of quite unprecedented (but politically expedient) extraterritorial jurisdiction to indict foreign intelligence operatives who were never expected to contest his conclusory assertions in court, he didn’t have to worry about precision. I would guess, however, that even though NSA may be able to track some hacking operations, it would be inherently difficult, if not impossible, to connect specific individuals to the computer transfer operations in question.”

The report also concedes that Mueller’s team did not determine another critical component of the crime it alleges: how the stolen Democratic material was transferred to WikiLeaks. The July 2018 indictment of GRU officers suggested – without stating outright – that WikiLeaks published the Democratic Party emails after receiving them from Guccifer 2.0 in a file named “wk dnc linkI .txt.gpg” on or around July 14, 2016. But now the report acknowledges that Mueller has not actually established how WikiLeaks acquired the stolen information: “The Office cannot rule out that stolen documents were transferred to WikiLeaks through intermediaries who visited during the summer of 2016.”

Mueller Report, p. 47.

Another partially redacted passage also suggests that Mueller cannot trace exactly how WikiLeaks received the stolen emails. Given how the sentence is formulated, the redacted portion could reflect Mueller’s uncertainty:

Mueller Report, p. 45.

Contrary to Mueller’s sweeping conclusions, the report itself is, at best, suggesting that the GRU, via its purported cutout Guccifer 2.0, may have transferred the stolen emails to WikiLeaks. ”

Aaron Mate’ addresses each of the bullet points above in much greater detail at: (RealClearInvestigations, 7/05/2019) 

April 18, 2019 – Konstantin Kilimnik, a key figure the Mueller report links to Russia, was a State Department intel source

Konstantin Kilimnik (Credit: public domain)

“In a key finding of the Mueller report, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is tied to Russian intelligence.

But hundreds of pages of government documents — which special counsel Robert Mueller possessed since 2018 — describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department who informed on Ukrainian and Russian matters.

Why Mueller’s team omitted that part of the Kilimnik narrative from its report and related court filings is not known. But the revelation of it comes as the accuracy of Mueller’s Russia conclusions face increased scrutiny.

The incomplete portrayal of Kilimnik is so important to Mueller’s overall narrative that it is raised in the opening of his report. “The FBI assesses” Kilimnik “to have ties to Russian intelligence,” Mueller’s team wrote on page 6, putting a sinister light on every contact Kilimnik had with Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman.

What it doesn’t state is that Kilimnik was a “sensitive” intelligence source for State going back to at least 2013 while he was still working for Manafort, according to FBI and State Department memos I reviewed.

Kilimnik was not just any run-of-the-mill source, either.

He interacted with the chief political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, sometimes meeting several times a week to provide information on the Ukraine government. He relayed messages back to Ukraine’s leaders and delivered written reports to U.S. officials via emails that stretched on for thousands of words, the memos show.

The FBI knew all of this, well before the Mueller investigation concluded.

John Solomon tweets about the Manafort Ledger. (Credit: Twitter)

Alan Purcell, the chief political officer at the Kiev embassy from 2014 to 2017, told FBI agents that State officials, including senior embassy officials Alexander Kasanof and Eric Schultz, deemed Kilimnik to be such a valuable asset that they kept his name out of cables for fear he would be compromised by leaks to WikiLeaks.” (Read more: The Hill, 6/06/2019)

April 19, 2019 – Opinion: Mueller/Rosenstein and the entire apparatus were trying to provoke Trump in all manners to enhance the obstruction case

The *methods* the team used were always focused on trying to goad Trump into firing, or interfering, thereby creating more obstruction fuel.

Everything Mueller and Rosenstein were doing in late 2017 and throughout 2018 was intended to drag-out the Russia conspiracy narrative as long as possible, even though there was no actual Trump-Russia investigation taking place and Robert Mueller *DID* interview President Trump about the obstruction case. Rod Rosenstein was there for the deposition…. Only President Trump didn’t know his remarks were being recorded and transcribed.

Robert Mueller Did Interview President Trump Regarding Obstruction Case

What, you think that over-the-top broadcast (leaked to CNN) raid on Roger Stone with heavily armed SWAT teams was a mistake? Oh hell no… Team Mueller/Rosenstein were trying to get Trump to lash out. It was strategic and purposefully agressive, just like the Manafort raid.

Every action was taken by the Mueller special counsel in order to get Trump to respond to the heavy-handed tactics. It was always “obstruction” bait. Intentional provocation…. It was purposefully over-the-top. They were goading the President.

People still don’t appreciate just how sinister and Machiavellian this was. It was the obstruction case they hoped would build the impeachment outcome.

This was always the objective….. all the way back to May of 2017.

The obstruction case was based on the updated Scope Memo written by Rosenstein on August 2nd, 2017. Everything they were doing was to create that obstruction case. That’s why we are not allowed to see the scope memo.

The scope memo outlines the same targets that originally existed within Crossfire Hurricane and the Steele Dossier: Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen. This was how they hoped to get to Trump.

Mueller targeted these individuals on other issues, any issues, because he needed to shut them down, hide the fraudulent origin of the original operation…. and thereby protect his obstruction investigation… For Mueller’s purposes:

  1. The Obstruction investigation, building toward the impeachment narrative, was always the original goal of Mueller and Rosenstein. Therefore…
  2. The Obstruction investigation needed the precursor of the Trump-Russia investigation to remain standing; However…
  3. The structure of the Trump-Russia investigation, the underlying evidence to support the effort, is predicated on the “Steele Dossier”. Therefore…
  4. Mueller needed to protect the Steele Dossier from scrutiny and deconstruction.

Remember, because there was no Trump-Russia collusion/conspiracy, it was always the “obstruction” investigation that could lead to the desired result by Mueller’s team of taking down President Trump through impeachment.

The “obstruction case” was the entirety of the case they were trying to make from August 2017 through to March 2019.

New scope memo. New FBI Team Leader. New approach. New goals. Mueller’s goals. What he was enlisted to produce. etc.

The Mueller targets would generate pressure points against President Trump. If they could not deliver direct evidence against Trump (on any criminal angle) they could be used to bait Trump into taking actions that would assist the obstruction case.

Obstruction was always the impeachment long-game, and their political plan needed the 2018 mid-term election and the House of Representatives in Pelosi’s hands to work.

 

This is why DAG Rod Rosenstein pressured Trump in September of 2018 not to declassify the underlying SpyGate/FISA documents.

Rosenstein knew sunlight would have undermined the Russia narrative, and worse…. it might have upended the goal of winning the House (a key part of their long-term plan); so Rosenstein informed Trump declassification would be impeding the Mueller investigation.

Along the road toward building the obstruction case, Mueller and Rosenstein needed to retain the illusion of a “Russian Interference Investigation.

The need to keep up the “Muh Russia” appearances is why Mueller and Rosenstein had to pause every six months and throw out a few phony, structurally silly, Russia indictments.

Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann and Rod Rosenstein knew the people they accused would never show up to defend themselves. The Russian interference indictments were for appearances only, and always came with a specific disclaimer:

This disclaimer is purposeful for two reasons. Number one: there was no Trump-Russia collusion/conspiracy; and number two: saying it satiated their target, President Trump.

While President Trump’s legal team were asking what was taking so long, the real program was for Mueller’s team to build the ‘obstruction’ case, which would be the launching point for the impeachment.

Andrew Weissmann & team were continually trying to bait/provoke President Trump into making statements, or taking action that could be added to the ‘obstruction’ file; while Mueller is telling Trump’s legal team they were only a subject-witness in the Russia investigation.

