Department of Justice

November 26, 2019 – DOJ requests delay in Flynn case until after publication of IG report

A curiously interesting development in the DOJ case against Michael Flynn.  Judge Emmet Sullivan is weighing the merits of the Flynn defense Motion to Compel (MTC), which requests a significant amount of information on DOJ/FBI conduct in the lead-up to Flynn’s prosecution. A decision and court briefing was anticipated soon.

However, today the DOJ files a joint motion with the defense asking Judge Sullivan to suspend scheduled briefing dates and sentencing deadlines until after the DOJ inspector general report is published on December 9th.   The implication is that some of the “Brady” material at issue; or tangential issues that touch upon the material; may be outlined in the upcoming IG report.

The joint motion asks for a delay to the briefing schedules, and a delay in the subsequent sentencing therein.  The full motion is here.

(Conservative Treehouse, 11/26/2019)

November 22, 2019 – FBI lawyer referred for criminal prosecution by Horowitz was primary FBI attorney on Trump-Russia case

Kevin Clinesmith (Credit: Facebook)

“A former FBI attorney reportedly referred for criminal prosecution by Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz—for allegedly altering an email connected to the surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page—was assigned in early 2017 as “the primary FBI attorney assigned” to the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into alleged Russian election interference.

The lawyer, who has been identified as Kevin Clinesmith in media reports, had been incorrectly portrayed by many members of the media as a “low-level” or junior member of the FBI’s legal team.

Text messages obtained by Horowitz, covered in a June 2018 report, showed that Clinesmith had a strong bias against Trump, texting “Viva le resistance” following Trump’s election as well as: “my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.”

Clinesmith worked on both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation. He would also later become a member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and was one of the FBI officials—along with FBI Agent Peter Strzok—who was removed by Mueller after IG Horowitz discovered FBI text messages expressing political bias against Trump.

The New York Times reported on Nov. 22, that Clinesmith was removed from the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation in February 2018 and resigned from the FBI “about two months ago.”

Clinesmith has reportedly been referred for criminal prosecution by Horowitz for altering “an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap”—also known as the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) renewal—on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the New York Times reported.

(…) According to the NYT article, the “paperwork associated with the renewal applications contained information that should have been left out, and vice versa.” Clinesmith reportedly altered an email that “was a factor during the wiretap renewal process.”

Clinesmith allegedly “took an email from an official at another federal agency that contained several factual assertions, then added material to the bottom that looked like another assertion from the email’s author, when it was instead his own understanding.”

This altered email was then included in a package that was prepared for another FBI official to read in “preparation for signing an affidavit,” that was to be submitted to the FISA Court “attesting to the facts and analysis” in the application. ” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 11/24/2019)  (Archive)

November 10, 2019 – People’s Deputy of Ukraine Andriy Derkach, releases documents that prove NABU leaked information to the US Embassy

Andriy Derkach (Credit: Interfax-Ukraine)

(Chrome translated)

“People’s Deputy of Ukraine Andriy Derkach, initiator of a criminal case on interference in the US elections, released documents from which it follows that the first deputy director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Gizo Uglava for several years provided the US Embassy in Kiev with information that negatively affected the course events in Ukraine and the USA.

At a press conference at the Interfax-Ukraine agency on Wednesday, he made public the documents received from investigative journalists, including correspondence between NABU officers and representatives of diplomatic missions of foreign states in the framework of criminal proceedings opened under article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine “High Treason”. In particular, the documents that the people’s deputy possesses indicate that Uglava, through her assistant Polina Chizh, transmitted information to the US Embassy, ​​which, he said, is an important part of the “puzzle” of interference in US elections and international corruption.

According to Derkach, he has already transferred these documents to the State Bureau of Investigation (GBR) and the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. The parliamentarian also initiated the creation of a temporary investigative commission of the Verkhovna Rada, and filed a petition for the court to resume the investigation of interference in the election in the United States by divulging pre-trial investigation.

“According to the correspondence, repeatedly, starting from July 14, 2017, from the electronic mailbox of the assistant to the first deputy of NABU Gizo Uglavy [and] Polina Chizh, the lists of criminal proceedings were sent to the legal specialist of the anti-corruption program of the US Department of Justice of the US Embassy in Ukraine Anna Emelyanova, that NABU detectives do, “Derkach said.

