Michael Horowitz

January 23, 2019 – Opinion: FBI Special Agent Joseph Pientka Is the DOJ’s Invisible Man

Christopher Steele and Bruce Ohr (Credit: public domain)

(…) “The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court [FISC] was not alerted to the fact that much of the information in the surveillance warrant on Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page was being provided by paid political propagandists employed by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

To continue receiving Trump-Russia collusion propaganda from opposition research firm Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele—who had been hired by Fusion GPS on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC—the FBI established a back-channel through former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr at the Department of Justice. After every meeting with Steele, Ohr would sit down for an interview with FBI Special Agent Joseph Pientka, who would fill out official FD-302 interview forms to pass on the information within the FBI.

(…) It seems something spooked the SpyGate plotters into presenting an appearance of drawing back from Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS while still surreptitiously using that political propaganda shop as a source for their ongoing investigations.

This back-channel allowed the FBI to hide Fusion GPS’s—and the Clinton campaign’s–role in providing much of the “evidence” being used to drive these politically-motivated investigations of Trump and his associates.

So why Bruce Ohr? Because he was a top official inside the Department of Justice and close to the DOJ’s National Security Division [NSD].

The point was to launder Fusion GPS’s Trump-Russia allegations through Ohr to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and lead agent on the Trump case, Peter Strzok, so it could be claimed the information was coming from a legitimate intelligence source instead of from paid political propagandists working for Hillary Clinton.

This means it’s highly likely that when Bruce Ohr’s personal notes from his meetings with Fusion GPS are compared with the official FD-302 interview forms that Agent Pientka filled out following his interviews with Ohr, they are not going to match when it comes to what the stated source was for the Trump-Russia information.

For Pientka to write down on the 302 forms that this information on Trump-Russia he was being given by Ohr was still coming from the Fusion GPS boys after the FBI had supposedly severed all ties with them would have defeated the entire reason for going to the trouble of establishing a backchannel in the first place.

Investigative journalist John Solomon of The Hill has stated in his reports that he has been shown Ohr’s handwritten notes that he made during his talks with Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele. So in his own notes, Ohr made it clear who he was talking to and where he was getting these allegations from.

So now the $56,000 question: What do the FD-302 forms Pientka filled out actually say about where the Trump-Russia allegations came from? Do the interview forms admit the allegations were coming from a politically motivated propaganda shop, or do they claim the information came from politically neutral intelligence sources?

I’ve no doubt that at some time in the past year and a half, the DOJ Inspector General’s office sat Pientka down for extensive and detailed interviews about his dual roles in both the Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn affair (he and Strzok interviewed Flynn), and with the Fusion GPS back-channel to the FBI. What he told them must have been incredibly sensitive, since nobody has publicly seen or heard from Pientka all this time, even though House and Senate committees have requested that the DOJ produce him for testimony.  Whatever Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz’s investigators discovered in their interviews with Pientka, they are keeping a very tight lid on it.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/23/2019)

December 28, 2018 – Goodlatte and Gowdy recommend a second counsel to continue investigating the investigators of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Trump Russia collusion

Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy recommended a second special counsel to continue their work in March 2018. (Credit: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg)

“The outgoing Republican committee chairmen in charge of a year-long probe of how the FBI and Justice Department handled investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged Russia ties and Hillary Clinton’s emails once again called for a second special counsel to look into such matters in a letter to top administration and congressional officials summing up their work.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., sent their letter to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. In it, they encouraged them to pick up where the House panels left off and “continue to identify and eliminate bias” at the federal law enforcement agencies “so the public can trust the institutions to make decisions solely on the facts and the law and totally devoid of political bias or consideration.”

“Our 2016 presidential candidates were not treated equally,” Goodlatte and Gowdy wrote in a statement accompanying the release of the letter. “The investigators in both investigations were biased against President Trump.”

The House GOP leaned heavily on details in an inspector general report released earlier this year to make their arguments about bias having infected the FBI and DOJ’s proceedings. The IG’s report found that while certain individuals, such as former top FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok, displayed clear personal bias against Trump, there was no evidence that the conclusions of the investigations themselves were biased.” (Read more: Chicago Tribune, 12/28/2018)

December 20, 2018 – Federal Court refuses to unseal documents justifying FBI raid on reported Clinton Foundation whistleblower

“A federal court refused to unseal government documents that permitted the FBI to raid the home of a reportedly recognized whistleblower who, according to his lawyer, delivered documents pertaining to the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One to a presidentially appointed watchdog.