The entire Mueller team were working to goad President Trump into something Mueller could then color/construe as obstruction and then open House impeachment grounds; and they were having fun doing it.

The manner of the pre-dawn raid on Paul Manafort, and the way they treated him, along with the manner of the raid on Michael Cohen was all done purposefully hoping to draw a reaction from Trump, which they would add to the obstruction file.

Once Rosenstein and Mueller had the mid-term election goal secure (Dec ’18), then they set about enhancing the impeachment narrative with even stronger ‘obstruction‘ provocations.

The outrageous manner of arrest of Roger Stone is an example. The scale of it; heavily armed swat teams, tanks etc; and the fact that Weissmann enlisted CNN for the purpose of intentionally broadcasting the outrageous nature of the arrest, was by design.

After the 2018 election the type of provocations increased. From all appearances they had no intention of not continuing to ramp up the provocation.

All designed to make Trump lash out and give the appearance needed for obstruction.

The reason why Mueller’s team ended up stopping the scheme is because William Barr showed up and refused to participate. This would explain why a disgruntled Weissmann and Mueller team punted on the obstruction decision to AG William Barr.

It was their last desperate effort, amid a failure to construct a solid legal case, to politicize the possibility and innuendo, and force Barr to be the one to say: “no obstruction.”

(Read more: The Last Refuge/Conservative Treehouse, 4/19/2019)

(Editor’s note: republished with permission, photos courtesy of Conservative Treehouse)

May 9, 2019 – Who Were the Mueller Report’s Hired Guns?

By: Paul Sperry, RealClearInvestigations

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent more than $732,000 on outside contractors, including private investigators and researchers, records show, but his office refuses to say who they were. While it’s not unusual for special government offices to outsource for services such as computer support, Mueller also hired contractors to compile “investigative reports” and other “information.”

The arrangement has led congressional investigators, government watchdog groups and others to speculate that the private investigators and researchers who worked for the special counsel’s office might have included Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS, the private research firm that hired Steele to produce the Russia collusion dossier for the Clinton campaign.

Robert Mueller arriving at the office: His report recycles dossier dirt. (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

They suspect the dossier creators may have been involved in Mueller’s operation – and even had a hand in his final report – because the special counsel sent his team to London to meet with Steele within a few months of taking over the Russia collusion investigation in 2017. Also, Mueller’s lead prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, had shared information he received from Fusion with the media.

Raising additional suspicions, Mueller’s report recycles the general allegations leveled in the dossier. And taking a page from earlier surveillance-warrant applications in the Russia investigation, it cites as supporting evidence several articles – including one by Yahoo! News – that used Steele and Fusion as sources.

Mueller even kept alive one of the dossier’s most obscene accusations – that Moscow had “compromising tapes” of Trump with Russian hookers – by slipping into a footnote an October 2016 text Trump lawyer Michael Cohen received from a “Russian businessman,” who cryptically intimated, “Stopped flow of tapes from Russia.” Lawyers for the businessman, Giorgi Rtskhiladze (who is actually a Georgian-American), are demanding a retraction of the footnote, arguing Mueller omitted the part of his text where he said he did not believe the rumor about the tapes, for which no evidence has ever surfaced.

Mueller’s reliance on the Steele dossier is raising questions because it occurred long after FBI Director James B. Comey described the dossier as “salacious and unverified.”

U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the report should be renamed “The Mueller Dossier,” because he says it contains a lot of similar innuendo. Even though Mueller failed to corroborate key allegations leveled in the dossier, Nunes said his report twists key facts to put a collusion gloss on events. He also asserted that it selectively quotes from Trump campaign emails and omits exculpatory information in ways that cast the campaign’s activities in the most sinister light.

A detail from the website of Steele’s private London firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.

Steele’s 17-memo dossier alleged that the Trump campaign was involved in “a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation” with the Russian government to rig the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favor. It claimed this conspiracy “was managed on the Trump side by Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, who was using foreign policy adviser Carter Page and others as intermediaries.” Specifically, the dossier accused Page of secretly meeting with Kremlin officials in July 2016 to hatch a plot to release dirt on Hillary Clinton. And it accused Manafort of being corrupted by Russian President Vladimir Putin through his puppets in the Ukraine.

Likewise, Mueller’s report focuses on Manafort and Page and whether they “committed crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”

Though the investigation did not establish that Page coordinated with the Russian government, the Mueller report implies there may be a kernel of truth to the dossier’s charges.

“In July 2016, Campaign foreign policy advisor Carter Page traveled in his personal capacity to Moscow and gave the keynote address at the New Economic School,” according to the section on him. “Page had lived and worked in Russia between 2003 and 2007. After returning to the United States, Page became acquainted with at least two Russian intelligence officers, one of whom was later charged in 2015 with conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of Russia.”

Carter Page at a news conference  in Moscow in 2016. (Credit: Pavel Golovkin/The Associated Press)

Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, heads to a news conference at RIA Novosti news agency in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Page said he was in Moscow on a visit to meet with businessmen and politicians.

Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow and his advocacy for pro-Russian foreign policy drew media attention,” Mueller’s narrative continued. “July 2016 was also the month WikiLeaks first released emails stolen by the GRU [Russian intelligence] from the DNC.”

“Page acknowledged that he understood that the individuals he has associated with were members of the Russian intelligence services,” the report added, implying that Page in the 2015 case (referenced above) knowingly cavorted with Russian spies, which echoes charges Steele made in his dossier.

But federal court records make it clear that Page did not know that those men were Russian agents.

Mueller also left out of his report a detail RealClearInvestigations has previously reported: that Page was a cooperating witness in the case in question, helping the FBI eventually put a Russian agent behind bars in 2016. Nor did Mueller see fit to include in his report another exculpatory detail revealed in agent Gregory Mohaghan’s complaint and reported earlier by RCI — namely, that the Russians privately referred to Page as “an idiot” who was unworthy of recruitment.

Excluding such details is curious, given that the Mueller report quotes from the same FBI complaint and cites it in its footnotes. Similarly, in its section dealing with Manafort, the Mueller report echoes the dossier’s claims that the Trump campaign chairman was in cahoots with the Kremlin, even though Mueller never charged him with  conspiring to collude with Russia.

A 2006 photo of Konstantin Kilimnik, a longtime employee of Paul Manafort who ran the Ukraine office of his lobbying firm. The Mueller report suggests he was one of Manafort’s Kremlin handlers. (Credit: The Associated Press)

The special prosecutor’s report indicated that one of Manafort’s Kremlin handlers was Konstantin Kilimnik.

“Manafort briefed Kilimnik on the state of the Trump Campaign and Manafort’s plan to win the election,” it said. “That briefing encompassed the Campaign’s messaging and its internal polling data. It also included discussion of ‘battleground’ states, which Manafort identified as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.”

Except that this wouldn’t have been an unusual conversation: Kilimnik was a longtime Manafort employee who ran the Ukraine office of his lobbying firm. Footnotes in Mueller’s report show that Manafort shared campaign information to impress a former business partner, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who was suing him over financial losses. Mueller failed to tie the information exchange to Russian espionage. He also failed to mention that Deripaska is an FBI informant.

Mueller’s team worked closely with dossier author Steele, a long-retired British intelligence officer who worked for the Clinton campaign. Mueller’s investigators went to London to consult with Steele for at least two days in September 2017 while apparently using his dossier as an investigative road map and central theory to his collusion case. Steele now runs a private research and consulting firm in London, Orbis Business Intelligence.

