FARA violations

August 12, 2019 – IC IG Michael Atkinson who forwards the hearsay whistleblower complaint against Trump, was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse

Michael Atkinson at his nomination hearing in May 2018. (Credit: public domain)

(…) “It should be emphasized the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community; the guy who accepted the ridiculous premise of a hearsay ‘whistle-blower‘ complaint, who was “blowing-the-whistle” based on second-hand information of a phone call without any direct personal knowledge, is Michael K. Atkinson.

Atkinson’s self-interest:  Michael K Atkinson was previously the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ-NSD). That makes Atkinson senior legal counsel to John Carlin and Mary McCord who were former heads of the DOJ-NSD in 2016 when the stop Trump operation was underway.

[Irony Reminder: The DOJ-NSD was purposefully under no IG oversight. In 2015 the OIG requested oversight and it was Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58 page legal explanation saying, essentially, ‘nope – not allowed.’ (PDF HERE) All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the NSD.]

Put another way, Michael Atkinson was the lawyer for the same DOJ-NSD players who: (1) lied to the FISA court (Judge Rosemary Collyer) about the 80% non compliant NSA database abuse using FBI contractors; (2) filed the FISA application against Carter Page; and (3) used FARA violations as tools for political surveillance and political targeting.

Yes, that means Michael Atkinson was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, at the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse.

Immediately after the Carter Page FISA warrant is approved, in the period where DOJ-NSD head John Carlin has given his notice of intent to leave but not yet left, inside those specific two weeks, the National Security Division of the DOJ tells the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) they have been breaking the law.  The NSD specifically inform the court they are aware of contractors who have been using FISA 702(16)(17) database search queries to extract information on political candidates.

DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz has looked into the FISA application used against U.S. Person Carter Page.  Additionally, U.S. Attorney John Durham is said to be looking at the intelligence communities’ use of systems for spying and surveillance.

If the DOJ-NSD exploitation of the NSA database, and/or DOJ-NSD FISA abuse, and/or DOJ-NSD FARA corruption were ever to reach sunlight, Atkinson -as the lawyer for the process- would be under a lot of scrutiny for his involvement.

Yes, that gives current ICIG Michael Atkinson a strong and corrupt motive to participate with the Schiff/Lawfare impeachment objective.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/22/2019)

August 12 – October 11, 2019: A look at IC IG Michael Atkinson’s activities surrounding the hearsay whistleblower

“Last week the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson, testified behind closed doors to congress. Atkinson testified about his role in bringing the ‘whistle-blower’ complaint forward.  The details of that testimony are now starting to surface and thankfully congress is taking a closer look at the sketchy background of Michael Atkinson.

Michael Atkinson (Credit: public domain)

There are numerous aspects to the whistle-blower (likely CIA operative Michael Barry), and the complaint, that just don’t add up. One of the areas of focus is the backdating of changes made to the ‘whistle-blower’ complaint form.  As Sean Davis notes:

[…] Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, told HPSCI lawmakers during a committee oversight hearing on Friday that the whistleblower forms and rules changes were made in, even though the new forms and guidance, which were not uploaded to the ICIG’s website until September 24, state that they were changed in August.

Despite having a full week to come up with explanations for his office’s decisions to secretly change its forms to eliminate the requirement for first-hand evidence and to backdate those changes to August, Atkinson refused to provide any explanation to lawmakers baffled by his behavior. (read more)

The CIA ‘whistle-blower’ had no first-hand knowledge; everything was based on hearsay.  The CIA operative never informed the ICIG about prior contact and coordination with the House Intelligence Committee (Adam Schiff).  The CIA operative never disclosed congressional contact on the complaint form, and the complaint forms were changed specifically to accommodate this CIA operative.

On Sunday, October 6th, Ranking Member Devin Nunes also discussed his concerns with the testimony of Michael Atkinson.  Nunes noted the testimony “was a joke.”

