Jeff Carlson

Introduction: Jeff Carlson

We are pleased to include some of Jeff Carlson’s work in our Investigations Timeline and appreciate the awesome job he does gathering evidence and then making sense of the FBI/DOJ/FISA abuse scandals. He has saved us countless hours in research and his ability to keep names, dates and events organized is second to none.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank him for giving us special permission to republish some of his work, and love that we share a common goal to educate the masses the best way we can.

His blog is at themarketswork and is often published at The Epoch Times as well.

Here is a handy list he compiled of individuals with possible involvement or affiliation in Trump surveillance, the Steele Dossier and/or the Russia narrative.

Individuals have been placed into the following groups:

  • Resignations/Firings – Department of Justice (Non-FBI)
  • Resignations/Firings – FBI
  • FBI/DOJ Watch List
  • FBI – Assignments Away from FBI Headquarters
  • Other Notable Retirements
  • Intelligence Officials – United States
  • Intelligence Officials – Britain
  • Intelligence Officials – Australia
  • Obama Officials
  • Clinton Campaign/DNC
  • Devin Nunes – List of Individuals referred to Joint Task Force for open-setting interviews
  • Clinton Confidants
  • Perkins Coie
  • Sea Island Meeting – Never Trump
  • Websites/Blogs – Lawfare, Just Security, Moscow Project
  • Think Tanks – Center for American Progress, Atlantic Council, Brookings Institution
  • Crowdstrike
  • Fusion GPS’ (Bean LLC) Principals and Key Staff
  • Fusion Affiliations
  • Christopher Steele Connections
  • Hakluyt – UK private Intelligence firm
  • Penn Quarter Group
  • Papadopoulos Related
  • Trump Tower Meeting
  • Individuals Relating to Magnitsky Act
  • Oleg Deripaska Connections
  • Mueller Team
  • Congress
  • FISA Court Judges
  • Print Reporters

Treat this post as a work in progress. Names will be added as we move forward.

To the extent you believe something to be materially wrong or missing, let me know. I will attempt to verify.

Work. In. Progress.

(A Listing of Participants, Jeff Carlson, 5/01/2018)

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

Bruce and Nellie Ohr (Credit: public domain)

“One of the bombshell admissions from a closed-door testimony by DOJ official Bruce Ohr was that his wife, Nellie Ohr, was working for opposition research firm Fusion GPS already in late 2015.

Previously, it had been reported that Nellie Ohr was hired to find dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump in the spring of 2016.

“Ohr testified that Fusion approached his wife for a job and that she began working for the research firm in late 2015,” the Daily Caller reported.

In addition to the new time-frame for Nellie Ohr’s employment, Bruce Ohr also confirmed that former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, and FBI Special Counsel Lisa Page all knew he was talking to former British MI6 spy, Christopher Steele, who compiled the now-infamous opposition research dossier on Trump, which was used as the core evidence of an application for a [Title 1] Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.

More importantly, Ohr also informed Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann about his dossier-related work and interactions with Steele. Ohr made these internal disclosures before Weissmann joined special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The Mueller Team has known of Ohr’s involvement with the Steele Dossier from the start of their formal investigation.

These events are likely intertwined. To understand why, we need to revisit an April 26, 2017unsealed FISA Court Ruling, that was declassified by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

There is a staggering amount of information contained within the ruling, including these two disclosures:

“NSA estimates that approximately eighty-five percent of those queries, representing [Redacted] queries conducted by approximately [Redacted] targeted offices, were not compliant with the applicable minimization procedures.”

“The FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to a [Redacted] … is largely staffed by private contractors … the [Redacted] contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI’s requests.”

The Court said these practices had been going on since at least November 2015 and noted that “there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015-April 2016 period coincided with an unusually high error rate.”

The FISA Court also pointed out that the government could not say how, when, or where the non-compliant information was used. Once an individual had access to the information, it could no longer be traced or tracked.

What the FISA Court disclosed is alarming in its simplicity.

Illegal NSA Database searches were endemic. Private contractors, employed by the FBI, were given full access to the NSA Database. Once in their possession, the FISA Data could not be traced.

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

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

(…) “The FBI relied in large part on allegations contained in the so-called Steele dossier in obtaining a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The author of the dossier, former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, as well as the company he was hired by, Fusion GPS, were both feeding information to the FBI through different channels.

A key conduit for Steele to the FBI was high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Asked if he was familiar with Ohr, Priestap told lawmakers, “I think I’ve seen Bruce Ohr, but I don’t think I’ve ever been in a meeting with Bruce Ohr.” Priestap also said he never worked with Ohr on a counterintelligence investigation, which would include the FBI’s investigation into Trump-Russia collusion:

Ms. Shen: So you have never worked with Bruce Ohr on a counterintelligence —

Mr. Priestap: I have not, no.

Priestap appeared to be completely unaware of the role that Ohr played in the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation into the Trump campaign—or of Ohr’s meetings with the FBI.

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

In either late September or early October 2016, Ohr had another meeting—this time with Strzok, Page, and two or three DOJ career officials from the criminal division: Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, and Andrew Weissman (Ohr testified that he was unsure whether Weismann was at this or a later meeting).

On Nov. 21, 2016, Ohr had an additional meeting with Strzok and Page where he was introduced to FBI agent Joe Pientka, who would become Ohr’s FBI handler. Pientka was also present with Strzok during the Jan. 24, 2017, interview of then-national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

On the following day, Nov. 22, 2016, Ohr met alone with Pientka. Ohr would continue to relay his communications with Steele to Pientka. Unbeknownst to Ohr, Pientka was transmitting all the information directly to Strzok for use in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation Priestap was overseeing.” (The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)

Late 2015 – Early 2016: ICIG McCullough sends a team to the FBI to detail the anomaly that was found on Clinton’s server

Charles McCullough (Credit: Fox News)

“In either late 2015 or early 2016, the IC inspector general, Chuck McCullough, sent Frank Rucker and Janette McMillan to meet with the FBI in order to detail the anomaly that had been uncovered. That meeting was attended by four individuals, including Strzok, then-Executive Assistant Director John Giacalone, and then-Section Chief Dean Chappell. The identity of the fourth individual remains unknown, though Moffa, who also met with the IG at various times, is a possible candidate. Charles Kable, who also met with the ICIG at several points, is another possible candidate.

Priestap testified that he had not been briefed on the Clinton server anomaly by Strzok, noting “this would have been a big deal.”

“I am not aware of any evidence that demonstrated that. I’m also not aware of any evidence that my team or anybody reporting to me on this had advised me that there were anomalies that couldn’t be accounted for. I don’t recall that,” he said.

Priestap’s admission that this was all new information to him, prompted an observation from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) that Strzok appeared to be exercising significant investigative control:

Mr. Meadows: “It sounds like Peter Strzok was kind of driving the train here. Would you agree with that?”

Mr. Priestap: “Peter and Jon, yeah.”

As Meadows noted during testimony, this matter still had to be officially “closed out” by the FBI before the official closing of the Clinton investigation. Strzok personally called the IC inspector general within minutes of Comey’s July 5, 2016, press conference on the Clinton investigation, telling him that the FBI would be sending a “referral to close it out.”

Meadows seemed genuinely surprised that Strzok had apparently kept this information successfully hidden from Priestap, noting, “I’m a Member from North Carolina, and you’re saying that I have better intel than you do?” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)

May 4, 2016 – DNC Alexandra Chalupa writes to DNC Luis Miranda, about Isikoff, Manafort, and “a big Trump component that will hit in the next few weeks”

From a Wikileaks email sent by Alexandra Chalupa to Luis Miranda, Communications Director of the DNC:

(Credit: Wikileaks)

Two points.

Open World is a supposedly non-partisan Congressional agency.

Michael Isikoff is the same journalist Christopher Steele leaked to in September 2016:

The Carter Page FISA application extensively cited a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff, which focused on Page’s July 2016 trip to Moscow. This information was used to corroborate the Steele Dossier.

Steele leaked to Isikoff who wrote the article for Yahoo News. The Isikoff article was then used to help obtain a Title I FISA grant to gather information on Page. This search was then leaked by Steele to David Corn at Mother Jones.

Isikoff accompanied Chalupa to a reception at the Ukrainian Embassy immediately after the Library of Congress event.

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.

Alexander Downer (Credit: The Australian)

About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.

The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year: What so alarmed American officials to provoke the F.B.I. to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign months before the presidential election?

The Papadopoulos/Downer meeting has been portrayed as a chance encounter in a bar. That does not appear to be the case. Papadopoulos was introduced to Downer through a chain of two intermediaries. Papadopoulos knew an Israeli embassy official in London named Christian Cantor who introduced Papadopoulos to Erika Thompson. Thompson was a counselor to Downer and served in Australia’s London embassy.

On May 4, 2016, Papadopoulos gave an interview to the London Times in which he stated then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron should apologize to Trump for negative comments. The interview was not well-received. According to the Daily Caller, Thompson reached out to Papadopoulos two days after the story appeared and said Downer wanted to meet with Papadopoulos. The meeting between Papadopoulos and Downer took place on May 10, 2016. Downer reportedly told Papadopoulos to “leave David Cameron alone.”

We know Papadopoulos mentioned “thousands of emails” in his FBI Interview regarding his April 26, 2016 meeting with Mifsud. That comment is noted in the July 28, 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.

On April 28, 2018, Downer gave an interview to The Australian. The story, which I’ve read, is behind a paywall – but the Daily Caller provides some details:

“We didn’t know anything about Trump and Russia and we had no particular focus on that,’’ Downer says of the Papadopoulos meeting. “For us we were more interested in what Trump would do in Asia” Downer told The Australian. “He [Papadopoulos] didn’t say dirt; he said material that could be damaging to her. No, he said it would be damaging. He didn’t say what it was.”

“By the way, nothing [Papadopoulos] said in that conversation indicated Trump himself had been conspiring with the Russians to collect information on Hillary Clinton. It was just that this guy, [Papadopoulos], clearly knew that the Russians did have material on Hillary Clinton — but whether Trump knew or not? He didn’t say Trump knew or that Trump was in any way involved in this. He said it was about Russians and Hillary Clinton; it wasn’t about Trump.”

Interestingly, the Schiff Memo appears to back this account up. From page two:

“Papadopoulos’ disclosure occurred against the backdrop of Russia’s aggressive covert campaign to influence our elections, which the FBI was already monitoring. We would later learn in Papadopoulos’ plea that the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing were thousands of Hillary Clinton emails.”

Despite initial reporting to the contrary, it appears neither “political dirt” nor Clinton emails were ever mentioned at the Papadopoulos/Downer meeting. Notably, Papadopoulos didn’t mention anything to indicate Trump knew of the Clinton information, or had any role in its collection or potential distribution.

