Christopher Wray

August 7, 2019 – Top FBI Deputy Assistant Director who leaked to the media is reported to be Bryan Paarmann

The DOJ’s Combating Terrorism Center hosts Bryan Paarmann on October 6, 2017. (Credit: DOJ Combating Terrorism Center)

“Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a harsh summary report in May revealing that an FBI Deputy Assistant Director had numerous unauthorized contacts with the media, accepted gifts from journalists and disclosed the ‘existence’ of sensitive information under court seal to the media.

Several officials confirmed to SaraACarter.com this week that the unknown senior FBI official is Bryan Paarmann. Paarmann, who began his career with the bureau in 1996, was shuffled by FBI Director Christopher Wray in August, 2017 from his position as FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the International Operations Division to special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division for the New York field office. He is currently on leave and his security clearance has been suspended, sources stated.

Horowitz did not name Paarmann in the investigative summary released in May, but instead referred to him as a Deputy Assistant Director. Horowitz’s investigation focused on the time Paarmann was working at the FBI’s Washington D.C. headquarters as the Deputy Assistant Director of the International Operations Division.

Horowitz stated in his summary that the Department of Justice declined to prosecute.

A senior DOJ official confirmed “that the decision by the Department of Justice to decline prosecution was made before William Barr was Attorney General.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/07/2019)

July 10, 2019 – FBI’s Chris Wray is going to court to fight against the release of State Dept. official Kathleen Kavalec’s memos

Christopher Wray (r) tells NBC’s Lester Holt at an Aspen Security Forum in July, 2018 that he considered resigning as FBI director. (Credit: NBC News)

“The FBI is going to court to fight the public release of a small number of documents the State Department sent to agents from Christopher Steele, the British intelligence operative and Hillary Clinton-paid political muckraker, during the 2016 election.

Normally, such Freedom of Information Act cases don’t merit public attention. This one does.

To hear the FBI tell it, the release of former Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Kavalec’s documents is tantamount to giving up the keys to President Trump’s nuclear briefcase, aiding the enemy or assisting terrorists.

“We know that terrorist organizations and other hostile or foreign intelligence groups have the capacity and ability to gather information from myriad sources, analyze it and deduce means and methods from disparate details to defeat the U.S. government’s collection efforts,” an FBI assistant section chief swore in an affidavit supporting the request to keep the documents secret.

The FBI can’t afford to “jeopardize the fragile relationships that exist between the United States and certain foreign governments,” the FBI official declared in another dramatic argument against the conservative group Citizens United’s request to release the memos.

And if that wasn’t enough, the bureau actually claimed that “FBI special agents have privacy interests from unnecessary, unofficial questioning as to the conduct of investigations and other FBI business.”

In other words, agents don’t want to have to answer to the public, which pays their salary, when questions arise about the investigative work, as has happened in the Russia case.

The FBI’s July 10 court filing speaks volumes about Director Christopher Wray’s efforts to thwart the public understanding of what really happened in the FBI’s now-debunked Russia collusion probe.

Steele’s contacts at State can’t possibly be equated to the nation’s most sensitive secrets. The same research he provided to State and the FBI in fall 2016 was being provided to Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, and to the media. (Read more: The Hill, 7/30/2019)

June 23, 2019 – Nunes threatens ninth criminal referral, says Trump-Russia conspiracy peddlers are ‘possessed’

“Rep. Devin Nunes threatened to send a ninth criminal referral regarding the Trump-Russia investigation to the Justice Department if he does not receive information he requested about British ex-spy Christopher Steele, and accused those who still push the Russian collusion conspiracy of being “possessed.”

