Investigations
1991 - Present: A mini-timeline highlighting some of Robert Mueller's career as FBI director and now special counsel to the Trump/Russia collusion investigation

Diana West (Credit: public domain)

(Timeline editor’s note: With many thanks to Diana West for allowing us to republish her Robert Mueller timeline in its entirety. We believe it’s important to provide information on some of the more powerful officials who are/were in charge of the various investigations we are covering in this timeline. We also intend to include career timelines on James Comey and Rod Rosenstein.)

“Robert Mueller became Director of the FBI exactly one week before 9/11. No account of his Bureau tenure is complete without underscoring his shocking obstruction of efforts to bring to light information about key cells of the Saudi-centered conspiracy and terror attacks against the United States: in San Diego, explained here by Andrew Cockburn, and in Sarasota, explained here by Dan Christensen.

From the very start, FBI Director Mueller was not one to follow evidence where it leads. Instead, as the 9/11 record shows, he was one to divert others from where evidence leads.

The following chronology draws from compilations by Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist (MH), GlobalResearch.org (GR) and my own (DW).

1991:GR: As chief of DOJ Criminal Division, Mueller fails to prosecute the BCCI scandal aggressively

2001: GR: Quashes FBI investigation that might have prevented 9/11

Colleen Rowley (Credit: public domain)

Ret. FBI Special Agent Colleen Rowley elaborates: “Although he bore no personal responsibility for intelligence failures before the attack, since he only became FBI Director a week before, Mueller denied or downplayed the significance of warnings that had poured in yet were all ignored or mishandled during the spring and summer of 2001. Bush administration officials had circled the wagons and refused to publicly own up to what the 9/11 Commission eventually concluded, “that the system had been blinking red.” Failures to read, share or act upon important intelligence, which a FBI agent witness termed “criminal negligence” in later trial testimony, were therefore not fixed in a timely manner. (Actually some failures were never fixed.)

2001:GR: Concurs with decision to okay exit (escape?) of Saudi persons connected to Bin Laden. As noted above, Mueller misleads, deflects, blocks scrutiny of Saudi cells in San Diego and Sarasota.

2001: Paul Sperry reported at WorldNetDaily: “Despite a shortage of Arabic translators, the FBI turned down applications for linguist jobs from nearly 100 Arabic-speaking Jews in New York following the World Trade Center attacks.” The New York FBI office had solicited applications from a charity working with Arab Jews, but Washington “headquarters made the final cuts.”  

2001: MH: Mueller’s FBI botches “the anthrax killer case, wasting more than $100 million in taxpayer dollars, destroying the lives of multiple suspects, and chasing bad leads using bad methods.”

2002 – 2008: MH on the Dr. Steven Hatfill Case

The FBI absolutely bungled its investigation into the Anthrax attacker who struck after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Carl Cannon goes through this story well, and it’s worth reading for how it involves both Comey and his dear ‘friend’ and current special counsel Robert Mueller. The FBI tried in the media its case against Hatfill. Their actual case ended up being thrown out by the courts.

Scooter Libby (Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

2003: Rep. Gohmert: The Framing of Scooter Libby

The entire episode was further revealed as a fraud when it was later made public that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald, FBI Director Mueller, and Deputy Attorney Comey had very early on learned that the source of Plame’s identity leak came from Richard Armitage. But neither Comey nor Mueller nor Fitzgerald wanted Armitage’s scalp. Oh no. These so-called apolitical, fair-minded pursuers of their own brand of justice were after a bigger name in the Bush administration like Vice President Dick Cheney or Karl Rove. Yet they knew from the beginning that these two men were not guilty of anything.

Nonetheless, Fitzgerald, Mueller and Comey pursued Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, as a path to ensnare the Vice President. According to multiple reports, Fitzgerald had twice offered to drop all charges against Libby if he would ‘deliver’ Cheney to him. There was nothing to deliver.

Is any of this sounding familiar? Could it be that these same tactics have been used against an innocent Gen. Mike Flynn? Could it be that Flynn only agreed to plead guilty to prevent any family members from being unjustly prosecuted and to also prevent going completely broke from attorneys’ fees? That’s the apparent Mueller-Comey-Special Counsel distinctive modus-operandi.

2004: MH: “Another black mark on Mueller’s record at the FBI was the pursuit of what the bureau dramatically claimed was an Israeli spy ring operating out of the Pentagon. … It turned out that the bureau had gone after a policy analyst who had chatted with American lobbyists at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Charges were also pursued against two AIPAC employees. Those charges were later dropped and the sentence of the first person was dropped from 13 years to 10 months of house arrest and some community service.”

2006: Rep. Louie Gohmert writes in his searing 48-page brief on Mueller: “…the Robert Mueller-led FBI took horrendously unjust actions to derail Curt Weldon’s re-election bid just weeks before the vote.” After an anonymously sourced national story appeared claiming that an investigation into illegal activities by Weldon and his daughter was underway, the FBI staged a 7am raid on the home of Weldon’s daughter. All of this generated negative headlines, and Weldon lost his re-election bid — but there was no follow-up — no questioning, no grand jury, no investigation, nothing. It was all theater staged to destroy an FBI and Clinton administration critic. Jack Cashill reports here.

