September 27, 2019 – State Department official Kurt Volker at center of whistleblower complaint, resigns
“Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative to Ukraine, resigned Friday amid fallout from a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump regarding a phone call in July with Ukraine’s president.
Volker was one of five State Department officials that House Democrats said Friday they want to depose as part of an impeachment inquiry of Trump. The whistleblower complaint focuses on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian leader.
Beginning earlier this year, Volker served as a liaison between officials in the incoming Zelensky administration and Rudy Giuliani, the Trump lawyer who pushed the Ukrainians to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
(…) Volker helped Giuliani set up meetings with Zelensky aides. But the whistleblower complaint also says that Volker and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, met with Giuliani in an effort to “contain the damage” to national security.
Volker and Sondland also met with Ukrainian officials to help them understand the “different messages” they were receiving from Giuliani and official diplomatic channels.
Volker, who served as ambassador to NATO under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, joined the Trump State Department in 2017. He was also executive director at the McCain Institute, founded by late Arizona Sen. John McCain.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/27/2019)
Here is the first section from the complaint that mentions Sondland:
August 8, 2019 – DNI director Dan Coats who is soon to resign, disrupts meeting to encourage his deputy, Sue Gordon, to resign
“Outgoing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats disrupted a meeting his deputy, Sue Gordon, was holding on election security to urge her to resign from her post.
The abrupt interruption on Thursday, reported by CNN, happened shortly before Gordon submitted her letter of resignation later that day.
She was next in line to be acting spy chief when Coats first announced his intent to retire late last month, but reports indicated the president was going to pick someone else to oversee the U.S. intelligence community until a permanent replacement was approved by the Senate.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/09/2019)
August 8, 2019 – The deputy director of national intelligence, Sue Gordon, resigns from her position
President Donald Trump announced on Aug. 8 that the deputy director of national intelligence, Sue Gordon, is resigning her position, leaving a vacuum at the agency that oversees civilian and military intelligence.
The current director of the agency, Dan Coats, announced last month he would step down on Aug. 15. Last week, Trump said he might name Gordon as the acting DNI, which oversees 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies including the CIA.
“Sue has announced she will be leaving on August 15, which coincides with the retirement of Dan Coats,” Trump said on Twitter.
“A new Acting Director of National Intelligence will be named shortly,” Trump said.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 8/09/2019)
March 14, 2019 – Top Mueller prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, steps down
“One of the most prominent members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential election will soon leave the office and the Justice Department, two sources close to the matter tell NPR.
Andrew Weissmann, the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, will study and teach at New York University and work on a variety of public service projects, including his longstanding interest in preventing wrongful convictions by shoring up forensic science standards used in courts, the sources added.
The departure is the strongest sign yet that Mueller and his team have all but concluded their work. (Read more: NPR, 3/14/2019)
December 4, 2018: And Then There Was None – Bill Priestap Resigns
“The only remaining FBI counterintelligence official at the center of all Spygate and Clinton investigation issues is departing. The enigma man, E.W. “Bill” Piestap is retiring from the FBI. Bill Priestap is the FBI Asst. Director in charge of all counterintelligence operations. Priestap was FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s boss; he was also at the epicenter of the story surrounding every action taken by the FBI in the Clinton investigation and the Trump campaign investigation.
Bill Priestap was copied on every email of consequence including the writing of the Clinton exoneration talking points delivered by FBI Director James Comey. Priestap was the central figure on the FBI side of both Clinton and Trump operations. “Bill” is mentioned in hundreds of text messages sent by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
In short, Bill Priestap was everywhere – except where you would most likely expect to find him, in media discussion. The timing seems curious though the Wall Street Journal goes to great lengths to describe the timing as a mere happenstance due to his 20-year service anniversary and the opportunity to retire with full benefits:
WASHINGTON—A top FBI official who helped oversee two politically sensitive investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign is retiring from government service.
Bill Priestap, who currently serves as assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence division, will leave his post by the end of the year. Mr. Priestap, a 20-year veteran of the bureau, worked on organized crime and drug cases in Chicago before rising through the national security ranks of the agency after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Priestap’s retirement is unrelated to the controversies over the handling of the 2016 investigations, according to a person familiar with the matter. He “became eligible to retire and has chosen to do so after 20 years of service,” the FBI said in a statement.
The federal government allows some employees, including FBI agents, to retire with full benefits if they are 50 or older and have at least two decades of service.
During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Priestap was one of several officials at the center of two politically volatile probes: the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, and a counterintelligence inquiry into whether associates of then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government.
After Mr. Priestap’s departure, none of the high-ranking bureau officials involved in the two investigations will remain with the bureau. FBI director James Comey was fired by President Trump last year, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was later dismissed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his contacts with the media, days before he was eligible to retire with benefits.
Peter Strzok, the chief of the counterespionage section, left the FBI this year after it emerged that he had sent disparaging text messages about Mr. Trump.
Top bureau officials, especially those with national security experience, are in high demand in private-sector fields like cybersecurity, defense contracting and private intelligence. Mr. Priestap’s future plans aren’t known. (read more)
(…) Priestap was so important that during FBI Director James Comey’s March 20th, 2017 congressional testimony Director Comey told congress it was Bill Priestap who recommended that congressional oversight should not be notified of the ongoing counterintelligence operations. Priestap’s instruction was so important that despite the rules violation FBI Director Comey followed his recommendation and kept congress in the dark.
