August 26, 2018 – House task force interviews FBI official, Jonathan Moffa, about Clinton emails
“House lawmakers interviewed an FBI official on Friday, part of an ongoing congressional investigation into the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
A congressional source confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the Judiciary and Oversight Committees met privately with FBI official Jonathan Moffa at the end of the week — the latest in a line of interviews conducted by the joint task force looking into the FBI’s controversial handling of the inquiry into the former secretary of state’s unauthorized server.
Moffa was mentioned in an April letter sent to Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who took note of emails from February 2016 that suggested Justice Department coordination with the FBI before ex-FBI Director James Comey publicly recommend in July that no charges be brought against Clinton, who was then a candidate for president.
In the letter, first reported by Fox News, Meadows pointed to emails found on Clinton’s server with “Top Secret” information that indicated Comey may have misled Congress when he testified that there was no DOJ-FBI coordination at “crucial moments of the investigation.” One of those emails from an unidentified senior Justice Department official sent to Peter Strzok, the former FBI official who led the Clinton probe and was recently fired for his anti-Trump texting; Moffa, an official in the FBI’s criminal division and the bureau’s Office of General Counsel; and members of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia, discussed being “kept in the loop as [a] response is drafted.”
The Judiciary-Oversight joint task force also reportedly set up interviews with at least three other FBI officials earlier this summer, including with Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Michael Steinbach, the former head of the FBI’s national security division, and John Giacalone, who preceded Steinbach.
Despite protests from across the aisle, the GOP-led task force isn’t done yet. According to Bloomberg, lawmakers will privately interview former top FBI lawyer James Baker on Aug. 30. (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/26/2018)
August 24, 2018 – The House Judiciary and Oversight Committees interview Jonathan Moffa – Transcript
August 24, 2018 – Deputy assistant director Jonathan Moffa’s testimony about Confidential Human Sources (CHS)
(…) Much of the questioning of Moffa was done by Robert Parmiter, the chief counsel for the Republican staff on the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee. He asked Moffa about August 2016 text messages between Moffa and FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was putting together a meeting to discuss the initial organization of the investigation. Even at that early date, Strzok specified that they needed to discuss the use of “CHS” and “liaison.”
Parmiter asked about the acronym CHS: “What does that stand for?”
Moffa replied: “Confidential human source.”
When Parmiter asked Moffa whether Christopher Steele was a CHS, Moffa went off the record to confer with his bureau-provided counsel, Robert Sinton. When they came back on the record, Moffa answered the question: “Yes.”
That was merely confirmation of what had been known for some time — that Christopher Steele was an official informant expecting to be paid by the FBI for his dossier information. Moffa also confirmed that Steele’s status as a CHS had eventually been revoked. Moffa had been at a meeting where “closing” Steele as a Confidential Human Source was discussed, but Moffa declined to answer questions about what Steele did to lose his CHS status.
Steele was hardly the only CHS used in the FBI’s investigation. It has been widely reported that a retired Cambridge professor, Stefan Halper, was a CHS — we’ve all been lectured not to use the word “spy” in describing him.
And now the New York Times has put in print what was long suspected, that the woman Halper presented to George Papadopoulos as his “assistant” was actually something else altogether. “Azra Turk” was an FBI asset sent across the Atlantic with a mission to get incriminating information out of Papadopoulos. It’s not clear whether she counted as a CHS herself, or whether she was an “investigator” with some other official status at the bureau.
So the question remains: Other than the woman whose cover name was Azra Turk (and whose official position may or may not have been as a CHS), were Steele and Halper the only Confidential Human Sources used against the Trump campaign? It doesn’t appear so.
Moffa was asked in the closed-door Capitol Hill interview, “How many CHSs did you have working on this investigation at the time?”
Moffa again conferred with his counsel off the record.
“Okay,” he replied, back on the record. “So I legitimately do not know the total number of CHSs. That’s an operational side decision, but I also don’t want to imply to you that I don’t — I’m not aware of any CHSs, right. So that’s what we were just talking about. But I legitimately can’t tell you the overall number that are engaged. I just don’t know it.” (Read more: National Review, 5/3/2019)
July 13, 2018 – Lisa Page notes who worked on both the Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation
“The role of Moffa, currently a deputy assistant director at the FBI, may have been greater than previously understood. Page noted that most of the FBI personnel involved in the Clinton and the Trump–Russia investigations were separate from each other—they worked on one investigation or the other.
