January 12, 2010 – Charles Ortel: How the Clintons likely stole billions from the world’s poorest people
“Investor and financial crimes researcher Charles Ortel joins me to uncover what he is calling “the “largest unprosecuted charity fraud ever attempted.”
Charles reports that the Clinton Foundation is part of an “international charity fraud” network whose entire cumulative scale approaches and may even exceed $100 billion, measured from 1997 forward.” And the most shocking aspect of the Clinton Foundation’s missing Billions is that much of it was stolen from those who need it most, the world’s poorest of the poor.
Along with the Bush crime family, the Clintons formed The Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund after the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake. Charles says, “What the Clintons have done, is they are stealing the people’s physical gold in Haiti, as well as perhaps stealing or diverting massive sums that were sent towards Haiti and refusing to make an accounting for it.”
This is a story of fraud and corruption so vast in scope that it should result in putting the Clintons in prison, not back in the White House.
January 16, 2010 – Clinton Disaster Fundraising: Predatory Humanitarianism?
“It is Haiti’s good luck and surely the Clintons’ misfortune, that Charles Ortel, one of the world’s finest financial analysts, has got the Clinton Foundation in his sights. Mr. Ortel is a graduate of the Harvard Business School with decades of Wall Street experience. He is currently a private investor. He began to release on his website and from his Twitter account (@charlesortel), in early May 2016, a series of detailed reports that are damning to the Clintons and their various supposed charitable initiatives. The Clintons are powerful, and they have squirmed their way out of many tight spots before, but what makes this particular case worthy of our utmost attention is that Ortel is not only outstanding at what he does, but also fearless and dogged in his pursuit of perceived financial malfeasance. If his analysis of General Electric, which is far more complex than the Clinton charities, successfully pegged GE as being overvalued before its stock plummeted in 2008, then we must hear out his case against the Clinton Foundation. I caught up with him earlier this week, and he graciously agreed to an interview.
Dady Chery: Thank you Charles, for granting us this interview. You have been on the warpath against the Clinton Foundation in this presidential election year in the United States. Do you have anything to disclose about your motivations?
Charles Ortel: I am not active in partisan politics. I fit in neither mainstream political party because I am conservative economically, open-minded socially, and passionate in my belief that America is truly an exceptional place, for all of the many faults evident since its founding, starting in 1492.
As a son of a fiercely smart woman, and the parent of another, I do feel that Hillary Clinton has set a deplorable example by her actions and inactions throughout her life, for women and for all persons who seek to prosper and exist in our great country.
My primary interest, now that I have almost completed an in-depth investigation of the Clinton Foundation is to expose what I see as a mammoth fraud and then prod government authorities in most US states and many foreign countries to punish trustees, executives, major donors, and those in position to exercise significant influence without mercy.
The Clinton Foundation is a textbook case in how disaster relief charities should not be allowed to operate internationally, particularly by powerful, educated lawyers who must know better.
(…) “DC: According to your website, the Clinton Foundation’s aim and reach have gone far beyond where they were supposed to go. Please give our readers an overview of this organization.
CO: Originally, on 23 December 1997 when their application for federal tax-exemption was filed with the Internal Revenue Service, the Clinton Foundation was to be a library and research facility based in Little Rock, Arkansas, and to raise an endowment to support these purposes.
When the Clinton Foundation was formed, controversies were escalating that served to crimp the Clintons’ abilities to raise funds to defray massive legal bills, in the many millions of dollars.
Right from the start, the record suggests that fundraising appeals supposedly for the Foundation may have been commingled, inappropriately and illegally, with those for a legal expense trust run by former Senator David Pryor, a close Clinton associate.
By January 2001, Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation started becoming involved in numerous “initiatives” far outside the Foundation’s approved tax-exempt purposes that clearly were supposed to be concentrated within the United States from a base inside Arkansas.” (Much more: News Junkie Post, 5/20/2016) (Clinton Bush Haiti Fund)
An Introduction by Amy Sterling Casil
“I write for the 99% — a female executive, for-profit development fundraiser, heavy-duty NGO fundraiser, Nebula Award nominee author of 36 books. Professor.”
“I began researching the Clinton Foundation in May, 2016. The first of a series of articles, most written prior to detailed revelations found in Wikileaks’ Podesta emails, was published in July, 2016.
This article links to all of them with a brief description. It tells a story in and of itself, I realize. The Foundation is a perfect “fit” with some of the news reporters and pundits we’ve learned about since Bernie Sanders ran for President and so many ugly truths came out of Wikileaks. A lot of information in the articles is highly incriminating to the Clinton Foundation — because they do few “charitable” activities of public benefit and receive and spend large sums of money on salaries, travel and huge celebrity-studded galas. They are at-best, careless in their adherence to normal organizational rules, charitable law, and quaint ideas like contract deliverables and measurable outcomes.
At first, I was frightened to write anything about the Foundation, even though I was shocked by what I was seeing — gross incompetence was the most positive explanation for the extreme inconsistencies in their financial reports and public information. It was obvious the nonprofit community wasn’t commenting on the Foundation’s suspicious business model and dubious outcomes because some were completely uncritical Clinton boosters, and others feared retribution or losing money from large private foundations, the numerous big companies that donated to Clinton Foundation, or federal or state government agencies.
But I kept going. One of the best moments of the series occurred when the Wikileaks Podesta emails were published and each successive group provided new confirmation that what I’d determined independently was true — and then some.” ~Amy Sterling Casil, January 7, 2017
(Excerpts from Amy Sterling Casil’s research on the Clinton Foundation, will be published below as individual timeline entries, as well as added to the Clinton Foundation Timeline in the correct chronological time frame.)
2012 – Clinton Foundation Clampdown: Destroying the World’s Motivation
By: Amy Sterling Casil
(…) “I’m not an expert on Haiti. However, Haitians have been protesting the Clintons for years because they promised so much after the Haiti earthquake and delivered nothing. I worked with a legitimate start-up organization that wanted to develop a new way to holistically improve health and lives in the Caribbean. They weren’t focused on money, so much as on people.
Before that, I had been aware of the horrific deforestation problem in Haiti, one of the root causes of the country’s deep poverty.
So when I chose to revisit the Clinton Foundation website and its almost-daily “updates,” I chose to play the “Seeding Opportunity” game offered, and selected coffee farming.
The game is not very “fun” and one doesn’t learn much by “playing it” (scrolling from screen to screen while bland language appears beside the faceless Haitian coffee farmer, “ Stéphanie.” The action consists of Stéphanie blinking).
“Haiti has a deep history in coffee. In fact, we were once responsible for half the world’s coffee production,” Stéphanie tells me.
I saw a Clinton supporter tell someone on Twitter to start a “Go Fund Me” for Haitians if they cared so much about them.
So anyway, what the Clinton Foundation is claiming it does to help farmers in Haiti is — well I’ll let Stéphanie tell you,
“Recently, we joined the Haiti Coffee Academy, co-founded by the Clinton Foundation and La Colombe. The Academy is a model coffee farm and training center where we attend trainings in basic agronomy, harvesting practices, and processing techniques.”
As with everything involving the Clinton Foundation, time is fluid. In this case, “recently” may mean 2011, 2012 or 2013. So what is this? The Clinton Foundation may or may not have made any type of financial gift to fund the Haiti Coffee Academy (note: according to Todd Carmichael’s obviously self-provided Wikipedia entry, the Clinton Foundation gave $350,000 in 2012 to PURCHASE THE PROPERTY where the Academy is located in Haiti). The information our faceless Haitian coffee farmer is providing comes from 2012, four years ago:
“The Clinton Foundation is working to grow Haiti’s coffee sector by bringing Haitian coffee to new markets and has facilitated new purchase agreements between Haitian coffee companies, cooperatives and international buyers. In 2012, the Foundation began work on the Haiti Coffee Academy with international coffee company La Colombe Torrefaction. With support from the Leslois Shaw Foundation, the Haiti Coffee Academy will be a model coffee farm and training center …”
La Colombe IS an American company founded 20 years ago when that could still happen. They do have an active website linking directly to the Haiti Coffee Academy website. And a Travel Channel show with founder Todd Carmichael. And, they are recorded as a Clinton Foundation donor of between $10,000 and $25,000 as is the other “project sponsor” the Leslois Shaw Foundation (between $100,000 and $250,000) donated to Clinton Foundation. The Les and Lois Shaw Foundation is based on a bequest from this Canadian gentleman who died in Barbados in — aka Shaw Industries aka mining, land development and “One of Canada’s best run companies!”
If I know my Clinton Foundation, there will be zero actual Foundation dollars going toward this “purchase” of land to guarantee the coffee production for the privately-owned Philadelphia based company. In Todd Carmichael’s 2011 Esquire profile, the Clinton Foundation supposedly was giving $34 MILLION toward this project. Really? It would be like them for that to be reduced to oh, say — $34. Maybe not even that. Why the hell should Bill Clinton pay for anything? Those women were all liars by the way.
OK, enough said. I have semi-comped this business and the most recent Inc. profile says it employs approximately 150 people, based in Philadelphia, PA. At its stated revenue of $35 million it is officially an SME. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. Those are what 70,000 more went out of business last year than started in this country.
People like Carmichael suck all the air out of the room. I can easily see how the incredibly stingy Clinton Foundation’s one-time $350,000 gift in 2012 that they are still taking credit for, could help this man take control of acreage and coffee production in Haiti.
Because that’s what it is.
Oh? The air out of the room? I just noticed these guys raised $28.5 million in venture capital from Goode Partners in 2014. They will have to pay that back. Likely soon.” (Read more: Amy Sterling Casil, 7/19/2016)
April – May, 2012: Wikileaks proves Syria is about Iran & Israel
“Wikileaks’ exposure of Hillary Clinton’s emails reveals that US intrusion in the Syrian Civil War is really all about Iran and Israel and is part of a master plan that started with Hillary’s advice to enter the Libyan Civil War. Hillary’s War is another expensive American adventure in nation building as the US inserts itself into another civil war, ostensibly to restrain ISIS (or “ISIL” as the Obama Admin. prefers); but Obama’s manner of fighting this war supports Wikileaks‘ revelation that US involvement is all about regime change.
According to this massively revealing document pillaged from Hillary Clinton’s email archives, Obama needed to bring down Assad’s regime in order to calm Israel into accepting the eventual nuclear agreement he was working out with Iran. So, US involvement in the Syrian Civil War is even less about Assad than it is about Iran and Israel — at least in the State Department’s strategizing.
Connect the dots: First, Hillary counseled the president to establish regime change in Libya, the easiest target for such change. Then, with that success weighing on Assad’s fears, the State Department advised seeking regime change in Syria, emphasizing to the president that overthrowing the Assad regime would be essential to his establishment of a nuclear agreement with Iran. The theory was that Assad’s newfound fears from the regime change in Libya coupled with US empowered opposition in his own country, would get him to step down. Underlying the whole plan for regime change in Syria is the motive of weakening Iran, calming Israel and transforming the entire Middle East.
(Note if you look it up that the Wikileaks document shows dates that refer to when the document was unclassified, not when written. The date of the State Department’s creation of this document can be determined by its content: “the talks between the world’s major powers and Iran that began in Istanbul this April and will continue in Baghdad in May.” The switch from past tense to future tense dates the document sometime between April, 2012, which is when the talks began in Istanbul, and May, 2012, when they continued in Baghdad.)
That same document provides evidence the connection between Hillary’s War in Libya and the next war in Syria clearly became a part the Department of State’s strategy under Hillary: (Note how it states that Libya was an easier case, following the wording in the advice Hillary had been given by Blumenthal about overthrowing Qaddafi as a way to make regime change in Syria more accomplishable.) (Read more: The Great Recession Blog, 10/09/2016)
January 1, 2014 – Bill Clinton’s $300 Million Birthday Gift!
“There are now dozens of articles, several films and numerous news reports about the money that the Clinton Foundation accepts — i.e. revenue.