On June 5th, 2018, FBI Director of Counterintelligence E.W. “Bill” Priestap testified to a joint session of the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees.
The hearing was a matter of strong public interest. Mr. Priestap was questioned for approximately seven hours. However, journalist Olivia Beavers covering for The Hill dropped a detail that seemed rather curious:
(…) Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), however, said he felt that Priestap didn’t say anything that would indicate there was “political bias that motivated the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”
Priestap “completely” backed up everything that Comey said, according to a source familiar with his testimony.
Only three lawmakers — Jordan, Meadows and Krishnamoorthi — attended the hearing, which took place on the first day after a week-long recess.
Priestap’s interview comes after the joint House investigation stalled for months after being first announced. (more)
On the home-front: FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap is married to Sabina Menshell a self-employed “consultant” with a history of donations to Democrat candidates, specifically to Hillary Clinton.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/04/2018)
November 7, 2018 – Trump fires Jeff Sessions and appoints Matthew Whitaker as new acting attorney general
“President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday, replacing him with a loyalist who has echoed the president’s complaints about the special counsel investigation into Russia’s election interference and will now take charge of the inquiry.
Mr. Sessions delivered his resignation letter to the White House at the request of the president, who tapped Matthew G. Whitaker, Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff, as acting attorney general, raising questions about the future of the inquiry led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
Mr. Whitaker, a former college football tight end and United States attorney in Iowa, and a onetime Senate candidate in that state, has previously questioned the scope of the investigation. In a column for CNN last year, he wrote that Mr. Mueller would be going too far if he examined the Trump family’s finances. “This would raise serious concerns that the special counsel’s investigation was a mere witch hunt,” Mr. Whitaker wrote, echoing the president’s derisive description of the investigation. Mr. Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for documents related to Russia.” (Read more: The New York Times, 11/07/2018)
September 13, 2018 – FBI loses another cybersecurity expert, Trent Teyama, to private sector
Another cybersecurity expert at the FBI is headed for the private sector.
Trent Teyema, the FBI’s section chief for cyber readiness and chief operating officer of the bureau’s Cyber Division, has been named senior vice president and chief technology officer for the government-focused wing of Parsons Corporation.
The move comes as a number of cybersecurity experts at the bureau have left their positions over recent months. In July, the Wall Street Journal reported that a number of top-ranking cybersecurity officials were leaving for various roles in the private sector.
The FBI’s cyber readiness team works to educate enterprises on various cyberthreats and coordinate information-sharing initiatives. During his time at the bureau, Teyema helped establish the FBI’s National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, which is responsible for investigating cyber threats that pose the most harm to the country.
Teyema also spent time as the director of cybersecurity policy at the National Security Council from 2010 to 2011. (Read more: Cyber Scoop, 9/13/2018)
July 19, 2018 – Five top FBI officials are leaving the Bureau
“Three of the top cybersecurity officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation are retiring from government service, according to people familiar with the matter—departures that come as cyberattacks are a major concern for the country’s security agencies.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials warn that the country is at a “critical point” facing unprecedented cyber threats, including Russia’s ongoing attacks on the American political system. The retirements also come as the FBI is facing regular criticism from President Donald Trump and his supporters, and is working to attract and retain top cyber talent.
Scott Smith, the assistant FBI director who runs the Bureau’s cyber division, is leaving this month. His deputy, Howard Marshall, also left in recent weeks. Mr. Marshall has accepted a job at Accenture , a consulting firm that is expanding its cybersecurity portfolio. Mr. Smith is also expected to move to the private sector.
David Resch, executive assistant director of the FBI’s criminal, cyber, response and services branch, is departing the bureau as well. Mr. Resch, who was named to his senior post by FBI Director Christopher Wray in April, supervised Mr. Smith and Mr. Marshall.
Additionally, Carl Ghattas, executive assistant director of the FBI’s national security branch, has decided to leave for the private sector. And Jeffrey Tricoli, a senior FBI cyber agent who oversaw a Bureau task force addressing Russian attempts to meddle in U.S. elections, left last month for a senior vice president position at Charles Schwab Corp. , the Journal reported last week.
The FBI confirmed the departures. One U.S. official said more people are expected to leave, declining to provide additional names. (Read more: Wall Street Journal, 7/19/2018)
July 5, 2018 – Rod Rosenstein’s right-hand man, Scott Schools, is stepping down from the Justice Department
“Scott Schools, the Department of Justice’s senior-most career attorney and a top aide to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, will step down to take a job in the private sector, the department announced this week.
As associate deputy attorney general, Schools is Rosenstein’s main adviser. Before Rosenstein, Schools was an aide to former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Schools is also one of the few top DOJ officials who is regularly briefed on the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.” (Read more: Business Insider, 7/5/2018)
May 8, 2018 – FBI officials Lisa Page, James Baker resign
“Lisa Page, the anti-Trump FBI lawyer who was once part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, has resigned from the bureau according to a media report.
Also departing from the bureau is James Baker, another FBI lawyer who was reassigned in December 2017 amid controversy surrounding him and the Steele dossier.
Mr. Baker is said to be joining Lawfare, a national security blog affiliated with the Brookings Institution, according to The New York Times, which first reported the departures late Friday.
It is not clear if Ms. Page has another position lined up, but the Times report said she resigned “voluntarily.” (Read more: Washington Times, 5/08/2018)