Russiagate

January 17, 2020 – John Durham is investigating a ‘strong paper trail’ during the months before Mueller appointment

“A trail of documents has reportedly led Attorney General William Barr’s handpicked federal prosecutor to focus his inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation on the first several months of President Trump’s tenure.”

John Durham is zeroing in on the period spanning from January 2017, when Trump took office, to May of that year. A “strong” paper trail,   has led the investigation into possible misconduct by federal law enforcement and intelligence officials to that time frame.

Barr and Durham have traveled around the world for the investigation, and Durham’s team has already asked witnesses about possible anti-Trump bias among former FBI officials. The secretive DOJ inquiry includes scrutiny of former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, and British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

Little else is known about the investigation other than that Durham is exploring whether a crime was committed by Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who was found by the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to have altered a document during the FBI’s efforts to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant renewal to continue wiretapping onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The period of time under scrutiny by Durham also covers a leak to reporters that federal prosecutors in D.C. are investigating. The Russian intelligence document under scrutiny, word of which made its way into press reports in the spring of 2017, factored into former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, and Comey himself appears to be the focus of that inquiry. Comey was fired in May 2017, after which Mueller was appointed special counsel to lead the Russia investigation.

Barr says, “We have to be careful about the way we collect evidence. And we have to make sure that we have enough evidence to justify our actions. And we’re not going to cut corners in that respect,”  . “You know, there’s some people who think this thing is going to drop in a few weeks. That’s not the case. I see this, perhaps, reaching an important watershed perhaps in the late spring, early summer.” (Read more: The Washington Examiner, 1/17/2020)  (Archive)

December 20, 2019 – Former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, is cooperating with probe of Trump-Russia investigation

“Retired Admiral Mike Rogers, former director of the National Security Agency, has been cooperating with the Justice Department’s probe into the origins of the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump presidential campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, according to four people familiar with Rogers’s participation.

Rogers has met the prosecutor leading the probe, Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, on multiple occasions, according to two people familiar with Rogers’s cooperation. While the substance of those meetings is not clear, Rogers has cooperated voluntarily, several people with knowledge of the matter said.

(…) Rogers’s voluntary participation, which has not been previously reported, makes him the first former intelligence director known to have been interviewed for the probe.

“He’s been very cooperative,” one former intelligence officer who has knowledge of Rogers’s meetings with the Justice Department said.” (Read more: The Intercept, 12/20/2019) (Archive)

December 18, 2019 – The Horowitz Report & testimony provide historic condemnation of FBI’s surveillance actions—Jeff Carlson

Amidst the media spin about the recent Department of Justice IG report, what is the real bottom line? What does it mean for the FBI and its future?

Did Inspector General Horowitz really find that there was no bias in the opening of the Russia probe?

And, doing a deep dive into the Horowitz report and Horowitz’s testimony in the Senate hearing that followed, what’s the most important information that was revealed?

This is American Thought Leaders 🇺🇸, and I’m Jan Jekielek.

In this episode, we’ll sit down with Epoch Times columnist Jeff Carlson, a key contributor to The Epoch Times who was instrumental in our coverage of the Spygate scandal, and creation of The Epoch Times’ iconic Spygate poster. He is a CFA® Charterholder who worked for 20 years as an analyst and portfolio manager in the high-yield bond market.

CORRECTION: During a discussion (beginning at the 37:35 mark) of the two separate trips to Italy in August and late September 2019, that were made by AG Barr and US Attorney Durham, I mistakenly stated the year as being 2016. Both trips, along with AG Barr’s communications with officials in the UK and Australia, all occurred during 2019.

December 10, 2019 – Full Interview: Barr criticizes IG Report on the Russia investigation

In an exclusive interview, Attorney General William Barr spoke to NBC News‘ Pete Williams about the findings on the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the Russia investigation and his criticisms of the FBI.

