Judicial Watch

August 16, 2019 – Judge orders FBI to search for additional Christopher Steele records

Judge Christopher “Casey” Cooper, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, June 6, 2016. (Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi/The National Law Journal)

“A federal judge ordered the FBI on Friday to search for records of any contacts with dossier author Christopher Steele after the bureau cut ties with him as a confidential human source in November 2016.

Judge Christopher Cooper issued the ruling in favor of Judicial Watch, which sued the FBI and Justice Department for all of its records on Steele, a former British spy who investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

The FBI released two batches of Steele-related documents in 2018, but it resisted conducting searches for documents of any contacts that he had with the bureau after Nov. 1, 2016.

FBI officials severed a longstanding relationship with Steele after finding out that he had unauthorized contacts with members of the press.

Cooper ordered the search, saying any additional FBI-Steele documents have “the potential for illuminating the FBI’s activities” in the Trump-Russia probe.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 8/16/2019)

August 14, 2019 – Pentagon analyst and whistleblower Adam S. Lovinger is cleared on allegations of leaking to the media and mishandling classified information

Adam Lovinger (Credit: GoFundMe)

“A confidential counterintelligence investigation cleared suspended Pentagon analyst Adam S. Lovinger on allegations of leaking data to the news media, but officials never told his defense team.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) examined Mr. Lovinger’s use of classified computer networks. In a 2018 report, the NCIS said its review “did not reveal any potential CI (counter intelligence) concerns,” according to a copy obtained by The Washington Times.

(…) Before his suspension, Mr. Lovinger complained internally that the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) was not doing its job by failing to produce reports on future threats known as “net assessments.” Instead, the office was awarding contracts for outside academic-style reports, he said.

One paid contractor was Stefan Halper, the Washington national security figure who while at Cambridge University became an FBI informant to spy on Trump campaign associates in 2016.

Federal security clearance attorney, Sean Bigley (Credit: public domain)

Here is how Mr. Bigley discovered the NCIS verdict:

Judicial Watch, a conservative investigative nonprofit run by Tom Fitton, joined the Lovinger team. It filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to obtain the Pentagon’s file on Mr. Lovinger.

Mr. Fitton hit pay dirt. The Pentagon turned over a number of email threads. Buried in them was a passing reference to the NCIS. Nothing more.

Mr. Bigley then filed an open records request. Last month, the NCIS turned over its 2018 report.

The attorney said he was stunned. He never knew the probe even existed, but less its findings.

He also discovered the Pentagon knew his client was exonerated on the leak issue.

The NCIS report states that the investigative agency specifically informed the Office of Net Assessment.

“ONA was apprised of the status of the investigation,” the report states.

The report also shows that the requesting agency in August 2017 was the Pentagon’s Washington Headquarters Services. It is the organization that revoked Mr. Lovinger’s clearance and brought the case against him.

Mr. Bigley said that NCIS surely informed Washington Headquarters Services of its findings since it had asked for the probe.

The Washington Times submitted a query about Mr. Bigley’s complaint to the Pentagon press office, which didn’t respond.

Mr. Bigley said the administrative judge did not find Mr. Lovinger guilty of leaking to the press. But he said that is beside the point. The attorney said he spent hours preparing a defense on that charge, not knowing there was an NCIS report that already had cleared his client. Government attorneys pressed the leak case during the hearing, he said.

By not being told of the exoneration, Mr. Bigley also was denied the opportunity to present the NCIS report as evidence.

“The leaking allegation against Mr. Lovinger was by far the most serious claim brought against him by DoD,” Mr. Bigley told The Times. “We believe that the government hid this exculpatory evidence because they knew that their other allegations were a smorgasbord of nonsense that would never independently have gotten off the runway.”

Director of the Office of Net Assessment, James H. Baker (Credit: public domain)

In a May 2017 memo, Washington Headquarters Services outlined why it was suspending Mr. Lovinger’s security clearance.

There were two general categories: He mishandled a classified document and shared “sensitive” material with others.

Second, he played a role with a contractor in leaks to the Washington Free Beacon about the Office of Net Assessment’s supposed failings under Director James Baker.

The NCIS report refuted that: “An interview of former ONA contractor did not yield any information of concern.”

