FBI Counterintelligence Division
June 12, 2019 – Devin Nunes compares the Mueller report to the Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier
“Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, sharply criticized the Mueller report during a June 12 hearing, saying the report failed to address key players and irregularities in the FBI’s investigation and contained selectively edited information.
Nunes also called out his Democratic counterparts, saying that former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report did debunk many of the false claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia that had been perpetuated by Democrats, including members of the House Intelligence Committee.
Witnesses at the hearing—titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Counterintelligence Implications of Volume 1″—included Robert Anderson and Stephanie Douglas, described by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) as former executives from the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Left out of Schiff’s description was the fact that both witnesses had worked under former FBI Director Mueller prior to his role as special counsel.
(…) Nunes, who referred to the Mueller report as “the Mueller dossier,” noted that it “either debunked many of their favorite conspiracy theories or did not even find them worth discussing.” Nunes then provided a specific list:
- “Mueller’s finding that Michael Cohen did not travel to Prague to conspire with Russians.
- No evidence that Carter Page conspired with Russians.
- No mention of Paul Manafort visiting Julian Assange in London.
- No mention of secret communications between a Trump Tower computer server and Russia’s Alfa Bank.
- And no mention of former NRA lawyer Cleta Mitchell or her supposed knowledge of a scheme to launder Russian money through the NRA for the Trump campaign. Insinuations against Mitchell originated with Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson and were first made public in a document published by Democrats on this committee.”
May 19, 2019 – Trey Gowdy says he has seen exculpatory transcripts of FBI spies engaged with Papadopoulos
“In September 2016 the FBI used a longtime informant, Stefan Halper, to make contact with George Papadopoulos, pay him $3k and fly him to London for consulting work and a policy paper on Mediterranean energy issues.
As part of the spy operation the FBI sent a female intelligence operative (a spy) under the alias Azra Turk to pose as Halper’s assistant and engage Papdopoulos. A month later the FBI used Papadopoulos as a supplemental basis for a FISA warrant against Carter Page.
Former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Trey Gowdy, tells Maria Bartiromo that he has seen transcripts of the Halper/Turk operation, and those transcripts exonerate Papadopoulos.
Bartiromo: I’m really glad you brought that up; the FBI agents’ discussion with George Papadopoulos. Because when the FBI sends in informants to someone they’re looking at, typically those conversations are recorded right? Those people are wired?
Gowdy: Yeah, I mean if the bureau is going to send an informant in, the informant is going to be wired; and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls there’s going to be a transcript of that.
And some of us have been fortunate enough to know whether or not those transcripts exist; but they haven’t been made public and I think one in-particular is going – it has the potential to actually persuade people. Very little in this Russia probe I’m afraid is going to persuade people who hate Trump, or who love Trump, but there is some information in these transcripts that I think has the potential to be a game-changer if it’s ever made public.
Bartiromo: You say that’s exculpatory evidence and when people see that they’re going to say: wait, why wasn’t this presented to the court earlier?
Gowdy: Yeah, you know, Johnny Ratcliffe is rightfully exercised over the obligations that the government has to tell the whole truth to the court when you are seeking permission to spy, or do surveillance, on an American. And part of that includes the responsibility of providing exculpatory information, or information that tends to show the person did not do something wrong. If you have exculpatory information, and you don’t share it with the court, that ain’t good. I’ve seen it, Johnny’s seen it, I’d love for your viewers to see it.
May 16, 2019 – The “Steele” dossier source who falsely claimed there was a Russian Consulate in Miami was ALSO a source for the Moscow “pee tape”
A partial Twitter thread by independent researcher, Undercover Huber @JohnWHuber:
“The “Steele” dossier source who falsely claimed there was a Russian Consulate in Miami was ALSO a source for the Moscow “pee tape” AND **the key source** alleging an “extensive conspiracy” between the Trump campaign & Russia involving Manafort and Page ?
Christopher Steele tells State Dept. Official Kathleen Kavalec on Oct 11 2016 that a “human/technical operation run out of Moscow targeting the election” is “hacking” and “recruiting” and “payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian Consulate in Miami.”
Kavalec (likely after a cursory search) says “It is important to note there is no Russian Consulate in Miami.” ?
This is critical to the credibility of Steele’s source for this “payments to hackers” allegation: if they’re wrong about “Miami” what *else* are they wrong about? ?
