April 2017

April 26, 2017 – DOJ oversight conducted a review of Section 702 Acquired Information between November 2015-May 2016 and found 85% of U.S. persons queries were unlawful or non-compliant

“Research indicates the modern political exploitation of the NSA database, for weaponized intelligence surveillance of politicians, began mid 2012.

The FISA-702 database extraction process, and utilization of the protections within the smaller intelligence community, was the primary process. Start by reviewing the established record from the 99-page FISC opinion rendered by Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer on April 26th, 2017; and explain the details within the FISC opinion.

I would strongly urge everyone to read the FISC report because Judge Collyer outlines how the DOJ, which includes the FBI, had an “institutional lack of candor” in responses to the FISA court. In essence, the Obama administration was continually lying to the court about their activity, and the rate of fourth amendment violations for illegal searches and seizures of U.S. persons’ private information for multiple years.

(…) The key takeaway from these first paragraphs is how the search query results were exported from the NSA database to users who were not authorized to see the material. The FBI contractors were conducting searches and then removing, or ‘exporting’, the results. Later on, the FBI said all of the exported material was deleted.

Searching the highly classified NSA database is essentially a function of filling out search boxes to identify the user-initiated search parameter and get a return on the search result.

FISA-702(16) is a search of the system returning a U.S. person (“702”); and the “16” is a check box to initiate a search based on “To and From“. Example, if you put in a date and a phone number and check “16” as the search parameter the user will get the returns on everything “To and From” that identified phone number for the specific date. Calls, texts, contacts etc. Including results for the inbound and outbound contacts.

FISA-702(17) is a search of the system returning a U.S. person (702); and the “17” is a check box to initiate a search based on everything “About” the search qualifier. Example, if you put a date and a phone number and check “17” as the search parameter the user will get the returns of everything about that phone. Calls, texts, contacts, geolocation (or gps results), account information, user, service provider etc. As a result, 702(17) can actually be used to locate where the phone (and user) was located on a specific date or sequentially over a specific period of time which is simply a matter of changing the date parameters.

And that’s just from a phone number.

Search an ip address “about” and read all data into that server; put in an email address and gain everything about that account. Or use the electronic address of a GPS enabled vehicle (about) and you can withdraw more electronic data and monitor in real time. Search a credit card number and get everything about the account including what was purchased, where, when, etc. Search a bank account number, get everything about transactions and electronic records etc. Just about anything and everything can be electronically searched; everything has an electronic ‘identifier’.

The search parameter is only limited by the originating field filled out. Names, places, numbers, addresses, etc. By using the “About” parameter there may be thousands or millions of returns. Imagine if you put “@realdonaldtrump” into the search parameter? You could extract all following accounts who interacted on Twitter, or Facebook etc. You are only limited by your imagination and the scale of the electronic connectivity.

As you can see below, on March 9th, 2016, internal auditors noted the FBI was sharing “raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information”.

In plain English the raw search returns were being shared with unknown entities without any attempt to “minimize” or redact the results. The person(s) attached to the results were named and obvious. There was no effort to hide their identity or protect their 4th amendment rights of privacy:

But what’s the scale here? This is where the story really lies.

Read this next excerpt carefully.

The operators were searching “U.S Persons”. The review of November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016, showed “eighty-five percent of those queries” were unlawful or “non compliant”.

85% !! “representing [redacted number].”

We can tell from the space of the redaction the number of searches were between 1,000 and 9,999 [five digits]. If we take the middle number of 5,000 – that means 4,250 unlawful searches out of 5,000.

The [five digit] amount (more than 1,000, less than 10,000), and 85% error rate, was captured in a six month period.

Also notice this very important quote: “many of these non-compliant queries involved the use of the same identifiers over different date ranges.” So they were searching the same phone number, email address, electronic “identifier”, or people, repeatedly over different dates. Specific people were being tracked/monitored.

