Department of Justice
August 23, 2019 – Details behind Patrick Byrne’s allegations of FBI/DOJ “political espionage”
Former CEO Patrick Byrne has given four primary interviews where he outlines his knowledge of a 2015 and 2016 political espionage operation being run by the FBI.
After a review of the interviews, and extracting specific points therein, here’s an overview.
The substance of Mr. Byrne’s claims does seem to align with what we already know about the DOJ and FBI activity during the 2016 election cycle, including the FBI operations.
First, Patrick Byrne claims he has spoken to the DOJ on April 5th, 2019, and again on April 30th, 2019. Mr. Byrne states he told the DOJ all of the information he was aware of during those two interviews covering approximately seven hours of questioning.
The current public statements Mr. Byrne is making are not with the approval of the DOJ or any investigators therein. His decision to go public with this information comes as a result of conversations with a life-long mentor and confidant, Warren Buffett. Mr. Byrne states he has known Warren Buffett since Byrne was a teenager and Mr. Buffett was in his mid-forties.
According to his CNN interview Byrne talked to Buffett in about how he could be a witness in the DOJ investigation authorized by Attorney General Bill Barr and being conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham. After listening to the details, Buffett recommended Mr. Byrne go public with the story.
However, in order to go public Byrne would need to separate himself from his role as CEO of Overstock, the company Byrne founded. Mr. Byrne resigned yesterday, August 22nd.
Byrne explains he told Buffett about his April conversations with the DOJ and Buffett said it didn’t matter… Byrne still needed to go public with the story. It sounds like there are several motives for going public; perhaps one is personal safety.
To verify his April DOJ discussion, Byrne points to two references:
♦First, the movement of Maria Butina from harsh isolation in prison on May 9th, ten days after he delivered his testimony to the DOJ. According to Byrne Ms. Butina was moved to a very different White Collar facility based on his information.
♦The second reference point Byrne highlights is the May 13th DOJ appointment of John Durham to look into the origination of the Russia investigation events. Byrne says this too was a direct result of his two DOJ sessions April 5th and 30th.
If Byrne is accurate; and if his claims of him personally being an operative of the FBI with instructions to engage Ms. Butina inside the political espionage events structured by corrupt FBI officials are genuine; it would appear Special Counsel Robert Mueller facilitated throwing a bag over Ms Butina in an effort to keep the corrupt FBI intelligence operation hidden from the public. This would explain the Mueller demand for strict solitary isolation and confinement. (The reports are indeed troubling)
Again, if Byrne is correct, it would appear that extremely significant and exculpatory Brady material -evidence that could easily prove an entrapment defense- was intentionally withheld from Ms. Butina’s defense team. Alarmingly this points to ongoing corrupt officials that still remain inside the current DOJ. Ms. Butina was collateral damage.
A review of the time-frame details provided by Patrick Byrne in the four interviews shows his story told four times is consistent each time.
Here’s a brief review of the consistencies aspect:
After a cursory meeting in/around July 2015, Byrne claims in the period of September to December 2015 he reported contact with Russian national Ms. Maria Butina to the FBI as a precaution related to his security clearance.
Byrne claims he was asked to participate in an FBI intelligence operation and to introduce, and/or facilitate the introduction of, Ms. Butina to the campaigns of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
In December of 2015 Mr. Byrne became suspicious of the FBI motives because he warned FBI officials of a potential that his efforts, his reputation and those who trust him, may result in Butina gaining entry into campaign confidences. The FBI agents told Byrne that was exactly the intent; people high up in the FBI wanted Ms. Butina to gain deep access into the Trump campaign. Mr. Byrne became suspicious of a corrupt political motive, but didn’t say anything at the time.
Additionally Byrne’s assistance was requested for an investigation of a high-level government official, he later named as Hillary Clinton.[Sidebar: It’s noteworthy that during these FBI engagements Byrne was never requested to facilitate Ms. Butina into the Bernie Sanders campaign. The inference in that omission is the Dem primary was rigged, and the riggers saw no value wasting time on Bernie]
In/around Feb or March 2016 Byrne was told to focus Ms. Butina’s attention to the campaign of Donald Trump and to diminish any attention toward Rubio or Cruz.