Strzok and Moffa, both from the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, worked on both investigations, as Page noted:
“Really, it’s the people that met with Jim Comey. Those are the only people that were really the same with respect to both teams. So it’s the same general counsel, the same deputy general counsel, me, Mr. McCabe, Dave Bowdich. The EAD for National Security Branch changed, but that was just because of regular personnel turnover.
“Bill Priestap was the same. Pete was the same. Jon Moffa was the same. But other than that, all of the rest of the personnel were, to the best of my knowledge—there could have been one or two—but all of the rest of the personnel on the Clinton team and the Russia team were different.” (The Epoch Times, 1/21/2019)
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
June 2017 – Priestap’s testimony about the Strzok/Page affair notification
(…) “It was Priestap that sat down with Strzok and Page and told them he’d heard rumors about their ongoing affair. Priestap noted during his June 5 interview that he had this discussion “about a year ago,” placing the meeting in mid-2017. Priestap was informed of the possibility of the affair by one of Strzok’s two co-managers in the Clinton email investigation—either Moffa or FBI lawyer Sally Moyer:
Mr. Priestap: “I spoke to Deputy Director McCabe about it. I also spoke to both Pete and Lisa about it. I felt I owed it to them. Lisa did not report to me, but I felt that they ought to be aware of what was being said. I didn’t ask them if it was true, but they needed to know that that impression was out there.
“And I don’t remember my exact words. But what I was trying to communicate is this better not interfere with things, if you know what I mean. Like, to me, the mission is everything. And so, we all have our personal lives, what have you. I’m not the morality police.”
According to Priestap, an affair was not technically against FBI policy—although he admitted that under certain circumstances it could become a blackmail concern, “if that was going on that potentially makes them vulnerable.” Priestap did not ask either Strzok or Page if the allegations were true. He simply placed them on notice that he was aware of the rumors.
Priestap said that he did not report the affair to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility but did feel that McCabe needed “to be aware that there’s talk this might be going on.” It is not clear if McCabe ever discussed the issue with either Strzok or Page.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/29/2019)
November 6, 2016 – Peter Strzok sends an email to FBI and DoJ officials claiming no new classified Clinton emails are found on Weiner’s laptop
(…) “The lawsuit also forced the release of a November 6, 2016, email by then-FBI official Peter Strzok telling Bowdich, Priestap, Rybicki, Page, former FBI General Counsel James Baker and others: “[Redacted], Jon and I completed our review of all of the potential HRC work emails on the [Anthony Weiner] laptop. We found no previously unknown, potentially classified emails on the media.”
As Judicial Watch previously reported, there were at least 18 classified emails found on the Weiner laptop by the FBI. Paul Sperry’s RealClear Investigations report revealed that only 3,077 of the 340,000 emails “were directly reviewed for classified or incriminating information.” (Judicial Watch, 2/11/2019)
October 28, 2016 – Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, emails Baker requesting a call “ASAP” about the Comey letter
“On October 28, 2016, the day that Comey sent a letter to Congress regarding the FBI’s discovery that the Weiner laptop contained Clinton’s emails. Hillary Clinton’s personal lawyer David Kendall, within hours, email’s Baker requesting a call “ASAP” about the Comey letter. Baker describes his follow-up call to senior FBI officials:
“I received the email below from David Kendall and I called him back. Before doing so I alerted DOJ via email that I would do that.
He said that our letter was “tantalizingly ambiguous” and made statements that were “inchoate and highly ominous” such that what we had done was worse than transparency because it allows people to make whatever they want out to make out of the letter to the prejudice of Secretary Clinton.
I told him that I could not respond to his requests at this time but that I would discuss it with others and get back to him.
I suggest that we have some kind of follow up meeting or phone call with this group either this evening or over the weekend to address this and probably other issues/questions that come up in the next 24 hours. Sound reasonable?”