The U.S. District Court of Maryland’s Chief Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner, a Clinton appointee, also sealed her justification for keeping the documents secret in a single-page Dec. 20 order.

On Nov. 15, federal Magistrate Judge Stephanie Gallagher authorized the raid on Dennis Cain’s Union Bridge, Maryland, home. She sealed the government documents justifying it.

The Daily Caller News Foundation asked Gallagher on Nov. 29 to unseal the documents, noting that Cain’s attorney has said his client, a former employee of an FBI contractor, is a recognized whistleblower. The documents should be released in light of “an urgent public interest” surrounding the case, TheDCNF wrote.

Attorneys and experts who defend government whistleblowers told TheDCNF the court should disclose whether prosecutors told Gallagher that Cain was a protected whistleblower under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.

Cain enjoyed his whistleblower status as early as last summer when he handed over documents to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, according to Cain’s lawyer, Michael Socarras. Horowitz instructed a top aide to personally hand-deliver the documents to the House and Senate intelligence committees, the attorney said.

The documents reportedly show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding the Clinton Foundation and Rosatom, the Russian company that purchased Uranium One. (Read more: The Daily Caller, 1/27/2019)

November 19, 2018 – FBI raids home of Clinton Foundation federally protected whistleblower, Nathan “Nate” Caine

Nathan (Nate) Cain (Credit: Twitter)

“FBI agents raided the home of a recognized Department of Justice whistleblower who privately delivered documents pertaining to the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One to a government watchdog, according to the whistleblower’s attorney.

The Justice Department’s inspector general was informed that the documents show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and Rosatom, the Russian company that purchased Uranium One, a document reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation alleges.

The delivered documents also show that then-FBI Director Robert Mueller failed to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct pertaining to Rosatom and to other Russian government entities attached to Uranium One, the document reviewed by TheDCNF alleges. Mueller is now the special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

(…) Sixteen agents arrived at the home of Dennis Nathan Cain, a former FBI contractor, on the morning of Nov. 19 and raided his Union Bridge, Maryland, home, Socarras told TheDCNF.

Federal Magistrate Stephanie Gallagher (Credit: public domain)

The raid was permitted by a court order signed on Nov. 15 by federal magistrate Stephanie A. Gallagher in the U.S. District Court for Baltimore and obtained by TheDCNF.

A special agent from the FBI’s Baltimore division, who led the raid, charged that Cain possessed stolen federal property and demanded entry to his private residence, Socarras told TheDCNF.

“On Nov. 19, the FBI conducted court authorized law enforcement activity in the Union Bridge, Maryland area,” bureau spokesman Dave Fitz told TheDCNF. “At this time, we have no further comment.”

Cain informed the agent while he was still at the door that he was a recognized protected whistleblower under the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act and that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz recognized his whistleblower status, according to Socarras.

He legally gave Congress about the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One,” the whistleblower’s lawyer, Michael Socarras, told TheDCNF, noting that he considered the FBI’s raid to be an “outrageous disregard” of whistleblower protections.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 11/29/2018)

July 20, 2018 – Peter Strzok statements about the Weiner laptop conflict with DOJ Inspector General claims about Weiner laptop

“With the exceptional help of John Spiropoulos we investigate a conflict completely ignored by media and congress. Peter Strzok, the FBI’s lead Investigator in the Clinton email investigation, never intended to investigate the laptop before the election. The evidence, in his own words, is in the report by the Inspector General. In addition, the IG report includes a jaw dropping contradiction regarding the investigation of the laptop. Strzok says one thing; the FBI’s computer experts say another. It calls into question the entirety of the laptop investigation.

There is a great deal of inconsistent application of law surrounding the DOJ/FBI investigative authority during 2015 and 2016. There is also a great deal of fatigue surrounding discussion of those inconsistent applications. Contradictions, inconsistency and obtuse justifications are as rampant in our midst as the political narratives shaping them. Perhaps that’s by design.

