August 6, 2019 – Judicial Watch obtains records of 14 referrals of FBI employees for leaking sensitive or classified information
“Judicial Watch announced today it received records of 14 referrals of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees to the organization’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) for the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or classified information. The disclosure comes off the heels of Judicial Watch’s uncovering a FBI report detailing fired FBI Director James Comey kept FBI documents on President Trump at his house. Comey also admitted to leaking these documents.
Although the FBI’s OPR does not have its own website, according to the DOJ’s OPR, leak allegations may come, “from a variety of sources, including U.S. Attorney’s offices and other Department components, courts, Congress, media reports, other federal agencies, state and local government agencies, private citizens, private attorneys, criminal defendants, civil litigants, and self-referrals. OPR also regularly conducts its own searches to identify judicial findings of misconduct against Department attorneys.”
One referral obtained by Judicial Watch that appears to refer to former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe was closed on March 20, 2018 and states as a mitigating factor that the “Employee was facing unprecedented challengers and pressures.”
(Name redacted) (DOJ/O&R) Closed: 3/20/2018 References: 2.5, 2.6, 4.10
SES [Senior Executive Service] employee released the FBI Sensitive information to a reporter and lacked candor not under oath and under oath when questioned about it, in violation of Offense Codes 4.10 (Unauthorized Disclosure – Sensitive Information); 2.5 (Lack of Candor- No Oath); and 2.6 (Lack of Candor – Under Oath).
The proposed decision in this matter was made by the AD, OPR. The final decision was made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. DOK retains final decision-making authority for certain high-ranking FBI officials.
MITIGATION: Employee as (redacted) years of FBI service and a remarkable performance record. Employee was facing unprecedented challengers and pressures.
AGGRAVATION: Employee held an extremely high position and was expected to comport himself with the utmost integrity. Lack of candor is incompatible with the FBI’s Core Values.
FINAL ACTION(S): OPR PROPOSED DECISION Proposed DISMISSAL
OPR FINAL DECISION: DISMISSAL
The records show that penalties for unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and/or classified information ranged from no action (due to administrative closure) to, as in the case of McCabe, dismissal. Other FBI employees’ offenses reported in the documents list several cases in which the final action was less severe than OPR’s proposal:
- An unidentified employee was fired. The case was closed in July 2016.
- An unidentified employee was given a one-day suspension without pay. The case was closed in April 2016.
- The following year, an unidentified employee received a five-day suspension without pay, and the case was closed administratively in April 2017.
- An SES agent who “misused an FBI database, and provided sensitive information to a former FBI employee” was reported to have had as mitigation that he felt he “had the support of his Division to use his discretion.” OPR proposed a 15-day suspension, but the final decision was to give a letter of censure. This case was closed in June 2017.
- An unidentified employee was fired. The case was closed in May 2018.
- An unidentified employee was recommended for dismissal but received a 45-day suspension. The case was closed in October 2017.
- An unidentified employee was given a 14-day suspension. The case was closed in March 2016.
- An unidentified employee, who was cited for misuse of an FBI database and unauthorized disclosure of classified/law-enforcement sensitive/grand jury information, was given a 12-day suspension. The case was closed in January 2016.
- An unidentified employee received a letter of censure. The case was closed in August 2016.
- An unidentified employee was given a letter of censure. The case was closed in October 2016.
- An unidentified employee was accused of “Investigative deficiency – improper handling of documents or property in the care, custody or control of the government; unauthorized disclosure – classified/law enforcement sensitive/grand jury information” and “failure to report – administrative.” It was proposed that they be given a 30-calendar day suspension without pay; the final decision from OPR was that they were given a 10-calendar day suspension without pay. This case was closed in February 2018.
- An unidentified employee was fired. This case was closed in October 2017.
- An unidentified employee was given a letter of censure. It was proposed that they be fired, but the final decision was a 60-day suspension without pay. The case was closed in January 2019.
“No wonder the FBI was leaking so profusely. Collectively, these documents show lenient treatment for evident criminal activity. Only four of the 14 employees found to have made an unauthorized disclosure were dismissed from the FBI,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And even though Andrew McCabe was fired and referred for a criminal investigation for his leak, no prosecution has taken place.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 8/06/2019)
May 20, 2019 – Trump recalls the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch
“The Trump administration has recalled the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine abruptly and ahead of her scheduled departure after she became a target of political attacks by conservative media outlets and Donald Trump Jr. Democrats see her early departure under pressure as the unfair targeting of a career Foreign Service officer by Team Trump.
According to an internal State Department management notice that I obtained, U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch will leave her post permanently on May 20, with no replacement in place and no nominations to fill that position. “We expect the Department to appoint a long-term Chargé d’Affaires to lead the mission until a new Chief of Mission is nominated and confirmed,” said the notice, which was sent to all mission personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Incoming Deputy Chief of Mission Kristina Kvien plans to arrive in Kiev on May 28, and Joseph Pennington will continue to serve as chargé d’affaires and acting deputy chief through the transition period, the notice said.
