political bias

December 9, 2019 – Matt Gaetz questions ‘non-partisan’ Democratic general counsel for impeachment, Daniel Goldman, for ‘pee tape’ tweet against Trump

“Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) confronted Daniel Goldman, the Democrat counsel for the House Intelligence Committee, during Monday’s impeachment hearing over a tweet he posted last year attacking President Donald Trump over his so-called “pee tape.”

The tweet (screen-capped below) was a response to President Trump’s criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s impeachment inquiry. Trump had tweeted: “Why aren’t Mueller and the 17 Angry Democrats looking at the meetings concerning the Fake Dossier and all of the lying that went on in the FBI and DOJ? This is the most one sided Witch Hunt in the history of our country. Fortunately, the facts are all coming out, and fast!”

In response, Goldman tweeted: “What lying? Nothing in the dossier has proved to be false (including your pee tape). But we can agree that we all look forward to the facts coming out. Everything that has come out so far has shown you to be an out and out liar (eg Cohen tape, purpose of June 9 meeting, etc).” (Read more: Breitbart, 12/09/2019)  (Archive)

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.

From Senator Tom Cotton’s office:

Michael Atkinson (Credit: public domain)

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:

  1. Does the complainant have (or did he once have) a professional relationship with a Democratic presidential candidate or campaign?
  2. If so, which candidate or campaign and what is the nature of that relationship?
  3. What other “indicia of arguable political bias” of the complainant did you find?
  4. 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?
  5. 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.

(Read more: Gateway Pundit, 12/03/2019)

October 30, 2019 – Beltway talk suggests the alleged hearsay whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella

Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson arrives for a closed-door hearing before the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2019. (Credit: Eric Baradat/Agence France Presse/Getty Images)

(…) RealClearInvestigations is disclosing the name because of the public’s interest in learning details of an effort to remove a sitting president from office. Further, the official’s status as a “whistleblower” is complicated by his being a hearsay reporter of accusations against the president, one who has “some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate” — as the Intelligence Community Inspector General phrased it circumspectly in originally fielding his complaint.

Federal documents reveal that the 33-year-old [Eric] Ciaramella, a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia “collusion” investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Further, Ciaramella (pronounced char-a-MEL-ah) left his National Security Council posting in the White House’s West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media. He has since returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

“He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” said a former NSC official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Also, Ciaramella huddled for “guidance” with the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, including former colleagues also held over from the Obama era whom Schiff’s office had recently recruited from the NSC. (Schiff is the lead prosecutor in the impeachment inquiry.)

Alexandra Chalupa and Eric Ciaramella (Credit: public domain)

And Ciaramella worked with a Democratic National Committee operative who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, inviting her into the White House for meetings, former White House colleagues said. The operative, Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American who supported Hillary Clinton, led an effort to link the Republican campaign to the Russian government. “He knows her. He had her in the White House,” said one former co-worker, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.

Documents confirm the DNC opposition researcher attended at least one White House meeting with Ciaramella in November 2015.  She visited the White House with a number of Ukrainian officials lobbying the Obama administration for aid for Ukraine.

(…) A CIA officer specializing in Russia and Ukraine, Ciaramella was detailed over to the National Security Council from the agency in the summer of 2015, working under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked closely with the former vice president.

Federal records show that Biden’s office invited Ciaramella to an October 2016 state luncheon the vice president hosted for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Other guests included Brennan, as well as then-FBI Director James Comey and then-National Intelligence Director James Clapper.

Several U.S. officials told RealClearInvestigations that the invitation that was extended to Ciaramella, a relatively low-level GS-13 federal employee, was unusual and signaled he was politically connected inside the Obama White House.

Former White House officials said Ciaramella worked on Ukrainian policy issues for Biden in 2015 and 2016 when the vice president was President Obama’s “point man” for Ukraine. A Yale graduate, Ciaramella is said to speak Russian and Ukrainian, as well as Arabic. He had been assigned to the NSC by Brennan.

He was held over into the Trump administration, and headed the Ukraine desk at the NSC, eventually transitioning into the West Wing, until June 2017.

“He was moved over to the front office” to temporarily fill a vacancy, said a former White House official, where he “saw everything, read everything.”

The official added that it soon became clear among NSA staff that Ciaramella opposed the new Republican president’s foreign policies. “My recollection of Eric is that he was very smart and very passionate, particularly about Ukraine and Russia. That was his thing – Ukraine,” he said. “He didn’t exactly hide his passion with respect to what he thought was the right thing to do with Ukraine and Russia, and his views were at odds with the president’s policies.” (Read more: RealClearInvestigations, 10/30/2 019) (Archive)

October 11, 2019 – Judicial Watch: Former Ukrainian ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testimony reveals she ordered State Dept. subordinates to monitor journalists, Trump allies

“Judicial Watch is investigating if prominent conservative figures, journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump were unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee. Yovanovitch testified “in secret” to the House impeachment inquiry against Trump on Friday, October 11, 2019. Her “secret” testimony was leaked to the New York Times during the hearing.