Gohmert writes: “Please understand what former FBI officials have told me: the FBI would NEVER go after a member of Congress, House or Senate, without the full disclosure to and blessing of the FBI Director. Even if the idea on how to silence Curt Weldon did not come from Director Mueller himself, it surely had his blessing and encouragement, though and, at best, his silence and inaction.”

2008: Rep. Gohmert writes:

Ted Stevens (Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

Mueller’s FBI [put Sen. Ted] Stevens in its cross-hairs, pushing to get an indictment that came 100 days before his election, and engaging in third world dictator-type tactics to help an innocent man lose his election, after which he lost his life.

As reported by NPR, after the conviction and all truth came rolling out of the framing and conviction of Senator Stevens, the new Attorney General Eric Holder, had no choice.

He “abandoned the Stevens case in April 2009 after uncovering new and ‘disturbing’ details about the prosecution…”

Unfortunately for Ted Stevens, his conviction came only eight days before his election, which tipped the scales on a close election.

… Under Director Mueller’s overriding supervision, the wrongdoer who helped manufacture the case stayed on and the whistleblower was punished. Obviously, the FBI Director wanted his FBI agents to understand that honesty would be punished if it revealed wrongdoing within Mueller’s organization.

2008: DW: Mueller’s FBI publishes Counterterrorism Analytical Lexicon. This lexicon is devoid of all words necessary to discuss, describe, understand and thus think about jihad, i.e., Islamic terrorism.

The words “Islam,” “Muslim,” “jihad,” “Muslim Brotherhood,” even “al-Qaeda” — all of which appear in the 9/11 Commission Report — have disappeared entirely from the lexicon of FBI analysis. Instead, agents must focus on the literally meaningless concept of “violent extremism.” As if that’s not mentally paralyzing enough, the FBI definition of violent extremism includes this: “An analytical judgment that an individual is a ‘violent extremist,’ ‘extremist,’ or ‘radical’ is not predication for any investigative action or technique.”

2008: DW: Mueller’s FBI misses the warning signals that Maj. Hassan was preparing for jihad violence in 2009. Too busy studying their see-no-Islam lexicons?

2010: DW: Hamas operative and HLF trial unindicted co-conspirator Kifah Mustapha gets FBI VIP treatment — invitations to top-secret National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) and FBI training center at Quantico during a six-week “Citizen’s Academy” hosted by the FBI as part of its “outreach” to the Muslim community.

2010: DW: Mueller’s FBI rolls up “Ghost Stories,” a decade-long FBI counterintelligence operation targeting deep-cover Russian “illegals” attempting to bore into elite US political circles. In June 2010, mid-Russian “reset,” the FBI arrests ten Russian agents and hastily deports them because one Russian had gotten “too close” to a sitting cabinet official/future presidential candidate: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Thus, in 2010, without a single indictment or anything comparable, Mueller’s FBI did its part in deporting from American soil a network of high-value SVR operatives for political reasons; in 2018, without any expectation of prosecution, Mueller’s Special Counsel office indicted a network of Russian Internet hooligans on Russian soil, also for political reasons.

Photo illustration (Credit: Yahoo News/AP/Getty Images)

2010: DW: As Congress was considering the Uranium One sale, Mueller’s FBI allegedly hides from Congress evidence it had collected showing that Russian officials were engaged in a bribery scheme aimed at growing their atomic energy business inside the United States.

2012: DWMueller’s FBI purges 100s of documents in “islamophobia” purge. There would be a similar purge of military training docs and trainers under JCC Dempsey. Mueller attends announcement at a meeting at FBI HQ with Arab and Muslim groupsMore on this purge at Judicial Watch:

2013: DW: Boston Marathan attack. As with the Ft. Hood attack, Mueller’s see-no-Islam FBI was unable to interpret information passed from Russia about the “radical” Chechin Muslim Tsarnaevs. Too busy studying see-no-Islam training materials?

September 4, 2013: Mueller’s last day at the FBI. Enter James Comey.

(Diana West, 4/19/2018)

January 27, 2006 – The same foreign lobbyists and Russians tied to Trump probe, are associated with McCain during his presidential run in 2008

The Nation publishes a photo of McCain and Rick Davis, celebrating his seventieth birthday in Montenegro in August 2006. On the same day, the Queen K, a mega yacht owned by Oleg Deripaska, is moored in the same bay. (Credit: The Nation

(…) “In fact, McCain’s drama involved the same foreign lobbyist Paul Manafort; one of the same Russian oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska; the same Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak, and the same wily Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, that now dominate the current Trump controversy.

The FBI has said that there is no evidence to date that Trump ever met with a Russian figure banned from the United States.