N.B: Kavalec was right: at the time, the Russian Consulate in Florida was 450 km away from Miami, in Tampa (apparently in the same building as the US Commerce Dept.) – literally a 60 second Google search would have shown that this allegation about payments from “Miami” was false.
(FYI: These notes from Kavalec are immediately forwarded to Stephen Laycock in FBI Counterintelligence, who then passes them on to Peter Strzok (note: the Page FISA is generated out of the Counterespionage section [CD4] of the Counterintelligence division, which Strzok supervises.)
Here is the part of Steele’s dossier about the “Miami” payments to “cyber operators” (i.e. hackers) “based in the U.S.” and it is attributed to…
…”SOURCE E” ?
(“Miami” is not mentioned anywhere else in the dossier except attributed to Source E)
Source E also “confirms” the Trump/hookers “pee tape” allegations and provides an introduction to a Ritz-Carlton hotel employee for validation of this kompromat allegation.
Steele even tells Kavalec that he’s only “persuaded the story about the prostitutes is accurate” *BECAUSE OF SOURCE E*. The same guy who doesn’t know where the Russian Consulate is in Florida? Yep, he’s the Pee Tape confirmation.
Reminder: Intel sources called Steele “meticulous” with a “formidable record.”
Back to Source E. He is *also* the primary source for “Steele’s” explosive claim of a “well-developed conspiracy of cooperation between [Trump] and the Russian leadership”, which is managed by Paul Manafort via @carterwpage, including the DNC hacking/release to Wikileaks. ?
That allegation of a conspiracy involving Page and members of the Trump campaign to interfere in the election in “coordination” with Russia is what the FBI/DOJ swore they believed to the FISA court. “Conspiracy” is also the exact word needed to implicate potential federal crimes.
- The FBI should have known there was no Russian Consulate in Miami *themselves*, when they attempted to verify the dossier claims
- Even if the FBI didn’t try and properly verify the dossier (likely), Kavalec told the FBI this fact explicitly *BEFORE THE FISA*
- So, Steele’s SOURCE E for the “Miami” payments is giving Steele FALSE information, either mistakenly, or worse: deliberately
- The next logical source verification step once the FBI realizes this is to check all of the *other* allegations made by SOURCE E as they’re also suspect
There is no evidence that the FBI/DOJ even tried to verify the dossier before the FISA, and no evidence they even informed the FISC that SOURCE E was potentially unreliable after the first FISA was sought.
And it gets worse… (Read more: Undercover Huber, 5/16/2019)
(Timeline editor’s note: We believe there are several timeline entries that suggest Cody Shearer could be Source E. You can find his tag archive HERE:)
- Carter Page
- Christopher Steele
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Cody Shearer
- DNC hack
- FBI Counterintelligence Division
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA application
- Kathleen Kavalec
- May 2019
- Moscow pee tape
- Paul Manafort
- payments to hackers
- Peter Strzok
- Ritz-Carlton Moscow
- Russia collusion
- Russian Miami Consulate
- Source E
- Stephen Laycock
- Trump campaign
May 14, 2019 – Devin Nunes on the importance of exposing the real origins of the Russia narrative
“Devin Nunes appears on Fox News to discuss why the origin of the Russia narrative is important. The scale and scope of the fraudulent construct is now a strongly enmeshed narrative, toxic to the systems of cohesive government:
If you read the Weissmann/Mueller report carefully one aspect stands out strongly; the Mueller investigation was fully committed to The Steele Dossier. An inordinate amount of the report is focused on justifying their investigative validity and purpose in looking at the claims within the Steele Dossier.
Repeatedly, the investigative unit references their mandate based around the Steele Dossier, and the mid-summer 2016 origin of the FBI counterintelligence operation.
Why? Why was/is Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the Steele Dossier (Oct. ’16) so important to the principle intelligence apparatus, and the Mueller team (’17, ’18, ’19)?
I believe former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers has told us the answer. In early 2016 Rogers caught on to a massive and pre-existing weaponization of government surveillance and the use of collected NSA metadata for political spy operations. Everything, that comes AFTER March 2016 is one big blanket cover-up operation….. ALL OF IT.
The Russian election interference narrative; the use of Joseph Mifsud, Stefan Halper, the London and Australian embassy personnel; Erika Thompson, Alexander Downer, U.S. DIA officials; everything around Crossfire Hurricane; and everything after to include the construct of the Steele Dossier; all of it was needed for the creation of an ‘after-the-fact‘ plausible justification to cover-up what Mike Rogers discovered in early 2016, AND the downstream unmasked records that existed in the Obama White House SCIF.