The assistance of the investigation of the federal official (Hillary Clinton) ended in late June and early July of 2016. Immediately thereafter Ms. Clinton was publicly -and unusually- cleared by FBI Director James Comey on July 5th, 2016.
In/around this same June & July time-frame (2016), FBI agents requested Mr. Byrne to focus on developing a closer romantic relationship with Ms. Butina and to use his influence to target her to closer proximity with the Trump family and Trump campaign.
It was within these June and July 2016 engagements where FBI agents were apologetic about the requests and specifically mentioned their instructions were coming from three principle FBI officials Byrne described as “X, Y and Z”. Later Byrne identified FBI Director James Comey as “Z”.
In the Fox MacCallum interview Byrne named James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bill Priestap, John Carlin (DOJ-NSD) and Peter Strzok. Mr. Byrne said the specific instructions were coming to the agents from Special Agent Peter Strzok as he relayed the requests of those above him [X, Y and Z (Comey)].
This FBI contact structure highlights an arms-length operation; perhaps intentionally constructed to create plausible deniability for those above the directly instructing agents.
In essence, these rank-and-file FBI agents were asking Patrick Byrne to be a civilian handler of a Russian national, and instructing him to carry out a covert counterintelligence operation. The FBI agents were apologetic about asking a civilian to take on such a role.
♦ Ms. Maria Butina is described as a young Russian idealist, who had strong connections to high powered Russian oligarchs.
The purpose of Butina coming to the U.S., as explained by Byrne, was for her to engage with influential Americans for contacts that could provide geopolitical value to the oligarchs.
Patrick Byrne was seen as important to Ms. Butina due to his connections to the emerging financial structures of crypto-currency and block-chain. Byrne is a libertarian who believes in small government, and is somewhat of a disruptor in the business world. Ms. Butina wanted to introduce Byrne to her friends in Russia.
While it was not outlined in any of the four interviews, alternative currency options to the U.S. dollar have been an ongoing effort of Russian interests for a while. Russia considers global trade attached to the dollar as geopolitical problem; and they have been working for years on alternative currencies for trade (and their own wealth) that can avoid U.S. sanctions and the reach of the U.S. treasury.
♦ As a Russian national with specific Russian interests that are not in alignment with U.S. national interests, Maria Butina would be defined by the U.S. intelligence community as an ‘agent of a foreign power’. Her status would mean unrestricted monitoring by the U.S. intelligence community would be entirely legal.
However, because of this ‘foreign agent’ status Ms. Butina could also be valuable as a virus to infect anyone the U.S. intelligence apparatus would wish to target domestically. This motive appears to be the reason for the FBI to tell Mr. Byrne where to send Ms. Butina.
Conducting FISA-702(16)(17) database searches and surveillance on U.S. persons who would meet with Butina would be justifiable and legal.
Extended contact with any U.S. person could likely lead to a Title-1 surveillance warrant through the FISA court. However, even without the warrant, 702 searches would be valid just from brief contact.
As we have shown FISA-702(“16” to-from) and (“17” about) queries were off the charts during the time-frame of November 2015 through May 2016. Per the FISA audit conducted by NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, after the flags noted by the database compliance officer, 85% of the search returns were unauthorized and unmasked.
The time-frames here are too coincidental to be accidental. [Judge Collyer Report]
Update: On August 23, 2019, CNN includes James Comey and Andrew McCabe’s response to Mr. Byrne’s claims:
Byrne’s story, as told to CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Prime Time,” and in earlier interviews broadcast on Fox Business News and Fox News, also includes allegations that top officials in the Obama administration, including James Comey, the former FBI director, approved of the bureau’s requests of him.
It has not been verified by the agencies, and spokespeople for the Justice Department and FBI declined to comment. Reached Thursday evening by CNN, Comey called Byrne’s claim “ridiculous.”
“The FBI doesn’t work that way,” Comey said.
Former FBI deputy director and CNN contributor Andrew McCabe said he hadn’t heard of Byrne until the former CEO revealed his relationship with Butina.
“His allegation that his potential cooperation with the FBI was somehow discussed at the highest levels certainly never happened when I was there,” McCabe, who held the No. 2 role at the agency beginning in 2016 until his firing in 2018, said Friday on CNN’s “New Day.”
McCabe said it was “certainly possible” that Byrne volunteered information about Butina to the FBI, but disputed the claim that agents would have told Byrne to “engage in a romantic relationship with a suspected Russian intelligence agent.”
