lawsuit

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 8, 2019 – Andrew McCabe files a federal civil lawsuit claiming wrongful termination

Andrew McCabe (Credit: CBS News)

“Today former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe files a federal civil lawsuit (full pdf below) claiming wrongful termination by the DOJ and FBI.  Exactly the same parameters are used by McCabe as were asserted by FBI Agent Peter Strzok in a very similar lawsuitearlier this week…. Only McCabe claims a conspiracy carried out by President Trump.

Again, as with the earlier Strzok lawsuit, both are not going through the process within the Department of Labor for a wrongful termination complaint.  Instead both are using federal courts in an effort to construct a narrative of sorts.

The motive here is 100% political obfuscation, and the same Lawfare team is involved in the construct.

Both Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok are claiming their first amendment (speech) and fifth amendment (due process) rights were violated.  Both have filed civil suits under the same pretext.  However, McCabe’s Lawfare lawyers construct an argument that goes one step further.

According to Andrew McCabe, President Donald Trump constructed a master conspiracy of influence upon the DOJ and FBI; thereby usurping the powers of the constitution in a sketchy legal theory they cannot define.  Thus the McCabe lawyers define the action by President Trump under “legal nullity” – An operation that theoretically is, or might be, of some legal significance, but in fact lacks any identity or distinct structure of its own. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/08/2019)

June 4, 2019 – Trump’s campaign lawyers cite the Mueller report in their fight against the DNC lawsuit

A screenshot of DNC chairman Tom Perez appearing on Meet the Press on April 22, 2018 to discuss the DNC’s Trump-Russia lawsuit. (Credit: NBC)

“Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign asked a judge Tuesday to penalize the Democratic National Committee for alleging in a lawsuit a conspiracy between the campaign and Russia, saying special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings revealed the “doomed effort to prove a falsehood.”

But lawyers for the Democratic Party responded by saying Mueller’s report confirms and bolsters their claims by detailing the campaign’s repeated suspicious interactions with Russian agents, proving the campaign participated in Russia’s election interference.

The arguments on both sides were included in the Trump campaign’s filing in Manhattan federal court, where a judge is considering the merits of the DNC’s April 2018 lawsuit against the Trump campaign, Russia, WikiLeaks and Trump’s son and son-in-law. The lawsuit sought unspecified damages, alleging a conspiracy to cheat Democrats.

In seeking sanctions Tuesday including legal costs, Donald J. Trump for President Inc. contended that Mueller “definitively refuted the notion that the Campaign conspired or in any way coordinated with Russia.

The 448-page Mueller report was released on April 18, though nearly 40% of the report’s pages had redactions.

“The assumption, of course, was that the Special Counsel would substantiate the DNC’s claims,” the Trump campaign lawyers wrote. “Suffice it to say, that assumption did not pan out.”

The campaign’s lawyers said the report “debunks any such conclusion by walking through the vast body of evidence that his Office collected and establishing that none of this evidence showed that the Campaign formed any sort of agreement with Russia.”

They said the report shows the DNC can never prove its key allegations, “yet has refused to accept this reality.”

“The DNC has thus made clear that it wants to proceed with a politically motivated sham case, tying up the resources of this Court and the Campaign — and inevitably burdening the President himself — all in a doomed effort to prove a falsehood,” the lawyers wrote.” (Read more: The Associated Press, 6/05/2019)

May 22, 2019 – Conservative group files suit to force FEC to rule on whether Clinton campaign, DNC broke law to get dossier

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is facing a lawsuit for its inaction on a complaint filed against Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The right-leaning Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed a lawsuit — obtained exclusively by IJR — on Wednesday morning in the hopes of getting a ruling that would force the FEC to address the complaint it filed on August 1, 2018.

Its original complaint with the FEC requested an investigation into Hillary for America — the official name of Clinton’s campaign — and the DNC for their role in obtaining and financing the anti-Donald Trump dossier penned by former British spy Christopher Steele.