There’s been some confusion over how Papadopoulos’ comments made their way to the FBI. Downer stated in his interview that he reported the conversation back to Australia almost immediately…” (Read much more: themarketswork.com, 8/15/2018)

June 20, 2016 – Michael Gaeta, former member of the FBI’s Eurasian Organized Crime unit, becomes Christopher Steele’s dossier handler

Franco Roberti, (l) Italy’s chief anti-mafia and anti-terrorism prosecutor, and Michael Gaeta, (r) an FBI agent and current Assistant Legal Attaché at the US Embassy, for “A Roundtable Discussion: The Challenges of Transnational Organized Crime Today” on October 25, 2016. (Credit: John Cabot.edu)

“A little-known FBI unit played an outsized role in allowing controversial claims by a former British MI6 spy about Donald Trump to reach the highest levels of the FBI and State Department.

The Eurasian Organized Crime unit, which was headed by Michael Gaeta at the time, specializes in investigating criminal groups from Georgia, Russia, and Ukraine.

Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, has known the former spy, Christopher Steele—who authored the controversial dossier on then-candidate Donald Trump—since at least 2010, when Steele provided assistance in the FBI’s investigation into the FIFA corruption scandal, over concern that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup.

(…) Steele would complete his first memo on June 20, 2016, and send it to Fusion via enciphered mail.

It is at this point that Steele reportedly began to reconnect with his old FBI contacts from the Eurasian serious-crime division:

“In June, Steele flew to Rome to brief the FBI contact with whom he had cooperated over FIFA,” The Guardian reported. “His information started to reach the bureau in Washington.”

It’s not entirely clear if Steele met with the head of the Eurasian division, Gaeta, or another FBI agent. Either way, Steele met with Gaeta shortly thereafter in London.

The purpose of the London visit was clear. Steele was personally handing the first memo in his dossier to Gaeta for ultimate transmission back to the FBI and the State Department.

Victoria Nuland (Credit: CBS, Face the Nation)

For this visit, the FBI sought permission from the office of Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland, who had been the recipient of many of Steele’s reports, gave permission for the more formal meeting. On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the office’s of Steele’s firm, Orbis.

Nuland provided this version of events during a Feb. 4, 2018appearance on Face the Nation:

“In the middle of July, when he [Steele] was doing this other work and became concerned, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate.”

In September 2016, Steel would travel back to Rome to meet with the FBI Eurasian squad once again. It’s likely that the meeting contained several other FBI officials as well:

“In September, Steele went back to Rome. There, he met with an FBI team. Their response was one of ‘shock and horror,’ Steele said,” according to The Guardian. “The bureau asked him to explain how he had compiled his reports, and to give background on his sources. It asked him to send future copies.”

According to a House Intelligence Committee minority memo, Steele’s reporting didn’t reach the FBI counterintelligence team until mid-September 2016—the same time as Steele’s September trip to Rome.

There’s one other central figure in the Trump–Russia investigation who had meaningful overlap with the FBI’s Eurasian squad: former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe:

“McCabe began his career as a special agent with the FBI in 1996,” the FBI states on its website. “He first reported to the New York division, where he investigated a variety of organized crime matters. In 2003, he became the supervisory special agent of the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force.”

McCabe remained with the Eurasian squad until 2006, when he was moved to FBI headquarters in Washington.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 9/29/2018)

July 5, 2016 – Michael Gaeta travels to London, meets with Christopher Steele and is referred to as his “FBI handler”

Lisa Page references Christopher Steele’s FBI handler during her testimony July 13, 2018:

An Orbis Business Intelligence ad that states, “”We provide strategic advice, mount intelligence-gathering operations and conduct complex, often cross-border investigations.” (Credit: public domain)

“When the FBI first receives the reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016 at that time, we do not know who—we don’t know why these reports have been generated.”

Steele’s handler is almost certainly Michael Gaeta, head of the FBI’s Eurasian Crime Squad. Gaeta, an FBI agent and also assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, has known the former MI6 spy since at least 2010, when Steele provided assistance in the FBI’s investigation into the FIFA corruption scandal over concern that Russia might have been engaging in bribery to host the 2018 World Cup.

On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele’s firm, Orbis. For this visit, the FBI sought permission from the office of Victoria Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland, who had been the recipient of many of Steele’s reports, gave permission for the more formal meeting.

Nuland provided this version of events during a Feb. 4, 2018, appearance on CBS News’ “Face the Nation”:

“In the middle of July, when he [Steele] was doing this other work and became concerned, he passed two to four pages of short points of what he was finding and our immediate reaction to that was, this is not in our purview. This needs to go to the FBI if there is any concern here that one candidate or the election as a whole might be influenced by the Russian Federation. That’s something for the FBI to investigate.”

In September 2016, Steele would travel back to Rome to meet with the FBI Eurasian squad again. It was at this meeting that Steele gave a copy of his dossier—what there was of it at that time—to the FBI counterintelligence team investigators.

One individual who had previous involvement with the Eurasian Crime Squad was former FBI Deputy Director McCabe:

“McCabe began his career as a special agent with the FBI in 1996,” the FBI states on its website. “He first reported to the New York division, where he investigated a variety of organized crime matters. In 2003, he became the supervisory special agent of the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force.”

McCabe remained with the Eurasian squad until 2006, when he was moved to FBI headquarters in Washington.

The question that has yet to be answered was who, exactly, did Gaeta give the dossier to and when. Was it transmitted to FBI leadership? If so, why did the counterintelligence team have to travel to Rome in September to get their first copy from Steele?

And finally, potentially the biggest question: Did Brennan receive a copy of the dossier via Gaeta—or whomever he transmitted a copy to—in the summer of 2016 following Gaeta’s return?” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)

October 20, 2016: The Uncovering – Mike Rogers’ Investigation, Section 702 FISA Abuse & the FBI

Dr. George Ellard (Credit: National War College)

(…) “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.

Admiral Mike Rogers (Credit: public domain)

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 21, 2016 – An unusual intervention is made by McCabe and Yates with Carter Page’s FISA Application

(…) “Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel for the FBI and head of the bureau’s National Security and Cyber Law Branch, approved the application for a warrant to spy on Page before it went to FBI Director James Comey. During her Aug. 31 testimony, she described the FISA application process as being a linear path and noted there is a specific “system called FISAMS within the Bureau that tracks in a linear fashion all the approvals on a FISA.”

Andrew McCabe and Sally Yates (Credit: The Associated Press and ABC News)

Yet, despite the rigid description provided by Baker and Anderson, it appears the linearity process was not adhered to in the case of the Page FISA. According to Anderson, pre-approvals for the Page FISA were provided by both McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, before the FISA application was ever presented to her for review.

“[M]y boss and my boss’ boss had already reviewed and approved this application. And, in fact, the Deputy Attorney General, who had the authority to sign the application, to be the substantive approver on the FISA application itself, had approved the application.  And that typically would not have been the case before I did that,” said Anderson.

Anderson told investigators that the Page FISA “was handled a little bit differently in that sense, in that it received very high-level review and approvals — informal, oral approvals — before it ever came to me for signature.”

The unusual preliminary review and approval from both McCabe and Yates appear to have had a substantial impact on the normal review process, leading other individuals like Anderson to believe that the Page FISA was more vetted than, perhaps, it really was. It is not known why McCabe and Yates both chose to insert themselves at an early stage into the Page FISA process.” (Read more: Epoch Times, 2/11/2019)

December 29, 2016 – March 30, 2017: A timeline of General Michael Flynn events

General Michael Flynn (Credit: Congressional Quarterly/Roll Call)

December 29 2016General 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 2017Mike 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 2017Acting 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.

A timeline of these multi-day events can be found here. The timeline comes from Yates’s full testimony which can be viewed here. Yates’s testimony specific to Mike Flynn can be seen here.

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 2017President 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 2017Jeff Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General.

February 9 2017 – The New York Times and the Washington Post publish articles claiming that General Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December of 2016.

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.

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:

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:

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.

(Read much more: themarketswork.com, 12/03/2017)

(Reposted with special permission.)

May 11, 2017 – McCabe testifies “there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date”— 5 days later he pushes for an investigation of Trump

From left, Andrew McCabe, Sen. Richard Burr, Sen. Mark Warner, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo greet each other before the start of the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“On the morning of May 16, 2017, Rosenstein allegedly suggested to McCabe that he secretly record Trump. This remark was reported in a New York Times article that was sourced from memos from the now-fired McCabe. Rosenstein immediately issued a statement denying the accusations.

The alleged comments by Rosenstein occurred at a meeting where McCabe was “pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president.” Note that just five days earlier, on May 11, McCabe had publicly testified before Congress that there was no obstruction, stating, “There has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.”

Sen. Rubio: “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. McCabe, can you without going into the specifics of any individual investigation, I think the American people want to know, has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigations?”

Mr. McCabe: “As you know, Senator, the work of the men and women of the FBI continues despite any changes in circumstance, any decisions. So there has been no effort to impede our investigation today. Quite simply put sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people, and upholding the Constitution.”

On the one hand, McCabe testified there was no obstruction from Trump, yet, just five days later, McCabe was attempting to convince Rosenstein to go along with his efforts to open an obstruction investigation into the president. Events suggest that McCabe’s efforts were met with alarm from Rosenstein, who responded by appointing Mueller as special counsel. Rosenstein may have also informed Trump of McCabe’s intentions.

At the same time that McCabe was attempting to open an obstruction investigation, Strzok and Page were texting about the lack of evidence of collusion. In a text that Strzok sent to Page, Strzok noted:

“You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I’d be there, no question. I hesitate, in part, because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there.”

Page was asked about this text during her July 2018 testimony by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas). She initially answered, “So I think this represents that even as far as May of 2017, we still couldn’t answer the question.” After a brief consultation with her legal counsel, Page continued: “I think it’s a reflection of us still not knowing. I guess that’s as good as I can answer.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 2/18/2019)

May 15, 2017 – McCabe’s FBI tries to re-engage Christopher Steele after Comey is fired

Bruce Ohr (l) and Christopher Steele (Credit: Fox News)

“An Aug. 28, 2018, testimony before Congress by Ohr, which was reviewed for this article, sheds new light on McCabe’s involvement in the investigation. His testimony also illustrates how Steele and Simpson passed their information targeting Trump to the FBI, using Ohr as an unofficial back-channel.

(…) In May 2017, the FBI suddenly decided to reach out to Steele through Ohr. The re-engagement attempt came six months after Steele had been formally terminated by the FBI on Nov. 1, 2016.