“That is simply not the sort of thing that the FBI does,” McCabe said.”
- Andrew McCabe
- August 2019
- Bill Priestap
- Department of Justice
- Donald Trump
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Hillary Clinton
- James Comey
- John Carlin
- John Durham
- Marco Rubio
- Maria Butina
- media interview
- Mueller Special Counsel Investigation
- Patrick Byrne
- Peter Strzok
- political espionage
- Russian spy
- Ted Cruz
- William Barr
August 16, 2019 – Judge orders FBI to search for additional Christopher Steele records
“A federal judge ordered the FBI on Friday to search for records of any contacts with dossier author Christopher Steele after the bureau cut ties with him as a confidential human source in November 2016.
Judge Christopher Cooper issued the ruling in favor of Judicial Watch, which sued the FBI and Justice Department for all of its records on Steele, a former British spy who investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
The FBI released two batches of Steele-related documents in 2018, but it resisted conducting searches for documents of any contacts that he had with the bureau after Nov. 1, 2016.
FBI officials severed a longstanding relationship with Steele after finding out that he had unauthorized contacts with members of the press.
Cooper ordered the search, saying any additional FBI-Steele documents have “the potential for illuminating the FBI’s activities” in the Trump-Russia probe.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/16/2019)
August 12, 2019 – U.S. District Judge Boasberg rejects the DOJ/FBI motion to block the release of the Archey Declarations
A U.S. District Judge has rejected the DOJ and FBI motion to block the release of the Archey Declarations (descriptions of Comey memos). [Background Here]
In a strongly worded ruling (full pdf below) released moments ago, Federal Judge James Boasberg blasted the DOJ and FBI for attempting to change their filings, claim national security “sources and methods”, and block his prior court ruling – which instructed the DOJ to release the “Archey Declarations”. The judge is obviously angry:
August 11, 2019 – The 2018 DOJ and FBI coverup to protect the Senate Intelligence Committee
“In the first part of this research into the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) we outlined how the committee was engaged in the 2017 effort –with specific evidence of communication– to support Robert Mueller and the ‘soft coup‘ team. [See Here] When you understand what the group was doing in early 2017, you understand why the FBI had to use DOJ official Bruce Ohr as a go-between to contact with Chris Steele.
Now we move on to overlay several data-points that happened throughout 2018 that are connected to a much more troubling part of the overall issues. In 2018 the DOJ and FBI covered-up the corruption evident during the 2017 pre-Mueller effort.
The problem for Attorney General Bill Barr is not only investigating what we don’t know, but rather navigating through what ‘We The People’ are already aware of…. A branch of the United States government (Legislative) was attempting a coup against the leader of another branch of government (Executive); by using the Senate Intelligence Committee and designated corrupt agents within the executive branch cabinet.
This 2017 and 2018 time period covers Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, Jeff Sessions as AG, Rod Rosenstein as Deputy, Chris Wray as FBI Director, David Bowditch as Deputy and Dana Boente as FBI legal counsel. I’ll lay out the evidence, you can then determine who was powerful enough to have made these decisions.
As a result of a FOIA release in mid-December 2018, Judicial Watch revealed how the State Department was feeding “classified information” to multiple U.S. Senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration:
The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).
Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a February 2018 request seeking records of the Obama State Department’s last-minute efforts to share classified information about Russia election interference issues with Democratic Senator Ben Cardin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-01381)).
The documents reveal the Obama State Department urgently gathering classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Donald Trump taking office. (read more)
The impeachment program was a plan, an insurance policy of sorts; a coordinated effort between corrupt politicians in the Senate and hold-over allies in the executive; however, because she didn’t want to participate in this – Senator Dianne Feinstein abdicated her vice-chair position to Senator Mark Warner. [Background Here]
This is the pre-cursor to utilizing Robert Mueller. A plan that was developed soon after the election. The appointment of a special counsel was always the way they were going to hand-off and continue the investigation into Trump; but they needed a reason for it.
The continued exploitation of the Steele Dossier was critical; thus they needed Chris Steele to be solid. And the continued manipulation of the media was also critical; thus they needed Fusion-GPS to continue. [Dan Jones paid both]
While Mark Warner was communicating with Adam Waldman and Dan Jones as a conduit to Chris Steele, the FBI/DOJ team was communicating through Bruce Ohr to Chris Steele (and by extension to Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS).
