November 30, 2019 – ICIG Atkinson refuses to answer Senator Tom Cotton’s request for more info on the ‘hearsay whistleblower’s bias
“Senator Tom Cotton sent a letter on October 9th to Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, after his dishonest testimony before the Senate Select Committee on September 26th.
Michael Atkinson withheld information on the partisan CIA “whistleblower” when he testified before the senators.
Tom Cotton sent a letter to Atkinson wanting answers.
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) today sent a letter to Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, after his evasive testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during a closed hearing on September 26. Inspector General Atkinson repeatedly refused to answer questions about the political bias of the “whistleblower”, despite being in a closed session and despite this information being unclassified. The Inspector General wouldn’t reveal this information to the Senate Intelligence Committee, but later revealed it to the House Intelligence Committee.
The letter outlines five outstanding questions Senator Cotton has for Inspector General Atkinson and asks him to reply no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 11. The full text of the letter is below and can be found by clicking here.
Dear Inspector General Atkinson,
Your disappointing testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on September 26 was evasive to the point of being insolent and obstructive. Despite repeated questions, you refused to explain what you meant in your written report by “indicia of an arguable political bias on the part of the Complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.” This information is, of course, unclassified and we were meeting in a closed setting. Yet you moralized about how you were duty bound not to share even a hint of this political bias with us.
But now I see media reports that you revealed to the House Intelligence Committee not only that the complainant is a registered Democrat, but also that he has a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential campaign. I’m dissatisfied, to put it mildly, with your refusal to answer my questions, while more fully briefing the three-ring circus that the House Intelligence Committee has become.
So, I will ask again and give you one more chance to answer: what are these “indicia of arguable political bias”? More specifically:
- Does the complainant have (or did he once have) a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential candidate or campaign?
- If so, which candidate or campaign and what is the nature of that relationship?
- What other “indicia of arguable political bias” of the complainant did you find?
- Did you or anyone subject to your control or influence share with CNN that the “arguable political bias” was merely that the complainant is a registered Democrat?
- Why did you refuse to answer my questions at the September 26 hearing?
(…) According to Paul Sperry, Atkinson refuses to comply with the Senator’s request.
And Adam Schiff refuses to release Atkinson’s closed-door testimony from the basement star chamber.
November 30, 2019 – John Ratcliffe suggests IC IG Atkinson’s transcript is being withheld because of his testimony to possible connections between Schiff’s staff and the hearsay whistleblower
“Republican Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe hinted Saturday at the reason he believes House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff won’t release Michael Atkinson’s transcript.
Ratcliffe suggested in a tweet that Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, might have revealed information about a possible connection between the whistleblower and members of Schiff’s staff.
“It’s because I asked IG Atkinson about his ‘investigation’ into the contacts between Schiff’s staff and the person who later became the whistleblower. The transcript is classified ‘secret’ so Schiff can prevent you from seeing the answers to my questions,” he tweeted.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 12/01/2019)
November 30, 2019 – Jimmy Dore picks apart the first round of Democratic “impeachment bombshells”
November 29, 2019 – The history of Flynn prosecutor Brandon Van Grack – from the Special Counsel’s Office to the prosecution of Flynn
“As a member of Team Mueller, Van Grack was involved in improperly obtaining Trump Transition Team emails/comms from GSA – including privileged materials.
He hid the extent of the intrusion from Trump Transition Team lawyers.
Van Grack confirmed that the Special Counsel’s Office had “failed to use an ‘ethical wall’ or ‘taint team’ and instead simply reviewed the privileged communications contained in the [Transition Team] materials.”
Van Grack “failed to correct the record or disclose that” they were in possession of and had accessed “a significant volume of privileged materials.
The failure was intentional; they wanted the privileged communications.
Deceptive edits of Trump lawyer John Dowd’s voicemail, produced to Van Grack, made its way to the Mueller Report.
They omitted the section where Dowd asked Flynn’s lawyers not to disclose “confidential information.”
We reached out to John Dowd about the Van Grack/Mueller deception.
He called it “unfair and despicable”
Van Grack used a corrupt reading of FARA laws (since rejected by 2 courts) to target Mike Flynn Jr.
Not to prosecute Flynn Jr., but to force General Flynn to plea.
Flynn Jr. became an official target on 10/20/17. Flynn signed the plea deal on 11/30/17.
Flynn Intel Group (FARA) case – overseen by Van Grack.
