May 20, 2019 – Mark Meadows discusses covert FBI recordings and transcripts of George Papadopoulos
Former House Oversight Chair, Trey Gowdy, claims the FBI withheld potential game-changing evidence from the FISA court during the Russia probe; Congressman Mark Meadows, Republican member of the House Oversight Committee, offers more insight.
May 19, 2019 – Trey Gowdy says he has seen exculpatory transcripts of FBI spies engaged with Papadopoulos
“In September 2016 the FBI used a longtime informant, Stefan Halper, to make contact with George Papadopoulos, pay him $3k and fly him to London for consulting work and a policy paper on Mediterranean energy issues.
As part of the spy operation the FBI sent a female intelligence operative (a spy) under the alias Azra Turk to pose as Halper’s assistant and engage Papdopoulos. A month later the FBI used Papadopoulos as a supplemental basis for a FISA warrant against Carter Page.
Former Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Trey Gowdy, tells Maria Bartiromo that he has seen transcripts of the Halper/Turk operation, and those transcripts exonerate Papadopoulos.
Bartiromo: I’m really glad you brought that up; the FBI agents’ discussion with George Papadopoulos. Because when the FBI sends in informants to someone they’re looking at, typically those conversations are recorded right? Those people are wired?
Gowdy: Yeah, I mean if the bureau is going to send an informant in, the informant is going to be wired; and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls there’s going to be a transcript of that.
And some of us have been fortunate enough to know whether or not those transcripts exist; but they haven’t been made public and I think one in-particular is going – it has the potential to actually persuade people. Very little in this Russia probe I’m afraid is going to persuade people who hate Trump, or who love Trump, but there is some information in these transcripts that I think has the potential to be a game-changer if it’s ever made public.
Bartiromo: You say that’s exculpatory evidence and when people see that they’re going to say: wait, why wasn’t this presented to the court earlier?
Gowdy: Yeah, you know, Johnny Ratcliffe is rightfully exercised over the obligations that the government has to tell the whole truth to the court when you are seeking permission to spy, or do surveillance, on an American. And part of that includes the responsibility of providing exculpatory information, or information that tends to show the person did not do something wrong. If you have exculpatory information, and you don’t share it with the court, that ain’t good. I’ve seen it, Johnny’s seen it, I’d love for your viewers to see it.
March 25, 2019 – Former CIA director John Brennan admits he received “bad information” that lead to conspiracy indictments
“Former CIA Director John Brennan’s recent admission he received “bad information” that led him to inaccurately predict conspiracy indictments in the Mueller probe is raising questions about claims he made to Congress about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians.
Brennan told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in May 2017 the CIA provided the FBI with information on contacts between Russian officials and Trump campaign figures.
Brennan said he was “concerned” about the contacts because of known Russian efforts to “suborn” Trump campaign associates.
“It raised questions in my mind … whether or not the Russians were ever able to gain cooperation of those individuals,” Brennan said in the May 23, 2017 testimony.
“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” he added, noting he had not seen evidence of collusion between the Trump associates and Russians.
Brennan did not identify the Trump officials or add any other details about the alleged contacts, other than that they occurred in 2016.
Whatever contacts there might have been did not involve a conspiracy to influence the 2016 presidential election, as special counsel Robert Mueller has determined.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 3/27/2019)
Brennan was selling collusion from both inside the White House and out.
December 28, 2018 – Goodlatte and Gowdy recommend a second counsel to continue investigating the investigators of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Trump Russia collusion
“The outgoing Republican committee chairmen in charge of a year-long probe of how the FBI and Justice Department handled investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged Russia ties and Hillary Clinton’s emails once again called for a second special counsel to look into such matters in a letter to top administration and congressional officials summing up their work.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., sent their letter to acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. In it, they encouraged them to pick up where the House panels left off and “continue to identify and eliminate bias” at the federal law enforcement agencies “so the public can trust the institutions to make decisions solely on the facts and the law and totally devoid of political bias or consideration.”
“Our 2016 presidential candidates were not treated equally,” Goodlatte and Gowdy wrote in a statement accompanying the release of the letter. “The investigators in both investigations were biased against President Trump.”
The House GOP leaned heavily on details in an inspector general report released earlier this year to make their arguments about bias having infected the FBI and DOJ’s proceedings. The IG’s report found that while certain individuals, such as former top FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok, displayed clear personal bias against Trump, there was no evidence that the conclusions of the investigations themselves were biased.” (Read more: Chicago Tribune, 12/28/2018)
August 26, 2018 – House task force interviews FBI official, Jonathan Moffa, about Clinton emails
“House lawmakers interviewed an FBI official on Friday, part of an ongoing congressional investigation into the bureau’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
A congressional source confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the Judiciary and Oversight Committees met privately with FBI official Jonathan Moffa at the end of the week — the latest in a line of interviews conducted by the joint task force looking into the FBI’s controversial handling of the inquiry into the former secretary of state’s unauthorized server.
Moffa was mentioned in an April letter sent to Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who took note of emails from February 2016 that suggested Justice Department coordination with the FBI before ex-FBI Director James Comey publicly recommend in July that no charges be brought against Clinton, who was then a candidate for president.
In the letter, first reported by Fox News, Meadows pointed to emails found on Clinton’s server with “Top Secret” information that indicated Comey may have misled Congress when he testified that there was no DOJ-FBI coordination at “crucial moments of the investigation.” One of those emails from an unidentified senior Justice Department official sent to Peter Strzok, the former FBI official who led the Clinton probe and was recently fired for his anti-Trump texting; Moffa, an official in the FBI’s criminal division and the bureau’s Office of General Counsel; and members of the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia, discussed being “kept in the loop as [a] response is drafted.”
