July 2016

July – September, 2017: Released Text Messages And Emails Show Mueller Team’s Cozy Relationship With Press

  • Released messages document how Mueller’s spokesman took dozens of meetings with reporters over three months in 2017.
  • Reporters from nearly every major media outlet have been jockeying for influence and favoritism within the special counsel’s office.
  • One awkward exchange illustrates a reporter from CNN trashing an article written by White House correspondent Jim Acosta.

Peter Carr (Credit: public domain)

“Hundreds of pages of emails and text messages released from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) special counsel’s office through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show an ongoing relationship between Robert Mueller’s team and the press, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The documents, released in September, span months of communication and include messages from reporters ranging from a variety of outlets, including TheDCNF, The Washington Post and BuzzFeed.

While the vast majority of correspondences between Mueller’s spokesman Peter Carr and a variety of journalists ends with a “no comment,” the messages expose Mueller’s team was willing to meet with a number of reporters in private meetings and over the phone.

Coordinating such meetings cuts against the narrative that the special counsel has been hesitant to give information to the press, instead opting to give information only through public announcements and statements.

Adam Goldman (Credit: public domain)

The New York Times ran a story in August poking fun at the secrecy of the special counsel, with one reporter writing that Carr’s “‘no comment’ replies have become a running dark joke among the Washington press corps.”

But on July 21st, 2017, Adam Goldman from TheNYT sent an email to Carr about arranging a “touch base” meeting, according to documents provided by the DOJ.

That meeting was later rescheduled, but it is just one in a pattern of meetings and private calls from reporters jockeying for opportunities to solicit information from an investigation that has been labeled as “leak proof” from the press.

Ironically, Vox was one of those exact outlets that proclaimed Mueller’s team as immune to leaks — despite one of its reporters communicating extensively with Carr via text.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/20/2018)

July 31, 2016 – The official beginning of the FBI’s Trump/Russia investigation codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane”

Former Australian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Downer (Credit: public domain)

“The FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia was originally known as “Crossfire Hurricane” before it was widely known to the public and even the bureau itself, officials told The New York Times.

The case, named after a Rolling Stones lyric, was used by only the small group of agents sent to interview the Australian ambassador to the United Kingdom, who had evidence of possible collusion between Russia and a Trump adviser.

Five agents embarked to London in the summer of 2016 for a rare interview with the diplomat after deliberations between American and Australian officials, where they gathered information that would provide the basis for the Russia probe that is still ongoing.

The Times previously reported that a young foreign policy aide on the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, revealed he knew of hacked Democratic Party emails to Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer over late-night drinks in London.

Downer reportedly notified U.S. intelligence officials of his run-in with Papadopoulos after the emails, which contained damaging information about 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton just as the aide had said, began to leak to the public.

From there, the tight group of FBI agents went forward in interviewing Trump associates, which was kept secret for fear of leaks that could sway the campaign.

The official look into the Trump campaign reportedly began just days after the bureau closed its investigation into Clinton for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State.” (Read more: The Hill, 5/16/2018)

 

July 31, 2016 – Opinion: The Clinton Foundation, State and Kremlin Connections

The Skolkovo Innovation Center opens in 2010 and is often referred to as Russia’s “Silicon Valley.” (Credit: Valeny Meinkov/Sputnik)

By Peter Schweizer

“Hillary Clinton touts her tenure as secretary of state as a time of hardheaded realism and “commercial diplomacy” that advanced American national and commercial interests. But her handling of a major technology transfer initiative at the heart of Washington’s effort to “reset” relations with Russia raises serious questions about her record. Far from enhancing American national interests, Mrs. Clinton’s efforts in this area may have substantially undermined U.S. national security.

Consider Skolkovo, an “innovation city” of 30,000 people on the outskirts of Moscow, billed as Russia’s version of Silicon Valley—and a core piece of Mrs. Clinton’s quarterbacking of the Russian reset.

Following his 2009 visit to Moscow, President Obama announced the creation of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission. Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state directed the American side, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov represented the Russians. The stated goal at the time: “identifying areas of cooperation and pursuing joint projects and actions that strengthen strategic stability, international security, economic well-being, and the development of ties between the Russian and American people.”

The Kremlin committed $5 billion over three years to fund Skolkovo. Mrs. Clinton’s State Department worked aggressively to attract U.S. investment partners and helped the Russian State Investment Fund, Rusnano, identify American tech companies worthy of Russian investment. Rusnano, which a scientific adviser to President Vladimir Putin called “Putin’s child,” was created in 2007 and relies entirely on Russian state funding.