Reading Chapter 11 of the IG Report reinforces an acceptance that not only is there a need for a special counsel, but there is a brutally obvious need for multiple special counsels; each given a specific carve-out investigation that comes directly from the content of the Inspector General report. This issue of the handling of the Weiner/Abedin laptop screams for a special counsel investigation on that facet alone. Why?

Well, consider this from page #388 (emphasis mine):

Midyear agents obtained a copy of the Weiner laptop from NYO immediately after the search warrant was signed on October 30.

The laptop was taken directly to Quantico where the FBI’s Operational Technology Division (OTD) began processing the laptop. The Lead Analyst told us that given the volume of emails on the laptop and the difficulty with de-duplicating the emails that “at least for the first few days, the scale of what we’re doing seem[ed] really, really big.”

Strzok told us that OTD was able “to do some amazing things” to “rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop, which significantly lowered the number of emails that the Midyear team would have to individually review. Strzok stated that only after that technological breakthrough did he begin to think it was “possible we might wrap up before the election.” (pg 388)

The key takeaway here is two-fold. First, the laptop is in the custody of the FBI; that’s important moving forward (I’ll explain later). Also, specifically important, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigative authority in the Hillary Clinton MYE (Mid-Year-Exam), is explaining to the IG how they were able to process an exhaustive volume of emails (350,000) and Blackberry communications (344,000) in a few days; [Oct 30 to Nov 5]

Note: “OTD was able “to do some amazing things to rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop.

OK, you got that?

Now lets look at the very next page, #389 (again, emphasis mine):

(…) The FBI determined that Abedin forwarded two of the confirmed classified emails to Weiner. The FBI reviewed 6,827 emails that were either to or from Clinton and assessed 3,077 of those emails to be “potentially work-related.”The FBI analysis of the review noted that [b]ecause metadata was largely absent, the emails could not be completely, automatically de-duplicated or evaluated against prior emails recovered during the investigation and therefore the FBI could not determine how many of the potentially work-related emails were duplicative of emails previously obtained in the Midyear investigation. (pg 389)

See the problem? See the contradiction?

Strzok is saying due to some amazing wizardry the FBI forensics team was able to de-duplicate the emails. However, FBI forensics is saying they were NOT able to de-duplicate the emails.

Both of these statements cannot be true. And therein lies the underlying evidence to support a belief the laptop content was never actually reviewed. But it gets worse, much worse… (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 7/20/2018)

(Note From the Editor: Conservative Treehouse has granted us permission to share more of their work than what Fair Use would normally allow. We thank them for their generosity and excellent, investigative work. Please don’t stop reading here, there is a lot more to their story.)

July 5, 2018 – IG Report Follow Up: DOJ and FBI investigation of Clinton highlights two systems of justice – A Video Series

“Inspector General Michael Horowitz is currently investigating how the FISA processes and FISA Court was used by the DOJ and FBI to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign. Additionally, congress is requesting several witnesses appear before hearings to discuss their involvement in the events around the 2016 presidential election and the use of the intelligence apparatus of the U.S. government to influence the outcome.

However, to gain an idea of how the FISA inquiry is likely to end; perhaps it is worthwhile to look at how the IG viewed, and constructed, the last report (full pdf below).  Within the content of the released report it becomes obvious the Obama DOJ and FBI constructed a dual system of justice.  Political ideology determines which process to follow.

This is the second in a four part series of reports on the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton by the FBI and Justice Department.  Part one is here.  Part three and four follow.”

(…) “Over 640,000 people have read the IG report from our SCRIBD link alone. Tens of millions more have likely read parts or the majority from other links to the report. In essence, unlike all prior aspects of the government hiding material, a much larger percentage of the American population is currently awake and holding direct knowledge of what has taken place.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 7/05/2018)

June 26, 2018 – Here’s One Unverified File the Feds Won’t Leak: About Loretta Lynch

Hillary Clinton, James Comey and Loretta Lynch (Credit: World Tribune)

“The FBI had little problem leaking “unverified” dirt from Russian sources on Donald Trump and his campaign aides – and even basing FISA wiretaps on it. But according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, the bureau is refusing to allow even members of Congress with top security clearance to see intercepted material alleging political interference by President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

That material – which has been outlined in press reports – consists of unverified accounts intercepted from putative Russian sources in which the head of the Democratic National Committee allegedly implicates the Hillary Clinton campaign and Lynch in a secret deal to fix the Clinton email investigation.”

