John Durham

November 22, 2019 – Durham probe expands to Pentagon office that contracted FBI spy Stephan Halper

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Justice Department prosecutor U.S. Attorney John Durham is questioning personnel connected to the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, which awarded multiple contracts to FBI informant Stephan Halper. Halper, who was informing the bureau on Trump campaign advisors, is a central figure in the FBI’s original investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, SaraACarter.com has learned.

(…) Multiple sources confirmed to this news site that Durham has spoken extensively with sources working in the Office of Net Assessment, as well as outside contractors, that were paid through the Pentagon office.

(…) In 2016, Halper was an integral part of the FBI’s investigation into short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page, and George Papadopolous. Halper first made contact with Page at his seminar in July 2016. Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, was accused at the time of being sympathetic to Russia. Halper stayed in contact with Page until September 2017.

(…) According to the DoD Inspector General’s report the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) “did not maintain documentation of the work performed by Professor Halper or any communication that ONA personnel had with Professor Halper; therefore, ONA CORs could not provide sufficient documentation that Professor Halper conducted all of his work in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. We determined that while the ONA CORs established a file to maintain documents, they did not maintain sufficient documentation to comply with all the FAR requirements related to having a complete COR.” (Read more: Sara Carter, 11/22/2019)   (Archive)

November 21, 2019 – Former FBI lawyer allegedly alters document in Carter Page FISA application; Rod Rosenstein once testified to FISA alterations

Michael Horowitz (Credit: public domain)

“An FBI official is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document related to 2016 surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, several people briefed on the matter told CNN.

The possibility of a substantive change to an investigative document is likely to fuel accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation of connections between Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign.

The finding is expected to be part of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review of the FBI’s effort to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide. Horowitz will release the report next month.

Horowitz turned over evidence on the allegedly altered document to John Durham, the federal prosecutor appointed early this year by Attorney General William Barr to conduct a broad investigation of intelligence gathered for the Russia probe by the CIA and other agencies, including the FBI. The altered document is also at least one focus of Durham’s criminal probe.

It’s unknown how significant a role the altered document played in the FBI’s investigation of Page and whether the FISA warrant would have been approved without the document. The alterations were significant enough to have shifted the document’s meaning and came up during a part of Horowitz’s FISA review where details were classified, according to the sources. (Read more: CNN, 11/21/2019)  (Archive)

October 15, 2019 – The DOJ has possession of Joseph Mifsud cell phones

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Inside an otherwise innocuous court filing (full pdf below), General Mike Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell, files a motion to compel (MTC) in an effort to gain discovery of the content from two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud.   [Hat Tip Techno Fog]

Apparently, according to the information within the filing, the DOJ has somehow gained custody of two cell phones belonging to Mr. Mifsud:

The filing notes that “Western intelligence” likely tasked Mr. Mifsud against General Flynn as early as  in order to set up “connections with certain Russians” for later use against him.  Essentially, an intelligence entrapment scheme.

Unfortunately, the filing only identifies the cell phones along with the request for the production of the content therein.  However, the fact the DOJ has two cell phones belonging to Joseph Mifsud opens up a whole bunch of questions:

#1)  How did the US Dept of Justice gain custody of Mr. Mifsud’s cell phones?

#2) Were these Blackberry cell phones issued by U.S. intelligence? (unknown agency)

#3) Why has the U.S. DOJ taken custody of those cell phones?

#4) If #2 is yes, wouldn’t that automatically destroy the “Mifsud as a Russian intelligence asset” narrative?

#5) [Less important] How the heck did Sidney Powell find out about them?

Something is certainly happening here. The cell phone models are from 2011 and 2014.

With U.S. Attorney John Durham and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr traveling to Italy to listen to the taped deposition of Joseph Mifsud last month…and now the discovery that the DOJ has his cell phones from a period of keen interest in the Russia collusion-conspiracy framework…it would appear Mr. Mifsud might just be the Maltese Fulcrum.

In response to the defense Motion to Compel, the U.S. Dept of Justice told Ms. Powell: “if they determine the information is discoverable or relevant to sentencing” they will produce them.

