Jeff Sessions

May 12, 2019 – President Trump Calls Out FBI Director Christopher Wray: “the director is protecting the coup gang”…and then there’s Dana Boente

“President Trump indicates he is well aware of the intents and motives of FBI Director Christopher Wray covering for the illegal coup effort:

President Trump may have been aware of Chris Wray’s corrupt disposition prior to today; however, this is the first visible indication he understands the internecine organization of it.  Hopefully we can start the countdown clock to Wray’s exit.

Next up, Chris Wray’s #1 strategic hire, current FBI Legal Counsel Dana Boente.

In 2015 the DOJ-OIG (office of inspector general) requested oversight of the DOJ National Security Division.  It was Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58 page legal explanation saying, essentially, ‘nope – not allowed.’ (PDF HERE) All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the DOJ-NSD.

When John Carlin resigned as Asst. Attorney General in charge of the DOJ National Security Division in October 2016 he was replaced by Principal Deputy Asst. Attorney General and Chief of Staff, Mary McCord.  After President Trump took office on January 20th, 2017, Sally Yates was Acting AG and Mary McCord was in charge of the DOJ-NSD.

Yates and McCord were the two Main Justice officials who then engaged with White House Counsel Don McGahn on January 26th, 2017, regarding the General Flynn FBI interview conducted on January 24th.  The Trump-Russia Collusion Conspiracy was the headline.

On January 30th, 2017, Sally Yates was fired for refusing to defend the Trump travel ban from extremist countries.  Yates was replaced on January 31st by the U.S. Attorney from the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), Dana Boente.

With his shift to Main Justice Dana Boente was Acting Attorney General, and Mary McCord was Asst. AG in charge of the DOJ-NSD.  Boente was in the Acting AG position from Jan 31st, 2017, until Jeff Sessions was confirmed on February 8th, 2017.

When Jeff Sessions became AG, Dana Boente became Acting Deputy AG, a role he would retain until Rod Rosenstein was confirmed on April 25th, 2017.   [Mary McCord remained head of the DOJ-National Security Division]

On March 2nd, 2017, Dana Boente was one of the small group who participated in a conversation that led to the recusal of Jeff Sessions from anything related to the 2016 election.  This recusal included the ongoing FBI counterintelligence investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane, which was later picked up by Robert Mueller.

The other attendees for the recusal decision-making meeting (see above schedule) included Sessions’ chief of staff Jody Hunt; Criminal Chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, Jim Crowell; Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) in the Department of Justice National Security Division Tash Gauhar (FISA lawyer); and Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott Schools.  [Note: Tash Gauhar was lawyer for FBI Clinton case; and Scott Schools was part of drafting Clinton exoneration letter.]

The Main Justice group influenced Jeff Sessions to recuse.

With AG Jeff Sessions recused on March 2, 2017, FBI Director James Comey now reported to Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente.  [Technically, Boente is still EDVA U.S. Attorney and is only ‘acting’ as Deputy AG]  Additionally, on March 31st, 2017, President Trump signs executive order 13787 making the U.S. EDVA Attorney the 3rd in line for DOJ succession.

Question:  If Dana Boente was appointed “Acting Attorney General” on January 31st, 2017 (he was), then why did Don McGahn need to draw up XO 13787 on March 31st, 2017… especially after confirmed AG Jeff Sessions was already in place Feb 9th?

The answer likely has to do with a sign-off needed for FISA.

See the issue?

How does somebody (unknown) advise White House Counsel Don McGahn to draw up an executive order so that Boente can sign a FISA…. without telling Don McGahn the reason why AG Sessions can’t sign off on the FISA?   See the issue now?

In the period between March 2nd and April 25th – With AG Sessions recused, and without a Deputy AG confirmed, Dana Boente is simultaneously:

  • U.S. Attorney for EDVA
  • Acting Deputy AG.
  • Acting AG for all issues related to Sessions recusal.

It is James Comey and Dana Boente who sign the April 2017 FISA renewal for Carter Page.

This dynamic would later become important as notes Boente took from conversations with James Comey became evidence for Mueller’s expanded obstruction investigation. (March 2, 2017 Mary McCord is still head of DOJ-NSD.)

Somehow Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente’s personal and handwritten notes were mysteriously leaked to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/12/2019)

November 7, 2018 – Trump fires Jeff Sessions and appoints Matthew Whitaker as new acting attorney general

Matthew Whitaker (Credit: public domain)

“President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, replacing him with a loyalist who has echoed the president’s complaints about the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference and will now take charge of the inquiry.