The matter, which was discussed at several points during Ohr’s testimony, was highlighted during a review of some text messages between Ohr and Steele:

Q: “The next page, 2 months forward, 5-15, three-quarters of the way down. ‘Having now consulted my wife and business partner about the question we discussed on Saturday, I am pleased to say yes, we should go ahead with it.  Best, Chris.’”

Q: “Go ahead with what?”

Ohr: “The FBI had asked me a few days before, when I reported to them my latest conversation with Chris Steele, they had had would he—next time you talk with him, could you ask him if he would be willing to meet again.”

Q: “So this is the re-engagement?”

Ohr: “Yes.”

The texts that are being referenced were sent on May 15, 2017, and refer to a request that Ohr received from the FBI to ask Steele to re-engage with the FBI in the days after Comey had been fired on May 9.

Q: “So you have asked him will he re-engage with the FBI?”

Ohr: “Yes.”

Q: “And he says: ‘Talked with my wife; I’m in.’ You say: ‘Thanks. We’ll let them know and we will follow up.’”

Ohr: “Yes.”

Q: “‘Thanks again. I chatted with my colleagues and can give you an update when you have a minute.’ What was the update about? Was it about that subject?”

Ohr: “Yes.”

Q: “So that all happens on May 15?”

Ohr: “Yes.”

Several days prior, on May 12, 2017, Ohr and Steele exchanged a series of text messages published by John Solomon of The Hill, that appear to detail Ohr reaching out to Steele following the FBI’s request for re-engagement:

Ohr: “Thanks again for your time on Wednesday. Do you have time for a short follow up call sometime this weekend?”

Steele: “Yes, of course. Perhaps sometime tomorrow. When might suit?”

Ohr: “Would 3 pm your time work? I’m pretty open so just let me know. Thanks!”

Steele: “Fine, or possibly even at 2 pm our time if that works for you? Best”

Ohr: “2 pm your time is good. It will be quick. Thanks!”

The next text message is a response from Steele on May 15, 2017:

Steele: “B, having now consulted my wife and business partner about the question we discussed on Saturday I’m pleased to say yes, we should go ahead with it. Best C”

Ohr: “Thanks! I will let them know and we will follow up.”

Comey was fired by Trump on May 9, 2017. This appears to have been the precipitating event that led the FBI to suddenly attempt to re-establish contact with Steele through Ohr. This was the only time the FBI used Ohr to reach out to Steele.

Notably, McCabe was now the acting FBI director.

On the morning of May 16, 2017, Rosenstein reportedly suggested to Acting FBI Director McCabe that he secretly record Trump. This remark was reported in a New York Times article that was sourced from memos from the now-fired McCabe. Rosenstein immediately issued a statement denying the accusations.

An unidentified participant at the meeting, in comments to The Washington Post, framed the conversation somewhat differently, noting that Rosenstein responded sarcastically to McCabe, saying, “What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?”

The comments by Rosenstein allegedly occurred at a meeting where McCabe was “pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president.” Note that just five days earlier, McCabe had publicly testified that there was no obstruction, stating “there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.”

(…) Text messages to Ohr from Steele provide some hints and highlight an abrupt pullback by the FBI. In June 2017, Steele sent Ohr the following text:

“We are frustrated with how long this re-engagement with the Bureau and Mueller is taking. There are some new perishable operational opportunities we do not want to miss out on.”

Steele sent another text to Ohr on Nov. 18, 2017:

“I am presuming you’ve heard nothing back from your SC colleagues on the issue you kindly put to them for me. We have heard nothing from them either. To say this is disappointing would be an understatement.”

Ohr testified that “at some point during 2017, Chris Steele did speak with somebody from the FBI, but I don’t know who.”

(Read more: Epoch Times, 1/14/2019)

 

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testifies she was unaware of Brennan’s role in helping establish the FBI counterintelligence investigation

(…) “Page staunchly maintained that any briefings given to the White House were always about the “Russian active-measures effort” and were not in relation to “Crossfire Hurricane,” the FBI’s name for its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump–Russia allegations.

Brennan admitted during congressional testimony that his intelligence helped establish the FBI counterintelligence investigation:

“I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred.”

This admission is important, particularly since Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had previously disclosed that no official intelligence was used to open the FBI’s investigation.

Brennan’s role was highlighted again during testimony, as one representative questioning Page questioned her in relation to an Aug. 25, 2016, text message: “What are you doing after the CH brief?” CH almost certainly referred to “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Page was asked specifically about an event that occurred on the same day:

John Brennan (l) and Harry Reid (Credit: public domain)

“It’s the same day that Director Brennan is briefing Harry Reid, is why I ask. And so what you’re saying is you were unaware that Director Brennan was briefing Harry Reid that same day?”

Page said she was unaware of Brennan’s briefing to Reid. She was then asked the following:

“You give a brief on August the 25th. Director Brennan is giving a brief. It’s not a Gang of Eight brief. It is a one-on-one, from what we can tell, a one-on-one briefing with Harry Reid at that point. And it becomes apparent, based on your text messages and based on Director Comey’s emails, that you all are aware that that conversation took place. Were you aware that Director Brennan had a briefing with Harry Reid and that you expected a letter from Harry Reid?”

Page noted that she remembered the letter sent by Reid, but seemed confused as to Brennan’s involvement and possible knowledge of the Steele dossier. Worth noting is that while some within the FBI likely had parts of the dossier in July, the counterintelligence investigative team didn’t receive it until mid-September during a trip to Rome, where they met personally with Steele.

The representative, who was clearly aware of the disparity in timing, focused on precisely how Brennan might have been aware of the dossier in August:

Unidentified Representative: “So what you’re saying is, is that you had no knowledge of these potential unverified memos prior to the middle part of September in your investigation?”

Page: “That is correct, sir.”

Rep.: “OK. So on Aug. 30, you and Peter are going back and forth, and you go, ‘Here we go.’ If you’ll look at 9:44:50 on August the 30th, you go, ‘Here we go.’ And it’s referencing [the New York Times report] ‘Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in the U.S. Vote and Seeks FBI Inquiry.’ Now, what happens is, and what I guess gives me a little bit of concern is, if you drop down, that if you drop down to the same day, August 30th, 9:45, it says, ‘The D’—which I assume means director—’said at the a.m. brief that Reid had called him and told him that he would be sending the letter.’

Page: “OK.”

Rep.: “So you get a brief that says, well, we got the letter, but it’s almost like it’s a coordinated effort between Harry Reid and the FBI director, because obviously, he’s briefing you.”

After a bit of back and forth, Page responded, “I don’t know what Harry Reid was told or why or what the purpose of Brennan [was.]”

The representative pressed on:

“Why would Director Brennan be aware of things that the FBI was not aware of at this particular point, when it actually would potentially involve, according to Peter Strzok’s word on January 10th of 2017, an unverified salacious set of memos?”

And then the big reveal:

Unidentified Representative: “We have documents that would suggest that in that briefing the dossier was mentioned to Harry Reid and then, obviously, we’re going to have to have conversations. Does that surprise you that Director Brennan would be aware [of the dossier]?”

Page: “Yes, sir. Because with all due honesty, if Director Brennan—so we got that information from our source, right? The FBI got this information from our source. If the CIA had another source of that information, I am neither aware of that nor did the CIA provide it to us if they did, because the first time we—”

Rep.: “We do know there are multiple sources.”

Page: “I do know that. I do know that the information ultimately found its way lots of different places, certainly in October of 2016.  But if the CIA as early as August, in fact, had those same reports, I am not aware of—I’m not aware of that and nor do I believe they provided them to us, and that would be unusual.”

Rep.: “Were you aware that Christopher Steele had conversations or multiple conversations with Fusion GPS and others outside of just working special intel for you?”

Page: “As of August of 2016, I don’t know who Christopher Steele is. I don’t know that he’s an FBI source. I don’t know what he does. I have never heard of him in all of my life. So let me just sort of be clear. When the FBI first receives the reports that are known as the dossier from an FBI agent who is Christopher Steele’s handler in September of 2016 at that time, we do not know who—we don’t know why these reports have been generated.  We don’t know for what purpose.”

A bit later in the discussion, the representative asked another question:

Rep.: “So you don’t know whether it’s a coordinated effort to get you those documents or not at that point in September?”

Page responds, “Coordinated by whom, sir?

Rep.: “Anybody, other than a confidential human source saying, ‘Listen, I’ve got reason to be concerned and bring it to you.’ It could be coordinated by the CIA. It could have been coordinated by Fusion GPS. You don’t know.”

Page: “At the time that we received the documentation, no. What we have is the preexisting relationship with the source and the reliability of his prior reporting.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testimony reveals the DOJ prevented the FBI from pursuing gross negligence charges against Clinton

(…) “Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who served as special counsel to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe during the time of the Clinton investigation, noted during her testimony in July 2018, that the DOJ was intimately involved in the investigation.

“Everybody talks about this as if this was the FBI investigation, and the truth of the matter is there was not a single step, other than the July 5th statement, there was not a single investigative step that we did not do in consultation with or at the direction of the Justice Department,” Page told congressional investigators on July 13, 2018.

Comey had also hinted at the influence exerted by the DOJ over the Clinton investigation in his July recommendation, stating that “there are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent.”

Intent is a requirement of several statutes the FBI was looking into. But intent is specifically not a factor under the charge of gross negligence—contained within 18 U.S. Code § 793(f)—a fact that was brought up by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) during Page’s testimony:

John Ratcliffe (Credit: CSpan)

Rep. Ratcliffe: Okay. And that’s — I think, when you talk about intent, that’s certainly true under part of 18 793(f), but it sounds like you all just blew over gross negligence.

Ms. Page: We did not blow over gross negligence. We, in fact — and, in fact, the Director — because on its face, it did seem like, well, maybe there’s a potential here for this to be the charge. And we had multiple conversations, multiple conversations with the Justice Department about charging gross negligence.

Page made clear during her testimony that the DOJ had decided that due to “constitutional vagueness” a charge of gross negligence would not be supported without accompanying proof of intent—a seemingly oxymoronic position:

Rep. Ratcliffe: Okay. So let me if I can, I know I’m testing your memory, but when you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to —

Ms. Page: That is correct.

Rep. Ratcliffe: — bring a case based on that.

Trouble Defining Intent

The word “intent” drove the entirety of the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton email server.

It appears, however, that there were differing understandings of the word “intent” within the FBI. Trisha Anderson, the No. 2 lawyer at the FBI, told investigators that what she viewed as intent was “an email that the Secretary sent saying, I set up this server for the purpose of sending unclassified information for my convenience, even though I know it’s not a secure system.”

Page viewed the situation somewhat differently, agreeing they were looking for “an intent to do an act which is in violation of the law’s central command.” As she told investigators, the FBI “couldn’t find any indicia of knowledge that she knew that these [classified emails] shouldn’t be traversing her server.”