Judicial Watch has obtained information indicating Yovanovitch may have violated laws and government regulations by ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons using State Department resources. Yovanovitch reportedly ordered monitoring keyed to the following search terms: Biden, Giuliani, Soros, and Yovanovitch.  Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the State Department and will continue gathering facts from government sources.

Prior to being recalled as ambassador to Ukraine in the spring Yovanovitch reportedly created a list of individuals who were to be monitored via social media and other means.  Ukraine embassy staff made the request to the Washington D.C. headquarters office of the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. After several days, Yovanovitch’s staff was informed that the request was illegal and the monitoring either ceased or was concealed via the State Department Global Engagement Center, which has looser restrictions on collecting information.

“This is not an obscure rule, everyone in public diplomacy or public affairs knows they can’t make lists and monitor U.S. citizens unless there is a major national security reason,” according to a senior State Department official. If the illicit operation occurred, it seems to indicate a clear political bias against the president and his supporters. Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who has also led American embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016. She was recalled by the State Department in May and remains a State Department employee in Washington D.C.

(…) The prominent conservative figures — journalists and persons with ties to President Donald Trump — allegedly unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch include:

Jack Posobiec

Donald Trump Jr.

Laura Ingraham

Sean Hannity

Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia)

Dan Bongino

Ryan Saavedra

Rudy Giuliani

Sebastian Gorka

John Solomon

Lou Dobbs

Pamella Geller

Sara Carter

Judicial Watch continues its investigation of these matters and will update its reporting as the situation unfolds.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 10/18/2019)

UPDATE: The Yovanovitch transcript was released and she was questioned about Crowdtangle during her deposition against President Trump on October 11, 2019. She claims to be unaware of the software while pointing to the State Department as being responsible for monitoring social media accounts.

The discussion begins on page 92 of  the Yovanovich transcript:

(Yovanovich Transcript, 10/11/2019)

April 18, 2019 – The Mueller Report richly cites liberal media that pushed Trump-Russia collusion

(Credit: TruthFeed)

“Special counsel Robert Mueller relied on the media to feed his Russian election interference report, citing scores of stories mostly from news outlets that promoted the debunked Trump-Kremlin election conspiracy.

Mr. Mueller’s staff of Democrat-aligned prosecutors favored The New York Times over other publications. The 448-page report cited The Times more than 60 times, mostly in footnotes for articles that weave through the report’s main narrative.

The report refers to The Washington Post, another Trump-critic news site, at least 40 times. CNN, principally an anti-Trump network, has about a dozen citations. NBC News has about 10 story mentions, and its anchor, Lester Holt, is the lone journalist to appear in the report’s personalities glossary for his May 2017 interview with President Trump.

During the 22-month investigation, The Times, The Post and other mainstream media generally gave Mr. Mueller uncritical and favorable coverage, conservatives say.

“The media stoked this, so it makes sense they’d have a steady diet of liberal reporting,” Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign media adviser, told The Washington Times.

For more than two years, The New York Times suggested a Kremlin conspiracy in its stories and editorials and won a Pulitzer Prize — as did The Post. The Times focused on listing Russian contacts with Trump associates. Some purported Trump links, such as a line of communication with Kremlin intelligence, didn’t occur.

Volume I of the Mueller report, the section on Russian election interference, features news media citations to set the atmosphere in Washington.

Volume II, the section on potential obstruction of justice, uses media stories to show what Mr. Trump was hearing as he talked inside the White House of ousting Mr. Mueller and tweeted complaints about the special counsel’s “18 angry Democrats.” It was a common Trump insult for Mr. Mueller’s hand-picked staff of Democratic Party donors.” (Read more: The Washington Times, 5/05/2019)

August 28, 2018 – Ohr discusses Steele’s anti-Trump bias

(Credit: public domain)

(…) “Steele’s biases against then-candidate Trump have been reported in the media. Ohr testified that he relayed these to the FBI prior to the election.

“Prior to the election, when I spoke with Chris Steele, I got the sense he was very alarmed by this information, which I think he believed to be true. And so I definitely got the impression he did not want Donald Trump to win the election,” Ohr said in his testimony.

“I don’t recall the exact words. I definitely had a very strong impression that he did not want Donald Trump to win, because he believed his information he was giving me was accurate, and that he was, as I said, very concerned, or he was desperate, which is what I then told the FBI,” Ohr said.

Ohr later testified that he informed the FBI of Steele’s bias, along with details of his wife’s employment with Fusion GPS—and Fusion’s political mandate—prior to the Oct. 21, 2016, FISA application made on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page:

Q: “So the record is clear, what the Department of Justice and the FBI was aware of prior to the first FISA application was your relationship with Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, your wife’s relationship with Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, Mr. Steele’s bias against Donald Trump, Mr. Simpson’s bias against Donald Trump, your wife’s compensation for work for Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, correct?”

