November 15, 2019 – Marie Yovanovitch admits to being prepped by the Obama Administration on issues about Hunter Biden and Burisma
“Representative Elise Stefanik brought to light interesting information today surrounding how the Obama administration was concerned about issues surrounding Vice-President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his connection to a corrupt Ukraine company Burisma.
During questioning, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch admitted the Obama White House spent time briefing her on how to respond to congress if questions about Hunter Biden and Burisma were raised. This testimony highlights the concerns by the Obama administration about a clear issue with the Biden family and corrupt Ukraine interests.”
This admission by former Ambassador Yovanovitch directly contradicted her testimony that was made only minutes before the admission. From her opening statement:
Contrary to her opening statement, former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch later admitted under questioning that Obama-Biden officials prepared her to answer questions about Hunter Biden's role on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma during her 2016 confirmation hearing. pic.twitter.com/GrGOxThFyC
— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) November 15, 2019
John Solomon reports:
(…) “Memos newly released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Southeastern Legal Foundation on my behalf detail how State officials in June 2016 worked to prepare the new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, to handle a question about “Burisma and Hunter Biden.”
In multiple drafts of a question-and-answer memo prepared for Yovanovitch’s Senate confirmation hearing, the department’s Ukraine experts urged the incoming ambassador to stick to a simple answer.
“Do you have any comment on Hunter Biden, the Vice President’s son, serving on the board of Burisma, a major Ukrainian Gas Company?,” the draft Q&A asked.
The recommended answer for Yovanovitch: “For questions on Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma, I would refer you to Vice President Biden’s office.”
The Q&A is consistent with other information flowing out of State. As I reported yesterday, when a Burisma representative contacted State in February 2016 to ask for the department’s help in quashing the corruption allegations, Hunter Biden’s role on the company’s board was prominently cited.
And a senior State Department official who testified recently in the impeachment proceedings reportedly told lawmakers he tried to warn the vice president’s office that Burisma posed a conflict for Joe Biden but was turned aside.” (Read more: John Solomon Reports, 11/05/2019)
November 15, 2019 – Schiff shields questions to Marie Yovanovitch over Biden and Burisma
Stewart: Do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes?
Stewart: Do you any have information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all?
Yovanovitch: No. pic.twitter.com/W1sBGuCU0K
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 15, 2019
Today’s largely boring testimony included a few fireworks – notably when House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) prevented Republicans from recognizing Rep. Elise Stefanik to ask Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch questions about Hunter Biden and Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
House resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry:
"Only the chair and ranking minority member, or a Permanent Select Committee employee if yielded to by the chair or ranking minority member, may question witnesses during such periods of questioning."https://t.co/za7NTUWFYM https://t.co/8ENcjvLIAw
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) November 15, 2019
And when Stefanik was allowed to question Yovanovitch, she pointed out that the Obama State Department prepared her to answer questions about perceived conflicts of interest regarding the unusual Biden arrangement.
— Quoth the Raven (@QTRResearch) November 15, 2019
(…) As Bloomberg reminds us, Yovanovitch testified in private on Oct. 11 that she felt she was recalled following a “concerted campaign” by President Trump and Rudy Giuliani. Because she left Ukraine in May, she clearly doesn’t have any direct knowledge of Trump’s efforts to elicit a quid pro quo – or as the Dems are now calling it, a bribe.
Yovanovitch testified that she felt “threatened” by the way Trump spoke about her on the July 25 call, which is at the center of the impeachment issue. Trump called her “bad news” and said “she’s going to go through some things.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 11/15/2019)
September 19, 2019 – Schiff acts like he doesn’t know what was in the hearsay whistleblower complaint; Pelosi admits to knowing what was said in the Trump-Zelensky call before transcript was released
“In the days leading up to last week’s release of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff implied that he was unaware of the substance of the allegations in the document, which centered on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president.
But a report from The New York Times on Wednesday raises news questions about Schiff’s claims.