What could possibly go wrong?

Soon, dozens of U.S. tech firms, including top Clinton Foundation donors like Google, Intel and Cisco , made major financial contributions to Skolkovo, with Cisco committing a cool $1 billion. In May 2010, the State Department facilitated a Moscow visit by 22 of the biggest names in U.S. venture capital—and weeks later the first memorandums of understanding were signed by Skolkovo and American companies.

By 2012 the vice president of the Skolkovo Foundation, Conor Lenihan —who had previously partnered with the Clinton Foundation—recorded that Skolkovo had assembled 28 Russian, American and European “Key Partners.” Of the 28 “partners,” 17, or 60%, have made financial commitments to the Clinton Foundation, totaling tens of millions of dollars, or sponsored speeches by Bill Clinton.

Russians tied to Skolkovo also flowed funds to the Clinton Foundation. Andrey Vavilov, the chairman of SuperOx, which is part of Skolkovo’s nuclear-research cluster, donated between $10,000 and $25,000 (donations are reported in ranges, not exact amounts) to the Clinton’s family charity. Skolkovo Foundation chief and billionaire Putin confidant Viktor Vekselberg also gave to the Clinton Foundation through his company, Renova Group.

Amid all the sloshing of Russia rubles and American dollars, however, the state-of-the-art technological research coming out of Skolkovo raised alarms among U.S. military experts and federal law-enforcement officials. Research conducted in 2012 on Skolkovo by the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth declared that the purpose of Skolkovo was to serve as a “vehicle for world-wide technology transfer to Russia in the areas of information technology, biomedicine, energy, satellite and space technology, and nuclear technology.” (Read more: Wall Street Journal, 7/31/2016)

July, 2016 – 2017: New emails and memos confirm Bruce Ohr communicated extensively with Christopher Steele

Glenn Simpson (l) Christopher Steele (c) and Bruce Ohr (Credit: Washington Examiner)

“Hundreds of pages of previously unreported emails and memos provide the clearest evidence yet that a research firm, hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find dirt on and defeat Donald Trump, worked early and often with the FBI, a Department of Justice (DOJ) official and the intelligence community during the 2016 presidential election and the early days of Trump’s presidency.”

(…) “Ohr’s own notes, emails and text messages show he communicated extensively with Steele and with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. Those documents have been turned over in recent weeks to investigative bodies in Congress and the DOJ, but not reviewed outside the investigative ranks until now.

They show Ohr had contact with Steele in the days just before the FBI opened its Trump-Russia probe in summer 2016, and then engaged Steele as a “confidential human source” assisting in that probe.

They also confirm that Ohr later became a critical conduit of continuing information from Steele after the FBI ended the Brit’s role as an informant.

“B, doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re- SY,” Steele texted Ohr on Jan. 31, 2017, referencing President Trump’s firing of Sally Yates for insubordination.

Steele’s FBI relationship had been terminated about three months earlier. The bureau concluded on Nov. 1, 2016, that he leaked information to the news media and was “not suitable for use” as a confidential source, memos show.

The FBI specifically instructed Steele that he could no longer “operate to obtain any intelligence whatsoever on behalf of the FBI,” those memos show.

Yet, Steele asked Ohr in the Jan. 31 text exchange if he could continue to help feed information to the FBI: “Just want to check you are OK, still in the situ and able to help locally as discussed, along with your Bureau colleagues.”

“I’m still here and able to help as discussed,” Ohr texted back. “I’ll let you know if that changes.”

Steele replied, “If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can’t allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous.” Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to.”

(Read more including docs: The Hill, 8/07/2018)

July 31, 2016 – A Clinton supporter is the source behind the Trump Tower/Alfa Bank connections

Jean Camp (Credit: Indiana University)

“After news broke that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked, a group of prominent computer scientists went on alert. The group of individuals, led by a Hillary supporter, started snooping around the Trump Tower computers to allegedly see if these servers had also been hacked.

This group was led by Indiana University professor, Jean Camp.  Professor Camp, according to Circa, was a staunch Hillary supporter:

(…) Some techies uncovered that the the Trump Tower servers began to be bombarded with the same exact invalid look-up requests that use the words “trump” and “alfa” together, which were automatically placed in the servers’ log file by the server. According to the New York Times, computer logs showed that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages to the Trump servers.