In Anderson’s understanding, she was looking for a prosecutable reason behind the establishment of the server itself. Page, however, was looking at whether Clinton knew which emails should not have traveled through the private server.

Meanwhile, Bill Priestap, head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and who was officially in charge of the Clinton investigation, said during testimony that he thought the “number of instances is absolutely a proper consideration” in establishing intent.

According to Ryan Breitenbach, who was the House Majority Counsel at the time of Priestap’s interview, the State Department had identified 22 top-secret emails and 1,300 classified emails on Clinton’s email server. As Breitenbach noted to Priestap during testimony, “I think there might be many who would question whether people in this room would still be in this room if we had hit 1,300 emails on our personal Gmail service.”

DOJ Not Willing to Charge This

Michael Steinbach (Credit: CSpan)

Priestap was shown an email sent from an unknown individual in the FBI general counsel’s office to Priestap’s former boss, Michael Steinbach, which contained a chart of “available statutes for prosecuting the former Secretary of State.” Gross Negligence was specifically excluded from the chargeable statutes available to the FBI. Priestap, who had not previously seen the document, expressed concerns that this might have hindered the work of FBI investigators.

Mr. Breitenbach: We see in this chart that DOJ is not willing to charge this, meaning 18 U.S.C. 793(f). My question is going back to those draft affidavits. If DOJ is not willing to charge this statute, why would the FBI in an affidavit use this statute as predication to obtain a search warrant if this statute is never going to be prosecuted?

Mr. Priestap: So I — I don’t know who put this together and used this language.

Mr. Breitenbach: Well, someone in the FBI general counsel’s office.

Mr. Priestap: Yeah. No. No. I trust you. But I don’t know why they, again, put it together. I don’t know why they used this language, ‘DOJ not willing to charge this.’

My attitude is that if there is a Federal criminal statute still on the books, then, you know — and we think there may or might be a violation of that, we still have to work to uncover whether, in fact, there was.

The prosecutive history of a particular statute isn’t going to affect — I sure hope it does not affect the fact-finder’s work.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 2/25/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testifies about the The FBI’s Verification File and the Dragon FISA

(Credit: A. Hunter/Washington Times)

“Page testified that as soon as they received the Steele dossier in September, they “set about trying to prove or disprove every single factual statement in the dossier.” Page noted that “to the best of my knowledge, we were never able to disprove any statement in it.”

This seems somewhat odd given that Comey told congressional investigators the Steele dossier still wasn’t verified as of May 2017. Additionally, her assertion doesn’t appear to address the generally debunked claim that Cohen was in Prague.

In response to Page’s comments, clarification was requested.

Unidentified Representative: “Ms. Page, are you talking about the Woods file?”

Page: “I’m not talking about the Woods file. I’m talking about a separate effort that was undertaken in order to try to verify for investigative purposes, not for purposes of the FISA, but a separate effort undertaken to try to validate the allegations contained within the Steele reporting.”

It quickly became apparent that this document hasn’t been seen by congressional investigators. One representative, who noted he has seen the Woods file, was clearly unaware of this file’s existence.

This discussion quickly led into another area—an Oct. 18, 2016, email from Strzok containing the subject line “Re: Dragon FISA.”

Page quickly noted that she couldn’t discuss the matter in an unclassified setting—but would be able to discuss the matter with congressional investigators in a classified setting.

“The Dragon FISA was referenced in an article by John Solomon in The Hill:

“In one email exchange with the subject line ‘Crossfire FISA,’ Strzok and Lisa Page discussed talking points to get then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to persuade a high-ranking DOJ official to sign off on the warrant.”

“Crossfire Hurricane” was one of the code names for four separate investigations the FBI conducted related to Russia matters in the 2016 election.

“At a minimum, that keeps the hurry the F up pressure on him,” Strzok emailed Page on Oct. 14, 2016, less than four weeks before Election Day.

Four days later, the same team was emailing about rushing to get approval for another FISA warrant for another Russia-related investigation code-named “Dragon.”

At this point, the potential subject of the Dragon FISA remains unknown. (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testifies she was unaware the ICIG briefed top bureau officials on an anomaly found embedded in Clinton’s server that sent a copy of her emails to a third party

On August 29, 2018, The Daily Caller News Foundation reports, “The FBI refuses to disclose whether or not it met with senior members of the Intelligence Community Inspector General on the subject of foreign intrusion of former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private server.

An FBI spokeswoman refused to confirm if Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) officials — including Frank Rucker, its chief investigator — briefed top bureau officials about evidence of penetration of Clinton’s private server by a Chinese government intelligence operation. “We have no comment,” she told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Earlier Wednesday, an FBI spokesman released what appeared to be a categorical statement about the Clinton server: “The FBI has not found any evidence the servers were compromised,” the FBI stated.

The statement does not address a central aspect of The DCNF’s reporting, which was that the ICIG briefed top bureau officials on three separate occasions to warn the FBI of an “anomaly” they found in 30,000 in-bound and outgoing emails. The report is based on an intelligence official with direct knowledge of the matter. The anomaly showed a code embedded in Clinton’s server was producing in real time a “courtesy copy” to a third party.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/29/2018)

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page arrives for a closed door hearing with the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees, Friday, July 13, 2018. (Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

On January 11, 2019, Jeff Carlson writes of his exclusive access to the July 13, 2018 transcript of Lisa Page’s testimony to a joint congressional committee and she is asked why the FBI didn’t meet with Mr. Rucker and the ICIG team to further investigate the “anomaly” found embedded in Clinton’s private server:

“During one exchange, one of the representatives questioning her noted, “We have information from the inspector general of the intelligence community … that there were anomalies that would suggest that there were copies of every email going to a third party. … Is this news to you

Page admitted it was and noted it was “completely baffling to me.”

She was then asked the obvious question: “Why would the investigative team not have had multiple interviews with Mr. Rucker, who brought it to the FBI’s attention originally?”

Page responded by saying the following:

“My understanding is that the IC IG [Intelligence Community Inspector General] did refer the existence of the server to the FBI, but that was because of the existence of classified information on that server, not because of any anomalous activity, not because of potential intrusion activity. Because it’s not my understanding that the IC IG conducted any sort of forensic analysis like that.”

The questioning continued:

“So what you’re telling me, it would surprise you to know today that, if there were anomalies, that the inspector general’s forensic team found those before it was referred to the FBI?”

Page responded:

“To the extent that a foreign government or even a criminal outlet had had access to Secretary Clinton’s private email server, that would have been something we cared very much about. And it’s my understanding that there was no evidence that would have supported that kind of conclusion.”
(Read more: Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testifies about the Insurance Policy

(…) “Another issue that was brought up several times was the famous Strzok text regarding the “Insurance Policy”:

“I want to believe the path you threw out in Andy’s office—that there is no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

Page confirmed that “Andy” referred to Deputy FBI Director McCabe. Page was reminded that the text was sent just 15 days after the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016. While Page attempted to provide an explanation, it came across as less than convincing:

“What this text reflects is our sort of continuing check-in almost with respect to how quickly to operate, what types of tools to use, trying to be as quiet as possible about it because we knew so little about what—whether this was true or not true or what was going to come, because this is, as you said, so nascent in the investigation, and then ultimately trying to balance that against my view, in this case, which was we don’t need to go at a total breakneck speed, because so long as he doesn’t become president, there isn’t the same threat to national security, right.”

Perhaps realizing she’d been less than perfectly clear, Page attempted to clarify her position, noting, “This reflects, ‘Let’s be reasonable, let’s not, you know, throw the kitchen sink at this because he’s probably not going to be elected, and so then, we don’t have quite as horrific a national security threat than we do if he gets elected.’”

In fairness to Page, at a later point in the interview, she did manage to provide a somewhat more coherent explanation:

“He’s making an analogy here so my suggestion is, let’s not, you know, throw the baby out with the bathwater, let’s sort of be a little bit more cautious with respect to our investigative steps because if he’s not president, this plays as less of a threat to our national security.

“And he is saying, no, we have to, you know, do what we have to do in order to get to the bottom of this because it is like an insurance policy. There is no actual insurance policy. He is making an analogy.” (The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page discusses a possible obstruction case

Lisa Page (Credit: Fox News)

(…) “Still another issue mentioned with some frequency were two potentially related texts:

“And we need to open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy is acting”; and

“We need to lock in [redacted] in a formal, chargeable, way.”

Again, Page confirms that “Andy” is indeed a reference to McCabe. Notably, that text was sent the day after Comey had been fired by Trump. Unfortunately, a certain level of clarity remains lacking as FBI counsel was limited to noting that “the decision to open the case was not about who was occupying the director’s chair.” She continued in a somewhat confusingly with, “if I was able to explain in more depth why the director firing precipitated this text, I would.”

One representative kept pursuing the question from multiple angles, asking, “Was that a fear that someone other than McCabe would eventually be put into that slot?” Page again consulted with counsel and noted she couldn’t answer that question.

The representative made the logical observation, “Well, that leads at least some of us to conclude that it may have been an obstruction-of-justice case.” Page responded, “That’s a reasonable inference, sir, but I cannot, sort of, confirm that that’s what we are referring to.”

The dialogue continued:

Unidentified Representative: “So the firing of Jim Comey was the precipitating event, as opposed to the occupant of the director’s office?”

Page: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Rep.: “Well, other than obstruction, what could it have been?”

Page: “I can’t answer that, sir. I’m sorry.”

Rep.: “Is there anything other than obstruction that it could have been?”

Page: “I can’t answer.”

Page maintained that the second text was a separate matter from the first—but time may have been a factor as it occurred in the days preceding Mueller’s appointment as special counsel. Page also claimed not to know exactly what it pertained to:

“My suspicion is, we have either been interviewing some witness or have been getting kind of closer to some target, either we’ve already had interviews or we haven’t.

“What this is suggesting is, like, we need to start thinking about locking in whomever in a way that might be able to support charges. … My suspicion is that we have somebody who we think is lying. … To the extent we want to be able to charge them for lying, we need to lock them in in a formal way, in a way in which we will be able to support those charges.”

The issue of obstruction came up several times, including a notable exchange that took place during the second day of testimony:

Unidentified Representative: “Were there discussions about opening an obstruction-of-justice case or any other case against Donald Trump prior to the firing of Jim Comey on May 9th of 2017, as reflected in the Comey memos?”

FBI legal counsel: “Congressman, to the extent that goes into the equities of the ongoing investigation that the special counsel is now conducting, I will instruct the witness not to answer.”

Normally, this line of questioning ends with inferences having to be made, but, in this case, what appears to be an honest error on the part of Page hinted firmly at the true answer:

Rep.: “I don’t want any of the details. I just want to know whether there was a discussion about the possibility of opening that prior to the firing of the director.”

