June 22, 2017 – Grassley, Feinstein, Graham and Whitehouse write to former AG Lynch with questions about the Russian intel that alleges she made private assurances to Clinton aide, Amanda Renteria
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham, and Ranking Member Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The bipartisan inquiry comes as the Judiciary Committee is examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director.
In April 2017, The New York Times reported that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, one of which was said to be authored by a “Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.” Chairman Grassley then requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which has failed to respond. A month later, The Washington Post reported similar facts and provided further details about individuals involved in these communications. The Post reported that the email in question, sent by then-chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundations, indicated that Lynch had privately assured Clinton campaign staffer Amanda Renteria that the FBI’s investigation wouldn’t “go too far.”
Comey was reportedly concerned that the communication would raise doubts about the investigation’s independence and began discussing plans to announce the end of the Clinton email investigation rather than simply referring it to the Department for a prosecutorial decision. Comey’s extraordinary action to announce the end of the investigation was a break from Justice Department protocol and was later cited as justification for his removal from the FBI.
In their letters to Benardo, Open Society Foundations’ General Counsel Gail Scovell, Renteria, and former Attorney General Lynch, the Senators seek details about the reported communication, copies of any related documents and whether the FBI contacted them to investigate the alleged communication.
The reports come amidst numerous allegations of political inference in controversial and high-profile investigations spanning the current and previous administrations. The Senate Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over the FBI and Justice Department and is obliged to oversee any potential misconduct or inappropriate political influence at these agencies.
The full text of the letters can be found at the following links:
- Amanda Renteria
- Charles Grassley
- Clinton Email Investigation
- Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
- Dianne Feinstein
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Gail Scovell
- Hillary Clinton
- James Comey
- June 2017
- Leonard Benardo
- Lindsey Graham
- Loretta Lynch
- Open Society Foundations
- political interference
- possible obstruction
- private server
- Russian Intelligence
- Senate Judiciary Committee
- Sheldon Whitehouse
May 14, 2017 – “Onward Together” Inside Hillary’s Latest Political Tax Scandal
“Most people are aware that “Onward Together” is a political organization to raise funds for the Democratic party, but what they don’t realize, is the fact that this tax-exempt 501(c)(4) is operating ILLEGALLY, on multiple levels. IRS laws, FEC documents, and Onward Together’s tax return create one heck of a recipe, burning for an investigation. Not only does Onward Together require scrutiny, it’s partner organizations need a closer look as well.
Perhaps “Back Together” would have been more apropos, since Hillary Clinton got the band back together to form this tax-exempt political scandal. Even Huma Abedin is on the payroll. What’s most interesting is that the DNC paid nearly $2 million to Onward Together for donor list rental/acquisition produced by Hillary for America, while the DCCC paid more than $700,000 for the same list. Sure, politicians often sell “donor lists”, but Onward Together is not allowed to declare the payment as tax-exempt “royalty income,” nor does this political activity align with the lawful purpose of 501(c)(4) organizations. But it gets worse.
(…) “All it takes is a little bit of digging to see that Onward Together is operating with a political agenda, while funding partners who are also 501(c)(4)s, to fundraise for, promote, and advocate for specific candidates in elections. This breaks all IRS laws pertaining to 501(c)(4)s and their tax-exempt status. It is extremely probable that the $3 million declared as “royalty income” should have been filed under taxable income, and that those specific funds came directly from the DNC and DCCC. A big no no.
When asked about the DNC’s involvement, Financial Analyst Charles Ortel had this to say:
Clinton family has long mingled political activities with charitable activities, operating virtually all of these pursuits in evident defiance of the strict letter and intent of applicable laws and regulations.
It would not surprise me in the slightest to learn that Onward Together is yet another poorly controlled false front nonprofit whose true intent is to advance the political and personal interests of the Clintons, in the guise of being a “lawfully” organized and operated nonprofit.
This begs the question, is this another one of Clinton’s organizations that should be brought to the attention of the IRS? There was a recent case where financial investigators Larry Doyle and John Moynihan came forward as outside whistleblowers, and filed documents against the Clinton Foundation’s wrongdoing. This was covered in Arkansas Swamp Part 2.
Charles Ortel breaks this down:
The IRS (and state taxing authorities) do not have resources required to police informational returns and other public filings of organizations that are themselves exempt from income taxes, and can offer donors potential to realize income tax deductions for portions of their contributions.
Over time, a system has evolved where the IRS reviews complaints submitted by whistleblowers, and then may elect to work with relevant government authorities to prosecute charity frauds, and potentially related offenses (including Income tax evasion, money-laundering, public corruption, material false statements under oath).
As Doyle and Moynihan explained, they have submitted evidence of criminal wrongdoing to multiple government entities, in an effort to prod these public servants to protect the overburdened treasuries by assessing fines, penalties, back taxes, and interest against certain charities that do not seem to have been lawfully organized or operated.
