January 2018

January 31, 2018 – Rosenstein threatens to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting

Rod Rosenstein (Credit: CNN)

“Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year, according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a “personal attack.”

The emails memorialized a January 2018 closed-door meeting involving senior FBI and Justice Department officials as well as members of the House Intelligence Committee. The account claimed Rosenstein threatened to turn the tables on the committee’s inquiries regarding the Russia probe.

“The DAG [Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] criticized the Committee for sending our requests in writing and was further critical of the Committee’s request to have DOJ/FBI do the same when responding,” the committee’s then-senior counsel for counterterrorism Kash Patel wrote to the House Office of General Counsel. “Going so far as to say that if the Committee likes being litigators, then ‘we [DOJ] too [are] litigators, and we will subpoena your records and your emails,’ referring to HPSCI [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence] and Congress overall.”

A second House committee staffer at the meeting backed up Patel’s account, writing: “Let me just add that watching the Deputy Attorney General launch a sustained personal attack against a congressional staffer in retaliation for vigorous oversight was astonishing and disheartening. … Also, having the nation’s #1 (for these matters) law enforcement officer threaten to ‘subpoena your calls and emails’ was downright chilling.”

The committee staffer noted that Rosenstein’s comment could be interpreted as meaning the department would “vigorously defend a contempt action” — which might be expected. But the staffer continued, “I also read it as a not-so-veiled threat to unleash the full prosecutorial power of the state against us.”

(…) “A DOJ official told Fox News that Rosenstein “never threatened anyone in the room with a criminal investigation.” The official said the department and bureau officials in the room “are all quite clear that the characterization of events laid out here is false,” adding that Rosenstein was responding to a threat of contempt. ” (Read more: Fox News, 6/12/2018)

January 31, 2018 – Robert Mueller requests postponement of General Mike Flynn sentencing

“Against a newly discovered likelihood the Robert Mueller investigation began under false pretenses; and against the backdrop that FBI surveillance and wiretaps were obtained through materially (intentionally) false representations to the FISA court; and against the backdrop the original Flynn plea judge (Contrereas) was also the approving FISA judge; and that judge ‘was summarily recused’ from the case; and against increasing evidence that Mike Flynn was set up by a terminal animus, and politically-motivated investigative rogue unit, operating within the FBI; and against surfacing IG Horowitz evidence that FBI investigators manipulated (lied on) their FD-302 interrogation documents; and understanding those falsified 302’s were used in the Mueller/Flynn charging document…

…Special Counsel Robert Mueller now asks for postponement of sentencing:

Both parties did not ‘request‘ a postponement; both parties ‘agreed‘ to a postponement. The motive for the request (Mueller) is entirely divergent from, yet complimentary to, the motive to agree to the request (Flynn).

It is not coincidental that Brandon L Van Grack is the signatory to the delay request by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s request to the new Judge, Emmet G Sullivan.

If, as has been reported, Inspector General Michael Horowitz now has evidence the FBI manipulated their FD-302 (interrogation and questioning) documents, as also admitted by FBI agent Peter Strzok in related matters regarding Clinton…

…and those manipulated or falsified FBI 302’s (containing FBI investigative notes of Michael Flynn’s questioning during the January 2017 interview), were used in the actual Flynn charging documents.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/31/2018)

January 29, 2018 – McCabe resigns after FBI Director Wray reviews House FISA abuse memo

Andrew McCabe is escorted by U.S. Capitol police. (Credit: Getty Images)

“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was forced to resign Monday, just as the House Intelligence Committee is expected to vote on the public release of a classified memo this afternoon revealing extensive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse under the Obama administration, sources told this reporter.

McCabe apparently lashed out to his colleagues when he was told he would be asked to resign, according to sources. FBI Director Christopher Wray viewed the four-page memo on Sunday, sources familiar with the discussions said.

McCabe, who is facing three federal inquiries for conflicts-of-interest during his time at the FBI, is one of the numerous names mentioned in the classified memo detailing FISA abuse, according to sources who reviewed the memo.

The federal inquiries into allegations against McCabe, who was expected to resign in March, are based on documents and interviews conducted by this reporter over the past year and range from sexual discrimination to improper political activity.

McCabe, a central figure in the ongoing Russia investigation against Trump, is also part of the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s ongoing review into the FBI’s handling of former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information.

Current and former FBI officials said McCabe’s resignation is the beginning of more resignations to come.

“There are people lining up in the bureau to go after McCabe,” said a former FBI official, with knowledge. “There will be a clean up at the Bureau of his cronies.” (Read more: Sara A. Carter, 1/29/2018)

January 23, 2018 – Biden tells the Council on Foreign Relations he threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine if they didn’t fire a top prosecutor investigating his son’s firm

TRANSCRIPT:

HAASS: Before I call—I just want to put one other issue on the floor before I get another question or two, which is Ukraine. This administration, unlike the administration you worked in, decided to provide limited defense articles to Ukraine. Do you think that was a wise decision? And more broadly, do you see any scope for any sort of a deal on eastern Ukraine?

BIDEN: The answer is yes, I think it was a wise decision. But then again, I was pushing that for two years before we left, so. And the reason is I think the more you up the ante, the cost to Russia for their aggression—I mean, as you all know, and you know this better than anybody, you know, the one big lie going on about Ukraine back in—and the rest of Russia is that no Russian soldiers are engaged. They’re not dying. No body bags are coming home, et cetera. Because there’s overwhelming opposition on the part of the body politic in Russia for engagement in Ukraine in a military sense.

Do I think they’re—I think the Donbas has potential to be able to be solved, but it takes two things. One of those things is missing now. And that is I’m desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of Kiev in terms of corruption. They made—I mean, I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

Well, there’s still—so they made some genuine substantial changes institutionally and with people. But one of the three institutions, there’s now some backsliding.

