January 2017

January 6, 2017 – The DOJ OIG report on Comey’s memos details plans to ambush Trump with Moscow sex allegation

(L-R) James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, and Adm. Michael Rogers testify about “worldwide cyber threats” during an open hearing of the House Intelligence Committee on September 10, 2015. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(…) “On Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, Comey, along with CIA head John Brennan, national intelligence chief James Clapper, and NSA Director Mike Rogers, met with Trump in Trump Tower in New York. Together, they briefed the president-elect on the findings of the intelligence community investigation into Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

But the group, and especially Comey, had bigger plans than that. Before the meeting, they agreed that after briefing Trump on Russian efforts, the others would leave and Comey would stay to brief Trump alone about the Steele Moscow sex allegation.

Comey and top FBI officials prepared meticulously for the moment. The IG report says Comey had a planning meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, chief of staff James Rybicki, general counsel James Baker, and “the supervisors of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.” (It is unclear who was in that last group, although the now-famous FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page played large roles in the investigation.)

The IG report says the group “agreed that the briefing needed to be one-on-one so that Comey could present the ‘salacious’ information in the most discreet and least embarrassing way.” But however it was presented, the FBI leaders worried that Trump might “perceive the one-on-one briefing as an effort to hold information over him like a ‘Hoover-esque type of plot.'” That was a reference to the FBI’s notorious founding director J. Edgar Hoover, who relished keeping (and using) embarrassing secrets on top political leaders.

The group discussed how Trump might react. In particular, they considered whether he would “make statements about or provide information of value to the pending Russia interference investigation” known as “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Perhaps Trump would say something incriminating. The FBI officials made plans for Comey, immediately after leaving the meeting, to write down everything he could remember about whatever Trump said. Comey also wanted to discuss Trump’s reactions with top aides immediately. Comey told the inspector general it was “important for FBI executive managers to be ‘able to share in [Comey’s] recall of the salient details of those conversations.'” Bureau officials also wanted to be able to respond if Trump publicly “misrepresent[ed] what happened in the encounter.”

So, preparations were made. “Comey said he had a secure FBI laptop waiting for him in his FBI vehicle and that when he got into the vehicle, he was handed the laptop and ‘began typing as the vehicle moved,'” the report says. He worked on his account as the FBI car took him to the New York field office, where aides had set up a secure video teleconference with Rybicki, McCabe, Baker, and the “Crossfire Hurricane” supervisors. Comey continued to work on his memo after that and sent the group a final version the next day, Saturday, Jan. 7.

In his memoir, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, Comey wrote that at the Trump Tower briefing he assured the president-elect, “We are not investigating you, sir.” At the moment Comey said those words, he had the “Crossfire Hurricane” team ready for a secure video conference on Trump’s response to the Steele dossier allegation.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/29/2019)

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 31, 2017 – Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele text messages reveal alarm and concern over Sally Yates and James Comey terminations

Sally Yates and James Comey testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 8, 2015 . (Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Newly revealed emails show Trump dossier author Christopher Steele was uneasy when President Trump fired Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in January 2017.

In a brief correspondence between Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, Steele pressed for a back-up plan to be put in place if his back-channel to the FBI was ever placed in jeopardy.

“B, doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re-SY [Sally Yates]. Just wanted to check you are OK, still in situ and able to help locally as discussed, along with your Bureau colleagues, with our guy if the need arises? Many Thanks and Best as Always, C,” Steele wrote to Ohr on Jan. 31.

Ohr replied: “Bruce: Yes, a crazy day. I’m still here and able to help as discussed. I’ll let you know if that Changes. Thanks!”

“Thanks. You have my sympathy and support,” Steele wrote back. “If you end up out though, I really need another (Bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can’t allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous all round, though his position right now looks stable. A million thanks. C.”

Ohr said in return: “Bruce: Understood. I can certainly give you an FBI contact if it becomes necessary.”

(…) Of particular concern to Republican lawmakers was a previously revealed text Ohr sent to Steele, saying, “very concerned (abt) about [former FBI Director James] Comey’s firing — afraid they will be exposed.” Comey was fired in May 2017.

Ahead of testimony Ohr gave to a GOP task force looking into alleged bias by the FBI and DOJ last year, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, a key member of a GOP task force that looked into alleged bias by the FBI and DOJ, said there were other “equally troubling” texts that “relate to the firing of Sally Yates and the impact that that may have and that leads to some questions.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 3/07/2019)

January 30, 2017 – McCabe investigates not just Trump but Sessions as well

Jeff Sessions (l) and Andrew McCabe (Credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

“Top FBI official Andrew McCabe did not just investigate President Trump. As he notes in a little-publicized part of his new book, McCabe even investigated his department boss — then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions — after Senate Democrats asked McCabe to look into allegations Sessions perjured himself during his confirmation hearings when he denied meeting with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.

Sessions had, in fact, met with the Russian ambassador. He later corrected the record and explained he had forgotten speaking with the official and was not trying to mislead Congress.

Ordering the Sessions probe was “another unprecedented, partisan action that has been forgotten,” said former federal prosecutor Solomon L. Wisenberg, a partner at Nelson Mullins LLP in Washington.