I imagine that the IRS welcomes tips from all whistleblowers who may wish to come forward, but that it makes little sense, at this stage, to pile onto the Clinton Foundation given all the work that seems already in progress. That said, there are too many loosely controlled supposed “charities”, that do not have strong governance controls and may also choose to operate internationally in places where temptations are great for fraud, for money-laundering, and for corruption.
He couldn’t be more correct – the IRS does not have the resources required for oversight. Coincidentally, they just tweeted out an announcement about the release of their Whistleblower Program’s Annual Report, on February 7th. They seemed pretty jacked up about this, with a dozen hashtags in place.
Ironically, this report indicates that their entire staff of 36, only accounts for 12 case development and oversight employees. Let’s repeat that just in case any details were missed. The entire staff for the IRS whistleblower department, that handles ALL complaints for the entire country, is 12 individuals. And, they actually reduced that number by 1 person from 2017. Let that sink in. (Read more: Corey’s Digs, 2/14/2019)
February 18, 2017 – Opinion: No one mentions that the Russian trail leads to Democratic lobbyists
(…) “The media’s focus on Trump’s Russian connections ignores the much more extensive and lucrative business relationships of top Democrats with Kremlin-associated oligarchs and companies. Thanks to the Panama Papers, we know that the Podesta Group (founded by John Podesta’s brother, Tony) lobbied for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank. “Sberbank is the Kremlin, they don’t do anything major without Putin’s go-ahead, and they don’t tell him ‘no’ either,” explained a retired senior U.S. intelligence official. According to a Reuters report, Tony Podesta was “among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.” Among these was the European Center, which paid Podesta $900,000 for his lobbying.
That’s not all: The busy Podesta Group also represented Uranium One, a uranium company acquired by the Russian government which received approval from Hillary Clinton’s State Department to mine for uranium in the U.S. and gave Russia twenty percent control of US uranium. The New York Times reported Uranium One’s chairman, Frank Guistra, made significant donations to the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for one speech from a Russian investment bank that has “links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.” Notably, Frank Giustra, the Clinton Foundation’s largest and most controversial donor, does not appear anywhere in Clinton’s “non-private” emails. It is possible that the emails of such key donors were automatically scrubbed to protect the Clinton Foundation.
Let’s not leave out fugitive Ukrainian oligarch, Dymtro Firtash. He is represented by Democratic heavyweight lawyer, Lanny Davis, who accused Trump of “inviting Putin to commit espionage” (Trump’s quip: If Putin has Hillary’s emails, release them) but denies all wrongdoing by Hillary.
(…) Lobbying for Russia is a bi-partisan activity. Gazprombank GPB, a subsidiary of Russia’s third largest bank, Gazprombank, is represented by former Sen. John Breaux, (D., La.), and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R., Miss.), as main lobbyists on “banking laws and regulations, including applicable sanctions.” The Breaux-Lott client is currently in the Treasury Department list of Russian firms prohibited from debt financing with U.S. banks.” (Read more: Forbes, 2/18/2017)
January 25, 2017 – Nellie Ohr suggests Department K of Russian intelligence Service FSB “would be a pretty good candidate for listening in on Hillary”
On January 25, 2017, Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, forwarded text messages to him that she’d sent to her “colleagues,” where she refers to the Steele dossier as the “yellow rain dossier” and the “yellow showers dossier.”
In the same set of forwarded texts, Nellie speculates that Department K of the Russian intelligence service FSB “would be a pretty good candidate for listening in on Hillary.” (Judicial Watch, 8/14/2019)
January 11, 2017 – Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
“Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Ukrainian efforts had an impact on the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
(…) Ukraine, on the other hand, has traditionally enjoyed strong relations with U.S. administrations. Its officials worry that could change under Trump, whose team has privately expressed sentiments ranging from ambivalence to deep skepticism about Poroshenko’s regime while sounding unusually friendly notes about Putin’s regime.
Poroshenko is scrambling to alter that dynamic, recently signing a $50,000-a-month contract with a well-connected GOP-linked Washington lobbying firm to set up meetings with U.S. government officials “to strengthen U.S.-Ukrainian relations.”
Revelations about Ukraine’s anti-Trump efforts could further set back those efforts. (Read more: Politico, 1/11/2017)
January 10, 2017 – Buzzfeed publishes the Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier
“A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.
The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. BuzzFeed News reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier but have not verified or falsified them. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump.
Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.
The document was prepared for political opponents of Trump by a person who is understood to be a former British intelligence agent. It is not just unconfirmed: It includes some clear errors. The report misspells the name of one company, “Alpha Group,” throughout. It is Alfa Group. The report says the settlement of Barvikha, outside Moscow, is “reserved for the residences of the top leadership and their close associates.” It is not reserved for anyone, and it is also populated by the very wealthy.” (Read more: Buzzfeed, 1/10/2017)
December 20, 2016 – Hillary deletes an email showing that she forwarded classified information to Chelsea who has no apparent security clearances
“Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton deleted an email from 2009 that shows she forwarded classified information to her daughter, Chelsea.
