exculpatory evidence

December 20, 2019 – Adam Schiff says he has no sympathy for Carter Page, doesn’t regret writing memo defending FBI

Adam Schiff appears on PBS Firing Line with Margaret Hoover on December 20, 2019. (Credit: PBS clipping)

“Rep. Adam Schiff said in an interview aired Friday that he has no sympathy for Carter Page and that he also has no regrets about writing in a memo released in 2018 that the FBI did not abuse the foreign surveillance process in order to spy on the former Trump campaign aide.

Schiff offered the remarks when asked in a PBS interview about the Justice Department inspector general’s (IG) report, which found the FBI withheld exculpatory information in applications seeking Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page.

(…) “I have to say Carter Page came before our committee and for hours of his testimony, denied things that we knew were true, later had to admit them during his testimony,” said Schiff.

“It’s hard to be sympathetic to someone who isn’t honest with you when he comes and testifies under oath. It’s also hard to be sympathetic when you have someone who has admitted to being an adviser to the Kremlin.”

The report stated the FBI relied heavily on the Steele dossier in the applications, which asserted Page was a Russian agent. But the IG found the FBI was unable to corroborate any of the dossier’s allegations about Page. The report also said a major source for dossier author Christopher Steele told the FBI in January 2017 that parts of the dossier were exaggerated and misrepresented.

(Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/21/2019)  (Archive)

UPDATE: Carter Page tweets a response to Adam Schiff the following day:

December 9, 2019 – IG Report: The FBI doctored evidence to falsely paint Carter Page as a Russian spy

Kevin Clinesmith (Credit: public domain)

“A wide-ranging investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general (IG) found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) deliberately doctored evidence it presented to the nation’s top spy court in order to gain authority to spy on a key Trump affiliate.

The 476-page report from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the FBI falsely claimed to the FISA Court not only that Carter Page was a Russian agent, but also falsely claimed that an unnamed intelligence agency had told the FBI that Page was “not a source” in their efforts to surveil and curtail Russian intelligence efforts.

Page, who had previously been an informant and witness for the United States in a federal espionage case against a Russian intelligence official, was targeted by the Obama FBI as a Russian spy helping Putin to steal the election from Hillary Clinton in 2016. According to the IG report, before the FBI and DOJ went to the FISA Court to apply for a warrant to spy on Page, an unnamed U.S. intelligence agency had told the FBI that Carter Page had previously assisted that agency’s efforts against Russian spies. Although exculpatory information about potential spy targets is required in spy warrant applications, Obama’s FBI and DOJ deliberately withheld that information from the spy court in order to paint Page in the worst possible light.

Carter Page (Credit: public domain)

The FBI’s malfeasance in the matter did not stop there. Ahead of an application to renew the spy warrant in 2017, a top FBI lawyer doctored evidence from the unnamed agency which confirmed that contrary to FBI claims that he was a Russian spy, Page had in fact assisted the United States in its efforts to counter Russian operations. An e-mail from the agency that clearly stated Page was “a source” for them was doctored by Kevin Clinesmith, a top FBI national security lawyer, to give the opposite impression to the federal spy court.

“The [Office of General Counsel] Attorney altered and sent the e-mail to a [supervisory special agent], who thereafter relied on it to swear out the third FISA application,” the IG report notes. Upon learning that a top FBI lawyer doctored evidence against a former Trump campaign affiliate to justify spying on him, the IG referred the attorney to DOJ for criminal prosecution.

Text messages from that same lawyer after the 2016 election revealed that he was an anti-Trump activist. “Viva la Resistance!” he texted on November 22, 2016, while in the midst of investigating Trump. He would later be terminated from the Mueller probe for conduct which a previous IG report said “brought discredit” to the FBI. Of FBI documents he approved authorizing spying on Trump campaign, Clinesmith wrote: “[M]y god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.”

“[W]ho knows if that breaks to him what he is going to do,” Clinesmith continued, apparently worried about the ramifications of his illicit behavior against the Trump campaign. It is unclear whether he doctored evidence against Trump to protect his own career and reputation or simply because of anti-Trump animus. At the time, Clinesmith worked under James Baker, the FBI General Counsel who was a close confidant of fired former director James Comey. Baker was one of a slew of former deputies who resigned or were fired as the Russia collusion hoax imploded.” (Read more: The Federalist, 12/10/2019)  (Archive)

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)

September 10, 2019 – Attorney Sidney Powell argues General Flynn’s case should be dismissed over ‘egregious government misconduct’

General Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell (Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“An attorney for Michael Flynn said in federal court Tuesday she may seek a dismissal of charges against the former national security adviser, citing “egregious conduct and suppression” of exculpatory information in the case.

Prosecutors handling the case had a surprise of their own, telling Judge Emmet Sullivan that they are now reserving the option of recommending jail time for Flynn, instead of just probation. Prosecutors with the special counsel’s team last year recommended that Flynn receive probation without jail time because of his substantial cooperation in several investigations.