But there are few, and few reliable, reports about how this organization spends its money and the programs it states it conducts. Taking $millions from unsavory international billionaires like Lebanese-Nigerian Gilbert Chagoury or countries like Saudi Arabia which also received arms deals through the U.S. government is one thing.
If the money comes from bad people and organizations, what if it’s turned to a good purpose? One hears frequently that “the Clinton Foundation does so many good works around the world!” Some charity experts purport to analyze the Foundation’s work; they’ve simply retyped statements from the various pages on the organization and its associates’ websites.
Supporters also tout the organization’s “A” rating from Chicago-based Charity Watchdog, aka “The American Institute for Philanthropy.” This organization has a budget of under $600,000 a year, and its five board members have not changed in at least a decade. Its founder Daniel Borochoff’s salary comprises about 30% of its current revenue. The methodology used by Charity Watchdog is extraordinarily simple and involves no analysis of program conduct, nature and impact, just adding up and dividing numbers from official tax returns. It is effective in detecting unsophisticated charity scammers who phone elderly people for donations, and then spend the money on themselves. Charity Watchdog itself is an organization worthy of some scrutiny as to its effectiveness and impact.
You can read my four-part series here on Medium (start here) if you want to read more in-depth about the Clinton Foundation’s programs.
The Clinton Foundation reported it received $337,985,726 in revenue in 2014 (the most recent year for which it has reported income and expense or filed taxes). Below are an additional three primary programs and achievements advertised on the Clinton Foundation website and their reported outcomes and stated cost.”
(…) Clinton Global Initiative ……………………..$23,544,381
The Clinton Global Initiative hosts huge Gala meetings that serve as PR vehicles for well-known attendees. CGI America was held in June in Atlanta. Most attendees pay $20,000 and up. At the Galas, attendees sit and hear panel speeches, watch videos, get reports on various issues (like “climate change”) and sign up for a “Commitment to Action” if they desire. The “Commitment to Action” is a non-binding agreement of “improvement” in whatever area the individual or organization thinks they ought to be working in. Since the majority of the attendees represent corporations or international finance, they “agree” to make various improvements in business they conduct.
Attendees and speakers at this year’s Gala include Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Ursula Burns (Xerox CEO), Jim Yong Kim (President of the World Bank Group), Hemant Kanoria (Chairman and Managing Director of Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd.) and many other global corporate luminaries.
Membership is by invitation only.
Those who attend the meetings also receive the benefits illustrated below:
According to the Clinton Foundation, “more than 3,400 ‘Commitments to Action’” have been made “to date” — and a blog post records that “123 new Commitments to Action were signed in 2015.”
Let’s divide 123 into $23,544,381 and see what we get:
Let’s see if we can find a typical “Commitment to Action.”
No funds of the Clinton Foundation are expended to do any of the work or “action” in the Commitment to Action. The organization/corporation that makes the Commitment is agreeing to undertake the stated Action and obtain the identified outcomes or results on their own. The “Commitment” is supposed to be reported back to the Clinton Foundation each year.
September 2014 – Clinton Foundation: World Class Slacktivists
“The September 2014 report prepared by Palantir on the Clinton Global Initiative’s ‘work’ between 2005 and 2013. Palantir states they focus on Big Data analysis. One would hope this report is atypical of the company’s actual Big Data analysis.
As I reported in the initial article, the Clinton Foundation/Clinton Global Initiative doesn’t do much on its own. Almost 100% of its “outcomes” in any of its stated areas of focus are based on “Commitments to Action.” These “Commitments” resemble “Memoranda of Understanding” (MOU) some may be familiar with from local and regional nonprofit work. I’m sure attorneys much smarter than me may point out that these commitments are in no way enforceable.
You may have heard of Trump University, and also separate for-profit schools with ties to the Clinton Foundation. In addition, there is a Clinton Global Initiative University. Like everything else about the Clinton Foundation, it is based on “Commitments to Action.” They give you a roadmap for these “Commitments” too.
I confess, I don’t understand why no one in any official position except for Charity Navigator’s oblique assessment that it cannot “rate” the Clinton Foundation due to its “business model” has not questioned this “business model” as being tax exempt. Tony Robbins seems more eligible for nonprofit status, as at least he provides products like books, tapes and seminars, and he might even make more of a social impact!”
(…) “All the organization does is hold meetings for which it charges the attendees and takes sponsorship money from companies and CEOS — and I quote from the Clinton Foundation “FAQ”
“Sponsorship revenue for CGI is up over last year, and more than half of the 30 companies listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average are current CGI members or sponsors …”
So let’s walk through it together.
This is about how the IRS is supposed to determine whether or not a corporation should pay taxes on the revenue it receives or not. As previously noted, here’s what they received in 2014 and the prior year.
They note 486 employees on their form 990 for 2014. If that $217 million was spent exclusively on salaries that’s an average of $447,958 per employee. (PS: “experts” out there — it makes this ratio even worse if you factor in 100% of their expenses, not “better”). Their net assets increased by more than $100 million between 2013 and 2014. It looks like they permanently designated an endowment. So all their extra now goes into that. Just in case.
If I were a corporate sponsor paying for the Clinton Global Initiative meetings, I would dial Donna Shalala up and ask, “What ROI are you going to give us for the contribution?”
And as to the individuals paying to attend the conferences, I would call up and ask, “Why do I have to pay? Can’t you afford at least to fly me here and put me up?”
A person who teaches accounting compared the Foundation to the Carter Foundation in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. (*Note: The nonprofit sector in the US is in horrible shape: There are 19 total jobs in the nonprofit sector listed within 150 miles of downtown Los Angeles — a distance that would encompass all of LA, Orange, San Bernardino/Riverside,Ventura and San Diego counties, a population area of roughly 20 million people). (Read more: Amy Sterling Casil, 7/13/2016)
(Timeline editor’s note: Amy has been a friend to our grass root group since the email timeline days and we appreciate her generosity in allowing us to post excerpts of her research on the Foundation timeline. Please be sure to read her entire articles at the link we provide in each entry.)
April 20, 2015 – False Philanthropy? First Interim Report Concerning Public Disclosures of The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
By: Charles Ortel
The Latest Available Clinton Foundation Filings Appear Deceptive
My interest in the Clinton Foundation financial disclosures was originally sparked by an article written in the New York Times entitled “Unease at Clinton Foundation over Finances and Ambitions.”
Considering this article with the benefit of hindsight after having poured through reams of public filings and comments made by the Clinton Foundation as well as related parties, one wonders how seriously management, directors, and other employees take their manifold legal duties, particularly when it comes to making truthful and complete disclosures.
Since August 2013, few investigative reporters have dug deeply enough below the surface of Clinton Foundation filings, seeking and finding answers to questions concerning the stated financial performance of significant constituent entities as well as the consolidated whole.
I have completed a summary review of these filings, and have attached a report which answers a few key questions. Specifically:
- What do Clinton Foundation disclosures tell informed readers about the stewardship of billions of dollars in “charitable contributions” sent to Little Rock, to New York City, to Boston, to London, and to Stockholm from numerous donors with modest means, from wealthy and powerful donors, and from a host of governments and government-connected benefactors?
- Did management exercise vigilance to ensure that the Clinton Foundation actually carried out its original and its amended tax-exempt purposes?
- Did directors take reasonable care, as fiduciaries, under applicable state, federal, and foreign laws to operate this charity serving, at all times, a public interest?
- Are all business arrangements with material “related” parties fully and adequately disclosed in annual, publicly available filings that comparable charities regularly complete on time?
Or, do the Clintons, and others who operate the Clinton Foundation, function as Robin Hood in reverse? Do they dupe small, modest income donors to enrich themselves and cronies?
Headline Conclusions of the First Foundation Report
The truth is that it is difficult to perform penetrating analysis of publicly available financial information pertaining to the Clinton Foundation because, so far, it is not technically complete in numerous material respects.
The numbers that the Clinton Foundation supplies to the public in its legally mandated filings do not add up, are frequently incorrect, and appear to be materially misleading. In numerous cases, the Clinton Foundation appears to have followed inconsistent policies adding in appropriate portions of the various activities it pursued around the world to create “consolidated” financial statements.
As the attached report notes, In several instances portions were added only for some of the years in which the entities remained in operation, artificially enhancing purported financial results. In other cases, important elements of activity were improperly characterized and combined.
Meanwhile the Foundation solicits donations even though its informational filings are not in compliance with applicable law. Regulators at Federal, State, Local, and international levels are not doing what they should do to protect the public.
And how long must we wait before regulators at home and abroad remedy rampant and persistent deficiencies in the Clinton Foundation’s operating and disclosure practices.
The attached print report details ten specific concerns about the most recent Clinton Foundation filings. I invite your considered reaction. (Charles Ortel, ‘False Philanthropy’ Report, 4/20/2015)
September 2015 – The FBI structures the email investigation to deliver a predetermined outcome
“Within the Inspector General report into how the DOJ and FBI handled the Clinton email investigation, on Page #164, footnote #124 the outline is laid bare for all to witness. The Clinton classified email investigation was structured to deliver a predetermined outcome.
John Spiropoulos delivers the first video in a series of reports on the Department of Justice Inspector General’s review into the investigation of Hillary Clinton. This segment focuses on DOJ’s legal interpretation that virtually assured Clinton would not be prosecuted. And that, as the IG reports states, the FBI and DOJ knew that “by September2015.″ (Conservative Treehouse,6/25/2018)
“The Fix Was In”
November 2015 – Employment of Nellie Ohr by Fusion GPS Raises New Questions
“One of the bombshell admissions from a closed-door testimony by DOJ official Bruce Ohr was that his wife, Nellie Ohr, was working for opposition research firm Fusion GPS already in late 2015.
Previously, it had been reported that Nellie Ohr was hired to find dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump in the spring of 2016.
“Ohr testified that Fusion approached his wife for a job and that she began working for the research firm in late 2015,” the Daily Caller reported.
In addition to the new time-frame for Nellie Ohr’s employment, Bruce Ohr also confirmed that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, and FBI Special Counsel Lisa Page all knew he was talking to former British MI6 spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled the now-infamous opposition research dossier on Trump, which was used as the core evidence of an application for a [Title 1] Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
More importantly, Ohr also informed Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann about his dossier-related work and interactions with Steele. Ohr made these internal disclosures before Weissmann joined special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Mueller Team has known of Ohr’s involvement with the Steele Dossier from the start of their formal investigation.
These events are likely intertwined. To understand why, we need to revisit an April 26, 2017, unsealed FISA Court Ruling, that was declassified by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
There is a staggering amount of information contained within the ruling, including these two disclosures:
“NSA estimates that approximately eighty-five percent of those queries, representing [Redacted] queries conducted by approximately [Redacted] targeted offices, were not compliant with the applicable minimization procedures.”
“The FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to a [Redacted] … is largely staffed by private contractors … the [Redacted] contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI’s requests.”
The Court said these practices had been going on since at least November 2015 and noted that “there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015-April 2016 period coincided with an unusually high error rate.”
The FISA Court also pointed out that the government could not say how, when, or where the non-compliant information was used. Once an individual had access to the information, it could no longer be traced or tracked.
What the FISA Court disclosed is alarming in its simplicity.
Illegal NSA Database searches were endemic. Private contractors, employed by the FBI, were given full access to the NSA Database. Once in their possession, the FISA Data could not be traced.
Which brings us back to the original question: What was Nellie Ohr doing in 2015? And who were the FBI’s private contractors? (Much more: themarketswork, 9/02/2018)
- Andrew McCabe
- Andrew Weissmann
- Bruce Ohr
- Christopher Steele
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Dan Coats
- Department of Justice
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- Fusion GPS
- Jeff Carlson
- Lisa Page
- Mueller team
- Nellie Ohr
- November 2015
- NSA database queries
- Peter Strzok
- private contractors
- Trump opposition research
- U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)
May 10, 2016 – George Papadopoulos, Alexander Downer & the Opening of the FBI Investigation
By: Jeff Carlson (themarketswork.com)
“The New York Times provided us an introduction to FBI reasoning in launching the Trump-Russia Inquiry – drunken comments from George Papadopoulos:
During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.
