July 28, 2019 – Rep. John Ratcliffe says it is clear crimes were committed by government officials in the Obama administration
“With the Justice Department conducting a review of that operation, Rep. John Ratcliffe said during a Fox News interview Sunday that he trusts Attorney General William Barr and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to provide answers.
And while Ratcliffe said he does not want to prematurely accuse any specific person of a crime — as Democrats have done with President Trump — he stressed that it is clear crimes were committed by people during the Obama administration, including government officials.
“I think the first thing we need to do is make sure we don’t do what the Democrats have done,” the Texas Republican told host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures. “They accused Donald Trump of a crime and then they try and reverse engineer a process to justify that accusation. So I’m not going to accuse any specific person of any specific crime, I just want there to be a fair process to get there. What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is that it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration.”
(…) Ratcliffe recommended three leads for the “investigation of the investigators.”
The first related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn. “You talked earlier about Michael Flynn. His phone call with the Russian ambassador was a highly classified NSA intercept. Someone in the Obama administration leaked that call to the Washington Post. That’s a felony,” he said.
Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed in February 2018 that the Justice Department was investigating that leak, and that he was overseeing the inquiry himself. “I am directing it personally and we’re pursuing it aggressively,” Sessions said at the time.
Ratcliffe suggested investigators also look into conflicting congressional testimony between Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. Fusion GPS was the opposition research firm behind British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier, which was full of unverified claims about Trump’s ties to Russia and was used extensively by the FBI in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to justify surveillance of Page. Ohr acted as an unofficial back channel between Steel and the FBI. “Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS in talking about the Steele dossier, said under oath that he and Bruce Ohr did not meet until after the election. Bruce Ohr said under oath that they met three months before the election. One of them is not telling the truth. We need a process to identify that,” Ratcliffe said.
The third area of interest, Ratcliffe said, is former FBI Director James Comey’s memos on his interactions with Trump before he was fired in May 2017. “Where it all started, Jim Comey. He admitted that he leaked his confidential conversations with the president to a reporter. Did that include classified information? We need a fair processes to find out answers to that,” Ratcliffe said.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 7/28/2019)
July 28, 2019 – George Papadopoulos will head to Greece to retrieve $10K payment, federal investigators want to see the marked bills
“Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos told Fox News‘ Maria Bartiromo in an exclusive interview that he is heading back to Greece to retrieve $10,000 that he suspects was dropped in his lap as part of an entrapment scheme by the CIA or FBI — and federal investigators want to see the marked bills, which he said are now stored in a safe.[Timeline editor’s note: Oddly, the official video released by Bartiromo does not play the interview with Papadopoulos and instead offers the Nunes interview twice. With a little sleuthing, I managed to find a copy posted on an obscure YouTube page, and it appears to have been captured from a television. All other copies lead to the Bartiromo video that has been edited. So essentially, given the censorship we are currently experiencing, there’s no guarantee this video will remain on YouTube. For the sake of posterity, I have captured a screenshot of the interview that is now saved on my hard drive. lol]
Papadopoulos said on Sunday Morning Futures he was “very happy” to see Devin Nunes, R-Calif., grill Special Counsel Robert Mueller about the summer 2017 payment during last week’s hearings — even though Mueller maintained, without explanation, that the matter was outside the scope of his investigation.
“I was very happy to see that Devin Nunes brought that up,” Papadopoulos said. “A man named Charles Tawil gave me this money [in Israel] under very suspicious circumstances. A simple Google search about this individual will reveal he was a CIA or State Department asset in South Africa during the ‘90s and 2000s. I think around the time when Bob Mueller was the director of the FBI.
So, I have my theory of what that was all about,” Papadopoulos added. “The money, I gave it to my attorney in Greece because I felt it was given to me under very suspicious circumstances. And upon coming back to the United States I had about seven or eight FBI agents rummaging through my luggage looking for money.”