But Flynn’s situation has changed dramatically since then. He no longer has to meet with the special counsel’s team since the Russia probe has ended. And in Junehe hired a new legal team that has aggressively challenged the government’s investigation of Flynn.

Flynn’s defense attorney, Sidney Powell, told Judge Emmet Sullivan that the legal team has no plans to pull out of a plea deal that Flynn struck with the special counsel on Dec. 1, 2017. Instead, Powell is questioning the basis of the government’s case against Flynn and may seek to have charges thrown out altogether. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/10/2019)

September 10, 2019 – Michael Flynn and his attorney, Sidney Powell, return to court – Powell confirms Rosenstein authorized targeting of Flynn Jr. for leverage

“Today Michael Flynn and his attorney Sidney Powell returned to federal court for a status hearing before Judge Emmet Sullivan.  Generally status hearings are uneventful; however, this hearing falls on the heels of an explosive filing by Flynn’s defense outlining allegations of serious prosecutorial misconduct; and claims the DOJ is withholding Brady material.

Before getting into the heart of the proceedings, here is Ms. Sidney Powell appearing on Fox News to discuss the events today.  In this interview Ms. Powell confirms something we have previously presented; Rod Rosenstein authorized Robert Mueller to target Michael Flynn Jr. in order to provide leverage for a Flynn guilty plea.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/10/2019)

August 30, 2019 – Flynn attorney Sidney Powell walks through the history of the DOJ, FBI and intelligence apparatus weaponization against Mr. Flynn

“In an explosive response filing today, which includes the phrase ”sunlight is the best disinfectant,” attorney Sidney Powell has outlined the soup-to-nuts construct of the malicious government action taken during their targeting her client Michael Flynn.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

Clip from Attorney Sidney Powell’s filing on behalf of Lt. General Michael Flynn.

In the 19-pages (full pdf below), Ms. Powell walks through the history of the DOJ, FBI and intelligence apparatus weaponization against Mr. Flynn and lays out the background behind everything known to have happened in 2016, 2017 through today.

From the corrupt DOJ lawyers who were working with Fusion-GPS and Chris Steele, including Mr. Weissmann, Mr. Van Grack and Ms. Zainab Ahmad; to the 2015/2016 FISA database search abuses; to the CIA and FBI operation against Flynn including Nellie Ohr; to the schemes behind the use of DOJ official Bruce Ohr; to the corrupt construct of the special counsels office selections; to the specifics within the malicious conspiracy outlined by hiding FBI interview notes of Mike Flynn,… all of it…is a stunning filing that many CTH readers are well prepared to understand.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/30/2019)

 

August 14, 2019 – Pentagon analyst and whistleblower Adam S. Lovinger is cleared on allegations of leaking to the media and mishandling classified information

Adam Lovinger (Credit: GoFundMe)

“A confidential counterintelligence investigation cleared suspended Pentagon analyst Adam S. Lovinger on allegations of leaking data to the news media, but officials never told his defense team.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) examined Mr. Lovinger’s use of classified computer networks. In a 2018 report, the NCIS said its review “did not reveal any potential CI (counter intelligence) concerns,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Times.

(…) Before his suspension, Mr. Lovinger complained internally that the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) was not doing its job by failing to produce reports on future threats known as “net assessments.” Instead, the office was awarding contracts for outside academic-style reports, he said.

One paid contractor was Stefan Halper, the Washington national security figure who while at Cambridge University became an FBI informant to spy on Trump campaign associates in 2016.

Federal security clearance attorney, Sean Bigley (Credit: public domain)

Here is how Mr. Bigley discovered the NCIS verdict:

Judicial Watch, a conservative investigative nonprofit run by Tom Fitton, joined the Lovinger team. It filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to obtain the Pentagon’s file on Mr. Lovinger.

Mr. Fitton hit pay dirt. The Pentagon turned over a number of email threads. Buried in them was a passing reference to the NCIS. Nothing more.

Mr. Bigley then filed an open records request. Last month, the NCIS turned over its 2018 report.

The attorney said he was stunned. He never knew the probe even existed, but less its findings.

He also discovered the Pentagon knew his client was exonerated on the leak issue.

The NCIS report states that the investigative agency specifically informed the Office of Net Assessment.

“ONA was apprised of the status of the investigation,” the report states.

The report also shows that the requesting agency in August 2017 was the Pentagon’s Washington Headquarters Services. It is the organization that revoked Mr. Lovinger’s clearance and brought the case against him.

Mr. Bigley said that NCIS surely informed Washington Headquarters Services of its findings since it had asked for the probe.

The Washington Times submitted a query about Mr. Bigley’s complaint to the Pentagon press office, which didn’t respond.

Mr. Bigley said the administrative judge did not find Mr. Lovinger guilty of leaking to the press. But he said that is beside the point. The attorney said he spent hours preparing a defense on that charge, not knowing there was an NCIS report that already had cleared his client. Government attorneys pressed the leak case during the hearing, he said.

By not being told of the exoneration, Mr. Bigley also was denied the opportunity to present the NCIS report as evidence.

