March 2017

March 23, 2017 – Crowdstrike co-founder and donor to the Clinton Foundation, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank with openly anti-Russian sentiments

Dmitri Alperovitch (Credit: Sebastian Gabriel/picture alliance)

“The cyber security firm outsourced by the Democratic National Committee, CrowdStrike, reportedly misread data, falsely attributing a hacking in Ukraine to the Russians in December 2016. Voice of America, a US Government funded media outlet, reported, “the CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists. But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report.

(…) The investigation methods used to come to the conclusion that the Russian Government led the hacks of the DNCClinton Campaign Chair John Podesta, and the DCCC were further called into question by a recent BuzzFeed report by Jason Leopold, who has developed a notable reputation from leading several non-partisan Freedom of Information Act lawsuits for investigative journalism purposes. On March 15 that the Department of Homeland Security released just two heavily redacted pages of unclassified information in response to an FOIA request for definitive evidence of Russian election interference allegations. Leopold wrote, “what the agency turned over to us and Ryan Shapiro, a PhD candidate at MIT and a research affiliate at Harvard University, is truly bizarre: a two-page intelligence assessment of the incident, dated Aug. 22, 2016, that contains information DHS culled from the internet. It’s all unclassified — yet DHS covered nearly everything in wide swaths of black ink. Why? Not because it would threaten national security, but because it would reveal the methods DHS uses to gather intelligence, methods that may amount to little more than using Google.”

Hillary Clinton accepts the Atlantic Council’s 2013 Distinguished International Leadership Award. (Credit: YouTube)

In lieu of substantive evidence provided to the public that the alleged hacks which led to Wikileaks releases of DNC and Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta’s emails were orchestrated by the Russian Government, CrowdStrike’s bias has been cited as undependable in its own assessment, in addition to its skeptical methods and conclusions. The firm’s CTO and co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank with openly anti-Russian sentiments that is funded by Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, who also happened to donate at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In 2013, the Atlantic Council awarded Hillary Clinton it’s Distinguished International Leadership Award. In 2014, the Atlantic Council hosted one of several events with former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who took over after pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in early 2014, who now lives in exile in Russia.” (Read more: CounterPunch, 3/23/2017)

March 31, 2017 – WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations

Wikileaks Vault 7 Logo (Credit: Wikileaks)

“WikiLeaks’ latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools reveals a technique used by the agency to hide its digital tracks, potentially blowing the cover on current and past hacking operations aimed at gathering intelligence on terrorists and other foreign targets.

The release Friday of the CIA’s “Marble Framework” comes less than a month after the WikiLeaks dumped onto the Internet a trove of files — dubbed “Vault 7” — that described the type of malware and methods the CIA uses to gain access to targets’ phones, computers and other electronic devices.

“This appears to be one of the most technically damaging leaks ever done by WikiLeaks, as it seems designed to directly disrupt ongoing CIA operations and attribute previous operations,” said Nicholas Weaver, a computer security researcher at the University of California at Berkeley.

The material includes the secret source code of an “obfuscation” technique used by the CIA so its malware can evade detection by anti-virus systems. The technique is used by all professional hackers, whether they work for the National Security Agency, Moscow’s FSB security agency or the Chinese military. But because the code contains a specific algorithm — a digital fingerprint of sorts — it can now be used to identify CIA hacking operations that had previously been detected but not attributed.” (Read more: Washington Post, 3/31/2017)

Late March, 2017 – Cabal of wealthy donors financing $50 million Trump-Russia investigation

Daniel J. Jones (Credit: Zero Hedge)

“A group of wealthy donors from New York and California have forked out $50 million to fund a Russia investigation being conducted by Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS and a former Senate staffer for Dianne Feinstein.

That bombshell revelation is made in a footnote to the House Intelligence Committee’s newly released report on Russian interference in the presidential campaign.

While the dossier project failed to help former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton win the presidency, Fusion GPS and Steele have continued their investigative work.

That’s according to statements from Daniel Jones, a former Feinstein staffer who runs the Penn Quarter Group (PQG), a Washington, D.C., consulting firm.”