Page: “Obstruction of justice was not a topic of conversation during the timeframe you have described.”

Rep.: “OK. Then—”

Page: “I think. One second, sir.”

[Discussion off the record.]

Page: “Sir, I need to—I need to take back my prior statement.”

Rep.: “Which one?”

Page: “Whatever the last thing I just said was. Sorry. That there were no discussions of obstruction, yeah. That is—I need to take that statement back.”

Rep.: “So there were?”

Page: “Well, I think that I can’t answer this question without getting into matters which are substantively before the special counsel at this time.”

Rep.: “Well, I think you’ve just answered it by not answering it. Was Andy McCabe privy to those same conversations?”

Page: “I can’t answer this substantively, sir. I’m sorry.”

Rep.: “Well, were these related to some charges, whether obstruction or other charges, potentially against Donald Trump?”

Page: “I can’t—I can’t answer that question, sir, without getting into the substance of matters that are now before the special counsel.”

Rep.: “Again, I think you’re answering it by not answering it.”

At a later point in testimony, this issue was potentially further clarified:

Rep.: “Comey has admitted that he told the president, I think, that he wasn’t under investigation during that timeframe.”

Page: “That is not inconsistent, sir. … Somebody could not be under investigation, but there still could be discussions about potential criminal activity, and that is totally consistent with FBI policies and would not be unusual with respect to any investigation.”

This provides a perfect explanation as to why Comey refused to tell the press that Trump wasn’t under investigation—and the nature of the text messages.

The FBI hadn’t placed Trump under any formal investigation—but they were keeping their ability to do so open, and Acting FBI Director McCabe may have been planning to initialize a formal investigation before a permanent director could be appointed.

A question worth asking: What happens if an interim FBI director opens a formal investigation into a sitting president during a highly politically charged time? Is it then difficult, perhaps impossible, to appoint someone other than McCabe as a new FBI director, especially given Comey’s recent firing? (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testimony on FISA briefings, Brennan, and White House knowledge

(…) “At several points, Page noted a frustration on the part of the FBI in relation to the speed with which the DOJ was moving in the FISA spy warrant-application process.

When questioned about the need to move swiftly, Page noted, “There was an operational reason that we were pushing to get the FISA up, which I am not at liberty to discuss.” Upon further questioning, Page tried to provide slightly more clarity: “We had an operational reason that we wanted to get this thing up quickly with respect to the subject himself.”

According to Page’s testimony, she first learned of plans to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page approximately a month before the FISA was granted on Oct. 21, 2016.

Stuart Evans testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance on June 27, 2017. (Credit: CSpan)

Page disclosed that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stu Evans was the person within the DOJ who was in charge of the entire FISA process, but notably, the FBI chose not to tell Evans that they had opened a counterintelligence investigation:

“We were so concerned about the fact that we were opening this investigation and we were so concerned about leaks that we were literally individually making decisions about who to tell and who not to tell, because we were trying to keep it so closely held.”

According to Page, the only DOJ official they told was Toscas, the deputy assistant attorney general in the National Security Division. Without forewarning to the FBI, Toscas informed Evans in August 2016—possibly earlier—of the FBI’s newly opened investigation.

The text in question was from Aug. 10, 2016, and was paraphrased by one of the congressional representatives:

George Toscas (Credit: Fox News)

“I remember what it was, Toscas already told Stu Evans everything. Sally called to set up a meeting.”

“Sally” is affirmed in the conversation as referring to Deputy AG Sally Yates.

Page was emphatic that this discussion didn’t have anything to do with the actual FISA but instead reflected the FBI’s concern that increasing numbers of people were learning of their investigation.

Notably, Toscas reported to Carlin, the head of the NSD, whose actions before the FISA court in relation to his presentation of the government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications, strongly suggest he was also aware of the FBI’s investigation. Carlin appears to have been aware of the FBI’s later FISA preparations, as well.

The congressional representative then asked the following question:

“What you’re saying is when the director briefed the White House 2 days prior to that, on August the 8th, or prepared for it, actually briefed him on the 10th, that it had nothing to do with any campaign. Even though George Toscas and Stu Evans knew about it.”

Normally, when a member of the FBI uses the word “director,” they would be referring to the FBI director. In this case, while not made absolutely clear in the transcript, it appears “director” refers to CIA Director John Brennan, who had been discussed in the preceding comments relating to Brennan’s briefing of Reid.

From Brennan’s congressional testimony, we know that he had briefed the White House at some point in early August 2016, prior to Aug. 11:

“In consultation with the White House, I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in election to congressional leadership, specifically Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to Representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devon Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11 August and 6 September.”

Page responded to the question: “Sir, I would be shocked. I would truly be stunned to discover that the director had briefed the president on the substance of our investigation or even the existence of our investigation. I would be—I can’t say it didn’t happen, I wasn’t there, but I would be stunned to discover that.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testifies she is completely baffled there were anomalies suggesting copies of Clinton’s emails went to a third party

Hillary Clinton (Credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters)

(…) “During one exchange, one of the representatives questioning her [Lisa Page] noted, “We have information from the inspector general of the intelligence community … that there were anomalies that would suggest that there were copies of every email going to a third party. …Is this news to you today?

Page admitted it was and noted it was “completely baffling to me.”

She was then asked the obvious question: “Why would the investigative team not have had multiple interviews with Mr. Rucker, who brought it to the FBI’s attention originally?”

Page responded by saying the following:

“My understanding is that the IC IG [Intelligence Community Inspector General] did refer the existence of the server to the FBI, but that was because of the existence of classified information on that server, not because of any anomalous activity, not because of potential intrusion activity. Because it’s not my understanding that the IC IG conducted any sort of forensic analysis like that.”

The questioning continued:

“So what you’re telling me, it would surprise you to know today that, if there were anomalies, that the inspector general’s forensic team found those before it was referred to the FBI?”

Page responded:

“To the extent that a foreign government or even a criminal outlet had had access to Secretary Clinton’s private email server, that would have been something we cared very much about. And it’s my understanding that there was no evidence that would have supported that kind of conclusion.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)

July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page on John Carlin’s role

John Carlin and John Brennan speak at the Center for Strategic & International Studies on September 19, 2016. (Credit: YouTube)

(…) “John Carlin was an assistant attorney general and head of the DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD). He had previously served as chief of staff to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Carlin announced his resignation the day after he filed the government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications. This filing would be subject to intense criticism from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) following disclosures made by then-National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers. Significant changes to the handling of raw FISA data would result.

Carlin was succeeded by Mary McCord–who would later accompany acting AG Sally Yates to see White House counsel Don McGahn about Trump’s national security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Page was asked at several points regarding influence from political appointees. At one point in the discussion, she singled out Carlin—and what she had to say proved interesting:

“I do know that at least John Carlin, for example, who is a political appointee, was kept abreast of the sort of investigative activity that was going on. And the only reason I know this is because when there was conflicts between us and DOJ, John might call over to—John Carlin might call over to Andy McCabe, and sort of make his team’s pitch, and then Andy would, you know, sort of the back-and-forth would go on. So it is clear that John had, was getting some sort of briefing, but he was not, it was, it never occurred by the FBI, which is, in my view, atypical.”

In response to a question asking who was McCabe’s direct counterpart at the DOJ on the investigation, Page responded, “it would have been John. It was either John Carlin or George Toscas who would have, who would have reached out to Mr. McCabe.”

The congressional staffer who was doing this particular line of questioning appeared to attempt to mitigate the information just revealed by Page:

“Numerous witnesses have confirmed to us that George Toscas, a career prosecutor, was in charge of the day-to-day operation of DOJ on this investigation. And that Carlin and other political folks above him had briefings certainly, so they had knowledge but didn’t have input in the investigation.”

“Do you have any personal knowledge of John Carlin, Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, or other political appointees at the DOJ issuing orders on how to conduct the Midyear investigation?” Page was asked.

Page answered that she had “no personal knowledge of that.” Despite the attempts to shift the conversation, these admissions are notable.

Carlin was a very senior official within the DOJ. He was also Toscas’s boss. It was Toscas who was contacted by New York prosecutors (possibly former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara) involved in the Anthony Weiner investigation regarding the Clinton emails found on Weiner’s computer. In response, Toscas contacted McCabe, his counterpart at the FBI, ultimately forcing McCabe to inform Comey of the existence of Clinton emails on Weiner’s laptop.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/21/2018)

August 21, 2018 – Trisha Anderson testifies the FBI director signs 15 to 20 FISA applications each day, all within 20 minutes

(…) “The signing process by the FBI director appears to be more of an official act than any sort of actual review. Anderson testified that each day, the director might receive 15 to 20 FISAs to sign, with each containing large amounts of documentation.

“[They’re] very thick. It’s not unusual for the Director to receive a stack this tall. I’m indicating about a foot and a half between my hands here, for the benefit of the reporter,” she said.

Anderson testified that the director was allotted 20 minutes in which to review the entirety of the day’s FISA applications—not 20 minutes per FISA.

Mr. Baker (House Majority Investigative Counsel): “And you said just a minute ago — I thought you said that the Director has 20 minutes set aside to review all the FISAs?”

Ms. Anderson: “Approximately, yes.”

(Read more: Epoch Times, 2/11/2019)

August 21, 2018 – Trish Anderson and Sally Moyer testify there is no fact checking of FISA applications by senior staff

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Even during normal circumstances, Anderson noted that she did not view it as her primary responsibility to provide any verification or fact-checking of the FISA applications. According to Anderson, FISAs would typically return from DOJ inspection with a cover note that “summarized the FISA,” and unless an issue had been identified by the cover note, she typically wouldn’t read the actual application “because of the time pressures involved and the sort of very-last-stop-in-the-process nature of the review.” Anderson also testified that the only way she would be aware of the legal predicate for probable cause would be through the DOJ cover note.

Anderson told investigators that her direct supervisor, Baker, had personally read and reviewed the Page FISA, lending her additional confidence in the review process. However, according to Baker, he had only read the “factual section” relating to probable cause and had not read or reviewed any other section, including the Woods file.

The Woods file, which provides facts supporting the allegations made in a FISA application, is attached to every application and is provided by the originating FBI agent in each case.

Baker, during questioning as to why the FBI failed to disclose the political motivations of dossier author Steele to the FISC, testified that this fact should have been vetted during lower levels of preparation.

“So the people filing the FISA application and the people who checked the Woods file to verify that the way this works is that they would not have had any information that was derogatory about Source #1 at the time that this was submitted,” Baker said.

