memos

April 18, 2019 – Konstantin Kilimnik, a key figure the Mueller report links to Russia, was a State Department intel source

Konstantin Kilimnik (Credit: public domain)

“In a key finding of the Mueller report, Ukrainian businessman Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, is tied to Russian intelligence.

But hundreds of pages of government documents — which special counsel Robert Mueller possessed since 2018 — describe Kilimnik as a “sensitive” intelligence source for the U.S. State Department who informed on Ukrainian and Russian matters.

Why Mueller’s team omitted that part of the Kilimnik narrative from its report and related court filings is not known. But the revelation of it comes as the accuracy of Mueller’s Russia conclusions face increased scrutiny.

The incomplete portrayal of Kilimnik is so important to Mueller’s overall narrative that it is raised in the opening of his report. “The FBI assesses” Kilimnik “to have ties to Russian intelligence,” Mueller’s team wrote on page 6, putting a sinister light on every contact Kilimnik had with Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman.

What it doesn’t state is that Kilimnik was a “sensitive” intelligence source for State going back to at least 2013 while he was still working for Manafort, according to FBI and State Department memos I reviewed.

Kilimnik was not just any run-of-the-mill source, either.

He interacted with the chief political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, sometimes meeting several times a week to provide information on the Ukraine government. He relayed messages back to Ukraine’s leaders and delivered written reports to U.S. officials via emails that stretched on for thousands of words, the memos show.

The FBI knew all of this, well before the Mueller investigation concluded.

John Solomon tweets about the Manafort Ledger. (Credit: Twitter)

Alan Purcell, the chief political officer at the Kiev embassy from 2014 to 2017, told FBI agents that State officials, including senior embassy officials Alexander Kasanof and Eric Schultz, deemed Kilimnik to be such a valuable asset that they kept his name out of cables for fear he would be compromised by leaks to WikiLeaks.” (Read more: The Hill, 6/06/2019)

March 28, 2019 – A Federal judge rules the DOJ must hand over Comey memos

James Comey (Credit: Cliff Owen/The Associated Press)

“A federal judge ordered the FBI Thursday to turn over former Director James Comey’s memos, including the notes that he took during his infamous one-on-one meetings with President Trump.

Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of CNN, USA Today, Judicial Watch, and other outlets, telling the DOJ that it must hand over the Comey memos to the court for review and possible public release.

The memos include the notes that Comey said he leaked to the media to spark the appointment of a special counsel.

Media and watchdog groups have fought to obtain documents relating to Comey’s notes through the Freedom of Information Act since May 2017, when the existence of the Comey memos was first made public. The memos recount conversations between Comey and Trump that are hotly disputed, and the outlets argue that the public has a right to their contents.

But the DOJ has opposed their release. A significant amount of information from the Comey memos has already been made public, but other information has been redacted or otherwise concealed from public view. CNN is also fighting for access to the Justice Department’s sealed arguments explaining to the court why the DOJ is opposing the release of the memos.

(…) The Comey memos must now be turned over to the court by April 1. (Read more: Washington Examiner, 3/28/2019)

August 28, 2018 – Ohr’s testimony confirms the Nunes Memo — The Schiff memo, not so much

(…) “Last year, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issued dueling memos about the Russia investigation. The release of Ohr’s testimony backs up then-chair Devin Nunes’ memo. Nunes’ memo explained that, after the FBI fired Steele as a source, he continued to feed Ohr intel, with the FBI interviewing Ohr to document the communications with Steele. Ohr confirmed that that is exactly what occurred.

Ohr’s testimony also refuted Schiff’s Democrat’s response memo. In that memo, Schiff called Nunes’ “reference to Bruce Ohr misleading,” stating that the Republican “misleads about the timeframe of Ohr’s communications with the FBI.” Schiff then claimed Ohr informed the FBI of the information Steele had shared with him in late November 2016—weeks after the election, and more than a month after the court approved the initial FISA application.

But as his just-released testimony made clear, Ohr contacted McCabe shortly after his July 30, 2016, meeting with Steele, and conveyed the details of that tête-à-tête to McCabe. Steele continued to provide Ohr with information on Trump. Ohr then passed those details on to Strzok and Lisa Page. Th[is] occurred well before Steele’s firing and the first FISA court order.