The California Republican sent letters Friday to FBI Director Christopher Wray and U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is conducting a review of the origins of the Russia inquiry. He asked about records the Bureau received in October 2016 that show a top official at the State Department undermining Steele’s credibility. Steele authored a dossier, filled with salacious and unverified claims about President Trump’s ties to Russia, that was used by the FBI to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or FISA warrants to wiretap onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

In a Fox News interview on Sunday, Nunes said someone at the FBI appears to have been “determined to hide” then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s notes from both the FISA court and Congress. In the last session, when Nunes was chairman, the House Intelligence Committee conducted its own investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“So they have until Friday to get it to us, and if they don’t, we will make our ninth criminal referral,” Nunes told host Maria Bartiromo. “Basically, we won’t know exactly who at the FBI obstructed justice, but — Durham or the Department of Justice should be able to figure it out because there’s e-mails that went around, and somebody decided not to give it to the Congress.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 6/23/2019)

May 12, 2019 – President Trump Calls Out FBI Director Christopher Wray: “the director is protecting the coup gang”…and then there’s Dana Boente

“President Trump indicates he is well aware of the intents and motives of FBI Director Christopher Wray covering for the illegal coup effort:

President Trump may have been aware of Chris Wray’s corrupt disposition prior to today; however, this is the first visible indication he understands the internecine organization of it.  Hopefully we can start the countdown clock to Wray’s exit.

Next up, Chris Wray’s #1 strategic hire, current FBI Legal Counsel Dana Boente.

In 2015 the DOJ-OIG (office of inspector general) requested oversight of the DOJ National Security Division.  It was Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58 page legal explanation saying, essentially, ‘nope – not allowed.’ (PDF HERE) All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the DOJ-NSD.

When John Carlin resigned as Asst. Attorney General in charge of the DOJ National Security Division in October 2016 he was replaced by Principal Deputy Asst. Attorney General and Chief of Staff, Mary McCord.  After President Trump took office on January 20th, 2017, Sally Yates was Acting AG and Mary McCord was in charge of the DOJ-NSD.

Yates and McCord were the two Main Justice officials who then engaged with White House Counsel Don McGahn on January 26th, 2017, regarding the General Flynn FBI interview conducted on January 24th.  The Trump-Russia Collusion Conspiracy was the headline.

On January 30th, 2017, Sally Yates was fired for refusing to defend the Trump travel ban from extremist countries.  Yates was replaced on January 31st by the U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), Dana Boente.

With his shift to Main Justice Dana Boente was Acting Attorney General, and Mary McCord was Asst. AG in charge of the DOJ-NSD.  Boente was in the Acting AG position from Jan 31st, 2017, until Jeff Sessions was confirmed on February 8th, 2017.

When Jeff Sessions became AG, Dana Boente became Acting Deputy AG, a role he would retain until Rod Rosenstein was confirmed on April 25th, 2017.   [Mary McCord remained head of the DOJ-National Security Division]

On March 2nd, 2017, Dana Boente was one of the small group who participated in a conversation that led to the recusal of Jeff Sessions from anything related to the 2016 election.  This recusal included the ongoing FBI counterintelligence investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane, which was later picked up by Robert Mueller.

The other attendees for the recusal decision-making meeting (see above schedule) included Sessions’ chief of staff Jody Hunt; Criminal Chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, Jim Crowell; Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) in the Department of Justice National Security Division Tash Gauhar (FISA lawyer); and Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott Schools.  [Note: Tash Gauhar was lawyer for FBI Clinton case; and Scott Schools was part of drafting Clinton exoneration letter.]

The Main Justice group influenced Jeff Sessions to recuse.

With AG Jeff Sessions recused on March 2, 2017, FBI Director James Comey now reported to Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente.  [Technically, Boente is still EDVA U.S. Attorney and is only ‘acting’ as Deputy AG]  Additionally, on March 31st, 2017, President Trump signs executive order 13787 making the U.S. EDVA Attorney the 3rd in line for DOJ succession.

Question:  If Dana Boente was appointed “Acting Attorney General” on January 31st, 2017 (he was), then why did Don McGahn need to draw up XO 13787 on March 31st, 2017… especially after confirmed AG Jeff Sessions was already in place Feb 9th?

The answer likely has to do with a sign-off needed for FISA.

See the issue?

How does somebody (unknown) advise White House Counsel Don McGahn to draw up an executive order so that Boente can sign a FISA…. without telling Don McGahn the reason why AG Sessions can’t sign off on the FISA?   See the issue now?