Nunes told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Sunday host Matt Boyle, “[The ICIG is] either totally incompetent or part of the deep state, and he’s got a lot of questions he needs to answer because he knowingly changed the form and the requirements in order to make sure that this whistleblower complaint got out publicly.”

“So he’s either incompetent or in on it, and he’s going to have more to answer for, I can promise you because we are not going to let him go; he is going to tell the truth about what happened,” Nunes added.  (read more)

ICIG Atkinson never reviewed the call transcript and facilitated the complaint processing despite numerous flaws.  Additionally, Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel that highlighted Atkinson’s poor decision-making.

President Trump announced Joseph Macguire as the Acting ODNI on August 8th, 2019. (link)  The CIA operative “whistle-blower” letter to Adam Schiff and Richard Burr was on August 12th (link).   Immediately following this letter, the ICIG rules and requirements for Urgent Concern “whistle-blowers” was modified, allowing hearsay complaints. On August 28th Adam Schiff begins tweeting about the construct of the complaint.

Given the nature of Atkinson’s background, it appears his prior work in 2016, during his tenure as the lead legal counsel for the DOJ-NSD, likely played a role in his decision.

Here’s Nunes Sunday Interview (audio):

The center of the 2016 Lawfare Alliance election influence was/is the Department of Justice National Security Division, DOJ-NSD. It was the DOJ-NSD running the Main Justice side of the 2016 operations to support Operation Crossfire Hurricane and FBI agent Peter Strzok. It was also the DOJ-NSD where the sketchy legal theories around FARA violations (Sec. 901) originated.

Michael K Atkinson was previously the Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ-NSD) in 2016. That makes Atkinson senior legal counsel to John Carlin and Mary McCord who were the former heads of the DOJ-NSD in 2016 when the stop Trump operation was underway.

Michael Atkinson was the lawyer for the same DOJ-NSD players who: (1) lied to the FISA court (Judge Rosemary Collyer) about the 80% non compliant NSA database abuse using FBI contractors; (2) filed the FISA application against Carter Page; and (3) used FARA violations as tools for political surveillance and political targeting.

Yes, that means Michael Atkinson was Senior Counsel for the DOJ-NSD, at the very epicenter of the political weaponization and FISA abuse.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 10/07/2019)

(Republished with permission)

July 28, 2019 – George Papadopoulos will head to Greece to retrieve $10K payment, federal investigators want to see the marked bills

“Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos told Fox News‘ Maria Bartiromo in an exclusive interview that he is heading back to Greece to retrieve $10,000 that he suspects was dropped in his lap as part of an entrapment scheme by the CIA or FBI — and federal investigators want to see the marked bills, which he said are now stored in a safe.

[Timeline editor’s note: Oddly, the official video released by Bartiromo does not play the interview with Papadopoulos and instead offers the Nunes interview twice. With a little sleuthing, I managed to find a copy posted on an obscure YouTube page, and it appears to have been captured from a television. All other copies lead to the Bartiromo video that has been edited. So essentially, given the censorship we are currently experiencing, there’s no guarantee this video will remain on YouTube. For the sake of posterity, I have captured a screenshot of the interview that is now saved on my hard drive. lol]

Screenshot of Maria Bartiromo and George Papadopoulos on July 28, 2019. (Credit: Fox News)

Papadopoulos said on Sunday Morning Futures he was “very happy” to see Devin Nunes, R-Calif., grill Special Counsel Robert Mueller about the summer 2017 payment during last week’s hearings — even though Mueller maintained, without explanation, that the matter was outside the scope of his investigation.

“I was very happy to see that Devin Nunes brought that up,” Papadopoulos said. “A man named Charles Tawil gave me this money [in Israel] under very suspicious circumstances. A simple Google search about this individual will reveal he was a CIA or State Department asset in South Africa during the ‘90s and 2000s. I think around the time when Bob Mueller was the director of the FBI.

So, I have my theory of what that was all about,” Papadopoulos added. “The money, I gave it to my attorney in Greece because I felt it was given to me under very suspicious circumstances. And upon coming back to the United States I had about seven or eight FBI agents rummaging through my luggage looking for money.”