Ohr’s testimony has helped to clear up this dispute and others, but unfortunately there are many more questions left unanswered.” (Read more: The Federalist, 3/11/2019)

June 7, 2017 – The day before Comey testifies to congress, the FBI visits his home and collects four memos “as evidence”

A recent FOIA release from Judicial Watch (full pdf below) reveals that two of Mueller’s initial FBI agents, based on dates and redactions – likely Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, visited James Comey on June 7th, 2017, to retrieve a collection of his memos.

(However, a word of caution, one of the memos was titled “last night at 6:30pm” and is being widely misinterpreted to have been written the night before (June 6th, 2017) when that is not accurate.  It is likely that memo relates to the January dinner in the White House with President Trump that held the same sentence.)

If we ignore the misinterpreted “last night” memo aspect (dinner with potus in January ’17), here’s what we can learn from this FOIA release:

♦First, the memos were picked up while FBI agent’s Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka were lead FBI agents that transferred into the Mueller team.  Therefore it’s likely they were the two who traveled to Comey’s house for this effort.

♦Second, the memos were picked up June 7th, 2017, the day before James Comey appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, June 8th, 2017 [See Link].

It was during this June 8th SSCI committee testimony where Comey first revealed the scope of his memo keeping.  Keep in mind, all prior research shows SSCI Chairman Richard Burr and SSCI Vice-Chair Mark Warner were part of the corrupt effort against President Trump.  Their committee was where leaker James Wolfe (sleeping with journalist Ali Watkins) was operational.  The SSCI was part of the aggregate coup effort.

WARNER: I think that’s a very important statement you just made. Then, unlike your dealings with presidents of either parties in your past experience, in every subsequent meeting or conversation with this president, you created a written record. Did you feel that you needed to create this written record of these memos, because they might need to be relied on at some future date?

COMEY: Sure. I created records after conversations that I think I did it after each of our nine conversations. If I didn’t, I did it for nearly all of them especially the ones that were substantive. I knew there might come a day when I would need a record of what had happened, not just to defend myself, but to defend the FBI and our integrity as an institution and the Independence of our investigative function. That’s what made this so difficult is it was a combination of circumstances, subject matter and the particular person.

WARNER: I think that is very significant. I think others will probably question that. Now, the chairman and I have requested those memos. It is our hope that the FBI will get this committee access to those memos so again, we can read that contemporaneous rendition so that we’ve got your side of the story. – Transcript Link

(Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Understanding the timeline; and overlaying the ideological intents and purposes; it would make sense that Robert Mueller and the ‘small group’ would want to exploit the memo content (hell, they likely knew all about it as soon as written), and simultaneously keep those memos buried and under their ‘small group’ control.

By taking custody of the memos, the Mueller investigative team would be able to block any outside inquiry.  That’s the motive for the FBI visit to James Comey on June 7th, 2017.  Comey could then talk about the memos the next day while knowing the ‘small group’ would use the “ongoing investigation” to keep them hidden from review.

Senators Mark Warner, Richard Burr and the media would be able to frame discussion of the memos to undermine President Trump, while knowing the memos would be kept out of public review.  With hindsight go back and review the SSCI testimony; this approach appears to have been pre-planned.

Now lets overlay the Archey Declarations” against the FOIA release.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 7/31/2019)

October 14, 2016 – Memos detail FBI’s ‘Hurry the F up pressure’ to obtain a Title 1 FISA warrant on the Trump campaign

(…) “The memos show Strzok, Lisa Page and others in counterintelligence monitored news articles in September 2016 that quoted a law enforcement source as saying the FBI was investigating Carter Page’s travel to Moscow.

The FBI team pounced on what it saw as an opportunity as soon as [Carter] Page wrote a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey complaining about the “completely false” leak.

A clipping from Carter Page’s letter to James Comey.

“At a minimum, the letter provides us a pretext to interview,” Strzok wrote to Lisa Page on Sept. 26, 2016.