According to Papadopoulos, “the whole setup” by the “FBI likely, or even the special counsel’s office,” was intended to “bring a FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] violation against me.” The FARA statute played a key role in the prosecutions of former Trump aides, including Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort.” (Read more: Fox News, 7/28/2019)
July 16, 2019 – Lt. General Michael Flynn judge calls former lawyers back to court and are accused of withholding case files
A DC federal judge has ordered Michael Flynn’s former attorneys to appear in court next month after Flynn’s current legal counsel claims they haven’t been given the entire case file by the team at Covington & Burling.
Judge Emmet Sullivan, an Obama appointee, scheduled a status conference for August 27 at 11 a.m., and has invited a Senior Legal Ethics Counsel to weigh in on the conversation.
“In light of the representations made by defense counsel regarding the delay in receiving the client files, the Court hereby gives notice to the parties of the Court’s intent to invite Senior Legal Ethics Counsel for the District of Columbia Bar to attend the status conference and explain on the record the applicable District of Columbia Rules of Professional Conduct,” wrote Sullivan.
In a filing on Thursday, Flynn’s new attorneys Jesse Binnall, Sidney Powell and William Hodes wrote that they “do not yet have the entire file” from Flynn’s former lawyers and said they had been advised “it will be several weeks before all the information can be transferred.”
Flynn’s attorneys also reiterated that they already have a “massive” amount of files to review — spanning four hard drives that exceed 253 gigabytes of documents — and noted they had identified “crucial and troubling issues that should concern any court” without going into detail. –The Hill
Flynn’s former attorneys have responded, saying they will have the rest of the case files delivered by July 26, per Politico.
Meanwhile, Flynn’s former attorney testified on Tuesday against Flynn’s former business partner, 67-year-old Bijan Rafiekian, an Iranian-American who has been charged with illegally acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.
Prosecutors called ex-Flynn attorney Robert Kelner as a witness Tuesday at the trial of Bijan Rafiekian, 67, an Iranian-American businessman who was Flynn’s key counterpart in a lobbying and consulting firm the retired Army general opened after leaving government, Flynn Intel Group.
During about two-and-a-half hours on the witness stand in federal court in Alexandria, Va., Kelner appeared to do some damage to Rafiekian by telling jurors that the Flynn associate never shared key information about links between the lobbying work and Turkish government officials.
Kelner also said Rafiekian, better known as Kian, seemed upset by the lawyers’ recommendation in early 2017 that the firm make a retroactive filing about the work Flynn’s firm did to try to build support for the extradition from the U.S. of a dissident Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen. –Politico
“My recollection is that he was not happy about it. In part, he was not happy about the suggestion that FIG’s work primarily benefited the Government of Turkey,” said Kelner.
Attorney Robert Barnes raises the question: “Why was Covington firm ever representing Flynn given it knew it might be a material witness in a case related to Flynn? Did the government knowingly profit from this conflict?” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 7/16/2019)
March 19, 2019 – Zainab Ahmad is leaving Mueller’s special counsel team
“A Justice Department official who worked on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s case is leaving the special counsel’s office, a spokesman for Robert Mueller said Monday.
“Zainab Ahmad has concluded her detail with the Special Counsel’s Office but will continue to represent the office on specific pending matters that were assigned to her during her detail,” special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement, first reported by Yahoo! News.
(…) Ahmad and Weissmann recently came under scrutiny over their interactions during the 2016 campaign with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.
It recently emerged that Ohr testified to Congress on Aug. 28, 2018, that he briefed Ahmed, Weissmann and FBI officials in September 2016 about his interactions with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the anti-Trump dossier.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 3/19/2019)
January 2, 2019 – The exculpatory Russia evidence about Mike Flynn that US intel kept secret
“For nearly two years now, the intelligence community has kept secret evidence in the Russia collusion case that directly undercuts the portrayal of retired Army general and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as a Russian stooge.
(…) Yes, the Pentagon did give a classified briefing to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in May 2017, but then it declined the senator’s impassioned plea three months later to make some of that briefing information public.
“It appears the public release of this information would not pose any ongoing risk to national security. Moreover, the declassification would be in the public interest, and is in the interest of fairness to Lt. Gen. Flynn,” Grassley wrote in August 2017.