McCabe dished a healthy portion of scorn on Sessions in his book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.” He accused him of having “trouble focusing” and having to overcome a “huge learning curve for an attorney general.” He claimed he wasn’t even reading briefing materials on national security threats. McCabe also accused Sessions of being Islamophobic and making racist comments in meetings. He even claimed that the attorney general thought federal agents who were taken hostage overseas “had it coming” and shouldn’t be rescued.

A former senior Justice Department aide to Sessions, who was in high-level meetings with McCabe and the former attorney general, strongly disputed McCabe’s allegations, calling them “fiction.”

“They’re beyond absurd and outright false. Like just about everything else he says,” the official told RealClearInvestigations. “He was fired, after all, for lying. To the FBI.” (Read more: Real Clear Investigations, 3/04/2019)

January 30, 2017 – Ten days into Trump’s presidency, the attorney for the ‘hearsay whistleblower’ tweets: “#coup has started. As one falls two more will take their place. #rebellion and #impeachment”

“A few people have started looking at the connections behind Mark Zaid, the attorney for CIA “whistleblower” Eric Ciaramella.  What is starting to emerge is evidence of what CTH outlined yesterday; the current impeachment process is part of a coup continuum, and everything around the whistleblower is part of a long-ago planned and pre-constructed operation.

Two strong examples are very poignant:

This 2017 tweet by the whistleblowers’ attorney is evidence of what we were sharing yesterday.  A point that almost everyone is missing…what is happening now with Adam Schiff and his Lawfare-contracted legal aide, Daniel Goldman, was designed last year.  The current HPSCI legislative impeachment process and every little aspect within it is the execution of a plan, just like the DOJ/FBI plan was before it in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Mark Zaid (Credit: MSNBC)

The use of a ‘whistle-blower’ was pre-planned long ago.  The agreements between Schiff, Lawfare and the CIA ‘whistle-blower’ were pre-planned.  The changing of whistle-blower rules to assist the plan was designed long ago.

Adam Schiff and Daniel Goldman are executing a plan concocted long ago. None of the testimony is organic; all of it was planned a long time ago, long before anyone knew the names Marie Yovanovitch, Kurt Volker, Gordon Sondland or Bill Taylor.   All of this is the coordinated execution of a plan.

“The anti-Trump members of the National Security Council and U.S. State Department were always going to be used.  Throughout 2018 and 2019 embeds in the ‘resistance’ network were awaiting instructions and seeding evidence, useful information, to construct an impeachment narrative that was designed to detonate later.

When Bill Taylor is texting Gordon Sondland about a quid-pro-quo, and Sondland is reacting with ‘wtf are you talking about’, Taylor was texting by design.  He was manufacturing evidence for the narrative.  This was all a set-up. All planned.

When Marie Yovanovitch shows up to give her HPSCI deposition to Daniel Goldman with three high-priced DC lawyers: Lawrence Robbins, Laurie Rubenstein and Rachel Li Wai Suen, having just sent her statements to the Washington Post for deployment immediately prior to her appearance, Yovanovitch is doing so by design.  All planned.

Here is another example from Mark Zaid, attorney for the “Whistleblower”, just ten days after the inauguration of President Trump where he directly calls out an ongoing “coup“:

This mention of the “coup has started” is even more nefarious, and even more specific to a CTH warning, because Zaid is specifically noting that Dana Boente was/is part of the effort.

Why is that name important?  Because Dana Boente is currently FBI chief legal counsel, hired into the FBI in January 2018.  Boente is dirty.

In April of this year we outlined the evidence to show how Dana Boente was a dirty cop [SEE HERE]; and then in June of this year HPSCI ranking member Devin Nunes threatened to send criminal referrals for FBI Director Christopher Wray and FBI counsel Dana Boente [SEE HERE].

(Dirty Cops – Full Backstory)

(Conservative Treehouse, 11/06/2019)

January 30, 2017 – A Justice Department memo exonerates Flynn of any collusion with Russia but it is never turned over as exculpatory evidence in his defense

Michael Flynn (Credit: The New Yorker)

“A bombshell revelation was barely noticed at National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s hearing Tuesday, when his counsel revealed in court the existence of a Justice Department memo from Jan. 30, 2017 exonerating Flynn of any collusion with Russia. The memo, which has still not been made available to Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell, is part of a litany of Brady material she is demanding from prosecutors. The memo is currently under a protective order and Powell is working with prosecutors to get it disclosed, SaraACarter.com has learned.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan presided over the hearing Tuesday and set a tentative Dec. 18 sentencing date. He told the prosecution and defense that the sentencing date could be moved depending on the outcome of requests for Brady material requested by Powell and how the case will unfold in the upcoming months. Sullivan also noted during the hearing that the Brady order takes precedence over the plea agreement.

(…) …if Comey would have advised Trump of the Jan. 30 memo it would have cleared up any unfounded lies that Flynn had in any way colluded or conspired with Russia.