Gizo Uglava (l) and Polina Chyz (Credit: public domain and Karlheinz Wedhorn/DOD)

Derkach issued a letter in which Polina Chizh, a NABU employee, received an order from Anna Emelyanova, an employee of the US Embassy, ​​to provide information on the case of Nikolai Zlochevsky, the former Minister of Ecology and owner of the Burisma Group.

The MP also announced the amount of funds transferred to the representatives of the Burisma Group, among which Hunter Biden also appears. According to documents, Burisma paid at least $ 16.5 million in favor of Hunter Biden, Alexander Kwasniewski, Alan Apter and Devon Archer.

At the same time, Derkach claims that international corruption of this magnitude could not take place without the participation of the fifth president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. “International corruption of this magnitude, as well as interference in the election of the US president, could not have occurred without the participation of Petro Poroshenko,” he said.” (Read more: Interfax/Ukraine)  (Archive)

October 29, 2019 – Judicial Watch obtains emails between Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page —DOJ is still withholding a majority of these communications

(Graphic Credit: Truthfeed)

“Judicial Watch announced today it received through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit 13 pages out of 42 responsive pages of communications between former FBI official Peter Strzok and DOJ official Bruce Ohr that the DOJ claimed previously it could not find.

(…) In the lawsuit, Judicial Watch challenged the DOJ’s extraordinary claim that there were no records of communications between Strzok and Ohr in light of the preeminent role both individuals played in the anti-Trump collusion investigation. In addition, Ohr himself testified before Congress that he did, in fact, meet and communicate with Strzok.

The documents show contact between Ohr and Strzok in the weeks after the 2016 presidential election, during the presidential transition, and in the days following President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page arranges a November 21, 2016, meeting from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at FBI headquarters. “Required attendees” include Ohr, Strzok, and FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Jonathan Moffa.

On November 29, 2016, Ohr attempts to arrange a meeting between Strzok, Page, himself, and Deputy Assistant Attorney General (Criminal Division) Bruce Swartz.

Ohr writes to Strzok and Page under the subject Meeting with Bruce Swartz: “Thanks again for taking the time to chat today. As I mentioned, I would like to set up a short meeting for us with Bruce Swartz. Would next Monday at 5:30 p.m. work? Also, is there any chance you guys could come over to our building?”

Page responds: “Unfortunately, Pete is briefing HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] from 5-6:30 on Monday. Just about any other time that day would work. And we’re happy to come to you (especially because Bruce S. always has good snacks…)” [smile emoticon]

Ohr responds to Page: “No problem – is 6:30 (or later) that day too late? Otherwise we may be into the next week. I will ensure the snacks are up to snuff!”

Page writes to Ohr at 5:46 p.m.: “Unfortunately, it is. Have a flight later that night. Sorry about that.”

Ohr responds at 6:32 p.m.: “Got it. I’ll find a few dates/times for the week after and shoot them to you.”

A meeting with importance classified as “high” is scheduled for December 5, 2016. Strzok, Ohr and Swartz are scheduled to meet from 5:30 to 6 p.m. at Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) 2213, and later is canceled.

On January 4, 2017, a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) official in the Office of Special Measures [a unit within FinCEN set up to sanction foreign and domestic financial institutions] forwards to Ohr an unclassified but fully redacted FinCEN document, which Ohr then forwards to Strzok on February 1, 2017.

Ohr writes to Strzok: “Pete – As we discussed. I will forward the classified document as well, as well as one more unclassified document.”

January 30, 2017, FinCEN sent protected information and its password to [Redacted].

On February 1, 2017, at 2:11 pm Lisa Holtyn, Ohr’s assistant, sends to members of Bruce Ohr’s former team at Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) password protected information from FinCEN, saying “I’ll send the password separately.” Minutes later, she sends the same email to Bruce Ohr. Seconds after that, Ohr forwards the email to Strzok, followed by the password.

“Ohr and Strzok clearly were working regularly with each other during the time the illicit Spygate operation heated up against President Trump,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It speaks volumes that Judicial Watch was forced to drag the DOJ and FBI into court in order to force the agency to admit to documents they’ve obviously had all along.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 10/29/2019)  (Archive)

Sarah Carter writes in August 2018:

(…) “Ohr stated during his hours-long testimony that the FBI failed to disclose this pertinent information to the nation’s secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when it sought an application to spy on Page. The FBI also failed to disclose that when it sought the application, it was using senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr as a cut-out for a source the bureau had terminated.