(…) “The House report states that in March 2017, Jones told the FBI about a project he is working on with Steele and Fusion GPS that is being funded to the tune of $50 million by 7 to 10 wealthy donors from New York and California.

In late March 2017, Jones met with FBI regarding PQG, which he described as ‘exposing foreign influence in Western election,’” reads the committee’s report.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 04/27/2018)

March 30, 2017 – Senator Mark Warner contacts lobbyist for Russian oligarch, seeking access to dossier author, Christopher Steele

“Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist [Adam Waldman] for a Russian oligarch [Oleg V. Deripaska], who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, according to text messages obtained exclusively by Fox News.

“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner texted the lobbyist, Adam Waldman, on March 22, 2017.

“I’m in,” Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton, texted back to Warner.”

 

(…) Secrecy seemed very important to Warner as the conversation with Waldman heated up March 29, when the lobbyist revealed that Steele wanted a bipartisan letter from Warner and the committee’s chairman, North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, inviting him to talk to the Senate intelligence panel.

Throughout the text exchanges, Warner seemed particularly intent on connecting directly with Steele without anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee being in the loop — at least initially. In one text to the lobbyist, Warner wrote that he would “rather not have a paper trail” of his messages.

(…) “Waldman noted repeatedly that Steele was concerned about leaks and was “spooked” by all of the attention he had received around the world. Steele, he said, was skittish about talking to Warner.

Warner texted back on March 30: “We want to do this right private in London don’t want to send letter yet cuz if we can’t get agreement wud rather not have paper trail.”

 

(…) “Over the course of four months between February and May 2017, Warner and Waldman also exchanged dozens of texts about possible testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee from Deripaska, Waldman’s primary Russian billionaire client.” (Credit: Fox News, 2/28/2018) (Link to text messages)

March 30, 2017 – Comey’s statement for the record on his phone call with Trump

Statement for the Record

Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
James B. Comey
June 8, 2017

Chairman Burr, Ranking Member Warner, Members of the Committee

Thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. I was asked to testify today to describe for you my interactions with President-Elect and President Trump on subjects that I understand are of interest to you. I have not included every detail from my conversations with the President, but, to the best of my recollection, I have tried to include information that may be relevant to the Committee.

March 30 Phone Call

James Comey (Credit: ABC News)

On the morning of March 30, the President called me at the FBI. He described the Russia investigation as “a cloud” that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to “lift the cloud.” I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well. He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problems this was causing him.

Then the President asked why there had been a congressional hearing about Russia the previous week — at which I had, as the Department of Justice directed, confirmed the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. I explained the demands from the leadership of both parties in Congress for more information, and that Senator Grassley had even held up the confirmation of the Deputy Attorney General until we briefed him in detail on the investigation. I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that. He repeatedly told me, “We need to get that fact out.” (I did not tell the President that the FBI and the Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.)

The President went on to say that if there were some “satellite” associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a tbrought up “the McCabe thing” because I had said McCabe was honorable, although McAuliffe was close to the Clintons and had given him (I think he meant Deputy Director McCabe’s wife) campaign money. Although I didn’t understand why the President was bringing this up, I repeated that Mr. McCabe was an honorable person.

He finished by stressing “the cloud” that was interfering with his ability to make deals for the country and said he hoped I could find a way to get out that he wasn’t being investigated. I told him I would see what we could do, and that we would do our investigative work well and as quickly as we could.

Immediately after that conversation, I called Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente (AG Sessions had by then recused himself on all Russia-related matters), to report the substance of the call from the President, and said I would await his guidance. I did not hear back from him before the President called me again two weeks later. (Read more: CNN, 6/8/2017)

March 22, 2017 – Devin Nunes holds a press conference claiming the Trump transition team was under ‘incidental’ surveillance

“The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that some of the communications of the Trump transition team were “monitored” after the election as part of an “incidental collection.”

Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said these surveillance operations produced “dozens” of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals’ identities and were “widely disseminated.”

Nunes would not confirm if Trump’s own communications were specifically monitored, saying only that it was “possible” that the president’s communications were picked up.

Nunes said none of the reports he had read mentioned Russia, and he was unsure whether the surveillance occurred at Trump Tower, as Trump has suggested.

