January 17, 2019 – Charles Ortel Opinion: The ‘Benghazi’ scandal likely involves national security offenses, money laundering, campaign-finance crimes, charity fraud, and public corruption
“The recent ruling by US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth may become a breakthrough in the 5-year long Clinton email scandal, Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel told Sputnik, asking how it happened that the Obama administration, the CIA and FBI had apparently overlooked “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”
“The ‘Benghazi’ scandal likely involves national security offenses, money-laundering, campaign-finance crimes, charity fraud, and public corruption”, says Wall Street analyst and investigative journalist Charles Ortel, commenting on a US federal judge ordering former Obama officials to answer the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch’s (JW) questions on Hillary Clinton’s private email issue and the Benghazi scandal.
On 15 January, US District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that former national security adviser Susan Rice, former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, fmr. secretary of state Clinton’s former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap must answer the watchdog’s written questions about the State Department’s response to the deadly 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.
BREAKING: Citing government shutdown, DOJ/State seek to stall court-ordered discovery ordered to begin yesterday on Clinton Email, Benghazi Scandal: Top Obama-Clinton Officials, Susan Rice, and Ben Rhodes to Respond to @JudicialWatch Questions Under Oath https://t.co/kka1QCEWtG pic.twitter.com/WYHLLTFP0G
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton)
”In time, historians will likely document that the Clintons and Obamas entered office in January 2009 with a grand plan to transform America’s relations with key powers, especially in the Middle East,” Ortel said. “This plan involved toppling national leaders in many nations by fomenting local uprisings using clandestine resources, in actions that were not likely validly authorized by Congress, as is certainly required under US laws.” (Read more: Sputnik News, 1/17/2019)
- Barack Obama
- Ben Rhodes
- Bill Priestap
- campaign finance violations
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- charity fraud
- Department of Justice
- Department of State
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Hillary Clinton
- Jake Sullivan
- January 2019
- Judge Royce C. Lamberth
- possible money-laundering
- public corruption
- Susan Rice
December 27, 2018 – Critics of Syria Withdrawal Fueled Rise of ISIS
“In 2012, the CIA initiated a one billion dollar arm-and-equip operation to fund the so-called “moderate rebels” united under the banner of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). A classified Defense Intelligence Agency memo distributed across Obama administration channels in August of that year warned that jihadist forces emanating from Iraq aimed to exploit the security vacuum opened up by the US-backed proxy war to establish a “Salafist principality in eastern Syria” — an “Islamic State,” in the exact words of the memo.
Referring to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia’s Syrian affiliate by its name, Jabhat al-Nusra, before Western media ever had, the DIA emphasized the close ties the group had fostered with Syria’s “moderate rebels”: “AQI supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media. AQI declared its opposition to Assad’s regime from the beginning because it considered it a sectarian regime targeting Sunnis.”
The memo was authored under the watch of then-Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was convicted this year of failing to register as a foreign agent of Turkey — an extremely ironic development considering Turkey’s role in fueling the Syrian insurgency. Predictably, the document was ignored across the board by the Obama administration. Meanwhile, heavy weapons were flowing out of the U.S. Incirlik air base in Turkey and into the hands of anyone who could grab them across the Syrian border.
As early as February 2013, a United Nations independent inquiry report concluded, “The FSA has remained a brand name only.” The UN further issued a damning assessment of the role of the United States, UK and their Gulf allies in fueling extremism across Syria. “The intervention of external sponsors has contributed to the radicalization of the insurgency as it has favored Salafi armed groups such as the al-Nusra Front, and even encouraged mainstream insurgents to join them owing to their superior logistical and operational capabilities,” the report stated.