Part of Warner’s role was to weaponize the Legislative branch to advance the ‘Muh Russia conspiracy’, a fundamental necessity if a special counsel was going to have justification.
The SSCI, and the security protocols within it, were structurally part of the plan; hence the rapid information from Obama’s State Dept. to the SSCI and Senate participants in the last moments prior to departing.
♦ On March 17th, 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee took custody of the FISA application used against Carter Page. We know the FISA court delivered the read and return Top-Secret Classified application due to the clerk stamp of March 17, 2017.
The FISA application (original and first renewal) was delivered to Senate Security Director James Wolfe. Senator Mark Warner entered the basement SCIF shortly after 4:00pm on March 17, 2017, the day it was delivered (texts between Warner and Waldman):
Now, when SSCI Security Officer James Wolfe was indicted (unsealed June ’18), we could see the importance of the March 17th date again:
We can tell from the description within the indictment FBI investigators are describing the FISA application. Additionally Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with his reporter/girlfriend Ali Watkins. The FISA application is 83 pages with one blank page.
The logical conclusion was that Wolfe text Ali Watkins 82 pictures of the application.
FBI Investigators applied for, and received a search warrant for the phone records of journalist Ali Watkins. Ms. Watkins was notified in February 2018, three months after Wolfe was questioned by FBI investigators in December 2017.
However, despite the overwhelming (public) circumstantial evidence that Wolfe leaked the FISA application, he was never charged with leaking classified information. Wolfe was only charged with lying three times to federal authorities, and he pled down to one count of lying to the FBI.
CTH made the case in mid 2018 that someone at the DOJ had influenced a decision not to charge Wolfe with the leaking of the FISA application; despite the FBI and DOJ having direct evidence of Wolfe leaking classified information.
The logical reason for the DOJ not to charge Wolfe with the FISA leak was because that charge could ensnare a Senator on the powerful committee, likely Mark Warner.
Remember, the SSCI has intelligence oversight of the DOJ, DOJ-NSD, FBI and all associated counterintelligence operations. Additionally, when the FBI was investigating Wolfe for leaking classified documents, according to their court filings they had to inform the committee of the risk Wolfe represented. Who did they have to inform?.. Chairman Burr and Vice-Chair Warner.
D’oh. Think about it. A gang-of-eight member (Warner), who happened -as a consequence of the jaw dropping implications- to be one of only two SSCI members who was warned by the FBI that Wolfe was compromised…. and he’s the co-conspirator. The ramifications cannot be overstated. Such a criminal charge would be a hot mess.
Thus, the perfect alignment of interests for a dropped charge and DC cover-up.
Then, in an act of serendipity, James Wolfe himself bolstered that suspicion when he threatened to subpoena members of the SSCI as part of his defense. [See Here]
(…) Attorneys for James A. Wolfe sent letters to all 15 senators on the committee, notifying them that their testimony may be sought as part of Mr. Wolfe’s defense, according to two people familiar with the matter.
(…) Mr. Wolfe’s defense lawyers are considering calling the senators as part of the proceedings for a variety of reasons, including as potential character witnesses and to rebut some of the allegations made by the government in the criminal complaint, these people say. (link)
Immediately after threatening to subpoena the SSCI (July 27, 2018), the DOJ cut a deal with Wolfe and dropped the charges down to a single charge of lying to investigators. However, someone doing the investigative legwork wasn’t happy with that decision.
Our overwhelming CTH circumstantial evidence that Wolfe leaked the FISA application went from a strong suspicion, to damn certain (after the plea deal) when the DOJ included a sentencing motion in mid-December 2018.
On December 15th, 2018 the DOJ filed a response to the Wolfe defense teams’ own sentencing memo (full pdf), and within the DOJ response they included an exhibit (#13) written by the FBI [redacted] special agent in charge, which specifically says: “because of the known disclosure of classified information, the FISA application”… Thereby admitting, albeit post-plea agreement, that Wolfe did indeed leak the damn FISA:
Right there, in that FBI Special Agent description is the bombshell admission that James Wolfe leaked the Carter Page FISA application to his concubine Ali Watkins at Buzzfeed.
