February 9, 2017 – Steele’s primary subsource is interviewed by the FBI, DOJ-NSD David Laufman negotiates the terms

In Email Timeline Post-Election 2016, Email/Dossier Investigations by Katie Weddington

(…) From the IG Report — Footnote 336 — is that David Laufman, Chief of the Export Control Section of the National Security Division of DOJ, told the IG that he negotiated the terms of the Danchenko interview with Danchenko’s attorney.

Laufman told us that he negotiated with the Primary Sub-source’s counsel to facilitate the FBI’s interview and sought to “build a cooperative relationship that could … result in the Bureau’s being in a position to assess the validity of information in the [Steele election reporting] resulting from [the Primary Sub-source’s] activities or the collection of [his/her] sub-subsources. So I saw my role as a broker to get that relationship consolidated .” Laufman said that the portion of the interview he attended established the line of communication with the Primary Sub-source and, as he recalled, generally covered the facts in a “superficial” way. He said that after the completion of the interview, he never saw the FBI’s written summary of the interview.

The IG Report says that Laufman attended only the first day of the 3-day interview and that one of his deputies attended days 2 and 3.  Note that Laufman told the IG he never saw the 57 page EC that documented the interview.  In my experience that would not be unusual. EC’s are normally internal FBI documents and do not get circulated outside the Bureau.  Both Laufman and his deputy were present and able to take notes for themselves.  I would be most curious to know — one hasn’t surfaced yet — if either of them prepared a “memo to file” or something similar reflecting what Danchenko said.  I would not have done so had I been there — that would be creating another document possibly subject to discovery — though it would likely be covered by a privilege.  I would have probably kept handwritten notes, and held onto those for later use if needed.

Rachel Maddow reports Donald Trump has issued a directive to the intelligence community to cooperate with William Barr in investigating the Trump-Russia investigation, and reports that David Laufman calls the directive “a grotesque abuse of the intelligence community.” (Credit: MSNBC)

What is also curious about Laufman’s presence is “Why him?”  The reliability of PSS and verification of his information was a key issue in the ongoing Carter Page FISA that was supervised and approved by the Officer of Intelligence of the National Security Division.  Why wasn’t it the OI Chief who attended the meeting?  Was it to contain the information?  Laufman is a partisan Democrat loyalist — he’s made that clear since he left government.  That is a question Mary McCord should answer since she was the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division at the time, and it would have been her decision — assuming she made it — to have Laufman interact with Danchenko’s attorney and then attend the FBI interview.

So Laufman’s presence for the first day of the interview was not a coincidence, and it wasn’t because the FBI called him and said “Steele’s PSS is going to be interviewed. Do you want to be present?”

Further, a “use immunity” agreement doesn’t just lay around on a desk somewhere waiting for someone to fill in the blanks, date, and sign it.  These documents have various titles, and take various forms and have varying content — “proffer letter” is another common phrase used in describing them.  The EC references that a “proffer letter” is attached.”  (Read more: RedState, 7/25/2020)  (Archive)