McCain actually met twice with Deripaska, a Russian businessman and Putin ally whose visa was blocked by the United States amidst intelligence community concerns about his ties to Moscow. The meetings were arranged by Manafort and his lobbying firm partner Rick Davis, who later would become McCain’s campaign manager, according to interviews and documents. Deripaska, a metals magnet, is president of United Company RUSAL, and is considered to be one of the richest men in the world worth an estimated at $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.“My sense is that Davis and Manafort, who were already doing pro-Putin work against American national interests, were using potential meetings with McCain — who didn’t know this and neither did we until after the fact — as bait to secure more rubles from the oligarchs,” John Weaver, one of McCain’s top advisers at the time, told Circa in an interview this month.

Then Governor of Virginia Mark Warner, Senator John McCain, David Gergen and John Sununu are captured during the session ‘The Future of US Leadership’ at the Annual Meeting 2006 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 27, 2006. (Credit: Flickr)

(…) “In 2006, Davis and Manafort arranged two meetings with McCain and Deripaska in group settings while the senator was overseas on official congressional trips.

The first occurred in January 2006 in Davos, Switzerland, where McCain had traveled with fellow Republicans for a global economics conference.

When McCain and his other Senate colleagues, John Sununu and Saxby Chambliss, arrived at an apartment for drinks, Davis was present as a host with Deripaska by his side. A group of about three dozen then went to dinner, McCain and Deripaska included.”

(…) “Davis was McCain’s campaign manager in both 2000 and 2008. Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for a brief time, resigned in August 2016, over questions of prior work with Ukrainian political parties.

During the 2008 campaign, the Davis Manafort firm disclosed through its U.S. partner Daniel J. Edelman Inc., that it was working for the political party in Ukraine supporting Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by Putin.

“Davis Manafort International LLC is directed by a foreign political party, the Ukraine Parties of Regions, to consult on the political campaign in Ukraine,” the January2008 ForeignAgent Registration Act filing showed.

The work included developing “a communications campaign to increase Prime Minister Yanukovych’s visibility in the U.S. and Europe,” the report added, indicating that Davis and Manafort were being paid a $35,000 a month retainer for the work that began in spring 2007.” (Read more: Circa, 6/21/2017)

2009 - 2010: FBI watches then acts as Russian spy moves closer to Hillary Clinton

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov receives a “reset” button from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva Switzerland, March, 2009. (Credit: CNN)

“As Hillary Clinton was beginning her job as President Obama’s chief diplomat, federal agents observed as multiple arms of Vladimir Putin’s machine unleashed an influence campaign designed to win access to the new secretary of State, her husband Bill Clinton and members of their inner circle, according to interviews and once-sealed FBI records.

Some of the activities FBI agents gathered evidence about in 2009 and 2010 were covert and illegal.

A female Russian spy posing as an American accountant, for instance, used a false identity to burrow her way into the employ of a major Democratic donor in hopes of gaining intelligence on Hillary Clinton’s department, records show. The spy was arrested and deported as she moved closer to getting inside State, agents said.

Other activities were perfectly legal and sitting in plain view, such as when a subsidiary of Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company hired a Washington firm to lobby the Obama administration. At the time it was hired, the firm was providing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in pro bono support to Bill Clinton’s global charitable initiative, and it legally helped the Russian company secure federal decisions that led to billions in new U.S. commercial nuclear business, records show.

Agents were surprised by the timing and size of a $500,000 check that a Kremlin-linked bank provided Bill Clinton with for a single speech in the summer of 2010. The payday came just weeks after Hillary Clinton helped arrange for American executives to travel to Moscow to support Putin’s efforts to build his own country’s version of Silicon Valley, agents said.

There is no evidence in any of the public records that the FBI believed that the Clintons or anyone close to them did anything illegal. But there’s definitive evidence the Russians were seeking their influence with a specific eye on the State Department.

“There is not one shred of doubt from the evidence that we had that the Russians had set their sights on Hillary Clinton’s circle, because she was the quarterback of the Obama-Russian reset strategy and the assumed successor to Obama as president,” said a source familiar with the FBI’s evidence at the time, speaking only on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/22/2017)

February 2009 - February 2013: China hacks Clinton’s private email server throughout her term as Secretary of State

James Comey states in a July 5, 2017 press conference, his agency will recommend the US Department of Justice (DoJ) not to press official charges against Hillary Clinton. (Credit: MSNBC)

“A Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington, D.C., area hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server throughout her term as secretary of state and obtained nearly all her emails, two sources briefed on the matter told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The Chinese firm obtained Clinton’s emails in real time as she sent and received communications and documents through her personal server, according to the sources, who said the hacking was conducted as part of an intelligence operation.

The Chinese wrote code that was embedded in the server, which was kept in Clinton’s residence in upstate New York. The code generated an instant “courtesy copy” for nearly all of her emails and forwarded them to the Chinese company, according to the sources.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found that virtually all of Clinton’s emails were sent to a “foreign entity,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, said at a July 12 House Committee on the Judiciary hearing. He did not reveal the entity’s identity, but said it was unrelated to Russia.

Two officials with the ICIG, investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan, met repeatedly with FBI officials to warn them of the Chinese intrusion, according to a former intelligence officer with expertise in cybersecurity issues, who was briefed on the matter. He spoke anonymously, as he was not authorized to publicly address the Chinese’s role with Clinton’s server.