“That there might exist in the files of the FBI or in somebody’s memory some interaction that might be derogatory and that it didn’t make it into the files I don’t know that that happened or didn’t happen. That kind of thing in theory, in theory could happen. So, but the people responsible for this FISA should have believed that that was accurate at the time and should have had documentation to support that assertion.”

Sally Moyer (Credit: Patsy Lynch/Daily Mail)

However, Sally Moyer, who was a unit chief at the Office of General Counsel, told lawmakers that only the originating agent and the supervisory special agent in the field actually look at the Woods file during the preparation of a FISA application:

Mr. Somers: “So you don’t — do you review the Woods’ file?”

Ms. Moyer: “No.”

Mr. Somers: “Did you review the Woods’ file in the Carter Page application?”

Ms. Moyer: “No.”

Mr. Somers: “Okay.  So beyond the case agent, who looks at a Woods’ file?”

Ms. Moyer: “The supervisory special agent in the field.”

Mr. Somers: “In the field. But no one else out of the field of that chain looks at a Woods’ file in general?”

Ms. Moyer: “That is correct, except both of those individuals sign the Woods’ form indicating that the facts are true and accurate and that they have documents to support those facts.”

Moyer told investigators that “the person that’s signing the application is relying on the individuals who have signed the Woods form that they have the Woods file.” Moyer stipulated that in some cases, the supervisory special agent at FBI headquarters who is signing off on an application might choose to review the Woods file, but that it was not done for the Page FISA.

Mr. Somers: “Do you know if that happened in the case of the Carter Page?”

Ms. Moyer: “I don’t think it did in this case.”

(Read more: Epoch Times, 2/11/2019)

August 31, 2018 – Senior FBI attorney Trisha Anderson, did not read Carter Page Title 1 FISA warrant application before signing off on it

Trisha Anderson (Credit: public domain)

Congressional testimony by Trisha Anderson highlights unusual process used by FBI and DOJ to obtain FISA warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Trisha Anderson, the Principal Deputy General Counsel for the FBI and head of the National Security and Cyber Law Branch, signed off on a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page—before it went to FBI Director James Comey—despite admitting not having read it.

Anderson, whose division was also assigned the Mid-Year Exam—the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server—was responsible for legal oversight of the FBI’s FISA process, and provided a final sign-off before FISA applications were sent to the FBI Director level. Anderson, who supervised the FBI attorneys involved in FISA applications, including the Page FISA, characterized her role as being “involved at a supervisory level within the legal chain of command.”

Although she did not voluntarily reveal the information, she admitted during questioning that she was the individual responsible at the senior executive service (SES) level for signing off on the original Carter Page FISA application:

Mr. Breitenbach: You had mentioned earlier that all FISAs have to be signed off, have an approver at an SES level. In OGC? Or is that anywhere inside the FBI?

Ms. Anderson: In NSLB, in my particular branch.

Mr. Breitenbach: In NSLB?

Ms. Anderson: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Mr. Breitenbach: Okay. Who was that SES approver for the Carter Page FISA?

Ms. Anderson: My best recollection is that I was for the initiation.

In her Aug. 31, 2018, testimony, a transcript of which was reviewed for this article, Anderson described her role in the FISA process as “a backstop” whereby she would serve as “a last check in the process to ensure that all necessary elements of the FISA package were present and that it met the basic requirements of probable cause.”

However, there appears to be significant latitude in the “backstop” review process. According to Anderson, the Department of Justice (DOJ) attached a “cover note” that identified potential issues, if any, for her to review with every FISA application. If no issues were identified by the DOJ, then according to Anderson, there would be no need for her to read the FISA application:

Ms. Anderson: [So] there typically would be a cover note that would summarize the FISA. That cover note is generated by DOJ. And because of the time pressures involved and the sort of very-last-stop-in-the-process nature of the review, the SES review, that’s done, I wouldn’t read a FISA unless there were some sort of issue that was identified based on the cover note.

Mr. Breitenbach: You are, though, reviewing for the sufficiency of probable cause —

Ms. Anderson: After many people have reviewed that assessment. And so, as I mentioned, this was essentially a backstop to all of the other processes and the rigor that had been applied by DOJ attorneys and by FBI investigative and legal personnel.

Despite its politicized nature and obvious sensitivity, it appears that no issues were identified in relation to the Page FISA as Anderson testified that she had not read the FISA application, only the DOJ cover note:

Mr. Breitenbach: Does that mean you read the FISA —

Ms. Anderson: No.

(…)

Mr. Breitenbach: Okay. So you did not read the FISA, but you would’ve been familiar then with at least part of the FISA with regard to the legal predication for probable cause in the FISA in order to be able to sign it?

Ms. Anderson: I would be familiar based on the cover note, yes.

Mr. Breitenbach: On the cover note. Okay. So —

Ms. Anderson: In the case of the Carter Page FISA, I was generally familiar with the facts of the application —

Mr. Breitenbach: Okay.

Ms. Anderson: — before I signed that cover note.

Anderson claimed that in the case of the Page FISA, her approval was “more administrative in nature” because “all necessary approvals, including up through and including the leadership of the FBI and the leadership of the Department” had been obtained by the time the Page FISA came to her desk for sign-off.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 2/07/2019)

October 3 and 18, 2018 – Transcripts of former top FBI lawyer details a belief Clinton should have been charged for her “alarming, appalling” mishandling of classified info

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“[James] Baker served as the FBI’s general counsel when the bureau investigated the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized private email server. During two days of testimony on Oct. 3 and Oct. 18, he told lawmakers that he believed even toward the end of the Clinton investigation that she should have been charged over her “alarming, appalling” mishandling of classified information.

He argued with others, including then-FBI Director James Comey, about the issue all the way toward the end of the investigation, but was ultimately persuaded that Clinton should be exonerated.

“My original belief … after having conducted the investigation and towards the end of it, then sitting down and reading a binder of her materials, I thought that it was alarming, appalling, whatever words I said, and argued with others about why they thought she shouldn’t be charged,” Baker told lawmakers.

As of October 2018, nearly two years after the Clinton probe concluded, Baker still believed that the conduct of the former secretary of state and her associates was “appalling” with regard to the handling of classified information.

(…) As general counsel, Baker advised senior FBI leaders on the legal aspects of key investigations and served as the liaison with the Department of Justice (DOJ). In testimony, he detailed a series of unusual steps he took in the Trump-Russia investigation, including serving as the conduit between Perkins Coie—the firm working for the Clinton 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC)—and the FBI.

Baker left his position as general counsel in early January 2018 and then resigned from the FBI in early May 2018.” (Read more: Epoch Times, 1/18/2019)

November 29, 2018 – A Clinton Foundation donor is charged for defrauding military contracts, illegal commerce and money laundering

Abdul Huda Farouki (Credit: Patrick McMullan}

(…) “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?”

Huma Abedin appears to Farouki’s right at a Tomorrow’s Youth Organization Gala event in Washington, DC on October 21, 2010. (Credit: public domain)

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)

Jeff Carlson compiles a handy list of individuals with possible involvement or affiliation in Trump Surveillance, Steele Dossier and/or the Russia Narrative

Individuals have been placed into the following groups:

  • Resignations/Firings – Department of Justice (Non-FBI)
  • Resignations/Firings – FBI
  • FBI/DOJ Watch List
  • FBI – Assignments Away from FBI Headquarters
  • Other Notable Retirements
  • Intelligence Officials – United States
  • Intelligence Officials – Britain
  • Intelligence Officials – Australia
  • Obama Officials
  • Clinton Campaign/DNC
  • Devin Nunes – List of Individuals referred to Joint Task Force for open-setting interviews
  • Clinton Confidants
  • Perkins Coie
  • Sea Island Meeting – Never Trump
  • Websites/Blogs – Lawfare, Just Security, Moscow Project
  • Think Tanks – Center for American Progress, Atlantic Council, Brookings Institution
  • Crowdstrike
  • Fusion GPS’ (Bean LLC) Principals and Key Staff
  • Fusion Affiliations
  • Christopher Steele Connections
  • Hakluyt – UK private Intelligence firm
  • Penn Quarter Group
  • Papadopoulos Related
  • Trump Tower Meeting
  • Individuals Relating to Magnitsky Act
  • Oleg Deripaska Connections
  • Mueller Team
  • Congress
  • FISA Court Judges
  • Print Reporters

Treat this post as a work in progress. Names will be added as we move forward.

To the extent you believe something to be materially wrong or missing, let me know. I will attempt to verify.

Work. In. Progress.

Resignations/Firings – Department of Justice (Non-FBI):

  • John Carlin – Assistant Attorney General – Head of DOJ’s National Security Division – announced resignation on September 27, 2016 after filing the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on September 26, 2016. The filing does not disclose known FISA Abuses. Carlin is aware NSA Rogers is conducting a compliance review which will uncover the FISA Abuse. The 2016 certifications are scheduled for Court approval on October 26, 2016. Trump surveillance originated under Carlin’s tenure.
  • Sally Yates – Deputy Attorney General & Acting Attorney General (replacing Loretta Lynch – 10 days) – fired January 30, 2017. Complicit in Flynn Surveillance and surveillance of Trump Campaign.
  • Mary McCord – Acting Assistant Attorney General – Acting Head of DOJ’s National Security Division (replacing John Carlin) – announced resignation on April 17, 2017 – Left on May 11, 2017. Complicit in Flynn Surveillance and surveillance of Trump Campaign.
  • Peter Kadzik – Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs. Resigned January 2017. On May 19, 2015, Kadzik sent Podesta an email appearing to tip off Clinton Campaign about the Justice Department’s review of Clinton’s emails.
  • Bruce Ohr  – Former Associate Deputy Attorney General. Ohr was demoted twice. Stripped of Associate Deputy Attorney General title on December 6, 2017. Removed as head of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force January 8, 2018. Unofficial liaison between Fusion GPS and FBI/DOJ. Wife – Nellie Ohr – worked at Fusion. Long-standing ties to both Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS. Simpson and Bruce & Nellie Ohr have known each other since at least 2010. Ohr has been described as a long-time friend of Steele with a relationship going back to at least 2006 (includes Ohr’s wife Nellie). Ohr texted and emailed extensively with Steele beginning in January 2016 (likely started earlier). See here, here and here. Oleg Deripaska was discussed in emails between Ohr and Steele. Ohr appears to have a significant role in Dossier creation – see here and here.
  • David Laufman – DOJ National Security Division, Deputy Asst. Attorney General in charge of counterintelligence – resigned on February 7, 2018. Laufman “played a leading role in the Clinton email server and Russian hacking investigations.”
  • Rachel Brand – Associate Attorney General – number three official behind Deputy AG Rosenstein – resigned February 9, 2018. Takes top legal position at Walmart. Brand “played a critical role in Congress’ re-authorization” of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
  • Matthew Axelrod – Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. May have been individual who had phone call with Deputy FBI Director McCabe re: Clinton Foundation. From IG McCabe Report: “A senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season. The Justice Department official was “very pissed off,” according to one person close to McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant…” Axelrod resigned on January 30, 2017 when AG Sally Yates was fired.
  • Preet Bharara – U.S. District Attorney. Involved in Prevezon Case. Used as threat by AG Lynch re: Weiner email/Clinton email case. Fired by President Trump on March 11, 2017.