In the period between March 2nd and April 25th – With AG Sessions recused, and without a Deputy AG confirmed, Dana Boente is simultaneously:

  • U.S. Attorney for EDVA
  • Acting Deputy AG.
  • Acting AG for all issues related to Sessions recusal.

It is James Comey and Dana Boente who sign the April 2017 FISA renewal for Carter Page.

This dynamic would later become important as notes Boente took from conversations with James Comey became evidence for Mueller’s expanded obstruction investigation. (March 2, 2017 Mary McCord is still head of DOJ-NSD.)

Somehow Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente’s personal and handwritten notes were mysteriously leaked to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/12/2019)

October 13, 2018 – Ron Johnson demands records of FBI’s meeting with DNC attorney during campaign

Ron Johnson (l) and Christopher Wray (Credit: Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press)

“Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson is calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to hand over documents related to a former FBI lawyer’s meeting during the 2016 campaign with an attorney that represented the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign.

The meeting was revealed during a congressional deposition that former FBI general counsel James Baker gave on Oct. 3. Baker told lawmakers that in September 2016 he met with Michael Sussmann, a partner at Perkins Coie.

As the lead law firm for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, Perkins Coie hired opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which in turn hired Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

Sources familiar with Baker’s testimony say he testified that Sussmann provided him with documents related to Russian hacking of Democrats. He also testified that the meeting was unusual.

Republican lawmakers have questioned why Baker was meeting with a top Democratic lawyer at a crucial point in the campaign. Baker was interviewed as part of an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Russia probe, as well as the Steele dossier.

Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Reform Committee, is also asking Wray for FBI notes of interviews, known as 302s, conducted with Bruce Ohr, a Department of Justice official who met numerous times before and after the election with Steele. Ohr’s wife also worked for Fusion GPS while the firm was investigating President Donald Trump.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 10/13/2018)

August 21, 2018 – Trisha Anderson testifies the FBI director signs 15 to 20 FISA applications each day, all within 20 minutes

(…) “The signing process by the FBI director appears to be more of an official act than any sort of actual review. Anderson testified that each day, the director might receive 15 to 20 FISAs to sign, with each containing large amounts of documentation.

“[They’re] very thick. It’s not unusual for the Director to receive a stack this tall. I’m indicating about a foot and a half between my hands here, for the benefit of the reporter,” she said.

Anderson testified that the director was allotted 20 minutes in which to review the entirety of the day’s FISA applications—not 20 minutes per FISA.

Mr. Baker (House Majority Investigative Counsel): “And you said just a minute ago — I thought you said that the Director has 20 minutes set aside to review all the FISAs?”

Ms. Anderson: “Approximately, yes.”

(Read more: Epoch Times, 2/11/2019)

July 19, 2018 – Five top FBI officials are leaving the Bureau

David Resch (left), Howard Marshall (center) and Scott Smith (right) (Credit: Linked In)

“Three of the top cybersecurity officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation are retiring from government service, according to people familiar with the matter—departures that come as cyberattacks are a major concern for the country’s security agencies.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials warn that the country is at a “critical point” facing unprecedented cyber threats, including Russia’s ongoing attacks on the American political system. The retirements also come as the FBI is facing regular criticism from President Donald Trump and his supporters, and is working to attract and retain top cyber talent.

Scott Smith, the assistant FBI director who runs the Bureau’s cyber division, is leaving this month. His deputy, Howard Marshall, also left in recent weeks. Mr. Marshall has accepted a job at Accenture , a consulting firm that is expanding its cybersecurity portfolio. Mr. Smith is also expected to move to the private sector.

David Resch, executive assistant director of the FBI’s criminal, cyber, response and services branch, is departing the bureau as well. Mr. Resch, who was named to his senior post by FBI Director Christopher Wray in April, supervised Mr. Smith and Mr. Marshall.

Additionally, Carl Ghattas, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch, has decided to leave for the private sector. And Jeffrey Tricoli, a senior FBI cyber agent who oversaw a Bureau task force addressing Russian attempts to meddle in U.S. elections, left last month for a senior vice president position at Charles Schwab Corp. , the Journal reported last week.

