Randy Coleman

June 5, 2018 – Bill Priestap, former assistant director of FBI counterintelligence, testifies he was unaware of the ICIG 811 referral on the possible compromise of Clinton emails

(…) “President Donald Trump suggested in August last year that Clinton’s emails were obtained by China.

The president was likely responding to a report released days earlier by the Daily Caller, citing two anonymous sources, claiming that a Chinese-owned company operating in the Washington area obtained nearly all of Clinton’s emails. The firm received Clinton’s emails in real time using a code embedded on a private, unauthorized email server she used for government work while she was secretary of state, the report alleged. Fox News confirmed the Daily Caller report, citing two anonymous sources. It isn’t clear if the Fox sources are different from those used by the Daily Caller.

Kable and Chappell served as section chiefs at the bureau’s counterintelligence division alongside Strzok during the early days of the Clinton-email investigation. Both Kable and Chappell have expertise in Chinese espionage, a factor which, if the media reports about China are true, may have initially contributed to their selection for the Clinton-email team.

Kable led investigations against “known and suspected Chinese intelligence officers in the U.S.” for a year and five months starting in 2009, according to an FBI promotion notice and his LinkedIn profile. While little is known about Chappell’s time at the FBI, he was cited among experts on Chinese espionage in a Fox News article published two weeks after the start of the Clinton-email probe. Executive Assistant Director Randall Coleman, the senior most official overseeing the email probe, is also cited in the article, as well as the related FBI press release.

Despite playing a prominent role in the investigation, Kable’s name isn’t mentioned in Horowitz’s otherwise voluminous and exhaustive report (pdf) on the handling of the Clinton-email investigation. Chappell, who met the ICIG and worked in counterespionage, also isn’t mentioned in the report. The FBI wouldn’t confirm whether Chappell still works for the bureau.

With the exception of Comey, every person in the chain of command above Strzok was replaced at different points during the Clinton-email investigation. On Dec. 9, 2015, Comey moved Kable out of FBI headquarters to the Washington field office, ending his term on the Clinton-email probe.

Bill Priestap (Credit: Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

Two weeks after Kable’s departure, Comey appointed Bill Priestap to serve as assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, replacing Randall Coleman, who held the same position until Dec. 21, 2015. A month later, Comey appointed Andrew McCabe to replace Mark Giuliano as deputy director, and the following month, Comey appointed Michael Steinbach to replace Giacalone as the executive assistant director for the National Security Branch.

If Kable was the fourth person present at the meeting when Rucker told FBI about the email metadata anomalies, Strzok would be the only official who learned of the ICIG lead and remained on the Clinton-email investigation until it was concluded.

Priestap, who arrived six months after the ICIG anomaly referral, told lawmakers on June 5 last year that he didn’t know Frank Rucker, the ICIG investigator, and that he was never informed of the referral on the anomalies in the metadata in Clinton’s emails. Strzok reported to Priestap.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/29/2019)

October 4, 2016 – FBI Executive Assistant Director (EAD) Randy Coleman’s notes re Weiner’s laptop mention Hillary Clinton, the Foundation and Crime Against Children

On page 294 of the DOJ OIG report, the IG team reviews an unusual entry in EAD Randy Coleman’s notes that understandably raises eyebrows and leaves room for speculation. What does “Crime Against Children” mean in the context of Coleman’s notes? One would normally presume it would be related to Weiner sexting with the 15 year old girl. A researcher suggested they could be counting Anthony Weiner’s son as a victim and that is a possibility as well. But the plural use of the word “children” written directly below the notation of Hillary Clinton and the Foundation also implies it could mean something else. The IG team appears, somewhat, to have tried getting to the bottom of it, but Comey had a convenient case of amnesia and the other FBI officials questioned, also gave similar responses.

October 3, 2016 – The FBI’s Executive Assistant Director, Randy Coleman, documents his review of the Weiner laptop

Randall Coleman (Credit: public domain)

On page 283, the DOJ OIG reports Randall Coleman, Executive Asst Director of FBI HQ’s Criminal, Cyber, Response & Services Branch receives a call from Assistant Director (AD), Bill Sweeney with updates on the Weiner laptop. By this time, September 28, 2016, they discovered 347,000 emails that were Clinton/Abedin related and considered “connected with the Mid Year investigation.” When the laptop was transferred to FBI Headquarters, Randy Coleman was in charge of reviewing the computer.

This is where things get weird…Mr. Coleman’s “memorandum for record” clearly states he was not to read the Clinton/Abedin emails found on Weiner’s laptop. From the memorandum:

Our question is, who did examine the hundreds of thousands of additional Clinton emails that were identified by NYO and confirmed by Coleman? Where are they now? Have they been officially archived? Were there classified documents included? The official word has been they are duplicates of the emails we already know about, but there apparently are hundreds of thousands more emails that are still unaccounted for.