Resignations/Firings – FBI:

  • James Comey – FBI Director – fired May 9, 2017. Oversaw all FBI operations – including exoneration of Clinton and Trump-Russia Investigation. Reported to AG Lynch.
  • Andrew McCabe – Deputy FBI Director – on December 23, 2017 announced retirement effective March 22, 2018. Forced to resign active position on January 29, 2018. Fired on March 16, 2018. Involved in all aspects. Subject of IG Report – will be featured in future ones. Reported to Comey.
  • Peter Strzok – Deputy Assistant Director of FBI’s Counterintelligence – forced off Mueller’s team – demoted August 16, 2017 to FBI’s Human Resources. IG Horowitz discovered texts July 27, 2017. Strzok involved in all facets of Clinton exoneration. Working member of “Insurance Policy” group. Strzok was fired on August 13, 2018.
  • Lisa Page – FBI/DOJ Lawyer – forced off Mueller’s team – demoted August 16, 2017. IG Horowitz discovered texts July 27, 2017. Working member of “Insurance Policy” group. Page resigned/fired May 4, 2018.
  • James Baker – FBI General Counsel – demoted and reassigned on December 20, 2017. Working member of “Insurance Policy” group. Senior-most legal counsel at FBI. Baker resigned/fired May 4, 2018. Took position at Lawfare.
  • James Rybicki – Chief of Staff to FBI Director James Comey & successor Chris Wray – resigned/forced out January 23, 2018. Working member of “Insurance Policy” group.
  • Josh Campbell – Special Assistant to James Comey – resigned on February 2, 2018. Writes op-ed in New York Times on why he is leaving but does not disclose in op-ed that he was Special Assistant to Comey – or that he had been offered lucrative CNN job. Takes job with CNN on February 5, 2018.
  • Michael Kortan – FBI Asst. Director Public Affairs – resigned on February 8, 2018 – effective February 15, 2018. Kortan served as assistant director for public affairs, an influential job that controlled media access.
  • Greg Brower (FBI) – Assistant Director for the Office of Congressional Affairs. FBI’s liaison with Congress. Listed by Devin Nunes as one of the individuals he wants to interview. Resigned suddenly on March 30, 2018.
  • James Turgal (FBI) – Executive Assistant Director for Information and Technology Branch. Retired from FBI sometime prior to January 9, 2018.
  • Michael B. Steinbach (FBI) – Executive Assistant Director for the National Security Branch. Was FBI’s top national security official. Some reports state Steinbach replaced John Giacalone who quit over frustration with Clinton Investigation. Other reports say it was McCabe who replaced Giacalone. Steinbach claims to have personally handled the Clinton Email Investigation. Retired from FBI in February 2017.
  • Bill Priestap – Assistant Director – Head of FBI Counterintelligence – Holds same position. Strzok’s boss – reported directly to McCabe. More here, here and here.

FBI/DOJ Watch List:

  • Bruce Ohr is a former Associate Deputy Attorney General. Ohr was demoted twice. Stripped of Associate Deputy Attorney General title on December 6, 2017. Removed as head of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force January 8, 2018. Unofficial liaison between Fusion GPS and FBI/DOJ. Wife – Nellie Ohr – worked at Fusion. Long-standing ties to both Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS. Simpson and Bruce & Nellie Ohr have known each other since at least 2010. Ohr has been described as a long-time friend of Steele with a relationship going back to at least 2006 (includes Ohr’s wife Nellie). Ohr texted and emailed extensively with Steele beginning in January 2016 (likely started earlier). See here, here and here. Oleg Deripaska was discussed in emails between Ohr and Steele. Ohr appears to have a significant role in Dossier creation – see here and here.
  • David Bowditch (FBI)Replaced Andrew McCabe as Acting Deputy FBI Director. Bowditch’s name is featured in emails and Strzok texts.
  • Trisha Anderson (DOJ)adviser in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, was previously an attorney at Attorney General Eric Holder’s former firm, Covington & Burling. Attended two April 25, 2016 White House meetings with FBI Counsel James Baker and several DOJ FISA lawyersTashina Guahar, Christopher Hardee, Brad Wiegmann. Anderson’s name appears in Strzok/Page texts.
  • Sally Moyer (FBI) – Attorney. Listed by Devin Nunes as one of the individuals he wants to interview.
  • Dana Boente (DOJ/FBI) – FBI General Counsel – Appointed on January 23, 2018 – replacing James Baker who was demoted and reassigned. Acting Head of DOJ’s National Security Division until January 23, 2018 and the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Replaced Mary McCord in NSD Role. Was briefly Acting Deputy Attorney General until Rosenstein appointed.
  • Edward O’Callaghan (DOJ) – became Acting Assistant Attorney General and Acting Head of DOJ’s National Security Division on January 27, 2018, replacing Dana Boente.
  • Jonathan Moffa (FBI) – Copied on Comey’s Draft Statement exonerating Clinton of Email Scandal. Mentioned in Strzok/Page texts. Surprisingly hard to find any information on Moffa.
  • Michael Gaeta (FBI) – Ran FBI’s Eurasian organized crime unit in New York. Has known Steele previously. Led the 2013 FBI investigation of Russian mafia boss, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. For two years ending in 2013, the FBI had a court-approved warrant to eavesdrop on Tokhtakhounov’s money-laundering network that operated out of unit 63A in Trump Tower. Gaeta was the FBI Agent sent to London to meet with Christopher Steele and obtain first copy of Dossier. Gaeta’s trip approved by State’s Victoria Nuland. Gaeta may have given copy of Dossier to Nuland before anyone else.
  • Joe Pientka – FBI Agent – Counterintelligence Division. Pientka potentially identified by Grassley as second FBI Agent (Strzok the other) present at Flynn Interview.
  • George Toscas – (DOJ) – Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the National Security Division. Toscas contacted by NY Prosecutors (possibly Preet Bharara) about Weiner investigation re: HRC/Huma emails on Weiner computer. Toscas contacts FBI, forcing McCabe to tell Comey of emails.
  • Randy Coleman (FBI) – Executive Assistant Director, oversight of all FBI domestic and international cyber operations and investigations concerning cyber matters.
  • Brian Brooks (FBI) – Assistant Director of the Operational Technology Division. Recently promoted by FBI Director Chris Wray.
  • Tashina Guahar (DOJ)Deputy Assistant Attorney General. National Security Division. FISA lawyer. Appears in Strzok Texts as “Tash”.
  • Norman “Christopher” Hardee (DOJ) – Chief Counsel for Policy, National Security Division. FISA lawyer.
  • Brad Wiegmann (DOJ) – Deputy Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division – Office of Law and Policy. FISA lawyer.
  • John T. Lynch (DOJ) – Chief, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section – Criminal Division.
  • Alan Rozenshtein (DOJ) – Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division. Resigned April 2017. Visiting professor. Writes for Lawfare.
  • Iris Lan (DOJ) – Associate Deputy Attorney General. Previously U.S. Attorney at Southern District of New York.
  • James Tranor (FBI) – Assistant Director of the Cyber Division. Mentioned in Strzok Texts. Retired October 2016.
  • Bryan Paarman (FBI) – Deputy Assistant Director of Counterterrorism. Mentioned in Strzok texts re: Clinton MYE. Extensive international experience. 2004-2007 Senior FBI representative and accredited diplomat in the US Embassies in Tbilisi, Georgia and Kyiv, Ukraine.
  • Robert Anderson (FBI) – Former Executive Assistant Director under Mueller. Principal at the Chertoff Group’s global Strategic Advisory Services. Mentioned in Strzok texts re: Clinton MYE.

FBI – Assignments Away from FBI Headquarters:

  • Stephen Laycock – Special Agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division for the Washington Field Office. Previously Section Chief of the Eurasia Section in the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters.
  • Charles McGonigal – Special Agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division for the New York Field Office. Previously Section Chief of the Cyber-Counterintelligence Coordination Section at FBI Headquarters.
  • Gerald Roberts – Special Agent in charge of the Intelligence Division of the Washington Field Office. Previously Section Chief of the Terrorist Financing Operations Section in the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters.
  • Charles Kable – Special Agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division at the Washington Field Office. Previously Section Chief of the Counterespionage Section at FBI Headquarters.
  • Louis Bladel – Special Agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division of the New York Field Office. Previously Section Chief of the Counter-Proliferation Center at FBI Headquarters. Retired 2016.

The individuals listed above had been Section Chiefs at FBI Headquarters. Comey transferred each to field offices.

Note: The names of James Turgal, Randy Coleman, Brian Brooks came from a request for all documents and communications from Senator Ron Johnson. Other names on Johnson’s request were previously known.

Other Notable Retirements:

  • Chuck Rosenberg – Former Acting Head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Twice served as Chief of Staff to former FBI Director James Comey. Abruptly resigned September 30, 2017.

State Department:

  • John Kerry – Former Secretary of State. Received copy of Dossier from Nuland.
  • Victoria Nuland – Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Gave green light to FBI Agent Gaeta’s meeting w/Steele in July 2016. Received copy of Steele Dossier in July 2016. May have seen Dossier prior to FBI Leadership. Gave Dossier to FBI, Kerry. Nuland had known Steel since 2014 through Jonathan Winer. Lied about bilateral talks with Iran.
  • Evelyn Farkas – Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia. Farkas detailed in interview how the Obama Administration gathered and disseminated intelligence on the Trump Team. Farkas is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.
  • Kathleen Kavalec – Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs. Served under Nuland.
  • Jonathan Winer – Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Law Enforcement and former Special Envoy for Libya. Received copy of Shadow Dossier from Blumenthal. Also received copy of Steele Dossier in September 2016. Has known Steele for some years.
  • Robert Otto – State Department – Bureau of Intelligence and Research specializing in Russia. Received emails from Nellie and Bruce Ohr since at least March 2016 relating to Natalia Veselnitskaya. Otto’s wife is Anne Jablonski. Jablonski worked for CIA (CIA’s top Russian organized crime expert) until forced resignation in May 2008. Jablonski was CIA handler for retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson who was kidnapped and remains missing in Iran. Oleg Deripaska would be enlisted in 2009 by then-FBI Director Robert Mueller for help in obtaining the release of Levinson. Andrew McCabe recruited Deripaska for the attempt. Clinton State Department killed the deal.
  • Elizabeth DibbleChargé d’affaires & former Deputy Chief of the Mission in London – received tip on Papadopoulos via Downer (h/t @JohnWHuber).
  • Jonathan Finer – Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning for former Secretary John Kerry.
  • Lewis Lukens – Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in London – also likely involved in Downer interactions.
  • Thomas Williams – Deputy Chief of Mission – State Department.