We know the special agent who wrote exhibit #13 in the December filing was Special Agent Brian Dugan, Asst. Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office. The same investigator who originally signed the affidavit in the original indictment.
So with hindsight there was absolutely no doubt that James Wolfe leaked the 83-page Carter Page FISA application on March 17, 2017. Period. It’s all documented with circumstantial and direct evidence; including the admissions from the FBI agent in charge.
So, why was James Wolfe allowed to plea to a single count of lying to investigators?” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/11/2019)
- Adam Waldman
- Ali Watkins
- Brian Dugan
- Bruce Ohr
- Carter Page
- Christopher Steele
- Christopher Wray
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Dana Boente
- Daniel Jones
- David Bowditch
- Department of Justice
- Department of State
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA application
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- FOIA release
- Fusion GPS
- Insurance Policy
- James Wolfe
- Jeff Sessions
- Mark Warner
- media leaks
- media manipulation
- Richard Burr
- Robert Mueller
- Rod Rosenstein
- Senate Intelligence Committee
- text messages
- William Barr
August 8, 2019 – Andrew McCabe files a federal civil lawsuit claiming wrongful termination
“Today former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe files a federal civil lawsuit (full pdf below) claiming wrongful termination by the DOJ and FBI. Exactly the same parameters are used by McCabe as were asserted by FBI Agent Peter Strzok in a very similar lawsuitearlier this week…. Only McCabe claims a conspiracy carried out by President Trump.
Again, as with the earlier Strzok lawsuit, both are not going through the process within the Department of Labor for a wrongful termination complaint. Instead both are using federal courts in an effort to construct a narrative of sorts.
The motive here is 100% political obfuscation, and the same Lawfare team is involved in the construct.
Both Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok are claiming their first amendment (speech) and fifth amendment (due process) rights were violated. Both have filed civil suits under the same pretext. However, McCabe’s Lawfare lawyers construct an argument that goes one step further.
According to Andrew McCabe, President Donald Trump constructed a master conspiracy of influence upon the DOJ and FBI; thereby usurping the powers of the constitution in a sketchy legal theory they cannot define. Thus the McCabe lawyers define the action by President Trump under “legal nullity” – An operation that theoretically is, or might be, of some legal significance, but in fact lacks any identity or distinct structure of its own. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/08/2019)
August 8, 2019 – Bruce Ohr documents undercut FBI claims In Carter Page’s FISA applications
“Transcripts of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s interviews with the FBI could open the bureau to new scrutiny over claims government officials made in applications to spy on Carter Page.
During a Nov. 22, 2016 interview with the FBI, Ohr discussed meetings between dossier author Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and Yahoo! News reporter Michael Isikoff, who two months earlier had published an article that alleged that Page was under FBI investigation for contacts in Russia.
The potential problem for the FBI is that the bureau said in four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications against Page that investigators did not believe that Steele was a source for Isikoff’s story.
The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s unverified dossier to argue to the FISA court that Page was working as an agent of Russia. The applications also cite Isikoff’s article and at least one other news report about Page.
“OHR met [redacted] in Washington, D.C. in late September, possibly close to the time when the Yahoo news article was published on September 23, 2016,” read the heavily-redacted Ohr notes, which were released on Thursday.
“Simpson and [redacted] could have met with Yahoo or Michael Isikoff jointly, but OHR does not know if they did.”
In four FISA applications — which the FBI submitted in October 2016, January 2017, April 2017, and June 2017 — the FBI “does not believe that Source #1,” who has been identified as Steele, “directly provided this information to the identified news organization that published the September 23rd News Article.”
It is unclear if the redacted portion of the footnote adds further context to possible contacts between Steele, Simpson and Isikoff.
July 29, 2019 – Former acting AG Matt Whitaker says U.S. Attorney Huber is reviewing “anything related to Comey’s memos and the like”
“Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker appeared on Fox News to discuss the replacement of Dan Coats with John Ratcliffe as head of the ODNI, and the current status of AG Bill Barr’s ongoing reviews into prior DOJ and FBI (mis)conduct.
(…) Then comes the BOMBSHELL…. (@01:26 below) while seemingly not realizing what he just said, Whitaker outlines U.S. Attorney John Huber as reviewing “anything related to Comey’s memos and the like.” Boom… There it is.
