June 5, 2018 – Priestap’s testimony reveals the composition of the Mid-Year Exam team
(…) “Priestap revealed a surprising level of detail regarding the composition of the team involved in Mid-Year Exam. As Priestap described it, the team comprised three differing but intertwined elements: the filter team, the primary team, and the senior leadership team.
Below Strzok and Moffa was a day-to-day investigative “filter” team of approximately 15 FBI agents and analysts that was overseen by Rick Mains, a supervisory special agent who reported directly to Strzok and Moffa. Joining the team were two DOJ lawyers from the Eastern District of Virginia and two attorneys from the DOJ’s National security Division (NSD) who, according to Priestap, were “heavily engaged.” According to testimony from Page, John Carlin, who ran the NSD, was receiving briefings on both investigations directly from McCabe.
The primary team was small, consisting only of Strzok, Moffa, Mains, and, to varying degrees, Moyer. Mains reported to Strzok and Moffa, who, in turn, along with Moyer, provided briefings to Priestap.
The senior leadership team was more fluid, consisting of higher-level officials who provided briefings and updates to Comey, McCabe, or both. In addition to Priestap, Strzok, and Moffa, frequent attendees included Moyer (“sometimes, but not always”); Page (“usually included”); deputy general counsel Trisha Anderson (“sometimes, but not always”); Comey’s chief of staff, Jim Rybicki (“most, if not all of these”); and general counsel Baker (“often in those meetings”).
According to Priestap, Mains was never involved in the senior leadership meetings. Priestap described Mains’ role as being “in charge of the investigative team, the working level, all the day-to-day stuff.”
“[While] we asked his opinion on all kinds of things, we didn’t want him to be tied up in all those other meetings because he needed to advance the investigation. Somebody’s got to ride herd on all the people doing the work,” he said.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/29/2019)
- Andrew McCabe
- Bill Priestap
- Clinton Email Investigation
- Department of Justice National Security Division
- Eastern District of Virginia
- FBI's Clinton email investigation
- James Baker
- James Comey
- Jim Rybicki
- John Carlin
- Jonathan Moffa
- June 2018
- Lisa Page
- Mid Year Exam (MYE)
- Mid Year Exam team
- Peter Strzok
- Rick Mains
- Sally Moyer
- Trisha Anderson
September 28, 2016 – November 6, 2016: A recap of how the FBI handles the Weiner laptop
A lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch has unearthed an email [full pdf] from Clinton Lawyer David Kendall to FBI chief legal counsel James Baker on the day the FBI was forced to re-open the Clinton email investigation due to the Weiner laptop.
With the passage of time the inherent issues have become somewhat clouded, and most people have forgotten many of the inherent issues that showcased how the FBI and DOJ had decided in advance not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. However, the key takeaway from this latest FOIA finding is that Clinton lawyers directly contacted the FBI team that was investigating the Weiner laptop. (Note: read email chain bottom to top)
The Weiner laptop emails were originally discovered by New York investigators and reported to the FBI office in Washington DC on September 28th, 2016. However, the FBI never took action to review the emails until a month later on October 28th.
It was DOJ officials within SDNY (Southern District of New York) who called Main Justice (DOJ in DC) and asked about a needed search warrant a month later that kicked off the review.
Let’s look at the Page/Strzok messages and remind ourselves of what was going on.
Here are the messages from Lisa Page and Peter Strzok surrounding the original date that New York officials notified Washington DC FBI. It’s important to note the two different entities: DOJ -vs- FBI.
According to the September 28, 2016, messages from FBI Agent Peter Strzok it was the SDNY in New York telling Andrew McCabe in DC about the issue. Pay close attention to the convo:
Notice: “hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s attorney to SDNY”. This is not an outcome of a New York Police Dept. raid on Anthony Weiner. This is Weiner’s attorney going to the U.S. attorney and voluntarily turning over the laptop and by extension the emails. The emails were not turned over to the FBI in New York, the actual emails were turned over to the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District, Preet Bahara.
The SDNY then called the FBI Mid-Year-Exam team in Washington DC, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was notified, and then nothing happened for over three weeks.
On October 21, 2016, a phone call kicks off additional inquiry. This is the call referenced by James Comey in the Bret Baier interview.
Someone from New York called “Main Justice” (the DOJ National Security Division in DC) and notified DOJ-NSD Deputy Asst. Attorney General George Toscas of the Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton emails via the “Weiner investigation.”