Ohr: “Right. So just, again, to reiterate, when I spoke with the FBI, I told them my wife was working for Fusion GPS. I told them Fusion GPS was doing research on Donald Trump. You know, I don’t know if I used the term opposition research, but certainly that was my—what I tried to convey to them. I told them this is the information I had gotten from Chris Steele. At some point, and I don’t remember exactly when, I don’t think it was the first conversation, I told them that Chris Steele was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected.”

It turns out that Ohr personally told Deputy FBI Director McCabe of his concerns about possible bias during the initial August 2016 meeting:

Q: “So in August of 2016, you tell Andy McCabe that you’re concerned because your wife works for Fusion GPS and that’s where you’re getting the information?”

Ohr: “I wanted Mr. McCabe to know that there was a possible, you know—that the—”

Q: “Conflict of interest—”

Ohr: “—of interest or appearance thereof, yeah.”

Q: “So there’s a possible conflict of interest in August of 2016 before a FISA warrant is actually initiated?”

Ohr: “I think I did not mean to say conflict of interest. What I would say is that in evaluating any information that I transmitted to the FBI, I wanted the FBI to be aware of any possible bias—”

Q: “So you believe there was the possibility of bias?”

Ohr: “Yes.”

(Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/14/2019)

August 28, 2018 – Bruce Ohr: FBI Knew About Bias Before Getting a FISA On Carter Page

Bruce Ohr arrives to testify before the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees on Aug. 28, 2018. (Credit: Chris Wattie/Reuters)

“Senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr testified Tuesday that prior to obtaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page, the FBI was aware that former British spy and anti-Trump dossier author, Christopher Steele was biased against then-candidate Trump. He also stated that the FBI knew that his wife, Nellie Ohr was working for Fusion GPS, the now-embattled research firm which was hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC to compile the dossier with Steele. This, according to Congressional sources with direct knowledge of Ohr’s closed-door deposition.

Ohr stated during his hours-long testimony that the FBI failed to disclose this pertinent information to the nation’s secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when it sought an application to spy on Page. The FBI also failed to disclose that when it sought the application, it was using senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr as a cut-out for a source the bureau had terminated.

Ohr had also communicated with senior members of the FBI, including former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI attorney Lisa Page, and former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, at the bureau but stated that his superiors at the Justice Department were not aware that he was being used as a source for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign, according to sources who spoke to SaraACarter.com.

“When it comes to the dossier, the hours of testimony from Bruce Ohr only further confirm how wrong the FBI operated,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) told this news outlet. Jordan would not give details on the testimony but stated that Ohr’s deposition was a necessary part of the investigation and getting to the truth.” (Read more: Sarah Carter, 8/28/2018)

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 5-13, 2017 – Special Counsel prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, leads the hiring effort for the Mueller team

Andrew Weissmann (Credit: public domain)

“According to 73 pages of records obtained by Judicial Watch, Mueller special counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann led the hiring effort for the team that investigated the Trump campaign.

Notably, Weissman attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in 2016, and wrote a positive email to former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates when she refused to defend the Trump administration’s travel ban. And as you will see below, he was on a mission to recruit a politically biased fleet of lawyers for the Mueller probe.

“These documents show Andrew Weissmann, an anti-Trump activist, had a hand in hiring key members of Mueller’s team – who also happened to be political opponents of President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton. “These documents show that Mueller outsourced his hiring decisions to Andrew Weissmann. No wonder it took well over a year to get this basic information and, yet, the Deep State DOJ is still stonewalling on other Weissmann documents!”

Weissman’s calendar shows that he began interviewing people for investigator jobs on the Mueller operation almost immediately after it was announced that he had joined the team in early June.

On June 5, 2017, he interviewed former Chief of the Public Corruption Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York Andrew Goldstein. Goldstein was a Time magazine reporter. Goldstein contributed a combined $3,300 to Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. His wife, Julie Rawe, was a reporter and editor for Time for 13 years, until 2013. He became a lead prosecutor for Mueller.

The next day, on June 6, 2017 Weissmann had a meeting with “FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] counsel.”

Weissmann interviewed another prosecutor, Kyle Freeny, from the DOJ Money Laundering Section for the team on June 7, 2017. She contributed a total of $500 to Obama’s presidential campaigns and $250 to Hillary Clinton’s. She was later detailed to the Mueller investigation.

He interviewed a trial attorney who worked with him in the Criminal Fraud Section, Rush Atkinson, on June 9, 2017. Records show that Atkinson donated $200 to Clinton’s campaign in 2016. He is a registered Democrat and contributed $200 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Atkinson also became part of the Mueller team.

Weissmann interviewed DOJ Deputy Assistant Attorney General Greg Andres for the team on June 13, 2017. Andres donated $2,700 to the campaign for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in 2018 and $1,000 to the campaign for David Hoffman (D) in 2009. Andres is a registered Democrat. His wife, Ronnie Abrams, a U.S. district judge in Manhattan, was nominated to the bench in 2011 by Obama. He joined the Mueller team in August 2017. –Judicial Watch

(Read more: Zero Hedge, 5/14/2019)

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)