At about the same time, the FBI received a complaint from “cyberexperts” about a possible Trump-Alfa Bank connection, which led the FBI to investigate into a Trump-Alfa Bank connection.  According to the New York Times:

In classified sessions in August and September of 2016, intelligence officials also briefed congressional leaders on the possibility of financial ties between Russians and people connected to Mr. Trump. They focused particular attention on what cyber experts said appeared to be a mysterious computer back channel between the Trump Organization and the Alfa Bank, which is one of Russia’s biggest banks and whose owners have longstanding ties to Mr. Putin.

At about the same time that the FBI began its investigation, Christopher Steele began pushing the now debunked claim that Trump was connected to Alfa Bank. In mid-September Steele submitted his memos, and at least one of these included the Trump-Alfa Bank connection. Steele submitted these memos to the press and to the FBI.

We know that the FBI received a copy because at this time the FBI sought and received a FISA warrant related to Russia-linked bank, using the Steele dossier as evidence.  This is the only plausible piece of evidence that the FBI could have used.  Before this time, the FBI was turned down by the FISA court but on this occasion, a warrant was granted. (As McCabe said: The FISA warrants would not have been granted without the Steele dossier.)

The FBI had no other evidence on the Trump – Russia bank connection and as time went by they had no additional evidence.  The New York Times then reported:

Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.”

(Read more: The Gateway Pundit, 1/09/2019)

July 30, 2016 – Bruce and Nellie Ohr meet with Christopher Steele

“On July 30, 2016, Bruce and Nellie Ohr met with Steele and an unknown associate of Steele’s. Almost immediately, Ohr would initiate a meeting with FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to detail his conversation with Steele. Also present at the meeting was McCabe’s counsel, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who would play a key role in the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.” (The Epoch Times, 1/14/2019)

July 30, 2016 – Ohr meets with Steele, and within hours meets with McCabe and Page for the purpose of “passing on Steele’s info to them”

“Deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe and his legal counsel Lisa Page were in possession of the key Steele dossier allegations on Sat Jul 30 2016, one day BEFORE the FBI opened an investigation into Trump on Sun Jul 31 2016.

(…) Ohr’s testimony: “I wanted to provide the information he [Steele] had given me to the FBI”

And “I reached out to McCabe”

Page/McCabe/Ohr met on a Saturday at the office at very short notice, with Ohr coming almost straight from the Steele meeting to meet with the Deputy Director of the FBI and his legal counsel.

Sounds…unusual/urgent?

(…) Ohr’s testimony: “I went to his [McCabe’s] office to provide the information”

“Lisa Page was there”

“So I provided the information to them”

(After that Ohr is put in touch with Strzok, running the Trump/Russia case.)

The investigation was opened the next day, July 31, 2016.

Or at least it was *marked* July 31. Here’s Strzok texting to Page about exactly what “good faith date” they can put on the “LHM” (Letter Head Memo) for the opening case file for the Trump/Russia case.

(Read more: Undercover Huber, 3/10/2019)

July 2016 – Bruce Ohr’s efforts to secretly reshape the Trump probe, starts earlier, long before Trump wins the election

“Within the massive assembly of documents, emails, text messages, congressional testimony and portions of media reports a clear timeline emerged. Part of that timeline was based on the fact that certain events had to have taken place – at specific times – in order to reconcile the downstream activity.

The key point of the graphic, which ran counter to all MSM reporting, was a trail of circumstantial evidence showing Bruce Ohr had to have been in contact with Christopher Steele much earlier than anyone realized.  SEE BELOW:

A new report today from John Solomon backs up this timeline with the first-hand testimony of DOJ Official Bruce Ohr.

(…) For much of the past year, many in Congress have labored under the notion that Ohr, then the No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official, began assisting the FBI’s probe into Russia election collusion only after Trump won the 2016 election.

Lawmakers’ belief was rooted in reports showing Ohr’s first documented interview with FBI agents occurred in November 2016, and in testimony from Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who mentioned Ohr’s involvement in the probe as starting after Thanksgiving 2016.

But now, based on Ohr’s own account in a closed-door congressional interview and other contemporaneous documents, congressional investigators have learned that Ohr made his first contact with the FBI about Trump-Russia collusion evidence in late July and early August 2016. And his approach was prompted by information he got from his friend, the former British intelligence agent Steele.

Ohr’s account to Congress and his contemporaneous notes show he had multiple contacts with Steele in July 2016. One occurred just before Steele visited the FBI in Rome, another right after Steele made the contact.

