Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
August 16, 2019 – Judge orders FBI to search for additional Christopher Steele records
“A federal judge ordered the FBI on Friday to search for records of any contacts with dossier author Christopher Steele after the bureau cut ties with him as a confidential human source in November 2016.
Judge Christopher Cooper issued the ruling in favor of Judicial Watch, which sued the FBI and Justice Department for all of its records on Steele, a former British spy who investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
The FBI released two batches of Steele-related documents in 2018, but it resisted conducting searches for documents of any contacts that he had with the bureau after Nov. 1, 2016.
FBI officials severed a longstanding relationship with Steele after finding out that he had unauthorized contacts with members of the press.
Cooper ordered the search, saying any additional FBI-Steele documents have “the potential for illuminating the FBI’s activities” in the Trump-Russia probe.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/16/2019)
August 12, 2019 – U.S. District Judge Boasberg rejects the DOJ/FBI motion to block the release of the Archey Declarations
A U.S. District Judge has rejected the DOJ and FBI motion to block the release of the Archey Declarations (descriptions of Comey memos). [Background Here]
In a strongly worded ruling (full pdf below) released moments ago, Federal Judge James Boasberg blasted the DOJ and FBI for attempting to change their filings, claim national security “sources and methods”, and block his prior court ruling – which instructed the DOJ to release the “Archey Declarations”. The judge is obviously angry:
August 11, 2019 – The 2018 DOJ and FBI coverup to protect the Senate Intelligence Committee
“In the first part of this research into the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) we outlined how the committee was engaged in the 2017 effort –with specific evidence of communication– to support Robert Mueller and the ‘soft coup‘ team. [See Here] When you understand what the group was doing in early 2017, you understand why the FBI had to use DOJ official Bruce Ohr as a go-between to contact with Chris Steele.
Now we move on to overlay several data-points that happened throughout 2018 that are connected to a much more troubling part of the overall issues. In 2018 the DOJ and FBI covered-up the corruption evident during the 2017 pre-Mueller effort.
The problem for Attorney General Bill Barr is not only investigating what we don’t know, but rather navigating through what ‘We The People’ are already aware of…. A branch of the United States government (Legislative) was attempting a coup against the leader of another branch of government (Executive); by using the Senate Intelligence Committee and designated corrupt agents within the executive branch cabinet.
This 2017 and 2018 time period covers Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, Jeff Sessions as AG, Rod Rosenstein as Deputy, Chris Wray as FBI Director, David Bowditch as Deputy and Dana Boente as FBI legal counsel. I’ll lay out the evidence, you can then determine who was powerful enough to have made these decisions.
As a result of a FOIA release in mid-December 2018, Judicial Watch revealed how the State Department was feeding “classified information” to multiple U.S. Senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration:
The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).
Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a February 2018 request seeking records of the Obama State Department’s last-minute efforts to share classified information about Russia election interference issues with Democratic Senator Ben Cardin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-01381)).
The documents reveal the Obama State Department urgently gathering classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Donald Trump taking office. (read more)
The impeachment program was a plan, an insurance policy of sorts; a coordinated effort between corrupt politicians in the Senate and hold-over allies in the executive; however, because she didn’t want to participate in this – Senator Dianne Feinstein abdicated her vice-chair position to Senator Mark Warner. [Background Here]
This is the pre-cursor to utilizing Robert Mueller. A plan that was developed soon after the election. The appointment of a special counsel was always the way they were going to hand-off and continue the investigation into Trump; but they needed a reason for it.
The continued exploitation of the Steele Dossier was critical; thus they needed Chris Steele to be solid. And the continued manipulation of the media was also critical; thus they needed Fusion-GPS to continue. [Dan Jones paid both]
While Mark Warner was communicating with Adam Waldman and Dan Jones as a conduit to Chris Steele, the FBI/DOJ team was communicating through Bruce Ohr to Chris Steele (and by extension to Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS).