DOJ tells Judge that “Flynn was not a member of the alleged conspiracy”
DOJ then tries to label Flynn a co-conspirator. This was rejected by the Judge.
corrected HT: @TheLastRefuge2
Van Grack’s FARA case (prosecuted by EDVA) against Flynn Intel Group member Rafiekian was a disaster from the start.
It was Soon before trial and the DOJ couldn’t figure out how to instruct the jury on the FARA violation.
As the Rafiekian (Flynn Intel Group) case unraveled, they designated Flynn Jr. as a witness to intimidate Flynn.
This was pure tactics – Flynn Jr. was never called as a witness.
Despite DOJ assertion that Flynn Intel Group member Rafiekian was acting as a foreign agent for Turkey…
Van Grack/EDVA never investigated whether the agreement was funded by the Turkish government.
The threat against Flynn – labeling him as a co-conspirator – came after he refused to agree to the false narrative set forth by Van Grack.
The Judge in the Rafiekian case disagreed: “Flynn has not disavowed what is in the statement of facts.”
The false charges claimed by Van Grack – that “Flynn had agreed to plead to a knowing and intentional false FARA filing” – was actually deleted from a draft of the Flynn Agreement.
This is important because Van Grack was telling Judge Sullivan in December 2018 that Flynn could be charged as a foreign agent under 18 USC 951.
Van Grack’s Section 951 theory was rejected by the Judge in the Rafiekian case.
“Such a reading is unwarranted . . . based on the plain language of Section 951.”
Judge Sullivan may have concerns about Van Grack’s Section 951 interpretation and VG’s claim Flynn could have been prosecuted.
If “there was no factual predicate for that FARA violation, then it should not have been mentioned at all as a potential ‘benefit’”
As to Van Grack’s conduct in the Flynn case…
They confused the FBI Agents’ notes (Strzok/Pientka)
As to the FARA charges, Van Grack would have known this likely created a non-consentable conflict of interest between Flynn and his prior counsel.
Conflicts disregarded; they needed the plea.
- 18 USC 951
- Bijan Rafiekian
- Brandon Van Grack
- Department of Justice
- document alteration
- Flynn Intel Group
- Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA)
- John Dowd
- Joseph Pientka
- Lt. General Michael Flynn
- Michael Flynn Jr.
- Mueller Report
- Mueller Special Counsel Investigation
- November 2019
- Peter Strzok
- Trump transition team
November 26, 2019 – DOJ requests delay in Flynn case until after publication of IG report
A curiously interesting development in the DOJ case against Michael Flynn. Judge Emmet Sullivan is weighing the merits of the Flynn defense Motion to Compel (MTC), which requests a significant amount of information on DOJ/FBI conduct in the lead-up to Flynn’s prosecution. A decision and court briefing was anticipated soon.
However, today the DOJ files a joint motion with the defense asking Judge Sullivan to suspend scheduled briefing dates and sentencing deadlines until after the DOJ inspector general report is published on December 9th. The implication is that some of the “Brady” material at issue; or tangential issues that touch upon the material; may be outlined in the upcoming IG report.
The joint motion asks for a delay to the briefing schedules, and a delay in the subsequent sentencing therein. The full motion is here.
November 22, 2019 – John Solomon challenges Lt. Col. Vindman with a list of “28 primary factual elements” in his Ukraine columns
honor and applaud Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s service to his country. He’s a hero. I also respect his decision to testify at the impeachment proceedings. I suspect neither his service nor his testimony was easy.
“But I also know the liberties that Lt. Col. Vindman fought on the battlefield to preserve permit for a free and honest debate in America, one that can’t be muted by the color of uniform or the crushing power of the state.
So I want to exercise my right to debate Lt. Col. Vindman about the testimony he gave about me. You see, under oath to Congress, he asserted all the factual elements in my columns at The Hill about Ukraine were false, except maybe my grammar
Here are his exact words:
“I think all the key elements were false,” Vindman testified.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y, pressed him about what he meant. “Just so I understand what you mean when you say key elements, are you referring to everything John Solomon stated or just some of it?”
“All the elements that I just laid out for you. The criticisms of corruption were false…. Were there more items in there, frankly, congressman? I don’t recall. I haven’t looked at the article in quite some time, but you know, his grammar might have been right.”
Such testimony has been injurious to my reputation, one earned during 30 years of impactful reporting for news organizations that included The Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Daily Beast/Newsweek.