A third contact occurred July 30, 2016, exactly one day before the FBI and its counterintelligence official, Peter Strzok, opened the Trump probe officially.

Steele met with Ohr and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, in a Washington hotel restaurant for breakfast. At the time, Nellie Ohr and Steele worked for the same employer, Simpson’s Fusion GPS opposition research firm, and on the same project to uncover Russia dirt on Trump, according to prior testimony to Congress.

(…) “According to my sources, Ohr called then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe the same day as his Steele breakfast and met with McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Aug. 3 to discuss the concerns about Russia-Trump collusion that Steele had relayed.

Ohr disclosed to lawmakers that he made another contact with the FBI on Aug. 15, 2016, talking directly to Strzok.

Within a month of Ohr passing along Steele’s dirt, the FBI scheduled a follow-up meeting with the British intelligence operative — and the path was laid for the Steele dossier to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Just as important, Ohr told Congress he understood Steele’s information to be raw and uncorroborated hearsay, the sort of information that isn’t admissible in court. And he told FBI agents that Steele appeared to be motivated by a “desperate” desire to keep Trump from becoming president.” (Read more:The Hill, 9/6/2018)

This account by congressional sources to Solomon about the testimony of Bruce Ohr matches our prior research.  It was the initial chapters of the Steele Dossier, a work product of both Nellie Ohr and Christopher Steele, that were given to Bruce Ohr, who then subsequently relayed that information to the FBI (McCabe, Page and Strzok) without disclosing the conflict within the source material coming from his wife.

Here’s how it comes together:  Nellie Ohr started working for Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS) in/around October or November of 2015.  Nellie Ohr had “contractor access” to the FISA database (NSA and FBI) as a result of her prior and ongoing clearance relationship with the CIA and open source research group.

Nellie, Bruce and Glenn Simpson worked together previously in 2010.

(Page #30 – pdf link)

It was Nellie’s original 2015 political opposition research that Glenn Simpson was pitching and selling as political opposition research to any interested purchaser.

Several months later, when it became clear that Donald Trump was the likely GOP candidate who would win the primary (March/April 2016), Hillary Clinton signed-on to purchase the opposition research from Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS.

Keep in mind, simultaneous to this moment in March and April 2016, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers intervened to stop contractor access to the FISA-702(16)(17) database.  From the time Nellie Ohr began working for Fusion GPS in November 2015, through April 2016 there were thousands of unlawful database queries and extractions; 85% of them were unlawful.

(FISA Court Document Link)

Now, Nellie and Glenn Simpson had a problem. They needed to have a way to launder unlawfully extracted FISA search results.  Nellie Ohr was familiar with Christopher Steele from her husband Bruce’s prior working relationship with Steele in the FIFA corruption case.

So Fusion GPS (Glenn Simpson and Nellie Ohr) reached out to Christopher Steele.  As a former intelligence officer, and conveniently not in the U.S. (plausible deniability improves), Steele could then receive the Nellie research, wash it with his own research from ongoing relationships with Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska,… here comes the hookers and pee tapes…. and begin packaging it as the “dossier”.

When you understand what was going on, some of the irreconcilable issues surrounding the dossier make sense. [Example Here]  This is the Big Effen Deal.

The unlawful FISA extracted intelligence/research was laundered through the use of the dossier.  The information was then cycled back to Bruce Ohr, thereby using Christopher Steele to remove Nellie’s fingerprints from the origination.  That’s why Bruce Ohr never initially told the FBI -the end user of the dossier- about his wife working for Fusion GPS and Glenn Simpson.

Bruce Ohr meets with Christopher Steele, receives the laundered intelligence product within the dossier, informs Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page and then passes the intelligence information along to FBI Agent Peter Strzok.

Does this explain now why Glenn Simpson, Chris Steele, Nellie Ohr and Bruce Ohr were having breakfast together on July 30th, 2016?

Through this process, what few recognize is that much of the material inside the Steele Dossier is actually research intelligence material unlawfully extracted from the FBI and NSA database; most likely in majority an assembly by Nellie Ohr.

This explains why Paul Wood said: “I have spoken to one intelligence source who says Mueller is examining ‘electronic records’ that would place Cohen in Prague.”  Likely Mueller has Nellie’s database research mistake on Michael Cohen, and he got it from Christopher Steele.

Remember the New York Times article, right before the testimony by Bruce Ohr, where the intelligence community was trying to say that Nellie Ohr had nothing to do with the Dossier?   (screen grab below)

(New York Times, 8/27/2018)

Remember that ridiculous attempt to distance Nellie Ohr from the dossier?