A State Department spokesman told me, “Yovanovitch is concluding her three-year diplomatic assignment in Kiev in 2019 as planned.” One senior administration official told me that she had been previously scheduled to depart at the beginning of July and that her new May departure as a change in that plan. Another administration official said that Yovanovitch was given a choice whether to stay until July or leave early and she chose to leave early, due to the ongoing political attacks. Yovanovitch did not respond to a direct request for comment.” (Read more: Washington Post, 5/07/2019)
January 23, 2019 – Former Ukraine prosecutor Viktor Shokin is mentioned in Giuliani’s notes, stating he was told to back off Biden-linked Burisma probe
“Ukraine’s former top prosecutor told Rudy Giuliani earlier this year that he was indeed asked to back off any probe of a natural gas company linked to Joe Biden’s son, according to a copy of Giuliani’s notes obtained by Fox News.
During the pair’s Jan. 23, 2019, phone call, scandal-scarred ex-prosecutor Viktor Shokin told Giuliani that his “investigations stopped out of fear of the United States,” after a top diplomat asked that he use “kid gloves” in pursuing the company, according to the notes of President Trump’s personal attorney, reported by the outlet.
“Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015, the U.S. Ambassador [to Ukraine] Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which according to Mr. Shokin, that implied do nothing,” the notes from the phone call state.
Shokin was booted from his post in April 2016, amid accusations of corruption, including that his office was blocking major cases against allies and influential figures.” (Read more: New York Post, 10/02/2019)
March 20, 2018 – Andrew McCabe is not charged for leaks and perjury because he was facing “unprecedented challengers [sic] and pressures”
“In 2018, both the Department of Justice Inspector General and FBI Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe had “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.”
However, internal FBI documents indicate the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, decided to give McCabe the benefit of the doubt and credit for his years of devoted service in deciding not to charge him with a crime.
The documents, obtained by the watchdog Judicial Watch, appear to show that the case against McCabe was closed on March 20, 2018, about the time he was fired from the FBI. But the decision not to charge him was not announced publicly.” (Read more: Sharyl Attkisson, 8/09/2019)
May 16, 2017 – Opinion: Robert Mueller did interview President Trump regarding obstruction case
With a larger portion of the U.S. electorate now beginning to realize there never was a Trump Russia-Collusion-Conspiracy case to begin with; and with people now realizing almost all of Mueller investigative time was spent gathering evidence for an ‘obstruction case’; and with new revelations from Andrew McCabe, John Dowd and Mueller officials overlayed on the previous Strzok/Page texts; we can now clearly reconcile a previous issue:
The May 16, 2017, Mueller meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office.
There has been a great deal of flawed interpretation of the May 16th meeting between President Trump, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller. Some people even mistakenly used that meeting as a cornerstone for a claim that Mueller and Rosenstein were working to the benefit of President Trump. However, if you overlay the new information, there is considerable evidence that interview was for the purpose of Mueller determining if he could achieve an ‘obstruction’ goal. Here’s how…
FBI Director James Comey was fired on Tuesday May 9th, 2017.
According to his own admissions (NBC and CBS), Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe immediately began a criminal ‘obstruction’ investigation the next day, Wednesday May 10th; and he immediately enlisted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
These McCabe statements line up with with text message conversations between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok – (same dates 5/9 and 5/10):
It now appears that important redaction is “POTUS” or “TRUMP”. [Yes, this is evidence that some unknown DOJ officials redacted information from these texts that would have pointed directly to the intents of the DOJ and FBI. (WARNING: Don’t get hung on it.)
The next day, Thursday May 11th, 2017, Andrew McCabe testifies to congress. With the Comey firing fresh in the headlines, Senator Marco Rubio asked McCabe: “has the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?”
McCabe responded: “So there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date. Quite simply put, sir, you cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”
However, again referencing his own admissions, on Friday May 12th McCabe met with DAG Rod Rosenstein to discuss the issues, referencing the criminal ‘obstruction’ case McCabe had opened just two days before. According to McCabe:
“[Rosenstein] asked for my thoughts about whether we needed a special counsel to oversee the Russia case. I said I thought it would help the investigation’s credibility. Later that day, I went to see Rosenstein again. This is the gist of what I said: I feel strongly that the investigation would be best served by having a special counsel.” (link)
Recap: Tuesday-Comey Fired; Wednesday-McCabe starts criminal ‘obstruction’ case; Thursday-McCabe testifies to congress “no effort to impede”; Friday-McCabe and Rosenstein discuss Special Counsel.
After the weekend, Monday May 15th, McCabe states he and Rosenstein conferred again about the Special Counsel approach. McCabe: “I brought the matter up with him again after the weekend.”