It’s not clear if Mueller’s office paid Steele, but recently released FBI records show the bureau previously made a number of payments to him, and at one point during the 2016 campaign offered him $50,000 to continue his dossier research. Steele was also paid through the Clinton campaign, earning $168,000 for his work on the dossier.

Paul Manafort at court last year with wife Kathleen. (Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

Expenditure statements show that the Special Counsel’s Office outsourced “investigative reports” and “information” to third-party contractors during Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian “collusion” during the 2016 presidential election.

Over the past few months, Mueller’s office has rejected several formal requests from RealClearInvestigations for contract details, including who was hired and how much they were paid.

Washington-based Judicial Watch suspects Mueller’s office may have farmed out work to the private Washington research firm Fusion GPS or its subcontractor Steele, both of whom were paid by the Clinton camp during the 2016 presidential election. Several law enforcement and Hill sources who spoke with RCI also believe Steele and Fusion GPS were deputized in the investigation.

The government watchdog group has requested that the Justice Department turn over the contracting records, along with all budget requests Mueller submitted to the attorney general during his nearly two-year investigation. It’s also requested all communications between the Special Counsel’s Office and the private contractors it used.

A Judicial Watch spokesman said its Freedom of Information Act request is pending.

Glenn Simpson (Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press)

Special counsel spokesman Peter Carr declined comment when asked specifically if Mueller’s team hired or collaborated with Fusion GPS or any of its subcontractors. Mueller took over the FBI’s Russia probe in May 2017, whereupon he hired many of the agents who handled Steele and pored over his dossier.

For the first reporting period ending Sept. 30, 2017, and covering just four months, the Special Counsel’s Office reported paying $867 to unnamed contractors for “investigative reports/information,” along with $3,554 in “miscellaneous” payments to contractors.

In the next reporting period ending March 31, 2018, the office stopped breaking out investigative reports and information as a separate line item, lumping such contractual services under the category “Other,” which accounted for a total of $10,812, or more than 4% of the total spending on outside contracts.

For the six months ending Dona – the latest reporting period for which there is data – Mueller’s office showed a total of $310,732 in payments to outside contractors. For the first time, it did not break out such expenses into subcategories, though it noted that the lion’s share of the $310,000 was spent on “IT services.”

Mueller concluded his investigation and delivered his final report in March. The next expenditure report, for the period October 2018-March 2019, will cover contract work directly tied to compiling the report.

Asked if the contracting details were classified, Carr demurred. If the information is not deemed classified, it must be made public, Judicial Watch maintains.

Republican critics on the Hill say Mueller’s written narrative was slanted to give the impression there still might be something to the dossier’s most salacious allegations, even though Mueller found no evidence corroborating them or establishing that Trump or his campaign coordinated or cooperated with Russian meddling in the election.

“Whoever wrote the report leaves you with the idea there’s still something to all the allegations of collusion that were first promoted by the dossier,” said a witness who was interviewed by Mueller’s investigators late in the probe and is referenced in the report.

Donald Trump Jr., right, with his father: The Mueller report gives the miss-impression that the president’s oldest son was collaborating with WikiLeaks. (Credit: Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

In a section on Donald Trump Jr., moreover, the report gives the misimpression that the president’s oldest son was collaborating with WikiLeaks on the release of the Clinton campaign emails.

“Donald Trump Jr. had direct electronic communications with WikiLeaks during the campaign period,” it stated.

In fact, Trump got an unsolicited message through his Twitter account from WikiLeaks. He described the outreach as “weird” in an email to senior Trump campaign staff at the time. Other contemporaneous messages make it clear he had no advance knowledge about any Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks.

The FBI first began receiving memos from Steele’s dossier in early July 2016 and used the documents as the foJeundation for its October 2016 application for a warrant to wiretap the private communications of Page. These milestones are missing from the Mueller report’s chronology of events. In fact, neither Steele nor his dossier is mentioned by name anywhere in the first half of the report dealing with collusion, though their allegations are hashed out.

Some Mueller critics are focused on the role played by his top prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter with longstanding ties to Steele and Fusion GPS.

Andrew Weissmann, now a senior fellow at NYU Law. (Credit: NYU Law)

“Weissman had a lot to do with the way the report was written,” said author Jerome Corsi, who, as a friend of Trump confidant Roger Stone, was targeted by Mueller. “That’s why it’s basically a political document.”

Corsi said he spent more than 40 hours with Mueller’s prosecutors and investigators, who grilled him about possible ties to WikiLeaks but never charged him with a crime.

Formerly a top Justice Department official under Obama, Weissmann not only donated to Clinton’s presidential campaign but also attended her election-night party in New York City in November 2016. Three months earlier, he was briefed on Steele’s dossier and other dirt provided by the Clinton contractor and paid FBI informant. In early 2017, Weissmann helped advance the Russia collusion narrative by personally sharing Steele’s and Fusion’s dirt on Trump and his advisers with Washington reporters.

In an April 2017 meeting he arranged at his office, Weissmann gave guidance to four Associated Press reporters who were investigating Manafort, according to internal FBI  documents.

Among other things, they discussed rumors that Manafort used “some of the money from shell companies to buy expensive suits.” A month later, Weissmann became the lead prosecutor handling the Manafort case for Mueller. His February 2018 indictment of Manafort highlights, among other things, the Trump adviser’s taste for expensive suits.

Attempts to reach Weissmann for comment were unsuccessful.

Edward Baumgartner: worked for Fusion GPS
Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. (Credit: YouTube screen grab)

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said there are signs Mueller may have hired “researchers” like Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who worked with Steele on the dossier, along with Edward Baumgartner and Nellie Ohr, who have worked for Fusion GPS, which originally hired Steele in June 2016 after contracting with the Clinton campaign.

“I ran into Glenn at the 2017 Aspen Security [Forum], and I distinctly remember him leaning in and claiming he was working for the government,” said one associate, who wished to remain anonymous.

Congressional investigators say Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, has been feeding Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate investigative tips regarding Trump and his associates, including Manafort.

In 2017, for instance, he urged Democrats specifically to look into the bank records of Deutsche Bank, which has financed some of Trump’s businesses, because he suspected some of the funding may have been laundered through Russia.

Around the time Simpson began coordinating with Democratic investigators looking into Trump’s bank records, Mueller subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for financial records for Manafort and other individuals affiliated with Trump.

Simpson did not return calls and emails seeking comment.

Founded by the journalist-turned-opposition researcher, Fusion has rehired Steele to continue his anti-Trump work with millions of dollars in left-wing funding from The Democracy Integrity Project, a Washington-based nonprofit started in 2017 by former FBI analyst Daniel Jones, who also worked for Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

In March 2017, Jones met with FBI agents to provide them data he collected from IT specialists he hired to analyze web traffic between servers maintained by the Trump Organization and a Russian bank mentioned in the dossier. The traffic turned out to be innocuous marketing emails, or spam. (RealClearInvestigations, 5/09/2019)

(This and all other original articles created by RealClearInvestigations may be republished for free with attribution. These terms do not apply to outside articles linked on the site.)