Ohr had also communicated with senior members of the FBI, including former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI attorney Lisa Page, and former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, at the bureau but stated that his superiors at the Justice Department were not aware that he was being used as a source for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign, according to sources who spoke to SaraACarter.com.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/31/2018)

October 25, 2019 – Lee Smith: Deep State used ‘criminal conspiracy’ to stop Flynn’s audit of intelligence agencies

“A multifaceted “criminal conspiracy” to destroy former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was launched by persons across the national security state apparatus to prevent audits of intelligence agencies’ operations, said Lee Smith, author of The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History, in a Friday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Rick Manning.

“General Flynn’s lawyer, Sydney Powell, has done a fantastic job of unearthing a whole bunch of new information which clarifies what we’ve known — what we’ve suspected — for quite a long time, that large parts of the intelligence community targeted General Flynn,” Smith stated.

Smith added, “Sydney Powell has brought forth a whole bunch of important information … about how they tinkered with the FBI’s interviews. They also ambushed General Flynn in the White House for an interview, and we know how that went down. It was James Comey who asked his deputy director Andy McCabe to send agents down there to go after General Flynn.

Smith remarked, “Keep in mind, this is a very, very large operation against General Flynn that started long before Donald Trump was elected, and this was the other terrific thing that Sydney Powell has done with her work.”

“Stefan Halper, who was identified by the Washington Post and the New York Times as the confidential human source who was sent to spy on the Trump campaign,” noted Smith. “Now, what Sydney Powell has found, is that he had a handler at the Pentagon. So we’re talking about the Department of Justice, we’re talking about the FBI, but we’re also talking about the Pentagon. We are talking about a number of different agencies involved in targeting General Flynn.” (Read more: Breitbart, 10/25/2019)

October 21, 2019 – Carter Page sues the DOJ for violating his right to privacy and demands a review of the IG report before it’s release

Carter Page in Washington D.C. on May 28, 2019. (Credit: Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

“A former Trump campaign associate who was wiretapped by the FBI sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Oct. 21, demanding that the government provide him with the opportunity to review, before it is made public, the forthcoming inspector general’s report on potential surveillance abuses in his case.

In a lawsuit filed with the U.S. District Court in Washington, Carter Page accuses the DOJ of violating his privacy rights by failing to grant him the opportunity to review the report before the document is published.

The DOJ Office of Inspector General is expected to soon release a voluminous report examining potential surveillance abuses tied to secret court warrants that the FBI obtained to spy on Page.

Page additionally alleges that the DOJ violated his privacy rights by disclosing copies of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to the New York Times prior to giving him an opportunity to review the documents.

In addition to requesting damages and the prosecution of the officials involved, Page is asking the court to order the DOJ to hand over all of the documents he has long sought to review and amend.

“The DOJ, its employees and officers, including those in the affiliated agency of the FBI under their jurisdiction, acted intentionally or willfully in violation of Dr. Page’s privacy rights,” the lawsuit states.

“As a result of the DOJ’s violations of the Privacy Act, Dr. Page has suffered adverse harmful effects, including, but not limited to, mental distress, emotional trauma, embarrassment, humiliation, and lost or jeopardized present or future financial opportunities.”

Page filed a formal Privacy Act request in May 2017. The request remains unfulfilled.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 10/27/2019)  (Archive)

October 15, 2019 – The DOJ has possession of Joseph Mifsud cell phones

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Inside an otherwise innocuous court filing (full pdf below), General Mike Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, files a motion to compel (MTC) in an effort to gain discovery of the content from two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud.   [Hat Tip Techno Fog]

Apparently, according to the information within the filing, the DOJ has somehow gained custody of two cell phones belonging to Mr. Mifsud:

The filing notes that “Western intelligence” likely tasked Mr. Mifsud against General Flynn as early as  in order to set up “connections with certain Russians” for later use against him.  Essentially, an intelligence entrapment scheme.

Unfortunately, the filing only identifies the cell phones along with the request for the production of the content therein.  However, the fact the DOJ has two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud opens up a whole bunch of questions:

#1)  How did the US Dept of Justice gain custody of Mr. Mifsud’s cell phones?