(View complete document on Scribd)

(Conservative Treehouse, 10/15/2019)

October 3, 2019 – Former CIA director John Brennan to be interviewed by U.S. attorney John Durham

“Former CIA Director John Brennan said he is “concerned” about the Justice Department’s review of the origins of the Russia investigation.

The “investigation into the investigators” has been underway since the spring, and reports this week showed Attorney General William Barr has taken a more expansive role in it than previously known, pressing foreign leaders to cooperate with the DOJ.

During an interview Wednesday, Brennan said he is “supposedly” going to be interviewed by John Durham, the U.S. attorney tasked with leading the review. Brennan said by all accounts Durham is a man of “integrity” but added Barr has proven himself to be the “president’s attorney.”

“Given that Barr is now accompanying Durham on these things, it really makes me think that the hand of politics and of Trump are now being used to massage what this ongoing review quasi-investigation is. So I am concerned,” Brennan said on MSNBC.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 10/03/2019)

October 2, 2019 – Justice Department to question former CIA director John Brennan in ‘Spygate’ Inquiry

John Brennan (Credit: public domain)

“The special prosecutor investigating the spy operation against the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump will question former CIA Director John Brennan, according to Brennan’s remarks aired on Oct. 2.

“I am supposedly going to be interviewed by Mr. Durham as part of this non-investigation,” Brennan said on MSNBC, referring to U.S. Attorney John Durham.

Attorney General William Barr assigned Durham, a career prosecutor, to investigate whether Obama administration officials who surveilled Trump’s campaign did so legitimately.

Brennan made the comments as news surfaced that Barr and Durham expanded their investigation overseas to Italy, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Roughly a week prior to Brennan’s comments, Barr and Durham spoke to senior Italian intelligence officials.

“I don’t understand the predication of this worldwide effort to try to uncover dirt, either real or imagined, that would discredit that investigation in 2016 into Russian interference,” Brennan said.

The Department of Justice didn’t respond to a request for additional information.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 10/03/2019)

September 27, 2019 – Italian officials provide an audio recording of Joseph Mifsud’s deposition to AG Barr

(Credit: Communities Digital News)

“Attorney General William Barr reportedly listened to an audio recording of the mysterious professor at the center of the special counsel’s probe during a surprise trip last week to Italy.

Barr met with Italian intelligence officials during the trip, The Daily Beast reported citing Italian officials, and John Durham accompanied him. Durham is a federal prosecutor who is leading an inquiry into FBI and CIA intelligence-gathering activities related to the Trump campaign.

A source in Italy’s Ministry of Justice said that Italian officials played a tape for Barr and Durham, according to The Daily Beast. Another source said the Italians showed the U.S. officials other evidence related to Joseph Mifsud, who was once a Maltese diplomat and has held university positions in the U.K. and Italy.

The tape was a deposition that Mifsud gave after applying for police protection explaining why he might be in harm’s way, according to The Beast. The report said Italian Ministry of Justice records show that Mifsud applied for police protection.

Mifsud was scrutinized in the special counsel’s investigation because of his relationship in 2016 with George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide. Papadopoulos said Mifsud told him during an April 26, 2016 meeting in London that he had learned from Russian government officials that Russia had “dirt” on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of her emails.

(…) The special counsel portrayed Mifsud as a possible Russian agent; however, the Malta-born mystery man also has close ties to Western diplomats. He has visited the U.S. State Department and held a position at Rome’s Link Campus University, which has close ties to Western intelligence agencies.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 10/02/2019)  (Archive)

September 09, 2019 – The Justice Department seeks McCabe’s text messages on FBI probe; former FBI agent Jeffrey Danik filed a FOIA two years ago for same communications

Jeffrey Danik and Robert Mueller (Credit: public domain)

“The Department of Justice is seeking former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s text messages and according to government sources, those will play a significant role in understanding the FBI’s probe into both President Donald Trump’s campaign and the bureaus’ handling of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send government emails.

Lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to get the text messages during the litany of Congressional investigations that have culminated in Attorney General William Barr appointing Connecticut prosecutor John Durham to investigate the FBI’s handling of the election probe. Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-CA, said his committee was stymied by the FBI when they attempted to retrieve McCabe’s communications.

“The House Intelligence Committee tried to get the McCabe texts in the last Congress, but we were stonewalled,” Nunes told SaraACarter.com on Monday. “This is the kind of issue that really needs more transparency. There’s been too much unnecessary secrecy surrounding the entire Russia investigation- the American people deserve to know exactly what happened.”

The text messages between FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his then lover FBI attorney Lisa Page were regarded as a trove of information for congressional investigators. Page and Strzok’s text messages were turned over and for the most part – other than the details of the pairs private romantic relationship- to lawmakers during the congressional probes. The lawmakers were able to read the texts as part of the ongoing investigations either in-camera or when certain portions were declassified and made public.

(…)  Judicial Watch also sought the text messages earlier this year. The government watchdog group filed a motion in May to obtain McCabe’s text messages on behalf of FBI supervisory special agent Jeffery Danik.

Danik, who served 28 years in the FBI, filed a motion against the Department of Justice last year for refusing a Freedom of Information Act Request to turn over the texts, as well as McCabe’s FBI emails. Danik had originally filed a FOIA to obtain the communications two years ago.” (Read more: SaraACarter, 9/09/2019)

August 23, 2019 – Details behind Patrick Byrne’s allegations of FBI/DOJ “political espionage”

Former CEO Patrick Byrne has given four primary interviews where he outlines his knowledge of a 2015 and 2016 political espionage operation being run by the FBI.

Fox News, MacCallum – Fox Business #1 – Fox Business #2 – CNN, Cuomo

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

After a review of the interviews, and extracting specific points therein, here’s an overview.

The substance of Mr. Byrne’s claims does seem to align with what we already know about the DOJ and FBI activity during the 2016 election cycle, including the FBI operations.

First, Patrick Byrne claims he has spoken to the DOJ on April 5th, 2019, and again on April 30th, 2019.  Mr. Byrne states he told the DOJ all of the information he was aware of during those two interviews covering approximately seven hours of questioning.

The current public statements Mr. Byrne is making are not with the approval of the DOJ or any investigators therein.  His decision to go public with this information comes as a result of conversations with a life-long mentor and confidant, Warren Buffett.  Mr. Byrne states he has known Warren Buffett since Byrne was a teenager and Mr. Buffett was in his mid-forties.

According to his CNN interview Byrne talked to Buffett in about how he could be a witness in the DOJ investigation authorized by Attorney General Bill Barr and being conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham.  After listening to the details, Buffett recommended Mr. Byrne go public with the story.

However, in order to go public Byrne would need to separate himself from his role as CEO of Overstock, the company Byrne founded.  Mr. Byrne resigned yesterday, August 22nd.

Byrne explains he told Buffett about his April conversations with the DOJ and Buffett said it didn’t matter… Byrne still needed to go public with the story. It sounds like there are several motives for going public; perhaps one is personal safety.

To verify his April DOJ discussion, Byrne points to two references:

♦First, the movement of Maria Butina from harsh isolation in prison on May 9th, ten days after he delivered his testimony to the DOJ.  According to Byrne Ms. Butina was moved to a very different White Collar facility based on his information.

♦The second reference point Byrne highlights is the May 13th DOJ appointment of John Durham to look into the origination of the Russia investigation events. Byrne says this too was a direct result of his two DOJ sessions April 5th and 30th.

If Byrne is accurate; and if his claims of him personally being an operative of the FBI with instructions to engage Ms. Butina inside the political espionage events structured by corrupt FBI officials are genuine; it would appear Special Counsel Robert Mueller facilitated throwing a bag over Ms Butina in an effort to keep the corrupt FBI intelligence operation hidden from the public. This would explain the Mueller demand for strict solitary isolation and confinement.  (The reports are indeed troubling)

Again, if Byrne is correct, it would appear that extremely significant and exculpatory Brady material -evidence that could easily prove an entrapment defense- was intentionally withheld from Ms. Butina’s defense team.   Alarmingly this points to ongoing corrupt officials that still remain inside the current DOJ.  Ms. Butina was collateral damage.