May 10, 2019 – Roger Stone wins right to unredacted parts of Mueller Report and by extension, the Crowdstrike Report

“A federal judge in Washington ordered the Department of Justice to turn over any unredacted sections of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian activities during the 2016 presidential campaign that relate to Roger Stone.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson gave the prosecutors until Monday to “submit unredacted versions of those portions of the report that relate to defendant Stone and/or ‘the dissemination of hacked materials.” Judge Jackson would review the material in private to see if it is relevant to the case and to decide whether Stone and his defense team will have access to the material.” (Sarah Carter, 5/10/2019)

May 14, 2019 – Devin Nunes on the importance of exposing the real origins of the Russia narrative

“Devin Nunes appears on Fox News to discuss why the origin of the Russia narrative is important.  The scale and scope of the fraudulent construct is now a strongly enmeshed narrative, toxic to the systems of cohesive government:

If you read the Weissmann/Mueller report carefully one aspect stands out strongly; the Mueller investigation was fully committed to The Steele Dossier. An inordinate amount of the report is focused on justifying their investigative validity and purpose in looking at the claims within the Steele Dossier.

Repeatedly, the investigative unit references their mandate based around the Steele Dossier, and the mid-summer 2016 origin of the FBI counterintelligence operation.

Why? Why was/is Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the Steele Dossier (Oct. ’16) so important to the principle intelligence apparatus, and the Mueller team (’17, ’18, ’19)?

I believe former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers has told us the answer. In early 2016 Rogers caught on to a massive and pre-existing weaponization of government surveillance and the use of collected NSA metadata for political spy operations. Everything, that comes AFTER March 2016 is one big blanket cover-up operation….. ALL OF IT.

The Russian election interference narrative; the use of Joseph Mifsud, Stefan Halper, the London and Australian embassy personnel; Erika Thompson, Alexander Downer, U.S. DIA officials; everything around Crossfire Hurricane; and everything after to include the construct of the Steele Dossier; all of it was needed for the creation of an ‘after-the-fact‘ plausible justification to cover-up what Mike Rogers discovered in early 2016, AND the downstream unmasked records that existed in the Obama White House SCIF.

Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump. The intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. They already knew everything about the Trump campaign. The Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to give them a justification for pre-existing surveillance and spy operations.

That’s why the FBI, and later the Mueller team, are so strongly committed to, and defending, the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

On Pages #11 and #12 of the Weissmann/Mueller report, the special counsel team outlines the purpose and intent of the probe as delivered by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Within these pages Mueller outlines the August 2nd Scope Memo that has previously been hidden and remains redacted through today.

Read the highlighted portion carefully to understand the scope of the instructions. Note the careful wording “the Special Counsel had been authorized since his appointment to investigate allegations”… This means from Day #1 of the special counsel, the scope of the probe was always to investigate the claims within the Ohr/Steele Dossier:

The August 2nd Scope Memo additionally authorized the investigation of “certain other matters” specifically relating to Manafort (financial crimes), and Papadopolous and Flynn (FARA violations).

These paragraphs tell us a great deal about what originated the purpose of the FBI investigation and the continued purpose of the special counsel. Remember, the special counsel was a continuance of the FBI counterintelligence operation which officially began on July 31st, 2016. [The unofficial beginning was much earlier]

Understanding now that Mueller is saying from Day One he was investigating the Steele Dossier; here’s where we all need to question the assumptions.

Why is the Steele Dossier so important?” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/14/2019)

May 14, 2019 – The Trump administration withholds information that could debunk Russian interference claims

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (l) meets with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov in Sochi on May 14, 2019. (Credit: mid.ru)

“On Tuesday Russia’s President Putin again rejected U.S. claims that his country interfered in the 2016 elections in the United States. Additional statements by Foreign Minister Lavrov provide that there is more information available about alleged Russian cyber issue during the election. He pointed to exchanges between the Russian and U.S. governments that Russia wants published but which the U.S. is withholding.

On Tuesday May 14 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Sochi to meet with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov and with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. It was Pompeo’s first official visit to Russia. Pompeo’s meeting with Lavrov was followed by a joined news conference. The statements from both sides touched on the election issue.

The State Department published a full transcript and video of the press conferencein English language. The Russian Foreign Ministry provided an official English translation of only Lavrov’s part.  Both translations differ only slightly.

Here are the relevant excerpts from the opening statements with regard to cyber issues.

Lavrov:

We agreed on the importance of restoring communications channels that have been suspended lately, which was due in no small part to the groundless accusations against Russia of trying to meddle in the US election. These allegations went as far as to suggest that we colluded in some way with high-ranking officials from the current US administration. It is clear that allegations of this kind are completely false. […] I think that there is a fundamental understanding on this matter as discussed by our presidents during their meeting last year in Helsinki, as well as during a number of telephone conversations. So far these understandings have not been fully implemented.

Pompeo:

We spoke, too, about the question of interference in our domestic affairs. I conveyed that there are things that Russia can do to demonstrate that these types of activities are a thing of the past and I hope that Russia will take advantage of those opportunities.

Lavrov responded first to the question. He said that there is no evidence that shows any Russian interference in the U.S. elections. He continued:

Speaking about the most recent US presidential campaign in particular, we have had in place an information exchange channel about potential unintended risks arising in cyberspace since 2013. From October 2016 (when the US Democratic Administration first raised this issue) until January 2017 (before Donald Trump’s inauguration), this channel was used to handle requests and responses. Not so long ago, when the attacks on Russia in connection with the alleged interference in the elections reached their high point, we proposed publishing this exchange of messages between these two entities, which engage in staving off cyberspace incidents. I reminded Mr Pompeo about this today. The administration, now led by President Trump, refused to do so. I’m not sure who was behind this decision, but the idea to publish this data was blocked by the United States. However, we believe that publishing it would remove many currently circulating fabrications. Of course, we will not unilaterally make these exchanges public, but I would still like to make this fact known.

The communication channel about cyber issues did indeed exist. In June 2013 the Presidents of the United States and Russia issued a Joint Statement about “Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)”. The parties agreed to establishing communication channels between each other computer emergency response teams, to use the direct communication link of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers for cyber issue exchanges, and to have direct communication links between high-level officials in the White House and Kremlin for such matter. A Fact Sheet published by the Obama White House detailed the implementation of these three channels.” (Read more: Moon of Alabama, 5/19/2019)

May 15, 2019 – Trey Gowdy says the FBI used Sidney Blumenthal as a source to verify the Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier

Trey Gowdy said that the FBI used information from Hillary Clinton hatchet man Sidney Blumenthal to corroborate the Steele dossier.

“I have seen each factual assertion listed in that dossier, and then I’ve seen the FBI’s justification. And when you’re citing newspaper articles as corroboration for a factual assertion that you have made, you don’t need an FBI agent to go do a Google search,” said Gowdy, a former South Carolina congressman and member of the House Intelligence Committee, in a Fox News interview.

“And when the name Sidney Blumenthal is included as part of your corroboration, and you’re the world’s leading law enforcement agency, you have a problem,” Gowdy said.

In 2018Gowdy hinted that Blumenthal was responsible for the creation of the dossier.

“When you hear who the source or one of the sources of that information is, you’re going to think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve heard that name somewhere before. Where could it possibly have been?'” Gowdy said in February 2018.

Blumenthal worked with the Clinton Foundation and was an informal adviser to Hillary Clinton during her stint as secretary of state. Blumenthal has been a controversial figure, helping out with a “secret spy network” to give Clinton information on Libya.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 5/16/2019)

May 16, 2016 – Spygate fallout? The Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conté, calls for the resignations of top Italian intelligence officials

“Apparently, the Italian media is reporting that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conté has requested the resignations of several top Italian intelligence officials. The move is being interpreted as the Conte’ government responding to the previous governments’ coordinated activity with U.S. intelligence officials during the 2016 U.S. election surrounding “Spygate”.

