texts

May 06, 2019 – Former Asst. Sec. of State for Diplomatic Security testifies under oath that he warned Hillary Clinton twice about unsecure BlackBerrys and personal emails

Eric Boswell (Credit: CSpan)

Judicial Watch released the deposition transcript of Eric Boswell, the former Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomatic Security during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, in which he reveals that Hillary Clinton was warned twice against using unsecure BlackBerrys and personal emails to transmit classified material. A full transcript of the deposition is available here.

Boswell, who was responsible for securing classified and national security information, stated that Clinton and her staff were “wedded to their BlackBerrys.” Additionally, he stated that he and other former State Department employees “were surprised” that Clinton used clintonemail.com to conduct official government business.

In his deposition, Ambassador Boswell stated:

  • Hillary Clinton and other Senior State Department officials were warned in 2009 that “any unclassified Blackberry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails and exploiting calendars.”
  • Clinton was warned again in 2011 that “We also urge Department users to minimize the use of personal web email for business, as some compromised home systems have been reconfigured by these actors to automatically forward copies of all composed emails to an undisclosed recipient.”
  • Clinton assured him that she “gets it” when he informed her about dangers of Blackberries.
  • Clinton and her staff were “wedded to their blackberries” and wanted to continue using them in secure areas even after warning because it was a “convenience issue” to them.
  • He and other former State Department employees “were surprised” to learn that Clinton used clintonemail.com to conduct official government business.  Boswell claimed that they were not aware of such activity while still employed by the government.

Boswell was deposed as part of the discovery granted to Judicial Watch by U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth in response to its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unsecured, non-government email system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01242)). (Read more: Judicial Watch, 5/29/2019)

December 12, 2016 – CIA director Brennan selects FBI Peter Strzok to work on the Joint Analysis Report (JAR) and help write the Intel Community Assessment (ICA)

March 26, 2019 – “Last week Fox News journalist Catherine Herridge announced she had received 40 pages of text messages between former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his FBI Lawyer Lisa Page. [See Here]  These text communications have not been seen by congress, and were not released during prior requests for documents.  Herridge, released and wrote about two of the pages. [See Here]

Today, Herridge releases two more pages….  She’s awesome, and likely slow in the overall release to absorb the import; and for good reason.  Herridge’s release today highlights an important meeting as discussed within the texts:

In a Dec. 12, 2016, text reviewed by Fox News, Page wrote to McCabe: “Btw, [Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper told Pete that he was meeting with [CIA Director John] Brennan and Cohen for dinner tonight. Just FYSA [for your situational awareness].”

Herridge’s angle is questioning why Peter “Pete” Strzok would be told about a meeting between CIA Director John Brennan, ODNI James Clapper and Deputy CIA Director David Cohen.  Current officials cannot explain the context of this December 12th, 2016 meeting and why “Pete” would know about it.

However, there’s an aspect to the background of this time-frame that Catherine Herridge is overlooking…. bear with me.

This meeting takes place on December 12th, 2016.  This is in the epicenter of the time when the Obama intelligence officials, specifically Clapper and Brennan – along with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, were hastily putting together something called the JAR “Joint Analysis Report”, on Russian activity in the 2016 election.

The Joint Analysis Report: aka GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity”  was released on December 29th, 2016, to coincide with President Obama kicking out Russian diplomats as punishment for the content therein which outlined malicious Russian activity in the 2016 election.

We’ve been talking about the JAR from the day it was initially released.  This specific report is total garbage. [Read it Here]  The “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity – Joint Analysis Report” is pure nonsense. This is the report that generated the “17 intelligence agencies” narrative and talking points.  The JAR outlines nothing more than vague and disingenuous typical hacking activity that is no more substantive than any other hacking report on any other foreign actor.  But the “17 Intel Agencies” narrative stuck like glue.