How ISIS overran large swaths of territory in northeastern Syria and established its de facto capital Raqqa is scarcely understood, let alone discussed by Western media. That is partly because the real story is so inconvenient to the established narrative of the Syrian conflict, which blames Assad for every atrocity that has ever occurred in his country, and for some horrors that may not have ever taken place. Echoing the Bush administration’s discredited attempts to link Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda, some neoconservative pundits hatched a conspiracy theory that accused Assad of covertly orchestrating the rise of ISIS in order to curry support from the West. But the documented evidence firmly established the success of ISIS as a byproduct of the semi-covert American program to arm Assad’s supposedly moderate opposition.” (Read more: Consortium News, 12/27/2018)
November 28, 2018 – Trump retweets a meme that says, “Now that Russia collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?”
Appearing behind bars in the meme include Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Bill Clinton, John Podesta, Loretta Lynch, Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, James Clapper and James Comey.
July 22, 2018 – Clapper admits on CNN that Obama ordered spying on the Trump team
Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper admitted in a CNN interview Saturday that former President Obama instigated the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump and those in his orbit.
Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Clapper let slip:
“If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.”
July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page testimony on FISA briefings, Brennan, and White House knowledge
(…) “At several points, Page noted a frustration on the part of the FBI in relation to the speed with which the DOJ was moving in the FISA spy warrant-application process.
When questioned about the need to move swiftly, Page noted, “There was an operational reason that we were pushing to get the FISA up, which I am not at liberty to discuss.” Upon further questioning, Page tried to provide slightly more clarity: “We had an operational reason that we wanted to get this thing up quickly with respect to the subject himself.”
According to Page’s testimony, she first learned of plans to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page approximately a month before the FISA was granted on Oct. 21, 2016.
Page disclosed that Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stu Evans was the person within the DOJ who was in charge of the entire FISA process, but notably, the FBI chose not to tell Evans that they had opened a counterintelligence investigation:
“We were so concerned about the fact that we were opening this investigation and we were so concerned about leaks that we were literally individually making decisions about who to tell and who not to tell, because we were trying to keep it so closely held.”
According to Page, the only DOJ official they told was Toscas, the deputy assistant attorney general in the National Security Division. Without forewarning to the FBI, Toscas informed Evans in August 2016—possibly earlier—of the FBI’s newly opened investigation.
The text in question was from Aug. 10, 2016, and was paraphrased by one of the congressional representatives:
“I remember what it was, Toscas already told Stu Evans everything. Sally called to set up a meeting.”
“Sally” is affirmed in the conversation as referring to Deputy AG Sally Yates.
Page was emphatic that this discussion didn’t have anything to do with the actual FISA but instead reflected the FBI’s concern that increasing numbers of people were learning of their investigation.
Notably, Toscas reported to Carlin, the head of the NSD, whose actions before the FISA court in relation to his presentation of the government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications, strongly suggest he was also aware of the FBI’s investigation. Carlin appears to have been aware of the FBI’s later FISA preparations, as well.
The congressional representative then asked the following question:
“What you’re saying is when the director briefed the White House 2 days prior to that, on August the 8th, or prepared for it, actually briefed him on the 10th, that it had nothing to do with any campaign. Even though George Toscas and Stu Evans knew about it.”
Normally, when a member of the FBI uses the word “director,” they would be referring to the FBI director. In this case, while not made absolutely clear in the transcript, it appears “director” refers to CIA Director John Brennan, who had been discussed in the preceding comments relating to Brennan’s briefing of Reid.
From Brennan’s congressional testimony, we know that he had briefed the White House at some point in early August 2016, prior to Aug. 11:
“In consultation with the White House, I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in election to congressional leadership, specifically Senators Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr; and to Representatives Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Devon Nunes and Adam Schiff between 11 August and 6 September.”
Page responded to the question: “Sir, I would be shocked. I would truly be stunned to discover that the director had briefed the president on the substance of our investigation or even the existence of our investigation. I would be—I can’t say it didn’t happen, I wasn’t there, but I would be stunned to discover that.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/11/2019)
- Adam Schiff
- Barack Obama
- Carter Page
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Department of Justice
- Devin Nunes
- Dianne Feinstein
- FBI Counterintelligence Division
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA briefings
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- George Toscas
- Harry Reid
- John Brennan
- John Carlin
- July 2018
- Lisa Page
- Mitch McConnell
- Nancy Pelosi
- Paul Ryan
- Richard Burr
- Sally Yates
- Stuart Evans
July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page admits Obama DOJ ordered stand-down on Clinton email prosecution
“Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted under questioning from Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe last summer that “the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information,” the congressman alleged in a social media post late Tuesday, citing a newly unearthed transcript of Page’s closed-door testimony.