Fusion GPS was not hired in April 2016 to research Donald Trump. The intelligence community was already doing surveillance and spy operations. They already knew everything about the Trump campaign. The Obama intelligence community needed Fusion GPS to give them a justification for pre-existing surveillance and spy operations.
That’s why the FBI, and later the Mueller team, are so strongly committed to, and defending, the formation of the Steele Dossier and its dubious content.
On Pages #11 and #12 of the Weissmann/Mueller report, the special counsel team outlines the purpose and intent of the probe as delivered by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Within these pages Mueller outlines the August 2nd Scope Memo that has previously been hidden and remains redacted through today.
Read the highlighted portion carefully to understand the scope of the instructions. Note the careful wording “the Special Counsel had been authorized since his appointment to investigate allegations”… This means from Day #1 of the special counsel, the scope of the probe was always to investigate the claims within the Ohr/Steele Dossier:
The August 2nd Scope Memo additionally authorized the investigation of “certain other matters” specifically relating to Manafort (financial crimes), and Papadopolous and Flynn (FARA violations).
These paragraphs tell us a great deal about what originated the purpose of the FBI investigation and the continued purpose of the special counsel. Remember, the special counsel was a continuance of the FBI counterintelligence operation which officially began on July 31st, 2016. [The unofficial beginning was much earlier]
Understanding now that Mueller is saying from Day One he was investigating the Steele Dossier; here’s where we all need to question the assumptions.
Why is the Steele Dossier so important?” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/14/2019)
- Admiral Mike Rogers
- Andrew Weissmann
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Crossfire Hurricane
- Devin Nunes
- FBI Counterintelligence Division
- Fusion GPS
- George Papadopoulos
- Lt. General Michael Flynn
- May 2019
- Mueller Report
- Mueller Special Counsel Investigation
- Paul Manafort
- political corruption
- political spying
- pre-existing surveillance
- Robert Mueller
- Rod Rosenstein
- Russia narrative
- Russia probe
- scope memo
May 9, 2019 – Alexander Downer defends the FBI tipoff that sparked the Trump-Russia probe
“Calling himself a “warrior for the Western alliance,” former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer defended sending in the tip that sparked the FBI’s investigation of then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.
In his most extensive interview on the topic to date, Downer gave his version of a conversation he had with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos in London in May 2016 that would serve as the catalyst for the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe.
Downer, who served as Australia’s top diplomat to the U.K. at the time, provided a memo he wrote following the meeting to the FBI more than two months later. According to Downer, Papadopoulos mentioned that Russia might have information on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that they could release before the 2016 election.
Downer disputed claims that the ex-diplomat was part of a conspiracy to entrap the campaign adviser.
“I don’t know why he told me this, but he did, and we reported it. And the rest is history,” Downer said in an interview on Sky News.
“There’s no defense for him saying it’s some sort of weird conspiracy. I mean, it’s what he told me.”
“I have no idea why he was blabbering this, but if you say that sort of thing to somebody who is part of the Five Eyes intelligence community, I mean I would regard myself as a warrior for the Western alliance,” said Downer, who is now out of government.
Five Eyes refers to an intelligence-sharing agreement between the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
While Downer was critical of Papadopoulos, he said that there was no indication from his May 2016 conversation that the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to steal or release any Clinton information.
“There was no suggestion from Papadopoulos nor in the record of the meeting that we sent back to Canberra, there was no suggestion that there was collusion between Donald Trump or Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians,” Downer said.
“All we did is report what Papadopoulos said, and that was that he thought that the Russians may release information, might release information, that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign at some stage before the election.”
— The Bolt Report (@theboltreport) May 9, 2019
April 23, 2019 – FBI official, Bill Priestap, admits Hillary Clinton’s emails were found in Obama White House
Judicial Watch announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President. The FBI also admitted nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as result of a search warrant for her material on the laptop of Anthony Weiner.
Priestap was asked by Judicial Watch to identify representatives of Hillary Clinton, her former staff, and government agencies from which “email repositories were obtained.” Priestap responded with the following non-exhaustive list:
- Bryan Pagliano
- Cheryl Mills
- Executive Office of the President [Emphasis added]
- Heather Samuelson
- Jacob Sullivan
- Justin Cooper
- United States Department of State
- United States Secret Service
- Williams & Connolly LLP
Priestap also testifies that 48,982 emails were reviewed as a result of a warrant for Clinton email account information from the laptop of Anthony Weiner, who had been married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
A complete copy of Priestap’s interrogatory responses is available here. Priestap, is serving as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and helped oversee both the Clinton email and the 2016 presidential campaign investigations. Priestap testified in a separate lawsuit that Clinton was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.