Prime Minister Conté visited with President Trump in June 2018 at the White House; and reflects a more nationalistic outlook in Italy.  Conte’ has high approval in the country; however, it appears the socialists (including media) are outraged at the challenge to the intelligence apparatus.”

(Via Google Translate) The senator of the Pd Luigi Zanda presented an urgent question to the President of the Council after the news appeared today in the newspaper La Repubblica about a presumed request for the resignation of the four deputy directors of the departments of the Italian secret services.

“The facts reported, if confirmed, appear to be of absolute gravity, providing for the application of a system of rigid spoil system and a real political subdivision applied to the intelligence system, which is entrusted with the security of our country” reads in the question, where it is underlined that “such behavior would risk not only to question the operational efficiency of our intelligence systems in a very delicate moment, but also to destroy their credibility in the precious international information network, which finds its fundamentals in professionalism, independence and in the absence of political interests in the heads of the secret services of the countries to which we are connected “.

Zanda therefore asks the President of the Council to know “if the facts reported in the introduction correspond to the truth and, if so, if he intends to revoke the request for resignation, and what urgent initiatives he intends to take to ensure that the appointments of the directors and deputy directors of our security system always respond to criteria of operational efficiency and are never subjected to the logic of political subdivision “.

The senator of the Democratic Party Roberta Pinotti, former Minister of Defense, subscribes to the question. “Intelligence and security services – he said – are a good of the state to safeguard the community and we cannot think of naming the top on the basis of spoil system logics”. “I do not remember that the change of service executives ever took place in the fullness of their mandate, not as a result of any errors or serious shortcomings, but simply to politically reorient the offices“.

“If the press reports were confirmed, we would be faced with an episode that would humiliate the structure of our Intelligence and the people involved and that would create a very serious precedent, establishing an extremely dangerous and unacceptable practice in a democratic country,” concludes Pinotti. (La Repubblica)

(Conservative Treehouse, 5/16/2019)

May 19, 2019 – Trey Gowdy says he has seen exculpatory transcripts of FBI spies engaged with Papadopoulos

“In September 2016 the FBI used a longtime informant, Stefan Halper, to make contact with George Papadopoulos, pay him $3k and fly him to London for consulting work and a policy paper on Mediterranean energy issues.

As part of the spy operation the FBI sent a female intelligence operative (a spy) under the alias Azra Turk to pose as Halper’s assistant and engage Papdopoulos.  A month later the FBI used Papadopoulos as a supplemental basis for a FISA warrant against Carter Page.

Former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Trey Gowdy, tells Maria Bartiromo that he has seen transcripts of the Halper/Turk operation, and those transcripts exonerate Papadopoulos.

(Transcript)

Bartiromo: I’m really glad you brought that up; the FBI agents’ discussion with George Papadopoulos. Because when the FBI sends in informants to someone they’re looking at, typically those conversations are recorded right? Those people are wired?

Gowdy: Yeah, I mean if the bureau is going to send an informant in, the informant is going to be wired; and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls there’s going to be a transcript of that.

And some of us have been fortunate enough to know whether or not those transcripts exist; but they haven’t been made public and I think one in-particular is going – it has the potential to actually persuade people.  Very little in this Russia probe I’m afraid is going to persuade people who hate Trump, or who love Trump, but there is some information in these transcripts that I think has the potential to be a game-changer if it’s ever made public.

Bartiromo: You say that’s exculpatory evidence and when people see that they’re going to say: wait, why wasn’t this presented to the court earlier?

Gowdy: Yeah, you know, Johnny Ratcliffe is rightfully exercised over the obligations that the government has to tell the whole truth to the court when you are seeking permission to spy, or do surveillance, on an American.  And part of that includes the responsibility of providing exculpatory information, or information that tends to show the person did not do something wrong.  If you have exculpatory information, and you don’t share it with the court, that ain’t good.  I’ve seen it, Johnny’s seen it, I’d love for your viewers to see it.
(End Transcript)



(Page FISA Application)

(HPSCI Memo)

(Downer Operation Link)

(The Conservative Treehouse, 5/19/2019)

May 28, 2019 – Judge overseeing the Russian troll case, considers criminal contempt proceedings against the Mueller team, until his press conference happens

(Credit: Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast)

(…) A newly released transcript reveals details of a humiliating hearing that took place the day before Mueller’s puzzling press conference. The judge asked the prosecutor, “Can you address also the specific tie to the Russian government, which is the overarching comment that the attorney general made tying both this case and then the case involving the hacking and the release of the e-mails, the GRU case, to the Russian government?”

Buckle up, buttercup, because you’re not going to believe DOJ’s response: “The report doesn’t say that.” What? I thought we “knew” that the Russian government committed an act of war by posting politically charged information on the internet. Now the DOJ is backing away from any tie between the internet troll farm and the Russian government?

The DOJ has now admitted that the Mueller report “itself does not state anywhere that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency [and Concord] activity.” Whoa. The judge then asked, “So it is the government’s position that tying Concord and its co-defendants to the Russian government is not prejudicial?”

In the subsequent order, Judge Freidrich wrote:  “On May 29, 2019, following the Court’s hearing, the Special Counsel held a press conference…[in which he] carefully distinguished between the efforts by ‘Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military’ and the efforts of” Concord. This, the Judge found, made the criminal contempt proceedings she contemplated against Mueller’s team “unnecessary and excessive under the circumstances.”

A narrow escape it was indeed. Freidrich found that both the release of the Mueller report and Barr’s statements boosting the report violated DC Rule 57.7 prohibiting lawyers from trying cases in the press. Judge Freidrich rejected the government’s argument that the Mueller report did not smear Concord with unproven links to the Russian government.

(…) With the benefit of these newly unsealed documents from Judge Freidrich’s court, we now can see that Mueller’s May 29, 2019 press conference, held the day after the hearing on Concord’s contempt motion, must have been a desperate but successful effort to avoid the wrath of a judge whose authority Mueller insulted by “concluding” the guilt of defendants yet to be tried. And in that desperate effort, the U.S. government threw overboard the key assumption that the Russian government (as opposed to freelancing Russians) was behind the dubious internet troll case.” (Read more: The Federalist, 7/11/2019)

May 31, 2019 – The DOJ admits the FBI has never seen an unredacted version of the Crowdstrike report on the DNC Russian hacking claim

“The foundation for the Russian election interference narrative is built on the claim of Russians hacking the servers of the Democrat National Committee (DNC), and subsequently releasing damaging emails that showed the DNC worked to help Hillary Clinton and eliminate Bernie Sanders.

Despite the Russian ‘hacking’ claim the DOJ previously admitted the DNC would not let FBI investigators review the DNC server.  Instead the DNC provided the FBI with analysis of a technical review done through a cyber-security contract with Crowdstrike.

The narrative around the DNC hack claim was always sketchy; many people believe the DNC email data was downloaded onto a flash drive and leaked.  In a court filing (full pdf below) the scale of sketchy has increased exponentially.

Suspecting they could prove the Russian hacking claim was false, lawyers representing Roger Stone requested the full Crowdstrike report on the DNC hack.  When the DOJ responded to the Stone motion they made a rather significant admission.  Not only did the FBI not review the DNC server, the FBI/DOJ never even saw the Crowdstrike report.

Yes, that is correct.  The FBI and DOJ were only allowed to see a “draft” report prepared by Crowdstrike, and that report was redacted… and that redacted draft is the “last version of the report produced”; meaning, there are no unredacted & final versions.

Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!