The Judiciary-Oversight joint task force also reportedly set up interviews with at least three other FBI officials earlier this summer, including with Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, and Michael Steinbach, the former head of the FBI’s national security division, and John Giacalone, who preceded Steinbach.
Despite protests from across the aisle, the GOP-led task force isn’t done yet. According to Bloomberg, lawmakers will privately interview former top FBI lawyer James Baker on Aug. 30. (Read more: Washington Examiner, 8/26/2018)
June 15, 2018 – Gowdy: GOP will hit DOJ with ‘full arsenal’ If they ignore subpoenas
“House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy warned the DOJ and the FBI on Sunday that Republicans will come after them if they choose not to comply with subpoena requests.
Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday” that House Speaker Paul Ryan led a meeting with FBI and DOJ officials on Friday night and “made very clear there’s going to be action on the floor of the House this week if FBI and DOJ do not comply with our subpoena request.”
“Paul Ryan led this meeting. You had Devin Nunes, Bob Goodlatte, myself and everyone you can think of from the FBI and the DOJ, and we went item by item on both of those outstanding subpoenas,” Gowdy explained. “We’re going to get compliance or the House of Representatives is going to use its full arsenal of constitutional weapons to gain compliance.”
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray were present at Ryan’s meeting, according to Gowdy. (Read more: Daily Caller, 6/17/2018)
April 19, 2018 – Nunes, Gowdy, Goodlatte Statement on Comey Memos
“Today House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) issued the following statement:
“We have long argued former Director Comey’s self-styled memos should be in the public domain, subject to any classification redactions. These memos are significant for both what is in them and what is not.
Former Director Comey’s memos show the President made clear he wanted allegations of collusion, coordination, and conspiracy between his campaign and Russia fully investigated. The memos also made clear the ‘cloud’ President Trump wanted lifted was not the Russian interference in the 2016 election cloud, rather it was the salacious, unsubstantiated allegations related to personal conduct leveled in the dossier.
The memos also show former Director Comey never wrote that he felt obstructed or threatened. While former Director Comey went to great lengths to set dining room scenes, discuss height requirements, describe the multiple times he felt complimented, and myriad other extraneous facts, he never once mentioned the most relevant fact of all, which was whether he felt obstructed in his investigation.” (Read more: House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, 04/19/2018)
April 19, 2018 – New emails bolster GOP claims of FBI, DOJ ‘coordination’ on Clinton case response
“Emails reviewed by Fox News from February 2016 suggest the FBI and DOJ worked together to craft a response to a key development in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, amid newly raised Republican concerns about a “concerning level of coordination” between the two agencies during the probe.
The emails concern the period after 22 messages with “Top Secret” information were found on the former secretary of state’s personal email server.
Republican Rep. Mark Meadows cited them in a letter earlier this week claiming former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to Congress – in which he downplayed FBI-DOJ coordination on the Clinton case – may be at odds with documents suggesting “frequent” coordination.
Comey specifically said in public testimony that he did not coordinate with the DOJ for his July 2016 public recommendation not to pursue charges against Clinton. Meadows, however, pointed to a series of messages he claims indicate potential coordination at several “crucial moments of the investigation” – including the July statement and the period in February. While the FBI is part of the Justice Department and communication between the two agencies is inevitable, Meadows’ letter also suggests some at the FBI were concerned about the perception it was not acting independently in a politically explosive case.” (Read more: Fox News, 04/19/2018)
February 16, 2018 – Judicial Watch Sues State Department for Samantha Power Unmasking Documents
“The former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations reportedly requested to unmask over 260 Americans in her last year in office with no explanation.
Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State for “unmasking” and other records tied to Obama’s United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power relating to the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-00300)). Unmasking refers generally to the practice of political appointees obtaining the identities of American citizens referenced in intelligence surveillance of foreign nationals.
On September 20, 2017, Fox News reported that Power unmasked over 260 persons in her last year as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in an attempt to uncover associates of President Trump. She “was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016,” even seeking “information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration.”
On October 13, 2017, Power testified behind closed doors about this matter to the House Intelligence Committee. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, who also sits on the Intelligence Committee, stated that “Her testimony is they [the unmasking requests] may be under my name, but I did not make those requests.”
“Unmasking and then illegally leaking the names of Trump team members caught up in foreign intelligence gathering would have been an incredible, but unsurprising abuse by the Obama administration. Was the Clinton-DNC dossier also used as justification to abuse intelligence data to ‘unmask’ American citizens to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Donald Trump?” asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “And why is the Tillerson State Department stonewalling Judicial Watch’s FOIA investigation into this potentially illegal conduct by its agency employees?”
Separately, in a response to a FOIA request, Judicial Watch was told by the National Security Council (NSC) in May 2017 that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” have been removed to the Obama Library.” (Read more: Judicial Watch, 2/16/2018)
October 13, 2017 – Samantha Power testifies intel officials made ‘unmasking’ requests in her name
“House Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy said Tuesday that President Obama’s former United Nations ambassador has testified that not all of the “unmasking” requests made in her name were directed by her.
Samantha Power testified in Gowdy’s committee last week, and Fox News reported weeks before her appearance that she was thought to have made as many as 260 requests to “unmask” Americans caught up in the surveillance of non-U.S. citizens.
But Tuesday evening, Gowdy told Fox News that Power told his committee that she was not the official requesting that unmasking in every case.
“I think if she were on your show, she would say those requests to unmask may have been attributed to her, but they greatly exceed by an exponential factor the requests she actually made,” Gowdy said.
“So, that’s her testimony, and she was pretty emphatic in it,” he added. “The intelligence community has assigned this number of requests to her. Her perspective, her testimony is, they may be under my name, but I did not make those requests.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 10/17/2017)