About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.
The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year: What so alarmed American officials to provoke the F.B.I. to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign months before the presidential election?
The Papadopoulos/Downer meeting has been portrayed as a chance encounter in a bar. That does not appear to be the case. Papadopoulos was introduced to Downer through a chain of two intermediaries. Papadopoulos knew an Israeli embassy official in London named Christian Cantor who introduced Papadopoulos to Erika Thompson. Thompson was a counselor to Downer and served in Australia’s London embassy.
On May 4, 2016, Papadopoulos gave an interview to the London Times in which he stated then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize to Trump for negative comments. The interview was not well-received. According to the Daily Caller, Thompson reached out to Papadopoulos two days after the story appeared and said Downer wanted to meet with Papadopoulos. The meeting between Papadopoulos and Downer took place on May 10, 2016. Downer reportedly told Papadopoulos to “leave David Cameron alone.”
We know Papadopoulos mentioned “thousands of emails” in his FBI Interview regarding his April 26, 2016 meeting with Mifsud. That comment is noted in the July 28, 2017 Affidavit and the October 5, 2017 Statement of the Offense. However, there is nothing regarding comments made to Alexander Downer in either document.
What does Alexander Downer have to say about the May 10, 2016 meeting. From a news.com.au article:
“We had a drink and he (Papadopoulos) talked about what Trump’s foreign policy would be like if Trump won the election.”
He (Trump) hadn’t got the nomination at that stage. During that conversation he (Papadopoulos) mentioned the Russians might use material that they have on Hillary Clinton in the lead-up to the election, which may be damaging.
“We didn’t know anything about Trump and Russia and we had no particular focus on that,’’ Downer says of the Papadopoulos meeting. “For us we were more interested in what Trump would do in Asia” Downer told The Australian. “He [Papadopoulos] didn’t say dirt; he said material that could be damaging to her. No, he said it would be damaging. He didn’t say what it was.”
“By the way, nothing [Papadopoulos] said in that conversation indicated Trump himself had been conspiring with the Russians to collect information on Hillary Clinton. It was just that this guy, [Papadopoulos], clearly knew that the Russians did have material on Hillary Clinton — but whether Trump knew or not? He didn’t say Trump knew or that Trump was in any way involved in this. He said it was about Russians and Hillary Clinton; it wasn’t about Trump.”
Interestingly, the Schiff Memo appears to back this account up. From page two:
“Papadopoulos’ disclosure occurred against the backdrop of Russia’s aggressive covert campaign to influence our elections, which the FBI was already monitoring. We would later learn in Papadopoulos’ plea that the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing were thousands of Hillary Clinton emails.”
Despite initial reporting to the contrary, it appears neither “political dirt” nor Clinton emails were ever mentioned at the Papadopoulos/Downer meeting. Notably, Papadopoulos didn’t mention anything to indicate Trump knew of the Clinton information, or had any role in its collection or potential distribution.
There’s been some confusion over how Papadopoulos’ comments made their way to the FBI. Downer stated in his interview that he reported the conversation back to Australia almost immediately…” (Read much more: themarketswork.com, 8/15/2018)
May 15, 2016 – Financial analyst alleges major holes in Clinton Foundation records
(…) “The Clinton Foundation network is actually comprised of several different charities that all perform seemingly similar functions. Those include the Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Clinton Climate Initiative and several more, all with varying degrees of overlapping finances.
Ortel said the foundations’ complex paper trails are littered with mistakes and repeat filings.
In November, the Clinton Health Access Initiative was forced to refile its tax returns after a review revealed big-ticket foreign donations that had been left off its Form 990 filing.
The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has been removed from the website of a prominent nonprofit watchdog, Charity Navigator, because its “atypical business model can not be accurately captured” by methods used to size up traditional charities.
The pattern extends to smaller charities linked to the Clintons, Ortel noted. One organization founded by former President Bill Clinton, the American India Foundation, has problems that stretch around the country.
For example, the American India Foundation’s nonprofit status was revoked in Illinois in 2002, according to state records. This year, the charity was listed as “not in good standing.”
In Massachusetts, the foundation had its nonprofit status revoked in June 2014 and was not reinstated until March 22 of this year.
In March 2015, the charity held a gala in an Atlanta hotel, according to an event promotion.
But the American India Foundation was not then registered to solicit funds in the state of Georgia, correspondences shared with the Washington Examiner suggest. In fact, the only charity in the Clinton orbit that was registered in the Peach State as of October was the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation — even though the Clinton Global Initiative plans to hold its glitzy annual conference in Atlanta next month.
An official with the Georgia secretary of state’s office said the state government did not have an open investigation into potentially unregistered arms of the Clinton Foundation, although emails shared with the Examiner indicate inquiries about the charities were routed to a securities enforcement attorney in November of last year.
Sandra Miniutti of Charity Navigator said the patchwork of nonprofit regulations across different states can sometimes trip up well-meaning charities.
“The current state registration system is complex, bureaucratic and out-of-date with the modern times,” Miniutti said. “It was conceived before the internet and technology made it easily for charities to solicit across state lines.”
Miniutti said nonprofits often tap outside firms to keep up with compliance issues.
“While we don’t condone non-compliance, it is not particularly surprising to hear of an organization accidentally being out of compliance,” she said.
Hal Moroz, a private attorney and former Georgia judge, said he referred some of Ortel’s findings on the violations of the foundation to the state attorney general’s office.
“This is a matter of great public interest because we have a major party presidential candidate who has been greatly enriched by the questionable activities of a foundation that was meant to serve charitable public interests,” Moroz said.
“The records of charities are open to public review and scrutiny, and this is so because there are certain tax advantages to registering under state and federal law as a charity and the citizens of the United States foot the bill for these tax advantages,” he added.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 5/16/2016)
July 6, 2016 – State and foreign governments are investigating charity fraud at the Clinton Foundation
“Charles Ortel, a successful investor and independent journalist, spoke with Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon on Wednesday about the state and foreign governments investigating charity fraud at the Clinton Foundation, despite FBI Director James Comey’s decision not to charge Hillary Clinton for her handling of top secret emails while she was Secretary of State.
“Many month ago, I thought to myself charity fraud is a state matter. And because this is an international global charity, it’s a foreign matter,” said Ortel, who’s spent more than 15 months researching the Clinton Foundation’s public records, donor disclosure data, federal, and state-level tax filings.
“Let’s go after potential infractions. Let’s see if there’s potential illegal acts at the state level and at the foreign level,” he continued. Because if we go down those avenues, the President [Obama] cannot pardon those crimes. There’s no way that he can do that, neither by executive action or any other means.”
“And I can tell you that many states and many foreign countries are actively looking at this,” Ortel said.”
(…) “In his interview, Ortel told Bannon that “there are massive diversions” and “major discrepancies” between what donors reported that they gave to the Clinton Foundation and what the Clinton Foundation’s public disclosures said they received.
“And they’re easy to track down,” Ortel said. “If I can do it, as a private citizen, imagine what government authorities and state and foreign levels can do.” (Video: Breitbart News, 7/06/2016)
July 2016 – Bruce Ohr’s efforts to secretly reshape the Trump probe, starts earlier, long before Trump wins the election
“Within the massive assembly of documents, emails, text messages, congressional testimony and portions of media reports a clear timeline emerged. Part of that timeline was based on the fact that certain events had to have taken place – at specific times – in order to reconcile the downstream activity.
The key point of the graphic, which ran counter to all MSM reporting, was a trail of circumstantial evidence showing Bruce Ohr had to have been in contact with Christopher Steele much earlier than anyone realized. SEE BELOW:
A new report today from John Solomon backs up this timeline with the first-hand testimony of DOJ Official Bruce Ohr.
(…) “For much of the past year, many in Congress have labored under the notion that Ohr, then the No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official, began assisting the FBI’s probe into Russia election collusion only after Trump won the 2016 election.
Lawmakers’ belief was rooted in reports showing Ohr’s first documented interview with FBI agents occurred in November 2016, and in testimony from Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who mentioned Ohr’s involvement in the probe as starting after Thanksgiving 2016.
But now, based on Ohr’s own account in a closed-door congressional interview and other contemporaneous documents, congressional investigators have learned that Ohr made his first contact with the FBI about Trump-Russia collusion evidence in late July and early August 2016. And his approach was prompted by information he got from his friend, the former British intelligence agent Steele.
Ohr’s account to Congress and his contemporaneous notes show he had multiple contacts with Steele in July 2016. One occurred just before Steele visited the FBI in Rome, another right after Steele made the contact.
A third contact occurred July 30, 2016, exactly one day before the FBI and its counterintelligence official, Peter Strzok, opened the Trump probe officially.
Steele met with Ohr and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, in a Washington hotel restaurant for breakfast. At the time, Nellie Ohr and Steele worked for the same employer, Simpson’s Fusion GPS opposition research firm, and on the same project to uncover Russia dirt on Trump, according to prior testimony to Congress.
(…) “According to my sources, Ohr called then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe the same day as his Steele breakfast and met with McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Aug. 3 to discuss the concerns about Russia-Trump collusion that Steele had relayed.
Ohr disclosed to lawmakers that he made another contact with the FBI on Aug. 15, 2016, talking directly to Strzok.
Within a month of Ohr passing along Steele’s dirt, the FBI scheduled a follow-up meeting with the British intelligence operative — and the path was laid for the Steele dossier to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Just as important, Ohr told Congress he understood Steele’s information to be raw and uncorroborated hearsay, the sort of information that isn’t admissible in court. And he told FBI agents that Steele appeared to be motivated by a “desperate” desire to keep Trump from becoming president.” (Read more:The Hill, 9/6/2018)
This account by congressional sources to Solomon about the testimony of Bruce Ohr matches our prior research. It was the initial chapters of the Steele Dossier, a work product of both Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele, that were given to Bruce Ohr, who then subsequently relayed that information to the FBI (McCabe, Page and Strzok) without disclosing the conflict within the source material coming from his wife.
♦Here’s how it comes together: Nellie Ohr started working for Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS) in/around October or November of 2015. Nellie Ohr had “contractor access” to the FISA database (NSA and FBI) as a result of her prior and ongoing clearance relationship with the CIA and open source research group.
Nellie, Bruce and Glenn Simpson worked together previously in 2010.
It was Nellie’s original 2015 political opposition research that Glenn Simpson was pitching and selling as political opposition research to any interested purchaser.
Several months later, when it became clear that Donald Trump was the likely GOP candidate who would win the primary (March/April 2016), Hillary Clinton signed-on to purchase the opposition research from Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS.
Keep in mind, simultaneous to this moment in March and April 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers intervened to stop contractor access to the FISA-702(16)(17) database. From the time Nellie Ohr began working for Fusion GPS in November 2015, through April 2016 there were thousands of unlawful database queries and extractions; 85% of them were unlawful.
Now, Nellie and Glenn Simpson had a problem. They needed to have a way to launder unlawfully extracted FISA search results. Nellie Ohr was familiar with Christopher Steele from her husband Bruce’s prior working relationship with Steele in the FIFA corruption case.
So Fusion GPS (Glenn Simpson and Nellie Ohr) reached out to Christopher Steele. As a former intelligence officer, and conveniently not in the U.S. (plausible deniability improves), Steele could then receive the Nellie research, wash it with his own research from ongoing relationships with Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska,… here comes the hookers and pee tapes…. and begin packaging it as the “dossier”.
When you understand what was going on, some of the irreconcilable issues surrounding the dossier make sense. [Example Here] This is the Big Effen Deal.
The unlawful FISA extracted intelligence/research was laundered through the use of the dossier. The information was then cycled back to Bruce Ohr, thereby using Christopher Steele to remove Nellie’s fingerprints from the origination. That’s why Bruce Ohr never initially told the FBI -the end user of the dossier- about his wife working for Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson.