Baker’s heads up on the Kendall call was sent to:
- Then-Director James Comey; since fired;
- Then-Associate Deputy Director David Bowdich, who later replaced Andrew McCabe as deputy director;
- Michael Steinbach, the F.B.I.’s former executive assistant director for national security;
- Then-Assistant Director of Counterintelligence E.W. Priestap, now retired;
- James Rybicki, former chief of staff to Comey;
- FBI intelligence analyst Jonathan Moffa;
- Former Acting Assistant Director Jason V. Herring;
- Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired;
- Former principal deputy general counsel Trisha Anderson;
- Strzok and Page
The emails show that a conference call for the above senior officials was set up for the next day by Peter Strzok. (Two days before the election, on November 6, Comey sent a second letter reporting that the FBI’s review of the Weiner laptop material would not change his “conclusion” that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted.) (Judicial Watch, 2/11/2019)
July 22, 2016 – FBI officials email exchange shows Clinton aide attorney, Beth Wilkinson was “haranguing” them over the return of laptops
“A July 22, 2016, email exchange, among Strzok, Page, Moffa and other unidentified FBI and DOJ officials, shows that Beth Wilkinson, an attorney for several top Clinton aides during the server investigation, wanted a conference call with the DOJ/FBI and that she was “haranguing” the FBI/DOJ about the return of laptops in the FBI’s possession:
A Wilkinson Walsh attorney, emails [Redacted] FBI National Security Division Officials: We wanted to follow up on our conversation from a few days ago. We would like to schedule a time to speak with both you and [Redacted] early next week. Is there a time on Monday or Tuesday that could work on your end?
[Redacted] FBI National Security Division official emails: See below. I am flexible on Monday and Tuesday. [Redacted] can chime in with her availability. It is my understanding that Toscas [George Toscas], who helped lead Midyear Exam may have called over to Jim or Trisha [former Principal Deputy General Counsel [Trisha Anderson] regarding some high-level participation for at least the first few such calls. I am happy to discuss further but wanted to send you this so you could raise within the OGC [Office of the General Counsel] and give me a sense of scheduling options. I am around if you want to talk.
[Redacted] FBI National Security Division official writes: In the meantime, I’ll tell Hal that we will certainly schedule a call and will get back to him as to timing. Since he knows Beth [Wilkinson] personally, it could be useful to have Jim on the phone if she is going to be haranguing us re: the laptops.
[Redacted] FBI Office of the General Counsel writes: More…I guess this is [Redacted’s] rationale for why we need to have the GC on the call to discuss the fact that we will be following all of our legal obligations and FBI policies/procedures with regard to the disposition of the materials in this case.
Strzok writes: You are perfectly competent to speak to the legal obligations and FBI policy/procedures. We should NOT be treating opposing counsel this way. We would not in any other case.
July 12, 2016 FactCheck.org emails the FBI about inconsistencies between Comey’s congressional testimony and statements by Clinton
“On July 12, 2016, Eugene Kiely, the director of FactCheck.org, emailed the FBI about inconsistencies he’d identified between Comey’s congressional testimony and statements by Clinton and her campaign about her deletion of emails. Kiely noted that Comey testified to the House that Clinton did not give her lawyers any instructions on which of her emails to delete, whereas Clinton herself told the press that she made the decision on which emails should be deleted. Kiely also pointed out that Comey said in his testimony that there were three Clinton emails containing classification “portion markings,” whereas the State Department had said there were only two Clinton emails with classification markings. Kiely’s inquiry set off an internal discussion at the top of the FBI on how to respond to his questions.
Strzok writes: “We’re looking into it and will get back to you this afternoon; the answer may require some tweaking, the question is whether this is the forum to do it.” The email is addressed to FBI intelligence analyst Moffa; Rybicki; Michael Kortan, FBI assistant director for public affairs, now retired; Lisa Page and others.
Strzok’s suggested press response is fully redacted, but included is his deferral to the “7th floor as to whether to release to this reporter or in another manner.”
When asked “should we provide any additional information to FactCheck.org or would any updates more appropriately be give [sic] directly to Congress?” Strzok defers to “Jim/Lisa [Page]” and [Redacted].” (Read more: Judicial Watch: 2/15/2019)