(Transcript: RealClearPolitics, 12/10/2019)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The DOJ IG report misses yet another lie from the FBI

“Left-leaning politicians and the press spent more than three years pushing the Russia collusion hoax. Yet, following the inspector general’s release of his 478-page report on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse, after making quick mention of the top-line findings, the media moved on. As a result, much has been missed, including one significant misrepresentation contained in all four of the Carter Page FISA applications—an inaccuracy even the IG’s team overlooked.

Two passages, separated by more than 50 pages, when read together reveal an eighth significant inaccuracy and omission from the first FISA application, and one repeated in the later three renewals: Steele’s sources and sub-sources were not ones he used or developed during his time with the British intelligence service MI6, contrary to the impression created in the FISA applications.

This detail was dropped in a footnote in the IG report, following this text: “Steele told us he had a source network in place with a proven ‘track record’ that could deliver on Fusion GPS’s requirements. Steele added that this source network previously had furnished intelligence on Russian interference in European affairs.”

The relevant footnote, footnote 214, then read: “Steele told us that this source network did not involve sources from his time as a [redacted] and was developed entirely in the period after he retired from government service.” The redacted language undoubtedly referred to Steele’s British intelligence work.

That Steele’s “source network did not involve sources from his time” with British intelligence proves extremely significant when considered in tandem with the details the IG provided about the FISA application process in general, and the specifics of the Page FISA applications.” (Read more: The Federalist, 1/02/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report writes McCabe pushed the “Golden Showers” hoax and Comey approved its inclusion in the intel report

(Credit: Aaron Klein/Breitbart)

“An email proves disgraced ex-FBI Director James Comey personally approved an FBI effort to have the wild and unsubstantiated “golden showers” claim about President Trump included in the material to be considered for publication in the U.S. Intelligence Community’s official report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The Comey email, which has not received media attention until now, was revealed inside the Justice Department’s recently released 476-page Inspector General report on the FBI’s Russia collusion investigation.

The IG report further discloses a separate email in which Andrew McCabe, who served under Comey as the FBI’s deputy director, specifically wanted dossier author Christopher Steele’s unverified “pee” charges against Trump to be included in the body of the January 6, 2017, U.S. Intelligence Community report, known as the ICA, assessing alleged Russian interference efforts.

McCabe opposed a CIA compromise to only reference Steele’s controversial dossier in an appendix of the ICA report, with McCabe arguing for it to be included in the body of the report where it would clearly get more attention.

(…) In an email to Strzok, McCabe and others, Comey described a phone call he had with then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, writing that he told Clapper to include the Steele reports.

“Looks okay to me,” Comey wrote, approving of the FBI submission that encompassed Steele’s dossier charges.

Comey’s email continued:

FYI: During a secure call last night on this general topic, I informed the DNI that we would be contributing the [Steele] reporting (although I didn’t use that name) to the IC [Intelligence Community] effort. I stressed that we were proceeding cautiously to understand and attempt to verify the reporting as best we can, but we thought it important to bring it forward to the IC effort.

Comey went on to document that he vouched for Steele’s so-called sources while admitting that he didn’t tell Clapper about FBI efforts to verify the claims. The FBI at the time could not verify the charges.

Comey wrote:

I told him the source of the material, which included salacious material about the President-Elect, was a former [REDACTED] who appears to be a credible person with a source and sub-source network in position to report on such things, but we could not vouch for the material. (I said nothing further about the source or our efforts to verify).”

(Read more: Breitbart, 1/12/2020)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA report reveals Brennan lied to the House Intelligence Committee

John Brennan (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“The new report from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed former CIA Director John Brennan lied to Congress about whether the dossier authored by Christopher Steele was used in the Obama administration’s Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA).

The ICA, a report conducted by intelligence officials in 2016 on Russian election interference, was used to brief President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017. According to the IG report, there was significant discussion by top intelligence officials as to whether the unverified Steele dossier should be included in the main body of the ICA report, summarized in an appendix, or even included at all.

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said that “he felt strongly that the Steele election reporting belonged in the body of the ICA, because he feared that placing it in an appendix was ‘tacking it on’ in a way that would ‘minimiz[e]’ the information and prevent it from being properly considered.”

