February 15, 2017 – The GSA helps the FBI use the Logan Act to spy on Trump

In Email/Dossier Investigations by Katie Weddington

“In our last article, we went through a series of warrants related to the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) investigation of Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn (Ret.). DOJ disclosed the warrants late in 2020 in response to a FOIA lawsuit brought by a coalition of corporate media outlets. We left off by asking:

The warrants in Attachments 4 and 5 specifically name email accounts and electronic devices, unlike Attachments 1 through 3 where the named targets were individuals in the earlier versions or law firms in the revimedised ones. And all the electronic files and devices are “currently located at [the] FBI Washington [D.C.] Field Office.

So the FBI is already in possession of the electronic files and devices. The only reason that should be the case is if they had already been subpoenaed or turned over willingly by the Trump transition team/administration. In either case, the FBI shouldn’t need a warrant to search the evidence already in their possession. So what’s the deal?

~Excerpt from “The DOJ Used The Logan Act to Obtain Warrants Against General Flynn”

We believe we found the answers for both; how the FBI obtained the materials and why The Logan Act was used as the basis for the final two warrants. When both are considered together, the degree of government corruption is simply shocking.

The story of how the FBI came into possession of the material is detailed in a 285-page Senate report jointly by Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) Committee on Finance and Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs from October 2020. The report is titled appropriately enough, “Don’t Brief the Trump Team: How the GSA and the FBI Secretly Shared Trump Transition Team Records,” and exposes the degree of bureaucratic resistance and corruption the Trump administration was facing right out of the gates.

October 2020 Grassley-Johnson Senate Report

In short, officials at the highest level of the General Services Administration (GSA) were gaslit by media reports about Gen. Flynn’s resignation as President Trump’s National Security Advisor (NSA) on February 15, 2017. Based solely on the news—without being prompted and on their own accord—they reached out to the FBI through their Office of Inspector General (GSA OIG) to see if they should begin preserving all Trump Presidential Transition Team (PTT) records still in their possession. This was done in direct contrast to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) GSA had with Trump’s PTT organization (Trump for America, Inc. or “TFA”), and in violation of their own rules and without any legal basis to do so. Based simply on a phone call with the FBI, GSA halted its standard procedures of wiping all PTT records and devices. This despite the fact they were the private records of TFA and not the property of GSA or U.S. Government records subject to any record-keeping regulations.

GSA OIG Carol Ochoa previously worked for the law firm Covington & Burling.

GSA would then spend most of 2017 misleading the Trump White House and TFA about the status of the PTT records in coordination with the FBI and Mueller Special Counsel Office (SCO), even denying Trump’s representatives access to copies of their own records for an extended period of time. GSA would eventually hand over the PTT records to the FBI and Mueller SCO late in the summer of 2017, again without any legal justification. Trump’s White House or TFA was not even informed ahead of time—affording them the opportunity to review, object, or exert executive privilege or attorney-client privilege on anything—and was only made aware of the GSA disclosures well after-the-fact in mid-December 2017.

October 2020 Grassley-Johnson Senate Report

(Read more: The Washington Pundit, 6/22/22)  (Archive)