Bruce Ohr meets with Christopher Steele, receives the laundered intelligence product within the dossier, informs Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page and then passes the intelligence information along to FBI Agent Peter Strzok.
Does this explain now why Glenn Simpson, Chris Steele, Nellie Ohr and Bruce Ohr were having breakfast together on July 30th, 2016?
Through this process, what few recognize is that much of the material inside the Steele Dossier is actually research intelligence material unlawfully extracted from the FBI and NSA database; most likely in majority an assembly by Nellie Ohr.
This explains why Paul Wood said: “I have spoken to one intelligence source who says Mueller is examining ‘electronic records’ that would place Cohen in Prague.” Likely Mueller has Nellie’s database research mistake on Michael Cohen, and he got it from Christopher Steele.
Remember the New York Times article, right before the testimony by Bruce Ohr, where the intelligence community was trying to say that Nellie Ohr had nothing to do with the Dossier? (screen grab below)
Remember that ridiculous attempt to distance Nellie Ohr from the dossier?
Now do you see why the intelligence community needed to try, via their buddies in the New York Times, to cloud the importance of Nellie Ohr?
Kim Strassel – (…) Congressional sources tell me that Mr. Ohr revealed Tuesday that he verbally warned the FBI that its source had a credibility problem … Mr. Ohr said, moreover, that he delivered this information before the FBI’s first application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant against Trump aide Carter Page, in October 2016. (Wall Street Journal, 8/30/2018)
Of course Bruce Ohr delivered it before October 21st, 2016. He gained the foundational material from Chris Steele in June and July 2016, passed it along to Peter Strzok, and his wife was key in providing Steele the source information.
This is also why Bruce Ohr never put his wife’s income source on his annual compliance forms. Nellie Ohr’s income was an outcome of her database access.
September 2016 – August 10, 2018 – Opinion: Conservative Treehouse details the true Russian collusion during the 2016 Election
(…) “In essence, Christopher Steele was interested in getting Oleg Deripaska a new VISA to enter the U.S. Steele was very persistent on this endeavor and was soliciting Bruce Ohr for any assistance. This also sets up a quid-pro-quo probability where the DOJ/FBI agrees to remove travel restrictions on Deripaska in exchange for cooperation on ‘other matters.’
Now we skip ahead a little bit to where Deripaska gained an entry visa, and one of Oleg Deripaska’s lawyers and lobbyists Adam Waldman was representing his interests in the U.S. to politicians and officials. In May of 2018, John Solomon was contacted by Adam Waldman with a story about how the FBI contacted Deripaska for help in their Trump Russia investigation in September of 2016.
Keep in mind, this is Waldman contacting Solomon with a story.
Waldman told Solomon a story about how his client Oleg Deripaska was approached by the FBI in September of 2016 and asked for help with information about Paul Manafort and by extension Donald Trump. Within the backstory for the FBI and Deripaska was a prior connection between Robert Mueller and Deripaska in 2009.
Again, as you read the recap, remember this is Waldman contacting Solomon. Article Link Here – and my summary below:
♦In 2009 the FBI, then headed by Robert Mueller, requested the assistance of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska in an operation to retrieve former FBI officer and CIA resource Robert Levinson who was captured in Iran two years earlier. The agent assigned to engage Deripaska was Andrew McCabe; the primary FBI need was financing and operational support. Deripaska spent around $25 million and would have succeeded except the U.S. State Department, then headed by Hillary Clinton, backed out.
♦In September of 2016 Andrew McCabe is now Deputy Director of the FBI, when two FBI agents approached Deripaska in New York – again asking for his help. This time the FBI request was for Deripaska to outline Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort as a tool of the Kremlin. Deripaska once hired Manafort as a political adviser and invested money with him in a business venture that went bad. Deripaska sued Manafort, alleging he stole money. However, according to the article, despite Deripaska’s disposition toward Manafort he viewed the request as absurd. He laughed the FBI away, telling them: “You are trying to create something out of nothing.”
This story, as told from the perspective of Adam Waldman, Deripaska’s lawyer/lobbyist, is important because it highlights a connection between Robert Mueller and Oleg Deripaska; a connection Mueller and the DOJ/FBI never revealed on their own.
I wrote about the ramifications of the Solomon story HERE. Again, hopefully most will review; because there’s a larger story now visible with the new communication between Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr.
It is likely that Oleg’s 2016 entry into the U.S. was facilitated as part of a quid-pro-quo; either agreed in advance, or, more likely, planned by the DOJ/FBI for later use in their 2016 Trump operation; as evidenced in the September 2016 FBI request. Regardless of the planning aspect, billionaire Deripaska is connected to Chris Steele, a source for Chris Steele, and likely even the employer of Chris Steele.
The FBI used Oleg Deripaska (source), and Oleg Deripaska used the FBI (visa).
Here’s where it gets interesting….
In that May article John Solomon reports that Deripaska wanted to testify to congress last year (2017), without any immunity request, but was rebuked. Who blocked his testimony?
(…) “Now, think about this…. Yes, with Oleg Deripaska in the picture there was indeed Russian meddling in the 2016 election; only, it wasn’t the type of meddling currently being sold. The FBI/DOJ were using Russian Deripaska to frame their Russian conspiracy narrative. It is almost a certainty that Deripaska was one of Chris Steeles sources for the dossier.
Now, put yourself in Deripaska’s shoes and think about what happens AFTER candidate Donald Trump surprisingly wins the election.
All of a sudden Deripaska the asset becomes a risk to the corrupt Scheme Team (DOJ/FBI et al); especially as the DOJ/FBI then execute the “insurance policy” effort against Donald Trump and eventually enlist Robert Mueller.
It is entirely possible for a Russian to be blackmailing someone, but it ain’t Trump vulnerable to blackmail; it’s the conspiracy crew within the DOJ and FBI. Deripaska now has blackmail material on Comey, McCabe and crew.
After the 2017 (first year) failure of the “insurance policy” it now seems more likely President Trump will outlive the soft coup. In May 2018, Oleg tells Waldman to call John Solomon and tell him the story from a perspective favorable to Deripaska.
As the story is told, in 2017, Oleg [Deripaska] was more than willing to testify to congress…likely laughing the entire time. But the corrupt participants within congress damned sure couldn’t let Deripaska testify. Enter corrupt (SSCI) Vice-Chairman, Mark Warner:
The Russians (Deripaska) really do have leverage and blackmail…but it ain’t over Trump. Oleg has blackmail on Comey, McCabe and conspiracy crew. Oleg Deripaska must be kept away from congress and away from exposing the scheme.
Guess who else must be controlled and/or kept away from congress?
Assange has evidence the Russians didn’t hack the DNC.
Between Deripaska’s first-hand knowledge of the DOJ/FBI work on both the Dossier and the DOJ/FBI intention for his use as a witness; and Julian Assange’s first-hand knowledge of who actually took the DNC email communication…well, the entire Russian narrative could explode in their faces.
You can almost hear the corrupt U.S. intelligence officials calling their U.K. GCHQ partners in Britain and yelling at them to do something, anything, and for the love of God, shut down Assange’s access to the internet STAT. Yeah, funny that.
Now, who moves into position to control Julian Assange?
September 6, 2016: False Philanthropy – Summary Review of Selected Intentionally False Representations in Clinton Foundation Public Filings
Concentrating on Clinton Foundation Facts
The attached Executive Summary continues an investigation into the Clinton Foundation public record begun, by chance, in February 2015.
Since then, questions have started to swirl around the various entities that comprise what I call the Clinton Charity Network: a group of entities supported by a variety of donors from inside the United States and around the world.
Beginning today, and regularly thereafter, numerous detailed Exhibits will examine the known public record of the Clinton Charity Network within the context of applicable state, federal, and foreign laws.
The next Exhibit, Exhibit 1, is scheduled to follow the Executive Summary late on 7 September 2016.
October 20, 2016 – Video: What harm did the DNC and Podesta emails do to the Clinton campaign, the DNC and the Democratic party overall?
This source/video by the Humanist Report gives the best explanation of what harm the DNC/Podesta emails did to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC and the Democratic party overall.
October 20, 2016 – NSA director Admiral Mike Rogers requests a full NSA compliance audit of FISA-702 use
Admiral Mike Rogers became NSA director in April 2014.
Sometime in early 2016 Admiral Rogers became aware of “ongoing” and “intentional” violations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Section 702(17) surveillance. Specifically item #17 which includes the unauthorized upstream data collection of U.S. individuals within NSA surveillance through the use of “About Query”.
Section 702 – Item #17 “About Queries” are specifically the collection of electronic messaging, emails and upstream phone call surveillance data of U.S. persons.
The public doesn’t discover this issue, and Director Rogers action, until May 2017 when we learn that Rogers told the FISA court he became aware of unlawful surveillance and collection of U.S. persons.
Put into context, with the full back-story, it appears that 2016 surveillance was the political surveillance now in the headlines; the stuff Chairman Nunes is currently questioning. The dates here are important as they tell a story.
As a result of Rogers suspecting FISA 702(17) surveillance activity was being used for reasons he deemed unlawful, in mid 2016 Rogers ordered the NSA compliance officer to run a full audit on 702 NSA compliance.
Again, 702 is basically spying on Americans; the actual “spying” part is 702. Item 17 is “About Queries“, which allows user queries or searches of content (messaging, email and phone conversations) based on any subject matter put into the search field.
The NSA compliance officer identified several strange 702 “About Queries” were being conducted. These were violations of the fourth amendment (search and seizure), ie searches, privacy violations, and surveillance without a warrant. Admiral Rogers was briefed by the compliance officer on October 20th, 2016.
Admiral Mike Rogers ordered the “About Query” activity to stop, reported the activity to the DOJ, and then went to the FISA court.
On October 26th, 2016, full FISA court assembled, NSA Director Rogers personally informed the court of the 702(17) violations. Additionally, and as an outcome of the NSA systems inability to guarantee integrity, Rogers also stopped “About Query” permanently.
(Things to note: ♦Note the sequencing; ♦note that Rogers a career military person, followed the chain of command; ♦note the dates as they align with the Trump FISA application from the FBI and DOJ-NSD, (ie. early October 2016); ♦and note amid this sequence/time-line the head of DOJ-National Security Divsion, John P Carlin resigns.]
IMPORTANT – WATCH the first two and a half minutes of this video:
At the same time Christopher Steele was assembling his dossier information (May-October 2016), the NSA compliance officer was conducting an internal FISA-702 review as initiated by NSA Director Mike Rogers.
The NSA compliance officer briefed Admiral Mike Rogers on October 20th 2016.
On October 26th 2016, Admiral Rogers informed the FISA Court of numerous unauthorized FISA-702(17) “About Query” violations.
Subsequent to that FISC notification Mike Rogers stopped all FISA-702(17) “About Queries” permanently. They are no longer permitted.
Pg 83. “FBI gave raw Section 702–acquired information to a private entity that was not a federal agency and whose personnel were not sufficiently supervised by a federal agency for compliance minimization procedures.”
Please pay close attention to this section, pg 84, (Note the date April 18th):
Notice how it was FBI “private contractors” that were conducting the unauthorized FISA-702 Queries via access to information on FBI storage systems.
We have been tipped off that one of the FBI contractors in question was, unbelievably, Fusion-GPS.
It is almost certain this early 2016 series of FISA-702 compliance violations was the origin of NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers concern.
Mike Rogers discovery becomes the impetus for him to request the 2016 full NSA compliance audit of FISA-702 use. It appears Fusion-GPS was the FBI contracted user identified in the final FISA court opinion/ruling on page 83.
Note the dates from the FISC opinion (above) – As soon as the FBI discovered Mike Rogers was looking at the searches, the FBI discontinued allowing their sub-contractor access to the raw FISA information. Effective April 18th, 2016.” (Read much more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/11/2018)
(Republished with special permission.)