According to the newspaper, Schiff had a general idea of the substance of the complaint by the time it was filed on Aug. 12. That’s because the would-be whistleblower approached a Schiff aide on the House Intelligence Committee. In turn, the aide directed the individual to the Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG), and briefed Schiff on the subject of the complaint.
Schiff and his staff “knew at least vaguely” what was in the complaint when it was filed, according to The Times.
But Schiff played coy for weeks when discussing the mysterious complaint. During his many interviews about the allegations against Trump, he did not reveal that his office had been in contact with the whistleblower or that he had any awareness of the person’s allegations.
In a Sept. 19 press conference, he suggested that he did not know what the whistleblower was alleging. He also asserted that he might not even know that a complaint had been filed if Michael Atkinson, the IC IG, had not contacted Congress earlier last month regarding the complaint.
“In the absence of the actions, and I want to thank the inspector general, in the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint alleging an urgent concern,” Schiff said during a press briefing on Sept. 19.
Schiff left out the part about his staff member directing the whistleblower to contact the IC IG in the first place.
On Sunday, September 30, 2019, Nancy Pelosi appears CBS 60 Minutes and says the following:
“He told me it was perfect, that there was nothing on the call,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” referring to a conversation she had with President Trump before the Trump administration released the transcript.
“But I know what was in the call,” Pelosi continued, before quickly adding, “I mean, uh, it was in the public domain.”
(Read more: Sarah Carter, 9/30/2019)
June 12, 2019 – Rep. Elise Stefanik fact checks Rep. Adam Schiff on Comey testimony
“Elise Stefanik (R., NY) clashed with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Ca.) Tuesday during a House Intelligence Committee hearing. Schiff claimed Stefanik was wrong about former FBI director James Comey’s testimony concerning when Congress was informed about the investigation into the Trump campaign.
The New York representative questioned Andrew McCarthy during a committee hearing yesterday about notifying congressional leadership when an investigation is opened into a political campaign. She specifically referred to the FBI opening its investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016, a counter-intelligence investigation codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.”
Former FBI Director James Comey testified in March of 2017 that congressional leadership was not notified until that month about the investigation due to its sensitive nature.
“We know now that the FBI opened its counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016, but they did not brief the Gang of Eight until March 2017 just days before former director Comey publicly announced the investigation during a March 20th, 2017 open hearing before this committee,” Stefanik said yesterday.
Schiff tried to correct Stefanik, telling her that her timeline was not correct, to which Stefanik doubled down.
“Regarding the timeline, it was clear in the open hearing in front of this committee that director Comey testified that he chose not to brief the Gang of Eight on the opening of the counter-intelligence investigations,” Stefanik said.
“I hope you would agree based upon the testimony of Director Comey that he circumvented the process,” she added later.
“I would only say that that was not his testimony,” Schiff responded. “The first time he was briefing the counter-intelligence investigation to us was contemporaneous with his disclosing it to the public.” Stefanik responded that Schiff was misrepresenting her statement.
A subsequent tweet from Stefanik confirmed her claims about Comey’s testimony. The video of Comey’s March 2017 testimony shows Comey admitting that the FBI delayed notifying congressional leadership about the investigation into the Trump campaign.
June 5, 2018 – Bill Priestap’s “closed” testimony conflicts with James Comey’s “open” testimony
“Another unsourced leak of a congressional hearing transcript to The Epoch Times highlights the testimony of former FBI Director of Counterintelligence, Bill Priestap.
Unfortunately, the transcript is not provided, and there is no explanation as to why the transcript is not provided; however, one quote seems interesting.
The question surrounds why congressional leadership, including the Gang-of-Eight, were not briefed about the opening of a counterintelligence operation into a presidential campaign. The investigation began on July 31st, 2016. Congress was not notified until early March 2017.
Rep. Jordan: I guess what I’m asking, Mr. Priestap, is who made the decision not to brief Congress in this particular instance?
Mr. Priestap: Mr. Comey.
This answer seems to be directly contradicting the March 20, 2017, testimony of FBI Director James Comey. Watch [the] first 3:00 minutes, ending with: ”because of the sensitivity of the matter.”