This means the FBI and DOJ, and all of the downstream claims by the intelligence apparatus; including the December 2016 Joint Analysis Report and January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, all the way to the Weissmann/Mueller report and the continued claims therein; were based on the official intelligence agencies of the U.S. government and the U.S. Department of Justice taking the word of a hired contractor for the Democrat party….. despite their inability to examine the server and/or actually see an unredacted technical forensic report from the investigating contractor.

The entire apparatus of the U.S. government just took their word for it…

…and used the claim therein as an official position…

…which led to a subsequent government claim, in court, of absolute certainty that Russia hacked the DNC.

Think about that for a few minutes.

The full intelligence apparatus of the United States government is relying on a report they have never even been allowed to see or confirm; that was created by a paid contractor for a political victim that would not allow the FBI to investigate their claim.

The DNC server issue is foundation, and cornerstone, of the U.S. government’s position on “Russia hacking” and the election interference narrative; and that narrative is based on zero factual evidence to affirm the U.S. government’s position.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 6/15/2019)

May 31, 2019 – Sidney Powell discusses DOJ in the Lawfare era: “guilty until proven innocent”

Not enough people understand the role of the Lawfare group in the corruption and political weaponization of the DOJ, FBI and larger intelligence community.

Benjamin Wittes (Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

What Media Matters is to corrupt left-wing media, the Lawfare group is to the corrupt DOJ and FBI.

All of the headline names around the seditious conspiracy against Donald Trump assemble within the network of the Lawfare group.

Three days after the October 21st, 2016, FISA warrant was obtained, Benjamin Wittes outlined the insurance policy approach.

FBI Director James Comey, FBI Legal Counsel James Baker, Comey memo recepient Daniel Richman, Deputy AG Sally Yates, Comey friend Benjamin Wittes, FBI lead agent Peter Strzok, FBI counsel Lisa Page, Mueller lead Andrew Weissmann and the Mueller team of lawyers, all of them -and more- are connected to the Lawfare group; and this network provides the sounding board for all of the weaponized approaches, including the various new legal theories as outlined within the Weissmann-Mueller Report.

The Lawfare continuum is very simple.  The corrupt 2015 Clinton exoneration; which became the corrupt 2016 DOJ/FBI Trump investigation; which became the corrupt 2017 DOJ/FBI Mueller probe; is currently the 2019 “impeachment” plan.  Weissmann and Mueller delivering their report evolved the plan from corrupt legal theory into corrupt political targeting.  Every phase within the continuum holds the same goal.

The current “impeachment strategy” is planned-out within the Lawfare group.

After the 2018 mid-terms, and in preparation for the “impeachment” strategy, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler hired Lawfare Group members to become committee staff. Chairman Schiff hired former SDNY U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman (link), and Chairman Nadler hired  Obama Administration lawyer Norm Eisen and criminal defense attorney Barry Berke (link), all are within the Lawfare network.

Remember, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller didn’t come into this process as an ‘outsider’, and Mueller didn’t select his team. The corrupt Lawfare team inside government (FBI Counsel James Baker, DOJ Deputy Andrew Weissmann, FBI Deputy McCabe etc.) already knew Mueller.  The team had established personal and professional connections to Mueller, and they brought him in to lead the team.

When you realize that Robert Mueller didn’t select the team; rather the preexisting team selected their figurehead, Robert Mueller; then results make sense.  Robert Mueller can never be allowed to testify to congress because if questioned he actually has very little understanding of what took place.

A disconcerting aspect to the Lawfare dynamic is how current U.S. Attorney General William Barr has knowledge of this.  Barr knows and understands how the Lawfare network operates. Barr is from this professional neighborhood. Like Mueller, Barr also knows these people.

“As a matter of law. In other words, we didn’t agree with the legal analysis- a lot of the legal analysis in the report. It did not reflect the views of the department. It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers.

AG BILL BARR

Under Eric Holder, Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Tom Perez, Robert Mueller, James Comey and Andrew McCabe, the focus of the DOJ and FBI became prismatic toward politics and tribalism.  All of the hired senior lawyers and officials had to be aligned with the political intents of the offices.

(CIA Director John Brennan brought the same political goals to an intelligence apparatus that held a preexisting disposition of alignment, see Mike Morell: “I ran the CIA now I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton.”)

Their agencies were used against their ideological enemies in large operations like Fast-n-Furious, IRS targeting, Gibson Guitar etc.  And also smaller operations: Henry Louis Gates, George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson, Ferguson, Baltimore etc.  All of these activist Lawfare examples were pushed and promoted by an allied media.

Many of the ‘weaponized’ approaches use radical legal theory (ex. disparate impact), and that ties into the purposes and methods of the Lawfare Group.  The intent of Lawfare is described in the name: to use Law as a tool in Warfare.  The ideology that binds the group is the ideological outlook and purpose: using the legal system to target political opposition.

The Lawfare group ensures you have the right to remain guilty until they verify your politics and determine your alignment with the tribe.  If accepted, your disposition shifts to innocent and you receive a pass to avoid any legal jeopardy…

When special counsel Robert Mueller formally closed the Russia investigation on May 29th, he opened the door to wide-ranging speculation as to the intent behind his statement. In the eyes of Former Texas Prosecutor Sidney Powell, Mueller’s words stood the rule of law and the presumption of innocence on their heads. (Conservative Treehouse, 6/01/2019)

May 31, 2019 – Devin Nunes: “It’s all a fraud” – Deceptive edits found in Mueller Report

The Mueller Team (Credit: Zero Hedge)

“Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Saturday called for the immediate release of “all backup and source information” for the Mueller report after internet sleuth @almostjingo (Rosie Memos) discovered that the special counsel’s office deceptively edited content which was then cited as evidence of possible obstruction.

“It’s all a fraud” tweeted Nunes, replying to a tweet by @JohnWHuber (Undercover Huber), who also posted a comparison between the Mueller report and a newly released transcript of a November 2017 voicemail message left by former Trump lawyer John Dowd, in which he asked former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s attorney for a “heads up” if Flynn was planning on saying anything that might damage the president.

Mueller’s team omitted key context suggesting that Dowd was trying to strongarm Flynn and possibly obstruct justice by shaping witness testimony, while the actual voicemail reveals that Dowd was careful not to tread into obstruction territory in what was a friendly and routine call between lawyers.

Dowd qualifies his request by saying “without you having to give up any…confidential information” in order to determine “If, on the other hand, we have, there’s information that…implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue, or maybe a national security issue, I don’t know… some issue, we got to-we got to deal with, not only for the President but for the country.”

Mueller’s deceptive edits beg the question; what else may have been manipulated by the special counsel to make Trump look guilty? When reached for comment by attorney ‘Techno Fog’ (@Techno_Fog), Dowd said of the edits: “It is unfair and despicable. It was a friendly  privileged call between counsel – with NO conflict. I think Flynn got screwed.”

Dowd told Fox News: “During the joint defense relationship, counsel for the president provided to Flynn’s counsel documents, advice and encouragement to provide to SC [the special counsel] as part of his effort to cooperate with the SC,” adding “SC never raised or questioned the president’s counsel about these allegations despite numerous opportunities to do so.”

Flynn pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russians and is currently awaiting sentencing.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has resisted a court order to release the transcripts of Flynn’s conversations with Russian officials, including former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

This raises at least two questions. First, did the DOJ give Flynn the transcripts?And second, did the DOJ violate a previous court order from Judge Emmett Sullivan to produce evidence during discovery?”