October 20, 2016: The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI
(…) “On January 7, 2016, the NSA Inspector General, George Ellard, released a report on NSA Controls & FISA compliance. Starting on page ii:
Agency controls for monitoring query compliance have not been completely developed.
The Agency has no process to reliably identify queries performed using selectors associated with 704 and 705(b) targets.
The rest of the highlights are fully redacted. But more information lay within the report (pages 6-7):
We identified another [redacted] queries that were performed outside the targeting authorization periods in E.O. 12333 data, which is prohibited by the E.O. 12333 minimization procedures. We also identified queries performed using USP selectors in FAA §702 upstream data, which is prohibited by the FAA §702 minimization procedures.
Downstream collection involves the government acquiring data from the companies providing service to the user – like Google or Facebook.
However, some Section 702 collection is obtained via “upstream” collection.
In simple parlance, upstream collection means the NSA accesses the high capacity fiber optic cables that carry Internet traffic and copies all the data flowing through those cables.
The agency is then supposed to filter out any “wholly domestic” communications that are between Americans located in the U.S.
Data collected “incidentally” on U.S. Citizens is generally not destroyed. It is minimized. As we will see later, this became a problem.
Intelligence Agencies can then search the data using “To”, “From” or “About” queries on a target of Section 702 collection.
“About” queries are particularly worrisome.
They occur when the target is neither the sender nor the recipient of the collected communication – but the target’s selector, such as an email address, is being passed between two other communicants.
For more information see, FISA Surveillance – Title I & III and Section 702.”
(…) “About” queries were abruptly halted by NSA Director Mike Rogers on October 20, 2016. This was formally announced by the NSA on April 28, 2017.
The events leading to this decision are described in this post.
Which brings us to a table from the Inspector General’s Report.
Table 3 (page 7) shows four types of violations. The most frequent violation – 5.2% of the total – came from Section 702 upstream “About” queries.
The Inspector General’s Report is heavily redacted – but even a casual reading indicates there were significant compliance and control issues within the NSA regarding the use of Section 702 data.
It’s unclear if NSA Director Rogers discovered the 702 violations and reported them in early 2015, or if it was the Inspector General who found them. Either way, Rogers became aware of Section 702 violations sometime in 2015.
Following NSA Inspector General Ellard’s report, Rogers implemented a tightening of internal rules at the NSA.
However, the NSA Inspector General’s report and Roger’s tightening of internal rules did not halt the Query Compliance Problems.
Outside Agencies – specifically the DOJ’s National Security Division and the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division – were still routinely violating Section 702 procedures.
In 2015, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz (not to be confused with NSA IG Ellard) specifically requested oversight of the National Security Division. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates responded with a 58 page Memorandum, that effectively told the Inspector General to go pound sand.
As noted earlier, John Carlin was the Head of the DOJ’s National Security Division and was responsible for filing the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications.
This filing would be subject to intense criticism from the FISA Court following disclosures made by NSA Director Rogers. Significant changes to the handling of raw FISA data would result.
Bill Priestap remains the Head of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division – appointed by FBI Director Comey in December 2015. See: FBI Counterintelligence Head Bill Priestap – A Cooperating Witness.”
(…) “On October 20 2016, Rogers was briefed by the NSA compliance officer on findings from the 702 NSA compliance audit. The audit had uncovered numerous “About” Query violations (Senate testimony).
On October 21, 2016, Rogers shut down all “About Query” activity. He reported his findings to the DOJ (Senate testimony & inferences from Court Ruling).
On October 21 2016, the DOJ & FBI seek and receive a Title I FISA probable cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISA Court. At this point, the FISA Court is unaware of the Section 702 violations.
On October 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings (Page 4 of Court Ruling). (Read more: themarketswork, 4/05/2018)
(Timeline editor’s note: Jeff Carlson at themarketswork.com, has done a remarkable job of reading the fine print and highlighting key details from Senate testimony, the NSA Inspector General’s report, and the FISC report that followed NSA Director Mike Rogers disclosure of 702 violations. This is a snippet of Carlson’s very informative piece and he has been kind enough to allow me to post far more than what Fair Use would normally allow. Please don’t miss the rest of his easy to understand, in-depth report.)
October 24, 2016 – Clinton Foundation Corruption | Charles Ortel and Stefan Molyneux
“Hillary Clinton likes to claim that the Clinton Foundation has given away ninety percent of money received to charity and is highly rated by charity research companies – but both claims are misleading at best or disturbingly false at worst. Charles Ortel joins Stefan Molyneux to discuss the arguments and evidence which show the fraud and illegality of the Clinton Foundation operations including the pillaging of Haiti and the new revelations brought about through Wikileaks. Charles Ortel is an investor and writer who graduated from Horace Mann School, Yale College and Harvard Business School. Mr. Ortel has been one of the leading voices in exposing the corruptions of the Clinton Foundation.”
December 29, 2016 – March 30, 2017: A timeline of General Michael Flynn events
December 29 2016 – General Michael Flynn speaks to the Russian Ambassador. The conversation takes place the same day that outgoing President Barack Obama imposes sanctions against Russia for suspected hacking of Democrats’ emails during the election.
The conversation is recorded by intelligence agencies and later reviewed by the FBI. Recording or releasing Americans’ conversations is prohibited without written approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). The existence of recorded conversations and the contents of the conversation are barred from public release by classification rules and privacy laws.
December 29 2016 – Obama announces sanctions on Russia.
December 30 2016 – Russian leader Vladimir Putin addresses Obama’s sanctions by not expelling any U.S. officials. Putin’s lack of retaliatory action prompts some to later conclude that Flynn relayed a message regarding the sanctions in his December 29th conversation with the Russian Ambassador.
January 3 2017 – Loretta Lynch signs Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 – Procedures for the Availability or Dissemination of Raw Signals Intelligence Information by the NSA – into effect. This order is significant. As I note in, The Suspicious Timing of Obama’s NSA Data-Sharing Order:
Prior to the formal signing of Section 2.3 it appears that there existed more latitude within the White House in regards to collection of information on the Trump Campaign. However, once signed into effect, Section 2.3 granted broad latitude in regards to inter-agency sharing of information. By the time the new order was signed, the information was already in the Obama White House’s possession.
The new order, had it been implemented earlier, might have restricted White House access to information regarding the Trump Team. Once signed, it granted broad latitude to inter-agency sharing of information already held.
Importantly, the transcript of Flynn’s call was already in the possession of the Obama White House.
January 4 2017 – Mike Flynn informs transition White House Counsel Don McGahn that he is under federal investigation for work as a paid lobbyist to Turkey.
Jan 12 2017 – Mike Flynn’s Dec 29 2016 call is leaked to Washington Post. The article portrays Flynn as undermining Obama’s Russian sanctions.
Jan 15 2017 – VP Pence appears on Face the nation to defend Flynn’s calls – five days before the inauguration of President Trump.
January 19 2017 – The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties.
January 19 2017 – Obama’s top intelligence and law-enforcement deputies meet to talk about Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak, according to a Feb 13 article in the Washington Post.
January 20 2017 – Inauguration.
January 23 2017 – Acting Attorney General Sally Yates increases pressure on FBI Director Comey regarding Mike Flynn – telling Comey that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail.
January 23 2017 – The Washington Post reports that the FBI intercepted a conversation in late December 2016 between Michael Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The intercept is supposedly part of routine spying on the ambassador.
January 23 2017 – The FBI reports nothing unlawful in content of Flynn call. Having listened to the tapes, the FBI clears General Michael Flynn of any wrongdoing in his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn did not violate the Logan Act by attempting to influence US foreign policy.
January 24 2017 – Mike Flynn is interviewed at the White House by the FBI. It is during this interview that Flynn supposedly lies to the FBI – despite having his calls already cleared by the FBI. The surprise – and unscheduled – interview is conducted by Peter Strzok.
January 25 2017 – The Department of Justice receives a detailed briefing on Flynn from the FBI.
January 26 2017 – Yates contacts White House Counsel McGahn who agrees to meet with Yates the same day.
January 26 2017 – Sally Yates meets with McGahn. She also brings Mary McCord – Acting Assistant Attorney General – and Head of the DOJ’s National Security Division.
Yates later testifies the meeting surrounds General Flynn’s phone calls and his FBI Interview. She also testifies that Flynn’s call and subsequent interview “was a topic of a whole lot of discussion in DOJ and with other members of the intel community.”
January 27 2017 – McGahn calls Yates and asks if she can come back to his office.
January 27 2017 – Yates returns to the White House without McCord. McGahn asks to examine the FBI’s evidence on Flynn. Yates says she will respond by Monday.
To my knowledge, Yates fails to provide McGahn with the FBI’s evidence on Flynn.
Sally Yates became Acting Attorney General on January 20, 2017, after Loretta Lynch left office upon President Trump’s inauguration. On January 30, 2017, President Trump fired Yates for refusing to enforce the Travel Ban.
January 27 2017 – (evening) President Trump has dinner with FBI Director James Comey. President Trump asks Director Comey if he is under investigation, BUT President Trump does not ask about the Flynn investigation at this meeting.
January 30 2017 – President Trump fires Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce the Travel Ban.
February 2 2017 – Details of conversations between President Trump, the Australian Prime Minister, and the Mexican President are leaked – portraying the calls as contentious. Both Australia and Mexico denied the calls were contentious.
February 8 2017 – In an interview with the Washington Post, Michael Flynn denies having discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
February 8 2017 – Jeff Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General.
The articles are confusing and some details contradictory.
February 13 2017 – The Washington Post reports that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the White House in January that General Michael Flynn may be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, due to his conversations with Ambassador Kislyak.
February 13 2017 – Mike Flynn resigns as National Security Advisor after it was revealed he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about phone conversations he had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States.
February 14 2017 – The New York Times reports that members of the Trump campaign had “repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials” – according to four anonymous sources. The Trump campaign denies the claims – and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of cooperation or collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
February 15 2017 – Former intelligence officer John Schindler, now a journalist, tweets about escalating hostility in the Intelligence Community to Trump’s Presidency.
Now we go nuclear. IC war going to new levels. Just got an EM fm senior IC friend, it began: “He will die in jail.”https://t.co/e6FxCclVqT
— John Schindler (@20committee) February 15, 2017
March 1 2017 – the NYT inadvertently reported on why the Obama Administration wanted a last minute January 3, 2017 rule change that allowed for intra-agency sharing of globally intercepted personal communications. In a piece titled “Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Hacking“, it was made clear that the Obama Administration was sharing information broadly and at low levels of security classification:
In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government.
For more on this important detail, see: The Suspicious Timing of Obama’s NSA Data-Sharing Order.
March 30 2017 – Mike Flynn offers to testify in exchange for immunity. He makes the offer to the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence Communities. There are no takers of his offer.
Per Flynn’s lawyer:
General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.
The Washington feeding frenzy was stunning at this point in time. The Obama/Clinton Russia-Trump narrative was in full swing.
Fast-forward to today so we can add a further twist to the whole mess:
— The Hill (@thehill) December 2, 2017
This was immediately scoffed at – but ask yourself, why would the White House risk making this statement without proof.
Then this video from January 13, 2017, suddenly surfaced:
Obama State Dept: We have no problem with General Flynn and the incoming administration contacting foreign officials pic.twitter.com/FwZDaHU8lO
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 2, 2017
Flynn knew his calls were being recorded. He engaged in nothing illegal on these calls. Flynn knew he had done nothing illegal.
Flynn had no legal obligation to speak with the FBI.
But he did so anyway.
(Reposted with special permission.)
January 6 – 10, 2017: Senator Ron Johnson has questions for “Sensitive Matters Team” – New emails show FBI and DOJ discussing dossier briefing for CNN release
“The footnotes in a letter from Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson outline a series of previously unknown emails between top FBI and DOJ officials as they discuss the Steele Dossier and prepare for a release by CNN.
