Featured Timeline Entries
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.
(…) 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.
August 4, 2016 – A few operational details of the CIA/NSA/FBI/White House counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign
(…) “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.
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)
- Ashton B. Carter
- Avril Haines
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Crossfire Hurricane
- Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
- Denis McDonough
- Department of Justice
- Deputies Meetings
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Joe Biden
- John Brennan
- John Kerry
- Leonard Benardo
- Lisa Monaco
- Loretta Lynch
- Mid Year Exam (MYE)
- National Security Agency (NSA)
- Open Society Foundations
- Russia election interference
- Susan Rice
- Vladimir Putin
- White House Situation Room
September 2, 2016 – The FBI sends a possible honeypot posing as Stefan Halper’s research assistant, to spy on Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos
“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)
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.
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)
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
“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.”
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)
May 14, 2017 – “Onward Together” Inside Hillary’s Latest Political Tax Scandal
“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.
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):
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.”
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:
(Republished with permission)
- Adam Schiff
- Andrew McCabe
- Chuck Schumer
- criminal obstruction investigation
- Department of Justice
- Devin Nunes
- Donald Trump
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Gang of Eight
- House Intelligence Committee
- James Comey
- Jeff Sessions
- Jody Hunt
- John Dowd
- Lisa Page
- Mark Warner
- May 2017
- Mitch McConnell
- Nancy Pelosi
- Oval Office
- Paul Ryan
- Peter Strzok
- Richard Burr
- Robert Mueller
- Rod Rosenstein
- Senate Intelligence Committee
- text messages
September 19, 2017 – Rice tells House investigators why she unmasked senior Trump officials
“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
“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.”
- 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.
- Clinton Foundation
- David Adams
- Department of State
- European Centre for a Modern Ukraine
- John Podesta
- Mueller Special Counsel Investigation
- Obama administration
- October 2017
- Paul Manafort
- Podesta Group
- possible bribery
- possible money-laundering
- possible quid pro quo
- Russian lobbyists
- Tony Podesta
- Uranium One
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, 2018, press 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)
June 27, 2018 – Strzok testimony reveals DOJ and Clinton lawyers struck secret deal to block FBI access to Clinton Foundation Emails
“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
“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
(…) “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.
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
“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
“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
“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,” firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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:
♦ 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):
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 book” notation 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
(…) “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….
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)
April 8, 2019 – Court filings indicate there are additional Comey memos that memorialize the entire anti-Trump operation
“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.”
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.
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:
- The Obstruction investigation, building toward the impeachment narrative, was always the original goal of Mueller and Rosenstein. Therefore…
- The Obstruction investigation needed the precursor of the Trump-Russia investigation to remain standing; However…
- The structure of the Trump-Russia investigation, the underlying evidence to support the effort, is predicated on the “Steele Dossier”. Therefore…
- 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.”
(Editor’s note: republished with permission, photos courtesy of Conservative Treehouse)
April 19, 2019 – Top Mueller Report takeaways so far
At the end of the day, Mueller and his team did not find that any Trump campaign associates were operating on behalf of a foreign government in connection with the 2016 election. Mueller did, however, find Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates guilty of crimes connected to their work for the Ukrainian government prior to their involvement with Trump.
There are a mountain of pages and footnotes to go through, but here are some takeaways so far:
- Mueller was unable to establish that Trump committed any underlying crimes.
“Unlike cases in which a subject engages in obstruction of justice to cover up a crime, the evidence we obtained did not establish that the president was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference,” the report reads.
- Mueller considered pressing charges in connection with the Trump Tower meeting.
The special counsel’s office considered prosecuting the Trump Tower meeting as a campaign-finance violation, however declined because they didn’t have “admissible evidence” likely to prove that Trump officials “wilfully” acted, or that the information offered by the Russians exceeded the threshold for prosecution.
Interestingly – the Mueller report completely omits the involvement of Fusion GPS in the Trump tower meeting – as the Russian attorney involved in it, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was a Fusion GPS associate and met with founder Glenn Simpson before and after the Trump Tower meeting.