Additionally, notice the last quote: “while the government reports it is unable to provide a reliable estimate of” these non lawful searches “since 2012, there is no apparent reason to believe the November 2015 [to] April 2016 coincided with an unusually high error rate”.

That means the 85% unlawful FISA-702(16)(17) database abuse has likely been happening since 2012. (Again, remember that date, 2012) Who was FBI Director? Who was his chief-of-staff? Who was CIA Director? ODNI? etc. Remember, the NSA is inside the Pentagon (Defense Dept) command structure. Who was Defense Secretary? And finally, who wrote and signed-off-on the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment?

Tens of thousands of searches over four years (since ), and 85% of them are illegal. The results were extracted for?…. (I believe this is all political opposition use; and I’ll explain why momentarily.)

OK, that’s the stunning scale; but who was involved?

Private contractors with access to “raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to FBI’s requests“:

And as noted, the contractor access was finally halted on April 18th, 2016.

Coincidentally (or not), the wife of Fusion-GPS founder Glenn Simpson, Mary Jacoby, goes to the White House the next day on April 19th, 2016.

None of this is conspiracy theory.

All of this is laid out inside this 99-page opinion from FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer who also noted that none of this FISA abuse was accidental in a footnote on page 87: “deliberate decisionmaking“:

This specific footnote, if declassified, would be key.  Note the phrase: “([redacted] access to FBI systems was the subject of an interagency memorandum of understanding entered into [redacted])”, this sentence has the potential to expose an internal decision; withheld from congress and the FISA court by the Obama administration; that outlines a process for access and distribution of surveillance data.

Note: “no notice of this practice was given to the FISC until 2016“, that is important.

Summary: The FISA court identified and quantified tens-of-thousands of search queries of the NSA/FBI database using the FISA-702(16)(17) system. The database was repeatedly used by persons with FBI contractor access who unlawfully searched and extracted the raw results without redacting the information and shared it with an unknown number of entities.

There is little doubt the FISA-702(16)(17) database system was used by Obama-era officials, from 2012 through April 2016, as a way to spy on their political opposition. Quite simply there is no other intellectually honest explanation for the scale and volume of database abuse that was taking place.

When we reconcile what was taking place and who was involved, then the actions of the exact same principle participants take on a jaw-dropping amount of clarity.

All of the action taken by CIA Director Brennan, FBI Director Comey, ODNI Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter make sense. Including their effort to get NSA Director Mike Rogers fired.

Everything after March 9th, 2016, was done to cover up the weaponization of the FISA database. [Explained Here] Spygate, Russia-Gate, the Steele Dossier, and even the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (drawn from the dossier and signed by the above) were needed to create a cover-story and protect themselves from discovery of this four year weaponization, political surveillance and unlawful spying. Even the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel makes sense; he was FBI Director when this began.

The beginning decision to use FISA(702) as a domestic surveillance and political spy mechanism appears to have started in/around 2012. Perhaps sometime shortly before the 2012 presidential election and before John Brennan left the White House and moved to CIA. However, there was an earlier version of data assembly that preceded this effort.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/12/2019)

April 26, 2017 – An unsealed FISC ruling reveals systematic abuses in accessing 702 data

“A damning 99-page unsealed ruling from the FISC, dated April 26, 2017, and issued by presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer, provided further insight into additional FISA abuse engaged in by the Intelligence Community in relation to Section 702 data and minimization procedures.

Section 702 permits the government to surveil foreign persons located outside the United States for the purpose of acquiring foreign intelligence information. Minimization procedures are intended to protect any U.S. person’s information that is incidentally acquired in the course of Section 702 collection.

The FISA court found that the government had been engaging in a long pattern of significant abuses that were revealed to the court by then-National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers.

“On October 24, 2016, the government orally apprised the Court of significant non-compliance with the NSA’s minimization procedures involving queries of data acquired under Section 702 using U.S. person identifiers. The full scope of non-compliant querying practices had not been previously disclosed to the Court,” the FISC ruling read.