The emails show that hours before FBI Director James Comey briefed President-Elect Trump on the dossier, Comey’s chief-of-staff James Rybicki e-mailed staff that Director Comey “is coming into HQ briefly now for an update from the sensitive matter team.”
On January 8th, 2017, two days after the Comey briefing, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe wrote an e-mail to top FBI officials (James Comey, James Rybicki, David Bowdich and Michael Kortan), with the subject: “Flood is coming.”
47 minutes later Andrew McCabe then emails across the street to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and her deputy assistant Matthew Axelrod. Andrew McCabe uses the subject line “News” in his e-mail to alert the Main Justice officials.
The letter from Senator Johnson then goes on to outline how CNN reported breaking news of the dossier on January 10th, using the ‘hook’ created by a leak of the briefing Comey gave to president-elect Trump. CNN headlined their report: “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.” A few hours later, BuzzFeed News published the contents of the “Steele dossier.”
Within the letter Senator Johnson asks Director Chris Wray to provide a list of all members of the “sensitive matters team” referenced by James Rybicki. Additionally, Johnson requests Wray to provide all details about how FBI officials “first learned that media outlets, including CNN, may have possessed the Steele dossier.”
From the footnotes we can see the emails were first obtained by the Justice Department Office of Inspector General (Michael Horowitz) and turned over to the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
What makes this interesting is the emails are: all post-election; all seemingly unrelated to any of the three known primary IG investigative inquiries; and all provided by the OIG to congress, without prior request (that we know of). Much like the Page/Strzok text message release, this email release seems specifically intended to spur further congressional inquiry, and broaden the general public awareness.
Why would IG Horowitz send these to congress? Well, there’s not much he can do with them. All of the outlined participants/recipients are no longer within the DOJ or FBI except David Bowditch (now Asst. Director under Wray); however, they do provide an expanded awareness and understanding of the post-election ‘small group‘ activity.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/22/2018)
- Andrew McCabe
- Chris Wray
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- David Bowdich
- Department of Justice
- DOJ OIG Report
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- James Comey
- James Rybicki
- Matthew Axelrod
- Michael Horowitz
- Michael Kortan
- Ron Johnson
- Sally Yates
- Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee
- sensitive matters team
February 15, 2017 – McCabe tells Priebus the NYT Russia and Trump campaign story is a “bunch of BS”
CNN framed a story of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asking the FBI to rebuke an earlier story, based on anonymous leaks, of Trump campaign contacts with Russia. According to the agenda, CNN wanted to make it look like the administration was pressuring the FBI to provide the White House political cover.
However, the truth behind the entire episode shows an entirely different story than the false narrative created by CNN.
On February 15th while discussing another issue FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe asked Reince for 5 minutes alone after the meeting. At the one-on-one McCabe told Priebus the New York Times Russia and Trump campaign story was a “bunch of BS”.
Priebus asked McCabe if McCabe would be able to say that publicly. McCabe said he would check. Later, McCabe called back and said he couldn’t issue a statement about it. (See Screengrab)
So the entire construct by CNN of the White House (via Priebus) trying to pressure the FBI is complete nonsense. Very Fake News…aka a false narrative. It was the FBI who approached Priebus and wanted to clear the record.
Priebus is simply asking the FBI to make the same disclosure public that they were making to him in private. Reince Priebus is asking for transparency, for truth, for openness.
President Trump goes to twitter to call out two issues. First, the media constructing fake news:
However, perhaps more important, it’s the leaks within the FBI, to CNN which aid in the construction of the false narrative, that are now becoming more concerning to President Trump.
May 17th, 2017 – Rosenstein appoints Mueller as Special Counsel, Strzok/Page text plans for the team
“May 17th, 2017 Mueller is appointed. The Strzok/Page text messages reveal discussions of team being assembled. Strzok notes “emailing with Aaron.” Well that’s Aaron Zebley former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s Chief of Staff who was selected for Special Counsel position. He’s also a partner at WilmerHale, and Strzok mentions to Page that she might find herself working at WilmerHale if she plays her cards right.
The fact that Agent Strzok was emailing with “Aaron” Zebley prior to the official appointment of the special counsel team should likely raise a few eyebrows. Of course within this time-frame of the messaging released, the redactions increase.
Toward the end of the release a more thorough picture emerges of who was selecting Robert Mueller’s team and why. Andrew McCabe was key player along with James Baker. Reading how this was done blows the entire Mueller “White Hat Theory” to smithereens. However, the conversation does highlight an aspect we have previously discussed. Robert Mueller did not select the “small group” to work with him; but rather the DOJ/FBI “small group” appears to have selected him.
Specifically Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are discussing who is best ideological ally to help their Mueller Special Counsel team “get Trump” (discussions on pages 46, 47, 48, 49 in year 2017 section).
Predictably right when those juicy tidbits about the Mueller agenda are surfacing, the text message release abruptly stops on May 23rd, 2017.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 4/27/2018) (Strzok/Page text messages)
November 30, 2017 – Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI
“Former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to a process crime of lying to FBI investigators about the content of a December 29th phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. The conversation occurred the same day that then-president Barack Obama announced sanctions against Russia for its interference in the 2016 election.
This is the same misleading information that led to the White House firing Michael Flynn.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Flynn with falsely telling FBI agents that he did not ask the ambassador “to refrain from escalating the situation” in response to the sanctions.
According to the plea, while being questioned by FBI agents on January 24, 2017, Flynn also lied when he claimed he could not recall a subsequent conversation with Kislyak, in which the ambassador told Flynn that the Putin regime had “chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of [Flynn’s] request.”
Furthermore, a week before the sanctions were imposed, Flynn had also spoken to Kislyak, asking the ambassador to delay or defeat a vote on a pending United Nations resolution. The criminal information charges that Flynn lied to the FBI by denying both that he’d made this request and that he’d spoken afterward with Kislyak about Russia’s response to it.
There was nothing wrong with the incoming national-security adviser’s having meetings with foreign counterparts or discussing such matters as the sanctions in those meetings. However, lying to the FBI is the process crime that has led to Flynn’s admissions. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/1/2017)
January 31, 2018 – Robert Mueller requests postponement of General Mike Flynn sentencing
“Against a newly discovered likelihood the Robert Mueller investigation began under false pretenses; and against the backdrop that FBI surveillance and wiretaps were obtained through materially (intentionally) false representations to the FISA court; and against the backdrop the original Flynn plea judge (Contrereas) was also the approving FISA judge; and that judge ‘was summarily recused’ from the case; and against increasing evidence that Mike Flynn was set up by a terminal animus, and politically-motivated investigative rogue unit, operating within the FBI; and against surfacing IG Horowitz evidence that FBI investigators manipulated (lied on) their FD-302 interrogation documents; and understanding those falsified 302’s were used in the Mueller/Flynn charging document…
…Special Counsel Robert Mueller now asks for postponement of sentencing:
Both parties did not ‘request‘ a postponement; both parties ‘agreed‘ to a postponement. The motive for the request (Mueller) is entirely divergent from, yet complimentary to, the motive to agree to the request (Flynn).
It is not coincidental that Brandon L Van Grack is the signatory to the delay request by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s request to the new Judge, Emmet G Sullivan.
If, as has been reported, Inspector General Michael Horowitz now has evidence the FBI manipulated their FD-302 (interrogation and questioning) documents, as also admitted by FBI agent Peter Strzok in related matters regarding Clinton…
…and those manipulated or falsified FBI 302’s (containing FBI investigative notes of Michael Flynn’s questioning during the January 2017 interview), were used in the actual Flynn charging documents.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/31/2018)
February 2, 2018 – Senator Grassley requests a Mandatory Declassification Review of the FISA application
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation signed off on an unclassified version of the criminal referral by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham only after the White House declassified a House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI) Majority memo largely based on the same underlying documents.
Grassley is now calling on the FBI to update the classification of the referral to allow complete disclosure of important context from the documents on which it is based. “Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging. The government should not be blotting out information that it admits isn’t secret, and it should not take dramatic steps by Congress and the White House to get answers that the American people are demanding. There are still many questions that can only be answered by complete transparency. That means declassifying as much of the underlying documents as possible,” Grassley said. (Conservative Treehouse, 2/02/2018)
July 5, 2018 – IG Report Follow Up: DOJ and FBI investigation of Clinton highlights two systems of justice – A Video Series
“Inspector General Michael Horowitz is currently investigating how the FISA processes and FISA Court was used by the DOJ and FBI to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign. Additionally, congress is requesting several witnesses appear before hearings to discuss their involvement in the events around the 2016 presidential election and the use of the intelligence apparatus of the U.S. government to influence the outcome.
However, to gain an idea of how the FISA inquiry is likely to end; perhaps it is worthwhile to look at how the IG viewed, and constructed, the last report (full pdf below). Within the content of the released report it becomes obvious the Obama DOJ and FBI constructed a dual system of justice. Political ideology determines which process to follow.
This is the second in a four part series of reports on the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton by the FBI and Justice Department. Part one is here. Part three and four follow.”
(…) “Over 640,000 people have read the IG report from our SCRIBD link alone. Tens of millions more have likely read parts or the majority from other links to the report. In essence, unlike all prior aspects of the government hiding material, a much larger percentage of the American population is currently awake and holding direct knowledge of what has taken place.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 7/05/2018)
July 20, 2018 – Peter Strzok statements about the Weiner laptop conflict with DOJ Inspector General claims about Weiner laptop
“With the exceptional help of John Spiropoulos we investigate a conflict completely ignored by media and congress. Peter Strzok, the FBI’s lead Investigator in the Clinton email investigation, never intended to investigate the laptop before the election. The evidence, in his own words, is in the report by the Inspector General. In addition, the IG report includes a jaw dropping contradiction regarding the investigation of the laptop. Strzok says one thing; the FBI’s computer experts say another. It calls into question the entirety of the laptop investigation.
There is a great deal of inconsistent application of law surrounding the DOJ/FBI investigative authority during 2015 and 2016. There is also a great deal of fatigue surrounding discussion of those inconsistent applications. Contradictions, inconsistency and obtuse justifications are as rampant in our midst as the political narratives shaping them. Perhaps that’s by design.
Reading Chapter 11 of the IG Report reinforces an acceptance that not only is there a need for a special counsel, but there is a brutally obvious need for multiple special counsels; each given a specific carve-out investigation that comes directly from the content of the Inspector General report. This issue of the handling of the Weiner/Abedin laptop screams for a special counsel investigation on that facet alone. Why?
Well, consider this from page #388 (emphasis mine):
Midyear agents obtained a copy of the Weiner laptop from NYO immediately after the search warrant was signed on October 30.
The laptop was taken directly to Quantico where the FBI’s Operational Technology Division (OTD) began processing the laptop. The Lead Analyst told us that given the volume of emails on the laptop and the difficulty with de-duplicating the emails that “at least for the first few days, the scale of what we’re doing seem[ed] really, really big.”
Strzok told us that OTD was able “to do some amazing things” to “rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop, which significantly lowered the number of emails that the Midyear team would have to individually review. Strzok stated that only after that technological breakthrough did he begin to think it was “possible we might wrap up before the election.” (pg 388)
The key takeaway here is two-fold. First, the laptop is in the custody of the FBI; that’s important moving forward (I’ll explain later). Also, specifically important, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigative authority in the Hillary Clinton MYE (Mid-Year-Exam), is explaining to the IG how they were able to process an exhaustive volume of emails (350,000) and Blackberry communications (344,000) in a few days; [Oct 30 to Nov 5]
Note: “OTD was able “to do some amazing things to rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop.”
OK, you got that?
Now lets look at the very next page, #389 (again, emphasis mine):
(…) The FBI determined that Abedin forwarded two of the confirmed classified emails to Weiner. The FBI reviewed 6,827 emails that were either to or from Clinton and assessed 3,077 of those emails to be “potentially work-related.”The FBI analysis of the review noted that “[b]ecause metadata was largely absent, the emails could not be completely, automatically de-duplicated or evaluated against prior emails recovered during the investigation” and therefore the FBI could not determine how many of the potentially work-related emails were duplicative of emails previously obtained in the Midyear investigation. (pg 389)
See the problem? See the contradiction?