The report also notes Veselnitskaya’s work for Prevezon, which was charged with money laundering and sanctions violations, yet fails to note that Clinton campaign contractor Fusion GPS was working for her and Prevezon on that issue. How does a collusion investigation miss that? pic.twitter.com/aepx2Zih5X
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 18, 2019
Also noteworthy is that the Trump Tower meeting investigation “did not identify evidence connecting the events of June 9 & the GRU’s hack-and-dump operation.
BREAKING: Buried in a footnote, Mueller Report crushes last remaining MSM “collusion” hopes centered on June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump Jr: “The investigation did not identify evidence connecting the events of June 9 & the GRU’s hack-and-dump operation.”
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) April 18, 2019
- Mueller looked at charging Trump aide George Papadopoulos as an agent of Israel.
Whoa — the investigation into Papadopoulos was into whether he was an Israeli agent pic.twitter.com/HUN5Z6nv4z
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 18, 2019
In June 2018, @simonamangiante told me that investigators had threatened to charge @GeorgePapa19 as an agent of Israel. I didn’t know what to make of it at the time, but Mueller report backs it up. https://t.co/CcZHeJEJqC @dailycaller
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 18, 2019
Let’s summarize the Mueller report:
He states that warrants were targeted at me during my time before and after I joined the campaign because of my “high level connections to Israel.”
Translation: Obama illicitly spied on me with a FISA because I was a top energy advisor.
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) April 18, 2019
- Trump worried that the Special Counsel investigation would end his presidency.
According to the Mueller report, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions let Trump know about the appointment of a special counsel, Trump replied: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked,” adding “How could you allow this to happen, Jeff?”
Trump goes on to say: “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
- Former White House attorney Don McGahn threatened to resign.
McGahn was ready to hand in his resignation as White House counsel in June 2017 when Trump directed him to tell Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein that “Mueller has to go,” per the report.
“In response to that request, McGahn decided to quit because he did not want to participate in events that he described as akin to the Saturday Night Massacre,” during the Nixon administration. McGahn would stay on as White House counsel for for another 16 months.
BREAKING: Mueller Report reveals it could find no documentary or other evidence indicating Papadopoulos shared Mifsud’s claim that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails with any other Trump campaign official — the alleged predicate for opening investigation
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) April 18, 2019
Reminder that BuzzFeed stood by their report even after it was directly disputed by Mueller’s team. https://t.co/9x19ViZlPD
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) April 18, 2019
NEW: special counsel Mueller’s report directly contradicts BuzzFeed’s bombshell story
BF: Cohen told Mueller “the president personally instructed him to lie”
Mueller: Cohen said “the President did not direct him to provide false testimony”https://t.co/nx9eGj7DGr
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) April 18, 2019
Mueller found “little corroboration” of Jerome Corsi’s claims that Roger Stone asked him to contact WikiLeaks on day of Access Hollywood tape release. This allegation from Corsi has created bad blood b/w him and Stone pic.twitter.com/olKtQ08kig
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) April 18, 2019
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.)
- Andrew Weissmann
- Carter Page
- Christopher Steele
- Clinton campaign
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Devin Nunes
- Donald Trump Jr.
- Edward Baumgartner
- Fusion GPS
- Glenn Simpson
- Gregory Mohaghan
- House Intelligence Committee
- Jerome Corsi
- Konstantin Kilimnik
- May 2019
- Michael Cohen
- Mueller Report
- Nellie Ohr
- Oleg Deripaska
- Paul Manafort
- private contractors
- Robert Mueller
- Russia collusion
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.
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)
- Admiral Mike Rogers
- Andrew Weissmann
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Crossfire Hurricane
- Devin Nunes
- FBI Counterintelligence Division
- Fusion GPS
- George Papadopoulos
- Lt. General Michael Flynn
- May 2019
- Mueller Report
- Mueller Special Counsel Investigation
- Paul Manafort
- political corruption
- political spying
- pre-existing surveillance
- Robert Mueller
- Rod Rosenstein
- Russia narrative
- Russia probe
- scope memo
May 14, 2019 – The Trump administration withholds information that could debunk Russian interference claims
“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.
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.
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 2018, Gowdy 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)
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.
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.