Mr. Sessions delivered his resignation letter to the White House at the request of the president, who tapped Matthew G. Whitaker, Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff, as acting attorney general, raising questions about the future of the inquiry led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Mr. Whitaker, a former college football tight end and United States attorney in Iowa, and a onetime Senate candidate in that state, has previously questioned the scope of the investigation. In a column for CNN last year, he wrote that Mr. Mueller would be going too far if he examined the Trump family’s finances. “This would raise serious concerns that the special counsel’s investigation was a mere witch hunt,” Mr. Whitaker wrote, echoing the president’s derisive description of the investigation. Mr. Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to Russia.” (Read more: The New York Times, 11/07/2018)

June 21, 2018 – Sessions: Peter Strzok No Longer Has Security Clearance

Peter Strzok (Credit: Saul Loeb/Agence France Presse/Getty Images

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed Thursday that embattled anti-Trump FBI official, Peter Strzok, no longer has his security clearance.

This news comes just days after Strzok’s attorney confirmed that the agent was escorted out of FBI headquarters following the bombshell Inspector General’s report on the bureau’s mishandling of the Clinton email investigation.

In an interview with radio host, Howie Carr, Sessions said, “Mr. Strzok, as I understand, has lost his security clearance.”  Despite losing his clearance, the Attorney General said it was his “understanding” that Strzok remained on the FBI’s payroll, but that he wasn’t sure.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 6/22/2018)

June 19, 2018 – Opinion: The IG report on FBI’s Clinton probe reveals this saga may be just getting started

By: Margot Cleveland

“The media has focused almost exclusively on the conclusion of the Justice Department inspector general’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe, which found bias did not impact the probe, as well as the lack of any newly announced indictments or criminal referrals. The goal of course being to downplay the negative findings of the report.

At the same time, the press gave, at most, passing mention to the statement Attorney General Jeff Sessions simultaneously released. But his statement and the findings of the report make one thing clear: This isn’t over.

Here’s why. Throughout the 568-page report, the IG highlighted several areas meriting additional investigation. And Sessions said the report “reveals a number of significant errors by the senior leadership of the Department of Justice and the FBI during the previous administration,” and stressed “this is not the end of the process.”

John Huber (Credit: public domain)

United States Attorney John Huber continues his work in cooperation with the IG to review certain prosecutorial and investigative determinations made by the Justice Department in 2016 and 2017. Based on his review of the report and his own investigation, Huber will provide recommendations as to whether any matter not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation required further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of Special Counsel.”

Put simply: There is still much to be done and much to come. What is likely over is the possibility the Justice Department will re-investigate Clinton for mishandling of classified information, or prosecute her. That’s a good thing. Clinton is done. While she may never face justice in a court of law, perhaps losing the presidency is a more prescient and proper punishment.

Three areas remain, however, that the IG report tees up for further investigation and potential prosecution. (Read more: The Federalist, 6/19/2018)

June 14, 2018 – The DOJ IG Report on the Clinton Email Investigation is released…Judicial Watch response

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the Justice Department’s Inspector General’s report:

“The IG report has destroyed the credibility of the Department of Justice and the FBI. It confirms what Judicial Watch has investigated and revealed for nearly two years. The Obama DOJ/FBI investigation of Clinton was rushed, half-baked, rigged, and irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump and pro-Clinton bias and actions. As Judicial Watch uncovered the Clinton email scandal, it is outrageous to see a politicized FBI and DOJ then so obviously refuse to uphold the rule of law.

The IG report details repeated DOJ/FBI deference to Hillary Clinton, her aides and their lawyers. Americans should examine the report and judge for themselves whether the over-the-top deference to Hillary Clinton can be explained as anything other than political, especially from agencies that at the same time were actively collaborating with the Clinton campaign’s Fusion GPS to spy on and target then-candidate Trump. The IG report details how at least five top FBI agents and lawyers exchanged pro-Clinton and anti-Trump communications. The IG shares the concerns of Judicial Watch and millions of Americans that this bias cast a cloud over the credibility of the Clinton email and Russia investigations.

As Judicial Watch has demonstrated through its independent investigations and lawsuits, there is more than enough evidence that Clinton knowingly and intentionally mishandled classified information while using a non-government email system to conduct government business.

Will the Sessions Justice Department now do the right thing and conduct a Clinton email investigation properly? Or will it let James Comey and Loretta Lynch have the last word on Hillary Clinton’s evident email crimes?

In the meantime, Judicial Watch will continue its ongoing FOIA lawsuits and investigations into the Clinton email scandal and the related Obama administration cover-up.

Judicial Watch has numerous lawsuits and document productions regarding the issues raised by the IG, including the conduct of Andrew McCabe, the Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting, the Strzok-Page communications, the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton, and DOJ collusion with the Clinton campaign.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who was appointed by President Obama, has been investigating allegations of wrongdoing within the federal law-enforcement agencies since January 12, 2017. Horowitz opened a separate investigation into James Comey on April 20 over classified information stemming from his memo leaks.