The court noted the government’s failure to previously notify the court of these issues, referring to the government’s actions as exhibiting an institutional “lack of candor” while emphasizing that “this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

The litany of abuses described in the April 26, 2017, ruling was shocking and detailed the use of private contractors by the FBI in relation to Section 702 data. The FBI was specifically singled out by the FISC numerous times in the ruling:

“The improper access previously afforded the contractors has been discontinued. The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported.”

The FISA process has been the target of ongoing abuse from various elements within the intelligence community, and the processes and procedures that we have been told protect us appear to be routinely compromised at will.

As a result of the April 2017 FISC ruling, changes to the FISA process have been made. Nevertheless, a complete re-examination of the entire FISA system appears to be not only warranted, but perhaps necessary.” (Read more: Epoch Times, 2/11/2019)

April 25, 2017 – May 15, 2017: Mark Warner, Chris Steele’s lawyer/lobbyist, Adam Waldman, and the importance of Dan Jones

When Dianne Feinstein stepped down as Vice-Chair from the Senate Intel Committee after the 2016 election, it was Senator Mark Warner who took her place.  This puts Warner on the Gang-of-Eight in 2017.  Coincidentally, the Gang-of-Eight conduct all oversight over DOJ and FBI covert and counterintelligence operations…. including those covert actions that took place in 2016.

(Text Messages Between Feinstein’s replacement, Mark Warner, and Chris Steele’s lawyer/lobbyist, Adam Waldman, noting the importance of Dan Jones)

Senator Mark Warner was also the guy caught text messaging with DC Lawyer Adam Waldman in the spring of 2017 (his first assignment).   Waldman was the lawyer for the interests of Christopher Steele – the claimed “author” of the dossier.

While he was working as an intermediary putting Senator Warner and Christopher Steele in contact with each-other.  Simultaneously Adam Waldman was also representing the interests of…wait for it…Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Derispaska was the Russian person approached by Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok and asked to assist in creating dirt on the Trump campaign, via Paul Manafort.

You see, Senator Mark Warner has a vested interest in making sure that no-one ever gets to the bottom of the 2016 political weaponization, spying and surveillance operation.

Senator Mark Warner was a participant in the execution of the “insurance policy” trying to remove President Trump via the Russian Collusion narrative.

Senator Feinstein’s 2016 senior staffer (with Gang-of-Eight security clearance) was Dan Jones.  It was revealed that Dan Jones contracted with Christopher Steele to continue work on the Russia conspiracy narrative after the 2016 election, and raised over $50 million toward the ideological goals of removing President Trump. {See Here}

Staffer Dan Jones surfaces in the text messages from Feinstein’s replacement on the Gang-of-Eight, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, Mark Warner {See Here}

Senator Warner was texting with Adam Waldman about setting up a meeting with Chris Steele.  Waldman is a lobbyist/lawyer with a $40,000 monthly retainer to represent the U.S. interests of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Senator Mark Warner was trying to set up a covert meeting.  In the text messages Adam Waldman is telling Senator Warner that Chris Steele will not meet with him without a written letter (request) from the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Senator Warner didn’t want the Republican members to know about the meeting.  Chris Steele knew this was a partisan political set-up and was refusing to meet unilaterally with Senator Warner.   His lawyer Adam Waldman was playing the go-between:

That “Dan Jones”, mentioned above, talking with Chris Steele and told to go to see Senator Warner, is the former senate staffer Dan Jones, who was previously attached to Dianne Feinstein.

Simultaneously, while working to connect Senator Warner to Christopher Steele, Adam Waldman is representing Oleg Deripaska:

(Source Link) 

Oleg Deripaska was a source of intelligence information within the John Brennan intelligence community efforts throughout 2016. This is the same intersection of  characters that circle around CIA/FBI intelligence asset Stefan Halper.

John Solomon – […] Deripaska also appears to be one of the first Russians the FBI asked for help when it began investigating the now-infamous Fusion GPS “Steele Dossier.” Waldman, his American lawyer until the sanctions hit, gave me a detailed account, some of which U.S. officials confirm separately.