Were the information Grassley requested made public, America would have learned this, according to my sources:
- Before Flynn made his infamous December 2015 trip to Moscow — as a retired general and then-adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — he alerted his former employer, the DIA.
- He then attended a “defensive” or “protective” briefing before he ever sat alongside Vladimir Putin at the Russia Today (RT) dinner, or before he talked with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
- The briefing educated and sensitized Flynn to possible efforts by his Russian host to compromise the former high-ranking defense official and prepared him for conversations in which he could potentially extract intelligence for U.S. agencies such as the DIA.
- When Flynn returned from Moscow, he spent time briefing intelligence officials on what he learned during the Moscow contacts. Between two and nine intelligence officials attended the various meetings with Flynn about the RT event, and the information was moderately useful, about what one would expect from a public event, according to my sources.
August 29, 2018 – Bruce Ohr names Andrew McCabe, FBI officials tied to Peter Strzok among his Trump dossier contacts: Reports
“Sources told Fox News that Ohr’s contacts included Peter Strzok, the former FBI agent who acknowledged meeting with Ohr in congressional testimony last month. Strzok once played a leading role in Mueller’s inquiry and was recently fired from the bureau over anti-Trump text messages he sent a colleague with whom he was having an affair.
Fox News also reported that Ohr claimed to have met with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Strzok’s onetime mistress, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and Joe Pientka, an FBI agent who reportedly interviewed former national security adviser Michael Flynn with Strzok.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., noted that Ohr additionally mentioned Andrew Weissmann, who was the chief of the DOJ’s criminal fraud division, according to the Washington Post. Fox News‘ Catherine Herridge reported Thursday that Weissmann was “kept in the loop” about the dossier, Steele, and Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commission the dossier.
During his testimony in a closed-door testimony before the joint task force of the Judiciary and Oversight committees, Ratcliffe claims Ohr said at least one of these officials signed off on a FISA warrant application seeking the authority to spy on Page. To this individual, Ratcliffe advised: “I would retain a really good lawyer.”
Of the officials who have been identified in reports, McCabe was the only one known to have signed off one of them.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/30/2018)
August 15, 2018 – Notes on Peter Strzok’s possible FISA application abuse and falsified FBI FD-302 report on Michael Flynn interview
“The media narrative surrounding FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s firing has been framed, almost exclusively, around his political text messages. Given the nature of the media participation in the events, this is not surprising. However, Strzok’s text messages have no bearing on his firing.
In March 2018 the DOJ Office of Inspector General announced an ongoing review of how the DOJ and FBI used FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) as a weaponized tool against their political opposition.
“As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.” (pdf link)
Two months later on Monday May 21st, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein added a significant DOJ mandate to the Inspector General review. Rosenstein expanded the original FISA review to include looking at whether officials within the intelligence community may have unlawfully used human intelligence assets to “spy” or “surveil” the Trump campaign:
“The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.” (link)
Part of that ongoing IG review surrounds FBI Affidavits presented to the FISA Court (FISC) and whether those affidavits were fraudulent; thereby misleading the court. FBI Agent Peter Strzok is the primary affiant swearing to the truthfulness and fullness of the information that underlines the FISA application (ie. Woods Procedures) . We know Peter Strzok lied and misrepresented information to the court.
In addition to violating the Woods Procedures, FBI Agent Peter Strzok likely falsified, manipulated and shaped FD-302 investigative notes in both the Hillary Clinton and Michael Flynn interviews. His own text messages with DOJ Special Counsel Lisa Page highlight that Peter Strzok was very familiar with manipulating evidence by the narrative he could/did write in his 302 submissions.
On May 11, 2018, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley dropped a sunlight grenade into the prosecution of Michael Flynn with a jaw-dropping request letter (full pdf below) to FBI Director Christopher Wray. [Judiciary Link Here]
Within the letter Chairman Grassley outlined a prior briefing from fired FBI Director James Comey to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and contrasts the false presentations of James Comey and by extension Peter Strzok, regarding Michael Flynn, against recently known evidence.
