Department of Justice

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)

October 1, 2019 – Prosecution responds to Flynn discovery motion – refuses to provide any additional evidence

“The DOJ responds today to the Flynn motion for additional evidence; ie. Brady material requested by Flynn’s defense.   In the governments’ response filing (full pdf below), the DOJ rejects any additional efforts to provide evidence, and requests Judge Emmet Sullivan proceed directly to sentencing:

Additionally, the government filed a weird appendix, intended to highlight the amount of Brady material the prosecution has turned over to the defense team.  However, it is notable the appendix is full of “summaries of” instead of the raw underlying evidence. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 10/01/2019)

(Timeline editor’s note: Of the 40 document requests listed by Sidney Powell and ordered by Judge Sullivan, the prosecutor’s response deemed half of the items on the list to be either “not relevant” or “not helpful.” We are curious as to whether it is the prosecutor’s responsibility to make that kind of determination.)

September 18, 2019 – Judicial Watch files a FOIA lawsuit for the records of FBI Special Agent Michael Gaeta

Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for records about FBI Special Agent Michael Gaeta, who was the Legal Attaché in Rome who helped circulate the Steele dossier (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:19-cv-02722)).

The suit was filed after the Justice Department and FBI failed to respond to an August 10, 2018, FOIA requests seeking:

  • All records of communications, including emails (using [his or her] own name or aliases), text messages, instant chats and encrypted messages, sent to and from former FBI Legal Attaché in Rome, Special Agent Michael Gaeta, mentioning the terms “Trump”, “Clinton”, “Republican”, “Democrat”, and/or “conservatives.”
  • All SF50s and SF52s of SA Michael Gaeta.
  • All expense reports and travel vouchers submitted for SA Michael Gaeta.

On August 28, 2018, Bruce Ohr testified before a joint task force of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees that Christopher Steele, author of the Clinton funded dossier, gave two reports from the dossier to Gaeta.

In the July 30 meeting, Chris Steele also mentioned something about the doping — you know, one of the doping scandals. And he also mentioned, I believe — and, again, this is based on my review of my notes — that he had provided Mr. Gaeta with two reports…”

The only thing I recall him mentioning is that he had provided two of his reports to Special Agent Gaeta.

Gaeta reportedly was authorized by then Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland to meet with Steele at his office in London to receive reports from the dossier

The purpose of the London visit was clear. Steele was personally handing the first memo in his dossier to Gaeta for ultimate transmission back to the FBI and the State Department.

For this visit, the FBI sought permission from the office of Nuland, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Nuland, who had been the recipient of many of Steele’s reports, gave permission for the more formal meeting. On July 5, 2016, Gaeta traveled to London and met with Steele at the offices of Steele’s firm, Orbis.

“The FBI is covering up its role in the Russiagate hoax,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch has had to fight the FBI ‘tooth and nail’ for every scrap of information about the illicit targeting of President Trump.” (Read more: September 18, 2019)

September 17, 2019 – Trump directs ODNI, DoJ and FBI to immediately declassify materials

The White House Press Secretary released the following statement on September 17, 2019:

At the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency, the President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials: (1) pages 10-12 and 17-34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; (2) all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and (3) all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications.

In addition, President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

(whitehouse.gov/briefing, 9/17/2019)

September 12, 2019 – US attorney recommends proceeding with charges against McCabe; DOJ rejects last-ditch appeal

Andrew McCabe (Credit: Lancaster Dems)

“U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu has recommended moving forward with charges against Andrew McCabe, Fox News has learned, as the Justice Department rejects a last-ditch appeal from the former top FBI official.

McCabe — the former deputy and acting director of the FBI — appealed the decision of the U.S. attorney for Washington all the way up to Jeffrey Rosen, the deputy attorney general, but he rejected that request, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The potential charges relate to DOJ inspector general findings against him regarding misleading statements concerning a Hillary Clinton-related investigation.

A source close to McCabe’s legal team said they received an email from the Department of Justice which said, “The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter. Any further inquiries should be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office.” (Read more: Fox News, 9/12/2019)

September 11, 2019 – Court unseals Flynn Brady motion; Judge Sullivan threatens govt with contempt; A list of 40 items is requested by Flynn defense

“Since June 6, 2019, immediately upon accepting Mr. Flynn’s defense, new counsel for Mr. Flynn has requested the following information in unredacted form pursuant to Brady and its progeny. Thoroughly stymied in our efforts to obtain this information from the government, despite its obligations to produce it, we necessarily enlist the aid of this Court in enforcing its standing Order.

The 40 Items

1. A letter delivered by the British Embassy to the incoming National Security team after Donald Trump’s election, and to outgoing National Security Advisor Susan Rice (the letter apparently disavows former British Secret Service Agent Christopher Steele, calls his credibility into question and declares him untrustworthy).

2. The original draft of Mr. Flynn’s 302 and 1A-file, and any FBI document that identifies everyone who had possession of it (parts of which may have been leaked to the press, but the full original has never been produced). This would include information given to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates on January 24 and 25,2017.