“According to Mr. Baker, the leak had disastrous consequences for the ONA mission,” the report added.

In his July letter to the Defense Department inspector general, Mr. Bigley said Pentagon lawyers “failed to make any mention of the NCIS findings in their case, failed to turn over the NCIS investigative report, and failed to even alert this attorney that a report existed which effectively exonerated Mr. Lovinger of the most serious allegation against him.”

That same month, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense sent Mr. Lovinger a firing memo. Since he needed a security clearance to work at ONA and his had been revoked, Mr. Lovinger was being terminated.

Mr. Bigley fired off a return letter saying the termination was premature.

“Nothing underscores ‘whistleblower reprisal’ quite like rushing to terminate a whistleblower from federal service before the Department’s own IG can complete its statutory obligation of an independent, thorough investigation,” he said.” (Read more: The Washington Times, 8/17/2019)

August 8, 2019 – Bruce Ohr 302 reports released

“Bruce Ohr is a DOJ official who was interviewed by the FBI during the DOJ/FBI collaborative effort to target president-elect Donald Trump after the 2016 election.

Mr. Ohr was interviewed on 12 different occasions between November 22nd 2016 and May 15th 2017.  Judicial Watch has finally received the copies of the FBI investigative notes, aka “302 reports.”

The last interview of Bruce Ohr (May 15th, 2017) took place two days prior to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.  Throughout the interviews (full pdf below) Bruce Ohr was acting as the go-between delivering information from his wife Nellie Ohr at Fusion GPS and one of Fusion’s contract investigators, Christopher Steele.

The 302 reports are heavily redacted (sources and methods); however, we already know the majority of names underneath the redactions.  Here are the *302 investigative notes:

(Conservative Treehouse, 8/08/2019)

August 6, 2019 – Judicial Watch obtains records of 14 referrals of FBI employees for leaking sensitive or classified information

Text messages between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page reveal several leaks of confidential information to former Wall St. Journal reporter, Devlin Barrett. (Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“Judicial Watch announced today it received records of 14 referrals of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees to the organization’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) for the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or classified information. The disclosure comes off the heels of Judicial Watch’s uncovering a FBI report detailing fired FBI Director James Comey kept FBI documents on President Trump at his house. Comey also admitted to leaking these documents.

Although the FBI’s OPR does not have its own website, according to the DOJ’s OPR, leak allegations may come, “from a variety of sources, including U.S. Attorney’s offices and other Department components, courts, Congress, media reports, other federal agencies, state and local government agencies, private citizens, private attorneys, criminal defendants, civil litigants, and self-referrals. OPR also regularly conducts its own searches to identify judicial findings of misconduct against Department attorneys.”

One referral obtained by Judicial Watch that appears to refer to former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe was closed on March 20, 2018 and states as a mitigating factor that the “Employee was facing unprecedented challengers and pressures.”

(Name redacted) (DOJ/O&R)  Closed: 3/20/2018  References: 2.5, 2.6, 4.10

SES [Senior Executive Service] employee released the FBI Sensitive information to a reporter and lacked candor not under oath and under oath when questioned about it, in violation of Offense Codes 4.10 (Unauthorized Disclosure – Sensitive Information); 2.5 (Lack of Candor- No Oath); and 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).

The proposed decision in this matter was made by the AD, OPR.  The final decision was made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. DOK retains final decision-making authority for certain high-ranking FBI officials.

MITIGATION: Employee as (redacted) years of FBI service and a remarkable performance record. Employee was facing unprecedented challengers and pressures.

AGGRAVATION: Employee held an extremely high position and was expected to comport himself with the utmost integrity. Lack of candor is incompatible with the FBI’s Core Values.

FINAL ACTION(S): OPR PROPOSED DECISION Proposed DISMISSAL

                              OPR FINAL DECISION:  DISMISSAL

McCabe was fired from the FBI on March 16, 2018, for leaking to the media and lacking “candor.”