View on Scribd

A review of the time-frame details provided by Patrick Byrne in the four interviews shows his story told four times is consistent each time.

Here’s a brief review of the consistencies aspect:

After a cursory meeting in/around July 2015, Byrne claims in the period of September to December 2015 he reported contact with Russian national Ms. Maria Butina to the FBI as a precaution related to his security clearance.

Byrne claims he was asked to participate in an FBI intelligence operation and to introduce, and/or facilitate the introduction of, Ms. Butina to the campaigns of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

In December of 2015 Mr. Byrne became suspicious of the FBI motives because he warned FBI officials of a potential that his efforts, his reputation and those who trust him, may result in Butina gaining entry into campaign confidences.  The FBI agents told Byrne that was exactly the intent; people high up in the FBI wanted Ms. Butina to gain deep access into the Trump campaign.  Mr. Byrne became suspicious of a corrupt political motive, but didn’t say anything at the time.

Additionally Byrne’s assistance was requested for an investigation of a high-level government official, he later named as Hillary Clinton.

[Sidebar: It’s noteworthy that during these FBI engagements Byrne was never requested to facilitate Ms. Butina into the Bernie Sanders campaign.  The inference in that omission is the Dem primary was rigged, and the riggers saw no value wasting time on Bernie]

In/around Feb or March 2016 Byrne was told to focus Ms. Butina’s attention to the campaign of Donald Trump and to diminish any attention toward Rubio or Cruz.

The assistance of the investigation of the federal official (Hillary Clinton) ended in late June and early July of 2016.  Immediately thereafter Ms. Clinton was publicly -and unusually- cleared by FBI Director James Comey on July 5th, 2016.

In/around this same June & July time-frame (2016), FBI agents requested Mr. Byrne to focus on developing a closer romantic relationship with Ms. Butina and to use his influence to target her to closer proximity with the Trump family and Trump campaign.

It was within these June and July 2016 engagements where FBI agents were apologetic about the requests and specifically mentioned their instructions were coming from three principle FBI officials Byrne described as “X, Y and Z”.   Later Byrne identified FBI Director James Comey as “Z”.

In the Fox MacCallum interview Byrne named James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Bill Priestap, John Carlin (DOJ-NSD) and Peter Strzok.   Mr. Byrne said the specific instructions were coming to the agents from Special Agent Peter Strzok as he relayed the requests of those above him [X, Y and Z (Comey)].

This FBI contact structure highlights an arms-length operation; perhaps intentionally constructed to create plausible deniability for those above the directly instructing agents.

In essence, these rank-and-file FBI agents were asking Patrick Byrne to be a civilian handler of a Russian national, and instructing him to carry out a covert counterintelligence operation.  The FBI agents were apologetic about asking a civilian to take on such a role.

Maria Butina (Credit: Anton Novoderezhkin/ Zuma Press)

♦ Ms. Maria Butina is described as a young Russian idealist, who had strong connections to high powered Russian oligarchs.

The purpose of Butina coming to the U.S., as explained by Byrne, was for her to engage with influential Americans for contacts that could provide geopolitical value to the oligarchs.

Patrick Byrne was seen as important to Ms. Butina due to his connections to the emerging financial structures of crypto-currency and block-chain.  Byrne is a libertarian who believes in small government, and is somewhat of a disruptor in the business world. Ms. Butina wanted to introduce Byrne to her friends in Russia.

While it was not outlined in any of the four interviews, alternative currency options to the U.S. dollar have been an ongoing effort of Russian interests for a while.  Russia considers global trade attached to the dollar as geopolitical problem; and they have been working for years on alternative currencies for trade (and their own wealth) that can avoid U.S. sanctions and the reach of the U.S. treasury.