Strzok is saying due to some amazing wizardry the FBI forensics team was able to de-duplicate the emails. However, FBI forensics is saying they were NOT able to de-duplicate the emails.
Both of these statements cannot be true. And therein lies the underlying evidence to support a belief the laptop content was never actually reviewed. But it gets worse, much worse… (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 7/20/2018)
(Note From the Editor: Conservative Treehouse has granted us permission to share more of their work than what Fair Use would normally allow. We thank them for their generosity and excellent, investigative work. Please don’t stop reading here, there is a lot more to their story.)
July 21, 2018 – Katica finds in FBI report, reference to a thumb drive the FBI received from Clinton’s lawyer, and it reveals her emails were being auto-forwarded to a “foreign entity”
Researcher and Paul Combetta aka Stonetear whistleblower, Katica@GOPPollAnalyst, tweets to Rep. Louie Gohmert after a combined House Judiciary and Oversight Committee hearing. Katica’s tweet was in response to a question Gohmert posed to Peter Strzok regarding a “foreign entity” found on Clinton’s private server, when a forensic analysis was done by the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General’s office.
The forensic analysis revealed nearly all of Clinton’s emails were automatically forwarded to an unknown email address (not Russia). Gohmert said the ICIG investigator, Frank Rucker, presented the findings to Strzok, but that the FBI official did not do anything with the information.
Here is a clip of Louie Gohmert’s exchange with Peter Strzok regarding Clinton’s emails sent to an unauthorized source:
Katica discovered in Part 3 of the FBI Vault report, mention of an unknown email address on Clinton’s server and tweets her findings to Representative Louie Gohmert:
Katica then tweets: “FBI Vault part 3, page 61: The hackers then used the password to modify the users gmail/yahoo account to auto-forward to [redacted]. “
Katica continues, “One common theme with hackers is they create an email account relatively close to the ID of the person they hacked. Huma: My email address is misspelled…and clintonmail has never been hacked. Part 3, page 89.”
The FBI report also states, in February 2011, several State employees were victims of Yahoo and Gmail phishing attacks and Clinton’s private server was affected.(Read more: Katica@GOPPollAnalyst/Twitter, 7/22/2018)
(Timeline editor’s note: Katica constantly amazes us with her discoveries and is one of the few researchers willing to do the painstaking work of reading the Clinton FBI reports, making sense of them and then posting her findings to the public. Her work is invaluable for those seeking documented details.)
- auto-forwarded emails
- Clinton emails
- David Kendall
- FBI Vault Part 3
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- foreign entity
- forensic study
- Frank Rucker
- House Judiciary Committee
- House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
- July 2018
- Louie Gohmert
- Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General
- Peter Strzok
August 3, 2018: FBI Vault Release – FBI requested data forensics on Huma Abedin/Clinton laptop after the 2016 Election, not before…
“A new release from the FBI Vault on the Hillary Clinton email investigation reveals the Anthony Weiner/Huma Abedin laptop containing Clinton emails (350,000) and Blackberry communications (344,000) was never reviewed for intrusion prior to the 2016 election.”
“From this page (15): The day after the 2016 election Peter Strzok is asking the FBI forensics data lab to run an intrusion analysis of Huma Abedin’s laptop hard drive.”
“From This Page (16): The day after the 2016 election specific instructions to look for “evidence of intrusion” in the laptop of Huma Abedin.”
“From This Page (17): The day after the election the FBI is requesting data forensics to identify intrusions into the Huma Abedin laptop. Special instructions include the forensics lab to keep a list of anyone who sees this information, keep track of the FBI personnel doing this work, and tell the case agent who they are.
Then comes the kicker….
Item 4.4: “List any previous efforts to analyze this evidence”: “None”
The FBI never looked at the Anthony Weiner/Huma Abedin laptop, which contained 100% of Clinton emails and blackberry text messages, for intrusion or security breaches PRIOR TO the election.
Midyear agents obtained a copy of the Weiner laptop from NYO immediately after the search warrant was signed on October 30.
The laptop was taken directly to Quantico where the FBI’s Operational Technology Division (OTD) began processing the laptop. The Lead Analyst told us that given the volume of emails on the laptop and the difficulty with de-duplicating the emails that “at least for the first few days, the scale of what we’re doing seem[ed] really, really big.”
Strzok told us that OTD was able “to do some amazing things” to “rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop, which significantly lowered the number of emails that the Midyear team would have to individually review. Strzok stated that only after that technological breakthrough did he begin to think it was “possible we might wrap up before the election.” (pg 388)
FBI Agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigative authority in the Hillary Clinton MYE (Mid-Year-Exam), is explaining to the IG how they were able to process an exhaustive volume of emails (350,000) and Blackberry communications (344,000) in a few days; [Oct 30 to Nov 5, 2016]
Now, how does that square with the laptop being turned over to FBI forensics on November 9th, 2016?”
August 15, 2018 – Notes on Peter Strzok’s possible FISA application abuse and falsified FBI FD-302 report on Michael Flynn interview
“The media narrative surrounding FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s firing has been framed, almost exclusively, around his political text messages. Given the nature of the media participation in the events, this is not surprising. However, Strzok’s text messages have no bearing on his firing.
In March 2018 the DOJ Office of Inspector General announced an ongoing review of how the DOJ and FBI used FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) as a weaponized tool against their political opposition.
“As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.” (pdf link)
Two months later on Monday May 21st, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein added a significant DOJ mandate to the Inspector General review. Rosenstein expanded the original FISA review to include looking at whether officials within the intelligence community may have unlawfully used human intelligence assets to “spy” or “surveil” the Trump campaign:
“The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.” (link)
Part of that ongoing IG review surrounds FBI Affidavits presented to the FISA Court (FISC) and whether those affidavits were fraudulent; thereby misleading the court. FBI Agent Peter Strzok is the primary affiant swearing to the truthfulness and fullness of the information that underlines the FISA application (ie. Woods Procedures) . We know Peter Strzok lied and misrepresented information to the court.
In addition to violating the Woods Procedures, FBI Agent Peter Strzok likely falsified, manipulated and shaped FD-302 investigative notes in both the Hillary Clinton and Michael Flynn interviews. His own text messages with DOJ Special Counsel Lisa Page highlight that Peter Strzok was very familiar with manipulating evidence by the narrative he could/did write in his 302 submissions.
On May 11, 2018, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley dropped a sunlight grenade into the prosecution of Michael Flynn with a jaw-dropping request letter (full pdf below) to FBI Director Christopher Wray. [Judiciary Link Here]
Within the letter Chairman Grassley outlined a prior briefing from fired FBI Director James Comey to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and contrasts the false presentations of James Comey and by extension Peter Strzok, regarding Michael Flynn, against recently known evidence.
Additionally, Grassley requested:
♦the transcription of the phone call(s) intercepted by the FBI between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak;
♦the FD 302s written by the FBI in their interview with Michael Flynn;
♦testimony from Special Agent Joe Pientka, likely the second FBI agent who was partnered with Peter Strzok for the Flynn interview.
The name of the second FBI agent was previously unknown, and it’s likely Chairman Grassley outed the name for a very specific reason. This is a BIG shot across the bow.
Previously the Justice Department was refusing to provide any information to the committee pertinent to Grassley’s requests, citing the ongoing investigation. However, the Senator was outlining his request against the backdrop of the Judge in the Flynn case demanding the Special Counsel turn over all exculpatory information.
Senator Grassley outlines the February 15th, 2017, briefing provided by James Comey to the committee:
(…) “Like the Flynn interview itself, that briefing was not transcribed. Also like the Flynn interview, there are notes taken by a career, non-partisan law enforcement officer who was present. The agent was on detail to the Committee staff at the time.
According to that agent’s contemporaneous notes, Director Comey specifically told us during that briefing that the FBI agents who interviewed Lt. General Michael Flynn, “saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying.” Our own Committee staff’s notes indicate that Mr. Comey said the “agents saw no change in his demeanor or tone that would say he was being untruthful.”
Contrary to his public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments, then-Director Comey led us to believe during that briefing that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his conversation with the Ambassador and that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute him for false statements made in that interview. In the months since then, the Special Counsel obtained a guilty plea from Lt. General Flynn for that precise alleged conduct.”
It is important to remember – there is a widely held belief that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative.
There is a great deal of debate surrounding the guilty plea as an outcome of a carefully constructed and coordinated plan by FBI and DOJ officials to target Flynn.
The letter continues:
(…) “The Department has withheld the Flynn-related documents since our initial bipartisan request last year, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. With Flynn’s plea, the investigation appears concluded.
Additionally, while we are aware that the Special Counsel’s office has moved to delay Lt. General Flynn’s sentencing on several occasions, we presume that all related records already have been provided to the defense pursuant to Judge Sullivan’s February 16, 2018 order requiring production of all potentially exculpatory material. Thus, although the case is not yet adjudicated, the Committee’s oversight interest in the underlying documents requested more than a year ago now outweighs any legitimate executive branch interest in withholding it. So too does the Committee’s interest in learning the FBI agents’ actual assessments of their interview of Lt. Gen. Flynn, particularly given the apparent contradiction between what then Directory Comey told us in March 2017 and what he now claims.”
Then comes the hammer:
(…) “In addition, please make Special Agent Joe Pientka available for a transcribed interview with Committee staff no later than one week following the production of the requested documents.”
Regarding the “widely held belief” that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Strzok and Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302’s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative. As Nick Falco points out evidence of that is within the most recent text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:
♦January 23, 2017, the day before the Flynn interview, Lisa Page says: “I can feel my heart beating harder, I’m so stressed about all the ways THIS has the potential to go fully off the rails.” Weird!”
♦Strzok replies: “I know. I just talked with John, we’re getting together as soon as I get in to finish that write up for Andy [McCabe] this morning.” Strzok agrees with Page about being stressed that “THIS” could go off the rails. (Strzok meets with Flynn the next day.)
♦Why would Page & Strzok be stressed about “THIS” potentially going off the rails if everything was by the book?
BECAUSE IT WASN’T!
♦February 14th, 2017, there is another note about the FBI reports filed from the interview.
Peter Strzok asks Lisa Page if FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is OK with his report: “Also, is Andy good with F-302?”
Lisa Page replies: “Launch on F 302.”
And we know from their discussions of manipulating FBI reports a year earlier, inside the Hillary Clinton investigation – that Peter Strzok has withheld information, and manipulated information, through use of the 302 reports:
(Timeline editor’s note: With special thanks to Conservative Treehouse for allowing us to post their well documented research to the timeline. We have decided to post this piece in full. Please visit their website and read more of Sundance’s work. His team is an organized group of super sleuths who are putting this maddening puzzle together, piece by piece.)
- August 2018
- Conservative Treehouse
- Department of Justice Office of Inspector General
- falsify reports
- FBI Affidavits
- FBI Counterintelligence Division
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA 702 violations
- FISA application
- FISA court
- Michael Flynn
- Peter Strzok
- Rod Rosenstein
- text messages
- Woods Procedures
August 31, 2018 – Justice Department discloses no FISA Court hearings held on Carter Page warrants
Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.
In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:
(…) “In February, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memo criticizing the FISA targeting of Carter Page. The memo details how the “minimally corroborated” Clinton-DNC dossier was an essential part of the FBI and DOJ’s applications for surveillance warrants to spy on Page.
Judicial Watch recently filed a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking the transcripts of all hearings related to the surveillance of Carter Page.