Two months before Trump was elected president, Deripaska was in New York as part of Russia’s United Nations delegation when three FBI agents awakened him in his home; at least one agent had worked with Deripaska on the aborted effort to rescue Levinson.

During an hour-long visit, the agents posited a theory that Trump’s campaign was secretly colluding with Russia to hijack the U.S. election. (more)

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 3/20/2019)

April 25, 2017 – Donna Shalala calls it a wrap as president and chief executive of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation

Donna Shalala (Credit: The Miami Hurricane /Monica Herndon)

“Donna Shalala, the former Clinton Cabinet secretary who brought dynamism and seasoned leadership to the Clinton Foundation after leaving the helm of the University of Miami, is returning to Miami and teaching — full time.

After a two-year stint amid a bruising U.S. presidential campaign for the Clintons, Shalala, 76, called it a wrap Tuesday as president and chief executive of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Her departure coincides with former President Bill Clinton’s announcement that he will take on the chairmanship of the board of directors. Shalala will also be a member of the board.” (Read more: Miami Herald, 04/25/2017)

April 14, 2017 – Damning new Strzok text to Page: “The Times is angry with us about the WP scoop”

Another text written by Lisa Page on December 19, 2016.  (Credit: Fox News)

“A series of text messages released Wednesday reveal that former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok was in contact with reporters at the New York Times and Washington Post regarding stories they published about the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and President Trump’s campaign during the spring of 2017, according to a series of texts obtained by SaraACarter.com.

The text messages suggest that Strzok, along with his paramour, former FBI Attorney Lisa Page, had been in contact with reporters from both newspapers. Strzok specifically mentioned two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times writer Michael Schmidt in his text message to Page.

Strzok wrote:

Also, apparently Times is angry with us about the WP (Washington Post) scoop and earlier discussion we had about the Schmidt piece that had so many inaccuracies. Too much to detail here, but I told Mike (redacted) and Andy they need to understand we were absolutely dealing in good faith with them,” Strzok texted to Page on April 14, 2017. “The FISA one, coupled with the Guardian piece from yesterday.”

(The New York Times did not respond immediately for comment. The Washington Post also did not respond immediately for comment.)

According to several U.S. officials who spoke to this news outlet, “Mike” mentioned in Strzok’s text message is Mike Kortan, the former FBI assistant director for public affairs who retired in February. “Andy” was in reference to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe was fired earlier this year after it was revealed in DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report that said he lied to investigators and leaked information to the media. (Read more: Sarah Carter, 9/12/2018)

April 13, 2017 – GCHQ admits the British spy agency was digitally wiretapping Trump associates in 2015

A month before the GCHQ admits to digitally wiretapping the Trump administration, Bob Zimmerman (l) and Obama spokesman, Ben Ferguson (r), appear with Pamela Brown on CNN March 4, 2017, to deny it was occurring. (Credit: CNN)

“The British Guardian posted a report on April 13 claiming that its sources now admit that the British spy agency GCHQ was digitally wiretapping Trump associates, going back to late 2015. This was presumably when the December 2015 Moscow meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lt. General Michael Flynn took place.

This runs contrary to the blanket nature of the denial insinuated in GCHQ’s carefully-crafted statement of March 17 claiming it was all “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous” that they conducted surveillance of “then president-elect” Donald Trump (emphasis added). The surveillance went back a year before he became “president-elect.”

President Trump’s claim of being “wire tapped” has been vindicated. Indeed, the surveillance is far more extensive than even he suspected at the time.

Based on the new disclosures, we can safely conclude that the world’s most advanced and extensive system of computerized espionage was indeed used against him and people he worked with, for political purposes, with the knowledge and approval of top Obama officials such as CIA Director John Brennan (one major name implicated by the Guardian).