Additionally, Grassley requested:
♦the transcription of the phone call(s) intercepted by the FBI between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak;
♦the FD 302s written by the FBI in their interview with Michael Flynn;
♦testimony from Special Agent Joe Pientka, likely the second FBI agent who was partnered with Peter Strzok for the Flynn interview.
The name of the second FBI agent was previously unknown, and it’s likely Chairman Grassley outed the name for a very specific reason. This is a BIG shot across the bow.
Previously the Justice Department was refusing to provide any information to the committee pertinent to Grassley’s requests, citing the ongoing investigation. However, the Senator was outlining his request against the backdrop of the Judge in the Flynn case demanding the Special Counsel turn over all exculpatory information.
Senator Grassley outlines the February 15th, 2017, briefing provided by James Comey to the committee:
(…) “Like the Flynn interview itself, that briefing was not transcribed. Also like the Flynn interview, there are notes taken by a career, non-partisan law enforcement officer who was present. The agent was on detail to the Committee staff at the time.
According to that agent’s contemporaneous notes, Director Comey specifically told us during that briefing that the FBI agents who interviewed Lt. General Michael Flynn, “saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying.” Our own Committee staff’s notes indicate that Mr. Comey said the “agents saw no change in his demeanor or tone that would say he was being untruthful.”
Contrary to his public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments, then-Director Comey led us to believe during that briefing that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he intentionally lied about his conversation with the Ambassador and that the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute him for false statements made in that interview. In the months since then, the Special Counsel obtained a guilty plea from Lt. General Flynn for that precise alleged conduct.”
It is important to remember – there is a widely held belief that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative.
There is a great deal of debate surrounding the guilty plea as an outcome of a carefully constructed and coordinated plan by FBI and DOJ officials to target Flynn.
The letter continues:
(…) “The Department has withheld the Flynn-related documents since our initial bipartisan request last year, citing an ongoing criminal investigation. With Flynn’s plea, the investigation appears concluded.
Additionally, while we are aware that the Special Counsel’s office has moved to delay Lt. General Flynn’s sentencing on several occasions, we presume that all related records already have been provided to the defense pursuant to Judge Sullivan’s February 16, 2018 order requiring production of all potentially exculpatory material. Thus, although the case is not yet adjudicated, the Committee’s oversight interest in the underlying documents requested more than a year ago now outweighs any legitimate executive branch interest in withholding it. So too does the Committee’s interest in learning the FBI agents’ actual assessments of their interview of Lt. Gen. Flynn, particularly given the apparent contradiction between what then Directory Comey told us in March 2017 and what he now claims.”
Then comes the hammer:
(…) “In addition, please make Special Agent Joe Pientka available for a transcribed interview with Committee staff no later than one week following the production of the requested documents.”
Regarding the “widely held belief” that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Strzok and Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302’s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative. As Nick Falco points out evidence of that is within the most recent text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok:
♦January 23, 2017, the day before the Flynn interview, Lisa Page says: “I can feel my heart beating harder, I’m so stressed about all the ways THIS has the potential to go fully off the rails.” Weird!”
♦Strzok replies: “I know. I just talked with John, we’re getting together as soon as I get in to finish that write up for Andy [McCabe] this morning.” Strzok agrees with Page about being stressed that “THIS” could go off the rails. (Strzok meets with Flynn the next day.)
♦Why would Page & Strzok be stressed about “THIS” potentially going off the rails if everything was by the book?
BECAUSE IT WASN’T!
♦February 14th, 2017, there is another note about the FBI reports filed from the interview.
Peter Strzok asks Lisa Page if FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is OK with his report: “Also, is Andy good with F-302?”
Lisa Page replies: “Launch on F 302.”
And we know from their discussions of manipulating FBI reports a year earlier, inside the Hillary Clinton investigation – that Peter Strzok has withheld information, and manipulated information, through use of the 302 reports:
(Timeline editor’s note: With special thanks to Conservative Treehouse for allowing us to post their well documented research to the timeline. We have decided to post this piece in full. Please visit their website and read more of Sundance’s work. His team is an organized group of super sleuths who are putting this maddening puzzle together, piece by piece.)