Page and since-fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who were romantically involved, exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, and Republicans have long accused the bureau of political bias. But Page’s testimony was perhaps the most salient evidence yet that the Justice Department improperly interfered with the FBI’s supposedly independent conclusions on Clinton’s criminal culpability, Ratcliffe alleged.
“So let me if I can, I know I’m testing your memory,” Ratcliffe began as he questioned Page under oath, according to a transcript excerpt he posted on Twitter. “But when you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to —”
Page interrupted: “That is correct,” as Ratcliffe finished his sentence, ” — bring a case based on that.” (Read more: Fox News, 3/13/2019)
April 25, 2018 – The Democratic Party is paying millions for Hillary Clinton’s email list, FEC documents show
“Heading into the 2018 midterms, with Democrats hoping to take back the House of Representatives and even make a run at the Senate, the party has spent more than $2 million worth of campaign resources on payments to Hillary Clinton’s new group, Onward Together, according to Federal Election Commission filings and interviews with people familiar with the payments.
The Democratic National Committee is paying $1.65 million for access to the email list, voter data, and software produced by Hillary for America during the 2016 presidential campaign, Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokesperson for the DNC, told The Intercept. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has paid more than $700,000 to rent the same email list.
Clinton is legally entitled to rent her list to the party, rather than hand it over as a gift, but in 2015, Barack Obama gave his email list, valued at $1,942,640, to the DNC as an in-kind contribution. In 2013 and 2014, OFA had similarly made in-kind contributions exceeding $3.4 million for uses of the list that cycle.
Obama’s list was at one point considered to be the most valuable in politics and raised more than twice as much money for the 2012 Obama campaign as Clinton’s did for hers in 2016. The DNC agreement with the Clinton campaign calls on the debt-ridden organization to fork the money over to an entity of Clinton’s choosing, which wound up being Onward Together, the operation she formed after her campaign ceased to exist.” (Read more: The Intercept, 4/25/2018)
April 16, 2018 – Comey: Obama And Lynch “Jeopardized” Clinton Email Investigation
“Comey called out Obama and Lynch in his new book, A Higher Loyalty, set to come out on Tuesday. In it, he defends the FBI’s top brass and counterintelligence investigators charged with probing Clinton’s use of a private email server and mishandling of classified information, reports the Washington Examiner, which received an advanced copy.”
Comey says that multiple public statements made by Obama about the investigation “jeopardized” the credibility of the FBI investigation – seemingly absolving Clinton of any crime before FBI investigators were able to complete their work.
“Contributing to this problem, regrettably, was President Obama. He had jeopardized the Department of Justice’s credibility in the investigation by saying in a 60 Minutes interview on Oct. 11, 2015, that Clinton’s email use was “a mistake” that had not endangered national security,” Comey writes. “Then on Fox News on April 10, 2016, he said that Clinton may have been careless but did not do anything to intentionally harm national security, suggesting that the case involved overclassification of material in the government.”
“President Obama is a very smart man who understands the law very well. To this day, I don’t know why he spoke about the case publicly and seemed to absolve her before a final determination was made. If the president had already decided the matter, an outside observer could reasonably wonder, how on earth could his Department of Justice do anything other than follow his lead.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 4/16/2018)
Zero Hedge reports, “Comey also describes a September 2015 meeting with AG Lynch in which she asked him to describe the Clinton email investigation as a “matter” instead of an investigation.
“It occurred to me in the moment that this issue of semantics was strikingly similar to the fight the Clinton campaign had waged against the New York Times in July. Ever since then, the Clinton team had been employing a variety of euphemisms to avoid using the word ‘investigation,’” Comey writes.