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who said GCHQ was involved in wiretapping Trump, was also vindicated. Fox News owes Napolitano an apology for yanking him off the air for a week for making that “controversial” and now-verified assertion.” (Read more: Accuracy in Media, 4/17/2017)

April 11, 2017 – Judicial Watch: AP reporters push FBI to prosecute Manafort

(Credit: Judicial Watch)

The Associated Press, founded in 1846 as a cooperative association of newspapers, has enjoyed a reputation for independence and fairness over the years. Lately, however, it has come under criticism for what some see as a left/liberal bias.

Certainly, what we have just learned about its dealings with anti-Trump partisans in the Justice Department does nothing to improve our perception of the news service.

We have released two sets of heavily redacted FBI documents – 28 pages and 38 pages –about an April 11, 2017, “off-the-record” meeting set up by then-Chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section Andrew Weissmann.

Andrew Weissmann, right, was a prosecutor in the special counsel’s office, along with Jeannie Rhee and Rush Atkinson.. (Credit: Tom Brenner/The New York Times).

The meeting included representatives of the DOJ, the FBI and the Associated Press in which AP reporters provided information on former Trump Campaign Director Paul Manafort, including the numeric code to Manafort’s storage locker.

Two months later, in early June, Weissmann was hired to work on Robert Mueller’s special counsel operation against President Trump. Weissman then reportedly spearheaded the subsequent investigation and prosecution of Manafort.

Included among the new documents are two typed write-ups of the meeting’s proceedings and handwritten notes taken during the meeting by two FBI special agents.

According to a June 11, 2017FBI write-up:

The purpose of the meeting, as it was explained to SSA [supervisory special agent, redacted] was to obtain documents from the AP reporters that were related to their investigative reports on Paul Manafort.

No such documents were included in the documents released to us.

During the meeting, the AP reporters provided the FBI information about a storage locker of Manafort (the Mueller special counsel operation raided the locker on May 26, 2017):

The AP reporters advised that they had located a storage facility in Virginia that belonged to Manafort…The code to the lock on the locker is 40944859. The reporters were aware of the Unit number and address, but they declined to share that information.

The reporters shared the information that “payments for the locker were made from the DM Partners account that received money from the [Ukraine] Party of Regions.”

The Associated Press logo. (Credit: public domain)

The notes suggest the AP pushed for criminal prosecution of Manafort:

AP believes Manafort is in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), in that Manafort send [sic] internal U. S. documents to officials in Ukraine AP has documentation proving this, as well as Manafort noting his understanding doing so would get him into trouble.

AP asked about the U.S. government charging Manafort with violating Title 18, section 1001 for lying to government officials, and have asked if the FBI has interviewed Manafort. FBI and DOJ had no comment on this question.

Also, according to the FBI write-up, “The AP reporters asked about FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] violations and they were generally told that they are enforceable.”

Although, according to the FBI write-up, “no commitments were made [by DOJ] to assist the reporters,” Andrew Weissmann asked the AP to contact foreign authorities to follow up: [A]fter the meeting was started and it was explained to the reporters that there was nothing that the FBI could provide to them, the reporters opted to ask a series of questions to see if the FBI would provide clarification. No commitments were made to assist the reporters in their further investigation into the life and activities of Paul Manafort and the AP reporters understood that the meeting would be off the record.

They [AP reporters] reiterated what they had written in their article, which was a response from the Cypriot Anti-Money Laundering Authority (MOKAS) that they [MOKAS] had fully responded to Department of Treasury agents in response to [Treasury’s] request. The AP reporters were interested in how this arrangement worked and if the U.S. had made a formal request. FBI/DOJ did not respond, but Andrew Weissman [sic] suggested that they ask the Cypriots if they had provided everything to which they had access or if they only provided what they were legally required to provide.

The AP reporters asked if we [DOJ/FBI] would be willing to tell them if they were off based [sic] or on the wrong traack [sic] and they were advised that they appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings.