The FBI confirmed the departures. One U.S. official said more people are expected to leave, declining to provide additional names. (Read more: Wall Street Journal, 7/19/2018)

June 15, 2018 – Gowdy: GOP will hit DOJ with ‘full arsenal’ If they ignore subpoenas

Trey Gowdy (Credit: public domain)

“House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy warned the DOJ and the FBI on Sunday that Republicans will come after them if they choose not to comply with subpoena requests.

Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday” that House Speaker Paul Ryan led a meeting with FBI and DOJ officials on Friday night and “made very clear there’s going to be action on the floor of the House this week if FBI and DOJ do not comply with our subpoena request.”

“Paul Ryan led this meeting. You had Devin Nunes, Bob Goodlatte, myself and everyone you can think of from the FBI and the DOJ, and we went item by item on both of those outstanding subpoenas,” Gowdy explained. “We’re going to get compliance or the House of Representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray were present at Ryan’s meeting, according to Gowdy. (Read more: Daily Caller, 6/17/2018)

June 14, 2018 – FBI Director Wray commits to the institutional cover-up of gross misconduct by former and current DOJ and FBI officials

(…) “FBI Director Wray lost all credibility in June of 2018 when he participated in a structured press conference intended to diminish the IG report on the institutional issues with the FBI.   It was then obvious Wray was committed to the institutional cover-up of gross misconduct by former and current DOJ and FBI officials.

At the conclusion of that June 14, 2018press conference an earlier unscheduled meeting on January 3rd, 2018, between Christopher Wray, Rod Rosenstein and House Speaker Paul Ryan then began to make a lot more sense.

During that January 2018 meeting FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and House Speaker Paul Ryan formed an alliance against HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes.

January 3rd, 2018 – WASHINGTON DC – Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray made an unannounced visit to Speaker Paul Ryan’s office Wednesday as the Justice Department grapples with an increasingly hostile faction of House Republicans demanding documents related to the bureau’s Russia probe.

Rosenstein was spotted entering Ryan’s office, and a spokesman for the speaker confirmed that Rosenstein and Wray had requested the meeting. A second person familiar with the meeting said it was related to a document request issued over the summer by House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes. (more)

(Credit: Eric Gay/The Associated Press)

(OIG Report on FBI)

(Read more: The Conservative Treehouse, 5/08/2019)

May 11, 2018 – Senator Grassley reveals name of second FBI agent who interviewed General Flynn

Mike Flynn (Credit:Molly Riley/UPI/Newscom)

“Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has just dropped a sunlight grenade into the prosecution of Michael Flynn with a jaw-dropping request letter (full pdf below) to FBI Director Christopher Wray.  [Judiciary Link Here]

Within the letter Chairman Grassley outlines a prior briefing from fired FBI Director James Comey to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and contrasts the false presentations of Comey -regarding Michael Flynn- against recently known evidence.

Additionally, Grassley is requesting: the transcription of the phone call(s) intercepted by the FBI between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak; the FD 302’s written by the FBI in their interview with Michael Flynn; and testimony from Special Agent Joe Pientka, likely the second FBI agent who was partnered with Peter Strzok for the Flynn interview.

The name of the second FBI agent was previously unknown, and it’s likely Chairman Grassley outed the name for a very specific reason.  This is a BIG shot across the bow.

Previously the Justice Department was refusing to provide any information to the committee pertinent to Grassley’s requests, citing the ongoing investigation. However, the Senator is now outlining his request against the backdrop of the Judge in the Flynn case demanding the Special Counsel turn over all exculpatory information.

Judge Contreras was presiding judge on the initial guilty plea, then “was recused”. Judge Sullivan took over and demanded the DOJ turn over all exculpatory evidence.

It is important to remember – there is a widely held belief that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Strzok and Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302’s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative.

There is a great deal of debate surrounding the guilty plea as an outcome of a carefully constructed and coordinated plan by FBI and DOJ officials to target Flynn.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/11/2018)