“This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated – Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme.”
Priestap was ordered to answer the written questions by United States District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth when he ruled in January that Judicial Watch’s discovery could begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. This action came in Judicial Watch’s July 2014 FOIA lawsuit for:
Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency. (Read more: Judicial Watch, 4/23/2019)
- Benghazi attack
- Bill Priestap
- Bryan Pagliano
- Cheryl Mills
- Department of State
- Executive Office of the President
- FBI Counterintelligence Division
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FOIA lawsuit
- Heather Samuelson
- Hillary Clinton
- Huma Abedin
- Jake Sullivan
- Judge Royce C. Lamberth
- Judicial Watch
- Justin Cooper
- Susan Rice
- United States Secret Service
- Weiner laptop
- Williams & Connoly LLP
December 4, 2018: And Then There Was None – Bill Priestap Resigns
“The only remaining FBI counterintelligence official at the center of all Spygate and Clinton investigation issues is departing. The enigma man, E.W. “Bill” Piestap is retiring from the FBI. Bill Priestap is the FBI Asst. Director in charge of all counterintelligence operations. Priestap was FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s boss; he was also at the epicenter of the story surrounding every action taken by the FBI in the Clinton investigation and the Trump campaign investigation.
Bill Priestap was copied on every email of consequence including the writing of the Clinton exoneration talking points delivered by FBI Director James Comey. Priestap was the central figure on the FBI side of both Clinton and Trump operations. “Bill” is mentioned in hundreds of text messages sent by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
In short, Bill Priestap was everywhere – except where you would most likely expect to find him, in media discussion. The timing seems curious though the Wall Street Journal goes to great lengths to describe the timing as a mere happenstance due to his 20-year service anniversary and the opportunity to retire with full benefits:
WASHINGTON—A top FBI official who helped oversee two politically sensitive investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign is retiring from government service.
Bill Priestap, who currently serves as assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence division, will leave his post by the end of the year. Mr. Priestap, a 20-year veteran of the bureau, worked on organized crime and drug cases in Chicago before rising through the national security ranks of the agency after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Priestap’s retirement is unrelated to the controversies over the handling of the 2016 investigations, according to a person familiar with the matter. He “became eligible to retire and has chosen to do so after 20 years of service,” the FBI said in a statement.
The federal government allows some employees, including FBI agents, to retire with full benefits if they are 50 or older and have at least two decades of service.
During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Priestap was one of several officials at the center of two politically volatile probes: the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, and a counterintelligence inquiry into whether associates of then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government.
After Mr. Priestap’s departure, none of the high-ranking bureau officials involved in the two investigations will remain with the bureau. FBI director James Comey was fired by President Trump last year, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was later dismissed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his contacts with the media, days before he was eligible to retire with benefits.
Peter Strzok, the chief of the counterespionage section, left the FBI this year after it emerged that he had sent disparaging text messages about Mr. Trump.
Top bureau officials, especially those with national security experience, are in high demand in private-sector fields like cybersecurity, defense contracting and private intelligence. Mr. Priestap’s future plans aren’t known. (read more)
(…) Priestap was so important that during FBI Director James Comey’s March 20th, 2017 congressional testimony Director Comey told congress it was Bill Priestap who recommended that congressional oversight should not be notified of the ongoing counterintelligence operations. Priestap’s instruction was so important that despite the rules violation FBI Director Comey followed his recommendation and kept congress in the dark.
On June 5th, 2018, FBI Director of Counterintelligence E.W. “Bill” Priestap testified to a joint session of the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees.
The hearing was a matter of strong public interest. Mr. Priestap was questioned for approximately seven hours. However, journalist Olivia Beavers covering for The Hill dropped a detail that seemed rather curious:
(…) Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), however, said he felt that Priestap didn’t say anything that would indicate there was “political bias that motivated the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”
Priestap “completely” backed up everything that Comey said, according to a source familiar with his testimony.
Only three lawmakers — Jordan, Meadows and Krishnamoorthi — attended the hearing, which took place on the first day after a week-long recess.