The reporters asked about any DOJ request for the assistance of foreign governments in the U.S. Government’s investigation of Manafort:The AP reporters asked if there had been any official requests to other countries. FBI/DOJ declined to discuss specifics, except to state that the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty requests are negotiated by diplomats, so they should remain at that level.

AP reporters told the FBI about payments in the “black ledger,” a Ukrainian record of allegedly illegal off-the-books payments:The reporters advised that their next report, which was scheduled to come out in the next day or so after the meeting, would focus on confirming, to the extent that they could payments in the so called “black ledger” that were allegedly made to Manafort.

The impression that their sources give is that Manafort was not precise about his finances, specifically as it related to the “black ledger.” The AP reporters calculated that he received $60 to $80 million from his work in Ukraine, during the time period the ledger was kept. According to their review of the ledger, it appears that there is a slightly lesser amount documented based on all of the entries. The AP reporters accessed a copy of the ledger online, describing it as “public” document (Agent’s note – the ledger has been published in its entirety by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, after it was given to them by Sergei Leshenko, Ukrainian RADA member [Ukrainian parliament] and investigative reporter.)

Paul Manafort arrives in court on June 27, 2019 in New York, where he pleaded not guilty to mortgage fraud charges. He is serving a 7½ -year term in a federal prison in Pennsylvania for federal bank and tax fraud convictions. (Credit: Seth Wenig/The Associated Press)

The AP reporters discussed an extensive list of issues, companies, and individuals that they felt should be investigated for possible criminal activity, including a $50,000 payment to a men’s clothing store; a 2007 meeting with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska; Loav Ltd., which was possibly incorporated by Manafort; NeoCom, which the AP reporters implied was incorporated solely to cover up money laundering; and other matters.

The reporters described an “internal U.S. work product that had been sent to Ukraine.” The reporters described it as an “internal White House document.” The FBI report stated that it “was not clear if the document was classified.”

Evidently referring to these documents, Manafort’s lawyers alleged that Weissmann provided guidance and leaked grand jury testimony to the AP reporters investigating Manafort.

(…)  Under Mueller, Weissmann became known as “the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort,” which produced no evidence of collusion between Manafort, the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. It indicted Manafort on unrelated charges.

In an October 2017 article describing Weissmann as Mueller’s “Pit Bull,” The New York Times wrote, “He is a top lieutenant to Robert S. Mueller III on the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign. Significantly, Mr. Weissmann is an expert in converting defendants into collaborators — with either tactical brilliance or overzealousness, depending on one’s perspective.” Weissman oversaw the pre-dawn home raid of Manafort in what one former federal prosecutor described as “textbook Weissmann terrorism.” Weissmann reportedly also attended Hillary Clinton’s Election Night party in New York.

In May 2019, we uncovered 73 pages of records from the DOJ containing text messages and calendar entries of Weissmann showing he led the hiring effort for the investigation that targeted President Trump.

In December 2017, we made public two productions of DOJ documents showing strong support by top DOJ officials for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ refusal to enforce President Trump’s Middle East travel ban executive order. In one email, Weissmann applauds Yates, writing: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 10/22/2019) (Video)

April 11, 2017 – Mueller’s top investigator arranges meeting with reporters to discuss Manafort investigation

Andrew Weissmann (Credit: public domain)

“Justice Department documents released on Friday confirm that the DOJ attorney known as Robert Mueller’s “pit bull” arranged a meeting with journalists in April 2017 to discuss an investigation into Paul Manafort.

The documents show that Andrew Weissmann arranged a meeting with DOJ and FBI officials and four Associated Press reporters on April 11, 2017, just over a month before Mueller was appointed special counsel.

Manafort’s lawyers obtained the documents on June 29 and revealed them in a briefing filed in federal court in Virginia. The attorneys are pushing for a hearing into what they say are possible leaks of secret grand jury information, false information and potentially classified materials from the meeting.

“The meeting raises serious concerns about whether a violation of grand jury secrecy occurred,” a lawyer for Manafort, Kevin Downing, wrote in a motion requesting a hearing. “Based on the FBI’s own notes of the meeting, it is beyond question that a hearing is warranted.”