HAASS: The courts.

BIDEN: They’re—and the—yes. And they had made that commitment that they wouldn’t do that.

(Council of Foreign Relations, 1/23/2018)

January 16, 2018 – The FBI seeks details from an Australian detective on multiple allegations of the Clintons mishandling millions of dollars in Foundation donations

“An Australian investigative journalist who is a retired police detective said Tuesday he has been asked to provide the FBI with details about multiple allegations of mishandling millions of dollars contributed to the Clinton Foundation by the Aussie government.

“I have been asked to provide the FBI with further and better particulars about allegations regarding improper donations to the CF funded by Australian taxpayers,” Michael Smith told LifeZette.

At the center of Smith’s complaints are former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and multiple Australian government officials, including senior diplomat Alexander Downer, that government’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom.

 

(Credit: Michael Smith)

(…) The materials Smith is giving the FBI focus on a 2006 memorandum of understanding between the Australian government and the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton HIV/AIDs Initiative (CHAI). Smith claims the foundation received a “$25M financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception” as a result of actions by Bill Clinton and Downer, who was then Australia’s minister of foreign affairs.

Also included in the Smith materials are evidence he believes shows “corrupt October 2006 backdating of false tender advertisements purporting to advertise the availability of a $15 million contract to provide HIV/AIDS services in Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian government after an agreement was already in place to pay the Clinton Foundation and/or associates.”

(…) A third complaint concerns what Smith describes as “the $10 million financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception between April 1, 2008, and Sept. 25, 2008, at Washington, D.C., New York, New York, and Canberra Australia involving an MOU between the Australian government, the “Clinton Climate Initiative,” and the purported “Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute Inc.” (Read more: Lifezette, 1/16/2018)  (Archive)

January 4, 2018 – FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation

(Credit: New York Post)

“The Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of State, law enforcement officials and a witness tells The Hill.

FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., where the foundation was started, have taken the lead in the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, and law enforcement officials said additional activities are expected in the coming weeks.

The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.

The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the foundation complied with applicable tax laws, the officials said.

One witness recently interviewed by the FBI described the session to The Hill as “extremely professional and unquestionably thorough” and focused on questions about whether donors to Clinton charitable efforts received any favorable treatment from the Obama administration on a policy decision previously highlighted in media reports.

The witness discussed his interview solely on the grounds of anonymity. He said the agents were from Little Rock and their questions focused on government decisions and discussions of donations to Clinton entities during the time Hillary Clinton led President Obama’s State Department.

The FBI office in Little Rock referred a reporter Thursday to Washington headquarters, where officials declined any official comment.

Clinton’s chief spokesman, Nick Merrill, on Friday morning excoriated the FBI for re-opening the case, calling the probe “disgraceful” and suggesting it was nothing more than a political distraction from President Trump‘s Russia controversies.

“Let’s call this what it is: a sham,” Merrill said. “This is a philanthropy that does life-changing work, which Republicans have tried to turn into a political football. It began with a now long-debunked project spearheaded by Steve Bannon during the presidential campaign. It continues with Jeff Sessions doing Trump’s bidding by heeding his calls to meddle with a department that is supposed to function independently.” (Read more: The Hill, 1/04/2018)

January 4, 2018 – State Department releases 147 new Huma Abedin work-related emails found on Weiner laptop, at least 18 are classified

The front cover of New York’s Daily News on October 29, 2016, just days before the election. (Credit: New York Daily News)

“Judicial Watch revealed today that there are at least 18 classified emails in the 798 documents recently produced by the State Department from the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illicit email system. The emails were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, who is the estranged husband of former Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Abedin was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Weiner is a disgraced former congressman and New York mayoral candidate who pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor. Abedin kept a non-State.gov email account on Hillary Clinton’s notorious email server that she used repeatedly for government business.

There are five new classified emails among 147 new Abedin work-related documents released by the State Department on Friday, December 29, 2017.

Thirteen emails containing classified information were also found on the Weiner laptop computer that had already been released to the public. This classified material includes discussions about Saudi Arabia, The Hague, Egypt, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the identity of a CIA official, Malawi, the war in Syria, Lebanon, Hamas, and the PLO.

On two occasions, classified material was sent by Abedin on her clintonemail.com account to Weiner’s laptop (sent to “Anthony Campaign”) on November 25, 2010. The email discusses an upcoming call with Prince Saud of “expected WikiLeaks leaks.” Abedin sent classified information the following day to Weiner’s laptop concerning a call that “Jeff” (presumably then- US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman) had with United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Abdullah bin Zayed.

The Weiner laptop also contains classified material from Abedin’s Blackberry. A July 9, 2011, email contained classified information regarding a then-upcoming call between Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. On November 25, 2011, classified information was sent regarding Feltman’s notes on the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs impression of the Hamas- Palestine Liberation Organization talks. On May 4, 2012, additional classified material from the BlackBerry backup was sent.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 1/04/2018)

January 4, 2018 – Comey’s original Clinton memo released, cites possible violations

James Comey (Credit: Gary Cameron/Reuters)

“Ex-FBI Director James Comey’s original statement closing out the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email server was edited by subordinates to remove five separate references to terms like “grossly negligent” and to delete mention of evidence supporting felony and misdemeanor violations, according to copies of the full document.

Comey also originally concluded that it was “reasonably likely” that Clinton’s nonsecure private server was accessed or hacked by hostile actors, though there was no evidence to prove it. But that passage was also changed to the much weaker “possible,” the memos show.

The full draft and edits were released on the website of Senate Homeland and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), providing the most complete public accounting to date of Comey’s draft and the subsequent edits.” (Read more: The Hill, 01/04/2018)