George Toscas “wanted to ensure information got to Andy“, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe…. so he called FBI Agent Peter Strzok…. who told George Toscas “we know”.
Peter Strzok then tells Bill Priestap. Of course, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe already knew about the emails since, more than three weeks earlier.
That phone call kicks off an internal debate about the previously closed Clinton email investigation. And Andrew McCabe sitting on the notification from New York for over three weeks kicks off a second internal FBI discussion about McCabe needing to recuse himself because of the optics of his doing nothing.
It’s October 27th, 2016, James Comey chief-of-staff Jim Rybicki wants McCabe to recuse himself. But Rybicki is alone on an island. Lisa Page is furious at such a suggestion, partly because she is McCabe’s legal counsel and if McCabe is recused so too is she.
At the same time as they are debating how to handle the Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton emails, the FBI begin leaking to the media to frame a specific narrative. The issue of them sitting on the laptop for three weeks and doing nothing is a potentially damning detail.
Important to note here: at no time is there any conversation -or hint of a conversation- that anyone is reviewing the content of the laptop emails. The discussions don’t mention a single word about content… every scintilla of conversation is about how to handle the issues of the emails themselves. Actually, there’s not a single person mentioned in thousands of text messages that applies to an actual person who is looking at any content.
Quite simply: there is a glaringly transparent lack of an “investigation”.
Within this “tight group” at FBI, as Comey puts it, there is not a single mention of a person who is sitting somewhere looking through the reported “600,000” Clinton emails that was widely reported by media. There’s absolutely ZERO evidence of anyone looking at emails or scouring through laptop data…. and FBI Agent Peter Strzok has no staff under him who he discusses assigned to such a task…. and Strzok damned sure ain’t doing it.
It’s still October 27th, 2016, the day before James Comey announces his FBI decision to re-open the Clinton investigation. Jim Rybicki is still saying McCabe should be recused from input; everyone else, including FBI Legal Counsel James Baker, is disagreeing with Rybicki and siding with Lisa Page.
Meanwhile the conversation has shifted slightly to “PC”, probable cause. Read:
While Lisa Page is leaking stories to Devlin Barrett (Wall Street Journal), the internal discussion amid the “small group” is about probable cause.
The team is now saying if there was no probable cause when Comey closed the original email investigation in July 2016 (remember the very tight boundaries of review), then there’s no probable cause in October 2016 to reopen the investigation regardless of what the email content might be. The inspector general report from June 2018 explains why:
The DOJ’s legal interpretation of “intent”, as a prerequisite for criminal charges based on transmission of classified data, virtually assured Clinton would not be prosecuted.
This appears to be how the FBI “small group” or “tight team” justify doing nothing with the content and notification received from New York (SDNY). They received notification of the emails on September 28th and it’s now October 27th, and they haven’t even looked at them. Heck, they are debating if there’s even a need to look at it.
Then on October 28th, 2016, the FBI and Main Justice officials have a conference call about the entire Huma Abedin/Hillary Clinton email issue. Here’s where it gets interesting.
George Toscas and David Laufman from DOJ-NSD articulate a position that something needs to happen because Main Justice is now concerned about the issue of FBI (McCabe) sitting on the emails for over three weeks without any feedback to SDNY (New York).
Comey later admitted in his memoir “A Higher Loyalty,” that political calculations shaped his decisions during this period. But, he wrote, they were calibrated to help Clinton:
“Assuming, as nearly everyone did, that Hillary Clinton would be elected president of the United States in less than two weeks, what would happen to the FBI, the Justice Department or her own presidency if it later was revealed, after the fact, that she still was the subject of an FBI investigation?”
Thanks to the political decision of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Main Justice in DC, specifically DOJ National Security Division, now looks like they are facilitating a cover-up operation being conducted by the FBI “small group”. [which is actually true, but they can’t let that be so glaringly obvious]. FBI Director James Comey is worried that if anyone found out they had sat on this laptop discovery a “President Clinton” would then come under investigation….. how would the FBI explain themselves?
As a result of the Top-Tier officials conference call, FBI Agent Strzok is grumpy because his opinion appears to be insignificant; the discussion is above his pay grade.
The decision is now reached to announce the re-opening of the investigation. This sends Lisa Page bananas…
…In rapid response mode Lisa Page reaches out to journalist Devlin Barrett, again to quickly shape the media coverage. Now that the world is going to be aware of the need for a Clinton email investigation 2.0 the internal conversation returns to McCabe’s recusal.