Horowitz previously released a report stating that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was dishonest with investigators about how sensitive information from the agency ended up in The Wall Street Journal in 2016, which was the basis for his termination and criminal referrals by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last May. Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who met with former President Bill Clinton just days before Hillary’s FBI interview, was also a subject of Horowitz’s report.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/14/2018)

May 1, 2018 – House GOP chair calls for investigation into FBI’s Clinton Foundation probe

Bob Goodlatte (Credit: Bill O’Leary/ Washington Post/Getty Images)

“Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday raising issues related to some of the claims laid out by a scathing inspector general report on Andrew McCabe, the fired FBI deputy director.

“I have serious concerns that the Department, during the Obama Administration, attempted to obstruct justice by attempting to inappropriately terminate an FBI investigation on the Clinton Foundation,” Goodlatte wrote. “Under the facts laid out by the DOJ Inspector General (IG), it is shocking to hear that the Obama Department of Justice may have allowed politics to dictate what cases should or should not be pursued.”

The IG report, released last month, concluded that McCabe made leaks to the media that were designed to combat the perception that he had a conflict of interest in overseeing dual FBI investigations related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, including one related to the Clinton Foundation and another related to her use of a private email server.

McCabe’s disclosure recounted his version of a conversation with a DOJ official about the investigation, in which McCabe says he pushed back on concerns about FBI agents taking “overt steps” during the presidential campaign.

The Wall Street Journal reported that “a senior Justice Department official called Mr. McCabe to voice his displeasure at finding that New York FBI agents were still openly pursuing the Clinton Foundation probe during the election season. … The Justice Department official was ‘very pissed off,’ according to one person close to McCabe, and pressed him to explain why the FBI was still chasing a matter the department considered dormant.”

Goodlatte and other Republicans have seized on the findings in the report, saying it shows that the Obama-era DOJ, led by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, may have been putting pressure on the bureau to end the Clinton probes.” (Read more: The Hill, 5/01/2018)

April 19, 2018 – Criminal referral for Loretta Lynch is related to DOJ threat to FBI Uranium One informant

Loretta Lynch, speaks at a press conference on April 28, 2014. (Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty)

“Congressional lawmakers made a criminal referral Wednesday to the Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions against former senior-level Obama administration officials, including employees of the FBI connected with the unverified dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as those involved in the warrants used to spy on a former Trump campaign volunteer, this reporter has learned. The lawmakers also made a criminal referral on former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and threats made by her DOJ against the FBI informant, who provided the bureau with information on the Russian nuclear industry and the approval in 2010 to sell roughly 20 percent of American uranium mining assets to Russia.”

(…) “Lynch was referred after concerns were made regarding her decision to threaten with reprisal the former FBI informant, William Douglas Campbell, who first came forward in 2016 with insight into the sale of the Canadian firm Uranium One, which controlled nearly 20 percent of uranium mining interests in the United States, as previously reported.

Campbell had filed a lawsuit in Maryland federal court in 2016 against the Russian companies he was employed with and which he had kept tabs on for the FBI. He was asking for the return of the money he had to launder out of his own paychecks and had sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the DOJ for information on his case. After the DOJ received the FOIA request and the lawsuit was filed, his lawyers were advised by personnel from the Justice Department that prosecutors in the Fraud Section of the Justice Department under Lynch, demanded the withdrawal the lawsuit. According to a letter written by Campbell’s previous attorney, the DOJ threatened to destroy Campbell’s reputation and prosecute him for violating a non-disclosure agreement he had signed with the FBI.

The criminal referral on Lynch is regarding “potential violation(s) of 18 USC 1505 and 1515b,” according to the letter.”  (Read more: Sarah Carter, 04/19/2018)

April 19, 2018 – Criminal Referral Issued For Comey, Clinton, Lynch And McCabe; Rosenstein Recusal Demanded

(Source: Conservative Treehouse)

“Eleven GOP members of Congress led by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have written a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney John Huber, and FBI Director Christopher Wray – asking them to investigate former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others – including FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Recall that Sessions paired special prosecutor John Huber with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz – falling short of a second Special Counsel, but empowering Horowitz to fully investigate allegations of FBI FISA abuse with subpoena power and other methods he was formerly unable to utilize.

The GOP letter’s primary focus appears to be James Comey, while the charges for all include obstruction, perjury, corruption, unauthorized removal of classified documents, contributions and donations by foreign nationals and other allegations.

The letter also demands that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “be recused from any examination of FISA abuse,” and recommends that “neither U.S. Attorney John Huber nor a special counsel (if appointed) should report to Rosenstein.”  (Read more: Zero Hedge, 04/19/2015)

April 11, 2018 – A former Defense Intelligence Agency official, Ezra Cohen-Watnick resurfaces in AG Jeff Sessions top staff

“A key DIA official from within the White House National Security Council has resurfaced today as reports show Ezra Cohen-Watnick has been hired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to assist on issues surrounding counterintelligence and counterterrorism.”