“The attorney general seemed to be directing me to align with the Clinton campaign strategy. Her “just do it” response to my question indicated that she had no legal or procedural justification for her request, at least not one grounded in our practices or traditions. Otherwise, I assume, she would have said so.
Comey said others present in the meeting with Lynch thought her request was odd and political as well – including one of the DOJ’s senior leaders.
“I know the FBI attendees at our meeting saw her request as overtly political when we talked about it afterward. So did at least one of Lynch’s senior leaders. George Toscas, then the number-three person in the department’s National Security Division and someone I liked, smiled at the FBI team as we filed out, saying sarcastically, “well you are the Federal Bureau of Matters,” Comey recalled.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 4/16/2018)
December 21, 2017 – Prosecutors ask FBI agents for info on Uranium One deal
“On the orders of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Justice Department prosecutors have begun asking FBI agents to explain the evidence they found in a now dormant criminal investigation into a controversial uranium deal that critics have linked to Bill and Hillary Clinton, multiple law enforcement officials told NBC News.
The interviews with FBI agents are part of the Justice Department’s effort to fulfill a promise an assistant attorney general made to Congress last month to examine whether a special counsel was warranted to look into what has become known as the Uranium One deal, a senior Justice Department official said.
At issue is a 2010 transaction in which the Obama Administration allowed the sale of U.S. uranium mining facilities to Russia’s state atomic energy company. Hillary Clinton was secretary of state at the time, and the State Department was one of nine agencies that agreed to approve the deal after finding no threat to U.S. national security.
(…) “In a letter to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd said Justice Department lawyers would make recommendations to Sessions about whether an investigation should be opened or expanded, or whether a special counsel should be appointed to probe a number of issues of concern to Republicans.
In recent weeks, FBI agents who investigated the case have been asked by Justice Department prosecutors to describe the results of their probe. The agents also have been asked if there was any improper effort to squash a prosecution, the law enforcement sources say.
The senior Justice Department official said the questions were part of an effort by the Sessions team to get up to speed on the controversial case, in the face of allegations from Congressional Republicans that it was mishandled.” (Read more: ABC News, 12/21/2017)
November 8, 2017 – Translator at Trump Tower meeting testifies to previously interpreting for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, President Obama
“Anatoli Samochornov, a Russian translator who was present at the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with campaign officials, testified that he was previously an interpreter for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Barack Obama.”
(…) “Now it has emerged that, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Samochornov described his work personally interpreting on one occasion for Clinton, “two or three times” for Kerry and for “Mr. Obama’s summits at the United Nations.”
Samochornov gave his testimony last November and it was recently made public. The 121 pages of transcript were reviewed by Breitbart News and have become newly relevant following renewed news media scrutiny of the Trump Tower confab.
At the hearing, Samochornov stated that he had been “doing project management for a subcontractor of the U.S. Department of State.”
(…) “Regarding his work as a subcontractor for the U.S. government, Samochrnov stated that he “served as an interpreter for Secretary Clinton on one occasion.”
He continued: “I have two or three times interpreted for Secretary Kerry when he had meetings with his counterpart, Mr. Lavrov, and the group rounds about Syria. I have also interpreted Mr. Obama’s summits at the United Nations, and I believe Vice President Joe Biden also spoke there.”
(…) “Samochornov is not the only individual at the Trump Tower meeting with a personal tie to Clinton.
Email transcripts and other information disclosed in testimony released by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveal a significant relationship between Russian-born Washington lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who was present at the Trump Tower meeting, and an associate of Clinton. Akhmetshin also claims a personal relationship with Clinton and describes meeting with a Clinton associate the same day as the Trump Tower meeting.
In his Senate testimony, Akhmetshin says that he “knows” Hillary Clinton and has a personal relationship with her that dates back to the late-1990s. Besides describing a direct connection to Clinton, Akhmetshin also testified that he “knew some people who worked on” Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Akhmetshin further revealed that the same day as the Trump Tower meeting he met with a Clinton associate after the confab and possibly also just before.” (Read more: Breitbart News, 8/23/2018)