On Tuesday May 16th, Rod Rosenstein takes Robert Mueller to the White House to talk with the target of the ‘obstruction’ criminal investigation, under the ruse of bringing Mueller in for a meeting about becoming FBI Director. This meeting was quite literally advanced reconnaissance.
The next day, Wednesday May 17th, 2017, Rod Rosenstein and Andrew McCabe go to brief the congressional “Gang-of-Eight”: Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, ¹Devin Nunes, Adam Schiff, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, Richard Burr and Mark Warner.
(…) “On the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein and I sat at the end of a long conference table in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. We were there to brief the so-called Gang of Eight—the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Rosenstein had, I knew, made a decision to appoint a special counsel in the Russia case.”
(…) “After reminding the committee of how the investigation began, I told them of additional steps we had taken. Then Rod took over and announced that he had appointed a special counsel to pursue the Russia investigation, and that the special counsel was Robert Mueller.” (link)
Immediately following this May 17, 2017, Go8 briefing, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein notified the public of the special counsel appointment.
According to President Trump’s Attorney John Dowd, the White House was stunned by the decision. [Link] Coincidentally, AG Jeff Sessions was in the oval office for unrelated business when White House counsel Don McGahn came in and informed the group. Jeff Sessions immediately offered his resignation, and Sessions’ chief-of-staff Jody Hunt went back to the Main Justice office to ask Rosenstein what the hell was going on.
Now, with hindsight and full understanding of exactly what the purposes and intents were for Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to bring Robert Mueller to the White House, revisit this video from June 2017:
(Republished with permission)
- Adam Schiff
- Andrew McCabe
- Chuck Schumer
- criminal obstruction investigation
- Department of Justice
- Devin Nunes
- Donald Trump
- Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
- Gang of Eight
- House Intelligence Committee
- James Comey
- Jeff Sessions
- Jody Hunt
- John Dowd
- Lisa Page
- Mark Warner
- May 2017
- Mitch McConnell
- Nancy Pelosi
- Oval Office
- Paul Ryan
- Peter Strzok
- Richard Burr
- Robert Mueller
- Rod Rosenstein
- Senate Intelligence Committee
- text messages
January 31, 2017 – Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele text messages reveal alarm and concern over Sally Yates and James Comey terminations
Newly revealed emails show Trump dossier author Christopher Steele was uneasy when President Trump fired Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in January 2017.
In a brief correspondence between Steele and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, Steele pressed for a back-up plan to be put in place if his back-channel to the FBI was ever placed in jeopardy.
“B, doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re-SY [Sally Yates]. Just wanted to check you are OK, still in situ and able to help locally as discussed, along with your Bureau colleagues, with our guy if the need arises? Many Thanks and Best as Always, C,” Steele wrote to Ohr on Jan. 31.
Ohr replied: “Bruce: Yes, a crazy day. I’m still here and able to help as discussed. I’ll let you know if that Changes. Thanks!”
“Thanks. You have my sympathy and support,” Steele wrote back. “If you end up out though, I really need another (Bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can’t allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous all round, though his position right now looks stable. A million thanks. C.”
Ohr said in return: “Bruce: Understood. I can certainly give you an FBI contact if it becomes necessary.”
(…) Of particular concern to Republican lawmakers was a previously revealed text Ohr sent to Steele, saying, “very concerned (abt) about [former FBI Director James] Comey’s firing — afraid they will be exposed.” Comey was fired in May 2017.
Ahead of testimony Ohr gave to a GOP task force looking into alleged bias by the FBI and DOJ last year, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, a key member of a GOP task force that looked into alleged bias by the FBI and DOJ, said there were other “equally troubling” texts that “relate to the firing of Sally Yates and the impact that that may have and that leads to some questions.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 3/07/2019)
December 6, 2015 – Biden demands that Ukrainian president Poroshenko fire his attorney general, Viktor Shokin
This is the Google Chrome translation from a Ukrainian perspective on Biden’s demand for Shokin’s termination:
“At a meeting of US Vice President Joe Biden with people’s deputies, the question of the resignation of Attorney General Viktor Shokin was raised. About it wrote on the page on Facebook the people’s deputy from the Block of Petro Poroshenko Svetlana Zalishchuk.
She noted that four key topics were discussed during the meeting: corruption and a reset of the government; Russia’s violation of the Minsk agreements in the context of constitutional reforms and the law on elections in the occupied territories, as well as the annexation of Crimea.
According to her, the issue of corruption became acute, and in order to combat it, Biden said that it was necessary to restart the government and dismiss Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
“Corruption. The new government has not capitulated to it. There is progress – this is key legislation and new bodies whose leadership is chosen through independent commissions. But the two main people play in the giveaway. And the principle lines of defense are lost in the interests of certain well-known close associates. Surnames are named. Attorney General must leave, “the text says.
She added that this meeting was significant because after her Biden will already talk with the president and prime minister.
As reported, US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev on a two-day visit late on December 6. (Read more: Korrespondent.net, 12/07/2015)