Part of Warner’s role was to weaponize the Legislative branch to advance the ‘Muh Russia conspiracy’, a fundamental necessity if a special counsel was going to have justification.
The SSCI, and the security protocols within it, were structurally part of the plan; hence the rapid information from Obama’s State Dept. to the SSCI and Senate participants in the last moments prior to departing.
♦ On March 17th, 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee took custody of the FISA application used against Carter Page. We know the FISA court delivered the read and return Top-Secret Classified application due to the clerk stamp of March 17, 2017.
The FISA application (original and first renewal) was delivered to Senate Security Director James Wolfe. Senator Mark Warner entered the basement SCIF shortly after 4:00pm on March 17, 2017, the day it was delivered (texts between Warner and Waldman):
Now, when SSCI Security Officer James Wolfe was indicted (unsealed June ’18), we could see the importance of the March 17th date again:
We can tell from the description within the indictment FBI investigators are describing the FISA application. Additionally Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with his reporter/girlfriend Ali Watkins. The FISA application is 83 pages with one blank page.
The logical conclusion was that Wolfe text Ali Watkins 82 pictures of the application.
FBI Investigators applied for, and received a search warrant for the phone records of journalist Ali Watkins. Ms. Watkins was notified in February 2018, three months after Wolfe was questioned by FBI investigators in December 2017.
However, despite the overwhelming (public) circumstantial evidence that Wolfe leaked the FISA application, he was never charged with leaking classified information. Wolfe was only charged with lying three times to federal authorities, and he pled down to one count of lying to the FBI.
CTH made the case in mid 2018 that someone at the DOJ had influenced a decision not to charge Wolfe with the leaking of the FISA application; despite the FBI and DOJ having direct evidence of Wolfe leaking classified information.
The logical reason for the DOJ not to charge Wolfe with the FISA leak was because that charge could ensnare a Senator on the powerful committee, likely Mark Warner.
Remember, the SSCI has intelligence oversight of the DOJ, DOJ-NSD, FBI and all associated counterintelligence operations. Additionally, when the FBI was investigating Wolfe for leaking classified documents, according to their court filings they had to inform the committee of the risk Wolfe represented. Who did they have to inform?.. Chairman Burr and Vice-Chair Warner.
D’oh. Think about it. A gang-of-eight member (Warner), who happened -as a consequence of the jaw dropping implications- to be one of only two SSCI members who was warned by the FBI that Wolfe was compromised…. and he’s the co-conspirator. The ramifications cannot be overstated. Such a criminal charge would be a hot mess.
Thus, the perfect alignment of interests for a dropped charge and DC cover-up.
Then, in an act of serendipity, James Wolfe himself bolstered that suspicion when he threatened to subpoena members of the SSCI as part of his defense. [See Here]
(…) Attorneys for James A. Wolfe sent letters to all 15 senators on the committee, notifying them that their testimony may be sought as part of Mr. Wolfe’s defense, according to two people familiar with the matter.
(…) Mr. Wolfe’s defense lawyers are considering calling the senators as part of the proceedings for a variety of reasons, including as potential character witnesses and to rebut some of the allegations made by the government in the criminal complaint, these people say. (link)
Immediately after threatening to subpoena the SSCI (July 27, 2018), the DOJ cut a deal with Wolfe and dropped the charges down to a single charge of lying to investigators. However, someone doing the investigative legwork wasn’t happy with that decision.
Our overwhelming CTH circumstantial evidence that Wolfe leaked the FISA application went from a strong suspicion, to damn certain (after the plea deal) when the DOJ included a sentencing motion in mid-December 2018.
On December 15th, 2018 the DOJ filed a response to the Wolfe defense teams’ own sentencing memo (full pdf), and within the DOJ response they included an exhibit (#13) written by the FBI [redacted] special agent in charge, which specifically says: “because of the known disclosure of classified information, the FISA application”… Thereby admitting, albeit post-plea agreement, that Wolfe did indeed leak the damn FISA:
Right there, in that FBI Special Agent description is the bombshell admission that James Wolfe leaked the Carter Page FISA application to his concubine Ali Watkins at Buzzfeed.