The State Department released the email on Friday, as it is one of thousands that were recovered by the FBI from Clinton’s private email server.
The email chain from December 20, 2009 titled ‘Update,’ began with a message from Michael Froman, who served as deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs and as a deputy assistant to President Obama.
It was then sent to Clinton’s foreign policy adviser at the State Department, Jake Sullivan, along with several aides to the president.
Sullivan then sent it to Clinton who forwarded it to her daughter, who used the pseudonym ‘Diane Reynolds’.
Since it contains classified ‘confidential’ information, the entire text in the body portion of the email has been redacted.
The email was labeled a ‘near duplicate’ by the State Department who indicated it was similar for the most part to others the agency has released from the thousands of emails she turned over in December 2014.
The former first lady did not delete other responses she made to others who were on the email thread from that ‘Update’ email chain. (Read more: The Daily Mail, 11/04/2016)
November 9, 2016 – Leaked Google executive’s email reveals an effort to boost the Latino vote in favor of Hillary Clinton
“A Google executive’s leaked email reveals efforts to increase Latino turnout prior to the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the executive’s “surprise” at Donald Trump’s performance among Latino voters.
The 675-word email, first obtained exclusively by Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” was written by the tech giant’s former head of multicultural marketing and details a range of efforts to increase Latino turnout, including the support of a partner organization that helped to drive voters to the polls.
“We worked very hard. Many people did. We pushed to get out the Latino vote with our features, our partners, and our voices. We kept our Googley efforts non-partisan and followed our company’s protocols for the elections strategy,” the email begins. “We emphasized our mission to give Latinos access to information so they can make an informed decision at the polls, and we feel very grateful for all the support to do this important work.”
At the end of the email, the author wrote that Latino Googler’s are “probably hurting right now” and that the election results are “tough to handle now that we know not all of us were against this.”
The Google executive acknowledges that Latinos, long considered the “sleeping giant” of American politics thanks to the country’s rapidly shifting demographics, did vote in record-breaking numbers and turned out early—but a significant percentage supported Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.
“Ultimately, after all was said and one [sic], the Latino community did come out to vote, and completely surprised us. We never anticipated that 29% of Latinos would vote for Trump. No one did,” the executive wrote.” (Read more: Fox News, 9/11/2018)
Breitbart also received a copy of the email chain and writes:
“An email chain among senior Google executives from the day after the 2016 presidential election reveals the company tried to influence the 2016 United States presidential election on behalf of one candidate, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In the emails, a Google executive describes efforts to pay for free rides for a certain sect of the population to the polls–a get-out-the-vote for Hispanic voters operation–and how these efforts were because she thought it would help Hillary Clinton win the general election in 2016. She also used the term “silent donation” to describe Google’s contribution to the effort to elect Clinton president.
The main email, headlined, “Election results and the Latino vote,” was sent on Nov. 9, 2016—the day after Clinton’s loss to Trump in the 2016 presidential election—by Eliana Murillo, Google’s Multicultural Marketing department head.” (Read more: Breitbart, 9/11/2018)
November 5, 2016 – Why The Clinton Foundation Will Bring Down Hillary Clinton
“With rumbling of an upcoming FBI indictment related to the illegal activities of the Clinton Foundation, many don’t seem to understand the full stakes of unearthing this widespread corruption. Charles Ortel joins Stefan Molyneux to discuss the arguments and evidence which show the fraud and illegality of the Clinton Foundation operations.”
Many political insiders, especially Republicans, say Comey’s letter changed the trajectory of the 2016 presidential race.
Politico asks “a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 11 swing states” their opinions on the evolving 2016 presidential election campaign. In their latest query, nearly two-thirds of Republicans say that FBI Director James Comey’s October 28, 2016 letter announcing the reopening of the FBI’s Clinton email investigation “fundamentally altered the trajectory of the race.”
One unnamed Republican insider states, “There are a handful of words that can fundamentally alter the trajectory of a race. These include words and phrases like ‘indictment,’ ‘FBI investigation’ and ‘grand jury.’ These are popping with just barely enough time to make a difference in the race, even enough time for ad-makers to change out closing commercials.”
Another unnamed Republican insider says, “That is not how to end a campaign. [Clinton] wins when Trump is the issue. She loses when she is the issue.”
However, only 20 percent of Democratic insiders say the Comey letter changed the trajectory of the race.
One unnamed Democratic insider says, “It changed the race by bringing the map back to normal [meaning a non-landslide win for Clinton]. Pre-FBI, she was going to reach for 400 [electoral votes].” (Politico, 11/4/2016)