3. All documents, notes, information, FBI 302s, or testimony regarding Nellie Ohr’s research on Mr. Flynn and any information about transmitting it to the DOJ, CIA, or FBI.

4. All payments, notes, memos, correspondence, and instructions by and between the FBI, CIA, or DOD with Stefan Halper—going back as far as 2014—regarding Michael Flynn, Svetlana Lokhova, Mr. Richard Dearlove (of MI6), and Professor Christopher Andrew (connected with MI5) and Halper’s compensation through the Office of Net Assessment as evidenced by the whistleblower complaint of Adam Lovinger, addressed in our brief. This includes David Shedd (former Deputy Director of DIA) and Mike Vickers, who were CIA officers; James H. Baker; former DIA Director LTG Stewart; former DIA Deputy Director Doug Wise; and the DIA Director of Operations (DOD). This should also include any communications or correspondence of any type arising from the investigation or alleged concerns about Mr. Flynn that contained a copy to (as a “cc” or “bcc”) or was addressed directly to the DNI James Clapper and his senior staff; to CIA Director Brennan and his senior staff; or to FBI Director Comey, his Deputy Andrew McCabe, and senior staff.

5. The Flynn 302 dated January 19, 2017, mentioned in the Mueller Report.

6. All and unredacted Page-Strzok text messages. Mr. Van Grack’s October 4, 2018, letter asserts: “To the extent the text messages appear to be incomplete or contain gaps, we do not possess additional messages that appear to fill such gaps.” The government should be compelled to identify to whom “we” refers, where the originals are, and whether any of the gaps have been filled or accounted for.

7. All documents, reports, correspondence, and memoranda, including any National Security letter or FISA application, concerning any earlier investigation of Mr. Flynn, and the basis for it. (The existence of these earlier investigations was disclosed in the Mueller Report; see Vol. II at pp. 24, 26.)

8. All transcripts, recordings, notes, correspondence, and 302s of any interactions with human sources or “OCONUS lures” tasked against Mr. Flynn since he left DIA in 2014.

9. The unredacted Page-Strzok text messages as well as text messages, emails and other electronic communications to, from, or between Andrew McCabe, James Comey, Rod Rosenstein, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, John Carlin, Aaron Rouse, Carl Ghattas, Andrew Weissmann, Tashina Gauhar, Michael Steinbach, and Zainab Ahmad, regarding Mr. Flynn or the FISA applications or any surveillance (legal or illegal) that would have reached Mr. Flynn’s communications.

10. All evidence concerning notification by the Inspector General of the DOJ to the Special Counsel of the Strzok-Page text messages, including the actual text of any messages given to the Special Counsel, and the dates on which they were given. Although the Inspector General notified Special Counsel of the tens of thousands of text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page no later than July 2017—the prosecutors did not produce a single text message to the defense until March 13, 2018.

11. All evidence of press contacts between the Special Counsel Office, including Andrew Weissmann, Ms. Ahmad, and Mr. Van Grack from the departure of Peter Strzok from special Counsel team until December 8, 2017, regarding Mr. Flynn.

12. Unredacted copies of all memos created by or other communications from James Comey that mention or deal with any investigation, surveillance, FISA applications, interviews, or use of a confidential human source or “OCONUS lures” against Mr.Flynn.

13. An unredacted copy of all of James Comey’s testimony before any Congressional committees

14. The James Comey 302 for November 15, 2017, and all Comey 302s that bear on or mention Mr. Flynn.

15. Notes and documents of any kind dealing with any briefings that Mr. Flynn provided to DIA after he left the government.

16. Any information, including recordings or 302s, about Joseph Mifsud’s presence and involvement in engaging or reporting on Mr. Flynn and Mifsud’s presence at the Russia Today dinner in Moscow on December 17, 2015.

17. All notes, memoranda, 302s, and other information about the McCabe-Strzok meeting or meetings with Vice President-Elect or Vice President Pence (these meetings were referenced in the Mueller Report at Vol II, p. 34).

18. All Mary McCord 302s or interviews, including when she knew that Mr. Flynn did not have “a clandestine relationship with Russia.”

19. Any Sally Yates 302s or other notes that concern Mr. Flynn, including treatment of her meetings with FBI Agents on January 24 and 25, 2017, her meetings with anyone in the White House, and the draft 302 of the Flynn interview on January 24 she reviewed or was read into.

20. An internal DOJ document dated January 30, 2017, in which the FBI exonerated Mr.Flynn of being “an agent of Russia.”

21. All information provided by Kathleen Kavalec at the Department of State to the FBI regarding Christopher Steele prior to the first FISA application.

22. Any and all evidence that during a senior-attended FBI meeting or video conference, Andrew McCabe said “First we fuck Flynn, then we fuck Trump,” or words to that effect.

23. The two-page Electronic Communication (EC) that allegedly began the “Russia Collusion” investigation.

24. All information that underlies the several FISA applications, including any information showing that any of the assertions in the applications were false, unverified, or unverifiable.