He said he believes the intelligence collections were done legally, but he is concerned because they were apparently not related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election and because they were “widely disseminated” across the intelligence community.

Nunes said he told House Speaker Paul Ryan earlier Wednesday and was set to tell Trump and the White House later in the afternoon.” (Read more: Fox News, 3/22/2017)

March 20, 2017 – FBI investigates whether McCabe leaked info about Flynn and Trump to media

Andrew McCabe (Credit: Getty Images)

“The FBI opened an investigation into an unauthorized media leak of a comment made by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe about former national security adviser Michael Flynn and President Trump, according to bureau documents released Monday.

The documents show that the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs received a complaint about an alleged leak that involved “a statement overheard in early February 2017.”

“Specifically, the alleged comments were made by DD AG McCabe and pertained to General Michael T. Flynn and the POTUS,” one document states.

The investigation into the unauthorized media disclosure appears to have started on March 20, 2017.

The document states that McCabe was a witness in the investigation, and that the subject, or the person who leaked the comment, was unknown.

A spokesperson for McCabe declined to comment.” (Read more: The Hill, 10/16/2018)

March 20, 2017 – Rep. Elise Stefanik reveals Comey’s failure to inform the Gang of Eight about the FBI counter-Intel investigation of Trump

“Representative Elise M. Stefanik is a young, freshman republican congresswoman from the Albany New York area.  And using a probative questioning timeline, she single-handily pulled the mask from FBI Director James Comey, yet no-one seemed to notice.

Obviously Ms. Stefanik has not been in the swamp long enough to lose her common sense.

In the segment of the questioning below Rep. Stefanik begins by asking director Comey what are the typical protocols, broad standards and procedures for notifying the Director of National Intelligence, the White House and senior congressional leadership (aka the intelligence Gang of Eight), when the FBI has opened a counter-intelligence investigation.

The parsel-tongue response from Comey is a generalized reply (with uncomfortable body language) that notification of counter-Intel investigations are discussed with the White House, and other pertinent officials, on a calendar basis, ie. “quarterly”.

With the statement that such counter-Intel notifications happen “generally quarterly”, and against the backdrop that Comey stated in July of 2016 a counter-Intel investigation began, Stefanik asks:

”When did you notify the White House, the DNI and
congressional leadership?”

BOOM!  Watch an extremely uncomfortable Director James Comey outright LIE… by claiming there was no active DNI -which is entirely false- James Clapper was Obama’s DNI.

Watch it again.

Watch that first 3:00 minutes again.  Ending with:

“Because of the sensitivity of the matter.”  ~ James Comey

Director Comey intentionally obfuscates knowledge of the question from Rep Stefanik; using parseltongue verbiage to get himself away from the sunlit timeline.

The counter-Intel investigation, by his own admission, began in July 2016.  Congress was not notified until March 2017.  That’s an eight month period – Obviously obfuscating the quarterly claim moments earlier.

The uncomfortable aspect to this line of inquiry is Comey’s transparent knowledge of the politicized Office of the DNI James Clapper by President Obama.  Clapper was used rather extensively by the Obama Administration as an intelligence shield, a firewall or useful idiot, on several occasions.

Anyone who followed the Obama White House intel policy outcomes will have a lengthy frame of reference for DNI Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan as the two primary political operatives.   Brennan admitted investigating, and spying on, the Senate Intelligence Committee as they held oversight responsibility for the CIA itself.

The first and second questions from Stefanik were clear.  Comey’s understanding of the questions was clear.  However, Comey directly evaded truthful response to the second question.   When you watch the video, you can see Comey quickly connecting the dots on where this inquiry was going.

There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress.    Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes – wittingly, or unwittingly.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 3/20/2017)

March 18, 2017 – Steele writes to Ohr voicing concern about Comey’s upcoming testimony and hopes ‘important firewalls’ will hold

Christopher Steele (l) and Bruce Oh. (Credit: public domain)

“In March 2017, two days before former FBI Director James Comey testified to lawmakers that the bureau had an open counterintelligence investigation into President Trump’s campaign, former British spy Christopher Steele sent an urgent message to Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr hoping that “important firewalls will hold” when Comey testified.