The records show that penalties for unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and/or classified information ranged from no action (due to administrative closure) to, as in the case of McCabe, dismissal. Other FBI employees’ offenses reported in the documents list several cases in which the final action was less severe than OPR’s proposal:

  1. An unidentified employee was fired. The case was closed in July 2016.
  2. An unidentified employee was given a one-day suspension without pay. The case was closed in April 2016.
  3. The following year, an unidentified employee received a five-day suspension without pay, and the case was closed administratively in April 2017.
  4. An SES agent who “misused an FBI database, and provided sensitive information to a former FBI employee” was reported to have had as mitigation that he felt he “had the support of his Division to use his discretion.” OPR proposed a 15-day suspension, but the final decision was to give a letter of censure. This case was closed in June 2017.
  5. An unidentified employee was fired. The case was closed in May 2018.
  6. An unidentified employee was recommended for dismissal but received a 45-day suspension. The case was closed in October 2017.
  7. An unidentified employee was given a 14-day suspension. The case was closed in March 2016.
  8. An unidentified employee, who was cited for misuse of an FBI database and unauthorized disclosure of classified/law-enforcement sensitive/grand jury information, was given a 12-day suspension. The case was closed in January 2016.
  9. An unidentified employee received a letter of censure. The case was closed in August 2016.
  10. An unidentified employee was given a letter of censure. The case was closed in October 2016.
  11. An unidentified employee was accused of “Investigative deficiency – improper handling of documents or property in the care, custody or control of the government; unauthorized disclosure – classified/law enforcement sensitive/grand jury information” and “failure to report – administrative.” It was proposed that they be given a 30-calendar day suspension without pay; the final decision from OPR was that they were given a 10-calendar day suspension without pay. This case was closed in February 2018.
  12. An unidentified employee was fired. This case was closed in October 2017.
  13. An unidentified employee was given a letter of censure. It was proposed that they be fired, but the final decision was a 60-day suspension without pay. The case was closed in January 2019.

“No wonder the FBI was leaking so profusely. Collectively, these documents show lenient treatment for evident criminal activity. Only four of the 14 employees found to have made an unauthorized disclosure were dismissed from the FBI,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And even though Andrew McCabe was fired and referred for a criminal investigation for his leak, no prosecution has taken place.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 8/06/2019)

June 25, 2019 – Judicial Watch Sues CIA for Inspector General’s report on Mena, Arkansas, airport drug, arms smuggling allegations

Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport (Credit: Michael Cate/Catemedia)

Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA seeking the CIA Inspector General’s November 1996 report related to a drug-running, arms smuggling and intelligence operation involving Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport in Arkansas.

The airfield in Mena was alleged to have been used in the 1980s by the CIA during the Reagan administration to smuggle arms to rebels in Nicaragua. A central figure in the operation was Barry Seal, a pilot and drug smuggler for Pablo Escobar’s Medellin cartel who became an undercover agent and informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

In November 1996, then-CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz absolved the CIA of involvement in the operation.

Hitz at the time said that “no evidence has been found to indicate that the CIA or anyone acting on its behalf participated in, or otherwise had knowledge of, any illegal or improper activities in Mena, Arkansas or the area north of Mena known as Nella, Arkansas.”

Judicial Watch chief investigative reporter Micah Morrison has written extensively on the activities surrounding the Mena airport. In an October 18, 1994, editorial feature for The Wall Street Journal titled “The Mena Coverup” Morrison wrote: “What do Bill Clinton and Oliver North have in common, along with the Arkansas State Police and the Central Intelligence Agency? All probably wish they had never heard of Mena.”

Morrison noted that Seal, who by 1984 was a DEA informant, “flew at least one sting operation to Nicaragua for the CIA.” Seal was murdered in 1986 by Colombian hitmen in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“The CIA has for over 20 years stonewalled the release of information now sought by Judicial Watch on the Mena Airport controversy,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/25/2019)

June 18, 2019 – Judicial Watch releases transcript of Justin Cooper’s deposition – Cheryl Mills communicates with him a week prior to testimony

Justin Cooper (Credit: public domain)

“Judicial Watch today released the deposition transcript of Justin Cooper, a former aide to President Bill Clinton and Clinton Foundation employee who registered the domain name of the unsecure clintonemail.com server that Hillary Clinton used while serving as Secretary of State. Cooper admits that he spoke with Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff, one week prior to his deposition and let her know that the deposition had been scheduled. Cooper also said that he worked with Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, to create the private email system, but can’t recall if Clinton had any input in its creation or if he wiped the original server. The entire transcript is available here.