According to Papadopoulos, “the whole setup” by the “FBI likely, or even the special counsel’s office,” was intended to “bring a FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] violation against me.” The FARA statute played a key role in the prosecutions of former Trump aides, including Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort.” (Read more: Fox News, 7/28/2019)

July 10, 2019 – Judge slams government argument that Michael Flynn is a ‘co-conspirator’ in former partner’s trial

Judge Anthony Trenga (Credit: American Law Institute)

“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)

March 28, 2019 – The Corruption and Influence of Jessie K Liu

“What do the following four points have in common?

  • The manipulated DC legal case surrounding the Awan brothers; and how they escaped full accountability, likely due to need to protect politicians. (House of Representatives)  The sweetheart plea deal.
  • The manipulated DC legal case surrounding SSCI Security Director James Wolfe; and how he was allowed to plea only to lying to investigators when the evidence was clear from the outset how he leaked classified information to his journalist concubine. Again, likely due to the need to protect politicians. (SSCI, Senate) The sweetheart plea deal.
  • The manipulated DC legal case surrounding Obama lawyer Greg Craig; and how he escaped accountability for FARA violations by running out the statute of limitations and burying Mueller’s evidence for 18 months.  Again, likely due to the need to protect politicians (Obama White House).  Sweetheart double standards.
  • The manipulated DC legal case, a non-filing, surrounding former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for lying to INSD investigators about his media leaks.  Again, likely due to the need to protect the administrative state.  Criminal referral (April 19, 2018); grand jury (Approx. July 2018); Status?… Oh, wait for it….

Jessie Liu (Credit: Jabin Bosford/WaPo)

If you note the common thread is: U.S. Attorney for DC, Jessie K Liu, well, you would be entirely accurate.  Oh, but wait, we’ve only just begun.

Pay attention to the timelines.

While newly confirmed Attorney General William Barr was/is “getting his arms” around ongoing corruption within the organization he is now attempting to lead, there was an announcement on March 5th, about U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu becoming the #3 official at the DOJ.

Three weeks later, on March 28th, there was an announcement about a change of plans, and U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu’s name was withdrawn from consideration.

In addition to AG Bill Barr “getting his arms around” issues within the department, what else happened between March 5th and March 28th that would so drastically change plans for Ms. Liu?:

On March 21st Representatives Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows send a letter (full pdf available here) to Attorney General William Barr wanting to know what is the status of the year-old (April 19th, 2018) criminal referral for fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. (link)

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 4/14/2019)

October 20, 2017 – Rod Rosenstein issues a second scope memo to Robert Mueller, giving his team ammunition and authority to investigate specific targets

“The second scope memo was issued by Rod Rosenstein to Robert Mueller on October 20th, 2017.  The transparent intent of the second scope memo was to provide Weissmann and Mueller with ammunition and authority to investigate specific targets, for specific purposes.  One of those targets was General Michael Flynn’s son, Michael Flynn Jr.

As you review the highlighted portion below, found on pages 12 and 13 of the Weissmann report, read slowly and fully absorb the intent; the corruption is blood-boiling:

This second scope memo allowed Weissmann and Mueller to target tangentially related persons and entities bringing in Michael Cohen, Richard Gates, Roger Stone, and Michael Flynn Jr.  Additionally and strategically (you’ll see why), this memo established the authority to pursue “jointly undertaken activity“.

With Paul Manafort outlined as an investigative target in the original authorization and the first scope memo, the second scope memo authorizes expansion to his business partner Richard Gates and their joint businesses.   This memo also permits the investigation of Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and all of his interests; and in ultimate weasel sunlight, Rosenstein authorizes an investigation of his boss, AG Jeff Sessions.

Before getting to more targets, notice the underlined passage about starting with a lot of investigative material because the special counsel was picking up a Russian interference  investigation that had been ongoing for “nearly 10 months.”