25. All documents, notes, information, FBI 302s, or testimony regarding any debriefing that Bruce Ohr gave to anyone in the FBI or Department of Justice regarding Christopher Steele.

26. Testimony, interviews, 302s, notes of interviews of all persons who signed FISA applications regarding Mr. Flynn or anyone that would have reached Mr. Flynn’s communications, without regard to whether those applications were approved or rejected.

27. All FISA applications since 2015 related to the Russia matter, whether approved or rejected, which involve Mr. Flynn or reached his communications with anyone.

28. Information identifying reporters paid by Fusion GPS and/or the Penn Quarter group to push “Russia Collusion,” communications regarding any stories about Mr. Flynn, and any testimony or statements about how the reporters were used by the government regarding Mr. Flynn.

29. FBI 302s of KT McFarland, notes of interviews of her or her own notes, and text messages with Mr. Flynn from approximately December 27, 2016, until Flynn’s resignation.

30. Any information regarding the SCO’s and DOJ’s destruction of the cell phones of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page (after being advised of the thousands of text messages that evidenced that has been classified or otherwise not available to the public from the published Inspector General Report.

31. Any information regarding eradication of cell phone data, texts, emails, or other information belonging to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that created the “gap” identified by the IG.

32. Information about any parts of any polygraph examinations failed by Peter Strzok after Mr. Flynn was first the subject of any FBI investigation—authorized or unauthorized.

33. Brady or Giglio material newly discovered by the government (and by the Inspector General in his separate investigations) in the last two years.

34. A full unredacted and copies of the recordings of Mr. Flynn’s calls with Ambassador Kislyak or anyone else that were reviewed or used in any way by the FBI or SCO in its evaluation of charges against Mr. Flynn.

35. All FBI 302s, notes, memoranda of James Clapper regarding Mr. Flynn, and the cell phone and home phone records of Mr. Clapper and David Ignatius between December 5, 2016, and February 24, 2017. Although not previously requested, the government should be compelled to produce:

36. Unredacted scope memos written for the Special Counsel and any requests by Special Counsel that mention Mr. Flynn or his son.

37.All FBI 302s or any notes of interviews of David Ignatius or any other reporter regarding the publication of information concerning Mr. Flynn and/or the reporters contact with James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, John Brennan, Michael Kortan, or anyone in the FBI, DNI, DOD, DOJ, or CIA regarding Mr. Flynn.

38.FBI 302s and interview notes of Jim Woolsey, including notes by SCO members of conversations with Woolsey about Mr. Flynn, Flynn Intel Group, the Turkey project, and his separate meeting with officials of Turkey after the meeting that was the subject of the FIG FARA filing.

39.All communications between Mr. David Laufman, Ms. Heather Hunt and any other member of the National Security Division regarding the FARA registration for Mr.Flynn and FIG and notes, reports or recordings of their interaction with Covington & Burling with regards to the filing and its contents. See Def.’s Resp. to the Ct.’s Order of July 9 & Gov.’s Filing of July 10, Ex. D, July 11, 2019, No. 17-232-EGS

40. Unredacted notes of the (redacted) and Strzok from the interview of Mr. Flynn on January 24, 2017.

In response, Judge Sullivan issues the following order:

September 09, 2019 – The Justice Department seeks McCabe’s text messages on FBI probe; former FBI agent Jeffrey Danik filed a FOIA two years ago for same communications

Jeffrey Danik and Robert Mueller (Credit: public domain)

“The Department of Justice is seeking former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s text messages and according to government sources, those will play a significant role in understanding the FBI’s probe into both President Donald Trump’s campaign and the bureaus’ handling of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send government emails.

Lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to get the text messages during the litany of Congressional investigations that have culminated in Attorney General William Barr appointing Connecticut prosecutor John Durham to investigate the FBI’s handling of the election probe. Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-CA, said his committee was stymied by the FBI when they attempted to retrieve McCabe’s communications.

“The House Intelligence Committee tried to get the McCabe texts in the last Congress, but we were stonewalled,” Nunes told SaraACarter.com on Monday. “This is the kind of issue that really needs more transparency. There’s been too much unnecessary secrecy surrounding the entire Russia investigation- the American people deserve to know exactly what happened.”

The text messages between FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his then lover FBI attorney Lisa Page were regarded as a trove of information for congressional investigators. Page and Strzok’s text messages were turned over and for the most part – other than the details of the pairs private romantic relationship- to lawmakers during the congressional probes. The lawmakers were able to read the texts as part of the ongoing investigations either in-camera or when certain portions were declassified and made public.

(…)  Judicial Watch also sought the text messages earlier this year. The government watchdog group filed a motion in May to obtain McCabe’s text messages on behalf of FBI supervisory special agent Jeffery Danik.

Danik, who served 28 years in the FBI, filed a motion against the Department of Justice last year for refusing a Freedom of Information Act Request to turn over the texts, as well as McCabe’s FBI emails. Danik had originally filed a FOIA to obtain the communications two years ago.” (Read more: SaraACarter, 9/09/2019)