THAT finally explains why the DOJ is fighting the release of the David Archey declarations in the FOIA lawsuit by CNN. [Listen carefully at 01:26 of the interview]
Until that obscure comment, likely a slip that not many would catch, there has been no valid explanation by the DOJ about any investigation of the Comey memos, which would also encompass the “Archey Declarations”.
If U.S. Attorney John Huber is indeed looking at those Comey memos, that would explain why the DOJ is fighting the release of the Archey Declarations in the DC Circuit Court with Judge James E Boasberg. Now it makes sense. That little obscure comment by Whitaker is a big effen’ deal.
(…) BACKSTORY – In the background of what was The Mueller Investigation, there was a FOIA case where the FBI was fighting to stop the release of the Comey memos.
Within that courtroom fight Mueller’s lead FBI agent David Archey wrote a series of declarations to the court describing the content of the memos and arguing why they should be kept classified.
The FOIA fight shifted.
The plaintiff, CNN, argued for public release of the content of the FBI agent’s descriptions, now known as the “Archey Declarations”.
After a lengthy back-and-forth legal contest, on June 7th Judge James E Boasberg agreed to allow the FBI to keep the Comey memo content hidden, but instructed the DOJ/FBI to release the content of the Archey Declarations.
On July 5th, the U.S. Department of Justice -under Attorney General Bill Barr- while waiting until the last minute (28 days since court order), filed a motion [full pdf below] to block the release of the Archey Declarations, despite the June 7th judicial order.
On July 19th, CNN filed a motion against the FBI and DOJ to force the release of the Archey Declarations (full pdf below), and enforce the order.
On July 25th, the DOJ filed a response requesting more time to reply. The DOJ is currently asking for more time, a delay until August 2nd, to file a response to a supportive motion from CNN that would force the DOJ to release the “Archey Declarations” (detailed explanations of what’s inside the Comey Memos).
The DOJ wants these declarations hidden. Now we know why.
The DOJ is requesting more time, August 2nd, 2019, to respond to the CNN motion.
CNN wants the June 7th ruling enforced and the Archey Declarations, which describe the content of the Comey memos, released.
David Archey was the FBI lead agent on Robert Mueller’s team. Archey replaced Peter Strzok when Strzok was removed. Yes, Archey’s declarations might possibly describe material evidence the DOJ are using in ongoing matters. However, THIS IS IMPORTANT– the DOJ and FBI have never made that assertion in their court arguments.
Despite the original media FOIA lawsuit coming from CNN -vs- DOJ, there is no-one in the MSM covering this story. Here is the July 5th DOJ filing:
Here’s the background on the June 7th, 2019, ruling as we shared at the time:
Judge Boasberg was deciding what could be publicly released, meaning current redactions removed, based on two connected events: (#1) The content of the Comey Memos; and (#2) the declarations of lead FBI agent for Robert Mueller’s special counsel, David Archey, in describing those memos. CNN had filed a lawsuit to gain full access.
(Note: the descriptions of the Comey memos by FBI agent David Archey are known as the “Archey Declarations” – Read Here.)
For those who may not be aware, there are so many memos (dozens) when assembled they seem to make up an actual diary of moment-by-moment events, during the FBI investigation of Donald Trump, as documented by FBI Director James Comey.
♦ In the issue of the redactions within the Comey Memos, the judge doesn’t remove them. Some are ordered to be removed, some are approved to stay in place. The Comey memo aspect, and the redaction decision, is basically a splitting of the baby 50/50. It will be interesting, but meh, maybe not too much detail. – CNN ARTICLE
The issues argued by the FBI lawyers to keep the Comey memos hidden surround sources and methods. The judge generally agreed to the potential for compromise, but also outlined several sections of redactions within the Comey memos where that argument doesn’t hold up. (The judge has read the fully unredacted memo content.)
♦ However, on the issue of the Archey Declarations there’s an opportunity for some very interesting information to surface. Here’s an example of currently existing redactions within the Archey Declarations:
July 28, 2019 – Rep. John Ratcliffe says it is clear crimes were committed by government officials in the Obama administration
“With the Justice Department conducting a review of that operation, Rep. John Ratcliffe said during a Fox News interview Sunday that he trusts Attorney General William Barr and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to provide answers.
And while Ratcliffe said he does not want to prematurely accuse any specific person of a crime — as Democrats have done with President Trump — he stressed that it is clear crimes were committed by people during the Obama administration, including government officials.