We know the special agent who wrote exhibit #13 in the December filing was Special Agent Brian Dugan, Asst. Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office. The same investigator who originally signed the affidavit in the original indictment.
So with hindsight there was absolutely no doubt that James Wolfe leaked the 83-page Carter Page FISA application on March 17, 2017. Period. It’s all documented with circumstantial and direct evidence; including the admissions from the FBI agent in charge.
So, why was James Wolfe allowed to plea to a single count of lying to investigators?” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/11/2019)
- Adam Waldman
- Ali Watkins
- Brian Dugan
- Bruce Ohr
- Carter Page
- Chris Wray
- Christopher Steele
- Clinton/DNC/Steele Dossier
- Dana Boente
- Daniel Jones
- David Bowditch
- Department of Justice
- Department of State
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA application
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- FOIA release
- Fusion GPS
- Insurance Policy
- James Wolfe
- Jeff Sessions
- Mark Warner
- media leaks
- media manipulation
- Richard Burr
- Robert Mueller
- Rod Rosenstein
- Senate Intelligence Committee
- text messages
- William Barr
August 8, 2019 – Bruce Ohr 302 reports released
“Bruce Ohr is a DOJ official who was interviewed by the FBI during the DOJ/FBI collaborative effort to target president-elect Donald Trump after the 2016 election.
Mr. Ohr was interviewed on 12 different occasions between November 22nd 2016 and May 15th 2017. Judicial Watch has finally received the copies of the FBI investigative notes, aka “302 reports.”
The last interview of Bruce Ohr (May 15th, 2017) took place two days prior to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. Throughout the interviews (full pdf below) Bruce Ohr was acting as the go-between delivering information from his wife Nellie Ohr at Fusion GPS and one of Fusion’s contract investigators, Christopher Steele.
The 302 reports are heavily redacted (sources and methods); however, we already know the majority of names underneath the redactions. Here are the *302 investigative notes:
August 8, 2019 – Andrew McCabe files a federal civil lawsuit claiming wrongful termination
“Today former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe files a federal civil lawsuit (full pdf below) claiming wrongful termination by the DOJ and FBI. Exactly the same parameters are used by McCabe as were asserted by FBI Agent Peter Strzok in a very similar lawsuitearlier this week…. Only McCabe claims a conspiracy carried out by President Trump.
Again, as with the earlier Strzok lawsuit, both are not going through the process within the Department of Labor for a wrongful termination complaint. Instead both are using federal courts in an effort to construct a narrative of sorts.
The motive here is 100% political obfuscation, and the same Lawfare team is involved in the construct.
Both Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok are claiming their first amendment (speech) and fifth amendment (due process) rights were violated. Both have filed civil suits under the same pretext. However, McCabe’s Lawfare lawyers construct an argument that goes one step further.
According to Andrew McCabe, President Donald Trump constructed a master conspiracy of influence upon the DOJ and FBI; thereby usurping the powers of the constitution in a sketchy legal theory they cannot define. Thus the McCabe lawyers define the action by President Trump under “legal nullity” – An operation that theoretically is, or might be, of some legal significance, but in fact lacks any identity or distinct structure of its own. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/08/2019)
August 8, 2019 – Bruce Ohr documents undercut FBI claims In Carter Page’s FISA applications
“Transcripts of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s interviews with the FBI could open the bureau to new scrutiny over claims government officials made in applications to spy on Carter Page.
During a Nov. 22, 2016 interview with the FBI, Ohr discussed meetings between dossier author Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and Yahoo! News reporter Michael Isikoff, who two months earlier had published an article that alleged that Page was under FBI investigation for contacts in Russia.