(…)  There’s no doubt the intended outcome was to create confusion and begin selling a narrative to undermine the incoming President-elect Trump administration. No-one expected him to win; Trump’s victory sent a shock-wave through the DC system the professional political class were reacting to it.  The emotional crisis inside DC made manipulating them, and much of the the electorate, that much easier.

Understanding the JAR was used to validate the Russian sanctions and expulsion of the 35 Russian diplomats; and understanding that some coordination and planning was needed for the report therein; and understanding that Brennan and Clapper would need someone to author the material; that’s where Peter “Pete” Strzok comes in.

Remember, CIA Director John Brennan enlisted FBI Agent Peter Strzok to write much of the follow-up within the ICA report, another sketchy construct.  Paul Sperry wrote a great article about it (emphasis mine):

(…) In another departure from custom, the report is missing any dissenting views or an annex with evaluations of the conclusions from outside reviewers. “Traditionally, controversial intelligence community assessments like this include dissenting views and the views of an outside review group,” said Fred Fleitz, who worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years and helped draft national intelligence estimates at Langley. “It also should have been thoroughly vetted with all relevant IC agencies,” he added. “Why were DHS and DIA excluded?”

Fleitz suggests that the Obama administration limited the number of players involved in the analysis to skew the results. He believes the process was “manipulated” to reach a “predetermined political conclusion” that the incoming Republican president was compromised by the Russians.

“I’ve never viewed the ICA as credible,” the CIA veteran added.

A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA,” according to the source.  (read more)

Now does the picture from within Catherine Herridge’s story make more sense?

Peter “Pete” Strzok knew about the December 12th meeting between Brennan, Clapper and Cohen, because Clapper told Strzok of the meeting.  Likely this discussion surrounded the need for Pete’s help in constructing the JAR; which would be the underlying evidence President Obama would use to expel the Russians….  Which is to say, give increased validity to the manufactured premise there was Russian interference.  There wasn’t. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, March 26, 2019)

Fast forward two months: “Trey Gowdy appears on Fox News to discuss the current ‘investigative’ status and reports of Brennan -vs- Comey on the use of the Steele Dossier within the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment or ICA.

Gowdy is one of the few people, along with John Ratcliffe, who has seen the full and unredacted FISA application used against Carter Page.

Regarding the use of the Steele Dossier within the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment; as Gowdy notes there is a likelihood both Brennan and Comey are both correct. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/14/2019)

August 3, 2016 – Strzok/Page texts debate whether to share details with DOJ on key London meeting

“Text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page debating how much information to share with the Justice Department about a London meeting — days after the bureau opened its initial Russia investigation — are drawing fresh scrutiny as alleged surveillance abuse and the probe’s origins are investigated by three separate probes, Fox News has learned.

On Aug. 3, 2016, Strzok wrote, “I think we need to consider the lines of what we disclose to DOJ. For example, the last stipulation notes we will not disclose [the] identifies outside the FBI. I think you might argue the unauthorized disclosure might (reasonably) be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to US national security…”

A clipping of a Strzok /Page text with words written in. “DCM” stands for Deputy Chief of Mission.

In an earlier discussion on Aug. 2, 2016, Strzok reported he had a “good meeting.” Page warned, “Make sure you can lawfully protect what you sign. Just thinking about congress, foia [Freedom of Information Act], etc. I’m sure it’s fine. I just don’t know how protection of intel-type stuff works in that context.”

Fox News has learned some of the words and names that were redacted in the string of Strzok-Page messages; they are included below.

The New York Times was first to report lengthy details about the 2016 meeting in question, when the FBI “dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.” The report said this assignment included questioning Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer. Downer’s information about then-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos helped lay the foundation for the FBI’s counterintelligence probe – which later grew into former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

House Republicans, continuing to probe the texts, have considered August 2016 a pivotal month. They have been looking closely at these exchanges, and how long before the August meeting Downer reported the Papadopoulos information.” (Read more: Fox News, 7/03/2019)