♦ As a Russian national with specific Russian interests that are not in alignment with U.S. national interests, Maria Butina would be defined by the U.S. intelligence community as an ‘agent of a foreign power’.   Her status would mean unrestricted monitoring by the U.S. intelligence community would be entirely legal.

However, because of this ‘foreign agent’ status Ms. Butina could also be valuable as a virus to infect anyone the U.S. intelligence apparatus would wish to target domestically.  This motive appears to be the reason for the FBI to tell Mr. Byrne where to send Ms. Butina.

Conducting FISA-702(16)(17) database searches and surveillance on U.S. persons who would meet with Butina would be justifiable and legal.

Extended contact with any U.S. person could likely lead to a Title-1 surveillance warrant through the FISA court.  However, even without the warrant, 702 searches would be valid just from brief contact.

As we have shown FISA-702(“16” to-from) and (“17” about) queries were off the charts during the time-frame of November 2015 through May 2016.  Per the FISA audit conducted by NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, after the flags noted by the database compliance officer, 85% of the search returns were unauthorized and unmasked.

The time-frames here are too coincidental to be accidental. [Judge Collyer Report]

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/22/2019)

Update: On August 23, 2019, CNN  includes James Comey and Andrew McCabe’s response to Mr. Byrne’s claims:

Byrne’s story, as told to CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo Prime Time,” and in earlier interviews broadcast on Fox Business News and Fox News, also includes allegations that top officials in the Obama administration, including James Comey, the former FBI director, approved of the bureau’s requests of him.

It has not been verified by the agencies, and spokespeople for the Justice Department and FBI declined to comment. Reached Thursday evening by CNN, Comey called Byrne’s claim “ridiculous.”

“The FBI doesn’t work that way,” Comey said.

Former FBI deputy director and CNN contributor Andrew McCabe said he hadn’t heard of Byrne until the former CEO revealed his relationship with Butina.

“His allegation that his potential cooperation with the FBI was somehow discussed at the highest levels certainly never happened when I was there,” McCabe, who held the No. 2 role at the agency beginning in 2016 until his firing in 2018, said Friday on CNN’s “New Day.”

McCabe said it was “certainly possible” that Byrne volunteered information about Butina to the FBI, but disputed the claim that agents would have told Byrne to “engage in a romantic relationship with a suspected Russian intelligence agent.”

“That is simply not the sort of thing that the FBI does,” McCabe said.”

(Read more: CNN, 8/23/2019)

August 4, 2019 – George Papadopoulos and Stefan Halper’s secret informant transcripts reveal a FBI sting operation

(…) “Maria Bartiromo segued into a discussion of George Papadopoulos and the secret informant transcripts; from recordings that were part of the FBI sting operation using U.S. intelligence asset Stefan Halper; and are now being held in evidence by U.S. Attorney John Durham and Inspector General Michael Horowitz. [Background] Keep in mind Gowdy has seen these transcripts.

According to Bartiromo those transcripts include FBI wire-taps of Halper attempting to get Papadopulos to accept assistance from Russia (delivering Clinton emails), and George Papadopoulos absolutely refusing to accept any engagement therein.  Confirming that outline, Gowdy notes there are more recordings (and transcripts) of a similar nature, where the FBI was attempting to bait other Trump campaign officials.” (Read much more: Conservative Treehouse,  8/04/2019)

August 1, 2019 – John Solomon reports Durham and Horowitz have interviewed Joseph Mifsud and obtained an audio-taped deposition

(…) “Solomon told Sean Hannity that Western asset Joseph Mifsud has already testified and the Durham investigators have already obtained a taped deposition of his testimony.

Last week former US Attorney Joe diGenova also reported that US Attorney John Durham and IG Horowitz have already interviewed Joseph Mifsud.

John Solomon: I can report absolutely that the Durham investigators have now obtained an audio-taped deposition of Joseph Mifsud where he describes his work, why he targeted Papadopoulos, who directed him to do that, what directions he was given and why he set that entire process of introducing George Papadopoulos to Russia in motion in March of 2016. Which is really the flashpoint the start point of this whole Russia collusion narrative.

(The Gateway Pundit, 8/01/2019)