The potential problem for the FBI is that the bureau said in four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications against Page that investigators did not believe that Steele was a source for Isikoff’s story.
The FBI relied heavily on Steele’s unverified dossier to argue to the FISA court that Page was working as an agent of Russia. The applications also cite Isikoff’s article and at least one other news report about Page.
“OHR met [redacted] in Washington, D.C. in late September, possibly close to the time when the Yahoo news article was published on September 23, 2016,” read the heavily-redacted Ohr notes, which were released on Thursday.
“Simpson and [redacted] could have met with Yahoo or Michael Isikoff jointly, but OHR does not know if they did.”
In four FISA applications — which the FBI submitted in October 2016, January 2017, April 2017, and June 2017 — the FBI “does not believe that Source #1,” who has been identified as Steele, “directly provided this information to the identified news organization that published the September 23rd News Article.”
It is unclear if the redacted portion of the footnote adds further context to possible contacts between Steele, Simpson and Isikoff.
August 7, 2019 – Top FBI Deputy Assistant Director who leaked to the media is reported to be Bryan Paarmann
“Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a harsh summary report in May revealing that an FBI Deputy Assistant Director had numerous unauthorized contacts with the media, accepted gifts from journalists and disclosed the ‘existence’ of sensitive information under court seal to the media.
Several officials confirmed to SaraACarter.com this week that the unknown senior FBI official is Bryan Paarmann. Paarmann, who began his career with the bureau in 1996, was shuffled by FBI Director Christopher Wray in August, 2017 from his position as FBI Deputy Assistant Director of the International Operations Division to special agent in charge of the Counterterrorism Division for the New York field office. He is currently on leave and his security clearance has been suspended, sources stated.
Horowitz did not name Paarmann in the investigative summary released in May, but instead referred to him as a Deputy Assistant Director. Horowitz’s investigation focused on the time Paarmann was working at the FBI’s Washington D.C. headquarters as the Deputy Assistant Director of the International Operations Division.
Horowitz stated in his summary that the Department of Justice declined to prosecute.
A senior DOJ official confirmed “that the decision by the Department of Justice to decline prosecution was made before William Barr was Attorney General.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/07/2019)
August 6, 2019 – Judicial Watch obtains records of 14 referrals of FBI employees for leaking sensitive or classified information
“Judicial Watch announced today it received records of 14 referrals of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees to the organization’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) for the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or classified information. The disclosure comes off the heels of Judicial Watch’s uncovering a FBI report detailing fired FBI Director James Comey kept FBI documents on President Trump at his house. Comey also admitted to leaking these documents.
Although the FBI’s OPR does not have its own website, according to the DOJ’s OPR, leak allegations may come, “from a variety of sources, including U.S. Attorney’s offices and other Department components, courts, Congress, media reports, other federal agencies, state and local government agencies, private citizens, private attorneys, criminal defendants, civil litigants, and self-referrals. OPR also regularly conducts its own searches to identify judicial findings of misconduct against Department attorneys.”
One referral obtained by Judicial Watch that appears to refer to former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe was closed on March 20, 2018 and states as a mitigating factor that the “Employee was facing unprecedented challengers and pressures.”
(Name redacted) (DOJ/O&R) Closed: 3/20/2018 References: 2.5, 2.6, 4.10
SES [Senior Executive Service] employee released the FBI Sensitive information to a reporter and lacked candor not under oath and under oath when questioned about it, in violation of Offense Codes 4.10 (Unauthorized Disclosure – Sensitive Information); 2.5 (Lack of Candor- No Oath); and 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
The proposed decision in this matter was made by the AD, OPR. The final decision was made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. DOK retains final decision-making authority for certain high-ranking FBI officials.
MITIGATION: Employee as (redacted) years of FBI service and a remarkable performance record. Employee was facing unprecedented challengers and pressures.
AGGRAVATION: Employee held an extremely high position and was expected to comport himself with the utmost integrity. Lack of candor is incompatible with the FBI’s Core Values.