“I think the first thing we need to do is make sure we don’t do what the Democrats have done,” the Texas Republican told host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. “They accused Donald Trump of a crime and then they try and reverse engineer a process to justify that accusation. So I’m not going to accuse any specific person of any specific crime, I just want there to be a fair process to get there. What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is that it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration.”
(…) Ratcliffe recommended three leads for the “investigation of the investigators.”
The first related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn. “You talked earlier about Michael Flynn. His phone call with the Russian ambassador was a highly classified NSA intercept. Someone in the Obama administration leaked that call to the Washington Post. That’s a felony,” he said.
Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed in February 2018 that the Justice Department was investigating that leak, and that he was overseeing the inquiry himself. “I am directing it personally and we’re pursuing it aggressively,” Sessions said at the time.
Ratcliffe suggested investigators also look into conflicting congressional testimony between Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. Fusion GPS was the opposition research firm behind British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier, which was full of unverified claims about Trump’s ties to Russia and was used extensively by the FBI in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to justify surveillance of Page. Ohr acted as an unofficial back channel between Steel and the FBI. “Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS in talking about the Steele dossier, said under oath that he and Bruce Ohr did not meet until after the election. Bruce Ohr said under oath that they met three months before the election. One of them is not telling the truth. We need a process to identify that,” Ratcliffe said.
The third area of interest, Ratcliffe said, is former FBI Director James Comey’s memos on his interactions with Trump before he was fired in May 2017. “Where it all started, Jim Comey. He admitted that he leaked his confidential conversations with the president to a reporter. Did that include classified information? We need a fair processes to find out answers to that,” Ratcliffe said.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 7/28/2019)
July 26, 2019 – DOJ’s Russia probe review focusing on ‘smoking gun’ tapes of meeting with George Papadopoulos
“The Justice Department’s internal review of the Russia investigation is zeroing in on transcripts of recordings made by at least one government source who met with former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos overseas in 2016, specifically looking at why certain “exculpatory” material from them was not presented in subsequent applications for surveillance warrants, according to two sources familiar with the review.
The sources also said the review is taking a closer look at the actual start date of the original FBI investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians, as some allege the probe began earlier than thought. Both components are considered key in the review currently being led by Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham –– an effort sure to draw more attention in the coming weeks and months now that Robert Mueller’s testimony is in the rearview.
The recordings in question pertain to conversations between government sources and Papadopoulos, which were memorialized in transcripts. One source told Fox News that Barr and Durham are reviewing why the material was left out of applications to surveil another former Trump campaign aide, Carter Page.
“I think it’s the smoking gun,” the source said.
“These recordings have exculpatory evidence,” the other source added. “It is standard tradecraft to record conversations with someone like Papadopoulos—especially when they are overseas and there are no restrictions.” (Read more: Fox News, 7/26/2019)
July 10, 2019 – Judge slams government argument that Michael Flynn is a ‘co-conspirator’ in former partner’s trial
“U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga in the Eastern District of Virginia slammed the Department of Justice’s request to designate former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn a ‘co-conspirator’ in the ongoing case it has against his former business partner after the government stated on numerous occasions that Flynn was a cooperating witness.
Trenga issued the 38-page scathing opinion in the late afternoon Tuesday that the “United States at this point has not presented or proffered evidence to sufficient to establish by a preponderance of the evidence a conspiracy for the purposes of admitting against the Defendant the hearsay statements of alleged co-conspirators.”
Trenga goes on to argue that “Notably absent from the government’s proffer is any evidence from Michael Flynn, who, as discussed above, has admitted that he made certain false statements in the FARA filing that was the object of one of the charged conspiracy and has entered into a cooperation agreement with the United States that extends to this prosecution.”
Earlier on Tuesday this news site first reported that Flynn’s current defense Attorney Sidney Powell, who recently replaced Flynn’s former defense attorney Robert Kelner, submitted a filing to the Eastern District of Virginia fighting the government’s proposal to ask the Court to deem Flynn a “co-conspirator” in the case against his former partner Bijan Rafiekian. The designation was solely for the purpose of obtaining the admission of one document the government itself claims is already admissible under a different rule, according to a brief filed by Powell. (Read more: Sarah Carter, 7/10/2019)