There is also a discrepancy with the date of Coleman’s “memorandum for record” mentioned in the DOJ OIG report that says it is dated November 7, 2016. The FBI recently released the memorandum and it is dated October 3, 2016.  We have chosen to date this timeline entry using the date on the original memorandum.

October 12, 2015 – March 2, 2016: Comey makes a series of high profile reassignments resulting in a complete upper-echelon turnover of the FBI Team working on the Clinton email investigation

Starting in October 2015 and into the first three months of 2016:

  • Oct. 12, 2015: Louis Bladel was moved to the New York Field Office.
  • Dec. 9, 2015: Charles “Sandy” Kable was moved to the Washington Field Office.
  • Dec. 1, 2015: Randall Coleman, Assistant Director – head of Counterintelligence, was named as executive assistant director – Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, and was replaced by Bill Priestap.
  • Feb. 1, 2016: Mark Giuliano retired as Deputy FBI Director and was replaced by Andrew McCabe.
  • Feb. 11, 2016: John Giacalone retired as Executive Assistant Director and was replaced by Michael Steinbach.
  • March 2, 2016: Gerald Roberts, Jr. was moved to the Washington Field Office.

Comey was the only known involved senior FBI leadership official who remained a constant during the entirety of the Clinton email investigation.

Strzok told lawmakers last year that the Clinton Mid-Year Exam was opened out of headquarters by then-Assistant Director Coleman. Strzok also noted that Section Chief Kable was involved in that effort. The FBI investigation into the Clinton emails was formally opened on July 10, 2015.

At this time, Strzok was an Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the Washington Field Office. The Assistant Director in Charge at the Washington Field Office during this period was Andrew McCabe, a position he assumed on Sept. 14, 2014.

Notably, on the same day, John Giacalone was appointed as the executive assistant director of the National Security Branch at FBI Headquarters, a position that had been held by McCabe prior to his move to head the Washington Field Office. Giacalone became the supervisor of Priestap’s predecessor, Coleman. Also on Sept. 14, Michael Steinbach replaced Giacalone as assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division. Steinbach would later replace Giacalone as the executive assistant director of the National Security Branch on Feb. 11, 2016, when Giacalone retired. With this appointment, Steinbach became Priestap’s direct supervisor.

Strzok said the decision to open the Clinton case at FBI headquarters as opposed to the Washington Field Office was made by senior executives at the FBI—certainly at or above Assistant Director Coleman’s level. At this time, Coleman was serving as the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division—the same position Priestap would take over in January 2016.

On July 30, 2015, within weeks of the FBI’s opening of the Clinton investigation, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position within the FBI. With his new title of associate deputy director, McCabe was transferred to FBI headquarters from the Washington Field Office and his direct involvement in the Clinton investigation began.

Peter Strzok (Credit: Evan Vucci/The Associated Press)

Strzok would shortly rejoin his old boss. Approximately two months after opening the Clinton investigation, FBI headquarters reached out to the Washington Field Office, saying they needed greater staffing and resources “based on what they were looking at, based on some of the investigative steps that were under consideration.”

Strzok was one of the agents selected and, likely in September or early October 2015, he was assigned to the Mid-Year Exam team and transferred to FBI headquarters.

On Jan. 29, 2016, FBI Director Comey appointed McCabe as Deputy FBI Director, replacing the retiring Giuliano, and McCabe assumed the No. 2 position within the FBI after having held the No. 3 position for all of six months.

Strzok, in his comments to lawmakers, acknowledged that the newly formed investigative team was largely made up of personnel from the Washington Field Office and FBI headquarters.

This new structure resulted in some unusual reporting lines that went outside normal chains of command. Strzok, who did not normally fall under Priestap’s oversight, was now reporting directly to him. Priestap described the structure as being established by his predecessor, Randall Coleman, during his testimony:

“I don’t know why he [Coleman] set it up, but he set up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through the customary other chain of command. And I kept that on when I assumed responsibility,” Priestap said.

Sometime around September or October 2016, Strzok was promoted to Deputy Assistant Director, a position that came under Priestap’s normal line authority. By this time the Clinton email case was formally closed and Strzok had already opened the counterintelligence investigation into then-candidate Trump on July 31, 2016.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)

July 30, 2015 – McCabe is promoted to an associate deputy director at the FBI and moves to FBI headquarters

“On July 30, 2015, McCabe was suddenly promoted to the No. 3 position within the FBI as associate deputy director and was transferred to FBI headquarters. Strzok would soon be transferred to headquarters as well.

Approximately two months after the opening of the Clinton investigation, FBI leadership asked for the transfer of hand-selected agents from the Washington Field Office. Strzok was one of those chosen, and he was moved to FBI headquarters probably in September or October 2015.

According to Priestap, Coleman had “set up a reporting mechanism that leaders of that team would report directly to him, not through the customary other chain of command” in the Clinton email investigation. Priestap, who said he didn’t know why Coleman had “set it up,” kept the chain of command in place when he assumed Coleman’s position in January 2016.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/31/2019)