I would also note that our CTH research indicates all of the illegally extracted FISA-702(16)(17) database search results would be part of this pre-existing investigative file available immediately to Weissmann and Mueller.  However, in order to use the search-query evidence, Weissmann and Mueller would need to backfill some alternate justification; or find another way to “rediscover” the preexisting results….. I digress

The four identified targets within the original  investigation, “Operation Crossfire Hurricane”, were George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Carter Page. (See HPSCI report):

General Flynn was under investigation from the outset in mid-2016. The fraudulent FBI counterintelligence operation, established by CIA Director John Brennan, had Flynn as one of the early targets when Brennan handed the originating electronic communication“EC” to FBI Director James Comey.

The investigation of General Flynn never stopped throughout 2016 and led to the second investigative issue of his phone call with Russian Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016:

Back to the Page #12 October 20th Scope Memo:

The first redaction listed under “personal privacy” is unconfirmed; however, the second related redaction is a specific person, Michael Flynn Jr.

In combination with the October timing, the addition of Flynn Jr to the target list relates to the ongoing 2016/2017 investigation of his father, General Michael Flynn, for: (1) possible conspiracy with a foreign government; (2) unregistered lobbying; (3) materially false statements and omissions on 2017 FARA documents; and (4) lying to the FBI.

This October 20th, 2017, request from Weissmann and Mueller aligns with the time-frame were special counsel team lawyers Brandon LVan Grack and Zainab N. Ahmad were prosecuting Michael Flynn and attempting to force him into a guilty plea

Getting Rosenstein to authorize adding Mike Flynn Jr. to the target list (scope memo) meant the special counsel could threaten General Flynn with the indictment of his son as a co-conspirator tied to the Turkish lobbying issue (which they did) if he doesn’t agree to a plea. Remember: “jointly undertaken activity“.

The October 20th, 2017, expanded scope memo authorized Mueller to start demanding records, phones, electronic devices and other evidence from Mike Flynn Jr, and provided the leverage Weissmann wanted.  After all, Mike Flynn Jr. had a four-month-old baby. 

The amount of twisted pressure from this corrupt team of prosecutors is sickening.  A month later, General Flynn was signing a plea agreement:

The IG Report on James Comey Memos Outlined the Fraud of Mueller Probe Origination.

All of this information backstops the 19-page filing from last week (full pdf below), where Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell walked 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 bolstered by the IG Horowitz report on how the FBI “small group” was manipulating the media, and hiding Comey memos.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/02/2019)

June 13, 2017 – FOIA documents show evidence of a Weissmann/Mueller entrapment scheme against George Papadopoulos

“Recently release FOIA documents into the special counsel team of Robert Mueller reveal the remarkable trail of a 2017 entrapment scheme conducted by Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann to target George Papadopoulos.

(Hat Tip to Undercover Huber and Rosie Memos who have been reviewing documents.)

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

Before digging into the details it is important to note this is a DOJ/FBI entrapment operation being conducted in 2017 by the special counsel; this is not prior to the 2016 election. The detail surrounds a series of events previously discussed {Go Deep} where George Papadopoulos was approached by a known CIA operative named Charles Tawil.

In 2017 George Papadopoulos and his wife Simona were approached in Greece by a known CIA/FBI operative, Charles Tawil.  Mr. Tawil enlisted George as a business consultant, under the auspices of energy development interests, and invited him to Israel.

On June 8th, 2017, in Israel under very suspicious circumstances, where Papadopoulos felt very unnerved, Mr. Tawil hands him $10,000 in cash for future consultancy based on a $10k/month retainer.

On June 9th, 2017, according to his book, Papadopoulos and Tawil fly back to Cyprus.

In interviews Papadopoulos said he was uncomfortable with the way the encounters had taken place.  He became suspect of Tawil’s motives; something didn’t feel right.  Instead of keeping the cash, Papadopoulos gave the money to an attorney in Greece before traveling back to the U.S. on July 27th, 2017.

Upon arrival at Dulles airport on July 27th, 2017, Robert Mueller had FBI agents waiting.  Papadopoulos was stopped and his bags were searched; however, he did not have the cash because he smartly left it in Greece with his lawyer.  Papadopoulos was detained overnight by FBI agents, and questioned.