John Lausch (Credit: Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune)

♦U.S. Attorney John Lausch was brought on by AG Jeff Sessions to coordinate investigative document releases to congressional oversight.  Specifically, Lausch has been assigned as the point of contact for discussion with congress. This move keeps Federal DOJ Prosecutor John Huber (IG Horowitz’s investigative partner) away from political engagement, and allows Huber to continue culling through potentially criminal evidence without political concerns.

♦Remember, previously the Eastern District of Virginia attorney, Dana Boente, was identified as being a problem for the ‘small group’ of co-conspirators during their activity. Following the firing of AAG Sally Yates, April 2017, Boente was put in charge of the DOJ National Security Division.  Acting Attorney General Boente granted IG Horowitz previously denied access to oversight within the DOJ-NSD.  After Jeff Sessions confirmation Boente remained in charge of the DOJ-NSD.

Near the end of 2017 Dana Boente left Main Justice and then resurfaced late in January 2018 when FBI chief legal counsel James Baker was outlined as being a key participant in the 2015, 2016, 2017 anti-trump operation.  Baker was removed from all responsibilities  and replaced with Boente.  Mr. Boente remains the current chief legal counsel of the FBI serving under Christopher Wray.

♦The Head of the FBI Counterintelligence Unit is E.W. “Bill” Priestap.  In ’15, ’16, and 2017 Priestap was Peter Strzok’s boss.  Text messages between Andrew McCabe’s former office lawyer, Lisa Page, and FBI Agent Peter Strzok, during the DOJ/FBI operations against candidate Trump, showed multiple examples of the ‘small group’ working around Priestap.

♦Responding to the initial results of an NSA FISA audit – on April 28th, 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers shut down the DOJ-NSD and FBI access to the NSA database based on 702(16) “about” search inquiries.  When the full audit was completed, October 2016, Admiral Rogers informed the FISC court of serious FISA search violations, breaches, extraction of raw intelligence information and misrepresentations by FBI and DOJ officials to the FISA court.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick (Credit: public domain)

Back to Today’s News – The IG Horowitz and Prosecutor Huber investigation is ongoing; the FBI has Dana Boente as chief legal counsel; Bill Priestap remains in place as head of Counterintelligence; and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions has added former DIA official Ezra Cohen-Watnick to “advise Mr. Sessions on counterintelligence” matters.

♦2017: […] “Washington got its first real look at Cohen-Watnick when he was identified as one of two White House sources who provided House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes with evidence that former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the “unmasking” of the names of Trump associates in intelligence documents.” (The Atlantic, 7/23/2017)

I think everyone can see how each of these moves and shifts relates to the larger matters at hand.  It is obvious Mr. Cohen-Watnick is part of the dynamic to capture all those who participated in the scheme to destroy the Trump presidency.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 4/11/2018)

March 29, 2018 – Excerpts of Sessions letter to Congress reveals his assignment of prosecutor John W. Huber and his work with IG Horowitz

Jeff Sessions (Credit: public domain)

(…) “As you are aware, I have asked the Department’s Inspector General, Michael E. Horowitz, to review certain matters that you and some members of your committees have raised in recent and previous letters. In addition to his ongoing investigation, the Inspector General has now confirmed that he has opened a review into the Department’s compliance with certain legal requirements and Department and FBI policies and procedures with respect to certain applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.”

(…) “To carry out these duties, Title 5 of the United States Code provides the Inspector General with broad discretion and significant investigative powers. The office currently employs approximately 470 staff, a significant number of whom are lawyers, auditors, and investigators who may exercise wide discretion on matters under their jurisdiction. If the Inspector General finds evidence of criminal wrongdoing, he may refer it to a United States Attorney who can then convene a grand jury or take other appropriate actions. To be clear, the Inspector General has the authority to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, collect evidence through subpoena, and develop cases for presentation to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General for prosecution or other action. The Inspector General also may, under appropriate circumstances, make information available to the public even if no criminal or disciplinary action is recommended. In contrast, this type of information would not normally be publicly available after the conclusion of a traditional criminal investigation.”

(…) “As noted in Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd’s November 13, 2017 letter to the House Committee on the Judiciary, I already have directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues previously raised by the Committee. In that letter, Mr. Boyd stated:

“These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

Specifically, I asked United States Attorney John W. Huber to lead this effort. Mr. Huber is an experienced federal prosecutor who was twice confirmed unanimously by the Senate as United States Attorney for the District of Utah in 2015 and 2017. Mr. Huber previously served in leadership roles within the U.S.Attorney’s Office as the National Security Section Chief and the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney. He has personally prosecuted a number of high-profile cases and coordinated task forces focused against violent crime and terrorism. This work garnered commendations from the highest levels of the Department over the course of two administrations.” Letter, 3/29/2018)