Among those FBI officials was Peter Strzok, who was then the bureau’s top counterintelligence official. Strzok was fired this month following the discovery he sent anti-Trump texts to his mistress and co-worker, Lisa Page. Strzok didn’t act on the information the ICIG provided him, according to Gohmert.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/27/2018)

October 2010 – The FBI uncovers a Russian bribery plot before the Obama administration approves a controversial nuclear deal with Moscow

(Credit: public domain)

“Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.

The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/17/17)

October 2012 - A State Department investigator accuses officials of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, having sex with minors, and several investigations were influenced, manipulated or called off by senior officials

Aurelia Fedenisn ( Credit: CBS News)

CBS News‘ John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General’s memo, [dated October 2012], several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

The memo also reveals details about an “underground drug ring” was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.

Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department’s internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”

In such cases, DSS agents told the Inspector General’s investigators that senior State Department officials told them to back off, a charge that Fedenisn says is “very” upsetting.

“We were very upset. We expect to see influence, but the degree to which that influence existed and how high up it went, was very disturbing,” she said.

In one specific and striking cover-up, State Department agents told the Inspector General they were told to stop investigating the case of a U.S. Ambassador who held a sensitive diplomatic post and was suspected of patronizing prostitutes in a public park.

The State Department Inspector General’s memo refers to the 2011 investigation into an ambassador who “routinely ditched … his protective security detail” and inspectors suspect this was in order to “solicit sexual favors from prostitutes.”

Sources told CBS News that after the allegations surfaced, the ambassador was called to Washington, D.C. to meet with Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy, but was permitted to return to his post.

Fedenisn says “hostile intelligence services” allow such behavior to continue. “I would be very surprised if some of those entities were not aware of the activities,” she said. “So yes, it presents a serious risk to the United States government.”

A draft of the Inspector General’s report on the performance of the DSS, obtained by CBS News, states, “Hindering such cases calls into question the integrity of the investigative process, can result in counterintelligence vulnerabilities and can allow criminal behavior to continue.” (Read more: CBS News, 6/10/2013)

US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman, with his wife in Brussels, was investigated over claims he solicited prostitutes and minor children. (Credit: Zuma Press)

The following day, Foreign Policy writes, “In a fast-developing story, U.S. ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman has been named as the diplomat accused of soliciting “sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” according to State Department documents obtained by NBC News. Gutman denied the allegations, in a statement to The Cable and other outlets.

“I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press and to watch the four years I have proudly served in Belgium smeared is devastating,” he said. “At no point have I ever engaged in any improper activity.” (Read more: Foreign Policy, 6/11/2013)

On June 17, 2013Foreign Policy writes, “The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an “intimidation” campaign to stop her.

Last week’s leaks by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department inspector general investigator, shined a light on alleged wrongdoing by U.S. officials around the globe. But her attorney Cary Schulman tells The Cable that Fedenisn has paid a steep price: “They had law enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children and attempt to incriminate herself.”

Fedenisn’s life changed dramatically last Monday after she handed over documents and statements to CBS News alleging that senior State Department officials “influenced, manipulated, or simply called off” several investigations into misconduct. The suppression of investigations was noted in an early draft of an Inspector General report, but softened in the final version.

Erich Hart, general counsel to the Inspector General, did not reply to a request for comment. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week that “we hold all employees to the highest standards. We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly.” She also announced that the department would request additional review by outside law enforcement officers on OIG inspection processes.” (Read more: Foreign Policy, 6/17/2013)

February 16, 2013 – Missing Clinton email claims Saudis financed Benghazi attacks

“Something that has gone unnoticed in all the talk about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails is the content of the original leak that started the entire investigation to begin with. In March of 2013, a Romanian hacker calling himself Guccifer hacked into the AOL account of Sidney Blumenthal and leaked to Russia Today four e-mails containing intelligence on Libya that Blumenthal sent to Hillary Clinton.

For those who haven’t been following this story, Sidney Blumenthal is a long time friend and adviser of the Clinton family who in an unofficial capacity sent many “intelligence memos” to Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. Originally displayed on RT.com in Comic Sans font on a pink background with the letter “G” clumsily drawn as a watermark, no one took these leaked e-mails particularly seriously when they came out in 2013. Now, however, we can cross reference this leak with the e-mails the State Department released to the public.

The first three e-mails in the Russia Today leak from Blumenthal to Clinton all appear word for word in the State Department release. The first e-mail Clinton asks to have printed and she also forwards it to her deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan. The second e-mail Clinton describes as “useful insight” and forwards it to Jake Sullivan asking him to circulate it. The third e-mail is also forwarded to Jake Sullivan. The fourth e-mail is missing from the State Department record completely.