(Read more: Zero Hedge, 6/02/2019)

June 3, 2019 – Former State official testifies he warned about Clinton email issues and was concerned about interference with classified Clinton Benghazi emails

“Judicial Watch announced today that John Hackett, the former Director for Information Programs and Services (IPS), which handles records management at the State Department, testified under oath that he had raised concerns that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff had “culled out 30,000” of the secretary’s “personal” emails without following strict National Archives standards. The full deposition transcript is available here.

John Hackett, as part of a series of court-ordered depositions and questions under oath of senior Obama-era State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, also revealed that he believed there was interference with the formal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) review process related to the classification of Clinton’s Benghazi-related emails.

Hackett served first as deputy director then as director for Information Programs and Services, which handles the FOIA request program and the retirement of and declassification of documents at the State Department. He was at the department from April 2013 to March 2016.

In March 2015Clinton told reporters that she and her staff had deleted more than 30,000 emails “because they were personal and private about matters that I believed were within the scope of my personal privacy.” ABC News reported: “However, after a year-long investigation, the FBI recovered more than 17,000 emails that had been deleted or otherwise not turned over to the State Department, and many of them were work-related, the FBI has said.”

(Heather Samuelson, the Clinton lawyer who deleted the Clinton emails, separately testified to Judicial Watch that she received immunity from the Justice Department.)

Hackett answered during the deposition that he recalled a conversation that he had when he was at the State Department about requesting rules or parameters from Secretary Clinton or her attorneys that they used to segregate her personal and official work emails.

Hackett:  I recall it wasn’t much of a conversation. I — I was — I mean, I have to say, it was emphatic to the Under Secretary of Management — and I didn’t speak in tones like that very often to him — you know, that we needed these — you know, the guidelines.

Judicial Watch: And when you said, the Under Secretary, are you referring to Patrick Kennedy [then-Under Secretary of State for Management]?

Hackett: Yes.

Hackett: I think I might have raised it to Rich Visek, the Acting Office of Legal Advisor, or Peggy — or Margaret Grafeld [an executive-level State Department FOIA official] raised it to Rich, as well.

Judicial Watch: Why did you feel so strongly that this was necessary, that they provide this information?

Hackett: Well, we heard that there were 50,000 or 60,000 emails, and that they had – “they” being the Secretary’s team — had culled out 30,000 of these. And which is — so we wanted to know what criteria they used. The standard from the National Archives is very strict. If there was — if there were mixed records, that would be considered a federal record. If it was mixed personal and mentioned a discussion, that would be — under the narrow National Archives rules, it would be considered a federal record.

John Hackett testifies that his initial concern over Hillary Clinton’s email use arose in June 2013 when he said he viewed a photograph on the WTOP website of Clinton ‘sitting on a plane with a BlackBerry.’(Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

(…) Hackett testified that his initial concern over Secretary Clinton’s email use arose in June 2013 when he said he viewed a photograph on the WTOP website of Clinton “sitting on a plane with a BlackBerry. “And that got me thinking that, well, what — what was that BlackBerry? Was it a government BlackBerry? And if so, where were the emails relating to that BlackBerry?” Hackett said.

Hackett testified he went to then-IPS Director Sheryl Walter “after seeing that photograph and suggested that we had to be careful about what sort of responses we made relating to Hillary Clinton’s emails, when it — if there was a No Record Located response that was being given out. In fact, I advised Sheryl that we should stop giving No Record Located responses until we come to — kind of come, you know — find out what that BlackBerry meant, come to ground about what was known about the former Secretary’s emailing habits.”

Asked how Walter responded, Hackett said “My recollection is, she agreed with me.”

“The other thing that we did, or I did at that time, was, we wanted to find out what this BlackBerry meant,” Hackett testified. “So we tasked — my recollection is, we verbally tasked Tasha Thian, the department’s Records Manager at that time, to look into the BlackBerry. And I believe Tasha contacted Clarence Finney in the Secretary’s office to ask him what he knew about the former Secretary’s emailing habits.”

Asked what Thian found out, Hackett responded: “I don’t recall exactly what she found out, but she didn’t find out much. Tasha also contacted the part of the State Department that’s part of the intelligence community, and Intelligence and Research Bureau, to ask to see if there were any classified emails on — in the classified systems that the Secretary might have produced.  And I do recall that I think Tasha came back with the answer that they did not have any.”

Hackett went on to say that “There was a lot of confusion about exactly what that BlackBerry, you know, meant at that time. you had a concern as to how the department was responding to FOIA requests that related to Secretary Clinton’s emails after you saw the photograph of the Secretary holding a BlackBerry. … My recollection is — and I had only been there two months — that someone had told me that, — and I can’t remember — that she did not have an email account, a government email account. So there was obviously a contradiction here when, you know, there’s that photograph. So we were just trying to find out what was the ground truth. So that’s why I had a concern about issuing responses that said no records had been located.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 7/02/2019)

June 10, 2019 – DOJ outlines to Congress its investigation of the investigators

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd (Credit: Wikipedia)

“The Justice Department’s investigation of the investigators involved in the Trump-Russia probe will look at actions both by the U.S. government and by foreigners.

That’s what the agency said Monday, telling Congress its review is “broad in scope and multifaceted” in a letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

The DOJ said the wide-ranging inquiry led by Attorney General William Barr, along with his right-hand man U.S. Attorney John Durham, would seek to “illuminate open questions regarding the activities of U.S. and foreign intelligence services as well as non-governmental organizations and individuals.”

The letter made it clear that DOJ’s review is not limited just to their specific agency, but would also scrutinize the intelligence community as a whole. The letter stated that the DOJ review team had already asked certain intelligence community agencies to preserve records, make witnesses available, and start putting together documents that the DOJ would need to carry out its inquiry.

And the DOJ made it clear that they weren’t just looking to see if policies were violated — they’ll be looking at whether any laws were broken, too.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 6/10/2019)

(…) “Following the planned release of a classified memo by Republican staffers regarding FISA warrants during the 2016 election, also dubbed the Nunes memo, Boyd wrote a letter writing that it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release the memo. In his letter, Boyd also asked “why the Committee would possibly seek to disclose classified and law enforcement sensitive information without first consulting with the relevant members of the intelligence community” and went on to mention that the Justice Department was “currently unaware of any wrongdoing relating to the FISA process,” but that such allegations would be taken seriously, writing “we agree that any abuse of that system cannot be tolerated.”  President Donald Trump was reportedly furious following Boyd’s letter.  According to Bloomberg, President Donald Trump viewed Boyd’s letter as “another example of the department undermining him and blocking GOP efforts to expose the political motives behind special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe” and “intensified Trump’s concern that his own department is undercutting him”  (Wikipedia)

June 12, 2019 – Rep. Elise Stefanik fact checks Rep. Adam Schiff on Comey testimony

“Elise Stefanik (R., NY) clashed with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Ca.) Tuesday during a House Intelligence Committee hearing. Schiff claimed Stefanik was wrong about former FBI director James Comey’s testimony concerning when Congress was informed about the investigation into the Trump campaign.

The New York representative questioned Andrew McCarthy during a committee hearing yesterday about notifying congressional leadership when an investigation is opened into a political campaign. She specifically referred to the FBI opening its investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016, a counter-intelligence investigation codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Former FBI Director James Comey testified in March of 2017 that congressional leadership was not notified until that month about the investigation due to its sensitive nature.

“We know now that the FBI opened its counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016, but they did not brief the Gang of Eight until March 2017 just days before former director Comey publicly announced the investigation during a March 20th, 2017 open hearing before this committee,” Stefanik said yesterday.