By law, if the FEC does not rule on a filed complaint within 120 days, the party that filed the complaint has the authority to sue the commission. Almost 300 days have passed since the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed that original complaint, and nothing has happened.

The original FEC complaint alleged that Hillary for America and the DNC breached campaign finance law by issuing a false report with the intention of misleading the American people. The complaint notes that campaign expenditure forms show that the DNC and Hillary for America paid their mutual legal advisers at Perkins Coie, LLP for “legal services,” but the law firm turned around and paid Fusion GPS for the Steele dossier.

The Coolidge Reagan Foundation argues that Hillary for America and the DNC used Perkins Coie, LLP as a “strawman” organization to distance themselves from Fusion GPS and Steele and submitted a false FEC complaint in the process:

Steele compiled the dubious and largely unverifiable information he received from foreign sources of questionable credibility into a “dossier” concerning Trump. Steele provided the dossier, through [his employer] Orbis, Fusion GPS, and Perkins Coie, to [Hillary for America] and the DNC.”

(Read more: IJR, 5/22/2019)

April 8, 2019 – Nunes files $150M lawsuit against McClatchy, alleging conspiracy to derail Clinton, Russia probes

Liz Mair (Credit: MSNBC)

“House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes filed a $150 million lawsuit in Virginia state court against The McClatchy Company and others on Monday, alleging that one of the news agency’s reporters conspired with a political operative to derail Nunes’ oversight work into the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russian election interference.

Mackenzie Mays (Credit: Politico)

The filing, obtained by Fox News, came a day after Nunes, R-Calif., revealed he would send eight criminal referrals to the Justice Department this week concerning purported surveillance abuses by federal authorities during the Russia probe, false statements to Congress and other matters.

In March, Nunes filed a similar $250 million lawsuit alleging defamation against Twitter and one of its users, Republican consultant Liz Mair. In Monday’s complaint, Nunes again named Mair as a co-defendant, charging this time that she conspired with McClatchy reporter MacKenzie Mays to spread a variety of untruthful and misleading smears — including that Nunes “was involved with cocaine and underage prostitutes” — online and in print.” (Read more: Fox News, 4/08/2019)

January 4, 2018 – State Department releases 147 new Huma Abedin work-related emails found on Weiner laptop, at least 18 are classified

The front cover of New York’s Daily News on October 29, 2016, just days before the election. (Credit: New York Daily News)

“Judicial Watch revealed today that there are at least 18 classified emails in the 798 documents recently produced by the State Department from the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illicit email system. The emails were found on the laptop of Anthony Weiner, who is the estranged husband of former Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Abedin was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff. Weiner is a disgraced former congressman and New York mayoral candidate who pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor. Abedin kept a non-State.gov email account on Hillary Clinton’s notorious email server that she used repeatedly for government business.

There are five new classified emails among 147 new Abedin work-related documents released by the State Department on Friday, December 29, 2017.

Thirteen emails containing classified information were also found on the Weiner laptop computer that had already been released to the public. This classified material includes discussions about Saudi Arabia, The Hague, Egypt, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the identity of a CIA official, Malawi, the war in Syria, Lebanon, Hamas, and the PLO.

On two occasions, classified material was sent by Abedin on her clintonemail.com account to Weiner’s laptop (sent to “Anthony Campaign”) on November 25, 2010. The email discusses an upcoming call with Prince Saud of “expected WikiLeaks leaks.” Abedin sent classified information the following day to Weiner’s laptop concerning a call that “Jeff” (presumably then- US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman) had with United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Abdullah bin Zayed.