The original Blumenthal email released by Guccifer and missing from Clinton’s emails. (Credit: Guccifer)

This missing e-mail from February 16, 2013 only exists in the original leak and states that French and Libyan intelligence agencies had evidence that the In Amenas and Benghazi attacks were funded by “Sunni Islamists in Saudi Arabia.” This seems like a rather outlandish claim on the surface, and as such was only reported by conspiracy types and fringe media outlets. Now, however, we have proof that the other three e-mails in the leak were real correspondence from Blumenthal to Clinton that she not only read, but thought highly enough of to send around to others in the State Department. Guccifer speaks English as a second language and most of his writing consists of rambling conspiracies, it’s unlikely he would be able to craft such a convincing fake intelligence briefing. This means we have an e-mail from a trusted Clinton adviser that claims the Saudis funded the Benghazi attack, and not only was this not followed up on, but there is not any record of this e-mail ever existing except for the Russia Today leak.

Why is this e-mail missing? At first I assumed it must be due to some sort of cover up, but it’s much simpler than that. The e-mail in question was sent after February 1st, 2013, when John Kerry took over as Secretary of State, so it was not part of the time period being investigated. No one is trying to find a copy of this e-mail. Since Clinton wasn’t Secretary of State on February 16th, it wasn’t her job to follow up on it. (Read more: William Reynolds, 3/07/2016)

March 28, 2013 - Judicial Watch Obtains Emails Showing Podesta Group’s Work for Pro-Russia Ukrainian Political Party

(Credit: Twitter)

“Judicial Watch today released new documents from the U.S. Department of State showing the Podesta Group working on behalf of the pro-Russia Ukrainian political group “Party of Regions.” The new documents also show longtime Obama and Clinton counselor John Podesta lobbying on behalf of his brother’s firm.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department filed on November 20, 2017, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:17-cv-02489)). The lawsuit was filed after the State Department failed to respond to a September 13, 2017, FOIA request for:

  • All records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any principal, employee, or representative of Podesta Group, Inc.
  • All records produced related to any meetings or telephonic communications between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any principal, employee, or representative of Podesta Group, Inc.
  • All records regarding the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.
  • The FOIA request covers the timeframe of January 1, 2012 to the present.

A March 28, 2013, email from now-Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of the Secretary of State Baxter Hunt shows the Podesta Group, led by Tony Podesta, a Clinton bundler and brother of Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman John Podesta, represented the Party of Regions, a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine.

In the March 2013 email, to a number of officials including then-U.S. Foreign Service Officer John Tefft (who would go on to be U.S. Ambassador to Russia in 2014) and State Department director for the Office of Eastern Europe Alexander Kasanof, Hunt writes:

See below, I also stressed to them the need for GOU to take concrete steps to get new SBA with IMF and avoid PFC/loss of GSP. Podesta Group is noted among host of Ukraine lobbyists in article I’ll forward in article on low side.

  • Ben Chang and Mark Tavlarides of the Podesta Group, which is representing the Party of Regions, told us they were working with Klyuyev on a visit he plans to make to Washington in early May. They are working to broaden the POR’s contacts on the Hill, including setting up a meeting for Klyuyev with Chris Smith, and have advised Kyiv to stop trying to justify their actions against Tymoshenko in Washington. They also noted that during his recent meeting with former EC President Prodi, HFAC Chairman Ed Royce said that Congress would not be enacting sanctions legislation against Ukraine.

The Party of Regions served as the pro-Kremlin political base for Ukraine’s former President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia in 2014.

Like Paul Manafort, who is currently under indictment in the errant special counsel Russia investigation, the Podesta Group had to retroactively file Foreign Agent Registration Act disclosures with the Justice Department for Ukrainian-related work. The filing states that the Podesta group provided for the nonprofit European Centre for a Modern Ukraine “government relations and public relations services within the United States and Europe to promote political and economic cooperation between Ukraine and the West. The [Podesta Group] conducted outreach to congressional and executive branch offices, members of the media, nongovernmental organizations and think tanks.” Unlike Manafort and his partner Rick Gates, the Mueller special counsel operation hasn’t indicted anyone from the Podesta Group. (Read more: Judicial Watch, 5/17/2018)

May 2014 - McCabe is accused of sexual discrimination, General Flynn supports the special agent who files the complaint

Robyn Gritz (Credit: public domain)

“The FBI launched a criminal probe against former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn two years after the retired Army general roiled the bureau’s leadership by intervening on behalf of a decorated counterterrorism agent who accused now-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and other top officials of sexual discrimination, according to documents and interviews.

Flynn’s intervention on behalf of Supervisory Special Agent Robyn Gritz was highly unusual, and included a letter in 2014 on his official Pentagon stationary, a public interview in 2015 supporting Gritz’s case and an offer to testify on her behalf. His offer put him as a hostile witness in a case against McCabe, who was soaring through the bureau’s leadership ranks.

The FBI sought to block Flynn’s support for the agent, asking a federal administrative law judge in May 2014 to keep Flynn and others from becoming a witness in her Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) case, memos obtained by Circa show. Two years later, the FBI opened its inquiry of Flynn.

The EEOC case, which is still pending, was serious enough to require McCabe to submit to a sworn statement to investigators, the documents show.