The text message from Steele, who compiled the infamous unverified dossier on Trump, was sent on March 18, 2017 to Ohr and obtained by SaraACarter.com from a government source, familiar with the ongoing investigation.

Ohr was demoted twice by the Department of Justice for not disclosing that his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, the now-embattled research firm which paid Steele for the documents. Ohr has been deposed for questioning by the House Judiciary Committee and is expected to speak to lawmakers behind closed doors on Aug. 28.

In the text, Steele writes Ohr, “Hi! Just wondering if you had any news? Obviously, we’re a bit apprehensive given scheduled appearance at Congress on Monday. Hoping that important firewalls will hold. Many thanks.”

Ohr writes back later that day, saying “Sorry, no new news. I believe my earlier information is still accurate. I will let you know immediately if there is any change.”

It is not certain, based on the limited communications obtained by Congress between the pair, what Ohr was referring to when he discussed “earlier information” that he delivered to Steele.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/15/2018)

March 17, 2017 – The Senate Intel Cmte. security director, James Wolfe, leaks the Carter Page FISA application to Buzzfeed reporter, Ali Watkins, DoD and FBI coverup

“In the first part of this research into the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) we outlined how the committee was engaged in the 2017 effort –with specific evidence of communication– to support Robert Mueller and the ‘soft coup‘ team. [See Here] When you understand what the group was doing in early 2017, you understand why the FBI had to use DOJ official Bruce Ohr as a go-between to contact with Chris Steele.

Now we move on to overlay several data-points that happened throughout 2018 that are connected to a much more troubling part of the overall issues.  In 2018 the DOJ and FBI covered-up the corruption evident during the 2017 pre-Mueller effort.

The problem for Attorney General Bill Barr is not only investigating what we don’t know, but rather navigating through what ‘We The People’ are already aware of…. A branch of the United States government (Legislative) was attempting a coup against the leader of another branch of government (Executive); by using the Senate Intelligence Committee and designated corrupt agents within the executive branch cabinet.

This 2017 and 2018 time period covers Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, Jeff Sessions as AG, Rod Rosenstein as Deputy, Chris Wray as FBI Director, David Bowditch as Deputy and Dana Boente as FBI legal counsel.  I’ll lay out the evidence, you can then determine who was powerful enough to have made these decisions.

As a result of a FOIA release in mid-December 2018, Judicial Watch revealed how the State Department was feeding “classified information” to multiple U.S. Senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration:

The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).

Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a February 2018 request seeking records of the Obama State Department’s last-minute efforts to share classified information about Russia election interference issues with Democratic Senator Ben Cardin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-01381)).

The documents reveal the Obama State Department urgently gathering classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Donald Trump taking office.  (read more)

The impeachment program was a plan, an insurance policy of sorts; a coordinated effort between corrupt politicians in the Senate and hold-over allies in the executive; however, because she didn’t want to participate in this – Senator Dianne Feinstein abdicated her vice-chair position to Senator Mark Warner.  [Background Here]

This is the pre-cursor to utilizing Robert Mueller.  A plan that was developed soon after the  election.  The appointment of a special counsel was always the way they were going to hand-off and continue the investigation into Trump; but they needed a reason for it.

The continued exploitation of the Steele Dossier was critical; thus they needed Chris Steele to be solid.  And the continued manipulation of the media was also critical; thus they needed Fusion-GPS to continue.  [Dan Jones paid both]

While Mark Warner was communicating with Adam Waldman and Dan Jones as a conduit to Chris Steele, the FBI/DOJ team was communicating through Bruce Ohr to Chris Steele (and by extension to Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS).

Part of Warner’s role was to weaponize the Legislative branch to advance the ‘Muh Russia conspiracy’, a fundamental necessity if a special counsel was going to have justification.

The SSCI, and the security protocols within it, were structurally part of the plan; hence the rapid information from Obama’s State Dept. to the SSCI and Senate participants in the last moments prior to departing.

♦ On March 17th, 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee took custody of the FISA application used against Carter Page.   We know the FISA court delivered the read and return Top-Secret Classified application due to the clerk stamp of March 17, 2017.