(…) Cooper testified that he spoke with Mills the week before giving his deposition:

Q When did you last speak with Cheryl Mills?

A Last week.

Judge Lamberth late last year criticized the DOJ, saying he was “dumbfounded” by the Inspector General report revealing that Mills had been given immunity and was allowed to accompany former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to her FBI interview. The full transcript of that hearing is available here.

I did print out and read that 500-page report when I got it and I was actually dumbfounded when found out, in reading that report, that Cheryl Mills had been given immunity because … I had myself found that Cheryl Mills had committed perjury and lied under oath in a published opinion I had issued in a Judicial Watch case where I found her unworthy of belief, and I was quite shocked to find out she had been given immunity in — by the Justice Department in the Hillary Clinton email case. So I did not know that until I read the IG report and learned that and that she had accompanied the Secretary to her interview.

(In an April 28, 2008 ruling relating to Mills’ conduct as a White House official in responding to concerns about lost White House email records, Judge Lamberth called Mills’ participation in the matter “loathsome.” He further stated Mills was responsible for “the most critical error made in this entire fiasco … Mills’ actions were totally inadequate to address the problem.”)

When Cooper was asked who approached him about creating the clintonemail.com account, Cooper answered: “It would have been a discussion with Huma Abedin.” Cooper also testified that Abedin was his primary contact regarding the choice of the domain name that was registered “I believe” in “January ’09.”

Cooper’s testimony is at odds with a 2016 Judicial Watch deposition of Abedin in which she testified that she became aware of the server through “reading in some news articles about a year, a year-and-a-half ago, when it was – it was being publicly discussed.”

Cooper said “I don’t recall” when asked if Clinton herself had any input in the creation of the domain name.

Cooper also testified that there were two servers: an original “Apple server” and then a Windows server, which was “the Pagliano server,” named after Clinton’s top State Department IT specialist Bryan Pagliano. Cooper said he couldn’t recall whether the Apple server was wiped once her emails were transferred over to the Pagliano server in early 2009.

When Cooper was asked to testify how many e-mails accounts he created or setup for Clinton he answered, “To the best of my recollection two or three.” Cooper also said that he and Pagliano set up email accounts for Abedin and Chelsea Clinton.

Pagliano was a Clinton State Department IT official who repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions in a 2016 Judicial Watch deposition.

(…) He identified controversial Clinton Foundation official and advisor to President Clinton Doug Band as the individual in a redacted FBI 302 report who had conversations with Cooper and Abedin about the Apple server and who thought adding Hillary Clinton to the server was a “bad idea.”
Q Let me direct your attention to the fourth paragraph about four lines up. This is a redacted version, so we don’t know who the interviewee is or some of the names. But I want to direct your attention to the line that starts off with the redaction and says, blank recall the conversation with Huma Abedin and Cooper regarding the addition of Hillary Clinton to the Apple server; do you see that?

A I do.

Q Do you know who that individual would be …

A I suspect it’s Doug Band.

Q The next line says, blank thought it was a bad idea, but the issue had been decided by that point in time; do you see that?

A Yes.

(Read more: Judicial Watch, 6/18/2019)

June 3, 2019 – Former State official testifies he warned about Clinton email issues and was concerned about interference with classified Clinton Benghazi emails

“Judicial Watch announced today that John Hackett, the former Director for Information Programs and Services (IPS), which handles records management at the State Department, testified under oath that he had raised concerns that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s staff had “culled out 30,000” of the secretary’s “personal” emails without following strict National Archives standards. The full deposition transcript is available here.

John Hackett, as part of a series of court-ordered depositions and questions under oath of senior Obama-era State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides, also revealed that he believed there was interference with the formal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) review process related to the classification of Clinton’s Benghazi-related emails.

Hackett served first as deputy director then as director for Information Programs and Services, which handles the FOIA request program and the retirement of and declassification of documents at the State Department. He was at the department from April 2013 to March 2016.

In March 2015Clinton told reporters that she and her staff had deleted more than 30,000 emails “because they were personal and private about matters that I believed were within the scope of my personal privacy.” ABC News reported: “However, after a year-long investigation, the FBI recovered more than 17,000 emails that had been deleted or otherwise not turned over to the State Department, and many of them were work-related, the FBI has said.”