If and when this memo is made public, the ongoing narrative continuing to be pushed by those former Obama officials, as well as, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff who continues to push for hearings on obstruction will be squashed.

It looks like Comey, who would have been fully aware of this memo, has a lot of explaining to do.” (Read more: Sara Carter, 9/10/2019)

January 27, 2017 – Comey’s statement for the record on his second meeting with President Trump which includes a dinner

Statement for the Record

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
James B. Comey
June 8, 2017

Chairman Burr, Ranking Member Warner, Members of the Committee

Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. I was asked to testify today to describe for you my interactions with President-Elect and President Trump on subjects that I understand are of interest to you. I have not included every detail from my conversations with the President, but, to the best of my recollection, I have tried to include information that may be relevant to the Committee.

January 27 Dinner

James Comey (Credit: ABC News)

“The President and I had dinner on Friday, January 27 at 6:30 pm in the Green Room at the White House. He had called me at lunchtime that day and invited me to dinner that night, saying he was going to invite my whole family, but decided to have just me this time, with the whole family coming the next time. It was unclear from the conversation who else would be at the dinner, although I assumed there would be others.

It turned out to be just the two of us, seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room. Two Navy stewards waited on us, only entering the room to serve food and drinks.

The President began by asking me whether I wanted to stay on as FBI Director, which I found strange because he had already told me twice in earlier conversations that he hoped I would stay, and I had assured him that I intended to. He said that lots of people wanted my job and, given the abuse I had taken during the previous year, he would understand if I wanted to walk away.

My instincts told me that the one-on-one setting, and the pretense that this was our first discussion about my position, meant the dinner was, at least in part, an effort to have me ask for my job and create some sort of patronage relationship. That concerned me greatly, given the FBI’s traditionally independent status in the executive branch.

I replied that I loved my work and intended to stay and serve out my ten-year term as Director. And then, because the set-up made me uneasy, I added that I was not “reliable” in the way politicians use that word, but he could always count on me to tell him the truth. I added that I was not on anybody’s side politically and could not be counted on in the traditional political sense, a stance I said was in his best interest as the President.

A few moments later, the President said, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” I didn’t move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed. We simply looked at each other in silence. The conversation then moved on, but he returned to the subject near the end of our dinner. At one point, I explained why it was so important that the FBI and the Department of Justice be independent of the White House. I said it was a paradox: Throughout history, some Presidents have decided that because “problems” come from Justice, they should try to hold the Department close. But blurring those boundaries ultimately makes the problems worse by undermining public trust in the institutions and their work.

Near the end of our dinner, the President returned to the subject of my job, saying he was very glad I wanted to stay, adding that he had heard great things about me from Jim Mattis, Jeff Sessions, and many others. He then said, “I need loyalty.” I replied, “You will always get honesty from me.” He paused and then said, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.” I paused, and then said, “You will get that from me.” As I wrote in the memo I created immediately after the dinner, it is possible we understood the phrase “honest loyalty” differently, but I decided it wouldn’t be productive to push it further. The term — honest loyalty — had helped end a very awkward conversation and my explanations had made clear what he should expect.

During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it.

As was my practice for conversations with President Trump, I wrote a detailed memo about the dinner immediately afterwards and shared it with the senior leadership team of the FBI.” (Read more: CNN, 6/8/2017)

January 24, 2017 – DOJ’s Sally Yates was upset with FBI for interviewing Michael Flynn

Sally Yates testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on Capitol Hill May 8, 2017 (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“It is unclear why Yates was upset with the FBI for meeting with Flynn. She has since testified to the Senate that she informed the White House general counsel days after Flynn’s interview that she believed he was lying to the FBI.

Flynn was fired as national security adviser on Feb. 13, 2017. The White House claims he was fired for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the details of his conversations with Kislyak.

According to Strzok, then-FBI Director James Comey “was going to tell Yates right before the interview, but she called him first for another reason before he had a chance to call.”

“When he told her the FBI was interviewing Flynn she was not happy,” reads the summary of the Strzok interview.

Strzok also referred to an argument between unidentified officials “about the FBI’s decision to interview Flynn.”

(Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/14/2018)

January 23, 2017 – The director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, resigns

Robert Hannigan (Credit: GCHQ)

“The director of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, is to stand down early for personal reasons, mainly health issues involving his wife and other family members.

Hannigan only took over at the UK’s surveillance agency in November 2014 to oversee a more open approach after revelations by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden put GCHQ on the defensive in 2013.

His sudden resignation – he informed staff just hours before making this decision public – prompted speculation that it might be related to British concerns over shared intelligence with the US in the wake of Donald Trump becoming president.

But the GCHQ press release stressed his decision was exclusively for family reasons. As well as his ill wife, Hannigan has two elderly parents to look after. He will remain in post until a successor is appointed.” (Read more: The Guardian, 1/23/2017)

January 23, 2017 – The day before the Flynn interview Peter Strzok 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’s meeting w 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!

It was a conspiracy to entrap Gen Mike Flynn. All Strzok needed was an excuse to speak w Flynn. Everything in the 302 was likely fabricated.

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:

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/11/2018)