#2) Were these Blackberry cell phones issued by U.S. intelligence? (unknown agency)

#3) Why has the U.S. DOJ taken custody of those cell phones?

#4) If #2 is yes, wouldn’t that automatically destroy the “Mifsud as a Russian intelligence asset” narrative?

#5) [Less important] How the heck did Sidney Powell find out about them?

Something is certainly happening here. The cell phone models are from 2011 and 2014.

With U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr traveling to Italy to listen to the taped deposition of Joseph Mifsud last month…and now the discovery that the DOJ has his cell phones from a period of keen interest in the Russia collusion-conspiracy framework…it would appear Mr. Mifsud might just be the Maltese Fulcrum.

In response to the defense Motion to Compel, the U.S. Dept of Justice told Ms. Powell: “if they determine the information is discoverable or relevant to sentencing” they will produce them.

(View complete document on Scribd)

(Conservative Treehouse, 10/15/2019)

October 3, 2019 – Former CIA director John Brennan to be interviewed by U.S. attorney John Durham

“Former CIA Director John Brennan said he is “concerned” about the Justice Department’s review of the origins of the Russia investigation.

The “investigation into the investigators” has been underway since the spring, and reports this week showed Attorney General William Barr has taken a more expansive role in it than previously known, pressing foreign leaders to cooperate with the DOJ.

During an interview Wednesday, Brennan said he is “supposedly” going to be interviewed by John Durham, the U.S. attorney tasked with leading the review. Brennan said by all accounts Durham is a man of “integrity” but added Barr has proven himself to be the “president’s attorney.”

“Given that Barr is now accompanying Durham on these things, it really makes me think that the hand of politics and of Trump are now being used to massage what this ongoing review quasi-investigation is. So I am concerned,” Brennan said on MSNBC.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 10/03/2019)

October 2, 2019 – Justice Department to question former CIA director John Brennan in ‘Spygate’ Inquiry

John Brennan (Credit: public domain)

“The special prosecutor investigating the spy operation against the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump will question former CIA Director John Brennan, according to Brennan’s remarks aired on Oct. 2.

“I am supposedly going to be interviewed by Mr. Durham as part of this non-investigation,” Brennan said on MSNBC, referring to U.S. Attorney John Durham.

Attorney General William Barr assigned Durham, a career prosecutor, to investigate whether Obama administration officials who surveilled Trump’s campaign did so legitimately.

Brennan made the comments as news surfaced that Barr and Durham expanded their investigation overseas to Italy, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Roughly a week prior to Brennan’s comments, Barr and Durham spoke to senior Italian intelligence officials.

“I don’t understand the predication of this worldwide effort to try to uncover dirt, either real or imagined, that would discredit that investigation in 2016 into Russian interference,” Brennan said.

The Department of Justice didn’t respond to a request for additional information.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 10/03/2019)

October 2, 2019 – Senator Mark Warner says AG Barr is endangering relationships with key U.S. allies

Senator Warner lobby’s against William Barr’s nomination as AG in January, 2019. (Credit: public domain)

“Attorney General William Barr is harming America’s relationships with its closest allies by pressuring them to produce intelligence about the Russia investigation in an effort to help President Trump politically, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee charged Thursday in an exclusive interview with NBC News.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, who has presided with his Republican counterpart over a two-year, bipartisan investigation into 2016 election interference efforts, said Barr’s outreach to foreign governments, confirmed by the Department of Justice, threatens to undermine decades of U.S. intelligence sharing.

“U.S. intelligence leaders have expressed their concerns to me privately on this,” said Warner, who is committee vice-chairman. “This idea that Australia’s intelligence product might be being used to go after a political opponent in domestic American politics… That’s just not what the intelligence community is about.”

The senator said he is particularly worried about the foreign requests and their impact on an intelligence-sharing pact known as the Five Eyes, which includes the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. Those countries cooperate extremely closely, sharing communications intercepts and other intelligence.

“Throughout the last 75 years, every administration has valued the sanctity of the five eyes relationship,” Warner said. “It appears this administration doesn’t value that relationship because if you did, you wouldn’t ask your allies for their intelligence for political purposes.”

Warner added: “Can you imagine if the CIA was asked to provide damaging evidence on a political opponent in Australia? There would be outrage in our political establishment.” (Read more: NBC News, 10/02/2019) (Mark Warner Tagged)