Please note that at no time in the FBI is anyone directing an actual investigation of the content of the Clinton emails. Every single second of every effort is devoted to shaping the public perception of the need for the investigation. According to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page every media outlet is being watched; every article is being read; and the entire apparatus of the small group (James Baker, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Mike Kortan et al) is shaping coverage therein by contacting their leak outlets.
The laptop emails Anthony Weiner’s lawyer brought to Preet Bharara (SDNY) might have been Anthony Weiner’s leverage to try and escape NY prosecution. Eric Prince outlined the content of that laptop as carrying much more than just Clinton emails:
“Because of Weinergate and the sexting scandal, the NYPD started investigating it. Through a subpoena, through a warrant, they searched his laptop, and sure enough, found those 650,000 emails. They found way more stuff than just more information pertaining to the inappropriate sexting the guy was doing,” Prince claimed.
“They found State Department emails. They found a lot of other really damning criminal information, including money laundering, including the fact that Hillary went to this sex island with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Bill Clinton went there more than 20 times. Hillary Clinton went there at least six times,” he said.
“The amount of garbage that they found in these emails, of criminal activity by Hillary, by her immediate circle, and even by other Democratic members of Congress was so disgusting they gave it to the FBI, and they said, ‘We’re going to go public with this if you don’t reopen the investigation and you don’t do the right thing with timely indictments,’” Prince explained.
“I believe – I know, and this is from a very well-placed source of mine at 1PP, One Police Plaza in New York – the NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making in this investigation, and they’ve gotten huge pushback, to the point of coercion, from the Justice Department, with the Justice Department threatening to charge someone that had been unrelated in the accidental heart attack death of Eric Garner almost two years ago. That’s the level of pushback the Obama Justice Department is doing against actually seeking justice in the email and other related criminal matters,” Prince said. (Link)
There’s never been any investigation that would disprove the laptop content was not what Eric Prince’s sources outlined. However, the SDNY, responding to upper level leadership from Main Justice and FBI in DC, turned over all material and essentially the laptop was buried.
In DC the FBI (Comey and McCabe) created the appearance of a re-opening of the Clinton investigation on October 28th, 2016, to keep control and ensure the investigative outcomes remained in their hands; as Comey said: “they had no choice.”
However, once the FBI opened the investigation October 28th, they did exactly the same thing they had done from September 28th to October 28th… they did nothing. A few days later [November 6, 2018] they declared the second investigation closed, and that was that.
Again, they never expected her to lose.
When she did lose, panic ensued.
Now does Mueller make more sense?
The widely held view of the process is/was that Rod Rosenstein selected Robert Mueller as special counsel, and following that selection Mueller created his team. The perspective from CTH research is slightly different.
CTH believes that following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the FBI Chief Legal Counsel, Jim Baker and FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe; together with the corrupt small group that was involved in the prior year’s counterintelligence investigation; reacted to Comey’s firing by pressuring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint their preferred person, Robert Mueller.
Within this internal debate (May 2017); at the time this construct was being argued; is when the famous comment from Rosenstein originates: “what do you want me to do, wear a wire?” The corrupt FBI investigative crew; having initiated and continued “Crossfire Hurricane”; including people from the DOJ-NSD side (Ohr, Weissmann, etc) were pressuring Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel….. but not just any special counsel.. Baker and McCabe had the person pre-selected. That person was Robert Mueller.
They needed Robert Mueller because they needed a person who held a similar level of risk from prior activity exposure as themselves. Mueller, directly or indirectly, was at the center of multiple Obama and Clinton abuses of power.
Obviously we can see the reason for this FBI/DOJ crew to need a special counsel. As career corruptocrats they were operating from a mindset of mitigating risk to themselves and continuing to advance on the objective to attack the executive office through their investigative schemes.
The key point here is subtle but very significant. Robert Mueller didn’t select his team, the corrupt team, the “small group”, selected him.
There is a great deal of inconsistent application of law surrounding the DOJ/FBI investigative authority during 2015 and 2016. There is also a great deal of fatigue surrounding discussion of those inconsistent applications. Contradictions, inconsistency and obtuse justifications are as rampant in our midst as the political narratives shaping them. Perhaps that’s by design. WATCH:
(Republished with permission)