And so Lt. Col. Vindman, here are the 28 primary factual elements in my Ukraine columns, complete with attribution and links to sourcing. Please tell me which, if any, was factually wrong.
Fact 1: Hunter Biden was hired in May 2014 by Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, at a time when his father Joe Biden was Vice President and overseeing US-Ukraine Policy. Here is the announcement. Hunter Biden’s hiring came just a few short weeks after Joe Biden urged Ukraine to expand natural gas production and use Americans to help. You can read his comments to the Ukrainian prime minister here. Hunter Biden’s firm then began receiving monthly payments totaling $166,666. You can see those payments here.”
November 22, 2019 – FBI lawyer referred for criminal prosecution by Horowitz was primary FBI attorney on Trump-Russia case
“A former FBI attorney reportedly referred for criminal prosecution by Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz—for allegedly altering an email connected to the surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page—was assigned in early 2017 as “the primary FBI attorney assigned” to the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into alleged Russian election interference.
The lawyer, who has been identified as Kevin Clinesmith in media reports, had been incorrectly portrayed by many members of the media as a “low-level” or junior member of the FBI’s legal team.
Text messages obtained by Horowitz, covered in a June 2018 report, showed that Clinesmith had a strong bias against Trump, texting “Viva le resistance” following Trump’s election as well as: “my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.”
Clinesmith worked on both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation. He would also later become a member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and was one of the FBI officials—along with FBI Agent Peter Strzok—who was removed by Mueller after IG Horowitz discovered FBI text messages expressing political bias against Trump.
The New York Times reported on Nov. 22, that Clinesmith was removed from the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation in February 2018 and resigned from the FBI “about two months ago.”
Clinesmith has reportedly been referred for criminal prosecution by Horowitz for altering “an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap”—also known as the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) renewal—on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the New York Times reported.
(…) According to the NYT article, the “paperwork associated with the renewal applications contained information that should have been left out, and vice versa.” Clinesmith reportedly altered an email that “was a factor during the wiretap renewal process.”
Clinesmith allegedly “took an email from an official at another federal agency that contained several factual assertions, then added material to the bottom that looked like another assertion from the email’s author, when it was instead his own understanding.”
This altered email was then included in a package that was prepared for another FBI official to read in “preparation for signing an affidavit,” that was to be submitted to the FISA Court “attesting to the facts and analysis” in the application. ” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 11/24/2019) (Archive)
November 22, 2019 – Rudy Giuliani sends a letter to Senator Graham outlining acting U.S ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor’s efforts to block witnesses
“It was evident several weeks ago that U.S. chargé d’affaires to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, is one of the current participants in the coup effort. It was Taylor who engaged in carefully planned text messages with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to set-up a narrative helpful to Adam Schiff’s political coup effort.
Bill Taylor was formerly U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (’06-’09) and later helped the Obama administration to design the laundry operation providing taxpayer financing to Ukraine in exchange for back-channel payments to U.S. politicians and their families.
Today Rudy Giuliani has released a letter to Senator Lindsey Graham outlining how Bill Taylor has blocked VISA’s for Ukrainian ‘whistle-blowers’ who are willing to testify to the corrupt financial scheme. Unfortunately, Senator Graham, along with dozens of U.S. Senators currently serving, may very well have been a recipient for money through the aforementioned laundry process. So, good luck with the visas.
U.S. senators write foreign aid policies, rules, and regulations thereby creating the financing mechanisms to transmit U.S. funds. Those same senators then received a portion of the laundered funds back through their various “institutes” and business connections to the foreign government offices; in this example Ukraine. [ex. Burisma to Biden]
The U.S. State Dept. serves as a distribution network for the authorization of the money laundering by granting conflict waivers, approvals for financing (think Clinton Global Initiative), and permission slips for the payment of foreign money. The officials within the State Dept. take a cut of the overall payments through a system of “indulgence fees”, junkets, gifts and expense payments to those with political oversight.
If anyone gets too close to revealing the process, writ large, they become a target of the entire apparatus. President Trump was considered an existential threat to this entire process. Hence our current political status with the ongoing coup. The letter.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, because, well, in reality, all of the U.S. Senators (both parties) on the Foreign Relations Committee [Members Here] are participating in the process for receiving taxpayer money and contributions from foreign governments.