FINAL ACTION(S): OPR PROPOSED DECISION Proposed DISMISSAL
OPR FINAL DECISION: DISMISSAL
The records show that penalties for unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and/or classified information ranged from no action (due to administrative closure) to, as in the case of McCabe, dismissal. Other FBI employees’ offenses reported in the documents list several cases in which the final action was less severe than OPR’s proposal:
- An unidentified employee was fired. The case was closed in July 2016.
- An unidentified employee was given a one-day suspension without pay. The case was closed in April 2016.
- The following year, an unidentified employee received a five-day suspension without pay, and the case was closed administratively in April 2017.
- An SES agent who “misused an FBI database, and provided sensitive information to a former FBI employee” was reported to have had as mitigation that he felt he “had the support of his Division to use his discretion.” OPR proposed a 15-day suspension, but the final decision was to give a letter of censure. This case was closed in June 2017.
- An unidentified employee was fired. The case was closed in May 2018.
- An unidentified employee was recommended for dismissal but received a 45-day suspension. The case was closed in October 2017.
- An unidentified employee was given a 14-day suspension. The case was closed in March 2016.
- An unidentified employee, who was cited for misuse of an FBI database and unauthorized disclosure of classified/law-enforcement sensitive/grand jury information, was given a 12-day suspension. The case was closed in January 2016.
- An unidentified employee received a letter of censure. The case was closed in August 2016.
- An unidentified employee was given a letter of censure. The case was closed in October 2016.
- An unidentified employee was accused of “Investigative deficiency – improper handling of documents or property in the care, custody or control of the government; unauthorized disclosure – classified/law enforcement sensitive/grand jury information” and “failure to report – administrative.” It was proposed that they be given a 30-calendar day suspension without pay; the final decision from OPR was that they were given a 10-calendar day suspension without pay. This case was closed in February 2018.
- An unidentified employee was fired. This case was closed in October 2017.
- An unidentified employee was given a letter of censure. It was proposed that they be fired, but the final decision was a 60-day suspension without pay. The case was closed in January 2019.
“No wonder the FBI was leaking so profusely. Collectively, these documents show lenient treatment for evident criminal activity. Only four of the 14 employees found to have made an unauthorized disclosure were dismissed from the FBI,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And even though Andrew McCabe was fired and referred for a criminal investigation for his leak, no prosecution has taken place.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 8/06/2019)
August 1, 2019 – Opinion: Here Are 5 Big Holes in Mueller’s Work
“Robert Mueller’s two-year, $25.2 million investigation was supposed to provide the definitive account of Donald Trump, Russia and the 2016 election. Yet even after he issued a 448-page report and testified for five hours before Congress, critical aspects remain unexplained, calling into question the basis for the probe and the decisions of those who conducted it.
Time and again in his report and his testimony, Mueller refused to address a wide range of fundamental issues, claiming they were beyond his purview. Some of the issues Mueller and his team did not clarify include whether the FBI had a sound predicate for opening a counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign; whether the FBI knowingly relied on false material; and the links between U.S. government agencies and key figures who fueled the most explosive claims of an illicit Trump-Russia relationship. Mueller claimed that he was prevented from answering critical questions due to ongoing Justice Department reviews, one by Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham and the other by Inspector General Michael Horowitz. In the meantime, here are some of the biggest mysteries that Mueller’s team left hanging in the air.
Who Is Joseph Mifsud, and Was He the Actual Predicate for the Russia Investigation?
Mueller’s pointed refusal to answer questions about Mifsud underscored that his team did not provide a plausible explanation for the incident that supposedly sparked the Russia investigation in July 2016. Mifsud is the mysterious Maltese professor who reportedly informed Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Their conversation took place in , before the alleged hacking of Democratic Party emails was publicly known. (cont.)
What Was the Role of the Steele Dossier?