Ultimately, the ICA included a short summary and assessment of the dossier, which was incorporated in an appendix. “In the appendix, the intelligence agencies explained that there was ‘only limited corroboration of the source’s reporting’ and that Steele’s election reports were not used ‘to reach analytic conclusions of the CIA/FBI/NSA assessment,’” the IG report states.

A few months later, on May 23, 2017, when testifying before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Brennan categorically denied that the CIA relied on the Steele dossier for the ICA report. Here is the full exchange with former Rep. Trey Gowdy: (Video is cued to begin at the appropriate time)

(Read more: The Federalist, 12/11/2019)  (Archive)

December 9, 2019 – The IG FISA Report reveals the main source of the Clinton/DNC/Steele dossier is the subject of an “open FBI counterintelligence investigation” – FISA court is not told

Photo of John McCain with “Source D-Source E” of Steele Dossier — Sergei Millian. (Credit: Paul Sperry/Facebook)

“One of the more shocking facts from the FISA report is that there was only one person who supplied information to Christopher Steele and he said that the information he provided was all garbage.

“The primary sub-source stated that his information came from word of mouth and hearsay and a conversation he had with friends over beers.

Steele’s sub-source was Sergei Millian. Millian’s comments were used for three years to spy on candidate and President Trump and to put the country through corrupt investigations as a result. It all was garbage, Comey, Obama, Mueller, the whole lot knew it was.

Now we see that the subject of the entire Trump sham, Millian, was under investigation at the time he was used as the main source to spy on Trump.

He was “the subject of an open FBI counterintelligence investigation”. This was never shared with the courts.

The Daily Caller reports:

Steele’s claim rested in part on his belief that Deripaska had “no contact with any of his sources” for the dossier. But Deripaska did have contact with a businessman who Steele told the FBI was an unwitting source for most of the dossier’s most eye-popping claims.

Oleg Deripaska (r), CNBC anchor Julia Chatterley (c), and Sergei Millian,  June, 2017. (Credit: CNBC)

Deripaska and the unwitting source, Sergie [sic] Millian, were photographed speaking to each other on June 17, 2016 at an economic forum in St. Petersburg. Steele wrote the first memo of his dossier three days later.

Steele claimed that Millian, who is referred to as Person 1 in the IG report, unwittingly provided information to his main information collector, who is identified as Primary Sub-Source. Millian has long denied being a source for the dossier.

Steele’s primary source disavowed some of Steele’s reporting during an interview with FBI agents in January 2017. The IG report said that the source said that he shared “rumor and speculation” about Donald Trump and members of the campaign with Steele, who reported them as fact in the dossier.

The Crossfire Hurricane team failed to disclose the source’s derogatory comments about Steele in applications to renew surveillance against Page.

Priestap, the former counterintelligence official who oversaw Crossfire Hurricane, told the IG he saw “no indication whatsoever” as of May 2017 that Russia had funneled disinformation through Steele.

Steele’s sub-source was Sergie [sic] Millian.  Millian’s comments were used for three years to spy on candidate and President Trump and to put the country through corrupt investigations as a result.

(FISA Report – pg. 164)

(Read more: The Gateway Pundit, 12/16/2019)  (Archive)

November 22, 2019 – Durham probe expands to Pentagon office that contracted FBI spy Stephan Halper

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“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 4, 2019 – Lee Smith: The Plot Against Trump, From Spygate to Impeachment Inquiry (Video)

“Just why does investigative journalist Lee Smith believe the so-called “Steele dossier” was not actually written by Christopher Steele?

Who does he think did the authoring? How has the mainstream media been complicit in the Spygate scandal? What are the broader implications for America? And why does Smith believe that all of this, including the current impeachment inquiry against President Trump, is part of a broad coup attempt against the President?

This is American Thought Leaders and I’m Jan Jekielek.

Today we sit down with Hudson Institute senior fellow Lee Smith, author of “The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History.”