Intelligence Officials – United States:

  • Richard H. Ledgett Jr – Deputy Director of the NSA. Abruptly retired in April 2017. His retirement is noted in Lawfare.

Intelligence Officials – Britain:

  • Robert Hannigan – Britain’s GCHQ Head. Personally flew to DC to meet with CIA Director John Brennan. Hannigan’s U.S. Counterpart was NSA Rogers – not Brennan. Hannigan would abruptly retire days after President Trump’s Inauguration. More here.
  • Sir Andrew Wood – Former British Ambassador to Russia. Briefed John McCain on Steele Dossier. May have worked on behalf of Fusion and/or Orbis.
  • Richard Dearlove – Former MI6 Head (1999-2004). Was Christopher Steele’s boss. Had known Steele and Burrows personally. Steel and Burrows would meet Dearlove in early Fall 2016. Dearlove advised Steele and Burrows to work discreetly with a top British government official to pass along information to the FBI.
  • Christopher Steele – Orbis Partner – author of Steele Dossier. Employed as contractor by Fusion GPS. Former British intelligence officer with MI6 from 1987 until his retirement in 2009. Steele’s Dossier used by FBI to obtain FISA Warrant on Carter Page. Referred to DOJ by Grassley for potential violations of 18 USC 1001. Steele has known Fusion’s Simpson since at least 2009. Bruce Ohr has been described as a long-time friend of Steele with a relationship going back to at least 2006 (includes Ohr’s wife Nellie). Steele had extensive documented contact with Bruce Ohr starting in January 2016 (likely started earlier). Contact would continue through at least all of 2017. See here, here and here. Steele maintains contacts with British Intelligence, Sir Richard Dearlove and UK Intelligence firm Hakluyt. Steele appears to have been represented by Adam Waldman. Steele also appears to have lobbied on behalf of Oleg Deripaska – who was discussed in emails between Ohr and Steele. Steele Timeline here.

For more intelligence connections see section on UK private intelligence firm Hakluyt.

Intelligence Officials – Australia:

  • Alexander Downer – Australia’s top diplomat in Britain. Met with George Papadopoulos in London. Papadopoulos stated “Russia had dirt on Hillary”. Months later Australia informed U.S. This would be used as excuse for FBI’s July 2016 Counterintelligence Investigation. Downer previously arranged one of the largest foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation – $25 million from the Australian government.

Downer sits on the Board of Chinese Telco Huawei. U.S. intelligence experts have deemed Huawei a security threat to the US and other nations. Downer has said that Huawei should not be considered a potential national security risk.

Downer was on the Advisory Board of Hakluyt (private UK intelligence firm) from 2008-2014. He reportedly still maintains contact with Hakluyt officials. Downer probably knows UK’s Dearlove. More on Downer here.

I anticipate the listing of Intelligence Officials – particularly U.S. and British – to grow moving forward. For more intelligence connections see section on UK private intelligence firm Hakluyt.

Obama Officials:

  • Loretta Lynch – Former Attorney General. Tarmac Meeting with Bill Clinton just prior to FBI’s exoneration of HRC. Strzok Texts suggest that Lynch was aware Comey would not recommend criminal charges in the Clinton investigation prior to Attorney General Lynch’s announcement that she would accept whatever recommendation the FBI made.
  • Valerie Jarrett – Senior Advisor to Obama. Some have asserted Jarrett was behind plot to destroy Trump. Continued to work w/Obama post-election.
  • Susan Rice – National Security Advisor to Obama. “Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign.” Rice sent herself an email documenting secret January 5, Oval Office meeting discussing Dossier with herself, Obama and FBI Director Comey. Rice’s email is the only known documentation of the meeting.
  • Bruce Ohr is a former Associate Deputy Attorney General. Ohr was demoted twice. Stripped of Associate Deputy Attorney General title on December 6, 2017. Removed as head of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force January 8, 2018. Unofficial liaison between Fusion GPS and FBI/DOJ. Wife – Nellie Ohr – worked at Fusion. Long-standing ties to both Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS. Simpson and Bruce & Nellie Ohr have known each other since at least 2010. Ohr has been described as a long-time friend of Steele with a relationship going back to at least 2006 (includes Ohr’s wife Nellie). Ohr texted and emailed extensively with Steele beginning in January 2016 (likely started earlier). See here, here and here. Oleg Deripaska was discussed in emails between Ohr and Steele. Ohr appears to have a significant role in Dossier creation – see here and here.
  • Denis McDonough – WH Chief of Staff. Strzok Texts suggest coordination between McDonough, then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and CIA Director John Brennan.
  • Ben Rhodes – Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications. Personally involved in structuring disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal. Structured Echo Chambers w/press.
  • Samantha Power – Former UN Ambassador. Named as person who unmasked hundreds of names. Testified that others used her name in unmasking requests.
  • Victoria Nuland – Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Gave green light to FBI Agent Gaeta’s meeting w/Steele in July 2016. Received copy of Steele Dossier in July 2016. May have seen Dossier prior to FBI Leadership. Gave Dossier to FBI, Kerry. Nuland had known Steel since 2014 through Jonathan Winer. Lied about bilateral talks with Iran.
  • Evelyn Farkas – Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia. Farkas detailed in interview how the Obama Administration gathered and disseminated intelligence on the Trump Team. Farkas is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.
  • Kathleen Kavalec – Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs. Served under Nuland.
  • John Kerry – Former Secretary of State. Received copy of Dossier from Nuland.
  • Lisa Monaco – White House Homeland Security Adviser. Defended the Obama Administration’s response to Russian Interference.
  • Jonathan Winer – Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Law Enforcement and former Special Envoy for Libya. Received copy of Shadow Dossier from Blumenthal. Also received copy of Steele Dossier in September 2016. Has known Steele for some years.
  • Robert Otto – State Department – Bureau of Intelligence and Research specializing in Russia. Received emails from Nellie and Bruce Ohr since at least March 2016 relating to Natalia Veselnitskaya. Otto’s wife is Anne Jablonski. Jablonski worked for CIA (CIA’s top Russian organized crime expert) until forced resignation in May 2008. Jablonski was CIA handler for retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson who was kidnapped and remains missing in Iran. Oleg Deripaska would be enlisted in 2009 by then-FBI Director Robert Mueller for help in obtaining the release of Levinson. Andrew McCabe recruited Deripaska for the attempt. Clinton State Department killed the deal.
  • Bob BauerWhite House Counsel to President Obama during 2010 and 2011. In 2013, Obama named Bauer to be Co-Chair of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration. Bauer was a Partner at Perkins Coie for 35 years until his retirement on May 15, 2018. Bauer was General Counsel to Obama for America, Obama’s campaign organization, in 2008 and 2012, and served as General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee. Bob has also served as co-counsel to the New Hampshire State Senate in the trial of Chief Justice David A. Brock (2000); general counsel to the Bill Bradley for President Committee (1999-2000); and counsel to the Democratic Leader in the trial of President William Jefferson Clinton (1999). Bauer has been an extensive contributor at Lawfare and Just Security.

Please visit Jeff Carlson’s webpage for a complete list of names.

February 25, 2019 – DOJ prevented the FBI from pursuing gross negligence charges against Clinton

“The DOJ required the FBI to establish evidence of intent in regards to Clinton—even though the gross negligence statute explicitly does not require this.

This meant that the FBI would have needed to find a smoking gun, such as an email or an admission from Clinton.

The word “intent” drove the entirety of the FBI’s investigation.

Anderson viewed intent as “an email that the Secretary sent saying, I set up this server for the purpose of sending unclassified information for my convenience, even though I know it’s not a secure system.”

According to House Majority Counsel at the time of Priestap’s interview, the State Department had identified 22 top-secret emails and 1,300 classified emails on Clinton’s email server.

Included within Clinton’s emails was “classified information up to the Special Access Program level.”

The classification level of SAPs is so high that Anderson refused to define her understanding of SAPs in the unclassified interview setting before congressional investigators

An email sent from an unknown individual in the FBI general counsel’s office to Priestap’s former boss, Michael Steinbach, contained a chart of available statutes for prosecuting Clinton.

Gross Negligence was specifically excluded.

Lisa Page appeared to indicate during her testimony that because of the DOJ’s position, there was no reason for the FBI to even pursue evidence related to the specific statute of gross negligence.

Under Anderson’s understanding of the DOJ’s standard, the extreme volume of emails was not a factor, nor was the classification level of the emails, as long as those being investigated were able to say they simply didn’t know any documents were actually classified.

Despite this, not everyone within the FBI agreed w/the DOJ.

FBI General Counsel James Baker:

“I thought these folks should know that this stuff is classified, that it was alarming what they were talking about, especially some of the most highly classified stuff.”

Page, Baker, and Anderson all testified that the gross negligence statute was rarely, if ever used, as part of their explanation for the DOJ’s unwillingness to pursue, but this logic was repeatedly challenged by then-majority House counsel Breitenbach.

Breitenbach:

“If part of that rationale was that it had never been used, then, by extension, one might presume that other statutes that are on the books, if they aren’t being used, should not be ever considered as predication for a prosecution.”

Anderson, the #2 lawyer at the FBI, was asked about her understanding of the difference between gross negligence and extreme carelessness.

Anderson answered that she didn’t “know exactly what the precise difference is between extremely careless and gross negligence.”

Which begs the question of why Anderson, among others, felt compelled to push Comey to change the language within his statement from the legal term of gross negligence to the non-legal term of extremely careless.

According to Anderson’s testimony, the FBI never even looked into negligence due to the DOJ’s legal position:

The issue at the heart of the Clinton email investigation was summarized by Breitenbach:

“The Department of Justice made a decision that intent was required, even though we have a statute on the books that does not require intent that [only] requires gross negligence.”

Absent a major error on her part, it appears that Clinton was effectively in the clear from the outset of the FBI investigation due to the DOJ’s decision to require intent.17)

Postscript:

With the exceptions of Moffa, Evans, and Hickey, every individual from the FBI and DOJ mentioned in the article has either been fired or has resigned.

Most have been the subject of congressional interviews.
(Jeff Carlson@themarketswork, 2/25/2019)   (Full Article: The Epoch Times, 2/25/2019)

(Republished in part with permission)