The deputy director’s testimony provided some of the strongest evidence in the case of possible retaliation, because he admitted the FBI opened an internal investigation into Gritz’s personal conduct after learning the agent “had filed or intended to file” a sex discrimination complaint against her supervisors. (Read more: Circa, 6/27/2017)

February 2015 – The Strange Case of McAuliffe & McCabe

Terry McAuliffe (Credit: public domain)

“A useful timeline in the OIG report sketches the McCabe-McAuliffe saga—a swamp tale of a particular sort. In 2014, McCabe, a rising star at the FBI, is assistant director of the bureau’s Washington, DC, field office. His wife is a pediatrician in Virginia. Terry McAuliffe is governor.

In February 2015, Dr. McCabe receives a phone call from Virginia’s lieutenant governor. Would she consider running for a state senate seat?

Less than two weeks later, in March 2015, McCabe and his wife drive to Richmond for what they thought was a meeting with a Virginia state senator to discuss Dr. McCabe’s possible run for office.

In Richmond, according to the OIG report, they are told there had been “a change of plans” and that “Governor McAuliffe wanted to speak to Dr. McCabe at the Governor’s mansion.”

It’s around this time that a veteran FBI agent’s radar might start blinking.

McCabe and his wife meet with McAuliffe for 30 to 45 minutes, according to the OIG report. Fundraising was discussed. “Governor McAuliffe said that he and the Democratic Party would support Dr. McCabe’s candidacy.” McAuliffe asked McCabe about his occupation and “McCabe told him he worked for the FBI but they did not discuss McCabe’s work or any FBI business.” McCabe later described it to an FBI official as a “surreal meeting.”

After the meeting, the couple rode to a local event with the governor, then returned to the mansion with the governor to retrieve their car.

McCabe informed FBI ethics officials and lawyers about the meeting and consulted with them about his wife’s plans. No one raised strong objections. McCabe recused himself from all public corruption cases in Virginia and Dr. McCabe jumped into the race.

Jill and Andrew McCabe in their campaign attire on March 7, 2015. (Credit: Sharyl Attkisson)

In July 2015, the FBI opened an investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email practices.

Let’s pause to note here that while the official FBI investigation was opened in July 2015, Mrs. Clinton was known to be in hot water as far back as March 2015, when the State Department inspector general revealed her widespread use of a private, non-government email server.

Swamp cats will notice that March 2015 is also when Andrew and Jill McCabe got their surprise audience with McAuliffe, the longtime Clinton money man.

The McCabe fortunes rose in the autumn of 2015. Mr. McCabe was promoted to associate deputy director of the FBI. Dr. McCabe received $675,000 from two McAuliffe-connected entities for her state senate race. They were by far the biggest donations to her campaign.

In November 2015, Dr. McCabe lost her race.

In January 2016, the FBI opened an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.

On February 1, Mr. McCabe was promoted again, to deputy director of the FBI.

Despite the McAuliffe connection, the OIG report notes, there was no FBI re-evaluation of McCabe’s recusals following his promotions. Although recused from Virginia public corruption investigations, he retained a senior role in Clinton-related matters.

In May 2016, news broke that McAuliffe was under FBI investigation for campaign finance violations. CNN reported that investigators were scrutinizing “McAuliffe’s time as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative” and Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang, a U.S. permanent resident who made large donations to both the McAuliffe 2013 gubernatorial campaign and to the Clinton Foundation.

On October 23, the Wall Street Journal revealed the McAuliffe-linked donations to Dr. McCabe’s campaign. At FBI headquarters, McCabe resists pressure from senior executives to recuse himself from all Clinton-related matters.

Finally, on November 1—a week before the presidential election—McCabe recused from the Clinton email and Clinton Foundation investigations.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/21/2018)

March - July, 2015: Did McCabe issue ‘Stand-Down’ order on FBI Clinton Email Investigation?

Andrew McCabe (Credit: Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner)

“Multiple former FBI officials, along with a Congressional official, say that while there may have been internal squabbling over the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation at the time, there was allegedly another “stand-down” order by McCabe regarding the opening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email for official government business.

McCabe’s stand-down order regarding Clinton’s private email use happened after The New York Times first reported Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules in March 2015 and before the official investigation was requested by the Justice Department toward the end of July 2015.

 

After The New York Times publication, the FBI Washington Field Office began investigating Clinton’s use of private emails and whether she was using her personal email account to transmit classified information. According to sources, McCabe was overseas when he became aware of the investigation and sent electronic communications voicing his displeasure with the agents.

“McCabe tried to steer people off the private email investigation and that appears to be obstruction and should be investigated,” said one former FBI official with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the investigation. “Now if the information on the ‘stand-down’ order is obtained by the IG that could bring a whole lot of other troubles to McCabe.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 4/2018)

May 4, 2015 - Clinton Cash: The Official Documentary Movie

Clinton Cash investigates how Bill and Hillary Clinton went from being “dead broke” after leaving the White House to amassing a net worth of over $150 million, with over $2 billion in donations to their foundation. This wealth was accumulated during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as US Secretary of State through lucrative speaking fees and contracts paid for by foreign companies and Clinton Foundation donors.