So in open testimony Comey said congress was not notified upon the advice of the Director of Counterintelligence, Bill Priestap. However, in closed testimony Bill Priestap says congress was not notified because of a decision by FBI Director James Comey. (Conservative Treehouse, 2/01/2019)
December 7, 2017 – Opinion: THE BIG UGLY – Why U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras Recusal From Mike Flynn Case is a Big Deal
“Last night news broke that U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras “has been recused” from the case overseeing the prosecution of General Mike Flynn. Details are vague. According to Reuters, both the judge and the Flynn legal team have yet to comment.
(…) Obviously, the customary reason for recusal is when there is a conflict of interest between the case as assigned and the judge overseeing it. However, as you can clearly see, in this case it’s rather odd that if a conflict existed the judge would have even begun to oversee the case at the prior hearing. Why wait until six days after the first hearing?
As to the reasoning for the recusal, and stressed against the backdrop of the new information surrounding the investigative practices of the DOJ and FBI, this recusal is potentially both a game-changer and a massive dose of sunlight.
(…) Judge Contreras was in the position of approving FISA warrants at the time when FBI Deputy Head of Counterintelligence, FBI Agent Peter Strzok was assembling the underlying information for the FISA warrant used against candidate Trump.
There is a very real possibility that Judge Contreras signed off on the FISA warrant in October 2016 that initiated the counterintelligence wiretapping and surveillance of the Trump campaign. That wiretapping and surveillance ultimately led to the questioning of Michael Flynn; the consequence of which brings Flynn to Contreras courtroom.
However, before getting to those ramifications it is important to step back for a moment and review the former March 20th, 2017, congressional testimony of FBI Director James Comey.
We have drawn attention to this testimony frequently, because it is one of the few times when congress has pinned Comey down and made him commit to specifics. In fact, for an otherwise innocuous congressional hearing, this specific segment has been viewed over 400,000 times. When we understand the importance of the content – we accept that perhaps even James Comey’s own lawyers have watched it repeatedly.
The first three minutes of this video are what is important. As you watch this testimony remember to overlay what you know now against the James Comey statements from nine months ago.
I would particularly draw your attention to the timeline as Comey describes (counterintelligence investigation beginning in July 2016); and also to pay attention to the person Comey assigns responsibility for keeping congress out of the loop on oversight. Comey points to the DOJ’s National Security Division Head who is in charge of the counterintelligence operations, Bill Priestap. However, Comey doesn’t use Priestap’s name:
…”it’s usually the decision of the head of our
Everything happens in the first three minutes:
It’s obvious James Comey was not anticipating that line of questioning. His discomfort and obfuscation pours out within his words and body language. However, from that testimony we gain insight which we can add to the latest information.
We know the DNC and Clinton Campaign commissioned opposition research in April of 2016 through Fusion GPS, who sub-contracted Christopher Steele. Between April and July of 2016 the retired MI6 agent put together opposition research on Donald Trump centered around a claimed network of dubious and sketchy Russian contacts.
Notice the FBI counterintelligence operation began in July 2016. That directly and specifically lines up with the recent discoveries surrounding Deputy Head of Counterintelligence, FBI Agent Peter Strzok and the new information about Agent Strzok having direct contact with Christopher Steele, the author for the “Russian Dossier”.
Additionally, the July 2016 time-frame lines up with candidate Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination, and also the first application for a wiretapping and surveillance warrant to the FISA court which was unusually denied by a FISA judge.
Very few FISA requests are ever denied. Actually, only like 1 out of 100 are denied. So for a FISA request to be denied, there had to be a really compelling reason to require more than the traditional amount of FBI/DOJ due diligence within the request.
If you consider that monitoring associates within a presidential campaign would certainly be one of those types of requests which would lend a judge GREAT pause, well, perhaps the denial gains perspective. Certainly any FISA judge would easily understand the potential ramifications of the U.S. government conducting surveillance on a presidential campaign.
However, in October 2016 the second FISA request was granted.
What else happened in October of 2016?