Priestap’s interview comes after the joint House investigation stalled for months after being first announced. (more)
On the home-front: FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap is married to Sabina Menshell a self-employed “consultant” with a history of donations to Democrat candidates, specifically to Hillary Clinton.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/04/2018)
Oct. 31, 2018 – The FBI learned Information ‘that might bear’ on Christopher Steele’s credibility, lawyer told Congress
“A former FBI attorney who worked on the Russia investigation told Congress last year the bureau learned information about dossier author Christopher Steele “that might bear on his credibility as a source.”
Trisha Anderson, the former principal deputy general counsel, said in a closed-door interview that meetings were held at the FBI with then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the team working on the investigation to discuss Steele, a former MI6 officer who investigated President Donald Trump on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.
Steele provided information from his dossier to the FBI, State Department and members of the press.
“There were meetings with Mr. McCabe about the Russia investigation that involved discussions of the various reports that were generated by Chris Steele that we had received, both with respect to the content of the reports as well as what we had learned about Christopher — we, I’m sorry — the FBI investigative team had learned about facts that might bear on his credibility as a source,” Anderson said in the Oct. 31, 2018 interview, a transcript of which was obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“And what were those facts? You had mentioned the contents. More specifically, what were these discussions about? But start with the credibility issues,” a congressional staffer asked Anderson.
Anderson did not say when the meetings occurred. Nor did she say what the possible credibility issues might have been.
When asked for further details, an FBI attorney intervened to say that Anderson could not answer more questions because they “pertain to matters that are being looked at by the special counsel and its investigation.”
At some point after relying on Steele as a confidential source, FBI officials were told that Steele was working on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC to investigate Trump. The former British spy had been hired in June 2016 by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm.
(…) The Justice Department’s office of the inspector general is reportedly investigating the FBI’s use of Steele as a source as part of a broader probe into possible abuse of the FISA system. The New York Times reported on Friday that intelligence community officials determined at some point in 2017 that some of Steele’s allegations were either likely wrong, or based on exaggeration by Steele’s sub-sources.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 4/26/2019)
October 23, 2018 – Sally Moyer’s redacted transcript
“Sally Moyer was FBI unit chief in the Office of General Counsel (counterintelligence legal unit within the FBI Office of General Counsel). Moyer reported to an unnamed section chief, who reported to Trisha Beth Anderson, who was deputy legal counsel to James Baker.
Ms. Moyer is responsible for the legal compliance within the FBI counterintelligence operations that generated FISA applications:
A review of the transcript clarifies a few aspects:
First, the DOJ/FBI team, “the small group”, specifically the legal officials who were ultimately participating in the process that permits politicization and weaponization of government intelligence systems, was also the exact same legal group who reviewed (and approved) the internal inspector general report which outlined their activity.
In essence, the DOJ/FBI bureaucratic corruption is so widespread, the corrupt officials involved are the same people who are the decision-makers in the amount of sunlight the Office of Inspect General is allowed to put forth. Now the disconnect between the OIG executive summary and the body of content material makes sense:” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/21/2019)
August 15, 2018 – Notes on Peter Strzok’s possible FISA application abuse and falsified FBI FD-302 report on Michael Flynn interview
“The media narrative surrounding FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s firing has been framed, almost exclusively, around his political text messages. Given the nature of the media participation in the events, this is not surprising. However, Strzok’s text messages have no bearing on his firing.
In March 2018 the DOJ Office of Inspector General announced an ongoing review of how the DOJ and FBI used FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) as a weaponized tool against their political opposition.
“As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.” (pdf link)
Two months later on Monday May 21st, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein added a significant DOJ mandate to the Inspector General review. Rosenstein expanded the original FISA review to include looking at whether officials within the intelligence community may have unlawfully used human intelligence assets to “spy” or “surveil” the Trump campaign:
“The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.” (link)
Part of that ongoing IG review surrounds FBI Affidavits presented to the FISA Court (FISC) and whether those affidavits were fraudulent; thereby misleading the court. FBI Agent Peter Strzok is the primary affiant swearing to the truthfulness and fullness of the information that underlines the FISA application (ie. Woods Procedures) . We know Peter Strzok lied and misrepresented information to the court.
In addition to violating the Woods Procedures, FBI Agent Peter Strzok likely falsified, manipulated and shaped FD-302 investigative notes in both the Hillary Clinton and Michael Flynn interviews. His own text messages with DOJ Special Counsel Lisa Page highlight that Peter Strzok was very familiar with manipulating evidence by the narrative he could/did write in his 302 submissions.