Mueller also refused to address another key driver of the Trump-Russia probe – the series of unverified and salacious opposition research memos against Trump secretly financed by the Clinton campaign and the DNC and compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. Some Republicans believe the dossier was the real trigger of the FBI probe and that Mifsud was later used as an excuse by the FBI to cover that up once the dossier’s partisan origins were revealed. As he did with Mifsud, Mueller, who was FBI Director between 2001 and 2013, stonewalled the many Republican efforts to press him on this topic. (more)
Why Did the Mueller Team Invent the Polling Data Theory About Konstantin Kilimnik, and Omit His U.S. Ties?
Mueller also refused to answer critical questions about his report’s portrayal of Konstantin Kilimnik. The longtime business associate of Trump’s one-time campaign manager, Paul Manafort, became central to the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory as a result of the Mueller team’s own innuendo. In January 2019, Mueller accused Manafort of lying about sharing Trump campaign polling data with Kilimnik during the 2016 campaign. According to Mueller, the FBI had assessed that Kilimnik has an unspecified “relationship with Russian intelligence.” In court, Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann repeated that ambiguous claim and tacked on a piece of tantalizing flourish: “This goes to the larger view of what we think is going on, and what we think is the motive here. This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating.” Weissmann’s comments fueled widespread speculation – and even confident assertions – that Kilimnik had passed on the polling data to the Russian government, which then put it to use for its supposed social media interference campaign targeting malleable swing-state voters. (cont.)
Why Did the Mueller Team Falsely Suggest That Trump Tower Moscow Was a Viable Project – and What Was the Role of FBI Informant Felix Sater?
Along with the discredited polling-data theory, House Democrats repeatedly played up the Mueller team’s indictment of Michael Cohen for lying to Congress about the failed effort to build a Trump Tower Moscow. In court filings, the Mueller team insinuated that the project was a viable and lucrative one. Because Cohen had lied to Congress and Trump had denied having business dealings in Russia, Rep. Joaquin Castro asked Mueller if he had assessed whether “President Trump could be vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.” (cont.)
Was Specious Info Leaked to Justify the Absence of Trump-Kremlin Links?
In the absence of evidence tying the Trump campaign to the Kremlin – and a preponderance of leads involving key figures actually tied to the West – U.S. intelligence officials helped cast a pall of suspicion through misleading, and sometimes false, media leaks. In January 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey briefed President-elect Trump on the Steele Dossier’s most explosive allegation: that the Russians had a tape of him with prostitutes in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room. Comey’s briefing to Trump was leaked to the press, leading to the dossier’s publication by BuzzFeed and cementing the story atop the news cycle for the more than two years since.” (cont.)
July 30, 2019 – Secret McCabe texts with MI-5 counterpart emerge, spotlighting UK’s early role In Russiagate
“Newly surfaced text messages between Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his counterpart at MI-5, the UK’s domestic security service, have cast new light on Britain’s role in the FBI’s 2016 ‘Russiagate’ investigation, according to The Guardian.
Two of the most senior intelligence officials in the US and UK privately shared concerns about “our strange situation” as the FBI launched its 2016 investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia, The Guardian has learned.
Text messages between Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI at the time, and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, now the head of GCHQ, also reveal their mutual surprise at the result of the EU referendum, which some US officials regarded as a “wake-up call”, according to a person familiar with the matter. –The Guardian
McCabe and Fleming’s texts were “infrequent and cryptic,” but “occurred with some regularity” after the June 2016 Brexit referendum.
In his text message about the August 2016 meeting, Fleming appeared to be making a reference to Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official who travelled to London that month to meet the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Downer had agreed to speak with the FBI about a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, who had told him that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the race. –The Guardian
In 2017, The Guardian reported that Britain’s spy agencies had played a key role in alerting their American counterparts of communications between members of the Trump campaign and “suspected Russian agents,” which was passed along to the US in what was characterized as a “routine exchange of information.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 7/30/2019)