(…) Back in September 2016, FBI Special Agent Curtis Heide was assigned to the Alfa Bank “investigation in a co-case-agent capacity.” His trainee, FBI Agent Allison Sands, was the lead investigator on the case. The case came from FBI Headquarters in DC – specifically from Joe Pientka. While Heide understood the Alfa Bank allegations came from an “anonymous source,” Heide never learned the identity of that source:
The Alfa Bank opening communication drafted by Heide said it was opened as a “Full Field Investigation.” He was “ordered” to open the investigation by FBI headquarters:
Pientka made clear that the opening of the investigation was demanded by the FBI’s 7th Floor – including Director Comey – at the behest of Bill Priestap.
This is the type of investigation, as Heide said, that “employs all of our resources.” As Agent Heide explained:
“In order to open a full field investigation, we would need specific and articulable facts that a threat to U.S. national security has occurred or there’s been a violation of federal law.”
This is in contrast to lower investigative levels – those for which the Alfa Bank allegations would be more appropriate – which “allows limited investigative techniques to see if an allegation or an investigation is warranted.”
As to some of the Alfa Bank allegations brought by Sussmann?
Q: Now, Agent Heide, what, if anything, did you find regarding these allegations and the purported findings in this white paper?
Heide: We were not able to substantiate any of the allegations in the white paper.
The FBI’s Cyber Division also discounted the Sussmann white paper:
Heide: The cyber division “were also unable to substantiate any of the allegations in the white paper, and they deemed that the information provided was not in accordance with how the Russians would conduct cyber activities.”
In fact, Agent Pientka (whom we have long-criticized) relayed the Cyber Division’s conclusions to Heide, stating:
Relatively early on in the investigation – on September 26, 2016 – Agent Heide sent a message to Pientka, requesting an interview of the source of the Alfa Bank white papers. By that time, Heide knew the white paper was bunk. He received no response from Pientka. He repeated this request on October 3, 2016. Agent Heide’s requests were rebuffed by his liaison at FBI headquarters:
Regarding Heide’s background – he supported “the initial efforts of Crossfire Hurricane” and was involved in the George Papadopoulos case. He said he is currently under an administrative investigation by the FBI for intentionally withholding classified information in a Carter Page FISA warrant.
When asked about the details of his involvement in the FISA applications, Heide said he “didn’t author any of the affidavits or any of the materials related to the applications in question.” (Read more: Techno Fog, 5/24/2022) (Archive)
Day 7 of the Michael Sussman trial continues with the Defense shifting blame to FBI agents who they claim failed to properly investigate the case.
Timecodes: 00:00:00 – Intro 00:00:25 – Mindmap Overview 00:03:03 – Early Superchats 00:03:44 – Afternoon Session Transcript (Sussmann Trial Day 6) 00:04:04 – Witness Ryan Gaynor (Cross-Examination Continued) 00:29:18 – Witness Ryan Gaynor (Redirect Examination) 00:29:30 – Witness Allison Sands (Direct Examination) 00:58:50 – Witness Allison Sands (Cross-Examination) 01:12:49 – Morning Session Transcript (Sussmann Trial Day 7) 01:13:51 – Mindmap Update 01:16:12 – Witness Trisha Anderson (Direct Examination) 01:22:52 – Witness Trisha Anderson (Cross-Examination) 01:32:02 – Witness Trisha Anderson (Redirect Examination) 01:34:26 – Witness Curtis Heide (Direct Examination) 01:54:11 – Witness Curtis Heide (Cross-Examination) 02:17:48 – Recap & Conclusion 02:19:54 – Superchats & Locals Community #Sussmann #Durham #FBI