May 11, 2018 – Contradicting Comey on Flynn—Again The Senate Judiciary Chairman corroborates the House Intelligence report
“The contradictions of former FBI director James Comey keep piling up. The latest came Friday when Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley provided new evidence that Mr. Comey told Congress a different story last year about the truthfulness of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn than Mr. Comey is now telling the public.
In a letter to the FBI and the Justice Department seeking documents, Mr. Grassley relates that Mr. Comey “touched on” the Flynn case before the Judiciary Committee on March 15, 2017. A “career, non-partisan law enforcement officer” was present and took notes. “According to that agent’s contemporaneous notes,” Mr. Grassley writes, “Director Comey specifically told us during that briefing that the FBI agents who interviewed Lt. General Michael Flynn, ‘saw nothing that led them to believe [he was] lying.’”
Mr. Grassley says this contradicts Mr. Comey’s “public statements during his current book tour denying any memory of those comments,” and that Mr. Comey “led us to believe during that briefing” that “the Justice Department was unlikely to prosecute [ Mr. Flynn ] for false statements made in that interview.”
The House Intelligence Committee has released a transcript of Mr. Comey saying the same thing about Mr. Flynn, so this is the second time Mr. Comey has been contradicted on the point. In December Mr. Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, and the question is whether special counsel Robert Mueller pressured him to plead to a crime he didn’t commit. Attorney John Dowd asks the same question in a nearby letter and says Congress should seek the 302 forms filed by FBI agents who did the interviewing.” (Read more: The Wall Street Journal, 5/13/2018)
May 11, 2018 – Senator Grassley reveals name of second FBI agent who interviewed General Flynn
“Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has just dropped a sunlight grenade into the prosecution of Michael Flynn with a jaw-dropping request letter (full pdf below) to FBI Director Christopher Wray. [Judiciary Link Here]
Within the letter Chairman Grassley outlines a prior briefing from fired FBI Director James Comey to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and contrasts the false presentations of Comey -regarding Michael Flynn- against recently known evidence.
Additionally, Grassley is requesting: the transcription of the phone call(s) intercepted by the FBI between Flynn and Russian Ambassador Kislyak; the FD 302’s written by the FBI in their interview with Michael Flynn; and testimony from Special Agent Joe Pientka, likely the second FBI agent who was partnered with Peter Strzok for the Flynn interview.
The name of the second FBI agent was previously unknown, and it’s likely Chairman Grassley outed the name for a very specific reason. This is a BIG shot across the bow.
Previously the Justice Department was refusing to provide any information to the committee pertinent to Grassley’s requests, citing the ongoing investigation. However, the Senator is now outlining his request against the backdrop of the Judge in the Flynn case demanding the Special Counsel turn over all exculpatory information.
It is important to remember – there is a widely held belief that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe told the FBI agents (Strzok and Pientka) to shape their FBI reports of the interview (FD-302’s) to assist a “Flynn lied” narrative.
There is a great deal of debate surrounding the guilty plea as an outcome of a carefully constructed and coordinated plan by FBI and DOJ officials to target Flynn.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/11/2018)
September 19, 2017 – Rice tells House investigators why she unmasked senior Trump officials
“Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.
The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.
The crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, arrived in New York last December in the transition period before Trump was sworn into office for a meeting with several top Trump officials, including Michael Flynn, the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his top strategist Steve Bannon, sources said.
(…) It’s unclear precisely which Trump officials Rice discussed at the House meeting. But multiple sources have confirmed to CNN that Zayed met at the time with Flynn, Kushner and Bannon. The three-hour discussion focused on a range of issues, including Iran, Yemen and the Mideast peace process, according to two sources who insisted that opening up a back-channel with Russia was not a topic of discussion.
Still, the fact that the New York meeting occurred prior to the Seychelles session and that the UAE did not notify the Obama administration about why the crown prince was coming to the United States has raised questions in the eyes of investigators on Capitol Hill.” (Read more: CNN, 9/19/2017)