September 2015 – The FBI structures the email investigation to deliver a predetermined outcome

“Within the Inspector General report into how the DOJ and FBI handled the Clinton email investigation, on Page #164, footnote #124 the outline is laid bare for all to witness. The Clinton classified email investigation was structured to deliver a predetermined outcome.

John Spiropoulos delivers the first video in a series of reports on the Department of Justice Inspector General’s review into the investigation of Hillary Clinton. This segment focuses on DOJ’s legal interpretation that virtually assured Clinton would not be prosecuted. And that, as the IG reports states, the FBI and DOJ knew that “by September2015. (Conservative Treehouse,6/25/2018)

“The Fix Was In”

Late October, 2015 – Natalia Veselnitskaya is granted special permission by Loretta Lynch to bypass a visa and enter the United States

Loretta Lynch (Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

“The Russian lawyer who penetrated Donald Trump’s inner circle was initially cleared into the United States by the Justice Department under “extraordinary circumstances” before she embarked on a lobbying campaign last year that ensnared the president’s eldest son, members of Congress, journalists and State Department officials, according to court and Justice Department documents and interviews.

This revelation means it was the Obama Justice Department that enabled the newest and most intriguing figure in the Russia-Trump investigation to enter the country without a visa.

(…) “In an interview with NBC News earlier this week, Veselnitskaya acknowledged her contacts with Trump Jr. and in Washington were part of a lobbying campaign to get members of Congress and American political figures to see “the real circumstances behind the Magnitsky Act.”

That work was a far cry from the narrow reason the U.S. government initially gave for allowing Veselnitskaya into the U.S. in late 2015, according to federal court records.

Denis Katsyv (Credit: public domain)

During a court hearing in early January 2016, as Veselnitskaya’s permission to stay in the country was about to expire, federal prosecutors described how rare the grant of parole immigration was as Veselnitskaya pleaded for more time to remain in the United States.

“In October the government bypassed 
the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary 
permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge during a hearing on Jan. 6, 2016.

“That’s a discretionary act that the statute allows the attorney general to do in extraordinary circumstances. In this case, we 
did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the 
further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the 
country to assist,” he added.” (Read more: The Hill, 7/12/2017)

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)

Late 2015 - The investigations into Donald Trump and his campaign began much earlier, in Great Britain

(…) “Late 2015: According to several former and current western intelligence sources who spoke to this reporter, the investigations into President Donald Trump and his campaign began much earlier than has been reported and for that matter, it did not begin in the United States but rather across the Atlantic Ocean, in Great Britain.

An aerial view of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), located in the suburbs of Cheltenham, England. (Credit: public domain)

Intelligence community counterparts in Great Britain, specifically GCHQ, which is similar to America’s NSA, had already begun looking into what they alleged was contact between Russians and some members of the Trump campaign and played “an early, prominent role” according to these sources. But whether that information was requested by the U.S. as assistance to an investigation here or whether the British began the investigation on their own is still not clear.

The Guardian reported that British Intelligence sources shared its signals intelligence on people connected to Trump campaign with the United States. However, The Guardian also reports that Germany, Poland, and Estonia also shared communications related to members of the Trump campaign with the United States.  Great Britain, which is part of what is called the “Five-Eyes” alliance includes the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the countries often shared signals intelligence, raw communications between targets they were investigating.

If what we are being told is true, who inside the U.S. and British intelligence agencies were aware that members of the Trump campaign had their communications intercepted by British intelligence, purportedly investigating the Russians? Was it the U.S. who asked the British to assist in a counterintelligence investigation or did the British do this on their own as claimed in The Guardian? If this did occur, how directly involved were CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in the information being shared by our allies? And how often had American political communications, unknown to the public, been intercepted by foreign governments for political purposes?

Moreover, if members of an administration collect information from allies based on overseas communications between opposition, what happens to that intelligence? How is it safeguarded from abuse and who or what agency has the oversight authority to ensure it is a legitimate counterintelligence investigation? Congressional oversight is always after-the-fact and lawmakers have been hampered by roadblocks set up by the DOJ, FBI and former senior officials of the Obama administration, who either have withheld documentation, evaded answering questions or lied.

If what the British and western intelligence officials are saying is true, then the investigation into the Trump campaign began much earlier than the FBI’s claims at the end of July 2016. More importantly, our allies may have been collecting more communications than we’re aware of on Trump campaign officials and volunteers. What we do know is that National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; Carter Page, a short time foreign policy volunteer for the campaign; Paul Manafort, a short-term campaign chair and George Papadopoulos, a young short-term foreign policy advisor were all caught up in the spying dragnet.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 6/01/2(018) (The Guardian, 4/13/2017)

December 10, 2015 - Admiral Michael Flynn is one of several guest speakers at Russia Today's (RT) 10th anniversary gala in Moscow

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, made the baseless insinuation that Donald Trump compromised national security by inviting a man with Russian ties to his intelligence briefing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) sits next to retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn (left), Jill Stein (right) as they attend an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of RT (Russia Today) television news channel in Moscow, Russia, December 10, 2015. (Credit: Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Reuters)

Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week,” Mook said Trump was accompanied to his first intelligence briefing on Aug. 17 by “someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin.” Mook claimed this “gentleman” — whom he did not name — “was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin” at RT’s 10th anniversary gala in December, and he demanded that Trump disclose “whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.”