(Page FISA Application, Link)

The FISA application (original and first renewal) was delivered to Senate Security Director James Wolfe.  Senator Mark Warner entered the basement SCIF shortly after 4:00pm on March 17, 2017, the day it was delivered (texts between Warner and Waldman):

Now, when SSCI Security Officer James Wolfe was indicted (unsealed June ’18), we could see the importance of the March 17th date again:

(Wolfe Indictment Link)

We can tell from the description within the indictment FBI investigators are describing the FISA application.  Additionally Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with his reporter/girlfriend Ali Watkins.  The FISA application is 83 pages with one blank page.

The logical conclusion was that Wolfe text Ali Watkins 82 pictures of the application.

FBI Investigators applied for, and received a search warrant for the phone records of journalist Ali Watkins.  Ms. Watkins was notified in February 2018, three months after Wolfe was questioned by FBI investigators in December 2017.

However, despite the overwhelming (public) circumstantial evidence that Wolfe leaked the FISA application, he was never charged with leaking classified information.  Wolfe was only charged with lying three times to federal authorities, and he pled down to one count of lying to the FBI.

CTH made the case in mid 2018 that someone at the DOJ had influenced a decision not to charge Wolfe with the leaking of the FISA application; despite the FBI and DOJ having direct evidence of Wolfe leaking classified information.

The logical reason for the DOJ not to charge Wolfe with the FISA leak was because that charge could ensnare a Senator on the powerful committee, likely Mark Warner.

Remember, the SSCI has intelligence oversight of the DOJ, DOJ-NSD, FBI and all associated counterintelligence operations. Additionally, when the FBI was investigating Wolfe for leaking classified documents, according to their court filings they had to inform the committee of the risk Wolfe represented.  Who did they have to inform?.. Chairman Burr and Vice-Chair Warner.

D’oh. Think about it.  A gang-of-eight member (Warner), who happened -as a consequence of the jaw dropping implications- to be one of only two SSCI members who was warned by the FBI that Wolfe was compromised…. and he’s the co-conspirator.  The ramifications cannot be overstated.  Such a criminal charge would be a hot mess.

Thus, the perfect alignment of interests for a dropped charge and DC cover-up.

Then, in an act of serendipity, James Wolfe himself bolstered that suspicion when he threatened to subpoena members of the SSCI as part of his defense. [See Here]

(…) Attorneys for James A. Wolfe sent letters to all 15 senators on the committee, notifying them that their testimony may be sought as part of Mr. Wolfe’s defense, according to two people familiar with the matter.

(…) Mr. Wolfe’s defense lawyers are considering calling the senators as part of the proceedings for a variety of reasons, including as potential character witnesses and to rebut some of the allegations made by the government in the criminal complaint, these people say.  (link)

Immediately after threatening to subpoena the SSCI (July 27, 2018), the DOJ cut a deal with Wolfe and dropped the charges down to a single charge of lying to investigators.  However, someone doing the investigative legwork wasn’t happy with that decision.

Our overwhelming CTH circumstantial evidence that Wolfe leaked the FISA application went from a strong suspicion, to damn certain (after the plea deal) when the DOJ included a sentencing motion in mid-December 2018.

On December 15th, 2018 the DOJ filed a response to the Wolfe defense teams’ own sentencing memo (full pdf), and within the DOJ response they included an exhibit (#13) written by the FBI [redacted] special agent in charge, which specifically says: “because of the known disclosure of classified information, the FISA application”… Thereby admitting, albeit post-plea agreement, that Wolfe did indeed leak the damn FISA:

(link to document)

Right there, in that FBI Special Agent description is the bombshell admission that James Wolfe leaked the Carter Page FISA application to his concubine Ali Watkins at Buzzfeed.

We know the special agent who wrote exhibit #13 in the December filing was Special Agent Brian Dugan, Asst. Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office.  The same investigator who originally signed the affidavit in the original indictment.

So with hindsight there was absolutely no doubt that James Wolfe leaked the 83-page Carter Page FISA application on March 17, 2017.  Period.  It’s all documented with circumstantial and direct evidence; including the admissions from the FBI agent in charge.

So, why was James Wolfe allowed to plea to a single count of lying to investigators?” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/11/2019)