Manafort’s attorneys have for months questioned whether Weissmann, the number two official on the Mueller team, leaked information about Manafort to The AP. At the time of the meeting, Weissmann served as chief of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud section.

He previously served as general counsel to Mueller when he was FBI director. Weissmann joined the special counsel’s investigation when it was formed on May 17, 2017. (Read more: Daily Caller, 7/08/2018)

April 11, 2017 – Comey’s statement for the record on his last conversation with Trump

Statement for the Record

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
James B. Comey
June 8, 2017

Chairman Burr, Ranking Member Warner, Members of the Committee

Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. I was asked to testify today to describe for you my interactions with President-Elect and President Trump on subjects that I understand are of interest to you. I have not included every detail from my conversations with the President, but, to the best of my recollection, I have tried to include information that may be relevant to the Committee.

April 11 Phone Call

James Comey (Credit: ABC News)

On the morning of April 11, the President called me and asked what I had done about his request that I “get out” that he is not personally under investigation. I replied that I had passed his request to the Acting Deputy Attorney General, but I had not heard back. He replied that “the cloud” was getting in the way of his ability to do his job. He said that perhaps he would have his people reach out to the Acting Deputy Attorney General. I said that was the way his request should be handled. I said the White House Counsel should contact the leadership of DOJ to make the request, which was the traditional channel.

He said he would do that and added, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” I did not reply or ask him what he meant by “that thing.” I said only that the way to handle it was to have the White House Counsel call the Acting Deputy Attorney General. He said that was what he would do and the call ended.

That was the last time I spoke with President Trump.” (Read more: CNN, 6/8/2017)

April 4, 2017 – Peter Strzok’s wife discovers Lisa Page affair on his phone, DOJ reveals

 

Strzok’s wife Melissa Hodgman-Strzok (l) Peter Strzok (c) and Lisa Page

“Former FBI special agent Peter Strzok’s wife discovered his affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page on his phone in 2017, the Justice Department revealed in its response to his claims he was wrongfully fired.

The department filed a 151-page motion to dismiss the wrongful termination lawsuit Strzok filed in August, with the DOJ arguing Strzok betrayed the trust placed in him as a leader at the FBI as he helped lead high-profile investigations related to Hillary Clinton’s illicit private email server and any connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Strzok’s affair with Page was cited in a newly public 26-page letter sent by the FBI’s Candice Will, assistant director at the Office of Professional Responsibility, to Strzok in August 2018, attached as an exhibit to the DOJ’s filing. Will recommended Strzok be demoted and suspended for 60 days without pay, but FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich overruled her. The FBI fired Strzok the next day.

Will harshly criticized, among many things, the hundreds of Strzok-Page texts showing political bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton.

(…) In a footnote, Will cited a text exchange between Strzok and Page from April 4, 2017, where Strzok’s wife uncovered their affair.

“[My wife] has my phone. Read an angry note I wrote but didn’t send you. That is her calling from my phone. She says she wants to talk to [you]. Said we were close friends nothing more,” Strzok texted Page.

“Your wife left me a vm. Am I supposed to respond?” Page replied. “She thinks we’re having an affair. Should I call and correct her understanding? Leave this to you to address?”

Strzok said, “I don’t know. I said we were close friends and nothing more. She knows I sent you flowers. I said you were having a tough week.”

Strzok’s wife threatened to expose the affair.

“You and [Page] discussed that your wife had access to your devices and had located [Page]’s husband’s full name, found a hotel reservation ostensibly used by you and [Page] during a romantic encounter, had access to photographs from your phone, threatened to send all the information to [Page]’s husband, and also threatened to hire a private investigator,” Will wrote to Strzok in 2018. “[Page] told you to determine whether your wife might use recovery software to locate other evidence of your affair on your devices.” (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 11/17/2019)  (Archive)