(…) Stanley said Papadopoulos arrived on a Lufthansa flight from Munich that touched down at about 7 p.m. on July 27, and the FBI intercepted him as soon as he got off the plane.

“He was arrested [detained] before he got to Customs and he was then held at the airport before being brought to a law enforcement office,” Stanley recalled. (link)

According to Politico:

When he was arrested [detained] at Dulles Airport on July 27 after coming off a flight from Munich, prosecutors had no warrant for him and no indictment or criminal complaint. The complaint would be filed the following morning and approved by Howell in Washington.

And when prosecutors filed the complaint the next day they got a spoken order from Howell to seal it, but followed up with a written request that they could take to the magistrate in Alexandria, where they showed up almost an hour later than she expected.

All of it suggests something of a scramble, rather than a carefully prepared plan to take Papadopoulos into custody. (more)

Here’s where the recent revelations come in.  According to Andrew Weissmann’s schedule on June 13th, 2017, he was in conversations surrounding the basis of a Cyprus Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT):

So overlaying the timeline:

  • 6/8/17 US intelligence asset Charles Tawil gives George $10K cash in Israel
  • 6/9/17 George Papadopoulos flies to Cyprus w $10K
  • 6/13/17 Andrew Weissmann starts series of “Cyprus MLAT” meetings with FBI
  • 6/13/17 Andrew Weissmann phone call w/ FBI Money Laundering and Asset Recovery “MLARS” section of FBI.

It would appear Weissmann was well aware of the Cyprus “Tawil operation” and engaged in communication regarding Cyprus.  Additionally, he was discussing “Money Laundering and Asset Recovery” w/ FBI.  [MLARS Link]

Taken in combination with hindsight of the search for the cash, and lack of a pre-existing warrant at the airport, this is clear evidence of a coordinated operation to entrap Papadopoulos.

Remember, the preferred approach toward targeting Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos surrounded FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) lobbying violations.  Papadopoulos has stated the special counsel threatened him with charges of acting as a unregistered agent for Israel.  There’s a clear picture here.

#1) Papadopoulos was lured to Israel and paid in Israel to give the outline of a FARA premise (ie. Papadopoulos is an agent of Israel).  #2) Bringing $10,000 (or more) in cash into the U.S., without reporting, is a violation of U.S. treasury laws.  Add into that aspect the FARA violation and the money can be compounded into #3) laundering charges.

(A “laundering” charge applies if the money is illegally obtained.  The FARA violation would be the *illegal* aspect making the treasury charges heavier. Note: the use of the airport baggage-check avoids the need for a search warrant.)

Andrew Weissmann was conducting an entrapment scheme that would have ended up with three violations of law: (1) Treasury violation; (2) FARA violation; (3) Money laundering…. All it needed was Papadopoulos to carry the undeclared cash into the U.S.

However, because Papadopoulos suspected something, and left the money in Greece with his lawyers, upon arrival at the airport the operation collapsed in reverse.  No money means no treasury violation, no laundering and no evidence of the consultancy agreement (which would have been repurposed in the DOJ filing to mean lobbying for Israel via Mr. Tawil who would have become a confidential informant and witness).

That operational collapse is why the FBI agents were “scrambling” at the airport and why they had no pre-existing criminal complaint.  The entrapment’s success was contingent upon the cash.

Lastly, to repeat, this entire scenario was constructed by the DOJ/FBI team operation in 2017.  The members of the Special Counsel were running the entrapment operation; the FBI agents were participating in the operation.  This is not *investigating* criminal conduct; this is manufacturing criminal conduct.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was in charge of the Mueller Special Counsel.

The only way DAG Rosenstein and Robert Mueller didn’t know about the operation is if they both claim that Andrew Weissmann was completely rogue and in control over the FBI agents.

Oh, wait, what does the Mueller report say about the FBI agents and their chain-of-legal guidance and command? (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/11/2019)