According to media reports in October of 2016 the full and completed Russian Dossier was being heavily shopped by Fusion GPS with payments toward journalists. Additionally, in October 2016, according to yesterday’s headlines: DOJ Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce G Ohr was outed and demoted because he too had conversations with Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS etc.
So in the month where a FISA Judge granted the warrant for wiretapping and surveillance, the FBI (via Agent Strzok), and DOJ (via Deputy AG Bruce Ohr), were both in contact with Russian Dossier author Christopher Steele.
October 2016 is EXACTLY when The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out months ago: “No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.” (link)
Are you seeing how the dots connect?
June/July 2016 a FISA request is denied. This is simultaneous to FBI agent Strzok initial contact with Christopher Steele and the preliminary draft of the dossier.
October 2016 a FISA request approved. This is simultaneous to agent Strzok and Assoc. Deputy AG Bruce G Ohr in contact with Christopher Steele and the full dossier.
It would be EXPLOSIVE if it turned out the FISA warrant was gained by deception, misleading/manipulated information, or fraud; and that warrant that led to the wiretapping and surveillance of General Flynn was authorized by FISA Court Judge Contreras – who would now be judge in Flynn’s case.
Is this the recusal reason?
Additionally, was that “Dossier” part of the collective intelligence gathering that led to the ridiculous (January 2017) “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity – Joint Analysis Report“? The report that attempted to give justification for the December 29th Russian sanctions, and made famous by the media falsely claiming 17 agencies agreed on the content.
Back to the timeline we go, and remember NSA head Admiral Mike Rogers was the one Intelligence Community official without *confidence* in the “Joint Analysis Report”.
March 20, 2017 – Rep. Elise Stefanik reveals Comey’s failure to inform the Gang of Eight about the FBI counter-Intel investigation of Trump
“Representative Elise M. Stefanik is a young, freshman republican congresswoman from the Albany New York area. And using a probative questioning timeline, she single-handily pulled the mask from FBI Director James Comey, yet no-one seemed to notice.
Obviously Ms. Stefanik has not been in the swamp long enough to lose her common sense.
In the segment of the questioning below Rep. Stefanik begins by asking director Comey what are the typical protocols, broad standards and procedures for notifying the Director of National Intelligence, the White House and senior congressional leadership (aka the intelligence Gang of Eight), when the FBI has opened a counter-intelligence investigation.
The parsel-tongue response from Comey is a generalized reply (with uncomfortable body language) that notification of counter-Intel investigations are discussed with the White House, and other pertinent officials, on a calendar basis, ie. “quarterly”.
With the statement that such counter-Intel notifications happen “generally quarterly”, and against the backdrop that Comey stated in July of 2016 a counter-Intel investigation began, Stefanik asks:
”When did you notify the White House, the DNI and
BOOM! Watch an extremely uncomfortable Director James Comey outright LIE… by claiming there was no active DNI -which is entirely false- James Clapper was Obama’s DNI.
Watch it again.
Watch that first 3:00 minutes again. Ending with:
“Because of the sensitivity of the matter.” ~ James Comey
Director Comey intentionally obfuscates knowledge of the question from Rep Stefanik; using parseltongue verbiage to get himself away from the sunlit timeline.
The counter-Intel investigation, by his own admission, began in July 2016. Congress was not notified until March 2017. That’s an eight month period – Obviously obfuscating the quarterly claim moments earlier.
The uncomfortable aspect to this line of inquiry is Comey’s transparent knowledge of the politicized Office of the DNI James Clapper by President Obama. Clapper was used rather extensively by the Obama Administration as an intelligence shield, a firewall or useful idiot, on several occasions.
Anyone who followed the Obama White House intel policy outcomes will have a lengthy frame of reference for DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan as the two primary political operatives. Brennan admitted investigating, and spying on, the Senate Intelligence Committee as they held oversight responsibility for the CIA itself.
The first and second questions from Stefanik were clear. Comey’s understanding of the questions was clear. However, Comey directly evaded truthful response to the second question. When you watch the video, you can see Comey quickly connecting the dots on where this inquiry was going.
There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes – wittingly, or unwittingly.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 3/20/2017)