Who is this mysterious, unnamed gentleman? The Clinton campaign told us Mook was referring to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who until two years ago was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama.

Flynn is not “on the payroll of the Russia Times.” He was merely one of many speakers at RT’s anniversary conference on Dec. 10, 2015, in Moscow. RT is a Russian government-funded TV station once known as Russia Today.

Mook made his misleading assertion about Flynn shortly after he claimed that “real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin.” Host George Stephanopoulos questioned Mook about that claim — which has been part of the Clinton campaign’s attacks on Trump ever since it was reported that Russia was likely behind the successful attacks on computer servers at the Democratic National Committee and the release of DNC emails.

Stephanopoulos: You’re saying he’s a puppet for the Kremlin?

Mook: Well, real questions are being raised about that. We — again, there’s a web of financial ties to the Russians that he refuses to disclose. We’ve seen over the last few week, him parroted Vladimir Putin in his own remarks. We saw the Republican Party platform changed. She saw Donald Trump talk about leaving NATO and leaving our Eastern European allies vulnerable to a Russian attack. The gentleman he brought with him to his security briefing just last week is someone who’s on the payroll of the Russia Times, which is a basically a propaganda arm of the Kremlin. He was sitting two seats away from Vladimir Putin at their 10th anniversary gala.

There are a lot of questions here. And we need Donald Trump to disclose all of his financial ties and whether his advisers are having meetings with the Kremlin.

However, Paul Manafort, who until last week was Trump’s campaign chairman, did have business dealings with Russian-aligned leaders in Ukraine, as uncovered by the New York Times. With Manafort gone, Mook redirected the campaign’s guilt-by-association attack on Trump by questioning Flynn’s associations with the Kremlin.”

(…) “In an Aug. 15 article, Flynn told the Washington Post that his speaking engagement was arranged by his speaker’s bureau and that he was paid for it. He said he was introduced to Putin, but did not speak to him.

The Clinton campaign provided no evidence that Flynn is “on the payroll” of RT or that he is “having meetings with the Kremlin,” as Mook alleged. It forwarded us a Politico story from May that said Flynn “makes semi-regular appearances on RT as an analyst.” Politico wrote that Flynn is “presumably” paid for those TV appearances, but the retired lieutenant general told the Post that he is not paid by RT or any other TV stations, because “I want to be able to speak freely about what I believe.” (Read more: FactCheck, 8/23/2016)

December 2015 - Dem Chief of Staff tries to expose suspected theft ring on Capitol Hill, was met with resistance

Wendy Anderson (Credit: public domain)

“Rep. Yvette Clarke’s deputy chief of staff came into the office on a Saturday in December 2015 and caught the New York Democrat’s part-time IT aide, Abid Awan, rummaging through the congresswoman’s work area with new iPods and other equipment strewn around the room, according to a House document and interviews with Hill staff.

Wendy Anderson told Abid to get out of the office, the document said. She told Capitol Hill investigators that she soon suspected Clarke’s chief of staff, Shelley Davis, was working with Abid on a theft scheme, multiple House staffers with knowledge of the situation told The Daily Caller News Foundation. They also said that Anderson pushed for Abid’s firing.”

(…) “House Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko testified in a public hearing in April that “the House IG discovered evidence of procurement fraud and irregularities [and] numerous violations of House security policies” by the Awans. The alleged procurement fraud included submitting suspicious invoices to bill equipment to House offices.”

(…) “Speaker of the House Paul Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong told TheDCNF the Capitol Police “requested that the shared employees be allowed to continue to use their IT credentials until February 2017 because they didn’t want to tip off the employees.”

But Anderson soon concluded that the investigation was compromised because another high-level staffer based in New York was feeding information about authorities’ activities to Abid, a House staffer Anderson spoke with in detail about the situation told TheDCNF.

“Her district office chief, a female, was actively going against Wendy,” the staffer said. “She was good friends with Omar and was feeding him information. Clarke would tell this person and the woman was backdooring stuff to Omar. She was undermining the investigation.” Anderson told that to House investigators as well, the staffer said.” (Read more: Daily Caller, 6/24/2018)

December 28, 2015 - A text message between Strzok and Page seeks approval for double agents

Newly unredacted text messages, sent between top FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, suggest that the agency initiated an offensive counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign as early as December 2015.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released 500 pages of documents and texts on June 4, the bulk of which consists of messages between Page and Strzok. One message, which was previously redacted, shows that FBI agents were working to recruit double agents as early as Dec. 28, 2015.

According to Chris Farrell, a former counterintelligence officer who ran double-agent operations for the U.S. Army, “oconus” stands for “outside the continental United States,” while “lures” refers to people used as bait to snag a potential double agent.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 6/07/2018)