The Weiner laptop also contains classified material from Abedin’s Blackberry. A July 9, 2011, email contained classified information regarding a then-upcoming call between Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. On November 25, 2011, classified information was sent regarding Feltman’s notes on the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs impression of the Hamas- Palestine Liberation Organization talks. On May 4, 2012, additional classified material from the BlackBerry backup was sent.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 1/04/2018)

September 14, 2016 – Christopher Steele provided information to longtime Clinton crony, Strobe Talbott

Hillary Clinton (L) is applauded by Brookings Institution President Strobe Talbott before she delivers remarks about the Obama administration’s national security strategy at the Brookings Institution May 27, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous anti-Trump dossier, disclosed information from his Trump-Russia investigation to a longtime Clinton crony because of his position on a State Department advisory board, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.

According to the court filing, Steele told a court in the United Kingdom on Aug. 1 that he provided Strobe Talbott, the Clinton insider, with anti-Trump research because of his position on the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, an independent advisory board set up in 2011 by then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton.

(…) The Steele document was revealed on Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by three Russian bankers who have sued Steele in the U.K. and U.S. over the dossier. A Sept. 14, 2016 memo in the dossier alleges links between the founders of the bank, Alfa Bank, and the Kremlin. They have sued Steele and Fusion GPS for defamation.

Steele disclosed the link to Talbott in response to a series of questions posed in the U.K. ligation.

(…) Talbott also has a familial link to another dossier that was handled by Steele and Winer. Talbott’s brother-in-law is Cody Shearer, a longtime Clinton fixer who conducted a private investigation of his own into Trump during the campaign.

Shearer’s dossier contains some allegations similar to Steele’s report, including that Russians had blackmail material on Trump. Shearer passed his report to Winer through Sidney Blumenthal, another longtime Clinton insider. Winer then shared the Shearer memos with Steele, who provided them to the FBI.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/11/2018)

 

Some of Clinton’s emails may remain private because of a legal precedent involving former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger participate in "Conversations on Diplomacy, Moderated by Charlie Rose,” at the Department of State in Washington, DC, on April 20, 2011. AFP Photo/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Clinton and Henry Kissinger in Washington, DC, on April 20, 2011. (Credit: Jewel  Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Kissinger made transcripts of some of his work-related phone calls. After he left office in January 1977, he took the only copies with him and eventually had them transferred to the Library of Congress, with tight restrictions on who could access them. A watchdog group sued for access, but the US Supreme Court ruled in a five-to-two decision that the State Department had no obligation to search for documents that had been removed, even if they had been improperly taken.

However, there is a footnote written by Justice William Rehnquist that the ruling might not apply when someone is actively trying to thwart the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In two ongoing civil suits, judges have granted discovery to Judicial Watch in part to determine if Clinton or her aides had actively tried to thwart FOIA. That opens the possibility of a judge eventually ordering Clinton to hand over even the emails she deemed personal, if she still has them. (Time, 5/5/2016)

The State Department won’t reveal which Clinton aides used her private server or other non-government accounts.

Bradley Moss (Credit: public domain)

Bradley Moss (Credit: public domain)

In March 2015, the House Benghazi Committee subpoenaed records, including work-related emails from personal accounts, from ten former Clinton aides, for a two-year period surrounding the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. The State Department then asked those ten people for their records. It is known that four of the aides—Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines—have turned over records, including from personal email accounts. However, it is not known what happened with the other six, or even who they are.

Clinton wrote in a sworn affidavit on August 6, 2015 that Abedin had an email account on Clinton’s private server and that Mills did not. Otherwise, department officials and Clinton’s staff have failed to reveal who else had an email account on Clinton’s server or even which other aides had any kind of personal email account.

The Intelligence Community inspector general’s office says it is not currently involved in any inquiry into Clinton’s former top aides because it is being denied full access to the aides’ emails by the State Department.

The media outlet Gawker is suing for access to Reines’ emails. Bradley Moss, a lawyer for Gawker, says: “I think the headline is that there’s nothing but murkiness and non-answers from the State Department. I think the State Department is figuring this out as it goes along, which is exactly why no one should be using personal email to conduct government business.”  (McClatchy Newspapers, 8/11/2015)