(Heather Samuelson, the Clinton lawyer who deleted the Clinton emails, separately testified to Judicial Watch that she received immunity from the Justice Department.)

Hackett answered during the deposition that he recalled a conversation that he had when he was at the State Department about requesting rules or parameters from Secretary Clinton or her attorneys that they used to segregate her personal and official work emails.

Hackett:  I recall it wasn’t much of a conversation. I — I was — I mean, I have to say, it was emphatic to the Under Secretary of Management — and I didn’t speak in tones like that very often to him — you know, that we needed these — you know, the guidelines.

Judicial Watch: And when you said, the Under Secretary, are you referring to Patrick Kennedy [then-Under Secretary of State for Management]?

Hackett: Yes.

Hackett: I think I might have raised it to Rich Visek, the Acting Office of Legal Advisor, or Peggy — or Margaret Grafeld [an executive-level State Department FOIA official] raised it to Rich, as well.

Judicial Watch: Why did you feel so strongly that this was necessary, that they provide this information?

Hackett: Well, we heard that there were 50,000 or 60,000 emails, and that they had – “they” being the Secretary’s team — had culled out 30,000 of these. And which is — so we wanted to know what criteria they used. The standard from the National Archives is very strict. If there was — if there were mixed records, that would be considered a federal record. If it was mixed personal and mentioned a discussion, that would be — under the narrow National Archives rules, it would be considered a federal record.

John Hackett testifies that his initial concern over Hillary Clinton’s email use arose in June 2013 when he said he viewed a photograph on the WTOP website of Clinton ‘sitting on a plane with a BlackBerry.’(Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

(…) Hackett testified that his initial concern over Secretary Clinton’s email use arose in June 2013 when he said he viewed a photograph on the WTOP website of Clinton “sitting on a plane with a BlackBerry. “And that got me thinking that, well, what — what was that BlackBerry? Was it a government BlackBerry? And if so, where were the emails relating to that BlackBerry?” Hackett said.

Hackett testified he went to then-IPS Director Sheryl Walter “after seeing that photograph and suggested that we had to be careful about what sort of responses we made relating to Hillary Clinton’s emails, when it — if there was a No Record Located response that was being given out. In fact, I advised Sheryl that we should stop giving No Record Located responses until we come to — kind of come, you know — find out what that BlackBerry meant, come to ground about what was known about the former Secretary’s emailing habits.”

Asked how Walter responded, Hackett said “My recollection is, she agreed with me.”

“The other thing that we did, or I did at that time, was, we wanted to find out what this BlackBerry meant,” Hackett testified. “So we tasked — my recollection is, we verbally tasked Tasha Thian, the department’s Records Manager at that time, to look into the BlackBerry. And I believe Tasha contacted Clarence Finney in the Secretary’s office to ask him what he knew about the former Secretary’s emailing habits.”

Asked what Thian found out, Hackett responded: “I don’t recall exactly what she found out, but she didn’t find out much. Tasha also contacted the part of the State Department that’s part of the intelligence community, and Intelligence and Research Bureau, to ask to see if there were any classified emails on — in the classified systems that the Secretary might have produced.  And I do recall that I think Tasha came back with the answer that they did not have any.”

Hackett went on to say that “There was a lot of confusion about exactly what that BlackBerry, you know, meant at that time. you had a concern as to how the department was responding to FOIA requests that related to Secretary Clinton’s emails after you saw the photograph of the Secretary holding a BlackBerry. … My recollection is — and I had only been there two months — that someone had told me that, — and I can’t remember — that she did not have an email account, a government email account. So there was obviously a contradiction here when, you know, there’s that photograph. So we were just trying to find out what was the ground truth. So that’s why I had a concern about issuing responses that said no records had been located.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 7/02/2019)

May 06, 2019 – Former Asst. Sec. of State for Diplomatic Security testifies under oath that he warned Hillary Clinton twice about unsecure BlackBerrys and personal emails

Eric Boswell (Credit: CSpan)

Judicial Watch released the deposition transcript of Eric Boswell, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, in which he reveals that Hillary Clinton was warned twice against using unsecure BlackBerrys and personal emails to transmit classified material. A full transcript of the deposition is available here.