A “Codel” is a congressional delegation that takes trips to work out the payment terms/conditions of any changes in graft financing. This is why Senators spend $20 million on a campaign to earn a job paying $350k/year. The “institutes” is where the real foreign money comes in; billions paid by governments like China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Ukraine, etc. etc. There are trillions at stake.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the power over these members (and the members of the Senate Intel Committee), because McConnell decides who sits on what committee. As soon as a Senator starts taking the
bribes lobbying funds, McConnell then has full control over that Senator. This is how the system works.
The McCain Institute is one of the obvious examples of the financing network. And that is the primary reason why Cindy McCain is such an outspoken critic of President Trump. In essence, President Trump is standing between her and her next diamond necklace; a dangerous place to be.
So when we think about a Senate Impeachment Trial; and we consider which senators will vote to impeach President Trump, it’s not just a matter of Democrats -vs- Republican. We need to look at the game of leverage, and the stand-off between those bribed Senators who would prefer President Trump did not interfere in their process.
McConnell has been advising President Trump which Senators are most likely to need their sensibilities eased. As an example, President Trump met with Lisa Murkowski last week. Senator Murkowski rakes in millions from the Oil and Gas industry, and she ain’t about to allow horrible Trump to lessen her bank account any more than Cindy McCain will give up her frequent shopper discounts at Tiffany’s.
WASHINGTON DC – Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is getting a high-profile perch as he joins the Senate during his latest clash with President Trump.
Romney was named on Thursday to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, giving him an opening to wade into several looming foreign policy battles between Congress and the White House. (link)
Now do you see how McConnell works?
Oh yeah, about those recess appointments…. Once you see the strings on the Marionettes you can never go back to a time when you did not see them. (Conservative Treehouse, 11/23/2019)
The following day, Giuliani tweets:
(Republished with permission.)
November 22, 2019 – Durham probe expands to Pentagon office that contracted FBI spy Stephan Halper
“Justice Department prosecutor U.S. Attorney John Durham is questioning personnel connected to the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, which awarded multiple contracts to FBI informant Stephan Halper. Halper, who was informing the bureau on Trump campaign advisors, is a central figure in the FBI’s original investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, SaraACarter.com has learned.
(…) Multiple sources confirmed to this news site that Durham has spoken extensively with sources working in the Office of Net Assessment, as well as outside contractors, that were paid through the Pentagon office.
(…) In 2016, Halper was an integral part of the FBI’s investigation into short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page, and George Papadopolous. Halper first made contact with Page at his seminar in July 2016. Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, was accused at the time of being sympathetic to Russia. Halper stayed in contact with Page until September 2017.
(…) According to the DoD Inspector General’s report the Office of Net Assessment (ONA) Contracting Officer’s Representatives (CORs) “did not maintain documentation of the work performed by Professor Halper or any communication that ONA personnel had with Professor Halper; therefore, ONA CORs could not provide sufficient documentation that Professor Halper conducted all of his work in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. We determined that while the ONA CORs established a file to maintain documents, they did not maintain sufficient documentation to comply with all the FAR requirements related to having a complete COR.” (Read more: Sara Carter, 11/22/2019) (Archive)
November 21, 2019 – Former FBI lawyer allegedly alters document in Carter Page FISA application; Rod Rosenstein once testified to FISA alterations
“An FBI official is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document related to 2016 surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, several people briefed on the matter told CNN.
The possibility of a substantive change to an investigative document is likely to fuel accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation of connections between Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign.
The finding is expected to be part of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review of the FBI’s effort to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide. Horowitz will release the report next month.
Horowitz turned over evidence on the allegedly altered document to John Durham, the federal prosecutor appointed early this year by Attorney General William Barr to conduct a broad investigation of intelligence gathered for the Russia probe by the CIA and other agencies, including the FBI. The altered document is also at least one focus of Durham’s criminal probe.
It’s unknown how significant a role the altered document played in the FBI’s investigation of Page and whether the FISA warrant would have been approved without the document. The alterations were significant enough to have shifted the document’s meaning and came up during a part of Horowitz’s FISA review where details were classified, according to the sources. (Read more: CNN, 11/21/2019) (Archive)
- 2016 Election
- 2016 election meddling
- Carter Page
- Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ OIG)
- document alteration
- DOJ OIG
- DOJ OIG Investigation
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- FISA 702 violations
- FISA application
- FISA Title-1 surveillance warrant
- John Durham
- Michael Horowitz
- November 2019
- William Barr