“The leaking allegation against Mr. Lovinger was by far the most serious claim brought against him by DoD,” Mr. Bigley told The Times. “We believe that the government hid this exculpatory evidence because they knew that their other allegations were a smorgasbord of nonsense that would never independently have gotten off the runway.”

Director of the Office of Net Assessment, James H. Baker (Credit: public domain)

In a May 2017 memo, Washington Headquarters Services outlined why it was suspending Mr. Lovinger’s security clearance.

There were two general categories: He mishandled a classified document and shared “sensitive” material with others.

Second, he played a role with a contractor in leaks to the Washington Free Beacon about the Office of Net Assessment’s supposed failings under Director James Baker.

The NCIS report refuted that: “An interview of former ONA contractor did not yield any information of concern.”

“According to Mr. Baker, the leak had disastrous consequences for the ONA mission,” the report added.

In his July letter to the Defense Department inspector general, Mr. Bigley said Pentagon lawyers “failed to make any mention of the NCIS findings in their case, failed to turn over the NCIS investigative report, and failed to even alert this attorney that a report existed which effectively exonerated Mr. Lovinger of the most serious allegation against him.”

That same month, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense sent Mr. Lovinger a firing memo. Since he needed a security clearance to work at ONA and his had been revoked, Mr. Lovinger was being terminated.

Mr. Bigley fired off a return letter saying the termination was premature.

“Nothing underscores ‘whistleblower reprisal’ quite like rushing to terminate a whistleblower from federal service before the Department’s own IG can complete its statutory obligation of an independent, thorough investigation,” he said.” (Read more: The Washington Times, 8/17/2019)

August 4, 2019 – George Papadopoulos and Stefan Halper’s secret informant transcripts reveal a FBI sting operation

(…) “Maria Bartiromo segued into a discussion of George Papadopoulos and the secret informant transcripts; from recordings that were part of the FBI sting operation using U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper; and are now being held in evidence by U.S. Attorney John Durham and Inspector General Michael Horowitz. [Background] Keep in mind Gowdy has seen these transcripts.

According to Bartiromo those transcripts include FBI wire-taps of Halper attempting to get Papadopulos to accept assistance from Russia (delivering Clinton emails), and George Papadopoulos absolutely refusing to accept any engagement therein.  Confirming that outline, Gowdy notes there are more recordings (and transcripts) of a similar nature, where the FBI was attempting to bait other Trump campaign officials.” (Read much more: Conservative Treehouse,  8/04/2019)

July 26, 2019 – DOJ’s Russia probe review focusing on ‘smoking gun’ tapes of meeting with George Papadopoulos

George Papadopoulos leaves federal prison on December 7, 2018, after serving 12 days. (Credit: public domain)

“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)

May 31, 2019 – Devin Nunes: “It’s all a fraud” – Deceptive edits found in Mueller Report

The Mueller Team (Credit: Zero Hedge)

“Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Saturday called for the immediate release of “all backup and source information” for the Mueller report after internet sleuth @almostjingo (Rosie Memos) discovered that the special counsel’s office deceptively edited content which was then cited as evidence of possible obstruction.

“It’s all a fraud” tweeted Nunes, replying to a tweet by @JohnWHuber (Undercover Huber), who also posted a comparison between the Mueller report and a newly released transcript of a November 2017 voicemail message left by former Trump lawyer John Dowd, in which he asked former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s attorney for a “heads up” if Flynn was planning on saying anything that might damage the president.

Mueller’s team omitted key context suggesting that Dowd was trying to strongarm Flynn and possibly obstruct justice by shaping witness testimony, while the actual voicemail reveals that Dowd was careful not to tread into obstruction territory in what was a friendly and routine call between lawyers.

Dowd qualifies his request by saying “without you having to give up any…confidential information” in order to determine “If, on the other hand, we have, there’s information that…implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue, or maybe a national security issue, I don’t know… some issue, we got to-we got to deal with, not only for the President but for the country.”

Mueller’s deceptive edits beg the question; what else may have been manipulated by the special counsel to make Trump look guilty? When reached for comment by attorney ‘Techno Fog’ (@Techno_Fog), Dowd said of the edits: “It is unfair and despicable. It was a friendly  privileged call between counsel – with NO conflict. I think Flynn got screwed.”

Dowd told Fox News: “During the joint defense relationship, counsel for the president provided to Flynn’s counsel documents, advice and encouragement to provide to SC [the special counsel] as part of his effort to cooperate with the SC,” adding “SC never raised or questioned the president’s counsel about these allegations despite numerous opportunities to do so.”

Flynn pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about contacts with Russians and is currently awaiting sentencing.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has resisted a court order to release the transcripts of Flynn’s conversations with Russian officials, including former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

This raises at least two questions. First, did the DOJ give Flynn the transcripts?And second, did the DOJ violate a previous court order from Judge Emmett Sullivan to produce evidence during discovery?”

(Read more: Zero Hedge, 6/02/2019)