Boswell, who was responsible for securing classified and national security information, stated that Clinton and her staff were “wedded to their BlackBerrys.” Additionally, he stated that he and other former State Department employees “were surprised” that Clinton used clintonemail.com to conduct official government business.

In his deposition, Ambassador Boswell stated:

  • Hillary Clinton and other Senior State Department officials were warned in 2009 that “any unclassified Blackberry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails and exploiting calendars.”
  • Clinton was warned again in 2011 that “We also urge Department users to minimize the use of personal web email for business, as some compromised home systems have been reconfigured by these actors to automatically forward copies of all composed emails to an undisclosed recipient.”
  • Clinton assured him that she “gets it” when he informed her about dangers of Blackberries.
  • Clinton and her staff were “wedded to their blackberries” and wanted to continue using them in secure areas even after warning because it was a “convenience issue” to them.
  • He and other former State Department employees “were surprised” to learn that Clinton used clintonemail.com to conduct official government business.  Boswell claimed that they were not aware of such activity while still employed by the government.

Boswell was deposed as part of the discovery granted to Judicial Watch by U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth in response to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecured, non-government email system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). (Read more: Judicial Watch, 5/29/2019)

April 23, 2019 – FBI official, Bill Priestap, admits Hillary Clinton’s emails were found in Obama White House

Bill Priestap (Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Judicial Watch announced today that a senior FBI official admitted, in writing and under oath, that the agency found Clinton email records in the Obama White House, specifically, the Executive Office of the President. The FBI also admitted nearly 49,000 Clinton server emails were reviewed as result of a search warrant for her material on the laptop of Anthony Weiner.

E.W. (Bill) Priestap, assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division, made the disclosure to Judicial Watch as part of court-ordered discovery into the Clinton email issue.

Priestap was asked by Judicial Watch to identify representatives of Hillary Clinton, her former staff, and government agencies from which “email repositories were obtained.” Priestap responded with the following non-exhaustive list:

  • Bryan Pagliano
  • Cheryl Mills
  • Executive Office of the President [Emphasis added]
  • Heather Samuelson
  • Jacob Sullivan
  • Justin Cooper
  • United States Department of State
  • United States Secret Service
  • Williams & Connolly LLP

Priestap also testifies that 48,982 emails were reviewed as a result of a warrant for Clinton email account information from the laptop of Anthony Weiner, who had been married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

A complete copy of Priestap’s interrogatory responses is available here. Priestap, is serving as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and helped oversee both the Clinton email and the 2016 presidential campaign investigations. Priestap testified in a separate lawsuit that Clinton was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.

“This astonishing confirmation, made under oath by the FBI, shows that the Obama FBI had to go to President Obama’s White House office to find emails that Hillary Clinton tried to destroy or hide from the American people.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “No wonder Hillary Clinton has thus far skated – Barack Obama is implicated in her email scheme.”

Priestap was ordered to answer the written questions by United States District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth when he ruled in January that Judicial Watch’s discovery could begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. This action came in Judicial Watch’s July 2014 FOIA lawsuit for:

Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or relating to talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency. (Read more: Judicial Watch, 4/23/2019)

April 16, 2019 – Judicial watch files a FOIA lawsuit against the DOJ for records of communications and payments between the FBI and Christopher Steele

(Judicial Watch logo)

“Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for records of communications and payments between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and his private firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.

(…) The time frame for this request is March 9, 2017, to September 27, 2018.

Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr testified to Congress that “at some point during 2017, Chris Steele did speak with somebody from the FBI, but I don’t know who.”

This is the latest Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit in an extensive investigation into the Clinton-funded, anti-Trump dossier and its use to obtain FISA warrants in order to spy on the Trump campaign.

In a case seeking information between January 1, 2016, and March 8, 2017, Judicial Watch previously released FBI records showing that Steele was cut off as a “Confidential Human Source” in November 2016 after he disclosed his relationship to the FBI to a third party. The documents show that there were at least 11 FBI payments to Steele in 2016.

Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, reportedly paid $168,000 in 2016 to Steele’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence.

In a related case, Judicial Watch recently released 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the DOJ revealing Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI.

“How and why did the FBI pay Christopher Steele, who was already being funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC through Fusion GPS?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “That we had to sue for this basic information shows the FBI may have something more to hide.” (Judicial Watch, 4/16/2019)