(…) “True or false, the material is consequential because it appears to have influenced former FBI Director James B. Comey’s decision to break with bureau protocols because he didn’t trust Lynch. In his recent book, Comey said he took the reins in the Clinton email probe, announcing Clinton should not be indicted, because of a “development still unknown to the American public” that “cast serious doubt” on Lynch’s credibility – clearly the intercepted material.

If the material documents an authentic exchange between Lynch and a Clinton aide, it would appear to be strong evidence that the Obama administration put partisan political considerations ahead of its duty to enforce the law.

The information remains so secret that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz had to censor it from his recently released 500-plus-page report on the FBI’s investigation of Clinton, and even withhold it from Congress.”

(…) “The contents of the secret intelligence document — which purport to show that Lynch informed the Clinton campaign she’d make sure the FBI didn’t push too hard — were included in the inspector general’s original draft. But in the official IG report issued June 14, the information was tucked into a classified appendix to the report and entirely blanked out.

“The information was classified at such a high level by the intelligence community that it limited even the members [of Congress] who can see it, as well as the staffs,” Horowitz explained last week to annoyed Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight authority over Justice and the FBI.” (Read more: RealClearInvestigations, 6/26/2018)

June 21, 2018 – DOJ official Peter Kadzik, who tipped off Podesta, is unlikely to face legal consequences

Peter Kadzik (Credit: Venable LLP)

“Former Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik is unlikely to face any legal consequences for tipping off Clinton campaign manager John Podesta to a release of Hillary’s emails, experts tell the Daily Caller.

Kadzik’s conduct in the DOJ was described by Michael Horowitz’s IG report as constituting “poor judgment.” According to last week’s IG report, Peter Kadzik was trying to get his son hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign while Kadzik himself was part of the investigation into Clinton’s private server.

He also emailed Clinton’s 2016 campaign chair, John Podesta, with a “heads up” on when the some of her emails would be released publicly.” (Read more: Daily Caller, 6/21/2018)

June 15, 2018 – Gowdy: GOP will hit DOJ with ‘full arsenal’ If they ignore subpoenas

Trey Gowdy (Credit: public domain)

“House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy warned the DOJ and the FBI on Sunday that Republicans will come after them if they choose not to comply with subpoena requests.

Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday” that House Speaker Paul Ryan led a meeting with FBI and DOJ officials on Friday night and “made very clear there’s going to be action on the floor of the House this week if FBI and DOJ do not comply with our subpoena request.”

“Paul Ryan led this meeting. You had Devin Nunes, Bob Goodlatte, myself and everyone you can think of from the FBI and the DOJ, and we went item by item on both of those outstanding subpoenas,” Gowdy explained. “We’re going to get compliance or the House of Representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray were present at Ryan’s meeting, according to Gowdy. (Read more: Daily Caller, 6/17/2018)

June 14, 2018 – “Foreign Actors” obtain access to some of Clinton’s emails

(Credit: Fox News)

“Foreign actors” obtained access to some of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails — including at least one email classified as “secret” — according to a new memo from two GOP-led House committees and an internal FBI email.

Fox News obtained the memo prepared by the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, which lays out key interim findings ahead of next week’s hearing with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The IG, separately, is expected to release his highly anticipated report on the Clinton email case later Thursday.

The House committees, which conducted a joint probe into decisions made by the DOJ in 2016 and 2017, addressed a range of issues in their memo including Clinton’s email security.

“Documents provided to the Committees show foreign actors obtained access to some of Mrs. Clinton’s emails — including at least one email classified ‘Secret,’” the memo says, adding that foreign actors also accessed the private accounts of some Clinton staffers.

The memo does not say who the foreign actors are, or what material was obtained, but it notes that secret information is defined as information that, if disclosed, could “reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.” (Read more: Fox News, 6/14/2018)