“It is disturbing that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance courts rubber-stamped the Carter Page spy warrants and held not one hearing on these extraordinary requests to spy on the Trump team,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Perhaps the court can now hold hearings on how justice was corrupted by material omissions that Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the DNC, a conflicted Bruce Ohr, a compromised Christopher Steele, and anti-Trumper Peter Strzok were all behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 8/31/2018)
September 20, 2018 – Opinion: Clinton’s “Researchers” lose their top secret security clearance
(…) “Jeff Carlson has assembled a strong and in-depth outline covering most of the weaponized intelligence agencies and how they related to “spygate” – SEE HERE –
However, there has also been a strong suspicion that most of the corrupt origination activity would never surface.
The downstream ramifications to the institutions of our IC apparatus would be too destructive. What follows below is the story that will never reach sunlight officially.
When reading the Department of State (DoS) letter today, I cannot avoid reviewing the information against the backdrop of known DoS corrupt political activity that extends beyond the Clinton emails scandal. For this explanation, here’s the excerpt that matters:
Forget Clinton’s motives for a moment. We all know her “request” was a proactive measure due to the likelihood her clearance was going to be forcibly revoked. Requesting the removal avoids multiple political and logistical issues of her security file being damaged by a forced revocation. The request is transparent in motive; so lets get beyond the surface issue.
The “researchers” who Secretary Clinton designated is the topic of interest; and the redacted identifications therein are telling. The Executive Order referenced is HERE. The subsection [Sec. 4.4 (a)(2)] involves:
Sec. 4.4. Access by Historical Researchers and Certain Former Government Personnel.
(a) The requirement in section 4.1(a)(3) of this order that access to classified information may be granted only to individuals who have a need-to-know the information may be waived for persons who:
(1) are engaged in historical research projects;
(2) previously have occupied senior policy-making positions to which they were appointed or designated by the President or the Vice President; or
(3) served as President or Vice President.
Essentially what this tells us is that Secretary Hillary Clinton used her authority to waive the ‘need to know‘ limit on the people she listed. In essence, she gave unlimited access to her “researchers” for an unspecified reason.
When I see the wording, immediately I think of two distinct reasons for Clinton to grant her researchers with top-level security access to classified information: (1) to participate in searches of FISA databases (ie. ‘queries’); and (2) to make unmasking requests for any results within those search query results.
Keeping in mind these appear to be State Department access / authorized researchers. The DoS is one of the intelligence authorized access portals. (FBI, DOJ-NSD, NSA, CIA, DoD are others.) In short, Clinton ‘researchers’ would have access to compartmented intelligence gathering systems, ie. FISA intelligence systems.
Now, remember all of the ‘unmasking requests’ attributed to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Powers? Hundreds of them. Ambassador Samantha Powers is a top-level official, for Obama a cabinet level official, within the Department of State.” (Read much more: Conservative Treehouse, 10/12/2018)
November 29, 2018 – A Clinton Foundation donor is charged for defrauding military contracts, illegal commerce and money laundering
(…) “In a Nov. 29 DOJ press release, three executives including Abul Huda Farouki were charged “for their roles in a scheme to defraud U.S. military contracts in Afghanistan, engaging in illegal commerce in Iran, and laundering money internationally.” Farouki was the CEO of Anham, a defense contractor based in the United Arab Emirates
This wasn’t the first time Farouki or his company have been involved in allegations of misconduct. In a 2013 article by The Daily Caller, headlined “Clinton Donors Get a Pass on Shady Contracting,” Farouki and his company were highlighted:
“In June 2011, the Defense Department’s Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) released a scathing report on a defense contracting company called Anham. The title of the report and its conclusion were the same: ‘Poor Government Oversight of Anham and Its Subcontracting Procedures Allowed Questionable Costs to Go Undetected.’”
The article then asked a simple question: Given prior violations, how was Anham able to secure an $8 billion contract in Afghanistan that “allowed it to illegally ship supplies through two Iranian border crossings and a seaport controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard?”
The $8 billion contract, along with the illegal shipment of supplies, being cited in the 2013 article appear to be exactly the same violations being alleged in the 2018 DOJ indictment. So why weren’t Farouki and his company charged with these same, known violations back in 2013?
The answer may lie within Farouki’s many connections to the Democratic Party. The Daily Caller notes that Farouki is a longtime donor to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and donated to Obama for America in 2008. But Farouki’s closest ties lie with the Clintons and their Foundation.
Farouki, a member of the now-shuttered Clinton Global Initiative, participated in annual CGI meetings since the group’s formation in 2005 through at least 2010 and made multiple donations to the Clinton Foundation. Farouki also made donations to Terry McAuliffe and has been photographed with Huma Abedin. (Read more: The Epoch Times/Jeff Carlson, 11/30/2018)
December 2, 2018 – Senator Mark Warner says the Senate Intel Committee is ‘working closely’ with Robert Mueller
“Today on Face The Nation Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Vice-Chairman Mark Warner describes how his committee is working with Robert Mueller; including: (a) several criminal referrals (Cohen was one); and (b) the sharing of congressional transcripts so Mueller (the team, not the person) can cross reference statements given to him with testimony given to the SSCI.
Tell me again how letting SSCI Security Director, James Wolfe, off the hook for leaking classified intelligence to the media, including the Carter Page FISA application, was not to cover for SSCI members instructing Mr. Wolfe to carry out those leaks.
For several years, and with increased urgency at each discovery/admission, CTH has been highlighting how the SSCI was part of the 2015, 2016, 2017 plan to eliminate Donald Trump (Spygate), and later remove President Trump (insurance policy).
The most recent series of events by Robert Mueller is a quid-pro-quo to cover for the SSCI involvement. This is not confirmational bias against the SSCI; this is factual evidence of the SSCI’s corruption. Please understand the basic issue here. The SSCI is complicit with the overall scheme – and Robert Mueller, via a plan of mutual benefit and coordination, is trying to protect that from surfacing.
(…) “Remember, those SSCI Senators (Vice-Chair Mark Warner, Dianne Feinstein and senior staffer Dan Jones etc.) were coordinating with Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign allies; and were direct participants in “Spygate” and the insurance policy known as the special counsel.
This is one of the reasons why it is likely, damned near certain, that senior SSCI senators instructed James Wolfe to leak information, including the March 17th copy of the Carter Page FISA application, and that is why Rosenstein and Mueller let James Wolfe plea to a much lesser one-count crime of lying.
Remember when SSCI senator Dianne Feinstein released the transcript of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony so that all of downstream participants could coordinate their stories? Oh, how quickly we forget.
It is near certain that Feinstein gave up her Senate Intelligence Vice-Chair position following the 2016 presidential election because there was an inherent political risk for any intelligence-oversight Democrat in relation to the FBI’s Trump operation, “spygate”. Feinstein’s staffer, Dan Jones, then paid Fusion-GPS $50 million to continue the efforts.
Remember Oleg Deripaska’s lawyer/lobbyist Adam Waldman having secret text messages with new SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner relaying communication from Christopher Steele that Senator Warner wanted to keep quiet?
Adam Waldman texting Senator Warner about Chris Steele and outlining how Feinstein’s former senior staffer Dan Jones was coming to see him.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is as corrupt and complicit within the entire Spygate fiasco as the DOJ and FBI. That’s why Mueller and Rosenstein (small group) are working to protect the Senators and staff just like they protect the corrupt officials in the DOJ and FBI. Mueller’s entire operation is structured around this type of scheming cover-up.
This is Deep State (via Mueller/Rosenstein) fighting President Trump; and trying to blunt the declassification weapon he holds. Nothing more.
December 4, 2018: And Then There Was None – Bill Priestap Resigns
“The only remaining FBI counterintelligence official at the center of all Spygate and Clinton investigation issues is departing. The enigma man, E.W. “Bill” Piestap is retiring from the FBI. Bill Priestap is the FBI Asst. Director in charge of all counterintelligence operations. Priestap was FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s boss; he was also at the epicenter of the story surrounding every action taken by the FBI in the Clinton investigation and the Trump campaign investigation.
Bill Priestap was copied on every email of consequence including the writing of the Clinton exoneration talking points delivered by FBI Director James Comey. Priestap was the central figure on the FBI side of both Clinton and Trump operations. “Bill” is mentioned in hundreds of text messages sent by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
In short, Bill Priestap was everywhere – except where you would most likely expect to find him, in media discussion. The timing seems curious though the Wall Street Journal goes to great lengths to describe the timing as a mere happenstance due to his 20-year service anniversary and the opportunity to retire with full benefits:
WASHINGTON—A top FBI official who helped oversee two politically sensitive investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign is retiring from government service.
Bill Priestap, who currently serves as assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence division, will leave his post by the end of the year. Mr. Priestap, a 20-year veteran of the bureau, worked on organized crime and drug cases in Chicago before rising through the national security ranks of the agency after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Priestap’s retirement is unrelated to the controversies over the handling of the 2016 investigations, according to a person familiar with the matter. He “became eligible to retire and has chosen to do so after 20 years of service,” the FBI said in a statement.
The federal government allows some employees, including FBI agents, to retire with full benefits if they are 50 or older and have at least two decades of service.
During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Priestap was one of several officials at the center of two politically volatile probes: the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, and a counterintelligence inquiry into whether associates of then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government.
After Mr. Priestap’s departure, none of the high-ranking bureau officials involved in the two investigations will remain with the bureau. FBI director James Comey was fired by President Trump last year, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was later dismissed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his contacts with the media, days before he was eligible to retire with benefits.
Peter Strzok, the chief of the counterespionage section, left the FBI this year after it emerged that he had sent disparaging text messages about Mr. Trump.
Top bureau officials, especially those with national security experience, are in high demand in private-sector fields like cybersecurity, defense contracting and private intelligence. Mr. Priestap’s future plans aren’t known. (read more)
(…) Priestap was so important that during FBI Director James Comey’s March 20th, 2017 congressional testimony Director Comey told congress it was Bill Priestap who recommended that congressional oversight should not be notified of the ongoing counterintelligence operations. Priestap’s instruction was so important that despite the rules violation FBI Director Comey followed his recommendation and kept congress in the dark.
On June 5th, 2018, FBI Director of Counterintelligence E.W. “Bill” Priestap testified to a joint session of the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees.
The hearing was a matter of strong public interest. Mr. Priestap was questioned for approximately seven hours. However, journalist Olivia Beavers covering for The Hill dropped a detail that seemed rather curious:
(…) Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), however, said he felt that Priestap didn’t say anything that would indicate there was “political bias that motivated the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”
Priestap “completely” backed up everything that Comey said, according to a source familiar with his testimony.
Only three lawmakers — Jordan, Meadows and Krishnamoorthi — attended the hearing, which took place on the first day after a week-long recess.
Priestap’s interview comes after the joint House investigation stalled for months after being first announced. (more)
On the home-front: FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap is married to Sabina Menshell a self-employed “consultant” with a history of donations to Democrat candidates, specifically to Hillary Clinton.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/04/2018)
December 17, 2018 – Mueller filing highlights lengthy deliberative process between FBI investigators and Andrew McCabe on Flynn report
“Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack filed a cover letter attempting to explain the reason for the Flynn interview on January 24th, and the official filing of the interview notes (FD-302) on February 15th, and then again on May 31st. To explain the delay, he claims the report “inadvertently” had a header saying “DRAFT DOCUMENT/DELIBERATIVE MATERIAL” (screen grab)
What the special counsel appears to be obfuscating to the court is that there was factually a process of deliberation within the investigative unit, headed by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, surrounding the specific wording of the 302 report on the interview.
Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack is attempting to hide the length of the small group deliberations. It seems he doesn’t want the court to know Andrew McCabe was involved in shaping how the fd-302 was written.
We know there was a deliberative process in place, seemingly all about how to best position the narrative, because we can see the deliberations in text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok: See below (note the dates):
The text message conversation above is February 14th, 2017. The Michael Flynn FD-302 was officially entered into the record on February 15th, 2017, per the report:
Obviously the interview took place on January 24th, 2017. The FD-302 was drafted on January 24th, and then later edited, shaped, and ultimately approved by McCabe, on February 14th, then entered into the official record on February 15th.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/17/2018)