Schiff tried to correct Stefanik, telling her that her timeline was not correct, to which Stefanik doubled down.

“Regarding the timeline, it was clear in the open hearing in front of this committee that director Comey testified that he chose not to brief the Gang of Eight on the opening of the counter-intelligence investigations,” Stefanik said.

“I hope you would agree based upon the testimony of Director Comey that he circumvented the process,” she added later.

“I would only say that that was not his testimony,” Schiff responded. “The first time he was briefing the counter-intelligence investigation to us was contemporaneous with his disclosing it to the public.” Stefanik responded that Schiff was misrepresenting her statement.

A subsequent tweet from Stefanik confirmed her claims about Comey’s testimony. The video of Comey’s March 2017 testimony shows Comey admitting that the FBI delayed notifying congressional leadership about the investigation into the Trump campaign.

(Read more: Washington Free Beacon, 6/13/2019)

June 17, 2019 – The State Department identifies 23 violations, ‘multiple security incidents’ concerning Clinton emails

(Credit: Fox News)

“The State Department revealed Monday that it has identified “multiple security incidents” involving current or former employees’ handling of Hillary Clinton’s emails, and that 23 “violations” and seven “infractions” have been issued as part of the department’s ongoing investigation.

The information came in a letter to Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is responsible for overseeing the security review.

“To this point, the Department has assessed culpability to 15 individuals, some of whom were culpable in multiple security incidents,” Mary Elizabeth Taylor, the State Department’s Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs, wrote to Grassley. “DS has issued 23 violations and 7 infractions incidents. … This number will likely change as the review progresses.”

The State Department, calling the matter “serious,” said it expected to conclude the investigation by Sept. 1. The department acknowledged that the probe was unusually time-consuming.

(…) “In every instance in which the Department found an individual to be culpable of a valid security violation or three or more infractions, the Department forwarded the outcome to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Office of Personnel Security and Suitability (DS/PSS), to be placed in the individuals’ official security file,” Taylor wrote. “All valid security incidents are reviewed by DS and taken into account every time an individual’s eligibility for access to classified information is considered.

“This referral occurred whether or not the individual was currently employed with the Department of State and such security files are kept indefinitely,” Taylor added. “Consistent with the referral policy, for individuals who were still employed with the Department at the time of adjudication, the Department referred all valid security violations or multiple infractions to the Bureau of Human Resources.”

The State Department declined to release the names of the employees, consistent with its procedures. The department promised another update once its review is completed.” (Read more: Fox News, 6/17/2019)

June 25, 2019 – Congress issues a subpoena to Robert Mueller and he agrees to testify

Robert Mueller (Credit:Kevin Dietsch/UPI)

“Special Counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before Congress on July 17 on his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee announced Tuesday night.

In a joint statement, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said that Mueller had agreed to testify in an open session.

“Americans have demanded to hear directly from the Special Counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign’s acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack,” they said.

The committees issued subpoenas Tuesday to compel Mueller’s testimony, according to the joint statement. The decision to compel Mueller to testify is a landmark move that will put an end to a months-long saga on Capitol Hill where lawmakers have for weeks fought to get access to information about whether President Trump obstructed justice. (Read more: The Daily Beast, 6/25/2019)

July 10, 2019 – Flynn’s lawyers: Mueller team wants false testimony, possibly retaliates when rebuked

Michael Flynn and new attorney, Sidney Powell. (Credit: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

“Prosecutors from the team of special counsel Robert Mueller wanted Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to testify to something that isn’t true, Flynn’s lawyers said. When he refused, they tried to label him a co-conspirator in a case where they previously said he was only a witness.

A federal judge denied the prosecutors’ move, saying the government didn’t present enough evidence to introduce Flynn’s statement as one of a co-conspirator.

Flynn, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, is expected to face a light sentence after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI and after extensively cooperating with the Mueller team and the Justice Department. He was also expected to testify on another case of making false statements on foreign lobbying registration forms.

In his November 2017 guilty plea, he said that the forms submitted by lawyers for his now-defunct lobbying company, Flynn Intel Group (FIG), contained false and misleading statements. The prosecutors, however, recently asked him to testify that he signed those forms knowing about the falsities and intending for them.

He refused.

“Mr. Flynn cannot give that testimony because it is not true,” Flynn’s recently hired lawyers, Jesse Binnall, Sidney Powell, and William Hodes, said in a July 8 court filing.

They said Flynn only acknowledged in his plea the falsities “with some hindsight.” At the time of signing the forms, in March 2017, Flynn only read the cover letter and didn’t know about or intend for anything false in them, they said.

“Mr. Flynn trusted his former counsel who held themselves out as experts in this area of law,” the filing stated.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 7/10/2019)

July 16, 2019 – Lt. General Michael Flynn judge calls former lawyers back to court and are accused of withholding case files

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan points to the U.S. flag while speaking to former national security adviser Michael Flynn on December 22, 2018. (Credit: Dana Verkouteren via/AP)

A DC federal judge has ordered Michael Flynn’s former attorneys to appear in court next month after Flynn’s current legal counsel claims they haven’t been given the entire case file by the team at Covington & Burling.

Judge Emmet Sullivan, an Obama appointee, scheduled a status conference for August 27 at 11 a.m., and has invited a Senior Legal Ethics Counsel to weigh in on the conversation.

“In light of the representations made by defense counsel regarding the delay in receiving the client files, the Court hereby gives notice to the parties of the Court’s intent to invite Senior Legal Ethics Counsel for the District of Columbia Bar to attend the status conference and explain on the record the applicable District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct,” wrote Sullivan.

In a filing on Thursday, Flynn’s new attorneys Jesse Binnall, Sidney Powell and William Hodes wrote that they “do not yet have the entire file” from Flynn’s former lawyers and said they had been advised “it will be several weeks before all the information can be transferred.”

Flynn’s attorneys also reiterated that they already have a “massive” amount of files to review — spanning four hard drives that exceed 253 gigabytes of documents — and noted they had identified “crucial and troubling issues that should concern any court” without going into detail. –The Hill

Flynn’s former attorneys have responded, saying they will have the rest of the case files delivered by July 26, per Politico.

Meanwhile, Flynn’s former attorney testified on Tuesday against Flynn’s former business partner, 67-year-old Bijan Rafiekian, an Iranian-American who has been charged with illegally acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.

Prosecutors called ex-Flynn attorney Robert Kelner as a witness Tuesday at the trial of Bijan Rafiekian, 67, an Iranian-American businessman who was Flynn’s key counterpart in a lobbying and consulting firm the retired Army general opened after leaving government, Flynn Intel Group.

During about two-and-a-half hours on the witness stand in federal court in Alexandria, Va., Kelner appeared to do some damage to Rafiekian by telling jurors that the Flynn associate never shared key information about links between the lobbying work and Turkish government officials.

Kelner also said Rafiekian, better known as Kian, seemed upset by the lawyers’ recommendation in early 2017 that the firm make a retroactive filing about the work Flynn’s firm did to try to build support for the extradition from the U.S. of a dissident Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen. –Politico

“My recollection is that he was not happy about it. In part, he was not happy about the suggestion that FIG’s work primarily benefited the Government of Turkey,” said Kelner.

Attorney Robert Barnes raises the question: “Why was Covington firm ever representing Flynn given it knew it might be a material witness in a case related to Flynn? Did the government knowingly profit from this conflict?” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 7/16/2019)