Carter Page (Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Within weeks, that “pretext” — often a synonym for an excuse — had been upsized to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant, giving the FBI the ability to use some of its most awesome powers to monitor Carter Page and his activities.

To date, the former Trump adviser has been accused of no wrongdoing despite being subjected to nearly a year of surveillance.

Some internal memos detail the pressure being applied by the FBI to DOJ prosecutors to get the warrant on Carter Page buttoned up before Election Day.

In one email exchange with the subject line “Crossfire FISA,” Strzok and Lisa Page discussed talking points to get then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to persuade a high-ranking DOJ official to sign off on the warrant.

“Crossfire Hurricane” was one of the code names for four separate investigations the FBI conducted related to Russia matters in the 2016 election.

“At a minimum, that keeps the hurry the F up pressure on him,” Strzok emailed Page on Oct. 14, 2016, less than four weeks before Election Day.

Four days later the same team was emailing about rushing to get approval for another FISA warrant for another Russia-related investigation code-named “Dragon.”

“Still an expedite?” one of the emails beckoned, as the FBI tried to meet the requirements of a process known as a Woods review before a FISA warrant can be approved by the courts.

“Any idea what time he can have it woods-ed by?” Strzok asked Page. “I know it’s not going to matter because DOJ is going to take the time DOJ wants to take. I just don’t want this waiting on us at all.”

Until all the interviews are completed by Congress and DOJ’s inspector general later this year, we won’t know why counterintelligence agents who normally take a methodical approach to investigation felt so much pressure days before the election on this case.” (Read more: The Hill, 7/06/2018)

October 11, 2016 – DOJ and FBI officials hide a State Dept email that memorializes Christopher Steele’s political motives

“If ever there were an admission that taints the FBI’s secret warrant to surveil Donald Trump’s campaign, it sat buried for more than 2 1/2 years in the files of a high-ranking State Department official.

Kathleen Kavalec (Credit: BizPacReview)

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec’s written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline.

And that confession occurred 10 days before the FBI used Steele’s now-discredited dossier to justify securing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and the campaign’s ties to Russia.

Steele’s client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the date of the 2016 election, Kavalec wrote in a typed summary of her meeting with Steele and Tatyana Duran, a colleague from Steele’s Orbis Security firm. The memos were unearthed a few days ago through open-records litigation by the conservative group Citizens United.

Kavalec’s notes do not appear to have been provided to the House Intelligence Committee during its Russia probe, according to former Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). “They tried to hide a lot of documents from us during our investigation, and it usually turns out there’s a reason for it,” Nunes told me. Senate and House Judiciary investigators told me they did not know about them, even though they investigated Steele’s behavior in 2017-18.

One member of Congress transmitted the memos this week to the Department of Justice’s inspector general, fearing its investigation of FISA abuses may not have had access to them.

Nonetheless, the FBI is doing its best to keep much of Kavalec’s information secret by retroactively claiming it is classified, even though it was originally marked unclassified in 2016.

The apparent effort to hide Kavalec’s notes from her contact with Steele has persisted for some time.

State officials acknowledged a year ago they received a copy of the Steele dossier in July 2016, and got a more detailed briefing in October 2016 and referred the information to the FBI.

But what was discussed was not revealed. Sources told me more than a year ago that Kavalec had the most important (and memorialized) interaction with Steele before the FISA warrant was issued, but FBI and State officials refused to discuss it, or even confirm it.” (Read more: The Hill, 5/07/2019) (Kavalec Memo)

 

“On May 10, 2019, against the backdrop of documents from the state department, Senator Lindsey Graham sends a letter to both OIG Michael Horowitz and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking additional information about State Department contact with Christopher Steele.  (Source Link – Senate Judiciary)

Additionally, the FBI has apparently reversed course on the self-serving redactions they put in place when the Kavalec Memo was released.  A less redacted version is linked here.

Apparently the Russian “mole” in the DNC didn’t warrant the investigative curiosity of the FBI.  Instead, they took the sketchy dossier info and called Carter Page an “agent of a foreign power”….  Go figure.” (Conservative Treehouse, 5/10/2019)