On May 11, 2018, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley dropped a sunlight grenade into the prosecution of Michael Flynn with a jaw-dropping request letter (full pdf below) to FBI Director Christopher Wray. [Judiciary Link Here]
Within the letter Chairman Grassley outlined a prior briefing from fired FBI Director James Comey to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and contrasts the false presentations of James Comey and by extension Peter Strzok, regarding Michael Flynn, against recently known evidence.
Additionally, Grassley requested:
♦the transcription of the phone call(s) intercepted by the FBI between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak;
♦the FD 302s written by the FBI in their interview with Michael Flynn;
♦testimony from Special Agent Joe Pientka, likely the second FBI agent who was partnered with Peter Strzok for the Flynn interview.
The name of the second FBI agent was previously unknown, and it’s likely Chairman Grassley outed the name for a very specific reason. This is a BIG shot across the bow.
Previously the Justice Department was refusing to provide any information to the committee pertinent to Grassley’s requests, citing the ongoing investigation. However, the Senator was outlining his request against the backdrop of the Judge in the Flynn case demanding the Special Counsel turn over all exculpatory information.
Senator Grassley outlines the February 15th, 2017, briefing provided by James Comey to the committee:
(…) “Like the Flynn interview itself, that briefing was not transcribed. Also like the Flynn interview, there are notes taken by a career, non-partisan law enforcement officer who was present. The agent was on detail to the Committee staff at the time.
According to that agent’s contemporaneous notes, Director Comey specifically told us during that briefing that the FBI agents who interviewed Lt. General Michael Flynn, “saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying.” Our own Committee staff’s notes indicate that Mr. Comey said the “agents saw no change in his demeanor or tone that would say he was being untruthful.”
Contrary to his public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments, then-Director Comey led us to believe during that briefing that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his conversation with the Ambassador and that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute him for false statements made in that interview. In the months since then, the Special Counsel obtained a guilty plea from Lt. General Flynn for that precise alleged conduct.”
It is important to remember – there is a widely held belief that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative.
There is a great deal of debate surrounding the guilty plea as an outcome of a carefully constructed and coordinated plan by FBI and DOJ officials to target Flynn.
The letter continues:
(…) “The Department has withheld the Flynn-related documents since our initial bipartisan request last year, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. With Flynn’s plea, the investigation appears concluded.
Additionally, while we are aware that the Special Counsel’s office has moved to delay Lt. General Flynn’s sentencing on several occasions, we presume that all related records already have been provided to the defense pursuant to Judge Sullivan’s February 16, 2018 order requiring production of all potentially exculpatory material. Thus, although the case is not yet adjudicated, the Committee’s oversight interest in the underlying documents requested more than a year ago now outweighs any legitimate executive branch interest in withholding it. So too does the Committee’s interest in learning the FBI agents’ actual assessments of their interview of Lt. Gen. Flynn, particularly given the apparent contradiction between what then Directory Comey told us in March 2017 and what he now claims.”
Then comes the hammer:
(…) “In addition, please make Special Agent Joe Pientka available for a transcribed interview with Committee staff no later than one week following the production of the requested documents.”
Regarding the “widely held belief” that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Strzok and Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302’s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative. As Nick Falco points out evidence of that is within the most recent text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:
♦January 23, 2017, the day before the Flynn interview, Lisa Page says: “I can feel my heart beating harder, I’m so stressed about all the ways THIS has the potential to go fully off the rails.” Weird!”
♦Strzok replies: “I know. I just talked with John, we’re getting together as soon as I get in to finish that write up for Andy [McCabe] this morning.” Strzok agrees with Page about being stressed that “THIS” could go off the rails. (Strzok meets with Flynn the next day.)
♦Why would Page & Strzok be stressed about “THIS” potentially going off the rails if everything was by the book?
BECAUSE IT WASN’T!
♦February 14th, 2017, there is another note about the FBI reports filed from the interview.
Peter Strzok asks Lisa Page if FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is OK with his report: “Also, is Andy good with F-302?”
Lisa Page replies: “Launch on F 302.”
And we know from their discussions of manipulating FBI reports a year earlier, inside the Hillary Clinton investigation – that Peter Strzok has withheld information, and manipulated information, through use of the 302 reports:
(Timeline editor’s note: With special thanks to Conservative Treehouse for allowing us to post their well documented research to the timeline. We have decided to post this piece in full. Please visit their website and read more of Sundance’s work. His team is an organized group of super sleuths who are putting this maddening puzzle together, piece by piece.)