Now do you see why the intelligence community needed to try, via their buddies in the New York Times, to cloud the importance of Nellie Ohr?

Kim Strassel – (…) Congressional sources tell me that Mr. Ohr revealed Tuesday that he verbally warned the FBI that its source had a credibility problem … Mr. Ohr said, moreover, that he delivered this information before the FBI’s first application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a warrant against Trump aide Carter Page, in October 2016. (Wall Street Journal, 8/30/2018)

Of course Bruce Ohr delivered it before October 21st, 2016.  He gained the foundational  material from Chris Steele in June and July 2016, passed it along to Peter Strzok, and his wife was key in providing Steele the source information.

This is also why Bruce Ohr never put his wife’s income source on his annual compliance forms.  Nellie Ohr’s income was an outcome of her database access.

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 9/07/2018)

July 30, 2016 – DOJ official Bruce Ohr shares intel from dossier with prosecutors who later join Mueller’s team

Bruce Swartz (l) Andrew Weissmann (c) and Zainab Ahmad (Credit: Flickr/Jeff Mitchell, Reuters/public domain)

“Details about Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s meetings with the author of the salacious anti-Trump dossier were shared by Ohr with his expansive circle of contacts inside the department — including senior FBI leadership and officials now assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Ohr gave a closed-door transcribed interview last August [2018] sharing details of his 2016 meetings with British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who authored the dossier later used to secure a surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign aide. The interview was part of the Republican-led House Oversight and Judiciary Committee probes.

In a series of questions about his meetings with Steele, including one on July 30, 2016, and who he shared the information with, Fox News has confirmed the Ohr transcript stated: “Andy McCabe, yes and met with him and Lisa Page and provided information to him. I subsequently met with Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, and eventually (an FBI agent). And I also provided this information to people in the criminal division specifically Bruce Swartz, Zainab Ahmad, Andrew Weissmann.” (Read more: Fox News, 1/16/2019)

July 30, 2016 – Ohr and Page Testimony On Steele don’t match up

(…) “Page contradicts Ohr’s testimony regarding when she first knew about former British spy Christopher Steele’s dossier. She claims in her testimony that she did not know about the dossier in August 2016, however, Ohr’s testimony reveals that he delivered Steele’s information to the bureau shortly after meeting with Steele. In fact, he met with former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and specifically, Page at the bureau to deliver the information.

(Clipped from Lisa Page testimony to the House Oversight Committee on July 13, 2018)

Ohr reveals this during an exchange with then-Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Trey Gowdy, R-SC.

“Why? Why did you meet with them,” asks Gowdy.

“To pass the latest information that I had received,” Ohr responds.

“How did you find out who to meet with? Who did you call to find out,” questions Gowdy.

Ohr explains that prior to that meeting with McCabe and Page he had met with Steele on July 30, 2016.

“After the July 30th meeting with Chris Steele, I wanted to provide the information he had given me to the FBI. I reached out for Andrew McCabe, at that time, Deputy Director of the FBI and somebody who had previously led the organized crime, Russian organized crime squad in New York and who I had worked with in the past, and asked if he could meet with me,” he said.  “I went to his office to provide the information, and Lisa Page was there. So I provided the information to them. And some point after that, I think, I was given Peter Strzok, or somehow put in contact with Peter Strzok.”

Gowdy then asks when exactly did Ohr meet Strzok and Page.

“I don’t recall the exact date,” Ohr says. “I’m guessing it would have been in August since I met with Chris Steele at the end of July, and I’m pretty sure I would have reached out to Andrew McCabe soon afterwards.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 3/13/2019) (Lisa Page transcript)

An independent researcher on Twitter who goes by the pseudonym, UndercoverHuber, went a step further and read Strzok and Page’s text messages on July 30, 2016, just a few hours after Page and McCabe met with Ohr and received the first bit of information from Christopher Steele on the Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier:

(…) Ohr’s testimony: “I went to his [McCabe’s] office to provide the information”

“Lisa Page was there”

“So I provided the information to them”

(After that Ohr is put in touch with Strzok, running the Trump/Russia case.)

The investigation was opened the next day, July 31, 2016.

Or at least it was *marked* July 31. Here’s Strzok texting to Page about exactly what “good faith date” they can put on the “LHM” (Letter Head Memo) for the opening case file for the Trump/Russia case.

(Read more: Undercover Huber, 3/10/2019)